A Young Earth Creationist’s Perspective

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September 28, 2011 Tags: Creation & Origins

Today's video features Aaron Daly. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

Today's video is courtesy of filmmaker Ryan Pettey, director/editor of Satellite Pictures.

In this video, young earth creationist Aaron Daly offers his thoughts on theistic evolution, creation, and how Christians should handle disagreements over issues such as the age of the earth and how God created. Most of all, however, Aaron highlights the need for love in our discussions with one another, especially when we disagree.

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.


Aaron Daly is a Young Earth Creationist with a humble approach to the science and faith dialogue.


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Dancing From Genesis - #65137

September 28th 2011

Love and tolerance in the creationism camp?  Then why did BioLogos just pull the just recently posted article about a writers’ camp in Boston trying for a synthesis of science and the Bible, to which I pointed out in the first and only comment (before the article was pulled) that young earth creationism is that synthesis which they say they seek?


Jimpithecus - #65148

September 28th 2011

Young earth creationism is not the synthesis they seek.  In many ways, YEC is the antithesis, thereof, because it distorts the known scientific evidence in favor of its narrow biblical hermeneutic.  BioLogos seeks to unite mainstream scientific thought with a deeper understanding of God’s will for us and the glory of His creation.


Dancing From Genesis - #65155

September 28th 2011

All the evidence points to a young earth; flood geology (sedimentary means laid down in water), ice age end circa 1500 b.c. (submerged megalithic ruins), ice age caused by geothermally heated ocean (after Noah’s Flood), syngameons having meaning not species, on and on, so how is it then that your model better fits?


Ed - #65180

September 28th 2011

Just came back to Biologos recently, and noticed this individual being very active.  Not sure why I am responding because I recognize that it is futile:


1. All the evidence clearly does not point to a young earth.  Have you not read or taken any science courses regarding geology, chemistry, biology, genetics, paleontology, physics, astronomy, etc.  You are basically saying that all of the science in those fields are wrong.  If you believe that modern science is that wrong, why do you go to the doctor, fly in a plane or you use a computer.  Since you do not trust science, but instead place all of your trust in the written word of god, I suggest that the next time you get sick, do not go to the doctor or take any medicine, since biology and chemistry are works of science and satan.  Instead, I suggest you obey the command given in James 5:14-15, since that is the primary authority over your life.

2. Do you also believe that the earth is flat, and that the sun revolves around it?  That is the clear, literal teaching of scripture afterall, which was understood for thousands of years.  If the earth is young, it must also have 4 corners and be fixed.

3. You do realize that you will never make progress by posting on random message boards.  If you are convinced that the earth is young, become a geologist or physicist and prove your point.

4. I recognize that posting on the internet gets me nowhere, and that I am posting in a thread focused on the need for love in our discussions.

Dancing From Genesis - #65186

September 28th 2011

I have a b.sc. degree from Dartmouth in geology.

Please cite just one scientific advancement predicated on darwinism.

I deduced how the ancients measured the earth (geo metry) by its base six number wobble rate, 72 years per degree, so am I the only person ever to have deduced this considering all the base six precession numbers in ancient legends and architectures?

Boy can we feel your love, hahaha.

 


KevinR - #65219

September 29th 2011

Careful about throwing out the baby with the bathwater, Ed.
The fields which are mostly disputed are those which reference events in the past. These fields like geology, paleontology and that all-pervasive, slippery eel - evolution are the main culprits. Also just note how you are equivocating evolution with science, because that is the main item of dispute on this website.

Those activities which brings actual useful advances are not what the dispute is about here. Airplanes, computers, mobile phones, trains, cars, carpets etc. are the result of endeavours in the here and now and they are tangible, observable and repeatable. Not so with determining the age of the world or how the earth, moon and stars came to be.
That kind of work requires FAITH in the assumptions or belief one adheres to.

