August 19, 2019

Answers Not In Genesis

foot.jpgNothing discourages me about the future of evangelicals like “young earth creationism,” Hamm style.

Josh puts it well in this post at Here We Stand: “Every time I read someone saying it’s the Christian’s duty to refute biology and physics with the Bible, something inside me just dies a little.”

I’m feelin’ that as well. The army of preachers who have proclaimed themselves the new Lords of Science make me ever more convinced that evangelicalism is souring fast.

Joel Hunter responds to Josh here, and recalls a previous discussion here. Joel was commenting on the LA Times story on the “Ministry” of creationist superstar Ken Hamm. I’m sorry folks, but reading the description of Hamm’s pure propaganda rallies- teaching children to take on teachers with “Were you there?”- makes me ashamed and discouraged.

In a recent post on “The Proper Use of the Bible,” David Wayne communicates well some of his own growth regarding the Biblical narrative and how that narrative relates to the use of the Bible. Wayne’s discovery of the nature of scripture is wonderful. I would wish it for everyone. Wayne quotes his teacher on a three-part description of the nature of scripture:

Dr. Tripp pointed out that the Bible is a story, not a compilation of many stories, but one story with many mini-dramas comprising the story. More specifically, he defined the Bible as a theologically annotated story. The Bible has three parts which can be distinguished but not separated:

1. Narrative -the story itself.
2. Propositions – The theme of the story formed into generalized truth statements that help you understand the plot of the story.
3. Principles – The themes of the story applied to the situations of daily life to help you live within the plot.

Young earth creationists believe that Biblical propositions contain scientific descriptions of the age and beginnings of the universe. Hamm teaches students to fight their Biology professors with Bible verses and to taunt them because they “weren’t there” at the events described in the texts, and therefore must take an epistemological back seat to Christian fundamentalists.

My own experience with creationists indicates that maintaining a view of scripture that includes scientifically valid propositions about the age of the earth, the origin of species and the nature of geology/astronomy and physics is just as important as any Biblical statement about Jesus or the Gospel. Use of the Genesis account of creation and the fall anywhere in the Biblical narrative means that all the propositions, theories, explanations and extrapolations of the young earth creationists are assumed to be true, Biblical and the standard test for orthodoxy.

I could cite any number of blog comments that indicate a complete “domino” theory: Inerrancy = young earth creationism = orthodoxy = the Gospel. It’s not much trouble to find advocates of this view who will say departure from the “truth” of Hamm’s version of creationism equals abandonment of the Bible, the Gospel, the truth and righteousness.

As one sending Christian students off to colleges and universities, this is depressing. While advocates of ID are valiantly working to make a case for intelligent design, the advocates of YEC continue to make fideism and acceptance of the entire YEC canon a cardinal tenet of being a Biblical Christian. The shape of their resistance to debate and discussion appears to be increasingly unethical and incompatible with a Christian witness and intellectual integrity.

Contrast this with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on these same subjects. (Catholic Answers has a good article, but the Catechism is the crucial statement to read.)

I’ve blogged my own position in the YEC debate in the past, and gotten all the expected reaction. Saying that the Bible is about Jesus, God’s Final Word of salvation, and not about geology and astrophysics is still a minority view.

We must develop a way to talk about scripture that does not create this situation. The rise of Ken Hamm’s approach to Genesis has been largely blessed by the culture warriors whose influence in evangelicalism ties every available issue together, making those who would doubt YEC to be honorary pro-abortion activist Democrats in favor of gay marriage.

Clearly, we need to hear voices like Conrad Hyers who rescue our use of the Bible from the claims of the creationists. The false dichotomies, death-or-surrender tactics and propagandizing techniques of one segment of evangelicalism is making it more and more difficult to bring the intelligent, bright young people of our churches with us into serious discipleship. This is not an issue that will be solved by preachers throwing Bibles around in protest of the insidious errands of anti-Christian educators. If the YEC approach wins the day in evangelicalism, the movement will lose. It will lose thousands and thousands of young minds, who will go where the relationship of science and scripture is less hazardous.

Comments

  1. I have really struggled with this issue. Coming from a fundamental, landmark baptist background, two positions were dogmatically argued– the YEC or the Gap Theory (thank you Mr. Scofield). I have settled in on the position that:

    1) God created the universe. The Bible says it and everything seems to be predicated on it. How he did it, I don’t know.

    2) Adam and Eve were real people, actual human beings, and not literary figments.

