Saturday, 25 August 2012

Age of the earth part 2 and why I avoid the issue

PS sorry if I offended anyone in earlier responses. I try not to be rude but sometimes when responding to several commenters some of whom have triggered a Pavlovian response by trotting out 'same old' quips and curses, its hard not to. I should know better. But if I seem to try to shock, well the truth is shocking. It shocked me when I discovered it.
re age of the earth: some further comments on the issue, the way people raise it, why I usually avoid the issue, and my policy on comments here.
As I have previously mentioned, I allow unmoderated responses here but don’t always respond to comments or questions that are posted on this blog. I don’t always even read them, I am a busy man with a very full life including another completely unrelated web site which gets a lot more visits than this blog.
Anyone who wishes to can draw one or more of the following conclusions from my lack of responses to points raised.

1)     I cannot answer

2)     I have already answered

3)     I may answer when it suits me and I can budget the time

4)     I don’t think the question or comment is worth answering as it is not a search for knowledge but a trick or stratagem (like the dishonest questions Jesus’ opponents often asked to try to catch him out)

5)     I could answer but do not choose to budget the time and effort to do so.

Probably other conclusions exist or can be imagined even if they don’t exist. Darwinians are good at imagining things that don’t exist, as Darwin did. Have you read his crappy little book, 'Origin of Species' in which he says nothing about origins and refused to define a species or give a single example of a new one originating? Full of 'imagine...suppose..who can deny?...I have no difficulty in would be rash to doubt...'  etc as substitutes for the evidence he didn't have.

Defenders of the evolutionist status quo are also very good at repeating quips and slogans dressed up as unassailable logic. The Hitchens/Dawkins slogan factory has been adept at manufacturing such quips, from ‘Who made God?’ and ‘computer models have shown how life could have originated’ to ‘show it me in a peer reviewed journal!’ and other stuff which is easy to memorise and regurgitate. All this is great for appearing more knowledgeable than you are and side-stepping questions you can’t answer. So, not every question is worth answering. If I commit to answering every response, I am giving opponents (sorry, it is a fight. I didn't start it) a blank cheque against my time. I can't do that. If they then call me names, its not my problem.

Anyway.......back to the age of the earth.

I never use the age of the earth as an argument against the Darwin hypothesis. I principally use biological arguments, as they are what I know and I find them extremely persuasive. However, in the years I have been arguing against Darwinian evolutionism, I find that almost always, whenever I raise a biological argument someone will respond by demanding that I say how old I think the earth is. I don’t raise the subject, they do. If I don't answer, I am criticised for cowardice or lack of integrity. If I do, I am lampooned as a science denying superstitious ignoramus and my arguments are ignored.
As I’ve argued, a very old earth is necessary to imagine Darwinian evolution, and 'Deep Time' just like a teenager's filthy bedroom is a convenient place to hide missing evidence. But time itself doesn’t make impossible things happen. That is an appeal to Darwin of the gaps. A very old earth does not guarantee that unguided origin of life or Darwinian evolution will happen. Furthermore, as I posted yesterday, an unlimited omnipotent Deity can by definition near-instantaneously design and create a mature fit-for-purpose cosmos which will inevitably have the appearance of age, and as a one-off supernatural singularity in the unobservable past, cannot be subject to contemporary scientific enquiry. Materialists typically swat this issue away by asserting that supernatural explanations are by definition ruled out so may not be considered. God is disqualified so Darwin wins by default.

The standard approach runs something like this. 

Elwin Daniels (ED) ‘Darwin’s test of falsifiability is amply satisfied by any one of all the known biological processes, but for the sake of argument I will put forward DNA nucleotide excision repair.’ ED proceeds to explain why this process could not have arisen by Darwinian processes until interrupted by Mister Material. 

‘Excuse me’ says Mr Material (MM) but may I respectfully inform you on behalf of The Authority and my peers that you are a science denying Cretinist IDiot moron?’

ED-‘If you wish, but do you or they have a Darwinian mechanism to explain how DNA check and repair originated by undesigned processes?’

MM-‘.How dare you ask that question?...The Inquisition, Dark Ages, Crusades, Witch Burning, if it wasn’t for The Enlightenment people like you would have us huddled in caves believing that Zeus was responsible for lightning........’ 

ED ‘Believe it or not I have heard all that before and given time I am able to respond to it, but for now I wonder if you could tell me how DNA check and repair originated by Darwinian processes? DNA can't survive without check and repair, check and repair is coded for by DNA, so they must have both been in existence since either one began. But neither has any meaning, or even the possibility of existing, without the other. How do you explain their dual existence by a gradual and unguided process?’

MM ‘Evolution is science, creationism is religion. Mumbo jumbo, sky fairy, flat earth, flying spaghetti monster, Behe coffee table book, science flies you to the moon religion flies you into buildings, peer review, the pope accepts Darwin so why can't you, all the scientists are agreed, well if so and so doesn't agree then he isn't a real scientist and won't be in post for long we'll break him like we broke Sternberg and Reiss..........’

ED. ‘I hear what you’re saying. In fact I hear it every time I ask an evolutionist a question he doesn’t want to answer. But is there any chance you could address my assertion that DNA check and repair satisfies Darwin’s test of falsification?’ 

MM ‘Right, you asked for it. How old do you believe the earth is?’ 

ED ‘Since you ask, because I have reasons I consider sound (which I can explain but its another subject) for believing that Jesus of Nazareth was-and is- God’s only begotten Son, and that He clearly accepted the Mosaic account including the Noah flood as accurate history, I would have to say that I believe God created the cosmos and all it contains in 6 standard 24 hour days, according to the Biblical chronology about 6,000 year ago. But I don’t claim to have any independent verification of that and it irrelevant to the arguments I am making against the claims of Darwin and his followers.’ 

MM (does victory dance and punches the air)


Now I don’t have to answer any of your points on the biology, and from now on whenever you are mentioned or any of your arguments come up, we will just say ‘ED believes the earth is 6,000 years old, so nothing he says has to be taken seriously!’

And so it goes. I have seen this game played many times. All I can say is, simple things please simple minds. I understand denial, but I'm not the one in denial here.

As it happens, there are a number of evidences for a young earth (given an omnipotent Deity, which is after all the central point of the Christian religion that I'm here to argue for) , and the evidence for an old earth is based on assumptions about past conditions (speed of light, amount of radioactive material in rocks, rate of decay in distant past, ruling out of supernatural activity etc) which cannot be independently verified. I don’t intend to get into those arguments, not because they can’t be made but because I am one person acting alone and I have not done enough research into this area. I have no obligation to do so. Might as well blame a guitarist for not being a drummer. I am convinced that biological arguments abundantly falsify Darwin so I use them. I will withdraw them if THEY are proven wrong.

So why do some people, when a creationist makes an argument from biology, always insist on coming back to the age of the earth? That’s up to them. For any genuinely curious, there is a lot about that issue on the Answers in Genesis site, which by the way has peer review by qualified scientists.

A final comment on peer review. Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Son, the King of Creation, the Saviour of the penitent and Judge of the arrogant, does not do peer review, for one simple reason.

He has no peers.



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