When Baptists ignore science

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Helen, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    I received this email this morning and wanted to pass it on. Please read the article. It is an excellent example of many that Barry and I have found who get raised in a religious home without any background in science. True science agrees with the Bible, but you would never know it from what this ex-Baptist says....

    This article appeared on the Beliefnet website. Some of you might have interested in Wilson's perspectives.

    Is Science a 'Satisfying Replacement' for Religion?
    A Conversation with E.O. Wilson
    The Pulitzer prize-winning author and sociobiologist dicusses creation myths, evolution, free will, and his Baptist upbringing.


    Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson, famous for his groundbreaking work with ants, is considered the father of sociobiology--the study of how evolution has shaped animals' social behavior. He spoke recently with the Templeton Foundation about his religious background and the future of his science.

    This interview first appeared in the July/August 2003 issue of Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology.

    What role did religion play in your life growing up?

    In my early life, it played a profound part. In some ways, I had a traditional "old South" upbringing, meaning that I spent some time in a military school, and acquired an inoculum of the military ethic that is still with me today: honor, duty, loyalty. Also, I was raised as a Southern Baptist and experienced the evangelical teaching and indoctrination of the Southern Baptist religion, the most common Southern Baptist version of evangelical Christianity. I was born again. I made the choice when I was 14. I went literally under the water with a full-scale baptism. I had deep religious feelings of the most traditional kind.

    Of course the Judeo-Christian worldview just does not include nature. All three of the Abrahamic religions were born and nurtured in arid, disturbed environments. Their founders were nomadic people who were trying to build, particularly in the case of Judaism and early Islam, kingdoms and even empires out of a desert tribal existence. It has to be appreciated that with certain exceptions of imagery of the beauty of streams and fern groves and fruit orchards there is not an awful lot of ecology in the sacred texts of Abrahamic religions. Jehovah had nothing to say to Moses and the others about the care of the planet. He had plenty to say about tribal loyalty and conquest.

    You can draw out of parts of sacred Scripture the implication, if you wish, that humanity is the steward of nature. You can also draw out the other interpretation that has often been applied: that humanity is commissioned and commanded to control and make full use of the living world. So there is an ambiguity in doctrine that cannot be settled by sacred Scripture. The founding literature and beliefs of the Abrahamic religions lack the essential insight. The ambiguity does not exist in science. The scientific perception explains how the world works and that humanity is related to the natural world due to evolutionary history, the millions of years through which we have passed. It continually assesses, tests and corrects.

    In your book
    The Future of Life, you mention that if humans need a creation myth none is more solid and unifying than evolutionary history. Can you elaborate on that idea?

    At the age of 17 and 18, when I began to move away from my traditional Baptist and broader Christian beliefs, I began searching for a replacement for the satisfying mythic explanations for human existence, something that can be added to the bare bones knowledge that science produces concerning evolutionary origins of humanity and the human mind. Indeed I have been searching for this all my life.

    On the other hand, that doesn't mean that I have abandoned my Christian upbringing. I'm very much a Christian in ideals and ethics, especially in terms of belief in fairness, a deep set obligation to others, and the virtues of charity, tolerance and generosity that we associate with traditional Christian teaching. It also doesn't mean I'm toying with New Age ideas. It simply means what I have expressed in books like
    Biophilia, Naturalist and most recently The Future of Life: that here is to be sought, although perhaps never truly found through a secular understanding of the real world, a full substitute for those spiritual satisfactions that come to us through the easier routes of traditional religious experience.

    So you don't see the need to invoke a traditional Judeo-Christian God to give purpose to these religious experiences?

    I don't see any such need. In fact, I think it's a waste of time, in the sense that we could be doing so many more interesting and valuable things with our minds. What traditional religion gives you is a fixed set of statements about the world and the origin and the meaning of humanity. These statements are easily learned, and in the context of personal relations or in tribal ceremonies, they evoke a deep sense of satisfaction.

