11 August 2010

A Spectacle for our very Eyes to Gaze on

by Frank Turk



I posted this yesterday over at Evangel, and it needed a little second-drafting, but it's a worthy post in its own right. The discussion goes on over there about the BioLogos approach to Genesis, which I think we Pyros are in league against.

However, some have noted that Augustine himself disagrees with the position Dan, Phil and myself would posit on how to read Genesis 1 -- and that position is supposed to justify all who do so. The story goes that denying 7 days in Gen 1 doesn't necessarily lead one down the wide and easy road to hell.

It's an interesting gambit. Let's lay out a couple of things which I think we would agree on with those who are saying such a thing:

1. The full narrative of the anthology which is Scripture is God's explanation of what He intended to explain -- which I think we would also agree is the full message of His intention for all things as manifested in the person and work of jesus Christ.

1a. In that, it's often the case that people miss the forest for the trees -- often in our world where people are very concerned about "exegetical" preaching, one event or even sentence or word is made to be the whole point when it's simply not the case. That may not be criminal, but it is, as Christopher Benson would say, irresponsible.

1b. We have to read what's there, the way it is said.

2. The question of whether Gen 1 is about "days" or "periods" has not yielded a uniform answer in Christian exegetical history, and in the past 2-ish millennia it has not often been the high-sign of apostasy.

Those are absolutely not in question. What is in question is whether or not one can read Genesis in contradiction to the balance of Scripture.

This is perhaps the most vexing part of this discussion for me -- because it seems to me that the other side of this discussion believes you can read Genesis in contradiction to the rest of the Bible without any harm to the Bible as a whole, its authority in general and in particular, and certainly not to the Gospel.

I disagree strongly -- with Augustine as the primary example. A third point of agreement we all ought to nod our heads to is that nobody reading this post believes everything Augustine believed. For example, Augusting in the self-same Genesis commentary which is being presented as rational and compliant with a BioLogos view, did not believe that light could be present prior to the Sun. There's simply not one person reading this in English today who believes that because, in this case, we agree that the Sun is not hardly the only way to produce light even in our corner of the universe. After that, we could run all the way down the rabbit hole and discuss Augustine on the Eucharist or on God's sovereignty in salvation -- and the whole thread would be a shambles and the point lost.

But the point that no one reading this post agrees with Augustine completely has to be a matter of deeper consideration for those who want to use him to champion or in some way rationalize the BioLogos view. See: for Augustine, the question was not whether God created in 7 days or in 7 billion years. His primary purpose was refutation of Manichaeism in the doctrine of creation. And his own theory was, well, let's read it in his own words from Book 1, end of 7.28:
So then perhaps is said and there was made evening and there was made morning, one day in the sort of way in which one foresees that something can or ought to be done, and not in the way which is actually done is a certain stretch of time. After all, it was in its essential nature that God’s creative work was observed in the Holy Spirit by the author who said, The one who abides for ever created all things simultaneously (Sir 18:1). But in this book of Genesis the story of things made by God most appropriately sets them out as it were through intervals of time; by this arrangement of the account in an orderly sequence, the divine plan itself, which cannot be directly and timelessly contemplated by our weaker intellects, is presented so to say as a spectacle for our very eyes to gaze on.
Let’s please admit that by no means would BioLogos consent to affirming an ex nihilo creation which doesn’t happen over 7 days but in a mere instant where everything is made whole. And moreover, I am sure none of the advocates of this use of Augustine admit that Sirach is Scripture from which to draw that conclusion.

Let me say frankly that if I have to choose between BioLogos' contrary reading of Genesis and Augustine's, I'd choose the Bishop of Hippo's reasoning without hesitation because it does something the BioLogos reading refuses to do: it admits the supernatural and pre-eminent nature of God's creative act.

For all that we might agree on, we have to get after the core issue here which is the modernist and post-modernist alleged debunking or deconstructing of God. To put Augustine in their camp as if he believed in a nearly-eternal period of creation, advanced by inches and chance, is simply an abuse of Augustine far worse than the accusations of (our) abuse of Genesis.

I think the approach that somehow the church fathers' orthodoxy looks more like the "faith" of the BioLogos community is an unproven assertion at best -- and is probably more like an ill-considered gambit when early church orthodoxy produced the Nicean and Athanasian Creeds, and Biologos could never do such a thing.







73 comments:

Nathan said...

What do you make of Calvin's take on Genesis v Science (from his commentary on Genesis):

“I have said, that Moses does not here sub­tly des­cant, as a philoso­pher, on the secrets of nature, as may be seen in these words. First, he assigns a place in the expanse of heaven to the plan­ets and stars; but astronomers make a dis­tinc­tion of spheres, and, at the same time, teach that the fixed stars have their proper place in the fir­ma­ment. Moses makes two great lumi­nar­ies; but astronomers prove, by con­clu­sive rea­sons that the star of Sat­urn, which on account of its great dis­tance, appears the least of all, is greater than the moon. Here lies the dif­fer­ence; Moses wrote in a pop­u­lar style things which with­out instruc­tion, all ordi­nary per­sons, endued with com­mon sense, are able to under­stand; but astronomers inves­ti­gate with great labor what­ever the sagac­ity of the human mind can comprehend.”

John said...

Another case of "revisionist historiography," isn't it?

Robert said...

I hadn't heard of BioLogos before, so I went and read a little off their website. It seems they are theistic evolutionists. I still don't get how people can take the plain language of the text in Genesis, which is a HISTORICAL account, and try to change it to make them feel comfy. Isn't that what all false religions do with the Bible? I'm not saying that all people in this are heretics per se, but I don't see how they miss the implications of playing with the text like that.

This is something we should all consider when we try to communicate the truths of the Bible. Think about what you write or say because if you haven't thought out the workings of the words you're saying, you can wind up in trouble really fast. I am sure we've all been there (my wife usually catches my thoughts first and helps me clarify). Something might sound good in our short view, but looking at the long view might show us a horrible mess. In the case of BioLogos, I can not say whether they have not taken the time to do so or just don't care about (or pay attention to) how this affects the reading and proper interpretation of all of Scripture. Either way, it is both sad and upsetting.

Fred Butler said...

Nathan,

In the context that Calvin was writing, I would agree with him. Genesis is a history book, not a book on astrophysics. It - or the entire Bible for that matter - doesn't contradict science.

