It baffles many people whether Christian or not why some Christians are Young Earth Creationist, with a belief in a 10,000 year old earth and rejection of evolution. It cannot be denied that Young Earth Creationism has caused bad relationships among Christians, influenced education and results in much mockery from some. A major reason for the friction is that YEC’s claim explicitly or implicitly that the majority of Christians who accept modern science with the vast age of the earth and evolution are at best naughty or heretical Christians.
With YEC making inroads into churches (including the Church of England) and trying to call the shots over education in all parts of the world, it is best to know what they believe and why they do as they go against all scientific teaching and what most churches actually believe.
WHAT YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISM IS;
As YEC attracted so much more heat than light, it is best to start with a general summary of YEC beliefs, though YEC is not monolithic.
- The earth and universe are no more than 10,000 years old and this is supported by the best modern science.
- Most of the fossiliferous strata from the Cambrian (550m.y.) to the Pleistocene (10,000yrs) were laid down in the Noachian Deluge. (There is some variation on this.) Below is flippant mocking of this
- Dinosaurs lived alongside humans. The first is an exhibit at Ken Ham’s Creation Museum and the other two from creationist books
- Evolution from the primordial sludge (goo) to humans (you) did not happen and is contradicted by true science.
- During the Creation Week, God originally created “kinds”, e.g., horse kind, which has evolved through “micro-evolution” into related species.
- Standard “evolutionary-uniformitarian” geology, biological evolution and cosmology are flawed and based on false assumptions. Evolutionary ideas are pre-conceived assumptions rather than conclusions from the scientific data, which to a YEC point to a young earth.
- “Evolution” and “evolutionary geology” are based on atheistic assumptions stemming from the Enlightenment, including an insistence on randomness and chance, which excludes the possibility of a Creator God. Geology, with its long ages, is based on the assumption of evolution.
- When the Bible is read correctly, without atheistic and Enlightenment presuppositions, the Book of Genesis only makes sense when read literally with a Creation in six solar days, a Fall resulting in the introduction of pain and death to the animal world, and that there was a world-wide deluge lasting a year during the lifetime of Noah. Only Noah, his family and two of every “kind” survived the flood. (This is alleged to be the traditional view of Christians.)
- There are many minor tenets. A few YECs are also geocentrists, for example Bouw and Bowden.
- And lastly Evolution is ONLY a theory
I could refute each one in turn, but a simple list makes the beliefs stand out starkly. (I have dealt with many in other blogs.) However those who defend the sincerity of YECs may be shocked at what they actually beleive and that it is nonsense.
You can even play Creationist Bingo as the same sorry arguments appear often
THE APPEAL OF YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISM
When I first heard about Creationism when I read a review of The Genesis Flood while working as an exploration geologist in the Namib desert, I simply burst out laughing and wondered how anyone could even suggest it. I soon found it was not that simple.
Creationism cannot be understood without grasping the deeply–felt reasons for believing what many scientists think nonsense. YEC provides the “scientific” capping to a “biblical Worldview”. This Worldview provides an all-embracing outlook on life and integrates every aspect of their lives. It also enables one to oppose non-Christian Worldviews and to be confident in the “Culture Wars. Here are most of the various reasons;
- The most important reason for accepting YEC is not a literal Genesis, but a concern for salvation through Christ. The heart of evangelical faith is redemption through the death of Christ, expressed as Substitutionary Atonement in that Jesus’ death forgives sin and takes away the penalty of death. To some this is dependant on their being no death before the Fall. It is supported by citing Genesis 3 and Romans 8.19ff
- There can be no death before the Fall. e.physical death came in at the Fall (Gen 3) and before that no animal died or suffered. If T. Rex had actually attacked and killed herbivores 100 million years ago, then the whole Christian Faith will collapse like dominoes, hence the geological timescale MUST be false. Q.E.D.! This is at the heart of YEC arguments.
- The Bible says so,. Applied to Genesis, that means Creation in Six days and a worldwide flood. A Young Earth model supports this scientifically, so YEC is the ONLY valid interpretation
- The Sabbath and that is dependent on a six-day creation and thus “billions” of years is wrong.
- .Hence as these four arguments are seen as essential to evangelical belief then a Christian must be YEC.
- Moral concerns In his book The Genesis Solution Ham argues that evolution leads to a decrease in marriage, an increase of suicides, euthanasia, pornography, abortions, promiscuity, sexual abuse, homosexuality, theft, violence, racism etc. Hence evolution is contrary to family values.
- Anti-reductionism or Nothing-buttery as Donald Mackay called it. I. e. everything is nothing but physics and chemistry and there is nothing distinct about humans. Reductionism often stems from a scientific materialist philosophy. Opposition to reductionism is widespread. Arthur Peacocke, biochemist and clergyman has opposed reductionism from a liberal theological position and founded the Society of Ordained Scientists in 1986 to facilitate this. The same with John Polkinghorne and Donald Mackay, and many members of the CIS and ASA, who reject YEC. However YEC is extreme anti-reductionism.
An excellent book which deals with all these issues and focussing on the Grand Canyon is;
And more historically ;
Not to mention many of my blogs