Saturday, May 26, 2007

Creation Museum Opens this Weekend

Staff and volunteers at the new Answers in Genesis creation museum have prepared diligently for this weekend--opening weekend--of the new $27 million facility formulated to "uphold the authority of the Bible from the very first verse." The museum is 65,000 square feet, located in Petersburg, Kentucky and features animatronic dinosaurs, state-of-the-art models and graphics, more than 50 educational videos, a model of the Grand Canyon, and a bookstore.

Pundits and naysayers will also turn out in droves as this article contends.

As the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum prepares to open Monday with its message that the Bible's story of creation is literally and scientifically correct, a growing group of scientists, educators, clergy and concerned citizens will be countering the Creation Museum's message with their own "Rally for Reason."

"We're people interested in science over superstition," said Edwin Kagin, a Union lawyer and Kentucky state director of American Atheists.

Even more scathing was Kai Ryssdal's commentary on NPR yesterday, quoting physics professor Lawrence Krauss.
How much money and glitz does it take to institutionalize a scientific lie? In the case of the Creation Museum, about $27 million worth.

The reason for this museum is quite simple: The historical record in Genesis must literally be true. Since this is incompatible with essentially all of modern scientific knowledge, therefore modern scientific knowledge must be incorrect.

But if you want to renounce modern science as flawed, then an intellectually honest approach would be to also renounce technologies such as airplanes, cars and even radios that work using precisely the same scientific principles that tell us the earth is well over 6,000 years old.

But that's not the approach the Creation Museum takes. It renounces knowledge, but has spent lavishly on creating the illusion of science.

So, they've created a museum that appears scientific, but that simply lies about the science instead.

The Creation Museum uses dazzling and expensive animatronic displays made possible by hard-won advances in science to suggest the viability of a literal interpretation of Genesis.

That includes a six-day creation of the Earth, a 6,000-year-old universe, and a world where dinosaurs and humans happily roamed together. All of these are inconsistent with everything science tells us about the natural world.

Alas, such scientific fraud is not subject to legal intervention unless there is a financially injured party.

But what of the intellectual injury to thousands of young children who might visit the museum — built to be within a day's drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population — and who come out confused about science, the very thing that can give them a competitive edge in the modern world.

Religion doesn't have to be bad science. And, similarly, bad science shouldn't be defended simply because it might have a religious basis.

While religious tolerance is important, there should be little tolerance for promoting or consuming such religiously motivated scientific fraud.
A statement of the museum's intentions are in the "about" section of their website.

The Creation Museum will be upfront that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice, and in every area it touches upon.

We’ll begin the Museum experience by showing that “facts” don’t speak for themselves. There aren’t separate sets of “evidences” for evolution and creation—we all deal with the same evidence (we all live on the same earth, have the same fossils, observe the same animals, etc.). The difference lies in how we interpret what we study. We’ll then explore why the Bible—the “history book of the universe”—provides a reliable, eye-witness account of the beginning of all things.

How much of the Bible should we accept as fact and how much should we receive as metaphor? This is the question behind this issue and one that will never be settled. If an extreme metaphorical position is adopted, then where should the line be drawn that certain events, people, etc. cease to be metaphorical? Krauss did not advocate abandoning the Bible altogether, just those parts that do not agree with scientific fact. But the creation museum does not advocate abandoning science altogether, just those parts that do not agree with the Biblical record. Who is right? Who is wrong? What do you think?

25 comments:

Streak said...

You know where I stand on this, Tony. Respectfully, I believe that faith is for those areas where science and observation are inadequate--the existence of God, salvation, etc.

The museum website says that they are interpreting the same facts that science looks at. But science has to replicate and test their analysis. How does creationism test and prove that God did something? How can they even prove that God exists?

Heather said...

I am intereseted to hear other opinons as well. Looking for a science cirriculm for my son (he's only 6 but the first grade science cirricula were so disappointing) was difficult. "Answers" was one I wanted to look into for the kids - but the whole dinosaur thing always gives me fits. I BELIVE the dinos were real (there is no reasonable way that we would find so many fossils otherwise). HOWEVER I KNOW that the Bible is true.

