Science or history?

Discussions on creation beliefs within Christianity, and topics related to creation.
theophilus
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Science or history?

#1

Post by theophilus » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:09 am

A physician who has made a complete examination of a person without having been told his age could probably make an accurate estimate of it because of his knowledge of how the aging process works. But what would happen if he were to travel back in time and examine Adam and Eve immediately after they were created and was then asked to estimate their age? If he didn’t know they had been created directly he would assume they had been born as babies and base his estimate on how long it would take for them to reach their present state if they had undergone the normal aging process. The result would be that his estimate would be much higher than their actual age.

Scientists who try to discover the age of the earth begin by assuming that the natural processes which are occurring now have always been going. They have come to the conclusion that the earth is billions of years old because that is how long it would take for these processes to bring about the conditions we see existing today. But what if the Biblical account of creation is true? Then scientists who try to measure the earth’s age are in the same position as the doctor who tried to estimate the age of Adam and Eve. Their age estimates are off because they have a false idea of how the earth came into existence.

Science can tell us a lot about the world we live in but when we try to find out about its past scientific methods alone can’t give us all the information we need. We need historical information as well. Did the earth come into existence as a result of natural processes or was it created by God? Was there ever a worldwide flood? We must know the answers to both of these questions in order to correctly interpret the data that we observe.

There is scientific evidence that the earth can’t be as old as most people believe. One example is finding soft tissue in the bones of dinosaurs that supposedly lived millions of years ago. This is from an article titled “Soft Tissue in Fossils” in the October 2012 issue of Answers magazine.
Ask the average layperson how he or she knows that the earth is millions or billions of years old, and that person will probably mention the dinosaurs, which nearly everybody “knows” died off 65 million years ago. A recent discovery by Dr. Mary Schweitzer, however, has given reason for all but committed evolutionists to question this assumption.

Bone slices from the fossilized thigh bone (femur) of a Tyrannosaurus rex found in the Hell Creek formation of Montana were studied under the microscope by Schweitzer. To her amazement, the bone showed what appeared to be blood vessels of the type seen in bone and marrow, and these contained what appeared to be red blood cells with nuclei, typical of reptiles and birds (but not mammals). The vessels even appeared to be lined with specialized endothelial cells found in all blood vessels.

Amazingly, the bone marrow contained what appeared to be flexible tissue. Initially, some skeptical scientists suggested that bacterial biofilms (dead bacteria aggregated in a slime) formed what only appear to be blood vessels and bone cells. Recently Schweitzer and coworkers found biochemical evidence for intact fragments of the protein collagen, which is the building block of connective tissue. This is important because collagen is a highly distinctive protein not made by bacteria. (See Schweitzer’s review article in Scientific American [December 2010, pp. 62–69] titled “Blood from Stone.”)
Soft tissue couldn’t have survived for such a long time so this is evidence that previous estimates of the age of the world must be wrong. Unfortunately belief that the world is old is so strong that most scientists ignore or try to explain away the evidence rather than changing their theories to conform to the evidence.
Some evolutionists have strongly criticized Schweitzer’s conclusions because they are understandably reluctant to concede the existence of blood vessels, cells with nuclei, tissue elasticity, and intact protein fragments in a dinosaur bone dated at 68 million years old. Other evolutionists, who find Schweitzer’s evidence too compelling to ignore, simply conclude that there is some previously unrecognized form of fossilization that preserves cells and protein fragments over tens of millions of years. Needless to say, no evolutionist has publically considered the possibility that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... in-fossils

The existence of soft dinosaur tissue isn’t the only evidence that the earth is young. You can read about some of the other evidence here.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... -evidences

Everywhere in the world we find fossils of life forms that no longer exist. The Bible tells us that God sent a flood that covered the entire world; this would explain the existence of these fossils. Those who reject the idea of divine intervention claimed that the fossils were formed gradually over millions of years.