    3) The fall was a real, historical event.

    There are many things I don’t know and am nervous about being dogmatic on these things that seem less than certain.

    Am I on the right track here, or am I way off base?

  2. mort_chien says

    I am also interested in salvaging some sanity in this debate, if indeed it is a debate. I agree with the 3 points by “Tiger” above. What is the answer about what Gen 1 really means if not seven days?

    1) The seven long ages idea which attempts to synthesis Gen 1 with a simplified view of our current geological and paleontological understanding gets the sequence wrong as far as the emergence of various life forms (birds before land animals).

    2) Why seven days and not one day, or instanteous creation? This is not the same question as to why the Bible is not a science book. Obviously the first generations from Adam knew nothing of the vastness of the universe or its complexity. Nor did they need to know.

    3) If a harmony is not possible – we have a big problem. I am in the ID camp but more than uncomfortable with the difficulties with Gen 1. Ken Hamm does not represent me. I will check out the links in the above iMonk essay. Hopefully there will be some “answers about Genesis”.

    Mort Chien

  3. radioalarm says

    Dr. John Walton, a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, has a very interesting theory as to what is going on in Genesis 1. He says that Genesis 1 is not describing the act of ex nihilio creation, but rather, the act of God giving order and purpose to his creation.
    This is what most creation epics were back then: stories of a god giving order to the world. In the ancient world, according to Walton, something was not thought of as existing unless it had a purpose. Existence related to function, not form.
    The theological ramifications of this approach are actually quite pleasant to a reformed theologian. If God gave purpose to the world, what purpose did he give it? In short, to sustain humans. In turn then, humans have the purpose of glorifying God.
    Walton doesn’t have a square answer for everything, but I think his view of the Genesis 1 account is worth reading about and giving thought to.

  4. Brian Pendell says

    Been thinking about this for a day or two…

    Like it or not, if one is going to be a serious Christian who takes any of the Bible seriously one is going to have to believe some pretty unscientific stuff. Resurrection of the dead, for example, is preposterous. So are angels. This is the kind of stuff you see in hokey late night shows or in cheesy pseudoscience like Transcendental Meditation.

    I don’t see why a mind that is willing to believe that a man who died 2000 years ago came back to life should balk at the idea that God created the universe without a need for evolution. Both are equally ridiculous from a scientific point of view. If you will accept one, why not the other? And if one rejects the Genesis accounts because of scientific implausibility, why not also reject the gospels for the same reason?

    For myself, I take refuge in the fact that I *don’t know* the answer. My experience with breeding animals and my knowledge of the laws of entropy have led me to disbelieve the Darwinist idea that something can come out of nothing, and that breeding for long periods of time results in new species that are unable to breed with the parent species. But equally, I have not yet heard a YEC “answer in Genesis” that was any more rigorous, and quite a few that are less so.

    I’m not satisfied with any of the answers. I don’t believe any of them are entirely correct. So I’ll simply wait for someone to come up with the right answer since I don’t have the time or the background to try to find it myself. That, or wait until God reveals it to us after the second coming. My faith in Christ does not require me to have all the answers, and I don’t.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

  5. DunkerEric says

    I see no problem in simply taking Genesis at face value, but creationism seems to imply that science is needed to affirm the truth of the Bible. Is science taken to be a higher truth than scripture? Is its endorsement required for the Bible to be true? I find it hard to believe that science is needed to promote God’s truth.

    In the process of trying to prove the scientific value of Genesis, Christians very often show great disregard for truth. Terrible arguments are made, logic distorted, and facts twisted. Of course personal attacks are also made. All of this makes me quite edgy around evangelicals. Believing in Genesis is Christian, but these tactics are not. I find it even harder to believe that lies are needed to promote God’s truth.

    Of course top scholars of human evolution are outspoken atheists. I should probably note that I am an anthropologist. But our efforts to refute the science and make a new science to fit our understandings of creation are so meager. Why is this necessary?

    I believe that Genesis is somehow true. I don’t know how, but suppose God created the world yesterday AS IF it were a billion years old. Would it be one day old or a billion years old?

    I don’t know the exact answer to these questions, but I know enough to know that a belief in young earth creation is not key to knowing or understanding of God, and that the debate is a distraction to Christian discipleship. Now who would have an interest in creating that kind of diversion?

  6. I think these words should be framed and posted wherever these debates occur:

    “I know enough to know that a belief in young earth creation is not key to knowing or understanding of God, and that the debate is a distraction to Christian discipleship. Now who would have an interest in creating that kind of diversion?”

