Friday, February 27, 2009
Of Two Mouths
Dr. Terry Mortenson, of Answers in Genesis, described as an "apologetics ministry" rather than a scientific organization, places science and the Bible in direct conflict:
"The Bible says the earth was created before the sun, moon, and stars -- contrary to the big-bang theory. The Bible says that plants were created before sea creatures -- contrary to…evolutionary theory," Mortenson points out.But it's not just biology and evolution or cosmology and the Big Bang, but astronomy (which clearly shows that the Earth did not come into existence before our own Sun, much less our galaxy, much less the most ancient galaxies), physics (speed of light, radiometric dating, etc.), and geology (age of the Earth, order and age of fossils, no Flood, etc.) and their numerous sub-disciplines that have to be handwaved away.
"And then the Bible says that there was no death before Adam's sin -- no animal death, no human death. But evolution says there were hundreds of millions of years of death in the physical world. So you have to ignore the details of the Bible to accept evolution."
Naturally, Mortenson claims that there is "an enormous amount of scientific evidence that supports that God created separate kinds of plants and animals ... and there's an enormous, massive amount of evidence in the geological record for Noah's flood."
But as we already know, that "scientific" evidence is evidence only if you ignore the "evidentialist approach" and, instead, adopt presuppositionalism by starting with the authority of the Word of God instead of with the "authority of human reasoning." In short, there is scientific evidence for the biblical account if, and only if, you start by assuming the Bible is true. Besides the danger of his disappearing up his own butt running in such tight circles, Mortenson is being less than honest in not explaining that the "evidence" is not coming from actual evidence but from assuming his conclusion from the outset.
But if we do take him at his word, then science has definitively disproven the Bible and could he please close down that ridiculous "museum"?
Thanks for not only a great post, but one of the funniest mental images of the day!
"16. "The greater light." I have said, that Moses does not here subtilely descant, as a philosopher, on the secrets of nature, as may be seen in these words. First, he assigns a place in the expanse of heaven to the planets and stars; but astronomers make a distinction of spheres, and, at the same time, teach that the fixed stars have their proper place in the firmament. Moses makes two great luminaries; but astronomers prove, by conclusive reasons that the star of Saturn, which on account of its great distance, appears the least of all, is greater than the moon. Here lies the difference; Moses wrote in a popular style things which without instruction, all ordinary persons, endued with common sense, are able to understand; but astronomers investigate with great labour whatever the sagacity of the human mind can comprehend. Nevertheless, this study is not to be reprobated, nor this science to be condemned, because some frantic persons are wont boldly to reject whatever is unknown to them. For astronomy is not only pleasant, but also very useful to be known: it cannot be denied that this art unfolds the admirable wisdom of God. Wherefore, as ingenious men are to be honoured who have expended useful labour on this subject, so they who have leisure and capacity ought not to neglect this kind of exercise. Nor did Moses truly wish to withdraw us from this pursuit in omitting such things as are peculiar to the art; but because he was ordained a teacher as well of the unlearned and rude as of the learned, he could not otherwise fulfill his office than by descending to this grosser method of instruction. Had he spoken of things generally unknown, the uneducated might have pleaded in excuse that such subjects were beyond their capacity. Lastly since the Spirit of God here opens a common school for all, it is not surprising that he should chiefly choose those subjects which would be intelligible to all. If the astronomer inquires respecting the actual dimensions of the stars, he will find the moon to be less than Saturn; but this is something abstruse, for to the sight it appears differently. Moses, therefore, rather adapts his discourse to common usage. For since the Lord stretches forth, as it were, his hand to us in causing us to enjoy the brightness of the sun and moon, how great would be our ingratitude were we to close our eyes against our own experience? There is therefore no reason why janglers should deride the unskilfulness of Moses in making the moon the second luminary; for he does not call us up into heaven, he only proposes things which lie open before our eyes. Let the astronomers possess their more exalted knowledge; but, in the meantime, they who perceive by the moon the splendour of night, are convicted by its use of perverse ingratitude unless they acknowledge the beneficence of God."
John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis, chapter 1. From: http://www.reformed.org/books/calvin-genesis1.html#Chap1