Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 17

time lapse photography of waterfalls during sunset

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Scientific Case for a Young Cosmos

In this chapter, Dr. Ross lays out 12 well known arguments from biblical creationists that are used and that were used in the past to refute old earthism. He then gives a reply to all twelve in an attempt to preserve old earthism. In the first sixteen chapters (and the introduction), I have shown that he has failed to build a congruent case for old earthism from both scripture and science. Let’s see how he does responding to these dozen claims for a young cosmos

Exhibit A: The continents erode too quickly for Earth to be old

Essentially the case for a young earth is measuring the erosion rate of the continents, and this extrapolation gives a time limiting factor of only 16 million years.

Reply: This challenge focuses on one side of the equation only. It fails to acknowledge that lava flows, delta and continental shelf buildup (from eroded material), coral reef buildup, and uplift from colliding tectonic plates occur at rates roughly equivalent to, and in some cases far exceeding, the erosion rate.

I’m not a geologist…neither is he. But neither of us need to be a geologist to identify the GIGANTIC problem in his rescue device. The short answer is that fossils exist, so his reply is impotent.

The long answer, will take a little explaining and maybe a few pictures. While Dr. Ross is not a biological evolutionist he agrees with their interpretation of fossil layers since he rejects the worldwide flood account of Genesis 6-9. While he says he believes the Bible, he thinks instead that the account in Genesis is a local flood.

Let’s start with the picture below, which is a picture of what Ross is describing, but clearly not what is found. To begin with, I disagree with the ages that have been assigned to each layer for both biblical and scientific reasons, but for the sake of argument, we’ll use Dr. Ross’s understanding of the fossils to refute his rescue device. As wind and water erosion takes off the top level, Dr. Ross has claimed that uplift from tectonic plates replaces the levels that are lost to erosion. As stated earlier, and clearly an extrapolation with which Dr. Ross agrees, the continents could have been COMPLETELY ERODED AWAY were it not for continental uplift. The continental uplift replaces the eroded layers, but the erosion would have removed the fossils completely in at most 16 millions years. But there are fossils. The fossils that are dug from the earth are clear evidence for a worldwide flood about 4500 year ago, just as the Bible tells us.

ErosionDestroysFossils

In “Exhibit B: Lunar dust accumulates too quickly to allow for an old earth” Ross mentions a contention that biblical creationists abandoned more than two decades ago, so there’s no need to go into this one.

Exhibit C: Earth’s magnetic field decays too rapidly to allow for an old Earth

Reply: Earth’s magnetic field does not undergo steady weakening but rather a variable alteration

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and Dr. Jason Lisle have built cases for the steady exponential decline of the earth’s magnetic field such that the earth must indeed be young instead of Dr. Ross’s claims.

https://creation.com/the-earths-magnetic-field-evidence-that-the-earth-is-young

https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/the-age-of-the-universe-part-2/

Exhibit D: The Sun burns by gravitational contraction, so it cannot be billions of years old

Reply: This argument overlooks significant data.

This is another obsolete argument for biblical creationists…however, the resolution with which Dr. Ross replies turns out to have its own serious shortcoming. It is so bad in fact, that it’s been given the name: The Faint Young Sun Paradox. Essentially, since the sun provides energy by nuclear fusion, it is getting brighter. So, billions of years ago, the sun would have been so dim that there would not have been enough energy reaching the frozen earth to sustain any kind of life. The older that old earthers think the sun/earth combination is, the worse the problem gets for them

Ch17FaintYoungSunParadox

 

Exhibit E: Galaxy clusters would be more widely dispersed if the universe were old.

Reply: This argument rests, first, on an incorrect assumption. It assumes that all the mass within galaxy clusters is luminous.

First of all, it is rich that Dr. Ross would accuse someone else of incorrect assumptions when we’ve seen over and over how he assumes the creation, which has been corrupted by sin, is on equal authoritative grounds with God’s revealed and eternal Word. We’ve also seen him incorrectly assume that the modern academic paradigm is the same as science. But on to his reply

Dr. Ross’s reply depends upon the non-scientific concept of dark matter/energy. He also resorts to dark ordinary matter (brown dwarfs, planets, asteroids, rocks, dust, and cold gas) as being four and a half times more mass than luminous matter. However, this is the special pleading fallacy since our own solar system, which is the best place for measuring matter and mass shows that the sun has 99.9% of the mass. He’s got to assume all of the other solar systems (which are much harder to get accurate measurements) are not just different from the one we inhabit but so different as to make them completely unrecognizable

Exhibit F: The crystal halos that arise from radioactive polonium decay indicate that the earth is young.

Reply: If the granite crystal halo evidence proves reliable, it simply indicates rapid formation of certain rocks, not the entire planet.

This argument takes the form that since polonium-218 has a half life of 3 minutes and the halos that record their decay still exist in granite, that the granite did not take millions of years to cool. Ross’s reply is utterly deficient, even to the point of a concession:

Even if Gentry’s granite crystal halos do result from polonium-218 decay, Gentry has merely exposed a phenomenon that requires further study, a phenomenon that geologists’ current understanding does not explain.

So deep has old earthism got its hooks in Dr. Ross that he cannot see the clear evidence for biblical creation.

Exhibit G: Rapid sedimentation and peat deposition following the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption demonstrate that geological processes are rapid, not gradual. So earth could be young.

Reply: The problem lies in what rhetoricians call the “either-or” fallacy – the assumption that all geological processes occur either gradually or rapidly. The young-earth versus old-earth debate is pictures in this context as a battle between the principles of uniformitarianism and the principles of catastrophism, with one significant difference…Evidence of rapid geological processes, such as those resulting from the Mount St. Helens eruption, fail to support the notion that every structure in Earth’s crust formed quickly and simultaneously.

Yet, isn’t science supposed to make observations and see if it supports or falsifies a theory? The evidence resulting from the Mt St Helens eruption are directly comparable to what one would expect during the worldwide flood of Noah’s day if scaled up appropriately. So, rather than taking what has been observed to create hundreds of layers, Ross rejects observations and instead inserts an unobserved mechanism to preserve old earthism. His attempt to refute Exhibit G is a disastrous mess as shown in these videos below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjdZ3Gs-PTk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4a6oWZQ2ok

https://youtu.be/W4vK6NaSLBg

 

Exhibit H: Given that a spiral galaxy’s spiral structure winds up and disappears after just three of four rotations of the galaxy, spiral galaxies must be relatively young.

Reply: Young earth creationists would be correct about spiral arms windup if the arms were material structures, But they are not. As first explained in 1964…galaxy arms are density waves.

Astrophysicist Jason Lisle tells us the postulating density waves as a rescue device for old earthers creates more problems than it solves.

