Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation: 1.1. What is Progressive Mediate Creation?

This my CreationEvolutionDesign blog is closed. I won't be posting any more blog posts to it and I won't answer comments. My final post to this blog is my Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation. I am today confining my blogging to my The Shroud of Turin blog. Since the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus, and bears the image of His crucified and resurrected body, it is proof beyond reasonable doubt that Christianity is true and Naturalism is false!

Continuing with my series, "My Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation," here is part 1.1, "What is Progressive Mediate Creation?"

My Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation
1.1. What is Progressive Mediate Creation?
© Stephen E. Jones

1. Introduction

1.1. What is Progressive Mediate Creation?
"Progressive Mediate Creation" is the view, based on Genesis 1,

[Right: Prof. Charles Hodge (1797-1878), the founder of the modern theory of Progressive Mediate Creation.]

that God created the raw materials of the universe immediately from out-of-nothing (ex nihilo), and thereafter He created mediately by working (both naturally and supernaturally) through natural processes and existing materials.

I take the name from the distinction by evangelical Presbyterian theologian Charles Hodge (1797-1878) between "a first and second, or immediate and mediate creation," the latter being "a forming out of preexisting material," which he called "a mediate, progressive creation":

"Mediate and Immediate Creation. But while it has ever been the doctrine of the Church that God created the universe out of nothing by the word of his power, which creation was instantaneous and immediate, i. e., without the intervention of any second causes; yet it has generally been admitted that this is to be understood only of the original call of matter into existence. Theologians have, therefore, distinguished between a first and second, or immediate and mediate creation. The one was instantaneous, the other gradual; the one precludes the idea of any preexisting substance, and of cooperation, the other admits and implies both. There is evident ground for this distinction in the Mosaic account of the creation. ... It thus appears that forming out of preexisting material comes within the Scriptural idea of creating. ... There is, therefore, according to the Scriptures, not only an immediate, instantaneous creation ex nihilo by the simple word of God, but a mediate, progressive creation; the power of God working in union with second causes." (Hodge, C., 1892, "Systematic Theology," James Clark & Co: London, Vol. I , Reprinted, 1960, pp.556-557).

The same idea is expressed in the distinction between primary or immediate creation and secondary or mediate creation:

"The phrase Creatio prima seu immediata signifies the originating act of the divine will whereby he brings, or has brought into being, out of nothing, the principles and elementary essences of all things. The phrase Creatio secunda seu mediata signifies the subsequent act of God in originating different forms of things, and especially different species of living beings out of the already created essences of things. The Christian Church holds both." (Hodge A.A., 1879, "Outlines of Theology," Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, Second Edition, Reprinted, 1983, pp.238-239).

in which "God uses previously created materials in his creative work":

"'Creation out of nothing', which we may call primary creation does not cover every occasion of creation. Scripture also uses the term creation for what we may call secondary creation, where God uses previously created materials in his creative work, as in the forming of man (Gn. 2:7) or the beasts and birds (Gn. 2:19)." (Milne, B., 1982, "Know the Truth," Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Reprint, 1988, p.73. My emphasis).

For example, "Man was not created ex nihilo, but out of the dust of the ground":

"At the same time, however, it is clear that the idea of primary creation contained in the formula creatio ex nihilo does not exhaust the biblical teaching on the subject. Man was not created ex nihilo, but out of the dust of the ground (Gn. 2:7) and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air were formed out of the ground (Gn. 2:19). This has been called secondary creation, a creative activity making use of already created materials, and stands alongside primary creation as part of the biblical testimony." (Douglas, J.D., ed., 1982, "The New Bible Dictionary," Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, Second edition, Reprinted, 1988p.245).

Progressive Mediate Creation (PMC) is a subset of Progressive Creation, i.e. "Creation was not a single six-day event but occurred in stages over millions of years" as "God intervened supernaturally at strategic points along the way":

"Progressive creationism accepts much of the scientific picture of the development of the universe, assuming that for the most part it developed according to natural laws. However, especially with regard to life on earth, PCs hold that God intervened supernaturally at strategic points along the way. On their view, Creation was not a single six-day event but occurred in stages over millions of years. ... The PC view tends to overlap with other views, particularly with old-earth creationism." (Pennock, R.T., "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1999, Fourth Printing, pp.26-27. Emphasis in original)

As a form of Old Earth Creation OEC), Progressive Creation (PC) differs from Young Earth Creation (YEC), which maintains that the Universe and Earth are only tens of thousands of years old.

