Skip to comments.Burden of Proof: Why Most American Evangelicals Reject Long-Earth Evolution
Posted on 05/11/2012 10:56:54 AM PDT by ReligiousLibertyTV
[dc]O[/dc]n May 14, noted philanthropist and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is scheduled to give the commencement address at Emory University and receive an honorary degree. But there is a problem. In recent weeks Emory faculty and students have asked the University to disinvite Dr. Carson because he is a critic of evolutionary theory and advocate of creationism. Faculty and staff have written that Dr. Carsons great achievements in medicine allow him to be viewed as someone who understands science poses a direct threat to science that rests squarely on the shoulders of evolution.
The anti-Carson letter describes how there is overwhelming evidence of ape-human transitional fossils and how this evolution process has advanced an ability to develop animal models for disease and that even the work of Dr. Carson himself is based on scientific advances fostered by an understanding of evolution. The letter then argues that the theory of evolution is as strongly supported as the theory of gravity and the theory that infectious diseases are caused by micro-organisms.
In 2010, Gallup released a poll that found that 40% of Americans believe in strict creationism, the idea that humans were created by God in their present form within the past 10,000 years. Thirty-eight percent believe that God guided the process of human evolution from lower life forms over millions of years , and only 16% believe that humans evolved without divine intervention. Sixty percent of those who attend church weekly believe that we were created less than 10,000 years ago. Gallup notes that the numbers have remained generally stable for the past 28 years.
That the number of adherents of creationism remains so strong, even though Charles Darwins book, On the Origin of Species has been around since 1859 and has been taught in most public schools since the 1960s, is a testament to the persistent strength of American religious belief and faith over contradictory concepts.
Earlier this week, Forbes magazine staff writer Alex Knapp wrote an essay entitled, Why Some Christians Reject Evolution, arguing that many Christians reject evolutionary theory because it conflicts with the Protestant view of the doctrines of original sin and salvation.
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Perhaps the only way to explain how evolved human beings would end up with a soul is expressed in the hybrid evolution-creation concept advanced by Pope Pius XII in the encyclical Humani generis (1950). Pius XII writes, "For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.
In Catholic thought, this has been interpreted to provide room for the concept that human beings were created over millions of years through evolution, and that God ultimately provided pre-existing, pre-created souls to those He designated and that these souls reconnect to God through practicing the sacraments.
In contrast, American evangelicals tend to view Adam and Eve as actual living people, who were literally created by God as clay forms into which God breathed the breath of life. There was no death before the fall of humanity. The time frames are important because they rely on the Biblical chronologies Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-28 to prove that Jesus was in the prophetically-designated ancestral line of David, and draw the genealogical line all the way back to Adam, the first created human being.
Many evangelicals reject the hybrid view of creation and evolution because it would necessarily require them to regard creation, as discussed in the books of Genesis and of a new earth in Revelation, as allegory and submit the pervasive teachings of the Bible referencing Creation and other supernatural activity to the realm of mythology or cultural contextualism. Acceptance of scientific views of evolution would then, by necessity, require a major reconfiguration of matters of faith and that is something that most adherents to strict creationism are unwilling to do.
Knapp, whose own religious beliefs are not indicated, notes that while some churches have found ways to incorporate the idea of change over time into their belief systems, for many Christians, evolution isnt a minor fact of science that can be resolved into the mythos of their faith. It is, rather, a fundamental attack on their faith and many things that they believe.
There have been a number of heated arguments on the campuses of a diverse array of religious universities regarding how issues of origins should be taught. Some have tried to walk the middle line of teaching intelligent design as an alternative to creationism and evolution. Critics of those teaching intelligent design point out that trying to split the issue down the middle does no favors to either side and in the end is nothing but a weakened form of creationism, and an explanation that is of no value to secular science.
Within the larger context of American Protestant Christianity the debate continues without resolution. Among Christians, creationists are often asked to consider various forms of evidence of a long-history of the earth, but those advocating for a long-earth have largely ignored discussion of the genealogies of the New Testament and the concepts of original sin and salvation. Christian evolutionists have failed to provide a verse-by-verse rebuttal to the Biblical Creation narrative or to acknowledge the extent to which acceptance of creation would impact theology.
Instead theistic evolutionists operate on the supposition that Creationists will eventually bifurcate their religious beliefs from scientific understanding, because incompatibilities must be resolved in favor of science. This places faith directly in conflict with science and any resultant battle on these issues will take centuries if true academic freedom is to be granted, but can resolve faster if the voices of religious dissent are silenced and those who have openly criticized evolution are denied a seat at the academic table.
