Confusion and Confidence After the Creation Debate

debate

So, maybe you heard there was a debate on Tuesday night?  Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis squared off over whether creationism is a viable model of origins.

I listened to most of the debate, only trailing off somewhere in the Q&A.  By Wednesday morning, I was confused as ever and had to send S.O.S. emails to a few friends with my doubts.  They are awesome, no doubt, and pulled me back.  I was feeling very alone in my doubts and I’m guessing some of you are too.  I thought it might be worth sharing a few things I was pondering and a few truths of which they reminded me. 

 

I was raised in a conservative Christian home in the South and attended public school.  I always believed in the literal 6-day creation, but because of my schooling, believed the earth to be an old earth.  I didn’t even realize there was another option.  Evolution theory was something to be wary of, at best, in school.

When I was in college (maybe?), I attended a homeschooling event with a few families from church. Ken Ham was the keynote.  At the time, I had no clue who he was.  I heard him discuss much of what you heard on Tuesday night, particularly around the age of the earth, and many other theories which were not discussed in detail on Tuesday.

I was skeptical.  Our earth a few thousand years old?  I was as conservative as they came, but I had a hard time imagining it.

Years went by and truly, I didn’t think much about it.  In my head it was sort of like eh, the earth is old and  does it really matter whether it’s millions or thousands?  I didn’t care much. I was too busy graduating, getting married and having babies. Not to say that people doing any of those things don’t have time to care, I just didn’t.

 

Tuesday night’s debate brought so much of that keynote back to memory.  I’m almost two decades older with kids of my own to teach.  This time, I care.  To my surprise, there was a scientist on a stage with Ken Ham that seemed to be making valid points.

The fossil record in the Grand Canyon?  Well, yeah, it does seem like layers made through millions of years supporting evolution.

Noah’s Ark?  Well, yeah, now that you point it out, it is suspect that it all happened like the Bible says so.

Millions of species being created in just 4,000 years? That IS a lot.

Ken Ham, while extremely calm and likable, just seemed to say because the Bible said so and that’s why. While I’m a conservative Christian that believes wholeheartedly in the Bible, even I was having  hard time reasoning.  I wanted Ham to make some valid scientific points.  Without that, I began questioning everything.

 

 

First, I needed to remind myself no matter what, I know God is real.  I have a relationship with Him.  He talks to me through his Spirit.  I don’t have physical proof of this, but my soul knows it well.  This faith is a gift from God.

It is reasonable to me that there is intelligent design.  I cannot believe that this world is all a lucky happenstance.  I just can’t. 

I believe that the God that talks to me is the same that created the world.

The fact that I came to believe him by way of the Gospel through the Bible leads me to believe that indeed, the Bible is true.  There are many other reasons to believe it’s true, but I won’t go into it here.

So, based on what I’ve experienced of him, what he says about himself and reason, I conclude God created the world.

 

 

The rest of my questions are answered by either an act of faith, revelation or scientific explanation that jives with the belief God created the world out of nothing.

Here are some excerpts from Ken Ham’s site AnswersinGenesis.org that were of particular interest:

On the fossil record in the Grand Canyon: A walk through Grand Canyon, then, is not like a walk through evolutionary time; instead, it’s like a walk from the bottom of the ocean, across the tidal zone, over the shore, across the lowlands, and into the upland regions. Several lines of evidence seem to favor this ecological viewHow Fast

On the viability of the Noah’s Ark and the flood: The Bible, though, is the true history book of the universe, and in that light, the most-asked questions about the Ark and Flood of Noah can be answered with authority and confidence. Was  There Really a Noah’s Ark & Flood?

On dating methods: All radiometric dating methods are based on assumptions about events that happened in the past. If the assumptions are accepted as true (as is typically done in the evolutionary dating processes), results can be biased toward a desired age. In the reported ages given in textbooks and other journals, these evolutionary assumptions have not been questioned, while results inconsistent with long ages have been censored. When the assumptions were evaluated and shown faulty, the results supported the biblical account of a global Flood and young earth. Christians should not be afraid of radiometric dating methods. Carbon-14 dating is really the friend of Christians, and it supports a young earth. Doesn’t Carbon-14 Dating Disprove the Bible?

