Issues with Old Earth Creation: Progressive Creation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, July 4, 2014 50 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I talked about some of the issues of the Gap Theory, one of the major Old Earth Creation (OEC) models. Another OEC model is known as Progressive Creation. It is one of the most popular ones. Progressive Creation denies the Theory of Evolution being true but does not agree with the Biblical account either. So what is Progressive Creation (PC)?

PC is a model of origins in which God created the universe, but over the span of millions of years, he would create a group of species, kill them (as recorded in the fossil record), and recreate until he had a perfect set of species which would include mankind. It is not the same as the Theory of Evolution because Evolution is about universal common ancestry where everything is related somehow. But it’s also not the same as “Young Earth Creation” (YEC), which is what I believe the Bible teaches.

Many supporters of PC believe there is a 67th book of the Bible: nature. They believe that the study of nature will never contradict the Bible, which is true. Because if the Bible is true, then everything we see in nature should reflect that truth. I have to clarify that what is meant by nature is not observation via the scientific method, but the philosophy that what is natural is all that is known. So we are actually talking about two philosophies. But here is a problem. They place nature on the same tier of authority as God’s Word. In other posts, such as Bill Seng’s here, we at Worldview Warriors have pointed out that the Bible should be our ultimate and final authority, our ultimate filter for determining what is true and what isn’t true. But PC places nature on that tier alongside the Bible and this leads to problems. Here is why.

When two authorities share the same spot and there is potential to disagree, one of them will always end up taking precedence. Jesus warned us this would happen. When a conflict presents itself between what the Bible says and what “nature” says, one of the two must be re-examined. And the first thing to get re-examined with PC is always Scripture.

PC teaches that each “day” in Genesis 1 is not a 24-hr period but an “indefinite period of time.” And there is some merit to this because in both Hebrew and English the word ‘day’ has been used in some circumstances for an era and not a 24-hr period. However, this is improper use of language. Why? The context is very clear that it is 24-hr periods by use of cardinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc) AND with the modifier “evening and morning” where 24-hr periods is the only definition used. But another issue is that when “era” is meant, it is talking about a specific 24-hr day and/or surrounding days where a significant historical event happened or will happen. When Jesus said, “in the days of Noah…” he was not talking about an unspecified, indefinite period of time. He was talking about a very specific period of time when a significant thing happened: Noah’s Flood. So PC gets this wrong. Another thing to note is that I have never heard any Old Earth supporter explain why “era” is a better interpretation than “24 hours.” I’ve only heard them say that there are other interpretations to consider. It leaves it all as a big “could be.” And that is a very dangerous place to put your doctrine.

There is more that PC does to Genesis 1 to make the Bible “align” with modern astronomy. They rearrange the order of Creation. They claim that the Creation account was from “God’s perspective” and so in Day 1, God made the sun and it didn’t become visible until Day 4. That’s the claim and it makes absolutely no sense. Because PC supports the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record, they have land animals before birds (made on Day 5), they have fish before dry land and plants (Day 3), and other things.

There is more. PC does believe in a historical Adam and Eve but not as the Bible records. They estimate Adam and Eve lived about 30,000 years ago and that they were separated from the other “hominids” and given a soul. So instead of “homo sapiens” we now have “homo sapiens divinus.” Yet Scripture is very clear that God made Adam from the dust of the earth. PC then takes the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 and suggests there were significant gaps between the names in the genealogies and that stretched the time frame from 6000 years to over 30,000 years. This cannot be so because we have the specific age of the patriarch when the next name is born. So even if there are skipped generations between the names, it does not affect the time frame. So what if Methuselah has nine generations between him and Lamech? That would be about 20 years per generation because Methuselah was 187 years old when Lamech was born. It does not change the time line at all. But there is no record of any genealogy in any history where there are telescoped generations while the age of the patriarch is given. There are examples such as Matthew 1:1 of skipped names, but notice how no ages are given in this verse.

PC also has another interesting aspect to his model that is common with all the other models. That “Noah’s Flood” was not global, but just local. They do not see a need for the entire planet to be wiped out, just the “evil people” right around Noah’s area. They believe that the “waters covered the whole earth” only references the “known world.” This idea comes from Acts 2 where at Pentecost people from throughout the known earth were present from over 15 distinct regions. However, the context does not allow for this interpretation. The mountains were covered by a depth of more than 20 feet. While Mesopotamia is a basin, it has two rivers that empty into the Persian Sea which means you cannot have water covering the earth for 150 days without it flowing away. I have yet to hear of an account for these 150 days and for the whole year spent on the Ark from the Old Earth crowd. A local flood would only last a matter of days at most. Why do the Progressive Creationists believe this? They won’t say it outright but here is why: because if the Flood was global, then all the dating methods that suggest an old earth are messed up. I will have to do a separate post for that.

So, Progressive Creation has lots of issues and the key is putting secular science, put forth by those who had no regard for the authority of Scripture, on the same authoritative tier as Scripture. Jesus said clearly that you cannot serve two masters. He referenced God and money, but the same can be said about anything. You cannot serve both God and “Science.” You cannot serve both God and “men.” You will choose one or the other. And Progressive Creation illustrates what happens when “God” and “Science” (which, here, is actually the philosophy of science, not the method of science) are put on the same tier of authority. One gets served and the other is modified to fit the other. And Progressive Creation interprets the Bible in the context of secular science, instead of interpreting science in the context of Scripture (which is what the YEC organizations do). Next week, I’ll address a third OEC model: “Theistic Evolution.”

50 comments:

Bradley Fisher said...

A couple of other things to bring up to the people that say "Well yom COULD be translated as age" . Well that's true it could be, But Elohim(the word used for God in Genesis 1) COULD also mean judge, angels or mighty. Do you want to go down that road, you think that angels created the heavens and the earth? They're straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. Also while it's true that day has other meanings the same as it does in english, evening (erab) NEVER has a different meaning other than a literal evening.

