Creationism: Science, Evolution & Evidence

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3 ESV)

I have to confess that I do not believe the earth is a few billion years old but much younger. (I want to add the disclaimer that I am not a scientist nor am I trained in any of the disciplines of science. I studied communication and rhetoric.) With that said, I do feel as though I have a grasp on the heart of the debate and it does not have to do with empirical science.

I also want to note my perceived audience: those who believe in the Christ and who He is according to the scriptures.

It is with our belief in the scriptures that I want to use as my weapon to hopefully edify brothers and sisters who might struggle with this issue.

First I believe the bible is true. Not in a fully literal sense and not in a fully metaphorical, allegorical or blah-blah blah sense. I believe the whole of scripture confesses and directs us towards the glory of Christ or Lord and God. All of creation was created by Him and for Him. All that is given to us is given to us for His sake. He Himself has revealed Himself to us for His sake, not ours.

Now, with the arguments concerning naturalistic evolution, particularly natural selection and the supposed result of speciation; I must submit by my own conscience and understanding of scriptures that this is not a true ideology.

I hold to a belief in Christ and the scriptures, since my standard of who He is comes from the scriptures, and in doing so submit to their truthfulness. Not only is this true but I also believe the Old Testament is true and not deceitful. So with this established in my mind, it should be difficult for me to conclude and adhere to the truthfulness of a theory or ideology that is atheistic. Even more so, a theory that contradicts the truths of scripture should be examined closely and with brevity before we give our allegiance to it.

A light example and one often understood in the arguments. Naturalistic evolution would declare the earth and all of its parts has taken 4-5 billion years to reach it's state today. With the studies in potassium-argon dating, light travel and others that would date the earth as such, it is an understandable conclusion to reach, outside of scriptures. One biblical perspective, the one I espouse and will represent, believe the account in the book of Genesis to be true in the sense that it is a literal description of creation. I believe here, without inserting or removing some descriptions of time from their context, we find a contradiction between the naturalistic four billion year account and the six day account. If one is right then the other has to be wrong. (I do not wish to argue about either/or or either/and perspectives of truth. As Ravi Zacharias put concerning these two viewpoints you eventually come to a point where you have either an "either/or" or an "either/and" perspective. Chew on that).

A deeper example for Christians might be Christ's adherence to the truth of the history stated in the Old Testament when He talks of Adam and Eve and their marriage being the first. (Even though I write less about this one, think about it more. Christ did not say this account was merely a parable that needed explanation like the others, it was real and true. My two cents)



I want you to have confidence in these few things, because essentially it is all we need. Our Lord is true and good. He is faithful and if you believe in Him He will save you to the uttermost. His word is good and true and given to us so we would know Him and know Him well.

Do not slouch concerning these things and do not be led astray. Hold onto what is eternal with all your weakness. I am going to write another note soon to clarify anything I might need to, such as revelation and how we cannot say nature is revelatory the same way as scriptures. That and other things.

Christopher
(Oh yes, I do plan on talking more of the heart of the issue. I am just out of time.)

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Comments 13 comments

lcg4jc profile image

lcg4jc 6 years ago

Thank you for starting up a conversation on Creationism it is a much needed topic to be discussed among believers for many are beginning to vacillate on their ideas. God bless you for placing this hub at such a needed time. God bless you and yours. I look forward to reading the other hubs.


kkemerait 6 years ago

Christopher,

While I appreciate your view and believe that each person has a right to create their own belief system, I hope that you would agree with me that science is the best tool humans have to understand how the universe we live in operates.

Everything from microwave ovens, to cell phones, jet airlines, genetic research, medicine, plastics, Velcro, space travel, light switches, calculators, television, automobiles and elevators all owe their existence to science.

Belief in the supernatural has no direct empirical evidence to support it, and while that does not mean it isn't true, it does mean that to believe in it is a matter of subjective "evidence" and a desire to believe. It is not in the same arena as science.

The earth is indeed roughly 4.5 billion years of age and there is an incredible amount of evidence from multiple disciplines which confirms this. To fly in the face of such evidence, to turn your back on it and declare that you believe in the Genesis account of creation is certainly your right, but your belief isn't being driven by evidence and data but rather by what you personally "want" the truth to be.