Ch17DensityWaves

Exhibit I: Trails of human footprints beside or crossing over dinosaur prints prove that dinosaurs were contemporaneous with humans, not millions of years old.

Reply: The dinosaur prints at the discovery sites have been identified as belonging to tridactyls, three-toed carnivorous dinosaurs.

There are many such evidences that have been put forth as dinosaur and human footprints. And it’s likely that some or most have been refuted. But there are still some fossils that have merit.

See the virtual tour of the creation museum in Glen Rose, TX 

Here is the personal testimony of the evolutionist-turned-creationist who excavated one of the Paluxy tracks

Even if those particular tracks turn out not to be human footprints, the evidence for humans and dinosaurs co-existing is overwhelming

MarcoPoloDinosaur

Not specifically about dinosaurs and humans living together but that dinosaurs lived in the recent past, here is an updated list of fossils that old earthers contend should be old but are shown to be young

Thinking that dinosaurs was a stronghold of old earthism, Dr. Ross included this exhibit in his book, but as you can see, the evidence is clearly on the side of biblical creation since dinosaurs lived recently enough to be seen and documented alive by mankind

Exhibit J: Since a comet’s average life span is only a few thousand years and the supply of new comets is limited, the existence of comets today proces the solar system cannot be more than several thousand years old.

Reply: …estimates of average comet longevity made prior to 1980 leaned heavily on the low side.

Dr. Ross declares with certainty that there are at least three sources for comets because he knows that comets would have disintegrated if they were truly billions of years old

Today, the existence of Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud comets is no longer based solely on theoretical calculations. In addition to finding the two distant comet clouds, astronomers have found a third distant comet repository, “the scattered disc.”

But a quick internet search reveals that Ross’s assertions of evidence are vacuous

 

Exhibit K: The lack of greatly expanded supernova remnants (SNRs) proves that such remnants have been expanding for no more than (probably less than) a few tens of thousands of years.

Reply: The mere existence of SNRs says that our galaxy and other galaxies are old…Observational difficulties, rather than an actual deficiency of SNRs, lie at the core of this cosmic age challenge.

It seems enormously hypocritical that Ross would declare the Oort cloud, which is unobservable, is irrefutable evidence, but SNRs which are thousands of light years across and visible from hundreds of thousands of light years away have “observational difficulties” and are therefore moot

For astronomers who are biblical creationists, the expectation is that if the Milky Way is about 6K-7K  years old, there should be about 125 visible Stage 2 supernova remnants. Conversely, for those who (like Ross and Bill Nye and Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson) believe in billions of years, would expect there to be about 2300 stage 2 SNRs. When actually looking into the Milky Way, we observe about 200 SNRs. So, you can see from the chart below that the evidence strongly supports biblical creation and is discordant with old earth assumptions. The problem gets even worse for those choosing to compromise God’s Word in favor of naturalistic assumptions when considering stage 3 SNRs.

SuperNovaRemnants

 

Exhibit L: Backward-rotating planets and backward-revolving moons in the solar system demonstrate that the solar system cannot be very old.

Reply: The standard model for our solar system’s formation does not predict, as this challenge assumes, that all solar system bodies will rotate and revolve in the same direction as the sun.

The standard nebular model for planetary formation is saturated with galaxy-sized problems:

“The formation of planetesimals is the biggest unsolved problem…The formation of giant planets is another unsolved problem…Another problem of giant planet formation is their migration…different rotation between the inner and outer parts of a ring could not allow condensation of material.”

But these are all of the questions that the nebular theory is supposed to EXPLAIN, so it can’t explain the formation of planets if THAT’s the biggest problem!

Regarding the backward-rotating planets, Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle has this to say

“Secularists (and other old earthers including Dr. Ross) do not have a good explanation for the backward rotation of Venus. In the secular scenario, the solar system is supposed to have formed from the collapse of a rotating nebula. The natural expectation of this would be that all planets would rotate in the same direction at about the same rate, and they would all have very little axial tilt. Venus is the worst offender to this concept, since it rotates exactly the opposite of what the evolutionary models require. But we expect such diversity in the biblical view.”

Dr. Ross does not specifically include this next YEC point as an exhibit for a young cosmos, but he does include this as a sidebar on a full page.

Does Lunar Recession Refute an Old Earth?

Lunar recession refers to the Moon’s movement away from Earth due to the transfer of angular momentum from Earth to Moon as a consequence of the tidal interaction of the Earth-Moon system…the Moon could not have been receding from the Earth for more than 1.4-2.3 billions years.

Ross’s rescue device is:

The conflict is resolved if the Moon’s tidal torque was less forceful in the past than it is now. In 1982, Kirk Hansen showed that the number, sizes, shapes, and geographical placements of the continents and their accompanying continental shelves hugely impact the Moon’s tidal torque on Earth.

 But we can clearly see that this is special pleading. There’s no evidence that the moon’s tidal torque was less forceful in the past. It relies both on a special (unobserved) amount of matter in a special (unobserved) arrangement of matter for a special (unobserved) amount of time.

Dr. Henry from Creation.com had this to say regarding the secular origins of the moon and moon recession

“Over the approximately 6,000 years since the creation of the universe, the lunar recession rate has been essentially constant at the present value. However, assuming a multi-billion year age, lunar recession rates would have been much higher in the distant past than now. The currently accepted parameters indicate that the moon would have required 1.3 Ga to move from its origin at the Roche limit to its present position. This is the moon’s upper-limit age and shows that the conventional chronology is incorrect. If the solar system were actually 4.6 Ga old, the moon would have receded to a distance from earth approximately 20% beyond its present position. There is a widespread belief that the impact theory of lunar origin has neutralized these dilemmas for conventional chronology”

Ross’s special rescue device is insufficient to preserve old earthism. 

To finish the chapter, Dr. Ross writes:

John Morris, a geological engineer and current president of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), once acknowledged in a radio interview that he has never met (or heard of) a scientist who became convinced on the basis of science alone that the universe or Earth is only thousands of years old.

In the footnotes, it is noted that the question that was asked to John Morris was

Have you or any of your colleagues ever met or heard of a scientist who became persuaded that the universe or Earth is only thousands of years old based on scientific evidence without any reference to a particular interpretation of the Bible?

That is not the stance of most biblical creationists, but for sake of argument, let’s grant this and suggest this change to the question:

“Have you ever heard of a scientist who became convinced that a person could be dead for three days and then return to life based only on peer-reviewed evidence rather than reading it in the Bible?”

