----- Original Message -----
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 2:48 PM
Subject: A possible flaw?
>My name is AN. I am here to inform you of a mistake I have seen in your website.
Thanks for your message. As is my long-standing policy, I am copying my response to my blog CreationEvolutionDesign, minus your personal identifying information, and minor changes.
AN>I am a "young earth" believer and am a Christian. I am not trying to "attack" you or offend you in any way, I am just showing you a flaw on your site.
Thanks for your concern about the possibility of me being offended if my views are attacked. But after more than a decade of debating creation/evolution on the Internet, with over half of that on evolutionist-dominated groups, I am not offended if my views are attacked, and indeed I look forward to it, as an opportunity to improve my Old-Earth/Progressive (Mediate) Creation position. But in this case there is no flaw on my website, and indeed you actually confirm what I say (see below)!
AN>I noticed in the "problems with your earth" section (I believe it was)
First, I wish to make it clear that I do not regard it as a high priority for me to attack Young-Earth Creationism. This is evident in the lack of effort I have put into that unfinished page, Problems with Young-Earth Creationism (YEC) and my introductory statement in it that "I do not personally regard attacking Young-Earth Creationism (YEC) as a high priority, compared to attacking our common enemy, naturalistic (atheistic) evolution."
AN>in where you stated that 8,000 years isn't enough time for all of the species to have micro-evolved into the various "groups", for lack of a better word, that are here now.
What I said under the heading: "Inconsistencies of Young-Earth Creationism" is that it is inconsistent of YECs to attack naturalistic evolutionary mechanisms, because YEC depends on them to work even more rapidly than the evolutionists do:
Stephen E. Jones: Problems with Young-Earth Creationism (YEC)
[...]3. Inconsistencies of Young-Earth Creationism
If YECs claim that Noah's Flood was global, then all today's land animals must be descendants of pairs of animals on the Ark. But to fit all the world's land animals on the Ark, it needs to claim that they were a smaller number of "kinds". However, then YEC requires a higher rate of evolution than evolutionists themselves claim for the "kinds" on the Ark to give rise to today's land animals (as well as those it claims became extinct after the Flood, e.g. dinosaurs), in the ~8,000 years since the Flood:
"Creation scientists teach that all animals ate only plants until Adam and Eve rebelled against God's authority. Because carnivorous activity involves animal death, they presume it must be one of the evil results of human sin. Accordingly, they propose that meat-eating creatures alive now and evident in the fossil record must have evolved in just several hundred years or less, by natural processes alone, from the plant-eating creatures! The size of Noah's ark and the limited number of humans on board (eight) present an equally serious problem for them. Even if all the animals aboard hibernated for the duration of the Flood, the maximum carrying capacity by their estimates for the ark would be about thirty thousand pairs of land animals? But the fossil record indicates the existence of at least a half billion such species, more than five million of which live on Earth today, and at least two million more lived in the era immediately after the Flood, as they date it. The problem grows worse. Shortly after the Flood, they say, a large proportion of the thirty thousand species on board dinosaurs, trilobites, and so on-went extinct; so the remaining few thousand species must have evolved by rapid and efficient natural processes alone into seven million or more species. Ironically, creation scientists (quietly) propose an efficiency of natural biological evolution greater than even the most optimistic Darwinist would dare to suggest." (Ross H.N., "The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, 1998, pp.90-91)
Bear in mind that YECs claim that all supernatural creating was completed by the sixth literal day of creation, so all that they have left after that is natural processes. So it is therefore inconsistent of YECs to criticise the same natural processes of speciation that evolutionists propose when YEC itself depends on them!
