The thread on the latest dinosaur discovery has been hopelessly taken off topic, as normal, and now has many separate topics wrapped in one thread. One posted has asked that we divide the separate topics into separate threads. One question posed has been the old question of whether it is possible to gain any useful knowledge from the creation it self. There is an ongoing, sometimes bitter, debate about whether the universe is really old or young and whether the account of the creation in Genesis is literal or non-literal as far as the steps of creation go. Many suggest that the debate can be settled by looking into the creation itself to see what signs are provided towards the processes used. Some suggest that God created the universe merely looking as if it is old. I, personally, think that it is useful to examine the creation. I believe God is honest and just and that the creation will reveal a true picture of His work. Some on the YE side also feel this way but they find the data to point to a young earth. Others will claim that they think the data points to a young earth but they hedge their bets by saying that anything that appears to be old was only made that way by God for reasons which we cannot understand and should not question. Yet others think that God created the universe looking old, again for reasons we cannot understand and should not question. I find it useful to know which of these categories a particular YE debater falls into, so I posed the question to a new participant, mareese. "You and I disagree about the proper interpretation of the creation account. I assert that it is possible to examine God's creation to see which of us is correct. Do you accept or reject this assertion and why?" I have yet to be able to determine which category our brother falls into by his answers. "I accept that assertion under the condition that we cannot accept the interpretation of an observation as fact if it disagrees with the written word." "I never stated that facts are irrelevant, only that facts must be seen as misinterpreted if they disagree with the Bible." "Starting with the premise that anything contradictory to what God says must be excluded is not the same as insisting that what I say cannot be excluded." "Once again, I have never stated that observations and facts cannot be taken into account. I have stated that when the interpretation of observation conflicts with the Bible we must rethink the interpretation of the observation." "I'd love to accomodate your request and anwer in a way that you will understand, but I've already reduced my reply to about as low as is can go and still be a whole sentence. It is very unethical for you to state that this particular question has not been answered. I have consistently stated that creation goes hand in hand with scripture and that neither can be ignored. I have stated that yes, there are signs that can be used as validation for the age of the earth, and I have also stated that IF those signs disagree with scripture we need to re-evaluate our interpretation of those signs." I maintain that these answers indicate that mareese is only willing to consider data that agrees with his interpretation of scripture. He maintains that this is not so. It has left me confused as to whether he accpets the premise that details from the creation itself can be used to decide the correct answer. IMHO, he is making the common mistake of assuming that disagreeing with his interpretation is the same as disagreeing with God. These are two separate things. Furthermore, I believe that he is using this mistake to then say that any facts which do not agree with his interpretation are by definition either wrong or misinterpreted. What I would like from this poster specifically is to either say that we can examine the details of the creation and decide on either an old earth or a young earth OR that we cannot do this because anything that does not point to a young earth is wrong, end of story. So far, he seems to want to hedge his bets by accepting the premise on one hand and throwing out anything that does not agree with his view on the other. I, personally, take that as an answer of "No" to the original question. But, I would also like to submit this question to the larger group. It would be useful to know what other think of the premise. I would be particularly interested in those who are young earth if they would state what they make of the evidence that seems to point to an old earth. Are the observations themselves incorrect? Are the interpretations of the observations wrong? If so do you have a better interpretation? Are the observations correct but God made the universe to look that way from the beginning? If so, why? Or do you have a different answer? I would hate to limit the choices unjustly and make a false dilemma.