    Those responses of the brain have been programmed by millennia of evolution because of their survival value. There should be more to the human experience. So long as we are bound by loyalties to a particular religion's dogmatic beliefs, we are not free in many sectors of human thought and experience to explore afield and more deeply.

    I find it far more interesting and satisfying to explore beyond, within the constraints of what we find out ourselves about how the real world works, the fuller explanation of what humanity is, where it comes from and its meaning. This freedom is not open to believers in traditional religions. That search, which may never be fully satisfied or found with success, is one of the best intellectual and spiritual endeavors of which the human mind is capable. That is essentially, if you would like to call it that, my religion.

    What about ultimate origins? Is the natural world able to give us answers about that?

    Yes, the natural sciences are telling us a great deal about human origins, the origins of our species the origins of our minds; we're on our way to explaining a large part of it. I'll accept an answer provided only by such means as obtaining and exploring, analyzing and arguing over the evidence--not because of a scribe's myopic view of the subject written 500 years before the birth of Christ!

    A lot of your writing seems to lead down the road to genetic determinism. How do you reconcile that with your belief in the free will of individuals?

    That's a canard that was promoted some 20 to 25 years ago, to be blunt about it, by critics of sociobiology. Those critics were blank-slaters; that is, believers that the human mind is a blank slate, completely unprogammed so that all we know, all that we do, all that our culture consists of, is that which is acquired by learning. That view has turned up to be completely false, as Stephen Pinker and his recent book
    The Blank Slate has so eloquently and thoroughly demonstrated.

    We are a combination of instincts that have a great deal to do with controlling our passions, but obviously we are also creatures of learning and of the constantly cumulating traditions of culture. That was never disputed by me or by anyone else. The only extreme idea in the recent history of the so-called controversy over sociobiology is the part of biology that deals with instinct. The only real distinction was between the blank-slaters on the one side, who gave no credence to a biological influence, and the vast majority of scientists who worked in this subject and other subjects who recognized almost as a common sense observation that the human mind develops as a combination of genetic influence and genetic impulse and learning and culture. I don't want to get into the subject of free will because it is so complex. I'm not trying to avoid it. I've treated it, for example, in
    Consilience, but I don't want to get into it here because it's one of the most difficult subjects to get into using plain language. But what is understood about it is not contradicted by what I've just said.

    What effect do you think the completion of the Human Genome Project will have on the field of sociobiology?

    Ultimately a profound effect, because even as we speak, some scientists are developing a new discipline called sociogenomics. So far this has been directed primarily at honeybees and other social insects, and for a good reason: We understand their instincts and can analyze them more quickly than you can humans or even other, simpler vertebrates. But eventually the whole genomic studies of humans and the follow up work now going on in proteomics, the study of the full history and trajectory of individual protein production and their interactions, are going to give us a much clearer picture of the evolution and ultimate basis of human instincts.

    Of course we will never be able to jump directly from gene to social behavior, even in a honeybee. We have to go through the steps leading up to behavior, moving from genes to proteins, to cells, to nerve cells, to the action of entire brains, to the behavior pattern itself. Even then we have to study the organism in different environments, where learning and reactions occur, so we can make comparisons. Having the genome of humans is certainly an important step in that sequence.

    So with sociogenomics, you're looking for these large patterns that lead to certain behaviors?

    Exactly, and in a way that will eventually tell us why the nervous system developed this way instead of that way and why certain instincts are present but other instincts are not.

    That leads nicely into this final question. What do you see as the big questions that remain to be answered in your field?

    For sociobiology, that's it. What are the origins of evolutionary history? When I speak of sociobiology, I don't just mean humans but all organisms and their social behaviors, including insects and even social bacteria. There are basically two key questions. One is: What are the forces of natural selection, particularly coming from the environment, that have molded the brains of organisms to make them social? Why did they adopt certain forms of social organization as opposed to others?

    The second will be the tracking of the few key instincts in humans. These are the major passions and the major tendencies in behavior that guide our lives, whether we admit it or not, from sexual bonding to tribal aggressions, to the avoidance of incest, and more.

