Here’s the Abstract for an article in Theology and Science,
Theological Implications of Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design: Emerging Tendencies of Scientism and Agnosticism
Creationism is a worldview that does not accept the undirected formation and development of life but requires intelligent (supernatural) intervention. We analyzed texts representing Young Earth creationism (YEC) and intelligent design (ID) for their theological content and implications by assessing their position in central issues of systematic theology. YEC proponents emphasize the young age of the Earth and the necessity of literal interpretation of Genesis as prerequisites for the Fall and redemption. ID accepts the geological age of the planet, but requires intervention during evolution. YEC maintained the traditional characteristics of the Christian God (omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence), while some ID authors refused to speculate on the nature of the alleged designer. YEC authors utilized reinterpretation of scientific data as evidence for creation and to legitimize their belief in the historicity of Genesis. This could be regarded a form of scientism. YEC theodicy concentrated on the Fall as the cause of evil and the eschatological resolution of suffering. In contrast, ID proponents attempted to solve theodicy by compensated benefits of, e.g., pain. ID did not take a clear stand regarding salvation and ecclesiology, but YEC authors considered the acceptance of evolutionary theory and Christian faith to be mostly inconsistent. YEC doctrine differed from major Christian denominations by accepting scientific evidence as a proof for the historicity of Genesis and showed signs of exclusivity regarding evolutionary proponents. In ID, no satisfactory theodicy could be observed and some ID theorists could be classified as agnostics because of doubting the identity of the designer and by limiting God’s omnipotence and benevolence. Both YEC and ID demonized evolutionary theory and its proponents. Creationism seems to be on its way to becoming a new kind of denomination or an emerging novel religion. (paywall)
This is fascinating, because it is nonsense. Consider the following excerpt:
In ID, no satisfactory theodicy could be observed and some ID theorists could be classified as agnostics because of doubting the identity of the designer and by limiting God’s omnipotence and benevolence. Both YEC and ID demonized evolutionary theory and its proponents. Creationism seems to be on its way to becoming a new kind of denomination or an emerging novel religion.
“In ID, no satisfactory theodicy could be observed” Satisfactory to whom? In a world where most people are not naturalist atheists, and do not “accept the undirected formation and development of life”, the theodicy must appear satisfactory enough. In any event, ID theorists are attempting to understand nature, not God.
“some ID theorists could be classified as agnostics” Probably. Some prominent Darwin doubters are agnostics. ID is a broad tent but the Darwin doubters’ event tent is bigger still.
“Creationism seems to be on its way to becoming a new kind of denomination or an emerging novel religion.” It’s hard to understand this one. Some denominations espouse or encourage young Earth creationism. There would be no point in YECs founding an “emerging novel religion” when they can get it at home for free.
Theology and Science should mainly publish articles by ID theorists on ID theory for a while, instead of getting all their information from oppo research. But don’t expect them to realize that any time soon.
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33 Replies to “Researchers: Creationism is becoming an “emerging novel religion”?”
Oh, but Creationism does accept the undirected formation and development of everything else? Puhleeze.
What’s a theology of a do-nothing god look like anyways?
I find Nieminen et el’s case to be simply confusing. They begin by contrasting YEC and ID. A contrast that is appropriate. Then they state the singular, “Creationism seems to be on its way to becoming a new kind of denomination or an emerging novel religion.” This is utter nonsense. If anything creationism is dividing into two emerging novel religions. This attempt on their part to fit two very different perspectives into one box ostensibly because it fits a pre-desired outcome is, well ridiculous.
The theodicy issue is a red herring. What is called “evil” is trivial. At least in the Christian context. Yet it seems to be a hang up for a lot of people. What will happen to all these bogus theological arguments against ID or the Abrahamic God when they finally realize theodicy is nonsense.
“ID accepts the geological age of the planet, but requires intervention during evolution.”
As far as i/ see it, neither part of that statement is true.
ID does not require intervention DURING evolution. An origin of life without any [macro] evolution is just as possible. If however they include microevolution, then they might as well say YEC incorporate some evolution. So, which is it? They also might want to try interviewing a Calvinist YEC and an Armenian YEC, to help them understand what they are trying to discuss, imo.
As for accepting geological ages (i.e. mainstream promoted deep time). I don’t see anywhere that ID need object to young earth ages like those in YEC. ID does not require geologic ages, so it could just as easily accept or accomodate young earth.
