Non-Scientist Young Earth Creationist Has Theories for you to Test

I grew up a young earth creationist. I still believe it because I believe Jesus did and it’s the most plain reading of the Bible. I’ve always wanted to study evolution more, and last week came across two of Joshua Swamidass’s interviews on YouTube with Sean McDowell. The topics were fascinating, so I decided to research more clearly what the Bible has said about creation and the flood. But I’ve come up with a lot of interesting theories from a young earth perspective that I wondered if science has addressed, or would just have ignored because they assume the planet has remained similar to its current state - or that change would happen very slowly. And also whether significant change in our planet would affect any of the dating methods used. I’ve only got a very rudimentary understanding of how they work. Like I said, it’s only been a week. If you have resources for me, great. But mostly, I’m interested if you have any scientific knowledge that would PROVE any of my theories first, not disprove them.

Theory 1. The universe is significantly made up of liquid, gas, and light (Genesis 1:2: “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (The earth, according to this passage is some kind of liquid, chaotic form - dry land isn’t created/ doesn’t appear until day 3))

Theory 2: There was a universal, worldwide flood that began because God miraculously opened up Earth’s crust, which had a lot of water at its core. (Genesis 7:11: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.)

More theories sort of follow Theory 2:
2a. This broke up Panagea - or one supercontinent
2b. It was partially the cause of the massive rainfall - breaking up the continent would have caused massive climate change as weather patterns changed over land.
2c. The end of the flood resulted in only a partial breakup of the supercontinent not the current continents we have today.
2d. There was a massive exchange event - more water on the earth’s surface, and carbon from plant life pushing into the earth’s core, which heated into the form it is now.

Theory 3: After such a flooding event, there would be extreme climate change, and very short ice ages in quick succession. (After doing a lot of reading, Psalm 104 is the closest thing we have to the first few chapters of Genesis. I also believe it is referenced in Job, after looking at the texts. (I only have an undergraduate degree, it’s in English) So I believe it’s very early. (I have an email in to my pastors about this :slight_smile: I can’t find any commentators discussing this - most just assume it’s a Psalm of David, because Psalm 103 is identified as such and is the only time "Bless the Lord, oh my Soul is used in the Psalms).) See verse 8: Psalms 104 / Hebrew - English Bible / Mechon-Mamre Translation differ: Some have “they” which refers to water going up mountains and down valleys. Others says it’s actually the mountains rising and valleys lowering. I believe it could be both: Mountains rising with glaciers, valleys lowering with rivers. It gives the Psalm in almost observational tone - as if the writers is there witnessing this. Also notice witnessing of active volcanoes. Both of these would indicate active ice age activities.

More theories follow theory 3:
3a. These ice ages continued to break up continents and also created land bridges, that caused massive migration in order to find food and for for basic survival. Some of the inital migration is described in Genesis 10. This migration is the early hominin record (neandrathals, denisovans)
3b. A second migration occurred that resulted in modern humans. This was from the tower of Babel: Genesis 11:4: "And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Notice they came together after being concerned about excessive migration, and then were disbursed again.

Regarding 3a and b. I’m finding some records to confirm this:

"This, however, throws up a long-established paradox. Language experts are adamant that Pama-Nyungan languages are much younger, dating back 4,000 years, and coinciding with the appearance of new stone technologies in the archaeological record.

Scientists have long puzzled over how – if these communities were completely isolated from each other and the rest of the world – they ended up sharing a language family that is much younger? The traditional answer has been that there was a second migration into Australia 4,000 years ago, by people speaking this language.

But the new research finds no evidence of this. Instead, the team uncovered signs of a tiny gene flow, indicating a small population movement from north-east Australia across the continent, potentially at the time the Pama-Nyungan language and new stone tool technologies appeared." Unprecedented study of Aboriginal Australians points to one shared Out of Africa migration for modern humans | University of Cambridge.

How is human dating done? Couldn’t scientist just agree the dating is wrong, rather than make up genetic ghosts to answer for it? If the creation and flood account is literally correct, the dating must be wrong. Could the massive change in earth, the flood, and successive very fast ice changes result in incorrect dating? I still have too rudimentary of a knowledge to answer that question. When I look at that article I see a very early migration of hominins right after the flood, and then a second of homo sapiens following it. Also here: https://www.haaretz.com/science-and-health/.premium-how-interbreeding-with-denisovans-affected-human-health-1.8913745

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Welcome to the forum @thoughtful. Tell us about yourself?

Sorry to rain on your parade but there are literally hundreds of independent lines of scientific evidence showing 1) the Earth is way way older than 6000 years and 2) there never was a global Noah’s Flood as described in a literal reading of Genesis. Many have been discussed on this forum. I can point you to many scientific papers with this evidence if you like. A true scientist is always willing to let the evidence lead the conclusion and is willing to admit when his/her ideas have been demonstrated wrong. Are you willing to do that?

Welcome to the forum BTW. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Depends on what you mean by “significantly”. The universe is, to a first approximation, empty. Of the part that isn’t empty, light is probably the dominant feature at least by number of particles. Gas is fairly common, though plasma is much more common. Liquid is negligible.

