Young-Earth Creationists Substitute Words of Men in Place of the Word of God

Time and time again I have heard young-earth creationists say that one has to choose between what humans say about the origins of the cosmos and of human beings on the one hand, and the Word of God on the other.

From a Christian perspective, this is exactly right. And young-earth creationists have chosen the former and rejected the latter.

They insist on one particular and relatively recent human interpretation of some human-authored texts from ancient times, and what those texts say about God and creation. And on that basis, they reject the evidence from creation itself – that which, according to those very texts which they claim to follow, the Word of God brought into existence. They choose ancient human writings over the testimony of God's own handiwork.

Even if one accepted the young-earth creationist claim that the Bible as a collection of texts is the Word of God, they would still be guilty of choosing the words of men instead of it. Time and again, when the evidence of the Bible is at odds with their stance, they reject what all the textual and linguistic evidence indicates – i.e. what that which they call the Word of God actually says – and substitute meanings imposed on it by people who have no linguistic basis for their claims, but only the guidance of their owned deeply flawed human assumptions and perspective.

And they do not even accept what those writings actually say, even without getting into details about Hebrew words. In many places the writings in the Bible assert not only that God's Word is responsible for creation, but that the heavens and the created order testify faithfully about God. And they reject that testimony. Of course, they claim that they do not. But that is mere self-justification on their part, and not the truth.

And so whichever way you look at it, young-earth creationists reject the Word of God and substitute the words of men. And they add to this the additional sin of hypocrisy, when they accuse others of doing what they themselves do.


Stay in touch! Like Religion Prof on Facebook:

Jesus' Sermon at Ground Zero
Crowdsourcing Creation in Popular Culture
Canon: The Card Game is NOW AVAILABLE!
Cards Against Divinity
  • Jim Reed

    Great point on the problem of claimng to accept God’s word and then obfuscating on Psalm 19.

  • rmwilliamsjr

    Madueme clearly gives final adjudicatory authority to theological/dogmatic traditions when science or historical biblical scholarship raise questions of the historical reliability of the Adam story.


    YECists are part of an interpretive community that denies it’s own existence & significance, first, by attempting to collapse the interpretive distance between a reader and the text by making the foolish claim that they simply read the Bible as it really is. then by making the claim that it is just the reader and his Bible, sans community.

    they are part of an interpretive community, it’s hidden from their consciousness so that they ignore the importance of it’s historical development, but even more importantly they ignore the fact, that like the scientific community, they read the Bible through other men’s eyes. they have learned how to read it, how to interpret it from their elders, countless sermons and private discussions, but they wish to deny these developmental ascepts of their consciousness and declare it’s “just me and my Bible”.

    that’s nonsense, dangerous nonsense, because it puts their history outside of their conscious criticism, if you ignore it you can’t examine it. their theology is just as much the work of sinful men as is their science. only these rose-tinted glasses ground for them in the past and bequeathed to them by their churches is ignored and as a result colors their world while they deny the very existence of the color-rose.

  • Dr. David Tee

    Hebrews 11:1 &2 counter any evolutionary thought and shows what true believers are to do and accept. They are to use FAITH that God created by speaking and that it did not take a process or explosion to format all that we see.
    In the Big Bang and evolutionary theories, the secular world has constructed the idea that all we see came from some pre-existing object. Yet Hebrews 2 counters that. There is also NOTHING in the Bible that supports an OEC or evolutionary position. Those that support such ideas are taking unbelieving man’s word for it and that is NOT what God said to do.
    Believers accept the Bible as the word of God because it is. There is NO divine instruction to take science over God’s word. In fact both God and Jesus spoke against listening to the unbelieving world. People who listen to evolutionary, thinking in any form, are disobeying both God and Jesus. That is NOT a good position to be in.
    P.S.–The above post is so generalized that it makes no sense whatsoever. Make specific charges so that they can be addressed instead of hiding behind accusations that target nothing.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      Yet Hebrews 2 counters that. There is also NOTHING in the Bible that supports an OEC or evolutionary position.

