Rauser: What’s Wrong with YEC

New post by Randal Rauser



Thanks for posting.

I have always looked at Genesis 1 in much the same was as Rauser. However, Rauser puts that more elegantly than I ever could.

Before the invention of the Gutenberg press, literature was looked at very differently from the way that we see it today.

Doesn’t seem to me Rauser is dealing with the description of the days in Genesis as consisting of mornings and evenings. How terrible communicators do we have to force ourselves to think of the writers of Genesis 1, to re-interpret that to mean something other than mornings and evenings in a standard 24 hour day?

The whole thing is ridiculous. Sadly, Ken Ham and their YEC ilk are all absolutely, straightfowardly right about what Genesis 1 says. And that’s how we know it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean something else than what it plainly says, and no amount of appeals to strained analogies, beautifully structured poetry, or what have you, makes it go away.

It’s an old creation myth, not at all difficult to understand, and it’s wrong. Some times people get stuff wrong. They even some times contradict themselves. They misremember stuff, things gets transmitted with errors in them, and so on.

They got stuff wrong in ancient history, we still get stuff wrong today. Genesis 1 is just wrong. It says the world was created in six 24 hour days. That’s what it says. I’ve read enough apologetics around this for a lifetime of facepalming. It’s all really shirty excuses trying to square the obvious contradiction between what it says and what the evidence shows about the history of our planet and the universe.

Oh so it’s written in a way structured like a poem? Okay, fine. That’s nice. And the poem says the world was created in six 24 hour days. So the poem is wrong.

It’s just another wrong creation myth. Ken Ham and Randal Rauser are both wrong and misguided. Ken Ham is in denial about what observational reality shows about the age of the Earth, and Rauser is in denial about what it says in Genesis 1.


Most poetry is “wrong”.
But Genesis 2-11 is narrative, and that is where I face my challenges. I do not have a tidy answer.

In the seventeenth century, Galileo famously observed that Scripture tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go. In other words, the message of Scripture is a message of God’s creation, fall, and redemption culminating in the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. The Scriptures were not given to us to teach us science.

Galileo does not dictate the meaning of scripture. It doesn’t matter what Galileo thought about how it is to be understood. I don’t see why I should be persuaded that Galileo is supposed to be correct about how we should understand the Genesis accounts.

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This whole thing is just pure gold. Thanks Rumraket for stating the obvious!

I know you and yours like to have a heyday with this kind of stuff, but you do realize that if there is a way that Genesis 1 can be taken literally - and that way does not violate the known laws of physics - that in order to remain honest, you must at least give it consideration.

In another thread, I proposed exactly that way. It should be easy to falsify and I welcome its demise as I do all my ideas.

You must demonstrate that literal 24 hour days were absolutely impossible - all possibilities exhausted - before you can be satisfied that you have scientifically overthrown a literal Genesis.

What ‘violation’ are you implying?

Basically I have in mind canonical speed of light as it relates to distant starlight. Meaning we should probably try not to violate c in the endeavor.

What do you trust more, Scripture, or man’s understanding of C and of the nature and behavior of light, and of the space-time continuum of the cosmos in general? Do you know what all went on during Creation Week?

No I don’t but if 24 hour days work with today’s physics, then that is probably the best way to communicate with this generation - that is, using their understanding of physics.

Note: if I am correct, then Rauser is flat out wrong. If I am wrong, I am wrong. But the idea needs to be overturned first, properly.

That’s not the question. The question is whether I trust your minority, hyperselectively hyperliteral interpretation of Scripture more than man’s understanding of the evidence provided to us by God.

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Incorrect. I am not talking interpretation this time. I am talking real physics (if I am not wrong, that is)

Even atheists like @Rumraket can apparently see the intended meaning of the text (he has no stake in the game because he doesn’t mind saying the Bible is wrong). I on the other hand don’t mind saying that manmade scientific consensus about the past is wrong.

Without examining the evidence God provides.

Here it is again.

Minkowski spacetime is four-dimensional – 3 spatial and 1 temporal. In speaking of God we are quick to say “God is everywhere”, but of course, we usually mean spatially only, not thinking that there is an entire dimension of time that God can equally occupy simultaneously - past and present and future.

If on creation day 1 God creates the earth (say as a ball of water) in the Minkowski present or “now”, then 2 or 3 days later, occupies a temporal MInkowski dimension that predates the “now” of earth by 14 billion years and creates the Universe, then the “now” of earth on creation day 3 or 4 would be immediately flooded with a fully mature and vast Universe. Too, the water of earth would be “re-created” into a mature geology of land masses, mountains, seas.

This simple idea really needs to be turned back before R Rauser is correct in his assertion. I welcome it.

All right, let us presume that a literal interpretation of Genesis is right.

Young Earth Creationists are fond of presuppositional apologetics, so presuppose this: Given their interpretation that the earth is only about six thousand years old and a global flood occurred forty five hundred years ago, what would we expect to find? Then if you find it, you have your evidence. So what would the earth and sky look like were it indeed six thousand year old?

Well, we would expect to see nothing further in space than light could travel over that time, so nothing beyond the crab nebula, and certainly no other galaxies, would be visible. No organic artifact would ever be carbon dated past six thousand years. Other dating methods targeted to longer spans would scarcely show any age at all. Apart from a possible few extinctions, we would expect to find only fossils and remains of plant and animal life familiar from Bible times to today. Any depositions from annual cycles such as tree ring chronologies, ice cap cores, ocean bed sediments, and coral reefs would not extend before the flood or creation. Impact creators would be limited. Sedimentary formations would be shallow. There would be no fossil fuels or thick limestone deposits.

Obviously, YEC presuppositional apologetics here fails massively in terms of predictive validation. Yet YEC organizations continue to use it to predicate most of their arguments with “we know this cannot be older than six thousand years…” and faithfully conclude that “the evidence actually supports a young earth”. Given the overwhelming burden of evidence interlocking all disciplines of science in favor of an old earth, a counter-argument can only be built with extraordinary misrepresentations and selective omissions of information.


Unless the theories proposed by Dr Russell Humphries or Dr Jason Lisle are correct. Or unless there are other fundamental assumptions we’re making that turn out to be simply wrong. I don’t claim to have the answer to the distant starlight question, but it’s not going to change my position on the Bible.

I just posted the idea again. Without all the extraneous discussion, that idea really needs to be overturned first. The days of creation remain as 24 hour days. Please deal with the idea if you can.

The point, gentlemen, is if God created everything in the straightforward way depicted in Genesis, why do we need all these convoluted explanations for why things do not appear the way you would expect. Why create a young earth and then have it look so old? If I woke up to a young earth tomorrow, I would be YEC.

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