Why YEC are so dogmatic

There have been long and arduous debates here about YEC vs Old Age Earth. It seems that the main debate rages around two main issues…The uniformitarian view that science must be right and, YEC claim the Bible is self-evident and the ultimate source of all authority.

The uniformitarians claim that Mosaic writings must be allegorical, YEC state the historical biblical genealogies make the uniformitarian view impossible. So what we end up with is a debate over the one spot where a gap may exist…Gen 1:1-2.

Personally, there is much evidence to illustrate the Bible as an intrinsically consistent compilation of writings supported by loads of external archeological and historical evidence. One would expect that the two sides agree on that part and yet it appears to be at the very core of the divide between them, how one interprets the reading without ripping the pages that dissagree with our fundamental beliefs out of it.

Anyway, i notice that in many debates, both sides stare at each others apparent blindness to the reality of the evidence before them, each interpreting differently but not understanding how the opposition cannot (indeed willnot) see what they see.

The irony of this for me is that, whilst Pascals Wager is scoffed at by atheists and agnostics, in most things in life choices do tend to be binary…politics would seem to be for many a laughable point and example. Anyway…

The YEC dogma* i think is summed up in a quotation from a former Columbian University President. I came across an article this morning which i thought would help explain to Old Age uniformatarianism proponents, why it is that YEC are set in our ways…

“It is indeed a grand conception which regards the Deity as conducting the work of his creation by means of those all pervading influences which we call the forces of nature; but it leaves us profoundly at a loss to explain the wisdom or the benevolence which brings every day into life such myriads of sentient and intelligent beings, only that they may perish on the morrow of their birth. But this is not all. If these doctrines are true, all talk of creation or methods of creation become absurdity; for just that certainly as they are true, God himself is impossible…
Much as I love truth in the abstract, my hope of immortality still more; and if the final outcome of all the boasted discoveries of modern science is to disclose to men that they are more evanescent than the shadow of the swallow’s wing up on the lake give… me then, I pray, no more science. Let me live on, in my simple ignorance, as my fathers lived before me, and when I shall at length be summoned to my final repose, let me still be able to fold the drapery of my couch about me, and lie down to pleasant, even if they be deceitful, dreams.” Fredrick A.P. Barnard, a mathematician and president of Columbia University in late 19th century

*dogma - a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true

There are many texts which are established as a consistent compilation of writings. This does not determine whether the texts are historical or fictional. I opt for historical, but the Bible itself treats various portions as symbolic rather than literal.

Not as much as it is scoffed at by Christians. The premise of Pascal’s wager is that you can purchase your salvation by believing in a set of dogma. But that is a gospel of salvation by works of knowledge – a Gnostic and non-Christian gospel for sure. The Christian gospel is one of salvation by the grace of God.

It is summed up as making their religion their only reality which is too great a willful ignorance and blindness to survive. By doing so it only illustrates how dangerous religion can be – threatening the survival of human civilization.

…an example of clinging to the past a little too strongly. I have no desire to live in the 19th century any more than I want to live in the middle ages.

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how interesting…in what way would you believe that to be the case? EDIT Given that Abraham Lincoln for example, was of Christian beliefs after the death of his son Willie, and his efforts to end slavery and improve the rights of black Americans saw him assassinated!

so your not of the view that we learn from our past and attempt to use that knowledge/experience to improve our future? Am i missing something here?

Christians are constantly killing other Christians for not believing completely the same.

The most important thing to learn from the past is that we don’t want to live in the past. So we do not throw away the efforts and sacrifices of many in bring about changes for the better. And we definitely don’t want to listen to those of the past who fought against those changes.d

Read a little about Fredrick A. P. Barnard… seems he is most well known for his opposition to segregation by sex of the students at Columbia college, thinking men and women should study side by side.

Would you not agree that WW1 and 2 were started by non Christians?

Also, Vietnam, was that initiated by Christians or a western rejection of the spread of communism?

