Re: YEC defined

Allen Roy (
Sat, 13 Mar 1999 20:17:31 -0700

Have you ever noticed how these responses keep getting longer and loonger
and loooonger and looonnngggeeerrr!!! Zowie!!

> From: Adam Crowl <>
> >From: "Allen Roy" <>
> Indeed I was, as it's been used fairly extensively by Creationists here
> in Australia. Wiseman held to a "multiple revelation" view of Genesis
> 1's six days.

I have read his book on his tablet hypothesis, but never seen anything like
a multiple revelation idea. Perhaps that is in another book.

> True, but the current account of such transmission requires a corruption
> of the common oral tradition in all but the tradition that culminated
> with Moses.

Since it is the Devil's intent to misrepresnt God, it would not be
surprising that oral transmissions would be corrupted by all but those who
remained loyal to God.

> I find this hard to believe, since Abraham's father is
> recorded as being an unbeliever, and that would be odd in a keeper of
> true lore. That's not my only objection, but it springs to mind readily.

Transmission need not be directly from father to son. It could be from
Grandfather to Grandson, or Uncle to nephew, or mentor to mentee. Since
Abraham obviously did not receive his beliefs from his father, then there
was likely someone else who influenced his life. Abraham surely did not
invent God.

> The Torah seems to be a pastiche from roughly Ezra's day, but that
> doesn't stop it from retaining valid tradition, since Ezra presumably
> used older materials. However how much was obscured by the editing
> process?

Why would one say that editing automatically results in obscuring the
original? Do we claim that Readers Digest obscures the original intent of
the articles and books in its editing process? Does not Reader's Digest
strive to present the most important and pertinant naratives, thoughts and
ideas of the originals? Why should any editing done by Ezra on documents
far more important than what usually appears in the Reader's Digest be
obscurant and suspect?

> My personal preference in understanding Genesis is to believe
> that real history has been recorded and obscured by theologically minded
> editors and scribes. Considering how much is left to us of the lives of
> many of the Hebrew kings I'd say this is not an unreasonable view.

It seems to me that theologically minded editors would be far more
circumspect in preserving the original intent of the original texts than
most others.

> Science is about extending our knowledge, and much of what YECism is
> against has been accumulated through the "lens" of evolution. It's hard
> to see how it can all be reinterpreted.
> >
> While this is true, usually the new retains the old as a limit case. In
> geology uniformitarianism never died, even though catastrophes are now
> seen as "normal" processes. Newton's physics remains valid even though
> it has been extended by Einstein and Planck, and Linnaeus lives on even
> after cladistics. YECism requires total demolition of much of science.
> [Now into the meatier issues...]
> Right. Let's see what this all means. "No we don't accept it all
> literally..." when it's obviously ridiculous, but when it's genealogies
> or Flood tales it has to be believed. Why the dichotomy, if it's all
> true? Why the fulminations against us theistic evolutionists when we
> don't take it all as 100% history?

How do we know the difference between parable and reality? The answer to
that also answers your dichotomy question. We do not read parables
literally because our experience in reality tells us what is real and what
is invention. We all have shared and differing elements of reality. It is
by the Holy Spirit that Biblical reality is found. Today, it is found in
the whole of the Bible. In our Biblical Fathers day it was found in the
extant writings (as needed). There may well have been in the distant past
a shared knowledge which has become lost over time, so that we now have
need of more explanation and thus a lengthier word of God. The Holy Spirit
uses the whole Bible to deliver to us truth. On any one topic, such as
Creation or the Flood, we must repair to all texts which touch on the
subject. Only then can we be certain of the reality.

It would be unsafe just to use Genesis to develop a model of Creation or
the Flood in the attempt to understand it as the ancients did. It woud
also be unsafe to suppose that the ancients would read or understand the
written or oral traditions strictly and only literal. The reason is that
we don't know what they really knew. If we suppose that they held widely
differing views from ours we could be in great error. They were led by the
same Holy Spirit as we are, so we would expect that their beliefs would be
similar to ours. Their view of reality could be very similar to ours,
irreguardless of whether we use the scientific method to study nature and
they didn't.

