I hesitate to even give this thread a bump, but YECs do not claim the Bible is a scientific text. It is a historical text and its truth claims should be evaluated in an entirely different field than science.
Sometimes there will be overlap, but this is not unusual or difficult to understand and deal with in contexts other than origins.
In this example, the argon-argon dating method is claimed to be accurate as measured against historical sources. In other words, history is assumed to be correct on the date of the Vesuvius eruption and the accuracy of the argon-argon dating method is measured against history.
All YECs are doing is that exact same thing. We’re just doing it based on certain aspects of history as recorded by the Bible, which is controversial.
The problem is YECs always ignore the millions of confirmed consilient examples which show the Earth is much older than their 6000 year old claim. Things like the Jiahu culture in China which has been dated by at least four independent methods back to at least 9500 years before present (YBP) . Or better yet, C14 dating which has been calibrated against at least a dozen independent yearly dating proxies back to over 60,000 YBP.
We don’t ignore it. We accept the historical record as accurate and scientific methologies that contradict it as innaccurate.
This is where falsification comes in. What scientific evidence would it take to falsify your interpretation of Genesis? [note: I am talking about falsifying an interpretation, not Genesis itself]
For example, what features would a geologic formation need in order to falsify a young Earth or a recent global flood? What features would a fossil need to falsify special creation?
Just because you don’t accept the results of measurements doesn’t make the measurements less accurate. The measurements are facts and provide evidence for conclusions that are reached regardless if you accept them or not. Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true no matter how hard you try.
If you reject scientific evidence because it contradicts your hypothesis then you are ignoring the evidence. The only reason you think radiometric dating is inaccurate is because it contradicts a young Earth. This means YEC is unfalsifiable, and is therefore not scientific.
Of course you ignore all the physical evidence which directly refutes your particular young Earth interpretations. Do you really need it explained again just because some places and events mentioned in the Bible are real doesn’t mean all places and events mentioned are? Scotland Yard is a real place but that doesn’t mean Sherlock Holmes was a real living person.
Already there are 2 huge assumptions embedded in this statement. The assumptions are:
- Historiography in the Ancient Near East is identical to modern historiography.
- The literary genre of the early chapters of Genesis is definitely history, as opposed to exalted narrative, poetry, or etiological narrative.
Augustine, the greatest theologian in the history of Christianity, had an interesting perspective on the use of science in Biblical hermeneutics. Have you studied the works of Augustine, Ben? Are you interested in learning more?
Oh, you gotta be kidding me! Apart from his most famous theological works (Original Sin and inherent guilt), I like Augustine just fine. But the greatest theologian? Come on!
And, you want someone who had a good allegorical reading of the scripture? Try Gregory of Nyssa (the actual greatest theologian in history of Christianity), compared to him, Augustine was a bloody literalist.
Sorry, but earth history is a science.
I appreciate the reminder that Gregory, Athanasius, Origen and other eastern / Orthodox theologians are worthy in every respect. I certainly need to reformulate what I said.
Would it help if I revised the statement to: “Augustine is the greatest theologian in the western tradition out of which Catholicism and Protestantism have grown”?
Meh, I consider Ambrose of Milan to be the greatest western theologian, but considering that he used a lot of eastern thought, I’ll allow it.
I think Paul might be the greatest theologian. He grappled the transition between two eras, before and after Jesus, and he did so with more insight than the original disciples themselves.
Even as an atheist, I will agree with that one. I will even toss in the Deutero-Pauline letters for good measure. They are canon for a reason.
He was definitely politically astute. Throwing out circumcision certainly removed a practical blocker for conversion…
Falsification isn’t a historical methodology. YEC is a historical claim, so if you want to falsify it you would have to make a contrary historical claim citing historical evidence. So for instance some archaelogical find that casts doubt on Genesis as an accurate and credible historical record.
Scientific methodologies are not very reliable when they aren’t able to directly observe and test something.
I have actually. You probably know the passage where Augustine speculates that days weren’t 24 hours before the creation of the sun. That’s not the most relevant passage in Augustine if you want to actually know whether he thought Genesis was history or not. This is:
“They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed.”
St. Augustine, City of God, Book XII, chapter 10, “Of the Falseness of the History Which Allots Many Thousand Years to the World’s Past”, 426 A.D.
A lot of civilizations have records during the time of the flood. Yet there is no mention of it and life seems to go on as normal. Something like that?
Sure. What did you have in mind?