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Objections to creationism

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There are many objections to creationism. What is done most often are attempts to discredit Biblical principals or theology. It is a vital target in that the Bible is the source of Creation sciences interpretation of the facts and it also ultimately establishes a creationist worldview.

Theological Objections

Theistic evolution

Main Article: Theistic evolution argument

Theistic Evolution is a belief system, which accepts that evolution is the scientific description of how organisms change over time; that all organisms have got here through descent with modification. At the same time, the theistic evolutionist is a theist - who believes in a God who is both personal and concerned with His creation (as opposed to a 'wind it up and let it go' Deist God). Theistic evolutionists could thus belong to any of the three main monotheistic faiths, or to any other theistic faith. As such, there is still a variety of opinion amongst theistic evolutionists. Some do not believe that abiogenesis can occur without the intervention of God. Others believe that God created the universe in such a way that what He desires will occur through natural processes, and that abiogenesis will probably be fully understood by science one day. The outworking of God's creative process and natural laws are much the same thing.

Biblical Objections

How could days exist before the sun was created?

Light was created on the first day, and so we had a "day" from day one. You don't need the sun to have a day, the Earth spinning on its axis in front of a source of light is sufficient. Then on the fourth day, God created the sun, moon, and stars, to be the permanent source for the light and to be for "signs and seasons."

Furthermore, before light was fixed, and days were created, as well as the, "heaven's and the earth" there was no time, only God and His existence.

How could plants exist before the sun?

Apart from the fact that light was created before the sun, there is no problem with plants surviving a day without the sun. This is further support that the days were ordinary days, not long periods of time.

2 Peter 3:8 says that each day is like a 1,000 years!

There are several problems with this objection.

  • If each day was 1,000 years, and Adam lived through at least one of them (Adam was created on day six, and God rested on day seven), he must have been over 1,000 years old, but the Bible records (Genesis 5:5) that Adam was "only" 930 years old when he died.
  • Nobody claims that the three days Jonah spent in the fish were 3,000 years. Or that the three days between Jesus' death and resurrection were 3,000 years. To apply this argument only to the days of creation is special pleading.
    X mark.png
    Warning:
    This argument represents a
    Special pleading.
  • If each day was 1,000 years, it still doesn't fit with old-Earth creationism, which accepts the uniformitarian timescale of billions of years.
  • The verse also says that a thousand years are like a day (2 Peter 3:8 NIV). Does that mean that Jesus was on Earth two days ago?
  • The verse states that a day is like a thousand years. Not that a day is a thousand years, or that God counts a thousand years as one day. The verse merely speaks of the passage of time being irrelevant to the Almighty. God is not a man, that he should lie (Numbers 23:19) or deceive mankind into believing something contrary to what is otherwise made clear in Scripture.

The verse, unlike Genesis 1:5 NIV, is not attempting to define the length of a day. Rather, it is pointing out that time is meaningless to God, who is eternal, or outside of time. It is showing through metaphor how God is outside and above all things, including mankinds definition of time and how we use that definition, ultimately understanding of time to then state how God is slow with keeping His promises. It is important to understand that the context of 2 Peter 3:8, specifically verse 9 demands a definition that,

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NASB)

Two creation stories

Some argue that there are actually two different creation stories with a contradictory sequence of events, so it cannot be actual history.

It is true that the creation of animals is described twice—the first mention has it occurring before Adam, and the second mentions it after Adam was already present.

The actual language is not contradictory, though the style of the storyteller is sometimes misunderstood. The Bible tells of the creation of living creatures and Adam on the 6th day (Genesis 1:24-27). In the next chapter, the author retells in detail the story of Adam and Eve. God brings the animals (which he has already created) in front of Adam for him to select a helper. Adam names them, but no suitable helper is found. So God creates Eve. (Genesis 2:19-22)

The confusion comes in that in the retelling of Chapter 2 (similar to a 'flashback' in modern scriptwriting), the author first quotes God as saying "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Then proceeds to revisit the fact that animals were created. The Hebrew word used in the original texts in this verse is the Hebrew yatsar in the wayyiqtol or waw consecutive form wayyitser, which translates correctly in context to the pluperfect "had formed", according to Keil & Delitzsch and Leupold.[1] More modern translations such as the NIV use the correct verb tense, but this myth is propagated by the existence of unrevised editions of the KJV translation of 1611, which just has the word "formed", i.e. plain past tense, as the English translation of yatsar.

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; (Genesis 2:19 NIV)

Here is a list of links to papers (by various authors) on this topic.

Adam could not have named all the animals

Genesis records that after God created Adam and before He created Eve, He brought the animals to Adam to be named. Therefore Adam had to, they say, name many millions of different species in those few hours.

However, critics usually overlook a number of relevant points.

  • Genesis records that Adam only named "all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field". He did not have to name the sea creatures nor the "creeping things". This drastically reduces the number of creatures sceptics claim Adam would have named.
  • God created the creatures "according to their kinds", so presumably Adam only had to name each kind of animal, not each variety. God created various kinds of creatures, each with the potential to develop into a range of varieties (what we would today call species and breeds), but this potential had not at that time been realised. Thus Adam would have named one dog kind, not separately name wolves, coyotes, Great Danes, spaniels, terriers, and etc. This further drastically reduces the number of names he would have had to coin.
  • Adam was newly created by God without any defect, and that would have included a brain exceeding ours in its ability to function.

