Author Topic: Questions for Xavier and other YECs  (Read 257 times)

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« on: August 31, 2018, 09:04:39 PM »
1.  How do you explain the correlation between mother-daughter isotope ratios and the depth in the geologic column?

2.  How do you explain the distribution of fossils in the geologic column?

3.  How do you explain Lake Suigetsu (correlation of C14 with varves going back over 50,000 years)?

4.  How do you explain endogenous retroviruses (ERV)/pseudogenes (GULO, etc.) at the same spot and with (many of the) same mutations in the genomes of various primates and humans?

5.  How do you explain the vast genetic diversity seen in all species?  Random mutation?  Programmed mutation?  Other?

6.  What exactly do you want the Church to do?  (Remembering they condemned geocentrism several hundred years ago because that was (allegedly) taught in Scripture, and then had to backtrack.)

7.  If your answer to 1-5 is "we don't care, scientists who think this shows an old earth and common descent in primates are devotees of scientism and we don't share their metaphysical assumptions", exactly how does this imply materialism and what specific metaphysical assumptions aren't shared?
 

Offline John Lamb

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 04:09:40 AM »
5. God created the diverse animals by special creation, so there was great genetic diversity to begin with. The diversity within species can be explained by mutation and loss of genetic information. The original genomes of the various species were more robust and healthy, whereas in their modern state we are looking at decayed forms. It's like cutting out various statues from the original, simple block of marble. A good example is the various dog species being essentially degenerate,  domesticated wolves.

6. It would be unwise to condemn old earth creationism, but the Church could be more emphatic about teaching what it has already declared to be true, e.g. that Adam and Eve are historical persons, and the first parents of all humanity; and the flood of Noah is an historical fact. In other words, defend the rights of scripture (inerrancy) and not cower before the "science" establishment. Still, she shouldn't declare young earth creationism because that might scandalise the weak of faith who would then think they would have to choose between "faith and science." Similarly,  on an individual level I don't insist on it, and I think old earth creationism is a an acceptable opinion as long as it safeguards certain defined truths.

Rest later maybe.

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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 11:19:05 AM »
I won't answer 1-5 because they are scientific questions that are best left to people with expertise. There are plenty of creationist science websites and pages online though where I imagine you can find a creationist explanation for each of them.


7.  If your answer to 1-5 is "we don't care, scientists who think this shows an old earth and common descent in primates are devotees of scientism and we don't share their metaphysical assumptions" . . .

They are not necessarily devotees of scientism.

Scientism philosophically rejects any form of knowledge outside of what can be acquired by the material sciences (including the sources of divine revelation, e.g. scripture,) and ideologically it is an excessive submission to the authority of the "scientific community" and their consensus (which is often hypocritical when proponents of scientism speak of science as something that rests wholly on evidence and not at all on faith in any authority, and is ever ready to abandon one paradigm or theory for a new one - which clearly isn't the case,) which expresses itself as contempt and even political action against those who contradict that consensus (e.g. banning creationism is science classrooms.)

One can hold to old earth creationism without having this kind of attitude. It's just that often old earth creationists will dismissive young earth creationism out of hand because it is "not scientific" and it rests on "biblical literalism" (the Bible disregarded as "not a science textbook",) which manifests an attitude of scientism. Other old earth creationists try to seriously reconcile it with the scriptures, and do not necessarily dismiss out of hand the objections that young-earth scientists bring against accepted models.


". . . exactly how does this imply materialism and what specific metaphysical assumptions aren't shared?"

We can beat around the bush with this, but the gist of it is to what extent old-earthers give the divine power of creation to creatures, and practically divinise matter.

The greatest example of this is Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit and favourite theologian among the liberal periti at Vatican II, who went so far with this that imo he was practically a pantheist and more of a Hindu than a Catholic in his theology. His whole theology was centered around the theory of evolution and modern science, and reconciling it with the faith. The results were utterly disastrous, I think, and show why Pius IX condemned the idea that the faith must be continually updated to match the progress of modern science, and also St. Thomas' principle that the way we think about the cosmos will determine the way we think about God. Still, he was at least intellectually consistent in trying to reconcile his cosmology with his theology, whereas many today want to have a naturalist cosmology (determined by the discoveries of material science) and a Thomistic or otherwise traditional theology, which often results in a kind of dissonance.

