A Geological Response to the Movie “Is Genesis History?”

(system) #1

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://biologos.org/blogs/guest/a-geological-response-to-the-movie-is-genesis-history

(Christy Hemphill) #2

(Taylor) #3

Biologos, I stumbled upon this site after having a debate over evolution vs. creationism at my college this afternoon. The girls arguments was all based off of the “facts” she acquired from a film I had never heard of “Is Genesis History”. She urged me to go home and watch this film so I can learn the truth. So first thing I do is start to google this movie. Little background on myself I have left the church a 2 years ago and I struggle with the idea of Jesus and the Bible especially growing up in a creationist environment. I found your article and it just really spoke to me with you comment about children going to college and struggling with their faith after they learn about science and history. I am one of those kids !! My family just says to have faith, but I don’t want faith if I cant have knowledge. Although I am still on the road of discovery it is very nice to see a christian site that is actually pro science and encouraging of it.

(Phil) #4

Welcome to the site. I think you will find a wealth of resources here, and the forum provides a place the discuss any issues you may find.

(Christy Hemphill) #5

Welcome to the forum Taylor! Good news- you can have faith and knowledge too. Glad you found our website and discussion boards. Feel free to start a thread with any particular questions you might have about reconciling the biblical Christian faith and mainstream science. There are lots of very knowledgeable people around with great insights, and many of them have walked a similar path of doubt and struggling to unload the baggage of what they were taught growing up without dumping the good and beautiful parts about God and his love for us in Christ.

(Roger Bruce Evans) #6

I watched the film recently, and one issue puzzles me which was not addressed at all. If thousands of feet of fossiliferous strata deposited on the continents are the result of a global flood , why are such layers completely missing over most of the ocean floors, which are the lowest elevations on the planet and should carry the thickest accumulations of sediment? Why are the sediments overlying oceanic crust relatively devoid of macrofossils, which should have washed around in all directions?

(Stravo Lukos) #7

Truth is where you find it. Even the spiritually blind can know truths. The problem, it seems to me, is that we ask two entirely different entities, science & religion, to answer the wrong questions.

Modern science is & must be predicated upon sight & reason.
True religion is & must be based upon faith & an invisible Spirit.

Trying to force one to do the other’s work is a fail from the outset. That the natural mind cannot accept faith in an unseen God is a given. This is a fight that belongs to the world, not the kingdom. My nickel’s worth (inflation).

(G.S. Muse) #8

The intellectual dishonesty at BioLogos never ceases to amaze me. Keep in mind this is the “Christian” organization that publishes articles denying Substitutionary Atonement on the basis that it contradicts Evolution.

There was only one argument of substance in this “response” and it is easily refuted.

Why are there no fossils below the Great Uncomformity? “The Great Unconformity: above the line is Flood rock and below the line is Creation Week rock”

Now let me ask you a question that I can never get an answer to:

Can you name a single world-class Hebraicist who holds to either 1.) The idea that the author of Genesis 1 intended to mean that the word “yom” represents a long period of time, Or 2.) That the author intended to convey that Genesis is mere poetry, considering that the author described Genesis with the Hebrew phrase for literal history?

You have your “interpretation” but it goes directly against the Word of God.

(Phil) #9

I think if you spend some time using the search function and reading the articles regarding substitutionary atonement, you will find much support on the site, making your statement regarding that false. Keep in mind that blog posts do not necessarily reflect the position of Biologos as an organization. In any case, also keep in mind that Biologos is a big tent type of organization, and there are different interpretations held by some associated with it, along with the fact that it is impossible to define something as overreaching as Jesus’ sacrifice with a few words.

It is always good if you disagree with something, to address that topic specifically and provide backup references if a technical issue. That avoids confusion. In your post, you linked an article by Dr. Purdom implying that it addressed some argument, but in reading it I really saw nothing but essentially a vacation blog describing her trip. If you were meaning to address fossils below the Great Uncomformity, I did not see it addressed, and your statement about flood rock and creation rock really did not either.

Finally, your questions as to yom and whether Genesis is poetry has been discussed into the ground on other posts, which you can find on the search function. After reading those, if you wish to further discuss those topics, it would best be done on a new post if none are open that addresses your concerns, but would be inappropriate to add to this old post. Though I might add that poetry is not “mere” especially when from the mouth of God.

