01 September 2010

When the Dog runs the House

by Frank Turk



Yeah, I ran out of week before I could give you the full treatment on the Keller paper from Biologos – and forgive me because I’m actually in Amsterdam for work committing random acts of evangelism (no fruit yet, but you could pray about that).

So rather than leave the blog blank, or publish a “best of” as a poor substitute for the Keller paper, I wanted to talk about something which is very central to thinking about the BioLogos issue: the old duckling of “Science”.

See: one of the features of the Keller paper is that it questions putting “Science” and “Faith” at odds – and I think it’s right to question whether that’s a fair way to position the discussion. I mean seriously: this is a blog about the orthodox Christian faith on the internet which uses all kinds of science – not incredulous pleas to magic or pneumenological phenomena – to deliver commentary, preaching, and fun to your very door. It’s somewhat stupid to say that we take science for granted or are somehow “ag’in it”.

But there I am, if you follow the “BioLogos” tag on the blog, berating “Scientists” for their claims that you don’t have to read Genesis the same way you read the newspaper in order to be a Christian. Am I not anti-Science for that?

In a word? No.

I take Lipitor. I use Naproxen Sodium. I use disposable razors. I drive a car. My kids go to the Doctor when they swallow nickels – not the shaman, and not the evangelistic faith healing service held every other Thursday at the Pentecostal church. When I’m in Amsterdam, I Skype my family – which is better than a phone call. I use zip-loc bags to keep food fresh. I wear glasses. I wear shoes with rubber soles. I mean: the only thing Science doesn’t do for me is blog. I still write my own blogs – until such a day when they can program a bot to do it, and then I’ll probably comment on his blog because it’ll be quite a slow-motion car wreck.

And the other thing that Science can’t do for me is save me from my own wickedness. Listen: I had dinner this week with a guy who told me that until Science could prove to him that Jesus walked out of the tomb, he would remain agnostic (at best) about the subject – and he was the one who brought it up! And Science, frankly, is not working on that project – because let’s face it: Science doesn’t care about that project.

See: Science is worried about replicating what happened at the sub-atomic level at the moment of the start of time and space – without regard to the fact that the experiments they are running under the cover of time and space. Science is worried about how many planets are like the one we are on in the hope of proving we are not unique in the universe – in spite of never once finding any traces of creatures like us in the known universe. Science cannot decide whether or not a baby which does not receive normal gestation while in the process of sex differentiation is a patient needing treatment, a citizen with rights, or a blob of tissue which ought to be scraped out.

So Science has managed to give us some really cool stuff, but when it comes to knowing something about us for the sake of telling us about who we are, and why we are here, and whether or not we are valuable? It falls a little flat.

I see Science like a really amazing dog: he can do a lot of stuff when he’s trained the right way, but if you give him the run of the house, he’ll be teaching you all kinds of stuff that, let’s be honest, you otherwise wouldn’t be caught dead doing. I had some great examples of that which I thought would make a great title for this post, but I'll spare your the vulgarities.

Science is not made to run the place: it’s made to serve, and to be a tool as we do what God intended – which is to rule over the Earth, and have dominion. It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes. Under three things the earth tremble -- under four it cannot bear up: a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food; an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

Ponder that, and I hope to do right by you and Pastor Keller next week.








134 comments:

bou2010 said...

I agree totally. I think part of the reason people see religion and science opposed is because in the past it has been at times.

Take for example Mr. Copernicus, whose heliocentric ideas were condemned by the "Church". Hitchens picks up on this and shows many examples in "God is Not Great." If you have time and can read it without wanting to punch somebody in the face (which was hard for me), he lists many.

My only question is at what point do we question our interpretation of the Scriptures, if our interpretation is opposed to science?

Obviously, there are some things we jettison like we will always believe in Christ's resurrection, miracles, etc. but what about other things? Are all of our interpretations sacred?

Brent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Turk said...

Brent --

Aha!

Brent said...

Sorry, I signed in with my google account, which doesn't list my last name. It's Brent Donoho. I don't really have a blog and this is my first time posting on this one.
I have a feeling I posted something stupid,and I'm genuinely sorry. I was actually coming back to delete my old post because it wasn't thought out well and I think it was written in frustration (not with you, Frank, and not with Silva, just to be clear).

Frank Turk said...

Brent-

I think you should repose the comment. It was a fantastic question.

Bill R. said...

Statements like, "until Science could prove to him that Jesus walked out of the tomb, he would remain agnostic" really get me thinking. Being a former agnostic I would first ask, "using a naturalistic philosophy to judge a supernatural event kinda predetermines the outcome doesn't it?" I could also ask, "you can't prove that evolution actually happened using the scientific method since no one has actually observed it and it is not repeatable given that it supposedly takes billions of years. Do you disbelieve that too?" Last question would be, "why would you need science to prove a historical event? Do you have scientific evidence that the Henry the VIII had 6 wives?" We do have historical evidence that Jesus was observed after his crucifixion - Josephus for one. I guess it just proves:

“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:18-21)

Frank, I pray that you see some fruit of your evangelism efforts on your trip. May God be with you!

Zaphon said...

It's interesting to see the extent to which scientists borrow from the biblical worldview of logic, presuppositions, and morality/ethics to reason about such things as euthanasia, abortion, and the story of our origin.

And in their more candid moments, the "freudian slip" of "creation language" that inevitibly comes from their lips, when they say things like "the DESIGN of the nervous system" or DNA is AMAZING.

Even secular scientists are doxological, yet suppress the truth of what they're really saying.

(BTW, Frank, can I somehow talk to you about something that has helped me dramatically healthwise)

Pta-herald said...

Bill. R
You very sharp, and it sounds like you could win the argument hands down.
I’m just thinking normally the guys with question about Jesus existence, and who he really was (is) do not want to open the door to the possibility of them being wrong. We must discern if they just looking for a sparring match or sincerely investigating, and let that determine our response.
Science have no morals, it just has question and answers they think to be correct, until someone unearths a lost City or find another element to add to the table. Then the rules all change, answers change.
Any house build on a moving foundation, will be condemned by the city council, except if it is owned by one of its members.
Humans are invested in science because it gives them a feeling of superiority; give them an excuse not to believe.

Frank Turk said...

Zaphon:

Unless you are a licensed professional, no.

:-)

Pta-herald said...

Zaphon.

I's sell u a license.

Robert said...

It seems to me that "science" is a term that people use to excuse their prejudices. Science is not an intelligent being. It's a method of study.

John said...

Love the dog graphic.

Robert said...

I still liken the BioLogos crowd and many people in their camp with the Sadducees. They didn't believe in the miracles and wanted the respect and honor of those in power (as well as desiring those things themselves). They persecuted people who preached in the power of what they don't believe. Even when Jesus (the Word of God - John 1) spoke to them regarding resurrection, they were not swayed.

I get the feeling that many people feel the need to explain the Bible in a way that science can explain, but miracles don't fit into the realm of science. And if somebody is not willing to accept things that cannot be explained by science, then they will not accept the truth of the Bible.

It is as Frank says, they are letting the dog run the house. Science is merely a tool to see the wonders of God's creation and to help us live more comfortably. And the tool should not be thought of as something to govern us.

John said...

Bou, I don't think that narrative holds up against the historical data we have. First, during Copernicus' time there was no separation of church and state, and the church ran all the universities. Second, Cope challenged the prevailing Aritotilean worldview taught in the universities. It was not Christianity that was opposed to Cope, it was the scientific establishment. Its just that all these institutions (church, state, university) were comingled in that era. And, having used the term comingled in a blog comment (from my bucket list), I shall now sign off...

Rob said...

I'm in agreement. And while there are many benefits to science, I would agree that it's not wise to give science the "run of the house": Science also gave us Agent Orange, lead paint, and asbestos.

stratagem said...

Great points. Well done indeed.

Pta-herald said...