2. Attacks Darwinian random mutation and natural selection but then depends on it
A prominent YEC of the 1920s, Byron C. Nelson (grandfather of YEC philosopher and ID theorist Paul Nelson), in a book reprinted up to 1980, and endorsed on its covers by leading YECs Whitcomb and Morris, claimed that the mechanism which transformed the "kinds" on the Ark into today's species was "Natural selection, working upon Mendelian or `genic' variations", i.e. Darwinian random mutation and natural selection, which Nelson called "a true evolution":
"Light has been thrown upon the whole problem of animal distribution and adaptation-or what may be called `a true evolution.' After the Flood each species began to `mutate' and new forms began to arise. Among the cattle varieties were produced having short hair, such as is found in the Zebu of India or the Red Africander. Such a coat being better adapted to a hot climate, these varieties migrated to warm, equatorial regions. Other varieties were produced having long, warm coverings of hair, such as the West Highlander and Galloway, or the prehistoric wild ox of northern Europe called the `auroch.' These varieties migrated northward. Natural selection, working upon Mendelian or `genic' variations, produced all the evolution there is. Such evolution is strictly in accordance with what is taught in all Scripture." (Nelson B.C., "After Its Kind", Bethany Fellowship: Minneapolis MN, Revised edition, 1967, pp.119-120)
So again it is inconsistent of YECs to criticise Darwinian random mutation and natural selection when their own position depends on it!
AN>I may be wrong, for I do not have any degree and am just a student with an extreme fascination of Creation and the many facets and the kind...but, If you recall the finchs from Darwin and "proof" of Evolution, they could actually change verious characteristicks of their beaks within a year. To me, that proves that within a year there could be many different kinds of animals, and within 8,000 years the millions of varieties as today.
Thanks for confirming my point! Even the most enthusiastic Darwinist would not claim that the mechanisms which produced variations in the beaks of finches (e.g. on the Galapagos) "within a year" could "within 8,000 years" produce "the millions of varieties" of animals alive "today."
Especially when the Darwinists now concede that there are only "six species" of finches on the Galapagos "... in place of the current 14, and additional study might necessitate yet further reduction":
"Writing in Science in 1992, the Grants noted that the superior fitness of hybrids among populations of Darwin's finches `calls into question their designation as species.' [Grant P.R. & Grant B.R, "Hybridization of Bird Species," Science, Vol. 256, 1992, pp. 193-197] The following year, Peter Grant acknowledged that if species were strictly defined by inability to interbreed then `we would recognize only two species of Darwin's finch on Daphne,' instead of the usual four [Grant P.R., "Hybridization of Darwin's finches on Isla Daphne Major, Galapagos," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, Vol. 340, 1993, pp.127-139]. `The three populations of ground finches on Genovesa would similarly be reduced to one species,' Grant continued. `At the extreme, six species would be recognized in place of the current 14, and additional study might necessitate yet further reduction.'" (Wells J., "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC, 2000, pp.172, 312n)
AN>If I am wrong, or not actually, please e-mail me back if time permits.
AN>I would love to speak more of this. Thank You
Unfortunately it is my long-standing policy not to get involved in private discussions on creation/evolution/design issues. And since July 2005, when I started my blog and terminated my Yahoo group of the same name, so that I could have more time to write my book, "Problems of Evolution," it is now not my policy to have public discussions of those issues either. There are a number of Yahoo groups where you could discuss creation/evolution/design issues. A YEC-run one is TrueOrigin and an evolutionist-run group is CreationEvolutionDebate. However, be prepared for a certain level of ridicule and abuse (not to mention your YEC position being strongly attacked) on evolutionist-run groups.
God bless you too. I have two pieces of advice to you in respect of creation/evolution that has stood me in good stead these last ~39 years I have been a Christian: 1) remember that YEC is not the only possible Christian creationist position. Even the atheist Darwinist philosopher Michael Ruse criticised his fellow atheist Darwinist Richard Dawkins for ignoring the fact in his attacks on Christianity that since at least 400 AD (well before the rise of modern science), Christians have been interpreting Genesis 1 non-literally:
"It is true that Darwinism conflicts with the Book of Genesis taken literally, but at least since the time of Saint Augustine (400 A.D.) Christians have been interpreting the seven days of creation metaphorically." (Ruse M.E., "Through a Glass, Darkly." Review of "A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love," by Richard Dawkins, Houghton Mifflin, 2003)
and 2) since God is the ultimate Author of both nature and the Bible:
"If we believe that the God of creation is the God of redemption, and that the God of redemption is the God of creation, then we are committed to some very positive theory of harmonization between science and evangelicalism. God cannot contradict His speech in Nature by His speech in Scripture. If the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God, then the two books of God must eventually recite the same story." (Ramm B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," , Paternoster: Exeter, Devon UK, 1967, reprint, p.25)
if our interpretation of one book of God (e.g. nature) is intractably at variance with the other (e.g. the Bible), then that is a sign from God to us that we are on the wrong track and need to change our interpretation. Remember the Bible itself says that it is possible to have a zeal for God that is not based on knowledge (Romans 10:2) and so we can be unwittingly fighting against God (Acts 5:39), when we sincerely think we are fighting for him.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"
It is good to see all the information discussing the evidence available to the evolutionists, ID people, and creationists. At least we don't "blog" down in authority appeals.
