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Journal of Creation  Volume 27Issue 3 Cover

Journal of Creation 27(3):98–104
December 2013

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Worldviews, logic, and earth’s age—part 2

by and 

Despite claims of contemporary Christian scholars, history demonstrates that an old earth has been detrimental to the church over the past few centuries. Until the 18th century, the church was practically unanimous in accepting young-earth history. The concept of prehistory grounded in geology originated among Enlightenment deists and atheists and not from within the church. The church’s capitulation to deep time has led to theological novelty, often to the point of affecting essential Christian doctrine. As such, the old-earth paradigm has weakened both the church and the culture in the West. Galileo and geocentrism are falsely presented as arguments for a superior authority for science, and by extension an old earth, but geocentrism and deep time are vastly different issues. The conflict between the old-earth paradigm and Christianity is inevitable because the old-earth paradigm is intrinsically rooted in naturalism.
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Many Christian academics and theologians since the late 18th century have embraced an old earth, claiming that it is compatible with Christianity.1 Even many conservative Christian scholars have embraced this idea.2 They think deep time and Christianity must be reconciled at all costs. The result is almost scripted; scientists put forward the latest version of the old-earth paradigm using ‘scientific evidence’,3,4,5 and theologians meekly fall into line, changing Genesis to accommodate it.6,7,8

But the old-earth paradigm involves much more than a quantitative age. It was a dramatic departure from the doctrine of creation, as can be seen in its origin with an aggressive secular intelligentsia, who used ‘science’ to mask their unbelief.9 This occurred sooner and faster than many realize. Prior to 1800:

“[Christian naturalist Jean André] De Luc [(1727–1817)] was well aware that to mention Genesis at all in a ‘philosophical’ or scientific work was to invite a kneejerk reaction from many other savants. Far from expressing a view that was triumphantly dominant in his culture (as often portrayed by modern historical myth making), de Luc as a self-consciously Christian philosopher regarded himself as one of an embattled minority, indeed as part of a minority within a minority.”10

In the centuries following the Newtonian revolution, Christian theologians did not subject science to a thorough theological analysis, and, more importantly, they allowed their enemies to define ‘science’ so as to obfuscate its true dependence on the truth of Scripture.11 As a result, theologians no longer fought secularism; they simply argued over how far to retreat. Those who opposed Darwin still accepted Lyell, not recognizing their fundamental interdependence. This pattern continues—creationists argue for orthodoxy; other Christians affirm an old earth. Despite the gains of creationism, most professional theologians reject it, impeding lasting and significant reform in the church.

We believe that the old-earth paradigm is wrong, and that a new line of argument is warranted for the sake of Christians who feel constrained to accept it by ‘scientific evidence’ they do not understand. We have previously shown that the Christian case for an old earth is severely weakened by virtue of its compatibility with naturalism and its incompatibility with Christianity as worldviews.12 History supplements this logical argument and shows how it has increasingly damaged the integrity of the church’s witness over the past few centuries. If the old earth is intrinsic to naturalism, fundamental loyalties require all Christians to abandon it.

Argument from history

While the force of logic is demonstrative (figure 1), there are also powerful arguments from history (figure 2). For many decades, these were obscured by Enlightenment distortions regarding the origin of secular natural history and geology. Much of the ‘accepted’ history of geology has been shown in recent years to be simplistic, misguided, and slanted.13,14 Textbooks that present the origin of geology as an intellectual evolution from James Hutton to John Playfair to Charles Lyell are wrong.15 The reality is more complex, had more to do with continental naturalists, and is often rife with misrepresentations of those three men.16 This is important because secular propaganda about the nature of geology is derived from that false history,16 and subsequent retellings have been marked by anti-Christian bias—slander at worst or theological ignorance at best. Fortunately, a few secular authors have seen some of the problems, and, with a few Christians, have begun to provide more accurate accounts.17 More importantly, there are a number of positive historical truths that support the creationist position at the expense of the old-earth paradigm, as summarized below.18

logical-arguments
Figure 1. Summary of the logical arguments linking the old-earth paradigm to naturalism and excluding it from Christianity.

