O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

What if God created the earth recently, but made it look billions of years old? Is this a test of our faith? Is this an effective way to deal with the overwhelming scientific evidence of earth's antiquity, or does it only raise more serious scientific and theological questions? Sorry but this video is no longer available,but the discussion is worth reading through.

Views: 1615

Comment by Norm on September 11, 2010 at 6:08am
If one wants a good example of the futility of this mindset I recomend listening to the most recent Sam Frost discussion with Michael on AD70's podcast. The last 15-20 mins is especially unerving to listen to the rationalization tht Sam continues to spin that largely discredits his work in any realm. Sam and those who adhere to these mental gynastics are just as Gordon Glover states setting up a terrible problem for their children who leave home and have to confront the reality of their invented worldview. When one is rasied in a medieval mentality and actually have to function in a modern one theri faith and confidence is going to be challenged by what their misquided parents taught them. Do we wonder why 70 % of our evangelical children are leaving the faith?
Comment by Tami on September 11, 2010 at 8:38am
"Do we wonder why 70 % of our evangelical children are leaving the faith?"

There is no wonder here, Norm. And as I stated in our recent podcast discussion exposing the absurdity (and sad consequences) of Sam's "my-eyes-tell-me-nothing" philosophy, according to these folks, the Creator is also a deceiver.

It's a shame.
Comment by JL Vaughn on September 11, 2010 at 10:37am
If the Creator is a deceiver, then our eyes do tell us nothing. They are sadly consistent.
Comment by Joseph Vincent on September 11, 2010 at 11:21am
Very good video and arguments, however, if his arguments are followed to their logical conclusions, there is still a very big problem:

If God created the universe with the appearance of age, yet it occured very quickly (in 6 days for example), then this is deceptive since it contradicts all observation and science...right?

Ok, but didn't God create the entire universe out of nothing? When it just "popped" into existence, whether it originated as a singularity, or as a self sustaining universe already here, doesn't that violate every known observable scientific law or reality that we can test and know? Wouldn't that make God a deceiver (using the same logic as above), since nothing we observe comes into existence out of nothing?

Again, if God just "created" everything out of nothing, there is nothing about that which can be tested, observed, repeated, or proven. So how does that not make equally deceptive using the same logic as above? Even if you simply begin with a singularity, how did that singularity come about? Did "it" have age? Did it have complexity, or was it a simple structure? If it was anything other than a simple structure, then it would "appear" to have complex order, and therefore, would violate the same principles as stated above.

I don't see how this is avoided, no matter how God created everything.

Comment by JL Vaughn on September 11, 2010 at 12:08pm

Violating physical law is not the problem. A miracle, by definition, violates physical law.

The issue is, if you do the forensics, if work time backwards, do you come to a discontinuity? Do you come to a point where an intelligent agent intervened? Do you come to a point where science can no longer explain the events?

Let's say you work for CSI. You go to a crime seen. Nothing has been touched. You start from the current time and work backwards to try to determine when the crime occurred. At some point in the past, someone acted and changed the course of events. You see what developed naturally, according to the "laws" of science, from that point on.

For the universe, what is the current course of events? It appears to be expansion at a measurable rate. Work it backwards. Check the details. The universe appears to be expanding from a single point like an explosion governed by the equations of general relativity.

The equations came from the minds of a few people trying to imagine how the universe works. They did not come from the data. They equations are a presupposition, an assumption.

The equations require a set of "initial conditions." Those initial conditions are the here an now. We can work the equations forward or backward from those initial conditions and test to see if these presuppositions agree with reality.

We work the equations backwards, an eventually, they breakdown. General relativity can not go any further backwards. This is a discontinuity. This is when the "crime" was committed.

Quantum mechanics is another set of presuppositions on how the universe works. We can work those equations either backward or forward, looking for a discontinuity. The equations breakdown at the same place. This is another piece of evidence pointing to when the "crime" was committed.