Jesus Christ created all that exists. It says that clearly in John 1. Once I opted to go with Christ instead of so-called "science," science opened up to me. Many well-credentialed scientists believe in a literal six days of creation and a young earth. This seems to be a tremendous secret in scientific circles.
I'm glad to be loved and redeemed by the one who can explain the mysteries of the ages to me. That communion can continue throughout eternity and extend to the furthest reaches of the universe. Those reading this can have the same relationship. It just requires understanding that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to purchase a place for us in Heaven. If we believe in him and what he did for us and confess our sins to him, he will become our Savior, Lord, and Creator/Scientist.
Multitudes of words don't impress God who made everything (Yes, it says in Isaiah 9 that the coming one would be God.)
Jesus loves you as much as he does me. Sifting through the blogs is like sailing through a sea of flotsam and jetsam of opinions. Reading the Bible is altogether different. This is like reaching out and touching the face of God.
Hope to see you among the stars.
If you'd like to visit my blog please go to http://www.commissioned1.blogspot.com
I have looked closely at Genesis, a book much referenced in the New Testament. I can see no way to fit all those billions of years into the framework. The gap theory doesn't work because of the water and the darkness. The day/age theory is equally impossible to haromonize.
Have you looked at all the "natural clocks" demonstrating a quite young age for the earth. Several creationist websites list them. AIG and ICR sites are quite helpful on this kind of thing.
I've taught at church that the old earth theory is impossible and can only see harm come from theistic evolution. We have ruled it out in the creation club formed in Columbus, Ohio.
Please visit me at www.commissioned1.blogspot.com if you care to respond.
Thank you for space to comment.
DD>I have looked closely at Genesis, a book much referenced in the New Testament. I can see no way to fit all those billions of years into the framework.
Thanks for your comments. But this is just an argument (if one can even call it that) from your own personal inability (or unwillingness) to "see" something.
Other Christians (including me) *can* see how the seven days of Genesis 1 symbolically *represent* (not "fit into") the billions of years that God's book of nature reveals the Universe and Earth have existed.
DD>The gap theory doesn't work because of the water and the darkness. The day/age theory is equally impossible to haromonize.
Agreed about the gap theory. But not agreed that the day/age theory is "*impossible* to haromonize."
Although I personally lean more to the Literary Framework theory. That is, the billions of years of God's creative work is represented symbolically in the literary framework of man's seven-day week. See "Report of the [PCA] Creation Study Committee ... The Framework Interpretation" [http://tinyurl.com/kqsbb].
DD>Have you looked at all the "natural clocks" demonstrating a quite young age for the earth. Several creationist websites list them. AIG and ICR sites are quite helpful on this kind of thing.
Sorry, but a "quite young age for the earth" is not good enough. YEC's claim is that the Earth and Universe are ~10,000 years old. So
I would appreciate it if you (or anyone)provided me with the URL or hardcopy reference to even *one* "natural clock" which yields an age of the Earth and Universe of *~10,000 years*.
Moreover, the problem for YEC is that if *both* the Earth and Universe were only ~10,000 years old, then *all* "natural clocks" would converge on that date (but in fact *none* of them do) and the signal in the noise would be *deafening*, because it is: 1) one date; and 2) so recent. See my post to my now-terminated list CED [http://tinyurl.com/rzr9f] which lists the URLs of a number of posts making the same argument and note that no YEC on my list (and there were several) ever disputed this point, or offered *any* scientific evidence which pointed to the Earth and Universe being ~10,000 years old.
I have now added an excerpt of this post to my "Problems of Young-Earth Creationism (YEC)" page [http://tinyurl.com/qyq38], "The Earth is only about 10,000 years old" [http://tinyurl.com/ha9ee].
DD>I've taught at church that the old earth theory is impossible and can only see harm come from theistic evolution. We have ruled it out in the creation club formed in Columbus, Ohio.
