From Creationist to Atheist to Reasonable Faith

Guest Blog by Ryan Ferguson

At the age of 6, I loved my family, my dog, my Lord Jesus, awesome flying kicks and Ankylosaurus. At the age of 6, this was considered perfectly normal and no one batted an eyelid.

At the age of 12, I was told I could love four of those five things, but when it came to the God who loves me and amazing ancient creatures, I had to choose.

Why? Because Ankylosaurus lived approximately 60,000,000 years ago, while the Bible “clearly” states that God created the world 6,000 years ago.

And, as the fundamentalists’ claims went, the Bible is inerrant, so if any of it is wrong, it’s all wrong.

In other words, if I’m not

sure that the world and life was created 6,000 years ago without evolution, I shouldn’t believe in Jesus, either. For the next six years I continually wrestled with a young earth worldview in light of so much evidence for an older earth.

At the age of 18, I couldn’t do it anymore. The answers I got from the Christians around me were: “We don’t need evidence – we have faith!” and “Who are you going to believe – scientists or God?”

Well, when the reason to believe God is “we have faith,” while the reason to believe scientists is “we have a large body of facts and data that reasonably point in a certain direction,” it’s quite sensible to feel backed into a corner where a reasonable man just wouldn’t choose God.

And that’s where I lamented being. I didn’t want to reject belief in God, I was pushed – both by the antitheists and the fundamentalists around me – to think I had no reasonable alternative but to reject belief in God. For a short period, I begrudgingly became an atheist.

It was at this point that my grandmother – a creative type like me, and a skeptic of both theism and atheism – was reaching the end of a long battle with cancer.

She had been a humanities teacher when she was younger, and so it should come as no surprise that she had an encyclopedic knowledge of the world from ancient times until the present, and her house was an unofficial library.

At the end of her life my dad and his siblings inherited her house, while my generation inherited her books. After years of being told by antitheists that there is no evidence for God, and by fundamentalists that we don’t need evidence for God, one specific book in grandma’s collection stood out to me: “God: The Evidence” by Patrick Glynn.[1]

Now, I’m not about to say that Glynn’s book is without problems or that the evidence he brings to the table makes a bulletproof case for God. It doesn’t.

But the fact that he brings forth evidence out of Big Bang cosmology (supporting a 14 billion year old cosmos, and implicitly a 4.5 billion year old solar system with life being found more or less when and where scientists suggest) did a couple things.

Firstly, it showed me that evidence of an old earth and cosmos does not distinctly point away from creation, despite what many had told me.

In fact, there are many features of the cosmos that are explained quite well through a theistic framework, with the odds running heavily against them if the cosmos is not designed.

Secondly, it prompted me to investigate further. If the cosmos itself is very likely the product of design, then what about life? It strikes me that despite decades of trying, abiogenesis has not been demonstrated in the lab.

And if it is ever demonstrated, it will most likely be because someone designed an experiment that went just right, the irony of which should be clear.

From there, I encountered the “irreducible complexity” argument. That is, living organisms operate systemically. There are some malleability within the various bodily systems, but there are some very complex systems in the body that, once broken down to a certain point, simply crash.

Like the keystone in a bridge, if you remove anything from the system, the whole thing fails. It is plausible that some of these systems are the result of other systems merging together, but that only moves the problem so that the same questions are raised of the former systems.

It also stretches the limits of plausibility that every system that appears irreducibly complex is the result of multiple simpler systems clicking into place together at the right time and in the right way so as to transition from function to function without catastrophic dysfunction landing between these steps.

This is especially difficult to sustain as plausible when subscribing to the position that evolution happens as the result of tiny copying errors in DNA over time.

Again, none of this is bulletproof. Happy accidents and functional coincidences happen all the time, and at the very edge of a bell curve, the least probable things do happen.

But ultimately it became clear to me that the atheism I had been told was scientifically proven wasn’t anything close to demonstrably true. A worldview held together by all of the least probable things happening without any guiding cause raising their probability is, well, exceedingly improbable.

To me, theism became monumentally more plausible than atheism, and it wasn’t in spite of evolution or Big Bang cosmology, it was through these streams of scientific inquiry.

It was still two more years before I became a full-fledged Christian. After all, looking at evolution in an old earth and seeing signs of a creator doesn’t directly indicate that this creator is a hyper-personal being (as is the case in the Triune God that Christians worship).

Nature itself doesn’t testify to a God who entered into his creation to bear the burden of human iniquity (as Jesus did by becoming a man and suffering public shame and execution on a Roman cross) and was then resurrected from the dead, assuring his followers that they, too, would join him in a future resurrection.