“YEC authors utilized reinterpretation of scientific data as evidence for creation and to legitimize their belief in the historicity of Genesis. This could be regarded a form of scientism.”
False description. YEC usually, but not always, start with scripture and interpret from that position or worldview first. Therefore, there is no need to say that the interpretation is used to legitimize that belief. That would be a bit like a split personality issue – an unlikely case. Other actually see the YEC interpretation and accept it as most reasonable and become YEC, which is also different than the authors full description.
ID has to object to young ages for the earth. ID claims to be a science; the evidence for an old earth, and vastly against a young earth, is absolutely overwhelming. Most ID proponents know this. And they know it’s the only thing that separates them from being absolute creationists.
ID is not separated from creationism by the age of the earth. Creationism is a doctrine that uses science as a means to support its individual interpretation of religious text. ID uses empirical discovery exclusively, and doesn’t derive any position from religious text.
This suggests ID and YEC are comparable on the same level but I would suggest ID is more an umbrella term of which YEC and OEC fall under among other views.
OEC must make several assumptions:
– uniformitarianism is absolutely true
– extrapolation of current observable phenomena such as isotope decay is wholly valid
– any evidence against long ages outside radioisotope decay observations must be reinterpreted (eg. blood in dinosaur bones, soft tissue preservation, etc.)
– if of the Judeo-Christian persuasion, Biblical historicity and chronology and catastrophe is allegory and not to be taken literally, or, the Bible is wrong (not inspired)
The YEC must also make assumptions:
– the universe was made mature
– catastrophic events give rise to observations in the earth’s geological column (uniformitarianism is false)
– current observable rates may not have always been the same as now (this could even include the speed of light)
– observations we make of things that apparently defy a long period of time are more valid than radioisotope decay
– if of the Judeo-Christian persuasion, the Biblical history and chronology is to be taken literally.
I think the point that YEC make is that there is support for young earth apart from the radioisotope dating, that catastrophism is not a wholly refuted model (just not favoured) and that the problem of our current observations of radiometric data is not so great that it cannot be overcome. Ultimately though, if you have no good reason to accept a young earth, why would you? You would go with the radiometric data that is extrapolated. The Christian though has a reason to accept a young earth which does drive looking at the data differently. I would agree with JGuy that the Christian who is a YEC starts with the Bible first as it claims to be the Word of God and if it is, God was actually there so He knows what actually happened rather than extrapolating guesses many years later as we are.
Henry Crun- The only way to determine the age of the earth is to know HOW it was formed. If it was formed by accumulations cosmic accidents, and we were formed by accumulations genetic accidents, I don’t see any reason why one collection of accidents can give a correct accounting of other collections of accidents. However it the earth was designed and we were designed, well that changes everything.
If the earth was formed recently, using old materials from an old universe, how old is the earth? Is it as old as the materials used?
I am not overwhelmed. I assure you I am not a knuckle dragging troglodyte. Rather, I am an inquisitive, moderately trained and broadly read thinking person with a life long interest in science and mathematics. I have learned enough to recognize the difference between data and the interpretation of data. You, it seems to me, have not.
I heartily concur with the previous comments of UB, DR JDD and Joe so I will not revisit the points they eloquently made. The nub of them all is the interpretive framework of the data rather than the data itself is the point of departure in seeking evidence for our disparate conclusions.
I have wrestled with this issue very much over much of a 64 year long life. I began as an OEC of the “Gap Theory” variety. I have seriously considered the various long age “fixes” for the interpretation of the Judeo-Christian scripture. I found the them to be contrived and eisegesical. I have investigated the “what we see is all there is” stance of what, I suspect, you would find to be acceptable as true science. I found that science is no where near as secure a foundation for settling this important existential question as it is purported to be by its champions. I have been underwhelmed by both of them.
I have no real idea the extent to which my personal bias has colored my conclusion that YEC is most likely true and the “evidence” you tout is so underwhelming. I, at least, know I have not dismissed either the OEC or the evolutionary explanations out of hand as you seem to have done to the YEC explanation. I have endeavored to understand them both on their own terms.
Can you honestly say you have surveyed all the evidence from the YEC perspective thoroughly enough as to be make your opinion of YEC in any way meaningful?
As for me, I am an IDist for scientific reasons which I have well considered and I am an YECist for theological/philosophical reasons which I have well considered. It is a happy coincidence that they are compatible with one another.
That is correct. There are likley a great many people who believe in a young earth who have never even heard of intelligent design.
