Bill Nye: Debate Over Evolution In Texas Schools

I think it’s fair to say that most people want a high standard of education for students, but what that means when it comes to evolution can be troubling. According to the Huffington Post there’s a battle going on in Texas over biology textbooks, and they asked Bill Nye “The Science Guy” to comment.

800px-Bill_Nye

(photo by Ed Schipul)

“This textbook business is, to my way of thinking, a very serious matter, because of the economic impact,” Nye told the Huffington Post in an email. “Everyone should take a moment and think what it will mean to raise a generation of students who might believe that it is reasonable to think for a moment that the Earth might be 10,000 years old.” He went on to say that “It’s an outrageous notion. It’s not a benign idea. It’s inane or silly. These students will not accept the process of science, which will stifle or suppress innovation.” Nye thinks that companies won’t be able to find competent engineers with new ideas that are capable of creating new products. He says, “It’s not a religious issue, as such. It’s the future of the United States’ economy that’s at stake.”

These are outrageous comments coming from someone supposedly competent in the realm of science. We’re not talking about “dumbing down” students, as has been happening for years in schools. I don’t think Nye understands the issue here because he thinks that the teaching of creation will make students stupid. On the contrary, if there’s any “dumbing down”, it’s happening as a result of telling students what to think and how to think; that evolution equals truth; and that there’s no other alternative. Somehow this narrow view of thinking is supposed to encourage innovation? I think not!

Both Nye and the HuffPost have a number of things wrong in the story. The HuffPost stated that the Texas Board of Education doesn’t believe evolution should be taught in public schools in Texas. But when I read their previous article it said no such thing. The article claimed that textbook publishers were encouraged to “add sections about creationism, and remove information about climate change and evolution.” But that doesn’t mean that evolution won’t be discussed. In the article panelist Karen Beathard went on to say, “I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.” And Raymond Bohlin (Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology) said in a phone interview, “When it came to particular topics [the textbooks] didn’t analyze, they didn’t evaluate … They [just said] this is the way it is, end of discussion… I’m just looking for evolution to be presented honestly and not be given a materialistic slant that’s not warranted by the evidence.”

Based on these comments, they’re NOT suggesting that evolution shouldn’t be taught in public schools, or that only creationism would be taught, or that we should dumb down our students. That’s how the HuffPost and Nye wish to portray this, but they’re clearly wrong, and it sounds to me like they’re trying to win the argument by creating fear, smearing their opponents, and by presenting misinformation to their readers who will accept their assertions without question and then act upon them politically. They seem to be okay with indoctrinating students- as long as they’re the ones doing the indoctrinating. But when others attempt to present an honest critique of science- somehow that’s considered “inane or silly”. If anyone is stifling or suppressing innovation, it’s those who only allow one-dimensional thinking, rather than allowing students to think for themselves and think critically. Would you rather have students be told what to think, or would it be in their best interest to have all the data presented to them so that they could make an informed decision? I think we’ll have better educated and creative students if they’re allowed to examine all the evidence and make up their own minds.

Further, thinking that the world is less than 10,000 years old has not stifled innovation as Nye has asserted. There are plenty of creationist scientists and engineers who’ve come up with great ideas and innovations, such as Dr. Raymond Damadian, pioneer of the MRI- one of the greatest diagnostic breakthroughs ever. If Nye were correct, then we shouldn’t have such great scientists. But the fact that such creation scientists do exist is proof that Nye is very wrong.

I agree with Raymond Bohlin that evolution should be presented honestly and without a materialistic slant not warranted by the evidence. I also agree that science supporting a young earth should be presented as well. If science is interested in supporting truth in any way, then students should be given the opportunity to study all the various aspects- the age of the earth, the origin of the universe, and biology, for example, and they should be able to study and critique them without being hindered by political correctness.

I’d suggest that it’s Nye who is doing more to suppress ideas and innovation by insisting upon indoctrination, while the Texas School Board is doing more to promote ideas, innovation and creative thinking by supporting academic and intellectual freedom.

