Genesis 1 (Fixed It For You)

So-called “literal” interpreters of Genesis are often blind to the things they read into the text. And so I thought that this image I came across deserved to be shared. It is an attempt to “fix” the text so that it says what young-earth creationists – and others who deny that it reflects an ancient view of the cosmos – think it should, and claim that it does.

Genesis 1 FIFY

Perhaps it would be interesting to go through the entire Bible, crossing out the things that people ignore or twist to mean something else, and replacing those words with others in red that reflect what people insist that the Bible says, even though it doesn’t?

Of related interest, BioLogos has been reviewing the book Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither?: Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters, asking if Genesis 1-11 is intended to reflect accurate history.

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Selective Rejection of Evidence

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  • He has told you, O man, what is good, which is basically all the things you already think are good, conveniently enough; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice by making sure everyone knows their proper place, and to love kindness when it doesn’t get in the way of justice, and to walk like a boss with your God?

    • ccws

      *snort*

    • AmbassadorHerald

      I do not see why people must mock God and His Word. The builders of the RMS Titanic did, and it didn’t even take God to sink her.

      • You do realize that I was riffing off of our host’s post, right? Micah 6:8 is a powerful and important piece of Scripture – heck, Micah is a powerful and important piece of Scripture – but many modern Christians ignore and pervert its lessons.

        • AmbassadorHerald

          I know, but does that make what you did right? Would that stand any better before God? “Oh, but, Jonathan Burke and James F. McGrath did it first.” If they jumped off a cliff would you do it too? Just because many people ignore the messages of God’s Word—in this case Micah 6:8 and Genesis 1—does not excuse the tampering with God’s Word. There are ways to make a point that preserves God’s Word rather than mocks it. The goal of Progressive/Liberal “Christianity” is to make God’s Word into a book of man-made fairy tales, and that is a crime that they will answer for on the Day of Judgment.

          • Jim

            Huh? Well this went totally over me, probably because I’ve forgotten to take my fundie pills lately, How can someone be so sure regarding what was intended by the original author/authors of say, the book of Genesis. For that matter who wrote this book and when? When does the current version of Genesis date to?

            I would guess that if God really wrote/inspired this book, it might have been more compatible with science rather than ancient legend, but hey, that’s just my guess.

            That some ancients wrote this book, legends and all, in an effort to comprehend a proposal that their God selected their nation/people and worked with them (as they understood it) seems to fit well within the principle put forth by the Franciscan theologian William of Ockham awhile back. This is compatible with a literary view of the book that may have been intended primarily for midrash as a discussion starter.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            The primary issue in what you wrote is that you do not
            believe what The Holy Bible says. If you actually cared to understand it, you’d not be asking questions in order to disprove its authenticity.

          • Jim

            I suppose my faith is not up to fundie standards, probably because I know a bit of history on how the Bible was assembled. I further suppose my faith would be greatly improved if I ignored facts.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I think you missed Genesis 5:1 in your assessment.

            KJV—This is the book [a written document] of the generations [history] of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him;

          • To suggest that progressives and liberals, in trying to deal honestly with what the Bible is, unlike conservatives who take human writings and idolatrously make them into the Word of God, are the ones who are making the Bible something it is not, is simply dishonest on your part. If you cannot deal with the Bible as it really is, you are free to find or make some other sacred text that will meet your standards. But to commit these offenses against the Bible in the interest of your dogmas, and then accuse others of doing what you in fact are doing, is an extreme of dishonesty that you ought to be ashamed of.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Sir, you have demonstrated many times over that you know full well what The Sacred Scriptures teach. That you wish to still reject it and turn away from Jesus Christ is your choice. You will stand before God The Father one day as your Judge and on that day you will have no Defense Attorney. I will have a Defense Attorney because I’ve committed my life to The Lord who is now my Savior. Jesus has never, is not, and will never lose a case and so I am a forgiven man. You want that same forgiveness? Repent of the lies you are telling yourself now. You are suffering from Romans 1:18-32.

          • You are badly mistaken. I am a born-again Christian. I fought hard to avoid drawing the conclusions that I have, because of a commitment to certain ideas you now hold and which I mistakenly identified with the Christian faith. It was studying the Bible that persuaded me to change my mind. The question is whether you are willing to accept the Bible for what it shows itself to be, or whether your dogmas about the Bible have a greater authority for you than the Bible itself.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            So you came to this conclusion without the help of other
            liberals? Just you, in a room, with The Holy Bible in your hands? Was there even prayer involved?

          • That is a silly question – as though your own views just happen to resemble views held by other conservatives.

            There was a great deal of prayer involved, and I have ended up more liberal in my views than the lecturers in the Evangelical Bible colleges where I studied.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Well, you sure didn’t get your ideas from Yahweh. Yahweh told Jesus what to say, as Jesus testified (John 8:28).

            Jesus said that Adam and Eve were real and existed “at the beginning” (Matthew 9:4) and “from the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6). Jesus then quoted Genesis 2:24!

            Jesus said that satan is real and that he murdered Adam and Eve and every person “from the beginning” (John 8:44).

            Jesus said that Abel was real and that he was murdered without cause, and even listed him among the prophets (Matthew 23:34-36 and Luke 11:46-52)!

            Jesus said that Noah was real and that he built an ark to survive a flood which killed everyone outside (Matthew 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-27).

            Jesus said that Sodom and Gomorrah were real and that they were destroyed by fire (Luke 17:28-29), even said that they would still have been in existence had they seen the things Jesus was doing (Matthew 11:23)!

            Jesus said that Moses was real and that he brought the Ten Commandments to the Israelites (John 7:19).

            Jesus said that Jonah was real and that he was swallowed by a huge sea-creature for three days and nights (Matthew 12:40).

            You did not get your idea that The Holy Bible is mere myths, legends, and fables from reading The Holy Bible. You got it from others. While I may have had help from other people in seeing the historical accuracy and inerrancy of The Sacred Scriptures, a literal reading reveals that all the most controversial stories are in fact real history. You are the one reading into The Sacred Scriptures what is not there.

          • You seem not to have bothered finding out what my views about the Bible are, before criticizing what you presume they are. And you reveal the assumptions you are making: if you assume the stories recount literal history then they “reveal” that to you. But Jesus was not born in two different years, he did not have two different lineages on his father’s side, his family did not come from both Nazareth and Bethlehem, to just give you some of the internal difficulties in just two passages. One does not need to look outside the Bible to realize that some of the details do not mean what literalists claim. I’ll bet you have never done basic internal fact-checking, like counting Matthew’s alleged three groups of 14 generations or checking them against his source material in Chronicles. Literalism persists because of superficial knowledge of the Bible and failure to pay attention to details within the Bible itself.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I have very much looked into your views. You have openly admitted to being more liberal than the liberals who taught you. You have called Jesus a liar and un-deified Him. You just admitted to believing all those people and events Jesus spoke about are not real. You are “a person who studies The Bible who doesn’t believe The Bible” as my father says. I have yet to see one blogpost of yours that is not nitpicking at every little detail in The Bible. You don’t ever seem to blog about how The Bible is right, but only how you think it is wrong. That is exactly what liberals do.

            As for the death of Herod and first census of Cyrenius, you have refused to give an explanation for why two extreme haters of Christianity who tried their hardest to destroy the credibility of The Gospels, who lived considerably closer to the events in question than we do and had loads of more documents to glean from, and how they did not once point to these passages in Matthew and Luke to say there is a contradiction there. If they saw no contradiction, then you and other liberals are likely making an issue out of nothing.
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2060873427

            As for the un-matching lineages, you probably already know the answer due to the conspicuous addition of “on his father’s side”. You have two lineages, I have two lineages, each and every person has two lineages! Your father and your mother! Some have even more if you include non-blood, as in adoption, parental divorce and remarriage, etc. The fact that you just had to tack on the note about two fatherly lineages is strong evidence that you did not want anyone to use this answer and that you are deliberately making this a contradiction when you most assuredly know it is not.

            As for where Jesus’ family lived, Matthew never once tries to make you assume they lived in Bethlehem before He was born. That would be like assuming my parents lived in western WI just because you found a book that started with my birth. That would be an illogical deduction, and false because neither of my parents are from western WI.

            And finally you use the very tactic you condemn me for. Assuming you know the other person. You just played the hypocrite right there. I have nothing more to say to you because all you desire to do is twist anything and everything Biblical into what you want it to be. Repent back to your “born-again” days.

          • You would prefer to pretend that all the lecturers at the Evangelical Bible colleges where I studied were secret liberals, than to deal honestly with me and with reality. This says a lot about you.

            Matthew clearly states that Joseph tried to return with his family to his homeland in Judaea, and only went to Galilee instead because of fear of Archelaus. Luke, on the other hand, has the family be from Galilee. They go to Judaea for a census. After Jesus is born, they wait the required time and so after a month or so go to Jerusalem, and then return to Galilee.

            None of this is to the detriment of the Bible. It is just detrimental to the deceitful twisting of the Bible that inerrantists engage in. They regard honesty about the Bible as an attack on it. It is a diabolically dishonest worldview that elevates human dogmas above both Scripture and God. It is you who needs to repent in this regard. I always have many things to repent of, but being honest about the Bible is not one of them.

          • Jim

            Hey you’re totally right AmbassadorHerald, I should read the Bible literally more often. Paul says in 1 Cor 1:26 that Yahweh usually calls people who have manure for brains. 🙂

          • AmbassadorHerald

            1 Corinthians 1:26 (KJV)—For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise [clear] men after the flesh [sinful desires], not many mighty [capable/powerful], not many noble [born into high rank], are called:

            I don’t see your perversion stated anywhere in this verse, even literally.

          • Jim

            Not wise, not the sharpest knife in the cupboard, manure for brains – take your pick … all in the same phylum. But your “not wise after the sinful nature” makes little to no sense. More likely Paul was referring “not wise according to human (thus the flesh) standards”. Notice how that fits tons better with powerful and high ranking. You seem to role with your own interpretations a lot, judging from many of your comments on the op.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            First, “not the sharpest knife in the cupboard” and “manure for brains” are slang paraphrases in our culture and language for being “not wise”. Had the translation used either of these, it would not be a translation.

            Second, “not wise according to human (thus the flesh) standards” is exactly right. However, the way I put it is also right. Romans 7:5 equates “the flesh”, or our human nature, with “the motions of sins”. Later in verse 25 Paul says that in his mind, or intellect, he serves “the Law of God” but with his body, or “the flesh”, he serves “the law of sin”. Then in Romans 8:1 we see that when one becomes a Christian, washed by Jesus Christ, we have no condemnation because we do not walk “after the flesh” but “after The Holy Spirit”. This chapter goes on to use “the flesh” seven more times (KJV), equating it with sin and dividing it from the spiritual, even stating that no one who is fleshly can “please God” (v8). 1st Corinthians 5:5 confirms this interpretation internally by stating that the flesh will be destroyed by satan but that Jesus will save the spirit of those who follow Him. Our human nature and standards are sinful and so the people that God is calling in 1Cor 1:26 are “not wise after sinful desires”.

          • Jim

            The flesh (sarx) is translated in the NT more often as body/earthy/man/fleshy (covering the bones) than carnal/carnally minded. So your interpretation of 1 Cor 1:26 is likely, but remote.

            Since you appear to be anti-slang/anti-idiom and are a pure biblical literalist, I assume that you also believe that the earth is flat since Rev 7:1 and 20:8 (and Isa 11:12, if you’re a KJV-er) mention the four corners of the earth. Back when I went to school, spheres had no corners. This flat (four corner) earth geometry may have contributed Irenaeus’ notion that there should be no more or no less than four gospels. Maybe Irenaeus influenced the NT canon more than God?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I do believe you are right on its most common usage in the New Testament, but we must also be watchful of which pen was used. God inspired all of The Holy Bible (2 Timothy 3:16) but God used different people to pen the pages. We are dealing with the Pauline Epistles here and so we must be careful to stay within the definition most commonly used by Paul. You will find that when Paul was being God’s pen, he usually uses it in the sense that I just demonstrated.

            And yes, I am a KJV-er, and not ashamed of that either.

            As for the four corners of the earth, you must not have looked into this issue before you typed this comment. Please take a look at the following two articles:

            Science News Letter, 87:390 June 19, 1965. http://www.tpot.org/BibleGuys/feb99/ScienceandtheBible.html

            Milwaukee Sentinel; Page 7, Part 1; Wednesday, June 9, 1965. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19650609&id=32pQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3hAEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7380,1218930

          • Jim

            You are correct that I had not looked at/into these two articles before. Quick scan through though, and I sense a lot of apologetic gymnastics. I’m not persuaded at all by these articles from 1965. If these two articles work for you, fine, each to his own, but I think the simpler solution is that the biblical authors understood science as it was commonly understood in their own day, in which the common view was that the world as flat.

            Since I’m not a literalist, it doesn’t bother me to the point of requiring apologetic gymnastics if the Bible authors got science wrong. To me, it doesn’t totally negate other parts of their writings as it might for someone who has the view that if one point in the Bible is wrong, then everything in it is untrustworthy.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Actually, Pythagoras (570–500 BC) is the first person to assert the earth is not flat according to many textbooks. The earth was known to be round to the ancient Greeks as well. Eratosthenes (276–196 BC) even calculated the earth’s size to within 3.5% of the actual size, which is very close. Only two known Christians have ever believed in a flat earth, and they are: Lactantius (AD 245–325) who was a heretic, and Cosmas Indicopleustes (circa AD 547) who was an obscure Egyptian Monk. Not even the enemies of Columbus were flat earthers, they were worried the trip to India was too far to travel. They were right, of course, because had Columbus not reached America he would have died, and the Atlantic is the smaller of the two oceans.

            For more info:
            “The Earth is Round” https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/taking-back-astronomy/the-universe-confirms-the-bible/
            “History of the flat-earth myth” http://creation.com/the-flat-earth-myth-and-creationism

            Basically, the discovery of the four corners of the earth is a very well established fact. The evolutionary lie about Christians being flat-earthers is also well refuted in historical documents. Your willingness to reject the science when it does not agree with what you want is an act of faith. You by faith believe God to be a figment of human imagination and so assume The Sacred Scriptures contain mythology because no God could have ensured it have true science within. The evidence is contrary to that notion, though, and I just showed you a piece of it. Whether or not you accept the evidence is your prerogative, but God will hold you accountable for what you now know. So, choose wisely.

          • Jim

            Appreciate your detailed response, and admittedly there were some people in ancient times who challenged the notion of a flat earth. However, did that lead Pythagoras or Eratosthenes to say “now I know that Isaiah penned God’s word”? You have absolutely no clue whether the authors of Revelation or Isaiah thought the earth was round or not, because they do not unequivocally state so.

            Your ideas seem to be driven by an unsubstantiated notion that the Bible is to be taken literally. Would the author of Revelation have actually known that one corner was half way between South Africa and Antarctica (re Sci News article)? My guess is probably not.

            Also interesting to me is:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_News

            “While Science News conveys scientific facts, its headlines and articles often contain wry humor, pop-culture references, and colloquial phrases designed to draw the reader into the full story.”

            I gather that you totally missed the main point of the scientific article, which was the identification of four useful high (gravitational) points for satellite imaging as identified by Doppler shift. Instead, you jumped for a snappy title and pretied it to your personal interpretation of the Bible in an effort to defend the Bible as if it was a member of the Trinity.

            Now IMO, if you want to take the Bible literally and that works for you, I have no argument with that at all. But when you can’t demonstrate that you understand science (because of your personal belief) and then point fingers at others as if they don’t understand “true science”, I don’t think that you realize how much that makes you appear like a cultist quack. Portraying God by associating him with quaky notions doesn’t seem to be the best way to go, at least in my skeptical opinion,

          • AmbassadorHerald

            “You have absolutely no clue whether the authors of Revelation or Isaiah thought the earth was round or not, because they do not unequivocally state so.”

            Actually, in the case of Isaiah at least, I do. The first link I sent actually includes it: “The Earth is Round” https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/taking-back-astronomy/the-universe-confirms-the-bible/. How do you reconcile “the earth has four corners” in Isaiah 11:12 with “the earth is a circle” of Isaiah 40:22?

            “Would the author of Revelation have actually known that one corner was half way between South Africa and Antarctica (re Sci News article)?”

            Considering that this was a vision sent from God to John, and that John was seeing this all unfold from above the earth in Heaven, then he probably did know where all four corners were and that the earth is a sphere. You assume John could not know all this, but you have no evidence to the contrary.

            “The main point of the scientific article, which was the identification of four useful high (gravitational) points for satellite imaging as identified by Doppler shift.”

            The Milwaukee Sentinel was very specific, “Mountains on the bulges are not considered because they are merely pinpoints that have no effect on the gravitational variations.” These corners are not irregularities in the earth’s land formations, but actual irregularities in the earth’s mass distribution. These corners are built right into our planet and no movement of the tectonic plates would likely change their locations. You cannot just explain these away because the 1966 Almanac has an article on the four corners as well. Whether you like it or not The Holy Bible predicted them hundreds of years BC.

          • We encounter two views in the Hebrew Bible, that the Earth is a circle and that it is a square. Three points are worth noting. One is that neither suggests it is roughly spheroid. Another is that these authors clearly didn’t worry about the literal contradiction between saying it is a circle and that it has corners – conveying clearly that taking such language literally is not their point and perhaps something they would have opposed. Third, in the New Testament with the mention of multiple heavenly layers we see that the newer Greek cosmology, a geocentric one with a spherical Earth in the midst of planetary spheres, has been embraced without discussion or controversy, illustrating that they were not opposed to updating cosmological ideas in light of further study and observation.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            “He [God] hath compassed [drew a circle upon] the waters with bounds, until the end of light with darkness.”—Job 26:10 (KJV, with alternate reading)

            “Another verse that indicates the spherical nature of our planet is Job 26:10 [“He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness.” – NKJV (translation linked to in article)]. This verse teaches that God has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness. This boundary between light and darkness (day and night) is called the “terminator” since the light stops or “terminates” there. Someone standing on the terminator would be experiencing either a sunrise or a sunset; they are going from day to night or from night to day. The terminator is always a circle, because the earth is round.”—Dr. Jason Lisle

          • Jim

            First, when I say “you have absolutely no clue whether or not the Bible authors knew the earth was spherical”, that applies to me too – I don’t pretend to know. So what follows is what I think is one possibility (in contrast to the certainty portrayed by those who practice bibliolatry).

            First off, the term circle in Isa 40:22 according to well known lexicons actually means “foundation”, and by extension, can imply “something covered” in Hebrew. (The latter definition fits very well with the second half of the verse re tent stretching.)

            But if you disagree with several well known lexicons, from the perspective of the dome/firmament cosmology of the ancients (flat earth circumscribed by a a dome separating the aqueous firmament from the sky firmament as in Gen 1), to anyone sitting above this, the earth could appear as a circle (on a 2D surface), which does not unequivocally imply a sphere, but rather an actual circle on a 2D plane.

            Re Isa 11:12 vs 40:22, scholars feel that the book of Isaiah was a compilation of three (or possibly more) authors, in part based on the time span involved (~96 years). If that is true, the author of one segment may have viewed cosmology differently than the other author(s).

            Your point re John of Patmos being able to visually spot four gravitational maxima (typically measured by Doppler) on his way to heaven, brought me to tears. I suppose that next you will tell me that because Rev 8:12 mentions that a third of the stars turned dark, that John knew about black holes too. (BTW, the book of Revelation barely made it into the canon).

          • AmbassadorHerald

            “First off, the term circle in Isa 40:22 according to well-known lexicons actually means “foundation”, and by extension, can imply “something covered” in Hebrew. (The latter definition fits very well with the second half of the verse re tent stretching.)”

            I do not know from which lexicons you are using, but the one I use is James Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. He says of circle, “2329. Chuwg from 2328; a circle:—circle, circuit, compass.” It is used only three times in The Sacred Scriptures: Job 22:14, Proverbs 8:27, and Isaiah 40:22. Each of these times it means a circular area. Of its root word Strong says, “2328. Chuwg a primitive root (compare 2287); to describe a circle:—compass.” This word is only used once in Job 26:10, which is explained in the article I gave to you and posted to James F. McGrath a few hours ago.

            Strong recommends comparing this word with, “2287. Chagag a primitive root (compare 2283, 2328); properly, to move in a circle, i.e. (specifically) to march in a sacred procession, to observe a festival; by implication, to be giddy:—celebrate, dance, (keep, hold) a (solemn) feast (holiday), reel to and fro.” This word is used 16 times in 14 verses. And lastly, “2283. Chaga’ from an unused root meaning to revolve (compare 2287); properly, vertigo, i.e. (figuratively) fear:—terror.” This word is only used once in Isaiah 19:17. So according to James Strong, not only does circle mean circle, but three similar words all also mean circular. Your lexicons must be changing the definition for one reason or another.

            —–

            “But if you disagree with several well-known lexicons, from the perspective of the dome/firmament cosmology of the ancients (flat earth circumscribed by a dome separating the aqueous firmament from the sky firmament as in Gen 1), to anyone sitting above this, the earth could appear as a circle (on a 2D surface), which does not unequivocally imply a sphere, but rather an actual circle on a 2D plane.”

            See aforementioned response to James F. McGrath: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2075768209

            —–

            “Re Isa 11:12 vs 40:22, scholars feel that the book of Isaiah was a compilation of three (or possibly more) authors, in part based on the time span involved (~96 years). If that is true, the author of one segment may have viewed cosmology differently than the other author(s).”

            Liberal scholars you mean, not Biblicists like myself. The primary reason liberals make this argument is because they refuse to believe in Biblical Prophecy. For a rebuttal, see: http://creation.com/isaiah-author-date

            —–

            “Your point re John of Patmos being able to visually spot four gravitational maxima (typically measured by Doppler) on his way to heaven, brought me to tears.”

            Why would what I said bring tears to your eyes? It is exactly what Revelation 4:1-2 says (KJV), “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” The book literally says it was a vision and that it was seen from inside Heaven.

            Next, how did he spot the four corners of the earth? He explains that too in Revelation 7:1, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” The angels were standing on them and with the knowledge that God was allowing him to have he knew they were indeed corners—high gravitational points.

            —–

            “I suppose that next you will tell me that because Rev 8:12 mentions that a third of the stars turned dark, that John knew about black holes too.”

            Never heard of this explanation for that verse before, so no I wasn’t going to tell you that. It is an interesting possible interpretation but this interpretation misses the whole fact of what was said to John in 4:1, quoted above. These are future events. No one on earth today can disprove the events described therein, neither prove them on a worldly level, because they have not happened yet. So these stars being darkened is an event which no one can explain scientifically because we can only guess. Literalism does not view The Holy Bible as you seem to think it does. We make room for symbolism when symbolism is being used, but not when it isn’t.

          • Jim

            You are correct that chwug (02329) means circle. My mistake! In my online bible, foundations (vs 21) is lined up directly above circle (vs 22). I hit 04146 (mowcadah) and prematurely ran with it instead of carefully double checking where my mouse pointer was actually pointing. So my liberal bad.

            However, you have not dis-proven the more likely (for Isaiah’s and the authors of Genesis era) dome/firmament cosmology scenario. After all, a dome looks like a circle when viewed from above.

            Also in looking up Rev 4:1-2 (KJV), I found no clear references to Doppler shift and/or satellite imaging. Sure I’m being overly facetious, but really, John noticing something that requires specialized satellite imaging equipment to detect? And what purpose would that even serve for his message? And what about stars falling to the earth? If John could “visually” distinguish gravitational maxima, then surely his magical lenses could distinguish between an actual star and a meteorite.

            I’m not fully convinced that literalists can identify most symbolisms (much less idioms) in the ancient biblical texts. See for example Dr. McGrath’s question to you regarding Matt’s and Luke’s differing genealogies of Jesus. Symbolism is often overlooked by literalists who typically favor harmonization in an effort to defend inerrancy.

            If you take the Bible very literally, great for you. But I’m not the least bit convinced because fundamentalists and some conservative evangelicals typically quote-mine and misrepresent scientific/historical information in an effort to save biblical literalism.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay, I am relieved that the lexicons you are using did not misrepresent the word for circle. Thank you for recognizing your error. It is an easy mistake, we’ve all done it some time or another.

            —–

            “However, you have not dis-proven the more likely (for Isaiah’s and the authors of Genesis era) dome/firmament cosmology scenario. After all, a dome looks like a circle when viewed from above.”

            Are you trying to describe a circular dome sitting on a square earth?

            As for dealing with the Ice Canopy, I have discussed this topic a lot already. See links to posts:
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2037012353
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2038130962
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2039647987
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2040313353
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2040370890
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2040826737
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/exploringourmatrix2/genesis_1_fixed_it_for_you/#comment-2041348230
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2046702385
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2050640591
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2052305060
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2059068722
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2078919946

            —–

            “Also in looking up Rev 4:1-2 (KJV), I found no clear references to Doppler shift and/or satellite imaging. Sure I’m being overly facetious, but really, John noticing something that requires specialized satellite imaging equipment to detect? And what purpose would that even serve for his message?”

            The purpose is explained in Revelation 7:1 and 20:8.

            As for how John saw these corners, well, there is one explanation that many map makers will completely understand. That being exaggerated relief details. Numerous Raised Relief Maps exaggerate the details to make them more noticeable, and often by multiple times. For these scenes where John mentions the four corners, God could have exaggerated their detail so that John could see them and record that they were where the angels stood. No one says a map is in error for exaggerating details for the purpose of revealing them, so we should not accuse God to be in error for doing the same.

            The other explanation is one that only true Christians can understand. Let me discuss some verses.

            Psalm 103:7 (KJV)—“[Yahweh] made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.”

            Moses understood the ways of God, how God lived and was. The Israelites only understood God’s actions, but not His ways. You do not even understand the acts of God because you choose to believe He is made-up. If you do not understand even what God does, how can you understand what He is?

            1 Corinthians 2:14—“But the natural man receiveth not the things of The [Holy] Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

            Everyone who is merely fleshly see anything of God as stupid, dumb, and ignorant. They just do not have the ability to see, because all they want to do is scrutinize (meaning of discerned).

            Proverbs 9:10—“The fear of The LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of The Holy [One] is understanding.”

            A person can only understand things truly if they know God is real, and they can only have legitimate wisdom if they fear God. You do not believe in God, so you do not even have understanding, much less wisdom.

            1 Corinthians 1:18—“For the preaching of the cross [of Jesus] is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

            To the sinner Christianity is foolishness. “Why put your faith in a 2,000-year dead carpenter from Nazareth?” But to Christians, this is the evidence of God’s power, because we are now saved and have our eyes opened.

            This could also be how John knew the four corners of the earth, because God just allowed John to have the ability to know. But this will not be understood by you because you are not aware of God’s power.

            —–

            “And what about stars falling to the earth? If John could “visually” distinguish gravitational maxima, then surely his magical lenses could distinguish between an actual star and a meteorite.”

            Revelation 6:13—“And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her green figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” (Alternate KJV translation)

            This would be an example of a symbolic description. Just like the corners of the earth are not literally corners, more like slight pyramids with a lot more gravity, even science labels them as corners. Still today we use the phrase “shooting star” or “falling star” and many people wish upon them. Why do you find fault in John for not using a word that was not invented until 1824 (Mariam-Webster) and in a language that did not even exist yet (Anglo-Saxon = English)?

            —–

            “I’m not fully convinced that literalists can identify most symbolisms (much less idioms) in the ancient biblical texts. See for example Dr. McGrath’s question to you regarding Matt’s and Luke’s differing genealogies of Jesus.”

            And just what leads you to believe that my answer to him was incorrect?
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2071923473

          • Jim

            I suppose it comes down to one’s approach to history, science, etc. So in reference to your final question, “And what leads you to believe that my answer to him was incorrect?”:

            In my view, you have not sufficiently addressed several of Dr. McGrath’s questions, but rather have just reiterated the familiar apologetics position. As per just one example, re the contradiction that Matt implies Jesus’ family lived in Bethlehem before he was born while Luke has them traveling from their home in Galilee. In Matt, the magi come to his family’s house. The implication is a “family residence” and not a temporary inn as in Luke. Likewise, upon returning from Egypt, Jesus’ family is portrayed as desiring to return to this same residence, but feel it is unwise to do so. To me, your response was insufficient in establishing a “clear, unequivocal” proof against this perfectly valid interpretation of the Greek text.

            Your answers are primarily from a faith-driven perspective, but not necessarily convincing in terms of the technical aspects (maybe that’s just me). Rather than dwelling further on my personal view of your linked responses, the root of our differing views likely stems from the fact that I prefer explanations from a scholarly consensus while you are satisfied with interpretations by biblical literalists. Possibly that’s why I clearly comprehend the above comments by David Evans and James McGrath, while you are probably puzzled as to why I don’t perceive many of your presented arguments as being persuasive.

            I actually entered this conversation not to argue science or Bible, but as a curiosity regarding the typical biblical literalist’s approach of condemning others to judgement who don’t support biblical inerrancy (such as those who understand Genesis 1 as being purely figurative rather than being scientifically valid).

            You commented to Dr. McGrath; “Everyone who is merely fleshly sees anything of God as stupid, dumb, and ignorant. They just do not have the ability to see ….”.

            Given your statement that those who don’t support biblical inerrancy are inherently blind, I wondered about what motivates you (and most biblical inerrantists) to frequent the blogs/posts of those who do not hold this view of the Bible (btw, something the Bible itself never claims to be). And especially if they are, as by your definition, “spiritually blind” and incapable of discernment with a biblical clarity that you feel you possess?

            Shouldn’t this task presumably be outside the biblical inerrantist’s job description, at least according to one gospel author (John 6:44)? So then, why the innate need for frequently responding in a judgmental tone if the ability “too see” your viewpoint requires “special glasses” given only to a “chosen few”?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Allow me to answer your comment in reverse order.

            Extended quote with questions: “Given your statement that those who don’t support biblical inerrancy are inherently blind, I wondered about what motivates you (and most biblical inerrantists) to frequent the blogs/posts of those who do not hold this view of the Bible (btw, something the Bible itself never claims to be). And especially if they are, as by your definition, “spiritually blind” and incapable of discernment with a biblical clarity that you feel you possess?

            “Shouldn’t this task presumably be outside the biblical inerrantist’s job description, at least according to one gospel author (John 6:44)? So then, why the innate need for frequently responding in a judgmental tone if the ability “to see” your viewpoint requires “special glasses” given only to a “chosen few”?”

            Nice verse reference! You have surprised me with this question and I am glad you asked. It is a very fair point to bring up. What draws me in to be here among my “enemies”? The hope that God can use me as His tool to help take their blinders off. There is not one person in this world who is a Christian who did not come because they had The Gospel shared with them.

            In the case of Muslims it is often a divine dream-vision of Jesus that makes them curious and then when they see Christians following who they saw, they react favorably. With others it is 100% through the witness of those earth-dwelling believers in Jesus. Whatever the method God uses, people are almost always involved in the salvation of other people. That is what Jesus sent His 12 out to do, it is what Paul did, and it is what Christians have done for 2,000 years.

            I was pointed to this particular post from a fellow believer in Jesus, one I know is known to the mod James F. McGrath. I commented because I hoped that the eyes of some might be opened. Many people read these blogs, many who do not comment. Who knows how many lives God has seeded or watered through what I’ve done, and if it ends in their escaping hell, then that means my work was a success. They may be few, and likely are, but Jesus said it would be that way.

            Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)—“Enter ye in at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait [narrow] is the gate, and narrow [afflicted] is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

            —–

            “I suppose it comes down to one’s approach to history, science, etc. So in reference to your final question, “And what leads you to believe that my answer to him was incorrect?”:”

            Interestingly, nowhere do you actually answer my question. You made the point about the supposedly contradictory genealogies of Jesus between Matthew and Luke, and argued that these are just symbolical. My answer to James F. McGrath was:

            “As for the un-matching lineages, you probably already know the answer due to the conspicuous addition of “on his father’s side”. You have two lineages, I have two lineages, each and every person has two lineages! Your father and your mother! Some have even more if you include non-blood, as in adoption, parental divorce and remarriage, etc. The fact that you just had to tack on the note about two fatherly lineages is strong evidence that you did not want anyone to use this answer and that you are deliberately making this a contradiction when you most assuredly know it is not.”

            I provided the link so anyone could see what I had said in regards to your comment about the genealogies. Notice also how James F. McGrath never answered my points, just added the new one that you did as well. The desire to shy away from the points presented is very strong evidence that the points are likely fair points. Link provided again for easy reference:
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2071923473
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2072018976

            —–

            “In my view, you have not sufficiently addressed several of Dr. McGrath’s questions, but rather have just reiterated the familiar apologetics position. [1] As per just one example, re the contradiction that Matt implies Jesus’ family lived in Bethlehem before he was born while Luke has them traveling from their home in Galilee. [2.0] In Matt, the magi come to his family’s house. The implication is a “family residence” and not a temporary inn as in Luke. [2.5] Likewise, upon returning from Egypt, Jesus’ family is portrayed as desiring to return to this same residence, but feel it is unwise to do so. To me, your response was insufficient in establishing a “clear, unequivocal” proof against this perfectly valid interpretation of the Greek text.”

            You have actually brought up two distinct points, which I have inserted numbers to reveal. Point 1 was dealt with in the above linked response, but I will quote it again, “As for where Jesus’ family lived, Matthew never once tries to make you assume they lived in Bethlehem before He was born. That would be like assuming my parents lived in western WI just because you found a book that started with my birth. That would be an illogical deduction, and false because neither of my parents are from western WI.”

            Point 2 is actually two parts, but both very related. It is well known that a person normally got recognized based on the place of their birth, as James F. McGrath pointed out in the earlier parts to this conversation, provided below in its entirety:
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2056485212
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2060873427
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2061654497
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2061736062
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2061759720
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2061874131
            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2062113113

            Therefore, it is perfectly logical for Mary and Joseph to have decided to take up residence in Bethlehem after Jesus was born there. This is why the Wise Men found them in their own house and why they would have desired to return there. God understood this cultural practice and so intervened in history in a way that would incline them to stay away from Bethlehem and then directed them in a dream where to go to fulfill prophecy, which is that Jesus needed to be a Nazarene (Mathew 2:21-23). This is why Mary and Joseph acted as they did.

            Note: this is my own working out without consulting any Biblical commentary. I am sure they would have evidences that I did not present here. I hope it is satisfactory seeing as this was such a sought over piece of info to get out of me.

          • Jim

            Your response has brought up an aspect that I had not considered while writing my comment (i.e. for the purpose of influencing those who are readers but generally do not comment). Similar to others who comment, I too had spent years in Bible-based churches in the past. Many of the commenters here are very well versed in OT/NT writings, so I wondered what was the driving force for your evangelizing here where many are familiar with inerrantist views. Dr. McGrath’s blog is indeed an interesting and popular site, so I see your rationale.

