New documentary presents science behind young-earth claims

"[A] lot of people want to believe in a straightforward reading of the earliest accounts of Scripture but aren’t sure scientific evidence allows them to do so. Is Genesis History?, a new documentary that will premiere in a one-night-only event at 700 theaters across the country on Feb. 23, aims to give them a scientific basis for confidence in God’s Word." WORLD

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TylerR's picture

Editor

I'm reading a text that is very opposed to YEC, entitled The Bible, Rocks and Time. I haven't reached the actual geological arguments yet, but the book is interesting. It was written by two professors from Calvin College, both with earned PhD's in geology. They do not respect YEC, and argue passionately against the very idea.

I'm looking for some kind of YEC comparison text. Andrew Snelling's 2-vol work may be just a bit too much for me, but I want something a bit more robust than Ken Ham's Answers books. Any suggestions? I'm specifically looking for texts about geology and the age of the earth, not texts about presuppositions in interpretation, or whether Genesis teaches YEC, etc. I'm just lookin' for geology.  

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

This movie focuses mainly on geology and biology, its seems. There is only one astronomer they refer to. That is Danny Faulkner. I realize he works for Answers in Genesis now, and is a retired professor from South Carolina. Faulkner's views concern me. Often you find in YEC experts that tell you every little quirk about "mainline" science theories, but they never offer their own explanation. That seems to describe Faulkner from what I have read. He regularly blasts away at the "Big Bang" without realizing, as he should and must as a professional astronomer, that the "Big Bang" theory is not a monolithic thing. At its simplest, the "Big Bang" theory is merely the observation that the universe is expanding. At times he seems to reject that observational fact. He has articles about the red-shift being caused by galactic dust instead, or even weirder theories from the late 1910s and early 1920s that were early attempts to explain the observed red-shift of galaxies.

My point is, science is not going around poking holes in every theory or observation without out offering your own REASONABLE explanation. Faulkner is disappointing to me in this area.

As a result I will hold off seeing this film. If Faulkner's science is bad, what else is?

TylerR's picture

Editor

I would really welcome an article from you about your perspective on creationism (for or against) - from your own professional training and observations. It doesn't matter if I agree or not! Shoot me a PM, and let's talk. Smile

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Larry Nelson's picture

Jim wrote:

YEC is not a "fundamental" of the faith! Some are making it so

 

The writer, after extensively arguing on behalf of YEC, offers a summary (from pages 53 - 54): 

 

"I hope that these few references to the New Testament persuade the

reader that there are at least substantial connections between creation and

what any conservative Christian would agree are absolutely essential

doctrines. More than that, I hope the texts remind the reader that if

creation did not happen as we have described in this essay, the meaning

of the key texts above is eviscerated. If a view of creation eliminates one

or more of the essentials we have described in the previous section, they

do serious damage to the New Testament texts that rest upon those essentials.

Creation is not ancillary; it is foundational to the gospel, to all

other Christian doctrines, and to the right functioning of society. This

is not a conclusion that rests on tenuous evidence. It is solidly founded

in the Bible.

This is not to say that a conscious or fully-formed belief in young

earth theology is required in order to be saved. To say so would be to

add a condition to salvation, other than repentant faith, and that is not

permitted by Scripture. But it is to say that the believer today who

would be fully faithful to God and his revelation will acknowledge that

God is the literal, miraculous creator, and that his word is the sole

authority in faith and practice, including in the area of creation.

Young earth theology is part of a conservative biblical systematic

theology. A theology may be otherwise conservative, but to the extent

that it embraces cosmologies other than young earth creation, it is to

that extent liberal in its stance."

http://www.dbts.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/3_Postiff_J_2016.pdf 

dgszweda's picture

Jim wrote:

YEC is not a "fundamental" of the faith! Some are making it so

 

I would not say that YEC, in and of itself is a fundamental of the faith, but the impacts that it can have on your theology can be a fundamental of the faith.  Primarily around Original Sin and a real Adam.  But it also has impacts in other areas.

