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Author Topic:   home school evolution questions
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 1 of 74 (32051)
02-12-2003 5:35 PM


I am a teacher in a church home school. I've done some research on the evolution/creation debate, and I am making my science students (ages 14-17) do the same. I wrote the following defense of young earth creationism, and then I asked them to respond to it (from an evolutionist viewpoint). Since I had to give them time in class to respond, my presentation had to be short and thus pretty incomplete. I would like to give them responses from more educated evolutionists to compare with their own, as I'm no expert on this subject. I realize the average evolutionist won't care to address the Bible parts of my paper, but if you could answer the other parts, it would really help me. It's one type written page, which is too long for this format, but I promise not to make a habit of that.

****************

I believe in a young earth, because this is what the Bible teaches. I know many people say the Bible isn’t literal, but if the Bible doesn’t mean what it says, how can we trust it on anything, even on things like “You shall not murder.”

The Bible says, “On the first day...” and “On the second day...,” etc. Therefore, I believe that those things happened on those days.

Also, I believe the creation week happened approximately 6000 years ago. The Bible says Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, and it gives Seth’s age when Enos was born. Why would it give years if it didn’t want you to know the time elapsed?

There are places that aren’t specific (for example, we don’t know exactly how old Terah was when Abram was born), but these only leave room for small amounts of error, a century or so at most.

If the Bible doesn’t mean what it says when it gives dates and times, then it’s whole authority is undermined, for who knows where it’s literal and where it’s not?

I also believe the scientific evidence backs the Bible on a young, created earth, but scientists misinterpret the evidence, because they have not been given eyes for the truth.

One example of the evidence for a young earth is moon dust. If the earth was 4 billion years old, then the moon should be 30 feet deep in dust from space by now. (Hans Petterson, around 1960, measured the incoming dust from space at 14 million tons per year.) NASA even put large pads on the lunar lander in order to prevent it from sinking into the moon’s cosmic dust. As it turned out, the dust on the moon averaged a mere inch thick or so, which is commensurate with a 6000 year old earth.

Evolutionists offer evidence for an old earth, but it is notoriously unreliable. Their strongest evidence is the geologic column, which they say shows a succession of fossils. I do not believe this is true. The geologic column is rarely found complete. Instead, it is created from a hodge-podge of layers found all over the world. They find a fossil, and they declare that layer to be the same as a layer in some other country, because they assume the time of the existence of that fossil. The geologic column is built not of layers of the earth, but of suppositions and assumptions.

Proof of this is found in polystrate fossils, which are fossils large enough to cross several supposed layers. There are trees that would have had to stand for millions of years undamaged while being slowly buried through several “ages” if the geologic column were true. It’s not.

Further proof comes from “living fossils” like the Coelecanth. The Coelecanth is a fish presumed extinct for 200 million years and used as an “index fossil” for an ancient layer, but it turns out it is alive and capable of being fossilized today!

Of course, we have all heard how unreliable radiometric dating is. It must be so. It is based on the presumption that radioactive decay rates have been constant throughout history. Many such assumptions are made by science.

The Bible lets us know, however, that life was much different before the flood. Men regularly lived to 900 years, and animals did not each other. Who can know how different the earth must have been at that time?

This also properly explains the giant fossils that are found. Why aren’t those species alive today? They are! They are simply not as large. Mammals, who grow to maturity and stop, only grew so large, even in the days of long life, but reptiles, which grow throughout their life, reached immense sizes. The dinosaurs of old are the lizards of today in a much less friendly earth.

I don’t have time to answer all the evolutionists’ arguments, but you will find that all are based on the assumption of an old earth. It is the flood that laid the geologic column, since much of the earth’s dirt and rocks rose with the flood, then settled in layers. No, the flood did not sort the fossils, because the fossils are not sorted. The sorting effect is created by the assumptions and labels of evolutionary scientists. The earth, according to the Scriptures, is 6000 years old, and with this true science and the earth’s testimony agree.

********************

Thanks for any help you can offer.

{Edited to add blank lines between paragraphs. The system didn't preserve the authors attempts of indenting the beginings of the paragraphs. Also, my compliments (from the non-admin mode) to the creation and existence of this topic. - Adminnemooseus (minnemooseus)}

[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 02-13-2003]


Replies to this message:
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wj
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 74 (32053)
02-12-2003 5:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by truthlover
02-12-2003 5:35 PM


I can only say that I pity your students.