As for your literal interpretation - if you adhere to a so-called “scientific” view of Genesis 1, why do you not also apply it to the rest of the bible? For instance, it’s a scientific fact that iron doesn’t float on water, donkeys don’t talk, the dead don’t rise, people do not walk on water with their bare feet etc. Which “scientific” thing do you want to accept and which do you want to reject? Be consistent.


Ronnie - #65152

September 28th 2011

...narrow biblical hermeneutic.

like Matthew 7:13-14:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Ashe - #65153

September 28th 2011

haha are you really applying that verse toi> hermeneutics?


Dancing From Genesis - #65156

September 28th 2011

Where do you think accurately reported history begins in the Bible?


Ashe - #65162

September 28th 2011

I think all the books in the bible have some accuracies, like Noah’s flood story. The late Pleisotocene lasts from roughly 125,000 to 12,000 years ago. During much of that time, the sea levels ranged from 120m to 40m below present levels, thus exposing a large portion of the Gulf basin, the exposed landmass would have varied between 100,000 square km to 225,000 square km. The upper limit is the size of Great Britain, but only twice did it approach this size and was never larger. The oldest flood accounts come from Sumerian clay tablets in southern Mesopotamia just in land from the shoreline of the golf. This is a good candidate for the origin of these flood myths. 


Dancing From Genesis - #65165

September 28th 2011

Then where in the books of say Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, according to you, are the supposed inaccuracies which you say outnumber the accuracies?


Ashe - #65167

September 28th 2011

I don’t know if the accuracies outnumber the inaccuracies (or vice versa) in the gospels. The one thing I find striking about the resurrection stories, the universal thing among these accounts , one of the things all the accounts agree on, is that a supernatural event took place. 


Dancing From Genesis - #65168

September 28th 2011

So please cite the supposed inaccuracies in the Gospels which you say may outnumber the accuracies. 


Ashe - #65171

September 28th 2011

Well obviously the bit about the women going to the tomb and so on is quite different among the resurrection stories. I’m not sure which one is closer to the right one. Although there is a universal aspect to the stories about the women , Mary Magdalene was the prime witness. So that is probably accurate. 


Dancing From Genesis - #65172

September 28th 2011

There must be many more supposed inaccuracies in the Gospels for you to have said that the inaccuracies may even outnumber the accuracies.


Ashe - #65173

September 28th 2011

I never said any such thing. 


Dancing From Genesis - #65174

September 28th 2011

You said “I don’t know if the accuracies outnumber the inaccuracies (or vice versa) . . .,” so obviously the number of accuracies vs. supposed inaccuracies is a close call in your mind.


Ashe - #65176

September 28th 2011

I said “I don’t know” you would have to study that out. 


Dancing From Genesis - #65178

September 28th 2011

You must have “studied it out” in order to say that the supposed inaccuracies (which maybe only you think) may outnumber the accuracies, because if you hadn’t studied it out, why then, claiming to be a christian, would you say such a thing?  


beaglelady - #65179

September 28th 2011

The women finding the resurrected Jesus first is actually a clue that the resurrection is true!  In those days, if you wanted to make something up you wouldn’t pin it on the testimony of women, who were considered unreliable witnesses.


Ashe - #65190

September 28th 2011

Yes under Jewish law women are ineligible.


Uncle Bonobo - #65175

September 28th 2011

Where do you think “accurate” “reporting” begins in the Illiad and the Odyssey? 

Why do you think that any of these books wre intended as an actual eyewitness report of events?

Do you think that “accurate” “reporting” was the actual goal of Genesis, the Illiad and the Oddyssey, or was there an intent to transmit eternal human truths?


Ronnie - #65160

September 28th 2011

Mainstream scientific thought considers anything except the Genesis account of creation, so how can rejecting the foundational book of Gods Word give us a deeper understanding of Gods will for us?


PNG - #65181

September 28th 2011

Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures for you think that in them you have life, but it is they that testify of Me.” Genesis is not the foundation. Jesus is. God revealing Himself as one of us. When we know, as Aaron said in the video, that knowing God himself is the center, the axis on which all else turns, then we are free to take evidence seriously, the evidence of our personal experience and the evidence of science, and to use it to understand the world and life and the Bible. 


