About Dr. Lisle

Jason Lisle, Ph.D

Dr. Jason Lisle is a Christian astrophysicist who writes and speaks on various topics relating to science and the defense of the Christian faith.  He graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University where he double-majored in physics and astronomy and minored in mathematics.  He then earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  Dr. Lisle specialized in solar astrophysics and has made a number of scientific discoveries regarding the solar photosphere, including the detection of giant cell boundaries using the SOHO spacecraft.  He also does theoretical research and has contributed to the field of general relativity.

Since completion of his research at the University of Colorado, Dr. Lisle began working in full-time apologetics ministry, specializing in the defense of Genesis.  He has written a number of articles and books on the topic.  His most well-known book, The Ultimate Proof of Creation, demonstrates that biblical creation is the only logical possibility for origins.  Dr. Lisle wrote and directed the popular planetarium shows at the Creation Museum, including “The Created Cosmos.”  He now works as Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research.

 

 

256 Responses to About Dr. Lisle

  1. Micah says:

    Dr. Lisle. How hard is it to go on to earn a Masters or P.HD after getting your Bachelors from a Christian/Creation school such as Liberty University in VA? I was thinking about getting an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Liberty and then trying to go for Graduate study in Physics. The thing is, i’m just not sure i would be accepted to a secular graduate program after attending a Creation College. What are your thoughts on this? Should i attend a secular university and earn my undergraduate there instead? I would like to attend a Creation College if at all possible but its not like a done deal if it will affect my chances at going for a Masters or P.HD later. I feel like with the apologetic resources i have(ICR, AIG, etc.) i would be able to attend secular university and not be affected much by their worldview. But still would like your opinion on the matters since you’ve already been through the whole process.

    Thanks!

    • Josef says:

      Micah,

      If I may say something. From what I’ve seen you write on here, you have a good grasp of presuppositional apologetics, at least enough to combat 90% of the atheists you’ll run into.

      Also, I was in your shoes not long ago, as an undergrad chemistry major at a secular state accredited university. I was a little worried at first too about my faith. Not that I was insecure about my beliefs, but in the back of my mind, I was wondering if I’d be presented with information that I just wouldn’t be able to answer or if I’d be torn apart by other students or the professors.

      I can honestly say that, thanks to my strong foundation in the creationist model by reading books, most notably from Creation Ministries International’s, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, I had no problems at all. In fact, I found the arguments against Christianity to be weak.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you think a secular university would
      look more credible (and it probably would in the eyes of the secular world), and it would get you into a graduate program, I would do that. I wouldn’t worry about the secular pressures. If I can survive a secular science curriculum at a secular liberal university, then I know you can survive as a math major, as mathematics aren’t as controversial and are actually about as close to “neutral” as a subject can be.

      Also, you know the resources you can turn to if you ever need encouragement or answers (AiG, CMI, ICR, etc), this blog, or even just coming on here and asking for input.

      Anyway, I said all that to say that don’t be afraid of the secular universities. Remember that only the biblical worldview can justify the preconditions of intelligibility. And and since evidence must be interpreted within a worldview, and only the biblical worldview can be the correct worldview, that means interpretations against the Bible must necessarily be wrong.

  2. Sam says:

    I very much enjoyed your past article “evolutionary math”. It was very straigtforward and hope to see more articles like that!
    Thanks and God Bless!

  3. Jim Campbell says:

    As a Mature Creation apologist, I read your ICR article on ‘The Two-Book Fallacy’, and had set out to address it point by point when I realized the essential difficulty is that you probably accept Russell Humphreys’s falsely argued inference that a mature Creation would be a “FICTION God would have chosen to write FOR US in the sky” (my emphasis). A carefully considered reading of Genesis 1-3 shows that:-
    (a) God created the universe for his own pleasure [Genesis 1: 31; Colossians 1: 16] and therefore to whatever specification He wanted,
    (b) there were no rationalizing beings on Earth to confuse on matters of fact vs fiction, for God created humanity without a discriminative faculty, that being His intent at that time [Genesis 1: 26,31; 2: 16-17],
    (c) if mankind subsequently chose to confuse itself on questions of consistency and completeness, attempting to know the mind of God thru rebellion [Genesis 3: 4-6], surely the fault is mankind’s in deducing implications from the observable universe without the immortal capacity required [Genesis 3: 22-24] for accurate consistent and complete knowledge of the Creation.

    As a scientist, you should see that God’s position in creating a mature Creation is eminently reasonable. Do we, created in God’s image, not build experimental models and simulations as a matter of course to test out theories? And how many of these are constructed or self-assembled from first principles? Very few, for the experiments are usually only concerned with a limited range of effects. As far as I can see, only in attempts to ‘play’ God, e.g. cosmology or theoretical physics, are the models designed to start from first principles. The normal experiment starts from a carefully crafted initial conditions boundary and runs to some cut-off boundary, and irrelevant features are masked or stubbed. That is why I have no interest in Young Earth creationism: I think it’s a naive viewpoint, based on a simplistic presumption of God’s intent. Arguments like those given in Humphreys’s ‘Starlight and Time’ seem to me to be rooted in the same self-aggrandizing mind-set as Witten, Deutsch or Tegmark’s theories of everything. And I think they are all doomed to fail, as even the best work in mathematical logic – Gödel and Chaitin’s theorems – would tend to suggest [Ecclesiastes 8: 17].

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hello Jim,

      In fact, I do believe in mature creation, in the sense that the universe was fully operational upon its completion on the 6th day, with no need for millions or billions of years of process. It isn’t clear to me how you are connecting this with the two-book fallacy.

      Regarding cosmology and theoretical physics, although I would agree that many scientists do attempt to “play God” by pretending to explain everything apart from Him, there is no reason why such fields cannot be approached in a God-honoring way. There is no sin in attempting to better understand the way in which God upholds His universe; indeed, true science can only enhance our appreciation of the omniscience and omnipotence of God.

      Regarding your comment that young earth creationism is “naive viewpoint, based on a simplistic presumption of God’s intent.” I can only say that I trust what God has said in His Word, and I trust that God is able to communicate clearly. 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

  4. Gem says:

    Thanks for the fantastic job you are doing and above all for the passion God gave you in order to prove us that God exists.
    I have a scientific background and always used my knowledge, my passion in order to create and develop things for people (technology focused) but today, after experiencing scarying and umbelievable events that isolated me (which look more like fiction than reality), I needed to feel that I am not alone, that I must keep hope in life… and that pushed me to search for evidences of God existence…and I heard you in the video ‘God of Wonders’ on Youtube…your argumentative skill, your self confidence…all that really helped me to feel better !!!

    Thank you so much…you really do the right thing !!!

  5. Jim Campbell says:

    Hi Dr. Lisle,

    Probably my fault for the confusion, but I didn’t mean that Young Earth Creationist theories are simplistic – you only need to look at ‘Starlight and Time’ to see that the obverse is clearly the case – but that the philosophy behind them, i.e. that mortals, by taking thought, could and should arrive at exactly how God created the modern universe from nothing in the time-span given in Genesis, is naive [Ecclesiastes 8: 17] and presumptive [Job 42: 1-7]:-

    (a) They assume that the historical record given in the Bible is complete enough to allow that sort of inference, and yet there is Biblical evidence that would suggest it isn’t. E.g. Job 38: 4-7 versus Genesis 1: 9-13; 14-19 raises the possibility that the appearance of ‘lights in the firmament” doesn’t refer to their creation so much as their appearing in the sky to bring light and mark the passage of time. If the sky had been overcast until Creation day 4, that would fit the bill. Note that the ‘Then’ which starts verse 16 is merely an “And” in the Hebrew raising the possibility that verse 16 is an explanatory passage and possibly not temporally synominous with the rest of the narrative for day 4. Also, the additional “Cainan” in the Luke genealogy for Christ (Luke 3: 16) with respect to genealogies in the Old Testament raises the possibility that the chronogenealogies are incomplete. If they are incomplete then who knows when ancient events occurred or the intervals between them. You have the advice of Moses [Psalm 90: 4], who wrote the words of Genesis, and of Peter [2 Peter 3: 8], guided by the Holy Spirit, not to attribute human measurement of time to God, and the warning from Paul to stay clear of genealogical arguments [1 Timothy 1: 4].

    (b) They assume that there is a process type continuity between Creation Week and the ensuing history, when all the Bible tells us is of a separate initialization Week followed by the Garden of Eden episode and the ensuing history. This is more like what happens on a movie set than the experimental set-up that scientist’s assume they’re working with. In a movie shoot, the first part of the day is taken up in setting up backdrops and props, and getting various actors ready for the sequence to be filmed. Remember, we are talking here about the acrivities of a Super-being: as demonstrated by Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee: why would He be bothered with natural law in making the Creation? All that matters is that when the action starts in the Garden of Eden – and it’s the action that matters as the rest of the Bible proceeds out of that beginning – all the resources are available and good to go.

    (c) They assume that of all the myriad ways that the Maker of worlds could do this task in compliance with the format given in Genesis, they have somehow happened on the correct one irrespective of advice from the Scriptures [Romans 11: 34]. This is a presumption, and a fairly serious one given God’s statements in Job 38-42. Any of us who take the Bible seriously have probably tried to figure out Creation matters relative to what science tells us at some point, but we don’t usually have the audacity to try and hoist our ideas on to a public platform and thus risk the dangers of misinforming others. If, in the scientific field, we advocate a fallacious theory, it usually comes back on us to our embarrassment. Do it too often and journal referees refuse to publish you and you become an unwelcome joke at conferences. But, in the religious field you also face the risk of making presumptive statements with respect to Almighty God – an issue brought out re three of Job’s friends in Job’s questioning. (It can happen with women too: it was thru Eve’s presumption that God wasn’t giving the straight story that mankind fell foul of God’s pronouncement on eating from the Tree of Knowledge, was ejected from the Garden, and faced the prospect of mortal extinction: presumption with respect to God is dangerous! His word never comes back to Him unfulfilled, for the very Creation will strain to make it happen: He is God.) Moreover, you are morally responsible for any misguidance of souls that you ‘authoratively’ misdirect, whether your motives were sincere and well-intentioned or not. [Mark 9: 42]

    My ‘beefs’ with your ‘Two-Book Fallacy’ article are:-

    1. Various Biblical authorities state that God has used what can be observed in the natural order to convey His message regarding various topics, e.g. the invisible attributes of God [ Romans 1: 20], God’s purposeful order of created beings reflected in the natural length of men and women’s hair [1 Corinthians 11: 7-15], the signs of the End Times [Matthew 24: 7-8], the opening of the Seventh Seal [Revelation 8]. Part of God’s message is and will be written in the world around us, and we are urged to read the signs and take warning. (He even allows us to uncover (hopefully) timely and fearful reminders of His unchanging moral position, like the recently excavated city of Sodom at the Tall-el-Hammam site in Jordan.) As far as I can see, the world we live in is a bit like a play: some of the supporting props, no matter how much we esteem them, are just back-drop (e.g. accurately depicted Roman scenery on flats in a production of Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’) and some are instrumental to the plot (e.g. the steps of the forum where Caesar was assassinated). You shouldn’t dismiss nature as having no message, for each aspect depends on the purpose God planned for it, rather than the information we might choose to extract because of our species’s somewhat wandering focus of attention.

    2. Your zeal for the key importance of the Bible seems to have blind-sided you to the fact that it is self-confessed not even a record of historically interesting events for Christians, or John 21: 25 would not need to have been written. The Bible was given, as far as I can figure, to draw attention to mortal humanity’s need for salvation from personal extinction and how God had determined to accomplish it. Other aspects of the Book are introduced in support of this purpose, but I don’t think they should be considered encyclopaedic in extent beyond what is needed for that purpose [John 20: 30-31].

    Sorry for the delay in response but I didn’t think you’d just want simple repartee,
    Jim Campbell

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Jim,

      Much of what you are attempting to refute isn’t actually what I or most of my fellow creation scientists believe, or even profess to believe. And therefore much of what you’ve written is actually a straw-man argument – an argument against a misrepresentation of our position rather than our actual position. For example, you claim that the philosophy behind our theories is that “mortals, by taking thought, could and should arrive at exactly how God created the modern universe from nothing in the time-span given in Genesis…” However, I am not aware of any biblical creationist that professes that we can possibly know “exactly how God created” the universe from nothing. Creation is God’s prerogative alone (John 1:3). As such, I don’t expect that there is a natural “mechanism” by which God spoke the worlds into existence that we could somehow study today. We trust that God created in six days because that’s what He said (e.g. Exodus 20:11).

