10 Basics Every Creationist Must Know

There are 32 Comments

Mark_Smith's picture

Andrew Snelling says this in the article called Radiometric Dating and Proof:

"Thus science is not the “window to the past”! This notion is based on a complete misunderstanding of the nature of evidence. What we observe and measure today exists in the present. We can repeat our observations tomorrow, but we can’t go back to last week to repeat them. The only way we know our observations were the same last week as they are today is if we have an eyewitness testimony from someone who made the same observations last week."

If what he says is true THEN THERE IS NO SCIENCE CALLED ASTRONOMY other than naming constellations and whatever we can see directly from orbiting space probes, etc. Snelling claims without me directly looking at something I can't know what is going on. That means that we will never know what powers a star since I can never look inside one, for example.

IMHO this is a false way to look at scientific evidence, but very popular among some YEC advocates. It is as dangerous as evolution or atheism.

It is simply false to say that astronomer cannot deduce what scientific processes are happening or have happened.

Mark_Smith's picture

Dr Jason Lisle makes a lot of my points from previous posts. We both agree that the "appearance of age" YEC position is simply wrong. Another possibility is some relativistic effect to cause time to flow at different rates in the universe. Jason has a rather unique possibility he calls "anisotropy of the speed of light", but it is still a relativistic effect.

TylerR's picture

Editor

How much of this entire debate comes down to how you interpret the evidence? Is one side desperately avoiding dealing with issues, while the other side has the "facts" on their side? What I'm asking is this - how much of this debate is actually just presuppositional? AiG's nifty little graphic below makes the point. Jason Lisle said much the same thing in his Ultimate Proof for Creation, which is actually a handbook for presuppositional apologetics. 

Is it a fair point? 

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?

GregH's picture

TylerR wrote:

How much of this entire debate comes down to how you interpret the evidence? Is one side desperately avoiding dealing with issues, while the other side has the "facts" on their side? What I'm asking is this - how much of this debate is actually just presuppositional? AiG's nifty little graphic below makes the point. Jason Lisle said much the same thing in his Ultimate Proof for Creation, which is actually a handbook for presuppositional apologetics. 

Is it a fair point? 

In my opinion, this is not a fair point at all. Scientists of course start with presuppositions but to say they all go back to Darwin is ludicrous. Here is a simple example: they drill a ice core and find a lot more layers than 6,000 years. So they conclude that the evidence points to an earth more than 6,000 years old. Is that Darwin's fault? No, it is simple logic. There are 40 or so dating methods that indicate an earth older than 6,000 years and not one of them as far as I know has anything to do with Darwin.

Greg Long's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:
If what he says is true THEN THERE IS NO SCIENCE CALLED ASTRONOMY other than naming constellations and whatever we can see directly from orbiting space probes, etc. Snelling claims without me directly looking at something I can't know what is going on. That means that we will never know what powers a star since I can never look inside one, for example.
You may feel that way, but other creationists don't...or didn't, like Galileo Galilei, for example.

Mark, I gotta be perfectly honest with you. Based on the strong statements you've made, I would counsel you to do one of two things: either quit your job as a scientist, or give up your belief in young-earth creationism. You have repeatedly and adamantly argued that they are mutually exclusive and incompatible. To continue arguing as you do and yet try to live in both worlds seems inconsistent at best to me, based on the strident nature of your statements on this site.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Mark_Smith's picture

I'm strident? OK...but look at some of the replies to me. Not exactly kind.

There is another way to YEC involving relativistic effects. Ever here of those? I have written about that many times here at YEC. It is "appearance of age" I don't care for. But, I still say it could be true. The result would be the loss of our ability to learn much about astronomical objects. That is what I am saying.

Mark_Smith's picture

Galileo accepted we can't know about something in the past by inferring from present observation? Source please.

By Snelling's logic I don't know that the Earth orbited the Sun in November 1971 since that was before I ever observed it. OK...he said eyewitness testimony. I can trust my Mom or Dad. How about 1400AD. No one recorded information then. How do we know the Earth orbited the Sun then?

