Re: It's no joke!

From: Vernon Jenkins <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Date: Mon Apr 11 2005 - 17:24:02 EDT

Michael,

You wrote,

> I shall assume for the sake of the argument that your numerological ideas
> are correct but go with Iain in that they do not mean one must take
> Genesis literally.
>

Allow me to correct this statement. They are not so much _my numerological
ideas_ as _empirical facts_ which, because they are intensely concentrated
in the Hebrew of the Bible's first verse, are clearly intended to attract
attention. They invite the inquiring mind to ponder three simple questions,
viz Who put them there?, By what process? and What is their purpose?
Clearly, in this forum, it is necessary that we first ask the question, How
does it come about that a potentially vital and far-reaching facet of truth
continues to be wilfully ignored? What about it, Michael? Others look to you
for help in their understanding of the Scriptures, and of the Gospel. Why
not examine what I'm talking about (rather than accepting it 'for the sake
of argument') and come up with some reasonable answers to the foregoing
questions?

>
> Further you push both Genesis and Peter too hard to insist on a global
> flood.There were commentators before 1800 who did not think that the text
> required the flood to be global.
>

Clearly, the commentators you refer to respected neither Scripture nor
simple logic. I fail to see where I 'push both Genesis and Peter too hard'.
Perhaps you'd care to elaborate. What does particularly concern me - as it
should every Christian - is Peter's warning (2Pet.3:16).

With respect to C14, at this point I have nothing further to add to what has
already been said.

Vernon
www.otherbiblecode.com

>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Vernon Jenkins" <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
> To: <CMSharp01@aol.com>
> Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2005 11:11 PM
> Subject: Re: It's no joke!
>
>
>> 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 globality 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 all related!' and 'Is there a Plan B?' (Oct-Nov 2004);
>> however, let me briefly summarise 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.
>> (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.
>> (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)?
>> (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!
>> (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, 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!
>>
>> It appears to me that this is the crux of 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 why I believe there are
>> processes - as yet unknown to science - which might well have accompanied
>> the Flood (which, 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.
>>
>> Vernon
>> www.otherbiblecode.com
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> V
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: <CMSharp01@aol.com>
>> To: <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
>> Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 7:23 AM
>> Subject: Re: It's no joke!
>>
>>
>>> Hi Vernon,
>>>
>>> You wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Christopher,
>>>>
>>>> In response to my request for details of the technique(s) used for the
>>>> remote measurement of decay rates - as in supernovae, you wrote:
>>>>
>>>> "The light curves of supernovae during the postmaximum decay phase
>>>> are powered by the decay of radioactive nuclei, in particular Ni-56
>>>> and Co-56. Not only that, but we can see the spectra of these and
>>>> other radioactive nuclei, and the gamma rays given off when they
>>>> decay.
>>>> The decay rates are exactly the same as observed in the lab. No
>>>> uniformitarian assumptions there, just direct observations."
>>>>
>>>> I still have some difficulty getting my head around the quantitative
>>>> implications of all this. Is it your claim that _no_ assumptions of
>>>> any
>>> kind
>>>> are
>>>> involved in the procedure?
>>>
>>> Why is it so difficult to accept that, the only assumption, if you could
>>> even call it that, is objective reality? If you see a star exploding
>>> about
>>> 169,000 light years away, it obviously really exploded, and that was
>>> about 169,000 years ago. We can see isotopes decaying in the
>>> remnant at exactly the same rate as the same isotopes decay here
>>> on the earth. This is direct observation and no assumption, unless as
>>> I said, you consider objective reality to be an assumption.
>>>
>>>> In response to my further questions, Do you discount the possibility
>>>> of _local_ changes in these rates (as suggested by Baumgardner et al)
>>>> as a result of a global cataclysm (e.g. the Noahic Flood)? If so, on
>>>> what basis?, you wrote:
>>>>
>>>> "As to any global Noah's flood, which is a figment of imagination of
>>>> the 7th Day Adventist Church, and the YECs who picked up on that,
>>>> such a global catastrophe, even if it had taken place, would not
>>>> have effected decay rates. With the exception of electron capture,
>>>> which can be affected to some extent by the environment, regular
>>>> alpha and beta decay are totally unaffected by the environment the
>>>> atom is in. I suggest that YECs should take a course in nuclear
>>>> physics 101."
>>>>
>>>> Whether or not one is a 7th Day Adventist, I suggest a straight
>>>> reading of
>>>> Genesis 6-9 inclusive fosters the understanding that the Noahic Flood
>>>> was _universal_. Remarkably, you then appear to imply that there is
>>>> nothing left to know about sub-atomic particle physics, and further
>>>> assume
>>>
>>> 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. Be that as it may, no known
>>> mechanism could have altered the decay rates, so the argument about
>>> the flood is irrelevant on that count also.
>>>
>>> There is and always will be a lot more to learn about sub-atomic
>>> particles,
>>> but so what? We know enough about them to state that there is no
>>> KNOWN process in a terrestrial environment that can alter their
>>> properties. If you can propose a mechanism that can be tested, and
>>> is found to be supported by the evidence, then you are in line to win
>>> the
>>> Nobel Prize, and I will even pay your airfare to Oslo! Otherwise you
>>> are
>>> just engaged in epistemological nihilism, which is one of many
>>> creationist
>>> rhetorical debating tactics.
>>>
>>>> that the local environment during the Mabbul via-a-vis decay rates was
>>>> much
>>>> as we experience today. Can you prove that it was? If not, then I
>>>> suggest
>>>> the matter (including the universality of the Flood) is hardly
>>>> _closed_ ,as
>>>> your words suggest, but wide open to further careful inquiry - which
>>>> is
>>>> what the RATE program is all about.
>>>
>>> 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.
>>>
>>> If John Baumgardener can provide a testable theoretical model to explain
>>> the
>>> decay rate changes, and that model is backed up by evidence, then this
>>> would be very exciting. If I were in contact with him, I would
>>> encourage
>>> him that once he has worked out his model, it should be submitted to a
>>> refereed journal in geophysics, or even theoretical physics.
>>>
>>> Christopher Sharp
>>> http://csharp.com/creationism.html
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
Received on Mon Apr 11 17:27:01 2005

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