Archived - Ask the Expert: Jay Seegert

Jay Seegert is the co-founder and executive director of the Creation Education Center (CECwisc.com). He holds degrees in physics and engineering and has been lecturing on creation/evolution && the authority of Scripture for over 26 years. He is also an ambassador and a former speaker for Logos Research Associates. Most recently he authored Creation && Evolution: Compatible or in Conflict (Master Books, Aug 2014).

Below are the questions and answers submitted while Jay Seegert was the featured expert on CreationConversations.com

Comment by Floyd on August 6, 2014 at 3:40am

Hi Jay Seegert,


I recently saw the news about the Rosetta probe setting out to catch a comet in outer space. The link is here if anyone is interested http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28660575. After watching this I realize it’s not about science but a pursuit to fill in the gaps about a story called evolution that has no actual evidence, just pretty animations narrated by individuals with “Professor” in front of their names.


The amusing bit was the professor sitting next to a stream with toy molecules telling us that mixing water with chemicals we get life out of a pond. Then immediately throwing these toy molecules into the water. I asked myself the question why didn’t the professor use real chemicals to show us at least some stringy DNA forming?


Which brings me to my question. What’s the best way of educating the public to not blindly believe this stuff of make-believe parading as fact?

Comment by Lou Hamby on August 6, 2014 at 9:01am

Seems "evidence demands a verdict", as more evidence comes to light which is challenging that theory daily, the need to break into the schools and educational institutions is huge.  A recent paper on soft tissue in triceratops horn form a CSUN Microscope expert got him fired becuse it inferred dinos are not 65 million years old.  He is now suing the University and they have received a lot of criticism even from non christians because the paper was peer paper and was written with no sense of religion or any other such thing, even though he is a Christian, he did his work in the idiom that he normally works in.  Obviously the story telling goes on, but eventually the evidences from Creationism, ID and other sources are and will challenge this beyond its ability to further explain....

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 6, 2014 at 9:10am

Regarding "the best way of educating the public to not blindly believe this stuff of make-believe parading as fact"... one helping piece of advice is to train them how to spot "fuzzy words and phrases".  My good friend Paul Taylor (formerly head of AIG in the UK and subsequently with Creation Today) designed a talk in which he helps people do just such a thing.  You have them read an article and then look for all of the phrases or sentences that contain words such as "might have", "could have", "possibly", "very likely", "perhaps", etc.  Once you have located those, you can then see what's left of the article that might have some actual science in it.  Usually, what you see if that there's nothing of any significance left... certainly nothing that bolsters their case for evolution.  (P.S.  I am speaking at a camp 9 times this week, but I will continue to check these posts.)

Comment by Lou Hamby on August 6, 2014 at 9:34am

Dear Jay,

How do you view the body plan to eco-niche with respect to creation?  I believe the connection of DNA information to each and every life form determines many different facets of various species that require certain niches and are "designed" specifically to inhabit such niches.  I see very little discussion within creationism on Symbiotic relationships yet there are 100,000's of these that are known and observable?  Do you view the information contained in DNA as not being made by any natural source, nature did not produce it.  This also I believe infers that this information pre-existed the biologic unit, which would also infer a design/creator?

Lastly there is some controversy (at least for me) about the actual creation of biologic units from the beginning and down through history. Some creationists infer that variability in body plans change over time and that the original species created by God in the beginning also created new species there after the 6 day creation?  Sort of a "self-determination".  Since most all of us believe in variation, that I have no issue with myself, for instance there are 26 different color variations in the California KIng Snake, but they are still CKS.

But some imply that God left variability in all of the creation and as it multiplied and grew across the earth new species "arrived" via this variability to actually "change body plans'? Changing into new species?  It seems that the male and female have the same offspring, this is and has been observable since the beginning of time. Outside of Hybridization which rarely happens in nature, I know of know other mechansim that could be responsible for such an inference? Also epigenetics imply a more fixed resource when it comes to body plans, the fossil record itself is a mirror of modern reproduction which again a T-Rex is a T-Rex.  This would be like a terrestrial iguana God creates in the beginning, but later because of variability, offspring producing offspring that are ground iguanas and new species and body plans and so on to Galapagos marine iguanas.

