Creation Science

Parableman put up Christian Carnival CXXXVI yesterday and one of the posts caught my eye: Dr. Hovind and the Age of the Earth from Imago Dei. I wanted to write my thoughts on it here for a few reasons: firstly, Christianity and science are very near and dear to me, and secondly, the writer was getting a decent amount of persecution from non-Christians about the subject and I wanted to throw out my Christian perspective on the subject that (hopefully) won’t be seen as persecution but an alternate position. Also, I have written on some of this way back in my post Science vs. Religion (with the original post and comments at my old blog here), so feel free to check that out as well. I will be linking to many different sources in their post including Wikipedia. I recognize that Wikipedia is not the best source for information, but it is often easier to understand than other sources and they have links to other sources if you want additional information.

Before I start, I feel I should make this disclaimer. I am a devout Christian. I am a Bible believing Christian. I also have degrees in Physics and Astronomy. I am perfectly okay that some Christians will reject this, that is their prerogative and salvation does not depend on what we think about these things. However, I think that, as Christians, we are called to use the things that God has given us, this includes our minds and our “powers” of observation. Science is a wonderful thing and it can be used to tell us about the amazing universe that God did indeed create (just maybe not in the way that some Christians think). On with the post!

Amanda’s post starts with a look at different forms of evolution:

1. Cosmic Evolution – the origin of time, space, and matter. This is the big bang. 2. Chemical Evolution – the origin of higher elements from hydrogen. (If the Big Bang produced hydrogen and some helium, how did we get the others? 3. Stellar and planetary Evolution – the origin of stars and planets. (No one has ever seen a star form. What you see is a spot getting brighter and you assume a star is forming. It could be the dust is clearing and there’s a star behind it. No one has ever proven the formation of a single star. Yet it’s estimated that there are enough stars for every person on earth to own 2 trillion stars.) 4. Organic Evolution – the origin of life. Somehow life has to get started from non-living material. (But spontaneous generation was proven wrong 200 years ago.) 5. Macro Evolution – Changing from one kind of animal into another. (Nobody has ever seen a dog produce a non-dog. Big or small it’s still a dog. Dog, wolf, and coyote may have had a common ancestor, but they’re still the same kind of animal.) 6. Micro Evolution – Variations within kinds (big dogs and little dogs). Only this one has been observed.

I would like to take a look at each one of her statements.

“1. Cosmic Evolution – the origin of time, space, and matter. This is the big bang.” Yeah. And numerous independent studies lead in the direction of supporting the big bang. This isn’t just one group suggesting the big bang is what happened. This is numerous physicists and astronomers showing that their work supports a singularity some 13-14 billion years ago.

“2. Chemical Evolution – the origin of higher elements from hydrogen. (If the Big Bang produced hydrogen and some helium, how did we get the others?” This is “simple” nuclear physics. Happens all the time. This is called stellar nucleosynthesis. (Info links: Wikipedia, Astronomy Notes, Science Week, and there is lots more out there.) The larger scale of this would be Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. (Info links: Wikipedia, Berkeley Astro, Berkeley Cosmology, and many more.) Also check out Wikipedia’s articles on the Proton Proton chain and the CNO cycle.

“3. Stellar and planetary Evolution – the origin of stars and planets. (No one has ever seen a star form. What you see is a spot getting brighter and you assume a star is forming. It could be the dust is clearing and there’s a star behind it. No one has ever proven the formation of a single star. Yet it’s estimated that there are enough stars for every person on earth to own 2 trillion stars.)” This is also a very well evidenced science. There are numerous places where star birth can be seen, check out The Eagle Nebula (and Proplyds on Wikipedia). I am not really sure what the number of stars has to do with anything, but yes, there are lots of them. Our own Milky Way Galaxy has somewhere between 200 and 400 billion stars in it. Even looking at a TINY sliver of space thousands and thousands of galaxies can be seen. The number of stars in our own galaxy and the number of galaxies in the universe suggests that there are easily 2 trillion stars for each person (some 70 sextillion are suggested).

