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Why are so many Americans young Earth creationists?

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Asks BioLogos’s Jim Stump at at Christian Today, sneering:

But after this initial good news, what strikes many people in the UK and elsewhere in the world is that there are still almost 40 per cent of Americans who are young earth creationists, holding beliefs that are contradicted by the overwhelming majority of scientists (in a separate poll from 2015, 99 per cent of those with a PhD in biology or medicine affirmed that humans evolved). And when restricted to Americans who attend church weekly, 65 per cent select the young earth creationist option. What accounts for this stunning disconnect between Americans’ religious convictions and what science has discovered about our origins?

The reasons are surely multifarious and complex. There is a fascinating study waiting to be done that digs deep into the reasons for how the young earth creationist rhetoric has been so successful over the past 50 years in America. My impression from the people I talk to is that at least the surface reason is that they fear accepting the science of evolution will mean losing confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture. But there must be more to it than that below the surface, where cultural assumptions and predispositions lie silently and unconfronted, but exerting enormous influence. It is certainly not only American Christians who are so concerned about the trustworthiness of Scripture. Why does that concern come out in this peculiar way in America?More.

Oh wait, a question I can easily answer without looking stuff up!: Could it have anything whatever to do with the general unbelievability of much that is classed as “science” today? Or with the war on intellectual freedom on campus?

Maybe most Americans accept their right to believe what makes sense to them instead of whatever government currently demands. Is that still even possible now in many places?

I am not a young earth creationist, but if I were, I certainly would not abandon that position to join the people who believe that our brains were shaped fitness, not for truth or that universities exist to indoctrinate students into a war on intellectual freedom and then unleash them on the world. Like what is happening now.

Hey, why believe us? Keep up to date with Retraction Watch and Campus Reform, to see what awaits us if we do not do something.

See also: Forrest Mims: Skepticism now gone from science

and

How can we defend the right to think for ourselves? You need true grit and a thick skin

38 Replies to “Why are so many Americans young Earth creationists?

  1. 1
    tribune7 says:

    Here’s the thing that always puzzles me. Why is a dogmatic acceptance of the age of the earth so important? If you want to believe according to calculations of Biblical genealogies, fine.

    If you want to believe according to impossible to calibrate radioactive decay, and assumptions of impossible to prove consistencies, also fine.

    It doesn’t make you a bad or stupid person either way. I can enjoy either type’s company.

  2. 2
    daveS says:

    Oh wait, a question I can easily answer without looking stuff up!: Could it have anything whatever to do with the general unbelievability of much that is classed as “science” today? Or with the war on intellectual freedom on campus?

    I think the real answer(s) are complicated and go much deeper than skepticism about science or academia, although they play some role.

    I have been exposed mostly to the subculture of rural, agricultural, tradititional society in the American West, and certainly quite a few of these people are YECs. However, even those in this group are quite diverse and frequently defy stereotypes. Edit: Which is not to say the OP is engaging in stereotyping.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Why are so many Americans young Earth creationists?

    Because they have been lied to since an early age. A true stain on Christian pastors and teachers.

  4. 4
    J-Mac says:

    Why are so many Americans young Earth creationists?

    Because facebook, twitter and youtube can’t infer for them…yet..

  5. 5
    rvb8 says:

    The answer is of course not as complicated as Denyse implies.

    The answer is qiute simple; fear!

    Evolution of life slowly over billions of years, the cosmological evolution of galaxies and stars, and us, over billions of years puts their lives in perspective, and they are afraid.

    Unlike people such as myself, that see wonder and beauty in being a tiny part of creation, these people, pumped up on scripture that says they are far more relevant than they actually are, fear their utter insignificance.

    They yearn for immortality in a heaven that we know can not exist, and a God that defies the laws of nature. These laws, we know to be true.

    They are bawling children, unwilling to see they are a part of the universe they live in, not its ‘subduers’, as the Bible states.

