How old is the earth?
Posted 06 April 2002 - 07:09 AM
"I think that it would be funny to find out that God had "planted" the bones as His joke."
I think that this is an interesting comment that Rahzden made because I see a bit of connection with it and the manner in which science and theology may actually meet in their interpretation of the age of the Earth. A possible explanation of the vast difference in conclusions that science and theology have made is that God has created an Earth with its very own history. However, I do not beleive that such an act would have been a joke from God. :0) I do beleive that it forces us to rely on faith to beleive in Him rather than using science to prove Him. I also could see a bit of providence in it. A possible example of this is our fossil fuels, which, according to science take millions of years to form. If the Earth has only been around for 7.5k years or if God had not provided it (possibly through a created history with a story similar to what science sometimes describes), then it wouldn't be here.
Science is a good thing, a very good way to study the Earth that God has created. We must always remember that science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God nor that he did or did not create the Earth as His Word tells us.
May God bless us!
Posted 06 April 2002 - 08:23 AM
Science has enabled us to better understand our world.We have overcome horrible diseases that used to kill millions,we have created technological wonders that have made life easier and more livable for many,and the list goes on and on.CONVERSELY,science has also been used to preform some of the most evil atrocities which man has inflicted on man.Mass murder,nuclear weapons,biological agents...once again the list goes on and on.The point is that it is the PEOPLE using the science,NOT the science itself which brings forth the end result.It is up to the INDIVIDUAL as to how science is used or misused.
If one puts their total trust and faith in science,makes science a "god" if you will,then that individual will always be disappointed!After all,the science is only as good as the person(s) using it.We humans are imperfect creatures,so our theories are often imperfect,as is the science that is used to explain said theories.But then that is why they are called "theories" after all.
But should this keep us from trying to better understand our universe,or our world?I think not!
Almighty God gave us self awareness and the ability to know right from wrong for a reason,and it was NOT so we would stick our collective heads in the sand.We were given these gifts so that we could know and love our Creator.One way of doing this is through the exploration and discovery of His creation.God never commanded anyone not to question,wonder or think.Indeed,not qustioning can be a very dangerous thing,just ask the folks who followed Hitler,or the people who had Kool-Aid
with Jim Jones-I know they are dead,it is a rhetorical statement.Science can indeed become a god,but so can a million(at least!),other things in life,many which we must deal with everyday(science included).It is up to us as individuals to choose if we allow God to come first in our lives.God won't force us to love Him,if He did it would not be love!As for the "rocks" crying out John,THEY DO!!! Indeed all of creation,the rocks,the trees the sky and the animals.The stars,the moon,the sun,the biggest to the smallest thing in our nigh infinite universe ALL cry out to the Glory and Majesty of Almighty God!
If we allow it science can be a way,albeit small and imperfect,of encountering this Glory.
My God Bless and keep you,
Posted 06 April 2002 - 08:38 AM
"We must always remember that science cannot prove or disprove the existance of God nor that He did or did not create the Earth as His Word tells us."
All I can say to that is Amen!!!Science is simply humanity's (imperfect) way of trying to understand and explain the created world/universe in which we exist.Science cannot explain,nor will it ever be able to explain The Creator.
Posted 06 April 2002 - 01:31 PM
They always get back to the "big bang".
I have asked them what existed "before" the "big band"?
They always reply "Why, before that everything was one homogeneous substance." (Does this sound familiar?)
I ask them "What caused everything to come together to cause the "big bang". There they are at a loss to explain.
I submit that something intelligent (which makes it a someone.) ,which was not physical as we know it, caused all of the atoms to come together and that was the start of creation.
Or, In the words of my Jewish friend ,"Ahhaaaa!.
I think we have heard this before.
Posted 06 April 2002 - 02:58 PM
Irmos Tone 4.6 billion
I was laughing all afternoon at this, John. With all the tonal variations that come to life during the Fast, this number doesn't seem so far off.
Posted 06 April 2002 - 03:00 PM
>>"As far as my statement about how God measures time,that was meant to be purely rhetorical.In my opinion,science is only a religion or "god",IF you make it so. .....This represents using money as a tool in our everyday life.BUT,when money becomes the end all/be all for an individual,the very measuring stick by which said individual defines their existance,THEN money becomes that persons "god".The same can be said of science.<<<
Of Course I would agree, which is why I prefaced my exercise in creative writing with a reference to my fellow employee. The commandment reads: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." yet for many (such as my co-worker) science has come between him and knowing GOD. For in his "pseudo-scientific worldview (paradigm) God is unknowable precisely because "science" cannot prove the existence of God. Such persons always are calling for "scientific" evidence or facts to prove God's existence.