The bombing of the World Trade centre by Obama bin Laden, was that of Christian origin or a personal vendetta unrelated to Christianity but under the false presumption of Islamic Jihad?

I am not sure that i can agree with your statement on these things as it appears to me that the vast majority of modern wars are nothing to do with Christianity unless you wish to make the claim that capitalism is of Christian origins? Even if this were true, defending our rights of freedom do not seem to me to be your point.

Not sure I see the point of your questions. I never claimed that Christians were responsible for all or even the worst things in history or the world. But the civil war and the assassination of Lincoln were certainly not due to non-Christians.

No. WW1 was started by a Christian. WW2 was started by a pact between a Christian and an atheist.

I would tend to blame the communists for that one.

I would agree that many in modern times have nothing to do with Christianity while before that most certainly did.

so you view the German invasion of Poland as a pact of some kind? Who was Christian and who was atheist in this in your view? We know that Hitler claimed to be Christian however i doubt Christians saw him the same way as he saw himself.

It began with the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin. It was basically an agreement to divide the world between them. Germany was simply more prepared to act on this first. In any case, Germany/Hitler was the Christian side of that agreement. Stalin was atheist of course.

Claiming to be Christian is a common practice of politicians in the United States. And doubting whether those who claim to be Christian are really Christian is a common Christian pastime.

I am not sure what you are alluding to with this statement. I dont think any modern Christians have issue with it do they? I dissagree that the claim Christianity is responsible for the patriarch ways is correct…that was cultural and predates Christianity by thousands of years (in your world view millions of years…its clearly an evolutionary process of enlightenment is it not?)

but we know historically that the free world, which surely you must agree was largely Christian at the time (or at least in words), simply defended freedom of religion and speech yes? It did not want its citizens to come under the cloud of dictatorial regimes (of which Hitler and Stalin were two prime examples even in those days). The free world may have terrible leaders, but they are still elected generally by the popular vote at multiple levels (corruption is irrelevant as it exists in all forms of government…authoritarian or otherwise)

That is laughable. Religious freedom had to be fought for in the Christian world because there was so little of it, with one sect of Christianity persecuting other sects of Christianity (as well as those of other religions). Other places in the world already had freedom of religion.

Perhaps you should read the Wikipedia article on freedom of relgion.

If all YEC did was to proclaim that the Bible is self-evident and the ultimate source of all authority, there would not be as much fuss. That would be ignoring science and simply adopting a theology of origins, then done. So when some worried mom asks how to respond to her children’s questions about dinosaurs, the answer would be, we believe in Genesis, not dinosaurs. There is your authoritative answer.

The quandary, of course, is that the majority of people do not find that very satisfying. A little evidence with the authority would be appreciated. Fast forward to the institutional YEC industry, which exists to invent an alternate reality to assure parishioners, and any scientific observations that indicate an age of over six thousand years can be deflected with two little words - speeded up.

This is the hammer for which every problem is a nail. You can see for your own binoculars countless craters on the moon, with more in pictures of mercury? Speeded up meteor impacts! Over a hundred magnetic reversals? Speeded up magnetic reversals? Evolution takes time? Speeded up speciation! Hundreds of thousands of ice core layers? Speeded up ice layers! Too many tree rings for one year per ring? Speeded up ring formation! Limestone, dolomite, and chalk formations take millions of years? Speeded up plankton blooms and accumulation and photosynthesis and mineralization and uplift! Cave formation? Speeded up cave formation! Stalagmites and stalactites take too long? Speeded up speleothem formation! Too many annual varves for bishop Ussher. Speeded up varve layers! Hydrocarbon reservoirs require a sequence of long duration processes? Speeded up oil formation! We can see light that would take billions of years to traverse the distance? Speeded up light! And of course, radiometric dating yields a date of four and a half billion years for the solar system? Speeded up radioactive decay!

