Young Earth Science

Young Earth Science

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Jay HallThere are many different interpretations of the biblical and scientific data regarding creation and human origins. In addition to evolutionary creationsim and old earth creationism, there is young earth creationism. While Young Earth Creationists are often accused of ignoring science, many are wrestling with scientific evidence.

In this episode, I talk to Jay L. Hall, author of Young Earth Science and the Dawn of a New WorldView: Old Earth Fallacies and the Collapse of Darwinism. Even if you do not identify with young earth creationism, you may find this interview informative. I would also encourage you to listen to my interview with Andrew Walsh on evolutionary creationism.

My audiobook recommendation is Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer

When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion”, many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.

In Darwin’s Doubt, Stephen C. Meyer tells the story of the mystery surrounding this explosion of animal life – a mystery that has intensified not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information – stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells – to building animal forms.

Expanding on the compelling case he presented in his last book, Signature in the Cell, Meyer argues that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.

Get this audiobook for FREE with a FREE trial of Audible.


Views on Human Origins

I recently did a Twitter poll on people’s beliefs on human origins. Here are the results.

Obviously the numbers are not large enough to prove anything scientific. But the results are interesting nonetheless.

What do these results tell us? They tell us that there is diversity in views among sincere Christians. There are many instances when Christians have attacked each other over these issues. This should not be.

It is good for us to hold our views strongly that doesn’t mean that we should be intolerant of other opinions.

If you are interested in this, I would recommend this sermon that I preached on my church.


Creationism and Evangelism

When I first became a Christian, one of the hardest things that I had to deal with was not persecution but how to deal with Genesis 1. I always hated reading that chapter. It was not so much the question of evolution but the age of the earth. The Christians I knew expected me to believe in a 6000 year old earth and a literal six day creation. Believing in young earth creationism was just as important as believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus. To paraphrase the Catholics, there is no salvation outside of young earth creationism.

This is not meant as an attack on young earth creationism. You could substitute any of the other theories here. My point is that I did not know that there were other options. This brings me to my question. How important is getting a seeker to agree with your version of creationism in your evangelism? Would you insist that they agree with your understanding of the age of the earth as an essential to them becoming a Christian? Would you be okay with them having a different understanding of creation as they became a Christian or would you feel that their “error” would lead them on a slippery slope to other theological problems?

I will tell you what I think. If I was sharing my faith, I would not care what they thought of the age of the earth. If they were interested (I would not even bring it up unless they did), I would share the options and let them work it out.

Having said that, what would you do? I would love to hear your opinion.


Young Earth Creationists and Jesus Mythicists

I risk offending both young earth creationists (YEC) and Jesus mythicists (JM) with this post, but I have been thinking about the similarity between the two.  Let me say at the beginning that I have many friends who are YEC and I was once one myself, so I am not trying to insult them.  This is only an observation of similarities.  YEC take a literal view of Genesis 1, believing that the earth (and the universe) is about 6-10,000 years old and that creation took six solar days.  JM believe that there was no historical Jesus and that he is only another form of the common Horus/Dionysus/Mithras myth.  That sounds pretty different, so how could they be similar?

Both are views that a person would never get just by looking at the scientific/historical evidence.  It is unlikely that a scientist, just by examining the scientific evidence, would naturally conclude that the earth is only 6-10,000 years old.  In the same way, it is very unlikely that a historian, looking just at the historical data, would conclude that Jesus is just a myth.  In fact, the challenge for both positions is that the evidence, at least as traditionally understood, seems to be against their theory.

Secondly, both theories are highly suspicious of the scholarly consensus.  In scientific circles, it is a strong consensus that the earth is millions of years old.  In historical circles, it is a strong consensus that there was a Jesus of Nazareth living in the first century who taught religious ideas and was crucified.  Both groups look at the consensus and simply declare them to be wrong.  They may believe that the consensus is mistaken because of some bad presuppositions (belief/disbelief in the Bible).  The fact that a majority of scholars disagree with them does not affect their belief.

Finally, both YEC and JM are agenda driven rather than evidence driven.  YEC start with their theory and then look to scientific evidence to see how it can be reinterpreted to fit the theory.  I understand that many YEC would claim that they are successful at this.  I am not trying to judge, only observe.  In the same way, JM start with their theory and then try to reinterpret the historical evidence.  Assuming there was no historical Jesus, how do we reinterpret the evidence from Paul, the Gospels and Josephus?  Of course they do have theories on that and they would claim that they are convincing.  I am not judging (at least not right now), only saying that they begin with the theory and not the evidence.

I have tried to remain objective here.  Either group could be correct.  Maybe the scientific/historical evidence is wrong.  Maybe the consensus is wrong.  Maybe we should start with our theory and then make the evidence fit.  My point is simply that two groups that have widely different belief systems actually go about their task in very similar ways.