The Great Divide, Jr. Or, where I stand on the OEC/YEC debate

(NOTE:  I am very willing to listen to both sides of this debate, and welcome most commenters.  I am not a scientist, and allow room for error in this blog “essay.”  Pick holes in it, if you’d like;  I will respond as carefully and thoroughly as time and brain-power allows.  However, if there is what I judge to be unkindness shown to myself or to any other commenter, or if a commenter is obviously posting a contentious knee-jerk statement on the topic w/o actually reading this blog post, or for any other reason solely based upon my judgement — since this is my blog — I will delete the comment.) 

I have been an unwilling participant, for the most part, on the debate between Old-Earth Creationists (OEC) and Young-Earth Creationists (YEC).  But, a recent post of mine stirred up some controversy about this issue, and I thought I’d post how I arrived where I am now on the topic. 

Just for the record, both “camps” believe in God as the Creator of the universe.  The central dispute is how long ago that happened.  OECs tend to side with much of the scientific world which places the beginnings of the universe around 14 billion years ago, give or take a few billion years.  YECs believe that God created the world in 6 literal days, and that happened about 6,000 years ago.

Also for the record, the premier website/think tank for OECs is Reasons to Believe, www.reasons.org, spearheaded by Hugh Ross.  The two most influential organizations (that I know of) espousing YEC are Answers in Genesis, www.answersingenesis.org, headed by Ken Ham, and Institute for Creation Research, led by John Morris.

Also for the record, I DO NOT believe this issue is central to Christianity;  I’m not dogmatic about my when-did-creation-take-place beliefs.  Too often, this dispute has been one of those topics that pits Christian against Christian, and just for that reason, I have long avoided it because I have seen it get nasty-ugly.  I don’t think mean-spirited debate among Christians is right and Godly;  it is anguishingly sad to me to reflect upon and witness the rifts that have been caused, in the history of Christianity, from arguing over issues that are not central to Christian doctrine.  I do believe that discussion and research and questioning is very Godly;  God’s not afraid of our questions, and I think He’s very encouraging to the sincerely humble, searching heart.  The contentious heart, though, He’s not so fond of.  It is my deep desire to be humble, and not contentious, both in this post, and IRL.  If I couch my position in uncertainty, it’s not because I don’t believe; it’s because I’m allowing myself room for all-too-frequent error.

Up until very recently, I have been in limbo on the topic.  It has taken me five years of teaching my kids, and studying both viewpoints, but I think I’ve now picked my side of the fence. 

When I decided upon Sonlight as a homeschooling curriculum, one of the things that so attracted me is that they were Christian, but not dogmatic about certain points — like OEC vs. YEC — that are not, in my view, doctrinal.  In their science curric, Sonlight tends towards a YEC viewpoint, but they also include some books from companies like Usborne, which are not Christian, and which are evolutionary.  Sonlight definitely has a pro-creation theology, but seems to me to be rather ambivalent towards the YEC/OEC debate.  That was perfect for me, as I hadn’t really decided, nor did I think it was truly all that important to decide, one way or another.

I mention the above because I want it to be clear that I have not rushed towards any judgement.  It’s not like I just said, “Well, darn it!  We’re Christians!  We must believe that the earth was created in six literal days, 6,000 years ago, and we’re NOT going to study any opposing viewpoint!!”

And, though I believe that all things must submit to the truth of God, I have no desire to bend our studies to something that I believe is scientifically inaccurate yet doctrinally correct.  I believe that scientific accuracy and correct doctrine go hand-in-hand.  God — Yahweh, the God of the Christian Bible — has ALL truth.  Some of HIS truth has been discovered by scientists, some by theologians, some by historians, some by mathematicians, some by regular blokes with no PhDs, and so on.

That’s my underlying question:  Where is the truth in this?

Science, for the most part, tries to ascertain the truth.  But, for some things, the truth can be discovered, and is labelled as fact.  For other things, though many try their best, the truth simply cannot be discovered, but only logically supposed, and is called theory.

What I see as dangerous is the evolutionary model, the theory of evolution, being presented as Truth and Fact.  Most “secular” scientists present it this way.  Most science classes in schools present it this way.  Many OECs present it this way.  Additionally, I have heard and seen OECs say, “Well, if you don’t believe in evolution, you’re obviously stupid.”  Or, “You’re obviously throwing the scientific model out the window in favor of your religion.”

IOW, it’s presented as YEC = nonintellectual.

BUT… something that I find to be equally disturbing is that many YECs present themselves as having the stronger faith, the more “pure” Christianity, and imply (or overtly state!) that to have anything other than a YEC viewpoint is to undermine Christianity.  (This because of the idea that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and once a link is shown to be faulty, it throws the strength of the whole chain into question.)

IOW, it’s presented as OEC = nonChristian.

I believe neither of those extremes are true.  There are thousands of powerfully intelligent scientists who espouse a YEC viewpoint.  And, there are thousands of folks who are truly Christian who also believe that the earth was created billions of years ago — my Uncle Steve and my own mother among them!!

