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#1 Teejay

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 06:28 AM

Hello all,

 

I teach Christian Apologetics at a Christian HS to seniors about to go off to college.  I am a Young Earther by the way.  This year, I encountered a student whose father was an Old Earther.  This made me realize that, while I take the Bible literally, I should delve into Theistic Evolution and find out a little more about it.  So,  I will ask one question at a time of you theistic evolutionists.  I want to get one questions resolved before moving on to the next question.

 

Question 1:  "And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.  Then the Lord said in His heart, 'I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done'" (Gen. 8:21).

 

All Old Earthers I have encountered thus far in my life do not believe the Flood was worldwide, but local.  So, how could a local flood "destroy every living thing" if it were just a local flood?  And, if it were a local flood, then God would have broken His oath here each time there was a local flood anywhere on Planet Earth.  Right?  

 

TeeJay


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#2 Fjuri

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:04 AM

Not a theistic evolutionist, but I think the main idea about "old earthers" who are still christian is that the bible is not taken literally. 

So any single passage inside the bible out of context can not be taken to disproof an old earth.

 

To answer the specific questions:

So, how could a local flood "destroy every living thing" if it were just a local flood?  

- It might not have destroyed every living thing. But for Noah and his children, that might as well be "every living thing". Noah might have been told by God on a "need to know" basis.

And, if it were a local flood, then God would have broken His oath here each time there was a local flood anywhere on Planet Earth.  Right?  

The genesis flood was more destructive than any normal local flood. Local floods don't kill every living thing. It kills a lot, but not every living thing.

 

For more in dept answers, I'll let other more appropriate people answer. :)



#3 Teejay

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:28 AM

Not a theistic evolutionist, but I think the main idea about "old earthers" who are still christian is that the bible is not taken literally. 

So any single passage inside the bible out of context can not be taken to disproof an old earth.

 

To answer the specific questions:

So, how could a local flood "destroy every living thing" if it were just a local flood?  

- It might not have destroyed every living thing. But for Noah and his children, that might as well be "every living thing". Noah might have been told by God on a "need to know" basis.

And, if it were a local flood, then God would have broken His oath here each time there was a local flood anywhere on Planet Earth.  Right?  

The genesis flood was more destructive than any normal local flood. Local floods don't kill every living thing. It kills a lot, but not every living thing.

 

For more in dept answers, I'll let other more appropriate people answer. :)

Hello Fjuri,

 

Thanks for your response.  Since I want to deal with theistic evolutionists, I will not expect you to answer.  But I will answer you anyway.  In response to your first sentence:  If any single passage inside the Bible out of context can't be taken to disprove the old earth, who decides what is out of context?

 

In response to your second question, if the Flood were not worldwide, why did Noah have to take two of each on the Ark?  If the Flood did not destroy all animals and men, then there would be no need for Noah and the Ark and two of each kind.  Right?

 

If it were just a local flood and was just a bit more destructive than other floods, why did it take 150 days for the water to recede (Gen. 8:3).

 

And, I have asked this question many time to Theistic Evolutionists:  What contained the water on all four sides to keep it local?

 

TeeJay


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#4 Fjuri

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:35 AM

Actually, I think I am not in the position to respond these questions in their stead. My apologies.



#5 Teejay

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:04 PM

Actually, I think I am not in the position to respond these questions in their stead. My apologies.

No problem Fjuri,

 

I expect I will be answered by theistic evolutionists soon enough.  

 

TeeJay



#6 Goku

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 07:08 AM

Hello all,

 

I teach Christian Apologetics at a Christian HS to seniors about to go off to college.  I am a Young Earther by the way.  This year, I encountered a student whose father was an Old Earther.  This made me realize that, while I take the Bible literally, I should delve into Theistic Evolution and find out a little more about it.  So,  I will ask one question at a time of you theistic evolutionists.  I want to get one questions resolved before moving on to the next question.

 

Question 1:  "And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.  Then the Lord said in His heart, 'I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done'" (Gen. 8:21).

 

All Old Earthers I have encountered thus far in my life do not believe the Flood was worldwide, but local.  So, how could a local flood "destroy every living thing" if it were just a local flood?  And, if it were a local flood, then God would have broken His oath here each time there was a local flood anywhere on Planet Earth.  Right?  

 

TeeJay

 

Hello Teejay, I may be of some help as I was a theistic evolutionist for years (now agnostic/atheist). From my experience a big motif that you will find is that many passages and stories are treated as allegory; spiritual messages wrapped in the language of the flesh/physical. It's also important to note that in Judaic tradition an allegorical interpretation does not always supplant the literal interpretation and vice versa. 

