YEC and the Bible


(Michael Peterson) #1

Five (5) Bible-based arguments against YEC.

Go


(Laura) #2

Is there a particular part of this that stands out to you that you want to discuss? I imagine most ECers would agree with most points here even though I personally don’t put any stock in Matt Walsh’s opinions on things.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #3

I’m a huge fan of the Daily Wire and Matt Walsh (and Ben Shapiro) in particular. I found the last two points particularly compelling, the last point links in with a thread I made about theological reasons for believing in evolution. Alongside the point he makes, there’s also the issue that an enormous conspiracy would be needed to cover up the evidence for creationism, either that or virtually all scientists are somehow wrong. Both seem preposterous.

I liked this quote from Walsh:

“what’s more likely? That entire fields of modern science are wrong, illegitimate, and falsified, or that young-Earth creationists are misinterpreting the Bible?”


(David Heddle) #4

I was underwhelmed. While (as @Elle stated) many of us would agree with these arguments, they are not remotely new so I found it peculiar that they were characterized as “powerful” and, it seems to me, attributed to Matt Walsh (whom, I must add, I never heard of.) As I said these are very standard arguments. Also there was at least one glaring error:

First, many of the great teachers of Christianity — from Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and St. Augustine to C.S. Lewis and John Henry Newman — rejected young-Earth creationism, interpreting Genesis 1 in different ways.

This is not true, and in a way that I think is not merely being pedantic. Young-earth creationism was not rejected by Justin Martyr, Clement, or Augustine–literal 24 hour days was rejected. None of them had any reason to suspect the earth was old.

I also think the argument made against literality by giving examples of metaphors (Christ is a door) is a strawman. Genesis literalists do not argue that the bible does not employ non-literal figures of speech, they argue that Genesis is not one of those instances.


(Laura) #5

That’s a good point. AIG acknowledges genre and will concede that certain parts of the Bible are poetic (Psalms, for example). They will simply say that the genre of Genesis is historical, end of story, and therefore every word of it must be interpreted as literal history. There doesn’t seem to be room for a book to include more than one genre.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #6

Actually, God deceiving people as a test of faith is not outside his character: See Deut 13:3, for example.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #7

I think that this is a bit of a shotgun approach as #1, 2 and 3 are somewhat at odds with each other. If Genesis is a theological account or some other genre than scientific/historical then bothering to try and fit billions of years into its verses is not necessary. 2 and 3 are versions of the Day age interpretation and the gap theory which are two models that usually aren’t combined and are at odds with one another. Hence it was just kind of like, here are some ways thy various people have squeezed billions of years into the text but the five points are not really consistent with one another.


(Phil) #8

I have to admit, Matt Walsh is not really on my radar, but in reading this and looking at who he is and who his audience is, the most interesting thing is that he is a right wing type conservative speaking out against YEC. That is interesting and perhaps encouraging.


(Laura) #9

That is true. My main issue is that he often uses harsh and dehumanizing terms to describe people groups he disagrees with. But to my understanding he’s Catholic, and at least from my limited perspective it seems Catholics often tend to have a higher view of science than conservative evangelicals.


(Mitchell W McKain) #10

I did not go over the website and all its links with a fine tooth comb but I can say the following. I was agreeable to at least 75% of it. Here is some examples of where I disagreed or found Matt Walsh to be a little unclear:

Intelligent design is not science. It is an attack upon science, trying to return us to the middle ages when theology was given authority over scientific determinations.

Darwin’s legacy is honest scientific inquiry as opposed to the dishonest manipulative rhetoric of a bunch of anti-science anti-human religious fanatics peculiar to a very odd sector of American Christianity. There were times when he felt conflicted over the apparent conflicts between what the science was telling him and his religious faith. He may not have been able to resolve all of those conflicts but others have.

The scientific establishment is an association of people from all over the world with a great variety of religious beliefs united in the use of a methodology where religious beliefs are irrelevant. And that is the real issue right there. The religious nuts simply cannot stand the idea that their religious ideas might EVER be irrelevant in ANYTHING.


(Tom Larkin) #11

I think it is important to define what “science” is and what it is not.

Science uses the “scientific methods” to establish a hypothesis and either prove or disprove the hypothesis based on statistical significance with experimental or observed data. The hypothesis may be re-examined with the availability of additional data by experimentation or observation. This information is assembled into a paper and published in a peer reviewed scientific journal for others to build on.

I feel anything outside of this is not science. Stating that something observed in a museum display or in a movie is not accurate does not disprove a theory. For example, just because something stated by Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth” is not accurate does not prove climate change is not occurring.


(Tom Larkin) #12

Two comments:

  1. I feel that it is incredible that “Let there be light” was the first step in creation and that it was written 3,000-4,000 years ago. For the first 300,000 years after the big bang, the energy and the temperature of the universe was so high, that all matter was in the form of photons. After this time the universe had cooled to the point that the building blocks of atoms could condense out “and God separated the darkness from the light”. All before the sun moon and stars were made.
  2. While יום (yom) can describe an age as well as a day (two examples Yom Kippur- the “day of atonement” (clearly 24 hours) and the “Day of the Lord” (clearly longer than 24 hours), each account ends with the evening, the morning which would lead people to believe that day is a 24 hour period.

