OT - Another Win for Genesis

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Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Dec 16 2009 4:18 PM

Having had a long time interest in astronomy since I was a kid, I follow new developments in the field with interest, especially as they intersect with the Bible.  They have now discovered over 400 planets surrounding different stars, most of them much, much larger than our own earth - more like the giant, outer planets of our own system.  

Just recently however, they have discovered a much smaller planet, albeit several times larger than earth, but the interesting thing to me is that this may be a planet surrounded by water.  If that is the case, that may be a typical situation of smaller planets in what is known as the hospitable zone around a star.  Which gets back to the early verses of Genesis where it looks like the early earth was totally surrounded by water.

Obviously there was no one around at that stage, so how could the ancients have known such a thing apart from revelation.  Seems the more science discovers, the more it confirms the Genesis account.

Here are a couple of links for those interested (unfortunately I can't find the first one I saw).

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/16/super.earth.discovery/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/12/16/2152989.aspx

 

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 16 2009 4:52 PM

Alex Scott:

Having had a long time interest in astronomy since I was a kid, I follow new developments in the field with interest, especially as they intersect with the Bible.  They have now discovered over 400 planets surrounding different stars, most of them much, much larger than our own earth - more like the giant, outer planets of our own system.  

Just recently however, they have discovered a much smaller planet, albeit several times larger than earth, but the interesting thing to me is that this may be a planet surrounded by water.  If that is the case, that may be a typical situation of smaller planets in what is known as the hospitable zone around a star.  Which gets back to the early verses of Genesis where it looks like the early earth was totally surrounded by water.

Obviously there was no one around at that stage, so how could the ancients have known such a thing apart from revelation.  Seems the more science discovers, the more it confirms the Genesis account.

Here are a couple of links for those interested (unfortunately I can't find the first one I saw).

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/16/super.earth.discovery/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/12/16/2152989.aspx

 

Thank you, Alex .............        Thank you for sharing!            I remember in high school in the 50's looking at stars, planets, and the universe with a classmate in high school who made his own telescope             .............           Thank God for the joy and the experience!            My grandson desires to be "confirmed" in my local congregation.  My pastor permits me, retired as I am, to assist in my grandson's theological and faith-full education.  He's in grade 8 but since he skipped a grade he is younger than his classmates.  Next year he enters the jungle of high school (maybe 4,000 students?)     ................             ..........     as we discuss various matters        ...........          including creationism, evolution, and whatever .........  ,         I share with Luke that he really has a choice      ...........      either believe we are all "accidents" of nature, and that matter always existed - and what was before the Big Bang ?????????              ............      or     .....        to very simply trust God and His Grace for us in Christ Jesus         ....       evealed in Faithful Scripture         .......        Luke  knows all about light years and quarks and black holes, etc., etc.      ..........       I rejoice with my grandson (and praise the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!)          that this Eternal, Omnipotent, Ominipresent God with all kinds of fantiastic and wonderful Attributes --    who created and sustains the Universe has sent Jesus the Christ to die for each of us and all of us      ........     and to Rise Again for our Justification ......      

                                    From eternity He has chosen us.            I hope one of my grandson Luke's favourite books of the Bible might be Psalm 139.  And I hope he will be joining me in this world and the next in singing, "How Great Thou Art!"    all stanza!

Yours in Christ,

           ..........    Mel

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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William | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 16 2009 11:36 PM

I just wanted to add my 2 cents here.  I am intimately familiar with the "Science" of evolution.  I am a career changer moving away from High School Math and Science to something else. 

To really confound an evolutionist just look deeper at the science!  There are so many assumptions that must be made to even get evolution in the picture with creation.  The science that we have today is straining  evolution but people will still refuse to turn from evolution 

Wet dinosaur DNA from T.Rex!   As article states few thousad years is ok for DNA to be wet inside a fossil but 65 million years....NO way.......  Evolution explain?  Nope,   Creation? Yep......Can you say flood ?  http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna

Lots more is found that just can not be explained by the science of evolution  They call creation a faith based non-science endeavor.  I would contend that there is much more faith based conclusions in evolution. 

