Monday, May 14, 2007

The Creationists, Ron Numbers

I picked up Ron's exhaustive survey of creationism this weekend. Exhaustion well describes how I felt carrying it back to the car. It's a giant book and I'm looking forward to reading it.

I've read the first two chapters and they are enlightening. My narrow up-bringing is reflective of Seventh-day Adventism - the conservative type. It's illuminating to discover that may theologians readily and honestly accepted the factual findings of science in favor of the great antiquity of the earth and of evolution.

It strikes me that the real questions are not in the details but in the broad categories that are easily discernible. That the world is 4.5 billion years old, or 4.5 million years old matters little in a discussion regarding a 6,000 year old earth and recent creation. That we descended from a common ancestor naturally or through the divine guidance of God matter's little when compared to the words of Genesis 1 and 2. That the early theologians in Darwin's day felt free to interpret the "days" of Genesis as eras or long periods reflects the credibility of the findings of science and the honesty of those theologians. That modern theologians refuse to acknowledge an old earth or any type of evolution apart from within species or other than "micro evolution" (Um, does the theory say that many, many little mutations over time produce the larger changes we like to label "macro evolution"?) - that they take such a dogmatic stance is fully understandable.

Modern thinkers understand the end result. If Darwin was correct, and if other branches of science are correct, there are many teachings in the Bible that are unsubstantiated. If the origins of this world are not correct, who's to say that the eschatology can be trusted? This really is a case of "give an inch, lose a mile." If theology were to concede, at this late stage of the game, that Science has a solid case they fear that the entire house of cards that is the religion of Christianity will come thundering down.

That the modern theologians are more dogmatic and more loudly proclaiming the inerrancy of the Bible should come as no surprise. They, of necessity, must continue to turn up the volume of their rhetoric to counter what is an ever increasing flood of evidence that refutes the young earth model and the global flood (which produced the geological effects that are purported to be caused by eons of time.) Should they seek to be balanced and honest with the evidence they would concede ground that they can ill afford to concede.

So, what does this mean to me? I'm still not sure. Suffice it to say I'm a little surprised at the numbers of theologians, in the 1800's, that were all to ready to accept an ancient earth and evolution. Guaranteed: SDA's were not among them.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron's book is good. SDA's are nutty. The world isn't just 6k years old. Ice cream is good. See? Facts are fun.

Truth or Consequences said...

Fact is, Ice Cream is divine!

Anonymous said...

I like ice cream!

Bette said...

Good for people to know.