Charlie said...

There are many more issues with Progressive Creation I could bring up but I was already pushing it for my space on this post. I always caution people against building their theology with a "could be" because these people never seem to consider the other "could be"s as an option. And they never seen to give a quality reason why their "could be" is why they choose it.

Thanks for the comment.

David J. said...

Although I am now a non-believer, I agree with you that YEC is the best fit with scripture with the least amount of issues. There are only a few minor problems, such as: What does morning and evening mean when you don't have a sun? Did Adam have enough time to name all the animals before Eve was made? (Please don't feel the need respond to these, I'm not trying to challenge you.)

These views that are somewhere in-between theistic evolution and YEC are the most bizarre to me. Why not take Genesis as fully allegorical if you're willing to take it as partially allegorical? Why reject both a literal interpretation of the Bible and mainstream science? The only thing I can think of it that the scientific evidence for an old earth and universe is easier to grasp than evolution. If we see a star 10,000 lightyears away, that means it took the light 10,000 years to reach us. If we measure the decay rate of certain radioactive isotopes and extrapolate backwards, we see that rocks are hundreds of millions of years old. Simple physics. The deeper you look in rocks, the less the fossils look like current animals. Yet, if you'll allow me to quote Darwin out of context: "To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree."
(Again, I've read the objections to the evidence I've brought up to support an old earth/universe)

David J. said...

//the Bible should be our ultimate and final authority//

Shouldn't God Himself be your ultimate authority? I know you believe the Bible is inerrant, but it's written in human language, which is often imprecise, and always (forgive me) evolving. A written description of something is always going to fall short of the thing itself.

Charlie said...

//What does morning and evening mean when you don't have a sun?//

Is the sun required for determining "daytime and nighttime"? Scientifically speaking, a "day" is a rotation of the earth about its axis. No reference to the sun. In Day 1, we had light. It didn't come from the sun at the time, which is the way it is going to be on the New Earth as depicted in Revelation. The sun is not the only possible source of light which this objection fails to grasp.

//Did Adam have enough time to name all the animals before Eve was made?//

How many animals are we talking about? Certainly not the millions of species we have today. Adam only had to name the kinds of animals and we are only really referencing the birds and air-breathing land animals. So that's not that many. He didn't have to name all the types of fish, or plants, or fungi, or bacteria, or even insects. These issues are not minor problems because the questions show a faulty understanding of the account. They are against strawmen.

// Why not take Genesis as fully allegorical if you're willing to take it as partially allegorical? Why reject both a literal interpretation of the Bible and mainstream science?//

I am glad you are able to see the foolishness in these positions. The ultimate reason is trying to appear smart before men. If you are going to claim to be a Christian (especially if you are a preacher) you have to claim to at least partially believe the Bible. It doesn't make sense to try to merge the two. They are polar opposites.

//If we see a star 10,000 lightyears away, that means it took the light 10,000 years to reach us.//

That's the idea, but it doesn't work that way. Did you know that the furthest star we've seen is about 46 billion light years away? How is that possible if the universe would only be 13.5 billion years old? The starlight distance problem is a problem for ALL sides of the debate. The difference between YEC folk and all the Old Earth models is that YEC recognizes it is a problem and have been seeking answers for it. Jason Lisle and Russel Humphrey have two intriguing models that account for this issue. I like Humphrey's model better and I can explain that in another post. It took a while to grasp it but I can explain the basics of it.

//If we measure the decay rate of certain radioactive isotopes and extrapolate backwards, we see that rocks are hundreds of millions of years old. Simple physics.//

Actually, it's not. I've done some personal extensive research on these methods from an angle that I've not seen anyone do yet. With basic Algebra (nothing more complex than logarithms), I've examined half-lives to their estimated ranges, to their error ranges, to the observation times, and I can't trace the results through a systematic, methodical, scientific process. With the ranges alone, they demonstrate the methods do not depend on the ability to measure amounts of isotopes because each method has a different limit and such limits do not show the same ability to measure what we have. I am in the process of reviewing my work, finding a better way to present it, and getting it checked out with some top notch scientists. The RATE project did a lot of impressive stuff with what they discovered, but I've had some people think I may be onto something with my own research.

Charlie said...

//Shouldn't God Himself be your ultimate authority? I know you believe the Bible is inerrant, but it's written in human language, which is often imprecise, and always (forgive me) evolving. A written description of something is always going to fall short of the thing itself.//

Do you know much of the history of the writing of the Bible and the efforts that went into it to make sure it was not changed? The Bible has been preserved better than any other ancient work. When we found the Dead Sea Scrolls that dated over 3000 years ago, and compared them to the Scriptures we have today, it was 99.5% accurate. And of that 0.5%, the vast majority was spelling, grammar issues. The Bible has not changed. It has been translated a number of times but with extreme caution and care. Today there are some perverse versions but those are not common. Many of the versions today are dead on. What is also interested is that in Psalm 138:2, God tells us that he puts his Word above his name. God cannot lie and the Bible is his written Revelation to us. The Bible is the only tangible authority we have that has such authority. It is the one object that is concrete and something we can point to as the source of authority. Yes, we can reference God, but because of his nature, anything he says and does will never conflict with what he has written in the Bible. That is how we can tell what is from God and what is not. As an author myself (not just as a blogger, I do have a novel published with a traditional publisher, with two more coming soon), what I write is a reflection of me and who I am, what I stand for, what I stand against. An easy way for someone to get to know me, to know my thoughts, is to read what I write. Same is true for the Bible. The easiest way to get to know God is to read the Bible. And unlike my books, when you read the Bible, the author is always present.

David J. said...

*sigh* I never said the Bible has changed. I was critiquing human language, not the Bible.

As far as God not lying: 2 Thessalonians 2:11

Charlie said...