In a personal e-mail, a friend recently stated:

I do not believe that God has asked me to profess a belief that the Earth was created in 6 days about 6,000 years ago. I do believe that he wants me to understand that the Earth is his creation and that it was good and that man was given dominion over it and that man sinned and was expelled from the garden to a life of toil and separation and that only by grace can we be received into His kingdom.

Clearly, one can be a Christian and an OEC. 

Recently visiting the Grand Canyon, seeing again its immense breadth, depth and length (not ot mention its awesome beauty), and its many strata of rock led me to seriously question the ability of it to be created in a short period of time.

Up until recently, my support for a young earth has fallen on these tenuously held “evidences”:

  • I have fallen back onto something my friend Shellie pointed out to me:  God is able to create something new that has the appearance of age.  (Witness, for example, Jesus turning water into wine.) 
  • Also — and this is a little harder to explain — it seems to me that God isn’t tricksy.  I mean, if he says that “there was evening, and there was morning — the first day,” well then, by golly, that sounds like a whole literal 24-hour day to me!  In Scripture, God does leave many things vague, inviting us to search them out.  But, in my experience and observation, God isn’t trying to trick anyone with Scripture;  He’s not trying to mess with us.  KWIM?
  • Also, I think about kids (and adults) and truthtelling vs. being deceptive:  If one tells the truth, one never needs to worry about creating a lie, nor a lie to cover up the first one, nor a series of lies to cover up the first two, and on.  The account of creation is pretty straightforward;  however, it requires that initial leap of faith and belief in an all-powerful God that some are loathe to do.  The theory of evolution has required, since its inception, increasingly difficult theories, increasingly lengthy periods of time, increasingly convoluted explanations to cover up the holes that new discoveries tear into the theory.  To me… well, that just seems like that in itself hints that the theory is false.  Usually, if a theory is true, the evidence that shows up after the fact continues to support it, not continues to refute it. 

However, those “evidences” are not really fodder for any kind of debate — just something that soothed my own thoughts well enough (mostly) on the matter.

Upon visiting the Canyon, and attending an interesting talk on geology given by a Park Ranger, I found myself hard-pressed to come up with any solid, supporting evidence for a young earth off the top of my head.  IOW, in spite of my beliefs, I was rather uneducated about the matter.  I have read books, encyclopedia entries, websites, forum conversations, e-mails, blog posts, etc. on both sides of the subject, but nothing has really stuck.  I decided that, if I was going to believe in a young earth, there had to be better reasons than the ones I bulleted above, and they’d better be memorable.  At that point, I went into the park bookstore and bought myself a copy of Grand Canyon:  A Different View, compiled (and partly written) by Tom Vail.

It is a beautiful book.  I always appreciate when books are artfully laid out, and thoughtfully presented.  More than that, though, I found it to be a relatively concise and convincing series of essays on both the evidences for a young earth, and against an old earth.

Among the ideas that are (to me) most convincing:

  • The contradictory evidence presented by the various long half-life radioactive isotope dating methods.  If they’re all effective, all the various methods’ results should, by and large, agree with each other.  They don’t.
  • The fact that carbon-14-containing fossils are embedded in supposedly millions-of-years-old rock.  Acknowledged by both sides is the fact that carbon 14 lasts — at a maximum — 70,000 years.  So, how could a <70,000 yo fossil be embedded in a millions-yo-rock?
  • “The presence of cross-beds in the sandstone, and even limestone, layers seen in the Grand Canyon is strong testimony for high energy water transport of these sediments.  Studies of sandstones exposed in the Grand Canyon reveal cross-beds produced by high velocity water currents that generated sand waves tens of meters in height.” –John Baumgardner, PhD Geophysics and Space Physics.  (IOW, evidence within the stone shows a large-scale, global flood, which formed the rocks quickly.)
  • “Despite the awesome chasm that separates [the Kaibab and Abert squirrels], traits of these two populations grade evenly into one another, proving their separation could not have been long.  Thus, those squirrels act as ‘biological clocks’ telling us the Canyon formed rapidly and recently…” –Gary Parker, EdD Biology.
  • The evidence that some rock formations — such as those comprised of travertine — can form very quickly… cascading dams of rock formed over “hundreds of years, not millions…” –Tom Vail
  • Most convincing to me were the pics of folds in the strata, notably the Tapeats Sandstone.  Think about it:  When there’s an earthquake, what happens to rock?  It breaks.  It cracks.  It doesn’t fold.  Folding of the rock layer can only happen when the layers are soft, as in — sedimentary layers recently deposited by a global flood.  (Thanks to this photographer for the pic.) 

 So.  I am now officially a young-earther.  However, I allow for the fact that as neither I — nor anyone else besides the God of creation — was present at the time of creation, I could certainly be in error.  But, as I see it, the facts present themselves on the side of a young earth.

