Arbitrariness and Inconsistency – the Opposites of Rationality

We live in a world where many people simply do not reason rationally. They are not able to make a good, cogent argument for their position. This is sometimes seen in political or religious arguments. Such debates often have more heat than light. People have very strong opinions, and voice them with fervor. But often their arguments are simply not rational! The conclusions do not follow from the premises. Why is this? And what can we do about it?

Most schools no longer teach logic. Perhaps that is part of the reason why people are often so illogical; they have never learned. But I suggest that the root cause is even deeper. To be logical is to think in a way that is consistent with the nature of God. Logic is a reflection of the way God thinks, and the way He expects us to think. That is why laws of logic are universal and unchanging; they reflect that aspect of God. As our culture has increasingly rejected biblical authority, it stands to reason that people will increasingly reject logic. A rejection of logical reasoning shows up in two ways: arbitrariness and inconsistency.

Arbitrariness

To be arbitrary means “to not have a reason.” When you decide to wear a red shirt rather than a blue one, and you really don’t have a reason, such a decision is arbitrary. Or when you decide to drink grape juice instead of orange juice, if you have no specific reason in mind, then your choice is arbitrary. We make countless arbitrary and often unconscious choices every day. Did you start walking with your left foot or your right? It really doesn’t matter too much one way or the other.

There is nothing wrong with such a whimsical attitude when it comes to the subjective preferences. However, when consequences matter, we had better have a good reason for our choice. The decision of whether or not to wear a parachute when jumping from a plane will have a profound effect on the outcome. And so this is not a decision that we would want to leave to the flip of a coin. A jumper has a very good reason to wear the parachute: it will save his life. His decision is not arbitrary.

Likewise, when it comes to logic, we are not permitted to be arbitrary. This is the whole point of rational debate. The goal is to show that we have a good reason for our position, and that it is not arbitrary. In a debate, to be arbitrary is to concede defeat. It is to say, “I don’t really have a good reason for my position.”

Whenever a person says something like this, “I believe X and you should too”, there will be a natural question on the part of the hearer: “Why? Why do you believe X and why should I?” Now if the person is not able to give a reason for his belief in X, then there is no reason why the hearer shouldn’t believe the exact opposite.

Beliefs should always have a reason. The more important the belief, the more crucial it is to have a good reason, because the consequences are more devastating if you are wrong. Little children don’t often recognize this. They tend to be very arbitrary. They firmly believe there is a monster in the closet, and they act on their belief by pulling the bed sheets over their head. Do they have a good reason for their belief? Of course not. Children are irrational, and we expect this from them. As people grow up, we are supposed to become rational. We are supposed to learn to have good reasons for our beliefs. And we are supposed to discard beliefs that don’t have good reasons. This is the mark of rationality.

You may think that this is all perfectly obvious. And most of the time, it is. But in debates on origins, politics, and religion, you will find that people are often very arbitrary. And you will actually have to explain to them that this is not rational. They are supposed to be giving a good reason for their beliefs, not just stating them and getting upset when you don’t agree. The whole point of a debate is to see which side has the best reason for their respective position.

Inconsistency

The other mark of rationality is consistency. Truth is always self-consistent. Therefore, if a person makes two claims that are inconsistent with each other, we can be certain that at least one of them is false. And it is irrational to believe something that must be false. A rational person’s beliefs and claims therefore will be self-consistent.

The most obvious types of inconsistency are those which are outright contradictions. Clearly, if a person says, “Aliens do exist and it is not the case that aliens exist,” then he is in error. His thinking is inconsistent and thus irrational. Of course, not all apparent contradictions are actually contradictions. The hypothetical individual above might clarify that he is using the term “alien” in two different senses. Perhaps he believes that extra-terrestrial aliens to not exist, but illegal aliens do. There would be no inconsistency there. A contradiction is “A” and “not-A” at the same time and in the same sense.

Outright contradictions are rarely stated as explicitly as above. Nor are they often stated back-to-back as above. If they were, they would be immediately obvious, and the debate would be over. Instead contradictions tend to be separated by time, or obscured in terminology. This can make them difficult to spot. Most forms of inconsistency are not outright contradictions. “I voted for the war before I voted against it” is not an outright contradiction, but it certainly seems inconsistent.

Another form of inconsistency is the behavioral inconsistency. This occurs when a person’s actions do not match his or her words. I often notice this in evolutionists who teach that people are just the accidental result of chemistry working over long periods of time, and really no different than an animal. But then they expect people to act morally, and to be treated respectfully, as if people had fundamental value, and are not just chemical accidents.

Perhaps you have heard someone say, “morality is relative. So you cannot go around telling other people what they can and cannot do.” But simply by making the statement, this person is “telling other people what they can and cannot do.” The statement is self-refuting.

Christians can be very inconsistent as well. If asked how they know that Christ was raised from the dead when it is not known scientifically how that could be possible, many Christians would rightly respond, “God can do as He wishes. He is not bound by laws of nature. And we know Christ was raised from the dead because it is recorded in the pages of Scripture. The text is clear.” But then again, when asked about the age of the Earth, many of those same Christians would respond, “well, the scientists say it’s billions of years old. So, maybe the days in Genesis weren’t really ‘days.’” This is very inconsistent reasoning.

Logical fallacies are marks of inconsistency. Fallacies are arguments that may sound logical on the surface, but in fact are not. Fallacies tend to be persuasive. That is why they are so common. As one example, many evolutionists try to argue their position (that all life is descended from a common ancestor) by showing examples of adaptation or variation within a kind. These are two different concepts. But since the term “evolution” can be applied to either one, evolutionists sometimes think that they have proved the former definition by giving an example of the latter. This is called the fallacy of equivocation, or the “bait-and-switch” fallacy. The meaning of the term (“evolution” in this case) was used in an inconsistent way.

Conclusion

A logical person is rigorously consistent, and always has a good reason for what he or she believes. If a person’s thinking is inconsistent, then we know the person cannot be (completely) right since truth will always be self-consistent. Contradictions and other less severe types of inconsistency are marks of irrationality. These indicate that the person has not been a careful thinker. Internal inconsistency within a claim necessarily means that the position is unreliable at best.

Arbitrariness is at least as bad as inconsistency. The inconsistent person is using bad reasoning. The arbitrary person is not using reasoning at all. To be arbitrary is to not have a reason. It is to have an immature, childlike way of believing in something for no good reason at all. Christians have a moral obligation to be rational: to think and behave in a way that is consistent with the character of God. And we need to challenge unbelievers to be rational as well.

273 Responses to Arbitrariness and Inconsistency – the Opposites of Rationality

  1. Kenny says:

    Dr. Lisle,
    According to what I understand, in ASC, position is determined by an observer’s relationship to the movement of the light. Any two observers are said to be in the same position, if they hold the same relationship to the movement of light. This is irrespective of their geographical location. For example, when light travels from point A to point B, an observer at point B would be at the inward directed position. If another observer B2 was one mile further behind B, but on the same line, he would also be at the inward directed position. This should hold true for other points as well.

    We can set up three points like the three points on a scalene triangle. The points are A, B and C, where A is an obtuse angle.

    There are two LED clocks, one at point A and one at point B. Both clocks are pointed at A, so that point A is at the inward directed position. An observer stands at point A and synchronizes the two clocks. Under ASC the clocks are now truly synchronized.

    Then the clocks are slightly turned, so that they both point at point C. Now C is at the inward directed position. When an observer stands at C and looks at the clocks, under ASC he will see the clocks are synchronized.

    Finally, the two clocks are turned towards point B. Now, B is at the inward directed position. When an observer stands at point B he will see that the clocks are synchronized.

    In this test there are NO simultaneous observations.

    The only ways that this test will not work is if it can be shown that the different points have not become the inward directed position or that the time on the clocks was somehow changed with the less than 180° turns. On the first one, the two clocks are shining their light in different physical directions for each observation, there are NO simultaneous observations and we are not using reflections. On the second point, we have not moved the clocks from their original locations, so clock transport is not an issue and the timing of the clocks should not have been altered.

    God Bless

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Kenny,

      One thing I apparently haven’t explained clearly enough is what position-based synchronization means. Under the physics of relativity, synchronization is relative – meaning it is observer-dependent. If a person P calculates that two clocks are synchronized, then person Q will not (in general) calculate that the same two clocks are synchronized. I’m not talking about merely what they “see”, but rather what they conclude based on what they see AND having subtracted off any light travel time.

      So if observer P says, “Clocks 1 and 2 are synchronized.” Then it is fallacious to assume that observer Q will also conclude that they are synchronized. In general, observer Q who has a different position and velocity than P will say, “No, clocks 1 and 2 are not synchronized.” Synchronization is observer-dependent. I realize that’s counter-intuitive, but it is mathematically provable under relativistic physics.

      By selecting a synchrony convention, you can reduce the relativistic nature of synchronization; but you cannot eliminate it. A synchrony convention will allow you to get a group of different observers with a property in common to agree on whether any two clocks are synchronized. But observers who do not have that property will still disagree.

      Under ESC, all observers who have exactly the same velocity will agree on whether or not any two clocks are synchronized. But observers with different velocities will not agree. So if person P says, “these two clocks are synchronized”, what will person Q conclude? If he has exactly the same velocity as P he will agree, “yes, they are synchronized.” But if he has any other velocity, then he will say, “no, they are not synchronized.”

      Under ASC, all observers who have exactly the same POSITION will agree on whether or not any two clocks are synchronized. But observers with different positions will not agree. So if person P says, “these two clocks are synchronized”, what will person Q conclude? If he has exactly the same position as P he will agree, “yes, they are synchronized.” But if he has any other position, then he will say, “no, they are not synchronized.”

      You state, “Any two observers are said to be in the same position, if they hold the same relationship to the movement of light. This is irrespective of their geographical location.” No, position has the ordinary meaning of “location in space.” Two people have the same position (approximately) if they can shake hands. Otherwise, they do not. So, in your thought experiment, A, B, and C have different positions. Therefore, under ASC they will NOT agree on whether or not the two clocks at A and B are synchronized.

      So, using ASC, if observer A computes that clocks A and B are synchronized, observer B and C will say, “no, they are not synchronized.” The reason: they have different positions. Under ASC, only observers at the same position agree on clock synchronization. And so when you say, “When an observer stands at C and looks at the clocks, under ASC he will see the clocks are synchronized” – that violates the conditions of ASC. Under ASC, there is no reason to make that assumption since C has a different position than A.

      Now, if A, B, and C have the same velocity, there is a way you could get all three of them to agree on whether or not any two clocks are synchronized – you could use ESC. Under ESC, if person A computes that two clocks are synchronized, then B and C will agree. So, when you assumed that B and C would observe that the clocks are synchronized simply on the basis that A observes this, you were tacitly assuming ESC. There is nothing wrong with assuming ESC, unless that is the very thing you are trying to prove. If you are trying to prove ESC or disprove ASC, to simply assume ESC at the outset is to “beg the question.”

      If you apply the ASC standard consistently (i.e. do not assume that two clocks are synchronized relative to B or C simply because they are synchronized relative to A), you will find that it works consistently. It will make exactly the same predictions about what A, B, and C “see” as ESC does. The only difference will be what we call “synchronized.”

      Make sense?

  2. Kenny says:

    Dr. Lisle,
    My trouble is that I believe that, in the last case I presented, I have put each point at the inward-directed position. A, B and C have had the LED clocks turned, so that they shine directly towards these points. Observers at these points are not observing the light traveling away from or perpendicular to them. The observers are not observing simultaneously.

    For right now I have just one question, though I’ve asked it two different ways.

    By changing the direction of the clocks, so that they both face a given observer, when that observer is making observations, how have I not put each (at their time of observation) at the inward-directed position (the common property)?

    How have I not changed the angle of the light, so that θ = 0?

    “In particular, we find that an observer-centric anisotropic synchrony convention eliminates the distant starlight problem by reducing radially inward-directed light travel-time in the reference frame of the observer to zero.”

    “Most significantly, ASC reduces the inward-directed light travel-time to zero.”

    “If we select ASC, then we have declared that light is essentially infinitely fast when moving directly toward the observer, and ½c when moving directly away. Under ASC, the speed of light as a function of direction relative to the observer (θ) is given by cθ = c/(1-cos(θ)), where θ = 0 indicates the direction directly toward the observer.”

    P.S. I said, “Any two observers are said to be in the same position, if they hold the same relationship to the movement of light. This is irrespective of their geographical location,” This is based on the quotes above. Under ASC, as long as you are at the inward-directed position, there is nothing (no light travel time, no angle to the observation and no clock transportation) to change the way you will see the ticking of the two stationary clocks.

    • Preston says:

      Hi Kenny,

      I’m still trying to understand ESC vs. ASC, and Dr. Lisle has pointed out some references to me, some of which I have yet to read. But one thing occurred to me as I read your post that may be pertinent to our questions. You know that in special relativity there is a slowing of time with increased velocity that is according to the Lorentz transform. So in ESC we are aware of and expect observers to have different rates of time. Apparently with ASC, there are also observer dependent time effects, but they are not according to 1/sqr(1-v^2/c^2).

      The article on ‘Twin Paradox’ on Wikipedia states “In a sense, during the U-turn the plane of simultaneity jumps from blue to red and very quickly sweeps over a large segment of the world line of the Earth-based twin. The traveling twin reckons that there has been a jump discontinuity in the age of the Earth-based twin.” This takes a bit of digesting since it is very different from the ESC approach. The twin paradox article isn’t necessarily addressing ASC vs. ESC, but that statement alone appears to demonstrate some of the expected effects of Minkowski space.

      Dr. Lisle has stated that ASC is a convention that by definition does not allow observers in different positions to synchronize their clocks, and yet we are trying to synchronize clocks and test the convention.

      So the issue in our ideas for tests is that the tests are essentially questioning the definition. In the particular tests we’ve been discussing, when observer B sees observer A’s clock, and sets his clock, the time it takes him to set the clock will vary in such a way that synchronization is impossible. In other words, if observer B is one light week away from observer A, it would take him/his equipment a week to change the setting on his clock. If observer B is a light year away from observer A, it would take him a year to change the setting on his clock. So that the clocks can not be synchronized as if the time it took was negligible. This is so different than ESC that it is hard to make the leap. Time dilation in the ASC convention still exists but is different than in ESC because it is position dependent.

      So when Observer B is setting his clock, he must know that “I’m a light week away from Observer A, so I must factor in the week time that is due to my position”. If Observer B was a light year away, then a year discontinuity would occur and have to be taken into account . Since the observer must take into account the time discontinuity, the results are expected to be the same in ASC as ESC. When we were saying that Observer B sees the time instantaneously from Observer A’s clock, that was correct, but then we assumed that Observer B’s clock could be set instantaneously or in the same time frame that Observer A’s time was passing. (Imagine two people in different gravitational fields attempting to synchronize clocks – the rates themselves are different, so how would you define the synchronized rate?)

      In ESC we’re used to time dilation effects being smooth over a velocity curve, but in ASC the time dilation effect is likely to be smooth over a distance (or position) curve.

      In ESC there is a jump, or discontinuity, in the rate that time passes from stationary to any arbitrary velocity up to c. In ASC there is apparently a jump or discontinuity in the rate that time passes from one position to any other arbitrary position. The twin paradox article also implies not just different rates, but discontinuities; the full implication of which I have yet to understand.

      Does this make sense? What do you think?

      Thank you Dr. Lisle for your patience!

      Best regards,
      Preston

      • Preston says:

        I just realized that what I described in the post above doesn’t at all address the speed of light in two directions. Perhaps the concepts I attributed to the receiving observer’s frame of reference and time discontinuities could just as easily be attributed to the light traveling from that observer’s frame of reference.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Kenny,

      The confusion seems to center around the meaning of the angle theta and what it means to be “inward directed” or “outward directed.” I don’t fully understand how you are using theta. But it is not the way I’m using it. The reason I know this is because you refer to the way the clocks are rotated, as if that affected theta. But the way I’ve defined it, it doesn’t affect theta, at least not from the emitter’s point of view. So let me try to come up with a better description of what angle I’m referring to in my model.

      Imagine a bicycle wheel. The observer is at the central hub of the wheel. And of course there are spokes that connect the hub to the rim. Suppose these are exactly perpendicular to the rim, and go to the center of the hub. Pick a point (p) along one of those spokes. Imagine that a photon is at that position (p) moving in some arbitrary direction. The angle theta is the angle between the velocity vector of the light, and the spoke. Theta is zero if the light is travelling right down the spoke directly toward the hub. Theta is 180° if the light is moving along the spoke away from the hub. Theta will have an intermediate value if the light is not parallel to the spoke.

      If the observer at the central hub turns on his flashlight, it really doesn’t matter which way he aims it. The angle theta will be 180° because the light will travel directly along a spoke. If he turns a different direction, the light will still travel directly down a (different) spoke. So light emitted by any observer is always outward directed and theta is always 180°. Likewise, it doesn’t matter which way the LED clocks are turned. Their light is outward directed relative to the observer at the source, and so the angle is 180°. By the same reasoning, any light I receive must always be inward-directed (otherwise it would miss me).

      I’m sorry for the confusion. Does it make sense now?

  3. Kenny says:

    Hi Preston,

    You bring up time dilation, but Dr. Lisle doesn’t seem to use any time dilation. The light really travels to us at infinite speed and travels away from us at 1/2c, so the universe is really only thousands of years old, today. When you introduce time dilation (Humphreys and I believe Hartnett, in an opposite ways), you have a universe that has gone through billions of years of aging. Humphreys has time on earth running normal, but the universe developing super fast. Hartnett has the universe developing normally, but time on earth running super slow, until creation is completed. These are not part of Dr. Lisle’s model.

    Here is what Dr. Lisle said to you before:
    “If I am standing at clock A and see it as having the same time as clock B, do I choose to call it synchronized? If yes, then I am using ASC. If I say, “no, they do APPEAR synchronized, but I choose to regard the one-way speed of light as c. And so it has taken two seconds for the light to get from there to here. Thus, my clock is two seconds behind B” then I am using ESC.”

    So, according to Dr. Lisle, in ASC they do not just appear to be synchronized, they really are. When A observes clock B he is seeing it in real time, not due time dilation, but because light is infinitely fast in his direction. The light from both clocks are traveling to A at infinite speed, so he just adjusts his own clock and they are set. Dr. Lisle has already agreed to this. I believe that under ASC, once A has set the clocks, anyone in an inward-directed position (where θ = 0) should see the clocks the same way. If you are in any other position they will look different.

    I fully agree with Dr. Lisle that in his model, anyone not at an angle where θ = 0 will see the clocks reading differently. I just, at this point, do not see why we cannot change the lights direction, therefore allowing us to make other points where θ = 0. This is where my P.S. comes in.

    I hope I am not completely misunderstanding you.

    • Preston says:

      Hi Kenny,

      My writing about time dilation was for a couple of reasons. One is that experimental results of gravitational and velocity based time dilation are available that make me comfortable with the effects and I assumed perhaps that you were approaching the topic from the same perspective. See for example the Hafele–Keating experiment. Time dilation does occur regardless of synchronizing method. So I thought considering the model as an effect of essentially a binary time dilation would help convey my main point. Secondly, even though Dr. Lisle hasn’t mentioned time dilation, it seems as though time dilation effects would have to be viewed differently under ASC than under ESC. Dr. Lisle referenced a source that gives Maxwell’s equations under ASC which probably gives more insight, but I have not yet obtained the full reference.

      The main point I was trying to convey was – ASC is not testable because the results of tests of two way light speed are expected to be the same under ASC and ESC. The only one way light speed confirmation is the one Dr. Lisle depends on – God told us when he created and despite the great distances we can see the results now.

      When we do any two way light test the results are expected to be the same whether in ASC or ESC, so no test can distinguish which convention is correct. And one paper Dr. Lisle referred me to reported that to date all one way light test attempts have been proven to actually be two way light tests. The only way to do a one way light test is to know when the light was transmitted without ever synchronizing clocks. My understanding is only the fact that God told us when he created the stars, and the fact that we can see the light now assures us of the one way speed of light. Dr. Lisle’s ASM, which incorporates ASC expects other confirming evidence such as “young” blue stars.

      My understanding is that developing a test for one way light speed is impossible by definition. A paper Dr. Lisle referenced – John Winnie’s ‘Special relativity without one-way velocity assumptions’ described attempts to test the one way speed of light, all of which had later been shown to actually test the two way speed.

      I still have a lot to learn about these things, but wanted to describe what I think I know. If I’m wrong and you or Dr. Lisle feel inclined to correct me then I’ll benefit. And if I’m right about anything perhaps my student-like perspective may help others in some way. I am looking forward to learning more about ASC. Unfortunately many of the papers I would like are very expensive from the various publishers.

      Many times I see the speed of light in a vacuum designated as c0, with the expectation that the speed of light is slower in matter. But some articles ascribe the change of the speed of light in matter to phase vs. group velocity rather than a slowing of the electromagnetic propagation itself. Some researchers are publishing that single individual photons have “precursors” that precede them which travel at c0 even in matter. Reading anything about these topics seem to turn up contradicting perspectives. Some articles describe the fact that light takes longer to travel in a gravitational field – the Shapiro effect – and the theory that light can be stopped in a black hole would seem to support it. Other articles imply that light speed is constant even in non-inertial frames, but that it is space/distance that is changed. Unfortunately, as with the evolution topic, definitions are often fuzzy. The current state of academia surely doesn’t hold a candle to the bible for authority and reliability.

      Best regards,
      Preston

    • Preston says:

      Hi Kenny,

      Some further thoughts about this. You wrote “Here is what Dr. Lisle said to you before: ‘If I am standing at clock A and see it as having the same time as clock B, do I choose to call it synchronized? If yes, then I am using ASC. If I say, no, they do APPEAR synchronized, but I choose to regard the one-way speed of light as c. And so it has taken two seconds for the light to get from there to here. Thus, my clock is two seconds behind B’ then I am using ESC.’
      So, according to Dr. Lisle, in ASC they do not just appear to be synchronized, they really are.”

