Re: It's no joke!

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Sun Apr 10 2005 - 04:47:09 EDT


I don't mean to get at you, because I am also of the opinion that the earth
is old and that YEC arguments, however clever they may initially seem, don't
stand up to scientific scrutiny, and even if they did clearly cannot buy you
six orders of magnitude in difference in age (billions -> thousands).

I can also see that there are non-literal ways to interpret Genesis 1 & 2
that don't mean they are false, but that they are valuable without being
historically true. Nor do I accept the oft-repeated argument of YEC's that
there was no physical death before the fall. It seems to me that in Eph 2:5
where it says that God made us alive in Christ while we were dead in our
transgressions, that the latter phrase refers to our fallen state, and that
it doesn't mean that we were physically dead - the description is of a
spiritual state (like being born again doesn't mean you go back into your
mother's womb.).

I say all this to indicate I'm on your side (largely). However, it seems to
me that you haven't answered Vernon's point about a straight reading of the
flood narrative. You assert that it is Vernon's interpretation of the flood
that is at fault, but I don't see what your interpretation is. For example,
what is your interpretation of Gen 7:22-23? Particularly 23, which (in the
NIV) states "Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out".

Does this describe

(a) A historical event, which the writer has simply got wrong (and this is
not in a minor detail, it's catastrophically wrong).

(b) Some allegorical tale. In which case, what is it intended to teach us?

I would be interested to hear what you have to say, because I think that
would be a proper answer to Vernon's point that a straight reading of the
narrative indicates a global flood. If you say his interpretation is wrong,
then you should give some idea of what you think the correct interpretation
is. (Like I did above in interpreting "no death before the fall".)


