An Absurd Biblical Literalist Interpretation of Paleontological Finds

An Absurd Biblical Literalist Interpretation of Paleontological Finds

An Absurd Biblical Literalist Interpretation of Paleontological Finds

Continuing the book review of Genesis and the Big Bang by Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D, in The Search, chapter one.

Schroeder points out that the fossil record seems to contradict the Bible, and cites various evidences to prove his point. Then he writes,

As an affirmation of faith, the literalist can explain the paleontological finds as having been placed in rocks at creation by the Creator. They might be there to satisfy man’s need to rationalize the world, or to test man’s belief in the biblical narrative. This argument, while impossible to disprove, is the weakest of reeds (Isa. 36:6) in a world full of explosive and convincing discovery.

I suppose the same ridiculous concept could be used to explain that we see light from stars that are billions of lightyears away. For the record, note that many Biblical literalists reject this God-the-deceiver idea.

Schroeder explains their take:

Some theologians argue that the methods of paleontological dating are flawed. These methods depend on measurements of radioactive decay. They claim that the rates of decay are not the same as in prehistoric times. If this were true, the ages of fossils or rocks could not be estimated from current measurements of radioactivity.

Although I don’t necessarily agree with this idea, at least it doesn’t make a mockery of not only Biblical literalists, but believers in general, and even God Himself.

Schroeder writes,

Again, it is impossible to disprove the idea that patterns of radioactive decay have changed during the past few thousands years. But the very concept of a fickleness in nature is contrary to all modern evidence. Our experience with the laws of nature, including those that govern radioactivity, is that they are unchanging. Imagine the bedlam of our lives if we were forced to test the consistency of gravity each time we put a glass on a table or the rate of passage of time in our Newtonian system each time we had an appointment to keep.

Albert Eistein said,

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

Throughout Genesis and the Big Bang, Schroeder refers to the work of Albert Einstein, but here Schroeder seems to forget that Einstein had to think outside of the Newtonian box in order to conceive of the theory of special relativity, the theory upon which Schroeder’s entire book relies.

My point is that it is useful to explore all the possibilities when it comes to origins, and many other concepts, for that matter.

There’s nothing wrong with interpreting data based on what we perceive as the unchanging laws of nature. But it may also be beneficial to at least attempt to interpret data outside of uniformitarianism. After all, none of us were around to witness our own origins or the origin of the universe. Who’s to say things have always been exactly as they are now? We should consider all the possibilities that we can imagine.

 

Comments
  • Lanny A. Eichert November 2, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Alice, to consider all the possibilities that we can imagine without limiting that imagination by what God has said is the wickedness of making one’s self one’s own god. God said that He created everything we know in six literal days. Believe it or burn in hell. Save your imagination for better things. God gave us His Book to save us from such vanity as the unregenerate mind can imagine. You really need to be saved, poor Alice.

    • Thomas Dean November 2, 2014 at 7:40 am

      Do you love God because you fear Hell? If you do, that is not love. Would you love God even if there were no chance for you to have eternal life? Finally, it is not your place to judge whether Alice is “saved” or not. That is between Jesus and her.

      • Lanny A. Eichert November 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        Thomas, do I love God because I fear Hell? Certainly not since I will not even see any condemnation {Romans 8: 1} because the very moment I began to believe the Biblical Gospel God placed me “in Christ” and united me with Him in His death and resurrection. Jesus bore my judgment on the cross to save my soul from sin and sins. He rose from the dead to give me NEW life of righteousness. Your question, Would you love God even if there were no chance for you to have eternal life? could have no other answer than “No.” Look at your question. Only those who have eternal life are able to love God. In my unsaved degenerate state I was ignorantly actively opposed to God and you ask if God was my enemy would I love Him? I love Him because He FIRST loved me, but not until that ignorance was dispelled by the first light of the Gospel and I turned from unbelief to faith that it surely was for ME God incarnated died.

        Thomas, the Gospel is to be preached to the lost and if God’s preachers are unable to tell who the lost are, they have no one to evangelize. There’s only two kinds of people in the world today and that’s the “lost” and the “saved.” Obviously not only is Alice a lost soul, but so are you a lost soul so obviously by your questions and your response to my evaluation of Alice. Do I fear Hell? I only fear you will be going there and my fear of Hell for you drives me to tell you and Alice the truth is you both are headed there beyond any doubt. I hope you wake up to this reality before it is too late and you die in your sins, because you will everlastingly keep those sins. Jesus died in this mortal life to take away your sins while you are still in this mortal life. He can’t take them away after you died with them. He didn’t died for sins in the after-life. His death for sins was in this life. His death was a substitute for us. It was only ONE substitute, not two. He did not died again in the after-life for those who would, if they could, repent in the after-life of their sins committed there. He only died for sins committed in this mortality.