Thus, while I believe it is necessary to study all sides of a dispute, sometimes it becomes prudent to actually pick a side.  Sometimes it’s in the best interest of students to make the bold move of a decision, and no longer be satisfied with vagueness.  So… that’s the reason that I would like — at least for this coming school year — to find a geology curriculum that aligns itself with a YEC worldview.  My nearly 10yo son is enthralled with mineral identification, and the study of rocks and other earth sciences.  I would like to give him at least one year of foundational study, so that when he’s presented in the future — as will surely happen — with evolutionary ideas that are contrary to our (my) beliefs, he’ll know how to respond.  If he does eventually end up siding with OECs or others that espouse a billions-of-years-old earth, at least I’ve done my best to educate him fully — not just encouraged him to say, “Baaaa” and join the herd that believes that the theory of evolution is unquestionable.

      

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About Karen Joy

I'm a homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 16, 14 and 12 years old, and three girls: 7 and 5 years old, and our newest, born in June 2013. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and fledgling birthing class instructor. I'm a CSA coordinator for a local organic farm, Crooked Sky Farms. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on June 7, 2007, in Arizona, Books I'm Reading, Christian Living, Christianity, God/Christianity/Church, Homeschooling, Introspective Musings, Loving Nature!, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. Karen,
    Great job. Thanks for summarizing the issue so well.

  2. I’m a former YEC turned atheist; discovering how I’d been lied to by YECs was a significant factor in my loss of faith.

    It’s not true that there is divergence among radiometric methods for dating the earth, and isochron methods provide an internal consistency check which demonstrates the reliability of the method for which YECs have no explanation. Carbon-14 dating is not a method for dating the age of the earth. There are rock formations which show animal tracks between layers, showing that a layer was laid down and then enough time passed for animals to walk across it before the next layer was put down–multiple such layers could not have been put in place during a single flood event, yet they exist.

    An excellent book on the age of the earth is G. Brent Dalrymple’s _The Age of the Earth_. From an OEC perspective, an excellent, relatively short, and easy to understand book is Daniel Wonderly’s _Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared With Young Earth_; it’s available from the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute. I also recommend ex-YEC oil geologist Glenn Morton’s books (who published in the _Creation Research Society Quarterly_ and ghost-authored the anti-evolution sections of Josh McDowell’s _Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity_ before he abandoned YEC). Morton has found a way to reconcile Christian faith with the overwhelming evidence for evolution (the facts he presents in his books are ignored by YECs)–you can find him online.

    Ronald Numbers’ _The Creationists_ recounts how YECs tried for many years to get a young creationist to attend a mainstream university and obtain a Ph.D. in geology so that he would have credibility to argue for YEC; the inevitable result was that the young men would either fail to be competent enough to obtain a degree (like Clifford Burdick) or would abandon YEC (like Nicolaas Rupke). Finally they succeeded with Steve Austin in the U.S. and Andrew Snelling in Australia, though neither has had any impact on the field of geology.

  3. OK. I have now, twice, formed a long reply to Jim, and twice it has disappeared. I’m going to have to pray about my response, apparently, and try later.

  4. Karen,
    What are your thoughts on the following? (Bear with me as I ramble a bit.)
    – Revelation is largely allegorical, yet not strictly so. It contains admonitions in the first few chapters, ‘actual’ future events (i.e., the two witnesses), and visionary/allegorical stuff, like the dragon with seven heads, ten crowns, and seven horns. The way I view Revelation is that John was given a vision of things to come, which he put then into words his contemporaries could understand.

    Why not look at Genesis the same way – some things clearly historical and some allegorical? I see the events prior to Adam as being Moses’ (or whoever wrote that portion) depiction of the events of a vision he was given. Did he see 6×24 hours or six major events of creation which he depicted as days.

    The Hebrew certainly supports either view. Yom can be a 24-hour day, an indefinite period, or long ages. It also does not use the definite article ‘the’, so it’s most properly translated ‘evening and morning, a second day,’ not ‘the second day.’ The point being that evening and morning may be Moses distinction between creation periods, and not necessarily an overnight period. And there’s not even a day/night separation until Day 3 anyway.

    Last point and then I’ll quit. Why are there two creation accounts (Gen 1-2:3 and Gen 2:4-25, though some people include Gen 3 as part of the second account). Is the second account a subset of the first? Or are both, again, the author’s depiction of a vision he’s been given, and put into his own words?

    I don’t think either interpretation detracts from the understanding that Genesis is an account of Creation. In time – or in eternity – we’ll know the answer. I’m content to wait and see, knowing Who made me and everything around me.

    Make sense?

  5. Wow! What a well written post! I believe in a young earth and always have – for many of the reasons you stated here. I think you did a fabulous job of explaining things and writing out your thoughts. One of the ways I think you did such a good job is that you weren’t bashing either side – in fact I wasn’t sure which side you were going to say you were until the very end!