Do you really want your "scientific" evidence supporting yec debunked? If so, I can give you liks to follow which invariably have CURRENT scientific evidence which contradicts your yec interpretations.

Do you really wnat the truth? Can you handle the truth?


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 3 of 74 (32054)
02-12-2003 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by wj
02-12-2003 5:46 PM


wj,

Uh, yeah, I really want my "scientific" evidence supporting yec debunked. As far as finding the evidence following links, I can do that myself, and I have made my students do that. My student's can debunk it, too, but since we're sort of exploring the subject together, I was hoping for a response that they can compare their response to. I think I could write a pretty decent response, too, but I poked around the board here and determined that there's a number of people that could write a better response than me. I could have tried calling a local public high school teacher to help me, but my experience tells me that the average informed evolutionist on a debate board can do a better job than the average high school science teacher.

Thanks.


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Replies to this message:
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Dr Cresswell
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 74 (32055)
02-12-2003 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by truthlover
02-12-2003 5:35 PM


Interesting discussion opener for a religious education class. Pity it was for a science class since it almost all seems to be about subjects other than science.

Alan

PS The idea that "evolutionists" wouldn't be care to address the Biblical passages rather presumptuous. I'm an evangelical christian, I believe the Bible to be the supreme authority on matters of faith and conduct. I also believe that the opening chapters of Genesis are not history (as we understand it) and definitely not science. I accept the theory of evolution as being the scientific truth.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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shilohproject
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 74 (32056)
02-12-2003 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by truthlover
02-12-2003 5:55 PM


Do you plan to ask your students to offer a refutaion of the Genesis creation stories as part of this examination, i.e. two obviously conflicting versions, the change in the name of diety between chapters(stories) 1 and 2, etc., etc.?

-Shiloh


This message is a reply to:
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shilohproject
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 74 (32057)
02-12-2003 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by truthlover
02-12-2003 5:55 PM


(Deleted duplicate)

[This message has been edited by shilohproject, 02-12-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 7 of 74 (32059)
02-12-2003 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Dr Cresswell
02-12-2003 6:07 PM


Alan,

I don't think the idea that the average evolutionist wouldn't care to address the Bible passages was presumptious. That's my experience. Basically, I was apologizing that so much of what I wrote addressed Scripture, but there were reasons for that. One, my students will be facing a debate against a creationist. Two, we are a church, so they are going to face Bible arguments that they can't dismiss as irrelevant in the debate.

Since I seem to have come across completely wrong, let me help you. I am not a young earth creationist. I believe not only in an old earth, but I believe all current forms of life evolved from a common ancestor. Let me give you an example of why I'm looking for help. The following is a response by one of my 15-year-old students who, like the others, has had only three months to address this topic. Please also understand, she only had about an hour to write a response and had to use what references she brought with her to class.

*********************

You say that Hans Petterson measured how much dust should be on the moon if it is very old, and his calculations were an estimated 14 million tons per year, but there really is only a very small layer, so therefore the earth is young. Well, I am here to say this is not true.

Hans Petterson used a device intended for measuring smog levels, climbed up a mountain and tried measuring the amount of moon dust, while he was over a city. He measured the amount of nickel collected and published it and made the assumption that its origin was all from meteors. This assumption caused his estimated 14 million tons to be incorrect. He also said himself that he believed it to be a vast overestimate and that 5 million tons per year was a more likely figure.

Mr. Morris, the creationist you quoted, said, "The best measurements have been made by Hans Petterson, who obtained the figure of 14 million tons per year." He wrote this when several measurements of higher precision were available, such as the measurements of chemical signature of ocean sediments, satellite penetration detectors, and microcratering rate of objects left exposed on the lunar surface. These all give the same approximate value of 20,000 to 40,000 tons per year. With the proper amounts calculated, the expected depth of meteoritic dust on the moon is less than one foot.

The geologic column: You say that the geologic column cannot be found altogether anywhere around the world, the fossils are not in order, and that the flood laid all the sediments.

The geologic column can be found with all the layers intact and in order in 26 basins around the world, the majority of them being in China. As for the fossils not being in order, they happen to appear in precise, unvarying order, with simple organisms appearing at the bottom of the column, and more complex organisms appearing, in order, towards the top. What exactly should the order be? Well, it should start with first invertebrates, then simple vertebrates, then jawed fishes, then amphibians, then reptiles, and finally birds and mammals and that is exactly what we find; and what we would expect from evolutionary descent with modification, with the organisms appearing higher in the geologic column being the modified descendants of those organisms which appear lower in the column.

