Re: YEC defined

Allen Roy (
Mon, 8 Mar 1999 22:14:40 -0700

Ted wrote:
> YECs typically believe all of the following:

I doubt that there really is a 'typical' YEC.

> (1) The universe, incl. the
> earth ("the heavens and the earth") are "young," ie only 5 days older
> humankind, no more than 10-12ky in actual age and probably not more than
> about 6ky old. Evidence to the contrary must be denied, explained away,
> (in some cases) assigned to "apparent age," what Gosse in 1857 called
> "prochronic" time.

Everyone functions within a philosophical world view or paradigm. For YECs
that paradigm is shaped by both witness evidence and experiential evidence.
Within witness evidence (the most important and weighty evidence) is
included the Bible which is believed to present truth from God about all
aspects of life including the crucial questions of Who? What? Where? When?
and Why? Science is a methodology by which experiential evidence is
gathered. That evidence is then interpreted within a philosophical
paradigm. The 'contrary evidence to be denied or explained away' is really
conflicts of interpretations of the evidence rather than the evidence (or
data) itself. Interpretations can be accepted, denied, or reinterpreted
without affecting the evidence. Often times, interpretation of evidence is
confused with and/or condsidered inseperable from the actual experiential

Regarding point (1). Many YECs interpret the Biblical evidence such that
the creation of the universe (on day 4) and the angels and the beginning of
sin are included within the creation week of earthly rotations. The dating
of this is based upon the witness evidence of the Biblical chronologies.

Other YECs (such as myself) interpret the Biblical evidence such that an
Old Universe is possible and that the creation of the angels (and likely,
other life forms throughout the universe) and the beginning of sin occurred
long before the Creation Week. The age of the universe is interpreted from
scientific evidence, while the age of the creation week is based upon the
chronologies. (The 'young' of YEC in this case, refers only to the
creation week.)

> (2) All major "kinds" (often these are called "baramin,"
> combining the Hebrew words for create and kind) of plants and animals
> created separately, in 6 literal days; considerable change has taken
> since the creation week, however, within these created kinds.

What is the relationship between the Biblical kind and the modern
classification system now is use? This is the crux of the problem. Is the
basis of the modern classification system the same as the 'kind'? After
all, no one writing the Bible could know anything at all about the current
system. Perhaps we are trying to compare apples and oranges? I believe
that because of such questions, the latest trend in YEC interpretation is
to consider that a Biblical kind is not equated with species or even,
perhaps, any larger grouping of the current system.

> (3) Most
> fossil-bearing rocks were laid down by the biblical flood, thus the
> geological column is a figment of the imagination and the fossil story it
> said to contain is equally imaginary; fossils tell us only what was
> at the time of the flood, they do not reveal the history of living

The reason for this is that death (of man and animal, but not of plants),
as interpreted from the witness evidence, never happened on the planet (nor
throughout the universe) prior to the fall of man. It therefore follows
that sedimentary strata (and some volcanic structures) which hold fossil
remains were lain down after the fall of man. The most likely event to have
done so within the time constraints of the chronologies is the witnessed
catastrophe known as Noah's flood. The geologic record is thus interpreted
within a catastrophic rather than uniformitarian paradigm.

(4) The laws of nature changed at the time of the fall, and (perhaps) again
> at the time of the flood; certainly the conditions on earth changed
> dramatically on both occasions. Esp. the 2nd law of thermodynamics ("the
> law of death and decay," as creationists call it) did not apply prior to
> Edenic curse. This law is also understood to prevent the possibililty of
> evolution "from simple to complex" forms.

Many YECs do accept such an all encompassing change at the fall, however, I
find it hard to swallow. I allow for all the laws of thermodynamics (as
invented, designed and made by God) to hold true from the oldest origins.
This still eliminates the possibility and probablity of abiogenesis and
Darwinian evolution in all its modern forms.

> (5) The Bible, not science, is
> the only reliable guide to the early universe. Science can't repeat the
> past in the laboratory; the historical sciences must be governed by the
> history provided in scripture, which was penned by writers inspired by
> only eyewitness, namely God.

God was there and he has passed on to us what is most needful to know
concerning origins. This witness evidence of the Bible is reliable, though
many argue differing interpretations of the witness evidence presented
there. Scince is a logical, reliable methodology by which God's created
universe can be studied. Since God is the author of both the eyewitness
evidence and the natural world, our interpretive paradigm should find
agreement in the interpretation of both. The experiencial evidence thus
acquired must be interpreted such that it does not contradict logical
interpretations of the Biblical witness evidence. And, logical
interpretations of the Biblcal witness evidence should not disagree with
interpretation of the experiencial evidence. If such is the case, then 1)
we have a flawed interpretation of the Biblical evidence, or 2) we have a
flawed interpretation of the scientific evidence, or 3) both. The latter
case is likely the most common state we find ourselves considering our
limited understanding (compared with God) of Bible and nature.