      nor is there a word against slavery.
      nor any inkling of the germ theory of disease.
      nor any idea of how vast the universe is.
      the Bible talks about hell being underneath our feet and heaven very close, just outside the clouds and “orbits” of the sun, moon, and stars. in fact, the Ascension assumes a very close by heaven with oxygen for Jesus to breath while he travels to it.

      you pick and choose which elements of a 2ndC BC ancient near east worldview to believe in, the evidence against these other elements (or northern military might) so overwhelmed your interpretive community’s defense in the past that you no longer believe smallpox inoculations are evil like the Boston puritans did, or that slavery is the natural order(as did my church’s ancestors), or that the sun revolves around the earth.

      your interpretive community does adapt to changing scientific knowledge. just a bit slower than other Christian communities, unfortunately.
      with an sadly lacking understanding of that historical development because it denies it’s even happening. a blindness that allows you to believe you think the same way a 1st C Palestinian Jew or a 1500BC Israelite thought. they are 3 different worlds, that need to be studied on their own terms, not yours.

      • Dr. David Tee

        nor is there a word against slavery– yes there is. “do unto others as ye would have them do unto you”
        nor any inkling of the germ theory of disease.–Yes there is. read the hygenic laws of the OT
        nor any idea of how vast the universe is– Yes there is. Read any verse where God describes His handiwork. “The heavens display the glory of God”
        the Bible talks — so now you are being literal when it suits you?
        The only people picking and choosing are the unbelievers.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          nor is there a word against slavery-

          read dabney’s defense of virginia.

          nor any inkling of the germ theory of disease.–Yes there is. read the hygenic laws of the OT

          and nowhere in those chapters does it tell healers to wash their hands. you’d think that would be rule one, before several chapters on leprosy which is an insignificant disease.

          or maybe something about cleaning and disinfecting a wound.

          or covering your mouth when you sneeze.

          nothing about inoculations or clean water or how to recycle cr*p safely. as i said nothing at all about germ theory.

          • Dr. David Tee

            Dabney’s defense isn’t scripture and is not germane to the issue. So you want the Bible to be a complete medical book when it doesn’t have to be? Since humans were alive long before Deut. was written, don’t you think they knew about disinfecting , washing hands, and covering their mouths long before so God did not have to be redundant?
            We do not know what God taught Adam in the beginning but it is safe to say He covered a lot of ground that was pertinent to health issues that carried on down to Noah, his sons and their descendents.
            The Bible doesn’t speak about driving yet its teachings cover the act. You want specific teaching for specific words but that wasn’t going to happen for then the Bible woul dbe too thick and people simply would not read it. its words cover all aspects of life even the ones that supposedly were not invented prior to the 20th century.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            Dabney’s defense isn’t scripture and is not germane to the issue.

            did you even try to read it?
            it is most germane, he is a theologian who uses Scripture in a very literal way to defend the southern system of slavery using Scripture extensively. the south were the conservatives defending slavery exactly the same way YECists defend a young earth. the liberals of their day-the abolitionists defended their views with generalized arguments (like theistic evolutionists do today)like love your neighbor because there are no specific verses condemning slavery and hundreds supporting and condoning it.

            don’t you think they knew about disinfecting , washing hands,

            nope. nor is there any evidence that God told them to wash their hands before delivering babies, for example, potentially millions of women died because of this omission, God had only to put what we see in every public bathroom, wash your hands, to have fixed this into western civilization because of the position the Bible has played.

          • Dr. David Tee

            So he uses scripture to make a defense? Hitler did as well and all German soldiers got a belt buckle stating God is with them. Does that mean that the Bible teaches that Nazism is okay?