            Re your answers to Prof McGrath’s questions to you; I had read all previous comments (including yours) prior to writing my comments. In my questions to you, I was probing to see if there were any new inerrantist developments that I had not encountered since my literalist Bible days. So it’s not that I hadn’t read or possibly failed to understand your answers.

            Regarding your response to the notion of Mary and Joseph having their principal residence in Bethlehem (as per gMatt), sure your answer is possible, but according to several biblical scholars’ interpretation of the Koine, Dr. McGrath’s understanding is very sound and is not easily displaced by your response.

            For one more select example in this vein, that being Jesus’ contradicting genealogies, in my Bible days I was told that one was Mary’s and the other Joseph’s. So I wrote to a very well known NT scholar on this, and the response was that the Greek is reasonably clear that both Matt and Luke intended to present Joseph’s lineage, so thus they are contradictory.

            So I realized that me being armed with an English Bible and a lexicon, and just checking the meaning of a single word in Greek or Hebrew (without understanding the context in the original language) just didn’t cut it. I now rely on the consensus of OT/NT biblical scholars and not that much on theologians.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            “Regarding your response to the notion of Mary and Joseph having their principal residence in Bethlehem (as per Matt), sure your answer is possible, but according to several biblical scholars’ interpretation of the Koine, Dr. McGrath’s understanding is very sound and is not easily displaced by your response.”

            A quotation from http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/jesus/quirinius.htm by James F. McGrath:

            “It is thus difficult if not impossible to read the two birth narratives (found in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels) in conjunction with one another and with other historical sources of information, and to work out a logical chronology. In fact, this problem is not only one relating to information found in Josephus. The impression one gets from reading Matthew’s Gospel is that Bethlehem is the home of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. It is the place where they are found, it is the place the Magi find them roughly two years after Jesus is born, it is the place they would return to had not fear of Herod’s son Archelaus forced them to seek refuge in Galilee instead (Matthew 2:22). In Luke’s Gospel, on the other hand, Joseph and Mary are from Nazareth, and it is only the census that forces them to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-5). Luke 2:39 says that “once they had done everything the Law required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth”. Not only did the Law of Moses not require a two-year stay for them to do everything it required, but it is unlikely that Mary would have had to accompany Joseph to register. Indeed, Joseph himself would not have been required to register in Judea, since Galilee was not affected by the census in 6 C.E. Of course, it is possible to maintain that Joseph had property in Bethlehem, and thus was only temporarily absent from there while living in Nazareth. But this attempted “solution” simply raises another problem, namely why someone with property in Bethlehem is forced to rely on the hospitality of others when he goes there for the census. [That Joseph and Mary depended on the hospitality of others in Luke’s version of the story is clear, even though in Matthew’s version they are living in a house that is presumably their own. For the cultural background to the Lucan story follow THIS LINK]. And so Luke’s version, which has Joseph and Mary not only rely on the hospitality of others, but also offer the sacrifice the Law specified for those who were not wealthy (Luke 2:24; cf. Leviticus 5:7), excludes the one possible reason for the journey to have taken place: namely, the possibility that Joseph owned property in that area. Luke also tells us that Mary had relatives not far away, and so there is simply no reason why she should not have stayed with them, since women did not normally own property and were not required to register in the case of a census of this source.”

            The link: http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/jesus/manger.htm (end quote).

            Using Bible Gateway for Luke 2:39 it becomes plain to see that James F. McGrath left out a few words: https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Luke%202:39 “of the Lord”. Only the New Life Version excludes this, though McGrath’s reading does not match this translation. The only major variations are “the Law of God” and “The Lord’s Teachings”. This phrase is used in Luke 2:23-24 and is qualified with quotes to the Torah, and in Luke 2:22 is said to be the Law of Moses. Therefore, the two Jewish Bibles do make this in reference to the Torah, as is expected.

            However, there are more laws of God than just the Torah. The Greek word for law also means a regulation or principle, which is why it is sometimes translated teachings. Joseph was given a regulation by “the Angel of The Lord” in a dream in Matthew 2:13. In Matthew 2:12 the Wise Men were given an “oracle” from God, and again so was Joseph in Matthew 2:22. These were directions that had to be followed in order to “perform all things according to the Law of The Lord”. Yes the Torah was included—and obeyed—but you cannot exclude the special one-time directions given for the protection of baby Jesus.

            Furthermore, Albert Barnes notes, “Verse 39. They returned into Galilee. Not immediately, but after a time. Luke has omitted the flight into Egypt recorded by Matthew; but he has not denied it, nor are his words to be pressed as if he meant to affirm that they went immediately to Nazareth. A parallel case we have in the life of Paul. When he was converted it is said that he came to Jerusalem, as if he had gone there immediately after his conversion (Acts 9:26); yet we learn in another place that this was after an interval of three years, Galatians 1:17-18. In the case before us there is no improbability in supposing that they returned to Bethlehem, then went to Egypt, and then to Galilee.”

            We must remember that both Acts and Luke were both written by the same author. It is also vital to remember that all biographies and autobiographies are incomplete. The only way to be able to tell the entire history of a person is to write a multi-volume set. No singular book can include all details, in the same way no singular film can include all of a book. Just like comparing the Four Gospels to each other can reveal what they were emphasizing, so can comparing different biographies of a person together. One person might write about Abraham Lincoln as the Civil War President, another as a man of principles before, during, and after the war. Both are true but neither would tell exactly the same details. Omissions happen, there is no way around it.

            In this way, the explanation I provided works 100% with Matthew and Luke.

            —–

            “For one more select example in this vein, that being Jesus’ contradicting genealogies, in my Bible days I was told that one was Mary’s and the other Joseph’s. So I wrote to a very well-known NT scholar on this, and the response was that the Greek is reasonably clear that both Matt and Luke intended to present Joseph’s lineage, so thus they are contradictory.”

            Why the ambiguity regarding what “well-known” sources you are using? You said this about the unnamed lexicons and now about this unnamed author. How am I to do any good responses without knowing the nature of the argument? I want you to start citing your sources.

            —–

            “So I realized that me being armed with an English Bible and a lexicon, and just checking the meaning of a single word in Greek or Hebrew (without understanding the context in the original language) just didn’t cut it. I now rely on the consensus of OT/NT biblical scholars and not that much on theologians.”

            Theology is the study of God, and used to be known as the “Queen of the Sciences” (Martin Luther). Are you trying to tell me you find people more credible if they do not know anything about God and only The Bible? In other words, liberals and progressives?

          • Jim

            Semi-short answers:
            1. The lexicon thing was totally my eyeball’s fault and not the lexicon’s (as I mentioned). But if you are curious, the Bible software I was using, employs both Strongs and NAS.
            2. The reason I didn’t mention the scholar’s name is because the question was posed in a semi-private blog conversation setting, and thus can’t be referenced like a journal article. The name of the NT scholar was Bart Ehrman, and I’m sure you are familiar with his mentor’s role (Bruce Metzger) as chairman of the NRSV translating committee.

            Finally, regarding your last point on experts in theology versus experts in textual criticism/historicity; in my opinion, the two are different fields. Theology can and does utilize results from text criticism/historicity studies and applies them to religious beliefs. But the two fields are distinct, rely on different skill sets and have different end goals. I don’t see how faith needs to be a requirement for studying historicity/biblical translations. On the other hand, faith is definitely an important asset for a theologian.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Thank you for answering which lexicons you’re using, I already could tell you had access to Strongs since your word spellings matched his, and more modern ones usually differ in spelling.

            Thank you also for the name of who is the person you got your information from, I’m sure I can look it up now. I was unaware of who translated the NRSV, but I really never cared to look. The only translations I trust are KJV, Pre-KJV, and a little Post-KJV, but mainly the KJV. The only manuscripts I trust are the Massoretic Hebrew and the Textus Receptus Greek. However, seeing how Bart Ehrman is a name I’ve seen a few times on these progressive blogs, I do not trust his mentor and the translation he worked on even less than I did.

            And yes, you just confirmed what I said. People who study The Holy Bible without any guidance from The Holy Spirit. They do not want to know God and so study God out of His Pure Word. Enemies of Christianity, they are. Enemies of The Book they claim to follow. Enemies of God ultimately. Theologians are far more trustworthy because they actually know God and how He wrote The Sacred Scriptures. Sure, they aren’t perfect, no one has written anything perfect since the book of Revelation. But they are far nearer the truth than liberals, as atheists can even see.

            I notice, though, that you have neglected the bulk of my answer with your response. You can finish your response tomorrow, it’s no problem.

          • Jim

            I hadn’t responded to the bulk of your comment mainly because of our differing approaches to the matter. I have summarized these differences in approach as:

            1. You seem “not” to be much interested in translations other than the KJV. My understanding of the KJV is that its NT was based on Erasmus’ work (as modified by
            Stephanus and Beza). Erasmus’ NT text, in turn, was based on copies of the Latin Vulgate and not directly on any ancient Greek
            texts. Scholars today feel this is the reason why Erasmus’ NT is plagued with
            corrupt readings.

            Although I’m just an armchair Bible reader, I gravitate towards translations that are based directly on Greek manuscripts. So right off the bat we are working from sources that are somewhat different.

            2. As you are an inerrantist, your interpretive approach involves harmonizing the canonical writings. To me, this approach bears the potential danger of generating composite stories that further deviate from actual historical events. I favor letting each gospel author tell their own story, even if it differs from that of another gospel (there may be reasons for this).

            So with these differences in mind; in your comment beginning with “Luke
            has omitted the flight into Egypt recorded by Matthew…), I gather that you assume Luke knew about the flight to Egypt but didn’t feel the need to repeat it. That is certainly a possibility, but is this notion based mainly on an attempt at harmonizing the two gospels? It’s also possible that Luke and Matt did not have the same information in hand. To me, there is not enough information given by Luke to know with certainty one way or the other. So in your explanation, I see scenarios which may or may not be possible. To me however, your argument seems to be from silence as filled in with midrash/exegesis based on harmonization. Lots of things are possible from silence. But it is also possible that the two gospel authors just differed, for whatever reason.

            Re your harmonization of Luke-Acts wording with Paul’s in Galatians: at times the take on an event by the author of Acts deviates a bit from Paul’s account, and so I go totally with Paul’s version wherever there is a deviation (like Paul’s vision of Jesus). This is because we know that Paul was the author of Galatians, while scholars don’t know who the author of Luke-Acts was. (And yes I know literalists will dogmatically claim that it was Paul’s traveling companion Luke.)

            I think we both agree that your literalist/harmonization approach differs from the modern historical approach, and I don’t see that these approaches will be reconciled any time soon. So in summary, what seems like a logical argument to you, doesn’t seem so to me, and presumably vise versa.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I am not making an argument of silence, The Holy Bible actually says what I just did:

            John 21:25—“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen [Let It Be So].”

            It has been said that for any biography or autobiography to be complete, it would take as long to read as it took to live. The Holy Bible openly admits to this fact in the above verse. No one can argue that a single Gospel is complete. We have no idea what happened between Jesus’ infancy to a singular instance when He was 12 years old. Then again we have no idea from that event through to about 30 years old, when He was baptized. These four biographies, which are also autobiographies, do not include everything but must emphasize one angle or another.

            I cannot help it that you would rather reject The Sacred Scripture’s own testimony.

          • Jim

            I agree with you that it’s unrealistic to expect biographies to include everything that ever happened in someone’s life. To me however, John 21:25 does not constitute clear proof that Luke knew about Jesus family’s trip to Egypt or the fact that although Jesus’ two genealogies conflict, they must be harmonized (i.e. the specific questions I posed). You obviously see something that I don’t, and that’s fine.

            My point was that maybe Luke did not know about Jesus fleeing to Egypt (required in Matt’s account to rationalize Jesus growing up in Galilee). Re the genealogies, maybe the two gospel authors had different info at their disposal, or possibly different theological angles that led to two differing genealogies. These are logical possibilities that can’t be ruled out based on the limited info available (and do not diminish the gospels in any way, at least imo).

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay I can see what you mean by “a semi-private blog conversation setting” because his blog requires a money-paid subscription in order to read anything of substance. To compensate, I found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIxTVYd5Enw which disappointingly, considering how short it is, spends almost 2 minutes on the intro. I offer the words of an expert, who you already know. If you have evidence his assessment of the Koine is in error, present it.

            A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures

            Luke 3:23

            Being Son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli (ôn huios hôs enomizeto Iôsêph tou Helei). For the discussion of the genealogy of Jesus Cmt. on Mt 1:1-17. The two genealogies differ very widely and many theories have been proposed about them. At once one notices that Luke begins with Jesus and goes back to Adam, the Son of God, while Matthew begins with Abraham and comes to “Joseph the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (Mt 1:16). Matthew employs the word “begot” each time, while Luke has the article tou repeating huiou (Son) except before Joseph. They agree in the mention of Joseph, but Matthew says that “Jacob begat Joseph” while Luke calls “Joseph the son of Heli.” There are other differences, but this one makes one pause. Joseph, of course, did not have two fathers. If we understand Luke to be giving the real genealogy of Jesus through Mary, the matter is simple enough. The two genealogies differ from Joseph to David except in the cases of Zorobabel and Salathiel. Luke evidently means to suggest something unusual in his genealogy by the use of the phrase “as was supposed” (hôs enomizeto). His own narrative in Lu 1:26-38 has shown that Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus. Plummer objects that, if Luke is giving the genealogy of Jesus through Mary, huios must be used in two senses here (son as was supposed of Joseph, and grandson through Mary of Heli). But that is not an unheard of thing. In neither list does Matthew or Luke give a complete genealogy. Just as Matthew uses “begat” for descent, so does Luke employ “son” in the same way for descendant. It was natural for Matthew, writing for Jews, to give the legal genealogy through Joseph, though he took pains to show in Mt 1:16,18-25 that Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus. It was equally natural for Luke, a Greek himself and writing for the whole world, to give the actual genealogy of Jesus through Mary. It is in harmony with Pauline universality (Plummer) that Luke carries the genealogy back to Adam and does not stop with Abraham. It is not clear why Luke adds “the Son of God” after Adam (Lu 3:38). Certainly he does not mean that Jesus is the Son of God only in the sense that Adam is. Possibly he wishes to dispose of the heathen myths about the origin of man and to show that God is the Creator of the whole human race, Father of all men in that sense. No mere animal origin of man is in harmony with this conception.

            Matthew 1:1

            The Son of David, the son of Abraham (huiou Daueid huiou Abraam). Matthew proposes to show that Jesus Christ is on the human side the son of David, as the Messiah was to be, and the son of Abraham, not merely a real Jew and the heir of the promises, but the promise made to Abraham. So Matthew begins his line with Abraham while Luke traces his line back to Adam. The Hebrew and Aramaic often used the word son (bên) for the quality or character, but here the idea is descent. Christians are called sons of God because Christ has bestowed this dignity upon us (Ro 8:14; 9:26; Ga 3:26; 4:5-7). Verse 1 is the description of the list in verses Mt 1:2-17. The names are given in three groups, Abraham to David (Mt 1:2-6), David to Babylon Removal (Mt 1:6-11), Jechoniah to Jesus (Mt 1:12-16). The removal to Babylon (metoikesias Babulônos) occurs at the end of verse Mt 1:11, the beginning of verse Mt 1:12, and twice in the resume in verse Mt 1:17. This great event is used to mark off the two last divisions from each other. It is a good illustration of the genitive as the case of genus or kind. The Babylon removal could mean either to Babylon or from Babylon or, indeed, the removal of Babylon. But the readers would know the facts from the Old Testament, the removal of the Jews to Babylon. Then verse Mt 1:17 makes a summary of the three lists, fourteen in each by counting David twice and omitting several, a sort of mnemonic device that is common enough. Matthew does not mean to say that there were only fourteen in actual genealogy. The names of the women (Thamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba the wife of Uriah) are likewise not counted. But it is a most interesting list.

          • Jim

            This is only an excerpt from Ehrman’s lecture to a general audience at a conference on Christian medieval art. More is covered in his university undergrad textbook “The New Testament; A Historical Introduction to Early Christian Writings”. I hadn’t referenced this textbook in the discussion because;
            (1) textbook pricing generally isn’t wallet friendly, and

            (2) for a fundie/conservative evangelical, this book might lead to a heart attack i.e. contains a lot of current NT scholarship material.

            Your excerpted material agrees that Matthew gives Joseph’s genealogy. Now that leaves Luke’s. As I previously mentioned, back when I was a conservative evangie, I had been taught that [Luke’s] genealogy was through Mary. So I was delighted to see that Robertson confirms my overall point. He writes “If we understand Luke to be giving the real genealogy of Jesus through Mary, the matter is simple enough.” (The hook therefore is that you first need to buy into this “theological assumption” before proceeding, as he clearly points out).

            If you pick a generation from Luke 3:23-38, say “David, the son of Jesse” (which is OT verified), the Greek says “David tou (of the) Jesse” you notice that Luke employs this exact same phrasing to every one of the generations all the way back to Adam (except for Jesus where it’s “enomizeto huios iOsEph, as Robertson specifies). This includes “Joseph tou Helei” … and … therefore this is … you are already ahead of me … Joseph’s genealogy according to Luke. Both authors indicate that they are summarizing Joseph’s genealogy!

            Isn’t it a sin for a literalist not to take literal biblical readings literally? (btw, just teasing ya here)

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I am aware it is only an excerpt, but as pointed out by you before and now again, Bart Ehrman seems content to lock all his good stuff behind dollar-bills. On making an income, this is a smart move, but on making you look like a person telling the truth, it makes you look like a schemer.

            As for his textbook’s information giving literalists a “heart-attack” shock on new evidence, you may be surprised to know that we do not accept the current archaeological hypothesis with regards to history because it has been known to make false predictions based on false interpretations of data. We do not accept any other trains of thought linked to that false account of history, such as the gradual development of verbal and textual languages. All of this is in-line with evolutionary thinking and not Biblical thinking. So no, the evidence he presents in his textbook may be acceptable via secular methodology, but not via God’s methodology.

            As for your response to A. T. Robertson, he dealt with your point already.

            Taken from Luke 3:23—“Matthew employs the word “begot” each time, while Luke has the article tou repeating huiou (Son) except before Joseph. They agree in the mention of Joseph, but Matthew says that “Jacob begat Joseph” while Luke calls “Joseph the son of Heli.” There are other differences, but this one makes one pause. Joseph, of course, did not have two fathers. If we understand Luke to be giving the real genealogy of Jesus through Mary, the matter is simple enough. The two genealogies differ from Joseph to David except in the cases of Zorobabel and Salathiel. Luke evidently means to suggest something unusual in his genealogy by the use of the phrase “as was supposed” (hôs enomizeto). His own narrative in Lu 1:26-38 has shown that Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus. Plummer objects that, if Luke is giving the genealogy of Jesus through Mary, huios must be used in two senses here (son as was supposed of Joseph, and grandson through Mary of Heli). But that is not an unheard of thing. In neither list does Matthew or Luke give a complete genealogy. Just as Matthew uses “begat” for descent, so does Luke employ “son” in the same way for descendant.”

            Robertson does say as you quoted and it does require, as you said, that one accept the theological answer. But, you have not provided any new data than the 11-minute segment of Bart Ehrman’s lecture. Robertson above makes the statement, “But that is not an unheard of thing.” He is clearly speaking here as a Biblical Scholar and an expert in Greek writings, and anticipates that people of similar education will know precisely what he is talking about. Therefore, what Luke has done, and Matthew has done, is something that we know was done in those days and was not seen as a mistake. People understood (as liberals like to say) what the message was.

            So, I say again, if you have evidence Robertson’s assessment of the Koine is in error, present it.

          • Jim

            NOTE: re Ehrman’s paywall blog – all of the monies from this blog goes to charities (like Doctors without borders, etc.). In fact, that’s the primary reason he does his blog.

            Bart Ehrman is also an expert in Greek and was trained as a textual critic.

            So to my assessment of Robertson’s excerpt. With the risk of sounding a bit snarky, please reread my comment perhaps more carefully. I you still miss the argument, I don’t think I can state it any clearer. The interpretation that both genealogies are Joseph’s comes from several scholars (not just one).

            I’m not trying to convince you as you don’t accept any modern scholarship. But neither am I persuaded by your faith-based (and not fact based) interpretations. We are at two opposite poles.

          • Jim

            *If* you still miss …

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay, I did not know that is why he has the payment requirement on his blog. Thanks for explaining.

            I have no doubt that Bart Ehrman knows his Greek, but the mere fact that he is a liberal puts him at odds with God’s Pure Word (Psalm 119:140, Proverb 30:5). He will choose to believe in an error wherever possible, while literalists will choose not to. You have not provided any “yes or no” answer to whether this behavior in the Gospel genealogies was used in other ancient sources for other lineages. If Bart Ehrman does not deal with other sources to show how it was acceptable, but not a mistake, or unacceptable in ancient days, then he is likely hiding said evidence in favor of disproving The Holy Bible’s divine origins.

            This is war, Jim (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)! This is a spiritual battle between light and dark (Ephesians 6:12). God says that you, Bart Ehrman, James F. McGrath, John MacDonald, David Evans, and all other people on earth, know God is real, and just by looking at the created universe (Romans 1:18-32)! No one has an excuse not to believe, but most still reject the truth. The stars in the sky, every galaxy of them, every nebulae formed from them, every planet (wondering stars), they are all crying out that God has immense glory (Psalm 19:1-4)! Every language hears their message, and every person understands the message.

            But Jesus said it best.

            For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.

            He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

            And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil.

            For every one that doeth evil hateth The Light, neither cometh to The Light, lest his deeds should be discovered.

            But he that doeth truth cometh to The Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

            —John 3:17-21 (alternate KJV reading)

          • Jim

            So sure you might consider this to be a spiritual battlefront. I don’t however, and even if I totally disagree with you, I still find these kinds of discussions very helpful, and thank you for sharing your perspectives.

            I wish to ask you though, does it really take a six volume theological exposition (like Robinson’s tome) to try to describe what God may be trying to get across? Especially when you consider that across time, many people were basically illiterate, and the canon wasn’t actually formalized until the 4th century CE.

            I personally appreciate the efforts of scholars like Ehrman, McGrath and others (including conservative scholars like Hurtado), who invest their personal time to share Bible history without the need to invoke hermeneutical gymnastics. This is especially true since the autographs aren’t available for any of the biblical books.

            I sometimes wonder that if God was so concerned with each and every word in the Bible, why didn’t the Holy Spirit expend some effort in the much simpler task of preserving the original copies so as to minimize subsequent confusion?

            But hey, maybe I’m just on the highway to hell. Wish you all the best on your journey.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            You are very welcome, it’s my pleasure to share!

            To your question, “Does it really take a six volume theological exposition (like Robinson’s tome) to try to describe what God may be trying to get across?” Could you elaborate more? I do not fully understand what you are asking, at least specifically.

            As for the autographs not being available for any of the biblical books, in the case of the New Testament there is no reason to doubt their validity. See the following link, but I also provide a quote which includes information from two authors, one of which I assume is Bart Ehrman, who you find credible.

            http://www.bible.ca/ef/topical-the-earliest-new-testament-manuscripts.htm

            “But there is more. Almost the entire New Testament could be reproduced by quotes from the ancient church fathers. “So extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the entire New Testament” (Metzger & Ehrman, 2005).”

          • Jim

            The six volume question thing was meant to be an abstract one. Something like; would God actually intend the need for detailed (multi-volume) defenses rather than opting for to the point one liners like, “this one is Mary’s genealogy” (i.e. in the case of our earlier discussion). That might have saved a lot of needless debate over an apparent contradiction between gospels.

            Just a brief statement on credibility. First, I’m not a biblical scholar and second, I’m not saying that I think Roberson’s analysis has no credibility. I rely more on Metzger & Ehrman’s work as they are more recent, but that does not mean that I agree with everything they write/say either. Since I don’t know my posterior from a hole in the ground when it comes to Bible languages/text etc., I rely on consensus (which itself can be dynamic when new info becomes available).

            And finally to the thing about the autographs not being available. There are examples of known scribal changes to the NT including: Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7-8), Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53 – 8:11), Mark 16:9-20, two versions of Acts (one about 10% longer). So changes to the originals have definitely occurred. For me however, this *does not* imply that the NT is therefore totally unreliable. My own opinion is that it’s likely that a large majority of the NT is in a form that is remarkably similar to the originals. However there have been changes, yet it’s likely that a vast majority of these changes are just minor spelling errors. In general though, it’s nearly impossible to quantify the number of major changes to the NT texts without having access to the originals, especially since our earliest extant copies date from more than a century after the originals.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            “The six volume question thing was meant to be an abstract one. Something like; would God actually intend the need for detailed (multi-volume) defenses rather than opting for to the point one liners like, “this one is Mary’s genealogy” (i.e. in the case of our earlier discussion). That might have saved a lot of needless debate over an apparent contradiction between gospels.”

            What is one reason any parent will ever give a cryptic answer to their kids? So that their children will be forced to study to know the answer. This is a command of God, 2 Timothy 2:15—“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing The Word of Truth.” God didn’t want to give us all the answers up front so we could sit on the couch and relax all day long. We are expected to put our brains and talents to good use.

            —–

            “And finally to the thing about the autographs not being available. There are examples of known scribal changes to the NT including: Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7-8), Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53 – 8:11), Mark 16:9-20, two versions of Acts (one about 10% longer). So changes to the originals have definitely occurred… yet it’s likely that a vast majority of these changes are just minor spelling errors. In general though, it’s nearly impossible to quantify the number of major changes to the NT texts without having access to the originals, especially since our earliest extant copies date from more than a century after the originals.”

            The article gives a table of 7 of the earliest manuscripts we have. Three of them are under a century after the autographs and a fourth is possibly under a century. The remaining three, and even that fourth, are all under 1.5 centuries after. This contradicts your claim. Plus, the article speaks of using “Church Father” writings, which are the earliest writings of Christians after the New Testament was completed, or even during in a few cases. We have writings of Church Fathers dating before our earliest manuscripts. The odds for error to have crept in through copyist mistakes or alterations is very slim. This is a promise of Jesus, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My Words shall not pass away.” (Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33) The probability of this universe ending today is higher than a single recorded word from Jesus being lost to history.

          • Jim

            I’m always intrigued by the pretension of the case of early NT manuscripts as supporting inerrancy. So let’s look closer at the manuscript evidence from within a century of the autographs (from Table 7):

            P52 (early to mid 2nd century) is ~ 3.5 x 2.5 inches and contains portions of John 18:31-33 (recto) and portions of verses 37-38 (verso).

            P90 (late 2nd century) is a bit larger at 6.3 x 4.4 inches, containing portions of John 18:36-19:7.

            P104 (late 2nd century) is ~ 2.8 x 2 inches with portions of six verses from Matt 21.

            P98 is ~ 5.9 x 6.3 inches containing much of Rev 1:13 – 2.1, however there are some variances between it and Latin versions.

            Those who are analytically minded would never consider making a broad claim like total NT inerrancy based on fragments of only three dozen verses. Additionally, one would like manuscript evidence from at least two different regions (not just Egypt alone), to see if there are variations.

            Along with P75, two of the more important Greek manuscripts that NT scholars rely on a lot are P45 and P46 (L. M. McDonald Formation of the Bible p136-37 (2012)). These 3rd century manuscripts, although not complete, contain large sections of the NT, and are more than a century removed from the autographs.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I do understand your point about these being fragments and very small at that. But, you miss the point that these fragments date to very close to the time of the autographs. Their very existence is proof of the originals, to which none has survived, so even pieces is a miracle to have today. Besides, it is illogical to assume that a larger manuscript did not exist around the pieces we have.

            However, you did not deal with the fact that nearly 100% of the New Testament has been preserved in Church Father writings, and many of these date back to the same time as the manuscript fragments.

          • Jim

            Hopefully you didn’t get the impression that I take the discovery of these early NT fragments as meaningless. These findings are truly remarkable. My argument is that you can’t claim, based on just fragments of seven verses (P52), “unequivocal verification” that the entire copy of the gospel from which these fragments arose was “identical” (allowance for a few spelling errors) to the autograph, which is what inerrancy requires. There is a chance that it might be, but there is also a good chance that it may not be (P98 example). More evidence is needed.

            To my understanding, the NT is not quoted all that exhaustively by the 2nd century Church Fathers, and when they do, there are variations among them. The first Church Father to extensively quote the Greek NT seems to have been Origen writing in the 3rd century.

            I wonder about the feasibility of reconstructing the entire NT from the writings of the 2nd-3rd century Church Fathers since obviously they wouldn’t have quoted chapter and verse. There are thus no reference points to string all of their quotations together into the correct NT sequence. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

            Also Imo, it’s unfortunate that the Apostolic Fathers (the ten writers soon after the NT period but before the Church Fathers) quote very little of the NT. This group was ideally situated within the time frame of P52.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Honestly Jim, it doesn’t matter how many questions we answer. I haven’t had all of my questions answered. That is why God said, “Now faith is the substance [ground, confidence] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by The Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 KJV, with alternate readings in brackets).

            That is why Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29). Faith will always be needed. Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” We have to trust Jesus at His promise in Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, and Luke 21:33.

            What if I could show you to the point of not even the slightest doubt that The Holy Bible is exactly the same today as it was when the autographs were written? And that the autographs are exactly as Jesus Christ did? All the way back to Adam and Eve? Would that satisfy you that God is real and that He loves you? Or are you just trying to run and hide like Adam did when God came to the garden that evening 6,000 years ago (Genesis 3:8)?

          • Jim

            Didn’t mean to be exasperating. And for me, if the scriptures we have today were ever found to not be exactly the same as the autographs, I don’t find it to be a deal breaker as to whether God is real or not.

            I think you captured it well when you summarized the importance of faith. To me, it’s perfectly legitimate for someone to say that they believe the scriptures are inerrant because of their faith. I can respect that position, even if I don’t have that level of faith.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            So you do have faith in that God exists?

          • Jim

            If by your question you mean an anthropomorphic entity, I’m not very certain about that.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            It is fair to assume I was speaking of The Biblical God, and I do always refer to Him, but I was asking you about yourself based on these two statements below:

            “I don’t find it to be a deal breaker as to whether God is real or not.”

            “Even if I don’t have that level of faith.”

            So, you answer according to yourself. What level of faith do you have? And does that faith include God?

          • Jim

            Ok, after rereading one of my earlier statements that you point to, admittedly it was rather convoluted.

            My intent was to convey that in my view, whether or not the Bible is inerrant has little to do with whether God is real or not. Secondly, while I don’t have any qualms with anyone who feels the need to couple this requirement of Biblical inerrancy with God being real, I definitely don’t have the level of faith to buy into that notion. Any objection I have with inerrantists is directed more toward their notion that anyone who doesn’t subscribe to scriptural inerrancy is destined for (negative) eternal judgment.

            Yet belief in the absolute inerrancy of scripture is a fairly recent (19th-20th century) development of evangelical theology. Even for Reformers like Calvin and Luther, the divine inspiration of scripture was not coupled to an inerrancy of scripture. This seems to be in contrast to the view of some contemporary evangelicals (like Calvinist Alvin Plantinga) who seem to despise the historical Biblical criticism approach.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay, to re-phrase my original question:

            So, you do not have faith in that a god exists?

          • Jim

            I do not have faith that a god exists. But in terms of hope, I do *hope* that a benevolent God does exist. So that leaves me in the agnostic pile.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Agnosticism is the only honest position. Even if an atheist could know 50% of what there is to know, God could be in the half they have yet to learn. So atheism is an unrealistic stance, and dishonest. I’m glad you are honest. The issue before you is now to say yes to the God you are indecisive about. Agnosticism may be honest, but it is not honest enough on Judgment Day.

          • You’re adorable. Just adorable.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Thank you!

  • Marcus Maher

    You’ll need to pick a different color. Many people’s Bibles already have lots of words in red that they already distort.

    • Jim

      Aww … that’s totally mean … I paid extra for those red letters.

  • Jonathan Burke

    I wrote this. The image has been taken from my Facebook page “Science & Scripture”.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Science-Scripture/1449424052004603

    I’m glad you liked it.

    • Curtis Wu

      See the Science and Scripture team in action.

      https://vimeo.com/124918704

      • Dave Burke

        A wounded ego appears! ^_^

    • Thanks for letting me know where it originated, and for making it in the first place!!!

      • Jonathan Burke

        You’re welcome James. I’m so glad you considered it appropriate material for your blog.

  • AmbassadorHerald

    Would you be so quick as to cross-out, edit, and “correct” the Ten Commandments, written in twin tablets of stone by Yahweh’s own finger?

    Exodus 20:11 (KJV)—“For in six days [6] The LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day [7th]: wherefore The LORD blessed the Sabbath day [Saturday], and hallowed it.”

    This is exactly one week and there is no way around this verse, the Ten Commandments were to be obeyed and therefore are in plain Hebrew that the common person can understand. If Yahweh meant anything else other than a week as we currently observe, He would have said so!

    • summers-lad

      It couldn’t possibly have been a week as we currently observe if there was no sun until Wednesday. And if the imagery of 7 days was good enough for God’s inspiration of the first creation account (it’s one day in the second account) it’s good enough for the Ten Commandments.
      By the way, what did God do on Day 8?

      • AmbassadorHerald

        FIRST POINT

        John 1:1-5 (KJV)—“In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and The Life was The Light of men. And The Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

        John 8:12—“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, “I Am The Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have The Light of life.” ”

        SECOND POINT

        Genesis 2:19 (NIV)—“Now The LORD God *had formed* out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.” {Asterisk added for emphasis on the meaning of the original Hebrew meaning.}

        FINAL QUESTION

        Why don’t you ask Yahweh?

        • summers-lad

          First point – I agree entirely. Believing in God as Creator and Jesus as Being God does not at all require acceptance of young-earth creationism.
          Second point – I don’t particularly trust the NIV as a translation, and a quick search of about 10 translations in Bible Gateway found only one other that used “had formed” – and it gave “formed” as an alternative reading. I don’t know Hebrew but I suspect that the NIV’s “had formed” is there to keep creationists happy, rather than for accuracy. However, my point was really about Gen 2:4 “In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens…” (RSV) – although most translations give “When…” or similar, I am told that “in the day” is more accurate.
          Third point – I believe that the text cannot be interpreted “literally” and that to be faithful to the text points us away from seeing it as having a scientific purpose and towards seeing it as poetry which presents deep and powerful truths about God’s purpose in creation. It is the introduction to the whole of the Bible. You didn’t answer my question about Day 8, but I would point out that in Genesis 1, Day 7 doesn’t have an ending, which I think is significant. I leave you to ponder that.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            You misunderstood point one. Jesus is Light, and that is how you can have days without a sun. Genesis 1:4 says “God divided the light from the darkness” but then in v14 God creates natural lights to take over the job He Himself was doing on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. There is no contradiction here, because God is light and then created the Sun.