    For humans at least, the goal will be to get the full understanding of these genetic prescriptions. It is important to gain an understanding of those programs of development that lead to brains receptive to the types of learning. These programs entail strong tendencies, called prepared learning, that cause us to pick up certain attitudes, to have certain emotions and which lead human beings everywhere to do things that a Martian would consider very strange. The way we sexually bond, the way we take care of our children, the way we conduct tribal wars, and so on, through the full repertoire of the human behavior. People on another planet would look on us as very advanced but highly peculiar organisms. So we need to get E.T.'s view of what we are as a species, by understanding what puts us together and what makes us work with the environment the way we do.

    Reprinted with permission of Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology.



    Folks, please note what has been deleted from his mind: sin, rebellion, the need for repentance, Christ -- the entire message of the Bible! All that is left is some sort of vague "Christian ethic".

    Barry and I are lecturers in various churches and colleges all over the world. We have been invited to more places than we can go! But everywhere we go we consistently and frequently hear stories of loss of faith/belief in what was taught in church due to the science taught in high schools, colleges and universities. It is easy, and to my mind escapist, to say that if they really believed they would not be swayed. That doesn't wash. Young people are wrestling with everything about themselves, including what they will depend on as truth. It is true that many will return to the Christian faith and knowledge of their younger years, but after how much time? After how much damage to themselves and others has been done?

    It is imperative that good solid science not be ignored by Christians, Baptists or otherwise. There is nothing scary about science. There is only something VERY scary about the way the secular world interprets the data. The results may be seen right here on Baptist board where we see a number of Baptists endorsing evolution, despite the fact that science itself proclaims against it genetically, historically, experientially, in the lab, etc.

    Whether or not you are Calvinist, and whether or not you believe that these young people will eventually have to return to their faith, they are losing it at a very vulnerable time because of secular science interpretations as taught in universities and even many churches.

    Evidently we are not going to get a creation forum back. I am sorry about that, but I want to plead with Baptists and other Christians to please not be scientifically illiterate. For the sake of your children -- know that the Bible sets parameters for truthful and good science and that it is not just OK to explore within those parameters, but imperative that we do.

    The man being interviewed above is famous. He is also, in his journey regarding belief, sadly typical.
     
  2. Loren B

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    It is incredibly sad that with this man's background he has so turned his back on what should have been a solid foundation. Churches need to recognize that public education is undermining their children's beliefs and use Sunday School for more than a pep rally and entertainment.
     
  3. Paul of Eugene

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    It is indeed a sad thing that so many times our churches ask the believers to choose between faith in God or faith in Science. They are not incompatible.

    The church has made this mistake before. Historically when Copernicus and Gallileo and others were discovering that the earth moves around the sun they were condemned by all the church authorities, both catholic and protestant, for opposing scripture. There remain diehards today who still oppose the findings of science about solar system dynamics.

    How different would the story be if this person had grown up in a church that allowed the believers to accept the findings of science regarding evolution and the age of the earth?

    What would it be like to be in a church that allowed for differences of opinion on this issue? Suppose that at church socials a lively topice of debate on evolution would occasionally come up, without anyone getting angry and threatning to abandon christian fellowship with the opposing side?

    Imagine the frustration for the forces of evil as they lost this wonderful tool of theirs for dividing God's people!
     
  4. UTEOTW

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    It certainly is very sad for a man like this to have lost his faith. There is much to agree upon here. Bur of course I am going to disagree with you on the course of action.

    Many Baptists, and other Christians, take a very strong stand against science and especially the parts that indicate an old earth. Children are indoctrinated with this. Taught that these are bad people. Taught that they are in a conspiracy against God. Taught that they advance lies. Often this is taught without even any hint towards a facts based approach to why this is so. And anyone who tries to accept both the Bible and the findings of science are held in strong contempt by some. In my own experience, I have learned very quickly to keep my mouth shut when it comes to no longed denying an old earth. Some turn quite vicious when they find out you do not share their beliefs on this.