 

As for the global flood itself, as with many Jewish scripture, there is not always a single lesson or interpretation. The story is there for you to glean multiple understandings about life, God, our connection to God and others, and other things spiritual. I'm not trying to beat around the bush, but there just isn't a cookie-cutter interpretation for theistic evolutionists that I can give you. There is a Christian interpretation of the flood where the flood itself is analogized as baptism where God prunes/destroys/circumcises away the evil in your heart to purify it leaving only the faithful/righteous facets of the soul. The story itself is essentially a story of persevering faith while being surrounded by sin. In that respect the passage about destroying every living thing would be a metaphor to the sin that lives inside of us. There are other ways both Jewish and Christian theologians have addressed the Noah story allegorically but that is one way I think is somewhat popular. My main point being that such passages are taken allegorically rather than literally and you have to frame each passage within the paradigm used. 

 

Another overarching theme with theistic evolutionists is the concept of a God that does not deceive. So since God created the natural world we would not expect to find a contradiction between past events and what we empirically observe in nature. As it turns out, at least from our perspective, there is no empirical evidence of a global flood and lots of evidence suggesting that no such event occurred as literally described in the Torah. To paraphrase St. Augustine, if we know through science that such an event could not have happened (it contradicts empirical evidence, not just 'theory' like the Resurrection) then we must forgo a literal meaning in favor of a metaphorical one. Or to quote Galileo, the Bible tells us how to go to Heaven not how the heavens go. I can't recall the specifics off the top of my head but there is Judaic precedence for this line of thinking going back to the ancient days. 



#7 Teejay

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 11:34 AM

Hello Teejay, I may be of some help as I was a theistic evolutionist for years (now agnostic/atheist). From my experience a big motif that you will find is that many passages and stories are treated as allegory; spiritual messages wrapped in the language of the flesh/physical. It's also important to note that in Judaic tradition an allegorical interpretation does not always supplant the literal interpretation and vice versa.

 

Thank you, Goku,

 

Although I'm waiting for the theists to answer, I will address some of your posts.  I am curious as to why you gave up on believing that God exists?

 

I understand that theistic evolutionists do not interpret Genesis literally.  But when I read Genesis, I do not get any allegories; I get a straight forward message:  Man became so wicked that He had to destroy it all and start over with Noah.  If it's not literal, I must ask why God wrote it in stone with His finger (Ex. 20:11).  Why would God write an allegory in stone with the Ten Commandments???? 

 

As for the global flood itself, as with many Jewish scripture, there is not always a single lesson or interpretation. The story is there for you to glean multiple understandings about life, God, our connection to God and others, and other things spiritual. I'm not trying to beat around the bush, but there just isn't a cookie-cutter interpretation for theistic evolutionists that I can give you. There is a Christian interpretation of the flood where the flood itself is analogized as baptism where God prunes/destroys/circumcises away the evil in your heart to purify it leaving only the faithful/righteous facets of the soul. The story itself is essentially a story of persevering faith while being surrounded by sin. In that respect the passage about destroying every living thing would be a metaphor to the sin that lives inside of us. There are other ways both Jewish and Christian theologians have addressed the Noah story allegorically but that is one way I think is somewhat popular. My main point being that such passages are taken allegorically rather than literally and you have to frame each passage within the paradigm used.

 

I must point out that if "multiple understandings" of scripture are permitted, then no truth about God can be found.  What the Author intended to say matters not; it's what the reader wants it to say.  In the last century, there was a Frenchman (his name escapes me) who said that when we read something, we can interpret it however we want.  Ironically, if we applied his philosophy to itself, it would be subjective to anyone who reads it.  But he wants us to read his philosophy objectively and interpret it to say what he means and not what we want it to say.  

 

Another overarching theme with theistic evolutionists is the concept of a God that does not deceive. So since God created the natural world we would not expect to find a contradiction between past events and what we empirically observe in nature. As it turns out, at least from our perspective, there is no empirical evidence of a global flood and lots of evidence suggesting that no such event occurred as literally described in the Torah. To paraphrase St. Augustine, if we know through science that such an event could not have happened (it contradicts empirical evidence, not just 'theory' like the Resurrection) then we must forgo a literal meaning in favor of a metaphorical one. Or to quote Galileo, the Bible tells us how to go to Heaven not how the heavens go. I can't recall the specifics off the top of my head but there is Judaic precedence for this line of thinking going back to the ancient days.

