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One person writes to AiG with concerns about the scientific credentials of creationists and the importance of the age of the earth in Christianity.
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Unless you have a PhD in physics and have produced a lot of research in relativity and cosmology, you are totally unqualified to make any statements about the scientific validity of Hugh Ross’s scientific views.
This is a self-refuting statement. Did you realize that Isaac Newton spoke on a barrage of topics, yet his degree was not a doctorate? By your philosophy, all of his statements in science are negligible.
Did you realize that by your own philosophy, you have no right to question our theological stance unless you have a theology degree?
Did you realize that by your own philosophy, you have no right to question our physics unless you have a physics degree?
Ultimately, by your own philosophy your arguments are void.
The question boils down to one issue
The one issue is biblical authority—do you accept the Bible, sola scriptura, or not? If so, then you trust Jesus when he said that man came at the beginning of creation instead of at the end of time as Dr. Ross teaches.
Matthew 19:4, ‘“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ …’
Whom do you accept, Jesus or Dr Ross?
– do you accept Einstein’s theory of relativity of not?
With respect to general relativity, the Humphrey’s model (see Starlight and Time), which you so savagely criticize, uses this exclusively, so clearly we have no problem with general relativity—general relativity has been well confirmed by various experiments (operational/experimental science).
Relativity forms the basis for the Big Bang approach.
No, non-biblical assumptions form the basis; relativity provides the mechanism for the process following the assumptions. The New Encyclopædia Britannica’s article on the big bang states (15th edition, 2:205, 1992, emphasis added):
‘The big bang is based on two assumptions. The first is that Einstein’s general theory of relativity describes the gravitational attraction of all matter. The second assumption, called the cosmological principle, states that the observer’s point of view of the universe depends neither on the direction in which he looks nor on his location. This principle applies only to the large scale properties of the universe, but it does imply that the universe has no edge, so that the big bang occurred not at a particular point in space but rather throughout space at the same time. These two assumptions make it possible to calculate the history of the cosmos after a certain epoch called the Planck time. Scientists have yet to determine what prevailed before Planck time.’
Dr Humphreys’ white-hole cosmology also uses general relativity; the difference is the assumptions applied to the boundary conditions when calculating the equations. He assumes that our galaxy is near the centre of the universe. This is certainly consistent with the red-shift/distance correlation, as Edwin Hubble himself admitted (The Observational Approach to Cosmology, Clarendon, Oxford, 1937)!
‘Such a condition [these red shifts] would imply that we occupy a unique position in the universe, … But the unwelcome supposition of a favored location must be avoided at all costs … is intolerable … moreover, it represents a discrepancy with the theory because the theory postulates homogeneity.’
As Hubble admitted, the observed cosmic expansions could equally well be explained by the fact that that we really are near the centre of the universe. George Francis Rayner Ellis is another high profile cosmologist who has co-authored papers with big bang guru Stephen Hawking. In a profile in Scientific American, he honestly admitted the role of philosophical assumptions:
‘“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations,” Ellis argues. “For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations.” Ellis has published a paper on this. “You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”’
However, while red shifts per se can equally well be explained by the earth at the center or a non-centric universe, Tifft’s observations of quantized red shifts are a puzzle if the earth is not in a unique position. A non-unique position can explain observed recession, but would predict z in a continuous range not in discrete intervals. But Tifft’s data make sense if our galaxy (not necessarily the earth itself) was at or very near the centre of the universe and surrounded by concentric spherical shells of stars. See “Our galaxy is the centre of the universe, ‘quantized’ red shifts show.”
But these observations are a big problem for big bang cosmology, because it depends on the unbiblical assumption that earth is nothing special in the universe.
Relativity has been shown to be accurate to over 20 decimal places. I have not seen one young earth creationist propose any equations to replace Einstein’s that predict what relativity so accurately predicts.
Why should we? It has good scientific backing.
And Dr. Humphrey, who has no relativity or cosmology credentials, has had his views thoroughly repudiated by experts in the field.
Neither did Einstein—he was a physicist just like Humphreys and they both published papers to earn their credentials in cosmology. Alan Guth, the atheistic inventor of the inflationary hypothesis, was a particle physicist at the time.
The fact that you still advertise his books indicates your total lack of scientific understanding.