PMC differs from those forms of PC which maintain that God created ex nihilo new species, including man, which even Bernard L. Ramm seemed to advocate

"Progressive creationism endeavours to explain much that the theory of evolution tries to explain, and many of the things that the theory of evolution leaves unexplained. Gen. 1 records the broad outline of the successive creative acts of God in bringing the universe through the various stages from chaos to man. Being a very general sketch it leaves considerable room for the empirical determination of various facts. A multitude of biological facts now generally accepted by the biologists would remain unchanged. In progressive creationism there may be much horizontal radiation. The amount is to be determined by the geological record and biological experimentation. But there is no vertical radiation. Vertical radiation is only by fiat creation. A root-species may give rise to several species by horizontal radiation, through the process of the unraveling of gene potentialities or recombination. Horizontal radiation could account for much which now passes as evidence for the theory of evolution. The gaps in the geological record are gaps because vertical progress takes place only by creation." (Ramm, B.L., 1954, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, p.191. Emphasis original).

although Ramm does not actually say it was by creation ex nihilo. I call this position, that the first member of each major kind mentioned in Genesis 1, i.e. of plants, animals and man, was progressively created ex nihilo, Progressive Fiat Creation (PFC), to distinguish it from PMC. However, on reflection this is a misnomer, because PMC also accepts that creation of each major kind was by divine fiat, but not that it was ex nihilo. A better name for PFC would therefore be Progressive Immediate Creation (PIC).

PMC maintains that God created everything mediately (i.e. not ex nihilo) after the original immediate creation of the raw materials in Genesis 1:1, with the possible exception of the infusion of man's soul. That is, according to PMC, God created by modifying existing materials, working (naturally and supernaturally) through natural processes. A corollary of this is that PMC accepts Universal Common Ancestry.

PMC lies between Theistic Evolution (TE) and Progressive Immediate Creation (PIC) on the Creation-Evolution spectrum. TE tends to deny (or downplay) God working supernaturally through natural processes, while PIC tends to deny (or downplay) God working naturally through natural causes.

Comments are welcome but as per my Policies on this blog's sidebar, those I consider off-topic (i.e. don't explicitly relate to my post they are under), offensive or sub-standard will not appear.

Posted 8 March 2011. Updated 28 May 2023.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Re: I find some problems to believe that the earth is old


Thanks for your message. However I have a long-standing policy not to get involved in private discussions of matters that are the

[Above: St. Augustine (354-430), who over a thousand years before science determined that the Earth and Universe were at least hundreds of millions of years old, realised from the text of Genesis 1 that its days were not literal 24 hours:

"Augustine's Analysis Among all the early leaders of the Christian church, no one penned a more extensive analysis of the creation days than Augustine (AD 354-430). In The City of God, Augustine wrote, 'As for these "days,' it is difficult, perhaps impossible to think-let alone explain in words-what they mean." [Augustine, The City of God, XI.6]. In The Literal Meaning of Genesis, he added, `But at least we know that it [the Genesis creation day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar.' [Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, V.2]. Elsewhere in that book he made this comment: `Seven days by our reckoning after the model of the days of creation, make up a week. By the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in these weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being really similar to them.' [The Literal Meaning of Genesis, IV.27] Augustine took the evenings and mornings of the Genesis creation days in a figurative sense. ... In Confessions Augustine notes that for the seventh day Genesis makes no mention of an evening and a morning From this omission he deduced God sanctified the seventh day, making it an epoch extending onward into eternity. [Augustine, The Confessions, XIII.51]" (Ross, H.N., 1994, "Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, pp.19-20). Emphasis original).]

topic of one of my blogs, in this case my CreationEvolutionDesign blog, but to respond publicly, minus the senders personal identifying information, via that blog. Your words are >bold to distinguish them from mine.

----- Original Message -----
From: AN
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2011 9:32 AM
Subject: Old Earth.

>Dear Stephen E Jones.