Earth’s age throughout church history

If an old earth is consistent with Christian doctrine, it would have been taught during the Church’s first 1,800 years. Scholars have shown the opposite. Almost every major Church Father from the post-Apostolic Age to the Enlightenment advocated a young earth and global Flood.19,20,21 Even those like Augustine, who did not agree with the six-day creation, still affirmed a young earth and global Flood.22,23

Some old-earth advocates have taught that earlier theologians left open the possibility of an old earth.24 Others have sought to use the non-historical interpretations of Genesis 1 dotted occasionally throughout church history as a pretext for accepting modern non-historical theories.25 However, scholarship has shown those claims spurious.26,27 There only ever appeared to be one ‘literal sense’ alternative to the historical reading of Genesis prior to the 18th century: instantaneous creation. Some medieval writers combined the two views (creation of all things in an instant, placement of them in creation over a six day period).28 Nevertheless, all this shows is that there were no other options considered. There were two basic reasons: (1) the Bible was viewed as a source of reliable chronological information, as opposed to the speculations of the Egyptians, Persians, and Greeks, and (2) many in the early church believed history before Christ’s return would be 6,000 years long, applying Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 to the creation days.29 The second reason was eventually abandoned, but the trust in biblical chronology remained. Therefore, it is now an indisputable fact that the church monolithically affirmed a young earth through its first 18 centuries, which even some old-earth proponents accept.3

Idea originated from deists and atheists

Today’s concept of an old cosmos did not originate from Christian theology. Instead, it was the product of Enlightenment intellectuals strongly opposed to orthodox Christianity.18 An early example was Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707–1788). He introduced this idea in his 1749 Histoire naturelle.

“Without being openly atheistic, Buffon had simply redefined the scope of the natural sciences in such a way that divine action was marginalized. … As for Noah’s Flood—which of course had to be placed still later than the seventh epoch—Buffon claimed disingenuously that since it was acknowledged to have been a miracle it was futile to expect it to have left any physical trace, and he consistently declined to attribute any observable features to its action: diluvial theorizing, at least in its classic form, was eliminated altogether.”30

Another was James Hutton.

“His [Hutton’s] theology was openly and unmistakably deistic … his geotheory too is unintelligible except in the light of his deistic theology.”31

Despite the tales of older history of geology accounts, neither Hutton nor Lyell was the father of the old-earth paradigm. Lyell embraced it and made sure that it was firmly entrenched in the new geology, with his rigid uniformitarianism, but the concept of an old earth predated Lyell’s Principles by decades:

“In the opening sentence of his Alpine Travels (1779), Saussure claimed that it was universally accepted—he meant, of course, among savants and other educated readers—that the earth’s past revolutions or major changes had occupied ‘a long succession of ages’ … . Likewise, Werner commented in print—casually and just in passing—that the Geognostic pile of rock masses must have accumulated ‘in the immense time span … of our earth’s existence’; and in manuscript notes for his lectures on geognosy he estimated that the whole sequence might represent perhaps a million years. Lavoisier suggested that the ‘period’ (in the sense of frequency) of his hypothetical oscillation of the sea level was perhaps ‘several hundreds of thousands of years’ and since he believed there had already been several such cycles, his conception of the earth’s total timescale must certainly have run into millions … . And Kant’s well-known earlier conjecture that ‘a series of millions of years and centuries have probably elapsed’ in bringing the universe to its present state was almost a [sic?] commonplace among cosmological theorists.”32

A careful study of the development of geohistory demonstrates that deistic and atheistic intellectuals litter the trail to today’s old-earth consensus.18 A battle was fought over the authority of Scripture and the church capitulated. Attempts to deny that reality are disingenuous.

