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Featured Philosophical / Logical problems with YEC, OEC and Theistic Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by TheLostCoin, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. TheLostCoin

    TheLostCoin A Lonesome Coin Supporter

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    So, for those who visit TAW, I've engaged with a lengthy discussion about the problems that I see with YEC, OEC, and Theistic Evolution from multiple different perspectives.

    I can fully comprehend the idea that the naturalist assumptions in Darwinism can be erroneous and philosophically flawed.

    However, upon looking at all three of these alternatives, I don't see how any of them can really make sense if we are to believe in Christianity.

    Young Earth Creationism - that is, a belief in the age of a young earth, typically held by most to be 6000 years - seems hard to understand in light of the massive amount of evidence that contradicts this point of view - mainly the issue of geology, radiometry, and the fossil record. How could a flood like what was described in Noah's Ark create the results that it did - why is it, that extremely less complex life-forms are at the bottom with more complex life-forms at the top, with such a linear formation that nobody has found anything that would suggest non-linearity? Why is it that radiometric dating all (in the various techniques used) seems to confirm consistent dates for where these fossils are found (gradually increasing in year-size), the lack of human remains that would naturally be found within the strata, had such a flood occurred, and the various different compositions of the strata themselves which are all layered in such a way that they seem to imply that the layers were added via erosion. How could a flood, if it came from the bottom up and top down, create such an effect where fossils that are located in millions year old dated strata are, in fact, located?

    This isn't even with the assumption of 6000 years - a date I find to be extremely problematic from just merely an archaeological perspective, because there are calendars that are older than the date of when the Flood would occur according to YEC proponents - including the Hebrew Calendar, the Chinese Calendar, and even the Yazidi Calendar, the Yazidi Calendar being older than 6000 years. Or perhaps the fact that the languages of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and once again, the Chinese, are older than 3000 years but yet no flood has interrupted the progress of their culture or civilization.


    With OEC - which I define as Old Earth Creationism which denies Theistic Evolution, I find problematic with the fossil record once again, which makes even less sense than YEC. How is it that we have hominid skeletons that are several millions of years old that are located where they are? If you hold to a flood, how can a flood cause the fossil record to be lined up so drastically they are located where they are, but so non-drastically that it doesn't affect the the sediments themselves erosion-wise? If you believe that the fossil record was put there by God in His design of the world, you lead to the intentional belief that God is deceptive, as to create the illusion of death, which would be problematic with His benevolence.

    Also, how does Eden being vegetarian play a role in the history of Salvation? Even If you are a Protestant, the earliest Church Fathers like Saint Irenaeus and Saint Theophilus of Antioch from the 2nd century clearly believed that Creation was vegetarian, which would be contradictory.

    With Theistic Evolution - that is, Old Earth Creationism which accepts Theistic Evolution - you get into a whole bunch of problems regarding the fact that - if God created us in a condition of death - the purpose of Christ's redemption is ultimately made completely meaningless, as are the promises of a return to a world that once was in the Old Testament. If you attempt to believe that at one point humanity was given a soul or transfigured, you have to deal with the fact that the implications of Genesis are wrong, which implies complete harmony between man and beast, with both creatures being vegetarian. If you believe that this is purely symbolic, it makes no sense why we shouldn't extrapolate such ideas of symbolism onto ANY of the Events of the Bible, even Christ's Death and Resurrection. Yeah, it's Casuitry, but I don't get how such Casuitry can be unsound, especially when this becomes especially all the more problematic when your Church claims direct, Apostolic descent, with Church Fathers who explicitly argued against and denied evolution as a heresy (in Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, or Oriental Orthodoxy).

    I don't want to become an Agnostic. I don't. I feel like God has been there for me in the worst of my troubles, but the more and more I think about it logically, the more and more unsound and untenable these positions become to me, because I despise and hate cognitive dissonance / compartmentalization. Maybe it's the truth which I am ultimately terrified of - that there exists nothing but an empty space and me, and I am just a thought. :destroyed:

    Please pray for me. If there's a God out there, and there is a Devil, maybe God can still save me from the Serpent whispering into my ears and help me find the Truth of Christ - if Christ is True, if God is True, and if the devil existing is True.:help:
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  2. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    You can be agnostic regarding the way God used to create the Universe. It does not follow that you must be agnostic as such, i.e. about God's existence, Christianity etc.
     