This is why proper biblical hermeneutics is so important. The question could be formed in such a way as to make those reading Dr. Ross’s work think that this is a case-closed argument. Here are a few examples of scientists who HAVE been convinced of the scientific evidence for biblical creation that led them to Christ and that contradict Ross’s implication:

 

As you can see from the above responses to Dr. Ross’s 13 replies to young earth arguments, he has fallen far short of refuting them, but he did not even attempt to tackle the other 100 arguments presented  by creation.com

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 16

MeasuringTime

The Reliability of Radiometric Dating

Radiometric dating is the death-knell for biblical creationism…Yes? Time and time again, the ages that are expected to be found by dating a fossil using radiometric extrapolations are confirmed with amazing precision…correct? Never have there been exceptions to finding the expected ages when using radiometric dating…right?

Let’s hear what Dr. Ross would have to say. On page 181, he gives a general explanation of how radiometric dating works:

Radiometric clocks operate on the principle of half-life decay. Radioactive isotopes disintegrate through time; that is, they decay into lighter elements.

Calling the assumption-filled extrapolation of radiometric dating a clock is as bit presumptuous since the “clock” routinely gives incorrect dates on known historical ages.

One of the premier examples is when rocks from the Mt. St. Helens eruption, which occurred in 1980, were radiometrically dated 10 years after the eruption, the results “dated” the samples to be between 350,000 and 2,800,000 years old.

So if radiometric dating produces inaccurate results for samples of known ages, how can radiometric dating be expected to produce accurate results for samples of unknown ages? It cannot

In the section he titles “Conditions for Reliability” Dr. Ross says

One limiting condition concerns the rock sample’s age. The closer that age is to the radiometric half-life of the isotope being measured, the better.

Surely, Dr. Ross recognizes the assumption that he’s built into his condition. How does one know the age, since that’s what the radiometric dating mechanism is supposed to provide? His assumption is that the geologic layer in which the rock sample is found provides the boundary age. He has assumed that the sedimentary layers of rock in which the samples are found has been laid down over millions and billions years rather than the global flood described in Genesis 7-8. So, the “age” has already been determined by the layer in which it is found, so radiometric dating should align with those assumptions. When the radiometric dating process does not produce a date that corresponds to that geologic layer, the result is determined to have been contaminated or the result must be interpreted differently. Never do old earthers question the method of radiometric dating

Ross mentions two other conditions for reliability on pg183:

Sample size…sample purity. The more a sample is contaminated by materials of different ages, the less reliable the radiometric date.

Regarding sample purity: again, how does he know there is contamination of materials with different ages if that’s what he’s trying to prove? It’s as if a built-in excuse has been merged with the conditions, so that when a sample is shown to be outside the geologic layers or yields an “incorrect” date, the old earther can say “It was contaminated by materials with different ages.”

In his introduction to the mechanism of radiometric dating, Dr. Ross does not reveal the three inherent assumptions within the process:

  1. The original ratio of parent:daughter ratio is assumed to be 1:0
  2. The decay rate has always been the same
  3. No contamination has ever happened throughout the existence of the sample

In the next section, Dr. Ross attempts to wash away these assumptions by adding ANOTHER assumption. He assumes the age of the sample before starting the radiometric process. See his quote:

Supposed “evidence” against the reliability of radiometric dating focuses on the method’s “flaws” or inaccuracies when applied outside its limitations. For yields absurd dates. Why? With a half-life of 4.51 billion years, uranium-238 example, uranium-238 radiometric dating, when applied to young samples, dating cannot be effective for measuring the age of any sample younger than a few hundred million years old.

How does he know the sample is younger than a few million years old?

You can’t wash away one assumption with another assumption and expect your data to be MORE accurate…especially when the rescue-device assumption is what you’re trying to figure out.

In an uncanny admission, Dr. Ross states:

However, numerous large samples of uncontaminated charcoal from an ancient city dated to 1412 BC ± 1 year would yield a secure conclusion that the city burned sometime between 1414 and 1410 BC.

  1. How does he know the sample was uncontaminated? If we could tell which samples were and weren’t contaminated, we would only test the uncontaminated ones. His assumption is clouding his method
  2. Isn’t coal supposed to be millions of years old according to old earthers? How could MOY old coal test at 1400 years?

In the section titled “Have Decay Rates Changed?” Dr Ross has this to say:

The Bible describes the universe’s laws of physics as unchanging from the beginning until God replaces the universe with the new creation described in Revelation 21-22. In Jeremiah 33:25 God declares that the laws governing the heavens and Earth are “fixed”.

In part b of my review of chapter 7, I already refuted Dr. Ross’s wild claim about the Bible teaching the concept of invariant physical laws as a falsification of biblical creationism. The Bible assuredly does not teach that radiometric decay rates have never changed.

However, if (as Dr. Ross has claimed) God has declared the fixed laws of radiometric decay as unchangeable and upheld by God’s power, it would be impossible for humans to alter the inalterable…yes?

Physicists have observed accelerated radiometric decay in those rare instances… where decay occurs as electrons stray into the nucleus. In one experiment physicists forced an accelerated decay rate by encasing some radiometric atoms inside buckeyballs

So, are decay rates inalterable because God has made a covenant with the decay rates…or is your position incorrect?

Besides the experiments that Ross mentions above, the RATE team from ICR produced strong results showing that specific conditions (like those found at the beginning of creation and during the worldwide flood) would have affected the decay rates, thusly showing that the earth is as old as the Bible says…about 6000 years.

Dr. Ross later mentions that the known problem for old earthism of the abundance of Helium trapped in diamonds and zircons isn’t a problem. There is however enough helium trapped in zircons to show that there has been massive amounts of decay, but since helium escapes quickly and is still trapped, then not enough time has elapsed for the helium to escape. The clear conclusion is that the decay rate was altered and the earth is not old as Dr. Ross contends.

In the section titled “Nature’s Calendars” Dr. Ross talks about tree rings and ice core evidence that supports old earthism. Unfortunately, Dr. Ross has made the unfounded assumption that both tree rings and ice layers are annual and have ONLY been annual since the beginning of time.

Each year another ring or layer is added.

He does make mention that he is aware of the revived fossil fighter plane which though buried beneath over 250 feet of ice could only have been 50 years old, so the concept of “annual layers” is a fiction. He counters that the ice cores that “confirm” old ages was dug out “hundreds of miles from the nearest sea coasts.” But this does not help him. Since the flood described in Genesis 7-8 once covered the whole earth, those areas that he is talking about were recently sea coasts as the water receded from the land. He is making the assumption that the conditions that created all of the ice cores were consistent for the hundreds of thousands of years, but he has no way to verify his claim.

Dr. Ross makes no mention of the many incorrect and contradictory results that radiometric dating has produced, so below is a collection of many of them:

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 15

starry sky

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Challenges to an Old Cosmos

This is indeed the most difficult chapter for me to review. Since I am not a practicing astrophysicist or astronomer, my review will be as a layman, and I freely admit that I do not fully comprehend many of the issues mentioned.

