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Crocker, Sisson, Cordova, Chenette: TV special on ID in Higher Education

Caroline Crocker

Feature: The Intelligent Design Controversy in Higher Education
This week on The Coral Ridge Hour we look at Intelligent Design, a movement which is gaining adherents at colleges and universities around the world. But what about professors who dare to challenge evolution by presenting alternatives to students? As you are about to see, the consequences can be severe.

The main focus will be the case of Caroline Crocker, a former professor of biology at George Mason University. Six years ago, in the course of her research, she came to see that Darwinian evolution was scientifically indefensible and untrue. This TV report details the ordeal she endured for the cause of scientific truth in the face of those seeking to suppress it. Edward Sisson, her attorney, will also be featured along with the GMU IDEA club president Christine Chenette and myself (the co-founder of the club). (This is the same band of rebels who were featured in a cover story by the prestigious scientific journal Nature last year.)

The news report will be featured as part of the Coral Ridge Hour, but before I offer any more details, I need to state an important disclaimer: The views of the Coral Ridge organization do no necessarily reflect my views nor the views of other authors at Uncommon Descent.

That said, go to www.coralridgehour.org to get local listings of the shows. The broadcast will also be available on the internet after Sunday. So don’t worry guys if you miss it on TV. The show will last an hour. The news report will air somewhere in between parts of a religious service, but I don’t know where. However, the internet version will carry only the news report, so you all may just decide to watch that.

In addition to Caroline Crocker’s case, this story will touch on the plight of pro-ID students in our nation’s universities. The number of ID friendly students is hard to estimate, but the best numbers I have indicate the biology curriculums have between 10%-33% pro-IDers at the freshman level. No one really knows at this time how many of those will matriculate to graduation. Furthermore, these polls were conducted with varying degrees of rigor and scope. I’ve seen estimates as high as 40% of students accepting special creation, and maybe as many as 75% are at least curious about the topics of ID and special creation. There may indeed be a revolution in the making, and only time will tell, but I’m cautiously optimistic. One can only imagine the effect on scientific culture if legions of Michael Behe’s, Paul Nelson’s, Jon Wells’, Bill Dembski’s, Phil Johnson’s start graduating from our nation’s schools in the next 20 years. You get the picture. :=)

But the aspect I focus on in this essay is not the TV special, but what the TV special signifies with Coral Ridge choosing to air the story, namely, the fact Evangelicals and creationists are warming to ID. Coral Ridge and the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) are among the first organizations that I’m aware of to have given a degree of endorsement to ID, and this broadcast is important in elevating ID’s reputation among the Evangelicals.

At Uncommon Descent we have celebrated the recent friendliness the Catholic Church has extended toward ID. What is less appreciated is that various Protestant denominations and creationists are beginning to warm to ID. This is good news for ID, because contrary to what critics of ID would have you think, there have been significant rifts between creationists and IDers. But equally important is the fact that creationists are beginning to understand that creationism is theologically premised, but ID is not.

There are many nuances to the relationship between creationists and IDers, and these nuances are not easily described. In brief, the IDers have been welcoming, but the creationists have not always reciprocated. Here was the state of affair six years ago from an IDer’s perspective:

Intelligent Design Coming Clean, November 11, 2000 by Bill Dembski

Theists of all stripes are to be sure welcome. But the boundaries of intelligent design are not limited to theism. I personally have found an enthusiastic reception for my ideas not only among traditional theists like Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but also among pantheists, New-Agers, and agnostics who don’t hold their agnosticism dogmatically. Indeed, proponents of intelligent design are willing to sit across the table from anyone willing to have us.

That willingness, however, means that some of the people at the table with us will also be young earth creationists. Throughout my brief tenure as director of Baylor’s Michael Polanyi Center, adversaries as well as supporters of my work constantly pointed to my unsavory associates. I was treated like a political figure who is unwilling to renounce ties to organized crime. It was often put to me: “Dembski, you’ve done some respectable work, but look at the disreputable company you keep.” Repeatedly I’ve been asked to distance myself not only from the obstreperous likes of Phillip Johnson but especially from the even more scandalous young earth creationists.

I’m prepared to do neither. That said, let me stress that loyalty and friendship are not principally what’s keeping me from dumping my unsavory associates. Actually, I rather like having unsavory associates

In contrast to IDers like Bill rolling out the red carpet, there has been a disappointing lack of reciprocity from the creationists, and occasional hostility. This was epitomized by an irritating YEC promotional campaign against ID: Intelligent design: is it intelligent; is it Christian? by Answers in Genesis (AiG).

But thankfully, there are some creationist and Evangelical organizations who have warmed to ID and understand that ID is not a theological body of ideas, but rather a theology-free science. This upcoming TV show symbolizes growing acceptance of ID’s theology-free origins science in its proper context within Evangelical and creationist circles. This is no small development, because IDers would do well to tap into a large base of potential interest (110 million Americans who accept special creation of humans) rather than trying to persuade individuals who have paid their mortgages and gained respect in society by promoting naturalistic evolution. (And if anyone criticizes me for making an ID sales pitch to religious organizations, I’ll counter by pointing to the NCSE’s Faith Project Director.)

What may be ironic is that the theology-free character of ID is what actually makes it very appealing to people of faith who may be sitting on the fence on various issues. Personally, 6 years ago, I was turned off by heavy-handed tactics by AiG and similar organizations who demanded blind acceptance of their origins theology and labeled anyone who disagreed with or doubted them as either compromisers or agents of the devil. When they lumped James Dobson along with the “compromisers” I decided I had my fill of the prevailing YEC culture, and rather found my home in ID’s big tent. YEC edicts demanding unquestioned belief conveyed desperation, rather than confidence in brute empirical facts. Thus I found the writings of Denton, Jastrow, Berlinski, Tipler, Barrow more compelling than Ken Ham or Henry Morris.

Interestingly in the secular colleges, I’ll ask of even the most conservative Evangelical creationists , “Assuming all things equal, with respect to science, who’s word would carry more weight with you, someone like Michael Denton or a Bible-believer like Ken Ham?” Almost invariably, they’ll answer Michael Denton! This again, reinforces the fact, theology-free science is more persuasive at defeating Darwinism than theology-filled edicts (see: Howard Van Till’s journey from Calvinism into freethought to see the effect of theology-filled edicts.)

For me personally, the challenge has been persuading people of the Evangelical faith that the science-alone approach of ID does not disrespect their practice of faith. This is challenging in light of Phil Johnson’s admonition to all IDers:

the first thing that has to be done is to get the Bible out of the discussion

Contrast this to creationist Ken Ham’s (AiG) approach:

Don’t let Bible be let out of the conversation

Argue from the authority of the Bible

Don’t let young age of the Earth be conceded as that’s how you’ll lose the argument

The problem is world views

But to people of faith, I argue Ken Ham’s approach to the exclusion of all other approaches is wrong, and often dishonoring to the very faith he professes. He is contradicted by Romans 1:20, Acts 17:16-32, John 10:38. Thus in matters of origins science, to honor my faith, to honor the promise that Nature will testify of design independent of theology, I side with Phil Johnson, and affirm that in many cases (not all), the right thing to do in God’s eyes is to:

get the Bible out of the discussion

Some Evangelicals reading this may have issues with what I said. I point out I’m not alone in my position:

The pressure to justify art, science, and entertainment in terms of their spiritual value or evangelistic usefulness ends up damaging both the gift of creation and the gift of the Gospel.

Michael S. Horton, Westminster Theological Seminary
Where in the World Is the Church?

Furthermore, ID does not claim to be infallible nor does it make any theological statement beyond the reasonableness of the scientific method. There is no reason therefore any Evangelical should consider ID contrary to their theology since ID makes no theological claims, and does not assert infallibility. It is no more theologically premised than chemistry, math, physics, and information science. However, I should point out that science with no theological premise does not mean a science with no theological implications. How can that be?

Consider the Laws of Thermodynamics. These laws are as theology-free as one can ask for. These laws strongly suggests stars cannot possibly burn forever, but if so, then that means the stars and all the universe must not have been around forever. This fact, combined with various astrophysical observations (like red shifts), forced scientists to reluctantly conclude the universe had a beginning. But a universe with a beginning has very strong theological implications even though the science leading to those implications was theology-free (see: God and the Astronomers by Robert Jastrow). And then more recently, Belinfante, Barrow, Tipler and others point out that Quantum Mechanics may necessitate a Universal Intelligence at the root of reality (see: Peer Reviewed Stealth ID Classic). In like manner, ID and its surrounding theories are theology-free, but they have theological implications.

With that in mind, I hope the readers will excuse me for trying to reach out to my fellow Evangelicals and creationists reading this weblog by quoting from the scriptures which they reverence. By doing so up front, I can reassure them that there will be times it will be more honoring to their Christian faith to take the Bible out of the discussion than to leave it in. And thus it is my hope by appealing to the beliefs they hold dear, that they will argue the case for origins in the secular world using purely scientific arguments.

50% of the US believes in special creation and another 25% might be sympathetic to some form of ID. It is within this 75% of the nation’s populace that the theoretical underpinnings of ID have the best chance of being heard, received, and researched. This 75% figure carries over to the young, who will be the scientists of tomorrow. It is this demographic group which I think we should seek to reach and encourage more than the 25% who have a financial, social, and personal interests in maintaining the status quo.

It is to that audience, that I have principally made my appeal with this essay. And I encourage this audience to support the diversity of views under ID’s big tent, and to find ways to respectfully cooperate with others who hold different personal beliefs. When an atmosphere is fostered where creationists can be welcoming and supportive of people like Michael Denton, Frank Tipler, John Barrow, David Berlinski, John Angus Campbell, John Davison, Jeffrey Schwartz, Charles Townes, and more people than I can possibly list — then a more effective path will be open for exploration of our origins.

Salvador Cordova
Salvador Cordova
PS
The battles between the die-hard YECers and IDers are there. For example, here is a tiff within my own denomination regarding YECers, IDers and holders of other views. I’m part of the Potomac Presbytery which in the following letter is seen rebuking the Westminster Presbytery: An Open Letter to Our Brother Elders of Westminster Presbytery. Also, from the Mere Creation website, here is a very good look theological issues regarding ID: Report of the Creation Study Committee (Presbyterian Church in America). Their recommendations are welcome news for ID:

Thus, the church must be prepared to address the claimed “scientific truths” of the science communities and be prepared to “manage by fact” as the data from the science pours forth. The present day intelligent design movement would appear to be a good example of how the church in the broader evangelical context can be effective in this manner.

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79 Responses to Crocker, Sisson, Cordova, Chenette: TV special on ID in Higher Education

  1. Could you clarify what you mean by “leave the Bible out of the conversation”?
    All those verses, I take, you are using to say that we can use our God given mind to figure out He is there w/o opening the Bible, but as opposed to ID, those verses are to point specifially to the Christian Triune God not some “designer.” Your church is even using ID in an “evangelical context,” I would consider this “Bibie in” and not “theologically free.” I think it is unfair to apply those verses to ID if you are not using ID to win ppl to Christ.

  2. jpark320 asked: “Could you clarify what you mean by “leave the Bible out of the conversation”?

    Exactly that, when one is trying to carry on a scientific discussion be it genetics, chemistry, mathematics, physics, information science, or intelligent design. There is nothing wrong with mentioning a personal belief, but it should be delineated from a scientific opinion. When a mathematical derivation is made, is it made any more or less true by mingling it with scripture?

    jpark320 wrote:

    All those verses, I take, you are using to say that we can use our God given mind to figure out He is there w/o opening the Bible

    Scriptures promise Nature and His works would speak of Him. Whether human minds are capable or willing to see it is another story.

    Your church is even using ID in an “evangelical context,” I would consider this “Bibie in” and not “theologically free.”

    Our church also uses electricity and water to help further the work of Christ. It does not make electricity and water “Bible in”.

    I think it is unfair to apply those verses to ID if you are not using ID to win ppl to Christ.

    The New Testament makes secular pursuits honorable in God’s eyes. Therefore even in that way, being an ID thinker is as honorable as being a mathematician or chemist. The irony is that this purely secular pursuit has the opportunity to defeat the philosophies that oppose the church. But for it to really succeed it must have the chance to be free-from theology. That means, if an IDer, like Frank Tipler says something a creationist doesn’t like, fine, it’s not rejected outright by theological fiat.

    Furthermore, I would not consider it wrong for Christians to read and seriously study Darwin’s writings or that of any other evolutionist.

    The pressure to justify art, science, and entertainment in terms of their spiritual value or evangelistic usefulness ends up damaging both the gift of creation and the gift of the Gospel.

    Michael S. Horton, Westminster Theological Seminary
    Where in the World Is the Church?

  3. Salvador,

    I’m pretty much a daily visitor to Uncommon Descent, and I appreciate much of the comment I read. I have lots of respect for what Dr. Dembski and other ID leaders are doing.

    I also have respect for what creationist ministries such as AIG and ICR do–though I’m afraid I’ve perceived representatives of the former as rather abrasive at times. Nevertheless, since these are explicitly Christian ministries, I have great respect for the logic and consistency of their YEC stance. It certainly goes against mainstream science–but then, well, so does ID.

    You quoted Ken Ham’s statement, “Don’t let young age of the Earth be conceded as that’s how you’ll lose the argument.” I suppose it depends on what you’re trying to do. If all you’re after is getting someone to accept the evidence for design, then I don’t see how the age of the earth is relevant. If you’re trying to get someone to accept the message of the Bible, then I think Ham has a point.

    I also agree with Phil Johnson’s advice to remove the Bible from the discussion of ID. After all, ID isn’t about the Bible; it’s about the recognition of design in the world. The Bible is no more necessary for this than is a knowledge of the history of Mount Rushmore required to recognize that someone–an intelligent agent–carved those faces. Apologies, I suppose, for reiterating the obvious.

    On the texts you cited: Romans 1:20–yes, certainly–and if modern science were a dispassionate search for truth, I think no one would question that there’s a an intelligent designer out there. Possibly, too, this designer would be recognized as eternal God. Of course, this recognition in itself wouldn’t lead people to answers to life’s questions or to Jesus Christ. But then, that’s not a job for science anyway–it’s the job of the Bible.

    Acts 17–yes, Paul’s talk on Mars Hill. No use of Scripture, since it wouldn’t have meant much to the audience anyway. Often contrasted in this regard with Peter’s sermon in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Paul’s approach was “culturally relevant”; however, even though he made no appeal to the Scriptures, he certainly attempted to get at the gospel, telling his listeners of the future judgment and of the resurrection of God’s Chosen One from the dead. True, he apparently lost most of his audience at this point; however, a few did stick around to hear more. Interestingly, this appears to illustrate that it’s not the Scriptures per se that turn people off; it’s the message itself that many find unpalatable.

    John 10:38–not sure what this has to do with whether one should allow the Bible in discussions of origins. Typo, or am I just missing the point?

    Will be interested in seeing the Coral Ridge show. Keep up the good work!

    Rick

  4. Sal,
    I’m glad to see you speak your mind. It makes it easier to see what you mean without any equivocation. And from this I think you have somewhat mischaraterised Ken Ham and AIG’s stance perhaps. Their stance is not that you can not know there is God (the intelligent designer in yours and my perspectives) without the Bible. They do not deny Romans 1:20 – they in fact emphaize it [ex. http://www.answersingenesis.or.....3/kids.asp

    I think the stance that needs to be distinguished is this: There is general revelation, such as God and His attributes. And general revelation can be seen from creation. Then there is special revelation whcih can not be gleened from nature. Where can you get from creation that Jesus Christ came and died for the sins of the world? You can’t – that’s why we have the Bible – it’s special revelation. Anyway, I believe that the age of the earth is a special revelation matter. We couldn’t possibly know the age of the earth without the Bible. Lay out all the data and evidence, and the best we can say is that we can’t conclude that it’s old or young. There is evidence for both, even though I’d argue it favours young. Yet, even with the preponderance of data suggesting young, how can we be sure? It’s not the same as finding a watch and saying it came about by an intelligent cause.

