Paul warns in 1 Tim 1 against presuming to teach that which you neither know nor understand, and in I Cor 15 is appalled at the idea of being a false witness for God. Likewise, Job warns his friends that God does not approve of partiality, even of being partial to God. Truly biblical science is not making up science to match one’s interpretation of the Bible. It is carefully examining the data and seeing what the best match is to the data, while being open to the possibility of better explanations. Creation science proclaims itself to be biblical, but many of its claims have nothing to do with anything in the Bible. Other claims seek to justify their interpretations, but do not follow biblical guidelines, particularly the requirements for honesty. Thus, young-earth creationism is put above both the Bible and science.
It is not putting science ahead of the Bible to insist that claims about science be scientifically accurate. Rather, that is putting the command not to bear false witness ahead of our own desires to be right. If the scientific evidence does not support your position, you can admit that while holding the position for other reasons. Making false claims of scientific support for your position shows that you value the appearance of scientific support more than honesty, which is putting science ahead of the Bible.
If you consider the Bible to be authoritative, it is essential to do your best to understand what it says on its own terms, not imposing your own views on it. Part of this task is to understand, as well as we can, what the words meant to the original audience. It is silly to claim that “The apostles were all in one accord” means that they were crowded into a Honda, for example. That claim is based on the English word coinciding with a brand name created long after the writing of the King James version, much less the Greek original of Acts. No-one is likely to actually attempt to build theology on that, but there are plenty of examples of people invoking misunderstanding of the outdated English of the KJV in support of some claim. Examining the Hebrew shows that “earth” (eretz or adamah, depending on which verse) usually means “land” – a particular region, not the whole world (of which the ancient Hebrews only knew about a small part). So the words alone are no proof that the flood was global. II Peter has the only New Testament reference to the extent of the Flood; the word there is kosmos. Although at least one young-earth source has claimed that sedimentary deposits on Mars were produced by Noah’s flood, claiming that the whole cosmos (in the modern English sense) was flooded is not reasonable. The most common sense of kosmos in the NT is “world” in a negative spiritual sense, i.e . humanity united against God, which does not give a precise geography. (Carol Hill’s book A Worldview Approach to Science and Scripture has much more extensive discussion on these sorts of issues, as one handy source.)
To make a good argument, you need to stick with one topic, rather than continually throwing out additional claims. Also, you should consider the significance of the pattern when multiple young earth claims all prove to be wrong, rather than merely moving on to “what about the next one” without listening to the feedback on the previous one.
Genesis records Noah coating the ark with pitch, otherwise known as thick, gunky oil – oil deposits did exist before the Flood. The idea that the deposits were created in place does not require a commitment to predestination, but it does raise significant theological problems in that it makes God seem to be deceptive. It also admits that the appearance of geologic layers does not support a young-earth position. Appeal to apparent age is not enough; a young-earth position implies apparent history. For example, turning the water to wine at Cana produced wine resembling a year’s work by a grapevine. There’s no avoiding that apparent age if wine is miraculously made instantaneously. But the wine would not need to include authentic traces of bugs and dirt to mimic normally-formed wine, nor a label proclaiming “Chateau Naboth, 6 BC”. Those would be traces of a fictional history, unnecessary for the essential function of being wine. (In fact, lacking bugs and dirt might partly account for why it was deemed the best wine.) Likewise, geology doesn’t merely give evidence that the rocks under me at the moment are about 400 million years old. It gives evidence that they follow a long sequence of events such as plate movement and erosion, and experienced a long series of events after they formed, including deep burial, squashing in a plate collision, metamorphosis, erosion, stretching and breaking in plate separation, and accumulation of many more layers. Claiming that the radiometric dating is off doesn’t do anything to explain the sequence of events – it’s not just age, but history, that must be explained by a credible model of earth history.
Of course, God could use a miracle to preserve ocean and freshwater life. But the only purpose of that miracle is to explain away why a violent global flood of the sort imagined in flood geology doesn’t destroy aquatic life; it does not serve a useful purpose as a theological sign pointing to God. Jesus refused to give a sign to entertain idle curiosity or unreasonable skepticism. Nor was turning stones to bread as an easy way out of hunger an acceptable option. Miracles are not for mere convenience.
The fact that the “parrot” fossil is so small is a reason why it is not going to be on display, not a reason to dismiss it. I regularly work with much smaller fossils. But the fact that the supposed parrot record is based on only a single tiny bone (from a beak) does make it much more likely that it could be a mistake than if it were more substantial material, such as multiple parts from a single skeleton (or other bones from additional skeletons). Again, the original article claimed that the fossil had unique features of a specific group of parrots, but the authors never followed up with proof, and quite similar bones are now known to be part of various dinosaurs, so the record is not credible. Similar problems affect the other claims of modern birds alongside the dinosaurs – most have been reidentified as belonging to other groups; one or two may be authentic early representatives of modern groups.
