Uniformitarianism, Part 1
The hypothesis that the earth is billions of years old is rooted in the unbiblical premise that what is happening now is just what has always happened. This idea is known as uniformitarianism. It is the theory that natural and geological phenomena are for the most part the results of forces that have operated continuously, with uniformity, and without interruption, over billions and billions of years. Uniformitarians assume that the forces at work in nature are essentially fixed and constant. Scientists who hold this view explain nearly all geological phenomena in terms of processes that are still occurring. The uniformitarian sees sedimentary rock strata, for example, and assumes that the sediments that formed them resulted from the natural, slow settling of particles in water over several million years. A uniformitarian observes the Grand Canyon and assumes the natural flow of the Colorado River carved that immense chasm over many ages with a steady (though constantly decreasing) stream.
Uniformitarianism was first proposed around the beginning of the nineteenth century by two British geologists, James Hutton and his best–known disciple, Charles Lyell. Lyell’s work Principles of Geology was an explicit rejection of creation and flood–based explanations for geological formulations. Lyell insisted that all the features of earth’s geology must be explainable by natural, rather than supernatural, processes. He regarded all biblical or supernatural explanations as inherently unscientific and therefore false. In other words, he began with the presupposition that Scripture itself is untrue. And his work essentially canonized atheistic naturalism as the basis for "scientific" research.
As we have noted previously, naturalism itself is a religious belief. The conviction that nothing happens supernaturally is a tenet of faith, not a fact that can be verified by any scientific means. Indeed, an a priori rejection of everything supernatural involves a giant, irrational leap of faith. So the presuppositions of atheistic naturalism are actually no more "scientific" than the beliefs of biblical Christianity. That obvious fact seems to have escaped Lyell and many who have followed him.
Nonetheless, Lyell’s uniformitarian theory was enormously influential on other scientists of his age. (Darwin even took a copy of Lyell’s work with him when he sailed on the Beagle in 1831.) And from the first publication of Lyell’s work until today, the hypothesis that the earth is ages old has dominated secular science. The theory of evolution itself was the predictable and nearly immediate result of Lyell’s uniformitarian hypothesis.
Of course, modern scientists have expanded their estimates of the age of the earth beyond anything Lyell himself ever imagined. But the basic theory of uniformitarianism first emerged from Lyell’s antibiblical belief system.
The opposite of uniformitarianism is catastrophism, the view that dramatic geological changes have occurred in sudden, violent, or unusual events. A catastrophist observing sedimentary rock formations or large canyons is more likely (and more accurately) to interpret them as the result of massive flooding. Of course, this yields a much younger time frame for the development of earth’s geological features. (A sudden flood, for example, can produce a thick layer of sediment in a few hours. That means a large stratum of sedimentary rock, which a uniformitarian might assume took millions of years to form, could actually be the result of a single flash flood.) Catastrophism therefore poses a major challenge to the evolutionary timetable, eliminating the multiple billions of years demanded to make the evolutionary hypothesis work. And for that reason it is rejected out of hand by most evolutionists.
But a moment’s reflection will reveal that the fossil record is impossible to explain by any uniformitarian scheme. For a living creature to become fossilized (rather than to decay and turn to dust—Job 34:15), it must be buried immediately under a great weight of sediment. Apart from a catastrophic deluge on a scale unlike any observed in recent history, how can we explain the existence of massive fossil beds (such as the Karoo formation fossil field in Africa, which is thought to hold eight hundred billion vertebrate fossils)? Natural sedimentation over several ages cannot explain how so many fossils came to be concentrated in one place. And every inhabited continent contains large fossil beds where millions of fossilized species are found together in large concentrations, as if all these creatures were destroyed and buried together by massive flooding. Fossils of sea creatures are even found on many of the world’s highest mountain tops. How do uniformitarians explain such phenomena? The only way they can: They constantly increase their estimate of the age of the earth.
#1 Posted by
Jason Jacobs | Friday, May 07, 2010at
A breakthrough in the area of the genetic code has been made and it supports . . . drum roll please . . . Intelligent Design!
There may even be "species-specific" genetic codes.
See May 6th entry: http://crev.info/
#2 Posted by
Garrett League | Friday, May 07, 2010at
I know this is just a blog post, not a scientific paper, but it shows little evidence of interaction with counter arguments. Here's a few:
"Natural sedimentation over several ages cannot explain how so many fossils came to be concentrated in one place."
No geologist, not even one, would say that ALL deposits were laid down slowly, but that the true picture is one of gradual deposition, occasionally interrupted by local catastrophes. This all or nothing approach which assumes that geologists try to explain everything by uniform processes is a straw man and suggests that you need to be more familiar with what the opposition actually believes.
"And every inhabited continent contains large fossil beds where millions of fossilized species are found together in large concentrations, as if all these creatures were destroyed and buried together by massive flooding." Again, super misleading. If all animals coexisted and were buried at once, then why do dinosaur grave yards only contain, well, dinosaurs! Why no humans, giraffes, dogs, etc? Why only fossils from that time period? What about faunal succession? How is it that geologists can know where to drill for oil based on index fossils? Why hasn't catastrophism produced any meaningful predictions that have actually proved helpful for oil drillers? Why no mammals in the precambrian? Did you know that most fossil deposits are located at sites of ancient rivers? Why is that?
"Fossils of sea creatures are even found on many of the world’s highest mountain tops. How do uniformitarians explain such phenomena?"
Do you really not know, or is this just rhetorical? Have you ever bothered to find out the explanation or do you just read creationist criticisms? Those fossils used to be under the ocean and colliding continents forced them up into mountain peaks, as when India collided with Asia. Geology/the fossil record makes no sense in purely catastrophic terms. The data just doesn't fit it. For example, why is it that pollen from flowering plants is never found beneath a certain age of rock if the layers were laid down rapidly? Flowers can't move, so why are they never in the lower layers? And how do you explain fossilized feces (coprolites)? How did it get preserved in a flood, and why are the bones in them only from specific animals that lived at that time? Why no bunny bones in T-rex coprolites? There are just a ton of reasons why the scriptural geologists were forced to abandon catastrophism, even before Darwin. In fact, the young earth idea was abandoned even by C.I. Scofield and the fundamentalists. It took a 7th day adventist (Price) to resurrect it, and then later Whitcomb and Morris to popularize it, but it was mostly considered an embarrassment early on.
"The only way they can: They constantly increase their estimate of the age of the earth." Is that how you think it works? I'm a biologist, and even I know that's not how they arrived at the current dates, nor is that why they have refined the dates. Not even close. Do you think they can just add a billion years hear and there just to keep the uniformitarian conspiracy afloat? They couldn't, for example, say "Ooops, new fossils. Looks like we'll have to kick it up to 7 billion." Why not? Because all geologists and astronomers wouldn't have it. The dating methods are too consistent to move the date drastically from 4.5 billion. The reason the dates jumped early on is because of a lack of consistent tools for measuring earth's age. That's how science works. Weed out early, tentative, bad conclusions when more data comes in so that you can be more accurate and precise.
#3 Posted by
Don Jordan | Saturday, May 08, 2010at
Garrett: “No geologist, not even one, would say that ALL deposits were laid down slowly, but that the true picture is one of gradual deposition, occasionally interrupted by local catastrophes. This all or nothing approach which assumes that geologists try to explain everything by uniform processes is a straw man and suggests that you need to be more familiar with what the opposition actually believes.”
A more accurate statement would be, “No geologist *TODAY* would say that ALL deposits were laid down slowly.”