“4. Organic Evolution – the origin of life. Somehow life has to get started from non-living material. (But spontaneous generation was proven wrong 200 years ago.)” I am no biologist and have not studied this extensively. It seems to me that evolutionists have yet to suggest how life actually started. What supposedly caused amino acids to combine for form proteins and then eventually form DNA? I understand that there is a chemical process there, but what makes something go from inert to life? How did life actually start?

“5. Macro Evolution – Changing from one kind of animal into another. (Nobody has ever seen a dog produce a non-dog. Big or small it’s still a dog. Dog, wolf, and coyote may have had a common ancestor, but they’re still the same kind of animal.)” While simplistic, I tend to agree with Amanda here. Macro Evolutionary theory seems to be lacking in support. I think that any honest evolutionist would admit that this is just a working theory and that it has a long way to go.

“6. Micro Evolution – Variations within kinds (big dogs and little dogs). Only this one has been observed.” Yes this has been seen. But it is not the only one that has been observed. #4 and #5 are the ones that lack scientific support.

Amanda goes on to say: “There are two options: 1. Somebody made the world (In the beginning God…) 2. The world made itself.” Okay, that is fine. But I am not sure why believing in the Big Bang automatically puts me as a #2 believer. That doesn’t follow.

Then: “So…we all came from a dot and the dot came from nothing. This is what they teach in schools. All of the dirt in the universe was in the little dot and it started spinning faster and faster until one day it exploded. The pieces became galaxies and stars.” There was nothing, then God created the universe: how is this different from “we all came from a dot and the dot came from nothing”?

“I believe that 6000 years ago God created everything” – but on what basis do you ignore scientific evidence? “I believe In the beginning God… (Gen. 1:1) You believe In the beginning dirt…” No, I believe that In the Beginning God… and God created dirt.

So where did the laws come from? Gravity, centrifugal force, intertia, etc. Where did the energy come from? It takes energy to make something move. And what about the conservation of angular momentum? That means that if a spinning object breaks apart in a frictionless environment (like the big bang) the pieces that fly off are going to spin in the same direction as the original object because the outside is moving faster than the inside. If the universe began as a spinning dot, shouldn’t everything be spinning the same way? Venus and Uranus spin in different directions than the other planets. 8 of the 91 known moons are spinning backwards. Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune have moons orbiting in both directions. Some galaxies spin backwards.

Firstly, I am not sure why she thinks that the Big Bang would be frictionless, it wasn’t. If nothing had interacted with anything, then yes, everything would be rotating the exact same way. But that is not that case at all. Everything interacts with everything else. Gravity is an extremely small force, but will still have a huge impact. Microscopic variations in the smooth early universe caused clumping to occur. Clumping of matter eventually caused it to coalesce into larger bodies. As the continued to occur, the smooth early universe became more clumpy with voids.

“Dr. Hovind believes things are spinning backwards because God created everything and He did it on purpose to make the big bang theory look stupid.” That makes me sad. That statement just makes me think that Dr. Hovind (whom I have had no experience with) hasn’t actually studied astronomy or physics.

I am not going to comment on her mention of the 2nd law of thermodynamics because it doesn’t really make sense. Nor will I comment on her look at macro evolution, not because I agree with everything she says, but because I by and large agree with her conclusions (that macro evolution is lacking and doesn’t seem to work).

I know I am picking on this particular blogger. I do not doubt her faith or salvation, I just think she is off the mark in this belief. It seems like the rejection of science often completely stems from a literal reading of the beginning of Genesis. I cannot see any other reason to reject a 13 billion year old universe (cosmic evolution, #1). (And I don’t see any reason to reject chemical [#2], or stellar and planetary [#3] evolution.) But why is it seen that a literal reading is to be had? It seems that many Christians are perfectly willing to use a poetical reading at some times but not others. It comes down to good exegesis. We can’t blindly say one passage is literal and one is poetical. We have to find intent and purpose. Genesis was not trying to give a science lesson: six days of creation was never meant to literally be six days. Genesis is a narrative of how God brought us into being, the details of how long that took are not included because they were not relevant. I want Christians to understand that their reading of the beginning of Genesis is a particular interpretation that not all Christians need to follow. In my view, it is actually inappropriate for Christians to follow that reading. Science and the scientific method came out of Christianity and Christians’ desire to know more about the world that God gave us, why would we reject that now just because it happens to go against your particular interpretation?

