Something that’s been on my mind lately, indeed something I’ve been feeling convicted of is the subject of Faith and geeks of faith. I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction/hard science blogs and literature lately and am finding it terribly hard to keep pursuing the hobby.
The issue has a lot to do with the theory of evolution and the idea of an ancient earth, and the pervasive atheism surrounding the research. I don’t believe in evolution in the sense that all living beings share a common ancestor and evolved from them. I believe God created all things, but that all of humanity has a common ancestor in Adam, and in the soil beneath our feet, as Adam was created from dust. I do however believe that natural selection (not just sexual selection) is exactly how things work. I don’t believe that a species evolves over time into another separate species, just a variation of the same one. It happens fairly quickly else the species dies off. This might be an issue in the definition of ‘species’.
I also don’t buy the ancient earth idea much either. However the very young earth (the six thousand year old earth) is just as full of holes with even more sketchy ‘proof’ than the old earth which makes it far more a matter of faith. I won’t go into the technical ideas of either because I don’t have a firm understanding of how they derive those numbers. For one carbon dating is only useful up to 60,000 years ago, some say 45,000, and only for currently organic matter. Other radioscopic dating methods tend to be crap because of the insane amount of nuclear testing over the past seventy years.
Point is that a lot of both sides are based on assumptions. Many of these assumptions have some circular reasoning behind them. Essentially what we have is controversy. Controversy is defined by myself as: “two idiots standing across from each other in a room calling each other stupid”. You have both sides finding things that seemingly prove their points, then each side has rebuttal for the other with sometimes hilarious results.
There’s a rock bed somewhere in my home state with dinosaur footprints in it, and near by are human foot prints. Creationists say, “HA! Proof man walked with dinosaurs!”. The normal, rational individual would agree. There’s proof in the rock. If they didn’t walk together then one at least came by pretty quick after the other. The other side says something to the effect of, “No! The dinosaur walked here when it was mud and it stayed mud for a couple of million years perfectly preserving the foot print. Then about forty thousand years ago a guy walked here and it hardened up soon after.” Yes, that is an actual explanation for something I read once. So was there no weather millions of years ago? Did the tectonic plates not shift? What bizarre set of circumstances happened to leave a foot print there on a planet that can’t make up its mind about how things are supposed to look? Are we even interpreting the data correctly? Is this just a hoax?
Unfortunately, legitimate or not, this is proof of not much of anything except two footprints are in some rock somewhere. The ancient river bed this was found in is exposed to the elements and sedimentary in nature (Limestone). I find it a bit odd that the various layers of strata are exposed, instead of depressed like all the other fossil footprints in stone I’ve seen. The man’s footprint looks goofy too. The hoax idea is more reasonable and likely, I’ve read the discoverer admitted as much, than the “it stayed mud for a few million years” explanation. Here’s a picture:
Unfortunately you get just as dumb sounding the other way around. We were all taught that light moves at about 186,282 miles per second and as far as we know always has. There are some repeatable tests for this and it is part of the basis of modern physics. So you’ve got a star that’s about ten billion light years from here, again we can measure these distances. They are also provable mathematically. It takes light ten billion years to travel from that star to our position in space. If the universe is only 6,000 years old how can we see those stars? We can’t. There must be some problem. Is the universe older? Might be except the stars were made on the fourth day. The interesting thing is that God made plants before He made the sun. He made dry land before He made the moon. If you will contemplate on that for a few minutes and refer back to your elementary school science you’ll see an interesting issue come up. I won’t spoil the surprise for you. What it boils down to is that God created night and day and time BEFORE He created the mechanisms to govern and measure them. So yes the stars are ten billion light years away.
The explanation for this is not, “well God created the photons in mid journey.” That’s just dumb. That doesn’t seem like the way God does things. The distances don’t prove or disprove anything. There’s been some interesting breakthroughs in physics about time and how light might not travel at as constant as speed as we think all over the universe but not enough to prove or disprove anything.
Here’s a link and some information on what seems to be the most distant object that we can see in the universe:
(PhysOrg.com) — A gamma-ray burst detected by NASA’s Swift satellite in April 2009 has been newly unveiled as a candidate for the most distant object in the universe. At an estimated distance of 13.14 billion light years, the burst lies far beyond any known quasar and could be more distant than any previously known galaxy or gamma-ray burst. Multiple lines of evidence in favor of a record-breaking distance for this burst, known as GRB 090429B for the 29 April 2009 date when it was discovered, are presented in a paper by an international team of astronomers led by former Penn State University graduate student Antonino Cucchiara, now at the University of California, Berkeley. The paper has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.
Even if it is proven the light somehow got to us faster than possible, or slower than possible, this still won’t be conclusive. The reason I think this is because God wants our faith and love. If He wanted us to know definitely He was there and how He did all this, He would have made it a lot easier to figure out.
Here’s the thing, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” It’s all about faith. Because when it comes right down to it, what we don’t know is greater than what we do.
The problem being a man of faith, as well as a geek who is into most things related to science (especially astronomy, chemistry and physics to some degree) is that you get called stupid from both sides. Your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, like most people, will not spend time educating themselves on the very book that dictates their beliefs, much less anything science says. They are then prone to accept everything a fanatical young earth creationist says without going back to their own Bibles and seeing if that’s even what it says. These guys are professional debaters that can discredit evolution entirely on rhetoric. I’ve seen these guys say Pi is exactly 3, use scripture to back it up (1 Kings 7:23-26) and not even take a moment to figure out what was going on in the scripture they reference. Then they listen to other peoples with varying degrees of mental disorders that say many of the same things and start believing things that are antithetical to reality AND scripture and see no problems with that. This all leads to them not taking you seriously just because you can prove what they are saying is not only wrong, but is contrary to scripture as well. I consider myself no expert on theology, but my entire education until college was based around reading and discussing scripture daily. I’m familiar with what it says, its interpretation and how to find what I’m looking for within it. It isn’t hard.
When discussing things with people of a more atheistic bent, I’m actually treated a lot nicer than I am by my own kind! I’m occasionally called stupid for believing in God, despite ‘proof that He doesn’t exist’, but that isn’t always the case. Mostly they just question ‘why’ I believe in God. I can then tell them why. The problem is, in general my beliefs are mocked, and I am chided as being ignorant. Quite a lot of these people will just say, “Here is the evidence we have, take it how you want.” Sometimes they are even nice enough to explain it, and point out any holes science hasn’t quite got around to figuring out. The aggravating part about that is, they will then say things about what the Bible says that aren’t true because they, like many Christians, have not educated themselves on whether what they are saying is correct or not. Or will reference scholarly works that have been discredited, sometimes by people who are atheists themselves! Again with the making claims they haven’t even attempted to verify themselves. When presented with this evidence they are just as likely to ignore it, frustrating the same people they were just showing their evidence to. One can’t even use the excuse “Well I am not a Christian I have no reason to know this” as it sounds a lot like “Well I’m not a scientist so I really don’t know this stuff”.