Creationism

BarryA Interviews Dr. David DeWitt

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Dr. DeWitt will appear on my radio talk show tomorrow to discuss his book, “Unraveling the Origins Controversy.”  The show begins at 6:00 Eastern and will stream live on KRKS.com. 

Dr. DeWitt is the Director of the Center for Creation Studies and a professor of Biology at Liberty University.  He is a young earth creationist.   While I respect YEC’s, I do not count myself among them, so the give and take should be interesting.

77 Replies to “BarryA Interviews Dr. David DeWitt

  1. 1
    bevets says:

    Although the ID movement is fighting naturalism in biology, it is actually tolerating or even promoting naturalism in geology and astronomy — which is not a consistent strategy — thus undermining its potential effectiveness. ~ Terry Mortenson

    Will there be a podcast available for download?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    For Id to maintain its stance on unchanging universal constants (which is what is actually at the very basis of all dating techniques) is not a naturalistic postion, for the primary position of materialism presupposed that some of the constants would vary, and in fact extensive tests were performed to find variance in many of the universal constants and ratios. The verdict has been that they have remained exceedingly stable. Yet the base Theistic philosophy would presuppose that when God established a transcendent constant (law) that it would be unchanging from His decree. Thus the YECists commit an egregious violation of both what is expected of Theism as a base Philosophy, and a violation of what is currently known to be true in science.

  3. 3
    DLH says:

    bornagain77

    Thus the YECists commit an egregious violation of . . .
    what is currently known to be true in science.”

    The instant violation appears to be your violation of logic.

    . . .unchanging universal constants (which is what is actually at the very basis of all dating techniques)

    See NIST’s Constants in the category ” Universal constants Which of those address dating methods?

    Please read up on dating methods. There are many more issues in dating different from changing “universal constants”. Many are addressed in Don DeYoung’s Thousands not Billions. 2005, ISBN 0-89051-441-0.

    DeYoung in Ch 9 suggests that actual evidence may fit with accelerating radioactive decay rate models.
    How do you see that as any “universal constant” varying.

    Some YEC may have proposed that some “constants” may be varying parameters. However, do not tar all with the same brush.

    Please detail, document and support your criticism rather than trying to start a flame war.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    DLH,
    I believe this article, on Reasonstobelieve.org ,addresses this issue;

    Do the RATE Findings Negate Mainstream Science?

    http://www.reasons.org/resourc.....icle.shtml

    Conclusion

    Young-earth creationists have long claimed there is no evidence for an old Earth. The fact that billions of years of nuclear decay have occurred in Earth history has been denied by most young-earth creationists. Now, the RATE team has admitted that, taken at face value, radiometric dating data is most easily and directly explained by the Earth being billions of years old.111 This is a remarkable development because no longer can young-earth creationists claim it is merely the naturalistic worldview that makes scientists believe rocks and minerals are millions or billions of years old.

    Are the RATE findings sufficient grounds to reject mainstream science? What is known to science is radioactive decay would produce the quantity of daughter products on the Earth in a timescale of millions or billions of years. Unknown to science and lacking any independent verification is the idea that nuclear decay rates were accelerated in the past by five orders of magnitude (100,000 times) or more.112 Thus, we are faced with a choice: either we can accept the vast majority of radiometric data that indicates the Earth is very old, or we can believe the Earth is 6,000 years old based on a handful of anomalous results. Looking at the data objectively, the RATE research does not meet the burden of proof necessary to demonstrate that radiometric dating is fallacious.

    Some may contend that God accelerated decay rates supernaturally, so the evidence lies beyond the limits of scientific inquiry. That is possible. As the Creator, God is certainly capable of altering the laws of nature. However, such a claim is an argument from silence. The Bible says nothing about God changing nuclear decay rates during the Flood, or of God intervening in the world to safeguard His creatures from the lethal heat and radiation. Nor do the Flood chapters describe a cataclysm of the proportion required by the accelerated decay model, or that Noah found the Earth had been radically changed when he emerged from the ark. Thus, those who make such an appeal are reading something into the biblical text.

    For young-earth creationists, there is an additional problem. Young-earth creationists have consistently maintained decay was not part of the original creation, but something God instituted at the Fall (i.e., at Adam and Eve’s sin).113 This is a bedrock principle of the “no-death-before-the-Fall” theology. However, according to the accelerated decay hypothesis, some accelerated decay must have occurred during the creation week, long before Adam and Eve were created. Therefore, young-earth creationists who support the accelerated decay model will have to abandon, or revamp, that theology.

    The RATE team has raised some interesting issues and perhaps the accelerated decay hypothesis holds promise. However, it is not only premature, but irresponsible, for young-earth creationists to claim RATE proves anything. Even the RATE team admits the hypothesis creates huge scientific and theological problems they are nowhere close to solving, and additional research is needed on nearly every issue they examined.114 Such a rush to judgment not only reflects poorly on the young-earth creationists making these claims, but also on the Christian community as a whole. To paraphrase the great Christian theologian Augustine, how can we expect unbelievers to trust our statements about spiritual things if we make outlandish statements about worldly things?115 Obviously, we can’t. Thus, it is our public witness we should be most concerned about, not promoting our sectarian views of the age of the earth.

    Bio
    Greg Moore is a graduate of Washington State University and works as the Water Conservation Manager for the city of Everett. A certified RTB apologist since 2000, Greg was among the founding members of the Seattle chapter, which he now serves as president. His monthly newsletters may be accessed under the “chapters” button.

    Myself I side with reasonstobelieve and maintain that they are jumping through a lot of hoops to make the evidence fit the, IMHO, very selective bias to a 6000 year old earth.

    Many men fail to take God’s Eternal nature into account and try to make the evidence fit their limited understanding of Time.

    In fact in Genesis account itself, The sun was not created until the third day. How in the world can there be 24 hour days without a sun?
    The violations of logic go on and on by YEC’s, and again I remind you this is all done to make the evidence fit a preconcieved bias, thus the trap is the same that the evolutionists have fell into and does not rate as pure unadulterated science.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    DLH,
    AS well, Dr. Dembski addresses the Theological objections to a old earth in his paper:

    Christian Theodicy in Light of Genesis and Modern Science

    I believe Dr. Dembski does an excellent job, in his paper, of reconciling our limited understanding of time with God’s eternal nature.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a link to Dr. Dembski’s paper:

    Christian Theodicy in Light of
    Genesis and Modern Science

    http://cache.search.yahoo-ht2......1&.intl=us

  7. 7
    Noremacam says:

    In response to bornagain77,

    You said:

    “Young-earth creationists have consistently maintained decay was not part of the original creation, but something God instituted at the Fall (i.e., at Adam and Eve’s sin).”

    Define decay. This sounds like a variant of the misconception of “no second law of thermodynamics after the fall”.

    I, as a YEC, have no trouble with radioactive decay prior the fall, or many other forms of “decay” for that matter, but I wanted to make sure I understood you clearly.

  8. 8
    DLH says:

    Bornagain77

    Thanks for the references from several critics.

    Note Greg Moore’s:

    The RATE team has raised some interesting issues and perhaps the accelerated decay hypothesis holds promise.

    Does that support your assertion of “an egregious violation”?

    Please clarify where you see any reference to universal constants varying in your citations.

    Please review the proposals for “inflation” during/after the Big Bang in cosmology.
    e.g. “Beyond the Big Bang, Inflation and the very early universe”, by Gary Felder

    How is appeal to “inflation” any different from appealing to changes in the rate of radioactive decay to model the data? Note Felder’s comment:

    We have never observed a kind of energy that acts like this, but according to our current theories of physics there is one.

    DeYoung et al show numerous radioactive data which do not fit conventional timelines and models. Thus they to hypothesize a mechanism and models to reconcile the data.

    I encourage you to provide objective critiques similar to those you subsequently cited, rather than fevered rhetorical objections.

  9. 9
    Noremacam says:

    oops, in my previous post I said “after the fall” I meant “before the fall”…

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    DLH,
    Instead of citations, I will first appeal to the heart of your reasoning.
    Do you believe that sedimentary layers, cratering on the moon, weathering of the appalachian mountains, continental drift, the constant of the speed of light etc..etc..etc.. all in harmony with one another, point to a very old earth? If you do agree that they do indeed give the appearance of a very old earth, Then I must ask you. Do you think God would create a world with all the appearances of old age, when in fact the old age does not actually exist? If you maintain that this appearance of old age is so and God created it as such, Then this seems to be bordering on heresy for me, for YEC’s are in effect saying that God willingly misled us by creating an overwhelming illusion of old age. I firmly believe that overwhelming illusions are definitely not part of God’s foundational Character. i.e. (No deceit is found in Him)

    As far as you accusing me of fevered rhetorical objections, I steadfastly maintain that universal constants have held exceptionally stable through many tests and that this fact is a primary prediction and position of the foundational Theistic philosophy. Transcendent and Stable universal constants is definitely NOT a materialistic position or prediction I can assure you!!

    As well I encourage you to read Dr. Dembski’s paper which I have cited. You commend me on citing it but you still want to argue over many of the details that he does an excellent job of covering in the paper. I assure you that he does a much better job of making this case than I ever could.

  11. 11
    alan says:

    bornagain77 – I usually enjoy your posts, but here I must protest. Your pleading are mere “conclusions of law” and ultimate material facts to the contrary will show you are jumping large to conclusions less salient than usual for you I think. Should I quote Job for illustration?
    Do I need to explain (to you) how and why and in what forms God “sends strong delusion” Do you think materialism / naturalism is something short of evil -“all the deception of wickedness”? Do we not get a tingle to our ego when we think we’ve got a corner of the creation figured out? Not trying to get too whatever here, just aware that in every way possible we humans will pull the “instead of God (Anti-Christ) card in our meager attempt to “save our own life”. Might an “Angle of Light” come in the form of a “scientific fact”? My apologies to all for not being “scientific” in this post.
    Be careful out there will ya! Grace, discernment and wisdom to all and especially me of course.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Point well taken Allen and DLH, I will try to put scientific facts in front of my philosophical position from now on. To do otherwise, especially on this site, is to invite all sorts of disagreement.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Noremacan,
    Hope I don’t drift to far from a scientific foundation but it may be necessary. Decay, (Entropy) is clearly not part of God’s eternal perfect character. i.e. do you think that things fall apart in heaven? i.e. that entropy exists in Heaven?. In fact I believe that entropy as a foundational scientific cause can be persuasively argued to be tied to de^ath itself. i.e. if entropy did not exist it is very feasible that de^ath itself would not exist. Thus we are back to square one on Theological problems for YEC as to why de^ath precceded the fall of man, which is why I remind once again, that this is topic addressed by Dembski in a excellent manner in his linked to paper in post 6.

