You have posed some difficult questions that are near and dear to out hearts, I hope some of my answers do not offend. As I have no faith, my atheistic outlook towards life will in some aspects be quite different to your own, so we must expect some amount of candour in such answers I provide.
No problem. I accept your answers in the spirit which they are given. And, you do have faith. You have faith that your materialistic, naturalistic worldview is the only correct way to perceive the reality of the universe. There is a saying that there is a God-shaped hole in everyone's heart. We fill ours with God. You fill yours with a worldview that is absent God. Your materialistic, naturalisitic worldview is your god.
(1)The difference in my outlook is one of starting from a blank, no assumptions. This means I put the existence of God into the Ã¢â‚¬Å“yet to be proved basketÃ¢â‚¬Â. (2) But you must realise you have already made the commitment to acknowledge the literal truth of the Bible at this point, before any results come in. My numbering to keep it to 10 quotes - Dave.
(1) But, Chance, that's not true. You have a whole basket full of assumptions -- the main one being that reality is merely what we can see and observe in the materialistic, naturalistic world. That would be fine if you were to confine your scientific interests to things under "operational" science, but you want to maintain your materialistic, naturalistic assumptions while drawing huge conclusions in historical science.
(2) No. The Bible is not just some new book hot off the press. Its authenticity, authority and historical accuracy are well-documented and proven.
If one took the same attitude using a different faith as a benchmark, one could logical expect to have the Hindus, Buddhists, or any religion rejecting/accepting evidence that did not fit with their faith, and you would get a variety of ages for the earth, and all claiming scientific confirmation.
True. And it would indeed be a babel of confusion if all those other faiths believed in the one true God and his word in the Bible. But, they don't. God is not the author of confusion, Satan is. There is only one true God. You can put your faith in Him and his word.
This shows that the difference is not the science, but the individuals or societies world view. The question then becomes one of: Which ideology should prevail?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Amen. That's exactly what all the YECers here are trying to tell ya. Your worldview tells you to look for the unanswerable answers for historical science from strictly materialistic, naturalistic sources. Consequently, you will never, ever, ever be able to find the answers. Why wouldn't you want to entertain a more realistic "ideology" that helps you find those answers?
But I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think the analogy is apt, the electron microscope or any new hardware, is aimed at using known scientific principles. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think of a single tool that has a built in biblical reference.
My electron microscope analogy was weak in that it deals strictly with operational science. Your radiometric dating argument for trying to understand historical science uses assumptions way beyond the boundaries of scientific principles. Whereas, the Bible is a solid, authoritative body of work based in reality.
Eventually however the evidence alone will carry the day and contrary opinion will diminish.
Yes. The Bible contains the best evidence of what went on in past times. Materialistic, naturalistic scientists only have best guesses, wishful thinking, and odds playing with no evidence. I believe that's why ToE is faltering and splintering into a myriad of different "theories" to explain origins. However, God's word will never fail and will always "carry the day."
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m trying to imagine how a device that measured radioactivity would work, if subject to a 10,000 year maximum, how could such a machine be built? I would venture that it would need artificial calibration to tweak the results
Yes. That describes how it is done today by scientists blinded by the materialistic, naturalistic mindset who are having to tweak their assumptions in order to maintain the necessary "old earth" paradigm. There is a saying that if you torture the data long enough it will confess to anything you want. That's why we need a proof-text or checksum to check the data against. Study the ICR RATE project. Really study it. Do not just accept the negative criticism on Talk.Origins.
I think at this point I need an example of how you propose a biblical tool be used. Obviously you have your interpretation and otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theirÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, but is there a way to tell who is right?
I'll be doing that when I begin the discussion that we have talked about.
(1) Is Biblical literalism a requisite for Christian salvation? (2) I would have thought such parts of the Bible could be interpreted as allegorical. My numbering - Dave.
(1) No. As I said before, there are many Christians who have not allowed themselves to completely trust God's word. They are saved Christians, in the sense that they have accepted Christ's gift of salvation, but they are (hopefully) still working out the other details. Chance, if you would open your heart and accept Jesus Christ as your savior you would not have to give up your belief in evolution. However, you would then be subject to the Holy Spirit's influence and intercessory prayer from folks like me who would help you to see the truth.
(2) Do not confuse a "literal" definition of literal as it applies to the Bible with what we mean when we say we take the Bible literally. There are more than 200 different types of figures of speech used throughout the Bible, such as metaphors, similies, types, allegories, etc. They are well-documented in a book called "Cosmic Codes" by Chuck Missler. What many of us like to say in place of "literally" is that we take the Bible seriously. We take the Bible as plain text where plain text is meant, and we apply the various figures of speech where they are meant.
Now, you are asking: Well, gosh Dave, how are we supposed to know the difference? The answer, Chance, is that you can't. You could read the Bible 10 times from cover to cover with your current attitude and worldview and not get a single glimpse of what God has to say there. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in understanding, however, and the world of truth, or truth of the world, will come to you in a flood.
That's why uncompromising YECers are able to do so much more accurate science in the operational fields as well as have a better handle on the historical fields of science. And, that's also why compromising IDers are still so confused about their science. They haven't allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them to the truth.
Interestingly our library has two copies with slightly different titles, I have reserved the first (ashton 1999), should be available in a week.
In six days : why 50 leading scientists believe in creation (Ashton 1999). or
In six days : why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation (Sydney 2003)
Interesting. My book is "In Six Days -- Why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation" by John F. Ashton 2000, third printing 2002. It will be interesting to see if we are talking about the same book.