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An Anti-young Earth Argument In The Bible?


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#1 Mark John

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 06:14 AM

I would be interested to hear YEC answers to an argument put forth by supporters of the literary framework theory (=non-chronological creation days). Personally, I'm like a fence sitter on YEC/OEC, but I try to be open and accept the interpretation that appears most faithful to the original intent of the text.

It's about Genesis 2:5. The verse says: ...when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up--for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground...

This verse claims that "herb of the field had not yet sprung up" because there was no rain, and man was not yet created. There are two more or less obvious conclusions to be drawn:

1. the situation described takes places during the creation week, since the earth has already been created, but man was not yet there;
2. normal laws of physics and biology are expected to cause plants growing (rain, working on the ground).

If we accept these conclusions, the verse becomes problematic for the young earth advocates. If rain and tilling of the ground were required for herbs and plants to grow during the creation week just like today, it is quite evident that those herbs take a considerably longer time to grow than a few days allowed by the YEC doctrine. It would make no sense to say, as the Genesis text seems to be saying, that on the eve of man's creation there were no plants because of lack of rain and tilling, IF the earth was at that time only a few days old.

One literary framework theory supporter claimed that so far this argument has not been refuted by YEC'ists. Could you prove him wrong?

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 07:02 PM

I would be interested to hear YEC answers to an argument put forth by supporters of the literary framework theory (=non-chronological creation days). Personally, I'm like a fence sitter on YEC/OEC, but I try to be open and accept the interpretation that appears most faithful to the original intent of the text.

It's about Genesis 2:5. The verse says: ...when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up--for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground...

This verse claims that "herb of the field had not yet sprung up" because there was no rain, and man was not yet created. There are two more or less obvious conclusions to be drawn:

1. the situation described takes places during the creation week, since the earth has already been created, but man was not yet there;
2. normal laws of physics and biology are expected to cause plants growing (rain, working on the ground).

If we accept these conclusions, the verse becomes problematic for the young earth advocates. If rain and tilling of the ground were required for herbs and plants to grow during the creation week just like today, it is quite evident that those herbs take a considerably longer time to grow than a few days allowed by the YEC doctrine. It would make no sense to say, as the Genesis text seems to be saying, that on the eve of man's creation there were no plants because of lack of rain and tilling, IF the earth was at that time only a few days old.

One literary framework theory supporter claimed that so far this argument has not been refuted by YEC'ists. Could you prove him wrong?

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You have to read the verses around it.

Genesis 2:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.


What you have here, is the finishing of creation. Now the next verse sums up what being talked about after it.

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,


1) These are the generations of the heavens and the earth. Some might think that time has passed (generations). Not so. The next part of the verse confirms this. But, saying these are the generations also means God was going back to the creation to explain something. What was He explaining? The creation of man.

2) When they were created, Generation passed when they were created? Can you create and add time to your creation? If your God you can.

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.


These 2 verses are refering back to this part of creation.
Genesis 1:
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

So this is a more detailed account of the condition of God's creation. Now for the creation of man.


7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.


The verses above is a more detailed account of the verses below.

Genesis 1:
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 2:
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


The verses above are a more detailed explaination of the verse below.

Genesis 1:
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


So in verse 4, where it says: These are the "generations" of the heavens. God is refering to going back to the beginning of creation,

Example: If you were to talk about the generations of your family, you would have to go back in time, correct? So the reason it was said that there was no man to till the ground, was so you would know how far back God went in that one verse, before the next verse explained n more detail, how things happened.

Generations is also a reference to time added (age) to God's creation. Why else say: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created? God created Adam and Eve with age. Why cannot he take simple matter and do the same? This would explain what scinece cannot. Why does everything in the universe date differently, even though it all came from the same object (big bang)? Everything should have date markers that are very close, but they don't. Somethings are so old compared to others, how did that happen?

When your God, and you have the ability to control time. you can speak that time into an object.

Psalm 102
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

Notice "age" (old) is mention before the laying of the foundation of earth. So age (time) was added to the earth while the foundation was being laid.

