The Apologetic Impact of Young Earth Creationism: How to Lose a War

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It is early spring of 1943. The Axis powers are beginning to crumble against the massive and unrelenting Allied onslaught. Plans for the imminent invasion of Sicily are underway, establishing a base for the invasion and liberation of continental Europe.

Meanwhile, back at US military intelligence, a tightly knit group of outliers have been poring over captured Nazi military communications. They conclude that Berlin is a Potemkin facade – the entire brain trust of the Nazi war machine is hiding away in the Canary Islands. “That is their true vulnerability,” they determine. “Capture the Canaries, and victory is assured.”
 
The Allied command views the minority report as pure nonsense, but a third of the officer corps is persuaded and defects. Soldiers, seaman, and marines are transferred to the Canary Islands and commence their assault. Strangely, the beaches are deserted except for driftwood, dead starfish, and a noisy flock of seagulls. The befuddled Germans sense an opportunity too great to pass up, and begin to airdrop a few unfortunate paratroopers to keep the Allies distracted.
 
Meanwhile, with a third of Allied forces diverted, the Germans retake North Africa. The Japanese overrun India, then Australia. With the British Empire in full collapse, German warships and troop carriers begin to amass at Cherbourg for the final amphibious assault upon the British Isles.
 
In this counterfactual scenario, faulty intelligence led to a commitment of resources to fight the wrong battle in the wrong location, snatching defeat from the very jaws of victory. In other words, kind of like Christians fighting over the age of the earth.
 
This should be the golden era of science apologetics. Never has there been more evidence in support of a Divine Creator and the wisdom of His plan for humanity. Astronomy and physics have established beyond doubt that our universe of space, time, matter, and energy had a beginning. There is nothing in our realm of understanding to explain it. The universe and our planet are exquisitely designed for human civilization, with nearly a thousand specific parameters tuned in perfect alignment. In the realm of theoretical physics, the nature of fundamental physical reality looks too complex for comfort.
 
Biology, biochemistry, and genetics have revealed unfathomable complexity in the nature of life and reproduction. There is no working model for the origin of life. The problem of human consciousness remains so intractable we don’t even know where to start.
 
Medical research confirms beyond any doubt that the Biblical model of heterosexual monogamy is uniquely conducive to the mental and physical health of adults and their children and to social stability. Psychology and the social sciences corroborate the Biblical view of human nature as naturally proud and self-serving, with a propensity toward evil.
 
Every year more scientists and intellectuals come to embrace Christianity as the only adequate explanation for all they know and see.
 
With overwhelming firepower at our command, what do we do? A tiny contingent  with quasiscientific credentials insists that the Earth is really only six thousand years old (faulty intelligence). Their strategy has engaged a large proportion of the Christian community (diversion of resources). They make that hill the one upon which the Truly Faithful must stand or die (wrong battle in the wrong location). Opponents of Christianity are gleeful to engage, knowing full well their real vulnerabilities lie far from that battlefront. Young people raised in the Church are losing their faith in college, being persuaded over this one peripheral issue that Christianity is anti-scientific. Non-Christians simply roll their eyes and groan. And no one seems to get why.
 
To the apostle Paul, the Truth of Christianity stood on the resurrection of Christ. He penned those words when eyewitnesses to the risen Christ still walked the Earth, of whom Paul was one. For some Christians today, the Truth of Christianity stands or falls on a six thousand year old Earth. There’s only one way to lose this war, and we’re making great headway. The seagulls are getting nervous.

About Author

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Steven Willing

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11 Comments
  1. RandomDevilsAdvocate

    "While it is never safe to affirm that the future of Physical Science has no marvels in store even more astonishing than those of the past, it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established and that further advances are to be sought chiefly in the rigorous application of these principles to all the phenomena which come under our notice."

    ~ Albert Michelson, 1894

  2. Steven Willing

    Thanks for visiting. You're the first to post on my new blog. How in the world did you find me?

    I think the "Lost in Math" book review is more relevant to your comment, so please have a look.

  3. RandomDevilsAdvocate

    I commented here since you repeat the same central idea "There is nothing in our realm of understanding to explain it."

    You also lost me at the idea that the existence of precise cosmological parameters implies intelligent design. Could we be alive to perceive this in any universe which did not have these parameters? How do we know that the selection of these parameters didn't have countless possible permutations? This idea is in line with the "Anthropic Principle" which is itself related to Survivorship Bias.

    A famous example of this cognitive bias was provided when WW2 statistician Abraham Wald sought to protect Allied bombers frequently shot down by Axis powers. Researchers originally suggested adding armor to the most damaged areas on returning bombers. However, after looking at damage patterns from planes returning from the front, Wald told the mechanics to add armor to everywhere NOT riddled with bullets. How does this make sense? Wald realized that the damage on surviving planes had avoided all systems absolutely critical to flight. By analyzing only the returned planes, other researchers had originally failed to find the root causes of failure.

  4. RandomDevilsAdvocate

    Could you point towards some evidence for the medical consensus on homosexuality? The following is the position of the American Psychological Association, the largest professional group of psychologists in the USA:

    "Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience."

    Regardless of one's views of homosexuality, I think its mention in your discussion is hypocritical. You accuse "Young-Earthers" of distracting people from God's message and providing fodder for Non-Christians to latch on to. We live in an era where many young people grow up with openly LGBT peers, and the inconsistent and sometimes hateful rhetoric on the part of the church helps to drive people away from more meaningful messages. This wedge issue is just as easily manipulated by enemies of the Church. Look at news from the last decade, and the false equivalence that the media establishes between the actions of the Westboro Baptist church and the real Church.

  5. Steven Willing

    Am accumulating the medical data and it will be in an upcoming post. APA is really parsing its language, putting a lot of weight on "inherent", I can only suppose. Like all medical societies, the members never vote on those statements.

  6. Steven Willing

    I've read Kahneman so I'm familiar with just about every cognitive bias out there. Interestingly, many of them are identified in the Bible.

    See what former lifelong atheist Anthony Flew had to say about design in his book.

  7. Steven Willing

    And read my review of "Lost in Math", if you haven't.

  8. RandomDevilsAdvocate

    Any thoughts as to the remainder of my comment?

    I find it interesting that you ignore the core premise of your own source, given in the very first two sentences:

    "Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people appear to be at greater risk than heterosexual people of mental disorders and suicidal behaviour [1, 2]. LGB people are subject to institutionalised prejudice, social stress, social exclusion (even within families) and anti-homosexual hatred and violence and often internalise a sense of shame about their sexuality [1, 2]."

    So is it reasonable to then put LGB folks at fault for the prejudice, social exclusion, hatred, and violence of others?

  9. RandomDevilsAdvocate

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. RandomDevilsAdvocate

    My point was that the existence of Finely Tuned parameters gives no more evidence for Intelligent Design than it does for the various Multiverse Hypotheses. As you point out in various posts, either conclusion is utterly impossible to prove or disprove with current science. Using data to support either result is instead an example of Confirmation Bias.

    *Edited for Typo, so had to delete above comment

  11. Steven Willing

    Good morning.

    Two points:

    1. I simply quoted the data. What you quoted are assertions. What is the data source? What are the numbers? What are the relative risk and confidence intervals?

    2. The moment the conversation shifts to why there is increased mental illness, we have reached agreement that the increase is real.

    Whoever you are, you are a person of immense worth in the sight of God. Ten years from now you may be a devout follower of Christ, and I don't want you to look back and see this as a negative encounter. You've been mostly respectful in your tone, and I would love to continue this dialogue, but with a person, not an alias. So, feel free to contact me directly via FB or email if you care to further engage.

    Steve

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