Having said that, Dr. Ross does take a large chunk of the chapter refuting ideas that biblical creationists no longer believe or are rhetorical (Challenges 1-4 and 11)

In challenge 7, Dr. Ross gives reasons why he disagrees with Jason Lisle’s Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC). In their most recent debate, when Dr. Ross brought up his disagreements, Dr. Lisle showed why Dr. Ross’s assumptions and reasons were based on the question begging fallacy and flawed assumptions. Because Dr. Lisle has shown to be consistent in his biblical hermeneutics, I find his answer more compelling.

Below is a new answer for the starlight reaching earth in a biblical timeframe for which Hugh Ross has yet to provide an answer.

Creation Time Coordinates

There is more information about this new model in the links below

https://www.steveschramm.com/072-part-1-distant-starlight-and-creation-time-coordinates/

https://www.steveschramm.com/073-part-2-distant-starlight-and-creation-time-coordinates/

On pg96 when trying to address “Challenge 9: Old-earth creationists have their own light-travel-time problem” he says:

However, it is not possible for the universe, given its current spatial dimensions, to possess such uniformity and homogeneity in only 13.79 billion years unless the universe experienced a very rapid, very brief hyperinflation event shortly after it was created. Without the inflation event the universe would need to be orders of magnitude older than billions of years to exhibit the uniformity and homogeneity that it does.

It seems to me that even though Dr. Ross says “the laws of nature have never changed”, he tries to hide the changing of the laws of nature within the one trillionth of a one trillionth of a one trillionth of a second after the beginning where there is some supernatural alternative physics called hyperinflation. He says that term, hyperinflation, which sounds very sciency, but it appears to simply be a place to hide his altered physics to accommodate old earthism.

In Challenge 10: Radiometric decay was faster in the past, Dr. Ross says he will address it in a future chapter, so I will address his addressing in a future chapter.

Dr. Ross ends this chapter with some comments from non-Christians:

A spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey (a key witness in the 1981 Arkansas creation-evolution trial) equated the creationists’ claims for a young Earth with “the flat Earth hypothesis and the hypothesis that the sun goes around the Earth.”

This is both ad hominem and a strawman fallacy.

Allen Hammond and Lynn Margulis made this comment about the young-universe view: “Adoption of creationist [this is, young-universe creationist] ‘theory’ requires, at a minimum, the abandonment of essentially all of modern astronomy, much of modern physics, and most of the earth sciences.”

This is both a sweeping generalization fallacy and strawman. The wording could be more truthful if instead of the word “science”, we replaced it with “modern academic paradigm.” Both old earthers and biblical creationists use the concepts of science. It’s a matter of presuppositions. Old earthers assume naturalistic origins and extrapolate backwards. Biblical creationists assume catastrophism (global flood as the Bible teaches), which explains what we see in the past.

If taught that a young universe is the Bible’s clear message, many seekers and nonbelievers will conclude, under the barrage of compelling scientific evidence for the universe’s antiquity, that the Bible must be accepted on a purely subjective, nonfactual basis.

Anytime you see Dr. Ross say “scientific”, you can replace it with “modern academic paradigm”. But the way Ross has stated it, we see again that he elevates the modern academic paradigm over the Bible. This is terrible hermeneutics.

He finishes with a strawman argument

As for sincere young-earth Christians, the tenets of young-earth creationism dictate that they must shut out science and its facts altogether to preserve their faith.

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 14

building with tree

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Scientific Signs of Old Age

Age

Dictionary.com defines age as “the length of time during which a being or thing has existed; length of life or existence to the time spoken of or referred to”

As we ponder this idea of age, we should also be aware that age is itself a historical concept not a scientific one. For example, if we walk into a room and see a candle burning and want to know how long it has been burning, we can employ some scientific measurements on the candle itself to make some inferences, but a conclusive answer for how long the candle has been burning would require historical evidence. Let’s investigate this candle allegory a little further.

We could use science to measure the current length of the candle, the volume of melted wax, and the current burn rate. From those measurements a guess could be made as to how long the candle has been burning. But what other factors could influence the duration of the candle’s burn time?

  • It might have been blown out and restarted several times
  • The melted wax might have been cleaned up and discarded more than once
  • It’s possible that when lighting another candle from this current one, extra melted wax could have been spilled into the discarded pile thus changing the volume of melted wax for the calculation of the burn duration of this candle
  • The burn rate could have been different in the past based on several variables
  • How long was the candle to begin with?
  • Was the candle ever cut in segments for others to have small candles for another room?
  • There are probably others which I have not thought of. Feel free to add your additional variables in the comments.

So, the length of time something has existed is clearly not ultimately a scientific one, but is resolutely a historical one. And as we read Dr. Ross’s chapter on the Scientific Signs of Old Age, we must keep in mind that the Bible is a historical account of God’s interaction with his creation and his people as (for his great glory) He works to bring redemption from the curse of sin.

Another good line of reasoning with which our candle allegory can assist is “time-limiting factors” or the maximum burn time of the candle

  • The height of the ceiling (or other overhead boundary) would limit the burn time
  • The diameter of the candle would limit the height of wax that the structural integrity of the candle could support
  • The consistency/density of the wax would be relevant to the point above
  • There are probably others which I have not thought of. Feel free to add your additional time limiting factors in the comments.

We’ll get back to the time limiting factors later

Here’s how Dr. Ross introduces his argument for the scientific signs of old age

The scientific indicators for the “old age” of creation are even more abundant and definitive than those for humans. Hundreds of reliable markers demonstrate that creation (except for the human species) is old.

Old age is an assumption based on inferences, but when we read about God’s historical revelations throughout the scriptures, and particularly Genesis, we must elevate what God has revealed as the foundation in order for scientific measurements to provide accuracy for the age of something. Historical interventions of the Creator cannot be measured with a yardstick or a barometer. We are reliant upon his revelations to know the true age. As an example since old age assumptions require extrapolations, extrapolations of erosion measurements will be blind to God’s judgment of wickedness through a worldwide flood. We’re reliant on historical accounts of the flood to produce a true knowledge of age. Having God’s revealed knowledge of the worldwide flood makes perfect sense of the observations we see today

The four most easily understood methods for age-dating the universe involve the expansion of the universe, cosmic background radiation temperatures, stellar burning processes, and the cosmic abundances of radioactive elements.

 

Expansion of the Universe

By carefully measuring how much the galaxies’ spectral lines shift toward the longer wavelength, or the red end of the spectrum, astronomers can deter mine how rapidly the space-time fabric of the universe stretches, or expands, from the creation event. They see that the farther away a given galaxy is, the faster it moves away from us. These observations tell us the universe is expanding outward from a beginning in space and time.

