Intelligent Design

Dr. Geisler Weighs in on the YEC Debate

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Here:

Excerpt:

After seriously pondering these questions for over a half century, my conclusions are: (1) The Young Earth view is not one of the Fundamentals of the Faith. (2) It is not a test for orthodoxy.  (3)  It is not a condition of salvation.  (4)  It is not a test of Christian fellowship. (5) It is not an issue over which the body of Christ should divide. (6) It is not a hill on which we should die. (7) The fact of creation is more important than the time of creation. (8) There are more important doctrines on which we should focus (like the inerrancy of the Bible, the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the death and resurrection of Christ, and His literal Second Coming.  As Repertus Meldenius (d. 1651) put it: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty, and in all things charity.” And by all counts, the age of the earth is not one of the essentials of the Christian Faith.

 

99 Replies to “Dr. Geisler Weighs in on the YEC Debate

  1. 1
    shader says:

    I would agree with him that YEC is not a necessary biblical teaching. Noah’s ark is, but a 6,000 year old earth is not.

  2. 2
    Joe says:

    A 6,000 year old Earth is contrived. And I don’t understand why people adhere to it- it (the age of the Earth) is NOT in the Bible, people. You can relax.

  3. 3
    OldArmy94 says:

    Answers in Genesis came to our church recently, and while I do appreciate their fervor and love for God, I think they often times do a disservice to the Kingdom. Rather than acknowledge that good Christians disagree (how many beliefs are there regarding Revelation?), there are some who are dogmatic without having dogma in their corner. Dr. Gisler’s teaching is wise and full of good material to ponder.

  4. 4
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    “like the inerrancy of the Bible”

    Makes me wonder if the fundies ever actually study the entirety of their Bibles.

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    OldArmy94-

    Are you saying that their dogma don’t hunt? 😉

  6. 6
    awstar says:

    “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty, and in all things charity.”

    It’s reassuring to know that regardless of our differences, charity will continue to be shown to us YEC fundies by our brothers in Christ.

  7. 7
    lifepsy says:

    Genesis is in direct conflict with any conventional secular beliefs on Earth history. One of the obvious reasons being the global flood and how it applies to geology, paleontology, biogeography, etc.

    Also, the supposed age of the Earth is reportedly one of the main reasons young people turn away from Christianity. So I would question someone claiming it’s not an important issue. It’s more likely to be one of the most important.

  8. 8
    Barry Arrington says:

    lifepsy’s comment at 7 is perfectly accurate if modified with four additional words: “A particular interpretation of Genesis is in direct conflict with any conventional secular beliefs on Earth history.” I take it that lifepsy is not representing himself as an infallible interpreter of Genesis as the literal meaning of his original comment would suggest.

  9. 9
    LarTanner says:

    (1) Sez who?
    (2) Sez who?
    (3) Really? Is this a fact or an opinion?
    (4) Who cares?
    (5) Ah. Father knows best.
    (6) Melodrama, the Christian currency.
    (7) The fact? The fact? Wow…such certainty over something the speaker does not actually know.
    (8) Yes, m’Lord. Whatever you say, m’Lord.

    Back to the science of ID in 3…2…1…

  10. 10
    melvinvines says:

    The Trinitarian Mind: Ignorance or Insanity?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a6qD9sWMbI

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    LarTanner: “Back to the science of ID in 3…2…1…”

    Are you suggesting that those who are interested in origins issues should not discuss tangential theological implications? If so, so much for Darwin. Under Tanner’s “Don’t talk about that” axiom Origin of Species would be out of bounds. Do you really want to go there Lar?

  12. 12
    Joe says:

    Hey Larry,

    Just fill out the form, and someone may give a hoot. 😛

  13. 13
    tjguy says:

    Shader says:

    “I would agree with him that YEC is not a necessary biblical teaching. Noah’s ark is, but a 6,000 year old earth is not.”

    Shader, it really isn’t possible to believe in the global flood of Noah and hold to an old earth at the same time. – unless you believe the God erased all evidence for it or something unscientific like that.

    Either the rock layers and the fossils in them were mainly payed down recently in a global flood or they were laid down by slow and gradual processes over millions of years. They can’t be evidence for both. If one of these positions is right, the other must necessarily be false.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    “Shader, it really isn’t possible to believe in the global flood of Noah and hold to an old earth at the same time.”

    I disagree with that, since evidence for ‘catastrophic megafloods’ is coming from secular sources:

    Humanpast.net
    Excerpt: Worldwide, we know that the period of 14,000 to 13,000 years ago, which coincides with the peak of abundant monsoonal rains over India, was marked by violent oceanic flooding – in fact, the first of the three great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age. The flooding was fed not merely by rain but by the cataclysmic synchronous collapse of large ice-masses on several different continents and by gigantic inundations of meltwater pouring down river systems into the oceans. (124)
    What happened, at around 13,000 years ago, was that the long period of uninterrupted warming that the world had just passed through (and that had greatly intensified, according to some studies, between 15,000 years ago and 13,000 years ago) was instantly brought to a halt – all at once, everywhere – by a global cold event known to palaeo climatologists as the ‘Younger Dryas’ or ‘Dryas III’. In many ways mysterious and unexplained, this was an almost unbelievably fast climatic reversion – from conditions that are calculated to have been warmer and wetter than today’s 13,000 years ago, to conditions that were colder and drier than those at the Last Glacial Maximum, not much more than a thousand years later. From that moment, around 12,800 years ago, it was as though an enchantment of ice had gripped the earth. In many areas that had been approaching terminal meltdown full glacial conditions were restored with breathtaking rapidity and all the gains that had been made since the LGM were simply stripped away…(124)
    A great, sudden extinction took place on the planet, perhaps as recently as 11,500 years ago (usually attributed to the end of that last ice age), in which hundreds of mammal and plant species disappeared from the face of the earth, driven into deep caverns and charred muck piles the world over. Modern science, with all its powers and prejudices, has been unable to adequately explain this event. (83)
    http://humanpast.net/environme.....ent11k.htm

    Further assorted notes on Global Flooding 13,000 years before present:

    Various Catastrophic Mega-Floods 13,000 years before present from around the world
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sXjqFo9osUO4pWfxsx3Brb565KvqfVIaP1vtDGa95tg/edit

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note:

    5 Christian Arguments Left Out of the Ken Ham, Bill Nye Debate
    http://www.christianpost.com/n.....te-114148/

  16. 16
    shader says:

    Tjguy, you aren’t looking at it correctly. The point is that the bible doesn’t say hold old the earth and the universe is. So my opinion on the age is that I don’t know and I don’t care.

    I feel very little confidence when it comes to mans ability to reconstruct the past. Theories are theories, and I frankly am uninterested in the latest theory regarding the age of the universe. These types if debates that YEC engage in are pointless, fruitless, and distracting.

    The bible does teach that the flood was an historic event, and that Adam and Eve we’re real people living just over 6k years ago. So population studies and studies of the flood and man, without the distraction of the age of the earth/universe, are what I wish biblical scientists would study.

  17. 17
    coldcoffee says:

    Over at TSZ, I have tried to defend VJT comments I am not a YEC and though I had fun 🙂 defending YEC, I can’t take this any further. I learned about ships, flood stability etc. While I believe it is possible to build the Ark sized ship and may be float it for a few weeks, I find it difficult to believe :
    1. A few men could have built such a massive structure
    2. The ship could survive more than few weeks in the flood [The stability tests carried out where for short term. Considering that Ark was a wooden ship, the stress would have been too much in the long term]
    3. I have problems with historical dates, not just about the pyramids [I am not satisfied with the reasons] but the evolution of species. I am an old Earth believer since there are sufficient evidence to support old Earth and not YEC, so I find it difficult to reconcile to YEC’s timelines.
    I welcome YECs to come from UD and continue to defend the Noah’s Ark.

  18. 18
    Robert Byers says:

    Defending the truth of scripture is as Christian as one can get.
    Saying it divides is wimps who expect to get their way.
    If you don’t like YEC then be quiet and let us prevail.
    Its reaaly people who disagree and want silence so their ideas prevail.
    The Ham debate showed the battle is on and doing fine. Its not going away .
    In fact we should not concentrate on targets.
    ID folks should push for a big smackdown debate with big names.
    The bad guys are reeling but their prode might be poked.

  19. 19
    tragic mishap says:

    I can see how a lawyer could weasel his way out of interpreting Genesis in a straightforward manner, but one thing we do know: Before this “issue” of the age of the earth manifested a couple hundred years ago, it wasn’t an issue.

    We also know that the only honest interpretative framework of any text is an unbiased attempt to ascertain the author’s intent.

    Put those two together and we know without a doubt that it could not have been the author of Genesis’ intent to have it interpreted as meaning an old earth. Not only do we know this from simple rational deduction, we also know this from the history of the interpretation of Genesis before this “issue” arose. Therefore it is modern people attempting to weasel and lawyer their way into inserting modern information into the meaning of an ancient text written before that information existed.

    I don’t know about you, but my faith isn’t so weak as to require the Word of God to be consistent with the word of men. If that is your particular weakness, than far be it from me to rip the pacifier out of you mouth. Just don’t expect me to keep silent about what I know to be true, and definitely don’t ask me to suck it with you.

  20. 20
    coldcoffee says:

    Robert # 18

    Defending the truth of scripture is as Christian as one can get.
    Saying it divides is wimps who expect to get their way.
    If you don’t like YEC then be quiet and let us prevail.
    Its reaaly people who disagree and want silence so their ideas prevail.

    tragic mishap # 19

    Just don’t expect me to keep silent about what I know to be true, and definitely don’t ask me to suck it with you.

    If those comments are for me, please be aware that it’s what I wish you did – go out and defend YEC. What’s the point of hanging around in forums which are sympathetic to your views? Unless you interact and defend your views in a combative forum, you will not know why people are indifferent to YEC. Seek their reasoning and counteract it.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    MV: UD, generally is not the place for such debates, but something needs to be noted for record. Try here on (in context) for a 101. Meanwhile, ponder if one can stand in one spot on Earth’s surface and be due north of London, LA and Tokyo, and what this says about the way we may sometimes mis-perceive irrationality in a counter-intuitive suggestion or idea due to interference by our own prior concepts. KF

  22. 22
    JGuy says:

    KF.

    I have a puzzle.

    Is there anywhere on earth a person can walk one mile south, one mile east and one mile north and be back at the starting location? Ifso, from how many points on earth can this be done on earth?

    😀

    Don’t answer too fast.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    JG, of course the two answers are the same. KF

  24. 24
    JGuy says:

    I don’t think the age of the earth is crucial for one to be a Christian. But I think it’s truth value is important for at least three reasons. If a young earth was ‘officially’ found true:

    (1)It would teach people to trust the scriptures. Especially, where it conflicts with any popular materialistic or Godless interpretations of natural evidence about unrepeatable events in the past.

    (2)It is a unique teaching. Therefore, confirmation of a young earth would exclusively point to Christ. An old earth proof couldn’t do that. The old earth is not only anticipated by atheistic and other non-Christian paradigms, it’s typically required of materialistically tainted views.

    (3)Much more science would be done looking in the right places. And better questions would be asked. So, scientific inquiry would be more fruitful… if not at least more confidently.

    I’m open to an old earth paradigm. But I don’t think the scriptures support it, OR the evidence. But I won’t judge a Christian that holds an old earth view. I still love them. Perhaps, half of my Christian friends are old earthers. We simply disagree on that point, no negative feelings with each other what-so-ever. It is what it is…that’s about it.

