47 posts were split to a new topic: Is the electric universe idea legit?
Not to mention hermeneutics or exegesis (pick your term ; - ).
Preaching bad science and bad exegesis certainly does not. It makes Christianity and our God subjects of ridicule before the world.
Amazingly, Augustine spoke directly to that, almost two millennia ago:
Yes, so who determines bad science and bad exegesis? I agree with Augustine to not affirm rashly (or strongly) either BioLogos views or YEC/AIG views of science or theology, but rather engage in dialogue that builds the kingdom and gives ultimate glory to God. While readers here may think I pick sides and imply a position, my concern is more about staying on the narrow path to heaven. I am reminded that “few there be that find it.” What brings life, peace, love and joy? Sometimes it may be challenging worldviews and big narratives that are typically blindly followed by the masses to give perspective and attempt a conversation to focus back to our Creator God.
Again, I’m no theologian, or educated scientist. Just making my way among the people around me, but knowing that I believe in Jesus and want to be on that narrow path.
I do as well (I’m a septuagenarian), but that kind of distracts from the topic at hand, namely YEC ‘science’ and badly mistaken presuppositions, resulting the diminution of God’s honor before the world.
WYSIWYG. As for Russia neutralizing Ukraine, that needs it’s own thread and I’m amazed that no one has raised one. I’m intrigued at how you bring the perception of flesh-tearing to my comment.
Ah, Ukraine thread.
Well bad science is anything that doesn’t obey the rules of science. And the rules of science are well established because they get applied in Real World contexts to Get Things Done.
Science (especially the physical sciences) is a set of exact subjects that are very mathematical and technical, easy to get wrong, and tricky to get right. It yields very precise results that leave little or no room for interpretation. In most cases, getting things wrong has consequences. In some cases, getting things wrong can end up killing people.
Biblical exegesis, on the other hand, falls under the category of arts, humanities, and social sciences. It concerns the vagaries of humans and other living beings, and as such it does leave some things much more open to interpretation. Having said that, there are limits. You couldn’t just say that the Hebrew word bereshith (“in the beginning”) meant Heathrow Airport, for example.
I think it is important to note that in theology (just like in science) consensus matters and there is a process for vetting interpretations. It’s not a free for all. If people have an idea what a passage means or how it applies, it’s not enough to just cite a Bible verse and declare one’s interpretation valid. There is a body of relevant consensus scholarship in languages, history, and literary studies that applies, as well as 2,000 years of church tradition and teaching that can’t just be overthrown lightly. Bible scholars and theologians also have to put their ideas forward for peer review.
I think it dangerous to state that any truth can be arrived at by consensus. Truth is. It is not governed by any human thought or concept. That must apply to Biblical interpretation, and any Scientific theory, hypothesis, or deemed truth. (And IMHO Evolutionary theory has passed or igored that point)
Biblical truth has the additional problem of the intent or understanding of the author(s).Which is where Divine inspiration and/or dictation becomes a major factor. If the writer is God then the truth is precise. If the writer is human then factors of Culture, Knowledge, and understanding become very important.
There is a difference between saying truth is arrived at by consensus and truth is created by consensus. I’m not saying truth is created by consensus. But there is wisdom in many counselors and not all propositions about what is true are equally valid.
This makes absolutely no sense, practically speaking. How are humans supposed to access truth about Bible interpretation without reference to human thought or conception? Obviously human thought and conception must govern our Bible interpretation because human thought and conception is foundational to human knowledge and human language. We don’t have some kind of magical way to mainline truth into our psyches in a way that bypasses human thought and conception.
But the writer isn’t God. God is the inspirer of Scripture. The writers were human, had finite minds, were embodied, used language, had cultures, and inhabited a time and place in history. Even if God could write down truth for us, the use of human language (which is dependent on human embodied experience for its symbols and learned cultural frames for its interpretation) would constrain its “precision.”
That phrase is the bone of so much contention. No, I do not believe God is the author of scripture, but there are many who do, and that will colour their interpretations of it.
Whatever, the establishment of truth cannot be just by consensus. Otherwise we would still live on a flat earth because that notion could not be overturned by consensus alone.
This thread really moves around , but still within the topic. It’s amusing reading through it.
Genesis 1-11 has always been written as mythological. It has never been written as a historical or biographical narrative. It was a myth when it was spoken between ancient people and it was a myth when it was written and it was a myth when it was copied, translated and printed.
Even before we knew about evolution and even if the world was created 6k years ago in a week and all the science supported it genesis 1-11 would have still been written as a myth.
However, except for a handful, we have a greater than 10th grasp on earth sciences. Other than a few of us we understand the difference between a scientific theory and a persons theory on how Bigfoot is able to blur video images. Talking about two very different things. Also as Christy said there is a difference between wisdom from the consensus of experts sharing their knowledge versus the consensus of unlearned and uneducated people just musing collectively and landing on a random position.
