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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Sunday, July 11, 2010

On Matters of Age

Ultimately the disagreement between old earth creationists and young earth creationists boils down to the matter of authority. Evidence really has nothing to do with it.

The question truly is:

Which story of history is going to be trusted when it comes down to the origins of the universe, the world, and mankind; and I would add, which story of history is to be trusted as it explains the end of all things?

The biblical record revealed to men by our sovereign Creator tells us one version of the history of our origins. Fallen men, on the other hand, who labor under the noetic effects of Adam's sin, who also actively fight against their Creator, have concocted an alternative history that is contrary to the one recorded in Scripture as revealed to us by our Creator.

Theistic evolutionists argue that one cannot possibly read Genesis as a real, historical record because that "literalism" forces the Bible believer to accept young earth creationism. The "evidence" we see is just way too overwhelming in favor of an ancient world of deep time to hold to such a naive, childish understanding of Genesis. Instead, theistic evolutionists attempt to offer a mediating position between these two diametrically opposite authorities competing with one another so as to inform our understanding of history. They wish to recognize the sacred Word of God along with all the so-called evolutionary, deep time "evidence."

Yet, when the arguments put forth by theistic evolutionists are examined, one has to wonder how seriously they take God's revelation as being truly inspired and inerrant. While a good portion of theistic evolutionists (and by default, old earth creationists) claim to believe in an inspired Bible they tend toward elevating the authority of scientism over the authority of Scripture to speak as a divine revelation. Usually they appeal to hermeneutical alchemy so as to lend God a hand with the evidence. But that approach merely maligns the biblical text, pouring into the Genesis narrative bizarre interpretations that strip the language of any ability to communicate in a meaningful fashion.

If a person were to scan the comments of young earth detractors, they seem to be bothered by the "appearance of age" argument. In other words, they don't like it when biblical creationists say the evidence that is understood to be millions and millions of years old has "an appearance of age." Really, the position of the YE creationist is better described as believing God created a "mature, fully functional creation." Meaning, when God created the world, trees would be fully grown, animals fully grown, rivers, valleys, hills, even space, the sun, moon, and stars, all ready to be utilized by God's capstone of creation, mankind.

But the theistic evolutionists respond by saying such a view of creation presents a problem of a "false history." As one theistic evolutionary apologist notes, it would be like Jesus creating "false" bills of sale, and other such "evidence" when He changed water into wine so as to present a history about the origin of the wine that never really existed. In like manner, to ignore the so-called evidence for the "age" of the earth and claim God made it with an "appearance of age" is turning God into a deceiver, because He created this entire phony historical back story that never existed. Such things as ice cores that are 100,000 years old, star light that has traveled millions of years, sediment deposits that are suppose to be dated millions of years old, etc.

There are two problems with this argument as I see it:

First, it misrepresents the concept of a fully mature and functional creation. No one is arguing that God made things with "appearance" of age necessarily. Certainly God didn't create in a manner so as to deceive or provide a "false history." But God does make things fully functional and mature. Many things that are fully functional will be aged, or in other words, have the "appearance of age." Take the wine in John 2. Jesus turned water into wine instantaneously. It looked, and smelled, and tasted like "aged" wine, even though it was minutes old. A sommelier, without prior knowledge of what Jesus did, would certainly say it was aged so many years or whatever. A better example is Jesus feeding the five thousand. The fish and loaves were obviously created in just mere moments, but the fish never swam. They were never eggs that grew into baby fish that in turn grew over the course of a year or more to become fish ready to be netted, prepared, and consumed as a meal. The same is with the loaves. They did not come from wheat that was planted, that grew over the summer, that was harvested, threshed, turned to flour, and then made into bread to be eaten. A process which would take several months. Both the fish and the bread had "an appearance of age," or better, was fully functional to perform the purpose of what they were created to do: feed 15,000 people or more.

Secondly, and more to the point, theistic evolutionists unquestioningly assume the "age" of rocks and star light travel and all those things that specifically point, in their minds, to real, legitimate millions of years IS the real age of those things. It's the real history. But this presupposes a consistent uniformitarianism of the natural processes when in point of fact they ignore the actual miracle of God initially creating the world, the fall of man, the flood, as a major aspect to how we understand the physical characteristics and properties of these processes. Put another way, what they are thinking is old history based on the evidence is not the real history as they understand it. They discount those essential elements revealed to us by our Creator that have drastic impact on the creation.

Which means, as I noted above, the disagreement is ultimately a matter of which authority you allow to inform your perspective of the evidence as it relates to the origin of the world.

Labels:

68 Comments:

Blogger Mike Erich the Mad Theologian said...

The whole issue in appearance of age is assumptions. If I assume the only way the world could have got to be the way it was is a gradual process than I criticize God as being deceptive if it is not done that way. But the problem is not what God done but my assumptions as to how things ought to be done. That is the real issue.

7:26 PM, July 10, 2010  
Blogger P.D. Nelson said...

Excellent post Fred you have pointed out exactly what is at issue here.

7:55 PM, July 10, 2010  
Blogger DJP said...

Good point, as usual, Fred.

And besides, if we ignore what He told us about creation, and then do the math wrong, we can't really blame Him for being deceptive, can we?

7:35 AM, July 11, 2010  
Blogger gary dilworth said...

