Re: Re: YEC defined

AJ Crowl (
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 19:42:01 +1000

Hi Group,

There was something else here that I wanted to discuss.

>From: "Allen Roy" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: Re: YEC defined
>Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 20:17:31 -0700
>> [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
>> 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
>that also answers your dichotomy question. We do not read parables
>literally because our experience in reality tells us what is real and
>is invention. We all have shared and differing elements of reality.

All true, but if Genesis 1 is parable, then what of Genesis 2,3,4; 6-9, 11?
Where do the parables end? The folk-lorish YHWH of Genesis 2,3 continues
thru the stories - look honestly at the God of Babel and you should be
either embarassed or confused by such a craven entity. Or a YHWH who is
swayed by a good barbeque, or the never-ending curse on Canaan, or the
super-speedy growth of an olive tree, or what have you. It's a really mixed
text, which isn't much better in the tales of Abram, but progressively more
resolved in later Genesis and the Exodus-saga, tho with the occasional odd
piece [YHWH seeking to kill Moses is plain weird.]

>It is by the Holy Spirit that Biblical reality is found. Today, it is
>the whole of the Bible. In our Biblical Fathers day it was found in
>extant writings (as needed). There may well have been in the distant
>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
>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.
Certain of the reality thru just a book? Maybe not, since we need the touch
of God's hand in our lives to really know Him. It's more a journey into
Truth, than Truth served up to us on a platter.

>It would be unsafe just to use Genesis to develop a model of Creation
>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
>written or oral traditions strictly and only literal. The reason is
>we don't know what they really knew. If we suppose that they held
>differing views from ours we could be in great error. They were led by
>same Holy Spirit as we are, so we would expect that their beliefs would
>similar to ours. Their view of reality could be very similar to ours,
>irreguardless of whether we use the scientific method to study nature
>they didn't.
I'm not convinced that the Spirit's leading meant to give them accurate
scientific or physical information. A progressive revelation of God from
within a pre-existing culture seems more like the experience of Abram and
his line.

>> >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
>and understood in the literal sense? Surely the writings of Job
>to be the oldest writing of the entire Bible) illustrate the varied and
>extensive nature of the many senses of oral and written presentation.

Hmmm... Actually Job seems quite consistent in its presentation of a
world-view, one that doesn't fit easily into our categories. However it does
draw extensively on experience of suffering and then of nature, a very
real-world orientation in my eyes. Non-literalism is hard to find, though it
does talk of individuals as being made from clay - a hint of a non-literal
Creation understanding. Likewise Ezekiel's use of Eden imagery. With all
this non-literalism how do we understand the "histories" then?

>> 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.
Actually, as I just showed, I think they weren't literalists on many issues.
Personally I can't understand modern insistence on a literalistic Flood if
Genesis events can be seen in another light. If Adam, Eve and the Snake
didn't happen as depicted then why should the Flood have? Or Babel? Or Cain
and Abel - a classic myth of the anatagonism between herders and

>> Especially if they died before and after the Fall. If no death was
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>design feature?

Excuse me? "Normal design feature"? It catches fast running prey, at quite a
cost physically, but why pick such a hard target after it suddenly became
allowed to eat meat?

T. Rex teeth may need replacing regardless of what it
>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.
And they do the job so well! Why does the Bible consistently present God as
giving such animals those attributes and their food? Isn't that a part of
the Fall? Read the Bible seriously and you'll find no consistent "no death
before the Fall" teaching.

And tell me why was Abel keeping flocks prior to the command to Noah about
eating meat? Not just for wool and milk I'd venture since it's pretty clear
that Cain and Abel are presenting YHWH with their produce. This little
anomaly is hard to explain if Genesis is a solely unitary account. If it's a
disparate document then there's no conflict within the sources, just between
them, a conflict the Redactor didn't seem overly fussed by.

