Re: YEC defined

Adam Crowl (
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:25:38 PST


This is an interesting thread, and at last we have a YEC to talk to
about the topic. Thank you Allen for your perspective.

>From: "Allen Roy" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Re: YEC defined
>Date: 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.
I suppose in detail every serious YEC is different, but you all seem to
hold to Flood Geology, even if some, like yourself, accept an ancient

>> (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
>> about 6ky old. Evidence to the contrary must be denied, explained
>> (in some cases) assigned to "apparent age," what Gosse in 1857 called
>> "prochronic" time.
More extremist elements tend towards Gossism when discussing the
starlight problem. What's your take on that issue?

>Everyone functions within a philosophical world view or paradigm. For
>that paradigm is shaped by both witness evidence and experiential

Kuhnian accounts of scientific progress have been refuted for quite some
time, so perhaps the language of "paradigms" is starting to get a bit
old. Imre Lakatos' notion of research programmes might be more suitable
when discussing scientific theories. What do you see as the main
strengths and direction of the YEC programme?

> Within witness evidence (the most important and weighty evidence) is
>included the Bible which is believed to present truth from God about
>aspects of life including the crucial questions of Who? What? Where?
>and Why?

This is a common claim, that Genesis actually presents [some] eyewitness
material from those involved, even God. I find this claim a bit hard to
swallow, since it involves a literate culture prior to its directly
observed development in Mesopotamia. Perhaps God passed on direct
knowledge to the author/s involved, but it is hard to say that we have
eyewitness material. The Genesis 2,3 account has very folklorish
elements - life-giving trees, walking, talking snakes, and genetic
curses - which makes interpretation ambiguous.

>Science is a methodology by which experiential evidence is
>gathered. That evidence is then interpreted within a philosophical

Scientific methodology requires interpretation, and that can't be
avoided. When palaeontologists dug up fossil whales that existed along
the shores of Tethys they did so on the expectation that there really
was a Tethys, an expectation generated by the "paradigm" of continental
drift and historical geology.

The 'contrary evidence to be denied or explained away' is really
>conflicts of interpretations of the evidence rather than the evidence
>data) itself. Interpretations can be accepted, denied, or
>without affecting the evidence.

Very unlikely. Our "paradigms" can affect our nomenclature and our
paradigmatic expectations guide our forays into the unknown. When
molecular biologists searched for self-replicating molecules they did so
out of the expectation that such existed because they were "predicted"
by theories of abiogenesis.

Often times, interpretation of evidence is
>confused with and/or condsidered inseperable from the actual
An understandable confusion based on the close relationship between the
two. No ground-breaking experiment can be performed without a paradigm
to interpret it and even to conceive it. In modern particle physics the
humble proton is producing more surprises than ever due to the detail of
the paradigms being explored. Only by expecting much do we receive.

>Regarding point (1). Many YECs interpret the Biblical evidence such
>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
>of this is based upon the witness evidence of the Biblical
>Other YECs (such as myself) interpret the Biblical evidence such that
>Old Universe is possible and that the creation of the angels (and
>other life forms throughout the universe) and the beginning of sin
>long before the Creation Week. The age of the universe is interpreted
>scientific evidence, while the age of the creation week is based upon
>chronologies. (The 'young' of YEC in this case, refers only to the
>creation week.)
That's a very interesting variation on standard YEC dogma that the
expectation of extraterrestrial life is a result of evolution. The
number of YECs I've read who imagine that disproof of EBEs is somehow
disproof of evolution, even though extraterrestrial life was expected
well prior to Darwin's day, - you're a breath of fresh air.

>> (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 in use? This is the crux of the problem. Is
>basis of the modern classification system the same as the 'kind'?
>all, no one writing the Bible could know anything at all about the

Though the way some YEC interpreters write to say the writers knew none
such is tantamount to heresy...

Perhaps we are trying to compare apples and oranges? I believe
>that because of such questions, the latest trend in YEC interpretation
>to consider that a Biblical kind is not equated with species or even,
>perhaps, any larger grouping of the current system.
Consider the Serpent. To treat Genesis 3 as literal history we must
believe that all serpents became legless due to the smooth-talking of
one cursed ancestor - that's what a literal reading requires! How all
modern snake species arose in the next 6000 years is hard to imagine,
but necessitated by a literal reading. Is the example of the snake
"baramin" a way for Noah to stock his Ark without violating a range of
biological necessities? Just two "snakes", just two "lizards", just

>> (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
>as interpreted from the witness evidence, never happened on the planet
>throughout the universe) prior to the fall of man.