Charles Lyell’s substantive uniformitarianism dominated geology well into the early 1980’s. Catastrophism was met with scorn by the most of the geological community until they were able to fit it into a naturalistic framework. Henry Morris, reviewing a book by Davis A. Young, wrote in 1989:
“Creationists have indeed been pleased to see the development of this neo-catastrophist movement among geologists, because it is at least coming closer to Biblical catastrophism than the Lyellian uniformitarianism which stagnated geological thought up until that last 25 years or so. Possibly because Young is still ‘young,’ and also possibly because of his graduate studies at Penn State, which has been one of the few universities willing to consider catastrophism seriously (as long as it was not Biblical catastrophism!), he may not realize what a grip doctrinaire uniformitarianism has had on most geological thinking until very recently. When The Genesis Flood was written , for example…, it was necessary to devote two chapters, totaling 123 pages, just to demonstrate that traditional uniformitarianism could not account for the main features of the earth’s geology.
“There were, to be sure, a number of geological voices raised from time to time warning against a too-rigid uniformitarianism, but these were generally ignored by the great majority of geologists. Lyellian uniformitarianism had, indeed, gained essentially universal acceptance, and it was necessary for creationists to protest vigorously against what has now come to be called ‘substantive uniformitarianism’ (uniformity of process rates) as distinct from ‘methodological uniformitarianism’ (uniformity of natural laws). The exposition in The Genesis Flood strongly upheld the latter type of uniformitarianism.
“…Geologists have lately been climbing on this new bandwagon of naturalistic catastrophism in significant numbers. How much this new awareness of catastrophism may have been due to attacks on Lyellian uniformitarianism by creationists is an open question (geologists would never admit this, of course!), but, in any case, they often now are writing the same sorts of things creationists had already been saying for years, though these same geologists still vigorously resist Biblical catastrophism.”
[Source: Henry M. Morris, John D. Morris, “Science, Scripture and The Young Earth,” Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, CA, 1989, pp. 63-64.]
Derek V. Ager, the British geologist, anti-creationist and one of the chief architects of today’s naturalistic catastrophism wrote:
“Just as politicians rewrite human history, so geologists rewrite earth history. For a century and a half the geological world has been dominated, one might even say brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell. Any suggestion of ‘catastrophic’ events has been rejected as old-fashioned, unscientific and even laughable.”
[Source: Derek V. Ager, “The New Catastrophism: the importance of the rare event in geological history,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. xi, 1993.]
Even with the contributions of creationists like Henry Morris and evolutionists like Derek V. Ager, substantive uniformitarianism is still alive and well in modern geology. Yes, naturalistic catastrophism is allowed, but it is only allowed as long as it does not upset the apple cart of uniformitarianism’s geologic ages. This is why Biblical catastrophism could never be considered by evolutionary geologists. Therefore, accusing this blog author of making a straw man because today’s geologists allow for limited catastrophism is raising a distinction without a difference. Despite the occasional localized flood, the slow, drip, drip, drip of Lyellian uniformitarianism is still the dominant paradigm in modern geology.
Garrett:” Again, super misleading. If all animals coexisted and were buried at once, then why do dinosaur grave yards only contain, well, dinosaurs! Why no humans, giraffes, dogs, etc? Why only fossils from that time period? What about faunal succession?... Why no mammals in the precambrian?... why is it that pollen from flowering plants is never found beneath a certain age of rock if the layers were laid down rapidly? Flowers can't move, so why are they never in the lower layers? And how do you explain fossilized feces (coprolites)? How did it get preserved in a flood, and why are the bones in them only from specific animals that lived at that time? Why no bunny bones in T-rex coprolites?”
The fossil record and the geologic column is not the nice neat little package you would have the readers here believe. Creationist geologist John Woodmorappe writes:
“But what are the ramifications of fossils seeming to occur in multiple, different horizons in the earth’s rock strata? Is the succession of life-forms, over long periods of time, the only way to explain the succession of fossils in earth’s sedimentary rocks? Certainly not.
Creationists, including myself, have provided a variety of alternative explanations for fossil succession. These include such mechanisms as the sorting of organisms during the Flood, differential escape of organisms during the same, ecological zonation of life-forms in the antediluvian world (such that different life-forms in different strata reflect the serial burial of ecological life-zones during the Flood), and TABs (Tectonically-Associated Biological Provinces—wherein different life forms occur in successive horizons of rock as a reflection of successive crustal down warp of different life-bearing biogeographic communities).
All of these mechanisms do away with the notion that horizons of fossils demand successive passages of time during which the organisms lived. In other words, they allow for there to have been only one set of mutually-contemporaneous living things on a young earth, instead of a repetitive replacement of living things over vast periods of time. Most of the earth’s sedimentary record is viewed as being deposited by the Noachian Deluge, and not over successive depositional events in analogues of modern sedimentary environments on an evolving earth.”
[Source: John Woodmorappe, “The fossil record: becoming more random all the time,” CEN Technical Journal 14(1) 2000, http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j14_1/j14_1_110-116.pdf ]
Creationist Don Batten writes regarding Biblical catastrophism and the flood:
“The creationist position on the general order of fossils in geological strata is caricatured [by evolutionists]. Hydraulic sorting and mobility are only two of several possible mechanisms. Creationists consider ecological zonation to be a major factor in the positioning of the fossils. Remember that many creatures buried in the bottom of the column tend to be aquatic bottom-dwelling, relatively immobile creatures. More mobile land-dwelling creatures are buried at the top of the stratigraphic column. There are examples of apparent out-of-place fossils, but these are dismissed by the evolutionary establishment and given labels such as ‘re-worked’ or ‘stratigraphic leaks’ to supposedly explain why they are out of place, or the accepted evolutionary order is adjusted appropriately. For example, pollen and wood fragments of more than 60 species of woody plants have been found in Precambrian rocks in the Grand Canyon. These findings are seen as being impossible by evolutionists and therefore dismissed out-of-hand.”
[Source: Don Batten, “A brief response to anti-creationist books,” Journal of Creation, 12(3):275–278, December 1998, http://creation.com/response-to-anti-creationist-books-confronting-creationism-defending-darwin-by-selkirk-burrows ]
As an example solution for some the minutia you posted, it can be noted that Precambrian life forms are almost universally sea life that dwells on the bottom of the sea. The reason you don’t find bunny fossils in Precambrian rock is the same reason you don’t find bunnies at the bottom of the sea today: bunnies don’t live at the bottom of the sea; they live on land.
Garrett: “And how do you explain fossilized feces (coprolites)? How did it get preserved in a flood.”
When poop sits baking in the sun it gets hard. I know because I’ve shoveled enough from various species in my time to know this. When a catastrophic flood comes, the poop gets rapidly buried in silt before it can dissolve. Do I *really* need to explain this to you? :^)
Garrett: “How is it that geologists can know where to drill for oil based on index fossils? Why hasn't catastrophism produced any meaningful predictions that have actually proved helpful for oil drillers?”
Because prospecting for oil (and any other mineral for that matter) is not dependent on either uniformitarianism or catastrophism. We know from observation that certain fossils are sometimes found with oil reserves just like certain other geologic features indicate the presence of other minerals. An index fossil that lived in certain environments indicates conditions favorable for oil, but it does not follow from this that evolutionary uniformitarianism is true. However:
“Experts in petroleum prospecting note the impossibility of creating an effective model given long and slow oil generation over millions of years (Petukhov, 2004). In their opinion, if models demand the standard multimillion-years geochronological scale, the best exploration strategy is to drill wells on a random grid.” Lalomov, A.V., 2007. Mineral deposits as an example of geological rates. CRSQ 44(1):64–66.”
