Does Appearance of Age Render God a Deceiver?

(Ashwin S) #67

On another note… what about “miracles” of chance?
It seems to me that any coherent explanation of the universe at some point or the other relies on “miracles”.

(Robert Byers) #68

I don’t think the speed of light is in top ten. yet i do suspect there is no speed of light from genesis account.
instead light is the essence of the universe and is everywhere. it never moves only something within it.
probably off thread.

(Robert Byers) #69

actually this is a favorite subject of mine. i wrote an essay called “Post Flood Marsupial Migration Explained” by Robert Byers. just google.
The marsupials are placentals that upon migrating to nthe farthest areas from the ark, S America/australia, in order to increase reproduction for a limited timeframe, before the waters rose to present levels. became what we call marsupial. Also a few minor traits in the rest of the body.
Biogeography is a friend to creatyionist truth. not the others.

(Ashwin S) #70

Can you explain further? Do any YEC physicists hold to this view? It sounds like an argument based on semantics. isn’t the part that moves what physicists call light?

(Ashwin S) #71

Thanks for the link. It’s really interesting… will go through it.

(Daniel Ang) #72

If that is true then the entire human enterprise of science is completely wrong and misguided. I would be doubtful of that because of how successful, elegant, and beneficial science (including the science of origins) has turned out to be.

(Ashwin S) #73

Of course not.
Only the parts where uniformitarianism is not valid. Or miracles did not happen.
Most and arguably all of the tangible benefits of science do not need the laws of science to be applicable billions of years ago and it does not depend on ancient history. It works in the present.

(Greg) #74

Hi Dan. The title given next to my name is “young earth creationist” the title by my name should be “Christian who believes that the theory of evolution that rides on the back of the philosophy of evolutionism is contrary to the God of the Bible” that is my main beef. So i am much more concerned about how people may become deceived from coming to true understanding of the gospel through evolutionism as espoused through evolutionary models than i am concerned that people might think that God is deceiving them when the science surrounding dating methods does not match the bible.

But while we are on that topic, the question we must ask is what in our finite minds makes us think that God would be deceptive surrounding earth age discrepencies betw bible and our dating methods? There are far more radical mysteries than this such as how can God blame us from not choosing Him when ultimately it is Him choosing us into His kindgom where He presents His love and in a way so profound, the person cannot resist!

When Paul was confronted by the philosophers of his day with this seeming philosophical dilemna as recorded in Romans, Paul did not give in to the seeming illogic a posed by the philosophers. He said this: But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?

So I understand the quagmire in this scenario over the age of the earth. But i dont know that we should give in too quickly with agreeing with science… It has taken years and years and years of my pondering the age of the earth…everything from studying the Bible to learning hundreds of perspectives. Now i lean young earth. I understand that those who believe that science dates the earth old and i also see how science declares numerous problems with a multi billion yr old earth too. What i dont understand completely is God. I know Him through Jesus, but only understand Him a fraction. He transcends nature, transcends our knowledge base infinitely, and He does not owe us explanations. So when i see a discrepancy between how science ages the earth and what God seems to say in His Word, i dont see this as deception, but rather grounds for humility before a God who is glorious beyond our wildest understandings. And when someone tries to pin me down for my opinion about the age of the earth, i do not submit all of the regular scientific arguments frim yecs. I submit to them that the God of the Bible I am reading about is quite capable of constructing this earth in a way that our feable science is completely incapable of detecting the age of. If the age of the earth is young, thats not an example of deception. Thats perhaps an example of a lack of faith in a real God who transcends the world and all the systems within!

(John Harshman) #75

What, in this case, is the X God is telling us is true? Are you referring to the YEC interpretation of Genesis? Since God made things look the way they look, and the way they look is consistently that the world and universe re ancient, that’s deception. God might have a perfectly good reason for deception (though I can’t see any possibility of that), but it’s still deception. That he never promised he wouldn’t deceive us doesn’t change that either. There’s a difference between a liar (verbal) and a deceiver (action).

I’m afraid I don’t understand the difference between 2 and 3. Why is the flood special? Appearance of no flood and appearance of age seem to me to be identical cases of deception.

A very small number. It would be necessary, for example, to have some kind of soil, but there’s no need for that soil to contain particles with the same composition as nearby rock formations. It would be necessary for there to be river beds, but no need for canyons with incised meanders. Everything that’s necessary contains myriad unnecessary features that proclaim it to be old.

How did God tell them this? And why a self-consistent universe that looks old? Wouldn’t a universe that looks young also be self-consistent? I do not understand this explanation.

If so, then he’s doing a bad job of it, since all the evidence points to an old earth. There’s no significant ambiguity in that. The evidence is quite clear. I don’t understand that explanation either. My working hypothesis is that neither explanation makes sense.

I’m happy to tolerate any dissent at all, but that doesn’t mean I can’t argue against what they say, and so far I see nothing coherent anyway. I’d say that it’s the sheer consistency of the evidence for an old earth, common descent, etc. that makes deception the only explanation that leaves YEC viable. One could argue that the reasons for that deception are benign or unknowable, but I don’t see how one could legitimately argue against deception.

(John Harshman) #76

I’d say that the main problems for YEC arise from just about anything you care to examine, including biogeography. Specifically concerning Australia, the biggest biogeographic problem concerns the flood and its aftermath. All the marsupials would have to exit the ark, cross half the world without leaving a trace, and end up where they did. Depending on which sediments you think are flood deposits and which are younger, they would return to the same places their fossils are. That calls for a few extra miracles, including getting from Australia to Mesopotamia in order to board the ark in the first place. Any problem science has with explaining the distribution of marsupials is several orders of magnitude worse for YECs.

(Ashwin S) #77

Is a gap in fossil evidence a definitive proof that marsupials did not travel as they did?
If they travelled fast, chances of fossilisation would be less.
Yes, miracles would be required. But I would expect YEC guys who propose this would not have any problem with miracles.
Science however cannot rely on miracles. And though evolutionary accounts may be comparatively more comfortable in the case of marsupials in Australia, there are other challenges that require some special things to happen. Like animals crossing oceans on rafts or swiming across…

(John Harshman) #78

What do you mean by “as they did”? Do you realize that there was no flood, no ark, no great migration of all animals from Mesopotamia 4500 or so years ago? Anyway, by “leaving no trace” I refer to the absence of extant marsupials. Why did they all rush at great speed to Australia and South America, where all their fossils are?

Actually, they try to minimize the miracles, especially the ones unattested in Genesis. This allows them to maintain a pretense of science.

That’s a change of subject. Why would you call rafts and swimming miracles?

(Ashwin S) #79

Ok, I will rephrase that to “did not travel as proposed by the YECs”.

In Genesis, God seems to have had a role to play in bringing the animals to the ark. It doesn’t mention redistributing them… but it’s not much of a stretch

I didn’t change the subject. If you read what j have been saying all along, you will find mentions of rafts. I wouldn’t call it a miracle in terms of something supernatural. However the idea of an animal swimming across large bodies of water seems “miraculous”… definitely not something organisms normally do.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #80

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.

(Ashwin S) #81

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.

(Ashwin S) #83

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.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #85

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

(Joshua Hedlund) #87

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?)