    Anyway, I may have missed something out of this. So, I apologize if I’m the one that actually ended up mischaracterising your points in the above.

  5. Rick,

    Thank you for your thoughts and kind words.

    (To the readers at UD, I will address my discussion to Evangelical readers. The remainder of this post is really outside ID proper, but for the sake of the Evangelicals and creationists who are curious about ID, I wish to give ID’s context in the scheme of their beliefs. So I beg your consideration.)

    Rick asked:

    John 10:38–not sure what this has to do with whether one should allow the Bible in discussions of origins. Typo, or am I just missing the point?

    The part of the passage in the NASB reads “though you do not believe Me, believe the works”. There is an interesting theology here. Christ acknowleges that someone may not have the Christian worldview. He says so by saying, “though you do not believe Me” (which means, though you’re not a Christian!).

    He then gives a remedy for not having the Christian worldview “believe the works”. I point this out to show that Ham has it backward. There are people coming to the table who may not have the worldview Ham is insisting one must have to see the works of God. The scriptures teach otherwise. One may not have the correct worldview to begin with, but one will have the capacity to “believe the works”. This tells me, worldview is secondary to brute empircal facts. Paul on the road to Damascus did not have the right world view, but brute facts changed his mind, if you know what I mean…

    Moving on, I’ve mingled with the James Madison Freethinkers for the last 3 years. One of them became a Christian, and you would be surprised what reading material I actually recommended which led to her conversion. I recommended:

    1. God and the Astronomers by the agnostic Robert Jastrow
    2.
    Evolution a Theory in Crisis by agnostic and former creationist Michael Denton

    Within six week, she read Jastrow’s books and met some Christians in class, and of her own free will, against the wishes of her family, became a Christian. She has since been very faithful to her new found beliefs.

    In 1 Peter 3:1 how an individaul can be won “without a word”.

    Thus, there are appropriate ways the faith is witnessed by:

    1. teaching of the scriptures
    2. conduct in secular affairs
    3. silence
    4. any number of other ways

    As Solomon said, there is a time for everything under the sun.

    To insist that one and only one formula is the only way I think is mistaken. I think Ham’s approach is too insistent on a single formula and goes beyond what the Scriptures actually teach, and ends up becoming dogma.

    Think what might have happened to the person above if I used Ham’s approach. Its the very approach that would have driven a free-thinker like the person in question from the Christian faith. Rather than any coercion or prodding, the young lady of her own free-will chose to read the Scriptures and accept the faith after I presented theology-free science to her. I would not have it any other way…

    What has deeply concerned me is that the attitude by the die-hard YECs is starting a minor civil war in my own denomination, and I do not want the theology-free science of ID to suffer victim to sectarian dogma. To do so would cause the church to destroy the very thing that can help defend her and her children from materialist philosophy.

    Thank you for reading.

    Salvador

  6. Hey Sal. I would like to make a few comments, me being a YEC:

    Personally, 6 years ago, I was turned off by heavy-handed tactics by AiG and similar organizations who demanded blind acceptance of their origins theology and labeled anyone who disagreed with or doubted them as either compromisers or agents of the devil.

    I don’t know what do to you mean by “blind acceptance”, but from what I have seen in AIG, their position is that the evidence is much easier explained in the Creationist framework rather than in the Darwinian one. No one in there advocates blind acceptance of anything.

    Secondly, yes, from the Creationist point of view, those who do not believe in what God said in Genesis 1-11 are willingly or unwillingly (to use your words) agents of the devil, and/or compromisers. This is not character assassination, but the position one would logically take, IF we believe that everything that goes against Revealed Authority is evil.

    When they lumped James Dobson along with the “compromisers” I decided I had my fill of the prevailing YEC culture, and rather found my home in ID’s big tent.

    Well, of Dr Dobson doesn’t take Genesis as written, what’s wrong in saying that he has compromised?

    YEC edicts demanding unquestioned belief conveyed desperation, rather than confidence in brute empirical facts.

    That is not true. Organizations like AIG, ICR or CMI give PLENTY of empirical facts that fit more nicely within the Genesis Creation account than with Darwinian philosophy. I don’t know which “creationist” sites have you been into, but your statement is very far from the truth.

    Thus I found the writings of Denton, Jastrow, Berlinski, Tipler, Barrow more compelling than Ken Ham or Henry Morris.

    Denton, Jastrow, Berlinski tell you half the story (and do good science). Ken Ham, and the late Dr Morris not only do good science, but they tell you what ID cannot say: 1) Who is the Designer (The Lord Jesus Christ) 2)WHY HE designed 3)When He designed 4) How He designed, etc, etc.

    This is not a either ID or YEC position. ONe can be simpathetic to both (like me).

    Interestingly in the secular colleges, I’ll ask of even the most conservative Evangelical creationists , “Assuming all things equal, with respect to science, who’s word would carry more weight with you, someone like Michael Denton or a Bible-believer like Ken Ham?” Almost invariably, they’ll answer Michael Denton!

    So what?

    This again, reinforces the fact, theology-free science is more persuasive at defeating Darwinism than theology-filled edicts (see: Howard Van Till’s journey from Calvinism into freethought to see the effect of theology-filled edicts.)

    It depends on what are your goals. If your goals are to ONLY show scientifically that Darwinism is wrong, you act one way. However, Creationists are not set up to show that Darwinism is wrong, BUT to lay down the Biblical foundation, starting from Genesis.

    Secondly, in the Darwinian mind (and I guess everyone would agree) there is no “theology-free” science. All interpretation of the evidence is based on your starting axioms. If you believe that Nature did its own creating, you will consider the evidence one way. If you start by assuming that there is a Designer, you will view the evidence diferently. I think this is one of the points Dr Phil Johnson makes in his lectures.

    For me personally, the challenge has been persuading people of the Evangelical faith that the science-alone approach of ID does not disrespect their practice of faith. This is challenging in light of Phil Johnson’s admonition to all IDers:

    the first thing that has to be done is to get the Bible out of the discussion

    Notice that this admonition was to all *IDers*, not to Christians. Since the ID movement is filled with non-Christians, Phil’s advice makes sence.

    Secondly, as a Christian, we are to get our ONLY Weapon against deception “out of discussion”?

    Contrast this to creationist Ken Ham’s (AiG) approach:

    Don’t let Bible be let out of the conversation

    Argue from the authority of the Bible

    Don’t let young age of the Earth be conceded as that’s how you’ll lose the argument

    The problem is world views

    Amen to that. Consider this, Sal: what is the ONe thing that will instantly show that Darwinism is wrong? Lack of time!

    If there is no time, then you don’t come from slime.

    It’s tragic for me to see Christians all over the landscape trying to defeat Darwinism with molecular biology, fossil record, genetics, but leaving “untouched” the one thing that would dismantle their card castle instantly, meaningly, time. If enough evidence could be gathered that showed that the universe is not “billions of yeasr old”, but a few thousands, it doesn’t matter how much “evidence” Darwinists would gather, since there wouldn’t be enough time for evolution to occur.

    So while people are fighting Darwinism at the TOP, they are leaving the foundation (millions of years) untouched.

    For sure you’ll say “But Mats, “Science” has shown that the universe is trillions years old!” Yeah, I have heard that before. But is it really? Consider some empirical evidence (the ones you say Creationists don’t have) in favor of a young earth:

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....1/seas.asp – by Dr Jonathan Safarti, Ph.D

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4005.asp – by Dr. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D

    But to people of faith, I argue Ken Ham’s approach to the exclusion of all other approaches is wrong,

    Why would a Creationist include aproaches that he believes are wrong? That’s like asking to ID scientists to include in the big tent people who say that there is no evidence of inteligent design in biology. Would they? Of course not, and logically right in doing so. Similarly, why would a Creationist endorse views that clash directly or indirectly with the Genesis account of creation?

    Thus in matters of origins science, to honor my faith, to honor the promise that Nature will testify of design independent of theology, I side with Phil Johnson, and affirm that in many cases (not all), the right thing to do in God’s eyes is to:

    get the Bible out of the discussion

    There is no verse in the Bible that says what the right thing to do in ANY matter is to leave the Bible out.

    That’s problematic since how do you answer to the question of deformities, without apeal to the Genesis account? Notice that I am not sayign that ID should start making apeals to Genesis. What I am saying is that you can’t blame Creationists for being consistent with their Religious Writtings. Either you think that is effective or not, that’s another point.

    Some Evangelicals reading this may have issues with what I said. I point out I’m not alone in my position:

    The pressure to justify art, science, and entertainment in terms of their spiritual value or evangelistic usefulness ends up damaging both the gift of creation and the gift of the Gospel.

    Michael S. Horton, Westminster Theological Seminary
    Where in the World Is the Church?

    Not being alone in a wrong view, doesn’t make that view right, as you will agree. Darwinists are “not alone in their view”, but that doesn’t make Darwinism right.

    Furthermore, ID does not claim to be infallible nor does it make any theological statement beyond the reasonableness of the scientific method.

    ID is being consistent with its intended goal, just like Creationists are being consistent in their intended goal. I like ID bkz it’s good science. I like YEC bkz it’s good science AND good theology. Like I said previously, this is not a “either ID or YEC”.

    By doing so up front, I can reassure them that there will be times it will be more honoring to their Christian faith to take the Bible out of the discussion than to leave it in.

    But if we “leave the Bible out of it”, we are going against our faith, SPECIALLY when it comes to Creation. We can’t leave the Bible “out of it” no more than a soldier can leave his armor, sword and breast protection out, before engaging in a combat.

    Origins is a very sensitive area, and an area where there can’t be no compromise whatsoever. You can’t possibly ask us Creationists to leave outside the Only Reliable Source of Information regarding that distant past, right?

    And thus it is my hope by appealing to the beliefs they hold dear, that they will argue the case for origins in the secular world using purely scientific arguments.

    Like they have been doing for decades BEFORE ID became what it is today. Creationists have been using scientific evidence in favor of the Genesis account for a long time.

    As a final note, I hope you don’t take my comments as some sort of attack on ID for not apealing to Genesis. I think that, as a scientific theory, ID is strong and will eventualy defeat Darwinism. The apeal it has for us Creationits is that it is closer to the Truth, and we welcome scientific sanity. However, we don’t agree with the “mear creation” position in “leaving the Bible out of it”.

    Secondly, let’s not forget why Creationists don’t leave the Bible out of it. The purpose of a Christian is not to win scientifc arguements, but to bring people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s the point in giving massive evidence for Creation, and NOT tell them Who is the Creator, why He created, why there is death and other thigns we can see in nature?

    You may not agree with the Creationist position, but you have to see what is our final goal.

  7. I’ve blogged on my own site about some of these issues, so I thought I’d share some links and some additional thoughts.

    First of all, I’ve had my own trouble joining some YEC organizations because apparently I’m not fundamentalist enough :) Some of the exclusionary policies of YEC organizations have turned off a number of YEC researchers. Some of these find a home in the ID community, others are a part of the YEC community anyway despite the flack they get.

    Anyway, I wrote about the relationship between ID and Creationism on my own blog. Basically, kind of like Sal pointed out, YEC can use ID the same way that YEC can use physics.

    However, I disagree with Sal about the Bible. As a Christian, I submit myself to scripture. Now, contrary to a few in the YEC community, I feel perfectly fine with distinguishing to others when I believe something on evidence and when I believe something on faith. In fact, I encourage people not familiar with science to not use scientific reasoning when defending their beliefs — if you believe X because you trust the Bible, that is a much stronger argument than some pseudoscientific reasoning. No one will ever be able to deny your trust in the Bible (well, that is, if your life shows it), but if you use some ill-formed scientific logic, that can be easily refuted, and hurt someone else’s faith rather than help it.

    Even further, I think that the Bible is a perfectly acceptable source for historical evidence for Christians practicing science. In fact, I would encourage Christians whose research intersects with Biblical history to unabashedly and publicly use scripture in their evaluations. The fact is that as Christians we need to be open, honest, and upfront about where our ideas come from, and what we think are the most important reasons for thinking them. We should not be shy or ashamed just because it means we might “lose” or that other people might not listen.

    Having said that, it’s interesting that ID is essentially ahistorical. Therefore, for the most part, I agree with Sal in that using the Bible for ID is not necessary (at least directly) any more than you would use the Bible for mathematics.

    As an interesting side-note, it seems that using the Bible as a historical source seems to be absolutely fine in secular science for non-Genesis texts, indicating again that the real issue is that Creationism conflicts with the materialist creation story, not that using the Bible as a guide to history in science has any fundamental flaws in and of itself.

  8. Thx for the reply Salvador :)

    I still say that using electricity, water and by the same token ID if not for the God’s glory is not a worthy secular pursuit. If you don’t give joy to even drinking orange juice you are dishonoring God – “wheter you eat or drink or whatever you do it all for the glory of God” 1 Corin 10:31. [I agree w/ Mats' reply]

    At the same time however, I agree that YECers should warm up to ID and not be so hostile against it.

    -John

  9. Also, just to point out, many in the evolution side think that Creationists are that way because their parents brought them up that way or their Church believes that way. In my own case my parents (both faithful Christians) are at least slightly dismayed at my engaging in this conversation, and my denomination has by far more theistic evolutionists than Creationists. In fact, in the seminary I’m attending starting this fall, they even have a course where they talk about the relationship of science and theology, and only talk about evolution (the closest book to ID in the class is “Finding Darwin’s God”).

  10. Sal,

    thanks for your detailed description but in my opinion things are much simpler: ID is actually a common scientific tool for everyone does not buy strict naturalism anf its explication for the real world. In this sense, as ID explicitly (and effectively) poses itself only on a strict scientific basis, so much different religious positions such as YEC, OEC, evolutionary theists (etc etc) can 8and MUST) legitimately use and cite ID. For example John Sanford in its last book does explicitly refer to Intelligent design although its declared metaphisical position is YEC. NDE supporter have perfectly understood how this is extremely dangerous for metaphisical naturalism.

    Kairos

  11. Dr. D. James Kennedy (director of Coral Ridge Ministries) is a creationist who is a great ally of intelligent design. Best of luck to all the IDers going on the show!

  12. Great post Sal.

    Here is my two cents.

    Paul said that he tried to be all things to all men that by some means he might save a few. In my experience some YEC’s say, pace Paul, “I will be one thing to all men, and if they don’t like that one thing they can be damned.”

    As has already been mentioned, Paul was one thing to the philosophers on Mars Hill, where he quoted pagan poets and not the Bible. He was something else when he debated his fellow Jewish doctors of the law, where he could thump the Bible better than any of them.

    Paul wrote, “follow me as I follow God,” i. e. follow my example. Why some YEC’s refuse to follow his example in the origins controversy is a matter that has always puzzled me. Though, having known quite a few fundamentalists over the years, I have a theory. I think it is part and parcel of their “my way or the highway” attitude. I keep trying to get them to read Romans 14 where Paul says, except with respect to the core beliefs of the faith, Christians have remarkable freedom. It saddens me that they just don’t get it.

    When I teach ID to my students I always say “leave the Bible out of it.” The debate you are in is about the general revelation. We can talk about the specific revelation later. If the debate turns on whether the earth is only 6,000 years old, you lose. Period. Setting the terms of the debate is almost as important as the debate itself.

    Ken Ham angers me when he implies that if you don’t share his interpretation of Genesis 1 you can’t be a Christian. I will take Paul’s word over Ken’s. Paul says that if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead, I shall be saved. Paul does NOT say if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead AND hold a particular hermeneutic that leads to a particular interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis I shall be saved.

    No, Ken is wrong. I did not reason forward from the truth of Genesis to the deity of Christ. I reasoned backwards from the empty tomb to the deity of Christ, and since Christ, who is God, says Genesis chapter 1 is true, I believe it is true, but I am not dogmatic about what it means. After many years of thought on the subject, I have come to a place where I am perfectly comfortable saying, “One thing I know for sure. His tomb is empty, and everything else hangs on that one thing. Other things I do not know for sure, and that’s OK.”

    Finally, I see the origins debate as a form of apologetics. Again, when I teach apologetics I tell my students that they will never save anyone through apologetics. You can’t argue someone into the kingdom. What you can do is remove barriers to belief. You are preparing the ground. You are not planting, for less reaping.