We don’t stay with a childhood Sunday school understanding of things. That’s a good place to start, but it’s not where you want to be as a grownup. Paul said it himself. What changes our understanding? Experience. Evidence. Christianity is not supposed to be pure rational deduction from a naive reading of the Bible. If it was, Paul wouldn’t have talked about becoming mature, working out your salvation.

It’s not a matter of rejecting Genesis. It’s a matter of working out what it means, just like the rest of the Bible, with our own experience and the experience of other people that we can take advantage of by reading science, reading history, reading biography, reading Biblical scholarship and the like.  
God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, so that we should hide from evidence. It’s o.k. to look at the evidence - no one can know all of it - but there’s no harm in exploring it - a lot of us find it fun, even if we get in over our heads. If you know God, you can explore without fear.

KevinR - #65222

September 29th 2011

Jesus himself said “if they do not believe Moses and the prophets they will not believe [ in me ]”.

Just how do you know about Jesus in the first place if not from the bible? So how can you reject the rest of it and just believe in the little bit you find acceptable to your own taste? If you reject Genesis 1,2 and 3 you have no basis for having Jesus as your Saviour because sin entered thru Adam and him only. If evolutionary death is simply a natural thing then what is the wages of sin? So why would one then need to be redeemed from anything?

If there’s no Genesis 1,2 and 3 there’s no need for Jesus. You might just  as well give up believing in Him.


Ashe - #65242

September 29th 2011

Don’t you guys ever actually read the blogs here, this issue has been discussed several times and there are even several takes. See the review of Darwin’s Pious Idea. IMO I don’t think there was ever a point that we didn’t need Jesus. You can’t get in your DeLorean and stop the Fall. 


Ashe - #65216

September 28th 2011

Romans 12:2


cato42 - #65322

October 1st 2011

Only by appending the adjective “mainstream” to scientific thought do you even begin to approximate the truth, and even then only because you operate in the present tense, Ronnie.  Oh, and please note that your statement implies that mainstream science somehow gives more consideration to the Gilgamesh story.  Do you really think that’s true?

Scientific thinkers have long considered whatever objective, verifiable evidence they can come up with.  The “Genesis account” to which you refer I would likely instead refer to as the “Young Earth Creationist interpretation of the Genesis story”.  As a scientist myself, and a teacher thereof, I can assure you that the reason “mainstream” science at present doesn’t “consider” the Genesis account is simply this: it is not testable, presents no opportunity for the making of useful predictions about the natural world, and goes only a short distance in explaining another large part of God’s work, the general revelation of His creation.


Jimpithecus - #65208

September 28th 2011

Where did Cain get his wife?  For whom did he build the city?  How old was Sarah when she died?  Do you think there is water above the clouds?  Paul did.  So did the Greeks.  Do you think that if people go to hell, they go to the center of the earth?  Paul did.  The Bible has 72 verses that argue for a flat or stationary earth.  Is this true?


G8torBrent - #65243

September 29th 2011

Wow.


If this isn’t an example of eisogesis, I don’t know what is.

So, is a literal interpretation of the first creation account how one enters into Eternal Life, or is it believing in Jesus who paid the price for my sin? I want to get it right and all this time, I’ve just assumed I needed to trust in Jesus. (Forgive the snark, but to apply that verse to how we try to understand Scripture is just awful, man.)

Dancing From Genesis - #65245

September 29th 2011

Of course salvation is through Jesus Christ, having been born again by his Spirit, as the case with me, a Dartmouth trained geologist then believing in darwinism (because almost everybody else did), but since then, the change really having come after reading Morris’ The Genesis Flood, I’m a much better defender of the foundational book of the Bible, Genesis, now able to explain to people why Genesis is real history.

And where, Brent, in Genesis do you say reliable history begins to be recorded?  At what point in Genesis are you prepared to defend the text as actual history to skeptics of the veracity of the Word of God?  


