Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the editor


An Open Letter to Ancient Creationists and Theistic Evolutionists
Tom Pittman
P.O. 6539
San Jose, California 95150

I have been reading in the ASA publications a general disdain for the Recent Creation position, references to which are usually accompanied with snide remarks like "The creationist argument is a bit like claiming that because some of the trains are cancelled or run way off schedule, the basic timetable is totally inaccurate" and "Creationism is a slogan seeking to dress itself as a science." 

Now I work very hard to believe true facts and to reject errors. I am a Christian (partly) because I find the historical basis of the resurrection to be irrefutable. On the reliable testimony of my Lord Jesus Christ, I accept the Bible as God's Truth to man.

So when the Creationists adduce scientific facts to support their position and their opponents respond only with ridicule and broad, unsupported generalizations, the scientist in me has little choice but to accept the facts, however unpopular that may be.

The Creationists do indeed claim that the dating methods used by the evolutionists are unreliable and based on circular reasoning. Their arguments cover all of the dating methods I knew about, and many I had never heard of. This is not "some of the trains," it is all of them! What am I to believe? If the creationists are only finding the small minority of problems and ignoring the vast majority of valid datings, then let's see a statistically valid sample that documents that fact. The longer you put off documenting your counter-claims and lean on unscientific ridicule, the more thinking scientists are going to migrate over to where the facts seem to be.

But besides being a scientist, I am a Christian under the authority of the Christ of Scriptures. Many ASA members argue that Christianity does not requires a belief in recent creation (i.e. six 24-hour days). I think I understand two varieties to this argument:

1. The Bible is not a scientific textbook, and any conflicts with accepted science are to be resolved in favor of science. This is the issue in the Inerrancy debate, and I will not press the matter here.

2. The Genesis account, though true and accurate in all that it teaches, does not teach a 144-hour creation period. I do not see how this position can be derived from. the Biblical text. For the assertion to have meaning, it must be falsifiable. That is, if I claim the Genesis account is not intended to specify 144 hours of creation, then I should demonstrate how it might have been stated, had the author so intended, and show that the actual text is different from that. Try as I may, I cannot come up with any wording in the language available to the author of Genesis that more specifically limits the creation period to 144 hours than the way it is stated, though I can find many ways to make it less specific. Perhaps philologists or Hebrew scholars among ASA members and friends can help me out here. Failing that, I must conclude that the author did indeed intend to teach a 144-hour creation.

I eagerly await any published or private reply to these two issues.