New Article: Thinking Creationist

(Phil) #25

X[quote=“James1, post:24, topic:40486”]
Hmm, I just watched the trailer and I’m thoroughly confused…

Yes it does leave you wondering just what the movie is about as it really heavily quotes YEC positions. I think it sort of click-bait like, but quite effective as I am left wanting to see the movie all the more.

Enjoyed the article, and I have heard others say they also look at the issues through two lenses. (English is sometimes weird, as an aside. Lens, lense, lenses). I also tend as see things in two different ways, looking at the flood account as if it is literal on one hand during a discussion, then switching to a more symbolic understanding. I never was immersed in the YEC culture in the same way, but can see how that same process would be more pronounced.

(David MacMillan) #26

It’s a subroutine in the back of my head. You know how someone will be telling you a story about being in line at the store, but they’re not a very good storyteller and so they didn’t tell you the specific store, and you subconsciously substitute the most familiar store you can think of? It’s a little like that. I still only have about 3500 years of “headspace” to fit the events of recorded history. Mention of a superbug “evolving” still feels wrong, like I should question it. I still view stars as if I am looking at recent events rather than looking billions of years into the past.

The documentary features extensive interviews with YECs. They cut out a lot of my commentary (and probably Dan’s as well) because they wanted YEC to be presented in its own words. I think they knew how prone Ken Ham is to playing the martyr and accusing detractors of taking him out of context.

Because of that, the film should play equally well with many different audiences. People unfamiliar with creationism will be shocked by what they hear, while people sympathetic to creationism will be forced to confront the absurdities and contradictions without feeling attacked (since it’s coming straight from the horse’s mouth). I’m still amazed at how much access they got.


I see. Not being too familiar with what’s going on down there with the ark, it’s a bit sad and shocking but hopefully some good will come out of it. Go big or go home-- they ain’t going home.
Yes it’s true, we are not naturally equipped to think at scales of billions-- it’s supernatural.

(Robin) #28

Thanks for the article reference, James. I have settled into somewhat of a truce with those who adhere to views on the age and formation of the Universe that differ from mine. I see that what we have in common is a belief in the wonder of all creation and the implication that this life we share came from Someone somehow. The disagreements are in the area of “how,” along with a perception (on the part of some) that there is an attack on a theological world view and the value of the Bible if one acknowledges a universe that is older than the one that some subscribe to.

Many of those in the YEC camp are fine people who seek in various ways to apply their faith to daily life. This does not imply perfection on their part, and it also does not mean that EC or OE people do not also have those intentions.

I shifted from YEC to another position because it no longer seemed justifiable to me. I could not accept what science, history, or archaeology (etc) had to say that corresponded to, or validated, a biblical detail – and then dispute or argue against data that seemed to go another way. It seemed a bit inconsistent.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #29

The same thing happens to me… all the time! I would have loved this article as a YEC:
Seagrass digestion by a notorious ‘carnivore’

A shark that can sort of digest plants! Clearly this should be interpreted as evidence that every predator used to eat plants just a few thousand years ago. Of course now I would ask, are there remnants of genes for digesting plants in all obligate carnivores? Such a dramatic change would be detectable within their genomes. And there are some genes that are universally shared amongst mammals but they’re not for digesting plants but rather insects!

(Christy Hemphill) #30

About the “feeling wrong” part… For a long time when I would read science books to my kids, and I was reading about “millions and years” and how “so and so is the ancestor of such and such” and something “evolved the ability to whatever,” and when we would watch BBC nature shows and David Attenborough would wax eloquent about the evolutionary history of some species, I had the same feeling inside as talking about sex in front of my parents. I knew it wasn’t wrong, but it was just not comfortable. I’ve mostly gotten over it at this point, but it’s crazy how visceral a reaction you can have to facts if you have held a paradigm that evolution and “millions of years” are inherently evil ideas for a long time.

(Phil) #31

I have similar feelings with family and grandkids. I think a lot of it is knowing that they are immersed in a church culture that is still heavily YEC, and the material presented puts them in conflict with all the resulting drama. I am pretty conflict adverse, and I find that uncomfortable.
For the same reason, if someone makes a comment at church with the usual YEC talking points that misrepresent EC, I seldom correct them as it does not seem productive or appropriate. Or maybe I am just chicken.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #32

I think this is a good part of it for a lot of us (at least this applies to me too). And while there may be a “just chicken” aspect to that, a more favorable light that I think it could be seen in is also just the notion of being kind - as in “treading lightly”. As aggressively provocative as Jesus was to the religious elites of his day, there was also the “bruised reed he would not break, and the smoldering wick he would not snuff out” aspect of Jesus too that I think speaks to his gentleness toward the weak. In some (usually capitalistic or corporate) settings in America aggression / blunt-speak / steady eye-contact are all celebrated as a desirable traits that mean you are direct, honest, confident, and competent. But people from these environs often mistake / misread people (especially from other parts of the world - but even here in the U.S. too) when they are distressed (after a job-interview for example) that some candidate did not make as much direct eye-contact as they would have liked. What they fail to realize is that in many cultures (even here in the U.S. too!) direct eye-contact would be a disrespectful aggression or even violation of your neighbor’s personal space. It would be as if I’m wanting to impose my will on somebody else with domination or intimidation (in corporate America! surely not – say it isn’t so!) Anyway, you get the point.

So this is a long way of observing that it isn’t out of place for Christians to have cultivated in themselves a kind of humility that would blush - or even be horrified at the thought of attempting to crush another’s world-view or impose on them an allegedly superior one - and all the more so if there is a power disparity between the two. So I argue that it is not a bad thing that we may be so sensitive to those individuals around us who, like us, are growing in such ways that we “feel their offense” in such empathetic ways.

There is an American joke: How can you tell a Canadian extrovert from an introvert?

Answer: The Canadian extrovert stares at your shoes instead of his own.

Aggressive debaters probably imagine that this is poking fun of the “timid”, (and in the minds of some, I’m sure it is) - but what they are failing to realize is the potent judgment they themselves have levied against them and have shown themselves in fact, not even ready to hear the truth about themselves in this regard.

(Phil) #33

By the way, while we do not have a discussion post open on it yet, I just read the article Kathryn Applegate wrote and it ties in closely with the subject, and gives hope with the progress made in the last 10 years:


I see. Not being too familiar with what’s going on down there with the ark, it’s a bit sad and shocking but hopefully some good will come out of it. Go big or go home-- they ain’t going home.
Yes it’s true, we are not naturally equipped to think at scales of billions-- it’s supernatural.

(Ronald Myers) #35

People can eat insects and locusts are even considered kosher. It is likely that people in various cultures have supplemented their diet with insects. My cats chase and presumably eat insects. Since insects live on plants it would be advantageous for a herbivore to be able to digest the insects that they inadvertently eat. So there is reason to keep these genes.

(Phil) #36

No doubt. But the interesting thing is that we have broken copies of genes for insect digesting enzymes that we do not make, indicating the in our genetic past, an ancestor used to make and use that enzyme.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #37

Righto. Some 2 billion people around the world regularly consume insects:

The significance of pseudogenes though is that:

  • Fossil evidence suggests the earliest mammals consumed insects
  • There are five chitinase digesting genes and placental mammals that are insectivorous have all five
  • Herbivores, like sloths, elephants, manatees, fruit bats, horses, rhinos, camels and rabbits, and carnivores, such as tigers, polar bears, walruses and dolphins, have remnants of at least one of these genes
  • Where mammals are thought to be more closely related, they happen to share more similar mutations in these regions of the gene
  • Humans have three chitinase pseudogenes with two of them sharing the same deactivation mutations as monkeys and apes