>I've been reading your book "Problems Of Evolution" (Outline). Also I've checked around your terminated list CED.

I have not continued with my book, "Problems of Evolution" partly because, as I explained in my last post, "My Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation: Index," since I had been debating Creation/Evolution/Design from 1994, "I had quite frankly become bored with Creation/Evolution/Design issues, and more interested in posting on my other two blogs The Shroud of Turin and Jesus is Jehovah!"

>I understand that you are an "OLD EARTH CREATIONST" .

Yes, I am an "Old Earth Creationist" (OEC) in that I accept the scientific evidence that the Earth and Universe are billions of years old:

"Old Earth creationism (OEC) is an umbrella term for a number of types of creationism, including Gap creationism and Progressive creationism. Their worldview is typically more compatible with mainstream scientific thought on the issues of geology, cosmology and the age of the Earth, in comparison to Young Earth creationism; however, they still generally take the accounts of creation in Genesis more literally than theistic evolution (also known as evolutionary creationism) in that OEC rejects evolution by purely natural means." ("Old Earth creationism," Wikipedia, 15 November 2010).

See my web pages, "Why I believe in an old Earth" and, "Problems of Young-Earth Creationism (YEC)."

>I am AN from Sweden, I belivie that the Bible is true.

So do I and all Old Earth Creationists believe that the Bible is true. We differ from Young-Earth Creationists (YECs) in our interpretation of the Bible.

>I feel that you are a thruth-loving man and that you understand much about geology.

You are correct that I am a truth-loving man, and I completed a unit in Geology in my Biology degree. So while I don't claim to "understand much about geology" (compared to a professional geologist), I understand enough about Geology to know that all the scientific evidence points to the Earth being about 4.6 billion years old:

"The age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years (4.54 × 10^9 years ± 1%) This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples." ("Age of the Earth," Wikipedia, 6 February 2011).

>And you belivie that the earth is old.

Yes. About 4.6 billion-years old (see above).

>I find some problems to belivie that the earth is old, for example:

In none of what follows do you cite the actual scientific evidence for the Earth being thousands of millions of years old, and then explain with other scientific evidence why the Earth is only tens of thousands of years old, as YEC claims.

>I. OLD-EARTH is based on uniformatism, which may be what Peter warns that will be prevailing in the last times.

No. That the Earth is old (and therefore Old Earth Creationism), is based on the scientific evidence which all points to the Earth and Universe being billions of years old.

That the Earth and Universe are billions of years old is held by both Uniformitarians, i.e. those who maintain that observed present gradual geological processes operated uniformly in the past:

"... uniformitarianism assumes that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It is frequently summarized as `the present is the key to the past,' because it holds that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the world. Uniformitarianism was formulated by Scottish naturalists in the late 18th century, starting with the work of the geologist James Hutton, which was refined by John Playfair and popularised by Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology in 1830. The term uniformitarianism was coined by William Whewell, who also coined the term catastrophism for the idea that the Earth was shaped by a series of sudden, short-lived, violent events. It is often confused with gradualism, which was just a part of Lyell's full meaning of the term ..." ("Uniformitarianism," Wikipedia, 28 January 2011).

and Catastrophists, i.e. those maintain that "Earth has been affected in the past by sudden, short-lived, violent events" including "worldwide in scope":

"Catastrophism is the idea that Earth has been affected in the past by sudden, short-lived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope." ("Catastrophism," Wikipedia, 1 February 2011).

and all those in between, e.g. Neo-catastrophists who maintain that while the background rate of change has been gradual, past geological processes have been punctuated by sudden catastrophic "high magnitude, low frequency events":

"Neocatastrophism is the explanation of sudden extinctions in the palaeontological record by high magnitude, low frequency events, as opposed to the more prevalent geomorphological thought which emphasises low magnitude, high frequency events." ("Catastrophism," Wikipedia, 1 February 2011).

such as mass-extinctions.

That is, whether one believes the Earth is old or not has nothing to do with the relative frequency of the rate of past geological change, which is what Uniformitarians, Catastrophists and Neo-Catastrophists differ on.