The problem, not the only problem, but the central one, is that none of these speeded up processes have any science to back them up. No science, not only no historical science, but also none of the science that YEC claims to be the good stuff - observational science. Whatever can be said of uniformitarianism, it is by definition based rigorously on observational science. YEC is based on no science at all; in rejecting all uniformitarian approaches, it rejects observational science, so what is left? There is neither observational nor historical science in YEC. Far from being self consistent - scientific creationism is a complete oxymoron.


It’s better summed up as assuming that their worldview is superior to all others so obviously God forced the ancient writers to conform to it rather than writing from within their own worldview. This is insulting both to the original audiences who by this reading were denied the chance to learn from something they could understand and to the Holy Spirit Who meant to communicate to the people back then with literary forms and a worldview they were familiar with.

Nicely put.


Why are YECs so dogmatic?

Because their faith depends on it.

They have a specific view of Scripture which needs it to be 100% accurate on all things not just spiritual or theological ones.

Even if the writers of Scripture understood modern science their audience did not. They wrote in a way that could be understood and believed.

The Bible was written 1000s of years ago by faithful people. Time and knowledge waits for no man. We have to understand Scripture in that light.

Those who can not, or refuse to, will be drawn to YEC.

The consequence is Christians arguing against Christians and showing the rest of the world that we are divided.



that unfortunately leaves TEism with but one option…to deny God and become atheist. You see the dilemma for those who really have a sound biblical theology is that its simply not possible to read into the bible what it is that TEism tries to do

Despite any claims here, none of the arguments put forward in an attempt to support the old age view stand up when they are tested theologically…they all get shot down badly with overwhelming evidence straight out of the bible.

I know i keep bringing this up, but its because there isnt an answer to the problem…if Adam and Eve’s predicted death in the garden of Eden was only a spiritual one, thus supporting the idea of Mosaic allegory, why then is the sanctuary service and death of the Messiah physical?

I can answer my own question straight out of the biblie itself…it overwhelmingly answers this question with the following… Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death. The messiah died physically on the cross to pay the wages of sin…sin that started with the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden exactly as stated in Genesis. This is a central theme throughout the bible…it is repeated over and over and over again, there is simply no way around the idea that physical death is a consequence of sin. Does this mean that spiritual death is not also a consequence? of course not…what we find is that in fact there is both spiritual and physical death as a result of sin. Again, the bible talks about these two over and over and over again.

Given the above, that sin brought death into this world, no amount of observational science is going to resolve what is fundamentally a philosophical problem. YEC recognise this and accept that we simply must find interpretations from science that support the philosophical revelations in the inspired word of God. That is YEC dogma…they have no choice but to stick rigidly to it, because to do otherwise is to accept Christ did not die for sin and there is no reason for his second coming. Revelation 21 becomes a pipe dream. One is then left with no option but atheism…anything else is just fantasy. The irony is, atheists think exactly that…TEism and YEC are pure fantasy.

  • When two stags lock horns in a power struggle, the death of both is probable.
  • When a stag locks horns with a Jabberwocky, madness ensues.

Neither of you is wholly correct. UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made a statement in 1939 that should Nazi Germany invade Poland the UK would take military action. Hitler ultimately called Chamberlain’s bluff, invading Poland and causing the UK to declare war on Germany. So whilst the invasion of Poland was the instigating incident, the UK government officially started the war.

The Nazi-Soviet non-aggression treaty was one (significant) aspect of a very complex political landscape at the time. However, if you want to point to a possible moment that set the dominoes in motion, I would suggest it was the harsh sanctions Germany was placed under as a result of the Versailles Treaty that was far more significant.

The Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact made it easier for Hitler to focus on Western Europe and Stalin to focus on securing the Soviet Union. But neither trusted the other and to say that it was an agreement to divide the world between them is an oversimplification.