    The main problem with Darwinism from a theological perspective is its implications — there is no need for God; nature can do it all. From this follows ,“If there is no need for God, maybe there is no God.” The theory says nothing about God but it certainly has theological implications. ID also says nothing about God. But it says the only known cause of specific complex information and irreducibly complex structures is design. It too has implications. There was a designer. We don’t know who the designer was, but maybe it was God.

  13. Thanks Sal, Mats, Johnnyb, and BarryA for stimulating comments.

    May I encourage using “all of the above” as they apply to the situation at hand for a common purpose against a common enemy. See:
    “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22

    Young Earth: Some will accept evidence of a young earth, that clearly reveals a Creator and eliminates Darwinism.

    On Mars Hill, Paul appealed to an historic supernatural intervention in their own culture memorialized by altars to the unknown God – referring to stopping the plague after sacrificing to the unknown God on 7 altars. See Richardson, Don, Eternity in Their Hearts. Regal Books 1981

    Where some accept evidence and modeling that the information in the genome cannot have occurred by chance and time given all the possible time in an old universe, that equally identifies an Intelligent Designer and eliminates Darwinism.

    Information theory: Specified Information cannot be explained by Darwinism and points to Intelligent Cause or the Creator. See: See Werner Gitt, In the Beginning was Information, (2000) ISBN 3-89397-255-2 with extensive information theorems (from a YEC view, including applying them to the Bible).

    Population genetics models using ID assumptions demonstrates that the genome could not have arisen by Random Mutation and Natural Selection. See: John C. Sanford, Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (2005) ISBN: 1599190028. He reviews major literature population models (without appealing to the Bible.)

    Irreducible complexity can equally eliminate Darwinism and infer an Intelligent Designer. See Michael Behe Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (1998) and (2006) Free Press; 2Rev Ed edition (March 7, 2006) ISBN: 0743290313

    Constitutions: The Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, all presume the Supreme Being or God, either explicitly as Creator, or inferred by requiring Oaths. The majority can use these as legal common basis for appealing to the Creator, without requiring that belief of everyone.

    Bible: For those willing to accept the Bible and its historicity, that can be used to declare the Creator.

    Each is effective in certain situations. Use all tools available.
    For example: Psalm 19:1-4 NIV
    1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.
    3 There is no speech or language
    where their voice is not heard. [a]
    4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
    These demonstrates multiple levels of application:

    BibleThe Psalmist explicitly declares God’s glory as recorded in the Bible.

    Founders of Modern Science Almost all founders of modern science attributed creation to the Creator. e.g., Newton attributed planetary motion and the law of motion and gravity to the Creator.

    AstronomyMany astronomers are awestruck at wonders of creation they see. The Big Bang points to an origin, and thus logically to a Creator.

    Constellations:The names of the constellations, decans, and stars, and the stories associated with them describe the life and mission of Christ. e.g., See:
    Banks, William D.; The Heavens Declare … Impact Books 137 W. Jefferson, Kirkwood MO 63122, 1985
    Bullinger, Ethelbert W.; The Witness of the Stars, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids Michigan 49501 USA 1893, republished 1967 ISBN 0-8254-2209-4
    Seiss, Joseph; The Gospel in the Stars, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids Michigan USA 1882 republished 1972 ISBN 0-8245-3755-5

    Linguistics The Chinese language preserves heiroglyphics depicting events from Genesis 1-11 that may persuade some. See:
    Kang, C.H. & Nelson, Ethel R. The Discovery of Genesis. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis MO USA 1979, ISBN: 0-570-03792-1
    Nelson, Ethel R., Broadberry, Richard E., & Chock, Ginger Tong God’s Promise to the Chinese Read Books Pub. HCR 65 Box 580, Dunlap TN 37327 USA; 1997 ISBN 0-937869-01-5

    Effective Unity Remember: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
    Effectiveness comes by working together, including working in parallel, not from fighting each other.
    As we are given free will, so let us not try to coerce others. e.g., neither require the Bible must be used, nor forbid the Bible be used. Intelligent Design is an attempt to read the “book of nature” directly from an objective scientific perspective. That parallels reading the “book of revelation” – the Bible.
    See: Romans 1:19-20 “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    Intelligent Design Assumptions:
    Thus, ID makes assumptions that allow for identifying intelligent causation, including recent intelligent design, and/or an Intelligent Designer. These are designed to work for current, historic or origins theories. Some capabilities of the intelligent designer can be inferred from the evidence. ID assumptions do not appeal to the Bible, nor do they reject it – they parallel it.
    See: ISCID.org Brainstorm 19 Dec 2005:
    Reverse Engineering Assumptions for an Open Science Intelligent Design Theory

  14. johnnyb wrote:

    First of all, I’ve had my own trouble joining some YEC organizations because apparently I’m not fundamentalist enough Some of the exclusionary policies of YEC organizations have turned off a number of YEC researchers.

    Ain\’t that the irony, johnnyb. You and me both would be outcasts from a number of YEC places. We\’re the unsavory of unsavory associates, and I guess that would make it appropo that we\’re at Uncommon Descent (dissent)! :-)

  15. Mats: “Secondly, yes, from the Creationist point of view, those who do not believe in what God said in Genesis 1-11 are willingly or unwillingly (to use your words) agents of the devil, and/or compromisers.”

    As one who sports a bachelors degree with a minor in theology from a respected evangelical college, let me object. This is the exact kind of cornering that YEC is famous for. The YEC community condemns fellow christians for not reading the Bible with the same interpretation that they do.

    Having studied this topic, and especially Geneisis 1 and 2 carefully, let me suggest that Genesis 1 is easier to interpret as “long days” than as 24 hour days.

    Let me make the ‘mini-case’.

    1 – On interpretation of scripture, we note that God said to Adam, “In the day you eat of it, you will surely die.” At the time God said this, this was the only Scripture that had yet been revealed to Adam. Yet when Adam ate, his immediate “death” was metaphorical, not literal. His literal death came over 500 years later. This to say, a “literal unless literal cannot be supported” interpretive position is in error. I repeat, ALL SCRIPTURE THAT Adam HAD would indicate that literal, physical death should follow his sin within 24 hours. Correct interpretation was metaphorical, even though a literal interpretation was feasible.

    2 – The best single case I can find for an old earth interpretation of Geneis 1 (not the only case) is this: In Genesis 2, Adam was asked to name all of the animals. It became clear that none of the animals would make a reasonable mate for him, and Eve was made. All of this activity, especially any sense on Adam’s part of his own loneliness, fitting within 24 hours is not reasonable. Genesis 1 clearly says that on the sixth day, “man and woman created he them.” The literal interpretation, therefore, is not a comforatable fit.

    All this to say, please don’t go playing the Devil’s role of “accuser of the brethren” when trying to strong-arm us other Christians into accepting a YEC position.

    Now, I recognize that ID does not make a presentation that easily slides into the Genesis account. There is no scientific evidence of a flood that whiped out all but 7. There is no scientific evidence that man used to live for hundreds, nearly thousands, of years. There is no evidence that man began about 6 thousand years ago with a single pair. ID certainly is an uncomfortable fit with a Geneis account. I believe it necessary, however, to live within this ambiguity, and allow ID to follow the evidence wherever it leads. Time, I bet, will unify Scripture and science. I suspect that Scripture will have to move farther than my interpretation has allowed it, however.

    As far as the relationship of ID to religion goes, I don’t understand why this is a problem, yet for Jpark320 it seems to be. He says, “Your church is even using ID in an ‘evangelical context,’ I would consider this ‘Bibie in’ and not ‘theologically free.’” How do we explain the issue of horses and carts. When horses push carts, directional control is very difficult. When horses pull carts, directional control, and the horses vision, work just fine. Therefore it is important to have the horse in front of the cart, not the proverbial cart before the horse.

    Now, YEC says, “The Bible says this, let’s find facts to support it.” The result is extreme selectivity about which facts are considered. Materialists say, “We are looking for evidence that does not include a ‘God’ interpretation.” The result is extreme selectivity about which facts are considered. Lets face it, IDers have their own adjendas. However, IDers are hardly unified in their adjenda. IDers have looked at a lot of evidence that seems much easier to understand with an “intelligent cause” interpretation. This is the horse of science. This horse is, for the most part, before the cart of religious perspective. Therefore, thought the cart may well be going along for the ride, the horse is still in front, not the cart.

    Don’t beleive me? Read carefully for the religious perspectives of the scientists on this and other ID forums (Particularly note the telicthoughts.com site.) Though some have a very clear religious perspectve, others very much don’t. Now go to the YEC sites, and look at the biologists who write on those sites (there are some). Show me one who is not clearly “Judeo-Christain”. YEC is a perfect “Christan” filter, ID is by no means so.

  16. I wish to thank everyone who has posted to this thread, even those who have expressed a difference of opinion.

    As can be seen by this thread, there are a diveristy of views. I am sorry if I seem overtly bitter to AiG and ICR, but they have had a history of stabbing other YECs in the back like Barry Setterfield. They have given a rather cold shoulder to YECs like Walter Brown, A.E Wilder Smith, and various members of the Baraminilogy Study Group, and definitely YECs within the ID movement.

    I was an OEC in 2005, today I consider myself 75% YEC, but I am not dogmatic.

    I tried to point out some recent developments in my own denomination where I would be considered persona non grata, as well as the entire leadership of Potomac Presbytery where I have membership in the PCA. I’m writing this essay partly with the hope that Ham’s dogmatism doesn’t drive Christians and Christian IDers out of the church!!!!

    This would be bad for the Christian faith, and it would be bad for ID. I’m writing in an appeal to the Christians of Conservative denominations because I am concerned militant YECism can subvert interest in ID, but more importantly, that there is no need to make YECism a litmus test for someone’s Christianity.

    I will first state the die-hard YEC position as articulated by Westminster Presbytery:

    1. Westminster Presbytery

    Therefore, Westminster Presbytery does declare and make known to the world and to all churches, especially our own denomination, our churches, our presbyteries, our General Assembly and the seminaries from which our candidates arise, that we will not tolerate these views in any teaching elder seeking admittance to this Presbytery, or any other man seeking to be licensed or to become a candidate for the ministry under care of this Presbytery. Furthermore, Westminster Presbytery considers that any view which departs from the confessional doctrine of creation in six 24 hour days strikes at the fundamentals of the system of doctrine set forth in the Holy Scriptures.

    and then Potomac Presbytery’s response (I am a member of a congregation in Potomac Presbytery)

    An Open Letter to Our Brother Elders of Westminster Presbytery

    6. Finally, we are dismayed by what appear to us to be the implications of your concluding declaration: “that we will not tolerate these views in any teaching elder seeking admittance to this Presbytery, or any other man seeking to be licensed or to become a candidate for the ministry under care of this Presbytery. Furthermore, Westminster Presbytery considers that any view which departs from the confessional doctrine of creation in six 24 hour days strikes at the fundamentals of the system of doctrine set forth in the Holy Scriptures.”

    What would you have us make of this? Your assertion that there is nothing in the text to even hint at the views you condemn is surely too strong. “Strikes at the fundamentals”? How can this be so? Surely we can distinguish between faithfulness to the broad historicity of the text essential to the Gospel and the difficulty of construing certain Scripture texts in relation to statements of scientific cosmology. Are you really declaring that men such as C. Hodge, Shedd, Beattie, Adger, A.A. Hodge, Warfield, Bavinck, Machen, Schaeffer, and Gerstner, as well as many lesser but faithful servants here in Potomac, are not fit to be ministers of the Gospel in the PCA? (See, e.g., the attached statements of Shedd and Bavinck.) [Note: Not Available on the web at this time]

    Your “Declaration” appears to us to suggest that you believe we cannot live together in the same ecclesiastical fellowship–that you would have those of us who hold the views you disagree with defrocked. We may also ask, And what of those of us who share your view of Genesis 1, but do not agree that other views deny the fundamentals of our system. Is this a denial of a fundamental as well? Must we go too? Must we all be put out of office, or would you have us resign? Is this what you intend? Our brothers, we plead with you to reconsider. Please reflect upon what appears to us to be the godly wisdom of Carl Henry, one of the chief defenders of the inerrancy of God’s Word in our time. After nearly 100 pages summarizing in detail and comparing the arguments and counter-arguments of creationists, theistic evolutionists, gap and multiple gap theorists, big-bangers, naturalists, humanists, etc., Henry concludes:

    It would be a strategic and theological blunder of the first magnitude were evangelicals to elevate the current dispute over dating to credal status, or to consider one or another of the scientific options a test of theological fidelity. Faith in an inerrant Bible does not rest on a commitment to the recency or antiquity of the earth or even to only a 6000-year antiquity for man; the Genesis account does not fix the precise antiquity of either the earth or of man. Exodus 20:11, to which scientific creationists appeal when insisting that biblical inerrancy requires recent creation, is not decisive; while God’s seventh-day rest sanctions the sabbath day, Genesis hardly limits God’s rest to a 24-hour period. The Bible does not require belief in six literal 24-hour creation days on the basis of Genesis 1-2 nor does it require belief in successive ages corresponding to modern geological periods. . . .”

    “Now as never before the timeless tenets of evangelical theism need to be affirmed and reaffirmed as the great central theme of the creation account, to wit: the First Adam or man is a creation supernaturally made in the image of God, an historical being divinely fashioned from the dust of earth and rationally, morally, spiritually, genetically and culturally different from any prior species of life. Irrespective of their disagreement over the antiquity or recency of Adam, all evangelical scholars insist on the special divine creation, historicity, distinctiveness and fall of Adam, and, moreover, that the hope of humanity lies in the divine promise and provision of redemption and in the relationship of renewed man to the Second Adam and King of the Cosmos.” [From Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, vol. VI, God Who Stands and Stays, part 2 (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1983), pp. 225-226, 227.]

    For the sake of our Lord; for the sake of our past comradeship in the good cause of Scriptural and Confessional fidelity in the PCA; for the sake of our common participation in the Gospel: let not this “Declaration” be the final word.

    Unanimously adopted, 6/12/98

    Finally, the reason for this essay is becaue of my concern of militant YECism’s threat to ID. Whaterver one’s beliefs are regarding theology, I respect them, even if I disagree. I, as YEC (well 75% anyway), however am concerned for the plight of ID because of the attitude of some YECs.

    Regarding AiG and ICR, their science has often been substandard if not embarassingly wrong. It does not give a Christian much confidence that they should be right with their “my way or the highway” theological pronouncements.

    Here, for example, is the case of a minority of YECers (Barry Setterfield,Lambert Dolphin, and others) being systematically suppressed by the ICR’s staff by people like Glen Morton and Gerald Aardsma:

    Upheaval in Physics: History of the Speed of Light

    And there is a reason why the major creation organizations [like ICR] are holding his work [Barry Setterfield] at an arm’s length as well: they are sinking great amounts of money into trying to prove that radiometric dating procedures are fatally flawed. According to what Barry is seeing, however, they are not basically flawed at all: there is a very good reason why such old dates keep appearing in the test results. The rate of decay of radioactive elements is directly related to the speed of light. When the speed of light was higher, decay rates were faster, and the long ages would be expected to show up. As the speed of light slowed down, so the radioactive decay rates slowed down.

    By assuming today’s rate of decay has been uniform, the earth and universe look extremely old. Thus, the evolutionists are happy with the time that gives for evolution and the creationists are looking for flaws in the methods used for testing for dates. But if the rates of decay for the different elements have not been the same through time, then that throws both groups off! Here was an “atomic clock” which ran according to atomic processes and, possibly, a different “dynamical” clock, the one we use everyday, which is governed by gravity – the rotation and revolution rates of the earth and moon. Could it be that these two “clocks” were not measuring time the same way? A data analysis suggested this was indeed happening. Tom Van Flandern, with a Ph.D. from Yale in astronomy, specializing in celestial mechanics, and for twenty years (1963-1983) Research Astronomer and Chief of the Celestial Mechanics Branch at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., released the results of some tests showing that the rate of ticking of the atomic clock was measurably slowing down when compared with the “dynamical clock.” [9] (Tom Van Flandern was terminated from his work with that institution shortly thereafter, although his work carries a 1984 publication date.)

