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Are Young Earth Creationists Generally Stupid?

Discussion in 'Theistic Evolution' started by Tom Cohoe, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    No they are not. Not at all!

    It is quite possible to be a young Earth creationist and fully respect the Theory of Evolution at the same time.

    You see, the Theory of Evolution is a scientific model (and it is the only one that fits the data and that fits with other branches of science as well), whereas what the truth is about the Earth and how it was created is something that, logically speaking, does not have to correspond with what science discovers at all.

    Science is about what it looks like, about the appearance of things. What reality actually is doesn't have to correspond with what it looks like at all. It is logically possible that God created the Earth 6,000 years ago and that it and the rest of the universe were created to look like it all began with a the Big Bang over thirteen billion years ago, and that the species evolved slowly over hundreds of millions of years.

    I can even think of reasons why God might make the appearance different than the reality.

    No, it is not stupid to believe that the universe was created in 6 days in 4004 BC, as calculated by James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, around 1650. It is stupid, and it is harmful to the reputation of Christianity, to attack the science that is the theory of evolution.

    Remember, science is about what things looks like, not about what the fundamental underlying truth actually is. That is beyond science.

    All Young Earth Creationists should come to grips with the simple fact that it really does look like the Earth is billions of years old and that the species have evolved from common ancestors over a period of hundreds of millions of years.

    Nor should Young Earth Creationists attempt to force scientists or science teachers to speak of their models in a hypothetical way. Any serious scientist will speak as though the current best model is the truth, but he will also acknowledge that it is a model which, if necessary, will be thrown out to be replaced by another - that it is just a model. It is just the way we use language naturally. At the same time, expecting an evolutionary scientist to acknowledge this to someone who is clearly a Young Earther may be asking a bit much. Evolutionary scientists feel every bit as much under attack from Young Earth Creationists as Young Earth Creationists feel they are under attack from Evolutionary scientists. You might get an acknowledgement, or you might get a scientist with his hackles up.

    Do I think the Earth was created in 6 days a few thousand years ago?

    Could be. I don't presume to know. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I have faith that Christ is our Saviour. I also understand that the theory of evolution is very good science and that it is very interesting science.

    I am all for an end to the war between science and religion.
     
  2. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic

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    Pray tell. :)

    There never has been; it's an urban legend.
     
  3. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    Many are very intelligent. Many never really bother to look up why they believe it. Same with anyone anywhere, really. However, YECism is a position necessarily born out of ignorance or outright denial of one or more theories of mainstream science.

    Only if you go through hoops to fit evolution into a YECist model. Of course, the YEC position has to go through hoops anyway to give itself an illusion of validity, so I'm sure if someone tried hard enough they could fit it in there. The problem though is that YECism is almost always invariably tied to a rejection of evolution because of some preconceived notion that evolution somehow destroys the foundation of Christian theology. Such a position is, of course, inane.

    This is partly correct in that evolution is the only model we have that fits the data available. The second sentence is sort of right in that evolution doesn't have anything to do with the creation of the world. However, science can very much describe how the Earth was created.

    It's not logical. The Omphalos Hypothesis makes God into an author of confusion. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Furthermore, the amount of hoops required to jump through in order to validate the Omphalos Hypothesis is ridiculous. It requires a bunch of pseudoscience that bases itself on a misunderstanding of all sorts of physics, and then relegates the inanity of such psuedoscience to "God did it." Occam's razor alone removes the Omphalos Hypothesis as well, but the biggest objection is "God is not the author of confusion."

    It's not necessarily stupid, but the continued denial, outright lies, and hoop-jumping exhibited by many YECs and YEC organization does lead one to question the subconscious motives of the movement as a whole.

    It sounds like you are attempting to apply some sort of idealist mentality in order to limit the assertions of methodological naturalism (the philosophy that underlies all of science). As far as science is concerned, it deals with the "underlying truth." Science can only test empirical things, and that is all that it regards as "real." That is the idea of methodological naturalism: what we perceive is what is real. That doesn't mean that one cannot apply other philosophical theories that are idealist in nature and still adhere to scientific principles, but you cannot throw out any part of methodological naturalism in science and still call it science.

    This is correct. In most cases it would also lead to an acceptance of evolution. But there would be some who would find a way to continue justifying a young earth even though all the evidence points in the opposite direction (actually, that is done today!).

    This is correct.