Roger A. Sawtelle - #65255

September 29th 2011

Dancing,

Jesus Christ is the Word (Logos) of God, not the Bible.  See John 1.

It as Jesus Who said that God the Father did not stop working on the seventh day. (John 5:16-18)

So which do you believe Jesus the Logos or Genesis?

 


Mirth - #65265

September 29th 2011

Which do you believe Roger?


G8torBrent - #65288

September 30th 2011

I answered this in another thread, sort of. You can see what I think of Genesis 1-11 there. I think Abram’s story begins a narrative that is the most similar to modern day literature, trying harder to get the details right as it communicates the greater spiritual truth of it.


I have not read Morris’ book. I am familiar with arguments for a global flood and why those arguments contradict themselves. I have heard Morris speak back before I accepted evolution and it actually shook my faith, because the answers he gave for things were so unsatisfying and thin. I realized that the only person his answers could speak to was someone in a hurry for an explanation that allowed them to keep their literal interpretation of Genesis 1-2 so they could close the book on the matter and stop thinking about all the problems that science legitimately raises. It literally upsets me to think about some of the stuff he says in churches. (E.g., that the Bible teaches the earth is round, based on Is. 40:22, when in reality that verse has in mind the ANE cosmography of Land/Sky/Firmament/Heaven.)

Advocate - #65307

October 1st 2011

Because of my background, I’ve become aware of the fact that many Christians that hold to a YEC viewpoint have no idea where this idea originated.  They mistakenly think that YEC was the only Christian viewpoint up until the time of Darwin.  So I include the following as a brief history.

–Although some early church fathers (Augustine, Basil, Irenaeus, Origen, & Thomas Aquinas) indicated that a literal 24 hour interpretation of Genesis was not necessary, this really did not spark a controversy. The early believers realized that a literal interpretation was not necessary for the “truths” of creation to still be pertinent.
–Reformers such as Luther and Calvin accepted a young earth and actual 24 hour creation days, but Calvin, especially, warned against a too literal interpretation of Genesis. According to Calvin…
»Genesis is a phenomological account (told from the perspective of an observer)
»Genesis is “the book of the unlearned”: God accommodates His revelation to the capacities of His people.
–In the 17th-18th centuries, divergent views on the age of the earth and the seven creation days were widespread throughout the Christian community, even post-Darwin.
–Two impeccable theologians that considered the possibility that the earth was very old and that large scale evolutionary changes were simply Gods way of creating life on earth, even the human body, were James Orr and B.B. Warfield.
–This may be surprising as both were staunch defenders of the inerrancy of the Bible and were contributing authors to The Fundamentals, a series of booklets that gave rise to the Fundamentalist movement in America.
–Today’s YEC movement began with the writings of Ellen G. White the founder of Seventh Day Adventism. She espoused that the first chapters of Genesis were literal and claimed that in vision-like trances she had been transported backwards in time to the actual creation events as well as the Noachian flood.
–As an “eye-witness” she could then proclaim a literal 6 x 24-hour creation, and that the flood sculpted earth’s mountains and geological layers as well as laid down all the fossil layers on the earth.
–Her followers claimed that she was divinely inspired and considered her writings to have the same authority as the Bible.
–Personally mentored by White, George McCready Price took up the challenge of scientifically “proving” White’s claims. With only limited training in geology, he studied the earth’s layers and proved to his own satisfaction White’s assertions of a recent earth and a flood-based geology.
–His best known work, The New Geology, (1923), outlined his findings. Although his work was not ignored, (William Jennings Bryan quoted Price during the Scopes trial, even though Bryan was a believer in an old earth), Prices’ influence among non-Adventist was very limited.
–Evangelicals began embracing White and Price’s idea of flood geology only after the 1961 publication of The Genesis Flood, written by Old Testament theologian John Whitcomb and hydraulic engineer Henry Morris, who borrowed heavily from Prices’ ideas.
–Although initially they had great difficulty finding a publisher, once the book was published it was quickly embraced and supported by groups as diverse as Adventists, Mormons, Presbyterians and Southern Baptists.