No. All evidence is against such a thing at any time in earth history. Earth has no water at its core, which is almost entirely iron and nickel. It has never had water at its core, since there’s been a core.

There was no flood at the time Pangea broke up; in fact deserts at the beginning of the breakup were probably about as extensive as they’ve ever been. Further, Pangea broke up over a period of around 200 million years.

Certainly the breakup resulted in considerable climate change. But not quickly.

The breakup certainly didn’t happen all at once, but there’s no flood to coincide with any part of it.

There is no carbon in the earth’s core. Carbon wouldn’t heat the core. There is no exchange of material downward into the core and probably none upward, though there is material on the surface from very far down in the mantle.

There were no short ice ages in quick succession; ice ages (meaning cold intervals) last for thousands of years, and there have been only three long periods of ice ages: one in the Precambrian, one in the Permian, and one currently in progress.

None of the ice ages coincide with continental breakup. All such breakups happened long before there were humans, the last break being that between South America and Antarctica, somewhere from 50 to 25 million years ago.

Modern humans emerged in Africa, long before they left to occupy the rest of the world. Migrations out of the Middle East were much more recent, and involved farmers spreading through a Europe that already had modern humans in it.

Generally by radiometric dating of human-associated items, such as charcoal from hearths. Tree rings can help too.

No. There is nothing in those events, even the ones that actually happens, that would cause radiometric dating or tree rings to give false dates.

Now, all those things I’ve said are just assertions. If you’re interested in anything specific I could start to present evidence.

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That is a good thing to research.

What do you think of these two articles?

https://peacefulscience.org/swamidass-confident-fatih.pdf

https://peacefulscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/IsJesusGreater.pdf

Highly recommend this blog:

It will introduce you to some of the lines of evidence for an old earth in the context of addressing YEC theories.

Yes. Please link the strongest cases, but I’m mostly interested in the underlying assumptions of the science and if you have any articles or papers that describe this in layman’s terms. And I’m curious what types of evidence prove age - and which ones are considered the most consistent. And if there are any circumstances which would make such evidence inconsistent. For instance, I googled carbon dating, and one of the first hits was that our burning of fossil fuels would make carbon dating inaccurate. Well, if that’s the case, other things can too.

This post, and the specific links I reference, is an excellent starting point: Lake Varves, Volcanic Ash, and the Great Isaiah Scroll

What do you think?

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I live in WA state. Mom to two little boys. I enjoy researching and learning. I cringe at bad science shared on Facebook. During COVID, it’s really hard to be on social media. haha.

I’ve been a Christian all my life. I enjoy listening to apologists. Since I got a bachelor’s in English, as an adult, my favorite way to worship in Bible study is to notice the themes in the Bible throughout all the books and genres. While studying the things in my post above, I was fascinated by biblical references to water/cloud and fire/light. I also write poetry - often biblically inspired, often about trees - another favorite biblical theme.

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Feel free to respond to anything I followed up on with evidence.

First of all, it’s great writing! I appreciate it when people have beauty and clarity in their writing, with my B.A. in English. I’d agree with all of the confident faith article. I appreciate your emphasis on idolatry. So many things can be idols, and reading this helped shape how I should think about this conversation. Mostly, I think hearing your interview made me curious if any other scientists are affirming other scientific facts in the Bible. For instance, you were reaffirming genealogical science (if there is such a discipline). So I suppose I was looking back at the first few chapters of Genesis to see if there’s claims that can be tested. I found Psalm 104 fascinating for both it’s combination of profound doctrinal statements and observation about creation. So my post and interest is curiosity. Even if I don’t agree about a de novo creation toward the end of the earth’s history, at least your book shows imagination. I just wonder if any science today has any imagination at all. I found my imagination going all kinds of places as I studied these passages fully. The fact that scientists are accepting genetic ghosts rather than positing differing theories of why dating could be wrong is interesting to me. I like interesting. As you mentioned, studying the Bible more, and learning about creation more, leads to worship.

In the “Is Jesus Greater” article, I see your heart for sharing the gospel of Jesus with other scientists. The resurrection is the claim that matters.

As far as what will happen for Christians who feel they need to defend Jesus, I don’t wonder what will happen if science finds evidence for natural origins of life. I was curious about these questions before and stumbled on a few articles that science doesn’t yet have an explanation for natural origins of sex or gender, much less life itself…

I suppose as a young earth creationist, I already need to have a completely skeptical view of science in order to hold such a position.

Since I agreed with 90% of the second article, in case you wonder what I disagree with, one thing was that you had a different emphasis on God creating us out of the dust than I would. I would say that it shows the difference between us and angels, who were not created of anything natural, as far as we know. It shows we are both physical and spiritual beings. It shows the interest of the Son of God on taking on this human nature.

The other thing I disagreed with, was your reference to the verse about causing the little ones to stumble. It’s a reference to young believers, not unbelieving skeptics. As I’m thinking of it, I don’t think the Bible has any reprimands for sharing our faith incorrectly or unwisely, only commands to be ready to share if anyone asks, and says to go everywhere preaching the gospel. If know of one though, please correct me.