That involved actually reading Scripture, asking honest questions and receiving honest answers, and interrogating the evidence for or against any of the unique Biblical claims about God being true. But having the groundwork that nature points to a creator meant that I was able to come to Scripture open to the possibility that its big claims could be true.

Meanwhile, if the fundamentalists around me had had their way, I’d be stuck stumbling over cosmology and evolution.

Since then, my philosophical positions have evolved 🙂 and my reasons for believing in God are numerous. Consequently, even though Glynn got me started in looking into evidence for God, it is unlikely to impair my belief if further scientific discoveries falsify what was contemporary science at the time of writing.

That’s not to say I’ve become a fideist (one who subscribes to blind faith). Far from it. Rather, the philosophical landscape on the subject of God’s existence goes well and truly beyond Glynn’s writing, and there are other lines of reasoning I personally find far more compelling, all of which are perfectly compatible with evolution.

I now take the stance that the early chapters of Genesis primarily involve God speaking to Ancient Israelites through a worldview that was familiar to them, rather than God upgrading their scientific knowledge.

I agree with John Dickson’s proposition that Genesis critiques various ideas from surrounding cultures, with the 7-day account being a polarized twist on the 7-act Babylonian creation account, Enuma Elish.[2] Likewise, I agree (more or less) with John Walton’s reading that the beginning of Genesis is a temple account, more interested in the consecration of the world as God’s holy space to dwell with people than in absolute material origins.[3]

Bearing in mind that the early church fathers were as divided on how to read Genesis as Christians are today,[4] it appears quite likely that the Bible does not have an official stance on the scientific implications of Genesis.

That being the case, I feel comfortable to let Christ be Christ and let science be science, while knowing that at an essential level everything is created and sustained by God, regardless of how old the world is.

Do you have a similar story? Tell us by posting a comment below.


[1] Glynn, P. (1997). God: The evidence: The reconciliation of faith and reasons in a postsecular world. Ann Arbor, MI: Forum

[2] Dickson, J.P. (2008). The genesis of everything: An historical account of the Bible’s first chapter. ISCAST, 4. Retrieved from

[3] Walton, J. (2014, May 9). Origins today: Genesis through ancient eyes [Video File]. Retrieved from

[4] De Beer, V. (2010). Genesis, creation and evolution. Retrieved September 30, 2016, from


176 Responses

  1. Hector Campbell says:


  2. Perry you’ve outdone yourself with this post. I’ve enjoyed our few emails and very much enjoy the responses to this post. Good folks, I’m sure, but nary a one understands or wants to understand science, evolution, physics, or geology. Every one begins with a bedrock belief in one interpretation of one of earth’s sacred books and measures and bends everything else until it fits their interpretation of the book. It’s all a little sad. And a little frightening.

    • Your insults are misplaced. I think there are a LOT of people here who want to understand science, evolution, physics, or geology. I invite you to pay closer attention to what people are discussing on this blog.

      • Not an insult! i know that these are mostly god folks. But Perry – you are struggling to get them to acknowledge the most basic of physical laws. They can’t. Why? Because their interpretation of a few verse of one of earth’s sacred books won’t allow it. Good luck!

  3. Steve Maley says:

    I will try to be brief. My spiritual journey is much as the one you describe, without the atheism.

    I have been an engineer in the oil and gas industry for 38 years. I took about 15 hours of college-level geology courses. Exploring for oil and gas involves a deep understanding of earth history, and it sure seems that the earth as we observe and understand it conforms with the scientific explanation better than a literal interpretation of the Genesis account. Every well that is drilled represents a multi-million dollar bet that there is systematic knowledge that explains the earth as we observe, and that is best described with an old earth model. Many of the professionals I associate with have advanced degrees and more than a few of them follow fundamentalist religions. I don’t know anyone engaged in this business who pursues a young earth model where the entire sedimentary sequence we see — 40- to 50,000 feet thick in the Gulf of Mexico — happened in a single global flood event 5,000 years ago.

    Maybe it happened that way, and God left a lot of misleading clues behind — I don’t believe that, though.

    My other relevant experience was when my older daughter was born with a heart murmur 34 years ago. The docs thought she might have had a patent ductus, a serious condition requiring immediate surgery. The ductus is basically a bypass vessel so a baby’s lungs don’t fill with blood in utero. At birth, the ductus spontaneously closes, and the lungs begin to fill when the baby takes its first breath.

