Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

livefreeordie

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Here's my creation question of the day.

6-day creationists point to the salt in the oceans as evidence of a young earth.  They say that oceans take in more salt than they give off and if the earth were billions of years old the oceans would have far more salt to the point that they would be almost all salt.  I'm completely ignorant to the science of this, so I have no opinion on it, but it is an interesting point.

If someone who understands geology could comment on the science of this.  I.e., if this is totally made up science, explain it to me, I would appreciate it.

thanks!!
 

Riddikulus

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livefreeordie said:
Here's my creation question of the day.

6-day creationists point to the salt in the oceans as evidence of a young earth.  They say that oceans take in more salt than they give off and if the earth were billions of years old the oceans would have far more salt to the point that they would be almost all salt.  I'm completely ignorant to the science of this, so I have no opinion on it, but it is an interesting point.

If someone who understands geology could comment on the science of this.  I.e., if this is totally made up science, explain it to me, I would appreciate it.
From The Counter-Creationism Handbook, by Mark Isaak:

Claim made by H.M. Morris; Oceans do not have enough dissolved minerals for an old earth.

An upper limit for the age of the oceans is obtained by dividing the amount of an element dissolved in the sea by the amount added each year by rivers. These calcuations yield the following figures (H.M. Morris 1985, 153-155):


Element                                                         Years to Accumulate

sodium                                                           260,000,000
magnesium                                                      45,000,000
silicon                                                             8,000
potassium                                                        11,000,000
copper                                                            50,000
gold                                                                560,000
silver                                                               2,100,000
mercury                                                           42,000
lead                                                                2,000
tin                                                                  100,000
nickel                                                              18,000
uranium                                                            500,000

Answer: 1. The numbers in the table are residence times, or the average time that a small amount of an element stays in the sea water before being removed. They are not times that it takes the element to accumulate, and individual atoms may stay much briefer or longer than those times. Elements in the ocean are in approximate equilibrium between sources adding them and mechanisms removing them.
A detailed analysis of sodium, for example, shows that 35.6 x 1010 kg/yr come into the ocean, and 38.1 x 1010 kg/yr are removed (Morton 1996). Within measurement error, the amount of sodium added matches the amount removed.

2. Morris left aluminium off the list. It would show (according the Morris' reasoning) that the earth is only 100 years old.

Further reading: Burton J.D and D Wright 1981. Sea Water and its evolution; Matson, D.E. 1994, How good are those young-earth arguments? http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-yea.html#proof13; Stassen, C. 1997. The age of the earth. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html#ocean
 

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From http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-yea.html#proof13

Young-earth "proof" #13: If we divide the amount of various minerals in the ocean by their influx rate we get only a few thousand years of accumulation. Therefore, the earth is young.

13. In the case of aluminum we "get" only 100 years! In the case of sodium we "get" 260 million years. Where Dr. Hovind gets his "few thousand years," as though there were some kind of general agreement, is anyone's guess.

The table that one sees in a couple of Henry Morris' books was copied from a chapter by Goldberg (1965) that appears in Riley and Skirrow (1965).

Goldberg's [1965] Table I is a list of the abundances and residence times of the elements in sea water; it is these residence times that Morris [1974, 1977] and Morris and Parker [1982] give as indicated ages of the Earth. The residence time of an element, however is the average time that any small amount of an element remains in seawater before it is removed, not, as stated by Morris [1974], the time "to accumulate in ocean from river inflow," and has nothing to do with the ages of either the Earth or the ocean. Morris [1974, 1974a, 1977] and Morris and Parker [1982] have totally misrepresented the data listed in Goldberg's [1965] table.

(Dalrymple, 1984, 116)

Dalrymple concludes with:

The influx of chemicals to the ocean is an invalid and worthless method of determining the age of the Earth. Morris [1974, 1977] and Morris and Parker [1982] have misrepresented fundamental geochemical data and ignored virtually everything that is known about the geochemistry of seawater.

(Dalrymple, 1984, p.116)

It's all in a day's work for your typical creationist author! They are quite good at ignoring unfavorable facts. Never mind that the elements are in approximate equilibrium with the ocean; never mind that residence times are not the times for elements to accumulate from river inflow. Never mind that plankton concentrates these elements sometimes a thousand fold or more in their skeletons, and, when they die, they remove these elements from the sea waters (Glenn Morton). Press that banner high and march on! And that's exactly what a new generation of creationists are doing with this intellectually dishonest argument.
 

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From http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html#ocean

4. Accumulation of metals into the oceans
In 1965, Chemical Oceanography published a list of some metals' "residency times" in the ocean. This calculation was performed by dividing the amount of various metals in the oceans by the rate at which rivers bring the metals into the oceans.

Several creationists have reproduced this table of numbers, claiming that these numbers gave "upper limits" for the age of the oceans (therefore the Earth) because the numbers represented the amount of time that it would take for the oceans to "fill up" to their present level of these various metals from zero.