In summary: Christians can and should embrace science, they are not opposing belief structures. Believe the Bible, yes, but don’t reject science out of hand. God has given us glimpses into how the universe was made and what goes on there, embrace those things as gracious gifts from God. Again, I also want to point out that salvation is not dependant on your take on this issue. I just want you to move beyond a rigid understanding of what you think the Bible says, it probably was not intended that way. Exegesis is a good thing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is from a previous blog so the original comments no longer exist.

1 Comment

  1. mattjones (Post author)

    Some old comments:

    Kamran Aslam Mian
    August 24th, 2006 at 22:20
    Dear Matt,
    thanx for the comments. there were/are/will be different schools of thoughts and man is curious in knowing the facts about the universe. Going precise on the topic I would only say if one need to understand the facts, he should understand the concept of Power. One more thing, you would agree that Science is standing on material reasoning.
    Good wihses for you.

    Matt Jones
    August 24th, 2006 at 22:29
    The comments that Kamran are referring to are here relating to light.
    Science deals with reason. Not really sure what “material reasoning” is. How is that different that other types of reason?

    Jeremy Pierce
    August 25th, 2006 at 05:50
    As far as I remember, spontaneous generation is the older view that maggots were produced from the matter of animal corpses rather than what we now know, that maggots come from the eggs flies and other insects lay in the corpses of animals. That was indeed disproved.
    I don’t think the origin of life is even related to spontaneous generation. No one things like just appeared without having come into being from its components. Well, no one except creation science people like Hovind. Pretty much everyone else thinks it came about from its component parts, whether organized by an intelligent mind or just happening to come together at the right time in the right circumstances despite the very small chances of such a thing happening. But either way it’s not spontaneous generation.
    Since you were a little unclear in your response to that, I thought it was worth clarifying the issues. I do think there’s something there that the scientific community doesn’t really acknowledge very well, and that’s that we should find it extremely surprising that the right conditions could come about. They think that their demonstrations that this can come about can show that a divine intelligence isn’t needed for the origin of life. They’re right. But it doesn’t show that it’s very likely, and it’s worth remembering that in a laboratory you’ve got scientists who designed the circumstances so that life would come about.

    Gordon
    August 25th, 2006 at 09:34
    Kudos. This debate is as essential to the faith as the one in Copernicus and Galileo’s day.
    My own poor thoughts on the subject can be found at http://balafon.net/?p=433.
    The “Creationist” cosmology is simply a human, and thus fallible, _interpretation_. It is not even universal to the Church — St. Augustine espoused the idea of biological evolution a while before Darwin came on the scene.

    Jeff
    August 25th, 2006 at 10:24
    Good stuff, Matt. Have you read The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll? He gives an illuminating historical analysis of the epistemelogical roots of creation science and the evangelical/fundamentalist mindset all together.
    Kent Hovind:
    Here is the interesting, though uncharitable, Wikipedia entry on Kent Hovind (although it might be worth noting that most creation science people won’t even claim him).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind
    Here’s his website, Dr. Dino:
    http://www.drdino.com/
    He’s offering $250,000 to anyone who can prove evolution “is the only possible way” to explain human origins. I would say he’s on pretty safe ground, not because I agree with him, but because I believe that kind of epistemological certainty is impossible.
    More on Hovind’s very ambiguous offer:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind.html
    Really what I’m doing is wasting time until Gmail’s server is back up so I can access a long quotation by Noll that I emailed to somebody a couple weeks ago and don’t feel like taking the time to write again. Soooo…
    *waits five minutes. frowns, makes gutteral noises, is generally frustrated. Gets another cup of tea.*
    Finally! Here’s the quotation from p. 186 of Scandal and one of the best passages in the book:
    “Promoters of fundamentalist creation-science have been justifiably upset with the way that the academy and, in recent decades, many governmental agencies have transformed scientific speculation about the origins of the universe into quasi-religious conclusions about how everything works. Creation scientists have performed an excellent service by denying that vast cosmological claims about the self-sustaining closed character of the universe can ever arise from scientific research itself. They are just as insightful when claiming that such grand conclusions are as much an act of faith as any other large-scale religious claim. Furthermore, their resentments are justified at the idea of paying to buy textbooks or support teachers who champion a supposedly neutral and up-to-date science as a better path to ultimate truth than the tradition religions. In a word, fundamentalist and even evangelical resentment at how capital-s Science is practiced, funded, preached, and prescribed in our culture could not be more appropriate. It is quite otherwise with the fundamentalist practice of science. Fundamentalist social resentment may be well grounded, but not fundamentalist science.”
    There you go. Sorry this was so long. Keep up the good work!