    Whether they exist or not, matters nothing to a quazar, or star, and they FEAR insignifcance;

    Just like children really.

  6. 6
    mikeenders says:

    That shouldn’t be too hard to answer for Biologos. One look in their mirror would do it. YEC’s tend to believe that if they give up the idea all of creation is 6,000 years old (never ever taught in the Bible) they will end up giving up the straightforward meaning of many parts of the Bible or dilute their natural reading. Biologos is probably their most powerful evidence in that regard.

  7. 7
    mikeenders says:

    “They yearn for immortality in a heaven that we know can not exist,…not its ‘subduers’, as the Bible states.”

    I see RVb8 still enjoys a good troll….meanwhile I continue to subdue my earth just as the Bible says by mowing and planting what I want on it every week 🙂

    Come on over and I’ll teach you how to plant and hunt RVB

  8. 8
    rvb8 says:

    mike,

    I don’t know about yours, (perhaps it’s a new age edition), but my King James Bibble has a date on page one of the book of Genesis; it is 4004BC.

    Hence, add to the 4004, the number of years since the birth of Christ, 2017, and we get a figure of around 6000 years.

    I’m not a fan of YE creationists, but at least they know their Bible, and are willing to accept its literal meaning; you fall short.

    Also, planting and hunting, are what our evolved brains have come up with as an answer to the uncertainty of survival.

    The answer to the question;Why are so many Americans YEC?, is as I have said simple; fear! Their utter insignificance causes them to side with the illusion they are more important than they actually are. Which is, one small part of the biosphere, soon to be extinguished, forgotten and absorbed.

    The lesson; enjoy life and health while you can, you’re a long time dead.

  9. 9
    aarceng says:

    Why am I, an Australian, a YEC? I was taught and believed the theory of evolution at school and as a young adult would deride people who thought otherwise. Along the way i found a few YEC publications and they seemed at least reasonable and I was curious enough to explore further. But it was really Richard Dawkins who made me a YEC. He said you couldn’t logically believe in evolution and be a Christian, so taking him at his word, I was forced to reject Evolution. Since then I have become more convinced that YEC is the theory that best fits the facts.

  10. 10
    groovamos says:

    RVB: The answer is qiute [sic] simple; fear

    Oh yes RVB with his own fear of surviving death such that he is quite welcoming of the idea of his own permanent obliteration.

    Hey RVB I know what it is like being a materialist, I was one during TWO periods of youth. I know what it is like to wake up in the morning and the first thought is a slight panic. I remember what it was like, after burning one in the middle of a pleasant music listening session, suddenly hit with the starkness of my own ‘realization’ of inevitable personal annihilation.

    You’re not going to fool us with your amateur psychoanalyzing on here. You guys with your psycho-philosophical outlook are a small minority in the world and always will be, and for good reason: Every culture in history has been shaped by individuals who have traveled beyond death and come back to describe the experience. Got that? EVERY culture, every last one.

    I would recommend a book on NDE research for RVB but I’m sure fear will keep his mind shut over this and he will ignore: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0060148950/?tag=iandsorg-20

  11. 11
    awstar says:

    rvb8 said:

    They yearn for immortality in a heaven that we know can not exist, and a God that defies the laws of nature. These laws, we know to be true.

    How do “we” know heaven cannot exist? Yet, “we” know multiverses must exist?

    How do “we” know a God that defies the laws of nature cannot exist, yet, “we” know that laws of nature must have come into being from nothing in the big bang?

    Seems like “we” have a most unreasonable faith.

    Personally, I believe it’s the “99 per cent of those with a PhD in biology or medicine affirmed that humans evolved” are the ones who live in fear. They fear for their livelihood and future, and therefore affirm publicly that evolution is true, when privately that can’t see how it can possibly be true.

  12. 12
    daveS says:

    I wonder how many of these 40% of Americans are actually strongly committed to YEC and how many are less committed, perhaps even admitting they might be convinced that OEC is true if they looked more carefully at the evidence.