The only concern I have with teaching creation science in classrooms is that teachers who don’t believe in it won’t give it justice; they’ll probably react the way Nye did, which could prove to be unhelpful. If science supporting a young universe is presented, then there will need to be additional support for students so that they can access all the information needed in order to reach an informed conclusion.

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16 thoughts on “Bill Nye: Debate Over Evolution In Texas Schools

    • Michael, thanks for your comments.

      I checked out your link, and you make some very good points that I agree with and have even written about myself. You make the point that we need to start at the beginning of Scripture if we seek to understand creation. Absolutely. But I respectfully disagree that the idea of a young universe is a distorted interpretation.

      In your link you ask, “How much time elapsed in the age of the earth between the creation of the universe in verse 1 and “Let there be light” in verse 3”, and then you boldly proclaim that “We have no clue in Scripture”. Yet you seem so certain that the idea of a universe less than 10,000 years old is a distorted interpretation. There seems to be a contradiction between these assertions. If you’re right that we have “no clue”, then how can you be so certain that I’m wrong? If you’re right that we have no clue, then you’d have to admit that young earth creationists could be correct in their interpretation. If we don’t have a clue then you can’t really take a stance one way or another or suggest that creationists are distorting Scripture. If we have no clue, then I’d think you’d be more willing to discuss the possibilities rather than take a particular stance.

      Actually I don’t agree with the premise of your question. I see verse 1 as a standalone verse: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” As you point out, this is a statement; and it encompasses all of creation- from Day one through Day six. It’s an overview or long shot of the entire creation process. Verse three takes a closer look at the creation week and actually describes each of the six days of creation. Finally I’d suggest that Chapter 2, verse 4 begins with an even closer look at creation from a different angle and specifically addresses man’s role.

      Genesis 1:2 tells us what the earth was like when God began to create. I can understand why it’s easy to think that an unknown period of time may have passed from verse one to verse three, but if we look elsewhere in Scripture (let Scripture interpret Scripture) then we see that there was not a long period of time. Exodus 20:11 clearly tells us that God made the heavens and the earth is six days. It’s not ambiguous, but is a statement. Therefore, if God created the heavens and the earth in six days, then there’s little room for a long, unknown period of time to be inserted between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:3. And it also means that we do have a clue how much time elapsed. Based on Exodus I don’t agree that Scripture is silent. I think it’s quite clear that not more than a day elapsed before verse 3.

      I know you think Exodus 20:11 is wrongly used, but I disagree. I think you can only suggest that if you’re trying to reach a particular conclusion (such as rejecting young earth creationism). Exodus 20:11 isn’t ambiguous.

      According to Weston W. Fields in his book Unformed and Unfilled the Hebrew words BaRa (create) and aSaH (made) may be used interchangeably. In fact Genesis 2:4 uses both words: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”

      In your section about “The Earth” it sounds a lot like what I’ve read from C. John Collins, who I’ve critiqued already. There’s certainly symmetry, but that doesn’t negate a literal 24 hour day. It sounds like you’re simply accepting Collins interpretation rather than accepting the plain reading of Scripture.

      Before I became a young earth creationist I would have agreed with you on virtually every point you made, but it was the rest of Scripture that convicted me and led me to believe in a young earth, and now I’m able to see how easily Scripture and science supports a young creation. I wasn’t able to do that before.

      I’m a Calvinist, but I certainly don’t hold to all of Calvin’s teachings concerning creation.

      It sounds like you adhere to some kind of gap or analogical days theory, but I don’t think that holds up. Here are a couple links where I’ve discussed some of these points, and a link to an article about Weston W. Fields discussing Exodus 20:11. Thanks again,

      https://sixdaysblog.com/2012/11/05/book-review-science-faith-friends-or-foes-c-john-collins-condensed-version/

      https://sixdaysblog.com/2012/07/21/genesis-1/

      https://sixdaysblog.com/2012/08/07/genesis-2/?relatedposts_exclude=22

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v3/n3/gap-theory-b

  1. There are plenty of creationist scientists and engineers who’ve come up with great ideas and innovations . . .

    But not in infectious disease, not in cancer fighting, not in insect-borne diseases, and only in engineering applications in medicine, not in biology.