Longman and Bio-logos view that the Genesis account of the creation, must not be read as literal may sound reasonable on the service. It appeals to the human intellect. They would say the Bible is truth, but we do not interpret it the way it is supposed to.
But our best answer to them is, would you know it right there in this text. Did Eve not act in the same way as they are acting now? They want us to rather trust science, and disbelieve the revealed truth. Eve was also put to the test, which truth would she trust God’s truth or the serpent’s truth. In what will she ultimately trust? By her action we see that she leaned towards the serpent’s truth, not God’s. She questioned the very nature of God, just long enough to land all of us in a lot of trouble. (Which led to revelation of God’s grace)
The serpents spin on truth was more acceptable to her than God’s. Would we trust a questionable truth; can we afford to question God?
Can we afford to listen to the world’s wisdom, this world’s science or place our trust in something still developing and changing? Or should we trust the word of God which has been proven true countless times.
I’ll put all my eggs in this one basket thank very much.
Our hope is Christ and the effectual call is His to make.
Charles Spurgeon
“The power that is in the Gospel does not lie in the eloquence of the preacher, otherwise men would be the converts of souls, nor does it lie in the preacher’s learning, otherwise it would consist in the wisdom of men. We might preach until our tongues rotted, till we would exhaust our lung and die, but never a soul would be converted unless the Holy Spirit be with the word of God to give it the power to convert the soul.”

Trevor said...

I want to hear the great question Brent had! C'mon Brent, where'd ya go?

Frank...care to share the location of that snippet from Proverbs? My treasure hunting skills are limited at work.

Tom Chantry said...

Robert,

One other point: the Sadducees were enraged by the presence of contrary evidence. Their reaction to the resurrection of Lazarus? Kill him!

So the hatred spewing from Biologos in recent months seems a lot less surprising. (e.g. "I couldn't get you to pay attention to me so I had to trash you on a prominent unbelieving blog!")

James Joyce said...

Science is not at odds with Christianity. Science actually needs Christianity to work.

Science requires eight presuppositions that are only all found in the biblical Christian worldview.
http://creation.com/science-biblical-presuppositions

Also, see this mornings' article about how Genesis should be read from the same site.
http://creation.com/should-genesis-be-taken-literally

DJP said...

Frank Turk: Unless you are a licensed professional, no.

Pta-herald: Zaphon.

I's sell u a license.


Maybe the funniest pair of comments we've had.

Brad Williams said...

Frank, I love this post. It should demonstrate why science makes such a lousy religion. It cannot prove a single thing to be beautiful.

I want to say again, and again, that this enter discussion of earth age and origins can never be answered by science. And, as one commenter astutely pointed out, it is a failure, not only of not taking theology seriously, but also ignoring her handmaiden philosophy.

We are stuck with two options, I think, regarding physical matter: It is either eternal or it began at some point in time. If, as the believer says, it is created ex nihilo, then all bets are off concerning the age of it. What they are insisting, contrary to Biblical evidence, is that God made everything to "look" brand new. If He didn't, then He is deceiving us...even though He told us He made it all in seven days. It is total assumption that God had to make it look brand new, whatever that means!

For several, it is troublesome to the scientific community to make appeals to "God did it that way." And I see their point if we always did that in matters of science. But with some issues, it is impossible to say otherwise.

Because, scientifically speaking, we cannot have a virgin birth or a resurrected Savior. That is far easier to demonstrate than the origins of man or the age of the earth. So, that's where I go when someone gives me the incredulous, "You think the earth is how old? Seriously?!" I say, "Buddy, I got bigger problems that that. I believe that a man born in the Middle East brought dead men to life with his words, was crucified and killed as a criminal, and three days later he came back to life. I believe this same man ascended physically into a place called heaven, that he is both man and Almighty God. Young earth? No big deal for me, friend."

DJP said...

Great post, lot of good comments - but particularly Bill R. and Brad Williams.

Dudes: rockin'!

Merrilee Stevenson said...

"And the other thing that Science can’t do for me is save me from my own wickedness...And Science, frankly, is not working on that project – because let’s face it: Science doesn’t care about that project."


"Buddy, I got bigger problems than that."

Pow. Boom. Amen.

I can't think of anything else to say besides: I love this blog.

Eric said...

bou,

You asked "My only question is at what point do we question our interpretation of the Scriptures, if our interpretation is opposed to science?

Obviously, there are some things we jettison like we will always believe in Christ's resurrection, miracles, etc. but what about other things? Are all of our interpretations sacred?"

It seems to me that the main problem with Biologos is that they are always willing to ask those questions with you, but are rarely willing (in an honest and substantial way) to ask the inverse question: "At what point do we question our interpretation of the natural world (science) if our interpretation is opposed to Scripture?" I would argue that that question is even more appropriate.

To provide somewhat of an answer to your questions, I would start by asking you: "Why do you say that we will always believe in Christ's resurrection?" I submit that the reason that is what we believe is because the Scriptures testify to its truth. Following the account of the resurrection, the writers of Scripture continually testify to the truth of the resurrection. The same can be said for the creation account and the historicity of Adam and how sin entered the world. The Bible gives us an account and further testifies to the truthfulness of that account in latter portions of Scripture.

So, in the end, none of "our interpretations" are sacred. Only the unchangeable and inerrant Word of God is sacred. And there must be a correct way to understand that Word, or it is meaningless.

Robert said...

Eric,

I just wanted to quote some Scripture regarding interpretation to back up what you had written. "knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For now prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21)

The Bible is not open for man to have his own interpretation, but rather, there is one message and God has worked to make it abundantly clear which parts are figurative and which parts are literal (even if there are debates about such things).

Eric said...

Robert,

I appreciate the addition, and especially appreciate your concluding parenthetical point that the fact that there is debate over much (if not all) of Scripture does not diminish its ability to be known.

Halcyon said...

Frank:

Well said on all points.

Science-as-tool is a very Chestertonian concept: Science is either a tool for better understanding creation (like a microscope) or a toy for better enjoying it (like a telescope). The instant it is made anything more, there are dire consequences.

BTW, Brent REALLY needs to repost his question. We're all burning with curiosity.

Frank Turk said...

What? You can't find Proverbs 30?

You can't do a key-word search at BibleGateway.com?

mikeb said...

To say science and religion oppose each other is to admit one's ignorance or to misuse both words.

What they really want to say is that their view of science and what the Bible says can not coexist. Which is true for most people because they have a warped view of science and very little knowledge of what the Bible really says.

This "opposition" argument has one purpose, to refute what the bible says. It is used to get a person to open up to other possibilities.

Mr. Worldy: Science and religion (Bible) are two separate realms. Science is factual and religion (the Bible) is spiritual. Therefore only science can tell us where man came from and how old the earth is. The Bible says nothing about that because it only speaks on spiritual matters. Listen to science, not religion (the Bible) on scientific questions.

Christian: What is this nonsense? The Bible is God's word. God invented science, which is the study of the world. How can God's word and God's creation be opposed to each other? Paul says to Timothy in 1 Tim. 6:20...

Mr. Worldy: Blah! I thought we were having a scientific discussion and there you guy quoting Scripture to me. That's just your interpretation of Scripture. I have a different interpretation. But science...everyone interprets it the same because it's factual!!!!

donsands said...

"My kids go to the Doctor when they swallow nickels.."

Nickels?

I remember when my sister swallowed a penny. But a nickle?

Excellent post.

" ..Science can’t ... save me from my own wickedness."

Some think God needs science to save souls, don't they.

There have been souls in Nepal, way back up in the hills where these dear people, and yet sinners in need of hearing the Gospel, have never heard of Jesus Christ before.
The Gospel has been preached to them, and some have be born again. Others haven't, but even so the Gospel is proclaimed and Christ is glorified.

Not sure if this fits, but it's the truth.

DJP said...