The Bible does, however, run contrary to the historical narrative evolutionary naturalists have made for the history of the world. Here we have two competing authorities vying for our allegiance. Either we take what God stated He did in history and the historical narrative He revealed going all the way from Adam to Christ, or we assume the role of divine alchemists and apply some voodoo hermeneutic that re-reads Genesis, and by default the entire Bible, that strips the text of any serious meaning only because we wish to save face with academic elites.

Calvin was addressing the issue of astronomy, particularly as it pertained to the motion of heavenly bodies, that was at Calvin's time undergoing a paradigm shift from a Ptolemaic model to what we have now as a heliocentric model. This is not the same thing as the affirmation of evolution's alternative history of the world. Something I would imagine Calvin would reject.

Frank Turk said...

Nathan --

I agree with Calvin -- who posits Moses as the author of Genesis, btw -- something the chaps at BioLogos would find rude and uninformed. I would say it this way: Moses wrote a phenomenological description of the events in Genesis, Exodus, Levitus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, not a Scientific or Naturalistic account. There was no intention to achieve positivistic exactitude.

There was, however, an overarching concern to tell us what God intended to tell us -- which is, as even Christopher Benson woiuld allow -- a story, and not just a narrative, but a metanarrative which is intent on informing us about God and God's plan.

Steve Gentry said...

Frank, I think you've written a reasonable and rational post. It's a far cry from the hysterical handwringing I've seen at other sites.

I think that the point of using Augustine is to point out that at least one of the early church fathers didn't hold to a literal interpretation of the days of Genesis. Even though I don't agree with everything Augustine wrote, I have a great deal of respect for him. Likewise, even though I don't agree with everything I read at BioLogos, I have a great deal of respect for them.

Based on some of Augustine's writings, I believe that if he were alive today and presented with the scientific evidence for an old earth and evolutionary processes, he would align himself more with BioLogos than with the YEC insistence that the creation had to occur in six 24 hour days, 6000 years ago.

You stated "I'd choose the Bishop of Hippo's reasoning without hesitation because it does something the BioLogos reading refuses to do: it admits the supernatural and pre-eminent nature of God's creative act."

I don't think that's a fair assessment of BioLogos. BioLogos doesn't deny either the supernatural or the fact that God created.

You also say Those are absolutely not in question. What is in question is whether or not one can read Genesis in contradiction to the balance of Scripture.

This is perhaps the most vexing part of this discussion for me -- because it seems to me that the other side of this discussion believes you can read Genesis in contradiction to the rest of the Bible without any harm to the Bible as a whole, its authority in general and in particular, and certainly not to the Gospel."


I'm not sure I agree that the "other side" believes they can read Genesis in contradiction to the rest of the Bible. There's been a great deal of discussion on harmonizing Genesis with the rest of the Bible. Some I agree with, some I don't.

I think working together with BioLogos to preserve both orthodoxy and scientific knowledge is better than dividing into two camps with an all or nothing mentality.

Robert said...

Steve,

I'd say that the root of the problem really lies with trying to make the Bible meet up with what "science" says. I use the quotation marks because evolution has not ever been proven and never will be. And the dating methods (yes, even carbon dating) have been proven unreliable and when you do comparative studies, their numbers don't even agree with each other. So the proof for old earth loses credibility when closely scrutinized.

It is sad for me to see all of this because I have enjoyed my time spent studying science. There are so many who claim to be scientists, when in fact they are just in the business of propoganda and skew the data they collect to match their preconceptions.

It all boils down to whether we view the Bible in light of man made scientific thoughts/beliefs or whether we judge EVERYTHING in light of Scripture. I'd say we all need to be like the Bereans.

Nathan said...

Robert,

I'm pretty sure this will just be a case of revisiting well worn territory - but let me try to briefly answer this question:

"I still don't get how people can take the plain language of the text in Genesis, which is a HISTORICAL account, and try to change it to make them feel comfy."

I'd suggest the issue, in my experience, is that not everybody thinks the plain language of the text in Genesis is a HISTORICAL account. I think I'd go so far as to say it's primarily a THEOLOGICAL account. History is a secondary (important, but secondary) issue.

Fred,

"The Bible does, however, run contrary to the historical narrative evolutionary naturalists have made for the history of the world."

Yes. But I don't think theistic evolution is the same as evolutionary naturalism - simply because naturalism presupposes the absence of the supernatural...

I don't think that all people who think the world is old are necessarily evolutionary naturalists.

"or we assume the role of divine alchemists and apply some voodoo hermeneutic that re-reads Genesis, and by default the entire Bible, that strips the text of any serious meaning only because we wish to save face with academic elites."

I wonder, if we just changed the focus from saving face to saving faith in this sort of accusation we might have more patience for those we disagree with on this issue. I suspect that for many academic elites the voodoo hermeneutic you're positing is helping to keep them in the faith rather than helping them maintain face.

Frank,

I agree that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, I also agree with some of the stuff on the biologos site... I think the church would be must less divided if we all just signed up to this statement of yours:

"There was, however, an overarching concern to tell us what God intended to tell us -- which is, as even Christopher Benson would allow -- a story, and not just a narrative, but a metanarrative which is intent on informing us about God and God's plan."

To me that hits home at the theological heart of Genesis much more than debates about days and years.

Fred Butler said...

But I don't think theistic evolution is the same as evolutionary naturalism - simply because naturalism presupposes the absence of the supernatural...

Really, because I have yet to see anything that distinguishes the two in any meaningful way.

I suspect that for many academic elites the voodoo hermeneutic you're positing is helping to keep them in the faith rather than helping them maintain face.

But that is the wrong reason to keep one's faith. Our faith must be in the clear revelation of God's Word as to how and when He created. This biblical record -- as it stands -- cannot be denied.

Mark B. Hanson said...

I tend to agree with Fred on this issue. In the theistic evolution I have read, the nexus of "divine intervention" in the development of life tends to be pushed back to the point where the result is not significantly different from no intervention.

God is accepted as the first cause, and perhaps as the one who "front-loaded" the evolutionary deck to produce what we now see. But God's part in the universe since tends to be seen as hands-off.

This leads to a sort of "methodological deism" which winds up indistinguishable in practice from methodological naturalism.

mikeb said...