As I said in my post, "the Bible itself says that it is possible to have a zeal for God that is not based on knowledge (Romans 10:2) and so we can be unwittingly fighting *against* God (Acts 5:39), when we sincerely think we are fighting *for* him."
DD>Please visit me at www.commissioned1.blogspot.com if you care to respond.
Sorry, but I don't have the time. And anyway, you yourself said you had "ruled ... out" my Old-Earth creation position, so there is not much point me wasting my time responding to you any further.
DD>Tank you for space to comment.
Thanks again for your comments. But I have mentioned before that, after 10+ years debating creation/evolution on Internet discussion groups, including the last 4+ years on my own group, CED, I closed the latter down so as to not waste any more time trying to convince the unconvincible, to give me more time to: 1) write my book "Problems of Evolution" [http://tinyurl.com/bw24m] and 2) post to my blog.
Therefore I don't want to turn the comments under my blog posts into a `mini-discussion group'. So I will usually respond once (if at all) and then ignore subsequent comments by the same person(s) on the same topic(s).
Stephen E. Jones
At this point in time I am a YEC'er. As always I am willing to change my beliefs if evidence compels me. In this, I suspect we are quite similar.
I believe you are flawed in assuming that YEC'ers believe that animals were vegetarian's up until the flood. (I may be misreading you here though) Some may believe this (I know of none). As such, the problem becomes much less for the required rate of speciation.
Of course, when we have seen rapid speciation and it isn't the YEC'ers who end up being suprised by it. It seems a good prediction of the YEC model.
(E.g. the variety of canines we have now, Finch species in 200 years, Mosquito's in under 120 years, mouse species in 150 years, fish, lizards and the list goes on and on)
The difference of course is not the rate of speciation, but the direction of the change. YEC posit limits to natural selection and time based on the clear preponderance of information losing mutations and the lack of information gaining mutations.
Also, check out ICR's RATE project results for positive evidence for a young age of the earth.
I think you will also find that early christians, up to the 19th century have regarded genesis 1 as both literal and metaphoric. Accepting the literal meaning as well as the symbolic meaning.
Augustine said "They are deceived . . . by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed." in the city of God, although he tried to say creation happened in an Instant (a greek idea brought into the bible...it seems we are always bringing man's philosophy into the bible). It should also be noted that Augustine made figurative interpretations of much of the bible.
Anyways, cheers and God bless. Keep up the great work!
Alan Grey said...
Thanks for your comment.
AG>At this point in time I am a YEC'er. As always I am willing to change my beliefs if evidence compels me. In this, I suspect we are quite similar.
I have never been a YEC, even though I was converted in a fairly conservative Baptist church. I would be *delighted* if YEC was true. But the evidence compels me to reject it.
AG>I believe you are flawed in assuming that YEC'ers believe that animals were vegetarian's up until the flood. (I may be misreading you here though) Some may believe this (I know of none). As such, the problem becomes much less for the required rate of speciation.
My understanding is pre-Flood vegetarianism is the *mainstream* YEC view. For example it is taught in Whitcomb & Morris' "The Genesis Flood":
"Vegetarian Diet Before the Fall. One of the clearest texts in the Old Testament on the transformation of animal characteristics after the Fall is that which describes the diet which God ordained for animals before the Fall. Before the Edenic curse, this was God's provision for the food of animals: `to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so' (Gen. 1:30). Under such conditions, there could have been no carnivorous beasts on earth before the Fall; for the animals to which God gave `every green herb for food' included `every beast of the field' and `every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein is life.'" (Whitcomb J.C. & Morris H.M., "The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1993, Thirty-sixth printing, p.461)
AG>Of course, when we have seen rapid speciation and it isn't the YEC'ers who end up being suprised by it. It seems a good prediction of the YEC model.
As I said it is not *that* rapid, i.e. that all the Earth's millions of land animals could arise from a pair of each "kind" (roughly equivalent to the taxonomic category of order or even genus) in only ~8,000 years. But thanks for you also *confirming* my point that YECs are inconsistent in opposing naturalistic speciation mechanisms, when in fact YEC *depends* on these being *more* rapid than the most ardent evolutionist would maintain!
AG>(E.g. the variety of canines we have now, Finch species in 200 years, Mosquito's in under 120 years, mouse species in 150 years, fish, lizards and the list goes on and on)
The list *doesn't* go on, not to the extent that YEC needs it to, i.e. for *all* land animals species having each arisen from a common ancestor in only ~10,000 years. The average duration of a species is about 1-3 *million* years.
