Does Appearance of Age Render God a Deceiver?

It is a stretch @Ashwin_s on several levels. Not least of which there is no indication any Ancient manuscripts of the existence of kangaroos and other animals, nor could the possibly have been referring to a flood that covers Australia. This requires so many unattested miracles that it is no wonder this question largely is avoided in YEC literature.

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Yes it requires unattested miracles. Miracles not mentioned in the Bible is not a theological problem perse.
Though I agree we can make a better case challenging YEC on their interpretation of the events in Genesis than trying to corner them on things like biogeography.

It’s not the gap. It is the rather unbelievable scenario where marsupial mice and marsupial moles could leave the Ark and then travel from the MIddle East to Australia, but no placental mammals could do the same. Why could marsupial moles make the trip but not antelopes or rabbits? It doesn’t make sense.

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Sure…But then as per the current understanding of science, at some point in history millions of years ago, marsupials travelled from South America to Australia while mammals did not.

It’s the same thing. Why should it be a problem for YEC when it’s not a problem for evolutionary theory?

Much simpler to stick to things like the speed of light and decay rates.

That is wrong. Marsupials were spread out over all continents since there were no placental mammals. It was only after Australia split from S. America did placental mammals evolve in the rest of the world and replace nearly all of the marsupial species in the rest of the world. It was Australia’s isolation that prevented the same thing from happening on that continent.

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15 posts were split to a new topic: Enigmatic Rafting Monkeys

I have thought about this before - for example it has come up in hypothetical scenarios where God creates a Garden of Even with a “false history” of variable tree rings and river deposits, but suppose it was nonetheless a coherent “history” with the apparent intention of humans uncovering it, for various possible reasons. I have a related question that may perhaps be for the physicists in the room, though I don’t know if it will make sense.

If we ask the question of whether or not a “coherent history” really happened or was pre-programmed in some sense… does even asking that question presuppose in some sense the objectivity of time, which we know now is in some sense an illusion? (dimensions of space-time, Einstein’s relativity, arrows of time theories, ideas of God being outside time, etc, etc) Is there any sense in which we could say that the real answer to such a question doesn’t even matter, or that there is no meaningful difference between the two, depending on our relation to space-time?

(Or to frame it in a way that gets dangerously close to the old problem of the tree falling in the empty forest, if there were no conscious creatures besides God for the first 13 billion years of the universe, does it even make sense to talk about whether or not those years were “played” or “experienced” at “normal speed,” “fast-forward speed,” or “instantaneously”? Experienced for whom?)

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Would it be acceptable to refer to you as “The Greg who formerly said ‘Ni!’”? :grin:
If you wish, you may label me “Agnostic Biostatistician”.

I think I understand what you are saying, though I would say it differently. In my terms, the scientific estimates for the age of the Earth should have no bearing on the value you place in your faith, whatever that value may be. To be otherwise implies that the value of faith is somehow contingent on science, which should not be the case.

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Someone is tinkering with my title.
Can we make that "Agnostic Biostatistician who says ‘Ni!’ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I don’t recall any fossil evidence of marsupials outside their present range, but I could be wrong. However, placentals have been around since the Paleocene, including in South America, while Australia didn’t separate from Antarctica until as recently as mid-Eocene. In addition, there are plenty of non-placental Eutherians known from outside South America and Australia from the Late Cretaceous. It would be really nice if we knew more about the Paleogene fauna of Antarctica, but we really don’t know why placentals didn’t become common in Australia until fairly recently.


This should be the view of any Christian… whether they propose Special Creation, Evolution, or both.

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And so in one fell swoop… you demonstrated your alienation from Science and from Peaceful Science.

It gives me the inspiration to write a documentary about God deciding to show the lack of credibility of some Extrememe Miracle Zealots by planting a vision in the mind of a Creationist in which placental mammals are miraculously changed to marsupials… and for no reason at all.

Such as?


The appearance of age is only a problem for those who think God WANTED the author of Genesis 1 to communicate literal days.

The same goes for the Firmament, or talking animals or a flat earth with corners or a flat earth with a dome.