First, let us examine the results of this "dating method." Most creationist works do not produce all of the numbers, only the ones whose values are "convenient." The following list is more complete:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Al - 100 years Ni - 9,000 years Sb - 350,000 years
Fe - 140 years Co - 18,000 years Mo - 500,000 years
Ti - 160 years Hg - 42,000 years Au - 560,000 years
Cr - 350 years Bi - 45,000 years Ag - 2,100,000 years
Th - 350 years Cu - 50,000 years K - 11,000,000 years
Mn - 1,400 years Ba - 84,000 years Sr - 19,000,000 years
W - 1,000 years Sn - 100,000 years Li - 20,000,000 years
Pb - 2,000 years Zn - 180,000 years Mg - 45,000,000 years
Si - 8,000 years Rb - 270,000 years Na - 260,000,000 years

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now, let us critically examine this method as a method of finding an age for the Earth.

The method ignores known mechanisms which remove metals from the oceans:

Many of the listed metals are in fact known to be at or near equilibrium; that is, the rates for their entering and leaving the ocean are the same to within uncertainty of measurement. (Some of the chemistry of the ocean floor is not well-understood, which unfortunately leaves a fairly large uncertainty.) One cannot derive a date from a process where equilibrium is within the range of uncertainty -- it could go on forever without changing concentration of the ocean.

Even the metals which are not known to be at equilibrium are known to be relatively close to it. I have seen a similar calculation on uranium, failing to note that the uncertainty in the efflux estimate is larger than its distance from equilibrium. To calculate a true upper limit, we must calculate the maximum upper limit, using all values at the appropriate extreme of their measurement uncertainty. We must perform the calculations on the highest possible efflux rate, and the lowest possible influx rate. If equilibrium is within reach of those values, no upper limit on age can be derived.

In addition, even if we knew exactly the rates at which metals were removed from the oceans, and even if these rates did not match the influx rates, these numbers are still wrong. It would probably require solving a differential equation, and any reasonable approximation must "figure in" the efflux rate. Any creationist who presents these values as an "upper limit" has missed this factor entirely. These published values are only "upper limits" when the efflux rate is zero (which is known to be false for all the metals). Any efflux decreases the rate at which the metals build up, invalidating the alleged "limit."

The method simply does not work. Ignoring the three problems above, the results are scattered randomly (five are under 1,000 years; five are 1,000-9,999 years; five are 10,000-99,999 years; six are 100,000-999,999 years; and six are 1,000,000 years or above). Also, the only two results that agree are 350 years, and Aluminum gives 100 years. If this is a valid method, then the age of the Earth must be less than the lowest "upper limit" in the table. Nobody in the debate would agree on a 100-year-old Earth.

These "dating methods" do not actually date anything, which prevents independent confirmation. (Is a 19 million year "limit" [Sr] a "confirmation" of a 42,000 year "limit" [Hg]?) Independent confirmation is very important for dating methods -- scientists generally do not place much confidence in a date that is only computed from a single measurement.

These methods depend on uniformity of a process which is almost certainly not uniform. There is no reason to believe that influx rates have been constant throughout time. There is reason to expect that, due to a relatively large amount of exposed land, today's erosion (and therefore influx) rates are higher than typical past rates.

There is no "check" built into these methods. There is no way to tell if the calculated result is good or not. The best methods used by geologists to perform dating have a built-in check which identifies undatable samples. The only way a creationist can "tell" which of these methods produce bad values is to throw out the results that he doesn't like.
One might wonder why creationist authors have found it worthy of publishing. Yet, it is quite common. This argument also appears in the following creationist literature:

Baker (1976, p. 25)
Brown (1989, p. 16)
Morris (1974, pp. 153-156)
Morris & Parker (1987, pp. 284-284 and 290-291)
Wysong (1976, pp. 162, 163)

Conclusion
Obviously, these are a pretty popular set of "dating" mechanisms; they appear frequently in creationist literature from the 1960s through the late 1980s (and can be found on many creationist web sites even today). They appear in talk.origins more often than any other young-Earth arguments. They are all built upon a distortion of the data.

 

Demetrios G.

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Maybe you can relate with this.  Metropolitan John Zizioulas write:

  We need to insert a large parenthesis at this point, because one cannot speak of the dogma on the Creation of the world and Man, without referring to modern Biology and especially to the Evolution Theory – Darwin’s theory  (*) – which, whether we like it or not, is the one that currently prevails in Biology.  When the Evolution Theory made its appearance, Darwin caused panic in prevalent Theology. Darwin’s theory    (*) created this panic, because up until that time – and even to this day for many people –  the characteristic that discerned Man from the animals was considered to be the logical element, thought, conscience, and self-awareness most of all, and Darwin in his “Origin of the Species”    (*)  demonstrated very convincingly that all these characteristics are also found in animals, except that animals possess them to a lesser degree and consequently, the difference between man and the animal –with regard to these characteristics- is not, as he stated, a difference in kind, but a degree of difference.  He demonstrated that animals can also think, have a conscience, create a civilization, possess technology; furthermore, many things of which Man boasts are not lacking in animals; they too organize their lives etc., and, just like that, in a moment of time, we found ourselves in a dilemma as to whether or not to accept that Man is also an animal, or to review the entire issue of how Man differs from the animals.