    It’s been a long time since I discussed this issue with Christians, but I have met a few who identify as YECs but are not that passionate about it. The YEC/OEC debate is just not a high priority for them.

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    I’d love to see a poll with questions like the following:

    True or False. Scientists claim the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

    How old do you think the universe is?

    True or False. Scientists claim the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

    How old do you think the earth is?

  14. 14
    Florabama says:

    People are YECs because to any objective mind, the idea that God created everything 6000 years ago makes vastly more sense than the idea that random events built super computers complete with pre-programed software, no matter how much time is allowed. People, especially rural people with common sense who work for a living on farms and around nature, know intuitively that random events don’t improve the organization of anything, and they also know that it doesn’t take a science degree to understand that. That is the whole premise of Douglas Axe’s, “Undeniable, How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life is Designed” (Not YECism but the intuition that no amount of good luck can build the complex machinery (proteins and protein folds specifically for Dr Axe) that are found in nature that loudly yell design. It takes a tremendous effort to suppress what any person with common sense knows intuitively. It didn’t happen by chance.

  15. 15
    fmarotta says:

    One of the reasons is there is a large body of YEC literature that has circulated among American Christians for decades.

  16. 16
    Allen Shepherd says:

    I am a young earth creationist and practicing physician. As an Adventist, I am committed to a fiat creation. I am not wedded to the 6000 yr. number, but could go with several thousands, to even a few 10s of thousands.

    My reason for espousal is the problem that rejection of the creation story entails for scripture as noted above. Although fear may motivate some on this matter, it is not the major reason motivating most. The YEC literature has been quite successful as well.

    I have seen that most Christians do not spend much time thinking about this. On either side. So I think DaveS’ point is true.

    It seems to me that there are only two viable positions: YEC that takes the Bible at its word, and atheism, that only sees the material. Other positions are some sort of compromise between the two, taking part in the strengths and weaknesses of each, and not really being as strong as either one.

    I have very greatly appreciated the work done on this site to foster the idea of design. It has been invaluable. I do teach at a small church school, and use the information here frequently.

  17. 17
    drc466 says:

    Perhaps it never occurred to them to, you know, ask YEC’s why they are YEC’s? It’s not like YEC websites are all that hard to find, and they are all pretty straightforward as to why they (we) believe.
    WE believe in YEC because we believe in a literal translation of Genesis 1. 1 day = 1 day, Adam was first man, and the Biblical genealogies contain no significant (i.e. thousands+ of generations) gaps. Therefore, YEC.

    It’s a religious belief. Unlike atheists, we’re perfectly willing to admit that we start with a preconceived bias and interpret the evidence thru that lens. We would argue that the predictive power of YEC has sufficiently outperformed that of OEC or Evolution (c.f. junk dna, comets, planetary activity, carbon-14 in “Mya” coal, biological material in dino fossils, etc.) to validate our beliefs. We admit that radioctive “age” and distant starlight remain unsolved problems for a recent creation event. We enjoy robust discussion on scientific research, and actively promote more research both by ourselves and evolutionists, as we believe the more evidence is uncovered, the greater the support for our belief (see predictive power above). We don’t operate motivated by “fear”, or “anti-science”, or “blind belief”, or “la-la-la I can’t hear you”. We represent a broad spectrum of educational, professional and ethnic backgrounds.

    As for why the proportion is greater in America, the most obvious correlation is that YEC is directly related to Judeo-Christian religious belief. Countries with a history of the highest percentage of fundamental Christians will have more YEC’s, which will track as a delayed outcome as faith increases/declines. America (and former/current British colonies in general) qualify as significantly more fundamentally (Biblical literalist) Christian.
    There – is that so hard?

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    Allen Shepherd @ 16

    I am a young earth creationist and practicing physician. As an Adventist, I am committed to a fiat creation. I am not wedded to the 6000 yr. number, but could go with several thousands, to even a few 10s of thousands.