  6. Jim ~

    Shortly after you initially posted, I formed a point-by-point response. I posted it, and it got lost in the internet ether. I wrote it out again, this time meaning to copy it onto a document in case it got lost again, but clicked on “Submit Comment” out of habit before I did so, and whaddya know? It disappeared again. Wireless connection problems, or something. I wasn’t really up for writing it a third time, so I backed off, which gave me time to better-consider my answer.

    I’m ready now to respond, but it’ll be in a way in which you’re probably not going to be satisfied.

    Reading your post here, and following up a bit by looking into your blog and the site you moderate (www.talkorigins.org), and reading the e-mail you sent to me offline, I was struck with this parallel: You remind me of a pro-choice activist. I have this theory — I’ve had it for so long, I don’t remember if it’s an original thought, or if I gleaned it from someone else — that one of the reasons that many women pro-choice activists are so vehement in their stance is that they have actually had an abortion, and are desperate for someone to not be able to tell them, legally, that it was wrong. They’re desperate to avoid that judgement; they don’t want anyone to tell them that they were wrong in aborting their baby. SO, they take up activism to ensure, to the best of their abilities, that no one will be able to do just that.

    Similarly, I had a good friend in college who was gay. He startled me by stating that it was well-understood in the gay community that the men who most assertively proclaim their hetero manhood are the ones most likely to be harboring some homosexual tendencies, and by their “super-hetero-manly” actions and/or words, are overcompensating to hide/stuff/avoid such tendencies. Oddly, sadly, ironically, the men who actively are hateful towards the gay are very often “closeted” themselves.

    Not that you are either an abortion activist or gay. My point is that your time spent proliferating the anti-creationism message is EXTREME. You have admittedly “spent over a decade researching the creation/evolution controversy”. You have just about every book on the topic, and have written much on it yourself. You (co-) moderate probably one of the largest anti-creationism websites out there. You obviously have such topics on an RSS feed, or are trolling in some other manner for articles/blog posts/etc. on the topic; you found my lowly blog post a little more than 7 hours after I posted it. It appears to me that you are *highly* preoccupied with what, truly, should be a fairly peripheral topic.

    Your tone in this post (and in your e-mail) is very friendly. However, my suspicion meter is blipping.

    I think it would be unwise for me to embroil myself in a debate with you. Not because I’m wrong, necessarily, but because you’re better armed.

    I don’t think you’re really interested in what I think, other than to shoot me down. On the surface, anyways, that’s how I think you’d react. However, I think there’s something deep inside you that really longs for creationism to be right & true, and you’re waiting for it to be “proven” to you. While I think God honors a truly searching heart, I think it’s unlikely that you’ll find what you’re looking for. Not here, anyways. What I believe you truly want, you going to have to ask God to speak to your heart, in a way — language — that you understand; in a way that’s meaningful to you.

    Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for compelling me to pray for both yourself and others who may read our posts.

    ~Karen

  7. Wow! What an great response to Jim’s comment!! That was very well said!

  8. Hi,
    Thanks for your post, which I value especially for its respectful tone toward everyone.

    I had one thought about your “God isn’t tricksy” statement (I think “tricksy” is the word you used) — I, too, use this ‘argument’ but in support of Old Earth. I don’t think God would make things appear older than they were so that general revelation would contradict the special revelation of the Bible. Of course, I also agree with the earlier reply that the creation story in the Bible — indeed, everything up until Abraham — is to be interpreted poetically, revealing truth about God and humanity without necessarily being literal. And I really, really agree with you that it just isn’t something to argue about. But I am curious about your thoughts on the “tricksy” thing.

    Thanks,
    KarenDV

  9. Your post was awesome. I have been battling the OE,YE stuff this year and I have been praying about how to guide my children and make peace with this issue. What really has had me thinking, was I attended a Bible study on Genesis(my first Bible study ever) and they basically made it clear that if I didn’t believe that 24 hour day, 6000 year, dinosaurs on the ark thing I was not a true Christian. I really wrestled with this and have finally come to the rather uneasy conclusion that I just don’t know and that it is ok to not know. There are so many mysteries out there that we will never know and sometimes we think we know only to have science ‘change its mind’ several decades later.
    The creation account takes only a few chapters in an immense book that is about God’s relationship with His people and His salvation plan. If he thought that the details of His creation and the science of the earth were more essential, I would think the majority of the book would be devoted to that. As it is, most of the book of Genesis is about Joseph, a picture of Christ, not about the details of the physical laws,chemical reactions and timeline involved in making the universe and its inhabitants.
    And I don’t see anywhere in the Bible that salvation is contingent on believing that God created the Earth is six days.——–

  10. Karen:

    You’re under no obligation to satisfy me or debate me, and I didn’t come here to debate you. While I have been an activist–against creationism, Scientology, government corruption, fundamentalism, and deception and misinformation in general, I’ve mellowed substantially as I’ve grown older. I’m not an angry atheist. (I described the beginning of that transformation in my contribution to Ed Babinski’s book, _Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists_, which was published in 1995.)