  25. 25
    JGuy says:

    KF.

    What is the answer? 0?, 1?, 2?,…?

  26. 26
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Im an old earth creationist but like Hugh Ross said we and YEC’s are only divided by a few zeros. The point is we both believe in creation and we should be respectful of each other’s views.

  27. 27
    JGuy says:

    KF.

    BTW, I’m not tying to put you on the spot. It’s a bit of a tricky answer. I just like puzzles like these kinds of puzzles.

    I read through the book ‘How to Move Mt Fuji’. It’s all about how high tech companies try to interview and test people they are interviewing with puzzles..and describes some interesting puzzles and tactics.

    From that book, I found that recursive puzzles are probably among the trickiest.

    One of my fav tactics they described was how they might interview a person that would serve as a liaison between departments. The interviewer would ask a technical question which required some calculation. The interviewee would answer. The interviewer would receive the answer, and expect a correct answer (and it would be a correct answer), but he/she would tell the interviewee “Close, but…” or “Nice try… The correct answer is …” and fill in a incorrect answer. The point of this is to see how the interviewee handles the situation, and sells tactfully to the interviewee that the answer he provided was actually correct. The job he was applying for would require such tactful productive communication. Slick 😉

  28. 28
    Joe says:

    coldcoffee-

    Why do you think that the word of God needs to be defended?

    Look no one knows what the evidence for a global flood would look like. Heck there is allegedly evidence for a snowball Earth. Snow is nothing more than frozen water vapour.

    Why do you care what the punks at TSZ think anyway? It’s not as if they can support materialism and evolutionism. IOW they have no idea what positive evidence for a concept would be. So why are you wasting your time?

    PS the link they gave you that allegedly refutes Noah’s Flood is full of errors. Again those chumps are not worth it.

  29. 29
    tjguy says:

    Shader @16

    Shader, I was responding to what you wrote in your first post. You claimed Noah’s Ark was a necessary teaching but a young earth is not. I simply pointed out that these are contradictory statements/ideas.

    BA disagrees but the examples he gave of a global flood are nothing like what the Bible teaches so it really doesn’t answer the question.

    You may not be interested in the age issue, but if you hold to a global flood, then I think it makes it very difficult to be a consistent Old Earther at the same time.

    Were the rocks formed during the flood? If so, they are young. There would have had to be lots and lots of rock formed during the flood if it was indeed global as the Bible teaches. AND, that would mean too that the fossils that were formed in those rocks are what? Young or old? Young of course. It could be no other way!

    Here is an interesting write up on a new outcrop of the Burgess Shale. http://crev.info/2014/02/new-c.....ess-shale/

    From the article:

    What this also means is that these outcrops are just the tip of the iceberg.

    The same fossils in the same strata from Canada to China – think of it! Something happened to them that prevented the normal process of decay when animals die. They were all buried so quickly, even their corneas and hearts were preserved. What could do that?
    Hint: it was global, and it took one year, not 10 million.

    I was talking with someone the other day who actually suggested that God caused the flood but miraculously made the evidence of the flood disappear! He was willing to go that far to preserve his views of an old earth.

    You say that Adam was created 6000 years ago, but then you want to allow for old ages before that. Tell me, what happened during these old ages? Evolution? Death, bloodshed, suffering, disease, etc? Just trying to understand your thinking here.

    If Adam was created 6000 years ago, then think about this statement that Jesus made in Mark 10:6

    “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.”

    Could that mean that Adam was created 6000 years ago, but the beginning of creation was billions of years ago? Hmm.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    JG: Kindly watch the video of the Nye-Ham debate, and look at my reflections here and in the onward linked, put up yesterday after a week’s reflection on the matches we are playing with. KF

    PS: I intervened FTR above because of a repeated line of talking points from several commenters that deals . . . in my opinion, unfairly . . . with something that is in the heart of the historic Christian worldview and Faith.

  31. 31
    wyatterp says:

    I agree with Dr Geisler. All this sensationalism about how Ham did more harm than good I find discouraging. I also think that YECers should not disdain Old Earth IDers. We both serve the common cause to push back against the irrefutable naturalism that overwhelms and hinders science today and should be united on this.

    I consider myself a long time UD lurker, so I’m excited to join in on the discussion! Love this sight and others like it!

  32. 32
    Barb says:

    “Shader, it really isn’t possible to believe in the global flood of Noah and hold to an old earth at the same time. – unless you believe the God erased all evidence for it or something unscientific like that.”

    I respectfully disagree. While Noah’s flood may have happened in the recent past (say, between 6,000 to 10,000 years ago), there is nothing in scripture to suggest that this cannot harmonize with a billions-year-old Earth and solar system.

    That there is geological evidence for a global flood was evident in the 18th century. For example, in 1761 Alexander Catcott, A.M., wrote Treatise on the Deluge, citing what he considered to be proof of the cataclysm. He has been quoted as saying: “We appeal once more to Nature and find that there are, at this day, as evident, as demonstrative, as incontestable proofs of the Deluge over the face of the earth . . . as if it had happened last year . . . Search the earth; you will find the moose-deer, native of America, buried in Ireland; elephants, natives of Asia and Africa, buried in the midst of England; crocodiles, natives of the Nile, in the heart of Germany; shell-fish, never known in the American seas, together with the entire skeletons of whales, in the most inland regions of England; trees of vast dimensions, with their roots and their tops, and some also with leaves and fruit, at the bottom of mines.”
    And remember, it’s not the data that is questionable, it’s the interpretation of the data. Geology professor John McCampbell once wrote: “The essential differences between Biblical catastrophism [the Flood] and evolutionary uniformitarianism are not over the factual data of geology but over the interpretations of those data. The interpretation preferred will depend largely upon the background and presuppositions of the individual student.” [The Genesis Flood, by John C. Whitcomb, Jr. and Henry M. Morris, 1967, p. xvii.}

  33. 33
    Barb says:

    Further on the dating of the Noachian Flood:

    When measuring Biblical periods in harmony with modern dating methods, it should be remembered that cardinal and ordinal numbers differ. Cardinal numbers, such as 1, 2, 3, 10, 100, and so forth, have full value. But with ordinal numbers, such as 3rd, 5th, and 22nd, it is necessary to subtract one to obtain the full number. Thus, in the reference to the “eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar,” the term “eighteenth” is an ordinal number and represents 17 full years plus some days, weeks, or months (whatever time had elapsed from the end of the 17th year).—Jer 52:29.

    Modern historians are unable to determine any certain date for the beginning of the “historical period” of mankind. Whether they turn to the history of Assyria, Babylon, or Egypt, the chronology becomes increasingly uncertain and unstable as they work their way back through the second millennium B.C.E., and in the third millennium B.C.E. they are faced with confusion and obscurity. To make the count in terms of modern calendar dating, we must use some fixed point or pivotal date with which to commence, that is, a date in history that has sound basis for acceptance and that corresponds with a particular event recorded in the Bible.

    From this date as a pivotal point we can figure backward or forward and assign calendar dates to many of the events referred to in the Bible.

    The Bible provides chronological information that allows for a careful count back to the beginning of human history. At Genesis 5:1-29, we find the genealogical line from the creation of the first man, Adam, to the birth of Noah. The Deluge began “in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life.”—Genesis 7:11.

    We can make calculations and assign to the Flood a date based on the Gregorian calendar now in common use. One pivotal date is 539 B.C.E., the year when Persian King Cyrus overthrew Babylon. Secular sources for the time of his reign include Babylonian tablets and documents of Diodorus, Africanus, Eusebius, and Ptolemy. Because of a decree issued by Cyrus, a Jewish remnant left Babylon and arrived in their homeland in 537 B.C.E. That marked the end of Judah’s 70-year desolation, which according to the Biblical record had begun in 607 B.C.E. By taking into account the period of the judges and the reigns of Israel’s kings, we can determine that the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt occurred in 1513 B.C.E. Bible-based chronology takes us back another 430 years to the making of the covenant with Abraham in 1943 B.C.E. Next we must take into account the births and life spans of Terah, Nahor, Serug, Reu, Peleg, Eber, and Shelah, as well as Arpachshad, who was born “two years after the deluge.” (Genesis 11:10-32) We can thus place the beginning of the Flood in the year 2370 B.C.E.

    Before we review the events of Noah’s day, you may wish to read Genesis chapter 7 verse 11 to chapter 8 verse 4. Regarding the downpour, we are told: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life [2370 B.C.E.], in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day all the springs of the vast watery deep were broken open and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.”—Genesis 7:11.

    Noah divided the year into 12 months of 30 days each. In ancient times, the first month started about the middle of our calendar month of September. The floodwaters began to fall in “the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month” and continued falling for 40 days and 40 nights during the months of November and December 2370 B.C.E.
    Regarding the Deluge, we are also informed: “The waters continued overwhelming the earth a hundred and fifty days. . . . And the waters began receding from off the earth, progressively receding; and at the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters were lacking. And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.” (Genesis 7:24–8:4) So the period from when the waters overwhelmed the earth to the time they receded was 150 days, or five months. The ark thus came to rest on the mountains of Ararat in April of 2369 B.C.E.

    Now read Genesis 8:5-17. The tops of the mountains appeared nearly two and a half months (73 days) later, “in the tenth month [June], on the first of the month.” (Genesis 8:5) Three months (90 days) later—in Noah’s “six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month,” or in mid-September, 2369 B.C.E.—Noah removed the covering of the ark. He could then see that “the surface of the ground had drained dry.” (Genesis 8:13) One month and 27 days (57 days) later, “in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month [mid-November, 2369 B.C.E.], the earth had dried off.” Noah and his family then came out of the ark onto dry ground. Hence, Noah and the others spent one lunar year and ten days (370 days) in the ark.—Genesis 8:14.

    What do these precise records involving events, details, and time factors prove? Simply this: The Hebrew prophet Moses, who evidently based Genesis on records he had received, was presenting facts, not a mythical allegory.

  34. 34
    scordova says:

    The essentials of the Christian faith is what the theology of the thief on the cross. That is one of my favorite passages, he said:

    And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43

    And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    Recognize Jesus is the Christ, accept him as savior. The essential of the Christian faith are what God deems necessary for salvation.

    I could live with an Old Universe, ancient life, etc. but there is one highly important name in Christ’s genealogy:

    23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,[e] the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of
    Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of

    Noah, the son of Lamech,

    37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

    If one accepts Jesus and the Gospel of Luke and Matthew, one is confronted with Noah, and the account of the great flood where only 8 people on Earth were spared.

    As far as paleontology is concerned, imho, if we actually weighed the geological evidence, it looks like there was a great flood. Whether life or anything else is old, is a separate question.

    And Christian Baptism corresponds to the flood:

    when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you

    1 Peter 3

    Maybe 500,000,000 died in the flood, 8 were spared.

    Funny, I can’t remember ANY Christian baptism that mentioned Noah’s flood in the ceremony.

    Anyway, maybe God will give us a reminder. The flood motion picture is coming out next month.

  35. 35
    Mapou says:

    scordova @34,

    Obviously the gospels of Luke and Matthew (and even the Mosaic account) are mistaken because there was no global deluge 4000 years ago. People make mistakes. The evidence against a recent global flood is overwhelming.