      If I understand correctly, while observer A sees the clocks as showing the same time, observer B sees his clock time 4 seconds ahead of observer A. B considers that the light from his clock traveled to A in 4 seconds and the light from A traveled to him in 0 seconds, and he knows that observer A will set his clock to what he sees. If this is the case, then to say “they really are synchronized” has different meanings to the two observers. Observer A says they “really are” synchronized when the clocks show the same time, but observer B says they “really are” synchronized when his clock reads 4 seconds ahead of observer A’s clock. Thus ASC’s “synchronized” does not have reciprocity. The convention requires the observer to agree on who is A and who is B.

      If I understand correctly, the Lord was giving us observer A’s perspective. From our perspective the light from the stars appeared when God created them in their distant places. From our perspective, when we shine our flashlights up into the night sky, the light will take 28 billion years to reach the stars that are 14 billion light years away. From the newly created stars perspective, their light can not yet reach us because it will take 28 billion years from their perspective to reach us, but your flashlight’s beam already reached them.

      So ASC has two perspectives that are not equivalent. In the ASC system we have to be observer A, because we do see starlight. We consider the star’s perspective in which that light could not yet reach us. So time dilation is likely not a good description, but the passage of time certainly appears observer dependent. ASC appears to be a description of the biblical timeline, and the earth and the universe were unquestionably created about 6000 years ago. But how can our limited minds truly understand the physical universe in which we see light that, from the star’s perspective, has not yet reached us?

      Is this a correct understanding of ASC?

      Best regards,
      Preston

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        Exactly right regarding the experiment, and ASC from earth’s point of view. The interesting thing is that from the stars’ point of view, the earth would be created after the stars. Whereas, from earth’s point of view, the stars are made later – on day 4. They have different positions, and therefore different definitions of “simultaneous.”

        • The interesting thing is that from the stars’ point of view, the earth would be created after the stars

          …and now Jason can you please tell Preston this: From the point of view of a typical galaxy how long after its creation does the Earth appear be to created? Don’t worry about significant figures – a log value will do!

          • Kenny says:

            Timothy,

            For galaxies that would first see earth, under ASC, it would appear to be created 8-16 minutes after the galay/stars.

            Only the galaxies which see the sun aproximately between them and the earth will see the earth. The sun’s light has to travel to the earth and then bounce off of it. In this configuration, the light from the sun moves towards the earth (depending on the angle of the observing galaxy in relation to the light’s motion) at somewhere between c and 1/2c. At c, the light takes about 8 minutes to reach earth and at 1/2c the light will take 16 minutes. After the sun’s light bounces off of the earth, it travels towards observers, in those egalaxies, instantly.

            • Kenny says:

              That would be “galaxy/stars.”

              • Kenny says:

                Timothy,

                I just want to be clear that I’m coming at this from a hypothetical position, because the earth is too small to be seen from another galaxy.

                With this in mind, there would be galaxies that would see the earth as soon as THEY were created. If from their point of view the earth was transiting the sun they would instantly see the earth as a black spot crossing in front of the sun. Since the sun’s light is traveling directly towards the observing galaxy, the sun’s light and the dark spot would appear instantly.

                I believe Dr. Lisle’s last statement had in mind the idea of the light first reflecting off of the earth. Therefore, to the some stars, the earth appears to be created after them.

              • So Kenny, am I to understand that that is the answer which convinces you?

                • Kenny says:

                  Timothy,
                  No! I’m an old-earth creationist. I was just what telling you what Dr. Lisle’s ASC theory would say.

                  I also wanted to correct myself. Because the earth is a sphere, a more correct statement would be that most galaxies would see some evidence for the earth between insatntly and 16 minutes. There would be a large fraction that would not see earth until it revolved around the sun to a point that it reflected some of the sun’s light in their direction.

                  • Thanks for the reply, Kenny

                    I think Jason will tell you (and at one level I agree with him) that he is simply using a (Biblical) coordinate transformation on a straight Einstein space-time. However, gravitational issues do emerge eventually (as we shall see in due time). But running with Jason’s maneuver as simply a coordinate transformation, questions still arise that threaten his ASC model. I’ll look at these at some date on my blog.

                    So you’re old Earth like me! I have lot of respect for William Dembski and friends (and also Hank Hannegraph) although I wouldn’t say I’m entirely at one with the way ID is being handled by his community. However, sad to say that as far strict and particular fundamentalists are concerned a state of war exists between us!

                    • Preston says:

                      Mr. Reeves,
                      Your war is with God, and you’ve already lost. You should read your bible and believe it and repent before its too late. A lake of fire and eternal suffering await those who reject God till the end.

                    • xerkon says:

                      The comment below didn’t have a “reply” link. Mr. Reeves, you will be fine. It’s funny how questioning a YEC leads to a war with God–one that you’ve already lost, no less! What a predicament. I’ve read my Bible and come to believe that God is bigger than every one of these theories. Here is my theory: There won’t be a single person who gets to heaven and says, “Ya, that’s what I thought!” And if there is no heaven or hell? Well, none of this matters. It’s a win win situation.

        • Preston says:

          Hi Dr. Lisle,
          Thanks for the feedback – its encouraging to think at least I’m on the right track.

          When you say “from the stars’ point of view, the earth would be created after the stars”, is that because Observer B’s time reference frame always precedes Observer A’s time reference frame by 2*distance/c?

          As an example let me choose a galaxy B 14 billion light years away. Galaxy B is created on earth day 4. The following day when God creates observer Adam, he immediately sees galaxy B. From galaxy B’s perspective, even though incoming light travels instantaneously, B will not see the earth for 28 billion years. This is because B always instantly sees incoming light, and that incoming light always lags B by 2 * distance / c. Is that correct?

          Oftentimes, different conventions are explaining the same thing. For instance a building may be designed using both metric units or English units, but the finished buildings will be identical. In this case though the synchronization is by convention, the things being described are very different. We see light from all the stars and galaxies from closest to furthest away at exactly the same age. If big bangers adopted ASC, they would still expect to see all the stars and galaxies at ages ranging from 0 to 14 billion years old. Because they think the universe is roughly 14 billion years old and they think that somewhere in the universe stars are currently forming. Is that correct?

          Thanks very much!

          Best regards,
          Preston

          • Preston says:

            Correction – two days later God created observer Adam.

            Also, just considered how ASM explains the light not being created in transit from either earth or the star’s perspective. The light over the full billions of light years distance really does contain information about actual events.

            • Dr. Lisle says:

              Yes – that’s it exactly.

            • Kenny says:

              Wait a minute Preston,

              Dr. Lisle, did you just tell Preston that his statement was correct?
              “As an example let me choose a galaxy B 14 billion light years away. Galaxy B is created on earth day 4. The following day when God creates observer Adam, he immediately sees galaxy B. From galaxy B’s perspective, even though incoming light travels instantaneously, B will not see the earth for 28 billion years. This is because B always instantly sees incoming light, and that incoming light always lags B by 2 * distance / c. Is that correct?”

              This statement would only be correct if galaxy B were relying on its own light output to reveal the earth. This is because galaxy B’s light would travel away from it, in the direction of the earth, at 1/2c. Then it would reflect off of the earth back towards galaxy B instantly.

              As I pointed out to Timothy, the sun’s light will reveal it, to galaxy B and most other galaxies, between instantly and 16 minutes.

              • Good! I see above that 28 billion years has popped out of the space-time wood work!
                Yes; since Earth’s creation signals from Earth have only got about 3000 light years into space! That means right now a good part of the universe can only see about half a universe! BTW Kenny: Don’t mix coordinate systems: We’re currently defining “now” in terms of signal reception at the surface of the Earth, as per the Biblical example.

                • Kenny says:

                  Timothy,

                  Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but the discussion is about the signal reception at a distant galaxy, not earth. In ASC it does not matter where an observer is, light follows the same rules. If it is traveling towards a galaxy, the light is seen in an instant. I cannot think of a place where you would only see part of the universe.
                  Dr. Lisle told me earlier:
                  “Under ASC, relative to any observer, inward directed light is instantaneous, and outward directed light is ½ c. This is always the case (in vacuum) and is true for any given observer, whether on the moon, on earth, whether at A or B.”

                  • Hi Kenny.

                    It goes like this.

                    If we use Earth as a reference planet for ASC we are using a coordinate system whereby we date events as and when their signals reach Earth. For example, if a signal from the planet Alderaan in a galaxy far, far away (14 billion light years according to Preston) made Earth fall last Wednesday at 6pm, then all events that occurred on the line of sight as the signal passed by are dated, by convention, as 6pm last Wednesday. This is a perfectly legitimate way of dating events. But using this otherwise valid coordinate convention we find that electromagnet signals leaving Earth do so at a velocity of c/2, implying that signals from us, as our brother in Christ Preston has informed us, won’t reach Alderaan for 28 billion years!

                    Now, it is possible for us to use instead planet Alderaan as the ASC reference planet to date cosmic events. That is, we assign cosmic dates as and when electromagnet signals from these events make planet fall on Alderaan. In which case we find the infinite asymmetry in light speed skewed toward Alderaan, although in contrast we then find that signals from Alderaan take 28 billion years to reach Earth!

                    But in the above scenario we are using two different coordinate systems: One system uses Earth as the reference planet to date events and the other uses Alderaan as the reference planet to date events. It’s bad practice to use both systems at once as this leads to inconsistency and confusion. However, whichever coordinate system we choose to use we find that one or the other returns a duration of 28 billion years for outgoing signals to reach the planet that is not the reference planet…….Unless..… unless we postulate that one of the planets fails to get light from the other. As we seem to be receiving light from 14 billion light years away I assume Alderaan isn’t seeing light from us – which may explain why we get Star Wars and Alderaan doesn’t.

                    Did you read Mr. Preston’s comment about the lake of fire? Typical! And then he wonders why I talk about a state of war! That’s exactly the kind of behavior I have in mind when I use the expression “state of war”!

                    • Kenny says:

                      Timothy,

                      Preston clearly said, “From galaxy B’s perspective, even though incoming light travels instantaneously, B will not see the earth for 28 billion years. This is because B always instantly sees incoming light, and that incoming light always lags B by 2 * distance / c. Is that correct?”

                      So, he wants to know what galaxy B will see, not what observers on earth will see. What you are describing is what we will see. From our perspective, light from earth has not reached galaxy B, but from galaxy B’s perspective, our light reached it long ago.

                      If Preston had asked, “from earth’s perspective, has galaxy B seen us yet,” then I would agree.

                      You are using earth as the reference point, but Preston did not do this.

                    • Kenny says:

                      Timothy,

                      ASC works the same for everyone, everywhere. Light leaving galaxy B will be seen by galaxy B at 1/2c, but will be seen by us as infinite. Light leaving earth will be seen by us at 1/2c, but by galaxy B as infinite. If you look at my first couple of posts, Dr. Lisle states this, when I asked him about light reflecting off of the moon.

          • Hello Mr Preston,
            And I suppose William Dembski and Hank Hannegraph also get thrown into the Lake of fire? I treat your empty and conceited religious threats with utter contempt in the light of the precious Grace of God to all those who call on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:5) and have received the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15). Start reading your Bible in the Spirit.

            • Kenny says:

              Yes, I saw Preston’s comments. You are claiming to be a Christian by faith in Jesus, so he has no reason to doubt that.

              I take the creation days as literal long periods of time and that Genesis is describing real history. I for one have never been convinced by the appeal to ancient near eastern “parallels” or their ways of thinking. Their creation texts are not at all like Genesis one.

              I would get into the exegesis of Creation days 1, 2 and 4, but I want to get this ASC thing settled in my mind.

              • Hi Kenny,

                The core issue here has very little to do with what B (on Alderaan) or an observer on Earth actually see; rather it’s about the coordinate systems these observers employ to label points/events in the “space–time manifold” (to use the technical term). Therefore to my mind both yourself and Preston are getting the wrong end of the stick.

                In fact it is quite possible for our Alderaan observer to use Earth as a reference planet and vice versa! A reference planet is not defined by the presence of an actual observer but by the use of that planet to time cosmic events; Viz: Using Jason’s ASC cosmic events are timed using the arrival time of signals from those events at the surface of the reference planet.

                My point is that one can’t mix coordinate systems; yes one can use Alderaan or Earth as a reference planet – in that sense ASC will work from any point in the cosmos; as you have said above it works for all! But when timing events one must state which ASC-coordinate system one is using – either that centered on Alderaan or that centered on Earth. When one uses a particular ASC reference system one finds, as Preston has discovered, that points/events still pop out of the space-time manifold separated by durations of billions of years!

                However, whether or not these points/events in the space-time manifold are regarded as a reality or are just theoretical is all down to how Jason handles them in his ASC model. (As opposed to ASC pure and simple). And that’s where I get interested because this is where we are going to find issues with Jason’s ideas along with that of gravity.

                Re: My claim to being a Christian My claim to saving spirituality is nearly as worthless as Brother Preston’s vacuous and threatening fulminations. More to the point is what God claims about me: Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies…. Romans 8:33

                • Kenny says:

                  Timothy,
                  I completely agree. Again, my only point was that Preston switched his coordinate from Adam on earth to “galaxy B’s perspective.” And that he ignored the sun, which is a light source, so that galaxy B would actually see us instantaneously. From Adam’s perspective, 28 billion years is correct.

            • Hi Kenny, I’ve picked up our continuing discussion below.

            • XERKON: Thanks for your support and the general tenor of what you say! But there appear to be YECs and YECs. Some YECs like Paul Nelson and a good friend of mine are perfectly reasonable and rational. But there is another class that I group together with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Conspiracy theorists and numerous other sectarian realisations of Christianity that I have made a study of. So I’m very used to religious abuse; it’s part of the job! But thanks anyway for your valued assurance!

  4. Kenny says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    I have not forgotten to respond to your last post to me. I have understood everything you been saying. The communication breakdown seems to be on my end.

    I’m trying to figure out how to restate my position. I will include the spokes.

  5. Ray says:

    Hi Dr. Lisle,
    I’m sorry to bother you off topic but I kind of need advise. My son has been home schooled up to this year. He is in 9th grade and what do ya know? They are teaching details of the big bang and how it all started. We have always read a lot of material from AiG and ICR, so are familiar with the basic problems with the big bang and why it doesn’t fit with the Bible. I was wondering though if you would have something that would give the basics of your cosmology or another Creationist one that might help my son and I. Maybe it’s enough to just know some of the problems. I’m just a little concerned I guess that he will get a little messed up, although he seems to think it is all pretty stupid. So that’s good. Thanks

    • Preston says:

      Hi Ray,

      Two of Dr. Lisle’s books are ‘Taking Back Astronomy’ and ‘The Ultimate Proof of Creation’.

      Two of Dr. John Hartnett’s Books are ‘Dismantling the Big Bang’ (with Alex Williams) and ‘Starlight, Time and the New Physics.

      A book by Dr. Russel Humphreys is ‘Starlight and Time’.

      It is important to remember the basics that you’ve learned from AiG and ICR – we don’t believe in God because of a young earth, we believe the earth is young because God said it is. Science only affirms what we already know from the scripture about the age of the earth and the universe.

      Ray, I have witnessed loved ones who misunderstood how vital it is to remember their first love and be diligent and seek God day and night. They said “I already know that”. They didn’t want to read about creation and read God’s word. But they had plenty of time to watch the filth on television hours upon hours every day. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Don’t forget. I exhort you to be a living example to your son. All the words and books in the world will mean much less than your life as an example of faith and devotion to the true and living God. God said “Be ye holy even as I am holy.”

      When my mother died last week, I don’t know if she went to be with the one I love, or if she went to eternal punishment where the smoke of their burning rises up for ever and ever. Don’t leave your son questioning who you love and what your ultimate end is. I honored my mother. I remember her love and goodness to me. But Jesus alone will judge if she was faithful to him. I do not know. If my wife never read what I wrote to her I would not believe her love or faithfulness regardless of any protestations to the contrary. I Thank God that despite the tremendous sorrow my hope is undiminished because I’ve placed it wholly in him.

  6. Josef says:

    Dr Lisle (or someone who knows the answer to this),

    Please help me understand as I’m still trying to get a grasp of presuppositional apologetics. I am often asked why must one presuppose the biblical God in order to explain why logic exists. The push back I often get is something like, “Well, if you’re allowed to presuppose the biblical God and say that he just exists, then why can’t I just presuppose logic and just say it exists?”

    Ultimately, I guess the reason I don’t know the answer to this is because I still don’t have a firm grasp of presuppositionalism.

    • Preston says:

      Hi Josef,
      There are several great DVDs featuring Dr. Lisle teaching on such issues. One is ‘The Ultimate Proof of Creation’, another is the three dvd series titled ‘Nuclear Strength Apologetics’. In these videos Dr. Lisle explains in detail that the Bible, or a biblical worldview even before the Bible was available, is the ultimate standard. The Bible is self attesting and proves itself. It is not arbitrary, not inconsistent, and provides the preconditions for intelligibility. I highly recommend that you purchase these dvds and watch them multiple times. The 4 dvds together are available from Answers in Genesis at http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/Ultimate-Apologetics-Boxed-Set-4-DVDs,6189,229.aspx for $33.99. They are well worth the price.

      The book I most highly recommend reading, of course, is the Bible itself. The more you read the Bible, and the more you put its teachings in practice in your life, the more you will understand.

      Best regards,
      Preston

    • Jboy Flaga says:

      I think I have heard Dr. Greg Bahnsen answer this in “The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Bahnsen v. Stein
      Stein:”
      … but I do not completely understand the answer.. but maybe you can

      Here it is:


      Moderator: The final set of questions are here before me. Dr. Bahnsen, the question for you reads: Why is it necessary for the abstract universal laws to be . . . derived from the transcendental nature of God? Why not assume the transcendental nature of logic?

      Bahnsen: Somebody who wrote the question is good, in that you’ve studied philosophical issues.

      The answer may not be meaningful to everybody in the audience, but very briefly, it is that I do believe in the transcendental nature of the laws of logic. However, the laws of logic do not justify themselves just because they are transcendental, that is a precondition of intelligibility. Why isn’t it just “sound and fury signifying nothing?” That’s a possibility too.

      So the laws of logic do have a transcendental necessity about them; but it seems to me you need to have a world view in which the laws of logic are meaningful. Especially when you consider such possible antinomies as the laws of logic being universal and categorizing things in that way and yet we have novelties in our experience. I mean the world of empirical observation isn’t set rigidly by uniformity and by sameness as it were. There isn’t a continuity in experience in that way as there is a necessary continuity in the laws of logic.

      How can the laws of logic, then, be utilized when it comes to matters of personal experience in the world? We have a contingent changing world and unchanging and variant laws of logic. How can these two be brought together? You need a world view in which the transcendental necessity of logic can be made sense of the human experience. I believe Christianity provides that and I just can’t find any other one that competes with it that way.

      • Josef says:

        I could be way off. But I think Dr Bahnsen was saying that it’s not enough for laws of logic to exist since their existence alone isn’t meaningful to the human experience. Instead, one must be able to utilize laws of logic; in order to utilize laws of logic, I must know that my mind and body are capable of doing so. This only makes sense in a biblical world view since we are made in the image of God, he has told us he made us respectfully, he has revealed some of his thoughts to us, and expects us to emulate him.

        In an atheistic world view, where our minds and bodies are here just out of random chance mutations, how can one fully have confidence that their reasoning skills are valid?

        Anyway, that’s what I think Dr Bahnsen means when he says, “… you need to have a world view in which the laws of logic are meaningful.” and “How can the laws of logic, then, be utilized when it comes to matters of personal experience in the world? We have a contingent changing world and unchanging and variant laws of logic. How can these two be brought together?”

        Keep in mind that I am still a newbie at presuppositionalism, so I could be totally wrong. But that’s what I got out of it.

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Yes – that’s basically it. Apart from the biblical worldview, there is no reason to think that laws of logic would have the properties that they do, or that the physical universe would never violate one. How does the universe (which is physical) know to abide by laws of logic (which are conceptual)? Yet, the universe is able to change, while laws of logic do not. Simply stipulating the existence of laws of logic doesn’t answer any of those questions, nor does it justify our confidence in laws of logic as absolute, invariant, exception-less, universal entities. Perhaps they are all of those things, but how do we know that? Only the Christian worldview provides a meaningful answer.

  7. Kenny says:

    Dr. Lisle,
    I agree with what you have said, but my point is different. My focus is on the observer receiving the light. The observer standing at the hub and pointing his flashlight down a spoke, towards the wheel, will be at Theta = 180°. If he then turns his flashlight around, so that it now shines in his face, he is at Theta = zero.

    Now, if there are two observers, one at the wheel end of the spoke and one at the hub end of the spoke, I can show what I mean. They each have a flashlight in their hands and are pointing them down the spoke towards the other person (observer). They are both at Theta = 180° with respect to their own flashlight, but at Theta = zero with respect to the other flashlight.

    If the observer at the hub turns his flashlight, so that it shines in his face, but it is still in line with the spoke, he is now at Theta = zero with respect to both flashlights, because the other flashlight is still pointed at him as well.

    If the observer at the hub turns his light back down the spoke, towards the wheel, and the observer at the wheel turns his flashlight towards his own face, the observer at the wheel is now the one at Theta = zero with respect to both flashlights.

    At no point am I concerned with an observer who is emitting light, because of the fact that he is where Theta = 180°.

    This is what I am doing with the clocks. Any observer who has both clocks pointed at him, will be at Theta = zero for both clocks. Yes, the observers who are emitting the light (aiming the clocks) will be at Theta = 180°, but their observations do not matter to my test. I have put both observers, at separate times, in the position Theta = zero. So, when in that position the clocks will always look synchronized. The only person to mess with the synchronization was the first person to do observations from position Theta = zero, with respect to both clocks. The only others who are making recorded observations, are those who have both clocks aimed at them (at the same time), so that they are at Theta = zero with respect to both clocks.

