Is Genesis History: Digging for Truth and Coming up Empty-Handed

Please welcome Lars Cade* as a guest blogger on Naturalis Historia.
I am a Christian currently studying to become a paleontologist. While I still have much more that I need to learn before I could properly consider myself one, I know enough of the discipline to know when it is being misrepresented. Unfortunately, the young-earth creationism (YEC) documentary-style film Is Genesis History? (IGH) portrays paleontology (and the other disciplines it highlights) extremely inaccurately, despite conducting interviews with (among others) two paleontologists.

Heterodontosaurus
Heterodontosaurus, one of the fossils featured in the film Is Genesis history

Consider this clip, which was shared on IGH’s Facebook page shortly after the release of the film, taken from a segment in which Del Tackett, the host of the film, interviews Dr. Art Chadwick, a taphonomist.

Taphonomist
A taphonomist is a paleontologist who studies the process of death and fossilization

In just over two minutes, Del Tackett and Art Chadwick present no fewer than fourteen false and/or misleading ideas, either stated or implied, and not one that is both accurate and informative on the subject being discussed (the full interview in the film contains a few informative bits). While Tackett lacks formal scientific training and may thus be forgiven for being unaware of the nature of the evidence presented, Chadwick has such training and thus, his false statements take on a more blatantly dishonest tone. Whether or not the conclusions of a young earth, a global flood and largely unrelated species (and those that are related having diversified impossibly rapidly) put forward by the makers of IGH are correct (and I do not believe they are), trying to support them with false and misleading statements only serves to weaken their case and damage their Christian testimony. They are as follows:

Paleontologist
A paleontologist is a scientist who studies ancient life, using body fossils, trace fossils (trackways/footprints, burrows, etc.) and geochemistry to learn about ancient organisms and the environment they inhabited.
  1. Beginning at 0:11, Tackett claims that paleontologists “look at [dinosaur paleontology] from the standpoint of early dinosaurs, middle dinosaurs and late dinosaurs.” However, this is not accurate. Rather than imposing ideas about age on the fossils they discover, they find that, consistently, certain species are confined to certain strata which are positioned below (i.e. older than) some strata and above (i.e. younger than) other strata. This fact has been established by over 150 years of observations by thousands of paleontologists and amateur collectors. It’s simply an observation that anyone examining the geological context of dinosaur fossils can repeat. So, rather than imposing a belief on the data, as Tackett implies, paleontologists—as all scientists should—make careful observations and draw conclusions from them.
  2. If, as the makers of IGH claim, dinosaur fossils were actually all (or nearly all) deposited in a single flood, they should all be distributed more or less uniformly, with no sorting except by density of the organism at death and with little disarticulation (separation of the bones) or weathering of the bones. However, this is not what is actually observed. In fact, the very fossils shown in situ in the film exhibit both disarticulation and weathering.

    The explanation offered—that the observed bone bed was laid down rapidly—is not consistent with their claims elsewhere in the film where well-preserved, fully-articulated fossils are held up as evidence of rapid burial by a global flood, though is it consistent with observed local flooding today, specifically when such flooding occurs on a long-dead assemblage of bones where there was once a body of water that had dried up. While some well-preserved fossils were likely rapidly buried, others show signs of desiccation or slow burial in an anoxic environment (one with little free oxygen, which is necessary for most decay processes). If a global flood were an accurate explanation for most of the world’s fossils, then virtually all of them should show similar levels of preservation and burial conditions, and most crucially, evidence of having been buried nearly simultaneously with all other fossils. However, as even this film highlights, this is simply not the case.
  3. Eoraptor and PostosuchusTriassic Eoraptor (top) and Postosuchus (bottom). The first is considered a “dinosaur”, while the second is a non-dinosaurian archosaur. – Image credits: Vlad Konstantinov; Jeff Martz

    Starting at 0:28, Chadwick says that “The dinosaurs are already dinosaurs when they first appear. They look just like anyone would think a dinosaur looked.” This statement is trivially true, in that fossils are not taxonomically classified as “dinosaurs” unless they meet the taxonomic criteria necessary for such a classification, much as only those organisms bearing enough traits in common with other canids (wolves, foxes, coyotes, etc.) are called “canids,” and within family Canidae, every organism is identified with a particular genus and species (or occasionally as a hybrid), since we humans feel compelled to name and categorize everything we can. However, the earliest dinosaurs (i.e. those found in the lowest strata) looked very little like the latest dinosaurs (i.e. those found in the highest strata). They looked very similar to other archosaurs (of which dinosaurs are a subset), including those which are thought to be ancestral to crocodilians, just as expected within evolutionary theory.

  4. Despite what Chadwick then states, the appearance of dinosaurs in the fossil record is no “enigma” to paleontologists who note the changing trends in archosaur (including dinosaur) morphology through rock strata. While most YECs are unaware of this fact, many intermediate fossils between multiple entirely extinct lineages have been discovered, not only between extant organisms and their ancient putative ancestors. While there is certainly disagreement over the finer (and occasionally larger) points of dinosaur evolution, nobody (with the exception of those few who—like Chadwick—reject evolution on ideological grounds) well-versed in paleontology suggests that dinosaurs (as well as crocodilians, phytosaurs and probably pterosaurs) are not the descendants of the few archosaurs (or their near ancestors) that survived the end-Permian mass extinction.
  5. Interestingly, by recognizing that there are strata in which dinosaur fossils “first appear” and later acknowledging the validity of grouping various stratigraphic units (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous in the case of dinosaurs—better known as geological “periods”), Chadwick inadvertently recognizes the fact that the fossil record does not appear as one would expect if most of it were the result of a single global flood, since dinosaurs of a given lineage should share stratigraphic depth with other animals of similar density, including all other dinosaurs, yet they do not. Elsewhere in IGH, another paleontologist refers to the various stratigraphic periods as “ecosystems,” each buried successively. However, this idea fails to stand up to even minor scrutiny, as each period is globally represented and has organisms representing all kinds of ecological niches, each restricted to their own strata. Grasses, for example, are not found at all prior to Cretaceous strata.
  6. Transitional Fossil
    A “transitional” (or “intermediate”) fossil is any which exhibits traits intermediate between fossils found in stratigraphically earlier strata and those found in stratigraphically later strata. While relationships between lineages are inferred through careful study, and absolute ages may be assigned to strata using radiometric methods, these fossils fit the definition of “intermediate fossil” regardless of actual biological relationship or absolute age.

    One minute in, after acknowledging that scientists have found fossils that are “challenging” to his view, Dr. Chadwick makes the bold—and completely false—claim that “The rule is there are no transitional fossils.” While it is true that many are not so obviously transitional as something like Tiktaalik, Microraptor, Maiacetus, Odontochelys or Australopithecus, any fossils that are not identical to any population alive today are transitional as long as they have traits that are intermediate between an earlier and later lineage.

    Australopithecus SedibaAustralopithecus sediba, an obviously intermediate fossil. – Image credit: Lee Berger

    One could say the real “rule” of the fossil record is that transitional fossils are the rule not the exception. One wonders what he thinks of post-flood speciation as proposed by Todd Wood later in the film? If two “cats” on the ark were ancestors of lions, jaguars, bobcats and house cats, were there no intermediates in the line leading to these species?

  7. He also claims that the relative paucity of obviously transitional fossils (as distinct from those which, while certainly transitional by definition, are less obviously so to the untrained eye) is “contra to Darwin’s hopes,” yet Darwin acknowledged that such fossils would be unlikely to be found, simply because of the “extreme imperfection of the geological record.” The fact that the fossil record has been substantially filled in since Darwin’s time with fossils matching the predictions of transitional species is strong confirmation of the predictions of evolutionary theory.

