Category Archives: Secular Geohistory

Paralyzed Christianity

Dearest hijas,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t forgotten about you and this blog, mis hijas, but, you know the story. Perhaps this review of Dr. John K. Reed’s “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale” has been a bit overdrawn, no? Okay, perhaps, so let’s sum this all up and move on, right?

How does this boil down to the warp and woof of “your” Christian living? How does the rubber meet the road here? Why, for God’s sake, does this have anything to do with anything?

I hope you know by now, mis hijas, that for the sake of God and His character, this does have monumental ramifications. You live in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. You’ll probably be around, God willing, until the 7th or 8th decade of this century long after your Momma and I are gone. We live in a time where many of your Christian friends, pastors, and leaders are paralyzed. Paralyzed by the fear of looking foolish in the eyes of the world. Paralyzed by prognostications of the secular elite on the nature of reality. Paralyzed by secular critics that claim Christianity (especially young-earth biblical Christianity) is opposed to science.

These Christians are paralyzed because they won’t believe their own Bibles. They won’t believe that their own Scriptures speaks authoritatively about a universal and worldwide Flood in the days of Noah that explains the rock layers and washes away the millions of years (Gen. 6-9). They won’t believe that a ‘day’ is a ‘day’ just like we know them today (Gen. 1, Ex.20:8-11). They are paralyzed by current scientific announcements and purported data that says the earth is millions and billions of years old, not realizing the bias of the scientists that make these claims and the eyewitness testimony of the God who was there and wrote it down for us. They are brainwashed to believe the idea that rocks, acting as the pages of nature’s history book, are superior to the history of the Bible.

Such a state are we in, mis hijas.

But remember this, as Dr. Reed points out:

…Christian compromise has proven completely ineffective in stopping the secular juggernaut. Two hundred years of retreat is enough. Perhaps in the 1800’s, such views were more understandable. Today, they only aid and abet a secular culture by weakening principled opposition–all for the fleeting flattery of ‘intellectual respectability’. Deep time is inseparable from evolution. And both are inseparable from naturalism.

There is a web of deceit woven all through the secular worldview. Man and woman, born in rebellion to God, seek to use their own reason and the logical powers of their mind, to explain the nature of reality autonomously; apart from God and His revelation. Their whole being ‘shouts’ to them that there is a God; and not just ‘a’ god, but ‘the’ God of which the Bible speaks, and yet they fight with all their might to push this away. Paul in Romans 1 is very clear on this.

So the question becomes, “If the true nature of reality, the true history of Earth and mankind, is presented in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, especially in Genesis, why have so many Christians accepted and become paralyzed by secular history”?

Dr. Reed responds:

First, few realize they are compromising their worldview. Christianity was the default worldview of the West for so long that the possibility of a secular rival was unanticipated, especially a secular ‘scientific’ opponent rising out of Christianity’s own intellectual tradition. Second, the early secularists were smart. They claimed that there was no conflict with ‘true’ Christianity. The Bible was true as far as it went; it just didn’t talk about geologic time. Moses was ‘primitive’ and ‘unscientific,’ but he was still a nice guy. This scam worked, and the church was lulled into complacency. As time went by, young people were indoctrinated to not question prehistory and evolution.

However, the Bible, mis hijas, claims to be an accurate record and account of history, back to the beginning. It can’t find common ground with secular history that does not acknowledge God as Creator, all peoples on earth, past and present, from Adam and Eve, a worldwide and universal Flood in the days of Noah, and the incarnate Christ come to save us from our sin problem. Bank on it!

With love,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios, mis hijas

Blindness to Worldviews

Dear hijas,

In picking back up in my review of Dr. John K. Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, I love these particular quotes from Chapter 6 titled ‘Unreliable Clocks’:

At its core, the geologic timescale is a weapon that secularism has used to good effect against Christianity.

Or this:

Furthermore, if the various clocks used by stratigraphers all worked as claimed, then they would all agree. It is clear that they do not. Different radiometric methods yield different ages. Dates of rocks of known ages are incorrect. Paleontologists discard radiometric dates that contradict fossil assemblages. And no one thinks that these disagreements pose serious problems, they just ‘know’ that the template is correct.

Or how about this one:

Most of the public thinks that radiometric dating is the one infallible clock. But scientists recognize that is not true and so they rely instead on combinations of fallible, malleable methods. Then they argue that the timescale is more certain because of independent overlapping lines of evidence. But do they overlap each other like shingles, forming an impenetrable seal, or like a house of cards? This need of many clocks tells us an important truth; there is not one single infallible chronometer. Would you rather have one watch that kept time or a dozen that didn’t?