          • rmwilliamsjr

            read him. don’t speculate. see what the man really wrote rather than your thoughts about what he might have said. that is the key point of studying and research, to see what other people believed and how they justified it. not simply to dismiss everything because you know better.

            it is sad when Christians don’t take other people seriously, for they too are created in the image of God.

            for example:
            Yet not one fossil shows transition in action. it is all assumed, or pure speculation on the part of the secularist.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            Hitler did as well and all German soldiers got a belt buckle stating God is with them

            i came up empty handed searching for hitler’s writings where he uses Scripture to justify his ideas. perhaps you could share the exact references you have in mind, please?

          • rmwilliamsjr

            Hitler did as well all German soldiers got a belt buckle stating God is with them.

            you need to be careful not to post anything factual that can be fact checked.

            while it is true that this motto was on the buckles:
            During the Second World War Wehrmacht soldiers wore this slogan on their belt buckles,[9] as opposed to members of the Waffen SS, who wore the motto Meine Ehre heißt Treue (‘My honour is loyalty’).

            it has nothing to do with hitler, being there as a result of ancient forces:
            German soldiers had Gott mit uns inscribed on their helmets in the First World War.[5] To the Germans it was a rallying cry, “a Protestant as well as an Imperial motto, the expression of German religious, political and ethnic single-mindedness, or the numerous unity of altar, throne and Volk”.

            both quotes from

            so your evidence that hitler uses Scripture to support his views lacks evidence. but i’ll wait for your references….which i’m sure i’ll read long before you even think of looking up dabney. sad, you could use some reading research.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            don’t you think they knew about disinfecting , washing hands, and covering their mouths long before so God did not have to be redundant?

            nope. no evidence that anyone really understood the health implications of simple things like washing hands or sanitation until early 1800. they go through demon, miasma, humor et al theories of disease for several millennium before western science arises with germ theory.

            We do not know what God taught Adam in the beginning but it is safe to say He covered a lot of ground that was pertinent to health issues that carried on down to Noah, his sons and their descendents.

            let’s see. God did not tell Adam about:
            the Sabbath, there is no mention of it from Gen 1-2 to Exodus and the law. in fact, a 7 day week arises over time from early Sumerian political-religious calendar.

            odd such an important thing was neglected…..perhaps the answer is that gen 1-6 is a projection back into pre history…putting the Sabbath justification retroactively into the past.

    • Arthur Bryne

      On what basis do you conclude the Bible is the Word Of God; and more importantly, has authority for establishing veracity?

    • Mary

      Ah, yet again we hear from the FAKE DOCTOR, who doesn’t have a degree.

  • owlafaye

    I love it when these ignoramuses pizz all over each other. BABBLE believers are a riot of laughter.

  • YEC

    Please see and educate yourselves on the fatal flaws of evolution.

    • James F. McGrath

      Please see any mainstream scientist, including Christians, to educate yourself about why such claims about fatal flaws of evolution are lies, half-truths, and misinformation. Seriously, if this topic is one that you consider it worth talking about publicly, then read what the scientists have to say, and don’t just give your precious faith to any charlatan who says things that tickle your ears. It brings shame on the Christian faith when it is associated with ignorance and lies!

      • Dr. David Tee

        Your problem Mcgrath is that no divine command or teaching states we are to follow scientists or their conclusions. They are mere humans subject to the sin and corruption that entered the world at Adam’s sin.
        There are divine commands and teachings to follow God, Jesus, and the Bible. In fact, there are verses teaching us to NOT follow the unbelieving world. Since Darwin rejected God and in his own words stated that his ‘conversion’ never took, anyone following any form of evolutionary teaching would be following an unbeliever and deceitful teachings.
        Your choice is not to repent and turn back to God or continue following lies.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          There are divine commands and teachings to follow God, Jesus, and the Bible

          you have this book-the Bible, where in the various books that make up this library does it tell you which books are supposed to be in and which out? you refer to the Bible as if it were a unit, a single piece, but nowhere in your English Bible does the table of contents exist. the canon exists in fallible human history made by sinful men who decided what you consider inspired. God doesn’t claim anywhere to have written your Bible’s table of contents, which is 1 among a dozen competing canons.