    Would it destroy your faith to find out that the world really is a whole lot older than the Young Earthers insist? If so, what is your faith founded on?

    If the Genesis creation account is allegorical, is that bad? A fair number of folks think that at least part of Job is allegory (Satan is represented as being sort of in the court of God, with God actually giving permission to Satan to do all these horrible things to Job) and it doesn’t bother me to see it as an instructive story rather than a literal account of one man’s trials. Song of Songs is an explicitly erotic poem that most of the Evangelicals I know personally would probably be very uncomfortable reading, and therefore avoid. Yet, it is there. And a lot of scholars (including Hebrew scholars from ‘way back) agree that this book serves as an allegory to describe God’s relationship with Israel. We know that allegories can exist, that books in the Bible are not necessarily bald fact, that poetry and imagery can be (and are!) used to teach us truths in a way that a literal scientific account cannot. Is that so bad?

    Science is the study of what God created. Approached with that attitude, I think we can learn to appreciate and better understand the mind of God when we study what He made. But if we throw out the reason and the rationality that He gave us, we lose the tools we need for that understanding. If we discard any evidence that is not convenient to the views we have already decided upon, we discard every opportunity to learn more.

    Faith is not a destination, but a journey. Sometimes, we think we know exactly where we are going and walk with purpose. Other times, we are happy where we are and get tempted to quit walking altogether. Still other times, we are in the middle of a desert and we keep walking only because we hold to the faith that we will get past it and reach our destination as long as we persevere in the journey. Arguments about the age of the earth are side roads that might not lead anywhere we are supposed to want to go. Be careful of such arguments. Sometimes it is okay to agree to disagree and still see the other person as a brother and a Christian.

    “Can’t we all just get along?”

    -Patrick

  7. I agree that some people in the YEC camp are too confrontational and sometimes use tactics which bring shame on the Church.

    When I talk about it, it is to help people see that they can believe the Bible without abandoning reason. Yes, it sometimes comes to that choice: be rational and believe science or be irrational and believe the Bible.

    Science is not a bastion of truth, it is a collection of hypotheses and biased interpretation of facts (we have a different bias). Because people are involved, some of what they do and say is motivated by factors other than scientific/rational facts, things like promotion, acceptance, getting grants, etc.

    Claude

  8. I now know I was not alone when I heard that horribly cheezy accent on bad christian radio tell me how the dinosaurs and Job lived in the same back yard. Michael’s right … Fideism is a bad idea, and the YEC folks are a prime example. It’s embarassing, really. Ken’s intellectual laziness (“Were you there?!”) is both frightening and infuriating at the same time. Shouldn’t Christians be the BEST scientists?!?!

  9. radioalarm says

    I don’t really care for the percieved age argument. I have a hard time theologically working through the idea that God would intentionally decieve his creation.

  10. mort_chien says

    Around 500 years ago some nut case, Copernicus was his name I think, suggested that the earth moved around the sun and not the sun about the earth. Some serious theologians had a problem with this (including Luther) because there are passages in the Psalms about the earth being firmly fixed, and in Joshua, about the sun not setting. This violated their understanding of a literal sense of Scripture. In the ensuing 500 years we have come to recognize that poetry (Psalms) and observation (Joshua) are not the same as scientific explanation and that great mischief results when such language is taken “literally” in the wrong sense. By this I mean that the sun did “stand still” from Joshua’s vantage point during the battle. He was not lying.

    Now in the 21st century, I wonder if we aren’t doing this all over again – over literalizing a text that might not have been intended to be a statement about astrophysics. If we are, then it we are playing into the hands of those who, rightly in this case, accuse Christians of anti-intellectual behavior. Worse, we would be misrepresenting what God has said by substituting an interpretation for the actual text. And that is serious.

    How does one investigate this matter? Conrad Hyers essays may have some answers. At least, they offer food for thought.

    Mort Chien

  11. I agree with your problem with Ken Hamm’s “all or nothing” Bible Church-style approach. His insistence that we either embrace YEC or throw out the Bible offends me as well. However, it always brings radicals on both ends of the spectrum to bring attention to concerns that have been overlooked for too long. I believe the predominence of Evolutionary Theory in education is just such an area. It has taken the “extremist” jumping up and down and shouting about the massive inconsistencies of Evolutionary Theory to even nudge the intellectual discussion off of the Evolutionary ball. Extremist are never appreciated by the majority until they are long dead.