    My reason for espousal is the problem that rejection of the creation story entails for scripture as noted above. Although fear may motivate some on this matter, it is not the major reason motivating most. The YEC literature has been quite successful as well.

    I have cited this story before but I would be interested to hear your view of it as an Adventist and practicing physician

    Girl died after father turned to prayer instead of doctors

    A man in the US accused of killing his 11-year-old diabetic daughter by praying instead of seeking medical care has been found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide.

    Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted over the death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes.

    Prosecutors contended he should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she couldn’t walk, talk, eat or drink. Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called an ambulance when she stopped breathing.

  19. 19
    Pindi says:

    aarceng@9, do you always do what Richard Dawkins says, or just that one time?

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Yes drc466, Young Earth Creationism is actually a hermeneutic. A way of interpreting the bible. ‘Creation Science’ is a category error and Young Earth Creationism has nothing to do with science.

    Now if Young Earth Creationists would only interpret all of the bible literally.

  21. 21
    Eric Anderson says:

    daveS @2 and 12:

    Good points.

    My experience mirrors yours in terms of many people I interact with. It really isn’t that high of a priority for most people and they haven’t looked into it closely.

    Frankly, the same could be said for evolution. It holds a little more interest generally in the population, partly because it gets a lot more press, but not nearly as much interest as is holds to those of us have who have invested time and interest in the debate.

    Most people are concerned with work, their kids, healthcare, putting food on the table, sports, friends, etc.

    Not that the evolution debate isn’t important. But as someone who is passionate about it, I do have to remind myself that for many people it barely registers — at least unless and until something happens in their life that requires them to face the issues head on.

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    aarceng @9,

    Thank you for your insightful commentary @9.

    What is important is that you are Christian. YEC is a secondary issue. True life is only possible through saving faith in Christ.

    If you’re a Christian, then you believe in Christ, who made everything that exists, including you, me and everybody else commenting here –even the politely dissenting interlocutors.

    Now, notice how those who reject our Lord can’t understand that you want to do what pleases Christ. Let’s pray for them too. We all need God’s love and grace to fill our hearts with hope and peace. But unfortunately many folks don’t want to believe in their Creator.

  23. 23
    Dionisio says:

    Eric Anderson @21:

    “…at least unless and until something happens in their life that requires them to face the issues head on.”

    Like the recent case of the AirAsia A320 flying from Perth which started to shake over an hour after take off and the captain asked the passengers to pray until the plane landed back in Perth. But pray to whom?

    We live in a world where words have no true meaning.
    People love chocolate and their spouses and children.
    That’s why frivolous social media is so popular.
    Really pathetic.

    BTW, I’m Christian and two of my children are medical doctors. In this website I have expressed in more than one occasion my support for more biology research to find better medical treatments and health preventive programs.

    But we trust our Creator and believe He is in sovereign control.

    We can’t judge the message by the messengers. That’s absurd. Wouldn’t you read a letter that was delivered to your home mailbox by a drunk postman?

    Christians are ambassadors of the King of kings on this Earth. We should worship Him in truth and spirit. And we should thankfully obey and please Him.

  24. 24
    EDTA says:

    Let’s not forget how much fun it is to thumb one’s nose at the smug, condescending elitists (i.e., the evolutionists) by believing something totally contrary.

  25. 25
    Dionisio says:

    YEC or OEC? Adventist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, non- denominational?
    None of those acronyms or names should identify a Christian.
    Christ founded one denomination: His church.
    Christians from different denominations are in the true Church. Some people who call themselves Christians in any denomination may not be in the true Church. Perhaps many folks who were nominal Christians in 1930s Germany supported the evil Nazi doctrines tat led to Krystalnacht and worse acts. Maybe many people who claimed to be Christians were not against the bloody civil war in Northern Ireland. Or supported slavery and later racism?
    But wasn’t Christian faith that moved the main actors that led UK to abolish the cruel slave trafficking? Isn’t that historical event associated with the song “Amazing Grace”?
    Genuine saving faith in Christ, His redemptive death and His resurrection that assures eternal life in His presence for those who want to follow Him.
    The Christian’s identity is in Christ alone.
    Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria.