  14. 14
    scordova says:

    Although the ID movement is fighting naturalism in biology, it is actually tolerating or even promoting naturalism in geology and astronomy — which is not a consistent strategy — thus undermining its potential effectiveness. ~ Terry Mortenson

    I don’t have high opinion of Moretnsen’s comments. It’s not an issue about whether ID tolerates this or that, but whether the arguments put forward have suffient evidential basis…

    There has not much need of refuting naturalism from astronomy and geology. If one wants to argue for a Young Universe, one needs to start first by re-formulatong Maxwell’s equations to reflect temporal and spatial variation in electrodynamics. Such a feat would probably put one on the level of Einstein and Maxwell (a creationist), but that’s what needs to be done to prove the YEC case…

    Mortensen would do better to solve the physics problems with YEC than advocating greater intolerance toward those who disagree with him….

    I say this as someone who is actually sympathetic ( but not fully convinced) of YEC.

  15. 15
    bevets says:

    OECs and YECs would both agree that the Work of God and the Word of God ultimately unite. The disagreement is over final authority: When there is apparent conflict do we compromise the ‘Works’ or the ‘Word’? This is the heart of the matter.

  16. 16
    Noremacam says:

    Bornagain77:
    I absolutely believe in decay(and 2nd law thermodynamics) in a prefall world. Just as an example: Without decay how could digestion possibly work?

    This is why I asked you to define decay, as there are different contexts. Also, from a philosophical standpoint, the argument I would say is that the human body has incredible restorative power to heal wounds. In a “perfect” uncursed creation, with a “perfect” uncursed body, I would say entropy(in the sense of degradation, falling apart) is real but that it could have no effect, because the world prior curse, was designed to handle it.

    Of course, what is “perfect” is left for the imagination since I doubt anyone here has seen “perfect”.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Noremacam,
    You seem to only be reshuffling your problem with entropy, for entropy holds that the entire universe is subject to decay, and with the finding of a “flat universe” this can be extrapolated over extremely long periods of time. Thus how can any physical life as we understand it possibly exist without stars and planets to exist on.(Thus it seems de^ath was preordained far before the fall of man.) Dr. Dembski’s paper deals with all these paradoxes by taking into account God’s eternal “timeless” nature, which is a far different perspective on time than we have.

    Christian Theodicy in Light of
    Genesis and Modern Science

    http://cache.search.yahoo-ht2......1&.intl=us

    As well YEC’s must in effect deny the integrity of the fossil record itself since animals are found to have died long before man appeared. (Thus before the fall again)

    As well, I point out that Theists already have an extremely powerful apologetic tool in the Anthropic Principle in which the fine-tuning and balance of ALL the “unchanging” universal constants warrants compelling inference to Almighty God:

    Chances of Life in our Universe

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zidVyQe7NCo

    If YEC’s are demanding that some constants fluctuated in order to accommodate their 6000 year creation date, then this will, by necessity, dictate that all of the other balanced universal constants would also need to be precisely varied in order to sustain a universe which will be able to support life. The anthropic principle dictates it to be an all or nothing proposition in regards to relatedness of universal constants. i.e. you can’t just cherry pick a few universal constants to mess with to bring the age of the universe to your preconcieved date.

  18. 18
    scordova says:

    The disagreement is over final authority: When there is apparent conflict do we compromise the ‘Works’ or the ‘Word’? This is the heart of the matter.

    Frankly many have rejected the Bible because the YECs have argued their evidential case so poorly…so appeals to Biblical authority don’t help much when one is already doubting the Bible…

    One can make a more believable case that the Bible is God’s word by coming forward with evidence.
    Short of that, for many, the Bible will appear as if its just another fabrication by people claiming to speak for God.

    Offer a plausible and experimentally confirmed re-formulation of Maxwell’s equations, and much of these debates will be moot…

    Until then, this will remain a fruitless theological argument, not a serious exploration of physical reality…

    Mortensen’s attitude of encouraging intolerance only suggests to the outside world that he doesn’t have a convincing evidential case…

    The way to win the case for creation is put forward facts and a lot less theology and and a lot demands for belief and conformity…

  19. 19
    tragicmishap says:

    I’ve heard of the radioactive decay constants changing, but I was under the assumption there better explanations YECs resort to to explain the conflated dates from mainstream dating methods.

    What about the fact that all radiometric dating assumes that all radioactive decay starts at the beginning of the chain? Is it so unbelievable or “deceitful” that during the creation of the universe, the ultimate occurrence of heat and pressure, unstable intermediates in the radioactive decay chain were creatbriefly existed and decayed? There is evidence for this. Anyone know anything about radio halos? I don’t know a lot about this, but I always thought there were better arguments than changing constants.

  20. 20
    tragicmishap says:

    Or what about Russell Humphrey’s argument about the “white hole”? I’d be interested to see what you guys have to say about that.

  21. 21
    Atom says:

    Bornagain77 wrote:

    How in the world can there be 24 hour days without a sun?

    Sorry to jump into the middle of a conversation late, just that line caught my eye because I’ve seen others make similar arguments.

    A 24 hour day is based on the rotation of the earth, not its revolution around the sun. So a 24 hour day would be the result of the rotation of the earth around its axis.

    The better question is how can you have evening and morning without the sun? If there were a source of light shining on the earth (a Shekinah, if you will), then this too is possible without a sun.

    Hopefully people will stop using that argument as a “fatal flaw” of any Six Day, biblically-based theory.

  22. 22
    bevets says:

    scordova,

    Your post seems to imply that a solution to Maxwell’s equations would usher in a revival. YEC (or ID) science is no replacement for the resurrection in apologetics. However, Christians preumably have an allegiance to the Truth of the Word of God and should not be bothered by apparent problems reconciling it with the Work of God.

  23. 23
    tragicmishap says:

    Dr. DeWitt elicited some good questions. The first question was about a specific bacterial resistance gene. Here is an opportunity for an ID hypothesis, even though ID can’t, or isn’t permitted to make hypotheses. If the selective pressure of the antibiotic mentioned is removed, the organism will return to its original state and the resistance gene will be lost. In the absence of the selective pressure, the mutated organism is less fit than the original.

    I can’t remember exactly which one was mentioned. BarryA can you get that info? Maybe we can find the study that is being referenced.

  24. 24
    thogan says:

    @ bevets

    Without an adequate epistemology, the resurrection will not help anyone believe (Christ told a parable along those lines, I believe). Without an adequate epistemology, people think that pseudo-science is science.

    If there’s no technology to support a claim that a field of study is science, that field of study isn’t science, no matter how many equations someone throws at you. Unfortunately, most people’s epistemology is very poor and that results in people swallowing pseudo-science hook, line, and sinker.

    People accept local derivations of physical entities as universal “constants” when they haven’t been derived from measurements anywhere but earth. We should be skeptical about such things.

    Generally, pseudo-science asserts knowledge about the far away in space or time where no man can refute their assertions about processes or conditions using empirical evidence. “An appeal to ignorance,” I call it.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Atom let’s just agree to disagree with your 6-24 hour day interpretation of scripture.

    But in so far as YECs requiring changing decay rates alluded to earlier in this post, I found this tidbit:

    According to Dr Hugh Ross, decay rates of the fundamental atomic particles have had to remain constant throughout the history of the universe in order to enable life to be possible.

    http://www.leaderu.com/science/ross-justright.html

    A “Just Right” Universe: Chapter Fourteen, The Creator and the Cosmos

    such as:

    17. decay rate of the proton:

    if greater: life would be exterminated by the release of radiation
    if smaller: insufficient matter in the universe for life

    20. decay rate of 8Beryllium (8Be):

    if slower: heavy element fusion would generate catastrophic explosions in all the stars
    if faster: no element production beyond beryllium and, hence, no life chemistry possible

    21. mass excess of the neutron over the proton:

    if greater: neutron decay would leave too few neutrons to form the heavy elements essential for life
    if smaller: proton decay would cause all stars to collapse rapidly into neutron stars or black holes.

    To me this seems to tie decay rates directly to the anthropic principle thus exponentially increasing the problems for YECs for requiring variance.

  26. 26
    Avonwatches says:

    Chipping in, from what we, from what I know of God (i.e. what’s in the Bible), He never comes across as wasteful, or a trickster, right?

    It seems like an incredible waste to set up an extravagant universe/creation like the one we have, yet falsify rocks, decay, etc for a little reason like wanting a 6000yr old (currently) world.

    Creating only the ‘appearance’ of a 4000BC world (that’s the date YECs give, right?)… is that something God does, or has been known to do? Is ‘creating/altering things for appearance’ something God does?

  27. 27
    DLH says:

    bornagain77 at 10

    Do you think God would create a world with all the appearances of old age, when in fact the old age does not actually exist?

    Applying your argument,
    “Do you think God would create a man with all the appearances of an adult, when in fact such age did not exist?”(i.e. he was made only a few seconds previously.)

    Would you then be “in effect saying that God willingly misled us by creating an overwhelming illusion of an adult man”?

    I would be reticent about attributing evil motives or actions to an Intelligent Designer over what we have little understanding of, and especially when we have so little thought it through.

    By the way, I an addressing your arguments vs YECs, not mine.

    Here it would be much better to take a “big tent” approach and promote each groups part in how to demonstrate ID in contrast to materialism etc.

    If the Intelligent Designer has the capabilities to form and fine tune the universe, would he be able to provide a rapid “inflation”?
    If so, would he not be able to vary the radioactive decay rates?

    Back to the evidence.
    What alternative models are there for the radioactive data that the YEC RATE group measured?

    Please find and address that data and those models, or develop such alternative models in an ID perspective
    (rather than emotionally letting loose with accusations of theodicy or worse.)

    Thanks for referring to Ross’ fine tuning arguments. Does he have any explanation for the radioisotopic data reported by the RATE group?

    At 24, you quote Ross on a number of parameters that appear finely tuned.

    Some of those fit in the NIST’s category of:

    ” Atomic and nuclear constants “

    However, those do not appear to be “universal constants” in the technical sense.

    If we are addressing ID and “fine tuning”, then they are “constants” in the sense of parameters that have a constant value. From an origins ID perspective, they would be parameters whose value had been set.

    By being able to set such parameters, would not an Intelligent Designer be able to adjust those parameters for a period of time and reset them?

    If he can set the parameters but not adjust them, that appears to be equivalent to the arguments of deism with someone to wind up the clock and then hands off. The difficulty with that is how do you have any basis for identifying intelligent design compared to an anonymous big bang materialism?

    The issue goes back to assumptions and capabilities of the Intelligent Designer.

