419 Creationism

An honest person would qualify the claim with, “At least in this single case, it appears that both sides are interpreting the same evidence.”

Making a global claim on the basis of a cursory look constitutes intentional dishonesty.

I disagree. We see it virtually every day here, when an IDcreationist gets caught in a false claim. If they believed the claims and had deceived themselves, they wouldn’t run away and/or change the subject.

There’s clearly enough self-awareness and rationality that they predictably break off from trying to defend false claims.



The strategy works whether it is a scam or not… and specifically for exercising political influence that is believed to be “temporarily outnumbered”.

The hard part is distinguishing between the deceivers and the deceived. There are many, many honest YEC’s out there, but like any group there are the bad apple. For example, there was a long running argument in the world of YEC that bent strata in geologic formations didn’t have cracks which meant it was soft when it was bent. There were some photos to go along with this argument. The kicker is that the YEC who was taking the photos had people stand in front of the cracks so they wouldn’t show up in the picture. There’s thread on the subject over at BioLogos:

There is no way around the fact that the YEC who took these pictures knew they were purposefully deceiving those they showed the photo to. However, it is easy to see why other YEC’s could be honestly deceived by these types of practices.


Well, this is news to me. Do you know who took this picture?

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I believe Andrew Snelling, or someone working with him, did.

I’d love to see someone try to defend this as anything but deliberate deception.
There’s no way to get this starting from sincerity.


Hi Joshua. So i have read some of what you wrote and find you respectable in your opinions. I have many friends w AIG as i live close to northern KY where their home base is and honestly really respect most of the folks i know. On the other hand, i do sense at times, like yourself perhaps maybe too much license on the part of some at AIG to fit the science into the faith thus causing the science to be unscientific. (Naturalistic evolutionism does the same) i actually wrote an email to Dr. Kurt Wise about this as i know he has confronted some w these yec groups about this very thing which probably put a damper on his relationship w the parachurch orgs.
Dr. Wise said that he as a young earth creationist has chosen to trust a more obvious interpretation of Scripture and relay what are the good scientific bits of information that are agreeable to the picture in Scripture he believes.
When it comes to geology, here is a snipet below that i saw recently (if someone already shared this i beg for your forgiveness) about coal seams that seem to be agreeable to a genesis flood model. I would imagine that Dr. Wise as a harvard trained paleontologist would have some good understanding of geology so i have no reason to question the validity of his argument here. Do you know about this and any rebuttles to his opinion here?


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I’m not even a geologist and I can help you unpack that steaming pile of YEC nonsense.

1. Coal Beds Generally Have Flat Tops and Bottoms.

Sediment layers are deposited in water. Water lays flat due to gravity so the sediment deposition is flat. Have you ever seen a 45 deg. tilted sea or ocean? Also due to plate tectonic movement you can easily find vertical coal seams. How did they occur in just a few thousand years?

2. Coal Beds Consist of Identifiable Plant Parts

Yes but they’re all from plants which existed hundreds of millions of years ago such as long extinct lycopods and sphenopsids. You never find modern deciduous trees like oak or walnut or birch in coal mines. Why is that?

3. The Rock Layers Between Coal Seams Often Contain Marine Fossils

The ingression and regression of inland seas in the Carboniferous period took millions of years to occur. That’s plenty of time for plenty of forest growth. Why is it a problem? Also the only marine fossils found are from species which have been extinct for hundreds of millions of years like ichthyosaurs. You never find the fossils of extant marine creatures like whales or porpoises. Why is that?

4. Coal Can Be Formed Quickly Under the Right Conditions

There’s no evidence those conditions were ever present across the whole planet at the world’s coal seams. Besides, such heat and pressures would cook Noah and squash the Ark like a grape. Oops!

Is that enough or should I continue the curb stomping of YEC sillyness?


Are there any adult geologists in the room who can help unpack if there is some legitimacy in Harvard trained paleontologist Dr. Kurt Wise’s assessment here? Is there someone who can give a nod on this assessment having at least a reasonable possibility of being true?