It's interesting how Old Earther's claim Augustine supports their view, but they rarely have a quote with citation.

It appears he was as clear as anyone can be about the light on the first 3 days:

"but what kind of light that was, and by what periodic movement it made evening and morning, is beyond the reach of our senses; neither can we understand how it was, and yet must unhesitatingly believe it. For either it was some material light, whether proceeding from the upper parts of the world, far removed from our sight, or from the spot where the sun was afterwards kindled; or under the name of light the holy city was signified, composed of holy angels and blessed spirits..." City of God Book XI, Ch. 7

As for the days of creation, he said:

"These works are recorded to have been completed in six days (the same day being six times repeated), because six is a perfect number." AUGUSTINE CITY OF GOD BOOK XI p. 222

"They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed." AUGUSTINE CITY OF GOD BOOK XI p. 232

Also see:
http://creation.com/augustine-young-earth-creationist

Frank Turk said...

Steve Gentry wrote:

I think that the point of using Augustine is to point out that at least one of the early church fathers didn't hold to a literal interpretation of the days of Genesis.

That seems to be the point, yes? But if you look how they yield that point, you can see that they are trying to say that their "not literal" interpretation is like the BioLogos not-literal interpretation -- and it's not by a long shot. The ECF's may have been willing to say, "well, not 7 days, but an orderly description of the beginning of things as God made it all at once," but they were unwilling to say (and in fact fought against) things like the Manichaen heresy which said that the Universe was not created but formed.

Think about that: in many ways, what Augustine was refuting was a metaphysical version of the Old-Universe hypothesis because it robs God of being God Almighty, God Creator of All Things.

Let's please dispense with the negotiations to find a middle ground between naturalism and Christian Theis. There is no middle ground -- and Augustine doesn't pave any way toward that middle ground.

Frank Turk said...

Sorry: I meant "wield" and not "yield", above. Pheh.

David said...

Don't have my Civitas in front of me, but Augustine says in there somewhere that once you admit a beginning, whether it's 6,000 years or a billion, you're quibbling about dates. And his point goes to the younger age, because the appearance of age can be deceiving (viz. my gray head at 43, as well as all stuff we learned about the effects of catastrophe from Mt. St. Helens). Lengthening the field behind you doesn't get you any closer to the goal line, except in a relative sense.


If even some of the brand-name atheists posit the possibility of aliens planting life on earth (which of course just moves the questions back a few years and to the left of our solar system where they safely don't have to answer for them), why is it so weird to claim that a cataclysmic flood washed a bunch of biomass to the bottom of the sea near our shores so that we could fill up our swagger wagons?

The primary matter in this is that if Jesus is in fact Lord (as God demonstrated by sending Him to the cross to die, and then raising Him up again), we gain nothing by conceding points to those who oppose Him. If we are wrong in how we read God's Word, we need to repent to Him, and not to the atheists.

stratagem said...

I have never heard the Augustinian defense before - thanks for the tip-off. There had been some discussions on here about the Spurgeon defense (since he was also not YE) but Augustine is an interesting one because he lived so long ago. And neither man's writings were infallibly inspired, of course.

I am not totally convinced about either OEC or YEC, I am only convinced that Creation was spoken into existence ex nihilo at some point by God. And, that inter-species evolution is unsupported by either Scripture or even "science" (paleontology and anthropology can hardly be called true sciences, in my opinion). Evolution has a lot of 'splainin' to do and frankly the evolutionists' defensiveness shows what shaky ground they know they are on.

David said...

"Why is it so weird to claim that a cataclysmic flood washed a bunch of biomass to the bottom of the sea near our shores so that we could fill up our swagger wagons?"

I believe that this would be because this scenario is contradicted by almost everything we know about geology.

By the way, can anyone tell me why archeologists use carbon-14 dating?

David said...

Ooops, I see we have too many Davids. David @10:13 is a different David from David @8:55.

Fred Butler said...

David, you're an atheist, so how we even approach answering those questions to your liking depends upon where we start in our views of the world.

You begin with an anti-supernatural bias and the understanding the Bible is worthless as a historical document. So I already have two insurmountable barriers to deal with in your thinking.

Phil Johnson said...

Steve Gentry: "I believe that if he were alive today and presented with the scientific evidence for an old earth and evolutionary processes, he would align himself more with BioLogos than with the YEC insistence that the creation had to occur in six 24 hour days, 6000 years ago."

That's a laughable assertion, frankly, more like wishful thinking than objective analysis. Did you miss the point Frank was making? Augustine rejected the literal 6-day view because he thought a week was too long. He believed creation must be instantaneous.

So, yes, he took a non-literal view of the "days" in Genesis, but he did so because he was strongly and overtly hostile to the basic presuppositions that underlie theistic evolution. The BioLogos community are being either obtuse or dishonest when they cite Augustine as one of their fellow-travelers.

To close one's eyes to what Augustine actually said and wistfully speculate that he might have been sympathetic to the philosophical naturalism of the BioLogos fraternity is to betray a very unscientific kind of blind fealty in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. So much for scientific "objectivity."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Mark B. Hanson: "This leads to a sort of "methodological deism" which winds up indistinguishable in practice from methodological naturalism."

A superb insight. I have known of methodological naturalism (and philosophical naturalism) for a long time underlying the secular materialists (and their enablers, the theistic evolutionists), but it had hitherto escaped me as to what to call what the theistic evolutionists were doing. "Methodological deism" is precisely what they are doing. It is a key insight. Thanks for that, Mark.

Methodological deism is a distinction without a difference from methodological naturalism. And, of course, the theistic evolutionists will deny or obfuscate this.

Theistic evolutionists are aiding and abetting the Enemy's wedge against Scripture and the Authority of Scripture by adopting Darwinian macro-evolution. However, in the most charitable sense, their aiding and abetting, their enabling, their morally culpable and complicit aid of Satan's macro-evolution narrative may be unintentional and perhaps they are unawares of being deceived.

David said...

David, you're an atheist, so how we even approach answering those questions to your liking depends upon where we start in our views of the world.

Define "atheist".

Here's how I "approach" the question. Start with a theory, any theory, doesn't matter where the theory comes from. Check to see if the observations are consistent with the predictions of the theory. Pretty radical, eh?