  • Mary Vanderplas November 2, 2014 at 6:16 am

    I like what he says by way of dismissing the claims of those who insist on a young Earth in the face of evidence of the fossil record to the contrary. I agree that the “Earth-only-appears-to-be-old” view, in which the Creator is seen as having tinkered with the creation to give it the appearance of being much older than it is, is ridiculous – promoting a view of God that is inconsistent with the biblical revelation of God’s character as truth and light and revealing the lengths that those who have a hard time dismissing the evidence must go to defend their belief in a young Earth. I like, too, what he says by way of countering the claims that findings based on radiometric dating are unreliable because decay rates have not been constant. I would emphasize here, though, not so much the unchanging laws of nature as we experience them, but that the findings based on radiometric dating are confirmed by data from a number of other fields – lending strong support to an old Earth. That creationists reject the data reveals their need to hold to a young Earth based on their misreading of the Bible.

    I agree with what you say about being willing to think outside the box and consider all possibilities when it comes to origins. And I agree about interpreting data outside of uniformitarianism, though I don’t think that a non-creationist perspective rules out belief that both catastrophism and uniformitarianism were operative in the past and are operative today. But I like your challenge not just to assume that things have always been the way they are now despite the consistency that we see.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 2, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Mary, if you and Alice really were true Christians who believed God’s words, the two of you would be suspicious of any dating that did not agree with the Genesis account as godlessness. You unashamedly ridicule those who believe every spelt word of God’s perfect literal Holy Bible yet you are ignorant of the magnitude of your defamation and what that means to the destiny of your souls. Nobody today was there at the creation scenes and we all must take Another’s word, but you will not. For that you will perish in hell and in the everlasting torment of the Lake of Fire.

      I will rejoice to know you’re burning and God has vindicated His every spelt word of His Holy Bible. Burn, baby, burn.

      • Lanny A. Eichert November 2, 2014 at 10:14 am

        Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. {Psalm 139: 21 & 22}

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Fortunately, belief in an ideology has nothing to do with salvation. From the Christian perspective, it is merely mans assertion, not Gods, that you must believe in a specific interpretation of Genesis to avoid the wrath that men have interpreted to be true. Feel free to reply with your meaningless warning to create fear with in me, it is actually quite entertaining.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Paul, what you display by rejecting the literal understanding of Genesis is your unwillingness to accept a literally perfect Holy Bible. That’s rebellion against God. Rebels like you, Alice, Mary, and Thomas are not saved in your unbelief. Salvation is by grace THROUGH faith. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. {Hebrews 11: 6} You want a god that saves without an authoritative Holy Bible. That’s an impotent god you proclaim and you are without a solid foundation. If any part of the Bible is questionable, the whole of it is under suspicion and Christianity crumbles. It follows the same argument as God gives via Paul to the Corinthian church in chapter 15 of his first epistle if the resurrection were not true. Christianity is vain without the perfect literal Holy Bible as well as without the resurrection, just like it is if Jesus were just a mere man and not God-incarnated. You are yet IN your sins. Die IN your sins and you’ll never loose them even in the everlasting Lake of Fire where you’re destined.

      You’ve got to believe the RIGHT things, Paul, or you exhibit unbelief and perish in the flames of hell.

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I only display an unwillingness to accept that a man made doctrine such as yours is the key to my eternal future. The Bible in and of itself saves no one. Even from a fundamental Christian perspective, no one in their right mind askes someone to accept the bible into their heart.

    Please feel free to post more statements showing you don’t even know your own system of belief as much as someone you think is going to hell does.

    Told you that you would be entertaining,

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Paul, if your god is unable to provide a perfect Holy Bible, he is unable to save a single soul. Just look at what you try to believe. You want a salvation by faith, but a faith that will not credit God’s individual words to His Authorship except where you want it. That’s a double-minded faith.

      A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. {James 1: 8}

      Have you read the previous verse? “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” That means you will not even receive God’s salvation.

      The bottom line, Paul, is that you either believe God all the way or your partial faith is no faith at all. You are without excuse to believe the whole thing. You have not been isolated and ignorant, neither you, Alice, Mary, nor Thomas. You’re all without excuse and perishing under the wrath of God which is continuously remaining on you. {John 3: 36} That means hell fire follwed by the Final Judgment and sentenced to the everlasting Lake of Fire.

      Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. {Psalm 139: 21 & 22}

      The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. {Psalm 11: 5 & 6}

      You do violence to God’s Holy Bible and you will pay for it.