    The thought occurred to me: How did the ductus, and the mechanism that causes it to close, evolve?

    That’s a serious question; I’m not schooled enough in phylogeny to know at what point the ductus appeared. It’s an example of two things that would have had to evolve simultaneously and independently of each other, when neither of them by itself has a survival advantage.

    • Thanks for your excellent blog comment! I’ve always felt that outside professions that don’t have a “dog in the hunt” like oil and gas and their million dollar bets, provide excellent fact checking in regards to experts who are normally more interested in theory and less reliant on fact.

      A parallel to this would be a comment Eva Jablonka made to me at the London Royal Society Evolution conference. She has long advocated “neo-Lamarckian” views of evolution, ie parents passed learned traits to their offspring. People like Richard Dawkins have ferociously opposed such ideas because they pull the rug right out from Neo-Darwinism and require the whole theory to be rebuilt from the ground up. It has been a long hard slog for her, but her ideas are now being accepted and Lamarck is making a comeback.

      She said to me, “When it was just people like me saying it, they could ignore me, but when it’s people in nutrition, cancer research, exercise, immunology etc who are ALL discovering inherited evolutionary adaptations, nobody can ignore it anymore.” The nutrition and exercise people don’t care about theories they care about performance. This is why different fields need to critique the origins people from the outside. Thanks for your post.

      • Hi Steve,

        Thanks for the valuable insight. I definitely agree with Perry that it’s really helpful fact-checking.

        To be charitable to a young earth view, one could argue (from their perspective) that the facts aren’t misleading, just misinterpreted. Of course, if that is the case, more facts would be needed to correct the mistake, and those facts themselves would need to be correctly interpreted. Presuming that the body of evidence has been grossly misinterpreted thus far, a pretty high standard of evidence would be needed to confirm the correct interpretation, and such evidence doesn’t appear to have come forward.

        Merely asserting that reading the Great Flood into the evidence resolves the appearance of an old earth (as they so often do) isn’t all that helpful, although I would genuinely like to see that claim put to the scientific test. Likewise, a YEC could point out that if God created the world to begin operation in a state of functional maturity, then it would appear older than it is, just as if Adam and Eve were created as adults, they would appear to be 18+ years older than they really are. That’s very reasonable, but it’s as much a case for belief that the world is in fact 6 minutes old as it is a case for belief that the world is 6,000 years old. It’s easy to see why the most prominent YEC apologists are also presuppositional apologists, giving themselves licence to treat YEC as an axiom rather than the topic of debate.

        The ductus is a great example of irreducible complexity as addressed in the OP. While the individual organs can certainly be reduced in their complexity, as a system, there’s a huge leap between the heart and lungs functioning that way and them functioning another way. You raise a great question there. Like you, I’m not schooled enough on the matter to give an answer, but at a glance it doesn’t look promising for natural materialism.

  4. Michael Hallmark says:

    Forget the cosmic mumbo jumbo, here’s why you shouldn’t believe in God: “It was at this point that my grandmother…was reaching the end of a long battle with cancer”.

    The ultimate indignity of our desperate lives and unseemly deaths is all the evidence one needs to reject a creator.

    • The problem of evil and suffering is certainly a harsh emotional problem, but as intelligent, reasoning human beings, it is plain that this problem only logically applies to a kind of deity that is worshiped by literally no religion or person anywhere. Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus all worship deities that are compatible with the harsh realities of our existence. Part of what makes Christianity beautiful out of the other religions is that the deity we worship is not impartial or indifferent to those harsh realities, but out of love for us endures those harsh realities with us, even to the point of a slow, brutal, humiliating public death. And, having conquered death, he not only gives us assurance of our own resurrection from the dead, but he also continues to walk with us and comfort us in every facet of this life.

      I realise that’s not at all a proof that any of this is true. But that’s not the point. The point is that as an intellectual problem, the problem of evil only critiques the omnipotent, omniscient god of negative utilitarianism — and no one worships that god, least of all Christians.

