Why I’m Still a Young-Earth Creationist, Even Though It’s Getting Increasingly Lonely over Here
If the Bible’s account of creation is historical narrative and should be read straightforwardly, and if it says that creation occurred over a period of 6 “days” with “evenings and mornings,” and if the biblical genealogies place Adam a few thousand years ago, then we have a clear conflict between the biblical story and the broadly accepted modern evolutionary account. How do we respond to that conflict?
- Assume that the science is settled, and the Bible is wrong?
- Try to reconcile the two accounts by a creative reading of the biblical text?
- Declare that Science Is Evil and move in next door to Simeon Stylites?
I see serious problems with all these approaches.
First, there is no statement more unscientific than that “the science is settled.” Science is never settled. Scientists regularly and correctly observe that errors are revealed and that models are constantly revised as new discoveries occur. Science, they tell us, is the ongoing, never-ending search for truth. I’m happy to accept their word on that. Question everything.
Second, my earlier posts (as linked above) have argued that there is no textual basis for getting hermeneutically creative with the biblical account. It is what it is.
Third, the fact that God is the Creator renders it impossible that genuine science could be in conflict with revealed truth. The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19.1), and the study of the heavens will not contradict God’s declarations about their origin. So I’m not going to live the rest of my life sitting cross-legged on my Luddite pillar. I’m going to study science as one more avenue toward increasing my knowledge of God.
As I’ve stated before, the demonstrated supernatural character of the Scripture requires that I give it the benefit of the doubt in any supposed conflict with science. That means that scientific “discoveries” that conflict with the biblical account have some serious burden of proof. I’m going to need more than consensus or, worse yet, allegation to bail on the biblical statements.
So I’m going to have to evaluate the evolutionary model to see just how rigorous it is. I recognize that that’s a risky business, since I’m not a scientist. In my graduate studies I learned what it means to acquire the specialized research skills necessary for a specific academic field, and I don’t take lightly the risk I’m taking on by evaluating a scientific model without those tools. I invite informed criticism. But I also note that name-calling is not rigorous rebuttal.
I’ve asked secular scientists about many of these things, and I haven’t gotten coherent, reasonable, validated answers—nothing even approaching the level of proof that I’m requiring if I’m going to reject the biblical account.
So the next few posts contain my thought process on evaluating the evolutionary model. Take it for what it’s worth, and refute it if you can.
To begin with, we need to note that there is no single “evolutionary model.” The modern secular view of cosmogeny requires at least 2 distinct phases: the beginning of the universe, and the beginning of life on earth. These phases require completely different mechanisms. The popular view is that the universe began with the so-called “Big Bang” more than 13 billion years ago, followed by material condensation into nebulae, stars, and galaxies, while biogenesis on Earth began about 4.5 billion years ago and has followed a mostly Darwinian process of mutation and natural selection since then.
How strong are the logical and observational bases of these processes? Strong enough to override the biblical account? We’ll begin by thinking about cosmic evolution, including both the Big Bang and the succeeding mechanism of star formation.