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I never once said that God is unable to provide a perfect Holy Bible. Perfection is often argued with a premise of certain factors. My beliefs about a perfect bible are not subject to what someone else claims about it or believes about it. I am pointing out that such a doctrine of yours is irrelevant to salvation since it is merely an interpretation of that perfect book. I am not even bibically required to entertain that your interpretation of scripture is correct. Your premise is flawed because I believe the Holy bible is Perfect, I am under no biblical law that says what you believe about the perfect book is a requirement for my salvation.

    Please continue to show your ignorance of Christian beliefs.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Paul, your claim, “My beliefs about a perfect bible are not subject to what someone else claims about it or believes about it.” means you are not even subject to Jesus’ claims. You just made yourself your own god. If that be the case, there’s nothing I can answer to you, since I have no standing. The same is true of any preacher who would dare converse with you.

      BTW Jesus claimed a literal view in Matthew 12: 40 and proved it by experience without soul-sleep, neither was He annihilated, but He was as conscious as was Jonah in prayer. {Jonah 2: 1 – 10}

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Not at all, Jesus didn’t even have the written bible at the time, so he made no specific claims about the “bible” in the first place.

    You believe a certain interpretation of Matthew 12:40, but it also can be taken that he was making an analogy of a current discussion using an ancient story. Not to mention that many things Jesus said were called parables for a reason.

    That’s all it amounts to, an interpretation, you are welcome to believe what interpretation you believe is the truth, but so am I and neither of us are in danger for taking the stance we take on scripture.

    I would say any Pastor that does nothing but claim that his beliefs about the bible must be believed or you will burn in hell would have difficulty answering as well because it isn’t something that anyone is subject to in the first place.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Paul, are you so short-sighted as to not recognize the Scriptures in Jesus’ day as authority? What He had was what we call the Old Testament section of our Holy Bible and He exhibits a literal understanding of it claiming every word necessary for everlasting life. {Matthew 4: 4} You cannot be saved if you will not believe Matthew 4: 4.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Paul, your “neither of us are in danger” reduces your faith to non-essensial interpretations, but you just show how careless your faith is. Your any interpretation will do is equivalent to not knowing what God means by what He said.

      Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship {John 4: 22}

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Recognizing scripture as authority and being subject to the interpretation you hold is two completely different things.

    I can believe the bible is a perfect document inspired by God I can also recognize scripture as authority AND disagree that I therefore must agree with your beliefs in order to avoid eternal hell. Because each of us merely holds to an interpretation and neither of us are subject to each others perspective about it.

    I can believe Matthew 4:4 and not be required to accept what YOU accept it means. That is the fundamental aspect of Christianity that has been lost and why it is nothing more than a laughing stock to the world in modern times.

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Lanny, by default, you cannot actually demonstrate that the interpretation you believe is truth, therefore if your doctrinal position is correct, you are just as likely to go to hell as I am.

    That is my point, perhaps there is only one correct interpretation of scripture that will spare us from eternal demise, what I do know is neither you nor I have the perfect interpretation , so you are just as likely damned as I am, if thats how it is.

    Fortunatly for both of us, it isn’t.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Paul, Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship {John 4: 22}

      You discount God said words by which we can know His meaning. By that I know you’re unsaved. God gave His Holy Bible to His saints to understand what He has done, is doing, and will do. Your lack of understand is apparently testimony to your lost estate as NOT one of His saints.

      He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. {John 8: 47}

  • Paul Hazelwood November 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Not at all. In my walk worship the God of the Holy Bible and recognize that Jesus is the Saviour of the World (and hes perfect at his Job). There is nothing you have said that even remotely can be shown to demonstrate that I do not hold that to be true for it would only be your word against mine.

    I have also said that I recognize scripture as authority and believe the Bible is a perfect book inspired by God.

    The fact that I do not agree to the “i n t e r p r e t a t i o n” you do, is i r r e l e v a n t.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Paul, I quote you, “perhaps there is only one correct interpretation of scripture that will spare us from eternal demise, what I do know is neither you nor I have the perfect interpretation.” Your “perhaps” signifies you don’t know yes or no and your “neither you nor I” claims neither one of us can know what God means by His words in context. You are claiming it is impossible for anybody to know for certain what God intends to communicate to men. God is not the author of confusion meaning as many different things by the same statement as there are men reading it. Context demands more from each word than the mere vocabulary meaning. There is no “perhaps there is only one correct interpretation” there is ONLY ONE correct interpretation and that’s the one God meant by His words. God meant by His use of the word “day” in Genesis a twenty-four hour solar day. Consider also the sun shone its light on the plants the day AFTER the plants were placed in mature blooming. Consider also the birds and the bees didn’t come until the fifth and sixth days respectively to pollinate the plants, nor the animals to spread plant seeds until the sixth day. A non-literal view would kill all the plant life and starve the animals to extinction without an unspoke miracle manufacture by men to sustain them. See, you can not sustain a non-literal Genesis account any more than Alice can sustain a non-linear account of the Revelation. You two become authors of confusion, not God Who gave us a literal Holy Bible. A young earth of six thousand years is the demonstation of Biblical faith that saves.