Contemporary anthropology has now located the difference elsewhere. I repeat, that many people still persist on the idea that the difference is found in the characteristics that we mentioned and that they naturally consider Man to be an advanced animal species. To locate a radical difference that will be a difference in kind –as Darwin said- and not a difference in degree, we must not resort to logic or conscience; not even to self-awareness, science and technology, perhaps not even to something that is very popular nowadays –especially in Britain– i.e. communication, because things are not quite clear there either, as to whether animals have languages – not languages in the sense of uttering cries to communicate, but in the sense of structured sentences, of composing meanings etc..  All of these are characteristics of Man; however, not everyone is convinced of this.  Thus, the single characteristic that anthropology today is inclined to accept as a difference, I believe now renders Darwin’s (*) theory  entirely innocuous for Theology, provided Theology takes the appropriate stance. This characteristic is, as we mentioned earlier, freedom.  An animal, any animal, even the more advanced kind, possesses the ability to adapt to the environment, to the existing world, to Creation; however, it will never consider denying its environment, annihilating it and then creating its own world.  An animal cannot create a world of its own; only Man has this tendency.  You notice a tree. The same tree that you are beholding is also beheld by a cat. As a scientist, you can analyse that tree, you can become a perfect botanist, create an entire science and will, in this manner, be one step above that animal, but you will not be of a different kind. During the course of evolution, you may have once possessed less knowledge as a biological being and acquired more knowledge with the passing of Time; this is understandable and it creates no problem. Consequently, as regards the knowledge of that tree, you do not differ as a species from the animal. But when you say “I will draw this tree; I will make my own tree, I will make a world with trees which are not these, but my own trees”, from that moment on, you have proved you do not belong to the animal category.  An animal can never consider making its own world. It adjusts itself to the present world, but does not create its own.  Therefore the animal cannot develop artistically. One could say that to a certain elementary degree, it can create science. Quite often however, it is more than an elementary degree; quite often, we discover things that have already been discovered by animals. Science therefore is possible for an animal or for Man (as a superior kind of animal), but it cannot create art.  The fact that it cannot draw is not simply a matter of not being able to pick up a paintbrush and draw. It can be taught to do this. But to reject the existing world and create a world of its own, which will bear its personal stamp, is a characteristic of Man, and this characteristic is observed –as modern psychology has indicated- from Man’s very first steps.

Psychology today –especially with Freud- has observed that when a child, an infant, takes any raw material into its hands, it will shape it, thus imposing its own personal stamp on it. This reflects man’s tendency to create his own world; it is his way of showing he is unwilling to admit that the world that was provided for him is something that he has to adjust to, whether he likes it or not. He wants his own world.  Art, therefore, as a creation of a new world, is an exercising of Man’s freedom, which however conflicts with its created status.  Why?  Because Man cannot create anything from nil. No matter what he does, he is forced to rely on given images, given materials, in order to create it.  How can he create? That is where he stumbles.  That is why genuinely “creative” Art – like the Art of our time, which developed under the influence of  one’s conscience, in a climate that basically existentialism and the modern philosophies in general have nurtured –  why modern Art has this tendency (which many find annoying) to fragment given forms.  Michaelangelo constantly complained that the greatest impediment in his art was the marble, and the need to be rid of the marble in order to create something. Picasso and many other contemporary artists also fragmented their forms.  Why?  Because they too felt that given forms hindered their freedom.  When this table here has a given form, it is not a work of creative Art to represent it the way it is. This was the olden concept of Art, which was more reminiscent of photography. You take this object, and produce an exact replica of it.  Art is not about copying the given world. Nor is it what the Romantic Era held it to be: i.e., “Art” means to extract from the given creation – from Nature – its spirit, its meaning, its beauty, etc.  But these do not have any freedom, nor any creativity.  Art bears inside it that restlessness regarding freedom, hence its desire to fragment the given forms and freely create whatever the artist desires. However, you can see that what the artist wants is something so arbitrarily personal, that no-one else can recognize it.  He creates something and calls it a table, but it doesn’t have the appearance of a table, so that I too can recognize it as a table. This is why this kind of art form is so difficult to comprehend and why it is rejected by us; why we call it weird, surrealistic, etc.  Or, let’s take a poem for example: even in poetry today, words are also fragmented; i.e., traditional words, with their traditional meaning, are now an impediment in expression, in creation.