      On the contrary, it is the Hugh Ross types, the old-earth creationists that want to invoke naturalistic mechanisms that we can understand today to account for stars, galaxies, radioisotopes, and geologic features. They want to explain exactly how God created everything. We instead allow God to be God, and trust that the creation of the universe was supernatural and therefore something that cannot be tested and repeated today by the methods of science. We do expect that the natural processes that God has sustained since creation will be consistent with God’s Word. And we find that this is the case (e.g. evidence that the universe is far younger than billions of years).

      We believe that to fail to heed God’s Word is naïve and presumptive (Romans 3:4, Matthew 4:4). To say, “No, the Genesis account isn’t really very accurate. We know from science that the universe began in this other way” is really pretty conceited. To be a biblical creationist is to trust that God has been truthful in the details He provides in Scripture, and that God knows how to communicate in a clear fashion to His creations.

      You state that young earth creationists “assume that the historical record given in the Bible is complete enough to allow that sort of inference” [the inference that “mortals… could and should arrive at exactly how God created”]. Again, we don’t. But we do trust that the details that God does give in Genesis are accurate. When God says that He made the stars, we trust that He did. When the text says that God created light before the sun, we trust that He did so. It would be a very low view of Scripture to say, “I don’t understand how there could have been light before the sun. So we need to interpret that to mean that the sun merely appeared on the fourth day.” That’s interpreting God’s Word to accommodate finite man’s mind.

      > Job 38: 4-7 versus Genesis 1: 9-13; 14-19 raises the possibility that the appearance of ‘lights in the firmament” doesn’t refer to their creation so much as their appearing in the sky to bring light and mark the passage of time.

      No, it doesn’t. Job 38 is poetic literature as evidenced by the frequent use of parallelism. It is not an account of creation, and therefore may not be used to override the Genesis account. Job 38 refers to stars metaphorically praising God during the latter half of the creation week when the earth was still being formed and filled. Genesis is the account of creation, written in historical narrative. Genesis tells us that the lights in the heavens were made on the fourth day. The Hebrew word is “asah” which means “to make”; it does not mean “to appear.” There is a different word for “appear” – “ra’ah”. The text of Scripture tells us that the stars were made (asah) on the fourth day, and we trust that God is telling us the truth.

      > Note that the ‘Then’ which starts verse 16 is merely an “And” in the Hebrew raising the possibility that verse 16 is an explanatory passage and possibly not temporally synominous [sic] with the rest of the narrative for day 4.

      No, when the word “and” is followed by a verb (in the Hebrew word-order, “and said God…”) this is called a “waw-consucutive” and indicates temporally consecutive events. It is the waw-disjunctive that is used for non-temporal explanation, as in verse 2. But verse 16 uses the waw-consecutive. Therefore, it is not explanatory, but temporally consecutive.

      > Also, the additional “Cainan” in the Luke genealogy for Christ (Luke 3: 16) [sic] with respect to genealogies in the Old Testament raises the possibility that the chronogenealogies are incomplete.

      No, the very old manuscripts (such as the Beza Greek) do not have the extra Cainan in Luke 3:36. Nor is it in Genesis 11:12, nor in 1 Chronicles 1:24. It undoubtedly was not in the original autograph, and was a copying error – a duplication from the line below.

      > If they are incomplete then who knows when ancient events occurred or the intervals between them.

      No, the Bible gives the interval of time between events. So even if we allowed for gaps in the genealogies, it would not affect the biblical estimate of the age of the Earth at all. For example, in Genesis 5:6, the text says that Seth lived 105 years and begat Enos. Now suppose (for argument’s sake) that this actually meant that Seth lived 105 years and became the great-grandfather of Enos. What is the timescale between Seth and Enos? 105 years. It doesn’t matter how many people (if any) came between. The timescale is airtight even if the genealogies were not. And by the way, there is no evidence that there are gaps in the Hebrew genealogies. There is not one Old Testament verse where “begat” is used in any way other than a direct parent-child relationship. Greek allows for gaps, but in Hebrew there is no evidence of any.

      > You have the advice of Moses [Psalm 90: 4], who wrote the words of Genesis, and of Peter [2 Peter 3: 8], guided by the Holy Spirit, not to attribute human measurement of time to God.

      No, that’s not what these verses say at all. Verses such as Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 poetically inform us that God is beyond time using a simile. Therefore when God uses units of time, it is always for our benefit, and always to be understood on human terms. Consider the alternative. If when God speaks of time, it is not literal, then Jesus might still be in the grave. After all, God tells in His Word that Jesus would be raised on the third day (e.g. Luke 9:22). But “day” can mean anything to God, right? So it might mean that Jesus would be in the grave for 3 million years. But that would be a silly interpretation. God, who created speech, knows how to communicate. So when He gives us units of time, they are for our instruction (since God is beyond time). Therefore, we can trust that they are accurate. It is a low view of God to think that He cannot tell time, or communicate temporal events.

      > (b) They assume that there is a process type continuity between Creation Week and the ensuing history, when all the Bible tells us is of a separate initialization Week followed by the Garden of Eden episode and the ensuing history.

      Actually, it is the Bible that teaches that some of the processes that were occurring during the creation week continue to happen throughout all history that follows. For example, right from the first day of creation there was a day and night cycle (Genesis 1:5). And the Bible tells us that this continued, and indeed will continue as long as the Earth remains (Genesis 8:22). The celestial lights were made to mark time (Genesis 1:14-15) and began to do so from the fourth day of the creation week – and they still do today. On the third day, plants were created to bear fruit after their kind (Genesis 1:11), and they continue to do so today. So clearly there is some continuity between some of the processes that took place during creation, and those that take place today.

      Of course, biblical creationists also recognize that there is discontinuity as well. God has finished His work of creation (Genesis 2:3), and therefore we would not expect much of what happened during the creation week to happen today. God is not speaking new kinds of animals into existence, or speaking stars into existence. So biblically, there is both continuity and discontinuity between the creation week and the history that followed.

      The ironic thing is this: it is the old-earth creationists that deny virtually any distinction between the creation week and today. They would say that stars are still forming today, just like during the creation week. They would argue that the geologic processes that happen today are the same as those that formed the earth. And so on.

      > why would He be bothered with natural law in making the Creation?

      Why would He bother with natural law today? Natural law is simply the name we give to the ordinary and consistent way that God upholds the universe today. Was God upholding the universe during the creation week? Certainly. He continued to uphold everything that He had made after He had made it. So there are aspects of natural law that do apply during the creation week. But we certainly acknowledge that many aspects of creation go beyond natural law – including the creation of something from nothing!

      Again, you misrepresent us. None of us here at ICR for example believe that the creation of the universe was a natural process. It is the big bang supporters who believe this. They want to explain the origin of stars, planets, and even spacetime itself by the principles of physics. Even the origin of the universe itself in an alleged big bang is supposed to be explained by the natural laws of quantum physics. Old earth creationists embrace such a philosophy, trying to explain the formation of stars and planets by natural processes over long periods of time. On the other hand, we trust that God is not limited to natural processes, and we trust that He is capable of communicating clearly what He did.

      > All that matters is that when the action starts in the Garden of Eden…

      What matters is everything that God’s Word teaches (Matthew 4:4). All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching (2 Timothy 3:16) – not just after Genesis 2. If the details of creation were not important for us, then God would not have included them. Genesis 1:1 would be followed immediately by Genesis 3:1. But God has told us some of the details of creation, and therefore we believe that they are accurate. God does not lie.

      > They assume that of all the myriad ways that the Maker of worlds could do this task in compliance with the format given in Genesis, they have somehow happened on the correct one

      I have no idea where you are getting that. None of us claim to know the “ways” that God created, other than the details He gives us. You have some very serious misconceptions of creation science. It is not about trying to take the miraculous out of creation. Rather it is building our science on the sure foundation of the revelation of God’s Word.

      > Any of us who take the Bible seriously have probably tried to figure out Creation matters relative to what science tells us at some point…

      Science doesn’t literally “tell us” anything – that’s reification. But I understand your point. Scientists draw various conclusions about the natural world. But we are not supposed to blindly accept what someone says. We are supposed to test all things against Scripture. If someone claims to have a scientific conclusion contrary to the Scriptures, then we must reject their conclusion in favor of God’s Word.

      > but we don’t usually have the audacity to try and hoist our ideas on to a public platform and thus risk the dangers of misinforming others.

      You just did. :-) We certainly have a moral obligation to be as accurate as we can be. But if we have good evidence that confirms the Bible, why would we hide it under a bush? Indeed, we have an obligation to be ready always to give an answer to anyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).

      > If, in the scientific field, we advocate a fallacious theory, it usually comes back on us to our embarrassment.

      Science doesn’t progress unless we test hypotheses. It shouldn’t be a source of embarrassment if a scientific theory is eventually disproved. That is the nature of science. The only time it should be embarrassing is when someone rejects a clear teaching of the Bible, and tries to use ‘science’ to demonstrate that the Bible is wrong, and then the results refute him. Then, yes, that person should be embarrassed – not because He had a bad hypothesis, but because he thought he was smarter than God.

      > Do it too often and journal referees refuse to publish you and you become an unwelcome joke at conferences.

      Jesus did everything exactly right. And they crucified Him for it. Don’t worry so much about what the world thinks. The fear of man is a snare (Proverbs 29:25). Do what is right, and let God be our Judge.

      > But, in the religious field you also face the risk of making presumptive statements with respect to Almighty God – an issue brought out re three of Job’s friends in Job’s questioning.

      That’s why we try to be very careful to distinguish between what God has said, and any scientific models that we propose. For example, my distant starlight cosmology might turn out to be wrong. But the fact that God created in six days is directly stated in Scripture (Exodus 20:11), and so it cannot be wrong.

      > It can happen with women too: it was thru Eve’s presumption that God wasn’t giving the straight story that mankind fell…

      Eve decided to do a little science experiment to test whether God’s Word was literally true. She decided that her senses and her mind were in a position to judge God’s clear statements. Have most people today learned the lesson? God’s Word teaches six days of creation….

      > Moreover, you are morally responsible for any misguidance of souls that you ‘authoratively’ misdirect, whether your motives were sincere and well-intentioned or not. [Mark 9: 42]

      That’s certainly true. That’s one reason why we do not knowingly compromise even the smallest portion of God’s Word. If God’s Word teaches six days, then that is what we will teach. If God teaches that death came into the world by man’s sin, then so must we teach. If God teaches that the world was very good before sin, then we will shout it from the rooftops. We do not put a question mark where God has put a period.

      Many people don’t understand the damage they do when they say that God might have created over billions of years, contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. They don’t understand that this undermines the Gospel by putting death before sin, and maligns the Holy Character of God. http://www.jasonlisle.com/2012/11/09/deep-time-the-god-of-our-age/. When they say, “don’t worry about the details in Genesis – those are not important” they teach the opposite of Christ who said that we should live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. When people put the word of secular scientists over the clear teaching of Scripture, and mislead others to do the same, will God hold them responsible?

      > Various Biblical authorities state…

      Not that I disagree, but what is far more important is what the Bible actually states.

      > God has used what can be observed in the natural order to convey His message regarding various topics, e.g. the invisible attributes of God [ Romans 1: 20],

      That’s certainly true. This is called “general revelation.”

      > Part of God’s message is and will be written in the world around us,

      No, it’s not “written” in the world, not literally anyway except in Scripture. And that is the point of the two-book fallacy article. You seem to have missed it. Nature is not a book that can be literally read. Nature is not comprised of propositional statements.

      > You shouldn’t dismiss nature as having no message,

      That’s a straw-man argument. I specifically stated in the article that we can indeed learn things about God from nature. Here are some quotes from the article: “After all, the Scriptures teach that God’s attributes are clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:20). So we can learn about God through both Scripture and science – the systematic study of nature.” These were the third and fourth sentences of the article!

      My point is that general revelation is not a literal book, is not comprised of propositional statements, and therefore it does not have the objective clarity of God’s Word. As such, it cannot be used to override the clear teaching of God’s Word. But, “This isn’t to say that people cannot learn anything from nature” as I state in the article.

