Things are not as they seem

@T_aquaticus. To which a good response is:

Who is this voice and why do you trust it over science?
Is it warranted to trust any voice over science?

To be clear, @Mike_Gantt still working out what the voice is saying, which I certainly argue is not insisting he believe in YEC. There is a real conversation about interpretation that is substantive and important. However, I entirely endorse his trust in this voice over science. I think he is interpretation on the age of the earth is wrong, but his trust in correctly placed.

Science is great, but there are greater things.

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I think this point has not been considered seriously in these exchanges.



Yes, I supose it is true that if the Bible were different, you would be an Old Earther for sure.

But nevertheless, as @T_aquaticus has demonstrated, changing the amount of Scientific Evidence is not what would effect the change in your views!

As you say in your own words:

And so this statement by Mr. T, is True, not False:

Your answer is a complete “flip flop” of the meaning of English semantics:

Mr T’s statement was completely accurate.

Let’s assume George invites everyone he knows, including Mike, to his party. Mike says, “George, I’d love to be there but I can’t get off work.” George pleads incessantly for Mike to come, and each time Mike indicates his desire to be with everyone but that his boss seems implacable on the subject even though Mike keeps asking off. At the party, Mr T and perhaps others, ask George, “Where’s Mike?” which answer would more accurately convey reality?

“No amount of pleading will get Mike here.”


“Mike really wants to be here but his work situation won’t allow it.”

There is a very narrow sense in which the first statement might be correct. That is, if George and whoever he’s telling “No amount of pleading will get Mike here” both fully understand that Mike’s employer is the only reason for his absence then it might not be necessary to explicitly mention in the statement the employer’s role.


And even when everyone at the party agreed we can bring the party To Good ol’ Mike, to show how easy it would be… Mikey demurred that all that extra effort would be like bringing more sand to the Beach!

Then Good Ol’ Mikey says no, my employer won’t allow the party on company premises.

So a Pal asks, even if we brought a party bus onto the company parking lot, you wouldnt attend?

If at this point ol’ Mikey said that isn’t accurate… that he is really waiting for The Boss to give him permission…

  1. Mikey just explicitly re-affirmed the pal’s statement that he wouldn’t attend the party even if rolled up to his job.

  2. Mikey still insists that the pal is wrong… he would … somehow attempting to imply if there were more than one bus, or came at the right time, that things would be different.

  3. “…If only The Boss would allow it.” Wha?!

  4. ‘The Boss’ is Mike’s nickname for a book.

  5. Mikey’s co-workers, about 30 million of them, have the same employer… and have read ‘The Boss’ as well. And they have all joined the party even when they had to walk to the party, while some got on the bus when it arrived in the company parking lot.

  6. When they were asked ‘What about The Boss’? Most of them said their Employer doesn’t mind if they are at the party… and that their retirement is still safe and binding.

Rumor has it that Mikey still says his Pal is wrong… that he would get in a bus if it arrived… but only if he can find the page in ‘The Boss’ where it says he can.

  1. There is no such page…and the Pal is still correct that Mikey would Not join the party even if a bus drove up!

Here’s the way I would have said it:

Practically everyone at George’s party believes that Mike is being overly scrupulous about his employer’s wishes - and is, in fact, flat out wrong in interpreting his boss the way he is. In fact, many of these people work for the same employer, are already at the party having fun, and can’t understand for the life of them why Mike is reading the company’s employee handbook in the narrow and unwarranted way that he is. Mike understands their frustration and takes no delight in it; but he’s conscience bound and can’t go unless his conscience is freed. For this reason has his door open to any fellow employees who can show him where he’s misunderstood the relevant handbook provisions.

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What if Mikey had a good Friend who insists that there is a party bus waiting for him in orbit around the Earth? This Friend says the orbiting bus is called “The Firm-Bus-with-adent”.

Even after experts showed the Friend photos of outer space… with no sign of a “Firm-Bus-with-aDent”… the Friend says: “your cameras aren’t good enough”.

And he finally says, even if you flew me up there and showed that even my eyes could not find the Big Bus in the sky, The Boss requires that I ignore any evidence, even overwhelming evidence showing that there is no Big Bus and there has never been one.

How is that Friend any different from Mikey?

In fact, it is hearing about these two zealous witnesses of all things embraced by The Boss, that most new Job-seekers, just in the market, are shocked that there are people who are even willing to reject overwhelming evidence as either an illusion, or a deception, purely on the grounds that they think The Boss requires it.

@Mike_Gantt, I find it hard to believe you so calmly accept being the living exemplar of “book worship going too far” - - discrediting the purpose of The Boss in the eyes of many modern seekers - - while elevating the unknown writers to “demi-divine” status.