  12. Histrion (Jay H) says

    GG writes: […]it always brings radicals on both ends of the spectrum to bring attention to concerns that have been overlooked for too long. I believe the predominence of Evolutionary Theory in education is just such an area.

    I don’t see any evidence that the scientists actually working in the field are in any denial about the difficulties within modern evolutionary theory. (Calling them “massive inconsistencies” is a bit of a stretch, IMHO, but I’m not a biologist.) In fact, the theory has changed quite a bit since Darwin’s time, and it continues to develop to this day — the long-standing debates between Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould are but one example of this. Just about all scientific theories start out rough and over time are either smoother over, patched, or rejected in favor of better theories. Evolution is no different, and it shouldn’t be.

    But if the issue is “what do we teach high school students,” then we have to decide to what degree the rough areas in the theory can even be explained to a high-schooler. When I took my high school physics course, we discussed the basics of the behavior of gravity (Newton’s F=ma and F=Gm1m2/d^2), but the fact that scientists have yet to sort out the actual mechanism by which gravity works simply didn’t come up, and it shouldn’t have, because that would have put us in the difficult land of particle physics where we were not prepared to trespass.

    I think the situation is similar here. If the areas where evolutionary theory have not yet been worked out are the low-level details, then it’s enough to tell students just that, since anything more runs the risk of scaring them off/shutting them down. If the teacher thinks the difficulties are truly theory-busters, however, then until a legitimate alternative theory comes along, perhaps it’s best to say, “Scientists in the field are still struggling to make certain things work, but right now the basic evolutionary idea still seems like the best one to work with.”

    And yes, I did say “until a legitimate alternative theory comes along.” IMHO, ID doesn’t qualify, sorry.

  13. Jay,
    From your comments, I can say with certainty that you know more about science and evolutionary theory than I. As a matter of fact, I would say that I probably represent the average American knowledge on the subject. When I think of evolution, I think of the chart with the monkey slowly morphing into a man. You may laugh, but I think that comes pretty close to representing the perception of your average American. The fundamental premise of evolution that man evolved from another species is the one that bible believing folks – myself included – have a problem with. And the fact that there is no “missing link”, no record of any “jump” from one species to another, makes evolutionary theory very shaky from my “everyman” perspective. Then I look at the Bible, which says that God created MAN, and the first man was Adam, and he was an incredibly intelligent being, and I see a huge gap between my biblical faith and basic evolutionary theory.

    Like I said, maybe I’m missing something.

  14. Wow this got long….

    Since YEC’s are being generally misunderstood and misrepresented in this entire discussion, incuding Micheal’s article, could we at least get one specific detail correct? Namely, there is only one ‘m’ in Ham. Also, calling his accent “cheesy” seems a little unfair.

    But getting more to the point, if the YEC viewpoint is too extreme and causing young people to be driven away etc., then….what? There are dozens and dozens of ‘in-between’ lines of thought. Some of them are fairly well definded, like the Gap theory, ID or Hugh Ross’ progressive creationism. Many people seem to hold to an “I don’t know, but anything other than the YEC view” Still, all of these are ultimately illogical when thought through. None of them really make sense when compared to the Biblical narrative, OR TO current secular science. I.E. the big bang, which is the backbone of Hugh Ross’ progressive creationism but is falling farther out of favor as a secular theory.

    In the above comments I see a good deal of acceptance that some or all of evolutionary theory must be true. Yes the theory is “rough” but is the assumption that it is basically true? If so, why?

    What evidence or ‘proof’ of the evolutionary hypothosis has us so frightened? What exactly has convinced Biblical Christians to apply Higher Criticism to Genesis 1-11 only? Are the facts of science so overwhelming that we have no choice but to integrate them into our faith where they have historically not been?

    As you may have gathered, my answer to the above question is simply ‘no’. The November 2004 National Geographic cover featured the headline “Was Darwin Wrong?” An entire page was dedicated to thier answer, which obviously was “NO” But, read that article! It contains the very best and brightest arguments in favor of evolution. They are no more convincing (and hardly any different, really) than Darwin’s own ideas. In fact, knowing what we do now about the true complexity of life they are almost laughable. No one yet has really even proposed a mechanism (mutation and natural selection are processes)to begin to explain how animal life, plant life, the water cycle, DNA, solar energy, etc came to be on their own.

