Is There Really No Evidence?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 7, 2019 2 comments


by Steve Risner

In last week's post, I began answering a question by Michael Roberts, an old earth creationist or possibly a theistic evolutionist on the age of the earth. An old earth creationist may believe that God created all that there is fairly like it is now, but he would believe this took place a much longer time ago than the Bible indicates. There are various versions of it that I won't get into here. Most reject the clear teaching of the Bible as to when God created the universe and us, and they also reject the Genesis narrative on the global Flood. Again, there are various versions of this Flood rejection as well. A theistic evolutionist goes much further than this, rejecting that God created the heavens and the earth at all like He claims to have done in the Bible. He would also not accept that man was created special or that life was created fully formed and functional during creation. They would generally accept evolution (cosmic and then biological) as the means by which God created the universe and life. Mr. Roberts wrote this piece listing 10 questions he'd like to ask “young earth” creationists (what would appropriately be called a Biblical creationist). I am fulfilling his wish in answering his questions.

The question we started to answer last week concerned the importance of the age and shape of the earth. Are they important to us as Christians? Well, not in our day-to-day living, I suspect, and not really even to our Gospel message. However, they do have some weight. I would say the age of the earth is weightier here simply because the Bible doesn't speak a great deal about the shape of the earth. However, it gives us a lot to go on concerning the age of the earth. I covered that in detail last week.

Why does it matter? The short answer is if the Bible tells us something, God thought it was important enough to have written and to preserve for us for thousands of years. If the Bible gives a clear timeline as to when God created the heavens and the earth, rest assured it's accurate and true. Rejecting this for any reason is to reject the very Word of God and to make Him out to be a liar or just incompetent. Neither of those is possible, really. There have been a large number of attempts over the last 150-200 years to reinterpret the Bible to make it fit with the “proven results of science” as Mr. Roberts puts it. Unfortunately, the “science” he's talking about isn't science at all. It's philosophy and it's based on a worldview at odds with the Biblical worldview. It goes against the long-accepted (and I would say obvious) interpretation of the Bible's creation and Flood accounts.

Michael finishes his statements on this by saying something so inaccurate and so genuinely bogus, it makes me cringe to think people actually accept his statements without really thinking them through or investigating them. He says, “For 250 years, geologists have only found evidence for an ancient earth and none for a young earth.” In my opinion, this is a terrible statement to make for several reasons. He will undoubtedly resort to an appeal to authority in defense of such a foul declaration (his own authority and that of others) but this is smoke and mirrors. Let me explain.

Geologists have not “only found evidence for an ancient earth.” Geologists have certainly not been unable to find evidence for a “young earth.” As I've stated many times, 6000 years is actually quite ancient, and this supports the Biblical creationist's contention all along that it's a matter of perspective. Perspective in this case is primarily with the facts geologists discover. Do they “only” support an earth billions of years old? Of course not. Facts simply just are facts. They don't support anything on their own. We use them to support or refute something, but that's what WE are doing—not what the facts are doing. Facts are inanimate and have no ability to say anything. We, as their interpreters, make them say something.

Notice Mr. Roberts offers exactly zero examples of the evidence that he's asserting supports an old earth. Not one example. Let's take a quick peek at geology as a study for a moment to see if his claim holds true. In a writing of mine from early 2014, I note:

Nicolas Steno is credited with 3 defining principles of geology. However, many had described different geologic features and even some processes for centuries before Steno. It was assumed for centuries that the Flood was at least partially responsible for many geologic features. Modern day geologists who are young earth creationists would include Andrew Snelling, Ph.D., Steve Austin, Ph.D., John Morris, Ph.D., Kurt Wise, Ph.D., and Emil Silvestru, Ph.D.

You can read more on Steno here. Tertullian, a Christian writer from the early 3rd century AD, explained that geologic formations, especially noting those with marine fossils trapped in them, were the result of the global Flood of Noah's day.

In another writing on the subject:

For a very long time, many in the Western world believed the geologic column and the fossils found in it were a result of the Flood of Noah’s day. This is demonstrable since at least the early 200’s AD. However, belief in a global catastrophe that changed the planet forever was believed in since the time it occurred. A literal reading of Genesis 1-11 in the Old Testament would give us too many references to list in a blog post. Catastrophism, the belief that the current geologic features of the earth are primarily the result of catastrophes, was a long held view—for centuries, in fact. It was the belief held by many geologists up through the 17th and 18th centuries, including the arguable founder of modern geology, Nicolas Steno. This began to change over a period of time and in 1830, a man by the name of Charles Lyell wrote Principles of Geology which outlined the idea of uniformitarianism. This is the belief that “the present is the key to the past,” which just means geologic features we see today came about through current rates of geologic change.

We know without question that current geological features like sedimentary layers, especially folded layers, canyons, beaches, sand dunes, mesas, pediments, laccoliths and batholiths, dikes and scarps, etc. can easily be accounted for via catastrophism rather than uniformitarianism. That's not to say catastrophism explains ALL geological features, but it certainly can explain a great many of them. In a lot of cases, a catastrophe is a much better explanation. But the interpretation is what we're interested in here. So many, including Mr. Roberts it seems, fail to recognize how important one's worldview is in determining what evidence tells us.

It's fairly obvious that evidence can be interpreted a variety of ways. Look at a court of law. There are almost always at least 2 very different sides to the same story—using the same evidence. Look at Super Bowl LIII. Many thought it was a terrible game—too boring. Others didn't like the outcome. Others loved the outcome and/or thought it was an exciting game. Everyone who watched had the same evidence—the same facts. They all watched the same game. How do they all come up with different interpretations of the game if the “evidence speaks for itself”? This is no different than a scientist who has been indoctrinated into the ideas of deep time and evolution who views evidence differently than someone who holds to a more traditional view of the evidence (since most branches of science were founded by Biblical creationists, including geology as noted above). This is why Mr. Roberts claims there is ONLY evidence for an “ancient earth” and “none for a young earth.” He's indoctrinated and can't see outside the tiny box he's created for God's creation. The evidence is there for a younger earth and many geologists have recognized it as such; it just needs the proper interpretation.

I suppose another response to the statement that geology only affirms an ancient earth is, “So what?” My confidence is placed in the Word of God, which is perfect, and I believe God made no mistakes when He had it penned. If a geologist's interpretation of nature varies greatly from the clear writings found in Scripture, that geologist either needs to change his interpretation or he is not to be trusted with such information. I simply say that because he is only a man, a man consumed by the Fall, and he's viewing a creation that is cursed and was ravaged by a global Flood. And he's viewing that world through the glasses of secularism and the humanist origins myth. This won't do, especially if this person claims to know and love Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior—how much more if he claims to respect the Bible as the Word of God!

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

By Him all things were created. God spoke The Word: Let there be...
Don't be Bewitched away from the Simplicity of the Word.

Steve Risner said...

Amen!