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Created in Eons

English > Fields of Research > Evolution and Creation

P. Rüst (2007), MS, 7 p.; http://www.aneste.ch/files/CreatedEons.pdf
A slightly updated translation of
P. Rüst (2003), "Erschaffen in Äonen", VBG-Institutsbulletin 1/03, 2-10

Canary Islands (off western Africa), Spain: Fortaleza (1241 m) on the island of La Gomera. The vertically layered rocks were exposed due to erosion. A mountain trail leads from this side up to the summit. This formation demonstrates by its clearly defined layering, the vertical position of these layers, its exposition high above the ocean ground, as well as its geological dating that it must have been formed in the course of very long times. As with many other formations worldwide, this scientific interpretation documents a very high age of the earth.

Contents:


In the beginning there are worldviews ................................................ 1

Data, facts, reality, interpretations, and faith ....................................... 1
Interpretation of observational data .................................................... 1
World models and faith criteria .......................................................... 2

The timeframe of creation ................................................................. 2
The history of the universe – the model of the big bang ........................ 2
The history of the earth and of life – dated by means of radioisotopes ... 3

Origin of life and biological evolution ................................................... 3
Minimal data interpretation – minimal worldview prejudice ................... 3
Key observations – fossils and molecular biology .................................. 4

Harmonizing biblical creation and science ............................................ 5
Revelation, history, and language ....................................................... 5
The creation account and its interpretation .......................................... 6

Further texts and books; Links ............................................................. 7

The quandary of
young earth creationism...

Which is true -
creation or evolution?

Which is mistaken -
science or the bible?

How can you claim to believe the
bible -
even to the letter -
and still believe in ...
evolution?!...

- Young earth creationists and atheists agree that the bible and science contradict each other. This worldview prejudice is untenable both biblically and scientifically.

-
Data are facts of reality. To find their significance, an interpretation of the data is required, and on that, opinions are divided. An interpretation may be correct to a higher or lesser degree. Correct interpretations result in more facts.
- In the case of important questions, one's worldview exerts a strong influence on which
interpretations of the facts he chooses. Thus, physicists who don't want a creator are continuously searching for cosmologies without a beginning. Yet, despite its outrageous initial singularity, the model of the big bang remains the one which best explains the facts.
- Not all bible believers accept the claim that
evolution contradicts God's character. The question of whether or not God in fact uses evolution must be answered by science, not by philosophical speculations.

- The bible doesn't give us a timescale for the age of the universe. The scientific facts, however, unequivocally point to a
datable beginning, in which time and space began, as well. Results of investigations in astronomy and nuclear physics, particularly the expansion of the universe and the formation of atomic nuclei, confirm the standard model of the big bang with high precision.
- For
dating geological materials, the radioactive decay of certain isotopes provides a series of internally calibrated "clocks" with half-lives from 700 million to 100 billion years. Of especial significance for the history of humans is the carbon-14 "clock", whose calibration requires external measurements like tree-ring counts.

- If the
possibility of a Creator is taken into account in biological theorizing, the scientific indications for a spontaneous origin of life and for macroevolution are by far less unambiguous than is usually assumed.
- Darwin's mechanism of
natural selection of spontaneously arising variants is supported by many observations. As selection usually works by means of differential reproduction, evolution isn't necessarily cruel. But the high age of life on earth makes death inevitable, and the profusion of the biosphere and living efficiency of large animals require predation.
- Nevertheless, possible mechanisms for the
spontaneous origins of life and of fundamentally novel functions remain completely unknown and all available propositions are speculative.
- The
fossil record shows many lines of descent, some very old, which slowly changed over time. Branching points are very difficult to prove, but this is exactly what the model of "punctuated equilibria" predicts, with long times of stasis, interrupted by rapid transitions.
- Modern human fossils are up to about 100,000 years old, and older precursors are unambiguously lying between humans and chimpanzees. Did the Creator want to "lead us into temptation" by false pretenses of having used evolution?
- Potentially even stronger evidence for a
common descent of different species is found in the similarities on the level of molecular biology, because here, probabilities are often computable if the similarities are not connected with similar functions. Humans and chimpanzees share a large number of virtually identical sequence characters which can hardly have a function and therefore constitute strong evidence for common descent. But is nonfunctionality provable at all? Despite this caveat, it can no longer reasonably be doubted that humans and animals are indeed related by common descent.

- The interpretation of the bible must take into account its
character of revelation. But God doesn't force anyone to believe, not even by proving his activity in creation, history, or revelation. It is to be expected that the bible contradicts neither itself nor the creation, but that this will not be provable. Bible interpretation has to take into account culture, language and environment of the human authors, but not in the way of some critics who ignore the other all-important factor, inspiration, disqualifying themselves in the process.
- Source-critical research interprets the first Genesis chapters as myths from the Babylonian exile, which contain a theological truth but contradict science. These claims are untenable, because an interpretation of Genesis compatible with science is in principle possible, which distinguishes it from myths.
- I take Genesis 1 as an earth-wide
creation narrative, Genesis 2 as its sequel in a local area in southern Mesopotamia. A distinction is made between the creation of fundamentally novel realities and further development of preexisting ones. Adam was not the first human created in God's image, but God chose him for a specific mission among the preadamites. Failing, he became the representative of fallen humanity.

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Last updated Okt 17 2011 | paraske@aneste.ch

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