  5. Richard Young says:

    Growing up, I never heard the good news about Jesus. The few times my mother took me to church, the priest never spoke about the Gospel. Even though I had no reason to believe in God, I called out to him in desperation one day. I couldn’t see any point to life and I struggled with a purpose to keep going on. After crying out something like: “God help me”, the weight of the whole world seemed to come of of my shoulders.
    I called my girlfriend, who I had left, and said,”something happened to me! I feel good for the first time in my life. I want to get married, have a house and kids”. She saw the change in my life and we were married.
    I never heard about salvation and never read the Bible; I had no idea what happened to me except it was something that had to do with God. There was a voice constantly talking to me that I didn’t hear with my ears. He said” I love you! I want to take care of you! Listen to me, and do what I say”! I finally had a life! I did what God told me to do, never wanting to go back.
    He never condemned me, even though he had a lot of reasons to do so. As I let him have his way with me, He began to perfect me; Smoking, drinking and cursing were gone in my life. He taught me how to forgive others. He showed me that I was forgiven. Then I was able to forgive myself. I had a strong desire to tell people all that God had done for me.
    The part I struggled with, was when he told me to sell everything and move to Florida. I was happy where I was! There was no reason to move! But I did move and was surprised when my family agreed to it.
    When I got to Florida, I met some people who understood my relationship with God. They ministered to to me for weeks. After reading some scriptures that they had recommended, the words seemed to jump out of the page. I realized that I was a born again Christian! I confessed Jesus as my Lord!
    I told my wife what had happened, she thought it was nonsense!
    When her Mother passed away she got depressed because they were very close. While I was at work, She prayed, “God either save me like you did my husband or take me away! I can’t take life any more. You show me where to read in the bible”. She opened the Bible and read, “knock and the door shall be opened”. Jesus rushed into her! When I came home from work, she had a strange look on her face. She told me that God saved her, Jesus was in her heart and that she had never seen such a beautiful day in all her life. My family and I started going to Church! My two sons got saved soon after.
    My spiritual life kept getting better, but the business I started, was a failure, nothing seemed to go right. I lost everything! With one months rent left in the bank, I laid on my bed and prayed; I said “God, I want nothing more to do with this life. I don’t care what you do with me. You have to take care of me now”. Since that day everything was OK.
    I didn’t like to be around people because of the way they treated me when I was younger with the depression I had. Not realizing that I was repenting, I said, “God, I don’t want to be like this anymore”.
    God soon filled me with his love, overflowing to the point where I loved everyone.
    I found out that if I told my story to my customers, most of them wanted what I have. I would tell my story, ask them if they ever had an experience with God. If their answer was no, I would reach for their hand and pray out loud, God save him/her. The Holy Spirit would take over! As I would ask them to repeat a prayer, some could not finish the prayer without crying. I could see the wrinkles leave their face. Thousands of people prayed with me during my last 10 years in my service business.

    During the first 15 years of my salvation, I was taught only by God There was no man to teach me! When I started going to church, their religious teaching was contradicting God. We finally found a church where their teaching agrees with the bible and what God had taught me.

  6. Given that the solar calendar did not exist until the fourth day of creation, and the word used for “day” in the ancient Hebrew and Aramaic is used for a twenty-hour period, a time frame, and an era, depending on context, as in “In Abraham’s day…” one would have to assume that the first three days, and likely the fourth day of creation were not confined to a simple twenty-four hour cycle. The Earth is, as science states, billions of years old. That is not in conflict with Genesis. The vast majority of believers are not aware of this.

  7. Barton Drake says:

    good article. As we come to know God through Jesus the Christ. We have a personal history of interrelationship which trumps any attack. Within the framework of Christian community we can overcome any obstacle to walking hand in hand with the Living God.

  8. Nicholas Fulford says:

    As a non-theist, any advancement in thinking over Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is welcome.

    No I don’t care what you think or believe or practice in the privacy of your head, your home or your family and amongst your friends. I care about the social consequences of imposing a mythic view on the world – to frame what is in the label “GOD”. It invites error that cannot be corrected because what is held as primary is the frame rather than the thing attempting to be framed.

    I certainly will not argue that mythic narrative lacks meaning – it certainly does have meaning, and we are meaning seeking as much as truth seeking. But let me draw this distinction for you; a narrative can be meaningful and fictional. I love “Lord of the Rings”. I find it to be a beautiful mythic tale that has a lot to say that is of importance, but I don’t believe in Hobbits or Sauron. I don’t need to, to mine its value, to experience it and extract from it things which are meaningful.

    I take the universe as functionally primary, because it is. An “event” occurred at t=0, and it appears to be a point beyond which I cannot explore in anything other than mathematical models or religious faith. People are certainly free to do that, as that boundary point marks the place where empirical science has to say, “here but no further”. We can try to get very close to t=0 with high energy experiments in the Large Hadron Collider – which I am deeply interest in – but I have to admit that past a certain point there is nothing further I can say without it falling into mathematically interesting models or religion.

