Evolution, God, Religion, Life

I've been listening to The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, a great podcast about science, the paranormal, and skepticism, for a couple of months now, and they talk about all sorts of things, ranging from Scientology, who, by dint of their name, try and piggyback on Science's reputation, to Intelligent Design, and Psychic phenomenon, etc.

Before we begin, I'm going to explain me: I'm a Liberal Christian, I'm happy to deal with things like Evolution and I'm not freaked out by the "satanicism" of psychic phenomenon and other paranormal events, I believe they're possible, but would like to get something consistent happening.

The Skeptics Guide Panel are either aetheist or agnostic, and if that works for them, goodo, but their spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) not my cup of coffee (I hate tea).

That's where I am, that's where they're coming from, here's the real post

So I've listened to them about Evolution, particularly as it relates to the American "Intelligent Design as part of the science curriculum".  Now: I don't claim to really know how the earth was made, how the universe was made, but I'm happy enough to believe that God, The Divine, whatever you want to call the Power Connecting the Universe, made the lot… but I make no claim as to the mechanism of that creation…  Big Bang theory seems fine to me, something from nothing? sounds like something God could do, but I'm not going to limit it to that… what if God fashioned the nothingness that was before the universe, and let the big bang happen on its own.
An obvious flaw in Young Earth Creationism's response to evolutionary evidence

Basically, they claim that God has just made it look like evolution happened, and it the earth was really created 6000 years ago as documented by the Bible.
There are 2 assumptions in play here to make the argument stand (both of which are highly contested even within Christianity):
A1: The Bible is a factual historical account of creation.
A2: That either Genesis 1 and 2 don't contradict each other, or the contradiction doesn't matter.

There are also 2 accepted facts involved:
Mathematics: Millions of years is longer than 6000 years. (1 million > 6000, years are time units)
English: If evolution didn't happen, but evidence suggests that it did, then Scientific Humans would be victims of deception by the creator of that evidence. (definition of deception (biblically "False Witness"))

Based on those assumptions and facts, are the bones of the YEC argument:
YEC1: God fashioned the world 6,000 years ago (Based on Biblical factuality). 
YEC2: Science tells us that current evidence suggests that evolution happened over millions of years.
YEC3: If the world hasn't been around for millions of years, then if the evidence suggests that evolution happened over millions of years, then God must have manufactured it during creation so that there would appear to be an evolutionary chain of events, because the world hasn't been around for millions of years. 

YEC Conclusion: So God has created an elaborate deception for Scientific Humanity.

So far so good…
Applying consistency causes an issue though.

Counter sub-argument (SA):
SA 1: Sin is anything "offensive to God".
SA 2: God deems lying and deception offensive to Him/Her self.
SA 3: perfect Holiness is absolute Sinlessness (definition of holiness is "being separate from sin" (see Ordinary Men Ministries))
SA 4: God is (by biblical definition) perfectly Holy
SA 5: God cannot sin, as to sin would cause God to cease being God.
SA Conclusion: God cannot perform deception.

Now: based on the fact that both these things came from the same book, we should be able to reasonably assume that God in the YEC argument, is the same God as in my Counter sub-argument

From the first argument, we discover God is deceiving us. (YEC Conlcusion)
From the second, we discover God cannot perform deceptions. (SA Conclusion)

To Conclude, the original hypothesis, that God has just made it look like evolution happened, and it the earth was really created 6000 years ago as documented by the Bible, is provably false using Reductio ad absurdium. (assume the conclusion is true (the hypothesis in this case), and you can prove it is false if it provides a contradiction).
Now, I need to say: yes, it is only the case if you take two arguments and combine them. However, these two arguments should support one another as the premises for both are taken from Christian Scripture, which is being touted by Young Earth Creationism as a factual historical set of documents.

  Anyway, What I come away from this with is: If Science is providing a reasonable explanation, (and it doesn't sound all that far-fetched to me) on how we got here as we are today, and if Science is not usable to research supernatural phenomenon, (which is inherent in its design, repeatables only please), then the involvement of God is immaterial to the notion of how you got here to read this in the first place.

Now I've tried to structure this argument as logically as I can, and attempted to use truth-preserving logical operators in the construction of the argument, but if I have any logical fallacies here, please point them out…

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2 thoughts on “Evolution, God, Religion, Life

  1. An interesting point to mention here is that in a Christian course I've been attending lately they point out that the people writing genesis wrote it long after the event and essentially were "guessing" how and when the creation happened. Which on a slight tangent makes me question – how exactly did they know how the creation happened? What evidence were they basing it on because if you think about it noone would have been around then until Adam and Eve were born unless Adam and Eve passed down the story to each generation? Which again – isn't that a bit like chinese whispers? I find it hard to believe that the story could be kept intact each time it was re-told….That aside – its possible that the creation happened as told in the bible except they got the dates wrong. The other point to mention is that you don't have to believe that everything in the bible happened exactly as stated – it depends on your interpretation. Just a thought anyway.

  2. That's exactly it. Which is why the argument is designed to counter a very specific version of creationism.Another interpretation of Genesis is the 6 epoch model, where each "day" doesn't translate to a 24 hour period, but rather to an undefined, much longer, version. This is essentially a method by which Scientific Creationists fit Evolution into the creation story.Now, there's one point I should mention, if you read Genesis 1 and 2 in the same reading, you'll notice that they're both Creation stories. One goes from wet to dry (Genesis 1) and the other from dry to wet (genesis 2). Which is why I had to put in my argument that assumption that Genesis 1 and 2 either don't really contradict each other, or that the contradiction is irrelevant.

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