Antagonism between naturalism and Christianity

Even animals know to avoid people who kick them around. Yet some Christians seem all too willing to continue to seek favour with secularists, whose worldview has generated a profound antagonism with Christianity for more than two centuries. It was manifested early on. Writing about the Enlightenment, Rudwick noted:

“This pre-evidentiary disposition to reject the Bible is also revealed in a passing comment about the common attitude towards Genesis at the time. It was ‘ … ancient Jewish history, often scorned and dismissed by savants hostile to religion … ’.”33

Stark9 also describes this animosity. We could mention the treatment of the British Scriptural Geologists,34 the 20th-century arrogance towards Christianity,35 and more contemporary attacks by the ‘new atheists’. In all cases, the worldview conflict is being played out by its secular adherents in a perfectly consistent manner. Unfortunately, many Christians seem unwilling or unable to grasp the nature of the intellectual and spiritual warfare. We should take a lesson from our forefathers. Early Christian apologists defeated Greek philosophy and paganism within a few centuries. Today, we seem to idolize the enemy, and even those Christians who see the conflict despair of retaking science; instead, they wish to create a parallel discipline!36

historical-argument
Figure 2. Summary of the historical arguments linking the old-earth paradigm to naturalism and excluding it from Christianity.

Worldview warfare is real. We must acknowledge it, develop argumentative strategies for defeating naturalism, and implement them immediately. And then we must stay the course until victory is assured. In this regard, the history of Christianity is more instructive than the history of science, especially given how it has been distorted by secularists.

Accommodation leads to theological error

If Christianity and naturalism are engaged in a worldview war, why do many Christians seek accommodation? It is a question worthy of analysis, but for now the important point is that they do. Secularists preach uniformitarian prehistory and Christians miraculously discover billions of years in Genesis 1. Secularists teach evolution and Christians suddenly find an evolutionary development of life in the Bible. Secularists argue that the Genesis Flood was a local event, and Christians rush to find the sedimentary remnants of a local flood in the Euphrates River valley37 or the Black Sea.38

During the history of the church, there were cycles into heterodoxy, but within the context of a Christian West. But the current crisis presents a different kind of challenge. It is the challenge of a foreign worldview, not a deviation within the framework of belief. It would be like the early Christians seeking accommodation with pagan philosophy, sacrificing their core understanding of revelation to appease Epicureans, Stoics, Platonists, or Aristotelians. The old-earth paradigm is a door into atheism.

Belief in an old earth requires distortions of Genesis 1.39,40 That leads to further distortions in the next ten chapters, and then it cascades throughout the Bible, everywhere that creation or the Flood are mentioned. If the church held a low view of Scripture, this would not seem a burden. But it has been a tenet of the church that our understanding of God, ourselves, our history, our destiny, and everything needed to live out our faith is found in the Bible.41

New interpretations of the Bible require concomitant theological novelty. Aside from the obvious dismissal of the doctrine of creation, other tenets are now targets for questions. Original sin and the effects of the Fall must clearly be understood in a new way, as must the origin of death, sickness, and suffering.42 The symmetry between the Fall and the restoration of God’s creation at the end of time becomes unbalanced, as does the Flood as the forerunner of the universal Final Judgment. Non-traditional understandings of these doctrines impinge on many others, including the core doctrines of the work of Christ. If death and suffering are not directly tied to the Fall, then how can the defeat of death be tied to Christ’s sacrifice?

Old-earth paradigm and a weakened church and culture

Whenever the church has embraced naturalism, it has led to its weakening. The example of Western Europe is obvious—Europeans today are born into a secular, post-Christian civilization. We can trace the decline: Lyell’s geology, Darwin’s biology, Freud’s psychology, and all the societal dysfunction that has followed.

Arguments against creationism typically reside in the dangers of a ‘rejection of science’. Old earth proponents think this makes the church lose face in the eyes of our secular culture and that it damages our youth, who, when confronted by ‘truth’ in school, lose their faith. But the rejection-of-science meme loses its force in light of the struggle between competing worldviews. Second, science is a Christian innovation, and one developed during the heyday of orthodoxy.43 This does not mean that every scientist is a Christian, but that the presuppositions of science are.44 Also, the state of someone’s salvation does not depend on their correct apprehension of science or any other human discipline, but upon the work of God within, regardless of erroneous views about Genesis.