      > Your zeal for the key importance of the Bible seems to have blind-sided you to the fact that it is self-confessed not even a record of historically interesting events for Christians…

      This is another straw-man argument. Where do I ever say that the Bible records everything that has ever happened? Where have I or my colleagues ever argued that everything that is true is found in Scripture? We don’t believe that. We do believe the Bible records the major events that are necessary for us to understand our position before God. And we do believe that everything that is in the Bible is true. This naturally includes the details of creation.

      > The Bible was given, as far as I can figure, to draw attention to mortal humanity’s need for salvation from personal extinction and how God had determined to accomplish it.

      Yes, but it only succeeds in that purpose if it is true. If the Bible has many details wrong, then there is no reason to trust its message of salvation. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). If God can’t get the details of Genesis right, then why should we believe that He got the details right on how to inherit eternal life?

      > Other aspects of the Book are introduced in support of this purpose, but I don’t think they should be considered encyclopaedic [sic] in extent beyond what is needed for that purpose [John 20: 30-31].

      No one is suggesting that all knowledge is found in Scripture. Rather, we suggest that everything that the Bible DOES state is true. When the Bible touches on a topic, it is right and can be trusted. If it can’t, then there is no reason to trust its claims of salvation.

      Why not let God be God? Why not accept that He is able to communicate clearly? Why not trust that He made the world the way He says He did?

      • Jim Campbell says:

        Hi Dr. Lisle,

        I don’t really know the protocol for blogs as I hardly ever have occasion to use them. So, forgive the delay in response. I apologize if I have understood your motivation wrongly, and have picked up a false impression of Young Creation science, but I don’t think you should actually blame me when you consider some of the ill-considered theories put forward:-
        ● Postulating accelerated nuclear decay before and during the Noahic Flood to account for the large quantity of fission by-products in the ground in an Ussher-type time-frame, which is, of course, infeasible for practical reasons (e.g. all creatures surviving the Flood would have received a fatal radiation dosage from their own body potassium unless protected by some Biblically unspecified miracle).
        ● Arguing for a recent Creation from the anomalous radiogenic production of helium in certain minerals by using a ‘high-school chemistry’ approach when the problem clearly needs a molecular orbital analysis because of the crystal geometries involved and the local E/M field distortions incurred by the violent nature of alpha-particle insertion. In a stressed crystal lattice, local field imbalances are likely to dictate, and only allowable energy levels and local geometry matter, not how things should happen according to the Periodic Table default. Sure, most crystal structures will eject intruded helium atoms, but some probably won’t.
        ● Arguing for a recent Creation because comets exist today, and shouldn’t, if Earth were billions of years old; meanwhile the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt long-lasting reservoir derivations, which can be accomodated in a Mature Earth creationist paradigm, seem to be moving from strength to strength, as the Outer System is being uncovered and orbit theory methods improve.
        Some of what your ICR group has turned up is interesting, but there seems to have been a tendency to headstrong adoption of the first ‘good-idea’ theory that looks as if it’ll lead to a Young Earth Creation; then you postulate some convenient but Biblically unrecorded miracle to dig you out of the holes you get into. That’s neither scientific analysis of the Creation (or your analysis would see you thru the task by itself), nor religious faith in an Unsearchable Creator (or you would not be looking for explanations), but some will-o’-the-wisp half-way house. Moreover, some of you don’t take kindly to well-meant advice to think again (e.g. Humphreys disregarding advice to consider an MO approach to the radiogenic helium problem). I can understand your enthusiasm, but wouldn’t it be better to hang off on publically announcing some of these theories until you’ve got the serious wrinkles ironed out?

        I did not connect the production of light (Day 1) to the appearance of the sun in the sky (Day 4) – you are puting words into my posting there. However, the subsequent confusion is probably my fault – I described things badly. I was trying to raise the possibility that, although Day 4 has God calling lights to come into being in the sky (the firmament), but not specifically the sea of Space (the waters/fluids above the firmament), it is an assumption on our behalf to believe the idea that He is at that time creating the bodies in Space where the light waves originate. I do, however, accept the fact that the Hebrew syntax rules governing the usage of the ‘And’/’Then’ construct beginning Genesis 1:16 means that He made light from these sources to shine in the sky for His given purposes after (as a consequence of) calling them to be there.

        You say Job 38 is poetic literature – your colleague Steven Boyd, in Don De Young’s (ed.) ‘Thousands… Not Billions’ quoting from expert source Meir Sternberg, claims that it is narrative. So, which is it? I actually don’t think that one can classify mixed literature from diverse sources like that, and get an insight into the nature of the information, as opposed to just structural meta-information: it ignores the individuall inspiration of the various authors, and changes in style and emphasis that may occur in their writings (e.g. the Apostle John). Besides, it’s ’1984 Big Brother’ spooky statistics, and decidedly not the kind of thinking that Christians should be engaged in as it reduces human authors to data points. (My own elders ‘wrapped me on the knuckles’ for thinking like you, and informed me that the Holy Spirit moves as He sees fit, and is not subject to the designs and calculations of mankind.)

        I have read Jonathan Sarfati’s ICR ‘Technical Journal’ paper on the second Cainan dispute, and the matter seems to me to depend on whether you, in faith, accept that the Holy Spirit guided the transmission of the Gospels without error, or not. How can you be sure that it isn’t the obverse situation to that promoted by Sarfati, i.e. that some Beza scribe copying this Septuagint-based Greek manuscript, having consulted the Masoretic genealogies, decided to omit the other Cainan as a probable error in the manuscript he was copying? Meaning no disrespect, I suggest you look at http://graceandknowledge.faithweb.com/cainan.html and ask yourself whether there is not a case for reasonable doubt. This paper claims that a body of Jewish literature preceding the Greek manuscript to which you aluded by several centuries, mentions Cainan, son of Arphaxad. It states: “Almost all Greek manuscripts of St. Luke’s Gospel include the second Cainan. However, one early uncial manuscript of St. Luke’s Gospel – the extremely idiosyncratic Codex Bezae – and a few later cursive manuscripts omit him”. It points out that the chances of a transcription error omitting a name may be fairly high, but adding a name erroneously is likely to be a much rarer occurrence. As Cainan, son of Arphaxad, is mentioned in the 2/3rd century BC manuscript ‘The Book of Jubilees’, the chances of his name occurring thru the accidental rewriting of an earlier phrase, as Safarti suggests, is pretty near non-existant.

        Re Psalm 90: 4 and 2 Peter 3: 8, did you actually consider what Moses was talking about, or what Peter was counselling? Moses is trying to impart the immensity of God’s vision, purpose and experience over time compared to that of human comprehension and concerns; Peter points to God’s total mastery of time – His attention can switch between epic unfoldings and the particular details – and that He will attend to even the minutae in His good time according to His intended purpose to allow humans a fair chance to repent. Time may have no effect on Him, but He most certainly is not oblivious to time as it is His servant. Your example of Luke 9: 22 is inappropriate as the prophetic words that Jesus uttered had to have a normal temporal connotation and fulfillment if he was who he claimed to be [Deuteronomy 18: 15-22]. Try instead Genesis 2: 4 where the term ‘day’, used by Moses in prophecy, refers to the entire Creation Week. There’s no doubt, God’s Word uses words figuratively as well as literally, even in the Creation account. It worries me that you Young Earth creationists may be over-literalizing at times.

        Why would you assume that I don’t accept the world the way that God made it? Ir’s not me that’s looking for bridging explanations between Creation Week and the modern world as I find in Humphreys’s ‘Starlight and Time’. As a Mature Earth Creationist I see Creation Week as an unsearchable set-up period for the big production, ‘Universal history as He has chosen to present it’. Given some of the witnessed miracles of the Lord, why would I think that I could have any deep insight into the set-up, or even the interface between God and His production unless He provided it? It’s presumtion to assume that the production actually runs from the year Zero, one that both Young Earth creationists and the Big Bang theorists make. The start-point in Scripture seems to be at the time of the Garden of Eden, where ‘outside’ climate conditions from Biblical clues [Genesis 2: 5-6] seem to ressemble what might pertain under Ice Age conditions (infertile ground, low precipitation, low water vapour partial pressure – which ptobably accounts for why the ground was able to absorb much of the water after the Noahic Flood). We now live in a modern world, but God created its complexities and its observable processes just as much as He created what’s described in the Bible. Provided that today’s world isn’t part of the strong delusion that God would send to condemn unbelievers [2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12], the unfolding wonders of the Universe are witnesses to what He created, whether we can understand their place in the Creation or not. Given what He said at the Expulsion from the Garden and the Tower of Babel events, it’s a naive presumption to assume that humanity has a right to know the modus operandi. The promise of that insight seems only to be given to Jesus’s Apostles [John 14: 26] and to those perfected by God thru salvation [1 Corinthians 13: 9-12]. Therefore, what would be the situation re the world of today, given society’s self-absorption in the quest for knowledge?

        Re Eve, no she didn’t carry out a scientific experiment of sorts. If she had been testing the eating of fruit combinations to see what tasted good together, that would have been a (domestic) science experiment. But Genesis 3: 1-6 says that the serpent’s temptation to her of possibly becoming as wise as God made her ignore God’s warning, which had been doubtlessly relayed to her by Adam and only half-believed. (I guess that’s why God consequently made her obedient to her husband and focussed on him rather than distractions.)

        Sorry, but you can’t hang the public platform rap on me, for I’m not claiming to be an expert, but am trying to make sense of what’s being presented to me as the truth about the world I live in. I didn’t make your blog public (it’s not Jim Campbell’s blog). All I am looking for are answers to my questions (sandwiched as I am between zealous religious and scientific orthodoxies, which often seem locked in cliched opposion). At the time, I couldn’t find your email, just your blog, which I assumed was an invitation to ask questions. I am sorry if that’s not what it’s for.

        Jim Campbell

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Hello again Jim,

          > I don’t really know the protocol for blogs as I hardly ever have occasion to use them. So, forgive the delay in response.

          That is not a problem at all.

          > I apologize if I have understood your motivation wrongly, and have picked up a false impression of Young Creation science, but I don’t think you should actually blame me when you consider some of the ill-considered theories put forward:-

          When we consider the utterly ridiculous conjectures that evolutionists put forward as “theories” (big bang, evolution, Oort cloud, etc.), the legitimate models put forward by creation scientists are a breath of fresh air. I’ll use your own examples.

          > Postulating accelerated nuclear decay before and during the Noahic Flood to account for the large quantity of fission by-products in the ground in an Ussher-type time-frame,

          The evidence for accelerated decay in the past is overwhelming. The secularists must deny this evidence because evolution supposedly requires hundreds of millions of years, but accelerated decay pretty well destroys any chance of millions of years. They have to believe in an old earth regardless of all the evidence to the contrary. The RATE team’s research on accelerated decay in the past is very good, and I have yet to hear a legitimate objection to it. Calling it “ill-considered” is not an argument, merely a question-begging epithet.

          It is the old-earth supporters who have been sloppy. They blindly assumed that radioactive decay is and always has been constant without bothering to test that assumption scientifically. They once insisted that decay rates cannot be changed. And they now have egg on their face. Scientists have been able to speed up certain kinds of radioactive decay in the laboratory by a factor of billions. So we know it’s possible. And the evidence indicates that it has indeed happened. It was creation scientists who made this discovery, because they started from the premise that God’s Word is true.

          > which is, of course, infeasible for practical reasons (e.g. all creatures surviving the Flood would have received a fatal radiation dosage from their own body potassium unless protected by some Biblically unspecified miracle).

          It seems you haven’t done your homework on this issue at all. The RATE team investigated the effects that radiation would have on living creatures during the flood year, and found (contrary to what you had guessed) that there would not have been any fatal effects. The creatures on the Ark would have been insulated from the major sources of radiation by a mile of water. The only possible source of radiation in their own bodies would be C14 and K40. But these fractions are tiny today (0.01% of K is K40 today), and the evidence suggests that they would have been even less before the flood. Today, our potassium comes from soil produced by erosion that happened during the Genesis Flood. Any potassium in Noah and his family, and the animals on the ark would have been from pre-flood soil. There is no reason to think that God would have placed high levels of K40 in the pre-flood soil, knowing that it would become lethal during the flood year.