    Once the two clocks are synchronized by an observer at Theta = zero, any observer at a point where Theta = zero will see the clocks ticking synchronously. This is because at Theta = zero there is no light travel delay. The only way this will not be true is if the internal ticking rate of one or both clocks is somehow changed.

    In fact, this is the same as saying that (on day 4) an observer on earth and an observer on Pluto will both see the stars turn on synchronously. By that I mean that each, on his own, will see all of the stars turn on synchronously. It does not matter that the observers are in different physical locations, because they are both at Theta = zero with respect to the incoming light. Synchronous turning on to one will be seen as synchronous turning on to the other and it is the same with the ticking of the clocks.

    Does this make sense? Please focus on my pointing both of the clocks (light sources) at an observer, therefore making his position Theta = zero with respect to both clocks.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Kenny

      > Dr. Lisle,
      I agree with what you have said, but my point is different. My focus is on the observer receiving the light.

      Any observer receiving light always sees that light at an angle of zero – otherwise it would not have reached him. Unless light is travelling directly down a spoke toward the hub (theta=0), it will never reach the observer. The observer is always at the hub – by definition.

      > The observer standing at the hub and pointing his flashlight down a spoke, towards the wheel, will be at Theta = 180°.

      It sounds like there might be some confusion between angle and position. In any case, the angle of the light relative to the person with the flashlight will indeed be 180°. This angle is observer-dependent: One observer has theta=0, while another observer sees theta=180° for the same beam of light.

      > If he then turns his flashlight around, so that it now shines in his face, he is at Theta = zero.

      That’s correct. Although – just to clarify – the flashlight cannot be exactly at the hub for this to happen. The observer must hold it some small distance (arm’s length perhaps), in order for him to shine it in his face. Since he sees the light, its angle must be zero, as is always the case for received light. This might be a good rule to remember: if you see the light, its angle (theta) is zero.

      >Now, if there are two observers, one at the wheel end of the spoke and one at the hub end of the spoke, I can show what I mean.

      Okay. Though, the person on the rim is actually at the hub of his (different) wheel. Picture two wheels overlapping such that the rim of one touches the hub of the other and vice versa. Every observer is entitled to consider himself at the central hub of his wheel. If he sees any light, its angle must be 0° since it must be travelling directly down his spoke. For clarity, I’ll refer to your initial observer as observer A, and the one on his rim as observer B. Each is at his own hub, and sees the other as being on the rim.

      > They each have a flashlight in their hands and are pointing them down the spoke towards the other person (observer). They are both at Theta = 180° with respect to their own flashlight, but at Theta = zero with respect to the other flashlight.

      I think this is okay, but the “at” bothers me because it sounds like a conflation of angle with position. The emitted light has an angle of 180° relative to the person emitting it, and an angle of 0° relative to the person who sees it. The two observers are standing in different positions at some distance from each other.

      > If the observer at the hub turns his flashlight, so that it shines in his face, but it is still in line with the spoke, he is now at Theta = zero with respect to both flashlights, because the other flashlight is still pointed at him as well.

      Observer A will see the light from the distant observer B and the light from his (much closer) flashlight as incoming and at the same angle: theta = 0°. I think this is what you are saying; I’m just clarifying.

      > If the observer at the hub turns his light back down the spoke, towards the wheel, and the observer at the wheel turns his flashlight towards his own face, the observer at the wheel is now the one at Theta = zero with respect to both flashlights.

      If observer A points the light at observer B, and observer B holds his flashlight at arm’s length and points it at his own face, then from observer A’s perspective the angle of both beams is 180°, and he will not actually see the light. Of course, from observer B’s perspective, both beams are incoming and thus have an angle of 0°. Observer B will see the light from both beams.

      > At no point am I concerned with an observer who is emitting light, because of the fact that he is where Theta = 180°.

      That confused me a bit, because both observers are also emitting light. In fact, when you emit light from yourself, the angle theta must always be 180°. This is always the case unless the emitter is not exactly where the observer is (at arm’s length for instance – then you can have any possible angle).

      >This is what I am doing with the clocks. Any observer who has both clocks pointed at him, will be at Theta = zero for both clocks. Yes, the observers who are emitting the light (aiming the clocks) will be at Theta = 180°, but their observations do not matter to my test. I have put both observers, at separate times, in the position Theta = zero.

      Okay. Although theta=zero is not a position; it’s an angle – just to clarify.

      > So, when in that position the clocks will always look synchronized.

      No, not necessarily. And this might be the problem. Clocks are not necessarily synchronized even if the light travel time between them in one or both directions goes to zero. I could have two clocks right next to each other, so close that any light-travel-time is negligible. Yet one could be 5 minutes ahead of the other.

      > The only person to mess with the synchronization was the first person to do observations from position Theta = zero, with respect to both clocks.

      So observer A, I presume? If observer A adjusts his clock to match what he sees from observer B, and assuming ASC, then he will see the clocks as synchronized, and they will be genuinely synchronized from his reference frame (but not from B’s position).

      >The only others who are making recorded observations, are those who have both clocks aimed at them (at the same time), so that they are at Theta = zero with respect to both clocks.

      Again, the “at theta = zero” makes me suspicious that you may be confusing angle with position. Remember, any person, regardless of his or her position, will see incoming light at an angle of 0°. There could be many different observers, with many different positions. But the only light they will ever actually see – that which enters their eyes – must have an angle of theta = zero, otherwise it would have missed them. It must be travelling directly down one of their spokes to ever reach them.

      > Once the two clocks are synchronized by an observer at Theta = zero, any observer at a point where Theta = zero will see the clocks ticking synchronously.

      No. Here is where it goes wrong. And this is the crucial part of ASC that must be understood. Under ASC, observers at different positions will have different notions of synchronized clocks. Therefore, while observer A (the one who initially adjusts his clock to match the light he sees coming from B) will say, “These two clocks (A and B) are synchronized”, observer B will say, “No, they are not synchronized.” Each will see the light from the other clock as incoming (theta=0) and thus as instantaneous. And this is WHY they will disagree on whether the clocks are synchronized. I’ll explain more below.

      > This is because at Theta = zero there is no light travel delay. The only way this will not be true is if the internal ticking rate of one or both clocks is somehow changed.

      No – the rate will be the same between the two clocks since there is no motion in this setup. Just because two clocks tick at the same rate doesn’t mean that they are synchronized. One clock could be five minutes behind another, but ticking at the same speed. The clock on my oven ticks at the same rate as the one on my computer. But they are not synchronized (they do not read the same time). And this is the entire issue. How can you synchronize two clocks separated by a distance? It turns out to be impossible without first assuming the one-way speed of light.

      I think I understand now the way you are thinking about it. So let me clarify by describing the experiment from one reference frame, and then from the other. I think this will make it clear to you. Consider observer A and observer B, stationary relative to each other, and separated by one-light second. That is, when observer A shines a light to a mirror located at B, he sees the reflection exactly two seconds after he turned on the flashlight. Likewise, observer B turns on a flashlight toward a mirror located at A, and sees its reflection two seconds later. Under the ASC convention, since observers A and B have different positions (different locations in space), they will not in general agree on whether or not two clocks are synchronized. Let’s see why:

      Observer A decides to synchronize his clock with B. Using a telescope, he watches for clock B to reach 12:00:00, and immediately sets his clock to 12:00:00. From his point of view, the light from B is incoming, thus theta = 0, and therefore the light is instantaneous by ASC reckoning. So observer A does not need to subtract off any light travel time. As far as he is concerned, the two clocks are exactly synchronized. So far so good, yes?

      But how would observer B see the situation from her point of view? Any light that moves away from her clock (B) is outgoing, thus theta = 180°, and the speed is ½c. Using a telescope, she can see the observer at A. As far as she is concerned, light from A to B takes no time to arrive since the angle is 0 from her perspective. But light from B to A takes 2 seconds to get from her to the observer at A. As she watches the observer at A, she notices that he is trying to synchronize his clock to hers by watching her clock through his telescope. But of course, since light takes two seconds to get from her to him (from her perspective), she reasons that what he sees through his telescope will be two seconds behind the actual time of her clock. Sure enough, she notices that when observer A sets his clock to 12:00:00, this occurs two seconds after her clock struck noon. This makes sense, she reasons, since the light took two seconds to get there.

      Observer A holds up a sign for observer B to read in her telescope which says, “Our clocks are now synchronized!” Observer B shakes her head, and responds with a sign of her own: “No they aren’t! You are two seconds behind!” Observer B recognizes that observer A only thinks the clocks are synchronized because he forgot to account for the two seconds that it takes for light to get from B to A. After all, such light is outgoing from observer B’s perspective, and therefore travels at ½c, taking two seconds to get to A. Why did observer A forget to account for those two seconds? Why did he not realize that light takes two seconds to get from B to A, and therefore set his clock to 12:00:02?

      After a moment of thoughtful reflection, observer B understands why observer A THINKS that the clocks are synchronized. After all, observer A is also using the ASC system. And so from HIS point of view, the light from B to A is not outgoing, but is rather incoming! And so he would naturally assume that the light takes no time at all to travel from B to A, even though from her point of view, it takes two seconds. He thinks the clocks are synchronized because he sees them having the same time at the same time. But this is because (1) his clock is two seconds behind the true time and (2) the image of her clock has taken exactly two seconds to reach him. So, they APPEAR synchronized to him since the images look the same, even though from observer B’s perspective, the clocks are not actually synchronized.

      From observer A’s point of view, the clocks really are synchronized; it’s not just an appearance. The image of clock B in his telescope is exactly current, since the light is incoming and thus takes no time at all to get from B to A. So when he sees that the image of clock B matches the time on clock A, he knows that they are truly synchronized. He wonders to himself, “How come observer B does not realize this?”

      After a moment of thoughtful reflection, observer A understands why observer B THINKS that the clocks are not synchronized, even though they really are. After all, when she looks through her telescope at clock A, the image she gets is two seconds behind reality. This is because light has to travel from A to B for observer B to see an image of observer A’s clock. And since (observer A reckons) the light from A to B is outgoing, it will travel at ½c and therefore take two seconds to get to B. But why did observer B forget to subtract off the light travel time? This is because from observer B’s point of view, the light is incoming. Therefore, she will assume that it is instantaneous, and will conclude that her view of clock A is a real-time image, rather than a delayed image. So she thinks that the reason that she sees clock A as behind clock B is because it really is. But observer A knows that it only appears this way to B because she has not subtracted off the two seconds of light-travel-time.

      So each of them holds up a sign to explain why he/she is right. And the signs read the same thing: “You forgot to subtract off the two seconds of light travel time!” Now which one is correct? This is the wonderful and yet paradoxical aspect of relativity; they both are right. Each one is correct according to his or her reference frame. ESC has the same dilemma with velocity frames instead of position frames.

      But notice that both observers agree on what each of them will actually see and measure. They both agree that observer A will see the image of clock B as reading the same time as the image of clock A. They both agree that observer B will see the image of clock A as two seconds behind the image of clock B. The measurable results are the same. What differs is the explanation, and what we choose to call “synchronized.” From A’s point of view, the clocks appear synchronized, and really are, but will appear unsynchronized to B due to outgoing light travel time. From B’s point of view, the clocks appear synchronized to A, but really are not because his clock is two seconds slow, and he has not subtracted off the two-seconds of light journey.

      I really think that will clear things up if you think through the above example.

      > In fact, this is the same as saying that (on day 4) an observer on earth and an observer on Pluto will both see the stars turn on synchronously. By that I mean that each, on his own, will see all of the stars turn on synchronously.

      This is a similar thought experiment. So hopefully, it is now clear that this is NOT the case. From Earth’s point of view, the stars are genuinely made on day 4 and (let’s assume for argument’s sake) at the same time. And Earth sees them blink on simultaneously. But Pluto, since it has a different position than Earth, will see the stars blink on in a non-synchronized fashion, the first and last appearance being separated by several hours. Earth and Pluto disagree on whether the creation of the stars was synchronized under the ASC system because they have different positions.

      > It does not matter that the observers are in different physical locations,

      But see, it does matter that they have different locations for the reasons described in the above thought experiment. Both Earth and Pluto will say that incoming light is instantaneous when travelling directly toward their (different) respective positions. Therefore, logically they must disagree on when the light started its journey due to their different positions, otherwise there would be a contradiction. Both will agree on what each actually sees.

      > because they are both at Theta = zero with respect to the incoming light. Synchronous turning on to one will be seen as synchronous turning on to the other and it is the same with the ticking of the clocks.

      The clocks will tick at the same rates, but the creation of stars will not be synchronous to Pluto if it is to earth and vice versa. It may be counter-intuitive, but the relativity of simultaneity is a fundamental property of relativistic physics.

      I hope this helps. I’ll try to answer follow-up questions, time permitting.

      • Kenny says:

        Dr. Lisle,

        I want to thank you again for responding. This is one of those times when I wish I was face-to-face with the other person. It would be a lot easier to communicate.

        I see that the way I was using certain terms interchangeably was part of the confusion. You have brought up a scenario that I had wanted to talk about. It is one which you and Preston have mentioned before. I see that within this scenario I have been understanding observer B’s assumptions and observations differently, using ASC, than the two of you.

        It seems to boil down to what one decides observer B’s initial observation and assumptions will be. I’m going to do as you did and refer to observer B as she and give my interpretation.

        My first assumption has been that both observers are using ASC, but under my “version” of ASC when A says the clocks are synchronized (show the same time), B knows there is no light travel time from her clock to A. Therefore, she assumes that A is really synchronizing the clocks.

        Because Theta=180° means that light moves away at 1/2c, she predicts that once A synchronizes the clocks then she can have A turn his clock to face her and hold up a mirror to reflect her clock’s light back to her and she should see her clock as 2 seconds behind A’s. That is exactly what she sees, because she understands that the clocks were synchronized and that her clock’s light will take two seconds to travel to A (from her perspective) and then bounce back instantly, and the light from A’s clock will get to her instantly.

        This is why I keep saying that under ASC Theta=0° will allow anyone to see synchronized clocks. In my scenario, if both clocks face B, then she would see both clocks synchronized and A would see a 2 second delay in his clock if its light is reflected back to him.

        It looks to me like there might be two different ways to frame ASC, but I have a problem with your scenario. I read what you said, but it is almost like ESC and ASC were momentarily combined. For B to see her clock ahead of A’s, both clocks would have to be facing her. If this was done and her clock was 2 seconds ahead of A’s there would be a problem, because that means with no light travel time she sees her clock as truly ahead of A’s, but with no light travel time A saw them as truly synchronized. In other words Theta=0° for both, but there is a 2 second difference in what they see.

        Something seems to be wrong with that picture, this is not internally consistent. To me, the 2 seconds added to B’s clock seem unnatural and look suspiciously like a fudge factor which has been added to allow ASC to have the same observations as ESC. In fact, it never occurred to me that someone would suggest that B should expect her clock to start off 2 seconds ahead of A’s. I get how you are using it, but any difference in the clocks should have been observable to A (when Theta=0°), under ASC. Without these two seconds, ESC and ASC make very different claims.

        In my scenario, if A sees that the clocks are synchronized, then B WILL NOT (while A is observing). This is because they both understand the relationship between Theta=0° and Theta= 180°. Therefore, they agree that whoever is “at” Theta=180° will see their clock 2 seconds behind the other clock, when the light is reflected back to him/her and that if the two clocks are turned and aimed at observer B, then she will also see them as synchronized.

        If we do not assume, at the start, that B will expect and see she her clock 2 seconds ahead of A’s, but instead assume that B will expect and see her reflected clock’s light to be 2 seconds behind A’s, then Theta=0° will always show synchronized clocks (for the situation which I have been describing).

        In both of our scenarios the two observers are using the rules of ASC, but we are applying the rules to the observers’ observations and assumptions in different ways. We have each chosen a different “variation” of ASC for our scenarios.

        I believe that my interpretation of ASC is a more natural and internally consistent one. I also do not have to explain why A does not see that B’s clock is 2 seconds faster, even though they were both looking at it in real (instant) time.

        Is there a fundamental reason why you have to add the extra 2 seconds onto B’s clock, at the start?

        Hopefully I have been able to put my thoughts down in a more clear way than in the past.

        I imagine you are pretty busy, so thanks again and God Bless.

        • Atticus Sheffield says:

          Hi Kenny,

          I’ve been thinking about these ASC/ESC thought experiments for a while, and though I’m not 100% convinced ASC can’t be tested (one part of me wants to trust someone who knows what they’re talking about, and the other part wants to doubt), I’ve come over to Dr. Lisle’s side on this particular experiment (before he posted his last comment to you). And here’s why:

          At a distance, there is no truly objective way to synchronize clocks, I’m sure we can both agree on that. Also, let’s have the clocks be two-sided so we don’t have to turn them.
          So we have observer A synchronize the clocks from his perspective under ASC, such that they both read 12:00:00. He figures that since the clocks are synchronized for him, and light travels away from his clock at ½c, observer B, at one light-second away, should perceive her clock as two seconds ahead of the image of his clock. (For this part I had to check with Dr. Lisle’s comment) Now B is watching A try to synchronize the clocks, and assuming ASC, she figures the light from her clock will take two seconds to get to him. By the time he signs “synchronized”, her clock might say 12:00:08, but she sees his clock saying 12:00:06.

          That’s what ASC would predict. If our observers performed the same clock settings, but assumed ESC, they would still see the same thing. Observer A sets the clocks so he sees an apparent synchronization, but he knows that if both clocks say 12:00:00, observer B’s clock really says 12:00:01 because it takes light one second to travel that distance. B, knowing that A sees an apparent synchronization, might see her clock as saying 12:00:07, and know that his clock really says 12:00:06; one second later, she sees her clock at 12:00:08, as well as the image of his clock at 12:00:06. This is exactly the same outcome as our ASC test, so neither convention has been confirmed or denied more than the other… which supports one of Dr. Lisle’s original statements that you can’t test a one-way light-speed convention any more than you can test kilometers against miles. Which is correct: 1.61 km or 1 mile?

          Another way to do this test would be to synchronize them under ESC. If observer A set clocks A and B so he sees 12:00:01 and 12:00:00, respectively, he would know that under ESC, they are truly synchronized. He also figures that observer B would see her clock as one second ahead of his. B sees her clock at 12:00:01, knows that clock A is at 12:00:01, and by the time the image of clock A reaches her, her clock says 12:00:02.

          ASC also predicts this. Observer A sets clocks A and B at 12:00:01 and 12:00:00, respectively, and to him, that’s what they really are. Assuming ASC, he figures by the time the image of his clock at 12:00:01 reaches observer B, her clock will show her 12:00:02. B sees A setting the clocks, and since the light from her clock takes two seconds to get to A, when her clock says 12:00:02 (to her), he sets his clock to 12:00:01; she sees that change immediately, and now her clock is one second ahead of his. Once again, neither convention has been proven one over the other.

          I think I sort of see where you’re coming from. I’ll use the “quote/discuss” format Dr. Lisle uses.

          >”My first assumption has been that both observers are using ASC, but under my “version” of ASC when A says the clocks are synchronized (show the same time), B knows there is no light travel time from her clock to A. Therefore, she assumes that A is really synchronizing the clocks.”
          Yes, B knows that from A’s perspective, there is no light travel-time, and A is really synchronizing the clocks from his perspective, but not hers. If the clocks were synchronized to A under ASC, B would see her clock as two seconds ahead of clock A. By the way, I don’t think you can have your own “version” of ASC; if Dr. Lisle is right, that would be like having your own version of the metric system.

          >”Because Theta=180° means that light moves away at 1/2c, she predicts that once A synchronizes the clocks then she can have A turn his clock to face her and hold up a mirror to reflect her clock’s light back to her and she should see her clock as 2 seconds behind A’s. That is exactly what she sees, because she understands that the clocks were synchronized and that her clock’s light will take two seconds to travel to A (from her perspective) and then bounce back instantly, and the light from A’s clock will get to her instantly.”
          Yes. If the clocks are synchronized to A under ASC, then B will see her clock as two seconds ahead; and if A holds up a mirror to reflect the image of B’s clock back to her, she will see clocks A and B, respectively, at :00/:02, a second later at :01/:03, and a second later at :02/:04, but now she will see the reflection of her clock as :02, synchronized with clock A.

          >”This is why I keep saying that under ASC Theta=0° will allow anyone to see synchronized clocks.”
          Of course, so long as each observer synchronizes them himself.

          >”In my scenario, if both clocks face B, then she would see both clocks synchronized and A would see a 2 second delay in his clock if its light is reflected back to him.”
          So, if the clocks are synchronized to A, and B is two seconds ahead, the synchrony can be magically reversed as soon as the clocks are turned around? If both clocks faced B, she synchronized them under ASC, and held up a mirror for A to see a reflection of his clock, then A would see her clock and his reflection as synchronized; he wouldn’t see a delay.

          >”For B to see her clock ahead of A’s, both clocks would have to be facing her. If this was done and her clock was 2 seconds ahead of A’s there would be a problem, because that means with no light travel time she sees her clock as truly ahead of A’s, but with no light travel time A saw them as truly synchronized.”
          I believe much of the problem you are talking about is caused by all this “turning around” of clocks. This would be easier if A and B could see both clocks at the same time (two-sided clocks). So, if A sees synchronized clocks, and B sees hers as two seconds ahead of A’s, I don’t see a problem.

          >”In other words Theta=0° for both, but there is a 2 second difference in what they see.”
          Exactly. If I’m not mistaken, relativity allows for that possibility… just as it allows for the same beam of light to travel different speeds for different observers.

