Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drama in the House!

Okay boys! I think you've wound down enough from the last post. I have to say it has been most interesting! I would like to add my thoughts at this point.
Many Christians do not agree on the issue of New Earth vs Old Earth.
Dr. Hugh Ross is a Christian Apologist/Astronomer/Astrophysicist. He is a proponent of Old Earth and believes that science and religion are compatible. We have met Dr. Ross and heard him speak on this very issue. He is the Minister of Apologetics at Sierre Madre Congregational Church in Sierre Madre, CA... the church my Aunt went to for over 25 years before her death and who introduced us to him. To this day, there is much that he said that has stayed with me. He does not believe in evolution. He also does not believe that Intelligent Design is science and that it should not be taught in the classroom.
Answers in Genesis was founded by Ken Ham. Proponents of Young Earth Creation see it as an authority issue in regard to the bible and hold to a literal 6 day creation. They believe that the earth was created 6,000 years ago and that the Flood was 4,500 years ago and that dinosaurs co-existed with humans. Ken has a bachelor’s degree in applied science (with an emphasis on environmental biology) that was awarded by the Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia. He also holds a diploma of education from the University of Queensland and was a public school science teacher in Austalia. Ken has been awarded two honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Divinity (1997) from Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati, Ohio and a Doctor of Literature (2004) from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, in recognition of his contributions to the church in the U.S. and internationally. He hosts an Internet and radio program, Answers... with Ken Ham, that is broadcast daily worldwide by over 1,000 stations.
Creation as Science with Hugh Ross on You Tube.
Young Earth vs Old Earth debate with Ken Ham on You Tube.
Where do I stand? At the risk of sounding like a fence straddler... I am just an uneducated housewife.
I do believe in the inerrancy of God's Word. However, I do not understand how that works. I am deeply troubled by the assertion by some that if you do not believe in a literal 6 day creation that you do not believe the bible is inerrant.
I do not know Hebrew or Greek... I don't know that I can trust those that do and say what things mean... Heated debate reigns over the meanings of all scripture. I'm just an American woman living in this current time and all I've got to go on is my bible where things of my faith are concerned. The stress of trying to figure who is right and who is wrong is something I don't care for. I don't care what other people say the bible says. I read it in my English translation because that is the language I understand. What Pastors, Biblical Scholars and Theologians all have to say must line up with what I read on my own within my level of understanding for me to even begin to trust a religious authority... and even then, I am still very cautious.
I believe God is God. He can do whatever, whenever, however and is not limited to our understanding of time. I will say that Hugh Ross makes more sense to me. The fact is I do not know for certain. In fact, the more I learn about all things in life... the more it becomes glaringly apparent that I really don't know much.

Soooo... We may as well step into it. Abortion. Pro-Life? Pro-Choice? What about the Supreme Court?

*Let's try to keep this civil... Attacking ideas is fine, attacking people is not. We are big boys and girls so we can agree to disagree. Remember we do not know who is reading this blog and you should want to present your side in a respectable way.


Anonymous said...

I don't think I can comment on the idea that hundreds of years of scientific discovery should be ignored based on the fact that some people wrote an infallible book thousands of years ago without saying I find that idea completely preposterous.

Amy Jo said...

I too, am a bit of a fence straddler. The ideas of the Old Earth seem to fit more readily, but I also find Intelligent Design making more and more sense to me. I also believe that God is much bigger than our limitations. His word is perfect, and our understanding falls short sometimes. I find it very interesting to listen to the debates about this subject. It is so inspiring to see how God's word comes to life in "real life" or "past life" as it were.

I enjoyed reading the post. We studied this quite some time ago in our Sunday School class. We used the Answers in Genesis curriculum. Though I am not quite conviced one way or the other, I really enjoyed studying it.

Roland Hulme said...

Oh, Coffee Bean. What a wise thing you are. I thought that was a brilliant post and your open mindedness continues to be humbling to stubborn old birds like me.

I think from my argument with two dogs, you know where I stand. I am a historian, so I have been convinced by blisteringly clear factual evidence that the world was not created in six days. Earth was formed four or five billion years ago and mankind arose from a complex journey through the muddy waters of evolution. That much is fact.