To be fair, I am not an astrophysicist, so my critique of this section will be as a layman. But here are a few questions I would have of Dr. Ross regarding expansion

SuperNovaRemnants

 

Cosmic Background Radiation Temperatures

Astronomers can calculate how long the universe has been expanding by measuring the degree to which radiation from the creation event (called the cosmic microwave background radiation, or CMB) has cooled down…The fact that the CMB is now so cold implies that the universe must have been cooling down for billions of years.

Stellar Burning

Because stars are such simple systems, if astronomers know the mass of a star, they can determine its age with high precision based on measurements of the star’s color and brightness.

Remember the candle allegory as you read Ross’s words “they can determine its age”. He is using extrapolation and a number of assumptions to make this strong claim. Besides extrapolation, how could Ross calibrate this? No one has ever observed 1000 years or 100,000 years or 1,000,000 years let alone 1,000,000,000s of years.

Some young-earth creationist leaders argue that God must have created all stars in a mature state. This concept manifests two problems. First, it insinuates that God created stars already partly burnt with all the ashes and decay characteristics of stars hundreds of millions of years old. God would this be deceiving us into thinking the universe is old when in fact it is young

Since God created Adam mature with the signs of age like height, ability to talk, ability to digest solid food, and the ability to reason (among others), was God deceptive?

Since Jesus turned water into wine instantaneously, with no aging, was Jesus being deceptive?

In the same way, Ross assumes incorrectly that God could not create stars at various stages of development so that his glory would be greater

Abundances of Radioactive Isotopes

Radioactive dating has many assumptions, which cannot truly provide definitive ages. Dr. Ross says that because supernova produce a fixed amount of radioactive isotopes that scientists can extrapolate the ratios and determine the age of the universe. There seems to be even MORE assumptions in this claim: like how does he know the fixed amount radioactive isotopes produced in each supernova? Since there are so many missing supernova remnants (based on old earth assumptions) how can he then measure the fixed amount of existing radioactive isotopes.

It’s possible (even likely) that I do not fully understand his arguments here, but there seems to be an awful lot of unjustified speculation for him to claim that the abundance of radioactive isotopes is one of the strongest evidences for old earthism.

 

Throughout this chapter, Dr. Ross makes the claim that the universe is precisely 13.79 ± 0.06 billion years old. In 2019 new measurements reduced the age of the universe almost 1,250,000,000 years. So, the error bars were crushed by several orders of magnitude. Don’t miss the extreme inaccuracy of Ross’s claims: Suddenly, over a billion years went missing from the age of the universe and this is almost TWENTY-ONE times the size of his error bars!!!

Dr. Ross finishes the chapter thusly

In 1991 the best available measurements produced a date of 16 ± 3 billion years.

Since the best measurements available in 2019 have the universe at 12.5 billion years, we can make an extrapolation of the time when the modern academic paradigm will catch up to the Bible.

[Sarcasm font/] Approximately every 38 years, the modern academic paradigm (MAP) declares the universe to have lost about 3.5 billion years, so we can safely say that within 150 years the MAP will confirm what God has said all along in his word: In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. [/sarcasm font]

Now, I want to go back to the time limiting factors that I mentioned at the beginning with the candle analogy. Are there limiters to how old the earth and universe can be?

And many others

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

 

Back to the Table of Contents

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 13

landscape nature sky person

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Big Bang: The Bible Said it First

The title is fairly self explanatory. Dr. Ross tries to make the case that the Bible teaches the concept of what is proverbially known as the Big Bang. Let’s look at chapter 13 to see what Dr. Ross believes to be the Big Bang (BB) and how the Bible does or does not teach this theory

These are quotes from Dr. Ross throughout chapter 13 in which he defines part or all of the theory:

In truth, the cosmic “bang” is an immensely powerful yet carefully planned and controlled burst of creation-a sudden release of power from which the universe unfurled in an exquisitely controlled expansion. In an instant, time, space, matter, and energy, along with the physical laws governing them all, came into existence from a source beyond the cosmos

Except for Ross’s redaction of “and the Earth” from Genesis 1:1, I have to agree with his quote from above. In the beginning, God did create time, space, matter and energy…but for some reason, Dr. Ross ignores the last part of the verse “and the Earth” in an effort to teach his old earthism.

The thermodynamics of cosmic expansion, if fine-tuned adequately, predict that these ashes (heavy elements from hydrogen burning) together with the remaining hydrogen, will eventually coalesce (in a way comparable to raindrop formation) to develop galaxies, stars, planets, and moons from gas and dust clouds.

In his 1st quote we saw how Dr. Ross ignored the Earth as being created at the beginning. In his continued explanation of the BB, he now ignores the order of creation in Genesis 1. While the Bible says that stars, planets, galaxies, and moons are created on Day 4, Dr. Ross ignores the order of creation implies that the Earth isn’t created for about 10,000,000,000 years after the beginning. He proposes cosmic evolution, which he reduces to “raindrop formation” as a simplified way of describing how stars coalesce from dust, ignite into stars, supernovae to create heavier chemicals, and coalesce again into planets and stars until eventually, the earth coalesces from previous supernova. The Bible teaches none of this, and modern physics can only assume each of those previous steps since only the destruction of stars by supernovae have ever been observed.

On page 137 we see the 1st attempt at a claim that the Bible teaches the BB theory:

Scripture’s prophets and apostles described four fundamental features of the big bang: a transcendent cosmic beginning in the finite past, cosmic expansion from that beginning, unchanging laws of physics, and an all-pervasive law of decay. Isaiah 42:5 makes reference to the first two features.

Nothing in this quote would refute the biblical creationist’s understanding of the universe or scripture as the expansion of space is part of most biblical creationist’s models. While most have a moderate understanding of expansion rather than Dr. Ross’s naturalistic understanding, expansion is expected. So, Dr. Ross’s claims that the Bible teaches the Big Bang in the same way that Stephen Hawkings teaches the Big Bang isn’t correct.

The Bible also speaks about other big bang features. Jeremiah 33:25 and Romans 8:20-22 indicate that “The fixed laws of heaven and earth,” which includes thermodynamics, gravity, and electromagnetism, have universally operated throughout cosmic history. Big bang theory agrees.

Knowing how Dr. Ross frames his arguments, he includes this quote in a way to refute the biblical creationist idea that perhaps the speed of light has been different in the past or that the accepted speed of light convention refutes both the anisotropic synchrony convention (ASC) and creation time coordinates model (CTC). My understanding of the ASC and CTC models do not include a differing of physical laws just of a frame of reference. Either way, I have asked Dr. Ross to elaborate on the timing of God’s declaration that physical laws have never changed. Dr. Ross has claimed that it was from the beginning, but scripture disagrees with him. Genesis 8:22 is the first time that God declares his covenant with creation not to change the physical laws. This is over 1500 years after creation, so it is conceivable that God could have changed the physical laws had He desired prior to this point. I do not think He did, but Dr. Ross cannot claim Jeremiah 33:25 was an established covenant prior to the aftermath of the flood when God formally declares his covenant in Genesis 8:22. Remember, exegesis and the authority of scripture (not old earthism) are preeminent.

