Can anyone provide examples of YEC resources that promote distrust of science?


(chastysoe@gmail.com) #22

If, for that audience the problems are obvious, then how can the reviews help them? I don’t claim to be unhappy or happy with YEC materials in general; I want to know what specific problems she found, not a repetition that a general class of problems exist. I don’t even know if her review is fair because there are no specific examples, only a generalization.


(chastysoe@gmail.com) #23

Is it wrong to have a worldview? Does BioLogos have a worldview? If so, do you not seek to have your worldview permeate your material? Are you implying their worldview is wrong, without remainder? And if so, where is the place for gracious dialogue? Why not simply declare that “while we will engage in gracious dialogue, we at BioLogos adhere to the position that YEC is wrong categorically and without remainder and the purpose of our gracious dialogues is to make that distinction crystal clear”. I don’t see how you can justify a remark like “their worldview permeates their material” and at the same time keep on saying that there is room for both in the Christian world. Clearly you would like that worldview to go away. Which it seems plain is the honest opinion of your adversaries at AIG and elsewhere.


(Casper Hesp) #24

Hi Chas,
Welcome to the Forum!

We’re all for dialogue here, so you have come to the right place. The point is that primarily the “Open Forum” is meant for this kind of discussions, not the “Homeschooling Forum”.

A quick google search gave me the following example. In this article called “Old Earth, Young Minds: Evangelical Homeschoolers Embrace Evolution”, the following was written:

This staunch rejection of modern science tends to characterize today’s leading homeschool textbooks. For example, Science 4 Christian Schools, a homeschool textbook published by Bob Jones University Press, doesn’t mince words when it comes to evolution and Christian faith. “People who accept the Bible believe that God made everything,” the book states. “They call God’s description of how things began the Creation Model. Those who disregard the Bible believe instead that everything got here by itself. They call this description of how things began the Evolution Model.”

Do you think that’s a fair characterization of evolutionary theory from a scientific point of view? I found it with a simple search on Google and I think a larger collection of examples is not difficult to compile. Would you like more examples?

EDIT:
Here’s some more examples I found. For example, on the website homeschoolingbible.com, I found the following quote:

True science is based upon observation of the physical world. In order to believe in evolution, we have to suppress our God-given senses of the physical world. We have to ignore physical evidence and exchange it for a lie.

In the book “A Biblical Home Education” by Ruth Beechick, page 61, we find the following:

“But evolution and old earth go together. Evolutionists need all those years in their theory because they cannot see how living creatures could evolve in a short time. They do not see how life could form in billions of years, either, but they are trying to think it could. There is no Bible reason whatever for Christians to believe in an old earth. The reason some do is that they are going along with the scientists. They have a faith that science must be right, so they have to somehow make the Bible fit today’s science.”

I hope you see that these wordings staunchly mischaracterize the positions of scientists in general as well as Christians in particular.


(Christy Hemphill) #25

Exactly. Why would she waste time writing up reviews of materials that she is not recommending and materials that in many cases, we have already seen ourselves and rejected. Her goal is to review materials that EC homeschoolers might want to use. The main point of this website is not to talk people out of their YEC beliefs. It is to provide support and dialogue for those who already accept the evolutionary model. [quote=“Chas, post:23, topic:4896”]

Is it wrong to have a worldview?
[/quote]

Of course not. But when your worldview is “Anything that science discovers that contradicts my literal interpretation of the Bible must be rejected as false” it causes you to reject a lot of science. If that is your worldview, I don’t want to learn science from you. If your worldview is “Illness is caused by an imbalance of humors,” I wouldn’t want to study medicine with you, or have you as a doctor.

Yes I think their worldview is wrong. And destructive. And anti-science. And full of false choices and mischaracterizations of God and the Bible. I’m not a fan of the young-earth worldview at all.

However, I have friends and family with that worldview, so I have no animosity toward people who hold it. I think the Muslim worldview is wrong and harmful to women. I have Muslim friends. We can be tolerant without being relativistic, can’t we? :wink: The place for gracious dialogue is to understand where a person comes from and why they believe what they do. I do not question the character or faith of YEC Christians. I understand they are approaching God and the Bible in the way they understand to be most obedient and reverent and faithful.


(Christy Hemphill) #26

From BJUs Science 4 for Christian schools.