Inflation.

donsands said...

Funny. Inflation yep, and if you swallow a nickle you might have "inflammation" as well.

Gary Good said...

"Science is not made to run the place: it’s made to serve, and to be a tool as we do what God intended"

Very true. Science and religion are compatible. The problem comes when we assume that everything a scientist says is "science." The "scientific" arguments for the natural formation of the universe and macro-evolution are actually philosophical arguments.

Science starts with a theory and then develops experiments to test that theory. Science can so all sorts of things with sub-atomic particles to try to replicate the beginning of the universe, but it can never discover if that is indeed how the universe started.

Science has never seen one species evolve into another new species. The is no experiment that can be created to test this theory. Even if, at some point, it does witness this event, the scientific method cannot prove that we evolved from some other species, much less prove that all life started out in some primordial soup.

The so called incompatibility of science and religion is really just an incompatibility of religion and philosophies disguised as science. The people at BioLogos--whether they realize it or not--are trying to integrate Christian faith with atheistic philosophies.

DJP said...

The problem comes when we assume that everything a scientist says is "science." ...The so called incompatibility of science and religion is really just an incompatibility of religion and philosophies disguised as science.

Golden.

Some of the comments in this meta are almost as good as the post.

Almost.

(c:

David said...

Okay, now that I just finished the lunch I had packed for the Keller post (which I'm hoping will make a lovely dessert), it occurs to me that the dogs that are trying to run the house are also trying pretty hard to convince us that the rules they're playing by aren't a religion. They haven't figured out that disallowing a proper name for a god doesn't make it less of a god as long as you worship it.

It also seems that some pastors are great at pointing out certain idols, while missing the one under their noses. Probably farsightedness.

Rob Bailey said...

My thoughts visualized. Sorry for the link, the blog is horrible, but the image says it.

http://rb-onemorecupofcoffee.blogspot.com/2010/09/nothing-new.html

Rob Bailey said...

Frank-
The title of the post is a little off. When you go out and buy a pet dog; you feed it, you pet it, you take it to the vet, you play with it, you walk it, etc. The dog thinks you are God and if well trained, treats you as you are God. When you go out and buy a pet cat; you feed it, you pet it, you take it to the vet, you play with it, you walk it, etc.(probably no walking) And the cat thinks IT is God because you worship it.
You should have named the post "When the Cat runs the House."

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Rob,

The only problem with that altered title is the fact that if there is a cat in the house, it will inevitably run the house - it is scientifically impossible for it not to. Whereas, dogs can be put in their proper place.

Rob Bailey said...

But Eric,
There are so many ways to dispatch a cat.

Strong Tower said...

There are so many ways to dispatch a cat.

Cat air canons.

See, science can help us to over throw the evil ones... sorta.

Zaphon said...

DJP: I'm sure there's funnier.Why, I've clicked on many an H/T or a DJP comment which I found explosively hilarious-in a good way.

Frank: C'mon, it's the finest snake oil 'round. J/K- but I hear ya.

bou2010:"read it without wanting to punch somebody in the face"

Easy now...don't fret because of evildoers. The LORD is coming.

David said...

I would like to see if I understand what is being said here. It appears that people are arguing that it's ok to use science to ask questions about how the natural world works if the questions are something like what is the effect of a given chemical on cholesterol levels. However, one is forbidden from using science to ask questions about how the natural world works if the questions are about the geological or biological history of Earth. To use science to study these questions would be letting the dog run the house. Is this the idea?

donsands said...

"However, one is forbidden from using science to ask questions about how the natural world works if the questions are about the geological or biological history of Earth."

Ask all the questions you like. The answers are what we need to think deeply about. Man has a wicked heart, and corrupt mind.

Mike Riccardi said...

I don't think it's "using science" that would be the dog running the house, David, but rather looking to science as a philosophical and epistemological authority when a superior philosophical and epistemological Authority has declared the matter closed.

That doesn't mean that we can't "use science" at all. It just means we submit our "scientific" interpretations to the superior authority of God and His Word.

farmboy said...

When studying general revelation (which is what science is) is it the asking of certain questions that is forbidden or is it forbidding the consideration of certain answers that is the problem? An approach to studying general revelation that considers only natural answers is an approach that forbids the consideration of supernatural answers. Yet, the Author of the natural is also the author of the super-natural.

Let's say, for example, that disciples of BioLogos were not to forbid consideration of the biblical explanation of how the first humans came to exist. The day after God created Adam, how old was he? Well, he was one day old. However, if one studied only the evidence from general revelation, Adam's vital signs and other relevant metrics, one would conclude that Adam was much older than one day. One would conclude that Adam was an adult male.

When God works through the super-natural, the evidence from general revelation is not alone sufficient. One also needs to consult the evidence from special revelation. Given that God is the author of both general and special revelation, this is not problematic.

When one studies general revelation, when one asks questions about general revelation, is one open to considering all possible explanations or is one open to only considering explanations that fit within natural parameters? That is the key question.

I think that this perspective can also be useful as one considers the evidential and presuppositional approaches to apologetics, but that's another topic for another day.

Bill R. said...

I was listening to a secular radio host the other day describe how narrow-minded a Christian woman was because she wouldn't hypothetically imagine herself in heaven with a bunch of Hindus, Muslims or even atheists. The difference is that elect Christians have the witness of the Spirit and have an experiential knowledge that the unsaved can't imagine.

It's like a child who burns his hand on the stove, and someone tries to convince him the red-hot burner is cold. Is the child narrow-minded because he won't even consider the possibility of it being other that what his experience is telling him?

I suppose Christians have their presuppositions changed when the Holy Spirit opens their eyes to the truth (2Co 4:6)

Rob Auld said...

The stupidity of this post is shocking. Science is interested in proving or disproving hypothesis using experiments. An experiment is not God told me so and therefore can't be used as evidence.

What you sell is Faith. Faith is belief in spite of or lacking evidence. Please stick to your mythology and let the reasonable people stick with science.

Rob

John said...

One is left wondering if Rob's textbook display of irony is intended as satire.

Robert said...

farmboy,

Great comment. This is something that all Christians should know from reading Scripture.

Bill R.,

Every time I hear the narrow-minded charge that is leveled against Christians, I am reminded that Jesus taught that the gate that leads to heaven is a narrow gate and the way that leads to hell is the broad path. So if I have to live with being called narrow to follow Christ to heaven, I'll gladly do so instead of walk with fools down the broad-minded path to hell.

donsands said...

"Faith is belief in spite of or lacking evidence." -Rob

No its not.

Rob Bailey said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11161493

Eric said...

So, Rob Auld, given your definition of faith, would you say that Stephen Hawking is evidencing faith when he says "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist"? (quote taken from Rob Bailey linked article)

David said...

Donsands and Mike,

I understand that you are putting this in a more subtle and nuanced way by saying that one can ask the questions, but one can only accept one answer. However, I think that the end result is the same. If you can't follow where the method actually takes you, then you might as well say that one is forbidden from using the method in the first place. You can use science to answer questions about the natural world if the questions are like the cholesterol question, but you must to reject scientific conclusions about the natural world when it comes to other questions. In effect, you are not allowed to use science to answer these other questions.

David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Until Frank gives me other direction:

Everyone: do not feed the troll.

David the Unteachable Troll: the post answers your questions. Want the answer? Read, think, and learn. Want to derail another thread because you think more of yourself than of Jesus? Not going to happen.

David said...

I wasn't trying to derail anything. I was simply responding directly, specifically to Farmboy's comments. I'm also trying to figure out exactly the post is saying. This is how one avoids misunderstanding and straw man arguments. Is this wrong? Sometimes posts are not totally clear. It happens.

DJP said...

Since you've admitted that you don't believe in anything higher than yourself that would compel you to tell the truth, David, I'm left to judge for myself. So: I don't believe you. The post and comments are perfectly clear, you just don't like them.