    It does matter whether or not the Earth was created 6,000 years ago from a scientific, intellectual, and possibly theological standpoint. It does not matter from a salvific standpoint. The scientific and intellectual consequences of YECism are obvious. Theological consequences are a bit less obvious. It is a valid theological position, and can be justified theologically. However, the type of theology that YECism tends to produce is a system where the foundation of faith is completely tied to the claims of the YEC position being entirely true.

    When a person who adheres to that system finally comes to a realization that YECism isn't what is real, it can easily completely destroy faith instead of resulting in a shift of theological viewpoints from literalism to non-literalism. I have seen it happen here before.

    As for a war between science and religion, there is no such thing. The war only exists in the minds of those who perpetuate it: hardline YEC groups (and people), as well as some atheists who are of the same mind that Christianity cannot be true without the YEC position being true. Unfortunately, the rest of the religious and scientific populace gets dragged into their imaginary war because of the many misconceptions and false information that gets thrown back and forth.
     
  4. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    OK. Two people are now objecting to my call for the end to a war between science and religion. I concede, then, that the idea that there is a war is a bit dramatic.

    Of the fact that there are warriors, OTOH, there can be no doubt. I know warriors on both sides. There also can be no doubt that when fighting occurs, it is Christianity that gets hurt, not science. I have seen the dumb fight that the warriors on one side take to science, and especially to biology, get dragged out as characteristic of Christians and of Christianity. That's not fair, but the damage occurs nonetheless.

    That said, I further see that I have a lot of replying to do. Unfortunately, I cannot do it tonight. I hope I can tomorrow, but I have a lot to do tomorrow, so if I can't, I will later.
     
  5. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    It's not an objection to the end of the supposed "war," but more of a commentary on the fact that the only war that exists is created by the fringe militant sides of both Christianity and non-theism.
     
  6. Mick116

    Mick116 Regular Member

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    Two of the most intelligent people I know are YECists; one is an engineer, the other an agricultural scientist, and both reject the validity of evolutionary theory. The engineer friend hasn't studied any biology at all, so he can perhaps be excused.
     
  7. theFijian

    theFijian Well-Known Member

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    As has already been explained, science can only investigate and provide explanations for natural phenomena. The sum of 'reality', as the theist believes, is greater than just the natural realm and also includes the supernatural, which is outside the remit of science.
    All you are proposing is the Omphalos theory of origins a concequence of which is that either we can't trust our cognitive senses, or God is actively deceiving us. While that may be perfectly logical it is not consistent with the Christian God.
     
  8. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    You do not know what I am proposing. On the "How to Recognize God?" thread you clearly demonstrated, through misstatements of my premiss, that you really had no idea, there, what I was talking about. You, earlier, telegraphed that you had no interest in what I was talking about either. Your attitude is that you can dismiss what I am trying to say through applying labels, yet when I call you on it, then I am labelling your labelling which somehow makes my call invalid ... which is absurd.

    Again, you have no idea what I am proposing.

    Here is something that I am proposing. I am proposing that none of us has a very good idea of how God operates theistically in this world. My interest is to end the war between Christianity and science (I am going to use that phrase, because it is a simple and convenient phrase for fighting that we all know is going on). Another interest of mine is to sow doubt into the minds of those who "know" that God doesn't exist.

    I have no real interest in theology whatsoever, which is why to any particular theological scheme, I will say, "could be".

    I have a reason for presenting various theological schemes of origin and attempting to show that they are far more reasonable than those who have other convictions about origins think they are. For example, seeing Young Earth Creationism derided here, it is obvious to me that you can only make Young Earth Creationists feel more threatened and more backed into a corner. What I have read from some others on the threads I have posted in in the last few days is every bit as threatening to to YECs as people like Richard Dawkins.

    Young Earth Christianity actually is reasonable. Fighting science is not. One can be a senseable Young Earther by being sophisticated, not by
    fighting science.

    I am glad that you understand, at least, that YEC can be perfectly logical. Let's deal with the labels and 'positions' that supposedly demonstrate that it isn't reasonable.

