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Angry at ‘tourist captains’

Published: 5 June 2010 (GMT+10)
A group of tourists standing around someone talking about something.

Australian correspondent Doug N. wrote to us describing how the world has changed since his college days, and asks what we can do about it.

Hullo and greetings, I am a Christian and when I attended college some 65 yrs ago we were given to understand that God created the universe in seven days.

Also that the time from creation to the birth of Christ was approximately four thousand years.

I still hold that belief and attending church for all those years hasn’t changed it.

I have faith in God’s Word.

Now we hear many references of such and such being millions and millions of years old.

Tourist captains are great ones for this describing rocks and skeletons and carvings in rocks. This makes me angry.

How do we as believers of the Bible accept that or explain our understandings?

Thanks for a simple answer to this question of mine.

Doug

CMI’s Dr Tas Walker replies:

Hi Doug,

It is good to receive your email.

Yes, you are right that tourist guides are great ones for describing rocks and skeletons as being millions of years old. I wrote an article about my experience of this when my wife and I travelled through Central Australia. The travel bug.

How Christian tourists handle this situation depends on their personality. I try to avoid embarrassing the tourist guide in front of others but will raise the issue with them in a chatty way if a suitable time occurs. I will even offer them a piece of literature such as Creation magazine or a brochure if it seems appropriate. Sometimes I will make a comment to other tourists nearby about something that indicates the millions of years are not correct. But I try to avoid embarrassing the tour guide.

I know of other people who will also speak out on such occasions. Usually, the tour guides are only passing on what they have been told and don’t know of any other explanation. I know of one person who is quite outspoken in a nice way. The tour guide was showing us some fossils of a fish said that the fish was our ancestor. This person laughed and said, “That is ridiculous.” The tour guide said, “I thought so, too. That is what I have been told to say. I’ve only been here for two weeks.”

I know of someone else who responded to a tour guide in an interesting way. When the guide mentioned the age of a cave as 62,000 years old the person said, “I thought that by now it would 62,000 and one years old. You said 62,000 last year!” It was a bit of a joke but it had the effect. And later this person had a talk to the guide and ended up giving them a copy of Creation magazine.

I know of another lady who recently travelled through central Australia and commented that the idea of millions of years is presented everywhere you go. Yet, she said that the evidence for the Flood is plain to see. She also said that, although she is only a lay person, she would challenge the tour guides (in a nice way) on the ages of millions of years on every occasion. She said they would invariably back down on the age question, saying that that is what they had been told to say. She said they were even less informed on this issue than she was.

One of the key statements to make is that people did not see these things form and so they are only speculating. This can be framed as a question which is always better. Polite questions are a powerful way of getting people to think. We can ask things like, “How do they work that out?” “How do they know what the reading was originally?” Or we can make statement like, “I’ve heard that these numbers are just based on assumptions” or “There is lots of good evidence that the world is not that old” or “There are lots of scientists who see evidence that the earth is only young.”

Once again, thanks for contacting us. Next time you go on a tourist outing I hope you are able to share some of these ideas and find it stimulating and enjoyable rather than frustrating. A small collection of our brochures may be useful (A great way to spread the news and 18 booklets answer questions).

All the best.

Tas Walker

Scientist, Editor, Speaker

Creation Ministries International (Australia)

Creation.com


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