Symposium 2013 Roundup Week Two

How do you share the Christian faith when matters of science are held up against Scripture?  What do you say to your neighbor, your co-worker, or family member?  How do you handle potential controversy over these issues?  Are the Bible and science compatible or not?

On the second night of our three-part Facts & Faith symposium, we watched the Dual Revelation video produced by Reasons To Believe, and concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A from the audience.  Here is the trailer from the video:

Creation and science, and particularly how science and the record of nature fit within the Bible, is an important topic for all of us.  Do you have any questions or comments?  Even if you were not able to join us at the Symposium, please submit them below in the comments section, and we will do our best to answer them.  (For answers to Week One questions, see this link.)

In response to requests after the first symposium we did record the panel discussion and Q &A from the audience at this session, and here it is.


 
Thanks, from your friends at Veracity!

HT: Marion Paine (video)

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Handouts from the Facts & Faith Symposium

Evolution References by Dick Terman

Handout

Facts & Faith Handout

About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

30 responses to “Symposium 2013 Roundup Week Two

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    Is there a span of time between Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 1 and Verse 2?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      There is some very interesting history behind this so-called “Gap Theory”. It was the predominate view of educated Christians in the latter part of the 19th century, but it has generally fallen out of favor in most quarters in recent years. Evangelical pastor, John Piper, is the only Christian leader that I know who publicly endorses this view.

      You might see a Veracity posting within a few weeks on so on this very curious topic.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Comment submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    I suppose that the Leviathan creature described in Job might be difficult to explain with the Old Earth theory.

    Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    What does the word ‘yom’ mean in Genesis?

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    • John Paine

      We will cover the meaning of ‘yom’ (or ‘yowm’) in detail at our third and final symposium session (11/17/2013), but here’s an interesting and objective way to explore it for yourself.

      Refer to the Interlinear Bible (which lists the translated text word-for-word with links to the ancient Hebrew lexicon) at this link:

      http://www.biblestudytools.com/interlinear-bible/passage.aspx?q=genesis+1&t=nas

      and click on the word ‘day’ to get the definition from the ancient Hebrew lexicon. As you can see, Hebrew scholars readily accept multiple meanings, including the idea of a long period of time.

      http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/nas/yowm.html

      Any alternate interpretation of yowm that departs from a 24-hour day draws contention from those who hold to a Young-Earth view.

      Old-Earth creationists argue that ancient Hebrew had a limited vocabulary, and that yowm was the only word available to Moses when he penned Genesis. If the idea of yowm as a long period of time is true, then science can bring a great deal of concordance to the Creation accounts in Genesis.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Questions submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    Do scientists base their timeline on carbon dating?
    If so, how accurate is it?
    What about carbon dating studies from Mount St. Helens?
    What other evidence is there for dating the earth at 4.5 billion years?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      We did address this last night, but as this was related to several other questions from last week, you might want to look at the following resource that covers this question in much greater detail:

      https://sharedveracity.net/2013/11/13/dinosaurs-in-hell/

      Like

    • John Paine

      The age of the earth is a topic that is very easy to investigate, but it is also a topic where emotion can get the better of us. Regardless of where people line up in the debate, everyone agrees the answer is not essential to salvation—but our approach has an enormous impact on personal credibility.

      An hour or so of reading will yield a defensible working answer that withstands scientific scrutiny.

      Unfortunately, some people cannot get over what they understand from tradition, or are persuaded that rethinking how to interpret the creation accounts in Scripture (there are dozens of creation accounts in the Bible, many outside the book of Genesis) is somehow a bad thing. Personal discipleship involves reading, praying, studying, meditating—all based on the truth. I’m not at all advocating moving doctrinal goalposts, but we should be constantly thinking. It is amazing that some people are afraid to research their faith (for fear that they may discover untruth?).

      There is a simple litmus test for credibility on this issue: do you believe what you believe because someone told you what to believe, because you have always believed it, or did you investigate it yourself?

      Science & Faith: Friends or Foes?One great resource for this topic is “How Old is the Earth?”, Chapter 15 from C. John Collins’ text, Science & Faith: Friends or Foes? Collins explains in simple terms how cosmology, astrophysics, thermodynamics, geology, and radioactivity all point to a consistent answer (the earth is 4.5 billion years old). It is amazing what running light from distant galaxies through a prism can tell us about the makeup of their components and distance from us. There’s a lot of information in the wavelength and frequency of light. Likewise, accurate astronomical observations over time clearly show the expansion of the universe away from a common center. Do the math backwards and the Big Bang becomes the beginning of space and time at 13.7 billion years ago. This singular event produced background radiation that was accurately predicted by physicists before it was actually discovered (at Bell Telephone Labs in 1965). There’s too much to highlight in a blog comment, but Collins’ text is worth every minute it takes to read. He also does a great job laying out how Scripture and science are compatible, and the implications of the different views of creationism.