I mentioned all the above, so that you might see how much Dogmatics is linked to Man’s existential quests, and how –consequently - the dogma on the creation of Man as a free being points in this direction.  It points towards a being, which, inside God’s given world, does not desire to accept it and preserve it the way it was delivered to him; instead, he desires to place his own personal stamp on it, and this commences from a denial, through to a stance. In other words, he can either destroy it in order to prove his freedom, or, he can accept it and then vouchsafe it again, of his own free will. Of course there are various in-between stages; however, the being that we call “Man” moves within that region. From the moment that we ask Man to forsake his freedom, we demote him to the status of an animal.
 

Demetrios G.

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Also try this.

http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/creation_man_a_mileant_e.htm
 

Fr. George

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livefreeordie said:
Here's my creation question of the day.

6-day creationists point to the salt in the oceans as evidence of a young earth.  They say that oceans take in more salt than they give off and if the earth were billions of years old the oceans would have far more salt to the point that they would be almost all salt.  I'm completely ignorant to the science of this, so I have no opinion on it, but it is an interesting point.

If someone who understands geology could comment on the science of this.  I.e., if this is totally made up science, explain it to me, I would appreciate it.

thanks!!
Beside the above notes, it should be stated that the retention rates, absorption, and runoff of minerals in the ocean is affected by global and ocean temperatures, melting/freezing of polar ice, etc - i.e. there are many variables that in our lifetime seem to be constants but over 100's of millions of years are important factors to take into account.
 

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So from reading the above, the conclusion of the sources you quoted is that you can't determine the age of the ocean based on accumulation rates of metals and minerals. 

I understand what you listed indirectly answers my question, but I would still be interested in something that specifically addressed what I asked which was, does in fact more salt enter the ocean each than leaves it each year, and to add to this question 1) under what circumstances could more salt leave the ocean than enter, and 2) how likely is this to happen.
 

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livefreeordie said:
So from reading the above, the conclusion of the sources you quoted is that you can't determine the age of the ocean based on accumulation rates of metals and minerals. 

I understand what you listed indirectly answers my question, but I would still be interested in something that specifically addressed what I asked which was, does in fact more salt enter the ocean each than leaves it each year, and to add to this question 1) under what circumstances could more salt leave the ocean than enter, and 2) how likely is this to happen.
Define salt.
 

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Does sodium chloride work for you? Seriously, I'm just interested in how the process of accumulation works.  The article alludes to it, but I'd like to hear more on how salt is added to the ocean or sodium chloride if you like, and how it is taken away.  And if the process is always additive, and if not, what factors make it subtractive.


Ukiemeister said:
Define salt.
 

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livefreeordie said:
So from reading the above, the conclusion of the sources you quoted is that you can't determine the age of the ocean based on accumulation rates of metals and minerals. 

I understand what you listed indirectly answers my question, but I would still be interested in something that specifically addressed what I asked which was, does in fact more salt enter the ocean each than leaves it each year, and to add to this question 1) under what circumstances could more salt leave the ocean than enter, and 2) how likely is this to happen.
No, because salt is removed from the oceans as quickly as it is added and therefore, ocean-age can't be calculated. One could only calculate a minimum age based upon a guess of initial salt ratios.

Creationist, Melvin Cook acknowledges:

The validity of the application of total salt in the ocean in the determination of age turned out to have a very simple answer in the fact shown by Goldschmidt (1954) that it is in steady state and therefore useless as a means of determining the age of the oceans. [Cook, 1966, p.73]

It really is worth reading http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-yea2.html.

 

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FYI Riddikulus, I'm no 6-day creationist.  But I do have questions about evolution and if the creationist makes an argument that makes sense but sounds fishy to me, I'd like to think I could ask a question here.  I would say that is an intellectually honest approach.

Riddikulus said:
Press that banner high and march on! And that's exactly what a new generation of creationists are doing with this intellectually dishonest argument.
 

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livefreeordie said:
FYI Riddikulus, I'm no 6-day creationist.  But I do have questions about evolution and if the creationist makes an argument that makes sense but sounds fishy to me, I'd like to think I could ask a question here.  I would say that is an intellectually honest approach.
TalkOrigins is a great site for sorting out the dishonest claims of Creationists. I don't mean to be deliberately exclusive, because I'm sure there are other equally worthy sites. I did have quite a selection of evolution/creation data on my computer before it crashed :'(, but TalkOrigins is the only one I have managed to find my way back to.
 

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Found my answer via a US Geological Survey paper.  Actually, It implies that what accounts for equilibrium is not salt being removed from the ocean, but salt settling to the ocean floor. But I guess technically that would mean it was removed as its sitting on the ocean floor. Which then raise the question, how long has salt been falling to the ocean floor and how thick would this sediment be if the oceans were millions of years old?  And can we even tell. Questions and more questions!!!!