This issue can be completely turned around by a simple question. How have those parts of the church that have embraced secular natural history fared in conquering the culture for Christ? In case after case (e.g. the demise of Princeton as a bastion of orthodoxy45), the answer is clearly that the results have been disastrous. Almost all of the denominations that were the cultural foundations of the West in the 19th century have become almost irrelevant to today’s society. From Europe to mainline America, the disintegration of churches tracks with their accommodation with naturalism.

But even this misses the point. In his first letter to the sophisticated Corinthians, Paul makes it clear that worldly intellectual respectability is neither a possible nor a desirable goal for the church. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God” (1 Corinthians 3:19). Christian theology and intellectual endeavour does not exist to impress the world’s savants; it exists to proclaim God’s truth in a world that is expected to oppose it at every turn. The moral arguments of old-earth Christians fall short of both reality and the moral teaching of Scripture.

The ‘Galileo’ objection

A point constantly raised by Christian deep time advocates is the ‘example’ of Galileo and the geocentrism controversy.46,47,48 For many centuries, the church accepted the Ptolemaic cosmology, finding support in various passages (e.g. Joshua 10:12–13, Psalm 93:1, and Ecclesiastes 1:5). Copernican astronomy (as developed by Galileo, Kepler, and Newton) confirmed Ptolemy had erred; earth was not stationary at the physical centre of the universe. The church was forced to reinterpret the ‘geocentric passages’ of Scripture, setting a precedent that ‘science’ could interpret Scripture. Today, old-earth proponents argue that deep time is good science, like geokineticism, and that the church must likewise reinterpret Scripture to accommodate it.49,50 But does this comparison hold up under scrutiny?

A number of Christians have finally realized the propagandistic nature of this argument and its accompanying distortions.51,52 It fails because its two key assumptions—(1) science determined the church’s geocentric reading of Scripture, and (2) secular geohistory and geokinetic astronomy are analogous and are ‘good science’—are wrong.

Although observational science drove the church to reinterpret the ‘geocentric’ passages, geokineticism did not force a new exegesis. Instead, it forced theologians to see if they had initially understood the author’s intent. They had not. The ‘geocentric’ texts are: (1) poetic literature where the imagery of a stationary earth is clearly symbolic for something else (e.g. Psalm 93:1), or (2) describing an earth-bound reference frame without discussing cosmology (e.g. Joshua 10:12–13 and Ecclesiastes 1:5). In none of these passages were the authors teaching a cosmology. These readings of the various ‘geocentric’ passages are true independent of geokineticism. As Sarfati points out:

“The misunderstanding arose because people failed to realize that biblical passages must be understood in terms of what the author was trying to convey.”53

Second, deep time geology is not analogous to geokineticism, is not ‘good science’, and in many ways is not science at all. Unlike the arrangement of the solar system, in which the relevant bodies can be directly and repeatably observed and measured, deep time is a worldview-driven assumption about the unobservable and unrepeatable past. Copernican cosmology was a question of observational perspective; geocentrists made the mistake of assuming earth was an absolute physical reference frame. But there is no such thing. There are many valid observational reference frames—even geocentric—but none is absolute. All the Bible requires is that earth is a valid observational reference frame.

Furthermore, the Galileo affair has been used as a secular propaganda tool for several centuries. Distortions from that bias are common and significant. Our standard for understanding the truth and meaning of those historical events is pushed higher by that known bias. If we know distortion exists, how deep does it run and how might it affect important sources? In summary, the whole affair is a red herring designed to distract from the dramatic differences between secular natural history and the Bible.

Affirming deep time amounts to saying the church for 1,800 years fundamentally misunderstood the historical referentiality of the whole biblical story.

The necessary conflict between the two worldviews

While theologians may be excused for failing to understand the nature of secular natural history, they have no excuse for failing to see the historical conflict between Christ and the world. Ever since Cain and Abel, the Bible has presented history in terms of an unremitting struggle between good and evil. We see the drama between Moses and Pharaoh, Israel and Philistia, Mordecai and Haman, and Jesus and his opponents. The Apostles made it perfectly clear that this conflict carried over to the church, their teaching gruesomely reinforced by terrible persecution. Historical examples from every age could be multiplied.