    Understanding evolution and how it works is essential to fighting diseases these days, especially cancer and infections. In vector borne-diseases, like malaria, evolution forms the basic grid on which the fight against the vectors must be mapped and fought.

    Yes, one can engineer a machine without understanding evolution. But it would be foolish to design machines without understanding engineering. Evolution is the engineering of life.

    • Hi Ed, thanks for your comments.

      Actually there are creation scientists in virtually every field of science, including infectious disease and fighting cancer, etc. I’m not sure what source you used to obtain your information, but I’d suggest looking at more reliable sources.

      Robert Koch (1843-1910) was the “father” of medical microbiology and is known for many contributions to germ theory, bacteriology, and tropical medicine, according to his biography. Robert Koch, like many of the founders of microbiology, was a creationist. The germ theory of disease was put forth primarily by non-Darwinian biologists. Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister were other creationists who contributed to the germ theory, as were Sir Patrick Manson (discovered the elephantiasis parasite), Sir Ronald Ross (discovered the malaria parasite), Walter Reed (discovered the mosquito vector) and Carl Fliermans (ecology of Legionella bacteria).

      Understanding evolution has nothing to do with fighting disease. All that’s necessary is an understanding of the scientific method. The scientists listed above did very well without believing in evolution, and most of them lived in the 19th century. I’ve also interviewed many creationist scientists, and they say that evolution had absolutely no role in their work as scientists. And if you were to ask most scientists in the field I think they’d agree that they do their work without any reference to evolution, and if they do, it’s an afterthought that has nothing to do with their actual work. It’s a farce to think that one needs to understand evolution in order to do good science. An understanding of the scientific method is all we need. In fact I’d argue that an understanding of evolution has caused a lot of harm in the field of medicine, and that’s why junk DNA was ignored for so long. It’s also why bad medical practices were done for back pain- doctors thought our backs should be more like our ancestors. A belief in evolution also led to many unnecessary surgeries because doctors didn’t think we needed vestigial organs, etc.

      Below are a few links to many of the creationists involved in the fields you claim creationists aren’t involved in.

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v5/n1/koch-creation-and-specificity-of-germs

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v4/n1/creation-germ-theory

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/

      And here’s a link to an interview I did with Dr. Michael Groves who, like most scientists, don’t need evolution in order to do good science. You can find many such interviews all over the internet, dispelling the myth that an understanding of evolution is needed to fight diseases and such.

      https://sixdaysblog.com/2013/03/12/an-interview-with-michael-groves/

      • Actually there are creation scientists in virtually every field of science, including infectious disease and fighting cancer, etc. I’m not sure what source you used to obtain your information, but I’d suggest looking at more reliable sources.

        One of the ways we can tell a train of thought it toxic, even trending towards evil, is by the fruits it bears.

        In this case, your defense of creationism leads people, like the Answers in Genesis corporation, to make astonishingly false claims. I imagine that you regard yourself as a Christian, a seeker and teller of truth.

        But here you’re defending pure folderol. If there are a few creationists hiding in cancer research or infectious disease work, they do so only by ignoring all creationist thought, and applying evolution theory. It’s rather like sayign there are anti-gravitationalists who work as airplane mechanics. You might find a few nuts like that — but they don’t fix airplanes successfully by “believing” that airplanes rise through anti-gravity devices.

        AiG claims Koch as a creationist, but that’s inaccurate. He worked on microbes at a time when many scientists had doubts about evolution in all living things, but his work provides some of the underpinnings of evolution theory — and critically, it specifically denies creationist thought. AiG’s account accurately says Koch had doubts about Darwin — as did every German scientist reluctant to grant credit to an Englishman and naturalist who wasn’t big on glassware lab biological experiments, ‘How could Darwin be right, if all he does is look at reality in the wild?’ they asked.

        In Koch’s case, AiG also uses a simple bait-and-switch. They find a scientist known to oppose parts of Darwin’s work, and then say that this somehow demonstrates that evolution doesn’t work.