But you're absolutely right - it's not contradictory to religion. Much of the Bible is allegorical or accurate 'in context.' For instance, the 'great flood' did occur in the timeframe mentioned in the Bible - historical evidence proves it. However, it was only a large area in the middle east that got 'drowned' and not the entire world. However, at that time, that area WAS the entire (known) world, hence the flood being described as a 'world event' in the Bible.

Most Catholics and Episcopalians accept the scientific theory of creation and evolution - but believe that process was started and guided by God. Since we can't disprove or prove that, it's a perfectly fine and valid theory (but since we can't prove or disprove it, it's not a theory that should be taught in school.)

God and Science can (until one or the other disproves the opposite) coexist. But people like that Ham fellow from Answers in Genesis are just delusional nutjobs.

As for the other issues... I think you'd be surprised to find I agree with Two Dog's inevitable opinion. It's too politicized. I think they GENERALLY make the right decision, but Scalia and the right wings ones are just as bad as the leftists trying to legislate from the bench. A good example of that is the 2nd amendment case, recently. I hate guns, but even I (with only two years of pre-law under my belt) can see that the Constitution EXPLICITLY grants people the right to own guns. That should have been a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court. Instead, three liberals voted against it, which was just 'bad law.'

Two Dogs said...

Evolution is not a fact, Roland. Facts are backed up with proofs, proofs that are non-existent with anything regarding evolution. There has never been one iota of anything found that shows anything regarding any evolution that has ever occurred in nature. I have no idea why you deny that when the proof is staring you down. If we continue to depend on evolutional biologists to "discover" anything, we might as well turn out the lights, right now. Wheel? Don't need it, those Indians did fine without it. Wait, I am off to the natural science museum to look at the virus/slug/hamster/dinosaur/bird/cat fossil.

Okay, I am back, guess what? There is not one fossil that has ever been discovered that supports Darwin's theory. Not a single one on the entire earth. That is amazing and violates every single mathematical probability, if natural selection were even remotely true! Also, I called every scientist in the world and asked. Everyone one of them looked up from their government grant form and told me that I should check back in about 1000 years. Maybe then.

Sorry. I have no clue why anyone would continue to study anything that Darwin ever said while never getting closer to a single answer about our planet. It is like they do not even want any answers. Therein lies the rub that makes me nuts. I want to know, evolutionists do not want to know.

Uh, are we answering the abortion question?

Most people do not have the audacity to call things what they really are, but I have a dictionary.

Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy.

To understand that definition, you need two more.

Termination: the ending of an act or deed.

Pregnancy: the gestation period of a live offspring.

Murder is wrong and I have never referred to the termination of life as "Pro-Choice." It is exactly what the definition shows, murder.

Is there a decided problem with unwanted pregnancies? Certainly, but teaching kids how to have sex mo' better is NOT going to reduce that. We have to return to the stigma being placed upon immoral behavior. Sex is between a husband and a wife. Homosexual? I couldn't care less, unless you are parading down the street in front of my children, then it is go time. As a matter of fact, I don't think that is a good thing with non-deviant behavior. You know, a man and his wife. Close the door and bring on the rug burns, but stay at home with that stuff.

As far as the Supreme Court is concerned, it has so far exceeded its constitutional duties as to become oppressive. And we have allowed the Fed to abscond with our freedoms. I am a strict constitutionalist. No Whoopi, there exist the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, which are part of the constitution that will keep you from ever becoming a slave.

If there was true justice in this country, Whoopi would welcome slavery because that would be the only way that she could eat. The fact that people like her and her non-philosophical brethren have a public forum drives me up the wall.

Why do people avoid any kind of intellectual curiosity? What happened to our thirst for knowledge? Where are our pioneers? The inventors?

Finally, if abortion was perfectly fine morally, why would even the most violent proponents of abortion say that abortion should be safe, but rare. If it was okay, why would it need to be rare? Why aren't the aborted children just ingested like veal?

I know that last line was way over the top. But, try to look at it for what it is. If abortion is okay, then what is morally wrong with eating the aborted kids?

