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So I am dumb and don't remeber very much from geology if, in fact, I ever took a course on it...

So my question is:

Can anyone recommend a good book that explains the method by which geologists use in a simple and systematic way?

I'm really not interested in the YEC critque of their methods, I'm just looking to wrap my mind around the way in which geologists go about determining the age of the earth.

Thanks.

Your brother in Christ,

-Josh

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Apolojedi (Daniel Eaton) said:
TIM said:
> but we can start with an assumption that it isn't a lie.

Actually, no we can't.

How many times does Scripture explicitly say that God sent forth a deceiving spirit? (1 Kings 22; 2 Chron 18)
But does Scripture tell us that these spirits show HIS attributes? That is my point. Unlike the activities of demons or wine that started out as water, we are told to look at the creation because it reflects Him. Does God point us to fake things and tell us it teaches us about Him? I don't think so. D.

The verse that springs to mind is "the heavens declare the *glory* of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork."

If it said "the heavens declare the age of God and the firmament shows He did indeed do it 3 billion years ago. I mean 11 billion years ago. I mean 21 billion years ago", then I'd definitely be with you.

I'm focusing specifically on the age (the Bible is silent, but quite strongly hints, imho, at a young earth) and the process (evolution, as presented, is incompatible with Gen 1 & 2). For those two specific items (upon which "modern science" rests and accepts as fact) I'm more than willing to entertain the notion that demonic activity fools people into thinking they're too wise to need to listen to a bunch of 'old myths'.
Why isn't 'demonic activity' ever a possible culprit for the misreading of Genesis? What makes your interpretation of Genesis not subject to man's error, yet interpretation of scientific data is subject to man's error?

It seems like all these arguments about 'man not knowing' or 'being deceived' could just as well be used against the Young-Earthers in regards to their reading of the bible.
But the difference is more pronounced than pointing at bad interpretation, Chad. Pascal flipped out on Descartes for a reason. John 2:9-10 is a testimony on the side of observers; John 2:1-8, 11 is the information for those on the side of the track. These two books of Revelation are great, but you don't fully understand one of the books if you don't rely on the Main Book.

As for demonic activity for the reading and interpretation of Scripture, I would have to see a case for that from the text in regards to the YEC reading of Genesis 1. I used Okham's razor against them and the ambiguity of Genesis 1; but I never try to say their interpretation is the result of demonic activity.
I'm not saying it is either, I'm just wondering why demonic activity is only an option for the interpretation of scientific data, and not biblical data.

We have the biblical data, and we have the data observed from nature. Man interprets both. Yet man's interpretation of the scientific data is being looked down upon as possibly influenced by demonic activity in some of these posts. I'm just wondering what makes man's interpretation of biblical data free from this same criticism (since the criticism has already been raised).


Rey Reynoso said:
But the difference is more pronounced than pointing at bad interpretation, Chad. Pascal flipped out on Descartes for a reason. John 2:9-10 is a testimony on the side of observers; John 2:1-8, 11 is the information for those on the side of the track. These two books of Revelation are great, but you don't fully understand one of the books if you don't rely on the Main Book.
As for demonic activity for the reading and interpretation of Scripture, I would have to see a case for that from the text in regards to the YEC reading of Genesis 1. I used Okham's razor against them and the ambiguity of Genesis 1; but I never try to say their interpretation is the result of demonic activity.
Well, I think an easy argument would be something like man alone interprets Creation, but no man alone can interpret Scripture.
Chad Gibbons said:
I'm not saying it is either, I'm just wondering why demonic activity is only an option for the interpretation of scientific data, and not biblical data.

We have the biblical data, and we have the data observed from nature. Man interprets both. Yet man's interpretation of the scientific data is being looked down upon as possibly influenced by demonic activity in some of these posts. I'm just wondering what makes man's interpretation of biblical data free from this same criticism (since the criticism has already been raised).



If it gives you any comfort, I've seen people make very bizzare conclusions/interpretations from Scripture (and supported their conclusions by saying Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things, therefore they HAD to be right ;) .) In one such case, the person even went as far as to say "God would NEVER have required animal sacrifices! Can you imagine a God of love requiring blood on the right ear/thumb/toe of a priest!? What nonsense!". Well - I don't know if a demon per se led this poor soul to flat-out deny Scripture, but his conclusion was a lie nontheless.

So to answer your question... my experience shows me that man's interpretation of *anything* is always capable of corruption.