    It’s not correct that I’m a moderator of the talkorigins.org website. I am listed on Wikipedia as a moderator of the talk.origins Usenet newsgroup, but that’s a completely automated system that has not required me to do anything in the decade or so since I volunteered for the position, and I haven’t regularly read or contributed to the newsgroup in years. I do still write the occasional article for publication about creationism and I find it interesting, more for sociological reasons than due to the quality of creationist arguments.

    My main point in posting here was served in my previous comment–to point out the role that YEC dogmatism (and deception) played in my loss of faith, and to point out that there exist resources which refute YEC from a Christian as well as scientific standpoint. You and your readers are welcome to choose to examine those resources, or to ignore them. I think the intellectually responsible thing to do would be to examine them–especially if you are going to be teaching children–but that’s up to you.

  11. (responding to #4)

    Steve ~ The Bible isn’t always clear when a passage is allegorical, but it usually is. I think it was on your own blog that you stated that it was doubtful that the beast as depicted in Revelation is going to literally have seven heads, ten crowns, and two horns. I agree. However, allegorical passages are usually told as such: as dreams, as visions, as parables, as prophecies, as poems. Now, I haven’t searched out every last Biblical passage on this, but the things that are presented in prose form, in the form of statement, as a “story” seem to me to be understood as fact — factually recounting an event. To my view, the Genesis account is presented as an accounting of actual events, and is not presented in florid, poetic, or allegorical speech.

    As far as “yom” goes, it either refers to a specific day, or to an era — like “in the day [yom] of…” It doesn’t refer to an indefinite long period of time. That Hebrew word is “olam”. (I’m not an expert in Hebraic words; I got my info here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/the-lie/appendix2.asp — that also addresses the day/night idea, as well. )

    Moses, btw, had such a close, literal, face-to-face, talking-in-person relationship with God. I personally believe that God dictated the words of the Torah to him, though, of course, I don’t know that for certain.

    As fas as the “separate” accounts of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2… well, you’re a writer, right? Have you never given a general description of something, then expanded further on a point or two directly after the summary?

    That said, I can see how it lends itself to some obscurity, which is why — truly — I don’t begrudge folks like yourself, who see that the interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis could support a longer view of time; there are several places where a “period” of time or times might be inserted, somewhat logically, into the text. I just don’t think God did that. I think the first few chapters of Genesis work well for a literal reading and interpretation.

    And, yes, your last bit does make sense: “I don’t think either interpretation detracts from the understanding that Genesis is an account of Creation. In time – or in eternity – we’ll know the answer. I’m content to wait and see, knowing Who made me and everything around me.” We are in absolutely perfect agreement on that.

    Truly, I respect both your brain and your Christianity. At times, I think some of your posts on this topic have been fairly combative, but that’s OK, too. I sometimes think that my pendulum, which used to be permanently stuck in the DEBATE/CONFLICT mode has swung too far the other way into decided geniality, and I need a firebrand, a catalyst like yourself — like yourself in that you are of trustworthy motives — to rock my boat from time to time.

    Blessings to you & the fam.

  12. I fall into the earth was created in 6 time periods model. We don’t have a lot of detail on how God did it, just that He did it. I really don’t think about it much more than that.

    I do however wonder if maybe He recycled a planet. You know, took and old and empty planet and revamped it. I mean, no where does it say that earth was His first and only creation. Also, we as mortals are bound by time. I doubt that He has the same limitation.

    By the way, I think you did a great job on your post. Thanks for participating in the Carnival of Homeschooling.

  13. I agree. It’s really hard to debate someone when the Facts are not on your side.

  14. I find it interesting (and refreshing)that you dont think that OEC or YEC is vitally importnt to christianity, per se

    im a christian [episcopalian]but not a YEC or a OEC, i (and my church)accept what scientists say about the universe and evolution

    i accept the mainstream scientific answers because the Creation is God’s not ours

    i do agree it is godly to discuss,question, and research the universe around us ..i’ll add care for, to that list as well

    it’s not godly and it’s actually dangerous to misinform people about science because it underlies all of our medical and technological advances for the past 500 years

    i accept the mainstream scientific answers because the Creation is God’s not ours

    &just keep in mind that scientists ONLY REPORT WHAT’S ALREADY THERE! That’s right, all those incomprehensible scientific papers are just reports on whats really there (scientists do experiments just to confirm that their observations are correct)

    if scientists lie OR make stuff up OR if they are simply wrong, then the technology based on that wrong stuff will be poor because that technology would be based on their bad explanations and not on what God created – so scientists try to get things correct because it can hurt us badly if they don’t

    BTW scientific theories arent speculations or guesses; theories are overarching explanations for a whole lot of facts

    so yes, scientists do say that things like gravity or evolution can be both facts and theories because they have a lot of facts about the phenomena, and they need to account for all of them

    i guess this was important to me since i almost became an atheist because i couldnt stomach the psuedoscience nonsense i was told in my mother’s church (my pop was the epsicopalian)

  15. and no, i don’t mind if my dog and i are really distant cousins, my dog loves me and i think she senses that we are kin, too;)