"You begin with an anti-supernatural bias and the understanding the Bible is worthless as a historical document. So I already have two insurmountable barriers to deal with in your thinking."

As I've said to you before, Fred, I'm not saying the Bible is worthless. I'm saying that it contains some inaccuracies. Much of the late OT history is probably reasonably accurate.

As far as the anti-supernatural bias is concerned, I think that you should be careful here. Once you introduce the supernatural into the equation, then any culture's version of historical events is possible.

Steve Gentry said...

mikeb said "t's interesting how Old Earther's claim Augustine supports their view, but they rarely have a quote with citation."

Augustine said, "It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian [Young Earth Creationist] speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation." The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" Chapter 19

Frank says: "There is no middle ground -- and Augustine doesn't pave any way toward that middle ground."

I disagree. There is middle ground and it's imperative that we find it. Augustine's quote above does provide at least a partial justification for seeking that middle ground.

Robert says, "evolution has not ever been proven and never will be. And the dating methods (yes, even carbon dating) have been proven unreliable and when you do comparative studies, their numbers don't even agree with each other."

That of course is simply not true. The disinformation campaign by AIG has been quite successful. Again, I will refer you to the quote above by Augustine.

Sir Aaron said...

"I believe that if he were alive today and presented with the scientific evidence for an old earth and evolutionary processes, he would align himself more with BioLogos than with the YEC insistence that the creation had to occur in six 24 hour days, 6000 years ago."

How does what you believe somebody would say or how they would align themselves support an argument or thesis? He's not alive and you can only speculate as to what he'd do or say.

mikeb said...

David said:

Here's how I "approach" the question. Start with a theory, any theory, doesn't matter where the theory comes from. Check to see if the observations are consistent with the predictions of the theory.

And a person would never twist the observations to match up with their theories, would they? Or completely ignore other observations which might prove their theory wrong?

The only way your "approach" can be 100% accurate in proving your theory is if you know for certain that there is nothing in the universe that could prove it wrong. To know everything would make you omniscient and god yourself.

donsands said...

Did Augustine believe that Adam lived to be 930 years old? Does Biologos believe this as well?

Just wondering.

Sir Aaron said...

@donsands:

And if they don't believe it, what "theological statement" is it supposed to make?

David said...

Mikeb,

"And a person would never twist the observations to match up with their theories, would they? Or completely ignore other observations which might prove their theory wrong?"

Ah, you must be be thinking of the way in which YECer respond to data. YECers are much, much better at "completely ignoring" then any other group I know.

Yup, there's always the human factor. Can't be helped. No one likes to find out that they're wrong. Still, over time, the "approach" of which I speak has been pretty effective at helping us understand the natural world.

"The only way your "approach" can be 100% accurate..."

Didn't say my approach produces 100% accuracy. But what's the alternative? Simply declare that something is true with no test in reality?

Steve Gentry said...

Phil said: "That's a laughable assertion, frankly, more like wishful thinking than objective analysis. Did you miss the point Frank was making?"

I didn't miss the point Frank was making. But I think that you're missing the point that in contrast to John MacArthur's argument at GTY over the last several months, Augustine had no problem with non-literal days. As opposed to John's teaching where the days absolutely must, without equivocation, be interpreted exactly as 24 hour literal days with no if, ands, or buts.

As for the assertion that Augustine would probably line himself up with BioLogos being laughable, you're welcome to think that, but based on other things he wrote, he didn't lock himself into dogmatic assertions when he didn't have too. When Augustine stated that the earth was 6000 years old, he didn't have the advantage of the scientific discoveries made in the last 1500 years. Based on the quote in my earlier comment, I think he would have adjusted his position given the weight of the evidence against a young earth.

Sir Aaron said...

So the entirety of your argument that Augustine supports an OEC is based on how you think he'd react if he were presented with current scientific data?

Now that is laughable.

Robert said...

Steve,

If you think that just rolling out the words "disinformation campaign by AIG" is a legitimate argument, then I don't know what to say. I already knew about the problems with dating methods and evolution before hearing any groups put information forth. Nice try, though.

mikeb said...

Steve Gentry,

All you provided was a general statement about Scripture interpretation. You reason from this generalization to prove your point, yet Augustine speaks specifically to this issue in his "City of God". Let me post it again:

"They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed." AUGUSTINE CITY OF GOD BOOK XI p. 232

Also realize "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" was written from 401-415 A.D., while the "City of God" was written from 413-426 A.D. So do we base Augustine's view of creation on an earlier more general statement, or a later more specific statement?

Also your quote from Wikepedia is out of context. You can read vol. 1 of Augustine's Genesis commentary at the link below. By reading it you'll see much of his discussion revolves around what is not mentioned in Genesis (i.e. the light issue mentioned in Frank's post.) However all through this work he appears to take a day as a 24 hour period, and nowhere does he veer off from that view. This volume ends with a quote many OEC's abd TE's could learn from:

"let us choose that one which appears as certainly the meaning intended by the author. But if this is not clear, then at least we should choose an interpretation in keeping with the context of Scripture and in harmony with our faith. But if the meaning cannot be studied and judged by the context of Scripture, at least we should choose only that which our faith demands. For it is one thing to fail to recognize the primary meaning of the writer, and another to depart from the norms of religious belief. If both these difficulties are avoided, the reader gets full profit from his reading. Failing that, even though the writer’s intention is uncertain, one will find it useful to extract an interpretation in harmony with our faith."

http://college.holycross.edu/faculty/alaffey/other_files/Augustine-Genesis1.pdf

mikeb said...

David said:

Still, over time, the "approach" of which I speak has been pretty effective at helping us understand the natural world.

What if there was an approach that was always effective? What if we lined up with that approach and used it as best we could?

Didn't say my approach produces 100% accuracy. But what's the alternative? Simply declare that something is true with no test in reality?

There are 2 better options:

If you believe in God, we could declare something is true because the author of truth say it's true. If He is the author of truth, he is 100% accurate, yes?

If you do not believe in God, you could at least be intellectually honest (therefore a seeker for truth) and search the Bible to see if it's claims are true, as well as to see if the Biblical worldview best fits reality.

Frank Turk said...

Steve G --

I like it that you can take what Augustine says explicitly and have it mean exactly the opposite of what he said.

