From: George Murphy (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jun 05 2003 - 07:39:15 EDT
Walter Hicks wrote:
> My responses follow
> George Murphy wrote:
> > Proceeding in reverse order:
> > (3) Grant (as I said) for the sake of argument that there are numerical patterns in
> > Genesis which prove that God is its author. This emphatically does _not_ prove that the
> > text which God has authored is a literal (i.e., historically and scientifically
> > accurate) account of how and when creation took place. To imagine that this is so is
> > like claiming (to use this example once again) that the story of the Good Samaritan
> > "really happened" because Jesus told it as a trie statement of who one's neighbor is.
> I would agree that most of the Parables of Jesus were "illustrations" but that does
> necessarily mean that Genesis was the same.
Of course. But it does mean that we shouldn't say that biblical text must be
accurate historical &/or scientific accounts in order to be true & authoritative.
> > (2) There is no sharp qualitative difference between the 2 types of science which you
> > try to distinguish here. E.g., the types of arguments used to detrmine the distance to
> > the galaxy in Andromeda are based on quite routine observations (properties of certain
> > types of stars) and well-known laws (inverse square law for light propagation &c). No
> > one has any objection when these are used to find that a cluster of stars in our galaxy
> > is ~1000 LY away. But when they show that M31 is a couple of million LY away, YECs
> > immediately start objecting. There is no difference in the procedures, the underlying
> > assumptions, or the beliefs of the astronomers. But the results conflict with the YECs
> > preconceptions - preconceptions traceable to the unwarranted assumption noted under (3).
> As you know, George, the YECs simply say that our science is able to see what happens now
> but cannot extrapolate to the past beyond a few Kilo Years.
& why not? Scientists don't do anything differently in the 2 cases.
> Andromeda is not all that far away. Your points are well taken but this argument is futile.
> (See next item)
2 x 10^6 years is a lot greater than ages the YECs will admit.
> > (1) I don't disagree about the seriousness of sin. But if you follow your argument
> > here to its logical conclusion, you end up unable to have any confidence in any
> > knowledge about the world. If our knowledge of the world is that severely distorted by
> > sin then maybe the earth is flat. Maybe heat really flows from cold to hot. Who knows?
> > But in fact the accurate correlations between our theories and observations can
> > give us a great deal of confidence that scientific investigation - _without_ "God's
> > revelation" - works quite well. And since (as I noted under (2)) there is no division
> > between the type of science that raises no religious objections from YECs and that which
> > does, YECs need to take a hard look at their presuppositions. Again, see (1).
> John MacArthur quite simply states that "science" is good for understanding what we observe
> --- but it is 100% invalid for past extrapolation.
This is the old "we can't observe the past" arguemnst which is totally false.
Because of the finite speed of light we can't observe anything but the past. Are our
observations of Sirius suspect because we're seeing it as it was ~ 8 years ago?
> His position is that God created the
> world (with the history built in) some 10K Years ago (AND THAT "IS ALL SHE WROTE")
& again the fallback position is "apparent age" - scientifically irrefutable &
theologically terrible because it means that God created a gigantic hoax.
> I don't buy it, but it is indistinguishable from your position, unless you can propose one
> as an alternative.
It is very distinguishable from my theological position because I believe that
God created a real space-time universe, not an illusion.
> Besides all that :
> Vernon is trying to establish a vilid reason for accepting the Bible as the inspired Word of
> God ---- Think.
But he is also insisting on a total /non sequitur/, that if the Bible is the
inspired Word of God then the earth is only ~6000 years old.
George L. Murphy
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