 

We can only observe empirically in the present.  But if we apply this to the past, we are guilty of uniformitarianism.  Receiding waters from the Flood could carve out the Grand Canyon in days, while a trickle of water would take millions and billions of years.  If one assumes uniformitarianism true, he assuming that which he is trying to prove.  There is no empirical evidence for the Flood.  We did not see it nor can we see it.  But we can look at the effects of a worldwide flood:  As Ken Ham says, "If Geneses is true literally, and the Flood happened, then we should expect to find millions of dead creatures, buried in rock, laid down by water all over the world."  And that's what we find.

 

TeeJay 



#8 piasan

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 08:58 AM

I should delve into Theistic Evolution and find out a little more about it.  So,  I will ask one question at a time of you theistic evolutionists.  I want to get one questions resolved before moving on to the next question.

To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only active TE in the forum.

 

 

Question 1:  "And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.  Then the Lord said in His heart, 'I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done'" (Gen. 8:21).

 

All Old Earthers I have encountered thus far in my life do not believe the Flood was worldwide, but local.  So, how could a local flood "destroy every living thing" if it were just a local flood?

But God didn't destroy every living thing.  For one thing, Noah and those on the ark survived.  In addition,  YEC will frequently argue that insects and many birds survived on "rafts" of floating vegetation.

 

Also, I would argue the flood wasn't merely local, it was regional covering an area on the order of tens of thousands of square miles.... and it could have destroyed every living thing within the flood zone.

 

 

And, if it were a local flood, then God would have broken His oath here each time there was a local flood anywhere on Planet Earth.  Right?

I'm not sure, but hasn't God already declared He will destroy every living thing at end of the world?  Wouldn't He be breaking His oath at that time?

 

It is worth note that I believed in a global flood long after I had rejected YEC.  It was only after I started evaluating a number of factors such as the source and disposition of the water as well as the ark and the logistics that I began to question a global flood. 

 

There is strong evidence of a major regional flood in ancient Babylon that could well have lasted a year or more at about the right time for that event to be the flood of Noah.



#9 piasan

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:27 AM

 If any single passage inside the Bible out of context can't be taken to disprove the old earth, who decides what is out of context?

This is an interesting question.  Wasn't one of Martin Luther's major complaints that the Bible was written only in Latin so only the "Intelligencia" of the time was able to read and comprehend it?  If you open up the interpretation of the Bible to the common man, aren't you pretty much guaranteeing that there will be a variety of interpretations?

 

Over the years, I've seen any number of creationists take comments in scientific papers out of context .... for example, lifting an introductory comment stating a problem at the opening of a paper as an admission that the issue is real while ignoring thousands of words following that initial statement showing how the difficulty had been addressed.  There are YEC members of this very forum who have been caught, repeatedly, with their hand in the cookie jar on this very matter.

 

Your own comment, above, to some extent implies the same thing.  You complain that a statement, taken out of context, can't be used to disprove an old Earth.

 

I suggest that context must be determined on a case-by-case basis but that in all cases, it depends on agreement with the work taken as a whole.  For example, if a paper opens with a comment that: "The 2LOT is seen as a problem for evolution" then goes on in the next couple thousand words to explain why the 2LOT is not a problem for evolution, then the use of that opening statement as some kind of recognition the 2LOT is a problem for evolution is out of context.

 

In short, context must be decided on a case-by-case basis and, even then, it is often hotly disputed.



#10 piasan

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:47 AM

If it were just a local flood and was just a bit more destructive than other floods, why did it take 150 days for the water to recede (Gen. 8:3).

 

And, I have asked this question many time to Theistic Evolutionists:  What contained the water on all four sides to keep it local?

The water was contained on three sides by higher land elevations.  On the fourth side, it was open to the sea.  However, Baghdad is only something like 30 meters elevation and is nearly flat.

"Both the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers near Baghdad have elevations of about 30 m above sea level, and at the city of As Samawah (280 km south of Baghdad), the Euphrates River has an elevation of 9 m (a drop in elevation of 21 m) (NOAA nd). A similar 21-meter drop occurs along the Tigris River. On that basis, the gradients of the two rivers in these intervals are 0.075 m per km. In the additional 360 km to the Persian Gulf (sea level) the gradients are only about 0.025 m per km. Therefore, in both southeastern and central Mesopotamia the gradients are so low that the rivers barely flow downhill, and frequent flooding could be common."  (Source: http://ncse.com/rncs...ver-whole-earth )

 

Notice, 0.025 m/km slope is about 1.6 inches per mile.  A slope of 0.075 m/km would still be less than 5 inches per mile.  It would take water a very long time to flow downhill over such flat terrain.

 

Now, a question I've asked YEC many times:

Floods end as water flows to lower elevations.  In the case of a global flood, that is not possible as all lower elevations are already filled with water.  Where did the water go?   (Note:  The answer I've always seen from creationists has multiple context issues.)