The fact that fossils contain soft tissue is evidence in favor of a flood. There is also historical evidence. Here is what Wikipedia says.
The Flood myths or deluge myths are, taken collectively, stories surviving from human prehistory, of a great flood which has generally been taken as mythical. These legends depict global flooding, usually sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine retribution. Flood stories are common across a wide range of cultures, extending back into prehistory.
The fact that flood stories are found in all cultures is evidence that the flood really happened.

Those who believe the earth is young are often accused of rejecting science. In fact those who claim the earth is old are using scientific methods to answer what is really a historical question.

The belief that earth is billions of years old has become such an integral part of our culture that even Christians who believe the Bible is true accept the prevailing beliefs and try to interpret the creation account in Genesis to make it conform to those beliefs.

The Bible says that the world was created in six days. The only way to reconcile the Bible with a belief that the earth is billions of years old is to claim that there aren’t literal days. The word day can mean something else besides a literal day; it is necessary to examine the context to see what it does mean. It sometimes means an indefinite period of time and it is used in that way in referring to the entire creation period.
These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
Genesis 2:4 ESV
But what about the individual days? Here is the description of the first one.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Genesis 1:3-5 ESV
Each day consisted of an evening and a morning and included a period of light and one of darkness. This could only be a literal day, the time during which the earth turns once on its axis.

(Some people insist these were 24 hour days. I think it is possible that the days were 21 minutes longs than our present days. You can see here why I think this:

http://clydeherrin.wordpress.com/2012/0 ... -the-days/

Regardless of their length, they were literal days.)

When telling what would happen in the future Jesus said,
False christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24 ESV
Those who believe the earth is old have accomplished something that Jesus said false christs and false prophets won’t be able to do. They have deceived the elect.

Here are sites where you can find more evidence that the generally accepted beliefs regarding the earth’s origins are wrong.

http://www.allaboutcreation.org/

http://www.piltdownsuperman.com/

http://scienceagainstevolution.info/
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Re: Science or history?

#2

Post by jlay » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:37 am

Traditionally, I have been a YEC. This forum is primarily supportive of OEC, and the board founder is OEC.
I'm not real sure the central point of your post and exactly what you are trying to establish. You aren't going to get a lot of points linking AIG. They are looked at with much contempt from many here.

The soft tissue issue is inconclusive.

Fossils themselves, I agree, are strong evidence of catastophy. It takes very specific conditions to have a fossil record, and since we do have one, we can infer that there was a lot of rapid burial in times past.
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Re: Science or history?

#3

Post by theophilus » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:19 am

jlay wrote:I'm not real sure the central point of your post and exactly what you are trying to establish.
The point is that the question of how old the earth is is a historical rather than a scientific question. All scientific efforts begin by assuming that all of the physical processes we observe have always been going on and there are no other factors, such as divine intervention, that need to be considered. To many this seems to be a reasonable assumption but it is only an assumption and if it is false then all conclusions based on it are wrong.
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Re: Science or history?

#4

Post by RickD » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:48 am

All scientific efforts assume uniformitarianism without catastrophism?

You're really sticking to that assertion?
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Re: Science or history?

#5

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:41 am

theophilus wrote:
jlay wrote:I'm not real sure the central point of your post and exactly what you are trying to establish.
The point is that the question of how old the earth is is a historical rather than a scientific question. All scientific efforts begin by assuming that all of the physical processes we observe have always been going on and there are no other factors, such as divine intervention, that need to be considered. To many this seems to be a reasonable assumption but it is only an assumption and if it is false then all conclusions based on it are wrong.
History CAN be a science by the way.
That said, ancient history does NOT, typically, address time in the way that is needed to establish measured age.
History is dependent on those that record it, if no one is around to record history, does it mean it never happened?
Of course not.
There are various methods used to establish geological age and the fact is that YEC, for example, use them all the time when it is convenient for them and downplay them when it is inconvenient.
To suggest that the process we observe to day didn't happen the same ways centuries ago is fine, but where is your proof that they didn't?

