RE: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Fri Apr 16 2004 - 21:40:27 EDT

 This is a reply first to Bob Schneider, then to Blake Nelson, Then P.
C. Jones,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Schneider []
> Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 7:11 AM
> Bob's comment:
> Why is it necessary to think of a cosmological model simply
> in terms of "true" or "false"? Again, this is either/or
> thinking, and we need to help people move to both/and. Why
> not think of the cosmology of Genesis 1 as valid and true for
> its own time, the way Ptolemy's cosmology was valid and true
> for the next 1500 years, or the way Newton's cosmology was
> valid and true for the following two hundred years, or our
> present model is valid and true until it is replaced by a
> more accurate approximation of reality?

First off, I guess I am an either/or sort of guy. I have spent much of
my life evaluating oil prospects. I determine if the story and the data
are consistent. If not, you probably will drill a dry hole. If the story
and data are consistent, then you have a better chance of finding oil.
(Most geoscientists fail to grasp this simple truth). When you drill a
well, you EITHER have oil OR you don't. You don't have both oil and not

When I measure the speed of light in a lab. I don't have BOTH 186,000
mps AND 5 mps. When we look at geology, I don't have both continental
and marine deposition at the same horizon at the same location. There
is an excluded middle. We only get middling when it comes to religion,
which we then say nothing matters.

As to why I don't think the cosmology of Genesis 1 is valid and true for
their time and ours valid for our, is because it means truth is very
elastic. One or the other cosmology is simply false, wrong, erroneous
and contrary to data (to be a wee bit redundant). If you tried to
publish a physics paper which said that both aether and GR were correct,
your paper would never see the ink of day. Truth is singular, not

And if we allow God to use a false science to get across a true
theology, how can we be sure he isn't using a false theology as well?

> Would it have made any sense for God to imspire the sacred
> writer to describe Einstein's universe? Would the sacred
> writer have understood the inspiration, assuming some theory
> of direct inspiration? Would anyone hearing or reading it
> have accepted such a model in 1500/500 BC? Of course not!

 I smell the stink of a dead RED HERRING. No one says that God had to
print out copies of Thornton, Misener and Wheeler in order to get across
truth. Nor did God need to stand on the street corners of Eden passing
out copies of The Origin of Species in order to be true. One can clearly
state truth in a much simpler manner.

Take evolution. I think the bible does teach evolution. When God said,
'Let the land bring forth living creatures after their kind', God didn't
bring forth the animals, the land did. The land is the subject of the
quotation. That is all one has to do to make the Bible true
scientifically. He doesn't need to explain the intricacies of genetic
theory. So please spare me those dead red herrings.

> For one thing, they wouldn't have had the Hubble Space
> Telescope. Let's give God a break on this one.

And one doesn't need one to say true things about the universe. This is
another dead red herring.

I think
> Paul's approach is a good one, and he has John Calvin on his
> side, not to speak of a number of his predecessors (e.g.,
> Aquinas). The sacred writer(s) was/were not teaching
> science, they were teaching theology of creation. It is a
> problem of interpretation of the Scriptures, as Bill
> recognized, not of science.

Using false facts (if Genesis is interpreted as normal. I would suggest
that you take a look at two pages of mine.

> This either/or thinking is not only a problem with religious
> folk, it is also a problem with some scientists (religious or
> not).

Gee, either energy is conserved in the collision or it isn't. I don't
see a problem with either or thinking. That is what allowed science to
proceed and progress. One can't say that both Thompson's plum pudding
model and Bohr's model of the atom are both true. They simply aren't.
One can't say that light passing through two small slits both acts like
a wave and a particle at the same time. They don't. Even in Quantum
there is either or thinking. We rule one possibility out of contention
that allows us to accept the other hypothesis. That is one of the ways
Science progresses. If you wish to do away with either/or thinking,
don't limit yourself to religion. Have guts and do it for science as

We who are read in the history of science grit our
> teeth whenever we hear a science teacher say, for example,
> that the Ptolemaic model of the heavens was "false," or when
> Carl Sagan said in "Cosmos" that Ptolemy set astronomy back a
> thousand years. That's nonsence; the Ptolemaic model
> _advanced_ astronomy. We need to help people generally
> understand the nature of scientific truth.
> Bob Schneider

Sorry Bob, parallax measurements FALSIFIES ptolemy. The Ptolemaic
system simply can't account for stellar parallax. It is false. If you
chose to say it is true, you are equivocating on the word truth. You
have an entirely different definition of truth than the one used by

Now to Blake who wrote:

>BTW, I still don't see the solution that you
>implicitly offer. Just so I am clear, is it your
>particular brand of concordism? Dick's? Hugh Ross?
>Anyone's? After your dismissing the position of
>Paul, George, et al. I am still missing what you think
>the solution is.

