Re: YEC defined

Allen Roy (
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 23:39:56 -0700

Adam said
> >or (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?

I don't see any need for apparent time due to the possibility of an old
universe. I am aware of some in the YEC camp who have proposed possible
changes in the speed of light and a fellow named Humphres has developed a
white hole cosmology which has something to do with expansion of the

> 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?

Right now I don't know Kuhn or Lakatos so I don't know the difference
between their views.

> 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.

I think you may be refering to the tablet theory proposed by Wiseman.
Based upon his observation of the literary structure of biographical
Mesopotaimian tablets from the same era as Moses, Wiseman found a very
similar literary structure repeated several times in Genesis. This
'tablet' division of Genesis would then seem to indicate that Moses edited
a series of older writings on tablets into the book of Genesis. There are
about 11 or so of these divisions beginning clear back with Genesis 1.

Does this mean that writing goes clear back to Adam? Not necessarily. It
is quite likely that the literary structure of the biographical tablets may
reflect the traditional structure of orally transmitted family histories or
biographies. Moses may have edited actual tablets (which may had been
written after the invention of writing) or written down directly the oral
family histories.

The question then becomes how accurate was the passing down of oral
traditions? If great significance was attatched to them, it is more likely
that they will remain close to the original due to memorization by much
repetition. I don't have any facts or figures on such accuracy, but it
seems like I have read that such oral traditions remain quite accurate for
long periods of time.

In any case, Genesis then becomes not just a collection of stories and
fables edited by a bunch of redactors, but a fairly accurate collection of
oral/written histories edited into one documentby Moses.

> > 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 reinterpreted
> >without affecting the evidence.
> Very unlikely. Our "paradigms" can affect our nomenclature and our
> paradigmatic expectations guide our forays into the unknown.

I wasn't talking of obtaining new evidence, but the interpretation of
existing evidence.

> > Often times, interpretation of evidence is
> >confused with and/or condsidered inseperable from the actual
> >experiential evidence.
> 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.

I agree, but it doesn't really matter how new evidence is obtained.
Evidence that is obtained through a paradigm is not the sole propery of
that paradigm. It is possible that the new evidence may fit more paradigms
than the one by which it was discovered.

> 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!

I don't know of any YEC who believes that a serpent talked of it's own
accord. The talking is usually attributed to Satan who either used a
serpent as a medium or who took the form of a serpent himself. The loss of
legs or wings (or both) is largely speculation, for the text does not
explain how the serpent motivated prior to crawing on it's belly. The
curse, as applied to all serpents, could be seen everafter as an object
lesson of the results of sin.

> How all
> modern snake species arose in the next 6000 years is hard to imagine,
> but necessitated by a literal reading.

Perhaps the genetic variation of baramin is faster than that even proposed
by evolution.

> 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?

Perhaps I'm an odd ball, but I have always understood, (and have been
taught that) there was nothing of the Tree of Life itself which preserved
life. There was no magic potion which gave eternal life. Rather, that the
partaking of that tree, instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and
Evil (TKG&E), revealed the choice one had made in believing in God.
Eternal life is found in relationship with God. Sin is the choice of
seperation from God and thus from life. Eating of the TKG&E signified the
choice to cut off ones relationship with God. Eve did not sin by eating
the fruit of the TKG&E, rather Eve ate from the TKG&E because she chose
sin. Adam did not sin by eating the fruit Eve gave him, rather he ate the
fruit because he chose between God and Eve. He gave up life for death with
Eve. (not exactly a great deal!)

Eating of the Tree of Life was a choice made by intelligent minds in
relationship with God. The depriving of mankind from that tree was
symbolic of the choice they had made. Whether or not animals ate from that
same tree is immaterial. Eternal life came by intelligent relationship
with God, not by certain chemical reactions in the stomic or intestine.
There was no need to deprive the animals from the tree and no need to cast
them out of Eden.

Perhaps you may claim that this is not a literal reading of the text.
Perhaps this particular text was not ment to be read strictly literal. The
Bible has many types of literary writings in it, and a common sense,
straight forward reading, instead of a strictly literal reading, makes
understanding the Bible not quite so difficult. God has given us minds to
think, and we should use them when trying to understand the truths he

> 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.

While Paul may not have been an eyewitness to Creation and the Fall and
it's effects, he was moved by the Holy Spirit to write what he did and the
Holy Spirit was an eyewitness. Also, the texts do not deny that death
passed on to all life as a result of the choices of Adam and Eve. And just
because the text does not explain exactly how a curse placed on two
individuals could be transferred to their descendents, that does not mean
that it is impossible for such to happen.