It seems to me, that many (if not all) of these individuals became confused when they learned that the earth rotated on an axis while orbiting around the Sun. Up until that moment they only knew and believed that the Sun rose and set on the horizons. Faced with two seemingly conflicting kinds of "scientific knowledge" they have never been able to reconcile the seemingly contradictory realities within their minds and thus they feel they are unable to live in a world where the sun rises and sets. Why? Because both can't be true.
Of course this is a simplified explanation of the dilemma experienced within the minds of such persons. Evens so, it seems that it characterizes the kind of schizoid thinking which plagues many persons today. "Thinking themselves to be wise, they become fools." In the case of my fellow-worker, this thought pattern has produced infantile type questions which seem to him to justify his "unbelief" in Jesus Christ as God-man.
"I went to Church for seventeen years before I rejected a belief in Christ," he tells me. Statements like these are designed to assure me he has fully investigated all apologetics for my belief in God becoming man and dwelling among us. Then follows, "There is no way Noah could have fit all the animals on the Ark." or "How could all the animals have co-existed together with Noah and his family and enough food to feed them all?" These kinds of questions express a inability to hold reconcile two seemingly contradictory sciences. ("Ever hear of hibernation," I reply. "Many scientist believe all animals and humans have this gene and they are searching for the trigger mechanism. Why? so they can make future deep space voyages." Yet, even if such a gene is discovered along with a way to trigger it, skeptics such as my co-worker will find a way to use such scientific facts to justify their unbelief.
Ben wrote: >>"As for the "rocks" crying out John,THEY DO!!!"<<
Yes, I agree. I for one believe the evidence of science DOES prove the existence of God. It is currently vogue to reject the traditional apologetics for evidence of design by arguing that all belief in God is axiomatic. However, I believe such axiomatic evidence is proof of God, at least in an Orthodox Christian worldview. But then as an Orthodox Christian, I accept Dionysius the Aeropagites teaching about God.
But that would be another topic under another thread, correct?
Thank-you for your comment about my "Canon to the foundation of Sand" being funny. " As a great American Stooge once quipped in court, "Truth is stranger than fiction, Judgy wudgy." (Curly from "Order in the Court.")
Posted 06 April 2002 - 03:06 PM
I meant to write: "These kinds of questions express an inability to hold and reconcile two seemingly contradictory sciences"<<
Sometimes my dyslexic fingers take over.
Posted 07 April 2002 - 04:35 PM
The 'zeitgeist' within our milieu rejects all ideas of creation from nothing as "unscientific". Even the so called "Big Bang" theory must begin with some "homogeneous substance" [as Mr. Razhden Guriadze pointed out in his post of Saturday, April 06, 2002] or as I have heard it described "a primordial soup." However, this Feast of the Annunciation arrives almost as if it were designed for the our over-scientific and rationalistic minds, at least IMO.
Therefore, the following Homily extracted from the "The Prologue of Ohrid" seems wholly appropriate within this thread. For what good is it, if we are able to ascertain the age of the rocks, yet, we are unable to judge the spirit of our age? For we are in an era of Great Apostacy; when the minds of men easily swayed by sirenic voices turn away from the "Mystery of God with Us" to 'stellar static radio waves'. Having established as their foundation the calculations of Geologist; the 'pseudo-scientific-gnostiic' builds his edifice of unbelief upwards into the very stars. Exalted by rationalistism they "boldly go where no man has gone before."
What is it they seek? Nothing less than to have their wisdom exalted onto the very throne of God. And then by ridicule to have the Orthodox Christian mind driven out of the city of modern culture.
O'What a joyous feast is this Annunciation, Come, let us eat fish together.
Until God spoke, there was no light. Nor was there anyone who could know what light was, until God spoke, and light came into being. In the same manner, when God spoke, then water and the dry land came into existence, the firmament of the heavens, vegetation, animals and finally man. Until God spoke, none of this existed nor was there anyone, except God, Who could know that all of this could exist. By the power of His word, God created all that is created on earth and in the heavens. Whatever God wanted to exist and spoke that it be, must be and it cannot but be, for the word of God is irresistible and creative. The creation of the world is a great miracle of the word of God.