    Whether Barry Setterfield is right or wrong, dogmatism is bad for open and free exploration. Setterfield’s ideas may have the chance to rescue YEC theory, but if it’s systematically suppressed by ICR and AiG, what chance will it have unless more free-thinking YECs advocate open inquiry.

    Salvador

  17. Discovery Institute Fellow John Angus Campbell (the one Darwinist I\’ve ever know to receive a standing ovation and Amens from YECs!) pointed me to these words by John Stuart Mill. It sets the spirit for the exploraiton of ID, and unwittingly gives reason why ID will be in then end more presuasive then prodding people to subscribe to credal edicts. A confession of faith should be voluntary after all, not compulsory:

    On Liberty

    But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. …

    We have now recognized the necessity to the mental well-being of mankind (on which all their other well-being depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion, on four distinct grounds; which we will now briefly recapitulate.

    First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.

    Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.

    Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds.

    And not only this, but fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good, but encumbering the ground, and preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, from reason or personal experience.

  18. “from the Creationist point of view, those who do not believe in what God said in Genesis 1-11 are willingly or unwillingly (to use your words) agents of the devil, and/or compromisers. This is not character assassination, but the position one would logically take, IF we believe that everything that goes against Revealed Authority is evil.

    Well, of Dr Dobson doesn’t take Genesis as written, what’s wrong in saying that he has compromised?”

    I consider myself an Evangelical Christian, but I am not a YEC and I do not believe that the Bible teaches a young Earth. The 6-8 thousand year old Earth was not even a popular belief among Christians until about 200 years ago. The age, from what I can tell, is measured by YEC’s by using the genealogy, but this is flawed, IMO because there is a difference between Hebrew and English and words like “son” in Hebrew cannot be properly translated into English. The Hebrew word for “son” and “father” can mean several generations… just like Jesus was called the Son of David. He wasn’t literally David’s son, but instead he was David’s ancestor. So if this is all we were told, “Jesus is the son of David”, then how could we possibly measure time?

    The other problem I see with YEC’s is their view in a literal six day. Not that it can’t be true, but why would someone who didn’t believe it be labeled a compromiser? Here again is a place in the Bible where the Hebrew word doesn’t properly translate to English. The word “day” can also mean “eon.” And in some ways that makes more sense than a 24-hour period anyway, because a day (sun rise and set and rise again) could not have existed before God created it (the sun was not created until day 4). For me there is no compromise in believing in both a 13 billion old Earth and that dinosaurs and man did NOT live together, because I don’t believe the Bible says anything contrary to those beliefs.

    And no, I don’t believe that those people who DO have contrary beliefs to the Bible is evil (any moreso than myself, at least).

  19. I mean David’s decendent… or David was His ancestor.

  20. Salvador, great points as always.

    I don’t think YEC is irrational or that it is wrong to cite the Bible as your authority in understanding matters of the universe. Doing so, however, is entirely a matter of faith and a definitive rebuttal is beyond scientific debate, hence “The Earth is young because the Bible says it” is not science.

    It is not beyond the pale to use the Bible as a starting point to find testable truth, and this has been done in archaeology, but of course once things are claimed to be testable, they can be tested and subject to failure which means it is a grave mistake to base one’s faith in the spirtual on the testable.

    Anyway:

    Happy the man who bears within him a divinity, an ideal of beauty and obeys it; and ideal of art, and ideal of science, an ideal of country, and ideal of the virtues of the Gospel.
    – Louis Pasteur

  21. Doing so, however, is entirely a matter of faith and a definitive rebuttal is beyond scientific debate, hence “The Earth is young because the Bible says it” is not science.
    And, of course, just because it’s not science, doesn’t mean it’s not true. :-)

  22. Mats,

    I hope what I have written has not unduly offended you. Whether I am right or wrong, I hope you will not cease from your particiaption at UD because of what I and others have said.

    Even if you disagree with me, IDers can ill afford to lose the support of people like you. So, my apologies if I have offended you. That was not my intent.

    Salvador

  23. Sal –

    I have to agree with you here. It often seems that YECs (if not the scientists, certainly the non-scientists) want to get too quickly “married” to an idea and say “this is the truth”. What often happens is the same thing that they complain about happening in the secular world — if your faith is bound on science which is changing constantly, then your faith will be changing constantly. This is true whether your science is uniformitarian or catastrophism.

    This is why I was thrilled to see in the latest Journal of Creation a paper on australopithecus walking upright. This is very significant because it goes against a lot of what has been published in that journal previously, and on their websites. Now I don’t personally care whether australopithecus walked upright or not. But it is encouraging that JoC/TJ was able to put aside the impact that the paper might have on their previous apologetics and publish the paper.

    I also think that there is a difference between science led by apologetics and science led by faith. I hope for less of the former and more of the latter. I certainly don’t mind apologetics, but I think it has been shown to be dangerous for science to be led primarily by apologetic reasoning, and in fact there is more apologetic value in science led by faith than apologetics.

    Having said that, I don’t hold the same contempt for many of the YEC organizations and activities (past and present) that many in the ID movement do. I think they have served a significant purpose — if only sometimes to get people thinking about and asking the questions that hadn’t been asked for a long time. If I remember correctly, Dembski, while he does not subscribe to the YEC/flood geology view, was first inspired by reading one of Morris’s books.

    I think I can safely say that for many of the people doing good science in a Christian perspective, very few of them would have even thought to do so if it weren’t for the work of those organizations who have gone before, even if we don’t approve of everything they do, teach, or even how they go about their work.

  24. DLH wrote:

    On Mars Hill, Paul appealed to an historic supernatural intervention in their own culture memorialized by altars to the unknown God – referring to stopping the plague after sacrificing to the unknown God on 7 altars. See Richardson, Don, Eternity in Their Hearts. Regal Books 1981

    Thank you for that data point. I did not know that. In our day and age, with respect to the origin of the universe, it is the Unknown Intelligent Designer.

    To the readers at UD who come to the discussion from a different persptective than those represented here, I’d like to thank your indulgence for allowing me to to discuss things outside of ID proper.

    I felt it necessary because, as is often the case, it is one’s philosophy that may support or resist the theology-free approach of ID. Furthermore, many creationists do not understand what ID really is, and it was my hope that this essay would especially educate creationists what ID is and is not.

    Coral Ridge is a PCA ministry with strong creationist ties. I am glad to see creationists from such a concervative organization report favorably on ID. This is not as big news as Pope Benedict’s friendliness to ID, but in my circles, it’s big news!

  25. Sal,
    I’ve felt the speed of light would be related to the rate of radioactive decay. That has been my gut instinct. Of course, that is just me & my gut :) And I once posted a remark based on my gut before, that I was curious if it had any merit. Let me ask you – Do you think that there are any reasons that the rate of expansion, or amount of expansion of the universe (my thoughts are revolving around space density) has any bearing on the speed of light and/or rate of radioactive decay? I hope this isn’t too off topic.

    BTW: I do also think this (the ‘constancy’ of the speed of light) is something that should be considered seriously.

  26. Whatever a creationst may say about IDers theologically, to the extent they keep selling pro-ID books by those who accept Old-Earth and/or common ancestry, I’m not going protest.

    I found this heretical Old Earth and/or common ancestry pro-ID material at the AiG bookstore:

    Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe

    Evolution a Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton

    Or how about this scripture free creationist offering by IDer Walter ReMine
    The Biotic Message

    or this one by an old Earth non-Evangelical

    Not by Chance by Lee Spetner

    or this at ICR by Phil Johnson:
    Darwin on Trial

    Actually the ICR carries all of Johnson’s books. I would hope they’ll be willing to carry Privileged Planet by Gonzalez, but maybe that would be a bit much. :-)

  27. Hi BarryA. I would like to comment on your post #12

    Paul wrote, “follow me as I follow God,” i. e. follow my example. Why some YEC’s refuse to follow his example in the origins controversy is a matter that has always puzzled me.

    If you notice in Paul’s speach in Mars Hill he starts with Creation (Acts 17:24), mentioning that we all descendents of one man (17:26), as mentioned in Genesis, and ends up in the Gospel (17:31). This is PRECISELY the methodology used by YEC’s. So, when you attack YEC’s methods, you are actually attacking the method used by the apostle when among a non-Creation based culture. The problem is that non YEC preach to evolutionists as if they are talking with a creation based culture, thus, not having an kind of Biblical foundation.

    If the debate turns on whether the earth is only 6,000 years old, you lose. Period.

    That’s your view, and I respect it, but if you read more YEC material, specially the sites I provided to Sal, you’ll see that the evidence best fit with YEC.
    Secondly, naturally, if you are teaching ID, you leave the Bible out since ID is not religion. But that is what IDers do, not Christians. When Christians talk about origins we cannot leave the Bible out, since it’s the ONLY Reliable Source for origins information.

    Ken Ham angers me when he implies that if you don’t share his interpretation of Genesis 1 you can’t be a Christian.

    Where exacly did he say that? Can you provide any reference for this claim? I very much would love to see that, Barry, considering that AIG never denies that one can be a Christian and believe that the world is millions of years old.
    But anyway, I would love to see the reference for your claim.

    I will take Paul’s word over Ken’s.

    Then you should preach just like Paul did, using the Genesis testemony as a starting point, and ending with the Gospel, like AIG does.

    Paul says that if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead, I shall be saved. Paul does NOT say if I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God has raised him from the dead AND hold a particular hermeneutic that leads to a particular interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis I shall be saved.

    This is ……ludicrous! I can’t believe you made this type of arguement. Are you serious?!

    No, Ken is wrong. I did not reason forward from the truth of Genesis to the deity of Christ.

    Paul did. Was he wrong?

    I reasoned backwards from the empty tomb to the deity of Christ, and since Christ, who is God, says Genesis chapter 1 is true, I believe it is true, but I am not dogmatic about what it means.

    Are you “dogmatic” about the Deity of the Lord? Why? And if you are “dogmatic” about the Deity of the Lord Jesus, why not be consistent and be “dogmatic” with the rest of the Holy Bible? Or you are selectively “dogmatic”?

    After many years of thought on the subject, I have come to a place where I am perfectly comfortable saying, “One thing I know for sure. His tomb is empty, and everything else hangs on that one thing. Other things I do not know for sure, and that’s OK

    Others have given many years of thought and have concluded that Gensis 1 is totally essential for a consistent Christian doctrine, and they are not ashamed in being “dogmatic” about the Truth. The BIble says “no lie is of the Truth”, so there is no harm in being intolerant of evolutionary falsehoods.

  28. Salvador, You said:
    “Actually the ICR carries all of Johnson’s books. I would hope they’ll be willing to carry Privileged Planet by Gonzalez, but maybe that would be a bit much.”

    Just to let you know, I live in San Diego near ICR. For convenience, I bought my copy of Priviledged Planet DVD in ICR’s bookstore, as well as ‘Unlocking the Mystery of Life’ – and Behe’s book & Remine’s book…etc… and they are online:
    http://www.icr.org/store/index.....ts_id=2638
    http://www.icr.org/store/index.....ts_id=2550

    I hope this puts you at ease ;) joking

  29. Gentleman (and ladies),

    I sense we are not going to agree on many issues, and I perhaps am as guilty as any for lighting a fire in the forest.

    But before we descend into anything like a PZ vs. Lenny Flank exchange, please everyone try to calm down.

    I’ve accused Ham of being unbiblical, and I can understand why others may see me as unbiblical.

    My aim was to appeal to creationists who are undecided about ID. I’m distressed to hear things like Intelligent design: is it intelligent; is it Christian?.

    Ok, let’s say for argument sake a creationist have issues with ID on theological grounds, can I at least count on you guys to support us on scinetific grounds? Mats, jpark320, your help, please?

    ID can ill afford making any more enemies than it already has. If you can support the science within ID, perhaps that is the most I can ask from some.

    If there are congregational elders out there reading this, I hope that I have at least made the point clear ID does NOT assert to be infallible or God’s word, any more than scientific theories like Zero-Point-Energy or quasi-particle theory. Because ID does not claim infallibility, there is no reason I think it should be rejected on theolgoical grounds. As a theory, it will ultimately live or die on brute empirical and theoretical facts.

    Salvador

  30. hey bFast. Allow me to comment on a few points:

    Let me make the ‘mini-case’.

    1 – On interpretation of scripture, we note that God said to Adam, “In the day you eat of it, you will surely die.” At the time God said this, this was the only Scripture that had yet been revealed to Adam. Yet when Adam ate, his immediate “death” was metaphorical, not literal. His literal death came over 500 years later. This to say, a “literal unless literal cannot be supported” interpretive position is in error. I repeat, ALL SCRIPTURE THAT Adam HAD would indicate that literal, physical death should follow his sin within 24 hours. Correct interpretation was metaphorical, even though a literal interpretation was feasible.

    Actually, bFast, the hebrew reads “dying you shall die”, and Adam started to die when he sinned. Thus, this arguement won’t stand.

    The best single case I can find for an old earth interpretation of Geneis 1 (not the only case) is this: In Genesis 2, Adam was asked to name all of the animals. It became clear that none of the animals would make a reasonable mate for him, and Eve was made. All of this activity, especially any sense on Adam’s part of his own loneliness, fitting within 24 hours is not reasonable. Genesis 1 clearly says that on the sixth day, “man and woman created he them.” The literal interpretation, therefore, is not a comforatable fit.

    Actually, bFast, Adam was to name all the basic KINDS God created. For example, the lion, the tiger, the cheetah and the bobcat, and all other interfertile large felines could have come from a single created kind. Thus, he didn’t have to name “millions” of animals, but only the basic kind.

    Secondly, he only had to name land animals and birds (Gen 2:20).

    bFast, all these arguements against the literal days in Genesis are written over and over again in YEC’s sources. I am sure you can find them in there..

    All this to say, please don’t go playing the Devil’s role of “accuser of the brethren” when trying to strong-arm us other Christians into accepting a YEC position.

    Paul accused his brethren Peter when he saw that Peter was wrong doing. Why can’t YEC’s do the same, respectfully and in loving manner, to those who profess the CHristian faith yet deny the plain meaning of Genesis?

    There is no scientific evidence of a flood that whiped out all but 7.

    Except for the million of fossils found all over the world.

    Seven? WHo did you leave out? The Bible says 8 people (Gen 7:7, Gen10:1):

    Noah + his wife – 2
    Shem + his wife – 4
    Jephet + his wife – 6
    Ham + his wife – 8

    Anyway, I hope you don’t take offense at my comments. In no way I mean any harm. I just hope people would stop and think about the mindset that says “YEC is going nowhere, let’s all jump into the ID bandwagon”. Perhaps the attacks Darwinists make upon ID as being “Creationism in disguise” leads many IDers people say unfriendly things about Creationism, but, in my view, I don’t think that is necessary. ID can stand on its own, and Creationism has clearly stood on its own for decades.

    God bless

  31. Mats,

    One of my posts is apparently in the moderation queue (probably spam filtering).

    I can see the members here have irreconcilable differences on theology. Can we just agree to disagree at this point, lest this thread seriously deteriorate?

    Can I count on your support of ID as a scientific exploration? Can I count on you to try to let people know ID does not assert infallibility or even theology?

    ID can ill afford to lose the support of creationists, imho.

    Salvador

  32. Greetings,

    I would like to pose a question for any OEC Bible-believing Christian in this discussion. If, hypothetically, God had indeed created the world in six actual 24 hour days, how would Genesis 1 have been written?

    If you are a OEC Christian, you MUST believe the Genesis text to read that the world was created in days (periods), each consisting in millions of years. Therefore, how would Genesis have been written if God had intended to convey that He created the world in six 24 hour days?

    On a side note, it is interesting that “day” in Hebrew is never associated with a long period of time when an ordinal adjective (i.e. the sixth day) is associated with it.

