Re: [asa] Yes -- the YECs are still winning

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Sun Mar 29 2009 - 22:37:15 EDT

1st, of course it's true that we need some understanding of what's meant by
"young" and "old." By "young" in the this context I mean "on the order of
10^4 years" and by "old" I mean "orders of magnitude larger than that."

It is not possible to prove scientifically or philosophically that the
universe has any particular age because it's possible that it could have
come into being 10 minutes - or any time interval - in the past complete
with the necessary memories &c. Bertrand Russell pointed that out long ago
(hence the designation Russell's Paradox") - cf. Malcolm Acock, "The Age of
the Universe", Philosophy of Science 50, 1983, 130. By similar arguments
almost anything could be true in defiance of the evidence of our senses,
instruments, &c. Thus it's hard to see how that idea could be consistent
with anything that would be called objective reality.

The fundamental objection to "apparent age" is theological, the belief that
God created a real world which is good & thus, inter alia, not deceptive
about its own character. YECs who take the apparent age argument line
sometimes resist the reply that this would make God deceptive by saying that
the creation of a world must carry with it signs of apparent age - Adam's
navel, tree rings, &c. This, however, is incorrect, for big bang cosmology
& biological evolution provide models of a way in which a universe & life
could come into being without such appearances. In addition, in order to
explain the natural fission reactors at Oklo in this way one would have to
have some additional tweaking of apparent age in addition to that involved
in the origination of the earth - cf. my article at
http://archive.elca.org/lutheranpartners/handiwork/past/060910.html . Which
is to say - crudely - that God would have had to go out of his way to create
this appearance.

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----
From: "wjp" <wjp@swcp.com>
To: "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Cc: "David Clounch" <david.clounch@gmail.com>; <Dehler@ame8.swcp.com>;
"Bernie" <bernie.dehler@intel.com>; <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Yes -- the YECs are still winning

> George:
>
> This is quite a strong statement. I take it that you believe it is
> impossible
> that the following two propositions could be true.
>
> 1) All that you (and others) regard as evidence for an ancient world
> obtains.
> 2) The world is young.
>
> Proposition (1) presumes the entire world of human experience as you take
> it
> to be and all the theories and instruments employed in the determination
> that
> such and such serves as evidence for an old world. By "evidence" I mean
> what
> Bridgman means: a meter reading. The world that obtains has these meter
> readings, these instruments, and theories. That is, what obtains is what
> we
> can "objectively" associate with a state of world and human understanding.
>
> Both propositions must come to some common understanding of "old" and
> "young,"
> that is, some standard of temporal measurement, although science lacks any
> absolute measure of time intervals.
>
> George, if this is what you believe, and I take it at least many on this
> list
> agree, then I begin to grasp the nature of the attitudes reflected on this
> list
> towards YEC.
>
> I certainly do not accept that the two propositions mentioned above are
> contraries.
> Indeed, I am amazed that anyone could believe so.
>
> But so it goes.
>
> bill powers
> White, SD
>
> On Sun, 29 Mar 2009 20:39:53 -0400, "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
> wrote:
>> There is plenty of scientific evidence that the earth is old that is just
>> as compelling as the evidence for the age of distant stars. In addition,
>> a strict literal interepretation of Gen.1 places the creation of the
>> stars
>> after that of the earth.
>>
>> There is no YEC view that is congruent with objective reality.
>>
>> Shalom
>> George
>> http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: David Clounch
>> To: Dehler, Bernie
>> Cc: asa@calvin.edu
>> Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:58 PM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] Yes -- the YECs are still winning
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> So when you observe a supernova explosion at 90 million light years
>> away, that event didn't really happen because the universe is only a few
>> thousand years old.
>>
>> With this logic we could also all believe that everything was just
>> made 10 seconds ago- including the memories of all our past events, which
>> didn't really happen.
>>
>> ,,,Bernie
>> Bernie,
>> I had not read this until now. You point out something I have been
>> thinking of for a long time. The YEC position can produce a quirky
>> phenomenology. The real problem with this phenomenology is it is also
>> FATAL to the concept of objective reality. If I were a YEC I would run
>> from this as fast as I could. Christianity and the very idea of truth
>> are both based on the idea of an objective reality. As is science.
>>
>> One must ask, is there a form of YEC that teaches that the earth is
>> young but the universe old? That seems to be the only chance YEC has of
>> being congruent with objective reality.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]
>> On Behalf Of John Walley
>> Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2009 6:13 AM
>> To: asa@calvin.edu; Randy Isaac
>> Subject: Re: [asa] Yes -- the YECs are still winning
>>
>> I think it is probably wise to leave the door open to "appearance of
>> age" YEC because at the end of the day we have to accept supernatural
>> intervention at some point anyway and we can't scientifically rule this
>> out. It is probably a good strategy to just draw the line on countering
>> and disproving false statements that are offered as scientific support of
>> these views. It is a free country and people can believe whatever myths
>> or
>> fables they want as long as they don't try to represent it as science.
>>
>> But by this logic would ASA take issue with RTB statements that
>> newfound function for junk DNA and the function argument in general
>> negate
>> the pseudogene evidence for common descent? Doesn't that fall afoul of
>> the
>> criterion for integrity in science?
>>
>> Ironically, this postion backs RTB into the corner of "appearance of
>> ancestry" just like the YECs appearance of age. They will admit it looks
>> that way but they appeal to a deceptive record of nature and a deceptive
>> Creator to avoid the obvious implications if the science. I concede they
>> should be allowed to believe that if they want but they shouldn't be
>> allowed to get away with saying science supports them in that without a
>> response. Does ASA officially address this anywhere?
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> John
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --- On Wed, 2/4/09, Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net> wrote:
>>
>> > From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
>> > Subject: Re: [asa] Yes -- the YECs are still winning
>> > To: asa@calvin.edu
>> > Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 10:24 PM
>> > Bernie wrote:
>> > > But even the ASA doesn't have a position against
>> > YEC, so maybe it is true? ;-)
>> >
>> > From PSCF June 2007 Vol. 59 No. 2 p. 143-146
>> >
>> > "The ASA does not take a position on issues when there
>> > is honest disagreement among Christians provided there is
>> > adherence to our statement of faith and to integrity in
>> > science. Accordingly, the ASA neither endorses nor opposes
>> > young-earth creationism which recognizes the possibility of
>> > a recent creation with appearance of age or which
>> > acknowledges the unresolved discrepancy between scientific
>> > data and a young-earth position. However, claims that
>> > scientific data affirm a young earth do not meet the
>> > criterion of integrity in science. Any portrayal of the RATE
>> > project as confirming scientific support for a young earth
>> > contradicts the RATE project's own report. The ASA can
>> > and does oppose such deception."
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
>> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the
>> > message.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
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>>
>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
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Received on Sun Mar 29 22:37:44 2009

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