[Source: Don Batten,“Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe,” 4 June 2009(GMT+10), http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth ]
“Schieber suggests that one application of his research is by oil companies prospecting for oil and gas, because both organic matter and muds are sticky and are often found together. Along this line, his work could also be relevant to the way coal deposits form. Coal beds frequently alternate with shale and mudstone, so the traditional geological interpretation of coal forming in a swamp environment could be another cherished belief overturned by these findings.”
[Source: Tas Walker, “Mud experiments overturn long-held geological beliefs,” 9 January 2008, http://creation.com/mud-experiments-overturn-long-held-geological-beliefs ]
Garrett: “Do you really not know, or is this just rhetorical? Have you ever bothered to find out the explanation or do you just read creationist criticisms? Those fossils used to be under the ocean and colliding continents forced them up into mountain peaks, as when India collided with Asia. Geology/the fossil record makes no sense in purely catastrophic terms. The data just doesn't fit it.”
Actually, the author of the blog is correct. You may be surprised to know that continental drift and marine fossils found on high mountain tops fit into Biblical catastrophist models BETTER than uniformitarian models. This is because the current rates of erosion are greater than the uplift rates for uniformitarian models of continental drift:
“But this long-age scenario of slow uplift faces a major current problem. Rates of erosion are greater than uplift rates, so uplift cannot keep pace with erosion3—i.e. the Andes (4,000 m above sea level) would erode within 56 million years. Yet evolutionists claim that these oysters atop the Andes date from 200 million years ago! Put simply, the stark conundrum is that if the Andes really were that old, they would no longer be here.
And this long-age conundrum is not confined to the Andes. All over the world, fossils of marine organisms can be found in rock layers in high mountains. But evolutionary dating puts the age of these mountain rock layers far beyond their ‘erode-by’ date—clearly not reconcilable with reality.
In contrast, the Biblical account of the worldwide Flood not only explains why so many marine creatures came to be buried in layers of sediment, but also how these layers came to be lifted to high altitude. Psalm 104 describes how the Flood ended when ‘The mountains rose up; the valleys sank down’,4 and the waters flowed off the uplifted land into the new ocean basins. The whole process did not take millions of years, but occurred rapidly, marking the end of the Flood, around a mere 4,300 years ago.”
[Source: David Catchpoole, “Giant oysters on the mountain,” Creation24(2):54–55, March 2002, http://creation.com/giant-oysters-on-the-mountain ]
I am in a crunch mode to complete a software development project, so I don’t have the time to answer point-by-point all of the stuff you posted. Because of this, I also do not have the time to get into an extended debate over this material either. I do hope it will help you and others who may have similar questions regarding Biblical catastrophism.
For the edification of others who may be reading this blog:
Geology Questions and Answers from CMI: http://creation.com/geology-questions-and-answers
A new book has just been released by ICR as an update to The Genesis Flood. It is a two-volume work by Dr. Andrew Snelling called “Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and the Flood.” I have a copy but I haven’t had a chance to read it myself yet. It looks like a very interesting work just skimming through it. You may purchase it here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/Earths-Catastrophic-Past,6438,226.aspx
As a contrast to the catastrophist models proposed by ICR, Barry Setterfield has another interesting young earth catastrophic model of Biblical earth history based on four major eras divided by three catastrophes. You may read summary of it here: http://www.setterfield.org/Bibleandgeology.html
Setterfield also did a presentation on this at the Creation Science Fellowship at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. You may download the video [Barry Setterfield (10/6/2007) "What on Earth happened?"] here: http://www.darwinisdead.com/archive/Creation%20Science%2010_6_2007_Barry_Setterfield_4.wmv
#4 Posted by
Fred Butler | Saturday, May 08, 2010at
Again, super misleading. If all animals coexisted and were buried at once, then why do dinosaur grave yards only contain, well, dinosaurs! Why no humans, giraffes, dogs, etc? Why only fossils from that time period?
There are many explanations for such things, which demonstrates to me that you are not at all familiar with the creationist literature on the subject as you may think you are. Your objection assumes a consistency with the so-called geological column all over the world. Such is not the case. It also assumes all animals lived together when also such is not the case. Dinosaurs, for example probably existed in specific regions of the world before the flood. It would be the same reason you don't find African elephant skeletons mixed in with moose. OR penguins in the stomachs of polar bears.
How did it get preserved in a flood, and why are the bones in them only from specific animals that lived at that time? Why no bunny bones in T-rex coprolites?
Actually, it is the opposite. You may do well to familiarize yourself with the most recent findings:
From the article:
This totally overturns the notion of dinosaur-age mammals as tiny and nocturnal, says vertebrate palaeontologist Hans-Dieter Sues of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, US. "Apparently some mammals could grow much larger than anyone had thought was possible."
What are dinosaurs doing living along side mammals to begin with?
In fact, the young earth idea was abandoned even by C.I. Scofield and the fundamentalists. It took a 7th day adventist (Price) to resurrect it, and then later Whitcomb and Morris to popularize it, but it was mostly considered an embarrassment early on.
Actually, early fundamentalists like C.I. Scofield were ignorant of the discussion. Just like many in our day who think they have to compromise a biblical history in order to save face with academia and their "overwhelming" evidence, some early fundamentalists adopted the gap-theory to explain the geological evidence in stead of a global, world wide flood. This was Scofield's position.
As for creationism being "resurrected" by 7th day Adventist, this is largely a myth by an anti-biblicist named Numbers who tries to trace the history of modern creationism to the end of the 19th century. I take it you haven't read Terry Mortenson's doctoral thesis on early biblical creationists in England during the development of Lyle's uniformitarian geology?
Here's a brief sketch of his work:
And just for kicks, the front page article happens to be on the subject:
#5 Posted by
Garrett League | Saturday, May 08, 2010at
#3 Don: Hey Don, did you know our two posts combined are about 3x's longer than the blog post itself! Maybe we should start our own blog! Here are some thoughts:
"but, in any case, they often now are writing the same sorts of things creationists had already been saying for years, though these same geologists still vigorously resist Biblical catastrophism" The same sorts of things? That's a bit of a stretch, because, as he knows full well (and as you and I know), old-school, universal catastrophism is never coming back, regardless of whether or not you think it ought to.
"Yes, naturalistic catastrophism is allowed, but it is only allowed as long as it does not upset the apple cart of uniformitarianism’s geologic ages." Why is that? Merely because of naturalistic presuppostions? The wrong spectacles perhaps? Do you think the evidence has anything to do with it at all? Or are they just protecting a pet notion of gradualism?
"Therefore, accusing this blog author of making a straw man because today’s geologists allow for limited catastrophism is raising a distinction without a difference." No, there's a big difference, since local catastrophes explain the evidence the blog puts forth as indicators of a universal flood, but all geologists are aware of those and can account for them. I got the impression that the blog was implying that the only way to account for fossil graveyards is a universal catastrophe, and that geology just can't explain them by slow processes. Well, who said they were trying to! Because in reality, it's a mixture of both. Perhaps I'm just way off, but that's the impression I got.
You quote at length a Mr. Woodmorappe? All of the arguments he cites are really problematic. "These include such mechanisms as the sorting of organisms during the Flood, differential escape of organisms during the same, ecological zonation of life-forms in the antediluvian world" All of these fall apart with things like flowering plants. And not one dinosaur was near a modern mammal? This strains credulity. Don Prothero wrote a book on this and deals with some of Gish's claims in "The Fossils Say No!" and other arguments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efpjE_wg_1M If you can stomach the typical creationist bashing and mocking, the arguments are actually good. Sorry, he's an unbeliever, but he knows his stuff.