      Reasons To Believe has a wealth of materials on this topic. For those looking to start at the beginning (pardon the pun), this page is a good place to start.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    If man has been around for about 30,000 years, why does the Bible not speak about man that far back? It goes straight from Adam and Eve to Abraham, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 BC.

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      We got this one addressed last night. Genesis 4-11 gives us a narrative of what God wants to teach us regarding the period between Adam and Abraham.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Comments and question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    The DVD’s statement, “Old-Earth theories simply seek to integrate biblical Christianity with evolution.” This glosses over several problems that are not even discussed such as the veracity of all other Scripture if the beginning God says is truth cannot be trusted. Does this not leave ‘believers’ picking and choosing? The meaning of the word ‘day’ was not
    discussed.

    Like

    • John Paine

      The Dual Revelation video does not contain that statement. The closest match to your statement is, “Old-earth creationism is one approach, among many, that attempts to integrate the Bible with modern science” (at 47:20 in the video). It would be a misrepresentation to infer that ‘evolution’ is implied in this statement, as old-earth creationists do not accept evolution as the mechanism by which God created man. The video made this point at length.

      As to the view of Scripture, the Reasons To Believe organization (which produced the Dual Revelation video) holds that the Bible is the Holy, inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God. This is a ” high view of Scripture,” as Clarke mentioned during our Q&A. This high view of Scripture is not a license to “pick and choose,” conversely it is plumb line by which we should seek to interpret the word of God.

      Unfortunately, there are those who teach that any interpretation of Scripture other than the one they hold is heresy. Jesus taught that they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). His words should guide our discussions.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Questions submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    In Genesis, when God says, “It is finished” did he mean the creation of the earth? Yet science shows the universe is still expanding in all directions. How do you explain this apparent conflict?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      Dick Terman last night noted that the Bible should not be read as a science textbook.

      However, it is important to observe from the Bible that God created a universe that is still expanding. In Psalm 104:2, we read that God is “stretching out the heavens like a tent”.

      From an Old Earth perspective, this is a literal confirmation of the Big Bang theory. From a Young Earth perspective, this verse in Psalms is an example of biblical poetry and should not be taken literally, and therefore it should not be associated with any Big Bang theory.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    I learned in school that Cro-Magnons did cave paintings. This is, according to the video, something that makes us, as Homo-Sapiens, special. Are Cro-Magnons and Homo-Sapiens the same thing?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      I was wondering if anyone else other than me would catch that!

      What an awesome question. The wheels at Veracity are turning on that one. Please be patient as Veracity grinds through that one to work on an answer……

      Like

    • C. Richard Terman

      According to the literature I have seen and the report on my y Chromosome marker M343 Cro-Magnon Man was among the first fossils to be recognized as belonging to our own species – Homo sapiens. They were responsible for the famous cave paintings found in southern France. They knew how to make woven clothing and had relatively advanced tools of stone, bone, and ivory. They made jewelry, carvings and colorful cave painting which bear witness to their advanced culture.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    Does the “Big Bang” conflict with Scripture?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      Please see the answer given to the related question above.

      Actually, there are about 10 different verses in the Bible that speak of God “stretching out the heavens”, which from an Old Earth view confirms the Big Bang, in addition to Psalm 104:2:

      Job 9:8
      Isaiah 40:22
      Isaiah 42:5
      Isaiah 44:24
      Isaiah 45:12
      Isaiah 48:13
      Isaiah 51:13
      Jeremiah 10:12
      Jeremiah 51:15
      Zechariah 12:1

      Presumably the Young Earth perspective treats all of these verses as poetic expressions that should not be taken literally. Evolutionary Creationists would probably differ amongst themselves on how these verses were meant to be understood in their original context.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Questions submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    Where can we find scientific support for the fossil record and support that Darwin’s “tree of life” is not supported? Which of the three positions do you agree with?

    Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    Could Genesis 1:1&2 have lasted a long period of time before time started ticking with the light separating the darkness in Genesis 1:3?

    Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/17/2013 Symposium:

    In Ostrovski’s book The Science of God, he posits that an atom that existed in the Big Bang and was now present at the edge of the universe is in its 8th day of creation–how could this be?

    Like

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