  26. 26
    rvb8 says:

    groovamos @10,

    thank you for so convincingly confirming my ‘fear’ theory for belief.

    “I know what it is like to wake up in the morning and the first thought is a slight panic.”

    Ummmm, no! That’s you.

    If this was you, when you were a supposed, ‘materialist’, then you were never an atheist. You had a dalliance with atheism, and never actually got the point, which is, matter and energy are all there is, count yourself lucky to be alive, enjoy life.

    That feeling of panic you suggest I have in the morning, isn’t there. I thank you, you actually got me to chuckle.

    You see, you fear God, you fear His wrath, you fear His judgement etc. This fear exists in Judaism, Islam, and all religions that promote violence and intolerance.

    I don’t have this fear, and wake up in the morning quite cheerful and smiling.

    Give atheism a go, leave your fear behind.:)

    And BTW, there is a hell of a lot of theology on a site dedicated to science; what’s going on there?

  27. 27
    mugwump3 says:

    Why are so many YEC?

    As a former atheist, with the same self-deceived smug assurance and an apparent myopic reflective life like rvb8 and the like here, life as a simple hedonist who points and laughs at the theists hobbling about on their psychological crutches…that life seemed to be enough. At some point, through deep introspective searching and poring through respective philosophies and sciences, I eventually found I had dug down to the bedrock of atheism: stark nihilism, plain absurdity, meaninglessness.

    Had I not received a “road to Damascus” slap upside the head, I’d most assuredly be dead from the emptiness. There’s no strength in waking up as if without a care, a-smiling and a -whistling, as rvb8 paints his atheistic zipidee doo dah faith…ignorance is bliss, truly. Oh, and, no, a dating of 6000 years is neither implicit or explicit in the Bible.

    Members of the true church, the invisible born-again priesthood of believers, cannot deny the truth of Christ, the role the Spirit plays in opening one’s eyes. We can’t unbreak that egg. We can’t crawl back into the shadowy cave. And so, whether we were 8 or 80, a churched Timothy or a Christian-killing Paul, we believe all of scripture to be inerrant, including the Genesis record.

    The question isn’t whether one group believes in a “literal” reading and one, a metaphorical or allegorical reading. It’s a disagreement over what the literal or INTENDED ORIGINAL INTERPRETATION is. The above criticism over taking everything in the Bible literally is so woefully childish, so thoughtlessly ignorant. The literal meaning of a text is dependent on intent. A poem is apprehended through the poetic language. So, too, the allegory, the legal manifest, the historical narrative, the parable, the song, the Platonic dialectic…in short, literal meaning is defined by the writer.

    I’m not a YEC because I do not find that interpretation to be the literal one, nor do I find it necessary or integral to my belief in Christ to condemn those who do subscribe to YEC. True, it’s an obvious stumbling block or deal-breaker to a skeptic, and, in that sense, I do feel it necessary to confront the issue in the name of seeking after more profound realities.

    Paul, in Romans, speaks of the weaker brother whose conscience can not allow them to come down on one side or the other on drinking, or eating meat used for sacrifice, or, in this case, the proper reading of the Hebrew word transliterated “yom.” Why do so many believe in YEC?

    Answer: a combination of a reasonably ambiguous interpretation and a warranted wariness of atheists and their false beliefs contra ample evidences, of these: epistemological, scientific, teleological, logical, and paleontological…disproving the claims made by materialists and Darwinists.

    One might call it a knee-jerk hyerskepticism among many against any claims made by those who are obviously wrong about their core beliefs, their religious presuppositions that underpin their atheism, their irrational and clearly unsophisticated Dawkins-esque mockery of theists, their bold ignorance of hundreds upon hundreds of fulfilled prophecies or the authenticity of the most well-preserved, externally and archeologically corroborated and confirmed documents known to man.