Christian outrage over the big bang certainly seems misplaced.

As noted before, the Christian outrage over the BB is the cosmic evolution, chemical evolution, stellar evolution, galactic evolution, and planetary evolution all taking place out of order with Scripture’s description in Genesis 1.

Since I am not an astrophysicist, my understanding of the BB itself is supplemented by knowledgeable astrophysicists. If you are interested in further study regarding the enormous and insurmountable problems with the BB, here are some links for your benefit:

UPDATE: Here are some really good articles about the Big Bang from Jason Lisle

  1. The big bang was invented to explain the origin of the universe and its features without God
  2. The big bang is a secular story of the origin of the universe
  3. Are there good reasons to believe it (BB) despite its lack of scientific verification?

 

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to accept naturalist mechanisms like the big bang to explain God’s creative works. Neither do we have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents

Presuppositional Apologetics Believes in Evidence: Yet Five Ways its Different than Evidentialism

ALL evidence confirms God’s revelation in scripture!

If you’re not familiar with the Kingdom work done at “VeritasDomain”, you should check them out. Amazing work!

The Domain for Truth

I hear too often people say Presuppositional apologetics don’t believe in evidence.  That’s not true.  Presuppositional apologetics does believe there’s a role for evidence in Christian apologetics.

But first off some might need to know what is Presuppositional apologetics in the first place.  It might be helpful to listen to various different lectures on Presuppositional apologetics; check out our “Ultimate Collection of Free Presuppositional Apologetics Lectures.”  Among the many lectures the ones I recommend would be Greg Bahnsen’s Van Tillian Apologetics and Jason Lisle’s one shot “Jason Lisle “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” Lecture at The Master’s Seminary

Yet if Presuppositional Apologetics believes there’s a place for evidence how is a distinctly Presuppositional Apologetics’ approach different than the typical Evidentialism?

I can think of five ways.

View original post 591 more words

RTB and Speciation

If you are not familiar with the work done at “In His Image” blog, you should check it out. Good stuff!

In His Image

My fellow blogger ApoloJedi has been doing a thorough debunking of Dr. Hugh Ross’s book A Matter of Days recently.  Having never read the book, I’ve been following his review with great interest.  His most recent review article brought up Ross’s critique of the young-earth view of speciation. While Ross’s view is laughably out of date, it got me thinking about how the Reasons to Believe (RTB) (Ross’s ministry) handles speciation. So I started digging into their website. Here is their view of speciation and why it does not work.

It is important to understand upfront that Dr. Ross and RTB do not accept the Bible as written. Rather they must eisogete the text to insert millions of years into the Scripture. They do this by claiming that the days in Genesis 1 are not literal twenty-four hours days. Instead, these days are supposed to be undefined long periods…

View original post 693 more words

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 12

photo of machu picchu

Photo by Chelsea Cook on Pexels.com

Faith, Morality, and Long Creation Days

I just want to take a moment at the “halfway-point” in this book review to remind folks that I do not want to condemn the man, Hugh Ross. I believe he is a Christian and is ripe for correction because of his false hermeneutical methodology. With that, let’s look at ch 12

Some young-earth creationist leaders have persuaded large segments of the Christian community to believe that a link exists between belief in an old Earth and a slide into immorality.

This is not an unfounded warning. As has been consistently shown in the previous chapters of this book review, old earthism elevates the modern academic paradigm as an authority over biblical interpretation. While the modern academic paradigm in-and-of-itself does not constitute a slide into immorality, elevating ANYTHING as an authority over biblical interpretation is dangerous. It’s the same false methodology when people elevate cultural norms or politics as authorities over the Bible. So, proper biblical interpretation is important. Scripture interprets scripture.
One other serious compromise that I have pointed out about old earthism is the constant necessity to redefine words and context within scripture to accommodate the old earth axiom. The danger here is that one can say they believe the Bible as long as they can define words however they want. With this same type of redefining words, people can say they affirm the Bible but still accept homosexual unions, abortion on demand, and feminism as holy.
Ross expressed frustration that some Christians portrayed him in a bad light on p128

He (spokesman for Bible Science Association)described me as “dangerous”, adding that I’m “not an orthodox Christian” and claiming that my views on an old earth undermine belief in Christs’s atonement.

There IS danger because when someone claims that the very specific curses of sin (death/suffering/corruption/thorns) are NOT curses for sin, one has to question the orthodox nature of that person’s Christianity. Jesus took the penalties for sin upon Himself at the cross. Dr. Ross declared plainly that the Bible does NOT say death, corruption, harm & thorns were a result of sin.

HughRossTwitterBibleIgnorance
It’s almost as if he’s never read:

  • Genesis 1 – Creation is “Very good”. Predation is prohibited
  • Genesis 3 – Cursed is the ground because of Adam’s rebellion. It will now produce thorns. Painful toil results from sin. You will now be subject to death
  • Isaiah 11 & 65 – reversal of the curse of Genesis 3. From predation to herbivore, from harm/destruction to peace. From toil & misfortune to blessings.
  • Romans 5 – The rebellions of Adam brought death into the world
  • Romans 8 – Creation is in bondage to corruption because of sin
  • I Corinthians 15 – Death is the final enemy to be defeated

Attempts to link belief in an old earth with immorality rest on the false equating of long creation days with naturalism.

Yet, Dr. Ross’s teachings on origins share about 90% of naturalism’s origins story. It’s not a stretch to say that old earthism is a “gateway drug” to naturalism.

That cloud of condemnation casts a long shadow, even over the reputation of some of Christianity’s and the Bible’s most distinguished defenders – Charles Hodge, Benjamin Warfield, Gleason Archer, Norman Geisler, and Walter Kaiser, for example.

I’ll add another accomplished apologist who has chosen to accept old earthism – Greg Koukl. Koukl is another very smart defender of the faith, but because his old earthism leaves gigantic contradictions in his worldview, when he was asked by a child why there are mosquitoes in the world, rather than being able to say “the curse of man’s rebellion against God’s commands ruined God’s VERY GOOD creation including mosquitoes”, Koukl responded, “To employ workers making mosquito repellent.

GregKoukl
So, this is not to say that old earthers are not Christians, but when tough questions arise regarding death, corruption, suffering, and thorns they are all forced to reject the scriptures that specifically mention why the world is broken and awaiting redemption (Romans 8)

Belief in evolution does not necessarily identify a person as an enemy of the faith. Such belief may come from or lead to rejection of God’s truth, but many adherents to evolution simply have not yet thought through the implications of what they have been taught.