    "God wouldn't confuse or mislead" - Oh yeah? So this world of pain and suffering is consistent, without no potential confusion, with the idea of a loving God. All kinds of people reject the idea of a loving God because we suffer so. I would suggest to you that the statement, "God wouldn't confuse or mislead", as an objection to YEC, is not well thought out. One can understand a loving God presiding over a world of pain only through reasoning that is far from simple. Well, reasoning is also available to understand why God would 'deceive'. It explains why Christ said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'" (there is the confusing aspectof God right from the words of Christ). Here is the reasoning, and it is not hard to understand:

    God hides himself from (confuses) those who do not want him because it is through faith that we must come to know him. If you are not at least seeking, you will not find God. There will be no sense in the idea of God.

    This deals with the 'confusion' problem of sophisticated (may I use that label for what you agreed was 'perfectly logical) YEC, in two seperate points. I expect you to ignore what I have said, label it all in a word or two, and thereby avoid engagement ... but I would be very happy to be proven wrong.

    Sophisticated YEC must completely separate science and religion. This is a perfectly correct thing to do, because science is about models. It actually makes no claim whatsoever about underlying reality. What we observe is not science. That is just raw data. We cannot observe with our eyes that the Earth is 3 billion years old.

    A metaphor, likening God the Creator with man the movie director/creator who creates in the image of God's creating, demonstrates.

    When we go to a movie, if it is well made, we enter the world created by the director, actors, and other involved helpers. We are completely deceived for a while, yet we do not denounce the director and actors. The better the deception, the more we appreciate it. We perceive this deception as a good thing. We take the evidence that falls upon our eyes and ears during this movie to construct a larger reality than what is actually depicted. We may infer that the heroine must have been hiding in the mansion and sneaking out at night for at least two years, yet what we see depicts only a week of time. Furthermore, in the reality behind the movie, the mansion is only a false front, and the whole picture was made in three months.

    Is somebody doing something horrible to the viewers here?

    In sophisticated YEC God corresponds to the director, the set with its props is the underlying reality of creation, and what the audience infers from its observations (rather than the observations themselves) corresponds to science.

    The sophisticated YECer can believe on a 6 day creation. What he cannot do is tell the scientist to speak as though science is about the illusion God created. He must allow the scientist to speak in his natural way, as if his models actually are reality. To attempt to impose his 6 day creationist faith on the scientist is like someone interrupting people discussing the movie afterwards and insisting, "but the heroine wasn't living in the house for two years - it's just a set and was only built a year ago". This would be annoying, because people speak about abstractions as though they were concrete things. It is the way we do it. To insist on the 'truth' would be just dumb.

    And why? Why would God do this?

    For the same reason as above. We were cast out. We are not allowed to see the truth. We must come to it through faith. We are allowed, for our benefit, to make sense out of the world as we perceive it. Science is very useful to us.

    Now I am speaking as though I am insisting that sophisticated YEC is the truth. I am not. I insist only that it is perfectly, perfectly reasonable. Live and let live with your YEC bretheren. Keep your favourite origins theology. Only understand one thing, just one thing, and you will help ease all these tensions that harm Christianity. That one thing is that you could be wrong. It's not actually important. That Christ is our Saviour is what is important. We are not going to have to pass a test on origins theology on judgement day.

    Live and let live. Help others to live and let live.

    I apologize if this is a mess. I'm not feeling well and I am also very short of time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  9. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

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    Sure that's a logical possibility. But is it a Christian possibility? We need to be cognizant of what Christian/biblical teaching on creation means.

    The notion that we walk in a world that is an illusion, that the reality of things is veiled from us, is historically connected with the denial of creation. It fits with the teaching of Hinduism and Buddhism and Gnosticism which all see the world of appearance as 'maya' or illusory appearance and all teach that the path to salvation is to detach ourselves from the illusion so that we can see reality as it is. We ourselves, as creatures, are illusions, so our own selves are part of what we must let go of. For in these faiths we are not creatures made by a loving God; we are God or an aspect of God. The world is basically pantheistic -- its appearance is merely the outer clothing veiling God, and we are God. The path to salvation is to realize that there is no such thing as creation--only an illusory appearance with even ourselves part of that illusion. We need to realize who we really are: we are divine.

    How different the Abrahamic vision of the bible. Our God is not ourselves, but God. And the people we are, the persons we are, are real persons with whom God chooses to commune, to whom God chooses to reveal himself. And the world around us is a genuine reality made by our God. All created things are genuine realities because God really did bring them into existence. And he brought them into existence, not as aspects of himself, but as beings other than himself who can live in relationship with God and each other.

    So at this point I want to repeat the question I just posed to mindlight in The Tools of Science thread.