I think the appearance of age argument is fabulous. I had never thought of the wine that Jesus had made as an example, nor the fishes and loaves. I knew that Adam was fully mature when he was made. He certainly seems to have been able to name quite a few animals in one day. But I suspect he was very capable, and could multitask quite well. Once he had an organized strategy for naming things, I imagine things went very quickly from that point.

7:38 AM, July 11, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Gary writes,
He certainly seems to have been able to name quite a few animals in one day. But I suspect he was very capable, and could multitask quite well.

The naming of the animals is also mocked by those who do not wish to see Genesis as an historical narrative.

Three thoughts:

First, this was before Adam fell into sin. We have no idea what his mental capability was before the noetic effects of the fall kicked in.

Secondly, the context of this statement is Genesis 2, which is specific emphasis upon the creation of the garden and Adam and Eve as the first humans. If the focus is Adam being created and placed into the garden as the context suggests, the animals may had been ones in his immediate vicinity or the ones he would had immediate contact. A few hundred, rather than 30,000 species.

And, a third thought: the point of God bringing the animals before Adam is to reveal to him the need for a suitable help-meet. God did it to draw out of Adam his need and then provided for that need by creating his wife, Eve.

4:27 PM, July 11, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"Evidence really has nothing to do with it."

So, if it happens that you are wrong about your conclusions regarding the age of the earth, the global flood and the origin of species, how would you know that you are wrong? If evidence doesn't matter, how can you tell if your version of events is right or wrong? Is there any evidence that you would ever accept as disproving a young earth model? When God was creating the Earth, why do you suppose he put those anigosperm fossils so high up in the geologic column?

1:05 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

Great points Fred, but I’d like to take a stab at something that I think may be more important than the topic of age itself. I say stab because I have been thinking about this for a while now and find myself inadequate when it comes to saying what I’m thinking. But I’ll try.

1:10 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

For me personally, I don’t just want to be right in my understanding of what God says because He said it and I want to understand it (and of course believing Him because He’s God), but also because when I understand what He said, I understand “Him” more… I know “Him” more. I will never totally know Him, but I can continue to know Him more. If I accept mans latest scientific interpretation of the six days of Genesis, I not only would be accepting what I believe to be wrong and subjecting God to something less than Himself, but I would be limiting my understanding of Him. IOW, he has chosen to reveal this to me, and by allowing science to trump Him, I would be “covering up” (so to speak) what He has so graciously revealed to me. It even goes further than this. In my own life I have noticed the greatest “ah-hah” moments in my understanding of God have come when I have NOT settled for some earthly explanation of “Him/His word” but sought harder to find “His” explanation of it. IOW, I’m rewarded for my not settling for less.

1:10 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

For example, take the distant star light problem and two different approaches to understanding it by three scientists who all claim to be Christians… Hugh Ross, Russell Humphreys and John Hartnett. Ross basically just accepts the “big bang” model and adapts the bible to it, while Humphrey/Harnett accept the plain reading of scripture and try to adapt their understanding of science to it. Skipping the details of their scientific models, I would simply say this. Ross ends up with a smaller view of God… a smaller God… a God that fits into what fallen man can comprehend about the universe. Humphrey/Hartnett end up with a bigger view of God, a bigger God. A God that is so much bigger than the universe that they picture Him actually unfolding it like a tent, causing time to run at different speeds in different places, at the same time… (truly mind-blowing). Ross (and those that follow him) therefore miss out on seeing some of the immensity of God by accepting “worldly wisdom” while Humphrey/Hartnett (and those that follow them) are rewarded for their non-compromise and their “window” to God is enlarged. They see and know more about God. And isn’t “that” what it’s really all about it?!?

1:11 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

David writes,
So, if it happens that you are wrong about your conclusions regarding the age of the earth, the global flood and the origin of species, how would you know that you are wrong?

Well, I'm not, so it's rather a mute question to me. The inspiration and infallibility of scripture is tied directly with the character of God to communicate His divine revelation to men. I begin what He says about how we are to understand the world and move out accordingly.

Is there any evidence that you would ever accept as disproving a young earth model?

Is there any evidence that you would ever accept as disproving an evolutionary model?

I thought not.

1:25 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"Well, I'm not, so it's rather a mute question to me."

Well, that's certainly a clear answer.


"Is there any evidence that you would ever accept as disproving an evolutionary model?"

Yes.

1:48 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

But a clear revelation from your Creator isn't good enough as evidence, right? At least in your book, right?

1:57 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"But a clear revelation from your Creator isn't good enough as evidence, right?"

I understand that you can ignore all of the evidence and reject all of the science, because you think that God told a character named Moses all about making the Earth.

But how do you know that this conversation actually occurred? How do you know if you're right in your claim that the God said to some humam being, "here's what happened"? What if this claim is wrong? How can you know that you're wrong?

2:14 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Todd said...

It seems funny to me that the Bible (Gods Word) has never been proven to be wrong and is continually shown to be very accurate through history and archeological finds, that people still question it, but science on the other hand has been wrong time and time again but people still want to hold it as absolute truth….

Is it just me or is this just weird?

2:34 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

“Is it just me or is this just weird?”