Or:

…professional stratigraphers have known all along that the real ‘clock’ is biological evolution. Rocks are ordered by fossils and fossils by their evolutionary stage. This is why geologists share the panic of biologists when evolution is attacked. The credibility of the timescale is linked to that of evolution. If evolution falters, the timescale does too.

And then this classic from Chapter 4:

Christians can no longer remain blind to the worldview behind the timescale.

With love,

Dear ol’ Dad

Vaya con Dios mis hijas

The Philosophy Underlying Secular GeoHistory’s Timescale

Dear hijas,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I still hope you’re reading when you have time. I want to pick up in Chapter 4 of Dr. John K. Reed’s book “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geological Timescale.”
rocks-arent-clocks

What I think we must understand in all this is that we are talking about two opposing worldviews: the Christian worldview versus the secularist worldview (naturalism). God sees men and women in either one of two camps: 1) in Adam, or 2) in Christ. We are either in Adam, unregenerate and dead in our sin and trespass, or under grace in Christ and regenerate to a new life in Him. The Christian worships and serves the Creator, the non-Christian worships and serves herself as the creature (Rom. 1:25). Those are the only two options, and you can’t be half in one and half in the other. It’s an either/or proposition.

When it comes then, to secular geohistory and its billion and millions of year timescale, we must seek to understand from a philosophical viewpoint what the foundations are upon which this timescale was built. If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll remember that I’ve said that things started to change in this regard in the late 18th century with the Age of Enlightenment. The late 1700’s and early 1800’s are considered to be the start of this new field of geology and the development of its timescale. To our point then, Reed says,

…the timescale possesses a burden of bias stemming from hidden philosophical foundations…stratigraphers use science as a façade to mask philosophical commitments of the naturalistic worldview.

We must remember that naturalism presents itself, to those who can see through its scientific facade, as a religion. As a religion, there are philosophical underpinnings. So, what are the underpinnings or foundations of naturalism’s geologic timescale? Reed says “there at least three ideas closely tied to naturalism that form the foundation of the timescale”:

1) Evolution
2) Uniformitarianism
3) Deep Time

So, let’s take the first one in our list above: evolution. How is evolution an underpinning of the timescale? Reed explains,

The timescale is all about the sequential ordering of a chronology of the past. Arranging any group of objects in a specific order requires a key. This key must contain something in common with all the pieces to be able to unite them into a common group…What is the ‘key’ that allows sequential ordering of different rock layers? It’s not the kind of rock because most rock types are present in most eras. Limestone can be Proterzoic or Paleozoic. Its not the thickness of the formation or the thickness of the beds that make up the formation. In fact, it’s not any physical property. Instead, it is their age–an intangible span of time. What then is the key to assigning discrete time spans to particular formations? Consult any stratigraphic text, and you will see that it is evolution.

geologic timescale 1
It is the changes in fossils, from a progression of simple to complex inherent in evolution, that date strata. “In other words”, Reed says, “the key that allows geologists to assign one layer to one age and another layer to another age is the evolutionary stage of their respective fossil contents…Evolution is the clock by which the rocks are calibrated and arranged in the timescale”.

Reed concludes,

Thus, evolution is crucial to the timescale. How we understand the nature of evolution then affects how we see the timescale… Evolution and the timescale are thus linked by their mutual symbiotic dependence on naturalism. Evolution needs enough time for gradual transformative progress on the biological side, and the timescale is the key to its chronology. That symbiosis is cemented by a mutual antipathy to biblical history. A past without God must explain existence and diversity of life in both present and past. Evolution claims to do so, within the deep time provided by geologic history.

We’ll look at the other foundations in my next post.

With love I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Assuming Rocks Are Like History Books

Dearest hijas,

We turn now to the 4th fallacy in secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies from Dr. John K. Reed’s “Rocks Aren’t Clocks: A Critique of the Geologic Timescale”, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, GA, 2013. Dr. Reed starts this section by saying:

The fourth error is the belief that a rich and detailed account of the past is available in the rocks–like a book about the Hapsburgs or Hannibal crossing the Alps. There is historical content in the rock record–the error is overestimating its quality and quantity.

The metaphors inherent with this fallacy are that sedimentary strata are like “pages of a book”, and fossils record “the march of time”. But are they, and do they now? Let’s see.

We remember that conflict over natural history is about the presuppositions each side brings to the table. The data remain static. We all have the same data, but it is in the interpretation based on a set of presuppositions that error creeps in. We’re talking about the secularist worldview versus the Biblical worldview.
glasses
So the question on the table is this: Do the rocks represent long ages (a secularist worldview) or rapid deposition in a high-energy event (a Biblical worldview: Noah’s Flood)?