Mark_Smith's picture

What are you thinking, 10K years, 100K?

Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

What are you thinking, 10K years, 100K?

What I believe:

  • A literal Adam and Eve 
  • Six literal days to create the earth
  • Other unknown
  • I don't wish to speculate about what is unknown
Chip Van Emmerik's picture

But Jim, you are speculating by claiming a young earth as opposed to an old earth. The question was where you place the date since you identify a young earth but reject the most common date for that position. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

But Jim, you are speculating by claiming a young earth as opposed to an old earth. The question was where you place the date since you identify a young earth but reject the most common date for that position. 

Don't believe 4000 BC is most common date for YEC. In my view it wasn't until AIG made it a test of YEC orthodoxy, that it became common.

Why should I speculate when I just don't know. It's not a cop out. You don't  know either. 

 

josh p's picture

I think Usher may have been the one to popularize the 4000 B.C. date. I believe it was common before AIG taught it. As to whether or not it was most common among YEC that is hard to say.

pvawter's picture

GregH wrote:

TylerR wrote:

How much of this entire debate comes down to how you interpret the evidence? Is one side desperately avoiding dealing with issues, while the other side has the "facts" on their side? What I'm asking is this - how much of this debate is actually just presuppositional? AiG's nifty little graphic below makes the point. Jason Lisle said much the same thing in his Ultimate Proof for Creation, which is actually a handbook for presuppositional apologetics. 

Is it a fair point? 

In my opinion, this is not a fair point at all. Scientists of course start with presuppositions but to say they all go back to Darwin is ludicrous. Here is a simple example: they drill a ice core and find a lot more layers than 6,000 years. So they conclude that the evidence points to an earth more than 6,000 years old. Is that Darwin's fault? No, it is simple logic. There are 40 or so dating methods that indicate an earth older than 6,000 years and not one of them as far as I know has anything to do with Darwin.


Greg,
You are certainly right that Darwin is not the be-all and end-all of evolutionary thought, but his influence is hard to overestimate. For instance, you point to ice cores as evidence of non-Darwinian old earth evidence, yet the assumption that layers=years is based on a paradigm that is heavily influenced by Darwin's theory. The reason scientists entertain old earth interpretations of that evidence rather than young earth is that they are operating within a paradigm of old earth assumptions. Why search for alternative explanations if you have already decided what is possible before you even look at the evidence?

GregH's picture

pvawter wrote:

For instance, you point to ice cores as evidence of non-Darwinian old earth evidence, yet the assumption that layers=years is based on a paradigm that is heavily influenced by Darwin's theory. The reason scientists entertain old earth interpretations of that evidence rather than young earth is that they are operating within a paradigm of old earth assumptions. 

Really? So you don't think that scientists can come to an objective opinion about how long it takes to make a layer of ice? There have to be presuppositions? I strongly disagree with that. It is just objective science--measurements, recording, processes, etc. It is what scientists do best.

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

What are you thinking, 10K years, 100K?

 

Where YEC goes wrong is that it starts mixing up science.  I would say that the Bible is not conclusive on the age of the universe nor does it purport to show an age whatsoever.  What we do know is that both the NT authors and Christ indicate a relatively young universe.  What that age is, is up for grabs.  I don't think Millions of years would qualify, but could it be 100K years?  Who knows.  I wouldn't argue with someone who thought that.  But I would also not try to entertain arguments that "prove" a certain age.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

GregH wrote:

 

pvawter wrote:

 

For instance, you point to ice cores as evidence of non-Darwinian old earth evidence, yet the assumption that layers=years is based on a paradigm that is heavily influenced by Darwin's theory. The reason scientists entertain old earth interpretations of that evidence rather than young earth is that they are operating within a paradigm of old earth assumptions. 

 

 

Really? So you don't think that scientists can come to an objective opinion about how long it takes to make a layer of ice? There have to be presuppositions? I strongly disagree with that. It is just objective science--measurements, recording, processes, etc. It is what scientists do best.