Stalin was of course an atheist. However, Hitler’s religious beliefs are more complex. Baptised and raised Catholic he publicly supported the Church. However, in private he was disdainful of Christianity, Nazi propaganda prompted a German brand of mysticism, and in his writings, Hitler appears to be more of a deist. I can’t speak for other ranking members of Nazi party.

EDIT to add:

My experience is that when it comes to history people like an SSS: a Single Simple Story. The truth is that history is often full of knotty issues that are difficult to untangle. This is certainly one of them. How did Christians view Hitler? The simplest answer is: depends on the Christian.


mitchelmckain–“Christians are constantly killing other Christians for not believing completely the same.”

Anyone can self identify as a Christian, even if they are not. And there are many who are only too happy to try and discredit Christianity by pointing to their anti-Christian actions. So before we begin asserting that “Christians did this and Christians do that,” we need a definition of what a Christian really is. Here is mine:

A Christian is one who does what Jesus did and obeys what Jesus taught.

True story–I have a watch that says “Rolex” on the face and on the back. The trader in Africa that sold it to me for $10 assured me it was genuine, and acted offended that I even questioned whether it was or not. Of course, it is a fake “Rolex,” and now it doesn’t even work. But it “self identifies” as a Rolex. Am I now justified in accusing the Rolex company of making cheap and defective watches based on this watch’s self identification? Of course, that is absurd.

So how can anyone honestly say that “Christians did this and Christians do that” when Jesus opposes these behaviors? Those who do these actions in the name of Christ are certainly taking the name of God in vain. And those who claim these actions are those of “Christians” may also be doing the same.


So what? What does your physical death mean to you?

My brother, the YEC minister, tried to tell me that my impending death (I’m not quite 80, so I onlyh expect to live for another few thousand years ;>)) was due to my sin.

I don’t look at it that way. I read my bible and see that God loves me, that Jesus died for me. Then I think about resurrection, soul, and such. And some serious thought about why would God even bother to create this world, and put humans into it. A recognition that God does promise that “All things work together for good…” And I conclude that my impending death will be God telling me that I have finished doing whatever He wanted me to do.

On the level of specific event, perhaps there can be an argument made that sin causes death. But I don’t think there is any potential value in this position; if I do not sin, will I never die? Is my existence in this world in such a state of my own free will that it is possible for me to always choose not to sin? And if there is nothing that I can do to change the result, why bother emphasizing it?

I choose, on the scale of my entire life, to consider death in this physical world from a different perspective.

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This sounds just like something I heard from my brother, quoting one of his seminary professors: “If we don’t believe that it is all completely true in every possible sense (historical, medical, scientific, cosmological, anything else you can imagine) then how will we know what is true and what is not?”

But God didn’t create a universe where we can ever get perfect observations of the state of every single particle, so we can accurately predict the future in detail. (We can’t measure the location and velocity of any electron.) And whether we want to accept it or not, perfect knowledge doesn’t save anyone. And God didn’t create a universe where He left indisputable, objective, observational evidence of His existence!

The proof by demonstration that it is not necessary to believe in the YEC version of what the bible means, how the bible is to be interpreted, in order to believe in Jesus, is the fact that there exist all the “mainstream” Christian denominations, who have a whole spectrum of understanding how to interpret the bible in detail, but all believe in Jesus as Savior.

I was YEC, and am now in a much better place. I did fall for the idea that we knew better than anyone else what was good for them. And I failed to recognize the circular, unbiblical reasoning that demanded I accept some strange and irrational interpretations of parts of the bible that some humans had made, while explaining other things such as the biblical suggestion of the Sun going around the earth as being just stated in the cultural context of the original writer and his audience. Now I believe that it is much more important to God what is in my heart than it is that I believe in the exactly true history of the world; that why I choose to do whatever I choose to do is, in fact, more important than what I choose to do; and that the guidance Jesus gave to love God and love my neighbor is not about telling me what to do, that I should just try my best to do what love would have me do.