But you, Dr. Ross have thought through the implications of your old earthism, and rather than turning from the ideas of

  1. Death, suffering, corruption, predation, and thorns prior sin
  2. Re-interpreting scripture to accommodate the modern academic paradigm

…you have dug in your heels and doubled down on these unbiblical ideas.

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 11

Young-Earth Darwinism

Is there a link between youth-earth creationists and evolutionists? Are they “sister” views because they abide on opposite ends of radical extremes…like yin/yang? One might get that impression from the opening of Chapter 11

Countless people have been influenced by the beliefs of youth-earth creationists and their evolutionist opponents, persuaded to accept a long creation timescale is tantamount to accepting that amoebas turned into monkeys that turned into humans…The topic of evolution rouses unmitigated, unrelenting animosity between naturalists and supernaturalists. Unfortunately, both sides have assumed that the origin- and history-of-life timescale constitutes the crucial divide. As astronomical advances proved the universe to be some 10 to 15 billion years old, a majority if both scientists and Christians mistakenly assumed that billions of years allowed ample time for a naturalistic account of life.

From the title of the chapter and the opening paragraph, it sounds like Dr. Ross is equating young-earth creationists and Darwinists as being wrong because they are on opposite ends of the origins spectrum. Before we see if this false equivocation continues throughout the chapter, I do want to take issue with his claim that astronomy proved the universe to be 10,000,000,000 to 15,000,000,000 years old. I’ve already addressed the terrible problems with the Big Bang, but it’s worth bringing up again. He makes this claim as if it’s true rather than in dispute. If it’s not in dispute why has he written a whole book about how a day can be either 12 hours or 10,000,000,000 years?

Young-earth creationist leaders’ views on the fall (Adam and Eve’s original sin) and on the Genesis flood drive them-knowingly or not-into the surprising corner of belief in ultra efficient biological evolution. The first chapter of Genesis (supported by other Bible passages) says God ceased to introduce new life-forms after the sixth creation day. Thus, young-earth creationists need an explanation for the huge number of new species of animals (namely, carnivores) they say appeared suddenly, after the fall, and proliferated again in the short span since the flood of Noah’s day. How did these creatures get here, since God didn’t create them?

Ross does not explain why he thinks God did not create the animals that today engage in carnivory behavior, but it’s clear that he does not understand what biblical creationists teach.

The modern academic paradigm teaches that genetic code has accumulated and through natural selection acting on random mutations “created” new and distinct species. Nature started with nothing and built up the genetic code we see today. It is essentially a bottom-up view. That view is contrary to the Bible and the evidence. What is actually seen is that mutations destroy the existing code as time progresses. God built all the variety that each kind could possibly exhibit into the original created pairs. Over time, through geographic isolation, mutation, and natural selection the kinds have split into distinct species. But the change is definitely “down hill”…not uphill as evolutionists would suggest. The differences described above can be seen as graphics below. The evolutionists suggest a single common ancestor built the “tree of life” in the bottom up view. 

TreeOfLife

 

Biblical creationists suggest the “creation orchard” as described in Genesis and shown below.

 

CreationOrchard

 

But Dr. Ross suggests that biblical creationists teach Darwinism, and he is gravely mistaken.

His mistakes continue to pile up with almost every word he writes:

The young-earth creationists’ interpretation of the Genesis flood exacerbates the apparent speciation problem. According to their interpretation, a globally extensive deluge wiped out all land-dwelling, air-breathing life on Earth, except those pairs of animals on board Noah’s ark, and virtually all Earth’s fossils and geological features resulted from this relatively recent cataclysmic event.

This is what the Bible teaches, so yes, biblical creationists believe what the Bible teaches. I’ve addressed Hugh Ross’s false teaching about a local flood several times in previous posts, and you can see why his local flood theory wrong both from scripture and the links below:

 

ch11p117

You can see from the above picture of page 117 that Dr. Ross presents several logical fallacies in place of arguments against biblical creation

  • Bait and switch fallacy- Genesis says that 2 of every kind boarded the ark, but Dr. Ross talks of 100,000,000 species. Species ≠ kind. The originally created kinds (that contained all of the original variability of traits in their DNA) no longer exist, but the biblical kind would best be equivalent to the modern classification of Family. Species however is a slippery term with no clear definition. Many disparate species can interbreed, which would indicate that they are of the same kind even though modern classification has them as distinct species
  • Strawman fallacy – Thinking he is attacking the biblical creation model, Ross says “The problem grows even worse”, when actually he’s attacking a strawman of his own making. He has erected a strawman of biblical creation, and then he has viciously attacked that caricature rather than what the Bible and biblical creationists actually teach. 
  • Equivocation fallacy – As I mentioned before, evolution teaches a “bottom-up” construction of DNA from a single common ancestor to the animals today. But Dr. Ross says that biblical creationists are teaching evolution when he says “Ironically, creation scientists propose an efficiency of natural biological evolution far greater than even the most optimistic Darwinist would dare suggest.” But this is NOT what creation scientists are teaching. At best, one could say that creation scientists are teaching DEVOLUTION as genetic code continues to fall apart. 

It doesn’t get any better on p118

Animals, especially those as large and as advanced as horses, zebras, and cats, simply do not and cannot evolve or diversify under natural conditions at such extremely rapid rates (see box, “Size Matters,” page 119). If naturalistic evolutionary processes actually did proceed at such rapid rates, they would, of course, be observable in real time, in our time. Long-term evolution experiments refute the possibility of such rapid and dramatic changes

In this paragraph, Ross reveals his ignorance of what biblical creationists actually teach. In any long-term evolution experiments, the scientists will be concerned with how rapidly new information can emerge from natural selection acting on random mutations. But biblical creationists understand from scripture that because God created organisms to reproduce according to their kinds, that ALL variety that has been expressed in all the different organisms was present in the original created kind that came from the hand of God. A better example that demonstrates this would be the breeding of dogs. In the last 200-300 years dogs have been bred into hundreds of different varieties based on traits from an original robust wolf. This is an actual experiment that confirms biblical creation. Animals can diversify extremely quickly from an original kind, and we can actually see the variety expressed rapidly.

dog-speciation

I thought Dr. Ross’s inventory of strawmen had been expended, but he apparently has a warehouse of them because on p120, he erects another caricature of biblical creation and then burns it down with aplomb. 