Actually it makes perfect sense from a biblical perspective:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” – Romans 1:18-23
David, who apparently doubts what Moses said, would also most likely doubt what Paul said, and yet, he does exactly those things that Paul said. This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

3:15 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

David writes,
But how do you know that this conversation actually occurred? How do you know if you're right in your claim that the God said to some humam being, "here's what happened"? What if this claim is wrong? How can you know that you're wrong?

Like I said, Scripture is God's Word. His Word is tied to His character. He has revealed Himself in time and space over and over again and demonstrated the faithfulness of His character. To deny God's Word is to deny the testimony of Who God is as He has revealed Himself to a multitude of generations of His redeemed.

Now, you may say I am ignoring evidence, but I am not ignoring any "evidence." I am attempting to understanding God's created world according to the Revelation He has faithfully given to us as recorded in Scripture. You seek to foolishly understand the world by the means of your autonomous fallen reasoning, I am seeking to understand the world by the means of a renewed mind submitted to the authority of Scripture.

The Scriptures rightly state, "The beginning of wisdom IS the fear of the Lord."

6:16 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Todd,

I have no desire to hold scientific conclusions as absolute truths, and in fact, science is based on the idea that any given theory, hypothesis, etc., could be wrong. And yes, the Bible has repeatedly been shown to be wrong.

RC,

Most religions contain some element that says that those who don't accept that particular religion are fools. It's SOP. Among other things, it's a classic technique of cult leaders.

Fred,

Ok, so the answer is that there is no way to know if you're wrong. Good enough for you, I guess.

7:08 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

David write,
And yes, the Bible has repeatedly been shown to be wrong.

Okay.
Rather than giving me a string of lame examples that God haters and biblio-skeptics have repeated for 2,000 years, I want YOU to give me your most "devastating" example. The one area where the Bible has been shown to be wrong. The silver bullet.

8:09 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

"Most religions contain some element that says that those who don't accept that particular religion are fools. It's SOP. Among other things, it's a classic technique of cult leaders."

So we then have to decide which religions are reliable. I'm waiting along with Fred to hear that "silver bullet" example of why Christianity isn't.

8:25 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"I want YOU to give me your most "devastating" example. The one area where the Bible has been shown to be wrong. The silver bullet."

Haven't you already stated that you would refuse to accept any evidence that would prove you to be wrong? So, what's the point? I could show you a box full of silver bullets, but you've clearly stated that you'd reject them all before you even looked in the box.

"God haters"? Really? So, if I don't accept your particular version of God, it's God I hate?

8:44 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

Ah the old bait and switch. Fred ask for your best shot... you duck the question... and then fire off your own. Typical.

9:31 PM, July 12, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Sigh. Haven't you been reading Fred's comments? Don't you understand what he's saying? Any evidence that I would present would be dismissed as "man's knowledge" while Fred will claim to have "infallible God's knowledge". And there's no evidence that Fred will accept as demonstrating that he doesn't have "God knowledge". There's no bait and switch here, just an acknowledgement of reality.

Can I assume that you think the Earth is six thousand years old, that all life was created in six days and that the world was covered in a global flood?

4:32 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

The RC person is correct. To dodge the question is par for the course for most skeptics who generally don't have a clue about anything.

You are basically affirming what I stated about your own convictions: You have been shown clear and compelling evidence that the Darwinian evolutionary model is wrong. You go on to boast of how you hold no scientific conclusions as being absolute.

I have provided you clear, undeniable evidence for why you are wrong and what I believe what I believe: God and His Word. You in turn claim such has been repeatedly shown to be wrong. You need to explain how.

5:14 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"You have been shown clear and compelling evidence that the Darwinian evolutionary model is wrong."

Hmm, I must have missed that comment. Could you repeat it?

"You need to explain how."

How am I to do this? You've clearly stated that you will reject any and all evidence that shows the Bible is wrong even before I present any evidence. You have clearly stated that there is no way that any evidence could ever show you that you are wrong. Honestly, explain to me why I should bother to show you any evidence at all when you have an absolute belief that you are absolutely right, and that's that.

But ok. Go back to the "angiosperm fossil" post. Go back to the "no death before the fall, but animals are adapted to predation" post. Start there. Then consider that genetics shows that there is no genetic bottleneck in the human population at 2300 years BC. After that, we can dig into the rest of the box of bullets.

By the way, how many legs does a grasshopper have?

6:09 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Go back to the "angiosperm fossil" post. Go back to the "no death before the fall, but animals are adapted to predation" post.

But we answered those over and over again and you didn't like the answers. There was evidence, you just rejected it. That is because you choose one authority over another in which to place your trust.

Then consider that genetics shows that there is no genetic bottleneck in the human population at 2300 years BC.

But there are human population bottlenecks. The quibble is when we date them.

By the way, how many legs does a grasshopper have?

Oh my.

Has it come to this?

Now please tell me you're not one of THOSE skeptics who selectively reads?

Note that the text in question distinguishes a specific kind of insect from a vast body of insects. You did notice that, right?

More over, note the text in question distinguish 4 creeping legs and 2 hopping legs:

4 walking legs and 2 hind hopping legs = 6 total legs.

If this is the best you got...?
I am sorely disappointed. I asked for the silver bullet; the one that if deflected you would abandoned your unbelief and come to Christ.

By the way, today's Team Pyro post is something you need to read.