          • Dr. David Tee

            Sighhhh! Some people just need to nitpick at useless things tojustify their rejection of God’s word.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            Sighhhh! Some people just need to nitpick at useless things tojustify their rejection of God’s word.

            i take the Scriptures very seriously and wish to understand what they are really teaching not what i hope they are. i don’t reject them and am a Christian. just not the kind that thinks God inspired the formation of the various canons or thousands of translators who contradict each other, when there is simply no evidence that He wishes me to believe this.

        • James F. McGrath

          “Tee”, You are rejecting the unbelieving world only in the sense that you are rejecting the conclusions that the natural world requires believer and unbeliever alike to draw. I suspect that you do not reject the naming convention of calling certain colors “blue” or “red” just because unbelievers happen to use the same terms.

          But in adopting an arrogant approach that rejects what Christians who actually know something about science have to say, you are mirroring the world, in precisely the domain that Scripture tells us not to be like the world – in morality, not in observation of nature.

          • Dr. David Tee

            It is Dr. Tee to you and no permission has been granted to address me otherwise. First off, those who go with alternatives to the Bible are not Christians unless they are new believers and learning the difference between their old beliefs and biblical ones.
            Secondly, You know nothing of scripture. Science is not is not what God said to use. He said–use faith– as that pleases HIm. So you reject what God says pleases Him to go with something He did not say to use.
            the only arrogant one is you.

          • James F. McGrath

            I addressed you by your surname alone in quotation marks as a parody of how you addressed me, which was as “McGrath” rather than “Dr. McGrath.” It really is sad to watch you chastize others time and time again for doing things that you yourself in fact are doing and not those whom you are addressing, except in parody in an attempt to get you to notice how atrocious your behavior is and how ludicrous your claims. Perhaps now a glimmer of light will get through, and even if you will not yet realize that you are wrong, at least perhaps you will realize that you have been rude?

          • Dr. David Tee

            Wow, a parody. Is that what scripture said to do? Seems you ignore a lot of scripture so you can do as you please.
            You could easily and simply have said, call me Dr. McGrath but you chose an antagonistic route instead.
            Getting back to the point of the post, here is a question I need to repeat so I can see if you have an answer yet.
            Why would God write not only in Genesis but throughout the Bible that He created all things if he didn’t do so? Then have the ‘truth discovered’ by a man or men who rejected Him long after the fact making the discovery injust and unfair to those who lived and died before that ‘discovery’?
            Since the Bible describes that God is just, fair and does not lie, you have made God out to be a sinner and demoted him from infallible God to fallible human status because He is no longer sinless.
            Since God does not lie, is fair and just, wouldn’t it have been honest and more just to write that He used a process and that that process was taught from the beginning with Adam on down to Noah on down to the modern age so that all people would know the real truth?
            In ancient societies we find creation stories and flood stories but amazingly enough we do NOT find one evolutionary tale anywhere. If the ancients were smart enough to study the stars, build magnificent structures so exact without modern equipment, they were smart enough to figure out that evolution took place if that were the true methodology.
            Then write about it instead of writing about creation and the flood. After all, the flood was so real that the Sumerians inserted it into their king’s list. Then G. Hancock has recorded in some of his books of ancient societies appearing out of nowhere and building their cities, towns etc. on the hills instead of in the valleys as if they were afraid of another flood.
            The evidence supports Genesis as written, it doesn’t support your argument nor Darwin’s.

          • James F. McGrath

            This makes no sense. You are still claiming that God wrote writings which clearly have human authors, you are accusing me of making God fallible by pointing out that these human authors were fallible, and you are claiming that if one does all of the above, it implies a denial of God having created. None of that is true.

            You make claims about the evidence which are also false. Which mainstream scientist who is a Christian have you even consulted to get reliable information on this matter?