    Matt Jones
    August 25th, 2006 at 11:47
    Thank you for that addition Jeremy. The biological evolution is the area that I am weakest in so that does help clear things up.
    Thanks for your compliments Gordon, you are exactly right, the Creationist interpretation is exactly that, a fallible human interpretation. I liked your note that “2. The first two chapters of Genesis are a scientific account of creation, but cannot be used to inform our physical models of creation.” I said the complete opposite (but I think in some ways meant the same things). The way you said it has a poetry about it. :) Great posts!
    Hovind is Dr. Dino!? Wow, I suppose I should have taken the 5 seconds it would have taken to figure that out. Thanks for clearing that up Jeff. The experience that I have had with Dr. Dino is been VERY unconvincing.
    I do agree that he is on safe ground with that bet. It would be very hard to prove (like much in science) and macro evolution is still extremely shaky. But I have a feeling he would never offer that bad for cosmological or stellar evolution.
    Thanks for that quote Jeff, I think it is pretty insightful. And thanks for bringing up something that I didn’t mention (and that Amanda did in her post): it requires just as much faith, and I daresay religion, to believe in much that goes on in science. It seems that fundamental young earthers are willing to admit that their belief in the origins of the universe is that, faith. Whereas most scientists simply believe in their position because it is “fact”. Unfortunately science isn’t actually that cut and dry. Like faith, we have to look at the evidence, see how it matches with out hypothesis and move on from there (and repeat). One of my problems with a lot of the discourse is that there is the idea that both faiths cannot coexist – we have to choose science or Christianity. And that does not make sense to me.

    Matt Jones
    August 25th, 2006 at 11:57
    One thing that I want to add and probably should have put in my post is this: Science aims to explain what happened, not how; that is for religion. This is why they are not opposed, they are doing DIFFERENT THINGS. Gordon says it well here. The best working model for the beginning of the universe, the Big Bang model (which I think fits quite well with Genesis 1 and, as Gordom points out, was rejected by many non-believers in the early days of the theory because it was “too creationist”: ie. it easilly leaves room for a creator), says what happens but it cannot say what caused it and why. That is not something physics can answer.

    Paul H Dunlap
    August 26th, 2006 at 12:43
    But, if as you have said, “fundamental young earthers are willing to admit that their belief in the origins of the universe is … faith… [w]hereas most scientists simply believe in their position because it is �fact�.”, doesn’t it also at least correlate that the “science” that you are “believing” in has it’s roots in facts interpreted by someone who says that they flat out deny the existence of God? Or that they at least deny a caring, involved diety?
    If someone’s bias affects their presuppositions, then it influences the conclusions that they come to when they examine the world around them, does it not? Whether something demonstrates age or not is inconsequential. The real question is what do you believe?
    Should one believe Elohim created a full grown man and not a baby? That is what the language of Genesis seems to indicate. Should a person believe that Elohim created a woman from Mans’ rib or is that just his way of describing what really happened? If it is only HIS way of describing what really happened, then how does one describe what really happened “scientifically”?
    If one can believe that Elohim created a full grown man and not a baby. That man would have apparent age, right? Couldn’t this then fit the problem of the supposed age of the universe?
    I am interested to know also how you explain the age of the earth in light of what I have heard about the shrinking of the Sun.
    I don’t claim to know all the answers. I do not have a Degree from University in the field of science. And I will agree that often Creation Science seems to be quite heady in its approach I think due to much of what has been discussed in previous comments as the science with a capital “S”. I think that this heady approach is wrong. Turn about is not fair play in Adonai’s economy. It is missing the mark. And we all know what missing the mark is.
    your thoughts and corrections sincerely welcomed.

