I feel somewhat conflicted; there is a great debate raging among the biblical scientists today. However, it is nowhere near as great as the debates ranging among the various disciplines of the secular scientists.
As I have said before, I still have difficulties reconciling the age of the earth being between six and 10,000 years old when I have been indoctrinated most of my life with the concept that it is over 65 million years old. It is kind of like the Stockholm syndrome where the captured individual will eventually take on the cause of their captors. You say something enough times and individuals eventually believe it unconditionally.
Within the biblical scientists there are two major groups that have developed and there is a major difference between them. The major groups are RTB (Reason To Believe) and CMI (Creation Ministries Inc.) and I have examined them closely and I am writing this series to discuss them.
Whether you are a secular scientists are a biblical scientist they all have something in common. Based upon what they believe in they are guessing about the past. They believe it by faith. The faith of the evolutionist, which can be summarized as follows: ‘We cannot go back in time to observe evolution happening, but although we weren’t there, we’re sure evolution happened. We just don’t know how or why!’ There is no scientific test that can be done to duplicate anything that happened 6,000 years ago or 65 million years ago.
Therefore, whether you believe the secular scientists or split with the scientists at RTB or CMI nobody was there. There are many gaps in trying to make a cohesive theory of the origins of everything and further extensive scientific work in many professional areas may help us understand some of what is still left to know. Ultimately, if a person chooses a worldview that redefines science to say that only natural processes have ever occurred, that person will be forced to the irrational conclusion that any change in the genome (even if it is downhill) is evidence of big-picture (uphill) evolution—the sort that supposedly changed single cells into scientists.
CMI firmly believes the Bible is a historical representation of the creation account and that at least gives them basis to build their creation account. RTB tries to build a biblical account but built on millions of years of creation and therefore is in extreme disagreement with many parts of the Bible. Secular humanism builds their creation account on nothing, literally.
So let’s begin with a brief comparison between RTB and CMI
|Reason To Believe||Creation Ministries International|
|The earth and universe are billions of years old.||The earth and universe are about 6000 years old.|
|The days of creation were really vast ages.||The days of creation were ordinary days.|
|The sun and stars were created before the earth, and merely ‘appeared’ to a hypothetical observer on earth on the fourth ‘day.’||The sun and stars were created on Day 4, after the earth—which was created on Day 1.|
|The seventh day is still continuing, supported by the ‘fact’ of no speciation in the last 10,000 years.||The seventh day was also about 24 hours long. Some populations become reproductively isolated today, which by definition means that a new species is formed.|
|Animals were eating each other, dying from natural disasters, and suffering from many diseases, for millions of years before mankind existed.||Creation was originally ‘very good,’ while death, suffering and disease ultimately are the result of Adam’s sin that resulted in God’s curse upon His creation.|
|God created almost all species separately.||God created comparatively few ‘kinds,’ and many ‘species’ are the result of non-information-increasing diversification of the created gene-pools, especially after the Flood.|
|God created Adam about 10,000–60,000 years ago (after the Aboriginals arrived in Australia 40,000 years ago). Neanderthals were not true humans but soulless hominids.||God created Adam about 6000 years ago. All truly human fossils (Neanderthals, Homo erectus) were descended from him, and likely lived shortly after Babel.|
|The order in the fossils is a record of distinct ages with vastly different creatures existing, all the results of a separate creation by God.||Much of the fossil ‘order’ reflects the different stages of burial in a worldwide Flood and subsequent local catastrophes, as well as different ecosystems.|
|Noah’s Flood was restricted to the Mesopotamian river valley.||Noah’s Flood covered the entire globe.|
|God had to intervene supernaturally to produce the different racial characteristics, to help the people separate at Babel.||Adam and Eve had the genetic information to give rise to all the different ‘races’ (people groups) today, allowing for non-information-gaining mutations. The racial characteristics arose after small people groups became reproductively isolated after the Babel dispersion.|
Here you can see the major differences that appear in the above table.