          • Dr. David Tee

            No I haven’t but you want to think so so you can pursue your sinful direction.
            Let me put it to you very simply. You . Darwn and all evolutionists were not at the beginning so you cannot say what was done. God was, He can.
            You ignore the work of satan in influencing those who reject or walk away from God which means you are not being honest in any of your arguments.
            You say God lied to everyone, which makes God not God but a fallible sinner that is heresy and false teaching. And it removes salvation from the lives of people.
            Jesus said, if it were not so I would have told you. Which tells us that God created as He said in Genesis or Jesus would have told us the truth. He supported creation which puts any form of evolution in satan’s fold.
            So if you say Jesus lied, then he was not the sacrificial lamb and we have no hope.

          • Mary

            I looked up your Jesus quote. The exact words:
            “In my Father’s House are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.”
            I am at a loss about how that could possibly be referring to creationism. He was talking about heaven.
            Do you always quote things out of context?

          • James F. McGrath

            This is so ironic, Dr. Tee. You are claiming the words of ancient authors who were not there at creation over the evidence of creation itself. Don’t you realize that it is you that is substituting human words for the evidence of creation itself?

          • Mary

            Actually the God of the Bible is not always “fair and just’ since he commanded his followers to commit atrocities against others. This is evidence that the Bible was written by fallible men.
            There is evidence of a possilble large flood that happened, but not a worldwide flood. There might have been settlements in a valley that eventually became the Black Sea. Ocean levels rose and broke through the natural barrier. It would have been very sudden and cataclysmic.
            A world-wide flood? No. If that had happened, virtually all life on the planet would have become extinct. We would still be trying to recover now from that event. And fitting something 23,000 different species of animals, many from different continents, on a small ark would be impossible. We also would have seen great human civilizations disappear. But that never happened.
            A few stories about people moving their settlements to higher ground only indicates that they were living in flood prone areas. This is not surprising since most people lived near water sources to survive.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            Then G. Hancock has recorded in some of his books of ancient societies appearing out of nowhere and building their cities, towns etc. on the hills instead of in the valleys as if they were afraid of another flood.

            g. hancock might be

            but hilltop fortresses are for protection from invaders not floods.

            The evidence supports Genesis as written, it doesn’t support your argument nor Darwin’s.

            genesis as interpreted by you. genesis as written is a text, when you read it, you interpret it. you really have to understand interpretative distance to make any headway in a discussion, otherwise you are going to be ignored as someone so wrapped up in themselves to have nothing interesting to say.

          • Dr. David Tee

            Try underworld or heaven’s mirror.

          • Mary

            You are awfully sensitive when it comes to that fake title of yours. On another forum you admitted that you don’t have a degree. Does your God approve of lying about who you are?

          • James F. McGrath

            Mary, could you share a link to that forum, if it isn’t too much trouble. It would be interesting to know if even before he wrote a word in a comment box, “Dr.” Tee was already telling lies when he filled in his user name. That would put everything else he has written in perspective – and also serve as a useful warning to others, who often believe that creationism is accepted by “doctors” without fact-checking who the people are and what degrees they actually have.

          • Dr. David Tee

            You would be wrong as well but I see that since you cannot refute the truth you do the usual unbeliever tactic and attack the person just so you can continue believing falsehoods. how sad you all are.

          • Mary

            You seem to have no trouble attacking others on a personal level although they are at least honest about who they are and what they represent.
            You cannot claim to stand for truth while at the same time you are lying about yourself.

          • Mary
          • James F. McGrath

            Thank you!

          • Dr. David tee

            Last post on this thread. it is not wise to call people liars when you know nothing about them. The only time I would say I didn’t have a doctorate is when I didn’t have one.

          • Ken Gilmore

            So, ‘Dr’ David:

            * Where did you earn your undergraduate degrees and in what discipline are they?
            * Where did you get your doctorate? What was your thesis subject?
            * What are your academic affiliations?
            * What is your publication history

            Every academic I know usually lists these things on their website, but you appear to be quite unwilling to volunteer this information. A person who uses the honorific ‘Dr’ in his user name (a rather transparent attempt to bolster your fundamentalist rants with the veneer of authority), should be willing to advertise his area of specialty. I would hardly be alone in concluding that refusing to answer these questions would reflect poorly on your credibility.