    If God made the universe and made us in it, why would he not want us to experience it as it is? Why would the appearance of things not be the best guide to what the thing in itself is? I don't mean to identify appearance of reality with reality, but if appearance--well-tested and corroborated by multiple observers and through multiple tests--is not a reliable guide to what God created----then what is?

    What else do we have to display the power and glory of God to us than the creation as it appears to us?


    To me, the option you outline is unacceptable, because it is a denial of the first statement in the bible "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    And likewise it is a denial of the first proposition of the Apostles' and Nicene Creed "We believe in one God, Maker of heaven and earth....."
     
  10. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    I never said YECism was logical. It can be justified theologically. It is only internally consistent, logically. Externally, when validated against the empirical evidence, it becomes illogical to remain in the YEC position. One can do so, of course, and cling only to the internal consistency of the theological position, but it requires an outright denial of the evidence that is plainly available.

    Besides the verse I already cited which directly states that God is not the author of confusion, we need only look at the entirety of the revealed revelation to further find out that God is not the author of confusion. The world of pain and suffering is consistent with what is laid out in the Bible. Indeed, it's the entire point of Christianity. There was perfection, then there was a Fall, then Jesus came to redeem humanity. The basic message isn't too confusing.

    Where confusion does arise is in man's attempts to rationalize the finer points of theology. That gets into an entirely separate debate about teaching authority and Sola Scriptura, however. This confusion, though, is not from God.

    It is perfectly well thought out. God does not intentionally mislead. It's that simple. 1 Corinthians 14:33 states this, and the Bible as the revealed message of God is clear (again, putting aside the debate about teaching authority and Sola Scriptura).

    Why is that confusing? Looking at it in the bigger context, right below, you have already figured it out. It means what it says. "though seeing, they may not see." They're not looking for God, they won't find him.

    And?

    You are making a logical leap from "People who do not seek God will not find God" to "We cannot know how old the world is." God "hiding" himself from people who do not seek him isn't any kind of deception. If you are standing on a street corner, and someone walks past you, and clearly does not notice you are there, is that deception? Causing confusion and "deception" requires active intent. God isn't hiding himself, he's just waiting there for people to come find him. If they walk past him on the street corner without noticing him, though, then obviously they won't find him.

    One more analogy to further reinforce this point. You don't find things you're not looking for. A missing TV remote, pencil, or whatever is not hiding from you. It's just simply in a place that you don't know. Indeed, in this case they cannot even actively hide from you. They have no will. God has a will, and cognition, but he's just standing on that street corner.

    Even in the passage you cite, where Jesus says he actively speaks in parables to the "others" (unbelievers, I am assuming, in this context) in order that "though seeing, they may not see" we must look at the larger context. God is outside time and space. If you're a believer in some kind of predestination, God is already aware of who will come to him and who will not. Someone who will never come to God is never going to come to God. That's who Jesus is speaking about in this passage.

    This is a variation on the "interpretation" argument that creationists like to use. Of course, said argument is false. We can *indeed* observe with our eyes how old the Earth is, in geology. Rock layers show the different geological time periods. But, you say, "they are just layers and prove nothing." Enter independent dating methods. Radiometric dating is one example of an independent dating method that concurs with rock layer dating. It's completely independent of the method used to date rocks, and produces the same result. This is not just a coincidence.

    The problem with the interpretation argument is that in order for it to be valid, the entire foundation of modern science has to fall. Science builds on top of itself and creates an interlinking web of knowledge, where one piece of evidence is backed up by many, many more pieces of evidence and different theories. There is no conspiracy on part of academia by scientists to produce the same results using different dating methods. They all work independently and produce the same results for a reason.

    Another refutation of the interpretation argument, reductio ad absurdum: If the interpretation argument were true, and all of science was just about interpreting "the data" in different ways, I can scientifically show that there is an invisible elephant in your living room. The laws of physics clearly state as such. Sounds utterly impossible, right? Well, it's just my interpretation of the scientific data. It must equally valid as all the other interpretations!

    The problem with this metaphor is that we aren't deceived by movies. We *know* it's a movie (unless you find yourself thinking movies are completely real while you watch them...?). Your metaphor ends in an appeal to some form of philosophical skepticism, again building on the faulty interpretation argument.

