To Alan Feuerbacher Re: Radiocarb...

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Mon Oct 9 17:52:48 EDT 2000

I think the expression you're looking for is "apparent age."  
Astronomy convinced me that the universe is old, but I could easily 
make an argument that God created the universe with light from 
stars already reaching earth.  Why?  So humans could see the 
stars.  Re apparent age in the rocks of earth etc., I don't have an 
answer for why.  My own actual view is that since M31 is 2.5 
million light years away, the universe is at least that old :-)

> OK, Clay, I accept that the word "faked" is loaded, and so not ideal in such
> a discussion. But, assuming that you get my point, what other word would you
> suggest? I don't think there can be a morally neutral word for such an
> operation as it is an operation which has been morally condemned by nearly
> all for centuries. But maybe there is one in the doublespeak used by people
> who do such things and so don't condemn them. I don't move in such circles,
> so I don't know the vocabulary. Do you?
> Peter Kirk
> -----Original Message-----
> From: clayton stirling bartholomew
> [mailto:c.s.bartholomew at]
> Sent: 09 October 2000 02:06
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: To Alan Feuerbacher Re: Radiocarb...
> on 10/08/00 11:41 AM, Peter Kirk wrote:
> > None of us can never know for certain if God created the world a few
> > thousand years ago, complete with a perfectly preserved fake past history.
> > Equally he could have done so a few minutes, or seconds, ago, with the
> fake
> > history including our memories. But we would expect such a fake history to
> > be consistent and indistinguishable from true history, at least if God is
> > powerful and good. It would be a strange inconsistency if God were to
> > undermine this fake history by revealing the hoax to someone like Moses.
> So
> > I treat with considerable scepticism any attempt to read the first verses
> of
> > Genesis as a some sort of confession that history has been faked.
> Peter,
> By choosing the word "faked" you have loaded the argument. The word "faked"
> in the quoted paragraph brings with it a whole set of epistemological
> presuppositions about the relationship between observable phenomena and what
> can be known about cosmic origins.
> If one chooses to simply reject your epistemological commitments then one
> might be tempted to just throw out your whole argument since the presence of
> the word "faked" essentially sort circuits the critical issue of determining
> what can be known about origins and how we go about knowing it.
> It is quite possible that the cosmos is currently being misunderstood by the
> "best minds" because they simply are suffering from major blind spots in
> their thinking. This would be nothing new (Rom. 1:18ff). Saying that
> "apparent age" in the cosmos if "faked" is putting the blame on the Creator
> which is not where the blame belongs.
> Clay
> --
> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
> Three Tree Point
> P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
> ---
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Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis

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