“Some scientists speculate that Noah took small or baby dinosaurs on the Ark…. are dinosaurs still alive today? With some recent photographs and testimonies of those who claimed to have seen one, scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence…
Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? ‘Nessie,’ for short, has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”
From Science PACE 1009 published by Accelerated Christian Education

“The nuclear fusion theory of how the sun emits heat and light is an invention of evolution scientists… All other theories require the sun to use up all its energy sooner than the evolutionists’ invented timetable would allow.”
Science 1096 by ACE

“Bible-believing Christians cannot accept any evolutionary interpretation. Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007

Sometimes, it’s even anti-math.

“Unlike the ‘modern math’ theorists, who believe that mathematics is a creation of man and thus arbitrary and relative, A Beka Book teaches that the laws of mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute…A Beka Book provides attractive, legible, and workable traditional mathematics texts that are not burdened with modern theories such as set theory.”—ABeka.com


(Chris Stump) #27

Wow, @Chas , it’s hard to tell what you’re so upset about with my original language but I believe @Christy has given you some helpful feedback. I’m sorry if you took my original statement to mean I had published some extensive reviews of YEC material somewhere earlier on the BioLogos website. That certainly wasn’t my meaning (why not? for many reasons, but a key one being that the problem is so pervasive and recognized that my time is best devoted elsewhere), but if you were wanting “specific examples” because you genuinely weren’t aware of any, this thread has provided several.


(Christy Hemphill) #28

It looks like maybe there was some confusion over material Chris “reviewed” (as in "looked over to see if she would recommend it) and “reviewed” (as in “wrote up a formal evaluation and critique.”) In the article the OP commented on there isn’t even a mention of reviewing YEC material.


(Christy Hemphill) #29

@Chas

If you are honestly interested in why and which specific young earth claims are considered “anti-science,” Joel Duff at the blog Naturalis Historia does a nice job dealing with one YEC claim at a time and explaining the EC objections to it in a generally respectful way. There are also links to other blogs there that deal specifically with scientific evidence against YEC claims.

Here at BioLogos we try to focus more on explaining evolutionary science and promoting the evolutionary model as compatible with Christian theology than trying to dispute or debate claims YEC groups make.


Speaking of Christian school materials and distrust of science
#30

I would suggest Christy, that you do not understand the measurement process involved. While the measurements made are mathematical, and the observations of star stages are somewhat logical, nevertheless certain assumptions are made. Whether you agree with these assumptions does not make this paragraph “laughable”, unless you are arrogant, group think, and superficial.

Homeschoolers and YEC teach and understand and deal with science as a legitimate field of endeavor all the time. It is the evolutionists who are often anti-science, who often divert to philosophy, ridicule, and rhetoric, rather than attempting to understand. I have seen it often, even on this site, and it appears you are not immune. When PhDs in Physical Chemistry, Genetics, Mathematics, Geology, Plant breeding, Biology, Astronomy and other subjects have difficulty with evolution, it is pure hubris to call this anti-science. Such narrow minded and short sighted knee jerk reaction only proves that they have a point in mistrusting evolution, when it is defended in such an inappropriate way.

When “science” is used as a euphemism for “evolution”, it is misappropriated, whether by either camp, although most often done so by evolutionists, more than by YEC.


#31

While some of the Bob Jones stuff is indeed a bit far out sometimes, not all YEC material is written the way the older stuff was put together. In this example by Ruth Beechick, the potential for misunderstanding is large because of the generic statement, “going along with the scientists”. Yet, it is a true statement, that people tend to trust people who say they are scientists, especially PhDs. Average people tend to go along with these scientists for no other reason than that they trust “science”, little understanding the changes that happen in science, nor distinguishing between the activity of science and the philosophy of science, nor distinguishing between basic measurements and elaborate interpretations or theories.

There is no doubt at all that evolutionist christians are interested in how the bible fits today’s evolutionary science, so they can reconcile or harmonize the two in their mind. There are countless examples on this blog site alone. I am totally surprised how you think this is a mischaracterization?

So there is no mischaracterization here at all, even though science is used generically, rather than being specific to “evolutionary science”.


(Casper Hesp) #32

Hi John,

I happen to be a graduate student in Astronomy. I have studied in detail what kind of inferences are made to understand the development of stars over their lifetime. Based on that, I can assure you that the explanation quoted by Christy is indeed a gross misrepresentation of the science behind it.

