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Feedback archiveFeedback 2005

Creation challenge: leave the Bible out of it

4 April 2005

I am a traditionally trained geologist and i am also a believer. I have be participating in a discipleship group where we are curently discussing evolution vs. creationism. My pastor suggested that I check out this website, since I believe in the concepts of evolution and do not see a schism between that and evolution, based on what I have seen in the geologic record, read about history, and my interpretation of Genesis (there was no specific reason for that order by the way). As an evolutionist, i am looking for proof that I am wrong, and I want to see it from a scientific perpective since several of the people in my church are saying that it is a dying theory, even among non-believing scientists (which is contrary to what i have read in my quest for this.
I was reading one of Ken Ham’s articles and this line struck me:
“Recently, one of our associates sat down with a highly respected world-class Hebrew scholar and asked him this question: If you started with the Bible alone, without considering any outside influences whatsoever, could you ever come up with millions or billions of years of history for the Earth and universe? The answer from this scholar? Absolutely not!
Lets be honest. Take out your Bible and look through it. You cant find any hint at all for millions or billions of years”
I submit a similar challenge: without using any reference to religion or considering anything in the bible, come up with a six day creation.
I look forward to hearing a response, and plan on sharing it in my discipleship group.
Jason A. Short
USA


I am a traditionally trained geologist and i am also a believer.

If you are a believer in Jesus, why do you not follow His practice of using the Bible as authority in every area it talks about? For example, ‘Scripture cannot be broken’ (John 10:35), ‘It is written …’. In fact, Jesus affirmed all the events that skeptics most disparage, e.g. Genesis creation of man and woman ‘from the beginning of creation’ (Mark 10:5–9 citing Genesis 1:27 and 2:24); Noah’s Flood as a literal event, Noah as a real person and the Ark as a real vessel (Luke 17:26–27); Moses as author of the Pentateuch (Luke 16:31, John 5:46–47); and Jonah and the great sea creature (Matthew 12:39–41). See Jesus Christ on the infallibility of Scripture.

I have be participating in a discipleship group where we are curently discussing evolution vs. creationism. My pastor suggested that I check out this website, since I believe in the concepts of evolution and do not see a schism between that and evolution, based on what I have seen in the geologic record, read about history, and my interpretation of Genesis (there was no specific reason for that order by the way).

Fine, but your interpretation is beside the point. What matters is not what it means to you, but what it means, period. Scripture is ‘God-breathed’ so it can teach us (2 Timothy 3:15–17), and this entails that He wanted us to understand Him, not make up our own meaning. We have amply shown how the grammatical and historical context of Genesis shows that it was intended to be understood as a historical narrative not allegory, myth or polemic, and this means:

As an evolutionist, I am looking for proof that I am wrong,

However, it seems that you are only looking for proof within the uniformitarian way of thinking that you learned from your uniformitarian teachers. That is, teachers who ignored the true history of the world from the Bible, God’s Word, particularly regarding Creation and the Flood. See how the ‘father of uniformitarianism’, James Hutton, explicitly rejected the Flood a priori, i.e. before even examining the evidence. In so doing, he and all his followers adopted the characteristics of the ‘scoffers’ that the Apostle Peter prophesied about (2 Peter 3:3–7). It’s also important to note that evolution has a number of unanswerable theological questions.

Relying on man-made presuppositions (uniformitarianism and evolutionism) also means that you, in effect, have to twist a number of Bible passages:

  • Proverbs 1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.
    To: The empirical method is the beginning of knowledge.
  • Proverbs 9:10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
    To: Methodological Naturalism is the beginning of wisdom.
  • Proverbs 29:25The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.
    To: The fear of man is most important for today’s Christians to maintain academic respectability, but he who trusts in the LORD is naïve.
  • John 3:12 (Jesus to Nicodemus) — If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
    To: If I have told you earthly things like the fact that Adam and Eve existed ‘from the beginning of creation’ and the global Flood really ‘occurred’, and I’m wrong, don’t worry; just believe me anyway if I tell you heavenly things.
and I want to see it from a scientific perpective since several of the people in my church are saying that it is a dying theory, even among non-believing scientists (which is contrary to what i have read in my quest for this.

Evolution is a deduction from a materialistic worldview, as Lewontin, Dickerson and Todd admit. Therefore I won’t claim it is a dying theory because it keeps getting reinvented, because at all costs the paradigm must not be touched (atheism depends on it). Rather, as Lakatos would put it, all they do is change auxiliary theories. However, these were all the old ‘proofs’ that have now been debunked, such as Piltdown Man, Archaeoraptor, peppered moths, Haeckel’s embryo diagrams and the alleged Ostrea–Gryphaea transition.

I have also pointed out in another feedback, Correcting a severe misconception about the creation model, another reason that science cannot be the final authority. That is, science itself can only work under certain presuppositions, and all of them are deducible from Scripture. Evolutionary presuppositions can provide no logical justification for science itself. So Christians should not be intimidated by evolutionists who demand that we start from science when they can't even justify the scientific enterprise from their own presuppositions! Rather, Christians should take the offensive and demonstrate that science is secondary to the primacy of Scriptural axioms that make science possible.

I was reading one of Ken Ham’s articles and this line struck me:
“Recently, one of our associates sat down with a highly respected world-class Hebrew scholar and asked him this question: If you started with the Bible alone, without considering any outside influences whatsoever, could you ever come up with millions or billions of years of history for the Earth and universe? The answer from this scholar? Absolutely not!
“Let’s be honest. Take out your Bible and look through it. You can't find any hint at all for millions or billions of years”

And I completely endorse Mr Ham’s challenge. A Christian by definition should have the same view of Scripture that Christ had, i.e. that it was inerrant and authoritative on all matters of which it speaks. Therefore one should read doctrines out of the text (exegesis), not into the text (eisegesis).