She ended her report with a note to me that said, "I only addressed what I knew I could write about, such as, I didn't know what I would say about radiometric dating or whatever you said in the beginning [on Scripture] which helps me see what I need to study. So, I'm sorry if this isn't what you were looking for.

Some of her response is quoted from other sources; her scientific vocabulary really isn't as good as it might sound. I can provide her (and already have) with sources on radiometric dating. I just thought that if she and the others could see a well-rounded, informed, response to a speech I threw together to test them, it would be helpful to them.

I'm sorry if it seemed like I was after something else. I certainly didn't mean to offend anybody.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Dr Cresswell, posted 02-12-2003 6:07 PM Dr Cresswell has responded

Replies to this message:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 8 of 74 (32060)
02-12-2003 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by shilohproject
02-12-2003 6:17 PM


shilohproject,

The Genesis one and two stories were discussed, including the shift from Elohim to YHWH Elohim, at my house with three or four of the students one night. They actually asked me if that was a pertinent argument. I tend to dismiss the literal interpretation of Genesis one by bringing up the "hard as a cast-metal mirror" sky in Job 37:18 and the firmament (more properly "hardened dome") in Genesis one, so I forgot to bring up Gen one and two. Pretty bad omission, but they caught it, anyway.

I did try the couple ways there are to reconcile those two stories, but since they weren't raised with prejudices toward the Bible being a science book (like I was, but have recovered from), they were rather unimpressed with the attempts.

One of my students wrote, "First of all, if you believe every word of the Bible should be taken literally, then the world should be flat and the sky should be a big brass dome, because in the Bible it says that the firmament is held up by pillars at the "four corners" of the earth. Since we know neither one of thes to be true, then why should we take the whole Genesis story literally."

That was a 14-year-old. The 17-year-olds tended to give me longer answers.


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Zephan
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 74 (32063)
02-12-2003 7:53 PM


"Dr." Cresswell and "truth"-lovey have all the answers.

Yet, if you are the random product of random mutations, what need there be of a God? Or what use would He be? Indeed, what does such a God do?

Perhaps your version of evolution is different from mainstream? Mind explaining it to us?

Oh yeah, I forgot. There is always the credible counterpart of theistic evolution to fall back on.

Yuk it up fellas. But try not to be tardy to the award ceremony...

The invitation is in the mail.


Replies to this message:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 10 of 74 (32065)
02-12-2003 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Zephan
02-12-2003 7:53 PM


Zephan,

I don't know what exactly to do with your reasoning. The problem I have is that when I used to argue with evolutionists, I used to lose. I've found that the best way to win an argument is to switch to the side that's right, so that's what I did.

So now what does a guy like myself do? I believe in God, for reasons that have nothing to do with science, but that are awful conclusive to me, but scientists seem to have no problem making it seem very likely that natural processes can account for the progress from the big bang to me.

Well, I decided that if God chose to create the universe in a way that allows atheists to chalk up creation to natural laws, then that's how he chose to create it. I may not like it, but for some reason, God didn't consult me before he did it that way, so I'm just stuck.

In fact, one of the reasons I believe in God is because I get stuck a lot, put in situations by him that are molding me into what he wants me to be. So I'm not real surprised that God might make the universe in a way that didn't meet with my approval, either.

Although now that I've accepted it, I like it. It makes my spine tingle to picture a supernova scattering organic molecules across space, molecules that would later become us. I like the idea that we're made of stardust, and I really don't like the idea that those amazing nuclear-powered factories, stars, are working for thousands, millions, and billions of years to manufacture carbon-based molecules, the very molecules we're made of, and it's a coincidence that has nothing to do with the making of us. No, I don't like that idea at all. I think the production of organic molecules is an amazing process, and I attribute it to God with great pleasure, even though I believe it can be explained (because it can) by completely natural processes.

So, no, my version of evolution, as far as I know, is quite mainstream, and where it's not, except insofar as I see the whole process as spiritual, it's due to my ignorance, which I do spend some time on correcting.

Thanks for asking, though. I actually pity the person whose God disappears if the universe arose by natural means. Our God is a lot more involved with our lives than that.