//*sigh* I never said the Bible has changed. I was critiquing human language, not the Bible.//

Every time I hear that argument, that is exactly what is being referenced. Yes, human language does change, but the Bible has not and it has been extremely relevant across time, language, and culture. That is what makes it unique among all other holy books.

//As far as God not lying: 2 Thessalonians 2:11//

That's not God lying. That's God giving the unbelievers what they want. Context, context, context. Look at Romans 3:4. Look at Numbers 23:19.

You were pretty strong on my case about getting my facts straight on my Gap Theory post last week. Yet in all your challenges or questions about the Bible, you only seem to get what other non-believers say the Bible says instead of actually seeing what the Bible says the Bible says. It does make me wonder if you really know what you are arguing against. I honestly have a hard time remembering a non-believer addressing something about the Bible and actually demonstrating they understand what is actually being said. Lots of quote-mining and strawmanning.

David J. said...

//If we see a star 10,000 lightyears away, that means it took the light 10,000 years to reach us.//

That's the idea, but it doesn't work that way. Did you know that the furthest star we've seen is about 46 billion light years away? How is that possible if the universe would only be 13.5 billion years old? The starlight distance problem is a problem for ALL sides of the debate. The difference between YEC folk and all the Old Earth models is that YEC recognizes it is a problem and have been seeking answers for it. Jason Lisle and Russel Humphrey have two intriguing models that account for this issue. I like Humphrey's model better and I can explain that in another post. It took a while to grasp it but I can explain the basics of it. //

I purposefully said 10,000 light years because that would represent a star in our own galaxy, so it wouldn't be affected by the expansion of the universe. The farthest object we can observe is now estimated to be 46 billion years away, but when the light left the object, it was much closer. We are not seeing light from where it is now, but from where it was when it left the object. I say "object" because we can't see individual stars at that distance. Objects that are distantly separated can move apart from each other at a speed greater than the speed of light, but relative to nearby objects, they are still going slower than the speed of light. There is no starlight distance problem in an old universe.

////If we measure the decay rate of certain radioactive isotopes and extrapolate backwards, we see that rocks are hundreds of millions of years old. Simple physics.//

//Actually, it's not. I've done some personal extensive research on these methods from an angle that I've not seen anyone do yet.////

As far as I know, even the RATE scientists accept the currently measured rates of radioactive decay, but believe that God supernaturally intervened in the past to change the rate. Don't you think it's more likely that you have a misunderstanding somewhere than it is that all the experts can be proved wrong with a simple formula you've come up with?


Anyway, you completely missed my whole point (or just didn't comment on it), which is that light travel time and radioactive decay are easier to conceptualize than evolution. It was not a comment about the validity of using those techniques.

Charlie said...

//I purposefully said 10,000 light years...//

Except that geometrically, it only works up to 5000-6000 light years. I've done the math on this one too. Again, have you read up on Lisle's Antistropic Synchrony Convention or Humphrey's White Hole Cosmology? Both addresses this issue quite well. We can only measure the two-way speed of light and stars give us one-way speed of light. How fast is that one-way? Hard to tell.

//As far as I know, even the RATE scientists accept the currently measured rates of radioactive decay, but believe that God supernaturally intervened in the past to change the rate. Don't you think it's more likely that you have a misunderstanding somewhere than it is that all the experts can be proved wrong with a simple formula you've come up with?//

They believe that the rates were accelerated as a result of significant worldwide one-time events. There are two that come to mind. Initial creation and Noah's Flood. Radiometric dating along with all other dating methods do not consider rare, one-time events that would have a drastic impact on how the methods are able to date anything. With Noah's Flood, you have massive geologic upheaval worldwide that would drastically alter decay rates briefly. The RATE Project demonstrated that this is evident. Yes, the RATE project did assume the half-lives were as reported, but they did not address how the half-lives are actually determined. Every time I have brought this up, including with YEC speakers or Evolutionists, no one seems to know until I bring it up. Then they do some research as I had to do to figure it out. It is not common knowledge and the major websites that boast about the accuracy of radiometric dating don't have anything about how it is determined. One thing that stands out is that the Geiger counters that count how much radiation is taking place physically cannot account for all the radiation taking place. So there has to be a fudge factor thrown in. What is that fudge factor? My conclusion so far is that it is arbitrary. But as I said, I'm not done with this yet and I am seeking to get it reviewed to make sure I am on the right path with this. But the math I have worked out is meant to show that the methods SHOULD be internally consistent and traceable through a methodical, scientific process. It doesn't do it. With every method here, there are assumptions that are required for establishing the clocks and all of them have shown to be false. C14 depends on the ratio of C14-C12 TODAY, when the magnetic field strength plays a significant role. K-Ar depends on the Argon escaping molten magma for "setting the clock". We've found Argon in molten magma. The list goes on.

//Anyway, you completely missed my whole point (or just didn't comment on it), which is that light travel time and radioactive decay are easier to conceptualize than evolution. It was not a comment about the validity of using those techniques.//

Yes, this is true. However, neither of these issues would come up if one did not already assume an old universe to begin with. Because the methods require that assumption to work with. They are scientific but I have found they are bad science because they are based on faulty premises. It all boils down to what I wrapped up my post here. Who do you believe? Who do you serve? Man's ideas that try to show origins without God? Or God's written account that has been verified over and over and over again without a single blemish?

Rolf Aalberg said...

Charlie said: "...God's written account that has been verified over and over and over again without a single blemish"
That's quite a bold assertation. I presume you can refer to an authorative scholarly source for that? I won't try referencing my sources since I've given away most of my books - but I have quite a different view of the subject than yours. Maybe the question defaults to the simple decision: "Should I believe the scholars or rely on my own faith?"

Rolf Aalberg said...

It just occured to me that a comment on the RATE project might be in order, here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/helium/zircons.html

Rolf Aalberg said...