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 2:48 AM

Yes...Evolution is just wishful thinking, but the underlying reason for their unbelief is what has to be dealt with...no amount of evidence will convince and unbeliever..."even if they see someone rise from the dead.."

I too love this stuff...so I wasn't trying to rain on your parade... Big Smile

Robert Pavich

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Posts 198
Bryan Brodess | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 4:34 AM

It definately makes you think. Our DNA code is 1000 times more complicated than the code that was written for Windows 7. Yet it took many men years of hard work and testing to make windows seven what it is.. And it is still not perfect! Yet many people think this DNA code just came to be with no outside help.. HOW????

 

Then again. the pharisees saw all that hrist did. Even raising people from the dead. Yet attributed his work to satan..

 

So as Robert said,, No amount of evidence will prove anything to those who do not believe,, or refuse to "open" their hearts..

 

 

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 4:42 AM

Bryan Brodess:
So as Robert said,, No amount of evidence will prove anything to those who do not believe,, or refuse to "open" their hearts..

"...Unless perhaps God will grant them repentance....leading to a knowledge of the truth"

2 tim 2:25.... Big Smile

Robert Pavich

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Chet Silvermonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 1:27 PM

Scientists and theologians are both human creatures. They both hold strongly to certain sets of ideas and can react strongly when those ideas are challenged. The guy who first proposed that Africa and South America were once joined was roundly scoffed at by the entire scientific community. They simply didn't know of any force of nature, acting on or in the earth, capable of moving whole continents. But as experiments were done to determine the contents of the crust, mantle, and core of the earth, eventually it was calculated that the convection currents under the continental plates were strong enough to move them.

 

Likewise, when it was first proposed that an asteroid was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs, the scientific community completely rejected the idea. But as more evidence was gathered to fill in the fossil record, it was observed that there was a layer of sediment that can be found around the globe that contains a high concentration of elements that are extremely rare in Earth's crust, but are far more common in some space debris. This layer of sediment corresponds to the layer below which the dinosaurs lived and above which they did not live. This was a recent discovery - I have a documentary narrated by David Attenborough (the guy from the recent hit Planet Earth) from just a few decades ago where he unequivocally dismisses the asteroid theory. But now you'd be hard pressed to find many scientists who don't believe that a catastrophic collision with an asteroid was involved and I'm sure David Attenborough is on board, just like you'd be hard pressed to find a scientist who doesn't believe in plate tectonics.

 

Science has a mechanism for embracing change. Mathematical formulae that have greater explanatory power are preferred over explanations that have less explanatory power. Direct observation of the physical world is good, but testable predictions are better. The competing String Theories (and Membrane Theories) are in the first category: they compete for trying to come up with math that has great explanatory power, but they are not yet able to make testable predictions. Evolutionary theory has some testable predictions, but because of the time-scales involved, much of that is based on observation rather than experimentation. Newton's Law of Gravity made many testable predictions and had great explanatory power, but it failed some of its predictions. Predicting the precise position of Mercury was not possible, for example. Einstein came along with his theories of Relativity, and, among other things, the position of Mercury was now predictable, so his "theory" had greater explanatory power than Newton's "law" and is universally accepted as being a more accurate model of how gravity works than Newton's model. So why don't we call them the General and Specific "Laws" of Relativity? The scientific community has embraced a bit more humility than their predecessors: they acknowledge that a better model might come along that includes relativity, but has even greater explanatory power capable of making even more accurate, testable predictions. Relativity breaks down when thinking about really small objects with really large masses, for example, so there is a point in Big Bang theory where Relativity isn't very useful in its current state. But someday, someone may well be able to make a quantum theory of gravity that can merge quantum physics with relativity and make even more testable predictions. When they do, you can bet there will be some scientists who have championed competing theories who will scoff at this discovery and rail against it. Scientists are human after all. The new physics might not even be well accepted until a generation passes away. But ultimately, the theory with the best explanatory power and that is capable of correctly making the most testable, repeatable predictions, will win the day.