> Problems arise when trying to account for all the physical evidence
> catastrophically, since much of it requires gradual processes, or seems
> to.

"Or seems to" Yes, that is the issue. Must all the deposits which seem to
require gradual processes only be interpreted that way? Just consider the
changes of paradim which occurred with the discovery and application of
turbidites. Many layers which had been interpreted as seeming to take long
gradual processes of slow deposition of very fine materials out of quiet
waters, is now understood to have been layed down very quickly (basically
in terms of days rather than tens of thousands of years)

> 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.

How much research has been done to look for possible fast deposition? Have
you ever tried? Is it possible that an explanation has been found which
comfortably fits the uniformitarian paradigm, and looking for any other
exlanation may be counter productive to the paradigm.

> Several buried and mature rivers
> are known, as are exposures of palaeorivers from very long ago.

The latest Flood models do not require that every centimeter of the globe
be covered by 15 cubits of water for every second. It would take more
space than available here to explain further. But, for there to have been
runoff in rivers during the Flood catastrophe event is not impossible.

> 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.

The source of energy required for a Flood catastrophe of 150 days (the time
from the opening to the closing of the windows and heaven and the break up
of the fountains of the great deep) is indeed problematic. One of the
latest ideas among Flood catastrophists is interpreting the effect of
asteroid impacts during the Flood. There have been thus far identified
nearly 200 asteroid impact craters which range in size from 1 to nearly 300
Km across found throughout the geologic record. This puts all those
impacts within the strata Flood Catastrophists identify as Flood deposits.
Thus we have not just one asteroid impact which is claimed to have caused
the extinction of the dinosaurs, but a whole string of asteroids of sizes
up to even greater than the one on the Yucatan, all impacting within 150
days. It is thought that the 200 known astroblems are only representative
of the number which may have actually hit the earth because 2/3rds. of the
surface earth is covered with water and plate subduction may have erased
evidence of other astroblems. If we propose 600 impacts over the entire
surface of the globe, then one gets about 4 impacts per day for the 150 day

What would one asteroid about 10 Km in dia. (like in size to the one which
hit the Yucatan) do upon impact? At impact it would explode like an atomic
bombc causing instant destruction over thousands of squire miles. It would
produce 100 to 200 thousand megatons of force. The bomb at Hiroshima was
less than one megaton. A crater would form some 150 Km across. Rock and
dust would be blown high into the atmosphere and space. Dust would spread
over the whole earth in the high atmosphere and greatly reduce the amount
of heat from the sun. If it hit an ocean, water would also be blasted into
space and atmosphere. The masses of ejected water would fall back in
torrents. Mega-tsunami up to 2 Km high would sweep ashore for thousands of
Km. These Mega-tsunami would strip soils in its higher energy levels near
the impact site and then lay down large, thick, continuous turbidite-like
deposits over vast areas. Each impact would produce several such impact

If you are wondering where I am getting such a scenario, go to your local
library and peruse several of the latest books on asteroids and comets and
their threat to life on earth.

One need not apeal to miracles to obtain the forces required for a
catastrophe on the order required for a global catastrophe. The '94 impact
of the "string of pearls" of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupeter was not a
miracle. Flood catstrophists propose something similar, a group or family
of asteroids hitting the earth and the moon and perhaps even Venus and Mars
during a fairly short time.

> 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.

This is part of the problem, is science a paradigm or a methodology? Part
of what I've been saying is that science functions within a paradigm as a
methodology rather than being a paradigm itself.

> 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.

Many of the early scientists did not have the eivdence now available. And
they were also operating within creationary paradigms which most YEC today
do not not adhere to. Just because the early scientists (many of whom were
Christian) did not find interpretations which fit the evidence then known,
does not mean that FLood catastrophe interpretations cannot and do not
exist which can find the evidence now.

> 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.

> 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.

As I pointed out before, the discussion is not between science and the YEC
paradigm, but certain interpretations of some scientifically derived
evidence and YCE interpretation of the same evidence. I find no flaws in
science per se.

> 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.

There are many YEC and much of Christiandom in general which hold to the
infallibility of the Bible specifially at the verbal inspiration level. I
prefer Thompson's 'Incarnational' view of Biblical inspiration. In other
words, just as the Word of God took on our human imperfections in His
incarnation as He came to show us the truth of God, so also the word of God
is clothed in the imperfections generated by human writers who were
inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the truth of God. Thus the
Bible may contain human induced mistakes, but still be God's truth to us.
It is by the Holy Spirit, who was sent to us to teach us truth, that we can
find the truth of the Bible and not be mislead by the imprefections we can
find there from time to time.