Re: Apologetics and Genesis

George Murphy (
Tue, 10 Nov 1998 13:17:24 -0500

Inge Frette wrote:
> George wrote:
> > Until fairly recently, "ordinary opinion" didn't differ radically from the
> > best scientific opinion. I.e., science was in accord with "common sense."
> > It isn't any longer, & that's one reason there seems to many to be
> > dissonance between science & Scripture.
> Hei George,
> could you specify the timespan of "Until fairly recently" ?
> Is is one decade, several decades, a century or
> maybe sevaral centuries you are thinking of ?
> Are you thinking of the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics or even
> evolutionary theory as new scientific knowledge that is not in accord
> with "common sense" ? Or are there more recent things that have changed
> this ? I admit my limited knowledge of history of science here, since I
> don't "get" what you mean with "until fairly recently".

I would go farther back than the theories you mention. The beginnings of modern
science with heliocentrism and inertia, e.g., were challenges to common sense. But
common sense develops with experience & the success of new ideas. When people had
adjusted to these over a couple of centuries, new ideas like evolution, relativity, &c
came along. Even the ages of the earth & universe are challenges to common sense. An
age of a few thousand years is something that we can have some idea of from everyday
experience. 10^10 years isn't. The values for the age of the universe from Bp. Ussher
and big bang cosmology are, as far as their psychological impact is concerned,
_qualitatively_ different, even though a mathematician can point out that the second is
just ~1.6 x 10^6 times the first.
YECs operate with the common sense of about 1800. Except for the lunatic fringe
they accept the motion of planets around the sun and Newton's laws of motion, but not
evolution or a long time scale. Some of them also object to relativity & quantum theory
even though those theories are not in any obvious discord with their literal reading of

George L. Murphy