I consider it kind to let the unreasonable have the last word, so please do so, and then move on.

donsands said...

"And if they don't believe it, what "theological statement" is it supposed to make?" Aaron

If they don't believe Adam lived for 930 years, then I was wondering what they did believe? How old do they believe Adam lived to be?

I was just wondering. Not really looking for atheological statement exactly.

David said...

Robert,

Why do archeologists use C-14 dating?


Mikeb,

“What if there was an approach that was always effective? What if we lined up with that approach and used it as best we could?”

And that approach would be? How would you know that it was always effective?

“If you believe in God, we could declare something is true because the author of truth say it's true. If He is the author of truth, he is 100% accurate, yes?”

Well, first, you’ve started with the conclusion that a given God is “an author of truth”. It seems to me that we could have a god or gods without it necessarily following that said entities are “authors of truth”. Second, you’re assuming a given god has attempted to transmit information about the history of life on Earth and/or accurately transmitted that information to humans and/or that humans have accurately recorded and understood that information. For example, in the case of Genesis 1 and 2, one must wonder if the Creator of the Universe did, in fact, stop by a Middle Eastern desert about 3500 years ago to say to a single human being…”here’s how I did it”. And did that human accurately record what the Creator said? Are we correctly interpreting these words 3500 years later?

So, you can declare as you wish. But it’s not very convincing.

“If you do not believe in God, you could at least be intellectually honest (therefore a seeker for truth) and search the Bible to see if it's claims are true, as well as to see if the Biblical worldview best fits reality.”

Well, this is the problem, isn’t it? When one checks to see if the claims are true, it just doesn’t work out very well, at least if one is claiming that the Bible says the Earth is 6000 years old.

mikeb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJP said...

Finally got the time to read through, and now say this:

Dude.

Righteous.

Plus:

To some, Augustine is a teacher and a source of challenging instruction.

To BioLogos, he's a convenient object to be hidden behind, selectively.

As you've shown.

Sir Aaron said...

Donsands:

I know. I was making fun of the position that has been made here by Biologos supporters that Genesis is not a historical account, but rather a "theological account." So by their reasoning, if they don't believe Adam was really 900 years old, then his age must serve some mysterious theological purpose.

mikeb said...

David,

Well, first, you’ve started with the conclusion that a given God is “an author of truth”.

Oh, you mean like your conclusion that a given God is not the author of truth?

It seems to me that we could have a god or gods without it necessarily following that said entities are “authors of truth”.

That's a pretty wimpy god and certainly not one I could believe in since truth must come from somewhere, therefore wherever and whoever it comes from must be the true god. You're belief in multiple gods does not get us any closer to the ultimate author of truth.

Second, you’re assuming a given god has attempted to transmit information about the history of life on Earth and/or accurately transmitted that information to humans and/or that humans have accurately recorded and understood that information.

If God is the author of truth, and he created humans as an image of Him, would He not transmit information to His creation to direct them? Why would God create mankind and then not communicate with him? Certainly if God is God he can communicate accurately.

And did that human accurately record what the Creator said? Are we correctly interpreting these words 3500 years later?

If God is real, the author of truth, and wants to communicate with us, could He not ensure His revelation to us is preserved? Especially if this revelation is necessary for salvation? Can God, the creator of human language, not effectively communicate to his creation in a way they understand?

When one checks to see if the claims are true, it just doesn’t work out very well, at least if one is claiming that the Bible says the Earth is 6000 years old.

There you go with faulty presuppositions again. Your assuming the earth is not 6000 yrs old, therefore the Bible cannot be true, therefore there cannot be a God. That's in reverse order. If the God of the Bible is true, the Bible reveals truth. If the Bible reveals truth and if it shows us the world is 6000 yrs. old, then it is 6000 yrs old.

You're not going to accept the Bible's teaching on creation until you correct your premise that there is not a Triune God revealed in the Bible. So let us deal with that incorrect presupposition first.

Robert said...

Aaron,

Didn't you know that it is because 10 is perfect and if he would have lived to be 10 hundred years old (or 1,000), it would have meant he was perfect. I thought that was clear from thorough examination...

joel said...

Frank,
I can see what you are really trying to do here. That is, make an excuses for an early church father's not strictly literal approach to the interpretation of Scripture so that you can feel more comfortable holding your own not strictly literal amillennial views. Just watch, you will probably come out next week with a series on the millennium. Well I for one am not going to stand by while you shamelessly grind that axe ;)

Sir Aaron said...

That is pretty funny Robert.

mikeb said...

Robert, you are funnier than you realize, as this actually was a view held by some in the early church. Some reasoned that humans could not live that long, therefore the years of life recorded before the flood must have been a code. 700 yrs = 70, etc. Augustine corrects this view by telling them our year, day, etc. was the same as those who lived before the flood.

Check it out here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Xl5qY9BFhrQC&pg=PA373&lpg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Brad Williams said...

I agree with Augustine in the regard: once you allow for creation ex nihilo, then there is no reason to reject YE. That is, you simply cannot judge by "age appearance." It makes absolutely no sense to do that if something is made out of nothing. I am a Young Earther, but I want to adamantly say that I believe the biggest miracle here is something out of nothing. That, my friends, is miracle at its most amazing. If you can buy that fact, the Young Earth"ism" is a drop in the bucket...never mind much easier reading from Genesis.

David said...

Mikeb,

“Oh, you mean like your conclusion that a given God is not the author of truth?”

I have no opinion either way. My point is that you’ve started with the asserted conclusion that God is the author of truth. Who knows if this is accurate or not?

“That's a pretty wimpy god and certainly not one I could believe in since truth must come from somewhere, therefore wherever and whoever it comes from must be the true god.”

Does a “true god” have to be truthful? Why? Are you saying that one cannot invent the concept of truth unless one is perfectly truthful at all times? I’m not sure that this is so.

“If God is the author of truth, and he created humans as an image of Him, would He not transmit information to His creation to direct them? Why would God create mankind and then not communicate with him?”

Well, now you’re making lots and lots of assumptions about the nature of God. Why would God fail to communicate a particular piece of information? Well, why not? Do you think that God has communicated every bit of knowledge in the universe to humans? If God hasn’t done this, then how can you draw conclusions about what God would or would not communicate?

