RE: [asa] FW: What if YECism were self-evident?

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Fri Sep 22 2006 - 08:54:40 EDT

There is a difference between the age of something and when that
something was formed. In a sense, everything in the universe is equally
old. In particular, for human the real question is when you were born
and not how old you are. The formation of something in time is a
historical question, whereas the age of something is more of a tenuous





From: [] On
Behalf Of Jon Tandy
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 11:58 PM
Subject: [asa] FW: What if YECism were self-evident?


I have a hypothetical question that I'd like to pose, which concerns
science and its view of nature, regardless of the evidence for a young
or old universe.


It is widely acknowledged that the physical evidence points to an old
earth, while a simple reading of the scriptural text points to an
immediate creation by direct intervention by God (I realize there are
many other reasonable views on these topics, and I'm not debating those
here). Many scientific theories have proved to be reasonably accurate
in describing and predicting natural processes at work in the cosmos.
The success of naturalistic explanations (as well as the expressed
philosophy of many atheistic scientists that "nature is all there is")
has strengthed the position of many theists that science is at war with
religion, and that science is predisposed to accept only a philosophy of


But what if the situation were different? What if the last 150 years of
geology and cosmology had not revealed such convincing evidence of an
old universe? What if the evidence for young-ness were so self-evident
that most scientists accepted this fact as a basis for their
methodology? What changes would this make in our practice of science
today? Would this eliminate the warfare between science and religion,
between naturalistic and supernaturalistic philosophies, or between
atheism and theism? Would philosophical naturalism be dead in such a


Certainly in many areas of science, there would be no impact at all. If
the earth existed in its present form, but with evidence of young age
accepted by the scientific community, work in many areas of physics,
biology, chemistry, and other fields of science would be exactly as it
is now. Studying the habitat of animals, or the trajectory of planets,
or the combination of chemicals would not necessarily be much affected
by the age of the earth question. Sub-disciplines such as paleo-biology
would certainly be affected in how they view the fossil record.


I would venture a guess that YEC theists would be viewed with a bit more
favor by the scientific community than they are today. Yet I believe
that science would still continue to investigate, hypothesize, and seek
for natural explanations where possible to explain both present
processes as well as origins. Even though theism would probably be more
"alive and well" within scientific circles than it is today, I don't
believe this situation would eliminate the warfare between philosophical
naturalism and theistic creationism.


I'm thinking of several examples where science currently accepts, or has
eagerly proposed, natural explanations for origins questions which for
others have been simply answered with, "God did it." In a world where
the evidence clearly pointed to a young earth, methodological naturalism
could still lead scientists propose such things as:


-- a version of "Big Bang" theory, where the universe comes
spontaneously into existence out of nothing, 10,000 years ago, as a
singularity which we can't mathematically explain (sound familiar to
today's Big Bang theory?)

-- a cyclical universe, where the universe could pop into existence,
disappear, and reappear endless times

-- a wormhole theory, where matter from one universe that disappears
into a wormhole comes out another in fully assembled form

-- a collision of "branes", or parallel universes, which gives rise to
immediate, spontaneous existence of matter

-- naturalistic flood theories which postulate a means by which
atmospheric vapor and/or underground reservoirs could have been
catastrophically released on the earth several thousand years ago

-- theories of biological evolution by which rapid mutations could occur
over several thousands of years, leading to the present diversity of
species through natural means

-- In short, any number of other theories which could explain a young
universe, without relying on a theistic philosophy of "God created",
could be proposed by those with a scientific philosophy intent on trying
to explain all things through natural means.


Certainly in this hypothetical universe, it would be possible that some
of these theories could be falsified, and the dynamics of the debate
would be different from now. But I believe there is something in the
current mindset of science which is inherently at war with religion, and
trying to expand its own domain through naturalistic explanations. Not
that science as a field of study is wrong in itself or that all such
explanations are false or bad, but proponents of science over the last
300 years have tended strongly toward expanding the domain of the


C.S. Lewis in "The Abolition of Man" draws a parallel between the role
of magic and science which developed during the 16th and 17th centuries,
calling them "twins" born out of the same desire to subdue reality to
the wishes of man. Science won over magic, because it worked whereas
magic didn't, but the underlying desire was the same -- control over
nature. As science was able to "weigh and measure" everything, it
gradually removed things from the supernatural to the natural realm
(i.e. stars were no longer seen as heavenly bodies, but as massive
nuclear reactors). The mystical view of previous ages which saw
something of a divine nature revealed through trees and stars and the
creation itself was replaced by an analytical view of reality which,
Lewis argues, lost something of its true reality. He argues against
this view's logical conclusion, which is that naturalists are trying to
reduce man himself, along with reason and morality, to mere nature and
chance. He also argues that science isn't necessarily the culprit, that
it's possible for science to redeem itself if it can recover something
of the wonder of this greater "reality".


It was Lewis' thoughts that led me to pose the question in this post.
If philosophical naturalism would still be possible (and perhaps thrive)
in a world where the age of the universe wasn't in dispute, does this
provide any insights for the present situation on how to better view the
role of science, or how to discourse with young-earth creationists or
old-earth atheists? Does this provide a valuable illustration that the
age of the earth is not the important issue, but rather the clash
between philosophies?



Jon Tandy



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Received on Fri Sep 22 08:58:04 2006

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