Example of God speaking age into his creation:

II Peter 3:
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

How did the heavens get old? By the word of God.

#3 Mark John

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 10:03 AM

Thank you for the reply.

These 2 verses [Gen 2:5-6] are refering back to this part of creation [Gen 1:11,12].

So this is a more detailed account of the condition of God's creation. Now for the creation of man.


Yes, the account in the second chapter seems to reiterate the creation described in the first chapter.

But this still doesn't specifically answer the remark of rain and tilling being conditions for plants to grow in mid-creation week, which at least initially sounds incompatible with literally 24 hour long days.

Generations is also a reference to time added (age) to God's creation. Why else say: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created? God created Adam and Eve with age. Why cannot he take simple matter and do the same?
...
When your God, and you have the ability to control time. you can speak that time into an object.


Do you mean appearance of age? That's a fascinating doctrine. Many Christians refuse to accept that, claiming it would imply dishonesty from God's part. But I don't want to rule it out, since it could be God testing Christians' faith (like allowing false prophets make true prophecies in Deut 13:1-3) and giving skeptics the option of not believing in Him (like the God-sent deception mentioned in 2 Thess 2:11-12). Robert A. Herrmann is the only creationist I know who supports this theory (and maybe Kurt Wise). Admittedly, it's not a very easy basis to build apologetics upon.

#4 RockerforChrist14

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 11:15 PM

I think it boils down to considering what you mean "the appearance" of age. First of all, God has absolute power and would know how old things would need to be for the perfect creation. You assume that since there was no time before the creation, that therefore things only had the appearance of age. I'm not entirely certain that is true. In some things obviously it's only appearance of age. I don't think God created Adam with scars all over, etc. I really don't see the strength behind your arguement after Admin 3's post.

#5 Fred Williams

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 08:00 AM

Of all the attempts to reconcile secular “science” (i.e. millions of years) with the Bible, I personally find the Framework Hypothesis to be the most desperate. Those who promote the Framework Hypothesis mostly hang their hat on one single snippet of scripture, Genesis 2:5-7. They essentially claim that since this passage indicates God’s modus operandi is ordinary providence, then by golly Genesis 1 should be ordinary providence! They then note that since Genesis 1 obviously cannot be the result of ordinary providence, then we must reject it as history and instead view it as a literary device, i.e. poetry!

The Framework Hypothesis is refuted simply by rejecting the assumption that ordinary providence of Genesis 2:5-7 should extrapolate to Genesis 1. It’s a groundless assumption, in light of the overwhelming textual evidence throughout the Bible for a literal, historical account in Genesis 1 -

1) Virtually every Hebrew scholar, with no stake in the debate (many of whom are atheists or agnostics) state that Genesis 1-11 is written as a historical account, not poetry).
2) At what point in the Old and New Testament genealogies that go back to Adam, do the people morph from real to poetry?
3) God repeats Himself in Exodus 20:11 for those who missed it in Genesis 1: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.”
4) The New Testament often refers to the history in Genesis 1-11 as factual (Matt 19:4, Mark 10:6, Luke, 3:38, 1 Cor 15:45, 2 Peter 3:5, etc).
5) The Bible clearly teaches death came into the world because of sin (Rom 5:12), not via millions of years of evolution.

As has been understood for centuries by Bible scholars, Genesis 1 is a summary, chronological account of creation, Genesis 2 provides a more detailed account, especially as it pertains to man, the centerpiece of God’s creation (see Admin3's exegesis above, though I'm not convinced the earth and universe were created with age).

The logic behind the Framework Hypothesis is no different than the reasoning behind the claim that H*m*s*xuality is now OK since Jesus never spoke against it. Both are toothless attempts to get into scripture something that isn’t there.

For a very detailed refutation of the Framework Hypothesis, please see:

http://capo.org/cpc/pipa.htm

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 08:14 AM

Robert A. Herrmann is the only creationist I know who supports this theory (and maybe Kurt Wise). Admittedly, it's not a very easy basis to build apologetics upon.