Streak - from my understanding (which is limited and I will have to find where I read this) the idea is that some of the scienific "theory" of evolution is just that - Theory - that cannot be proven in a lab either.

As for proving God exsits? How is it that we are on the ONLY plant that can sustain life? If we were one degree off in gravity pressure (not sure that's the correct term) or in our relation to the sun we would NOT be here ~ that is what the Discovery channel and Stephen Hawking were saying just yesterday on a show we were watching.

To me - there is NO stonger proof than that. I cannot look at this world with it's incredible diversity of flora and fauna and NOT see God in all His Glory.

Tony said...

Yes, I know where you stand, but I decided to post on this anyway. :)

I think it comes back to your philosophical basis; one is arguing for naturalism, the other creationism, a strict dichotomy. You ask, "How does creationism test and prove that God did something?" Is this question answerable?

How does naturalism test that God didn't do something? And yes, I know its circular reasoning.

But back to my original questions, and one I would like input, where do you draw the line in metaphorical interpretation? When do events, people, etc. cease being metaphorical and become literal and historical?

How do we know for certain what to interpret as literal and what to interpret as metaphorical?

Tony said...

Heather,

Great points. Natural theology does give us significant impetus to believe there is a God. What about the valves in a giraffe's arteries in his neck? That there are seven muscles of orbit in the eye, each one working intricately and oftentimes independently of the others? That earth is uniquely designed to sustain life whereas the other eight (nine?) planets are not?

We have been using the science curriculum from Sonlight. We have liked it very much and feel it is a viable science choice.

Streak said...

Heather, I have argued elsewhere that the two most misunderstood terms in the English language (slight hyperbole) are "myth" and "theory." Theory, for example, includes in its definition a supposition or opinion, but in the scientific usage is much more rigorous. It is the best explanation for the data at hand, and the one that has been tested and retested. That always assumes that new data could change the conclusion, but till now, this is the best explanation for the data we have. Talking to biologists--my neighbors, for example, who work with evolutionary biology every day--and evolution is far from some vague idea. They see it as factual and scientific as science gets.

I think there is much room for argument about the role a creator played in starting the process, but among scientists (and we are talking the vast majority of biologists) evolution is as true as it gets. It explains speciation and the development of many things (I suspect even valves in giraffe neck arteries).

But as for your proof that God exists, let me suggest respectfully that you are not asserting proof. You are asserting an inference and a belief (and one that I share, btw, that God had something to do with all of this complexity), but complexity is not "proof" of god. It is proof of complexity. I think it is perfectly reasonable to believe in a God that created all of this, but that is not the same thing as proving that he exists. I would also suggest that if you could prove God existed, you would not need faith.

Tony,

You wrote: You ask, "How does creationism test and prove that God did something?" Is this question answerable?

No, it isn't really answerable because proving God exists is outside the ability or even the goals of naturalism and the scientific method. I would add the historical method to that list too--I can document how people felt about God and believed about God, but cannot source what God himself/herself believes or does.

How does naturalism test that God didn't do something? And yes, I know its circular reasoning.

I don't understand. You are asking science to prove a negative about a being that science cannot measure or document or even examine. That is not bad mouthing faith, but merely addressing the limits of science.

But back to my original questions, and one I would like input, where do you draw the line in metaphorical interpretation? When do events, people, etc. cease being metaphorical and become literal and historical?

How do we know for certain what to interpret as literal and what to interpret as metaphorical?


I am again a little puzzled here, but feel more on comfortable ground talking about historical figures. I would suggest that history is always more art than science--in that we are always attempting a flawed goal of trying to recreate a very complex past and make it intelligible. Along the way we will always miss details and facts that are simply lost to the past, and will always have to make sense of the data at hand.

The simple answer to your question is that when we have some kind of documentation that is more than an oral tradition, we have something approaching a historical and literal figure. I study American history, so that is much easier than the ancient world (in my book) and so can study historical figures such as Lincoln or Jefferson with a real confidence that they lived and died and were actually Presidents. I don't have to worry that they might have been a combination of other figures retold in mythic fashion to communicate a broader truth.