Charlie said: "We can only measure the two-way speed of light and stars give us one-way speed of light. How fast is that one-way? Hard to tell."

What IS the two way speed of light, and how is it measured?

Objects like stars do of course shine light, photons, in all directions.

Besides, the evidence for an old Eart is overwhelming. I recommend adopting the attitude of Harvard educated scientist Kurt Wise: Accept all the evidence but be a YEC because that's what you read in the Bible. You can eat your cake and keep it as well.

Let me quote Kurt Wise:

"Most creation science is garbage" (quoted in an interview in Hitt 1996).
Wise has expounded:
"This gets me in a lot of trouble with a lot of creationists, ... the material that's out there is—uh, I'll hold back and be nice—garbage. It's really atrocious" (quoted by Mayshark 1998).

Richard Dawkins must be someone you all would like to hate if your religion didn't be against it. anyway, here is a piece from Dawkins: http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_21_4.html

Charlie said...

//That's quite a bold assertation. I presume you can refer to an authorative scholarly source for that? I won't try referencing my sources since I've given away most of my books - but I have quite a different view of the subject than yours. Maybe the question defaults to the simple decision: "Should I believe the scholars or rely on my own faith?"//

The Bible is the authoritative source. It is axiomatic. It proves itself. I've seen the supposed 1000 contradictions in the Bible. Each one is a strawman, quote-mine, or simply a false understanding of the context. There is no claim that the Bible makes which has been demonstrated to be otherwise. There are some that simply cannot be checked out due to a variety of reasons, but by historical standards of analyzing historical texts, there is not one that remotely passes like the Bible does.

Talk Origins? Really? I've seen enough of that site. No only are they so far behind actual science (many of their "evidences" aren't even in the textbooks anymore and it's hard enough to get them to clean out false information) and they are really good at strawmanning arguments. What "credible scientists" are behind Talk Origins? All the ones behind the RATE project were PhD level with years of experience in the scientific community.

The two-way speed of light is currently measured at 3.0 x 10^8 m/s. It takes light traveling one direction, and reflecting back off a source and going back to the same spot to be able to measure it. We cannot measure it's speed in one direction.

Kurt Wise in that statement you quoted is a fool and it does not make any sense. If the Bible records 4000 years between the beginning of time and Christ, that means you cannot have an old earth and believe the Bible. Unlike every old earth model which can only be verified in the imagination, because there is no means of "observable, testable, and repeatable" which is what science must require beyond what recorded history allows. Wise says the YEC stuff is garbage. We have quite a few PhD's that suggest otherwise. As I said in my post, what is your authority? God or man? When "science" is your ultimate authority, you are no longer in the realm of science but the philosophy of "scientism" and you are no longer carrying out what is scientific.

Dawkins? He is a pitiful man and pretty well only respected by the militant atheist whom even most secular scientists are not liking. He is a joke, even to secularists and is so wrong on so many things. He talks about so much he doesn't have a clue about.

Stick around. In a couple weeks, I'm addressing the YEC position and why it is the only origins model that actually makes sense in light of all the data and evidence.

David J. said...

//What "credible scientists" are behind Talk Origins? All the ones behind the RATE project were PhD level with years of experience in the scientific community. //
If you had followed his link, you'd have seen that the article was by Kevin R. Henke, Ph.D.

Charlie said...

So what is your reason for rejecting what one PhD has to say over what another PhD has to say other than one has his ultimate authority in God's Word and the other puts his ultimate authority in ever changing man's ideas?

But one thing I will say that gives Humphreys much more credibility than his challenger. Humphrey's based exclusively on a YEC model, accurately predicted the magnetic field strengths of Mercury, Mars, Uranus, and Neptune. I expect he will be proven right about Pluto as well next year. All the OEC models, including Big Bang? Off by factors of over a million. I find the #1 reason for rejecting YEC claims is nothing other than they are YEC. That is known as Genetic Fallacy, rejecting the argument because of the source. Talk Origins is very well known for this and are highly disregarded by both YEC and secularists alike.

You want to know the easiest way to get some opposition? Stand for the truth. I can tell I've been hitting a few nerves with my last two posts including this one.

Charlie said...

Ashley,

Interesting post on Chromosome #2 but your link does not address my comment from Facebook at all. All the reports I hear from the mainstream sciences is that Chromosome #2 would have fused around 1.5-1.7 million years ago, well after apes and humans split. Interestingly enough, no one would remotely dream of suggesting that there was such a fusion had "common ancestry" not already been assumed. I don't get this from YEC sources. I get this from the "experts". How am I supposed to sort that out?

You have equivocated science with the philosophy of scientism. For science to be done, for the scientific method to be attainable, you need three characteristics: observable, testable, repeatable. Humans records do not exist more than 4400 years old (6000 when you include Genesis 1-5), so anything older than that takes it outside the realm of science. Now there is historical science (which I do believe Ken Ham needs to tweak on his distinction between that and observational science), such as what forensic crews do and what mythbusters do. But they need three things to make it work: a starting point, an ending point, and a historical account of the events. If you have two, you can deduce the POSSIBILITY of the third happening. Forensics is far from an accurate science because they get overturned frequently as more evidence comes in. Why? Because they don't have the historical account of the event. The Bible has it, and when we test what would have happened under such circumstances, it works. Evolution has neither starting point nor historical account. One must be assumed to guess what the other would be like. From a scientific perspective, Evolution is trying to solve a system of three equations with three variables and only one variable can be determined. So when you makes posts like this, how am I supposed to believe you understand what science is, let alone what it is not?

Charlie said...