            As for Genesis 2:19, I agree about the NIV, but Creationists usually only point to this verse in the NIV. However, I just did a comprehensive comparison on Bible Gateway and found 6 translations that read this way. Darby’s Translation—had formed. Douay-Rheims—having formed. ESV (the one you found)—had formed. GOD’S WORD—had formed. Names of God Bible—had formed. And NIV—had formed. But there are more still. Bishops Bible—had shapen. Tyndale’s Translation—had make. And this is just from what my resources include. The NIV is not alone by far, even pre-KJV translations say it.

            On Genesis 2:4, you’re right most say “when” or similar, but I find it very curious that a person who does not believe in the days of Genesis 1 being literal, now making a point about a supposedly better translation of “day” in Genesis 2. You’d need to show me where you get this information because Strong’s Dictionary usually doesn’t give the meanings of words used so commonly as these. However, since he does not give a definition of “when”, that is evidence it is indeed simply “when” and not “day” like in Genesis 1.

            How can taking the text literally make us see it as poetry? Is that not the outcome of not believing it literally? You see it as symbolic for a much longer span of time. And Day 7 does have an ending, if it did not, God could not have did what He did in Genesis 3. You can’t be resting and curse the universe at the same time. The closing of Day 7 is Genesis 2:4.

          • David Evans

            I’m tempted to ask, if Jesus is Light, what is his spectrum and intensity, and is he collimated or polarized? But the would be too literal, wouldn’t it?

            Also, are you saying that God divided Jesus from the darkness? That Jesus was absent from the part of the Earth’s surface where it was night? Or did Jesus switch himself off at night?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Read Acts 9, Jesus shows up to Paul as a directional light
            source that left Paul blind for 3 days until he was miraculously healed. The
            Earth was already in existence from Genesis 1:1 and a directional light source,
            as with the sun, automatically divides at the terminator. The terminator is
            where the daylight and nighttime sides of a planet meet, where on one side you
            have a sunrise and the other a sunset. This is a simple and straightforward understanding
            of Day 1.

          • David Evans

            You are right, the planet automatically divides light from darkness. Since the Earth was created in verse 1.1, what need was there for God to be dividing light from darkness in verse 1.4?

            I’m not sure I need to read Acts. If Jesus was bright enough to illuminate a whole planet, he would have incinerated Paul and his surroundings.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            What need was there for God to divide the light from darkness in v4? Maybe when God said, “Light Be!” the light came from everywhere and every direction. So then God angled it so that it would all move in one direction to enable the earth’s rotation to cause a day-night cycle. The light was emanating from God Himself, so it was His business to allow there to be a nighttime half of the day, at least until He put the Sun in place to keep this cycle running. It is also God’s business to make sure that the light produced is fitting to the job. For Paul, God did not need to brighten a whole planet, but merely blind a single person. The luminosity was adjusted to fit the purpose. God is not bound by our laws, because He is… well, God.

          • David Evans

            But this is all silly, isn’t it? When Jesus said

            “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness..”

            he didn’t mean that his followers would never be in physical darkness.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            To the contrary, Matthew 8:12, 22:13, and 25:30 speak of Hell as “outer darkness”. Anyone who follows Jesus will never, ever walk in darkness, literally.

          • David Evans

            But here and now, Christians are in darkness whenever they turn out the light at night, just like the rest of us.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I am sorry to hear that you are not a Christian. I would beseech you to reconsider your position, especially before you die. Hell is a place you do not want to be, and only those who experience it will fully understand that simply having no light is not the darkness being spoken of in that place. Nowhere in this universe is dark enough to be true to the darkness of Hell, and you do not even have a beginner’s grasp of this because you do not wish to grasp it. At least currently.

          • Surely you can realize that the (metaphorical) darkness which pervades your comments, the deliberate distortion of the Bible and lack of comprehension of basics of Biblical interpretation combined with an air of arrogance, makes the Christ whom you (falsely) claim to represent seem utterly unappealing? Instead of castigating those you drive further away from God, surely a more appropriate response would be to repent.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I am sure the typical call to follow Jesus has been heard by David_Evans, considering he is commenting on a Christian blog run by you who I assume have given such a message in the past? If so, he does not need another “Jesus loves you and died for you” message that he has rejected. Instead, he needs to know the torment and horror that the alternative to Heaven is. The darkness is not metaphorical, neither is the weeping, or gnashing of teeth, nor are the flesh-eating worms of Mark 9:44, 46, and 48, nor the liquid fire of Revelation 19:20, 20:10, and 14-15. Hell is agony and nothing short of that. You reject Jesus, you say yes to all of that. I merely spoke of the darkness because that was keeping it on topic.

          • Nick G

            Yes, your God really is a vile sadistic psychopath. Why do you worship infinite evil, AmbassadorHerald? Is it fear, or does it give you a sadistic thrill to imagine yourself safe in heaven, thinking about the torment of those who disagree with you?

          • What disturbs me most is condemning another text’s depiction of God for things that are caricatures of what it says, while defending the things in one’s own sacred text which are far worse.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Um, seeing as you at least use the term “Christian” (Liberal/Progressive) to describe yourself, you clearly see that Yahweh is better than Allah, so I don’t see why you’re even making this argument.

          • I do not think that being a Christian requires being dishonest about either the Qur’an or the Bible in the way you have been. Perhaps that is the key difference between liberals and conservatives?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            My father has personally read the Qur’an cover to cover in multiple English translations, from free copies sent out by Islamic organizations, to ones translated by Muslims who are now Christians. I know full well what it says about Christians, Jews, and Jihad. Killing just because another is different than you is no reason to kill. Killing to preserve the sanctity of life, that is way more holy.

          • Passing the blame for misunderstanding the Qur’an onto your father is no excuse, and pretending that killing people for worshipping other gods is not in the Bible is not going to work when addressing your current audience.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Still haven’t answered my point, why are you a “Liberal Christian” and not a “Liberal Muslim”? What has you bearing our name rather than theirs?

          • I find the fact that you ask the question when I call for honesty about the Bible and the Qur’an telling. You seem to think that religion is a team sport, and that it is thus appropriate to commit fouls against the other team if you can get away with them, while calling on the ref to penalize the other team when fouls are committed against yours.

            I personally believe that the Golden Rule that Jesus taught us applies to interaction with other religions. Ought we not to treat the scriptures of others the same way we expect our own to be treated?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            The Golden Rule is one I often try to live by, but, you have provided no evidence to support the claim that I am misrepresenting the Qur’an. Many Muslims may find the Islamic State too extreme for their tastes, yet they themselves are after the same goal. They all want Israel eliminated from the map, they all want Jews exterminated, they all want America in ashes, they all want Christians extinct, and they all want to bring about a global religion of Islam. That is the goal of every Muslim nation, with the exception of Egypt before it was overrun.

            On top of which, just about every expert on the Qur’an knows it has errors in it which cannot be reconciled in any way. While there is not one such unanswerable claim to error in The Sacred Scriptures. The Qur’an is clearly a human document, same as all religions, while The Holy Bible has the evidence if one cares to look. I still find it interesting that with as much as you attack The Bible and Jesus Christ, you still choose to align yourself with them.

          • I gather that you do not actually know any Muslims. But if you read the Qur’an in a mainstream (i.e. not Wahabi and not anti-Islamic) translation, and read the context of some of the texts that are most frequently quoted to make the claims you do, you will learn a lot. For instance, the famous “slay them wherever you find them” is followed immediately by a reference to driving them out from the places from which they drove you out, because “injustice is worse than slaughter,” and so it is easy to see that Muslims are being given permission to defend themselves in a context of persecution. Many Christians believe that fighting in self-defense is acceptable, too. But once again, you are happy to misrepresent another religion negatively and your own positively.

            As for whether the Bible has errors, and details that do not fit together historically, have you ever tried tracing the geographical movements and chronologies of the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            The reason my father is reading the Qur’an so much is because he is writing a series of books aimed at showing Muslims that their own holy book tells them to follow Jesus Christ and The Holy Bible (“The Book” in the Qur’an). Never once is Jesus The Prophet or The Sacred Scriptures spoken of badly and Muslims are told that they should read and follow them. Have you noticed this yourself?

            I’ve heard people talk about the movements of Jesus’ parents while He was a baby, I am not sure what you’re getting at?

          • Here’s a lecture on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZO5DSG3OiU

            And some older class notes of mine about the census under Quirinius: http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/jesus/quirinius.htm

          • AmbassadorHerald

            First off, I notice that you have abandoned the Qur’an topic in this post. I will therefore provide what you have not. Violent passages—Sura 4:89, 5:51, 8:12, & 9:29-30. This list comes from my father and he got it from Dr. Anis A. Shorrosh.

            On account of slavery, Judaism teaches you cannot hold a slave more than six years, then you are to free them with a huge reward—Deuteronomy 15:12, 14, & 18. Christianity teaches that as a truster in Jesus we should see all men equally—Philemon 1:10-11, & 15-17. Islam teaches that slaves are merely slaves—Sura 23:5-6. Very obvious who has the highest morals.

            http://quran.com/search?q=Jesus Here we see that Jesus The Messiah (Isa Messiah) is spoken of 69 times among the six translations on this website.

          • Male Israelite slaves were freed after a specified time. Foreign slaves were not.

            One can always find more positive or more negative ways of construing what ancient texts say. For instance: http://home.insightbb.com/~adamwatson/showcase/quranslavery.html

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Stop trying to ignore the topics you don’t know what to do
            with. Your claim was that I am misrepresenting the Qur’an. If Islam is so peaceful, and Yahweh is so violent, I suggest you become a Muslim.

          • What have I ignored? I have addressed precisely what the issue is, namely your tendency to whitewash the ancient sources you consider scripture and to denigrate other ancient sources which contain things that are similar. Calling for you to be honest and fair does not requiire me to convert to Islam. Honesty and fairness are not only compatible with, but appropriate expressions of, Christianity.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            And secondly, I notice that both your article and the video spend the majority of their time discussing a common issue. I will therefore focus on that one in particular, that of reconciling King Herod’s death with Legate Cyrenius’ term.

            Right off the bat, the video and you both got Herod’s death wrong. Herod died in 1 BC, and the evidence is provided in the section “Dating Christ’s birth” at the following article: http://www.bethlehemstar.net/setting-the-stage/why-are-we-hearing-this-now/. Then you go on to point out that there is a possibility based on the “Lapis Tiburtinus” that some person was entering office in Syria for a second term. You further point out that we have a vacancy in our records for who was in office in Syria during the 4-1 BC years, which works perfectly with Luke’s account of Cyrenius being Legate at the birth of Christ.

            But that’s not all, there is more. You offer this statement in your introduction, “Having found many web pages that deal with some of the evidence, but also having found it rare that all the relevant evidence is presented in a clear manner in one place, I have decided to attempt to do just that: to work through the evidence in a manner that does justice to the problem, and to the arguments that are used by both sides, so that those interested may navigate their way through this difficult problem.” Yet there are arguments which are not dealt with that are freely available online, such as the 1890 Pulpit Commentary: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/pulpit/luke/2.htm.

            I close with a quotation:

            “(1) Strangely enough, none of the early opponents of Christianity, such as Celsus or Porphyry, impugn the accuracy of our evangelist here. Surely, if there had been so marked an error on the threshold of his Gospel, these distinguished adversaries of our faith, living comparatively soon after the events in question, would have been the first to hit so conspicuous a blot in the story they hated so well. And

            “(2) nothing is more improbable than that St. Luke, a man of education, and writing, too, evidently for people of thought and culture, would have ventured on a definite historical statement of this kind, which would, if wrong, have been so easily exposed, had he not previously thoroughly satisfied himself as to its complete accuracy.”

          • I don’t think you understand how scholarship works. Indeed, even outside of scholarly discussions, demonstrating that someone is wrong does not mean merely finding a website which offers a different opinion. Anyone can do that, for any viewpoint whatsoever.

            You seem to miss that we know enough about Quirinius’ career to know that he was not overseeing Syria in the relevant period. You also ignore the tumult caused by the census, and thus the unlikelihood that an earlier one took place with no mention in our sources whatsoever.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Actually, the evidence I presented changes a lot about the things you wrote about. Also, seeing as most people assume Cyrenius only held office once, could it be that we have records of his first term actually attributed to his second term incorrectly? Plus, if we knew so much about his career, why did you not point that out as evidence he could not have been Legate between 4-1 BC? You actually worked from an assumption that he was Legate prior to 10 BC, and never once used his career as evidence to the contrary. You basically never even dealt with the 4-1 BC gap, but now you need to. Now deal with the Pulpit Commentary’s evidence, seeing as people of your own thought never made this argument when Luke could have been falsified much more easily.

          • You seem not to grasp when the transfer to direct Roman rule occurred, and what we know of Quirinius’ career. Your speculations, and those of a variety of online apologetics and homiletics sites, scarecely merit discussion in detail when they are so obviously at odds with the available evidence. Just wishing that things fit together does not make them do so, and forcing things to fit when they clearly do not is unacceptable as history, even though it is common in apologetics.

            For a brief introduction to Quirinius: http://www.livius.org/person/quirinius-p-sulpicius/

          • AmbassadorHerald

            So in other words, you feel we know more about ancient history today than those who lived it? With all the numerous records we’ve lost, to the two World Wars, to the Muslim invasion which sparked the Crusades, to the fall of Rome, on and on, you feel we have a completely whole view of this period of time? Look at the 2 things Pulpit says that I quoted and tell me why those are the case.

            The article you sent merely says he was at war during those years, same as he was when he was on Crete and Cyrenaica. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t Legate in the unknown years.

          • Simply assuming that a particular source, normally dated well after the events in question, “lived it,” is obviously not going to be persuasive. Suggesting that someone serving in one capacity in one place also served in a different one in another when no one says he did is also obviously unpersuasive. When one considers that this is still the period of direct Roman rule, it becomes obvious that you are grasping at straws to defend your understanding of what the Bible should say, rather than trying to engage in plausible historical reconstruction.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I follow Yeshua Ha-Mashiach because He called me, just like He called the 12 Apostles, with the request to “Follow Me.” I said yes. I cannot point the finger at the person Yahweh used specifically to lead me in prayer, because it was just me and Him alone. I follow because He asked me to and I felt the love in His voice.

            Your hatred, is it directed solely at Yahweh, or is Allah included in there too? What of Marduk, Zeus, or Ra? Or any other deity? And… possibly Satan, the adversary of Yahweh and all mankind?

          • Jim

            Well therein lies the problem. Ancient gods, like Molek, were just vile sadistic psychopaths, while AmbassadorHerald’s god is a vile sadistic psychopath “because he is a supreme and intelligent creator”. If you can’t spot the difference, maybe you need to repent. 🙂 🙂

          • summers-lad

            I appreciate your considered reply, but I must admit I find it curious. In your interpretation, “Let there be light” would imply that Jesus was created.
            I’m afraid I can’t quote a source for what I said about 2:4 – it’s from my memory but I can’t say where I got it originally. I must try to do some research.
            I didn’t say that reading the text literally led to seeing it as poetry. I said that being faithful to it pointed in that direction, by which I meant that recognising the style of writing and the elements which cause difficulty if we insist on a “literal” (materialistic would be a better word) interpretation are reasons to understand it in a more poetic or symbolic way. That is why I can disagree with a literal reading and at the same time place importance on an accurate translation.
            You clearly believe that God has inspired these chapters. So do I. We differ in how we see them, but hopefully our discussion is helpful to both of us in challenging and building each other up.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Not really. Jesus walked on this planet for around 30 years, and not a one of the people who saw Him were blinded. Yet when Paul saw Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, he was blinded for 3-days! The command for light to be created was not Jesus being created, but the light being made into a physical property of this universe. Before Genesis 1:1, there was no matter, no energy, no time, no space, no nothing. Light had nowhere to be. Now, light had a universe to occupy and God put light in this universe, the first thing ever to occupy this universe other than the Earth itself. Tells you a lot about how important light is to God.

            Thank you for clarifying what you said, I absolutely understand now. The issue is, why should we symbolize anything which we can’t go and point it out and say, “This is how it works and why”? Sure, there is poetry in The Holy Bible, symbols are used to describe real things, but the symbol is not the real thing. But Genesis 1 is not poetry, there has been immense amounts of study put into the layout of Genesis 1. Take the below link as but a single example:

            https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/linguistics-genesis-and-evolution/

            Keep on believing that God inspired The Sacred Scriptures from beginning to conclusion! *applauds*

          • Jason John

            Yep, according to a Hebrew scholar I talked to, and who didn’t have to please an audience which insisted on Ge 2 and 1 not looking contradictory, teh hewbrew tense is that God went on to form the animals, not “had formed them,” plus if you read on its ridiculous to try to use that tense. God says I “will make” a helper for him. and then apparently remembers, “oh yeah, I already made them,…”

          • buricco

            The NIV is slanted, and occasionally is known to favor the traditional understanding even when the actual original text cannot support such a reading being used in current English.

          • summers-lad

            Unfortunately, yes. An example is 1 Peter 4:6 – “this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead…”. I have seen an annotated NIV where a footnote explained that “now” is not in the Greek but is a necessary addition to avoid bad theology. (And this is the Bible…!!) All other translations I know say “this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead” (RSV) or similar.

    • Jonathan Burke

      You seem to have missed the point of the image, which is to demonstrate how literalists such as yourself actually change the text to suit your interpretation.

      • AmbassadorHerald

        Actually, some of your changes are just substituting modern terminology for ancient descriptions, such as swapping expanse for atmosphere. Other changes contradict each other, such as removing the first reference to waters above the atmosphere and then leaving it in later as a water canopy. Still further changes do not even reflect a literalist approach to how we interpret Genesis 1, such as God moving a previously created sun and moon into place to continue God’s division of light from darkness. The lack of understanding of Scientific Creationism is again demonstrated in your Part 2 to the above image where you swap kind for species. This is not portraying a literalist viewpoint at all, because our ground rule is not to change the text at all.

        I will never condone your tampering with The Holy Bible, but at the very least if you must do it, please portray the viewpoint accurately. Especially since a version of your image could more easily be produced showing how Progressive Creation (or Day-Age, Gap Theory, Old-Earth, Theistic Evolution, etc.) would alter what is written in Genesis 1. Not many people realize it, but Genesis 1 is actually 100% opposite to all naturalistic hypothesis about the beginning of the universe. Stars before the earth, land before the oceans, terrestrial animals before avian, so on and so forth. Not to mention the use of a different Hebrew word than Yom, because even in the Old Testament there were words that meant far longer time-periods than Yom, as is often seen when hundreds or thousands of people were going to war.

        To be more concise. You failed to demonstrate that which you set out to do—a literalist view of Genesis 1—then you do not even try to demonstrate how much one must alter the text to match Progressive Creationism. The Scientific Creationism viewpoint endeavors to uphold the text as literally as possible without changing it a smidgen.

        • David Evans

          OK. Please explain, where were the waters above the firmament on day 3 of creation, and where are they now?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I do not understand the question in regards to Day 3 of the Creation Week. Where was the Water Canopy on that day? Same place it was when it was put in place on Day 2. Day 3 has nothing to do with the Water Canopy above the atmosphere and so does not mention it, because the focus is on the collection of seas under the atmosphere, appearance of dry land under the atmosphere, and planting of vegetation on the dry land.

            As for where is the Water Canopy today? It is not there. It collapsed on Sunday, December 7th, 2349 BC on the Julian Calendar, which according to Genesis 7:11 was the 17th Day of the 2nd Month of the Pre-Flood Calendar, when Noah was in his 600th year of life. The significance of this is, of course, when the Noachian Deluge began, causing the “windows of heaven” (KJV) to rain for 40-days. In Genesis 1:8 Yahweh named the Firmament “Heaven” so the meaning would actually be, “the windows of the firmament”. The Global Flood was a punishment and we suffer from this Water Canopy’s removal today.

            Just because we like to use our experience to understand Scripture, it doesn’t always work, because we have not experienced all of history. For those times and events which we have not experienced and cannot study any other way except God’s Word, we must take what clues God left us and not question them. This is what a literal understanding of Genesis 1-11 reveals.

          • David Evans

            OK, I wanted to know how you were interpreting “firmament”. There are some problems here:

            1 According to Genesis 1:17 the Sun, Moon and stars are in the firmament. If the Water Canopy is above the firmament that makes for a rather odd picture.

            2 How was the Water Canopy supported? If it was resting on the atmosphere, the pressure at ground level would be like that on the sea floor and we would all have died of nitrogen narcosis. If it was in orbit, its kinetic energy when it collapsed would turn it into superheated steam and kill us all that way.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Firmament Definition: there are technically at least 2 of them, and possibly 3.

            1—The Atmosphere,

            2—Outer Space,

            3—Heaven (?)

            As pointed out, the firmament under the Canopy was named Heaven, and according to 2 Corinthians 12:2 there are 3 Heavens, with the third being where God resides enthroned. This is where the confusion often arises in Genesis 1. People mistake “Heaven” of Day 1 with “The Heaven” of Day 4 where the stars are placed. Genesis 1:1 even agrees because it says, “In the beginning God created the Heavens {plural in Hebrew} and the Earth.” This is further confirmed by where the birds fly in v20, “the open firmament”. Why is it open? Because God opened it by separating the waters of the Canopy from the waters on the surface.

            As for how it was suspended above the earth, this is not really able to be studied because we have a scarce description of how in The Holy Bible. But, you are right about increased air pressure! Air bubbles found in amber, fossilized tree-sap from the Pre-Flood world, have an increased amount of oxygen than today—35%—and roughly twice the atmospheric pressure. Hyperbolic Treatments actually use this amount of pressure to heal because our bodies are designed to live in this pressure. Our blood gets hyper-oxygenized and so we heal and breathe much better. You could run and not get winded! God knew exactly how much water to put above us, just enough to give us prime living conditions, but not too much to kill us.

          • None of those are “definitions” of “firmament.” The Hebrew word used denotes a solid object, i.e. a dome. You are doing precisely what the umage depicts – crossing out what the text actually says, and substituting what you think it should say.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            You’re right, I had missed that in my initial interpretation. The Hebrew word for Firmament comes from a word that means something hammered down and overlaid atop something else, as one would do with sheets of metal. This shows you have the knowledge of what Genesis 1 says, you just choose not to go along with it. I am at least attempting to stay as literal as possible to the passage. So, you tell me, how in your hypothesis does this dome work with the world, either in the past or today?

          • The author, like his ancient contemporaries, assumed that the sky was a dome over the Earth. There is nothing more to it than that.

          • David Evans

            To take the second point first: if the water in the oceans were spread out uniformly over the Earth it would be 2440 meters deep. That weight pressing on the atmosphere would raise the pressure to 244 times its present value. Divers breathing ordinary air get into trouble from nitrogen narcosis and oxygen toxicity at about 4 atmospheres. 244 would surely be fatal. Even if not, the pressure drop to our present value would surely kill us with a severe case of the bends.

            I still have the same problem about the wording. If the firmament is the space where the birds fly it cannot also be the space where the sun, moon and stars exist. A one-word change to Genesis 1:17 and preceding verses would fix all this:

            And God set them above the firmament of the heaven.

            Did God not foresee that his wording would be a gift to skeptics and a stumbling-block for believers?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Are you trying to say that just because our current, modern-day oceans would kill us if completely suspended above the atmosphere, that this means the Canopy must have been that size? You are forgetting the “fountains of the abyss” also found in Genesis 7:11, a subterranean ocean. Not all the water in our oceans came from up above, and therefore the weight pressing down on us could be any percentage of the water we see today. Seeing as God is the one calling the shots, we know that He would not crush us, and scientifically it has been found that the pressure never exceeded double what we currently experience. Without something like a Canopy to apply this extra pressure, what is the reason for this discovery?

            Thanks to James F. McGrath, I was shown the root meaning of Firmament and this would change the understanding of the chapter. We must remember that it is a rare exception that The Holy Bible is written from any vantage-point other than the human-eye-view of the world. That is, from the ground-level of the Earth. Ever heard of a person saying, “Oh, I was at the mall the other day and you will never guess what I saw in the window!” Was the item actually “in the window”? No, a window is merely a cut hole in a wall and a piece of glass filling it. Nothing is literally in the window, but really through the window, on the other side. This would mean we saw the sun, moon, stars, etc. “in the firmament” because we had to look through it to see them.

            The word for “open” in Genesis 1:20 could be translated as: against, at, edge, face, forefront, forepart, front, over against, presence, sight, within, etc. Therefore the birds flew against the firmament, at the firmament, at the edge of the firmament, in the face of the firmament, at the forefront/forepart of the firmament, in front of the firmament, over against the firmament, in the presence of the firmament, in sight of the firmament, within the firmament, so on and so forth. No problems at all, still.

          • summers-lad

            “It is a rare exception that The Holy Bible is written from any vantage-point other than the human-eye-view of the world.” I agree. It seems to me that Genesis 1 is one of these rare passages, and that it describes creation from outside – perhaps from God’s own viewpoint, and acts as a prelude to the rest of the Bible. Genesis 2, on the other hand, is a human-eye view, and the beginning of the narrative which continues through the following chapters.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I believe God penned down Chapter 1 to give to Adam to read and know what went on before he was created on Day 6, so your idea is plausible. But, what do you think of the rest of this post?

          • summers-lad

            I wasn’t too impressed with the post, although I agree with
            the point it was trying to make that those people, such as creationists, who most want to see themselves as literalists may not read the Bible as literally as they like to think. However I thought the rewriting of the chapter was done
            more to lampoon than to fairly discuss the views of creationists. I note though that the first edit “let there be light which is not from the sun” is one you have agreed with in your replies to me, although others seem fairly pointless.

            I was much more interested in the discussion than in the
            post itself.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Yeah, some of it did match what I and others believe, but it is also not a very good representation. As for the literalness we try to read The Holy Bible in, we do it the most out of anyone else. We’re Biblicists. If it is in God’s Word, we believe it is 100% true with no errors. Therefore if it is said in one place, then that applies to the rest of it.

            Contradictions are only ever pointed to in an attempt to prove God did not write The Sacred Scriptures. Yet there is no contradiction I’ve ever heard of that does not have at last one reasonable explanation, and at times more than one. But the critics are never satisfied with those answers because their issue is not with Biblicists, it is not with The Biblical Text, it is with God Almighty. They, like the vast majority of others, want God to either be fake, or to be able to live in their own form of “Christianity” that allows them to be as they are without submitting to the authority of Jesus Christ.

            Be careful summers-lad that you never see Jesus as a mere faulty human-being, and The Bible as a mere collection of fairy tales. That leads only to the disbelief in Heaven and Hell and will ultimately lead you to Hell in judgment. The reason being you’d have rejected Jesus as Savior. So you keep believing in the inspiration of Scripture. More importantly, trust in Jesus!

          • summers-lad

            I believe that Jesus is the Word of God (as described in John 1), and that as C S Lewis put it, God did not give us the option of believing that Jesus was merely a good man, and that he did not intend to. I don’t think anything I have written would suggest otherwise.
            Although there are some contradictions in the Bible (for example, was it God or Satan who led David to take a census?) I don’t think these undermine the thrust of it or the story of God’s salvation of the world. I don’t see the seven days of Genesis 1 and the one day of Genesis 2 as a contradiction, but as two complementary accounts which have different emphases, but each with its own purpose and imagery. I realise you resolve this in a different way, but I mention it to illustrate that I am trying to read in a way that accepts what the text – and what God – is saying, to read more deeply and not to disprove.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Nope, nothing you yourself have written gave me the impression you did not believe. The warning was simply because you can see where not believing leads, based on the others on this blog.

            What I do not understand is why you try to make Genesis 1 and 2 contradictory. Still no examples of how you know it should be translated “in the day” (RSV) instead of “when” (KJV). I could probably find sources if I look it up online, or even look into what inspired the version in question to translate that way, but it would be nice to know what you personally read that convinced you. This alternate reading creates a contradiction which most translations do not include.

            2 Samuel 24:1—And again the anger of The LORD was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” (KJV)

            1 Chronicles 21:1—And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (KJV)

            Adam Clarke—“God could not be angry with David for numbering the people if he moved him to do it; but in the parallel place (1Ch 21:1) it is expressly said, Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”

            Albert Barns—“In 1Ch 21:1 the statement is, “and an adversary” (not “Satan,” as the King James Version, since there is no article prefixed, as in Job 1:6; 2:1, etc.) “stood up against Israel and moved David,” just as 1Ki 11:14, 1Ki 11:23, 1Ki 11:25 first Hadad, and then Rezon, is said to have been “an adversary” (Satan) to Solomon and to Israel. Hence, our text should be rendered, “For one moved David against them.” We are not told whose advice it was, but some one, who proved himself an enemy to the best interests of David and Israel, urged the king to number the people.”

            Companion Bible Notes—“He suffered him to be moved. By Hebrew idiom (and also by modern usage) a person is said to do that which he permits to be done. Here we have the historical fact. In 1Ch 21:1 we have the real fact from the Divine standpoint. Here the exoteric, in 1Ch 21 the esoteric.

            Thomas Coke basically merges all three above reconciliations into one explanation with still additional information. Basically, we should never point the finger at God and say He inspired error, but rather ask Him why two different renderings was inspired and how do they fit as one?

            PS—I can upload what Coke wrote, but he does it step-by-step and so it is pretty lengthy, which is why I did not in this post.

            EDIT: Here is an article of note that provides the evidence that “in the day” is the literal Hebrew phrase, but that “at the time when” is what is meant and that we in English would say. http://www.creationbc.org/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26view%3Darticle%26id%3D102%26Itemid%3D54

          • summers-lad

            Thanks for your explanation of the census one, and for the reason for your previous reply – appreciated.
            I accept I haven’t found the source (yet) for “the day” in Gen 2:4, but I don’t think I’m trying to make the chapters contradictory – as I said, taking the accounts together should lead to a deeper truth.
            Anyway, I’m happy that we have given each other food for thought, and that we are united in faith, even if not in all our opinions.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Absolutely, we’ll both see each other in Heaven, and that is the important thing!!!

            I added a link in my previous post to a page which discusses it and answers it. http://www.creationbc.org/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_content%26view%3Darticle%26id%3D102%26Itemid%3D54 According to this article by Richard Peachey, Hugh Ross is who has pronounced this translation of Genesis 2:4 to be the best because it proves the days of Genesis 1 are not literal. However, there is ample evidence to the contrary. Three quotations:

            “Ross seems not to recognize that in Genesis 2:4 we have a specialized use of the word yôm. The actual construction is beyôm, meaning “in (the) day (of),” or simply “when” (as it is correctly translated in the New International Version). The word “day” does not have its normal referent here; rather, it is part of an idiomatic phrase. Ross is therefore not correct to use Genesis 2:4 in his argument about the meaning of yôm in Genesis 1. I will establish this point by citing one comparable Bible passage, then quoting from several lexical entries and commentaries. (Ross should at very least have engaged this challenge to his argument. Since he did not do so, this leads me to suppose he may be unaware of this aspect of Hebrew scholarship.)” My Note: most other translations also use similar to the NIV, as you pointed out.

            “(a) Numbers 7:10 and 7:84 (both using beyôm) bookend the account of the offerings of the leaders of Israel, which undoubtedly took place during 12 “literal” (calendar) days (Numbers 7:12-83). This pattern is remarkably similar to Genesis 2:4 (which likewise uses beyôm) placed immediately after the seven days of the creation week in Genesis 1:1-2:3. From this we can conclude that the use of beyôm in a summarizing statement provides no evidence that the numbered days in the sequence being summarized are anything other than ordinary (normal-length) days.”

            “(g) “[on Genesis 2:4] In the day: This phrase does not signify specifically a day of twelve or twenty-four hours, just as the idiom . . . [literally, ‘in the hour that’] does not connote an hour of sixty minutes; the meaning, in each case, is — ‘at the time when’. Compare, for instance, Num. iii 1: IN THE DAY that the Lord spoke with Moses on Mount Sinai (actually, Moses remained on Mount Sinai forty days and forty nights); ibid. vii 84: This was the dedication-offering of the altar, IN THE DAY when it was anointed, at the hands of the princes of Israel, etc. (the offering of the sacrifices of the princes lasted twelve days); ii Sam. xxii 1 = Psa. xviii 1: IN THE DAY that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, etc. (obviously it was not in one day that the Lord delivered David from all his enemies); and so forth.” (Umberto Cassuto. 1978 [original: 1944). [trans. Israel Abrahams]. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis. Part 1. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University. pp. 99f.) [Note: Cassuto was a Jewish scholar.]”

          • David Evans

            You have a point there. The canopy need not be any particular fraction of the whole. But Creationist writers I have read usually regard the canopy as part of the explanation of where all that water came from, which implies that it’s a significant part of the total. The fountains of the abyss raise other problems. Where was that subterranean ocean (we have pretty good geophysical maps of the Earth’s crust by now)?. What force caused the contents of that subterranean ocean to suddenly come to the surface? And how hot was it? If it came from more than about 4 km down it would have been boiling, with obvious problems for the survival of sea life.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Don’t get me wrong, the water of the Ice Canopy was a significant amount, not a small amount by human standards. You need at least enough to do two things: A) cause enough pressure around the entire planet to produce an extra atmosphere of pressure, and B) rain for 40 days and 40 nights. That is what we know for sure, but this does not mean that of the total water seen planet-wide this water was a significant percentage. That is like comparing the Atlantic Ocean to the world’s largest swimming pool. No person could ever say the swimming pool is insignificant by how much water it has, but it is compared to the Atlantic Ocean.

            As for the abyss, we only have theories. We must remember the crustal destruction involved in the Noachian Flood. Dr. Steve Austin has worked out a theory for Flood Tectonics that has practically the entire original earth’s crust being sub-ducted into the mantel and new crust being formed on a planetary scale. He points to fault lines found in Alaska where the earth was sliding against itself at 8 feet per second, which is 16 feet per second both sides added together. He calls this Continental Sprint, which was actually originally developed long ago by a Christian at the same time as Charles Darwin published his book. Later Evolutionists found the theory and changed it to what we know as Continental Drift. You can see Dr. Steve Austin describe this at the below 2-part video, in total about 53 minutes.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH9je6jt5hk

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wq8_Kj2Kao

            The point is, under this Flood Model, we might never know where the subterranean ocean was, because the only means to scientifically study it is gone. But then again, that really was the whole point of the Deluge, wasn’t it? 2 Peter 3:6—“Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”

          • David Evans

            I’ll look at the videos when I can find the time.

            I’m always annoyed when everyone who disagrees with young-Earth creationism is described as an “evolutionist”. The modern discussion of continental drift (now more accurately called plate tectonics) starts with Alfred Wegener, a polar explorer, geophysicist and meteorologist. No connection with evolution.

            I presume the Christian you speak of was Ortelius. He apparently thought the Americas were “torn away from Europe and Africa … by earthquakes and floods”. All I can say is that the largest earthquakes in modern times hardly shift the continents by a foot. Earthquakes big enough to move a continent thousands of miles would surely have killed everyone on Earth (or, if they happened during the Flood, would certainly have sunk the Ark)

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Is not Evolutionism, either Atheistic or Theistic, the only alternative to Scientific Creationism?