6:48 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"But we answered those over and over again and you didn't like the answers. There was evidence, you just rejected it. That is because you choose one authority over another in which to place your trust."

In all honesty, I don't know what you're talking about here. I don't remember any answers to the questions raised by the distribution of angiosperm fossils and the contradiction created by the creation of predators, unless you mean "the Bible says X, Y and Z, and therefore, that's what happened". Could you remind me of your evidence and answers? Was your evidence just that the Bible said that this is the way that it was?


"But there are human population bottlenecks. The quibble is when we date them."

The dating of the bottlenecks is not a "quibble". The calculated dates differ from the Biblical dates by many tens of thousands of years. In addition, you can do the same thing for non-human animal populations, and again, the answers will contradict the claim that there were bottlenecks in animal populations at 2300 BC. You wanted evidence that the Bible is not reliable...there it is. The Bible does say that there was a global flood at 2300 BC, yes?

"More over, note the text in question distinguish 4 creeping legs and 2 hopping legs."

Oh, I agree that the grasshopper question is a minor one, but I was curious about your response. And I got the response I expected. It's the response that ignores the fact that grasshoppers use all six legs for walking or "creeping" and all six legs for hopping. It's a very minor point, but it's still an error in an "infallible" document.

8:15 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Read the Pyro piece. It's written by someone who doesn't know anything about how science works.

8:17 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

“Sigh. Haven't you been reading Fred's comments?”

Yep I have, I not only agree with what he says but I find him to be a sincere person who spends too much time (IMO) talking to you because he genuinely cares about your salvation. Think about that, while you’re playing your childish little games patting yourself on your back for your latest “clever” (in your own mind) remark, Fred is trying to save you. You’re like a primitive animal caught in a trap taking pleasure in trying to hurt the person trying to free them. IOW, you’re doing exactly what Paul said men would do in the Romans passage that I quoted you yesterday. IOW, while you duck providing the proof you’ve been challenged to give for your “supposed” position, your own comments provide the proof of the position you disagree with. As I said yesterday, it would be funny if not so sad.

I’ll pray for you “David”, but there’s a point where the “fool” has been answered and shouldn’t be answered anymore… I think that point has been passed with you a long time ago.

8:28 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

The dating of the bottlenecks is not a "quibble". The calculated dates differ from the Biblical dates by many tens of thousands of years.

Yes it most certainly is a "quibble." Note your own words "calculated dates." Calculated dates are built upon prior assumptions that reads the data according to a set of presuppositions. You speak as if this information is infallible and unalterable. It isn't. It's speculation based upon extrapolated variables.

It's the response that ignores the fact that grasshoppers use all six legs for walking or "creeping" and all six legs for hopping.

You didn't ask about how Hebrews distinguish the physical characteristics of grasshoppers. You asked how many legs does a grasshopper have. They have 6, just like the text states. You may think ancient Hebrews were stupid for the way they described the physical characteristics of a grasshopper, but you are judging them according to modern taxidermy. They may think your way is stupid. Still missing how that is an error in an infallible document.

Read the Pyro piece. It's written by someone who doesn't know anything about how science works.

Of course. Only atheists have the inerrant corner on the truth.

9:02 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Fred,

“It's speculation based upon extrapolated variables.”

Umm, not exactly an accurate reflection of this research, but I won’t waste my time trying to explain methods that you will reject before we start.

“They have 6, just like the text states.”

Where does the text state that grasshoppers have six legs?

“Of course. Only atheists have the inerrant corner on the truth.”

Oh, please. Enough with the attempts to cover up ignorance with a clever comment.

Still looking for your answers to the angiosperm and predator questions. Anything answer other than “the Bible says so”? Or should we just go with your stated position that that you will reject any disproof before we start?

9:33 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

RC,

"IOW, while you duck providing the proof you’ve been challenged to give for your “supposed” position…"

Umm, did you read my comments about angiosperms and predators? Apparently not. Want some more proof to consider? Just say the word.

"…your own comments provide the proof of the position you disagree with."

I have no idea what you mean by this. Proof of the position you disagree with? What?

9:36 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Umm, not exactly an accurate reflection of this research, but I won’t waste my time trying to explain methods that you will reject before we start.

Contrary to your over confidence, it is exactly an accurate reflection of the research.

Where does the text state that grasshoppers have six legs?

Leviticus 11:21:
Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours and has jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth.

Still looking for your answers to the angiosperm and predator questions.

We gave you lots of articles to read through. Go back to the posts on those subjects and try again.

9:47 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours and has jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth."

Ah, I see. You are reading this meaning that the jumping legs are in addition to the four creeping legs. Looks like we're down to a question of grammar. Well, too bad we can't go back and ask the author what he really meant in this sentence. Nevertheless, ever watch a grasshoppers creep? They "creep" on all six legs. Grasshoppers used all six legs to walk.


"We gave you lots of articles to read through. Go back to the posts on those subjects and try again."

I believe that I did read these. Could you be more specific in your answers? What were the points that you thought answered the questions? Again, the topic is angiosperms and pre-Fall predators.

10:08 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"Contrary to your over confidence, it is exactly an accurate reflection of the research."

I'm impressed. I didn't realize that you'd read all the peer-reviewed primary literature on this subject.

