RE: Report on the YEC seminar in Durango, 9-2003

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Mon Sep 22 2003 - 21:13:36 EDT

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    Hi Josh,

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Josh Bembenek []
    >Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 8:34 AM
    >Subject: RE: Report on the YEC seminar in Durango, 9-2003
    >Glenn, no one who believes something would tell you that what they believe
    >is untrue. How highly they regard their interpretation is another issue.
    >And you never answered: what if, despite all of this, they were right?
    >Empiricism, and "what is observed" could be biased despite your claim that
    >it is not.

    If it could be shown that either observational data supported YEC or that
    our senses are biased to make us see evolution and vast antiquity of the
    universe when there is indeed no evolution and the universe is young, then I
    would become a YEC. That being said, I suspect the probability of that
    happening is on the order of pigs flying. I could be wrong of course if they
    flew very fast and very high so that I couldn't see them.

    >-Well, Christ walked on water, turned water into wine and rose from the
    >dead. Adam was purported to be an adult when God created him, there's no
    >record of his childhood. This is as impossible as pigs flying- heck in
    >Joshua the sun stopped moving in the sky.

    Josh, there is a big difference here. Jesus walked on water MIRACULOUSLY,
    and he turned water to wine MIRACULOUSLY. He didn't do it via natural law.
    If someone came up to explain how Jesus had made natural law make wine
    instantly and that explanation didn't fit observational data, then I would
    say that guy is as wrong as the YECs. If the YECs would just allow that God
    did it all miraculously, all I could do would be disagree with them but I
    would have little problem with that point of view. I disagree with the
    Christian scientists who believe the world is an illusion, but I (an
    illusion in their world) don't try to convince them I am here. I ignore
    them. And that is actually why YECs don't take the miraculous approach to
    their problems. They don't want to be ignored.

    And if the geologic record is the result of a global flood, a miraculous
    global flood, then God himself arranged the fossils in a pattern which leads
    us to evolution. Why would God do that? Why would God take tiny little
    microscopic animals and make them lay in the earth in layers in which they
    NEVER overlap each other? It looks as if they were not on the earth or in
    the water at the same time, yet if there was a global flood, then
    supposedly, they were in the waters at the same time but turbulence NEVER
    mixed them together. Seems kind of odd to me, but YECs have an amazing
    ability to ignore any piece of evidence. The fossils I am speaking of are
    nanoplanckton, diatoms and benthonic plankton. see

    There may be perfectly natural
    >explanations for these events, but somehow the God I know purports to be
    >capable of acting above limits of repeatable scientific observations. Who
    >said (Pascal?) what we believe is above reason, not un/reasonable? It may
    >not be aesthetically pleasing for God to create a universe with light in
    >transit to earth such that we can see stars billions of light years away
    >without them actually being that old IN YOUR MIND, but that
    >doesn't make it
    >impossible. And following with the conclusion of my argument, I
    >would much
    >rather see a faithful christian living a life filled with God's
    >spirit than
    >him accepting the implications of modern science and accepting old

    The problem with the appearance of age argument is that it isn't just light
    that has to be created in transit. Images have to be encoded in that light
    as well. These are images of things which never happened, things like
    galactic collisions, supernova, stellar bodies orbiting each others, pulsar
    rotations etc. For God to do this, I would think Him a wee bit deceptive
    because he is encoding 'memories' upon the fabric of the universe of
    non-existent events. And if He can do that, why couldn't he have created
    the world 5 seconds ago and created us with our memories encoded in our
    brains. And if He created the world 5 seconds ago with all our memories,
    then Christ never actually came--he becomes a historical illusion.

    And a God who can or would do that is not one who can be trusted to tell us
    how to be saved. How do we know if he hasn't pasted an illusory bit of
    information in our brains? If God lies about Nature, how can we trust him to
    tell us how to be saved???? I would like a real answer to that question from

    > If you are being actively led by the spirit, my guess is that you have a
    >better chance of finding ultimate truth, than if not. Believing my magic
    >bullet arguments may pursuade you of my belief, but that isn't nearly as
    >beneficial as being a spirit-filled Christian.