          >”Something seems to be wrong with that picture, this is not internally consistent. To me, the 2 seconds added to B’s clock seem unnatural and look suspiciously like a fudge factor which has been added to allow ASC to have the same observations as ESC. In fact, it never occurred to me that someone would suggest that B should expect her clock to start off 2 seconds ahead of A’s. I get how you are using it, but any difference in the clocks should have been observable to A (when Theta=0°), under ASC. Without these two seconds, ESC and ASC make very different claims.”
          This must be where the discrepancy between our interpretations of ASC lies. Are you wondering why B shouldn’t see synchrony when A does? For example, if A synchronizes the clocks, then the clocks are really synchronized; and if he “turns around” the clocks, are you saying that anybody with a view of both clock faces will see them as synchronized (we have just been using observer B)? If not, then all I can think of is that there’s a contradiction somewhere in your scenario, or the times on your clocks change with rotation.
          As I understand it (and as Dr. Lisle explained), this is what would happen. B sees her clock at 12:00:00, two seconds later (one light-second at ½c) she sees her clock at :02, and A has changed his clock to :00 to match the image he is receiving; B sees this change immediately, and concludes that at :00/:02, her clock is two seconds ahead of A’s—even though A sees both clocks as synchronized.

          >”In my scenario, if A sees that the clocks are synchronized, then B WILL NOT (while A is observing). This is because they both understand the relationship between Theta=0° and Theta= 180°. Therefore, they agree that whoever is “at” Theta=180° will see their clock 2 seconds behind the other clock, when the light is reflected back to him/her and that if the two clocks are turned and aimed at observer B, then she will also see them as synchronized.”
          How do you figure this? A will always see his clock as what he sets it to; it won’t change time if he turns it 180 degrees. (Also, I think you meant whoever turns their clock away from them will see their clock two seconds ahead of the other… not behind.)

          >”If we do not assume, at the start, that B will expect and see her clock 2 seconds ahead of A’s, but instead assume that B will expect and see her reflected clock’s light to be 2 seconds behind A’s, then Theta=0° will always show synchronized clocks (for the situation which I have been describing).”
          Both of those work. If B sees her clock as two seconds ahead of A’s, we can conclude that A sees both clocks as synchronized. If B sees her clock’s reflected light as two seconds behind A’s clock, we can extrapolate that B sees both clocks as synchronized, but A doesn’t. It’s not a matter of starting assumptions, it’s a matter of who synchronizes the clocks.

          >”We have each chosen a different “variation” of ASC for our scenarios.”
          There’s only one “variation,” or “version” of ASC; like the metric system analogy.

          >”Is there a fundamental reason why you have to add the extra 2 seconds onto B’s clock, at the start?”
          One reason you have to “add 2 seconds onto B’s clock” is because by the time B sees that A has synchronized the clocks (to him), two seconds have passed, and so she sees her clock at :02 and his clock at :00.

          To Kenny, I hope that was helpful… to Dr. Lisle, I hope that was accurate.

          • Kenny says:

            Atticus,

            I will be responding to you.

          • Kenny says:

            Atticus or Dr. Lisle

            Since ASC works that way, can we then state that an observer on earth cannot calculate the age of the universe?

            Using an earlier example, a galaxy (B) 14 billion lightyears away would have been seen by Adam as soon as he was created, because light traveled towards him at infinite speed. So, there is no light travel time to use to calculate age.

            An observer in galaxy B can calculate age, because of the light travel time (light speed=1/2c) going from him towards the earth. So basically, you wind up with galaxies which are twice as old as the Big Bang model would predict for the entire universe (not just galaxies) and nowhere near 6,000-10,000 years old.

            Doesn’t that eliminate the need for an infinite speed of light, so that Adam could see the galaxy? ASC seems to predict that day 4 came 28 billion years before Adam was created.

            • Heck Kenny, you need to realise that ASC is a coordinate transformation so that it doesn’t predict anything. Moreover, when the light from us arrives at that distant galaxy it is 28 billion years into our future! The big question then, is how does Jason handle these space time coordinates with huge assigned duration values in his ASC model, a model that does make predictions although not always testable. Is Jason going to postulate that points exist in the space-time manifold that have these assigned time values? If he doesn’t allow them then it means that light from us is still creeping out to that distant galaxy, a galaxy which has yet to see us and will in fact never see us! In short Jason has to posit a quasi-geocentric cosmology in as much as it is asymmetrically skewed around planet Earth or thereabouts!

              • Atticus Sheffield says:

                Oh dear.

              • Kenny says:

                Timothy,
                Please read what we have been talking about. Dr. Lisle and the others have said that if A sees the clocks as synchronized, then B will say that 2 seconds have passed on his own clock, and will actually see his own clock 2 seconds ahead of A’s clock.

                I was pointing out the same for earth and galaxy B. For earth to say that galaxy B’s light arrived instantly, then galaxy B would say no, it took 28 billion years to get there. I.E. the universe, from galaxy B’s perspective is 28 billion years old.

                No one was talking about earth’s light reaching galaxy B. At least not this time around.

              • Kenny says:

                Timothy,
                Please read what we have been talking about. Dr. Lisle and the others have said that if A sees the clocks as synchronized, then B will say that 2 seconds have passed on his own clock, and will actually see his own clock 2 seconds ahead of A’s clock.

                I was pointing out the same for earth and galaxy B. For earth to say that galaxy B’s light arrived instantly, then galaxy B would say no, it took 28 billion years to get there. I.E. the universe, from galaxy B’s perspective is 28 billion years old.

                No one was talking about earth’s light reaching galaxy B. At least not this time around.

                By the way, I see that you brought this same thing up on Sept. 22.

                • Hi kenny,
                  I entirely concur with the logic that Jason has used to explain it to you above. But I note that you say this:

                  “B knows there is no light travel time from her clock to A. Therefore, she assumes that A is really synchronizing the clocks.”

                  This is not a case of “B knowing”rather it is a case of “B defining”; in this case defining a coordinate system where she is on the reference planet and this means that the light travel time from her clock to A is fixed by a defined speed of c/2.

                  What you’ve got to understand is that the one-way speed of light can be defined. Either you define the speed of light recession as c/2 or as infinite -you can’t define it as both c/2 AND infinite – that’s a contradiction in terms.

                  You are still mixing up coordinate systems, and that is why you are arriving at paradoxical conclusions. When you’ve got this sorted we can then move on to the question of whether 28 billion year temporal displacements exist in the space-time manifold of Jason’s ASC model

              • Poor old Jason will have to do a bit of HTML editing! As if he hasn’t got enough on his plate!

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Hi Kenny,

          Thanks for posting. I’m sure others have had similar questions to yours. So it helps everyone to see these questions answered.

          I still think you may be misunderstanding the angle theta. It is the angle of the velocity vector of the light itself relative to an observer and has absolutely nothing to do with the way the clocks are turned. The clocks can be two-sided as Atticus suggested.

          The issue boils down to the fact that observer B – if she is consistently using ASC – will not assume that the clocks are synchronized just because observer A says they are. She knows that observer A is using ASC with his position as the origin, and thus he will assume that light transit from B to A has a travel time of zero. But from her perspective at B, this assumption is false, since the light is outgoing for her. Thus observer A’s conclusion that the clocks are synchronized will also be false.

          So when you say, “B knows there is no light travel time from her clock to A” – that violates the conditions of ASC, because from B’s point of view, the light is outgoing and must have a velocity of ½c. So the scenario that you have put forth is not consistent with ASC. Under ASC, if observer A computes that the clocks are synchronized, then observer B CANNOT compute that they are synchronized, and vice versa. This type of result is an essential component of relativity.

          The same issue also occurs using the standard Einstein synchrony convention (ESC) in dealing with observers moving at different velocities, even if they (for an instant) have the same position. Using ESC, if observers A and B have the same position (for an instant) but different velocities, and they observe two lightning strikes at two different positions (C and D respectively), then they will not in general agree on whether the two strikes are synchronized (happened at the same time).

          That is, if observer A says, “Yes, the two lightning strikes happened at the same time – they are synchronized” after having subtracted off any light travel time using ESC from his reference frame, then observer B will say, “no, they are not synchronized; C happened before D.” She too subtracted off the light travel time from her velocity reference frame, which is different from observer A’s velocity frame. Einstein spent considerable space in his layman-level book on relativity discussing this very point – using lightning strikes as observed by someone on a moving train, and someone else standing on the sidewalk.

          The counter-intuitive fact that must be understood is that synchronization is relative. It depends on the reference frame of the observer.

          So your statement here is inconsistent: “Because Theta=180° means that light moves away at 1/2c, she predicts that once A synchronizes the clocks then she can have A turn his clock to face her and hold up a mirror to reflect her clock’s light back to her and she should see her clock as 2 seconds behind A’s.” Reason: observer A is synchronizing the clocks from his reference frame – not from hers. He has assumed that the light travel time from B to A is zero, and therefore sets his clock to the image he sees from B without subtracting any time. But from observer B’s perspective, the light took two seconds to get from B to A. Since observer A did not account for that, he is setting his clock at two seconds behind observer B, from her perspective.

          When observer B looks at observer A’s clock, it will be two seconds behind her clock. Both parties agree that this is what observer B should see, but they will disagree on the cause. From observer B’s reference frame, she sees clock A in real-time with no delay. So the reason it appears 2 seconds behind her clock is because it really is. From observer A’s perspective, the clocks are truly synchronized, but the light from A to B is outgoing, and thus takes two seconds to get to B. So of course observer B will see the image of clock A as being two seconds behind her clock. Make sense now?

          Regarding the way I have explained the difference in perspective, you mention this: “For B to see her clock ahead of A’s, both clocks would have to be facing her. If this was done and her clock was 2 seconds ahead of A’s there would be a problem, because that means with no light travel time she sees her clock as truly ahead of A’s, but with no light travel time A saw them as truly synchronized.” But there is no problem because there was indeed light travel time from B to A from B’s point of view. Even if she is not looking at the clocks, the light was still outgoing from her perspective when A attempted to synchronize his clock. So yes, clock A will be two seconds behind B from B’s perspective. From her perspective, A only thinks they are synchronized because he did not account for the two-second trip. From A’s point of view the clocks are truly synchronized, but B doesn’t realize this because she does not account for the time (2 seconds) for light to go from A to B. ASC is fully consistent in terms of what people will actually see.

          “In fact, it never occurred to me that someone would suggest that B should expect her clock to start off 2 seconds ahead of A’s.” No, the two second difference is the result of observer A trying to synchronize his clock to B without subtracting off the two-second journey. From his perspective there is no reason to subtract off the two seconds since the light is incoming. But from observer B’s perspective the light is outgoing, and takes two seconds to get to A. The two-seconds is not a “fudge factor”, but a natural result of the fact that light with theta=180° for observer A is theta=0° for observer B at the same instant.

          “In my scenario, if A sees that the clocks are synchronized, then B WILL NOT (while A is observing).” The “while A is observing” is not relevant. For a given observer, either clocks are synchronized, or they are not. It doesn’t matter whether a person is observing or not. I.e. if you close your eyes and stop observing, clocks don’t suddenly fail to be synchronized if they were earlier. Rotating the clocks does not affect their synchronization under ASC. So if B computes that the clocks are not synchronized, and then she starts observing, they will not suddenly become synchronized. From B’s point of view, clock A is permanently behind clock B (even though she sees its image instantly), because observer A failed to account for the 2-seconds of light travel time from B to A, which is outgoing from B’s perspective.

          “Is there a fundamental reason why you have to add the extra 2 seconds onto B’s clock, at the start?” It follows naturally from ASC since the trip from B to A is incoming from A’s perspective, but is outgoing from B’s perspective. Therefore, the travel time is zero from A’s perspective, but two seconds from B’s perspective. If A is the one doing the synchronizing, B will see clock A as two seconds behind B. Conversely, if B decides to synchronize her clock with A, then A will see clock B as two seconds behind.

          I hope this helps. God Bless.

          • Kenny says:

            Thank you again Dr. Lisle. I think it is all sinking in now. By the way, my statement “In my scenario, if A sees that the clocks are synchronized, then B WILL NOT (while A is observing),” was my way of saying that the clocks were directed towards A and away from B. I didn’t mean that closing ones eyes would make a difference. Bad communication on my part.

  8. Preston says:

    Hi Dr. Lisle,

    I was looking through some of your earlier blog posts, and in one from April you mentioned new resources would be coming from ICR shortly, so I went to ICRs web site to look around. I go to ICRs web site daily, but I was looking for particular resources that you might have had a hand in developing or directing. I happened to find on one page a book available titled ‘What You Aren’t Being Told About Astronomy’ by Spike Psarris. The description included the statement “Was the universe created less than 10,000 years ago out of nothing, or did it begin 4,600,000,000 years ago from nothing? ” I had a couple of questions that I wonder if you would answer? Is the DVD very technical or more popular oriented? Is this DVD a must have for people interested in astronomy? I also wondered about the reference to the universe being created 4.6 billion years ago? Is that a typo? Perhaps it meant the earth rather than the universe? Any input from you on this DVD would appreciated. Though my resources are very limited I would still like to have DVDs that are very compelling in presenting the creationist view of science that perhaps someday my unsaved family members might watch and believe.

    Best regards,
    Preston

  9. Micah says:

    Hey Jason, sorry this is a little off topic but, can i add you on facebook? I was looking to see if there was a way i could ‘subscribe’ to you on there but it doesn’t look like you have that option available.
    I, um….think i found your facebook page? Unless someone made a fake ‘you’.
    I know how annoying it can be having random people adding you on facebook so i decided to check with you first through your blog. If you prefer to keep your facebook page a more personal thing for friends and family then i understand.
    Thanks. I look forward to your next blog post!

  10. Kenny says:

    Preston,

    Are you still reading these comments?

  11. Jacob Howard says:

    Hi everyone,
    For those who believe in the Big Bang I have one article I want you to look at. I seriously cannot believe how enlightening this research was . . . and I was the one doing it! I think you will all find this an interesting article! Here it is: http://alreadyanswered.org/q/universe/big-bang-big-problems/a-small-atom-problem/
    On a another note for all the evolutionists, us born-again Christians are just concerned for you! We want to make sure not a one of you spends eternity in hell! We want to save you from a punishment that will last for eternity!
    In Christ Jesus alone,
    Jacob Howard
    P.S. Oh, Mr. Lisle, do you think it would ever be possible for you to write a article (any size) for my website? I couldn’t pay of course but I think that would be kind of a boost for the other truth that is up there. I totally understand if it is a no.

    • Neil Yoder says:

      …Sounds like an argument-from-incredulity over some extremely large numbers.

      Seriously for some of that stuff you might have wanted to include some of the calculations you made to derive those impressive numbers, and just exactly what your point was to begin with. About the only thing I recognized seemed to be the molar value 6.022 x 10 to the 23rd for atoms of water…

      quote:
      “us born-again Christians are just concerned for you! We want to make sure not a one of you spends eternity in hell! We want to save you from a punishment that will last for eternity!”

      THAT(?) was your purpose for performing these calculations????????

      • Neil, your final sentence assumes that Jacob’s argument is wrong. You infer that it isn’t worth all that work just to try to save people from Hell, but you obviously can’t hold that belief until you discount Jacob’s stance that Hell exists in the first place.

        • Neil Yoder says:

          quote: “Neil, your final sentence assumes that Jacob’s argument is wrong.”

          …Not necessarily. I wasn’t intending to make a true/false judgement either way.

          quote:”You infer that it isn’t worth all that work just to try to save people from Hell, but you obviously can’t hold that belief until you discount Jacob’s stance that Hell exists in the first place.”

          Not really – I just found what his apparent basis(?) for performing all the mathematical gymnastics a little odd. I was’nt really intending an argument on the existence/nonexistence of Hell. ;<)

          • Do you personally believe in a real Hell as the destination for the unsaved, Neil?

            If you do, helping people avoid such a fate would be a sufficient motivation for Jacob’s posts. In which case, your implication that his stated motivation is lacking would be unjust.

            But if you do not, then my original response was correct. 🙂

  12. Kenny says:

    If you want to know the basics of what happened after the Big Bang read this: http://www.space.com/52-the-expanding-universe-from-the-big-bang-to-today.html

    The below article shows, the Bible taught the Big Bang long ago. The stretching of the heavens is the expanding fabric of space. This is exactly what astronomy has discovered.
    [editor’s note: website removed due to misleading/dishonest nature of the article]

    In the above article it is shown that the Bible speaks of God as having stretched the heavens in the past and continually stretching them in the present, but could that have implied a universe that is growing larger and larger to the original audience?

    Some have rejected a literal understanding of the Bible’s teaching on an expanding universe by pointing out that the heavens (universe) are likened to a tent and/or curtains which make up a tent (Ex. 26:1-13, 36:13-16; Is. 40:22; Psalm 104:2). They claim that this means that it should not be taken literally.

    The Hebrew verb natah (stretch) was used for the initial stretching out (pitching, setting up) of a tent (Gen. 12:8, 26:25; Jere. 10:20), but it was also used in reference to a tent being made larger (Is. 54:2-3). So, indeed natah would have suggested, what astronomers now know to be true, that space was initially stretched out when it was created (Isaiah 42:5; at the Big bang) and the Qal active participle form of natah would suggest its continued expansion.

    I believe that the Bible teaches the Big Bang and I believe in Hell.

  13. Neil Yoder says:

    Quote: “Do you personally believe in a real Hell as the destination for the unsaved, Neil?”
    *****************************************************************************
    Once again that wasn’t the subject being addresed.

    Quote: “If you do, helping people avoid such a fate would be a sufficient motivation for Jacob’s posts. In which case, your implication that his stated motivation is lacking would be unjust.”
    ********************************************************************************
    Erm…not really – one could also DESIRE that others achieve that end result and decide to withhold helpful information. I’m just questioning why in the world someone would engage in bandying-about humungous numbers (and also argument by incredulity) to achieve their desired result.
    (Ps – I assume you’re Jacob Howard ;<) )

    • Ha! I assure you I’m not Jacob Howard. As a matter of fact, Jacob and I each have a link embedded in our names. Mine goes to my blog page and his goes to somewhere else. 🙂 Mine is more politically-oriented, but you’re welcome to check it out.

      • Jacob Howard says:

        Hi Neil and Pendragon (I’ve heard rumors this isn’t really your name, hmm),

        Anyway, I have been reading what you two have been saying. Thank you, Pendragon for the backup. You made some good points.

        Neil, I must say, thank you so much for visiting my site and reading the article. That really means a lot to me that you would take the time . . . believe me, it is most reassuring and appreciated. If you want I am currently doing a series on the seven characteristics of life. It is all science for you, just like every other thing I talk about with science is. Just click on my name if you are interested and it will bring you to it. Once again, thank you for the support, perhaps I will have you review my other writings someday. Oh, if you spot mistakes in my websites feel free to point them out.

        Anyway, my note about us Christians concerned was directed toward the other conversations held on Mr. Lisle’s forums (which he has graciously allowed us to debate on, thank you for that Mr. Lisle). But, thank you for pointing out that my article did not contain any info on the Gospel, I will be sure to work on that in the future. Thanks for all the very hopeful information, Neil!

        Thanks, to both of you, again!

        In Christ Jesus alone,

        Jacob Howard

        http://www.theyspeak.org

  14. Kenny says:

    Well my comment has been “awaiting moderation” for the last three days.

    Dr. Lisle, can you find out why my comments were removed from “creation astronomy” on Facebook? I commented about five times in July. Then they were all removed and I am still not able to post. To my knowledge, I broke no rules (I reread them to make sure) and no one told me that I had. The sight says that it is open to comments from all views (see below).
    “Having said all of that, let me invite any and all, Christian theist, secular atheist, and anyone in-between to post here on the message board. BUT, let me remind all who post here as well that trolling, ad-hominem (insults) attacks on persons, and last but not least, NO PROFANITY will be tolerated on this site! So, read, discuss, debate, learn, and share… but most of all… HAVE FUN!!!”

    There are atheist comments and young-earth comments, but my old-earth comments were removed. What gives? Your listed as an owner and Dr. Faulkner never responded.

  15. Kenny says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    I would like to know your interpretation of Genesis 1:1. Is it a title/description of what is about to take place, or do you understand “the heavens and the earth” as a merism meaning the entire universe was created as the first act?

    I would also like to know your interpretation of the “firmament” and the waters above and below it.

    Kenny

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Kenny,

      The phrase “the heavens and the earth” is normally used throughout the Old Testament as a merism for “the universe”, and so that seems reasonable for Genesis 1:1 as well. Space, time, and matter were created as the first act of God, but they were not initially in the final form that God would pronounce as “very good.” We know from the rest of Genesis that God took six days to form and to fill that which He had created on the first day. And we know from Exodus 20:8-11 that God opted to work this way as a pattern for us to follow.

      We also know that although the universe (in the sense of space-time) and the earth were created on the first day, they were “empty.” In the case of the universe, there were no luminaries initially since these were not created until day 4. In the case of the Earth, there was no land, plants, animals, or people initially, and earth is explicitly described as being “formless” and “empty.” The use of the waw-disjunctive (a Hebrew grammatical construction) in verse 2 indicates that the verse is describing the initial conditions of the earth when it was first made. Verse 2 is a comment on verse 1.

      The firmament (not the best translation of the Hebrew word ‘raqiya’) or “expanse” is a separation of waters, and basically refers to the sky in a general sense. The waters below are what become seas on day 3. There is no ambiguity there since the Bible explicitly states it in verses 9 and 10. The waters above the expanse have been the topic of much controversy since the Bible does not explicitly name them. But a reasonable inference would be clouds. Clouds are liquid water droplets in suspension, and they are above the expanse just as oceans are below the expanse.

      I hope this helps.