    As I said earlier, the interpretation argument requires a rejection of the foundation of science. The foundation of science is methodological naturalism. As far as science is concerned, that from which knowledge can be gained is only in the physical world we interact with. That is, what we see, is. Again, as far as science is concerned. Outside of methodological naturalism, one is free to have whatever philosophical theory they want about the nature of the world.

    Furthermore, I reject the philosophical view that everyone has their own reality. That is, whatever a person perceives is what is real for them. I think there is a single objective reality. Perceptions create our own "perceived reality" of sorts, but the perceived reality is entirely a construct of the mind and does not necessarily correspond to what is actually happening.

    If reality is by the person, we have to accept the reality of hallucinations and such. They now definitively exist somewhere in the philosophical multiverse. However, by their definition, hallucinations do not exist. They are only in someone's mind ("perceived reality") and do not affect the rest of us in the slightest. They can't impart causality on the objective reality, because they are not in it. Of course, they can "cause" the person experiencing hallucinations to do something... but again, since the hallucinations are entirely created by the person's mind, said person is actually causing him/herself to perform actions (albeit possibly involuntarily).

    With an objective reality, we can say with much certainty what exists and what does not, and what is possible and what is not. We cannot know fully what the objective reality is like, nor fully know where our perceived reality crosses with the objective reality. But what we can do is use empirical methods (i.e. science) to determine that which likely exists in the objective reality. The empirical methods point far, far away from YECism today. Even new models that radically change certain fields do not bring us back to a YEC model, and there is an obvious reason as to why.

    There are no salvific consequences, as I said. However, there are very real problems caused by the continued perpetuation of the YEC model when it gets in the hands of "creation ministries" that have a lot of time and money to lobby state and national governments. However, you seem to be against those kind of things anyhow, so that doesn't matter much.

    Also, many YEC believers have this preconceived notion that evolution = atheism, abortion, moral relativism, or whatever current evil is threatening society that day. None of these things are true. For that reason alone, the argumentation must continue, to dispel the myths that YEC theology perpetuates about evolution. I suppose in your view it would be a "necessary evil." I, however, only consider it "necessary" and not exactly evil.
     
  11. theFijian

    theFijian Well-Known Member

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    Basically Tom you want to be able to have your cake and eat it. You want to be able to say that YEC is true and that evolution is true but you don't want them to fight about it becuase you think they're both right and fighting isn't nice so you invoke omphalos to facilitate it. As I tried to explain to you earlier Romans 2 tells us that we can come to some understanding of God through nature, but if nature is an illusion as you insist then we cannpt know God through nature. It's hardly surprising you're not interested in theology because it blows your premiss (sic) out of the water.

    And I never said that YEC is logical so you don't seem to be aware of what I was saying. I said that Omphalos is only logical for a christian if you accept two premisses. YEC is only logical if we ignore all the scientific evidence against it and it's fatal philosophical and theological problems. So basically, it isn't.

    But if you want to sow doubt in the minds of those who 'know' there's no god by telling them that they live in the Matrix then that realy is absurd.
     
  12. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    Earlier:

    Notice the first sentence from the earlier quote begins with "All you are proposing". Clearly, you are talking about what I am proposing. The second sentence begins "While that may be perfectly logical".

    I am aware of what you said. The first sentence has an "is" in it. That would normally mean that there is an equivalence - an identity - between the first and second clauses. So whether you meant the 'that' in the second sentence to refer to the first clause or the second of the first sentence, because you have made them equivalent with an "is", you did say something that undeniably implies "that you understand, at least, that YEC can be perfectly logical" (which is how I put it).

    It is you who wants to have your cake and eat it. For the purpose of denouncing, with no meaningful engagement, what I propose is to be equivalent to "omphalos". For the purpose of whether or not it is "perfectly logical" what I propose is not equivalent to "omphalos". Apparently, then, "omphalos" is "perfectly logical"; what I say is equivalent to "omphalos", but what I say is not "perfectly logical"?


    No I don't. I want to be able to say that YEC could be true and I want to say that evolution is good science.

    No, I don't want them to fight because it does terrific harm to the image of Christianity in the non Christian world, and it is our job to convert people to Christianity from that world. Obviously a damaged image can't help.

    You are projecting some stereotype for which you have contempt onto me. "Fighting isn't nice" isn't remotely close to any reasons I have put down here.

    It is you who has invoked "omphalos", not me. It is just a rhetorical label which you have repeatedly incanted.