Dang, if I were a fine, upstanding, Christian woman, I would kick me off this blog. With malice.

Roland Hulme said...

I think we've bored everybody enough with evolution, so I'll leave that one (although I used to date a girl who worked in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, so I have SEEN the fossils you don't believe in.)

Two Dogs said...

Yes, I have seen them as well, I used to do needle dope. We all did strange things as kids, but we actually knew they were drug induced.

Two Dogs said...

Well, at least most of us did.

Coffee Bean said...

Two Dogs,

LOL... I'm not sure I qualify as a fine upstanding Christian woman...

At any rate, I really am curious about why people believe what they do and am interested in what has brought them to where they are in their beliefs. I appreciate that we've got a mixed bag of opinions here (I wish there were even more).

So, no, I'm not kicking you off of my blog. As far as malice is concerned... that is something I rarely feel (I wish I could say never but there are a few instances that come to mind... when my maid of honor hit on my husband right in front of me, for one).

BLBeamer said...

Liam, your note wasn't quite clear. What is it you find preposterous? The existence of an infallible book? The fact that some people believe the old, infallible book instead of the recent science? Or the other way around?

One Salient Oversight said...

Okay, some points:

* The scientific method does not take God into consideration. It cannot because God's existence can't be proven through scientific research.
* Evolution is a natural result of the scientific method applied to a study of biology and fossil records.
* By contrast, the biblical account of a six day creation cannot be proven through scientific study. Young Earth creationists (YEC), however, think it can.
* The Bible does not give a creation date of 6000 years ago. That was the error of Bishop Ussher. Moreover, Ussher's creation date was added to the Scofield reference bible, giving its readers the idea that the bible had a creation date of 4004BC. YECs, however, continue to insist on this date.
* I believe that the entire nature of the universe changed at the fall. The universe we see now is not the universe that God originally created.
* I personally believe in a six day creation... but the universe that was made in those six days was devastated by sin and is the one we see today.

Roland Hulme said...

BlBeamer - as a historian, I DEFINITELY don't believe that any book - especially one written by several people and then translated by hundreds more - is infallible.

There is no such thing as TRUTH. There is only FACT and a version of events derived from those facts. Only people who lived the events will ever know what the truth was (and even their recollection is often flawed.)

The reason rationalists and scientists always lose the evolution/creation argument is because they - by the very nature of being a scientist - have to admit that there MIGHT be another explanation, if more facts were presented that contradicted their current hypothesis.

Creationists, on the other hand, gaily believe whatever the hell they want and refuse to accept that their belief could possibly be in error - even when fact and evidence is presented that proves them wrong.

It's infuriating trying to have a rational discussion with people who refuse to accept anything except their own blinkered beliefs!

AmusedMomma said...

Roland, you said: Most Catholics and Episcopalians accept the scientific theory of creation and evolution - but believe that process was started and guided by God.

Can you please site me a source that backs up that statement? I'm speaking of an official church document that purports what you are saying that "most Catholics and Episcopalians" believe the scientific theory of creation and evolution.

I ask because recently we've had two rather high political people who have submitted information as fact on recent interviews that the Catholics don't even know when life begins. That is false. The Catholic church has always said that life begins at conception.

So, before I can discuss this with you I need to make sure we're talking about the same thing.

Site your source please.

Two Dogs said...

Amused Momma, Roland was just talking about people that are Catholic and Episcopalians. Not the churches. Plus, there are no scientists that deny that life begins with conception. Well scientists that can read anyway. The two people that you are referring to are MORONS that are Pro-Abortion, which to normal people is disgusting.

OSO's ideas of a six day creation is by far more provable than evolution. All you have to do is take into account that the earth's rotation is slowing right now and has been for some time. And that is a fact proven by the fossil record, again unlike evolution.

Yes, I agree with Roland that it is maddening to have a debate where one party knowingly distorts the facts or blatantly lies.

AmusedMomma said...

Thanks, TD for explaining Roland to me. But again, I'm asking for something to hang his claim on... where is he getting his information that most Catholics and Episcopalians are accepting that evolution is fact. Just seems like the kind of argument that is trying to puff itself up with a non-existant group.

