the chicken or the egg came first--or BOTH?? (dating, age, & "app arent age")

Dan Wagner Dan.Wagner at dstm.com
Thu Oct 12 20:13:01 EDT 2000


We seem to be a bit off topic from BH, but since it has some relevance
(including Gen. 1:29 below), allow me 2-cents worth in an area where i'm no
expert but still very curious.

The Biblical account might allow for creation around 8000 years ago,
astronomers observer light from stars millions and billions of light-years
away, and even see nebula or stars exploding within our decade that must
have occurred long before any creation. Somewhere there is a mistake!

First, some basic questions: 1. In measuring astronomical data, time,
distances, etc--what branch of geometry do we assume? Euclidean, hyperbolic,
or elliptic? I've been told that using a Riemannian view of the universe
could reduce the time necessary for light to arrive from the farthest star
to lengths consistent with a creationist time frame. 2. We all know about
black holes; are you familiar with white holes? They are another theory (not
started by creationists, by the way)--a sort of complementary opposite to
black holes--and if true, mess up pretty much everything for everybody
dating/distance-wise. If my cursory understanding is correct, they catapult
light at to extreme accelerations, the opposite of black holes which suck it
up. 3. We were all wrong about our solar system before Galileo; how do we
know what new discoveries might show we are still all wrong about the more
remote elements of the Universe and beyond? Our dating methods always have
the *possibility* of fallibility.

However, can it be that God would make the earth with appearance of an old
age and yet implicitly date it to a few thousand years? Why? Is that not
deceitful? Further, can it be that God would allow present observation of
*non-historical* events which appear to have occurred in the past (such as
star explosions)?

I think that the Biblical data itself, apart from science, would indicate
precisely that (except the deceit part). Furthermore i think that science
generally confirms what we might expect in this regard, and that if we find
some scientific evidence to give the appearance of a young earth, it has
likely been misinterpreted.

How do you have evidence of a creation anyway? Especially, how do you have
evidence for the creation as presented in Bible? God does not say He created
an egg or a seed or a baby, but everything in full life cycles. Genesis 1:29
might be translated: "... Look, I've given you every [kind of] herbal flora
[already] bearing seed which is upon the surface of the earth, and every
[kind of] tree in which [already] is the fruit of the tree bearing seed; it
will be [and/or already is] food for you." (I'm basing this more on
necessary implication from the context than on the Hebrew grammar alone.) In
other words, they did not have to wait for growth of the plant, pollination,
and finally for fruit to form. It was already there.

So the Biblical text presents a world in which present conditions reflect
past causes which had in fact never been historically enacted. Same was true
for the animals--so if a chicken laid fertile eggs after creation (or
already had a nest of them), how did they get fertilized? Not by any
historical rooster! Something apart from historical reality was
apparent--God designed the world that way--not to deceive man--but for his
good. Thus man could eat fruit and see stars (though millions of light years
away) on the very first day of his existence. If there was an oak tree in
the Garden of Eden, a botanist could go out and say, "it's got 50 rings so
it's 50 years old" -- but WRONG ANSWER! [And yes, Adam had a belly button!
:-)]

[If a police officer investigates an accident and the driver claimes that
another car was created in his path, what skid marks could prove or disprove
the claim? Scientists observe "skid marks" existing after creation but they
cannot be used as evidence of creation.]

God's stated purpose was to make His creation immediately glorious and
enjoyable/useful to man. Just as pollinated fruit and pregnant chickens
don't require historical action to be realities, so also we should *expect*
to observe not only apparent age in general, but even such things as nebula
and exploding stars displaying God's glory in the sky apart from any
historical, causative event. 

"Heaven recounts the glory of God; the firmament reports the work of His
hands. Day to day bubbles over with revelation; night to night declares
knowledge." (Psm. 19:1-2)

Dan Wagner



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