    Thanks,
    Saxe

  33. J Guy!

    Thanks! There is hope this world yet. ICR sells heretical Old-Earth pro-ID material:

    Privileged Planet

    How scandalous.

    Salvador

  34. J Guy,

    I did not see your earlier posts. Some things that get stuck in the moderation queue are beyond my control.

    I can appreciate it may seem I mischaracterized Ham. All I can say is that the letter from my Presbytery shows deep concern that people like me would become outcasts in the church, and even though I’m a creationist! This is negative development by for ID in the PCA that is thankfully being counter balanced by other Presbytery’s such as mine and D. James Kennedy’s and the General Assembly.

    For example, it is public knowledge, David Snoke is an elder in the PCA as well as a respected physicist. Will he be ditched from service if he happens to discuss Old-Earth ideas (I do not know what he believes, I’m only pointing out a hypothetical situation)? Or gasp, what if he is caught showing clips of Privileged Planet to others?

    I guess in the spirit of news reporting, it is apparent, that in some respects I’m concerned that ID might get dismissed by theological fiat. Thus, I find myself in the unenviable position of someone like Eugenie Scott pleading with people of faith that the idea I’m selling is theologically neutral. lol!

    Finally regarding speed of light and the outcast of outcasts, you may want to read: Brown on Setterfield, Barrow, Trotsky, Van Flandern and others.

    And finally, just to let you know there are competing ideas on the subject, read:
    Reports of the Death of Speed of Light Decay are Premature. It details a legendary parry between 2 groups of YECs:

    Setterfield, Norman, Dolphin and Montgomery (independents)

    vs.

    Aardsma (ICR), R. H. Brown (GRI-Loma Linda), Humphreys(ICR-AiG) and Evered

    And if you really want some mental exercise, you might visit http://www.setterfield.org

    Salvador

  35. Matts,

    Very briefly:

    “If you notice in Paul’s speech in Mars Hill he starts with Creation”

    Yes, but he did not pound them over the head with a particular interpretation of Genesis. He was speaking of creation generally, not the Genesis account. He was doing nothing more than building common ground with fellow theists. To suggest that he was arguing for a particular view of scripture is not supported by the text.

    “but if you read more YEC material, specially the sites I provided to Sal, you’ll see that the evidence best fit with YEC.”

    I have been studying YEC material for decades, including but not limited to, AiG and ICR. I remain unconvinced. I do not exclude a young earth in principle. God may well have created the universe with an illusion of vast age. Being God, that’s his prerogative. All I am saying is that I remain unconvinced that we can be certain that He did so.

    “But that is what IDers do, not Christians.”

    Well, I hope there is some overlap between the two categories.

    “When Christians talk about origins we cannot leave the Bible out, since it’s the ONLY Reliable Source for origins information.”

    The Bible itself refutes this statement. Look at Psalm 19 (quoted already above) and Romans 1.

    “‘Ken Ham angers me when he implies that if you don’t share his interpretation of Genesis 1 you can’t be a Christian.’ Where exactly did he say that?”

    Maybe it’s just Ham’s arrogance that angers me. I have personally watched him on TV and listened to him on the radio. He almost always asks the question, “If you don’t believe Genesis chapter 1 [by which he means if you don’t believe his interpretation of Genesis chapter 1], how can you believe the rest of the Bible?” The implications of the question are clear enough. I would like to see where he flatly says an OEC can be a Christian. Please provide a source.

    “‘No, Ken is wrong. I did not reason forward from the truth of Genesis to the deity of Christ.’ Paul did. Was he wrong?”

    Actually, Paul reasoned from being whacked on the road to Damascus to the existence of a whacker.

    “Are you ‘dogmatic’ about the Deity of the Lord? Why?”

    Yes. I am a Christian and this is the central tenant of the Christian faith. If I were not dogmatic about this, I would not be a Christian.

    “And if you are ‘dogmatic’ about the Deity of the Lord Jesus, why not be consistent and be ‘dogmatic’ with the rest of the Holy Bible? Or you are selectively ‘dogmatic’?”

    Why yes, I am selectively dogmatic. About the essentials of the faith (i.e., dogma), I am dogmatic. About matters that are not essential (i.e., non-dogma), I am not dogmatic. Read Romans 14.

  36. Sal,

    Nothing in my posts sugests that I deny ID’s place as a valid scientific theory. My comments were to clarify some issues regarding Genesis, Young Earth Creationists and their relationship with ID.

    I hope nobody’s toes were stepped on. ;)

    God bless!

  37. Mats,

    God bless you as well. We can ill afford to be at odds.

    But if I may plead that you consider something. To be mistaken is not the same as being a compromiser. Even in the Old Testament the Lord distinguished between willful sin and unintended wrongs.

    Let’s hypothetically say YEC is true. Would that make James Dobson a compromiser (a person willfully defying God to please the world) or someone mistaken? The label compromiser or servant of evil carries horrible connotations, and if in the eyes of God distinctions are made between willful sin and that which is wrong but unintended, then how much more ought Christians to bear with those, even leaders who are well-meaning but perhaps mistaken.

    For OECs and IDers to be labeled such things I think is unjust.

    But even more to the point of why there is distaste over this issue amongst your OEC and OE-IDer brethren: in Academia, it’s the Old-Earth IDers who are being persecuted and who are suffering. They have been the one’s showing character and evidencing quite the opposite of people who could be labled “compromisers”. It is they who are assailing the once impregnable fortresses of materialism, and it is they who are suffering casualties.

    Consider that Guillermo Gonzalez was confronted with hundreds of signatures plastered on the doors protesting his work, that people are doing what they can to ensure he is punished for his work on Privileged Planet — isn’t it a bit much for YECs (such as those in Westminster Presbytery) to label people like Gonzalez “compromisers”?

    Thankfully, for me, I’m in Potomac Presbytery where I won’t be hunted down as a heretic. And one congregation in our Presbytery, McLean Presybyterian, Virginia (PCA) showed Privileged Planet on a Friday night last Fall. I find it a little much to be labeling such activities as compromise or spreading the lies which lead to decay in morals and society.

    And the real irony is ICR is selling the video! I mean, is ICR now being complicit in perpetrating stealth OEC? I would assert, perhaps there are things of greater priorty which should be granted credal status (as in what is required for church membership or leadership). I don’t think such things as ID or age of the Earth should be elevated to credal status. Even though I do believe there is a right and factual answer regarding origins, and even though I lean toward YEC, if someone is undecided or even mistaken about what is true on these issues, perhaps these matters are not something that should be used to describe someone’s character.

    The end result of such labeling is only ruffling feathers, and giving the materialists more opportunity to over run our churches as we exercise our freedom of religion.

    God bless you, Mats. And I hope we can work together, and that the creationists will find ways to support the theology-free science of ID.

    Salvador

  38. Hey BarryA. Here are my comments:

    “If you notice in Paul’s speech in Mars Hill he starts with Creation”

    Yes, but he did not pound them over the head with a particular interpretation of Genesis.

    Actually, he says that God is the Creator, and that all mankind comes from ONE man, as clearly stated in Genesis.
    Secondly, no one said that Paul “pounded” anyone’s head. My point is that the methodology used by Paul when dealing with non-Creation based culture is the same AIG, ICR and CMI use to this very day.

    If you notice Paul’s speach to the Jews, you’ll notice that he seldom (if ever) apeals to Creation. Why? Bkz the Jewish culture was already a Creation based culture.
    For an example of what I mean, you should try to get Ken Ham’s final speach on the Mega Creation Conference – 2005.

    I have been studying YEC material for decades, including but not limited to, AiG and ICR. I remain unconvinced.

    Well, that’s your problem not theirs.

    God may well have created the universe with an illusion of vast age. Being God, that’s his prerogative. All I am saying is that I remain unconvinced that we can be certain that He did so.

    If the Word of God is not enough to convince you, then nothing will.

    “When Christians talk about origins we cannot leave the Bible out, since it’s the ONLY Reliable Source for origins information.”

    The Bible itself refutes this statement. Look at Psalm 19 (quoted already above) and Romans 1.

    Really? Can you know by looking at the heavens why God created? Can you know when God created by looking at nature? Can you say, without the Bible, why there is death, desease and sufering in the world? Can you say, without the BIble, why we have a 7 day week? Can you say, without the Bible, which life forms were created first, and whcih caem later? etc, etc.
    For a Christian, the Bible is the Starting Point and the Final Authority in matters of Creation.

    Maybe it’s just Ham’s arrogance that angers me. I have personally watched him on TV and listened to him on the radio. He almost always asks the question, “If you don’t believe Genesis chapter 1 [by which he means if you don’t believe his interpretation of Genesis chapter 1], how can you believe the rest of the Bible?”

    That is 100% right. If not, just think of this: Genesis 1-11 is written in the narrative fashion as Genesis 12 onwards. If you say that Gen 1-11 is not a recoletion of historical events, how do you know that Gen 12 is? What makes you judge that Gen 1 is not an historical description of events, and Gen 12, where Abram leaves his homeland, is?

    When does God start telling the truth? In Exodus? Or maybe in Numbers? Or perhaps in 2 Kings? See, if you open the door to “alternative interpretationss”, totaly void of Biblical consistency, you will loose all the ground you need.

    Think of this: what do you think destroyed Christianity in most european nations? Wasn’t it the compromise Christian churches did with the milliosn of years? ONce that door was opened, evolution came in and defeat soon after.

    I would like to see where he flatly says an OEC can be a Christian. Please provide a source.

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....000626_ans
    In here, you’ll see that he doesn’t deny that you can be a Christian and believe in evolution. What he points out is the inconsisteny of such a position. Regarding your question: in order to be an evolutionist, you haev to accept the “millions of years”, therefore, we can infer that, in Ken’s View, you can believe in millions of years and be a Christian. However it is very inconsistent.

    “Are you ‘dogmatic’ about the Deity of the Lord? Why?”

    Yes. I am a Christian and this is the central tenant of the Christian faith.

    So is the Fall, the literal Garden of Eden, the literal Curse, the doctrine of marriage, presented initialy in Genesis, the literal creation week, etc, etc. If you don’t believe in the “bad news” mentioned in Genesis, you don’t have no foundation for the Good News. The reason we have the Good News it’s due to what happened in Genesis 3. If you knock down the Authority of your own Holy Bool RIGHT where it sets the tone for the rest of the Book, you loose all stand.
    That is why the humanists are so interested in shoving Evolutionism into the churches, bkz they know that, the moment you accept it, you are rejecting Genesis, and in turn, opening the door for totaly eradication of Christianity. Just see what happened in Europe.

    I am selectively dogmatic. About the essentials of the faith (i.e., dogma), I am dogmatic.

    How do you determine what is “essential” ?

  39. Salvador, thanks for explaining your use of John 10:38. In context, Jesus was answering a charge of blasphemy. He appears to have been telling his accusers to look past the difficulty they had with his claim to be the Son of God and recognize that his life, and the works (“miracles” in NIV) he did, were consistent with the works of God. This recognition should lead them to believe that that he was, in fact, one with the Father.

    Salvador wrote: “To insist that one and only one formula is the only way I think is mistaken.”

    Certainly. The biblical examples of Peter at Pentecost and Paul on Mars Hill gives evidence of this. Of course, consistent with the illustration you gave of the woman you met in the Freethinkers group, being flexible with one’s approach doesn’t negate the Christian’s objective of leading people to Christ.

    Salvador wrote: “What has deeply concerned me is that the attitude by the die-hard YECs is starting a minor civil war in my own denomination, and I do not want the theology-free science of ID to suffer victim to sectarian dogma.”

    This is too bad. It sounds like something that can cause you only grief and frustration. Now, in a Christian denomination, I believe there is good reason for insisting on YEC. At the same time, it sounds as though the ones who are doing so in your denomination may be taking an unwise approach; and this, unfortunately, can give a very negative slant to a position that is essentially sound. While I certainly wouldn’t promote materials whose objective was to help Christians harmonize the Bible with a belief in an old earth, I would have no hesitation at all with materials that are strictly on ID. Although such materials may assume and allude to the conventional age of the earth and universe, that issue is extraneous to their main point.

    As I’ve looked through the many comments that have been accumulating here, I’ve read things I very much agree with, as well as things that seem to me foolish or misinformed. Part of me is inclined to respond to specifics, but what would be the point? This forum isn’t about theology, after all; it’s about ID–and I’m sure that most of the people who have contributed to this thread would agree that the evidence for design is obvious. When it comes to ID, I think most of us are on the same side of the fence.

    It has been noted that YEC Christians have seemed rigidly unreceptive to ID, and there is some justification for this perception (e.g., in some of what appears on the AIG Web site). On the other hand, as a Christian who holds firmly to the YEC perspective, I have seen unfavorable allusions from others in the ID camp to those who believe the earth is only around 6,000 years old–as though we’re still clinging childishly to outmoded fundamentalist beliefs. The difference, perhaps, is that some of the detracting remarks on the YEC side have actually come from official leaders. I’m not aware of any ID leaders similarly distancing themselves from YEC Christians in a public way. To the contrary, I noted with appreciation Dr. Dembski’s response to the advice to “distance” himself from the “obstreperous” Phil Johnson and especially from those (cringe) young-earth creationists.

    Yet YEC and ID should have no conflict. As far as I know, ID as a developing field of scientific inquiry doesn’t make claims beyond the fact that design is detectable and that the design we see in the natural world is real and therefore indicative of intelligence.

    Salvador, I’ve seen evidence of your participation in lots of places where the issue of origins science comes up, and I think that’s great. You’re not just “preaching to the choir” but seem to be challenging the opponents on their own ground. I have a lot of respect for those who have the courage to do that and could wish I saw this admirable virtue in myself. I likewise have much respect for people like Dr. Dembski and others in the ID movement. I know I would disagree with many of them on the age of the earth; however, these guys are at the forefront of something I think is very important, and I admire them for it. They are actually getting their hands dirty and drawing fire by speaking, publishing, and providing the rest of us with good resources.

    Rick

  40. Rick Thanks for the reminder on focusing on being on the same side.
    per my #13 above, encourage focusing back on what are the issues that matter in building ID to be a “big tent” that clearly detects intelligent causation in recent, historic and origin situations.
    Then two tasks:

    1) Apply the principles to the data, show clear evidence of intelligent causation,

    2) Develop a robust theory of Intelligent Design that is much more useful and predictive than “macroevolution” and abiogenesis based on materialistic naturalism.

  41. Matts,

    My last comment on this subject:

    “If the Word of God is not enough to convince you, then nothing will.”

    Arrogant statements like this make it hard to have a dialogue.

    You said: “When Christians talk about origins we cannot leave the Bible out, since it’s the ONLY Reliable Source for origins information.”

    I replied: “The Bible itself refutes this statement. Look at Psalm 19 (quoted already above) and Romans 1.”

    Then you said: “For a Christian, the Bible is the Starting Point and the Final Authority in matters of Creation.”

    Can you see how you argued one thing in your first post and something else in your second. First you say the Bible is the ONLY (your emphasis) source. Then you say the Bible is the “Starting Point.”

    “When does God start telling the truth?”

    God started telling the truth in Genesis 1:1. Unlike you, I do not claim to have an infallible understanding of what that truth is.

    You need to go back and listen to the Ken Ham link you sent me. It does not say anything about whether an OEC can be a Christian. It just says an evolutionist cannot be.

    Me: “I am a Christian and this [i.e., the deity of Christ] is the central tenant of the Christian faith.”

    You: “So is the Fall, the literal Garden of Eden, etc., etc., etc.”

    Are you saying that ALL of the doctrines of Christianity are the central doctrine of Christianity. You seem to be, and that makes no sense.

    Me: “I am selectively dogmatic. About the essentials of the faith (i.e., dogma), I am dogmatic.”

    You: “How do you determine what is ‘essential’ ?”

    Good question. Some churches use grape juice for the Lord’s Supper. Others use wine. Should the juicers say to the winers you have violated a central tenant of the faith, so you are no longer Christians.” (or vice versa). I am sure you will agree they should not.

