Rock of Ages

By now it should be thoroughly apparent to my followers that I have little patience for creationism. It’s an unscientific idea that undermines efforts to understand the world we live in. To be a creationist you need to first ignore fields of study like geology, biology and astronomy. You need to be capable of either inventing evidence, distorting evidence, or outright rigid interpretations of religious texts (with absolutely no compromise on meaning). If you want to believe in creationism or intelligent design as a religious theory, that’s fine. The minute you try to inject these ideas into valid scientific discussions, you are distorting the evidence.

wpid-wp-1445548132891.jpg

(this ‘kat is not a fan of creationism!)

It should come as no surprise that my ‘sparring partner’ of Theology Archaeology is a creationist. They have already made it clear they view faith healing as a valid alternative to modern medicine, and believe religious rules should overrule civil rights. They also regard the Bible as literally true. This may well make any attempt a meaningful discussion impossible (indeed, TA swiftly ramped up his accusations of logical fallacies during our discussion about faith healing, whilst committing said fallacies),  but I find it hard to sit by and let arguments like his stand without offering an opposing point of view.

If you want to see the page of his that I’m looking at this time, you can find it here.

I’m actually critiquing a critique; the page TA takes on can be found here, at a site called Ages of Rocks – which as you have probably already guessed, inspired the title of this post!

Quotes from TA will be in purple, quotes from the author of Ages of Rocks (henceforth abbreviated to AR) will be in blue, and any comments I make to TA (or AR) will be in green. Any additional comments from me will be in black.

#1. With the help of organizations like ICR, Dr. Austin gained prominent authority within Evangelical circles. Millions were persuaded that the iconic Grand Canyon bore the marks of a young Earth, and the creationist movement had effectively hijacked one of geology’s best teaching tools.

We have largely left flood geology alone as we cannot cover every topic the way we would like but this post has points in it that allow us to examine the claims of the author in light of biblical truth. The creationist movement did not hijack anything for secular geology reads far too much into the rocks and layers they examine thus the Grand Canyon is not a great teaching tool for the secular geologist and their alternative origin theories.

They have no verifiable evidence to prove their claims that the earth evolved over time. What they give is their best explanation which comes from deceived minds who have rejected the truth. The are not speaking from fact but their best guess and their use of creative adjectives like ‘hijacked’ does not help their case. Those descriptive words only expose their hatred and bias.They also demonstrate a lack of objectivity on their part.

Does the Grand Canyon illustrate the biblical flood? It is possible and the flood is a far better explanation for its creation than anything secular geologists come up with. Flood geologists at least have one ancient document to back up their thinking. The secular geologist does not enjoy that support.

Emphasis mine. The author clearly doesn’t understand what geology is. From Dictionary.com:

the science that deals with the dynamics and physical history of the earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the physical, chemical, and biological changes that the earth has undergone or is undergoing.

The whole point of geology is to study the earth and its layers! It’s the science behind understanding what our world is made of and the processes that drive our planet. This makes something like the Grand Canyon perfect for study. I hate to blunt, but TA has buried his head in the sand further than an ostrich to reach his conclusion here. There is plenty of evidence to support the earth developing over time. These arguments comprise of different fields of study, and provide overlapping verification. The only ‘true’ evidence for a young earth is taken from an ultra-literal interpretation of the Bible. There is nothing at all objective about that.

#2. t mattered little that neither book impacted academia and research, except to raise a few professorial eyebrows (much like an article from The Onion on your Facebook feed). Though several Earth scientists spent the effort to criticize the creationist works, most deemed them safe to ignore. Unfortunately, the silence of professional geologists went unheard, because Young-Earth Creationists (YEC) continued to cite both books in support of their strict reading of Genesis. With the appearance of scientific debate, sides could be taken on the basis of worldview—not evidence.

First, we do not have to ‘impact academia and research’ to have the truth. This is one area where alternative believers go wrong. They think that scholars, scientists, professors must jump eagerly on board in order for something to be viable or true and that is far from the truth.There is nothing that states that the truth will change people’s minds or that it will be automatically accepted when heard.

Second, another mistake made by alternative believers is to assume that professional, secular geologists have and are arguing from the truth. This is hardly the case since most geologists are not believers and do not have the spirit of truth guiding them to the right solution. Secular geologists, and some who claim to be believers, are under the influence and leading of evil, a fact that author ignores, and do not even get close to what the truth is in geology.They are like other scientists creating their own hypothesis then seek to prove their ideas true. They are not in pursuit of the truth.

