RE: Kline article in PSCF

Peter Vibert (
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 10:54:36 -0500


I told my adult Sunday School class a little science this week, focusing
on the age of the earth and the universe... eg. red-shifts and the
expanding universe; isotope ratios as a measure of age (reminding them that
the principles are 'everyday physics'). More than enough for most people
on a Sunday morning!

The reactions were predictable - bemusement at the large numbers,
puzzlement about how then one should think of Genesis, and strong claims
that this is just the way God made things appear even though He created
them recently. I passed out Loren Haarsma's posting on "a glossary of
positions" on creation(ism) from back in February (thanks, Loren!), and
several people expressed relief that there were "more options than they

We did get into an interesting discussion about the implications of YEC
views for science, an even managed to do a little history-of-science on
whether we could return to pre-Copernican views of nature where
"appearances" were just that... and there was no incentive to _observe_ as
a way of learning _truth_.

At least they now all understand that there is a 50% probability that the
person sitting next to them in the pew (or at the breakfast table...) holds
a different view from them of origins or interpreting Genesis. Trying to
ensure that this issue does not become a test of fellowship, I concluded
with Calvin DeWitt's line that when we meet God face to face, He will not
quiz us on how He made the earth, but on what we did with it...

My thanks to all of you who have contributed much in the past few months
to my thinking about how to present these issues.


> Peter J. Vibert
>Senior Scientist Interim Pastor
>Rosenstiel Basic Medical The Congregational Church
> Sciences Research Center in North Chelmsford
>Brandeis University 15 Princeton Street
>PO Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02254 N. Chelmsford, MA 01863
>tel: (617) 736-4947 tel: (508) 251-1261
>fax: (617) 736-2419