            You are correct that the discussion of Plate Tectonics as we know today began with evolutionist Alfred Wegener, but he stole it from a Christian Catastrophist who published at the same time as Charles Darwin. The scientific name for his theory is “Catastrophic Plate Tectonics” or CPT.

            However, you are wrong about Abraham Ortelius because he lived many centuries before Darwin, so I did not mean him. Watch the video—both halves—and let me know your thoughts.

          • David Evans

            A quick reply. I presume your Christian inventor of CPT was Antonio Snider? Let me quote from the Institute for Creation Research article:

            “Large plumes originating near the core/mantle boundary expressed themselves at the surface as fissure eruptions and flood basalts. Flow induced in the mantle also produced rapid extension along linear belts throughout the sea floor and rapid horizontal displacement of continents. Upwelling magma jettisoned steam into the atmosphere causing intense global rain.”

            This is essentially a colossal volcano. Volcanic gases include large amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide. There would be global warming such as we have never dreamed of. Sulfur dioxide would acidify the seas, rivers and lakes, hydrogen sulfide is poisonous. I doubt any human would survive.

            Wegener did not “steal” that theory. If he knew of it he would have rejected it for the reasons I just gave and probably for others.

          • David Evans

            “Is not Evolutionism, either Atheistic or Theistic, the only alternative to Scientific Creationism?”

            I believe that to be true (though there are also a regrettable number of Unscientific Creationists) but that’s because I have the benefit of a century’s worth of evidence for evolution not available to Wegener. I don’t know his religious views and have no evidence that he thought about evolution at all. Not everyone is caught up in these battles.

          • David Evans

            I watched them. A number of thoughts:

            Snider could not publish in English because of Darwin? Really? I hardly think that Darwin was dominating the US literary scene in 1859 to the extent that Snider could not find a US publisher.

            When Genesis says the land was gathered together in one place, I assume that’s because the authors only knew about one continent, the one they were on.

            Austin shows mangled dinosaur fossils as evidence of a catastrophe. Yes, one of the ways you get fossils is in a catastrophic mudflow. But there are many fossils showing a non-catastrophic burial, with all the bones present, with fine detail such as feathers preserved and even eggs still in a nest.

            His computer model is pretty, but a model only gives the right answers if you put in the right parameters. What figure for the viscosity of rock did he put in, to get a rate of drift millions of times faster than the accepted value? Is such a value credible, and why did it change to the present much lower value?

            He says the Earth’s magnetic field switched several times during the Flood year. At present it switches (if at all) only once in several thousand years. The field is generated in the Earth’s inner core which he explicitly states did not take part in the Flood events. So what changed?

            His diagrams show the flood starting with a mega-tsunami. I wonder why the Ark didn’t just fall over.

            Most seriously, he says that mountains such as the Himalayas were formed during the Flood. But their shapes clearly show evidence of millions of years of erosion. This is, of course, just a small part of the great amount of evidence that the Earth is many millions of years old.

          • Just a minor correction. Genesis says that the waters were gathered into one place. This reflects the view of the world of peoples living along the Mediterranean. Land stretched in all directions, with the great Sea and other interconnected seas in the middle.

          • David Evans

            Thank you for the correction. The video says that “many people” interpreted the verse as meaning there was only one continent. I took it from there and didn’t think about the literal meaning of the verse as I should have.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Yes, some of your questions were answered to me when I saw the talk of Continental Sprint in-person because he had a lot longer to present it. What caused the reversals? Cold touching hot. You touch a hot magnet to something cold and it messes with the field. The cold crust of the earth colliding with the hot outer core messed with the magnetism.

            Why did the crustal movements slow down? Simple, the subterranean abyss ran out of water to fuel the erosion of the earth and the volcanoes were able to plug up the cracks and only erupt when provoked.

            Why the ark was not flipped over, the answer is likely in the things many Creationists no longer go with. I still go with the theory that 90% of the earth was solid land before the flood and all oceanic crust is none-original crust. Only continental crust is original, and then only that Granite base-rock. The ark could have been in the middle of the present-day Pacific Ocean. The rain from the Ice Canopy would have put water under the Ark before the wave hit, therefore lessening the blow. Also, the myriads of volcanoes would have slowed the wave and evaporated a lot of water. The point is, if you work with The Holy Bible to explain how something happened, you can reasonably work out how.

            And what of the evidence that at the current rate of erosion, all of the earth would be flat in millions of years? Millions of years of erosion is more than smoothing out some tall mountains. Thousands of years could do it just fine, with the right conditions.

          • David Evans

            “The cold crust of the earth colliding with the hot outer core messed with the magnetism.”

            The outer core starts 3000 km down. No part of the crust got anywhere near that region. let alone touched it.

            “And what of the evidence that at the current rate of erosion, all of the earth would be flat in millions of years?”

            Not sure that’s true, but in general erosion is counterbalanced by uplift at the edges of continental plates.

            “Thousands of years could do it just fine, with the right conditions.”

            People have been living near or on mountains for most of the few thousand years since the notional flood date. We have a pretty good idea of how fast they erode. The answer is: not very fast.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I’m going to answer a few select things from all of your recent posts in this upload, and leave the rest alone because no one is required to have all the answers. Evolution has unanswered holes and even impossibilities that could fit entire galaxies inside. Such as how gas can actually come together on its own in a complete vacuum, a scenario no one has been able to produce in a lab. Or how come we have glimpsed so far into the universe that we’re actually looking only a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang and we still see fully formed galaxies. So, just because I cannot answer all of your questions does not in any way demonstrate that what I believe is inferior to what you do.

            In terms of these mega craters, I actually believe the evidence supports an asteroid smashing the Canopy and then cracking the earth’s crust and starting the Noachian Flood. The Solar System supports such a disaster with all the pockmarks on the planets and moons.

            As for Georges Lemaitre, you yourself agreed that evolution is the only alternative to Creationism, either in its atheistic form or the numbers of theistic variations. When Georges Lemaitre “sort of” invented the Big Bang model, he was not thinking Biblically in the slightest. Seeing as he founded Cosmic Evolution, he was thinking like an evolutionist, so yes, I would call him an evolutionist. It doesn’t matter if he was a Catholic or not, what matters is how you are allowing your mind to think.

            In regards to plants surviving The Flood, it is common knowledge among those who truly understand how plants work that seeds will not begin growing until all requirements are met for the act of becoming a plant. Some plants will even protect their seeds until they can be given a chance at life, such as after a forest fire. To top that off, Noah probably brought a store of plant seeds and bulbs in preparation to keep them alive after The Flood. This would especially be useful in the survival of animals and mankind because of farming—agriculture.

            And talking about records that mankind has left us throughout history, why do you bring those up now in regards to erosion? You don’t believe the histories they record really happened, including The Sacred Scriptures.

          • David Evans

            In the same spirit I’m going to reply piecemeal, and possibly with some delay between the parts. I have other things to do. But one thing demands an immediate reply.

            “Evolution has unanswered holes and even impossibilities that could fit entire galaxies inside. Such as how gas can actually come together on its own in a complete vacuum, a scenario no one has been able to produce in a lab.”

            Point 1. Evolution, as I and almost everyone else uses the term, refers to the development of life. It is not about astronomy. If we intend something else we qualify it with another word, as in “stellar evolution”.

            Point 2. Large gas clouds can form and condense into stars because of their gravity which acts to pull them together. On that scale, gravity is the strongest force operating, much stronger than the pressure which would otherwise cause the gas to disperse. Gravity is an additive force – the larger the object, the greater its gravitational force at each point – while pressure is not. For the same reason any gas cloud we could produce in a lab would have more than enough pressure to overcome its own gravity and therefore would not condense. No-one would even bother to try the experiment – it wouldn’t make sense. This is elementary physics.

            We have a very complete theory of how gas clouds become stars, and we can see the process occurring in photos from the Hubble telescope and other instruments.

          • David Evans

            “In terms of these mega craters, I actually believe the evidence supports an asteroid smashing the Canopy and then cracking the earth’s crust and starting the Noachian Flood. The Solar System supports such a disaster with all the pockmarks on the planets and moons.”

            I’m glad you mentioned the Solar System evidence. There are about 60 craters of more than 200 km diameter on the Moon. The Earth, with its stronger gravity and greater size, must have had many more (most, of course, now hidden by erosion or plate subduction). That would be one such impact every few years between Creation and the Flood (clearly there haven’t been any since). Look at the expected effects of a single large impact here:

            http://users.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/climate.htm

            I quote:
            A global firestorm
            Day becomes night for months
            Freezing conditions away from coastlines (and the coast would of course be hit by tsunamis)
            Acid rain for years
            Mass extinctions of plants.

            And the Bible gives no hint of these events, which in any case would likely have wiped out the human race?

            That’s evidence against YEC in general. But your idea that an asteroid smashed the canopy adds another twist. Clearly the first such asteroid that hit the canopy would have smashed it. Therefore all the impacts must happen during the year or so of the Flood (before, and the Flood would have started earlier: after, and they would be in the historical record). No place on the Earth’s surface would escape destruction. For years afterwards conditions would be such that no plants could grow. Any survivors would have starved.

            Not to mention that your idea of an asteroid starting the Flood is inconsistent with the Steve Austin videos that I wasted my time sitting through.

            I have to wonder: do you have a consistent view of what happened, or are you just reaching for any idea that might solve a particular problem?

          • David Evans

            “In regards to plants surviving The Flood, it is common knowledge among those who truly understand how plants work that seeds will not begin growing until all requirements are met for the act of becoming a plant. Some plants will even protect their seeds until they can be given a chance at life, such as after a forest fire. To top that off, Noah probably brought a store of plant seeds and bulbs in preparation to keep them alive after The Flood. ”

            I agree, some seeds would survive, and Noah could have brought seeds and bulbs. The problem is that Austin’s 40,000 volcanoes (or the asteroid impacts if you prefer that hypothesis) would lead to darkness and freezing temperatures for years. During that time no plants would grow, and people would starve.

          • David Evans

            “And talking about records that mankind has left us throughout history, why do you bring those up now in regards to erosion? You don’t believe the histories they record really happened, including The Sacred Scriptures.”

            Sacred Scriptures, of course, tend to contradict each other. The Hindu scriptures talk of a day and night of Brahma as 8.6 billion years.

            The records I’m speaking of can be assigned to named and dated authors whose existence is independently attested. And no, I don’t count Moses as one such. I do count Livy as such (see below)

            As an example, this site http://www.livius.org/person/hannibal-3-barca/hannibal-in-the-alps/

            seems to show that the Alps were not very different 2200 years ago from the way they are now. Yet, if you are right, that is halfway back to the date they were formed.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay David_Evans, I have a question. If either I or someone else could give you a 100% viable model of the Pre-Flood world and how it was destroyed by The Flood and caused the modern Post-Flood environment, would you admit to the authority of The Holy Bible?

          • David Evans

            I cannot really imagine such a thing, since the evidence of several branches of science convinces me that the Flood did not happen. (I have mentioned some of the reasons here, but there are many more). It would be a major upset to my worldview and I’m not at all sure what I would do.

            I suppose I would then have to admit that some parts of the Bible showed scientific knowledge greater than I believed to be possible for the time it was written. Then I would have to consider several possibilities:

            1 Information handed down from a lost advanced culture, Atlantis or something similar.

            2 Information supplied by visiting aliens.

            3 Inspiration of those parts of the Bible by God.

            I have enough problems with other parts of the Bible, and with the God it portrays, that I wouldn’t immediately accept the Bible as having authority.

          • David Evans

            I have a similar question for you. There is a tradition in Islam that the Prophet Mohammed split the Moon in two. If our explorations found evidence that the Moon had actually split into two around the relevant time, would you become a Muslim? Would you feel the slightest inclination to do so?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I would have to answer no, for many reasons. For one, I could never follow a god who demands his religion to fight with any who do not agree with it, burn their books, and destroy historical artifacts. A god who gives you only one choice to know you get heaven, to die in a holy war for his cause. Why would I give up the loving Yahweh to follow the hateful Allah?

            For another, the difference between Christianity and all other religions, even Judaism to a degree, is that in Christianity God came to us to do what no human could ever do and no animal could ever atone for. Judaism awaited the time when Jesus would be born of a virgin but they still had to cover their sins. Now, they don’t need to, but most have rejected that. We do not need to cover our sins because they can be washed away. Why would I give up forgiveness for judgement?

          • David Evans

            I should probably not reply, because neither one of us is going to convince the other. But I feel I have to point out some facts about the loving Yahweh:

            He committed an almost total global genocide by means of the Flood.

            He several times commanded the Israelites to completely exterminate neighboring tribes (except for the virgin girls whom they were allowed to keep) and punished them when they were insufficiently thorough.

            He also commanded them to destroy idols (I’m not sure about scriptures, there were no books at the time)

            He plans for me and those like me to spend an eternity in Hell, as you pointed out.

            Allah is merciful to those who accept him, merciless to those who reject him. Not so different from Yahweh in that respect.

            Note: I am aware that in the present day the Islamic State and similar groups are doing much evil. Other Muslims say that the IS is misinterpreting their religion, and I have known Muslims who were fine and peaceful people. If I were to be convinced of the truth of Islam I would hope to be one of the latter.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Yes, God did commit genocide, but, in the long run, God prevented even greater bloodshed.

            Genesis 6:5—And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

            Genesis 15:16—But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

            God killed everyone in The Flood because mankind had not a spark of goodness in their hearts. What the Islamic State is doing is nothing in comparison to what was happening in the Pre-Flood world. If it is evil and it is done today, it was done then, and not by a few, not by the worst of us, but by each and every person. Had God not acted, Noah and his family would have had one of three outcomes:

            1) They would have lived and died a natural death, being the last good people around forever.
            2) They would have been murdered for their contrary beliefs in a wicked world.
            3) They would have slowly succumbed to the wickedness and became no better than those they lived amongst.

            God could not allow that to happen, and so He cleansed the Earth in water.

            Then God eliminated the peoples where Israel now occupies because they were getting to be just as bad. They had their own form of abortion, hundreds of thousands of innocent babies were being slaughtered. This death toll was going to continue, and even get worse. America now faces the same judgment for the millions we kill every year, and if this continues it will get worse, until the lives that God will save by eliminating us will be more numerous than those who would die.

            God is just and holds human life sacred, and He does not pull out the sword hastily or in vain. God gave the Pre-Flood world 120 years to repent and the Near East 400 years. God was patient, gave mankind a chance to redeem ourselves. We didn’t, so we died. God is still being patient with us, each of us as individuals. He lets you choose to accept or reject until you lay down for the last time to never get back up. Whence that happens, your choice is made. It is not God who chooses to send you to hell, it will be yourself. Hell was created for satan and the demons, mankind was never intended to be there.

            God is love, but He cannot allow sin in Heaven. In any Court of Law, no one expects a criminal to get off without a punishment, and any Judge who allows such is deemed unjust. It is not fair. So why would anyone expect God to judge any less justly?

          • David Evans

            We have come rather far from the original theme of this thread. I joined it simply to express and defend my view that the Biblical flood simply didn’t happen. I don’t think you have met most of my arguments on this point.

            I don’t really want to argue morality. I will ask:

            Why were the Israelites commanded to kill the boys but to take the girls captive?

            Why do you describe me as a sinner and a criminal? All you know of me is that I don’t believe your holy book, and I have given reasons for that.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            A lot of your questions, particularly about Dr. Austin’s lecture, is about geological things and I am not a geologist. You saw how to get ahold of Dr. Austin twice, once in each half. Write to him, see if he has answers to the problems you posed. My primary scientific interest is astronomy, so I can talk much easier on that basis, though I’m not an astronomer either. Yes, you touched on those matters some earlier and I didn’t answer, but mainly it’s because I’m tired of hearing the nebular hypothesis when in basic “elementary” physics we know it is impossible.

            And you likely know why I do. You’ve probably interacted with Christians enough, read The Holy Bible enough, and thought about your own life enough to know why. Do you ever drive your car faster than the posted speed-limit? That is breaking the law and since that law is not at all contrary to God’s Word it makes you guilty of not obeying the government God allowed to be in charge in our time and location.

            Do you ever lie? Do you ever disrespect your parents? Have you ever taken something that wasn’t yours? We both know you do not give God His rightful place in your heart so you do have idols. You are not perfect, and God is perfect. Only a forgiven imperfection can be overlooked, but your imperfections stand out in the open and filths your countenance.

            Romans 3:10—As it is written, “There is none righteous, no, not one:”

            Romans 3:23—For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

            Romans 6:23—For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

            John 3:17-20—For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth The Light, neither cometh to The Light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

          • David Evans

            I’m going to stick to the science from now on.

            “I’m tired of hearing the nebular hypothesis when in basic “elementary” physics we know it is impossible.”

            What is the elementary physics you refer to? Is it related to your earlier statement that gas cannot “come together on its own in a complete vacuum”? I addressed that, it can do so if gravity overcomes pressure, which is certainly true for the gas clouds that do in fact form into stars.

            I’m going to find out more about Dr. Austin. I don’t want to ask questions he may have already answered in other publications.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            There are already very detailed scientific rebuttals of the Nebular Hypothesis. Here is one from 2010: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/solar-system/origin-of-the-solar-system/. And for a good summary of major problems with the Nebular Hypothesis, look at this 1980 article: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/cosmology/pierre-simon-laplace-the-nebular-hypothesis/.

          • David Evans

            There is a lot there. I’ll comment in several parts as I have time to think about it.

            A general point: they spend a lot of time criticizing “evolutionists” for making uniformitarian assumptions and for ignoring Genesis. By “uniformitarian” they seem to mean “assuming that the laws of physics apply everywhere”. Well, yes, that’s how you do physics. If the evidence contradicts you you start looking for other laws. Again, it’s not the business of scientists to incorporate Genesis into their theories. If Genesis is true we will find out soon enough (unless God has rigged the evidence to make the universe appear old).

            Specific points:

            They say this about the Moon:

            “Using the known rate of recession we can use calculus to determine the recession rate in the alleged distant past when the moon was much closer to the earth. This is necessary because when the moon is closer, the tidal bulges (and consequently the recession rate) are much larger. When we do the math properly, we calculate that the moon would have been touching the earth 1.5 billion years ago and would have been pulled apart before that by earth’s gravity.”

            Wow, using calculus! I’m impressed! Unfortunately calculus alone won’t solve this problem. The size of the tidal bulges depends on how much resistance the continents offer to the tides. This will obviously be less when there is only one continent than it is now, so the recession will have been slower before the breakup of Pangaea than simple calculus would suggest. More detailed calculations, taking that into account, show that the problem doesn’t exist.

            Then they say:

            “One of the biggest problems with this explanation of the solar system is that the particles of dust must stick together, known as accretion, to form the planetesimals. The stardust particles that are supposed to have formed the solar system would have just bounced off one another. The particles in the rings of Saturn offer a model for what would have happened in the spinning disk of the young solar system. If the particles were moving faster, they would still bounce off of one another or explode as they collided with great force.”

            “would have just bounced off one another”? How do you know? Were you there? (to quote Ken Ham). In fact there is evidence of organic compounds in the interstellar material, which makes it quite credible that the particles are sticky. Saturn’s rings are not a good model because they are in Saturn’s gravitational field and subject to strong tidal effects.

            And another thing: the nebular hypothesis leads us to expect that stars younger than the Sun would sometimes be surrounded by disks of gas and dust, with irregularities which could be planets forming. (“Sometimes”, not always, because various things can prevent a disk from forming). WE CAN SEE THOSE DISKS!

            Sorry to shout, but I didn’t know how many had been seen until I Googled it and found this site http://www.circumstellardisks.org/ I find that exciting.

            Now if those disks have formed by naturalistic processes, Answers in Genesis is simply wrong. If they were created by God, you have to wonder why he would create things that look like solar systems in the process of formation, but if AiG is right will never be habitable.

            Of course we weren’t able to detect those disks in 1980, so I’m afraid your second link is somewhat out of date.

          • David Evans
          • David Evans

            I have replied twice to this, but my replies have apparently disappeared. Maybe they were too long. I shall try to reconstruct them, and this time save the text (always a good idea). These comments refer to the 2010 link.

            First, a general observation. They spend a lot of time criticizing “evolutionists” for making “uniformitarian” assumptions and for neglecting Genesis. “Uniformitarian” seems to mean “assuming that the laws of physics apply throughout space and time”. Well, what else is a scientist to do? That assumption has served us very well so far. If we find evidence against it, that will be the time to look for other explanations. Similarly, which bits of Genesis should we plug into our equations? Have any geologists found oil using a YEC model?

            Some particular points:

            They say “As the nebula collapses, the gases heat up and the nebula spins itself into a flattened disk. One major problem with this scenario is that as the gases are heated, the pressure increases. This pressure would tend to cause the nebula to expand and counteract the gravitational collapse.

            To counter this problem, it is suggested that some type of “shock” overcomes the gas pressure at just the right time.”

            and imply that there could be no such “shock” for the first generation of stars. They are missing the fact that a gas cloud which is hotter than its surroundings will radiate energy and so will gradually cool, allowing the gravitational collapse to proceed. Star formation at present is often triggered by shock waves, but they are not necessary.

            Then they say “The formation of our solar system is thought to be typical of other star systems in the universe. Around 5 billion years ago, an interstellar cloud of dust and gases began to collapse on itself as the force of gravity pulled the particles together. This scenario presents a problem. The force of gravity is pulling the particles together but other forces, like the pressure exerted by the gases in a balloon, are pushing the particles apart. Gravity is a relatively weak force, and this model has great difficulty in explaining how the stars and planets actually formed.”

            Actually they are wrong. Gravity is a long-range force – the gravity at any point in a gas cloud comes from every particle in the cloud, the bigger the cloud the stronger the gravity. Pressure is a local force. Whatever the pressure, it will be overcome by gravity if the cloud is big enough.

          • David Evans

            Part 2.

            Speaking of the fact that tidal interactions cause the Moon to recede from the Earth, they say:

            “Using the known rate of recession we can use calculus to determine the recession rate in the alleged distant past when the moon was much closer to the earth. This is necessary because when the moon is closer, the tidal bulges (and consequently the recession rate) are much larger. When we do the math properly, we calculate that the moon would have been touching the earth 1.5 billion years ago and would have been pulled apart before that by earth’s gravity.”

            Unfortunately calculus alone won’t solve this problem. The recession rate depends on how much resistance the continents offer the tides (if the Earth were a smooth frictionless sphere the tidal bulges would line up with the Moon and there would be no force to cause recession). That in turn depends on the shape, size and position of the continents. To do the calculation properly you need to know how the continents have moved over long periods. Not doing that invalidates their argument. For more detail see http://toarchive.org/faqs/moonrec.html

          • David Evans

            Part 3.

            They say :

            “The textbooks claim that the rocks from the earliest periods of the earth do not contain evidence of oxygen in the atmosphere. To the contrary, there is no evidence in the sedimentary rocks that an oxygen-free atmosphere has existed at any time during the span of geological history.”

            which would appear to be refuted by this

            http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/main/htmlversion/proterozoic4.html

          • David Evans

            Part 4.

            Their figure 3 is captioned “Formation of the Universe” but it actually shows the formation of the solar system. Not important, except as an instance of their general sloppiness.

            They say:

            “One of the biggest problems with this explanation of the solar system is that the particles of dust must stick together, known as accretion, to form the planetesimals. The stardust particles that are supposed to have formed the solar system would have just bounced off one another. The particles in the rings of Saturn offer a model for what would have happened in the spinning disk of the young solar system. If the particles were moving faster, they would still bounce off of one another or explode as they collided with great force.”

            Now, how do they know that particles would have “just bounced off one another”? Were they there? In fact there is much evidence of organic molecules in interstellar dust, making it highly probable that some of them would be sticky. The rings of Saturn are not a good model because they are deep in an intense gravitational field. In any case they range in size from 1 cm to 10 m so they have already done a lot of accreting.

          • David Evans

            Part 5.

            We have direct evidence for circumstellar disks of the kind envisioned by the nebular hypothesis. Here for instance:

            http://www.iflscience.com/space/forming-star-resembles-solar-systems-early-days

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART ONE (of 4)

            I always save my online interactions. Never know when the info will come in handy later on. However, no worries, all your comments are still available, they just likely got jumbled in Disqus’ weird way of laying them out. I will be comparing both of your responses when the same issues are dealt with in both renditions. Also, you have neglected the summery article of issues with the Nebular Hypothesis, I still expect you to deal with those.

            —–

            Q: “Have any geologists found oil using a Young Earth Creationist model?”

            A: While I do not know if any has been found using the YEC model, I do know some has been found using The Holy Bible, which YEC tries to stay literal to. Here is an article about The Biblical Clues which has led to oil being discovered in Israel: http://www.watchmanbiblestudy.com/Topics/Israel/OilInIsrael.html. So the answer is a resounding yes, a literal interpretation has found oil!

            —–

            Definition: “Uniformitarian—assuming that the laws of physics apply throughout space and time (everywhere).”

            This is actually not correct. Answers in Genesis actually means that method of believing what we see in the present dictates what has happened in the past. They are merely extending the definition from the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Uniformitarianism, in geology, the doctrine suggesting that Earth’s geologic processes acted in the same manner and with essentially the same intensity in the past as they do in the present and that such uniformity is sufficient to account for all geologic change.” In other words, that the universe has developed slowly over the course of gradual processes too slow for us to witness.

            Biblical Definition of Uniformitarianism: 2 Peter 3:3-7 (KJV)—Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His [Jesus Christ’s] coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by The Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

            —–

            Claim: “If Genesis is true we will find out soon enough (unless God has rigged the evidence to make the universe appear old).”

            There is not one person alive who actually knows what “old” looks like, because the evidence for old age is actually based on a young universe.

          • David Evans

            I can’t evaluate the Biblical prophecies about oil, but I will note that the Muslim countries in the Middle East have combined oil reserves 400 times greater than the recent discoveries in Israel. So as a mark of God’s special favour to Israel this is less than convincing.

            I agree that “uniformitarian” in geology often has the meaning AiG gives it (going back to authors such as Hutton, and applying specifically to Earth history). I don’t see that it is legitimate to extend that to the universe.

            When I say the universe appears old I am alluding to such things as uranium ores which contain the amount of lead to be expected if millions or billions of years have passed since they were molten (when any lead would have separated out). I have not seen an adequate YEC explanation of that (and I have tried, even writing to AiG and getting a reply that showed they didn’t understand my point)

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART TWO

            Quote: “Speaking of the fact that tidal interactions cause the Moon to recede from the Earth, they say: …Wow, using calculus! I’m impressed! Unfortunately calculus alone won’t solve this problem. The recession rate depends on how much resistance the continents offer the tides (if the Earth were a smooth frictionless sphere the tidal bulges would line up with the Moon and there would be no force to cause recession). That in turn depends on the shape, size and position of the continents. To do the calculation properly you need to know how the continents have moved over long periods. Not doing that invalidates their argument. For more detail see http://toarchive.org/faqs/moonrec.html”

            Article: “This paleontological evidence comes in the form of tidal rhythmites, also known as tidally laminated sediments. Rhythmites have been subjected to intense scrutiny over the last decade or so, and have returned strong results. Williams (1990) reports that 650 million years ago, the lunar rate of retreat was 1.95±0.29 cm/year, and that over the period from 2.5 billion to 650 million years ago, the mean recession rate was 1.27 cm/year. Williams reanalyzed the same data set later (Williams, 1997), showing a mean recession rate of 2.16 cm/year in the period between now and 650 million years ago. That these kinds of data are reliable is demonstrated by Archer (1996). There is also a very good review of the earlier paleontological evidence by Lambeck (1980, chapter 11, paleorotation)”

            Did you know that there is an easy explanation to why the tidally laminated sediments show different properties to tides in the past? The Bible describes the oceans being primarily under the crust originally, with only “seas” (Genesis 1:10, 22)—like the Mediterranean, Red, and Dead Seas—and plenty of rivers (Genesis 2:10, 13-14) on the surface. In a world where 90% of the earth’s surface is land, the tides would have been nearly non-existent.

            Then we are told of a Global Deluge which covered all of the “high hills” (Genesis 7:19) which are not as rugged or steep as mountains and so would cause less friction. During this period the tides would have been almost totally free to roam and would have lined up more with the moon, but due to the rotational friction would still have pulled on the moon. After which we have today’s present world. So you have slow, medium, and fast recession in the exact order as the Noachian Sediments! This did nothing to invalidate the YEC model.

            Plus, even if you add a billion years to this date based on the hypothesis presented in that article. That would be 2.5 billion years until the moon would touch the earth’s surface. The moon would still break apart long before that time because of earth’s stronger gravitational force. You’d be back down to around 1.5 billion years for the moon’s age. This doesn’t help at all in the long run.

            For a rebuttal from scientists, see the section “Tidal parameter adjustments fail to save a long lunar chronology” of the following article: http://creation.com/the-moons-recession-and-age

            —–

            Claim: “In fact, there is much evidence of organic molecules (compounds) in interstellar dust (material), making it highly probable (quite credible) that some of them (the particles) would be sticky.”

            Actually, what you are talking about is a lab experiment which has yet to be observed in the actual universe. See this rebuttal: https://answersingenesis.org/origin-of-life/prebiotic-nonsense/. There are no “Prebiotic Materials” in space to make things “sticky”. Also, space is extremely close to Absolute Zero, and all things which have a sticky property lose their stickiness as their temperature drops. Tape sticks very poorly outside during winter in temperate climates. I know, I’m a Wisconsinite.

          • David Evans

            My original point was simply that AiG claimed to show from the Moon’s recession that the Earth could not be 4.5 billion years old, and that their argument was flawed because it assumed no significant change in the distribution of the continents. Everyone knows (even creationists! see Steve Austin) that that assumption is wrong. They should not have put forward such an easily refuted argument.

            In detail: if we take 2 cm/year as a reasonable average of the quoted recession rates. the Moon would only have receded by 100,000 km (1/4 of its present distance) in the past 5 billion years. So when you say “even if you add a billion years to this date” you are being less than generous.

            Also, where do you get the idea that the Earth’s surface was 90% land? That contradicts Steve Austin’s image of Pangaea.

            I find your link from creation.com extremely annoying. They present the same flawed argument as AiG, and then write as if conventional theorists were desperately inventing “Tidal parameter adjustments” to save their timescale. Not so! The need for such adjustments is a necessary consequence of plate tectonics. Not to include them would be wrong.

            They add “From a creationist perspective, doubts exist about whether plate tectonics has occurred in the conventional sense.” Well, yes (though creationist Steve Austin presents evidence that they occurred). But from a creationist perspective there’s no need to have this argument in the first place. AiG is trying to show that the old-Earth perspective is wrong on its own assumptions, and it fails to do that.

          • David Evans

            No “Prebiotic Materials” in space? Are you sure?

            http://www.space.com/27262-space-dust-molecule-origins-of-life.html

            There are also acetone, ethylene glycol and benzene, which I remember from chemistry lab as being quite sticky:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_interstellar_and_circumstellar_molecules

            You see, I am not talking about the lab experiment described in AiG’s “rebuttal”. I am talking about actual observations of interstellar material.

            The temperature would not be Absolute Zero once the cloud had started contracting and heating up. In fact once the central star begins to shine there will be a wide range of temperatures in the space around it.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART THREE

            Claim: “The rings of Saturn are not a good model because they are deep in an intense gravitational field and subject to strong tidal effects. In any case, they range in size from 1 cm to 10 m so they have already done a lot of accreting.”

            So, gravity is needed in order for objects to accrete, but gravity destroys accretion? In other words, putting particles in a strong gravitational field will interfere with their accreting? Yet as a star forms and becomes a strong gravitational field distinct from the nebula, it does not interfere with the accreting? Plus, the rings are smashed moons, not particles accreting. They un-accreted catastrophically.

            —–

            Q: “Now, how do they know that particles would have “just bounced off one another”? Were they there? (To quote Ken Ham)”

            A: No, we were not there, none of us were, neither were you. So this does not plead your cause to the slightest. However, YEC’s are using what we observe here and now in their expectations of the past in regards to “accreting” objects in a cold vacuum.

            —–

            Links: http://www.circumstellardisks.org/ Catalog of Circumstellar Disks—Total number of disks: 170 (Pre-Main Sequence disks: 130, Debris Disks: 40), http://www.iflscience.com/space/forming-star-resembles-solar-systems-early-days the star HD 115600.

            There is one interesting thing of note about these two webpages, most of the objects around which these disks are located are stars. This fact is easily seen in their description where they almost exclusively equate the objects with the word “star”: http://www.circumstellardisks.org/description.php, and by the need to remove HD 115600’s light from the image in order to see the disk. Interestingly, HD 115600 isn’t even on the catalog. But, the fact that these are mostly stars specifically counters the whole assumption that these are forming solar systems. As soon as the star ignites, that is to say fusion begins, the nebula is blown away in a shockwave of solar wind. From that point on, the planets are completely done forming so far as mass is concerned, because there is very little mass left to accrete. Stephen Hawking attests to this in this animation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhy1fucSRQI.

            We should not be counting disks, but looking for disks without an object at their center. What we’ve found is not “the kind envisioned by the nebular hypothesis”.

            —–

            Claim: “Now if those disks have formed by naturalistic processes, Answers in Genesis is simply wrong. If they were created by God, you have to wonder why he would create things that look like solar systems in the process of formation, but will not be habitable for many millions of years.”

            No, God did not make stars that look like they have planetary systems forming around them. You are seeing what you want to see, not what actually is. These disks could just as easily have been formed the same way our Asteroid Belt was or Saturn’s Rings were, that by a pre-existing object being smashed to bits and leaving a ring/belt/disk behind.

          • David Evans

            “Plus, the rings are smashed moons, not particles accreting. They un-accreted catastrophically.”

            Score one for you. I didn’t do the research on that. Though I’m not sure why you believe it, since all such theories assume it happened billions of years ago. It would take longer than the YEC timescale for the rings to assume their present perfection after being formed by a collision.

            “So, gravity is needed in order for objects to accrete, but gravity destroys accretion?”

            To be precise, gravity is needed for a gas and dust cloud to become dense enough for accretion to be possible. What stops the ring particles from accreting further isn’t the absolute strength of Saturn’s gravity but its tidal gradient (I should have been more explicit there). This is an example of the Roche limit. The tidal gradient in gas clouds is much less because of their lower overall density.

            “Interestingly, HD 115600 isn’t even on the catalog.”

            That’s because HD 115600’s disk was discovered this year and the catalog was last updated in 2013.

            I’ll address the remaining points later.

          • David Evans

            The Hawking video does make it sound as if the nebula is blown away quickly, but doesn’t give a time. This account

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formation_and_evolution_of_the_Solar_System

            does give a timescale, namely

            “After between three and ten million years, the young Sun’s solar wind would have cleared away all the gas and dust in the protoplanetary disc, blowing it into interstellar space”

            Three to ten million years. That’s long enough that we should expect to see a few stars with disks, as we do.