"When a catastrophic flood comes, the poop gets rapidly buried in silt before it can dissolve. Do I *really* need to explain this to you? :^)" Yes, you really do. I know about animal feces; my parents own a ranch. Lots of angus. My point was, when you look at the CONTENTS of the coprolites, you don't find modern animal remains. I didn't say it was impossible for a flood to preserve some coprolites.
"Because prospecting for oil (and any other mineral for that matter) is not dependent on either uniformitarianism or catastrophism" I think that's just flat wrong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc6uhQWQQMQ
As for the rest of your assertions, all I can say is, if your catastrophic models explain the evidence better, then I hope one day some YEC geologist can make a good case. So far, that hasn't happened. In fact, I find the arguments against an old earth far less compelling than those against evolution, and I don't really find the latter compelling either. Unlike you, I have enough faith in the scientific method to weed out bad ideas and promote ones that best explain the data. I don't see all scientists as being slaves to presuppositions, unwilling or unable to go where the evidence truly points. So, here's wishing the best of luck to Morris's disciples and their quixotic quest to fit ALL the data into 6,000 years. I do not envy them.
#4 Fred: "which demonstrates to me that you are not at all familiar with the creationist literature on the subject as you may think you are." That may very well be the case. I specialize in biology, not the earth sciences. Although I have heard most of the common YEC arguments for a young earth, your prob. right, I haven't gone as deep into the more technical stuff.
"Your objection assumes a consistency with the so-called geological column all over the world. Such is not the case" Indeed it is not. All geologists know that. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efpjE_wg_1M at 37:00.
"Actually, it is the opposite. You may do well to familiarize yourself with the most recent findings"
Repenomamus giganticus is no modern jack rabbit. I did NOT say that no mammals existed at that time. Everyone knows that small ones did. Now apparently some not so small ones did too. My point is that modern bunnies are found in older rocks. If they find a modern human in the cretaceous, then were talking.
"I take it you haven't read Terry Mortenson's doctoral thesis on early biblical creationists in England during the development of Lyle's uniformitarian geology?" No, but I have read Ron Numbers! I'd be fascinated to know what he (Dr. Numbers) thinks about the thesis though. He's no hack and is very respected in the history of science discipline. Why don't you email Dr. Numbers your assertion that "creationism being "resurrected" by 7th day Adventist, this is largely a myth"? He's at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and I'm sure he'd reply. He's actually engaged a great deal with Christian arguments on all sides of this discussion. I thought it was a well documented fact, but maybe we're wrong. I'd ask him if I were you, maybe send Terry's thesis?
"And just for kicks, the front page article happens to be on the subject" I looked at it and winced in pain. I thought they had abandoned the magnetic field argument?! I'm sorry if I come off a bit exasperated, but I've just been so inundated with those sorts of arguments that I have little patience. I'll look more in depth later. "One such discovery that has left evolutionists scrambling is a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex femur with flexible connective tissue, branching blood vessels, and even intact cells!" That is SO misleading! Evolutionists aren't panicked! The bone samples had to be soaked in solution before the tissues were made plastic! Even 60mins pointed that out! http://www.cbs.com/primetime/60_minutes/video/?pid=rrW4fasWAoey_JBAW_2eB3fDpNnjaILa
#6 Posted by
Fred Butler | Saturday, May 08, 2010at
Garret, you may want to go back and watch that video. (Which I would encourage everyone to do, because you can see how presuppositions clearly direct a person's interpretation of evidence that contracts their beliefs).
You just blow off the implications of what they demonstrated on that video as if it isn't a big deal. The acid was used to dissolve the rock around the bone, the soft tissue was what was left. You seem to imply that the acid created the appearance of blood, but the fact that there is blood present, along with protein strands for analysis, in not only a T-Rex, but also a duck bill dino, is a rather significant piece of evidence against an animal of several million years of age. The fact that their colleagues wish to debunk them proves the significance of what they have found.
Horner wants to do this process to many more samples and believes he can find more soft tissue. The problem is, no paleontologist wants him to destroy their collection. I would imagine there are many more bones out their with red blood cells in them.
More on the subject here (from evolutionary sites):
#7 Posted by
Garrett League | Saturday, May 08, 2010at
#6 Fred: "The acid was used to dissolve the rock around the bone, the soft tissue was what was left." Yes, sorry, my phrasing was misleading. I should have not have said "MADE" the plastic, but uncovered, or revitalized the soft tissue within.
"You seem to imply that the acid created the appearance of blood"
Again, sorry about the misleading comment. They were indeed there. No bones (!) about it. I just think as creationists present it, you'd think they found a few rats chomping on fresh dinosaur meat. It's a bit more complex than that. Shocking, though, and not expected if the bones are as old as they are thought to be. But, nevertheless, I think it proves that scientists aren't about hiding controversial findings; the more controversy, the more public attention, the more funding!
#8 Posted by
Eric Newport | Sunday, May 09, 2010at
I enjoy all the arguments from both of you. WAy over my head! I have to lean on the side of creation though!!
#9 Posted by
Carol Gayheart | Sunday, May 09, 2010at
Garrett says, “Perhaps I'm just way off, but that's the impression I got.”
“That may very well be the case. I specialize in biology, not the earth sciences. Although I have heard most of the common YEC arguments for a young earth, your prob. right, I haven't gone as deep into the more technical stuff.”
“I thought it was a well documented fact, but maybe we're wrong.”
“I don't really find the latter compelling either. Unlike you, I have enough faith in the scientific method to weed out bad ideas and promote ones that best explain the data.”
“Sorry, he's an unbeliever, but he knows his stuff.” [note: “his” stuff]
“sorry, my phrasing was misleading. I should have not have said…”
“Again, sorry about the misleading comment.”
“If I find out someday it's wrong, I'll shout it from the rooftops; until then, I've got to go with the evidence.”
Perhaps Garrett is not as informed as he thought he was, or as he presented himself?
In addition to citing non-believers & youtube, Garrett also refers to Scripture when it suits his arguments; Garrett said, “Jesus said the mustard seed was the smallest (it isn't)… Mustard seed was the smallest they knew of.”
Mustard: (CAPS mine)
"a plant of the genus sinapis, a pod-bearing, shrub-like plant, growing wild, and also cultivated in gardens. The little round seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament; and in each of the three instances of its occurrence in the New Testament (Mat 13:31,32; Mar 4:31,32; Luk 13:18,19) IT IS SPOKEN OF ONLY WITH REFERENCE TO THE SMALLNESS OF ITS SEED. The common mustard of Palestine is the Sinapis nigra. This garden herb sometimes grows to a considerable height, so as to be spoken of as "a tree" as compared with garden herbs."
Easton, M. G. "Mustard," Easton's Bible Dictionary. Blue Letter Bible. 1897. 1 Apr 2007. 9 May 2010.