 

And here is a fundamental difference between science and theology. Theology has no mechanism for embracing change. There is no single 'religious studies method'. When a new exegetical idea comes forward, just like in science, there is resistance, even scoffing. But there is no agreed-upon method for resolving those differences, so the result of each new discovery is usually a fracture in the church: a new denomination or movement. In less than one generation, science has embraced the idea of an asteroid killing off the dinosaurs, but in 400 years the Protestants and Catholics haven't resolved their differences. In 1000 years, the Catholics and the Orthodox haven't achieved unity. And I doubt in my lifetime if the mainstream evangelicals and the guys proposing any of the New Perspectives on Paul will ever reach a consensus. Indeed, we're so used to operating in a field that has no testable predictions, that we sometimes have a hard time imagining that people in the scientific fields can really KNOW anything at all. So the church has a history of doing things like persecuting people who believe that the earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. Thank goodness that the separation of church and state has generally stopped us from killing scientists any more, but the church has a long track record of looking pretty bad in its interaction with science.

I'm inclined to think that the Church should give a bit more respect to the scientific community. After all, the scientific community might have failures, but ultimately they "fail forward" towards a better understanding of the world. And since scientists aren't claiming direct revelation from God, though they might feel sheepish about their mistakes, science can weather the blow. But when the Church plays at being scientists and fails, we drive people towards unbelief.

 

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John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 2:33 PM

It's funny. No matter where  you are, if a conversation like this comes up there is bound to be a lurker with the "at least science has a mechanism for change" spiel. 

Rather than go around this merry-go-round again, I'll just direct you this post which sums it up nicely. 

[Edit: I am curious though, did you go to some training camp that gave you this line of reasoning or was it from some specific book? I'm not trying to be derogatory, it's just that I've truthfully seen this so many times from different people that they must be getting a script from somewhere.]

[Edit 2: As I was grabbing myself a Pepsi at Walmart I was reminded of two other items that may be of interest. See here and here. While science looks great in theory, the fact is that science and scientists have presuppositions, biases, and blind spots just like theologians. And they both use logic and experience in forming, maintaining, and modifying their views.]

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Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 3:23 PM

The water-covered earth in the Creation account was a common understanding of how the world was created among Ancient Near Eastern cultures, of which the ancient Isrealites were a part of. It reflects not advanced thinking or modern science, but an ancient worldview.

In no way does this discovery validate any sort of relevant creation theology that believes the earth, in the shape of a globe as we understand it now, was created out of water.

I'd recommend looking at the newly released Zondervan Illustrated Old Testament Bible Background Commentary on Genesis, along with John H. Walton's recent book, The Lost World of Genesis One, as well as his commentary on Genesis. He also gave a lecture for the Logos Lecture series on this subject too that I'd highly recommend.

And just some advice...last thing we Christians need is another Galileo incident where we presume to have the upper hand on science because of our "superior exegetical ability."

 

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 3:32 PM

Chet,

the church....(i.e. those who are saved)...have nothing against science...there are many Christians who are scientists, we are not some medieval monk hiding his head in his cloak......it's the "psudeo-science" of evolution that we have a problem with, which has nothing to do with actual science....sorry.

If you'd like to throw your post up against some Degreed Scientists who are Christians, go to http://www.answersingenesis.org/

 

 

Robert Pavich

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Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 3:35 PM

Greg Masone:
The water-covered earth in the Creation account was a common understanding of how the world was created among Ancient Near Eastern cultures, of which the ancient Isrealites were a part of.

For my own part, I'm not really concerned with this question. I'm more concerned with the ideology that goes on behind both the YEC and other views OEC and theistic evolution.

Greg Masone:
And just some advice...last thing we Christians need is another Galileo incident where we presume to have the upper hand on science because of our "superior exegetical ability."
 

[Edit: I should generalize this since I really didn't have "you" in mind in particular] My advise would be to be careful who we get our history lessons from: "Giorgio de Santillana, author of The Crime of Galileo, "argues that the Galileo affair was not a confrontation between `the scientist' and a religious credo at all. Ironically `the major part of the Church intellectuals were on the side of Galileo,' de Santillana notes, `while the clearest opposition to him came from secular ideas' (i.e., from the academic philosophers." (source) [Of course, there are competing views to this. History, just like science and every other discipline, is riddled with presupposition, bias, etc.]