I suggest you be content with the amount of inches and hours you've already consumed. I won't let another post/meta about something important be turned into another post/meta about you.

David said...

"I don't believe you."

Shrug. What I said is still true.

I've made the mistake of attacking strawmen in the past. I don't like to make mistakes. Believe it or not. Up to you, I guess.

DJP said...

Yep, happily neither Frank nor Farmboy did so, so all's well.

Steve Drake said...

Mike R. said,
"That doesn't mean that we can't "use science" at all. It just means we submit our "scientific" interpretations to the superior authority of God and His Word."

Steve Drake: I always find it fascinating when those of 'us' are charged with being 'anti-science', as if that charge itself, derogatorily, puts the debate to close. The charge being that 'we're' just the same as those who believe in a flat earth, and a hindrance to furthering the gospel to modern-day skeptics. My mind questions whether the protagonist is truly knowledgeable about the origins of modern science within the Christian milieu, without which 'science' would not ever have gotten off the ground.

I've used the terms 'origins', or 'historical' science versus 'observation' science to delineate the two, but that doesn't seem to carry much weight with the Christian who wants to believe that God created ex-nihilo with the big bang, and used evolution over billions of years. So the matter boils down to one's epistemological starting point, does it not? As you've said Mike, being finite beings with no chance of 'ever' knowing everything about everything, we must bend the knee to superior authority in our quest for knowledge. Autonomous man's 'interpretation' of things discovered through 'science' must bow ultimately to the One who was there and told us what He did.

Halcyon said...

David (the so-called "Unteachable Troll"):

Despite DJP's advice, I'll throw you one bone to help you out. If you still don't get it, then you are a troll, and I will wash my hands of you.

Ok. Here goes:

Frank did NOT say that science can talk about "cholesterol" but not "geology" because the latter conflicts with the Bible. What Frank DID say is that science can answer questions about natural things BUT NOT about spiritual things (like sin).

In echo of DJP, the post did make that incredibly clear. My annotated version is even clearer than that. If you still don't get it, then go away, please.

David said...

Halcyon,

Ahh, now it's clear.

I think I was thrown a bit off track when I read some of the comments which seem to go beyond what Frank said. Ok, clear enough. Frank did not say that science can't talk about geology. Good. So science can talk about geology. Would that also mean that Frank would agree that geologists can tell us something about the geological history of Earth? Or would that be reading too much into this? If so, my apologies for misunderstanding yet again.

Steve Drake said...

Hi David,
Which evolutionary geologist takes into account the worldwide flood of Noah as recorded in Genesis 6-9 into his/her geological interpretations? My assumption is '0'. Does that help answer your question?

Frank Turk said...

McBailey --

The problem is that the cat was never good for anythiung. The dog is usually a good servant.

David said...

Which evolutionary geologist takes into account the worldwide flood of Noah as recorded in Genesis 6-9 into his/her geological interpretations? My assumption is '0'. Does that help answer your question?

Well, I'm not sure. I'm not sure that I understand the point of the question. I'm also not sure that I've ever met an "evolutionary geologist". Could you explain what that term means?

I think the important question here would be this. If zero geologists take Noah's Flood into account, why is this so? Why don't geologists take Noah's Flood into account? What is the historic origin of this state of affairs?

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Frank,

May I ask, in this analogy or metaphor or whatever it is, if the dog/science is a the servant, who is the master? Humans? God? I'm confused again.

Steve Drake said...

Hi David,
Contrast 'biblical geologist' versus 'evolutionary geologist'. Where is one's starting point? Have you read Terry Mortenson's excellent analysis and summary "The Great Turning Point"? (Master Books, 2004).

Yes, great questions. Can you answer your own questions here?

David said...

"Contrast 'biblical geologist' versus 'evolutionary geologist'. Where is one's starting point? Have you read Terry Mortenson's excellent analysis and summary "The Great Turning Point"? (Master Books, 2004). Yes, great questions. Can you answer your own questions here?"

I'm sorry, but I'm still confused. Evolution refers to something that happens in biological populations. That's a different thing from geology. Now, geology is useful for answering evolutionary questions, but it's also a quite separate field of study. Historically, it pre-dates any scientific study of evolutionary questions by several decades. Most practicing geologists really don't think twice about evolution, nor do the deal with evolutionary questions on a daily basis. Instead, they're doing things like looking for oil or trying to predict earthquakes. So, I really don't understand the phrase "evolutionary geologists".

I haven't read Mortenson's book. Is he a trained historian?

The answer to my questions? Well, I think that the answer would be that when folks began to study geology in a systematic way, the young earth/flood hypothesis was contradicted by the observations. The the situation just got worse over time as more observations were accumulated. So, eventually, geologists didn't bother with Noah's Flood, because it seemed very unlikely that it happened.

That's how science works. Same thing happened to geocentrism. Would you ask which astronomers take into account the fact that the sun goes around the earth?

Rob Auld said...

Don Sands,

Yes it is.

From Websters: belief that is not based on proof:

(That's too easy)

Eric,

It's a hypothesis that Dr. Hawking is proposing that he will then find evidence to prove or disprove.

That's called the scientific method.

Rob

Rob Bailey said...

Watch it with the "Mc," "Otto von."

Steve Drake said...

Hi David,
My reply to your last post was deleted by the blog administrator. Not sure why, but I'm not going to type it up again.

Steve Drake said...

Hi David,
I'll try again to post this. It's not the same as my original post which got lost in the ether, but here's my best shot at reconstruction.

David said,
"I'm sorry, but I'm still confused. Evolution refers to something that happens in biological populations. That's a different thing from geology."

The main tenets of evolution were around long before Darwin's 'Origin of Species', but the debate in geology started in the early to mid 1800's and centered around the 'scriptural' or 'biblical' geologists and those advocating an old earth (evolutionary geologists). I'm sure you see the difference in my terminology.

David said: "The answer to my questions? Well, I think that the answer would be that when folks began to study geology in a systematic way, the young earth/flood hypothesis was contradicted by the observations. The the situation just got worse over time as more observations were accumulated. So, eventually, geologists didn't bother with Noah's Flood, because it seemed very unlikely that it happened."

I'm sure you're not saying that there is only 'one' interpretation of the geological 'observations', are you? That I must 'believe' the evolutionary geologists interpretation that the earth is old. That there is so much solid state evidence that I would be a fool not to believe it? Or are you?

If you are, then this is a discussion for another forum or thread where we can talk about the extrapolation of rates of decay, parent and daughter isotopes, the various methods, and their inconsistencies.

I choose to take Noah's flood seriously because it is recorded in Scripture, and will question any geologist's 'interpretation' of the layers in the rocks and their age without reference to the worldwide flood of Noah, as suspect at best.

donsands said...

"From Websters: belief that is not based on proof:"

From the Word of God:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

"..the word substance [hupostasis]is objective because it refers to something that is not part of me. Rather, substance is something on which I can rely. As one translation has it, "Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for." That, in fact, is objective."-William Hendriksen

My point is that my faith, and the faith of the one catholic Church, (not Roman church), is a trusting in Christ Himself. He died and rose from the dead, and so He is. We are committed to Him, and believe in Christ, and trust Christ.

And there is plenty of proof of His existence.

However, faith can be absent even when you seeing the proof face to face.
There are those who saw Christ, and yet killed Him, because they had no faith. They even slapped Him, and spit in His face, but they had no faith.

It's true I have never seen Christ, and so my faith in Him is very subjective, and that's alright.

But there's another element that takes hold, and it's love. I love Christ.
Peter said it this way:

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you LOVE Him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Peter saw Him big time, but Peter still must believe, and have faith in Jesus Christ.

Faith is believing in substance. And yet I have truly never seen God. But I see all thisin the universe.

"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible."

donsands said...