And Peter is not referring to Uniformitarianism, because it did not exist until the 18th century. He is referring to those who claimed that Jesus was coming because "since the fathers fell asleep" (i.e. the Old Testament patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, etc), "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation":

2Pet 3:3-4 (KJV). Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

But Old Earth Creationists, do not deny that Jesus coming. I personally believe that Jesus is coming before 2037, i.e. within the next 26 years:

Jesus Christ's return (second coming). ... My interpretation is that we are in the period predicted by Jesus in Lk 21:24-28, between Jerusalem being no longer under Gentile rule ("Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" v.24b) which happened in 1967, and Jesus' return"with power and great glory" (v.27). That period will be characterised by "nations ... in anguish and perplexity" (v.25) and "Men ... faint[ing] from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world" (v.26). "When these things begin to take place" Jesus encouragement to His followers is to "stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (v.28). I assume (along with leading Christian theologians such as the late Anthony A. Hoekema and William Hendriksen) that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, predicted by Jesus in the Olivet discourse ( Mt 23:37-24:51, Mk 13:1-37; Lk 21:5-36), was a `type' of the second coming of Jesus. And therefore Jesus' prediction that "this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" (Mt 24:34; Mk 13:30; Lk 21:32) applies also to the generation that will live to see Jesus' return. And since Jerusalem no longer being under Gentile rule in 1967 is one of the "all these things" that that generation living at the time of Jesus' return will experience, I therefore assume that Jesus will return before the bulk of that generation that lived in 1967 passes away, i.e. before 2037. See also my posts "Re: about your prediction of Jesus' return by 2037" and "Re: what would happen if I lived to 2037 and Jesus has not come?"

Moreover, if they are non-Christians, geologists who are Uniformitarians, Catastrophists and Neo-Catastrophists, all would deny that Jesus is coming again. The real problem is not Uniformitarianism but Naturalism, "The idea or belief ... that `nature is all there is' ":

"The idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world ... that nothing exists beyond the natural world. .... The strict naturalist believes that there are no supernatural agents or events, i.e., that there are only natural objects and events. ... that `nature is all there is' ..." ("Naturalism," Wikipedia, 10 February 2011).

"The scoffers ... Had they been alive today, they would have talked about the chain of cause and effect in a closed universe governed by natural laws, where miracles ... cannot happen":

"[2Pet 3:4] The scoffers supported their scepticism that God would break decisively into history at the return of Christ, by emphasizing the immutability of the world. Had they been alive today, they would have talked about the chain of cause and effect in a closed universe governed by natural laws, where miracles, almost by definition, cannot happen. `The laws of nature', one can almost hear them saying, `disprove your deus ex machina doctrine of divine intervention to wind up the course of history.' Their mistake was to forget that the laws of nature are God's laws; their predictability springs from His faithfulness." (Green, E.M.B., 1968, "The Second Epistle General of Peter," Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, pp.128-129).

"The argument of the false teachers is essentially a naturalistic one-a kind of uniformitarianism that rules out any divine intervention in history":

"[2Pet 3:4] The false teachers ask, `Where is this `coming' he promised?' Mocking the faith of Christians, they support their own position by claiming, `Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.' Who are the persons Peter calls `our fathers'? ... `Fathers' are much more likely to be OT fathers as in John 6:31, Acts 3:13, Romans 9:5, and Hebrews 1:1. This is the normal NT usage ... The argument of the false teachers is essentially a naturalistic one-a kind of uniformitarianism that rules out any divine intervention in history." (Blum, E.A., "2 Peter," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., 1981, "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Volume 12 - Hebrews through Revelation," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, pp.284-285).

>II. OLD-EARTH denies the FLOOD! (Not necesary, but in practice.)) Which again Peter warns that in the last times people will by their on will not see that the earth was Flooded.

And Old-Earth Creationists do not deny Noah's Flood. Most, but not all, OEC's like me, believe there really was a Flood, but it was local or regional, not global:

"The Biblical Flood according to Old Earth Creationism. Old Earth Creationists reject flood geology, a position which leaves them open to accusations that they thereby reject the infallibility of scripture (which states that the Genesis flood covered the whole of the earth). In response, Old Earth Creationists cite verses in the Bible where the words `whole' and `all' clearly require a contextual interpretation." ." ("Old Earth creationism," Wikipedia, 15 November 2010).