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Re: Science or history?

#6

Post by Stu » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:10 am

Well thought out argument by theophilus.
jlay wrote:Traditionally, I have been a YEC. This forum is primarily supportive of OEC, and the board founder is OEC.
I'm not real sure the central point of your post and exactly what you are trying to establish. You aren't going to get a lot of points linking AIG. They are looked at with much contempt from many here.

The soft tissue issue is inconclusive.

Fossils themselves, I agree, are strong evidence of catastophy. It takes very specific conditions to have a fossil record, and since we do have one, we can infer that there was a lot of rapid burial in times past.
Make no mistake about it the soft tissue dinosaur finds are huge in terms of proving the YEC view.
Evolutionists and OEC now have to find some fantastic new process wereby the soft tissue can remain viable for millions of years.
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Re: Science or history?

#7

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:25 pm

http://www.livescience.com/41537-t-rex-soft-tissue.html

The controversial discovery of 68-million-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex finally has a physical explanation. According to new research, iron in the dinosaur's body preserved the tissue before it could decay.

The research, headed by Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University, explains how proteins — and possibly even DNA — can survive millennia. Schweitzer and her colleagues first raised this question in 2005, when they found the seemingly impossible: soft tissue preserved inside the leg of an adolescent T. rex unearthed in Montana.

"What we found was unusual, because it was still soft and still transparent and still flexible," Schweitzer told LiveScience. [See Images of a Near-Complete T. rex]



The find was also controversial, because scientists had thought proteins that make up soft tissue should degrade in less than 1 million years in the best of conditions. In most cases, microbes feast on a dead animal's soft tissue, destroying it within weeks. The tissue must be something else, perhaps the product of a later bacterial invasion, critics argued.

Then, in 2007, Schweitzer and her colleagues analyzed the chemistry of the T. rex proteins. They found the proteins really did come from dinosaur soft tissue. The tissue was collagen, they reported in the journal Science, and it shared similarities with bird collagen — which makes sense, as modern birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs such as T. rex.

The researchers also analyzed other fossils for the presence of soft tissue, and found it was present in about half of their samples going back to the Jurassic Period, which lasted from 145.5 million to 199.6 million years ago, Schweitzer said.

"The problem is, for 300 years, we thought, 'Well, the organics are all gone, so why should we look for something that's not going to be there?' and nobody looks," she said.

The obvious question, though, was how soft, pliable tissue could survive for millions of years. In a new study published today (Nov. 26) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Schweitzer thinks she has the answer: Iron.

Iron lady

Iron is an element present in abundance in the body, particularly in the blood, where it is part of the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Iron is also highly reactive with other molecules, so the body keeps it locked up tight, bound to molecules that prevent it from wreaking havoc on the tissues.

After death, though, iron is let free from its cage. It forms minuscule iron nanoparticles and also generates free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules thought to be involved in aging.

"The free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knots," Schweitzer said. "They basically act like formaldehyde."

Formaldehyde, of course, preserves tissue. It works by linking up, or cross-linking, the amino acids that make up proteins, which makes those proteins more resistant to decay.

Schweitzer and her colleagues found that dinosaur soft tissue is closely associated with iron nanoparticles in both the T. rex and another soft-tissue specimen from Brachylophosaurus canadensis, a type of duck-billed dinosaur. They then tested the iron-as-preservative idea using modern ostrich blood vessels. They soaked one group of blood vessels in iron-rich liquid made of red blood cells and another group in water. The blood vessels left in water turned into a disgusting mess within days. The blood vessels soaked in red blood cells remain recognizable after sitting at room temperature for two years. [Paleo-Art: Illustrations Bring Dinosaurs to Life]

Searching for soft tissue

Dinosaurs' iron-rich blood, combined with a good environment for fossilization, may explain the amazing existence of soft tissue from the Cretaceous (a period that lasted from about 65.5 million to 145.5 million years ago) and even earlier. The specimens Schweitzer works with, including skin, show evidence of excellent preservation. The bones of these various specimens are articulated, not scattered, suggesting they were buried quickly. They're also buried in sandstone, which is porous and may wick away bacteria and reactive enzymes that would otherwise degrade the bone.