And Rob, I meant to say that I like Websters dictionary, and use it quite often, but there's sometimes more to a word than in the dictionary, as helpful as it is.

Thanks for your dialog.

David said...

“The main tenets of evolution were around long before Darwin's 'Origin of Species', but the debate in geology started in the early to mid 1800's and centered around the 'scriptural' or 'biblical' geologists and those advocating an old earth (evolutionary geologists). I'm sure you see the difference in my terminology.

Yes, a few people had talked about the idea of evolution before the Origin, but it was very much a tiny minority view and it had little or no impact on the early science of geology (which actually dates back to the late 1700s). The spread of the idea that the earth was old clearly pre-dated the spread or acceptance of the idea of evolution. I understand the phrase “old earth geologist” and I think this accurately summarizes the view of many early 19th century geologists. But the phrase “evolutionary geologists” really doesn’t make any sense for reasons I’ve already given.

“I'm sure you're not saying that there is only 'one' interpretation of the geological 'observations', are you?”

It’s not really a question of “interpretation”. One can interpret the movement of the sun across the sky as evidence that the sun goes around the earth. One can look at the sun and interpret this as evidence that there are invisible chariots pulling the sun across the surface of a dome in the sky. There are an infinite number of interpretations for a given observation. So “interpretation” isn’t really the key.

What I think is more valuable is hypothesis testing. Start with an interpretation if you’d like, but then use that interpretation or theory or model to make predictions about what you will find if your interpretation is actually accurate. For example, I can interpret the movement of the sun as evidence that the sun circles the earth, but when I check the predictions derived from this interpretation, the geocentric model is repeatedly contradicted by the data. I’m not saying that “there is only one interpretation of the geological observations”. What I am saying it that when you test the old earth and young earth hypotheses, the old earth hypothesis is very well supported and the young earth hypothesis is repeatedly contradicted by the data. And THAT’S why geologists do not include Noah’s Flood in their geology. What they find in the field simply doesn’t fit the Flood hypothesis, and this realization dates back to Hutton (late 1700s).

“That I must 'believe' the evolutionary geologists interpretation that the earth is old. “

Well, you can believe as you wish.

“That there is so much solid state evidence that I would be a fool not to believe it? Or are you?”

I’m not sure what you mean by “solid state evidence”, but there is an awful lot of geological evidence that contradicts YEC. Mountains of it, in fact.

“I choose to take Noah's flood seriously because it is recorded in Scripture, and will question any geologist's 'interpretation' of the layers in the rocks and their age without reference to the worldwide flood of Noah, as suspect at best.”

You can question it if you’d like, but I think it might be helpful if you spent more time in the field and in the classroom with geologists. I’m sure that they would be more than happy to explain in great detail why they don’t include Noah’s Flood in their geology.

David said...

“The main tenets of evolution were around long before Darwin's 'Origin of Species', but the debate in geology started in the early to mid 1800's and centered around the 'scriptural' or 'biblical' geologists and those advocating an old earth (evolutionary geologists). I'm sure you see the difference in my terminology.

Yes, a few people had talked about the idea of evolution before the Origin, but it was very much a tiny minority view and it had little or no impact on the early science of geology (which actually dates back to the late 1700s). The spread of the idea that the earth was old clearly pre-dated the spread or acceptance of the idea of evolution. I understand the phrase “old earth geologist” and I think this accurately summarizes the view of many early 19th century geologists. But the phrase “evolutionary geologists” really doesn’t make any sense for reasons I’ve already given.

“I'm sure you're not saying that there is only 'one' interpretation of the geological 'observations', are you?”

It’s not really a question of “interpretation”. One can interpret the movement of the sun across the sky as evidence that the sun goes around the earth. One can look at the sun and interpret this as evidence that there are invisible chariots pulling the sun across the surface of a dome in the sky. There are an infinite number of interpretations for a given observation. So “interpretation” isn’t really the key.

What I think is more valuable is hypothesis testing. Start with an interpretation if you’d like, but then use that interpretation or theory or model to make predictions about what you will find if your interpretation is actually accurate. For example, I can interpret the movement of the sun as evidence that the sun circles the earth, but when I check the predictions derived from this interpretation, the geocentric model is repeatedly contradicted by the data. I’m not saying that “there is only one interpretation of the geological observations”. What I am saying it that when you test the old earth and young earth hypotheses, the old earth hypothesis is very well supported and the young earth hypothesis is repeatedly contradicted by the data. And THAT’S why geologists do not include Noah’s Flood in their geology. What they find in the field simply doesn’t fit the Flood hypothesis, and this realization dates back to Hutton (late 1700s).

“That I must 'believe' the evolutionary geologists interpretation that the earth is old. “

Well, you can believe as you wish.

“That there is so much solid state evidence that I would be a fool not to believe it? Or are you?”

I’m not sure what you mean by “solid state evidence”, but there is an awful lot of geological evidence that contradicts YEC. Mountains of it, in fact.

“I choose to take Noah's flood seriously because it is recorded in Scripture, and will question any geologist's 'interpretation' of the layers in the rocks and their age without reference to the worldwide flood of Noah, as suspect at best.”

You can question it if you’d like, but I think it might be helpful if you spent more time in the field and in the classroom with geologists. I’m sure that they would be more than happy to explain in great detail why they don’t include Noah’s Flood in their geology.

farmboy said...

I want to be careful here, because the scientific method formulates things in ways that are totally foreign to ordinary folk.

You have a theory that you want to test. So, the first thing you need to do is state the implication of your theory in the form of an alternative hypothesis. An example of an alternative hypothesis would be as follows: When the price of a product increases, quantity demanded for that product decreases. But, you never actually test the alternative hypothesis.

Then, you formulate a null hypothesis which basically captures the opposite or negation of what your theory implies. Continuing with the previous example, the complementary null hypothesis is as follows: There is no relationship between the price of a product and quantity demanded for that product. It is this null hypothesis that you actually test.

You properly gather evidence relevant to your hypothesis test. Then you analyze that evidence using classical statistics. Classical statistics assumes that we bring no previous knowledge to this hypothesis test. We all think in a manner consistent with Bayesian statistics, but we ignore all that when testing a hypothesis.

Based on the results of our statistical test, with the specified degree of confidence, we either reject or fail to reject the null hypothesis. In other words, rejection of the null hypothesis is evidence consistent with our theory. With the scientific method, we never prove a theory true. The best we can do is accumulate a mountain of evidence consistent with our theory. We still have to believe, based on the evidence, that a given theory is true.

Despite all the above, science tells us that macro evolution is a proven fact.

Believe what you will. After all, it's a free country (at least for a few more years). As for me, after considering the evidence from special and general revelation, I'm going with the account that starts as follows: "In the beginning God..."

Steve Drake said...

Hi David,
Interpretation "is" the key, brother, your denial to the contrary. Extrapolation of current rates of decay into an unseen past, is an assumption that geologists must partake in. This is not 'science', but a philosophical position of 'faith' based on a naturalistic starting point. But I'm sure you've heard this before.

I'm fairly new to the TeamPyro blog, but I can understand why you are labeled "unteachable". It seems you simply want to accept evidence that supports your position and deny the rest.

As to 'mountains of evidence', yes, for a young earth, and not an old one. Or are you not familiar with these 'evidences' using the same extrapolation rates and methods that speak to a young universe and earth? We could go on and on, David, but I won't. It's time to move on.

David said...

"Interpretation "is" the key, brother, your denial to the contrary.

So, the sun goes around the earth then? That's my interpretation.


"Extrapolation of current rates of decay into an unseen past, is an assumption that geologists must partake in."

If this is your concern, I would suggest that you discuss this with a PhD-level geologist. I think you will find that you are over-simplifying this matter. For one thing, you're ignoring our ability to check the accuracy of of things like C-14 dating via independent dating methods such as dendrochronology. I'm not being the least bit sarcastic here. I really think that you might find that there is more to radiometric dating than you think.