Sometimes religious zeal drives a person to say The words that indicate black are really describing white (no matter how much sand is brought to the beach).

I believe that the Bible is the word of God. That said, I do not like the doctrine of inerrancy. The main reason I do not like this doctrine is that it skews the conversation to trivialities (e.g. how many women at the tomb or how many donkeys in the triumphal entry into Jerusalem or whether a mustard seed is the smallest of all garden seeds). But a related, more subtle, and far more important reason I don’t like this doctrine is that promotion of it can obscure the importance of our living Lord.

We do not serve a book. We serve a risen Savior, as the old hymn says. This book testifies of His lordship. It was written by His prophets and apostles whom He encourages us to trust as reliable messengers for Him. Yet all those prophets and apostles wrote to bear witness to a living Lord whom we could worship and love and obey with all our hearts…all day, every day.

We do not serve a dead book; rather, we serve a living Lord…who teaches us to say as He did, “It is written…” and live accordingly. Will we always understand what is written rightly? No. But we must always live according to the best understanding we - in good conscience - have of it.


I have already agreed that you have rejected the scientific evidence because of your religious beliefs. That was the point I was making, that no amount of scientific evidence will convince some YECs because their stance has nothing to do with the evidence.

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Even as an atheist I will happily agree that the Bible can have errors and still be inspired by God. Inspiring humans to write about God will surely produce errors, and that’s fine.

My view is that we can find errors by comparing what we think the Bible says and what the evidence is. I see no reason why the Bible must be sectioned off from what Christians claim God created. The correct interpretation should be the one that reconciles both the Bible and the Creation.

Of course, I say this as an atheist, so feel free to include rather large grains of salt.


Agreed. The question then becomes, acknowledging that it’s possible for us to misinterpret either, shall our understanding of the creation circumscribe our understanding of the Bible or shall our understanding of the Bible circumscribe our understanding of the creation. When the two are in conflict, one must prevail; otherwise, we live indefinitely in the valley of decision.

The phrase I often use to describe this question is “The Map is not the Territory”.

Let’s say that we have a map of Kansas. On that map it shows a 15,000 foot mountain range running right down the middle of Kansas. When we go to Kansas it is completely flat, and there is no mountain range.

So which is right? Is the Map right, or is Kansas right? I guess we could argue that some demon is making us see plains where there are actually mountains, or other such nonsense, but that doesn’t seem like a very good explanation. Somebody could argue that we are misinterpreting the geography right in front of us, but that doesn’t seem like a very good explanation either.

At least for me, if the description of the universe does not match up to the actual universe, then it is the description or our interpretation of that description that is wrong.

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Yes, I’m sure this sounds right to you. You do not serve a dead book.

But to many millions of modern Christians, the idea that you are willing to set aside a virtually unlimited amount of defnitive evidence in order to adhere to an Improbable Reality (ie., a Big Bus in the Sky, a Firmament in the Sky, or that the Earth is only 6000 years old), convinces these modern Christians that your faith is part of a dead worldview - - an inaccurate world view, a worldview that is excessively devoted to erroneous propositions, and so are out-of-step with the current world and the future of the world.

Why do most American Christians react fairly strongly when they find out a friend or co-worker is part of a fundamentalist Mormon community where husbands have more than one wife? The reaction is strong and immediate because modern Christians in America think polygamy is an old and invalid worldview regarding family life and the social meaning of the women specificaly, and individuals in general.

Holding to views that are so diametrically opposed to the information available to modern Christians certainly does nothing to boost the credibility of Mormonism in general, let alone these obscure offshoots.

In my view, Six Day Creationists are just another flavor of the same problem… because these old and invalidated views of the world and the Universe frequently lead to other conclusions that are even more objectionable - - and yet they are impervious to resolution because Evidentiary Data Sets are not seen as relevant to anything these folks do or say.

I can see how that analogy works for you. The territory (Kansas) is reality, and the map (the map of Kansas) is a representation of reality. Obviously, reality should take precedence over any representation of it. For this reason, every so often we’ll see an updated map of Kansas…but Kansas is still Kansas.

For me, the analogy is inadequate both for the creation and the Bible. Creation exists in two dimensions: physical and spiritual. Science can only study the first. As for the Bible, it’s not a representation of reality; it is a communication from the Creator of the reality.

Where your analogy does work for me is in thinking of Christ as the territory and our representations of Him as maps. The Bible is a tool for updating and truing up my map to Him.

That position fails when YECs claim that the physical age of the universe is 6,000 years.

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Yes, you have your stumbling blocks…and I have mine.

I think this is a good way to understand the Scriptures, Mike. They are a map to our Creator and God.