I will add Mt 17:19-20 “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it [demon] out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
I believe that is Garrett’s weakness: his faith. He can CLAIM to have it, but it is obvious from his posts that he is trying to reconcile his faith with science (obviously his worldview/foundation) RATHER THAN TRYING TO RECONCILE SCIENCE WITH HIS FAITH. I like what an earlier blogger, Russell Carroll from Dethroning the Judge, blogs #42 & 49, said, “I am both a former astronomer and a follower of Christ. I accept the Word of God as THE defining document or starting point of truth.” When asked why he left the field of science, he explained his views as follows, “I do believe that it is beyond our ability and instruction to reconcile the observable universe with the Bible. "I don't know" has become a concept I have grown comfortable with over time as a Christian, and my view of both science and creation have changed somewhat…I'm a huge fan of science and a committed Christian who loves the Lord. At this stage of my life, I enjoy the beauty of God's universe and can see his hand everywhere, even though I can't necessarily bridge the gap between the two satisfactorily. This is not a copout but a concession that is biblical, in that a sheep can't mine the true depths of the mind and heart of the Shepherd.”
I believe until Garrett comes to a similar conclusion/faith, I fear his faith will remain smaller than a mustard seed and that spiritually he is treading on thin ice.
Jesus said in Rev 3:15) "I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot. 16) So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
Act 17:32-34) Paul was not able to convince ALL of the Athenians of God’s truth. (32) “Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, SOME MOCKED.[COLD] But others said, “We will hear you again about this.”[LUKEWARM] So Paul went out from their midst. But SOME MEN joined him and BELIEVED…”[HOT]
Garrett said, “Remember, I'm a THEISTIC evolutionist right? I can cheat if I need to :)”
NOTE: Cheating won’t work on the Day of Judgment.
MEGA KUDOS to Don & Fred for all the additional information!
#10 Posted by
Don Jordan | Sunday, May 09, 2010at
Garrett wrote: “Unlike you, I have enough faith in the scientific method to weed out bad ideas and promote ones that best explain the data.”
I do believe that because of a lack of proper communication on my part you have jumped to a few conclusions about what I believe as a YEC. I have tried to be a bit on the agnostic side regarding the material I have posted from creationists because I wanted to present a broader range of opinions. For example, I posted quotes from John Woodmorappe and Don Batten because I wanted to point people in the direction of one set of creationist answers. It doesn’t follow that I believe everything they propose is flawlessly correct. I have also posted links to material by Barry Setterfield because he presents a viable YEC alternative to models proposed by ICR and others.
I do not have the time to write a sufficiently long post to explain my ideas. However, I do feel that I need to clarify something to everyone.
I do not believe that the classic YEC model of Noah’s flood (everything happening in one year) as presented by organizations like ICR and Answers in Genesis is correct. I believe this because it does not account for all the geologic data. Therefore, I am not a “Morris's disciple,” but I do greatly admire Henry Morris for his undeniable influence in getting the geologic community to deal with catastrophism. On the other hand, I do not accept the old universe, old earth evolutionary uniformitarianism of theistic evolutionists either because that too does not account for all the geologic data. It also flatly contradicts the Bible in my opinion, but that subject is for another day.
There is a third alternative. I believe that Barry Setterfield’s model of three catastrophic periods in earth history (the first being Noah’s flood) is on the right track. Not only does it attempt to account for all the geologic data (including the data that troubled Glenn R. Morton) but it is also scripturally sound. And Yes I also believe that Setterfield is right concerning the speed of light being a variable. BTW – Just to head off the usual objections regarding variable C, please note that: First, as far as I know, nobody has refuted Alan Montgomery’s statistical analysis of the speed of light measurement data. Second, Setterfield has produced what sound like reasonable ways to deal with the theoretical objections (e.g. visible light turning into x-rays, etc.).
I posted this before in this tread, but I will post it here again for convenience. Setterfield did a presentation on his model of earth history at the Creation Science Fellowship at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. You may download the video [Barry Setterfield (10/6/2007) "What on Earth happened?"] here:
#11 Posted by
Lois Dimitre | Monday, May 10, 2010at
"Again, sorry about the misleading comment. They were indeed there. No bones (!) about it. I just think as creationists present it, you'd think they found a few rats chomping on fresh dinosaur meat. It's a bit more complex than that. Shocking, though, and not expected if the bones are as old as they are thought to be. But, nevertheless, I think it proves that scientists aren't about hiding controversial findings; the more controversy, the more public attention, the more funding!"
Garrett, your comments illustrate just how unfamiliar you are with how 'creationists present' these and much earlier findings (as they relate to this issue and similar findings made over the last 15 years). To suggest that YECs don't understand the complexity is just a gratuitous criticism. Comments like that are better left off the debate table, in my opinion.
We understand the complexity. In fact, YECs (right off the top of my head, Ian Juby comes to mind) questioned (paraphrased) "how collagen fibers, blood vessels and blood cells could remain relatively intact for 4,000+ years (dating back to the approximate time Noah's flood was supposed to happen and which buried the dinosaurs), let alone the 65+ million years evolutionists suggest!
Juby explained, "Especially when one considers that every single study ever carried out says that flesh decays way, way, way too fast. This is not arguing from what we DO NOT know (as many of those who want to believe in deep time are want to do), this is what we DO know."
The consensus among evolutionists was it was impossible for this material to exist after 65 million years, therefore what was discovered wasn't really dinosaur 'soft tissue'. I don't recall reading any evolutionist questioning their own theory, just dismissing the evidence as being real. I could be wrong, but this is what I recall.
Further discussions among the YEC 'community' revolved around the challenge to Dr. Schweitzer's (who is a Christian, but I don't believe is a YEC) by Thomas Kaye whose 'team' concluded that this wasn't 'soft tissue' but more of a 'bacterial slime' which mineralized over time. Schweitzer had countered Kaye's conclusions with further testings to support her claims that this was indeed soft tissue, blood vessels and blood cells. She stands by her conclusion.
I don't recall one evolutionist even suggesting it could be a combination of soft tissue and bacterial 'slime'. Again, I could be wrong. But, YECs were suggesting such. This is a real possibility and the question should be asked "Why are evolutionists seemingly reluctant to even entertain such a possibility?"
Here's the answer, in my opinion: Because the theory of evolution demands millions of years. The specific evidence (in this case) questions that theory and evolutionists can't afford to even entertain that possibility. So, they question the data instead and dismiss the possibility that it is even partially 'correct'. Again, if they admit that this soft-tissue is 'real', they have just admitted that their entire theory needs to be re-thought.
And that just can't be allowed!
#12 Posted by
Cliff Gould | Monday, May 10, 2010at
I can follow most of these arguements but as a Christian I must believe the Creationist explainations using what man knows of science, which everyone must yeild is incomplete to say the least.
I have a question though, if God were to create a full grown 45yr old man in a micro second("twinkling of an eye") how old would he look? How old would he be? What about a working functioning World or Universe in a micor second? How old would that look? If one is a Christian who is educated in mans knowledge of science is that just too impossible a thing for us to believe God can do?
#13 Posted by
Paul Tucker | Monday, May 10, 2010at
Hi Garrett: Are you familiar with the fact that Morris was one of the foremost authorities on the field of hydrolics in the U.S.? And Whitcomb is a Princeton graduate and one of the leading authorities on the Old Testament in the U.S.? They are not rubes who just happen to take up an Adventist point of view. And while the "Gap Theory" is held by many Fundamentalist, it is not the same as Theistic Evolution. I don't think that you are being fair to make such statements of folks who have been in these fields a lot longer then you or I. Marvin Lubenow studies in the fields of zoology and anthropology, have you read his critique on fossils? (He was professor of Anthropology and affiliate professor of zoology at Colorado State University.) And there are a lot more folks that would have difficulty with your statements. And while good science does not look to authorities as much as results of research, we need to listen to critiques of opposing sides.