All of the data points to a complete breakdown of science about 13.75 +/- 0.17 billion years ago. We can place the crime in that narrow window of time. Something occurred at that time that can not be explained by science, that is counter to science, yet science demonstrates it occurred.

Does that help?
Comment by Joseph Vincent on September 11, 2010 at 12:28pm

Yea, I understand all that (given that all those assumptions are correct)...however, that still doesn't solve the dilema of that original singularity. Science cannot tell us for example, how long that singularity existed, or how it existed before it was a singularity, or how complex, or simple it was, or even if that is the truly what existed which began the whole process. There are oscillating models, eternal universe models, string theory with extra dimentional models, and many others based on science and mathematics, or simply theoretical, which could cause the age of everything to be much older than simply as far back as we can currently demonstrate.

Say for example in a few hundred or thousand years, that science shows us that the singluarity must have been complex, and needs additional explanation and we continue going further back. Or let's say that in that time that we find that many of our assumptions are wrong, and that light and time are entirely relative, and that our universe is much younger than millions of years old, but still began with some sort of complex singularity (it must have been complex).

The problem is still there. A complex singularity "must" have existed in order for science to explain everything that exists...but if it is complex, then how did that complexity get there? If you begin at the scene of the crime starting with a complex singularity, then how do you work backwards from that singularity to figure out "how it all happened?" You can't. If God created that singularity out of nothing, that seems quite deceptive since everything we observe tells us that anything that has complexity must have developed through stages and cause and effect, and through a process which brought about this complexity. So if the singularity existed, and if it was the beginning of all things, then God had to create it out of nothing, and therefore, he had to violate laws of our current existence, since there is no law that can explain the existence of this singluarity (or it's age, how it was a complex singularity, etc.).

Wouldn't you agree that even in a singularity model, that this singularity had to have an appearance of "age" and to be "complex"? Certainly you wouldn't argue that the singularity appeared in existence as being only a moment old in age, or that it was the simplest of all known allowable existences? If you argued this, then you would have to argue that somehow a very simple, young singularity then went on to develop into the known universe...something that no scientist would currently accept.

Therefore, a complex, aged singularity that at some point and time eventually "exploded" into our known universe would be just as difficult to "solve the crime scene" as the rest of the known universe.

Ultimately we agree, that at some point, we just have to throw our hands up and say, "God made it." We agree here. But if that is the case, then we also must admit that the "appearance of age" or the "complexity" of what existed when God made it is a non-issue, since it would be miraculous for God to do this either way.

Think of the singularity as a person for a moment. If this "person" had memory, or the appearance of age when it popped into existence, isn't that deceptive? Was this singularity created without any appearance of age, or any complex design? If it had any of those things, it fits right into the same category as an aged universe created out of nothing.

Just my thoughts...
Comment by Norm on September 11, 2010 at 1:19pm
I believe God created the Phsical Universe and its too complex for us to fathom it's ultimate origination because who can even imagine a God who has no begining and end. However this is mostly a moot point when it comes to scriptures since Genesis 1 is about the creation and establishmenst of God's people of faith and not the physcial universe or planet earth.
Comment by JL Vaughn on September 11, 2010 at 1:33pm

How's you algebra? You were once well-schooled in singularities. Here's the Wikipedia article on singularities. A singularity is not a thing. It is the place where the equations break down. The equations no longer work. You can't get to that point, let alone beyond it.

If we take the equation

f(t) = a / t

It doesn't matter what a is, the equation breaks down and can not describe reality at t = 0. This is a fundamental mathematical issue. Math is fundamentally logic. Think of it as logic breaking down.

Something fundamental changed or came into existence at or after t=0. We can see and measure the t=0 problem. We can not find any evidence for a t=1 problem, either in the math or in the reality that the math matches.
Comment by Joseph Vincent on September 11, 2010 at 2:59pm
Guys, I'm not arguing that God is a deceiver, I am saying that for someone to argue that "creation with age" is deceptive, is just as deceptive as saying that "God created a singularity appearing with compexity and age." It's no different. My presupposition, is that is IS NOT deception, or deceptive for God to create anything with any appearance of age, no matter what it is. Whatever God first created, no matter how far you go back, no matter what was the very first thing, must have had an appearance of pre-existence, with age.