GregH, the reality is that no one is free of presuppositions. As long as people are involved in the process, there's no such thingas completely "objective science--measurements, recording, processes, etc." In this case or instance, it ceases to be objective when meaning is attached to the measurements.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

GregH's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

GregH, the reality is that no one is free of presuppositions. As long as people are involved in the process, there's no such thingas completely "objective science--measurements, recording, processes, etc." In this case or instance, it ceases to be objective when meaning is attached to the measurements.

So if I go into the kitchen and measure 1 cup of water, it is impossible for me to do so without presuppositions. And we wonder why some Christians are accused of being anti-science....

What is the place for science at all if that is how you feel about it? Why would you believe anything a scientist tells you?

dgszweda's picture

GregH wrote:

 

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

 

GregH, the reality is that no one is free of presuppositions. As long as people are involved in the process, there's no such thingas completely "objective science--measurements, recording, processes, etc." In this case or instance, it ceases to be objective when meaning is attached to the measurements.

 

 

So if I go into the kitchen and measure 1 cup of water, it is impossible for me to do so without presuppositions. And we wonder why some Christians are accused of being anti-science....

What is the place for science at all if that is how you feel about it? Why would you believe anything a scientist tells you?

There are a few presuppositions that you have.  The key one, is that the measuring cup for your water is accurate.  I doubt you validate that your measuring cup is accurate.  You assume it is accurate.  If you want to get very technical, a measuring device is only accurate within a range.  When we talk about something like water, it is accurate to a given temperature (typically 25 degrees Celsius).

In terms of ice cores, you could make a fairly compelling argument that the actual sampling of the ice cores are relatively accurate and free of most suppositions.  Where the strain becomes is in the analysis of the data and interpretation of the results.  In that case, there are significant presuppositions, such as uniformitarianism.  In order to interpret the results we must build models, those models are filled with presuppositions and limitations.  In fact you could argue that every single scientific model is flawed.  They all have limitations, some are solved with things like constants, some have flaws.  This is what makes science fun.  It is ever evolving as new models are developed to address the flaws of the current models.

GregH's picture

I figured someone would point out that the accuracy of the measurement tool itself was based on a presupposition. But the truth is that it is not the same thing as a faith-based presupposition or for that matter, a Darwin-induced presupposition and we all know it. The accuracy of the measurement tool is itself based on previous science that was itself objective. That is not to say it is error free but there is no agenda there. No faith and no Darwinism. Same goes for ice cores. No agenda--just some cold scientists sitting out on an ice block measuring things. As far as the interpretation goes? Yes, there is an opportunity for an agenda but really, where is the evidence that scientists are involved in a conspiracy to hide the age of the earth? You figure out how ice layers are formed and start counting. Can you come up with the exact age of the earth? No, but why would they not be able to at least disprove a 6,000 earth, especially when combined with 40 other dating mechanisms that say the same thing?

If you can't accept that scientists really are trying to get to truth objectively and without an agenda, why would science be of any value at all?

Larry's picture

Moderator

I would say that the Bible is not conclusive on the age of the universe nor does it purport to show an age whatsoever.

Dave, what do you believe is the purpose giving the age of people at death in the early genealogies? It traces it in years all the way back to Adam. If not somehow related to an age, what would that be for?

Larry Nelson's picture

 

Larry wrote:

I would say that the Bible is not conclusive on the age of the universe nor does it purport to show an age whatsoever.

Dave, what do you believe is the purpose giving the age of people at death in the early genealogies? It traces it in years all the way back to Adam. If not somehow related to an age, what would that be for?

A caveat: there is more to the genealogies than meets the eye.  Here's one examination:

http://www.reasons.org/files/articles/The-Genesis-Genealogies.pdf

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

I would say that the Bible is not conclusive on the age of the universe nor does it purport to show an age whatsoever.