As to the hominid remains, there are at least three young-earth claims that I have encountered which might fit what you are thinking of. Sadly, none of them present the evidence accurately. The claim of modifying ape and human bones to make them fit together sounds like the Piltdown fake, where an old orangutan jaw and human skull were altered to fit together and look old. But that was designed for publicity by a habitual forger of archaeological and geological finds, not to prop up evolution. Although 14C dating in 1953 is what finally proved that Piltdown had to be fake, it was already suspect because it did not match with the growing authentic fossil evidence of early hominids from Africa and Asia. The closest hominid parallel to the “parrot” is “Nebraska Man”. A worn tooth resembling a hominid back molar was found in Nebraska. A paleontologist not noted for caution published it as an ape in 1922, but in five years it was retracted as better material showed that it was a peccary. Pigs, peccaries, and humans all have rather similar molars in light of our shared omnivorous diet. No young-earther or antievolutionist had anything to do with demonstrating that either of those were wrong; both were corrected by further research within conventional paleontology. Young-earth sources cite both of these long-disproven claims as casting doubt on the reliability of conventional paleontology, while ignoring the many disproven claims made in support of young-earth views. A third type of young-earth claim about hominid fossil remains is the untrue claim that the fossil record of hominids generally is based on hardly any material. The loss of the original Peking Man material during World War II, for example, is often insinuated as being a coverup for the material being bogus in some fashion. Besides the fact that there was plenty of destruction in China during WWII, there are plenty of more recent finds of additional material of similar age and form from China. The number of known specimens of prehistoric hominids has grown rapidly with increasing research effort. It is true that many individual specimens are quite fragmentary, but others are relatively good, such as the “Lucy” specimen, generally assigned to Australopithecus afarensis . [There is appreciable debate over exactly where to draw the line between different kinds – do you split or lump variation? Where should divisions be drawn within a population that is changing over time? Such uncertainty is expected under an evolutionary scenario, but not if the different forms were separately created and did not do any evolving.] Here the “credit” does go to young-earth advocates, but it is credit for creating inaccurate claims that slander paleoanthropology, not for doing any valid research to check their claims.
The claim of Precambrian pollen is not true, either. The cited paper by Stainforth (1966) reporting pollen from the Precambrian Roraima Formation was followed the next year by an analysis showing that it was volcanic ash, not pollen: J. B. ALLEN Pyroclastic Origin of Supposed Microfossils in the Roraima Formation, Guyana. Nature 215: 1261–1262 (1967). Why do the young-earth sources ignore that?
Curiously, the arguments claiming that modern organisms found alongside dinosaurs are a problem for evolution make the exact same bad premises as the arguments in the Pauline Authorship thread claiming that references to advanced church government show that parts of the New Testament must be late. First, both arguments rely on an Enlightenment-style pseudoscientific assumption of a fixed pattern of progress. Second, both arguments falsely presume that some level of similarity proves that the older example is identical to the later form. In reality, neither human history nor organismal history follows fixed patterns, no matter how much Marx or Hegel or Lamarck or Wellhausen or Haeckel or Ham may claim that they do.
“Finding advanced creatures like a platypus or beaver-like mammals preserved with the dinosaurs presents difficulties for evolution but is in complete harmony with the creation account in Genesis.”
No; these finds are fully compatible with evolution, which in turn is in harmony with the creation account in Genesis. But Genesis, the fossil record, and evolution are incompatible with the creation account of modern young-earth imagination. Platypus are specialized in some ways with their toothless beak and other adaptations for aquatic life, but are remarkably primitive in many ways such as laying eggs, being less warm-blooded, having only moderately developed milk delivery, lacking a specialized sex chromosome, etc. Fossil platypus have teeth, providing an evolutionary connection back to more primitive forms that lived alongside the dinosaurs. “Beaver-like” refers to Castoricauda , which is an improvement on the young-earth sources that dishonestly claim that it is a beaver. It’s a swimming mammal with a large, flat tail, but that’s all the similarity to beavers; in reality it represents a quite distinctive and primitive group of mammals and is not at all close to modern beavers.
Note also that, by claiming that finding these in the same layers as dinosaurs is significant, you are admitting that all the young-earth claims that deny the reality of the layers are untrue. If it is possible to tell that Castoricauda lived alongside dinosaurs, then geologic correlations are valid, and if geologic correlations are valid, there is too much geologic history for a young-earth position to be true.