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  3. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Basically, you can be sure about two things:

    a) you exist, because you think and experience
    b) a creator exists, because you did not create yourself nor things around you

    These are two philosophical certainities. We can live in a simulation, we can live in the YEC, OEC, TE Universe, or in a hollographic Universe or whatever.

    Its interesting to think about it, but it actually influences very little regarding the core Christianity. By the core Christianity I mean the Apostles's Creed and the life in repentance and believing the Gospel.

    Regarding the creation, I am agnostic somewhere between OEC and TE, TE seems to be the most probable, but I am sure that after death I will see everything differently.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  4. Erik Nelson

    Erik Nelson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought "Theistic Evolution" was the hypothesis that a Godlike Being in heaven is somehow (miraculously, wondrously) influencing & guiding natural phenomena on earth, including the evolution of life, so as to "cultivate" (my word) earth towards Their Goal according to Their Will.

    I thought TE essentially accepts everything a stereotypical scientist would, except that it adds a Divine actor into the equations, One who can influence events to suit Their Purposes. E.g. not that volcanoes & earthquakes & storms don't occur naturally, but that also God is able to bring them about on earth, so as to escape the Israelites from Egypt and enable them to cross the Jordan into Canaan; or free Saints Peter & Paul from prison.
     
  5. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Theistic evolution has many forms. I personally think that God created the Universe with natural laws and with such motions that it naturally lead to everything He planned without a need to do everything supernaturally.

    As a tree is hidden in a seed, in the same way I can imagine everything we have today to be hidden in the Big Bang. Causes lead to causes etc till the end of the Universe.

    On the other hand, recent discoveries in science, particulary in the field of quantum mechanics, may suggest that our world is kind of "nothing" made existent just by the observing effect, similarly to how game engines work in computers.
    I am not sure how this can work together with the macro cosmology (the Big Bang), but nobody probably knows yet.

    God is great.
     
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  6. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are going to be reasonable about creation/evolution and Christianity then it is not what you or I or scientists or theologians believe that matters but what Jesus believed.

    Jesus taught that Adam was real, that the creation was real, that the flood was real.

    If Jesus is sinless then these are not lies or misleading statements he made but a reminder of what is true.

    May I suggest that you investigate this aspect of Christianity.
    The truth about Jesus is a vital thing to be sure of.

    By his death and resurrection we are forgiven our sins and assured by his resurrection that it did happen and that we have a hope of heaven.

    So if you are full of doubt and questions look into the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jersus.
    try coldcasechristianity or reasonablefaith or if you want the definitive expert on Jesus:-
    Dr. Gary R. Habermas - Online Resource for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
     
  7. Hieronymus

    Hieronymus Well-Known Member

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    From what i understand, the numbers and conclusions you refer to aren't as concrete as they would have you believe.
    Especially radiometric dating.
    Stratification happens horizontally too, depositing layers that separate themselves.
    This is a fast process.
    The flood is apparently "coded" into chinese characters, as are many more Biblical themes.
    I don't know about the calendars, but who is to say they must have started at 0 after the flood?
    Apparently Genesis 10 does actually account for all the peoples of the world.
    You shouldn't take those numbers for granted, at all.
    You have to understand that only high age numbers are acceptable to the scientific community.
    Just remember we simply don't know.
    The scientific community, or should i say rather their financiers and platforms has decided everything is very very old.
    They need the old age to make naturalism credible. They will cheat too.
    And having travelled down the path of billions and billions of years of accidental evolution, the point of no return has long been past.
    This is how i have come to look at it:
    I take the Biblical history quite literally from Genesis 6 onwards.
    I've seen enough evidence to support the historicity of Genesis 6 and onwards.
    Before that, i don't know, but some say there are many stories in the Bible that were known myths which were adapted to convey the truth of YHWH.