As the late Bernard L. Ramm observed, "The universality of the flood simply means the universality of the experience of the man who reported it":

"First of all, in criticism of the universal flood interpretation, this theory ... cannot demonstrate that totality of language necessitates a universal flood. Fifteen minutes with a Bible concordance will reveal many instances in which universality of language is used but only a partial quantity is meant. All does not mean every last one in all of its usages. Psa. 22:17 reads: `I may tell all my bones,' and hardly means that every single bone of the skeleton stood out prominently. John 4:39 cannot mean that Jesus completely recited the woman's biography. Matt. 3:5 cannot mean that every single individual from Judea and Jordan came to John the Baptist. There are cases where all means all, and every means every, but the context tells us where this is intended. ... The universality of the flood simply means the universality of the experience of the man who reported it. When God tells the Israelites He will put the fear of them upon the people under the whole heaven, it refers to all the peoples known to the Israelites (Deut. 2:25). When Gen. 41:57 states that all countries came to Egypt to buy grain, it can only mean all peoples known to the Egyptians. Ahab certainly did not look for Elijah in every country of the earth even though the text says he looked for Elijah so thoroughly that he skipped no nation or kingdom (1 Kings 18:10). From the vantage point of the observer of the flood all mountains were covered, and all flesh died. We must concur that: `The language of the sacred historian by no means necessarily implies that the flood overspread the whole earth. Universal terms are frequently used in a partial and restricted sense in Scripture.' ("JFB Bible Commentary," 1870, Vol. I, p.98)." Ramm, B.L., 1954, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1960, p.234).

It is a fallacy to claim that by "earth" in the first century Peter in 2Pet 3:5-6 necessarily meant the global earth as we know it today:

2Pet 3:5-6 (KJV). For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth [Gk. ge] standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world [Gk. kosmos] that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

The word Peter used for "earth" in the Greek is ge which primarily means "soil," according to my Strong's Concordance, and only by extension, can mean "a •region, or the solid part or the whole of the ... globe ...country, earth... ground, land, world":

1093. ge, ghay; contr. from a prim. word; soil; by extens. a •region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe • (includ. the occupants in each application):--country, earth •(-ly), ground, land, world.

Even the word kosmos which Peter also used, basically means "orderly arrangement" (e.g. system) and thus only "by implication the world" in both "a wide or narrow sense" and "including its inhabitants" and can be "literal or figurative" (my expansion of abbreviations):

2889. kosmos, kos'-mos; prob. from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by impl. the world (in a wide or narrow sense, includ. its inhab., lit. or fig. [mor.]):--adorning, world.

"This does not necessarily mean that the flood was universal. It may simply have extended to all the inhabited areas of earth":

"[2Pet 3:6] By these waters also the world ... was deluged and destroyed Peter points out the fallacy of the scoffers' argument. There has been a divine intervention since the time of creation, namely, the flood. The term "world" may refer to the earth or, more probably, to the world of people (cf. Jn 3:16. All the people except Noah and his family were overcome by the flood and perished. This does not necessarily mean that the flood was universal. It may simply have extended to all the inhabited areas of earth (see note on Ge 6:17)." (Barker, K., et al., eds., 1985, "The NIV Study Bible," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.1903).

"The purpose of the flood was to blot out the wicked civilization of Mesopotamia ... Noah certainly was not a preacher of righteousness to the peoples of Africa, of India, of China or of America...":

"The purpose of the flood was to blot out the wicked civilization of Mesopotamia ... the entire record must be interpreted phenomenally. If the flood is local though spoken of in universal terms, so the destruction of man is local though spoken of in universal terms. The record neither affirms nor denies that man existed beyond the Mesopotamian valley. Noah certainly was not a preacher of righteousness to the peoples of Africa, of India, of China or of America-places where there is evidence for the existence of man many thousands of years before the flood (10,000 to 15,000 years in America). The emphasis in Genesis is upon that group of cultures from which Abraham eventually came." (Ramm, B.L., 1954, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1960, p.163).