When God spoke the biologic creation into existence I get the biblical impression that this was sufficient in every way to address the full flora and fauna across the whole earth platform, seen and unseen? 

Your thoughts???

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 6, 2014 at 3:28pm

Lou,

I’ll do my best to comment briefly, because I am in the middle of presenting a 9-session seminar series all this week.

 

Much could be said regarding all of your comments (which were very interesting and well-thought out).

 

I believe that God created His designed “kinds” of creatures with the ability to adapt to various environments, through normal variation (such as different fur thicknesses and lengths) and also through “switches” that turn certain genes or features on and off, which are generally triggered by cues in the environment.  God’s creatures can survive or thrive in a variety of environments, but we have to be careful not to attribute this to any “power” of natural selection.  It’s hard to be brief, but the idea of “natural selection” is more of a description of what we observe in nature, as opposed to an actual force that has the innate ability to “do anything”.  A simple analogy is that when the environment around my house changes (specifically, it gets hot) my thermostat senses this change and turns on the central air to cool the house.  However, it obviously was not the change in the temperature that created the interworking system of the air conditioning unit and the thermostat.  The environmental change simply was a trigger that was already pre-programmed into the pre-existing thermostat that subsequently turned on the pre-existing A/C unit.  In nature, natural selection is simply describing how creatures respond to changes in their environments through their “pre-programmed” traits.  The environment is not creating these intricate traits… only triggering them. 

 

Occasionally, changes happen within the DNA (during reproduction, i.e. mutations) that can affect the creature’s ability to cope with its environment.  This can also lead to its demise, or occasionally a slight advantage, but is never seen to creature new functional features as a result of “new” information in the DNA.  So, there might be a change, and it might even seem advantageous, but overall, it’s still going downhill in the long run.

 

Wrapping up my comments for now, addressing your last statement, I do think God created his creatures to be able to survive and thrive on this planet, even with the curse that came through Adam’s sin.  Yes, some things do die out, because of the afore mentioned, but overall, there is still an abundant variety of life that continues to be sustained even amidst occasional harsh conditions.  God is the Master Planner and has accounted for all things, including our own sin and its destructive results.

Comment by Lou Hamby on August 6, 2014 at 5:03pm

Jay please don't feel any obligation since your working, want to thank you for your view Obviously others will be asking questions as well.

You said:
I believe that God created His designed “kinds” of creatures with the ability to adapt to various environments, through normal variation (such as different fur thicknesses and lengths) and also through “switches” that turn certain genes or features on and off, which are generally triggered by cues in the environment.  God’s creatures can survive or thrive in a variety of environments, but we have to be careful not to attribute this to any “power” of natural selection.  

Lou’s response:
Jay since I study reptiles specifically lizards I know of no other species that lives over a larger range of environmental eco-niches than lizards...:0)  I totally get the switches in DNA and we don’t completely understand all these switches in lizards we just know they are genetic. For instance how red clay/dirt in Texas and the Horned lizards living on that dirt is red, very red in color, but just a few miles down on a cliché road they are whitish, there offspring's are the same, so something genetic is taking place and certainly some environmental clue, trigger, or switch is contributing to this, but we are not sure of the trigger.  So that part I totally get and I agree with, and glad you mentioned “natural selection” because I do not believe that plays well period.  In fact speaking of Lizards one can observe the populations of Chuckwallas that all live on igneous granite outcrops and the rocks themselves are all most the same coloration, yet without 15 mile area one may find a red back chuck, a pure white granite chuck, a dark ugly brown, a totally black with a white tail, an orange colored, and then various degrees of coloration with mottling.  So if this is animals selecting color on the basis of natural selection I don’t think that works at all.  The same hawks the same intruders would be the onus for these “implied” changes which neither of us believe is true. But something definitely is taking place with respect to genetics!!!