    Nobody has to accept anything in the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Sure, one can find a lot about God in the Bible by searching. And the Bible is not the only source of knowledge either. Certainly, nobody should allow some human preacher to interpret the Bible for them. We should have faith in God, not in the supposed infallibility of a book (that’s idolatry) and certainly not in any preacher (that’s stupidity). “Search and you shall find” is the responsibility of every Christian, not only the leaders of Christianity (that’s the evil doctrine of the Nicolaitans).

  36. 36
    drc466 says:

    As much as I respect Dr. Geisler, I’m going to have to disagree with him slightly. I fully support his points 1-8, but I think his points on the “inerrancy of the Bible” and “the Deity of Christ” are affected by whether you accept Gen. 1-3 as literal or not. As Jesus quotes directly from Gen 1 and Gen 2, we have to accept that He accepted them as part of God’s Word. So then, should we read the 7 days as literal 7 days?
    Honestly, I think there is far too much mental and logical gymnastics required to say that a) the days weren’t really 24-hour days and b) living creatures died before Adam’s sin. For example: if the days weren’t days – what were they? How long did they last? Were they all the same length? And if not – why the emphasis on 7 days later on in the Bible? Why tie a 7-day week and Sabbath to some random-lengthed periods of time that weren’t even in the right order, if you believe in the evolutionary timeframe and emergence of life sequence? And why would God, who wrote the Bible to all people with His message phrased in the simplest way possible, deliberately mislead us and thousands of years of people before us who understood Genesis 1 to mean what it said as clearly as possible, only for “educated” types to finally come to a correct understanding in the 19th century? Especially when that “correct” understanding bears no resemblance to Gen 1 at all? Logically, that makes little sense.
    Having said that, I agree with Dr. Geisler that having the correct view of Creation as God’s Work is far more important than the timing or details. And I think you’ll find that the embrace of the ID movement as fellow travelers by the majority of YEC’ers shows that to be the case – while ID does not promote Creationism, it allows it, and even provides support for it. (not the YE variety, but we’ll get there 🙂 ).

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    As to death preceding the fall:

    Old Earth Creationism and the Fall, William Dembski – Christian Research Journal, volume 34, number 4(2011).
    Excerpt: My solution (to Theodicy) in my book “The End of Christianity is to argue that, just as the effects of salvation at the cross reach both forward in time (saving present day Christians) and backward in time (saving Old Testament saints), so the effects of the fall reach forward in time as well as backward. What makes the argument work is the ability of God to arrange events at one time to anticipate events at a later time.,,,
    http://www.equip.org/PDF/JAF4344.pdf

    Finding a Good God in an Evil World (with nuance on the Garden of Eden) – William Dembski
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Also of note,

    Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA

    As to the question of whether a free will choice can reach back in time, the answer from physics is yes:

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    i.e. The preceding experiment clearly shows, and removes any doubt whatsoever, that the ‘material’ detector recording information in the double slit is secondary to the experiment and that a conscious observer being able to consciously know the ‘which path’ information of a photon with local certainty, is of primary importance in the experiment.

    You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    Moreover, time, in the spiritual realm, is ‘eternal’ and is not the linear progression of temporal time that we are normally use to here on earth:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    Two very different ‘eternities’ revealed by physics:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-489771

    Thus, though present free will choices ‘reaching back in time’ may seem odd from our present temporal perspective, from physics and from the consistent testimony of what the spiritual realm is like, there is no contradiction to our present free will choices having ‘timeless’ spiritual ramifications. In fact, for Christians who believe that their present choice to follow Christ has eternal consequences for their soul this oddity in ‘eternal’ time should seem rather ‘natural’ to believe in.

    Verse and Music:

    Matthew 22:29
    Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.

    Romans 8:38-39
    For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Holy Is The Lord – Chris Tomlin
    http://myktis.com/songs/holy-is-the-lord/

  38. 38
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    drc466: For example: if the days weren’t days – what were they?

    The first thing I like to ask Biblical literalist, inerrantist, YECs is this: do you actually believe the sun was created on day four of a 24-hour-day cycle or not?

  39. 39
    Mapou says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    The first thing I like to ask Biblical literalist, inerrantist, YECs is this: do you actually believe the sun was created on day four of a 24-hour-day cycle or not?

    It’s not easy to have a morning and an evening without a sun but you’ll be surprised what a Biblical literalist will believe in.

  40. 40
    tjguy says:

    The first thing I like to ask Biblical literalist, inerrantist, YECs is this: do you actually believe the sun was created on day four of a 24-hour-day cycle or not?

    Yes.

  41. 41
    coldcoffee says:

    tjguy #40

    The first thing I like to ask Biblical literalist, inerrantist, YECs is this: do you actually believe the sun was created on day four of a 24-hour-day cycle or not?

    Yes.

    I admire your courage to stand by the Bible, but I am not sure we can interpret the Bible literally. Although I admit I am confused in what other way I can interpret it.

  42. 42
    JGuy says:

    Mapou @ 35

    Obviously the gospels of Luke and Matthew (and even the Mosaic account) are mistaken because there was no global deluge 4000 years ago. People make mistakes. The evidence against a recent global flood is overwhelming.

    You’re obviously wrong about the scriptures and the nature of the evidence. Wrong all around… well, other than the exception of stating that people make mistakes – which is conveniently exemplified by the claim in your post.

    Every time someone uses such strong words as ‘overwhelming evidence’ (à la Richard Dawkins) my skeptical mode pegs out into high alert. Especially, when the claim is punctuated with silence on the nature of the key evidences.

    Meanwhile, one can observe the scale of something like the Grand Canyon, and the pancaking of the strata… at a scale you of hundred of miles which you simply do not find occurring on the planet today. Numerous submarine canyons, some as big as Grand Canyon or bigger, stretching off the coasts of the continents… or consider fossils – found all over the world – and how they require rapid burial meaning rapid movement of sediments that built up the strata they are in all over the world.

    The claim of overwhelming evidence against a global catastrophic flood falls flat not only in silence of evidence, but in light of what we can observe.

  43. 43
    JGuy says:

    Mapou and CentralScrutinizer

    CentralScrutinizer:

    The first thing I like to ask Biblical literalist, inerrantist, YECs is this: do you actually believe the sun was created on day four of a 24-hour-day cycle or not?

    It’s not easy to have a morning and an evening without a sun but you’ll be surprised what a Biblical literalist will believe in.

    All that’s needs is a light source and a rotating planet. You have both on the first ~24 hour day.

    Genesis 1:3-5
    3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

    I realize you guys apparently like to keep it mostly if not all figurative. But I’ll entertain you a tiny bit here with the nature of my interpretation of Genesis 1. Even though it easily reads as literal – I have found figurative elements within it (figurative in the sense of acting as types). That’s not to say it’s one or the other…but both!… and both are equally true. This is in the same sense that I believe Abraham and Isaac were two real people. And the account of what happened with them is historically accurate. But in terms of a type, Isaac serves as type pointing to Jesus. So, Abraham and Isaac are literally true, and have a kinda figurative nature about them (a type) that is equally true. I don’t want to get into details about what I see in Genesis 1, because the figurative aspects are more prone to opinion. So, with that, I can say there is imo possibly a very good figurative/type type of reason for the sun being made on day four with literal and figurative both being equally true… but I’ll leave it for now to avoid spreading my specific view about it so that it isn’t perceived as my view of it being a fact.

  44. 44
    suckerspawn says:

    Mapou @ 35

    “Nobody has to accept anything in the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Sure, one can find a lot about God in the Bible by searching. And the Bible is not the only source of knowledge either. Certainly, nobody should allow some human preacher to interpret the Bible for them. We should have faith in God, not in the supposed infallibility of a book (that’s idolatry) and certainly not in any preacher (that’s stupidity). “Search and you shall find” is the responsibility of every Christian, not only the leaders of Christianity (that’s the evil doctrine of the Nicolaitans).”

    Why do you question the inerrancy of the Bible then quote the Bible as if it is absolute truth?

  45. 45
    Chesterton says:

    Coldcoffe
    ” Although I admit I am confused in what other way I can interpret it.”

    Think what for God is important to tell to you, and figure out how He would tell you if you were man living in middle east in 1200 bC.

  46. 46
    Mapou says:

    suckerspawn:

    Why do you question the inerrancy of the Bible then quote the Bible as if it is absolute truth?

    Wrong. I quote the Bible the same way I quote Wikipedia. I don’t believe either is absolute truth. However, both have enough truth in them to be very useful.

  47. 47
    Mapou says:

    JGuy @42,

    I’m sure the Grand Canyon is strong evidence that it may have been a mighty flood drainage channel but no global flood happened 4000 years ago.

  48. 48
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Jguy: All that’s needs is a light source and a rotating planet. You have both on the first ~24 hour day.

    Where is this original light source now, the one that existed before the sun was poofed into existence on the fourth day? There is no statement that it ever disappeared.

    On a spherical planet and orbiting a single light source, it’s always dark somewhere and it’s always light somewhere, as we observe on earth? When the original light source was poofed into existence it would have been “morning and evening” on one side of the planet and “evening and morning” on the opposite other.

    Why does the account only mention “evening and morning” and not the “morning and evening” that was on the other side of the globe?

  49. 49
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    JGuy: Even though it easily reads as literal – I have found figurative elements within it (figurative in the sense of acting as types).

    Not many people dispute that it reads as if it is literal. And this is for good reason, historically. The intended audience were not living in a scientific age and the author wanted to convey some “sanitized” points about the creation to a people who were assaulted with “pagan” ideas about creation on all sides. In short, they needed a creation story that was a “matter of fact” sort of tale, where, for example, the sun and the moon and stars (objects of serious idolatry in the Levant and the surrounding areas) were mere creations. In fact, the proper names of the sun and moon are not even used in the account, which is significant.

    I don’t know if you realize this, but if you read the Torah and the Tanakh you will see that the chief concern of “Yahweh”, over and over, is Israel’s idolatry. Worshipping other gods and worshipping the sun, moon and stars.

    The creation tale, the tower of Babel tale, the flood tale, all have obvious precursors in Sumer via Canaan. And all very well known in Canaan and the Levant. The author of Genesis took these stories and reworked then, taking the better attributes of Anu, Enki/Ea and Enlil, merging them in a single deity named “Ehyeh” (derived from Ea, ultimately becoming YHWH), and purge the polytheistic tone and solar and lunar aspects of worship from them. Genesis is a politically and theologically driven piece of work. Naive fundamentalists generally don’t know anything about any of this.

    You can believe the kindergarden story in Genesis if you want, be my guest. But there’s a lot more to the story. In light of modern science and history, it’s simply naive to take the Genesis account as literal, factual history.

  50. 50
    Barb says:

    Mapou continues:

    Obviously the gospels of Luke and Matthew (and even the Mosaic account) are mistaken because there was no global deluge 4000 years ago.

    Yes, obviously the gospels are mistaken because there is absolutely no possible way that Mapou might be mistaken. Because he is far more enlightened than the rest of us. Your arrogance and condescension are noted. And promptly ignored.

    People make mistakes.

    Yes, they do. Please include yourself in this statement.

    The evidence against a recent global flood is overwhelming.

    So you didn’t bother reading my posts. The evidence for a global flood exists, whether you like it or not. And whether you accept it or not. Consider the following:

    1) Such an awesome catastrophe, if it really happened, would never have been completely forgotten. Hence, in many nations there are reminders of that destruction. Consider, for example, the precise date recorded in the Scriptures. The second month of the ancient calendar ran from what we now call mid-October to mid-November. So the 17th day corresponds approximately to the first of November. It may not be a coincidence, then, that in many lands, festivals for the dead are celebrated at that time of year [All Souls’ Day, right after Halloween].