"In the beginning the primeval seas must have been only slightly salty. But ever since the first rains descended upon the young Earth hundreds of millions of years ago and ran over the land breaking up rocks and transporting their minerals to the seas, the ocean has become saltier. It is estimated that the rivers and streams flowing from the United States alone discharge 225 million tons of dissolved solids and 513 million tons of suspended sediment annually to the sea. Recent calculations show yields of dissolved solids from other land masses that range from about 6 tons per square mile for Australia to about 120 tons per square mile for Europe. Throughout the world, rivers carry an estimated 4 billion tons of dissolved salts to the ocean annually. About the same tonnage of salt from the ocean water probably is deposited as sediment on the ocean bottom, and thus, yearly gains may offset yearly losses. In other words, the oceans today probably have a balanced salt input and outgo."


Riddikulus said:
No, because salt is removed from the oceans as quickly as it is added and therefore, ocean-age can't be calculated. One could only calculate a minimum age based upon a guess of initial salt ratios.

Creationist, Melvin Cook acknowledges:

The validity of the application of total salt in the ocean in the determination of age turned out to have a very simple answer in the fact shown by Goldschmidt (1954) that it is in steady state and therefore useless as a means of determining the age of the oceans. [Cook, 1966, p.73]

It really is worth reading http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-yea2.html.
 

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livefreeordie said:
Found my answer via a US Geological Survey paper.  Actually, It implies that what accounts for equilibrium is not salt being removed from the ocean, but salt settling to the ocean floor. But I guess technically that would mean it was removed as its sitting on the ocean floor. Which then raise the question, how long has salt been falling to the ocean floor and how thick would this sediment be if the oceans were millions of years old?  And can we even tell. Questions and more questions!!!!
Of course, I have no idea, and I just nipped over to TalkOrigins and can't find an easy answer to that question. I'll keep looking and let you know if I find anything. Isn't this fun!! ;D

 

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An even more interesting question?  If the US Geological Survey is correct and equilibrium is mainly due to salt falling to the ocean floor, wouldn't it stand to reason after say, a billion years or so, the ocean depressions would fill in.  A billion times 700 million tons of sediment from the US alone each year must equal a lot of sediment falling to the floor.  Or even a few hundred million years times that and the other billions of tons from around the world.

Riddikulus said:
Of course, I have no idea, and I just nipped over to TalkOrigins and can't find an easy answer to that question. I'll keep looking and let you know if I find anything. Isn't this fun!! ;D
 

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Shall we have more fun? ;D

IF, and that's a big IF I know, there had been a world wide flood at the time of Noah, what would be the geological consequences?  And I would like sources from anywhere BUT from creationists.  I know what they say.  I would be much more interested if any non-creationist geologists have ever speculated on what the geological consequences would be of a world wide flood.

 

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livefreeordie said:
Shall we have more fun? ;D

IF, and that's a big IF I know, there had been a world wide flood at the time of Noah, what would be the geological consequences?  And I would like sources from anywhere BUT from creationists.  I know what they say.  I would be much more interested if any non-creationist geologists have ever speculated on what the geological consequences would be of a world wide flood.
From the little I have read, I understand that there are some serious problems with a Global Flood and again, I can only suggest a web page - http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html#flood
 

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I hate to keep repeating myself, but I'M NOT defending 6-day creation.  I don't care if the earth was a billion years old at the time of Noah or a couple thousand.  It might very well be impossible that there was enough water for God to use to flood the earth.  But is anything impossible for God? ;) I just think it would interesting if any "intellectually honest" geologists for fun or amusement or curiosity ever speculated what the geological implications of a world wide flood would be.  Whether they think God was able to do it or not.

Riddikulus said:
From the little I have read, I understand that there are some serious problems with a Global Flood and again, I can only suggest a web page - http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html#flood
 

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livefreeordie said:
I just think it would interesting if any "intellectually honest" geologists for fun or amusement or curiosity ever speculated what geological implications of a world wide flood would be.
Yes, they have. If you take a look at the TalkOrigins site I have posted you will find opinions there and, no doubt, bibliographies for further interest.
 

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I will check it out! thanks

Riddikulus said:
Yes, they have. If you take a look at the TalkOrigins site I have posted you will find opinions there and, no doubt, bibliographies for further interest.
 

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Now, if science proves that things as central to the bible such as Adam and Eve and the flood aren't true, just fables.  How can one think any of the biblical miracles are true, and how can one believe Jesus rose from the dead?  Other than by ignoring science.  Which while different from a creationist "ignoring" science in order to believe a 6-day creation, practically speaking it doesn't seem much different.  One is just willing to swallow less miraculous stuff than the other.  If there is a God, I imagine he could dump water on earth and take it away disobeying some scientific laws along the way, just as he can "raise" Jesus from the dead disobeying some scientific laws along the way.

I'd be interested to know how people reconcile this.