    So what do we expect to happen when we teach kids that all this stuff is false and then they eventually hear the other side? Right at the most vulnerable time in their lives, high school and college, they are confronted with the facts supporting an old earth. Some will never accept it. But some, when confronted with the evidence, will decide for themselves that it does make sense and that it is well supported. And some of these, especially since they are at a tulmultuous time to begin with, will begin to question the rest of what they have been taught as "Truth" by their parents and their church teachers. "If they lied to me about this, what else did they lie to me about?" It may even be worse for those who were taught all the standard arguments against evolution when they realize how weak they actually are yet were presented as strong facts. And through this process, some will lose their faith. And this says nothing of those who will never be reached for Christ because they cannot understand how some group that denies most of what science has to say can be offering them the "Truth." Luckily for me, I made it into adulthood before looking at the evidence.

    So what do we do? We learn the lessons of history, of Copernicus and Gallileo, and we quit denying the evidence. Science and the Bible will not disagree if you are interpreting both correctly. I wish as much as anyone that the way could be found to better explain the wealth of data in a manner consistent with a literal interpretation of Genesis. It does make things much easier. But, in my humble opinion and in my experience, I have yet to come upon young earth views that do a better job than the mainstream of science. They try very hard, and some seem like smart, bright people. But they have not come close to succeeding. They are trying to pigeon hole data into what they already believe rather than letting the available information guide them to the truth. (Some of the leaders in young earth hogtie their members by setting out beforehand what the answers MUST be. See http://www.icr.org/abouticr/tenets.htm . What is the point of research if you have already made your conclusion?)

    I believe that one day, the mainstream of the church will quit denying science, as they have done before. And I think we will be better off for it. For denying such things is a dangerous game, as shown by the original post.
     
  5. UTEOTW

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    Meant to add... Yes, having that forum back would be a good thing. Issues like this crop up from time to time and having a dedicated place for them would be nice. For various reasons, some have been touched on above, this topic can be very divisive and as such, splitting it off to its own place for people who are interested can keep the rest of the board at a little more peace. :(
     
  6. David Mark

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    Paul,
    To me, that is a wonderfully insightful statement.

    Helen,
    You make a good point.

    Dave.
     
  7. timothy 1769

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    Just wanted to point out if this apostate had ignored science he'd probably still be religious.

    Personally I think it's crazy to send your kids to modern secular schools. IMO even if they don't end up denying Jesus their whole attitude and outlook are changed, and not in a good way.

    We need to look to the Bible for wisdom, be satisified with less, and be more concerned with righteousness than our standards of living.

    I think this is comparable to parents sending their kids to Catholic school - don't be suprised if a lot of them profess Catholicism as a result.
     
  8. Sularis

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    Congrats timothy you just failed being a parent! WOOO!! ;)

    I believe and i went through this - that it is ideal to have your children at the young age until about Grade 6 or Grade 8 in Christian school - then shift them over in high school or if you have a 7-12 school

    Its called being available to talk to your kids
    Its called installing a ferocious desire to know the truth
    Its called installing empathy within your child - and trying to prevent it from beaten out of them by the world - it helps if your kid is athletic and popular - not athletic and nerdy like I was - well not athletic anymore *jiggles belly* *worst episode ever*

    When I went to college I realized my parents really couldnt help me the way they could and did in high school

    It was the desire to know the truth - that got me through high school
    If I had gone to college without being introduced to the secular viewpoint - I most likely would have walked away from Christianity - I almost did on several occasions - and I did some things that I am embarassed about.

    "Raise them up in the way that they should go; so that when they are old they will not depart from it"

    I emphasize its the parents that are crucial during the transition - and college is NOT the area you want people to transition in.
     
  9. Helen

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    Timothy, although I understand what you are saying, I don't think you understood my point. This man did not pay attention to SCIENCE. He paid attention to people's opinions about science, and all he had to compare that with was people's opinions about the religion he was raised in.