>> > 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
>If this inference depended upon a single verse then I would agree.
>However, the entire symbolic sacrifical system that started with the
>of clothes for Adam and Eve also indicates death only began with the
sin of
>Adam and Eve.

Eh? How is this relevant to animal predation? And there's no Biblical
support for that animal's death being a sacrifice - that's a later reading,
and it makes no difference to the symbolism that might've been.

> If lambs were routinely slaughtered by carnivores, the
>of the lamb (representing the immortal Saviour) being sacrifieced in
>and Eve's place so their 'nakedness' (the result of sinful choices)
>be covered up by the righteousness of the Lamb would loose it's
Talk about non-literal... isn't any of Genesis real History? This is a
classic case of building on a reading back into the text. What animal died
for their s[k]ins? The Bible is silent. Was it a lamb? Unknown.

>What is sin? Sin is the state of being of having a broken relationship
>with God.

To us with a history of such a hermeneutic maybe, but really "sin" is
missing the mark, falling short, breaking the covenant, or whatever. Or it's
alienation, or a stain on our souls, or... different language and analogy,
same phenomenon. But what is it? Perhaps it isn't anything [noun], but
people do sin [they act wrongly.] That's how the Bible puts it ever so
bluntly. Ezekiel tells us that our sins cancel any hope of credit with God,
but if we turn from it [and do good] we will live. Paul talks of sinful
flesh and sin living in our mortal flesh, flesh that is doomed by that sin.
Sin kills, it seems, in his hermeneutic, and since we all sin [like Adam
did] we all will die [like Adam.] No genetic transmission, just Typical
"participation". How Paul understood the other events of Genesis we'll never
know, but he believed we're all Adam's children. If genetic studies now cast
doubt on that paternity, according to Paul it does nothing to the fact of
our mortality and its Typical "origin".

> Because the parents have a broken relationship with God, the
>children will also, automatically have a broken relationship with God.

Contra Ezekiel's fulminations against such a view. "The soul that sins shall
die" NOT "the father drinks vinegar and the children's teeth ar set on
edge". From a Genesis view it's because they don't eat the Tree that they

>Whether this is genetic or environmental could probably be hotly
>God calls us back into a perfect love relationship with him so that we
>not automatically die (which is the automatic wages -- results -- of a
>broken relationship) but find again everlasting life.
If God's Spirit is Life then a broken relationship with, or alienation from,
would be death, logically.

>> 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
>> were daily and the pattern of the moon's orbit could be discerned in
>> fossil tidalites. However since such deposits often involve millions
>> daily cycles over large areas they would require tens of thousands of
>> years to form, and are frequently sandwiched between other
>> layers and rock types. Great age is apparent and quite convincing.
>> varved layers also do appear to be annual cycles in quieter
>> 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.
Anyone help me with an archives reference? At the time I couldn't be
bothered following the other junk she was dredging up to support some
crack-pot multi-dimensional farcical theorising.

>> It's not the run-off issue that is really the main point. We're
>> fully evolved river-plains that take thousands of years to develop
>> sandwiched between other sedimentary layers. That's very evident age.
>> 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.

Don't be ridiculous. The Bible gives very little detail so we've got to look
at the rocks. What's seen? Features exactly consistent with known processes,
not global cataclysms. It's worthless arguing this point with you because
you can always go back to the taunt of "you weren't there so you can't
know - nyah!" Andrew Snelling has used the same argument ad nauseum in his
various articles that cast doubt on radioactive dating - even tho he has
used the same professionally without any evident scepticism. At least you're

>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
Of course not. Catastrophes have occurred and no one sensibly can claim
other wise, but that they caused the entire Phanerozoic geological record in
a year is hardly reasonable and thermodynamically absurd - as our own Glenn
Morton has shown at his web-site and in various papers to the CRSQ.