Ashley,

Naming animals. When I see "wild beasts and birds" in the Scripture, how do I consider bacteria, plants, fish, whales, sharks, fungi in that list? So how many land-walking animals and birds are there? Not millions. I hear the same argument about the Flood. The argument that we go from 7000 kinds of animals to the millions we see today. Not so. Because most of those millions were not included in the original count. If you are going to argue about one aspect about the Biblical account, it really helps to carry that aspect all the way through. And that is what most Evolution supports hate Creationists pointing out. When we carry through the concept to its logical conclusion. That is why we keep harping on abiogenesis. Because if evolution cannot start, it cannot continue.

Deception? Deception is hard to succeed when you stand by a standard of truth. It is really hard to get a someone in the US treasury department to be fooled by a fake dollar bill because they study the real thing in such detail they can spot any fake with easy. The deception plays its role when people do not want the truth and God simply hands them over to what they want. In the passage you quoted, you failed to notice the part that says these people were not lovers of the truth. Don't blame God for deception here. If people don't want to hear the truth, they will believe a lie, thinking it is the truth. You say we are scared of a punishment God would give us if we don't believe? It is better to be scared of the dark than it is to be scared the light.

Authority: God or man? At the very least you are honest about it. And that is one of the key things I am bringing up with this three post series. It makes no sense to take two opposing positions (Evolution and Biblical Creation) call both of them wrong in themselves, but try to piece together pieces from them and call it true. You can't take two false positions and mesh them together to make a true one. Even though you and David J are on dire opposites, I am glad we both can see the foolishness of trying to merge them together.

Charlie said...

Bible and Science:

So you say you agree the Bible is axiomatic? You do agree that an axiomatic claim cannot be proven by any outside source? If that were possible then said claim would not be axiomatic. But axioms are proven on a regular basis. It is a regular practice in math. Not with an outside source, but internally. In both math and logic, you cannot prove the axiom without using the axiom as though it is true. How do you verify that the axiom is true? It must be internally consistent. With logic, you must use the laws of logic to prove the laws of logic are valid. It is circular reasoning but it is the only kind of circular reasoning that is valid, because an ultimate authority (or an axiom in this case) can only appeal to itself.

But with axiom, though they can only be proved with themselves, they can also prove other things. In math, we use axioms all the time to prove things that are not explicitly that axiom. Any topic that such an axiom can address, we can use it to prove said topic. We can use additive and multiplicative axioms to prove a variety of things on functions. But those functions cannot address the additive and multiplicative axioms to "prove or disprove". Functions will show that these axioms work and confirm them, but they cannot be used to "prove it" You need to use the axiom itself to address the axiom.

Same is true with the Bible. It can only prove itself because of its axiomatic nature. That also means if you agree that it is axiomatic, you cannot challenge it with any outside source. You can only challenge it from within. So do not be surprised when YEC are challenged on the Bible, that they answer with the Bible. But the Bible addresses topics that are more than just internal. It does address science (not all but some). It addresses history. It address morality. It addresses all sorts of things. And we can address anything that the Bible address with the Bible. But what the Bible addresses cannot be used to disprove the Bible because of its axiomatic nature.

Evolution and the Bible show two very different histories. Evolution paints the earth to be 4.6 billion years old and the Bible paints the earth to be only about 6000 years old. You cannot have both. But you cannot use Evolution to disprove the Bible because of the Bible's axiomatic nature. You CAN use the Bible to disprove Evolution however, because Evolution is not axiomatic and the Bible does address very key topics that Evolution does (how the universe came about, how long man has been around, etc).

Charlie said...

Just so I can make sure I understand your understanding of what constitutes "science", do you accept or reject "Global Warming" or now as it is called "Climate Change"? Either way, what is your standards for accepting/rejecting the claims? Yes, this is related to the discussions and not a "moving the goal posts"?

Charlie said...

It is addressed to you as well.

David J. said...

I accept that the majority of climate scientists predict that the earth will experience a significant increase in average temperature over the next several decades.

I do not have the expertise necessary to critique their claims.

I do not believe the predictions of climate scientists are the result of a worldwide conspiracy to raise taxes and give governments more control over our lives. And it surely isn't the result of influence by the alternative energy industry, which is tiny compared to big oil.

I am not aware of any time in history in which the idea of global cooling was held by the majority of climate scientists.

I accept that scientists, even a majority of them, can be wrong. In this case, I hope they're wrong. But in general, over time science has progressed, and more accurately describes the world than it did 100 years ago, and has also led to an incredible progress in technology over the past 150 years.

Charlie said...

As I said, I bring it up for a reason. Global Warming is the same type of science as Evolution. Same political and media push for acceptance. Same logic and reasoning. Same sources of paychecks for research and funding. I find most people who accept Evolution are quick to accept Global Warming too. And those that only accept one cannot demonstrate a logical reason for accepting one over the other. Truth is, Evolution is only accepted widely by the media, not the actual scientists themselves. The ones who are most vocal tend to side with Evolution and the reason for that is the political backlash and sudden lack of funding that goes on. Evolution and Global Warming are political agendas, not science. And where is most of Evolution-based "science" funded from: Government agencies. When politics control the paychecks, scientists tend to report what they are told to report. YEC is free from that. We don't have a government agency breathing down our necks telling us what to research, how, and what to report no matter what the actual results say.

Charlie said...

David, in the 70's global cooling WAS the big issue. Huge concerns about the ice caps overtaking Canada, Russia, and northern US. But here is are facts. These people predicted by this year that the ice caps would be gone and NYC flooded. Fact: Antarctica had the greatest amount of ice ever this year. Interesting fact: 2013 had more volcanic eruptions than any other one year in a very long time. The climate is changing, but when you have Mt. St. Helens putting forth more green house gases in one eruption than all of the US has from the Industrial Revolution to today, and the "science" says it is due to mankind, I have to seriously question the validity of such claims. I am still a firm believer that we need to be good stewards of our planet, but what this global warming "science" is all about is a waste of time, tax-payer money, and all about government control. And Evolution has the exact same footprints.

David J. said...