    PS on your question: “How in the world can there be 24 hour days without a sun?”
    Do you recognize evidence of a start to the universe? e.g., the background microwave radiation from a “big bang”? If so, do you see that as evidence for an original intense level of light – before there were any suns? If there were spatial variations in that light around the earth, with a rotating earth, could there be “evening and morning” without a “sun”?

    Have you read CS Lewis’ “The Magician’s Nephew”? If so, how do you compare/contrast the time frame of Aslan “singing” Narnia into being compared with the Genesis account, and a “young” or “old” earth? How old is a tree when it is formed? Or can trees only be formed as seeds?

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    DLH,
    I don’t think this is in the scope of science when you ask:

    Do you think God would create a man with all the appearances of an adult, when in fact such age did not exist?”(i.e. he was made only a few seconds previously.)

    Yet I allude to what we odserve to make my point of a old earth and you allude to what can not be observed to make your point that God can willingly mislead us, thus you have gone beyond the scope of science into assumptions.

    then you state:

    By the way, I an addressing your arguments vs YECs, not mine.

    Your not a YEC?!?

    What the hubbub then?

    Then you ask:

    If the Intelligent Designer has the capabilities to form and fine tune the universe, would he be able to provide a rapid “inflation”?
    If so, would he not be able to vary the radioactive decay rates?

    Yes He can (all things are possible with God) but we can also ask is if it in His basic character to do as such and the answer to that is that it is not in His basic nature to alter a decree that He has set forth. (I am the Lord, I change not etc..etc..).

    Then you mention this:

    Back to the evidence.
    What alternative models are there for the radioactive data that the YEC RATE group measured?

    Please find and address that data and those models, or develop such alternative models in an ID perspective
    (rather than emotionally letting loose with accusations of theodicy or worse.)

    I quoted Moore and Dembski both of whom are unimpressed with the radioactive dates that the RATE group measured. I’m pretty sure I can find critiques from Dr. Ross as well as other OEC’s. Yet the entire point of my critique of the varying decay rates is that they are intimately tied to the anthropic principle. Though you try to claim they are minor, (and in a big player sense I guess they are) The decay rates are still not a stand alone proposition that can vary without affecting the other constants. You have to deny this line of evidence in order to make your YEC case work and that is just plain wrong to what is known of the precise balance of the anthropic principle. Though you claim that decay rates are a minor piece of the anthropic principle puzzle they are still VERY integral to the overall principle and as such will effect the other constants with their variance. You simply cannot sweep this crushing problem for YEC under the rug.

    I feel your other remarks need clarity, thus will refrain from commenting.

    As a side note, I’ve debated evolutionists for quite a while now and whenever a YEC comes into the discussion, evolutionists love to change topics and pick on the YEC and thus avoid talking about the glaring problems of evolution that are being brought up. They know that they can much more readily bring out heavy scientific artillary against the YEC than they can defend themselves against a OEC who wants to talk about THEIR evidence.

  29. 29
    thogan says:

    borneagain,

    May I suggest that you read Kuhn’s _Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions_, Feyerabend’s “Against Method,” and about “theory-ladenness” and “data selection bias.” (This would also apply to most other readers here.)

    The dating game is not neat and tidy like you think it is. Look under the rug.

    Regarding various assertions that God would be a trickster–don’t blame God if you put a stick in your own eye.

  30. 30
    jpark320 says:

    @ bornagain77

    YECers would indeed say death did not start before the fall of man. I hope you are not referring to plant “life” b/c clearly what constituted “life” did not include plants.

    In all honesty, I think the OECers have a stronger scientific case, but the YECers have the much stronger Biblical and theological case. The death issue before the fall is a huge prb for OECErs and the attempts i heard of explaning it (ie equating vegetation with animal and human life) fall abysmally short. The Bible clearly indicates death came from – the Fall. The OECers interpretation of Romans 5 is just completely wrong and a belief in an old earth is controls the interpretation of this verse.

    But I agree, in the face of materialists, why kick each other in the shins when we agree on so much? I’m just striving for clearer Biblical understanding and at this time, I do not think the OEC’s theological arguments are not as strong as the YEC’s and though their science is better, I’ll go with the Word every time.

  31. 31
    jpark320 says:

    Edit”
    I do no think the OEC’s theological arguments are as strong as the YEC’s… oops!

  32. 32
    DLH says:

    bornagain at 28

    Yet I allude to what we odserve to make my point of a old earth and you allude to what can not be observed to make your point that God can willingly mislead us, thus you have gone beyond the scope of science into assumptions.

    I did not say “God can willingly mislead us”. The appearance of age in something freshly made is inherent in the very fact of making objects that obviously age over time such as humans, trees and stars. That is a foundational issue of logic not an effort to mislead. There may be other evidence helping to distinguish ID from materialism.

    You assert that: “you allude to what can not be observed”
    Not being present at the origin of humans does not equate to there being no evidence for such an event.

    e.g., both human and primate genomes are now observable. The growing number of measurements of these genomes may soon provide the basis for quantitative testing of ID vs materialistic models for the origin of humans vs primates and when that occurred.

    By the way, the origin of humans vs primates is separate from the question of the origin of life, and from that of the origin of the universe. It is important to recognize these differences and that evidence for/against one does not equate to evidence for/against one or both of the others.

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    jpark320,
    First and foremost, I am glad that YECs and OECs share a common salvation in Christ even though they can disagree on certain interpretations of scripture and scientific facts. i.e. the resurrection is not disputed but is foundational to both Christian positions. With that being said, I really have to question your claim that YECs have a stronger theological position when they ignore so many scientific facts. Does not your Theological basis need to mesh with what we observe in the real wotrd at some point? If not, of what worth is your Theological basis if it cannot be used as a persuasive apologetic tool? For me your claim to a superior Theological coherency comes at a cost of ignoring all contrary scientific facts. To me this is not acceptable nor a successful Theology, for though you have brought peace to your mind in your interpretation of scripture, it has come at the severe cost of disengaging or even the denying of controversial scientific facts. IMO you have lost integrity towards a valid Theology in the “real” world. I know that I am not nearly as clear in this important matter as I would like to be, that is why I highly recommend reading Dr. Dembski’s paper:

    Christian Theodicy in Light of
    Genesis and Modern Science

    http://cache.search.yahoo-ht2......1&.intl=us

    of special interest:

    a Christian theodicy needs to go further. It needs additionally to make peace with three claims:

    (1) God by wisdom created the world.

    (2) God exercises particular providence in the world (e.g.,
    miracles, answers to prayer, and prophecies).

    (3) All evil in the world ultimately traces back to human sin.

    Mainstream theology regards the first of these as plausible, the second as problematic, and the third as, frankly, preposterous. I’m going to argue that all three claims are true and can be situated within a coherent Christian theodicy. Claim (3) is the most difficult to square with our current noetic environment. It is also the key to resolving the problem of a specifically Christian theodicy. Once it is shown to be plausible, claims (1) and (2) become plausible as well.
    11

    I want, therefore, in the sequel to
    focus principally on claim (3)

    IMHO, Dr. Dembski is successful in his goal and has developed a valid Theodicy. With this Theodicy being established by Dr. Dembski, I think in all fairness, that now OEC’s can claim a solid Theological foundation and framework that extends into the sciences. i.e. Dr. Dembski’s work makes it possible to have a fairly coherent understanding of both science and Theology at the same time. Whereas YECs are divorced from the former. For me this makes your claim of a superior theological basis for YECs a bit hollow in its bite.

  34. 34
    Paul Giem says:

    bornagain77

    You have now made at least 5 significant errors.
    1. Contrary to your statment (4), quoting Greg Moore (I gather approvingly), that

    Young-earth creationists have consistently maintained decay was not part of the original creation, but something God instituted at the Fall (i.e., at Adam and Eve’s sin)

    there has been a substantial portion of YEC’s that believe that certain kinds of decay did in fact happen before the Fall. For you (or Greg Moore) to make your assertion suggests that you are not really well acquainted with YEC thought, and are criticizing something based on a caricature. Perhaps you should talk to YEC’s in more depth.

    2. Atom (21) has answered your question (4)

    How in the world can there be 24 hour days without a sun?

    If you had thought about it, you could have given Atom’s answer. I’m not saying that I know Atom is right, but it is a reasonable answer, yet you seemed totally oblivious to the possibility. Whenever you evaluate a theory, you have a duty to avoid strawmen, and it looks like you failed in this case.

    BTW, note that this canard goes back to Augustine, who couldn’t understand why a light source before the sun should go around the world. Nowadays, Augustine’s problem is no longer a problem. The earth turns.

    3. You state, (25)

    According to Dr Hugh Ross, decay rates of the fundamental atomic particles have had to remain constant throughout the history of the universe in order to enable life to be possible.

    This is a nonsensical objection. For at least some YUC’s, the universe isn’t that old, so the fact that the decay of, for example, beryllium-8 appears to be constant now, and may have been constant throughout the entire time of the universe, is irrelevant to dating the universe. In fact, if beryllium-8 were to decay more rapidly for a whole year across the solar system, it would have no noticeable effect, and one serious proposal being considered by the RATE group is that nuclides with an atomic weight less than 30 were unaffected by the acceleration of decay. This is because the heavier elements seem to have decayed more rapidly from a YEC perspective (thus giving an older “age” than YEC’s would otherwise predict), while carbon-14 appears to still be present in, according to the standard geologic timescale, 350 million year old coal (for details, see the RATE book, or here and here for web-based material).

    4. Your assertion (10) that

    I firmly believe that overwhelming illusions are definitely not part of God’s foundational Character. i.e. (No deceit is found in Him)

    has already been alluded to by alan (11). To quote 2 Thess 2:10-12,

    . . . because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Apparently God does sometimes allow (cause?) deception for those who really don’t want to know, at least if 2 Thessalonians is a good guide. And DLH’s (27) example is valid. So is the example of the apparently deceived master of ceremonies at the wedding in Cana who thought that the groom had had the best wine around for at least 3 days. Your theological point is weak, to say the least.

    5. Finally, you state (13) that

    Thus we are back to square one on Theological problems for YEC as to why de^ath precceded the fall of man, . . .

    This is just plain stupid. One of the strong points of YEC is that they don’t have animal death before sin, whereas OEC is required to have it. The theological problem in this area belongs to the position you are arguing. You have it precisely backwards.

    You appear to be throwing the arguments of others at us and expecting all the YEC’s to fall over when they see them. Many of us have seen these arguments before, expressed more clearly than you have, and still have significant questions about OEC. Your approach seems sophomoric at best, akin to some of the Panda’s Thumb arguers, or some of the YEC’s i have run into who tried to use my data to “prove” a short age for life on earth and then got snowed, not because the arguments aren’t strong but because they really didn’t understand them. You are in danger of adjuring spirits by the Jesus whom Paul preaches, and we know how that story ended. You need to strive to understand before you criticize, and then be careful of your criticism.