    So, while I do not agree with my fellow believers who are also incidentally YECs, I do take issue with those who are dogmatic about it and presume to build their cases on flimsy hypotheticals, lack of scientific warrant, and debunked counter-theory strawmen (moon dust). But, then, those are EXACTLY the same reasons why I take issue with the macro-evolutionist materialist atheists…flimsy hypotheticals, lack of scientific warrant, and debunked counter-theory strawmen.

  28. 28
    daveS says:

    Eric Anderson,

    Not that the evolution debate isn’t important. But as someone who is passionate about it, I do have to remind myself that for many people it barely registers — at least unless and until something happens in their life that requires them to face the issues head on.

    Yeah, and if one fails to remind oneself of this fact, it’s easy to come off as an overzealous fanatic in these discussions.

    I was never that interested in evolution per se, but more so in the age of Earth issue and my (very few) in-real-life interlocutors probably concluded I was a bit obsessed.

  29. 29
    drc466 says:

    Mung @20,

    ‘Creation Science’ is a category error and Young Earth Creationism has nothing to do with science.

    Hypothetical: As a scientist, I take a fossil section from a fossil “dated” at >100Mya. I do this to determine whether there is original organic material (i.e. non-permineralized) contained within the fossil section.
    Question: Is this science?
    Question: Does my motivation and prediction for result change whether this is “science”?
    Question: Is it fair to apply a type-of-science label (evolution science, paleontology science, biological science) based on the purposes of the experiment?
    Question: Aren’t you just hung up on semantics? Isn’t “Creation Science” just a convenient, and accurate, way to say “this is science – I’m doing it to support my theory of young-earth creationism”?
    Question: Isn’t calling creation science a “category error” just your way of saying “I’d really like to discredit your viewpoint without having to scientifically address all of your evidence supporting YEC”?

  30. 30
    Axel says:

    ‘How do “we” know a God that defies the laws of nature cannot exist, yet, “we” know that laws of nature must have come into being from nothing in the big bang?

    Seems like “we” have a most unreasonable faith.’

    awstar, what’s wrong with nothing producing everything ? tee hee tither tither

  31. 31
    Axel says:

    @ Dionisio, your 23

    I was just speaking to a youngish member of our local Tesco supermarket’s staff, and asked him if he’d enjoyed Ramadan, which is an occasion of joy for devout Moslems. He smiled and said his parents were devout Muslims but he wasn’t a believer.

    To which – having been there and done that, like so many adolescents – I laughed, saying : ‘You will… you will’, as I remembered finally coming to my senses …. I really did find it funny. He smiled affably, so maybe he already has an inkling. I can’t see him ‘falling far from the tree’, anyway.

  32. 32
    Axel says:

    It’s their fear of the Judgment of atheists that tends to make them so rancorous in their disbelief, isn’t it. Yet, the irony is that it is not the accuracy of our belief, of our credence, as such that will be the determining factor, but our wish, our will, to believe the truths of our Christian faith.

    Rancorous, truculent non-believers feel besieged by the truth, I suspect and have developed a hate-filled siege mentality, and don’t bitterly resent the intrusion of ‘inconvenient’ truths ; and particularly not the one that underpins all the others, and would turn their lives around through 180 degrees. And very akin to that is a failure to appreciate spiritual, moral beauty as sovereign, and ultimately to reject it.

    They have my sympathy. Well, to a certain rather limited extent, admittedly. The other day, I mentally yelled at God at the top of my voice and shook both my fists at him, since, as I was saying one set of prayer, I felt him urging me to interrupt them for a more urgent one, and that on top of something else that was troubling me at the back of my mind – which I can’t remember. Fortunately, God does seem to cut me a lot of slack on occasions.

    Sometimes I think Job might not have had it so bad – then I remember that he lost all his children, all so dear to him ; and above all, Job is held to be a figure of Christ himself, whose sufferings we can scarcely begin to imagine.