//David, in the 70's global cooling WAS the big issue.//

//Truth is, [global cooling was] only accepted widely by the media, not the actual scientists themselves.//

David J. said...

//St. Helens putting forth more green house gases in one eruption than all of the US has from the Industrial Revolution to today,// [citation needed]

Charlie said...

////Truth is, [global cooling was] only accepted widely by the media, not the actual scientists themselves.////

So the exact same rhetoric used in the 70s for global cooling is what is being used for global warming today, and you believe today but not then....? You say you do not have the expertise to check it out yourself. That is fine. Many don't. But that is an admission you are taking what the media says by blind faith. And my point of bringing the topic up is: by what standards do you use to accept or reject which claims? When I see science (my educational background), I see it changing every generation. What we thought was valid science 30 years ago is considered junk today. So why should we trust what is considered valid today if 30 years from now it will be considered junk? That is why the Bible is so important to these discussions. It is the anchor that holds us steady. It never changes and it never is outdated. Today is very important to be looking at the Bible because our news headlines are looking more and more like Revelation and Daniel. My point in bringing up Global Warming was not to discuss it, but to show what standards if we are using any to discern what is valid and what isn't. I have an ultimate standard and you can tell where I am coming from and why. There are no such standards for Evolution. Any attempt to there being any is actually plagiarism from the Biblical perspective.

David J. said...

//but when you have Mt. St. Helens putting forth more green house gases in one eruption than all of the US has from the Industrial Revolution to today// [citation needed]

Anonymous said...

Charlie wrote:
"Truth is, Evolution is only accepted widely by the media, not the actual scientists themselves."

What a stunning lie. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are simply gullible and have been brainwashed by various Young Earth Creationist ministry leaders.

First, let's establish that you have no experience as a science professor nor have you ever been appointed to a science faculty at a major university. Am I correct?

Secondly, I strongly encourage you to get to Dr. Todd Wood, a Young Earth Creationist professor who denies The Theory of Evolution but he avoids all of the lies you are spouting on this page. As he states on his best known webpage in so many words: Honesty is the best policy.

I don't usually post long quotations but this one is too important for those like Charlie who have been misled by dishonest leaders who have gotten so used to lying that they no longer recognize what truth looks like. Consider Dr. Wood's words:

"Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

I say these things not because I'm crazy or because I've "converted" to evolution. I say these things because they are true. I'm motivated this morning by reading yet another clueless, well-meaning person pompously declaring that evolution is a failure. People who say that are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution. (Technically, they could also be deluded or lying, but that seems rather uncharitable to say. Oops.)

Creationist students, listen to me very carefully: There is evidence for evolution, and evolution is an extremely successful scientific theory. That doesn't make it ultimately true, and it doesn't mean that there could not possibly be viable alternatives. It is my own faith choice to reject evolution, because I believe the Bible reveals true information about the history of the earth that is fundamentally incompatible with evolution. I am motivated to understand God's creation from what I believe to be a biblical, creationist perspective. Evolution itself is not flawed or without evidence. Please don't be duped into thinking that somehow evolution itself is a failure. Please don't idolize your own ability to reason. Faith is enough."

This and much more appears at:
http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

Although I strongly disagree with Dr. Wood's Young Earth Creationist, a point of view I grew up in, I respect him for his honest and his candor.

Until evolution deniers adopt similar standard of honesty, they will continue to undermine the Great Commission. "Lying for Jesus" has become a virtual epidemic.

{By the way, my name is Steve Poole but I don't want to hassle with the identity procedures of so many different blogs, especially when their purpose is to archive my private information.}

Anonymous said...

Charlie wrote:
"The climate is changing, but when you have Mt. St. Helens putting forth more green house gases in one eruption than all of the US has from the Industrial Revolution to today, and the "science" says it is due to mankind, I have to seriously question the validity of such claims."

Did anybody B.S. meter blow a circuit on that one? Mine is calibrated in various power of 10 but it ran out of exponents on that zinger? Are you pranking us, Charlie? (Or more likely, was somebody playing a joke on you to see if you'd fall for such a whopper?)

And even the most gullible reader would seriously question the validity of YOUR wild claim when you don't provide a source. However, knowing that you appear to get your slogans and pseudo-science from the most error-ridden sources, based on what I've read above, your failure to cite any source is really no surprise.

Of course, it doesn't take a lot of thinking to question the validity of the statement. (I can believe you are a writer of fiction. I do not believe you have a science education background.)

So I checked the U.S. Geologic Survey of the U.S. Dept of the Interior. This is what I found:

"Do the Earth’s volcanoes emit more CO2 than human activities? Research findings indicate that the answer to this frequently asked question is a clear and unequivocal, “No.” Human activities, responsible for a projected 35 billion metric tons (gigatons) of CO2 emissions in 2010 (Friedlingstein et al., 2010), release an amount of CO2 that dwarfs the annual CO2 emissions of all the world’s degassing subaerial and submarine volcanoes (Gerlach, 2011)."

They also included a detailed chart of statistics showing Mt. St. Helens emissions were DWARFED by man-made emissions in a single year. See for yourself at:

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

I checked some other credible sources and found much the same information. I found MANY websites where scientists destroyed Charlie's claim. They called it one of the most common pieces of rubbish being circulated by know-nothings.

Of course, that is why Charlie didn't provide any citation or source---which is usual procedure on this page when he makes silly but grandiose statements which defy real science.

Charlie, I'm assuming that you are simply gullible and naive.....and not simply dishonest. But I would bet that the sources you are using are quite dishonest. (Did you happen to consult any young earther and anti-evolution authors? I find that those who lie about one science topic tend to lie about others.)

Please be more responsible before posting uncredited nonsense. Some readers might assume that you have carefully researched the subject.

QuantumGreg said...

Excellent synopsis of Progressive Creationism's unbiblicalness and unscientificness, Charlie. Looks like you hit a few nerves.

Charlie said...