    In some churches they say, “Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity.” In other churches they say, “Jesus was a great prophet, but he was not God.” Should the “Jesus is God” side say to the other “You have rejected a fundamental tenant of the faith as confessed by everyone, at all places in all times for 2,000 years. If you do not repent you will die in your sins.” I am sure you will agree the answer is yes.

    Somewhere between those two poles is a line. On one side of the line are “essentials.” On the other side are “nonessentials.” The line may be fuzzy. I do not deny that, but there surely is a line nevertheless. How should I judge people on the non-essential side of the line. The answer is, who am I to judge another’s servants. To their own master they will stand or fall, and they will stand, because God is able to make them stand.

    Best wishes to you.

    Barry

  42. Here is snapshot of what our embattled IDEA club witnessed last year at GMU, which affected OECs, YEC-IDers and people of all faiths, not just Christians:

    1. Caroline Crocker dismissed from the school

    2. Professors who didn’t come forward in the Nature article fearful of reprisals if they did

    3. GMU staff reluctant to be advisors to IDEA for fear of reprisal

    4. Pro-ID students subject to humilation by Darwinist professors. Pro-ID biology students shouted at by Darwinist professors.

    5. December 1, 2005 the science faculty corral 400 or so GMU students to a talk given by Eugenie Scott “Why Scientists Reject ID”. Many of the students were required by their science professors to attend this talk. No disrespect to Eugenie (see : My Correspondence with Eugenie Scott, but GMU (a state school) was spending money to publicly slam ID with no opportunity for rebuttal. This amounted to a public humilation of pro-ID students and pro-ID faculty.

    There are OECs and YEC-IDers and people of other faiths bearing the brunt of these developments at secular campuses. That is why, I’m a bit disappointed that certain YEC communities (like AiG) so casually label others as compromisers, when it is many of these “compromisers” who are actully putting their reputations, careers, and diplomas at risk on secular campuses as they assail the strongholds of materialist philosophy.

    Furthermore, ID organization only have a world-wide combined annual budget of probably not more than 2 million a year (DI-CSC, ARN, IDnetwork, IDEA, IDURC, others). That’s nothing! YEC organizations by contrast command possibly 10 times that much in addition to the fact they can fully exploit the friendship of the churches, whereas doors to ID are often shut.

    All that to say, perhaps a little more charity is in order from YECs toward these “compromisers”.

  43. Here is a very good essay by Bill Dembski on YEC and ID: A REPLY TO HENRY MORRIS

    intelligent design is not a biblical or religious doctrine.
    …..
    Morris, however, thinks that stressing this partial truth does disservice to the Christian faith. According to him, intelligent design is freeing Christians from having to confront the Genesis record of a young earth and global flood. But if Christians are ignoring Genesis, that’s not a problem with intelligent design but with Christians not devoting sufficient care to biblical studies
    ….
    no one in the ID movement claims that ID is the Gospel. If you want the Gospel, read the Bible and especially the New Testament.
    ….
    ID is engaging the culture in ways that creationism never could. Young earth creationists have tended to operate in well insulated enclaves. True, they have been the butt of much ridicule and attack from the outside, but by having their own schools and publishing houses, they have tended to be well-supported internally. Design theorists, by contrast, have squarely confronted the cultural mainstream (scientific, academic, and media). ID’s voice is heard in places where young earth creationism is ignored.

    But cultural engagement has come with a cost. Because ID advocates are unwilling to push design farther than its logic will go, we receive criticism from young earth creationists (Morris’s criticism in his review of my book is mild by comparison with Ken Ham’s). At the same time, the scientific and academic establishment has spared no effort to undermine, derail, and in some cases ruin the careers and efforts of ID advocates (my own case at Baylor has been widely publicized; I can provide details of numerous other cases; the fall-out from the article by Stephen Meyer that appeared in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington is the most recent case in point).

    The Bible warns us to take heed if everyone is speaking well of us. In that case, ID advocates may have even less to worry about than young earth creationists.

    I would therefore like to encourage Henry Morris and all young-earth creationists to view intelligent design as a friend in the destruction of Darwinian materialism and in developing the scientific understanding of design in nature.

    Note: Henry Morris passed away this last February. Uncommon Descent paid tribute here

  44. I would therefore like to encourage Henry Morris and all young-earth creationists to view intelligent design as a friend in the destruction of Darwinian materialism and in developing the scientific understanding of design in nature.

    And that is what I do, and many YECers do. In fact, this is so much so that YEC organizations sell ID material joyfully. We don’t disagree with the science in ID. What I disagreed with BArryA and Sal is that, as a Christian, they advised that we should “leave the Bible out of it” when discussing origins. That’s suicide.
    For sure, ID, not being a religious doctrine, doesn’t have to apeal to Revealed Authority, but since YEC has a diferent ultimate goal than ID (preach Jesus Christ), we cannot, and will not “leave the Bible out of discussion”.

  45. hey BarryA. My comments on your post:

    You said: “When Christians talk about origins we cannot leave the Bible out, since it’s the ONLY Reliable Source for origins information.”

    I replied: “The Bible itself refutes this statement. Look at Psalm 19 (quoted already above) and Romans 1.”

    Then you said: “For a Christian, the Bible is the Starting Point and the Final Authority in matters of Creation.”

    Can you see how you argued one thing in your first post and something else in your second. First you say the Bible is the ONLY (your emphasis) source. Then you say the Bible is the “Starting Point.”

    The Bible is the only *RELIABLE* source of information when it comes to the question of origins since it is the Word of Him Who was there when the universe was made. We can get other evidence for a Young universe, but ultimatly, the Bible is the Only Reliable Source.

    “When does God start telling the truth?”

    God started telling the truth in Genesis 1:1. Unlike you, I do not claim to have an infallible understanding of what that truth is.

    Execpt when it comes to the Deity of Christ, where you are totaly sure of that, right? And why? Well, because the Bible says so, right? Wait! But the Bible also says “for inS ix Days The Lord created the heavens and the earth” (Exodus 20:11), YET you don’t believe that, isn’t it so? Suit yourself.

    You need to go back and listen to the Ken Ham link you sent me. It does not say anything about whether an OEC can be a Christian. It just says an evolutionist cannot be.

    Actually, Ken says that if you aer a Christian and an evolutionist, you are not being consistent. Since being an evolutionist requires one to believe in million of years, the same goes for “old earthers”. You can be a Christian and believe in million of years, however, you are not being consistent.

    Are you saying that ALL of the doctrines of Christianity are the central doctrine of Christianity. You seem to be, and that makes no sense.

    The Fall is a central to CHristianity bkz without no Fall, there would be no need for God to become Man. EVen atheists can see this:

    ‘Without Adam, without the original sin, Jesus Christ is reduced to a man with a mission on the wrong planet … . Sin becomes not an ugly fate due to man’s disobedience, but only the struggle of instincts … . Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing! Christianity, if it is to survive, must have Adam and the original sin and the fall from grace or it cannot have Jesus the redeemer who restores to those who believe what Adam’s disobedience took away. (Bozarth, G.R., The meaning of evolution, American Atheist 20:30, 1978)

    Somewhere between those two poles is a line. On one side of the line are “essentials.” On the other side are “nonessentials.” The line may be fuzzy. I do not deny that, but there surely is a line nevertheless. How should I judge people on the non-essential side of the line. The answer is, who am I to judge another’s servants. To their own master they will stand or fall, and they will stand, because God is able to make them stand.

    Aren’t you assuming that the account of creation, or the days of creation, are “non-essencial”? If you are, you are begging the question: who said that the days of creation are non-essential?

    God bless

  46. Hey Sal.

    There are OECs and YEC-IDers and people of other faiths bearing the brunt of these developments at secular campuses. That is why, I’m a bit disappointed that certain YEC communities (like AiG) so casually label others as compromisers, when it is many of these “compromisers” who are actully putting their reputations, careers, and diplomas at risk on secular campuses as they assail the strongholds of materialist philosophy.

    This is a non-sequitur, Sal, and I am sure you clearly see it. What you are saying is that YECers should stop saying that OEC are compromising with the millions of years, BECAUSE many of the old earthers are fighting against materialism? So what?!

    Furthermore, ID organization only have a world-wide combined annual budget of probably not more than 2 million a year (DI-CSC, ARN, IDnetwork, IDEA, IDURC, others).

    And which religious segment is mostly active in rightly suporting the good science if ID ? Muslims? Jews? HIndu? Of course, I don’t have the exact numbers, but I am very much convinced that the among the people who suport give what they can for ID research, are MANY YECers. I may be wrong, but this is what I believe.

    That’s nothing! YEC organizations by contrast command possibly 10 times that much in addition to the fact they can fully exploit the friendship of the churches, whereas doors to ID are often shut.

    Sal, when you use words like “exploit” you are assuming that YEC organizations are taking money from them in some deceitful manner.

    Another thing worth noticing is that ID found a people already prepared against Darwinism. IN other words, the American people, thanks for the many Creationist organizations scatered in the USA, had already been very skeptical against Evolutionism. When ID came, they already found people with an attentive ear for any claims against Darwinism. It’s not like all of the sudden people became anti-Darwinian. No. The USA, I repeat, thanks for the work of organizations like ICR, AIG and CSE, were already very open to ID ideias, and for what I have been seeing, YECers will continue to stand with ID as a legitimate scientific enterprise.

  47. What I disagreed with BArryA and Sal is that, as a Christian, they advised that we should “leave the Bible out of it” when discussing origins. That’s suicide.

    Mats, I think it depends upon the arena in which the debate is occurring. If it’s a courtroom or biology department and you are claiming that your view has equal merit with the prevailing paradigm and does not require Revealed Authority, then you mustn’t appeal to Revealed Authority to make it.

    I think God has shown us a way to do this via complex specified information and irreducible complexity meaning that under the very rules written by the Dawinists we can show that Darwinism is wrong.

  48. Mats asked:

    YECers should stop saying that OEC are compromising with the millions of years,

    I said compromising is an inappropriate word to describe these people. Let me for the sake of argument assume that YEC is true (it could be after all), it would still be inappropriate to label someone who is unintentionally mistaken as a compromiser.

    It would be like asking some one a question, and if they give a mistaken answer to the best of their knowledge, calling them a willful liar.

    Furthermore, such nasty talk to others is exactly the thing that will harden their hearts, because their character rather than their ideas is being falsely accused. They will have less reason to receive what you have to say, and more reasons to hope you are wrong if for no other reason than the fact you have offended them.

    Such an attitude is in violation of 1 Pet 3:15.

    Thus, I must politely ask you to refrain from further making that accusation here at Uncommon Descent. You may state you’re disagreement, you may express that you think others are mistaken, but I’m afraid swipes like this (justifying why people should be labeled compromisers) at other members character in a discussion forum would be counter productive.

  49. tribune7

    Thanks for making my point better and more simply than I did. I never meant to say “always” leave the Bible out of it, as Matts seems to believe. But the Bible itself says for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. There is a time to speak [including a time to speak about the Bible], and a time to remain silent [including a time to remain silent about the Bible].

    I know I said I had said my last to Matts, but I have one last question for him. If the specific revelation is the only reliable source of information about creation, why does God say he will hold men accountable solely on the basis of general revelation in Romans 1? Is God unjustly holding men accountable for rejecting unreliable information?

  50. Saxe:

    On a side note, it is interesting that “day” in Hebrew is never associated with a long period of time when an ordinal adjective (i.e. the sixth day) is associated with it.

    Please consider the following passage.

    Hosea 6:2

    After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

    This Hosea prophesy is normally interpreted as “not 24 hour” periods, though the same word for day is used as in Genesis 1.

    Yet another example of YEC presenting questionable “facts” as gospel truth.

  51. Sal Congratulations on a clear concise statement in your interview.

    I endorse you call for all to avoid accusing others are “compromising”. Such accusations appear to be ad hominem attacks and should not be used here at Uncommon Descent. Focus on common goals, purposes and methods.

  52. Salvador,
    You were shocked before at the books at ICR [Walt Browns, Privileged Planet, Unlcoking the Mysteries of Life..etc..]. But hold onto your britches, here is an even more “scandolous” bit of media found there than all of those combined :)

    http://www.icr.org/store/index.....ts_id=2450

    - Maybe ICR is slicker than all have thought to give them credit.

  53. Kennedy’s sermon made several references to Jastrow and the Design argument. What is on the internet cuts out 30 minutes of Kennedy’s sermon.

    I got a little chocked up hearing it. There were some minor technical inaccuracies, but it was materially correct.

    The NCSE would have us believe that ID was created to invade public schools. If so, why is then why is the theology-free science of ID argument appearing in prominent pulpits? The weapon of the Design argument is now being placed in the hands of pastors and in the hands of Protestant and Catholic congregations. They are becoming equipped to effectively combat materialist philosophy. The picture of what is happening is illustrated by : Weapon Retention Failure

    PS
    Thanks to everyone who have participated on this thread, and for those who watched the program.

    PPS
    Kairos, did you like Sanford’s book?

  54. scordova:
    “The NCSE would have us believe that ID was created to invade public schools. If so, why is then why is the theology-free science of ID argument appearing in prominent pulpits?”

    I think you are arguing against yourself. Could it be that the ID arguments appear in prominent pulpits because the pastors perceive it not as theology-free but as intrinsically religious, more specifically Christian-religious? In that case I can understand why the NCSE is trying to keep it out of public schools.

  55. Hey BarryA. Allow me to answer to your questions.

    I never meant to say “always” leave the Bible out of it, as Matts seems to believe. But the Bible itself says for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.

    And it is true, however that in no way implies that there is a moment in life when we don’t need God’s Guidance.

    There is a time to speak [including a time to speak about the Bible], and a time to remain silent [including a time to remain silent about the Bible].

    Name me one moment when talking about Creation when a Christian has to “remain silent about the Bible”.

    If the specific revelation is the only reliable source of information about creation, why does God say he will hold men accountable solely on the basis of general revelation in Romans 1? Is God unjustly holding men accountable for rejecting unreliable information?

    Creation reveals that there is a God, but it doesn’t say who He is, why HE created, when HE created, and how HE created. If you notice the usage of the words in Rom 1 you will see that those passages are meant against those who say that there is no God. to those, God says “How can you not believe that I am here? Who do you think made all this?”

    Isaiah 40:26 JPS: Lift up your eyes on high, and see: who hath created these?

    The revelation of nature, despite being a very powerful one (thus the reason why atheists can’t let go of Darwinism), isn’t enough. The revelation of Nature condemns men, it doesn’t bring them a saving knowledge of the Creator God. You don’t look at creation and say “Well, clearly all this was created by the Lord Jesus Christ”. WHen you look at creation what you say is “Whoa! There must be a Very Powerful Creator!”

    God bless

  56. Saxe,
    Good questions. I often ask that too. If God had created in six days, how would He have to put it in Scripture, besides the way that it’s already there?

    If God wanted us to know that creation took billion of years, he could have used the sand on the beach, or the stars in heaven, for us realize it. But He didn’t.

  57. Hey Sal.

    The weapon of the Design argument is now being placed in the hands of pastors and in the hands of Protestant and Catholic congregations.

    Perhaps you mean the weapons of the MODERN design arguements, given the fact that Christians (and non-Christians) have been using design arguements for centuries (Paley, for example).

    They are becoming equipped to effectively combat materialist philosophy.

    Christians had already been fighting materliastic philosophy for decades. Why do you think that the American population is skeptical of Darwinism? Like I said previously,
    1) ID came to a people already prepared against Darwinian nonsence, but ID brought with it more brilliant weapons to the already powerful arsenal Darwin skeptics had.
    2) The work of many creationist organizations is behind the majority of people’s skepticism against Darwinian mythology.

    Seems to me that *some* (not all) ID proponents (and 2 lawyers) want to push aside YECers when Darwinists are looking, but then they want to “hug” YECers when it comes to public suport, in whatever way that suport might come.

    God bless

  58. ofro:

    I think you are arguing against yourself. Could it be that the ID arguments appear in prominent pulpits because the pastors perceive it not as theology-free but as intrinsically religious, more specifically Christian-religious? In that case I can understand why the NCSE is trying to keep it out of public schools.

    welcome ofro,

    First of all many Christians do not want full blown ID in the public schools at this time for a very practical reason: We don’t trust liberal NEA teachers to give it fair shot anyway.

