Various questions from a YECer new to the forum


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #1

Continuing the discussion from I am afraid God will make me believe in creationism:

Here, I’ll do us all a favor and start a new thread for you. That way everyone can chime in and answer your questions.

Objection: The most science can do is say, “X is not able to be replicated under controlled conditions.” Philosophy can then extrapolate beyond that to say, “It is therefore not likely that X happened.” But as Christians, we can say, “We believe it did happen.” Certain atheistic and/or skeptical philosophies can and certainly do go beyond science to say what cannot happen. Properly speaking, however, this is not science.

Abiogenesis does not really belong with the other two here. There is evidence for the Big Bang (look up cosmic microwave background radiation), and there are enormous heaping mounds of evidence for (macro)evolution (which I suspect many would love to chat about here on the Forum with you), but abiogenesis is something where even cutting-edge scientists admit, not much is known.

[Edited to change “marco-evolution” to “macro-evolution.” EC folks do not (generally) believe in the evolution of Latinos named after the author of the second gospel.]


(Jon Garvey) #2

+1 to A M Wolfe. “Science” and “fantasy” is a false dichotomy based on a scientistic worldview ie one in which everything that is not science is necessarily fantasy.

Outside a scientistic (ie materialist naturalist) worldview, science has necessary limitations, in that is is (as AMW said) about what is reproducible under controlled conditions, and by extension what happens regularly in the real world.

It is not anti-science to say that there are many things that are not regular and predictable occurrences, including not only miracles, but unique things like scientific theories.


#3

Except that you cannot divorce abiogenesis from the evolutionary tale at your whim. Since the atheist does not believe in God or gods, they perforce must believe in abiogenesis, there is no getting away from that.
Now, since the adherents of the evolutionary tale cannot be seen to diverge from it without being seen as pariahs, you yourself cannot dismiss abiogenesis out of hand. You HAVE to accept it. There is no other way, otherwise you are inventing your own story of evolution. Here i’m talking about the birth and evolution of the cosmos, the birth and evolution of stars, galaxies and planets and then finally the abiogenesis of life and its evolution here on earth.
Why would you want to separate abiogenesis from your evolutionary story? Is that because it’s a small matter of inconvenience for you to explain where life came from and then having to resort to “God did it”?


#4

However, it’s of course completely and unacceptably anti-science for anyone who disagrees with your point of view, to point out that Darwinian evolution is a just-so story with zero scientific evidence to back it up - notwithstanding all the claims of “evidence” made by legions of scientists and lay-persons the world over.


#5

Never a truer statement made - of the evolutionary fish tale! So why do you believe it?


(Jon Garvey) #6

And you know my point of view how, exactly?


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #7

@Prode

You are not required to accept the DNA evidence for evolution if for some reason you don’t want to.

However I would think that you would find it important to understand how God created life on this planet starting single celled creatures a long time ago.

It seems to me that God has called us to understand the magnificent Creation God has designed though the evidence that God has left behind.

We do not have to agree on the results, but we need to make a well intentioned effort. This is what BioLogos is about. I hope you will accept this divine challenge without disparaging the efforts of others.


(Christy Hemphill) #8

There are not many atheists who hang out here, so if you insist on approaching everyone as if they are probably atheists, that is going to make dialogue challenging.

Nonsense.

The story of evolution starts after life begins. This is basic. Are you sure you understand what the evolutionary model claims? The “birth and evolution of the cosmos” is commonly referred to as “the Big Bang theory” not “evolution.” And yes, people who believe in evolutionary creation are “inventing their own story of evolution” according to atheist scientists. So what? Why should we not, as Christians, try to integrate the truths we accept as fundamental in God’s revelation in Scripture (God created, continues to create, and sustains and governs the universe) with observable scientific facts?

It is not inconvenient at all to claim God is the author and Creator of life. It is as essential faith claim of Christianity. Again, if all your arguments depend on having an atheistic audience, you’ll need some new talking points here.

Even Christians who think maybe the first cell arose in a way will eventually be explained with reference to natural processes (there are some) still believe God was sovereign over and working through those natural processes.

Yes. because it is a demonstrably false statement to say there is zero scientific evidence to back up evolutionary theory.

We welcome YEC believers here on this forum. We think it is good for everyone to hear other people’s perspectives and be challenged to examine the weaknesses in their thinking and reasoning, and that is more likely when not everyone beats the same drum. But you should be aware that many of the people who frequent these boards have advanced degrees in science or Bible/theology. Some people who have got all their supposedly expert information from creation science ministry websites seem to feel the need to educate others who actually have quite a bit more depth and knowledge on the given topics, and it ends up coming across as condescending and ignorant. Almost everyone here is very familiar with the contentions of people who reject evolution. How about you? Have you ever read up on what the evolutionary model actually claims from a neutral source?

We try to encourage dialogue here more than debate. Dialogue means trying to understand where another person is coming from in order to find common ground and be more empathetic to another person’s views. As Christians, we have lots of common ground and we owe other Christians our love and respect.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #9

Hi Prode,

I’m glad you came back, sincerely. I hope you find what you’re looking for as we discuss these important matters.

Because, as is true of many scientists, atheist and theist alike, it’s truth that I’m looking for. I’m not particularly looking to avoid being a pariah. (If my goal was to avoid being a pariah, do you really think I would want to be an evolutionary creationist in the Evangelical circles I run in? Ha! :slight_smile: )

I love that in the evolutionary creationist view, I don’t have to choose between “God did it” and “God used natural processes to do it.” If a blacksmith uses his hammer and anvil to forge a blade, then when explaining the genesis of the knife, one doesn’t have to choose between “the hammer did it” and “the blacksmith did it.” The two are complementary!