(Brad Kramer) #10

(Chris Falter) #11

Welcome, brother @GSMuse. We’re glad to have you join us for some discussions on the issues that make you feel vexed. When we are done, you may still disagree with us, and that’s OK. But I doubt you will continue to accuse your brothers and sisters in Christ of dishonesty after you hear us out.

The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him. - Proverbs 18:17

You have been listening to Answers in Genesis, and the brothers and sisters in Christ at AiG have been stating their case. It seems right to you. That much is clear from your post.

Would you consider giving those of us who respectfully disagree with AiG the opportunity to cross-examine before you leap to a conclusion about the state of our hearts, and the state of our position?

Statement #2 exhibits the fallacy of the excluded middle, my brother GSMuse. There are possibilities that lie between the “literalistic history” and “mere poetry” poles.

John Walton is a world-class Hebraicist who has explored the terrain between the two poles, and I highly recommend his “Lost World” series of books.

Grace and peace,
Chris Falter

(G.S. Muse) #12

Thank you Chris! I really appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, I am not sure your moderator is interested in “conversation” that isn’t one-way. If this thread gets deleted, I can be found on Medium through my pen name G.S. Muse and on YouTube as GreenSlugg. And BTW, I don’t censor people’s views on either.

On the note of Christian civility, keep in mind that this original article was not a refutation, it was almost entirely a display of emotion, and as someone with a scientific background, I would have accepted better scholarship than this from three geologists. BioLogos needs to take the log out of their own eye before whining about civility.

Proverbs 18:17 is my life verse, and it’s why I am trying to challenge this theological claim, and the claims of Flood Geology. We’ll see if they can be answered.

I am looking at some of what Walton has to say in some of his videos. Unfortunately his radical “interpretation” really doesn’t make any sense. He claims that the six days in Genesis 1 have nothing to do with God creating the world. This goes against the face value of the text, and pretty much everything that Jewish and Christian scholars have ever said about Genesis, not to mention numerous cross references. I am going to give it my best to hear his talks, but he’s climbing a very steep hill.

Also, I see that he has a PhD, but his faculty page seems to be down at the moment, and other sources writing about him aren’t specifying what he has a PhD in. Keep in mind my original question is whether or not this is an expert specifically in the Hebrew language, not just a professor of Old Testament, as brilliant as they may be.

As for intellectual honesty, I gotta call things as I see them. Even the closest people in the world to me expect to receive honesty from me, and I expect the same in return. If my best friend is being intellectually dishonest, I will call him out. You, being a stranger, ought to appreciate someone being honest with you. And if you want others to take your calls to civility seriously, then perhaps you should start writing your articles with respect and civility.

Creationists have made their views about the rock layers below the Great Uncomformity very clear, and to ask why there are no fossils, is as bad as asking why there are still monkeys. This article is written by 3 geologists, and they ought to have taken the time to seek an answer to their one question of substance, instead of asking it and walking away like Pilate.

“Attention was drawn to the widespread occurrence of the Great Unconformity, but no mention was made of the two-mile thick sequence of tilted rocks below the Great Unconformity that has remarkable similarities to the layers above – all somehow deposited before the great flood.”

And yet, as I said, Creation Geologists have answered this many times. But you have to actually read their literature to see what they say.

Such as here: https://creation.com/biologos-fails-with-is-genesis-history-critique

Keep in mind, my background is in biotechnology (I have two science degrees). That’s why I expect that if I am looking at an article by three scientists that I would see real scholarship, and intellectual rigor, not emotionally-driven fluff.


Greg - AKA G.S. Muse


You mean the part where they postulate that the gravitational constant was suddenly changed? That might make what they are trying to say work, but then they fail to note what would happen to the earth’s orbit if the constant changed. It does apply across the entire universe.

(Phil) #14

I could not find any discussion of substance regarding the non-conformity in the the linked article, just a reference to another article which again is primarily verbiage without substance. While the discredited idea of sorting was thrown out to somehow argue against a mile of sediment with no traditionally chronologically young fossils, how that works was left open. Not to mention, where did the mile of sediment that made up those pre-flood rocks come from? That is a lot of mountains of granite that have to be ground to sand, just to have the sand to make the rocks in the first place.
But, those broad arguments have little meat to chew left on their bones. I would be interested if there is any specific issue to address that you are interested in. Any instance of “intellectual dishonesty” that we can analyze and discuss specifically to see where fault may be found?