Evolution with common descent is also not an ideology, it is the best explanation that we have for the data that we observe...it is that simple. Could evolution or common descent be mistaken, absolutely! Science does not deal in absolute truths, it deals in observable data and explanations backed up by predictions, experimentation and research. The theory of Gravity, or germ theory might also be incorrect, but as we learn more we adjust the theories to be the best explanations that they can be. It is foolish to ignore the mountain of evidence in its favor and its superb predictive powers simply because you want to believe the account of history written by people who lived in the iron age.

Some videos which give a compressed summary of just a smidgen of the evidence in support of evolution

Transitional Fossils:

http://mainereason.blogspot.com/2010/10/plethora-o...

Common Descent:

http://mainereason.blogspot.com/2010/10/did-someon...

DNA Evidence:

http://mainereason.blogspot.com/2010/11/evolution-...

Answers to Specific Creationist Arguments:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/


Millercl profile image

Millercl 6 years ago Author

I am familiar with the evidences you put forth and I will admit up front that I am not disciplined in the study of any of them.

But the issue here isn't evidence, but the interpretation of evidence and what one believes before he/she examines the evidence. Does that make sense?

I think it is naive to believe scientists are truly neutral on any issue, and while these presuppositions might not effect the science you mentioned that created the microwave or the light-bulb, they do effect how we interpret the history of things.

Sure there are fossils and layers in the earth, but how do you make sense of how they have come together? Well you do not enter the realm of inquiry "tabla rasa", but you do so with some things already assumed to be true. Such as the validity of your ability to reason, the validity of your scientific tools, and uniformity of nature.

The age of the earth ultimately comes down to what you assume as true first. When you have the scientist who uses potassium-argon dating, they assume decay rates, original amounts, etc etc. Same goes for those who examine the fossil record. I understand how it makes sense to explain the differing layers and different fossil types in each layer as one following another in a long period of time, but you have to assume first that there *was* a long period of time that these developed over.

I just don't believe there was such a long period of time because I believe some of the assumptions for the scientists are wrong. (See, I have presuppositions also.)

I am going to take advantage of science as much as I can with the cars I drive, the medicine I use and the computers I type on... but I feel we could have done all these things without a theory of evolution and it is not a staple in such sciences.

PS Please I love dialogue, so keep it going. thanks for the posts lgc4jc and kkemerait.


Karlton G. Kemerait 6 years ago

Yes and No.

Certainly scientist rely on the tools they use, but in the same way I use a ruler to measure, I do not first grab a second ruler to make certain that the first ruler is really 12", I have no reason to believe it isn't. I have never purchased a 12" ruler that wasn't in fact 12" I have never had one lie to me or give me incorrect information. I trust it...so yes scientists "trust" radiometric dating but only because it has been proved correct and accurate over and over again.

While a particular scientist may not be neutral on a subject, as a whole and with rigid global peer review, testing to disprove theories and notoriety and prestige waiting for the scientist that disproves an accepted theory and provides a better one it is a damn reliable process with plenty of outside incentive to arrive at accurate results in addition to the scientific community's internal integrity.

Science is based ultimately on evidence and religion is based on presupposition. If there was not a long period of time as you assume, there would be other evidence of it, which there isn't unless you fall back on the "God made it to appear old" reasoning. Scientists may come at new evidence with assumptions in hand, but it is only because, like my ruler, those assumptions have been tested and proven correct over and over and over again. When I see something fall from a tall building I "assume" that gravity is responsible, could I be wrong, I suppose, but what sense is there in abandoning something which has been proven true and has mountains of evidence for it until there is concrete evidence to push me the other way?

Please, take a look at the common descent and transitional fossils vids, he addresses your question as well...


Millercl profile image

Millercl 6 years ago Author

I understand peer review and I have seen how academia worships it. Don't you see though that you have a lot of faith in men who need money to fund their research? How many significant studies have there been that have been fake? "Missing link" claims and breakthroughs in medicines, etc. I do not credit men with the integrity you might, but this is my opinion and not necessarily an argument.

