- WORLD: “Riding the Rapids”
In June we covered Olasky’s thoughts on whether Christians should embrace evolution to help further evangelism. “For such a time as this we must learn to trust God to change hearts without our having to back away from the Bible,” Olasky concluded. Now, having joined creationists for a raft trip through the Grand Canyon, Olasky in this week's cover story of WORLD examines the origins controversy in more detail. “This article will look at some young-earth creationist thinking as compared with conventional theories,” he writes, “and suggest how Christian colleges should react.
Joining him on the rafting trip were individuals from Answers in Genesis, including geologist Andrew Snelling and science/geology historian Terry Mortenson. But why even give the young-earthers a chance to defend their view? Olasky answers (convincingly, in our admittedly biased opinion) by quoting secular geologist Wayne Ranney:
“[R]ivers like the Colorado actually deepen their channels only during relatively large and intermitted large-scale floods, when huge amounts of large, rocky debris are in motion. . . . Most canyons are carved only during relatively rare flood events. . . . Imagine the view from the rim at the moment when a lava dam catastrophically failed and a tremendous outburst flood roared through the Grand Canyon with rubble-filled water 600 feet deep.”
But why even give the young-earthers a chance to defend their view?
Ranney clearly “sees the limits of uniformitarian explanations,” Olasky writes. Of course, the same can be said of the creationists on the trip with Olasky, whose teachings on the trip (condensed by Olasky) form a quick summary of much of the young-earth creation arguments for a young earth:
Christians “should not excommunicate young-earthers.”
- “Fossilization normally occurs when subjects are buried catastrophically . . . .”
- “We discussed the ‘unconformities,’ contact points between different layers of rock: If one was put down millions of years after another, why are there no signs of physical or chemical erosion between the layers?”
- “[N]on-literal interpretations of Genesis mythologize the first three chapters . . . Jesus and the New Testament writers cited the first 11 chapters of Genesis 107 times . . . .”
- “[R]ocks do not normally bend . . . but [Snelling] pointed out rock layers that were bent without fracturing, indicating their rapid deposit and folding while still wet and pliable . . . .”
- “[W]hen there’s a conflict between what the Bible clearly states and what a contemporary scientific theory stipulates, we go with the Bible. The Bible clearly states that God created everything according to its kind, and specially created Adam and Eve.”
- “Untested assumptions lie behind all knowledge claims. This is particularly true about historical science, which is different from operational science. Scientists can observe laboratory experiments, but the only eyewitness to creation was God.”
Olasky is a fair judge, pointing out that young-earthers still don’t have a comprehensive understanding of radiometric dating (though neither do old-earthers; see last week’s News to Note), and that old-earthers point to their own evidences of the Grand Canyon’s antiquity. (He also promises a follow-up article presenting the old-earth view.) But he concludes that Christians “need investigation, not arbitrary exclusion of what is scientifically unfashionable,” and that Christians “should not excommunicate young-earthers” but instead “encourage debate among all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but have differences in interpretation.”
Surprise, surprise: we agree.
- The Grand Canyon
- Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years?
- Did Jesus Say He Created in Six Literal Days?
For More Information: Get Answers
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, FOX News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us. If you didn’t catch all the latest News to Know, why not take a look to see what you’ve missed?