LOL! Why did I know Greg would duck the valid criticisms and desperately keep looking for something, anything to prop up his YEC hero’s ridiculous claims? :smile:

ETA: I love the way Greg had to add “Harvard trained” as if that gives more truthiness to Wise’s nonsense. Creationists sure love their arguments from authority, don’t they? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Many here will chafe at the equivalence - but I do agree in the broadest sense - we are all subject to biases and self-delusion, and we are all tempted to dehumanize other groups and apply nefarious intent to their actions when we don’t understand them. Thus, in our politicized polarized age, why it’s so important to mingle peacefully with people who hold different views! (both to help reveal our own self-delusions and remind ourselves of the self-delusions - rather than the evil - of others)

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Greg, you may be interested in exploring the site GeoChristian - a Christian geologist who disagrees gracefully with YEC both Scripturally and scientifically.

Another site may be Age of Rocks, from another Christian geologist, which has many posts about coal.


I am not tempted but commanded to call into question MY personal dehumanizing self delusion when i dont understand MYSELF. My body and mind consumes a speck of sand space in a universe millions of light years large and before an infinite God who knows all things. The basis of judgement towards others is many times skewed to appeal to my livlihood, personal vandetta, and political views. Even the highest form of righteousness i can muster is like filthy rags in the eyes of My Maker. In my flesh, and selfish sense of things, i want to make lots of friends for myself by being agreeable and accomodating to their every thinking and action. As I contemplate the reality of the smallness of my being and all human existence relative to a Holy God, i have concluded that true peace is faux peace when it is not bound around the truth of the existence of our Maker whose words that describe Himself are plainly written. Have I misinterpreted and twisted His Words to accomodate my self delusion? I am sorrowful to say that this is very true and much too often. But on my sharpest days abiding in my Savior do i think it is wise to accomodate the sense of things in His Word to the opinions of man including historical science surrounding how mankind arrived on this planet? By His grace, the answer to this is a resounding “no.”

I am not interested to hear about how yec parachurch groups twist science, calling it science to fit their stance. I already know these things. I am interested to hear honest discussion around the tidbits of good scientific thought that supports a flood model like what Wise suggests in the video. Is it true that there are different coal seams have sediment layers on top and between layers with marine fossils? What could possibly explain this? Maybe your resource addresses this.

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TRANSLATION: “I’m not interested in learning any actual geology. Just tell me things I want to hear which prop up my religious YEC beliefs”.

Greg couldn’t be more close-minded if he tried.

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I don’t think you are being charitable to Greg here. I interpret him as saying, “I know there are a lot of bad YEC arguments out there, and I’m not interested in learning about more of them. But here is a particular factual claim [“different coal seams have sediment layers on top and between layers with marine fossils”] that to me sincerely makes sense interpreted by a flood model, and I want to know A) is the factual claim even true - independent of interpretations of how it was deposited - and B) if it is true, what is the conventional interpretation of how it was deposited?”

(This is actually a fairly common experience with YEC material. A factual claim is made about geology, and then it is claimed that this fact can only be interpreted by a flood model, which seems like a reasonable inference to the YEC reader. I can’t speak to this particular claim, although generally I have found that an honest and detailed examination of the claim reveals that while the original claim is not entirely false, it has been unfairly simplified, and that when it is examined in detail, it is actually opposed to YEC models - Soft tissue in dinosaur bones is a good example of this. But this can only occur in a dialogue if both parties are willing and able to take time to explore the details, which often is not the case.)

Greg, I think you will find that most old-Earth Christians agree with you on this general point, but they simply disagree that His Word actually supports young-Earth theology, so they don’t believe they are doing any such “accomodating”.

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It’s the only thing that they have.

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It’s a rather straightforward explanation. Sea levels change over time. If a large portion of the polar ice caps melted right now, most of Florida would be under water. During the last glaciation sea levels were drastically lower, opening up areas like the Bering land bridge that allowed humans to populate North America. Sections of continents can also be uplifted through tectonic forces. Geology is never static and is always changing.

Another one of the arguments that seemed problematic is the claim that coal can form quickly which indicates a young Earth. Even if we take this flawed claim at face value it still doesn’t indicate a young Earth. It only takes a few weeks to build a house, so does that mean the Earth is just a few months old? How quickly something can form does not tell us WHEN it was formed.


We are indeed. Science is a formal method for countering those; we have to take our most beloved hypotheses and try to falsify them. Pseudoscience is a way of reinforcing those while pretending to be science, because science works.

What’s your take on the AIG photo?

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