There is conclusive Biblical evidence that the Flood was not global, in that the Nephilim existed both before the Flood:

Gn 6:4. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

and after the Flood:

Num 13:33. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

It is also fallacious to think that Peter is teaching geology when he really is teaching theology. Namely that the scoffers' claim that God is not going to supernaturally intervene in human history by Jesus returning in Judgment, because God has not supernaturally intervened in human history since Creation, is false, because God already once did supernaturally intervene in human history in Judgment in the Flood (which is the case whether the Flood was local or global):

"Their premise (that this is a stable, unchanging world) is false; hence their conclusion (that it will remain so, and there will be no parousia) is false also. They wilfully neglected the flood, when God did intervene in judgment":

"[2Pet 3:5] Peter takes their last argument first. Their premise (that this is a stable, unchanging world) is false; hence their conclusion (that it will remain so, and there will be no parousia) is false also. They wilfully neglected the flood, when God did intervene in judgment. The lesson taught by the flood was that this is a moral universe, that sin will not for ever go unpunished; and Jesus Himself used the flood to point this moral (Mt. 24:37-39). But these men chose to neglect it. They were determined to lose sight of the fact that there were heavens in existence long ago, and an earth which was created by the divine fiat out of water, and sustained by water. Such seems to be the meaning; but it is a difficult verse. Peter refers, of course, to the watery chaos (Gn. 1:2-6) out of which the world was formed at God's repeated word, `Let there be .' It was from water that the earth emerged; it was by water (rain, etc.) that life on earth was sustained; and yet this same water engulfed it, when God's word of judgment went forth at the flood. ... The emphasis in this verse on God's fiat in creation is important to Peter in arguing against the false teachers who apparently held the self-sufficiency and immutability of the natural order. On the contrary, he insists, the course of history is governed by the God who is both Creator and Judge of His world." (Green, 1968, pp.129-130. Emphasis original).

If you chose to interpret Peter in the 1st century, as intending to teach 18th-21st century geology, then to be consistent you would have to believe "that Peter is seeking to affirm that water was the basic material of creation", because he states that "the earth was formed out of water":

"[2Pet 3:5-6] But they `deliberately [thelontas, `willingly'] forget' the great Flood, when God intervened in history by destroying the antediluvian world. What they forget is not only the Flood but also God's prior activity by his word-the existence of the heavens and the watery formation of the earth (Gen 1:2-10). It seems unlikely that Peter is seeking to affirm that water was the basic material of creation .... He does not use the verb ktizo ('create') but says that `long ago by God's word the heavens existed [esan] and the earth was formed [synestosa] out of water and with water.' In Genesis the sky (firmament) separates the waters from the waters by the word of God and the land appears out of the water by the same word. ... Probably both water and the word are to be understood as the agents for destroying the former world (v.6), as the word and fire will be the destructive agents in the future (v.7). `The world of that time' translates the Greek ho tote kosmos. The globe was not destroyed, only its inhabitants and its ordered form." (Blum, 1981, p.285).

But just as in 2Pet 2:4 (HCSB) where Peter uses the non-Biblical, pagan mythological, term "tartarus":

"In classic mythology, below Uranus, Gaia, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus." ("Tartarus," Wikipedia, 24 February 2011).

for the place where fallen angels were being held awaiting judgment:

"For if God didn't spare the angels who sinned, but threw them down into Tartarus [Gk. tartaroo] and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment;

Peter is evidently using terminology that is common to his former pagan readers:

"[2Pet 2:4] Cast them down to hell is a single word in the Greek, occurring only here in the Bible, and meaning, 'consign to Tartarus'. Tartarus, in Greek mythology was the place of punishment for the departed spirits; of the very wicked, particularly rebellious gods like Tantalus. Just as Paul could quote an apt verse of the pagan poet Aratus (Acts xvii. 28), so could Peter make use of this Homeric: imagery. Curiously enough, Josephus does the same, and talks of heathen gods chained in Tartarus. [c. Apion. ii. 34] The evil angels are in the place of torment now, although they must await the final Judgment. Peter's eschatology is characteristic of the whole New Testament, which sees God's future judgment as finalizing the choices men are making all their lives. There is a close parallel in Revelation xx. 10, where the devil, though bound now, is destined for final judgment hereafter." (Green, 1968, pp.98-99. Emphasis original).

