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.
Biblical creationists suggest the “creation orchard” as described in Genesis and shown below.
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:
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.
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
- Latest findings of genetic entropy
- Dr. Sanford responds to critics
- Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome
- mutation rate of at least 60 per generation
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
…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.