This struggle is taught in 1 Corinthians 1, where the power and wisdom of the Gospel are manifested to an unbelieving world as ‘foolishness’ or ‘a stumbling block’. Today, the biblical orthodoxy of creationists is likewise seen by the world as ‘foolishness’ and by the unbelieving religious community as ‘a stumbling block’. Theologians might argue that creationism is not the gospel. But the essence of creationism is the integrity of Genesis, which takes us to the integrity of Scripture as a whole. Furthermore, Genesis provides the context for the Cross. The Incarnation is meaningless apart from mankind’s creation in God’s image, Adam and Eve’s rebellion and fall, and the sentence of death for that sin, all taught in Genesis 1–3 and illustrated in Genesis 6–8.

Compromise with secular ‘science’ for the sake of keeping the church from looking “foolish” in the world’s sight, or for the sake of preventing “a stumbling block” to unbelievers, is contrary to the spiritual struggle taught by Scripture, reinforced by experience, and the context for the current debate. Numerous biblical admonitions warn Christians to avoid conformity with the world. Furthermore, it avoids the fact that Satan is actively seeking the ruin of God’s church, both corporately and individually. We would go so far as to say that the unremitting vituperation of the world towards creationism is a powerful argument in its favour.

The real role of science within this necessary conflict

Secularists since the Enlightenment have used science as a sword against Christianity.54 Old-earth Christians concede the point; some enthusiastically, some grudgingly. But both groups miss the real significance of science in the debate over origins and earth history. They fail to see that the real role of science is as an apologetic tool against naturalism and the old-earth paradigm. Science is the child of Christianity, birthed in medieval universities and brought to full flower in the Bible-centred world of the Reformation.9,17 As such, its most fundamental axioms were derived from Christian theology, particularly the doctrine of creation.55 Enlightenment secularists were clever, but were blind to their own immersion in the Christian worldview, and so failed to see the Christian views that permeated their thinking.56 They stole science and turned it against its parent worldview. But, in doing so, they failed to replace its Christian foundation with a secular one. So when they attack Christianity using science, they are, in fact, using Christianity to attack Christianity in the name of naturalism. This disconnect between the justifying axioms of science and its misuse shows a marked contradiction, and that contradiction is a powerful challenge to naturalism, because it shows naturalism to be self-contradictory, and therefore selfrefuting.57 These inconsistencies have been documented.58 If naturalism is logically incoherent, and if it is the natural home of the old-earth paradigm, then the paradigm itself is highly suspect.

If Christians examined these consistencies between science and Christianity and concomitant inconsistencies between science and naturalism, it would seriously undermine secular natural history. The secret is to not look at the differences between the worldviews, but at their similarities.54 Any argument from science against the traditional young-earth view partakes of these contradictions. This may be one reason why old-earth Christians are confused. They see the inherent consistency between science and their worldview, but they fail to see the flip side of the argument as it applies to naturalism and its constructs.

For example, geologists presuppose uniformitarianism. It is present not only in explicit theories, but in multiple layers of assumptions built over many decades. Uniformitarianism is a doctrine with many problems,59 inconsistent with Christianity. Old-earth Christians have mistaken it for an empirical conclusion, and so miss the point. Uniformitarianism rests on the Christian axiom of uniformity, which is supported by the unbroken line of cause and effect residing in the mind of God. Only God can justify uniformity; secular materialism cannot. Thus secular uniformitarianism is a barren doctrine, and old-earth arguments built on its assumption are equally invalid.

Thus, the common ground between naturalism and Christianity—science—is one of the greatest reasons to reject naturalism in all of its aspects. If old-earth Christians were to understand the apologetic force of the relationship between science and naturalism, they would be forced by logic to either embrace the creationist position, abandon reason, or abandon their faith.