    Most YECs think they are spirit-filled and look where it has gotten them!
    They are reviled NOT for being Christians, but for being silly. They are
    the only ones who think they are being reviled for being Christians.
    Remember what the Bible says. If we are persecuted for what we do wrong, we
    gain no reward in heaven. They are persecuted for what they are doing
    wrong. period. Shouldn't we try to help them out of that situation? Someone
    helped me--several someones. The ones who did the most to help were those
    who shocked me into thinking--those who told me bluntly how stupid I was.

    >-I think the same approach applies to Gerardus as to Ken Ham. Being a
    >spirit filled Christian is the top priority. The way I see it, if YEC and
    >heliocentricity is wrong, which is what I believe, then those who
    >believe it
    >with great passion require excessive effort to persuade otherwise.

    Agreed. But if they are wrong, as you believe, why are you not trying to
    talk them out of it??? Is it fun just to let them embarass themselves?? I
    prefer to do what I can, however imperfect it is, to get my brothers to see
    how they embarass themselves by placing God into a position where He
    manufactured a false history of the universe, or by teaching a universe
    whose laws cannot show the glory of God because we must deny and ignore

    > In fact,
    >a sign of uncritical thinking is to believe what you want to believe. If
    >someone wants to believe something, then you will never change their mind,
    >and this I have personal experience of coming out of Mormonism. No logic
    >can refute the Mormon doctrine to a follower due to the passion and amount
    >of desire to believe its true. My mother has told me that she
    >would rather
    >go to Hell than not believe mormonism. That, my friend, is an impossible
    >battle. I think praying for God to work in ways that I cannot do as an
    >imperfect fallible and limited human is the only productive method
    >of moving
    >forward at that point.

    Changing a world view is tough, as you and I both know having both changed
    our world views. But unlike you, I am unwilling to let my brothers perish in
    their ignorance. They may not like me, they may call me all sorts of names,
    but by golly, I am going to do what I can to force them to look. The
    Germans after the war who knew but failed to look at what their government
    was doing to the Jews, were forced by Ike to walk through the gas chambers
    and look at the carnage. YECs in some sense must be made to face up to the
    carnage they produce spiritually. I know more atheists who were former YECs
    or who are atheists because they think the bible requires YEC. And you want
    to leave this situation as it is? I don't. I won't.

    >-Sure, but I think we should follow the instruction of 2Timothy 2:23-26.
    >Gentle Instruction and Kindness being key here. I made the same point to
    >our Pastor and he understood where I was coming from, but looking
    >at Jesus,
    >how do we reconcile him calling people "brood of vipers" etc.? I tend to
    >think that airing on the side of tenativeness going around using
    >my beliefs
    >and position on controversial subjects to thump others is better for you,
    >and for him.

    Do it your way. I do it mine. I have had a number of former yecs thank me
    but only after years of working with them. As you say, they are difficult to

    >>If you won't grant Gerardus the same freedom you grant YECs, why not?
    >-Gerardus can call me a heretic and devil worshipper all he wants. I'll
    >pray to God that he's wrong and that if so, God will move in his heart to
    >change him. But in addition to that, I've got other battles to
    >fight. If I
    >ever meet him, I would try out some gentle instruction and
    >kindness on him,
    >and hope for God to lead him to repentance. This assumes of course, that
    >he's wrong :-)

    If we can't trust our eyes, why do you trust what you read on the pages of
    the Bible? I would contend that if, as you suggested above, the YEC case is
    true, then we can have no faith in observation. If we can have no faith in
    observation, why would I trust what I observe on the pages of the Bible? It
    is self-defeating at least to me.

    >>If people hadn't taken an aggressive approach with me, I would never have
    >>been forced to face the data. I would still be a YEC. While I didn't
    >>let them know that I listened, and I argued strongly against their
    >>positions, and they thought they were wasting their time, they were making
    >>an impact on me.
    >-Aggressive gentle instruction?

    Different people respond differently. They have different needs

     I guess it's possible, but let's be clear
    >on our goal which is not to lump all creationists into some kind of stupid
    >bag and belabor the point that they are purposely trying to distort all
    >reality to justify their interpretation of the bible.