Having created all things, God again, by His word, established the order of creation and the manner of behavior and relationship of creatures one with another. This order and manner which God established is a great miracle of God's word. There exists an order and manner among created things, visible and comprehensible for us people; and there also exists an order and manner, invisible and incomprehensible. According to that invisible and incomprehensible order and manner, which is a mystery in the Holy Trinity, there have occurred and are occurring those manifestations which people call miracles. One such manifestation is the conception of the Lord Jesus Christ in the womb of the All-Holy Virgin Mary without a husband [The Virgin Birth]. This appears like an interruption in the visible and comprehensible order and manner but it is never an interruption for the invisible and incomprehensible order and manner. This birth, truly, is a great miracle; perhaps the greatest miracle that was ever revealed to us mortals. But the entire created world is a miracle, and all the visible and comprehensible order and manner is a miracle, and altogether these miracles came about by the word of God; therefore, much in the same way the Lord was conceived in the Virgin's womb. Both one and the other was all brought about by the power and word of God. That is why the wonderful Gabriel replied to the question of the All-Pure One which is the question of all generations: "How can this be?" (St. Luke 1:34), and he answered her: "For nothing will be impossible for God" (St. Luke 1:37).
O Lord God, our Creator, Immortal and Existing Miracle-Worker, enlighten our minds that we no longer doubt, but believe and enlighten our tongue that it not question You, but praise You.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
Posted 07 April 2002 - 11:17 PM
'Science', as a word, simply means 'knowledge' (Latin scientia), and as 'religion' is the life of true knowledge, the Church has always considered 'science' a part of that life. Only when science is ripped apart from religion and set at odds with it, can it not be embraced in this way.
But a healthy embrace for true science has always been a part of Orthodox spirituality. In reference to the accurate understanding of the natural world, in particular, it has long formed a crucial step in the ascetic development of the spiritual life.
Posted 08 April 2002 - 05:13 PM
"The course of this particular conversation is quite interesting inasmuch as it demonstrates the rising popular acceptance of something Orthodoxy has always understood: that 'science' and 'religion' need not be contrasting arenas of human life and thought. The distinction between the two is actually a very modern, recent development, stemming principally from an over-zealous Christian response to what was a over-emphatic presentation of the theory of natural selection around three decades ago."
with this thinking:
"We are survival machines - robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules
known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment."
--The Selfish Gene
Taken from TPM http://www.philosoph....uk/tpmshop.htm
Posted 08 April 2002 - 06:22 PM
Posted 08 April 2002 - 06:36 PM
Chad, you bring up an interesting point.
I consider myself one who reads "the words" of the Bible and not just meaning.
I have known that God created Adam as a man and not a baby, etc. .
I just never applied these things this way.
Thank you again.
God bless us all,
Posted 08 April 2002 - 10:35 PM
With my "Canon to the foundation of Sand" I was addressing a pseudo-scientific-Gnosticism of which there are people who eclectically select data (usually only that which is popular) to justify their unbelief in God, Christ and the Church. Sadly, one of my own Godsons studying to be a Geologist at Oklahoma University lost his faith because he could not reconcile his new found knowledge with his Christian beliefs.
This is why I opened with a question about the Sunrise versus the earth's rotation. It appears that some individuals are incapable of living within the tension of modern science and a Christian confession of faith. Inevitably it seems that most choose one or the other to be the master of their spiritual course. Is it not sad when intelligent men and women abandon the knowledge of God for rocks?
But what is even sadder is that having chosen this path they are making disciples of other young minds. This disciple making goes well beyond the realm of higher academic discipline. It is widely disseminated through the lower schools as "evidence against" the knowledge of God, how so? I am not referring to the text book or even the teacher that makes use of such, no, I am referring to the conversations which take place between students outside of the classroom; perhaps a it is trite, but this is adequately described as popular science. How do I know this?
I work with several young men who are only recently out of High School and freely discuss why they have abandoned the religious faith of their parents for a pseudo-intellectual scientific worldview (my description not theirs). The age of the earth is only one of their reasons, the age of the earth is based upon the age of the moon, which if I am not mistaken is dated around 4.5 million years + or - 0.1 billion years (for a 2% tolerance). Also it should be mentioned that the age of comets or the erosion rate of the continents is also considered as a part of the 'geological clock'.
I am not a scientist and neither are the men with whom I work. Yet, they eagerly present to me the latest info culled from one of the programs on the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel or PBS. This is presented always to argue how it proves the nonexistence of God. How do I reply to these men? I have only one certain answer, which I believe, is scientific. "Within all sciences there may be found competing explanations which allow for an alternative worldviews. And within specific disciplines of science there exists alternative interpretations of the facts."
The most common rebuttal I receive is sarcasm; which is usually a quip something like, "I can't believe in a God which creates a universe designed to fool men into making false conclusions about their environment." I simply reply "God is not responsible for the methods and interpretations of scientific data used by men to deny His existence." These men went through school never being taught there IS an alternative view which is equally scientific. For it is not the empirical data which is the problem between Evolution and Creationism, it is the philosophy by which the data is understood. For these men science does not consist of theories but of absolutes, which in the face of competing religious worldviews appears quite certain.