    I understand your frustration when, as you note in (28), mechanistic evolutionists change the subject and attack YEC’s who are not careful with their arguments. But do not worry. After the YEC’s are gone, and you have disavowed them, the mechanistic evolutionists will turn and attack your beliefs theologically. I have seen this happen a number of times, including when Kenneth Miller sequentially attacked Paul Nelson and William Dembski at a debate in Burbank, CA.

    The one plea I would make for you, echoing, among others, jpark320 (30), that we all spend less time “proving” that the other side is obviously wrong, and therefore idiotic and should just shut up, and more time exploring the problems humbly and carefully. Assertions from either side without backup are not helpful, and questions are often more effective than answers in persuasion. It will be evidence, not my forceful presentation of it, that will convince the honest in heart in the end.

  35. 35
    Paul Giem says:

    bornagain77, (33)

    It looks like our comments crossed. I agree with you that it is incumbent on YEC’s to show that at least some scientific problems are tractable from their perspective, as the claim made by the Biblical record is that YHWH is not simply a local religious deity but the God who made the physical universe and still has control over it. What you do not appear to recognize is that this is precisely what the RATE group has done. To quote you (4) quoting Greg Moore,

    The RATE team has raised some interesting issues and perhaps the accelerated decay hypothesis holds promise. However, it is not only premature, but irresponsible, for young-earth creationists to claim RATE proves anything.

    To take the ideas in the reverse order, I will agree that YEC’s should not use the RATE data to beat people over the head, arguing that we have now solved all our problems and the only reason why you don’t accept our position is because you are stupid (or ignorant, insane, or wicked, as someone famously put it).

    But note that “The RATE team has raised some interesting issues and perhaps the accelerated decay hypothesis holds promise.” It would be helpful for you also to acknowledge that they have made apparent progress on what was previously a very difficult problem for YEC’s. Furthermore, their carbon-14 data is, IMO, difficult to account for using standard geological assumptions. It is possible that, with more research, YEC may be the easier way to explain things scientifically.

    It may be wise to make your words against fellow Christians as sweet as possible. That way, if you ever have to eat them, they taste better. 😉 It also does seem to display more of the spirit of Christ.

    The theological problems of OEC are not limited to that of death before sin. They also include the authority of straightforward Biblical prose in Genesis 1-3, the reliability of the account of the Fall, the reliability of the Flood account, the reliability of the 10 commandments, the reliability of Jesus’ teaching on divorce, and Paul’s parallel between Adam and Christ. I’m not saying that these problems are insoluble, but for you not to recognize that they are problems represents the same triumphalist thinking that you accuse (in some cases rightly) YEC’s of in science. We all, you included, see through a glass darkly. Recognizing this, let us practice charity as the highest virtue. 🙂

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Paul Glem ,
    I take issue with a number of your objections,

    1. For a YEC to maintain “certain” types of decay occur “pre-fall” is to pick and choose the evidence that will best reflect their preconcieved position they want to arrive at. (Bad science to say the least)

    As well,

    RATE has had a number of valid objections brought up that have not been addressed:

    Do the RATE Findings Negate Mainstream Science?
    Greg Moore

    http://www.reasons.org/resourc.....icle.shtml

    After many solid and valid objections Moore concludes by saying :

    This RATE study poses no serious challenge to mainstream science.

    As well, Though I am not intimately familar with the exact constant decay rates of protons and neutrons, I maintain that these constant decay rates are foundational to our physical reality (Hugh Ross) and thus intimately connected to the decay rates RATE is trying to undermine for its cherry picked tests and to the other constants and ratios in the anthropic principle…i.e. gravity, speed of light, electromagnetic force, strong and weak force etc..etc..

    As I stated earlier and you did not address, you can not pick and choose which constants in the Anthropic Principle you want to mess with, when you require one to change the others will be affected and must be accounted for in your nacent hypothesis, As far as I know this glaring problem is totally ignored by RATE.

    Objection 2 that you made I stand by, for in the fact that the sun was not created until the third day should give the reader of Genesis a solid clue that we are in fact dealing with God’s perception of Time not ours. (I believe Dr. Gerald Schroeder brings this one particular fact out in more detail, although I don’t completely agree with His specific timing for day’s)

    Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery Of Harmony Between Modern Science And The Bible (Gerald Schroeder )

    http://www.amazon.com/Genesis-.....038;sr=1-1

    Like Dr. Dembski, Dr.Shroeder thinks it completely reasonable to seek the adequate frame of reference for time to reconcile the differences between Thelogy and Science. (IMHO Dr. Dembski is successful)

    In fact I maintain that it is the unbending adherance to a 6-24 hour day that has brought YEC’s so much grief in science. Why should this be so when scripture itself refers to the “Eternal” timeless nature of God many many times? Not to mention the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light.
    The hoops YECs go though to maintain their unwarranted adherance to the anthropo-centric view of exactly 24 hour days is unwarranted by science, scripture and God’s eternal nature.

    Objection 3. Again the anthropic priciple is being overlooked by you and thus your comment that it “non-sensical” is without merit (Funny the last time I heard that statement was from PZ Myers)

    objection 4, I hate to split hairs on that scripture, but that scripture is meant for the unsaved. “Ever learning but never acknowleging the truth” As well, So too can I quote scripture to support my position,

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Does not sound like the deception God would allow would be as deep as you pretend it to be,

    Do you want to split hairs on that scripture?

    Objection 5; Your calling my assertion “just plain stupid” when YEC’s deny the integrity the fossil record itself?

    Go figure, Oh well, as I mentioned at the outset, I am glad that YECs and OECs share a common salvation in Christ and that is the main and important thing but as far as hard science I am Glad God left plenty of room for disagreement, for If believing YEC was necesary for my salvation, I wouldn’t make it to heaven, at least not as the science stands now.

  37. 37
    DLH says:

    bornagain77 at 36 etc.

    You have been focusing on the RATE’s model of varying decay rates. You do not appear to have addressed the numerous new radioisotopic results that the RATE study measured. My understanding of their study is that the accumulated radioisotope dating data cannot be explained by any conventional scientific models. Thus their rate varying model to fit the data.

    Please read and address their accumulated radioisotopic data. e.g.

    1) High rates of Carbon 14 found in “ancient” fossils, carbonate rocks and coal.
    2) High residual helium in zircons .
    3) Radiohalos from uranium and from polonium 210, 214 and 218.
    4) Discrepancies between potassium-argon, rubidium-strontium, samarium-neodymium lead-lead dating measurements, and discordant isochron age results.
    5) Differences in apparent age from alpha decay vs beta decay.

    The foundational issue is whether ID methods can provide better objective models to empirical data, (regardless of theological beliefs.)
    PS Thanks for the More reference which I will review.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    DLH,

    Since you keep asking,

    These are the solid objections brought up by Moore in the previously linked site:

    Do the RATE Findings Negate Mainstream Science? Greg Moore
    Greg addresses:
    1) High rates of Carbon 14 found in “ancient” fossils, carbonate rocks and coal.
    2) High residual helium in zircons
    3) Radiohalos from uranium and from polonium 210, 214 and 218.
    4) Discrepancies between potassium-argon, rubidium-strontium, samarium-neodymium lead-lead dating measurements, and discordant isochron age results.
    5) Differences in apparent age from alpha decay vs beta decay.

    DLH,
    From such a honest and penetrating critique, I find Moore’s stated conclusion on RATE’s work very truthful:

    “This RATE study poses no serious challenge to mainstream science. ”
    Greg Moore

    {DLH removed copy of article per reasonstobelieve.org copyright policy:
    ” No content from this site may be physically kept on any other Web site without the express written permission of Reasons To Believe.” See links to article.}

  39. 39
    scordova says:

    scordova,

    Your post seems to imply that a solution to Maxwell’s equations would usher in a revival. YEC (or ID) science is no replacement for the resurrection in apologetics.

    I make no such claims, it would make the case for YEC believable by those in the relevant sciences (people like Guillermo Gonzalez, Walter Bradely, and a host of others in the ID community who are not YECs.)

    However, Christians preumably have an allegiance to the Truth of the Word of God and should not be bothered by apparent problems reconciling it with the Work of God.

    I have a keen distrust of people who present themselves as having an infallible understainding of what the Bible says. The current YEC culture presents their interpretation of the Bible as God’s truth. If its God’s truth I’m willing to belieive it, but why don’t you put forward some credible answers?

    By the way, I will exercise my right and duty a Christian to test the claims of people who claim to speak for God and who put foward their interpretation of Genesis as equal to God’s word. Part of that means I will test your claims with respect to physics. God’s work will help decide how to interpret God’s word.. If we relied on theologians to teach us math and physics, we’d have the wrong values of PI and we’d be geocentrists if not even flat earthers….

    This fool [Copernicus] wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

    Martin Luther

    and

    The argument is that if you take the days of Genesis as not being six days and take them as maybe longer periods of time, then where do you draw the line…why wouldn’t the same reasoning imply that we’ll eventually have to reinterpret the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus. Let me give you a counter-example. I doubt, sir, that you or anybody else in the room takes the biblical passages that say that ‘Jesus will call his angels from the four corners of the earth’ to teach a flat Earth. I also doubt that anyone in here says that when the sun rises and sets it literally means an earth-centered universe. But you must understand that…there were times when the church interpreted the text that taught that God-Christ will call his angels from the four corners of the world to teach very obviously that the world has four corners. The text says that. There is absolutely no evidence in that text that it means anything other than four corners. You can read it until you’re blue in the face, and it says that the Earth has four corners. Similarly, the Bible says the sun rises and sets. Now, that’s what it says. You can dance around it all you want. That’s what the text says. But there’s nobody in here that believes that. No one in here believes the earth has four corners. And so, what we’ve done is taken that language and interpreted it metaphorically. Similarly, with the rising and the setting of the sun, we treat that…phenomenologically-we say that’s the language of description; it is not meant to be taken literally.

    JP Moreland

    Perhaps God won’t give the YECs an evidential victory until they behave a bit more charitably toward their brethren.

  40. 40
    bevets says:

    re Moreland:

    Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; . . . Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know. ~ James Barr Regius Professor of Hebrew at Christ Church, Oxford

    Please let me know how I can be more charitible toward my brothers in Christ and still present arguments for YEC.

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is another good book that I feel does a good job of resolving the conflict between Science and a Literal interpretation of Genesis:

    A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy (Dr. Hugh Ross)

    http://www.amazon.com/Matter-D.....1576833755

    I particularly liked this following review of Dr. Ross’s book:

    Best Creation Defending Book Ever

    True to science and also true to the Bible!