The secularist denies the judgment of God in the universal and global Flood of Noah. She claims it never happened. But should a Christian deny an event taking up 4 chapters (Gen. 6-9) in God’s revelatory book about Himself and what He did? I don’t think so. But why, you might ask?

Dr. Reed explains:

If deposited by a global flood, rocks are indicators of hydraulic power, not clocks measuring endless eons.

th8HIAYXP8

He continues:

…Christians should see things differently. They can agree that rocks are an historical record and that forensic methods are appropriate. But at that point, their worldview must take them away from the conclusions of naturalism. Because God is the infinite Creator of the physical cosmos and man, the best way to understand nature and time is from His eyewitness perspective. His written record of the past all the way back to the beginning should shape geological inquiry. In theory, it does. It precludes prehistory, clues us in on creation, and describes the destruction of Earth’s face by a global flood. It’s a baby step of logic from there to the conclusion that a large part of the rock record is a result of that great Flood.

As always, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas

Secular GeoHistory’s Hidden Fallacies: Part 2

Dear hijas,
rocks-arent-clocks

To continue in our discussion of secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies, and a review of Dr. John K. Reed’s ‘Rock’s Aren’t Clocks-A Critique of the Geologic Timescale’, we’ve already covered secular geohistory’s hidden fallacies 1 & 2 in a previous post. Remember Dr. Reed’s admonition “If Christians are to understand Earth history, they must first understand how it was taken by secular thinkers.”

The four hidden fallacies are:

1) An ignoring of the worldview conflict between Christianity and Naturalism.
2) An assumption of the reality of ‘prehistory’ and its pre-human billions and millions of years.
3) An assumption that natural history is science, and not history.
4) Seeing more ‘history’ in the rocks than is really there.

So, let’s now turn to Fallacy #3: assuming natural history is just science. This fallacy stems from naturalism’s theory of knowledge (its epistemology) which makes science the final and ultimate arbiter of truth. Scientists are convinced that their investigations of the past are by definition scientific endeavors. You’ve heard the expression, the ‘facts of science’? This fallacy and expression assumes that when science speaks, it’s speaking true truth; that its truth claims can’t be challenged because they’re proven by science. But wait a minute, how can science study unique, unobserved, unrepeatable past events of history? The answer is that it can’t. No scientist was there to record the events of the deep past, so what naturalism does to get around this inconsistency is to proffer the concept of ‘uniformitarianism’.

uniformitarianism

Uniformitarianism is remembered by its famous though imprecise statement: “the present is the key to the past.”

According to Reed, ‘uniformitarianism’ works like this:

It works like this. If events in the past were similar to those we observe in the present, then scientists can study present day events and processes, and extrapolate back in time, confident that the sameness predicated by uniformitarianism will make their extrapolations valid.

So, if we change the rules of the game, and couch unique, unobserved, and unrepeatable past events in the scientific term of ‘uniformitarianism’, we’ve effectively moved the goalposts of what used to be the realm of history alone and moved it over to the realm of science. Do you see how easily this was done? And yet this is exactly what has happened. Uniformitarianism, as a scientific term and concept, then becomes unassailable. What a neat trick. The smart Christian should know better however.

You see mis hijas, “Christianity rests upon the Bible. The Bible in turn rests upon confidence in history in general and in revealed history in particular. The fatuous cliché, ‘the Bible is not a textbook of science,’ merely distracts from the fact that it is the only reliable textbook of ancient history'” (John K. Reed, Peter Klevberg, Chris Bennett, Jerry Akridge, Carl R. Froede, Jr., and Thomas Lott, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 3 – Dec. 2004).

So in essence, what we now have is a natural history, purportedly resting on the supposedly scientific concept of uniformitarianism, against a natural history revealed by God Himself in the pages of Scripture. The two views are diametrically opposed to one another, and can’t co-exist in the mind of the Christian. The secularist believes his version of natural history, resting upon an unwarranted conclusion that ‘the present is key to the past’, and the Christian believes the word of God Himself as revealed in Scripture concerning God’s eyewitness testimony of the events of natural history. The problem is that many of your friends, beloved pastors, and theologians are today accommodating the secularist version of natural history. It is truly a travesty. They ought instead to be reminded of Romans 3:4 (NASB):

Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
‘THAT THOU MIGHTEST BE JUSTIFIED IN THY WORDS, AND MIGHTEST PREVAIL WHEN THOU ART JUDGED.’

With love, I remain,
Dear ol’ Dad
Vaya con Dios mis hijas