But what I would like to say within that variation I believe that the body plans are part of design and the evidence for this is very compelling.  We know that DNA information retains a heavy hand with respect to how an animal fits into its environment.  I observe the sand lizard platform that have fringe-toes and shovel heads and are fixed for living on dunes.  Some even have special nostril valves for digging under the sand.  But my point would be these design features are not accidental or random in anyway.  Good  design is used over and over in a platform, and if you look at lizards for instance the sand lizards you would find that across the continents in areas where sand lizards exist you’ll find this shovel head fringe-toed thing, or in alligator lizards here in America with a lateral line fold on the side and snake tongue small legs prehensile tails, all of these I believe trace back to design and Gods incredible design each animal for its specific eco-niche.  I do not believe there is any explanation for a non-guided mechanism that is responsible for these design morphologies. Plus what is amazing on my own studies the actual environmental niche also speaks design as well and so like Psalms says water has a boundary so it the distribution of our reptile friends and much of it is dependent on certain environmental requirements. They do not fill certain niches by accident

Comment by Carolyn Reeves on August 7, 2014 at 1:59pm

I noticed that you often speak to college age students and encourage them to learn to defend their Christian beliefs. What principles do you use to help them?  

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 7, 2014 at 2:46pm

I help them understand a correct view of the authority of Scripture and how to appropriately understand its relationship to science.  The Bible, when viewed correctly, serves as an incredible framework to properly understand and interpret the real world around us, whether biology, geology, astronomy, anthropology, etc. I also help them understand how one’s worldview determines how they interpret facts.  I will often discuss the fact that many Christians are somewhat intimidated by science and end up compromising their view of God’s Word, giving more precedence to the conclusions of secular scientists than to Scripture.  I also help them understand the distinction between observational science (which makes cell phone and cures diseases) and historical science, which involves one-time events that happened a long time ago when no one was around to observe them and which cannot be repeated in the present nor tested directly.  These areas involve numerous guesses and assumptions, all of which are driven by one’s worldview.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it may give you an idea of some of what I cover, in addition to powerful scientific evidence from various areas of science that are consistent with the authority of God’s Word.

Comment by Carolyn Reeves on August 7, 2014 at 3:26pm

Thanks for the ideas.  I spent some time looking at your CEC website.  There is some really good stuff there!

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 7, 2014 at 4:46pm

You’re welcome!  Glad you liked our website.  We are actually in the middle of doing some maintenance right now.  One of the things we’ve been having trouble with is the calendar of events.  It is not showing any of my engagements, but will be fixed within the next few days.  If there’s anything else I can help you with, just let me know.  We also conduct free engagements, so let me know if you know of any churches, schools, universities or conferences that would be interested.

Comment by Floyd on August 8, 2014 at 7:51am

Hi jay,


You make good points about phrases or sentences that contain words such as "might have", "could have", "possibly", "very likely", "perhaps", etc.


My next question is that creation isn’t a salvation issue, but an authority issue and a sign of the Second Coming. Living the Words of Christ is our salvation. How would you link Christ to a discussion about creation?

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 8, 2014 at 3:28pm

I certainly believe that our salvation is solely by our faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and not by our works.  Therefore, I believe someone can be a Christian, but still be a bit off in their thinking regarding non-salvation issues.  However, I believe that if one truly thinks through a biblical view of salvation, they will end up having to make a decision about what they believe regarding the Genesis creation account.  Here’s why.

They will say they are a Christian because they’ve placed their trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.  If asked why they did that, they would say that the Bible teaches that this is the only way to heaven.  If asked why we need forgiveness, they will say that we are sinners.  If asked why we are sinners, they would say because we sin.  If asked why we sin, they would think a bit and say something like, “Well, I guess because Adam sinned and then we all became sinners.”  I would then ask, “So you believe in a real Adam?” and they would have to say, “Yes”.  They would also have to agree with Romans 5:12 that tells us it was because of Adam’s sin that there is death and a curse in God’s world today.  However, if God used evolution as His creative process, then that means there were millions of years of death and disease, pain and suffering, mutations, struggle, and survival of the fittest, long before Adam was even on the planet. So how is it that Adam’s sin brought death into the world if it had been authored by God millions of years prior to his arrival?  And if it’s not Adam’s fault, why did Jesus have to die on the cross?  Also, Christians place a lot of weight on the words of Jesus Himself, which is interesting, because one very significant thing Jesus said was that God created Adam and Eve at the very beginning of creation (Mark 10:6 && Matt 19:4).  This is only truly possible if God created everything in 6 literal days, but it places Adam and Eve at the very end of everything if God used evolution and/or the Big Bang (which would place the origin of the universe almost 14 billion years ago, and then modern man – Adam && Eve – about 100,000 years ago or so, which would be basically at the very END of that entire timeline).