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I agree with Mark here. I view it as a possibility (earth/universe created with appearance of age), but the scriptures used to support it are not explicit enough to draw a firm conclusion, IMO. I find that God at every single turn thwarts man's attempts to explain things naturalistically. It is real easy to establish this with evolution theory, which I firmly believe has no tangible evidence to support it and is propped up solely by illusion (such as chimp-man DNA illusion, that was easy to show with genetics and math was untenable, though kids in our public schools are never shown this analysis, thus the illusion - evolution indoctrination at its finest). I also think God has done this with observable evidence regarding the age of the earth. For example, see this thread:

http://www.evolution...findpost&p=2446

Other examples where God thwarts naturalistic explanations that immediately come to mind:

Left-handed amino acids, right-handed nucleotides and sugars
Planets spin in different directions
Moon doesn't exist, it is due to observation error (according to a musing evolutionist since the moon defies all naturalistic explanations)
Dark matter (just-so story to explain vast amount of missing mass in universe)
Horizon problem (the evolutionists own starlight problem)
Symbiosis
Cambrian explosion
DNA information
etc. etc. etc.

#7 Mark John

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 07:06 AM

Although basically undecided, I'll play an advocate for framework now...

Of all the attempts to reconcile secular “science” (i.e. millions of years) with the Bible, I personally find the Framework Hypothesis to be the most desperate. Those who promote the Framework Hypothesis mostly hang their hat on one single snippet of scripture, Genesis 2:5-7. They essentially claim that since this passage indicates God’s modus operandi is ordinary providence, then by golly Genesis 1 should be ordinary providence!


Actually, the framework hypothesis is largely based on the fact that the six creation days seem to constitute three pairs of days that mirror each other; days 1 & 4, 2 & 5, 3 & 6. It has been speculated that the other day of a pair describes creation in a heavenly dimension whereas the latter recounts creation on earth.

Whatever you think about the age of the earth, I find the framework interpretation to be at least more trustworthy than chronological day-age interpretation (which is irreconcilable with modern science anyway). Unlike the latter theory, the framework hypothesis is based on the Genesis text itself instead and not on an attempt to forcefully read the scientific view into the Bible.

They then note that since Genesis 1 obviously cannot be the result of ordinary providence, then we must reject it as history and instead view it as a literary device, i.e. poetry!


It wouldn't have to be just poetry; it could be dischronologized, topically rearranged history (if the framework theory is valid). Like a history book where chapters do not follow the timeline but are arranged according to important topics of a given era.

1) Virtually every Hebrew scholar, with no stake in the debate (many of whom are atheists or agnostics) state that Genesis 1-11 is written as a historical account, not poetry).


Again, framework does not necessarily require an exclusively poetic reading.

2) At what point in the Old and New Testament genealogies that go back to Adam, do the people morph from real to poetry? 


That Adam must be seen as a historical individual is fairly evident, even if one accepts a un-chronological view of Gen 1.

3) God repeats Himself in Exodus 20:11 for those who missed it in Genesis 1: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.”


This short allusion doesn't conclusively prove the literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1; only that the creation account is a model for six working days and the sabbath, which the framework theory claimed all along. Says B.A. Bucher:

Second, the Exodus texts cannot be understood literalistically. Here Irons/Kline are right when they say that not only does this fail as an argument against the FI, but that it actually argues in favor of it. It demonstrates that the language of God's working and resting must be understood metaphorically and not literalistically.

4) The New Testament often refers to the history in Genesis 1-11 as factual (Matt 19:4, Mark 10:6, Luke, 3:38, 1 Cor 15:45, 2 Peter 3:5, etc).


Yes, even the FI supporters agree that the beginning Genesis is factual, not fable.

5) The Bible clearly teaches death came into the world because of sin (Rom 5:12), not via millions of years of evolution.


That could mean the human spiritual death. Man and many carnivore species have a dental system that is apparently designed (I'm not saying evolved!) as more or less optimal for eating meat, not vegetables and plants.