    You may be interested in Michael Heiser's work.
    He's an ancient languages scholar, Bible expert and theologian.
    He's a Christian.
    Many lectures to be found on Youtube.
    You don't have to agree with everything he says, but you can learn a lot.[/quote]
     
  8. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    To be precise, He mentioned only creation and Flood. He never mentioned Adam.

    Nothing He mentioned is against YEC, OEC, TE and similar, so this will not help us decide.
     
  9. Llewelyn Stevenson

    Llewelyn Stevenson Active Member

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    I reject evolution because I learned from a very young age that the theory was postulated purely to disprove God. Since I know God is true evolution is error. I am not interested in anything science puts forward because I have seen how they play with fact and history. Science can never be more true than God.

    I consider the marrying of theology with evolutionary science as apostacy and idolatry.

    This might not help you but there it is.

    I have no other gods [like science] but God [The Creator of all things].
     
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  10. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In mentioning Adam or man, the flood and in saying that nothing will be removed from Gods word he stood by what the bible says.
    In reading what genesis says one can come to only one conclusion. That God created in 6 day.

    It is only by reading what is not there that any other understanding can be assumed.

    Did Jesus mention Adam. Mark 6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female"
    Who else is he talking about other than Adam and Eve?
     
  11. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Adam, flood, tree of life, talking snake etc. are in the Bible and we can mention it, talk about it, learn from it, work with it theologically etc. In this way it is real.

    But there is no need to take everything literally. For example "days" or that Jesus is a door or that the flood was all over the planet just because the text says that it covered all the land.
     
  12. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Those positions are all imagined scenereos. You don't need to know any of the details to have faith. Faith is just the opposite, not knowing.

    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    Ephesians 2:8-10
    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    Romans 11:6
    But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

    Romans 5:1
    Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  13. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    The Church has no doctrinal teaching on the age of the earth, or the manner of the flood, or any of the other trappings of creationism. You are free to hold whatever views you choose to hold on any of those things, or certainly to hold no view on them whatever.

    The Church does however hold to some doctrinal truths, and they are found in the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed makes no mention of any of those things.

    For someone to say they have all the answers to all of those questions is to say they know everything. And no one knows everything.

    It would be a tragedy for us to say we give up entirely because we don't have an answer to some question, only to find the answer the very next day.
     
  14. Johnny4ChristJesus

    Johnny4ChristJesus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It sounds like you just have to decide who you are going to believe. God or man.

    I don't trust man. So, everything man says has to be true, I take with a grain of salt. I do that because man has proven to lie, while God has proven the opposite to me. In fact, God woke me up when I didn't even believe He did such a thing. Turns out He was probably just fulfilling a promise about "being a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb 11:6) and "being found by those who didn't seek Him" (Isa 65:11) and "watching over His Word to perform it" (Jer 1:12) and His Word never returning void but accomplishing all that He sent Him forth to do (Isa 55:11). I trust God, so if God says something, I believe Him. If God is God, meaning He is the most powerful being able to make everything He wants to happen come to fruition, why would He ever have to lie? But, man is always trying to control others without the complete ability to do so. And, when lying helps his cause, man will. There is even, at least, one religion that says that it is okay to lie if it furthers their purpose.

    So, if God can raise people from the dead--as Jesus did and then as God did for Jesus, why is the creation account so hard to believe? Is there God-given evidence that contradicts what God said OR is it man-given evidence by people who tell you what to believe about the evidence they report and why their evidence is valid?

    Have you ever met a politician who didn't lie--or at least say what people wanted to hear knowing that he couldn't make it happen? Did you ever meet someone who was so bent on proving their point that they fabricated evidence to prove it? Science textbooks are riddled with them. This happens in supposed science, in big industry, in academics. Scientists do it routinely to get more grant money or to continue their industry-driven paychecks (like in pharmaceuticals) or to stay in a career field that won't accept those who don't believe in evolution.