But that is where it gets complicated as well, because all of those historical figures have been used in mythic stories. So the historian has to look at the documents--things they wrote and that their contemporaries wrote about them--and then piece together their viewpoints and ideas and thinking from all of those points of corroboration.

I think there are confirming and corroborative testimony to aspects of the bible as well--archeological digs and other contemporary documents (Josephus, etc) that add a context to the Biblical story. Where it gets muddled, at least in my mind, is that I don't believe that the Bible was written as monograph, or historical analysis or scientific treatise. I don't think that most of the OT was written with that in mind, and so reading it as if it is literal truth (for me) is the same as reading Parson Weems' take on George Washington as if that were a factual record.

This answer is way too long. Sorry for that.

selahV said...

Tony: I like the seahorse, myself. He's so funny. I especially like the idea that the male carries the baby. Isn't that a trip? I also discovered that black widow spiders have to be crushed to kill 'em because they are so immune to all the scientific poisons we've produced. Yet, a wasp comes along and can suck the life out of them. Now my problem is deciding which is worse--the wasp or the black widow spider. Our Creator is one gigantic marvelous Mind without scientific constraints.

He is beyond science. shucks, He created science. It's all His. We just get to play with it and He lets us think we are some big somethings when we "discover" something He already knew. Unbound by time and space. That's God.

don't have the answer to how we know what to interpret as literal and metaphorical. I can tell you my son existed. I can show you a grave and you can look at his pictures and even have his dna traced back to me, but that doesn't mean you will believe all I know about my son. I knew him. I know Him.
Knowing God exists is the same thing. Until I knew Him, I didn't know Him. I just knew about Him.

I can hardly wait to go to the museum.
selahV

Tony said...

Streak,

So Washington really didn't chop down the cherry tree???

You do not have to apologize for the length of your comments; this one is particularly thoughtful and graceful.

When I say metaphorical, I have to understand Adam and Eve as historical figures. If they are not, then why should Cain and Abel also be understood as historical? Or King David, or Solomon, or the prophet Jeremiah, or Hosea's wife Gomer? Then, in my mind, every other person in the Scriptures is potentially not a historical person and will eventually also cast Christ under suspicion as well.

If creation is not a literal event, then why should any other event be historical, thus calling the reign of David, the construction of the temple, and even the resurrection unto suspicion as well. Perhaps my thinking on this is not deep enough or erudite enough. Am I missing something here?

The OT was written to be neither a historical or a scientific treatise, but in the scientific and historic information it does report, is it suspect? Are we to look upon the OT in the same way we do the NT, that because we are only a couple thousand years removed from its history it is the more authoritative of the two?

Perhaps in our usage of extra-biblical sources, such as Josephus, we use the Bible to look back into Josephus and not the other way around; or perhaps this is my conservative narrow-mindedness affecting my reason. :)

Aside from this issue, have your neighbors offered an opinion about the creation museum that you know of?

Streak said...

I have not discussed the museum with anyone, but have discussed the idea of creationism with them on many occasions. They find the idea curious simply because they don't see any evidence or method of testing the idea. I think both would say that creationism is a Religious idea and that there is nothing wrong with that, but conflating it with science is just as wrong as assuming that scientific theory could answer theological questions.

Now for the metaphorical figures. We can find other evidences to support some of the figures from the OT, so that suggests that they are both real historical figures and also figures of myth. There is no other evidence to corroborate the creation event. That is not true for the Jewish resistance to Roman rule or the ancient kingdoms of Israel. Creation comes from a very literary story, and I for one, am puzzled why that has to be read literally. How does it change the importance of the story if Adam and Eve were metaphorical figures--just as the Coyote and Earth-Maker are in the Maidu creation story? Do Cain and Abel need to be actual historical figures to learn the lessons of Cain and Abel? Must the flood be an actual global event rather than localized catastrophe for us to learn from that story?

but in the scientific and historic information it does report, is it suspect?