        Look hard at Koch’s work. It is remarkable for its breadth, and in this case, for the complete absence of any creationist thought behind it. Indeed, Koch’s Nobel came for his demonstration that tuberculosis in bovines is a different species from tuberculosis in humans, a Darwinian twist on disease fighting that makes all the difference in prevention and treatment.

        That’s dishonest. Not only is it a refutation of the claim AiG makes, it’s symbolic of the moral decay that creationism causes. Otherwise good people take to telling ever-more-elaborate fictions to cover up history and science.

        (It’s also particularly ironic when we realize that Adolf Hitler relied on reports of Koch’s work to justify the Holocaust, and not Darwin’s work as creationists all too often claim. AiG claims just the opposite, of course. More false information from AiG. I’ve found it good practice to assume anything that group says is pure fiction, or the opposite of what they claim, unless corroborated by other, unrelated research. When Hitler wanted to refer to evolutionary medicine, he picked the German Koch as the exemplar.)

        Study the stuff. You’ll see for yourself that AiG has fed you a line, one that we should not teach to innocent children, nor unsuspecting adults. This has less to do with evolution than it does with simple honesty. As Richard Feynman warned, it’s easiest to lie to ourselves, to fool ourselves — and for that reason we must be more vigilant to avoid being fooled when we defend belief.

        There is not a significant number of creationists working today in cancer research, nor infectious disease research, and especially none using creationism paradigms. It’s telling that you had to go back more than a century for your first example — and it collapses on investigation.

        Doubt me? Don’t take my word for it. Look at the major research in those areas, and find the creationists. Even and especially among the religious men and women in science, they are not creationist, and they do not use creationism paradigms to do their research. Creationism has been falsified as science, and these are good scientists who do not do false research.

        Almost all the other AiG examples fail for those reasons. Most of their “creationist” scientists are men who are long dead, many who worked before Darwin was even born. Their great discoveries are often in areas that have nothing whatever to do with evolution, but are instead in physics and chemistry. And AiG is not above committing lies by omission — they used to claim Newton as a “creationist” though he was dead about a century before Darwin was born and though his work denied precisely many of the astronomical claims of AiG and others in the creationism cult.

        Stick to science, stick to Christianity. Don’t waste time on folderol, especially stuff that leads you to paths of retelling huge fibs.

    • You’re being quite judgmental with your accusations towards me and Answers in Genesis. I don’t see where you’re bearing any good fruit. I think you should heed your own warnings.

      I do know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I do believe my work is pleasing to him. If not, then he has every right to rebuke me as he sees fit. I humbly accept his discipline if I’m leading anyone astray. However I think my work is Scriptural, and I’m able to back up my writing with Scripture.

      Here’s another creation scientist involved in cancer research, Terry Hamblin. You’re being very judgmental by assuming that scientists like him ignore creationist thought. No reference to evolution is needed to do real science. Evolution is purely pseudoscience.

      http://creation.com/terry-hamblin

      Koch was a Linnaean creationist in his classification, and it’s clear that he didn’t believe in evolution, despite your twist on his work.

      I’ve read plenty of AiG’s work, and, to be honest, I have a greater trust for them than from you. You’ve done a good job of twisting Scripture, AiG, and other creationist scientists for your own personal agenda. And you’ve done so with my words as well. I don’t find that very honest.

      Creation scientists are in every major field of science, and they’ll continue to do so, despite your claims to the contrary. I know many of them personally, and they all do their work without evoking evolution even for an instant. It’s a complete lie that an understanding of evolution is needed to do science. You could demonstrate the lie yourself by conducting a scientific experiment. The scientific method has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. Evolution has been falsified time and again- the tree of life has been completely turned upside down. If falsification is a mark of science, then evolution has failed.

      There’s a long list of modern creationist scientists that I linked to, and they are in all the major fields (evolutionary fields are bogus and don’t count).

      Newton was a creationist. Just read his writings and it jumps out.

      One doesn’t need to understand evolution in order to understand how bacteria and viruses work, behave and change. I think you really misunderstand science if you think otherwise.