    Since it is unlikely that any given organism will be preserved as a fossil and even less likely that a human will later discover it, the predictions of common ancestry according to evolutionary theory would be fulfilled if even one such fossil were found. In fact, thousands of fossils obviously meeting the predicted criteria of a transitional form have been found. Conversely, finding just one out-of-place fossil (i.e. significantly older than evolutionary theory would predict, such as the fabled “Precambrian rabbit” or even a Tyrannosaurus rex in Triassic strata) would pose a significant challenge to evolutionary theory, yet no such fossil has ever been found.Dinosaur Graphic
  8. Psittacosaurus and StyracosaurusAn early Cretaceous (nearly Jurassic) Psittacosaurus (top) is hardly “unchanged” when compared with a late Cretaceous Styracosaurus (bottom), even though both are classified as Ceratopsians. – Image credits: Robert Nicholls; Everything Dinosaur

    Starting at 1:10, Dr. Chadwick makes the claim—accompanied by the above graphic—that “A form exists in the fossil record; it basically stays unchanged and it disappears from the fossil record.” The graphic shown is false. There are massive changes in each lineage throughout the specified strata. The earliest theropods looked very little like the latest ones. The same is true of ceratopsians, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and sauropods. If Chadwick is merely referring to species, rather than orders, suborders and families (as shown in the graphic), the graphic is still false, as no individual dinosaur species is found throughout the specified strata (and sauropods are found through the end of the Cretaceous). Furthermore, this contradicts the assertion, made elsewhere in the film, that the different geological periods actually represent individual ecosystems, since separate ecosystems should preserve separate species.

  9. At 1:20, Chadwick states “We don’t ever see changes from this form to this form in the rocks themselves.” In fact, we do, that’s what transitional fossils are. That we have discovered any at all is fortunate, since it’s unlikely that an individual that’s part of a transitional population (i.e. one undergoing adaptation due to a change in environmental factors) will be preserved as a fossil because such changes, often being the result of strong environmental pressure, are usually relatively quick, small populations are more subject to rapid change, fossilization of any individual organism is a rare occurrence and human discovery of a specific fossil is even rarer. Alternatively, he may be insinuating that under evolutionary theory, one would expect a chimeric organism, literally half one species and half another. However, evolutionary theory predicts no such thing. In fact, despite the insinuations of YECs, evolutionary theory relies on organisms always reproducing “after their kind.”
  10. Ten seconds later, he says “It’s a paradigm that’s being imposed on the data rather than the data that’s providing the paradigm.” While this obviously echoes the film’s constant theme of “two paradigms,” it completely mischaracterizes how scientists work, as Chadwick, a scientist himself, ought to know. Scientists draw conclusions by testing hypotheses on existing data and new discoveries. It is by this very process that scientists have determined that the earth must be ancient and species must be related by common ancestry. Like many YECs, Chadwick apparently ignores or forgets the fact that geologists originally began their work with the assumption that the earth was on the order of thousands of years old and had experienced a global flood, while Linnaeus developed the nested hierarchy of organismal traits in Systema Naturae more than 70 years before Darwin was born, firmly believing in the fixity of species over time.
  11. Beginning at 1:40, the clip shows a montage of several fossil organisms. In order, they are Heterodontosaurus, Archaeopteryx, Wiwaxia, Marrella and Comura. Over these images, Dr. Chadwick says “The complexity is all there from the beginning.” Assuming he means the beginning of the fossil record, this is blatantly untrue. The Phanerozoic era (Cambrian-present; conventionally dated as the last 541 million years), in which all these complex fossils are found, only represents the most recent 1/6th or so of the fossil record, regardless of the absolute age of the fossils. Prior to that, even multicellularity is rare, and completely absent (as far as we currently know) in strata dated prior to 2.4 billion years ago.
  12. In addition to implying that these finds represent the beginning of the fossil record, the filmmakers omit the fact that of the fossils shown, only two might be found in the same strata—the Wiwaxia and Marrella, which can both be found in Cambrian strata dated between 520 and 505 million years ago. Heterodontosaurus (200–190 million years ago), Archaeopteryx (150.8–148.5 million years ago; ironically, a fantastic example of a transitional fossil—something this video claims does not exist) and Comura trilobites (~415 million years ago) are all confined to specifically dated strata, with gaps of tens to hundreds of millions of years (according to conventional dating techniques) separating them. While elsewhere in the film this is passed off as “separate ecosystems,” the fact that in this clip, the jumbled nature of the fossils in the Hell Creek formation is held up as evidence of a global flood means that these fossils should exhibit the same jumbling, yet they never do.Fossils
    Upper left: Archaeopteryx; Upper Right: Wiwaxia; Lower Left: Marella; Lower Right: Comura. Heterodontosaurs pictured at top of article – Image credits: Is Genesis History
  13. Also implicit in the mention of “complexity” is the idea, often repeated by YECs, that evolution (and other non-“supernatural” processes) cannot produce complexity. However, there is simply no reason to think this is true. Complex patterns are visible at all levels in nature, from galaxies to clouds to snowflakes, each enabled by a transfer of energy. Additionally, if indeed predation, defense, natural selection and adaptation are solely the result of sin and were not part of the original creation, as IGH repeatedly asserts, then even YECs must acknowledge that evolutionary processes have brought about fantastically complex traits which aid in predation or defense. Even if God had “preprogrammed” genetic information into the original animals—as proposed, without genetic mechanism, by many modern YECs—natural selection has sorted out, among trillions of possible combinations, the combinations of genetic switches necessary to be best adapted to a particular environmental situation.
  14. Finally, at the end, Art Chadwick and Del Tackett go back to the “two paradigms” dichotomy that pervades this film; i.e. that one must accept YECism in its entirety or “reject the authority of scripture.” Chadwick refers to “blind faith” which he claims is required to “believe in evolution” because he “can’t even see how it could have happened.” In addition to the fallacious appeal to incredulity (assuming that something is false because one can’t imagine/understand it), he ignores the fact (of which he is likely aware, given his training) that evolutionary theory is built entirely on observed patterns of evidence, something at least a few YECs such as Todd Wood, interviewed elsewhere in IGH, are honest enough to recognize.

I fundamentally disagree with the “two paradigms” theme presented throughout the film. I do not, in any way, believe that recognizing evolutionary theory (or any other scientific discipline, for that matter) as an accurate explanation of observed trends in biology and related disciplines negates God as creator any more than recognition of the heliocentricity​ did in the 16th and 17th centuries. God, as sovereign, can use whatever means He chooses to accomplish His will. It seems as if YECists like Tackett and Chadwick think that God can only “act” within a cage of human ignorance, and so seek to avoid knowledge to “give God room to act.” This is not the God described in the Bible. The God I worship is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6) and one who is “always working.” (John 5:17) Recognizing evolution as correct does not take “faith.” “Faith,” the author of Hebrews tells us, is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) It is not unseeing the evidence.


Image sources

* This is Lars Cade’s first blog post anywhere. Growing up, he was fascinated by paleontology and built up a sizable fossil collection. His Church background was heavily influenced by YECism, and he even went to a “Back to Genesis” seminar and a Duane Gish debate in the 1990s. A strong interest in computers as a teen led him to major in computer science, a field in which he currently works full-time (a fear of having to study evolution put him off paleontology at the time). However, in internet debates while in college, he encountered evidence that he could not ignore that showed that at least some of the claims of YECism were false. Over the next several years, the scientific and scriptural shortcomings of YECism became ever more apparent. After coming to grips with the fact that the claims of YECism were false, his interest in paleontology has been sparked anew, and this has led him to start taking college courses in preparation for a doctorate in paleontology at North Carolina State University. With such training, not only will he be able to contribute valuable research to the field, but (he hopes), he will be able to help the Church from within to gain a more accurate appreciation of the creation, and to not fear where investigation of it may lead.