The basic metaphysical premise is that the greater cannot come from the less, or, "you can't give what you don't have." The extent to which old-earthers imply that molecules can make themselves into living things, and living things can make themselves into rational beings (i.e. men) - they depart from the traditional metaphysics favoured by the Church, and in my opinion depart practically from theism altogether. The idea that there is a cosmic dust, which forms into hot balls of liquid, which cools down into planets, which life grows upon like a fungus - all happening by an unconscious, unintelligent process of material accidents: this is to remove God from the universe and make Him a mere "God of the gaps" at best. On the contrary, traditional metaphysics affirms that all lower things must proceed from a higher cause, so that if there is any order, power, beauty, goodness, intelligence, etc., in the world, it must be caused by a higher Order, Power, Beauty, Goodness, Intelligence, etc.

According to traditional metaphysics all substances in the world are composed of matter and form. In order for matter to be "in-formed" an intelligence must form it that way, i.e. God provides the forms of all substances. Materialism does not even recognise what Aristotle calls the "formal cause" of things, i.e. that which makes them what they are. Things, according to materialism, are just blobs of matter, and the distinction which we make between things is just some kind of mental fantasy which we impose upon them - forms are mere concepts in the mind, not principle components of beings. I might call the distinction "primary intelligibility" and "secondary intelligibility". Traditional metaphysics subscribes to "primary intelligibility", i.e. things are intrinsically intelligible - comprehensible to the mind - because they are in-formed by Mind (by the divine mind in natural substances, and the human mind in artificial forms); materialism subscribes to "secondary intelligibility", which says that things have no intelligibility in themselves, but the human mind somehow imposes an intelligible order onto them extrinsically. When a true metaphysician looks out into the world he sees forms, principles of intelligibility which give clear and living evidence to the presence of Mind in the world; when a materialist looks out into the world, he sees a formless ocean of matter and energy, and imagines that the forms are merely in his own imagination.

Ruskin, a painter:
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"The [materialist] philosopher tells us that there is as much heat, or motion, or calorific energy, in a tea-kettle as in a Gier-eagle. Very good; that is so; and it is very interesting. It requires just as much heat as will boil the kettle, to take the Gier-eagle up to its nest. But we painters, acknowledging the equality and similarity of the kettle and the bird in all scientific respects, attach, for our part, our principal interest to the difference in their forms. For us, the primarily cognisable facts in the two things are, that the kettle has a spout, and the eagle a beak; the one a lid on its back, the other a pair of wings; not to speak of the distinction of volition, which the philosophers may properly call merely a form or mode of force. The kettle chooses to sit still on the hob; the eagle to recline on the air. It is the fact of the choice, not the equal degree of temperature in the fulfilment of it, which appears to us the more interesting circumstance."

For the metaphysician, every blade of grass is a proof of God's existence, because it has being and form which can only be caused by a supreme self-subsisting Being and Mind. For the materialist, the entire cosmic order of the universe, with its marvelous diversity of co-dependent beings and intricate systems, is not even evidence of a divine intelligence: it just happened by accident, mere trial-and-error over billions of years. Materialists are intellectually blind, literally, because they cannot see the forms of things. And when they say that our common grasp on reality which we perceive through our senses is an illusion, and that "real reality" can only be described by mathematical formulas which reduce everything to "mass", "energy", etc. - they are elitist Gnostics who deprive the common man of his hold on reality in order to hold intellectual dominance over him. These modern Gnostics of scientism are so intellectually blind that they really think that the substantial world which we perceive with our eyes and senses, and that we understand with our minds as being composed of a variety of forms, is: an illusion existing only in our imaginations, and that reality is what's in their mathematical models. In truth, it's the substantial world, which is made of what Aristotle calls "individual substances", that is real, and these mathematical models are mere contrivances, mere "maps" which more or less describe how the mechanics of material substances work. They've lost the distinction between the material mechanics of a substance and the material substance itself. They think that physics is the queen of the sciences when it's just a branch of applied mathematics, and mathematics itself is just the study of quantity and has no grasp of substantial things - so really, they are peasants pretending to be princes. But they contribute to technological progress . . . so we can't criticise them and have to play along with their charade.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 11:37:57 AM by John Lamb »
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 12:30:58 PM »
Quare, have you read Prof. Denton's Evolution: A theory in crisis. I recommend it to you if you have not. Denton is not a young earth creation scientist. He could probably be broadly classified as an ID theorist. He shows there are many serious problems for evolution including the fossil record: "The  overall  picture  of  life  on  Earth  today  is  so  discontinuous,  the  gaps between the different types so obvious, that, as Steven Stanley reminds us in his recent book Macroevolution, if our knowledge of biology was restricted to those species presently existing on Earth, "we might wonder whether the doctrine  of  evolution  would  qualify  as  anything  more  than  an  outrageous hypothesis."1  Without  intermediates  or  transitional  forms  to  bridge  the enormous gaps which separate existing species and groups of organisms, the concept of evolution could never be taken seriously as a scientific hypothesis ...