    • David Evans

      That’s a big site, I’m not going to read it all. I decided to check on its Astronomy section, which is a subject I know something about. It says:

      “The creationist cosmologist, Dr John Rankin, also showed mathematically in his Ph.D. thesis that galaxies would not form from the big bang.”

      Convincing, yes? Except that the thesis dates from 1977. Since then we’ve had an immense amount of information on the state of the early universe, from the COBE satellite and others. I have read many accounts of how galaxies form. I don’t think you will find anyone, now, who will say it’s impossible.

      Science progresses. If you’re going to refute a whole field of knowledge, you have to deal with the current version.

    • David Evans

      P.S. I took one more look at that site. They quote Darwin on the scarcity of transitional forms in the fossil record. Darwin in 1859! Yes, transitional forms were scarce then, because fossils were scarce then. They are not scarce now.

      • Dr. David Tee

        Yet not one fossil shows transition in action. it is all assumed, or pure speculation on the part of the secularist.

        • James F. McGrath

          If you think that one fossil would show transition in action, then either you have not understood what a fossil is, or you have not understood what a transition is in evolutionary biology.

          • Dr. David Tee

            Oh I know what it is and it is a lie. Evolutionists love to omit details in order to make their alternative theory work. There is no evidence for the claimed tranisitional process. It is all read into by unbelievers who do not want God to exist.
            Oh and I am still waiting for the scripture that says it is okay to use science over God’s word.

          • Daniel Froman

            Tee, I do not need “permission” to accept modern science over a three thousand year old fairy tale. Not from you, and not from said fairy tale itself.
            I also do not need your “permission” to refuse to call you by a title that you clearly have not actually earned. In fact, to call you “Dr.” would be an insult to everyone who has had to do actual work in order to earn that title.

          • ToTripoli

            I’m waiting for the scripture that says bats are mammals.
            After all, Leviticus specifically states that they are birds. Since you always believe the Bible over science (and I’m guessing the rest of observable reality), you must believe that bats are birds.

            Furthermore, I’m not sure what your doctorate is in, but I’m guessing theology or something similar. If you are in fact a medical doctor, then should we assume you cure diseases with animal sacrifice & prayer, as prescribed in the Bible? Or do you rely on (gasp!) medical science, which is based largely on evolutionary biology (of which you seem to have NO understanding)?

            Lastly: how do you explain the millions of Christians who accept evolutionary theory? Ken Miller happens to be both a Christian and an evolutionary biologist. So much for it being held only by “unbelievers,” eh? Looks like you’ll have to find another conspiracy theory to tout, David.

          • Mary

            New to this I see…Our esteemed “doctor” refuses to come clean about his credentials. It is obvious he is lying. BTW it is useless to argue with this guy because it all comes down to: “I’m right, you’re wrong and that’s that!” Funny that is how we settled conflicts as kids. I would expect better from an adult.
            So take a crack at him but you can’t preach rationality to someone who is delusional.

        • Mary

          Gee, what about the fossil of a dinosaur transitioning into a bird?
          We also have more to go by than just Darwin’s word. EVERY SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINE confirms evolution, including genetics.

        • James F. McGrath

          That is like saying that no text shows the evolution of language in action. It is a very silly comment. It is when we line up texts over time that we see the evolution of Latin into the modern-day Romance languages. Obviously no one text on its own shows that. Whether the silly comment is an attempt to misrepresent things, or a failure to understand even the basics of evolution, it is hard to say, but it must be one or the other.

  • Ephraim7

    If pastors, priests. rabbis, and “so called” Christians would stop their false (old Earth) and foolish (young Earth) teachings, and start promoting the truth of Genesis (Observations of Moses), then there would hardly be any room for the ridiculous teaching of evolution.