Schweitzer is set to search for more dinosaur soft tissue this summer. "I'd like to find a honking big T. rex that's completely articulated that's still in the ground, or something similar," she said. To preserve the chemistry of potential soft tissue, the specimens must not be treated with preservatives or glue, as most fossil bones are, she said. And they need to be tested quickly, as soft tissue could degrade once exposed to modern air and humidity.

Importantly, Schweitzer and her colleagues have figured out how to remove the iron from their samples, which enables them to analyze the original proteins. They've even found chemicals consistent with being DNA, though Schweitzer is quick to note that she hasn't proven they really are DNA. The iron-removing techniques should allow paleontologists to search more effectively for soft tissue, and to test it when they find it.

"Once we can get the chemistry behind some of these soft tissues, there's all sorts of questions we can ask of ancient organisms," Schweitzer said.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 2pm Eastern Nov. 28 to correct unclear language about proteins and DNA.

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Re: Science or history?

#8

Post by RickD » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:40 pm

Stu wrote:
Make no mistake about it the soft tissue dinosaur finds are huge in terms of proving the YEC view.
Evolutionists and OEC now have to find some fantastic new process wereby the soft tissue can remain viable for millions of years.
Not really a fantastic new process.

http://www.reasons.org/articles/structu ... oung-earth
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Re: Science or history?

#9

Post by jlay » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:08 pm

If it really is soft tissue then it should call into question all estimates on the age of dinosaurs. Trying to work up an explanation seems odd. I've read what was linked and it seems the authors are more interested in undermining YEC than they are in actually providing a reason as to why dino tissue could last this long. How would you know a dino has iron rich blood, since there is not blood that has ever been found? It's circular.
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Re: Science or history?

#10

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:45 am

To build upon what theophilus said.
It's quite clear what Genesis says about creation and what a day represents.

Firstly, there is perhaps one aspect which can be seen as ambiguous and perhaps debated, and that is the age of the "heaven and the earth".
All it says in Genesis 1:1 is that:
1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
So if you want to argue that the earth and heaven are millions of years old you probably can.

Secondly though, it seems pretty clear as to the length of each day. There are several references in Genesis 1 that tells us that a day = 24 hours.
Firstly we have Genesis 1:3-5
3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Here we have a clear reference point that establishes just what makes 'a day':
5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
This establishes what a day represents for the remainder of the days by declaring that the first day consisted of evening and the morning. No millions of years here.

And the Bible specifically references the evening and morning after each day from Genesis 1:5 to establish the length of the day as well! For instance for the second day:
8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

I remember my thought processes when I held to OEC. I was doing whatever I could to fit the Bible into modern science's narrative. This wasn't about the Bible as much as it was about making the Bible conform. Honestly the Bible says what it says.
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Re: Science or history?

#11

Post by Philip » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:25 pm

Really, 24-hour creation days or day/ages that were billions of years - it really doesn't matter! HOWEVER long the universe and the earth took to create, and how old each actually is - well, it's a pointless debate. Again, we argue relentlessly over how old the earth is, but next to no one argues over how long ago Adam lived. Please tell me what matters to US, NOW, of spiritual understandings, before God created Adam. I'd say absolutely NOTHING! Because God's word is aimed at man, and what man truly NEEDS to know. We just love to debate the irrelevant beyond what seems reasonable, and to the point of rancorous divisiveness.

Random musings:

IF dinosaurs and fearsome creatures like T Rex roamed during the early days, post Adam's creation, then I find it hard to believe that Scripture wouldn't include MANY more references to them than the few obscure references that YECs insist refer to them. I would imagine anyone living in proximity to them would be constantly referring to them and the enormous danger such fearsome and huge creatures would have represented. I would imagine that they would have been prolifically sketched in cave drawings - and very obvious as to what they were, even to us today.

