Young Earth Creationists

(1002 Posts)
PedroPonyLikesCrisps Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:59

I know Young Earth Creationists exist, I've seen them on telly, but never met one in real life, so I'm just wondering if anyone here is one or knows one or whether they are actually just incredibly rare and reserved for extreme tv debating!

I'm up for that smile Would be fun to have a MN meetup out here. Of course it is a long way for most of you to come just to mess with them.

They have pictures of many of their exhibits on the website.

LizaRose Mon 01-Apr-13 18:19:55

Pedro, there are more than 1200 scientists named Steve who support the theory of evolution

ncse.com/taking-action/project-steve

EllieArroway Mon 01-Apr-13 19:08:41

I'm curious about their 800 scientists who disagree with evolution

If I recall correctly, the vast majority of those scientists are engineers & computer scientists. People, in other words, with no more expertise in evolution or BB theory than the average joe in the street.

There are a few (less than a 10th of 1%) of relevant scientists who are creationists, but they tend to support evolution and old Earth generally but just think they can see evidence of "creation" - like Michael Behe and his bacterial flagellum.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Mon 01-Apr-13 19:41:54

If my name were Steve and I had a science degree, I would so be joining Project Steve!

nightlurker Tue 02-Apr-13 03:47:27

If I were a YEC, I probably wouldn't talk about it. I think it's a valid viewpoint if you believe in an all-powerful God, but I wouldn't go out of my way to convince anyone else if it were my POV.

In a religious setting, the important thing to me is why we were created, not how. I generally prefer to leave the "how" to science. I would prefer to discuss more relevant topics in a religious setting, like service, faith, humility, kindness, charity, temperance, repentance, and so on.

FWIW, I consider evolution one of a list of ways God could have created us.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Tue 02-Apr-13 09:42:10

nightlurker why do you consider humility, kindness, charity and temperance to be religious pursuits?

nightlurker Wed 03-Apr-13 03:26:04

They are all commandments of God, and most religions encourage adherents to pursue those things as an integral part of their religious belief.

This isn't to say that they are exclusively religious pursuits or exclusive to religion.

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 00:39:42

I am a 46-year-old young-earth creationist but I was not always one. Up until about 2007, I believed what I was told about evolution and the age of the earth. I was persuaded by the scientific evidence and am still open to changing my mind. I will gladly answer any questions anyone has. But please... serious questions only. And no ad hominem attacks. Logical and rational arguments only.

SingingSands Mon 08-Apr-13 01:02:16

Are you really? What was the deciding factor in converting to YEC thinking?

EllieArroway Mon 08-Apr-13 01:03:14

Not sure where you're coming from, Best. You were persuaded by the scientific evidence that evolution is true, but then changed your mind? Did the creationists present better evidence, in your view?

Would be interested to hear how you arrived at your current position.

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 01:49:45

"Are you really? What was the deciding factor in converting to YEC thinking?"

SingingSands, it was not just one factor, it was many. Let me first say, before I say anything else, that to understand my position, you must accept three primary assumptions:

1. God exists.
2. He has revealed information to us about His creation in the Bible.
3. The Bible can be understood through a plain reading of the text.

These sound like huge assumptions but they are not without evidentiary support. The point is that if you don't even believe God exists, you're never going to understand where I'm coming from and you'll never question evolution. If God does no exist, something like evolution just has to be true.

As a theistic evolutionist I was able to examine the evidence with a critical eye. I am free to accept that God used evolution or to reject it completely. I reject it solely based on the scientific evidence. Once my "faith" in evolution was eroded and I did not require long ages of time, that freed me to first understand what the Bible truly said about the matter and second to interpret the scientific evidence in light of a young-earth view.

My claim is a radical one. It is not that we must reject science in favour of blind faith but rather that the young-earth position has not only more scientific evidence to support it but also has far more explanatory and predictive power.

I come across science journals almost daily that have findings which don't match researchers evolutionary predictions. Yet they are invariably exactly what I would predict based on a young earth model. Here are a few recent examples:

1. the non-existence of junk DNA
2. the complexity of the cell
3. the interbreeding of neanderthals with modern humans
4. the ability of many different "species" to hybridize
(eg. wolves, coyotes, dingoes, foxes, jackals, domestic dogs can all interbreed. Same with dolphins and whales. Same with alpacas, llamas and camels. Same with lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, bobcats and domestic cats. And on and on.
5. the finding of soft-tissue, red blood cells and possibly now even DNA inside dozens of dinosaur fossils
5. the lack of evidence for life on other planets
6. the similarity of the early earth's atmosphere to today's

I could go on but that gives you a brief idea of where I'm coming from. In my arguments, I only use logic, reason and scientific evidence. You won't see me ever appealing to faith or emotional arguments.

I look forward to answering your questions and hope this thread leads to greater understanding. :^)

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 01:55:21

"Not sure where you're coming from, Best. You were persuaded by the scientific evidence that evolution is true, but then changed your mind? Did the creationists present better evidence, in your view?"