And again, I don't remember who claimed that they had seen "evidence" of evolution as in fossils. I highly doubt any museum would keep such a discovery under wraps. What we usually have is conjecture and opinions but not facts. If a museum had scientific evidence of evolution in the fossil records, dang that would be something and I think it would be shouted from the rooftops.

So... again, just looking for sources and not someone's say so.

I'm not saying we can't believe each other, but when folks make such outlandish claims I wanna see something that back 'em up, ya know what I mean?

AmusedMomma said...

Now, knowing the Beaner in real life, I can tell ya that she is a fine upstanding Christian woman.

Is she perfect? Nah. She's a sinner like the rest of us.

Is she a fun-loving woman who tries to keep the peace and make everyone feel welcome? Yuppers.

Her hostessing skills, whether in her home or on her blog, are evident in the kind way she treats everybody.

And did y'all know she had a birthday last Friday???

Brenda said...

I believe God created the world in 6 days. I believe the infallible Book is inspired by Him. The reason you can't argue with it is because it is because the blief is founded in faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.

Tom said...

It's important to realize that science isn't really a search for truth. It's a search for theories that provide useful descriptions of how the world works. If you want truth, the math department is in the next building over.

It may be possible to have a valid worldview that isn't grounded in science, but I don't understand what that would be. Then again, I don't understand the worldview of the women's studies department, or women in general, so it probably just shows the things I don't know.

I certainly can understand the old earth intelligent design types, since there's plenty of room in quantum randomness for external entities (divine or otherwise) to affect the universe in subtle ways. I may not believe or disbelieve in something that can't be proven, but at least it coheres together.

But for the young earth types:

There are plenty of things we can see, with our eyes, that are more than 6012 light years away. The Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light-years away, and you can see it in a dark sky.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the universe is more than 6012 years old. But it does mean that if it is, the photons that comprise the light we see sprung into existence with 99% of their journey already complete.

Bones, rock layers, radiocarbon dating, light from the far corners of the observable univers... all that could be faked by a sufficiently omnipotent being.

But my question is: why would a deity be so perverse?

Tom said...

Two Dogs wrote:

All you have to do is take into account that the earth's rotation is slowing right now and has been for some time.

Actually, according to this page which sources the US Naval Observatory, the length of a day has been decreasing since 1993, which means that the rotation of the earth has been speeding up for the past few years.

Two Dogs said...

A leap second was added in 1998 and then again in 2005 BECAUSE the rotation is slowing down. The Earth continues to slow down from a transfer of rotational energy to the moon's orbit. The earth has been doing this for minimally two billion years.

Tom said...

Actually, a leap-second was added because the day is longer than 86400 seconds. Because rotation is speeding up, the amount of time between leap seconds is longer. It used to be 18 months (in the mid-90s), and now it's more like 36.

Marylynn said...

Woah Bean! This blog HAS taken off. Who are these people that have the time to write a book. (And where do you get the time to read it all.) I would jump in girl, but... too many doodles to do.

Hey, thanks for using the beam in the eye doodle. It looks good here.

Keep the faith, and, I guess, the fight - because it's working for ya!

Rick said...

That was me above. I forget the change the ID when I type on the wife's computer. But she would say just about the same anyway.

Becky said...

I think it is terribly sad when people like Ken Ham, who have devoted their lives to a cause greater than himself, and in an attempt to share what he believes is truth and bring proof of it, to a curious world is referred to as a religious nutjob.

I don't agree with Darwin...but I don't feel I have to go around calling him an atheist nutjob.

Roland, my friend, if you are SO sure of the things you believe and you have all of the answers, why do you get so angry and resort to namecalling? (You know I love you and support your freedom of ideas policy or I wouldn't be reading the blogs that I consider to be contrary to my beliefs!)

The same goes to anyone else on the blog who is out there mudslinging...because my grandma taught me that you sure can catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

Love the debate...without the hate.

I wish I saw more words like...
I respectfully disagree...etc.

Coffee Bean..you are one brave bloghost! Thanks for allowing us to read and plead here.

The Maid

One Salient Oversight said...

Okay, onto abortion.

