Young Earth Creationism (The Importance of Theological Consistency)

I was formerly a proponent of Old Earth Creationism (OEC). At one point, I was agnostic, verging on atheism. At that point, a low point for me, I sincerely prayed to God that he would answer my serious questions about the problems that I had with Him. In the course of 2 weeks, all of these questions were answered. I’m not saying it will happen that rapidly for everyone. And, my questions had been building for years.

Along the way, I considered, that Old Earth Creationism might answer some of my questions. Such as the starlight and time problem1, and the problem of dating methods2. The gap theory3 worked out reasonably well for me, until I discovered Answers in Genesis4 a few years ago. Now, I am somewhat undecided. I have a great deal of respect for the position of AIG, but I also realize that could possibly be wrong in their theological interpretation. Thus far, I haven’t found many problems with their theological interpretations.

So, what I am hoping, is that some atheists and agnostics out there, will open their minds and hearts to the possibilities of God. Go to Him in prayer–just talk to Him. Tell Him the problems that you have with Him and the questions that you have (whether they be personal or intellectual). Ask for answers. Open your mind to the answers…

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-starlight-prove
2 http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/1107rate.asp
3 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/mind-the-gap
4 http://www.answersingenesis.org/

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12 Responses

  1. […] Young Earth Creationism (The Importance of Theological Consistency) | Intelligent Design and More. […]

  2. I fear I would be faltering in my self-appointed role if I did not question you on some points here, Country Shrink.

    When theological consistency and mainstream science conflict, how should that conflict be resolved? And more importantly, what sorts of reasons should one appeal to in order to resolve that conflict?

  3. “…at one point, I was agnostic, verging on atheism. At that point, a low point for me, I sincerely prayed to God that he would answer my serious questions about the problems that I had with Him. In the course of 2 weeks, all of these questions were answered. I’m not saying it will happen that rapidly for everyone. And, my questions had been building for years.”

    God, is amazing, and thanks for your willingness to be this open and vulnerable, especially on this site! I, too, was drawn to God at the very time I was seeking to disprove His existence. I hope some, or more, who visit this site will act on your suggestion and come to know that God exists and is good!

  4. When theological consistency and mainstream science conflict, how should that conflict be resolved? And more importantly, what sorts of reasons should one appeal to in order to resolve that conflict?

    Carl, perhaps, there are “conflicts” that can’t be totally resolved by man’s reasoning? Perhaps, our reasoning gets in the way of our reason, when it comes to issues that stretch us beyond our fallible, intellectual capabilities? Perhaps, this is troubling to you, because there is a reason beyond that which you know and experience, at the moment, that is trying to reason with you?

  5. Carl, first I’d be interested in your response to what DB has to say.

    Second, I think that I consider Biblical authority to surpass human authority. That is not to say that I do not consider these matters carefully. Science makes me consider whether scripture has been interpreted accurately at times. I reflect on these matters when traditional science appears to conflict with the theological beliefs that I hold. I search out the issues and attempt to consider these things as objectively as I am able. And I have not yet made up my mind on several of the issues where science and theology conflict. For now, it’s good enough for me that there exists at least one plausible explanation for how an all-powerful God could have accomplished what we see in nature. I also consider that science is the product of the minds of humans with all of their fallibility and biases. So, I view research results through that spectrum. We all have our spectrums, and I openly admit mine here.

  6. Reasoning getting in the way of our reason? What would that mean other than the “nonoverlapping Magisteria” nonsense that evolutionists believe solves the faith-science problem. (One magisterium will win out as the genuine source of what’s really true.)
    If we espouse young-earth creationism, we throw out all the time-involved proofs of the existence of an intelligent designer that astronomy is now uncovering involving the amazing fine tuning of the cosmos and the planet earth for human life and technical societies. We also disqualify ourselves from teaching non-atheist science in public schools since young-earth theories, when pursued for their implications, tend not to be corroborated. Corroboration of hypotheses is central to what science is, and without it creation science just isn’t science. Such “science” will be continue to be excluded from public education–and rightly so. Let’s read God’s written Word and His created Word, as we observe and study His creation.

  7. I think that Hans Jonas was right in following Kant’s lead in this matter. Kant argued that it is the part of the nature of human reason to pose for itself questions that cannot be answered by empirical knowledge. Jonas calls this “the luxury of reason”; he points out that our reason pushes or prods us to ask questions — e.g. about the origins of the universe — which cannot be answered by means of science.