>III. There appears to be some good arguments for YEC example: Carbon-14 in diamonds.

As has been pointed out, carbon-14 is [also] formed when uranium decays. YEC physicists would know that, so they are being dishonest if they are not disclosing it to their readers.

And since YECs must deny that carbon-14 dating works, they cannot consistently (let alone honestly) claim that a tiny minority of carbon-14 dating supports YEC, while rejecting the vast majority of carbon-14 dating that does not support YEC

Also this citing of the odd apparent anomaly in radiometric dating misses the point that if YEC were true, and the Universe and Earth were both created in the same literal 24-hour Genesis 1 day, only tens of thousands of years ago, then all indicators for the age of the Universe and Earth would converge on that one point. And since it would be: 1) the same literal 24-hour day; and 2) so recent, only tens of thousands of years ago, the `signal in the noise' would be deafening.

But that YEC is reduced to pointing to isolated apparent anomalies , like "carbon-14 in diamonds" is effectively an admission by YECs that the Earth and Universe were not created a mere tens of thousands of years ago and therefore that YEC is false.

>IV. It's difficult to belivie that all these fossils should have been produced by ordinary means, like those we see today. (Polystrata fossils)

This is a Straw Man argument. Most (if not all) geologists these days do not claim that "all ... fossils ... have been produced by ordinary means, like those we see today." As pointed out above, many, if not most, geologists are either catastrophists or neo-catastrophists, and all geologists accept the fossils laid down in mass extinctions were not "produced by ordinary means, like those we see today."

And as for Polystrate Fossils, i.e. "fossils ... [that] extend through more than one geological stratum" are easily explained as due to "Brief periods of rapid sedimentation":

"Polystrate fossils of a single organism (such as a tree trunk) extend through more than one geological stratum. Entire `fossil forests' have been discovered. They are found worldwide and are common in the Eastern United States, Eastern Canada, England, France, Germany, and Australia, especially in areas where coal seams are present. ... Geological explanation ... Brief periods of rapid sedimentation favor their formation." ("Polystrate fossil," Wikipedia, 8 December 2010).

>V. Does the geological column really exist?

Yes and no. The Geological Column does exist as a "theoretical classification system for the layers of rocks and fossils that make up the Earth's crust":

"The geological column is the theoretical classification system for the layers of rocks and fossils that make up the Earth's crust (also known as the standard geologic column)." ("Geological column," CreationWiki, 18 July 2010).

It is not claimed, and never has been, that the entire Geological Column exists in any one place on Earth.

>IF: Yes: VI. How will YEC explain the geological column?

In my experience YECs inconsistently oscillate between: 1. denying the Geological Column exists; and 2. affirming it exists but then explaining it as laid down by Noah's Flood, i.e. Flood Geology.

>VII. Wasn't the geological column "fixed" already in the ninthenth century?

Not completely. But the major geological systems, like Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, etc, had all been identified in Britain and later correlated worldwide.

>VIII. Circular reasoning in the gelogical column: The rocks dates the fossils, and the fossils dates the rocks.

No. Fossils only date the rocks in relative order, e.g. by appearance in lowest (oldest) to highest (youngest) strata, e.g. invertebrates, vertebrates, reptiles, birds, mammals, humans. It was only when uranium-lead dating was discovered and applied to the Geological Column could the fossils be given an absolute date:

"Hence, fossils range in age from the youngest at the start of the Holocene Epoch to the oldest from the Archean Eon several billion years old. The observations that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led early geologists to recognize a geological timescale in the 19th century. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed geologists to determine the numerical or `absolute' age of the various strata and thereby the included fossils" ("Fossil," Wikipedia, 3 February 2011).

> I would like you to expand some about these verses of Peter.

See above.

>And also, What is your understanding of 1 MOS 1:1 - 2:3 ?