EllieArroway, it was not so much that I was persuaded by the evidence for evolution. It was more that I never thought about it much and accepted on faith what I was told by people who I thought were smarter than me.

When I actually looked at the evidence from their perspective and understood it the way they do, I realized the many flaws in evolutionary theory. Like any valid scientific theory, my view is falsifiable. I know exactly what it would take for me to change my mind. I'm just waiting for the data to come in. I also know exactly what it would take to make me an atheist but perhaps I'll save that for later. :^)

I've met 4, all clever people. One was doing biology A-level and another two did biology degrees confused

Best why does lions and tigers interbreeding make you question evolution?

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 03:27:04

"Best why does lions and tigers interbreeding make you question evolution?"

Good question, Ria. It's not that this caused me to question evolution. It's that this was a prediction and a requirement of the young earth model. See, the Bible does not use the word "species" but "kinds." Species has a very plastic and flexible definition. Wolves and domestic dogs are classified as separate species but they really shouldn't be since they can interbred and bring forth viable offspring.

The biblical term kind is much more precise although it is wider in scope. Because I believe there was a global Flood and that all of today's species are descended from those aboard Noah's Ark a mere 4,400 years ago, I would have to explain how just a few thousand animals aboard the Ark (by some estimates 16,000) could diversify into the millions of species we see today in just over 4,000 years. Thus I would predict that many of those different species are not really different species at all but are the same kind. (Interestingly, paleontologists have recently down-graded their estimate of over 1,000 species of dinosaurs to fewer than 500 - another prediction that fits with my worldview.)

I would also predict rapid speciation - which has been observed in the field. Everything that we've been taught to believe takes millions of years to form can actually form very quickly. Coal, oil, diamonds - all can be made in weeks or months under the right laboratory conditions. Stalactites and stalagmites like those in Carlsbad Cavern can form in a few years. We're told that Grand Canyon formed over millions of years. But Mount St Helen's taught us that a canyon 1/40th the scale of Grand Canyon can form in a few days due to a flood. In fact, there are at least 3 other canyons in the U.S. I could name which formed in a matter of days just in the last 100 years. So if all the canyons we've seen form take a lot of water and little bit of time, why do we assume that the canyons we haven't seen form took a little bit of water over a lot of time? This is very persuasive evidence to me.

Any evidence that we can actually observe always points to things happening rapidly. (Incidentally, there are canyons on Mars, which has no liquid water that we know of for sure, that are hundreds of times bigger than Grand Canyon and yet scientists believe they were carved out in 6 days.)

What caused me to question evolution was this:

1. First, I read quotes from well-known scientists, who themselves believed in evolution, criticizing and making scathing remarks about it. If these had come from creationists I may have written them off as biased.

2. Second, I discovered that virtually all the evidence I'd been taught in school about evolution had either been discredited or could be explained just as well or better by a biblical, young earth model.

This allowed me to freely examine the evidence objectively and unbiasedly. I accept natural selection. I accept that fossils exist. I accept microevolution (or small changes in size, shape colour, etc. below the species level). And I accept genetic mutations. The major problem for evolution is that natural selection can only act on the information it is given and genetic mutations have not been shown to be able to provide the kind of information necessary for macroevolution - the formation of radically new traits and body plans - to occur. If this could be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt, I would change my mind immediately.

I'm afraid you're reasoning doesn't sound very scientific to me. Canyons can be formed very quickly, therefore it's reasonable to assume they all were? What do you think of carbon dating?

That species sometimes interbreed proves the definition/concept of species is imperfect, but if you can accept a common ancestor of the canine family, why not extend that further back? Have you heard of ring species?

Macroevolution is just microevolution over a long period of time. You may be familiar with Tiktaalic and other amphibian-like fish. What would convince you that, say, humans and gorillas share a common ancestor? There's not much difference.

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 06:21:13

"I'm afraid you're reasoning doesn't sound very scientific to me. Canyons can be formed very quickly, therefore it's reasonable to assume they all were?"

Yes, Ria, that is very scientific. The scientific method is based on observation and testing. It is the epitome of science to say that what we observe is what we should expect. In fact, it is exactly what you're doing when you say "macroevolution is just microevolution over a long period of time." (This would be a reasonable assumption but, as it turns out, is false for reasons I will elaborate on later.)

"What do you think of carbon dating?"

As you might not be aware, carbon dating is only used to date fossils up to about 50,000 years old. Beyond that, there should be no measurable carbon14 left. Yet, there has never been a fossil that didn't have some amount of carbon 14 left - indicating they are not millions of years old.

What you might be referring to are other dating methods such as potassium/argon and rubidium/strontium which are used to date much older rocks. It is then assumed that the fossils found in those rocks are the same age. I can go into greater detail later as to how all the dating methods work as they are fascinating to learn about and I'm very familiar with them. For now, suffice it to say that all the dating methods contain assumptions that cannot be known accurately. Three are:

1. The decay rate from parent to daughter atom is know.
2. The initial presence of no daughter atom in the rock.
3. That no leakage or transfer has occurred during the process.