    God's creation does not contradict His Word! The actual data denies any possibility of evolution beyond the simple variation we see with, say, dogs and horses and such. Real science really does show the impossibility of that.

    The data are showing more and more clearly that this is a VERY young universe, not to mention earth!

    If Baptist, and other Christian, parents were to become educated in the data itself, and pay attention to what the facts really say and not what 'scientific interpretations' are foisted off on us, then the kids they raise would have the ability to discern and question -- two imperative qualities for our world.

    You don't have to go deep into science to be able to teach your kids the difference between facts and opinions! But you do need to know a few of the facts in order to do that. God invented the facts. You don't need to be afraid of them! He does not contradict Himself!
     
  10. Brett

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    The evidence does not suggest a very young Earth.

    Name one scientist who believes that the Earth is very young, but is not a Christian.

    Nobody would believe that in a young Earth without having an a priori supposition that the Earth is young, and then looking only at the evidence that supports this.

    Real scientists explore truth with a minimum of presuppositions. Organizations like ICR and AiG start with what they believe to be the truth and then look for evidence to support it. This is not science, and you Helen are without a doubt scientifically literate enough to see this.

    As I've said zillions of times before, God's evidence does not contradict God's word, but it surely does contradict certain interpretations of His word. Young Earthers, by their very argument, would imply that God lied when He created uranium-238 with a half-life of 4.5-billion years and then put uranium-238 on the Earth with half of the atoms in that isotope having decayed. Surely such evidence cannot be discounted as having "the appearance of age".
     
  11. Helen

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    Appearances are deceiving, Brett. The decay rate of radioactive elements is the product of the rate of atomic reactions. Historic measurements have shown that there are a number of atomic "constants" which are not constant at all, and, as a result, we do have evidence of not only a much faster rate of decay in the past, thus separating the atomic 'clock' from our orbital clock (the one God told us to use, by the way, in Genesis 1:14), but of a 'clumping' of radiometric dates which is in almost exact harmony with the clumping of the quantized redshift data -- indicating these two things have a common cause.

    Your post indicates that you have strong belief in men's interpretations of the data. Most people do, I'm afraid. But those interpretations change with the wind. Believing in an ancient age means you believe that the rate of radiodecay has been constant, among other things. This is NOT indicated by the data itself.

    And this is precisely what I meant by what I was saying earlier about people needing to separate data from opinions.
     
  12. Brett

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    I know you don't like Talk.origins, but this webpage shows that it is not just one isotope giving the data, but many different isotopes of many different elements from many different sources, and all give a very similar answer for the age of the Earth.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

    Regarding your assertion that radioactive decay is not constant, what evidence is there of this? I would argue that most natural processes should be assumed to be constant unless shown otherwise. Well, not constant per se, but most natural processed fit very well into a precise mathematical framework, at least in theory (and often very close in practice); that is, a good linear, exponential or logarithmic can usually be obtained that closely models natural processes, and I don't see why radioactive decay is any exception (modelled by something like y = Ce^(kt) ). I could be wrong, though.

    Well, I DO have faith in men's interpretations of data. If I don't, then why would I also have faith in my interpretation of the bible? If I cannot interpret the data with any accuracy, then why should I assume that I can interpret God's word? Mistrust in our faculties, both mental and perceptual, can (IMHO [​IMG] ) only lead to moral and intellectual nihilism.
     
  13. Helen

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    That is exactly what would be expected if atomic processes in totality ran at a different rate than orbital time.

    You are right and you are wrong! The processes have led to some very precise mathematics. But these mathematics are based on the rate of the processes today, and there simply is too much evidence that these processes have not always been going at a constant rate -- the speed of light is only one example. Planck's Constant has turned out not to be constant -- and it is the measurement of the Zero Point Energy in space. This has EVERYTHING to do with atomic processes!