      • Linneas laid out the Tree of Life, tracing relationships between animals and plants, especially morphologically. Calling him “creationist” is inaccurate in the highest degree. He showed that species are not fixed, and his work provides part of the foundation for evolution theory.

        Your calling cancer research “bogus” is pretty strong stuff.

  2. . . . it was the rest of Scripture that convicted me and led me to believe in a young earth, and now I’m able to see how easily Scripture and science supports a young creation.

    Of the several creation stories in the Bible, which one persuaded you to believe in a young Earth, especially since none of those creation stories says the Earth is young?

    And, do you disregard all the other creation stories outside of Genesis 1? How about Genesis 2? What about God’s explanation to Job, which conflicts with both Genesis stories?

    • As I indicated to Michael Snow, Exodus 20:11 is one of the verses that made it clear that the days in Genesis are literal, 24 hour days. Mark 10:6 and 2 Peter 3:3-6 mention that mankind was there at the beginning of creation, and that only makes sense if the days in Genesis were literal, 24 hour days, and it reaffirms a worldwide flood. Psalm 33:6-9 may not necessarily indicate a literal 24 hour day, but it makes it clear that God spoke and the heavens and earth were made at his command. Romans 1:20 is interesting because it only makes sense if God created the heavens and the earth in the six days as described in Genesis and Exodus. If God took billions of years, then his power isn’t distinguishable from purely naturalistic explanations. Romans 5:12-17 speaks of an historical Adam who sinned and brought sin and death into the world- not some soul-less brute in a clan of apes. 1 Corinthians 15:20-49 also speaks of an historical Adam, but this wouldn’t make sense in an evolutionary perspective. These are just a few verses that only make sense with a young earth. Throwing evolution into the picture really distorts these verses into something else.

  3. As I indicated to Michael Snow, Exodus 20:11 is one of the verses that made it clear that the days in Genesis are literal, 24 hour days. Mark 10:6 and 2 Peter 3:3-6 mention that mankind was there at the beginning of creation, and that only makes sense if the days in Genesis were literal, 24 hour days, and it reaffirms a worldwide flood.

    Some progress at least.

    You reject Genesis 1’s portrayal of the creation, because it doesn’t put humans in at the start, then. Do you reject all of Genesis 1? Which verses do you think might be correct? How do you tell? Do you really think Exodus 20 contradicts Genesis — and if so, have you checked the Hebrew to be sure? (In Hebrew, the “days” in Genesis are not identified as 24-hour periods, but the word used instead is one that indicates a longer passage of time in every other use.)

    You assume a literal 24-hour day, contradicting the Hebrew version of Genesis 1, and Job. Do those contradictions make you wonder about taking any of that material as literal? Do you think Mark and Peter make a case against other parts of Genesis, or indeed any of the books of the Torah?

    Mark 10.6 is rather an odd verse to use here, for the purpose you state, don’t you think? In that verse, Jesus is talking about divorce, and indeed there is absolutely no mention of a period of time in Genesis, nor any direct reference to either of the Genesis stories, though we might argue Mark rejects Genesis 2 because he avoids the ugly matter of God wondering which other animals Adam might be paired with to mate.

    How do you take a story against divorce, and turn it into a story of bad science?

    And then there is this: Mark talks about the “beginning of creation,” but does not say creation of all things, or the creation of humans. Especially pre-Darby, how do you put humans in the same place as Jesus, at the beginning of creation? Isn’t that close to blasphemy?

    In 2 Peter 3.5, the words seem to deny your claim exactly. Let’s look at the whole chapter, in fact, n the KJV:

    2 Peter 3

    King James Version (KJV)

    3 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

    2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

    3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

    4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

    5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

    6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

    7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

    15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

    How is it you choose to ignore the clear statement that the world and universe are old? Any of your interpretations require that we look at this chapter, and claim some of it as metaphor. When it talks about the world being flooded, is there any reason to assume that flood was greater than a large, regional flood — say, the filling of the Black Sea when the ice dam at the Bosporus broke? (I would note that in your 10,000-year timeline, there is great difficulty with Biblical stories and geography; notably, Jericho, which we know has been occupied constantly for at least 15,000 years from well-dated and well-corroborated digs there, and where there is absolutely no sign of any flood since human habitation began. That’s important, because Jericho is about 800 feet below sea level. Evaporation could not have put Jericho on dry land in a mere 10,000 years, had it ever been flooded up to sea level, calculations show. God may work in mysterious ways, but not whimsical or slap-dash ways, and I worry that you have created a god who doesn’t think ahead, who acts on whim and doesn’t much plan things beyond next Tuesday when he creates calamities — not the God of Abraham and Israel, in other words.)