          > Arguing for a recent Creation from the anomalous radiogenic production of helium in certain minerals

          To be clear, we argue for a recent creation because it is the clear teaching of Scripture. We don’t attempt to re-interpret the Scriptures to match the secularists opinions of what “really” happened in a past that none of them experienced. Rather, the helium trapped in rocks is merely a confirmation of a recent creation. And by the way, it is not the production that is “anomalous” from the secular point of view. Rather it is the retention. If the rocks were really hundreds of millions of years old, the helium would have had plenty of time to escape. The amount of helium is consistent with what we would expect from an age of a few thousand years.

          > by using a ‘high-school chemistry’ approach

          In science, simplicity is a virtue. When there are two competing theories which explain the data equally well, the simpler one is preferred. This is sometimes called “Ockham’s Razor.” The helium in rocks is consistent with a young earth using standard physics and chemistry. The evolutionists have to invent complex rescuing devices to protect their worldview from the abundant evidence to the contrary.

          > when the problem clearly needs a molecular orbital analysis because of the crystal geometries involved and the local E/M field distortions incurred by the violent nature of alpha-particle insertion. In a stressed crystal lattice, local field imbalances are likely to dictate, and only allowable energy levels and local geometry matter, not how things should happen according to the Periodic Table default. Sure, most crystal structures will eject intruded helium atoms, but some probably won’t.

          Whoever told this to you does not know what he’s talking about. The helium in zircons and the surrounding rocks is consistent with the amount expected from radioactive decay of the substances within those minerals. No one disputes that. The question was about how fast helium is able to leak out of the zircons and out of the rocks. The RATE team actually measured the rate at which the helium leaks from the zircons as a function of temperature. We don’t have to guess about how fast it happens. We have experimental proof. By the way, the results were exactly consistent with the rocks being a few thousand years old. The predictions of the old-earthers were off by a factor of millions!

          Moreover, we find C-14 in virtually anything that has carbon in it at any layer of strata, regardless of its assumed secular age. Since C-14 has a half-life of 5730 years, this shows that all the layers of strata were deposited within the last few thousand years at most.

          > Arguing for a recent Creation because comets exist today, and shouldn’t, if Earth were billions of years old; meanwhile the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt long-lasting reservoir derivations, which can be accomodated [sic] in a Mature Earth creationist paradigm, seem to be moving from strength to strength, as the Outer System is being uncovered and orbit theory methods improve.

          It seems that you are not aware of the fact that the Oort Cloud is pure fiction in terms of observational science. There is no observational evidence whatsoever of an Oort Cloud. It is merely a rescuing device that secularists have invented to escape the observational evidence that the solar system is only thousands of years old. Likewise, the type of Kuiper Belt predicted by the secularists has not been detected. They were expecting to find trillions of comet-sized objects beyond Neptune. Instead, astronomers have found a few hundred dwarf-planet sized objects (much, much bigger than any comet) in that region. They sometimes call them “Kuiper Belt” objects, but they cannot be the precursors to comets since the sizes are all wrong and so are the orbits. Comets are therefore consistent with a young solar system.

          > Some of what your ICR group has turned up is interesting, but there seems to have been a tendency to headstrong adoption of the first ‘good-idea’ theory that looks as if it’ll lead to a Young Earth Creation; then you postulate some convenient but Biblically unrecorded miracle to dig you out of the holes you get into.

          For example? The ironic thing is that it is the secular, old-earth supporters that hold on to a “theory” if it seems to support their conclusions. Then when evidence is found to the contrary, they invoke the equivalent of a miracle (though they wouldn’t call it that I’m sure). For example, the faint-young sun paradox shows that the sun would have been much fainter in the distant past – too faint to support life on Earth billions of years ago. Well, perhaps (despite any evidence of this) the atmosphere on the Earth adjusted in such a marvelous way as to balance this out, yes?

          Now, we certainly allow for miracles, particularly during the creation week where God was doing things that He does not do today. And we allow for miracles any place that the Bible reasonably suggests them – major acts of God. But we do not invoke miracles to explain the day-to-day workings of the universe, because we believe that God upholds the universe in a consistent and logical way. When we do science this way, we find that it leads to good results – far better than evolution or deep time would predict.

          > That’s neither scientific analysis of the Creation (or your analysis would see you thru the task by itself), nor religious faith in an Unsearchable Creator (or you would not be looking for explanations), but some will-o’-the-wisp half-way house.

          Again, you mischaracterize our research. We take on faith that the Bible is the revealed Word of God, and that God is able to effectively communicate what He means. Thus, we take Him at His Word when He says He made the universe in six days (Exodus 20:11), or that there was a worldwide flood (Genesis 6:13). The Bible gives us the foundation for doing scientific research. It provides the rational foundation for believing that there are certain cycles of nature that act consistently over time (e.g. Genesis 8:22), that can be understood by the human mind.

          > Moreover, some of you don’t take kindly to well-meant advice to think again

          It appears that you are not aware of the fact that all our research here at ICR is peer-reviewed before it is published. We consult with other experts who check our data, our reasoning, and our conclusions. They often give good advice and we take it. We even consider the advice of Bible critics, but we do not always agree with their thinking, because the mind that is not in submission to God will not be consistently rational or able to consistently draw reasonable conclusions, particularly in matters of origins/biblical history (1 Corinthians 2:14, 1:20, Ephesians 4:17-18).

          > I can understand your enthusiasm, but wouldn’t it be better to hang off on publically announcing some of these theories until you’ve got the serious wrinkles ironed out?

          That’s exactly what we do! There are research projects going on right now at ICR, and we haven’t released the results yet because they are still in progress. The models that you have mentioned that are already published are very good models. Don’t assume they are bad simply because the secularists don’t like them. Of course they aren’t going to accept models contrary to deep-time, no matter how compelling the evidence is.

          > I did not connect the production of light (Day 1) to the appearance of the sun in the sky (Day 4) – you are puting [sic] words into my posting there.

          I don’t think I did claim that you were connecting the production of light on day 1 to the appearance of the sun on day 4. Some people have claimed that the sun moon and stars were created on day 1, and merely appeared on day 4. I was pointing out that this is not possible given the Hebrew text. The celestial lights were created on day 4 – three days after the Earth. This was given as an example of a detail that we can learn from the text of Scripture, and that we must accept if we are claiming to have a high view of Scripture. And it eliminates the secular models which claim that stars came billions of years before the earth.

          > However, the subsequent confusion is probably my fault – I described things badly. I was trying to raise the possibility that, although Day 4 has God calling lights to come into being in the sky (the firmament), but not specifically the sea of Space (the waters/fluids above the firmament), it is an assumption on our behalf to believe the idea that He is at that time creating the bodies in Space where the light waves originate.

          I’m not sure I understand your point. I have another thread on this page where I discuss the meaning of the Hebrew word “Shamayim” (sky or heavens). It basically means “sky.” The stars were created and placed there on day 4.

          > I do, however, accept the fact that the Hebrew syntax rules governing the usage of the ‘And’/’Then’ construct beginning Genesis 1:16 means that He made light from these sources to shine in the sky for His given purposes after (as a consequence of) calling them to be there.

          Good.

          > You say Job 38 is poetic literature – your colleague Steven Boyd, in Don De Young’s (ed.) ‘Thousands… Not Billions’ quoting from expert source Meir Sternberg, claims that it is narrative. So, which is it?

          No. Boyd classifies this as poetic literature, as does every other Hebrew scholar to my knowledge. The parallelism in the passage is a clear marker of Hebrew poetry. Boyd lists Job 38 as poetry in His analysis of Hebrew poetry in Table B8 on page 702 of the RATE book volume 2. Even in the layman book “Thousands Not Billions” Boyd lists “Job” as a poetic book on page 165. Your reference to Sternberg makes me think that perhaps you had misread page 169 of “Thousands Not Billions.” Here DeYoung/Boyd point out that Genesis (not Job) is historic narrative (as opposed to fiction), and one of the arguments is that the historic details are sometimes alluded to in other Scripture, even in poetic passages, such as Job 38. But they were not claiming that Job 38 is historical narrative. It clearly isn’t.

          > I actually don’t think that one can classify mixed literature from diverse sources like that, and get an insight into the nature of the information, as opposed to just structural meta-information: it ignores the individuall [sic] inspiration of the various authors, and changes in style and emphasis that may occur in their writings (e.g. the Apostle John).

          Actually, the classification of the type of literature is not difficult at all, and is necessary for proper interpretation. You shouldn’t interpret historical narratives like poetry, nor poetry like historical narratives. If you don’t know what type of literature you are reading, you will not interpret it properly. There are clear markers of the narrative sections, and other clear markers of the poetic sections. God has made this clear in His Word, otherwise the text of Scripture would be incomprehensible. But God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).

          > Besides, it’s ’1984 Big Brother’ spooky statistics, and decidedly not the kind of thinking that Christians should be engaged in as it reduces human authors to data points.

          Are you referring to Boyd’s research? If so, I couldn’t disagree with you more strongly. Boyd’s excellent research serves to mathematically confirm what our intuition already tells us: that passages like the Psalms are poetic in nature, and passages like Genesis 1 are historical narrative in nature. This is important to know because poetic passages are not supposed to be read in a wooden-literal way, but narrative sections are primarily literal. Without such knowledge, we would not rightly interpret the Word of God, and this could lead to major distortions.

          Many people don’t want to take Genesis literally because they have embraced the secular timescale. They may try to justify this action by claiming (contrary to common sense, the rest of the Scriptures, and the leading of the Holy Spirit) that Genesis is poetic, not historic in nature. Boyd’s research is helpful not because the text is somehow unclear – it is very obvious that Genesis is literal history. Rather, Boyd’s research serves to confirm this fact, and decisively refute the critics who dismiss Genesis as myth or metaphor.

          > (My own elders ‘wrapped me on the knuckles’ for thinking like you, and informed me that the Holy Spirit moves as He sees fit, and is not subject to the designs and calculations of mankind.)

          If that is so, then your elders need to repent and get back to what the Bible teaches. The Holy Spirit does move as He sees fit, but He has revealed Himself to us in His Word (2 Peter 1:21). We are supposed to accept what God has said in His Word, and build our thinking on that (Matthew 7:24).
          We are supposed to study to accurately handle God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15). We are supposed to reason (Isaiah 1:18) and get knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 4:5,7). And we are supposed to be ready always to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15). We are not supposed to just bury our head in the sand.

          > I have read Jonathan Sarfati’s ICR ‘Technical Journal’ paper on the second Cainan dispute, and the matter seems to me to depend on whether you, in faith, accept that the Holy Spirit guided the transmission of the Gospels without error, or not.

          No, there is no doubt that God has ensured the survival of His Word. The question is, which of the extant manuscripts is closest to what God originally wrote, considering there are minor differences? Both copies with the extra Cainan and copies without the extra Cainan have been transmitted and survive until today. So which version did the Holy Spirit guide?

          > How can you be sure that it isn’t the obverse situation to that promoted by Sarfati, i.e. that some Beza scribe copying this Septuagint-based Greek manuscript, having consulted the Masoretic genealogies, decided to omit the other Cainan as a probable error in the manuscript he was copying?

          The answer is that the oldest extant copies of Luke do not have the extra Cainan, nor does the Genesis chronology, nor does the 1 Chronicles genealogy, nor does any Hebrew copy of the Old Testament, nor does the Samaritan Pentatuch, or the Targum version. Nor is the extra Cainan found in the works of Josephus or Philo – who lived in the first century. It is found in the Septuagint, but not in the oldest copies of the Septuagint. All this evidence is consistent with the notion that the extra Cainan was an early scribal error, and was not in Luke’s original Gospel.

          > Meaning no disrespect, I suggest you look at http://graceandknowledge.faithweb.com/cainan.html and ask yourself whether there is not a case for reasonable doubt. This paper claims that a body of Jewish literature preceding the Greek manuscript to which you aluded by several centuries, mentions Cainan, son of Arphaxad. It states: “Almost all Greek manuscripts of St. Luke’s Gospel include the second Cainan. However, one early uncial manuscript of St. Luke’s Gospel – the extremely idiosyncratic Codex Bezae – and a few later cursive manuscripts omit him”.