Karlton, just because things have always been that way does not mean that is how they will be, does it? Is it really an argument, in the true sense, that just because that is the way it is means that is the way it will be?

Couldn't I just as easily say, "Well since in my experience of falling, I have been a prisoner of gravity every time, this next time I fall I will float in the air."


Karlton G. Kemerait 6 years ago

Indeed you could say that...and afterward I will be there with the bandage for your bloody head :)

Yes, there are both dishonest and honest people in every profession. However consider this, the reason that you are aware of these false claims is testament to the very process you dismiss.

The is no knowledge so certain that I cannot make up a story to provide a different explanation. The question is, does my story have any basis or reason to be believed over what you already know. I think, for example that most geologists would love to be responsible for proving that the earth was very young...it would provide notoriety and wealth, the problem is that there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case...all the evidence across multiple disciplines provides a consistent and very old age for the earth.

You can make the claim, but anyone can claim anything, the only thing that gives those claims substance is evidence.

---- This next section I researched (copy/pasted) a bit since you mentioned that maybe things didn't always decay at the same rate.---------

The process of radioactive decay is predicated on rather fundamental properties of matter. In order to explain old isotopic ages on a young Earth by means of accelerated decay, an increase of six to ten orders of magnitude in rates of decay would be needed (depending on whether the acceleration was spread out over the entire pre-Flood period, or accomplished entirely during the Flood).

Such a huge change in fundamental properties would have plenty of noticeable effects on processes other than radioactive decay so there has been a lot of creative work on how to look for evidence of such changes.

A nice technical summary is given by Sisterna and Vucetich (1991) . Among the phenomena they look at are:

1. searches for changes in the radius of Mercury, the Moon, and Mars (these would change because of changes in the strength of interactions within the materials that they are formed from);

2. searches for long term ("secular") changes in the orbits of the Moon and the Earth --- measured by looking at such diverse phenomena as ancient solar eclipses and coral growth patterns;

3. ranging data for the distance from Earth to Mars, using the Viking spacecraft;

4. data on the orbital motion of a binary pulsar PSR 1913+16;

5. observations of long-lived isotopes that decay by beta decay (Re 187, K 40, Rb 87) and comparisons to isotopes that decay by different mechanisms;

6. the Oklo natural nuclear reactor (mentioned in another posting);

7. experimental searches for differences in gravitational attraction between different elements (Eotvos-type experiments);

8. absorption lines of quasars (fine structure and hyperfine splittings);

9. laboratory searches for changes in the mass difference between the K0 meson and its antiparticle.

While it is not obvious, each of these observations is sensitive to changes in the physical constants that control radioactive decay. For example, a change in the strength of weak interactions (which govern beta decay) would have different effects on the binding energy, and therefore the gravitational attraction, of different elements. Similarly, such changes in binding energy would affect orbital motion, while (more directly) changes in interaction strengths would affect the spectra we observe in distant stars.

The observations are a mixture of very sensitive laboratory tests, which do not go very far back in time but are able to detect extremely small changes, and astronomical observations, which are somewhat less precise but which look back in time. (Remember that processes we observe in a star a million light years away are telling us about physics a million years ago.) While any single observation is subject to debate about methodology, the combined results of such a large number of independent tests are hard to argue with.

The overall result is that no one has found any evidence of changes in fundamental constants, to an accuracy of about one part in 10^11 per year.

To summarize: both experimental evidence and theoretical considerations preclude significant changes to rates of radioactive decay. The limits placed are somewhere between ten and twenty orders of magnitude below the changes which would be necessary to accommodate the apparent age of the Earth within the young-Earth timescale (by means of accelerated decay).

I just can't see any justification for believing in something that runs contrary to our best knowledge and in addition had no evidence for it's support.


Millercl profile image

Millercl 6 years ago Author

I did say I am not disciplined in the study of any of these sciences, so I will need to re-read your article.