 

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So do you think all the miracles in the bible are just stories?  If not, which ones have you been able to ignore scientific principles and believe?

greekischristian said:
Miracles make for nice stories.
 

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livefreeordie said:
So do you think all the miracles in the bible are just stories?  If not, which ones have you been able to ignore scientific principles and believe?
For the most part, though I'm willing to entertain, to a degree, possible abnormalities in the events of the incarnation and resurrection; to say that there is a singularity resulting from a brief interaction of divinity and humanity is one thing and it's primarially a metaphysical claim, one outside the realm of the physical. To claim that there is some regular undermining of the laws of the universe by a deity, that is something entirely different. When we start seeing amputees spontaneously regenerating their limbs after a prayer or being touched with holy water we can start talking seriously about those claims.
 

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livefreeordie said:
Now, if science proves that things as central to the bible such as Adam and Eve and the flood aren't true, just fables.  How can one think any of the biblical miracles are true, and how can one believe Jesus rose from the dead?
To begin with, there are no eye-witness accounts to Creation nor a Global flood. The reporting of those biblical miracles relating to Christ as least comes down to us from eye-witnesses. Also the writing is a completely different genre. One is mythopoeic, the establishing of an oral tradition; the other is, it is purported, an historical account by eye-witnesses. The question we ask ourselves is do we believe the eye-witnesses, even though they could be lying or delusional? Each of us deals with those questions on an individual level. 

Other than by ignoring science.
I don't see the connection. Nor do I see any reason to ignore science over ancient myths. Perhaps I'm completely off my rocker, but I just don't see the problem with seeing Genesis as allegorical of man's sinful (not perfect) condition and his need for a way from under the enslavement of death. I would imagine that the theological arguments that have been built on that are to serve mankind, and surely would be the intention of the Creator?

If there is a God, I imagine he could dump water on earth and take it away disobeying some scientific laws along the way, just as he can "raise" Jesus from the dead disobeying some scientific laws along the way.
I have no problem with God dumping enough water on earth to cover the highest mountain for over a year, but I do have problems that He might have done such a clean up job afterwards that there is no evidence of it. What game would God be playing if he were to do so? Isn't the lack of evidence purposefully putting a stumbling block in front of the very creatures He insists He wants to worship Him; those He wants to save from death and sin? Wouldn't that be somewhat perverse? Would you or I deceive our own children in such a way and still expect them to love and trust us?

 

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Raising someone from the dead would seem to undermine the laws of the universe.  So I guess your straightforward answer should be, "I don't believe in miracles but so it sounds like I have some "faith" in the Christianity taught by the Church I'll come up with some explanation that sounds like I entertain the possibility of a couple of miraculous events."  Is that accurate or off the mark?

Do you have your "generating limbs" line copied somewhere so all you have to do is paste when you need it? ;)

greekischristian said:
For the most part, though I'm willing to entertain, to a degree, possible abnormalities in the events of the incarnation and resurrection; to say that there is a singularity resulting from a brief interaction of divinity and humanity is one thing and it's primarially a metaphysical claim, one outside the realm of the physical. To claim that there is some regular undermining of the laws of the universe by a deity, that is something entirely different. When we start seeing amputees spontaneously regenerating their limbs after a prayer or being touched with holy water we can start talking seriously about those claims.
 

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I did say the creation accounts and whether you believe in them is a different animal than the new testament accounts like Christ being raised from the dead.  But still, I think science would say raising someone from the dead is impossible, especially three days after they've been dead.  We all deal with all questions on an individual level, granted some we have more evidence to make a conclusion than others.  And it's just interesting to me that to a hard core atheist evolutionist someone believing in the resurrection of Christ is just as intellectually dishonest as someone believing in Adam and Eve.

Wouldn't Noah and his family count as eyewitnesses.  Especially, and we haven't talked about it much yet, the flood wasn't a global flood but a local flood the eyewitnesses mistook for a global flood.  And if this is the case, why wouldn't their accounts be as reliable as the biblical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead?  My understanding is that outside of scripture, their are no written eyewitness accounts of Christ rising from the dead.  So why believe Noah or Christ is any more believable than the other?

Personally, while I disagree with them, I've always thought the hard core atheistic evolutionist was the most intellectually honest in taking their conclusions and being willing to follow them to their logical end.

Riddikulus said:
To begin with, there are no eye-witness accounts to Creation nor a Global flood. The reporting of those biblical miracles relating to Christ as least comes down to us from eye-witnesses. Also the writing is a completely different genre. One is mythopoeic, the establishing of an oral tradition; the other is, it is purported, an historical account by eye-witnesses. The question we ask ourselves is do we believe the eye-witnesses, even though they could be lying or delusional? Each of us deals with those questions on an individual level. 