In fact, Mr Ham is following the precedent of the ‘noble Bereans’ in Acts 17:11:

Now these [Berean] Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if what Paul said were so.

I.e. he is asking these theologians to check these billions-of-years ideas with Scripture. But if billions of years were really a teaching of Scripture, then one statement by theologians is conspicuous by its absence:

Yes, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field and rapid reversals, dinosaur blood vessels and cells and detectable 14C in diamonds seem to provide irrefutable scientific proof of a young earth. But we mustn’t allow even the strongest science to overrule the clear teaching of the Word of God that the earth is billions of years old.’

It is also incongruous, if long ages were truly the biblical teaching, that Josephus, the Church Fathers and Reformers never saw them. Rather, they became popular only after long-ages were pushed during the 18th century Enlightenment, which was really rather more a period of Endarkenment.

I submit a similar challenge: without using any reference to religion or considering anything in the bible, come up with a six day creation.

Mr Ham has also written a very instructive article that addresses precisely your challenge: Creation: ‘where’s the proof?’ When the person you talk to on creation insists that you ‘leave the Bible out of it’, they are really saying the deck should be stacked one way. I.e. abandoning the Bible means that the Christian is already conceding the materialist’s position right from the outset, i.e. that the ultimate authority is not God’s Word but autonomous human reasoning.

I also explained to an agnostic why it is rational to trust the axioms of Scripture—that Scripture provides the foundation for science, voluntary will, logic and morality, as explained above. I further argued that Scripture is self-consistent, and addressed his question about circular reasoning. This agnostic appreciated my response.

Hi, I’m Amber Del V. I am four years old in the Lord, and am currently in a secular college. I cannot tell you, though I’m sure you know, how adamently opposed to Christ this place is. In every class, reguardless of the topic, evolution and tolerance are constantly thrown at us.

One of my classes is Earth Science for Educators. (My major is elementary education.) In this class, my professor is a rare man who is genuinely interested in knowing our “world view” so he can better teach us. I can write as much as I like!

So, that is what brought me here for the first time, though I’ve heard your radio broadcasts for the past couple years and enjoyed them very much. I have spent the past ninety minutes pouring over several articles. I am so excited about what I’ve read I’m almost in tears. It is so wonderfully refreshing to see believers exhalt Jesus in science!!!

I have never heard such wonderfully honoring and intelligent responses to the most difficult questions. I am also the youth director at my church, and am very excited to bring these articles in for the teens to read. I absolutely appreciate how you brought out that the evidence we have is the same as the evolutionists, and it’s a matter of presuppositions, and a matter of the Word of God being infallible!

Thank you so much for this ministry, for your diligence, and for making this accessable to the world. This is such a wonderful resource! Thank you for explaining how to discuss these topics with unbelievers, and for pointing out why we can’t do it while excluding the Word of God. I am thrilled to have all of this at my fingertips!

In Him,
Amber

That’s precisely what so-called ‘secular education’ has done to many people: put them in an intellectual straightjacket that hinders their ability to see the evidence because they are taught to think non-biblically (that means atheistically, for all practical purposes). The problem is not the evidence but the mindset of those looking at the evidence.

One geologist testified how he never saw any evidence for the Flood—until, as a Christian, he was convinced from the Bible that the Flood must have been a global cataclysm. Now he sees the evidence everywhere.

The Bible talks about people being corrupted in their thinking after turning their backs on God (Romans 1:18ff.) and of people being so spiritually blind that they cannot see the obvious (Acts 28:25–27). The teaching programs at the major universities are dictated by professors who fit that description (see also this previous feedback documenting the ‘intellectual morons’ who are darlings of liberal academia.

Three political science professors, Robert Lichter of George Mason University, Stanley Rothman of Smith College and Neil Nevitte of the University of Toronto, surveyed 1,643 full-time faculty at 183 four-year schools. They found that 72% of teachers describe themselves as liberal, but only 15% are conservative. Only 31% describe themselves as regular churchgoers (and that’s any sort of church). 84% are in favor of abortion rights, and 67% said homosexual behavior is acceptable. The abstract says:

… the differences are not limited to elite universities or to the social sciences and humanities. … This suggests that complaints of ideologically-based discrimination in academic advancement deserve serious consideration and further study.

I also argue that you are in effect changing the above Acts passage to:

Compromise 17:11: Now these [Berean] Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the word and the scriptures daily to test them against uniformitarian science and reinterpreting them accordingly.

I.e. this is like Lucy in the parable of the candle. She demanded her companions calculate elapsed time based entirely on measurements of a candle interpreted by her preconceptions about the past. But she rejected a priori the eyewitness report that constrained the possible elapsed time, and which eventually showed that her assumptions about the past had been erroneous.

I urge you to follow the example of Christ, who believed the record in Genesis, or the Bereans, and check your assumptions about the past with Scripture, God’s eyewitness report of Earth’s history.

I look forward to hearing a response, and plan on sharing it in my discipleship group.
Jason A. Short
USA

You are most welcome to share this response, as long as it’s in its entirety.

[Update: See this response from another believing geologist who was once just like Jason Short but now believes the Bible as written.]

(Dr) Jonathan Sarfati
Creation Ministries International
Brisbane, Australia


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