Comments

  1. It’s really sad that some Christians fear evolution so much that they are willing to lie to defend against it. How do we engage with the average evangelical church-goer who is by default YECist, believes the YEC scientists without question, and thinks anyone who doesn’t defend every detail of YECism is a liberal heretic?

    Liked by 2 people

    • datadroid says:

      That’s part of my reason for writing this post. I’m trying to show YECs that even if their claims are correct, the people promoting them are doing so dishonestly. My hope is that realization that at least some of the proponents of YECism are simply lying will cause people to consider the possibility that other claims are false as well. My first wake-up call was learning that mutations can indeed add information to a genome, something I’d been told was impossible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • my goodness, how to reply. Too much to do. May i just suggest that, contrary to your claims (and easily observable in a study of the sciences), scientists, paleontologists included, are not totally objective automatons merely digesting information and spitting out completely objective theories. All scientists are biased, and to a great degree, programmed with certain paradigms. And, much to your surprise, i suppose, scientists are capable of misrepresentation and, gasp, lies. Even you, whether intentional or not. As data studies to become a paleontologist, i hope he realizes that objectivity long ago deserted the field in which he studies. Everything is already interpreted with a certain paradigm, and there will be no room for independent thinking, especially if it broaches any and every form of creationism or intelligent design. If he denies this, he is already deluded and deceived. While many of his arguments sound solid, they are only so if interpreted with his already programmed paradigm. In other words, his arguments are based on his a priori assumptions. He will respond with a consensus argument, but those are fairly worthless, as any history of the sciences will show. The movie was, of course, one-sided, but no less than your average run of the mill film on evolution. I tell you what. I will believe that evolutionists are open-minded when they finally produce a film that acknowledges the many difficulties with Darwinian evolution. May i suggest that you don’t hold your breath. Those discussions take place behind closed doors and very far away from the public eye. For now, I’ll just keep on breathing.

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  2. Welcome, Lars!

    I have heard scientists say, “There are no transitional fossils” and the basically equivalent “All fossils are transitional fossils,” but what they mean by this is that the YEC expectations of a transitional fossil are not met.

    For instance, if one claims a connection between dinosaurs and birds, YECers want to see a fossil that is clearly half-bird / half-dinosaur. But since these changes happen incrementally over time, there are no blatant transformative points where a dinosaur clearly shifted into a half dino/bird hybrid, and then fully into bird. The difficulty is, of course, that any fossil that is less than a clear hybridization is going to simply be categorized as a “bird” or a “dinosaur” by a YECer, even if such fossils show clear incremental changes.

    It’s ironic that such a statement got used in the video to promote a YEC view, but it does seem to characterize the way YEC materials use scientific statements.

    Like

  3. Christine Janis says:

    Re early dinosaurs/transitional forms, check out this paper (you may well know about it, but others may not).

    Nesbitt et al, 2017. The earliest bird-line archosaurs and the assembly of the dinosaur body plan

    https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7651/abs/nature22037.html

    That leads to an article behind a paywall, but if you search for the paper on google scholar you’ll find a link to a free PDF.

    Good luck with your studies Lars!

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    • datadroid says:

      I’d actually considered a link to that paper, but I already had a lot of links in place and I felt that the graphic was sufficiently illustrative. Thanks for the encouragement!

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      • Christine Janis says:

        One of the problems with trying to present “transitional fossils” to creationists is that, if you don’t already have a reasonably deep understanding of morphology, then the pictures don’t resonate as being meaningful, and the default is to what it looks like superficially. Archaeopteryx — has feathers, just a bird. My favorite denial is Tiktaalik as simply a Chinese alligator (those fins were from a fish it was eating that got stuck in its throat).

        Are you going to SVP this year?

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        • datadroid says:

          Not this year. Once I transition to being a full-time grad student, I’ll be able to go. For now, I content myself with my college classes and volunteering at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Paleontology Research Lab.

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        • sorry christine, there are plenty of evolutionists themselves who do not recognize Archaeopteryx as a “transitional” fossil, but just as what it is. A bird. So your problem is not just with creationists, though you would love to pretend that to be true. It fits your paradigm, and reveals a certain ignorance of that very field.

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          • I find it amusing that you are accusing Christine Janis of ignorance of palaeontology; you may want to check her vita. Nor does it matter if Archaeopteryx has been demoted to a side-branch of bird evolution; it is clear from its anatomy that it belongs to the bird clade, after it had branched off from other dinosaurs. And the demotion is the result of an evolutionary sequence made clearer by many other fossil finds – I recommend a google search on “bird evolution” if you are really unaware of this

            Liked by 2 people

  4. ‘Tackett claims that paleontologists “look at [paleontology] from the standpoint of early dinosaurs, middle dinosaurs and late dinosaurs.” AND “It’s a paradigm that’s being imposed on the data rather than the data that’s providing the paradigm.” ‘

    The common creationist technique of pretending that something was an input into interpretation, when in fact it was an outcome of examination of the data. The most sophisticated form of this is the philosophising of people like Phillip Johnson, who claim that the rejection of supernatural explanations is a philosophical presumption of conventional science, when in reality (as in all the work done refuting ESP) the rejection of the supernatural is something that emerges from observation

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin and commented:

    A good detailed exposee of some creationist arguments.

    You can do it on any but it takes a lot of time checking the details and so gets tedious.

    However I have never found a creationist argument which cannot be taken down like this

    Liked by 2 people

    • datadroid says:

      Indeed, that’s why I focused on two minutes instead of the whole film (also because the video is publicly available and does not require that one have seen the entire film).

      Like

    • You can’t take down YEC arguments with science, because it is never about the science. Instead, point out the flaws in their theology as Lars has done here. When they try to use science to justify themselves, THEN you can bludgeon then with the facts.

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  6. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Reblogged this on James' Ramblings and commented:

    Reblogging for the information.

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  7. YEChies have long relied upon the ignorance as their instrument. First, their own ignorance, and now that of their chosen audience. But once a lot of data began to come in some decades ago, data showing in every way an old earth, the YEChies had to up their game with sheer lies. They are now practiced enough to confuse a lot of genuine science students, which makes them well able to completely fool the average Believer. Today, as I often comment, the YEChies constitute the modern Pharasees, dedicated to protecting their small corner of belief, and destroying the chances of others.

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  8. Hi Lars,
    Thanks for the informative post. I noticed in your introduction the statement “(…) Chadwick has such training and thus, his false statements take on a more blatantly dishonest tone.”

    Something that intrigues me is the question of what’s really going on in the minds of those few YECs who have PhD level education in a relevant field of science that contradicts YEC views. I myself am an astronomer and have dealt with some of claims of Jason Lisle (Phd in Astrophysics; AiG, ICR) in a long series of posts on BioLogos. What kept bugging me while writing up those posts was the fact that the observational and theoretical evidence contradicting his ideas is extremely evident to anyone with BSc level education in astronomy or physics. Yet, Lisle somehow managed to “survive” all the way through his PhD while holding these views and spreading these false claims. I don’t want to attribute any level of dishonestly to him, because I believe he is sincere. Still can’t wrap my mind around that. Must be a difficult life for people like him?

    Casper

    Liked by 1 person

    • datadroid says:

      My concern is not just that he misrepresents the observable facts of the discipline, but that he lies about how other scientists work. This (and the dinosaurs through time graphic) is what I find inexcusably dishonest.

      Like

  9. Nick matzke says:

    Art Chadwick is a taphonomist? Wasn’t he actually a video services guy at UCSB, probably retired now? He’s been a creationist activist since the 1980s at least I think.