  16. QUOTE Science, for the most part, tries to ascertain the truth. But, for some things, the truth can be discovered, and is labelled as fact. For other things, though many try their best, the truth simply cannot be discovered, but only logically supposed, and is called theory.

    this what i was talking about in post 17 about theories …this is simply wrong

    scientific theories are not speculations or guesses
    scientific theories are whole groups of facts that point to a single conclusion …IOW scientists are darn sure that this is THE TRUTH about the universe if they have a formal theory

    if scientists have formal theory then they might argue over minor details but not a single one believes any of the current major theories (evolution, the big bang, old universe/earth, etc )are wrong

    creation “science” proponents are considered to be lying and/or ignorant crackpots by most mainstream scientists
    this is what jim lippard was talking about when he spoke about deception in post #2

  17. Thanks for your thoughts, brightmoon.
    I don’t think, though, that I’m wrong about my fact vs. theory statement. There are several definitions to the word “theory,” but here’s the one I’m referring to: a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena (from here: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=theory )
    I’m not saying a theory is a guess, but it *IS* a speculation. (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=speculation ) Speculations or hypotheses take the given information that is available, and pieces it together to form a working explanation for one thing or another that is not ascertainable by experimentation.
    You said that “not a single one” of scientists oppose the “current major theories” about evolution and that is just not true. Here’s a collected list of *some* of them who disagree: http://www.icr.org/research/index/research_creationsci/
    I, as well, am not interested in science that is lying or is formed by “ignorant crackpots.” I am interested in science that is willing to challenge those “major theories” and show that it *IS* possible — and more than that — LIKELY — for the earth to be less than 10,000 years old. I am interested in scientists who examine the available information and have the guts to interpret it differently than the the prevailing thought. Just because a scientist has thoughts that go against the prevailing thought doesn’t make him/her wrong. History has shown that over and over.
    There is a LOT of valid, well-reasoned, intelligent creation science out there. Anyone who states that creation scientists are simply unintelligent crackpots has obviously not done his/her research.

  18. “I don’t think, though, that I’m wrong about my fact vs. theory statement.”

    ROTFLOL

    “There is a LOT of valid, well-reasoned, intelligent creation science out there.”

    ROTFLOL

    It is clear that you are not competent to hold reasonable opinions.

    Why don’t you visit the Creation “Museum” to find out that dinosaurs ate plants before the Fall?

    Vote for Huckleberry – absolutely guarantee a win for the Democrats!

  19. Excuse me, one in 6, but it appears that you must have flunked debate in high school. Ridiculing your opponent is not a valid form of debate. If you’d like to actually debate, have at it. But if it’s purely your intention to mock those with whom you don’t agree, you will not be welcome on this blog.

    By the way, McCain rocks, and my vote is (and has ever been) securely with him.

  20. “Ridiculing your opponent is not a valid form of debate.”

    Of course this “debate” was over 20 or 30 or more years ago. So ridiculing the ridiculous is fun.

    “bought myself a copy of Grand Canyon: A Different View”

    A very very very ridiculous book.

  21. onein6 ~ Your acerbic blathering sounds like the desperate gasp of the unwillingly dying.

  22. Karen,
    Looks like your friend (1/6x10e6) has been trolling elsewhere. kingdavid at the Far Wright has been ‘blessed’ by the gents visits.

  23. Steve ~ “my friend”??? “the gent”???? Umm… Well, it’s good to know (sort of) that he hasn’t just been trolling homeschooling mothers’ blogs. He’s hit a number of other blogs of which I’m aware. Troll is right.

  24. I’m still here. I don’t believe my ridicule is baseless. I can engage in a “debate”. But it’s your blog, so you have to decide.

  25. Mike ~ What are you talking about? I “have to decide”?? Decide what? Decide whether or not to debate you? You’ve already opted out of that, earlier, saying you’d much rather ridicule me and my ideas than debate. Have you forgotten you said that? Just scroll up a bit to you comment on 01/18 to refresh your apparently short memory.

    Ridicule and debate are NOT synonymous. Debate means taking a careful, respectful look at the other person’s presentation, and making certain that your own words are carefully and respectfully presented. You have not done that, neither here, nor on other blogs. You simply troll the blogosphere, apparently, for those who believe in creation and/or support Ben Stein’s movie, and then simply gush verbal slime onto them, in some strange attempt to, what? Sway others to your side by your silver tongue????

    You’re a troll, Mike, and the natural outcome of trollishness is that people respond poorly to what you’ve said. It’s a foolish tactic made by those who lack the character and valor to hold reasonable conversations with those who disagree with them.

  26. By the way, I cannot consider your own presentation of ideas until you make one. So far, all you’ve done is mock my own.

  27. You have a link to:
    http://thefarwright.wordpress.com/2008/01/19/1824/#comments
    and the last post there has your name on it.