    I am amazed how some of these negative women reviewers can be so illiterate, both biblically and scientifically. They should go and color Pooh coloring books instead. Honestly!

    I am a born again believer in Christ, a pastor, a theologian (graduate school in theology) and also a scientist (graduate school in progress in astronomy). I fully agree with Dr. Ross. His science is sound, and his theology is correct. As to the negative reviewers of this book all I can say is: GO and STUDY before you criticize! Get some Bible interpretation (hermeneutics) courses and read some science. Some OT Hebrew language and NT Greek will also help. But before you do this, first discard your biases and religious paradigms. Be open to the facts. Pray as you do this!

    The Bible NEVER says that the earth must be young and NEVER says that God created the earth in six literal, 24 hr days. Read again for yourself. A belief in 24-hr. six days creation period is not believing the Bible but, in fact, it is believing a one’s faulty interpretation of the Bible.

    I praise Dr. Ross not only for his scientific and Biblical accuracy but also for his Christian attitude, civility, kindness, truthfulness and meekness. I have read his books and articles for the past 15 years. I was always impressed how his scientific predictions came to be true and accurate.

    Christianity needs more men and women like him. Yes.

    More books please Dr. Ross.

  42. 42
    bevets says:

    bornagain77

    The Bible NEVER says that the earth must be young and NEVER says that God created the earth in six literal, 24 hr days. Read again for yourself. A belief in 24-hr. six days creation period is not believing the Bible but, in fact, it is believing a one’s faulty interpretation of the Bible.

    Please respond to Barr (40)

  43. 43
    JunkyardTornado says:

    bevets:
    “Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience”

    “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man back into dust And say, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or a watch in the night. You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away.” Psalms 90:1-6

    And guess who wrote that – Moses, the purported writer of Genesis. And he likens “a thousand years” to a day in the same passage in which he also mentions creation and the flood. At the end of the above passage, he equates one day to a human life span (and men to grass), so in the same passage the length of time a day signifies is not even the same. (Actually “the morning”, could also be alluding to the resurrection of the dead.)

  44. 44
    bevets says:

    For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or a watch in the night.

    How could Dr Barr miss this? If you were trying to convey ‘six literal days’, how would you have been more clear?

  45. 45
    jpark320 says:

    @ bornagain77

    I’m glad we agree on a lot and yes I have read Dr. Dembski’s article and respectfully disagree.

    I think that the fundamental flaw in your argument is that your interpretation of Scripture depends on external facts. Why YEC’s theology (should I say hermeunetics) is superior is that it takes the clear meaning of Scripture and does not change it b/c of supposed external facts, if anything Scripture should be the one to interpret external facts.

    Of course the outside facts have to agree, but I think that much of the OEC argument, twists Scripture into what you want it to read.

    Instead of saying Genesis 1 could be symbolic, now it MUST BE. Instead of Romans 5 meaning that sin affected the whole world, now it MUST BE just the human race. Instead of the Flood could possibly have been local, but not it MUST BE. ALL BASED ON EXTERNAL FACTS

    I think YEC is superior b/c when the Bible says 6 days, sin came through death, and the flood was global we can make a decision either way from what the Scripture says and are not forced by external facts to make it mean something God did not intend. Seriously, do we really need better science, more sophisticated dating techniques in order to determine meanings in a book that has been around for thousands of years? Was Genesis 1, Romans 5, and the Flood’s true meaning not found until the 19th century?

  46. 46
    jpark320 says:

    @ bornagain77

    FYI: I don’t believe all evil can be traced back to human sin, I believe the Devil and his angels had some part in it to 😛

    Good convo

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    jpark320,
    I respectfully agree to disagree with your opinion.

    Bevets,

    Re Barr:

    If you insist on splitting hairs with scripture:

    Seems that God has a very different perspective on time than we humans do from this following passage;

    2Peter 3:8

    But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    So I ask you how could the bible be any more clear that God has a different perspective on time than we mere humans do? For crying out loud Bevets, God created time!!!

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    jpark320,
    I agree with your comment in 46 and truly ponder the full ramifications of Satans rebellion in its affects on man.

  49. 49
    JunkyardTornado says:

    bevets:
    “How could Dr Barr miss this? If you were trying to convey ’six literal days’, how would you have been more clear?

    I wasn’t able to hear the Dewitt interview. Evidently they aren’t able to archive it.

    The sabbath is probably the most important and overriding concept in the Old Testament Law. It is mentioned hundreds of times at least. So the Genesis creation account has to be interpreted in that context. Even God rested from his own work, so should man. So the reference to seven days in Genesis should be viewed in that context.

    Its interesting if you go to the last book in the Bible, Revelation, there are repeated references to weeks and months and days and years in various quantities, and very few interpret those strictly literally. As one example, when it says in Revelation that men suffered the torments of flying scorpions for five months, this has been widely interpreted as 150 years, because In Daniel’s seventy weeks prophecy a day signified a year (thus 150 days = 150 years), and Revelation is heavily influenced by Daniel. Of course, Revelation does not say a day represents a year, but Revelation has cryptic knowledge whose meaning is intentionally obscured from all but the diligent.

    If you choose to interpret the days in Genesis as literal, the question arises, what did God actually create in a single day. We know he didn’t create the human race in a single day, He created one man. So on other days of the week as well, if its just single days, then it was God just instigating something on those days, not populating the entire planet with lifeforms. In fact he explicitly says that that particular task is up to the lifeforms themselves in the command “Be fruitful and multiply the earth”.

    But to return to the Sabbath, very much implicit in it was the message that because God rested from his own work, so man should each week take a day off to commemorate the work of God. But on the other hand, God is not finished with his work. Christ says, “My father works until this day, and even I work.” So implicit in the Sabbath was a commemoration of the ultimate culmination of Gods work, when the world is destroyed and the Sons of God are revealed (namely those redeemed of the human race). And the history of this world has not lasted a literal week. This last paragraph was somewhat obscure but valid nonetheless, I think. If you take a look at Hebrews 4:1-7, (a very strange passage) the “day of rest” is specifically tied to the end of the world.

    Some might observe the following. If the days in Genesis are not strictly literal, what about the Flood account a few chapters later when quite specific times are given for its duration. I would say maybe they are literal there, but also symbolic, in that interpreted in another context, one might be able to identify from them the time of the end of the world.

    The above discussion was rather cursory and haphazard and actually A LOT more could be said on the subject. Also, the above should probably not serve as a primer for those completely unfamiliar with the Bible.

  50. 50
    BarryA says:

    This is my take. I do not believe the YEC position is necessarily wrong, but I am not persuaded it is correct. Star light is the biggest obstacle for me. The YEC’s have three competing explanations. 1. God made the light in transit. 2. The speed of light has slowed way down. 3. The universe is not homogeneous and the earth is near the center, which makes time go much slower here and faster in distant parts.

    All three have major problems.

    1. There is a supernova over a million light years away. Did God create the appearance of an explosion that never occurred? Not likely.

    2. There is no evidence that the speed of light has ever been anything other than what it is. This is a pure example of taking a particular view of scripture and imposing it on the evidence.

    3. There is no good reason to believe that there is a center of gravity to the universe or that the earth is near it if it there is.

    That said, I do not rule out YEC categorically. God, being God, can create the universe any way He likes, including a young universe that appears old given our assumptions (and, let’s be honest hear; they are assumptions) about the uniform speed of light and a homogeneous universe.

    All of this leads me to this conclusion. For many good reasons having nothing to do with Genesis, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God. He believed Genesis was true, and therefore so do I. The essence of it is “God created the heavens and the earth.” I am not dogmatic about whether the details that follow are to be taken literally or figuratively. While I don’t think they should be taken literally, I could be wrong.

  51. 51
    nullasalus says:

    jpark320,

    “Was Genesis 1, Romans 5, and the Flood’s true meaning not found until the 19th century?”

    With Regards to Genesis 1 and Romans 5, questions about how to interpret the days were raised far in advance of any scientific discoveries – Augustine speculated about this. Aquinas did so more indirectly. Maimonides was another, and I believe there were others from earlier and later dates.

    Personally, I think there’s a reason Genesis 1 may have been viewed literally for so long – because it’s not like there was any real competing view (Aside from Aristotle, perhaps) about the origins of earth and man that wasn’t based primarily on religious views anyway. And Genesis is shockingly brief, and provides no description of mechanism other than ‘God created’.

    So, respectfully, place me with bornagain77 on this one. Though I’d qualify it by saying that if YECs choose to believe what they do, they’ll get no insult from me. I may disagree, but they’re entitled to their views and investigations, along with civility.

  52. 52
    DLH says:

    nullasalusa at 51
    “they’ll get no insult from me. I may disagree, but they’re entitled to their views and investigations, along with civility.”
    Hear, hear now!

  53. 53
    Rude says:

    Well, seeing as y’all are into Genesis interpretation—and agreeing with y’all that the truth stands on the two legs of Nature and Scripture—how about adding the following heresy to the debate?

  54. 54
    JunkyardTornado says:

    Rude:
    About 1/5 of every page is footnotes. About 3/4’s of every page is columns of hebrew or greek text. Who was this paper written for? I’d be curious to know how many people here end up reading all of this and are even qualified to comment. I always look for an abstract so I’ll know where I’m going. Though if I read you correctly, I think you’re probably right that the Genesis account does not concern the creation of the entire cosmos, only the terraforming of the planet earth. And I think you also said that Genesis is a prophetic allegory for the unfolding of history, but the paper is not succinct enough for me to assess that claim.

    Time and Newsweek are written at the sixth grade level because that’s the level most people read at.

  55. 55
    tribune7 says:

    There is a difference between faith and science, and just because science points in a particular direction doesn’t mean it is right.

    Now if an event is able to observed consistently and one denies the observations then one can be called delusional.

    OTOH, if one rejects an inference from those observations — even the most obvious one — for an unquantifiable reason, then one is practicing faith and could very well be right.

    Anti-IDists, btw, are exhibiting faith in their arguments against ID.

  56. 56
    Rude says:

    Yeah, agreed: The paper is poorly written. The hope was that a scholar or two who knew the sources would be interested—maybe that’ll be the case yet.

    Anyway the paper asserts that Genesis is

    1) Not easy to understand;

    2) Speaks not to the physical creation directly but only obliquely and in principle;

    3) Speaks to the spiritual creation that was then to ensue in a millennial week;

    4) That Adam was a real person and that the chronology that begins with him is to be taken literally;

    5) That the seven days involved real events localized according to the geography in Genesis 2, they were not cosmic or global.