The second question I would like to ask you is have you ever witnessed a "billion" years. I can't even comprehend the changes which would have taken place in such a period of time, but I would suppose that in a period of 4.5 billion years the earth would have to have been exposed to more then one catastrophic event. (In at least three places in the world such events have been recorded,( Russia, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Central Europe. And these events apparently are separate. 95% of all living things were destroyed- by modern estimates. These are apparently resent geologic events in only millions(?) of years (yours not mine). How can a reasonable person respond to such non-sense. I apologize for being a little put out, I really don't want to be harsh, but it seems to me that evolutionist do not realize what they really propose, they have not even read their own literature enough and then sat down and thought about it enough to realize the enormity of what they are asking people to swallow as "TRUTH". I suppose that the only "million" things that I can see are the amount of guesses evolutionist use for postulates given the relative youth of the "science", this alone should put off any attempt at "knowing" anything.
Eye witness testimony is the best thing, and if P.J. Wiseman is correct, we have that is the first chapters of Genesis in Adam's record of what he was both told and experienced.
#14 Posted by
Royce Neibert | Monday, May 10, 2010at
The real issue for the Christian is Faith.
We believe because we were predestine to do so by God who is in Heaven.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
These theory's are at best a distraction to Gods people and do not win anyone to God that God has not already called Himself. Though they are hard for us to imagine, we must understand that, the unsaved can not understand what we hold to be true by faith. We knowing that these things are of the world should not allow them to distract us from our mission of spreading the gospel. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 7
6"Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Meaning that Holy things are wasted on men who hate the truth.
Paul puts it this way
Jesus, the Example
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Jesus said we will have tribulation here but not to worry He has over came the world.
John 16:33 (New American Standard Bible)
33"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
And we Know that to those of the world there way seems right, but it leads to destruction.
[ The Narrow and Wide Gates ] " Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
and in the Proverbs it says
There is a way which seems right to a man,But its end is the way of death.
Friends if you feel you can sway an unbeliever or right a brother who has strayed by the use of showing him his by all means do so. but do not waste the precious little time you have on this earth trying to prove to men who do not believe or know the truth. Concentrate on the young and those who are willing by the will of the Spirit. Amen
#15 Posted by
Don Jordan | Monday, May 10, 2010at
I watched the YouTube video Garrett posted titled, “Lesson 8/16: Geology and Earth History.” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc6uhQWQQMQ] Here is the general breakdown of it in minutes:
00:00-04:00: The video spends this time dissing Henry Morris as being unqualified to question uniformitarian geology. Since Dr. Morris’ Ph.D. was in Hydraulic Engineering I guess he could never hope to understand as much about the physics of flood waters as a Geologist—I’m being sarcastic here.
04:00-08:15: The video now tells us that, “[T]he only geological paradigm of earth’s history that actually works in the field is called ‘Biostratigraphy.’ And it is based on two fundamental assumptions: a very old earth and a gradual, step-by-step evolution of marine invertebrates.” And, I might add that, Biostratigraphy is based on the standard geologic column. Interestingly enough,
“[T]he standard geologic column was devised before 1860 by catastrophists who were creationists. Adam Sedgewick, Roderick Murchison, William Coneybeare, and others affirmed that the earth was formed largely by catastrophic processes, and that the earth and life were created. These men stood for careful empirical science and were not compelled to believe evolutionary speculation or side with uniformitarian theory. Although most would be called ‘progressive creationists’ in today's terminology, they would not be pleased to see all the evolutionary baggage that has been loaded onto their classification of strata.”
[Source: Steven A. Austin, Ph.D., “Ten Misconceptions about the Geologic Column,” http://www.icr.org/article/ten-misconceptions-about-geologic-column/ ]
Since, the whole geologic column was developed before the theory of evolution; it stands to reason that, contrary to what this video claims, the theory of evolution is not really needed to classify strata.
The video continues quoting Ann Hill, a Micropaleontologist for Shell Offshore, Inc.:
“The fundamental principal in stratigraphy is that the sedimentary rocks in the Earth's surface accumulated in layers, with the oldest on the bottom and the youngest on the top. The history of life on Earth has been one of creatures appearing, evolving, and becoming extinct. Putting these two concepts together, we observe that different layers of sedimentary rocks contain different fossils. When drilling a well into the Earth's crust in search of hydrocarbons, we encounter different fossils in a predictable sequence below the point in time where the organism became extinct… It is paleontology that uniquely explains the element of geologic time and depositional environment to petroleum geology.”
The original source for this quote may be found here: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/ONeill.html. The paper is credited to Brian J. O’neill with Anne Hill’s help in the “preparation of the figures.” So the citation of her as the author looks like an error in the video…whatever.
Minus the evolutionary religious dogma, what are the actual scientific observations in the above quote? Two things: First, “[T]he sedimentary rocks in the Earth's surface accumulated in layers, with the oldest on the bottom and the youngest on the top.” And second, “[W]e observe that different layers of sedimentary rocks contain different fossils.”
When one reads the entire source document used for the quote, it is clear that, practically speaking, microfossils are only used to trace a formation across a sedimentary basin. Even the “predictable sequence” statement is simply thrown in as an afterthought. So, where is the necessity of evolution or Lyellian uniformitarianism in all this? It looks as though microfossils are not even directly related to actually finding the petroleum in the first place. Am I missing something here?
Andrew Snelling’s Book, “Earth’s Catastrophic Past,” devotes an entire chapter to oil deposits. Here’s what he has to say:
“[T]he techniques that have been found helpful in petroleum exploration, such as seismic surveying and the analysis of organic matter found in sedimentary rock sequences, do not really depend on the historical aspects of geology at all, but only on recognition of the structural, sedimentary, and organic petrological markers that experience has shown are associated with, and a guide to the finding of, petroleum deposits.
“…It is surely significant that in this most important (both economically and in numbers of geologists involved) of geological disciplines, the uniformitarian interpretive framework has been of little practical use. Although geologists can identify a given formation from two or more well logs by the microfossils contained in the cuttings, this is primarily done on a local scale within each formation across a sedimentary basin. However, microfossils are not nearly as important as other factors revealed by geophysical logging of drill holes. This is confirmed by the fact that in the subject indexes of the three major petroleum geology textbooks of recent decades (quoted from above), neither “micropaleontology” nor “microfossils” appears. Of course, microfossils and macrofossils are mentioned in occasional places in these textbooks, but never in any substantive manner crucial to the elucidation of petroleum formation and exploration. Thus, evolutionary geology, based on the assumption of the slow accumulation of the fossil-bearing sedimentary strata, can hardly claim to be instrumental in understanding and discovering oil deposits. Sequences of sedimentary strata are an observable fact of field geology, and naming them are merely labels for identification. Even the so-called geologic timescale merely provides labels that enable the recognition of the order of strata in sequences, irrespective of the assumption of long time periods. Thus, petroleum geology would not be adversely affected by utilizing catastrophism as a basic geologic philosophy, which could even provide material benefits.”
[Source: Andrew Snelling, “Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and the Flood,” ICR, Dallas Texas, 2009, pp. 965, 967]
08:15-10:53: The final three minutes of this video are the worst of all...
