Re: appearance of history

David Campbell (
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 11:04:43 -0400

>At 05:21 PM 2/7/98 -0400, David wrote:
>>I'm using "appearance of history" to refer to traces of a past, not
>>necessary for the function of something if it had been created
>>instantaneously. The wine at Cana had apparent age, but not apparent
>>God does not lie (or otherwise sin). Therefore, I find the suggestion that
>>He created things with an appearance of history theologically questionable.
>>It's not impossible that there is some function, not yet evident (e.g.,
>>Dorothy Sayers's analogy of a allusions to the past in a novel). The
>>alternative that creation accurately reflects how it was created seems much
>>more credible to me.
>I think you tie God's hands too much. If God did create the actual
>physical substance of this planet 6000 years ago (something that neither of
>us believes to be correct, but which at least I allow as a possibility to
>God), is there any possible way He could have done that that would be to
>your liking? If He made granite, that reveals a cooling history that would
>falsify its de novo creation. If He made sedimentary rocks, that reveals
>process, and thus falsifies His act, If Adam had a navel, etc. We cannot
>tie His hands or impose our constructs of what is a lie and what is not on
>Him. After all, that's why He told us what He did, precisely because we
>could not have figured it out without His help (though some would deny
>this, I fear).

If He made granite instantaneously, I would not expect it to have
xenoliths, different radiometric ages in agreement with its stratigraphic
position, mineral formation as expected from gradual cooling, etc. The
amount of apparently non-functional detail supporting an age of several
billion years is too much for me. Thus, it seems evident to me that God
tells us what and why He created, but not how or when in the Genesis
After all, what difference does it make if the earth is old or
young? The truly important fact is that God did it. A lot of geology,
paleontology, or biology in the beginning of Genesis would have been of no
use to the Israelites, and such apparently irrelevant if not
incomprehensible material would not have been easy to keep intact through
multiple puzzled scribes. God could have made it happen, but it doesn't
seem particularly relevant to the account of His interaction with us.

David C.