Grigg (1996) calculates that Adam would have named any number from the low hundreds up to one thousand creatures. He further calculates that Adam could have achieved this task in as little as an hour, or a few hours if he was taking his time.

Scientific Objections

The chief scientific objection to creationism is that it appears, at least at first glance, to be unfalsifiable. That is, critics of creationism complain that they could offer no single piece of evidence which, if verified, would make creationism untenable. After all, so they say, "God" can do anything--even make the earth look far older than it actually is.

True enough, a number of Christian apologists, among them Harold Camping of Family Radio Ministries, have expressed their confident belief that God simply built a "mature universe," the same as He made a mature man, namely Adam. But even Mr. Camping has shared with his audiences certain oceanographic findings that bear on the question of the age of the earth--and strongly suggest that the earth is much younger than the evolution paradigm would allow.

More to the point: the scientific critics of creationism have made evolution non-falsifiable. This was not always the case, for Charles Darwin himself said that if anyone could demonstrate an irreducibly complex feature of life that positively could not have self-assembled by pure chance, then his theory would indeed stand falsified. But now that Michael Behe and others have shown the cell--the very basis of life--to be that irreducibly complex thing, evolutionists continue to assert that such an object self-assembled by chance.

There is also one more extremely important point to understand when considering how scientific creationism really is, simply because it posits God instead of a naturalistic mechanism. Abiogenesis, just like any other supernaturalistic mechanism that creationism appeals to for the existence of life, and natural laws that sustain it, is equally unfalsifiable, untestable, and unobservable. Creationism appealing to God, a supernaturalistic mechanism is no different than evolution appealing to a completely naturalistic mechanism as far as truly scientific validity goes.

Evolutionists usually try to say that creationism relies on God involving Himself for every single natural occurrence, which they then can effectively discredit creationism as unscientific because it relies on God for even natural laws to work. This is akin to me saying that the naturalistic mechanism which created life, namely abiogenesis, is indeed the process that guides every single natural process thereafter. That is completely false, and a gross misrepresentation of what is actually solidified and well established as scientific laws.

God is only responsible for the existence of life, and the natural laws that sustain it. These natural laws, such as reproduction, adaptation to environment, natural genetic engineering or variation, and natural selection via mutations are what takes over and can be proven. However this is not to take away from the ability of God to interact with mankind through miracles, His word, and quite literally His very creation for us.

The remaining scientific objections to creationism turn out to be disputes of fact. This includes disputes of the estimated length of earth's history and even disputes over the historical record. This last is key, because strict Biblical inerrantists do make a definite falsifiable point.

If the earth is older than the oldest reasonable calculation from genealogical and regnal records, then the Bible is unreliable.

This is the most likely explanation for the continued effort by evolutionists to assert that the earth is old--an effort often requiring circular reasoning to continue.

Scientific Community Consensus and the Macroevolution Position

It is often brought up that adherence to the theory of evolution is the scientific consensus position in the scientific community. This is done in order to convey that the theory is certainly or at least probably correct. In 1997 in the United States there was a Gallup poll done among scientists showing that 55% believed that man developed over a period of millions of years from less developed forms of life and that God had no part in the process, 40% believed in theistic evolution, and 5% of scientists believed that God created man fairly much in his current form at one time within the last 10,000 years. [2]

According to creationist scientists community, there is widespread discrimination against creationist scientists. [3] This is not surprising given that a poll among United States scientists showed approximately 45% of scientists believed there was no God.[4] In addition, a survey found that 93% of the scientists who were members of the United States National Academy of Sciences do not believe there is a God.[5] Given this state of affairs, a future paradigm shift from the macroevolutionary position to a creationist position could be slow given the worldviews of many scientists.

Also, the current scientific community consensus is no guarantee of truth. The history of science shows many examples where the scientific community consensus was in error, was scientifically unsound, or had little or no empirical basis. For example, bloodletting was practiced from antiquity and still had many practitioners up until the late 1800s. [6] Also, in regards to modern medical science, in a 1991 BMJ (formerly called the British Medical Journal) article, Richard Smith (editor of BMJ at the time) wrote the following: "There are 30,000 biomedical journals in the world...Yet only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence, David Eddy professor of health policy and management at Duke University, told a conference in Manchester last week. This is partly because only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically sound and partly because many treatments have never been assessed at all."[7] Next, alchemy was at one time considered to be a legitimate scientific pursuit and was studied by such notable individuals as Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Roger Bacon, and Gottfried Leibniz.[8][9] Given the aforementioned weaknesses in the evolutionary position and given that the history of science shows there have been some notable paradigm shifts [10][11][12], the scientific consensus argument for the macroevolutionary theory certainly cannot be reasonably called an invincible argument.

In addition, biblical creationists can point out examples where the scientific community was in error and the Bible was clearly correct. For example, until the 1970's the scientific communities consensus on how lions killed their prey was in error and it appears as if the Bible turned out to be right in this matter. [13] Also, for centuries the scientific community believed that snakes could not hear and the 1988 edition of The New Encyclopedia Britannica stated the snakes could not hear but that was mistaken and is appears as if the Bible was correct in this matter. [14] Many creationists believe that the Bible contains knowledge that shows an understanding of scientific knowledge beyond that believed to exist at the time the Bible was composed.

Related References

See Also

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