Valerie's Review of GAE

Obviously I can’t speak for the author of that quote but if that’s what he meant, then I think it would have been stated as you did just now.

@naclhv and @Michelle can you clarify if I read you correctly?

Perhaps my post was confusing because it turned to the age of the universe whereas GAE is about the special creation of Adam and Eve that happened in the Garden of Eden. So yes the GAE tells us that both science and Grandma are right about Adam and Eve. Thus science and faith do not need to be at odds with each other, which is how I view the world as a scientist who believes Biblical Christianity.

I’m glad to hear you trust the science on those issues

It’s not the Bible that drives people away from the faith, it’s well-meaning but misguided people like @RonSewell‘s mom who sadly do.

I spent the 1st 20 years of my life thinking that I could not believe in God because the culture tells us the lie that science and faith are in conflict with each other. Fortunately God brought people into my life to show me that scientists can be Christians too. I’ve been walking with the Lord now for the subsequent 20 years of my life, because God revealed himself to me. Now I embrace truths from both the Bible and from science.

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In his defense, @RonSewell’s mother drove him away from science. That seems to have been a very difficult injury to him.

There are injuries in both directions in this conflict. We do well to recognize injustice on both sides.

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Yes, I wish people could see that it does not need to be an either/or choice. It does not need to be a conflict. Such debates have done too much damage to both sides here in the USA. Both science and faith can be true

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@michelle if they are not in conflict, then why are people framing it that way? See below.

But I actually agree with you - I do not think science and faith are in conflict. I made a contrast in my review between most scientists and Grandma and between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of this world.

In fact, after studying science more the last few months, I think we are missing huge advances in science because atheism leaves a lot of scientists unable to think outside their models that cannot include an order that would make Him necessary. I hinted at that here. Some Microorganisms Can Bend Rules of Evolution - Peaceful Science

There are powers of this world and of Satan that use lies to devour people. There are idols in science as there are idols everywhere. Take a look at the thread where I questioned people’s faith in OoL research and read how they responded to me. Could you tell me with a straight face it isn’t their idol? A New Chemical 'Tree of The Origins of Life' - Peaceful Science I’ve also seen a lot of atheists on this thread question science that doesn’t fit their worldview too.

Right now, the mainstream view on origins leaves people thinking that ultimately the world must be getting better. We must be adapting and figuring this thing out. Just like in politics with its idols that politics will make the world better, that leaves out seeing our sin and our need for Christ.

The debate about origins is very much about time. And I’ve learned time is a funny thing :slight_smile: It can be bent. Science can be bent too. The Bible tells us time is weird too

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I agree with you about knowledge of time spans. But when it comes to science, the Bible tells us what is true.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Right now is the time for the church to stand up against the lie we don’t need God as creator. We undermine our witness by agreeing with scientists that have no need of Him nor acknowledge Him. If they don’t need Jesus as creator, they don’t need him as savior either.

I agree with you that God is our Creator, but I have yet to see arguments from creation science persuade a mainstream scientist of the existence of a creator. I’d be happy to hear of such examples if you know of them.

In contrast, as a scientist I myself have seen God work in my life and have been persuaded by the Resurrection and by my need for Jesus’ death to pay the penalty for my sin. Likewise I’ve heard many testimonies of faith from my friends and family who came to Christ because they understood the power of His work on the Cross.

Thus I think there is little value in building up arguments to counter mainstream science, and that such efforts have done greater harm than good to our culture, to science and to the faith.

I think our efforts should rather be focused on the Gospel, on the Cross, on the Resurrection.

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I was listening to the beginning of something from AIG and a Hispanic woman - I think she was from Brazil said she came to faith because of AIG and became a paleontologist. But I don’t see her on the website. It’s sort of like saying COVID doesn’t kill people because I don’t know anyone that has died.