    I can’t find anything in the Bible that says “the Earth is very young.” The verses you cite say quite the opposite. I find creationism to be ungrounded in scripture, as well as false science. I think when we stumble into creationism, we should walk on , looking for that new heaven and new Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Creationism is not that place.

    • I’m not sure that I follow your question. I don’t reject Genesis 1’s portrayal of creation. I accept it. That’s why I’m a young earth creationist. And it does put humans at the beginning as Mark 10:6 indicates. All the verses in Genesis and all of Scripture are correct. We know that because God tells us that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). And I don’t think Exodus 20 contradicts Genesis.

      I can’t read Hebrew, but I’ve studied enough of what others have written to have a pretty good understanding of it. The days in Genesis, if taken in context, are identified as 24 hour periods. When the word day (or yom) is preceded by a number, it’s referring to a 24-hour day. Trying to find a way to prevent Genesis from being an ordinary day requires spiritual gymnastics. It’s the normal, plain meaning of the text, and Exodus 20:11 clarifies it in case there was any question. If I’m assuming a literal 24-hour day it’s because that’s what Scripture tells us. What kind of day are you assuming?

      I’m not sure what contradiction you’re referring to in Job. I don’t think there’s any contradiction in Scripture.

      Yes, in Mark 10:6 Jesus is talking about divorce, and he refers to divorce in the context of creation. He says that God made them male and female from the beginning of creation. This only makes sense with a literal six day creation… and makes no sense from some other perspective.

      Your comment on Mark rejecting Genesis 2 is a bit overboard. God knew he was going to create a wife for Adam, but he decided to have him go through the process of naming the animals in order to find a helper suitable for him. This passage and Mark fit together quite well.

      You’re really going overboard on your semantics. How specific does God need to be in order for him to communicate with us what he means? If he made the heavens and earth in six days just as he said, how should he have explained it so that there’s no question or silliness from skeptics?

      Jesus always existed. He was there before creation.

      John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

      I haven’t ignored anything in 2 Peter 3:5. That’s fine if you want to use the KJV version, but I find that not to be the most accurate translation. If you’re referring to “heavens were of old”, that doesn’t negate a six day creation. Yes, the heavens and earth are old, very old- about 6,000 to 10,000 years old in fact. That’s old. I have no problem there. No need to resort to a metaphor.

      If the flood was only regional, then why bother building an ark, and why bother having only two of every kind of animal. It took Noah about 100 years to build the ark, so why not just warn Noah and the animals to flee to another region? They would have had enough time to take their time walking away from the region about to be flooded. And why would Scripture say that all the mountains under the entire heavens were covered? They covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Everything on the face of the earth was wiped out. This doesn’t sound like a regional flood by any stretch of the imagination.

      Archaeology from Jericho supports the Bible. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from.

      We don’t know of any city or civilization from before the flood.

      Creation is extremely well grounded in Scripture, while resorting to any other interpretation requires major retranslations and mental gymnastics. Even though the Bible doesn’t say that the earth is “very young”, it provides enough information to make it clear. The fact that God created everything in six days is one major clue. The genealogies, even if you insert gaps, make it clear that he earth is young, especially since we know humans were there from the beginning. If you can’t find anything in the Bible pointing to a young earth, then I suggest you’re not looking very hard and are determined not to accept anything that contradicts your current worldview.

      If you maintain an old earth or theistic evolution approach, then how do you reconcile the verses we’re discussing, and how do you reconcile sin, death, disease and suffering in light of the rest of Scripture? At what point do you begin to take Genesis literally? Who were Adam and Eve? Were they historical figures created by God, or did they evolve? How do you get a local flood out of what the Bible describes, especially in light of every major civilization having a flood story of their own? Is Jesus a descendant of Adam and Eve?