This is another one of those issues that Christians tend to swing like a pendulum on. Either they buy into the secular facade of science (and yes it is a facade) hook, line, and sinker or they go to the opposite extreme of reading their Bible as though it were a science textbook. 

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Bryan Brodess | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:00 PM

I personally love science. I have a science degree so I definately am not against it. Once thing I love is the more science finds. the more they prove to me there is a God, who is perfect and created all things.

 

What I do not like about science is when they take things like Evolution,, which is technically still just a theory, and call it science..

 

Do I believe God gave his creatures the ability to change, and adapt to climate and other things.. Yes.. Do I believe a single celled organism in a bunch of muck evolved into every single life form found on earth today.. NO!! 

 

 

Posts 653
Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:37 PM

I have to admit, Greg, I'm really at a loss as to where you're coming from and what point you're trying to make.

Greg Masone:
The water-covered earth in the Creation account was a common understanding of how the world was created among Ancient Near Eastern cultures, of which the ancient Isrealites were a part of. It reflects not advanced thinking or modern science, but an ancient worldview.

You make it sound that the Genesis account is there because it was a part of Ancient Near Eastern cultures, not because it was a revelation to Moses from God.

Greg Masone:
In no way does this discovery validate any sort of relevant creation theology that believes the earth, in the shape of a globe as we understand it now, was created out of water.

I don't know what relevant creation theology you might be referring to, and I certainly was not claiming that the earth was made out of water any more than the moon is made out of green cheese, only that earth-like planets may be formed with a surrounding mantle of water in the same way that larger planets are surrounded by methane atmospheres.  Certainly if the mountains and valleys were to be leveled, guess what, this earth would still be surrounded with water.

Greg Masone:
last thing we Christians need is another Galileo incident

... and what does that mean??

And just so there's no confusion about my position, in no way am I implying that such a scenario would give rise to any life forms without divine intervention, nor am I a young earth creationist.

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Chet Silvermonte | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:46 PM

John Bowling:
It's funny.

Glad I could amuse you, John.

I read every word of the rather long-winded post you directed me to (Pot calling kettle black? Guilty as charged). In it, a poster had posed a logic puzzle that can be summed up:

If A is true, and if B is true, and if A and B cannot both be true, what is the solution to this conundrum? Here 'A' represents propositions in the Bible and B represents propositions made by the scientific community.

The blogger's reply to this puzzle was to say that either A is not actually true, or B is not actually true, or A and B are not actually mutually exclusive. For example, the philosophical blogger might switch the value of A from 'what the Bible claims' to 'what we think/interpret the Bible to be claiming' and then he has an out, falsifying the 'given'.

In other words, the way out of the puzzle was to deny the validity of the puzzle itself. Seems like cheating to me, but I never took a logic course, so maybe I just don't understand the rules of the game.

I fail to see how that post had anything to do with what I wrote about. I hope I'm not being obtuse; I just don't see any connection.

Since I started my post talking about scientists as humans who make mistakes, not only as individuals but also as a community (including the existence of some rather non-scientific, but very human, forms of peer pressure, tightly held assumptions, etc.), I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from articles that talk about mistakes made by the scientific community. How are these observations supposed to negate what I'm talking about, when they mirror my own comments? That blog post used the example of the scientific consensus affirming Newtonian physics 200 years ago as an example of how you don't have to put much stock in the scientific consensus. That seems remarkably uncharitable to me, since Newtonian physics is still far more right than it is wrong, and it is still tremendously useful today. The engineers who designed your car were probably able to do ALL of their work with Newtonian physics. However, the guys who designed your GPS navigation system needed Einstein's theories of relativity. I used the same example, but taking a big picture view, Newtonian physics certainly 'failed' in the right direction - forward towards a better understanding of our universe.