    I accept this as a fundamental and crucially important feature of human reason — that it is an interest of reason which compels it to go beyond knowledge. This is why I insist that atheism is just as much a question of “faith” as theism is — in either case, one must go beyond the evidence in order to answer a question which human reason poses to itself concerning the origins of the cosmos as a unified totality.

    On the other hand, this is no reason to reject the consensus of science on those matters where there is consensus, such as the age of the universe, the uniformity of basic physical laws, the overall patterns of macroevolutionary history, etc. It’s one thing to think that faith must go beyond science, whether the faith of a theist or of an atheist, and another thing to dismiss the findings of science because they conflict with one’s faith.

  8. Carl,

    If the evidence is so clear, then why do we Christians fail to grasp the clarity (lack of education, poor reasoning skills, genetics, too many Cheetos, a different deterministic causal pathway, early brainwashing)? Why are there still debates about these fundamental issues?

    Scientific consensus has never personally worked for me. I’m not much influenced by it. I have to see the evidence and make up my own mind. But I am not unswayed by evidence.

    When I was on internship, I was talking to my supervisor about a particular patient (about what was motivating him and so forth). The supervisor said to me with a grin, “You’re too young to be so cynical.” I mocked as if he had stabbed me in the chest, and grinned back saying, “Am I wrong?” And he responded, “I really have to agree with you.” And we laughed. I’ve been called cynical at other times as well, so perhaps that is my problem?

    Group norms have powerful influences on behavior (even beliefs; see the Milgram experiments for example). So, I’m not much one for following the crowd without a very good reason. I think DB (The Outsider) is with me here as well.

    In the hallowed halls of academia, in order to get anywhere, you really need to be a team player. Although curiously, many academics seem to view themselves as very independent. However, they use the wrong reference group (less educated folks and the population in general), not their colleagues, which is the appropriate reference group. Within that reference group, I have seen very little independence of thought.

  9. If I want to know how a good bridge is built, I’m going to ask an engineer. I expect him to tell me what he knows based on his expertise, and I expect his expertise to reflect the consensus of engineering knowledge. The same point applies to oncology and to history. I expect an oncologist to tell me what is known and not known about the causes of cancer and the relative efficacy of different treatments, and I expect a historian to tell me what is established as consensus, and what is not, about the causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire or the rise of capitalism. I’m not an expert in any of those areas (though I am an expert in my own field) so I trust in the authority of those experts whose expertise differs from my own. This just seems obvious to me.

  10. If I want to know how a good bridge is built, I’m going to ask an engineer. I expect him to tell me what he knows based on his expertise, and I expect his expertise to reflect the consensus of engineering knowledge. The same point applies to oncology and to history. I expect an oncologist to tell me what is known and not known about the causes of cancer and the relative efficacy of different treatments, and I expect a historian to tell me what is established as consensus, and what is not, about the causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire or the rise of capitalism. I’m not an expert in any of those areas (though I am an expert in my own field) so I trust in the authority of those experts whose expertise differs from my own. This just seems obvious to me.

    I agree with the engineer reference. That is applied science. Evolution is not (it is basic science). What questions can evolution answer for you? As far as oncology goes, I’m not impressed. Having studied psychological aspects of cancer, nutrition, genetics, so on and so forth, we don’t really have a clue about cancer. I’ll say the same for history. History is an area where the worldviews and biases of the historians easily influence “History.”

  11. Shrink said,

    So, I’m not much one for following the crowd without a very good reason. I think DB (The Outsider) is with me here as well.

    On the nosey, Shrink! I have, quite often and by many, been referred to as an “Iconoclast.” It has always been my opinion, which comes from my suspicious nature, that what is the accepted (human) norm is to be approached with skepticism and perhaps, even contempt. This approach, of course, is because, imo, man seems to be wrong more often than right. Speaking of history, it’s one of the few fields of study, beyond the arts, where the “expert” gets to make it up as he goes, and then change, or “deconstruct,” it as the mood hits. It’s the perfect gig for someone who will never admit to being wrong!

  12. My point is that I’m willing to trust in the authority of geologists on matters that fall within their purview, in the authority of cosmologists in theirs, and in Shakespeare scholars in theirs. This isn’t so much a point about objectivity as it is a point about the distribution of authority across society. If someone who doesn’t know much philosophy or theology tries to speak on philosophical or theological matters, such as a certain Oxford biologist, there will be plenty of people to point out the shortcomings of those pronouncements.

    I’d also say, radical pluralist that I am, that of course there are different criteria for objective scholarship across disciplines (history vs physics), and that of course there are different ranges of disagreement in different disciplines. But whoever said that objectivity must be a one-size-fits-all concept? Certainly not I!

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