>> [snip]
>> 600+ asteroid impacts in 150 days, sending out shockwaves travelling
>> faster than the speed of sound. Noah's ark would have to be in orbit
>> survive... then again it'd get toasted by the flashes from the
>Indeed, supposing that one of the asteroids landed close enough, the
>could have been annihilated. I'm not certain just what the
>are considering the number of impacts and the surface area of the
>But it seems that the chances of an impact within a couple hundred
>would be fairly remote.
600 in a year over 500 * 10^6 km^2. But that's just cratering impacts.
Interplanetary dust in the ocean sediments suggests that minor material has
fallen consistently since the oceans formed, so how many Tunguskas is that?
Each would easily turn the Ark to match wood.

>> 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
>> 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
>> the sediments.
>The Flood was a chaotic jumble. This is an assumption which has no
>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
>tides. Tectonic movement will affect local basin deposition areas.
>deposition of the Ammonites below the K/T line could represnt
>coming from one impact zone. The change in deposition above that line
>represent deposition coming from the Chixulub impact zone.
The ammonites end at the same horizon consistently around the world where
they are found, likewise for countless other broad-ranging animal and plant
groups up and down the geological column at other terminal events. In the
case of the K/T boundary we also see a similar pattern - worldwide - in the
micro-fossils. Hard to see how a blast wave can deposit such. Also debris
from the Chixulub tsunamis is known and easily identifiable as a distinct
type of depositional material and environment. It contrasts strongly with
other fossil deposits which show all the signs of gentle deposition over

>> Cratering on the terrestrial planets has been reasonably well dated,
>> there's no evidence for such a scenario. The Earth would stand alone,
>> 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.
On what basis? All YEC arguments against it are known to be fallacious.
What's your angle? By all definitions of pseudoscience and science that I
know radiometric dating is definitely science - falsifiable, based on known
physical laws and consistent across laboratory techniques in many cases.
Many YECs might reject the dates but they accept the relative ordering
revealed by radiometric dates.

>> 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
>> 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
>works would still be a fascinating and exhaustive study.

It would never have started. Assume evolution can't happen and you won't
look for it in RNA. It does happen and they found it because they believed
it MUST have evolved.

>> 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.
How many times have I heard YECs rave on about "variations being already
present in the species" and "no bebeficial mutations are known". You're a
big surprise.

>> 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
>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.
Those species represent major transitions between 2 classes of vertebrates,
and two primate families. Would anyone have bothered looking for such
without evolution? No. Raymond Dart would've dismissed _Australopithecus_ as
just an ape, Gingerich wouldn't have got a grant to dig around ancient
Tethyan shores and Jenny Clack would never have wondered much about an odd
amphibian. If a bat is just a bat, or a fish is just a fish, with no order
then it wouldn't matter much where it was dug up. However often it has
mattered, but only because of evolutionary expectations.

>> 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
>rocks would have great importance no matter what paradigm you work
True enough, though perhaps thousands of samples might never have been
tested if it wasn't for radiometric dating. The field has spurred a lot of
geochemical research more than you realise.

>> >As I pointed out before, the discussion is not between science and
>> >YEC paradigm, but certain interpretations of some scientifically
>> >evidence and YCE interpretation of the same evidence. I find no
>> >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
>within that paradigm.

Really? Mercury's precession has no Newtonian explanation now that asteroids
and solar asymmetries have been ruled out by observation. It is perfectly
consistent with General Relativity though, as are a multitude of other
observations without any possible Newtonian explanation. The red-shift,
elemental abundancies and so on have [currently] no viable non-Big Bang
explanation. Research is guided and interpreted by the leading paradigm, and
every competitor must explain what the old already covers, as well as
explain the anomalies that have cast doubt on the old, to truly replace it.
YECism generally does no such thing for many phenomena. It has less
explanatory power - how does it explain the radiometric data? Those isotopic
ratios are real, but there's no consistent and broad-ranging YEC
alternative, and no real explanation of supposed anomalies.

There's scepticism and then there's science. One requires doubt, while the
other asks a whole lot more.