In response to your Edit 1: None of those thoughts came directly from any particular book or course. Since they seem obvious to me, it doesn't surprise me in the least that others have said similar things. I make no claim to originality, but I don't read books about the debate between religion and science. Closest I've come to that is watching a DVD from an ID organization about the concept of Irreducible Complexity. I was a humanities student in school (and studied enough Hebrew to be annoyed when people do violence to the Bible in order to harmonize it with science), but recently decided that there was no reason a Renaissance man like myself should have absolutely no idea what's going on in the hard sciences, so in the last few years I've taken 2 courses each on astronomy, physics, and biological anthropology, and one course each of geology, genetics, origins of life theory and opera. (I also wondered why a man of sense and education was unable to appreciate opera. Turns out, I just don't like Wagner.)

I'm not really trying to start a big debate, despite my inability to say anything in 20 words when 2000 will do. I was just suggesting that a big picture view might lead us to a little more humility and charity when it comes to science and scientists. YMMV.

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 7:42 PM

Chet Silvermonte:
I read every word of the rather long-winded post you directed me to (Pot calling kettle black? Guilty as charged).

I guess one "long-winded post" deserves another:

 

Chet Silvermonte:
If A is true, and if B is true, and if A and B cannot both be true, what is the solution to this conundrum? Here 'A' represents propositions in the Bible and B represents propositions made by the scientific community.

This isn’t an accurate representation of the questioner’s problem. If I were to restate it using the structure of your paraphrase it would look like this:

“There seems to be good reasons for believing A. There seems to be good reasons for believing B. There seems to be good reasons for believing A and B are mutually exclusive. Scripture presents the reasons for A and science the reasons for B. What do we do?”

I’m sure you can catch the difference. “A is true” and “there are good reasons for the validity of A” are two very different propositions.

Chet Silvermonte:
The blogger's reply to this puzzle was to say that either A is not actually true, or B is not actually true, or A and B are not actually mutually exclusive. For example, the philosophical blogger might switch the value of A from 'what the Bible claims' to 'what we think/interpret the Bible to be claiming' and then he has an out, falsifying the 'given'.

The blogger, professor James Anderson of RTS, mentioned that there is difficulty in assessing the *reasons* supporting the truth ‘B’, the particular proposition relevant to the questioner. In part, this is difficult because of the philosophical issues that lay the foundation for science (he admits as much with Scripture in point 3). His position is far more nuanced than what you present here and he even states in point 1 that “there are further options… but the three above are the least radical.

Chet Silvermonte:
In other words, the way out of the puzzle was to deny the validity of the puzzle itself. Seems like cheating to me, but I never took a logic course, so maybe I just don't understand the rules of the game.

This is too ambiguous and I’m not sure what you are referring to. You could either mean it is “cheating” to take the position presented in point 2: (A &B)  (correct me if I’m wrong) or that it is cheating to take the position presented in points 11 and 12. Concerning the former, if you (re)read point 3, you will see that Anderson would actually agree with this in certain instances. Specifically those in which “scientific knowledge is given ‘veto power’ over our best historical-grammatical interpretations of Scripture, forcing us to accept very contrived readings of the text.” So you’ve misread him here. Concerning the latter, If you (re)read points 11 and 12 (and the whole thing) you will notice the conditional/hypothetical language.

He doesn’t “deny the validity of the puzzle,” rather he provides various ways one might go about trying to solve it. He even states, point 5, that “I don’t see that there’s any easy way to answer that question…  Each of us has to think through the issues as best we can, try to get as objective a view of the overall evidence as we can, and make our own best judgment with a clear conscience” (Perhaps you read it too quickly.) In fact, he states (1st paragraph) that his personal solution to the particular problem raised is ~B, although he explores the possibility and legitimacy of all the options with caveats.

Either way, I’m not sure how it would be “cheating” to take any of the options (I’m not even sure what it means to “cheat” in an argument, do you mean fallacy or handwaving or …?). He gives reasons and examples of ways in which each position might be valid, so I guess I would have to see your rejoinders.

Chet Silvermonte:
I fail to see how that post had anything to do with what I wrote about. I hope I'm not being obtuse; I just don't see any connection.

