Glenn Morton: Why I Left Young-Earth Creationism

In memory of Glenn Morton (1950-2020), Peaceful Science is republishing his personal account and testimony of leaving Young-Earth Creationism.

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Only one possible answer here: He decided that science supersedes the Bible in his epistemology.

I’ll note that he doesn’t mention CPT, since it appears his journey was complete by 1994, the year the big CPT paper came out.

Drawing a blank here. What is CPT?

Probably catastrophic plate tectonics. It was proposed in 94’ I believe.

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I can think of other possible answers. Try replacing “the Bible” with “YEC creationism”.

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I doubt Morton would have been impressed.

https://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/cooling-mm.htm

He wasnt

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The only thing I could think of was “charge-parity-time” and I was completely baffled.

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I’m not a Young Earth Creationist, but a thought occurred to me as I was reading this. Could a global flood have taken place without doing all those things YECers claim it did? Seems most critics point out the impossibility of a global flood being responsible for what YECers claim it was. Perhaps the 30,000 feet of sediments were not deposited by a global flood? Would this rise up to the level of “proof” that a global flood did not happen? I have read several works about a global flood. I cannot recall if any of them discussed what exactly would a global flood like that described in the Bible look like? Just a thought. I am probably missing something but what do you all think?

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Sadly, most Christians equate God’s word with YEC. I did. Notice its the “ONLY ONE possible answer.” I don’t say this to pick on Ben. I say this as someone who used to think this way. I’d like to help Christians like Ben to be at least a little bit more openminded. I know it’s a process and can take several years, as it did I. I grew tired of all the books and ministries claiming their particular reading (I say “reading” because many people think you don’t need to interpret Scripture) is THE ONLY ONE APPROVED BY GOD because IT ALONE IS THE ONLY BIBLICAL VIEW.

The view represented by Ben is part of a whole package. The package needs to be defended because the person has invested his life and salvation on it. It then becomes more of a psychological issue. Please don’t be offended when I say this, but this particular package is a naïve view. You may be basing your Christian life on this false idea that the Bible simply needs to be read to be understood. Or because the Church or ministry you may have become a Christian through preached and taught that their package is THE Biblical one. Being a member of Peaceful Science is a huge step in the right direction. I say that not simply because I think Josh has a corner on the truth, rather because P.S. promotes healthy dialog. Sorry I tend to go on rants! Blessings!

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You’re talking about a global flood that leaves no traces? Well, pile up enough miracles and you could get such a thing. I don’t see any other way. At the least it would kill almost everything. I suppose the really good swimmers among amniotes might survive, like whales, sea otters, and such. Though they would probably starve. And the really deep ocean organisms probably wouldn’t notice the flood. But just about everything else, dead. One would also expect at least a little bit of sediment deposited, probably a graded bed of some kind, worldwide. But a miracle would deal with that. I suppose more miracles would keep life from becoming extinct too. Still, one would think the Egyptians, Chinese, and Sumerians would have noticed.

Well, many ancient civilizations also have stories about a global flood… so that’s one objection that doesnt make sense.

Besides, the bible requires a “global” flood to cover all areas with human beings in them. So, it might actually be possible in various scenarios vis a vis GAE…

That flood always happened a long time before the writer’s date; it’s a legend, in other words. Yet the supposed date of that flood is right when those civilizations are busy recording the events of the year. Any flood should have wiped out those civilizations, or at least should have been mentioned in records. Instead we have the uninterrupted reign of Mentuhotep II, for example.

You presumably mean that it’s a local flood, and that the only “human beings” are the descendants of Adam, so the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Chinese don’t count as human. Sure, go with that.

One of the biggest hurdles a global flood would need to get over is where did all the water come from, and where did it go afterwards? We are talking about a LOT of water.

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I get the feeling that Morton came to the realization that facts matter. His interpretation of the Bible did not line up with the facts of the world so he had to rethink his interpretation of the Bible. He was also concerned with the lack of honesty he saw in the YEC community.

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Besides, the bible requires a “global” flood to cover all areas with human beings in them. So, it might actually be possible in various scenarios vis a vis GAE…

No, it was not a major flood covering the whole world, but a local flood only, in certain areas it seemed appropriate. Perhaps the fault lies in the interpretation of the word “earth” or other words to mean large region. For example, in Southeast Asia, we call the large region or large area where we live as “dunya/dunia” or “benua/banua”, which means “earth” or “continent” in English, even though the area is only the size of a province.

Biblical evidence for a universal Noachian Flood is the“universal” language of Gen. 6-8—words like “earth,” “all,” “every,” and “under heaven.” However, these words are used in other places in the Bible to describe local or regional events and, therefore, cannot necessarily be taken as all-inclusive over the entire planet Earth.

Carol 1.pdf (357.5 KB)

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It seems more like his faith faltered when colleagues didn’t allow him to have doubt or questions. But that’s not biblical - there’s plenty of psalms that express doubt. God understands this experience; but as Christians we’re afraid of it. I think because we don’t trust God enough.

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@John_Harshman:

  1. My original question remains unanswered: Could a global flood have taken place without doing all those things YECers claim it did?

  2. The remainder of your reply sought to answer the question you assumed, not mine. I didn’t mean to imply a global flood that would not leave any evidence, rather a global flood that of course would have effects and consequences, yet not of such (or to the extent) as people like AIG want to claim. No need for miracles.

  3. In the Bible’s account all living things died. So, you are correct here and AIG would say - “Duh!”

  4. Are you not aware of the many ancient flood stories? Enuma Elish? I’m not sure the Chinese were around to notice?

  5. I am puzzled by your constant reference to miracles. Miracles for a global flood that left no trace? Miracles performed by God in order to hide the evidence of a G.F.? I am not sure even G.F. people like AIG refer to miracles to support their propositions. Sounds like you’ve brought into the stereotype that Christians simply throw miracles in when they cannot explain things “naturally.”

  6. Your idea of a G.F. that left no evidence. You affirm the necessity of miracles to support a non-evidence bearing G.F. Again, not at all what my post was referring to. Interesting though, your position stands or falls on how many miracles we can throw in there.

  7. In principle, a global flood could of occurred for which we do not have much or any evidence of. Perhaps, all the other millions of changes on our earth wiped out any evidence? Or perhaps some of the evidence is still open to debate? As a Christian my faith does not stand or fall on any particular interpretation of the biblical flood story. Personally, I think a good argument can be made from Scripture itself that Noah’s flood was a local phenomena expressed in hyperbole for theological purposes.

-Kerry

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You presumably mean that it’s a local flood, and that the only “human beings” are the descendants of Adam, so the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Chinese don’t count as human. Sure, go with that.

When the Prophet Noah preached, the human population at that time was only concentrated in certain areas, say Mesopotamia only and this was what was believed to be a “limited world” at that time. There are no other populations in the world yet. Certainly with the assumptions above the year 3500 BCE. Long before that time, perhaps in the sedentary era (3500-12000 BCE).