10:20 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

Fred,

I appreciate you trying to reach out to "David" but you do realize that you are arguing with him about how a grasshopper gets around despite the fact the he has provided any basis for how a grasshopper could even exist?!? IOW, and I know you know this, without God, these "skeptics", have no basis for even entering such discussions.

BTW, have you read "Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study" by John Woodmorappe?

11:11 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"BTW, have you read "Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study" by John Woodmorappe?"

Oh, oh, I have! I have a copy in my office. Seriously, I really do. A YECer sent me a copy many years ago.

By the way, who said I said there's no God? The argument is over whether a particular version of God is accurate.

11:49 AM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Todd said...

Think this statement is just another way of saying just what has been said and ignored time and time again.

"One’s worldview determines one’s hermeneutic, and therefore the “product” of theology. But, the biblical data is only meant to be interpreted from a biblical worldview. Anything less will result in a distortion of the truth."

Came across this statement today at realapologetics.com blog and just had to share

12:46 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I appreciate you trying to reach out to "David" but you do realize that you are arguing with him about how a grasshopper gets around despite the fact the he has provided any basis for how a grasshopper could even exist?!? IOW, and I know you know this, without God, these "skeptics", have no basis for even entering such discussions.

Yes. I do realize that. But I do it more for the silent reader who has to deal with the cousin "Davids" or uncle "Davids" they have to encounter around the holidays.

I have only looked over the book you mention. I haven't read it in complete depth.

12:50 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Leroy said...

'Evidence really has nothing to do with it' - there is no need for any further explanation, rationale or logic. No need for any more words or discussion.

Worked well for Hitler too didn't it. "oo, we must get rid of those evil Jews.' Yep, authority triumphs. (no, I am not comparing you to him, just the 'authority analogy)

Despite the ever-mounting scientific evidence which has yet to find a scintilla of proof for a God, you persist. Even the 'God of the gaps' is being gradually extinguished.

Talk about clinging to unreason!

5:26 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Wow, Leroy (whose profile is cowardly not available),
You are quite the master of the non sequitur huh?

By the way, how exactly do you epistemologically justify logic and reason with evidence?

7:04 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger leroy said...

Fred, thanks for the instant character assessment. I was not even aware of the whole 'profile' thing. I have now managed to rectify that situation. And if you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask.

Is that a serious question? Or are you attempting to head down some nefarious sidetrack as a means of diverting the debate away from truth and into fable?

8:07 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Leory, the question is simple:
logic and reason are non material, yet you ascribe an infalliblity to the so-called scientific evidence that can't prove God's existence according to you. How then does the scientific evidence prove logic and reason?

8:50 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

"Yes. I do realize that. But I do it more for the silent reader who has to deal with the cousin "Davids" or uncle "Davids" they have to encounter around the holidays."

Good point Fred... one I personally need to more conscience of myself.

9:17 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger leroy said...

So, no change of mind on the character assessment?

You might want to come back up from that sidetrack Fred. Your statement/question above reads as 2 + 2 = 5 line of reasoning.

Show me how 'accepting authority' is a triumph of logic over evidence.

Show me a line of reasoning which would also do this.

Show me any evidence whatsoever on a scientific level where 'god' has proven to be the answer to any biological, physiological or astrophysical question.

Logic and reason may be non material, but so is any 'evidence' for 'god'.

9:17 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

Leroy: Go outside. Look at the trees. Look at the sky. Then go back inside. Look in the mirror. Now you've seen the evidence of the Creator.

David: Your English skills are obviously as poor as your science skills. By you failed to point out that even today, you can find science websites that talk about the grasshoppers four front legs being used to hold food and walk and the back legs being used for jumping.

Btw, you do know what is meant by "silver bullet", right? This was yours? Really? Most Christians can come up with much better apparent contradictions.

10:55 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger leroy said...

Sir Aaron, want to provide a smidge of evidence for that?

Lose a tooth, pop it under your pillow, it's gone in the morning. Now you've seen the evidence for the tooth-fairy.

Go to sleep on christmas eve, wake up to gifts under the tree and/or in your stocking. Now you've seen the evidence for santa claus.

Same logic, same input and outcome, same level of empirical evidence.

11:08 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

I know you're smarter than that. Waking up with toys in your stocking is evidence that somebody put toys in your stocking not evidence that Santa Claus did it. A note left behind that says "from Santa Claus" is evidence that Santa Claus did it. Creation speaks of a creator but does not tell us who the creator is, which is why we have the Bible. Of course, now you know the note from Santa was a fraud perpetrated by your parents whereas the Bible is the inerrany Word of God.

11:20 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger leroy said...

So the trees, the sky and my face in the mirror are the same as the toys in the stocking.

On what basis would you believe a note which says 'from santa claus'? You think the note alone is evidence? Boy, have I got a bridge to sell to you!

The bible doesn't say 'written by god' anywhere. It is an unsolicited ghost biography by numerous authors at best.

11:31 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

Here’s your problem Leroy… you’re using reason again in your comment, but you have no basis for it in your belief system. As Christians we believe we were created in the image of a God who has the attribute of reason and therefore we have it as well. If you don’t believe you were created by God in His image, where exactly did you come up with the reason you use? I’ll tell you… you borrow it from God... the very God whose existence you deny. Don’t feel too bad though, you’re not alone, every time one of “The Four Horsemen” (although I think “The Four Donkeys” would make more sense) Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and Dennett debate, they do the exact same thing.