    • Atticus Sheffield says:

      Hi Kenny,

      I’ve never thought of Genesis 1:1 as a description of what will take place over the course of the chapter; I’ve always read it as God’s first act of creation on the first day. I can see how one might try to see it as a sort of prologue, but the fact that verses 2 and 3 both start with the word “and”, implies that something else had happened just prior to the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters (namely, the creation of the heavens and earth). If it were a prologue to the rest of chapter 1, I would expect verse 2 to say, “The earth was without form…” or verse 3 to say, “God said, ‘let there be light’…”. But rather, every verse from 2-26 starts with the word “and”, implying a progression from event to event.
      One idea I came across a while ago is that there is an “undetermined” period of time between verses 2 and 3 in Genesis 1 (a variation on the Gap theory, he calls it the ‘gap fact’)*. The person who said this isn’t trying to read evolution or millions of years into Scripture (in fact, he is a strong Christian and believes in a literal six-day creation about 6,000 years ago), but he says there is no reason to assume that the heavens and earth were created on the first day of recorded history. He says the “undefined” length of time could be anywhere from 10 to 10,000 years, just long enough for Satan/Lucifer, to sin, be cast to the earth and make the world a wilderness (Isaiah 14:17).
      There were a couple of scientific and theological errors in his argument. He says the earth was caused to be “without form and void” (Gen 1:2) by a fallen Lucifer. The greatest problem about this is that God called His creation “good” five times, and “very good” once; if one of His covering cherubs and a third of His angels had fallen from glory, He wouldn’t have called it “very good”. Another few errors he made are assuming rocks were created containing fossils, that starlight was created in-transit and that the stars were created on day 1 (he says only the sun and moon were made on day 4). He’s not a scientist, so he can’t be blamed for the first two, but he bases his claim that the stars were created on day 1, on Job 38:4-7 “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth… when the morning stars sang together…” The error here is that he uses the poetic language in Job to interpret the historical narrative of Genesis; as a practicing Bible scholar, he should be using a better hermeneutic.

      All that was probably unnecessary, as you aren’t of the Gap persuasion, but of the day-age view (Kenny, 8/10/12, Arbitrariness). Since you believe in a form of progressive creation, I think it’s safe to assume you are also a Christian. So I hope you don’t mind if I ask you:
      Can you provide scriptural support for the claim that a day in Genesis 1 is any more than a literal 24-hour day?
      How can you account for the plants (created on day 3) surviving for extended periods of time without the sun (created on day 4) or pollinating insects or birds (created on day 5)?
      And out of curiosity, how long do you believe each day/age is? I’ve heard millions of years, a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), and I’m sure there are many guesses in between. Which do you believe, and why?

      As to your question about the “firmament”, the answer that I believe is the most Scripturally accurate and makes the most sense is that “raqiya”, the Hebrew word translated as “firmament” in Gen 1:6 of the KJV, might be more accurately translated as “expanse”… at least to our modern understanding of the English language.**

      Hope that helped. I know you asked for Dr. Lisle’s interpretation, but I just wanted to put in my two cents.

      I posted this reply yesterday, but I think because I put a couple of links in it, it’s been put in the “awaiting moderation” box. So a copy of this post may come up later with the links attached.

      * (No Greater Joy, Gap Fact)
      ** (Answers in Genesis, Contradictions: Solid Sky)

      • Kenny says:

        Thank you both Dr. Lisle and Atticus,

        All of the answers below are very condensed, but I tried to give enough info to get my position across.

        Atticus, be careful with the English. “And” (waw) does not always mean a sequence of events. As Dr. Lisle pointed out in verse 2 there is a waw disjunctive (a waw followed by a non-verb), which means that it looks back to the preceding verse and describes the conditions found there, at that time. A waw followed by a verb shows sequence, although it can refer to the past as in a parenthetical phrase (examples: Gen. 2:19; 11:1 and I believe 1:16). The Hebrew waw is usually translated and, but, now, so, then, etc.

        I agree with much of what has been said. Genesis 1:1 is the first act of creation and “the heavens and the earth” is a merism, but this merism refers to the entire mature universe (stars, galaxies, etc). Verse two tells us that the focus is now going to be the incomplete earth. Did you notice that here we have God creating something that was “not good” and not complete.

        Now with respect to “good” and “very good,” these refer to the fact that earth’s (and ONLY EARTH’S) conditions, found in verse two, were being changed. Notice that the expanse of day two is not called “good.” This is because it did not change any of the conditions. The earth started off dark, covered by a global ocean, “unproductive and uninhabited” (empty). “Without form and void” really isn’t the best translation. Anyway, “good” and “very good” have to do with the EARTH’S changed conditions compared to Genesis 1:2. It had nothing to do with the universe, or whether animal death, fallen angels, etc. existed or not. The earth was now prepared for humanity, God’s viceroys.

        Along with that, Exodus 20:11 only speaks of what took place on earth, after “In the beginning.” Genesis 1:2 draws our attention to the conditions, on earth, which needed to be changed. Each day starts with “and God said.” This first occurs in Genesis 1:3. Each day also starts with an evening, “and was evening and was morning,” but evening is the closing of a previous work period (Psalm 104:22-23). So, the first thing that happens is the ending of the work period called “In the beginning.” This is backed by Genesis 2:3 which literally ends, “because in it He rested from all His work which God had CREATED TO MAKE.” So after the earth’s creation, God asa, made or transformed it (Is. 45:18). Exodus 20:11 should be understood like this: “For six days the LORD made the heavens (sky) and the earth (dry land), the sea(s), and all that is in them (creatures of the sky; land plants, land animals, and man; great and small sea creatures), and rested the seventh day.” Exodus 20:11 does not us the merism found in Genesis 1:1. Instead it includes much more. This shows us which heavens and earth are being referred to. They are the sky and dry land, not space and planet earth. So, the six days only refer to things happening on earth.

        Now Atticus, you referred to Job 38:4-7 as poetry and that it cannot be used to interpret Genesis one. Those words have meaning regardless of the genre being use. For example, verse 7 is referring to all of the heavenly hosts “praising” God much like Ps. 148:1-4. God still told Job that they were there when the earth was founded/established.

        The “bolt/bar” and probably the “doors” in verse 10 refer to the dry land of day three. This is backed up by Jonah 2:6; Ps. 104:8-9; Prov. 8:29 and Jeremiah 5:22. We can still understand the meaning regardless of how it’s expressed. And the genre does not change the fact that what is being expressed is true.

        “Can you provide scriptural support for the claim that a day in Genesis 1 is any more than a literal 24-hour day?”

        This one I will put in a separate post. I have actually written a 19 pages on it. I’ll condense it.

        “How can you account for the plants (created on day 3) surviving for extended periods of time without the sun (created on day 4) or pollinating insects or birds (created on day 5)?”

        As a Day-Age creationist, I believe the merism in Genesis 1:1 includes the sun. The atmosphere was blocking the sun’s visible form until day four, but the light still got through. From an old-earth interpretation, we see different forms of plants and animals in the fossil record. Not even all plants and trees, living today, require insects or birds, many are pollinated by wind.

        “And out of curiosity, how long do you believe each day/age is? I’ve heard millions of years, a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), and I’m sure there are many guesses in between. Which do you believe, and why?”

        Good question. The Bible does not indicate this, so I have to look at the parallels in astronomy and the geological record to get an idea.
        “In the beginning”
        Universe created – From the beginning of space-time to the creation of earth 13.7-4.56 bya.
        Earth started with a global ocean and had a dense, opaque, atmosphere. (Gen. 1:2; Job 38:8-9; Ps. 104:5-6; Prov. 8:27)

        Day one
        (Moon forming collision creates a thinner atmosphere – 4.5 bya), Light can now break through, though the heavy bombardment period (asteroids and comets) would help keep the light sources shrouded behind a steamy atmosphere. Gen. 1:3-5

        Day two
        (End of heavy bombardment – 3.8 bya), the steamy atmosphere clears, leaving clouds above and an ocean below. Likely an organic haze was also blocking the visibility of the light sources. (Gen. 1:6-8; Prov. 8:28)

        Day three
        (Continents begin to form –3.2 bya) Now there is a surface on which to be productive.
        (Photosynthesis starts on land – .85-1.1 bya)

        Day four
        Sun, moon and stars become visible through a transparent (clouds breaking) atmosphere – 600-800 Mya? Snowball earth the possible cause. An organic haze would have been removed by increased oxygen levels from the photosynthesis.

        Day five
        Swarming animals [sheres nephesh hayya] are created – 543 Mya; Cambrian Explosion
        Flying insects [owph] – 320 Mya
        Large sea reptiles [tanniyn] – 245 Mya; Ichthyosaurs, Nothosaurs and Pistosaurus
        Flying reptiles [owph] – 220 Mya; Pterosaurs
        First birds [owph] – 150 Mya
        First bats [owph] – 52 Mya
        Modern type whales [tanniyn] – 30 Mya; Psalm 104:26 seems to include whales as part of its creation text, so their creation is likely the end of this day.

        Day six
        Creation of three groups of land mammals which co-existed with man – 10 Mya
        (Domestic [behemah], wild [hayya] and rodents [remes]) These three groups of land mammals are also seen in the creation text of Psalm 104:11, 14, 18, 20-21
        Creation of man and woman – 100 kya

        Seventh day
        God is no longer creating. We are still in this day (Hebrews 4).

        • Atticus Sheffield says:

          > ““And” (waw) does not always mean a sequence of events… in verse 2 there is a waw disjunctive (a waw followed by a non-verb), which means that it looks back to the preceding verse and describes the conditions found there, at that time.”
          No disagreement here. Anytime I see a conjunction (and/but/or, etc.), I infer that the first phrase is a precondition for the second phrase to make sense. For example: “And the dog was brown” makes no sense because there is no preceding phrase to qualify it; whereas “I saw a dog, and the dog was brown” would make sense. Likewise, we have “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep… and God said, Let there be light, and there was light” (KJV, Genesis 1:1-3). If verse 1 were a prologue, then verse 2 wouldn’t make sense, as it starts with “and”. If, as you say, verse 1 is the prologue, verse 2 describes the prologue, and verse 3 starts the account from the very beginning, then verse 3 wouldn’t make sense because there is no grammatical justification for the “and”. Who would write historical narrative (fiction or non-) and begin their entire story with “And”?

          > “Genesis 1:1 is the first act of creation and “the heavens and the earth” is a merism, but this merism refers to the entire mature universe (stars, galaxies, etc).”
          I’m seeing a contradiction here. Either Gen 1:1 is the first act of creation, or “the heaven[s] and the earth” (in Gen 1:1) is a merism, referring to the mature universe. And no, that’s not a bifurcation fallacy; here’s my reasoning:
          If “the heavens and the earth” is a merism, then Gen 1:1 would have to be a prologue because by Gen 1:3, it is obvious that “the heavens and the earth” are not completed yet. However, if Gen 1:1 was the first act of creation on day 1, then the correct phrasing would be “the heaven and the earth” because by this time, the earth is just a ball of water floating in space, and then on day 2, God creates an atmosphere (firmament; thus separating “heaven” into “heavens”). I believe the KJV is more accurate in this sense because the “prologue” idea of Gen 1:1-2 makes little sense.

          > “Did you notice that here we have God creating something that was “not good” and not complete.”
          Ehh, incomplete doesn’t mean “not good”. A house in construction that has four walls but no roof or insulation is incomplete, but it’s not “not good”.

          > “Notice that the expanse of day two is not called “good.” This is because it did not change any of the conditions.”
          So, God creating an expanse to “separate the waters from the waters” didn’t change any of the starting conditions? That sounds like an arbitrary statement. If that were true, who’s to say the creation of land and plants changed the conditions?

          > “Anyway, “good” and “very good” have to do with the EARTH’S changed conditions compared to Genesis 1:2.”
          I would say the “very good” in Gen 1:31 refers to “every thing that he had made”, including the angelic beings.

          > “Along with that, Exodus 20:11 only speaks of what took place on earth, after “In the beginning.” Genesis 1:2 draws our attention to the conditions, on earth, which needed to be changed. Each day starts with “and God said.” This first occurs in Genesis 1:3.”
          So, if God only creates light on day 1, then “In the beginning” happened even before day 1, which makes no sense. How can there be anything without time? If you had matter and space without time, when would it exist?
          Off on a tangent, have you noticed (or heard, in my case) that the universe reflects God’s triune nature by being triune itself? The physical universe consists of time, space and matter, which cannot exist one without the others. Likewise, each one of those is also a trinity: Time—past/present/future; Space—height/width/length; Matter—gas/solid/liquid.

          > “Exodus 20:11 should be understood like this: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens (sky) and the earth (dry land), the sea(s), and all that is in them (creatures of the sky; land plants, land animals, and man; great and small sea creatures), and rested the seventh day.””
          I agree, and if God did not create the entire universe in six literal days, what basis do you have for our seven-day week? Days are based on the earth’s rotation, months are roughly based on the moon’s orbit around us, and years are based on the earth’s orbit around the sun. But what are weeks based on? In context, Exodus 20:8-11 is giving us a perfect reason to work for six days and rest for one: a literal six-day creation followed by one day of rest. If the days of creation were long ages, then humans should work for billions of years and rest for millions. Or if the day we’re living in is the holy seventh day of rest, what are we doing working at all?

          > “Each day also starts with an evening, “and was evening and was morning,” but evening is the closing of a previous work period (Psalm 104:22-23). So, the first thing that happens is the ending of the work period called “In the beginning.””
          Just so there’s no confusion, Psalm 104:22-23 is talking about the opening and closing of a single, 24-hour day. Also, if “evening is the closing of a previous work period,” would people who work graveyard shift say “good evening” at 6:00 in the morning? And why did the author of Genesis use the Hebrew word “ereb”, which means “evening/night/sunset”?

          > “For example, verse 7 is referring to all of the heavenly hosts “praising” God much like Ps. 148:1-4. God still told Job that they were there when the earth was founded/established.”
          The only times (3 to be exact) you will find the phrase “morning star(s)” in the Bible is in poetic or prophetic passages, when it refers to angels (Job 38), Jesus (Revelation 22), and maybe the Holy Spirit (Rev 2). So yes, I think it makes sense if the angelic beings were created sometime before day 3, which is when the foundation/dry land was established… likely along with the “heaven and the earth”.

          > “The “bolt/bar” and probably the “doors” in verse 10 refer to the dry land of day three. This is backed up by Jonah 2:6; Ps. 104:8-9; Prov. 8:29 and Jeremiah 5:22.”
          Job 38:8-11 could also be referring to the flood of Noah’s day: “Brake forth”, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” But that’s beside the point.

          >> “How can you account for the plants (created on day 3) surviving for extended periods of time without the sun (created on day 4) or pollinating insects or birds (created on day 5)?”
          > “As a Day-Age creationist, I believe the merism in Genesis 1:1 includes the sun.”
          So Genesis 1:16 is wrong when it says “And God made two great lights” on day 4? Do you suppose the Hebrew word “asah” could be better translated as “caused to appear”?

          > “Not even all plants and trees living today require insects or birds; many are pollinated by wind.”
          That’s true, but Genesis 1:12 says that all plants were created on day 3, not just those that wind-pollinate. Even if the wind-pollinators were created toward the very end of age 3, at the very least, by your estimates, they would still have to wait 300 million years.

          >> “And out of curiosity, how long do you believe each day/age is? I’ve heard millions of years, a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), and I’m sure there are many guesses in between. Which do you believe, and why?”
          > “Good question. The Bible does not indicate this, so I have to look at the parallels in astronomy and the geological record to get an idea.
          > “In the beginning”
          > “Universe created – From the beginning of space-time to the creation of earth 13.7-4.56 bya.
          > “Earth started with a global ocean and had a dense, opaque, atmosphere. (Gen. 1:2; Job 38:8-9; Ps. 104:5-6; Prov. 8:27)”
          From what I get here, you believe that biblical history starts with the earth, and not the universe. That might be acceptable if a) there was a clear distinction between a pre-time non-earth, and a day-one earth, b) God hadn’t created the firmament/atmosphere on day 2, and c) God hadn’t created the celestial bodies on day 4.

          > “Day one
          > “Moon forming collision creates a thinner atmosphere – 4.5 bya), Light can now break through, though the heavy bombardment period (asteroids and comets) would help keep the light sources shrouded behind a steamy atmosphere. Gen. 1:3-5”
          Again, if this was true, then a straightforward exegetical reading of Genesis 1:7, 16 would be wrong, as neither the comets (stars) nor the moon were created until day 4.

          > “Day four: Sun, moon and stars become visible…”
          Just one more time: God did not reveal the celestial bodies on day 4, he created them (Hebrew: “asah”).

          > “Seventh day
          > “God is no longer creating. We are still in this day (Hebrews 4).”
          If God is still resting in this seventh day, then the passage in Exodus 20:8-11 is meaningless because it was designed to explain why we should work for six days and rest for one. Besides, Hebrews 3-4 isn’t talking about the seventh day of rest (even though it mentions it). Chapter 3 makes it clear that “God’s rest” is the land promised to the wandering Jews. Chapter 4 seems to continue the idea of ch. 3 until verse 4, and then it starts talking a bit about the seventh day of creation. However, it doesn’t imply “we are in the seventh day”; but it does say “For he that is entered into his rest (heaven), he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:10). Every time the Bible refers to God resting in the seventh day of creation, it uses the past tense “God rested” (Gen 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11; Hebrews 4:4-10), so it is clear that God rested for only one 24-hour day.

          Finally, why is there any need to reinterpret the Genesis “days” as long periods of time? Aside from your interpretation of Genesis 1, when have you ever understood the word “day” to mean anything other than a 24-hour period of time when it was used with numerals (first day, second day), and with evening and morning?

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Hi Kenny,

          Some of this seems to be based on the claims that Hugh Ross has put forward. But his claims don’t stand up to rational scrutiny. Most of them have been publically refuted. I’ll give some specifics below.

          > I agree with much of what has been said. Genesis 1:1 is the first act of creation and “the heavens and the earth” is a merism, but this merism refers to the entire mature universe (stars, galaxies, etc).

          I have no problem with God creating a “mature” universe in the sense that it was functional upon its completion on the sixth day. However, the universe was not created with stars and galaxies in it. It was empty of the luminaries until day 4, because it was on day 4 that God made the luminaries. I’ll give more details below.

          > Verse two tells us that the focus is now going to be the incomplete earth. Did you notice that here we have God creating something that was “not good” and not complete.

          It’s not that it wasn’t “good.” Everything God does is good. But it is true that it was not yet complete. God created the universe in six days, and at the end of almost every creative step, God pronounces it “good” even though the creation is not yet complete. The primary focus of verse 2 is the earth, but this does not limit the scope of the rest of the chapter. The fourth day clearly involves the creation of the sun, moon, and stars far beyond earth.

          > Now with respect to “good” and “very good,” these refer to the fact that earth’s (and ONLY EARTH’S) conditions, found in verse two, were being changed.

          That isn’t consistent with the text. Five of the six creation days concentrated on earth. But day four is entirely about the luminaries in space being made. I’ll demonstrate this below; but for now it suffices to say that the luminaries did not merely “appear” on the fourth day, but were in fact made on that day. Thus, the entire universe is being created in stages during the creation week. The Bible clearly states in Genesis 1:31 that God saw everything [not just the earth] that He had made, and it was “very good.”

          > Notice that the expanse of day two is not called “good.” This is because it did not change any of the conditions.

          Conditions were changed though. The waters were separated such that there are now waters above and below the expanse. This wasn’t the case before day 2. Conditions changed.

          > The earth started off dark, covered by a global ocean, “unproductive and uninhabited” (empty). “Without form and void” really isn’t the best translation.

          “Formless” is a good translation of the Hebrew word “tohuw.” “Void” is okay for “bohuw” – but yes, “empty” works as well. The point is that God shapes and fills His creation throughout the creation week.

          > Anyway, “good” and “very good” have to do with the EARTH’S changed conditions compared to Genesis 1:2. It had nothing to do with the universe, or whether animal death, fallen angels, etc. existed or not. The earth was now prepared for humanity, God’s viceroys.

          No, the meaning depends on the context. For those actions where God is specifically referring to creating something on earth (e.g. trees) and calling it “good,” then yes, it refers to Earth. But when God makes the lights in the sky and calls what He has done “good” (Genesis 1:18), then this is clearly not referring to Earth. The “very good” in Genesis 1:31 refers to the entire universe – everything that God had made. This is clear from context: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

          The next verse makes it even clearer that this refers to the entire universe: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” Notice that “host” is the natural word used for the luminaries in heaven (e.g. Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3, Isaiah 40:26, 45:12, Jeremiah 8:2, 33:22). There is no doubt that God is calling His entire creation “very good” – everything in the universe. This naturally includes created spiritual beings – all the angels, indicating that they were not yet fallen. It naturally includes any animals, and human beings. Since death is an enemy that God will destroy (1 Corinthians 15:26), it is obvious that death had not yet entered the world, since the world was still “very good” by God’s own declaration.

          > Along with that, Exodus 20:11 only speaks of what took place on earth, after “In the beginning.”

          No, Exodus 20:11 specifically states, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them…” It clearly is not referring to just the earth. Moreover, this is an obvious reference to Genesis 1 which, as we have already seen, involves the entire universe.

          > Genesis 1:2 draws our attention to the conditions, on earth, which needed to be changed.

          Verse 2 focuses on Earth – that’s true. But it wasn’t just the earth that needed to be changed. God also made the luminaries as permanent light bearers, replacing whatever temporary source of light God had used for the first three days.

          > Each day starts with “and God said.” This first occurs in Genesis 1:3. Each day also starts with an evening, “and was evening and was morning,” but evening is the closing of a previous work period (Psalm 104:22-23).

          “Evening” is associated with the setting of the sun, the transition from day to night, just as “morning” is associated with the rising of the sun and the transition from night to day. I know that Ross has claimed that the words can denote a beginning or ending of something, and not necessarily a literal evening and morning. But that isn’t true. The Hebrew words for evening and morning always refer to a literal evening and literal morning in all references in Scripture, even when they are used in poetic passages, such as the Psalms. The passage in Psalm 104 is no exception – it indicates that humans are diurnal creatures. All that to say, “evening” does not indicate the closing of a previous work; rather it indicates the hours around and including sunset.

          > So, the first thing that happens is the ending of the work period called “In the beginning.” This is backed by Genesis 2:3 which literally ends, “because in it He rested from all His work which God had CREATED TO MAKE.”

          Not really, no. The first thing that happens is the creation of heaven and earth – the creation of space-time and matter. God then creates light and separates the day from the night. THEN comes the closing of that day – the evening and morning. Genesis 2:3 is referring to the Sabbath Day – God rested after having created everything in the universe.

