My approach is to expose creation science on its own grounds. That is, the
YEC's claim to be following a straight forward interpretation of the Bible;
but, in fact, at crucial points they take the Bible out of context. My past
papers in the Westminster Journal show that they are reading a global earth
into Gen 1-11, are rejecting the historical-grammatical meaning of "firmament"
as a rock-solid sky, and are reversing the Bible's description of water above
the firmament into a canopy of water below the firmament.
In addition, as a forthcoming paper will show (to be in the Dec issue of
Perspectives), they are taking Psalm 104 out of context in order to justify
their ad hoc lowering of the mountains before the Flood in order to make them
able to be covered by the water presently available in the oceans. Most of
them are also redefining "kind" as a reference to a taxonomic category above
that of species in order to avoid an overcrowded ark; or they are accepting
species as the basic meaning of "kind", but are having the animals hibernate
for a year to free up the space that would have been necessary for food, which
is contrary to the tenor of Gen 6:21.
Also, with the validity of carbon-14 dating being established empirically back
to c. 10,000 BC by means of dendrochronology, as one of their own previous
leading thinkers has brought out, consistency requires that the Flood be dated
before 10,000 BC (since according to their theory, carbon dating is only
valid after the Flood). But, as I have shown in my paper on the Tower of
Babel, the tower cannot be dated before c. 3500 BC, and hence the flood cannot
be dated more than a thousand years or so earlier than that or the one
language of Noah and his descendants, which is presupposed in Gen 11:1, would
have already become more than one language just through the population
dispersion and isolation.
The presentation of the above facts usually sobers the YEC's; and in the event
of continued vocal opposition, I press in with ,"But, you are not really
accepting the Bible; you are rewriting it. Once you reject the historical-
grammatical meaning of Scripture, you open yourself to merely subjective and
deceptive reinterpreations." If the charge of modernism or unbelief is made,
I point out that the church has historically believed that the firmament was
rock-solid and had an ocean above it; and that by dictionary definition
changing those interpretations to agree with modern knowledge is the very
essence of modernism, so in reality it is the YEC's who are the modernists.
For those interested in documentation: My papers on the firmament and the
water above are in the Westminster Theological Journal vol 53 (1991) 227-240
and 54 (1992) 31-46. These papers are also on the web at
My paper on the non-global "earth" in the Bible is in the Westminster Journal
59 (1997) 231-55. My paper on the meaning of "kind" (The Meaning of Min,
'Kind') is in Science & Christian Belief, vol 9, No. 1, 47-56. The crucial
paper on carbon-14 dating and dendrochronology is in the Creation Research
Quarterly, Gerald Aardsma, "Tree Ring dating and Multiple Ring Growth Per
Year," CRSQ 29 (Mar, 1993) 184-89; replies in CRSQ 30 (Dec, 1993) 127-30.