11:33 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

Leroy: you've read the Bible cover to cover and you're absolutely certain it doesn't say that?

I know you won't accept any evidence including if God appeared as a man, said he was God, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and ascended visibly into heaven. For some people even touching the nail holes is just not enough.

11:54 PM, July 13, 2010  
Blogger leroy said...

RealityCheck, I do not have a 'belief' system, that's your domain. Unless you consider not collecting stamps a hobby. Why do you feel the need to drop little false statements into the middle of sections of prose in an attempt to get them accepted?

'...a God who has the attribute of reason and therefore we have it as well...' - not assumptive? Much?

'… you borrow it from God...' - again, assumptive and subjective. My reason derives from empirical evidence, proven, dis-proven and re-proven. The answers are always science, never 'god'.

And a nice little throwaway opinionated attempt at insult to finish off. Boom, tish!

Oh Sir Aaron, nice try. I'm not an ignoramus. If God appeared as a man, said he was God, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and ascended visibly into heaven, I would accept the evidence. How disingenuous of you! Why must you also try little stunts like RealityCheck did? How intellectually dishonest.

Unfortunately nothing within a bull's roar of a gnat's whisker of a poofteenth of a shred of evidence has ever been demonstrated. There is no physical evidence or definitively witnessed accounts.

12:12 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger leroy said...

Oh, and Sir Aaron, I strongly suggest you don't trundle over to Uncommon Descent with your line about 'Creation speaks of a creator but does not tell us who the creator is..' or they'll accuse you of blasphemy. According to that mob of pseudo-scientists and metaphysical charlatans, DNA IS the creator and evolution his 'word'.

12:23 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

Sorry Leroy (or is it David... or is it just a coincidence that David hasn’t been heard from since you created a profile and showed up in this thread). Whatever the case, you're still using something that you have no basis for - reason. Of course you are free to suggest that what I believe is a basis for the reason I use, is wrong, but it still remains my basis. You, however, have provided no such thing. Science does not provide a basis for reason. It uses reason. I refer to a Supernatural being as described in the bible, Who not only has the attribute of reason, but is the foundation for any reason in the first place. You refer to something that has to use reason to even get off the ground. Obviously this cannot be a basis for reason itself. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. It’s understandable why you would make such a mistake since it is obvious that you have made science your god. People who understood the correct relationship between science and God wouldn’t make such a mistake. That’s why someone like Kepler described science as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him” Notice the word “after”… first God, then science.

Let me give you some help. According to Webster, the first definition of “basis” is, “the bottom of something considered as its foundation”. Do you get that? It’s foundation. That means it has to come before it. That disqualifies “science”. You need something that would precede “reason”, not something that was dependent on reason.

Considering “Davids” “silver bullets” that turned out to be blanks and now you pointing to something that relies on reason as a basis for reason itself… seriously… I’m starting to think we’re being ‘punked’.

1:49 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

So, no change of mind on the character assessment?

Certainly. I'll give it to you for being willing to tell the world a little bit about yourself.
You must be newish to blog commenting, at least in blogspot land. The general rule of thumb is those who do not bother to provide basic profile information are usually trolls looking to stir up strife and are hardly worth the effort responding to.

Moving along though,

You write,
Show me any evidence whatsoever on a scientific level where 'god' has proven to be the answer to any biological, physiological or astrophysical question.

God isn't proven on a scientific level. He's a person who has clearly revealed himself in creation, which you reject just like the scriptures declare all rebellious sinners do. In other words, they intentionally deny the obvious because they hate God. It would be like using science to prove or disprove Barak Obama is the president of the United States.

You continue
Logic and reason may be non material, but so is any 'evidence' for 'god'.

I am not sure you are seeing the disconnect in your argument. In your first comment you chided me for being illogical and irrational with your Hitler comparison. You then moved down into explaining how the mounting scientific evidence disproves God. You basically ascribe to logic and reason god like attributes of transcendence and universality. You must believe logic and reason have some canonical, infallible laws by which you expect me to utilize or you wouldn't be raising logical and rationality as a means to rebuke my position. You obviously believe logic and reason have some authority by which you can hold men accountable. YET, you appeal to tangible evidence as the justification for invoking logic and reason. If logic and reason are non-material as you point out above, how exactly are they "proven" by scientific evidence? Do you just believe laws of logic and reason by faith? Why or why not?

Ultimately, your position boils down to abiogenesis. As an anti-theist, you honestly have not justification for believing what you do regarding origins and the history of the world. The fact that you tell Aaron that DNA is the creator when you have no means to tell us where DNA came from in the first place is the demonstration of the bankruptcy of your convictions.

Before responding, I would exhort you to go here Proof that God Exists and take the test to see how you do.

6:54 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Sir Aaron,

First, as I said repeatedly, the grasshopper thing is a minor point. I just like to see how people attempt to explain away the problem. The major “silver bullets” involve questions such as angiosperm fossils and pre-Fall predators as well as many, many others I could cite.

Second, show me a science site that says that grasshoppers walk solely on four legs. Again, minor point though it may be, grasshoppers use all six legs for walking. Always. They do not raise the back legs off the ground when walking. Grasshoppers creep on six legs. Whether a given set of legs is adapted to an additional function or not, grasshoppers walk on six legs.