    “Debate means taking a careful, respectful look at the other person’s presentation”

    Well, debate means first choosing a topic which will be debated. So one topic is the movie and another topic is YEC. But we probably can’t agree that we have enough information about the movie. And a debate about YEC is over after I give a link to talk origins. http://www.talkorigins.org/
    I just assume that you have not posted anything that is not properly refuted by talk origins.

    “You’re a troll, Mike, and the natural outcome of trollishness is that people respond poorly to what you’ve said.”

    Absolutely correct. But the troll has inserted the doubt that a movie claiming “Darwin led to Hitler” is really truthful about this or any other subject that it talks about.

  28. Uh, yes. There’s a comment there with my name on it. Two of them. One made about me, and one made by me.

    talkorigins is cr@p, and more sanctimoniousness by athiests. Its pretense is a sham. It does NOT fairly debate; it presents creationists’ viewpoints, and then picks them to biased shreds. Surely you’re aware that I’m aware of talkorigins, since a major commenter on this thread was Jim Lippard, who is the facilitator of that site.

    The debate over YEC — or creation in any form by a divine Creator — isn’t over at all, not by a long chalk. As long as there are those who believe in God and those who ridicule them for it, there will continue to be debate. There is also debate amongst creationists, as I’m sure you’re aware, given the nature of this original post.

    You can’t just settle upon your viewpoint then say, “There is no debate” thereby attempting to silence all dissenting voices. That’s ridiculous.

    I don’t know much about Stein’s proposal about Darwinianism leading to Hitler’s motivations, other than what he writes about on the Expelled website, and what’s in the SuperTrailer. However, knowing what Hitler did, and hearing that he was a HUGE Darwinian, it doesn’t seem far-fetched.

    You used to be involved in church, no? So, what happened to lead to your ginormous chip on your shoulder against anything of God??

  29. “You can’t just settle upon your viewpoint then say, “There is no debate””

    Of course I can. After all, I see my viewpoint as the “scientific” viewpoint and I see the other viewpoint as “religious”. And n’er the twain shall meet. So there’s no point to having a “debate”.

    “thereby attempting to silence all dissenting voices”

    But I certainly do not expect to silence all dissenting voices.

    “As long as there are those who believe in God …, there will continue to be debate.”

    But it’s a political debate, not a scientific debate, so you are now quite correct, I’m running away from this “debate”.

    “So, what happened to lead to your ginormous chip on your shoulder against anything of God?”

    And when did I stop beating my wife, sons, and dogs?

    I am against the suppression of evolution in the public schools – and that is the main focus of the creationists who are involved in education – like the newly-appointed Chairman of the Texas Board of Education. And I see Ben Stein’s movie as an extension of that suppression since it is obvious that he is pitching his religious viewpoint against evolution without any real basis in truth.

  30. Hmmm…. So, let me summarize:
    1. Mike was a Christian, quite involved in a local fellowship.
    2. Mike got hurt, or became discouraged, or some other sad event took place that caused him to grow angry at the church, and at God.
    3. Mike chose to reject both the church and God.
    4. Mike now trolls the internet, looking for those who have fond feelings and strong beliefs in God as God, and specifically as Creator.
    5. When he finds them, Mike seeks to knock those beliefs down, in hopes to bring others to his point of view.
    6. If Mike accomplishes this, he feels justified in his hurt feelings and fairly new lack of belief, since he’s swayed someone else.
    7. Mike’s conscience is assuaged, and he feels the ego-boost of, “I’m right!” swell in his breast.

    And you think this has no bearing on the current conversation??? Are you really that blind to the workings of your own heart???

    Science and belief in God is completely compatible, since God CREATED science. He’s the brains and power behind all of it. You can deny it, or call it null and void, or whatever you want to say, but calling coal yellow doesn’t make it so simply because you state it to be.

  31. “Mike got hurt, or became discouraged, or some other sad event took place that caused him to grow angry at the church, and at God.”

    Silly silly silly pseudo-psychoanalysis.

    “since God CREATED science”

    Only if he created humans. As Monk would say – I don’t think so.

    Today’s newspaper:

    Headline: “Scientists build full genome, aim to create life”

    Headline: “College: New readiness standards challenging…”
    “The half-inch thick package of standards was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”
    “Science: Describe and explain the significance of historical development of quantum theory, modern atomic theory, biological evolution and plate techtonics.”

    It would seem that this advisory board really wants high school students to be prepared for college.

  32. Silly, perhaps, but correct? You don’t deny it, I notice. I’d like to hear you fill in the details.

    Mike, my kids will (do) know all about evolution, but they’ll also know about the holes in the theory.

    You ever heard of the David Crowder Band? It/He isn’t my fave ever, but I always think of the song We Win! whenever you talk. We’ve already won/so you don’t have a chance/It’s already done/So you don’t have a chance. It really doesn’t matter what you think, Mike, your knees are gonna bow, too, sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. My dad, who is absolutely brilliant, and leads a company funded by investor $$ in AI there in Austin is prepared to chat with you, if you’d ever like to talk with a smart guy who also loves Jesus. E-mail me and I’ll send you his personal info.