The reason why YEC is opposed is simply because it’s a lie. It’s a lie based on anti scientific, anti intellectual and full of conspiracies. It would be like if someone said gravity does not exist angels who keep everything working smoothly grabs apples in the air and throws them back down. The only people that take YEC serious is young earth creationist. Same goes for flat earthers.
1500 years ago the theory of evolution may have been possibly tossed around by some random person but in general it was not really something well known, believed or studied until recently. People use to think fossils were rocks that god shaped to be evidence of his finger in creation.
But now days more and more people are realizing and being outspoken about the genre and narrative style of genesis 1-11. Now days more and more people accept evolution as the obvious truth. My 7 year old niece always understands we evolved from fish to what we are today. She understands chimpanzees and other primates look a lot like us because we are closely related. She also believes in god as much as a little kid can ( which is actually often 100% complete faith in what their adults are telling them ). Evolution is accepted by almost all young people. Very few young people make up the bulk of YECists. In a few generations I think YECism will essentially be nonexistent and more of a “ weird cult “ than a significant portion of Christianity. The majority of Christian’s already seem to accept evolution.
That’s why YEC is not taken serious.
But my arguments and positions are not YEC.
Your 7 year old niece will have been emersed in Evolution from the first time it became vaguely appropriate. There will have been no argument (valid or otherwise) against it. And she would have no reason to doubt or question her teachers. And the same could probably be said since the eighties, maybe even earlier. That is the main reason it is held as fact. It has been taught as fact for so long it is part of every curriculum in the (Western?) world.
But, unlike the belief in God, she will not be advised or even, probably, given the opportunity to question Evolution, unless she decides to study it. And even then the teaching will endorse what is “believed” with little credence given to alternative ideas.
And if she dare approach it from any other angle, she will be shouted down and mocked.
Long live the God Evolution!
PS your view on the acceptance of Genesis 1-11 is naive, to say the least. I would have said, from the Christians I have met, that the ratio is about 50/50, 70/30 max myth /history.
Everyone who studies evolution questions it.
Also I only read a selection of responses and I don’t think any of them was yours and so my response was not directed at you. I used terms like most of us because I presumed this long of thread means those that disagreed.
70/30 max would be the majority. I was thinking it was actually around 60/40 based off of pewreiveiws or something like that.
Here are some numbers as of 2019, per a Gallup poll (Americans only):
Consensus isn’t proof of truth. And yes, it can and has been overturned at points in history … Many points even. But not nearly so many times as nonconsensus stuff has proven wrong. You aren’t guaranteed infallibility in consensus science. But no other way of understanding the creation has proven as effective and useful for understanding reality as the consensus of scientists in their relevant fields of specialty.
Do we need the Holy Spirit for understanding of what is inspired Scripture or the Bible?
I’m not claiming that it is. I did make the point that there are limits.
The difference is that the limits aren’t as tightly constrained as in the physical sciences. In particular they don’t have the element of “if you get this wrong, things won’t work.”
You have a point there, Richard. The problem with consensus is that it is a very academic one, and academics can be somewhat detached at times from the Real World. (Can you say “ivory tower”?) For this reason, if “consensus” is the strongest argument you’re faced with, then a certain amount of honest and informed scepticism may be warranted in certain circumstances, especially if the consensus is relatively immature and politically contentious.
But consensus is often not the strongest argument. Some scientific theories are application-level science: they get put to work in real-world situations where getting things wrong has consequences. Some scientific theories are foundation-level science: they have other scientific theories that depend on them, so that if they turned out to be wrong, then all the theories on which they depend would also be wrong. Trying to challenge application-level or foundation-level science is crackpot territory.
Here’s the thing: evolutionary science is application-level science. It gets used in the petrochemical industry to find oil, in virology, epidemiology and cancer research, and in conservation. The main interest that I myself have in the theory of evolution is in its applications to computer science and software engineering. Evolutionary algorithms have proven themselves time and time again in all sorts of computational settings, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Here’s a video that explains how evolutionary algorithms work, by a guy who codes them up as an example. It’s a bit long and detailed (just over 56 minutes) so don’t feel obliged to watch it, but I’m just including it here for anyone who’s interested in following up on the subject in more depth:
Exactly the same thing could be said about arithmetic. Times tables. Long division. And so on.
Some things are taught as fact because they are facts.
That is the proverbial straw man. There is no disputing arithmetic unless you change certain environments that can make 2=1. Evolution cannot be proved so unambiguously. And, that applies mostly to the microbe to human fallacy. That conclusion assumes an extrapolation beyond both proofs and factual certainty. However, there just isn’t a scientific alternative. Without Evolution science has a void it cannot fill. And science, like nature, hates a void.
Given the overwhelming amount of evidence it can be considered a fact (it has been around for what, 150+ years). And why should this be a bad thing? How are you handicapped in life if you accept evolution as a fact?
If she goes into evolutionary biology she will be given plenty of chances to question it!