I agree with Ken Ham here: A Young Earth—It’s Not the Issue! | Answers in Genesis

Here’s what I mean by this: I understand that the Bible is a revelation from our infinite Creator, and it is self-authenticating and self-attesting. I must interpret Scripture with Scripture, not impose ideas from the outside! When I take the plain words of the Bible, it is obvious there was no death, bloodshed, disease, or suffering of humans or animals before sin. God instituted death and bloodshed because of sin—this is foundational to the gospel. Therefore, one cannot allow a fossil record of millions of years of death, bloodshed, disease, and suffering before sin (which is why the fossil record makes much more sense as the graveyard of the Flood of Noah’s day).

Also, the word for “day” in the context of Genesis can only mean an ordinary day for each of the six days of creation [see Get Answers: Genesis for more information].

Thus, as a “revelationist,” I let God’s Word speak to me, with the words having meaning according to the context of the language they were written in. Once I accept the plain words of Scripture in context, the fact of ordinary days, no death before sin, the Bible’s genealogies, and so on, all make it clear that I cannot accept millions or billions of years of history. Therefore, I would conclude there must be something wrong with man’s ideas about the age of the universe.

And the fact is, every single dating method (outside of Scripture) is based on fallible assumptions. There are literally hundreds of dating tools. However, whatever dating method one uses, assumptions must be made about the past. Not one dating method man devises is absolute! Even though 90% of all dating methods give dates far younger than evolutionists require, none of these can be used in an absolute sense either. [See Get Answers: Radiometric Dating and Get Answers: Young Age Evidence for more information.]

Question: Why would any Christian want to take man’s fallible dating methods and use them to impose an idea on the infallible Word of God? Christians who accept billions of years are in essence saying that man’s word is infallible, but God’s Word is fallible!

This is the crux of the issue. When Christians have agreed with the world that they can accept man’s fallible dating methods to interpret God’s Word, they have agreed with the world that the Bible can’t be trusted. They have essentially sent out the message that man, by himself, independent of revelation, can determine truth and impose this on God’s Word. Once this “door” has been opened regarding Genesis, ultimately it can happen with the rest of the Bible.

I thought my pastor said it well recently, the gospel of condemnation or of accommodation does not bring people to Christ. Yes, we should focus on the cross and grace because that’s what salvation is all about. But that doesn’t mean we have to accommodate what the Bible says.

Well, I’m a revelationist too. The GAE shows how one can be a revelationist without any conflict with mainstream science. If Ken Ham is being upfront here, that this isn’t actually about the age of the earth, but about our affirmation of God’s infallible Word, well I’m sure he will endorse the GAE.

It misses the bigger picture. See below. It also separates death from sin - anyone who does so has a good argument against Christians that affirm evolutionary origins that that makes God the author of evil. What argument does the church have against that?

Well, I’ve addressed that too. I’ve shown how no-death-before-fall-revelationists need not be in conflict with evolutionary science. That’s pretty cool, right?

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Yes, I’ve heard stories like this, including that of a daughter of a friend of mine who’s been raised YEC and wants to become a geologist to look for evidence of the 6 day creation. However, I’m unaware of people who are already mainstream scientists being convinced by AiG materials.

On the contrary, I’ve read many stories on this forum and others of people who rejected AiG type arguments and became disenchanted with the churches who espoused them. Fortunately some of those people have been able to keep their faith by realizing that they do not need to believe the YEC interpretations of the faith.

People like Glenn Morton

And people like Darrel Falk

That is not accommodation, it’s getting beck to the main theological points of the text: that God created, that humans sin and that we need a Savior to allow us to return to a right relationship with God. The GAE is one way of thinking about that, but there could be other options, too.

God gave us both the gifts of the Bible and that of science. Thus both the Bible and science tell us truths about the universe. I understand that there are some challenging points of synthesis between the two at times. Where we see conflict it is due to lack of having the full picture on this side of eternity. But when we get to heaven we will see how it all fits together.

