This article was also published at SBC Voices
by Ken Hamrick
Recently, I came across a paper in the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry, written by Dr. Kenneth Keathley in 2013, entitled, “Confessions of a Disappointed Young-Earther.” The piece is well done and gives an informative summary of the various arguments and supposed problems of the Young-Earth Creationism movement. After reading it, I must say that I’m just as disappointed as Dr. Keathley, but for different reasons. I’m disappointed that the enemy, who is delegitimizing the truth-claims of Christianity by undermining the authority of Scripture, is often met with so little resistance and so much well-meant, reasonable-sounding cooperation. I’m disappointed that not even the best among us are immune from a skeptical evidentialism. And I’m disappointed that one so capable of competent reason would falter in thinking that evidence has bearing on the question of a recent miraculous creation.
I’m no scientist, and I do not claim to be able to present all the scientific intricacies of the various arguments. To be fair, there do seem to be some valid points brought against Young-Earth “creation science” and even a few points in support of it. Nevertheless, I do not argue for a “young” earth, but for an old earth recently created—what Dr. Keathley presents as Philip Henry Gosse’s “Omphalos argument” or the mature earth view. The Bible clearly and explicitly reveals a recent creation by divine fiat. Miracles being what they are, we should not expect to find proof in physical evidences for this recent miraculous act. But, neither should we expect the secular scientific view to be free from error, overconfidence, and overreaching. Ultimately, though, the scientific argument is irrelevant to the vital question at hand—and that fact is sadly missed by Young-Earthers and Old-Earthers alike. Continue reading
by Ken Hamrick
In the ongoing debate over the Genesis creation account, one supposed problem that seems particularly troublesome for many is the question of the length of a day prior to the creation of the sun (on Day 4). Since the sun is the means by which a day is usually measured, then it is objected by Old-Earthers that we are left without any sure understanding of what God might possibly mean by the term, “day,” when it is used to describe the first three days of creation. Here’s the text:
Genesis 1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Continue reading
by Ken Hamrick
Old-Earth Creationists, who accept the evidence-based claims that the earth is billions of years old, ought to honestly acknowledge that their view does not rest on natural evidence, but upon their own prior skeptical denial of creation by divine fiat (or, command). It is dishonest to put forth such a view as being based on the evidence. Without first denying that a miraculous creation by fiat might have occurred, they would have no basis for giving weight to any natural evidence. This doesn’t mean that they have properly thought this out and realized that they must first deny the plausibility of a miraculous creation by fiat; rather, for most of them, their preconceived skeptical denial remains unrecognized, like a hidden assumption.
To answer the question, How long ago did God create the world?, they immediately look—as a matter of course—to what the scientific evidence ‘reveals.’ Ostensibly, this supposes to give equal weight to all sources of truth, whether God’s revelation in Scripture or God’s revelation in the physical world (nature). However, the bias of the scales toward nature becomes evident: whenever the two (the plain reading of Scripture and natural evidence) seem to contradict, they never opt for reinterpreting natural evidence in light of the inerrant Scripture, but always insist on reinterpreting Scripture in light of the inerrant natural evidence (at least where creation is concerned). Continue reading
by Ken Hamrick
Apologist J. W. Wartick recently posted an article on his blog, entitled, “Do Young Earth Creationists Advocate Appearance of Age?” He is an Old-Earth Creationist who argues that appearance of age would be deception on God’s part. I disagree, and have been engaging him in discussion in the comment section. You might find it interesting, and you’re welcome to join the conversion.
by Ken Hamrick
When it comes to understanding the Bible, the intended meaning of the author ought to be held in such importance that the text is allowed to speak for itself—with every effort made to not read into the text ideas that were not intended—and to get our clues as to what was intended only from the text itself, rather than permitting ideas, claims, evidences and authorities from outside of the text to tell us what the text means. This is why we go by the axiom, If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. When it tells us that Christ physically rose from the dead and left the tomb, we don’t allow science to weigh in and tell us that He must not have actually died, but only “swooned,” since dead bodies do not reanimate (CPR might work for a few minutes, but not three days after death). Certainly, science has a legitimate stake in the matter, since what is claimed is above and beyond all natural laws and a physical impossibility. Nevertheless, science must be ignored in this, since it is a supernatural matter outside of their ability to explain, detect, or prove. For us today, it is a matter of pure revelation—the eyewitnesses are dead and unavailable for examination. Continue reading
A physicist and an astrobiologist team up to explain to medical doctors how knowledge of evolution holds the key to curing cancer.
Scientific American: Did Cancer Evolve to Protect Us?
Curing cancer is high on everyone’s wish list for the 21st century. Could the key be billions of year’s old? A National Cancer Institute project to “rethink cancer from the bottom up” has spawned a study asserting that oncologists need to seek the cancer cures for the present in clues from the evolutionary past.
Physicist Paul Davies and astrobiologist Charles Lineweaver believe that cancer cells are simply cells that have reverted to their evolutionary ancestral state to cope with the challenges they face. This is called an “atavistic” model. (Atavism means reversion to an ancient, primitive, or ancestral state. Continue reading →
These are exciting times at AiG. The life-size Noah’s Ark project is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. This past week, the board of directors met at Answers in Genesis. They were given a detailed update on the Ark Encounter project, to be built off I-75 (between Cincinnati and Lexington, Kentucky). Because of the intense construction activity on the Ark site, the board members were taken on a helicopter tour of the Ark property to see the progress.