          The problem is this: it is the earliest copies that omit the extra Cainan. This would be consistent with the original text not having the extra Cainan, and it being introduced later as a copying error.

          > It points out that the chances of a transcription error omitting a name may be fairly high, but adding a name erroneously is likely to be a much rarer occurrence.

          Normally, I might agree. But in this case, the extra Cainan is directly above the Cainan on the line below in the original Greek. So a duplication would be a very easy mistake to make. The scribe only has to briefly be one line off. Have you ever accidentally read the same line over? That’s all it takes.

          > As Cainan, son of Arphaxad, is mentioned in the 2/3rd century BC manuscript ‘The Book of Jubilees’, the chances of his name occurring thru the accidental rewriting of an earlier phrase, as Safarti suggests, is pretty near non-existant. [sic]

          I am familiar with these claims. Although the original Book of Jubilees may indeed have been written as early as a few centuries B.C., the only extant copies we have are from the 15th-16th century A.D. In other words, there is no evidence that the original Book of Jubilees contained the extra Cainan. And there is evidence that it did not: Jubilees 2:23 states that the number of “heads” (people) from Adam to Jacob were 22. If the extra Cainan were in the original text, that would make 23.

          > Re Psalm 90: 4 and 2 Peter 3: 8, did you actually consider what Moses was talking about, or what Peter was counselling? [sic]

          Yes, though I’m not sure you have. Let’s take 2 Peter 3:8 specifically. This is in the context of what has preceded it. Peter has just explained how God judged the world with a global flood (verse 6), and that God will judge the world once again in the future with fire (verse 7). Peter then explains why this judgment of fire has not yet come, why there is such a long time between the two global judgments from our perspective. God is beyond time.

          This is the meaning of verse 8. In verse 9, Peter explains that God is not slow to keep promises as some men might count slowness, but that God is patient: He has not yet brought in the final judgment because He is giving time for people to repent. 2 Peter 3:8 is in the context of God’s patience in suspending judgment for a time so that more people can be saved. It is not in any way shape or form giving us license to disregard any temporal information that the Bible gives. It is not referring in any way to the days of creation. It is not telling us that when God speaks of days or years that we are to take such things in a non-literal way. Therefore, this verse must not be pulled out of context as an excuse to disregard the timing information that the Bible provides.

          Psalm 90:4 is similar; it contrasts human life and death (verse 3) with the eternality of God who is beyond time (verse 2). It is poetic literature, and must not be pulled out of context as rationalization to ignore the biblical timescale.

          > Moses is trying to impart the immensity of God’s vision, purpose and experience over time compared to that of human comprehension and concerns; Peter points to God’s total mastery of time – His attention can switch between epic unfoldings and the particular details – and that He will attend to even the minutae [sic] in His good time according to His intended purpose to allow humans a fair chance to repent. Time may have no effect on Him, but He most certainly is not oblivious to time as it is His servant.

          I agree. And therefore when God gives us temporal information, we can have confidence that it is right. So when God tells us that He made everything in six days, then we can trust that He did indeed create everything in six days.

          > Your example of Luke 9: 22 is inappropriate as the prophetic words that Jesus uttered had to have a normal temporal connotation and fulfillment if he was who he claimed to be [Deuteronomy 18: 15-22].

          Luke 9:22 is a great example of the inconsistency in the thinking of many old-earth supporters. They feel free to take the word “day” as a long period of time, except when they don’t.

          > Try instead Genesis 2: 4 where the term ‘day’, used by Moses in prophecy, refers to the entire Creation Week.

          Actually, our Hebrew scholar at ICR believes that this is referring to just the first day. But I’ll allow for the sake of argument that it could mean the entire week. Words can have more than one meaning depending on context. Our English word for “day” can mean a period of time longer than a literal “day” such as in “back in my Father’s day.” How then can we know the meaning? Context! When the Hebrew word “day” is used with a number such as “the second day, the third day, etc.” it is always rendered as an ordinary day in all narrative literature. When it is used in context with “evening” as in “there was evening that day” or when used in context with “morning” as in “there was morning that day” it always means an ordinary day. No one would dispute this outside of Genesis 1. For that matter, an evening and a morning together constitute an ordinary day.

          When we look at Genesis 1, we find ALL of these contextual clues for EACH of the days of creation. Evening, morning, evening & morning together, number. There can be no doubt that God is describing ordinary days. Indeed the plural form of the Hebrew word “yamim” (days) always refers to ordinary days. And this is what is used in Exodus 20:11 – “in six days.” In fact, Exodus 20:8-11 explains that the reason we have a seven-day week is because this is how long it took God to create the universe and rest.

          > There’s no doubt, God’s Word uses words figuratively as well as literally, even in the Creation account. It worries me that you Young Earth creationists may be over-literalizing at times.

          To take poetic literature in an overly literal fashion is an error to be sure. But so is taking narrative in a less-than-literal sense. Genesis is written as historical narrative. It is to be read literally as historical events. That’s the way Jesus took it (e.g. Matthew 19). Yes, we can make allowances for obvious figures of speech even in historical narrative, but these must be justified by context.

          The reason why people do not take Genesis as written is not because the text is unclear. On the contrary, the text is very clear. Rather, people reject a literal Genesis because they don’t really have confidence in God’s Word; they have been intimidated by the claims of secular experts. Let’s be honest: The Bible gives no hint of billions of years, or death before sin, or a local flood, or the secular order of events. These are eisegetical readings totally foreign to the intention of the biblical authors.

          > Why would you assume that I don’t accept the world the way that God made it?

          Perhaps I misunderstood you, but it seemed like you were suggesting that maybe God didn’t really create in six days, and that the universe might be much older than the Bible indicates. Do you, for example, believe that dinosaur fossils are millions of years old? That would put death before sin, contrary to the Scriptural teaching that the original world was “very good.”

          > Ir’s [sic] not me that’s looking for bridging explanations between Creation Week and the modern world as I find in Humphreys’s ‘Starlight and Time’.

          Again, I don’t think this accurately describes what creation scientists do. We trust that God’s Word is true and clear, and we build scientific models based on that worldview. We have found that this is very successful. Humphreys is not trying to explain how God created. We all take creation to be supernatural. But there is no problem building a model of cosmology on what God has revealed in His Word. That’s science. It has led to some wonderful technologies and advances in medicine and in many facets of life. I believe that it pleases God when we study and try to understand His universe, as long as we give Him the glory.

          > As a Mature Earth Creationist I see Creation Week as an unsearchable set-up period for the big production, ‘Universal history as He has chosen to present it’. Given some of the witnessed miracles of the Lord, why would I think that I could have any deep insight into the set-up, or even the interface between God and His production unless He provided it?

          Okay.

          > It’s presumtion [sic] to assume that the production actually runs from the year Zero, one that both Young Earth creationists and the Big Bang theorists make. The start-point in Scripture seems to be at the time of the Garden of Eden,

          No. The starting point is Genesis 1:1. In the BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth. The beginning starts at the beginning. The Bible starts in Genesis 1, not in Genesis 3. The creation week is part of history.

          > where ‘outside’ climate conditions from Biblical clues [Genesis 2: 5-6] seem to ressemble [sic] what might pertain under Ice Age conditions

          I find your hypothesis here to be inconsistent with your previous statements “[It’s] not me that’s looking for bridging explanations between Creation Week and the modern world” and “I see Creation Week as an unsearchable set-up period… why would I think that I could have any deep insight into the set-up, or even the interface between God and His production unless He provided it?” I don’t mind that you are trying to connect some of the details of creation given in Genesis with what we observe in the modern world (e.g. evidence of an ice age). But then it seems inconsistent to criticize others for doing that too.

          And no, these were not the conditions that existed during the ice age. We have good evidence that the ice age did not happen until after the flood, and in fact is the natural result of a world-wide flood. But I digress.

          > (infertile ground, low precipitation, low water vapour partial pressure – which ptobably [sic] accounts for why the ground was able to absorb much of the water after the Noahic Flood).

          That’s very speculative. The Bible doesn’t say that the ground was infertile. On the contrary, there is every reason to think that the ground was very fertile on the original “very good” earth. Today’s soil we believe to be mostly eroded granite produced during the global flood. Low water pressure – the text doesn’t say this. And the Bible does not state that the ground absorbed the water after the flood either. There are some better researched models on these sorts of things if you’re interested.

          > We now live in a modern world, but God created its complexities and its observable processes just as much as He created what’s described in the Bible. …the unfolding wonders of the Universe are witnesses to what He created, whether we can understand their place in the Creation or not.

          Yes. Did you think we believe otherwise?

          > Given what He said at the Expulsion from the Garden and the Tower of Babel events, it’s a naive presumption to assume that humanity has a right to know the modus operandi.

          It’s not clear to me what you mean by that. If you mean that we can’t know exactly why God does what He does apart from His revelation, then I agree. But if you mean that we shouldn’t try to better understand the systematic way that God upholds the universe, or to try to better understand the details of creation, then I disagree. In Genesis 1:28, God gave humanity dominion over the earth. In order to have such dominion, we must understand the world in which we live, which means we need to do scientific research. And that is what creation science is all about. We take God’s Word as true, and explore and research what He has made, all to His glory. We love to see how science confirms Scripture. I truly don’t understand why you seem opposed to that.

          > The promise of that insight seems only to be given to Jesus’s Apostles [John 14: 26] and to those perfected by God thru salvation [1 Corinthians 13: 9-12].

          These passages are referring to the writing of Scripture. This seems off topic to me. We have all the Scriptures now. The question is what to do with topics that the Bible doesn’t address. Should we use the methods of science to understand things like heredity, fossils, disease, galaxies, and so on? I say “yes.” Providing we start from the foundation in Scripture, we can expect good success.

          > Therefore, what would be the situation re the world of today, given society’s self-absorption in the quest for knowledge?

          The pursuit of knowledge is biblical (Proverbs 2:6, 4:5,7, 10:14, 11:9, 15:7,14). The question is: how will we obtain that knowledge? Will we do it in accordance with God’s standard, beginning with reverential submission to Him (Proverbs 1:7)? Or will we ignore God’s Word and attempt to determine truth by our own sinful standards? This was the test that Eve failed. And we have been failing it ever since.

          > Re Eve, no she didn’t carry out a scientific experiment of sorts.

          Yes, she really did. She did an empirical test, using her senses and mind to observe and interpret the results. That’s science.

          > If she had been testing the eating of fruit combinations to see what tasted good together, that would have been a (domestic) science experiment. But Genesis 3: 1-6 says that the serpent’s temptation to her of possibly becoming as wise as God made her ignore God’s warning, which had been doubtlessly relayed to her by Adam and only half-believed.

          She had God’s Word on the one hand, and the serpent’s on the other. How did she decide who was right? She did an experiment. She decided that her mind and senses were sufficient to judge whether or not God was honest. Of course, this is just what people do today.

          > (I guess that’s why God consequently made her obedient to her husband and focussed [sic] on him rather than distractions.)

          Well, no. Eve was to be a helper for Adam from the beginning (Genesis 2:20-23). Sin merely added friction and unbiblical desires and behaviors to marriage. Originally, marriage would not have had the kinds of difficulties that couples face today.

          > Sorry, but you can’t hang the public platform rap on me, for I’m not claiming to be an expert, but am trying to make sense of what’s being presented to me as the truth about the world I live in. I didn’t make your blog public (it’s not Jim Campbell’s blog).

          Well Jim, you posted claims on a public internet site. The fact that the blog is not owned by you is irrelevant. It does not change the fact that it is a public platform, and anyone can read your claims. Now, I don’t mind you posting here. But it is inconsistent for you to then criticize others for doing the same thing.

          > All I am looking for are answers to my questions

          I’m happy to try to answer your questions, as time permits. But if you make unsubstantiated claims, as with the RATE research, you can expect me to expose them as such. That’s only fair, yes?

          > (sandwiched as I am between zealous religious and scientific orthodoxies, which often seem locked in cliched [sic] opposion [sic]).

          As a Christian and a Ph.D. scientist, I can understand that. It seems that you have two competing “authorities” in your life: the Bible, and the (current) beliefs of the secular scientists. Now, no man can really have two ultimate standards (Matthew 6:24). So at some point you’re going to have to decide which one is ultimate. Most people go with the secular scientists, and then interpret the Scriptures to match. I recommend you do the opposite; stand on the authority of the clear Word of God and interpret the findings of scientists accordingly (Matthew 4:4).