Conclusion

Belief in an old earth is a tenet of the worldview of naturalism. If the force of logic is not sufficient (and it should be), the lessons of history reinforce that conclusion. Belief in an old earth was a secular innovation of the Enlightenment, not a theological discovery. Its acceptance forces a cascade of heterodoxy, the effects of which have been detrimental to Christ’s church over the past two centuries.

Those parts of the body that have remained steadfastly orthodox have tended to flourish, while those that have rejected that orthodoxy are either dead or dying. But that is not the main point. God calls his church to be faithful in the face of opposition, not to embrace it. Rewards in the new creation will not be given for intellectual prowess, but for perseverance in the face of the world to those who are willing to accept the statement, “let God be found true, though every man be found a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. See Sarfati, J., Refuting Compromise, 2nd edn, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2011. Return to text.
  2. These include Norm Geisler, Tim Keller, Bruce Waltke, John Piper, Meredith Kline, Derek Kidner, and James Dobson, all following in the traditions of Thomas Chalmers, George Stanley Faber, E.J. Young, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, and Francis Schaeffer. Return to text.
  3. Young, D. and Stearley, R., The Bible, Rocks, and Time, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 2008. Return to text.
  4. Lennox, J., Seven Days that Divide the World, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 2011. Return to text.
  5. Campbell, D., Campbell, L.D., Cates, C., Davidson, G., Long, K., Mercer, R.F., Ratajeski, K. and Young, D.A., Ad Extra: PCA Geologists on the Antiquity of the Earth, Modern Reformation 19(3), May/June 2010. Return to text.
  6. See ref. 2. See also Grigg, R., Pre-Adamic man: were there human beings on Earth before Adam?, Creation 24(4):42–45; creation.com/pre-adamic-man. Return to text.
  7. Keller, T., The Reason for God: Belief in an age of Skepticism, Dutton, New York, 2008. Return to text.
  8. Mortensen, T., Systematic Theology Texts and the Age of the Earth, ARJ 2:175–200, 2009. Return to text.
  9. Stark, R., For the Glory of God, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2003 provides a good explanation of how Enlightenment unbelievers hijacked science to promote their worldview as a purposeful strategy. Return to text.
  10. Rudwick, M.J.S., Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, p. 153, 2005. Return to text.
  11. One can argue that the split was already implicit in Bacon’s ‘two books’ idea. See Weinberger, L., Whose god? The theological response to the god-of-the-gaps, J. Creation 22(1):120–127, 2008; creation.com/gaps. Return to text.
  12. Reed, J.K. and Doyle, S., Worldviews, logic, and earth’s age part 1, J. Creation 27(3):72–78, 2013. Return to text.
  13. Reed, J.K., Modern geohistory: an assault on Christianity, not an innovative compromise, CRSQ 46(3):201–216, 2010. Return to text.
  14. Reed, J.K., Cuvier’s analogy and its consequences: forensics vs. testimony as historical evidence, J. Creation 22(3):115–120, 2008; creation.com/cuviers-analogy. Return to text.
  15. Reed, J.K., St. Hutton’s hagiography, J. Creation 22(2):121–127, 2008; creation.com/hutton2. Return to text.
  16. Gould, S.J., Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987. See also Rudwick, ref. 10. Return to text.
  17. E.g. Gould, ref. 16, Hooykaas, R., Fact, Faith and Fiction in the Development of Science, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1999, and the works of M.J.S. Rudwick. Return to text.
  18. Mortensen, T., Philosophical naturalism and the age of the earth: are they related?, The Masters Seminary J. 15(1):71–92, 2004 provides an excellent summary of the historical problems of the old-earth position. Return to text.
  19. See the first two chapters of Mortensen, T. and Ury, T., Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008. Return to text.
  20. Kulikovsky, A.S., Creation and Genesis: a historical survey, CRSQ 43(4):206–219, 2006. Return to text.
  21. Young and Stearley, ref. 3, p. 70. Return to text.
  22. Zuiddam, B., Augustine: young earth creationist, 8 October 2009; creation.com/augustine. Return to text.
  23. Garner, P., The Church Fathers on the Genesis Flood, 28 February 2012; creation.com/flood-fathers. Return to text.
  24. Ross, H., A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy, Navpress, Colorado Springs, CO, 2004. Return to text.
  25. Letham, R., “In the space of six days”: The days of creation from Origen to the Westminster Assembly, WTJ 61:149–174, 1999. Return to text.