I'll also add that the carbon14 method is very friendly to a young earth position. Dinosaur bones purportedly 70 millions years old are carbon dated at less than 10,000. For other reasons, carbon dating points to an earth/sun system which is less than 10,000 years old.

"That species sometimes interbreed proves the definition/concept of species is imperfect, but if you can accept a common ancestor of the canine family, why not extend that further back? Have you heard of ring species?"

Yes, I agree with ring species. But I would argue that it is not the kind of evolution required to turn an amoeba into a man over millions of years.

"You may be familiar with Tiktaalic and other amphibian-like fish."

Yes, I am. My argument from the fossil record is this. Fossils don't form readily. They require special conditions - rapid burial followed by a lot of heat and pressure - like the kinds of conditions after a global flood. Evolution would not necessarily predict a large fossil record. But if a global flood had occurred we would expect to find billions of dead creatures all over the world in sedimentary rock layers which were laid down by water. That is precisely what we find.

Further, if evolution were true we would expect to find many transitional fossils. The overwhelming majority of them should be very different from what we see today. Yet what we find are mostly the same fossils even "millions" of years old looking pretty much the same as organisms alive today. So my conclusion is that the few supposed transitions we have like Tiktaalic are not transitions at all but are simply extinct species. Most evolutionists now reject the fossil record as evidence for evolution because they realize it doesn't support their theory. But it supports mine.

"What would convince you that, say, humans and gorillas share a common ancestor? There's not much difference."

There's a world of difference. The story we've been told that the DNA of chimps and humans is 99% similar is a myth. It was never true. I do acknowledge however that the fusion of chromosome 2 is compelling to me. It's not enough to overturn my beliefs just yet because my view is supported by an abundance of other evidence. But I do find it intriguing and it gives me pause.

Are you referring to the shellacked (and otherwise contaminated) dinosaur bones that a group dishonestly obtained and had tested? Not creationists finest moment.

VBisme Mon 08-Apr-13 06:56:40

Sorry best, but your "scientific" approach to geology doesn't really hold up.

Some canyons (for example in soft limestones or sediment) are created rapidly and we have seen this happening, therefore all canyons are created this way?

We are still seeing he creation of the Grand Canyon, the erosion is on-going.

There are numerous scientific paper which have argued over the last hundred years the catastrophic vs uniformitarian view and the overwhelming consensus is that both these are occurring.

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 07:01:01

"Are you referring to the shellacked (and otherwise contaminated) dinosaur bones that a group dishonestly obtained and had tested? Not creationists finest moment."

I've never heard of that SCSF so I would have to say no. But if you want to go there I could start dragging out the abundance of fakes and frauds committed in the name of science. In a recent anonymous survey, many scientists admitted to routinely falsifying their results. Then you'll change the subject by bringing up the pedophile priests and I'll have to prove to you how more sexual abuse is committed by female teachers in the public school system in 1 year than by all the Catholic priests in 52 years of data. (I'm Protestant by the way.) Then you'll bring up Galileo, the Crusades the witch hunts and how religion causes all of the world's wars and I'll have to prove to you how atheists have murdered more people in the last 100 years than religion has in all of human history. Then you'll call me names and a flat-earther and a holocaust denier and we'll never get anywhere. So let's just stick to the scientific evidence shall we. ;^)

no actually I wasn't planning to do that.

If you want to stick to scientific evidence then please cite sources for the carbon dating dinosaur bones.

BestValue Mon 08-Apr-13 07:07:17

"There are numerous scientific paper which have argued over the last hundred years the catastrophic vs uniformitarian view and the overwhelming consensus is that both these are occurring."

Exactly, VBisme. They've had to retreat from uniformitarinism and embrace catastrophism because the evidence was just too over-whelming. If they keep following the evidence, eventually they will become young-earth creationists like me.

By the way, the geologic column has been falsified by a simple experiment. The principle of superposition is invalid. Watch the video "Experiments in Stratification" on YouTube for more on that.

VBisme Mon 08-Apr-13 07:11:21

Both these are occurring, not one over and above the other. You are deliberately misreading my post.

And I'd rather not take my research from YouTube. grin

noblegiraffe Mon 08-Apr-13 07:36:47

Bestvalue have you read Dawkins' The Greatest Show On Earth? It lays out all the evidence for evolution in an incredibly compelling way, and has some beautiful pictures smile

If you have, I'd be interested to know how you felt after reading it.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Mon 08-Apr-13 08:29:29

In my arguments, I only use logic, reason and scientific evidence. You won't see me ever appealing to faith or emotional arguments.

Except that you do, because your first three assumptions at the basis of what you believe are that God exists, the bible is true and the bible can be read in plain text. This shows that the EVERYTHING from then on is biased by faith.

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