QuantumGreg, the nerves I am hitting here actually have little to do with Progressive Creation, because the ones commenting here are not PC. They are outright atheists. But I am hitting nerves that I am questioning what they have long considered "viable science". I did make one claim that likely would have been true when global warming hype was getting going, but is now not true today. I so I will cease using that claim. But it is interesting how that is the only thing they have brought up that did not throw in a huge number of Genetic Fallacies, No True Scotsman Fallacies, Double Standards, and getting close to ad homimun Fallacies. My Fallacy counter is about as high as their supposed BS counter. They are not capable of addressing these topics without throwing in a heavy amount of bias into it. But that's understandable, because over 80% of the scientific method requires input from one's worldview. It influences how and why you ask your HYPOTHESIS, it influences how you consider OBSERVATION to be valid (how you account for reliance of senses etc), it influences how set up the EXPERIMENT, though the actual carrying out of the experiment does not require input, it heavily influences how you INTERPRET the results of the experiment and it certainly influences how you REPORT the results. YEC is not immune to this as well. And it is very clear which worldviews is at play here. But many of these types of people have one purpose: to harass and annoy YEC's as much as possible. If YEC was truly as foolish as they claim, they would gladly welcome every opportunity for us to speak about it because it would be exposed as such. But they have to censor it as much as possible. They have to mock and ridicule it. When those are the tactics used, it is telling they know deep down that we are really on to something that might true. And ultimately they know if YEC is true, then so is original sin, and so is their need for a Savior. And that is the real heart of the issue.

Anonymous said...

I see Charlie resorts to the ol' young earth and creation science adage: "Anybody who doesn't agree with me has got to be an evil atheist!"

This blogger page is so perfect....I'm going to save it for my office door!

Rarely have I seen anyone play the "creation science" stereotype of pseudo-science, poor scholarship, smug arrogance, and hypocrisy any better.

Charlie said...

You aren't an atheist? It's hard to tell. Same rhetoric, same fallacies, same anger towards those who hold the Bible as the ultimate authority, I honestly have a hard time telling you apart from Ashley who is a very well known atheist troll and gets booted from many forums for very good reasons. As the saying goes, if it look like a...if it smells like a....if it sounds like a....chances are very good that it is a ....

I'm addressing the actual YEC position next week and I can tell you right now that you don't understand language as you think you do. You want to talk about YEC's founders having no science education? You ought to learn about our actual position instead of just a couple of the names that brought it BACK into the spotlight. Bishop Ussher long preceded Ellen White or Morris Sr and he long preceded all the Old Earth and Evolutionary models too. Ussher was peer-reviewed by whom Einstein considered the #1 contributor to all of science: Isaac Newton. And Newton wrote MANY papers against the atheists of his day and the precursors to Evolutionary thinking. Darwin? Not a scientist. His degree was in theology and he BARELY passed. Origin of Species is not even written as a scientific book. It was written as philosophical book. It wasn't even peer reviewed. Lyell? He was a lawyer, not a scientist. And he was foundational to modern Old earth thinking. The list goes on of people who the media claim to be scientists who founded evolution but never were. So before you starting thinking that YEC is all anti-science, you might want to look in the mirror. For a theory that claims to be scientific I have a hard time finding a scientific principle that Evolution does NOT violate. YEC still has gaps that we don't have answers to and we are working on them. But one thing is certain, the Biblical account is to be trusted as written. I recommend checking out two books: "Should Christians Embrace Evolution?" written by a panel of PhD scientists and theologians. And "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution" by AE Wilder-Smith who had 3 PhDs in Chemistry and to this day has not been refuted by any means. This books has actually turned some ardent atheists into Bible believers because from a pure scientific perspective (without bringing in the Bible) he destroys Evolution.

Anonymous said...

Time to take Charlie out of the oven.

(He's done!)

Charlie said...

Shall I list all those teachers who were fired just for merely questioning Evolution? Or the Ball State University "scandal" when they hired two ID professors and then told them they had to keep their beliefs to their own? Or the 20 legal court cases on which the movie "God's Not Dead" was based off? Quit while I'm ahead? I can handle the abuse. The God I serve handled much worse. In all the discussion forums I've been on, I've been censored several times for standing for the truth. The majority of YEC on the discussion groups do not sensor due to challenges but they remove those who act like trolls. I've had quite a few discussions on AiG's page where challenges were allowed for some time. But they did not come with standard militant atheist rhetoric as I have seen in this discussion. You can mock and ridicule me all you want. I find it both amusing and as a complement. God does love to use what the world calls foolish to shame the self-proclaimed wise. And as I said, I can handle the heat. I've dealt with MUCH more intense stuff than you could deliver. 22 years of missions experience will do that. And I've dealt with the demonic outright. And if you claim to believe Scripture here is a quote from I believe Martin Luther.
"If one can pick and chose what portions of Scripture he believes, he is not a believer in Scripture but a believer in self." When Scripture is not your authority, you don't believe it and you don't believe the God who wrote it. I personally know God as does everyone on the Worldview Warrior team. Christianity is no mere religion for me. It is far above and beyond that. When you personally know God, you will never turn back.

Anonymous said...

Charlie whined:
"You aren't an atheist? It's hard to tell."

As was already pointed out, that's because you have extremely poor reading comprehension skills. Most people can easily tell from the above and other threads that both Allen and I have spent years in ministry including various international fields and we talk about our focus in the scriptures and our faith in God.

>"I honestly have a hard time telling you apart from Ashley who is a very well known atheist troll"
>

Re-read our comments and slow down this time. Read for comprehension, not for simply locating keywords that you can manipulate to make an argument. (I've had students who were tested by the university and they were determined to have not so much of a reading comprehension problem as an attention issue. They were diagnosed with A.D.D. Tracking equipment found that their eyes were darting back and re-reading random phrases to where they got very confused what they were reading. It wasn't a matter of intelligence. It was a problem with other factors. And possible solutions.)