    The interpretation rests on harmonizing the two creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, and on the millennial day model (i.e., each literal day of literal events symbolized a millennium of future history).

    If Genesis were meant to be read as a detailed account of the creation of the physical cosmos, then why are the many references to it in the Prophets, Psalms, and New Testament always geared to the spiritual creation instead? That the paper laboriously quotes many of these references is to prove the point.

    Anyway I would suggest that as Darwin crumbles Bible students should be preparing the case for Genesis—not to force it on anyone, or enforce any particular interpretation. It’s that the folks should know that Genesis is not easy. We ought to be atuned to the controversies that lie beyond the various sectarian interpretations.

  57. 57
    DLH says:

    bornagain77 at 38
    Please review/learn about copyright laws, especially the difference between wholesale copying and “fair use”.
    Obtain explicit approval from an author before copying an article in toto.

    You already had posted the link which I was reviewing. It is against blogging & copyright policies to wholesale copy articles.

    For posts, please comment on and address issues using selected short quotes where needed.

  58. 58
    Rude says:

    Tribune 7 55,

    Don’t we know via a combination of factors—faith and evidence?

    To the extent Popper’s refutation works it’s merely the negative side of faith: those things that stand up to scrutiny are more believable. But purely blind faith in what one wants to be true (be it Darwin or the Bible)—what good is it? Faith that accepts no challenge, one would think, is weak faith.

    But I suspect some would wish to rely on subjective experience alone. They just feel that the Bible (or Darwin) is true and require no refuting or bolstering facts. The troubling thing here is that the Christians admit this whereas the materialists do not, and thus the legitimizing of the “two tiers” Nancy Pearcey talks about—the real world (where they put materialism) and our private, subjective sphere (where they put traditional morality).

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    DLH,
    Thanks for the heads up on reasonstobelieve.org copyright policy;

    Since I was using their material directly in support of their stated OEC position, hopefully no feathers will be ruffled by my oversight.

  60. 60
    JunkyardTornado says:

    Rude – I did go to your actual website, hebdomad.com, and some of your articles there are more accessible, but since you brought up the world heresy yourself, the word crossed my mind as well in reading some of your ideas.

    Discussion is outside the scope of this forum but just a very brief comment, (sinced I dissed your previous piece). It was either in “Is the Messiah God” or “Did Christ Create the Cosmos?” where you say that the idea of Christ being one in substance with God came from the Greeks whereas Christ’s own commentary on the subject only implied being one in purpose (w/ apologies if I’ve mischaracterized you here.) What you’re missing is that the term “Son of God” itself implies the essential nature of the relationship, at least to the extent we are able to understand. Yes God and Christ are seperate entities, but just as as a son in general is not “inferior” to his father, but in fact can exceed the accomplishments of his own father, in the same way, Christ, who is eternally begotten of the father, and not identical to the father, is in no way inferior either. The Greeks ideas don’t really come into play. Its occurred to me that Christ is in some sense equatable to the physical universe, but that’s probably heresy as well and something I wouldn’t push on anyone. I do think that the physical universe is a representation of Christ specifically, as opposed to the father. I think Christ is “clothed” with the physical universe. Probably most are laughing at us for even discussing this.

  61. 61
    wombatty says:

    bornagain77 (at 38):

    In regard to your points about the helium diffusion data, it should be pointed out that Humphreys has dealt with each of these objections some time ago (here and here) in responding to Kevin Henke (links to references contained in articles). To wit:

    ~2) High residual helium in zircons
    “A number of things cast suspicion on the RATE data. For example, the RATE team assumed all the helium in the zircons was radiogenic…~

    Humphreys responds :

    9. “not properly considering the possible presence of extraneous (‘excess’) 3He and 4He in their zircons”

    […]

    First, if the helium in the zircons were “excess” and came from outside them, it would have had to come through the biotite. As I pointed out on p. 9 of CRSQ 2004, the helium concentration in the biotite is two hundred times lower than the concentration in the zircon. That means, according to the laws of diffusion, that the helium is presently leaking out of the zircons into the biotite, not the other way around. Also, as I pointed out, the total amount of helium in the biotite is roughly the same as the helium lost from the zircon.

    Humphreys goes on to deal with the ‘Tectonic and volcanic events’ factor.

    ~Second, the RATE helium diffusion measurements were obtained under a laboratory vacuum, rather than pressures consistent with the depths of the samples. In fact, studies have shown gas diffusion rates may decrease by three to six orders of magnitude (1,000 to 1,000,000 times) if studies are performed under pressure rather than in a vacuum.28 Thus, actual helium diffusion rates are likely much lower, making the rock much older than they determined.~

    Humphreys’ response :

    Henke’s “obtained under a vacuum” should not be a surprising revelation to anyone. First, I have mentioned it in most of my publications on this topic. More important, vacuum measurements are standard procedure for all zircon diffusion researchers. None of them have considered pressure an important enough variable to include in their experiments. Henke does not seem to have asked himself why the experts have done so. The answer, as I will show below, is that these pressures aren’t important for zircons.

    See link for more details.

    ~Third, the RATE team assumed subsurface temperatures at Fenton Hill have been constant over time. However, the history of Fenton Hill includes numerous heating and cooling events….~

    Humphreys’ rebuttal

    12. “deriving ‘models’ that are based on several invalid assumptions (including constant temperature conditions over time, Q0 of 15 ncc STP/µg, and isotropic diffusion in biotite)”
    Henke is counting on his readers not to have read my papers carefully enough to know that I considered and discussed all the factors he mentions. I pointed out [ICC 2003, section 7] that, “Our assumption of constant temperatures is generous to uniformitarians.” That is because their thermal history models require a recent (by their timescale) pulse of high temperature which would wipe out all the helium in the zircons. I further pointed out that the zircons would have to be colder than dry ice [CRSQ 2004, p. 9] for most of their history in order to save the 1.5 billion year scenario, and no geologist would consider such a low temperature to be in the realm of possibility.

    ~Fourth, some of the RATE calculations appear to be faulty.30 The RATE team also refers to the Fenton Hill samples as granodiorite-igneous rocks that crystallize from melts deep below the surface of the Earth.31 However, scientific literature indicates most of the Fenton Hill rock is gneisses-former igneous or sedimentary rocks that have been metamorphosed under relatively high temperature and pressure. Because gas diffusion rates can vary significantly for different types of rock, this could have introduced errors into their equations.32~

    Humphreys’ rebuttal

    2. “misidentifying samples as originating from the Jemez Granodiorite”

    Henke means that I didn’t specify that the top 1000 meters or so of the Precambrian granitic rock unit in question might contain gneiss or schist instead of granodiorite. What he doesn’t realize is that “Jemez Granodiorite” is a name I invented (since the literature had not previously named it) to apply to the whole unit from about 700 meters depth down to below 4,310 meters. Our co-author John Baumgardner, a geophysicist, saw large portions of the GT-2 core at Los Alamos and picked our samples from it. He says:

    Yes, there are occasional veins of material other than the coarse-grained granodiorite that forms the vast majority of the core. In making the selections I made of what samples to use, I purposely avoided these occasional veins. In fact I tried to select sections of the core well removed from such veins. So at least from my vantage point, the samples of core we used for the helium diffusion measurements were indeed coarse-grained granodiorite, not gneiss.

    Humphreys goes into much more detail concerning these and many other objections to his work in the two articles linked as well. Just thought I’d pass this along.

  62. 62
    Rude says:

    Junkyard Tornado,

    So you found me out—yours truly is indeed a dangerous heretic—a very few centuries ago and I’d have been burnt at the stake. But can we not now differ in our Christology and still discuss Genesis?

  63. 63
    Paul Giem says:

    scordova, (39)

    I fear you may be right. And not just for supernatural reasons either. When one thinks one has all the truth, one is tempted not to listen to others, and not to explore nature, as one already “knows” what is there and has no need to find out.

    bornagain77,

    You’ve put up a lot of material, and it will take some time to go through it (I have a “day job”). But I’ll get started.

    First, on my five points:

    1. Your response reveals an elemental error. On can argue that YEC’s should believe that all forms of decay are forbidden. But my point was that a substantial portion in fact do not believe this. The original quote said that YEC’s did believe this, and was in error, even if you turn out to be right in your assertion about what YEC’s should believe. Kindly listen to the other side, and be less eager to claim that they put themselves in boxes where they do not believe they belong and do not wish to be.

    (I’ll cover your “As well” later, since it has no direct relevance to point 1.)

    2. You are still missing the point. I know how you interpret the days of Genesis 1. My point was not that I could “prove” you wrong. My point was that there was a reasonable interpretation for light before the sun from a short-age perspective, and that your argument was not a knock-down argument. In fact, the argument for literality has gotten much better from Augustine’s day to ours.

    3. It appears that you can’t get it through your head that your interpretation of the anthropic principles is not binding on YEC’s. If God created the universe without using the Big Bang, there is no reason to insist that the Big Bang must be fine-tuned. Let’s go back to your original statement:

    According to Dr Hugh Ross, decay rates of the fundamental atomic particles have had to remain constant throughout the history of the universe in order to enable life to be possible.

    Supposing the Big Bang were not the way God made the universe. Then God could have made a universe with rapid rates of decay, or abnormally slow rates of decay, changed them later, and life would still be possible.

    Here you should remember that my point is not personal. I am presently a YEC but not a YUC. I used to be a YLEC (young life on earth creationist) but not a YEC. I’m not completely comfortable with YUC cosmology, and am presently willing to accept the Big Bang, with God remodeling or (now preferably) creating the solar system some 6-15,000 years ago.

    But I wouldn’t think of arguing against YUC’s the way you do. If you grant their system as a possibility, your argument from Ross has no traction with them; all it can establish is that without miracles, the Big Bang requires fine-tuning. Well, guess what! They believe that the universe was created by a miracle. So your statement binds Ross, but not them. This is true even if, as I think may be the case, they eventually turn out to be mistaken.

    5. (out of order) I comment that your charge that YEC’s have death before sin is wrong and should be precisely reversed, and your reply is:

    Your calling my assertion “just plain stupid” when YEC’s deny the integrity the fossil record itself?

    This says essentially, “So’s your old man.” It’s bad arguing. First, YEC’s do not deny the integrity of the fossil record, only the timing. But even if they did, it doesn’t excuse getting the question of YEC’s and death before sin completely backwards. The first rule of holes is, when you’re in one, stop digging.

    4. Finally, we come to the key problem as I see it. I take it that you concede that God can allow at least some of the lost to be deceived. So your original statement that

    I firmly believe that overwhelming illusions are definitely not part of God’s foundational Character. i.e. (No deceit is found in Him)

    is, in Ron Ziegler’s famous term, “inoperative”, as far as the lost are concerned.