The logic behind the Framework Hypothesis is no different than the reasoning behind the claim that H*m*s*xuality is now OK since Jesus never spoke against it. Both are toothless attempts to get into scripture something that isn’t there.


That claim about H*m*s*xuality is manifestly false, since Paul called it sin. The question about the creation account is not as easy. Yes, the FI people might be wrong, but they do appear to try to read the text honestly, as it is.

For a very detailed refutation of the Framework Hypothesis, please see:

http://capo.org/cpc/pipa.htm


Thanks, I'll check that out. In case someone wants to look at framework theorists' texts, here are two defenses of the theory (I hope it's okay to post these links here?):
http://www.asa3.org/...12-98Irons.html
http://home.comcast....rpretation.html

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 07:03 PM

Thank you for the reply.
Yes, the account in the second chapter seems to reiterate the creation described in the first chapter.

But this still doesn't specifically answer the remark of rain and tilling being conditions for plants to grow in mid-creation week, which at least initially sounds incompatible with literally 24 hour long days.
Do you mean appearance of age? That's a fascinating doctrine. Many Christians refuse to accept that, claiming it would imply dishonesty from God's part. But I don't want to rule it out, since it could be God testing Christians' faith (like allowing false prophets make true prophecies in Deut 13:1-3) and giving skeptics the option of not believing in Him (like the God-sent deception mentioned in 2 Thess 2:11-12). Robert A. Herrmann is the only creationist I know who supports this theory (and maybe Kurt Wise). Admittedly, it's not a very easy basis to build apologetics upon.

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That's correct. Many Christian do stray away from it. Why? Because they believe they have truth, but their truth really can't be backed up by the word of God. You can input what ever you like about God's word, but if it can't be back up by God's word, what do you have? God's truth, or man's truth? If man is the only direction you can go to prove what God says, than man becomes your bases for faith.

If God be your direction for what you believe, and where you draw your evidence, and conclusions. Then God becomes your bases for your faith. No where God's word does it say to turn towards man for God's truth instead of God. People today look to much towards the physical things of God, and not apply God's power to it. Science has made Christians afraid of saying: God did it. If you truly believe in God, then God did do it.

So what do you think your main bases is for what you believe? Mans ideas of what happened, or God's word?

Example:
1) The earth is old: Who are you relying more on to come to this conclusion. Man's evidence, or God's word?

2) God did not create in six days: Here again, who do you rely on more?

3) Man evolved and God used evolution to create: Again, more relying on man than God.

And this is why you said what you said here:

Do you mean appearance of age? That's a fascinating doctrine. Many Christians refuse to accept that, claiming it would imply dishonesty from God's part.


When your bases for faith become more dependant on man, God becomes a liar.

#9 Mark John

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 01:19 AM

So what do you think your main bases is for what you believe? Mans ideas of what happened, or God's word?

Example:
1) The earth is old: Who are you relying more on to come to this conclusion. Man's evidence, or God's word?

2) God did not create in six days: Here again, who do you rely on more?

3) Man evolved and God used evolution to create: Again, more relying on man than God.


I agree with your basic premise. Our faith should be based on the Bible rather than on materialistic science.

But when we reach out to bring others to the faith, we have to take the scientific view into consideration as well. We must acknowledge the objective evidence as such, whatever view it supports.

Looking at the present evidence objectively, all non-Christian scientists and even most Christian scientists conclude that the earth appears billions of years old (this doesn't mean they support the ToE). Even many creationists admit that data such as starlight, radiometric dating, ice layers, sediment layers, coral reef etc. all converge and point to an earth considerably older than 6,000 or 10,000 years, when we look at those indicators objectively "as they are". As a non-expert, I'll have to take their word for it, or assume that even the majority of Christian scientists, many of whom claim to believe in the Bible and renounce macroevolution, are in on a huge worldwide conspiracy (which somehow continues to persist despite all contrary evidence brought forth by young-earthers).