Now, back to the main event.

Fred, et al.,

I’m not Leroy. I have no need to change names. I haven’t said much, because I keep waiting for answer to my questions about angiosperms and pre-Fall predators (genetic bottlenecks also show the Bible is unreliable, but Fred isn’t going to bother to read the primary lit, so I’ll let that go). So far, no answers.

I was asked to show that the Bible is unreliable. I offered up angios and predators to start. I’m still waiting to see why this fails to show that the Bible is unreliable. Are there any answers other than the Bible is reliable because you assume that the Bible is the inerrant word of God?

By the way, everyone should read the aforementioned Noah’s Ark book. It does a very nice job of showing that the Noah’s Ark story is not “feasible”.

7:31 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"If you don’t believe you were created by God in His image, where exactly did you come up with the reason you use?"

I would ask anyone who cares to answer if they think that non-human animals can reason.

7:35 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

I wasn’t going to respond to you anymore David because I find you so insincere. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that a person can’t question things, they should, but it’s obvious that you’re not looking for answers as much as roadblocks. There’s really is no logical reason for a person to “want” to disprove the bible or the God of the bible unless it’s really His authority over them that they fear. To be quite frank, the examples you come up with come across as desperate. For example,

“I would ask anyone who cares to answer if they think that non-human animals can reason.”

Of course animals can reason in a limited sense (although people debate if this is truly reason at work) but so what… they were created by the same God that created us… with a function and a purpose that He programmed them to have.

Your grasshopper point is another one that seems painfully desperate to me as well. As I said before, you can’t even come up with a way something as “simple” in comparison to other things (but actually very complex in its own right) could come about. Despite this you debate how many legs it walks on. Were grasshoppers around before the fall? Were they different after? Are they the same since the flood?

Finally, take “angiosperms” for example. If one types the term into the search box at Creation Ministries International, 20 articles come up. At Answers In Genesis, 15 come up. Maybe they don’t answer your question, but seriously, have you read them all? Have you read all the young earth stuff on “bottlenecks” and “rapid-speciation”. IOW, are you looking for “answers” to your questions, or just excuses you can use to convince yourself that the God of the bible doesn’t exist and won’t judge you some day? This is a rhetorical question by the way, one for you to get, not me. I believe the answer lies in the Romans passage “on man suppressing the truth” that I quoted you earlier.

8:51 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"I wasn’t going to respond to you anymore David because I find you so insincere. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that a person can’t question things, they should, but it’s obvious that you’re not looking for answers as much as roadblocks."

I don’t understand. If a question happens to demonstrate a flaw in another person’s views, why is the question “insincere”? What is wrong with trying to determine if a particular hypothesis, version of events or religious text is unreliable or inaccurate?

“Of course animals can reason in a limited sense (although people debate if this is truly reason at work) but so what?”

Well, then, this opens up the possibility that reason is an evolved trait. It does not have to be something that comes from God.


“Your grasshopper point is another one that seems painfully desperate to me as well. As I said before, you can’t even come up with a way something as “simple” in comparison to other things (but actually very complex in its own right) could come about. Despite this you debate how many legs it walks on.”

Desperate? Huh? Why? I’m just pointing out that grasshoppers crawl on six legs and the Bible says they crawl on four legs. It’s a minor, simple point. That’s it. Take it or leave it. No desperation.

“Were grasshoppers around before the fall? Were they different after? Are they the same since the flood?”

I don’t understand the point. Are you saying that grasshoppers were once four legged? If so, then I guess we've seen some mightly impressive evolutionary changes in just a few thousands years.


“Finally, take “angiosperms” for example. If one types the term into the search box at Creation Ministries International, 20 articles come up. At Answers In Genesis, 15 come up. Maybe they don’t answer your question…”

Yeah, exactly. Maybe they don’t answer the question. Instead of playing key word search games, how about addressing the question before concluding that bullets are blank. I ask this in all sincerity.

9:13 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

RC,
Regrettably, you will be wasting your time with David. We have presented him with resources answering his questions and he just dismisses them as unworthy of any consideration.

9:25 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

“Well, then, this opens up the possibility that reason is an evolved trait. It does not have to be something that comes from God. “

No… it doesn’t open up any such thing… you conveniently left out the part where I said that God created them and programmed them. If you choose to believe that it makes more sense that they came from nothing and evolved everything, that’s your choice… seems ridiculous to me but knock yourself out. In fact, it’s about as ridiculous as believing that something non-material, like reason, evolved from something material. I guess I just don’t have as much “faith” as you do.

“Desperate? Huh? Why?”

Because you’re quibbling over something that we can’t even know all the details of. Desperation is an understatement.

“I don’t understand the point. Are you saying that grasshoppers were once four legged?”

Maybe… I don’t know… do you?

“If so, then I guess we've seen some mightly impressive evolutionary changes in just a few thousands years.”

No, actually we haven’t “seen” any such thing. and that’s the problem with all your trust in science. Could grasshoppers have changed, especially considering the fall and the flood… you bet… it’s called “adaptation”. It points to the magnificence of the “mind” of the Creator that even in a fallen world His initial programming still works. Oh, and btw, assuming grasshoppers evolved (adapted) to something different now than what they once were… they’re still grasshoppers.

