Friday, July 4, 2008

Is Nature's record unreliable because we live in a fallen world?

The young earth creationist ministry Answers In Genesis has a track record of deriding modern science and the theology which concures with modern science. Now there are many Christians who say that I am overly harsh with AiGers and other creationists, of course that only goes to show that they do not know what "harsh" means; you think I'm harsh? Check out this (theistic evolutionist) guy I rest my case.

Anyway one of their most recent articles Are we missing something? in which they attempt to say nature's record is unreliable since Man is fallen.
When people look to nature to reveal truth, they are falling into the same
speculation trap as in describing the house in the field. No matter how
imaginative or intelligent they are, they can never know exactly what happened
in history without trustworthy eyewitness accounts.
Those who promote nature
as a missing aspect of God’s revelation (the so-called “67th book of the Bible”)
need to understand two crucial fallacies with this idea: first, nature is
cursed; second, our observations of nature are not independent from our
presuppositions. When we examine these problems, we see that nature should never
be put on the same level as the Bible.

Essentially this is one of the most major misconceptions floating around the young earth community that we can not know the past. I have already pointed out the problems with this view. Now to the proposition that our trust in nature's account are fallacious; first of all the bible does not say nature is cursed, the only creature positively under the influence of the curse is Man himself. Secondly the scientific method works around this problem, I'll get to this in a moment.
Many who trust in humans as the highest authority reject the Curse as true
history and thus deny its effect on our observations. Some point to the effects
of the
as proof of “bad design.” For Christians, however, it is foolish to
ignore the Curse when considering what nature can “reveal” to us. After all,
this would be like someone trusting a funhouse mirror to show them how they
really looked. They look into the mirror and see a distorted view but assume
that this mirror must be “right.”
Likewise, while nature does reflect some of
God’s qualities (Romans 1:20), if we trusted the nature we see now to show who
God is, we would see the death, violence, and plant and animal defense and
predatory structures and imagine God as reveling in death and destruction.

I for one do not deny the curse, however I take it as being less universal then AiGers take it to be. I did affect Man's reasoning powers and there is no doubt we humans live in a fallen world and that there definitely is something wrong with creation.,however this does not mean that nature is therefore unreliable. Science can evade the difficulties of the fallen human intellect because;

1. Science is not determined by human opinion but by the facts

2. science is self-correcting and any error will be eventually mended because of the scientific process.

3. Being that God wrote the record of nature it can never truly contradict God's word therefore nature should be reliable since it is inspired by God and God is incapable of lying.
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t study nature. After all, “nature” is
everything around us, and God gave it to humanity so that we could look into the
universe around us and see His glory. However, nature is only as impartial as
the viewer. Although nature itself does not lead to false conclusions about the
past, people who look at nature can be misled by their own mistaken
presuppositions. Those who look to nature as an objective source of God’s
revelation (or an objective source of scientific truth) are ultimately looking,
instead, at their own preconceptions—even if they don’t realize they have them.

This is how science works and another reason why we as Christians have nothing to fear from science; if the current take on the physical record contradicts the bible it will eventually shift back because truth cannot contradict truth.
For the last part I will give comments on in a slightly more choppy fashion.
Ultimately, God’s Word reveals the reason that we should never consider nature
as our sole source of knowledge or as an extra book of the Bible:
The grass
withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:24–25)

True, but he also says "Speak to the rocks and they shall teach you" (Job 12:7-8). The aforementioned passage is most likely referring to God's eternality, not necessarily nature's record.

When the Bible mentions nature and the Word together, we find that only one
of them is permanent and foundational for knowing and fulfilling His will.
Nature—this universe—will pass away and be rolled up like a scroll (Isaiah 34:4), but God’s Word will endure.

Of course I agree, it is the bible (special revelation) which give us what is important in an eternal sense, everything else only matters in a finite and limited scope.

If we depend on nature to reveal the truth, and especially if we reinterpret
God’s Words based on our stories and interpretations of nature, we will be
building our house on a foundation of sand. By contrasting the transience of
nature with the constancy of His Word, God shows us that His Word alone is
sufficient revelation—and in fact, the only
logical framework
—from which we can understand and appreciate the universe
around us.

I agree the bible is a logical framework for science but there is no reason to restrict ourselves to an outdated interpretation of the bible. In science the facts speak for themselves, and the facts say; earth is 4.55 billion years old, man shares common ancestry with great apes, and that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. And biblical theology says; there is no reason for the curse to be extended beyond Mankind or for the days of creation to be interpreted as ordinary days.
Young Earth Creationism is unnecessary from both a scientific and theological perspective so why are we still supporting it in the year 2008?

Now if you object to this I am not closed to discussion, if it turns out that I am horribly wrong then I will gladly change my position on Genesis but for now I remain unconvinced.

By the way I must apologize for my lull in the number of posts I make. I have been really busy and I have been putting of updating this blog for a while, I'll try to be more persistant next time, sorry.


AIGBusted said...

Another problem with creationists' standpoint (You can't know the truth without eyewitnesses) is: How do you know the eyewitnesses were correct? Excluding lying, there are plenty of things which could make eyewitness testimony unreliable:

Being honestly mistaken about the situation

Being Deluded (On "GhostHunters" a chemical leak in the home was causing a man to hallucinate demons)

And so on and so on...

Eyewitness testimony, when present, should be taken into account, but it is by no means an infallible thing.

One more thing: I heard one creationist tell me that if creationism wasn't true and God didn't exist, he couldn't trust his own thoughts. Yet this article proclaims that one must not trust their own thoughts in order to be a Christian!

Created Rationalist said...

Oh will the creationists ever learn