The other thing is that, as there are so many parameters of measurement and scientific analysis that show the earth and universe to be very ancient, it would appear to me that IF they were merely thousands of years old, that God has deliberately made things so that they only APPEAR old and He has kept us from scientifically seeing that this is obvious. Particularly the issue with starlight, the speed of the expansion of the universe, the great distances of the stars, the geologic evidences, the fossil record - so many things make it appear to line up with an ancient earth (billions of years old). So, as the creation is another testament to God's power and majesty, why would He hide physical aspects of a young earth if it indeed is very old? And as the scientific age approached, He would well have known that many would not believe the Bible because scientific analysis would seem to contradict what YECs insist is what Scripture teaches - literal days and a very young earth. My only conclusion is that IF the earth and universe are merely thousands of years old, then God deliberately created things so as that these things could only be understood by Scripture, and not obvious by studying what has been made. But WHY? Wouldn't God want ALL of His testimony to be clear (Scripture and key attributes about the Creation)?

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Re: Science or history?

#12

Post by Seraph » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:35 pm

Is it totally irrelevant? I find that learning about the natural universe, including the age, is a bit of insight into God's character, seeing what He did and how He does things. I find a billion year old universe to be a massive testament to the grandiosity of God. :)

As for if it is a question of science or history, I'd say definitely science. Like others have said, history generally discusses the history of mankind while natural sciences deal with the natural world. Humanity was definitely not around for the beginning of the natural world.
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Re: Science or history?

#13

Post by Philip » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:19 pm

As for if it is a question of science or history, I'd say definitely science. Like others have said, history generally discusses the history of mankind while natural sciences deal with the natural world. Humanity was definitely not around for the beginning of the natural world.
Of COURSE, humanity was not around for the world's beginning - even YECs would agree with that, that the world and the animals' creation came first.
Is it totally irrelevant? I find that learning about the natural universe, including the age, is a bit of insight into God's character, seeing what He did and how He does things. I find a billion year old universe to be a massive testament to the grandiosity of God. :)
Certainly, learning about God's creation is a tremendously important insight into His beauty, His creative power and ability, His provision, His attention to detail at even the microscopic level. But that He COULD and DID create it seem, to me, to be awesome enough. But do I doubt that He could have created the world and universe in a literal week or over billions of years? BOTH! I have no illusions that our God has ANY limitations of what He is capable of (that are not logical contradictions, can't make a square circle, etc). Either way, long time or just a busy week, I totally believe God capable of either. I happen to believe over billions of years, but I could be wrong. YECs could be wrong on some parts but correct upon others. I just don't think the science can totally settle the matter. But whether created over a long period or a short one, I simply don't see how that changes anything for us.

God created Adam, from dust, in a quick, miraculous way, as an adult human - the only humans to have sex, probably within days of their "births." Ditto for Eve, from Adam. I believe these literally. Our bodies will be resurrected "in a twinkling of an eye." God can do whatever He wants, and as fast or slow as He wants. He is phenomenally patient. If Adam and Eve lived and fell into sin as many as 40,000 - 100,000 years ago, it shows how very patient He is to bring His plans for us to fruition. Time for God is merely a tool that He uses as He desires. He tells us that human history will turn out precisely as He has always desired - and precisely WHEN He desires. I think we get in huge trouble when we say God could not have done it this way or that way - which is different from saying how we each think He did it.

I will say this: That God is an Eternal Being Who spent unlimited amounts of time BEFORE He created our universe - likely, and as per one of His traits - being creative (in other places, universes, dimensions?), and as He has patiently directed and endured the long period of human events, it just seems somewhat surprising to me IF He was in a huge "hurry" to create the universe in a literal week. But, again, God has His purposes, many of which we are quite ignorant of. That we know that God loves us, has created a place for us, that He has a plan for us, has given us directives and His Word for us, that He DIED for us - these should be enough to know, and really, all that would appear to matter. The rest are details that we can't totally know or truly understand.