Biblically there is no mention of this presumed panzoological aspect of
Adam's curse. What animal was cast out of Eden to be deprived of the
Tree of Life? We can interpret Paul's words how we like, but he WAS NOT
an "eye"-witness. The eyewitness material says nothing of the death of
animals, says nothing of "vegetarianism amongst sea-creatures" [a
totally unbiblical claim , but required by your logic], and makes no
statement about how curses placed on [supposed]individuals could be
transferred to their descendents. To uphold "no death for animals before
Adam" is to EXPLICITLY DENY the "eyewitness" material. So was Paul
talking of every living thing when he spoke of Creation's groanings, or
was he talking of Israel's old-covenant as some interpreters claim? The
covenant community of Israel is often called God's Creation, and if
anything was they were subject to sin and death.

It therefore follows
>that sedimentary strata (and some volcanic structures) which hold
>remains were lain down after the fall of man. The most likely event to
>done so within the time constraints of the chronologies is the
>catastrophe known as Noah's flood. The geologic record is thus
>within a catastrophic rather than uniformitarian paradigm.
Problems arise when trying to account for all the physical evidence
catastrophically, since much of it requires gradual processes, or seems
to. Tidalites - often in deposits with multi-million individual layers -
required the steady pulse of Moon and tide, and couldn't have formed in
less than tens of thousands of years. Several buried and mature rivers
are known, as are exposures of palaeorivers from very long ago. All this
is impossible to explain in a Flood context using anything vaguely like
a realistic understanding of geology. Miracles are required to generate
the evidence in a year-long Flood, even for the Palaeozoic alone [the
limit of the Flood deposits according to some YECs], and miracles are
beyond evidence and such are not evidenced in the Bible account.

>(4) The laws of nature changed at the time of the fall, and (perhaps)
>> at the time of the flood; certainly the conditions on earth changed
>> dramatically on both occasions. Esp. the 2nd law of thermodynamics
>> law of death and decay," as creationists call it) did not apply prior
>> 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.

Rightly so. Life can't exist without the Second Law.

>I allow for all the laws of thermodynamics (as
>invented, designed and made by God) to hold true from the oldest
>This still eliminates the possibility and probablity of abiogenesis and
>Darwinian evolution in all its modern forms.
Can't see how. Both abiogenesis and evolution assume the functioning of
normal physical processes, even if in energetic environments. Evolution
is observed as a normal biological process, even if dramatic change is
rarely seen; and abiogenesis is becoming more likely as the components
of life are becoming more well known. Nothing currently observed or
imagined assumes anything other than the normal laws of thermodynamics.
Creationism however requires the injection of order into chaos via
processes that have no explanation beyond "God said..." It's not
science, and does nothing for our understanding.

Just how does Thermodynamics stop evolution?

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

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.

It doesn't, at least the "one" used by science doesn't.

The experiencial evidence thus
>acquired >>>must be interpreted<<< such that it does not contradict
>interpretations of the Biblical witness evidence.

It's a big ask, and so far logical and reasonable interpretations of
physical evidence have failed to agree with the Bible. Most of the early
scientists tried to do as you require but difficulties quickly arose.

And, logical
>interpretations of the Biblcal witness evidence should not disagree
>interpretation of the experiencial evidence. If such is the case, then
>we have a flawed interpretation of the Biblical evidence, or 2) we have
>flawed interpretation of the scientific evidence, or 3) both. The
>case is likely the most common state we find ourselves considering our
>limited understanding (compared with God) of Bible and nature.
So far I have pointed out numerous flaws in the interpretation of the
Bible adopted by the YEC position, and these are more fundamental and
more detrimental than whatever flaws you might find in science. The
simple fact is YECs have been inconsistent in their Bible reading, but
it's an inconsistency that has arisen out of the difficulties created by
insisting on a Bible that is 100 % "true", with the chosen standard of
truth being quite alien to the purpose of the Bible.

Or so it seems.


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