#11 piasan

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:54 AM

Not a theistic evolutionist, but I think the main idea about "old earthers" who are still christian is that the bible is not taken literally. 

.....

For more in dept answers, I'll let other more appropriate people answer. :)

Thanks for your response.  Since I want to deal with theistic evolutionists, I will not expect you to answer.

Actually, I think I am not in the position to respond these questions in their stead. My apologies.

I expect I will be answered by theistic evolutionists soon enough.  

Hello Teejay, I may be of some help as I was a theistic evolutionist for years (now agnostic/atheist). From my experience a big motif that you will find is that many passages and stories are treated as allegory; spiritual messages wrapped in the language of the flesh/physical. ....

 

Another overarching theme with theistic evolutionists is the concept of a God that does not deceive. So since God created the natural world we would not expect to find a contradiction between past events and what we empirically observe in nature. As it turns out, at least from our perspective, there is no empirical evidence of a global flood and lots of evidence suggesting that no such event occurred as literally described in the Torah. To paraphrase St. Augustine, if we know through science that such an event could not have happened (it contradicts empirical evidence, not just 'theory' like the Resurrection) then we must forgo a literal meaning in favor of a metaphorical one. Or to quote Galileo, the Bible tells us how to go to Heaven not how the heavens go. I can't recall the specifics off the top of my head but there is Judaic precedence for this line of thinking going back to the ancient days. 

Speaking for only one TE, Fjuri (and Goku) did quite well in explaining the TE view.



#12 piasan

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:52 AM

I understand that theistic evolutionists do not interpret Genesis literally.  But when I read Genesis, I do not get any allegories; I get a straight forward message:  Man became so wicked that He had to destroy it all and start over with Noah.  If it's not literal, I must ask why God wrote it in stone with His finger (Ex. 20:11).  Why would God write an allegory in stone with the Ten Commandments???? 

As I understand it, what God wrote in stone was the Ten Commandments, not the comments before or after them.  Of course, without the actual tablets, we have no way to know exactly what was written by God.

 

As for allegories, I see a number of them in Gen 1-3.  God commanded the earth and seas to "bring forth" life and the name of the tree(s) in the Garden of Eden are a couple examples.

 

But we may be diverging from your initial intent to focus on the flood story....

 

I must point out that if "multiple understandings" of scripture are permitted, then no truth about God can be found.  What the Author intended to say matters not; it's what the reader wants it to say.  In the last century, there was a Frenchman (his name escapes me) who said that when we read something, we can interpret it however we want.  Ironically, if we applied his philosophy to itself, it would be subjective to anyone who reads it.  But he wants us to read his philosophy objectively and interpret it to say what he means and not what we want it to say.  

We are in absolute agreement that what the Author intends to say is what really matters.  As I have already pointed out, one of the complaints that led to the Protestant schism was that the individual had to rely on clergy for interpretation of the Bible.  If we leave interpretation to the individual, we are pretty much guaranteed to have "multiple understandings" of what is meant.  This is especially true in the case of a book thousands of years old that has a long history of hand copies and multiple language translations with a message that is often conveyed in symbolic passages.

 

We can only observe empirically in the present.  But if we apply this to the past, we are guilty of uniformitarianism.  Receiding waters from the Flood could carve out the Grand Canyon in days, while a trickle of water would take millions and billions of years.  If one assumes uniformitarianism true, he assuming that which he is trying to prove.  There is no empirical evidence for the Flood.  We did not see it nor can we see it.  But we can look at the effects of a worldwide flood:  As Ken Ham says, "If Geneses is true literally, and the Flood happened, then we should expect to find millions of dead creatures, buried in rock, laid down by water all over the world."  And that's what we find.

We can tell the difference between a canyon that was carved out quickly and one that took long periods of time.  The Snake River canyon in Idaho is thought to be the result of a sudden surge of water resulting from the collapse of a natural dam.  It is characterized by long (relatively) straight runs.  The Niagara Gorge is another example of a canyon that formed quickly (in geologic terms).  On the other hand, the Grand Canyon, which is thought to have taken periods of time that are orders of magnitude greater than that has a tendency to "meander."  The difference is easily explained by the amount of water that flowed and how long it took.

 

As for fossils, we would also expect to find millions of dead creatures, buried in rock, laid down by water all over the world if they were the result of many local floods.  At best, that argument is not very convincing.  Especially when we consider floods mix things really well and we don't see the kind of fossil mixing we would expect from a single global flood event.



