Re: apparent age

Paul Arveson (
Mon, 4 May 1998 15:52:33 -0400

At 1:05 AM -0400 4/30/98, Bill Payne wrote:
>Paul Arveson wrote:
>> 3. We have positive evidence for the rapid creation of old wine in Cana.
>> Likewise we have positive evidence for the long age of the universe, as
>> Morton and others have cited. It is arbitrary to reject this positive
>> evidence in one case and not the other. The massive amount of evidence
>> demands a verdict.
>I wish I hadn't opened this can of worms, because now they're crawling
>out of my screen and getting all down into my keyboard. I had planned
>not to respond, but I am intrigued by the above.
>If I may paraphrase, you seem to be saying that we have positive
>evidence for the rapid creation of old wine, and positive evidence for
>the __________ creation of an old universe. Are you saying that I am
>arbitrarily rejecting positive evidence in one case, but not the other?
>If so, which evidence am I rejecting? What is the verdict demanded by
>the massive amount of evidence?
>Bill Payne

As a believer, I consider the Biblical story to count as evidence.
But I presuppose that historical inference is valid, otherwise we are led
to utter skepticism, since all our knowledge is really in the past.
Since the Bible is part of history, it too comes under this presupposition.
Likewise, using historical inference I can say something rational about
earth history, long before there were people around, based on an
examination of time-dependent physical phenomena such as radioactivity
or the travel of light. This evidence converges on an age of the earth
in the vicinity of 4.54 billion years. It's that simple.

Note: I did not say 'creation of an old universe'. That is your phrasing.
I consider, as did the Reformers, that creation is a transcendent event, since
time itself is a physical creature.

Paul Arveson, Code 724, Research Physicist, Signatures Directorate
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
9500 MacArthur Blvd., West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700
(301) 227-3831 (301) 227-4511 (FAX)