Within my post I presented one example within one scientific discipline in which there has been a development of theories each one resting on its own scientific analysis. By spoofing this development I was not attacking the science but rather the use of that science to justify unbelief. I believe it is fair to say that through out the 137 years I covered the conclusions of these men and others were used by many to justify their unbelief?
I was not intending to argue the young versus old earth theories, this was not the subject of my post to the List. I was addressing a perspective that makes use of such arguments to justify unbelief and excuses individuals from investigating the evidence for Orthodoxy and the theory of the age of the earth is just one theory used to excuse themselves.
In my follow up post I quoted the Homily for March 25 found within the Prologue of the Ohrid. The following paragraph from that Homily shows that it is not 'science' which is being rejected.
>>"Having created all things, God again, by His word, established the order of
creation and the manner of behavior and relationship of creatures one with
another. This order and manner which God established is a great miracle of
God's word. There exists an order and manner among created things, visible
and comprehensible for us people;"<<
The above quote expresses no "antiscientific" sentiment, however, why should I as an Orthodox Christian except the Old versus Young earth theory? Why should I except the Big Bang Theory? Why should I except the modern stellar theories? From what source does the evidence that floating gases developed into stars originate? What scientific laboratory has been able to create a star? Where is scientific evidence, which proves the theory of an Oscillating universe, and can scientist create an oscillating universe over and over so that we can actually see the accuracy of that science? Which Scientist has been able to show tangible evidence that hydrogen spontaneously generates matter in outer space? How can we know that the decay rate has always remained constant? Could not changes in the atmosphere result in a rate of change in decay? Is it not possible that leaching carried away portions of daughter products? Is it not true that Argon easily migrates out of rock? Where have scientist duplicated Geological Over thrusts?
The men I work with were not taught in school about the circular reasoning which is widely disseminated through out the all theories of Evolution, including the age of the earth.
"Material bodies are finite, and no rock unit is global in extent, yet stratigraphy aims at a global classification. The particulars have to be stretched into universals somehow. Here ordinary materialism leaves off building up a system of units recognized by physical properties, to follow dialectical materialism, which starts with time units and regards the material bodies as their incomplete representatives. This is where the suspicion of circular reasoning crept in, because it seemed to the layman that the time units were abstracted from the geological column, which has been put together from rock units."_*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1979, p. 49.
"The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning, if it insists on using only temporal concepts, because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales."_*J.E. O'Rourke, "Pragmatism vs. Materialism in Stratigraphy," American Journal of Science, January 1976, p. 53.
According to Phillip Johnson author of Darwin on Trial one "Harvard University geneticist Richard Lewontin, has written that the key to educating the public about science is not to emphasize the teaching of particular facts and theories, but rather to teach students to believe in materialism as a philosophy and in "Science, as the only begetter of truth."
What is being suggested in Lewontin's program for scientific education? Is it not a prejudice against any idea that materialism is the only truth knowable to rational man? His idea is already being assimilated among many young persons of which I gave examples in my previous post. Are we to assume only the Christian can be a bigot towards knowledge? Another pseudoscientific Gnostic wrote: "Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind." George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution.
I work in a trade; I construct custom cabinetry and countertops for private and corporate jets. I work with fifteen other men of whom five are under the age of 25. All five of these openly share the sentiment expressed by Mr. Simpson, yet not one of them has had any higher education than High School. Where did they acquire this pseudoscientific Gnosticism and who will answer for having taught such a heresy to them? I do not oppose science, I oppose those who have made out of science a god or to be perfectly fair a "god-lessness."
"I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning, consequently assumed
it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption . . The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics; he is also concerned to prove there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do . . For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom."—*Aldous Huxley, "Confessions of a Professed Atheist,"
One day I was reading an interview with the late Malcolm Muggridge in which he said something to the effect "A day will come when the myth of Evolution will be seen to have been only that: a myth."
Posted 16 April 2002 - 10:44 AM
As recently as 1997 "a Russian bulldoze operator working in Siberia noticed a block of muddy ice containing a dark mass. On closer inspection he was amazed to see the contours of a small elephant-like creature. He had discovered a perfectly preserved Woolly Mammoth,"  But these Mammoth creatures were the subject of scientist even in the mid 1800s. Dr. Leopold von Schrenck, Chief of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petrograd, published the following account in 1869: "The mammoth ... is a gigantic beast which lives in the depths of the earth, when it digs for itself dark pathways, and feeds on earth ... They account for its corpse being found so fresh and well preserved on the ground that the animal is still a living one."