#13 Goku

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 08:56 PM

Thank you, Goku,

 

Although I'm waiting for the theists to answer, I will address some of your posts.  I am curious as to why you gave up on believing that God exists?

 

I understand that theistic evolutionists do not interpret Genesis literally.  But when I read Genesis, I do not get any allegories; I get a straight forward message:  Man became so wicked that He had to destroy it all and start over with Noah.  If it's not literal, I must ask why God wrote it in stone with His finger (Ex. 20:11).  Why would God write an allegory in stone with the Ten Commandments???? 

 

There is no simple answer to why I stopped believing unless you want one-liners like 'I don't see enough evidence', which is true but it's more of a conclusion than a reason. Some of the highlights for me would be the scriptures themselves, particularly the Old Testament, in which I see barbaric and draconian practices not only from believers but from Yahweh himself. Similarly after learning a little bit about the history/origins of Judaism I began to see it as one of many religions in the world with no spectacularly divine mandate. Also the inability of believers to come to a consensus on nearly any issue. Believers believe they have a personal relationship with God, the same God, and this God interacts with them daily, yet each person receives different answers to the same questions and these different answers often blatantly contradict each other. In addition the way in which people receive answers is suspicious; in the Bible God is audibly talking to people and telling them what to do, but not so much anymore. I have never met, in person, anyone that has claimed to audibly hear God while awake and sober; heard plenty of stories about dreams and others on drugs, I even had a profound dream where I heard God after days of praying for an answer to a question that burned my soul. There's more to mention, but that should give you an idea. 

 

 

As Piasan mentioned others do see non-literal messages in Genesis. There is Judaic commentary on Noah's Flood that gets into the metaphorical nature of Noah, the Flood, and the Ark. 

 

A story doesn't have to be literal non-fiction in order to have meaning or value; Jesus is famous for the use of parables for example. All over the world cultures use what academics call "mythology" to pass down certain values and understanding of the world and our place in it, and Judaism is no different.

 

Also many theistic evolutionists do not subscribe to Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and view Moses as a mythological figure, favoring the documentary hypothesis which says that the Pentateuch was written by several different sources that lived in different times and places. 

 

I must point out that if "multiple understandings" of scripture are permitted, then no truth about God can be found.  What the Author intended to say matters not; it's what the reader wants it to say.  In the last century, there was a Frenchman (his name escapes me) who said that when we read something, we can interpret it however we want.  Ironically, if we applied his philosophy to itself, it would be subjective to anyone who reads it.  But he wants us to read his philosophy objectively and interpret it to say what he means and not what we want it to say.  

 

What I'm saying is that a story can have meaning and lessons on multiple different levels. The idea that a passage can have more than one interpretation is an extremely old tradition in Judaic thought. 

 
We can only observe empirically in the present.  But if we apply this to the past, we are guilty of uniformitarianism.  Receiding waters from the Flood could carve out the Grand Canyon in days, while a trickle of water would take millions and billions of years.  If one assumes uniformitarianism true, he assuming that which he is trying to prove.  There is no empirical evidence for the Flood.  We did not see it nor can we see it.  But we can look at the effects of a worldwide flood:  As Ken Ham says, "If Geneses is true literally, and the Flood happened, then we should expect to find millions of dead creatures, buried in rock, laid down by water all over the world."  And that's what we find.

 

TeeJay 

 

That is a lousy hypothesis by Ken Ham, evolution would predict the same thing. What you need is a less ambiguous test like a global sediment layer dating back to the time of the flood, which simply does not exist. Uniformitarianism isn't a bad word, and in its most general conception it just means that the laws of nature were the same in the past as they are in the present (don't confuse uniformitarianism with gradualism), and there is quite a bit of evidence that this is the case - at least as far as determining basic stuff about the past like is the universe thousands or billions of years old. 

 

As per theistic evolution, they are going to see a contradiction between science and a literal interpretation of the Bible, and faced with that contradiction they chose to side with science and view much of the Bible with a metaphorical lens. But before you start thinking they aren't true Christians or something, be aware that allegorical interpretation has been part of the Judeo-Christian tradition since day one. 



#14 piasan

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 01:15 AM

TeeJay, FYI, my settings are to automatically be notified if a response is posted.   If you make a post, then delete it, I still get your original post.  In response to your deleted post, and as previously explained by me....

 

 

With regard to Ex 20:11:

God did not destroy every living thing.  I have pointed out that God did not kill every living thing because those on the ark survived as well as the arguments YEC make that insects ... and I dare say many plants .... survived on "floating mats of vegetation."  In addition, all marine life was also spared. 