You propped science above theology in its “mechanism for change” Anderson’s post gave some reasons as to why those mechanisms can and do fail. The other links I gave provided concrete contemporary examples, not the possibility of mistakes (which you mention) but of false data from sheer dishonesty. My point was that science has no surer epistemic footing than theology (I would argue it has less, but that’s not my intention here).

For example, you stated, “And here is a fundamental difference between science and theology. Theology has no mechanism for embracing change. There is no single 'religious studies method'.” If you haven’t already, you may want to look into a course in philosophy of science. There is no single universally agreed upon scientific method or worldview. Even mathematicians disagree on the function and theory of math to some degree. My purpose isn’t to tear down science, only a false perception of the epistemic certainty one can achieve through “science” (not sure what “science,” simpliciter, would refer to here). I would say that if you think science gives you some advantage over theology, you’re working with an overly inflated view of science. Theologians can use logic, empirical data, existential data and other tools that are available to scientists (so Turretin, “Reason is minister”). Both of them make mistakes in these areas and can go back to the tools as a corrective. Both of them are subject to the same impediments and in both of them there is no universal agreement as to how they should be applied or the data interpreted. The tools and impediments simply express themselves differently as they are applied to (and resultant of) different questions. But on what basis would you say one type of discipline is better than another? That itself is an evaluative remark which has to be supported on some philosophical or theological worldview.

Chet Silvermonte:
Since I started my post talking about scientists as humans who make mistakes, not only as individuals but also as a community (including the existence of some rather non-scientific, but very human, forms of peer pressure, tightly held assumptions, etc.), I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from articles that talk about mistakes made by the scientific community.

I was focusing on where you compared it to theology. If you are *really* saying the same thing as me, James Anderson, et al. and we are just mirroring each other then couldn’t you just have said “I agree with that”??

Chet Silvermonte:
That blog post used the example of the scientific consensus affirming Newtonian physics 200 years ago as an example of how you don't have to put much stock in the scientific consensus.

I don’t think you read the post very carefully (or else it’s an ironic example of one’s preconceptions drastically effecting the data). He states, “Rejecting mainstream scientific opinion is never a comfortable move, even when rationally and morally justified…” So obviously he’s not trying to undermine consensus as such. He is trying to undermine an inflated view of science that borders on the verecundiam fallacy (that does pervade both secular and Christian societies). The fact that such an inflated view of science pervades society can be ironically proven in seeing how defensive people get when anyone says anything to try and balance the perspective.

Chet Silvermonte:
That seems remarkably uncharitable to me, since Newtonian physics is still far more right than it is wrong, and it is still tremendously useful today.

You’re simply attacking a straw-man. His remark on Newtonian physics was a passing statement. He simply said “If neo-Darwinism currently functions much like a Kuhnian paradigm, the scientific consensus in its favor may be worth little more than the consensus in favor of phlogiston theory 300 years ago or Newtonian physics 200 years ago.” Notice that he didn’t say it had zero value (practical or theoretical). He wasn’t trying to give any flushed out statement of his view on Newtonian physics. His point was that (some) scientists are now searching for a theory that will allow them to, in a sense, do away with the narrowness of the Newtonian theory.

Chet Silvermonte:
In response to your Edit 1: None of those thoughts came directly from any particular book or course. Since they seem obvious to me, it doesn't surprise me in the least that others have said similar things.

It seems misguided to me.

Chet Silvermonte:
I was just suggesting that a big picture view might lead us to a little more humility and charity when it comes to science and scientists. YMMV.

I sort of agree with you here. Some Christians do read their Bible as though it were a science textbook. Perhaps they partly need more respect for science, I tend to think have a greater need to simply respect for the Bible as literature with the various genres and norms that are common to literature. In my experience, the more widespread problem is too much respect for science and too little respect for Scripture.

 

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Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 8:02 PM

Alex Scott:
You make it sound that the Genesis account is there because it was a part of Ancient Near Eastern cultures, not because it was a revelation to Moses from God.

