Todd Wood on Exploring Creation's Hardest Problems

Has anyone read Todd Wood’s book “The Quest: Exploring Creation’s Hardest Problems”? Looks like an interesting read: knowing his reputation for being an honest and well-informed young-earth creationist who’s willing to admit to all the “gobs and gobs and gobs” of evidence for evolution, it would be interesting to see what he in particular makes of all the problems facing young-earth theory.

Anyone read it? Any thoughts?

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Greetings, @jammycakes!

I have read the book, and I thought it was great (well-worth the read)! I will try to collect some of my thoughts later, but, in the meantime, are there any specific topics covered in the book that you would like to hear my thoughts on?

Thanks for posting this!

-Jonathan

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Greetings once again! As promised, here are some of my observations:

  1. The book is both optimistic and inspiring. The “problems” are interesting (and difficult) questions to be investigated rather than insurmountable deal-breakers to young-earth theory.
  2. Ultimately, Wood appears to be much more interested in discovering the truth about God’s creation than he is in simply proving evolution wrong.
  3. Two parts of the book that I found particularly interesting were Wood’s discussion of theistic evolution and his short (but sweet) response to the term “pseudoscience.”

Once again, I really enjoyed the book, and I think that it is well worth reading. I would be happy to expand on any of my basic observations above if anyone is interested.

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Thanks Jonathan. As a matter of interest, what problems in particular did he mention?

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Is there anything that could ever be insurmountable deal breakers to young-earth theory? I think that every piece of evidence can be accommodated within that umbrella, especially if we permit God to supernaturally do things. If there’s a galaxy that has a trail of gas 400,000 light years long, no problem, that didn’t actually happen but God made it look like it happened.

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Or maybe NASA made it look like it happened. To quote a friend of mine on Facebook the other day:

this picture is not real. It’s an artists impression of what they think is there. Most space “photographs” are. The real images from the Hubble space telescopes are a series of tiny dots that are then interpreted and then artists create an image

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Lol. Here was the Galaxy I was thinking of for reference:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2014/eso137/

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I bought the Kindle version and I’ve started reading it. I’ve finished chapter 3 and find it quite interesting.

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According to Ken Ham, no, there is nothing that would change his mind about earth’s age, so it’s really not an issue of science at all. I’d be curious whether Dr. Wood has the same view on that as Ham.

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Well, Dr. Wood flat out says that the evidence in God’s creation can be construed as pointing to evolution and an ancient earth. So, since evolution and an old earth explain the data well, he submits that solid model-building will be at the core of “the quest.” Wood argues that creationists will need a very strong model (otherwise, people will never abandon the old evolutionary one).

Anyhow (to actually address your question :wink: ), in chapter 8 of the book, Dr. Wood goes through the “hardest questions” in different scientific fields. Specifically, he wonders how we can see distant starlight, he wonders why there are patterns in radiometric dating, he wonders why living things share similarity, and he also shares some of his his thoughts on anthropology. Once again, though, the book is an optimistic one. These questions are not simply idle wondering or insurmountable obstacles. They are hard problems waiting to be solved!

@Jammycakes, I seriously think you should check the book out! Todd Wood has a refreshing perspective, and I would be very curious to hear what you think of it! (An added benefit of reading the book would be that you would not have to rely on my personal analysis of it :wink: ).

@aarceng, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts as well!

(P.S: I would gladly hear the thoughts of @EvolvingLutheran, @mlkluther, and other Biologos friends as well. :slight_smile: )

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Hey Jonathan! Nice to chat with you here! :slight_smile:

While Dr. Wood’s testimony in regard to evolution and age is encouraging (certainly more so than Ken Ham’s), it still seems to lack the classic ability to see any other perspective, as shown by the evidence, to be the truth. Based upon your recommendation, though, I’d love to read the book. I sincerely hope that Dr. Wood will spend plenty of time articulating what he means by can be construed as pointing to one thing or another, though.

EDIT: Purchased and will arrive September 3… :slight_smile:

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Greetings, @Michael_Callen! It is good to see you here as well! :smiley:

I’m glad you are going to give it a read! At any rate, I don’t think the book will disappoint your sincere hopes as Todd Wood’s original articulations are (as a rule) more in-depth than my attempts to paraphrase his points :wink: .

I look forward to hearing your thoughts as you read!

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Thanks very much for the recommendation, Jonathan. I look forward to discussing it with you!

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THE QUEST TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE

See, that’s a big myth about creationists. Our critics, including theistic evolutionists, look at us and think that we just take every word of the Bible literally. For them, it seems like their only alternative to Galileo’s accommodation is sort of a bone-headed, ham-fisted literalism. They wonder why we don’t stone disobedient children or butcher cities full of Canaanites. I’m not kidding, either. I’ve talked to more theistic evolutionists than I can count, and they don’t understand us at all. The definitely don’t understand how we view the Bible.

I don’t understand what the “that” is that’s a big myth. Can you clarify what you are pointing to?

Personally, I would struggle much less with understanding the YEC position if adherents did take every word of the Bible literally. It is the tendency to be absolutely literal whenever it fits that is is challenging to me, personally. Why not demand an eye for an eye, literally, when you demand that everything was made in six 24-hour days, the creation was perfect, no death of any kind existed before the fall, and the flood was planet-wide?

Do you see how many of us can struggle with the insistence that there is no flexibility regarding some fundamental issues, but there is regarding others as you suggest? Possibly I misunderstand you, so please clarify if so.

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@aarceng I think you may have posted this on the wrong thread. If this is the case you may want to send a message to the moderators to ask them to move it to the right place.

Chris, we know fine that you don’t take the Bible literally everywhere. The problem is that you only take the Bible literally when it suits your young-earth doctrine to do so. That’s what all the comment about the recent Answers in Genesis article on a flat earth was all about. YECs will happily admit that Genesis 1 contains literary, phenomenological, poetic or metaphoric language when talking about the shape of the earth, but if we apply those exact same principles to the exact same verses when talking about the age of the earth, we get labelled a “compromiser” or “professing Christian” (a snide way of saying “I’m not saying you’re not really a Christian but you’re not really a Christian”) or accused of “speaking with the voice of the serpent” or whatever. It’s a double standard and that is where the problem lies.

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Nope. It is in fact a quote from The Quest by Todd Wood, the very book referenced by @jammycakes at #1.

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Ah, OK I see. Thanks for clearing that up.

For future reference, if you’re quoting a book on a forum anywhere, could you make it clear that’s what you’re doing? (You can do so on this forum by writing [quote] at the top of your markup and [/quote] at the bottom.) Just to avoid confusing us, that’s all…

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I’ve usually encountered this from atheists. Do you get it from TE’s yourself?

As an EC, worshiping with many YEC’s, I completely understand why they don’t advocate those things. It’s for the same reasons I don’t. We’re on the same page on most things. Differing on how we interpret Genesis 1-11 doesn’t affect the way we worship or the way we act as Christians or the way we rightly handle the word of truth in most matters.

I also think those are bad examples, because they are supposed to be taken literally. They’re just not commands for Christians. We’re under a new covenant. Christ fulfilled the old law that included stoning disobedient children, and that’s not just a child disobeying a little bit - the description is more than that. We’re not being told by God to take out nations today. Those instructions were specifically for the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land, and those instructions were for a purpose, which the Israelites did not obey, to their ruin.

I don’t see any similarity between those things and taking Genesis 1-11 as plain literal reading. :woman_shrugging: I personally understand you better than that, even though we disagree on age of the earth and evolution. :slight_smile:

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No I don’t. Apparently Todd Wood has had different experiences.