I had to resist the urge to openly laugh when I read this. Secular geologists, and some who claim to be believers, are under the influence and leading of evil‘, or so says TA. What ‘evil’ exactly? The evil of wanting to learn more about our world and taking a systematic, considered approach, built on observation and tests? The desire to expand our horizons and understand universe around us?

I have to wonder – if the Bible said the sky was green and TA looked out of their window to see blue sky, would he deny the evidence of his own eyes? This is what creationism does – it ignores carefully considered evidence and observation.

Third, the deceptive work of alternative believers is easily recognized in how they use certain words. In the case of that quote the key words are ‘worldview’ and ‘evidence’ What every believer should know is that alternative believers and secular scientists do not accept any evidence that disagrees with their own ideas or preconceived conclusions. They will also not label something as evidence if the item described as such does not meet their own accepted ideas.So the creationist may have evidence even though the secular geologist does not accept it. Using words like ‘worldview’ only distorts the arguments and seeks to protect the secularist from discovering the truth or being shown that they are wrong.

The irony is strong with this one. Creationism is founded upon refusing to accept evidence that contradicts it. The guiding principle of creationism to take the conclusion as a certainty, and work backwards from there, trying to force the evidence to fit the conclusion. It is as unscientific as you can get.

This is not about truth, despite TA’s constant use of the word. This is about ideology. TA and other creationists want to ensure the dominance of Christianity over all things. Getting creationism accepted as a science is one insidious method of achieving this.

#3. Consequently, the community of Christ fell further into disrepute among those knowledgeable of the natural sciences. So long as the church perceived geology as a battle of worldviews, their plight would continue to the detriment of the Gospel.

This is another distorted view alternative believers bring to the discussion. They think you have to change the truth to win people to the truth, they think that the truth hurts the gospel not helps it and this is far from reality. The gospel is not hurt when creationists present the truth or their hypothesis, they are allowed to do that and they are allowed to learn and change if they are wrong. The secular world cannot prove creationists wrong because they are not in possession of the truth.The alternative believer also dismiss Jesus’ words found in John 5 where he said, ‘if you do not believe Moses, how will you believe me?’ “Detriment to the gospel’ comes when people change the gospel to fit their own desires and that is what the alternative believer does. They change the gospel and do not win people to Christ but their version of Christ, which is not the biblical one.

What that author does not realize is that the ‘community of Christ’ did not fall into disrepute because of flood geology. That is only a misconception on the part of the alternative believer as they do not realize that people have free choice to accept the truth or not. The bad reputation comes from those who have rejected the truth and do what that author does–attacks the church with very negative terms.

If the ‘truth’ is rooted in observable fact and things that can be demonstrated, then it would hurt any platform that insists on an inflexible, strict interpretation of a religious text. Kudos to those Christians who understand that the Bible is not intended as a literal document; it can and should be open to interpretation, and it is extremely arrogant of anyone to argue they and they alone have the correct interpretation.

#4. Fellowship of the Canyon: thirteen minds are better than one!

Not if the one has the truth and those thirteen minds do not. And secular scientists and alternative believers do not have the truth.

Not worth addressing.

#5. While recognizing the severe scientific shortcomings of Flood geology,

Science is not the final authority on what is true or not and believers do not have to be scientific to have the truth.The truth is not limited to science’s okay.

When it comes to matters of observation and evidence, science can indeed be the final authority on certain subjects. We know what matter is composed of. We know how our organs function. We can find out how old a rock is. These things are known as facts and we know them because of scientific study. Obviously there are philosophical discussions where the ‘truth’ is more fluid. Science doesn’t get involved with such questions.

#6. natural scientists interpreted the rocks in the context of the only insights into ancient history to which they had access,…Rather, it prompted a series of speculations and hypotheses that could be tested by collecting specimens, creating physical models, and mapping out Earth’s complex surface.

First, this is the common excuse modern scientists use to dismiss findings that disagree with their evolutionary thinking. The alternative believer and secular scientist forget that ancient minds were probably as astute, intelligent and insightful as any modern counterpart. We have the ancient evidence to prove that true– the ancient Greek computer, superior engineered walls and buildings and so on.

The ancients had access to as much information as the modern geologist has (the Grand Canyon and other geological sites were in existence in those times).

