Your basic ITPro blog... What's going on at work, what I'm interested in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Thoughts on Creation Science

I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately. The idea that God's creation declares His Glory, as well as His Word, is stuck in my head. Both His Word and His creation are divine revelation. Therefore, they must be consistent and they must be true. So, what we read in Scripture and what we see in nature must agree. At the points where it seems they don't agree... that is the result of our limitations; either in understanding the Word or in understanding nature (or, more often, a combination of both!).

Scripture, as God's revelation to us, does not lie. Every word of it is true. As we study scripture and prayerfully work to discern its meaning, we move closer and closer toward understanding. I am confident that the pastor at my church more fully understands and comprehends the scriptures than I do. He has spent years and years in intense study of the Word. As a result, his understanding is greater than it was in the past.

This process (study for understanding) works even if you don't 'believe' what you study. For example, I know of Christians who are 'experts' in the Koran. They have studied the Koran and, as such, have a deeper understanding of it than they otherwise would. They don't believe it to be what it is claimed to be, yet they study it and know it.

Why am I saying all of this? Because, I believe that we, as people, grow in our understanding of nature as we study it. As we observe and measure, as we test and experiment, we learn more about nature, not less. We get closer to quantifying reality, not further away. Our definitions and descriptions become more representative of reality, not less.

And again, the question comes to mind, "Would God's creation -- the nature that He put all around us and that reveals His Glory -- would this creation lie to us? Would God lie to us?" I am confident that the answer is NO.

image

This graphic (I'm not much of an artist) shows one example of why I have such trouble with the young-earth position. It goes like this:

We look to the sky and see stars A and B. Star A is observed and studied, as is star B. Star A is determined to be less than 6,000 light years away while star B is determined to be more than 6,000 light years away. While observing these stars, we measure luminosity, distance, composition (how much helium, hydrogen, etc.). Then, we see both go super-nova, explode, and disappear.

The question is, did star B ever actually exist?

If the universe has only existed for 6,000 years, how did the light from star B have time to travel through space and reach earth for us to observe? We, in essence, were observing an illusion... a star that never existed. Only the light (represented by the solid wavy line) could have existed. This would have to be true for any object we observe in space that is further than 6,000 light years away.

When we look 'up' in to the sky, we are looking at the past, not the present. The universe does not exist as we see it, it 'existed' as we see it. For example, the Sun is about eight light-minutes away from earth. That is, it takes sunlight eight minutes to reach us. So, the sunlight you see now is eight minutes old. The sun could explode and we wouldn't know for eight minutes. In fact, the sun could actually be gone this very moment!! Let's wait eight minutes to see...

Still here? Well, it's eight minutes later and the sun is still shining, so I guess it didn't explode. Whew!

Now, look up in the sky... See that star there? It has been measured to be 2,000 light years away. So, the star we see is actually the star as it was when Jesus walked the earth. That star could be gone now, it could have been gone for a thousand years! Astronomy is the study of history. The further away an object is, the further back in time we are looking. But, it takes time for that light to travel through space.

AiG has an article addressing this. I am curious to hear what you think about it...

3 comments:

andy said...

Hey Derrek,

What a wonderful surprise to check out your blog and find out that you are a Christian.

I'll be back with more comments, I am sure.

Many blessings,

Andy

Derek Mangrum said...

Thanks for the visit and comment!

:-)

Andy said...

An incredibly fascinating topic. As both a follower of Christ and as an engineeer, I have found that studying physics and other sciences really gives us the ability to appreciate what God has done through Creation.

When you really get down to it, I have found that science and faith complement each other much more than they oppose one another.

Indeed there are differences that we as human beings cannot understand. You said it quite eloquently.

"At the points where it seems they don't agree... that is the result of our limitations; either in understanding the Word or in understanding nature."

In regards to the "young earth" position, I too have a hard time with it. Genesis says that creation happened over 6 days, and God rested on the 7th. However the sun and the moon didn't get created until the 3rd day. Which begs the question, what was "a day" for the first 2 days before there was a sun and a moon?

Sorry this turned into more of a short essay as opposed to a comment.

-Andy

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