    Paul H Dunlap
    August 26th, 2006 at 12:45
    I should correct my statement “If as you have said,” it should read “If, as it has been stated above,”.
    Thank you.
    Paul

    Matt Jones
    August 26th, 2006 at 14:13
    I never said that scientists are moral or ethical. Of course scientists will slant their data to fit their hypothesis. But not all of them. And when so many different scientists have reached similar conclusions, that does actually say something (but not proof by any means). Also, since I am a devout Christian, wouldn’t I be biased to interpret the data in a Christian-like manner (if I was so inclined to bias data).
    Data cannot be biased, interpretations can. The volume of data and the volume of scientists (both Christian and not) see that the universe is some 14 billion years old.
    Could God have created everything and made it look this old? Yes, He could have. But why would He do that? It isn’t in his nature to deceive us.
    As far as the shrinking sun goes, I don’t think many buy into the Creationist argument and this page and this page refute it nicely.
    Why would God give us all this information about the universe and how it works if it was all a lie? That simply does not make sense. It especially doesn’t make sense when that information about the universe doesn’t go against the Bible!

    Carmel
    August 28th, 2006 at 04:01
    Well… that was an interesting read. I have met a few other Christians who believe that the world was not created in simply 6 24 hour periods.
    However, I do have two points I’d like to bring up.
    1. How can you say that Christians shouldn’t take the 6 day creation literally? Can’t an omnipotent and omniscient being create an entire universe in 6 days?
    2. I’m no pro on physics and astronomy. But in biological science evolution is very complex down all the way to the simple celled organizm. Evolution… is not an easy thing to take on fully as most believe. There are many scientists, even secular, who have a tough time agreeing with evolution.
    I am not saying that you’re wrong here. I am simply a curious person who every now and then likes to play devil’s advocate. Evolution (macro evolution I mean at that) is after all still a theory.
    I too am a Christian, though I don’t pressure others to believe what I believe. I never felt that the petty differences should get in the way, though a lot of the times it does. If you are saved, then you are saved and no matter what, I would call you brother.

    Matt Jones
    August 28th, 2006 at 20:18
    1) “Can�t an omnipotent and omniscient being create an entire universe in 6 days?” Yes, He absolutley could. He just didn’t. Here is the deal: we read Genesis 1 and have to decide whether or not to take it literally. In order to determine that we have to use all the resources God has given us. Amazingly enough, God didn’t just give us the Bible. We actually have the ability to explore the universe God put us in. What science seems to be telling us is the universe was not created in a literal six days. That doesn’t contradict the Bible, it brings a fuller reading to the Bible.
    2) As this post indicates, physics and astronomy are my strengths, biology is not. Macro evolution is extremely difficult to swallow which is why I haven’t (and I thought I was clear about that in my post, sorry if I wasn’t). The arguments for it have not been convincing. That is not to say God couldn’t have used it, but it just seems the evidence doesn’t really say one way or the other.

    Marie
    August 29th, 2006 at 21:09
    I wonder do you feel you must explain scientifically other biblical miracles, such as Jesus walking on the water or turning water into wine? These things are not scientifically possible.
    I view creation as a miracle just like all the other recorded miracles.