Curiously,   the   problem   is   compounded   by   the   fact   that   the   earliest representatives of most of the major invertebrate phyla appear in the fossil record  over  a  relatively  short  space  of  geological  time,  about  six  hundred million years ago in the Cambrian era. The strata lain down over the hundreds of  millions  of  years  before  the  Cambrian  era,  which  might  have  contained the connecting links between the major phyla, are almost completely empty of animal fossils. If transitional types between the major phyla ever existed then  it  is  in  these  pre-Cambrian  strata  that  their  fossils  should  be  found."

1. Simple. Most of the fossils were buried simultaneously during the flood. Pre cambrian is pre flood. ICR: "It may sound surprising, but the standard geologic column was devised before 1860 by catastrophists who were creationists.1 Adam Sedgewick, Roderick Murchison, William Coneybeare, and others affirmed that the earth was formed largely by catastrophic processes, and that the earth and life were created. These men stood for careful empirical science and were not compelled to believe evolutionary speculation or side with uniformitarian theory ... A single sedimentary lamina, or bed, was supposed by uniformitarian geologists to represent typically a year or many years duration. It was concluded, therefore, that multiplied thousands of laminae and beds superimposed required millions of years. Recently, however, geologists have discovered that laminae and beds form quickly on floodplains of rivers during floods, in shallow marine areas during storms, and in deep water by turbidity currents. The evidence of rapid sedimentation is now so easily recognized that geologists observing a strata system these days often ask where to insert the "missing time" of which the strata do not show sedimentary evidence. Catastrophism, quite naturally, is making a come-back. There is good reason to believe that entire strata systems, and even groups of systems, were accumulated in a hydraulic cataclysm matching the description of Noah's Flood in the Bible."

Evolutionists sometimes use a circular methodology: they date fossils using rocks and then date rocks in the column using their estimated ages from fossils.

We had a thread on Potassium Argon dating. Isn't it true Potassium Argon dating will return rubbish results for rocks and ash that are known to be very young? You had rocks barely 200 years old being "dated" at 2-3 million. The explanation comes from what you will find footnoted even in evolutionary textbooks, that K-Ar dating cannot be used for rocks known to be less than 100,000 years old. The assumption is a half life has passed and the Argon present was formed through decay. This same assumption yield demonstrably wrong results for more recent rocks - too little time has passed for exponential fractions of 1.26 billion years to be meaningful. Even slight variations in the measurement of the quantities of Argon remaining would give dramatic differences of "millions of years". Such differences are meaningless.

https://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=20156.0

I will defend here the modest hypothesis that, it is scientifically demonstrable (1) that human history is less than 10,000 years old and (2) the earth itself is less than 100,000 years at the most (and therefore Potassium Argon dating etc return wrong results because of the wrong assumptions). This much would be enough for evolution to be false. I admire Prof. Denton's arguments but I want evolution to fall quickly, not for this debate to be carried on for another 100 years.

Question for you, Quare, isn't it true that Helium diffuses out of radioactive rocks rather quickly? Under evolutionary timescales, there should be no helium present, it is the second lightest gas. But there is. This does not require assumptions about original quantity present and thus constitutes an empirical falsification of the claim of millions of years. All Helium would difuse out in 100 K years.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 12:35:27 PM by Xavier »
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING: "My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby Offer my whole Life to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with my life, I place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the suffering of my entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and Priests, for good Priestly vocations, and for all souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept my life Sacrifice and my offerings and give me Your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death." Amen. https://www.avemariamaternostra.com/life-offering-promises.html It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's promises in the link: those who make it seriously will face no Purgatory (promise 5) since they would have completed it here, will have all their loved ones released from Purgatory the day they offer their life with intent to persevere (promise 4), and can save the souls of all their family members in due time by their life offering (promise 3). It will benefit all souls who have ever lived until time's end (promise 2) A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. Inflamed in Large Letters of Love, you will have your name written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary forever (promise 1).
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 12:59:22 PM »
5. God created the diverse animals by special creation, so there was great genetic diversity to begin with. The diversity within species can be explained by mutation and loss of genetic information. The original genomes of the various species were more robust and healthy, whereas in their modern state we are looking at decayed forms. It's like cutting out various statues from the original, simple block of marble. A good example is the various dog species being essentially degenerate,  domesticated wolves.