  26. Bradshaw, R., Creationism & the Early Church, 1999; robibradshaw.com, accessed 2 May 2013. Return to text.
  27. Mook, J.R., The church fathers on Genesis, the Flood, and the age of the earth, in Mortensen and Ury, ref. 1, pp. 23–51. Return to text.
  28. Lewis, J.P., The days of creation: an historical survey of interpretation, JETS 32(4):433–455, 1989; pp. 451–453. Return to text.
  29. Bradshaw, ref. 26, chapter 2. Return to text.
  30. Rudwick, ref. 10, pp. 141, 149. Return to text.
  31. Rudwick, ref. 10, p. 160. Return to text.
  32. Rudwick, ref. 10, p. 125. Return to text.
  33. Rudwick, ref. 10, p. 276. Return to text.
  34. Mortensen, T., The Great Turning Point, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2004. Return to text.
  35. Reed J.K., Lessons from twentieth century geology: M. King Hubbert, CRSQ 46(2):133–137, 2009. Return to text.
  36. Plantinga, A., Methodological naturalism?, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 49:143–154, 1997. Return to text.
  37. Young, D.A., The Biblical Flood: A Case Study of the Church’s Response to Extrabiblical Evidence, Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, p. 225, 1995. Return to text.
  38. Ryan, W. and Pitman, W., Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History, Touchstone, New York, 2000. Return to text.
  39. Weeks, N., Problems in the interpretation of Genesis 1 11: Part 1, Creation 2(3):27–32, 1979; Weeks, N., Problems in the interpretation of Genesis 1 11: Part 2, Creation 2(4):22–26, 1979. Return to text.
  40. Beall, T.S., Contemporary hermeneutical approaches to Genesis 1–11; in: Mortenson, T. and Ury, T.H. (Eds.), Coming to Grips with Genesis, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, pp. 131–162, 2009. Return to text.
  41. This is taught in passages like 2 Timothy 3:14–17, Ephesians 2:20, Psalm 119, and John 17:17. See also the Westminster Confession I:X, which states: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.” Return to text.
  42. E.g. Enns, P., The Evolution of Adam, Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 2012. Return to text.
  43. Hooykaas, R., Fact, Faith and Fiction in the Development of Science, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 1999. Return to text.
  44. Sarfati, J., Why does science work at all?, Creation 31(3):12–14, 2009; creation.com/whyscience.Return to text. Return to text.
  45. Crowe, D.D., Creation Without Compromise, Creation Book Publishers, Brisbane, Australia, 2009. Return to text.
  46. Snoke, D., A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, pp. 11–15, 2006. Return to text.
  47. Giberson, K., Saving Darwin, HarperCollins, New York, p. 138, 2008. Return to text.
  48. Lennox, ref. 4, p. 87. Return to text.
  49. Dembski, W., The End of Christianity, B&H Publishing, Nashville, TN, chapter 8, 2009. Dembski understands that the specific trial of Galileo was not a simple ‘science vs religion’ affair, but he does perceive the wider geocentrism controversy as a case of science determining our interpretation of Scripture, which mirrors the current ‘deep time’ controversy. Return to text.
  50. Collins, F.S., The Language of God, Free Press, New York, pp. 174–175, 2006. Return to text.
  51. Schirrmacher, T., The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography, J. Creation (TJ) 14(1):91–100, 2000; creation.com/gal-affair. Return to text.
  52. Bergman, J., The Galileo myth and the facts of history, CRSQ 39(4):226–235, 2003. Return to text.
  53. Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, 4th edn, Creation Ministries International, Brisbane, p. 100, 2008. Return to text.
  54. Doyle, S., Defining arguments away the distorted language of secularism, J. Creation 26(2):120–127, 2012; creation.com/definitions. Return to text.
  55. Glover, W., Biblical Origins of Modern Secular Culture, Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, 1984. Return to text.
  56. Reed, J.K., Soft secularism is no solution, J. Creation 26(2):25–29, 2012. Return to text.
  57. Reed, J.K., Natural History in the Christian Worldview, Creation Research Society Books, Chino Valley, AZ, 2001; Lisle, J., The Ultimate Proof of Creation, Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2009. Return to text.
  58. Reed, J.K., Klevberg, P., Bennett, C.B., Froede Jr, C.R., Akridge, A.J. and Lott, T.L., Beyond scientific creationism, CRSQ 41(3):216–230, 2004. Return to text.
  59. Reed, J.K., Untangling uniformitarianism, level I: a quest for clarity, Answers Research J. 3:37–59, 2010; Reed, J.K., Untangling uniformitarianism, level II: actualism in crisis, Answers Research J. 4:203–215, 2011. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Richard G., United Kingdom, 29 June 2015

