a new model for creation
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
or, Why Lucretius Is More Advanced Than Creation Science
Having grown up in a household where science was respected, becoming a believer in Jesus (a Jesus Freak) convinced my parents I had joined a cult. Having rejected my parents’ values because ostensibly they didn’t reflect Christ, I bought into the young-earth creationist view of the day. But for an inquisitive human mind, I was continually startled at the obvious flaws in that view, to the point where I studied myself right out of them. Darwin’s view not only became plausible to me, but for all intents and purposes the best candidate for an explanation of the proliferation of species on earth. Along side of this, the age of the earth snapped back to its pre-Christian 4.6 billion year age. A physicist friend of mine tells me it is 4.57 billion years old. OK already!
I thought to myself, why does the Church continue to hold on to the phenomenally antedeluvian young earth view. My best guess is that the Church historically is essentially conservative. Once adopting a view, it absolutely hates to abandon it. I am speaking of 40-45% of the population of the United States. How do the Christian theorists deal with the problem when they know it is one? Conservatively. Timidly they adjust and tinker without overhauling the serious flaws. Afraid of losing support for a widely held view, and afraid (correctly so) of being accused of heresy (not in so many words) they never challenge the core weaknesses of the view.
In opposition to science, YEC and those who take it to be a successful model, use the age old tactic of claiming, where we do not have scientific knowledge, that God is the explanation for this or that phenomenon. When science gives a plausible natural explanation of that same phenomenon, they either relent or dig in their heels. Relenting they go to some other phenomenon that is not as yet scientifically explained and say God did that. This strategy, known as the “God of the gaps” has sent Christian theology reeling in the last 250 years or so. Now we are at a point scientifically where all the gaps God was supposed to fill, have been explained plausibly by science. The scientific theory is not absolute and the scientist freely admits this. This is where the difference between science and the YEC crowd see the stark landscape of this intellectual territory. Science with all its flaws and shortcomings as a project actually explains how things happen. The YECs only say that God did it. They give no explanation. This is an escape and has no connection to science.
If that is admitted, fine, but the YECs do no such thing. They still claim to be explaining things without the scientific credentials. They use the broad sweep of probabilistically confirmed scientific theories without taking every contributing effect into account and “prove” that the scientist must be incorrect. They have the shadow of plausibility without the substance of it.
Now, to a new model for creation:
1. Eliminate forever the God of the gaps. Let science have the job of figuring out how all of this happened. Conditionally, take their word for it.
2. Don’t toss God out of the equation. Find a position that both befits his creatorhood and ability to interject his comments and manipulate nature (according to its own laws) at any point along the timeline. After all God made the laws in the first place, why shouldn’t he be able to use them to his own ends for whatever purpose he has.
3. Allow conditionally all the objections of science and all its solutions. Don’t pick and choose to fit a theology. Let them solve the riddle put before them.
3a. Actually science has solved quite a number of puzzles. It would be good to read up on what they already know.
4. Disallow the absolute dismissals of phenomena that most humans experience. Absolutes really don’t have a place in science anyway.
5. Adopt happily the science that has been adopted over the course of many years. Though they may change the underlying theory about it, the technical prowess it already grants to us certifies its worthiness for adoption.
The Universe as Information:
God as Programmer:
The end of the introduction and outline. Later…
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