    I – of course – accept evolution because there is a tremendous amount of evidence supporting it. I am not vested in it being true the way that many of faith are with respect to their narratives. And personally I don’t understand why anyone would want to be bound so tightly to any frame, when the process of science keeps revealing so many interesting things about the universe, its qualities and how they express.

    But let’s move back to what religious narrative and traditions do give. They give meaning, and that meaning like that of “Lord of the Rings” is allegorical, ethical, aesthetic and philosophical. It invites us into spaces that can be emotionally very rich. As a non-theist I am not immune to the sense of awe, wonder, beauty and presence in life. I have an awareness of what the state of worship is for many believers, and not the least of which is because I am apostate and hence have an experiential base of having once been an evangelical. Becoming apostate did not suddenly close the door on being able to experience the states which theists hold as being close to God. I get where theists are in this regard, but I find no need or desire to limit the sources of my inspiration to either a specific theistic tradition or any theistic frame at all. I can derive all that a theist derives from their frame without being fixed to that one unmovable frame, and that freedom enriches rather than diminishes. The only things that I lost were shackles – though it did stress my relationships with theistic friends for a number of years. I am fortunate to live in a place and time where having to subscribe to a particular theism is not required to avoid social ostracism, and I feel for people who live in tightly bound faith communities where that is not the case.

    I am writing this so that people who are exploring the world outside of their theistic frame can see that the dragons lines drawn on the edge of their theistic mariner’s maps are not real, that you can if you want step outside of the single theistic frame to see what lies outside of it. You can do it if you want, and in my experience it was one of the best things I ever did. (Mileage may vary from person to person on that one.)

    • Well stated and enjoyable. Very much appreciated. And though I parry with Perry from time to time, I appreciate too that he allows these kinds of comments.

    • Robin Boom says:

      Nicholas, I appreciate your thoughts as a post-evangelical, looking from the outside of religious paradigms. What you have written is not condescending and full of bitterness, unlike a lot of people who have been burned or hurt by their religious pasts and have a huge amount of negative baggage which comes out in what they write.

    • Josey Fergel says:

      And every now and again, that mileage leads one back to Theism. Just sayin’.

  9. Kevin says:

    Some fascinating food for thought in this same ballpark, for any interested. . .

  10. john snakenburg says:

    When will it occur to us that “creation” is what the Creator is trying to teach us .. for a reason. And at the same time we will finally admit that Jesus was not the “sun god”, but instead was a leader in the evolution of the Trade Unions .. along with his wife and children .. and the group of fellow workers taking their movement to the middle class engineers and workers . And, how that evolution lead to the final removal of deified authority and our Democracy. Then we might admit that we have a future and purpose to accept our individual responsibility to govern ourselves under the laws of both science and ethics .. both creating a road to the future. What if God is the life force who is taking us to the future … and we are not just a random scattering of atoms.

  11. Daniel says:

    Have read your book (as I have already told you in a previous post) and thanks for your work.
    I am no scientist and certainly not as intelligently bright as some but a couple of questions came to mind while reading your essay and others posts.
    1. If God can unscientifically make axe heads float, bushes burn with fire and not be harmed, heal the sick, raise the dead, make withered arms grow, make one immune from poisonous snakes and perform other miracles, is it not possible He could create an entire universe from nothing in 7 days?
    2. Would like to know your thoughts on the Summerian account of creation and the Flood. Have you written anything as yet.

    • Daniel,

      I’m 100% fine with miracles. Especially when someone’s there to see them. No problem whatsoever.

      But if the universe is 6000 years old but looks 13 billion years old then that means God’s a liar (makes universes with exquisitely detailed APPEARANCE of billions of years that never actually happened) and I’m not OK with that. It’s a lot easier to realize that Yom means 5 different things and to recognize from the context that all kinds of things happen in the text that take a long time and suggest that a day is not 24 hours. There is no reason for people to get hung up on this. It’s pure legalism to insist that people have to read Genesis that way. It’s a fairly recent (20th century mostly) fad in Christian theology and it’s mostly peculiar to Americans.

      2. I heartily recommend “Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham” by Fischer. Best book I’ve seen on the subject.