Anyway, if you want to reject any set of assumptions, you should at least be able to provide a plausible alternative set of assumptions. Therefore I would be very interested in hearing from you what kind of inferences concerning the functioning of stars could possibly lead to the conclusion of all stars being less than 10,000 years old.


#33

I disagree. It may be greatly simplified and even incomplete, to suit the context and likely audience. Nevertheless, it is not a misrepresentation when looked at objectively.

Without taking sides, the fact remains that if Adam was created as an adult, a star could have been created at a particular life stage. You may have an opinion on whether it happened this way, but the possibility of this precludes an absolute conclusion on the age of a star. Disagreeing with someone does not automatically make their reasoning laughbable. [quote=“Casper_Hesp, post:32, topic:4896”]
Anyway, if you want to reject any set of assumptions, you should at least be able to provide a plausible alternative set of assumptions.
[/quote]

This is part of the diversion I was talking about, Casper. It is a typical response, but it is unscientific. A conclusion (assuming you meant conclusion not assumption) can be rejected even if no plausible alternative yet exists. The lack of an alternative does not validate an invalid conclusion or theory.

Nevertheless, the most common alternatives I hear is that of starlight created in transit, which many YEC do not agree with, and a timeshift, which I do not pretend to totally understand. Another possible alternative may be the change in speed of expansion of the universe. I will not defend any of these since I do not claim expertise, or even sufficient knowledge to comment. My comment is simply, to repeat, that “The lack of an alternative does not validate an invalid conclusion or theory.”


#34

To elaborate on my response here, here is a quote from creation com from Jonathan Sarfati, PhD in Physical Chemistry. "Jonathan Sarfati responds
A good thing that I and many of my colleagues are scientific minds who are convinced that science supports the Genesis account, like most of the founders of modern science :wink: Some more such scientific minds are featured in our new book Busting Myths—30 Ph.D. scientists who believe the Bible and its account of origins."

Jerry Bergman, PhD has put together a much longer list of scientists who were creationists, some of whom were former evolutionists. While the list is small to the skeptical evolutionist, it runs into the thousands. However, we know that it is unscientific to base our science on majority rule… Nevertheless, Sarfati and other PhD scientists believe his statement above, that science supports the Genesis account. Thus they are not (NOT) against science.


(James McKay) #35

What you are arguing here is the omphalos hypothesis – the idea that the star could have been created with the appearance of age and the evidence of history that never happened. This is not the same as arguing that a young age for the star is supported by scientific evidence.


#36

Yes, I’m always amazed that anyone would recycle such an infamous and embarrassing disaster which virtually destroyed the reputation and legacy of Philip Gosse, (His son’s story of the disaster which was the Omphalos debacle is difficult to read for any father.) Even after being retitled in hopes that the strange word was an impediment to sales, the publication proved a financial disaster as well as a scientific and theological one. The books were actually “recycled” for the value of the paper.

The whole “appearance of age” concept is so ridiculous, not just in terms of basic logic but it is so insulting to the holiness of God. Is God a deceptive creator who builds a world absolutely saturated with misleading evidence just to toy with us? Do we really want to go there?

I remember being jarred by the claim "starlight was created so as to be already en route to the earth, just minutes away), as if the dots of light in the night sky are just little unimportant light beams. But they are actually individual histories, filled with information. Would God fill the sky with information packets which describe histories of individual stars which never actually happened?

With that question in mind, is the universe filled with such false histories just waiting to confuse us? Did God create a universe with so much “false appearance of age” that science itself is absolutely impossible? Are scientists simply trapped in a reality where no evidence can be believed because it could be another fabrication of a prior history that never happened?

Not only do I find this idea false and absolutely ridiculous, it at least borders on the blasphemous if not actually sprinting through that boundary line.

POSTSCRIPT:

The “starlight in transit” hypothesis was one of the loudest early wake-up calls to a lot of us interested in “creation science” that what Henry Morris and Duane Gish and their followers were promoting was not science at all. It is anti-science/science-denial in one of the most flagrant forms possible. It has done immeasurable damage to the Evangelical movement in American especially. Even at the time of the Scopes Monkey Trial, fundamentalist Christianity was not tightly associated with Young Earth Creationist nor to angry denials of an old earth and modern geology, but within about forty years time, what started as a weird, quirky spin-off of prophetess Ellen White’s Seventh Day Adventism had found its way into “mainstream evangelicalism” via John Whitcomb’s odd coalition with Henry Morris.