    The quickest way to show you that some of these changes have taken place and been measured as having taken place are in the graphs here:
    http://www.setterfield.org/Charts.htm#graphs

    The clumping of radioactive dates and the clumping of the redshift is discussed here:

    http://www.setterfield.org/quantumredshift.htm#periodicitiesandgeo

    Barry did NOT expect this match, as shown in the graph if you scroll down a little in that last link. He was rather stunned by it, but it does indicate what he had suspected: the atomic time scale vs the orbital time scale is exactly the same as the redshift vs distance and also exactly the same as the speed of light vs time. Same curve -- essentially a Lorentzian one. And when the corrections are made to orbital time scale, not only do Biblical dates match, but the times of catastrophes mentioned in the Bible fit exactly where they are evidenced in the geologic record.

    It's data. Simple data, and where it leads. Barry started out an old-earther, and it was the data which led him and a number of others from that position to the young earth position.

    Which ones? Whose? There are a lot of arguments going on....

    You don't need to interpret the Bible. Read it. It gives the truth in a simple, straightforward manner. Genesis is written as history, and history it is. You need to accept it or reject it on its own terms, not force some kind of other 'interpretation' on it.

    It has nothing to do with mistrusting our faculties, but with checking our presuppositions. And it is, in fact, 'interpretations' of the Bible which lead to moral and intellectual nihilism, not simply reading and believing it. Yes, of course we can be fooled by what we see in life -- the sun really doesn't rise. We turn. But the gathering of data is relatively objective. It is the application of that data via presuppositions in order to achieve 'satisfactory' conclusions which is extremely chancy.

    The Bible is NOT a science text. But it does give science guidelines -- parameteres which, if we stay within them, will yield exciting scientific work, discoveries, and truths. Outside of those parameters is the lie. Please do not trust yourself. Trust God.
     
  14. Artimaeus

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    I grew up in a Christian home and I remember my mother reading me Bible stories when I was little. I still see the images in my mind from those stories whenever I picture some of the Bible Charaters. I don't ever remember doubting the truth of the Bible. I also remember watching movies about prehistoric times with dinosaurs and cavemen. Not once did it ever occur to me that thses were totally contradictory until I was about 20 years old. I always loved science and still do. I am no scientist but this article reminded me of this mornings Sunday School lesson (I know because I taught it). It was on the book of Jude, particularly verse 10:

    Jude v10 But these (certain men crept in unawares) speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

    The first "know" is a deep knowledge and a real understanding of spiritual things and the second "know" is merely that which can be experienced like animals, a kind of head knowledge with the result being their own destruction.
     
  15. UTEOTW

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    A rambling response.

    Brett's first question remains unanswered. Where are the scientists who have interpreted the evidience as showing a young earth without a prior religious belief? Is there a population of non-Christian scientists somewhere who interpret the data to show an earth of less than ten thousand years? There are plenty of Christians who accept and old earth! Are there any mainstream scientists who have made the same light speed decay conclusions as Barry? If not, why not? What are all these guys seeing differently? The idea has been out there for quite a while so some of them must have seen it.

    This notion of preconceived notions is quite important. An old earth and evolution have not always been the leading theories. It came from the data, often from Christian scientists who recognized that what they were looking at just was not consistent with a young earth. Barry may have been surprised at what he found, but most of the creation "science" organizations out there have there conclusions already drawn for them.

    I'll post this link from the Institute for Creation Research again. http://www.icr.org/abouticr/tenets.htm Their conclusions are predetermined. Another link, this one from Answers in Genesis. http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/about/faith.asp They say "The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events.." They have already determined what the proper interpretation of Genesis is and that "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record." Do you get that? Their conclusion is predetermined and no evidence could possibly show differently! According to them you cannot believe your lying eyes if they tell you something different than what they have already concluded. Any contray evidence, by definition is wrong! And I encourage you to go out and read about the Discovery Institute's Wedge stratgey. Too much to get into here, but talk about a conspiracy.

    This is also what would be expected if the earth were billions of years old! Assuming changing decay rates adds in a complicating factor and is not the simplist interpretation.

