The Owner's Manual–Young Earth Creationism (YEC)

Think of it like this; you have in front of you an amazingly complex machine, unlike anything you have ever seen before, and you want to understand where the machine came from, what the machine does, and how it does it. As you stand examining the machine a man approaches you and says, “This manual was written by the inventor of this machine and explains how the machine works, why it was designed, and how to maintain and repair it.” Being the skeptic that you are, you reject the manual and tell the man that you can figure this all out on your own using “skeptical” methods and your own reasoning. You simply reply, “That manual was written by a man who claims to be the designer, but how can I really trust that claim. I will investigate this machine and tell you all about it once I have studied it thoroughly.”1

I think this quote and article from Answers in Genesis well exemplifies the differences between believers and atheists. Perhaps this is “on average” and not in the total sense of the difference. Some say that only what we agree on socially is what matters. For believers, the written word, as revealed by God, is what matters. So far, I am not impressed in any way by social agreement. But if your starting point is a belief in God, then the manual has authority and is impressive to me.

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/10/10/feedback-searching-for-truth

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12 Responses

  1. however, it has definately shown me how close minded, intolerant, and flat out rediculous some christain authors are.

    Closed-minded like the skeptics who absolutely reject the existence of a God, though the very claim requires them to be omniscient themselves? Intolerant like the educators and scientists who will not allow a hint of a master Designer in the study of the universe? Ridiculous like the co-discoverer of DNA who insists that life could not have spontaneously evolved on earth so aliens must have seeded life on our planet?

    On the contrary, Christians have a reason for the beliefs that they hold—God has declared truth in His Scriptures. What basis does any other philosophy have for the existence of the laws of nature, logic, or mathematics? There is no consistent and rational basis for these things outside of Christian theism.

    Here it is in a nutshell! Those who claim to be the most reasoning and tolerant types (usually part of the “PC” crowd) quite often seem to be the most lacking in reason and anything but tolerant of other’s views and beliefs.

    As the author wrote, our perceptions, views and beliefs have a starting point, wherever or whatever they may be, and if our starting point is flawed, then our perceptions, views and beliefs will be also! Those who choose to deny God will do so, unless there’s a call on their lives. To argue, past a certain point, with a person like the antagonistic commenter on this site is to “cast your pearls before swine” and therefore, a useless endeavor!

  2. DB, good comment. I think the agnostic who is a frequent, and great, commenter on this site is one that might be able to catch a pearl. I don’t know for sure, but I think he might. I think his philosophical position allows for nothing other than agnosticism. I really hope, that if/when, I arrive in heaven that I see that fellow. I like him a lot, and hope he will find Jesus, although, right now, it seems as unlikely as evolution.

  3. I really hope, that if/when, I arrive in heaven that I see that fellow. I like him a lot, and hope he will find Jesus, although, right now, it seems as unlikely as evolution.

    Hey, you never know! Stranger things have happened! 🙂

  4. Shrink,

    I hear you! I was speaking in terms of people who respond in an antagonistic way, when I quoted the scripture. Sorry, and I hope you’re right about this person also!

  5. I have no tolerance for stupidity and nobody is more stupid than the Christian retards who believe in intelligent design magic. This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages. Your magic fairy is obsolete. Grow up morons.

  6. Hi Bob. Long time no see. Glad you’ve trolled back here. I don’t know what has made you so angry, but it’s clear that something has.

  7. There is a problem, though, with how Answers in Genesis sets up the situation, and this problem carries over into intelligent design generally.

    you have in front of you an amazingly complex machine, unlike anything you have ever seen before, and you want to understand where the machine came from, what the machine does, and how it does it.

    How “unlike anything you have ever seen before”? The more it is “unlike what you’ve seen before,” the less confident we can be about what it is — including whether it is a machine at all! Of course, if there is a manual that comes along with, that’s one thing. (If there is something that is taken as as a manual.) On the other hand, the more similar it is to the machines that human beings make, then the more confident we can be that is a machine — but then, at the same time, the more confident we can be that it was designed by something very like us.

    On the one hand it is necessary to the theistic traditions that God be seen as both immanent and transcendent — that’s why revelation is so central to those traditions. (Here I’m thinking of the giving of the Law at Sinai in Judaism, the recitation of the Koran to Mohammad in Islam, and the incarnation of the Word in the person of Jesus Christ in Christianity.)

    But the argument from design cannot, it seems to me, satisfy the need for a God who is both transcendent and immanent — the argument only seems to work if one already has that concept of God. If one takes the argument from design independent of that conception, then it seems to either go too far (how we can tell its a machine at all?) or not far enough (maybe its designer isn’t a deity at all?).