Scientist have taught us to believe the huge elephant like mammal, known simply as the MAMMOTH, became extinct no later than 10,000 years ago. These awesome creatures have been found depicted upon the walls of caves, for example in south France. We are taught these paintings were produced by our own prehistoric ancestors; commonly known as the "cave man." These paintings are estimated to be around 30,000 years old. Below is a timeline chart, which is often used to give our children, a chronological bearing to the questions, and us "who is man?" And "where did he come from?"
Today there is tremendous pressure being coerced upon 21st century man to accept mega-evolution  as the only acceptable scientific choice. In most classrooms, students are being taught evolution as if it were beyond questioning. Leaving the classroom these former students enter into the market place of ideas and begin to interact with Orthodox Christians in with the very bigoted prejudice of which they accuse Christians. Claiming to be open minded they show that they have created for themselves a closed minded philosophy.
This closed minded philosophy is sometimes taken up even by Christians who except as an axiom that "the existence of God cannot be proven."  Yet, as Orthodox Christians we have heard and been taught the Holy Scriptures which state: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualitieshis eternal power and divine naturehave been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." St. John Chrysostom with his Spirit-filled discernment taught us:
"Where are those who disbelieve the Resurrection? Who are they, I pray? Are they Gentiles, or Christians? for I am ignorant. But no, I know well: they are Gentiles, who also disbelieve the work of Creation. For the two denials go together: the denial that God creates any thing from nothing, and the denial that He raises up what has been buried. ..."The fool will speak foolishness." (Is. xxxii. 6.) Are you not ashamed not to grant, that God can create from nothing? If he creates from matter already existing, wherein does He differ from men? But whence, you demand, are evils? Though you should not know whence, ought you for that to introduce another evil in the knowledge of evils? Hereupon two absurdities follow. For if you do not grant, that from things which are not, God made the things which are, much more shall you be ignorant whence are evils: and then, again, you introduce another evil, the affirming that Evil is uncreated. Consider now what a thing it is, when you wish to find the source of evils, to be both ignorant of it, and to add another to it. Search after the origin of evils, and do not blaspheme God. And how do I blaspheme? says he. When you make out that evils have a power equal to God's; a power uncreated. For, observe what Paul says; "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." (Rom. i. 20.) But the devil would have both to be of matter, that there may be nothing left from which we may come to the knowledge of God."
The last line quoted expresses the end game of evolution;  the removal of the knowledge of God from within Creation, and having accomplished this, to assert that all evil is a natural evolutionary byproduct. But how does the ‘mammoth’ play into this debate between the Evolutionist and the Creationist? What specifically should give us pause before we whole heartily accept the ‘evolutionary and chronological theory’ concerning the mammoth?
In February and March of 1992, the British explorer Sir John Blashford-Snell  went trekking through a remote valley in the Bardia region of western Nepal in search of "giant elephants" which had been reported by the locals. Two representatives of these ’mammoth’ sized elephants, both bulls, were observed and photographed. The two beasts, were estimated to have footprints measuring 22.5 inches across with a height at the shoulders of 11 feet 3 inches and over 12 feet at the crown of the head. These two mammoth creatures were both larger than the largest-ever recorded specimen of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus What was most notable about these creatures were that both had two very large domes on their forehead, and a distinctive nasal bridge. These two features are not present on normal Asian elephants, but are, however, distinct on an extinct species of primitive elephant, the Stegodont , as species of Mammoth. Both had the sloping back which was characteristic of the Stegodont.
But where these only two mutant pachyderms or could they actually be living Stegodonts? Both Snell and Canadian paleontologist Dr. Clive Coy , have speculated that the giant Nepalese elephants could very well be, in fact, representatives of the presumably extinct Stegodont. The prevailing theory is that these two must be mutants of the normal Asian elephant, rather than a Stegodont or even a separate, new species of elephant. Why? Because both Snell [who actually observed them] and Coy’s speculations fail to pass the "orthodoxy" of modern crypto-zoology! Quite simply, the idea is to far fetched since we know that the mammoth became extinct no later than 10,000 years and probably more like 30,000 years ago.
Still, it has been noted that these creatures appear identical to the ‘cave man paintings’ found in such locations as south France. Undaunted by these findings some crypto-zoologist refuse to simply dismiss the two creatures as ‘freaks’ of nature. Indeed, some find it quite probable that these are actual living sightings of ‘evolution in the making.’ Whether or not these pachyderms are indeed modern mammoths or just mutants for a scientist freak show, it is evident that speculations of evolutionist within the cryto-zoological discipline is no better than the reason which gave rise to the name "ICE-RAT."