          > At the time, I couldn’t find your email, just your blog, which I assumed was an invitation to ask questions. I am sorry if that’s not what it’s for.

          You are very welcome to ask questions on my blog. I will try to answer as time permits. I hope this is helpful to you.

          • Jim Campbell says:

            Hi Dr. Lisle,

            I’ve thought carefully about your reply and have read some more of your blog articles. This made me wonder whether you were more interested in winning an argument than winning a truth. So, in the spirit of rational discussion that you advocate in one of the articles,I’m restricting myself to one issue, plus a request.

            I don’t think that you’ve done the second Cainan question justice in your argument. The main support for the commonly accepted Luke chronology, i.e. the Ethiopian version of Jubilees, contains a detailed spiel on Cainan son of Arphaxad, and there is nothing but opinioned argument to say that it is an addition. The weight is surely in favour of him being included in the older Qumran copy of ‘Jubilees’, of which I believe we only yet have fragments (and they apparently match up with the Ethiopian version). Moreover, given the Jewish genealogical stylism of telescoping lists and tallies into formats that agree with favoured numbers (e.g. 3, 7, 10, 22), the Jubilees 2:23 looks like a red herring – Millam shows similar examples in the Old Testament of names omitted at some point to make the count fit some special number. Besides, the commentaries that I’ve read, suggest that if anybody was to be dropped from a list of the venerated patriarchs of mankind, the second Cainan, through his interest in pre-Flood star-gazing pre-occupations derived from Watcher inscriptions, was a definite black sheep to those trying to rebuild society after the Great Flood. However, if you think the text of the book has been tampered with, show me the proof.

            There is also a piece of circumstancial evidence that the second Cainan was present in a 3rd century BC version of the Septuagint. The third century Jewish historian Demetrius, gives a tally of the number of years from the Creation to Abraham that corresponds closely to that deducible from a version of the Septuagint containing the second Cainan, who lived (according to this source) 130 years before begetting Selah; a versions without this Cainan would work out some 130 years less. The information was relayed in section 9.21.1-19 of ‘Praeparatio Evangelica’, an early 3rd century AD work by Bishop Eusebius of Caesaria, having been copied from a record made by 1st century BC historian Alexander Polyhistor. As the early versions of Luke that you mentioned post-date Eusabius’s sources, I don’t really think your colleague Jonathan Sarfati has any legs to stand on. Sure, any of the writers could be lying, but the same holds for all claimed historical documents – faith in record-keeping has to start somewhere, and unless you can give irrefutable probable cause for deception I see no reason for discounting them.

            Finally, given your inference that I was referencing non-technical papers on the accelerated nuclear decay theory, will you point me to some technical papers and I’ll give it a further look – if I’m lucky I should have the background to tackle them. Thanks for the challenge to tighten up my thinking.

            Regards,
            Jim Campbell

            • Dr. Lisle says:

              Hi Jim,

              > The main support for the commonly accepted Luke chronology, i.e. the Ethiopian version of Jubilees,

              It’s not wrong to look to extra-biblical sources to fill in details that the Bible leaves out, or to help us discern which variant of a biblical manuscript is likely to be the most faithful to the original. However, these sources are not always historically accurate, and are not inerrant, and therefore should certainly be considered secondary to what the Bible itself teaches. It is best to first ask, are there any Scriptural documents that would lend insight into which version of the Gospel of Luke is most faithful to the original? Of course there are two: Genesis 11 and 1 Chronicles 1. These are inspired texts (and even if they weren’t, they are far older than Jubilees) and are therefore more authoritative than any uninspired text.

              > contains a detailed spiel on Cainan son of Arphaxad,

              It’s just five verses actually. The short story is entertaining, but I have no reason to believe that it’s factual, or in the original. The original book of Jubilees was written nearly 2000 years after the events of the story, and the oldest extant copies of Jubilees are 1700 years after that.

              > and there is nothing but opinioned argument to say that it is an addition.

              We have very good evidence that it is an addition. This Cainan is not found in any of the most ancient documents – of Luke, of Genesis, and of 1 Chronicles. Those are three very good reasons. But I don’t think we have any good reason to think that it is not an addition.

              Jim, there are many examples of people adding details to ancient writings that were not present in the original. “Bel and the Dragon” is a detailed story of Daniel that is not in the original book of Daniel. The Apocrypha contains many additions to the book of Esther. This is common. Scholars often look to the timespan between when the work was originally written and the oldest extant copies to help assess the possibility of additions or deletions. 1700 years is more than enough time. Moreover, we have internal evidence from Jubilees itself – namely 2:23.

              > The weight is surely in favour of him being included in the older Qumran copy of ‘Jubilees’,

              What evidence do you have of that? Only a few fragments of the book were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and none of them containing a story of Cainan. So we have no way to assess how much of the 15th-16th century texts of Jubilees have been distorted from the original.

              > Moreover, given the Jewish genealogical stylism of telescoping lists and tallies into formats that agree with favoured numbers (e.g. 3, 7, 10, 22), the Jubilees 2:23 looks like a red herring – Millam shows similar examples in the Old Testament of names omitted at some point to make the count fit some special number.

              This isn’t quite accurate. According to Dr. Steven Boyd’s research, there are absolutely no examples in the Old Testament of “X begat Y” where Y is not an immediate child of X. In other words “X begat Y” in Hebrew does not allow for gaps. In the New Testament Greek, it does – but not in Hebrew. Therefore, none of the lists of “X begat Y” are telescoped. On the other hand, Hebrew expressions like “father of” can indeed skip a generation – “father” can mean “grandfather” in some cases. But this doesn’t help support the extra Cainan view because Genesis 11 uses the “begat” formula, which never allows for gaps.

              By the way, the timespan between the birth of Arphaxad and the birth of Shelah is only 35 years (Genesis 11:12). So even if we ignored Boyd’s research, would it be more reasonable to think that Arphaxad became a father at age 35 or a grandfather at age 35?

              > Besides, the commentaries that I’ve read, suggest that if anybody was to be dropped from a list of the venerated patriarchs of mankind, the second Cainan, through his interest in pre-Flood star-gazing pre-occupations derived from Watcher inscriptions, was a definite black sheep to those trying to rebuild society after the Great Flood.

              The Bible is rather different from many other works of ancient literature in that it records the “black sheep” along with the heroes. As one example, it records a long list of evil kings of Israel in 1 Kings. The Bible does not even hide the character defects of its heroes. David was a man after God’s own heart, yet his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah is recorded for all to read.

              > However, if you think the text of the book has been tampered with, show me the proof.

              Many computer files contain something called a “checksum.” It is a number generated from data within a file and then stored. The checksum allows us to see if a file has been accidentally (or intentionally) altered. We simply re-compute the checksum from the internal data, and see if it matches the stored checksum. If they don’t match, then the file has been altered.

              Literature sometimes contains a similar notion. The Bible, for example, records the generations from Adam to Enoch in Genesis 5. Jude 14 reports that Enoch was the seventh from Adam. When we count the generations in Genesis 5, we find that indeed Enoch is the seventh generation. The checksum matches the data, giving us confidence that the text has not been altered. When we do the same test between Jubilees 8 and Jubilees 2:23, we find that it fails the checksum, suggesting that it has indeed been altered.

              > There is also a piece of circumstancial [sic] evidence that the second Cainan was present in a 3rd century BC version of the Septuagint. The third century Jewish historian Demetrius, gives a tally of the number of years from the Creation to Abraham…

              Unfortunately, we don’t have Demetrius’s actual work, but rather that of Eusebius – which dates to the 3rd century A.D., well after the Gospel of Luke, and well after the second Cainan had already found its way into many copies of Luke. Also, the years/ages recorded in the Septuagint are known to be wrong.

              > Sure, any of the writers could be lying, but the same holds for all claimed historical documents –

              Not for Scripture. Since it is inspired by God, Scripture is absolutely trustworthy when it reports genealogies (including Genesis 11 and 1 Chronicles 1). Also, even with the secular works, alterations are not necessarily due to intentional deception. It’s entirely possible that a copyist is attempting to fix what he believes to be an omission, by adding information that he has read in another source.

              Also, don’t lose sight of the original issue. Even if the extra Cainan were correct, it would not affect the biblical age of the Earth at all, because the Bible gives the timespan between Arphaxad and Shelah (35 years). This timespan is not affected by whether Shelah is a son or grandson. So the biblical age of the Earth cannot be increased by appealing to possible gaps in the genealogies. One of our theologians at ICR has written on this topic here: http://www.icr.org/article/how-young-earth-applying-simple-math-data-provided/

              > Finally, given your inference that I was referencing non-technical papers on the accelerated nuclear decay theory, will you point me to some technical papers and I’ll give it a further look – if I’m lucky I should have the background to tackle them.

              Yes. Although you can find some of the individual papers in various journals, the best way is to get the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) books. These contain all the relevant peer-reviewed papers by the various researchers in a two-volume set. Volume one is the preliminary work and the predicted results of the accelerated decay hypothesis. Volume two is the data and conclusions.

              > Thanks for the challenge to tighten up my thinking.

              You are very welcome. I hope this helps.

  6. Jeff says:

    Point of clarification: the words “morning star” is not referring to a star that is seen in the morning. It’s referring to a title, or office that has been held by a now-fallen angel, by Jesus, and by those of us who will overcome. Job might be talking poetically, but he’s talking poetically of real events — Morning Stars (celestial beings) singing. The Morning Star is more than a title; it’s an Identity. We think of titles and names as interchangeable in this fallen world. But in the Beginning, the integrity of God’s words meant that whatever your name was, that was your identity. You and your name were one, just like Jesus is the Word, and Jesus has the Name above all Names. Lucifer (“Morning Star” in Hebrew) was the name and identity of a being which fell from Heaven, during which the identity God imbued him with was ripped away. God does not make anything which does not serve purpose, and so this identity of the Morning Star must be redeemed, though the being that was Lucifer cannot be redeemed. So, we see in Revelation, that Jesus is the Morning Star, and we see that we are granted the Morning Star (presumably as an identity) when we overcome.

    Dr. Lisle, you’re saying this: “That’s one reason why we do not knowingly compromise even the smallest portion of God’s Word.” So, I’m writing to make you know what part of God’s Word is being compromised by most everyone in the creation science realm, and it begins with the birds and the stars being created in the same place. I can only imagine that this is not being addressed for fear of real-world consequences that might undermine the creation science industry. You seem like a straight-shooter, confident enough to dismiss error as part of the joy of truth. But my experience is that most creation scientists know there is a knife stabbed into the foundation, and don’t want anyone to touch it because it will hurt.

    Most of the “battle” between young earth creationists and naturalists hinges on the concepts of time. Has any scientist on either side bothered to actually calculate the change in time as the universe expands or contracts? In the twenty minutes that it has taken me to type this post, how much time has elapsed at the fringes of the universe? To be certain, not twenty minutes. Knowing that time is ever-changing and then using it as a static point of reference in debates is pretty nonsensical.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Jeff,

      I understand that the Morning Star can refer to Jesus as in Revelation 22:16, and that Lucifer can be translated as “morning star”, or “shining one.” So the term has a range of meanings, and the meaning in a given context must be determined by that context. It seems that you are suggesting that the “morning stars” referred to in Job are actually angels. I used to think that was indeed the case. But now I’m convinced that it cannot be angels in that passage (though stars can indeed symbolize angels in other passages). I won’t go into the details of the argument at this time because I plan on writing on this topic in the near future. In any case, the literal luminaries of the heaven are said to praise God in Psalm 148:3, which goes along nicely with Job 38:7.

      Regarding the placement of the birds and stars, you’ve suggested that there is compromise by creation scientists in this area, but you didn’t really give any support for this. You’ve suggested that “this is not being addressed”, but in fact the topic of the placement of birds and stars respectively has indeed been studied and addressed in considerable depth. Dr. Russ Humphreys has studied and written on this topic, and I know that Dr. Terry Mortenson has investigated the issue as well.

      The Hebrew word translated as “heaven” or “heavens” in Genesis 1 is “shamayim.” It always occurs in the dual form which implies a two-ness. That is why it is translated in the plural in some versions. It has the basic meaning of “sky”, as in the visible shell that we see when we look up. This naturally includes atmospheric phenomena such as clouds (e.g. Judges 5:4), and also the higher realm of the celestial bodies (e.g. Genesis 26:4). This may be why the word always occurs in the dual form.