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  10. ah my bad! I was thinking Art Battson: http://www.arn.org/docs/abstasis.htm

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “I fundamentally disagree with the ‘two paradigms’ theme presented throughout the film…. God, as sovereign, can use whatever means He chooses to accomplish His will. It seems as if YECists like Tackett and Chadwick think that God can only ‘act’ within a cage of human ignorance, and so seek to avoid knowledge to ‘give God room to act.’ This is not the God described in the Bible.”

    This seems to be the central thesis of the post. The post did not respond to the ‘two paradigms’ though, and neither did it respond to the central thesis of the film: the fact that there are two conflicting views of history. It doesn’t take into account the ‘time’ factor, and that a sovereign God can also send massive catastrophes which will change things drastically. I think the question here is: can we take God at His Word or must we recreate history through the scientific data? Because at that point you might also have to recreate the incarnation of Christ through the scientific data. A futile pursuit, unless you take God at His Word. I believe that these are the main questions I leave with after reading this article!

    Nathan

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    • datadroid says:

      Nobody here is suggesting that God could not do such things, only that we know beyond all reasonable doubt that He did not. Furthermore, this does not address the blatantly false and misleading statements and implications made throughout this clip. As I said, even if their conclusions are correct, the fact is that they try to support them with claims that are demonstrably (and demonstrated by me) incorrect.

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      • Thanks for your reply! I’m looking at your statement: “only that we know beyond all reasonable doubt that He did not.” That does not sound like a scientific claim. Are you not interpreting the data through the grid of your dogmatic claims? How could the Bible’s record of 6000 years of world history not factor into the scientific claims of 150 years of scientists? It seems to me to be academic suicide to reject its claims, especially with a dogmatic “scientific” claim like this one. This is what I mean when I mention the competing views of history.

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        • datadroid says:

          We know that the earth is not young and did not experience a global flood with the same confidence that we know that it is not flat or orbited by the sun, planets and stars. Unless you believe reasonable doubt exists about the shape and motion of the earth, then you cannot say that reasonable doubt exists regarding its age or floodedness (to coin a term) either.

          As I pointed out, none of these scientific claims are dogmatic—they are based strictly on observable evidence. The issue with “competing views” is that it implies that there is at least some validity to the YEC interpretation of the Bible and the associated interpretation of history. However, in reality, there is no more “competition” between the YEC view and the scholarly understanding of human and geological history than there is “competition” between flat-earth views and our current understanding of the earth’s shape.

          Furthermore, you still haven’t addressed the fact that not one of the claims or implications which are made in support of the YEC view in just this short clip (to say nothing of the whole film) are actually true, and most of them are downright false. Is it ever acceptable to lie to defend the faith?

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thanks for the reply again! Nice comparison to me being from the flat-earth society ;) While we are at it, maybe my ape ancestors knew better than me…

            I’m not a scientist, and I don’t believe that science is the only existing sphere of knowledge. Science studies the observable evidence. It CANNOT reconstruct history. Where your dogma is coming in is that you are making heavily dogmatic and religious claims about the HISTORY of the world, when your specialty is studying the observable evidence. Besides the fact that you are leaving out half the evidence: the Word of God. I’m not going to debate which claims were true and which were false, because you have accepted from the get-go the lie that YEC as an entire perspective is false (I definitely will go and study it on my own). This is unacademic, and even worse does not seek to reckon with the historical claims in God’s Word. It is also intimidation, and makes it impossible to have a rational and academic discussion about the claims of evolution and how that is challenged by God’s Word, and even the observable data. So it looks like I’m going to peace out.

            Cheers!
            Nathan

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            • datadroid says:

              Nathan, I’ve not suggested you are from the FES, only that there is exactly as much reason to think that the earth is young as to think that it’s flat. Neither you nor any young-earth creationist I have encountered have provided any reason to think otherwise.

              I am also not (yet) a scientist and as a Christian, I also agree that there are other spheres of knowledge. However, you are entirely mistaken when you say that scientific studies “CANNOT reconstruct history.” This is entirely what forensic science is about, to use a more easily-understood example than geology. In fact, all historical claims are entirely based on currently-observable evidence.

              Again, I’m not making any dogmatic claims. All my claims are open to review, reconsideration and revision if and when ample reason to do so has been provided. As I said, neither you nor anyone else has yet provided such a reason. The Bible, on its own, is merely words on a page. It is the responsibility of every believer to try to incorporate the best understanding of those words possible. When a particular understanding of those words leads to denial of reality, as YECism does, then we know that that interpretation must be wrong.

              I have not “accepted from the get-go the [idea]e that YEC as an entire perspective is false.” Rather, having been raised to think it was true, I slowly and painfully discovered that, in fact, it is not. In all my years of investigating it, I have yet to encounter even one YEC-specific claim that is, at the same time, true, logically sound and actually supportive of the YEC position. If you’re aware of any, feel free to share them here.

              Again, as I’ve pointed out several times already, regardless of whether or not the YEC conclusions are true, the arguments used to support them in this clip are definitely not true.

              One last thing to consider: can you point out just how and where my position is refuted by the Bible?

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            • Clarke Morledge says:

              Nathan: You state the question like this, “Can we take God at His Word or must we recreate history through the scientific data?” It sounds like you are pitting God’s revelation through Scripture against God’s revelation through Creation. Scripture is to be trusted, but Creation is not.

              Is this really a biblical way of thinking about it? Is it not possible to trust both?

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              • Thanks for the responses!

                In response to datadroid. There are many facets to the discussion, but it looks like you don’t want a discussion. Suffice it to be said, my interpretation begins with what the text SAYS: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11

                In response to Clarke Morledge. I’m pitting God’s revelation (the Bible) against man’s revelation (evolution). To say I am pitting God’s revelation (the Bible) against God’s revelation through Creation (science) is a false dichotomy that you are imposing on my views.

                Cheers,
                Nathan

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                • datadroid says:

                  Nathan, I’m curious why you think “it looks like [I] don’t want a discussion.” I have engaged you in discussion here for several posts, yet you have ignored my questions and supporting arguments. Nevertheless, I’ll ask again: is it appropriate for the makers of IGH to use lies and falsehoods to support their case? Is there any claim which is, at the same time, true, logically sound and actually supportive of the YEC position?

                  Regarding that verse, given that the Sabbath pattern is established for years and decades as well as days, it seems that the meaning is not meant to be historical but symbolic of God’s chosen pattern of 6+1. Further, given that we know beyond reasonable doubt that the earth is ancient and was decidedly not created over the course of six 24-hour days, such an interpretation serves only to make the passage in question seem irrelevant, not to cast doubt on the age of the earth.

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                • Nathan,

                  It is not often that I get the opportunity to ask questions like this of a thoughtful biblical literalist: in the passage from Exodus that you quote in support of your claim that the Earth was created in six days, what does it mean when it says that on the seventh day God rested?

                  if you have time, I hope you will also deal with these other questions, which I am sure you have seen before. Notice that I am not trying to get you to change your mind, or to make you look foolish in front of other people here; I am just genuinely curious to know what you think:

                  Can you explain why it comes to pass that so many different ways of measuring the age of the Earth give a value of around 4.56 billion years? And how do you account for the existence of the entire fossil record, and the fact that as time goes by, it corresponds in more and more detail to the evolutionary narrative? Fifty years ago, for example, we had no intermediate fossils between land mammals and present-day whales, whereas now we have a reasonably detailed sequence. A hundred years ago, the only “apeman” we had, apart from Neanderthals who are more cousins than ancestors, was Java Man (H. erectus); now a visit to, say, http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-family-tree gives a whole family tree. And so on. If we are not descended from apes, what are all these species doing there?