      • Daniel says:

        I may be a bit slow but I’ll never know if I don’t ask these questions.
        Don’t know what you mean when you say, “But if the universe is 6000 years old but looks 13 billion years old then that means God’s a liar (makes universes with exquisitely detailed APPEARANCE of billions of years that never actually happened)…”
        God is not the one who made the earth and universe LOOK older (is he); to my mind it is old earth believers who do this don’t they?
        Your answer still doesn’t answer my question.
        If God is known to have performed miracles in the past (witnessed ones) was He not capable of performing miracles when creating the Universe?
        I know you are a wiz at engineering and your book is a work of art. Both are based on science. But does God, who created and established the physical laws, necessarily have to abide by those laws? We know from the bible and witnesses He does not.
        To tell you the truth I am inclined to believe that both sides of the argument, YEC and OEC have valid points. Could it be that both are correct?
        Could God have created the Universe via a miracle to begin with (and also at intervals) but at the same time created the physical laws to ensure its continuation for a specific duration of time?

        Thanks for your recommendation of Fischer book. I will hunt it down.

        And thanks for your mighty work on this website. It allows discussion from all sides and hopefully we all will learn the truth.

        • Daniel,

          If a star is 100 million light years away and you are seeing it now, when did the light leave the star?

          If you see a supernova explode 50 million light years away and you’re just seeing it now, when did it actually explode?

          Are you sure you want to say God made those events appear to happen 50 million years ago, when nothing was actually there at the time and there wasn’t even a universe in the first place?

          The Fischer book is great, although I think it may stretch you a bit in some areas. The guy has some very valuable archaeology and interesting history. His arguments are very careful and he has tremendous respect for scripture.

          And thanks for the kudos. Nice that we can disagree amicably. And in any case, keep exploring and learning. We live in an amazing universe.

          • Daniel says:

            Thanks for your answer. But my thought is it is science explaining away the miracles of God.
            If an axe head floats to the surface of water how does science explain that?
            Let’s see: the axe head was actually there for a million years so that its specific gravity was lost and it eventually floated. No miracle needed.
            I can still understand why YEC believe in a 7 day creation. They believe God can do the impossible. And, doesn’t the bible say that without “faith” it is impossible to please God, not science.
            Also, doesn’t the bible say God will send unbelievers “powerful delusion” in the latter days? Do we really have all the science answers or do we only think we do?
            In this instance God is lying or deluding ungodly people a thing you stated God wouldn’t do but God has done.

            I went ahead and ordered the Fischer book anyway regardless of whether I can understand it or not. I have done 2 years of anthropology and archaeology but gave it up as I didn’t want to dig up bones for the rest of my life.

            Once again thanks for your work because of it the atheists have less and less grounds to stand on.

            Let’s keep our science and faith alive.

            • Daniel,

              If a YEC wants to take things entirely on faith then that is fine. But as soon as you try to call it “Creation Science” then the science part has to be coherent. Some of it most certainly is. I have learned valuable things from EVERY camp in this debate. Unfortunately much of creation science is not coherent.

              • Great observation, Perry. I have always supported people having faith. As I’m deeply agnostic, I acknowledge that many things cannot be known. If faith fills this gap it’s unarguable to me. But when faith spills over into bending facts then I am happy to point out the error.

                • Thank you, and Dennis I am decidedly biased towards the naturalistic explanations. This is because if electrical engineering is science, then I as an EE am a scientist.

                  A guy made a comment the other day about pastors needing to be anonymous here because they’re considering evolution. And that is a problem but the other problem is scientists being threatened by BOTH sides – shamed by pro-design people simply for doing their jobs, and shamed by atheists for bringing a non-reductionist framework to their thinking about science. My sympathies are with the scientists.

                  • Hey Daniel, I just wanted to chime in on one thing you mentioned:

                    “God is not the one who made the earth and universe LOOK older (is he); to my mind it is old earth believers who do this don’t they?”

                    Perhaps some old earth believers are specifically trying to make the world look older than they have reason to think it is. But on the whole, the physical evidence available is indicative of an old world.

                    As Perry pointed out, if we were to observe a supernova explode just now, and it were 50,000,000 light years away, then the physical evidence places the supernova event 50,000,000 years ago (before factoring in expansion, which would indicate the event was probably more recent than that, but still took place tens of millions of years ago).

                    So, if YEC is true and our models for speed of light and cosmic expansion are at least in something resembling the right ballpark, then the implication is that God has created the cosmos to appear contrary to its reality. This, by the way, is why there have been several conversations here in which YEC believers have attempted to disprove the claim that the basal speed of light is a constant.

