The field of astronomy presents some of the strongest evidence for an ancient universe, simply because of the tremendous number years it would take light to cover these distances (measured in light years!). Arguments have been proposed suggesting that God made the universe in such a way that the light waves from far distant events was already in place. This would indicate that observing a supernova from the Hubble Telescope would be viewing an event that never actually took place.
So yes, with the power of God that transcends physical creation, He certainly could have created a universe that only appears old. I don’t know if I would quite go far enough to say that God would have to be deceitful, but I can certainly understand the argument if someone did claim that.
So, if I understand you, you never even get to the second part of the question (i.e. about God being deceitful) because for you it’s impossible that the earth appear old without actually being old. Right?
It is possible that the Universe was created 5 minutes ago, complete with a false history and false memories that are so perfect we would never know otherwise. Of course, such a Universe would be deceitful.[quote=“Mike_Gantt, post:1, topic:36232”]
Second, if so, would this scenario mean that God has been deceitful about the matter?
Yes. There is absolutely no functional reason why K/Ar, U/Pb, and Rb/Sr ratios in rocks need to match one another in the same geologic formation. There is no functional reason why rocks need uranium radiohaloes. There is no functional reason for creating interacting distant galaxies that are billions of light years away. The only reason to create these things is to create a fake history.
Not only that, but we can observe and record the stars before they go supernova, like SN1987a. If the Universe really were young, this would mean that we can’t even trust the stars we can see because they simply don’t exist.
When fossils were first used to point to an ancient earth, some people said that fossils were placed there by the devil to deceive mankind. That would let God off the hook on one line of evidence. It seems more reasonable to say that the first part of Genesis was borrowed from ANE stories that people were familiar with, retold to define the Hebrew God and His relationship to humans, not to give a modern scientific account of creation.
That’s my view as well. If someone retells one of Aesop’s Fables with modern updates, we don’t think the fable is false simply because those literal events never took place.
I think it is a bit unfortunate that people falsely equate myths with something that isn’t true. Myths are allegories meant to convey a deeper truth, not real historical accounts. When I read “Animal Farm” in 9th grade I never thought that there was a real farm somewhere run by the farm animals, and farm animals that could spell. If someone said that they had to believe sheep talked because they read it in “Animal Farm”, I would rightly conclude that they missed the entire purpose of the book.
One of the victims of modernity may be our acceptance of cultural myths as a means of transmitting cultural history from one generation to the next. I, for one, would love to go back to ancient times and hear a recitation of the Iliad around a campfire.
I know that some YECs argue that a mature creation would not be deceptive because it would need to have a certain amount of maturity in order for it to function correctly.
However, the problem is that we’re not just looking at a mature creation, but a mature creation with evidence for a series of events having happened in the past at very specific times and in very specific places. For example, the K/T event which killed off the dinosaurs has been dated to 66,038,000 years ago with a margin of error of just eleven thousand years — that’s one part in six thousand. I struggle to see what kind of benefit could possibly come about from dates that can be pinpointed with that level of accuracy.
Thanks for that Mike. Other than the scientific evidence you have been discussing, let me reflect on the character of the deity in question. The entire tone of the Bible reflects Elohim’s character that abhors a lie.
On the other hand, Allah in the Qur’an says (From my friend and former college roommate, Jay Smith, a Qur’anic scholar of some note. )
Other gods lie too. Most of the ancient gods lied, stole, murdered, committed perversions with humans (male and female) and animals. Not somebody I’d prefer to worship.
Most YEC would not make that detailed an analysis of the character of God. After all, if you are unable to see Genesis as an ancient book and not a science text, the Character of God is not to be questioned.
I this post looks odd, I am trying to quote from a document in my possession.
None of those are valid examples because the wrong interpretation is only a product of the wrong perspective. Viewed from the right perspective the truth is transparent. There’s no deception involved, no attempt to conceal the facts.
This is hair splitting, but my answer remains the same.
The earth does not appear flat from space, nor when observed on earth from positions of various heights. It only appears flat when viewed from one perspective, not from every perspective. The earth does not appear stationary when viewed from space or other perspectives. Objects do not appear “solid” in the sense to which you appear, when viewed from different perspectives. This is why most of these issues were resolved in the pre-modern era, just by changing perspective.
Because the wrong interpretation is only a product of the wrong perspective. In the case of the age of the earth and universe, they look old from EVERY perspective. While YECs have to try and invent reasons why the earth and universe look old, scientists don’t need to invent reasons why it looks young. Everyone agrees IT DOES NOT LOOK YOUNG FROM ANY PERSPECTIVE.
I share your disdain for hair-splitting; my purpose was different. I wanted to make clear, to you as well as to others, that my questions genuinely sought yes or no answers, which could then lead to discussion; that is, they were not rhetorical questions intended to score points, as could have been inferred from your initial response to them.
I agree with all this. Can we be sure, however, that science and technology won’t bring new and unforeseen perspectives to future generations just as they have brought perspectives to us that were unforeseen by the ancients?
I would not have answered them. The fact that I took them seriously and responded to them proved I didn’t think they were rhetorical, I read them as genuine.
If I had thought your questions were rhetorical[quote=“Mike_Gantt, post:19, topic:36232”]
Can we be sure, however, that science and technology won’t bring new and unforeseen perspectives to future generations just as they have brought perspectives to us that were unforeseen by the ancients?
Do you mean “Can we be sure that science and technology won’t bring new and unforseen perspectives that prove the earth isn’t round after all, it’s actually flat”?