As a corollary to that, I would add that God did not intend for His revelation to be a map of the creation. He has given us the task of creating such a map. That’s an important theme of Genesis chapter 1, as we are commanded to …

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” - Genesis 1:28

Collectively, we (mankind) put this into practice through science, technology, agriculture, etc.

Grace and peace,

Before I address that, I notice that you asked what would be God’s purpose for creating so many things so that they are not exactly and simply as they easily may appear. Well, I see at least two issues there, and one of which you already mentioned: we are fallen. And I, as a YEC, take this to include biologically and neurocognitively. Combined with culturally, that means we all are in serious need of a certain kind of education. I’ve barely just begun mine as a human being, and I’m 50 (and I began it at 5 (five), and began it at full force at 25).

The second issue seems the most palpably obvious to me. The more complex and nuanced is the natural world, including physics, biology, etc., the more, and deeper, and broader are its potential technical applications. Imagine if all these realms were only what they seem to be to some dogmatically ‘practical’ tribe whose level of science and tech is at the Stone Age? Compound this with such a tribe as has been bio-culturally devolved to be very dull-witted to the basics of the natural world, and of procedural thought, and we can forget about nearly everything that, today, we take as the basic-level sense about tech-science.

Now, about what I quoted of you.


The same principle applies for being posed to us YEC’s concerning OEC’s and TE’s. But so far I have not found many (if any) of my fellow YEC’s who will actually put the human beings who are OEC and TE in the same conceptual prime box as these YEC’s ought (and fortunately often do) put themselves.

Even atheists are human beings, and thus who as much bear God’s essential image as any Christian. So even atheists can, and often do, have (not strictly originate) ideas that, while right, or at least partly right, are ideas that many YEC’s (and, I would guess, some OEC’s and TE’s) reject because of the ‘messenger’, so to speak.

On a personal note, I am here right now because of at least one atheist, who I could name, but won’t. It was largely (but not initially nor mainly) due to him that I am a ‘rogue’ version of YEC. He, for reasons that I think he would like to ascribe mainly to his atheism, taught certain things that compounded the reasons why am both very much YEC and ‘rogue’ YEC.

I do not fall in line with certain status quo tenets of most YEC’s. This is precisely because I see these certain tenets as actually, and most profoundly, contrary to Biblically-based YEC (one can image a non-Bible founded YEC). Hence I might be considered by most YEC’s to have 'departed, slightly, from the proper fold."

Here is a sample of what I have to say to my fellow YEC’s that seemingly nearly all of them would call ‘beyond the true fold’:

Every human that ever lived has most naturally wanted to know how the universe and Earth came to be. That is, there is nothing natural, nor right, about avoiding the question, or about having no deep interest in it. And every natural culture centrally wants to know how that Earth works: how it supports life. By no Divine caprice, we human kind were created on a completed living planet, and this in the daytime. This is why the universally normal approach to Genesis chapter 1 sees that it emphasizes Earth as a proper member of the cosmos, as opposed to being alien to it. The analogy to man and woman is thus at least effectively maintained.

So, unless God is shallow or largely arbitrary, all of this implies every profound practical and empirical Providence which a living home in the cosmos can provide. For, though God logically has the power to, He clearly is not of such character as to have created us inside a nearly-windowless, non-rotating space ship in intergalactic space. God is the God of the living and the natural, not of the non-living and the artificial. This is why, when God first appeared to Moses (from within the unaccountably burning bush), He told him not to approach until he had removed his footwear from off his feet (Exodus 3: 3-5).

This all suggests that the order in which the Bible’s first two subjects is presented is that of the narrative analogue to an arrow: ‘heavens’ and ‘Earth’. It also explains why everyone most naturally takes this pair to be (a) the general realm over their heads and (b) the general life-filled realm around them. But more to the point, everyone senses, if only subconsciously, that this order is that of the general context immediately followed by its special subject. In fact, this sense is confirmed by the sole subject of v. 2, and re-confirmed all the way to the climax in Genesis 2:23. And the particular things that Genesis 1:2 says lets every reader know that what they are about to read is not only a cosmology, but one that promises to glorify the Living God in every narrative way possible.

Unfortunately, the universally normal approach to Genesis 1 has often been confused with a passively ‘plain’ approach. The passive approach expects the account to spell out, in the most specific way, every part of the account that its author knows to be crucial to a complete basic understanding of the whole. Clearly this does not work for Genesis 2, as most every skeptic thereof demonstrates. This passively loyal/selfish way of ‘interpreting’ a given text may be amenable to the rote memorization of that text. But no humble author of a real and profound account would rather that his disciples more assent, dogmatically, to his verbatim than to know or to seek his meaning. For, to assent by way of a selfishly passive frame of mind is to risk assenting to (or else ridiculing as interpretively correct) a false impression of some bits of that author’s verbatim. Such can only lead to a loyalty to something that the author would never want his readers to ascribe to himself.