    Matt Jones
    August 29th, 2006 at 22:35
    Good question Marie. There have been numerous attempts to try and explain some miracles scientifically (the one that I remember the most was one trying to explain Jesus walking on water, it was pretty weak!). One of the definitions of Miracle is: “An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.” And I agree with that. The nature of a miracle is that it is not explainable, it is outside of science.
    Does that mean I think creation is not a miracle? Not at all. How God created, how He put physics in motion, how the big bang was initiated cannot be explained by science. Creation was a miracle, the mechanics afterward are not. (As a side note, just because something is not a miracle does not mean it is not awe inspiring.)

    Iohannes
    August 30th, 2006 at 13:51
    Matt — Great post! I agree wholeheartedly that the Lord wants us to make the best use we can of the reason He gave us. Trying to increase our understanding of the world around us by applying the scientific method in no way contradicts with Christian belief. As John Greenleaf Whittier put it, “The truth can never contradict itself.”

    Matt Jones
    August 30th, 2006 at 14:26
    Thanks Iohannes. It was originally Christians that started using the scientific method so they could explore how the world works, I don’t understand why some Christians today would want to reject that!
    “The truth can never contradict itself.” – Amen to that!

    Jeremy Pierce
    August 30th, 2006 at 18:32
    Gordon, Augustine was a lot more than a while before Darwin. 1450 years seems to me to be a lot more than a while.
    It’s worth keeping in mind that Augustine’s evolution was nothing like Darwin’s. It did not involve instantaneous creation, but it also didn’t involve common descent. On Augustine’s proposal (which I don’t think he indicated anything close to certainty about), humans were not descended from common ancestors with any other animals. It’s just that God put together the seeds of each species, and then each developed the same way a single organism develops. That’s hardly what anyone means by the word ‘evolution’ nowadays, and it strikes me as extremely misleading to go around saying that Augustine believed in biological evolution without stating his actual view more precisely.

    Matt Jones
    August 30th, 2006 at 19:31
    I do think Gordon was being a bit facetious in the “a while” remark. That being said, it is important to note that Augustine’s notion of evolution is distinctly different than that of Darwin’s. That being said, I think there is still the notion that God could use the biological evolutionary processes… whether He did or not remains to be seen.

    Laura
    August 31st, 2006 at 05:49
    Slightly off topic, but a nod to your astronomy background – a tshirt

    Matt Jones
    August 31st, 2006 at 17:47
    :) heh, nice shirt. So sad. ::tear:: 😉

    Carmel
    September 1st, 2006 at 12:09
    You had made it perfectly clear that bio wasn’t your forte.
    I’ve just always been hesitant when people begin to decide between reading the Bible literally or figuratively.
    I’ve always asked the “WHY” question myself, studying scientific answers for things. But I do believe the Bible is the Word of God and when He spoke in parables or a prophet said “I have a vision” then I started to take things more figuratively than literally.
    But I do wonder if you’ve read Lee Strobel’s “Case for a Creator” and if you have… what is your take on it?

    Matt Jones
    September 1st, 2006 at 13:07
    Ok, good, glad that was clear. :)
    I am definitely one to be hesitant when people start choosing what they want to take literall and what not to. I think that is very dangerous and leads to a very liberal, take-what-you-want type Christianity. That being said, choices have to be made. It can never be “this is how I want to read it, so I choose this” type mentality. It must but along the lines of “I have studied all the information available to me and so choose thusly.”
    Why could a prophet’s vision not be literal? I don’t think it will be be as easy as (although sometimes it is) if they say A or B, it is literal, if they say C or D it is figurative or hyperbole. I can be as simple as that, but, as with much literature, it often isn’t.
    What it comes down to is this: God created the universe including all the physics that makes it work (I don’t think any Christian could argue with that). The Bible speaks Truth (whether literal or otherwise). Science gives us insight into how the universe works. Since God defined how the universe works, science can never contradict God or His existence. If something appears to contradict God, either our science is wrong or our understand of God is wrong. Because the science for a 13 billion year old universe is pretty overwhelming it is probably so (although not necessarily so). Since science cannot contradict God, we might want to change our interpretation to fit with all the information that God has given us. That does not mean tossing out the Bible, it means seeing it as it was intended (and that it is not in contradiction to science).
    As was quoted above: �The truth can never contradict itself.�
    I have read Strobel’s “The Case for Christ” and that it was pretty good I guess. It has been a number of years though. I haven’t read his “Case for a Creator” though. Why do you ask?