The whole issue, of course, is that the diversity within species cannot be explained by mutation, and wasn't there at the start.  In a founder population of 2, there can be only 4 alleles of any given gene at the start.  In order to have the genetic diversity we see today from a founder population of 2 several thousand years ago, mutation rates would need to have been much, much higher than what we see today.  (And let me point out that these are not the original creation, but the founder populations of 2 that came off of Noah's Ark.)  So what exactly is the YEC explanation for 1) why mutation rates were vastly higher, and 2) why, if they were, it wasn't lethal.

And this creates a falsified prediction.  If this is true, DNA that we are able to retrieve from fossils (presumably buried from the Flood, and therefore similar to the founder populations that came off the Ark) should be vastly different from what we see today.  But it isn't.


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6. It would be unwise to condemn old earth creationism, but the Church could be more emphatic about teaching what it has already declared to be true, e.g. that Adam and Eve are historical persons, and the first parents of all humanity; and the flood of Noah is an historical fact. In other words, defend the rights of scripture (inerrancy) and not cower before the "science" establishment.

She can do that, but it's doubtful it will be a successful strategy without any regard for the actual science.

I'll point out again that the last time the Church dug in her heels defending the "rights of Scripture" (geocentrism) against science it didn't turn out too well.  The Church was forced to redefine "inerrancy" as the inspired writers relating what sensibly appeared, instead of what actually was, an interpretation which was not shared by anyone prior to Copernicus.  But, looking at what people at the time (such at St. Robert Bellarmine) wrote, they were as threatened by geocentrism then as you are by evolution today.

What makes you think this time would be any different?  I mean, you can say Genesis I is "inerrant" because, even though a literal Adam and Even didn't exist, as did neither a literal tree of life, tree of knowledge, or walking serpent, and Google Earth shows there's no Garden of Eden existing on the earth today, this was a "literary form" used by the inspired author to relate an important truth about humanity; namely, that it is in a deficient state, but destined for better things.  You can say the flood story is "inerrant" because a great flood did really happen (as many have occurred on the earth), but it was neither geographically or anthropologically universal in reality; it just appeared to be, and the author was going by what sensibly appeared.  Or, you could take St. Bellarmine's approach and simply say that you don't understand these chapters.


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Still, she shouldn't declare young earth creationism because that might scandalise the weak of faith who would then think they would have to choose between "faith and science."

Which they would, in fact, have to do, if they had a modicum of scientific literacy.

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Similarly,  on an individual level I don't insist on it, and I think old earth creationism is a an acceptable opinion as long as it safeguards certain defined truths.

OK, because this was a very commonly-held opinion by both Catholics and Protestants for much of the 19th and 20th Centuries.
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2018, 02:19:24 PM »
Quare, have you read Prof. Denton's Evolution: A theory in crisis. I recommend it to you if you have not. Denton is not a young earth creation scientist. He could probably be broadly classified as an ID theorist. He shows there are many serious problems for evolution including the fossil record:

Of course there are serious problems for molecules-to-man evolution.  The issue is that there are also many serious problems for YEC, which you just attempt to hand-wave away.  None of these problems exist for OEC, and I am therefore justified in concluding that it is the truth (although there are certainly several details to be still worked out), as also does Prof. Denton.  Certainly, we don't know as of yet whether separate origin-of-life (creation) events occurred at various periods in earth's history, or whether the better explanation is directed (not random) evolution and common descent.

 
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1. Simple. Most of the fossils were buried simultaneously during the flood. Pre cambrian is pre flood.

That is not an answer, but merely a statement.  Why are they arranged in the way they are?  You don't have an answer for this.  All you can do is attempt to change the subject.  The laws of physics, fluid mechanics, etc., dictate an entirely different arrangement than what we see, sorting from less complex organisms on the bottom to more complex organisms on the top.  Why is this arrangement true, everywhere in the world?  Why aren't there any human skeletons on the bottom or trilobites on the top?

(Snipping irrelevant comments...)

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We had a thread on Potassium Argon dating.

Yeah.  About those mother-daughter isotope ratios.  Why is it, that there is always more daughter isotopes and less mother isotopes the further down you go in the geologic column, if it was all (or at least Cambrian and post-Cambrian) laid down at the same time?  Again, you don't have an answer for this, so again you attempt to change the subject.