 

 

Local/regional floods can pretty thoroughly kill every living thing in the flood region.  Since I'm not the one insisting on a literal reading, I don't see that as a problem for my position.  On the other hand, there are some pretty significant problems for a literal reading.  YEC who argue for "floating mats" are making claims that cannot be supported by the literal interpretation.

 

 

With regard to containing a local/regional flood:

See post #10 in which I documented a drop of only 21 meters in a distance of 280 km in that region.  (For those not familiar with the metric system, that's 21 parts in 280,000.  ... a grade of 0.0075% ... Equivalent to a slope of 1 inch in 1111 feet.... less than 5 inches per mile.)  It will take water a long time to flow out of such a flat plain.

 

By way of comparison, I live near Lake Texoma.  This lake is the reservoir of Dennison dam and is about to top the spillway of the dam.  The last time water reached the spillway was about 8 years ago when we had 40+ consecutive days of rain. 

 

Getting to the point, the inflow to the lake is about 50 miles "above" the dam where lake level is measured.  It will take 3-4 days after inflow matches outflow for the lake level to reach its maximum.



#15 Teejay

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:29 AM

Piasan,

I did not know you were the only theistic evolutionist on site.  Rather than you having to rehash your arguments with me, I will look to some of your former dialogues on this site.  Perhaps I can respond to some of your former posts.

 

But, since you were kind enough to respond to me, I will address just one argument you make—the Flood being local.  With respect, that’s very hard for me to swallow.

 

The Bible gives us specific details about the Flood itself.  Scripture tells us that at the start of the Flood, “the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened” (Gen. 7:11).  The next verse says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.  These two verses give us the source of the water.  Genesis 7:8-20 provides some interesting details of the Flood waters:

 

“The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters.  And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth and all the high hills under the whole heavens were covered.  The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward and the mountains were covered.”

 

Notice that it plainly says that even the mountains were covered.  Once this happened, the Flood could not possibly be a local event.  Why?  Water will level itself out.  Even if the Flood started in just the Mesopotamia (which it didn’t), it would have gone worldwide as soon as the mountains were covered.

 

Genesis 8:4 tells us that the ark came to rest on “the mountains of Ararat.”  Admittedly, it does not say that it was specifically on Mt. Ararat.  But it landed on a mountain in the region of Ararat (today’s eastern Turkey).  And the point still remains, that the ark landed on a mountaintop.  Obviously, the water level was such as to rule out a local flood.  It was another two and a half months before the tops of the surrounding mountains were seen (Gen. 8:5).  It is unarguable that the ark landed on the highest mountain in the region at that time.

 

Further, the duration of the Flood gives strong evidence to refute the local flood theory.  I believe that many believers mistakenly assume that the rain lasted only 40 days and 40 nights due to a misreading of Genesis 7:12).  They forget that while the rains did last this long, the Flood itself was much longer.  Genesis 8:2 seems to indicate that it continued to rain throughout the first 150 days.  After the first 40 days of initial downpour, it continued to rain on a regular basis, as it does today.  And let us not forget that not all the water in the “fountains of the deep” went into the atmosphere.

 

The Bible tells us that the Flood began “in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month” (Gen. 7:11).  The Flood waters “prevailed on the eartih” for the next 150 days (Gen. 7:24).  The waters began to subside and the ark came to rest ten days later (Gen. 8:4).  The surface of the ground did not dry up until the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year (Gen. 8:13).  This was 313 days after the rain began!  Noah waited until the 27th day of the second month before leaving the ark (Gen. 8:14).  In total, Noah and his family were on the ark for over a year (371 by my calculation).

 

For me personally, this makes the theory of a local flood preposterous.  Expanding it to a large local flood will not due.  Expansion to ten or hundred local floods will not rule out a worldwide flood as the Bible clearly states.

 

A question just occurred to me:  I don’t recall any poetic, symbolic verse with such detail?

 

 

On another subject, I asked my student and her father if dinosaurs died out 65 millions years ago?  They answered yes.  But then I presented the following to them:

 

Unmineralized Dinosaur Bones

. The north slope of Alaska – K. L. Davies, 1887, Paleontology 61 (1), 198-200

. Alberta, Canada – osteo calcin protein identified, Muyzer et al., 1992, Geology 20:871-874

. Montana, USA – cell structure and mineral analysis, Barrelo et al., 1993, Science.