I think so, and not to bash this text any more than I would any other, but it was written from a completely different perspective. I read recently a blog arguing against the heliocentric solar system because of passages in the Bible like these:

“He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.” (1 Chronicles 16:30)

“Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …” (Psalm 93:1)

“Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.” (Psalm 104:5)


Are we supposed to take those as literal scientific observations?

Steve Sensenig said...

Streak, I gotta tell you. I love your comments on this thread. Not because I agree with them (I'm not sure if I do or not), but because you are asking some really legit questions in a very fair and reasonable way.

Do Cain and Abel need to be actual historical figures to learn the lessons of Cain and Abel? Must the flood be an actual global event rather than localized catastrophe for us to learn from that story?

I think these questions are really good ones, and you've given me something to think about.

Your approach here is not that dissimilar to the approach I have taken to some theological "sacred cows" on my own blog from time to time (Tony can attest to this!).

I think, if I can be so bold as to attempt to summarize your questions, it seems that you are saying that the important question is the "why" of the existence of biblical writings.

If the answer to "why" is to provide a scientific text, it falls quite short of its goal. This is evidenced by the verses you quoted which have been used (and I've seen this theory, too, and it blows my mind) to defend geocentrism.

In the Psalms, the very nature of poetry should cause us to be on the outlook for poetic devices, metaphors, etc. Not scientific "facts".

I think that Jesus gave us a hint about the purpose of the Old Testament when he told the religious leaders of his day that the Old Testament pointed to himself. (That was the only "Scripture" they had at the time, so he obviously wasn't talking about the NT.)

To my mind, regardless of the literal exactness of Genesis 1, I see the fact that God is the source of all this complexity, as you put it.

That's not good enough for the AiG guys, though. They seem (from what I have seen in watching their video presentations) to make one's view of Genesis 1 a litmus test for "true Christianity".

I find no evidence in any other historical record, biblical or otherwise, to suggest that anyone teaching the message of the Gospel made six-day, 6,000-year-old earth a test of orthodoxy. And I think we err to do so now.

Me personally? I'm pretty comfortable with the six-day thing. The 6,000-year-old earth? Not so much. It's a number derived by trying to calculate from geneologies, etc. I just don't see why that is such a critical feature of creationism.

Tony said...

Steve,

Thanks for jumping in. You have cogently explained several of the things I have been trying to get across, just not as cogently. Oh well.

Streak,

As Steve has pointed out, I think the AiG folks are using literal interpretation of Genesis 1 as a linchpin. I want to point you to a previous post I wrote to affirm you this is not my position, OK? I point you there simply so you don't think I am being insincere with you and just trying to be conciliatory. If you have time, look it over OK?

I do not question your beliefs nor your salvation but genuinely want to discuss these things. (The only thing I question is your coffee bar choice. Starbucks? Who would want patronize that place?) You do ask tough questions, questions I am not altogether sure I can answer.

Nevertheless, I will not repeat Steve's take on the Psalms supporting a geocentric universe. I agree there.

Streak, I respect your position; I am just not there. I am OK with a 6 day creation cycle; a little leery about a 6,000 year old earth. But I will say, there was at one time in my Christianity I DID believe in a four billion year old earth, so coming off that position was very hard for me.

Swinging the other way, or toward the middle, as you suggest, would be even harder.

Streak said...

Steve, good comments. On the 6,000 year old earth, btw, a good book is Mark Noll's Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. He traces the intellectual history of American Christianity since the 19th century and it is a fascinating read. (Noll is an evangelical Christian, but also a well respected academic historian, for what that is worth)

Tony, I don't think I have ever thought you were being insincere. I remember that post and liked it then. I actually had forgotten the litmus test of a literal Genesis until you guys brought it up. For me the concern was that people would completely reject science automatically if they thought the Bible demanded it. The geocentrism debate is really amazing.

BTw, I would be more than willing to frequent a local coffee shop if any of our local ones knew how to make coffee. But Starbucks are the only ones who make drip coffee strong enough for me. :)

Tony said...