    I know there are not likely to be any hard-core materialistic evolutionists reading this site. My questions are not to them anyway. I’m simply asking the church…”Why must we give in to such man-made theories?” They have yet to produce anything even remotely convincing enough to force a change in how we approach scripture.

    Comparisons of YEC Christians to ‘Dark Age’ Christians who held onto such beliefs as a flat earth or earth-centric universe are not valid. Anyone with sharp eyes or a telescope could go to the coast and observe a tall ship rising on the horizon. The roundness of the earth is observable and consistent, therfore to deny it is a willful act of ignorance. The same goes for the earth orbiting the sun. It is observable and undeniable.

    But there is simply nothing in the evolutionary hypothosis, on a true nuts and bolts level, that can be observed or repeated. The fact that living things mutate has nothing to do with the basic question of how those things came to be. To be shown an example of mutation is simply that. It takes a fantastic leap of faith to say that enough of these mutations will produce something completely new, differnt and ‘better’.

    No, evolution and the round earth are not the same. Any logical person can stil simply say “nope, not convinced yet” and be perfecty consistant when it comes to evolution. So why cloud the church’s thinking with it?

  15. DunkerEric says

    Radioalarm–I know my idea sounds like God being deceptive and creating the world to look older than it is, but what I am trying to express is something a bit different. I wouldn’t see the deception if today God were to create one hundred billion years of past and future–it would be real. As I see it, there is no gap between Gods will, imagination, and reality. I don’t say this is how it is, but it is conceivable to me that God could create a billion years of history in a day. It is a paradox for our time-limited experience, not a deception. I only raise this because I am stuck between a Bible that says the world was created in seven days and people who want that to be taken literally, and a world that shows clear evidence of having developed over a vastly longer span of time.

    GG-Lots of ‘missing links’ have been found. One problem, though is that every time a new Australopithecine or other early hominid is put between man and apes, TWO new missing links are created. We have fossils of creatures that are basically a chimpanzee that walks upright, and then later forms that have gradually more human-like skulls and teeth. Homo Erectus is walked upright and made stone tools, but used the same technology of tens of thousands of years without innovation. No evidence of a jump between species, but certainly something that could be taken to be a gradual change. This is not where the weakness in evolutionary theory lies, but the only way people would know it would be to study evolution.

    Johnlnk-in a way, I think I agree with you. How evolution happens isn’t clear and is beside the point for our faith. What I find upsetting is Creation Science and much of ID, which are really bad science and often distort the facts and deny that any good Christian could possibly consider some alternative. And while it is true that evolution itself is not exactly observable or testable, there are these fossils, stratification of rock, and ages of those things that are based upon fundamental principles of physics. I don’t think we need to try to reconcile those with the Bible, but I think it makes sense that people will want to make sense of those things.

  16. DuncerEric wrote:

    Johnlnk-in a way, I think I agree with you. How evolution happens isn’t clear and is beside the point for our faith.

    I can see that I’ve been misunderstood. That was not my point at all. My point was that evolution in the
    “Mold to Gould” sense did not happen at all! I was challenging my fellow readers to answer the basic question “What evidence is so compelling that we must abandon a plain reading of Genesis and insert man made theories?”

    DunderEric I appreciate that you did give some answers. Namely, the apparent clear chain of human evolution, as shown by fossils. Also you mentioned rock stratification and the age of the earth, based on the various forms of radio metric dating. I would be more than willing to discuss these or any other apparent proof for evolution in detail.

    But for now I would like to say it this way: Genesis 1 is painfully clear in it’s efforts to say that those days were basically literal days and the genologies go on from there giving a general sense of the age of the earth. Also Genesis says that Adam was made from recently created dirt and Eve from his rib as the first and only humans. That is just a plain reading of what is there. So, it seems that the burden of proof will always lie upon those who want to propose an alternate theory for what “actually” happened. A person who just wants to believe in God’s word may get a little annoyed at having to constantly defend that stance among fellow believers.

    A YEC person may seem to be arrogant or unwilling to consider alternatives and indeed it can lead to personal pride. But it is true that simply standing on God’s word, as if it where the Masada fortress, and looking down on the swirling mess of of man’s ideas can lead to a tremendous amount of courage and boldness.

    Very nearly every informed YEC that I know is more than willing to debate the details and is fairly well prepared to do so. We don’t claim to be above error or that any and every YEC claim is perfect. That is the whole idea. Only God is perfect. Man is worse than fallible. So who should we listen to?