    In case you’re wondering, my own view is that intelligent design is incoherent if separated from theological assumptions, and that that is neither a good reason for dismissing it as “science” nor for excluding it from science education. And I say this because I do worry that if we do take its theological assumptions as reasons for excluding it from science or from science education, then we do effectively turn the Establishment Clause into a justification for a de facto institutionalization of atheism. And I do not see how that can be reconciled with the requirements of a just, decent society.

    (I should add that I was turned to this way of thinking by reading Steve Fuller’s book on ID and by talking with him when he visited my department.)

  8. Carl wrote:

    On the one hand it is necessary to the theistic traditions that God be seen as both immanent and transcendent — that’s why revelation is so central to those traditions. (Here I’m thinking of the giving of the Law at Sinai in Judaism, the recitation of the Koran to Mohammad in Islam, and the incarnation of the Word in the person of Jesus Christ in Christianity.)

    See Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias. You are clever in your inserting of other religions as equal.

    But the argument from design cannot, it seems to me, satisfy the need for a God who is both transcendent and immanent — the argument only seems to work if one already has that concept of God. If one takes the argument from design independent of that conception, then it seems to either go too far (how we can tell its a machine at all?) or not far enough (maybe its designer isn’t a deity at all?).

    It really doesn’t matter to me if one relies on an argument from design or not. Personally, I lean towards Creationism and not ID, per se. Although I find ID interesting, I also find it lacking, as you do also.

    In case you’re wondering, my own view is that intelligent design is incoherent if separated from theological assumptions, and that that is neither a good reason for dismissing it as “science” nor for excluding it from science education. And I say this because I do worry that if we do take its theological assumptions as reasons for excluding it from science or from science education, then we do effectively turn the Establishment Clause into a justification for a de facto institutionalization of atheism. And I do not see how that can be reconciled with the requirements of a just, decent society.

    Agreed. Actually, I don’t have a really big problem with only evolution being taught in public schools. That’s why I am a strong advocate for home-schooling. At the same time, I also don’t have a problem with ID being taught along side naturalistic evolution. But truthfully, that is more of a political argument, as you well note. I also must say that I don’t know what a “just decent” society would be from an atheistic perspective.

    DB and I are now given to calling you an agnostic. I hope that doesn’t offend.

  9. Carl wrote:

    On the one hand it is necessary to the theistic traditions that God be seen as both immanent and transcendent — that’s why revelation is so central to those traditions. (Here I’m thinking of the giving of the Law at Sinai in Judaism, the recitation of the Koran to Mohammad in Islam, and the incarnation of the Word in the person of Jesus Christ in Christianity.)

    County Shrink wrote:

    See Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias. You are clever in your inserting of other religions as equal.

    I think that’s a bit unfair, actually. I don’t think Carl is meaning to compare religions here. He’s only making the point that the concept of an immanent and transcendent God must be based on revelation (or more specifically, what each one accepts as revelation).

    I’ve read that book too, and a couple of others by Zacharias. I would recommend it as well.

  10. Hey, you never know! Stranger things have happened! 🙂

    Shrink, I think the word I used was “antagonistic,” not agnostic. Carl, has claimed he’s an atheist, so I if I did ever call you, Carl, an agnostic, I apologize!

    Well, ya both got me, didn’t ya?! Excuse me while I get my foot out of my mouth;-) My response to this post was more directed towards those like old Bobxxx, above, and not Carl!

    (Speaking of Bobxxx, his remarks on this post and one other could almost convince me that he “evolved” from chimpanzees, but I won’t go there, since that would be insulting to chimps!) I don’t care much for ya Bobxxx, but God loves you!

  11. Perhaps you have a point Mike (about me being unfair to Carl on that point). Sorry Carl.

  12. Mike, you’re right in your interpretation of what I’d meant above.

    I don’t mind being called an agnostic. In fact, I’m probably closer to being an agnostic than I am to being an atheist, if the discussion is about metaphysics and epistemology. I’m closer in sympathy to Hume than to Spinoza, and like Hume’s successors, Darwin, Huxley, James, and Dewey, my agnosticism is motivated by doubt that the human mind, as a product of selection and variation, is capable of knowing ultimate truths about anything, one way or the other. This is in sharp contrast with Spinoza, let us say, who had absolute, mathematical certainty that God was not a person and was not separate from the physical universe.

    Bertrand Russell once called himself a theoretical agnostic and practical atheist, and that fits me fairly well — though not perfectly. Russell is a strict evidentialist, I think, and I’m not, because although I think evidentialism is prudent for the conduct of science, it doesn’t work for the conduct of life. So I’m a staunch defender of what William James called “The Will to Believe,” which he later said should have been called “The Right to Believe.”

    In other words, unlike evidentialists like Russell, I don’t think that people of faith are shirking their epistemic duties — because there are limits to what such duties require of us.

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