Wednesday, March 02, 2005

And on the first day . . .

I've decided to begin my examination of the Creation-Evolution debate and its significant parts. Hopefully I won't be forced to measure the whole project in geologic time. There's a lot to dig into. Here's a start.

Having just formatted this, I gaze down the list as I scroll and wonder if God's chuckling as He reads it. Or if He's just content that we care and hopes we'll find our way to the truth.

To what do you subscribe?

Full disclosure 1. I'm a theistic evolutionist and feel good about it.

Full disclosure 2. I lifted this list from http://www.religioustolerance.org/evolutio.htm. A bunch of thoughtful Canadians doin' their utmost darndest to present unbiased in-depth coverage of all the religions of the world (including atheism and secularism) and how they overlap or conflict. I'm pretty sure AJM can find a gap in their armor, but I like them and appreciate their efforts too much to try.

Here we go:

Origin Theories

Analogical Days: Creation started: Unknown. Duration of creatoion: Six "days," of unknown lengths. "Days" are God's work-days, not 24 hour days.

Biblical reality: Creation started: 1) Stars and earth: billions of years ago; 2) Humans: about 8000 B.C. Duration of creation: 1) Three days, each 24 hours long.2) Three days, each 24 hours long. Two separate creation intervals.

Calendar-day: Creation started: After 8000 B.C. Duration of creation: Six 24-hour days. Many alternate names.

Day-age: Creation started: About 10,000 B.C. Duration of creation: Six "days", each 1,000 years long.

"Days of divine fiat": Creation started: Unknown. Duration of creation: Six 24-hour days for God to initiate creation. It took a long interval for creation to actually take place.

Expanding time: Creation started: About 15 billion years ago. Duration of creation: First day: 8 billion years. Each remaining day half as long as the previous day.

Framework hypothesis: Creation started: Unknown. Duration of creation: Unknown. Genesis not to be interpreted literally.

Gap theory: Creation started: Billions of years ago. Duration of creation: A gap of billions of years between creation and the Garden of Eden story.

Indefinite age: Creation started: Billions of years ago. Duration of creation: Six time periods, each tens or hundreds of millions of years long.

Intermittent day: Creation started: Unknown. Duration of creation: Six days, each 24 hours long. Days of creation separated by long intervals of time.

Replicated earth: Creation started: Billions of years ago, for the original "old" Earth. A few thousand years for the "new" Earth. Duration of creation: Billions of years, for the old Earth. Six days for the new Earth. It took God billions of years to create an original earth. Then he copied in in a few days.

Revelatory-day: Creation started: Unknown. Duration of creation: Unknown. The six days of Genesis refer to the time that God took to describe creation to Moses.

Revelatory-device: Creation started: Unknown. Duration of creation: Unknown. "Days" are like phases of a construction project.

Seven-day: Creation started: Billions of years ago. Duration of creation: Six 24-hour days. It only took God six days to create the world, many billions of years ago.

These last two are scientific theories based on secular data. According to www.religioustolerance.org, these are accepted by over 99% of the geological and biological scientists in the U.S.:

Naturalistic evolution: Start of universe: About 15 billion years ago. Species developed over: About 3.5 billion years. Species evolved due to natural forces and processes.

Theistic evolution: Start of universe: About 15 billion years ago. Species developed over: About 3.5 billion years. Evolution guided by God. Within theistic evolution, you find Dr. Hugh Ross and most Roman Catholics.

5 Comments:

Blogger ajmac said...

Hmmm...

As The Accipiter anticipated, I do have several bones to pick with our friends from the frozen north, but that's a post all to itself.

The categories seem basicaly accurate, though quite obviously rigged to make Creationists seem more divided than we really are (a common theme throughout the religious tolerance website, I notice). I would group Creationists into 1) those who believe that the "days" in Genesis 1&2 are literal 24-hour periods (an infentessimally small number; I challenge anyone to find such a person living outside of Salt Lake City, Utah) and 2) those who believe that "days" is best interpreted as "epochs of undetermined length that can be approximated by accepted scientific methods."

That reduces the total number of categories to 4, a much better, and more fair, place to start.

Hugh Ross, by the by, is most certainly not a theistic evolutionist. He believes that, whatever method God used historically to create the various species, no new species will henceforth appear. Mutation is now solely intra-species. That belief, incidentally, best accords with all the scientific data available to us. A more complete explanation of Ross' views can be found at
http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/shellgame.shtml

If "evolution" is taken to mean any type of inter-generational change in living organisms, then I suppose Hugh Ross and I both must be considered evolutionists. Clearly, the scientific evidence demonstrates that mutations occur within species. To my understanding, however, Darwinists are not willing to concede their assertion that inter-species mutation still occurs, despite the lack of evidence for that phenomenon.

As for the claim that most Catholics are theistic evolutionists, I doubt that can be proven or disproven.

Overall, I applaud The Accipiter's effective efforts to get a handle on all of this. I think God is smiling, not chuckling.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Lizzie McGuire said...

In an interview conducted by Lee Strobel, in his book, The Case For Faith, A Journalis Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, Bill Craig,author of Reasonable Faith, noted,"In the last thirty-five years scientists have been stunned to discover that the Big Bang was not some chaotic, primordial event, but rather a highly oredered event that required an enormous amount of information. In fact, from the very moment of its inception, the universe had to be fine-tuned to an incomprehensible precision for the existence of life like ourselves. And that points in a very compelling way toward the existance of an Intelligent Designer." Craig went on to cite in his interview British physicist P.C.W. Davies who has concluded the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for the formation of stars--necessity for planets and thus life--is a one followed by at least a thousand billion billion zeros. Davies also estimated that if the strength of gravity or of the weak force were changed by only one part in a ten followed by a hundred zeros, life could never developed.
There are about fifty constants and quantities--for example, the amount of usable energy in the universe, the difference in mass between protrons and neutrons, the ratios of the fundamental forces of nature, and the proportion of matter to antimatter--that must be balanced to a mathematically infinitesimal degree for any life to be possible. "All of this," Craig said, "amply supports the conclusion that there's an intelligence behind creation. In fact, the alternate explanations just don't add up."

For more, check out the aforementioned book by Lee Strobel, who additionaly authored The Case for Christ.

Lee Strobel is a former atheist, holds a Masters of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School and was the award-winning legal editor for the Chicago Tribune.

12:08 PM  
Blogger The Accipiter said...

Thanks to Lizzie for the commentary. I am reading Strobel's first book and look fwd to the second one mentioned here. As it turns, the data Lizzie cites is profoundly put forth at Ross' site as well.

8:18 PM  
Blogger The Hansberry Family said...

You should update your info on Huge Ross. He is absolutely not a theistic evolutionist.

Question #1 at http://www.reasons.org/about/8_myths_about_rtb.shtml

7:45 PM  
Blogger The Accipiter said...

Thanks. See my next post after this one.

9:08 PM  

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