                  Returning once more to the biblical theme, why is it that the Egyptian personal and place names in Exodus correspond, as so carefully documented in Finkelstein and Silberman’s “The Bible Unearthed”, to Egypt in the 7th century BCE but not in the far earlier period in which the Bible places Moses? And why is there no sign of Noah’s flood in the Egyptian Old Kingdom record, although biblical chronology requires a date for that flood contemporary with the building of the Pyramids?

                  I am sure you have answers, and look forward to learning what they are.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • More or less, it seems that the discussion ends at this statement: “The Bible, on its own, is merely words on a page.” It becomes something to interpret from the outside, rather than having power within it. I do believe that there are symbols in the Bible, but you don’t have a symbol unless there is something real. In a sense, they are pulled out of something that is real. For example, Adam was a real man. The Bible says it. But at the same time, he was a symbol of Christ. Romans says that. History is full of symbols. For example, for many evolutionists, I symbolize archaic and unscientific thinking, but I’m still a real person. You don’t have history unless you have reality.

                    One of the main things I am targeting in my argument is how we process the data, and that really has a lot to do with the time argument. I’m not a scientist, but hopefully over time, I can figure out more of what is going on in the details. So I’m not denying that either of you have put long hours of thought and intelligence into the specifics of the data. I do find the central ‘time thesis’ of the movie ‘Is Genesis History?’ quite compelling and very convincing.

                    Thanks!

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                    • Nathan,

                      I have not asked you anything about science as such. My questoins were about the meaing of the Bible, and the credibility of its timeline.

                      1) What does it mean to say that God rested

                      2 and 3); Why is the scientific record what it is if Genesis is literally true; specifically, the radiometric age of the Earth, and the existence of a rich fossil record

                      4) If the Bible is true, why do the names and places in Exodus match 7th century BCE (time of Josiah’s reforms), rather than of arund the 14th century BCE (time assigned to Moss by th ebiblical narrative)?

                      5) If Noah’s Flood was historical, worldwide, and at the time stated by Genesis, why is there no trace of it in the rich Egyptian record of that time?

                      If you have thought about your Bible-based position – and I thought you had – you will have met these questions before, and have answers to them. Answers that I may not find convincing, but that you do.

                      I want to know what those answers are. Please don’t disappoint me.

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                    • Hell Paul,

                      We have actually studied a number of these questions quite extensively at seminary in our OT exegesis class, which we did for a full semester on Genesis 1. I was given the topic of the genre and style of Genesis 1. There was enough material to write a book, but I copped out and wrote a 20 page paper :)

                      What does it mean that God rested? It means that God enjoyed his creation. This is why the work week in Exodus 20 is patterned after the 7 days of creation, and man is called to rest on the Sabbath (and rest means something different than sleep). Even the writer of Hebrews jumps in on the exegesis of Genesis one in chapter 4 vs. 10 “for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” This 7th day rest is patterned after God’s 7th day rest, which is symbolic of our eternal rest.

                      As I understand it, radiometric dating has a high rate of error, and the fossil record can be explained from a creationist standpoint. Something interesting that my wife and I noticed as we were touring the grand canyon, is that there dogma records millions of years, but then they record catastrophes such as volcanos, which messes with their dating methods. Science is a wonderful tool, but it has limits.

                      The equation between Josiah’s reign and Exodus is not something that i have run into, although we did study the dating and history of the Old Testament, including the criticism of it. I’ll have to study this question more. My first question is: what is the Holy Spirit doing symbollically with these names and places? What is our attention being called too? Often such repetition makes a point which points to Christ.

                      I don’t know why there is nothing about the flood in the Egyptian record. Maybe it got lost? Or they never wrote one? But many cultures around the world do have a flood story. My wife and I were just reading a navajo flood story while touring the States, and another flood story from the Greeks in the Getty Museum. The Greek one was about Deucalion and Pyrra and the Navajo one was from an INdian calendar. From what I hear, there are many more.

                      Anyways, thank-you for the interesting dialogue! You have obviously studied criticism of the Bible, and carefully thought about this. I don’t believe that I have a fool-proof arguement, but in my searching, I find the Scriptural narrative more and more convincing. Sometimes in a court of law you need witnesses and not just science, and I believe that Scripture proves to be a faithful witness.

                      Cheers!

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                    • Where did you study all this?

                      “their dogma records millions of years [in the Grand Canyon], but then they record catastrophes such as volcanos, which messes with their dating methods.” I assume you refer to the Conoco Sandstones (disclosure; I have discussed these with geologists who have worked on them). Usually, U/Pb and K/Ar dates agree; but when the rock is porous, and has been reheated, U/Pb (and Rb/Sr and other methods that don’t involve volatiles) give one date (deposition), while K/Ar gives a more recent date (heating episode), as expected. There are many such well-studied and instructive anomalies in the record, misrepresented in the literature you studied (eg John Morris, The Young Earth) as defects in the method. “Science is a wonderful tool”; it is indeed.

                      Re Egypt, I think you didn’t understand my question: before, during, and after the biblical date for Noah’s Flood, Egypt was populous and flourishing, with no sign of major interrruption, catastrophe, or population loss. How is this possible if humankind was reduced, during that period, to 8 individuals several hundred miles away?

                      Like

                    • I studied all this at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary.

                      Yes, I might suggest different dating for those Egyptian events. There are debates over it as is.

                      Like

                  • If i may jump in and ask, why are there so many dating methods that DO NOT give the apparent age of the earth at anywhere near 4.5 billion years old. And, in spite of your “tree”, why do these fossils turn out to be either apes or men, with no irrefutable “in between” fossils. Finding more and more ape fossils and human fossils will never prove that one descends from the other. Similarities do not establish lineages. As to your question about Egypt and Moses, professor Hoffmeiers “Israel in Egypt” is an extensive and well-documented book establishing the validity of both the biblical story and it’s postulated date. As to your flood question, may i remind you that absence of evidence does not always establish evidence of absence.

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                    • I really want to hear from Nathan. However, a brief reply to your points: I actually wrote the foreword to the Scientifc American Special on the topic (https://www.scientificamerican.com/author/paul-s-braterman/). 19th century “hourglass” methods, giving very unbiblical (~ 100 My) ages but still short of present knowledge, failed because they underestimated the extent to which the processes are reversed, eg by loss of sediments. Some Yecs claim that the rate of retreat of the Moon implies a young age;their arithmetic is wrong and IIRC even Ken Ham has disowned this argument. Others point to the Earth’s changing magnetic field – but this has reversed itself many times. There is no coherent way of dividing our recent ancestors and thier relatives into “apes” and “men”; Alice Roberts, an anatomist by original training, is very good on this. And when we are talking about whether or not there was a worldwide flood reducing the human population to a total of 6 in the middle of the building of the pyramids, absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.

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                • Clarke Morledge says:

                  Nathan, I wonder if I approached this from a different angle, and see if you can help me out.

                  I take it that you believe the Bible to be God’s Word. There we agree. But when I read in the Bible statements like, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1), I take that at face value. The heavens do not obfuscate the glory of God. Rather, they reveal the glory of God. Based on Scripture, the universe is intelligible, and humans can understand His revelation, God’s Word, in and through Creation. Largely the same can be said about the Bible. The Scriptures are intelligible, and God’s Word in Scripture can be understood by us, mere humans. Granted, we still need the Holy Spirit for any aspect of the God’s revelation to penetrate our hearts.

                  So, if the data that God has presented to us in Creation, leads us to conclude that long periods of time makes the best sense of that data, would it not demonstrate the glory of God, if we were to accept what God has revealed as being true? To turn it around and call it “man’s revelation (evolution),” sounds no different than someone saying that the Bible is not inspired revelation from God, that the Holy Scriptures are merely the product of human religious imagination.

