Re: The Knock on ID

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 13:18:08 EST

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    > bivalve wrote:
    > > >(2) Presume the universe and earth are very old, (based on vast distances in the universe, radiometric dating and Actualism [Naturalistic Assumptions]).
    > >
    > > This is a popular error, closely conforming to that initially criticized by Howard Van Til.
    > >
    > > The definitions of acutalism, uniformitarianism, etc. vary somewhat. Actualism has been used to refer solely to reconstructing past conditions similar to modern ones, and thus is inapplicable to drastically different past conditions (e.g., conditions during and immediately after a major bolide impact, ecosystems before the Cambrian radiation). Uniformitarianism has been used to refer to strict constancy of most rates, as suggested by Lyell.
    > >
    > > The assumption that the laws of nature were the same in the past as now is made on an ad hoc basis by philosophical naturalists. However, it is both justified by the Bible and a crucial assumption for Christianity. Creation should behave in an orderly manner because God created it, not a bunch of squabbling gods nor chance. God created us to rule over creation, so we must be able to understand its workings well enough to rule competently. These two considerations justify the assumption that we can study the present and reconstruct the past.
    > >
    > > As the pun above hints, the consistency of natural law is particularly important for Christianity with regard to the resurrection. Unless dead people stay dead and always have done so naturally, then the resurrection could just be a freak of nature.
    > >
    > > Thus, the Bible does not justify rejection of conclusions simply because they rely on extrapolation of natural laws into the past. God can work above natural laws, but does not usually do so.
    > Moreover, even some philosophically naturalistic physicists have been willing to consider significant changes in the laws of physics in the form of time variation coupling "constants" etc. Those are things which would have testable consequences and you can find a lot of papers devoted to them over the past 70 years. What physicists are not willing to consider is changes which are really equivalent to an introduction of our old friend apparent age. Please, can't we put that tired old nag out to pasture?


    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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