There are four literal interpretations of YOM (as even Dr. DeWitt concedes, cf. p. 73 in the textbook). The four definitions are 1) a portion of the daylight hours (2) the entire daylight segment of a twenty-four-hour day, (3) a twenty-four-hour day, and (4) a long but finite time period. Unlike the modern Hebrew and English, biblical Hebrew had no other word for a finite era or epoch. The figure of speech of “a day is like a thousand years” in 2 Pt. is a a simile, which is noncontroversial; I don’t advocate that 2 Peter permits that interpretation in Genesis. The four definitions of YOM are literal definitions; it’s unnecessary to say it’s non-literal (refer to my previously cited lexicons).
First of all, I want to congratulate you on your opportunity to study in Scotland! What an honor! I look forward to seeing where that will take you. Secondly, I want to be clear that the motivation of my questioning is NOT to simply stir controversy, and not to put you in a difficult position to answer. However, the nature of the topic of my question tends to cause controversy among some, so be warned.
My question is one regarding the relationship between Young Earth Creationism, the science and religion “conflict”, and the ministry of apologetics. I have been wrestling with this topic for about six months now, and I am seeking your insight to gain some clarity, understanding, and advice.Earlier this year, I completed the undergraduate Creation Studies class at Liberty University. Although I enjoyed the class, at the end of the six week course I remained unconvinced that the Young-Earth view is a proper interpretation of Genesis 1, or an accurate scientific explanation of the universe we observe. My skepticism of YEC raised several other questions regarding apologetic ministry and the supposed conflict between science and religion.read more »
More Christian parents are asking for mainstream science in their children’s curricula. Will religious textbook companies deliver?
For homeschooling parents who want to teach their children that the earth is only a few thousand years old, the theory of evolution is a lie, and dinosaurs coexisted with humans, there is no shortage of materials. Kids can start with the Answers in Genesis curriculum, which features books such as Dinosaurs of Eden, written by Creation Museum founder Ken Ham. As the publisher’s description states, “This exciting book for the entire family uses the Bible as a ‘time machine’ to journey through the events of the past and future.”
It’s no secret that the majority of homeschooled children in America belong to evangelical Christian families. What’s less known is that a growing number of their parents are dismayed by these textbooks.
Take Erinn Cameron Warton, an evangelical Christian who homeschools her children. Warton, a scientist, says she was horrified when she opened a homeschool science textbook and found a picture of Adam and Eve putting a saddle on a dinosaur. “I nearly choked,” says the mother of three. “When researching homeschooling curricula, I found that the majority of Christian homeschool textbooks are written from this ridiculous perspective. Once I saw this, I vowed never to use them.” Instead, Warton has pulled together a curriculum inspired partly by homeschool pioneer Susan Wise Bauer and partly by the Waldorf holistic educational movement.
I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been quite busy doing research papers on theological fatalism, J.M.E. McTaggart’s arguments against the reality of time, and Einstein’s theory of relativity’s impact on theology. While researching for my Einstein paper I chose to do a piece on his influence in natural theology by discussing his epistemic method and big bang cosmology. I discussed how Einstein, Lemaître, Friedman, and Hubble collectively overturned young earth cosmology (if anything they were the catalyst in the overthrow). I gave young earth creationism a voice with Russell Humphrey’s book Starlight and Time, which is supposedly the best model of young earth cosmology (Russell holds a PhD in physics from Louisiana State University). I soon discovered that Humphreys made a cluster of errors in relativity.
I found this rebuttal by Samuel R. Conner and Don N. Page (Page studied under Stephen Hawking and specializes in quantum cosmology and black holes). The paper made an interesting read because both parties had respectable credentials. Granted, it is a technical paper so it may be a tough read, (Starlight and Time is the Big Bang). I don’t have any rights to the paper, it’s publicly available at: http://www.trueorigin.org/rh_connpage1.pdf. The abstract is below.
The physics of Dr. Russell Humphreys’ new cosmological model presented in Starlight and Time is profoundly flawed and the conclusions drawn from this model are seriously mistaken. An accurate treatment of the physics indicates that this model is actually a trivial variant of the standard Big Bang model, with its attendant implications for the age of the Universe and the Earth time required for light to travel from distant galaxies to the Earth.
I wanted to add a brief note about the speed of light and whether or not it changes [or has changed]. There are models consistent with a 13.7 billion year old universe that suggests a change in the speed of light. Recent varying-speed-of-light (VSL) theories have been suggested as a possible alternative to cosmic inflation for solving the horizon problem, the problem of causality over long distances in initial inflation, suggesting that the speed of light was once much greater. This is not a popular view since it is difficult to construct explicit models permitting such a suitable variation. Other constants have been suggested to change (a theory of varying fundamental constants) in part due to superstring theory and eternal inflation. Even so with these theories and cosmic models, there are still more-fundamental (in contrast to varying) constants in the parent universes (preceding universes in the multiverse models). Even with a theory of varying fundamental constants Einstein’s equations [of STR] still stand in such models. (Andrew R. Liddle, and Jon Loveday, The Oxford Companion to Cosmology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 316.) The speed of light is [approximately] 300,000 km/s. Einstein’s E=mc2 states that energy is proportional to the mass of an object multiplied by the speed of light squared. If c decays then that would imply that there has been a change in the quantity of energy in the universe. This creates a problem for thermodynamics. This would not be the only problem; many other constants would need to change as well to preserve the stability of a life-permitting cosmos such as Planck’s constant h. Suddenly the objection is not only with c because that would in turn change all of physics. All of this would be done to circumvent an old universe suggested by a constant speed of light.