    I have insisted no such thing. I said that what we infer from our senses using the methods of science could be incorrect. If you see a dinosaur bone, it's a dinosaur bone. If you see a rock, a person, a bird, or a tree, that's what they are. These things are data for theories, not scientific theories. We are inferring things about what happened before 4004 BC. That's the science. Nobody is suffering an illusion, because nobody can observe things from circa 4004 BC. Our senses are not deceived.

    Hmmm, what's the sic for? Normally it is placed inside a quotation to indicate that the so marked grammatical or spelling error belongs to the person quoted, not the person doing the quoting. Note that I could have sic-ed you a number of times. For example:

    I would avoid a sic -war as it be to no good purpose.

    Where did the Matrix come from? This is more rhetorical invocation.
     
  13. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    Gluadys, I don't know where you got the idea that what I proposed here as "sophisticated YEC" implies that God is not the Creator of everything. It just isn't in there. Of course sophisticated YEC has that God created everything.

    There is no notion in sophisticated YEC that the world is an illusion. What we see, is. In sophisticated YEC, scientific inferences about the past, circa 4004 BC are incorrect. Dinosaur bones are real, but the long evolution of them is not. Evolution is a good scientific theory, and it is the correct scientific theory, because in science we must apply Occam's razor, which is to say, we must choose the simplest theory that explains the facts. However, Occam's razor has nothing to do with what is the truth. God could have created the world so that when the methodology of science is applied to the true observations of the actual, real, existing world, science must create a theory of evolution, even though the world began in 4004 BC.

    I do not hold sophisticated YEC to be correct. I do know that there is absolutely no way that I can know that it is not correct. Let me go further. It is not my favourite way to interpret the Bible. But ... I cannot prove to someone who insists on a literal reading of Genesis that it is not true. For that reason, I should not, nor should anyone else, provoke YECers by trying to force them to let go of their interpretation of the Bible.

    What we should do is attempt to make them stop attacking evolution and the theory of evolution because these things are science and science is all about models, which are correlations between what we observe.

    Again, what we see is what is there. We see the dinosaur bones. They are there. They are real. We never saw the dinosaur die 70,000,000 years ago so whatever the truth is, we cannot have suffered an illusion. If I saw a tree, and then walked through it, I would say the tree was an illusion, but if I see a dinosaur bone, but no dinosaur lived 70,000,000 years ago, I have suffered no illusion. All that is wrong is that the scientific model does not correspond to the truth ... and yet, it is the correct model, and it is good science, because in science, we do not know what the truth is ... we just select the best model to explain our observations (the data).

    Nobody is going to go to Hell for believing the Earth was created in 4004 BC. Neither is anyone going to Hell for thinking that the truths of Genesis were couched in terms of the Babylonian "scientific" model of creation, which has long since been updated. So let the YECers interpretation of Genesis live and concentrate on convincing him that when he attacks evolution, he is just attacking a model. Allowing him to retain YEC belief helps to relieve the YECer of the pressure which makes him feel he is beset by the forces of evil.

    About illusion (an aside). We 'suffer illusions' about reality all the time. Look at a wall. It looks smooth, hard, and solid. According to science, that wall is more than 99.9% vacuum. Our senses are 'deceived'. Does this mean that the God who created this world is not the Christian God after all?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  14. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    Look carefully at the quotation at the top of my post. It was TheFijian whom I was quoting. I did have your post in mind when I wrote the post, but here, specifically, I was referring to The Fijian.

    You refer again to confusion. The quotation I made of Jesus words, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'", was once confusing to me. Now it isn't. Confusion is a state of mind, not an attribute of an idea. An idea is said to be confusing if the person contemplating it is confused about it. Further thought can clarify. When I first studied physics, I found many things confusing that I no longer suffer any confusion about (other things are still confusing).

    There is nothing whatsoever confusing about "sophisticated YEC" to me. It may be confusing to you, but that is because you have not yet sufficiently contemplated it. I have thought about the things I am posting here for a long time, so what I am saying is clear to me. I cannot expect a few dozen paragraphs from me to dispel confusion from others. All I can say is that it is not confusing.

    There is an important reason to understand what I am saying. That reason is that the image of Christianity among those whom we are to work at converting suffers from conflict between evolutionary scientists and YECers. If there is any way that we can allow YECers to hang on to what is sacred to them while letting them allow scientists to live in peace, then it will be of immense benefit to Christianity. It is right to let them hang on to YEC, because there is no logical demonstration that it is false.