    Collectively, Bible believers are so “blind”, that their approach to Genesis is a joke. Instead of seeking the truth, they continue to support the current lies and foolishness of Creationism. Genesis does not have any “Creation accounts”. When you keep telling a person that their car is running out of gas, and they refuse to look at the fuel gauge and go to the gas station, you begin to wonder how “dumb” they are. Perhaps they are just like the Jews, who value tradition over the truth of scripture.

    I wrote the Governor, state house, every high school, the state board of education, every local school board that had a website, and every church with a website I could find in Louisianna. They ALL were too lazy to respond, and were not interested in the truth of Genesis. So blame your present state government, your atheist school board members, and your infidel clergy for refusing to have the truth taught.

    Herman Cummings

    • James F. McGrath

      When one is convinced that one is the only one who sees the truth, while everyone else is a fool who has gone astray and/or involved in a conspiracy to cover up or oppose the truth, it is a clear indication that one has missed completely Scripture’s teaching about not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.

  • Rick Littlefield

    This is quite a charge. What evidence – what words of the young creationists – do you advance, in order to prove your charge? Who are “the young creationists”? Specifically what are they rejecting? The Word is many things: power of creation, God’s words set down in print (Moses), the preached word, Jesus the living Word, etc. You seem to reject the written word.

    • James F. McGrath

      When you change what I wrote to “young creationists” are you making an honest error, not having heard of young-earth creationists and so-called scientific creationism?

      I found your reference to Moses having set something down in “print” amusing, and again, am not entirely sure whether you are making a joke or being serious.

  • James F. McGrath
  • Raymond McIntyre

    Indeed. The Bible is not a science text. The Genesis account is not about HOW but about WHY.

  • James

    It’s interesting to me that you have the same problem as young earthers – interpretation. So where the nutters wave the Bible around their heads claiming it says the earth is young (and if we can make the Bible say it, you better believe it), you are waving creation around your head and claiming it says the universe is old (and if God made it, we better believe your interpretation!).

    • James F. McGrath

      James, I am curious whom you were addressing, since what you wrote doesn’t fit my viewpoint or what I wrote in the post here, and it isn’t clearly a reply to another comment. Could you perhaps clarify, if it isn’t too much trouble?

      • James

        Hi James, sorry for the tardy response – I forgot to get Disqus to notify me.

        To clarify, I’m saying that your claim “whichever way you look at it, young-earth creationists reject the Word of God and substitute the words of men.” can be levelled against you using the same argument that you used (which I outlined in the first comment).

        You write “Time and again, when the evidence of the Bible is at odds with their stance, they reject what all the textual and linguistic evidence indicates – i.e. what that which they call the Word of God actually says – and substitute meanings imposed on it by people who have no linguistic basis for their claims, but only the guidance of their owned deeply flawed human assumptions and perspective.”

        So basically; they’re starting with flawed hermeneutics and you’re starting with flawed science (in each other’s perspectives). I don’t think you’re adding anything useful to the debate (I’m not sure how to word that in a way that doesn’t make me sound like an arrogant clot so please read it in the most humble tone you can imagine).

        • James F. McGrath

          One of the major things I would like to hear from you about is whether you had Disqus notifications switched off altogether or just for this post. Readers have asked whether it is possible to do the latter with the current Disqus configuration, and was having trouble figuring it out, and so would value your input.

          On your actual point, I am not simply saying that they have a flawed hermeneutic. They reject what linguists conclude about the meaning of words in the Bible, and so unless one can call “making words means whatever you think they should mean” a hermeneutic, then they are simply misrepresenting what the Bible actually says. A different hermeneutic, in my opinion, would involve people acknowledging what the words of the text are but interpreting or applying them differently. I know that YECs claim that they are dealing with the same evidence and just interpreting it differently. But that claim deserves to be evaluated and not simply accepted on the force of their assertion alone.

          • James

            To answer your first question, I think it’s my fault; I’m not logged in so once again I wasn’t notified.

