Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Old Earth versus Young Earth

I seem to differ with some close Evangelical Christian friends. I've had some friendly clashes but clashes nevertheless. I find it difficult discussing this with them since it is a very hot button topic but the impression I get is that there are principally and ultimately two reasons why they are Old Earthists :

(1) They use the genre argument to avoid some of the most direct and clear creational statements in Genesis 1-3 and

(2) They do not feel intellectually qualified to assess the cosmologists' claims who with their observations and theories have decided the universe is 13.7 billion years old. This then gives them confidence that Darwinism has the necessary huge scales of time to make the impossible possible (sorry couldn't resist a bit of sarcasm there).

Well I have always thought the genre argument to be a wobbly one for a number of reasons. It does not seem to have the support of rabbinical opinion going back in time (and they do go back quite far). The Rabbis have always read those passages literally as have the majority of Christian commentators over the centuries.

James B. Jordan has finally knocked it on the head for me in terms of the absurdity of the genre argument. Or if you subscribe to the Wrightsaid List check out Jim Jordan's messages numbered as follows : 9630, 9632, 9817, and 9829.

It is true that cosmologists could run rings around me in any physical or mathematical argument on the age of the universe. But in Isaiah God says
"I stretched out the universe" (Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:12, and Isaiah 51:13 ) which might be the description of a process which going by the speed of light could give the appearance of great age. I have no problem with the appearance of age. After all Adam and Eve could not have been created helpless babes . They would have had the appearance of age as would the trees and animals around them.

So what do I do ? I would be more than willing to put down my arms and go along with the scientist, the experts, those of whom society says are the recognised authorities on these things and also with my Evangelical Christian friends ....except that the words "day ...and it was morning and evening two .. and it was morning and evening three..." and "He made them all according to their kind" ring on my conscience. Sorry guys. I go with God on this one.

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