Also, as a case in point, we have Salvador Cardoza here who is a Young Earth Creationist and is accepted by many here as an ID’ist and often posts as an ID’ist (when he’s not actually undermining ID).
Again correct. To the extent that an actual ID’ist who is not a Young Earth Creationist has a biblical hermeneutic, it will likely be quite different from the one employed by your average YEC.
An additional point being that intelligent design doesn’t even require that one have a way of interpreting scripture.
So equating the two is done when people are too intellectually shallow to understand the differences.
Then there are those who refuse to make distinctions even when they should know better.
I thought the explanatory filter was part of ID. What happens when it gets applied to the universe and solar system? What happens when it gets applied to life? Should each be a finding of ID?
Thank you for your post SteRusJon, @9. I’m a YEC for precisely the same reasons. I am completely underwhelmed by uniformitarian geology and its methods of dating that, to me, assume too much and appear to ignore too much. I have no clue about dating methods in cosmology and even see YEC explanations as inadequate, but have resigned to hold to a plain reading of Genesis. It was miles ahead of the atheist scientists that held the universe had no beginning.
I agree that ID is a larger tent than YEC and that YEC fits inside, even though it is different in where it starts. YEC starts with scripture and ID starts with observation. The two are distinct for that reason, yet compatible because of the conclusion.
The existence of God, or if don’t hold to Judaism or Christianity, the existence of a designer is obvious by observation.
Romans 1:20 – 21 (NKJV emphasis mine)
Werner von Braun (in a letter to the CA board of education)
ID may be a tent, and YEC may be a tent, but it in no way follows that the tent of YEC fits inside the tent of ID any more than it follows that the tent of ID falls within the tent of YEC.
Who has the bigger tent and how do you know? Does who has the bigger tent resolve the issue? ID has a big tent. So what? ID may have a bigger tent than YEC (though this is doubtful, imo).
But the bigger tent of ID would only “contain” the smaller tent of YEC if we’re talking physical size, which we aren’t.
And that’s the problem with YEC, in a nutshell.
ID is a larger tent in that it isn’t limited to any particular religious belief. Physical size has nothing to do with my statement. ID will accommodate a Moony like Jonathan Wells, an agnostic like David Berlinski, a Catholic like Dr. Torley, an old-earth evangelical like William Dembski and YECs like Dave Coppedge and Sal Cordova. YEC is much less ecumenical.
Correction: “Moonie”, not “Moony”.
Henry Crun @ 5
When people use ID here are they referring to ID as a view or a tool? Let’s considcer both… because I’m not sure who is using ID in waht ways…
(1) If ID is referred to as a view. It only accepts that intelligent design IS the best explanation for certain features associated with the universe etc…
This would mean EVERYBODY with a view of intelligent intervention accept some belief in an old earth. And that simply isn’t the case.
(2) If ID is referred to as the tool. Then it has no use of the age of the earth anymore than a mathematician needs to know the age of the earth to analyze some pattern of numbers.
This is like saying mathematicians need to accept an old age of the earth because they claim to be a science. And that isn’t the case either.
You are welcome.
I have not, resolved the cosmological dating issues to my satisfaction. I do, however, see there is some potential for possible resolutions to the problem as it impinges on the truthfulness of a straight forward reading of Genesis.
In a sense, I am resigned to plain reading of the Genesis account as well. I know enough about the controversy where the phrases intelligent design, young earth creation, Darwinian evolution swirl to know that the issue is unsettled from any scientific perspective you might wish to take. I, also, know enough about the Judeo-Christian scriptures to trust they are not simply the work of just men. There are features, internal consistencies, ideas, patterns that would not be there without an overseer of their production and preservation. Those things would not be there if it was just the work of an uncoordinated scattering of mortal, fallible, self-serving men throughout some 4000 years. I am confident those words were overseen from “on high.” Confident enough to not commit to the ever-changing “facts” of geology, cosmological origins and evolutionary biology (if they are, indeed, sciences, in all there aspects, since so much of their subject matter is not observable or repeatable.) Instead, I opt to trust those oft maligned words as reliable revelation of the truth about things (origins, death, the soul, our destiny/purpose and God Himself) we cannot otherwise come to know.
All that said, I think my resignation should be characterized more as a rest after a hard day’s work. It feels so good to just relax a spell.