As a side note, I don't believe there will ever be a scientific explanation that will align with a YEC view.  Just as I don't believe there will ever be a scientific explanation that aligns with the concept of a God, creation out of nothing, virgin birth, resurrection, raising of the dead, forgiveness of sins or a future heaven with an eternal soul. 

Joeb's picture

I believe it says 7 days it is literally 7 days.  God using evolution is boloney.  Larry our God is Great God and I'm all in with YEC.  

Joeb's picture

To this day you can go down to the Chesapeake and at low tide there is an obvious record of time in the bank.  There is a thin dark line which geologist speculate to be about 10000 years ago representing a big event ie volcanic or celestial strike. It is very interesting that you can see this right in front of you.  Below this line they find no human activity in the area if I recall the show discussing this  correctly  

There is some evidence that something happened that could have changed the environment and caused certain animals to die out.  In South Jersey they used to mine huge Atlantic White Cedar logs out of the mud.  Some early Sertlers reported finding huge stumps in the forests in South Jersey.  

This would indicate to me that a sunamee hit the Eastern coast line.  There is volcanoe in the Canary Islands that could cause such a problem.   Maybe certain climatic evevnts lead to the end of certain species.   

 

Ron Bean's picture

The creation of man by the direct act of God and a literal Adam and Eve are fundamentals but a young earth was not seen as a fundamental by some of the early fundamentalists who espoused the Gap Theory including those who relied heavily on the Scofield Reference Bible.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

TylerR's picture

Editor

The book I mentioned earlier, The Bible, Rocks and Time, begins with about 175 pages of historical geology, tracing how Christians have dealt with the geological evidence throughout the years. It is very interesting stuff. I've just reached the point where the authors are discussing 19th century attempts to shoe-horn millions of years into a traditional interpretation of Genesis 1 (e.g. gap-theory, day-age theory, etc.).

This really is fascinating reading. Or, perhaps I'm just an incurable loser. It's not normal for a guy who never liked science to read a 500-pg geology text in his spare time . . .

Note: As I mentioned before, this book was written by Christian geologists with earned PhDs in the field, who do not respect or like YEC. They are very clear about that. Still, it's fascinating reading.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

I saw it tonight, and more or less it goes like the average presentation from someone like Ken Ham, except for the fact that you're actually at the sites where they''re taking the data.  You see them at the gorge carved out after Mt. St. Helens, you see the ancient connective tissue (that shouldn't exist) from the triceratops horn, etc..  Regarding Mark's question about Faulkner, he does not go into big bang theory.

But, AHEM, Mark; "big bang" theory is not merely the theory that the universe is expanding, but rather that the entire matter of the universe was contained in a tiny area and then rapidly expanded--sorry, I spent enough weekends at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago to know better than that, and the general notion of it is well enough known and popularized that Faulkner can speak to it coherently.   I also remember that there have been a large number of secular astronomers and cosmologists who object to it precisely because it implies a beginning and non-repeatability--things vehemently at odds with secularist worldviews for obvious reasons.

Moreover, one does not need to come up with an alternative theory to point out that the current hypothesis is incorrect--"we've got nothing better" is just as logically fallacious as any genetic fallacy.  If I claim the universe is a giant duck, you do not need an alternative theory before shooting my hypothesis full of holes and cooking it on the barbie.  It is enough to point out that evidence does not support that hypothesis; we are allowed in science to say "I don't know." 

Sorry, brother, but if we want to have an impact in secular science for Christ, we have got to do better than that.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry Nelson's picture

Joeb wrote:

I believe it says 7 days it is literally 7 days.  God using evolution is boloney.  Larry our God is Great God and I'm all in with YEC.  

I wasn't saying that YEC should be a fundamental of the faith, just giving an example of someone (published in the DBTS Journal, no less) who seems to advocate exactly that. 

I agree with Jim that YEC should not be considered a (at least de facto) fundamental, regardless of how strenuously some may attempt to make it so.