The video closes by quoting the testimony of Glenn R. Morton’s conversion from young earth creationism to theistic evolution. The complete text of his testimony, “Why I left Young-earth Creationism,” may be found here: http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gstory.htm. The video gets very disingenuous at this point because it implies that the actual techniques Glenn Morton used to find oil required him to believe in uniformitarian geology. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. What happened, if you read his entire testimony in context, is that while he was exploring for oil he discovered geological formations that could not be accounted for by the classic creationist one catastrophe (Noah’s flood) over one year model. Then, Mr. Morton relates the appalling treatment he got from ICR when he presented the geologic problems to them at a conference. Now, I have yet to hear ICR’s side of this story, but that is not relevant to our subject here. The point is that none of this had anything to do with the actual exploration of oil: this video flat out lies about this.
BTW- As I mentioned in my previous post, there are creationists like Barry Setterfield who are developing alternative models for Biblical earth history that account for the difficult geologic data discovered by Glenn Morton and others.
****In Summary: This video did absolutely nothing to show that evolutionary geology is required to explore for petroleum. It was one great, big, fat, F-A-I-L. I want the 11 minutes of my life back that I wasted watching it, please! ****
P.S. I watched a few minutes of the other videos Garrett posted and they looked about a lame as this one. I am not going to waste another three hours of my life on those either. I’m done with this thread. Bleh!
#16 Posted by
Carol Gayheart | Tuesday, May 11, 2010at
Don, I had planned to thank you for you additional research & summary BEFORE I saw your closing comments! Seriously, if I had watched the video, I could not have come away with similar analytical conclusions as I don't have the science background. You did a tremendous service for those of us who don't understand all of the geologic & evolutionary jargon. I appreciate all of you contributions to this thread! You're very informative & concise. Kudos!
#17 Posted by
Garrett League | Tuesday, May 11, 2010at
#9 "Perhaps Garrett is not as informed as he thought he was, or as he presented himself?" I try to be honest about my limitations and what do I get? This. At least I tried. "In addition to citing non-believers & youtube" Of course I cite unbelievers. Einstein was an unbeliever. So was Ernst Mayr. What, I can't cite scientific authorities unless they're Christian? This is rhetorical silliness. And yes, I cite "youtube." It was Dr. Don Prothero lecturing at Cal Tech for pete's sake. He's an authority on paleontology. "I believe until Garrett comes to a similar conclusion/faith, I fear his faith will remain smaller than a mustard seed and that spiritually he is treading on thin ice." Carol, your adhoms demonstrate to me that your arguments have no substance and that you need to bolster your insecurities by rhetoric. I'm sorry if my arguments have rattled your cage, stirred your pot, upset your equilibrium, whatever. But please stop calling me an unbeliever. I know this topic can be uncomfortable, but you have never met me, my family, or my pastor, and you are acting presumptuously and uncharitably. It's hard enough having civil discussions on these matters, but when you have constant threats of apostasy for the bad guy (i.e., me) and "MEGA KUDOS" for the good guys (i.e., Don and Fred) it's just plain tiresome.
#10 Don: "I do not believe that the classic YEC model of Noah’s flood (everything happening in one year) as presented by organizations like ICR and Answers in Genesis is correct. I believe this because it does not account for all the geologic data." That's great, thanks for the clarification. It's points like this that really expose the limitations of this format. I assumed you held the old "Genesis Flood" model. It's encouraging to know that many YEC's are indeed more than willing to revise, at least in part, old arguments to better fit the data.
#11 Lois: Fair enough. I tend to assume the worst and hope for the best when talking with YECs, but clearly many on this blog are on a more sophisticated level of YEC argumentation. I'll adjust accordingly. Also, Ian Juby, in my book, is about as reliable as Carl Baugh; I consider both of them as out of the YEC mainstream of thinking on many topics.
#12 Cliff: Great question Cliff. Here's my response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyEOdnckKCQ&feature=channel
#13 Paul: "Are you familiar with the fact that Morris was one of the foremost authorities on the field of hydrolics in the U.S.? And Whitcomb is a Princeton graduate and one of the leading authorities on the Old Testament in the U.S.?" Yes I am. "And while the "Gap Theory" is held by many Fundamentalist, it is not the same as Theistic Evolution" Of course. I recognize that. Still, some fundamentalists, like Orr, were T.E.'s. I know about M. Lubenow, bones of contention and all, yes yes, I know there are some YEC's with legit degrees. Kurt Wise is a Phd. from Harvard under Gould. I know. "The second question I would like to ask you is have you ever witnessed a "billion" years." Or, as Ken Ham would put it, "Were you there?" Obviously no. But that's like saying to a CSI team "Wait, were you there when the murder took place?" Of course not, but we can reconstruct a likely scenario based on evidence.
#15 Don: "P.S. I watched a few minutes of the other videos Garrett posted and they looked about a lame as this one. I am not going to waste another three hours of my life on those either. I’m done with this thread. Bleh!" Well, if you want to waste more of your life on "lame" videos, check out Gordon J. Glover's 16 part video series that accompany the geologic one I linked. He wrote "Beyond the Firmament," which I also recommend. I've chatted with him on youtube, you should send him a line or post some of your thoughts. He's very knowledgeable and would have some great feedback for you if you're interested.
#18 Posted by
Vicki K Davis | Tuesday, May 11, 2010at
Just have to say, I started reading the posts, and reading & reading, stuff that's way over my head, and finally got to #12. Thank you, Cliff Gould, for saying more in 2 paragraphs about the abilities of our great God than all the other posts combined. Amen!
#19 Posted by
Carol Gayheart | Wednesday, May 12, 2010at
Garrett said, “I try to be honest about my limitations and what do I get? This. At least I tried.
Garrett, I think for the most part you have tried to be honest, but you have also seemed “flippantly arrogant” about some of your acquired knowledge. That leads directly to WHERE you acquired that knowledge:
Garrett: "Of course I cite unbelievers. Einstein was an unbeliever. So was Ernst Mayr. What, I can't cite scientific authorities unless they're Christian? This is rhetorical silliness. And yes, I cite "youtube."…
My pointing that out is that “as a Christian” you have put a lot of your faith in men, who reject the Bible either in part or whole, rather than in God. (Remember: Christianity is a belief system, not shared by all. To claim to be a part of it, one must accept certain fundamental beliefs. You can see previous GTY blogs which argued some of these very issues.) As pointed out in these current threads, their presuppositions will not even allow them to consider the Bible’s inerrancy as a viable option. The issue here is: Where is your starting point? What is your worldview? See, as a Christian, I start with the Bible: if something doesn’t match up, then I question that something, not the Bible. You seem to be starting with the opposite. Might I point out that you said you’ve only changed your view of YEC fairly recently? What caused that? (Perhaps a secular education which totally biased or just excludes any Christian theories for fear of mixing church & state, thus “stacking the deck” so to speak in favor of a differing view? How can that be totally honest - to prohibit or exclude certain data on the basis of religion?) But you said it was the overwhelming scientific evidence. The vicious circle begins again then: your scientific evidence (& it's conclusions) is founded by men who do NOT believe the Bible. See, you do not have a problem asking me to question MY FAITH in the Bible’s inerrancy with regard to creation, yet you are offended if I question YOUR FAITH in the Bible when you are the one who has rejected its inerrancy.
We have all observed that you are well-informed, therefore I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Follow the money.” Even you admitted earlier the research funding aspect. Have we not all heard of research conclusions being thrown out because it was discovered that the group who funded the research had a stake in the outcome? No difference here.
Garrett cites: "I believe until Garrett comes to a similar conclusion/faith, I fear his faith will remain smaller than a mustard seed and that spiritually he is treading on thin ice." Carol, your adhoms demonstrate to me that your arguments have no substance and that you need to bolster your insecurities by rhetoric.