    2) If we grant that a great flood could have happened, why have scientists found no trace of it? Perhaps they have, but they interpret the evidence some other way. For example, orthodox science teaches that the surface of the earth has been shaped in many places by powerful glaciers during a series of ice ages. But apparent evidence of glacial activity can sometimes be the result of water action. Very likely, then, some of the evidence for the Flood is being misread as evidence of an ice age.

    Similar mistakes have been made. Concerning the time when scientists were developing their theory of ice ages, we read: “They were finding ice ages at every stage of the geologic history, in keeping with the philosophy of uniformity. Careful reexamination of the evidence in recent years, however, has rejected many of these ice ages; formations once identified as glacial moraines have been reinterpreted as beds laid down by mudflows, submarine landslides and turbidity currents: avalanches of turbid water that carry silt, sand and gravel out over the deep-ocean floor.” [Scientific American, May 1960, p. 71.]

    3) Other evidences of the Deluge linger in mankind’s traditions. Practically all ancient peoples have a legend that their ancestors survived a global flood. African Pygmies, European Celts, South American Incas—all have similar legends, as do peoples of Alaska, Australia, China, India, Lithuania, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, and parts of North America, to mention only a few.

    “Even greater similarities to the Genesis account are present in another Babylonian epic whose hero bears the name Gilgamesh. . . . It most likely came into existence around the beginning of the second millennium. . . . [Clay tablet XI] is virtually intact, thus providing the most complete version of the deluge story in cuneiform script.”—Encyclopædia Judaica.

    “Like the Hebrews, Babylonians, Greeks, Norsemen, and other peoples of the Old World, many Indian tribes of North and South America had traditions of the Deluge. . . . ‘When the earliest missionaries came’ . . . , the Reverend Myron Eells reported in 1878, ‘they found that those Indians had their traditions of a flood, and that one man and his wife were saved on a raft.’”—Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest.

    3) Of course, over time the legends have been embellished, but they all include several details indicating a common source narrative: God was angered by mankind’s wickedness. He brought a great flood. Mankind as a whole was destroyed. A few righteous ones, however, were preserved. These built a vessel in which humans and animals were saved. In time, birds were sent out to search for dry land. Finally, the vessel came to rest on a mountain. Upon disembarking, the survivors offered a sacrifice.

    4) The similarities cannot possibly be coincidental. The combined evidence of these legends corroborates the Bible’s ancient testimony that all humans descend from the survivors of a flood that destroyed a world of mankind. Hence, we do not need to rely on legends or myths to know what happened. We have the carefully preserved record in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible.—Genesis, chapters 6-8.

    Hand-waving away evidence you don’t like or don’t want to accept only reflects badly on you. It states that while you claim to search for knowledge, you reject it when you find it.

    Nobody has to accept anything in the Bible as the inerrant word of God.

    No, they don’t. That is why the Bible makes references to “stupid ones”.

    Sure, one can find a lot about God in the Bible by searching. And the Bible is not the only source of knowledge either.

    No, it’s not. But it is the most accurate and comprehensive source of knowledge there is. But please feel free to ignore what scholars have found in favor of your own personal theology.

    Certainly, nobody should allow some human preacher to interpret the Bible for them.

    The Bible states that “interpretations belong to God.” So then why should any one of us here allow you to interpret the Bible for us? What makes you so sure your theology is sound?

    One definition of the word “interpret” is “to conceive in the light of individual belief, judgment, or circumstance.” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary) Thus, one’s interpretation of anything is usually influenced by one’s background, education, and upbringing.

    What would a housewife think of a recipe book that was open to just any interpretation? Or of what benefit would it be to spend money for a dictionary that allowed its reader to interpret the meaning of words just any way he chose? Is that the kind of guidebook we would expect God to give his creatures? Indeed, in such a case, would it even be proper to speak of it as a guidebook?

    Honest, God-fearing persons are not interested in twisting the Scriptures “to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16) To avoid doing this, they find all the scriptures dealing with the subject they are trying to understand. When scriptures are found that clearly contradict previously held views, those views are quickly discarded, as they cannot be correct.

    How good it is to know that the Bible is not open to just any interpretation. When we allow its Author to interpret it for us, it is truly “beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness.” Then, and only then, will it make us “fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

    We should have faith in God, not in the supposed infallibility of a book (that’s idolatry) and certainly not in any preacher (that’s stupidity).

    Faith in God requires belief in the infallibility of a book. This does not mean that we worship the book, as per your definition. That is a non sequitur, a classic logical fallacy.

    “Search and you shall find” is the responsibility of every Christian, not only the leaders of Christianity (that’s the evil doctrine of the Nicolaitans).

    Note the example of a first-century Ethiopian eunuch, who was puzzled about a certain passage of Scripture. “Do you actually know what you are reading?” the Christian disciple Philip asked him. The Ethiopian replied: “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?” What humility—especially considering that the eunuch was likely a man of note in his homeland! Thanks to his humility, he received deep insight into the Scriptures.—Acts 8:26-38.

    Yes, “search and you shall find” is each person’s responsibility. But that does not negate the fact that God did use an organization (the first century apostles, the nation of Israel) to make his will known. Assuming that you can read the Bible on your own and understand everything in it is complete hubris.

  51. 51
    vjtorley says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’d like to make a comment on the Flood. As readers of this Website will be aware, I believe in an old Earth. According to the Bible, Noah’s flood is supposed to have killed off nearly all of the human race, a mere 5,000 or so years ago. There are solid scientific reasons for believing that the entire Earth was never covered with water. (See the article “Deluge” by Anthony Maas, at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04702a.htm , in The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908.)

    However, there is one scientific proposal that I am aware of which squares with the main features of the Biblical account, but I should warn readers that it is a speculative hypothesis. I am referring to the recent theory that the Earth was hit by a very large comet, about 5 kilometers wide, on May 10, 2807 B.C., causing a “1-2-3 punch” of mega-tsunamis worldwide, massive flooding from storm surges and extended atmospheric rainout, and finally, hurricane-force winds. Most of the rainfall, which lasted for about seven days, was supposedly due to ocean-fed prolonged cyclonic storm activity stimulated by atmospheric rainout and blockage of sunlight. The Burckle crater, located in the Indian Ocean about 1500 kilometers south-east of Madagascar, is believed to be a relic of this cometary impact, but there may have also been a second impact about two or three days after the first. This global catastrophe is estimated to have wiped out 50 to 75% of humanity. It is hypothesized that this event is what lies behind the Flood stories that are found in civilizations all around the world. About half of the recorded Flood myths indicate that the few survivors saved themselves on boats, canoes, makeshift rafts, or by floating on or in a log or other buoyant debris, which then typically became grounded on mountainsides or other high spots.

    For a scholarly account of this theory, see “The Archaeology and Anthropology of Quaternary Period Cosmic Impact” at http://tsun.sscc.ru/hiwg/PABL/....._Paper.pdf by W. Bruce Masse (in Bobrowsky, P., and Rickman, H., eds., Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Berlin, Springer Press, 2007, pp. 25-70) and scroll down to page 46. For a scholarly review of this bold hypothesis, see “Recent Cosmic Impacts on Earth: Do Global Myths Reflect an Ancient Disaster?” by archaeologist Thomas F. King, at http://archaeology.about.com/o.....e_king.htm . For a popular summary of the theory, see “Did a comet cause the Great Flood?” (article by Scott Carney, in Discover magazine, online edition, November 2007, at http://discovermagazine.com/20.....reat-flood ) and “Ancient Crash, Epic Wave” (article by Sandra Blakeslee, in The New York Times, 14 November 2006, at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11......html?_r=1 ; see also http://mathildasweirdworldwebl.....h-2807-bc/ ). The Website of the Holocene Impact Working Group is at http://tsun.sscc.ru/hiwg/publ.htm .

    The theory advanced by Dr. Bruce Masse that the Burckle crater, east of Madagascar is the result of a cometary impact in 2807 B.C. has recently been challenged by Dr. Jody Bourgeois, who argues that it is instead the result of aeolian processes. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....091637.htm . To be continued…

  52. 52
    Mapou says:

    Barb @50,

    You searched and you found what you wanted to find. I’m happy with that. I don’t demand that anybody accept my interpretation of the Bible. In fact, seeing that I’m always searching, my interpretation changes all the time. You believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and I don’t. In my opinion, the Bible contains a fair amount of nonsense that a mighty, knowledgeable God, a God who created the universe could never have written. That is my opinion. UD is a forum for sharing opinions.

    I was just reading a report yesterday about the archaeological evidence of the domestication of camels. It turns out that camels were not domesticated in the middle east until much later than the book of Genesis claims. My interpretation is that the book of Genesis is probably mistaken. Your interpretation is probably that the book of Genesis is 100% correct and that the archaeologists are wrong. Fine. I have no problem with that. As I said, searching is every Christian’s personal responsibility.

  53. 53
    vjtorley says:

    An excerpt from the Science Daily article (April 30, 2009, at http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....091637.htm ), in which Dr. Jody Bourgeois challenges the cometary impact theory championed by Dr. Bruce Masse:

    Bourgeois said the theory just doesn’t hold water.

    For example, she said, there are numerous chevrons on Madagascar, but many are parallel to the coastline. Models created by Bourgeois’ colleague Robert Weiss show that if they were created by tsunamis they should point in the direction the waves were travelling, mostly perpendicular to the shore.

    “And if it really was from an impact, you should find evidence on the coast of Africa too, since it is so near,” said Bourgeois, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences who has studied earthquakes and tsunamis in various parts of the world…

    The discovery of marine fossils in some chevron formations seems to support the idea that a wave created the deposit, but Bourgeois discounts that evidence also.

    “Marine fossils can get into non-marine deposits. It’s not uncommon. You only have to change sea level a little bit or have them wash up on a beach in a storm,” she said. “And some marine organisms can be carried by the wind. I am convinced these are largely wind-blown deposits.”

    Masse’s reply follows…

  54. 54
    scordova says:

    [I totally messed up the formatting in comment 34 so, I’ll restate it with the blockquotes fixed. Apologies to the readers. ]

    The essentials of the Christian faith is what the theology of the thief on the cross. That is one of my favorite passages, he said:

    And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43

    And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    Recognize Jesus is the Christ, accept him as savior. The essential of the Christian faith are what God deems necessary for salvation.

    I could live with an Old Universe, ancient life, etc. but there is one highly important name in Christ’s genealogy:

    23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,[e] the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of
    Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of

    Noah, the son of Lamech,

    37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

    If one accepts Jesus and the Gospel of Luke and Matthew, one is confronted with Noah, and the account of the great flood where only 8 people on Earth were spared.

    As far as paleontology is concerned, imho, if we actually weighed the geological evidence, it looks like there was a great flood. Whether life or anything else is old, is a separate question.

    And Christian Baptism corresponds to the flood:

    when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you

    1 Peter 3

    Maybe 500,000,000 died in the flood, 8 were spared.

    Funny, I can’t remember ANY Christian baptism that mentioned Noah’s flood in the ceremony.

    Anyway, maybe God will give us a reminder. The flood motion picture is coming out next month.