    I won't let you get away with this. Distorting reality is precisely what
    they do to fit their interpretation of the Bible. I showed a seismic line to
    a YEC friend and told him how it showed an old earth. He distorted reality
    by saying that the only reason I held the beliefs I did was to hold down my
    job. He would rather beleive I was a sell out to the truth than that the
    data in my hand was true.
    >-Again, compared to living a life of the spirit-filled Christian,
    >no amount
    >of scientific misunderstanding can outweigh the value of that. There are
    >beautiful and amazing truths that science reveals to us, but none of them
    >can compare in any way to the experience of God's spirit permeating your
    >life. Let's see, an accurate understanding of God's creation, or
    >an active
    >relationship with the Creator of the universe... easy choice here.

    No, they want to teach their terrible science to my grandchildren, they want
    to exclude people like me from their churches and like Richard Kouchoo,
    claim I am not a christian. Thus it isn't quite as benign as you seem to
    mistakenly think.

    >>Do you grant that the Christian Scientists may be correct, that is, that
    >>we see might be mere illusion?
    >-I grant that this is their opinion and would strongly disagree
    >with them.
    >If I ever meet one I will spend some time trying to talk some sense into
    >them. But God can do alot better job of leading someone to
    >repentance than
    >I can, this is a guaruntee.

    God always uses humans. When was the last time you saw God sitting with a
    YEC or a Christian Scientist?

    >>If Scripture actually does
    >>require the violation of all we see, then Scripture pays a high price--it
    >>simply false.
    >-This I don't believe. If there is a God who accurately inspired the
    >accounts of the bible (axiom one) and created all of nature (axiom
    >two) then
    >there should be a perfect reconciliation between the two data

    That wasn't the choice, Josh. I said that if YEC is actually what the Bible
    teaches, then simply put the bible is wrong. There would be no perfect
    if there was, then the Bible wouldn't teach YEC.

     If God
    >inspired the bible to say that the earth is young, then we simply cannot
    >understand why nature isn't revealing that same fact to us. It is
    >that we may never understand why nature doesn't indicate this fact. But
    >that isn't the same as us knowing for absolute sure beyond any
    >shadow of any
    >doubt that the universe is in fact old. We have a pretty high
    >confidence in
    >that fact, but the omphalos (right term here?) argument trumps
    >what science
    >can tell us.

    No it doesn't. It leads to the deceptive God who can't be trusted to tell us
    how to be saved. If it is true, then God didn't tell the truth about nature,
    in the memories clearly immplanted in the fabric of the universe. If he
    didn't tell the truth there, why trust him for salvation?

    Remember omphalos is nothing more than the implantation of a memory in the
    fabric of the universe of something which never happened. If God created you
    5 seconds ago with all your memories of mom, dad, your favorite dog and cat,
    etc but you never had a mom, dad, or any pets because you sprang into
    existence 5 seconds ago, would you think that is a good thing? That is what
    the YECs are doing. The only difference is that they think the earth sprang
    into existence with all its memories encoded in nature 6000 years ago. The
    only difference between them and the fake mom and dad case is the time
    frame. There is nothing different qualitatively.

    >-The only difference is that we can see cats with wiskers. We cannot see
    >whether or not God created light in transit to earth.

    We can tell that he didn't do it within the past 6000 years by a study of
    supernova 1987a see the next to last article on

    >-What if someday, they succeed in their effort and create the perfect
    >paradigm for understanding all of science in a young earth

    When they do that, I will become a YEC again. And I won't be embarassed to
    do it. The data is with me now. If it were to change, it would be with them
    and I will go with the data.

    > But even the most ardent materialistic atheist can recognize
    >that once you allow for a God who can cause the resurrection, the realm of
    >possibility increases significantly. You are making the same either/or
    >scenario that they make, which isn't necessarily a whole lot more
    >responsible, IMO.

    But if what that God does proves him to be a deceiver by making Nature say
    what it shouldn't say, then God becomes untrustworthy.

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