--

My choice to be a Young Earth kind of guy is a natural conclusion from what Moses seems to be naturally writing. He's not out to prove the age of the earth, but to take his language at face value, one naturally concludes that this is a young earth. Logical integrity then requires me to explain why nature appears to say something different than what the Bible says (or at least, people *commenting* on nature say something different than what the Bible seems to say). When there's a contradiction between the Bible and anyone/anything else, all things being equal, I'll stick with the Bible every time. (Besides - I don't mind questioning people who profess themselves to be wise. It may not make me popular, but I have fun with it in my own little way. At the very least, they keep having to change their theories to match new data. I don't. ;)


TIM
P.S. Just a couple nights ago, my wife and I were discussing how Eve was probably 2 or 3 years old when she gave birth to Cain. Just a guess.
Honestly, people make things far more complicated than they really are. I think Tim's response is largely right. I mean to look at the text of Gen 1 with a mustard seed of objectivity and it presents itself in the simplest of terms.

Rey, would you tell me what you find ambiguous. And I am curious about your Occam's razor comment, because that is one thing I would cite to discount some of the rival interpretations.

My position is, read the text as it presents itself. It tells us a few things about God's activity of creation, not that much, but what He tells us is to be trusted.

Then go and do all the science you want. The created universe described for us in Gen 1 looks exactly like what you see when you look at it. Want to figure out how that works? Great! Only, trying to correllate it with theories based on false assumptions is likely to be disappointing. And when it disappoints it isn't the Bible or the text-respecting interpretation that is to blame.

If we can't figure it out...it really isn't that worrisome. It really isn't. I mean if the worst thing about our Biblical understanding is that we have to say we haven't got the intricacies of Gods eternal power and divine nature in regard to Life, the Universe, and Everything figured out to our satisfaction...then we can die happy (and live eternally...and I think we can get the answer then).

Actually, a worse thing would be to say that we DO have these figured out to our satisfaction.

I wouldn't say everyone has to agree with my interpretation of the text. Hey, go for it. But I would say that given the strength of the obvious, simple and direct propositions of the text, the best an alternative interpretation could really hope for is about 50% probablity (and frankly, in regards to the ones I've seen, I'm being generous).

At that point, you have your choice. But if you choose your interpretation because of what it does for you...lets you feel you have a certain tension resolved, keeps you from being embarrassed in the classroom, lets you say "I ain't no fundy," or even is preferable for apologetic purposes...well, all the best wishes for future happiness...but at that point you have ceased to do exegesis. "Not that there is anything wrong with that..." Just, well, might as well be aware of what you are doing.
As to the Razor:

(1) The text is very careful with it's language but what it tells is about the order of God's creation and his active hand in doing it and some general timing
(2) The evidence in the text (not just Genesis 1) can support both YEC but it's careful enough to support OEC
(3) The observation evidence of Creation says old in stages.
(4) The YEC scheme complicates the evidence of the observed evidence (not that it's less trustworthy, but it adds more explanations like a slowed down speed of light, etc.)
(5) The OEC scheme vibes with the textual evidence of stages, time for growth, order
(6) Therefore I fall on what seems to me the simpler side of the razor in regards to what I observe in nature.
(7) Therefore I rest in my position. But I attack people who bring a charge against YECs because of denying the trustworthiness of God and I attack YECs when they say you have to be a YEC or you deny the Gospel.
Thanks, Rey,
Some thoughts.

(1) The text is very careful with it's language but what it tells is about [is] the order of God's creation and his active hand in doing it and some general timing

I'm understanding this based on the emmendation I supply in bold above. If this is wrong, please let me know. Okay, I think I would concur, generally, though I would add that what it tells us about timing is neither incidentaly nor ambiguous. Its reference to "days" is higly correllated with the days of the week that we experience.

(2) The evidence in the text (not just Genesis 1) can support both YEC but it's careful enough to support OEC

Well, here is perhaps my oddity. I don't think YEC is my label, but I do think what the text tells us indicates that the earth was created relatively recently and in six days. But anyway, your "careful enough to support OEC" is an interesting way of putting it. This sounds a little bit like you're saying the author left a loophole for OEC. So we're off the hook. Probably not what you meant.

(3) The observation evidence of Creation says old in stages.

Not too sure about this, but anyway, we have now left off consideration of the text, right?

(4) The YEC scheme complicates the evidence of the observed evidence (not that it's less trustworthy, but it adds more explanations like a slowed down speed of light, etc.)

Ah, and here you delve into YEC-ism that isn't moi. I mean I've read these slowing light ideas etc. That is what it is, but we mustn't conflate these ideas with reading the text. There is (1) interpretation of the chapter, and there is (2) the attempt at correllating conclusions therefrom with conclusions reached from experience and reason, looking at observable phenomena, in a word "science." These two are not one. Number (1) is far more interesting to me, and I think more important. Number (2) can be fun and interesting, if you like that sort of thing, but is ultimately of much, much lower importance. And in doing it to be intellectually honest we have to admit our enormous limitations, including the limitations of science in this area.