Is it required that you understand? I fail to see that point. I know
this, on TW, I posted my post on Genesis and Days of proclamation and
several YECs suddenly realised that the bible didn't rule out evolution.
The explanation is for them. I don't care if you don't understand.
There are two possiblities.

1. I am a terrible communicator
2. You are a wee bit thick.

I prefer number 1. What do you prefer?

You are going to think this is terribly aggressive. It probably is.
Burgy will probably chide me for being nasty again. But I really don't
care whether or not you understand and don't see why I should. Is there
a reason?

I agree with what Rich said. A little humility is required. I have never
passed my solution off as the one and only answer. I will defend it
vigorously, but the reality is I know it is easily wrong. But humility
goes both directions, Blake. Why are you so arrogant as to think you
NEED to understand my views in order for them to be true?

In another note to Rich Blaine, Blake wrote:
> The Koran claims to be from God (even more clearly and
> umambiguously than one can say about the Bible since it is
> largely a unitary text whereas the Bible is not), but you
> assert it is not. What extrinsic evidence do you use for
> that? Does that relate to the extrinsic evidence one may
> have for the inspiration of Hebrew and Christian scripture?
> Given that the canon was chosen by the Church councils
> on the basis of many things -- and one can say they
> were divinely inspired in so doing -- I am still not
> sure what one means that the Bible comes from God
> given that the Bible is a canon of texts. One can
> certainly say each of the texts that the Church has
> selected for the canon are divinely inspired, somehow
> to me that gives a very different emphasis to the
> question than saying "the Bible came from God" which
> may be a shorthand way of saying what otherwise takes
> a long time to explain, but the shorthand way does
> violence, I think, to understanding what the canon is.
> > While we
> > may disagree about how to interpret Genesis 1, it is
> undeniable that
> > the Bible claims a divine origin.
> Why the term origin rather than inspiration?
> > If it does not have a
> > divine origin, then
> > it is a lie and it is morally reprehensible to
> > follow it. As such,
> > becoming a "liberal" as defined above really isn't
> > an option. Thus, when
> > discussing this with YECs or ex-YECs, an unequivocal
> > support of Scripture
> > being God's Word is essential.
> I thought Jesus, according to John, was God's Word.
> Am I wrong in thinking that? And the canon is a
> divinely inspired witness to that Word, not the Word
> itself.

It is a witness to that Word. But if the witness lies through his false
teeth, then what good is the witness? Somewhere in all this there has to
be metaphysical truth which has some stamina in relation to actual
observational data. To proclaim something is true when it isn't, is
like what Peter Arnett said the US was going to do in Vietnam--destroy
the village in order to save it. (that is a perfect example of Both/and

> Is bibliolatry better than atheism? The Bible,
> however divinely inspired, is not the Father, Son, or
> Holy Ghost.

No, it isn't but one should have a reasonable expectation that the Bible
is saying something true. If I write a book with absolutely no means to
determine its truth, and I then proclaim it to be true, does that make
it ipso facto true? An example. Leprechauns actually are the carriers
of light signals. They are moving little lamps which are no bigger than
10^-28 cm. When they go through two slits, they play a game and make
things look like a wave. When they go through only one slit, they play
another game and act like the particles they are. This leprechaun
lighted lamp theory is absolutely, metaphysically true! Don't you
just WANT to believe this? If so, please send me your money.

Now prove my leprechaun light theory false, please. That is what one
does to the Bible when they say there is no concordism but it is true
non-the-less. IMHO

> One should note on a lot of theological issues
> Orthodoxy is by and large pretty conservative. They
> are hardly liberals in any pejorative sense Glenn, et
> al. may want to use in either interpretation of
> scripture or veneration of scripture or morality or
> church order, etc., etc., etc.

First off, that wasn't a perjoritive, Blake. It was a descriptive. If
someone calls me conservative, or even fundamental, that isn't a
perjoritive either. Quit being so sillily sensitive or politically
correct, which ever the case may be.

Commenting on what pcjones wrote:
>If the YEC viewpoint went away, then some of the scientifically
inclined folk (i.e. professionals, amateurs, and people
>who love to read scientific
>literature) would not deem Christianity in contempt, evangelism would
be more effective, AND those Christians who are on >the fence of belief
vs. doubt because of internal strife over the creation issue would find

Sorry, but this is hopelessly optimistic. If the YECs were gone but the
Bible unchanged, the atheists would attack the TE's. I like and respect
many of the atheists I have dealt with over the years on the C/E issue.
Many are very hostile to Christianity and I know that in some sense the
tiger doesn't come after me only because he is currently chasing the YEC
antelope. If the antelope were gone, the tiger would get hungry and look
at the guy walking nearby.
Received on Fri Apr 16 21:42:05 2004

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