      • We know that because God tells us that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16).

        That’s not God talking. That’s Paul. The Qu’ran was dictated by angels, Mohammed said. The Book of Mormon was translated with the help of angels, Joseph Smith said.

        The Bible was not written by God. A claim that “God said” when the words are written by someone else, is questionable at best.

        There are only a few places in the Bible where the authors (never God) claim to be recording God’s words directly. Job is one, and there the creation story is completely at odds with creationism — no Adam, no Eve, no six periods of creation; dragons to fight, and the Earth pre-existing that titanic battle.

        Scripture is neither science text, nor for most of it, solid history. We run into trouble when we abuse it as if it were.

      • When God finally responded to Job, he began his explanation for Job with a question that put things in perspective, God is God and Job is Job. ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?’ God asked.

        ‘Where were you when I fought the great dragon for dominion over the Earth?’

        And so on. At no point did Job stop and say, “Wait a minute, God: That’s not how the stories in Genesis or anywhere else are laid out.” Job said, “I wasn’t there,” and “Yes, sir.”

        A creation that contains none of the creation acts of Genesis 1 nor Genesis 2, one that involves dragons and no Adam, no Eve, no Eden, surely is in conflict with the Genesis stories.

        They are not literal, none of them. Each is designed with two key points: The God of Abraham is the only God, the creator of all things; and that creation including humans, was created out of love.

        Creationism rather obliterates those points, claiming that God can’t be God if God didn’t create the Earth exactly as John Darby claims.

        Grab an Oxford Companion to the Bible sometime and read the scholarly articles there on creation stories in the Bible. Get a good concordance (perhaps your church library has one), and check this stuff out.

        Creationism in the end denies God the power and the intelligence to design a universe, ending up denying the essential qualities of God, ultimately.

        Is there any major Christian denomination whose interpretation agrees with creationism? I’ve never found one.

    • I’m curious to understand your religious beliefs. You seem to adhere to some kind of teaching in Scripture because you keep lecturing me about my beliefs, however you believe in evolution, and you don’t seem to accept Scripture as God’s word. If you feel comfortable expressing it, what are your religious beliefs?

      I believe that the Bible is God’s word, and that means that God spoke to the writers of Scripture. He spoke through his prophets, apostles and disciples. Therefore, if God is speaking to them, and if they were faithful to God’s word, then what they wrote can be taken as Scripture and trusted, and that’s why we call it God-breathed. We believe that they were faithful to God’s word because God already knew their heart and used them to write the Bible.

      If, on the other hand, Scripture was merely written by man without any revelation from God, then why bother believing in anything it says at all? Men are fallible, so it seems pointless to trust in something as important as salvation and eternal life if the Bible contains errors and mistakes written by bigoted men thousands of years ago. Our only hope is if the Bible really is God’s word.

      As for the Qu’ran and the Book of Mormon, we could debate the authenticity of those. We could look at their history and find out where they came from and conduct an in-depth study, although I’m not inclined to do that in this thread.

      Jesus himself spoke from Scripture, thereby authenticating it. He also claimed to fulfill Scripture. Jesus spoke to Paul, and Paul wrote his letters, and they’re consistent with the rest of Scripture and what the disciples wrote. There’s no reason to doubt that the Bible is God’s word and can be trusted.

      I’ve never heard anyone suggest that the creation story in Job is completely at odds with creationism. I’ve read Job a number of times and think it actually supports young earth creationism. The behemoth and leviathan are most likely dinosaurs, like the Apatosaurus, and possibly a sea creature, like Mosasaur or Thalattosuchian.

      Job was right not to question God. If I were in Job’s shoes, I wouldn’t have been able to answer God either. But that doesn’t negate a young earth creation. Job could still say, “I wasn’t there,” and “Yes, sir” without it meaning that he believed in evolution or denied creation. If you think this is a denial of creationism, then it could also be a denial of evolutionary long ages as well, for Job wasn’t there when God laid the foundations of the earth, or when he fought the great dragon. God merely asked Job if he was there. Where is there a contradiction? I’m really having a tough time following your logic.

