jtrhart

Why I Am A Young-Earth Kinda Guy

In travel on March 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm

My wife and I took a few hours this week and went down to the Museum of Natural History in D.C. They have a new butterfly exhibit that Libby wanted to see and I’ll take any chance I can get to think more about evolution/creation. Butterflies have created quite the stir lately given one genus’ particular mating habits that seem to reinforce the idea/theory/fact of natural selection. So I assumed this exhibit was in-place to help create more buzz about this research. And it was.

T-Rex

First off, museums need to create more modular exhibits and their accompanied text. It’s unfortunate with the speed of things today that museums are months or years behind current research, I found people actually crossing things out with a permanent marker because something on a plaque was incorrect. Other than that museums are wonderful places to get an up-close, 3D look at things. There’s only so much a computer screen can really tell you. So just a quick note, if you are like me and haven’t been to a museum in a long time, go spend a Saturday at one.

Steg

Two major schools of thought exist today in Christian circles. Some call themselves young-earth creationists, others would label themselves old-earth creationists. One group sticks to a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-2 and say everything was created in six 24-hour days and, given the recorded genealogies we have in the Bible, would say the earth is around 5000-6000 years old. The other says Genesis 1-2 should be read poetically and that the time period of God’s creation was very long, thus accounting for the scientific research stating that the earth is about 4.6 billion years old. Within both of these groups there are all types of differing ideas on evolution and man’s beginnings. Both sides would hold fast to their high-view of the Word of God and the truth that God created all things no matter what process He used to get there.

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I hold to a young-earth creation viewpoint only because I haven’t been convinced otherwise. Old-earth creationism has too many gray areas that haven’t been answered yet for me. For instance:

Gen 1:7then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature…15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it…But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

I don’t know how to read that poetically. If man evolved from more primitive forms of modern-day humans, at which point in the evolution did God say “this one is the first one”? Paul said we all sinned in Adam, did all the other creatures before Adam sin or is Romans 3:23 incorrect? Adam is found in genealogies (Genesis 5, Luke 3) which tells me that we are not to interpret Adam as being mankind but as a particular individual. Even more so, Paul says Adam is a type of Christ, we certainly can’t say that mankind is a type of Christ, it must be an individual otherwise we all become a type of Christ.

You might say there are too many gray areas in young-earth thought but those seem to be gray areas when viewed from the ever-changing state of current science. Where did the dinosaurs come from? What about the look/feel of the earth? it looks old. What about the bones of primitive man we’ve found? I don’t have any answers to these questions that don’t refute what I believe to be a correct interpretation of Genesis 1-2 so therefore I continue in my young-earth beliefs.

Where are you on this issue? Is it even an issue for you? I would love to hear from those who consider themselves old-earth folks on this.

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  1. Is carbon dating not compelling enough to dispute the young earth creationist view? The abundant evidence in the cosmos around us doesn’t point to a process stretching across millennia that is directly related to our own planet’s formation? What about dinosaurs? Seriously? We somehow coexisted? Literally interpreting passages concerning man’s creation in the bible flies in the face of so much empirical evidence, evidence which cannot be reasonably said to point to any other conclusion than that the earth is quite old, that it is an appalling abandonment of our critical reason. I’d have to assume that given how much our ability to reason has rewarded us, should a god be responsible for our possession of such, said god would be pretty disappointed by your statements.

  2. First, I agree with your comment about considering the Bible to be literal unless convinced otherwise. I’ve found that to be generally a good guideline.

    While I am a young-earth creationist, I found http://www.noble-minded.org/young-earth.html to be interesting in terms of making me think critically about why. He raises some tough questions. I won’t rob you of the joy of working through the questions yourselves, but I will make two comments:

    1.) The young-earth position, at least as I hold to it, is that the days in _Genesis 1_ are literal days. That when the Bible talks about morning and evening encompassing a day, it really means literal mornings, evenings and days. Most of his argument seems to be that Genesis 2 is not referring to a single day, which is different.

    2.) While I read the passage literally, I don’t read it like a lab report. There’s definitely a shift in focus in chapter 2 from a daily report to a more intimate look at the beginning of all relationships as we know them. Reading such text like a textbook is not what we mean by literal interpretation!

  3. Yeah, I don’t read the Bible like a lab report, either.

  4. Terminally Dorky, carbon dating is not compelling to me yet. In my opinion, it relies on too many assumptions. I wrote more on those assumptions here.
    Like I said, I don’t have an answer for dinosaurs. I don’t believe man ever coexisted geographically with dinosaurs otherwise we’d have all types of descriptions of them in books. I wonder though, with all the digging going on in the Middle East, why aren’t more dinosaur bones found there? It seems most bones are found outside of the Middle East on other continents. I have a wild theory here that dinosaurs and man existed at the same time but dinosaurs were destroyed in the flood. The flood would certainly explain why those bones are found at different layers of sediment. I wonder how carbon dating’s assumptive methods would change if a catastrophic flood were thrown into the mix 4000 years ago.

    I have trouble with calling this evidence empirical though. Empirical would be something that can be produced in a lab under a tightly controlled experiment or something that is observable in nature without external actions. Carbon dating is based on calibrated values which are based on assumptions, to me this can’t be called empirical.

