Are there oppositions, or should there be opposition to teaching both Evolution and YEC in a classroom?

You’re not the only one. Philosophers have been asking that question for thousands of years. Of course, there’s the Kalam Cosmological Argument which takes us back to the ultimate First Cause. You may also find this blog post by Christian theoretical physicist Aron Wall interesting – he says that when atheist scientists such as Lawrence Krauss talk about the universe coming from nothing, what they are describing as “nothing” isn’t quite as “nothing” as they think it is.

Well. @Bill_II said it already: dating methods are cross-checked against each other – so no, there aren’t really any presuppositions involved here. It’s testable predictions again: if this uranium-lead date is reliable, then we should get the same results from rubidium-strontium, lutetium-hafnium, potassium-argon, or even continental drift.

Well yes, any honest scientist will admit that there are plenty of things that they don’t know. (Take a read of the book “We Have No Idea” by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson if you’re particularly interested.) But the fact that there are things that we don’t know doesn’t mean that the things that we do know are wrong. Especially when they are confirmed by large quantities of rigorously cross-checked measurements.

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It was not until 1990 that the C-14 dating method was properly checked and correction curve created. This was done using a 9,982 year old oak tree from southern Germany. By measuring the actual C-14 levels in each of the 9,982 rings of the tree, the correction changed previously dated objects dramatically. For instance one object having been dated before the correction at 270 BC was now 3770 BC. Similar results were received from the 5,000 year old sequoia tree in California.

Since that time, ice bores in Greenland have reached over 200,000 years in the past, providing actual C-14 levels for this time period.

Needless to say, a 9,982 year old oak blows any YEC out of the water.

Some people never achieve any one of these three in a lifetime. Logic is a skill that can be acquired using mathematics and physics. It is prerequisite to reason and wisdom.

Wisdom can often cost a lifetime. People like Victor Frankl and Byron Katie come to mind who have devoted a lifetime to their field of study and brought important wisdom to the world. The Socratic method was developed to weed out rhetoric and find wisdom, and this is also an arduous process.

Reason is beyond intelligence and I really do not know a way to prescribe to acquire it. Some people have it and other very intelligent people do not.

I would like to believe that the YEC scientific models come from a faith understanding of the text. If I read Genesis without any “scientific hypothesis”, it tells me that God created the universe in a literally 6 days based on there being something anyone can understand is the “morning” and “evening” of a day. I would hope you agree that the atheist must have a worldview in place on how they determine reality, up to including how the universe was formed. It is true for OEC and EC. The same faith we use in our model is the same kind of “faith” naturalists use in macroevolution. The point is any worldview requires faith in the supernatural to exist.

So for instance, to stay on topic. If I was teaching a class on the origin of marriage, one such theory is that the Bible (A historical text) says that human sexuality originated from the beginning (Gen 2:24) and that marriage for all peoples is one man and one woman for life and is also a wonderful representation of the Gospel. This of course considers a worldview based on Judaeo-Christian understanding of the Bible, rather than an naturalists view that marriage is a result of cumulative natural processes to procreate. We can all place what we want on the text, but rational thought says that the best explanation is most likely the truth. As Christians, we are giving the mind of Christ to know the things of God (1 Cor 2), this does not equate to us understanding the delicate intricacies of micro-biology or the amazing design of cosmology, but it does help us understand our spiritual condition and necessity of a Savior…which is of itself outside the realm of the natural/observable. It also gives us enough to be satisfied in our limited ability to not place our human theories of the natural on a pedestal that make us the creator.

I believe all YEC, OEC and EC theories are best when they coincide with text on a complete level (Gen to Rev) and that over emphasizing one over the other can become pride. I believe that we cannot know all the truth until the day of Christ’s return. So we must be careful that if we have a theory or hypothesis that is not proven true, it must be abandoned. We make a better witness to the lost by letting Holy Spirit guide us in our walk then by living in the flesh to prove one argument over another. Pride comes before the fall, so to speak.

Shawn,
I am to believe that you have a naturalist worldview and not a Judaeo-Christian worldview?

But how do we understand the text without reason and research? If you placed the Hebrew or Greek text in front of me, I would have no idea what it said. I have to rely on scholars and researchers who have looked at the meaning of words and have made reasonable and learned assumptions as to what we would say in English to approximate it. Ultimately, we do have to have faith that God acts not only in the writing, but also the transmission and ultimate translation, then in our lives as we read it. A similar process takes place in the study of creation.
I believe you are right about pride.

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Dear Neil,
My belief cannot be defined with one word. My belief is from the early, enlightened Christians who were decedents of the founders of science and philosophy. This means that most of what I believe was declared heresy by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century.

In short, I believe that after the Heavens grew to enormous population, the firstborn wanted to become the second king of Heaven. He manage to get 1/3 of God’s children sympathetic to the need for a second king. God cast this 1/3 out of Heaven into Hell and they suffered an eternity until the material world was created to reconcile all of the fallen with God.