      For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. {Romans 4: 3}

      Your reluctance to believe the Genesis account proves you don’t have the faith of Abraham and are not counted among ther saved.

      Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

      That “all” dear Paul is reserved to ONLY those who believe the literal Genesis account. Abraham held God accountable to His literal promise and expected a literal resurrection when he offered up Isaac.

  • Paul Hazelwood November 4, 2014 at 10:20 am

    No, what you quoted is just fact, it is as simple as that.

    Of course there is context, there are all different contexts to apply to the bible when interpreting scripture. We all pick one that suits what we hope is true, it is as simple as that, even though many deny thats exactly what is going on. You like to hate, so it is fitting that you apply hate in context to interpreting scripture, it is really quite simple.

    To say I do not believe the genesis account is false, I simply do not believe it the way you do. That is all this comes down to.

    I know it bothers you that I can love the same God as you and reap the same rewards eternally as you will, but you eventually will come to that realization and learn how wonderful it is for all of us.

    And yes it is only for those who believe, that is why ALL will believe on Gods time table. Fortunatly for all of us, any one of us don’t get to decide the eternal fate of another, you don’t get to decide for me, make your claims , mark your territory, it is irrelevant that you do that. Thats why talking to you is fun.

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 4, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Paul, you forget Matthew 7: 21 – 23

      Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

      That’s an everlasting departure commanded by the Lord, dear Paul, and you like Alice, Mary, and Thomas, who think they are believers will find they deceived themselves into thinking just because they say they believe Jesus died for them, doesn’t mean they believed God into salvation. Your ” ALL will believe on Gods time table” is a fairytale deception you must use to quench your condemning conscience while you ignore there’s not a single Biblical example of any such salvation as I written here several times. The Bible is full of saved people, but not a one that got saved after he physically died in the four thousand years of human existance covered by the Bible. There’s also not a single invitational text addressed to the physically dead to get saved, while there’s many addressed to the mortally alive to get saved in this mortal life. You discount the importance of Jesus’ John 8: 21 & 24 statements of dying IN your sins.

      Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
      I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

      Jesus said once you die in your sins you cannot come where He is. That’s period, Paul. There is NO REMEDY for dying in your sins. Look at it, Paul, you can’t come to Jesus once you die in your sins. The only time to believe in Jesus is BEFORE you die in your sins. How much clearer can Jesus be than that? That’s the ONLY time Jesus can take away a person’s sins.

  • Paul Hazelwood November 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Nope, I do not forget or discount the importance of any scripture you decide to post I simply believe it under a different context than you do. Disagreeing with you does not mean I do not find it important, nor does it mean I “forget” a verse. I am not required to remember verses with “your” contextual perspective attached to them. Try to realize, I am not required to believe what you believe to ensure my eternal future. It is not up to you.

    Please save the ” how much clearer can it be” argument for when you actually start to admit to the reality of biblical interpretation which you have not so far. The whole bible must be interpreted through context, nice try.

    Anything else?

    • Lanny A. Eichert November 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Paul, at every turn you’ve come back with “that’s your interpretation, but not mine.” You have refused God’s simple words are are going to hell. That “is just fact, it is as simple as that” to use your opening statement @ 10:20 am this morning.

  • Paul Hazelwood November 4, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Yes, I have come back with that, because that is how it is. While you continually say false things.
    I will recap a few examples.

    You say that I do not see scripture as authority, false. The difference? I believe a different interpretation than you do.

    You say that I forgot a scripture, false. The difference? I believe a different interpretation than you do. That is just a couple of examples.

    I have refused the interpretation that you believe, which is my biblical right and yours as well.

    I have not refused Gods word since I use it daily in my life

    You say I am going to hell, Yes, God will judge me, falling into the hands of the almighty is my destiny, and thankfully it wont be your hands. 😉

    Anything else?

  • Lanny A. Eichert November 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Paul, if Jesus Christ is perfect at His job as you wrote November 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm above, why are you aligning with these people in believing the Lake of Fire is the believer’s finishing school? Follow my comments on Bigger Fences.

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