          It’s not clear to me what point you are trying to make with the “created” and “made.” There are two different Hebrew words, and they have slightly different meanings. “Bara” for “created” has the implication of calling something new into existence, whereas “asah” for “made” has the sense of making something from pre-existing material. God both “creates” and “makes” during the creation week. This is why most English translations render the end of Genesis 2:3 as “created and made.” The way you have rendered it is fine too, since anything God made was made from something that He had previously created. He “created to make” in the sense that everything that was made was made from material that God had previously created.

          > So after the earth’s creation, God asa, made or transformed it (Is. 45:18).

          That’s right. He does this with the heavens as well. They are created in verse one, and transformed (i.e. filled with luminaries) on day four. Both the earth and the heavens were created and made (Genesis 2:4)

          > Exodus 20:11 should be understood like this: “For six days the LORD made the heavens (sky) and the earth (dry land), the sea(s), and all that is in them (creatures of the sky; land plants, land animals, and man; great and small sea creatures), and rested the seventh day.” Exodus 20:11 does not us [sic] the merism found in Genesis 1:1. Instead it includes much more. This shows us which heavens and earth are being referred to. They are the sky and dry land, not space and planet earth. So, the six days only refer to things happening on earth.

          No, that won’t work for a number of reasons. First of all, Exodus 20:11 is indeed using the merism “heavens and the earth.” The fact that the merism is augmented does take away from it, but adds emphasis. If I said, “I looked high and low for that remote control, but couldn’t find it,” I’m using a merism since “high and low” is understood to stand for everything in between as well. Imagine that I add this for emphasis “I looked high and low for that remote control – even under the couch cushions!” This doesn’t subtract from the merism; rather it adds to it. Likewise in Exodus 20:11, God adds “the sea and all that is in them” for emphasis. The “sea” may also have been added so that there is no misunderstanding; it wasn’t just the dry land that God had made, but the sea as well (since “earth” can mean either “land” or the entire globe.) The phrase “and all that is in them” eliminates any possibility of something not being made during the creation week.

          Second, Exodus 20:11 is clearly referring back to the days of Genesis. That’s where the “six days” come from. If Moses had intended to refer only to the earth, then only five days would have been mentioned, since only five of the six creation days involve God’s actions in shaping and creating on earth. Nothing on earth is involved in God making the luminaries on day 4. The meaning of Exodus 20:11 is clear; God made absolutely everything in the span of six days.

          > Now Atticus, you referred to Job 38:4-7 as poetry and that it cannot be used to interpret Genesis one.

          He’s right. The historical passages should be used to interpret the poetic ones.

          > Those words have meaning regardless of the genre being use.

          That’s also true. But it is proper exegesis to use the historical narrative to interpret the poetry – not the reverse.

          > For example, verse 7 is referring to all of the heavenly hosts “praising” God much like Ps. 148:1-4. God still told Job that they were there when the earth was founded/established.

          I agree. But it would be inappropriate to push this figurative language to mean that the stars were already praising God at the first instant when the earth was created – that’s not what the text states. The earth was still being established after day 4, in the sense that God was not done with it. The creation week was the week where the Earth was founded/established. The stars “praised” God during (the last half of) that week, and it wouldn’t be appropriate to attempt to pull anything beyond this from the passage.

          > The “bolt/bar” and probably the “doors” in verse 10 refer to the dry land of day three. This is backed up by Jonah 2:6; Ps. 104:8-9; Prov. 8:29 and Jeremiah 5:22. We can still understand the meaning regardless of how it’s expressed. And the genre does not change the fact that what is being expressed is true.

          It’s not obvious to me that verse 10 is still referring to the creation week. Hebrew poetic literature is not always strictly chronological. I can tell you that Psalm 104:8-9 are definitely not referring to creation, but rather to the flood, as I’ve studied that passage in considerable detail.

          > As a Day-Age creationist, I believe the merism in Genesis 1:1 includes the sun.

          It cannot, since the sun is made on day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19).

          > The atmosphere was blocking the sun’s visible form until day four, but the light still got through.

          I recognize this as a Hugh Ross claim. Ross claims that the sun merely appeared on day 4. But this claim is very easy to refute. The Hebrew word describing the making of the sun, moon, and stars on day 4 is “asah.” This indicates that the luminaries were made on the fourth day. They did not merely appear. There is a different Hebrew word for “appear” that could have been used if the Lord intended to communicate that the luminaries merely appeared on the fourth day. “Ra’ah” is the Hebrew word for “appear” which is used to indicate the dry land appearing on day 3.

          The Hebrew connects the terms for the sun (greater light), the moon (lesser light) and the stars back to asah using the Hebrew preposition “et” which has no direct translation in English. “Et” indicates that the sun, moon, and stars, are all connected with the verb “asah” – thus they were all made (not just “appeared”) on the fourth day.

          The Hebrew word for “day” is “yom.” It virtually always indicates an ordinary day, and always does so when used as part of a numbered sequence, or when bounded by evening and morning. All of these indicators are present in Genesis. Our Hebrew scholar at ICR believes that there are absolutely no instances of “yom” in biblical historic narrative that indicate anything but an ordinary day. Also the plural form (“yamim”) always indicates ordinary days – and it is the plural form that is used in Exodus 20:11.

          > From an old-earth interpretation, we see different forms of plants and animals in the fossil record. Not even all plants and trees, living today, require insects or birds, many are pollinated by wind.

          Fossils are dead things. Some fossils show evidence of disease. Yet, the Bible says that when God finished His work of creation, it was “very good.” Would it really have billions of dead creatures in its layers? Would it be full of disease and suffering? (Will the new earth?)

          As an interesting test to find out who or what you really are placing your faith in, consider this: fossils of fish are found far deeper in the geologic column than fruit trees. In the secular view, this means that fish preceded fruit trees by hundreds of millions of years. But according to Scripture, fruit trees were first; they are made on day 3 (Genesis 1:11-13), whereas fish are made on day 5 (Genesis 1:20-23).

          >> “And out of curiosity, how long do you believe each day/age is? I’ve heard millions of years, a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), and I’m sure there are many guesses in between. Which do you believe, and why?”
          > Good question. The Bible does not indicate this, so I have to look at the parallels in astronomy and the geological record to get an idea.

          Actually, the Bible does indicate this very explicitly. It tells us that each of the days of creation was comprised of one evening and one morning (e.g. Genesis 1:5). It tells us that the reason we have seven days in a week is because this is how long God took to create and rest (Exodus 20:8-11). God’s creation week is the template for our work week – using the same word for “day” in the same context. The Bible makes it very clear that God created in six ordinary days.

          > “In the beginning”
          Universe created – From the beginning of space-time to the creation of earth 13.7-4.56 bya.
          Earth started with a global ocean and had a dense, opaque, atmosphere. (Gen. 1:2; Job 38:8-9; Ps. 104:5-6; Prov. 8:27)

          I recognize the “opaque atmosphere” as a Hugh Ross claim. It is without Scriptural support. He has to take poetic sections out of context to even suggest such a thing. It is also noteworthy that secular geologists reject the notion that the Earth began as a global ocean. They believe it started as a hot, molten blob which gradually cooled and solidified. Oceans didn’t come about until hundreds of millions of years later and never covered the entire world in their view. Proverbs 8:27 is teaching about wisdom – it’s not a record of creation as Ross would like to believe. Psalm 104:6 is referring to the great flood, and it seems reasonable that Job 38:8-9 is also referring to the great flood. Even if it were not, it wouldn’t prove Ross’s claim that the Earth was enshrouded in an opaque atmosphere for millions of years. Ross does not know how to exegete Scripture, so I wouldn’t blindly accept what he says about such passages. Proverbs, Job, and Psalms are not “accounts of creation.”

          > Day one
          (Moon forming collision creates a thinner atmosphere – 4.5 bya), Light can now break through, though the heavy bombardment period (asteroids and comets) would help keep the light sources shrouded behind a steamy atmosphere. Gen. 1:3-5

          The moon wasn’t created until day 4, when God made (asah) the lesser light to “rule” the night (Genesis 1:16-19). In fact, the moon was made after trees (Genesis 1:11-13). So the Genesis account is at odds with the standard secular view (which is essentially Ross’s view).

          > Day two
          (End of heavy bombardment – 3.8 bya), the steamy atmosphere clears, leaving clouds above and an ocean below. Likely an organic haze was also blocking the visibility of the light sources. (Gen. 1:6-8; Prov. 8:28)

          There is nothing in the Genesis text about a bombardment, or a haze blocking visibility of light sources. Hugh adds it so that He can claim that the stars merely appeared on the fourth day – which isn’t possible given the Hebrew text as we have already seen.

          > Day three
          (Continents begin to form –3.2 bya) Now there is a surface on which to be productive.
          (Photosynthesis starts on land – .85-1.1 bya)

          Problem: in the secular view, fruit trees do not evolve until around 300-250 Mya. But the Bible places them on day 3, before any animals. But in the secular view, animals go back about 600 Mya – long before any fruit trees. It’s just futile to try and match the Bible to the secular timeline.

          > Day four
          Sun, moon and stars become visible through a transparent (clouds breaking) atmosphere – 600-800 Mya? Snowball earth the possible cause. An organic haze would have been removed by increased oxygen levels from the photosynthesis.

          Again, the Bible teaches that the luminaries were made (asah) on day 4. Biblically, nothing happens on earth on day 4.

          > Day five
          Swarming animals [sheres nephesh hayya] are created – 543 Mya; Cambrian Explosion
          Flying insects [owph] – 320 Mya
          Large sea reptiles [tanniyn] – 245 Mya; Ichthyosaurs, Nothosaurs and Pistosaurus
          Flying reptiles [owph] – 220 Mya; Pterosaurs
          First birds [owph] – 150 Mya
          First bats [owph] – 52 Mya
          Modern type whales [tanniyn] – 30 Mya; Psalm 104:26 seems to include whales as part of its creation text, so their creation is likely the end of this day.

          The Bible teaches that the flying creatures and swimming creatures are created on day 5. So, aside from the timescale, much of what you state is correct. All these things (flying creatures and swimming creatures) were made one day earlier than the land animals – such as dinosaurs. Of course, in the secular view, land animals evolved millions of years before any flying creatures. Birds are supposed to be the latest development of the classes of vertebrate animals, and come long after things like reptiles.

          > Day six
          Creation of three groups of land mammals which co-existed with man – 10 Mya
          (Domestic [behemah], wild [hayya] and rodents [remes]) These three groups of land mammals are also seen in the creation text of Psalm 104:11, 14, 18, 20-21
          Creation of man and woman – 100 kya

          The Bible is not so restrictive as to teach that only three groups of mammals were made on the sixth day. On the contrary, God created “everything that creeps on the ground” on the sixth day and uses three generic terms to express the fact that this includes all land animals. Behemah is a generic word for “beast” – it’s not restricted to domestic animals, though it certainly includes them. “Remes” does not mean rodents. It is a very generic term meaning “moving things” – anything that walks or creeps. It certainly includes lizards (as one example of something that evolutionists believe existed long before birds). “Chayah” is the most generic of all, and simply means “creatures.” It is used as a blanket statement so that we understand that everything that is a creature that walks along the earth is made on the sixth day. This of course clashes with the evolutionist’s timescale.

          > Seventh day
          God is no longer creating. We are still in this day (Hebrews 4).

          I recognize this as another one of Ross’s blunders. “I rested all day on Saturday. And I’m still resting today. Therefore, today is still Saturday.” The logic just doesn’t follow. It’s the fallacy of affirming the consequent. Likewise, the fact that God rested on the first Sabbath day does not mean that we are still in that Sabbath day. Our work week is based on the creation week (Exodus 20:8-11). Thus, if the seventh day is actually thousands of years, then… well I guess I won’t have to go into work tomorrow – or ever again! 😉

          I hope this helps.

  16. Jacob Howard says:

    Hi Mr. Lisle,

    As I can see from many of my own comments submitted and comments by other people, I think you will need to check your Spam in your WordPress Comment section. Any comment with too many external links (I find it to be 2, 3 or more) will await moderation forever. You will want to check that spam box and see how many comments people have written that never made it to the public eye.

    Also, what do you think on the Creation/Salvation subject? I find that if a person believes that God is contrary to the report giving of Him in the Bible, then that person is living in idolatry. And, in Revelation 21:8, 22:15 and 1 Corinthian 6:9 it says idolaters cannot enter heaven. I realize this is for people who have not repented but what about that person who has repented yet still lives in idolatry by believing the lie of evolution? Isn’t that still idolatry and not repenting (turning away) of sin and being saved? It is all rather complicated!

    In Christ Jesus alone,

    Jacob Howard

    http://www.alreadyanswered.org

  17. Chris says:

    Dr. Lisle, what do you say to an unbeliever who says “I don’t see any reason NOT to believe in induction?” I’ve heard the response “then I don’t see any reason not to believe I’m never going to die”…. but there are plenty of reasons to believe I’m going to die.

    • Josef says:

      Chris,

      I don’t think it is a good idea to try to deny inductive reasoning. Because to deny inductive reasoning would really deny the scientific method since science by nature is inductive. In fact, inductive reasoning and uniformity of nature are very closely related. However, I think the confusion comes in that inductive reasoning has limitations not found in deductive reasoning, such as the inability to guarantee if a conclusion is sound.

      I think the “I’m never going to die” argument is more useful in the context of showing the unbeliever that he has no ability to justify his belief in the inductive principle, given his worldview.

      • Chris says:

        That’s what I mean, uniformity in nature. What do you say when an unbeliever says “I don’t see any reason NOT to believe the future will be like that past.”

        • Josef says:

          Chris,

          It would seem that the problem here is between arbitrary uses of question begging versus a non-arbitrary one. Just because the past-futures have always reflected the past-pasts, that doesn’t mean future-futures will continue to do so.

          However, essentially the Christian and unbeliever have to beg the question in knowing that the future will be like the past. The difference is that the Christian is justified in this belief, while the unbeliever is not. In other words, the Christian has a rational reason to believe in uniformity, while the unbeliever merely assumes it.

          If the unbeliever cannot provide a justified reason for uniformity, then he is actually being irrational by believing it. A rational belief requires rational justification. What if I said, “I think I saw a UFO last night.” You’d naturally ask me why, but what if in my response I said, “I don’t have a reason why I think I saw one, I just believe that I did.” If I made such a claim with that type of reasoning, then I wouldn’t have a rational belief.

          If the unbeliever merely says, “My justification that the future will be like the past because it always has been so I have no good reason not to believe that,” then this is just begging the very question he is being asked.

          Challenge the unbeliever to give you a justified reason to believe that past experiences will carry on into the future. In other words, challenge the unbeliever to explain how his worldview can account for uniformity. It sounds like he is just merely assuming it.

  18. Patrick Gernert says:

    “Why do you hold the 24 hour view as the most exegetically consistent? The question I have heard Greg ask on the air is do you believe the sun rotates around the earth or vice versa? Now we both know the earth rotates around the sun due to the knowledge available to us today, but back before we could observe that, it was a widely held belief that scholars were being truly “exegetical” in saying the earth is “fixed in place” and did not move.

    1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”

    Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …”

    Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable …”

    Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”

    Isaiah 45:18: “…who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast…”

    So we can take that in light of what we know today and see that there must be a different meaning behind what the author was saying.

    I am not saying you are wrong at all, it may very well be that the earth is only 6,000 yrs old

    The majority of arguments I hear from YECs revolves solely on the translation of three words, “Yom, Boqer, and Ereb”. These being translated into “Day, sunrise, sunset” in our english translations.

    But are these the only possible translations?

    “yom”, like our English word “day,” can refer to a 24 hour day, sunrise to sunset (12 hours), or a long, unspecified period of time.

    The Hebrew word ereb, translated evening also means “sunset,” “night” or “ending of the day.”

    The Hebrew word boqer, translated morning, also means “sunrise,” “coming of light,” “beginning of the day,” or “dawning,” with possible metaphoric usage.

    So are there other exegetical options in structuring those same sentences? I think so.

    Are there other areas in the OT that use these same words in different ways?

    Gen 2:4 “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. ” – The YEC view holds that the earth was created in 6 days, why does it say “the day” here?

    Some think that the evening and morning combined with a number are definitive proof that it means literal day… Lets look.

    And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:5)

    And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. (Genesis 1:8)

    And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. (Genesis 1:13)

    And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Genesis 1:19)

    And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:23)

    And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)

    The actual number of words in Hebrew is much fewer than that of the English translations. The words “and there was” are not in the Hebrew, but added to make the English flow better. The actual translation is “evening and morning ‘n’ day.” There is no way to discern from the context that the text is referring to 24 hour days.

    Also lets look at a few other verses.

    The “Day of the Lord” refers to a seven year period of time.
    The seventh day of Genesis is not closed. In all other days, “there is the evening and the morning, the n day.”
    In the book of Hebrews, the author tells us to labor to enter into God’s seventh day of rest. By any calculation, God’s seventh day of rest has been at least 6,000 years long:

    So if the 7th day (God’s Day) is longer then 1 24 hour or 12 hour period, why do we hold that the first six are limited as well?

    The third day must have been longer than 24-hours, since the text indicates a process that would take a year or longer. On this day, God allowed the land to produce vegetation, tress and fruit. The text specifically states that the land produced trees that bore fruit with seed in it (3). Any horticulturist knows that fruit-bearing trees requires several years to grow to produce fruit. However, the text states that the land produced these trees (indicating a natural process) and that it all occurred on the third day. Obviously, such a “day” could not have been only 24 hours long.

    The events of the sixth day of creation require time beyond 24 hours. On this day, God created the mammals and mankind. He also planted a garden, watered it, let it grow, and put man in it, with instruction on its care and maintenance. Then God brought all the animals to Adam to be named. This job, in itself would take many days or weeks. Next, God put Adam to sleep and created Eve. When Adam woke up, he used the Hebrew word pa‛ămâh, which means “at long last.” If Adam has only needed to wait a few hours, it is unlikely he would have used this Hebrew word. The context suggests that Adam had to wait months to years before Eve was created. So, it is very unlikely all of this could have taken place in a 24 hour period of time, since much of it was dependent upon Adam, who did not have the abilities of God.

    The Bible itself states that the covenant and laws of God have been proclaimed to a “thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 Chronicles 16:15, Psalm 105:8). Even if a generation is considered to be 20 years, this adds up to at least 20,000 years. A biblical generation is often described as being 40 years, which would represent at least 40,000 years. However, since the first dozen or more generations were nearly 1,000 years, this would make humans nearly 50,000 years old, which agrees very well with dates from paleontology and molecular biology.”

    Anyone care to comment on this? I got this from a discussion on origins and I am really interested on learning about the word day and how it is translated. What is the most convincing evidence on this for 24 hour days?

    • Josef says:

      Patrick, that is quite a post to reply to. I think it will be best if I just explain why I believe in literal six-day creation and then I’ll try to answer at least some of the objections you raised.

      1. It’s what the plain reading of Scripture indicates. Genesis was written as a historical narrative and the plain reading of the days is 6 literal days.

      2. If not for the fact that secularists have been teaching that “science” has proven the earth is 4.6 billion years old and the universe is 14 billion years old, would you have ever thought to question the length of the days of Genesis? In other words, if you just came to the Bible with a clean slate and knew absolutely nothing about the controversies surrounding the age of the earth, can you honestly say that you would have gotten the impression that the days of Genesis were anything but 6 ordinary days?

      3. Other places of the Bible wouldn’t make much sense if the days were not 6 ordinary days. Jesus said that from the beginning of the creation, God create them (Adam & Eve) male and female (Mark 10:6). However, if the universe were really 14 billion years old, and modern man wasn’t around until 100,000-250,000 years ago, then were humans really created at the beginning of the creation? What is the (mathematical) difference between 14 billion and 250,000? It is a number so close to 14 billion that for all practically purposes, you’d just round that number to 14 billion because 250,000 is so insignificant by comparison. So if we take secular assumptions about the age of the universe and earth, Jesus would be wrong, and Adam and Eve wouldn’t be created at the beginning, but really they would be indistinguishable from the end.

      4. God has plainly said that He created in six literal days: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11). Now, suppose God really created in six days, how else could He have made it more plain? Notice that while God was created in six days, he was always creating the seven day week and we are to use it as a model. Do you really think God was telling the Israelites to work for millions of years (or however long you want to make the 6 days) before they could finally take a break?

      5. Even if you stretched out the days of Genesis, it really solves nothing as far as secular beliefs are concerned. See, the Bible teaches that the Universe and earth were created simultaneously (Genesis 1:1), while secularists believe that the Universe is about 9-10 billion years older than the earth. Secularists also teach that the earth started off as a hot molten mass, while the Bible teaches that the earth essentially was a ball of water (Genesis 1:2). The Bible also teaches that the earth existed before the sun and in fact, before the other stars (Gen 1:14-16), but secularists belief the stars and the sun existed before the earth. In fact, the Bible teaches that even the green plants were created a day before the sun (Genesis 1:12), etc. I won’t get into all the details, but I think you get the point. But even granting that the days were indefinite periods of time, that really wouldn’t “help” at all with secularists. So really, you’d just be compromising for no reason at all.

      6. No matter if you believe in evolution or not, no matter how you slice it, if the earth & universe were really billions of years old, there must have been death before sin which contradicts the Bible (Romans 5:12). Because long-age geology teaches that the layers of the earth and the fossils that are contained within, are a record of long ages that bear testimony of millions of years of death, disease, suffering, etc. So why would God say that death will be the final enemy destroyed (1 Cor 15:26) if death were just God’s creative process?

      Now, that is just an overview of why I believe the Bible, when taken plainly and without any type of bias, clearly teaches that the earth was created in six ordinary days. Now, I’ll try to answer some of the points in your post:

      >Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …”

      Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable …”

      Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”<

      I think it is important to keep in mind what genre of writing we are reading when we read the Bible. The Psalms are considered to be in the genre of poetry as evidenced by their liberal use of hyperbole and literary metaphors. Take for example: "I have set the Lord continually before me;
      Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
      (Psalm 16:8), not surely you wouldn’t accuse the Bible of teaching that the Psalmist, a man, cannot be moved! Obviously he isn’t speaking literally, and as I have pointed out, poetic writings are riddled with hyperbole. To compare a book written as a historical narrative to one that is written as poetry is really comparing apples and oranges.