The attempt to purify academia by silencing the voices of critics such as Dr. Carson would be the first step toward a secular Dark Ages. So far, it appears that despite the controversy, Emory Universitys commencement ceremony will go forward as planned.
In response to the controversy at Emory, as of this writing nearly 2,000 people have signed a Petition to reaffirm Dr. Ben Carsons Welcome and Defend His Right to Express His Views. Click here to view the Petition.
Well... first of all, there is no possible way you can claim evolution is a "broken tool" since it produced us, just as God intended.
On the other hand, which human being not actually conceived by God was ever perfect?
So it seems to me that theistic evolution scientifically explains the basic human condition of being created by God, but still far from perfect.
Sorry FRiend, but there is no serious scientific evidence for recent formation of Earth's surface, and you can yourself see abundant evidence to the contrary any time you drive through mountains, or visit, for example, the Grand Canyon.
There you can see thousands of layers of sediments, layered down over hundreds of millions of years, and if you drill down underneath those you'd find thousands more layers, some going back billions of years.
Ages for these layers can be determined through multiple forms of radiometric dating, and pure common sense tells you they cannot be a mere few thousands of years old.
In Greenland and Antarctica there are ice formations whose layers can be counted, like tree-rings, and dated back hundreds of thousand, even millions of years.
And on and on... multiple methods for determining the age of the Universe show distant galaxies millions to billions of light years away, life cycles of stars show suns like ours evolve over billions of years...
So the list of scientific reasons for accepting a multi-billion year old Universe, Sun and Earth is very long.
By contrast, the list of genuine scientific reasons for suspecting an Earth a mere few thousands of years old is a null set.
But if there is some particular "evidence" for a "young Earth" you'd like to present here, let's see what you have.
Evo-loser dating schemes are basically all fubar. Try doing a google or youtube search on 'p38' and 'glacier girl' for the P38 which the Amalekites or Canaanites crash landed on the ice in Greenland 3400 years ago (at least according to Evo-loser dating schemes which figure one ice layer per year).
That's right, according to Evo-loser standards, that P38 was part of the Amalekite Air Force (AAF).
Amelekite Air force P38, circa 1400 BC. The plane should have been two or three feet under the ice surface and was found three or four hundred feet down, i.e. at a level corresponding to Old Testament times according to theory.
Thanks for the pings!
I won’t get into the age of the Earth, but a simple high school experiment showed how to cut through an ice cube with a thread and a fishing weight on each end. Ice melts under pressure, freezes after pressure point sinks. Toss a handful of rocks on a frozen pond, they are in craters very soon and sink out of sight. Park a 14,000 lb fighter plane on the ice, it sinks.
Like I noted according to theory it should have sank abouot 3’ and they were originally looking for it at about 3’ down with penetrating radar which is why it was as hard to find as it was i.e. they were looking in the wrong place. A P38 is only heavy if you try to lift it fully loaded, the wing loading was sufficiently light for it to fly at 400 mph and you’d be talking about that same surface sinking through ice which is positively not the same thing as a stone or fishing weight sinking.
Is a P38 neutrally buoyant or is it heavier than water? Ice is water, it sinks.
“Ice is water, it sinks.”
Ice is water, P38s sink. Oops.
Yet...the crashing waves flooding the entire world and moving huge amounts of dirt unto great depths during 40 rainy days & nights somehow was to create intricate order in geologic layers, including preservation of delicate fossils.
And somehow the totality of the universe is explained within, and for the benefit of, just 100 human lifespans.
Neither point is, to that specificity, enunciated in Scripture.
Careful where the finger of unbelievability is pointed. Verses are vague in these areas; do not impute conclusion of more detail than what is there.
Yes, the RC church has a long history of respect for science. Like Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin being involved in both the Piltdown and Peking Man frauds. Things that make you go hmmmmm.
Thank you for your clarification on the Catholic view of souls. Would the term “separately-created souls” instead of “pre-existing, pre-created” be accurate?
That’s pretty far-fetched BroJoeK - ice cores don not prove anything close to millions of years. You speak like one who has only lightly researched one side of the creation evolution debate.
Have you not read? Here are the first 11 indicators that not all natural clocks agree ~ and the majority differ vastly from the few evolution relies upon, but none are precise and accurate since we can neither prove starting conditions nor uniformity. From creation.com/age-of-the-earth...