Streak,

Been meaning to read that book. I read his history of North American Christianity and it is one of the better church histories.

For me the concern was that people would completely reject science automatically if they thought the Bible demanded it. Well, if all my conservative friends jumped off a bridge, so would I. :)

I won't go too far off topic, but I think the geocentrism debate is different than the creation debate. I'll leave it at that, because I just don't know if I have the ammunition to defend my position as of yet. This may be something I return to later.

And I have coffee envy now, because the best we can do for a coffee bar out this way is the Sheetz gas station/convenience store. If I want Starbucks I have to drive about fifty miles.

Streak said...

Tony,

I think you might be right about geocentrism and creation, but simply worry that people will ignore evidence to make the literal Bible make sense. One Christian once told me that dinosaurs didn't exist, just their fossils. Huh?

Beyond arguing about such issues, I worry that the thinking process that produces geocentrism leads to other bad logic and thinking that gives us bad policy. I would suggest that some of that already happens when people put their own "what should be" ahead of what is. And that criticism can apply to all sides.

I am curious how Gore's book on reason will address some of these things.

I feel your rural pain about the coffee. If you are a drip man, I suggest investing in a burr grinder and quality beans. We bought one a few months ago and are hooked. If your tastes go more to the froo froo drinks (technical coffee term) then I can't help you. :)

Steve Sensenig said...

I agree that geocentrism and creationism are two different things. However, I think that if the AiG people are completely consistent, their hermeneutic would require accepting the geocentric position as well, wouldn't it? What do you guys think?

All this talk about Starbucks is really upsetting me. Boone did just recently open a Panera Bread, so we're slowly moving in the right direction, but no Starbucks yet. How sad is that? A University town and we can't get a Starbucks?? (We were supposed to get one on campus, and the student senate passed a resolution protesting the invasion of "corporate America" on our campus. Silly kids...)

Tony said...

Selah,

I totally overlooked your comment from earlier, and I apologize. I have always found the sea horse a funny creature. The black widow and wasps are creatures on my "kill instantly" list, along with copperheads and yellow jackets, which we have an abundance of out here in the sticks, along with mosquitoes.

Knowing God and knowing about Him are entirely different, aren't they? Its like knowing the principles of electricity and then sticking a fork in a wall outlet, huh?

Streak,

No dinosaurs? Wow. I mean, really, wow. If my literalism ever takes me there, well... This is something I want to explore further, if indeed a literal approach to the Scriptures legitimately does damage to faith. I am inclined not to believe so, but some of the examples you have shared with me, like the geocentrism and slavery (that we talked about a few months ago), make me want to look at that hermeneutic a little more comprehensively.

My wife ONLY drinks froo froo. Shame on her, I know, though I do enjoy a white chocolate mocha every now and then. Typically, I like my coffee leaded, straight-up. I don't do much home brew because I'm the only one that drinks coffee consistently and I usually throw out more than I drink. I try not to be so wasteful, so I save coffee usually for meals out or appointments.

Steve,

their hermeneutic would require accepting the geocentric position as well, wouldn't it? Good question, and one that demands some thought.

My initial inclination is that it would not because I do not think the Bible presents a case for geocentrism. The verses Streak listed (sorry, Streak, I said I wasn't going there, but Steve asked) are all in the context of poetry and are proving in each case the stability and immutability of God by metaphor. I think context here is important and proves the case against geocentrism.

I do think however, and I lost sight of this in the course of the conversation, that you are correct that AiG wrongly asserts that creationism is a test for orthodoxy.

And btw, what in the world are you guys teaching at ASU anyway??? I can understand a county of less than 39,000 unable to get a Starbucks, but Boone? Gimme a break!!! And the closest we have to Panera is the Mennonite bakery...no Chick-fil-A, no Ci-Ci's, no Krispy Kreme...sigh...

Steve Sensenig said...

I know, I know. It's crazy. It's the idealistic mindset of university students, I guess. Thinking they can stand up to "Big Coffee", yet not realizing what all they sell their souls to in similar ways.