The whole point of PeacefulScience is to accept the straightforward interpretarion of natural evidence… but to allow for an historical Adam and Eve … for theological reasons.

I agree. This does not work terribly well on the age of the earth. But it still does not cast God as deceiver. For common descent and Reasons to Believe in an old earth framework, it might work better.

A better term would be a “virtual” history vs. a “physical” history. Both would real histories. In the same way that the Matrix simulation is still a real reality, an alternate reality. The history is not false. It is a real and coherent story that could have happened, and perhaps even did in the Mind of God.

I once put this forward and engaged theologians on it.

Let us imagine that God creates a fully grown tree today, and places it in a forest. A week later, a scientist and a theologian encounter this tree. The theologian believes that God is trustworthy and has clearly communicated to him that this tree was created just a week ago. The scientist bores a hole in the tree, and counts its rings. There are 100 rings, so he concludes that the tree is 100 years old. Who is right? In some senses, both the scientist and the theologian are right. God created a one week old tree (the true age) that looks 100 years old (the scientific age). Moreover, it would be absurd for the theologian to deny the 100 rings that the scientist uncovered, or to dispute the scientific age of the tree. Likewise, the scientist cannot really presume to disprove God.

Instead, the theologian should wonder why God would not leave clear, indisputable evidence that the tree is just a week old. My question to the theologians: Why might God choose not to leave evidence that this 100-year old tree is on week old? Alternatively, why might God choose to leave evidence that the week-old tree is 100 years old? 1

The reaction from Lutheran theologians has been really interesting (curious @Philosurfer and @Andrew_Loke’s thoughts on this). Lutherans love the analogy because it reveals a paradox. They insist that the tree is both 1 week old (physical age) and 100 years old (virtual age). Both ages are true at the same time. It is a paradox. Science legitimately gives us the virtual age of the tree. God is not lying when he tells us the physical age of the tree.

So this parable shows how both science and theology can be mutually contradictory and simultaneously correct at the same time. I’d add too, there is no reason this couldn’t work in a YEC scenario as long as (1) the flood was not global, and (2) there were people outside the garden. Field test this and you will quickly find that YEC is far more concerned with scientific proof and the global flood than the age of the earth.

These are all merely musings. I do not think any of them are required by Scripture (@deuteroKJ and @Jordan ), however some of them might be helpful in contexts where belief statements at religious institutions insist on age of the earth affirmations. This gives a logically coherent loop hole that can’t be closed to affirm evolutionary science.

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no aleins but biblical boundaries, imagination, and research. did you read the essay?

The change to a marsupial mode would be within anything of biology that brings change. like changing peoples colours after the flood and very quickly and a whole population upon migration to some area.
just watch on google or youtube the last living marsupial wolf. moving or vstill pictures. its a wolf!!
the reproductive details are trivial.
the creatures in australia were the same as elsewhere but only changed, i say to increase reproductive ability, upon migration. S america too.
this was a common theme in many orders of creatures as shown in the fossil record.

There is a better idea. no need for impossible group migrations and exclusion of groups. this never happened. afterr the flood its impossible, in a limited timeframe to fill the earth as god commanded, for marsupials to hold hands and head to s america/australia and not placentals. IMPOSSIBLE.
therefore investigation will show all creatures migrated together with no discrimination.
the answer is that marsupials are placentals with pouches. Thats why they are the great case study of what is called convergent evolution. thats why there are marsupial wolves, lions, mice, moles etc etc living or extinct.
Yet in fact there was no convergent evolution but only a adaptation in minor details of the creatures to change reproductive modes.
On the youtube/google there are moving/still pictures of the last marsupial wolf. Watch and see if you are open to the idea its just another dog with a pouch(for the girls).!
Then the equation of post flood marsupial migration is explained.

We may laugh at this. But it seems to be a quite common view in the YEC community.

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If i get what you are suggesting. Its that marsupials evolved from a common ancestor that was a placental. For example, marsupial moles would have evolved from regular moles,marsupial wolves from regular wolves etc… Is this what you want to convey?
Perhaps its possible. After all biologists here tell me that it doesn’t take too many mutations to create big changes. Maybe some kind of virus was involved in creating the change.