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Isn't it true Potassium Argon dating will return rubbish results for rocks and ash that are known to be very young? You had rocks barely 200 years old being "dated" at 2-3 million. The explanation comes from what you will find footnoted even in evolutionary textbooks, that K-Ar dating cannot be used for rocks known to be less than 100,000 years old. The assumption is a half life has passed and the Argon present was formed through decay. This same assumption yield demonstrably wrong results for more recent rocks - too little time has passed for exponential fractions of 1.26 billion years to be meaningful. Even slight variations in the measurement of the quantities of Argon remaining would give dramatic differences of "millions of years". Such differences are meaningless.

You don't really do yourself a whole lot of credit with silly arguments like this.  Try this in an anti-evolution sermon when you become a priest.  The scientifically literate parishioners will know that, at best, you do not have any idea of what you are talking about, and you will have no credibility whatsoever from there on out. They will simply tune you out whenever you talk about the topic.  You're actually going to have to try and learn the science well enough to make a scientifically literate argument, and not simply rely on the latest from AIG or ICR.

Of course too little time has passed in young rocks for differences in measured Ar values to be meaningful - the K-Ar halflife is so long that Ar quantities will be extremely small and the precision of measurement is simply not there.  This has nothing to do with the validity of measurements for older rocks, where there has been enough decay to get a reliable (enough) measurement.

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I will defend here the modest hypothesis that, it is scientifically demonstrable (1) that human history is less than 10,000 years old and (2) the earth itself is less than 100,000 years at the most (and therefore Potassium Argon dating etc return wrong results because of the wrong assumptions). This much would be enough for evolution to be false. I admire Prof. Denton's arguments but I want evolution to fall quickly, not for this debate to be carried on for another 100 years.

Reality is not going to conform itself to your desires.  Your posts are full of wishful thinking on this topic (like that about Y-chromosome Adam and mitochondrial Eve, which you claimed proved descent from a single pair).  What assumptions, exactly, about K-Ar dating are wrong and why should we believe they are wrong?  (We can measure the half-life in a lab.)

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Question for you, Quare, isn't it true that Helium diffuses out of radioactive rocks rather quickly? Under evolutionary timescales, there should be no helium present, it is the second lightest gas. But there is. This does not require assumptions about original quantity present and thus constitutes an empirical falsification of the claim of millions of years. All Helium would difuse out in 100 K years.

Assuming that there is no in situ production of helium, which is known to be not the case, as it forms from alpha decay of other nuclei such as uranium. 

Meanwhile, if you telescope billions of years of radioactive decay into a mere few thousand years, the earth is vaporized.

And you still don't have an explanation for fossil distribution or mother-daughter isotopes.
 

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 04:07:02 PM »
I won't answer 1-5 because they are scientific questions that are best left to people with expertise. There are plenty of creationist science websites and pages online though where I imagine you can find a creationist explanation for each of them.

Unfortunately, detailed and satisfactory creationist explanations for these don't exist.  They all have to do what Xavier did, change the subject or just wave hands.

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Scientism philosophically rejects any form of knowledge outside of what can be acquired by the material sciences (including the sources of divine revelation, e.g. scripture,) and ideologically it is an excessive submission to the authority of the "scientific community" and their consensus...

So IOW "scientism" is merely a rhetorical weapon to use to avoid having to deal with the actual data, just as I thought.

You can't accuse someone of scientism unless he rejects all forms of knowledge outside of science, including any and all philosophy, any and all study of history, music, etc., by your definition.  Just because he rejects Scripture as a source of knowledge doesn't mean he is guilty of "scientism".  You in fact, don't actually know what scientists do or don't accept as sources of knowledge outside of science.

Moreover, you define accepting conclusions of science as "submission to the authority of the scientific community" as though scientific knowledge were merely socially constructed.  Therefore, you can accuse anyone of "scientism" when he accepts a scientific conclusion you don't like.

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... (which is often hypocritical when proponents of scientism speak of science as something that rests wholly on evidence and not at all on faith in any authority, and is ever ready to abandon one paradigm or theory for a new one - which clearly isn't the case,) which expresses itself as contempt and even political action against those who contradict that consensus (e.g. banning creationism is science classrooms.)

So, I guess we should teach phlogiston and alchemy instead of chemistry, "bad humors" instead of the germ theory of disease, phrenology instead of neuroscience, Ptolemaic geocentrism instead of astronomy, and so on, and it's horrible and hypocritical that they are not taught, and that there is serious opposition to them being taught.

