Tom Might Have Some Issues, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 31, 2019 7 comments

by Steve Risner

This week, I'm going to talk about a writing by another Christian. His name is Tom. Tom seems very passionate about Christ and spreading the Gospel and I think that's awesome. I pray his ministry, which I believe is primarily media based, reaches many. He has a great deal of resources on his page, but one of them was shared in a group I'm in that concerned me. He left something online about the age of the earth and Christianity that I initially was going to simply respond to on Facebook where I found it. However, due to the amount of content that I felt needed correction, it turned into this blog post. You can find Tom's writing that I am responding to here. I would encourage you to view the rest of his page as well as it has some good content.

As you can see if you read his post, I believe Tom has some issues. Here are my first impressions.

He begins his defense/explanation for old earth creationism by saying that we can determine the age of the universe. Of course, that's not really possible. He conveniently omits any of the alleged methods he claims have been used for a long time to determine the ages of things we can't possibly know the ages of. And a method's longevity has absolutely no bearing on its usefulness or accuracy. Many try to claim that we can date the age of the universe or earth, but it's all based on a great many assumptions and extrapolating back in time when we have no idea if that's the right thing to do or not.

He then goes on to explain how presuppositions should be tested against the Word of God... er, no, wait. He says we must weigh our presuppositions using the scientific method. What? Actually, that in and of itself is a presupposition, but that's beside the point. If science determines if our presuppositions are correct and not the Bible, he's lost already and that's too bad. This is especially true if his “science” is being used to uphold a philosophy or even a faith that is contradictory to the Bible. That “science” is not science but a worldview masquerading as science. It is a religion, simply put. It's been falsely labeled “science” for long enough. It's not observable, repeatable, even testable really, and no experiments can be done on the age of the universe or the earth. At best, these are historical concepts and should be treated as such. Far too many—whether laypersons or scientists—don't understand this.

He further states that if we're open minded to the evidence, we will allow it to change our presuppositions. His thinking is rather backwards, and he misunderstands how evidence works. Evidence is really another word for facts, right? The facts are what they are. How one interprets the facts is what makes it evidence for or against something. The evidence doesn't have a voice. It cannot make a determination on its own. The person looking at the evidence must make it say something. Your presuppositions will determine how you make that evidence speak or what it will say. This debate is not and has never been about “evidence.” That's absurd to me because if the Word of God can be trusted (and I think it absolutely can be), then “evidence” that suggests it's wrong has likely been misinterpreted.

It's like this: if you find evidence that I am not an American citizen or that I'm not 41 years old, that evidence has been interpreted incorrectly because I am a 41-year-old American citizen. There can be no legitimate evidence otherwise. The same is true for the Bible, in my opinion. Alleged evidence that contradicts the Bible is likely false evidence or partial evidence and therefore has revealed an incorrect conclusion or has been simply misinterpreted. This idea has been spoken of by creationists for a very long time. Answers in Genesis has repeatedly made the point that there is no such thing as “evidence for creation” or “evidence for evolution.” There is simply evidence. How one interprets it is based on their worldview or their presuppositions. Tom seems to not get this at all and has a large number of people in the same boat.

He makes some mistakes in explaining the scientific method. He actually states that, rather than do experiments to confirm or reject or otherwise alter your hypothesis, you “do research.” That is bizarre and only makes sense that a deep time advocate thinks such things. We must do research, sure. But we must also conduct experiments to confirm, alter, or otherwise reject our hypothesis. Tom has left this out completely which, again, makes sense if he's trying to make an unscientific topic appear to be scientific. Evolutionists and other types of deep time advocates have done this for a very long time. He's trying to support the idea that the age of the universe can be determined by science. You can't do any experiments to confirm, reject, or otherwise alter that hypothesis, so he's taken the foundation of the scientific method and changed it to fit his non-scientific topic. That's not a good start if he wants to be taken seriously about deep time, especially when from a Biblical standpoint, it's DOA. And science cannot under any circumstances (unless we perfect time travel) determine the age of the universe or earth. We don't know when it really happened or what conditions were there for it to happen (aside from what we read in Scripture).

He also claims that we're making an observation about the age of the universe. I'm not sure how that works, I guess. How can you look into space and see its age? How can you observe the age of the earth? Looking at the earth, I would guess it's been ravaged by a global catastrophe, wouldn't you? The evidence for this is literally all around us. And wouldn't you think that would nullify any attempts or proposed clocks that would help us assign an age to the earth? He's either not explaining himself well or he's just wrong or both.

Next week, we'll finish this up. I tried to make this fairly light and short. Next week's will be equally light and short, to clarify some less-than-founded points by Tom. Stay tuned.

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Unknown said...

Excellent! Clear and precise. Thanks!

Greg Thurston said...

Great commentary, Steve. I'd say that even if we perfected time travel, it wouldn't really help much. When we arrived at whenever, how would we even know when that when was? It's not like we could turn to a calendar or flip on the tv or something! The sky would still be blue, or stormy, the clothing styles might give us a hint, but the birds chirping and the breeze are pretty timeless!

Steve Risner said...