I don't see the connection. Nor do I see any reason to ignore science over ancient myths. Perhaps I'm completely off my rocker, but I just don't see the problem with seeing Genesis as allegorical of man's sinful (not perfect) condition and his need for a way from under the enslavement of death. I would imagine that the theological arguments that have been built on that are to serve mankind, and surely would be the intention of the Creator?

I have no problem with God dumping enough water on earth to cover the highest mountain for over a year, but I do have problems that He might have done such a clean up job afterwards that there is no evidence of it. What game would God be playing if he were to do so? Isn't the lack of evidence purposefully putting a stumbling block in front of the very creatures He insists He wants to worship Him; those He wants to save from death and sin? Wouldn't that be somewhat perverse? Would you or I deceive our own children in such a way and still expect them to love and trust us?
 

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livefreeordie said:
Wouldn't Noah and his family count as eyewitnesses.  Especially, and we haven't talked about it much yet, the flood wasn't a global flood but a local flood the eyewitnesses mistook for a global flood.  And if this is the case, why wouldn't their accounts be as reliable as the biblical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead?  My understanding is that outside of scripture, their are no written eyewitness accounts of Christ rising from the dead.  So why believe Noah or Christ is any more believable than the other?
Show me the account Noah wrote of the flood.

On the other hand, I can show you four historical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.
 

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Is that a rhetorical question?  Of course, there is no account he wrote lying around that we know of.  So someone is only an eyewitness if they are the ones writing about themselves being an eyewitness?  So people who were witness to Jesus's resurrection were only eye witnesses if they themselves wrote about their witness and we have that writing to look at today? So the only people we can consider eyewitness's to Christ were the ones who wrote scripture about it?

The flood account might be completely made up, but if its not, I imagine Noah or one of his family wrote about it and passed it down.  Based upon all the evidence people have been presenting, it's probably just a legend though.  Who knows.

If you have four historical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead outside of scripture, which my post was asking, I really would be interested in seeing them if you could post them or show them to me.

thanks!

ytterbiumanalyst said:
Show me the account Noah wrote of the flood.

On the other hand, I can show you four historical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.
 

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Yes, it is rhetorical. An eyewitness is someone who saw an event (eye) and reported it (witness). The Gospels were written by four men who saw the risen Christ and wrote about His resurrection.

The Flood, on the other hand, has no eyewitness testimony. It was reported in mythopoeic form by Moses who lived thousands of years after the supposed event. Genesis is not an eyewitness account, not by a long shot.
 

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Can't a  "witness" be written or oral or any kind of first hand description.  While obviously Noah's witness, if in fact he had a written or oral one scriptures drew from, would be less reliable than Luke who wrote his and we have a copy of it.  They could both very well be eyewitnesses's.  And they both could have very well made it up.

ytterbiumanalyst said:
Yes, it is rhetorical. An eyewitness is someone who saw an event (eye) and reported it (witness). The Gospels were written by four men who saw the risen Christ and wrote about His resurrection.

The Flood, on the other hand, has no eyewitness testimony. It was reported in mythopoeic form by Moses who lived thousands of years after the supposed event. Genesis is not an eyewitness account, not by a long shot.
 

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livefreeordie said:
But still, I think science would say raising someone from the dead is impossible, especially three days after they've been dead.
I'm not sure that science would say that it is impossible; but that there is no known means at present. And afterall, there are many things that have been considered impossible in the past; they aren't today.

We all deal with all questions on an individual level, granted some we have more evidence to make a conclusion than others.  And it's just interesting to me that to a hard core atheist evolutionist someone believing in the resurrection of Christ is just as intellectually dishonest as someone believing in Adam and Eve.
The hard-core atheist would probably say that to believe in either is irrational.

Wouldn't Noah and his family count as eyewitnesses.  Especially, and we haven't talked about it much yet, the flood wasn't a global flood but a local flood the eyewitnesses mistook for a global flood. And if this is the case, why wouldn't their accounts be as reliable as the biblical accounts of Jesus rising from the dead?  My understanding is that outside of scripture, their are no written eyewitness accounts of Christ rising from the dead.  So why believe Noah or Christ is any more believable than the other?
As far as I'm aware Noah didn't write any account of the flood and it is known from an oral tradition recorded, according to Church Tradition, by Moses, perhaps millenia post the event. So no, we don't have an eye-witness account of the flood. Certainly, if there was a flood, it could have been a local flood mistaken as global. And I'm not sure that I would expect to see written eye-witness accounts of Christ's Resurrection outside Holy Tradition; after all when those accounts were written they weren't exactly "scripture" in the sense that we understand them; they were written as eye-witness accounts.

Personally, while I disagree with them, I've always thought the hard core atheistic evolutionist was the most intellectually honest in taking their conclusions and being willing to follow them to their logical end.
I don't see that they are any more intellectually honest (perhaps more rational, I'm not sure). If the atheist has honestly looked at the written evidence for God and chosen to reject it as a fairytale; that is their right. The believer of God (any believer, not just Christian) has looked at the evidence at their disposal and acknowledged it with an affirmative. There isn't anything intellectually dishonest in that, I don't believe. Perhaps it's naive and gullible to believe the words of men long dead, but not dishonest. But faith is based on rational investigation and acceptance of evidence; it's not empircal to be sure, but as revealed to us by eye-witnesses.