This message is a reply to:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4012 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 11 of 74 (32081)
02-13-2003 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by truthlover
02-12-2003 5:35 PM


My compliments. An interesting assignment for your students. How detailed would you like the replies? I would say the student essay you posted covers the basics of those two areas quite well - if not in excruciating detail.

The reason I ask is that several of the points you raise would require fairly lengthy responses to cover adequately. As a for instance, the coelocanth statement:

Further proof comes from “living fossils” like the Coelecanth. The Coelecanth is a fish presumed extinct for 200 million years and used as an “index fossil” for an ancient layer, but it turns out it is alive and capable of being fossilized today!
This is in essence erroneous. In the first place, it's not a "living fossil" because Latimeria chaumnae has never been found as a fossil. In fact, no other species assignable to the Genus Latimeria has been found as a fossil either. Latimeria and the Cretaceous fossil genus Macropoma are closely related, and they're included in the same taxonomic family. Beyond that, all fossil coelacanths belong to the order Coelacanthini. Basically, the coelacanths that are being caught off Madagascar are NOT the same animal that lived around 360 mya, nor are they the same animal that is found in the late Cretaceous shallow marine strata dated around 80 mya. There are differences in Don't confuse a member of a large group (taxon like "order") with the group itself.

There was actually a pretty good discussion about living fossils awhile back. This thread covers the topic fairly well - although you'll have to interpolate a bit with the creationist ksc, who went back and deleted all his posts in a fit of pique. Most of his responses, however, are included in the counters by various people.

[This message has been edited by Quetzal, 02-13-2003]


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Peter
Member (Idle past 2063 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 12 of 74 (32097)
02-13-2003 5:50 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by truthlover
02-12-2003 6:38 PM


quote:

I don't think the idea that the average evolutionist wouldn't care to address the Bible passages was presumptious. That's my experience.

In general I don't think you need the help that you seem to
think you do. Have faith in yourself

I respond to the above simply to point out that most of the
evolutionists on this site a reasonably well aquainted with
the Bible, hence the disagreement with your comment.


This message is a reply to:
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Karl
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 74 (32104)
02-13-2003 7:58 AM


I'm going to leave the scientific bits for now, because I'm not a scientist. Speaking of scientists, by the way Zephan, you have no right to put Alan's title in inverted commas - he has a PhD from an accredited university. Unlike "Dr." Kent Hovind, I might point out.

So..

quote:
I believe in a young earth, because this is what the Bible teaches. I know many people say the Bible isn’t literal, but if the Bible doesn’t mean what it says, how can we trust it on anything, even on things like “You shall not murder.”

There is an unwarranted jump here from "not literal" to "not true". Clever sleight of hand, but quite unjustified. It is like saying we can learn nothing from Our Lord's parables because they are not literal, and therefore "untrue".

quote:
The Bible says, “On the first day...” and “On the second day...,” etc. Therefore, I believe that those things happened on those days.

However literal the days are, they are only literal within the framework of a symbolic narrative. The Ring is literal, but only literal within the framework of Tolkien's history of Middle Earth.

quote:
Also, I believe the creation week happened approximately 6000 years ago. The Bible says Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, and it gives Seth’s age when Enos was born. Why would it give years if it didn’t want you to know the time elapsed?

There are places that aren’t specific (for example, we don’t know exactly how old Terah was when Abram was born), but these only leave room for small amounts of error, a century or so at most.


Longevity was seen as a sign of God's blessing in the times that the OT was written - hence the comment in Isaiah about how "one day" everybody will live to be a hundred. It was therefore common practice to add a few years to people's ages when writing about them. It has also to be borne in mind that these legends are ancient, and spent hundreds, possible thousands, of years as oral traditions. To suggest that if such a tradition says Adam was 130 when Seth was born, then Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, does not seem to be a wholly reasonable suggestion.

quote:
If the Bible doesn’t mean what it says when it gives dates and times, then it’s whole authority is undermined, for who knows where it’s literal and where it’s not?

I refer to my response to the first section.


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12596
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
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Message 14 of 74 (32111)
02-13-2003 8:40 AM


Thread moved here from the Evolution forum.
    
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2199 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 15 of 74 (32132)
02-13-2003 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Karl
02-13-2003 7:58 AM


Thank you, everyone. And I did understand that my post could have been read as suggesting that "the average evolutionist" would not be familiar with the Bible. That's my fault. I made it sound like that, but that is most certainly not what I meant to say.
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