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There’s something wrong with the way you’re quoting, but I’m not sure what it is. Your comments appended to the quoted material from me, which makes them a bit hard to read.

You should read more about plate tectonics, which is what’s actually the cause of all this. It works very slowly, and both its history and (somewhat less) its mechanisms are fairly well understood.

We can observe it happening right now in real time. We can use radiometric dating and remanent magnetism to determine the timings of events. Hotspots such as the Hawaiian Islands and their more ancient, sunken relatives provide additional clues.

You can Google “mantle plume”. The material emerging at hot spots is said to come from very deep in the mantle. Hawaii is an example.

That’s one of the lines of evidence. Remanent magnetism (the orientation of magnetic particles in old rocks) can tell the latitude of ancient continents. Fossils and geological structures are another. You can also look up the previous super-contient, “Rodinia”, for more information. No, carbon doesn’t affect magnetism, and the article you googled is about events that happened long before there were continents. It does appear that I was mistaken about this though: there seem to be significant amounts of lighter elements in the core, including a fair amount of carbon; however, there is no indication that carbon has left the core since very early in earth history.

New Guinea is an interesting assemblage. Part of it is the northernmost bit of Australia, and part of it is an island arc resulting from Australia’s moving north and the subduction of the Australian plate. I think you mean “as late as 18,000”; yes, due to changes in sea level, New Guinea has sometimes been connected to mainland Australia.

The migration was from Africa, though it certainly passed through the Middle East. This however was long before the time you want and has nothing to do with Babel. Many human populations have a few percent of genetic material from neandertals and/or denisovans, which othewise separated from H. sapiens 500 to 700 thousand years ago.

For the reason you note: dilution of carbon-14 by ancient carbon that contains almost none. However, this is a recent phenomenon and can’t affect materials that are thousands of years old. There are other factors that affect carbon dating, but none of them have huge effects sufficient to change dates by more than a few percent, certainly not enough for your purposes. Calibration using tree rings shows the pattern of change in C14 in the atmosphere over the past 14,000 years or so. C14 dating is only useful out to around 60,000 years. Other isotopes are used for older stuff, and that’s how rocks millions or billions of years old are dated. Nothing significantly affects those processes.

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I’m pretty busy today but will put something together when I can. One thing you can do is research the scientific term consilience. It means when you have multiple independent lines of evidence pointing to the same conclusion (say age of an object) then you can have greatly increased the chance of the conclusion being correct.

Consilience

Consilience is a very important concept in science because getting independent verification of results goes a long way towards confirming the results. Later I’ll show you how radiocarbon dating (C14) is independently calibrated back to 50,000 years by at least a dozen independent methods. Tree rings, lake varves, ice core samples, ocean core samples, speleothems (cave stalactites), coral growth bands, volcanic tephra, etc. YECs have thought up an excuse to ignore each data set separately but they can never explain why so many different independent data sets all agree with each other so closely.

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Welcome @Thoughtful Valerie! :slight_smile:

I’d like to take a different approach - instead of aiming a firehose of information at you, I’m posting links to some Facebook groups for Christians who accept evolution. You might find it helpful to chat with like-minded people and learn their perspectives on religion and science.

And of course our own FB group … :slight_smile:

One more thing - learning about science don’t mean you have to accept the science. Try to understand what we can learn from science first. You may eventually come to a new perspective on belief … or not … that’s up to you. :slight_smile:

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I’d like to agree with the flagged comment. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. Who are you going to believe, me or your own lyin’ eyes?

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And if the dating is correct, the creation and flood account must be not literally correct. Nor is it enough to just agree the dating is wrong, you’d need to find out why it’s wrong - otherwise it’d just be personal preference - and there’s already an obvious reason why the bioblical account might be wrong.

Also, it’s not just your specific dating examples that need to be dropped - almost all dating techniques would need to be discarded. As would almost all of geology. And astronomy. And large swathes of biology, botany, linguistics, archaeology, physics, oceanography and palaeontology. In fact, you’d need to ignore results from every science from acoustics and aerodynamics to zoology and zymurgy, with no reason to believe any of it is wrong apart from it disagreeing with something else that itself might be wrong. That’s without asking why all these different sciences whoch use completely different data and techniques are all wrong in precisely the same way.

Finally, if the creation account is literally correct, the expectation is that the science results would support it - so if they don’t, you need to explain why. But if the science results are correct, there’s no equivalent expectation that religious texts would necessarily match them - hence no problem.

Discrepancies between YEC and scientific results are problems only for YEC.

Good luck solving them, because there’s no reason to agree that any of science is wrong until you have.

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Here is a good guide to radiometric dating from a Christian. It’s little old now, but the science hasn’t changed much since 2002.

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P.S. How do ice ages break up continents?

They wouldn’t. I suppose instead, it’d be more reasonable the other way around. Plate tectonics - earthquakes, volcanoes, ocean level effects would cause climate change. As I said, I’m not a scientific mind. Science has only been an interest in the last 5-10 years. I paid no attention in school and liked all other subjects better. Oops. Forgive my misstatements.

Yes, except for my belief system. But from a scientific perspective only, yes.