(Chris Falter) #15

Hi Greg,

First I read this:

Then I read this in an AiG resource linked from the article you suggested:

“God initiated the Genesis Flood by suddenly and temporarily lowering the magnitude of the gravitational constant, causing thereby an instantaneous decompression of the earth which disturbed the equilibrium of the created mantle-atmosphere-canopy system.”

Not only that, but there are zero calculations, not even back-of-the-envelope, of the amount and duration of the hypothesized perturbation in the gravitational constant. The scientific term for this type of analysis is hand waving. The AiG author waves the hands; we get the concept; it must be true.

Moreover, no consideration is given to the other effects of changing the gravitational constant. What would happen to the sun? To the other planets’ structures and orbits? Etc.

Since we are talking about the Grand Canyon, I would like to point out that the RATE project, sponsored by our good friends at the Institute for Creation Research, did some actual radiometric dating on a rock sample from the canyon. The rock was dated, IIRC, at about 500 million years ago. This was pretty much what the standard,non-YEC geology of the canyon would predict.

The rest of the RATE report went to great lengths to try to show that we shouldn’t believe the evidence they had just gathered. Instead, we are supposed to believe that a dramatic shift in universal constants resulted in a billion-fold increase in radioactivity.

To their credit, the RATE committee recognized that under this hypothesis the earth under would literally melt into a ball of 20,000 degree lava, boiling off all the water and turning everything into metamorphic rock.

Moreover, they also to their credit recognized that the potassium and C14 in every living thing would have accelerated their decay, resulting in the instant internal heat death of every living creature (p. 340).

The RATE project’s “solution” to these problems was more hand-waving. Even though several key processes in biology require potassium, and the loss of about 50% of your potassium kills you, the RATE team hypothesized that every plant and animal prior to the flood had zero potassium uptake. How did the biological processes work, then? They didn’t say. However, you could see their hands waving furiously if you read between the lines.

This analysis assumes that Noah and his family could have survived in a 20,000 degree lava furnace with the water boiled off, in the first place. How was the heat dissipated instantaneously, as it would have needed to for us to be here to talk about it? More hand waving. “Future research.”

Subsequent ICR publications have suggested that the expansion of space accelerated by some unspecified amount. Still hand waving.

Moreover, the expansion of space is tied to several physics processes and constants. If the expansion of space increases by several orders of magnitude even for just a week, what concomitant effects would we expect? Inquiring minds want to know, but ICR has never addressed the question.

Bottom line, brother @GSMuse: if this is your definition of “real scholarship” and “intellectual rigor,” then I don’t think we are going to be able to have a productive discussion. As far as the east is from the west, so far apart are our definitions of scholarship and intellectual rigor.

I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Chris Falter

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #16

Hi Greg,

Yes, but your original questions were a bit odd. I say that because nobody here even believes that yom means anything other than “day” in the creation narrative, or that Genesis is “mere” poetry (as @jpm already pointed out), or, for that matter, that ancient Hebrew even had a category for “literal history.” So why would we go looking for a Hebrew specialist who could support views we don’t have?

A search for “yom” here on the Forum will help you see what various members of the Forum community have to say on the matter. You might even see some blog posts from BioLogos authors.

We have a whole community of moderators, and none of them is as draconian as you suppose. We’re not AiG (which, incidentally, has no Forum that I’m aware of). In fact, having a live wire like you around actually makes the Forum a lot more fun, so they put up with a lot! The worst that could happen is that @pevaquark (one of our Moderator team) might split off this topic into its own topic and name it “GSMuse has a bone to pick about BioLogos’s intellectual rigor.” :slight_smile:

Good day to you —

(Christy Hemphill) #17

2 posts were split to a new topic: Is there hard evidence for macro-evolution?

Is there hard evidence for macro-evolution?
(Christy Hemphill) #19

A post was merged into an existing topic: Is there hard evidence for macro-evolution?