Firstly thank you for you well thought out presentation of the arguments and pitfalls between the modern concepts of Scientific evaluations & the Biblical account of origins and History.

However, I think that as long as we allow worldly standards of interpretation to influence how we interpret our origins, we will always be in a state of confusion.

Yahweh God is the source of all Wisdom and Knowledge, understanding and counsel (Isa 33:5-6) on all matters (Pro 21:30). GOD has given us His Word as the absolute textbook and standard of authority on The Truth , but instead of studying it we argue about it.

There is enough information in the writings of The Scriptures to enable unbiased scientific investigation and validation of the Truth - by merely considering what we've been told under inspiration (Pro 22: 17-21).

I very much doubt that any advocates of the theory of evolution can prove the Dominion of the ordinances of heaven over the earth (Job 38:33, Psa 119:89-91, Jer 33: 19-26) such that they can demonstrate how the astronomy of days, weeks, months (Moon cycles) and years (Annual cycles) have been consistent from the beginning of their proposed date of origin to the present day (Isa 41: 21-24). They will not be able to find agreement with the current calendar, because they keep changing the goalposts (i.e. date of origin).

The Word of GOD is very clear when this world began (Gen 1:1-2) and has provided all the chronological data that will enable us to verify it accuracy to the present day (Gen 1:14-19; Isa 46: 8-11).

Alex K., Canada, 26 June 2015

Since I first stumbled across the CMI web site about a year or so ago I have read a lot of the daily articles and many in the archives. My faith has been strengthened and supported by the evidence for the truth of the bible as presented by your staff. This article spells out clearly what needs to be done to counter the propaganda of evoathiesm. Keep up the good work.

D. O., United Kingdom, 26 June 2015

Origins science and cosmology has become nothing but a stick with which to beat the divinity out of people. Any one who is new to the debate, fear not. All the evidence points to God (Biblical accuracy). The only requirement for you to be able to see this is to invest some time and have a willingness to think for yourself thus coming to an understanding of what impact the commitment to materialism has on the interpretation of the evidence.

This site is great for getting the information you need.

When I started investigating this I was filled with enthusiasm only to then go on an EvC site to get a good beating from the stick of science. It was then that I encountered the hyper-sceptical mind set of the new atheist, trading on the name of science. When debating these people it is in their failure to acknowledge the superiority of the argument from design, given the mind boggling complexity of life, that you can start to see their unreasonableness and for me that is when I started to realize that life appearing fully formed was a more likely explanation than all the others, which of course requires a flood to explain the fossil record.

There is nothing wrong with the arguments Creation.com put forwards the problem lies in the mind set of evolutionists towards an honest discussion about what all the evidence actually tells us. It is in their failure to concede anything that you start to see their foolishness.

It used to be the cry of the new atheists that they were 'fearlessly following the evidence where it lead' What a joke that has become as they have become the most illogical and irrational bunch of deniers of the evidence.

The one thing I knew to be true was the assertion by Creation.com that this debate has a huge impact on how you see the rest of the Bible

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