  55. 55
    vjtorley says:

    Viascheslav Gusiakov, Ronald Bryant, Dallas Abbott and Bruce Masse have responded to Bourgeois in an article titled “Mega Tsunami of the World Ocean as the evidence of recent oceanic bolide impacts, chevron dune formation and rapid climate change” in Geophysical Hazards: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Awareness (ed. Tom Beer). For a summary of the article, see here: http://www.cprm.gov.br/33IGC/1338188.html . For an online view of most of the article, see here: http://books.google.co.jp/book.....38;f=false

    The authors point out that: (a) contrary to Bourgeois’ assertion, the orientation of each chevron is actually consistent with the waves coming from a point source (the Burckle crater) and being refracted by the underwater topography near the southern coast of Madagascar; (b) unlike wind-blown dunes, which have a well-sorted unimodal size distribution, the Madagascar chevrons are unsorted, with a broad range of particle sizes, from small boulders down to clay particles; (c) some of the marine shells and microfossils associated with the chevrons are found as high as 200 meters above present-day sea levels, and 7 kilometers from the coast, which is far higher and further than the wind could carry them; (d) the sediment particles appear to have been splashed with molten massive metals, suggesting a cosmic impact at high temperatures (although chemical weathering cannot be ruled out).

    The authors acknowledge that the Madagascar chevrons haven’t yet been dated, but suggest a date of 4,000 to 7,000 years ago, and more specifically, about 4,800 years ago.

    In short: there is tentative evidence for worldwide flooding around 5,000 years ago which wiped out most of the human race, and which (according to myths around the world), a few people escaped by boats and rafts. Noah could have been an individual providentially warned by God, and he may have hopped into a boat with his family and livestock (the animals in the Noah’s ark narrative in Genesis). That may be the essential factual core of the Biblical story of Noah.

    There are passages in the New Testament which speak of God as saving only Noah and his family, suggesting that only eight human beings survived the Flood. That may not necessarily be the case, however. It could have been that eight human beings were warned by God about the Flood, because they lived righteously. That does not preclude the possibility of a few others surviving by accident. That’s my take on the account.

  56. 56
    scordova says:

    There are passages in the New Testament which speak of God as saving only Noah and his family, suggesting that only eight human beings survived the Flood. That may not necessarily be the case, however. It could have been that eight human beings were warned by God about the Flood, because they lived righteously. That does not preclude the possibility of a few others surviving by accident. That’s my take on the account.

    I deeply respect this viewpoint, and perhaps the main reason I accepted the flood being global was it was aesthetically pleasing that such a dramatic thing happened, and at the end of the tragedies there were rainbows awaiting humanity symbolizing God’s covenant mercy on those that were spared…

    Even to this day, the PCA denomination that I’m a part of seem very ambivalent to the YEC, OEC, evolution, ID, the great flood. I came to my present views because the circumstantial evidence. Me, I’m a bit of a pragmatist near agnostic in matters of origins, I’m come to the table like a Private Investigator trying to assess the facts. Yes I’m biased, and to help get a balanced view, I delighted to engage the other viewpoints and see them give their best shot as if we were in a courtroom, but stripped of the legal maneuvering, and simply arguing facts.

    So, independent of theology, let us consider:

    ARGUMENTS AGAINST GLOBAL FLOOD:

    1. where did all the water go
    2. what was the flood mechanism
    3. the geological record does not show a great flood
    4. radiometric dating
    5. the fossil record

    ARGUMENTS FOR:

    1. the fossil record
    2. radiometric dating
    3. the geological record shows a great flood
    4. the water from the flood is still there, the mountains and continents simply emerged from the flood as evidenced by the structure of mountains and continents
    5. the flood mechanism seems to be “fountains of the great deep” as said in genesis, this can be confirmed by continued geological exploration

    I was an old Earth Darwinist raised in a Roman Catholic home that didn’t care what I believed about evolution. Even today the denomination I’m a part of has about the same ambivalent attitude on these matters. I accept my current view based on the facts, and the facts seem to accord well with the claims of Noah’s flood, and thus each day I find it actually easier to believe the Bible because it’s bold claims about geological history accord with the facts.

    Sometimes faith is viewed this way:

    Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.

    Mark Twain

    At this point in my life, it just seems that the mainstream account “ain’t so” based on the physical facts. I don’t think in good conscience I could muster that sort of Mark Twain “faith” to believe there was no Great Flood.

    PS
    I have abandoned aesthetically pleasing ideas about reality before, and I’m willing to do so again. I once believed the universe was teeming with intelligent life like us, and that like star trek there would be unending adventure and discovery for mankind for all eternity. I no longer think that, and speaking of Norm Geisler, here is post at UD just along the lines of that and what Norm Geisler had to say:

    Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before

  57. 57
    Mapou says:

    vjtorley @55,

    Thank you for your comments and references regarding the flood. The comet impact theory is certainly interesting. The May 10, 2807 B.C. date sounds a little fishy. How can they be so sure? Does this correspond to the Biblical date?

    PS. I have seen reports that the Black Sea used to be a low lying lake that became flooded with Mediterranean waters which destroyed many human habitations that surrounded the original lake. But my understanding is that this happened more than 5000 years ago.

  58. 58
    scordova says:

    I have offered some theology and Bible verses, but UncommonDescent is here to serve the ID community which are from diverse religious and philosophical viewpoints.

    So how does discussion of a great flood serve the ID community? Assuming for the sake of argument the Earth and Universe are Billions of years old, that is a separate question than “establishing the time of death” of the creatures that compose some (not all) of the fossil record.

    If reasonable doubt regarding the time of death can be established for many fossils, then Darwinism will be crushed even more than it has been, because the one thing the Darwinist have relied on is the fossil record to construct their narrative. The Darwinists have tried to prosecute their case on the fossil record in many ways, and they have failed, but they’ve never been seriously challenged on their interpretation of the physical question: “what was the time of death”. That is a hard-nosed basic empirical question like a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI).

    I used to accept that the fossils were hundreds of millions of years old. I argue now, based on the forensic evidence outside of religious texts, the time of death is at least inconclusive and maybe even quite recent for many fossils.

    As in Crime Scene Investigation, the rate of decomposition and other considerations are an indicator of time of death. For fossilized tissue, we establish time of death by:

    1. presence of C14 (half-life 5730 years)
    2. presence of DNA (half-life 521 years)
    3. unracemic amino acids (half-life thousands of years)
    4. erosion rates (fossil record wiped out in 10,000,000 years)

    If not proof, that is cause for reasonable doubt as to the time of death.

    Time of death is not immediately an argument for Noah’s flood, but now we have reasonable doubt about the age of some (not all) fossils. The rocks may be dated as old, but a live dog buried today in 1 billion year old rocks does not mean it died 1 billion years ago. In crime scene investigation we would never think to establish time of death by dating the old rocks around corpse, we date the time of death by the materials that are part of the deceased body….

    These fossils are used as “index fossils” to date various geological strata, but if the fossils are young, that indicates the strata was formed about the time of death since it appears the strata formation was associated with the cause of death. In a crime scene investigation, we try to establish cause of death, and in many cases for the fossil record, suffocation and crushing appear the major cause of death for those nicely preserved fossils, not death by other natural causes.

    Burial must be fast as matter of principle lest the creatures decompose or get devoured by scavangers, and the burial must involve water for certain kinds of preserved fossils (fossils with soft tissue that gets permineralized).

    Further, look at the grand canyon staircase and see the beautiful stratified layers of different colors and different rocks. Did we somehow have these magical eras where only 1 kind of rock was laid down, and then suddenly another — kind of a punctuated equilibrium in terms of rock!

    It doesn’t make sense. Here is the most plausible mechanism to explain the segregated colored layers of rocks. It is based on this simple physics formula:

    E = 7/10 m V^2

    The experiments were carried out at the University of Colorado and other laboratories. See this video with real-time experiments forming stratified layers:

    Drama in the Rocks

    In light of these considerations, I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss Noah’s flood as some fabrication. The forensic evidence may actually corroborate eye witness testimony.

    Worse for the Darwinists, they have no eyewitness testimony, and further, their supposed narrative reminds me of Kurt Nurmi’s defense of Jody Arias, it’s a case that seems indefensible.

  59. 59
    scordova says:

    More forensic evidence layers are formed quickly — from the Darwin loving pages of Wikipedia:

    Polystrate Fossils

    A polystrate fossil is a fossil of a single organism (such as a tree trunk) that extends through more than one geological stratum.[1] This term is typically applied to “fossil forests” of upright fossil tree trunks and stumps that have been found worldwide,

    So if we have trees embedded in two different stratified rock layers, what’s the point of invoking millions of years to form the strata. In view of the turbidity experiments at the University of Colorado and elsewhere, we have a sensible mechanical explanation for the multi-colored layers of the geological record, and with both C14 and polystrate fossils, fast strata formation would seem to be the best explanation for the formation of the fossil-bearing layers.

    The word polystrate is not a standard geological term. This term is typically only found in creationist publications.[1][3]

    I wonder why? 🙂

    A picture is worth a thousand words, look at the polystrate fossil tree here:

    http://www.icr.org/article/4950/

    Now, going back to what Norm Geisler has said, for the sake of argument, let us say he’s right. Fine. It all may be moot anyway regarding Noah’s flood. And if the flood explains most of the features of the fossil record, maybe the rest of the questions will not be so urgent, like say the question of distant starlight.

    The 6,000 year-old Earth may be a big question, but imho, the great flood is an equally powerful claim because it is also subject to forensic inquiry, and it has great potential to damage the Darwinian narrative.

  60. 60
    scordova says:

    Back to the OP, what are the essentials of the Christian faith? My answer is what will get you into heaven, and the thief on the cross illustrates the essentials of the Christian faith.

    That said, why the interest in these questions? For YEC’s like Ken Ham can’t even in principle be persuaded otherwise, these questions may be meaningless.

    However for people like myself, that want corroboration of claimed eyewitness testimony, the question is deeply interesting and is a means of believing the Gospels.

    In other words, it may not be a doctrinal requirement, but for me finding the Bible believable and being corroborated by physical evidence is a requirement. I’m like a juror wanting to find out who is lying and who is telling the truth. As the Genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3 and Matt 1 are corroborated, I will find the Bible more believable.

    Many people claim to speak in the name of God, I want some proof they really are. If I can find evidence of Noah’s flood (and Noah is an ancestor of Jesus, and for that matter ALL of us), then I have another reason to believe the Bible. The question of distant starlight and the age of the universe are separate questions, and if the universe is Old, I can live with that.

  61. 61
    scordova says:

    The Anglican rite of Baptism mentions Noah’s flood probably in reference to 1 Pet 3:20-21. God bless them!

    Anglican Rite of Baptism

  62. 62
    Barb says:

    Mapou writes,

    You searched and you found what you wanted to find. I’m happy with that.

    No, I didn’t. Don’t ever presume to speak for me. I went into Bible study searching for the truth, not simply reading what I wanted to read. The Bible isn’t like that. The Bible forces you to examine yourself for flaws, and then tells you how to correct those flaws. It doesn’t tell you what you want to hear.

    I don’t demand that anybody accept my interpretation of the Bible. In fact, seeing that I’m always searching, my interpretation changes all the time. You believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and I don’t.

    Then you probably aren’t searching for the truth, you’re searching for confirmation of your own beliefs. The Bible doesn’t work that way, sorry.

    In my opinion, the Bible contains a fair amount of nonsense that a mighty, knowledgeable God, a God who created the universe could never have written. That is my opinion. UD is a forum for sharing opinions.

    Pray tell, what is this nonsense? I can pretty much guarantee that what you consider nonsense is the exact opposite, except that you’re not taking into account its context.

    I was just reading a report yesterday about the archaeological evidence of the domestication of camels. It turns out that camels were not domesticated in the middle east until much later than the book of Genesis claims.