I think your YEC animosity is showing. I trust bb’s response has clarified his meaning. I am curious, however, as to why a simple analogy in a converstion was deserving of such a rebuke. I am trying to understand how it was such a glaring example of “the problem with YEC, in a nut shell.” Is it simply that you don’t want get any of our “cooties” on you? So you don’t miss my meaning in the figure in that language, I’ll ask more directly. Do you not wish to be “seen” in my company?
You can claim to be as inquisitive and scientifically and mathematically minded as you like, but I’m afraid if you think that there is a young earth then either you’re fooling yourself all doing something badly wrong.
Look, we have multiple methods of recording time over the geological ages, from dendrochronology through microfossil dating through multiple radioactive decay families, going back from recent time to billions of years. Some techniques are usable for recent times, others for older times, and others in between. But there is usually an overlap that allows for consistency checks, such as those between dendrochronology and carbon dating. Those consistency checks have never yielded any dramatic problems, such as enormous inconsistencies in ages.
Let’s take one simple example: varves. These are annual sedimentary deposits, usually caused by deposits of different sized materials due to varying water flows across seasons. They are a sort of sedimentary deposits version of tree rings. Using this simple chronological system, varves have been found in Sweden they go back over 50,000 years. So please just think for one moment: how on earth is it possible for this planet to be only 6000 years old when we have clear and simple evidence that it must be at least 10 times that figure?
It may sound harsh, and I’m not a great fan of the tone in which he writes, but I’m afraid Richard Dawkins is quite right: anyone who denies the earth is old is either ignorant or deluded.
To Henry Crun,
Regarding varves, just to show things are not as clear cut as u think please read http://www.creationwiki.org/Varves just as a possible starting point for research on other explanations.
Take note of these paragraphs,
“Furthermore experiments show that the thickness of the layers in a continuous heterogranular deposition is independent of the rate of deposition, but is related to the difference in grain size. So varves are not really a problem for a young earth, they just show that deposition rates were higher during and immediately following the Biblical flood than they are today.
Some secular geologists believe that varves may actually be diurnal, reflecting tides instead of seasonal causes. If this is so, formations like the Elatina Formation in South Australia (which is about 250 meters thick) could be accounted for in a mere 60 years.(Williams & Schmidt p. 21-25)(Horgan p. 11)”
If tree ring dating is calibrated with C14, how could there be an inconsistency?
Notwithstanding, young earth creationist generally accept a usefulness of C14 ages for very young ages (within a thousand years or so). That may sound inconsistent, but there are credible reasons for that… e.g. non-equilibrium of C14 in the atmosphere after the global flood and the fact that is is STILL not in equilibrium to today.
As for varves, note the user logically_speaking‘s points and references. Also, watch the documentary film Drama in the Rocks. Multiple thin lamination layers can form VERY rapidly (minutes to hours) in fast currents – “coincidentally” a feature inherent with the young earth model and global flood.
p.s. I should add that the atmopheric C14’s equilibrium is moreso plateuing today…so, better than more than a few thousand years ago when it would have been on a rapid rise. Thus, C14 ages should only be expected to be generally useful for a thousand or so years – in the yec model.
I just have to add something amusing and something that really doesn’t help in all of our collective educations when it comes to scientific statements made in movies.
In the latest transformers movie one of the scientists said that the carbon dating of one of the transformers made it about 65 million years old. I guess that’s why they call it science fiction.
logically-speaking and JGuy,
I’m afraid you are making a common Creationist mistake. Laminae are not varves. The point about varves are that they are seasonal deposits, and there are differences in the deposited material from one season to another. Creationism has provided no model whatsoever for this, just trotted out the same just-so stories about producing laminae. What amazes me is that Mt St Helens is often quoted as an example-yet it must be obvious even to most Creationists that volcanic deposits, even if in laminar form, are totally different from riverine sedimentary deposits such as varves.
SteRusJon @ 18:
Jesus said that the world would see him no more, but his disciples would see him (Jn 14:19).
As long as we are seeing the same thing I have no issue being seen with you.
But please keep in mind that this is an Intelligent Design web site, not a Young Earth Creationist web site.
As such, you should consider yourself a guest in our house.
I think you understand perfectly well, having demonstrated the ability to identify and use a figure of speech. now apply that hermeneutical ability to scripture.
It’s hermeneutics. About Scripture. But this is an ID web site. ID does not depend on any particular interpretation of Scripture, or even on interpreting Scripture at all.