I have included a video below […] Continue reading →
Earlier this month, Bill Nye (TV’s famous “Science Guy”) appeared on Global News’s The Morning Show on October 1, 2014 and, speaking about people who believe in biblical creation, boldly predicted that “In another 20 years those guys will be just about out of business.” Other secularists (I recall some back in the 1970s) have made similar claims, like this one: “Atheism is the philosophy, both moral and ethical, most perfectly suited for a scientific civilization . . . Atheism will be ready to fill the void of Christianity’s demise when science and evolution triumph.”* Will biblical creation be dead in 20 years? Will secularists be successful in stamping out the message of the true history of the world and replacing it with atheism? In a word—no. Biblical creation is going to outlive Bill Nye and others like him. Continue reading →
by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, Dr. Georgia Purdom, and Dr. Tommy Mitchell on October 20, 2014
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has already claimed over 4,000 lives—more than all previous Ebola epidemics combined—and it is showing no sign of slowing. The first (and we hope the only) Ebola death on American soil occurred in Dallas, Texas, on October 8, 2014. Two nurses who cared for that patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, soon developed Ebola. In Spain a nurse exposed in Madrid to a priest who contracted Ebola in Africa recently developed Ebola.1 These incidents represent the first time Ebola has been transmitted outside of Africa.
In the past, outbreaks have remained geographically confined to the regions where the organism that harbors them lives.2 Why is this one different? Is Ebola wielding the power of Darwinian evolution over medical science? Continue reading →
According to a science and religion blogger with the not-so-reliable Huffington Post, the evolution/creation debate is not about science or even the Bible—it’s about gay marriage! Well, that’s certainly news to me!
Writer Paul Wallace claims that he could never understand why creationists reject the “tsunami of unambiguous evidence that forces us to believe in a 14-billion-year-old cosmos; in a 4.5-billion-year-old Earth; and in the long slow evolution of creatures.” Of course, he doesn’t provide any of the scientific evidence that supposedly makes up this “tsunami of unambiguous evidence,” he just merely expects his readers to accept that this evidence is there. He then goes on to say that he suddenly realized why biblical creationists reject all the supposed “evidence”—it’s because the real issue is not science, it’s gay marriage. Continue reading →
Dr. Hugh Ross’s Navigating Genesis: A Scientist’s Journey Through Genesis 1–11 is, sadly, a great tool for steering the uninformed and the gullible into a shipwreck of faith, not for removing stumbling blocks to faith as Dr. Ross misguidedly attempts. Guided by his devotion to the secular dating methods, Dr. Ross distorts the Bible’s claims about our origins and early history while misrepresenting much of the secular science from which he claims support. By Navigating Genesis with Dr. Hugh Ross, the casual reader—Christian or not—can be sure of emerging from his voyage laden with burdensome baggage: a chaotic mix of misapplied science, straw-man arguments, dubious apologetics, ignorance of what creation scientists actually claim, a creative but incorrect approach to reading the Word of God, and a bizarre re-interpretation of the Bible that bears little resemblance to what God actually says. In short, a reader seeking guidance from Dr. Ross, upon disembarking from Navigating Genesis, may well know less about secular science, less about the Bible, less about our history, and less about our Lord than before starting the ill-advised trip. Continue reading →
by Ken Hamrick
Most debates between Old-Earthers and Young-Earthers deteriorate to anger and ad hominem after about 100 comments. Recently, SBC Voices posted my article, “Helping Old-Earth Creationists Face the Supernatural Question,” which had been posted here. The discussion at Voices went to 308 comments before Dave Miller shut it down—probably for reasons of length. Throughout, it remained a great example of how such discussions can be carried on without rancor. I recommend reading down through the comments for anyone looking to understand the different views better.
by Ken Hamrick
Instead of arguing for or against the scientific evidence, or arguing the merits of possible exegetical ways to reconcile Scripture with a billions-of-years chronology, I propose that—for the sake of argument-–we eliminate the evidence question all together. We can do this by accepting all the scientific claims at face value, and still insisting on a recent supernatural creation out of nothing. In other words, we would not posit a young earth, but an old earth that was recently created by divine fiat. When God creates out of nothing, He is not limited to creating things “new.” God created Adam and Eve as physically mature adults and not as infants. He created mature, fruit-bearing trees for immediate food. “He made the stars also”—and made a universe with mature light-trails already existing so that the stars were already visible. All of these imply a time-consuming natural process that was well under way at the first moment of creation. God chose to create not at the beginning of these natural processes, but somewhere in the middle—as if these processes had been going on long before the moment of creation.
Why would God create the world in such a way as to leave no scientific evidence whatsoever of His creating, but leave plenty of evidence that natural processes predated the recent creation found in the natural reading of the Biblical account? Quite simply, God created in such a way that He would not be found by scientific evidence, but only by faith. This is not to say that the created world does not point to God and reveal a Creator to those who are willing to believe, but only that God and His creating cannot be established by any materialistic evidence. There are no “miracle particles” that science can measure to determine that creation by fiat occurred. Any unbelievers who insist on scientific evidence for God’s existence or His creating will find only natural processes. God requires faith. Continue reading
by Ken Hamrick
One of the best ways to defeat an opposing argument is to render its evidence irrelevant—establish that even if their evidence is accepted for the sake of argument, your position remains intact. Of course, this is rarely possible. But when it comes to defending a recent fiat creation (RFC), rendering the evidence for evolution and an old earth irrelevant is indeed possible, as we will see below. While I do not accept the theories and conclusions of evolutionists, I think it could be instructive to show how the RFC view remains solid even if the evolutionary evidences are given as true. Continue reading