(5) The OEC scheme vibes with the textual evidence of stages, time for growth, order

well, it would, if there were textual evidence for thse things, maybe...

(6) Therefore I fall on what seems to me the simpler side of the razor in regards to what I observe in nature.

Hmm. I'm not sure I see yet where the razor comes in. You really mean you come with science telling you the universe is old and so you require an interpretation of Genesis 1 that allows for this. The problem for me is that available interpretations that allow for OEC do so by the expedient of unnecessarilty multipying entities, i.e. inherently violating Occam's razor. E.g. rely on a usage of yom to mean a long age, whose main drawback is non-existence. Or to propose a fairly complicated schema, a la the Framework Hypothesis, which understand the text to be organized topically despite the blatant chronological indicators.

(7) Therefore I rest in my position. But I attack people who bring a charge against YECs because of denying the trustworthiness of God and I attack YECs when they say you have to be a YEC or you deny the Gospel.

Ha! Too good!! On point seven you rest!!
As to (2) I meant that the text of Genesis 1 is careful enough not to outright get married with any position. The general teaching of God's view of time is careful enough not to outright get married with any position.

As to (3), yes, this is a consideration from only observation. The wine, the observer says, tastes aged.

As to (5) Stages look like Day 1 light, Day 2 atmosphere, Day 3 land and plants.. Animals come chronologically after plants and separated by time. Observation in the sciences points to this but the text outright says it.

As to (4) I am making a case for the correlation here. But at to your (1) now calling it (A) beneath it, the text even when interpreted leaves some questions open. The question of days is a good one, especially in light (::rimshot::) of the first and seventh day. The question of geoperspective is a good one: the only heavenly bodies are The Sun and the Moon and some broad statement about "the heavens". The question on the interrelation of the days is a good one: what does day 5 have to do with day 3 and day 4 with day 1? The interpretation winds up with a very careful passage that supports order, sequence, power, and all of it grounded in a God who plans and speaks things into existence...and yet, still speaks those things in a form that is very surprising ("let the land bring forth trees of every kind with the seed in them" instead of "let there be Trees").

In the end, the geologists explanations wind up being considered with all that to see if it makes sense within it. I don't think a theistic evolutionary one makes sense in light of the text, but I do think that there are explanations that come at science with the text's explicit statements and ambiguities in mind which allows the science to fit in.

But, be that as it may, what does your YEC look like and how does it explain the geological evidence and radiometric dating? I know you've said that God "created it old" before so, I'm guessing that the reason the stone comes up with an old reading is that God created it that old (like the wine)? It's the stars that have proved more difficult to explain to me. Be that as it may that is (was?) another convo.

At this point, I think we're hijacking.
Stepping back for a sec... why does a timeless God need an abundance of time to create something? Who benefits from that? That's my biggest reason for rejecting OE views: He doesn't need time, so the timing He chose must have a purpose other than letting creation take its time in order to be full/ripe/ready for Man to be planted on the earth. Why should God be limited to creating raw materials and then letting time bring them to fruition? I can't think of any of His miracles demonstrate that process: they're all instantaneous and complete (except for the one about the blind guy seeing trees until Jesus worked a miracle again so he could see perfectly. But that's a bizzare exception and I'll leave it off the table for now because I think Jesus was making a specific point in doing the miracle that way.)

The heavens are made for God's purpose and glory. To the best of my knowledge, that glory is activated when His created beings look at it in awe and reflect on His greatness. So it seems to me that God creates for observers to look at and respond in worship. To that end, why bother spending 6million/billion yoms/years creating something and then create man to look and observe and be in awe? What's the purpose in the timing?

If there's a purpose to the timing, we need look no further than Ex 20: Keep the Sabbath holy. In 6 days God created then rested on the 7th, therefore you work 6 days and rest on the 7th. The parallel seems too explicit to have an OE be God's method. Therefore I'm compelled to hold to a 6-day creation.

And if the 6 days is an explicit design by God, rest assured Satan will work to undermine it. Ergo OE views.

Lastly... all OE views require death (of animals and vegetation) to take place *before* the fall of Man. I'm still waiting for a reason to believe this has any Biblical support or loophole to make it worth considering.



To that end, I'm quite curious about the methods that man uses to measure the age of the earth. Seems too mumbo-jumbo to me.
TIM said:
Stepping back for a sec... why does a timeless God need an abundance of time to create something? Who benefits from that? That's my biggest reason for rejecting OE views: He doesn't need time, so the timing He chose must have a purpose other than letting creation take its time in order to be full/ripe/ready for Man to be planted on the earth.
I believe this is the wrong question. As you say, God is timeless. He didn't "need" any amount of time. So it is not a situation of how much time did HE need. It is a situation of how long do some things take. As far as who benefits, I'd say *we* do. Where would we be without things like fossil fuels, for example?

D.

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