            In response to your answer; I guess I would have to agree with you that the YEC “claim deserves [needs?] to be evaluated” and of course, “making words means whatever you think they should mean” is not a hermeneutic. However, I would deny your caricature of YECs (the serious ones at least) and argue that they (the serious ones) can make a valid claim to a hermeneutic.

            It’s no use claiming someone doesn’t have a hermeneutic without an argument. I realise this is just the comment section so we are constrained but I can tell you that linguists will never give you a simple answer about what words “mean”. I’m pretty sure that you would be hard pressed to find a liberal scholar (and I’m not using the word pejoratively) who would not acknowledge alternative readings but you are saying exactly that: there is not a single valid interpretation that could render a young earth understanding. That’s quite a claim. My point is that it makes you sound a lot like Kent Hovind.

          • James F. McGrath

            My point is that the YEC proponents have an inconsistent hermeneutic, not applying their literalism consistently, so that the fixity of the Earth, the movement of the sun, the dome, and much else is simply ignored. But even if they had a consistent hermeneutic, as long as they are happy to twist the meaning of the text and pretend it does not mean what it says, there is nothing to be gained by having a consistent hermeneutic, is there?

          • James

            You’re right.

            So the question is, is there a consistent, valid hermeneutic that does not amount to twisting of the text?

            And my point is that to answer “no” is to make quite a claim.

          • James F. McGrath

            If one recognizes that all the texts one is studying are the work of human beings, and reflect their cultural and historical setting and their individual personalities, styles and views, and that they may thus disagree with one another and what later science uncovers, then there will be no reason to twist the text. Is that the sort of hermeneutical approach you were referring to?

          • James

            People are always inclined to twist the text. You’re right, the hermeneutic you propose would not inherently twist the text but it would also undermine its value because there’s no difference between the Bible and Lord of the Rings or A Brief History of Time (I don’t read those the same way as each other but I don’t read them as though they are a source of truth. Though I don’t deny that they may contain true things).

            I realise I worded the question badly though: the question is, is there a consistent, valid hermeneutic that supports YEC and does not amount to twisting of the text?

            And I would say that to answer no to this question is to make an irrational claim.

          • James F. McGrath

            Well, I don’t think that there is a valid hermeneutic that gives a specific age to the Earth, since at the start of Genesis, there seems to be an Earth already there that is formless and void, and so I don’t see how one can come up with a hermeneutic that requires a young Earth. And if the hermeneutic is consistent, then the Earth will be stationary and unmoving, and will have a dome over it. Otherwise, one is simply picking and choosing what to accept from the ancient cosmology reflected in the Bible and what not to. So there may be a consistent hermeneutic but it would require those who adhere to it to dispute much more than evolution and the age of the Earth.

  • Dragoness Eclectic

    *waves* I wandered over here from Fred’s blog. Interesting place you have here, though you’ve got a particularly persistent troll infestation. Or possibly that’s a kook, they’re notoriously persistent.

    Nailed it in one with this post; it’s why I have little use for YECs. God created the Earth, and called it Good; God gave mankind minds and told us to seek Wisdom; most of all, God does not lie.

    The record of time and evolution is written in the rocks for all to see. It only requires looking, and a little bit of wisdom to see that the Earth is very, very old and that creatures of the past are different from those we have now. Evolution can be seen in every domestic animal breed bred from another; evolution can be seen in a human lifespan in the mutations of flu viruses and fruit flies. Evolution can be seen in action in ring species. Not seeing evolution and antiquity in the world around us requires stubborn and deliberate ignorance, and God calls us to be wise and to see clearly, not to be stupid and blind.

    If you deny the record of time written in the rocks, you call God a liar.

  • ella

    I don’t care what you believe, this is the most horribly written and scientifically uncited writing on the topic. This is just so pathetically pieced together it hardly makes sense.

    • James F. McGrath

      I am going to assume this is a joke, given the awkwardness of the comment. But if not, please tell me what you failed to understand and I’ll be happy to clarify it.