    But there are times when God allows the saved to not really understand what is happening. Look at Job, who was completely ignorant of God’s allowing Satan to test him. And yet arguably Job was a saved man when God started his test.

    And here is why this concept is key. If one makes two simple assumptions, one can get to some pretty dangerous conclusions. Assume that God does not allow the saved to be deceived, and that I am saved. Then everything I think is correct. I will never have to correct my beliefs; add to them, perhaps, but not correct them. Therein lies the worst kind of fanaticism.

    If that is true, then either all Protestants are wrong and not saved, or all Catholics are wrong and not saved. One can play that game with Methodists and Anglicans, and we rapidly come to the place where nobody is saved except me. It also leads to intolerance in science/religion issues. Perhaps that is what is happening here.

    Your counterexample is weak. Romans promises that even those without the law can recognize God’s “eternal power and divine nature”, but doesn’t promise any more except for the sense of a moral law within (see chapter 2). That’s not the Bible or Christianity, let alone your or my particular way of meshing science and theology. Acknowledging that God will allow even the saved to sometimes be deceived about science will go a long way towards the humility that we all need.

    In part of your “As well”s, you state,

    As well, Though I am not intimately familar with the exact constant decay rates of protons and neutrons, I maintain that these constant decay rates are foundational to our physical reality (Hugh Ross) and thus intimately connected to the decay rates RATE is trying to undermine for its cherry picked tests and to the other constants and ratios in the anthropic principle…i.e. gravity, speed of light, electromagnetic force, strong and weak force etc..etc..

    That’s a wonderful faith statement. But that is all it is, and it is faith in Hugh Ross, not God. You don’t understand, but you maintain. Don’t you understand how weak this argument is? Furthermore, your faith appears to be misplaced. It is not the constant decay rates, or even the physical constants, that are foundational to our universe. It is God Who is. If He chose to do it another way, the universe would be different. He may or may not have had the option to do it another way, but we are so far from thinking His thoughts after Him that we have no way of knowing unless He told us whether the constants could be slightly different. All we can really do is to find out what He has done (and even then not completely), and that is what science is about.

    I agree when you say,

    Oh well, as I mentioned at the outset, I am glad that YECs and OECs share a common salvation in Christ and that is the main and important thing but as far as hard science I am Glad God left plenty of room for disagreement, for If believing YEC was necesary for my salvation, I wouldn’t make it to heaven, at least not as the science stands now.

    Even if YEC is correct, I am still glad that OEC is out there, particularly so that people like you can maintain their belief in God. Who knows? I may be wrong, and OEC may be right, or even YUC may be right. I think the proper course of action to take is to believe the evidence, and to try to fit the scientific and theological data together as well as one can, while leaving open the possibility for correction. That doesn’t mean that one should not argue. But it does mean that one should take care to keep one’s arguments logical and not go beyond the evidence without recognizing it, and to be charitable towards all.

    I am out of time for now, but will try to get to your material on radiometric dating later.

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Paul Giem,
    I respectfully agree to disagree with you. And will no further reply to your posts.

  65. 65
    DLH says:

    bornagain77 at 59
    Now that your point it out, their policy is:

    No content from this site may be physically kept on any other Web site without the express written permission of Reasons To Believe.

    I am deleting the copy of Moore’s article at 38 and replacing it with a link to that article.

    Please extract/comment on specific points you wish to make from the article.

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks for correcting the oversight, and deleting the entry DLH. I will not need anything further from it, since you have read it. (As a side note I only extracted parts of his article that were pertinent to points you were pressing me on to answer, there is quite a bit more to his article if you are interested, I think the young man, Moore, has quite a head on his shoulders).

  67. 67
    tribune7 says:

    Rude (58) —Don’t we know via a combination of factors—faith and evidence?

    Yes, but what can we oblige others to accept? I think we can oblige acceptance of a rate of radioactive decay or a measurement of a red shift. I think we can oblige acceptance of a inference that those measurements indicate the earth or universe to be of a particular age. I don’t think we can oblige acceptance that that inference is true i.e. that some yet to be discovered factor will completely overturn it.

    But purely blind faith in what one wants to be true (be it Darwin or the Bible)—what good is it? Faith that accepts no challenge, one would think, is weak faith.

    Very good point. We should not confuse what we want to be with what is.

    But I suspect some would wish to rely on subjective experience alone. They just feel that the Bible (or Darwin) is true and require no refuting or bolstering facts.

    And that might be enough if the subjective experience is powerful enough but how could you convince another of the truth of your subjective experience? By a change in lifestyle, yes, but not by the scientific method.

    That doesn’t mean what happened to you didn’t, btw, it just means that one can’t teach it in a science class.

  68. 68
    Apollos says:

    Thanks tribune7, for qualifying and acknowledging the differences between facts, inferences, and the conclusions drawn from those inferences. That science is too often equated with the latter speaks to the nature of the debate.

    Most of us who hold to a six day creation have no problem with observed data, nor acknowledging the possibility of various inferences being true. However we tend to reject many of the dogmatic world view declarations that are built upon those inferences, or the a priori frameworks into which those inferences are forced to fit by one group or another.

    I readily confess that the Six Day Creation is my own a priori theological bias, based on the Biblical account, as plainly read, with no equivocation. It’s also my philosophical belief that pragmatic objectivity is humanly impossible when considering origins. This likely is, and always will be, a matter of individual choice. I’m unconvinced that anyone is ever truly objective, or capable of being so.

    My view that there were six literal creation days will be properly challenged by the exegetical demonstration of a consistent application of day-ageism (or whatever alternate) within the text itself (appropriately and systematically addressing the peripheral theological issues) not a plausible-sounding rationalization between scripture, and the prevailing, contemporary, transitory scientific assumptions about the nature and age of the universe.

    That said, I’m agnostic as to the age of the universe itself, as I am to whether humankind possesses the faculties to accurately assess this fact in the first place. At the very least, the lack of humility among the dogmatists is an indication that we are nowhere near having these things figured out.

    For it is written:

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
    (1 Cor 1:19)

    As a time-bound species, we may never know with unequivocal certainty the what, how, and when, in regards to the creation of the universe, just as we may never know what happens beyond the event horizon of a black hole. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep on searching — only that we would benefit by assuming the higher wisdom that comes with the acceptance that currently, no soul possesses anything beyond the faintest notion.

  69. 69
    tribune7 says:

    Apollos

    Good points, That “science” is presented as the final arbiter of truth and that “science” can only consider the material pretty much sums up the problem.

    It’s also my philosophical belief that pragmatic objectivity is humanly impossible when considering origins.

    To really test your faith consider that according to Genesis, plants appeared before the sun 🙂

    And to really have some fun consider the ways how that might be possible (and you can).

    With that said I wouldn’t want them taught in science class.

    When all knowledge is revealed I think Genesis is going to found on the money. Of course that is a statement of faith.

  70. 70
    Apollos says:

    tribune7 wrote:

    To really test your faith consider that according to Genesis, plants appeared before the sun 🙂

    And to really have some fun consider the ways how that might be possible (and you can).

    Indeed, plants on Day 3 and the sun on Day 4 — this leaves an entire 24 hours that plants would have been without the sun after their genesis. I will lock a plant in a closet for 24 hours and see if it survives. 😀 This seems like more of a problem for the day-agers than for the six day crowd.

    I can hardly imagine that the phrase “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3) when uttered by God would have been anticlimactic, with light waiting until day 4 to make its appearance. Seeing that we have the declaration of light in verse 3 (day 1) we can assume light was present in some form even if there wasn’t a gigantic flaming ball of hydrogen at the time.

    1 John 1:5b God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

    Colossians 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Hebrews 1:3a The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

    Revelation 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

    Apparently light is present in New Jerusalem (Rev 21:23 above) when the necessity of sun and moon have ceased; so there are no exegetical problems with light preceding the sun that I can see. 😉

    With that said I wouldn’t want them taught in science class.

    Nor would I — just as I believe other OOL presuppositions and storytelling don’t belong.

  71. 71
    tribune7 says:

    Apollos — Nor would I — just as I believe other OOL presuppositions and storytelling don’t belong.

    Dittos to that.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    As a side note I am amazed at how well, in many instances scripture does line up with OEC.

    Genesis 1:1-3
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

    The Big Bang refers to the time some 13.7 billion years ago, when the entire universe burst into existence from a space smaller than the width of an atom. All the energy that composes this vast universe came from this event. All sub-atomic particles were forged out of energy in this event. Today sub-atomic particles can only absorb and release certain amounts of energy since the pressures and temperatures are no longer high enough to forge them completely new out of energy. With the validation of general relativity, scientists say even time and space were created in the Big Bang. For the first 400,000 years of our universe’s expansion, the universe was a seething maelstrom of energy and sub-atomic particles. This maelstrom was so hot, that sub-atomic particles trying to form into atoms would have been blasted apart instantly, and so dense, that light could not travel more that a short distance before being absorbed. If you could somehow live long enough to look around in such conditions, you would see nothing but brilliant white light in all directions. When the cosmos was about 400,000 years old, it had cooled to about the temperature of the surface of the sun. The last light from the “Big Bang” shone forth at that time. This “light” is still detectable today as Cosmic Background Radiation. This 400,000 year old “baby” universe entered into a period of darkness. When the dark age of the universe began, the cosmos was a formless sea of particles. By the time the dark age ended, a couple of hundred million years later, the universe lit up again; by the light of some of the galaxies and stars that had been formed during this dark era. It was during the dark age of the universe that the heavier chemical elements, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and most of the rest, were first forged, by nuclear fusion inside the stars, out of the universe’s primoridial hydrogen and helium. This process of forging heavier elements out of hydrogen and helium is called the nucleo-synthesis. (As a sidelight to this, every class of elements that exists on the periodic table of elements is necessary for complex carbon-based life to exist on earth. As well, many compounds and elements, such as water and carbon, display many stunningly unique characteristics that dramatically appear to be designed). It was also during this dark period of the universe that the great structures of the modern universe were first forged. Super-clusters, of thousands of galaxies stretching across millions of light years, had their foundations laid in the dark age of the universe. During this time the infamous “missing dark matter”, (God), was exerting more gravity in some areas than in other areas; drawing in hydrogen and helium gas, causing the formation of mega-stars. These mega-stars were massive, weighing in at 20 to more than 100 times the mass of the sun. The crushing pressure at their cores made them burn through their fuel in only a million years. It was here, in these short lived mega-stars under these crushing pressures, that the chemical elements that are necessary for life were first forged out of the hydrogen and helium. The reason astronomers can’t see the light from these first mega-stars, during this early dark era of the universe’s history, is because the mega-stars were shrouded in thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas. These thick clouds prevented the mega-stars from spreading their light thru the cosmos as they forged the elements necessary for future life to exist on earth. After about 200 million years, the end of the dark age came to the cosmos. The universe was finally expansive enough to allow the dispersion of the thick hydrogen and helium “clouds”. With the continued expansion of the universe, the light (energy), of normal stars and dwarf galaxies, was finally able to shine through the thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas, bringing the dark age to a close.