            A disk or gas cloud that hasn’t yet formed a star isn’t going to be very visible, unless it happens to be illuminated by other nearby stars, or sillhouetted against brighter objects. There are many such objects in Hubble Space Telescope photos such as this one

            http://www.space.com/8750-star-nursery-photographed-vivid-colors.html

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Just a few things for the moment…

            First—you have not even attempted to answer this article: https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/cosmology/pierre-simon-laplace-the-nebular-hypothesis/.

            Second—you have not responded to Part 1 in any way.

            Third—you did the same with Part 4.

            Fourth—you used an invalid source, namely Wikipedia.

            I’ll respond properly only whence these have been corrected.

          • David Evans

            “I’ll respond properly only whence these have been corrected.”

            That’s a bit schoolmasterish. Except that a schoolmaster would have written “when” not “whence”

            “Fourth—you used an invalid source, namely Wikipedia.”

            I find Wikipedia quite reliable on matters of fact. More so than AiG anyway! The Wikipedia article I referred to gives 128 scholarly references. Unfortunately the one I need is behind a paywall. This source http://www2.astro.psu.edu/users/alex/astro497_8.pdf gives a time of 10 million years to disperse the disk, in agreement with my quote.

            You are right, I neglected to answer the 1980 AiG article. That was remiss of me. In my defence, we have discovered a lot since 1980 – we have observed circumstellar disks and dense gas clouds, also we know much more about the interstellar medium – and I thought it would have been superseded by the later article.

            Some of its material is in fact covered by my responses to that article. I’ll add some more comments here using their numbering scheme.

            1 The fact that some planets rotate counter to the rest of the system can be explained by the fact that the last stage of formation of a planet is likely to be impact and coalescence of a few very massive objects. If such an impact is off-centre it can easily reverse the rotation. The same applies to point 7.

            2 “Laplace assumed the original cloud existed and was spinning.” Well, yes. Laplace had no theory of how gas clouds could form. Any theory can only start with the knowledge of the time. We now know that because of the irregular gravitational field of the rotating Galaxy any gas cloud is likely to have some angular momentum. Its spin will increase as it contracts. The rare ones that don’t will presumably not form planetary systems.

            3 “All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.” This is simply false and they should have known it. A cloud will contract if it is massive enough to fulfil the Jeans criterion:

            http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/ojta/c2c/starbirth/recipe/criterion_tl.html

            James Jeans worked this out in 1902!

            4 I don’t know the details of Maxwell’s argument. I’ll try to find out.

            5 and 6 are basically the same issue – why is most of the angular momentum (not “energy of movement”) in the planets and not in the Sun. The answer is the same – transfer of angular momentum by magnetic fields. I know creationists claim to see flaws in this but I can’t cover everything!

            7 see 1

            8 Laplace might have been flaunting his atheism, but I think it more likely that it was part of his long engagement with Newton’s ideas. Newton thought that the planetary orbits were unstable gravitationally and so God would have to act at intervals to correct them. Laplace proved him wrong. In the same spirit Laplace would have felt that his model could run without divine intervention, just as even Christians now feel no need of “that hypothesis” to explain thunderstorms.

            Anyway, even an atheist can sometimes know more than a Christian on a particular topic, as I think St Augustine pointed out.

            More later

          • David Evans

            The 1980 article does not explain why Maxwell’s work on Saturn’s rings is in any way relevant to the nebular hypothesis. I literally don’t know what they intend. I can’t find any reference to his work on asteroids, so I don’t know how to take this part of the argument further.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART ONE (of 5 total)

            Firstly, a quote: “That’s a bit schoolmasterish.”

            Yes, it may be so and I am sorry. The reason is because I’ve seen from experience that unless you make sure a person at least attempts to counter everything, they will often ignore the hardest points and then pretend like they did deal with them. I am tired of that tactic and so I was not going to respond until you had at least answered something from everything.

            —–

            Question: “Score one for you. I didn’t do the research on that. Though I’m not sure why you believe it, since all such theories assume it happened billions of years ago. It would take longer than the YEC timescale for the rings [of Saturn] to assume their present perfection after being formed by a collision.”

            Why I believe it is because I know that when God created the universe it was perfect. The perfect shape, in an environment such as outer-space is, is a sphere. Any and every object out there that is not spherical in nature is not perfect. That means asteroids, comets, nebulae, and all relate objects, such as planetary rings, the Asteroid and Kuiper belts, stellar disks, Phobos and Deimos, etc. So despite the beauty and uniqueness of Saturn with its display, this is not how God intended it to look originally.

            In confirmation of this theory, Saturn’s rings are dissipating at approximately 100 kilometers every year: http://creation.com/the-age-and-fate-of-saturns-rings. At this rate of dispersion, they cannot be millions of years old. Therefore, all such theories do not assume billions of years.

            —–

            Claim: “To be precise, gravity is needed for a gas and dust cloud to become dense enough for accretion to be possible. What stops the ring particles from accreting further isn’t the absolute strength of Saturn’s gravity but its tidal gradient (I should have been more explicit there). This is an example of the Roche limit. The tidal gradient in gas clouds is much less because of their lower overall density.”

            What I originally said was: “So, gravity is needed in order for objects to accrete, but gravity destroys accretion? In other words, putting particles in a strong gravitational field will interfere with their accreting? Yet as a star forms and becomes a strong gravitational field distinct from the nebula, it does not interfere with the accreting?” You have not dealt with the “stellar tidal gradient” which grows as the cloud condenses.

            —–

            Claim: “I find your link from creation.com extremely annoying. They present the same flawed argument as AiG, and then write as if conventional theorists were desperately inventing “Tidal parameter adjustments” to save their timescale. Not so! The need for such adjustments is a necessary consequence of plate tectonics. Not to include them would be wrong.”

            They sourced all of their quotations. From what evolutionists have been saying, they have no clue as to why or how the tidal energy was less in the past than today. If the continents shifting was all you needed, you’d think the math would show that answer. Yet they still cannot come to a conclusion of how it happened. That sounds desperate to me. Simply desiring an old earth and trying to believe in one doesn’t come down to fact but faith.

            —–

            Claim: “They add “From a creationist perspective, doubts exist about whether plate tectonics has occurred in the conventional sense.” Well, yes (though creationist Steve Austin presents evidence that they occurred).”

            Dr. Steve Austin gave evidence of Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, not Conventional Plate Tectonics. There is a major difference between “Continental Sprint” and “Continental Drift”.

          • David Evans

            “The perfect shape, in an environment such as outer-space is, is a sphere”

            The natural shape for a planet which is rotating reasonably fast is an oblate spheroid – a flattened sphere. The degree of flattening is about 0.3% for the Earth and over 10% for Saturn. If God wanted Saturn to be a perfect sphere he would have to stop it rotating, or make it of some substance much more rigid than any known.

            “this is not how God intended it to look originally.”

            What went wrong? Not just for Saturn but for all the other things you mentioned (which have explanations in the standard theory)

            “Saturn’s rings are dissipating at approximately 100 kilometers every year”

            That number comes from the 1850’s, and most of the figures in your link are from ground-based observations. We have much better data now, from the Cassini spacecraft, which is said to be compatible with the rings being old: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/20/age-saturn-rings-cassini-study_n_5692698.html

            Sorry it’s not a scholarly source but at least it tells you what’s being said.

            “You have not dealt with the “stellar tidal gradient” which grows as the cloud condenses.”

            The stellar tide is greatest when the star is fully formed. It can prevent small objects accreting into larger ones only if the objects are inside the Roche limit. The Roche limit for the Sun is less than 2 million km and not surprisingly there are no planets there. Tidal forces are 30,000 times less at the distance of Mercury, which is why Mercury could form (and, obviously, much less for the other planets).

            “If the continents shifting was all you needed, you’d think the math would show that answer.” Math only gives an answer if you know the exact distribution of land and water throughout the period. Obviously we don’t know that. We do know that AiG’s initial assumption of constant tidal parameters is wrong, because we know that the distribution of land and water has changed significantly. Really that’s all I need to say. It’s AiG which is trying to prove that the scientific consensus is wrong. You can’t do that with an obviously flawed argument. If AiG has a better calculation, let’s see it.

            “There is a major difference between “Continental Sprint” and “Continental Drift”.” yes, but they both imply that the distribution of land and water was very different in the past, which is enough to invalidate AiG’s calculation.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            FIRST PART (of a total of 5)

            You are correct that Saint Augustine’s quote doesn’t say as you had initially remembered. But, you yourself have demonstrated that Dr. Steve Austin knows more about geology than you and have even admitted to times when I have known more than you on astronomy. Dr. Austin and I are both Christians and Creationists and have demonstrated that we are not ignorant to real facts. What causes us to be ridiculed is how we apply those facts, which is to The Holy Bible instead of evolution.

            —–

            “If that sounds like a confession of ignorance, so be it. There will always be things science doesn’t know.”

            Yes, it is that, but it sounds more like a confession of faith. You are proving that evolutionists have faith, and especially that you personally have faith. You have faith that one day science will master every problem in the evolutionary religion. I can tell you right now, though, that abiogenesis will never be proved to happen. Also, if any scientists create a new living thing in a laboratory from dead minerals, then that is again biogenesis because living people created a living thing. Abiogenesis requires not a glimpse of life in the process of forming first life.

            —–

            “If you recall, we got into the question of oil when I asked if YEC science had led to any oil finds (the point being that conventional geology, which you say is false, is continually being used to find oil).”

            Yes I remember, but I never said the science of geology is wrong, I said evolution is wrong, which says that Plate Tectonics take millions of years to happen. There is a difference between using geology to find items in the ground existing here and now—observable science—and using what we observe to try and piece the past together—historical science. Evolution is not finding the oil fields, geology is finding the oil fields. Geology is not evolution and is a science. Evolution is a matter of faith, which makes it a religion, same as Christianity requires faith. The difference is that Christianity is not blind.

            —–

            “No prophecy is needed, you could see it seeping from the ground in ancient times.”

            Many cases this is true. But, it sure is a mighty interesting coincidence that God would say there would be wealth under the ground for His Chosen People before said oil was found. And I don’t believe in coincidences, of any kind.

            —–

            “Hutton’s uniformitarianism was essentially a steady-state theory of the Earth. Extending it to the universe would lead to something like Hoyle’s steady-state theory which is ruled out by the evidence.”

            You answered my first question: Why not? But you didn’t answer my second: What would you call it?

          • David Evans

            I wrote “There will always be things science doesn’t know.” How do you get from there to “You have faith that one day science will master every problem in the evolutionary religion.”? I certainly don’t think that. What I do think, and why I’m bothering to continue this argument, is that we already know enough to rule out the YEC theory.

            “Geology is not evolution and is a science.” I’ll give you that. Furthermore, cosmology is not evolution and palaeontology is not evolution, which is why I get annoyed when YECs call everyone who disagrees with them “evolutionists” However, it was in 1788, long before Darwin, that the geologist James Hutton published his Theory of the Earth which claimed that the Earth must be much older than the Bible allowed for. And geologists routinely estimate the ages of rocks – by radiometric dating, by how long it takes sediments to form, etc – and get answers in the millions of years, with no reference to evolution. If YEC is right, the geologists are radically wrong about something at least, which makes it surprising that they are so good at finding oil.

            “Evolution is a matter of faith, which makes it a religion, same as Christianity requires faith.”

            The difference is that the amount of evidence for evolution is continually increasing. That needn’t have happened. The DNA evidence needn’t have been consistent with the evolutionary trees previously constructed from the fossil record, but it is. When evolutionists found Tiktaalik, an intermediate between fish and amphibians, in just the place and just the strata their theory told them to look, that needn’t have happened. And we don’t find counter-evidence – no dolphins in the same strata as the ichthyosaurs, no modern mammals among the dinosaurs, no flowering plants in the Carboniferous – though according to YEC all those species were present from Day 6.

          • David Evans

            “What would you call it?” I’m not sure it can be made coherent enough to deserve a name. But if it needs one, why not “Steady-state”? Hoyle has no patent on the term.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            SECOND PART (of 5)

            “As I’m sure you know, uranium decays to become lead on a known timescale, so measurements of the amount of lead in uranium ores can lead to an estimate of the time since they were molten. This estimate is around 4 billion years for the oldest rocks.”

            And you just made a major assumption. Are you telling me that the original samples had 100% uranium in them and 0% lead?

            —–

            “I pointed out that it would have to have been much higher (a million times or more) to reconcile the amount of lead with a YEC timescale. This has at least two problems: [heat and harmful effects]”

            Yes, I am aware of ICR’s (the Institute for Creation Research) R.A.T.E. Project (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth), which is a study of showing radioactive decay was faster in the past. You can find a list of articles relating to their discoveries here: http://www.icr.org/rate/. However just the first article seems to be good evidence, and it has been verified via lab testing: “Polonium Radiohalos: The Model for Their Formation Tested and Verified” by Dr. Andrew A. Snelling http://www.icr.org/article/2467/. This article is available for a free PDF download. A warning, though, it is VERY technical and seeing as I am not a geologist it goes over even my head. Heat and water are elements they take and use, however.

            —–

            “AiG had 3 possible answers: (1) God created the rocks with the lead already present. … [Which] is, of course, impossible to refute, except to ask “Why did he do it in such a way as to produce a consistent but false history for the Earth?” We have radiometric dates for all geological periods and they are always consistent with the geological ordering of the strata.”

            Not totally true, in many aspects. I’ll deal with three. A) We know scientifically that we nearly never find pure anything in nature, they’re usually in ores. Why should we assume any different for dating rocks? For all we know, the rocks had only 6,000 years more uranium in them than now. B) Only 0.4% of the entire earth’s surface is known to have all 10 layers of the “Geologic Periods”: west Nepal, west Bolivia, and central Poland. Even here, the periods are recognized as incomplete compared to other areas where the layers appear without all 10. If all 10 were to appear as in evolutionary diagrams, they would be 2.5 miles thick! C) The “Geologic Periods” are inverted, repeated, or inserted where they do not belong in multiple hundreds of locations around the world. Either the traditional dating schemes are wrong or in some parts of the world we are living in the Dinosaur age!

            For more, see points 3, 4, and 8 at the following link: http://www.icr.org/article/ten-misconceptions-about-geologic-column/ “Ten Misconceptions about the Geologic Column” by Dr. Steve Austin.

            —–

            “(2) All the decay happened during the Flood (and I suppose the water shielded the radiation). (3) All the decay happened in the first few days of creation, before there were living things to be harmed. … [Both] would mean the decay rate was higher than now by factors of 4 billion or even more. The rocks would not just have melted, they would have vaporized. And as before, the lead would have separated out. Again, the rocks today show no signs of that.”

            The heat and water are dealt with in the RATE Project article I sent you, and I am guessing you are correct about the water shielding Noah’s Ark from the radiation at least a mile below.

          • David Evans

            “And you just made a major assumption. Are you telling me that the original samples had 100% uranium in them and 0% lead?”

            I was oversimplifying, because the full story is much too long to discuss here. There are several different radiometric dating methods: here is a good survey:

            http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html#page 9

            It is often possible to check one method against another in the same stratum or even the same rock (because 2 isotopes of uranium decay separately to 2 different isotopes of lead). One reason for believing that uranium ores initially contain little or no lead is that ores believed on other grounds to be “young” contain little lead.

            Now, if all these concordant radiometric dates are false because the lead and other decay products were already there, we have to believe that God put them there in just the right amounts to produce several different lines of evidence for an old Earth. Why would he do that? I urge you to at least look at my link to see what I’m talking about.

            “We know scientifically that we nearly never find pure anything in nature, they’re usually in ores. Why should we assume any different for dating rocks?”

            Yes, it’s possible that lead could just be an impurity in uranium. But lead has 4 isotopes, lead-204, -206, -207, and -208. When they are found in non-radioactive rocks their proportions are fixed. When they are found in uranium ores the proportions of 206 and 207 are higher. It’s reasonable to assume that the excess is produced by the decay of uranium.

            I agree that it’s rare to find all 10 layers of the geological column in any one place. This is unsurprising on the old-Earth view because there has been time for some layers to be eroded away completely in some locations (the erosion rate depending on factors such as climate and whether the place was under water). But there are enough partial columns for us to compare radiometric with stratigraphic dates, see for example http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html#Circularity

            “The “Geologic Periods” are inverted, repeated, or inserted where they do not belong in multiple hundreds of locations around the world.”

            Geologists are not idiots. They notice when successions are inverted or inserted, if only because the order of fossils is reversed. If a stratum with fossil lions was radiometrically older than a stratum with fossil dinosaurs, that would wreck the whole old-Earth scheme of things, no matter how the rocks had been folded. But in fact you can usually tell when strata have been inverted, it happens when they are pushed together by plate tectonics. There are many places where it clearly hasn’t happened.

            More later.

          • David Evans

            The RATE article on polonium does agree with me that on their model the rate of decay would have to be billions of times higher than at present.* I don’t see anywhere in that article a consideration of what that amount of heat would do to the rocks.

            * In fact they aren’t even considering the oldest rocks. For those, it would have to be tens of billions.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            THIRD PART (of 5)

            On the topic of star formation, let us take this back to the beginning of what is needed. That link uses the Orion Nebula as an example, as have you. You have claimed, “Actually, the Orion Nebula is not “formed by the death of a star”. It [is] a gas cloud in a late stage of collapsing with stars already forming within it.” The only conclusion one can draw, that I know of, based on that is the Orion Nebula just came into existence from no cause and that the gas and dust was in a state of motionlessness.

            However, even evolutionists disagree with your claim: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-orion-nebula-s-origins-uncovered/. “Now a new imaging technique has revealed that this great nebula is just a small part of an enormous ring of dust stretching across hundreds of light-years. The discovery hints at the nebula’s origins: radiation and explosions of massive stars at the ring’s center may have blasted gas and dust outward until some of the material collapsed to give birth to the famous star creator.”

            This only leads to the conclusion I drew earlier, “The gas and dust is already moving at faster speeds than any manmade object has ever moved and in the WRONG direction! By the time the gravity had a chance to slow down the movements, because there is no friction in space to slow them down, the nebula would be so thinly dispersed that the gravity would no longer be binding.”

            How did the Orion Nebula begin collapsing under this devastating shockwave of movement caused it? This makes it no different than any other nebulae which you have freely admitted, “You are right that the much smaller nebulae which do form from dying stars are not likely to contract.” It cannot be both ways. Before any object can return to the point of origin, it must first stop and then change the direction of motion. As of yet, no article you have shown me has explained how to stop the expansion process, but merely begins with a static cloud that begins to condense.

            —–

            “Now I know that there are some good astrophysicists who are Christians (I worked with several). Why would not some of them have pointed this out, in the mathematical and physical detail which neither you nor I are capable of?”

            To be able to give you a thoughtful answer, I need to know another detail. Were these theistic evolutionist Christians or Scientific Creationist Christians?

            —–

            “Your AiG link is to a DVD. I do not propose to spend $12.99 on it.”

            I figured you wouldn’t, but it is the only source I know of to include the evidences that it does in the way it does. It disappoints me that no other Creationist decided to do this a long time ago.

            —–

            “This http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/supernova/#BM105 looks to me like a refutation of your link on exploding stars. In particular your link says there are no 3rd stage supernova remnants, my link refers to 7 such objects by name.”

            I will be honest that I do not know anything about these listed SNR’s. I have sent an inquiry to Answers in Genesis on the subject. As you likely know, they do not guarantee a response and advise that even if they do it could take three weeks. I will let you know what they say.

            —–

            “If this conversation does nothing else I’m grateful to it for reminding me how unreliable creation science websites are!”

            Or how unreliable you desire them to be. Remember, you are as much a man of faith as I am and evolutionism as much a religion as Christianity. Neither is science, but both use science to attempt to demonstrate their belief system.

          • David Evans

            About the Orion Nebula: I did not know about that link until you showed me. I am reluctant to attempt an explanation on such little evidence, but it seems likely to me that the Orion Nebula is where the expanding gas and dust ran into an already existing cloud, and the resulting compression caused one or both to collapse.

            By the way, this points up a difference between us. I should feel uneasy if I could not find at least the sketch of an explanation for any observed fact. However, If I asked you why the Orion Nebula was there, what could you say but “God willed it so”? An explanation which is the same whatever we observe, and therefore carries no new information.

            “As of yet, no article you have shown me has explained how to stop the expansion process”

            No-one thinks that nebulae which are supernova remnants can form new stars. That’s why there are no articles explaining how it could happen. Supernova remnants are only a small fraction of the nebulae in the Galaxy. There are plenty of others:

            http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1005/26milkyway/

            “Were these theistic evolutionist Christians or Scientific Creationist Christians?”

            I don’t know. Is it your implication that a theistic evolutionist Christian would suppress evidence tending to disprove scientific naturalism (i.e. evidence in favor of theism) if he had it? That would be a grave allegation. And my argument still stands even if only a few astrophysicists are YEC, since you think the arguments against the standard model are so obvious.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            FOURTH PART (of 5)

            “You don’t really address my claim 3. AiG says “All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.” That’s an unqualified statement and it’s falsified by the Jeans criterion which rests solidly on known physics. The fact that real-world gas clouds may be more complicated than the Jeans model does not affect this.”

            Actually, I had dealt with it, and have dealt with it again. The fact that all nebulae are SNR’s means that one must stop the gas and dust into a static state before the Jeans criterion even has a chance to be met. If you cannot even start the process then no later step is possible.

            —–

            “Maxwell’s work on Saturn does not apply to the nebular hypothesis for a simple reason – the Sun’s tidal force on the dust cloud is much less than Saturn’s tidal force on its rings. By my calculation, about 300 times weaker even at the distance of Mercury. Another way of saying this is that the rings are within Saturn’s Roche limit and Mercury is well outside the Sun’s Roche limit.”

            Okay, so in our Solar System the evolutionary hypotheses abound with attempted answers for things, but not yet so with exoplanets: http://creation.com/extrasolar-planets-problems-for-evolution.

            —–

            “This is not evidence that I do not want God to be real – you have no idea how I feel about that.”

            Alright then, fair enough statement. So, now is your chance. Explain to me what your feelings are in regards to a deity. This will help a whole lot in understanding why you take the stands that you do.

            —–

            “Show me the Bible verses that say the Earth was 90% land.”

            Way back when we were newly communicating, we had been discussing Genesis 7:11 and the “windows of heaven” and the “fountains of the great deep”. You know that I believe in a subterranean ocean from this verse, and an ice canopy over the earth. I had also pointed out we only see small seas of surface water in Genesis 1:10, & 22. If you have most of today’s ocean water under the crust and not on top of it, and we know God said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:” (Genesis 1:9) then this clearly means that most of the surface of the earth was continental. Dr. Steve Austin himself said that the oceanic crust is the same material as is the mantel. That means roughly 65% of the earth’s crust is mantel formed, therefore Noachian Flood formed, and only the continental granite-bedrock crust is original.

            The specifically referenced posts: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2040370890, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2059065348, https://disqus.com/home/discussion/exploringourmatrix2/genesis_1_fixed_it_for_you/#comment-2041348230.

            —–

            “”You have not dealt with the fact that based on Biblical history we’d expect no tides, then slow tides, then faster and faster tides.” Biblical history gives no support to the idea that the length of the day has changed – 6,000 years is far too short for tides to change the length by even a second. Fossil evidence that the year contained around 400 days in the past is strong evidence against YEC.”

            Okay, yes, this time I used the words slow and fast in reference to the tides, but you know what I meant. “So you have slow, medium, and fast recession in the exact order as the Noachian Sediments!” This is what I said originally, and it is in reference to how much the moon is receding from the earth based on tidal energy. For more detail see the second post liked above. Now answer this properly!

            —–

            “Fossil evidence that the year contained around 400 days in the past is strong evidence against YEC.”

            Say what now? The ancient astronomers had a 360 day year, which is shorter than today. Are you saying we had 400 days, then 360 days, then 365 days? How do we know about the 400 and what caused the change?

          • David Evans

            “The fact that all nebulae are SNR’s means that one must stop the gas and dust into a static state before the Jeans criterion even has a chance to be met.”

            Not all nebulae are SNRs Far from it. See my reply to Part Three, and also http://www.seasky.org/celestial-objects/nebulae.html

            In any case AiG’s statement that “All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.” is an absolute one. It is, as I said, falsified by the fact that “all known physics” tells us that gas clouds fulfilling a certain criterion can and will contract. It would be false even if there were no such clouds, just as “all known physics tells us tsunamis are impossible” would be false even if we lived in a place or time when there were no tsunamis. It would be false when it was made, even if the Jeans criterion were to be disproved by some future developement of physics.

            Will you at least admit that AiG has here made a statement which was literally false?

            “Okay, so in our Solar System the evolutionary hypotheses abound with attempted answers for things,”

            I have given you a rock-solid reason why AiG are wrong to say:

            “The Scottish physicist, Maxwell (1831–1879) demonstrated that even a fluid ring in space would not condense into space but form a ring, such as around Saturn, or a belt of planetoids as in the asteroid belt.”

            Namely (to repeat myself) that Saturn’s tidal force is sufficient to stop the ring particles condensing into moons, but the Sun’s tidal force is hundreds or thousands of times too weak to do the same for the cloud which became the planets.

            I won’t bother to look at your link until you admit, or find good reason to dispute, that AiG are wrong on this point and that I have given you more than an “attempted answer”

            More later

          • David Evans

            “Now answer this properly!”
            Point 1. You say that based on Biblical history we would expect no tides, then slow tides, then faster and faster tides. I accept that you meant no recession, then slow recession, then faster. But the article you referred to does not show any evidence for a period of no recession. “Evolutionists” are not surprised by this because they don’t think the world was ever 90% land. But you should be surprised by it.

            Point 2. The article that estimated the rate of recession did so in the standard model, where the rocks under consideration are millions to billions of years old. Why do you believe them in anything if they are so wrong about that? (This question crops up again and again when YECs quote orthodox scientists) For the observed changes in day length to happen in the YEC timescale would not be explainable by the tides or by anything else I can think of. They are evidence against YEC, even if you can find places where the Bible partly supports them.

            “Say what now?” I’m beginning to wonder if you really understand what we’ve been talking about. Let me lay it out for you.
            1 There was never a 360-day year. There may have been a time when people thought a year was 360 days, or used a 360 day calendar for convenience, but that’s all.
            2 The real length of the year hasn’t changed – the Earth’s momentum in its orbit around the Sun is too great to be affected by anything that has happened in its history. What has changed is the length of the day, through the tidal mechanisms we discussed.
            3 How do we know about the 400 days? in 2 ways:

            (a) The layered tidal sediments show varying deposition rates in a twice-daily cycle (the tides) and a monthly cycle (high vs low tides). Analysing them gives the number of days in a lunar month. That in turn gives the number of days in a year (not straightforwardly, because the length of the month changes in step with the length of the day, but it can be done) I can’t find a reference for this that isn’t behind a paywall, but that’s my understanding of it.
            (b) The shells of some fossil mollusks show layers, bands and ridges which are interpreted as daily, monthly and yearly variations (I suppose by comparison with similar modern mollusks where we can see the shells forming). Counting those gives the number of days per year directly.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            FIFTH PART (finale)

            “But I didn’t say “prebiotic”. I was not talking about the origin of life. I said “organic” and there certainly are organic molecules in space.”

            And what exactly is the difference between these two words? They both mean life, or pre-life, molecules. And honestly, no one would be making a fuss over molecules being in space that most life-forms have in their makeup if not for proving life can evolve from star stuff. So the question of abiogenesis is at the very foundation of these searches and the claims of finding them. But, as I said, ultimately it doesn’t matter what dead things you can or do find in the universe, you need to find how they can create life with only time and chance to govern them. An act of faith, as it now stands, and will forever stand.

            —–

            “”The perfect shape, in an environment such as outer-space is, is a sphere” The natural shape for a planet which is rotating reasonably fast is an oblate spheroid – a flattened sphere. The degree of flattening is about 0.3% for the Earth and over 10% for Saturn. If God wanted Saturn to be a perfect sphere he would have to stop it rotating, or make it of some substance much more rigid than any known.”

            Under your nebular hypothesis, planets would always be ovular, but I am not working under that assumption. I am working under that God made a perfect universe. Even a perfectly made sphere by human measurements would turn more oval in shape if spun and put in space. This is normal entropy. The energy to hold the spherical shape lessons over time and the shape degrades. It all started in Genesis 3. The ovular shape to planets does not mean this is how God created them, but is a result of sin and imperfection.

            —–

            “”Saturn’s rings are dissipating at approximately 100 kilometers every year” That number comes from the 1850’s, and most of the figures in your link are from ground-based observations. We have much better data now, from the Cassini spacecraft, which is said to be compatible with the rings being old: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/20/age-saturn-rings-cassini-study_n_5692698.html”

            So we cannot make accurate observations from the surface of the earth? Plus, that article is not in any way related to the dissipation of the rings but the polluting of the rings, which is something I had not heard of or considered before. However, you still need to deal with the observable proof that the rings could only have been formed on the order of 2,820 years ago, based on their current size and dissipation.

            —–

            “”There is a major difference between “Continental Sprint” and “Continental Drift”.” Yes, but they both imply that the distribution of land and water was very different in the past, which is enough to invalidate AiG’s calculation.”

            Possibly, but it does not disprove The Sacred Scripture’s depiction of no ocean, a global ocean, and then numerous oceans.

            —–

            In closing, I wish to point out that I may not be keeping going with this conversation for much longer. Some emotions seem to be coming through in places on both sides and a few insulting comments have been made, or at least felt insulting. If that continues then one cannot keep a real discussion going and it will turn into a slugging match. I am not interested in slugging matches. This is merely a heads up.

          • David Evans

            “And what exactly is the difference between these two words? They both mean life, or pre-life, molecules.”

            It’s a bit more subtle than that. I was taught that “organic chemistry” is the chemistry of molecules containing carbon with no implication that they are related to life. Dictionaries agree with me. On the other hand “organic molecule” is commonly defined as “A molecule of the kind normally found in living systems” so I suppose both meanings are current.

            “The ovular shape to planets does not mean this is how God created them, but is a result of sin and imperfection.”

            I really cannot get my head around that. Saturn is mostly fluid. If it was created spherical, but rotating at its present speed, it would become non-spherical immediately, and settle into its present form over a period of days. This is a prediction of classical mechanics and fluid dynamics, nothing to do with entropy and (in my view) nothing to do with sin.

            Why would God create a perfectly spherical planet, knowing that the laws of physics which he created would inevitably and very quickly (even before Adam and Eve sinned!) cause it to lose that shape?

            “So we cannot make accurate observations from the surface of the earth?” ”

            We can now, with the help of a great deal of computer power to compensate for the atmosphere’s variability. But I was understating the problem. Here’s where the “100 km per year” comes from (in your previous link):

            “In the 1960s, Alexander documented 350 years of widening in Saturn’s A and B rings. One of his sources was Otto Struve, who in the 1850s assessed observations from the previous two centuries, which indicated ring-spreading into Saturn at a rate of about 100 km per year”

            Get that? Struve is looking at observations from around 1650 (when telescopes were extremely primitive) to 1850. And it’s about the innermost ring, which is semi-transparent and hard to see at the best of times. I would expect the apparent width of that ring to increase over the period, just because better telescopes would show more of it.

            “However, you still need to deal with the observable proof that the rings could only have been formed on the order of 2,820 years ago, based on their current size and dissipation.”

            I have never seen such a proof, and I find it incredible. Babylonian astronomers were actually observing the planets for centuries before that, do you think they wouldn’t have noticed?

            “Possibly, but it does not disprove The Sacred Scripture’s depiction of no ocean, a global ocean, and then numerous oceans”

            My concern was not to disprove scripture on that point but to establish that AiG was wrong. My feeling is that when YECs want to contest a scientific point they go to one of a few sites, of which AiG is the most common. I think AiG is extremely unreliable on scientific matters and it pains me to see people being misled by it.

            I may have been somewhat insulting. I felt licensed to do that when you wrote of me (whom you do not know) “but your imperfections stand out in the open and filths your countenance.” That may be standard Christian rhetoric (though not among the Christians I know) but it still feels uncivil to me.

            I have also felt irritated at having to counter what I see as mostly invalid criticisms of orthodox science, while I was unable to convey (because of the sheer amount of it) the evidence in favor of orthodox science and against YEC. If we don’t speak anymore I would like to recommend some books.
            On evolution:
            “Why Evolution Is True” Jerry Coyne
            “Evolution: What The Fossils Say And Why It Matters” Donald R Prothero
            On geological time:
            “The Bible, Rocks And Time” Davis A Young and Ralph E Stearley.

            Coyne and Prothero have some harsh things to say about YECs but I’m afraid that goes with the territory.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Just a few closing notes.

            —–

            “I agree that it’s rare to find all 10 layers of the geological column in any one place. This is unsurprising on the old-Earth view because there has been time for some layers to be eroded away completely in some locations (the erosion rate depending on factors such as climate and whether the place was under water). But there are enough partial columns for us to compare radiometric with stratigraphic dates, see for example http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html#Circularity”

            This is the first time I’ve ever seen an argument of erosion from an evolutionist or an attempt to dispel the argument of circular reasoning. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of erosion between the geologic layers of rock. We are losing soil today, not gaining it. The Grand Canyon carves into every layer of rock beneath it, ending at the granite below in places. The canyon has to be younger than every layer it cuts into, yet evolution says it is very old. Also unfortunately, evolutionists do tamper with dates, they will work, re-work, and still re-work a radiometric date till it confirms what they want to see.

            —–

            “The RATE article on polonium does agree with me that on their model the rate of decay would have to be billions of times higher than at present. I don’t see anywhere in that article a consideration of what that amount of heat would do to the rocks.”

            Yes they do, it turned the rock into metamorphic: http://www.icr.org/article/2467/. This isn’t an answer for every radioactive decay in nature, nor every type of rock in which we find them, but it is a tested and verified method. While you may not be able to debunk it, the evidence still stands in stark contrast of evolution. It demands the evolutionist to take the rapid decay of this one isotope into account and begs one to ask if other isotopes were faster as well, just not scientifically proven yet.

            —–

            “No-one thinks that nebulae which are supernova remnants can form new stars. That’s why there are no articles explaining how it could happen. Supernova remnants are only a small fraction of the nebulae in the Galaxy. There are plenty of others: http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1005/26milkyway/”

            Yet that article still says that these star forming regions are all influenced by supernovae. “He postulates that ‘superbubbles’ blown into the interstellar gas by explosive supernovae in the star-forming regions sweep up the gas and transport it above the plane of the disc, like a supersonic lava lamp. Gradually these clouds, which contain all the debris and heavy elements (metals) spewed out by the supernovae, fall back onto the Milky Way’s disc.”