"This is not 'science', but a philosophical position of 'faith' based on a naturalistic starting point. But I'm sure you've heard this before."

Of course it's science. It includes testable hypotheses that are subject to disproof. That what science is. By contrast, faith is not subject to disproof.

"I'm fairly new to the TeamPyro blog, but I can understand why you are labeled "unteachable". It seems you simply want to accept evidence that supports your position and deny the rest."

Why does everyone here engage in projection? I don't understand what unteachable even means. Am I only teachable if I change my mind and agree with you? Has anyone here ever changed their minds to agree with me? I believe that folks are confusing the word "unteachable" with the word "disagree".

"As to 'mountains of evidence', yes, for a young earth, and not an old one. Or are you not familiar with these 'evidences' using the same extrapolation rates and methods that speak to a young universe and earth?"

I'm afraid that I'm not the one who is unfamiliar with the evidence. I'd be glad to discuss this in detail any time you'd like.

Steve Drake said...

Hi David,
I've read your reply brother. May the peace of Christ richly dwell in your heart as you seek to glorify Him in everything you do.

Mike Riccardi said...

Steve,

David, by his own admission, is not a brother, and neither does he seek to glorify the Lord Jesus in anything he does, let alone everything.

David,

...However, I think that the end result is the same. If you can't follow where the method actually takes you, then you might as well say that one is forbidden from using the method in the first place.

The key to understanding what we're saying is to recognize that the Christian epistemological authority is God and His Word. All things are subservient to Him and to it.

The Creator, the Designer, of the natural world has already told us where it came from, and how some of it works. If we employ the scientific method to test those things that He has told us about, and our conclusions seem to contradict what He's told us, then our conclusions are somehow lacking.

If we employ the scientific method to test those things that He hasn't specifically told us about (e.g., your cholesterol example), and our conclusions do not seem to contradict what He has told us about, then it's fair game.

So it's not that we're forbidden to go where the method takes us. It's acknowledging that the method is flawed (human reason), the students are flawed (humans themselves; and not just flawed but rabidly biased), and the subjects are flawed (the creation). So when the method takes us someplace that contradicts with the infallible declarations of the omnipotent and omniscient Creator, we simply acknowledge that He's bigger and smarter than us, and we got it wrong. It's recognizing that God -- the Creator of the natural world Himself -- is an objectively better authority on His own creation than His corrupted creatures, with their corrupted reasoning.

Finally, in reality, it is about asking questions and not accepting answers, as you say. But it is you, and those who agree with your position on God and origins, who do so, not us. You ask a question of the natural world, and the Creator of that natural world gives you an answer, but you refuse to accept it. I would again refer to <a href="http://bibchr.blogspot.com/2009/02/science-bible-and-presuppositions.html>this post</a>.

Mike Riccardi said...

Ugh! This post.

Steve Drake said...

Dear Mike R.,
Thank you. That puts others and my comments to David in so much better perspective. I had assumed I was having a dialog with a Christian. Thank you again.

David said...

"If we employ the scientific method to test those things that He has told us about, and our conclusions seem to contradict what He's told us, then our conclusions are somehow lacking."

One other possibility. Maybe you're wrong when you assume that God has told you something about what you're testing. Maybe God didn't actually tell Moses about how the world was created. Maybe the answer isn't 47 after all. Maybe that's what the contradiction is telling you.

"So it's not that we're forbidden to go where the method takes us."

Yes, you are forbidden. If you go where the method takes you, and if the answer contradicts what you believe that God is saying, then in your view, if you accept the answer that the method gives you, you are rejecting the authority of God. I assume that you are not supposed to reject the authority of God. It's at least a sin, and I would think that means that it's forbidden, yes?

Eric said...

Rob Auld,

You did not answer my question.

Hawkins made a statement as if it is fact. Earlier in the article there is this similar quote: ""Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something," he concluded." Note, it says "he concluded", not "he hypothesized".

It is frankly impossible for Hawkins to prove a hypothesis that the origin the universe and all life is due to spontaneous creation. At most, he can hope to prove that it is theoretically possible.

As Dan has pointed out many times, we have delivered to us a first hand account of the origin of the universe and all life. Of course, such talk is foolishness to a non-Christian. However, to the Christian the creation account is reason to ponder the greatness of God and praise Him for his majesty and power. It really adds great joy to observing the complexities of creation.

Eric said...

RE: Complexities of Creation.

Consider this: There are estimated to be between 100 and 200 trillion cells in the human body. Within each cell thousands of chemical reactions occur. All of these chemical reactions and cells work together in a cohesive manner so as to support the multitude of organs and systems necessary for humans to be alive. Now, whether you are a statistician or not, try to wrap your mind around the idea that all this happened by chance - now that, my friend, takes faith.

Eric said...

On second thought, my previous comment should end as follows: "...that, my friend, takes blind loyalty." Faith, biblically speaking, is an entirely different thing.

Mike Riccardi said...

One other possibility. Maybe you're wrong when you assume that God has told you something about what you're testing.

Here we run up against the contradiction of our epistemologies. It is not a possibility that God doesn't exist. There is no way to conceive of reality without God. "I am that I am," He says. Existence borrows from God, who is self-existent.

It's also very arrogant of you to assume that I assumed God "has told [me] something."

[Rejecting God's authority is] at least a sin, and I would think that means that it's forbidden, yes?

It is a sin, but that's not my point. My point is that it's stupid. Woefully and tragically stupid. No reasonable, sane, clearly thinking person would do it.

It's like trying to determine how long it took for a room full of furniture to evolve into its current arrangement while ignoring the note on the door from the owner saying he arranged it that way in about an hour.

Rob Auld said...

Eric

I don't discount the possibility their is a God. But the notion the earth is less then 25k yearsvold is laughable.

But so is the idea the earth is flat, and we should burn witches etc. Its a superstition of the ignorant. That's what I object too. Frank Turk is ignorant about science and then origins of the earth but writes like he's an authority.

I implore you before you look more ignorant, stop talking. Keep selling your faith. That's where youre not ignorant just misguided.

Rob

Rob Auld said...

Writing on a mobile. Excuse the typos please.

Mike Riccardi said...

I've posted this comment a couple times, but for whatever reason it hasn't gone through. I'll give it one last try.

David: One other possibility. Maybe you're wrong when you assume that God has told you something about what you're testing.

Here we run up against the contradiction of our epistemologies. It is not a possibility that God doesn't exist. There is no way to conceive of reality without God. Existence borrows from God, who is self-existent.

It's also very arrogant of you to assume that I assumed God "has told [me] something."

[Rejecting God's authority is] at least a sin, and I would think that means that it's forbidden, yes?

It is a sin, but that's not my point. My point is that it's stupid. Woefully and tragically stupid. No reasonable, sane, clearly thinking person would do it.

It's like trying to determine how long it took for a room full of furniture to evolve into its current arrangement while ignoring the note on the door from the owner saying he arranged it that way in about an hour.

Strong Tower said...

Atheists, Dating, Pig Dogs, The Science Of Divining Witches, And Migrating Coconuts

David said...

ST,

Please describe the historical origin of the idea of the geologic column.

Are you really trying to push the the old "fossil date the strata and the strata date the fossil" gambit?

I say this in the nicest possible way. Please go talk to a geologist. A real one. With a PhD. At a research university. I'm positive that such an individual could explain this to you.

Strong Tower said...

No.

Don't need to.

Don't you trust the data?

Didn't think so.

What else floats?

Tell us again how you don't understand the term geologic evolutionist?

Are you trying to tell us that geology plays no part in evolutionary theory? Of course not, you just don't want to be tied to such a widely disputed and speculative theory, I am guessing.

The GSA calls you a liar David, and they're your own kind.

You should go to a real geologist, a real PhD, who is not an evolutionist and have him explain it to you.