It's the same basic principle as our "belief" in Julius Caesar. We accept, without question, the accounts of eye-witnesses that Julius Caesar did exist and perhaps did in fact do some of the things he claims to have done in his History of Gallic Wars.

I find it rather interesting that Julius Caesar is simply accepted and taught as a historical fact; you don't hear anyone say that it's silly to believe in him without the same standard of evidence they would seem to expect for Christ. No one today has seen Julius Caesar, we rely on historical sources. We have some busts that are claimed to be of him, but who's to say that they aren't in fact part of an ancient conspiracy; or simply mistakenly labelled?

But somehow, the eye-witness accounts of Christ as a historical fact are put under quite a different microscope - and I'm sure that considering the claims of Christ and His followers we can understand why this is so. Really, to me it becomes a question of do I believe from the written accounts that Christ existed historically. I see no reason to believe He didn't. The next question becomes, do I believe the things that His followers claim? For some reason, my answer, perhaps naive and gullible, is yes. 



 

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Riddikulus said:
I'm not sure that science would say that it is impossible; but that there is no known means at present. And afterall, there are many things that have been considered impossible in the past; they aren't today.
And I guess my point in all of this is that people are going to believe whatever they are going to believe.  At the end of the day, we all put our "faith" in something.  As Christians, no matter how much we might wish logic or science can prove our faith, at some point it comes down to suspending disbelief in the impossible and believing in something that to any scientific sceptic is a myth.  I'm still not sure about GIC though! ;)  I can't decide if somewhere an irrational belief lurks and he spends so much time here to try and find more "faith", or if he is a complete rationalist/naturalist whose only God is logic and his goal is to convert as many to his side as possible, by whatever means necessary! ;)

Personally, I think faith will always be based on things unseen.  Evolution will never disprove God, or prove him for that matter.  6-day creationist's will never find the "proof" that they are correct and disbelief in God is completely irrational because his creation proves it.  I believe God intended to always be a little mysterious in order to ensure free will is always at work.  Each day we have a choice, to move towards or away from God.  I've seen God in work so I have no problem believing in miracles, so I'm happy to follow the rule of the Church and take what it says at face fellow.  If I die and find out later something was hoax, oh well.  Logic and scientific truth didn't save me.  Prayer, repentence, Christ, etc. did.

Thanks everyone on this board.  I'm neither an "evolutionist" or a "6-day creationist" per the loaded meanings of those terms.  I believe God created us.  And that's enough for me.  My feeling is that a lot people who are hard core evolutionists or hardcore YE creationists both seem to have some inner desire to find a "proof" for or against God.  And it seems to my reasoning that sometimes each infers far too much from their conclusions.  Although I would say that by far YE creationists are more guilty of this.  But in my opinion, evolutionists take good science and infer far too much from it also.  But if I'm wrong and one of the two are right, I don't mind.

I have kids and wanted to ask a few questions to get a feel from both sides from real people, and especially Orthodox people.  As I know as my kids get older they will be asking the same questions.  Thank you all very much.  If this ever becomes a topic of interest to me again I'll be very thankful that I can come here and get such a good range of passionate, heart felt answers.

Thanks!
 

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livefreeordie said:
Can't a  "witness" be written or oral or any kind of first hand description.  While obviously Noah's witness, if in fact he had a written or oral one scriptures drew from, would be less reliable than Luke who wrote his and we have a copy of it.  They could both very well be eyewitnesses's.  And they both could have very well made it up.
Are we talking about witnesses or eyewitnesses? They are two different things. A witness is someone who testifies to the truth as best as they can with the information they have; the person does not have to have been present or really have any knowledge of the actual event to be a witness (a character witness is a good example of this). An eyewitness, however, must be present and must actually have seen the event take place. Neither is totally reliable, of course, but the point stands.
 

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livefreeordie said:
And I guess my point in all of this is that people are going to believe whatever they are going to believe.  At the end of the day, we all put our "faith" in something.  As Christians, no matter how much we might wish logic or science can prove our faith, at some point it comes down to suspending disbelief in the impossible and believing in something that to any scientific sceptic is a myth.  I'm still not sure about GIC though! ;)  I can't decide if somewhere an irrational belief lurks and he spends so much time here to try and find more "faith", or if he is a complete rationalist/naturalist whose only God is logic and his goal is to convert as many to his side as possible, by whatever means necessary! ;)
Yes, I am a rationalist/naturalist, but my goal isn't so much to convert people...I just want people to objectively consider a different perspective, to be able to view an issue from several sides, even if they don't embrace my approach.
 
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