“Can God, the creator of human language, not effectively communicate to his creation in a way they understand?”

Well, from what I’ve seen just at this website alone, it appears that there are many, many ways in which the “revelation” of Genesis 1 and 2 can be interpreted and understood. (And this is just the beginning; consider all the interpretations of the rest of the Bible). So it would appear that the concepts in question are less than perfectly clear and less than effectively communicated, especially after you filter these communications through the flawed minds of humans.

"There you go with faulty presuppositions again. Your assuming the earth is not 6000 yrs old, therefore the Bible cannot be true, therefore there cannot be a God. That's in reverse order. If the God of the Bible is true, the Bible reveals truth. If the Bible reveals truth and if it shows us the world is 6000 yrs. old, then it is 6000 yrs old."

No, you’re the one with the presuppositions about truly true Truths. I’m not assuming that the Bible cannot be true. I’m perfectly willing to test the young earth hypothesis, and before testing, I’m perfectly willing to assume that it might be true. This was the position of many late 18th century geologists. The problem is…as the early geologists discovered… the data contradict the hypothesis. Remember the original question that I was responding to? “"Why is it so weird to claim that a cataclysmic flood washed a bunch of biomass to the bottom of the sea near our shores so that we could fill up our swagger wagons?" Well, the answer is that the data contradicts the hypothesis.

“You're not going to accept the Bible's teaching on creation until you correct your premise that there is not a Triune God revealed in the Bible. So let us deal with that incorrect presupposition first.”

First, how do you know that my alleged presupposition is incorrect and needs to be corrected? Second, and much more importantly, there are plenty of folks who presuppose a Triune God, and yet they also reject a young earth hypothesis. So, my position on the Triune God seems irrelevant to any hypotheses involving “cataclysmic floods”.

joel said...

David the Agno/Atheist,
I think its fair to assume that your meandering comments about presupposition about the character and nature of God are with the view of answering the question - Does God exist. After all no one bothers arguing about the alleged character and attributes of Santa Clause. Well, do you believe that God exists? Perhaps you would say that you can't affirm or deny the existence of God, but you certainly can't affirm the existing of a being for which there is no evidence. Well that sounds really level headed at first until you ask the question - Where did the universe come from. Maybe you would say 'Dunno, but just because it exists does not mean that we should presuppose that an intelligent God created it, there are other feasible theories'. Here is a theory for you. Take a look at the computer screen or phone screen you are reading on right now. Where did it come from? Some one made it you say. How do you know, have you been to the factory where they make them and seen them assembled? Probably not, but it must have been made because it shows intelligent design. It is intricate. Well I have a different theory for where you phone or computer screen came from and it goes like this- Millions of years ago a comet hurling through outer space was drawn into the earths atmosphere where it became a molten mass of flames before it crashed in to the ground. The heat from the entry into the earths atmosphere was so intense that silica glass, semiconductor, and liquid metal bubbled up from the ground and formed into a screen and power supply. Millions of years latter a plastic cord with two prongs attached itself to the screen and made a working PC monitor. Now if I feed you this story about how a computer monitor came to be you would tell me that I was crazy, yet you are willing to contemplate that the earth and everything in it came about by a similar process. That is not being open minded. Instead it is ignoring what is clearly and perceptibly true. Try starting there before you vex your delicate sole over wether or not the life giver of the universe may or may not be absolutely truthful. I think that if you were truly honest the reason that you don't want to accept the obviousness of a creator is because you know that you would then have to submit to him if he has absolute moral standards for his creatures. You like your sins and you like the idea that you will not ever have to answer for them. If there really is a God then he might have standards and demands for how you live your life and that would put a real kink in your fun.

mikeb said...

David,

You really aren't getting anywhere by dancing all over the place in circles. Please lay your presuppositions on the table and admit you have them.

I have no opinion either way.

Oh, I'm certain you do, as your previous comment shows.

Does a “true god” have to be truthful? Why?

Please use logic.

Well, from what I’ve seen just at this website alone, it appears that there are many, many ways in which the “revelation” of Genesis 1 and 2 can be interpreted and understood.

You confuse the two. God's revelation is not the same as one's interpretation of that revelation. Sounds like a large heap of post-modernism in your thinking.

No, you’re the one with the presuppositions about truly true Truths.

Yes. We all have presuppositions. I'm willing to admit mine and defend them. You would rather dance around and not admit yours.

I’m not assuming that the Bible cannot be true. I’m perfectly willing to test the young earth hypothesis, and before testing, I’m perfectly willing to assume that it might be true.

This statement is irrelevant if you're not willing to accept the God revealed in the Bible and accept He can effectively communicate truth to us through that Word. Again, we're back to your presuppositions of ultimate truth.

First, how do you know that my alleged presupposition is incorrect and needs to be corrected?

Wait, I thought you didn't have an opinion either way? Now you're admitting you have a presupposition. Ok, tell us what it is please!

Second, and much more importantly, there are plenty of folks who presuppose a Triune God, and yet they also reject a young earth hypothesis. So, my position on the Triune God seems irrelevant to any hypotheses involving “cataclysmic floods

Your position on a Triune God is of primary importance. How can you have a discussion about what the Bible says on creation and how God created the world if you don't believe in either? It's pointless to discuss how a watch was made if you don't even accept there was a watchmaker.

David, answer this question. Where does ultimate truth come from?

Jacob said...

Here's how I "approach" the question. Start with a theory, any theory, doesn't matter where the theory comes from. Check to see if the observations are consistent with the predictions of the theory. Pretty radical, eh??
I start by opening to the first page of the Word of God and use that as my lense to filter what I may or may not observe with my own imperfect, mortal sense. Pretty radical? Only in perhaps the last few decades as man became more foolish as he increasingly believed himself to be wiser than God.

Jacob said...

*sense/senses.

Way to fail on the sense of touch, fingers...

David said...

Joel,

Dude, try using paragraphs.

David said...

I understand that you all have your presuppositions, and you all think that Genesis is literal history and that Genesis is the word of God and that God can't lie. But I really don't see any particular reason to think that all of this is so. And to insist that I believe all of this as a prerequisite for any discussion or examination of the data is to insist on an inevitable conclusion before there's been any argument or examination of the conclusion. If you wish, you can start with a conclusion that you hold up as an absolute truth before any discussion or examination of the data has occurred. You can choose to believe in whatever you choose to believe. You can skip any effort to test your conclusions, and I'm sure that this is very comforting in its own way. But it has no appeal for me.