This seems to be the reason why such distinguished defenders of Biblical inerrancy as Gleason Archer, Norman Geisler, Francis Schaeffer and even Pat Robertson (just to name a few) are open to an old-earth interpretation. The fact that so many ardent defenders of Christianity and the Bible (both theologians and scientists) have, perhaps reluctantly, accepted the old-earth view speaks for itself. Why would all those biblical inerrantists give up on young earth, if the evidence against it was as weak as many YEC'ists claim?

Even the fundamentalist theologian Wayne Grudem, who criticized the framework hypothesis and says that the most simple reading of Genesis supports a young earth, has acknowledged that the objective evidence of nature seems to point towards an old earth.

At this point, I have arrived at two alternative options: either the Genesis account must be interpreted as a very long creation, or God made the world look old in order to grant humanity the possibility to disbelieve in Him, and test the believers' faith. There are biblical passages that could support the latter theory.

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 01:45 AM

I agree with your basic premise. Our faith should be based on the Bible rather than on materialistic science.



Looking at the present evidence objectively, all non-Christian scientists and even most Christian scientists conclude that the earth appears billions of years old (this doesn't mean they support the ToE). Even many creationists admit that data such as starlight, radiometric dating, ice layers, sediment layers, coral reef etc. all converge and point to an earth considerably older than 6,000 or 10,000 years, when we look at those indicators objectively "as they are". As a non-expert, I'll have to take their word for it, or assume that even the majority of Christian scientists, many of whom claim to believe in the Bible and renounce macroevolution, are in on a huge worldwide conspiracy (which somehow continues to persist despite all contrary evidence brought forth by young-earthers).

This seems to be the reason why such distinguished defenders of Biblical inerrancy as Gleason Archer, Norman Geisler, Francis Schaeffer and even Pat Robertson (just to name a few) are open to an old-earth interpretation. The fact that so many ardent defenders of Christianity and the Bible (both theologians and scientists) have, perhaps reluctantly, accepted the old-earth view speaks for itself. Why would all those biblical inerrantists give up on young earth, if the evidence against it was as weak as many YEC'ists claim?

Even the fundamentalist theologian Wayne Grudem, who criticized the framework hypothesis and says that the most simple reading of Genesis supports a young earth, has acknowledged that the objective evidence of nature seems to point towards an old earth.

At this point, I have arrived at two alternative options: either the Genesis account must be interpreted as a very long creation, or God made the world look old in order to grant humanity the possibility to disbelieve in Him, and test the believers' faith. There are biblical passages that could support the latter theory.

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Your entitled to believe what you want. God gave us that choice. But if what you believe is not bible based, and it requires you to call other in the faith liars. Then what do you have?

But when we reach out to bring others to the faith, we have to take the scientific view into consideration as well. We must acknowledge the objective evidence as such, whatever view it supports.


50% of students in high school, will lose their faith for two reasons. One is what is being taught in "Science class". Two is peer pressure from others who have learned the samething.

Of that 50%, those who go to college, 70% will lose their faith. And those who do not conform, or act like the others to fit in, while in science class. Will fail the course because the professor will take a bias attitude towards them. Even encurage of classmates to make fun of them during class, for what they believe.

All of this produces young people who are so confused about faith, and origins. They decide to do what ever it takes to fit in. Which includes mixing what does not belong. Did God create through evolution? Why does not science have a problem with Christian mixing the faith with their science, when they claim it is not a religion? It is because it destroys the truth of God's word, and they'll do anything to accomplish this. Even if it involves mixing science theories with a religion. For I have yet to see one person who believes God does not exist have a problem with evolution being mixed with God.

They see what it does to the faith of the christian. It destroys it. What God says about those who choose to do this:

II Thessalonians 2
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


Is evolution rightous, or unrightous in the eyes of God? And what God says about those who teach these lies to other believers that they fall from the truth, is much worse than this.


Added: Some might think this is a harsh thing to say to someone. But which is more harsh, hearing the truth, or being condemned unto danmation for believing a lie? For when we compromise what is written to make everyone feel welcome. What you get is a bunch of believers who do not know what to believe. Why do people think Christians are more confused today about things, then 30 years ago?