I’ve often thought about creation and the supposed “big bang.”  While I don’t believe the Big Bang Theory to explain our origins, I do believe it’s certainly possibly there was a big bang of some sort when God created the universe.  Seems reasonable that speaking the universe into creation could do that, yes?

Am I suggesting all of Ken Ham’s theories to be the ultimate truth?  Certainly not. Am I even sure about a young earth? No.

But, my friends reminded me, and I do believe that science can, should and will align with what God says is true.  The thing that bothers me most is we were, and are, taught the evolution theory as if it’s the absolute truth when it’s absolutely not.  We can explore other theories—they’re out there, but no one teaches what they are.

What I know for sure is that God is our creator and one day it will all make sense.  I just needed a reminder I don’t need that day to be today. I can rest in what I do know is true and have faith that one day, the rest will be revealed.  Is that a weak stance? Perhaps to some.  But to me, I’m accepting it as a gift of great faith from our Creator.

 

This post is offered simply with encouragement to other Christians. I really don’t want anyone else feeling so alone and confused like I was and you should know there are resources out there.  If nothing else, I hope some of you can hear “me too.” 

 

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I’m keeping comments opened, but I’m monitoring comments on this one.  That said, I would love to hear your thoughts about the debate or your theories in general.

Comments

  1. I’ve always thought science and religion could coexist quite nicely, but I also take a loose interpretation of the Bible that makes some folks queasy. I believe that the Bible’s “six days” may be different than ours, and that God could very well have created things with a Big Bang. But more than anything, I, like I think you’re saying, am comfortable just saying “there are things I know, things I believe with faith, and things I just don’t know. And I’m ok with that.”

  2. I had many of the same thoughts while I was watching the debate. Bill Nye brought up several good points – and I felt confused, too. I came to the conclusion that even though I’m sure I’ll do even more looking into this – I’m curious like that – I will probably never know this side of eternity what really happened, or how old the earth really is. Sometimes it comes down to, “I believe; help me in my unbelief.” Great post and you gave me even more to think about!
    Ginger – Just One of the Boys recently posted…On those Jonah days ~My Profile

    • First, it’s very good to hear you were feeling the same way. I’m curious, as well, and do enjoy hearing other theories about what might have happened.

      I also think we absolutely need to go to God in prayer with our unbelief. If we can make the absolute assumption that God is real, then that means we should go to the one that knows the answers to our questions. He can handle our doubt and will reveal what he can, even if it is to give us more faith to rely on Him.

  3. I did not watch the debate on Tuesday. But here is my two cents. 1. I don’t think assuming that God’s version of time and ours might be different is sacrilegious! I think it’s entirely possible that ‘6 days’ is a lot longer in God’s time. But who knows? He can tell me when I see Him, but I don’t think I’ll really care. :) 2. I think people who get up in arms about evolution simply because it seems anti-biblical are bothersome. I think it makes sense that our God would make creation to be able to adapt to its surroundings! No, I don’t think we all started as amoeba. No, I do not believe that humans have evolved much (not from monkeys). But I do think animals do and can evolve – by God’s amazing and intricate design!!

    As with most things, I am OK with living in the mystery some. When we try to box God in we get to dangerous territory. “Where were you when the earth was made?” God asked Job. He knows, and that is enough for me.
    Vanderbilt Wife recently posted…Confessions of a Highly Sensitive PersonMy Profile

    • That verse from Job…literally gave me chills. I think I’ll have that one on repeat in my mind when I start worrying again.

  4. Please check out the book “the language of God” by Francis Collins. He is a world-renowned scientist and a Christian. He does an excellent job of explaining how science and religion can co-exist and does spend some time addressing new earth creation and showing why it is bad ‘science’.