=== Biological evidence for a young age of the earth ===
1. DNA in ancient fossils. DNA extracted from bacteria that are supposed to be 425 million years old brings into question that age, because DNA could not last more than thousands of years.
2. Lazarus bacteriabacteria revived from salt inclusions supposedly 250 million years old, suggest the salt is not millions of years old. See also Salty saga.
3. The decay in the human genome due to multiple slightly deleterious mutations each generation is consistent with an origin several thousand years ago. Sanford, J., Genetic entropy and the mystery of the genome, Ivan Press, 2005; see review of the book and the interview with the author in Creation 30(4):4547,September 2008. This has been confirmed by realistic modelling of population genetics, which shows that genomes are young, in the order of thousands of years. See Sanford, J., Baumgardner, J., Brewer, W., Gibson, P. and Remine, W., Mendels Accountant: A biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program, SCPE 8(2):147165, 2007.
4. The data for mitochondrial Eve are consistent with a common origin of all humans several thousand years ago.
5. Very limited variation in the DNA sequence on the human Y-chromosome around the world is consistent with a recent origin of mankind, thousands not millions of years.
6. Many fossil bones dated at many millions of years old are hardly mineralized, if at all. This contradicts the widely believed old age of the earth. See, for example, Dinosaur bones just how old are they really?
7. Dinosaur blood cells, blood vessels, proteins (hemoglobin, osteocalcin, collagen) are not consistent with their supposed age, but make more sense if the remains are young.
8. Lack of 50:50 racemization of amino acids in fossils dated at millions of years old, whereas complete racemization would occur in thousands of years.
9. Living fossilsjellyfish, graptolites, coelacanth, stromatolites, Wollemi pine and hundreds more. That many hundreds of species could remain so unchanged, for even up to billions of years in the case of stromatolites, speaks against the millions and billions of years being real.
10. Discontinuous fossil sequences. E.g. Coelacanth, Wollemi pine and various index fossils, which are present in supposedly ancient strata, missing in strata representing many millions of years since, but still living today. Such discontinuities speak against the interpretation of the rock formations as vast geological ageshow could Coelacanths have avoided being fossilized for 65 million years, for example? See The Lazarus effect: rodent resurrection!
11. The ages of the worlds oldest living organisms, trees, are consistent with an age of the earth of thousands of years.
Read more please but don’t ever forget historical ‘science’ is hysterical science ~ you can conjur almost anything since you can never repeat natural history using the scientific method.
101 Evidences for a Young Age of the Earth...And the Universe
Conspicuously absent is Uranium. Even the RATE project could not reconcile the evidence of radiometric decay of Uranium with a young Earth. If the Earth is 10,000 years old, there should be samples of Uranium ore that only exhibit 10,000 years of decay. Where are they?
Is that the best you've got, FRiend?
Pretty pathetic, I'd say.
First of all, "found three or four hundred feet down" is not a very accurate measurement, suggesting that no real scientific examination was made of the site.
Second, a typical rate of ice accumulation in Greenland is about eight inches per year.
That means we're really talking about 500 years -- not 3,400 years -- of ice layers above the crashed plane.
Of course, over many years that original eight inches gets compacted and squeezed down to small fractions of an inch, eventually becoming uncountable as distinct years.
As of 2005, Greenland ice cores have been counted back 65,000 years.
Third, what happens when a plane crash-lands?
Does it not dig into whatever it crashed on, in this case, ice?
And if it crashes into a crevasse, might it not then fall many feet into the the ice, enough to account for the years you claim?
Finally, how much do we know about the movements of ice in that region.
If the ice is moving relatively rapidly, a plane trapped in a crevasse could end up almost anywhere.
As for your allegations of "fubar" -- setting aside your affinity for course language -- I'll simply note the fact that ice-core layers can be counted, much like tree-rings, for thousands of feet down, and tiny air samples can be measured to determine changing global climate conditions, in some cases going back hundreds of thousands of years.
These have been matched with radio-metrically dated climate changes recorded in calcite deposits at Devils Hole, Nevada:
"Photograph of a section of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP2) ice core from 6,027 feet depth with clearly visible annual layers."
Perhaps you’ve not heard they did a blind test on rocks and strata from the 1980 Mt. Saint Helens eruption that was calibrated to be over a million years old using radio-isotope dating methods. The sedimentary layering mimics the evolution story of ‘millions’ of years.
Here are 51 thru 64 from my prior link that you apparently have not read...while uranium dating is not discussed in great detail, Ur is in much greater detail in the references listed - but only for those who read and think critically.