    What if the very assumptions they start with are lies? Man, without the accountability of answering to God, lies routinely. I don't trust man. Man has lied to me too many times for me to ever put my faith in man.

    But, faith is just that. It is faith. I can't go back and see all the miracles Jesus did. I can't be there when he was pronounced dead, was buried, was raised from the dead, put His blood on the mercy seat, and ascended in front of the apostles. I can't be there when fish that weren't coming to the nets all night long suddenly come in droves. I can't be there when bread and fish are multipled so there are more leftovers than what they started with. I can't be there when angelic beings came to speak to people. I can't be there when the seas were parted. I can't be there when a bush is on fire and isn't getting consumed. I can't be there when a wall just fell because people followed God's directions. I can't be there when Noah or Abraham were given instructions that seemed downright off the wall--and yet they trusted God and followed them. I can't be there when the hungry lions don't eat Daniel, but eat the three men who put him in the den the next day. I can't be there when 3 men are thrown into a furnace and come out unscathed. None of this makes any sense, based on what man can do. BUT, GOD!!!!! And, it is that very God that I trust my life to. It is that very God that I choose to believe, because He is the only one who can give me hope for something beyond this life. He is the only one who could resurrect me when I die. He is the only one who could take me to the place of beauty that He describes and the only one who can deliver me from the torment of the other place He describes. No man can do that. It is that very God that I have seen heal other people much to their shock/amazement, right in front of my eyes.

    Like all of us, you have to "choose this day, who you will serve." And, as you are considering who you will choose, consider the man, Saul of Tarsus, who had everything going for him as one who had the right pedigree and was zealously defending the religion that missed Jesus. Considering all that happened to him and all he lost when he switched teams--claiming that Jesus appeared to him. Almost immediately, he had people trying to kill him. He would have known if Jesus didn't appear to him and wasn't talking to him. He didn't make the big bucks like some do today. He got stoned, whipped, thrown in prison, left for dead, shipwrecked, etc. In fact, the Holy Spirit had to reassure him at times, because it was so consistent that large groups would turn against him after a while. If what he claims didn't really happen, how did he benefit from lying? And, he went to his death proclaiming Jesus Christ.

    If you believe that God created, why not believe Him the whole way? How does it help you to believe part of what God says He did and reject other parts? What can you really stand on (trust Him for), then? Isn't it all unbelievable once you choose to disbelieve?
     
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  15. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One uses ones ability to identify literay devices from what is historical accounts.

    There area great many experts in ancient hebrew and they will all confirm that how genesis is writen is to convey the information that God created in 6 literal 24 hour days.

    As you are aware there are two methods of understanding scripture.
    1. To read what is written and to seek to understand what it says.
    2. to come with an idea formed else where and to try to read that idea into scripture.

    It is up to you and your honesty as to which method you use.
     
  16. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly... and therefore we use reason and physical evidence to decide what is literal and what is mythological/symbolical or poetry.

    Never for 100%, because we were not there. But with some kind of probability and with a good measure of agnosticism, because such things are not essential to Christianity.

    It could happen literally. But I do not think so.
     
  17. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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  18. TheLostCoin

    TheLostCoin A Lonesome Coin Supporter

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    In TAW, Father Matthew makes a pretty damning argument that we can find the Truth based on the Consensus of the Saints and Church Fathers, and not one Saint has believed that Evolution is true. Not one.

    Moreover, as I've stated, some Church Fathers like Saint Irenaeus believe Creationism very explicitly. so much so that they believe all the animals were vegetarian before the fall.
     
  19. TheLostCoin

    TheLostCoin A Lonesome Coin Supporter

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    Why not take Jesus not-literally in terms of His miracles or Resurrection?
     
  20. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    All of those things are fodder for a Church Council. Remember that the Church fathers disagreed on any number of things. For example, nearly all of the sub-apostolic fathers were premilleniaists, yet the Church decreed chiliasm to be a heresy and that amillenialism is the defined teaching of Christianity.

    I do not doubt the sincerity of anyone's beliefs or opinions on creationism. But the matter is not decided.
     
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