I’ve personally witnessed the damage to the faith of so many young students especially, and when they throw out the pseudoscience, they so often throw out all of the other Christian teachings that they associate with it. No wonder the Apostle Paul exhorted us to keep the cross of Jesus Christ central to the Gospel message and not cram alongside it all sorts of favorite traditions which happen to appeal to us.


(Casper Hesp) #37

How can you judge at all whether any “objective” misrepresentation is involved while you also seem to admit that you’re not an expert on the topic? Are you serious about this? So you truly believe that astronomers (both Christian and secular ones) “estimate the age as much too old because they have started from the incorrect assumption that God did not make the stars.”? Do you believe that the assumption of Big Bang cosmology is obligatory for understanding the basic physical mechanisms that govern the lifetimes of stars?

On the contrary John… In the science of astronomy, we’re looking for ways to fit the data (like in other sciences). In this pursuit, we search for the set of assumptions that provides the most coherent, parsimonious explanation of the data. This means we can never reject a set of assumptions per se (I really meant assumptions, not conclusions). We can only reject them in favor of assumptions that provide a better fit to the observations. My humble understanding of science as a graduate student is that it does not involve the rejection of conclusions by themselves, but rather the rejection of assumptions that consistently fail to lead to conclusions that are consistent with the data. The job for people who adhere to young-earth creationism is then to produce a set of assumptions that can account for the data while still allowing for a young earth. This is exactly what young-earth scientists are trying to do. I’m still waiting for a proposal that provides a convincing alternative. None of the ones you have listed seem to do.

As alternative solutions, you have listed: (1) mature creation, (2) starlight in transit, and (3) “timeshift” (I assume you mean Russel Humphreys white hole cosmology). I think that’s a pretty exhaustive list of the most notable ones (as far as I know). It shows that you have informed yourself well on the YEC side of the story. One serious problem, scientifically speaking, is that the first two are completely ad hoc (they merely postulate observations instead of explaining them). The third one is directly contradicted by observations (e.g., it predicts a universal blueshift which we don’t observe. This problem was acknowledged by YECs such as Jason Lisle).

However, the real irony is that all three of these YEC solutions do not directly contradict current models of stellar evolution. They all bypass that point one way or another. So what’s the point in AiG’s attempt to cast doubts on the science behind stellar evolution models if the proposed alternatives (however problematic they may be) already allow for the acknowledgement of their validity? It was exactly the point of this thread to point out YEC resources which promote distrust of science. It appears that YEC ministries are even promoting distrust of models (e.g., stellar evolution) which do not threaten their proposals as currently formulated.


#38

To my delight, I just discovered that the the 1976 BBC production of Where Adam Stood, a dramatization of the relationship between Omphalos Hypothesis author Philip Henry Gosse and his son, Sir Edmund William Gosse, who grew to abandon his father’s Plymoth Brethren faith (and perhaps faith in general.) It explores the clash between Darwin’s science and literalistic interpretations of Genesis and the complex dynamics of Gosse’s family dramas and the disastrous “appearance of age” viewpoint which destroyed his legacy as a naturalist, You’ll find it at:


#39

Well, assumptions and conclusions are tied together, but I disagree you cannot reject a set of assumptions. If an assumption is that heavier objects will fall faster, then this can be rejected on the basis of measurements and comparisons. The conclusion will be that the assumption is wrong. But this is only if conflicting causes are removed, such as air resistance, magnetism effects, etc. But even if we don’t know about air resistance or magnetism, we can still reject the assumption that heavier objects fall faster, if we observe a large rock and a small rock to fall at the same speed. And of course, some assumptions are rejected incorrectly sometimes. But the main point is that rejection does not require an immediate or understandable alternative.

As I said, I will not comment further on the potential alternatives. The fact that they do not contradict models of star change is because they do not deny science, but they indicate that what happens today is not necessarily what happened in the past, just as Adam was created as a man, and not as an embryo.


(Jon) #40

Yes, assumptions can be tested. So when you think someone has made unwarranted assumptions, you can prove you are right and they are wrong by performing tests. What tests have you done? Many scientists have done countless tests validating the dating methods you disparage.


#41

Sorry Jon, you are fishing and trolling, and so will not get a response.