>"I honestly have a hard time telling you apart from Ashley who is a very well known atheist troll
>

I thought Ashley had become an agnostic....but I will let him speak for himself.

Allen has made a study of creation science ministries and has read far more of the current literature (and watched the videos.) I've kept up enough to be familiar with the major names and their arguments. So don't assume that we don't know what your heroes are saying. There are good reasons why their rubbish is reject by both Christian and non-Christian scholars.

Before you condemn all of your non-YEC Christian brethren as "atheist", take a hard long look in the mirror. Your harsh judgment of others is due a day in the shop for a once over. And "Lying for Jesus" has become a common meme for a reason.

I pray that the Lord will re-channel your energies towards more productive ministries for Him.

Rolf Aalberg said...

QUOTE
Did you know that the furthest star we've seen is about 46 billion light years away?
UNQUOTE
A source for that, please?

David J. said...

//I did make one claim that likely would have been true when global warming hype was getting going, but is now not true today. // No, it wasn't true even then.

David J. said...

//But many of these types of people have one purpose: to harass and annoy YEC's as much as possible. If YEC was truly as foolish as they claim, they would gladly welcome every opportunity for us to speak about it because it would be exposed as such. But they have to censor it as much as possible. They have to mock and ridicule it. When those are the tactics used, it is telling they know deep down that we are really on to something that might true. And ultimately they know if YEC is true, then so is original sin, and so is their need for a Savior. And that is the real heart of the issue.//. Atheists such as Dawkins and the late Hitchens speak against Islam much more harshly than Christianity. So, according to your logic, they do it because deep down they know that Allah is the true God.

Charlie said...

One thing is clear, you claim to have seen the same rhetoric I've give enough to reject it. The same is true for me. I've seen the same rhetoric from the rest of you as well. I'm pretty sure all of us can all say we've seen the same stuff many times and we are effectively at an impasse. I'm not going to convince you and you aren't going to convince me. So before this gets any uglier, I am going to call it on my end. My next post (addressing the issues of Theistic Evolution) comes up tomorrow and if some here insist on continuing, I will be coming from a different angle, thanks to some people I know I can trust helping me to know how to discuss these things in a better light. But I am going to call it on my end for this particular thread because as I have to be reminded from time to time, it is better to be a reflector of Christ than to demonstrate yourself to be right. That's something I know I have a weakness in and it is something I am now more aware on how to improve on that. This whole thread has mostly been reactionary on both sides and I am going to start on my end by working on not being that way.

William Seng said...

Hey charlie, just wanted to let you know you are doing an awesome job with this discussion. If those you are debating can honestly say that yecs are not intelligent, they may want to clarify what the boundary is that separates the intelligent from the moronic. Thanks again charlie, it is because of guys like you that I can keep it simple and have confidence in what I say.

Charlie said...

If it was idomatic, please demonstrate the origin of said idiom. You sound like those who think Genesis is metaphorical. They don't know what a metaphor is, let alone how to use it. You are really good at No True Scotsman Fallacies. I think my fallacy count from you is higher than the "BS" counters of the four of you combined. Yes, there may be other definitions uses. But you do a great job at trying to explain away a think called context will does a great job at explaining YOUR reading comprehension skills. You are much more interested in what others say the Bible instead of learning what the Bible says the Bible says and as I result, I have good reason to question how/if you ever defended YEC. I know a lot of evangelicals out there that don't know God from a duck. We call them Christian in Name Only for a reason. Your understanding of Scripture fits the bill quite well.

David J. said...

Hey Charlie, if the Bible can be used to interpret the Bible itself, why don't you read it only in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek? Don't use any translation dictionaries. Don't read any commentaries. Those are all created by "man."

Charlie said...

Do you even know what it means to "interpret the Bible with the Bible"? I have to wonder because such an argument is rather....lame.

Bob Sorensen said...

Charlie is being overwhelmed by sock puppet trolls that are consumed with hate (a comment was made on another post that one person is probably using additional accounts). I strongly urge the Weblog owner to enable comment moderation and allow the deletion of offensive comments. "You're a liar" over and over is a pathetic effort to boost the ego and does not contribute to an intelligent discussion. If you're concerned about "Free Speech", it does not mean what some people think it means. I have some material here and link to a strong article about that as well.

Bob Sorensen said...

PS - Ironically, those who believe that they are entitled to say whatever they want at any time and place are also supporting the silencing of creationists. (One way they do this is to try and drown us out with excess chatter so we'll give up and go away.) Here is an article about silencing Darwin deniers.

Bob Sorensen said...

"One can debunk Young Earth Creationism even with nothing but English Bible translations."

Spoken like a true un-scholar. For in-depth analysis of why YEC is taught in the Bible (including going to the original languages), see Refuting Compromise by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati.

ADMIN said...

ashleyhr - This is the admin of this blog. I believe we have been quite forgiving of your incessant attacks and I encourage everyone in this thread to proceed with civility. While we encourage good healthy debate we also encourage people to stop using garbage tactics like, "name-calling", red-herring" etc. ashleyhr I encourage you to actually be productive in these discussions as I do honestly wonder how someone could have so much time on their hands as to comment as much as you do on these posts. You are more than welcome here IF you are here to be productive. If you are here only to fight and not search for the truth then I would encourage you to move on and find someone else to bother. I'm almost certain you will see this as a "feather in your cap" since you have gotten me to address you but it is not meant in that way.

With that said, everyone please keep the following in mind.

Stay on topic and language such as the "C word" will not be tolerated on this blog

Bob Sorensen said...

"Bob Sorensen HATES FREE SPEECH. That is abundantly clear. If he could censor every anti-YEC comment anywhere on the internet, he WOULD. He is a 'Christian' extremist bigot. "

This is libel and a lie. But he is known for both of those things.