      Why would Job have to contain specific creation acts from Genesis 1 or 2 in order to authenticate a young earth creation (and I don’t know that it doesn’t)? Why must it mention Adam and Eve or Eden for you to believe what the Bible says? How is young earth creationism contradicted by an absence of information? By this logic, Job also doesn’t mention evolution, therefore Job contradicts evolution. Job doesn’t mention the Big Bang, therefore it contradicts the Big Bang. Job doesn’t mention Adam or Eve, therefore young earth creationism is false. There is no logic to your argument. Silence from Scripture doesn’t contradict anything. Adam and Eve aren’t mentioned in Job because God and Job didn’t need to mention them, not that they didn’t exist.

      However, since Job does mention dinosaurs- which supposedly went extinct 65 million years ago- the book complements the creation account in Genesis one and two and authenticates young earth creationism, while it contradicts the Big Bang and evolution theories.

      Yes, Genesis is literal history. There’s no reason to suggest that it’s not literal, except to cling to evolution. You’re letting man-made ideas influence what the Bible says, instead of letting the Bible speak for itself. The Bible should be our authority, not man; man’s scientific ideas are subject to God’s authority, not the other way around.

      You suggest that Genesis is designed with two key points (The God of Abraham is the only God, the creator of all things). While I don’t dispute either of those, that’s not all Genesis was about. After reading the entire book of Genesis, I believe that God has also revealed our origin; he’s telling us who we are, where we came from, why he created the heavens and the earth, why he destroyed the world by a flood, and then, after he sets the stage, he tells us about his covenant to his people Israel. If Genesis were only about the two points you claimed, then it’s senseless to tell us a story that has nothing to do with anything. Why tell us about Adam and Eve, six days of creation, the diet he gave man and animals, the flood, the rainbow, etc., just to tell us that God is the only God and creator of all things? Why bother with any of this if it has nothing to do with your key points (but not the creator of a young earth)? Why not tell us the truth- that he created the heavens and the earth over billions of years through naturalistic processes, and that we evolved from a single celled organism that became alive when it became self organized? Surely his people would have been able to understand that if that’s how it happened and he explained it. The creation story only makes sense if it were true history, and then we can understand the rest of the story about God’s covenant with Israel, and the redemption of his people through the blood of Jesus.

      Your claim that God can’t be God if he didn’t create the earth exactly as John Darby claims makes no sense. I never claimed that. I’m claiming that I believe that God created the heavens and the earth as described in Genesis because that’s what he told us. That I trust God shows faith and humility, and therefore does not obliterate the Bible. My trust in God shows obedience rather than rebellion.

      Remember the serpent said to Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” He was trying to get her to doubt God’s word. This sounds a lot like evolutionists saying, “Did God really say that he created everything in six literal days?” The serpent was crafty, and evolutionists are just as crafty.

      I do read scholarly articles and concordances. Some of them I agree with, and others I don’t. There are many Godly men who hold to various views, and I’m sure I’ll see many of them in heaven, and we’ll be right on some things and wrong on others, and I hope you’re there with us.

      Creationism does not deny God the power and intelligence to design a universe. That’s utter nonsense. What essential qualities of God are you referring to- God’s eternal power and divine nature (Romans 1:20)? On the contrary, I accept God’s power and intelligence to design the universe any way he chooses. Why is it that believing and trusting God’s word is somehow denying God’s power and intelligence? That makes no sense. I think believing and trusting God’s word affirms God’s power and intelligence and demonstrates faith, trust and humility, while rejecting God’s word and insisting that it’s mythology only meant to express some esoteric point is disturbing. Somehow I think God would rather have us trust and believe what’s in Genesis than to reject it and believe that man can better understand the world by trusting in secular science rather than relying on God and trusting him.

      I belong to the Presbyterian Church in American, and they affirmed creationism, but recently I think they’ve decided to let the question remain open due to political pressure.

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