      The Bible does not say that birds and stars are “created in the same place.” Though of course, both are found in the visible sky – the shamayim. Stars were placed in the expanse of the sky (Genesis 1:14), and then birds were made to “fly above the earth across the face of the” expanse of the heavens. Only NKJV translates that phrase literally from the Hebrew. Some people have tried to read into the meaning of shamayim based on modern ideas, but this is reading into the text.

      You claim that the battle between young earth creationists and naturalists hinges on the concepts of time. While time is important, it is not what the battle is ultimately about. The battle is over ultimate standards. Namely, is the Bible really to be trusted as the clear ultimate authority in our thinking? If the Bible truly is our ultimate standard, then creation in six-days follows logically. Though time can flow at different rates under certain circumstances, this is determined entirely by the reference frame, which is known. For a given reference frame (earth for example), time is perfectly well-defined and flows at a uniform and consistent rate.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Dr. Lisle,
    I have just found your blog, and I’m glad I did…
    Back in July of 2012, I went with “Bright Lights” to ICR. We got a tour, and got to sit in on a speech from you.

    I just wanted to express my thanks to you. As a result of that, I have gotten your books (The Ultimate Proof of Creation, and Why Genesis Matters), and I am enjoying reading them. I am also a frequent visitor on the Your Origins Matter site. Thank you so much!! I am praying for y’all! :)

    In Christ,
    Elizabeth

  8. Jeff says:

    Thank you, Dr. Lisle, for responding. From what little I’ve just read of Dr. Humphreys, his relativistic approach to time dilation seems right. Frankly, I’m a bit giddy to read that. But what I don’t agree with is the guess he makes that the universe started out as a 2 trillion light year sphere of water. That’s just says “naturalism” to me, especially in light of enough countering evidence. Creation was made for man. The only thing off limits was the Tree. The stars were not hung billions of light years away like a carrot on a string to show man his place. Man did not need to be shown his place because he was not haughty. Only now do we need to be shown our place, and therefore only now are things unreachable.

    The Word says that the birds were created in the same expanse that the lights and stars were created in. To say (as I have heard so many say) “Oh, it means that the birds were in the sky, and the lights and stars were light years away” is as naturalist as the people who believe in evolution because the alternative for them is too unbelievable. A man can rise from the grave, but to believe that there was something different about the universe at creation is too implausible? To me, it is just like saying “Did God really say that about the birds and the lights?” To believe that every star will fall from the sky to the earth on the End of Days is believable, but to say that they all originated from the same place is preposterous?

    I might be wrong about it all, but wow, not to be given the time of day from any of the creationists for the last 6 years is pretty discouraging. All anybody ever does is reiterate what can be plainly read about on their own sites. Talk about straw man arguments and being corrected on questions never asked. Each one of them claims the humility to be able to look at things differently — that they might not have it all figured out — but when put to the test, only reiterate what they’ve already said. God bless them, because it’s a hard job. But from my perspective, they’ve compromised on the very joy of the pursuit of truth. They either kindly correct or hotly debate, ignoring logic, but seemingly surmise no more. At least not with me.

    There is enough evidence that supports the idea of a very small universe that it ought to be looked into. The duality of the word “Heaven” is referring to the spritual-realworld duality, not a sky-universe duality. Even if the word referred to 100 strata, it wouldn’t be enough of a deterrent to throw out a whole theory. Even God’s redemptive process takes a name and gives it new meaning, like Abram to Abraham. The words have in them their history. They are dynamic, and I don’t mean that we can give them whatever meaning we want, but that God’s words for things make sense throughout history, even after a catastrophe like the Flood. They have in them a record of the perfect state and the fallen state of the thing they describe–even before it falls. Everything in nature has a simple and complex solution and it should not surprise us that there is a simple, literal beginning to the word Heaven that becomes more complex as tragedy rolls on. Even in Judges that you point out, the Heavens pour down rain, which they clearly don’t do in the Beginning.

    In those days, I’m assuming there was not a universe like we know it. The ripped apart universe that we have today is a product of the sin of man, predominately falling apart in the Flood. Are time and the universe not part of creation? No, they were not immune from the destruction of sin. But we study it like it was the same today, tomorrow, and yesterday. Their state today is not identical to the way they were created. We have a semblance of what they were like. The rest of the answer to what they were like is in the Word. The billions of light years that people can peer into space are a product of the distortion of time as the mass of the universe increased and expanded during the years after the Flood. …expanded from being very close to the surface of the earth and having little mass, to what we see today — very far away and very massive. If this is the case, which I believe it to be, then there would be a huge difference in measured time on the earth throughout history, because the reference frame would be in constant flux. If the reference frame were earth, then it would be shrinking with respect to the size and mass of the universe. And viola! You have a young earth in an measurably old universe. If this is true, we can forget about wasting time debating with the naturalists, because it will most likely answer many questions, make our oppressors mute, and quite possibly have real world applications.

    Yes, the battle is about “is there a God.” (Really, who doesn’t know that? Are there such people?) But every skirmish gets down to something about time — millions of years vs. thousands. The mastery of the nature of time will yield victory. And that will go to the people who understand that time is not just in flux, but the space time continuum is in a fallen state from what used to be perfect. The other side cannot possibly understand this. They think that things are evolving better and better.

    Terrifyingly, what I’m really after here is someone who is trained in science, who can put the idea through the necessary tests. I don’t feel I have the time to get a doctorate in cosmology to be able to do it myself.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Jeff,

      > From what little I’ve just read of Dr. Humphreys, his relativistic approach to time dilation seems right.

      Okay, but I wasn’t commenting on his cosmology. Rather, I was pointing out that he has looked into Hebrew term “shamayim” (sky) and the relative positions of the stars in the sky, and the birds which fly across its face. You had suggested that no one had looked into that issue, and I was just providing a quick reference to someone who has.

      > The stars were not hung billions of light years away like a carrot on a string to show man his place. Man did not need to be shown his place because he was not haughty. Only now do we need to be shown our place, and therefore only now are things unreachable.

      Is there any scriptural support that the stars were to “show man his place”? The Bible teaches that the stars were to mark time (Genesis 1:14), to give light upon the Earth (Genesis 1:15), and to show God’s glory (Psalm 19:1). I cannot find any scriptural basis for the notion that the stars were reachable by man before sin.

      > The Word says that the birds were created in the same expanse that the lights and stars were created in.

      No, the Word does not actually state that. Rather, it states that the stars are made by God and placed in the expanse of shamayim (Genesis 1:17), and birds were created to “fly across the face” or surface of the expanse of shamayim (Genesis 1:20, NKJV). It is true that birds can be considered to be in the shamayim, and the stars can as well, since shamayim means “sky” and both birds and stars are in the sky. However, the text does not state anywhere that birds and stars are at the same altitude in the sky, or that both are in the atmospheric region, as you seem to be implying.

      > To say (as I have heard so many say) “Oh, it means that the birds were in the sky, and the lights and stars were light years away”

      I have not heard anyone claim that the text of Scripture explicitly teaches such a thing. Genesis only tells us that stars were placed in the sky, and birds fly across the face of the sky. That’s it. Anything else is reading into the text. Genesis 1 does not explicitly state one way or the other whether the stars are in the lower atmospheric part of the sky, or the higher celestial realm.

      But there are other Scriptures that do imply that the stars are in the higher part of the heavens (Job 22:12). For example, the Bible does address the highest heavens or the “heaven of heavens” (Deuteronomy 10:14, 1 Kings 8:27, 2 Chronicles 6:18, Psalm 68:33), and this is where the stars (the “host of heaven” according to Deuteronomy 4:19, 2 Kings 23:5, Jeremiah 8:2) are placed according to Nehemiah 9:6.

      Moreover, the Bible implies that clouds which are in the shamayim (e.g. Judges 5:4, 1 Kings 18:45, Job 35:5, 38:37, Psalm 57:10, 78:23, 147:8, Isaiah 45:8) are lower than the stars which are also in the shamayim (Genesis 1:14,17) because the stars can be covered by clouds (Ezekiel 32:7). This would only be possible if the clouds are between us and the stars, and hence clouds have a lower altitude in the sky than stars. So clearly, the Bible does not teach that all things which we see in the sky are “in the same place.” After all, Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean, and New Zealand is in the Pacific Ocean. But this doesn’t mean that Hawaii is in the same place as New Zealand. Likewise, though stars, clouds, and birds may be found in the sky, this does not mean that all are in the same place, or at the same height.

      > To believe that every star will fall from the sky to the earth on the End of Days is believable, but to say that they all originated from the same place is preposterous?

      No, neither position is biblical, nor reasonable. The Bible does not teach that literal stars will literally fall to the Earth. Prophetic literature contains symbols and other figures of speech, and should not be read in a wooden-literal fashion. The Sun, Moon, and stars have a specific symbolic meaning when used in prophecy (e.g. Genesis 37:9-10). Nor does the Bible teach that stars were taken from the Earth.

      > I might be wrong about it all, but wow, not to be given the time of day from any of the creationists for the last 6 years is pretty discouraging.

      Well, I have certainly given you a good deal of time, and I hope it is helpful to you. My frustration is that many people continue to have unbiblical positions, even after I have refuted their position from the Scriptures. They often just ignore the biblical text and logic, and continue to believe what they want, all the while claiming that they are being scriptural.

      > There is enough evidence that supports the idea of a very small universe that it ought to be looked into.

      No, I’m not aware of any evidence at all that supports the idea of a very small universe. On the contrary, there is abundant evidence that the universe is enormous. You might want to look into the “cosmic distance ladder” to see how the size of the visible universe has been estimated. More importantly, the Bible teaches that the universe is enormous. Indeed, God uses the height of the stars as an analogy for how much greater are His ways and thoughts than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). If the universe were very small, then Isaiah 55:8-9 would mean that God is just slightly smarter than we are. But that would be absurd. God is infinitely smarter than we are (Psalm 147:5). If the universe were very small, then God picked a very bad analogy in Isaiah 55:8-9.

      > The duality of the word “Heaven” is referring to the spritual-realworld duality, not a sky-universe duality.

      That’s an interesting hypothesis, but do you have any scriptural support for it? Did you know that the Bible actually indicates that there are three heavens? The atmosphere and celestial realm are apparently the first two, which are addressed in Genesis 1. This is why the dual (plural) form of the word (shamayim) is used for what God created in Genesis 1:1. The third heaven is the spiritual realm (2 Corinthians 12:2). The realm of God was not “created” because God has always existed, and so it cannot be the plural heavens created in Genesis 1:1. But if the second heaven were the spiritual realm, then what is the third heaven of which Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 12:2?

      > Even if the word referred to 100 strata, it wouldn’t be enough of a deterrent to throw out a whole theory.

      I’m not sure what you mean by this. However, a hypothesis cannot have any internal inconsistencies if it is right. One contradiction is sufficient to refute a hypothesis.

      > Even God’s redemptive process takes a name and gives it new meaning, like Abram to Abraham. The words have in them their history.

      Actually, God didn’t give a new meaning to a name in the above example. Rather, He gave a new name to Abraham. And that name already had a meaning associated with it.

      > In those days, I’m assuming there was not a universe like we know it. The ripped apart universe that we have today is a product of the sin of man, predominately falling apart in the Flood.

      There is both continuity and discontinuity between the original universe and the universe today. Some things have not changed: stars gave light upon the Earth then (Genesis 1:14-15) and they do today as well. Trees bore fruit after their kind then (Genesis 1:11), and they do today too. But some things have changed with sin, and we must look to the Scriptures to see what those things are. Genesis 3:14-24 tell us in summary form what changes took place because of Adam’s sin, and the curse that God placed on creation.

      For things not specifically mentioned in Genesis 3, we must reason logically from the Scriptures. For example, the initiation of animal death is implied in Genesis 3:21. However, to assume a change without any objective reason or Scriptural support is fallacious and arbitrary. For example, if someone claimed, “Adam probably had six arms before sin. There is no evidence to the contrary.” This is the fallacy of the appeal to ignorance. The claim is unwarranted, and therefore should be rejected as irrational and baseless.