To compromise truth is to condone a lie. And God can have no part in that.

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 02:37 AM

When you put to much science and theories into creation, your always going to have problems. God has no limitations. He spoke it all into exitence. Science cannot explain speaking something into existence. So God's creation is beyond the realm of science to even understand.

This is why science can only come up with theories, for they know no truth, so they speak no truth. For they can only guess (theory) at what truth is. They say that theories are a work towards finding truth. Yet not one theory has ever crossed over to become absolute truth. This is why it is always taught that there are no absolutes. In this way, they can make the rules to what truth is. For when you have no truth, then you say there is no truth. In this way, everyone will believe the truth you never had.

And when your taught to think this way, the truth in the word of God, you start to question. For when there are no absolutes, you question everything. Which also make you question God.

#12 Fred Williams

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 08:44 AM

Although basically undecided, I'll play an advocate for framework now...


Undecided about what, Mark? You obviously are completely decided to believe an old earth! That’s your right, but please stop pretending you are a “fence sitter” or “undecided”. It is simply disingenuous.

You are just trying to change the Bible the best way you can to match the “science” and what you want to believe. There are many evidences against an old earth, it’s just they get ignored or explained away. My personal favorite is the fact you cannot test a piece of coal or natural gas that is supposed to be millions of years old without finding Carbon 14 in it. Why is carbon 14 still in “millions of years old” coal, if carbon only has a half life of ~5K years? After 60K it should be undetectable (200K theoretical limit). How do you explain this? It can’t be blamed on contamination since virtually every piece tested is guaranteed to have Carbon 14. Sounds to me like the presence of Carbon 14 suggests it might have been buried by a big flood of some sort within the last 10K years or so? How do you explain helium in zircons and the a priori prediction Humphreys made that was confirmed (how science is supposed to work)? Please explain this, if you avoid it again I’ll assume you can’t and you just want to go on trusting what other wise and smart “scientists” say:

http://www.evolution...findpost&p=2446

Mark, why is it we can’t date rocks where we know the age (from historical observation), yet you will trust the dates of rocks where we don’t know the age?

Actually, the framework hypothesis is largely based on the fact that the six creation days seem to constitute three pairs of days that mirror each other; days 1 & 4, 2 & 5, 3 & 6.


Then why did you post the question regarding Gen 2:5? Why are you moving the goal posts? Do you see why I view your post as just a tad disingenuous? FI advocates hang their hat on Gen 2:5-7, and thus why you brought it up.

Whatever you think about the age of the earth, I find the framework interpretation to be at least more trustworthy than chronological day-age interpretation (which is irreconcilable with modern science anyway).


Bingo! Look how contradictory your statement is! You say it shouldn’t matter what you think about the age of the earth, then you say the literal 24 hour interpretation doesn’t work because it is “irreconcilable with modern science anyway” (you should change that last part to “irreconcilable with what secular scientists currently believe”). Please just be honest about this, Mark - it is because of your commitment to “modern so-called science” why you would embrace such a lame and unsupportable hypothesis as the framework hypothesis. Please stop pretending that the Bible text actually supports this. Just come right out and admit you are trying to mold what the Bible says to match science. You already have unwittingly done so above, I’m just wondering if you prepared to do so wittingly?

Fred
Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust the LORD that to put confidence in man

#13 Fred Williams

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 08:55 AM

Even many creationists admit that data such as starlight, radiometric dating, ice layers, sediment layers, coral reef etc. all converge and point to an earth considerably older than 6,000 or 10,000 years, when we look at those indicators objectively "as they are". As a non-expert, I'll have to take their word for it,


Many creationists deny these evidences are sufficient or valid. At least 600 strong in the Creation Research Society alone. Does this prove anything? No. As someone who is 100% convinced Christ is who He says He is, I'll ultimately place my trust in the fact He was there:

Psalms 118:8: It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.