Issues with YEC:
1. There are many reasons to believe that the universe is more than 6,000 years old (+- 7 days).
2. There is no reason to believe that the Christian faith demands that the universe is only 6,000 years old (+- 7 days).
3. The YEC hermeneutic, from which it derives it’s view of the age of the universe, is defective and in fact anti-scriptural.
4. Salvador Cardoza, the leading proponent of YEC’ism here at UD, had to resort to deleting my posts from his threads, indicating that YEC’ism cannot be defended in rational debate.
Don’t be mistaken, I was probably once a YEC’ist myself, having grown up in a fundamental Baptist denomination. The problem that I pose for you and other YEC’ists here at UD is that I did not come to deny YEC’ism as a result of going to some secular university or losing my Christian faith or some such. But that’s another story for another time.
YEC’ism reminds me of Ptolemaism. Ever more epicycles. Unfalsifiable. Not scientific. Not to be confused with or equated with Intelligent Design.
That’s a pretty strong accusation, don’t you think?
I’m afraid many would strongly disagree with that belief including most of the writers of Scripture as well as the early Church Fathers. (True, a few were open to a certain level of allegory, but even then, they almost all believed in a young earth.)
Jesus too seemed to believe in a young earth. He said this speaking of Adam and Eve in Mk. 10:9 “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’”
Question: I don’t know when you think the first humans came on the scene, but, correct me if I’m wrong, current evolutionary thinking is anywhere from 6 million to 10 million years ago, right?
How in the world can that belief be reconciled with Jesus’ clear statement?
Speaking for myself, I am unable to do it.
Could it be that you are allowing your dislike for Cordova to color your view of YEC theology? Could it be that you WANT him to be wrong and to be publicly discredited?
I know there is much more to it than that, but it does seem from your comments that this is one reason you are so anti-YEC.
Personally I believe that God Himself, the author of Scripture would also disagree with your view of the YEC hermeneutic.
I believe God wrote the Bible to be understood.
If long ages were meant, don’t you think God did a pretty poor job of communicating that truth? I mean, for most of history, up until the past 200 years, almost all Jews and Christians believed in a young earth!
But now, thanks to Lyell and Darwin, we finally are able to read the Bible accurately!
Henry Crun @ 24
Varves are layers by definition. Ergo, they are indistinguishable from laminae.
The difference is the fine versus course. And this is exactly why there is seperation in layers from fast flowing sediments. And there are also discolorations apparent from this same mechanism. Suggesting even differing mineral content in layers.
To Henry Crun,
I don’t wish to get into a debate about creation science on a ID website even though I could debate the legs off a donkey. I think I will just concur with JGuy and Tjguy (are those the same people)?
We (JGuy and tjguy) are different people.
There is no “debate” to be had. Creation science is utter nonsense and all the evidence disproves it. I won’t bother with tjguy’s post since it’s just about scripture and has no bearing on science whatsoever. As far as JGuy’s post is concerned, all he has done is post a few links to some videos that are just a fee seconds long, poor or no sound, no explanation as to what they show, no statement as to who made the videos and what the demonstrator intended to show. Until JGuy provides that, it’s worthless.
Henry Crun- Materialism is nothing but sheer dumb luck and as such beyond the realm of science. IOW wrt science materialism is utter nonsense.
Deal with it
No, I actually did more than post videos. I took the time to provide very simple reasoning: (1) I made sure that you understood that varves are laminae by definition. (2) then I refuted your claim that varves are somehow specially distinct from layering due to differences in altenating layers, by demonstrating that is how the layers differ in the process I desccribed (layering resulting from fast moving water & sediments).
To emphasize the differeneces in varve layers, consider this wikipedia quote on varves: “An annual layer can be highly visible because the particles washed into the layer in the spring when there is greater flow strength are much coarser than those deposited later in the year. This forms a pair of layers—one coarse and one fine—for each annual cycle.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varve
Afterwards, is when I provided videos demonstrating the layer, and how the layers were distinct based on grain coarseness/fineness. I was hoping that would be obvious.
Also, I actually did provide you with a reference above referring you to the movie Drama in the Rocks. That documentary is connected with most of the videos provided. I won’t do all the drilling down for you on the references. Though, that should not matter, as the experiment and video are fairly self explanatory.
To Henry Crun,
“There is no “debate” to be had. Creation science is utter nonsense and all the evidence disproves it.”
And this is exactly why I won’t bother debating as you have already closed your mind to anything other than your own belief system.
I would like to see you disprove Dr Walt Brown’s theory, http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/ if creation science is nonsense and all the evidence disproves it.