                    • Daniel says:

                      Thing is, What is reality? As I mentioned to Perry the world of Quantum mechanics and Entanglement “theory” has upset our previous ideas of ‘reality’.
                      As far as light goes do we really know what it is? I know we can see and study it here on earth but do we know exactly what it is? What is its composition?
                      I remember having a vision in our church once of a living brilliant brilliant light trying to make its way through a wall of blackness. When I opened my natural eyes the day light appeared dirty and dull. The bible tells us God is THE light. Light is a peculiar thing I think.
                      Also, do we know for sure the Big Bang theory is correct? No one has ever seen it or produced in a laboratory, and, isn’t true science observation and experiment? Can we even call Cosmology a science?
                      I know we can measure and observe light here on earth. But, we have not observed and measured light 100 million light years away. We have only assumed the light out there is the same as that on earth. And how many times has science ‘assumed’ and been wrong?
                      Why is it we humans think we can assume things when we only have limited knowledge? To be blunt it is our pride, plain and simple.
                      I’ll believe, with reservation,the Old universe theory for now based on available knowledge. However, my mind will remain open to the possibility God created the Universe via a miracle in 7 days.
                      If we don’t believe in miracles can we say we really believe in God?

              • Daniel says:

                We are all trying to find THE truth (atheist and theist) and isn’t that great. Somewhere deep inside us we just want to know. I myself like to keep an open mind. I believe we have learned a lot, but also that we have not learned everything.
                Once we thought we knew about the physical laws of our Universe, then along came quantum mechanics and the mysteries surrounding entanglement theory. My thinking is, we cannot explain the inner cosmos near to us here on earth, how then can we with confidence explain the outer cosmos 100 million light years away?
                And why is our maths inadequate in explaining the mechanics of this Universe (the necessity to include dark matter etc into the equation).
                It is clear to me we don’t know everything and to come to any conclusion at this stage would be foolish. I feel I should close my mouth like Job.
                Does this mean we should all stop seeking and learning? Of course not. I do believe God will reveal His secrets in due time. Perhaps not all of them but some. For as God says to the sea, “Thus far and no further”, so He will say to we humans, “Enough, you are not equipped to assimilate any more data”.
                But until that day I definitely will seek to know the answers and be grateful for those smart and devout scientists and engineers both Christian and non – Christian who labor to make our lives a little more pleasant every day.
                Great work Perry and,
                God bless.

  12. Al Farley says:

    There is one thing that the bible says, that in my opinion, should be taken figuratively. (2 peter 3:8 a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day with god….. and psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.) these 2 verses could easily have said a million or a billion years, but as is is a thousand is simply used to describe a very long time.

  13. David Vollmer says:

    Trying to prove or disprove a scientific understanding of the creation story is pointless and actually displays a lack of faith. The Genesis account was never intended to be a scientific text. Let’s look at the message conveyed by the first chapter of Genesis. What sentence is repeated over and over? “And God saw that it was good.” The point being made by the writer of this part of Genesis: God created a good universe. This idea contrasted with the Babylonian version of creation. The order of creation and the timeline puts the message into a literary context. I could expand on this theme, but I need to keep it simple. Love and grace to all.

    • Daniel says:

      I think it is okay for christian scientists to try to prove the biblical creation story. It is not that their faith lacks but it is a reaction to atheists relentless attack on Christianity and the bible in the first place.
      Does not Romans 1:19-20 say that God is made known in His creation. So then, the more scientists study creation the more God will be revealed to us, therefore confounding the atheist and making him without excuse.
      I myself like to see the creation revealed via science, It tends to enhance my faith as I marvel at the majesty of my God. Perhaps it may even persuade an unbeliever to change his view.
      Doesn’t worry me if an atheist says there is no God, I know in my heart (spirit) there is. We Christians are a people of faith, but, to have knowledge of what our God has created is a part of knowing Him more. And, I want to know my God and every aspect of Him more and more.

      God bless.

  14. Kyle says:

    Sounds very similar to my journey. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Chris says:

    While abiogenesis per se had not yet been demonstrated on the lab, genetic and evolutionary techniques are regularly used to great effect to create electronic circuits and computer software. You can take courses to learn how to do this type of engineering/design.

    Significantly, these processes often result in working circuits and programs of such delicate, subtle, and cryptic, intimately intertangled structure, that nobody understands how or why they work; “they just do.” Often they take advantage of unintended behaviors or evolutionary conditions, using a resistor as an antenna to make use of external electrical noise, or working only because of unintended current leakage between components, or… the list is endless. Of greater interest to this group, complex and interwoven chains and cycles of chemical reactions likewise are observed to arise spontaneously in suffuciently rich solutions.

    Yes, human beings are necessary to set up initial conspiring and choose which iterations “survive” to “reproduce” – – but this is merely one implementation of the general principle. It seems clear that when random chance provides the raw materials and initial conditions, and nature and competition provide the fitness criteria, evolution can quite swiftly find solutions to any particular challenge.