            You insist, “Not all nebulae are SNRs. Far from it. See my reply to Part Three, and also http://www.seasky.org/celestial-objects/nebulae.html” Yet that link neglects to tell where Emission, Reflective, Dark, and “Stellar Nursery” nebulae come from. You have yet to provide just a single example of a nebula which is not a Supernova Remnant (SNR). My explanation for nebulae is not, nor ever will be, “God willed it so”. My explanation is “a star died there”.

            —–

            “Will you at least admit that AiG has here made a statement which was literally false?”

            Not until you demonstrate that a nebulae can form in a static state, without any involvement of a supernova. If not, then one needs to still stop the expansion of gas and dust in order for it to begin forming stars, which you admit, “You are right that the much smaller nebulae which do form from dying stars are not likely to contract.” Remember, no friction in outer space.

            —–

            “Namely (to repeat myself) that Saturn’s tidal force is sufficient to stop the ring particles condensing into moons, but the Sun’s tidal force is hundreds or thousands of times too weak to do the same for the cloud which became the planets.

            “I won’t bother to look at your link until you admit, or find good reason to dispute, that AiG are wrong on this point and that I have given you more than an “attempted answer” ”

            Well, how about the fact that Saturn’s E-Ring is outside the Roche Limit? Or that Saturn has moons within the Roche Limit, normally called “Shepherd Moons”? https://www.astro.virginia.edu/class/skrutskie/astr121/notes/roche.html

            So now look at my link: http://creation.com/extrasolar-planets-problems-for-evolution.

            —–

            “I really cannot get my head around that. Saturn is mostly fluid. If it was created spherical, but rotating at its present speed, it would become non-spherical immediately, and settle into its present form over a period of days. This is a prediction of classical mechanics and fluid dynamics, nothing to do with entropy and (in my view) nothing to do with sin.

            “Why would God create a perfectly spherical planet, knowing that the laws of physics which he created would inevitably and very quickly (even before Adam and Eve sinned!) cause it to lose that shape?”

            Because you cannot comprehend a time before sin, nor can I. The laws did not function the same then. Entropy did not affect all things as it does now. We still digested food, but that is a transfer of energy, and would have happened with no wasted materials. What we did not need would still be expelled, but that would be needed for other creatures. In a universe without entropy degrading everything, Saturn would have held its shape perfectly. After God cursed the universe in Genesis 3:17-19, Saturn would have went to its present shape as rapidly as you stated.

            —–

            “Get that? Struve is looking at observations from around 1650 (when telescopes were extremely primitive) to 1850. And it’s about the innermost ring, which is semi-transparent and hard to see at the best of times. I would expect the apparent width of that ring to increase over the period, just because better telescopes would show more of it.”

            Then why have you not sent me a link to an article where the Voyager 1 and 2 or Cassini probes have shown the dissipation is not happening? Could not the thinning nearer the planet be evidence they are dissipating rapidly? What about the fact the particles are not uniform yet, but all jumbled together unevenly and jostling each other? If recent developments have disproven the dissipation rate, then prove it.

            —–

            “I may have been somewhat insulting. I felt licensed to do that when you wrote of me (whom you do not know) “but your imperfections stand out in the open and filths your countenance.” That may be standard Christian rhetoric (though not among the Christians I know) but it still feels uncivil to me.”

            I was not speaking from personal experience with you, I do not know what sins you have done or will do. But God knows. Is that not the only person who matters in this case? He is your Judge, and He will convict based on what His perfect 100/100 vision sees. Need a Defense Attorney? I recommend you request Jesus Christ, He doesn’t charge anything for His services. In fact, He is the only one available.

            1 Timothy 6:15—“Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;”

            ~~~~~

            An Ambassador and Herald for The King of kings

          • David Evans

            “Unfortunately, there is no evidence of erosion between the geologic layers of rock.”

            There is certainly evidence that erosion can remove whole layers in a particular location. Most obviously at sea cliffs where the beach is one kind of rock and the cliffs, which have been cut back by wave action, are partly or wholly of a different kind. This one is near me. http://education.gtj.org.uk/en/blowup1/26391

            “The canyon has to be younger than every layer it cuts into, yet evolution says it is very old.” “Evolution” appears to be saying that different parts of the canyon are of different ages – up to 70 million years according to http://www.nature.com/news/grand-canyon-is-not-so-ancient-1.14584 – but that the rocks themselves are much older still.

            “Also unfortunately, evolutionists do tamper with dates, they will work, re-work, and still re-work a radiometric date till it confirms what they want to see.”

            I would want to see evidence of that.

            “Yes they do, it turned the rock into metamorphic”

            For that to be credible they would have to calculate how much heat was released, and whether it was sufficient, too little or too much to produce those effects. I see no such calculation nor any reference to one.

            “Yet that article still says that these star forming regions are all influenced by supernovae.” Yes, it does. Clearly if a gas cloud is hit by the material outflowing from a supernova that can compress it and cause it to collapse, even if it wasn’t dense enough to collapse on its own. That’s very different from saying that a supernova remnant itself is at all likely to stop expanding and collapse into a star. I agree with you that that would be impossible.

            “You have yet to provide just a single example of a nebula which is not a Supernova Remnant (SNR).”

            I thought it was obvious that the example nebulae in the article – the Orion, Horsehead and Trifid nebulae – are not SNRs. If only because their masses are hundreds or thousands of solar masses, whereas a typical SNR is about 5 solar masses.

            “Not until you demonstrate that a nebulae can form in a static state, without any involvement of a supernova.”

            To recapitulate: the statement of AiG which I describe as literally false is this:

            “All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.”

            No mention of a nebula or a supernova, or even of astronomy. It’s a categorical statement about physics which is refuted by the Jeans calculation. I don’t know how to be any clearer.

            “Well, how about the fact that Saturn’s E-Ring is outside the Roche Limit? Or that Saturn has moons within the Roche Limit, normally called “Shepherd Moons”?”

            As your link points out, small moons (small enough that the strength of their material can resist the tidal stresses) can exist inside the Roche limit. The Roche limit strictly applies only to objects with no internal strength.

            Apparently the E ring was formed and is replenished by particles ejected from the moon Enceladus: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/moons/enceladus/enceladusfeedring/

            However, all that has nothing to do with the fact that when AiG writes

            “The Scottish physicist, Maxwell (1831–1879) demonstrated that even a fluid ring in space would not condense into space but form a ring, such as around Saturn, or a belt of planetoids as in the asteroid belt.”

            they are wrong on 2 separate counts.

            1 Maxwell’s demonstration applied specifically to Saturn, where the tidal forces are known and large. It does not apply to a typical star-forming cloud where, as I showed earlier, the tidal forces are very much less

            2 I can find no indication that Maxwell even thought about the asteroid belt.

            Your link about extrasolar planets is actually very interesting. I concede that there is much about them that is still not understood – partly, I guess, because they are at the edge of our ability to detect, so we just don’t have the information. It is difficult to understand why retrograde planetary orbits seem to be common out there.

            I have to say, though, that it’s also quite difficult to see why God, who desires perfection, should create so many systems with such an inelegant feature.

            More later.

          • David Evans

            “The laws did not function the same then. Entropy did not affect all things as it
            does now.”

            The 2nd Law of thermodynamics isn’t something you can switch on and off. It’s simply the mathematical laws of probability applied (via statistical mechanics) to the fact that the world is made of very large numbers of molecules which, unless they are firmly fixed in a solid, move essentially at random. I strongly suspect that a human body as we now have them would not function if that law were somehow suspended. Still less so if the laws of classical mechanics and fluid dynamics were changed as well.

            I’m curious, though. Has anyone with a respectable scientific background ever suggested that entropy didn’t operate before the Fall?

          • David Evans

            I don’t have a link to Voyager or Cassini observations relating to a possible contraction of the rings. But I have something more to the point, if the question is whether AiG was right. I Googled Struve in connection with Saturn’s rings to check my feeling that the observations possible at that time could not justify his conclusion. And I found this:

            http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1891MNRAS..51..251S

            So if Struve had been right, Saturn’s rings would have been touching the planet in 1976 (!). And a later study, using the same observations as Struve had done but adding some more recent ones, concluded that no change in the size of the rings had occurred since at least 1719. It makes no sense after that to quote Struve’s work as evidence for the age of the rings.

            AiG reported Struve accurately. But if they had asked any astronomer he/she would have found what I did, and told them. I’m getting the feeling that AiG’s modus operandi is to look for something that seems to confirm their position, and look no further.

            “If recent developments have disproven the dissipation rate, then prove it.”

            I don’t have to. It was already disproven more than a century ago.

          • David Evans

            I want to change direction a little here.

            The disagreement between us is that I think the history of Earth and the Solar System spans more than 4 billion years, most of which was before human history. You think it spans 6,000 years (maybe a bit more, I’m not sure) of which human history covers all but the first few days.

            Let’s look at just one line of events, asteroid impacts. Looking at this list

            http://www.passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/Diametersort.html

            and recalling that the Chicxulub impacting asteroid is thought to have been 10 km in diameter, I conclude that the Earth has been hit by at least 2 objects of about 10 km radius and about 5 of 5 km radius (“at least” because some evidence will have been covered up by plate tectonics)

            Now look at this table (for land impacts) http://users.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/climate.htm

            and this article (for ocean impacts) http://www.livescience.com/8825-asteroid-strike-force-humans-twilight-existence.html

            and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11539442

            Note: the second article describes impact of a 1 km object. A 5 or 10 km object would be much worse.

            And that’s not even considering evidence for much bigger impacts such as this: http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/05/asteroid-impacts-3-3-billion-years-ago-may-have-boiled-the-oceans/

            Now, when in the Biblical timescale could these impacts have occurred? I think it has to be during the Flood. Before, and global firestorms will kill essentially everything (and why no mention of them in the Bible?) After, and again there would have to be some mention in the Bible and secular histories.

            So Noah and his crew and animals come out into a world with damaging UV radiation, years of dark skies and freezing or near-freezing temperatures, acid rain, depleted fish stocks… Would they have survived?

            Not to mention that according to my last link the ocean would have been boiling. Fish, whales, dolphins…all extinct, and the Ark, to say the least, uncomfortably hot.

            Also, why would God arrange for all those impacts during the Flood? I could understand it if they were his mechanism for causing the Flood. But then at least some of them would have happened before the waters covered the Earth, and we have to ask why no-one noticed the global firestorms etc.

            Then you have to ask why some craters have been eroded so much as to be invisible from the ground, and others haven’t, if they all formed in the same year.

            This is just a small part of the problems when you try to squeeze 4 billion years of events into 6,000 years. I’m interested because some of the evidence is quite new and I don’t think AiG has invented any plausible answers yet. I could be wrong.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay I will accept the change of topic except on one two-part point.

            A) You still have not told me where supposedly non-SNR nebulae come from. A localized cloud in regards to the vastness of space means that to form it there must be a localized event. If not from the death of a star, what caused them?

            B) You have also not told me how to stop a particle of gas or dust without friction. So far you have not given me a single example of a “Stellar Nursery” which was not hit by a supernova’s shockwave. This means the nebula which was hit should be blown away from the center of the shockwave and keep on going.

            ~~~~~

            “The disagreement between us is that I think the history of Earth and the Solar System spans more than 4 billion years, most of which was before human history. You think it spans 6,000 years (maybe a bit more, I’m not sure) of which human history covers all but the first few days.”

            Yeah, that sums up the difference between us pretty well. And yes, just a tiny bit more. On September 20th at 6:00 PM the universe will turn 6,019 years old!

            —–

            “Now, when in the Biblical timescale could these impacts have occurred? I think it has to be during the Flood. Before, and global firestorms will kill essentially everything (and why no mention of them in the Bible?) After, and again there would have to be some mention in the Bible and secular histories.”

            Your answer to question one is what I would have said, the Noachian Flood year. It is also the basis for the answer in the following PDF, “How many impact craters should there be on the earth?” by Michael J. Oard https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j23_3/j23_3_61-69.pdf This is an excerpt from JOURNAL OF CREATION 23(3) 2009. I will quote here the Abstract:

            “The moon is the standard by which to estimate the number of craters on the earth. The number of craters greater than 30 km by evolutionary age categories is about 1,900. Scaling to the earth and considering the greater gravitational cross section results in 36,000 craters greater than 30 km. Based on very larger craters on the moon and Mars and the size frequency distribution on the moon extrapolated to the earth, about 100 craters greater than 1,000 km in diameter and a few up to 4,000 to 5,000 km in diameter should have occurred on Earth. This tremendous bombardment must have occurred very early in the Flood, tailing off during the rest of the Flood with a few post-Flood impacts. Such a bombardment would be adequate to initiate the Flood. The evidence for such an impact bombardment very likely can be found in the Precambrian igneous rocks and suggests that the Precambrian is early Flood.”

            I have read the article start to finish before uploading this post. It is very detailed and precise on its calculations at each and every step. This means a rather info-dump read, being that it is only 9 pages long.

            —–

            “Also, why would God arrange for all those impacts during the Flood? I could understand it if they were his mechanism for causing the Flood. But then at least some of them would have happened before the waters covered the Earth, and we have to ask why no-one noticed the global firestorms etc.”

            Your answer to the question is again what I would have said. It is also the basis for the answer in the preceding PDF.

            —–

            “So Noah and his crew and animals come out into a world with damaging UV radiation, years of dark skies and freezing or near-freezing temperatures, acid rain, depleted fish stocks… Would they have survived?”

            Fair questions, to which the PDF agrees. But, one thing at a time.

          • David Evans

            Re: your points (A) and (B)

            We have been talking as if star-forming nebulae were relatively small and isolated. I guess that’s because I started by criticizing AiG’s statement about “a cloud of gas in space”. But in the Galaxy as it now is, most nebulae are not truly isolated – they are mostly in the spiral arms where there are high concentrations of stars and other clouds. There are several mechanisms for triggering a cloud to collapse, this article http://www.atnf.csiro.au/outreach/education/senior/astrophysics/stellarevolution_formation.html gives a list under “Protostars”.

            The galaxy is much older than the Sun. There has been time for many generations of stars to form, run through their life cycle, die and eject material back into space to form new gas and dust clouds. So as of now that’s the answer to (A) “where do they come from?”

            That of course raises the questions “How do the first stars form in a galaxy?” and “How do galaxies form?” I don’t want to go there because my time is limited, and also because I don’t see why I should be required to explain the entire universe. There will always be things science doesn’t know, as opposed to religion which has an answer for everything.

            As for (B), there is, actually, friction (or rather, resistance) in the interstellar medium. There is also gravity (which AiG apparently didn’t know). Our intuitive understanding of how a gas cloud would behave comes from watching very small clouds whose own gravity is negligible. We cannot just apply that understanding to something billions of times more massive, we have to actually do the calculations – or, these days, the computer simulations. So if a cloud happens to be expanding it will eventually be stopped by the resistance of the surrounding medium, by its own gravity or by a combination.

            More later

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I will keep the Nebular Hypothesis discussion separate from the Impact Crater discussion now.

            —–

            “We have been talking as if star-forming nebulae were relatively small and isolated. I guess that’s because I started by criticizing AiG’s statement about “a cloud of gas in space”.”

            Yeah we have, because even you have said, “However when you say “nebulas are light years across, a non-localized mass.” you are being misleading. Even a gas cloud light-years across is localized if it is denser than its surroundings.”

            —–

            “The galaxy is much older than the Sun. There has been time for many generations of stars to form, run through their life cycle, die and eject material back into space to form new gas and dust clouds. So as of now that’s the answer to (A) “where do they come from?””

            This confirms my suspicion all this time: that all nebulae are Supernova Remnants (SNRs). They may not be in the clear form of a recent SNR, but they are nonetheless produced from star ejaculate. This means that they have all formed from a high-motion event, either an explosion or other violent method. All of a sudden the claim that “no SNR will ever form a star” becomes “only SNRs ever form new stars”.

            —–

            “As for (B), there is, actually, friction (or rather, resistance) in the interstellar medium. There is also gravity (which AiG apparently didn’t know). …So if a cloud happens to be expanding it will eventually be stopped by the resistance of the surrounding medium, by its own gravity, or by a combination.”

            Answers in Genesis does not deny gravity in space. The galaxy is bound together by it. They even use the gravitational maxima of the center of the universe as a possible answer to the distant starlight problem. https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/does-distant-starlight-prove-the-universe-is-old/ Gravity is not lost to them.

            In regards to a clouds own gravity, I have addressed this before, “The gas and dust is already moving at faster speeds than any manmade object has ever moved and in the WRONG direction! By the time the gravity had a chance to slow down the movements, because there is no friction in space to slow them down, the nebula would be so thinly dispersed that the gravity would no longer be binding.”

            In regards to the Interstellar Medium (ISM), this Creationist article confirms that it affects the expansion speed of SNRs: http://creation.com/the-cygnus-loop-a-case-study Their test subject is the Cygnus Loop. Their conclusion, with equations, is that the ISM has been vastly overestimated in its density and, therefore, resistance. The new data falls right in line with Biblical expectations—1,700 years old.

          • David Evans

            “This confirms my suspicion all this time: that all nebulae are Supernova Remnants (SNRs). They may not be in the clear form of a recent SNR, but they are nonetheless produced from star ejaculate.”

            The term SNR usually means the shell of gas resulting from a single supernova. That’s how all your sources and all my sources use it. It may be the case that all nebulae now are largely composed of material that was once in SNRs (though I think there is also likely to be some primordial material). That does not mean that “nebula” = “SNR” anymore than “snowdrift” = “snowflake”.

            When I said that “no SNR will ever form a star” I was following your correct argument that an SNR left to itself will never stop expanding and therefore will never contract. What I didn’t then spell out, and should have, was that the material of an SNR can and often will become part of a nebula which later (maybe very much later) forms one or more new stars.

            “Answers in Genesis does not deny gravity in space. … Gravity is not lost to them.”

            I was being snarky. It seems to me that if they really understood gravity they could not have written anything so mind-bendingly stupid as:

            “All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.”

            “The gas and dust is already moving at faster speeds than any manmade object has ever moved and in the WRONG direction!”

            That is true for a young supernova remnant. It’s not true for a supernova remnant (or part of one) which has run into and become part of a much larger cloud. By then they are subject to the gravity of the whole cloud, and have also dissipated most of their kinetic energy.

            “because there is no friction in space to slow them down,” Running into a gas cloud will certainly slow them down. Whether you call it friction or resistance is academic.

            I’ll think about your last link for a while.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I promised you that I would let you know what AiG wrote back to me, so, here is their response, and I quote (names removed):

            Thank you for writing to Answers in Genesis.

            Technically we never make this claim; it is one that was made by CMI, back in 1995 (first link), based on a paper by Davies in 1994, but they have since modified their stance (second link) and now state “no widely dispersed supernova remnants”.

            http://creation.com/exploding-stars-point-to-a-young-universe

            http://creation.com/exploring-cosmos-big-bang

            However, when you look at the definitions of SNR’s, I don’t see any necessary conflict with a young universe.

            Stages in the development of a Supernova remnant:

            A supernova records the death of a star. According to the current theoretical model, it goes through four separate stages:

            1. Stage 1: (a.k.a. the free expansion stage): The star explodes, leaving behind a supernova remnant (SNR). This stage lasts for about 90 to over 300 years. The resultant object reaches a diameter of about seven light-years. One light year is the distance that light travels during one year in a vacuum. This is approximately 5.87 million million miles – an enormous distance that is difficult for most people to conceive.

            2. Stage 2: (a.k.a. the adiabatic or Sedov stage): This stage starts at the end of the first stage and lasts from 100 years to 120,000 years.

            3. Stage 3: (a.k.a. Snowplough or Radiative phase): Again, this stage begins at the end of the second stage, and lasts “hundreds of thousands of years.”

            4. Stage 4: (a.k.a. Dispersal): Following stage 3, “what is left of the remnant dissipates into the” interstellar medium.”

            A YEC would (and does) claim that Stage 2’s exist and if the ones tagged as Stage 3 are properly labelled, they can still easily fit within a YEC timeframe. Stage 4’s are highly interpretive, and would be virtually indistinguishable from the interstellar medium, so how can they be proven to be Stage 4’s? They could just be areas with higher interstellar dust concentrations.

            Sincerely,

            Correspondence Staff
            Answers in Genesis
            PO Box 510
            Hebron, KY 41048

            http://www.answersingenesis.org

            Answers in Genesis is a non-profit, Christ-centered, non-denominational ministry dedicated to upholding the authority of Scripture from the very first verse!

          • David Evans

            I agree with AiG that the statistics of SNRs don’t show a necessary conflict with a young universe. But CMI argue (in both links) that these statistics do provide an argument against an old universe. I think they are wrong. I think they underestimate how faint and hard to see a really old SNR is. They don’t give a source for their expected SNR numbers, but their data derives from a paper by Keith Davies which this article seems to show is very seriously flawed: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/supernova/#BM10

          • AmbassadorHerald

            The article you linked me to on the YEC calculations for SNRs seems to be fair without knowing much on the math involved. However, from what I saw, they do not appear to take into account what was established in my latest response on SNRs: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2094887753 That being that each and every nebulae we see is in some way related to the death of stars—therefore SNRs. The article I provide in that post even shows how the rate of forming a super-large nebula is much more rapid than evolutionarily expected. Our knowledge has to be radically revamped with the new data.

          • David Evans

            The Cygnus Loop article is interesting. It may be that they are right and the object is much younger than at first thought. If true, that would remove one piece of evidence against YEC. But of course it’s not an argument for YEC – we always knew that some SNRs were young. My belief in a billions-of-years-old universe does not depend on how long it takes to form a nebula.

            One point: they suggest that there might have been two SNRs in the Cygnus Loop, the second being less than 1,000 years old. That would make it comparable in age to the Crab Nebula which was observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD. As it’s a quarter the distance to the Crab it’s surprising that it wasn’t observed.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Basically, what we have learned from the Cygnus Loop is that the ISM (Interstellar Medium) is most probably less dense than previously assumed. This casts into question everything we know about how SNRs expand, what the gas and dust will do after it is no longer visible, and what any and all nebulae will do. The resistance to expansion has been chopped down an extremely significant percent which means star formation has gotten that much more unlikely. Also, those seven Stage-3 SNRs are likely to be found to have formed about 6,000 years ago, just after the sin of Adam and Eve, using the newest calculations. The Nebular Hypothesis has taken a serious blow here in two ways, the other being if every nebula is only thousands of years old, much too young to form a single new star.

            As for the smaller secondary SNR in the Cygnus Loop, it is true it corresponds very close to the Crab Nebula observed by the Chinese. However, we must remember that the size and density of the star that went nova is also important. A small dwarf star would not be nearly as bright when it explodes. It may have added a new “ordinary” star luminescence to the sky, or not be noticeable at all.

          • David Evans

            It is possible that all the SNR ages need to be reassessed. That will still not justify your statement that “every nebula is thousands of years old” since most star-forming nebulae are not SNRs (they are much more massive for one thing)

            I’m feeling on the defensive again, so I thought I would present a few pieces of direct evidence against YEC. If I’ve posted these before I apologize – I’m find it very difficult to search through old posts.

            1 We can see objects much more than 6,000 light years away. Even this article in CMI https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j19_1/j19_1_97-106.pdf which argues that some features of the galactic center disprove the standard timetable, admits (as I think it would have to) that those features are 26,000 light years away. Other CMI articles admit that the Andromeda galaxy is over 2 million light years away, and that other galaxies are billions of light years away.

            I see two main possibilities

            (a) God created the light from those objects already on its way to us. In that case we are not seeing those objects at all, and some might question whether they are even there. Some of them we will never see before the end of our world. Which raises the question, why create them?

            (b) The speed of light was much, much greater in the past, and/or is much greater in the far reaches of space than it is here. That has other problems. The average speed of light inside our own galaxy would have to be at least 4 times what we measure here. But we make all sorts of detailed observations within our galaxy. We measure velocities assuming c is constant, which gives us one way of measuring the mass of extrasolar planets and binary stars. We can sometimes see eclipses, which gives us a second, independent way of measuring those masses. The measurements are never inconsistent by a factor of 4.

            (2) Light echoes. The light from a supernova flash will illuminate the surrounding medium in a region which grows at the speed of light. If we see this region grow, and know the distance to the object, it gives us a check on the speed of light near the object. Light echoes have been seen around several SNRs. Notably around SN1987A which is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and therefore is at a distance of about 164,000 light years. So, under hypothesis 1(b) above, the speed of light in its vicinity must be at least 27 times its value here. Needless to say, the observed light echoes don’t show that, in fact they fit well with the assumption that the speed of light is c there as well as here.

            http://www.eso.org/public/unitedkingdom/news/eso8802/

            3 Tidally interacting galaxies. We see many galaxies where long tails of stars stretch out towards a nearby galaxy. Their forms can be explained in detail (via computer simulations) as the result of gravitational tidal forces between the galaxies as they pass close to each other. The simulations show that the tails must take many millions of years to form (they certainly can’t form in 6,000 years, they would have to move faster than light to do so)

            http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Sept11/Duc/Duc6.html

            http://burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/dynamic.html

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Now for your most recent additions to the discussion in hopes of turning the tide back in your favor, this is a smart move but does not negate the evidence afore discussed. Nebulas are younger than has been assumed, and that will not go away easily.

            Now if my project over the 4th of July heats up too much, I will be dropping this discussion altogether. I cannot do everything, I am but a man. You already know my project, answering these questions http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/ To be honest, I was not going to do much of an answer to you at all, due to how hard I had been working on that. But you were insistent and so I decided to do at least one more round. Here goes.

            —–Distant Starlight

            Yes, the distance to stars and galaxies is a problem for Creationists, but also for evolutionists. It is called the “Horizon Problem” and is detailed here https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/does-distant-starlight-prove-the-universe-is-old/ in the section just before the Conclusion, “Light Travel-Time: A Self-Refuting Argument”. You cannot point the finger at Biblicists without accepting the same problem for secularists.

            That entire article deals with the assumptions one must make to calculate the speed of light. If I were to give an answer, I’d say the one-way speed of light is near instantaneous. Biblically we run into problems if we are not viewing the universe in real-time. As a result, calculations will not be off by a factor of four if light is the common denominator.

            The velocity and eclipse methods for calculating extrasolar planet masses are both based on light. If light is simply faster, both calculations will be off by the same factor. But honestly, I don’t see why it should mess up our calculations, it should actually improve them. We are watching the eclipse live or on a short delay, maybe a week or month max. So the thing we see is pretty much what you get.

            —–Light Speed

            As for the speed of light being seen as the same both here and in the far reaches of space, the two-way speed may be different. As we know, when a moving object hits another object, momentum is lost, speed is lost, and the object moves at a slower rate. Why should light be different? When the light illuminates something, it means it hit it and the redirected light is reaching our eyes.

            Mainly, when we measure the speed of light, it is 100% of the time the two-way speed. Light from point ‘A’, goes to point ‘B’, and then to either point ‘A’ again or point ‘C’, in this case earth. It’s impossible to measure the one-directional speed of light unless you can synchronize your clocks, which we use light to do, so it defeats the purpose. Light from said supernova reaches us instantly, but the light bouncing off the ISM is being slowed and reaches us later.

            —–Dancing Galaxies

            This last one about galaxies which are interacting with each other are harder to deal with, but not impossible. This article discusses that time could be being dilated, or slowed down near earth https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j19_3/j19_3_91-95.pdf If this is the case, then galaxies are actually moving much faster than we think, just not in velocity but in time, which as a whole is faster out there than here. They are not moving faster than light, because time is what is faster, not light. Light being near instant one-way, but slowed on two-way. This would mess up our speed calculations.

            I know, all three are working on assumptions to get the universe down to 6,000 years, but as shown, so does evolution on the same exact things they wave in our face. They can’t just accept the supposed long ages of time and leave it at appearances. We’re all in this together, just Creationists have to work harder because secularists breathe down our necks and ignore their own problems.

          • David Evans

            That paper by Oard is excellent. He has gone into much more detail than I did and seems to have thought of all the issues. He also admits what he does not know, which is refreshing. I shall have to think more about this.

          • David Evans

            PS I’ve done some arithmetic based on Oard’s estimate of 100 craters greater than 1,000 km in diameter and “a few” up to 4,000 – 5,000 km in diameter. I used this site

            http://www.convertalot.com/asteroid_impact_calculator.html

            to get a feel for the kinetic energy needed to create the craters. It became clear that the few largest impacts needed more energy than all the others put together, so I assumed 4 craters of 3,000 km diameter and got a kinetic energy of about 4 x (10 to the power 29) Joules. That’s about (10 to the power 26) Kilocalories, and I believe the energy needed to bring the Earth’s oceans to boiling point is about 1/1000 of this. So I would say there is a problem with this model.
            I find it hard to believe that with an ocean impact, less than 1/1000 of the energy would go into the ocean. Mostly, of course, as energy of water movement, but that would soon degrade into heat.
            Energy that went into splitting and heating the rocks would also end up in the ocean as it flowed over the rocks. Not to mention the heat of the magma.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Yes, I agree, there are issues that need to be resolved. I could have told you that after reading the Abstract. Its mind staggering! But, as you pointed out, the article makes no apologies for what it reveals and offers it to further study. This is not a complete model.

            Encyclopedia Britannica—“Scientific modeling, the generation of a physical, conceptual, or mathematical representation of a real phenomenon that is difficult to observe directly. Scientific models are used to explain and predict the behaviour of real objects or systems and are used in a variety of scientific disciplines, ranging from physics and chemistry to ecology and the Earth sciences. Although modeling is a central component of modern science, scientific models at best are approximations of the objects and systems that they represent—they are not exact replicas. Thus, scientists constantly are working to improve and refine models.”

            Merriam-Webster—“a set of ideas and numbers that describe the past, present, or future state of something (such as an economy or a business).”

            Technically, from these definitions, one could call it a model as you did, but the article’s goal was not really to build a model. It was asking a simple question of how many. It did start a model, by arguing for a period of 12 days, but that was offered from library research, not new tests. So, we’ll see what happens.

            —–

            The article asked, “It is to be expected that God protected the ark from asteroid impacts, but why does the Bible not directly mention impacts?” You asked the same, “why no mention of them in the Bible?” I have been working on an answer. Here are three verses quoted with James Strong’s Concordance reference numbers.

            Genesis 7:4—“For yet seven days, and I [Yahweh] will cause it to rain [4305: matar] upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

            Genesis 7:12—“And the rain [1653: geshem] was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”

            Genesis 7:17—“And the flood [3999: mabbuwl] was forty days upon the earth; and the waters [4325: mayim] increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.”

            Number 4305 in Genesis 7:4 is more often qualified with items other than water. Genesis 19:24 speaks of it raining fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah from outer space. Exodus 9:18 & 23 speaks of it raining hail on Egypt during the plagues. Exodus 16:4 speaks of it raining bread for food for Israel during the 40 years of wondering, which was named Manna. Psalm 11:6 speaks of it raining snares. The list goes on.

            Only twice is 4305 known to be used in reference to water. Isaiah 5:6 where it is used with 4306 and Amos 4:7 where it is used with 1653, the word in Genesis 7:12. This word always seems to mean rainwater, though it is used with snow once, hail thrice, fire twice, and brimstone once in Psalm 105:2, Isaiah 55:10, Ezekiel 13:11, and 38:22. That list does not include Genesis 8:2 where it is used with the “windows of heaven” and the “fountains of the great deep” from 7:11.

            Number 3999 means a deluge and is always used in reference to the Noachian Flood, the one possible exception is Psalm 29:10 but it too is likely speaking of Genesis since this word is only elsewhere used in Genesis. Number 4325 is as translated, water, and is used 582 times in The Holy Bible. Seeing as so many words here, even “sluices of heaven”, mean water from the sky, it was logical to interpret Genesis 7:4 as water rain.

            However, this does not take into account that it rarely means water but instead abundant physical objects. Considering we know that either all caters took millions of years or only a few days, this word should probably be interpreted as a Meteor Shower. Seeing as this fits with the word’s common usage and matches the data from Michael J. Oard, this is where The Sacred Scriptures speak about this impact bombardment.

          • David Evans

            I accept that some of those words would sometimes have meant something other than H2O, just as our similar words do. Also it would be quite credible that Noah and his crew had the hatches firmly shut and simply didn’t look outside – I don’t think they had glass windows in those days.
            Like you I shall be interested to see if anyone takes this model further. I might even write to him! though I have had no reply from Steve Austin as yet.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Agreed on everything you said! And fortunately, there is more development!

            I have discovered a Letter to the Editor about the article on impacts to the earth, to which Michael Oard has given a response in JOURNAL OF CREATION 24(1) 2010! Here is the link: https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j24_1/j24_1_48-49.pdf The questions raised are dealt with in part. Dr. Steve Austin’s “Catastrophic Plate Tectonics” is even discussed briefly, called CPT for short. Various other Bible passages are also taken into consideration. A good continuation, I’d say.

            I have also found this follow-up article by Michael J. Oard in JOURNAL OF CREATION 26(2) 2012: http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j26_2/j26_2_73-81.pdf “An impact Flood submodel—dealing with issues”. He even describes what his next paper is going to be on in developing this theory. Plus, there is this Letter to the Editor response in JOURNAL OF CREATION 26(3) 2012: http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j26_3/j26_3_45-46.pdf

            Furthermore, I have found this article, “Impacts and Noah’s Flood—how many and other issues” by Wayne Spencer in JOURNAL OF CREATION 27(1) 2013: http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j27_1/j27_1_85-89.pdf This is in direct response to Michael Oard’s work, and is the first reference to the Acid Rain that you spoke of in your opening comment on the issue. I submit these for further reading. I have read all of them myself before uploading.

            I am sorry Dr. Austin has not responded. He is an active field geologist. He is also well-known in the secular world and gives lectures around the world to the top minds of today. He also speaks for Creationists throughout the USA, if not more. He is also known as the “5 Million Dollar Man”, if I remember correctly, because he is rich. As a result, he may not be able to respond to you. On his agenda, you and I (yes he has not responded to past e-mails from me either) are tiny. Michael Oard is most probably much less busy, so could respond to you.

          • David Evans

            I am less impressed with Michael Oard’s arguments than I was. Don’t get me wrong – I admire him for the amount of work he has put in and for being prepared to face the problems with his theory. However his answer to the problems that I and others have raised is that God “likely orchestrated the catastrophe” so as to avoid the oceans boiling, the Ark being sunk by a direct hit or a tsunami, or the Earth’s surface melting. This would not just mean diverting some of the asteroids. The craters we do know about are such that, if they were caused by normal impacts, the Earth would have been cold and dark for years after. He would have to tweak the effects of each impact.

            Of course God can do whatever he likes. But it seems odd to praise Him for the way in which the planetary orbits run without His intervention, and then suppose that He chooses, for the production of the Flood, a mechanism which requires Him to intervene in great detail to avoid overdoing it.