Thanks, Larry. I am aware of the issue with genealogies. My question was to Dave about what he (who thinks the Bible does not purport to show an age whatsoever) makes of the genealogies. The dating of the early genealogies is not easy to dispense with by using the "gap theory" of genealogies. It's a little tighter than that,. 

dgszweda's picture

GregH wrote:

I figured someone would point out that the accuracy of the measurement tool itself was based on a presupposition. But the truth is that it is not the same thing as a faith-based presupposition or for that matter, a Darwin-induced presupposition and we all know it. The accuracy of the measurement tool is itself based on previous science that was itself objective. That is not to say it is error free but there is no agenda there. No faith and no Darwinism. Same goes for ice cores. No agenda--just some cold scientists sitting out on an ice block measuring things. As far as the interpretation goes? Yes, there is an opportunity for an agenda but really, where is the evidence that scientists are involved in a conspiracy to hide the age of the earth? You figure out how ice layers are formed and start counting. Can you come up with the exact age of the earth? No, but why would they not be able to at least disprove a 6,000 earth, especially when combined with 40 other dating mechanisms that say the same thing?

If you can't accept that scientists really are trying to get to truth objectively and without an agenda, why would science be of any value at all?

Of course I was being a bit facetious in my response.  I am also not saying that science is not trying to get to the truth.  But I would also say that I would be hesitant to say that science is getting to the truth objectively.  I think that you may be giving science more credit than it deserves.  I don't think it is a conspiracy, but there are a lot of assumptions that are made.  Sometimes those assumptions are okay, but in the end science is always in a state of flux.  Assumptions are constantly being challenged and new models are being created every day.  In terms of truth objectively we could get into a whole discussion around truth.  I would say that science is not objective truth, but it would depend on how you define truth.  My personal belief and one that I feel is backed up by Scripture is that truth is only found in Scriptures.

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

I would say that the Bible is not conclusive on the age of the universe nor does it purport to show an age whatsoever.

Thanks, Larry. I am aware of the issue with genealogies. My question was to Dave about what he (who thinks the Bible does not purport to show an age whatsoever) makes of the genealogies. The dating of the early genealogies is not easy to dispense with by using the "gap theory" of genealogies. It's a little tighter than that,. 

I am not proposing a gap theory, and I have never proposed some form of gap theory.  But I am also not proposing that Usher's genealogy narrative should be dogmatic.  By the whatsoever, I mean that the purpose of genealogies was never meant to deliver an age of time with certainty.  The purpose of genealogies is to show a distinct lineage, not an exact passage of time.  Since it's purpose is not to show an exact passage of time, it cannot be used as a basis of age.  I think the co-regency of the kings of Israel is a prime example.  Is the age 6,000 years or 10,000 years or 20,000 years.  I don't know, I don't believe Scripture indicates any specific age, and so I see no reason to be dogmatic about it.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

I figured someone would point out that the accuracy of the measurement tool itself was based on a presupposition. But the truth is that it is not the same thing as a faith-based presupposition or for that matter, a Darwin-induced presupposition and we all know it. The accuracy of the measurement tool is itself based on previous science that was itself objective. That is not to say it is error free but there is no agenda there. No faith and no Darwinism. Same goes for ice cores. No agenda--just some cold scientists sitting out on an ice block measuring things. As far as the interpretation goes? Yes, there is an opportunity for an agenda but really, where is the evidence that scientists are involved in a conspiracy to hide the age of the earth? You figure out how ice layers are formed and start counting. Can you come up with the exact age of the earth? No, but why would they not be able to at least disprove a 6,000 earth, especially when combined with 40 other dating mechanisms that say the same thing?

If you can't accept that scientists really are trying to get to truth objectively and without an agenda, why would science be of any value at all?

 

 

Of course I was being a bit facetious in my response.  I am also not saying that science is not trying to get to the truth.  But I would also say that I would be hesitant to say that science is getting to the truth objectively.  I think that you may be giving science more credit than it deserves.  I don't think it is a conspiracy, but there are a lot of assumptions that are made.  Sometimes those assumptions are okay, but in the end science is always in a state of flux.  Assumptions are constantly being challenged and new models are being created every day.  In terms of truth objectively we could get into a whole discussion around truth.  I would say that science is not objective truth, but it would depend on how you define truth.  My personal belief and one that I feel is backed up by Scripture is that truth is only found in Scriptures.