But thanks for this reference. I have added it to my "Problems of Young-Earth Creationism (YEC)" page under "Inconsistencies of Young-Earth Creationism ..."Requires a *higher rate of evolution* than even evolutionists claim" [http://tinyurl.com/hqz3w].
AG>The difference of course is not the rate of speciation, but the direction of the change. YEC posit limits to natural selection and time based on the clear preponderance of information losing mutations and the lack of information gaining mutations.
My main point is that YECs are *inconsistent* when they oppose naturalistic evolutionary speciation mechanisms, because YEC *depends* on them to be more rapid than even evolutionists claim.
AG>Also, check out ICR's RATE project results for positive evidence for a young age of the earth. (AIG's summary http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0821rate.asp
If the YEC claim is that the Universe and Earth are both ~10,000 years old (give or take a day), then "evidence for a young age of the earth" is *not good enough*. What YEC needs to provide is evidence for *all* the Earth and Universe age-indicators converging on ~10,000 years. But in fact *none* of them do! Yet if the Earth and Universe were only ~10,000, the `signal' in the `noise' would be *deafening*, because: 1) it is the one date; and 2) it is so recent.
AG>I think you will also find that early christians, up to the 19th century have regarded genesis 1 as both literal and metaphoric. Accepting the literal meaning as well as the symbolic meaning. http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i3/orthodoxy.asp
There is no need to stop at the "19th century".
AG>Augustine said "They are deceived . . . by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6,000 years have yet passed." in the city of God, although he tried to say creation happened in an Instant (a greek idea brought into the bible...it seems we are always bringing man's philosophy into the bible). It should also be noted that Augustine made figurative interpretations of much of the bible.
My understanding (without spending a lot of time that I don't have documenting it) is that Augustine was inconsistent on the age of the Earth. On the one hand he did not accept the days of Genesis 1 were literal, but on the other hand he accepted, according to the footnote on page 484 of my copy of "The City of God" (Penguin, 1972) Eusebius' Chronicle that there were 5,611 years from creation to Alaric's capture of Rome in 410 AD.
However, there is a *huge* difference between: 1) those who accepted the Earth was only ~6,000 years old in Augustine's day (~400 AD) and even up to the ~18th century when there was little or no scientific evidence to the contrary; and 2) those who today, in the full knowledge of the scientific evidence for an Earth and Universe billions of years old, still maintain it is ~10,000 years old. Denyse O'Leary makes this point at page 129 of her "By Design or by Chance?" (2004) where she points out that even Sir Walter Raleigh, a 16-17th century atheist, in his history of the world, takes creation ~6,000 years ago as his starting point, because prior to the science of geology in the 18th century, there was no other available date.
AG>Anyways, cheers and God bless. Keep up the great work!
Stephen E. Jones
If the Earth and the Universe is young, how Large Magellanic Cloud be 153,000 light years away?
>If the Earth and the Universe is young,
Thanks for your comment.
If this was directed at me, I don't claim that the Earth and the Universe is young. I am an Old-Earth creationist (OEC), and I was responding to a YEC.
>how Large Magellanic Cloud be 153,000 light years away?
According to Wikipedia [http://tinyurl.com/o68wq], the LMC "has about 1/20 the diameter of our galaxy":
"The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC for short) is a dwarf galaxy that orbits our own galaxy, the Milky Way. It is at a distance of about fifty kiloparsecs (≈160,000 light years). It has about 1/20 the diameter of our galaxy and 1/10 the number of stars (i.e. about 10^10 stars)."
Again, according to Wikipedia [http://tinyurl.com/llcnj], "The Milky Way Galaxy is about 80-100 thousand light years in diameter ..."
That makes the LMC about 4-5 thousand light years in diameter.
Being an OEC, I cannot speak for YECs, but I presume they either: 1) claim that the Universe was created only ~10,000 years ago with an appearance of being ~14 billion years old [http://tinyurl.com/rmkcf] (in which case, apart from making God a deceiver, they should be enthusiastic supporters of evidence for an old Universe); or 2) deny that the Universe is billion of years old, by claiming that the speed of light has changed, etc.
Stephen E. Jones
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