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Re: Science or history?

#14

Post by Stu » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:17 am

Philip wrote:Really, 24-hour creation days or day/ages that were billions of years - it really doesn't matter! HOWEVER long the universe and the earth took to create, and how old each actually is - well, it's a pointless debate. Again, we argue relentlessly over how old the earth is, but next to no one argues over how long ago Adam lived. Please tell me what matters to US, NOW, of spiritual understandings, before God created Adam. I'd say absolutely NOTHING! Because God's word is aimed at man, and what man truly NEEDS to know. We just love to debate the irrelevant beyond what seems reasonable, and to the point of rancorous divisiveness.
It might not be overly important, but it does matter, I mean that is why the Evidence for God and similar websites exist.
Random musings:

IF dinosaurs and fearsome creatures like T Rex roamed during the early days, post Adam's creation, then I find it hard to believe that Scripture wouldn't include MANY more references to them than the few obscure references that YECs insist refer to them. I would imagine anyone living in proximity to them would be constantly referring to them and the enormous danger such fearsome and huge creatures would have represented. I would imagine that they would have been prolifically sketched in cave drawings - and very obvious as to what they were, even to us today.
Firstly you're assuming that dinosaurs were vicious creatures. Don't believe everything Hollywood tells us.

Secondly, why would the Bible have many more references to them? That is not what the Bible is about.
God's own words in the Bible are not obscure references. They clearly reference in Job what can only be described as two dinosaurs, one with a tail like a cedar and the other a fire-breathing creature.

The other thing is that, as there are so many parameters of measurement and scientific analysis that show the earth and universe to be very ancient, it would appear to me that IF they were merely thousands of years old, that God has deliberately made things so that they only APPEAR old and He has kept us from scientifically seeing that this is obvious. Particularly the issue with starlight, the speed of the expansion of the universe, the great distances of the stars, the geologic evidences, the fossil record - so many things make it appear to line up with an ancient earth (billions of years old). So, as the creation is another testament to God's power and majesty, why would He hide physical aspects of a young earth if it indeed is very old? And as the scientific age approached, He would well have known that many would not believe the Bible because scientific analysis would seem to contradict what YECs insist is what Scripture teaches - literal days and a very young earth. My only conclusion is that IF the earth and universe are merely thousands of years old, then God deliberately created things so as that these things could only be understood by Scripture, and not obvious by studying what has been made. But WHY? Wouldn't God want ALL of His testimony to be clear (Scripture and key attributes about the Creation)?
The geologic evidences and fossil record only line up with an old earth if your paradigm demands it. It can fit in just as easily with a young earth perspective.
Only when the blood runs and the shackles restrain, will the sheep then awake. When all is lost.

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Philip
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Re: Science or history?

#15

Post by Philip » Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:05 pm

Philip wrote:Really, 24-hour creation days or day/ages that were billions of years - it really doesn't matter! HOWEVER long the universe and the earth took to create, and how old each actually is - well, it's a pointless debate. Again, we argue relentlessly over how old the earth is, but next to no one argues over how long ago Adam lived. Please tell me what matters to US, NOW, of spiritual understandings, before God created Adam. I'd say absolutely NOTHING! Because God's word is aimed at man, and what man truly NEEDS to know. We just love to debate the irrelevant beyond what seems reasonable, and to the point of rancorous divisiveness.
Stu wrote: It might not be overly important, but it does matter, I mean that is why the Evidence for God and similar websites exist.
Why, Stu - what possible thing does it change for us? What eternal consequence? What spiritual impact? What?!!!
Firstly you're assuming that dinosaurs were vicious creatures. Don't believe everything Hollywood tells us.
Yeah, I guess they were all just mellow plant eaters.

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/f ... cked-fight

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