Appearance of age from Re: My Daughter is a YEC

From: bivalve (
Date: Mon May 27 2002 - 12:27:41 EDT

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    A problem in the transition between the apparent age of the wine at
    Cana and the argument for apparent age in creation is the difference
    between apparent age and apparent history. To function as quality
    wine for the banquet, the stuff had to at least have the appearance
    normally associated with the product of a season's work by a grape
    vine. However, there was no need for a placard to appear on the
    cistern declaring "Bottled by Naboth's Vineyard, 3rd year of
    Tiberias". Likewise, if God decided to create Eden in a brief
    interval of time and wanted to include a large shady oak, creating an
    acorn and letting it grow might not have produced a tree before Adam
    and Eve got themselves kicked out. However, a full-sized oak does
    not need growth rings, dead branches, leaves from last fall
    underneath, and other traces of history in order to provide shade.

    I do not find the argument that a universe created for man should not
    have a 15 billion year history very convincing; should we not rather
    be more impressed that God thought it
    worth that much effort and more ashamed of our misuse? Of course, it
    is also true that the universe was created primarily for God, not for

    The appearance of age argument that I do find coherent is the claim
    that the full appearance of a 15 billion year history is intended by
    God to teach us about the workings of natural laws. This view
    provides a function for all observed features (as opposed to the ad
    hoc appeals to appearance of age for anything that proves difficult
    to explain) and accepts radiometric dates, stratigraphy, evolution,
    etc. as legitimate scientific study.

    My impression is that Gosse in Omphalos is somewhere between these
    two versions of apparent age. He does apply it consistently to
    everything, rather than using it as a stopgap, but apparently seeking
    individual functions for each feature (e.g., tree rings being a
    structural necessity, which is incorrect) rather than providing a
    unifying purpose for the whole appearance.

    It still has the problem of why God would do things this way, as it
    seems simpler to me for Him to simply create things 15 billion years
    ago. However, we do not know why God does things the way He does.
    Also, I do not see Genesis 1 as requiring a recent creation, and thus
    do not feel compelled to assert that the acual age differs from the

         Dr. David Campbell
         Old Seashells
         University of Alabama
         Biodiversity & Systematics
         Dept. Biological Sciences
         Box 870345
         Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA

    That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
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