What I am trying to suggest, is why does it make any difference what our universe "appears" to look like, when we aren't even sure yet if many of our presuppositions about "light" and "time" etc., are even correct? Additionally, what difference would it make how long God took to develop the universe, if humans have only existed for the past 6 to 10 thousand years or so? All the known science tells us that human beings have only existed for about that amount of time (mitocondria, skeletal remains, etc.). Only invalid and presuppositional carbon dating methods argue for longer periods of time than this. Likewise, the sedimtary layers of the earth's ocean layers tell us that at the current rate of sediment buildup, our earth's sediment layers in the oceans have only been building up for about the same amount of time (assuming that it's always been the same). There are SO MANY assumptions we have to allow for to even begin guessing things like this...but the only recorded history of humans we have dates back to about 10 thousand years at the most. Before that time, there was no human being to care how long creation took, or to know how it happened, or figure out what process God used (if any).

Let me preface all this by saying, that I am not a literal, 24 hour, 6 day creationist, nor do I believe we have only been around for 6 thousand years. I believe the earth, and universe is much older than this, but how much older? The only reliable science that we can currently use, which doesn't rely on a million presuppositions, can only account for several tens of thousands of years, or possibily hundreds of thousands. But whether it's thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions, humans have only been around for a few thousand years (that we know of). There is no evidence to the contrary, and no science that can validate any other hypothesis.

If our only scientific evidence suggests that human have only been around for a few thousand years (whether 6 or 10, or however long), but that our planet and cosmos have existed for hundreds of thousands, or millions of years longer than humans, are we going to suggest that God didn't simply create the very humans out of nothing? What...did they evolve now? Are you guys going to argue for macro-evolution? Are you going to say that apes and chimps developed over millions of years and that it led to the modern human existence? Are we going to say that this was God's process, since he must have used this, since anything else would "seem" to us to be deceptive?

I'm just not sure where you guys are going with the whole "deceptive" issue. Why is it deceptive for God to create anything with the already appearance of age? Again, whether it was the first singularity, or the the cosmos in general, or human beings, what is deceptive about an all powerful God creating anything out of nothing by his power and will, in order for the creation to be self sustainable and effecient? What is so hard about that?

I'm just very confused about to why it is deceptvie according to your guys' arguments for God to have done any of this. I get the arguments, but they don't hold water if you consider any original creation by God. No matter what it is, it would have had to "appear" with age and order.
Comment by Joseph Vincent on September 11, 2010 at 3:07pm
Right...but the problem is guys, that a singularity with the mathematical equation as you put forth cannot then cause itself to develop into a higher complex thing. Something must cause it to change, or become more complex, and develop over time into the current state of existence, with laws and energy, etc. You guys are making the case that by working backwards, you move from the more complex, to the eventual singularity, but as I have argued, a "true" singularity without any complexity cannot then turn itself into more complex substance (mathematically).

By the way, I was an ace Calculus and Trig student. Without taking any courses in the last 11 years, I recently tested into pre-trig at college without having looked at a single Calc. or Trig. problem since high school. I've retained quite a bit, and thankfully, I haven't had to a single math course in college because of I love math and calc., but I don't need it for my current studies in radiology (other than a few inverse square law equations and things for ionization).

@ Ken: I agree. That's what I've been trying to say. Why do we even need to try to figure out when or how God created it all, and exactly at what point it appeared to have any age or complexity or not? We weren't cannot prove it one way or the other. The only thing science can tell us is "what" God created, and how it functions...not how it got here in the first place.

It makes perfect sense to me for God to create a fully functional universe in which, he could place human beings to habitate and exist, and explore, and dominate, and expand, and a universe that is so vast and huge and glorious, that no human can even comprehend it's immencity.


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