Re: My Daughter is a YEC

From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Sun May 26 2002 - 15:48:28 EDT

  • Next message: Vernon Jenkins: "Re: My Daughter is a YEC"

    The simplest answer to the apparent age argument is that it makes God a

    Phillip Gosse and Chateaubriand put it forward in 1857 and c 1802 and it was
    a lead balloon.

    I am sorry Vernon but Ilose patience with this type of decietful argument
    not to mention fanciful numerics.

    Let's get back to Jesus who died and rose for us , thst is simpler and the
    heart of the gospel

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "george murphy" <>
    To: <>
    Cc: "asa" <>
    Sent: Sunday, May 26, 2002 7:12 PM
    Subject: Re: My Daughter is a YEC

    > The wine from Cana (& other NT miracles) has been appealed to
    > several times
    > as an attempt to justify the notion of apparent age in creation. It
    > doesn't work.
    > Permit me to bury it with appropriate
    > honors. For simplicity I stick with Cana & the 1st Genesis creation
    > 1. There is ample evidence that the 4th Gospel is set in the
    early 1st
    > century in Palestine, & thus that the wedding at Cana took place
    > around A.D. 30. (I
    > waive for the time being any questions about the historicity of
    > Jn.2.) I.e., we know
    > the age of the wine which was made from water. We know no such thing
    > for the things
    > created in Gen.1. In fact the whole debate is about how to date the
    > heavens & the
    > earth, plants & animals of the past, &c, questions that involve the
    > interpretation of
    > the Genesis text and of later parts of the Bible which might link it with
    > historical events. Thus the two situations are not analogous.
    > 2. We don't have any of the wine from Cana & aren't likely
    > to find any.
    > When a certain amount of H20 (with a little D20) was converted in
    > C2H5OH, what were
    > the isotopic proportions of C14 and C12 in the ethanol? What age
    > would carbon dating
    > have given for this wine. We don't know. It begs the question to say
    that the
    > C14/C12 ratio would have been the same as for any other wine made in
    > Galilee that
    > year.
    > 3. The assumption that Vernon seems to make below & that is
    > tacitly made by
    > others who use this argument is that the change of water to wine involved
    > conversion of water to wine in a way that simply violates the laws
    > describing natural
    > processes. We don't know this to be the case. If, as I have
    > suggested before (& for
    > which there is considerable support in the Jewish & Christian
    > traditions) miracles
    > are better thought of as extremely rare natural processes whose
    > possibility God had
    > put into creation then the very lack of understanding of these
    > processes whiich makes
    > us label them "miracle" makes it impossible to know what the apparent
    > age of the
    > miraculous wine would have been.
    > 4. Creation in the beginning is described by Vernon as a
    > "miracle" but some
    > care is needed with this. Certainly the existence of the universe -
    > i.e., anything
    > other than God - is not something that the laws describing the inner
    > workings of the
    > universe itself can account for. In that sense the fundamental act
    > of creation is a
    > "miracle". But there is no reaon to hold that all the creative
    > events spoken of in
    > Genesis 1 are to be understood as "miraculous". In fact, Genesis 1
    > describes the
    > origin of plants & animals as being from the waters & the earth, in
    > accord with God's
    > command - i.e., mediated creation. (I have pointed this out
    > repeatedly on this list
    > & hate to belabor the point but obviously there are some who just
    > don't get it.)
    > There is absolutely nothing in Genesis 1 or anywhere else in the
    > Bible to make us say
    > that life is a miracle.
    > 5. The event at Cana is called a "sign". It points to the
    > presence of the
    > creator in Jesus - i.e., the one who gives wine all the time by
    > natural processes
    > does it here in some more dramatic fashion.
    > (Cf. point 3.) Creation itself clearly is not a "sign" in the same way.
    > 6. I wonder if anytone really believes the apparent age
    > argument. It always
    > seems to be used as a final fallback position when all the other
    arguments -
    > questions about radioactive debating, constancy of the speed of
    > light, &c &c - have
    > failed. If people really believed the apparent age argument they'd
    > cheerfully agree
    > that radioactive dating, supernovas, the expansion of ther universe
    > &c all really do
    > seem to give old ages for the earth & the universe & would say up
    > front that that
    > doesn't matter because all these ages are only apparent. Instead
    > they're continually
    > coming up with arguments to try to show that there's scientific
    > evidence for a young
    > earth & universe, a procedure that would make no sense if the ages were
    > apparent. It's only when these scientific arguments fail that they
    > fall back on
    > apparent age - which is why I called it a counsel of desperation.
    > 7. As for apparent age being "a thorn in the flesh of the
    > evolutionist" - the only pain it inflicts is that of having to waste
    > time pointing
    > out what's wrong with it.
    > Shalom,
    > George
    > George L. Murphy
    > "The Science-Theology Interface"
    > Vernon Jenkins wrote:
    > > George,
    > >
    > > You wrote in part:
    > >
    > > > The fundamental objection to apparent age, whether in its
    philosophical or
    > > > religious guise, is theological - it makes God the creator of an
    > >illusion or,
    > > > more pointedly, a hoax.
    > >
    > > In drawing attention to the 'water into wine' miracle, I believe Walt
    > > effectively
    > > refuted this charge. Indeed, it is clear that the outcome of many
    > >of the Lord's
    > > miracles involved an element of 'apparent age' - as, for example,
    > >the fragments
    > > of
    > > bread gathered up following the feeding of the 5000, the healed
    > >limbs and their
    > > accompanying muscle tissue and tendons, the eyes of the once blind
    > >Bartimaeus,
    > > and so on.
    > > Were these miracles performed with deception in mind? Surely not
    > >(though we would
    > >
    > > have to admit that a pedantic analyst might be misled by them!). Would
    > > therefore
    > > not agree that, once one accepts the principle of miracle, then the
    > >possibility
    > > of 'apparent age'
    > > surely follows?
    > >
    > > What then of the miracle of creation? God has provided an account of
    > > unfolding of this event along with a timescale. Thus He can hardly
    > >be accused of
    > > a deliberate deception if current observation and deduction (based
    > >on particular
    > > assumptions) lead men to conclude otherwise. Surely it has then
    > >become a matter
    > > of _self-deception_ fuelled by unbelief on their part.
    > >
    > > You continue:
    > >
    > > > The apparent age idea cannot be refuted scientifically. Neither
    > >can the idea
    > > > that any physical phenomenon we don't understand is brought about
    > >by invisible
    > > > demons. But apparent age in a religious context is a counsel
    > > > of desperation and should be rejected by anyone who takes the
    doctrine of
    > > > creation seriously.
    > >
    > > George, I have argued that 'apparent age' is a necessary outcome of
    > > types of miracle - which include the miracle of creation. It is
    > >therefore hardly
    > > a 'counsel of desperation' for those of my persuasion, but rather a
    > > which is clearly demonstrated in the Scriptures and one that is - and
    > > ever will be - a thorn in the flesh for the Christian evolutionist.
    > >
    > > Shalom,
    > >
    > > Vernon
    > >
    > >

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