The Universe, Young or Old: My Comments on Debates Between Creationists
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden / Adam and Eve in the earthly paradise
No too long ago, I watched a debate that was pusblished on YouTube in 2014. The debate was between Kent Hovind (also known as Dr. Dino at drdino.com) and Hugh Ross (founder and president of Reasons to Believe at reasons.org)—by the way, at the end of this article, I posted all the debates I mention so you can watch them.
Having a PhD in education, Kent Hovind argued that our universe is young, some 6,000 years old; on the other hand, Hugh Ross has a Doctorate in Astronomy, and he argued for an old universe.
Personally, I do not believe Kent Hovind made a good case for young Earth creationists, and if you would like to find more about creationists, I would watch the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. In that debate, Ken Ham did a good job explaining how young Earth creationists approach science.
There is also another debate that was published on YouTube in 2018. This debate was between Danny Faulkner (a professor of astronomy and physics) and Hugh Ross, and I think this debate was much better than the one I watched last night.
In short, young Earth creationists approach science with a clear assumption: that the Bible gives us an accurate description of how the universe and the Earth came into existence. They make no excuses for this stance since (they claim) secular scientists also make a clear assumption: that the existence of the universe and the Earth is due to natural causes, not supernatural ones. Frankly, I think it is brilliant that they clearly identify the different philosophical perspectives.
Their philosophical view affects how they perform science. It seems to me that what they do is reject mainline scientific interpretations of data, and seek new interpretations that agree with the theoretical model that is based on what the Bible teaches. Once again, I think there is good reasons to understand what they are doing, since secular scientists also must have a philosophical point of departure.
Hugh Ross's philosophical perspective isn’t too different from the perspective of young Earth creationists: he also maintains that the Bible accurately describes how the universe and the Earth came into existence. Nevertheless, his methodology seems to be different. First of all, he appears to interpret the Bible in a much more sophisticated way, accepting that the Bible is not only inspired by God, but also literature (and by the way, different genres are represented in the same book). Second, he seems to look for a middle ground between what the Bible states and what modern science claims (I am obviously much more acquainted with young Earth creationists).
Overall, I think the work of both groups is very important and relevant to the Christian community, and we should be sufficiently open-minded to at least know what both sides are saying. I would say that it is wise not put all our eggs in one basket, as it is also wise to watch out for how the philosophical assumptions of secular scientists influence their conclusions.
There is also another position to consider, and that is William Lane Craig’s position: that the book of Genesis is symbolical (not literal), and that an evolutionary model is possible, although several elements in the current theory remain questionable and a miraculous intervention is still necessary.
On a personal note, I find William Lane Craig's position most compelling because of how it treats the text of Genesis 1. However, I think Hugh Ross and literalists like Ken Ham are doing a wonderful job in challenging popular theories on the origin of life and biological evolution.