Second, the key word in that quote is ‘interpreted’. Anyone can interpret but that does not make their conclusions true or even close to the truth. Interpretation is just personal opinion not fact.Interpretations also disagree with each other and we find competing interpretations today in geology so this argument is moot.

Third, collecting samples and creating physical models does not mean one has discovered the truth. it means they are using those items to promote their alternative to the truth.Samples and models mean nothing when they do not describe the truth and a gaggle of geologists proclaiming the have the truth does not make it so. Their ideas,again, are influenced by the lies of evil and the influence of the same.The failure to make allowances for those facts means that the geologist is not dealing with all the data but ignoring information that is pertinent in their search for how origins took place.

Of course, their searches are in vain because the secularist and the alternative believer reject God’s revelation of how he did things.

I’m not even sure where TA is going with this. At first he seems critical of the idea that modern science has learned more about the world than the people of the ancient world did. I don’t think anyone believes that people of the Greek (and other eras) age were stupid or backward. The difference between then and now is the technology at our disposal to help us learn about the world – we have access to tools they did not have. At the end, TA returns to his misguided notion of ‘evil’.

#7. As geology emerged as a recognizable discipline, Noah’s flood became ever more irrelevant to explaining Earth history

No, it just means that more people are deceived and led away from the truth. There is a reason why God said, not to follow the ungodly or listen to them.

Not worth responding to.

#8. The desire to understand the history of God’s creation could not be divorced from a commitment to reason and wisdom.

The quote here assumes that only the secular scientist has access to ‘reason and wisdom’ and all true believers know this is not true. True reason and wisdom would guide people to listen to the actual Being who created it all not to those unbelieving scientists who reject the creator’s words on what he did.

True wisdom lies in experiencing the world for yourself and forming your own judgments, and this science summed up. Blindly adhering to one interpretation of one book is not wisdom.

#9. This factor is vital to understanding the creationist controversy, especially if you don’t consider the Bible to be divinely inspired

If you do not believe the Bible to be divinely inspired then you have no God to believe in or follow and you have no gospel to present to anyone.You have no salvation either.You are basically saying that the God who wrote the Bible did not know what he was talking about and he lied about his actions. These ideas make God in need of a savior and has no authority or power to offer salvation to anyone.

The church cannot be brought into disrepute by ignoring secular scientific findings for there is no church and o reputation to harm and flood geology is not detrimental to the gospel because now there is o gospel to harm.

There is also no controversy because creation never took place. But since creation took place, the only ones bringing the controversy are the secular geologists ad alternative believers.

TA takes the idea that AR is suggesting the Bible is not divinely inspired and runs with it. To be honest, there isn’t anything to add here.

#10. Even if you are not part of the Christian church, the prevalence of YEC is still relevant to you. It bears on how our communities will invest in education and research, versus (for example) tax breaks for a Noah’s Ark-based theme park, whose stated mission is to persuade visitors of the errors of modern geology/biology through a nuanced form of “evangelism”. Most importantly, this book will teach you how to engage those caught up in the creationist movement in a manner that is respectful and informed. Proof without persuasion has no public benefit.

The fear tactic. Only the alternative believer and secular scientist raise this alarm.They use fear to keep people trapped in sin and deception. The above is not true of course, but that doesn’t stop alternative believers and secular scientists from using those lies to deceive people into thinking the wrong things about science and our origins. Science and scientists do not have the truth unless they repent of their sins, accept Christ as their savior then follow the Holy Spirit to the truth.

It’s not a fear tactic. AR raised a perfectly valid point and used a good example. Creationists continue to try and get their pseudo-scientific ideas into classrooms and into the public arena, despite the obvious flaws with their ideas and methods. There are States in the US where creationism is pushed onto the curriculum at schools, thanks to lobbying from pro-religious organisations.

The unbelieving world and alternative believers are the ones who are blind and deceived not the true believer who has the Holy Spirit guiding them. What that author is saying is that the Holy Spirit does not know the truth, cannot find the truth nor possesses it. He is also saying that only the deceived, blind, evil influenced and led secular scientist has the truth over the most holy and sinless God.

Reason ad wisdom do not reside with that author nor the secular geologist, secular scientist or the alternative believer. If you want real reason, wisdom and the truth then ignore that author, secular scientists and alternative believers.

The arrogance here is staggering. TA rallies against not only science but also ‘alternative believers’. How dare anyone interpret the Bible different to him eh?

I guess we should all close our eyes and ignore the evidence before them. It’s what TA would do.