      And as strange as this may seem, even verses like the Psalms are not scientifically inaccurate. Because this really about reference frames and in fact, if the Psalmist is using the earth as his reference frame (which he would be, and we do this today), then the earth would not move relative to the earth (this also answers verses like 1 Chronicles 16:30).

      >“yom”, like our English word “day,” can refer to a 24 hour day, sunrise to sunset (12 hours), or a long, unspecified period of time.<

      Indeed, which is why context is important. Each day in Genesis one are qualified by morning and evening. To be consistent, wouldn't you agree that there would be to be severel mornings and several evenings? Why just simply close with, "there was morning and there was evening, the first day"?

      Day in Genesis 2:4 isn't qualified by "morning and evening" and we can tell that it's speaking of the entire creation week by it's context. I think part of the problem is that people think of biblical creationists as being wooden in their interpretation when we’re not. It’s about context.

      >The third day must have been longer than 24-hours, since the text indicates a process that would take a year or longer. On this day, God allowed the land to produce vegetation, tress and fruit. The text specifically states that the land produced trees that bore fruit with seed in it.<

      Arguments like these tend to baffle me. It's like the arguer has forgotten that we're talking about an omnipotent God who could've created in 6 seconds if He wanted to. Obviously if the plants had to grow at a natural rate as we observe them today, then yes, the 3rd day would have to be longer. However, this was not a natural event, but a supernatural one by the all-powerful creator God. For that matter, if we want to "forget" that this was a supernatural event, then that would be an even bigger miracle, because that would mean that for years, plants were growing on the earth without the sun!

      Anyway, I'm at work and out of time for now. But I hope this at least gets you started in your studies!

      • Patrick Gernert says:

        Thank you Josef that does answer my questions and I appreciate the response!

        • Josef says:

          Patrick,

          I’m glad you found my response helpful  I was writing that while I had some down time at work, so I didn’t have a chance to say everything I wanted to. But some other things I wanted to point out is that you can also go on the offensive (after answering these objections) too.

          For example, it seems that the skeptics’ main argument is that the word “day” can have several different meanings (and as I’ve explained, that’s why determine meaning by context). But does the skeptic really think that just because a word has several different meanings, that it means that we have the freedom to pick any definition we see fit? Here are some things to think about:

          – How long would the skeptic say Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster, 3 days or 3 thousand/million/billion years?

          – How long was Jesus in the tomb: 3 days or 3 thousand/million/billion years?

          Obviously the context is how we determine the meaning of the word. If I said, “As I was traveling through the woods, I was nearly attacked by a huge bear,” what would you think the word “bear” meant? Would it make sense if I used it in the same way Cain did when he said, “My punishment is too great to bear!” (Gen 4:13)? Or what about the way Abraham used it when he expressed doubts that his 90 years old wife would really have a child, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child”? Or how about this one: And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.” (1 Sam 17:37).

          There are so many different ways in which the Bible uses the word “bear” that it would be impractical for me to list every example. But would anyone truly argue that because “bear” has so many different meanings, that we cannot be sure what Cain meant when he said, “My punishment is too great to bear”? How do we ever know the meaning of a word? It is based on context. Going with the example I gave earlier about nearly being attacked by a bear in the woods, would it make sense to think of “bear” in the same sense that Cain or Abraham did in the examples I gave from the Bible?

          The next time you’re talking to a skeptic of biblical creation, and he says something like, “Man, I can’t bear the thought of the stress that will be accompanied with the holidays” you can respond by saying something like, “I’m sorry, you’re not speaking clearly. I don’t understand how a woodland animal has anything to do with the holidays!”

          Also, another way you can go on the offensive is when the skeptic points out that the days of creation must have been longer days, because plants need more than a day to grow and mature. Remember, that this type of argumentation essentially “forgets” that the creation event was a supernatural event by an all-powerful God. Point out to the skeptic that he is being in consistent if he considers himself a Christian. If he wants to be more consistent, then he would have to deny the virgin birth. Just as the plants we observe today needs more time to grow than a day, women do not just get pregnant without sexual intercourse. Why does the skeptic understand that God can supernaturally impregnate a woman, but he cannot figure out that God can create green plants either instantly or make them grow at a rate such that they will be matured within one ordinary day? Essentially the line of reasoning the skeptic uses limits God’s abilities to overrule natural laws.

          Also, one objection I did not have time to answer previously was:

          “Then God brought all the animals to Adam to be named. This job, in itself would take many days or weeks. Next, God put Adam to sleep and created Eve. When Adam woke up, he used the Hebrew word pa‛ămâh, which means “at long last.” If Adam has only needed to wait a few hours, it is unlikely he would have used this Hebrew word. The context suggests that Adam had to wait months to years before Eve was created. So, it is very unlikely all of this could have taken place in a 24 hour period of time, since much of it was dependent upon Adam, who did not have the abilities of God.”

          I think this is an important point to answer because it is a fairly common objection to biblical creation.

          I’ll answer this point by point:

          > “Then God brought all the animals to Adam to be named. This job, in itself would take many days or weeks.”

          This is a straw-man fallacy. God didn’t ask Adam to name all the animals. The text says, “Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19).

          Here you can see that the skeptic has clearly set up a straw-man fallacy. Adam didn’t have to name all of the animals, just the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky! Also, this over looks that the Bible says that God created certain kinds of animals. This would severely limit the number of animals created. E.g. the fox, wolf and coyote are all the same “kind” of animal and probably were descended from an original canine kind.

          So not only did Adam only have to name the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, he probably didn’t have nearly the variety we have today. The problem is that most skeptics tend to think that Adam had to name literally every living creature and every variety.

          > “When Adam woke up, he used the Hebrew word pa‛ămâh, which means “at long last.” If Adam has only needed to wait a few hours, it is unlikely he would have used this Hebrew word.”

          This assumes that it only took Adam a few hours to name all the animals. It could have taken up most of the day. But even if it were just a few hours, remember that a few hours, when you’re anxiously expecting something, can seem like an eternity. Also, time can be relative. Haven’t you ever been in a situation where you said, “Well, it’s about time!” when in reality the thing you were waiting for really didn’t take that long? One example I can think of is when I was getting a cavity filled by the dentist last year. I felt like it was taking forever when in reality it was only 30 minutes or so. Or what about when you’re at work, and you know it is the last day of work before you take a long anticipated vacation. Sometimes you might say, “Man, this day is taking forever!” when in reality, your work day may only be a few hours.

          > “The context suggests that Adam had to wait months to years before Eve was created. So, it is very unlikely all of this could have taken place in a 24 hour period of time, since much of it was dependent upon Adam, who did not have the abilities of God.”

          Not at all. First the context of Genesis 1 is that the days of creation were ordinary days. Second, the reasoning that the skeptic gives for the 6th day, such as naming all the animals was flawed as I’ve explained. And finally, Adam saying, “At long last” really doesn’t mean much as time is often relative.

          Students waiting for their class to end, might think, “Well it’s about time, that lecture seemed like it took forever” when in reality it may have only be a one or two hour class. Also, one other point to consider was that because Adam was created, he didn’t have prior experiences to compare with his experience of having to name the animals. It could have been that the naming of the animals and finding a mate was the longest task Adam had at the time, so to him, it may have seemed like it took forever if his previous tasks only took a few minutes.

  19. Kenny says:

    Atticus and others,

    Maybe this will help you see the meaning of the first three verses.
    “(1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (i.e. universe),
    (2) But the earth was unproductive and uninhabited and darkness was over the face of the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters,
    (3) So God said let there be light.”
    The waw of verse three is a “waw-consecutive,” waw followed by a verb. This shows a sequence. Verse two uses the “waw-disjunctive,” waw followed by a non-verb, which simply gives a description of what earth looked like during the time of verse one. Waw-disjunctive does not show a sequence. Dr. Lisle agrees with this.

    Again, we have a merism in verse one which means the entire universe. A merism uses two extremes or “two book ends,” but includes everything in between. If I say that I’m having a party and I want you to invite “young and old.” This would include all ages in between. The extremes are space and an incomplete earth (see waw disjunctive above), which means that the rest of the universe was created at this time (the sun, other stars, galaxies, comets, etc.). So, there is no problem on day one. Day four is about the function of the lights, not their creation. Verse 16 is a parenthetical phrase, reminding the reader that these were not gods, as believed by other nations, but creations of God. “God HAD MADE” them in the beginning. Verse 17 says that God gave (or gifted) them in the atmosphere. This is the same atmosphere (raqia) formed on day two. This has nothing to do with outer space. In fact, as shown on day two and day 5, the upper boundary for this expanse is the clouds (waters above, face of the expanse). By the way, Gen. 2:19 is also best translated as a parenthetical phrase. God HAD FORMED the beasts and birds before Adam, not between Adam and Eve.

    Genesis 1:1 is the first act in which the entire universe was created, but the earth still needed work. Genesis 1:3 is the second act in the account, but the first act of completing the earth. Verse two only indicates that the earth needed more work. The earth is the focus of Genesis one and Exodus 20:11, not the heavens.

     Ehh, incomplete doesn’t mean “not good”. A house in construction that has four walls but no roof or insulation is incomplete, but it’s not “not good”.

    First, I used quotes around not good. Second, if each change in the earth’s condition is called good, then it stands to reason that the original state was “not good.”

     So, God creating an expanse to “separate the waters from the waters” didn’t change any of the starting conditions? That sounds like an arbitrary statement. If that were true, who’s to say the creation of land and plants changed the conditions?

    Come on Atticus. Look at Genesis 1:2 and tell me which condition was changed on day two. Land and plants change the “unproductive” condition.

     I would say the “very good” in Gen 1:31 refers to “every thing that he had made”, including the angelic beings.

    Good and very good are in contrast to earth being “unproductive and uninhabited, dark and being covered by waters.” That is the context. Where are you inserting angels? The context, in Genesis one, is the physical world.

    “In the beginning” matter, energy, space and time (or space-time) were created. This is before the six days of working on the earth’s conditions.

    Where does the text say that insect pollinated plants were created on day three? Please give me the Hebrew word used for that.

    When I say earth, that includes its atmosphere, but the atmosphere was congested by something like steam until day two.

    Romans 5:12 is about human spiritual death. Look at the context. 1 Corinthians 15 deals with our physical death. As far as the “last enemy” being death, again this is only death of humans. Look at the context of 1 Cor. 15:21-26, 51-57; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 20:4-6, 13-14, 21:3-4. These all deal with the fact that human death is defeated when we receive our resurrected bodies. There is nothing in the Bible which says that animals did not die until Adam sinned.

    How long Jonah was in the whale or Jesus was in the tomb have nothing to do with the creation periods. By the way, the length of these “days” have been discussed for 2,000 years. I’ll respond to the length of the days shortly.

    • Josef says:

      >“Romans 5:12 is about human spiritual death. Look at the context. 1 Corinthians 15 deals with our physical death.”

      I do not deny that death in Romans 5:12 includes spiritual death, but there is nothing in the text to suggest that it is only about spiritual death. And while the context is emphasizing human death, it does not mean that this only applies to human death.

      Consider that because of Adam’s sin, the whole creation groans (Romans 8:20-22) and because of Adam’s sin the ground is cursed, thorns appeared, and it resulted in his physically dying and being returned to the dust he was made from (Genesis 3: 17-19).

      Furthermore, we must not lose sight over the fact that Romans 5:12 demonstrates that sin and death are intertwined. Just as there is no death without sin, there is no “cursed ground” without sin either.

      As for 1 Corinthians 15, yes, I would agree that it is emphasizing physical death. As a matter of fact, v. 21 says, “or since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. Notice that this contrasts the death the Adam brought into the world with the resurrection of Christ. Now if Adam’s sin only led to spiritual death, then Christ would only need to be spiritually resurrected instead of physically. So the fact that Christ was physically resurrected is strong confirmation that Adam’s sin brought physical death into the world (as well as spiritual).

      >“As far as the “last enemy” being death, again this is only death of humans. Look at the context of 1 Cor. 15:21-26, 51-57; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 20:4-6, 13-14, 21:3-4. These all deal with the fact that human death is defeated when we receive our resurrected bodies. There is nothing in the Bible which says that animals did not die until Adam sinned.”

      Again, while I wouldn’t deny that the emphasis is on human death, that doesn’t mean it is only about human death. And as I have already shown, Adam’s sin affected all of the creation (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 8:20-22). It did not just introduce death to man and that’s it. And in the restored earth, there will be no bloodshed in the animal kingdom (Isaiah 65:25).

      >“How long Jonah was in the whale or Jesus was in the tomb have nothing to do with the creation periods.”

      True, but this misses the point. The point was that no one really questions the length of the days in these instances. Only in Genesis are there real doubts about the length of the days and that is more because of what secularists have pushed as the age of the earth and universe. And all questions of the length of the days in these instances I have ever seen are attempts to shorten the days.

      • Kenny says:

        Josef,

        As you have pointed out, you are adding to the text. The texts do not deal with animal death.

        Romans 5 is all about human spiritual death.
        Romans 5:12-14 becomes important in the conversation about the age of the earth, because many see it as saying that ALL death was the result of Adam’s sin. We will look at the text of chapter five to determine which kind of death is being spoken of and to whom it applies.

        First, we need to decide what sin entered into. The word kosmos can refer to the created world, the inhabited world or the world of mankind (i.e., humanity). I believe that in Romans 5:12-14 kosmos means all of humanity, as it does in Romans 3:5-7, 18-20. In Romans 11:11-15 Paul speaks of the world (kosmos) and the gentiles, as one and the same. Likewise, in Romans 5:12 he uses “world” and “all men” to refer to the same thing.

        If kosmos here meant the whole creation, then there seems to be a double standard. The verse would be saying that death only came into and spreads through humanity, because we sinned, but it came into creation which does not sin. By what method does it spread through creation, since creation does not sin? This verse only makes sense if kosmos is humanity. The first part of the verse tells us how this death entered humanity and the second part tells us why it spread.

        Some confusion comes from the simple fact that, in our minds, death usually refers to a body dying. Paul speaks of this kind of death (physical) when he refers to Christ’s sacrifice (Romans 5:6-8, 10; also see I Corinthians 15). Yet, Paul speaks of other kinds of death:
        Death to sin – Romans 6:2, 11
        Death to the Law – Romans 7:4 and Galatians 2:19
        Spiritual death – Romans 6:16, 7:8-13; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13 and First Timothy 5:6 (also see, Matthew 23:25-28, John 5:24, First John 3:14 and Revelation 3:1)

        So, what kind of death is Paul saying came through sin? The text shows us that it is spiritual and only effects humans. Let’s look at verse 12:
        “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned”

        This death only comes to humans, because we sinned. This is “spiritual death.” Christians, taking Paul’s lead, use this term as a description of our relationship towards God apart from salvation through Jesus. The term “spiritual death” is not to be confused with “the second death” which is an eternal judgment (Revelation 20:6, 14). Paul uses the fist eleven verses to set up for the type of death he is referring to. Below are some verses where Paul defines this spiritual condition which he calls death.
        Romans 5:6 – “we were still helpless . . . ungodly”
        Verse 8 – “we were yet sinners”
        Verse 10 – “we were enemies”
        If we compare these verses with the ones listed above, under “spiritual death,” it is hard to miss what kind of death Paul is about to discuss in Romans 5:12.

        Verses 15-19 show that the opposite of this kind of death (also called “condemnation” and being “made sinners”) is grace, justification and righteousness. We have, in these verses, the contrasting of two opposing spiritual conditions. We do not have two opposing physical conditions as is seen in I Corinthians 15:20-22.

        I think Paul makes it clear, in the above verses and in verses 13-14, that he means that we “all sinned” and therefore spiritually died in Adam. These verses point to the interpretation of “because all sinned,” as not being our individual past sins, but our past sin “in Adam.” As Dr. R.C. Sproul puts it, “The chief idea of federalism is that, when Adam sinned, he sinned for all of us.”

        These verses become awkward if animals are part of this death.

        Paul is dealing with the spiritual death of humans. This has nothing to do with physical death or its coming into the animal kingdom. Even if one were to hold the position that Romans 5:12 is referring to physical death, the verse makes it clear that death only comes to humans, because humans sinned. Therefore, young-earth creationists should abandon using this verse, in any way, as evidence for their position, that animals did not die or eat other animals, before Adam sinned.

      • Kenny says:

        Sin led to Adams physical death, but was not the cause. God’s removal of Adam from the Tree of Life was the cause (Gen. 3:22). God did this to allow for man’s redemption and so that he would not be forever locked in a fallen state.

        The cursed ground in Genesis 3 was the land of Eden, not the planet. Keep in context. Romans 8 is about how our sinfulness brings disorder to the creation around us. It is not about a curse. If you stay in context you will see that creations problem is the same as ours and so is the cure (Romans 8:21-23). Our resurrection is the cure. At that point we will no longer sin and we will be the righteous rulers that we were supposed to be.

        There will not be a restored earth. It will be replaced with a new heavens and a new earth. If you want to discuss the Greek word for new, that is fine with me, but the text about the new wine and new wine skins is one place to go. The new wine skins were completely new (replacements) and it is the same word used for the new heavens and earth. Also, look at Revelation 21. There is a New Jerusalem and it is not the same city found on earth.

        Isaiah 65:17 deals with the new creation, but from 18 on you have Christ’s earthly reign. Those are two different time periods.

        The animals in Isaiah 11:6-8 and 65:25 are often used by young-earth creationists to say that God will restore creation back to Eden. But, proper interpretation would show that they are symbols for the nations and people found in Isaiah 11:4, 9-10 and 65:21-23. By using the imagery of carnivorous and herbivorous animals, Isaiah is emphasizing the enmity between the different classes of people as well as the different nations. This in turn dramatically demonstrates the extent of the peace, which the Messiah will bring about (also see Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6-7). This type of symbolism (animals as people or nations) is used throughout the writings of the Old Testament prophets:
        Isaiah 30:6-9; 46:11; 56:9-12
        Jeremiah 5:5-6, 10-11, 15-17; 12:7-12; 51:37-40
        Ezekiel 22:27; 34:11-31
        Zephaniah 3:3
        Micah 4:3; 5:8

        These verses in no way support the notion of a restored creation or the idea that all animals were once vegetarian and will one day be restored to that way of life. In fact, Is. 65:20 shows us that death will still exist during the Messiah’s reign. Death will not be removed until the New Creation is brought into existence.

        • Josef says:

          As you have pointed out, you are adding to the text. The texts do not deal with animal death.

          That’s not what I said. I said that even if Romans 5:12 were emphasizing spiritual or human death, that wouldn’t mean it only applies to those.

          If kosmos here meant the whole creation, then there seems to be a double standard. The verse would be saying that death only came into and spreads through humanity, because we sinned, but it came into creation which does not sin.

          Right here, we already have the problem. The text says that in Genesis 3:17 that the ground was cursed because of Adam’s sin. So this already shows that Adam’s sin did affect a lot more than the human race; this makes sense since Adam was the Federal head of creation, not just the human race (Genesis 1:26-27). And in fact, since “the ground” is incapable of committing any type of sin, then according to your reasoning, the ground shouldn’t have been cursed. So your argument essentially refutes itself.

          By what method does it spread through creation, since creation does not sin?

          As the text says, because of Adam’s sin. I don’t know how to clarify it anymore than that.

          This verse only makes sense if kosmos is humanity.

          No, again, your reasoning for kosmos needing to be humanity is because you seem to have this idea that sin can only affect things that can sin. In other words, you’ve set up a circular reason. But, going by this line of reasoning, you must think that “the ground” spoken of in Genesis 3:17 was humanity, which would be pretty silly in light of the text.

          Also, later in your post you attempt to say that the ground is referring only to Eden, but this still refutes your own position. Because you are claiming that Adam’s sin could only affect the human race since only the humans are capable of consciously sinning. However, “the ground” in Eden would not be capable of consciously sinning, so even if it were limited to just Eden, it would still refute your own argument.

          Furthermore, I find it highly desperate to try to limit “the ground” to just Eden. Adam was being kicked out of the garden of Eden, and if it was just the land of Eden that was cursed, then Adam could have just moved out of Eden and it would have been much easier for him to cultivate the ground. Also, if the curse was just limited to the land of Eden, then thorns and thistles would be limited to Eden, but they’re not.

          And again, I’ve already answered why Romans 5:12 cannot be just about spiritual death. Because 1 Cor 15:21 directly contrasts the death that Adam brought into the world through his sin with the physical resurrection of Christ. If Adam only introduced spiritual death, then it would follow that Christ would only need to be raised spiritually. This is something that cannot be overlooked and it sheds light on Romans 5:12, which is permissible as all Scripture is God-breathed 2 Tim 3:16.

          And like I said before, Genesis 3:17-19 is God explaining to Adam the affects of his sin. If Adam’s sin had nothing to do with his physically dying in v. 19, then there would be no sense in God pointing it out to him.

          As for animals, I think it is obvious that Adam’s sin affected a lot more than just the human race (the cursed ground [Genesis 3:17], the whole creation groans [Romans 8:20-22]).

          Also, one very important point is that animals ate a vegetarian diet before the fall Genesis 1:29-30: “Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

          So animals did not hunt each other. Taking this into account, along with Adam’s sin did affect the whole creation, and with animals in the future, “new” earth if you will, will not be eating each other.

          Sin led to Adams physical death, but was not the cause. God’s removal of Adam from the Tree of Life was the cause (Gen. 3:22).

          The role of the Tree of Life is up for debate actually. Some biblical creationists would have no problem agreeing that Adam & Eve had to eat of the Tree of Life to maintain their physical immortality, while others don’t. But even if they did, I have no problem with believing that God ordains both the means and the end. So yes, sin would be the cause of why Adam died, as sin would be the reason God took the tree away.

