Commenter David just gave me a great opportunity to comment on a BioLogos article in the course of our conversation. Here's my latest reply:
Did you really just cite BioLogos to me?
Why would that faze me? My position is that the Christian worldview is PRESUPPOSED, which means that God is the highest authority, and if He said how it all went down, limited men using limited methodology, limited instrumentation, limited assumptions and limited means to substantiate those assumptions, limited time, limited knowledge, and limited access don't really have much of a chance to overturn what God said. Why would it?
Here's another way of looking at it: In the case of the question of evolution, old-earth evolutionists have set out, as I have said before, to take the equivalent of a 1,000,000-year-old auto accident, to disregard completely the testimony of the 100% trustworthy eyewitness who actually even decreed that the whole thing happen, and to send a forensics (CSI) team to the scene to dig around and find scattered pieces of car and glass, 1,000,000-year-old grooves and scratches, and not reconstruct but rather construct what happened in opposition to what the witness says he decreed to happen.
Why would what the CSI team said matter to me? Why would I trust their findings and conclusions? And that's just 1 million years!
OK, to the BioLogos article. My guess is that we'll unearth a few assumptions. Just maybe.
Each winter-spring cycle produces a dark-light colored sediment couplet, or varve. In both examples, each varve represents one year.
1) Assumes God created trees with no rings. But of course, and as Al Mohler reminded us in his recent talk on "Why Does the Universe Look So Old?", God created trees and other plants mature.
2) Are there living trees that are more than 4000 yrs old?
The core contained an uninterrupted sequence of varves, with a total count in excess of 100,00
See, there's the assumption at work.
And if you complain that it's deceptive or sthg for God to have created trees with rings already in them, remember:
1) That's a philosophical, not an evidential, objection. Justify your philosophical objection.
2) God told you how it all went down, and here you're looking for evidence to overturn what He said. He's not in the wrong; you are.
What if in the distant past, multiple varves were deposited per year? More specifically, what if a massive flood with thousands of surges back and forth across the land laid down thousands of varves in a single year? Fortunately, we do not have to depend on assumptions, but can actually make measurements to determine if this happened.
Not my claim, but others' claim. It will be interesting to see how he answers it, though.
The high degree of linearity (straightness) of this data has two possible interpretations:
Let me step in and summarise his Option 1: God lied, miscommunicated, or was ignorant when He wrote the Bible.
Now back to him:
Option 2: God started with a fast rate of carbon 14 decay and dozens of diatom blooms and die-offs each year, but then intentionally and precisely slowed down each independent and unrelated process in such a way as to make it falsely look as if the data confirms the accuracy of carbon-14 and varve counting as legitimate methods of determining age.
Option 2 should be unacceptable to all Christians, for it means God manipulated his creation so that a study of it would convincingly tell a story that was not in fact true.
1) There's the assumption at work right there. If uniformitarianism is false, God lied. But why should I believe that? Where's the argument?
Do Davidson and Wolgemuth know what was happening in the world right around then, whether on their timeline or the biblical one (ie, mine)? What evidence can they give us that carbon-14 decay never did change its rate? Even that sthg natural such as a change in radiation or some other event did not transpire to speed it up for a time? Such would be to prove a universal negative, and that without a time machine. Short answer - they cannot. So why do they make such leaps? B/c they have to, else they'd have no answer and no point to make, no way to use this line of argumentation to whack the Bible and bring it down to where it's more comfortable and manageable, not as God's inerrant self-revelation.
2) As I've already stated, it's not deception when you overlook the explicit truth of God's self-revelation and bring your limited everything and unbelieving assumptions to bear on rocks, which are not, shall we say, as good communicators as is text.
We argue with great conviction that Option 2 above does not reflect the God of King David who proclaimed that the heavens declare the glory of God
1) Yes, it is clear that their conviction is very deeply emotionally invested for them. What they should do is ask God to change their emotions so that they glorify Him instead of subjugating Him to their limited reason.
2) What is their exegetical argument that "declare the glory of God" = "communicate about God with the same degree or a greater degree of understandability and informational content as His self-revelation in the Scripture"?
OK, back to David:
I'll dig a trench connecting them. The point is, if you have any doubts about the relationship of the layers, you can put them (to) rest by testing.
But I've asked for an argument twice, and here's the third time. Does your argument amount to, "Duh, it's obvious"?
If so, then I respond in the same manner: Nuh uh!
I know that you know that we can relate the layer in one locality to the layers in another locality
We can relate them, sure. Telling that they're the same is another thing.
Look, I don't care much about the relation of layers to other layers. What I'm trying to get you to see is how big a role your unprovable assumptions play in your position. Your view is NOT based on "merely the evidence", however much you may think it is. It's based on mostly assumptions, unbiblical ones.
"I can think of a way that a layer might be deposited and then dragged up, messed around by surging water movement, and then mixed with other stuff, then redeposited."
I'd love to here you expand on this thought. Could we have some details, please?
If water is surging out of the sky and primarily out of the "floodgates of the deep", and swirling around all the topography, some higher, some lower, of the Earth, there might be a little bit of upward and downward, sideways, diagonal currents. It's not a difficult concept to understand. And it doesn't have to happen at just one time, either - the Flood was in effect for months.
Can we agree that we can use relative dating in this manner?
I'm interested in seeing where this goes, so for the sake of argument I will agree that we can use relative dating to date the layers with respect to each other.
DAVID: Even a YEC geologist wouldn’t argue the way in which you are arguing.
RHO: OK, but that doesn't concern me very much.
Well, it ought to. 'Cause if even a YEC geologist wouldn't argue in this way, you know that we must be talking about a really bad argument here.
You should know that my fragile ego, to say nothing of Answers in Genesis' egos, is hemorrhaging now.
"I'm here and I wasn't produced ex nihilo."
How do you know this? Don't assume. Prove that you weren't produced ex nihilo. Ya see? Anyone can play this game, and it gets us precisely nowhere.
1) My parents were present at my birth.
2) Were you present when these organisms died?
3) Again you persist with your category error. I'm not talking about whether the fossilised organisms had PARENTS, but whether they had CHILDREN. Deal with my argument.
4) I have to note that, again, you've failed to show us any reason to accept your fossil record storyline. Just guesses, based on your apparent heroes, Dick Dawk and Chuck Darwin.
That's what we're doing here with fossil species. Making reasonable presumptions
A frank admission, and one I appreciate. Thank you. We may now dispense with the fossil record "argument". It is an assumption. Whether it is reasonable is precisely what is in question - you seem to think that sometimes assumptions based on no evidence are reasonable, and yet others (as you'd say the YEC position is) are not. Why the special pleading? What is behind this selectivity?
What is the fossil record good for? It's really good for testing hypotheses.
Like what? Please be specific how a fossil record-based hypothesis helps evol and "destroys YEC", especially when anyone is justified, as you just admitted, in pointing out that such arguments are based on bare assumptions. Thanks!