But here is the point I would like to make: with a naturalistic worldview, one that many scientists often take concerning nature, they assume one thing that makes them look like ninnies when expounded upon. That is the uniformity of nature.

In the example you have with radio decay, scientists have to assume that nature, both nature they have not experienced and nature that is in the future, will behave as it always has. Though I agree with this assumption, the difference between the Christian and the naturalist is that we can give rationale for it. Does that make sense?

So if I asked you, how do you know it will do that, you know, continue to decay at the same rate it has always decayed? You will probably say, "Well that is what it has always done."

You safely assume the uniformity of nature, but then if I ask you, "How do you know nature will continue to be uniform?"

(I assume you would answer this way; if I am wrong correct me.)

"Because it has always been uniform."

Do you see that this is circular and essentially non-rational, in the technical sense. We all assume the uniformity of nature, but can someone as a naturalist give a rationale for the uniformity?

It is this great non-rational assumption of those who do not believe in Christ that makes what they do inconsistent.

Let me know if that makes sense. I am not saying your science is necessarily wrong, but I am saying because you can't account for your evidence, I am right. It is called the transcendental argument.


Karlton G. Kemerait 6 years ago

I understand what you are saying but I think you are putting words into someone's mouth. I think the more likely response to the question of "How do you know the decay rate will be the same in the future" would be "we don't, but there is no evidence that it has changed in the past and no evidence that it might change in the future...that said, if it does, we'll investigate the phenomenon and try to understand why.

As far as the past goes, the scientist looks at things that would have been affected by a different decay rate, and as pointed out earlier, those items do not indicate any change in the rate of decay. So without any evidence, there is no reason to assume it was different and multiple lines of evidence gives us every confidence that we have a uniform rate of decay over time.

There is no circular reasoning involved.


Millercl profile image

Millercl 6 years ago Author

So then tell me, how do you know that nature will continue to be uniform in the future?

If you answer, that is how it has always been, then you have to admit circularity.

If you want to give credence to that type of reasoning then I can claim that Christ is God and the creator of the universe because the scriptures say so and you have no reason to deny it is so.

Asides from that, my point in this hub was to show Christians that it is wildly inconsistent with the biblical account to use the "Theory of Evolution", so-called, to account for the existence of all we see.

I don't mind continuing in dialogue, but I felt I was getting off course.


Karlton G. Kemerait 6 years ago

I don't know what will happen in the future, but how is that relevant? If something changes in the future, we see it, figure out why that change happened and move forward. I don't see any connection between that and evolution?

It may be inconsistent with the biblical account and indeed it is, nonetheless, it is in perfect harmony with the facts and data that we see.


Millercl profile image

Millercl 6 years ago Author

You say you don't know what will happen in the future but you behave as though you do. Otherwise you would live as though anything could happen at any time. Which you don't.

The point is, evolutionary scientists, particularly those who are naturalistic, operate on a non-rational grounds to find their conclusions. They assume nature they haven't experienced or the future, will behave the same way as the nature they have experienced. There is no explanation for why they assume this, they operate on an unexplainable assumption, thus undermining the very "rational empiricism" they uphold.

It is wildly inconsistent with the claims that everything is chance.


Karlton G Kemer 6 years ago

It is not irrational to say that since gravity (for example) has evidently not changed in the past and there is no evidence that it is changing in the present and there is no data to suggest it will change in the future then I will operate as though it will not change .. it is the pinnacle of rationality!

To operate as though it might change when there is no evidence that it might is irrational. I can only rationally base my actions on what I currently know.

what "claims that everything is chance" ?


Millercl profile image

Millercl 5 years ago Author

Kemer,

To say, "Well it has always worked that way," is not a rational argument to explain that it will continue to work that way. Because when you appeal that sort of reasoning to appeal to the uniformity of nature. "Well it has worked that way that means it will continue, because that is how nature is."

IF i were to ask you, how do you know nature is that way? You would then appeal to what? Something else? If circular arguments are the 'pinnacle of rationality' then you need to leave other people alone for believing in the truthfulness and authority of scripture.

Any naturalistic, materialistic or atheistic worldview is only left with the hope of chance to explain anything.

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