If that is Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith's "Inspired Version of the Bible" plagiarisation of Genesis 1:1-2:3 (KJV), i.e. the Book of Moses, then even the LDS Church is too embarrassed to host it on its website, and does not include it among its standard works:

"The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST), also called the Inspired Version of the Bible (I.V.), was a revision of the Bible by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Smith considered this work to be "a branch of his calling" as a prophet. Smith was murdered before he ever deemed it complete, though most of his work on it was performed about a decade previous. The work is the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) with some significant additions and revisions. It is considered a sacred text and is part of the canon of the Community of Christ, formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), and other Latter Day Saint churches. Selections from the Joseph Smith Translation are also included in the footnotes and the appendix in the LDS-published King James Version of the Bible, but the LDS Church has only officially canonized certain excerpts that appear in its Pearl of Great Price." ("Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible," Wikipedia, 4 February 2011).

On my Jesus is Jehovah! blog I used to post on Mormonism, e.g. see my "Main reasons why Mormonism is false." But I don't have the time to post on both Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnessism, so I no longer post on the former.

>Would you be so kind to give me some thoughts about these matters?

See above.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: TheShroudofTurin & Jesus is Jehovah!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

My Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation: Index

Having devoted fourteen years (1994-2008) to the Creation/Evolution debate, including my own CreationEvolutionDesign Yahoo discussion group (2001-2005), and

[Right: "The Christian View of Science and Scripture" (1954), by the late Bernard L. Ramm (1916-1992). Next to the Bible, this book has been the most influential in founding my views on Creation/ Evolution/Design. Ramm was an early advocate of a form of Progressive Creation.]

completing a Biology degree (2000-2004), I had quite frankly become bored with Creation/Evolution/Design issues, and more interested in posting on my other two blogs The Shroud of Turin and Jesus is Jehovah!

One of the reasons for my loss of interest is that I am now even more persuaded that the evidence for Christianity being objectively true (i.e. true whether it is believed or not) is now so overwhelming (e.g. Daniels' 70 weeks and the Shroud of Turin), that some form of Creation must be true, and Progressive Creation best fits the Biblical and scientific evidence. And since Christianity is true, Evolution in "the standard scientific theory" sense "that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer, M.B., "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February, 2002. My emphasis) must be false.

I have decided toput my planned "Messianic Prophecy" series on the backburner, and start a series on on my theory of Progressive Mediate Creation (PMC). Factors that have played a part in this include two recent comments [here and here], especially the second one, to which I could not think of what to reply. I also feel that this my General Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation is, in the final analysis, all that I have to offer in the Creation/Evolution/Design debate.

I have fallen behind in my reading of Creation/Evolution/Design issues, so what I post may have been said better by someone else more recently, or may even be factually wrong. If that is the case, I ask that a reader will let me know in a comment under that post. And due to the Global Financial Crisis I have had to work as a high school relief (substitute, supply) teacher, mainly teaching Maths and Science, so I have less time to research issues in depth.

What I write will probably be mostly `off the top of my head' and not referenced or linked. This may be an advantage since I tend to get bogged down in detail! Each of these major headings will have minor headings inserted under them. And each heading, major and minor, will be linked to a separate post.

Comments are welcome, but if they are nasty, substandard or off-topic, they won't appear, as per my stated policy.

My Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation: Index
© Stephen E. Jones

1.1. What is Progressive Mediate Creation?
1.2. What is Evolution?
1.3. Since Christianity is True, Naturalism is False!

2.1. The Big Bang
2.2. Fine-tuning of the Universe
2.3. Before the Big Bang?

3.1. The Sun
3.2. The Planets
3.3. Fine-tuning of the Solar System
3.4. Uniqueness of the Solar System

4.1. The Earth-Moon System
4.2. Fine-tuning of the Earth
4.3. Uniqueness of the Earth
4.4. Survival of the Earth

5.1. Failure of All Naturalistic Origin of Life Theories
5.2. A Minimal Cell
5.3. Origin of all the Materials
5.4. All the Materials together at the Same Time and Place
5.5. Self-assembly of Materials into a Living Organism
5.6. Self-replication
5.7. Farsightedness of Life's Design

6.1. Universal Common Ancestry
6.2. Single-Celled Organisms
6.3. Multi-Celled Organisms
6.4. Plants
6.5. Fungi
6.6. Animals

7.1. Bipedality
7.2. Stereoscopic colour vision
7.3. Arms, Hands and Tools
7.4. Intelligence
7.5. Language
7.6. Society
7.7. The Human Package


Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: The Shroud of Turin & Jesus is Jehovah!