YEC Atheists


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

That is exactly right. Are you watching @deuteroKJ and @Philosurfer?

Coyne: More criticisms of Behe’s new ID book
(Daniel Deen) #2

@swamidass I’m watching, but not quite sure what you are driving at…?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #3

What do you think a YEC atheist is?

(John Harshman) #4

Seriously confused?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #5

Perhaps. You might be a YEC atheist yourself!

That is the interesting thing @deuteroKJ and @Philosurfer. They are atheists who adopt a YEC interpretation of Scripture. Why do you think they do this?


To be fair, Judeo-Christian religions are not the only game in town. Atheists don’t believe in any deities, including those found in traditions with an old Earth.

(John Harshman) #7

Because that’s what scripture actually says, and that’s how it’s been almost universally interpreted (with rare exceptions) up until a few hundred years ago? Interpretation has changed as a result of scientific discoveries, the first likely being the abandonment of the flat-roofed earth due to, I’m supposing, Hellenistic influence. Much later, we get abandonment of geocentrism, and a couple centuries after that, of 6-day, recent creation. Though of course there remain sizable remnants who retain these, the sizes negatively correlating with the age of scientific refutation. There are very few flat-earthers left, but geocentrism remains surprisingly popular. And YEC is widespread.

(Daniel Ang) #8

It seems to me that hardcore atheists like to criticize both YEC fundamentalist Christians who distrust mainstream science and liberal Christians who subscribe to science but don’t believe in many tenets of traditional orthodox Christian theology (e.g. Goff responds to my critique of “religious fictionalism”). However, they are just puzzled by those of us “in the middle” (such as Josh and Francis Collins) who affirm mainstream science but are earnestly serious about their beliefs in literal miracles and the Resurrection. They often try to box us into the fundamentalist framework (e.g. Daniel Ang: A Scientist Looks at the Resurrection) but it really doesn’t fit, as we’re able to speak the same scientific language (unlike fundamentalists), yet we also are able to coherently speak the language of theology.

(John Harshman) #9



I’m not puzzled. I see nothing strange about someone applying seemingly contradictory epistemologies to different questions. It seems to be a common thing for humans to do.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #11

Maybe should change your title to YEC Atheist? You are playing the role perfectly. :wink:

You aren’t a YEC atheist @T_aquaticus, but I’m not sure you are understanding where we are coming from. I don’t think @dga471 and I have two different epistemologies. We have a larger epistemology that contains the scientific epistemology. One is just a coherent part of another larger whole.

(John Harshman) #12

Just going by my experience so far.


The situation I am referringto is where one demands repeatable observations for one conclusion (science) but not for another (theology). At least in my view, there is a difference in the requirements for belief in science and in theology.

(r_speir) #14

I’ll be a troll for a moment. Atheists don’t really get it. They do not realize that they cannot just ‘disbelieve in God’ and the matter is settled. They must utterly eliminate his very possibility. They must do this or they have no argument. Actually, theists do not even have to debate them about God’s existence. Since atheists must eliminate every possible trace of God, and since they will never be able to accomplish it, their argument is already defeated before it starts. Here is one of the most powerful statements about God’s existence and the statement that atheists will never rise above - “Truly you are a God who hides himself”. The fearful thing for the atheist is that even if it were possible to silence all of nature’s witness to God, there would always remain the possibility that he was simply hiding from them.

(John Harshman) #15

I will have to admit that I don’t get that post. It seems incoherent to me. Perhaps some theist who understands your point will explain.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

@John_Harshman, this is a Wiggensteins Lion situation (Wittgenstein's Lion Seeking Peace). I understand both where you and @r_speir are coming form, and you are both internally coherent. You are both speaking english. Your frames of reference are so different you are talking past each other.


Atheists view this a bit differently.

It isn’t up to skeptics to disprove a claim. It is up to the claimant to evidence the claim.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #18

Except there is thing called “proper basic belief”…

(John Harshman) #19

Perhaps someone can bridge that gap. Not you, apparently? Is discourse truly impossible?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

“If a lion could speak, we would not understand him.”

I can’t bridge the gap for you. You have to be willing to “try on” a different perspective, and see things from a different point of view. Trust that @r_speir is honest, coherent, and doing his best to make sense of things, even if you (in the end) really do disagree with him. If you can understand the internal logic of his view, you can bridge that gap.

Same goes the other way around for @r_speir with you.

It seems first and second generation immigrants like @dga471 and I do this naturally. We have an advantage here.