    You are right about God wanting us to use the reason He has given us, He says in Job 12:7-9:
    7?But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
    And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
    8?Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
    And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
    9?Who among all these does not know
    That the hand of the LORD has done this”
    This to me says that we should be looking at creation and pondering who made it. Thanks for your comments, they got me thinking about some things.

  5. Andrew and BertW,
    I agree, it seems Genesis 1 is the entire account of creation and Genesis 2 is a “zoom-in” view of the Garden of Eden (hence the different Hebrew words used for land and field in Gen 1,2). So, while I agree it shouldn’t be read as a lab report, there are enough specific details in there to make us sure of its accuracy and literal writing-style.

    Maybe another post on the differences in Genesis 1 and 2 is needed here. Thanks for pointing me there and for your comments.

  6. I have recently been doing so reading on some other ‘scientific’ matters so this comes at an interesting time. What scientific matters you might ask? Black Holes….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole. Believe me, this is tough stuff for a guy with a below average I.Q. After reading a bit about these and researching a little more about the scientific communities current interpretation of the Big Bang Theory, the current conclusion that I have come to is that regardless of what you think as a Christian, we admit that God is Big and there are and always will be his mysteries even within matters that we consider concluded. The physical box that God is often put in, gets de-constructed every day by our own discoveries. The same way that modern science gets de-constructed every day by it’s own devices. The difference is that believers expect this to happen as we uncover those mysteries that we are supposed to discover. Is the Lord of All bound by his creation, or is his creation bound by his mystery?

  7. Dave C. i really appreciated your closing comment. i haven’t looked much into black holes, if you find anything that might be applicable to this blog, let me know, maybe we can have a guest blogger posting.

  8. The mystery of ancestral descent

    This is tale which tells what recessive genes hold, what inbreeding cause’s and what degenerate animals look like.

    A male lion breeds with a female tiger, makes a liger of great size!
    2

    a male leopard breed with a female lion brings forth a leopon. Which not only has the size and strength of the lion but also has the climbing abilities of the leopard.
    3

    All that has so far been said, is recognized by science.
    4

    Now into the realm of what has not yet been ‘validated’ (by science).
    5

    All the other cats are said to interbreed
    from time to time.
    6

    The division of Species is based on the idea that, only members of the same ‘Species’ can indeed breed.
    But if all cats ( including the Egyptian house cat) can breed, they are not different Species but only subspecies of the original cat.

    Now, if the liger is bigger and the leopon is of the same size and better. Then it comes to reason that the original cat from off the Ark was a super cat.
    Scientists say that the “extra” abilities that come out of these ‘hybrids’ are caused by “recessive genes”
    Recessive Genes are created by inbreeding.

    Now here is the part that might interest a historian.

    Gen 7:2

    “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.”

    In this I think that the clean animals were allowed to descend without inbreeding and therefore pure. While the others were forced into inbreeding, which caused their abilities to go into ‘Recessive genes’. The ancients had enough trouble with the lions, tigers, etc. So this might have been set to preserve man. Did you know that in India they breed the wild dog with the wolf to get a bigger breed. This alone means nothing, except that there is a story whcih appeared shortly after the flood. No later that 500 years, or 600, or 700, etc, after the flood. The story told of a great king who had wolves so great that his men were able to ride upon them, for they were far greater than any horse.

    Maybe I’m going nowhere, but if only two cats, two dogs, two bears, etc, walked off the Ark. Then I say that it would immediately force inbreeding, which in turn would force abilities to go into recessive genes. And (to the point) would force the super Cat to degenerate into the lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah and house cat that we have today.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t help joking and calling the lion and tiger a degenerate.

    “In the production of pure breeds of sheep, cattle, hogs, and horses inbreeding has frequently been practiced extensively, and where in such cases selection has been made of the more vigorous offspring as parents, it is doubtful whether any diminution in size, vigor, or fertility has resulted. Nevertheless it very frequently happens that when two pure breeds are crossed, the offspring surpass either pure race in size and vigor.”

    Sudden Origins by Jeffrey H. Schwartz

    The tiger is either a pure breed are a degenerate species!
    Or I say.
    They are one and the same..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Else, the reason why the clean were in sevens as opposed to the others.

    Genetic research (and this basic reasoning and breeding) has shown that every type of wolf, dog, fox and coyote etc. came from the 1 original wolf.
    Scott, John Paul and John L. Fuller Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog
    Behaviour of Wolves, Dogs and Related Canines (Hardcover) by Michael W. Fox

    Mitochondrial Eve (mt-mrca)

    “Mitochondrial Eve is the ………..common ancestor (MRCA) of all human via the mitochondrial DNA pathway . In other words, she is the MRCA found when ancestry of all living humans is traced back in time, following only the maternal lineage. Mitochondrial DNA pathway is equivalent to maternal lineage, because Mitochondrial DNA is only passed down from mother to child, never father to child. [1]”

    Camel-Llama-alpaca

    All known subspecies of the “horse” are known to breed!

    1 Last thing.
    this theory is observable & testable, in that you can breed new ‘breeds’ of dogs in just a few years. But each of these will have less ‘ablities’ than the last.

    Just take 2 dogs (of your choice) & place them in a zoo. Now there children will be fine but as there children breed with each other you will see the same thing happen. Only it will go ten times further than before.

    Kentish Son

    I am sending this into the world because I want to get the word out.

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