Home > apologetics, creationism, philosophy, science > >Critique of my Young Earth Creationism post

>Critique of my Young Earth Creationism post

> My post on young earth creationism raised several responses here and at Vox Popoli where it was originally posted. See also here and here. As well as a response on theologyonline.

These responses suggest some further aspects need to be discussed.

It is important for me to clarify what I was trying to do. I deliberately chose to give a scientific/ philosophical defence rather than a scriptural one. I thought it would interest a broader audience. And it is important to realise the issues in this debate are philosophical.

There were 2 main points I wanted to make.

  1. There is a fundamental difference between operational and historical science. Thus historical science can be challenged by types of knowledge (such as testimony and documentary knowledge) in a way that operational science cannot be challenged.
  2. Evidence against YEC that presupposes evolution is true is invalid. (In fact evidence against any theory presuming a priori that it is false is invalid).

So if people came away unconvinced yet more aware of their own preconceptions, and they could see that YEC is a valid philosophy that can be considered—and either accepted or rejected—then I am content with this.

The main complaints were the lack of positive evidence for YEC and the lack of exegetical support given for the YEC position.

Addressing the lack of positive evidence first. This complaint is reasonable, especially given my title. However the reasons given above are why I was cautious to discuss specific issues. Until these issues are dealt with, debates are frequently at cross purposes. YECists are forever pointing out the assumptions that non-YECists hold.

I had considered that too much discussion on the merits of, say, helium diffusion dating (and why evolutionists disagree with it) would miss the point that evolutionists are assuming ancient dates because they have a prior commitment to such, and thus they are judging other dating methods by their agreement, or not, to radiometric dating. Whereas my position is that the questioning of all dating methods is legitimate. As it was, the debates in the comments still frequently assumed the validity of old earth dogma.

Do YECists not also have a prior commitment to younger dates? Yes, they do. But they admit their commitment to a biblical timeframe. Evolutionists frequently deny their prior commitment and pretend they are somehow more objective, when in fact they are choosing the clocks that suit their purposes.

Nevertheless, the inclusion of more positive evidence of a young earth would have improved the post and it may be something I could address at a later stage.

My choice to avoid a scriptural defence on why the Bible demands YEC was deliberate, as mentioned. I laid out the basic beliefs for the benefit of those who did not know what they were; to clarify what YECists believe and also what they do not believe despite accusations to the contrary. However the responses and a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago has suggested that I should probably give the scriptural reasons for the YEC position at some stage.

  1. 2009 August 22 at 03:47

    A lot of evolutionary argument has struck me as a form of post hoc argumentation for a while now. It assumes that the immediate lack of evidence for God’s positive existence combined with the seeming progressive of life on Earth must mean that evolution happened–as extremely unlikely as it may have been.
    The human brain is one of the most complicated machines on Earth. It can process volumes of information in real-time and process data in ways that computer science is only now starting to be able to compete with. If intuition were drawn up as an algorithm my barely educated guess is that it would be at least an order of magnitude more complicated than the most sophisticated search indexing algorithms that exist today (and some of those are exceedingly complex).
    Furthermore, things like the genetic similarity between apes and humans are not difficult to explain if you don’t limit yourself to the traditional sides of the argument. The simplest creationist explanation for the similarity is that God built apes and humans from the same genetic platform and specialized our bodies in different directions.

  2. 2009 August 22 at 10:50

    A lot of evolutionary argument has struck me as a form of post hoc argumentation for a while now.
    Exactly. Non-creationist Philip Skell on biological breakthroughs

    Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.

    The human brain is one of the most complicated machines on Earth.
    The human brain is the most complicated machine in the entire material universe. It is absolutely phenomenal. Some neurons are thought to have over a million synapses each!

  3. 2009 August 22 at 18:47

    YEC, also known as young earth creationism, makes two scientific claims, one about the age of the earth, and one about the development of species. The age of the earth claim (6,000 years) conflicts with massive evidence for a 4,500,000,000 year old earth. 6,000 years is so ridiculously wrong, it’s not worth talking about, except to point out only uneducated Christian morons believe in it.
    The other claim is the magical creation of species, which is so childish, so insane, and so anti-science, it’s not worth talking about either, except to point out the people who believe in it are the most hopelessly stupid people in human history.

  4. 2009 August 22 at 18:55

    “The simplest creationist explanation for the similarity is that God built apes and humans from the same genetic platform and specialized our bodies in different directions.”
    Unfortunately for you, your childish “The Magic Man made the DNA sequences similar” does not explain ERVs located in exact same locations in the DNA of chimp apes and human apes.
    Here’s a wild and crazy idea for you Christian hicks:
    “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry Coyne, published in 2009.

  5. 2009 August 22 at 21:20

    bobxxxx, I am aware there is evidence for a 4 billion year old earth. There is also evidence for a 6000 year old earth, and evidence for a range of ages in between.
    But you have failed to address any of the issues I made in my earlier post which I referred to. Refusal to talk about ideas that you think are unsupported does not prove you correct.
    You are not specific about the creation of the species? Are you talking about every individual current classified specie, or the Christian claim that God created the various kinds originally? These are different issues.
    I am not certain what is so magical about God creating an organism. We don’t think that the building of cars and computers are magical, what would be so magical about a God creating something?

  6. 2009 August 23 at 09:24

    I didn’t actually read the post as I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough in this area to make much of a contribution. I read the reactions though and they are interesting.
    I believe in a young earth too based on my reading of the Bible. I am open to persuasion if someone can demonstrate to me how it is possible both from a science point of view and Biblically.
    Anyone who is not open to another point of view either knows everything, or doesn’t want to.

  7. 2009 August 23 at 10:20

    TMYU, do consider reading the post if you have time. I realise it is long, but it discusses the nature of knowledge and the types of science. Stuff worth knowing if you have an interest in this topic.

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