Anyway, that's not really the point of this thread, is it? ;) hehe

Re: geocentrism

While I agree with you that poetry requires some latitude in interpretation, geocentricity is not limited to that. I'm not up on all their arguments, but I am pretty certain that the sun "standing still" in Joshua is another argument they put forth.

Don't get me wrong. I reject geocentrism (don't laugh, Streak) on the basis of scientific evidence. Which is exactly why I am uncomfortable with AiG's stance on 6-day, 6,000 year creationism.

I believe God created this entire universe. That much I take as certainty. The hows, or the whys, or the how longs, I choose to not make issues over. That is my beef with AiG.

I've watched a handful of their videos, and every one of them left me feeling rather unsettled by their approach. It is what we term in the software industry (in which I used to work) FUD -- Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

They elicit so much fear in anything other than 6/6000, causing people to believe that their interpretation is the only possible way to avoid evil in this world.

I would actually go so far as to say that their interpretation becomes a bit idolatrous because they are more concerned (from all appearances) with that issue than with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When the writers of the NT say that all things were created by and through Jesus, why did they not feel the need to reiterate "in 6 literal days, 4,000 years ago" (adjusted for their time period)? Granted, it's an argument from silence, but I again reiterate my earlier point that Jesus said the point of the OT was to point to Him. Not to serve as an historical textbook or a scientific textbook, etc.

Anyway, that's my Starbucks-deprived opinion at the moment!! ;)

Steve Sensenig said...

I found out that AiG has already given their rebuttal to geocentrism. It's a lengthy article, and I haven't fully digested it, but you can find it here, if you are interested.

What I've read looks like a fairly decent rebuttal, but I'm not convinced that there isn't a bit of a double standard in some ways.

Anyway, I've harped on it long enough. Don't want to beat this dead horse too much! ;)

Tony said...

Steve,

I am kind of pressed for time right now, but wanted you to know I appreciate your follow-ups. I'll address the article soon...

Streak said...

Big Coffee? that is funny.

The verses Streak listed (sorry, Streak, I said I wasn't going there, but Steve asked) are all in the context of poetry and are proving in each case the stability and immutability of God by metaphor. I think context here is important and proves the case against geocentrism.

I agree (though physics also proves the case against geocentrism, right?) but simply wonder why those verses are clearly poetic while the creation story is not?

I remember Joseph Campbell saying something about caution when approaching important stories. Getting caught in the literalism of the myth could cause one to miss the meaning. I am not sure I completely understood his point, but think that something like this might suffice. Say (and this is purely hypothetical) that archeology and historical documents absolutely proved that some of those events in the Bible didn't happen? The Red Sea, Noah's Ark, etc. If that were to happen, literalists would have to choose between simply ignoring the evidence and having to completely revise their interpretation of the story.

If the story has value and meaning only because it happened literally, then in my hypothetical scenario, you would be left with nothing. No literal event, therefore no meaning and no story.

Not sure that makes sense, but it is the best I can do on only one cup of coffee today. :)

BTW, Tony, a French Press would allow you to make smaller cups of coffee and still have the leaded goodness. Or a single serving filter also works great--like this one.

Streak said...

BTW, Tony, as I recently posted at my own blog, I listened to an NPR story on the museum's opening. What struck me was one of the female visitors talking about the creation story AS science. It seems to me that the naturalist v. creationist disconnect you write about is then further confused when creationists are essentially claiming the naturalist credibility while rejecting the naturalist methodology. Or am I confusing something here?

Tony said...

Steve,

Arguments from silence are tenuous but this one is convincing. Along those same lines, one of the primary reasons Jonah is looked at as not necessarily a mythological character but a real, historical person is because Christ mentions him by name in the Gospels. Then, the defender will posit, "See, Christ believed Jonah was a real figure."

He is indeed called a prophet and that the people of Nineveh repented at his preaching as well as the sign of Christ was the same as that of Jonah, that he would be three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. But it is a leap of logic, from just the text, to say that Jonah was a literal figure.