Gerald Schroeder (Physicist and Hebrew scholar) argues that the terms evening “erev” and morning “bokar” have their roots in the terms for chaos and order and that each day describes a period of chaos followed by order.

I would offer another alternative that creation was revealed to the human originator of the creation narrative over a seven day period.


(Phil) #13

H[quote=“TGLarkin, post:11, topic:39633”]
I fell anything outside of this is not science. Stating that something observed in a museum display or in a movie is not accurate does not disprove a theory. For example, just because something stated by Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth” is not accurate does not prove climate change is not occurring.
[/quote]

Good comments, Tom. The above comment reminds me that my reaction in my mind to some posts often is “Saying it doesn’t make it so.” It seems we live in a time when society seems to accept that anything said often and loud enough makes it true, when it is far from the case. I might add that Al Gore or any celebrity saying something is true does not prove it either, but sometimes they are. Good thing we have science.


(Mitchell W McKain) #14

Indeed. Modern science is founded on the following two principles (agreeing and expanding on your explanation).

  1. Honest Inquiry: This is embodied in the scientific method where you test an hypothesis rather than trying to prove something. The latter is not science but rhetoric and when it pretends to be science then it is called pseudo-science. This is not to say that rhetoric is not important. It is quite central and essential to human civilization and used by politicians, lawyers, preachers and salesmen. But it is not science.
  2. Objectivity: This comes from that fact that science provides written procedures which anyone can follow to get the same result no matter what they believe. This is what makes contradicting the findings of science unreasonable.

This is not to say that science is the sole source and arbiter of truth. Not everything is addressed by the methods of science. Not only are there unfalsifiable claims which science can say nothing about, but it is demonstrable that people can know things despite having no objective evidence whatsoever. Thus there is no objective basis for equating the findings of science with the limits of reality itself and the choice of the Naturalists to do so is no more objectively justifiable than the claims of religion.

Nevertheless, intelligent design fails both of these criterion, so it is not science. It is a product of rhetoric and ideology rather than science. It is a result of demands by an odd sector of the religious community that religious opinions be taught as science so that people can feel more justified in ignoring the objective evidence to believe things which are simply not reasonable. It seeks to go back to a medieval time when theology was called the queen of the sciences (the same period of time when anyone who dared to disagree were simply burned at the stake as heretics). Furthermore, the finding of science is that life is incompatible with design. It is a self-organizing process. None of this is incompatible with Christianity or the belief that God created the world and all living things but only with simple minded versions which are so obsessed with power that they enslave God to theological definitions in service to power and control at the expense of love and goodness.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #15

Well kind of, but this certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell day from night as the entire universe was still extremely uniform to one part in 10,000-100,000. Nobody would have been able to tell much of a difference between light and dark. A minor technicality is that there were also electrons, neutrons, dark matter, dark energy, and photons that all contained energy before this point as well- not just protons. However you are correct in that no atoms could form as the background radiation would break apart any proton and electron that paired together to make hydrogen atoms. Another additional note would be that there were many nuclei as well (like Deuterium, Helium (3 and 4), and Lithium) which are also building blocks of atoms.

Which could be true and maybe someone could find all kinds of patterns of ‘chaos’ and ‘order’ in the cosmos- did you have something in particular in mind?


(Tom Larkin) #16

Whoa! autocorrect got me on this one. The original text should have said “photons”, not “protons”. I will go back and edit my post. All matter was in the form of photons (estimated) for the first 300,000 years, my source is deGrasse Tyson’s “Astrophysics for Busy People” which would tie to my argument of “let there be light” much better than protons would.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #17

None the less, all the energy was not in the form of photons for the first 300,000 years- as there were all the particles I listed above that would have quite a bit of energy. Like there are about 10^80 protons. However, maybe what you might be referring to is something this:
image

That is in the early universe (before recombination) it was radiation dominated, with there being about a billion photons for every proton. And then around the time of recombination (where the CMB was formed) the universe began to become matter dominated. I’m not sure what aspect of this could have anything to do again with any ‘let there be light’ type of thing as it really wouldn’t have looked much different before and after recombination as it wasn’t an instantaneous thing. Recombination was happening for a long time before the CMB but was officially done by around 380,000 years. There was no ‘separating the darkness from the light’ here. If you want an event like that, perhaps try the first stars igniting:


(Mitchell W McKain) #18

Whenever something with structure is sufficiently vague and unclear then we humans tend to find patterns and meaning in it. Whether it is rabbits in the clouds, family in inkblots, or elements of science in ancient text, our minds make sense of the chaos by organizing it into the things we know and think of as important. Thus if people see the findings of science in the words of their religious texts, then it does not look like a bad thing to me, as long as they don’t interfere with the work of science itself.


(system) #19

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