GregH,

Every scientist acknowledges the presence and influence of presuppositions in their work. Go pick up any research report, and one of the key sections will always be an explanation of the various influences that could have impacted the science they were doing, including presuppositions. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

pvawter's picture

GregH wrote:

I figured someone would point out that the accuracy of the measurement tool itself was based on a presupposition. But the truth is that it is not the same thing as a faith-based presupposition or for that matter, a Darwin-induced presupposition and we all know it. The accuracy of the measurement tool is itself based on previous science that was itself objective. That is not to say it is error free but there is no agenda there. No faith and no Darwinism. Same goes for ice cores. No agenda--just some cold scientists sitting out on an ice block measuring things. As far as the interpretation goes? Yes, there is an opportunity for an agenda but really, where is the evidence that scientists are involved in a conspiracy to hide the age of the earth? You figure out how ice layers are formed and start counting. Can you come up with the exact age of the earth? No, but why would they not be able to at least disprove a 6,000 earth, especially when combined with 40 other dating mechanisms that say the same thing?

If you can't accept that scientists really are trying to get to truth objectively and without an agenda, why would science be of any value at all?

Greg,

the problem with your assertion is that the scientist who drills the ice core never actually observed the ice forming. Every conclusion he draws about the ice core is based upon many other aspects of his worldview including his preconceived notions about the relative age of the earth. If he believes that the earth is billions of years old, then he will naturally conclude something different than if he believes that the Bible teaches the earth to be much, much younger. His presuppositions drive his interpretation, and that is true of every scientist. It doesn't require a grand conspiracy (something which you suggested, not me) to see that the majority of the scientific community operates on the basis of certain assumptions which, I believe, are inconsistent with a direct and plain-sense reading of Scripture. 

The fundamental assumption which supports every one of the 40+ methods of dating that you mention is that we can conclude things about the past by observing the present. This would seem to be a reasonable approach if indeed all natural phenomena have continued unchanged since creation, but we really have no way of knowing that, do we? Thus the philosophy of uniformitarianism, which undergirds the entire old earth perspective, is nothing more than an unprovable assertion about things in the past which cannot be directly observed. 

Would you acknowledge that two scientists who sit in the cold and observe the freshly drilled ice core might come to two very different conclusions about the age of the ice layers if one believes in uniformitarianism and the other in catastrophism? If so, then do we not have a responsibility to consider which set of presuppositions has greater validity before we automatically conclude one's interpretation better than the other?

Larry's picture

Moderator

The purpose of genealogies is to show a distinct lineage, not an exact passage of time.

The Genesis genealogies are tight, though with exact years given from birth to death and it can be calculated. IT seems like there is (almost) no room for gaps in those genealogies, which make them different than other genealogies that don't have the years. It's also different than the "Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings," to borrow Thiele's title. The co-regency is real and solves a lot (though not all) of the problems. But again, I think the genealogies in Genesis 5 are tight without much room for skips.

dgszweda's picture

Larry wrote:

The purpose of genealogies is to show a distinct lineage, not an exact passage of time.

The Genesis genealogies are tight, though with exact years given from birth to death and it can be calculated. IT seems like there is (almost) no room for gaps in those genealogies, which make them different than other genealogies that don't have the years. It's also different than the "Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings," to borrow Thiele's title. The co-regency is real and solves a lot (though not all) of the problems. But again, I think the genealogies in Genesis 5 are tight without much room for skips.

I won't go into detail here, but this is a well documented contentious point.  I just don't think it is a sword I want to fall on personally.  Either way it doesn't hurt a young earth, it just removes an exact date from being an element of dogmatic theology.

Larry's picture

Moderator

 I just don't think it is a sword I want to fall on personally.  Either way it doesn't hurt a young earth, it just removes an exact date from being an element of dogmatic theology.

I agree with you on this.

Pages