A lovely ipse dixit (‘he himself said it’ = unsupported assertion by a critic who just expects us to take his word for it). It just shows that the critic lacks understanding of the model itself, or the role of assumptions. I challenge you to refute Humphreys’ relativity analysis—submit it to the peer review process for publication in our journal TJ.
Please note, that, unlike Dr Ross, we at AiG do not base our biblical understanding on any particular cosmological model—that is putting our trust in the wrong area (fallible human reasoning). Dr Humphreys’ model is very interesting and explains a lot of things, but it is probably only the beginning of the process of developing a model that is consistent with Scripture and the astronomical data. Dr Humphreys has stated many times that he welcomes others to get involved and develop better models. His work has indeed stimulated others, as would be evident to readers of TJ, the in-depth journal of creation.
Your personal attacks on a fellow believer like Dr. Ross because he interprets the Bible differently than you, are very unchristian and disappointing.
Our dealing with Dr Ross cannot be construed as ‘personal attacks’. We have dealt with the issue, which is that of biblical authority. We are required by Scripture to rebuke those who compromise God’s Word. You have judged us with your absence of Scripture. A rebuke is done with Scripture—please show us where we err using Scripture (if we do err, we would like to be corrected).
And this is not just a matter of interpretation—the Bible tells us how to interpret it:
2 Corinthians 4:2, ‘Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.’
Proverbs 8:8-9, ‘All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. They are all straightforward to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.’
We are to interpret Scripture ‘plainly’/‘straightforward’. Dr Ross’s strange interpretations are neither straightforward nor a plain reading of the text in the way the writer intended. Once again, it comes down to trusting the Bible or a fallible man.
I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible but God help me if I do not interpret it like you do. I guess I would be subject to personal attacks also.
If you truly believe in the inerrancy of the Bible then you too should subscribe to God’s interpretation instead of Ross’s. Please see “What’s Wrong with “Progressive Creation?””
And finally, it seems to me that winning souls for Christ is where Christians should be expending their energy, not internally debating the age of the earth.
Then why are you ‘debating the age of the earth’ with us? Why is it OK for Ross to push his old-earth views but not for us to defend and promote young-earth views? Furthermore, in promoting the authority of Scripture entailed in the biblical young earth teaching, with the historical reality of the Fall and the global Flood, we are also laying the foundation for the gospel. They are clearly linked, as the testimonies of many saved people show and as Scripture itself testifies. When Paul preached the gospel on Mars Hill, he started by referring to the ‘unknown god’ who made everything (Acts 17). And when he explained the gospel of the Risen Christ in 1 Corinthians 15, he related the resurrection from the dead of the Last Adam with the death brought by the first man Adam (verses 21, 22, 45). Since Jesus’s resurrection was bodily, logically the death that Adam brought must have included bodily death. See “A Young Earth—It’s Not the Issue!”
As the saying goes, let’s major on the majors.
The double standards are glaring. Perhaps you could use your influence on Dr Ross to stop him from majoring on promoting his old earth and local flood ideas that entail death-and-suffering-before-the-fall views, which actually undermine the gospel?
I have a hard time seeing Jesus sitting down and debating with someone over the age of the earth as opposed to helping them understand what living a christian life means.
A Christian must first trust the Bible, as Jesus did (‘it is written’; ‘Scripture cannot be broken’ John 10:35). And Jesus never separated biblical morality from biblical history. Indeed, Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3:12): ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ If Jesus was wrong about earthly things (like a recent creation and a global Flood—Luke 17:26–27), why should we believe what He says about heavenly things? And in the passage above, Jesus taught about the moral issue of marriage by connecting it with the fact of the creation of man and woman as Genesis says! The Sabbath commandment, another moral issue, was given explicitly because God created the heavens and earth in six normal-length days and ‘rested’ on the seventh day (Exodus 20:8–11). If you compromise the Bible, then what is to stop you from compromising Christ? We all need to learn to not take our views to the Bible but let the Bible dictate what our views should be. God is never wrong, so we should trust Him. If we elevate our words to be equal to God’s then we are trying to equate ourselves with God. If we regard ‘nature’ as the ‘67th book of the Bible’, as Dr Ross teaches, this means that man’s fallible science, which tells us of ‘nature’, has been elevated to the status of Scripture. That’s the problem. Remember John 1:1-3.