What We Don't Know and What We Know
People Men Thinker, Picture by Pixabay
With a title like this, you would think that all the volumes in the world could not provide the answer we seek. However, I will limit this inquiry to some main points from the 2 worldviews being compared. The first worldview being considered is the 'molecules to man' or 'millions of years' worldview. This worldview seeks to remove any divine influence concerning the universe and provide only naturalistic explanations for everything. It is often called, and I will call this, the naturalistic worldview. The second worldview is the creation worldview as taught in The Bible. It should be added that since there is an unbroken genealogy from Adam to Jesus, the specific model being referred to is that of a young earth. It is also very important to notice when we are talking about things we actually know to be true, from things we believe to be true. It may surprise you to learn that 'belief' is something that proponents of BOTH models practice regularly. So, with this foundation in place, lets consider some things that proponents of both models should be willing to admit, will fall into the 'We Don't Know' category.
What We Don't Know
We don't know the exact make up of the world from its beginning. I'm referring especially to the atmosphere, as well as the temperature, or the general appearance of the land. The exact percentage of oxygen as well as the exact percentage of other gases in the air, as well as if the earth was cooling, and the extent of the flatness or mountainous terrain. It was the atmosphere part of this uncertainty, that caused me to remember the famous Miller/Urey experiment from the early 1950's, as they attempted to replicate life arising on its own in the lab. This underlying assumption, which proponents of the 'naturalistic model' believe, must have been true, if life just originated on its own. In other words, life would arise from non-life, which would be a violation of the scientific law of biogenesis. They, (Miller and Urey) began with several guesses about the chemical makeup of the atmosphere as well as conveniently overlooking a BIG problem with their end result. They were also very careful to exclude oxygen as one of the ingredients in the atmosphere, since they knew that oxygen would destroy even the earliest components that would be the building blocks of life. Unfortunately for them, although we don't know the exact %'s, or all of the chemical makeup of our early world, oxygen is one that we have been able to confirm as having existed from evidence found in our earliest rocks. This hoax, parading as science, can still be found in some textbooks today! Sadly, many have been gravely misled by these textbooks. To do this subject justice, I hope to cover it in far greater detail in a future blog entry. But, suffice it to say, we just don't know. We weren't there! But, believers in the 'Creation model' trust the One who was there.
We don't know the ages of every fossil discovered using only the geologic scale or radiometric dating. This one may seem to be an attack on the holy grail of our current culture. However, there are very clearly things that all should be able to agree, fall into the category of "We don't know". It is interesting to note that the geologic scale, which list all the earth's layers of soil, (laid down supposedly over millions of years), has been used to identify what are called 'Index fossils' at many different levels. The finding of some of these fossils, has at times, been used to then date the particular layer that they were found in. To the casual reader, this may appear, as it actually is, as circular reasoning! At times, those who believe in the creation model are accused of circular reasoning, based on our sole reliance on Scripture. Of course, this would only be true if our source was undependable or inaccurate. However, we know that, this is NOT the case. It should also be pointed out that many of the radiometric dates derived during the dating of many rocks, has varied greatly depending on the method used. It should also be pointed out, that there are multiple assumptions used during the process of radiometric dating. This once again, will be discussed in greater detail in a future blog entry.
We don't know that the universe began as a 'Singularity' which preceded a 'big bang'. The 'naturalistic model' insist, and rightly so, that the universe is expanding. We have confidence that this is true, and there is real, repeatable, observable science to back it up. Unfortunately, they then go further to extrapolate, that if we reverse that expansion, at one time, there must have been a starting point that they call 'A singularity'. Sadly, or maybe thankfully, none of these scientist were there to see this 'singularity'. This is an assumption, without scientific support. Or, at the very least, it is without support that will withstand the scrutiny that such a claim deserves. So, we are safe in listing this under the category of things that we don't know.
With these 3, we are truly just scratching the surface. But, how can we ever find a starting point for discussion if we can't identify all that we know to be true as compared to what we believe to be true? So, with that in mind, lets consider some things that proponents of both models should be willing to admit should fall into the "We Know Category".
What We Do Know
We know that there is a huge, gaping whole of 'missing links' in the so-called chain of fossils leading from ape to man. This is widely understood by proponents of both models and does not require further documentation to support it. At least in part, it was this great 'lack' of missing links that no doubt led Gould to propose the idea of "punctuated equilibrium" in the 1980's. There would have been no need for him to propose this idea, if the fossil 'evidence' proposed by Darwinian Evolution was really sound. Darwin himself was optimistic that the fledgling science of Anthropology would provide untold fossil evidence of his proposed Evolution. However, the evolutionary links he expected would be found, never materialized. There have been through the years some suggested missing links. But, none that are indisputable, and NOT the millions that should be present in the fossil record, if molecules-to-man evolution is true.
We know that there are a number of concerns with the 'big bang' hypothesis. Some of these areas of concern I'm referring to are: The Horizon problem, The Flatness problem, The Smoothness problem, The Need for a Faster Expansion Rate and The Antimatter, or Dark Matter problem. These problems are well known by proponents of both models. There are regular ideas suggested to answer some of these problems. However, it is evident that none of these suggestions have been sufficient to quiet, or even to reduce the need for more suggestions. The hypothesis simply takes too much for granted and seems to hinge almost entirely on the evidence of an expanding universe and a profound faith. Some other issues of concern which require further research are The Cosmological Constant first proposed by Einstein, and its possible role. String Theory and it's lack of any evidence, as well as missing Monopoles to name a few more. Many of these are deserving of much more detail and explanation. However, that is beyond the scope of this introductory blog post. I plan to cover more in the future. Please stay tuned.
Information for this subject was obtained by 2 articles:
The Evolution of a Theory written by Dr Danny Faulkner Answers in Genesis, Oct-Dec 2013 and, The Big Bang, God's Chosen Method of Creation? written by Dr Jason Lisle, Answers in Genesis, January-March 2008.
We know that there is geologic evidence, throughout the world, that points to a world wide geologic event. By this, I mean that there are layers of varying thickness that spread across great areas of our North-American continent as well as some which actually continue across the ocean in Europe and beyond. One or many localized events could not explain the vast depths of some of these deposits or the vast region that they cover. Although, suggestions have been made, the simple fact remains that these deposits are truly world-wide in nature. Incidentally, they fit beautifully into the creation model through the world wide flood of Noah's day.
So, what are we saying? Lets start the discussion. Lets begin with the things we should agree that 'We Don't Know'. There is no shame in admitting what we don't know. This actually lies at the heart of true science and is the perfect starting point! Then, we can look at the things that 'We Do Know'. I've listed a few above, but there are many more. How wonderful it would be to get a comprehensive list of things that at least, with an honest admission, both sides can say that 'yes, this appears to be what the evidence is pointing toward. So, let us continue to "contend for the faith . . ." Jude v3.