                  As I see it, both Scripture and Creation are a product of God’s revelation, God’s Word in human words, and God’s Word in creation form. I can say this since I am starting with the Bible itself, that tells us that this is God’s Word written, and that the Creation is a display of God’s Word, in an unwritten, yet nevertheless, intelligible form.

                  My difficulty, then, with the Young Earth Creationist paradigm is that while it affirms the former, it is ambiguous about the latter, at best, if not frankly rejecting the latter. On the contrary, I see that both are to be fully affirmed and believed.

                  Am I missing something here?

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                  • Hello Clarke,

                    I would deny that YEC advocates deny God’s revelation through creation. It’s simply a false claim. I sat under Dr. Gordon Wilson’s teaching, for example, and he is very intelligent and loves biology. I can’t accept a claim like that simply from the data in front of me. I’ve never seen ambiguity on this one.

                    Cheers!
                    NZ

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                    • Clarke Morledge says:

                      Nathan, I am a bit bewildered by your latest response.

                      If I understand you correctly, you can not “accept the claim that YEC advocates deny God’s revelation through creation.” You “can’t accept a claim like that simply from the data in front of me. I’ve never seen ambiguity on this one.”

                      I find this puzzling. Have you really examined the data? If the YEC interpretation of special revelation requires the belief in creation less that 6,000-10,000 years ago, and if the evidence from natural revelation points to the creation of earth millions of years ago, how do you square the two? You are either left with a contradiction between God’s revelation in Scripture and God’s revelation in nature (a conclusion that I can not, in good conscience, hold as someone who affirms God’s integrity as revealed in Scripture), or you have an ambiguous relationship with general revelation, assuming the re-interpretation of Scripture is off-limits. You end up accepting those pieces of data that already support your presuppositions, and simply ignore or reject other pieces of evidence, that do not fit your presuppositions.

                      That sounds ambiguous to me, at best. Either you trust God’s revelation, both in Scripture and Creation, or you don’t.

                      We agree that future evidence might overturn the current scientific consensus (but you would need A LOT of evidence), or you would have to somehow reinterpret the evidence pointing towards an old-earth as being something you would expect, based on philosophical/theological presuppositions. I am willing to grant these as philosophical possibilities, as a basis for re-interpreting the scientific data, but to otherwise insist that YEC advocates completely trust God’s revelation in creation is rather suspect.

                      How do you know if God’s revelation in creation is trustworthy, other than merely asserting that as a presupposition, that can not be tested?

                      I am saddened by Paul Braterman’s rejection of the Christian message, as evidenced in your comment exchanges, on this post. I believe the Bible to be true, too, and the way of salvation. But frankly, it sounds like your defense of YEC interpretation is giving Paul an excuse for his unbelief. And we have already established, according to Romans 1, that man is without excuse.

                      Am I misunderstanding you? Can you help me out here?

                      Blessings to you,
                      Clarke

                      Like

                    • Hey Clarke,

                      Sorry, I’ve been busy these days, hence the long time to engage in discussion. Those who dogmatically assert that the data demands evolution are purposefully glossing over the time argument which is presented in ‘Is Genesis History?’ and many other arguments presented from creation and Scripture. I was recently at the Grand Canyon with my wife and I found it interesting that they list the rate of change at millions of years, and then then in the next breath they talk about catastrophic events like volcanoes which laid down different layers of strata. In my studies, the time argument really confounds evolutionary arguments for those who refuse to believe the testimony of Scripture (this means that evolution can be refuted from the book of nature once you look deeper). Am I making people not believe by seeking to follow the evidence objectively and with an eye to Scripture, nature, and the philosophical foundations for evolutionary arguments? I pray not, because the only hope of the world is Jesus Christ, Whose incarnation really happened in history, and Who I believe is my Saviour and Lord and who I pray that many more will believe to be Saviour and Lord. I also believe that He can reveal Himself to those who don’t believe in His Name, because He also has forgiven me of my sins even though I don’t seek Him in my own strength. I also believe His Word because it corresponds with reality and coheres within itself. It makes sense. I’ve pondered these things often, and I find myself more and more startled as I am blown away by God’s creative power and how that aligns with the narratives of Scripture. The heavens really do declare the glory of God, and His creative power in the heavens and the earth. As I must read the book of nature clearly, so I must read God’s Word in Scripture clearly, and submit myself in humility towards it. The pitting of faith against science really is a red herring, and it is a dichotomy that I refuse to be caught in, because it has been used by many to cut the Word of God up, and has shipwrecked the faith of many. I trust that over the course of this discussion, I have offered a number of rational proofs for my argument and have defended it from God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture. I have learned a number of things from your responses, and I trust that if we run into each other at some point that it would be possible to discuss this more over a beer or a coffee, because that is my favourite means of communication… :) That also gives me the opportunity to learn a little bit more from the more extensive learning of others. Always better face to face than online.

                      Many thanks for this discussion!
                      Nathan Zekveld

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                    • “I found it interesting that they list the rate of change at millions of years, and then then in the next breath they talk about catastrophic events like volcanoes which laid down different layers of strata”; you are raising, as creationists do these days, the false dichotomy of uniformitarianism vs gradualism, laid to rest around 1868. There is no inconsistency between saying that volcanoes erupt swiftly,and saying that most sediments are laid down gradually. Why should there be?

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Those volcanoes mess with the possibility of the world being created over millions of years. “There is no inconsistency between saying that volcanoes erupt swiftly,and saying that most sediments are laid down gradually.” Of course not :) Sediment is laid down gradually, but we can time the age of the earth based on that, because sometimes it isn’t. Those volcanoes screw with evolutionary theory.

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                    • Please clarify. “Sediment is laid down gradually, but we can time the age of the earth based on that, because sometimes it isn’t. Those volcanoes screw with evolutionary theory.” I don’t quite follow. Strata have been used for relative ordering for 200 years; deeper is in general older. The thickness of strata was used in the late 19th C to estimate depisition times, but for the past 100 years that has been bypassed by radiometric dating (see Wiens’ outstanding “Radiometirc dating – a Christian perspective; http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html). How do volcanic episodes “screw” any of this?

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                    • Sorry, we can’t time the age of the earth based on the gradual laying down of sediment. Sure, radiometric dating, can time the gradual lay-down of sedement, but it doesn’t take catastrophes into account. Thankfully, we do have a record of catastrophes in the Bible, and we learn that the world could be a lot younger than evolutionists think it is.

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                    • We agree that sedimentation does not give accurate dates. I think it does in general give a reliable ordering of dates, so that Cambrian is older thatn Carboniferous which is older than Cenozoic. Do you agree?

                      More importantly, you claim that radiometric dating is unreliable because of catastrophes. Please explain how this is possible. We have known since Gamow’s work in 1928 that radioactive decay is the result of quantum mechanical tunnelling, so that the rate depends on fundamental constants of nature. If these had been different at any time in the past, so would the laws of chemistry, which depend on these constants, so we would not have had recognisable rocks laid down anyway.

                      There are interesting situations where unusual conditions can alter apparent ages. For example, heating can cause loss of gases, giving anomalously low potassium-argon and uranium-helium ages while leaving uranium-lead and rubidium-strontium ages unchanged. Such episodes are of value to geologists, since they give information about events subsequent to deposition. There are also processes available at temperatures of many millions of degrees that can take place in stars, but have never been available on Earth. But you seem to be claiming that catastrophes could somehow, without totally destroying the Earth or even disrupting the sediments, have given rise to spurious old ages. On your view, this would also have had to happen in a world-wide self-consistent manner. We know that world-wide, rocks that are of the same age according to their index fossils are also of the same age according to radiometric dating. Please explain how this happens on your model.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Clarke Morledge says:

                      Thanks, Nathan, for your response.

