The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Young earth creationism & 40000 year old frozen wolf

Looks to me like everybody here are nothing but charitable. Now how bout that wolf! LOL

I’m thinkin’ GOT dire wolf…

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In theory views on creationism are not important to practicing faith but in practice it damages the church’s witness because many who have this viewpoint attack science and scientists. That might be fine if the holders of such views completely eschewed the products of science like medicine, cars etc. But to say science is flawed while relying on it to live comfortably leaves people with that view open to accusations of hypocricy which is damaging to the church’s witness.

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An excellent point!

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Regarding the (very cool) wolf’s head,

  • we don’t know how much C-14 was in the creature when it died, or what the C-14/C-12 ratio in the environment at the time of the death of the sample

  • we don’t really know about the quality of the testing that has been done on this sample

  • we don’t know what “carbon contamination” of the sample may have occurred from its death until the present time

Carbon contamination can really skew test results. Regarding contamination affecting carbon dating, this discussion cautions (emphases mine):

IF the carbon in freshwater is partly acquired from AGED carbon, such as rocks, THEN the result will be a REDUCTION in the C-14/C-12 ratio in the water. For example, rivers that pass over limestone, which is mostly composed of calcium carbonate, will acquire carbonate ions. Similarly, groundwater can contain [AGED] carbon derived from the rocks through which it has passed. These rocks are usually so old that they no longer contain any measurable C-14, so this carbon LOWERS the C-14/C-12 ratio of the water it enters, WHICH CAN LEAD TO “apparent” ages of THOUSANDS of years …It is NOT POSSIBLE to deduce the effect of the effect by determining the hardness of the water: the aged carbon is not necessarily immediately incorporated into the plants AND ANIMALS that are affected, and the delay AFFECTS THEIR APPARENT AGE. The effect is VERY VARIABLE and there is NO general offset that can be applied…

That is, if the animal sample was exposed to a mineral like bicarbonate (from say, exposure to hard mineral groundwater after its death, or through its diet while alive), excessively high ages can be found —just as a LIVING shellfish today will yield a radiocarbon date which is excessively old.

Similarly, another research discussion cautions:

The most common cause of high APPARENT ages in freshwater systems is the presence of dissolved ancient carbonates, leading to the so-called hardwater effect.

One of the basic assumptions in radiocarbon dating is that a sample incorporates carbon in equilibrium with the atmosphere. This can be directly, e.g. in a plant via photosynthesis, or indirectly, e.g. when an animal feeds on plants. This type of sample is called terrestrial. [BUT] If a sample obtains its carbon from another reservoir with a lower C-14 level than the atmosphere, the basic ASSUMPTION is NO LONGER VALID. The measured ages can be TOO OLD.

I remember once reading (e.g., here) about a late 800’s Viking burial ground discovered in England (and compared to the wolf’s head, that’s the comparatively recent past). They tested the skeletons, but their assumptions about the initial C-14 levels gave them a wrong date of a hundred years too old, compared to the known historical record. It was decided that this was probably because the Vikings had a high C-12 (“aged” carbon) diet from seafood —which would not have been accounted for in the initial correction factors of the carbon-dating calibration…

Those are interesting facts. But it seems to me that we are dealing with errors of, in the fossil record, geological record, astronomical measurements etc, factors of billions of years; where I am willing to allow for some scepticism as to exact dating, but not willing to throw the entire old-earth out the window because of some relatively trivial examples. $.02

Oh, no! Does that article, give us fuel for thought? And this article is from the Smithsonian Institute - of all places!

There are basic philosophical differences in the interpretation of the same data:

Catastrophism is the theory that the Earth had largely been shaped by sudden, short-lived, violent events, possibly worldwide in scope.This is in contrast to uniformitarianism (sometimes described as gradualism), in which slow incremental changes, such a s erosion, created all the Earth’s geological features. Uniformitarianism held that the present was the key to the past, and that all geological processes (such as erosion) throughout the past were like those that can be observed now.

Catastrophism held that geological epochs had ended with violent and sudden natural catastrophes such as great floods and the rapid formation of major mountain chains. Plants and animals living in the parts of the world where such events occurred were made extinct…[Wikipedia]

A polystrate fossil is one that crosses more than one layer of stratified rock, which is problematic for uniformitarianists/macroevolutionists.