You are right on that, Greg. And have you thought about the physical issues (not just the temporal ones) with time travel? If you were to go back in time 6 months from now, the earth would no doubt be on the other side of the sun. You'd be left in space floating. And if you went back exactly to the second a year, you'd still be in space because our solar system is coursing through the galaxy at over 500K miles per hour! You'd never be able to do it.

Greg Thurston said...

Haha! I’ve never thought of those things.

I reread the article to refresh my memory, before reading my comment and your response.

I had actually forgotten my comment. When I got to the time machine part, it again grabbed me, but in a totally different way!

I started thinking: even if we DID perfect a time machine, we would think it didn’t work, if we tried to go back any more than about 5500 years, to be safe!

It would either appear to be malfunctioning, or we would be in a very tenuous position: imagine popping right back into the middle of the Flood! Or the midst of the creation process! Even more crazy, how berserk would the machine go if it DID manage to circumvent the beginning of time and travel ‘backwards’ into eternity!?

So all that, coupled with your great points, makes me want to create a post about it.

Lots of fun!

I assume you did a Part 2, as you said you would, so I'll have to go looking for it.

God bless you, bro! I appreciate your friendship and ministry.

Steve Risner said...

Thank you, Greg! I truly value our friendship and your time reading and commenting on my work Have a great week! I am sorry for the delay in posting your comments/responding to your comments. I get bogged down sometimes. I hate making anyone wait, but sometimes it's all I can do.

Ken Wolgemuth said...


I did go to Tom's page and he has written an insightful article, "Ask Tom: Why Is Young Earth Creationism Pseudoscientific?" As we go directly to the text of the Bible and read what is actually there, it does not give us the age of the earth in years. It says "In the beginning". There are 3 positions in understanding creation that can be defended by Christians who are committed to the authority of Scripture; young-earth creation, old-earth creation, and evolutionary creation. All these are theistic views, in clear contrast to atheistic or Darwinian evolution. To get a perspective of how a Christian detects the evidence for creation, get "The Creator Revealed, a Physicist Examines the Big Bang and the Bible." Listen to him presenting the story.: Dr. Michael G. Strauss: Does Science Conflict with Biblical Christianity?

Note that the Big Bang can be considered the very first evidence for the existence of God, creation ex nihilo, out of nothing, 13.8 billion years ago. Robert Jastrow recognized that fact, even though he did not come to believe in God.

You felt compelled to push back on tree rings, varves, and ice cores providing evidence for passage of time. I certainly will not push back your practice as a DC. Each of the methods has abundant and repeated testing over and over and over again, with multiple trees, and multiple ice cores. The counting is repeated over and over again, and spot checked with volcanic ash with radiometric ages when possible. You can see that in the paper I sent to you. Therefore each gives a calendar age in years before present, with corresponding uncertainty estimated by the scientists who do the work. For example, the estimated uncertainty of the counting of the varves back at 50,000 years before present is about 6%.

I will give you an example of the pseudoscience in young-earth creationism if you wish.

Soli Deo gloria,

Steve Risner said...

My apologies for the delay.
Question: if "young earth" creationism (aka Biblical creation) is pseudoscientific, what is old earth creationism? What is theistic evolution?

You said, " There are 3 positions in understanding creation that can be defended by Christians who are committed to the authority of Scripture; young-earth creation, old-earth creation, and evolutionary creation."---this is simply not true. There is ONE understanding of creation that is consistent with the Bible. Old earthism and theist evolutionism don't submit to the authority of the Scriptures at all. They take the humanist origins myth and attempt to interpret nature using that myth and also attempt to inject that myth into the narrative of the Bible. It's an assault, really, and saying you respect or love or adhere to the Bible and its authority is a little disingenuous, don't you think?

"All these are theistic views, in clear contrast to atheistic or Darwinian evolution. "--theistic, yes. Christian? no, not really. They are build around the atheist's origins myth and are not based on Scripture.

"Note that the Big Bang can be considered the very first evidence for the existence of God, creation ex nihilo, out of nothing, 13.8 billion years ago"---more appropriately "a god." The God of the Bible and His creation narrative is not compatible with a 13.8 billion year old bang. And "ex nihilo" is not what the BB is. There was something (although they say nothing EVERYTHING was there). A singularity isn't nothing, Ken. It's actually every single thing in a small point in space...and nonsense to the thinker.

Ken, I'm sorry, but your mind is clouded and your philosophy/worldview has been skewed by secularism. We know for a fact that dates that work for your myth are the only ones accepted while those that differ (quite often wildly) are tossed out. We know this, Ken. I've provided links in my writings to examples.

Do you know there is no way varves are not a result of a flood? or The Flood? Do you know there is no way the Flood was global (as it was described in the Bible)? Do you know creation couldn't have happened with the Bible says it did? How do you know about things that happened allegedly in deep time when no one was there, no one understands the mechanisms of or conditions of? Come on, Ken. Trust the God you claim to serve rather than men who hate(d) Him and wanted Him to go away. You're using their work to rewrite the creation narrative and it takes away from the Gospel message. Stop this, please!