  17. Excellent reading is Philip Johnson’s book “Darwin on Trial”. He’s not a YEC, but he does a good job of taking Gould, Dawkins, etc. to task on their own evidence.

    My brother (Bill Griffin) is a Ph. D in ancient near east languages, and no less credible for being my brother… He maintains that the point of the Genesis creation story is that “God” created the earth, not “gods”. In other words, the writer is speaking to the rampant polytheism of the dominant cultures, and arguing that it was Yahweh who created the world, not all these other gods. It’s not an attempt to be a textbook (sorry, Ken)– especially considering how the ancients actually viewed the physical world, e.g. a plate supported on the back of huge turtles swimming in the sea, etc.

    My wife had a biochem course at CU back in the early ’80s. The prof started out the first day by reading out of Genesis 1. The students were laughing at him. Then he went on to explain that it made perfect sense from a biochemical standpoint to do it in this order: first you need an energy source (sun), then you need a solution (sea), etc. If nothing else, it was an interesting way of looking at it.

    johnlnk makes some good points, particularly on the lack of a mechanism at the biochemical level for progressive evolution. I disagree when he says “Genesis 1 is painfully clear in it’s efforts to say that those days were basically literal days and the genologies go on from there giving a general sense of the age of the earth.” See above for why.

    I just don’t see how any observer of nature can say that it’s only 6,010 years old. However, I also don’t see how anyone who studies anatomy or physiology can accept the premise that all of these incredibly complex, interlinked systems just developed on their own. It strains logic like a guitar string tuned an octave too high.

    What do I believe? That God is true. What do I believe on this topic? Who cares? I just add my hearty “AMEN” to Eric’s remark:

    “I don’t know the exact answer to these questions, but I know enough to know that a belief in young earth creation is not key to knowing or understanding of God, and that the debate is a distraction to Christian discipleship. Now who would have an interest in creating that kind of diversion? ”

    Oh, and Ken Ham’s a bozo.
    -Jim Bob

  18. A couple of points:

    The age of the earth should not be an issue when we discuss creation with an atheistic materialist. If the YECs insist on arguing for a few-thousand-year-old earth, Christianity will be dismissed as obscurantist nonsense. This view will eventually be listed right next to Cardinal Bellarmine’s comment during the trail of Galileo, “To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.”

    Second, while I don’t agree with everything that Hugh Ross says, his reading of Genesis 1 is spot on. He says that the proper way to read it is as if it were being told from the viewpoint of a hypothetical observer on the face of the earth. (Of course, the days refer to indistinct periods of time.) Read this way, it fits exactly with the current scientific understanding of how the earth was formed. It also resolves the problem of light appearing before the sun.

    Rod

  19. I missed this one at the time. Great post. I’ve ordered the Conrad Hyers book. Have you read Blocher’s “In The Beginning”? That’s the book where it all went wrong for me. 😉

  20. liberty4u says

    After reading one of Ken Hamm’s books, I researched the YEC theories. I did not want to get into evolution, but, instead researched astrophysics. This is easier to understand and the evidence, unlike evolution theories, is almost irrefutable.

    The main issue is, if the universe is 6,000 years old, how can we see starlight that is much older? YEC theorists agree this is a problem and has come up with several theories to explain this. Two have been rejected (the light was created ‘in-transit’, and decaying speed of light) by most in the YEC community. A newer theory, that talks about varying time, has not been accepted by the scientific community and has cautious hope from the YEC community.

    When I bring this up, it is interesting to note that I get accused of being an ‘evolutionist’. I know very little about the topic, and never even discuss evolution.

    Since there is nightly observable evidence that the universe is much older than 6,000 years old, I will believe these theories. If YEC scientists can back up a 6,000 year universe, then I will believe that.

  21. John Hartnett, a cosmologist working for AiG, has developed a new YEC theory of the old Universe. He believes that Earth was in a “slow-time” state and the whole Universe aged to its presently observed age. Thus the Universe is “billions of years old” but all that happened within the 4th day and the 6,000 years since.

    He knows his physics, but his theory is totally without physical evidence. It merely “saves the appearances” of having an old Universe and a young Earth.

    He’s also Australian, like Ken Ham, and for that fact I am sincerely sorry. As an Australian I feel sorry that we have inflicted Barry Setterfield (who I quite like as a person and whose ideas I like most amongst YECs), Ken Ham (who I detest) and John Hartnett upon the global Christian community. That two otherwise very clever physicists should perpetuate the cause of YECism and be Australian is a lamentable fact.