1. I believe that once an egg is fertilised, it is a human being. The reason for my belief in this area is based upon the Bible and my evangelical Christian faith.

2. Nevertheless I do not see the point in Christians trying to outlaw abortion via the political and legislative process. I don't expect people who don't have the faith as I do to share the same morals and ethics. From an evangelical Christian perspective, the majority of people in the US (and Australia where I am from) are "unsaved", which means that their decisions and morals are not necessarily going to match mine.

3. I believe the best compromise (and I mean compromise in terms of working together for a common solution rather than denying my Christian morals) is for abortion to be legal and safe but for steps to be taken to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. In this I am pragmatic - I am not so much concerned about legislation and politics as I am with the sheer number of abortions performed. Preventing unwanted pregnancies should be the common goal of pro-choice and pro-life activists.

A more detailed explanation of my position can be found at my blog.

Roland Hulme said...

Hi, Amused Momma,

I'm basing my position on the Catholic and Episcopalian church on two facts. The official position on evolution of John Paul II:

""In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points....Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies -- which was neither planned nor sought -- constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."

Plus, I attended an Episcopalian theological college and took classes in the Episcopalian position. This was back when I was a good, god fearing Christian.

We had one creationist in our class - and his opinion was the butt of many jokes.

AmusedMomma said...

Roland, bravo for featuring something of some authority for the Catholic church's position on evolution.

My google trip showed me that there really isn't an official position. Pope John Paul II was the kind of man who reached out to others a lot, and in so doing often confused the official doctrine of the Catholic church in hopes of everybody singing a round of kumbaya. Not something that I'm seeing in Pope Benedict XVI.

However, your anecdotal "facts" for the Episcopalians doesn't square with my anecdotal findings which are that my extensive realm of friends in various states and countries shows that this is not a common belief among them. More and more the "orthodox" among the Episcopalians are completely in line with the 6-day creation.

Therefore, because we are featuring our own personal experiences which will be inherently different, I suggest we take another avenue to reach a point where we can discuss what you are trying to point out in your comment.

What I'm trying to get at is your statement about there being no truth. But until we establish the difference between fact, anecdotal evidence, inference and logical conclusions, I fear such a discussion would only be frustrating.

Roland Hulme said...

Hi Amused Momma,

My story was only anecdotal in that it described my own experience being taught the officially prescribed episcapalion position on evolution while at an episcapalion theological college.

If you want it in writing, at the 75th convention of the episcapol church, they made this official statement:

"...the theory of evolution provides a fruitful and unifying scientific explanation for the emergence of life on earth, that many theological interpretations of origins can readily embrace an evolutionary outlook, and that an acceptance of evolution is entirely compatible with an authentic and living Christian faith."

The Catholic church and Episcopal church both have official positions they stand by when it comes to evolution. If individual catholics and episcopalians choose not to follow them and would rather believe in the 6-day doctrine, that's their shauri.

As I said earlier, there's no such thing as 'truth.' There are only facts. The facts prove that the earth is not six thousand years old and that mankind evolved over the course of hundred of millions years.

The catholic and episcopal churchs acknowledge these facts and still offer an interpretation of Christianity that's rational and believable.

6-day creationists and the young earth rabble flat out refuse to accept facts and therefore their interpretation of Christianity is rooted in falsehood from the very beginning.

If they refuse to believe in the age of the Earth, they might as well insist that the Earth is flat.

If they refuse to accept fact and rationality, why should we take their anti-gay bigotry seriously? It's all a fairy tale.

Two Dogs said...

One comment on Catholicism. Everything that I have been taught from being involved with the church for forty-four years is that Catholics are told the Bible is to be taken in its literal translation. 6 days, baby! I guess that I just went to the fringes churches. If you look at anything that was decided during the late fifties and early sixties, the opinions of the church were completely contrary to original doctrine. And that wave of administrators relaxed the standards so far that gave us the Lay-Priests that were are involved in molestation. Throw that period out, it was a low period for my beloved church. Hopefully we will never go through the Democrats controlling our church ever again.


Ahhhh the mystery...and the musings of those who believe that have figured out the mind and ways of God...the bigger picture...He got us all talking, and thinking about Him.