Dr Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe, gives his own perspective on the differences between ‘young-earth’ or ‘calendar-day’ creationists like CMI, and ‘old-earth’ or ‘day-age’ creationists like RTB in a brochure he puts out in which he tries to state what he believes is the viewpoint of CMI.
cdc = Calendar-Day Creationists (i.e. accept that the days of Genesis 1 were ordinary days as researched by Creation Ministries International and Institute for Creation Research)
dac = Day-Age Creationists (i.e. RTB, Center for Science and Culture and many other ‘Progressive creationists’)
Dr Ross’s comments are in indented, i.e. the lines headed by cdc are what Ross claims CMI believes, not necessarily what they actually believe which follows the cdc designation.
Ten Major Differences
- cdc: Natural biological evolution works, producing new species and genera within orders and families.
This is misleading, because in ‘biological evolution’ no new information is produced. However, that new species arise is indisputable—Ross seems not to understand that producing a new reproductively isolated population is by definition a new species. In addition, there is no Biblical or scientific reason why the created kinds cannot sometimes have enough built-in genetic variation so they can give rise to varieties within the genus or family (a man-made classification after all and which many others are trying to reconfigure since it was first developed- by a creationist by the way).
- dac: Natural biological evolution fails at all levels except for those species numbering more than about one quadrillion individuals with generation times less than three months and body sizes smaller than one centimeter.
This is an amazing statement—one wonders what this astronomer’s source of such biological nonsense could be. This fixity of species view goes well beyond the Biblical text and is disproved by operational science.
2. cdc: Laws of physics were radically different before Adam’s sin.
- dac: Laws of physics were identical before and after Adams’ sin.
One wonders what difference Ross thinks the Fall of man made. However, with the exception that God withdrew some of His sustaining power, cdc believe that the laws of gravity, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, etc. were operative from creation.
3. cdc: Redeemed humanity will be restored to paradise.
3. dac: Redeemed humanity will be delivered from paradise to a brand new creation.
This is misleading. Cdc believers affirm that there will be ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ (Revelation 21:1), and even now, believers in Christ are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Cdc also believe that the new creation will be even grander than the original paradise, because there will no longer be even the possibility of sin. However, we point out that many references to the Consummation (not a successful wedding pairing- in this context it means the ultimate end).
A more accurate way of expressing our difference is that dac denies a pre-Fall deathless paradise altogether! This is shown by their last point of difference below.
- cdc: Genesis 1 is the account of physical creation. …
Of course. It’s not only us who believe this, but God Himself spoke the Fourth Commandment, giving the reason that He created in six days and rested on the 7th (Exodus 20:8–11).
- dac: It is critical to carefully integrate all ten of the major creation accounts in the Bible.
5. cdc: The universe and the stars are eternal.
5. dac: The universe and the stars are temporal.
cdc has never posited that the universe or stars are eternal? That statement is without foundation and is highly misleading.
6. cdc: Astronomers are deceiving the public.
6. dac: Astronomers are telling us the truth.
cdc normally point out that secular astronomers are not necessarily consciously deceiving the public, but are looking at the same data as us, only through the wrong ‘glasses’. The cdc position is well stated in for the creation/evolution controversy in general, and for age issues in particular.
7. cdc: The heavens merely reveal the existence of God.
7. dac: The heavens also reveal God’s transcendent qualities and many of His personal attributes.
It’s hard to know what dac is thinking here. We often quote Romans 1:20. However, what cdc deny is that creation reveals enough for salvation, and we also deny that the interpretations by fallible humans of the creation should override the propositional revelation of Scripture.
8. cdc: There is only one literal interpretation of Genesis 1.
8. dac: There are several literal interpretations of Genesis 1.
Only if there are several literal interpretations of the word ‘literal’! The literal meaning of ‘literal’ is: ‘Taking words in their usual or primary sense and applying the ordinary rules of grammar, without mysticism, allegory or metaphor.’ The usual and primary meaning of ‘day’ is a single period of Earth’s rotation, and this is unambiguous when accompanied by a number, evening, and/or morning.
9. cdc: Genesis 1 cannot be reconciled with the established record of nature.
9. dac: Genesis 1 can be reconciled with the established record of nature.
Rather, cdc believers would say: ‘Genesis 1 cannot be reconciled with the uniformitarian interpretation of nature.’