If you argue from the nature of the text itself, then you can say Jonah was literal. However, if you just argue from the aforementioned standpoint, there is no real compelling reason to believe that Jesus believed Jonah was real. Does Jonah necessarily have to be literal for Christ to make His point? Am I thinking too far out of the box on this one?

I think the AiG folks are making this same leap. I am sold on six days but will not break fellowship over it, nor 6,000 years either.

Streak,

Determining the genre of any given biblical text is very important to its interpretation and scholars and theologians disagree as to the exact nature of Genesis 1-11. Is it to be read as poetry, history, literary; as many interpretations as there are scholars.

I tend to read it as history, along the same lines I would read Kings and Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, etc. Genesis 1-11 is written in the Hebrew as a narrative with various literary devices holding it together. It is, at least in my view, meant to be understood as a record of a chronological sequence of events.

If the story has value and meaning only because it happened literally... I see your point, here. Really, I do. Just as Washington didn't chop down the cherry tree, that story being literal would not diminish the fact that the moral of the story is that George couldn't tell a lie?

I heard those NPR stories. I don't know if you caught the one on morning edition, but Ken Ham (who incidentally, is no Ph.D, and was recently given an honorary doctorate by Liberty University) essentially said the same thing you did earlier in the thread.

The interviewer said that conventional scientists begin with evidence to lead them to what they should believe, whereas creationists, such as Ham, take the evidence and make it fit what they already believe is true, a 6/6000 timetable.

Ham then disagreed with that and proved his disagreement by an ad hominem attack on someone he debated previously and that atheists and evolutionists also start with presuppositions, all the while never offering support for his presuppositions. Maybe he was in a hurry. :)

Regarding credibility, it comes back to what I said earlier--the creationist begins with a different set of presuppositions. Ham used the example of a naturalist archaeologist and a creationist archaeologist looking at the same fossil and by their very definition they will come to a differing conclusion regarding that fossil; they have to. Otherwise they are being inconsistent. Would it be if (God forbid) they came to the same conclusion, besides age?

I have been considering a personal coffee maker--just haven't taken the plunge yet. I am not an instant coffee guy; stuff's nasty. Thanks for the link to that particular one!

Steve Sensenig said...

Tony, I'm sorry for being SO late to respond here. My summer theater schedule is in full swing, and it makes it VERY hard to stay on top of blogging -- both reading and writing!

I don't think you're too far outside the box at all. I think your point about Jonah is quite well-taken. I've actually had similar thoughts about Job.

I think that the insistence on literalness (is that a word?) in some of these cases is an exercise in missing the bigger point.

This is why I so appreciated Streak's questions in this thread. To emphasize another aspect is not to deny literalism or to insist on it. It simply moves the literal aspect down a few notches in importance.

This is my feeling about creation. I believe that Genesis 1 is rather literal for the most part. But I also recognize that the greater emphasis is on the WHO of creation (i.e., Yahweh) and not on the specific HOW.

To turn it into a scientific debate as to the how seems to me to miss the point.

Anyway, I think I've stated that enough times here to suffice!! hehe

Thanks again for the great interaction, and I have really appreciated the tone/tenor of this interaction between the three of us.

Seems to me that the three of us could actually have some fun at Starbucks!! ;)

Tony said...

Steve,

Thanks for the follow-up. I was wondering if you had gotten busy. It sounds like things are in full swing for you right now!

I want to return to this in a future post (famous last words, though). I mentioned to Streak about literalness and if it does damage to faith, or at least coming to a conclusion of how important it should be in my faith; this is something I want to explore.

Some of my friends will probably think I am nuts, but I have been called worse.

Again, thanks for following up. I hope the summer goes well with your theater schedule.

And, I would enjoy the three of us sitting down at Starbucks. A grande white chocolate mocha decaf would be GREAT.

Tim A. Blankenship said...

Tony,
I believe the Biblical record. Where science contradicts Scripture science is wrong.
Tim A. Blankenship

Streak said...

Tim, is that an argument for geocentrism?