    My point was that the NCSE said ID was fabricated to get creationism in the public schools.

    But first, there are two flavors of ID:

    1. Pandas and People definition ( similar to theology-free creation science definition)

    2. Modern information theoretic definition (see DI, ARN, IDEA, IDnet for statements)

    The NCSE has equivocated the t2o meanings. #1 has not been used in ages.

    #2 has a life independent of any push to get ID in public schools. It is the kind of theology-free ID that appears in college classes and increasingly in Sunday School and Pulpits and even within creationist organizations. This news report was a good example of a religious program (Coral Ridge) that presented ID in a very non-religious manner.

    I think you are arguing against yourself.

    I’m trying to convice IDers that they should continue efforts to reach creationists. They have been reluctant to because of the “unsavory association” it brings.

    The Dover school board was a colossal example of stupidity. It was the Dover School board’s creationists who fueled the disaster ID must now suffer.

    In contrast, Coral Ridge is a promising example of how to productively get ID in the hands of creationists. Ironically, despite their protestations against modern ID, AiG and ICR have reluctantly promoted some key pro-ID materials. These are promising developments.

    It is my hope the next generation of creationists will be more embracing of ID than the current generation.

  59. Sal,
    AIG, ICR, CMI have no problem with ID as a scientific theory. That is why they us and abuse ID material bkz ID material is backed by state of the art science.

    Where Creationists disagree with IDers is that some of IDers want YECers to “keep the Bible out of it”. In this point with disagree. One point of disagreement doesn’t anul the many common grounds, IMO. There might be other points, but this one is too serious for YECers.

    God bless

  60. Ofo,

    Could it be that the ID arguments appear in prominent pulpits because the pastors perceive it not as theology-free but as intrinsically religious, more specifically Christian-religious? In that case I can understand why the NCSE is trying to keep it out of public schools.

    By this same logic, we can assume that evolution is atheism desguised as science, since the overwhelming majority of people preaching Darwinism are atheists. Therefore, both Darwinism and ID should be ruled out of public schools, bkz both have religious implications.

  61. Mats,
    “By this same logic, we can assume that evolution is atheism desguised as science, since the overwhelming majority of people preaching Darwinism are atheists.”

    This is what I hear from the press headlines, but it would help to see that supported by some sort of demographic data. The only data I can think of are a small number of surveys that show that about one-half of the US population accepts the literal biblical account of creation. However, the question(s) that were asked were fairly broad, and as far as I know, we don’t know about the religious tendencies of the respondents. Let’s not forget, in my understanding some if not many of the ID proponents are not biblical literalists, either. If anybody has the info on the surveys, could you please give their URLs?

  62. bFast,

    According to you, both Genesis and now Hosea are long periods. Therefore, I’ll challenge you to re-write both of them to indicate 24-hour periods. In other words, you would do well to respond to my initial question. I look forward to your response.

    Thanks,
    Saxe

  63. Mats,

    “If God wanted us to know that creation took billion of years, he could have used the sand on the beach, or the stars in heaven, for us realize it. But He didn’t.” Excellent point…I hadn’t thought of that.

    It would be nice if any OEC could answer my original question. Perhaps they are letting their “scientific evidence” guide their exegesis scripture rather than the other way around.

    Saxe

  64. To the YECers who insist upon a belief in the literalism of scripture:

    Forgive and correct me if I recall scripture incorrectly, but did Christ ask his followers to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood? Was he being literal? When he says that he only says what his Father is saying and also says he speaks in parables to confound the wise – and if he is the Word and creation came through him, then why not be open to a revelation of Genesis to Moses in the same vein?

    Did Moses possess the tools with his Egyptian education to grasp time in billions of years? Could it be that the lens by which Moses viewed reality was affected by his life and education up to the point at which God revealed his creation to him in the Tent of Meeting? Did Moses, or anyone reading scripture have the technology to measure red shifts, thereby expanding their view of what is possible?

    Suppose Moses had telescopes back at Ramses U and scientific observation to that point had detected the vastness and expansion of the universe, deducing space by which light takes billions of years to traverse. Suppose also that Egyptian geologists had deduced a vast age for the earth and the general view at the time was expanded from the hundreds and thousands of years scope to the millions and billions of years scope.

    When God then showed him creation, do you think his description might have been different?

    The Pharisees and Scribes combed prophesies of the Messiah, expecting a physical king and missing the prophetic spiritual King. Indeed, they executed He who threatened the image they had crafted.

    It is my belief that the YEC crowd (all of whom are my brothers and sisters in Christ) make this same error when insisting on a literal six day creation. Holy Scripture is replete with figurative illustrations. We perceive eternal reality dimly because our entire view is shaped by beginnings and endings, which imply time. Our physical minds are limited by a time shaped view, which is why Pharoah saw seven thin cows consume seven fat cows, why the prophesied king was in fact lowly and mistaken as a heretic and why it is an error to make book on a creation in six 24 hour days.

    regards,

    Todd

  65. Todd,

    “Forgive and correct me if I recall scripture incorrectly, but did Christ ask his followers to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood? Was he being literal?”

    Yes, he did tell his followers to do this; and no, obviously he wasn’t literally suggesting that anyone physically ingest his flesh and blood. But let me ask you something: have you ever thought about this example and considered what indications there might be in context (John 6, I think), and in things Jesus said elsewhere, that would indicate what he did mean? Do you think anyone could reasonably suggest, from the Bible alone, that Jesus meant these words of his to be understood in a physical sense?

    “If he is the Word and creation came through him, then why not be open to a revelation of Genesis to Moses in the same vein?”

    Because there is nothing in the Creation account to indicate that the days of creation were not of ordinary length. Genesis 1:5 defines what a “day” means by saying, “there was evening, and there was morning–one day.” This definition is entirely plausible, being essentially consistent with what we understand as the ordinary meaning of the word. Moreover, God himself, speaking in a straightforward context, reiterated that “in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them” (Exodus 20:11).

    “Did Moses possess the tools with his Egyptian education to grasp time in billions of years? Could it be that the lens by which Moses viewed reality was affected by his life and education up to the point at which God revealed his creation to him in the Tent of Meeting? Did Moses, or anyone reading scripture have the technology to measure red shifts, thereby expanding their view of what is possible?”

    Not sure what the point is with this. Education and technology have nothing to do with whether Moses could have received what God told him and written it down. Unlike modern scientists, Moses wasn’t looking into the past and trying to draw inferences based on various assumptions. Rather, he was simply reporting. The account in Genesis 1 may have been passed down from Adam. God’s statement in Exodus 20:11 is something Moses received firsthand.

    “The Pharisees and Scribes combed prophesies of the Messiah, expecting a physical king and missing the prophetic spiritual King. Indeed, they executed He who threatened the image they had crafted.”

    You are right. Even Jesus’s own disciples didn’t understand. In the end, however, the fact that they had misunderstood the Scriptures didn’t quench their love for him.

    “It is my belief that the YEC crowd (all of whom are my brothers and sisters in Christ) make this same error when insisting on a literal six day creation.”

    And, of course, you are entitled to your belief. On the other hand, is it possible that those who reject the literal creation account are doing so not because of anything in the Bible but because they think science precludes it? To be consistent, then, why not reject the account of the virgin birth of Jesus? Why not reject the resurrection of Jesus as unscientific?

    We should be asking on what basis scriptural exegesis would lead to a conclusion that the six days were NOT literal. The points you have made seem to me rather too broad: you seem basically to be saying that, “because x is figurative, or because y was misunderstood, perhaps z is also not to be understood in its apparent sense.” But doesn’t this suggest that we can never be certain we’re understanding something in the Bible unless we have the benefit of unambiguous independent corroboration? How would we know, for example, that we can look forward to an eternal, blissful existence?

    Our scientific knowledge about things at the beginning is of a different sort than our biblical knowledge. While science has a deservedly great reputation as a tool for enabling us to understand how our world works, through observation and experimentation, we can only make inferences regarding unrepeatable events that no one was there to observe; and we have no way of verifying the accuracy of those inferences. The knowledge in the Bible is not in the nature of scientific research but of historical record. Its reliability doesn’t depend on the validity of assumption-based inference but on credibility of testimony.

    Rick

  66. We should be asking on what basis scriptural exegesis would lead to a conclusion that the six days were NOT literal.

    Rick,

    Even I as someone sympathetic to YEC, who cherishes the faith I have accepted, have a great deal of distrust of theologians as much as scientists or any one else, even myself! The frailty of human nature is something I am too aware of….

    For myself, a very simple epistemology of brute facts work for me. If nature tells us she is young, I will be inclined to accept it. Nature will give us clues to what we need to know. Without that hope, there is no science.

    The reason I thought ICR’s version of YEC was distasteful was “the appearance of age” arguments. When they found evidence of youth, they accepted it, but if it looked old, they said it was only appearances. This sort of cherry picking of data is not honoring to the YEC thesis.

    I believe it is very possible that Nature will be found to scream in a way that affirms the genealogy of Luke 3 if we allow free-open dispassionate, theology-free inquiry. That is the approach of Walter Brown and Barry Setterfield by and large, and myself as well.

    If indeed Setterfield is right, it is beautiful symbol that the most glorious truth of the Christian faith, its central character, was affirmed by all the laws of physics, especially those laws tied to the nature of light. Setterfield’s hypothesis, if true would mean all the laws of physics will point to that genealology. Theologically this would be a great development, and would be higly symbolic, however, it’s my nature to be reserved and skeptical.

    Salvador

  67. Rick,

    What I’m trying to say is that the Gospel accounts confirm that revealed events suffer eternal to time-bound translation misunderstandings. If the coming King revealed by God through his prophets was not what the leaders of the chosen people of the One True God envisioned – so much so that they sought and killed their own Messiah, how can we be so certain the English translation of ancient Hebrew can convey the context of the times in which Moses lived in the creation account?

    If God is a person, then God has a point of view. If God is eternal, he is literally timeless. If we look at our existence along space-time, it is linear. No man is immune from the onward march of time and space. We must travel through it until we exit through death’s door. God, however, is not bound by time and space. He does not recall the past, he exists in it; he does not foresee the future, he exists in it. For eternal spirits in the material world, we touch eternity each present moment, for it is there free. I believe our spirits are equipped to perceive eternal reality, if we take time and look up from it. But I digress.

    The lens by which we all perceive reality is shaped upon our genetic foundation by the application of our sentience across the time of our lives. This is true for me and was true for Moses and Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah and every other man of God. We cannot underestimate how wholly time and culture shape our perceptions and we cannot forget this is true for all men in all times.

    The Gospel account of the One who fulfilled prophesy, clearly knowing eternal reality and choosing to explain such in parables. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. If Jesus, when he was in time among men, knew the fullness of eternal reality and spoke of eternal principles in parables – to confound the proud and make them understandable to common folk – and if that same Jesus was instrumental in making all things, why must the creation story be literal? Suppose the YEC take on the eternal revelation to time bound Moses is as dead wrong as the Pharisees take on the eternal revelation of the coming Messiah and the age of the earth and cosmos is as large as the current scientific consensus believes it to be. Did Moses have the tools to grasp such ages? Could he conceptualize BILLIONS of years? If God showed him an enlarged view of the microscopic world, would Moses know what he was seeing, or would what he saw be shaped by the reality he knew? The same is true in reverse – if God showed him a creation spanning many billions of years and the vastness of the universe, would Moses be able to grok what he was seeing?

    Moreover, would God allow his misunderstanding to confound the theologically wise, the same as he did with Messianic prophesies? I had a pastor who used to preach “If you want to know what God is doing, look what God has done”. Well, when he was among us, he spoke in parables to illuminate eternal principles, why would any account revealed though men of the Torah be any different?

    regards,

    Todd

  68. In the second paragraph of my last post, I wrote “God, however, is not bound by time and space. He does not recall the past, he exists in it; he does not foresee the future, he exists in it. For eternal spirits in the material world, we touch eternity each present moment, for it is there free.”

    It should’ve ended “for it is there our eternal free will acts and chooses.”

  69. Salvador,

    “Even I as someone sympathetic to YEC, who cherishes the faith I have accepted, have a great deal of distrust of theologians as much as scientists or any one else, even myself! The frailty of human nature is something I am too aware of…”

    I appreciate your affirmation of sympathy to YEC. I also tend at times to be distrustful of the “experts.” While I do question my own conclusions and reasoning, I’m afraid my mind is the only one I’ve got; and if I can’t use it effectively, including by interaction with other people, I figure I’m pretty much up the proverbial creek.

    “For myself, a very simple epistemology of brute facts work for me. If nature tells us she is young, I will be inclined to accept it. Nature will give us clues to what we need to know. Without that hope, there is no science.”

    I agree–though I have a lot more trust for science concerning the present than science concerning the remote past. For one thing, hypotheses about the present can be debugged by testing and observation. With the past, though, one has to make assumptions that probably can’t be tested. Therefore, while one can certainly make educated guesses, if there were crucial conditions in history that bore heavily on one’s hypothesis,
    how would one know?

    Also–unfortunately–we’ve seen evidence that certain ideas outside of mainstream science have a lot of trouble getting a fair hearing. Caroline Crocker’s experience is a prime example of what can happen when someone dares even slightly challenge the status quo on evolution. We saw, too, what happened to Richard Sternberg when he allowed Meyers’s article to pass through the peer review system. How, then, would one expect evidence challenging the conventional age of the earth and universe to be promulgated in mainstream venues?

    Nature may well tell us she is young–but where would we expect to learn of this?

    “The reason I thought ICR’s version of YEC was distasteful was “the appearance of age” arguments.”

    I don’t tend to find “appearance of age” arguments persuasive, either. I don’t believe God gave his creation a misleading appearance. I also don’t believe he gave the Scriptures “misleading appearance.” The difference is, while we can all read the Bible for ourselves, most of us must rely on someone else to tell us things pertaining to the age of the earth and universe. Since the current thinking is that both are billions of years old, it should probably be assumed that evidence to the contrary wouldn’t be deemed “good science” and that the public would be unlikely to hear about it through public channels.

    “Setterfield’s hypothesis, if true would mean all the laws of physics will point to that genealology. Theologically this would be a great development, and would be higly symbolic, however, it’s my nature to be reserved and skeptical.”

    I’m not familiar with Setterfield’s hypothesis, though I believe I’ve read that it has to do with the speed of light and represents an effort to explain distant starlight in a manner consistent with YEC. He may or may not be right, and he’s also not the only vendor in the marketplace.

    I’m wondering if it’s partly because of your skepticism that you lean toward YEC.

    Rick

  70. I’m wondering if it’s partly because of your skepticism that you lean toward YEC.

    That is correct!

    The reason I lean toward YEC is the brute facts are beginning to confront Old Earth. In 2000 I was an OEC. But I said, I could accept YEC if:

    1. Big Bang disproven
    2. Speed of light was much faster in the past (as it would solve the problem of long term radiometric dating and distant starlight in one felt swoop)

    That was my position prior to reading any of the YEC literature I am especially enthusiastic about today. I would accept YEC if thats what the brute facts indicated it.

    Then in 2002 some major developments:

    1. Many scientists came forward and openly questioned the Big Bang including three scientists from my school, one of them a PhD physcist from MIT, Menas Kafatos, and head of George Mason’s Center for Earth and Space Observation Research and chairman of the department of Computational Science. See: http://www.cosmologystatement.org

    2. Paul Davies publishes a finding suggesting the speed of light was much faster in the past in the prestigious scientific journal Nature

    When that happened, I said to myself, the major hurdles may have been over come, the rest are the details….

    However, I’m deeply concerned that all the ill-will being generated in the Christian community between the camps is preventing more dispassionate inquiry of the issue. It is extremely difficult, even for a YEC sympathizers like me to dialogue with certain YEC communities because I’d be labeled a heretic.