When there were enough spiritual pioneers, God sent the King to become human and to conquer Death (the fallen firstborn). His victory over Death allows all of the fallen to now start going home to Heaven through a slow reconciliation process. All must go back through the King because it is He that we rejected in the first place, not God.

There are billions of trillions fallen angels in Hell (1/3 of the stars) and billions of years are needed to get them all back. So, being 13.7 billion years into a 17 billion year process gives perspective to how big Heaven really is.

I wouldn’t teach any form of creationism in the science classroom. Science seeks natural explanations for natural phenomena. Science simply doesn’t have the tools to investigate the spiritual world, so it is limited to the physical world. And the scientific enterprise has been very successful.

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I certainly agree that you would believe the natural part, or what man has been able to understand through processes of observing with science, must conform to the whole part of God’s character. We should never make statements, theological or natural, which do not align with God’s moral character, and to some degree that is of a spiritual nature. Therefore, it is appears to me that assumptions molded into various scientific methods border, if not out right falsify the data.

For instance, scientifically we can only measure the current two way speed of light. Assuming the two-way speed of light was constant throughout history…There is no known scientific possible way of knowing the one way speed of light. If this correct, how can we without question tell someone we know the approx. age of the universe based on the speed of light aka. light years? Is it called a lie if we present something as factual when we really only base this on assumptions?

11 posts were split to a new topic: Can the scientific method be used to test the supernatural world

Not if the assumptions are testable, or are based entirely on rigorously tested physical processes.

In the case of the speed of light, we can treat light as travelling at the same speed in both directions because we know what light is actually made of: electromagnetic waves that are governed by Maxwell’s equations. We know that light can’t have changed much in the history of the universe through a whole variety of astronomical and other observations. One example is millisecond pulsars: these are stars that emit X-rays at very, very regular intervals. If the speed of light had ever been different in the past, we would be able to see it in millisecond pulsars because their frequencies would be changing all over the place. But they aren’t.

And that’s just one of many, many, many other observations that we can make. Once again – there’s no presupposition involved here; rather, this is a test of any stray presuppositions that may have crept in.

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I realize that that has been part of the rhetoric from YEC sources for ages, but doesn’t it just sound silly even without knowing the science? How does light know which way it is going? What possible mechanism would reflection have to change the speed of light? By the way, I am sure you can measure the speed of light coming and going these days(whatever that means), though it may have been difficult in the dark ages.

Any examples? I do not think the light thing is valid, but you can try to convince me. everytime we communicate with a deep space probe, we see the lag time both coming and going.

Actually there is. It is possible to determine the distance to distant galaxies using simply geometry. When the light from these distance galaxies is examined, I believe it is the spectrum lines, they match what we see locally. Since the speed of light is involved in determining these features it shows the speed of light has not changed over time.

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I oppose teaching YEC in classrooms. You really aren’t thinking clearly about public education. YEC is just one of the many origins positions among Christians. Why should YEC alone be taught, and not OEC and EC, as well? So, now the actual time required for teaching the subject has expanded by a factor of four. But wait … other religions have their own scriptures and interpretations of them. Is it fair for the child of Muslim parents to be taught the Christian interpretations, but not the interpretation of their own faith? And what of other religions? Do they not deserve a place at the table?

I trust you see the problem. Our society is pluralistic, and there are many more religious views than just those held by evangelical Christians, let alone YEC. If you want every child – regardless of their parents’ religious views – to be taught YEC, then we might as well pass a law making YEC the official state religion and be done with it.

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Neil, I appreciate your input and think you are asking some good questions. Let me comment on this last question/statement in your post. I feel that you are posing a false dichotomy here, as those are unrelated questions. The first part has been addressed, but regarding whether most here feel the YEC position is intellectually bankrupt is interesting. Certainly, that is the impression one gets but I feel that is a carry over from more secular criticisms, and the reality is a little more subtle when dealing with the EC crowd. I think many if not most here respect the position of having the YEC interpretation of scripture being primal, yet feel that interpretation is incorrect, and ultimately not beneficial in advancing the kingdom of God. I think that changes the conversation a bit. It has nothing to do with intellectual merit, but is focused on theologic interpretation.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Can the scientific method be used to test the supernatural world

And my argument would be that the beginning of the universe is not testable, so scientific tests determining the age of the universe are not, and cannot be fully known. In line with this, we cannot publish science text books as scientific fact for cosmology when we just do not have all the facts. You agree or disagree?

Yes, I do. I am thinking public education is bias to ONE form of science completely based on naturalistic model, and I believe it is founded on humanism. So basically you believe that only humanism should be taught in schools. I understand exactly where you are coming from.

Thanks for commenting. Of course this is assuming the universe model is13.4 billions years old, correct?

So you would agree there are no assumptions applied to scientific theories such as the Big Bang?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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