From a young-earth perspective, any concession that Earth or the universe may be more than about 10,000 years old undermines the foundation of their faith-the veracity of a core doctrine and of the Scriptures themselves. No wonder they so strongly oppose anyone, even fellow Christians, who propose an ancient universe and Earth

And all of this because he does not understand the teachings. If he were to spend just a little bit of time reading over the materials of Christian biologists, microbiologists, geneticists and biochemists, his misconceptions could be cured

 

I’m not a geneticist, but from the reading I’ve done, it appears that Dr. Ross is making a claim on p122  about genetics that is unsupported by the data

Mutations rarely occur. Typically only one individual in a million will experience a mutation

If you’re interested in researching Dr. Ross’s claim on genetics further, here are some pertinent links

 

When I read through the Bible, it is clear to me that God created the universe in the relatively (relative to modern academic paradigm) recent past and that because of the extreme wickedness of mankind, God judged the planet with a global flood that wiped out all man and animals. This provides a perfect solution for the record of death/disease/suffering in fossils that are trapped in water-sorted layers all over the globe

But when Hugh Ross reads the Bible:

The first time I read through the Bible, however, I observed in the creation accounts an answer to the enigma of the fossil record.

There seems ONLY to be an “enigma of the fossil record” for those who reject the clear reading and exegesis of scripture. 

Throughout six creation epochs

Since Dr. Ross believes days and epochs to be the same thing, why does he even insert the non-biblical term epoch into his apologetic materials?

Interpreting the Genesis creation days as tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of years in no way lends support to evolutionism.

Except (Because Dr. Ross believes and teaches evolutionism):

  • Cosmic evolutionism
  • Chemical evolutionism
  • Stellar evolutionism
  • Galactic evolutionism
  • Planetary evolutionism
  • UPDATE: Dr. Ross uses sources that assume human evolution from a common ancestor with chimps to get his old earth dates…so Biological evolutionism

…which the modern academic paradigm and Dr. Ross cannot theorize without. So, the billions of years are necessary for their beliefs to have validity even though their existence is not allowed by the Bible. 

 

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents

Review – A Matter of Days – Chapter 10

alberta amazing attraction banff

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Peace Through Paradise

In chapter 10, Dr. Ross presents the argument that stellar evolution is a continuing process and the biblical creationists resist the idea of ongoing star formation

The leaders at ICE assert that the universe is essentially static. They deny astronomers’ (even Christian astronomers’) assertion that “we can still see stellar evolution taking place in the heavens. We can see stars, galaxies, and planets in various stages of this cosmic evolutionary process.” Their response: “No we can’t! The heavens and the earth were finished” (italics original). As proof, they cite Hebrews 4:3: “[God’s] works were finished from the foundation of the world.”

I would add Genesis 2:1 as well: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.”
Dr. Ross asserts that the universe continues to get more and more organized through the continued evolution of stars and galaxies. And while I would try to hold my view loosely (as with an open hand), I don’t see how this is possible if God completed his creative works at the end of day 6. Perhaps he views star formation similar to procreation in that humans continue to produce children, and maybe he sees stars as “procreating” new stars over time. But there seems to be too many obstacles to overcome in new star formation without God intervening.
On pg 107 Dr. Ross says:

A small sampling if verses cannot adequately support a doctrine of such significance as the future dwelling place for God’s chosen and redeemed people. Again, all relevant texts must be collected and their frames of reference identified. Using these criteria to compare interpretations reveals valuable insight.

With this paragraph, I have to agree. But not in the way Dr. Ross would like to think. If HE would employ this line of thinking more often, then this book review would not be necessary. For example, Dr. Ross believes and teaches that the Bible unequivocally mandates a small local flood in the Mesopotamian valley. He can draw from only 2 verses (which he takes out of context) in all of scripture that he claims teaches this.
Psalm 104:9 “You [God] set a boundary they [waters] cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.”
2 Peter 2:5 “if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.”

If you’re wondering how Dr. Ross is able to definitively assert that the Bible is teaching a local flood from these 2 passages, you’re not alone. For Psalm 104, he believes that the poetic and very figurative language inherent in Psalm 104 is teaching a definitive historical timeline of the creation week (which he also thinks is approximately 14,000,000,000 years long rather than an actual week) which redefines the Genesis narrative. Since he sees the limitation put on the water as no longer being able to cross the boundaries of the shoreline, he forms his doctrine on “a small sampling of verses which cannot adequately support a doctrine of such significance.” Psalm 104:9, though sounds so much more like Gen 8/9 when God promises never again to curse the ground or bring a blood to cover the earth. We also know from the passage in Psalm 104 that because it mentions lions as predators and the condemnation of the “wicked”, we know that this passage is speaking of a post-fall world and NOT a pre-fall world as Ross believes.
Regarding how Dr. Ross gets a local flood from 2 Peter 2:5, I still do not know. He claims that the Greek word we translate as “ancient world” is instead referring to a geographic location rather than a time period. I’ve asked him online how he is able to come to this conclusion despite every translation and Greek lexicon translating G744 archaias as ancient, he stubbornly insists on his private definition of the word. It is a limiter of time not location, but Dr. Ross asserts he knows better than all Bible translators that this verse is teaching a local flood rather than a flood that happened in ancient times.
But the point of this little sidetrack highlights Dr. Ross’s hypocritical claim that “A small sampling if verses cannot adequately support a doctrine of such significance.” He’s right. His sampling size for a small flood is too small (and deeply flawed)
Back to Dr. Ross’s specialty: wild claims

Perhaps if astronomy were more widely taught in schools, more people would know that star and planet formation is a simpler process than raindrop and snowflake formation. A person who believes in ongoing raindrop formation need not hesitate to acknowledge ongoing star formation

a man in red shirt covering his face

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

He doesn’t go into details about that 1st sentence, but regarding the 2nd sentence Dr. Ross has asserted a false equivocation. Star formation is specifically identified as part of God’s creative work on Day 4…not so with raindrop formation. While raindrops do glorify the Lord, they are definitely NOT on the same level as the formation of magnificent stars and galaxies.
The end of Chapter 10 is a claim that old earth models are more theologically consistent with scripture than biblical creation. Dr. Ross has been describing what he thinks the new heavens and earth will look like. He’s keen on describing the physics of the new creation. He closes with this question:

Do long creation days and an old Earth and universe really accommodate naturalistic (or even theistic) evolution?

I hear his question and I’ll raise him three more questions:

  1. Will the creation of the new heavens and earth take 14,000,000,000 years like you think the current creation took?
  2. Will the new heavens and earth be “Very good” and filled with death/disease/suffering/thorns like you think the current creation is (even prior to the sin of mankind) ?
  3. Since old earthism in the naturalistic flavor teaches that “anything is possible given enough time”, why is God even needed at all in theistic old earthism?

As biblical creationists, we can praise God for the consistent nature of his revelation. We do not have to redefine the words in the Bible to accommodate modern academic paradigms or cultural changes in sexuality or political revolutions as we have seen Dr. Ross do. God’s Word is eternal and we can trust God to keep his word regarding the future since we can trust his revelation from the past.

Back to the Table of Contents