Re: Children of YEC's in Sunday School (WAS: How to discuss evolution with friends

From: David Bowman (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 17:18:55 EST

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    Regarding where Chuck V. wrote:
    > ...
    >Having thought about this for many years now (but not as long as some
    >correspondents on this ASA site), I've come to the conclusion that it
    >is hopeless to look for any agreement between what God shows us in His
    >Creation and what Genesis appears to tell us at first glance (or, for
    >many, even after 'n' glances).

    I agree, esp. if we want detailed agreement. This suggests that maybe
    agreement is not required or even intended by God.

    >A more satisfying argument, to me, would
    >be that God created the Universe some 6000 or so years ago as a fully
    >functional system, with the stars 'way out there and the light well on
    >its way to us, with all the daughter products of the U and Th series in
    >place, with the isotopic signatures that we find, etc., etc. Note that
    >I don't say I'd be happy with it, but I think I'd prefer it over "shoe
    >horning" Genesis into geology or the other way around.

    This 'appearance of age' YEC solution does seem to solve the scientific
    problems on first glance. However, a very little theological reflection
    suggests that this 'solution' raises very difficult problems regarding
    the character of God where his 'handiwork' declares deceitful lies.
    (And it gives no reason for why things ought to now seem to follow
    natural law since God apparently had little regard for it in the past.)

    Upon a little further reflection regarding the scientific issues this
    solution is *still* seen to be untenable scientifically (besides
    theologically) when we look at what the 'light-in-flight appearance-
    of-age' YEC (AOAYEC) creation scenario implies from the perspective of
    Special Relativity.

    Suppose we *try* to grant the AOAYEC hypothesis that the universe is
    suddenly brought into existence (either instantaneously or over 1 or
    4, or even 6 24-hr days of creation). The universe is spatially *at
    least* billions of light years in extent (and it is getting bigger all
    the time with cosmic expansion). Because relativity tells us that
    there is a relativity of simultaneity over space-like intervals, this
    means that the *very concept* of a multi-billion light-year sized
    universe being created in a pre-expanded fully functioning state is
    not even well-defined. Suppose there is some reference frame for
    which the AOAYEC creation scenario holds where all the stuff of the
    universe comes into existence over a very short time of at most a
    few days, and this stuff is inserted in situ into a pre-expanded
    functioning universe. SR tells us that there are infinitely many
    other equally valid reference frames for which part of the universe was
    created first and other more distant parts were created later. How much
    earlier or how much later these parts were created depends on just which
    reference frame is used to describe the process. In fact, for a
    universe whose spatial extent is multi-billion light years in size,
    there are reference frames for which parts of the universe are created
    billions of years after other parts are created, and just which parts
    are created first and which parts are created later is entirely
    dependent on just which reference frame is used to describe the exact
    *same* creation process. The *very concept* of a pre-expanded multi-
    billion light year large universe being instantaneously (within a few
    days) is not an objectively well-defined concept within +/- billions of
    years of time happening between the creation of the various parts of it.

    This problem of ambiguity of the time of creation does not exist for a
    universe expanding from a Big Bang type of singularity though. This is
    because the relativity of simultaneity is only for space-like separated
    events. In creation via a Big Bang singularity all the space of the
    universe starts out infinitely compressed so that all places are
    essentially spatially coincident. In this case all the matter in all
    parts of the universe can be unambiguously created at the same time
    since all the creation events for these parts are no longer space-like
    separated. Having the creation process spatially coincident allows the
    creation time (i.e. creation time interval approaching an instant of
    time) to be unambiguously well-defined.

    David Bowman

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