Fossilized trees, for example, are frequently found in upright positions passing through two or more layers. These kinds of fossils offer clear evidence against a uniformitarian view of the earth’s fossiliferous strata. Polystrate fossils are found in many parts of the world. [Creation Wiki]

polystrate%20tree

As to “billions of years,” here is an informative 4 minute video:

True to some extent, of course. But that cuts both ways - for instance, would someone who had never read the few verses in Genesis even THINK the world was only 6K yrs - or 60K years - old, in light of substantial evidence otherwise? It is a ludicrous thought at first blush and though I respect those YE believers, I surely do not understand them at all. Fossils aside, the fact that we can measure the distance of stars from the earth, and with knowing the speed of light, we can calculate pretty accurately how long that light took to get here leads to a conclusive fact that the universe is billions of years old.
However, I do know people can believe in a flat earth, so I’ve no doubt all the obvious scientific facts can be explained away in some sort of narrative. I’ve had the starlight fact explained to me in a YE context but imo it takes a wilful appropriation of a heavy filter to ignore what is plain.
Still - I respect, but don’t understand, YE folks.

(We’re plowing this field again; if someone wants to see earlier efforts, you can enter the search term ‘young earth’ you’ll find many threads already covered this. Maybe it’s time for this refresher thread? )

I have just the videos!

Somehow, deep down, I KNEW you would have videos. :slight_smile:
However, I counter with the following argument that is unassailable:

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Charles Darwin was profoundly influenced by Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology. We may as easily ask what would have happened IF Lyell’s “uniformitarian” proposal had never caught on? Up until then, the scientific world accepted catastrophism, and recognized the evidence of a worldwide flood.

Also, did you take in Lisle’s “Does distant starlight prove the universe is old?”? All dating methods of the distant past have underlying presuppositions, for example, that the speed of light is always the same.

But perhaps the speed of light is not always the same:

Would it be too provocative to ask this?
Do flat earthers tend to be atheists or creationists?

I only ask because there is a certain suspension of empirical realities that accompany flat earth theories.

It would seem that history has examples of scientists who were Christian being persecuted because they discovered things that conflicted with the accepted theologically based explanations. They were called heretics. Now we say what they discovered agrees with the bible. But the establishment at the time didn’t see it.
Heliocentrism was considered heresy by the church and Galileo had to basically kiss everyones rear end by lying or be killed for believing it.

How does observable scientific data become heresy?
Keep in mind I dispute the observability of evolution. No one has watched speciation yet if Im not mistaken.

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On another note many years ago I invited a very smart Christian professor of geology to speak at my church about evidence of God as creator.
We later had lunch and it was there He found out I was a young earth creationists. He very politely asked me, “Why would God create a world that by all appearances seems very old? Wouldn’t that be dishonest?” Of course I declared Jesus turned water into wine which had the appearance of something older than it was. He politely panned the discussion at that point. Of course I see his point of view much clearer these days.
Lets face it, God gave us a universe that argues with Genesis in many ways. Was it to test our faith or to test our intelligence?

As I understand it, the impetus for many of the great scientific theories has been the scientist’s conviction that God created a knowable, logical, reasonable universe. They got that from the Scriptures. That conviction gave them the confidence that an inquiry into nature could be done fruitfully and yield truth, to help in our stewardship of the planet.
That’s about all I have to say on the subject.
I respect all the opinions given here.

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Or did He? Methinks it’s our interpretation of Genesis that gets in the way.

Or did it? Methinks in terms of the text there’s a key biblical fact overlooked and said assumption above gets wrongly attached to the flood (which as I see it, was regional and local) which fact offers a more logically reliable reason of said catastrophism, that being…

Gen 1:2, 9-10 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. … Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

But all that aside… my real money is on the creation account really being the story of the formulation of Israel.

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Hmm

Heres a very interesting site with much history on the development of old earth among Christian researchers.
By the way if everything pans out to be just as Genesis says (provided we know what it is saying) I would be delighted.

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Strangely enough, I would be very disappointed to find out the Earth is young, like 100K years or less.
I like the huge thought of God bringing the earth along for billions of years - there’s a certain beauty and majesty to the thought. I like not believing that he planted evidence to fool us into believing it. I like knowing the stars are way way out there, that there are laws of nature and light that we have discovered and are true. In other words, that he made an intelligible world and asked us to be stewards of it, as we see it and experience it.
Could He have done it in 6 days? I’d say no, not with the clues he has left us. Without those clues, sure…but it would not be as interesting imho.

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And that makes you living proof that a persons faith and passion for God is not destroyed by Old Earth framework.

I was literally ripped up and down by a guy on a news comment thread on the Pat Robertson story. I merely suggested that Robertson was not denying the bible but perhaps questioning our interpretation. He more or less consigned me to hell.

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