  33. “talkorigins is cr@p”

    Talk Origins is accepted science. So your statement is equivalent to “science is cr@p”. And you wonder why I ridicule such an anti-science attitude?

    “Silly, perhaps, but correct?”

    Nah, just plain silly.

    “but they’ll also know about the holes in the theory”

    Ah yes, creationist ploy number 45. If evolution is wrong, then creationism must be correct. LOL

    Just name one “hole” in the Theory!

  34. You’re right: I shouldn’t have stated “Talk Origins is crap.” I should have been more precise with my pronouncement: “Talk Origins’ premise is a sham.”

    But, you’re also incorrect: I don’t have a problem with science; I love science, and its Creator. I have a problem with dishonest coercion. TO announces its intentions as honestly discussing different origin theories, when behind its back it holds the plans to actually dismantle and discourage all serious discussion of creation. This is, indeed, repulsive. I have problems with puke-inducing deceitfulness, not with science.

    If evolution is wrong, then something else is right, and I firmly believe that “something else” to be creation by a sovereign God. By default, that makes most evolutionary theories incorrect.

    For the many holes in the theory, start here.

  35. Talk Origins is accepted science.

    In whose universe? It’s more accurate to say ‘Talk Origins is accepted by some as a valid expression of scientific truth.’

    Here’s my take: all truth, whether observed scientifically or revealed scripturally, is God’s truth. Given that ‘Scripture is true’ and ‘science is true,’ any perceived conflict between the two must come from the interpretations and biases we bring to the argument. Science (observation of the world around us) and Scripture (the revealed Word of God) can not conflict, by definition.

    Unfortunately, many believe that ‘interpretation of observed data,’ with the interpreter’s inherent bias, to be the same as ‘science.’

  36. suppressed?

  37. “and welcome most commenters”

    But not this one.

  38. Mike the Suppressed a.k.a. oneinsixbillion ~

    You’re so vain, I’ll betcha think this blog is about you, you’re so vain, so vain, I’ll bet you think this blog is about you don’t you, don’t you, don’t you??

    You seem to forget that this blog is not a public forum with open access. It’s the personal blog of, um, ME. I’m not suppressing you as a person; there are many opportunities you have in your own life, I’m sure, to make your unpleasant voice heard. However, this isn’t democratic; I own this blog, and you are no longer welcome — not for your viewpoint, but for the way you have conducted yourself, and for your apparent bottomless pit of needing to be stroked with attention that I am loathe to give you.

    I have, at WordPress’ last count, 455 posts on this blog. Three, if I recall correctly, deal with the creation vs evolution debate. In other words, it’s an area of interest, but not overwhelmingly so. The thing that you so greatly want to discuss is only a peripheral interest; it doesn’t control my life and thoughts.

    It boggles my mind that, after THIRTEEN comments by you on my blog, to which I’ve thoughtfully and thoroughly responded, you’re still not satisfied. That doesn’t even include our several private e-mail exchanges. Do you think that a pregnant mother of four homeschooled children really has so very little to do, and is so lacking in attention, that she just delights in being ridiculed, belittled, and argued with, by such a vehemently contrary person like yourself? I have a bit of news for you, Mike. I have other interests and responsibilities, and I am done having a dead-end conversation, especially with an unpleasant man such as yourself.

    You are hereby completely suspended from this blog, and if you don’t like it, GET YOUR OWN BLOG!!!

  39. “The rejection of science seems to be part of a politically monolithic red-state fundamentalism, textbook evidence of an unyielding ignorance on the part of the religious. As one fundamentalist slogan puts it, “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” But evangelical Christianity need not be defined by the simplistic theology, cultural isolationism and stubborn anti-intellectualism that most of the Republican candidates have embraced.”

    • Thank you for your comment, Mr. Giberson. Are you quoting yourself here?

      P.S. Sorry, for you, about the Red Sox this year. The great thing about baseball is that there is always hope, and even irrational hope proves founded, some magical years. :)

  40. W. R. Barnhart

    I know I am extremely late coming to this post and debate, BUT in any scientific discussion it is necessary to look at new information when it becomes available. One such item is the hydrodynamic requirements of laying the layers in the Grand Canyon. A close look at the Tapeats Sandstone, the lowest sedimentary layer, shows the structure of each laminae could only be layed by a very fast, unidirectional current, and not tidal action. The math shows this would happen in only a few hours for the entire thickness of the formation. I have much more information IF anyone is interested.
    Maybe we think geology requires vast periods of time to form and erode only because we don’t know enough to look in the right places. This type of timetable for the Tapeats does suggest that deposit and erosion of our present landscape could have occured in a world wide deluge of about 380 days.
    Also remember, the radiometric timescale and its resultant dates are ultimately based on some presupositions about how long evolution requires. If evolution is taken out of the equation, then we make some very different presuppositions and arrive at very different conclusions.
    Some ideas for thought.

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