            There is another problem if all the impacts occur in the Flood year. The probability of a randomly moving asteroid hitting the Earth on any one pass through the inner solar system is very low. My rough estimate is 1 in a billion. Since an Earth-crossing asteroid can hardly orbit in much less than a year, any asteroid that hit the Earth must have done so on its very first try. But then, what happened to all the ones that missed? They must still be out there, and there are so many of them that we should still have regular large impacts. Also, we are now looking quite diligently for Earth-crossing asteroids. We should be seeing many more.

            One answer is, of course, that they were not randomly moving – that he aimed them precisely at the Earth. But then, for Heaven’s sake, why did he also aim precisely at the Moon, Mercury, Mars and in fact, as Oard says, all the solid bodies of the solar system? What reason can He have for leaving a cratering record whose most natural interpretation is heavy asteroid bombardments occurring before there were any humans to notice them? If, that is, all he needed them for was to flood the Earth.

            More later

          • AmbassadorHerald

            A PROPOSED SCINARIO (Part 1)

            “I am less impressed with Michael Oard’s arguments than I was. Don’t get me wrong – I admire him for the amount of work he has put in and for being prepared to face the problems with his theory. However his answer to the problems that I and others have raised is that God “likely orchestrated the catastrophe” ”

            Honestly, your objection to this was anticipated. In the second Letter to the Editor (the one in response to his article “dealing with issues”) Michael J. Oard says:

            “[Rod Bernitt’s] first concern is that that evolutionists and old agers would use this information [miracles] to claim biblical earth history is wrong. But critics of the Bible have already used this argument, and I am sure they will use it even more now that I have published on this issue. I think we creationists must realize that it is really a worldview issue. Critics will always find objections, even if we solve all mysteries. They seem to have a problem with God himself even existing or acting in nature and being able to accurately record biblical earth history in His Word.”

            So basically, your objection is that you deny the use of The Holy Bible in scientific endeavors and models of the past. Yet there is no reason to kick The Bible out. Therefore, to use Scripture passages like Genesis 6:17, 8:1, Psalms 29:10, and 104:6-9 to demonstrate that God had complete control is extremely fair. Especially in an event that secularists, including you, do not accept as real. What right do our enemies have to tell us how to conduct our Biblical studies when they don’t agree with The Bible anyways?

            On the other hand, Oard does state that “as creationists we do not invoke miracles lightly” and that is true. Creationists are often the most science-oriented Christians, because we have to be. In order to trust in God’s Word we must be able to defend ourselves from what we are bombarded with on all sides about earth’s “naturalistic origins”. People attack our faith the hardest because we are the “flat earthers” who are “stuck in the past” and so we must be able to answer how those accusations are not truthful. As a result, we enjoy finding the processes which God put in place and used to accomplish His will in history.

            I hereby propose the following as a possible reconciliation between too much destruction and the Noachian Deluge recorded in The Sacred Scriptures.

            Oard argues for an extra-solar asteroid cluster that traveled through our Solar System much like a hurricane over a small island. This cluster has since past and should be at least 1,000 AUs (Astronomical Units) away. An AU is the mean distance from the center of the Earth to the center of Sol (the sun) and is 149,597,870,700 meters according to the 2012 definition of the International Astronomical Union. Roughly speaking, this is 149,597,870,700 km (the meters x 1,000). Pluto is only 5,906,380,000 km away from Sol, or 39.482 AUs. This means that the cluster is roughly 25.327 times more distant than Pluto, which means that Oard’s observation is correct, “[This is] too far to be detected by telescopes or cause the stars to twinkle.”

            As is common knowledge among just about every American, planets orbit the sun. The positioning of the planets at the time of the cluster’s encounter with the Solar System would be critical, as would their size, atmospheric density, mass, and so on.

            I believe that the Asteroid Belt, called the Planetary Belt by my father, was a planet before this destruction occurred. (The impact model put forward by Oard has been in our mind since I was but a young lad but we could not build it up in sufficient detail without the proper tools.) Bode’s Law predicted the Planetary Belt’s location and initiated its discovery in the early 1800’s. What most Creationists and other scientists often forget is that in a planetary breakup, especially catastrophic, much of the material is blasted out of the original orbit. Some is swallowed by Sol, a limited amount is shot out of the Solar System, and most is shifted into new orbits. When calculating the planet’s original size and mass, we need to take the Planetary Belt, inner-system planetoids (asteroids), and outer-system planetoids into account, plus the ones lost forever.

            As is easy to figure out, Sol would have been hit by more of the cluster than all the planets together, including the dead one between Mars and Jupiter, with all of their moons. If we assume the dead planet was in front of Sol, as in would be reached by the cluster first, then it was given the full punishment of what was possible in this catastrophe. Mercury, Venus, and Mars could have been at varying degrees behind Sol, and therefore missed being hit by the most massive impactors and avoided being smashed to smithereens like their unfortunate companion. The outer planets need not have the same fear and could have been at degrees in front of Sol. All of them have rings, which is evidence of smashed moons. However most of the moons would have been protected from the larger impactors by their planet’s massiveness.

            Under this scenario, if we assume that the Earth was in Sol’s shadow, as in directly behind Sol, then we would have been hit the least. Yes, our Moon still predicted very reasonably the amount of expected craters on Mars before the laser mapping in 2010. And yes, Mercury still resembles the Moon it its amount of craters. This is a catch, to be sure. However, if we place the Earth just inside Sol’s shadow, as in having just moved behind or just about to come out from behind, the Moon could easily be sticking outside Sol’s shadow and be a target, either before or after the Earth depending on which position you choose. Yes, the nearside of the Moon is the most heavily impacted, which currently always faces the Earth. Although, this series of impacts could have messed with the Moon’s rotation and put it into the synchronized rotation it currently has. This would possibly allow for its marred face to be looking in the direction of the impactors and then be turned toward us.

            Obviously, no matter where you place the Earth in its orbit, it’ll be hit by impactors who have missed Sol but due to Sol’s gravity have been curved into the shadow-zone. The goal of this proposal is simply to explain how God could have used a natural process to cause the Earth to be hit enough to start the Noachian Deluge, but not enough to liquefy half the planet’s crust (or more).

            POST SCRIPT—in discussing with my father over the phone we may have narrowed out some of the bugs in the above hypothesis. In order to preserve the original train of thought, the amendments will be given in Part 2.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART 2 (A Proposed Scenario)

            “The craters we do know about are such that, if they were caused by normal impacts, the Earth would have been cold and dark for years after. He [God] would have to tweak the effects of each impact.”

            It should not be lost that we are talking of a global flood here, and of Biblical proportions. Neither Michael J. Oard with his “Impact Vertical Tectonics” (IVT) model nor Dr. Steve Austin with his “Catastrophic Plate Tectonics” (CPT / Continental Sprint) model are working with an Ice Canopy over the atmosphere or a Subterranean Ocean under the crust. Though Oard does offer the great deep as a defense for his model on why a severe meteorite shower was not mentioned in Genesis 6-9, this is not part of his primary model as he usually assumes surface oceans.

            “Fifth, it is also possible that subsurface water existed under pressure before the Flood, for example to provide the water in the Garden of Eden that gushed up to supply water for four rivers (Genesis 2:10–14). Impacts would break up this underground water system, adding water for the Flood, and causing water to be released under pressure as ‘fountains’.”

            As a result of the pressurized mega-geysers happening immediately after the impacts blasting up dust into the air, the dust would be swept up in the water and not cause nearly the amount of polluted atmosphere as is traditionally calculated. Plus, with the Ice Canopy collapsing to cause rain, even less dust would remain in the atmosphere. This would negate most, and likely a high percentage most, of the global cooling.

            —–

            Now for a few updates on the hypothesis in Part 1. Oard points out that Mars’ northern hemisphere has taken more impacts than the southern, forming maria-like regions. The below quotes are from each of his two articles, respectively.

            “Thetopography of Mars by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) showing abundant impacts, especially in the Southern Hemisphere (NASA). Craters are often buried by sediments and volcanic debris in the Northern Hemisphere. The huge Hellas impact crater, 2,000 km in diameter, is shown by arrow [southern hemisphere].”

            “The northern hemisphere of Mars is much lower than the southern hemisphere and has accumulated a large amount of volcanics and impact debris. Many craters have been covered, but sophisticated instruments are picking up more and more craters.”

            The earlier model (1999) by Dr. Danny Faulkner has further data. Dr. Faulkner’s article was referenced and discussed in Wayne Spencer’s review of Oard’s work. I have not dealt with Dr. Faulkner’s hypothesis much because it just seems less Biblical and less true to the facts overall. However, he does correctly point out the below observations. https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/moon/a-biblically-based-cratering-theory/

            “The moon has synchronous rotation. This means that the moon rotates and revolves at the same rate so that one side always faces the earth. The maria are not uniformly distributed across the lunar surface. The side of the moon that faces the earth is about evenly split between maria and highlands, but the lunar backside is nearly all (about 95%) highlands. Even the front side is not uniform. Most of the maria are found in the northern quadrant as viewed from the earth. If the large impacts that caused the impact basins occurred over a long period of time, they should be randomly distributed. The actual distribution is obviously far from random. While a truly random process could produce the distribution that we see, the probability is very low.”

            Saturn’s moon Mimas is famous for looking like the “Death Star” in Star Wars because of the Herschel Crater. According to a 2014 map of Mimas this massive impact happened on the moon’s equator: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/photos/imagedetails/index.cfm?imageId=5124 However, most images show the crater further north than south. Granted, this might be due to Star Wars, but it could also be thanks to Saturn’s tilt. If this is the actual case, Mimas agrees with Mars and our Moon with a direction of impact coming from slightly northward.

            Even Mercury’s Caloris and Rachmaninoff Basins are slightly north of the equator. See http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/solar/mercury2.html and http://www.scientificamerican.com/media/multimedia/MercHighlightsDEF1/ However, the Abstract of this pay-to-read article seems to conclude a large impact happened in the southern hemisphere: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032063301000903 This anomaly could be explained using an altered trajectory based on the nearness to Sol’s intense gravitational field.

            I think the evidence sides so far, barring further study, that the impactors were heading slightly southward through the Solar System. In this modified scenario, Earth could be inside Sol’s “shadow” with the Moon in the full moon location of its orbit, which would allow it to be hit full force and still have it be in synchronized rotation.

            What do you think David Evans? I am planning to forward this data to Oard for his research.

          • David_Evans

            My replies may br brief and possibly bad-tempered because I am writing on an iPad instead of my usual PC.

            You write as if the Ice Canopy were a fact, but I have seen an article from CMI arguing convincingly that the Ice Canopy is physically impossible.

            Also, calculations I have seen suggest that a 10 km asteroid would go through the Ice Canopy, the oceans and any subsurface water like a knife through butter. It would be stopped (and vaporized) only by the underlying rock. The result would be a wide, white-hot crater with hurricanes of live steam around its rim, carrying ocean sediments into the atmosphere, as well as all the powdered rock that would be flung up directly by the explosion. The cooling effect would not be mitigated.

            This of course depends partly on how big the subsurface water system is. One of my frustrations with creationists is the lack of detail on such points. Another is the general lack of agreement. The canopy – water, vapor or ice? The period of high radioactive decay – during the Flood or during the first days of creation? The mechanism of the Flood – plate tectonics or asteroid impact? It’s hard to criticize such an ill-defined theory.

            More later

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Pre-Script—if you are on vacation, there is no need to respond to me, enjoy your time away from home.

            Doing a search, I am assuming the Creation Ministries International article you read to be similar to this one by Creation Today: “Explaining the Flood without the Canopy” by Paul Taylor on April 30, 2012 http://creationtoday.org/explaining-the-flood-without-the-canopy/ They mention Dr. Carl Baugh who is the one who convinced me of the plausible benefits of ice over vapor for the Canopy.

            And yes, I do see the Canopy as non-negotiable in the Noachian Flood and pre-Flood chapters of Genesis. I won’t be too disappointed if it was vapor rather than ice, because God did what He saw best, but the Canopy is a must for any Biblicist. I have not yet seen any plausible alternative to explain the double atmospheric pressure in amber (fossilized tree sap), the increased oxygen levels in those air bubbles, the larger-than-life size of many fossilized animals and plants that still exist today, the long recorded lifespans in The Holy Bible and other ancient records about the pre-Flood world, and that today we know this environment is beneficial through Hyperbaric Treatments. The Canopy singlehandedly explains so much that any alternate model would need to be more complex, and that goes against Ockham’s Razor.

            For known things Hyperbaric Treatments cure, see http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy/basics/why-its-done/prc-20019167 It does have risks as seen here http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy/basics/risks/prc-20019167 but many of the risks would not be present in the pre-Flood world. First, the atmosphere was never 100% oxygen, but merely about 33% more oxidized than today. Only modern science has been stupid enough to assume that we need a pure-oxygen environment to make these treatments viable. The second is eardrum damage, which is due to the rapid increase and decrease of the pressurization. The Noachian Flood rained for 150 days, which means a much slower drop in pressure—months rather than hours.

            As for the size asteroid you used—10 km—I am assuming that is based on Michael Oard’s 30 km crater cut-off size. I would think that this is reasonable, however, it assumes that Oard’s speed calculations are correct. He is using the average speed of inter-system planetoids and not extra-system impactors. Of course, granted, what else can he do? He has nothing else to work with to calculate. Craters are formed from many variables. One large slow-moving object can create the same crater size as a small fast-moving object. If the speed of the asteroid cluster/swarm was faster than anything we see in the Solar System today, which would be evidenced by the fact that 99% escaped Sol’s gravitational pull (which did not hit something), then their size could be much smaller in regards to Earth’s 170 craters.

            As for the Subterranean Abyss, if the Earth were completely smooth, our oceans would cover the planet in about 8,000 feet of water. http://www.icr.org/article/evidence-for-young-earth-from-ocean-atmosphere/ Since there is 5,280 feet in a mile, that is 1.51 miles deep. Based on the assumption that the Abyss held more water in it than the Canopy, one could easily place 1.2 miles of water under the crust, with 0.21 miles of water in surface seas and rivers, and 0.1 miles in the Canopy. Of course, this is just my estimate working off the numbers provided. It also does not take into consideration that a sub-crustal ocean is in a smaller circle around the core, so it would be thicker with the same amount of water. My father is going to help me check some books, but he is pretty sure that Dr. Henry M. Morris had the ocean at 10 miles thick. Dr. Morris is the founder of Scientific Creationism, if you weren’t aware.

            And in regards to the fact many Creationists are not working under the same models, how is this different from evolutionary theories, or secular scientists? It can sometimes take decades for enough data to be collected before an accurate view of the complete workings of something is discovered. When that happens the faulty theories are tossed away, in an idealistic scenario at least. According to Oard, Venus is still full of faulty theories without evidence, at least in regards to crater counts. I sent the link earlier today.

          • David Evans

            About the atmosphere inclusions in amber, there is room for doubt whether they accurately reflect the ancient atmosphere:

            http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~dmcgee/Carbon/Readings_files/Berner_Landis_87.pdf

            http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/09/us/scientists-challenge-finding-of-oxygen-in-ancient-amber.html

            Even if they do, I don’t think evolutionists would find it hard to explain such changes over many millions of years (the amount of oxygen obviously depends on the amount of plant life which will vary for many reasons). I find it harder to imagine what would cause an abrupt halving of total pressure and drop in oxygen at the time of the Flood.

            Occam’s razor works only when the hypotheses to be compared are viable. I’m not convinced that an ice canopy could be stable for 1600 years. There is a well-known theorem that the net gravitational force between a uniform hollow sphere and anything inside it is zero, which means if it drifts off-center for any reason (solar tides, perhaps) it will keep drifting till it hits the atmosphere and disintegrates.

            I agree that if the asteroids were smaller and faster, that would explain why they are not still around. But it’s evident from the crater sizes on Earth and elsewhere that they had substantial kinetic energy, and that’s what justifies my description of their effects on the climate.

            I’m not sure we can have a productive discussion about the Subterranean Abyss. I can’t get my head around where it was supposed to be.

            I feel there is a difference between creationism and orthodox science. They both have access to the same data, so one should be as quick as the other to discard faulty theories. But the general account of big-bang cosmology and stellar formation seems to me to be reasonably consistent now. By comparison, let’s just look at the cause of the Flood. Collapse of an ice canopy, sudden motion of tectonic plates, a swarm of asteroid impacts? Oard convinces me that (on his timescale) the asteroid impacts must have happened during the Flood year. Why is it possible for other creationists to not even mention them?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I’m going to deal just once more with the Impact Theory line of thought. Basically, you wanted to know what Creationists were doing in regards to craters on the Earth. I have answered this in detail beyond either of our expectations. It’s still a WIP but we are dealing with them, and in the most logical way as you agree. Not much more is able to be said.

            —–Amber and Air-Bubbles

            The article you linked to in the “American Journal of Science, Vol. 287, October, 1987, P. 757-762” says that the Amber air-bubbles they examined were of an unknown age. Basically, what this means is these fossilized tree-sap bubbles could very well have been from modern-day, therefore not be any different because they aren’t any different.

            However, they then suggest that they thought they could be from early Miocene through to the Oligocene, or maybe even late Eocene. Allow me to link to a chart: http://www.desertmuseum.org/images/geologictime.gif On this chart we see that the Miocene is an “Epoch” within the Neogene “Sub-Period”, dating from 23.7-5.3 Million Years Ago. We also see that the Oligocene and Eocene are “Epochs” within the Paleogene “Sub-Period”, dating from 36.6-23.7 and 57.8-36.6 MYA respectively. All three are inside the Tertiary “Period” and collectively date from 57.8-5.3 MYA, though we can likely boot the Eocene and make it 36.6-5.3 MYA.

            Do you see what this means? These unknown air-bubbles are thought to be post-Dinosaur times, way up at the top of the chart, leading right up to just a few MYA ticks before humans “evolve”. This means that under a Noachian Deluge calculation, these bubbles are near the climax of The Flood. The atmosphere would be pretty near what it would be forever at this point, until Jesus Returns. I hereby declare the first article inconclusive due to using recent bubbles in an attempt to refute older bubbles.

            The second article from the New York Times on December 9, 1987 is at least dealing with a bit further down on the chart: the time of the Dinosaurs. I find it interesting that both of these articles are from the same year, only two months apart, and this one actually refers back to October. Based on their suggested 80 MYA age of the bubbles, these are from the Cretaceous “Period” on that chart, which ranges from 144-66.4 MYA. Now on a Noachian Deluge calculation, the Cretaceous is considered to be around day 150 of The Flood, as discussed in this article https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/chalk-upper-cretaceous-deposits-part-of-noachian-flood/

            Genesis 7:24-8:1-3 (KJV Marginal Notes Reading), “And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; the fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; and the waters returned from off the earth in going and returning: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

            See the section titled “Comparison of the “Upper Cretaceous” Period with the Noachian Flood” to see how evolutionary thinking when compressed matches what God’s Word says pretty closely.

            So, on dealing with this “doubt” on the results of these dino-bubbles. Those who argued the findings were faulty said they could find no oxygen in any amber air-bubbles, whether ancient or modern. Really? No oxygen whatsoever? Well no one will argue dinosaurs did not breathe oxygen, and we know the more recent the bubble the more likely oxygen exists due to our own time. Now the idea that we should subject the samples to the assumption they went through a fluid is interesting, but it seems to me to merely be a suggestion to save evolutionary hypothesis.

            Has anyone tried to rapidly make fossilized amber with air-bubbles inside? Reproducing what we see is the only way to know how it happens.

            —–Air-Pressure and Ice Canopy

            You are working under the wrong idea, which is understandable because you are not trying to think like a Canopy Theorist. The Ice Canopy would not be a hollow sphere, far from it. We use the Canopy to create the double-atmospheric pressure we see in amber. As a result, the atmosphere of earth must have one of two things: A) reach to the same altitude, but have a stop which would keep it from dispersing into nothingness, and filled with roughly twice the atmosphere we currently have, or B) be roughly half the size but still with all the atmosphere we currently have.

            The simpler method is ‘B’, but both would work, and both mean the same thing. The Ice Canopy would be a pressurized sphere, with two atmospheres on the inside and zero outside. The high pressure inside the Canopy would keep it from drifting at any point closer to the earth, keeping it stable. The trouble is how to keep it from popping/bursting. Dr. Carl Baugh discusses in his videos I’ve seen that water at super-cold temperatures—near absolute zero—acts much like a metal. Of course, you now need to keep it that cold, but we have no Canopy left to examine. We can only guess how God did it, but we know He did do it.

            Under this non-hollow but pressurized sphere, this is how you end up with a rapid depressurization over The Flood Year. This is also one way to get less oxygen. Right now many gases are allowed to escape if pushed too high up, oxygen among them. With a solid sphere to trap everything inside the atmosphere, oxygen levels are able to soar. Plus, under this pressure, plants grow bigger and fuller, and they are the prime oxygen makers. More plants, bigger plants, and healthier plants will produce more oxygen. The Ice Canopy is such a problem solver. It has some issues, but the benefits outweigh the problems.

            —–The LHB Explanation

            The article you linked to, “Origin of the cataclysmic Late Heavy Bombardment period of the terrestrial planets”, is little more than a paragraph from what I see. However, it has some huge problems. How do you get enough force to move Jupiter against the sun’s gravity? Then after you got it moving, you need to stop it again, how? Then not only stop it but stabilize it in a new orbit, in what way? To move the GIANT planets you need a lot of force, even if you have gravity working on your side.

            To me it seems like a nonsensical idea to even propose this, but it has to be or the Nebular Hypothesis fails. To form the Gas Giants at their current location is impossible, because the nebula would be too thinly dispersed out so far from the central star.

            As for your assumption on how long a mile of lava would take to solidify, it is based on evolutionary indoctrination. You are trained to think in slow possesses, not fast. Mt. St. Helens was expected to take hundreds of years to recover when it happened, now it is virtually recovered and it’s been merely 35 years. Things do not take as long as assumed by old-earthers.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Further evidence of the more northerly impact direction given by Michael J. Oard in JOURNAL OF CREATION 23(3) 2009—“Venus impacts are not evidence against an astronomical trigger for the Flood” http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j23_3/j23_3_98-102.pdf Two quotes below:

            “It is interesting that Mars has a crustal dichotomy in which the Northern Hemisphere is about 7 km lower with the crust about 30 km thinner on the average than in the Southern Hemisphere. It is called the Borealis basin. This crustal dichotomy is a mystery. Andrews-Hanna et al. state: “The origin of the crustal dichotomy remains one of the most fundamental unanswered questions in the study of Mars.” It has recently been claimed that the Mars crustal dichotomy was caused by one immense meteorite impact creating the 8,500 km by 10,600 km Borealis basin! The impactor was a whopping 1,600 to 2,700 km diameter asteroid! Other astronomers in the past have suggested that the hemispheric dichotomy on Mars is due to multiple large impacts. Many quasi-circular features, some very large, are seen in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars.”

            “Such a nonrandom distribution could imply a catastrophic burst of asteroids in a relatively short time, followed by a slow decrease. Such a catastrophic burst is resisted by evolutionary astronomers. They are attempting to explain the non-random distribution by a variable latitudinal cratering distribution caused by a non-isotropic flux of planet crossing asteroids and comets. It is probably because astronomers cannot contemplate catastrophic impacts on a scale of days to months that they suggest that the Northern Hemisphere of Mars was blasted by one huge asteroid instead of multiple asteroids. Marinova et al. stated: “exogenic multiple impact events are statistically unlikely to concentrate in one hemisphere.” If Mars were billions of years old, the concentration of several huge impacts in the Northern Hemisphere would be unreasonable. But if Mars is young and the impacts were bunched together, there is no reason why multiple large impacts could not have preferentially hit the Northern Hemisphere of Mars.”

            Lastly, Venus’ impacts are not completely random in distribution if you include all crater structures, though Oard does not tell which hemisphere includes more. The fact that they are still pretty evenly distributed could be explained by Sol catching several impactors in imperfect near-orbits. Venus is still close to Sol and could have been hit harder for longer than more distant planets. Here is Oard’s summary on Venus:

            “The slightly non-random distributions of impacts on Venus would also support the idea of a relatively quick burst of impacts as deduced from Mars and the Moon, but with a slower decrease thereafter. The slow rotation of Venus would imply that the astronomical event was longer than deduced from the craters on the Moon.”

          • David Evans

            I think the cratering history is too complicated to prove anything. The details of the Late Heavy Bombardment are much too hard to compute from present information, but one would expect some impacting objects to split into swarms, as happened with Comet Shoemaker-Levy, giving apparently non-random clusters of impacts. This paper seems to have a reasonable hypothesis for the cause of the LHB: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7041/abs/nature03676.html.

            There is a problem with Oard’s scenario. The Moon has many examples where lava from a mare has flowed into a crater, and where a second crater has formed in the lava of the mare. The lava was obviously molten when it flowed into the first crater. Equally it was solid to at least the depth of the second crater when that crater formed, or lava would have flowed into that crater from below. Some of those craters look to me to be a mile deep. How long does it take a mile of lava to solidify? I’m guessing it’s hundreds of years. But if Oard’s bombardment is to explain why one side of the Moon is different from the other, it must all take place in much less than a month.

          • David Evans

            The Wayne Spencer article is interesting. It gives me the impression (which I often get from creationists, Oard excepted) that he is content to stop when he has found one plausible answer, and not look for even quite obvious problems with that answer. Example: he says “ocean impacts would also seem to be a very effective means of putting water into the atmosphere that would fall as rain, but whether this is what Genesis describes as “the fountains of the deep” is not clear”. I think this is obviously not the fountains of the deep, because its short-term effect is to take water out of the oceans resulting in a drop in sea level. No way could it cause the general sea level to rise 15 cubits above the highest mountains.

          • David Evans

            PS Reading Spencer reminded me of some other issues. He says blithely “The catastrophic processes of Noah’s Flood could obliterate many crater structures” (structures, that is, hundreds of km across and with rim walls higher than Everest). This is the same Flood which is said to have laid down most of the Earth’s sedimentary rocks, many of which are so fine-grained that they require essentially calm water. And some sedimentary formations are thousands of meters thick! Not to mention that the Grand Canyon has 9 distinct layers of sedimentary rock. Has any YEC produced a detailed description of a flood that could do all those things inside a year?

            http://www.bobspixels.com/kaibab.org/geology/gc_layer.htm

          • Jim

            You ask, “would they [Noah and crew] have survived? … Not to mention that the ocean would have been boiling.”

            Absolutely they would have survived the thermal insult because they would have inherited beneficial thermal resistance genes from Adam and/or Eve.

            According to YEC theory, the earth just appears to be old based on current radioactive decay rates, but the half-lifes of radioisotopes haven’t been as constant as nuclear experts claim. Radionuclide half-lifes were actually shorter in the past.

            Someone apparently had enough spare time to model thermal conductivities at or near the time of creation based on the 6K-old earth model.

            http://chem.tufts.edu/science/geology/adam-eve_toast.htm

            And since radioactive decay is a bit thermal, based on the YEC model, the thermal conductivity would have been ~70,000 deg C/km 6000 years ago, cooling to a balmy ~40,000 deg C/km by Noah’s day.

            So sure Noah was a bit of a wimp compared to his ancestors, but with a dominant asbestos allele inherited from A & E, why would he sweat over some minor heat wave from a few asteroid impacts?

            Alright already … I’m leaving before you give me the boot. 🙂

          • David Evans

            Gave me a laugh anyway. When I stopped thinking “OMG, am I going to have to deal with this?”

          • Jim

            It was solely for entertainment purposes, but does highlight potential consequences of adjusting universal constants (as YEC models require) does sometimes lead to unwanted side effects. 🙂

            btw, I’m not signed up with Disqus and therefore not able to hit the vote up button, so I’ll just say here that many of your comments have been very informative and much appreciated.

          • David Evans

            Thank you. That’s made my day.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART TWO (of 5)

            Question: “Also, where do you get the idea that the Earth’s surface was 90% land? That contradicts Steve Austin’s image of Pangaea.”

            Dr. Steve Austin is a geologist and sees everything in that light. Not all Creationists work under the same theories, but that is common in any scientific discipline. Dr. Steve Austin assumes we had oceans like today, only with one continent. Many other Creationists, like myself, go with a subterranean abyss. We have discussed that already, and I provided Bible verses throughout this comment.

            Also, the article at Creation.com says, “A globally open ocean would experience the least friction with land and would therefore dissipate energy at the lowest rate.” Which confirms what I said about the Global Flood of Noah’s day. You have not dealt with the fact that based on Biblical history we’d expect no tides, then slow tides, then faster and faster tides. Exactly as evolutionists have discovered, assuming it is not made-up.

            —–

            Claim: “No “Prebiotic Materials” in space? Are you sure? http://www.space.com/27262-space-dust-molecule-origins-of-life.html”

            Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you think you can spot in the universe and where you think things on asteroids came from, what matters is how can you use those things to make life without life existing previously to give birth to new life? Abiogenesis http://www.icr.org/article/could-space-dust-help-spark-life/. You could look and look and come up with a 100% complete list of ingredients for life in the universe, but you still have to make a living something out of those dead items.

            —–

            Claim: “There are also acetone, ethylene glycol and benzene, which I remember from chemistry lab as being quite sticky: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_interstellar_and_circumstellar_molecules”

            Still invalidly sourced. Any and all people who are worth their salt, evolutionist or Creationist, agree on this. Do not use Wikipedia unless it is a last resort, and then you should question its validity.

            —–

            Claim 1: “The temperature would not be Absolute Zero once the cloud had started contracting and heating up. In fact once the central star begins to shine there will be a wide range of temperatures in the space around it.”

            Claim 2: “That’s simplistic. The star forms at the center of the cloud where pressure and therefore temperature are greatest. Most of the cloud can be losing heat by radiation even as the center is heating up. “Heat causes expansion” only if there is no stronger force opposing it. In this case gravity is the stronger force.”

            Of course the Heat Catch 22 is simplistic, this is simple physics and Creationists do admit that a cloud can condense in space but that the heat quickly overcomes this collapse. The Catch 22 still exists and there is no answer given here.

            —–

            Claim: “Actually the Orion nebula is not “formed by the death of a star”. It seems to be a gas cloud in a late stage of collapsing with stars already forming within it. You are right that the much smaller nebulae which do form from dying stars are not likely to contract.”

            If the Orion Nebula did not form from a nova, where did it come from? Also, your statement of “seems” is unconvincing.

          • David Evans

            Show me the Bible verses that say the Earth was 90% land.

            “You have not dealt with the fact that based on Biblical history we’d expect no tides, then slow tides, then faster and faster tides.”

            Biblical history gives no support to the idea that the length of the day has changed – 6,000 years is far too short for tides to change the length by even a second. Fossil evidence that the year contained around 400 days in the past is strong evidence against YEC.

            “Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you think you can spot in the universe and where you think things on asteroids came from, what matters is how can you use those things to make life without life existing previously to give birth to new life?”

            So when you say there are no prebiotic materials in space, that’s actually a tautology. You don’t think there are any such things as prebiotic materials anywhere. But I didn’t say “prebiotic”. I was not talking about the origin of life. I said “organic” and there certainly are organic molecules in space.

            “Still invalidly sourced… Do not use Wikipedia unless it is a last resort, and then you should question its validity.” As I’ve said before I find Wikipedia quite reliable when it’s a question of verifiable facts. Since you disapprove, however, let me give you this instead:

            https://www.astro.uni-koeln.de/cdms/molecules

            “physics and Creationists do admit that a cloud can condense in space but that the heat quickly overcomes this collapse”

            Again you claim that some unspecified “physics” contradicts the detailed calculations which show that a cloud can condense into a star. You haven’t shown me any of that physics, nor anyone outside the charmed circle of AiG, icr and creation.com who accepts it.

            “If the Orion Nebula did not form from a nova, where did it come from? Also, your statement of “seems” is unconvincing.”

            My “seems” was a mistake, born of a reluctance to overstate my case. On consideration I would say that the Orion nebula is pretty obviously as I described it.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART THREE (of 5)

            Claim: “The Hawking video does make it sound as if the nebula is blown away quickly, but doesn’t give a time. This account http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formation_and_evolution_of_the_Solar_System does give a timescale, namely “After between three and ten million years, the young Sun’s solar wind would have cleared away all the gas and dust in the protoplanetary disc, blowing it into interstellar space”. Three to ten million years. That’s long enough that we should expect to see a few stars with disks, as we do.”

            Supplement: “I find Wikipedia quite reliable on matters of fact. More so than AiG anyway! The Wikipedia article I referred to gives 128 scholarly references. Unfortunately the one I need is behind a paywall. This source http://www2.astro.psu.edu/users/alex/astro497_8.pdf gives a time of 10 million years to disperse the disk, in agreement with my quote.”

            Unfortunately, this math does not compute very well. When a star turns into a star, the solar wind begins. The star collects no more mass from here on and therefore it is fully formed. Solar wind cannot get stronger or weaker because that requires a change in the star, which cannot happen since it is not collecting any more matter. However, even if it is weaker at the start, the solar wind is now the strongest force in the new stellar system. Gravity no longer matters so far as the nebula is concerned.

            Every animation I have ever seen demonstrates this. Some have the gas eliminated without the earth moving so much as one month’s distance around the sun. This is what one would expect and to depict it any other way on screen would look stupid. The only way to convince anyone is to do it on paper, like your PDF does. But just because you can make a bluff look scientific does not make it any less a bluff. If it takes millions of years to clear the gas and dust, Stephen Hawking would certainly not have said, “As the sun ignited it gave off a huge blast of solar wind—a radioactive gust of energy.” You will also notice the gas beginning to dissipate even before the sun became a star.

            A simple example are comets. It does not take millions of years for the debris in their tail to reach Pluto.

            —–

            Claim: “1—The fact that some planets rotate counter to the rest of the system can be explained by the fact that the last stage of formation of a planet is likely to be impact and coalescence of a few very massive objects. If such an impact is off-center it can easily reverse the rotation. The same applies to point 7.”

            Do you know just how lame that excuse is? “An impact caused it!” This excuse is used to explain away every single planet in our solar system. All of them! As the below video demonstrates: https://answersingenesis.org/store/product/our-created-solar-system/?sku=30-9-465 “What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy Vol. 1—Our Created Solar System”. If you need the same explanation for all 8 planets, then there is something very fishy with this excuse. It just doesn’t hold much gas.

            —–

            Claim: “2—”Laplace assumed the original cloud existed and was spinning.” Well, yes. Laplace had no theory of how gas clouds could form. Any theory can only start with the knowledge of the time. We now know that because of the irregular gravitational field of the rotating Galaxy any gas cloud is likely to have some angular momentum. Its spin will increase as it contracts. The rare ones that don’t will presumably not form planetary systems.”

            So it is only very rare nebulae that do not form new stars? Then why do we not see more “stellar nurseries” around? In fact, why are there not more nebulae period? http://creation.com/exploding-stars-point-to-a-young-universe There is not one nebulae which shows itself to be even 120,000 years old!