> >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.
> An interpretation. Developed in an age used to non-literal readings.

Indeed, an interpretation, but who is to say that the ancients only read
and understood in the literal sense? Surely the writings of Job (reputed
to be the oldest writing of the entire Bible) illustrate the varied and
extensive nature of the many senses of oral and written presentation. Of
all books of the Bible it is the hardest to understand because of the many
uses of literary devices and structure and figures. The discourses are
full of figures, analgies, etc. To attempt to read it totally literal
would only confuse the reader.

> choice was wanting to be God or not, it seems. Or so a direct and
> literal reading would tell us.

Here again you assume that only a literal reading is what the ancients
would understand.

> Especially if they died before and after the Fall. If no death was prior
> then why all the carnivores with such magnificent adaptations for
> killing? The cheetah runs to kill, T.rex grew teeth continually to
> replace teeth lost ripping apart bony prey, sharks constantly grow the
> same, eagles have brilliant eye-sight and powerful talons, ichneumon
> wasps lay eggs on live caterpillars and their grubs eat their hosts
> while they live... all perfectly adapted. Yet the Bible records nothing
> of a second creation event after the Flood or after the Fall, and
> records nothing of animals even being commanded to eat meat [though
> humans are so commanded.]

Is the fast running of a cheetah an adaption for killing or just a normal
design feature? T. Rex teeth may need replacing regardless of what it was
eating. The same goes for sharks. Having brilliant eye-sight and
powerful talons does not indentify the type of food eaten. All this is
interpretation based upon the current situation which makes all these
features carnivorous adaptions.

> > the texts do not deny that death
> >passed on to all life as a result of the choices of Adam and Eve.
> They don't deny. They say nothing, yet this huge inference is made on
> tenuous grounds based on a verse in Paul. It makes no sense Biblically!

If this inference depended upon a single verse then I would agree.
However, the entire symbolic sacrifical system that started with the making
of clothes for Adam and Eve also indicates death only began with the sin of
Adam and Eve. If lambs were routinely slaughtered by carnivors, the symbol
of the lamb (representing the immortal Saviour) being sacrifieced in Adam
and Eve's place so their 'nakedness' (the result of sinful choices) would
be covered up by the righteousness of the Lamb would loose it's meaning.

> 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.
> >
> It doesn't mean it is impossible, no. My point is it also says nothing
> about the transmission of a death curse - that's reading INTO the text
> something that is never elaborated. Another bit of creative
> hermeneutics...

What is sin? Sin is the state of being of having a broken relationship
with God. Because the parents have a broken relationship with God, the
children will also, automatically have a broken relationship with God.
Whether this is genetic or environmental could probably be hotly debated.
God calls us back into a perfect love relationship with him so that we will
not automatically die (which is the automatic wages -- results -- of a
broken relationship) but find again everlasting life.

> Well actually the scientists who studied such went to modern day
> versions of the same depositional environments and watched how they
> formed. To their surprise instead of being annual cycles, the tidalites
> were daily and the pattern of the moon's orbit could be discerned in the
> fossil tidalites. However since such deposits often involve millions of
> daily cycles over large areas they would require tens of thousands of
> years to form, and are frequently sandwiched between other depositional
> layers and rock types. Great age is apparent and quite convincing. Some
> varved layers also do appear to be annual cycles in quieter depositional
> environments, and modern versions in glacial lakes are much older than a
> literal 6000 years.

Not long ago Karen Jensen discussed several points which argued against
such great ages for these features. I'll bow to her more experience in
this matter.

> It's not the run-off issue that is really the main point. We're talking
> fully evolved river-plains that take thousands of years to develop
> sandwiched between other sedimentary layers. That's very evident age. No
> Flood could produce such.