 Quoted by Walt Brown Ph.D in "Frozen Mammoths" In the Beginning Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, Center for Scientific Creation, 2001, seventh edition from Siberian Man and Mammoth, Muriel D. Simpson (London: Black & Son Limited, 1939)
 ‘Mega-evolution is distinct from ‘micro-evolution.’ Micro-evolution is the discipline of science which addresses the science of genetics and the changes of characteristics within species. Mega-evolution asserts, without any scientific evidence, the idea of evolution from molecules to man. The former is an actual science observable and reproducible. The latter is conjecture designed to reconcile conflicting data into an explainable system of ideas, called philosophy. This philosophy is preeminently corporeal at its foundation and is thus opposed to any idea or knowledge of God being introduced into its system. There is an alternative philosophy in which science can be conducted and the data can be assimilated. This is known sometimes as Creation Science or Scientific Creationism.
 There are some Orthodox Christians who propose what is called "theistic evolution." This is simply a semantic invention, no such thing as "theistic evolution" exists ANYWHERE in the biological sciences. It is merely a nominal religious belief tacked on to an atheistic evolutionary system. [IMO]
 Evolutionists will sometimes state that "science does not deal with final causes." This may be true, but Evolutionary theory certainly does--if not by statement then certainly by implication. And it most certainly is not limited to the late Carl Sagan and his transparently atheistic assertion about the physical cosmos "being all there is and all that ever will be." Since evolutionary theory is built entirely without God, and God has absolutely no place in ANY step of the evolutionary process (including the very origins of life), it is obvious that evolutionary theory IS making a tacit statement about final causes--and it is an atheistic one at that.
 Sir John Blashford-Snell (also known as Colonel) is the founder of the "Scientific Exploration Society", see "http://freespace.vir...et/sci.explore/" The exploration and research in Western Nepal of the largest Asian elephant ever recorded continues today. For the latest update on these explorations visit http://www.ses-explo.../past/nepal.htm
 One of the definitions used by evolutionists is to define evolution as "change through time." The use of this phrase is intended to characterize Creationist as believing in a perfectly static earth. This definition is a debate tactic designed to facilitate a non-sequitur: "If you agree that any change occurs in living systems, or in populations of living systems, then you must also admit that molecules-to-man evolution takes place. The mega-evolutionist argues it is only a difference of degrees within the same process." This is simply to state , "since a cow can jump, and we might not agree exactly how high it can jump under favorable circumstances, therefore we are free to believe that a cow can jump all the way around the moon." (quoted from John Woodmorappe
Posted 17 April 2002 - 12:36 AM
How fast was "In the beginning?" Was it instantaneous maturity? Or was it a long drawn out process of billions of years? Some opponents of the instantaneous probability and thusly against a literal six day evening and morning period, object to the idea that God would create the world with the appearance of age. Why? The way it has been articulated to me is, "What kind of God would create a world to appear older than it actually is; which subsequently results in men miscalculating the age of the earth and thus, rejecting the knowldge of God.? Some who ask this question have rejected altogether any knowledge of God within creation. Others have opted to reconcile Science and Religion by 'baptizing' Evolutionary theories of Science with the knowledge of God. These latter are sometimes referred to as "Theistic Evolutionist."
In my mind it appears that for the Orthodox Naturalist (a scientific philosopher) the Genesis account sets the boundries of each day's creation between the 'evening and morning.' Are these words meant to be understood as a chronology of time? "And God called the light, Day, and the darkness he called Night: and the evening and the morning were the first day" Gen 1:5,8,13,19,23,31.
We sometimes imagine that if we were present at the "In the beginning", the question of whether the 'heavens and the earth', where created with the appearance of age or whether we could see the evolution of age, would be resolved. Would it? St. Basil the Great seems to propose that our curiosity would yet be abated, even if we were present to observe "In the beginning".
"Perhaps these words "In the beginning God created" signify the rapid and imperceptible moment of creation. The beginning, in effect, is indivisible and instantaneous." (ibid.)
The significant thought is expressed in St. Basil's use of "rapid and imperceptible moment of creation". It seems that St. Basil perceives the moment of creation to be so instantaneous that our observation would result in no perceptable change. We know that change has occurred yet having entered into the moment of creation we cannot measure the moment of change. For we did not know before hand when that moment would occur, in that it belonged wholly to the Father's good pleasure.