    Now, darklight, I see you quoting from the Bible to make your case. Do you not understand that that is exactly what YECers are doing? and that whatever you see as clear guidance from the Bible that it would be bad to let YEC survive, who can make a stronger claim than the YECers themselves that the bible says with stark clarity exactly what they believe?

    They have an iron clad case if you are going on the Bible alone.
     
  15. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    The Bible is for matters of theology. You were making a theological claim about God and confusion. Therefore, the Bible was used to challenge that claim. Also, I never said I see any clear guidance from the Bible that "it would be bad to let YEC survive." That observation comes from the observable consequences in society. Furthermore, I don't evaluate YECism on the Bible alone, as I showed in my post. A position that makes a claim that needs science to answer it is evaluated using science, as well as whatever else is required to evaluate. When we evaluate YECism using science, we come to the conclusion that it is not valid.
     
  16. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

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    Yes it is there, and it is exactly what you are implying----that what we see is not God's creation.




    You see what I mean? What we see is the world. If what we see is an illusion, we see a world that is an illusion. We see a world that God did not create. We see a world that has no substance of its own.

    You cannot reconcile the scriptural witness that creation is revelation and then hold that what it reveals is an illusion.


    Again you are alleging that what we see is an illusion; after all we do not just see dinosaur bones in isolation from a great deal of other evidence that is just as real as the bones. If all the evidence is real, the age of the earth is real. If the age of the earth is an illusion, the dinosaur bone is also an illusion because it is evidence of the age of the earth and of the pathways of evolution in the past.

    As was said earlier, you are trying to have your cake and eat it too.





    No way. If the "true observations" of "the actual real world" do not yield the actual date (within reason) of when the world began, then there is no way they can be observations of "the actual real world". They are not true observations, they are illusions. What looks to be the actual real world is not actual or real at all. It is illusory.

    God may be author of the illusion, but in that case he is Brahman not Yahweh.


    It is true there is no way you can know that it is not correct.

    But you can know that it is not consistent with science.

    And you can know that it is not consistent with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic doctrine of creation.

    For me, that is sufficient reason to consider it incorrect.



    What about the evidence that the dinosaur died 70 million years ago? Don't you have to treat it as an illusion in order to claim its demise was less than 7000 years ago? Evidence may mean nothing in an illusory world, but in an actual, real, created world it has significance.



    If the evidence points inescapably to the conclusion that the dinosaur bone is 70 million years old when it isn't, yes, you have suffered an illusion. What you have seen is not what is.


    Actually, I don't think anyone cares two figs what YECs choose to believe. After all people believe a lot of strange things and it doesn't cause controversy in the church or society at large. You don't see much public debate on the teachings of Scientology for example.

    What makes YEC controversial is not that it attracts followers, but that its followers want to give their beliefs some sort of official status of approval by having it presented in public schools. If they were content to pass on their beliefs to their children in their own private and home schools without asking to have them taught to my kids as well, we could all be happy.


    Not quite the same thing. Yes, we "suffer illusions" all the time because our knowledge of reality is partial. But experience and inquiry and experiment and observation can clarify the nature of reality. If you can accept, on the basis of scientific modelling that a wall is 99.9% vacuum, you have no basis not to accept the 70 million year age of the dinosaur bone. The same sort of scientific observation goes into both conclusions.

    Superficial appearance is generated by an underlying reality. I see a blue sky not because there is water above it (as the ancients thought) but because photons act as they do. But I have no reason to doubt that the photons are real nor any reason to doubt that what I see because of them is real. A tree is not just a conglomeration of photons impinging on my retina. It has a reality of its own which the photons are able to convey to my eyes and my brain.

    In an illusory world, there is no basis for holding that any tree is there at all. Nor that anything I learn about the tree by studying it is real. There is not even any reason to hold that I am anything more than an illusory role that I have temporarily adopted.
     
  17. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    Ok, if God put a dinosaur bone in the ground 4004 years ago, how would that not be God's creation?
     
  18. gluadys

    gluadys Legend

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    If all the evidence pointed to the bone being 70 million years old, then it is not a creation, it is an illusion. Furthermore, all the evidence is also an illusion. All of creation is an illusion.