      > The billions of light years that people can peer into space are a product of the distortion of time as the mass of the universe increased and expanded during the years after the Flood. …expanded from being very close to the surface of the earth and having little mass, to what we see today — very far away and very massive.

      This is very dubious and speculative. Where is your Scriptural support that masses have increased or that the universe was very small at the start?

      > If this is the case, which I believe it to be, then there would be a huge difference in measured time on the earth throughout history, because the reference frame would be in constant flux.

      That doesn’t make any sense to me. Time is perfectly well defined in a given reference frame such as earth.

      > If the reference frame were earth, then it would be shrinking with respect to the size and mass of the universe. And viola! You have a young earth in an measurably old universe.

      One problem with this (among many) is that the universe is not “measurably old.” Many processes in space cannot last for billions of years, or even millions of years in some cases. Spiral galaxies wind up too quickly, comets disintegrate too fast, magnetic fields decay far too quickly, heat is lost too fast, and so on.

      > Yes, the battle is about “is there a God.”

      Well, that’s not exactly what I stated. I indicated that the battle is over ultimate standards/authority. Everyone knows that God exists (Romans 1:18-20), but only some people voluntarily submit to His authority.

      > Terrifyingly, what I’m really after here is someone who is trained in science, who can put the idea through the necessary tests.

      If you write up a technical paper and submit it to a journal, it will be reviewed (“put to the test”) by experts in the field. Realistically though, if you are dealing with matters of space and time, you will need to get some education in the physics of relativity.

      > I don’t feel I have the time to get a doctorate in cosmology to be able to do it myself.

      Well, that’s really what a doctorate is for. A Ph.D. program is designed to train students in how to think critically and do science properly, bringing them up to speed on previous research and observational results in the field. Many people want to take a “short-cut” and make major contributions to science without getting the required training. I appreciate their enthusiasm. But their goal is not realistic. I have had people give me papers they’ve written up on ideas that were demonstrated to be wrong over one hundred years ago; they didn’t know better because they have no training, and are not familiar with what has been done. Education is an essential component to scientific discovery in modern times, particularly in difficult fields like physics and astronomy. And it’s biblical (Proverbs 4:5,7,13, 8:10, 10:14, 22:17).

      I can certainly give a quick answer here and there and am happy to do so. But I can’t give people the hundreds of hours of personalized graduate level training in astrophysics that they would get in a graduate program: the type of training necessary for doing original research in challenging fields. Many people want to contribute to creation science in some way – and that’s great. But few are willing to put in the time and effort to get the training they need to be able to contribute to the field.

      I hope this helps.

  9. Justin Ingalls says:

    Dr. Jason Lisle

    Dear Sir:

    I have had an interest in gravity for many years; have read about it and have given much thought to it. I suspect it will one day prove to be manipulable to the degree of being useful as a motive force.

    My interest is narrow but the subject is not. The very small, subatomic particles/energies is where the most important answers must reside but the clues that may help interpret happenings at the smallest level flow across the universe – at the largest level.

    I believe I have made progress at the level of the large, how gravity works with planets, stars, galaxies, etcetera. I would like to find a correspondent with whom I may discuss my ideas across the spectrum of small and large; someone who has knowledge in the area and who might recommend sources for my information.

    I have no background in science but I think I am on the right track. If you are willing to provide a few minutes of your time occasionally please contact me at justiningalls@centurylink.net.

    My preferred method of communication is by letter. E-mail will work also.

    Justin Ingalls

  10. I heard you speak last night at Shadow Mountain. I am interested in having you speak at my church. Please email me to let me know about the possibility of booking you. Thanks, Gunnar

  11. Gem says:

    I’ve been watching videos about the start and the evolution of the universe, work done by people who apparently do not involve God in the Universe creation. Based on the statement of their research, they always find arguments to convince people that the Universe creation has nothing ot do with God…for example, they mention the presence of oxygen in the stars and just after jump on the constitution of the human body that contains oxygen (so that we understand that the human being wouldn’t have been created by God).

    I feel very sad to hear them speaking without considering the involvement of God, despite the fact that they say ‘there are things we still don’t know’…
    My request is the following: it would be great you select one of these videos describing the creation of the universe without the involvement of God and you make the critics of it, based on a knowledge a majority of people who could be confused by these videos unfortunately do not have…

  12. Christian Huls says:

    I just read your book, Ultimate Proof of Creation… brilliant. This afternoon at work, I downloaded the audio mp3 of that, Nuclear Strength Apologetics, and Evolution and Logical Falacies.

    You are such a blessing, and I am your newest, biggest fan, brother. Thanks.

  13. Missionary Karl W. Sapp says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    Greetings in the wonderful and precious name of Jesus!

    42 year veteran missionary involved in church-planting in Japan since 1971 and ministering to “the WHOLE world from the TOP of the world” since 1984 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, we rejoice in GOD’s kindness and calling to serve Christ our blessed LORD!

    Recently, I gave my long-time atheist friend and president of the UAF Freethinker’s Club, Justin Heinz, your booklet “Irrefutable Proofs”. After reading, he posted his reply (see below URL) and said he welcomed your input if you would not mind taking the time to communicate with him.

    Over the past two years, I have noticed a softening and an openness when speaking about spiritual matters, and I invite you to pray with me for his salvation as well.

    If you would rather have his email address and would prefer to use yours also, please provide the same.

    Thank you, and GOD bless you for Jesus’ sake is my prayer.

    Karl

    Justin Heinz’s blog site: http://pillarsofinfluence.blogspot.com/2013/02/response-tocreation-vs.html

  14. Micah Jank says:

    Hey Dr. Lisle.

    I appreciated your response to Bill O’Reilly. They were very good, thanks!

  15. Shawn Fiala says:

    Hello Dr. Lisle,

    I recently saw you at Shadow Mountain Church and greatly enjoyed your presentations. In that presentation and elsewhere you have addressed the issue of the so called “distant starlight” problem for a young universe.

    I happened upon these two articles today which seem to indicate that scientists ( secular I assume) have now ( this week) proven that particles can travel 10,0000 times faster than the speed of light. I am providing the links below:

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/150207-chinese-physicists-measure-speed-of-einsteins-spooky-action-at-a-distance-at-least-10000-times-faster-than-light

    http://www.theaustralianeye.com/current-news/instant-is-at-least-4-times-faster-than-light-researchers-aoi37246.html

    I would like your insights about what implications the results have for the “distant star light” issue, physics, and cosmology models. It seems that science has now undercut the assumptions of secularists who have always held the speed of light as a sacred rule not ever to be broken.

    Thank you Dr. Lisle and keep up the good work…

    Shawn Fiala
    San Diego, Ca.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Shawn,

      The experiment that you refer to was a measurement of a strange phenomenon in physics called “quantum entanglement.” It involves two particles that have interacted with each other, and then go their separate ways. Measuring one of these particles at some later time has an instantaneous effect on the other particle – as if it too had been measured. The effect is counterintuitive because how could the particle instantaneously “know” that its distant twin has been measured? Quantum entanglement does not actually violate relativity, because no particles have travelled faster than light.

      The “rule” seems to be that meaningful information cannot travel faster than light. Part of the reason for this is that it would lead to contradictions. Relativity indicates that if information were to travel faster than light as measured in some reference frame, there will be another reference frame in which that information has travelled backward in time. Conclusion: if you can travel faster than light, you can go back in time. Of course, if you can go back in time then it would be possible to prevent your own birth, making it impossible for you to prevent your own birth since you can do nothing if you were never born. Essentially you would have been born and not have been born – a contradiction.

      Quantum entanglement does not violate the rule because there is no way to use it to send meaningful information faster than light. Although the two particles are correlated (one affects the other instantaneously), there is no way to tell which one is the cause and which is the effect. And distinguishing cause and effect is necessary for communication of meaningful information. The sender is the cause, the receiver gets the effect.

      So the recent experiment actually confirms our current understanding of physics.

  16. Micah says:

    Jason,

    I’ve been reading your ‘Why Genesis Matters’ Its really great!!
    Are you planning on coming out with any more books soon? :)

  17. Harmonie S. says:

    Hello Dr. Lisle.

    I wanted to thank you for your many recourses, specifically those provided on AiG and your book, The Ultimate Proof of Creation. Your book has been such a help, and although I might be the only 8th grader reading it, it is very simple and helpful. Also, I am writing a paper about you for school and was wondering when you graduated from both of the colleges you attended.

    Because of Christ,
    Harmonie S.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Harmonie,

      I’m glad you’ve found the book to be helpful. That’s great! I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan in 1997, and from the University of Colorado in 2004. May God bless you.

  18. Ruby says:

    Hi Dr. Lisle,

    As you are now working full time in apologetics, do you still attend church services? The reason behind this questions is that most leaders in churches “believe” those who are in Creation Apologetics do not “serve” or are interested to be part/attend church (aka: “Home Church”). Branding it into a “cult-like” movement.

    Mind shedding some light on this?

    Blessings!

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Ruby,

      Yes, I am part of a local church and attend regular services. It’s important for Christians to be part of a local church, and it is Scriptural: Hebrews 10:25. Many of us who go into full-time apologetics ministry do so because we want to see people won to the kingdom of God. This is an important aspect of “serving.”

  19. Eric Smith says:

    Dr. Lisle, I would like to thank you so much for writing the book “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” along with the video series of the same subject from AIG. I’ve passed your book on and haven’t seen it since (which is good since other believers are getting use from it). My friend and I go out witnessing (we’ve been encouraged by the teaching of Ray Comfort’s ministry at Living Waters for the Biblical foundation of witnessing) and I’ve spotted so many illogical statements in the midst of witnessing and been able to gently question those statements to the point where the individual can’t answer. It is a great way to continue to bring the law of God as a schoolmaster to bring someone to Christ. While apologetics isn’t the Gospel, logical thinking is such a essential component since we are to have answers for our hope. I appreciate your book, your ministry, and your love for the Lord. I will keep you and AIG in prayer.

  20. carla says:

    Hello,

    I remember hearing you speak on our campus once and was thoroughly confounded and in awe of God’s creation afterward.

    Would you be willing to help me with a Bible study curiosity?

    I’m reading John 1:4-9 and other Scripture where Jesus is referred to as “Light”.

    So, on a level a girl who didn’t quite pass college physics might understand, what properties does light have that could shed some light on the Light of the world?

    Is light omnipresent? Are there particles of light even where we observe darkness?

    Is there anything to the fact that we can only see certain types of light that is relative to Jesus?

    Or that light is how we can see at all?

    I find this all highly interesting, yet lack the scientific mind to go much further, than “Wow, that’s cool, wish I understood it better.”

    What do you know about light that presents a characteristic of Jesus well to you? Romans 1:20 says that the things He has made tell us about Him. What is light declaring?

    Take your time, and thanks so much if you do answer. :)

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Carla,

      That’s an interesting question. God often uses light as an analogy to help us understand aspects of Himself. In John 1:4-9 (particularly in verse 9) the light is used to illustrate the fact that Jesus enlightens our mind. Christ brings understanding. His Word is like a lamp that shows us the way to go (Psalm 119:105) – without it we would be lost. Without Christ we are like a blind person that stumbles around (Proverbs 4:19) in darkness. It is only by biblical presuppositions (God’s light) that we have knowledge at all (that we can “see). (Psalm 36:9). The knowledge of God exposes sin, just as light makes visible things that would be hidden in darkness (John 3:19-20).

      In any analogy there will be places where it breaks down – differences between the symbol and the referent. Light isn’t really omni-present, though I suppose it is nearly omni-present in the sense that light waves are currently propagating through most of the universe. But it is rather amazing the number of characteristics of light that parallel Christ in some respect. I wouldn’t suggest that the Bible is giving us a lesson in physics or that it is specifically teaching such parallels. It’s just interesting. For example:

      Light has a dual nature; it is wave and particle. Christ is both man and God. It’s not a perfect analogy because light never behaves as both wave and particle at the same time, whereas Christ is God and man at the same time. The (round-trip) speed of light in vacuum is the only absolute speed, and nothing else can come up to it. But light slows down when it interacts with matter. This reminds me that we cannot come up to God’s level, but God “came down” to ours. It is interesting that we see only a tiny fraction of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Likewise, we understand only the smallest fraction of the things to know about God. Others could be listed.

      God bless.

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