It is you who is pushing the "if you're not an evolutionist you're not a real PhD gambit." Your bigotry and conceit is a real problem.

Your argument is an argument from authority, and is invalid. Because your priests say it is so, doesn't make it so.

http://www.icr.org/research/scientists_faculty/

See David, I can play the PhD card just as well. But they're not "real" scientists, are they, because they don't believe in witches. You believe in witches and can prove them so if they weigh more than a duck, right? But don't expect anyone else to accept your logic. It might be scientific but it leads to the death of innocence. The matter at hand is your assumptions. Our appeals to authorities, and yours, is not the question, the data is. But we shouldn't expect you to give your authorities up, even if the data leads you away from them, now should we? Even though that is what you're asking us to do.

The fact is David, you're a proselytising religionist and your faith is founded upon things that you cannot see, cannot put to the test and all findings to the contrary are shelved or discounted as blasphemous tom foolery. Like Rob, yours is truly a blind faith reaching into the unknown. How horrible it must be to be always searching but never coming to any true knowledge.

David said...

ST,

"No. Don't need to."

If you're going to imply that the geologic column is a myth created by evolutionists, then yeah, you really do need to learn more about the history of the concept. Why not learn more? What are you afriad of?

I have company over right now, so I don't have time to reply at the moment. But I'll get back to ya. Stay tuned.

David said...

“Don't you trust the data? Didn't think so.”

I have no idea what this is referring to, I really don’t. Why would you think that I don’t trust the data?

“What else floats?”

As far as you comparisons go, I think that you will find way, way more magical thinking in YEC than in the geosciences. Obviously, you don’t understand how science works.

“Are you trying to tell us that geology plays no part in evolutionary theory? Of course not, you just don't want to be tied to such a widely disputed and speculative theory, I am guessing.”

Please go back and re-read everything that I’ve written previously on the phrase “evolutionary geologist”. Read it carefully. Try to understand what I’ve already said. As I said, geology plays are role in understanding evolution, but as far as I know, few geologists do much with evolutionary theory when they are doing geology. Those geologists who do get directly involved in evolutionary biology are usually not called “evolutionary geologists”. They’re called paleontologists.

While evolution that depends on information provided by geologists, geologists do not depend on information provided by evolutionary biologists. The development of an old earth geology and the concept of index fossils actually pre-date Darwin and the widespread acceptance of evolution. You don’t need evolutionary theory to do geology. Your problem is that your arrow between geology and evolution is pointing in the wrong direction, and that’s why the phrase “evolutionary geologist’ doesn’t make much sense

With respect to being tied to theories, I have no problem being tied to either old earth geology or evolution.

“The GSA calls you a liar David, and they're your own kind.”

So, now you’re speaking for the GSA?! Wow, you’re awfully quick to jump to the L-word, aren’t you? I pretty sure that, at worst, the GSA would just say that I was wrong. It happens. But when I talk about “evolutionary geologist”, I certainly am not deliberately deceiving or consciously promoting a falsehood. If you can find GSA members who describe themselves as “evolutionary geologists”, let me know.

David said...

“See David, I can play the PhD card just as well. But they're not "real" scientists, are they, because they don't believe in witches. “

Many YEC scientists are not real scientists because they do things like sign pledges that say that they will always start with the specific conclusion that the Earth is 6000 years old and they will always interpret all data in such a way as to confirm that conclusion. They will state, a priori, that there is no possibility of disproof of YEC. Real scientists never sign pledges like that. It’s a central tenet of science that one is always open to the possibility that one is wrong. Even if scientists “believed in witches”, they would be obligated to create experiments designed to show that witches don’t exist. On the other hand, when YEC “scientists” believe in witches, they are forbidden from even considering the possibility that witches don’t exist. See the difference?

“But we shouldn't expect you to give your authorities up, even if the data leads you away from them, now should we? Even though that is what you're asking us to do.”

Show me the data.


“The fact is David, you're a proselytising religionist …blah, blah, blah.”

Yeah, yeah, whatever. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Go talk to a geologist.

Robert said...

Rob/David,

Are you saying that God can create a totally complex human but can not create the earth to appear to be older than when He created it? If God created a fully mature tree, it would have all the characteristics (i.e. many rings) that a tree that is many years (in some cases 100+ years) old. If you went as a scientist to examine the tree and date it, you'd say it was 100+ years old. When in fact, God created it yesterday. I'd like to hear a sound argument against that.

Science can not explain the supernatural.

Rob Auld said...

Robert

There is no argument against that. But that's faith not science. I suggest you reread the comments because you've missed the point.

Rob

David said...

"If you went as a scientist to examine the tree and date it, you'd say it was 100+ years old. When in fact, God created it yesterday. I'd like to hear a sound argument against that."

Actually, we are all created just a second ago with minds that include created memories that generate the illusion that we have been alive for many years. The world only appears to be 6000 years old, but really, it's only seconds old. And the only humans who ever actually existed are the ones who are alive that this very instant. I'd like to see a sound argument against that.

My view of the "apparent age" canard is this. It's a beautiful demonstration that the evidence is very, very strongly against YEC.

Robert said...

Rob,

I'd say you missed the point. In fact maybe you missed the point of this blog. Maybe you've missed the point of the argument against BioLogos. The Bible is the authority for Christians...BioLogos claims to be a community of Christians trying to use science to understand the historical account of the Bible...and in some cases change clear historical accounts into figurative accounts.

David,

As for your statement, it is pretty asinine in the face of the fact that I have a timeline in Scripture that I can follow to base things upon. Meanwhile, you're stuck trying to drum up a sarcastic response to seem intelligent. You might score points with a lot of people with arguments like that, but I'm not sure it shows much grace or forethought.

David said...

"As for your statement, it is pretty asinine in the face of the fact that I have a timeline in Scripture that I can follow to base things upon. Meanwhile, you're stuck trying to drum up a sarcastic response to seem intelligent. You might score points with a lot of people with arguments like that, but I'm not sure it shows much grace or forethought."

I'm not trying to be sarcastic at all, not in the least. I asked you to give me a sound argument against my position. Don't you understand that the timeline in the scriptures was also created a second ago? All holy books of all religions were just created a second ago. What you have is something that appears to be texts that are thousands of years old, but actually, they are only a second old. Offer a sound argument against my position.

Rob Auld said...

Robert

Reading Comprehension doesn't seem to be your thing. Its okay though. We all can't be great at everything.

The point of the post was to say that if science and the way Frank Turk reads his Bible are at odds, then science loses. No matter the evidence Frank doesnt care because science or objective thought doesn't hold a candle to Genesis 1.

The stupidity of the premise aside, Frank can't be right. Jesus talked about the 4 corners of the earth, you'd figure the person who created it would know it was round.

Next you'll be saying man and dinosaurs roamed the earth together. I'm hoping someone brings up a leviathan. That'll prove it.

donsands said...

"Jesus talked about the 4 corners of the earth, you'd figure the person who created it would know it was round."

He did. It's simply an expression, like the Sun rises and sets.

Jesus died on a Cross Rob. He also rose from the dead.
Dr. Luke wrote in his second epistle, or book, to his friend:

"In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented HIMSELF ALIVE to them after his suffering by many PROOFS, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God."

Science says it's impossible for a dead corpse to rise from the dead. The Bible declares that science is wrong.

Robert said...

David,

The problem with your argument is that we have actual historical writings from people. And we are able to look at the languages they wrote in, the words that they used, and the text itself to find out what and how they were writing. Whereas for old earth arguments, we have so much built on assumptions...yes, theories of science are built on assumptions that can't really be verified. That is one thing that you learn in science, but people seem to forget to mention it when they teach some theories as fact.

Rob,

Just for your amusement, I went back and read the article. And I still stand by what I wrote. You can try to attack me and make trite comments about me, but did you notice you're the only one who seems to think that I am not understanding what he wrote?