                      I will just jump right to my primary concern, which is pastoral. I recently had dinner with a couple from our church, whom I have known for years. They had recently gone with a Christian group to visit the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, in Kentucky, and the wife expressed dismay that some others in the group were not overly impressed by the exhibit. Later in our conversation, the wife shared with me her frustration that their grown-up son has no interest in the Lord, anymore.

                      I have known their son for about 25 years now, and I too, am grieved, that he walked away from the faith of his dear parents, and I continue to pray for him. Now, I have no idea if their son had ever wrestled with the age of the earth issue, specifically. But what I do know is that this man, as a teenager, had, at first, believed upon Christ. But he also felt like his mom had been too forceful in pushing her beliefs on him, when he was growing up, and this created doubts within his mind. Based on my recent dinner conversation, I can only presume that a strict Young Earth approach was part of the package. I remember trying to encourage him that his mom simply wanted him to know the Truth, and know the Lord. But I could tell that there was some obstacle that was keeping him from having a real, genuine encounter with the Savior. It could have simply been spiritual defiance, but it could also have been partly some of the unnecessary baggage that he had to sort through, as part of the package.

                      In my experience, it is dreadfully tragic to know of many stories, like this formerly teenage son, who stumble over baggage, on their way to meet Christ, that really do not need to be there. I have no problem with the possibility of the Young Earth interpretation as being correct. But I do have a problem with attempts to push this view so hard, that it becomes unnecessary baggage that trips people up, in their spiritual journey.

                      I appreciate your willingness to dialogue, and I agree, it would be much better to discuss in person. I know that you firmly believe that “the only hope in the world is Jesus Christ,” as I do, too. I just encourage you ask yourself if the Young Earth view really helps people, like this once-teenage son, to be encouraged in their faith, or if it just becomes a troublesome stone that unnecessarily trips them up, “shipwreck[ing] the faith of many,” as you so aptly put it.

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                • Clarke Morledge says:

                  Nathan, I wonder if I approached this from a different angle, and see if you can help me out.

                  I take it that you believe the Bible to be God’s Word. There we agree. But when I read in the Bible statements like, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1), I take that at face value. The heavens do not obfuscate the glory of God. Rather, they reveal the glory of God. Based on Scripture, the universe is intelligible, and humans can understand His revelation, God’s Word, in and through Creation. Largely the same can be said about the Bible. The Scriptures are intelligible, and God’s Word in Scripture can be understood by us, mere humans. Granted, we still need the Holy Spirit for any aspect of the God’s revelation to penetrate our hearts.

                  So, if the data that God has presented to us in Creation, leads us to conclude that long periods of time makes the best sense of that data, would it not demonstrate the glory of God, if we were to accept what God has revealed as being true? To turn it around and call it “man’s revelation (evolution),” sounds no different than someone saying that the Bible is not inspired revelation from God, that the Holy Scriptures are merely the product of human religious imagination.

                  As I see it, both Scripture and Creation are a product of God’s revelation, God’s Word in human words, and God’s Word in creation form. I can say this since I am starting with the Bible itself, that tells us that this is God’s Word written, and that the Creation is a display of God’s Word, in an unwritten, yet nevertheless, intelligible form.

                  My difficulty, then, with the Young Earth Creationist paradigm is that while it affirms the former, it is ambiguous about the latter, at best, if not frankly rejecting the latter. On the contrary, I see that both are to be fully affirmed and believed.

                  Am I missing something here?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Hello Clarke,

                    I affirm both science and Scripture, both natural revelation and divine revelation. I also believe what divine revelation says in Romans 1, that many men have made God into the image of natural revelation, which was meant to testify to the truth of divine revelation. Natural revelation and divine revelation only contradict each other when men pit them against each other.

                    I don’t believe we know everything about science yet. I definitely don’t :) But the Bible clearly lays out the history of the world. I believe it is a faithful historical record of the world, and as such, outlines the catastrophic events as well that even evolutionists believe have happened (just read the signs about volcanoes in the Grand Canyon). I might urge a YEC to have more humility when it comes to science (including myself), but I might also urge an evolutionist to have more humility when it comes to Scripture. When the history of the incarnation of God is among the narratives that Scripture tells, I don’t think it is helpful to doubt the truth of the narratives within Scripture, even dangerous to ones faith. While I believe there are serious Christians who are seeking to hold to the theory of evolution, I also believe that it is a position that is inconsistent with Scripture to varying degrees.

                    In the long run, I am a theology student who has studied some science. No doubt, I have a long ways to go in building that knowledge science (and of course Scripture as well). But I have a responsibility before God to hold fast to the truth of the gospel. I am willing to join a pursuit for truth, but not at the expense of truth.

                    Cheers!
                    Nathan

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                    • Clarke Morledge says:

                      Nathan, I appreciate your candid response.

                      Any honest scientist would agree that our knowledge of nature is far from perfect. So, there is always the possibility that the Young Earth paradigm could be proven correct. But the evidence would have to be pretty massively overwhelming to overturn the current scientific consensus, despite efforts by “Is Genesis History?” to promote the YEC case. What bothers me about “Is Genesis History?” is that it might give some Christians, particular young people, a false sense of what the story about the data really is. Thankfully, it sounds like Lars Cade, the author of this post, was able to survive his YEC upbringing with his Christian faith intact. Sadly, a lot of other young people from evangelical backgrounds do not survive spiritually, dumping their faith that was so heavily intertwined with YEC Bible interpretation.

                      You conclude that you “have a responsibility before God to hold fast to the truth of the Gospel.” I wholeheartedly agree. This is the very reason why I must take the evidence in special revelation (Bible) and the evidence in general revelation (science) with the utmost seriousness.

                      Any genuine follower of Jesus wants to hold fast to Jesus and avoid compromise. Why would a true Christian think any differently?

                      As I see it, if you are in the pursuit for truth, there is no need to worry about doing so at the expense of the truth. If God is faithful to reveal Himself in Scripture and Creation, as I believe He is, as affirmed first and foremost by Scripture itself, then I simply need to be obedient. It may force me to rethink how I am interpreting certain passages in the Bible or some prevailing scientific notions, or even both, but I surely believe that we have a God who is big enough to handle that.

                      Blessings,
                      Clarke

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And that’s where not only science comes in, but how we do history as Christians. As the thesis of the movie goes: we have two competing views of history. I believe that in the evolutionist view of history, the history of the incarnation comes under fire as well.

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                  • Hello Clarke,

                    This is a reply to your latest comment. My question for the honest evolutionist is, why is the only data that must be necessarily re-interpreted the Scriptures? The Scriptures give us the history of the world, the scientific data is phenomenological and doesn’t outline the events of history. Why can’t we re-interpret the scientific data through the history that the Bible offers? Because it is in fact a history that our very salvation depends on.

                    Blessings,
                    Nathana

                    Like

                    • Clarke Morledge says:

                      Nathan, Thank you for your response.

                      The answer to your question is pretty straight-forward. As I said previously, Scripture is not the only revelation that might require reinterpretation. On the contrary, for natural revelation, It is all driven by the data in creation. Sure, there are scientists out there (like Richard Dawkins) who are rigidly bound by their materialistic presuppositions to defend biological evolutionary theory at all costs, to extrapolate from that their materialistic worldview. But the honest evolutionist would be more than excited to find a better theory that explains the existing data, in the natural world. Even Todd Wood, one of the Young Earth biologists interviewed in Is Genesis True?, admits that the current paradigm of evolutionary theory has incredible explanatory power.

                      Many sophisticated Young Earth proponents today have their own presuppositions to consider, such as this idea that science can not give us a real knowledge of the past. This is philosophically appealing, but is it really true? Is this idea supported in Scripture?