Similarly, the evidence that references to appointing bishops or elders in Acts or epistles refers to a situation identical to the bishops of the early 2nd century AD is lacking. On the contrary, the picture in the New Testament is much less complex and developed than the picture of church government that we get from church fathers.
But there is also no particular reason why a more centralized and hierarchical church government system could not have been established in some places in the mid-first century AD. Centralized, hierarchical government systems had existed for thousands of years before that; someone could easily have gotten the idea to try that in the church at any time.
Likewise, the reason that a Precambrian rabbit would be a problem for evolution is not because the Precambrian is so long ago. In principle, there’s no reason why rabbits could not have existed much earlier in geologic time (assuming that we also have suitable habitat and food equally early). Rather, a Precambrian rabbit would be a problem because we have an extensive fossil record indicating that the first true mammals were less than half as long ago as the Precambrian, and the first distinct rabbit relatives much later. A rabbit in the Precambrian is not out of sequence relative to dinosaurs, but is out of sequence relative to its own ancestors, as well as to the ancestry of its food. The time gap between the last dinosaurs, like T. rex , to today is less than the time gap going back from T. rex to the middle of dinosaur time (say, Stegosaurus ). Mammals had many tens of millions of years to develop into dog-sized predators or flat-tailed swimmers long before the end of the dinosaurs. The main groups of modern mammals, however, radiated within the ten million years or so after the dinosaurs were out of the way. [I think that “birds are descended from dinosaurs” and “mammals are descended from synapsids” conveys the situation better to the average person than calling birds dinosaurs and all synapsids mammals, despite what cladists say.]
“While certainly not Precambrian, a fossilized rabbit discovered in India is supposed to be 53 million years old, quite close to the time evolutionists think dinosaurs were still alive.
The 53 million year old rabbit ancestor is just when it’s expected to be showing up based on evolutionary evidence, but far from where it should be under standard young-earth models. Claiming that a 12 million year difference is “quite close” is not too unusual for a geologist, but not very compatible with young-earth claims.
“The discovery of vascular wood and six-legged, composite-eyed insects in the Precambrian salt deposits of the Salt Range in Pakistan is also highly problematic for evolutionists.”
The discovery that this claim has been thoroughly demonstrated to be based on contamination is highly problematic for the credibility of creation science. These days, it is easy to do a few minutes searching online and find information, yet young-earth sources routinely repeat debunked claims without ever mentioning that a response exists. Furthermore, salt deposits are incompatible with flood geology – they require a salt lake or branch of the ocean separated from the ocean and drying out.
The polonium halo argument is likewise bad. First, note that, in order to be able to accurately identify polonium halos in rocks, it is essential that the laws governing radioactive decay have not changed. (For that matter, any significant change to the laws governing radioactive decay makes it impossible for atoms to exist.) Second, the original polonium halo claims and the revised version in the RATE project are incompatible. Gentry originally claimed that the halos were signs of instantaneous creation of all granites, in the creation of the earth. That creates an apparent age scenario, as many granites are younger than many layers that most young-earthers try to credit to the Flood. The RATE project has them forming around the time of the flood and thus not apparent age. The reality is that the details of halo formation are not fully understood; they have features that are not explained by anyone, YEC or not. But the rocks containing the halos are not pristine granites as Gentry claimed; they all show evidence of alteration by uranium-rich groundwater, which could easily add polonium. As an argument for a young earth, the polonium halo claim is no good.
You have not given any reason to support your claims that your interpretations of Genesis are correct, merely dismissing alternative interpretations. That does not make you sound very credible.
Pine trees were not particularly available in ancient Mesopotamia; petroleum was.
Your replies have increasing numbers of mistakes. “Do you have evidence from historical writings of the exact quantity of parent elements from which any of the isotopes used in measuring age were?” The exact quantity of parent elements from which the daughter isotopes derive is obvious - one atom of parent decays into one atom of the daughter element. It is necessary to do tests to determine what the original concentration of daughter isotope was, but that’s not what you said. “No one with any credibility focus on simply the byzantine text for doctrine” The Byzantine text is one textual tradition for the New Testament text, which has nothing to do with telling how to properly interpret the words of the text that aren’t in dispute.
To sum up, not one of the young-earth claims demonstrates any serious effort to look up the evidence or represent it accurately. Such carelessness does not obey the Bible’s many admonitions to honor God by doing good work. The young-earth model proved not to work roughly 250 years ago. Over the past 200 years, YEC research has completely failed to find a single good argument. If one genuinely tests the evidence based on biblical authority, you conclude that the earth is ancient. Satan is the father of lies; on that criterion it is the young-earth model that is satanic.