    So, in your opinion, the report is right and the Bible is obviously wrong. Any chance that the report might be flawed, or didn’t you take that into account?

    We know that camels were among the domestic animals that Abraham received from Pharaoh, says the Bible. (Gen. 12:16) When Abraham’s servant went on a long journey to Mesopotamia, he “took ten camels from the camels of his master.” So the Bible clearly states that Abraham owned camels about the beginning of the second millennium B.C.E.—Gen. 24:10.

    Some do not accept this. The New International Version Archaeological Study Bible reports: “Scholars have debated the historicity of these references to camels because most believe that these animals were not widely domesticated until approximately 1200 B.C., long after the time of Abraham.” Any earlier Biblical reference to camels would therefore be considered an anachronism, or a chronological misplacing.

    Other scholars, however, argue that although the domestication of camels became a factor of importance about the end of the second millennium, this does not mean that camels were not used earlier. The book Civilizations of the Ancient Near East states: “Recent research has suggested that the domestication of the camel took place in southeastern Arabia some time in the third millennium [B.C.E.]. Originally, it was probably bred for its milk, hair, leather, and meat, but it cannot have been long before its usefulness as a beast of burden became apparent.” This dating to before Abraham’s time seems to be supported by bone fragments and other archaeological remains.

    Written evidence also exists. The same reference work says: “In Mesopotamia, cuneiform lists mention the creature [the camel] and several seals depict it, indicating that the animal may have reached Mesopotamia by the beginning of the second millennium,” that is, by Abraham’s time.

    Some scholars believe that South Arabian merchants involved in the incense trade used camels to transport their goods northward through the desert, heading to such areas as Egypt and Syria and thereby introducing camels to these areas. This trade was probably common as early as 2000 B.C.E.

    Interestingly, Genesis 37:25-28 mentions Ishmaelite merchants who used camels to transport incense to Egypt about a hundred years after the time of Abraham.
    Perhaps camels were not widely used in the ancient Near East at the beginning of the second millennium B.C.E., but evidence seems to confirm that they were not completely unknown. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia therefore concludes: “It is no longer necessary to regard the mention of camels in the patriarchal narratives as anachronisms, since there is ample archeological evidence for the domestication of the camel before the time of the patriarchs.”

    My interpretation is that the book of Genesis is probably mistaken. Your interpretation is probably that the book of Genesis is 100% correct and that the archaeologists are wrong. Fine. I have no problem with that. As I said, searching is every Christian’s personal responsibility.

    See above.

  63. 63
    Mapou says:

    Barb:

    Then you probably aren’t searching for the truth, you’re searching for confirmation of your own beliefs. The Bible doesn’t work that way, sorry.

    Barb, that’s what searching is all about. We have hypotheses (beliefs) and we search to either confirm or disprove them. But it pays not to be too hasty in coming to a conclusion. In my case, I have a hypothesis that the Bible contains amazing scientific knowledge hidden in a metaphorical language, knowledge that will dramatically change the world as we know it. So I search various texts to find support for my hypothesis. I could be either right or wrong but guess what? After many years of searching, I have found the evidence I was looking for. Much more than I had hoped to find.

    For example, I interpreted a number of passages in the books of Zechariah and Revelation to be a metaphorical description of the working of the brain and intelligence. In fact, I am getting close to publishing a revolutionary speech learning and recognition program strictly based on my interpretation of the ancient texts. Wait for it.

  64. 64
    B.C. says:

    Where is this original light source now, the one that existed before the sun was poofed into existence on the fourth day? There is no statement that it ever disappeared.

    God Himself is described as “light” throughout the book. In regards to creation did you imagine Him working in the dark?

    This is just an example of how insufficient information can be used to form a conclusion. You didn’t consider God as the source of light, therefore you saw the existence of light pre-day4 as an impossibility. The act of drawing concrete scientific conclusions about events that happened so long ago is an act of futlility as we have no guarantee that we’ve collected every necessary input. Every time a new revolutionary discovery is made, we have to rethink everything. Science is flux.

    The creation tale, the tower of Babel tale, the flood tale, all have obvious precursors in Sumer via Canaan. And all very well known in Canaan and the Levant. The author of Genesis took these stories and reworked then, taking the better attributes of Anu, Enki/Ea and Enlil, merging them in a single deity named “Ehyeh” (derived from Ea, ultimately becoming YHWH), and purge the polytheistic tone and solar and lunar aspects of worship from them. Genesis is a politically and theologically driven piece of work. Naive fundamentalists generally don’t know anything about any of this.

    You can believe the kindergarden story in Genesis if you want, be my guest. But there’s a lot more to the story. In light of modern science and history, it’s simply naive to take the Genesis account as literal, factual history.

    First up, you are assuming the Genesis teller of these “tales” is a dishonest plagiarist, rather than an oral history recorder. This is the fish tale argument- all the stories people tell about the whale they had on the end of their line and how they wrestled with it for days does not in any way negate the fact that large fish actually have been caught. For all you know these numerous stories point to a single origin. The names of God are no different. What is YHWH to the Hebrews may very well be Shang Di to the Chinese. Abraham came from Chaldea, why shouldn’t the names of gods and the oral histories be similar?

    As to your kindergarten comment… Mathew 18:3

    *disclaimer*
    I am neither for young earth or old, neither prove or disprove.

  65. 65
    JGuy says:

    Mapou

    I’m sure the Grand Canyon is strong evidence that it may have been a mighty flood drainage channel but no global flood happened 4000 years ago.

    Yeah, quite mighty. But I don’t hold that the Grand Canyon was a result of the immediate global flood, but rather a massive catastrophe set up by the global flood. Meanwhile, you’ve presented no evidence against, much less overwhelming evidence against a global flood. Naming your top irrefutable evidences would be nice start.

  66. 66
    Box says:

    Mapou #63: For example, I interpreted a number of passages in the books of Zechariah and Revelation to be a metaphorical description of the working of the brain and intelligence. In fact, I am getting close to publishing a revolutionary speech learning and recognition program strictly based on my interpretation of the ancient texts.

    Mapou, is this program conscious?

  67. 67
    JGuy says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    Where is this original light source now, the one that existed before the sun was poofed into existence on the fourth day? There is no statement that it ever disappeared.

    Fallacious. Absence of evidence is the evidence of absence… aka an argument from ignorance. Why should every detail need to be explained, and if it’s not explained in detail, then it’s metaphorical because it never existed or never happened?

    Based on your approach to the scripture, do you hold that creation of the universe is figurative (such that matter and time are eternally existing), or that God actually did create the universe?

    The creation tale, the tower of Babel tale, the flood tale, all have obvious precursors in Sumer via Canaan.

    Carrying your logic consistently: Claimed modern historical text books about some historical event or person, which are long preceded by precursor tales of the supposed historical figure, are obviously just pieced together storybooks to tell a political side of a story, and will eventually be worth merely kindergarten material. The events or people never really happened the way described in the modern book.

  68. 68
    tragic mishap says:

    1. where did all the water go
    2. what was the flood mechanism

    Catastrophic plate tectonics answer both these questions quite well.

    1. The pre-Flood crust of the earth slid into the mantle, and the newly forming crust was completely evened out with all the water evenly spread over the top. There is plenty of water to cover everything to a depth of 20 feet if the crust of the earth is smooth. In short, the water went nowhere. The crust has changed shape due to catastrophic plate tectonics.

    2. Catastrophic plate tectonics provides answers to all sorts of questions. The pre-Flood crust of the earth was whole and uncracked, but denser than the mantle beneath it. Some disturbance broke the crust in one place, and it began to slide into the mantle a little bit. A process called thermal runaway caused the new tectonic plates to accelerate. Thermal runaway has to do with special properties of certain solids under very high pressure and heat, causing them to liquify and become more dense at the same time. Once thermal runaway began, it caused the sinking of the pre-Flood crust to accelerate and continue until most of the earth’s crust was buried sideways in the mantle, only stopping its acceleration once the leading edge reached the core. (There is observational evidence for at least two very large portions of the earth’s mantle being significantly colder than the rest of the mantle.) At this point several things happen. First, as the old crust is still sinking, water is boiling off at the sink point (since it was in the ocean). Simulations show this violently and rapidly vaporized water would have shot into the air at speeds initially in excess of escape velocity (the fountains of the great deep burst forth). The earth’s atmosphere quickly fills with superheated water vapor, causing massive storms and rainfall. Second, the the new “crust” is liquid magma, and evens out over the surface of the earth, allowing the existing water to cover the entire surface to a depth of twenty feet. Third, the magma begins to cool, forming a new crust with sediment piling down on top of it forming sedimentary layers and the fossil record.

  69. 69
    Mapou says:

    JGuy:

    Yeah, quite mighty. But I don’t hold that the Grand Canyon was a result of the immediate global flood, but rather a massive catastrophe set up by the global flood. Meanwhile, you’ve presented no evidence against, much less overwhelming evidence against a global flood. Naming your top irrefutable evidences would be nice start.

    I did not say there is no evidence against a global flood. I said there is no good evidence for a recent global flood. And there is no good evidence for a global flood that destroyed all of humanity except for 8 people. I am not saying that Moses lied. I think he just found documents that were already extremely old even in his day and stitched them together.

    Notice how Moses, a man who was raised and educated like royalty by the mighty and knowledgeable Egyptians, did not have anything to say about the genealogy of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Why is that, by the way? By the time Moses was born, the Hebrews had already been in Egypt for 500 years. Most were uneducated slaves. Who kept those ancient genealogies during all those years? Why did Moses write in Hebrew and not in Egyptian hieroglyphics? Is it possible that the records that he used were not very accurate?

  70. 70
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Mapou #63: For example, I interpreted a number of passages in the books of Zechariah and Revelation to be a metaphorical description of the working of the brain and intelligence. In fact, I am getting close to publishing a revolutionary speech learning and recognition program strictly based on my interpretation of the ancient texts.

    Mapou, is this program conscious?

    Of course not.

  71. 71
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Mapou,

    The date of May 10, 2807 B.C. comes from other flood myths. To quote the article in Discover magazine at http://discovermagazine.com/20.....reat-flood :

    Among 175 flood myths, Masse found two of particular interest. A Hindu myth describes an alignment of the five bright planets that has happened only once in the last 5,000 years, according to computer simulations, and a Chinese story mentions that the great flood occurred at the end of the reign of Empress Nu Wa. Cross-checking historical records with astronomical data, Masse came up with a date for his event: May 10, 2807 B.C.

    That date’s about 460 years earlier than Archbishop Ussher’s date of 2348 B.C., but it’s in the right ballpark, and I don’t think Archbishop Ussher ever claimed to be certain that his Biblical chronology was correct.

  72. 72
    JGuy says:

    Sal.

    Sometimes faith is viewed this way:

    Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.

    Mark Twain

    At this point in my life, it just seems that the mainstream account “ain’t so” based on the physical facts. I don’t think in good conscience I could muster that sort of Mark Twain “faith” to believe there was no Great Flood.

    This verse still gets me to thinking…

    Hebrews 11:1 (KJV & NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Hebrews 11:1 (NASB & ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  73. 73
    Mapou says:

    vjtorley,

    Thank you for the reply. This is all very interesting. I hypothesize that a comet impact of this magnitude would have jettisoned enough material in the atmosphere to trigger an ice age (not to mention global earthquakes) for many years afterwards. Do you know if there is evidence for an ice age around that time?