TRex:  “A thin slice of T.rex bone glowed amber beneath the lens of my microscope.  Blood vessel channels snaked through a bone matrix, and tiny chambers known as lacunae, which house bone forming cells, appeared as small ovals…  Then a colleague took one look at them and shouted, ‘You’ve got red blood cells!’”  Mary Schweitzer and Tracy Staedter, “The Real Jurassic Park,” Earth, June 1997, pg. 55-57

 

“It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone.  But, of course, I couldn’t believe it.  I said to the lab technician:  ‘The bones, after all, are 65 million years old.  How could blood cells survive that long?’”  Mary Schweitzer, Montana State Univ., Museum of the Rockies, Science 261:260 July 9, 1994.

 

Any Christian creationist could have answered her question:  “[God speaking to Job] Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox.  See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles.  He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.  His bones are like beams of bronze.  His ribs like bars of iron…  Indeed the river may range, yet he is undisturbed.”  (Job 40:15-23)  Note:  Sounds like a dinosaur to me.

 

Flood:  If a worldwide Flood occurred, we would expect to find:

 

Billions of dead things.

Buried in rock layers.

Laid down by water.

All over the earth.

And that’s exactly what we find.

Thus far, the following has been found in dinosaur bones that are not fossilized:

Blood cells
Blood vessels (there their contents could be squeezed out)
Hemoglobin
Actin (protein)
Tubulin (protein)
Collagen (protein)
Histones (this is a specific protein for DNA.  It packages and orders the DNA)
DNA (of the dinosaur itself)

 

This evidence had no effect.  Their worldview was in stone.  They replied that there has to be an explanation for how this tissue could have been preserved for 65 to 70 million years.  Perhaps my opinion of myself is too high, bit I think that if I were an Old Eather, and if I were presented with this soft tissue evidence, I think I would have to re-examine my worldview since it does not comport with the reality I am encountering.

 

TeeJay


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#16 mike the wiz

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 06:20 AM

 

 

 Goku: So since God created the natural world we would not expect to find a contradiction between past events and what we empirically observe in nature. As it turns out, at least from our perspective, there is no empirical evidence of a global flood and lots of evidence suggesting that no such event occurred as literally described in the Torah.

 

There is empirical evidence for a global flood, because logically it would be defined as the consequent.

 

Example: "If a global flood occurred, THEN we would expect evidence X (example, living things buried while alive, and preserved, for example)

 

To say, "there is no evidence" at all, is a laughable argument, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. But if you genuinely mean it then you need to read the first message of this thread, where I explain in depth why it is absurd to argue-to-the-extreme. If you argue-to-the-extreme, basically you are creating a dogmatic position for yourself.

 

EXAMPLE:

Evolutionist: "There is 100% scientific evidence for evolution and 0% evidence for creation"

 

I have actually debated anti-theists in the past that have argued like this, and I genuinely feel sorry for them, because someone who says things like that, doesn't actually know what evidence is or what evidence means.

 

I would be grateful if you were to read AND UNDERSTAND the opening message of this topic, Goku - it seems to me, you are not as dogmatic as an anti-theist, or so I would give you the benefit of the doubt. Logically, there can be evidence for a theory that is totally false, evidence that "fits" that theory, so I would politely advise you to learn more about evidence, and what it truly is and means, a good starting place is the first message of this thread:

 

http://evolutionfair...ence-correctly/

 

So then it is very misleading for a person to say, "why then did God make it so the evidence fits evolution and looks like there was no flood".

 

That is a begging-the-question fallacy because you haven't proved the evidence looks like evolution and no flood, you are merely stating your argument and then treating your unproven argument as true. First prove your argument. But you won't be able to, because logically a person only has to qualify evidence in order for them to have evidence. Now obviously that evidence might differ in value from tenuous to incontrovertible, from vague and circumstantial, to pointed and conclusive. I would grant that, but the nature of all historical science is it's conjectural characteristics, including an induction of evidence that is generally not conclusive.



#17 Teejay

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 06:58 PM

Hello Mike,

 

How's things in jolly old England?  I teach Christian Apologetics at a Christian school here in Texas.  A few of my students came to me from public schools where they are taught that evolution is a fact and creationism is a religious belief.  One young lady was about to lose her faith and her parents pulled her out of public school and gave her to me.  When we got into fossils, I had her read the following: 

 

"The history of most fossil species includes two features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:  1)  Stasis.  Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth.  They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; Morphological change is usually limited and directionless.  2)  Sudden Appearance.  In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and fully formed."  Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (an evolutionist)

 

My former public school student raised her hand with an incredulous look on her face and asked:  "Does this mean there are no transitional  fossils that prove evolution?"  I answered, "No.  Not one."  And then she shouted at me:  "Then why do they believe it's true if there is no evidence for it?"

 

I told here:  "Willful self-deception where they "suppress the truth in unrighteousness."