So, in contrast to a passive hermeneutic of Genesis 1 is the natural, life-centric one. The natural one finds that the account is universally accessible and relevant. This is core of ‘YEC’. The problem is the psychological force of what the loyally/selfishly passive approach finds. That approach is the most natural to itself, especially in face of certain seeming oddities in the account. Hence the passive hermeneutic becomes only more passive, more narrow, more simplistic, and thus either more trepidly loyal to its resulting notion of Biblical Theology, or more deeply confirmed in its ridicule of theology-and-Bible as such.

Perhaps one of the first-published espousals of the trepidly loyalistic version of the theology of Genesis 1 is that of Theophilus in the first Century A.D… Theophilus, likely motivated partly by a selfish kind of polemic interest, uncritically interpreted Genesis 1:1, 3 and 14-18 to say that the Sun, Moon, and stars were created days hence of the creation of both Earth and light (Genesis 1:3-19). And, at least with Theophilus himself, if not with persons in earlier centuries, this Days Prior (DsP) interpretation of that light has most commonly been understood to be a genuine oddity; a truly arbitrary order.

This arbitrariness is why Theophilus rationalized it as that of God’s taking a foreknowing preemptive action against the fact that some fallen people would use the natural hierarchy to reject God’s Creator-hood. Specifically: (1) those who favor a godless cosmology appeal ultimately to the perceivable general hierarchy-of-dependence between life and non-life, and (2) God therefore reacted preemptively by creating the two main things thereof in reverse order: Earth and plant life prior to the Sun; and, thus, light itself prior to the Sun.

Recently, in the interest of fully providential, as well as modern polemic, relevance, those such as DeRemer et al (see link below) reason that this seemingly arbitrary order between light and Sun actually is meant to be that of the physics of light. According to modern knowledge of the physics of light, it indeed would be the most natural for God to create light prior to creating any stable luminaries. On this view of the explicit terms of Genesis 1, the ‘light’ of v. 3 is not merely the visible light by which humans see the world, but is the total spectrum of energies that emanate from ‘atomically structured’ matter. This is a compelling finding from Genesis 1:1-3, especially since even plant life is known today to rely on more than just the narrow sub-spectra that are visible to humans. Nevertheless, within the entire account, that is what v. 3 best implies anyway, not some narrowly anthropocentric reading of the Hebrew.

And, within the universally normal reading of Genesis 1, the Days-Prior (DsP) interpretation of ‘light’ easily is unnecessary to a physically correct bio-floration of light. Moreover, the textual possibility for the full naturalization of this DsP interpretation need be thought of as nothing more than the inherent cognates of the universally normative subjects and their order of presentation. Specifically, that the language, subjects, and sequences of the first eight verses may actually be meant to allow a secondary-level, physics-focused, v. 1-appropriate, account within the same text. In fact, it is only by our allowing the universally normal reading that we can find that the account properly addresses every physical realm of human concern: the prime, or main level of meaning being that to life and life-support; and the secondary level being to a universal physics that resides in v. 1. The connection between the two levels, especially by the life-favoring fine-tuning of the cosmological constants, would then reflect the man-woman relation in every way.

DeRemer, F., M. Amunrud, and D. Dobberpuhl. 2007. Days 1-4. Journal of Creation 21, no.3:69-76,






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As as a perhaps uncommon instance of a YEC, I cannot agree.

In my view, God did not mean here that we humans are to impose our own interests on the non-human animals. To me, God meant that we are ever, and otherwise mainly, to be that of which humans are capable in the interest of all life, and thus of both the local and the planetary ecology (Leviticus 26:34-35).

Some of the more respected of my fellow YEC’s have strenuously argued in support of their thesis that the Sabbath is nothing but a token to God’s having created in six days. This they did partly by pointing out that humans have since then found ways, through chemically clever pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and such, to keep the land producing without fallow periods.

I sent that fellow a number of texts, in which I told that fellow that that thesis, and many points that can be used to support it, is as ecologically nuts as it can get.

Your point is two-fold. The explicit half is that, like everyone, you, as a rightfully independent mind must have some kind value hierarchy for testimonial sources of your belief and knowledge. For a person to lack such, that person would be at the whims of one or more of your emotion(s), frame(s) of mind, mood(s), or the next person to say anything to you about anything about which you must have an opinion.

The implicit half is that just alluded: you rightfully are your own person, not something for others to program, brainwash, threaten, bribe, etc., in assenting to, or believing, whatever they want.