1 Cor 1:20 Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ?

Fred

#14 Fred Williams

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 09:04 AM

At this point, I have arrived at two alternative options: either the Genesis account must be interpreted as a very long creation, or God made the world look old in order to grant humanity the possibility to disbelieve in Him, and test the believers' faith. There are biblical passages that could support the latter theory.

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You've reached this conclusion, in such a short period of time for a so-called "fence sitter"? Mark, I again implore yo to be honest going forward, you are hereby warned that this is a place for honest debate, not disingenuous debate in a phony attempt to make it seem that logic caused you to arrive at your conclusion during your brief stay here. This is the kind of nonsense that simply won't be tolerated in this forum.

For you to find verses of god "testing us", ironically is no different than evdiences for an old earth. Scientists use the 10% that point to an old earth as their evidence, and ignore the 90% of the data that is against an old earth. It's called selective use of evidence. In your case, it would be a case of selective use of verses. So feel free to give your 1% of veres that support God "testing" us, and I'll give you the 99% to show that God would never mislead us.

Fred

#15 Fred Williams

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 09:55 AM

Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding, we have members who are OEC and admitted “fence sitters” here who we have no problem with, because while we may disagree, we can debate honestly on the topic without any false pretenses. My rebuke with Mark has to do with the fact that he feigned being a YEC “fence sitter”, and after just a few short days of minimal discussion, suddenly is no longer on the fence and has become convinced of OEC. We are not so naïve as to buy in to such a ruse, and it is the type of phony grandstanding that won't be allowed here.

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Posted 18 August 2005 - 12:36 PM

I agree.

#17 Mark John

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:17 AM

My rebuke with Mark has to do with the fact that he feigned being a YEC “fence sitter”, and after just a few short days of minimal discussion, suddenly is no longer on the fence and has become convinced of OEC.

Where did I say I'm convinced of OEC? I just wrote that I'm still open to the earth being young, only that I see the evidence for it being rather scarce. If you think I've suddenly changed my mind, you've misunderstood my texts. In my posts I assumed that FI was valid, for the sake of argument. I'm still not 100% sure about it, but try to be open to all warranted interpretations.

At this point, I have arrived at two alternative options: either the Genesis account must be interpreted as a very long creation, or God made the world look old in order to grant humanity the possibility to disbelieve in Him, and test the believers' faith. There are biblical passages that could support the latter theory.

You've reached this conclusion, in such a short period of time for a so-called "fence sitter"?


Perhaps you misunderstood my initial position. When I wrote I'm a fence sitter, I had exactly these two alternatives described above in mind - either old earth or young earth that looks old. I'm still undecided about those two options. So I haven't been dishonest.

Scientists use the 10% that point to an old earth as their evidence, and ignore the 90% of the data that is against an old earth. It's called selective use of evidence.


This claim seems to imply that the vast majority of world's scientists are involved in a global conspiracy to suppress obvious evidence for young earth. And that many Bible-believing Christians are part of that conspiracy. Do correct me if this is not what you meant.

So feel free to give your 1% of veres that support God "testing" us, and I'll give you the 99% to show that God would never mislead us.


Deuteronomy 13:
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.


Although this is not about science, it sets a precedent; God may "prove" us through fake evidence.

2 Thess 2:
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


Note that the "strong delusion" (which, given the previous verses, is predicted to come at the end of ages) is not sent by the devil but by the almighty God, who is capable of everything. If we accept that God does deceive unrighteous people at some point (as this verse says plainly), I see no reason why God couldn't use appearance of age in nature to make the delusion valid and generally accepted.

#18 Fred Williams

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 07:22 PM

This claim seems to imply that the vast majority of world's scientists are involved in a global conspiracy to suppress obvious evidence for young earth.


You seem to make a lot of statements right out of the atheist handbook. I am not saying scientists actively conspired to engrain an old earth into academia. It was a slow process, with the source of the influence the prince of the world and many willing, if unwitting, accomplices. Also note that your logic will lead you into a double-standard. You have implied you reject evolution. A majority of scientists also support evolution. Do you think the “majority of world's scientists are involved in a global conspiracy to suppress obvious evidence for evolution”?