    Carmel
    September 2nd, 2006 at 10:05
    I was just wondering since your position doesn’t necessarily go with the status quo of most Christians. And in “Case for a Creator” he talks about evolution and how science doesn’t necessarily agree with it.
    I’m not here to argue with you because honestly what’s the point of debating with a fellow believer?
    I am just a naturally curious person. I sometimes ask too many questions for my good.
    I agree that science cannot contradict God. Because as we all know, God is truth.
    There are hundreds of scientists who believe in an older world, and there are hundreds of scientists who believe in a younger one. Many people just don’t know about the latter.
    I’m not disagreeing with your point of view. I’m just not agreeing with you either. If that makes any sense.

    Ed Darrell
    September 3rd, 2006 at 06:01
    For a thinking Christian, there is little reason to be unfamiliar with the theories of evolution and current thought in the area. One might want to take the Pulitzer tour of evolution, starting with Jonathan Weiner’s The Beak of the Finch, a story of evolution in our time to get familiar with what “macro” evolution is, how it doesn’t differ from “micro” evolution, and to learn a few of the clear examples of evolution that present themselves to us in modern time, continue with Ed Larson’s Summer for the Gods for the political and social fallout, and end up with John McPhees Annals of the Former World, to better understand the physical science from an Earth-centric view.
    In any case, if you have difficult accepting “macro” evolution, however do you eat these days? A tour through the produce department at your local supermarket presents to you a literal cornucopia of evolution’s fruits — radishes, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussells sprouts, all descended from the same mustard (the one Jesus spoke of?); grapefruit, a species that did not exist until rather recently, usually produced now featuring the sport mutation to red color and sweetness that creationists have insisted is absolutely impossible; russet Burbank potatoes, and more. Perhaps the difficulty comes with not fully understanding what evolution theory is, and what it predicts.
    �So�we all came from a dot and the dot came from nothing. This is what they teach in schools. All of the dirt in the universe was in the little dot and it started spinning faster and faster until one day it exploded. The pieces became galaxies and stars.�

    No, that’s not what is taught in schools. How about someone actually get the textbooks and see what they say? Accuracy in stating what is taught and said should be a foundation for Christians studying the topic.

    Matt Jones
    September 3rd, 2006 at 11:45
    To bot Ed and Carmel: Biological evolution is my weakest subject (as I have stated). I agree that there is much about Evolution that is lacking and I think many evolutionary scientists would agree. But I also agree that evolution does exist at some level (as science has proven that). But at what level it remains to be seen.
    “I was just wondering since your position doesn�t necessarily go with the status quo of most Christians.” I think you would be surprised how many Christians agree with it.
    “There are hundreds of scientists who believe in an older world, and there are hundreds of scientists who believe in a younger one. Many people just don�t know about the latter.” Actually, there are thousands of scientists who believe in an old world and very few that believe in a young. I would be very curious to see who that scientists are who believe in the young. “Dr. Dino”/Dr. Hovind is NOT actually a scientist nor is he actually a doctor so I really hope you aren’t including him among the “scientists” who believe in a young earth.
    And once again, stellar evolution and big bang theory (while probably not 100% accurate, as with most theories) have huge amounts of support and physics to back it up. I haven’t seen anyone contradict it.

    Matt Jones
    September 3rd, 2006 at 11:46
    Oh, and PS. I am heading out on vacation, so it will be a while before I am respond to any additional comments.

    Ed Darrell
    September 3rd, 2006 at 13:07
    Actually, I think Matt’s position is probably held by a wide majority of Christians worldwide, and a majority of Christians in the U.S. Of the major denominations in the nation, only those congregations affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention might have a statement supporting creationism over evolution. The issue is as Matt states it: What nature demonstrates we should assume to be God’s view, if we’re arguing from a faith perspective.