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You tried, but it doesn’t work :slight_smile: Anyone that sees Adam as a federal head over creation isn’t going to accept that argument. So yes, you have conflict with anyone from the Reformed camp like me or anyone else who sees the Bible that way. Also, you’d have to say that biological human death isn’t the result of evil, as there were still biological humans before Adam and Even in GAE. Like I said, I’m not going to give in to the argument that death isn’t judgment from God, and instead is an arbitrary feature of creation. I think very much this is a lie that Satan loves. He loves to lie about death - he did so in the garden.

And sin results in what end? And a right relationship results in what end?

Agree. That is why I do not have to agree with mainstream science’s current view of origins and neither do you.

That’s a grand declaration. Many people have in fact thought it does work.

At this point I’m not even sure you recall how I addressed this. You be more convincing if you started by quoting the places in the book I spoke to this, and ensuring you understood what I meant. At that point you’d certainly be free to critique it, and I’d be smart to engage you then.

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@thoughtful, @swamidass: yes, that’s what I meant by “essentially correct”. Correct in the essentials, without having total knowledge - which belongs with God alone.

So Valerie, here’s the thing about “total knowledge”: it sounds like you think this is something that’d be good or desirable to have for humans, like the Bible (and the first chapters of Genesis in particular) should contain the entire history of the universe. But it’s not. Total knowledge is not useful to finite humans. The Bible is only about 2MB of text: it is not the universe. If God wanted the Bible to contain total knowledge, he would have made it a lot bigger - as big as the universe itself, in fact.

I also see people (Christians and non-Christians alike) thinking that this absence of “total knowledge” is somehow a point against the Bible. But again, it’s not. The Bible contains the essentials, as it should. We can hope to be “essentially correct” by reading and following it. And as such, its first chapters must only contain the absolutely crucial information that we humans must know in order to have a relationship with God. It doesn’t have the space to waste on relative trivialities such as a specifically scientific description of the universe. Not because science isn’t true, but because it’s not important enough in comparison.

I’m going re-emphasize that last point, because it’s another common misconception that I see: many people (again, Christian and non-Christian alike) talk as if Christianity should somehow be envious of science, because the knowledge in its domain is more important than the knowledge in the domain of Christianity. They think of the two as being separate and in competition, and somehow think of science as “winning” in this competition. Again, this is wrong. The knowledge of God is by far more important and profound. It stands above, determines, and encompasses all knowledge, including all scientific knowledge. You can derive the rest of the sciences from it, whereas without God the principles of science would be just a grab-bag of random ideas.

All this is why it’s good and proper for the first chapters of Genesis to contain only the most essential truths, and why “grandma” would have been essentially correct in her understanding.

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As I already stated, I agree that God created the universe and specially created Adam and Eve. These ideas are not in conflict with mainstream science.

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You already know the answers to these questions and know that I would answer them the same way you would

Nup. This is not the case. It’s a very common misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, but a misunderstanding nonetheless.

Evolution doesn’t make things “better” in any moral sense, or really even any physical sense. All it does is select the organisms that are best adapted to survive and pass on their genes in a particular ecological niche.

It seems as though that consideration has tended to lead to increased complexity over the history of Earth, but that is not always or necessarily the case. The evolutionary process does not have a direction or a goal. There is no concept of ‘inevitable progress’. Only of change in order to optimise survival within an ecosystem, and to adapt to changes to the ecosystem.

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Genesis 1 does contain the history of the creation of the universe. I’ve never said it’s a science textbook.

Total knowledge is not possible for a finite being.

You’re limiting what a text can say. Is all of the Bible only absolutely crucial or do we get lavished with extras to know more about God?

Correct. That’s why I reject origins as described by mainstream science. If you believe what you wrote, why don’t you reject the random grab bag of ideas they present?

Do you find any irony or interest in the fact that in the narrative @swamidass presents in GAE that you take this verse “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” completely literally but you have to reject that Genesis 1 is literal?

If you reduce the first few chapters to only essential truths, how does that apply to the rest of the Bible?