    Job 38:4-11
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched a line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed my limit for it, and set bars and doors; When I said, ‘This far you may come but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!’

  73. 73
    bornagain77 says:

    Off Topic;
    This is cool video on the “Christian” protein molecule, Laminin.

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....41aca61093

  74. 74
    Paul Giem says:

    bornagain77,

    I promised to follow up on the rest of your post (36).

    You mention that YEC’s “pick and choose” when they allow certain types of decay to occur pre-fall. YEC’s have always allowed for cell death, as it has been implicitly assumed that Adam and Eve would eat fruit and dress the garden, thus leading to plant cell death. Most YEC’s would, with some reflection, allow for animal cell death, as otherwise one must assume that red blood cells must last forever and that no walking is done.

    Furthermore, most OEC’s would agree that human death did not occur before human sin. So if OEC’s get to “pick and choose” which kinds of decay are and are not allowed before the Fall, why should not YEC’s without it being fatal to their “preconceived position”? You may not agree with exactly where they draw the line, but you will in that case have to show specifically where they are wrong, not simply disagree with the principle of picking and choosing.

    The idea that this is “[b]ad science” seems to come from the idea that scientific theories cannot adjust to the known facts. That idea itself is bad science. Newton did not propose his gravitational constant by some kind of theoretical deduction. He obtained it by measurement, and incorporated an experimentally determined constant into a theory that had no way of predetermining that constant. Was Newton’s theory therefore “[b]ad science”? It is entirely reasonable to look at the facts and use them in construction of a theory.

    Not being a YUC, I don’t mess with the “constants in the Anthropic Principle”. But if I did, or more precisely if God did, it could easily be on the same basis that other miracles happen, such as the Resurrection, the feeding of the 5,000. or the exodus and various plagues. We aren’t required to live in a perfectly natural universe. 😉

    The article that you have linked to by Greg Moore deserves some thought. So I will make some comments on it.

    The introduction is clear and relatively fair. I had only minor questions about the article until it got to the discussion section of the helium diffusion rates section. But here we have a major problem. The references are to Kevin Henke and Timothy Cristman, and to Greg Neyman who is simply recycling Henke. Your brilliant researcher has simply recycled the results of others.

    Now, I don’t have a problem with that in principle. But someone who does that does not classify as a brilliant researcher, unless he reworks or rethinks the data. And there is no evidence that Moore has reworked the data. In fact, although Neyman and the later Henke both cite Russel Humphreys’ reply to the earlier Henke article, Moore acts as if the reply never existed.

    Moore seems to be willing to raise objections without thinking about them. For example, his third example of a supposed error was to claim that Humphreys erroneously failed to consider the influence of changing temperatures on the different models. That is in fact incorrect. The model first presented by Humprheys, understandably, was one in which the temperature was held constant. But Humphreys did consider a wide variety of models with varying temperature, concluding that the only long-age model that accounted for the data had the zircons (and the rock around them) at around the temperature of dry ice, which is not a realistic temperature. As has been pointed out by wombatty (61), Humphreys again pointed this out, and Moore missed both times. So much for careful scholarship.

    In fact, this is one that Moore should have caught even if Humphreys had not repeated it. All it takes is to read Henke critically, then compare Henke with Humphreys. But what we have here is selective hyperskepticism (sound familiar?).

    The experiment as done is not definitive. It should be repeated in other laboratories, and with other cores, and I agree with the critics (and said so before I read them) that the helium-3 content should be measured to rule out helium diffusing into the zircons. But all that being said, it is data that fits a short age easily, and is difficult to make fit a long age,

    The objection about helium diffusion being measured in a vacuum sounds good. However, Humphreys’ defense is ccorrect; measuring diffusion in a vacuum is standard. And I am inclined to discount the claim that a vacuum decreases diffusion significantly, not just because the procedure is standard but because I have seen it used in potassium-argon and argon-argon dating, where the claim is made (see here, especially p. 132) that argon underground diffuses faster than what the laboratory data suggests. This starts to look like geologists do not trust the laboratory unless it gives the “right” results.

    In section 2, labeled Isochron Discordance, the review admits that the data are valid. It just says that the results are atypical and explainable on the basis of argon loss and the difficulty with resetting the samarium-neodymium isochron. Whether these results are atypical (his sense) or common (my sense) could be determined by someone going through randomly selected or complete raw data at a laboratory that does all four methods under consideration. That kind of study, to my knowledge, has not been done, or at least, has not been published.

    I had to laugh at his comments regarding the Bass Rapids rocks:

    For the Bass Rapids rock, the situation is entirely different. The Bass Rapids sill was formed when magma (lava) intruded earlier rock and solidified. This is the event that set the clock for most of the isotope systems. Thus, rather than exhibiting discordance, nearly all of the ages fall within the error margins of the published age.50 One exception is the potassium-argon system that yielded a younger age and can be attributed to argon loss during subsequent events in the area. The other exception is the samarium-neodymium method that yielded older ages. Because this isotope system is more resistant to heat, this is likely the minimum age of the source of the flows that produced the Bass Rapids sill.

    That is, nearly all the ages matched, except for half of them. There were precisely two ages that matched. Talk about rose-colored glasses! That wouldn’t give me confidence in his assertion that most dates match, especially when I am familiar with (AFAIK) unselected data that don’t match, and the standard explanations why they are systematically discordant are physically unbelievable .

    On Radiohalohalos, Moore lost me when he wrote, “There is no evidence radiohalos are the product of alpha particle decay”. Talk about hyperskepticism!

    Fission track dating is a difficulty for those trying to explain radiometric dates on a short time scale without recourse to accelerated decay. That is why the RATE group investigated it. At present it supports either rapid decay or long age. However, Moore makes an interesting admission in this section: “It is common for fission track ages to disagree with the absolute ages of rock.” (They are usually younger.) So much for radiometric dates being almost always concordant.

    Discussing nuclear decay theory, Moore reveals his prejudices: “There is no known means for how such individualized adjustments could have occurred naturally, nor has the RATE team proposed any.94 As a result, until the RATE team addresses this issue, these cannot be considered credible models.” Supernatural models are ruled out a priori. This sounds like some other conflicts UD readers may recognize. Actually, as long as there is some coherence in the data, a supernatural model that can make falsifiable predictions that have some corroboration would seem to qualify as science, at least under the Popperian definition.

    Selective hyperskepticism is again on display in the following: “The cosmological cooling hypothesis is equally speculative.” Why is it that cosmic inflation is proposed seriously, with no known mechanism, in Big Bang cosmology, and accepted as science, while one can dismiss a cooling episode during the Flood as speculation? (For that matter, what about dark matter?) I’m not saying that either one will turn out to be right or wrong. I’m just saying that we have to be fair and allow some slack on both sides, or neither. I see no evidence that Moore has thought this through.

    On the issue of carbon-14 dates, Moore has trouble with evaluating competing theories on their own merits. He cites as a deficiency, “Again, this is based on the young-earth view of the Flood.” Well, what did he expect a Flood model of carbon-14 to be based on? If one is going to build a Flood model for carbon-14, it helps to assume a Flood.

    Moore states, without any research, that “Scientists have found fossil fuels vary widely in carbon-14 content. Some have no detectable carbon-14; some have quite a lot. This correlates with the natural radioactivity of the rocks surrounding the fossil fuels, particularly uranium-thorium decay series isotopes.” He got this idea from Kathleen Hunt, as his reference shows, but there is no actual evidence that there is any correlation of the carbon-14 content of coals with the surrounding radioactivity. In fact, preliminary calculations suggest that neutrons underground are orders of magnitude too sparse to account for the amount of carbon-14 found in coal (see here, pp. 186-187, for references, plus Rotta R, 2004. Evolutionary explanations for anomalous radiocarbon in coal? Creation Research Society Quarterly 41(2):104–112).

    Moore completely loses it in the next part of the paragraph:

    Another hypothesis that is being explored is carbon-14 is produced by bacteria that grow in fossil fuels. Although it has not been demonstrated these organisms produce carbon-14, researchers believe it is very likely because they are known to produce other isotopes of carbon.

    Where is there any evidence that bacteria produce any isotopes of carbon? They do concentrate carbon-12 slightly. But this effect is measured in parts per thousand, and they have to have carbon-12 and carbon-13 present in order to do it. In an environment free from carbon-14, there is no way bacteria will produce carbon-14. This is just very poorly thought out. In fact, in Moore’s source, Hunt, the bacterial contamination hypothesis was heavily discounted.

    Moore’s penchant for just-so stories is on display in the final paragraph of this section: “While little research has been conducted on the source of the carbon-14 in coal and diamonds, there are plausible explanations for its existence.” Why do research when a (superficially) plausible explanation of the data exists? Again, this may remind UD readers of other conflicts.

    Moore may eventually turn out to be right in his overall assessment. But based on his lack of understanding and selective hyperskepticism, I would not have confidence in his conclusion, and if one is arguing for long age, hopefully a better analyst could be found. Certainly, a better analyst is needed.

    Something I found striking when reading the references is that most of Moore’s references for his objections came from TalkOrigins. A major source actually came from a professed (and AFAIK genuine) Christian who posted the screed against Humprheys. I find it interesting that at least some Christians believing in long ages have no compunction posting on TalkOrigins, and that TalkOrigins welcomes them, even though they strongly disagree on the presence of an intervening God. I’m not sure that one can make too much of this, but it is fascinating.

  75. 75
    Paul Giem says:

    Apollos (70) [and tribune7 (69)],

    Regarding plants before the sun, I can go you one better. In my part of the country there are plants that grow for months, and stay green, without any sunlight whatsoever. 🙂 They’re illegal, but that’s another matter (come to think of it, the two are related 😀 ). Didn’t God create light on the first day?

  76. 76
    tribune7 says:

    In my part of the country there are plants that grow for months, and stay green, without any sunlight whatsoever

    Paul, I think we’ve just proved Genesis 🙂

  77. 77
    reluctantfundie says:

    Do you think God would create a world with all the appearances of old age, when in fact the old age does not actually exist?

    Just to pit my ha’penneth in. Aren’t Darwinists fond of saying that nature looks designed but it isn’t?

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