- cdc: The pre-Adamic death of the higher animals contradicts the character of God and the doctrine of blood atonement for human sin. The Bible does not attribute the properties of life and death to the plants and lower animals. …
cdc has always claimed that plants are never called nephesh chayyāh (transliteration of the Hebrew נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה in Genesis), meaning that their life and death is qualitatively different. This is shown by the vegetarianism of both humans and animals in both the pre-Fall world (Genesis 1:29–30) and in the Restored state (Isaiah 11:6–9, 65:25).
- dac: The pre-Adamic death of higher animals is consistent with a loving, merciful Creator …
Tell that to the animals with their flesh torn apart and ravaged with disease, i.e. that it is still a ‘very good’ creation, rather than a sin-cursed world.
dac … and in no way impinges upon the doctrine of blood atonement for human sin. The Bible does attribute the properties of life and death to both the plants and the lower animals.
Wrong. Any billions-of-years compromise entails that death and suffering were always part of God’s creation, and this is inconsistent with the Bible historical accounting of creation.
Ten Major Similarities
cdc and I would agree with all 10 of the following , however I doubt that we understand them the same way as dac .
- The Bible must be taken literally unless the context indicates otherwise.
Agree with the sentiment. I prefer to say ‘plainly’, which incorporates a literal interpretation of a literal context, poetic interpretation of poetic context. dac would probably have no objection to that, and ‘literal’ is an acceptable way of saying this, but using ‘plainly’ should hopefully avoid caricatures by theistic evolutionists. The problem is that dac has a strange understanding of the word ‘literal’ as shown above.
- The Bible is inerrant in all disciplines of scholarship.
Definitely. However, while I have no doubt that dac believers publicly and sincerely defend the Bible against any error, in practice they impose secular ‘disciplines of scholarship’ over the Bible. The main differences are much the same as one key issue of the Reformation—Sola Scripture = Scripture alone. That is, the supreme authority, perspicuity and sufficiency of Scripture. But dac claims: ‘God’s revelation is not limited exclusively to God’s words. The facts of nature may be likened to a sixty-seventh book of the Bible’ (Creation and Time, p. 56). These words alone show that dac in effect teaches Scriptura et scientia = Scripture and science. In practice, dac reinterprets Scripture in an unnatural way to fit in with the alleged ‘facts of nature’ (really uniformitarian interpretations of nature), which is Scriptura sub scientia = Scripture below science.
- The universe was both transcendentally and supernaturally created.
Yes. Alas, dac believes that God used the alleged big bang, an essentially atheistic notion by which most of its proponents assert the universe created itself.
- Naturalism cannot explain the origin of life.
Yes. Secular scientific guesswork is just that- guesswork.
- Naturalism cannot entirely explain the history of life, nor can theistic evolution.
No dispute there.
- Naturalism cannot entirely explain the geophysical history of the earth.
However, Ross concedes much ground to naturalism, because he fails to allow for the devastating global Flood of Noah’s day, responsible for many of the rock layers and fossils.
- Naturalism cannot explain entirely the astrophysical history of the universe and solar system.
True, but the dac believers again give a lot of ground to naturalism, essentially agreeing with the naturalistic ‘big bang’ and history of stellar evolution over billions of years.
- Genesis 1 is both factual and chronological in its context. It describes God’s ‘very good’ creation in the space of six days.
Agree with the words, but as shown above, dac believers do not think that they mean what they say! dac creation, pre-Fall is anything but ‘very good’. It has the horrors of death, struggle, suffering, disease and carnivory that we see in today’s world.
- Adam and Eve were a literal couple created by God just thousands of years ago.
Yes, we agree that Adam was created out of dust, and Eve from Adam, with no animal ancestry. But by ‘just thousands’, we mean six thousand, as per a straightforward reading of the chronologies of Genesis 5 and 11; dac believes it was many times as long ago, which entails inserting huge gaps in the chronologies of which there is not the slightest biblical evidence.
- All human beings owe their descent to Adam and Eve.
Agree, but we would regard those specimens classified as Neandertals and Homo erectus in that category, while dac regards them as soulless hominids.
Once again, dac believers have made misleading accusations against creationist believers cdc in an attempt to justify his own compromise position. dac has frequently misrepresented what the cdc believes in, and that their arguments do not hold up against Scripture. It is important not to be sidetracked by the dac appeal to ‘scientific consensus’, but always to stand on the authoritative Word of God, i.e. letting it teach us, rather than imposing outside ideas upon the text.