Could the stories in Genesis have been true? Yes, they could have been. But the world look like you'd expect it to look of Genesis was literal history. It just doesn't. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't.

David said...

Oops. One of the last sentences should read:

But the world doesn't look like you'd expect it to look of Genesis was literal history.

joel said...

Sorry my man. No time for blank space.

Sir Aaron said...

But the world look like you'd expect it to look of Genesis was literal history. It just doesn't. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't.

It certainly looks that way to me.

Jacob said...

Could the stories in Genesis have been true? Yes, they could have been. But [does] the world look like you'd expect it to look [if] Genesis was literal history[?] It just doesn't.

Seems like a trick statement, given that it arguably does look just as it should. In fact, it required scientists to come up with presuppositional dating schemes based on atheistic evolutionary theory with its ever-expanding timelines to finally create something in their darkened minds plausible enough to put their weight behind in their efforts to deny God.

That to say, how does it not look like it would after the global flood happened? Arguably it does look like that.

joel said...

Wow, your statement that the real world doesn't look like the world the book of Genesis describes is a very compelling argument, but could really be renforced with some legitimate arguments. You could have hit us with some of the incontrvertable facts like- there are no sun, moon or stars. Perhaps the abscence of an ocean could have been pointed out, but you keep holding back you most powefull arguments. Why don't you take the gloves off and stop going so easy on us.

David said...

You all think that the world looks like you'd expect it to look after a global flood? Really? Wow, where to start? This list of ways in which the world doesn't look like you'd expect it to look is endless.

But since I've already raised this question, first, could someone answer the following questions. Why do archeologists use C-14 dating? Is this "dating scheme" based on "atheistic evolutionary theory"? Who developed C-14 dating and what was his field of study?

David said...

Ok, Joel, here's one just for you. If the surface of the Earth was covered in a global flood, where would you expect to find angiosperm fossils?

mikeb said...

David,


If you wish, you can start with a conclusion

That's the thing with atheists/agnostics. They never admit they are starting from a conclusion too. They start with the conclusion God does not exist (or we cannot know Him) and reason from there. Yet they do not want to admit this, and accuse believers of starting from the conclusion God exists.

...that you hold up as an absolute truth before any discussion or examination of the data has occurred.

Wow, what a concept to actually start with truth and go from there! What is your alternative David, to start with non-truth and build an argument on non-truth? Let's start from a place of confusion and build from there?

Anyone who says they are not starting from presupposed conclusions is not being honest.

Also David, you never answered the question of where truth comes from?

David said...

"Yet they do not want to admit this, and accuse believers of starting from the conclusion God exists."

Um, this is not the conclusion that I was "accusing" you of starting with. I was "accusing" you of starting with several other specific conclusions that go well beyond just the conclusion that God exists. I'm talking about starting with conclusions about the nature of God, Genesis, etc. That's much more than just starting with the conclusion that God exists. If you'd like to start with the conclusion that God exists, that's fine. If you want to start with the conclusion that it's an absolute truth that Genesis is literal history or that God talked to some guy named Moses, then we have a problem. See the difference?

"Wow, what a concept to actually start with truth and go from there! What is your alternative David, to start with non-truth and build an argument on non-truth? Let's start from a place of confusion and build from there?"

I see that you missed my point. It's not a question of whether one wants to start with truth or not. It would be nice to start with truth, but can you actually do this? The problem (and my point) is that you start the discussion by assuming that you have absolute truth when, in fact, it's prettty likely that you don't. When you start by saying that you have an absolute truth, and you're not interested in considering the possibility that you're wrong, then there's no place for the discussion to go.

I see that you'd rather deal with abstractions such as "where does truth come from" rather than deal with the evidence with respect to global floods, etc. Ok, your choice.

Nathan said...

Jacob,

Not wanting to completely side with the atheists here...


"I start by opening to the first page of the Word of God and use that as my lense to filter what I may or may not observe with my own imperfect, mortal sense."

That's fine, but it's not really where you "start." You're actually making a couple of assumptions here before coming to the text... I'm not saying they're wrong. But coming to the text thinking it's the "Word of God" is actually a presupposition (and one that I share), its place as a filter is also a presupposition (and one that I share)... to suggest that unlike David we don't start with presuppositions is a little disingenuous.

I think one of the big differences between YE and OE readers of Genesis is the interpretive framework we bring to the text.

This "I read it as the word of God which then shapes my understanding of everything else including science and history" is fine - but I'm yet to see why "I read it as the timeless truths God has supplied for people seeking to know redemption through his son and see it as primarily theological rather than historical or scientific" is less valid as a starting point.

mikeb said...

I see that you'd rather deal with abstractions such as "where does truth come from" rather than deal with the evidence with respect to global floods, etc.

Abstractions???? If you cannot reveal your beliefs about where truth comes from our discussion is meaningless. We can talk about what the Bible says, about creation, how the flood of Noah's day occurred, etc., but you will just jump back to your presuppositions like "who says the Bible is accurate" or "who says there is a God?" or "Who says this God speaks absolute truth?" So I'm trying to save us both time and cut to the chase. But alas, you would rather argue 'hide and seek'.

It would be nice to start with truth, but can you actually do this? The problem (and my point) is that you start the discussion by assuming that you have absolute truth when, in fact, it's prettty likely that you don't.

The problem is that you refuse to define your source of absolute truth. Why would a Christian want to assume they don't have absolute truth? The word "absolute" kind of negates all other options, doesn't it? Yes a person can start with absolute truth if they get it from the Source. Do you believe there is such a thing as absolute truth?

I was "accusing" you of starting with several other specific conclusions that go well beyond just the conclusion that God exists. I'm talking about starting with conclusions about the nature of God, Genesis, etc. That's much more than just starting with the conclusion that God exists. If you'd like to start with the conclusion that God exists, that's fine. If you want to start with the conclusion that it's an absolute truth that Genesis is literal history or that God talked to some guy named Moses, then we have a problem. See the difference?