On Apr 10, 2005 7:30 AM, <> wrote:
> Hi Vernon,
> Hi Christopher,
> Concerning the Genesis Flood, you wrote,
> "A straight reading of the Genesis story indeed implies a universal flood,
> whatever "universal" means, but not necessarily a global flood. But no
> matter what the ancient Hebrews knew about geology or hydrology, it is
> irrelevant to modern science, which cannot be held hostage to what one
> group
> of bronze age people believed...The matter of a global flood was
> investigated by many geologists about 200 years ago, many of whom were
> Christians, and they had to come, reluctantly in some cases, that there
> was
> no global flood because the geological evidence contradicted that, at
> least
> a global one less than 10,000 years ago. This was arrived at about 150
> years ago, so flogging the dead horse of a global flood is no more
> meaningful than flogging the dead horse of geocentricism. They are both
> obsolete arguments that had their day in court, but lost out to the
> evidence, and in science evidence is what counts, not what people believe
> or
> like."
> As a Christian, I am surprised you should rule out the globally of the
> Mabbul so readily, for a careful reading of the narrative (Gen.6-9)
> reveals
> a number of logical inconsistencies which face those who hold to the
> _local
> flood_ hypothesis. These have been well aired on the ASA threads, 'So
> we're
> It does not matter how well I have read the Mabbul, the empirical evidence
> contradicts a global flood, and that was arrived at about 200 years ago.
> In
> science all that matters is the evidence, and you have provided none. Ask
> any competent geologist who uses our modern geology, not particular
> biblical interpretations, to look for, say, oil.
> all related!' and 'Is there a Plan B?' (Oct-Nov 2004); however, let me
> briefly summarize the more striking of these:
> (1) Why the need for a large ocean-going vessel? A trek to higher ground
> would surely have been the simpler and more reasonable alternative.
> You are assuming that the ark was an ocean sized vessel, in fact such a
> vessel made out of wood would not last very long after being hit by the
> first wave. You are assuming that the measurements given in the Bible
> corresponded to the original measurements without any errors or
> mistakes in translation.
> (2) Why the need to save a representative sample of the fauna? - it being
> certain that, later, these would freely mix again with those outside the
> flood's influence.
> You are assuming that representatives of all fauna from around the world,
> including presumably from S.America and Australia, were on that huge
> wooden boat. Why not throw in some saguaro cacti from here Arizona,
> whilst you are about it? They grow in Tucson.
> (3) It is claimed that the physiography of Mesopotamia suffered no great
> change as a result of the Flood. But where are we now to find a virtually
> complete ring of high ground that would (a) have held the rising
> floodwaters
> for a total of 150
> days (Gen.7:24) and, (b) have retained the slowly lowering floodwaters for
> a
> further 150 days after the rains and subterranean fountains had ceased
> (Gen.8:3)?
> Well, with God you can always throw in a few miracles to explain anything
> you
> like, so perhaps there was an invisible miraculous ring of high ground
> that
> disappeared after the flood leaving no trace.
> (4) We are informed that the people destroyed by the cataclysm were _evil_
> -
> and therefore infer that those living outside its sphere of influence were
> essentially _good_ and unworthy of the judgment that God meted out to the
> former; yet, unaccountably, these are not included in the covenant God
> made
> with the occupants of the ark!
> You are assuming that those who were outside the flood area were
> exceptionally
> good. As far as I know, the Native Americans, for example, were neither
> exceptionally good nor evil, and they have been in America long before
> Noah's
> flood, if it took place about 4500 years ago as many creationists claim.
> No
> mention is made of the Native Americans in the Bible, which is not
> surprising,
> as their existence were not known until 1492, excepting perhaps the
> Vikings.
> (5) Further, had the Flood been _local_ then surely, to remove all
> ambiguity, the terms of the covenant would need to have made that clear.
> Again you are assuming that your interpretation of Genesis is correct.
> Again, those who prefer to read the Hebrew word 'eretz' as 'land' rather
> than 'planet earth' are faced with a problem raised by the Apostle Peter
> (2Pet.3:6) who speaks of "...the world that then was, being overflowed
> with
> water, perished..." Used in this context, the Greek word 'kosmos' appears
> to
> offer no alternative to 'world' or 'earth'. Peter, undoubtedly, believed
> the
> Flood to have been _global_ and, we infer, so did the Lord Jesus!
> So what, appealing to authority in science is meaningless, and in any
> case,
> you are using the Bible to prove the Bible, which is circular reasoning,
> thus proves nothing at all. Whether Peter or even Jesus believed the flood
> covered the whole world does not mean it did, and in any case from their
> perspective and knowledge, the whole work could have meant the whole
> world known to them. Even Jesus said he did not know the hour when
> He would return.
> All your arguments here are very much like the arguments Answers in
> Genesis uses. The problem is that your arguments have no meaning without
> evidence, and are all based on the presupposition that your interpretation
> of
> the flood is correct. There is no evidence that this is the case, so all
> your
> arguments collapse like a house of cards unless you can provide the
> evidence which can stand up to analysis.
> It appears to me that this is the cruxof the whole matter. As Christians,
> who are we to believe? Do we trust _science_ to provide the answers in
> respect of this critical event of earth history, or do we trust the Lord
> (and common sense)?
> That is a false dichotomy! I trust the Lord for salvation, meaning and
> purpose
> in life, but I use (and yes even trust) science to understand the physical
> universe, but always with the rider that science can be wrong in some
> cases,
> but in the case of the flood, there is no doubt that the type of global
> flood
> you propse has been soundly refuted. Incidentally, who is talking about
> common sense here, a global flood is certainly inconsistent with that.
> That is why I believe there are processes - as yet
> unknown to science - which might well have accompanied the Flood (which,
> Name them and win the Nobel Prize, I will even pay for your airfare! Using
> an argument that some completely unknown process yet to be discovered
> will overturn a current theory is a non-argument, particularly as you are
> unable to provide any evidence of your own. Geology is sufficiently well
> advanced now that there is no way there could have been a global flood,
> just as astronomy is sufficiently well advanced that the Sun does not
> orbit
> the Earth.
> after all, was a supernaturally inspired event) and caused a global
> disturbance of its 'atomic clocks'. The C-14 data referred to earlier
> appear
> to support this conclusion.
> So there was a supernatural global flood event about 4500 years ago, which
> was followed by another supernatural event to erase all the evidence and
> plant
> the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps with several 100,000 years worth of
> evidence of snowfall that can be directly examined. On top of all that the
> atomic clocks were reset by some unknown process leaving behind no
> evidence, and you have the complete gall to talk about common sense!
> I have an invisible pink unicorn in my bathroom, and an invisible pixie
> sprinkles invisible pixie dust on me every night!
> Vernon
> <>
> PS I trust you will by now have acquainted yourself with the evidence
> provided at my website. You may remember that your failure to acquaint
> yourself with the strength of my position was a matter of justifiable
> complaint during our earlier exchanges.
> What evidence, all I see is numerology? Sorry, people like you bring
> ridicule
> onto Christianity by your totally absurd arguments, then Christians
> complain
> that the world is getting more secular. With these type of arguments
> anybody
> with more that two functioning neutrons will consider Christianity to be
> a religion of kooks and nuts.
> Christopher Sharp

There are 3 types of people in the world.
Those who can count and those who can't.
Received on Sun Apr 10 04:49:30 2005

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