Or stated in another way, " One moment NO CREATION the next CREATION'S EXISTENCE, in which there would be no perceptable change. Indeed, so rapid is the creations response to God's call, that the possibility of remembering the preceeding moment of non-existence would be impossible. Maturity of Creation would seem then to infer 'spontaneous mature praise in obedience." Creation responds as a congregation coming into existence with the faithful cry of "AMEN" to Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Perhaps this change foreshadows the moment of the Parousia. If we could measure the moment of Christ's appearance and our subsequent Resurrection, we might also ascertain the age of the moment of Creation. But, who in the Gospels analyzes the moment? I might suggest it was those who are numbered among the "unfaithful and un-believers," who are left wondering "when did we see you hungry, thirsty or naked," or 'if only we had known the hour of the thief's appearance?'
Deceived by their inherent atheism it appeared to them that nothing governed or ruled the universe, and that was all was given up to chance. To guard us against this error the writer on the creation, from the very first words, enlightens our understanding with the name of God; "In the beginning God created." What a glorious order! He first establishes a beginning, so that it might not be supposed that the world never had a beginning. Then be adds "Created" to show that which was made was a very small part of the power of the Creator. In the same way that the potter, after having made with equal pains a great number of vessels, has not exhausted either his art or his talent; thus the Maker of the Universe, whose creative power, far from being bounded by one world, could extend to the infinite, needed only the impulse of His will to bring the immensities of the visible world into being. If then the world has a beginning, and if it has been created, enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was the Creator. (ibid.)
Posted 19 April 2002 - 01:14 PM
Following upon some of the past discussion on the days of creation and the immense task of trying to discern the full meaning of the creation account, I came today upon a quotation which I thought rather applicable, in my re-reading of Theophilus of Antioch:
"Of this six days' work no man can give a worthy explanation and description of all its parts, not though he had ten thousand tongues and ten thousand mouths; nay, though he were to live ten thousand years, sojourning in this life, not even so could he utter anything worthy of these things, on account of the exceeding greatness and riches of the wisdom of God which there is in the six days' work above narrated. Many writers indeed have imitated the narration, and essayed to give an explanation of these things; yet, though they thence derived some suggestions, both concerning the creation of the world and the nature of man, they have emitted no slightest spark of truth. And the utterances of the philosophers, and writers, and poets have an appearance of trustworthiness, on account of the beauty of their diction; but their discourse is proved to be foolish and idle, because the multitude of their nonsensical frivolities is very great; and not a stray morsel of truth is found in them. For even if any truth seems to have been uttered by them, it has a mixture of error. And as a deleterious drug, when mixed with honey or wine, or some other thing, makes the whole [mixture] hurtful and profitless; so also eloquence is in their case found to be labour in vain; yea, rather an injurious thing to those who credit it" (To Autolycus, 2.12).
On with the discussion...
Posted 26 June 2002 - 02:38 AM
One can take a literal view of Genesis and still believe the age of the Universe is in the billions of years. The Jewish physicist Dr. Schroeder applies his knowledge of relativity to show how in this short essay from http://homepages.ed....hadash/dino.htm
Dinosaurs, the Bible and a Glass of Milk
Gerald Schroeder holds his BSc, Msc and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of ‘Genesis and the Big Bang, the Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible', published by Bantam Books, and teaches on the Discovery programme of Aleynu. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and five children.
In three weeks of a family trek along the fjords of Norway, the only controversy I could find was which trail would be more beautiful. What joy to return to my homeland (Israel) where the real problems of the world are being sorted out, such as: can the milk inside a bag be kosher if there is a picture of a dinosaur on the outside? It is high time we lay to rest the canard that dinosaurs are the fantasy of some deranged, anti-Bible scientists. In short, it is possible to believe in the Bible and dinosaurs too!
The controversy over dinosaurs has two aspects: age and existence. Palaeontologists insist that dinosaurs first appeared 200 million years ago and disappeared 65 million years ago. How do these millions of years fit in with the six biblical days that preceded Adam? Then, if dinosaurs were such a big deal, if they really dominated all forms of animal life for over 100 million years, why is there not even a hint of their existence in the Bible?
As written in the Talmud, deal with the first point first. The Biblical calendar measures time from the creation of Adam NOT from the creation of the universe. The six days of Genesis have never been included in the calculations of these years. Yet all the early commentators that discuss the duration of those six days are unequivocal; the days were 24 hours each. If they were simply 24 hour days, why aren't they included in the calendar? Have Rosh Hashanah a week earlier.
