Question to the YLC...Why Not Eras and Epochs?

Okay @r_speir, I have a question. Others can participate here, but please do not distract. I really want to understand this Young Life Creation position, its limits and flexibility.

YLC accepts that the earth is old, but believes that life as we know began just thousands of years ago. Others have focused on the challenges from the fossil record to this, because it seems (to all of us) to show that life is ancient too, not just the cosmos, not just the earth.

So I have a set of questions @r_speir.

  1. What do you mean by life? Do you include bacteria? What about plants? Many YEC do not include bacteria and plants as “life” because they imagine they died in the garden, and they do not have sentience or self-awareness. So, when you say “life” was young, does that include bacteria and plants? What about non-sentient animals (e.g. sponges)?

  2. What if there were epochs or eras of life, and life as we know it now is recent, but God might have filled the earth in the past with other ecosystems, but they all eventually came to end before our beginning just a few thousand years ago?

What do you think about this scenario of prior epochs and eras of life? Life as we know it would still be young. This would explain many of the ancient fossil deposits.They all would be life from a different era that was wiped from the face of the earth before God created life 6,000 years ago.

If you do not like this scenario, why not? What is the scripture against it? Maybe there was a prior fall from other beings that lead to the demise of the prior epoch. They are part of the earth’s history, but not ours, so they might as well be in another universe or planet. So on what basis would you object to it?

If you do not have an objection, why not move to it? It would not resolve all the objections to your position, but it would resolve quite a lot.

I’m not trying to push you in a particular direction @r_speir, but I want to know what really is important to you and why. Perhaps it might even bring you to a more plausible position. Either way I hope you pause for a moment and can give me an elucidating response. I really want to understand this one!


He should also define “thousands”. What, in his opinion, are the constraints on the age of life? How old could it be, consistent with the data? How young could it be? What data set those limits? We need numbers.

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Those are details to pursue. I want these high level questions first if possible.

Strange. I have heard of this. We (humanity in general) all have a tendency to make up rules to win arguments. I simply cannot adhere to that kind of thinking regarding bacteria. I am simple. If it moves and grows, it is Life, whether plant, animal, human, angelic.

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We all have doubts about our position and we largely hold them privately or share them with an inner circle of people we trust. I have personally struggled with some things that seem …I need to be careful of my words. Let me think for a moment

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@swamidass, you are a thinker aren’t you. Doesn’t that frighten you sometimes? :slight_smile:

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I’m not asking you to commit to it. I’m not saying you have to accept the mainstream science position. I’m just asking what the theological objection or Scriptural objections could be, because I don’t see any!

Hehe, not really. Maybe I should be scared. Honestly, just having fun, especially with interesting people like you.

The secret of the Lord is for those who fear him. We are having fun, but the fear of the Lord must still reign. If I go around publicly opining about possible past epochs and eras, what if I confuse someone? What if I move even myself to a place of greater doubt?

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I see no danger in a thought experiment. You are telling us now it isn’t your position. Fine. No one is confused.

So enter the fiction. Opine about this thought experiment.

I think you are going to live for a very, very long time. Maybe even as long as the patriarchs. Why? Because God know when you get to heaven you will pester him for all of eternity asking questions about why and how he did everything…:slight_smile:

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Hehe. I’m not asking God. I’m asking you. Because I want to understand you. If I asked God, I’m sure he would just direct me back to asking you directly.

I’m not sure I understand your reticence. If you cannot find a theological or Scriptural objection, why would you object? Why would you even call it “doubt” because neither theology or Scripture is at risk? Maybe this scenario is not the true history of the world, but what could possibly be the harm in wondering about it?

Alright. I will go just a little way down this path but I was brought up that fools rush in where angels fear to trod.

  1. People largely do not understand God. He is not just loving. He is love. He is not just merciful, but full of mercy. He is not just slow to anger, but so very, very slow to anger. He is so tolerant and long-suffering and full of tender mercies. …in short, since he is these things, our crude way of talking would say “He just cannot help himself”
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  1. God loves to create. God loves fellowship with his creation. What a powerful, magnetic, beautiful Being he is! All praise to him. He distresses when his very own creation does not respond. I don’t think he really even understands that. #2
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  1. And now to your point. He almost destroyed every living thing one time in the past. That fact would (unfortunately) be the most compelling part of an answer to your question.
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Much like the flood of Noah!

In other words, if he could create and destroy once (we only got lucky because of one man’s faith), could he have done it before? Gads. I cannot believe I am having this discussion

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@swamidass, I think I have reached my limit here publicly. You are definitely a thinker.


Are you sure you are not descended from the old Jewish rabbi’s?

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Tell me privately then. :slight_smile:

It is just a though experiment! Total fiction. I do not understand what you are concerned about. We are just imagining together. Is imagination dangerous? Are you against reading novels or going to the movies? Of course not! This is not any different.

But I can respect you are feeling uncomfortable. Thanks for coming with me this far. Tell me what you are thinking in private, inviting whomever you like into the conversation.