Deuteronomy 13…

God may "prove" us through fake evidence.

2 Thess 2:…


Neither of the passages you cited supports your contention that God created misleading evidence to test our faith. Deut 13 is referring to false prophets who try to lure people from the truth. God sometimes manipulates wicked people to test our faith, in this case by allowing them to be right on occasion (after all, wasn’t Jeannie Dixon right on some predictions)? Also, if you read the rest of the passage, such evildoers are to be put to death. So did God create the lie in these prophets, only to then order them to be executed? No, he allows them to be right on occasion, as they ultimately will be if you make enough predictions, and those who then follow them into disbelief have themselves to blame.

If we accept that God does deceive unrighteous people at some point (as this verse says plainly), I see no reason why God couldn't use appearance of age in nature to make the delusion valid and generally accepted.


This is a non-sequitur. As you admit, this passage is dealing with wicked people God has long since given up on. It is not dealing with believers. Essentially you are saying: “since God sends a strong delusion to unbelievers, he will do the same thing to believers.” This non-sequitur idea is not even remotely supported by scripture.

Fred

#19 Mark John

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 06:40 AM

I am not saying scientists actively conspired to engrain an old earth into academia. It was a slow process, with the source of the influence the prince of the world and many willing, if unwitting, accomplices. Also note that your logic will lead you into a double-standard. You have implied you reject evolution.  A majority of scientists also support evolution. Do you think the “majority of world's scientists are involved in a global conspiracy to suppress obvious evidence for evolution”?


No. The theory of evolution and abiogenesis is a very complex phenomenon and I would believe that most of the scientists have not done an objective in-depth study of actual evidence for macroevolution and how life started out of non-living matter - they seem to mostly believe in evolution because it's generally accepted and it's the best way to explain life without a creator.

But the age of the earth is a somewhat simpler matter. When there are millions of layers of annual sediment in rivers (i.e. Green River), there are two options: either that amount of sediment took millions of years to form, or God made an unnatural amount of sediment in a shorter period, which, as He knew, would give an appearance of age to those who look at the sediment objectively (relating physical evidence to established laws of nature, i.e. one year for the formation of each layer). Same thing with ice layers. And starlight.

But if there is a naturalistically plausible refutation to such old earth evidence, I would be happy to embrace it. But if the refutations are based on speculations on how God made things much faster than the evidence shows, that's basically the doctrine of "appearance of age". But I'm still open to that too.

This is a non-sequitur. As you admit, this passage is dealing with wicked people God has long since given up on. It is not dealing with believers. Essentially you are saying: “since God sends a strong delusion to unbelievers, he will do the same thing to believers.” This non-sequitur idea is not even remotely supported by scripture.


Hypothetically speaking, (alleged) physical evidence that contradicts scripture should not deceive true believers. They should know that God is all-powerful and able to alter physical evidence in order to serve His purposes. So physical appearance of age would not deceive believers per se.

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 03:15 PM

But the age of the earth is a somewhat simpler matter. When there are millions of layers of annual sediment in rivers (i.e. Green River), there are two options: either that amount of sediment took millions of years to form, or God made an unnatural amount of sediment in a shorter period, which, as He knew, would give an appearance of age to those who look at the sediment objectively (relating physical evidence to established laws of nature, i.e. one year for the formation of each layer). Same thing with ice layers. And starlight.


Varve interpretation is not as straight forward as you would have it. There are numerous inconsistancies with the Green River varves that could be supported by a flood scenario, e.g. numerous fossils that would not lay around on the bottom for a long enough period of time to be covered by fine layers of sediment before decaying. You can read about that here Green River Varves
You can also search AIG for information on the ICE varces.

As far as starlight goes, Dr. Russ Humphrey's has developed a white hole cosmology that explains how the universe can be ~6k years old with the light appearing here from stars that are billions of light years away.

IOW, there are lot of issues with what your banking on, along with alternative explanations than the 2 you put forth.

Terry




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