    And the examples above are merely those that are observed on the scale of a few units in a lab over a few hours or days. Imagine the entire Earth (or the Universe) over fourteen billion years. You can’t, really. At that kind of scale, even the most improbable chain of unlikely events becomes inevitable. Remember, it only has to happen ONCE. (As to “Why us? Why here?” No special reason. If not us, here, then *someone else, somewhere else* would be asking these questions! Whoever ends up existing, ends up asking. )

    Abd these are just the things that are observed to happen in a few minutes, hours, or days.

    • Chris,

      Use your full name please.

      All genetic algorithms are designed and they only work if an external agent is giving them goals AND rules to work by. And also they are far from being any kind of design panacea. They require considerable skill to make work. They are little more than a footnote in most modern software programming.

      Your comment about unlikely events is nothing more than throwing up your hands and abdicating to chance, which is not science at all, in fact your entire conclusion is an abdication. Your statement expresses a faith in random chance which is not in any way, shape or form supported by empirical facts. While in fact ALL of life is incredibly purposeful and superior to the very best human technologies. None of which EVER evolve all by themselves.

  16. Ronnie Benyahu says:

    Young Earth IS reasonable, YAHUAH created all of this, there is nothing He can not do, reasonable faith is what the Bible says, quit trying to fit the worlds views into the real story. Yahusha will return and all will be revealed.

  17. Rick Whitford says:

    Genesis 1:1- 2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was (became) without form and void; and darkness was upon the face pf the deep.And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Apparently there was a flood before the six days of creation. This would account for the earth being probably billions of years old or more.

    • The word translated ‘was/became’ is most directly translated to be ‘came about as,’ which could go either way. While it is possible that ‘became’ is the correct meaning, and that a massive flood is the cause of the content in v2, I think the cultural and literary contexts favour ‘was’ and are comfortable having the earth and water on stage before the play begins. If so, then most of the old earth/young earth theories and debates are founded on some bad assumptions that derail the whole point of Genesis.

  18. Duane L Burgess says:

    Understanding Genesis is no different than understanding the rest of the Bible – Exegetical exposition of Scripture. God’s message regarding creation to us is very clear: six literal days, six thousand years ago.
    Any attempt to declare otherwise is to align with the challenge of the Serpent: Oh, hath God said six days and six thousand years?
    The only confusion about Genesis is among those who do not believe, and those who for some reason will not submit to the authority of Scripture.
    If you can’t get Gen. 1:1 right you have no foundation for Christianity or your faith.

    • Genesis 1:2 “clearly” declares that, prior to any of the creative acts taking place (from 1:3 onwards) the earth already existed within the waters of the deep. Even assuming that each day that followed is intended literally and that the genealogies correctly add up to 6,000 years, sandwiched right between 1:1 and 1:3 is physical existence without any time constraints.

      Please show us where the Serpent said: “Oh, hath God said six days and six thousand years?”

  19. Dell Sprague says:

    I was once a YEC, so I can understand the passion they have for the fundamental interpretation of the scriptures preached in churches in the USA. All my Christian friends are all YEC. All of them also have no knowledge or desire to spend the time studying basic Cosmology, Physics, Paleontology, or Geology. They are afraid it will deceive them to doubt God’s Word as they put it. Most will not even discuss OEC reasoning because they can’t deny the evidence presented. Again I admire their faithfulness but I also admire Moslem faithfulness to prayer. Such faith can blur reality and reason.

    Ask a YEC this.. Can God make 1+1=3? Some will say with God all things are possible… but the reality is 1+1=3 is impossible.. but 1+1+1=3 is possible. Like creation from hydrogen atoms to humans in 6 days is impossible physically but in 13.5b years it is. Math just is and physics just is, those realities didn’t have to be created, it’s just how everything works. Creation has to work inside those realities. Every cause for every action that can be described using those realites. I know that seems to put God in a box, but it isn’t. The creation of the universe is still very very amazing and a miracle that is understandable and realistic.

    Faith can be good and bad… it can lead to bondage and prevent simple reasoning… as a suicide bomber thinks.. I do doubt God is pleased with that kind of faith.

    Christians have proven over 2000 years that they are terrible at interpretating the scriptures.. Science and evidence helps us with what writers of the bible didn’t understand or know in their time. History proves that.

  20. Norris Brochet says:

    There are some attention-grabbing closing dates on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There may be some validity but I’ll take maintain opinion till I look into it further.

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