Garrett, what’s an adhom? Sorry, I can’t find it in a dictionary; please enlighten me. My arguments may not have the level of scientific substance you are used to in the classroom; I’ve never claimed to be of a scientific mindset, only that of a child of God who seeks to know Him better. And I KNOW I won’t find that by studying the theories of men who HATE & REJECT THE CREATOR GOD!
Garrett says, “I'm sorry if my arguments have rattled your cage, stirred your pot, upset your equilibrium, whatever. But please stop calling me an unbeliever. I know this topic can be uncomfortable, but you have never met me, my family, or my pastor, and you are acting presumptuously and uncharitably. It's hard enough having civil discussions on these matters, but when you have constant threats of apostasy for the bad guy (i.e., me) and "MEGA KUDOS" for the good guys (i.e., Don and Fred) it's just plain tiresome.
Garrett, who’s cage is rattled? Who’s insecure? I’m still standing by my belief in the Bible’s full accuracy. I have never mentioned your family or your pastor & I certainly do not mean to be uncharitable, but I am sorry if you have taken it that way. I MERELY WISH TO CHALLENGE YOU TO BE AS WILLING TO QUESTION THE INERRANCY OF MODERN SCIENTIFIC CONSLUSIONS AS YOU ARE WILLING TO QUESTION THE INERRANCY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. (& the kudos for Don & Fred were simply because they can point you in Christian scientific directions that I can’t & I felt they did a good job.)
Garrett, you are still in my prayers, but not just you, actually anyone who claims to be a Christian & yet is so guided in his faith by secular humanists, evolutionists, & even theistic evolutionists. I just saw that you have posed some questions on the next thread & it brought a great smile to my face as I see you are seriously seeking answers in all of this & you appear to be willing to hear people on this blog site respond. (Let me here divulge to you an underlying motive [WE ALL HAVE MOTIVES!] to my views: I lost my employer a few years ago to a sudden death; he was a brilliant scientist, & though he knew I was a Christian, he never asked me about MY beliefs, but he felt compelled on a couple of occasions to tell me his with regard to Christianity: He said he had read the Bible, but just didn’t believe it. He was foreign-born, from another culture, & I attended his funeral with an extremely heavy heart. What was worse was that it appeared his family wasn’t even sure of his true belief system & how to conduct his funeral! I KNEW God is Sovereign, but found myself asking Him why He would condemn such a man, a generous, thoughtful, kindhearted man of such knowledge & integrity. God reminded me that HIS SON DIED for him, but he rejected Jesus. He made that choice.) This is no game, “Who’s got the best argument or evidence” etc. We may be MISGUIDED on some issues, but others WE CAN’T GET WRONG! Keep seeking HIS WISDOM – NOT MAN’S. He will be faithful & answers your prayers. (Rom 14:1, 1 Cor 2:2-5, 2Thes3:1-5, Heb 10:22-25) God bless you, Garrett.
Sorry, one more thought: evolution doesn’t just remove God from the glory of His creation, it removes satan from his responsibility & role in the destruction & the evil he brings. That’s another thread!
#20 Posted by
Garrett League | Thursday, May 13, 2010at
Caol #19 "but you have also seemed “flippantly arrogant” about some of your acquired knowledge." I'm sorry for that. I really struggle with pride.
"as a Christian, I start with the Bible: if something doesn’t match up, then I question that something, not the Bible."
Then why doesn't your cosmology look like Luther's? He condemned Copernicus for claiming the earth revolved around the sun because Joshua commanded the sun, not the earth to stand still. You do exactly what I do, just not consistently.
"Might I point out that you said you’ve only changed your view of YEC fairly recently? What caused that?" I grew disillusioned with young-earth creationism since it couldn't answer my toughest questions and often had misleading arguments so I reconsidered old-earth creationism and found Ross's interpretation to be possible but highly improbably, then I stumbled on accommodationist readings and I was sold.
"Perhaps a secular education which totally biased or just excludes any Christian theories for fear of mixing church & state, thus “stacking the deck” so to speak in favor of a differing view? How can that be totally honest - to prohibit or exclude certain data on the basis of religion?" Actually, I've gone to 2 private Christian universities. Could have gone to the most secular university on the planet, but turned 'em down.
"yet you are offended if I question YOUR FAITH in the Bible when you are the one who has rejected its inerrancy."
Actually I just recently looked over the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (which I agree with) and noticed that quite a few of the major signers were old-earthers (Norm Geisler, Fran Schaeffer, Packer, etc. Check out article XII: "WE DENY that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood." I agree!
"Garrett, what’s an adhom? Sorry, I can’t find it in a dictionary; please enlighten me"
Short for ad hominem argument, or argument to the man. It means you don't address the view itself, but rather attack the person who holds the view.
"I’m still standing by my belief in the Bible’s full accuracy." Me too :)
Again, thanks for the prayers and thanks for sharing that story. I have respected the Bible as God's perfect word my entire sentient life, and by God's grace alone I always will, but thanks for trying to keep me on the straight and narrow. I'll keep following Jesus and keep seeking the truth on these matters and I am confident your prayers will be a means by which God accomplished his perfect will. Thanks Carol! (P.S. Sorry for being mildly ticked off at your last posts, you were getting under my skin with your biblical thumpings! Maybe that's just what I need! :)
#21 Posted by
Carol Gayheart | Thursday, May 13, 2010at
We all struggle with Pride but not everyone admits it! Apology accepted & Thanks for enlightening me! :)
As for Geisler, Schaeffer, Packer, Sproul, "anyone" etc, I honestly DON'T care what they think because I don't follow men. IF John MacArthur said tomorrow that he believed "old earth" I'd reject his views as well. Men ARE FALLIBLE! We do get things wrong! That's why I said it's so important to make sure we get it right. I don't believe this is something we can "agree to disagree" on.
Sorry for getting under your skin, but you know that's how we receive antidotes to disease! Ha! :) I didn't take it personally. Besides, how can we call ourselves Christians if we don't spend time "Bible-thumping" as you say? I'm around WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE who call themselves Christians & know NOTHING or very little of God's word. I'm FAR FROM PERFECT myself, but stay active in seeking to grow spiritually. I gave up the "kindergarten-style Sunday School" mentality years ago & have SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES for God's truth; because that's where you find it. If you're a follower of Ross or accomodationists, then that's who you study & follow. As a Christian, I want to know Christ; that's why I said I'm trying to read the gospels more than other Scripture. To be a follower of Christ/a disciple of Christ, I NEED TO KNOW HIM! I won't find that anywhere outside of Bible-thumping! :) And I'm sorry if you saw my arguments as ad hominem. I don't wish to attack ANY PERSON (as we are all created in God's image), just their errant beliefs. (Though I might feel the need to attack a blatant liar!) You must understand though that you've set yourself up for some "attacks" as you are on a Creation blog & you disagree with the majority here. But I'll give you credit for your plethora of knowledge & your confidence. But I still can’t agree with your conclusions.
Remember Solomon sought “God's wisdom”. That’s what it takes to understand God’s word. (Cute story: I prayed years ago for God’s guidance to give me wisdom as I study His word. Withing 3 weeks He gave me an additional baby wisdom tooth! NO LIE! :) My Christian dentist has tried to pull it & I won’t let him get his hands on my little “Wise Guy!” God is the Father of Humor too!) His Holy Spirit will guide you Garrett if you sincerely give your heart to Him - He'll show you His truth.
This is a challenge (to me as well): 2 Cor 13:5-7 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.” & Mt 10:38-39 “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” All praise & glory belongs to Him!