Many evangelicals who hold this view have no idea that they are primarily following a Seventh Day Adventist doctrine. Many of these same evangelicals feel, and will even say, that if a person compromises on the literal interpretation of the first few chapters of Genesis then all of the scriptures become suspect. (This is nothing more than a “slippery slope” argument that, in my opinion doesn’t hold any water.) These same people can probably even point to specific examples where someone who used to be in the faith became agnostic or even atheistic after learning about scientific contradictions to a literal interpretation of Genesis. Of this I have no doubt. BUT my contention would be that it is this very strict adherence to this literal 6-day position that is the problem not the findings of science.

The findings of science are just what they are, overwhelming evidence that a literal 6-day interpretation does not fit the data. Therefore if a person is told, “you have to believe it this way to be a REAL Christian” then I can see how a lot of people will simply throw up their hands and say “well I guess I can’t be a REAL Christian”. On the other hand, if we take a position like the early church fathers and even other believers throughout the history of the faith, that said that a literal interpretation was not necessary to a honest faith in Christ, then scientific findings can easily be incorporated into a genuine Faith in Christ and a Christ-like walk in this world.


Dancing From Genesis - #65257

September 29th 2011

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, take it as you like, remembering that Jesus spoke of the global cataclysm Noah’s Flood. 


Merv - #65258

September 29th 2011

DFG, you have the common theme of asking “so where in Genesis does reliable history begin?”.  This may be like asking “so where in my lawn mower’s instruction manual does reliable spiritual guidance begin?”  It’s the wrong question to ask if the Lawn-Boy mower folks don’t offer spiritual guidance.  This isn’t to say there is no literal history in the Bible –it’s woven into many books, including Genesis.  But so is a lot of other important material that has no interest in being dry chronology or “reliable history”, and we would cheapen—even neuter it by reducing it to that.  For example, whether Jesus clears the temple early in his ministry (John) or right after his triumphal entry (Matthew) is of little consequence.  To be concerned about chronology is to miss the point of John’s gospel.  Students of the Bible should be interested in the author’s (and also God’s) interpretation of history in the light of Jesus; not in the light of some scientific dispute about the details of how God formed us from the dust of the earth or how long He went about it.

 —Merv


Roger A. Sawtelle - #65269

September 29th 2011

Jesus spoke about the coming Judgment, not about Noah’s flood. 

The Pharisees believed in Genesis and missed Jesus.

Christians are saved by grace and justified by Faith in Jesus, John 3:16, not faith in the Bible.

 


revparadigm - #65321

October 1st 2011

Roger please explain any knowledge you have of Jesus you compiled outside of the Bible. Is the Bible the Word of God or not? If you cannot trust Genesis, how are you trusting in the NT verses about Jesus? After all Jesus quoted Genesis…saying Adam & Eve were created in the beginning.[Matthew 19:4] Did Jesus lie there? Or was he just ignorant of our so called modern science that would come in the future? If you really want to cut out chasing the rabbit down the hole…“modern science” will tell you any supernatural story in the Bible is make believe. So where do Christians draw the line? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Did God really speak literal physical things into existence? If you are going to reject the Biblical account of Noah’s flood based upon modern theories, what exactly is stopping you from rejecting what the Bible says about Jesus rising from the dead…when the majority of modern scientists tell you “dead bodies do not come back to life”???


Ashe - #65329

October 2nd 2011

No, for that analogy to make sense, modern scientists would have to actually find Jesus’s body. Then we would be in the same situation as we are in with Genesis 1. 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #65436

October 6th 2011

Rev,

You are right much of my knowldge of Jesus the Messiah and Logos comes from the Bible, but as a Christian I know that one cannot really “know” God and Jesus except through the Holy Spirit.  Therefore I must say that I also know Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

What is also true is that my knowledge of Jesus Christ found in the Bible is confirmed by my experience of salvation through the Holy Spirit.  If I found that the words and example of Jesus were not confirmed by the experience of being born again and being saved through the Spirit, then something would be seriously wrong about the information found in the New Testament.