 

In one of my posts above, I tell of the student who was a theistic evolutionist (because of her father).  I asked her when the last dinosaur died.  She answered 65 to 70 million years ago.  And then I presented her with the recent finds in Montana of unfossilized dinosaur bones with soft tissue, etc.  She consulted with her father, and instead of questioning their original worldview, they now believe that there must be some unknown process that can preserve the soft for 65 to 70 million years.  The longer a belief is held, the harder it is to let go of it, no matter how absurd it becomes.

 

TeeJay



#18 piasan

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 06:25 AM

Flood:  If a worldwide Flood occurred, we would expect to find:

 

Billions of dead things.

Buried in rock layers.

Laid down by water.

All over the earth.

And that’s exactly what we find.

If evolution is true we should also expect to find:

 

Billions of dead things.

Burried in rock layers.

Laid down by water.

All over the Earth.

And that's exactly what we find.

 

You're merely repeating Ken Ham's argument without addressing the issue I've brought up with it.

 

For example:  We see local floods do exactly what you claimed of this global flood.  Therefore this evidence cannot (uniquely) support a single flood event unless you are able to demonstrate all of these fossils burried in rock layers laid down by water all over the Earth are the result of a single flood event.

 

Since we do see these things, caused by local and regional floods.  We also see, in various places, alternating layers that do and do not contain fossils.  This provides support for a claim that they are not the result of a single flood event.

 

There are other issues with the fossil record as support for a single global flood event.  If man and dinosaurs co-existed, we should expect to find their remains in the same fossil bed.  Apparently the oak trees outran the velociraptors to the high ground.... and the bluebirds outflew the pterodactyls to the high ground.

 

Sorry, Occam's Razor demands the argument put forward by Ken Ham be rejected without further consideration .... unless it is possible to show all these fossil beds are the result of a single catastrophy .... rather than the more mundane floods we experience in modern times.



#19 Teejay

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 03:07 PM

Piasan,

 

The fact that local floods cause the same on a local level is not exactly a good argument that a worldwide flood did not happen.  No?  Today we see floods carve out huge canyons very quickly.  But I would not use this evidence alone to argue that the Grand Canyon was carved out quickly.  Rather I would look at other evidence.  For example, the top of the mountains where the river enters the canyon is a few thousand feet above where the river enters the canyon.  Last I looked, water does not flow from the bottom of a mountain to the top of the mountain and then over eons of time slowly carve out a canyon like the Grand Canyon.

 

Question:  Do you take all of Genesis as a metaphor?

 

Also, I would like an explanation of how a local flood that covered the tops of mountains (as Genesis says  with detailed measurements) can be contained on all four sides to keep it local?  Piasan, with respect, that's not possible!

 

TeeJay



#20 piasan

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 01:23 AM

The fact that local floods cause the same on a local level is not exactly a good argument that a worldwide flood did not happen.  No?

In itself, no.  But you presented it as an argument the flood DID happen.  Right?

 

The point is that the fact we see the exact same thing as the result of much smaller floods makes the argument useless as one supporting a global flood.  Especially when we consider Occam's Razor.  The simplest, most obvious explanation of these fossil beds is that they are caused by the same kind of rather ordinary flood we encounter all the time.  Not some kind of extraordinary one-of-a-kind event.

 

Now, if you were able to actually tie all these fossil beds to a single event, or if you were able to produce a single identifiable global flood layer, that would change things a lot.

 

 

Today we see floods carve out huge canyons very quickly.  But I would not use this evidence alone to argue that the Grand Canyon was carved out quickly.  Rather I would look at other evidence.  For example, the top of the mountains where the river enters the canyon is a few thousand feet above where the river enters the canyon.  Last I looked, water does not flow from the bottom of a mountain to the top of the mountain and then over eons of time slowly carve out a canyon like the Grand Canyon.

And when we see those quickly formed canyons, they have specific characteristics that allow geologists to determine rapid formation.  The Grand Canyon has the characteristics of a canyon that indicate gradual formation.

 

Regarding the mountains, the geologic process that explains this is "uplift."

 

Question:  Do you take all of Genesis as a metaphor?

Most of it.  And none of that has anything at all to do with evolution.  For example, I believed in a global flood long after I had rejected YEC.  Notice, right now, we're discussing geology, not biology

 

Also, I would like an explanation of how a local flood that covered the tops of mountains (as Genesis says  with detailed measurements) can be contained on all four sides to keep it local?

It need only be contained on three sides.  There was a huge flood in the area of the Tigris and Euphrates that lasted about a year at about the right time for the flood of Noah.  See post #10.

 

I'll get to your earlier post about water sources as soon as I get a chance....

 

.






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