The reason that science loses goes back to what I wrote to you originally. The Bible is the authority for Christians.

David said...

"The problem with your argument is that we have actual historical writings from people. And we are able to look at the languages they wrote in, the words that they used, and the text itself to find out what and how they were writing. Whereas for old earth arguments, we have so much built on assumptions...yes, theories of science are built on assumptions that can't really be verified."


The problem with your argument is that it rests on assumptions that can't be verified. You assume that the historical writing to which you refer were actually written thousands of years in the past. It is impossible to verify this. In fact, these documents merely have the appearance of age. They were actually all created last Thursday by an all-powerful, supernatural being, and remember, science can not explain the supernatural.

Your belief that the Earth is 6000 years old is just a theory, not a fact. The fact is that the Earth is less than a week old.

DJP said...

The textbook mark of an unteachable troll:

Documents written in well-known languages just a few thousand years old, verified by God's Son, are impossible to verify.

But his preferred philosophy/religion/school of "Science" is just a fact, unambiguous and undeniable except by the foolish and the uninformed.

And there never is the slightest hint of self-awareness in such time-wasting trollery. Just endless yards of empty verbage.

David said...

"Documents written in well-known languages just a few thousand years old, verified by God's Son, are impossible to verify."

That's right, it's impossible to verify that these documents are a few thousands years old without the use of uniformatarian principles. Prove that these documents do not just have "the appearance of age".


"But his preferred philosophy/religion/school of "Science" is just a fact, unambiguous and undeniable except by the foolish and the uninformed."

When did I say that "science is just a fact, unambiguous and undeniable"? The whole point of science is that any discovery is potentially "deniable".

David said...

I would also note that it might be said of those who insist on repeatedly using the word "unteachable" that there is not "the slightest hint of self-awareness" with respect to the use of this word.

Ktisophilos said...

CMI's New Testament scholar Lita Cosner has written a detailed critique of Keller's BioLogos paper as well as a thorough demolition of BioLogos itself, showing its baneful effects on Christian doctrines quite apart from Genesis. She cites this blog in support :)

DJP said...

Terrific, David. Progress!

NOTE TO EVERYBODY — David admits that what he's been bogging down every post with is unverified guesswork, and only one possible explanation.

Given, then, that Christians stand on verified certainties, we can proceed.

Thanks, David, and goodbye.

David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Actual response, David, or move on. Snark and dodging doesn't count.

David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

One last try, David. Refuse to deal again, I'll just do everyone who's wasted time trying to help you a favor, and show you the door.

True or false: your view of the age of the earth, evolution, etc. is just one possible interpretation of evidence that does not interpret itself. There are other interpretations.

True or false: the Christian position rests on just such a differing interpretation of the same evidence, an interpretation including the evidence of the Bible, which we affirm to be the word of God.

Simple questions. You don't have to answer, of course - you can just move on.

But if you want to continue commenting, you do need to answer.

David said...

"True or false: your view of the age of the earth, evolution, etc. is just one possible interpretation of evidence that does not interpret itself. There are other interpretations."

Well, yes, there are always other interpretations for anything that we observe. I'm pretty sure that I answered this question way back up the comment thread when I talked about interpreting the movements of the sun across the sky and when I talked about the "apparent age" of the Bible. What matters is how we try to answer the question "is my interpretation accurate?". Maybe it wasn't clear, but I really thought that I address this point already.

"True or false: the Christian position rests on just such a differing interpretation of the same evidence, an interpretation including the evidence of the Bible, which we affirm to be the word of God."

Yes, I understand that your particular religious beliefs affect the way in which you interpret evidence. However, and I'm really not trying to be difficult here, it's been my observation that when it comes to interpreting evidence with respect to the age of the Earth, there are actually several different Christian positions. Yes, the various types of Christians attempt to connect their paricular way of viewing the evidence to the Bible, but there is not a "the Christian position".

So, the point of all of this is...?

David said...

Just to be clear, my answers would be true and true.

DJP said...

Okay, so you champion an interpretation, an opinion held by some, that leaves out the single most critical piece of evidence: the Word of God.

Was there any other point you wanted to make here, or can you just move on, now?

David said...

"Was there any other point you wanted to make here?"

Yeah. How do you know you have the word of God?

David said...

Oh, and lots of people include the Bible in their interpretations and they look at fossils, etc., and they also come to the conclusion that the Earth is old. So, including the Bible does not seem to automatically lead to YEC/Global Flood.

DJP said...

Yes, David, we've dealt with that at length. Sorry if you missed it,.

To your previous: it's a very basic question, and off-topic. This will point you to the answer. Unless you just don't want the answer, in which case none of us can help you.

But as of today, you're through derailing. In case my betters here are busy, I will be the judge.

Rob Auld said...

Djp

Those are some dumb questions. Didn't think it was possible to get dumber then the post...but you managed it.

The evidence exists and is overwhelming. Choose to ignore it if you want to but it won't go away. The longer you hold this untenable position the faster you move towards irrelevance.

I welcome those trying to reconcile faith with reality. It shows that they're healthy people. Choosing to deny reality and live in fantasy is a sign of mental illness.

DJP said...

OK, Rob, your turn: your next comment on this blog will answer these two questions directly. It will take discipline and focus, but if you try hard, perhaps you can do it.

First — true or false: your view of the age of the earth, evolution, etc. is just one possible interpretation of evidence that does not interpret itself. There are other interpretations.

Second — true or false: the Christian position rests on just such a differing interpretation of the same evidence, an interpretation including the evidence of the Bible, which we affirm to be the word of God.

Robert said...

Rob,

Since your profile is empty, I thought I'd ask...what is your background? Do you have some sort of degree or profession? Just wondering where your vast knowledge comes from.

DJP said...

...except, reminding everyone, Rob posts no comments anywhere until he responds to my questions.

Rob Auld said...

First —
False. The evidence of an old earth is overwhelming. There is no other interpretation of the evidence using the scientific method (this excludes faith)

Second — false. The Christian faith ignores the evidence in light of their faith. We could have video of the event and you wouldn't accept it because it violates your interpretation of the Bible. I want to qualify this as your Christian faith. Ive met plenty of informed Christians who don't have your challenges.

My turn,

DJP the evidence of an old earth greatly exceeds that of a young earth if you only use objective evidence. True or false

The overwhelming number of PHD's and the most educated people in the world agree with me and not you. True or false.

In order to hold your position you must believe that the vast majority of the smartest and most educated people are wrong, and you who have not studied evolution or geology are right. True or false.

This should be a great test of the arrogance factor.

DJP said...

Ah, Rob Auld is a greater fool than David.

First: nothing excludes faith, and no natural-history evidence is self-interpreting. You live by faith as surely as the Christian. The only difference is your faith is baseless, and you don't admit it.

Second: then you do not even understand the faith you try so pathetically to attack.

To yours. Easy:

1. False premise, ergo false conclusion.

2. False (loaded definitions of "smartest," etc.).

So, what we've learned about you, Rob, is that:

1. You don't understand the first thing about epistemology.

2. You don't understand the first thing about the Christian faith.

3. Your method of argument is to begin with the announcement that the conclusion that your interpretation is fact, then announce victory.

So here's the deal. You need to bring up your game, and show you're capable of learning something, and of self-criticism.

Otherwise you're just hear to propagandize for a sub-sect of "science" that exists by exclusion of the primary evidence.

But your propagandizing and brow-beating, Rob?

Stops here.

This is not a therapy clinic for folks who need, but won't accept, help.

Rob Auld said...
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Rob Auld said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob Auld said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Rob, you're not listening; which, alas, is not news.

Read my last comments to you, where I answer your questions directly, and more. You really aren't getting it.

And, unless something changes in you, you really are done.

If one of the other admins is awake and wants to babysit the thread, he can reopen. Until then, comments closed.