I would further point out the fact that it was a common concept of creation in ANE does nothing to weigh against it's historical accuracy. If anything, we might say it supports it. You're line of reasoning, Greg, seems to be completely off here.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 8:40 PM

Robert Pavich:
.it's the "psudeo-science" of evolution that we have a problem with

My father and I often debate what the correct classification of knowledge "creation science" falls under, i.e. not whether or not it should be taught but if it were to be taught, what discipline should it fall under. From Bing ...

Science
NOUN  1.  study of physical world: the study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by using systematic observation and experiment ( often used before a noun )
2.  branch of science: a particular area of study or knowledge of the physical world "the life sciences"
3.  systematic body of knowledge: a systematically organized body of knowledge about a particular subject "the behavioral sciences"
4.  something studied or performed methodically: an activity that is the object of careful study or that is carried out according to a developed method "the science of dressing for success"
5.  knowledge gained from science: the knowledge gained by the study of the physical world [ 14th century. Via French < Latin scientia < scient-, present participle of scire "know, discern" < Indo-European, "cut" ]

Please describe for me, which definitions are applied in: 1) the pseudo-science of evolution 2) creation science

Until the basic definitions are agreed upon, the discussion is meaningless ... although occasionally amusing.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 519
Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 8:48 PM

Alex,

"You make it sound that the Genesis account is there because it was a part of Ancient Near Eastern cultures, not because it was a revelation to Moses from God."

It's there for both reasons. Revelation from God within an Ancient Near Eastern context and to a people steeped in Ancient Near Eastern ideas. Any scientific statements made in the Bible are best understood in the context of their worldview, not ours. God spoke to them in ways that they could understand, and He took what they already knew about the cosmos, something that was a general belief in their culture, and presented them a new understanding of Himself.

Cultures of that time generally believed that the earth was formed out of a sort of cosmic ocean, which still existed but had been relegated to a part of the cosmos by a firmament so the waters didn't cover the earth anymore.

We can see this very easily in Genesis 1:6-8: And God said, “Let there be an expanse [1] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made [2] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. [3] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

Notice here the exapnse seperates the waters above from the waters below, and in verse 8 is named Heaven.  Later, in verse 17 we see God, after making the great lights and the stars, placing them within the expanse he just created to hold back the waters above.

Note that the sun and moon are placed within the expanse, which itself is holding back a the great waters above. Quite literally, this is saying that there is an ocean above the sun, moon, and stars.

No where that I am aware of is this actually present in our understanding of the universe.

But it was a common viewpoint to people living in the Ancient Near East. Just as we learn ancient Hebrew to faithfully interpret scripture, so should we learn their worldview to do the same.

So the point of all this is Genesis, and the rest of the Old Testament, was written to a people that had a different understanding of the universe than we do today. If we want to be faithful in our interpretation, and not read things into scripture that are not there, we should not try to force ancient scripture into modern science, or modern science into ancient scripture.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 8:53 PM

Bryan Brodess:
What I do not like about science is when they take things like Evolution,, which is technically still just a theory, and call it science..

Okay, you totally lost me. See my post on definitions but

All science is provisional ... all science is"technically just a theory" ... in fact, Whitehead and Russell failed (just barely) to make math the first "science" to be "proven true". Newtonian physics is still treated as "science" despite it not being 100% accurate and true - it's true enough to be useful in most situations. So what were you trying to say? I don't get it. As I've already asked another, what meaning are you assigning to the word "science"?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 17 2009 8:56 PM

Bryan Brodess:
What I do not like about science is when they take things like Evolution,, which is technically still just a theory, and call it science..

Gravity is still a theory.

Just letting you know.....

But anyway, gravity is a fact and a theory. A fact because we can easily observe it, and a theory because we are still trying to figure out how it works.

Evolution is the exact same thing. A fact, because we can observe it in the fossil record, in nature, and by studying genetics and a few other fields, and it is still a theory because we are still trying to figure out how it works.

Just because something is called a theory in science doesn't mean it doesn't have any value, or is nothing more than educated guesswork. That's what we reserve hypothesis for. Generally, a theory is a well-supported explanation of a set of data that explains what is known at the time in the best possible way, and also makes future predictions regarding new discoveries.

 

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