    I apologize for throwing a bunch of questions at you as I could research it on my own but I am a little pressed for time right now.

  74. 74
    JGuy says:

    Mapou

    I did not say there is no evidence against a global flood.

    This double negative literally translates to “I said there is evidence against a global flood”. But I don’t think you are saying that. Yet, I’m not sure.

    I said there is no good evidence for a recent global flood.

    Granted. You did say recent. But you actually said:

    “The evidence against a recent global flood is overwhelming.”

    That is different than saying there is no evidence. It’s saying there is actually overwhelming against a recent global flood. This apparently leaves open that there could have been a global flood – just not recently.

    But what I responded to was the claimed overwhelming evidence against a recent global flood? If all your thinking is archaeological dates for things like the Egyptians etc… then it’s easy to doubt the veracity of such claims. There is no unbroken record of peoples that goes beyond the recent flood time. For me, it appears as no coincidence that there isn’t a chain of recorded emperors that date ancient China before the global flood of about 4500 years ago. Yet, interestingly, we find clues of the recent flood from feats of this Chinese hero figure dealing with waters in the mountains – perhaps remnant waters stored like what perhaps breached to form the Grand Canyon:

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

  75. 75
    JGuy says:

    Mapou @ 52

    I was just reading a report yesterday about the archaeological evidence of the domestication of camels. It turns out that camels were not domesticated in the middle east until much later than the book of Genesis claims. My interpretation is that the book of Genesis is probably mistaken. Your interpretation is probably that the book of Genesis is 100% correct and that the archaeologists are wrong. Fine. I have no problem with that. As I said, searching is every Christian’s personal responsibility.

    Mapou. Confirmation is fine & good in a search for the truth, but confirmation bias is not searching for the truth in the way you claim to do. See here, you have an ancient document that describes ancient events with domesticated camels. And you have a modern claim far removed in time & locality about what use camels were in those ancient times. You choose the modern claim over the ancient record of what was observed. In a search for truth, you can only file that as a note. If you want to use it as evidence of what is true, then you need to do more to prove your bias was correct.

  76. 76
    JGuy says:

    Camels in ancient Egypt:

    http://www.isocard.org/e_Libra....._01_23.pdf

    What’s your take on it now?

  77. 77
    scordova says:

    Let me say this, on a personal level I would hope acceptance of Young Earth etc. would not be a requirement for membership in a church.

    I would have been excluded from being a part of the church for most of my life had that been the case. It was because of the toleration of even mistaken views that permitted me to remain. So I’m all for toleration. If the minister has reverence for the Bible, even if he misinterprets it, I can endure that.

    I want no part of a church or minster that disrespects the Bible. But making mistakes about interpretation of the Bible is not the same as disrespecting the Bible.

    I agree with Dr. Geisler, and am grateful the churches I’ve been a part of have agreed according to their doctrinal requirements for membership.

  78. 78
    vjtorley says:

    Hi Mapou,

    I have to say there isn’t any evidence for temperature change around 2800 B.C. See here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/clisci10k.html

    But there is evidence of climate change around that time. Here’s a quote from p. 223 of “Mega Tsunami of the World Oceans” (the article I linked to above), in Geophysical Hazards: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Awareness, edited by Tom Beer:

    “The Burckle crater-Madagascar impact chevron is proposed to date to around 4,800 BP (Masse 2007), which would then make it roughly coincident with the climatic boundary shift between the middle to late Holocene, variously dated at between 5,000 and 4,800 B.P. This climatic boundary shift is poorly dated and its genesis uncertain; however, it generally represents a permanent change from warmer-dryer conditions to a cooler-wetter climatic regime at least for much of the northern hemisphere, and also seems to signal (Hong et al. 2005) a shift in the periodicity and intensity of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation Pattern (e.g. Cane 2005; Hong et al. 2007). These effects are suggested as being consonant with the atmospheric injection of considerable water vapor and aerosols from an abyssal impact of around 10^6 Mt [one million megatonnes – VJT] indicated by the apparent size of the Burckle crater candidate impact structure, and from megatsunami effects noted in southern Madagascar and on the western coast of Australia.”

    Hope that helps. See also this:

    http://archaeology.about.com/o.....king_4.htm

  79. 79
    tjguy says:

    BA @14

    I disagree with that, since evidence for ‘catastrophic megafloods’ is coming from secular sources:

    Humanpast.net
    Excerpt: Worldwide, we know that the period of 14,000 to 13,000 years ago, which coincides with the peak of abundant monsoonal rains over India, was marked by violent oceanic flooding – in fact, the first of the three great episodes of global superfloods that dominated the meltdown of the Ice Age. The flooding was fed not merely by rain but by the cataclysmic synchronous collapse of large ice-masses on several different continents and by gigantic inundations of meltwater pouring down river systems into the oceans. (124)

    OK BA, so some secular scientists see some evidence for massive flooding and even use the word “global” in reference to it. Great. They see there is evidence for a global flood.

    But, here is my question for you:

    Does that mean that you think this flood they are referring to was Noah’s flood?

    Are you saying that you think this flood they are talking about was truly “global”, that ice melting caused it, and that it lasted one year?

    Do you think that Noah had to build an ark to escape it?

    Do you also think that Noah’s flood took place 13,000 years ago at the time these scientists see evidence for a “global” flood?

    The Bible is pretty clear about when Noah’s flood took place. To claim that this flood of 13,000 years ago was Noah’s flood, you are going to have to find a way to add almost 9000 years of undocumented history into the Bible – more than 5 times the amount of history up until that point(assuming a 6000 year old earth).

    The kind of global flood the Bible speaks of is one that covered the tops of all the mountains all over the earth. It involved a massive amount of water. It was likely the mother of all cataclysms and involved huge earthquakes and super volcanoes that allowed the fountains of the deep to open up.

    The biblical flood of Noah would have been cataclysmic and would have totally reshaped the earth’s surface. The sediment stirred up would have necessarily settled out and formed lots of rocks.

    BA, what rocks do you propose that Noah’s flood formed and when?

    In other words, how old do you think these rocks should be?

    It couldn’t be the rocks that have all the “old” fossils in them, right? So what ones did the flood form in your opinion? Just curious.

    Let’s be accurate here. If this is what you are saying took place 13,000 years ago, fine, but I doubt it is. And, if you don’t think this “global flood” of 13,000 years ago was Noah’s flood, then when do you think it actually took place?

    These scientists really are not referring to a global flood like the Bible speaks of. This explains why they are able to maintain their belief in millions of years.

  80. 80
    bornagain77 says:

    tjguy, I disagree strongly with your YEC interpretation of the Bible and find your continually defense of it to be divisive, unproductive to ID, or Christianity, in general, and ideologically/theologically driven instead of empirically. I merely pointed out the secular sources for catastrophic mega floods to refute your claim that a Global flood can make no sense from a OEC perspective, since clearly these people had/have no YEC Theological axe to grind as you do.

  81. 81
    tragic mishap says:

    BA, I think YECs like myself get frustrated with OECs, TEs and all the rest because there seems to be no consensus on your side about what actually happened.

    Some of you think Noah’s Flood happened and was global.
    Some of you think it happened and was local.
    Some of you think it didn’t happen at all.
    Some of you think Adam and Eve evolved from primates.
    Some of you think Adam and Eve were specially created.
    Some of you think Adam and Eve were myths and didn’t exist.

    We are confused about how you interpret Genesis. Some of you appear to take it at its word on pretty much all of it except the first couple chapters. Some of you dismiss the everything up to chapter 11 as allegory. Some of you believe human beings used to live close to a thousand years. Some of you don’t.

    The list goes on and on and on, but one thing is always the same: Every last one of you thinks you are following the scientific evidence in believing as you do, when the best possible evidence anyone could have about history is historical sources like the Bible, which you appear at times to accept as an accurate source. But you pick and choose what you accept as historical not on the basis of the text but rather on the basis of scientific evidence extrapolated into the distant past. In other words, you are prepared to accept everything in the Bible except for anything you think contradicts scientific evidence. This is an absurd way of interpreting the Bible, especially when there is zero consistency or consensus on what evidence is or isn’t enough to contradict what you yourselves accept as a reliable historical source.

  82. 82
    tragic mishap says:

    Either the Bible is an accurate source about history or not. If it isn’t, then be a man and discard it. If it is, then it must necessarily take priority over sketchy extrapolations from scientific evidence, so be a man and take it at its word because its the best source we have.

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    I’ve said my piece!

    i.e I disagree strongly with your YEC interpretation of the Bible and find your continually defense of it to be divisive, unproductive to ID, or Christianity, in general, and ideologically/theologically driven instead of empirically.

  84. 84
    JLAfan2001 says:

    Tragic mishap

    Perfectly said. This is exactly what Dawkins et al. are saying. The bible is wrong becuase of the scientific evidence and there are two kinds of fools who still hold on to it.

    1) People like you who refuse to accept the refutation of the bible from science and only look at the evidence that supports your belief so that you can cling to your irrational faith.
    2) People like BA77 who try to read things into the bible that it was never meant to say so that he can cling to his irrational faith.

    I did exactly what you said. I looked at the scientific evidence and saw that it didn’t line up with what the bible said so I jettisoned it. I got tired of the HUGE mental gymnastics that I had to go through to reconcile the two.
    Nihilism is the closest thing I found to reality.

    This is why christians are laughed at. You can’t see the hamster wheels you are running on in order to keep your faith. Christians claim to have the truth over atheism and they can’t even agree on what that is historically, theologically, philosophically and scientifically.

    Really pathetic.

  85. 85
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    JGuy: Fallacious. Absence of evidence is the evidence of absence… aka an argument from ignorance.

    What you’re really saying to me is that it doesn’t matter where the original light source went or why it isn’t mentioned again. However, that it is not mentioned again IS evidence. And it is important, because it shows that the author thought that daylight is not caused by the sun which is factually wrong. The author says can have three “evenings and mornings” without a sun. Why? Because as the text indicates, the daylight was already there going through evening and morning cycles.

    Also, you failed to comment on the fact that a globe such as ours always has day and night going on concurrently. Which “evening and morning” did the author of Genesis have in mind?

    See, you treat the text like a kindergartener would. But there are implications for grown up minds.

  86. 86
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    tragic mishap: BA, I think YECs like myself get frustrated with OECs, TEs and all the rest because there seems to be no consensus on your side about what actually happened.

    That there is no consensus is a good thing. It means people are thinking for themselves and not towing the line with whatever the groupthink tells them to think. It’s the unshackled minds that make most of the great discoveries.

  87. 87
    Axel says:

    No, JLAfan, you mistake the curious (relative) obsession of YECs and OECs with the literal historicity of Genesis with the credibility of Christianity; and worse, interpret it as a plausible reason for sinking into atheist nihilism. In any case, could abnegation of our intelligence and moral sense ever be an acceptable fall-back – even if, perversely, it were rationally-based. As is clear from Christ’s words about his followers eating his body and drinking his blood, a spiritual understanding of his words and those of Scripture must be sought.

    Rather than explaining to those who then walked away and ceased following him, what, by its supremely-supernatural nature, would always be mysterious to them in some degree, even after the Last Supper, he was quite content for it to happen.

    Although Jesus was desperate, for our sakes, for our salvation, he realised that leaving so-called ‘wriggle-room’ for the faint-hearted believer in his teachings, was equally of paramount importance. He didn’t come down to earth to set us an intelligence test (at least, in the terms in which the World understands the word, ‘intelligence’), although we love to complete our crossword, jigsaw, OEC, YEC puzzles, etc.