“Yeah, exactly. Maybe they don’t answer the question. Instead of playing key word search games, how about addressing the question before concluding that bullets are blank.”

The answers are there… you either haven’t read them or won’t accept them. I think which one is the case is pretty obvious and that leads to your last statement “I ask this in all sincerity.” definitely being false.

10:02 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

Fred,

"RC,
Regrettably, you will be wasting your time with David. We have presented him with resources answering his questions and he just dismisses them as unworthy of any consideration."

I know, I was telling you the same thing yesterday ;-). I'm done.

10:04 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"In fact, it’s about as ridiculous as believing that something non-material, like reason, evolved from something material. "

It's not ridiculous if reasoning is a product of a material object built from genes, you know, like a brain. Try learning a little biology before you dismiss things as "ridiculous".


"It's called “adaptation”."

And how does this "adaptation" work, exactly? What is the mechanism that explains the change? What kinds of specific genetic changes would be able to turn a four legged insect into a six legged insect? Why would the "programming" that produced a four-legged bug before the Flood later produce a six-legged bug after the Flood? You see, if you acknowledge that genetic changes can turn four-footers into six-footers, then you have effectively acknowledged that genetic change can produce large-scale evolutionary change.


"We have presented him with resources answering his questions and he just dismisses them as unworthy of any consideration."

No, I just asking you to explain the answer. You say that I'm "dismissing" the resources, but in fact, you haven't given me anything specific to dismiss. The "resources" that you've presented do not address the specific questions. You have simply failed to answer the questions. Links to websites that don't address the questions are not answers. You seem to have no answers to give.

You asked me for evidence that the Bible is not reliable. I gave you some evidence. You have refuse to discuss angiosperms and pre-Fall predators. I can only conclude that you really don't have an answer to the evidence.

10:43 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger RealityCheck said...

I'm bored with you David. So bored in fact, that I didn't even read your entire response.

You have chosen to put your faith in "everything evolving from nothing" without a God to make it happen or a god that would use such a pathetic way to do things. The God of the bible is no such God and I wouldn't have much respect for him if he was.

I feel sorry for you, truly I do, you have put your faith, (and man do you have a lot of faith), on the wrong thing.

Like I said yesterday, I'll pray for you. Good luck.

10:49 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

It's not ridiculous if reasoning is a product of a material object built from genes, you know, like a brain. Try learning a little biology before you dismiss things as "ridiculous".

Man. It's hard to even know where to begin.

Genes explains a mind? A self aware mind that reasons and thinks, makes moral decisions, reacts emotionally?

Really?

So, we are just a product of our material self. Which means my Christian beliefs are a product of my genes. David's atheistic beliefs are a product of his genes. We really have no where to go. So why all this expenditure of energy to convince me I am wrong about "evidence" and the way things are in the world when I can't really change my mind, which is just a product of my brain, that is a product of my genes?

10:55 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger Sir Aaron said...

Leroy: And yet, God did do all those things and you do reject the evidence. Overwhelming, unassailable, undeniable evidence at that.

@David. I'm actually honored by your prescence. After all, if there is no God, you have precious little time before your insignificant, meaningless life is forever abated. And yet you choose to spend it with us. Honored, really.

11:06 AM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger David said...

RC,

Again, when did I say that there is no God? My argument is with your particular version of God. Get it?

Fred,

"Genes explains a mind? A self aware mind that reasons and thinks, makes moral decisions, reacts emotionally?

Really?"

Sure, why not? Genes plus development plus exposure of the mind to an environment plus a whole bunch of neurochemistry. Change any of these things and you literally change the mind. Ever watched a loved one die from Alzheimer's?

Now, if reason is the product of divine pixie dust sprinkled in varying quantities on various species, all of these material things really shouldn't matter. But they do. It looks like your main objecton to this idea stems from the fact that you find this idea disagreeable. Obviously, disagreeable ideas can still be correct.

Still no answers to the angiosperm and pre-Fall predator questions? I would point out that when you thought you had a good answer to the grasshopper question, you were more than willing to answer me in depth. This time, there are no good answers. And before you direct me to AiG again, I would ask the you read the primary lit on genetic bottlenecks. Fair is fair, right?

12:17 PM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Hey, RC. What if you've put your faith in the wrong thing? How would you know?

12:20 PM, July 14, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

It looks like your main objecton to this idea stems from the fact that you find this idea disagreeable. Obviously, disagreeable ideas can still be correct.

How can something be correct if the "idea" is just a mere product of genetics? Change the genetics change the idea, right? So again, with your position, any idea truly is meaningless and it is worthless to make people embrace something they are biological programed against.

And before you direct me to AiG again, I would ask the you read the primary lit on genetic bottlenecks. Fair is fair, right?

David, for the umpteeth time, we gave you answers to those questions. You didn't like them, or should I say your particular genetics didn't like them.

My response about grasshoppers was more for other readers than for you. Their genetics allows them to see the sensibility of my response.

Closing the comments because the conversation is spiraling downward.

Sorry Rupert/Leroy. I'll have another post on Genesis here shortly.

By the way, I leave you guys with this fun video

12:34 PM, July 14, 2010  

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