    But it does intrigue me, the paramount importance of the will to believe – not even, necessarily in terms of a formal belief, but by actions of self-denying/sacrificing love, inspired nevertheless by the Holy Spirit, who enlightens everyone who comes into the world ; as described in the Judgment in Matthew 25 in relation to the ‘sheep’. It tickles me when the sheep says that he doesn’t know the Son of Man, never clapped eyes on him !

  33. 33
    Pindi says:

    Axel:

    “Rancorous, truculent non-believers feel besieged by the truth, I suspect and have developed a hate-filled siege mentality, and don’t bitterly resent the intrusion of ‘inconvenient’ truths ; and particularly not the one that underpins all the others, and would turn their lives around through 180 degrees. And very akin to that is a failure to appreciate spiritual, moral beauty as sovereign, and ultimately to reject it.”

    I don’t feel any of those things and I don’t see any other non-believers I know feeling that way. I very rarely think about God or religion, and when I do it is more in a bemused way that rational people in this day and age can seriously believe that stuff.

  34. 34
    Mung says:

    drc466:

    Question: Isn’t calling creation science a “category error” just your way of saying “I’d really like to discredit your viewpoint without having to scientifically address all of your evidence supporting YEC”?

    You’re the one who admitted that YEC is a method of interpreting the bible. As such, it’s not science. To confuse it with science is a category error.

  35. 35
    drc466 says:

    Mung,

    The fact that the foundational belief (God created the world recently) the leads to the logical conclusion (Young-Earth Creationism) is explicitly religious, in no way affects whether the conclusion and scientific endeavors surrounding that conclusion qualify as “science”.
    If it did, then the (religious in nature) foundational belief of materialistic naturalism would also disqualify evolution as “science”.

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    drc466,

    You admit that your “foundational belief” is based not on science but rather on a particular interpretation of the bible. An interpretation that isn’t even accepted by all Christians.

    The bible does not say that God created the world recently.

    Science is not about how to interpret the bible, or how to interpret any other religious text.

    And even if the foundational belief of materialistic naturalism would also disqualify evolution as “science” it doesn’t follow that your method for interpreting the bible qualifies as science.

  37. 37
    awstar says:

    Mung says:

    Science is not about how to interpret the bible, or how to interpret any other religious text

    dictionary says:

    1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding

    2a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study the science of theology
    2b : something (such as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge have it down to a science

    3a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method
    3b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science

    If you are saying that science is defined as: 3a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method. Then you are right in saying Science is not about how to interpret the bible. But then, it is also not about where the general truths and general laws originated, is it?

    So when scientists intentionally limit their research to only materialistic phenomena, then they better not state that the origin of general truth and general laws can only come from materialistic phenomena — because if they insist that the God of the bible did not author truth and laws of nature, they are indeed trying to tell us how to interpret the bible.

  38. 38
    Allen Shepherd says:

    Serversky @18

    I have heard of such stories as you quote:

    Girl died after father turned to prayer instead of doctors

    A man in the US accused of killing his 11-year-old diabetic daughter by praying instead of seeking medical care has been found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide.

    Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted over the death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes.

    Prosecutors contended he should have rushed the girl to a hospital because she couldn’t walk, talk, eat or drink. Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family’s rural home as people surrounded her and prayed. Someone called an ambulance when she stopped breathing.

    I would agree with the prosecutors.

    If you study the history of Adventism, you will find an emphasis on healthful living. Prayer is part of that, for it has proven itself, even if not answered as we would wish.

    But being a Christian and believing in prayer does not preclude the use of safe medical science. I am a surgeon who prays before each case. But skill and the use of the mind are just as important. I have not seen God bless the work of fools!

    Patients relax after prayer who were quite afraid of going under the knife. It was a blessing to them. And I might add, that every surgeon wants the patient rooting for himself.

    Just to be ornery, however, there is 2 Kings 16:12

    In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord (Jehovah), but only from the physicians.

    But I think Asa’s problem was in not seeking help from both. See Is 38.

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