The six days were not included because, in the words of the commentators, those six days "contain all the secrets of the ages of the universe" (Nahmanides and Ibn Ezra on Lev.25:2). The repetitive phrasing; "And there was evening and there was morning..." for the first six days of creation hints at a difference from the other days. It is an objective description, almost as if we were observing from some platform in space. Quite different from the remainder of the entire Bible, where the flow of time is linked to individual events. "And all the days that Adam lived were 930; and then he died." (Gen.5:5). The perspective is now intimate, earthly, that is the key.
When talking of the flow of time, prspective is crucial. Albert Einstein, in his laws of Relativity, discovered that fact. Events correctly measured as lasting 24 hours, when observed from a moving location may seem to last seconds or millions of years, all depending upon the relative differences in gravity and velocity between the two locations. That is the nature of time in our universe. We measure the billions of years of the Earth's existence and the millions of years since the dinosaurs from our perspective on Earth. The amazing reality is that, based on the size and expansion of the universe, by the laws of Relativity, millions of years, when viewed not from the Earth but from a perspective that encompasses the entire universe, lasted exactly six days. The biblical calendar begins with Adam, and with him the Bible's perspective of time becomes that of human kind. Now to the fossils.
Claims that only a few fragments of fossilised dinosaur bones have been found are pure fiction. The fossil record is extensive and consistent on a world-wide scale. Although there is no reference to specific species other than humans in the 31 verses that describe the events of the first six days, there is an allusion to those creatures we have labelled dinosaurs. "And G-d created the large taneenim..." (Gen.1:21). Taneenim is variously translated in crocodiles (Koren Jerusalem Bible), whales (King James version), sea-monsters (Hertz-Sonicino).
The word, taneen reappears in Exodus. At the burning bush, G-d directs Moses to return to Egypt to free the enslaved Israelites and gives him a sign. Moses is told to cast his staff on the ground. He did so "and it became a nahash" (Ex.4.3). Nahash is the Hebrew word for snake. Later when Moses confronts Pharaoh with the demand for Israel's liberation, Pharaoh asks for a sign, Moses throws down his staff "and it became a taneen" (Ex. 7:10). We see that the Bible uses nahash and taneen in parallel when the meaning is snake. Snake or nahash is the name of a particular type of animal within the general category of reptiles. In chapter one of Genesis only general categories of animal are mentioned, since taneen is used there, it must refer to the general category animals in which snakes are included. That is, taneen must refer to reptiles.
The more accurate translation of Genesis 1:21 is "And G-d created the large reptiles...". Only one animal in all of Genesis chapter one is described as large and that is the reptile. The largest creatures ever to roam the Earth are the large reptiles, the dinosaurs - larger even than the largest blue whale yet sighted.
It is possible that G-d put the fossils in the ground to trick us. Why G-d would choose to is another matter. We have seen from this study of time that the six days of 24 hours in Genesis contained the billions of years of cosmic history; plenty of time for the dinosaurs to have roamed the Earth.
So the existence of dinosaurs is not a threat to the Bible and certainly not to the kashrut of milk. The real threat to the Bible is ignorance, the secularist's ignorance of the Bible and the believer's ignorance of the wonderful laws of nature by which our universe functions.
Posted 26 June 2002 - 12:13 PM
thanks for your message. I think the issue of the age of the earth, and the issue of evolution, are two quite separate issues. My understanding is that some of the Fathers were adamant about a literal Biblical dating of the Earth while others were more nuanced. But Darwinism is completely unscientific and completely incompatible with the Christian doctrine of Creation (which has to be consistent with science since God is not a magician). There is not a shred of evidence that something has either self-generated or has evolved into something other than what it is. Yet this ideology has permeated modern consciousness, and pre-determines political, social and religious as well as scientific debates.
Posted 27 June 2002 - 02:30 AM
I'd agree that Darwinism in the sense of random mutations causing evolution is wrong ... I believe God created the first pairs of each species. Geneticists had predicted that the fossil record would eventually show gradual changes between species, but instead it still shows very different new species suddenly appearing, lasting a few million years perhaps with only minor changes, and then suddenly dying out.
But there's no evidence for a young earth, and huge amounts of evidence it is billions of years old. In addition, there's no date provided in Genesis, and the Hebrew word translated as "days" can also mean an indeterminate period of time.
Here's a Christian website that deals with these matters: http://www.reasons.org/
Posted 27 June 2002 - 05:27 PM
In Protestantism there's a man; Dr. Ken Ham, who is the Executive Director of Answers in Genesis (AiG). He has been lecturing about this very thing for years. The web site is www.AnswersInGenesis.org . By birth I believe he's an Australian, although he has been here in the United States for some time.
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