    I wouldn’t be exactly welcome by the YECs in the Westminster Presbytery, but I would be in D. James Kennedy’s presbytery. This is a very unfortunate situation, and that is why I linked to the letter of concern by my Presbytery. The attitude that OECs are heretics is so strong in the Westminster Presbytery, that if they had their way they’d likely put the rest of the church leadership on church trial for not being YECs and excommunicate them out of office. Thankfully for me, Westminster Presbytery is in the minority in my denomination, and for now I’m safe….

    I think YEC would get a warmer reception if some of the main institutions were not so abrassive and condemning of their OEC brethren, but rather welcoming and encouraging. OECs should be hoping the YEC succeed, but at it stands, the ill-will is so strong at times, some of them almost hope the YECs are wrong because of the ill-will that has been sown.

    In that regard the writings of Walter Brown and Barry Setterfield have been welcome because they throw the character and issues off the table and focus on the physical facts.

    I highly recommend visiting http://www.creationscience.com to see an ID-type approach to creation science. It is very much in line, I think with mine and jonnyb’s approach.

    Great to hear from you, Rick.

    Salvador

  71. Rick,

    Regarding my skepticism, let me share a little experience I had in 2004. I had done a little exploration into the amino-acid racemization states of various fossils made available to the public.

    I concluded the data may as well have been pulled out the air, including the data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a certain Reiner Protsch. Turns out he did pull the figures out of the air, just as my examination of the differential equations relating to amino-acid racemization indicated.

    Similar developments occured with thermodynamic profiles of the Earth and other planets, or violations of our basic understandings of celestial mechanics. And I could go on for days. It does not make YEC true in and of itself, but I became enormously more distrustful of institutional science after re-examining the data. Furthermore, watching the inquisitional tactics in institutional science to enforce false orthodoxies, it does not make one’s heart exactly warm to everything the orthodoxy has to say.

    Salvador

  72. Todd,

    Thanks for your explanations of your position. From the way you write, I perceive that you have some interesting perspectives.

    I’m going to try a step that I usually omit in a discussion like this, and attempt to summarize what I understand you to be saying, rather than simply respond.

    First, you point out that the Jewish leaders so completely failed to understand their own Scriptures that they rejected and murdered their Messiah. If this was possible, how can we be certain we understand the Scriptures ourselves?

    Also, when the Scriptures speak on matters relating to time, we must remember that, while we ourselves are time-bound, God is not. This accentuates the possibility for misunderstanding on such matters.

    When Jesus came, he often spoke in parables rather than in literal language when teaching eternal principles. This being the case, is it not possible that he also revealed the creation account in a parable, rather than literally?

    As for Moses, it seems questionable that he would have been capable of comprehending the age of the cosmos as we have now come to understand it. To accommodate Moses’s limitations, God gave him a creation account that he could grasp and communicate to the rest of us. This account should therefore not be taken in a literal sense–except perhaps beyond the mere fact that God is the Creator.

    I know this doesn’t cover all the details you brought out, but does it appear to you to fairly represent what you’re saying?

    Rick

  73. Salvador,

    “I’m deeply concerned that all the ill-will being generated in the Christian community between the camps is preventing more dispassionate inquiry of the issue. It is extremely difficult, even for a YEC sympathizers like me to dialogue with certain YEC communities because I’d be labeled a heretic.”

    This makes sense–and I can well imagine that it tends to leave a bad taste that reflects negatively on the entire camp. It seems to me it would have been easy for you, under such circumstances, to simply focus on contrary evidence instead of having to agree that such people might actually be right to some degree.

    “The attitude that OECs are heretics is so strong in the Westminster Presbytery, that if they had their way they’d likely put the rest of the church leadership on church trial for not being YECs and excommunicate them out of office.”

    As much as I think OEC is untenable biblically, treating such people in this way is entirely uncalled-for and reflects a loss of Christian perspective.

    “I think YEC would get a warmer reception if some of the main institutions were not so abrassive and condemning of their OEC brethren, but rather welcoming and encouraging.”

    Yes. Here, I think is one of the areas where that human frailty you mentioned earlier comes into play. If as a Christian, one believes one’s position is supported by the Bible, it’s easy to excuse abrasiveness as perhaps something akin to “righteous indignation.” After all, Jesus wasn’t exactly “nice” when calling the religious leaders hypocrites. Nor were such as Paul or John the Baptist. I can’t speak for another’s motives, but I see in myself far more of a desire to prove I’m right than to show someone else a better perspective because of my esteem for him or her as a human being.

    Certainly, it’s important to combat ideas that undermine the Bible. Indeed, Scripture commands this. At the same time, Scripture also tells us that without charity, it all amounts to nothing. This is not to deny that charity may well be expressed in words of rebuke; however, unfortunately, it’s far more natural for us to “rebuke” without charity.

    On reasons for skepticism, “It does not make YEC true in and of itself, but I became enormously more distrustful of institutional science after re-examining the data.”

    You’re right: such things don’t make YEC true. However, the biggest–perhaps the only–reason why YEC isn’t simply taken for granted by a lot of Christians is because of the pronouncements of science and, in some cases, the efforts of theologians to accommodate. If we find good reason to distrust these pronouncements–and it seems we have–it makes less and less sense to seek refuge in efforts to harmonize the Bible with science.

    I appreciate dialoguing with you, Salvador.

    Rick

  74. Saxe:

    On a side note, it is interesting that “day” in Hebrew is never associated with a long period of time when an ordinal adjective (i.e. the sixth day) is associated with it.

    Please consider the following passage.

    Hosea 6:2

    After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

    This Hosea prophesy is normally interpreted as “not 24 hour” periods, though the same word for day is used as in Genesis 1.

    Yet another example of YEC presenting questionable “facts” as gospel truth.

    bFast,
    I don’t think this passage from Hosea is necessarily anything other than a normal earth day. I personally do not know the passage well enough to comment more, but appranently there are some direct challenges to this by AIG (perhaps it is prophetic to the resurection of Christ – or a normal three days):

    “People like Genesis re-interpreter Hugh Ross try to make out that Hosea 6:2 is an exception. However, when one correctly understands the prophetic nature of this passage and how the word day is used here, one has to accept that it means an ordinary day, or the prophetic passage wouldn’t make sense. (For further information on this, I refer you to the book Creation and Time: a report on the progressive creationist book by Hugh Ross by Van Bebber/Taylor, page 74.) “

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....08_104.asp

    “Some say that Hosea 6:2 is an exception to this, because of the figurative language. However, the Hebrew idiomatic expression used, ‘After two days … in the third day … ,’ meaning ‘in a short time,’ only makes sense if ‘day’ is understood in its normal sense. See Ref. 1, pp. 74–5, for a more details. “,

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....xdays2.asp

    “Guest:… we’ve talked personally about some of these things, and yet this is directed because we do have some differences. And so Dr Ross, with, in relation to the word yom used in the Old Testament, 359 times it is linked with a number, numerical index. All but a few times, like Hosea 6:2, it refers to a literal 24-hour solar day.

    Ross: Sure.

    Hosea 6:2 ‘After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence’ is no exception. This verse exhibits a particular kind of Semitic poetic parallelism of the form X / X + 1 (cf. Job 5:19; Proverbs 6:16; 30:15,18; Amos 1:3, 6, 9). So it must be interpreted according to the specific context, so that ‘two days’ and ‘three days’ mean that God’s healing of the broken Israel, promised in the previous verse, will occur in a short time. In fact, Ross’s ‘exception’ reinforces the literal day interpretation, because if these days were millions of years long, the restoration would not exactly be quick.

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....alysis.asp

    There is a cryptic reference to the resurrection of both the nation of Israel and also her Messiah in Hosea 6:2: “After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up.” Also note Zechariah 12:10: “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son.”

    http://icr.org/article/815/

    Thoguh, there seems there could be a double entendre from this even.

    I might add myself, even though it was not a numerated day, that there is a prophetic passage of scripture that read something like ~can a nation be born in a day?~ And indeed, Isreal was born on one normal day in 1948. Yet, it might even be thought of as a long day…anyway…

    OEC’s might want to consider the study done by ICR on narratives in the Bible versus peotic passages. It shows that Genesis 1 is heavily narrative (ie. not poetic but more literal) under a certain quantified examination of the text.

    http://www.icr.org/article/24/

    Close-up view of chart image:
    http://www.icr.org/i/articles/imp/imp-377b.gif

  75. Sal told me I was stretching this a biot, but I still thought it was interesting. Perhaps others might like to ponder it.
    It’s an interesting consequence of the standard YEC timeline:

    0——-1000–fld–2000——-3000——-4000——-5000——-6000—(Christ rules 1000yrs; rest?)
    Present (2006AD) ^
    ^Christ & Church appear(Jesus bride)
    Note: Jesus “I am the light..”; Church reflects Christ.
    ^ Approx. End of Ice Age (ice melts). Vegetation and land RE-appear.
    ^ Earth flooded with the waters from above and below (not good!).
    ^ Adam died at 930 years old – God said he would die the day he ate the fruit.
    ^End of creation week and Adam sinned (ate the fruit). Man now knows Good and Evil.

    Interestingly, this all seems to line up with Genesis 1:

    [0----Day 1][----Day 2][----Day 3][----Day 4][----Day 5][----Day 6][--Day 7 Rest)
    ^ Man and animlas created.
    ^ Sun Moon (greater and lesser light) created.
    note: Sun is light to world; moon reflects that light.
    ^ Land and Vegetation appear.
    ^ God seperated the waters above & below (Day 2; the only day in Gen1 not said good!)
    ^ Heaven and Earth created (earth was void). Light called to be.

    There are many other parallels, but this is a pobably a fair overview. I'm not sure if this formated properly.. but I will hope so. Also, with the above, consider the scripture... a day with God is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day ;)

  76. Salvador,

    One of the things occurring to me when I think on my layman’s understanding of natural forces, especially as it relates to cosmology and relativity, is the question of what the expanding mass of the big bang’s singularity had on space and time. If space-time is warped by gravity, what properties did it have when all that matter was packed so closely together?

    I googled Setterfield and found his website and his summary of his theories. Fascinating stuff – my eyes were opened to the impossible position we find ourselves in relation to space and time!

    Rick,

    That about sums it up, but for one point. I don’t say the Pharisees and scribes completely misunderstood scripture. I say they created an image of God the Messiah as King. Remember when Israel demanded God reveal himself at the beginning of their 40 years and he did in a pillar of fire, admonishing them to not make an image of him – this is both a literal and figurative warning. One the Pharisees failed to heed. The Cornerstone had become a stumbling block, fulfilling prophesy…

  77. Hello Todd,

    Thanks for the clarification. It is not your view, then, that the Jewish leaders misunderstood the Scriptures entirely but rather overlooked the spirit as they focused on the letter. If that’s a better summary of your perspective, then I would certainly agree.

    As for the other issues, I’ve already responded to the idea that God communicated in a way to accommodate a limited perspective, such as we’re suggesting Moses would have had.

    Prophecy is another issue–and, I think, a rather complex one. The Jewish leaders weren’t entirely unjustified in expecting a King; however, they missed the parts about the suffering Servant. Also, it must be admitted that Jesus provided them with plenty of evidence that he wasn’t merely a megalomaniac seeking to arrogate divine prerogatives. As he said, “Which is easier–to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say ‘Get up, take your mat, and walk’?” Whether reading people’s thoughts, multiplying food to feed thousands of people, raising the dead, etc., Jesus provided much evidence to justify taking a serious look at his claims. This evidence wasn’t “only” in the form of miracles, either, but in his teaching. When the Jewish leaders sent a contingent to arrest him, they returned “empty handed.” Questioned, they responded, “No one ever spoke as this man does.”

    I don’t believe it was primarily because of a misunderstanding of messianic prophecy that the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus but because of a refusal to bow before a God who called them on their cherished sins rather than pamper their national pride and kick butt on the Romans.

    You probably don’t expect me to be particularly impressed by the “misunderstood prophecy” argument, and you’re right. I can think of at least a couple of specific points against it. For one thing, the Jews did not entirely misunderstand. They weren’t wrong to expect a King. For another thing, prophecy is a good deal more complex in content than is the creation account. We have Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11, for instance, telling us that God created our world in six days. We don’t have any other reference where he speaks of these days as representing vast ages of time. Also, the context of the six days is pretty much literal and was generally accepted as such until the Church bought the line that “science” had proved otherwise.

    As for Jesus speaking in parables, you’re right. In fact, in the gospels it says that that was pretty much his preferred method of teaching. However, he not only taught in parables, he also gave their meaning. So today, we don’t have to debate over how to interpret, say, the parable of the Sower or of the Good Samaritan. Also, we know that God often communicated in very literal and specific language. A handy example is the instructions for building the tabernacle that God gave to Moses. Also, while Jesus taught that such commands as “do not kill” and “do not commit adultery” go well beyond overt physical acts, this certainly doesn’t detract from their literal meaning.

    I guess it comes down to this question: does God communicate to us in a way that we can understand, or must we look elsewhere to try to determine what he “really means”? I would regard the latter as problematic, since it would suggest that we can’t be certain of anything God has said, unless we have some source of independent evidence against which to check our understanding.

    Now, having said all that, I acknowledge that I’m highly biased in favor of YEC and that I believe myself clever enough to pick holes in most arguments I disagree with, as long as they don’t depend on specialized knowledge I don’t possess. Since I’m convinced that YEC is the only biblically consistent approach, it’s probable that, while I think I’ve carefully considered it, I’ve not subjected it to quite the scrutiny I would apply to something I was desirous of disproving.

    As a brothers in Christ I trust we can both live with the fact that we happen to disagree on this issue? If you do feel that my perspective is potentially damaging, you could probably do no better than pray that God will gently nudge me to open my mind to something better.

    Best regards,

    Rick

  78. Rick,

    As far as discernment to know whether to look for hidden meaning or larger context, I think one has to determine whether that which is being conveyed relates to a present time or the future/past. Can you point to a prophesy which was literally written? I don’t believe any thing foretold in scripture has been literal.

    Now then, take commandments or instructions for building the temple or the ark. Both are “here and now” terms relating to how we are to act or what we are to do – in the present. Nothing in holy scripture which is obviously literal deals with conveying past or future events from God’s lips to man’s ears.

    I’ll say this – God is so great, so multi-faceted, so glorious – his written word is layered with meanings within meanings and parables within parables. There are historical accounts of ancient Israel which are parables for all time. Cities and defending cities can be read and understood as spiritual instruction for building and guarding our own lives and families!

    As for the issue at hand, understand that I am also sympathetic to YEC – indeed, it is the evidence for OE that lead me away. However, having now read some of Setterfield’s stuff on his web page (http://www.setterfield.org), I’m beginning to think perhaps the evidence for OE might not be so conclusive after all.

    I mean, if light is really slowing down, then decay rates and other universal constants are also affected and our calculations are meaningless suppositions from a perspective which has nothing upon which to fix a position! I plan on reading more of Setterfield’s stuff from his web page (there is a great deal of data) and looking to see if his critics are as insubstantial in their criticism as Darwin’s cultists usually are!

    I’m not wedded to OEC, it just seems to fit what our(my) senses tell us. I know better than to make doctrinal book on it, which is (I think) Sal’s main point in this thread. My salvation does not rest upon the Genesis account being literal. Praise God!

    So, my prayer is that we and our brothers and sisters in Christ do not major on minor stuff and instead glory in Christ, building each other up in the faith, yielding our selves to put on the life of Christ. The kingdom of God is now – and we will miss it if we are too busy condemning each other for having unique perspectives on the literalism of certain scripture. I pray not that your eyes be open, gently or otherwise, but that we both love the truth enough to be humbly wrong. That we learn and incorporate the lesson of the Pharisees – it is easy to miss God when we are not aware how frequently human understanding suffers from lack of perspective.

    Like the inference of common descent – why cannot the same evidence of commonality be evidence of a common designer? The answer is, that it can, because it is philosophy (a formalized viewpoint lens) which informs the inference!

    Anyhow, it has been a pleasure discussing this with you!

    regards,

    Todd

  79. [...] And I did have lesser honors like being on National TV in defense of ID: Crocker, Sisson, Cordova, Chenette TV Special [...]

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