Actually I'm trying to save some time and deal with your underlying presuppositions, instead of waiting for you to argue backwards to the point of "Does God exist?" Why not just state your beliefs about God and the Bible, then we'll move to the creation. You know, start from the beginning. If you're not willing to accept there is a God and He has revealed Himself in the Bible, why jump to arguing about Genesis 1?

If you'd answer some of these basic questions we could have a meaningful discussion. If you won't even define your source of truth we're just wasting our precious time.

David said...

"If you're not willing to accept there is a God and He has revealed Himself in the Bible, why jump to arguing about Genesis 1?"

Arguing about Genesis 1 might tell us if your hypothesis that "God has revealed Himself in the Bible" is accurate. If you start with the conclusion (God has revealed himself) instead of testing the hypothesis, there's no point in the discussion.

"You will just jump back to your presuppositions like "who says the Bible is accurate" or "who says there is a God?" or "Who says this God speaks absolute truth?"

I'm not sure how asking a questions equals presuppositions. I would have thought that asking questions is the opposite of presupposition.

"If you won't even define your source of truth we're just wasting our precious time."

What is truth?

mikeb said...

Arguing about Genesis 1 might tell us if your hypothesis that "God has revealed Himself in the Bible" is accurate.

It will not because your presupposition is that God has not revealed Himself. You'll reason that we can't trust Genesis 1, therefore man's account of creation takes precedence over the Bible's account.

If you start with the conclusion (God has revealed himself) instead of testing the hypothesis, there's no point in the discussion.

Who's criteria would you like to use to prove God has revealed himself, man's criteria or God's? "Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty ? Let him who reproves God answer it."

What is truth?

Instead of answering the question you throw it back out. Realize that one who sent Jesus to the cross made the same scoffing remark. (John 18:37,38)

But I shall answer you. "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."" (John 14:6) Therefore Jesus is the truth.

I have given my definition of truth, what is yours?

Frank Turk said...

David:

Willard Libby invented C-14 dating in 1949, and won the Nobel Prize for it in 1960.

Libby's method traced the decay of C-14 in organic material, and works on thing not older than about 70,000 years old. That limit is established by two factors: the half-life of C-14 (an unstable isotope found in trace amounts all over the Earth), and the rate at which C-14 can be ingested by organisms.

Why do you ask?

Frank Turk said...

For the record:

For the sake of this discussion, I think we can treat Genesis like literature without assuming it's divinely inspired. The question is not "Do we believe it because it is inspired?" It is: "can we read what it says and understand the text?"

The dodge that we have to assume inerrancy to read Genesis as it is written -- and as the rest of the Bible says it ought to be read -- is simply a last-ditch effect to avoid what the text says. For me, this thread has dived into desperation since about 1:07 PM Blogger time.

I'll leave it open until tomorrow and shut it down after everyone has had their last word.

joel said...

I think you are right Frank. I will humbly bow out of the conversation with the parting concession that because I have absolutly no idea where one would expect to find an angiosperm fossil that God must not exist.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

I think Biologos is wrong, what do they know about Augustine? I thought they were scientists, and OT scholars.

Robert said...

Mikeb,

I actually have heard it stated that the 1,000 years in Revelation is symbolic of 3 sets of 10 multiplied to show the perfection of the time of the millenium. I don't hold that view, but that is another discussion. I think it just follows the thought of the slippery slope of interpreting the Bible through whatever shaded glasses we'd like to choose instead of trying to find God's meaning. So, yes, the humor was pointed at real problems that people have with reading and interpreting Scripture correctly.

I agree with Frank's suggestion from 12:18 - "I consider it kind to let the unreasonable have the last word, so please do so, and then move on."
That is why I left the C-14 question alone. Thanks for answering that one, Frank. I just found it hard not to get frustrated...while realizing how much grace and compassion God shows to me when I fumble around His Word and my life in light of it.

David said...

Frank,

I asked about C-14 for a couple of reasons. First, some folks here seem to automatically reject the methods without thinking about why we use the method in the first place. Second, some seem to think that all dating methods are developed by evil atheist evolutionists with "darkened minds" and immoral goals, and clearly, this is false (see Libby). Third, while C-14 is indeed limited to dating objects that are 70,000 years old or younger, that's still good enough to thoroughly disprove most (if not all) YEC chronologies.

Mikeb,

"It will not because your presupposition is that God has not revealed Himself."

Wow, you really don't get it. I make no presuppositions about whether or not God has revealed himself in Genesis. Maybe God did and maybe God didn't. What I'm suggesting is that we check to see if Genesis is accurate as a means to test the hypothesis that God has revealed himself. I'm interested in methods by which we can figure out that we are wrong if it happens that we are wrong.

Joel,

You asked me to take off the gloves. I did, but I see that you don't want to play. The answer to my questions is "at the bottom of the geologic column". Wanna guess if this is what we actually observe in the geologic record?

mikeb said...

David,

I make no presuppositions about whether or not God has revealed himself in Genesis

This is dishonest. If you know have a belief about God and know anything about Genesis, you have a presupposition about how the two are related.

I'm interested in methods by which we can figure out that we are wrong if it happens that we are wrong.

Figure out what is wrong? To figure out if you're wrong, you've got to actually have an opinion about what is right. I haven't seen you state anything you believe yet.

David, you need to answer this question to yourself, "How do I know if something is true or not? Is it by man's criteria that I measure truth or God's criteria?"

David said...

Mikeb,

"Is it by man's criteria that I measure truth or God's criteria?"

So, who has "God's criteria"? You have criteria, I have criteria, and we're both men, not gods.

Lots and lots of people claim to have God's truth or God's criteria or the story straight from God. Do you believe everyone who does this? It's easy to claim to have God's criteria or God's truth. Doesn't make it so.

Now, if we could take a look at whether or not the world looks like we'd expect it to look if Genesis 1 was literal history, then maybe we could talk about the criteria of entities other than humans. But I guess that clock is ticking on the commenting on this post, so I guess we're not going to get there.

Frank Turk said...

David --

Before I lock up the thread, C-14 dating may in fact disprove an Earth age of 6500 years. It doesn't disprove a young cosmos -- because anything younger than 17 billion years (or whatever the common dating of the universe is now) is a young Earth.

That said, I guess I got the last word in in spite of myself. Y'all keep on truckin', and try to read poor ol' Augustine before you hide behind him.