    You posted links to Barry's slowing light speed and the effects upon radioactive decay rates and redshift and how all this is quantised and such. One of the predictions of this work is that things in the past should appear to operate more slowly. In fact, this is a key prediction. The idea is dependent upon it for certain things. For instance, if radioactive decay rates were higher in the past, then the light curve from supernovae would be different. But the slowdown is used to match things back up for an observer on earth. Now I quote you from another thread. I could just as easily scour Barry's website for a similar quote.

    According to this statement, the last big jump in light speeds occurred at a time equivelent to a distance greater than the distance to the LMC and SMC. You use this to say that objects from these three galaxies should not have an observable slowing effect because the speed of light has been essentially constant during the time the light has been traveling. (The discussion from which I pulled the quote was one in which I was saying you should see objects exhibiting signs of being slowed nearby and you were trying to say why this was not the case.) Two problems. First, you are then saying this light has been traveling for hundreds of thousands of years, quite a bit more than 6000 years, since the speed has not changed much yet the light has covered that great distance. Second, above you post a link to a chart which shows measureable changes in the speed of light in the last few hundred years. So which is it? If the chart is accurate, we should not only see nearby objects that appear to be slowed, but we should also see the slowing effect decrease with time as the speed of light at the time the signal was emitted decreases. Is there any new data in this area or has this prediction still not been observed?

    I agree.
     
  16. Paul of Eugene

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    Let us not forget that there are other literal minded religions with a belief in YEC - such are to be found in the Jewish and Islamic communities. So the challenge to find a believer in "young" earth who is not a "christian" needs to be extended to include someone who does not adhere to any of these religous traditions, as well.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Surely you are not of the opinion that Jews and Muslims are Christians.

    And why do we need to find a YEC that is not a Christian?? There is no relevance there. The question is not, "Who believes it?" The question is rather, "Is it true?" The actual evidence for a young earth is overwhelmign to those who are not biased in their viewpoint. People who were avowed evolutionists with no reason to change and every reason not to change have seen the evidence and have switched their position.

    It is a horrible thing when Baptists or anyone else is taught to distrust actual science. When people become so narrow minded as to write off certain sections of the scientific community simply because of their religious views, intolerance and unscientific methods have reached new heights.

    The old card playing proverb says, Trust everybody but always cut the cards. When you cut the cards, you find something hidden that "scientists" aren't willing to show. Too bad there are not enough people cutting the cards.
     
  18. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Well, the assertion is that only people blinded by their religous background would believe in an earth of age 10,000 years or less. A counter example of an Islamic Fundamentalist, even though he is not a Christian, is not really a counter example of someone free from religous influences on his scientific interpretations. That is all I was trying to say.

    But I would be delighted to hear what you consider to personally be the most telling points against the evidence science has accumulated for an earth about 4.5 billion years of age . . ?
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    But what you failed to say was that all men are "blinded" (to use your word) by their religious views. That is why your point falls apart on close examination.

    You have been around long enough. You are no more interested in hearing them now than you ever have been. I think we can at least agree on that.
     
  20. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    Not what he is asserting. Only that Jews, Muslims and Christians share much the creation story. So using a young earth Muslim does not get around the requirement to find a young earth proponent who does not first have a religious preconception.

    Because the assertion is that people only think the evidence shows a young earth if they have a preconceived belief that it will. Giving a few people who are experts in their field, who believe that the data in their field shows a young earth, and who do not come with preconceived notion based on their particular religious interpretation would bolster your case. The lack of such support is glaring. The significant number of Christians, myself included, who start with that same preconceived notion but who quit denying the reality of an old earth after looking at the data is glaring. The need for the leading creation "science" organizations to define beforehand what the results of their research MUST be and to define any contrary imformation as INVALID is very glaring. (Can no one defend why it is appropriate to declare your conclusions before you do any research?)

    Give us your best five pieces of data that show a young earth. Two of three sentences on each with links to detailed information will suffice.

    I would love for the evidence to actually show a young earth. It really does simplify things. But, IMHO, the evidence is severely lacking.

    I agree. Not only horrible, but also damaging. See the first part of the thread.
     

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