    In effect, what God "created" under this scenario is not a world with real bones in it, but an elaborate holodeck program in which we ourselves are holograms along with everything else we examine.

    You have to take into account that creation is so tightly knit together that if you pull out one thread --or dinosaur bone--it all falls apart. The bone has a specific place in creation that includes its space-time coordinates.

    The only way the dinosaur bone you describe could be part of a real created world is if the real created world had dinosaurs in it 4004 years ago. And that their existence at that time was confirmed by the evidence.
     
  19. theFijian

    theFijian Well-Known Member

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    Omphalos and YEC are two distinct entities, the former may be part of the latter but not by necessity. '...that may be perfectly logical' is what I said in reference to Omphalos, not in reference to YEC.

    What you are proposing definitely is opmphalos, you just can't bring yourself to admit it. What if I'm an illusion? You are interacting with all these posts on an internet forum but perhaps there is no 'theFijian' ( maybe that's preferrable), perhaps there is no ChristianForums.com? How daft would you feel if that were true?
    YEC 'could' be true but only if evolution (amongst many other scientific fields) was bad science, hence Omphalos.

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck ... etc

    Apologies for pop culture reference, ie. "there is no spoon"
     
  20. Tom Cohoe

    Tom Cohoe Newbie

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    And if someone hit you with that bone, you would still say it was an illusion?

    You'd better be careful here if you want to stick with science. Have you heard of the holographic principal which "resolves the black hole information paradox within the framework of string theory? [from the Wikipedia article, the Holographic Principle - I am not allowed to put in links yet]". This theory, worked on by physicists from Gerard 't Hooft to Leonard Susskind, some of the dozen or so most famous physicists of our day, would describe the entire universe as a hologram on the surface of a sphere with a radius equivalent to the radius of the horizon of a black hole of the mass of the universe. That is, this theory has that everything, including you and me, is a gigantic holgram.

    Other physicists (Steven Wolfram of Mathematica fame) analyze the systems of scientific study and even the entire universe as computational systems.

    I cannot see your statement that if God put the bone in the ground and arranged it so that the creation was indetectable by science that it would be "not a creation" as anything but your fiat. I see nothing logically necessary about it.

    That's not a problem. Everything at 4004 BC would be in place and functioning exactly as it would have been if it had evolved in 13,000,000,000 years. There would be no difference in the world after 4004 (actually there would, but they are of no relevance to any objections I've seen so far). A scientist could theorize this, but Occam's razor would require him to choose the simplest theory, which would be the 13,000,000,000 year theory. Occam's razor does not give us the truth, it gives us the best model.

    I do not like this idea myself. It has difficulties which haven't been mentioned here at all - not insurmountable difficulties - which have to do with what happens after 4004 BC. For example, in Genesis, there are 2 humans at that time. In the science, they are all over the Earth.

    I am all but on your side. The only difference is that I know that I cannot logically disprove sophisticated YEC. Where I speak of YECers embarrassing Christianity, as for you, that is trying to force it to be taught in schools (in science classes). It is more than that. It is YECers participating, from a "creation science" point of view, in public debate at all. When YECers denounce TOE scientists in public, or even from the pulpit, they do harm to Christianity. "Creation science" institutions are harmful too (so is all the intelligent design stuff, BTW).

    All I want is for YECers to understand that they can believe what they want about creation without any need to denounce science at all, and beyond that, if they do not want to read Genesis as anything but a literal account of creation, then they must do so in a way that keeps it out of science, and that the way to do it is the way I've outlined.

    I've had long debates with a Baptist pastor friend in which I have sought hard to convince him that reading Genesis metaphorically need not threaten his salvation and I have also spent many hours trying to convince him that if he insists on reading Genesis literally, he can do so with a philosophy that leaves science absolutely alone, that science is behaving in the only way that it can, as outlined above.

    I have participated in science forums in which we chased off YECers, so maybe I know a little bit about how damaging creation "science" is to Christianity. Who gives 2 figs about what they believe about Genesis, as you say. All that must go is creation "science".

    That's what these posts are all about. There is a way to split the two and make it easier for the YECer to give up the "science" part.

    It's philosophy for gosh sakes. It's not Hindu or Budhist or hologrammistic. There's nothing non Christian about it at all.

    And no, I don't like it either. But if it helps stop YECers from trying to get legislatures to pass stupid laws, it would certainly be worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
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