Don’t you see all of the evidence needs to agree for millions/billions to really be possible. The scientific method does not allow for ignoring so much contradictory data does it?! Even carbon dating is inconsistent b/c they often ASSUME uniformity rather than what effects burying all the plants and animals in a global flood would do to cause a massive spike in their calculations.
=== Radiometric dating and the age of the earth ===
51. Carbon-14 in coal suggests ages of thousands of years and clearly contradict ages of millions of years.
52. Carbon-14 in oil again suggests ages of thousands, not millions, of years.
53. Carbon-14 in fossil wood also indicates ages of thousands, not millions, of years.
54. Carbon-14 in diamonds suggests ages of thousands, not billions, of years. Note that attempts to explain away carbon-14 in diamonds, coal, etc., such as by neutrons from uranium decay converting nitrogen to C-14 do not work.
55. Incongruent radioisotope dates using the same technique argue against trusting the dating methods that give millions of years.
56. Incongruent radioisotope dates using different techniques argue against trusting the dating methods that give millions of years (or billions of years for the age of the earth).
57. Demonstrably non-radiogenic isochrons of radioactive and non-radioactive elements undermine the assumptions behind isochron dating that gives billions of years. False isochrons are common.
58. Different faces of the same zircon crystal and different zircons from the same rock giving different ages undermine all dates obtained from zircons.
59. Evidence of a period of rapid radioactive decay in the recent past (lead and helium concentrations and diffusion rates in zircons) point to a young earth explanation.
60. The amount of helium, a product of alpha-decay of radioactive elements, retained in zircons in granite is consistent with an age of 6,000±2000 years, not the supposed billions of years. See: Humphreys, D.R., Young helium diffusion age of zircons supports accelerated nuclear decay, in Vardiman, Snelling, and Chaffin (eds.), Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth: Results of a Young Earth Creationist Research Initiative, Institute for Creation Research and Creation Research Society, 848 pp., 2005
61. Lead in zircons from deep drill cores vs. shallow ones. They are similar, but there should be less in the deep ones due to the higher heat causing higher diffusion rates over the usual long ages supposed. If the ages are thousands of years, there would not be expected to be much difference, which is the case (Gentry, R., et al., Differential lead retention in zircons: Implications for nuclear waste containment, Science 216(4543):296298, 1982; DOI: 10.1126/science.216.4543.296).
62. Pleochroic halos produced in granite by concentrated specks of short half-life elements such as polonium suggest a period of rapid nuclear decay of the long half-life parent isotopes during the formation of the rocks and rapid formation of the rocks, both of which speak against the usual ideas of geological deep time and a vast age of the earth. See, Radiohalos: Startling evidence of catastrophic geologic processes, Creation 28(2):4650, 2006.
63. Squashed pleochroic halos (radiohalos) formed from decay of polonium, a very short half-life element, in coalified wood from several geological eras suggest rapid formation of all the layers about the same time, in the same process, consistent with the biblical young earth model rather than the millions of years claimed for these events.
64. Australias Burning Mountain speaks against radiometric dating and the millions of years belief system (according to radiometric dating of the lava intrusion that set the coal alight, the coal in the burning mountain has been burning for ~40 million years, but clearly this is not feasible).
Or consider polystrate fossils from:
Center for Scientific Creation - In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
Polystrate Fossil. Fossils crossing two or more sedimentary layers (strata) are called poly- (many) strate (strata) fossils. Consider how quickly any fossil must be buried. Had burial been slow, the tree tops would have decayed. Obviously, the trees could not have grown up through the strata without sunlight and air. The only alternative is rapid burial. Some polystrate trees are upside down, which could occur in a large flood. Soon after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, scientists saw trees being buried in a similar way in the lake-bottom sediments of Spirit Lake. Polystrate tree trunks are found worldwide.
The best possible examples I can think of:
Flying squirrels are in process of becoming bats or something like bats.
Tapirs are in transition to becoming elephants.
Okapis are in process of becoming giraffes, or striped deer.
Walruses are becoming whales.
Walruses are becoming short-legged fat wild pigs.
Fundamental Principle: These examples are arrived at by deductive reasoning. As we all know from our high school biology teachers, anything can become anything, given a little more time. We know this because there is something rather than nothing.
You're asserting that you can prove the Earth is 10,000 years old by excluding any evidence that it isn't. Not exactly rocket surgery, there.
I for one welcome our Salamander Overlords