It seems to me that this kind of confirmation is not found for Genesis if you are considering Genesis as a scientific document.  If you are looking at it from a theological perspective, that is a wholly different matter.  That is why I consider Genesis and the whole Bible primarily a book of theology, which of course has historical, scientific, and philosophical significance also.     


Merv - #65260

September 29th 2011

Okay—I give up.  Moderator, any chance of deleting one of my posts above, and getting rid of all the formatting marks?  The ‘x’ removal tool above doesn’t appear to work.  I’ll just have to stop posting from another word processor.

—Merv


beaglelady - #65264

September 29th 2011

Merv,

Try using Notepad, which has no formatting.  Better yet, use Notepad2 or Notepad++.
They are both free and are much more advanced than clunky old Notepad.


Merv - #65268

September 29th 2011

Thank you Mr. or Ms. Moderator for cleaning up after me.  I’ll have to try notepad, then, Beaglelady—good advice.
—Merv


Jimpithecus - #65304

October 1st 2011

Warning: the link button does not appear to work, either. 


beaglelady - #65314

October 1st 2011

Isn’t this the worse editor you’ve ever seen? And no preview button either!


flounder99 - #65312

October 1st 2011

Whenever I consider the value of Young Earth Creationism I check out the valuable oil deposits discovered by the Noachian Flood Geology Department at Exxon/Mobil and the life saving discoveries coming from the Intelligent Design Department at Pfizer.  But they are nothing compared the great fundamental research done at the Creation Science Department at Amgen. Isn’t it wonderful how all the researchers at every oil/pharmaceutical/Biotech  never use such ridiculous ideas as an old earth  or evolution?

</sarcasm>

There is a reason why none of those things exist—YEC is absolutely useless! All scientific advancement is made from the old earth/evolutionary perspective.  Real science wins BECAUSE IT WORKS.


beaglelady - #65315

October 1st 2011

Hey, they make a ton of money shoveling their garbage. 


revparadigm - #65320

October 1st 2011

So it takes “millions of years” for oil and coal to form? Funny, there is bio plants popping up all over turning organic material into oil in a matter of days…and as far as coal? Simple process that almost anybody with crude equipment can make. Anyways how does that oil remain underground for “millions of years” under that kind of pressure?


beaglelady - #65336

October 2nd 2011

because it’s trapped?


Ronnie - #65355

October 3rd 2011

flounder…

Real science works because it is testable, repeatable and observable, which is the science performed at the companies you mentioned. They don’t care if the earth is young or old or evolution true or false, as long as they get what they’re looking for. Evolution has nothing to do with scientific advancement.


revparadigm - #65337

October 2nd 2011

Trapped for millions of years in shifting crust of the earth? Quite a fantasy if you ask me. The problem is natural gas also trapped for that long is even more of a amazing feat bordering on supernatural. Why all the denial of a cataclysmic event such as Noah’s flood, which is the perfect explanation for such things, compounded with the sedimentary layers that were classically formed from water. Besides the fact if Noah’s flood was only a localized event, that so called judgment from God would spared all the other continents. Why not just tell Noah to move away then?

 It would take more faith for me to deny it than to simply trust the Bible than to believe than let this present incomplete science dictate to me what parts of the Bible are make believe.


revparadigm - #65338

October 2nd 2011

[Edit…that last line was confusing]

It would take more faith for me to deny it than to simply trust the
Bible. I would believe Noah’s flood happened than let this present incomplete science dictate
to me what parts of the Bible are make believe.


beaglelady - #65339

October 2nd 2011

Well, Dancing from Atlantis decided that the flood of Noah moved the continents around.   What is the biblical time limit for trapping oil and gas?


penman - #65352

October 3rd 2011

Advocate #65307


Excellent post, Advocate. This kind of well-informed knowledge about the roots of modern YECism is desperately needed. Once you know the roots in McCready Price, it makes one think twice about the fruits!


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