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One can hold to old earth creationism without having this kind of attitude. It's just that often old earth creationists will dismissive young earth creationism out of hand because it is "not scientific" and it rests on "biblical literalism" (the Bible disregarded as "not a science textbook",) which manifests an attitude of scientism. Other old earth creationists try to seriously reconcile it with the scriptures, and do not necessarily dismiss out of hand the objections that young-earth scientists bring against accepted models.

But it doesn't manifest an attitude of scientism - these OECs clearly accept another form of knowledge besides science.  They just give science more emphasis or importance than you would like.

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The greatest example of this is Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit and favourite theologian among the liberal periti at Vatican II, who went so far with this that imo he was practically a pantheist and more of a Hindu than a Catholic in his theology. His whole theology was centered around the theory of evolution and modern science, and reconciling it with the faith. The results were utterly disastrous, I think, and show why Pius IX condemned the idea that the faith must be continually updated to match the progress of modern science, and also St. Thomas' principle that the way we think about the cosmos will determine the way we think about God. Still, he was at least intellectually consistent in trying to reconcile his cosmology with his theology, whereas many today want to have a naturalist cosmology (determined by the discoveries of material science) and a Thomistic or otherwise traditional theology, which often results in a kind of dissonance.

This is of course a fallacy regarding Teilhard - because one person did something badly does not entail it should not or cannot be done.
 Unfortunately, the cosmology thought to be the case by the medievals is clearly not correct.  The earth isn't the unmoving center, and the stars are not incorruptible.  Far from being mere sideshows, these are fundamental to the medieval worldview.

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The basic metaphysical premise is that the greater cannot come from the less, or, "you can't give what you don't have." The extent to which old-earthers imply that molecules can make themselves into living things, and living things can make themselves into rational beings (i.e. men) - they depart from the traditional metaphysics favoured by the Church, and in my opinion depart practically from theism altogether. The idea that there is a cosmic dust, which forms into hot balls of liquid, which cools down into planets, which life grows upon like a fungus - all happening by an unconscious, unintelligent process of material accidents: this is to remove God from the universe and make Him a mere "God of the gaps" at best. On the contrary, traditional metaphysics affirms that all lower things must proceed from a higher cause, so that if there is any order, power, beauty, goodness, intelligence, etc., in the world, it must be caused by a higher Order, Power, Beauty, Goodness, Intelligence, etc.

Old-earthers imply none of these things.

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According to traditional metaphysics all substances in the world are composed of matter and form. In order for matter to be "in-formed" an intelligence must form it that way, i.e. God provides the forms of all substances. Materialism does not even recognise what Aristotle calls the "formal cause" of things, i.e. that which makes them what they are. Things, according to materialism, are just blobs of matter, and the distinction which we make between things is just some kind of mental fantasy which we impose upon them - forms are mere concepts in the mind, not principle components of beings. I might call the distinction "primary intelligibility" and "secondary intelligibility". Traditional metaphysics subscribes to "primary intelligibility", i.e. things are intrinsically intelligible - comprehensible to the mind - because they are in-formed by Mind (by the divine mind in natural substances, and the human mind in artificial forms); materialism subscribes to "secondary intelligibility", which says that things have no intelligibility in themselves, but the human mind somehow imposes an intelligible order onto them extrinsically. When a true metaphysician looks out into the world he sees forms, principles of intelligibility which give clear and living evidence to the presence of Mind in the world; when a materialist looks out into the world, he sees a formless ocean of matter and energy, and imagines that the forms are merely in his own imagination.

And again, nothing about saying the earth is old implies materialism.

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In truth, it's the substantial world, which is made of what Aristotle calls "individual substances", that is real, and these mathematical models are mere contrivances, mere "maps" which more or less describe how the mechanics of material substances work. They've lost the distinction between the material mechanics of a substance and the material substance itself. They think that physics is the queen of the sciences when it's just a branch of applied mathematics, and mathematics itself is just the study of quantity and has no grasp of substantial things - so really, they are peasants pretending to be princes. But they contribute to technological progress . . . so we can't criticise them and have to play along with their charade.

Physics does actually have something to say about the accidents of substantial things (not just "material mechanics") - how they change, and how such change can be predicted.

 

Offline james03

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Re: Questions for Xavier and other YECs
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 01:07:48 AM »
I won't answer the old earth questions since I'm an old earther.  On the loss of Vitamin C, this is what you would expect for life systems based on DNA.  A slow loss of functionality.  GULO is a big problem for evolution.
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