Since I’m about seeking truth, and I don’t have a problem with divine causes and natural causes coinciding, when I come to the question of abiogenesis, I’m perfectly happy saying two things:

  1. From the perspective of current science, I don’t know how it happened. (And by the way, I believe none other than Bill Nye said the same thing in his famous Ham-on-Nye debate, so it’s not just me and my whims admitting this! :slight_smile: )
  2. Theologically, I believe God did it, just as I believe God guided the rest of evolution. At the same time, if (as in the case of descent with modification) someday science provides some hints as to how God may have used natural means to create life, that only shows all the more how glorious our Creator is, as far as I’m concerned.

(George Brooks) #10

@Prode

You should get to know @deliberateresult… he too insists that there is only way to view Evolution - - and that view is an Atheistic one. Of course, he’s wrong about that.

BioLogos exists to explain that a Godly view of the Universe can be compatible with a scientific one. There is no rule in Science that says God cannot exist. And BioLogos is around to remind people of that fact.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #11

I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you use the term “evolutionary fish tale.” Could you explain?

I believe in the truth of evolution (meaning, in its most general of senses, descent with modification over geological time) because it makes sense of an overwhelming amount of converging evidence from a host of scientific disciplines. And I find it to be beautiful and awe-inspiring, drawing me closer to the author of Life whose genius evolution is.

Modern science is not the enemy of Christian faith, my friend. Both Richard Dawkins and Ken Ham are equally wrong on that point. The sooner you learn this, the more you can enjoy science-as-worship, which is truly a wonderful experience. Jump on in — the water’s warm!


(Jay Nelsestuen) #12

Common YEC retort. Evolution says that humans came from fish; can’t you tell it’s a fairy tale?? Those stupid silly scientists!

It’s on the level of “evolution says there is no God.” Poppycock.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #13

I see. Thank you for translating from YECsnarkese into English for me. :slight_smile:

In that case, my previous response to Prode stands. :slight_smile:


(James McKay) #14

I’d just like to add here that many of us on these forums were actually young-earth creationists ourselves once. We are well familiar with the arguments. We went up to university all ready to challenge our lecturers with “Were you there?” We believed that we were called to fight in the battle against evolution and that our science degrees were an ammunition-gathering exercise against it. We had visions of ourselves working as researchers for the Institute for Creation Research or Answers in Genesis, and to discover the killer evidence that would bury evolution and an old earth once and for all.

What happened? Did our lecturers spoon feed us with all sorts of hokey arguments for evolution and then fail us if we didn’t regurgitate them in our exams? Of course not! They simply calmly and quietly showed us the data, and taught us the techniques that scientists use to verify the assumptions that YECs adamantly tell us are unverifiable. We graduated without having gained any ammunition for our fight whatsoever, and having lost most of the ammunition that we started off with.

Trying to convince us that we can’t know anything about the past because we weren’t there, or that scientists make unverifiable assumptions, or that it’s just a presupposition based on an atheistic worldview, doesn’t wash with us, for the simple reason that these claims are are glib, hand-waving, condescending, and demonstrably untrue.

Rather than denouncing us as “compromisers” or “faithless so-called Christians,” you should be giving thanks that we managed to remain in the faith and hold onto what is precious – the completed, saving work of Christ on the Cross – throughout it all. There are a lot of people who don’t.


(Jay Nelsestuen) #15

Excellent response.


(George Brooks) #16

@jammycakes

**All I can say is [[[ Wow]]] [[[Wow]]] [[[Wow]]] . . . slow clapping … **
… then standing while slow clapping …


(Jay Nelsestuen) #17

I must confess, though, that my journey has been exactly the opposite. Originally, I was challenged on my interpretation of Genesis 1. I was taught to read it “literally” (whatever that means) and didn’t think any other view than my own was at all credible, or at least, constituted a faithful reading of the text. Until I was challenged by one of my teachers who espoused the “polemical” view (which is often a variation of the framework hypothesis). Boy, did he rock my world. Only after he showed me that Genesis didn’t need to be interpreted “literalistically” did I think that modern science might have something good to say.

Anyway, you can read more about that in my article if you so desire. But it does go both ways: some of us were challenged scientifically, while others of us were challenged exegetically. Fascinating stuff, I say.

Blessings,
Jay


(George Brooks) #18

@AdCaelumEo

Nice quote from the article!

“Unfortunately, I found him to be telling the truth. He was absolutely right: Genesis 1 does indeed contain an ancient science, an ancient understanding of the cosmos, which I’ve written about before. In Genesis 1:6-8, God creates the firmament (Heb. raqiya) to separate the primordial waters (the “deep” over which the Spirit of God hovered, v. 2). Moses envisioned, as did other Old Testament authors, a hard, dome-like surface to keep the waters above from crashing down on the earth. On day four, God creates the sun, moon, and stars, and places them in the firmament; not above it out in space, but literally in “the firmament of the heavens” (v. 17), the very same place where birds fly (v. 20).”


(Jay Nelsestuen) #19

If you liked that, George, you might find this one interesting as well. :slight_smile:

Blessings,
Jay


(Jon Garvey) #20

Just a general comment to remind people that the vituperous opposition of Scripture to science is a highly parochial issue, being very largely limited to the United States and those countries influenced by them (eg the UK via books and, perhaps, some countries dependent on US missions).

Even in the UK, with its “special relationship” and shared language, there is really little equivalent to the “brought up knowing science is evil and had to rethink it at college” trope that seems so common. There are, of course, varieties of interpretation of both science and Scripture, but it really in the majority world to see belief in evolution as the mark of Cain, nor, for that matter, belief in a literal seven day creation as miltant ignorance.

So just be aware that, to many of us, the arguments are highly reminsicent of the Big Endians and the Little Endians in Gulliver’s Travels - maybe requiring just as radical a solution!