    He came down to earth to submit us to a spiritual ECG! The passport to heaven is the heart. Surely, no-one would want to meet brainy serial-killers in heaven. So, as James says in his epistle, faith qua belief is not enough by a long chalk; the devils believe and tremble.

    The sole criterion, ultimately, will be our commitment to charitable self-denying love, which can, in any case, only be a direct gift of the Holy Spirit – whatever one’s formal religion or lack of one.

    And, as Pope Francis remarked in his homily the other day concerning the Mass, being a meeting with the person of God, not a chore, duty, rite or ceremony, mutatis mutandis,che was not challenging them ultimately to put their faith in the concept of ‘eating his body and drinking his blood, but their ‘faith’ qua ‘commitment to belief’ in his person as the ultimate trustworthy teacher – for which on many occasions and in many different ways he had given them more than adequate grounds.

    I suspect no convert and few, if any ‘cradle’ Catholics would fail to wonder at times about, for instance, the Immaculate Conception, but like a number of other teachings, we tend to ‘put them on the back-burner’, not denying them, but perhaps remaining a little hesitant, deep in the recesses of our hearts, but in due course, it has been my experience that they have been vindicated, although not through book-learning, but through growth, in some measure, in the Spirit.

  88. 88
    tragic mishap says:

    I disagree strongly with your YEC interpretation of the Bible and find your continually defense of it to be divisive, unproductive to ID, or Christianity, in general, and ideologically/theologically driven instead of empirically.

    Now you sound like the politician you are! Keep at it. Maybe one day you will take over the 92% atheist National Academy of Sciences. Me? I aim to please God not man.

    That there is no consensus is a good thing. It means people are thinking for themselves and not towing the line with whatever the groupthink tells them to think.

    What it means is that you have no clear epistemology.

  89. 89
    Barb says:

    Mapou continues,

    Barb, that’s what searching is all about. We have hypotheses (beliefs) and we search to either confirm or disprove them.

    Not necessarily. The book of Proverbs speaks of searching for truth and wisdom as though they are buried treasure. Studying the Bible is best done with an open heart and an open mind, not by developing hypotheses and then looking for confirmation in scripture.

    What you find might disprove your hypothesis, or it might confirm it, but it might also be so far off the mark that it is unquestionably false.

    But it pays not to be too hasty in coming to a conclusion. In my case, I have a hypothesis that the Bible contains amazing scientific knowledge hidden in a metaphorical language, knowledge that will dramatically change the world as we know it.

    The Bible does contain scientific knowledge and in some cases figurative language is used (the four corners of the earth, for example), but there’s no hidden meaning. The only thing that I’ve found personally is that the Bible is very accurate scientifically.

    So I search various texts to find support for my hypothesis. I could be either right or wrong but guess what? After many years of searching, I have found the evidence I was looking for. Much more than I had hoped to find.

    In other words, you don’t really know if you’re right or wrong, and you don’t care. That, to me anyway, is the definition of “pointless”.

    For example, I interpreted a number of passages in the books of Zechariah and Revelation to be a metaphorical description of the working of the brain and intelligence. In fact, I am getting close to publishing a revolutionary speech learning and recognition program strictly based on my interpretation of the ancient texts. Wait for it.

    Should be interesting to say the least.

  90. 90
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Tragic Mishap: What it means is that you have no clear epistemology.

    Depends on what you mean by “you.” Some do. Some don’t. Another effect of freedom of thought unchained from dogmatic consensus.

  91. 91
    Mapou says:

    Barb:

    The Bible does contain scientific knowledge and in some cases figurative language is used (the four corners of the earth, for example), but there’s no hidden meaning.

    OK. Can you explain to me what the following verses mean?

    And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
    5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
    6 and before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living beings full of eyes in front and behind.
    7 And the first being was like a lion, and the second being like a calf, and the third being had the face of a man, and the fourth being was like a flying eagle.
    8 And each of the four living beings had six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within; and they rested not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”

    I’m all ears. And there is plenty more where those came from.

  92. 92
    B.C. says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    What you’re really saying to me is that it doesn’t matter where the original light source went or why it isn’t mentioned again. However, that it is not mentioned again IS evidence.

    I think you missed my post. God is light. God was there.

    JLAfan2001:

    Nihilism is the closest thing I found to reality. This is why christians are laughed at. You can’t see the hamster wheels you are running on in order to keep your faith. Christians claim to have the truth over atheism and they can’t even agree on what that is historically, theologically, philosophically and scientifically. Really pathetic.

    If nihilism is your reality then why waste everyone’s time with a post that has no value or meaning? You are contradicting your own reality. To deny the existence of value is to contradict the fact of man as well as God. To acknowledge value is to be religious. To the Christian, God is the source of value. To the atheist the self is god, and to the nihilist… I suppose its a slightly more depressed self. All of humanity is religious, some are just more honest about it.

  93. 93
    B.C. says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    That there is no consensus is a good thing. It means people are thinking for themselves and not towing the line with whatever the groupthink tells them to think. It’s the unshackled minds that make most of the great discoveries.

    Everyone thinks for themselves, even when they think its best to let others do the thinking. I hate the thought of freethought, its like celebrating the free lunch. All thought is slavery. It binds us to certain premises excluding all others. The real unshackled minds are out enjoying themselves while we’re all typing away in here 😉

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou, 52, re domestication date for camels: Please cf. remarks compiled here. KF

  95. 95
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    B.C. I think you missed my post. God is light. God was there.

    The command in Hebrew is: Light Be

    The command is grammatically the same as all the rest of the commands to “be” that follow.

    So God commanded himself to be there?

    That’s a stretch.

    No sale.

  96. 96
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    B.C. First up, you are assuming the Genesis teller of these “tales” is a dishonest plagiarist, rather than an oral history recorder.

    Not that simple. Firstly, the attitude toward such fabrication of history was much different by people around 700 BCE (which is probably when Genesis was put in it’s final form.) Secondly, it is quite plausible that the author did exactly what I said: took well known stories and adapted them for social and political ends which he thought were in the best interests of the society. This is what happened with Josiah’s reforms and Ezra, “the scribe of Yahweh”, when he “brought out the book” that had been “discovered” and “read it to the people.”

    The names of God are no different. What is YHWH to the Hebrews may very well be Shang Di to the Chinese. Abraham came from Chaldea, why shouldn’t the names of gods and the oral histories be similar?

    The origin of “Yah”, “Yahweh”, “El”, “El Elyon”, “Elohim”, have obvious origins given where the Hebrews came from.

    As to your kindergarten comment… Mathew 18:3

    Jesus was talking about being morally innocent, not unquestioning and gullible. I guess you missed the bit about being “wise as serpents” in Mat 10:16.

  97. 97
    B.C. says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    The command in Hebrew is: Light Be

    The command is grammatically the same as all the rest of the commands to “be” that follow.

    So God commanded himself to be there?

    That’s a stretch.

    No sale.

    I am more than happy to concede that it was not. My more important point was that we will never have all the inputs and if the Bible chooses to be silent, we shouldn’t get upset. A lack of information about an event in no way excludes the event.

    What you’re really saying to me is that it doesn’t matter where the original light source went or why it isn’t mentioned again. However, that it is not mentioned again IS evidence.

    This actually reminds me of the Isaac omission. Abraham told his servants to wait for both he and his son to return. Later on it only states explicitly that Abraham returned to the servants and they went their way. Do you believe that Isaac remained on the mountain and that the author contradicted himself when Isaac came from the well in Genesis 24? Because it does not mention Isaac in 22 we cannot rightfully assume that he left or stayed on, we only know for certain that he was there at one time and then he wasn’t. There is no error in leaving out a detail.

    Not that simple. Firstly, the attitude toward such fabrication of history was much different by people around 700 BCE (which is probably when Genesis was put in it’s final form.) Secondly, it is quite plausible that the author did exactly what I said: took well known stories and adapted them for social and political ends which he thought were in the best interests of the society. This is what happened with Josiah’s reforms and Ezra, “the scribe of Yahweh”, when he “brought out the book” that had been “discovered” and “read it to the people.”

    You went from “quite plausible” to “this is what happened” a little too quickly. If you’re not going to believe the text then why even believe Josiah ever existed? Adapting stories for political and social ends is dishonest in any time period. Similarities between stories of different cultures are in no way proof that one or both of the cultures is lying or copying. As Chesterton noted:

    “It is said there are only ten plots in the world; and there will certainly be common and recurrent elements.”

    Jesus was talking about being morally innocent, not unquestioning and gullible. I guess you missed the bit about being “wise as serpents” in Mat 10:16.

    not quite but almost. Its in verse 4. Jesus was talking about humility, which would include being able to accept that one may never have all the answers. I think that applies here.

  98. 98
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    BC,

    Well, you go happily along your way.

    See ya

  99. 99
    Timaeus says:

    jlafan2001 wrote:

    “I did exactly what you said. I looked at the scientific evidence and saw that it didn’t line up with what the bible said so I jettisoned it. I got tired of the HUGE mental gymnastics that I had to go through to reconcile the two. Nihilism is the closest thing I found to reality.”

    Translation, from fantasy into reality:

    Original:

    “I looked at the scientific evidence”

    Translation:

    “I don’t actually know anything about science — never studied college science, didn’t take most of the available high school science, don’t understand the math, can’t read the chemical formulas, can’t understand the diagrams of cells, etc.; so to find out what “science” says, I consulted Wikipedia and the various atheist web sites such as Panda’s Thumb and Talk Origins, while studiously avoiding all the discussions of science published on other sites, and all the science that can be found in books (I don’t read books, because they are too long and take too much time and effort). In this way, I can know that Behe and Dembski and Meyer are wrong without reading them, because atheists and materialists say they are wrong, and when has an atheist or materialist ever been prejudiced about anything?”

    Original:

    “I … saw that it didn’t line up with what the bible said”

    Translation:

    I saw that an atheist and materialist interpretation of the results of science did not line up with a fundamentalist, literalist-inerrantist interpretation of what the Bible said, and quickly jettisoned my belief in the Bible without seriously investigating non-fundamentalist, non-literalist readings of the Bible, because gee, that would involve reading lots of long, hard books (and as I said, I don’t like reading books).”

    Original:

    “I got tired of the HUGE mental gymnastics that I had to go through to reconcile the two.”

    Translation:

    “I got tired of the mental gymnastics, and even when people explained to me that the mental gymnastics weren’t necessary, because I was interpreting Christianity wrongly, I willfully refused to consider alternative understandings of Christianity.”

    Original:

    “Nihilism is the closest thing I found to reality.”

    Translation:

    “Since my understanding of “reality” was previously limited to a narrow form of fundamentalism, when that was shattered I was left with nothingness. It was much easier for me to accept that situation than to consider the alternative, i.e., that my previous understanding of reality was never adequate in the first place, and therefore its destruction was no great loss, and need not drive me to nihilism. So I took the lazy man’s way out, opting for nihilism and despair, rather than the real man’s way, which is to conduct a rigorous search for an alternate and better reality beyond fundamentalism, atheism, materialism, and nihilism. I always tend to prefer the intellectually and morally easy way to the intellectually and morally demanding way. If nihilism gives me a quick and simple answer, whereas developing an alternative understanding of Christian faith would take me a few years, during which I would have to endure a lot of mental and emotional sweat and spiritual growing pains, I’ll go with nihilism. I like quick and simple answers, and dislike sweat and growing pains.”

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