                      Though I am an engineer, and not a practicing scientist, I have good friends who are scientists, who are also passionately in love with Jesus, who accept evolutionary theory as currently the best explanation for the data we have in hand. All it takes is a better way to produce the data, and give a reasonable hypothesis, that can be tested, to explain it. If given a better explanation, honest scientists would drop evolution. If Young Earth creationist scientists, like Todd Wood, can come up with that data, and the testable theory to go along with it, then that would be sufficient to cause a sea-change in how natural revelation can be reinterpreted.

                      More power to them.

                      Blessings,
                      Clarke

                      Like

                    • ” Why can’t we re-interpret the scientific data through the history that the Bible offers?” Because scientific data and scriptural literalism are incompatible.

                      Right now, I am preparing a blog post describing the recent successful drilling down to the rim of the crater formed by the asteroid that, most scientists are now convinced, killed the dinosaurs. It corresponds in age (multiple radiometric datings) to the cretaceous-palaeocene mud layer found around the globe, which is also enriched in iridium, confirming its link to an asteroid (this has been verified at 50 sites across the globe). Th emud layer is only inches thick were exposed in Italy; a hundred yards thick in southern Mexico. At the crater site, the rocks directly above those thrown up during the formation fo the crater are 600m thick, and correspond to the standard scientific sequence of palaeocene to recent. there are accounts of the work for a general audience at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39922998 and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/05/18/why-these-researchers-think-dinosaurs-were-minutes-away-from-surviving-extinction/?utm_term=.2ef4a122ed85

                      The scientific interpretation is in terms of an asteroid impact 66 million years ago, generating the crater, producing the boundary mud layer, and leading to the death of the dinosaurs, followed by the expected (in terms of standard geology) 66 million years worth of shallow marine limestone sediment above the crater material.

                      What is your bible-based interpretation? It needs to accommodate all the above-mentioned data, including the iridium. And if you ascribe both the extinction and the limestones to Noah’s Flood, you are asking us to believe in the deposition of 600m of smoothly stratified limestone during the Flood period. You also need to explain the absence of those limestones in, for example, the Grand Canyon area, the varying thickness of the mud layer, its iridium content, and the coincidence in radiometric dating between the impact and the death of the dinosaurs,

                      I promise you that if you can produce an explanation of these findings, compatible with the known laws of physics and with your own Young Earth biblical literalism, that is not an insult to my (as you would call it) God-given intelligence, I will pubicise your explanation on my blog.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hello Paul!

                      I appreciate your honesty. On this note, we part ways. I believe the Bible to be true and to be the way of salvation, through the history of the incarnation of the Son of God. It coheres within itself and corresponds with reality, and best of all, it is the way of life.

                      Cheers!
                      NZ

                      Like

  12. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    I can’t really comment on ‘Is Genesis History?’ as I’m in the UK and have not viewed it. But I always find blog posts like this about the film’s claims interesting.

    I am puzzled by this reference in a new AiG article about the Grand Canyon:
    https://answersingenesis.org/about/press/2017/06/28/grand-canyon-scientist-creationist-receives-permits/
    “… these rocks must have supposedly remained soft for 450 million years”. 450 million years? Where on earth does that figure come from? Most scientists now think the formation is a good deal ‘younger’ than eg 450 million years old and could have formed in as little as 6 million years.

    Like

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      Just realised I’m confusing Grand Canyon formation (beginning after dinosaurs were extinct) with the age of some of the very oldest rock layers exposed by its formation.

      I believe it is a fact that no dinosaur fossils have ever been discovered at the Grand Canyon.

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  13. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    And the ‘youngest’ rock layers at the top of the Grand Canyon are estimated to be 230 million years ago – at this point in time in the Triassic it’s thought the first dinosaurs were just starting to evolve following the ‘Great Dying’ Permian extinction event around 20 million years earller.

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  14. To Chuck on June 27, above — Please focus on miracle vs. superstition, and TIME. Jesus’ miracles of changing water to wine, and stilling storms, were miracles of instant effects. Delugian creationists claim in-no-time-at-all works of God — not mentioned in Genesis — hence superstitions. The creatures (species) seen today supposedly in-no-time-at-all from “kinds” leaving the Ark. Great, thick pieces of a suddenly fragmented created mega-continent rushing in-no-time-at-all to where we see very-much-antiqued continents today. The Hawaiian chain, and Mt. Ararat (and, needfully, all of Iceland, I’m telling you) popped up in-no-time-at-all years – see Snelling – AFTER the Ark landed (200 miles south of Ararat, most probably). So, please, Chuck, focus for me on a solid chalcedony geode, 80 pounds of an unbroken lump, right out of the middle of a high shale road cut 25 miles south of Keokuk on the way to St. Louis. At the Morris (1976) rate of Flood deposition, a foot an hour for 7 months, did God do a miracle (!) – solid quartz picked out of shale today – in half an hour mid-Flood, in-no-time-at-all – OR did God CREATE that lump right there at Creation time? Was your writing anything more than arm-waving noise and bother? Nothing beats attention to specifics. GLL

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  15. Clarke Morledge says:

    Thanks for the putting effort in to tackle specific claims in the film, that can be addressed from both a scientific and biblical perspective. I look forward to more analysis, as I would agree, Is Genesis History? is really a landmark film for the Young Earth Creationism movement. It deserves respectful attention AND a knowledgeable critique.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Funny how, based on what the young earth creationists themselves claim (but not from simply reading the Bible itself) STILL no dinosaur fossils appear to have been discovered anywhere at the enormous Grand Canyon even though they are supposed to have almost all died in ‘Noah’s Flood’):
    https://crev.info/2017/06/ten-flood-evidences-grand-canyon/

    Incidentally I flagged this blog post here (discussion about speciation as started by Jeff Wentz under this post of 30 June: “There’s lots of great teaching in the exhibits at the Ark Encounter. For example: “What is a ‘kind’?” “How many kinds of animals were on the Ark?” Visit and get answers. In N. Kentucky. ArkEncounter.com”
    https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/

    Like

  17. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Finally got around to reading this post. Does Chadwick know that literally hundreds of dinosaur species lived (at differing times) through the Mesozoic?

    He should: http://creationwiki.org/Art_Chadwick

    Like

  18. Momo34532 says:

    If evolution is true.
    How must i sort this with genesis?
    How do you do it?
    I can find no page of it anywhere so i’d like some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t want to anticipate the main reply, but would mention that there is a very active facebook page, Celebrating creation by natural selection, with some well qualfied people on it, devoted to exactly this topic

      Liked by 1 person

    • datadroid says:

      Thanks for your comment! In addition to the Facebook group that Paul mentioned, this blog here is a great place to start, as it has helped me greatly in my own inquiries on the subject. Another good resource is BioLogos, a site and nonprofit organization devoted to that topic as well. You can also find Joel Duff (the primary author of this blog) and me on Facebook or email me (add gmail.com to my WordPress handle) and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.

      Like

    • Hi Momo34532,

      There are several respected groups that wrestle with this issue, The Hump of the Camel is one (http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/). As for deep time concepts and Genesis, I stay away from condordist attempts (trying to find correspondence between science/history and Genesis) and take an analogical perspective. Several prominent Evangelical theologians also espouse this position. Regardless, I believe the truth can be discerned.

      Keep on seeking.

      Like

  19. Is there a reason why my comments never appear here? I link to this site from my blog Just Genesis because I see value in the posts and the discussions.

    Like

  20. The Bible says that God told Noah to take on the Ark two of every kind of animal, and seven pairs of the clean animals and flying creatures.
    Therefore dinosaurs would have been on the Ark and survived the flood I assume. Would the T Rex have been chained up ?

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