    Carmel
    September 5th, 2006 at 11:41
    LOL… oh no… you didn’t get what I was saying…
    I know for a fact that there are A LOT and I mean A LOT of Christians who believe in an older world.
    I’m just stating that the status quo is majority of the people in the Christian faith believe in a younger one. Not just Southern Baptist. Because most of the Christians I met, from around the world (like in Mexico, Denmark, different states in the US, Tokyo, the Philippines) do believe in a younger earth. But to them, even I ask the same question I ask you, “What if?”
    I too believe that evolution exists. It has been proven, I agree, the question as you clearly pointed out is to what degree it exists.
    And by me saying there are a lot of scientists who disagree with the theory of evolution, I didn’t mean micro evolution but macro. There are actually quite a few of them out there too. And it is true, many people don’t know there are credible scientists out there who disagree with Darwin because a lot of students out there simply think what Darwin said was/is fact.
    BTW, I never have believed that Dr. Dino was a REAL scientist or a REAL doctor. I never used him as a source for anything anyway. I don’t care to start either.
    P.S. Have a fun vacation :) I just got back from a short honeymoon myself. :)

    Matt Jones
    September 13th, 2006 at 22:28
    I am still not completely convinced that it is a majority of Christians that believe in a young earth. But your question is still completely valid to both sides.
    “Why do we believe what we do?”
    Here is my thought on why there may be more Christians who believe in a young earth (if that is the case): Many traditions my just assume a young earth beacuse of the usage of “day” in Genesis. So for many that is the “default” position because that is what they were brought up with. But many, after studying science, egegesis, etc., recognize that the young earth interpretation may not be the best one. Of course, there will still be those that won’t accept that. It just seems to me that most Christians when confronted with science and good interpretations of Genesis would be more likely to be an old earther. If that makes any sense.
    And evolution is such an interesting thing because it has become a religion in many respects. Now there are many very credible things going on in the science, but there are also some things that have yet to be answered. I think one of the problems is that some evolutionists want to use evolution to explain the “why are we here” question, but it cannot answer that, it can only hope to answer the “how” question… maybe. I think many evolutionists would, however, admit that evolutionary theory does have a way to go. That doesn’t mean that what they are doing isn’t valuable or credible. I am just not too sure what to do with it yet. And the good thing for me is, it doesn’t really matter what my stance is in the long run. Whether evolution is fact or not (in any form) doesn’t change how I feel about God or what He has done and continues to do.
    And don’t worry, I never figured you specifically thought of Hovind as a doctor, I just wanted to throw it out there to make sure people understand where he is coming from… which is not really a scientific one.
    Thanks, I had a wonderful week of camping and hanging out with my family. Very relaxing and enjoyable! I hope your honeymoon was fun and exciting. :)

    Carmel
    September 14th, 2006 at 14:54
    Hehe… it was a good honeymoon. :) I thank God for how much He has blessed me.

    Steam Center
    September 18th, 2006 at 02:40
    That is a very interestin discussion on evolution. For a full scientific account of it read
    http://alienaccount.blogspot.com

    Matt Jones
    September 18th, 2006 at 12:58
    I am not really seeing a “full scientific account” there. You have some interesting ideas, but not really a full account by any means. Also, your post on the big bang is not technically correct which leads directly from your false premise:
    Humans love things that have a beginning. Therefore they have come up with the Big Bang theory of the universe on earth. The alternative theory of a universe that always was, is a bit too formidable for many to handle. However, humans know that there is infinity in space. The dimensions of space go on and on without limit in either direction so why not time?
    The universe is not infinite and I don’t kow of any scientist that things that it is any more.
    It is possible that there could be a collapse of the universe but it would be to a big crunch, not “During this inward collapse, the Universe shrinks down eventually to a relatively small size of a single galaxy.” I am not really sure where you get that information. I think it is great that you are interested in science, but you should be clear when you talk about your blog, and don’t take offense, but it is not a full scientific account, it isn’t even a correct scientific account. Thanks for coming by and feel free to come back on any of this.

    Reply

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