How many have witnessed global scale catastrophes and can say with
certainty that such feature could not be made under such circumstances.
While it is logical to compare the present with the past, that does not
mean that the past can only be explained in terms of the present

> [snip]
> 600+ asteroid impacts in 150 days, sending out shockwaves travelling at
> faster than the speed of sound. Noah's ark would have to be in orbit to
> survive... then again it'd get toasted by the flashes from the impacts.

Indeed, supposing that one of the asteroids landed close enough, the Ark
could have been annihilated. I'm not certain just what the probablities
are considering the number of impacts and the surface area of the globe.
But it seems that the chances of an impact within a couple hundred miles
would be fairly remote.

> But take the K/T impact
> for an example - very different species either side of that line of
> iridium, and while there's some continuity there's also the
> discontinuity of [for example] several generas of ammonites not to be
> found anywhere in the geological record above that line - except for a
> few reworked [and obviously so] remains in the Paleocene. No chaotic
> jumble like the Flood can explain such order.
> And that's one example amongst thousands of taxa intricately arranged in
> the sediments.

The Flood was a chaotic jumble. This is an assumption which has no basis.
If we have a series of impacts, the resulting deposition would largely
reflect the order of the impacts, associated mega-tsunami and the local
ecology surrounding the impact site. Overlayed on this will be the rythmic
tides. Tectonic movement will affect local basin deposition areas. The
deposition of the Ammonites below the K/T line could represnt deposition
coming from one impact zone. The change in deposition above that line may
represent deposition coming from the Chixulub impact zone.

> Cratering on the terrestrial planets has been reasonably well dated, and
> there's no evidence for such a scenario. The Earth would stand alone, so
> it would still be a miracle.

If only the earth were hit at a certain time, then you would be right.
However, I reject all radiometric dating as pseudo-science.

> What do YECs have to offer science as an
> enterprise? Nothing, but doubtful geology.

> YECism is anti-scientific
> because it offers no leads into further exploration of nature. It denies
> abiogenesis, so everyone playing with RNA might as well empty their
> test-tubes.

You're kidding! Right?! If one assumes Special Creation rather than
abiogenesis, why would anything change? The exploration of RNA and how it
works would still be a fascinating and exhaustive study.

> It denies beneficial mutation, so every breeder might as
> well give up trying for a better variant.

Breeders would still go on exploring the possible genetic variations.
Whether these mutations are beneficial unimportant.

> It denies evolution in the
> fossils, so you might as well leave those "Ambulocetus",
> "Australopithecus" and "Acanthostega" skeletons in the ground.

The exploration of fossils is fascinating for a Flood Catastrophist. I can
well attest to that. It would be exploring the various and varied
pre-flood life forms which had been created by God and that genetic
variation had modified from original conditions.

> It denies
> radioactive dating, so you might as well moth-ball all those
> mass-spectrometers and stop studying samples from fossil lava fields.

I really doubt that if no one ever tried to calculate dates again that
mass-spectrometers would rust away. Knowing the chemical composition of
rocks would have great importance no matter what paradigm you work within.

> >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.
> >
> But you do. By denying the paradigms that guide research you deny the
> whole enterprise and give it a negative valuation.

Not hardly. Rejecting a paradigm reflects in no way upon any research done
within that paradigm. It is entirely possible for the same scientific
methods to find the same resulting data within a differing paradigm. The
difference would be the final interpretation of the acquired data.

> >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.
> On this last point of your discussion I whole-heartedly agree. The
> extent of the "mistakes" or misunderstandings we might perceive is
> doubtless quite different considering our divergent conclusions, but I
> am heartened by your willingness to adopt such a risky view of the
> Bible. Why is it risky? The censure that such views receive from the
> 100% infallible types is a minor aspect. The real risk lies in the doubt
> and uncertainty that comes with any honest attempt to wrestle with Truth
> revealed in such an imperfect medium.

Very true.