          • David Evans

            “When a star turns into a star, the solar wind begins. The star collects no more mass from here on and therefore it is fully formed.” You make it sound like switching on a light bulb. It’s actually much more complicated than that-and, actually, more complicated than I realized. This is a good reference. http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/ast122/lectures/lec13.html

            I would like to make a more general point. You are using verbal arguments and animations to argue that the current theory of star formation is not just wrong but obviously wrong and in fact impossible. Now I know that there are some good astrophysicists who are Christians (I worked with several). Why would not some of them have pointed this out, in the mathematical and physical detail which neither you nor I are capable of? You may think criticisms of the standard model don’t get published, but that’s not true. Hoyle and Arp had no trouble getting published in their attacks on the Big Bang, theoretical physics is full of fierce arguments conducted in public.If there were a good reason why the standard model of star formation is wrong, it would get published. And I mean in a peer-reviewed journal, not AiG.

            “Every animation I have ever seen demonstrates this.” Where do you think animations get their data from? From calculations on paper and/or computer modelling. They can be no more valid than those calculations.

            “Do you know just how lame that excuse is? “An impact caused it!””

            It’s not an excuse, it’s what we expect. If planets accrete from dust it doesn’t happen all in one go. Dust becomes larger dust becomes grains…becomes objects comparable in size to planets. Collisions occur at each stage. The last stage in planetary formation is very likely to involve collisions as well. How else could it happen?

            Your AiG link is to a DVD. I do not propose to spend $12.99 on it.

            “So it is only very rare nebulae that do not form new stars?” No, it is only rare nebulae that don’t form planetary systems. A non-rotating nebula could very well form a star, but it wouldn’t (as far as I can see) form a disk that could become a planetary system.

            This http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/supernova/#BM105 looks to me like a refutation of your link on exploding stars. In particular your link says there are no 3rd stage supernova remnants, my link refers to 7 such objects by name.

            If this conversation does nothing else I’m grateful to it for reminding me how unreliable creation science websites are!

            By the way supernova remnants are rather embarrassing for YEC. We can measure their radius and their rate of expansion, and dividing the one by the other gives the age. My link gives several examples of up to 150,000 years old and possibly up to a million years old (older ones are fainter and harder to measure).

          • David Evans

            PS You ask “Then why do we not see more “stellar nurseries” around?” That question makes no sense without some numerical estimate of how many you would expect to see. But in fact there is an obvious answer. In the long run the dust and gas of a stellar nursery is blown away by the newly formed bright stars (as we see in the Hubble photos). What remains is a star cluster, of which we see many.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART FOUR (of 5)

            Claim: “3—”All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.” This is simply false and they should have known it. A cloud will contract if it is massive enough to fulfil the Jeans criterion: http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/ojta/c2c/starbirth/recipe/criterion_tl.html James Jeans worked this out in 1902!”

            Claim Cont.: “However when you say “nebulas are light years across, a non-localized mass.” you are being misleading. Even a gas cloud light-years across is localized if it is denser than its surroundings. The Jeans criterion determines whether or not it will condense. That’s solid Newtonian science, and should not be rejected just because the process would be too slow for us to see.”

            I notice a contradiction with when you said “the rare [nebulas] that don’t.” At this link we see the statement that, “Since we have seen that this collapse is resisted by various things, and since we see evidence for many molecular clouds that have not collapsed, it is clear that the collapse initiating star formation occurs only under some circumstances.” Rare here becomes very common, and the exception is actually a “stellar nursery”. Also, the table to the right specifically states that the cloud must be “compressed” to reach this density, and that this compression is hard to accomplish since they qualify it with the word “if”.

            Under the Jeans calculation, there is no cloud naturally occurring that is qualified to collapse unless another event compresses it—which is a rare event. No way around this one, gas and dust will almost always never reach this density.

            —–

            Quote 1: “4—I don’t know the details of Maxwell’s argument. I’ll try to find out.”

            Quote 2: “The 1980 article does not explain why Maxwell’s work on Saturn’s rings is in any way relevant to the nebular hypothesis. I literally don’t know what they intend. I can’t find any reference to his work on asteroids, so I don’t know how to take this part of the argument further.”

            More info to be found here: http://creation.com/accretion-hypothesis see “Nebular hypothesis: no supporting data”. This is also discussed in the article provided above for the analysis of Saturn’s rings.

            —–

            Claim: “5 and 6 are basically the same issue – why is most of the angular momentum (not “energy of movement”) in the planets and not in the Sun. The answer is the same – transfer of angular momentum by magnetic fields. I know creationists claim to see flaws in this but I can’t cover everything!”

            True, it is hard to deal with everything seeing as there are a lot of things to consider in the Nebular Hypothesis. But the root is still simply that you do not want God to be real, and if you continue to reject Him you will learn your lesson the hard way by being rejected by Him after you die.

            —–

            Claim: “7—see 1.”

            And you make my point again for me. Impacts are needed for every planet, and this is very fishy. See my answer to Point 1 in Part 3.

            —–

            Claim: “8—Laplace might have been flaunting his atheism, but I think it more likely that it was part of his long engagement with Newton’s ideas. Newton thought that the planetary orbits were unstable gravitationally and so God would have to act at intervals to correct them. Laplace proved him wrong. In the same spirit Laplace would have felt that his model could run without divine intervention, just as even Christians now feel no need of “that hypothesis” to explain thunderstorms.”

            Honestly, this is just evidence of a good designer. After a construction crew builds a house and removes all the supports that were needed while it was in construction and the house has no need of them anymore, that does not mean those workers did not or do not exist. It just means they did their job well and now they don’t need to monitor it every single minute of the day.

          • David Evans

            You don’t really address my claim 3. AiG says “All known physics indicates that a cloud of gas in space will expand and not contract.” That’s an unqualified statement and it’s falsified by the Jeans criterion which rests solidly on known physics. The fact that real-world gas clouds may be more complicated than the Jeans model does not affect this.

            I should not have said “rare”. My argument does not depend on it. And my link is misleading when it says “compressed”, suggesting an outside source. No other discussion of the Jeans criterion that I have found uses that word. When they say “if” they are just making the point that some clouds will fulfil the Jeans criterion and some won’t.

            You say “Under the Jeans calculation, there is no cloud naturally occurring that is qualified to collapse unless another event compresses it—which is a rare event.” Such a statement requires evidence as to what gas clouds exist. I don’t think you have done the research.

            Maxwell’s work on Saturn does not apply to the nebular hypothesis for a simple reason – the Sun’s tidal force on the dust cloud is much less than Saturn’s tidal force on its rings. By my calculation, about 300 times weaker even at the distance of Mercury. Another way of saying this is that the rings are within Saturn’s Roche limit and Mercury is well outside the Sun’s Roche limit.

            I simply have no time to look up details of the magnetic fields idea. This is not evidence that I do not want God to be real – you have no idea how I feel about that.

            “See my answer to Point 1 in Part 3.”

            See my answer to your answer.

            “Honestly, this is just evidence of a good designer.”

            I agree, the smooth running of the solar system is no evidence against a designer. But I wouldn’t say it’s evidence for, either. When Newton thought the designer would have to intervene regularly, that was often taken as evidence for his existence.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART FIVE (finale)

            Claim: “Anyway, even an atheist can sometimes know more than a Christian on a particular topic, as I think St. Augustine pointed out.”

            Explain.

            —–

            Claim: “Steve Austin has convinced me that the question of the Earth’s early atmosphere is more complex than I thought. He may be right. I don’t think it disproves abiogenesis since we still don’t know where that occurred. It could well be at deep ocean vents.”

            Abiogenesis has never been observed, it has never been done in a laboratory (which would be biogenesis technically), and there is no evidence in nature that it is possible and mathematics says it’s impossible. That abiogenesis never happened is self-evident.

            Plus, water is even worse for forming life in than oxygen is! http://creation.com/hydrothermal-origin-of-life

            —–

            Claim: “I can’t evaluate the Biblical prophecies about oil, but I will note that the Muslim countries in the Middle East have combined oil reserves 400 times greater than the recent discoveries in Israel. So as a mark of God’s special favor to Israel this is less than convincing.”

            Glad you’re honest enough to say that you are not a Biblical Scholar. However, The Holy Bible actually says that where the Muslims are, from the Nile to the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18), is Israel’s land. Muslims are occupying the territory, but it is not theirs. Therefore, all of the Muslim oil will be Israel’s when Jesus returns, and is technically already theirs.

            —–

            Claim: “I agree that “uniformitarian” in geology often has the meaning AiG gives it (going back to authors such as Hutton, and applying specifically to Earth history). I don’t see that it is legitimate to extend that to the universe.”

            Why not? What would you call it?

            —–

            Claim: “When I say the universe appears old I am alluding to such things as uranium ores which contain the amount of lead to be expected if millions or billions of years have passed since they were molten (when any lead would have separated out). I have not seen an adequate YEC explanation of that (and I have tried, even writing to AiG and getting a reply that showed they didn’t understand my point).”

            What have they said and how did they not understand your point?

          • David Evans

            St Augustine: I was remembering this quotation, which is not exactly what I said: http://www.ancient.eu/article/91/

            Abiogenesis: It hasn’t been observed because present conditions are not those of the primitive Earth. For the same reason there is no evidence for it in nature. It hasn’t been done in a lab because we don’t know what the conditions were.

            If that sounds like a confession of ignorance, so be it. There will always be things science doesn’t know.

            “mathematics says it’s impossible.” No, some people have guessed at the requirements for a self-replicating molecule and calculated that such a thing is very improbable to arise by chance. But they are guessing. We don’t know what the simplest self-replicating molecule is, so we have no way of calculating that probability.

            “That abiogenesis never happened is self-evident.”

            Not to me.

            Re: your link, I would not be surprised to learn that none of our detailed hypotheses about the origin of life are correct. We are still learning.

            If you recall, we got into the question of oil when I asked if YEC science had led to any oil finds (the point being that conventional geology, which you say is false, is continually being used to find oil). To point to a biblical prophecy that there will be oil somewhere in the Arab lands doesn’t really answer the question. No prophecy is needed, you could see it seeping from the ground in ancient times.

            Hutton’s uniformitarianism was essentially a steady-state theory of the Earth. Extending it to the universe would lead to something like Hoyle’s steady-state theory which is ruled out by the evidence.

            This is getting too long. I’ll discuss the uranium problem separately.

          • David Evans

            Uranium and AiG: I’ve lost my emails from the time I corresponded with AiG, so I’ll have to reconstruct the argument from memory.

            As I’m sure you know, uranium decays to become lead on a known timescale, so measurements of the amount of lead in uranium ores can lead to an estimate of the time since they were molten. This estimate is around 4 billion years for the oldest rocks. AiG recognized the problem and offered a number of solutions, one of which was that the rate of decay could have been higher in the past.

            I pointed out that it would have to have been much higher (a million times or more) to reconcile the amount of lead with a YEC timescale. This has at least two problems:
            1 Radioactive decay produces heat. Speed it up that much and the rocks will melt, the lead will separate from the uranium and the rock will be stratified. Uranium ores show no signs of that ever happening, the lead is thoroughly mixed in with the uranium.
            2 Radiation has harmful effects. Speed it up a millionfold and places near uranium-bearing rocks will become lethal to humans and animals. There are many such places, Cornwall is one.

            AiG had 3 possible answers:
            (1) God created the rocks with the lead already present.
            (2) All the decay happened during the Flood (and I suppose the water shielded the radiation)
            (3) All the decay happened in the first few days of creation, before there were living things to be harmed.

            (1) is of course impossible to refute, except to ask “Why did he do it in such a way as to produce a consistent but false history for the Earth?” We have radiometric dates for all geological periods and they are always consistent with the geological ordering of the strata.
            (2) and (3) would mean the decay rate was higher than now by factors of 4 billion or even more. The rocks would not just have melted, they would have vaporized. And as before, the lead would have separated out. Again, the rocks today show no signs of that.

            What I don’t understand is why they thought (2) or (3) would solve my first problem. Clearly if you speed up the decay rate it only exacerbates that problem.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            PART FOUR (finale)

            Claim: “Actually they are wrong. Gravity is a long-range force – the gravity at any point in a gas cloud comes from every particle in the cloud, the bigger the cloud the stronger the gravity. Pressure is a local force. Whatever the pressure, it will be overcome by gravity if the cloud is big enough.”

            Link: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/a/9646

            According to that answer, “the Orion Nebula has a mass over 2000 times that of our sun” which is indeed a lot of mass. However, the reason a star is held together, same as Jupiter, is because the mass is already localized. While nebulas are light years across, a non-localized mass. This creates a problem because no one has ever witnessed a cloud condensing in on itself, and these disks have not been observed long enough to tell if they are actually condensing.

            Just because you can imagine something happening in your head does not mean it works on paper. Remember, these nebula were each formed by a nova, the exploding death of a star. The gas and dust is already moving at faster speeds than any manmade object has ever moved and in the *wrong* direction! By the time the gravity had a chance to slow down the movements, because there is no friction in space to slow them down, the nebula would be so thinly dispersed that the gravity would no longer be binding.

            —–

            Claim: “They imply that there could be no such “shock” for the first generation of stars. They are missing the fact that a gas cloud which is hotter than its surroundings will radiate energy and so will gradually cool, allowing the gravitational collapse to proceed. Star formation at present is often triggered by shock waves, but they are not necessary.”

            Is not the formation of heat the entire *point* of the nebular hypothesis? Protostars are hot, stars are hotter, you need heat or the entire process is pointless. Yet heat is a Catch 22. Heat causes expansion, unless it cools, at which point the whole star formation would fail, because heat is the entire objective.

            —–

            Link: “Which would appear to be refuted by this” http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/main/htmlversion/proterozoic4.html

            Answer: “Did the Early Earth Have a Reducing Atmosphere?” by Dr. Steve Austin http://www.icr.org/article/did-early-earth-have-reducing-atmosphere/

            —–

            I’m glad you e-mailed Dr. Austin your concerns with his Noachian Flood model, I hope he has some answers for you. And, I am well aware that AiG has abandoned the Canopy Theory, but they have yet to produce another proposal which answers as many questions as does the Ice Canopy. Rejecting an idea without replacing it with another theory to explain why we see things in the fossil record does not make the rejection valid, despite the valid issues. Many of the issues would be answerable if there were a method to stop the greenhouse effect.

          • David Evans

            Actually the Orion nebula is not “formed by the death of a star”. It seems to be a gas cloud in a late stage of collapsing with stars already forming within it. You are right that the much smaller nebulae which do form from dying stars are not likely to contract.

            However when you say “nebulas are light years across, a non-localized mass.” you are being misleading. Even a gas cloud light-years across is localized if it is denser than its surroundings. The Jeans criterion determines whether or not it will condense. That’s solid Newtonian science, and should not be rejected just because the process would be too slow for us to see.

            “Is not the formation of heat the entire *point* of the nebular hypothesis? Protostars are hot, stars are hotter, you need heat or the entire process is pointless. Yet heat is a Catch 22. Heat causes expansion, unless it cools, at which point the whole star formation would fail, because heat is the entire objective.”

            That’s simplistic. The star forms at the centre of the cloud where pressure and therefore temperature are greatest. Most of the cloud can be losing heat by radiation even as the centre is heating up. “Heat causes expansion” only if there is no stronger force opposing it. In this case gravity is the stronger force.

            Steve Austin has convinced me that the question of the Earth’s early atmosphere is more complex than I thought. He may be right. I don’t think it disproves abiogenesis since we still don’t know where that occurred. It could well be at deep ocean vents.

            He has not yet replied to me.

          • David Evans

            I have emailed Dr. Austin about the problem of cold and darkness caused by his tens of thousands of volcanoes all erupting in the Flood year, and am a waiting a reply.

          • Mark

            I take it that you are aware that Christian Arabs of all denominations worship Allah? It is the same with Jews from Arab countries.

            Only in America do people put “Allah” in the same grammatical category as J_ — this is why it took some time for the authorities to see the transparent forgery involved in the anthrax letters and went hunting, as usual, for a Muslim Terrorist. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/29/Amerithrax-letter-a.jpg

            What a Muslim writes, when writing in English, is: God is great. You might as well argue that the French reject the true god and worship a phantom they call “Dieu” instead.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Yes, I am aware of this. The reason is simple, Allah in Arabic means “The God”. Allah means God same as Elohim means God in Hebrew. This meaning of Allah has existed long before Muhammad was born. Therefore an Arabic Dictionary definition of Allah is usable in Christian and Jewish Scriptures in that language.

            The issue is that the term, as even you have underlying your entire post, means the Islamic god and not Yahweh. The dictionary meaning fails due to extra baggage that pops up in people’s mind when you say “Allah”. The only way to solve this dilemma is to use another word in place of Allah. Elohim is God in Hebrew, yet God is more often called Yahweh, which is a different word. Often God is even called a description, rather than a name. In like manner, Arabic Bibles would be better served in modern day with using a substitution, such as “The Almighty”. Regardless, Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, even if the same word is used.

          • Mark

            Where are you getting the idea that there is an ‘Islamic God’, as distinct from the Christian God, and the God of Hebrew Scripture?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            The question works both ways. Why do you assume that Allah and Yahweh are the same? Would you argue that Marduk, a god of the Babylonians, and Ra, a god of the Egyptians, are the same because in English we call them both a god?

          • Mark

            J’ is a very special term, it is not used in the New Testament for example. It is not at all like ‘God’ in English. Similarly, J’ is not like ‘Allah’, which is a word for God, like ‘God’. ‘Allah’ does not have a secondary use as a genuine proper name of God; in fact all of the ‘names of God’ in the Muslim tradition are descriptions – the Just, the Merciful, etc. The Islamic tradition is completely unfamiliar with any proper name of God. Your position is exactly the same as if one said, “Why do you assume that French Christians worship God, when on the face of it, they worship some strange divinity Dieu”; you have not supplied any material that would distinguish your position from that one. That Christians and co., speak of Zeus and Athena as gods is a quite different matter; first these are proper names, something Muslims lack; and here ‘god’ is anyway implicitly used in what logicians call an indirect or intentional context; if I say the Athenians believed in a god called Zeus, I am not committed to any view about the matter.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Okay, to answer your question: where am I getting the idea that there is an “Islamic God”, as distinct from the Christian God, and the God of Hebrew Scripture?

            The answer is actually surprisingly simple. The Qur’an is imperfect, even under the Muslim understanding of it. They will not admit it is imperfect, but if you think objectively, this is admitting it too. The Qur’an contradicts itself. At first it says Jews and Christians are to be allies with Muslims, and that they should befriend us. Later it says to kill Jews and Christians wherever they are, no reason needed, just do it.

            Their explanation is Abrogation: that what is written later supersedes the earlier, therefore all contradictions are fixed because the old is replaced by the new. The reason this happened is because Muhammad thought Jews and Christians would accept that his new “word from God” was legitimate. When neither group did accept it as legitimate, he changed his mind and made us enemies. Unfortunately, he already had followers and he could not erase what was already written in the Qur’an, so he came up with Abrogation.

            The question then becomes, if the Qur’an really did get inspired by God (Allah), why were these errors made? Would not God, who knows all things, be able to know if Jews and Christians would join in or not? Why say they would and then change your mind when the shocking revelation happens that they reject? God would not make that mistake. The Holy Bible never makes apologies for what was written beforehand. And as you probably know, I am a firm believer that The Holy Bible has no errors in it.

            Now if one wants to get a bit more technical, Muhammad got his “word from God” from an angel. We know from The Holy Bible that satan can look like an angel of light, or a good angel (2 Corinthians 11:14). But we also know from many places in The Holy Bible that satan is a created being and cannot be everywhere or know everything. So if Muhammad got this word from satan instead, then that would explain this error in the Qur’an. Under this theory, the Muslims think they are following Allah when they are actually following the devil. Using this train of thought, and only this one, Allah and Yahweh can be one and the same, because it is a case of mistaken identity in Islam.

            Does this make sense?

          • Mark

            The theory that the Quran is a mass of falsifications, or that it is a mass of falsifications inspired by Satan, makes perfect sense; it is a standard Jewish and Christian view. But the falsifications are about exactly the same thing that the Jews and Christians understand their scriptures to be about, viz. God. There is no way around this. There is nothing unintelligible in the idea of a false ‘heretical’ doctrine of God. Your theory would never cross the mind of e.g. a Lebanese or Palestinian Christian, or a Syrian Jew, who would be likely to know infinitely more about the matter.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            “But the falsifications are about exactly the same thing that the Jews and Christians understand their scriptures to be about, viz. God.”

            Yes, true. Many similar things are talked about: Abraham, Ishmael, Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses, Jesus The Messiah, etc. But have you not heard the wisdom of Marry Poppins? “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!” Satan is smart enough to mix in truth with error, because it makes the error easier to believe.

            “Your theory would never cross the mind of e.g. a Lebanese or Palestinian Christian, or a Syrian Jew, who would be likely to know infinitely more about the matter.”

            Your statement assumes that they cannot tell the difference between the Allah of The Holy Bible and the Allah of the Qur’an. You have said that Christians and Jews in Arabic speaking countries all worship Allah, but you have provided no evidence that they add the Qur’an to their understanding of Christianity or Judaism. We’re back to my original answer, just because they use the same word does not mean it is the same god. You yourself pointed out that even a Muslim in America will write “Praise be to God” instead of “Praise be to Allah”. Christians all over the United States also say “Praise be to God” instead of “Praise be to Elohim”. Same word, same phrase, different deities.

          • Mark

            Your theory entails that it is impossible to hold any false opinion about the true God — any error means you’re thinking of a ‘different deity’. Nothing real could have this curious property.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            You are right, I was not considering that you can know about the true God but misconceive of what He is like. However, one could also argue that by doing this, you are creating a god in your mind that you want to be the true God. I’m sure you’ve heard the line, it has been in films in the past (“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” for one), that “we all create god in our own image”. A prime example of this is Exodus 32:1-6 where the golden calf was pronounced to be “Yahweh”. It was not Yahweh but most everyone chose to believe it was and called it “the god which brought them up out of the land of Egypt.” This was a misconception of Yahweh, but in misconceiving Him they had formed a new god that suited their evil purposes. Even if the Islamic Allah is merely a misconception of Yahweh, they have formed a new god in their hearts to suit their evil purposes.

          • David Evans

            PS The video says Wegener’s model was rejected by geologists because he was a meteorologist. You creationists do like to portray scientists as irrational, don’t you? That may have been a factor, but more important was that his proposed mechanism for driving the movement of continents was impossible.

          • David Evans

            That the Heavens are plural in the text doesn’t mean there is more than one. We talk about the oceans, but there is in reality only one ocean on Earth.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            I
            answered this already with 2 Corinthians 12:2, “I knew a man in Christ above
            fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the
            body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
            (KJV)

          • Psalm 148 says the waters above were still thought to be there in the psalmist’s day. But don’t let what the Bible actually says stand in your way. Make it say what you are sure it is supposed to – and thus do exactly what the image in the blog posts depicts.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Psalm 148:4 (KJV)—“Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.”

            I did not say that this verse was wrong. Yes, I knew of it, and as of yet, no one can refute it. We have not seen to the edge of the universe. Who is to say there is not a huge sphere of water around everything? This verse implies there is, so, I believe there is. A Canopy around the Earth, the first Heaven, once existed. A Canopy around the second Heaven may yet exist. In fact, since the verse says Heavens plural, and even mentions the “Heavens of Heavens” which would be the third Heaven, there may also be water around that one. We don’t know.

          • So you are doing what the image depicts. Adding a universe the authors of Genesis and the Psalms didn’t know about, in between a planet the authors of Genesis and the Psalms didn’t know about, and the dome they assumed was over the Earth and had celestial lights upon it, which you push further than they say it was, so that birds no longer fly across its face.

          • ccws

            Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we do all the shazy crit we have to do to scripture so we can take it “literally”…OTOH, when we take it as the metaphorical mythos it actually is, it makes so much more sense & is so much more meaningful…

          • AmbassadorHerald

            How is The Holy Bible more meaningful if it is nothing but fairy tales?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Cultures all around the world have legends of a Worldwide Flood, similar to the one in The Holy Bible, and this means that the likelihood of such an event having happened is pretty high. Similarly, the legend of a solid dome over the earth is found all over the world, and in the same way this means the likelihood of a dome having existed at one time is pretty high. This dome was the Ice Canopy around the earth, which would look like a dome from the ground vantage point.

            Just like today we say “the sun rose in the morning and set in the evening” even though we all know that what we mean is the earth rotated so the sun moved across the sky. So in Pre-Flood days, when the Canopy did exist, they would have referred to it as a dome even though they knew it went far beyond the horizon. This description of a dome lead to the mythos of a dome in the Post-Flood world even though the dome no longer existed.

            Ancient man did indeed know about the spherical earth, Scripture itself tells us about it in Isaiah 40:22, “It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:” (KJV) We are also told of how uncountable the stars are in Genesis 22:17, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;”

            Besides, even if you argue ancient man did not know about the spherical earth or the vastness of the universe, God knew, He created them. The Holy Bible was written by God through men, just like we use pens and pencils today. The pen did indeed write on the page, but only what the author told it to write. People only wrote in The Sacred Scriptures what God inspired them to write. So even if they themselves would have disagreed with the earth being a circle or that the stars “cannot be numbered for multitude” (Genesis 32:12), they wrote it because God told them to.

          • You seem to gullibly embrace what young-earth creationists claim, which is sad. Many cultures that are in contact with one another clearly shared a flood story, as we know not least from the fact that the Mesopotamians had versions of it which are older than the ones incorporated into the Bible. Lots of civilizations have very different flood stories, because flooding is common around the globe.

            But can you really not see how you are twisting Scripture? It says circle, and you substitute sphere, reading your scientific knowledge into a text written by someone who lacked it. And you completely ignore the heavens draped over it like a tent, much as the dome is said to be over it in Genesis 1.

            What would it take to get you to respect the Bible enough to not tamper with its meaning in these ways. Pretending it says things it does not, with the aim of claiming that your thus-distorted Bible is “inerrant,” is offering praise to an imaginary Bible while riding roughshod over the real one and what it actually says.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            You label yourself as a “Liberal Christian” but that confuses me. Jesus is spoken of as an individual beginning in Genesis 3:15 all the way to the closing verse in Revelation 22:21. How can you believe that God’s Word is merely a copy of other “more ancient” myths and legends and then accept that God is real and His Son died for your sins, which is primarily known through God’s Word? Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry is not even accepted by the religion of whom God’s Word belongs originally—Judaism. So why do you accept Jesus but reject everything else? The Holy Bible cannot be inerrant if it portrays false representations of the world.

            Jesus said it Himself, John 3:12—“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” If the things recorded about this universe that we can see, touch, examine, and double-check are lies spoken from the mouth of God Almighty, we have no hope in the spiritual things recorded which we cannot scientifically observe, such as the afterlife and Heaven and Hell. If God lied to us about our own territory, we cannot trust Him about His territory. So, why do you assume the worst about God’s Word yet pronounce yourself a Christian?

          • I think it would make sense for you to read things that I have written, rather than making things up amd attributing them to me.

            If you read the Bible uncritically, then of course you can make your circular arguments, just as you can read Jesus into Genesis. But if one studies the human works that you have turned into an idol, one will neither deify them as you have, nor assume the worst about them as you accuse, but begin to understand them as what they claim to be and show themselves to be, namely the compositions of human authors.

          • David Evans

            The blue sky looks like a dome. That is sufficient reason for different peoples to have described it as such. It’s not evidence for a solid dome ever having existed.

          • Nick G

            Cultures all around the world have legends of a Worldwide Flood

            Those that are or have been located in river valleys liable to flooding often do. none of them, of course, could have known that any floods their ancestors experienced were worldwide. Geology shows conclusively that there has notbeen a global flood, at least within the last several hundred million years. That there has not been one for far longer than the few thousand years YECs pretend the earth has existed for, was discovered in the early 19th century by geologists who were both Christians and creationists, but unlike modern YECs, honest and intelligent.

          • David Evans

            This conversation may be over, but I would like to express my incredulity at what you are saying.

            The edge of the universe, if it has one, is at least 40,000 light years away. A sphere of water around that, even if it was only one molecule thick, would be more massive than every star in the galaxy combined. And we are to believe God created that immense amount of water, then thrust it beyond the farthest stars where we would never come to know of it in one day? For what conceivable reason?

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Is that really so incredulous? The common “scientific” belief today is that all the matter and energy we see today was once in a spec tinier than the period on this sentence. No explanation on how that is possible, where that super-spec came from, or why it became unstable to “big bang” this universe into existence. That is incredulous.

            Why did God put all that water around the universe? All we as people could do is speculate. We haven’t even seen it to be able to observe its properties. We may never see it. If you want to know why God did anything, the place to go for help is naturally the source, God Almighty. Ask Him. He may just give you a peek into the unknowable.

          • David Evans

            Why the scare quotes around “scientific”? Are you implying that the arguments for the big bang are not real science?
            The big bang theory follows logically from astronomical observations, made by observers of all faiths and none over almost a century. It predicted the existence and spectrum of the microwave background radiation before it was discovered, which is the mark of a good theory. For me that gives it more credibility than an internally inconsistent creation account which is just one of many and inconsistent with most of the others.

            “No explanation on how that is possible”. Give us time. We’re working on it. You haven’t explained how Steve Austin’s Flood model could happen physically or why humanity wouldn’t have been killed by the volcanic gases emitted.

            I don’t have a hot line to God. You could ask him, if you like.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            You also forget that according to Genesis 1, all of the matter in the universe was simply the earth. A central starting point from which the universe could expand. The error which evolutionists make is assuming the beginning must be a singularity, not a planet made of water. If the background waves do indeed mean a burst of energy from a central point, that could very well be from God’s first command, “Let there be light.”

            How the gases did not kill us? Water dissolves almost everything. The earth was being flooded with buckets of rain everywhere for 40 days and having water covering the earth from beneath for a good chunk of a year. It kept the atmosphere clean enough to live on a protected boat. You must remember, most of humanity died, which if you calculate from the Biblical data, could have been billions of people. God’s goal was death. Only Noah, his wife, his 3 sons, and their 3 wives were to be saved, along with at least 2 of every land-living and flying animal. The sea creatures and insects had to fend for themselves, and we see that many didn’t fare well.

          • David Evans

            I’m tired of you saying “evolutionist” when you mean…what? The Big Bang was (sort of) invented by a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaitre. Was he an “evolutionist”?

            Yes, water does dissolve a number of things. As a result the seas are turning acid and coral reefs are dying from humanity’s CO2 emissions. I wonder how any coral survived the fast-moving mud-filled and acidified waters of the flood.

          • David Evans

            I forgot to mention that volcanoes also throw large amounts of dust into the upper atmosphere. Mount Pinatubo alone blocked 10% of sunlight and caused a drop in temperature of half a degree C for two years. Austin talks of 40,000 volcanoes going off in a short time. The world would have been very cold and very dark, yet we are supposed to believe that enough plants (after being submerged for months) survived to feed animals and humans for years.

          • Nick G

            God’s goal was death.

            Nasty piece of work, your God.

          • AmbassadorHerald

            Look at my seventeenth reply to David_Evans on this particular blog-post: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/05/genesis-1-fixed-it-for-you.html#comment-2055102549

    • Steven Waling

      Of course I would. What’s one set of ancient Hebrew writings from another?

  • Jason John

    Did anyone else mention that God messed up when putting the moon up to rule the night? I often see the moon up in the daytime. So either God is pretty incompetent, or original sin was so awesome that it threw the moon out of orbit.

    • David Evans

      To be permanently ruling the night the Moon would have to be at the Earth-Sun L2 position. That’s about 4 times as far as it is now, so it would have to be larger. Also the position isn’t stable, God would have to be continually correcting the orbit. Personally I would have preferred rings like Saturn’s.

      http://jwst.nasa.gov/orbit.html

    • AmbassadorHerald

      Using the properties of water, specifically Ice, light can be transferred from the daylight side of the planet to the nighttime side. This would then have been the “lesser light” and not the moon. Today, as has been pointed out before, this Ice Canopy no longer exists, and the only replacement has been the moon, which only provides light during 50% of the month.

      • Jason John

        God made two great lights not a reflective ice sheet. And in your version apparently only one temporary light to rule the night for a little while, In geo synchronous orbit to stay opposite the sun. Wow the lengths people go to to make up stuff and change things in something they started out defending as truth. (Not judging, I’ve beenthere inmy firstfew yearsas aChristian, with ascience background, trying tofor ancientJewish cosmologyinto eternaltruth because i was trying topreserve the greater truth of this new xp of God. Eventually i learned toseparate the two ) If you’re going to rely on temporary hovering ice sheets I think the discussion is over. I guess the moon was an afterthought, and not a particularly effective one, once the magic ice sheet melted.

        • AmbassadorHerald

          Before you mock an idea, you should at least read what has been said about it previously. There’s evidence in Scripture for the Hydrosphere (as in a water atmospheric layer).

      • David Evans

        The ice canopy could only be about 10 meters thick to be consistent with your earlier statements. Do you really think enough light would somehow travel around the shell to the light side and then leave it to illuminate the ground?
        There is another problem with the ice canopy (and with YEC in general). The Earth has been struck during its history by hundreds of asteroids capable of creating significant craters. See http://www.passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/Diametersort.html
        At least the last 5 on this list would have done worldwide damage (the Chicxulub impact, you may recall wiped out the dinosaurs and many other species). It’s clear that the large impacts didn’t happen in recorded history, therefore they must have happened before the Flood. They would, of course, have smashed the Ice Canopy to pieces.

        Actually I’m pretty sure that an ice canopy, whether in orbit or resting on top of the atmosphere, would be gravitationally unstable and would collapse in less time than elapsed before the flood.

      • ccws

        Ice canopy? Oh, the stuff we have to invent to make ancient poetry make sense “literally”…

  • RV Spivey

    Do you know what mystifies me? Why anybody wastes time trying to reason with a person who willfully ignores the distinction between the literal and the figurative and denies that they are just as guilty of selectively interpreting scripture as the people they consign to hell. Personally, I’m not inclined to let pseudonymous trolls hurl theological feces at me, but that’s just me.

    • David Evans

      Speaking for myself, I enjoy the intellectual exercise. It motivates me to research dimly remembered facts, and sometimes I find I was wrong, which is always salutary.

      • RV Spivey

        I commend your forbearance. I find that when I make the tactical error of engaging an “AmbassadorHerald” – type pseudonymous blowhard, I lose my patience and then in short order, my civility.

  • The story reflects the thought of the people of the time when Genesis was written. Cannot be divine revelation. If Adam, in Genesis, never really existed, the the need for Redemption form original sin is not needed. There was no original sin as narrated in Genesis. Genesis is not the only book of the Bible with fallacies and contradictions. It is illogical to think of these books as Divine Revelations.