          Also, another point to think about is that God told Adam that in the moment he sin, he will “surely die” (Gen 2:17). But it is pretty well known that the phrase “you shall surely die” can be more literally translated, “dying you shall die” or “you will begin to die”. Obviously Adam died instantly spiritually, but to completely fulfill this, he would also begin to die physically (and it doesn’t matter if it was because the tree would be taken away or not, the point is Adam’s sin is what led to this).

          The animals in Isaiah 11:6-8 and 65:25 are often used by young-earth creationists to say that God will restore creation back to Eden. But, proper interpretation would show that they are symbols for the nations and people found in Isaiah 11:4, 9-10 and 65:21-23.

          I see no reason why the animals aren’t literal animals. And actually, probably the most well known old-earther, Dr. Hugh Ross, believes that they are literal animals as well. So this is not just a biblical creationist interpretation.

    • Atticus Sheffield says:

      Hi Kenny,

      > “Day four is about the function of the lights, not their creation… “God HAD MADE” them in the beginning.”
      Ohh dear, I feel an essay coming on. If day 4 is only about the function of the lights, and not their creation, you would have to drastically change the text. Yes, verses 14 and 15 talk about their function, but 16 and 17 talk about their creation. If God “HAD MADE” them prior to day 4, then he should have used the “qal-perfect” (the past-tense method of referring to a further past event) tense of “asah” instead of the “qal-imperfect” (being completed); or he should have used the word “ra’ah”, which means “to appear”. But he didn’t; he used the “qal-imperfect” tense of “asah”, which means “he made” rather than “he had made” or “caused to appear”.
      Furthermore, in the phrase “he made the stars also”, the words “he made” are italicized; that means they don’t appear in the original Hebrew, but a direct translation would make little sense, so those words were supplied. Basically, how Gen 1:16 reads in Hebrew is “God made two great lights greater light rule day lesser light rule night stars also.” This clearly implies that the stars were created along with the two great lights.

      > “By the way, Gen. 2:19 is also best translated as a parenthetical phrase. God HAD FORMED the beasts and birds before Adam, not between Adam and Eve.”
      Once again, instead of trying to interpret Scripture in light of what you already believe, you should keep in mind the context and what it’s saying. We know from Genesis 1 to 2:3 (and Exodus 20:11) that all of creation was completed in six days, and the seventh day was sanctified. Letting the context guide our reasoning, we see that Genesis 2 is zooming in on day 6: this is the time when God forms man, so the other land animals have already been created. Gen 2:7-22: God forms Adam, gives him life, plants a garden in Eden, and gives Adam the job of keeping the garden; on the same day, he makes some more animals—though he had already created them elsewhere—to make a helper suitable (help meet) for man; after Adam names all the beast of the field and fowl of the air, finding no suitable helper, God makes a woman out of Adam’s rib, and completes the task.
      So, God had formed the beasts and birds both before and between Adam and Eve.

      > “The earth is the focus of Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11, not the heavens.”
      I don’t know what Bible translation you’re using that omits the word “heaven(s)” from Exodus 20:11, but it seems pretty clear to me that the heaven(s) is part of the 6-day creation, not prior to it (I know you think “heavens” just means the sky, but I call that eisegesis). Besides, you haven’t yet answered why we work for six days and rest for one day, rather than six ages and one epoch.

      > “If each change in the earth’s condition is called good, then it stands to reason that the original state was “not good.””
      Let’s see how that kind of reasoning leads to absurdity. When God calls day 4 “good”, using your logic, he is calling day 3 “not good”, but he did call day 3 “good.” That’s a contradiction (A and not A, same time, same sense), day 3 being both “good” and “not good.”
      I, for one, do not believe that God is capable of making anything that is “not good”; only the creations that he gave the gift of choice are capable of causing the things he made to be “not good” (Deut 32:4-5; Psalm 18:30). Therefore, day 1 and day 2 were both “good”, but God just didn’t bother to say so.

      > “Where are you inserting angels? The context in Genesis one, is the physical world.”
      I mention angels because God asks Job “or who laid the cornerstone thereof; when the morning stars sang together…” (Job 38:6b-7a). The cornerstone likely refers to dry land, in which case the angels were created sometime before day 3. Notice I didn’t use the poetic passage to interpret the historical narrative, but rather gleaned extra information from Job that isn’t present in Genesis, and interpreted it in light of the literal history.

      > “Where does the text say that insect pollinated plants were created on day three? Please give me the Hebrew word used for that.”
      Well, day 1: heaven/earth/light; day 2: firmament; day 3: dry land/plants; day 4: sun/moon/stars; day 5: fish/fowl; day 6: animals/man; day 7: rest. Where does the text say that any kind of plant was created other than on day 3? Not to sound rude or anything, but if you say the insect pollinated plants were created on day 6 with the Garden of Eden, I will accuse you of knowingly committing eisegesis.

      > “Romans 5:12 is about human spiritual death… How long Jonah was in the whale…”
      You and Josef already have a discussion going on this subject.

      What I would really like for you to answer are the six points Josef brought up for Mr. Gernert:
      1. A plain reading of Scripture indicates 6 literal 24-hour days.
      2. If secularists have not been promoting evolution and millions of years, would it have occurred to you to interpret Genesis this way?
      3. Jesus said Adam and Eve were formed from the beginning of creation. If they appeared on the evolutionary scene only 250,000 years ago, as opposed to 14 billion years of the total time, then Jesus would have been mistaken or lying.
      4. The context of Exodus 20:8-11 is remembering the Sabbath day. It’s basically saying “As God created the heaven and earth and all that is in them in six days, and hallowed the Sabbath day, so shall you labor six days and rest the seventh.” If each day of creation was really a long age, Exodus 20:8-11 is meaningless.
      5. “Even if you stretched out the days of Genesis, it really solves nothing as far as secular beliefs are concerned.” The secular and Biblical worldviews are opposite on virtually everything, including the order of events during creation.
      6. “If the universe and earth were really billions of years old, there must have been death and suffering before sin, which clearly contradicts the Bible” (Romans 5:12). You did answer this one, albeit with some shaky theology. To clarify, do you believe that God created man out of the dust about 100kya (contradicting Mark 10:6), or that God gave certain evolving ape-like ancestors a conscience about 100kya (contradicting both Mark 10:6 and Genesis 2:7)?

      To conclude, the whole issue is based on whose authority you will trust: a plain reading of Scripture, or man’s fallible interpretation of the evidence available. Who are you going to put your faith in? God, who knows everything, is everywhere, and cannot lie… or men, who try to make a story of their origins while leaving God out of the picture? Or compromise, and make both parties mad?

      • Kenny says:

        Atticus,
        Man’s fallible interpretation? I suppose you know that you are interpreting the Bible, so why then should someone believe you?

        Now as far as you’re first two points, an imperfect with waw-consecutive is translated and catagorized as perfect. Look it up.

        On day two the expanse between the clouds and the ocean is renamed heavens. This is what Exodus 20:11 is refering to. I showed you that Exodus qualifies which heavens and earth it is refering to by including the seas. These are the heavens of day two and the earth of day three. Open atmosphere (sky) and dry land.

        **”Let’s see how that kind of reasoning leads to absurdity. When God calls day 4 “good”, using your logic, he is calling day 3 “not good”, but he did call day 3 “good.” That’s a contradiction (A and not A, same time, same sense), day 3 being both “good” and “not good.””

        I have no idea what you mean. I was very clear that Genesis 1:2 was describing the “not good” condition of the earth, in that it was incomplete, not that it was a bad creation. I thought this was rather clear.

        Actually, you added angels to a context which only speaks of the physical. Job 38 does speak of the angels, but that is not part of the context of Genesis one. Job 38:4-6 refers to the actual founding of the earth (planet). Job 38:10-11 refers to the setting up of dry land.

        **”Well, day 1: heaven/earth/light; day 2: firmament; day 3: dry land/plants; day 4: sun/moon/stars; day 5: fish/fowl; day 6: animals/man; day 7: rest. Where does the text say that any kind of plant was created other than on day 3? Not to sound rude or anything, but if you say the insect pollinated plants were created on day 6 with the Garden of Eden, I will accuse you of knowingly committing eisegesis.”

        Oh really? you do not seem to have a problem with God creation birds in Gen. 2:19 when they were already created on day 5. On each day God is giving us some of the major events. He is also just pointing to the initial production of these catagories, not all that would ever exist. Any way wind would do the job.

        **6. “To clarify, do you believe that God created man out of the dust about 100kya (contradicting Mark 10:6),”

        What a question. That is like me asking you, have you stopped beating your mother? There is no contradiction, and yes.

        **5. I have shown that there is no contradiction between Genesis one and the record in nature.

        **4. “It’s basically saying “As God created the heaven and earth and all that is in them in six days, and hallowed the Sabbath day, so shall you labor six days and rest the seventh.” If each day of creation was really a long age, Exodus 20:8-11 is meaningless.”

        It is heavens and earth, sea… the inclussion of the sea is very important. In Exodus 20 we have a yom for yom analogy. The length of the yom are not important to the analogy.

        2. I have looked at church history on this subject and it is clear that for 2,000 years there have been discussions as to how long these days were. It is a good idea to research it yourself, because there is a lot of bad info on both sides.

        Origen (185-254) refered to the seventh day as lasting as long as the world.
        Augustine (354-430) “What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult or perhaps impossible for us to conceive…”
        St. Bonaventure (1221-1274) said that many theologians believed that creation took place over long periods of time.
        Rene Descartes (1596-1650 A.D.) said many theologians believed in long ages of creation.

        That is just a small sample. I’ll get to points 1 and 3.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Kenny

      A few follow up remarks to your other comments and questions:

      > Again, we have a merism in verse one which means the entire universe. A merism uses two extremes or “two book ends,” but includes everything in between. If I say that I’m having a party and I want you to invite “young and old.” This would include all ages in between.

      So far so good. I like your merism example too.

      > The extremes are space and an incomplete earth (see waw disjunctive above), which means that the rest of the universe was created at this time (the sun, other stars, galaxies, comets, etc.).

      Here is where it goes awry. God created both the heavens and the earth – i.e. the entire universe. Now for some reason you have assumed that only the earth was incomplete on the first day, but the Bible does not teach this. Indeed, the fact that stars are created later indicates that both the heaven and the earth were incomplete on the first day. It wasn’t until God finished creating on the sixth day that both the “heavens and earth were completed, and all their host” (Genesis 2:1). This verse makes it abundantly clear that the creation week involved the creation and shaping of both heaven and earth.

      > So, there is no problem on day one. Day four is about the function of the lights, not their creation.

      That doesn’t fit the grammar or the context. “Asah” = “made.” God made the lights, he didn’t just assign them meaning. Whenever God says, “Let there be _____”, this is an act of creation, and whatever He has commanded to exist will spring into existence (e.g. Psalm 33:9). It’s exactly the same formula that is used for the creation of light (Genesis 1:3), and the expanse in the waters (Genesis 1:6-7) – other things that God made. When God forms the land, and makes the earth sprout plants, and creates animals, it is always a spoken command and the universe immediately responds. This is God creating, not God assigning meaning to something that He had made a long time ago.

      > Verse 16 is a parenthetical phrase, reminding the reader that these were not gods, as believed by other nations, but creations of God. “God HAD MADE” them in the beginning.

      Nope. That doesn’t fit the context. The wording in Genesis 1:14-15 is the same as any other act of creation: God said “Let _______” and it was so. It’s clearly an act of creation, not a rumination of something that happened a long time ago.

      In Hebrew, whenever an ordered list is given (e.g. a third day, a fourth day, etc.), then the order must be respected, and pluperfect tense (when rendered in English) is not appropriate. For example, “On Saturday, I went to the grocery store, and then watched TV” would not make sense in the pluperfect: “On Saturday, I had [already] gone to the grocery store [several days earlier], and had [already] watched TV [several weeks ago].” The time reference (“on Saturday”) makes no sense if the verbs are taken in the pluperfect tense. Pluperfect is okay when no time indicators are given (e.g. Genesis 2:19), but not when part of an ordered list, and thus not in Genesis chapter 1.

      > Verse 17 says that God gave (or gifted) them in the atmosphere. This is the same atmosphere (raqia) formed on day two.

      Rendering raqiya is “atmosphere” is very dubious. The word has flexible usage, but refers at least to an extended surface, especially the visible arch of the sky. The Hebrew text states that the lights are “IN the raqiya”; yet I doubt you believe that stars are in the atmosphere.

      > This has nothing to do with outer space. In fact, as shown on day two and day 5, the upper boundary for this expanse is the clouds (waters above, face of the expanse).

      That’s pressing the word beyond its meaning. “Raqiya” refers to the visible arch of the sky. This can include the atmosphere but is not limited to it. Birds fly across the face of the raqiya (Genesis 1:20), which if it really meant only the atmosphere, would indicate that birds fly at the “face” or transition between the atmosphere and outer space – which they don’t. But when we understand that raqiya really refers to the visible arch of the sky, it makes sense that (1) stars are in it since they are in the visible sky, (2) birds fly across its face, that is across the visible sky, and (3) there are waters (clouds) above it, in the sense of being above a substantial portion of what we see as the sky.

      > By the way, Gen. 2:19 is also best translated as a parenthetical phrase. God HAD FORMED the beasts and birds before Adam, not between Adam and Eve.

      I agree. It’s not part of an ordered sequence, so pluperfect tense is acceptable in the context. Genesis 1 cannot be rendered that way since it is part of an ordered list of events.

      > Genesis 1:1 is the first act in which the entire universe was created, but the earth still needed work.

      Biblically, both the heavens and the earth were incomplete at that time. It wasn’t until the sixth day that “the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.” (Genesis 2:1)

      > Genesis 1:3 is the second act in the account, but the first act of completing the earth. Verse two only indicates that the earth needed more work. The earth is the focus of Genesis one and Exodus 20:11, not the heavens.

      The Bible says otherwise. Both at the beginning (Genesis 1:1) and at the end (Genesis 2:1) the Bible indicates that both the heavens and the earth were being created and made. As if this weren’t enough, God specifically tells us that day four involved the creation of the objects within the heavens. There can be no doubt – Scripturally – that the creation week involved both the heavens and the earth.

      Exodus 20:11 confirms this. It doesn’t mention merely the Earth, but the heavens and the earth – a merism for everything. “The sea” is also added for emphasis.

      >> Ehh, incomplete doesn’t mean “not good”. A house in construction that has four walls but no roof or insulation is incomplete, but it’s not “not good”.
      > First, I used quotes around not good. Second, if each change in the earth’s condition is called good, then it stands to reason that the original state was “not good.”

      Actually, that doesn’t stand to reason. A condition can be changed from one good state to another good state. At many stages during creation, God called His work “good” even though it was not yet complete.

      >> So, God creating an expanse to “separate the waters from the waters” didn’t change any of the starting conditions? That sounds like an arbitrary statement. If that were true, who’s to say the creation of land and plants changed the conditions?
      > Come on Atticus. Look at Genesis 1:2 and tell me which condition was changed on day two. Land and plants change the “unproductive” condition.

      Atticus is correctly using a reductio ad absurdum argument to show inconsistency in your previous claim. Namely, if God separating waters from waters is not considered a change in condition, then can the creation of plants be understood as a change in conditions? There was indeed a change in conditions on day 2. God separated waters below from waters above on that day. God made the expanse; thus, there was no such expanse previously.

      >> I would say the “very good” in Gen 1:31 refers to “every thing that he had made”, including the angelic beings.
      > Good and very good are in contrast to earth being “unproductive and uninhabited, dark and being covered by waters.” That is the context. Where are you inserting angels? The context, in Genesis one, is the physical world.

      Actually, the context of Genesis 1 is the entire universe. Angels are not specifically mentioned, but since they are created beings, they were created during the creation week, since everything was. The “heavens and the earth” are a merism for the entire universe, which includes spiritual creations as well.

      > When I say earth, that includes its atmosphere, but the atmosphere was congested by something like steam until day two.

      Notice that this contradicts the idea that the raqiya means “atmosphere”, since the raqiya was made on the second day. I can’t find any scriptural support for a “congested” atmosphere before day two.

      > Romans 5:12 is about human spiritual death.

      In a previous post, I already dealt with the claim that only human death was introduced at the fall. Romans 5:12 may only mention man, but Romans 8 indicates that all creation was affected by the corruption.

      > How long Jonah was in the whale or Jesus was in the tomb have nothing to do with the creation periods.

      Actually, it has EVERYTHING to do with it! The same word “yamim” translated as “days” for the six days of creation in Exodus 20:11 is used Jonah 1:17 for the three “days” that Jonah was in the whale. “Yamim” is the plural form of “yom” which marks each day of creation. So if “yom” used with a number could really mean a long period of time (which it can’t), then Jonah might have been in the belly of the whale for millions of years!

      The real question is, “Can God tell time or can’t He?” If God was wrong about the timescale of creation, then there is no guarantee that He is right about the timescale of the resurrection. Indeed, if the day-age position were true, then Jesus might still be in the grave – not to be resurrected for millions of years in the future. That would be a silly position to hold of course; but it is the same reasoning applied to the timescale of Genesis.

      > By the way, the length of these “days” have been discussed for 2,000 years. I’ll respond to the length of the days shortly.

      Believers have always struggled with adding pagan ideas to their faith. The idea of deep time isn’t new. Many pagan religions held to it, and some believers attempted to interpret the Scriptures to match. But of course, that doesn’t make it right.

  20. Atticus Sheffield says:

    Hi Kenny,

    > “Man’s fallible interpretation? I suppose you know that you are interpreting the Bible, so why then should someone believe you?”
    Fallible means “able to make mistakes”; it doesn’t always mean wrong. I do interpret the Bible, but when I read historical narrative (e.g. Genesis), I take it as such; I assume that it shows a progression of events over time, and that all the words have their natural meaning. To me, it seems counter-productive to reinterpret the Bible in order to reconcile it with man’s attempt to explain our origin without the Bible.

    > “Now as far as your first two points, an imperfect with waw-consecutive is translated and categorized as perfect. Look it up.”
    Even so, look at the other two instances where Genesis 1 says “And God made” (Gen 1:7, 25); both of those are in the “qal-imperfect” tense prefixed by waw-consecutive. Let’s translate “and God made the beast of the earth” as “and God had made the beast of the earth;” here we now have two choices: a) verse 25 is the revealing where verse 24 is the creation (v. 16 is revealing and v. 14 is creation), or b) verse 25 precedes day six, which contradicts verse 24. Neither of those options allow for the possibility that “And God made” refers to an event any further in the past than that day.
    (ICR: Impact Article #251, May 1994)

    > “I was very clear that Genesis 1:2 was describing the “not good” condition of the earth, in that it was incomplete, not that it was a bad creation.”
    If it’s not good, then it’s bad. I did a Google search for synonyms of “incomplete”, and could find neither “not good” nor “bad”. God is not capable of making something bad. Hope that clears things up.

    > “Actually, you added angels to a context which only speaks of the physical. Job 38 does speak of the angels, but that is not part of the context of Genesis one. Job 38:4-6 refers to the actual founding of the earth (planet). Job 38:10-11 refers to the setting up of dry land.”
    Okay, Genesis 1 gives an account of the creation of the physical cosmos and everything in it; Job 38:4-11 refers to the creation time, and mentions the angels. In order to shout for joy, the angels had to have already been made; so whatever the cornerstone in verse 6 refers to, the angels were made before that. If the cornerstone is dry land, they were made on or before day 3; if it’s the earth itself, they were made along with the heavens and earth, and upon being created, they shouted for joy.

    >> “Not to sound rude or anything, but if you say the insect pollinated plants were created on day 6 with the Garden of Eden, I will accuse you of knowingly committing eisegesis.
    > “You do not seem to have a problem with God creating birds in Gen. 2:19 when they were already created on day 5. On each day God is giving us some of the major events. He is also just pointing to the initial production of these categories… not all that would ever exist.”
    Exactly my point: they were already created, God just made some more on day 6. Plants were created on day 3, therefore insect pollinated plants aready existed by the end of day 3. And that’s a major problem for the day-age idea because if they were created on day 3, they would have all died out by day 4.

    >> “6. To clarify, do you believe that God created man out of the dust about 100kya (contradicting Mark 10:6),
    > “What a question. That is like me asking you, have you stopped beating your mother? There is no contradiction, and yes.”
    There is too a contradiction. Did God create us male and female from the beginning (Mark 10:6) or not (100kya)?

    > “5. I have shown that there is no contradiction between Genesis one and the record in nature.”
    If you’re talking about the explanation on your October 30 post, you solved little to nothing:
    Was the earth originally a molten mass or a ball of water? Which came first, land animals or birds and whales? Were dinosaurs before man, or did they coexist? If you picked the latter of any of those, you are disagreeing with the “record in nature” (aka the secular view), and therefore solving nothing.

    > “It is heavens and earth, sea… the inclusion of the sea is very important. In Exodus 20 we have a yom for yom analogy. The length of the yoms are not important to the analogy.”
    Without any secular bias, what do you really see when you read Exodus 20:8-11?
    Do you see “As God created the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them in six days, and hallowed the Sabbath day, so shall you labor six days and rest the seventh.”
    Or do you see “As God created the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them in six long periods of varying length, and hallowed this Sabbath day, so shall you labor six 24-hour days and rest one 24-hour day.”
    I don’t know about you, but I read the former.

    > “2. I have looked at church history on this subject and it is clear that for 2,000 years there have been discussions as to how long these days were.”
    Okay, I’ll admit that it’s possible the early days of earth’s history weren’t 24 hours… perhaps they were actually 23.8 hours. But really, it doesn’t matter how long Augustine or Descartes thought the days were; only how long the Bible says they are.
    Never once in the Bible give a number of days and mean anything other than 24-hour days; three days is always three 24-hour days, six days is always six 24-hour days; why should Genesis be the sole exception? The only reason people have tried to change the length of the days in Genesis is to mix the secular story with the Biblical account.

    But the biggest question still stands: whose authority are you going to put your trust in? God’s (as plainly revealed in the Bible), or man’s (who try to explain our existence without God)?

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