Reforming Young Earth Creationism

Robert_Byers Young Earth Creationist
Greg Young Earth Creationist

Robert/Greg, good morning. I am feeling your pain. I too am a six-day creationist who opposes biological evolution. But with a strict YEC label, you will never be able to gain any traction in these kinds of skirmishes. Our paradigm must change first. Let me explain.

The RATE group concluded “billions of years’ worth of radioisotopic decay in the planet material” yet they failed to tell us how to achieve that kind of deep-time activity and still hold to a young Earth. They say they are still working on that solution. I have seen some of their solutions and personally am not satisfied.

In the meantime, armed with only a young Earth, you go out here to argue with those who already know that the YEC RATE group has basically admitted to an old Earth by concluding billions of years worth of decay rates. Do you see your problem? You have gone out to fight a battle you have not been properly equipped for.

One of two things needs to happen before YEC’s can argue and have any chance of holding their ground. 1. The RATE group needs to ‘regroup’ and find a young-Earth explanation for all those billions of years of radioactive decay, or 2. We need to change our paradigm and admit to an old planet.

There are ways to admit an old Earth while still holding to a recent creation of life and still opposing biological evolution. Yes, I know that to YEC’ers that kind of language sounds heretical, but then, like I said, Something needs to change. Our current paradigm is no longer sufficient to explain the evidence.

Good luck. At this point, that is about all I can wish you. Stay true to your beliefs, but be flexible enough to admit the contradictions in your ideology when they arise – and do something about it. Complain to the big YEC conglomerates. Tell them they have not given you proper ammo or equipment to fight your battles.


Such as?

There is a real good explanation for the failed attempts to provide evidence :stuck_out_tongue:

This would be a step toward admitting that what scientists have discovered about the universe and the earth (which are part of God’s creation, in my mind) is true. In which case, you would essentially be in the RTB camp with @AJRoberts. This would definitely be progress.


Wow. Now I’m impressed. You were arguing against Lisle’s starlight idea. I see some honesty in you I want to understand.

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Dr. Swamidass, I have been opposing the current YEC paradigm for above 10 years now. They know me well and have essentially cast me out. I have tried to be honest with them about their failures. Yes, they have published me, but I am not a team-player if you know what I mean. If you bring up my name, they will immediately recognize it. The long and short of it is

Our paradigm must change or YEC cannot move forward as a viable movement.

There are ways to make this happen, and those ways are agreeable with the pure Genesis account, but I have not found a single listening ear to date. Either I am 10 years ahead of my time, or I am dead wrong and they are right. But I just cannot believe it is the latter of the two.


I’m sorry to hear that.

There are several thoughtful YECs here, including @J.E.S and others. We have been working a lot with the Lutheran church too: The Lutheran Option. I’d hope you could work out some ways forward for YEC. You are welcome to explore this here, on this forum. As you come to solid ideas, we might be able to ensure they are heard.

Perhaps you can build a building that looks like the biblical ark, charge people $48, and tell children that a God initiated global genocide killed everybody but 8 people 4350 years ago.


Cmon @patrick. Give him credit for this: The failure of Jason Lisle's ASC paradigm.

Yes, I guess you can call this progress. But until Christians can make their faith non-conflicting with today’s secular science and human rights, Christianity will continue to lose its moral and social authority in a rapidly secular scientific world.

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Sure I give him a lot of credit for this. How about he turns his attention to the terrible pseudoscience coming out of AiG and going directly to home-schooled children in this country?

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Greetings, @r_speir!

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this! What are your ideas for change?


@J.E.S fear has been a long-seated problem in the YEC movement. Maybe change begins by unseating fear first. For instance, why fear an old earth or old universe? If one looks at the Genesis text as only a two-dimensional story printed on a 6x8 sheet of paper, then yes, perhaps one would naturally fear an objective look at long ages. But is the Genesis text so ‘wooden’, so restrictive, that curious and rational minds - minds created by God, by the way - are disallowed to deal objectively with what is staring them so plainly in the face and admit a 3rd dimension or 4th dimension not readily visible on the 6x8 page? A whole new world and universe, fully created and blessed by God, may open up for us. Second, maybe it’s time we grow up and stop throwing tantrums if God’s creation does not return a favorable reply to our pet paradigm. Why not let God be God and create the way he wanted to, then come back around and ask him for wisdom and knowledge to explain how the Genesis account he wrote completely backs up what we are seeing in nature?

Recently I sent my paper on the failure of Lisle’s paradigm to a creationist PhD in California. He and I have a great relationship (why? well, first and foremost because he and I are both painfully honest people regarding physics and science in general). Anyway (I am laughing as I tell this), he got to the part where Lisle was claiming an infinite speed-of-light and said, “I’m sorry, but this is just such utter nonsense that I cannot even finish your paper. Please forgive me for not reading it all”. I laughed and thought that was just about the greatest plug for the paper that I could hear. I responded saying how refreshing it was to speak to a real physicist who was not afraid to deal head-on with science and let it do the speaking rather than some weird, twisted pet creationist model built on T-I-L-T from the outset. I also told him I was laughing, by the way.

I mean really. Think about. Look at the ridiculous ASC paradigm that real YEC PhD’s have embraced. Am I dreaming or are they really trying to tell us that such garbage is true? What just happened? How did this thing run off the rails so badly as that? I think I know how. FEAR. They are so afraid of what they are going to find when they take objective looks at the planet and universe, that they lose all sense of reality and start making up whatever it takes to insist that God do it their way. When will this end? [Deleted last line. I apologize. It was crude and unnecessary]


It appears to me that Lisle pushes his infinite speed-of-light idea solely because it makes some of the math work—but without any empirical evidence to support his claims. Considering how often Lisle claims that the Theory of Evolution is “untestable” and without empirical support, isn’t this a huge double-standard?

Moreover, isn’t his ASC paradigm a just so story?


You should understand that down that road lie an old universe, an old earth, old life, and common descent. The farther you travel down that road, the better off you will be.


Yeah. Common descent from the Creator God, not apes. Don’t misconstrue my meaning in this thread. I have lived many years in obedience to my Heavenly Father and I don’t intend in any way to “Go beyond what is written,” as my apostle warned me. My earliest thought in this life was being in church. A fundamental church. I have never left it. This is your pathway

Not mine.

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Why? You’ve just given an impassioned defense of that approach. Where must you stop? What justification do you have for stopping there?

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I understand that you and I have different views on God’s creation, but I agree with @John_Harshman. The evidence is abundant, not only for an ancient universe and earth, but for common descent, as well.

Yet, I feel there is nothing to fear in acceptance of evolution. In my mind, a God that creates through a beautiful tool like evolution is no less impressive than a God that creates instantaneously.


No reason to push @r_speir. Give him time and space to figure out what direction he wants to go. No sense in pushing someone. I think he will find value in the Lutheran option.


Dr. S has the correct approach here by the way. But may I inform you all of something? This is not new to me. I have favored an old universe since my science days in college. (I said ‘college’ so now you know how old I really am). When the first COBE images came out, I magnified God! Beautiful I said, and I still think so. I am absolutely not afraid of a God who created everything from a bang, so to speak - that is, from nothing. I actually have a model which closely resembles the big bang but keeps the Genesis text pure.

I really need to emphasize this: none of this is new to me…I have been in this for a long, long time and have never wavered an iota on my anti-evolutionary stance. I know how to do this. I need no instruction in science, but thank you for wanting to help.


What are you afraid of? Why not look at all the new data from genomic sequencing from ancient fossils and make you own decision. Nothing in science should make you afraid about your faith - unless it is really weak. Science is neutral on the question of God and God’s role in the universe.

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