Many other reasons could be given, but trying to meld the two (evolution && the Bible) ends up taking a very scientifically poor idea (evolution) and merging it with Scripture to produce very bad theology.

Much more could be said, but let me know if this at all addresses your question.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 12, 2014 at 3:24pm

Hi Jay, I like your opening comments. In my opinion evolution is totally incompatible with being a Christian, I call those followers of Jesus, 'Jesusians', surely they cannot be Christians?  A Christian is someone who believes, as you stated, that Jesus was our redeemer, with evolution there can be nothing to redeem, buy back',  as there is nothing that was lost.  To me this makes Jesus' sacrifice surplus to need, making a lie of the redemption and saving grace of the Creator.

Maybe it would be useful if you could outline your area of expertise, or the areas you are qualified to answer questions on.

Many thanks, I look forward to hearing more from you.

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 12, 2014 at 3:47pm

Dr. Blake,

Thanks for your comments.  You asked me to clarify my area of expertise… Although my degrees are in physics and engineering technology, I am more of a “generalist”, trying to cover almost all topics related to the creation/evolution debate (e.g. biology, geology, astronomy, anthropology, etc.), plus a few other apologetic areas, such as the inspiration of the Bible and other worldviews.  I tell people that I am not any smarter than anyone else… I’ve just been doing this for a while (28 years), so it makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about.  However, I am only here (and only know what I know) by the grace of God.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 12, 2014 at 4:34pm

Thanks for your very speedy reply Jay.  We seem to have similar backgrounds ans have been representing creationist views for some long time (about forty-one years in my case), but I do not class myself as an expert in all disciplines.  Being first and foremost an aerospace engineer with qualifications in cosmology, astronomy and meteorology, and a keen interest in geology and general physics, I do not claim to know squat about other areas.  So I wondered in what areas you would feel comfortable in fielding questions.

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 12, 2014 at 5:12pm

Wow, that’s quite a history you have!  Very impressive.  I am comfortable fielding questions in just about any area, because I am so smart that I actually know that I am not actually that smart!  Seriously though, any question that I cannot confidently answer from what I already know, I bounce off other leading scientists that are truly experts in their fields and I have a close relationship with them.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 13, 2014 at 5:15am

Thanks Jay.  One of my personal ministries has been talking to the scientific community about creation, and specifically about the cosmology of creation.  One of the sticking points is often the time-frame for the universe to develop from the initial creation of matter, and hence time and dimension, and the point where life could inhabit this planet.  I have my own hypothesis for this, which is certainly in line with what God's word tells us, but I wondered how you argue/explain this point?

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 13, 2014 at 9:54am

Before I answer, I want to make sure I know what you are asking.  Are you basically talking about the age of the universe/Earth in general… whether it truly is billions of years old vs. thousands?  I can certainly let you know how I approach this if this is what you have in mind.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 13, 2014 at 10:00am

Yes Jay, that is exactly it.  It is your explanation of the process within the framework of Genesis One, packing the secular billions of years into God's stated single day.  Or did the Earth pre-exist in a void and formless body, after a greater period of time from the creation of matter?

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 13, 2014 at 11:32am

(Part 1 of 2)

There’s tons to say about this and I am limited in space here, but I will summary my approach…

I tell people that I have degrees in both physics and engineering technology and have been researching and lecturing on this topic for over 28 years, so that means I am right about everything I believe!  (Then I laugh and tell them that I hope they are laughing as well, because I do not mean that.) All that means, is that I better have an opinion by now… and I do.  I am more convinced than ever, that God created everything in 6 literal days, approximately 6,000 years ago.  I think the biblical case for this (which is where I start) is extremely strong.  I also feel that the best science we have is consistent with this view as well.  Nature has no “clocks” so it can’t be overly specific or ultimately reliable.  All we have in nature are processes that we observe in the present. We take those processes, and by making assumptions about how they may have proceeded in the past, turn them into “clocks”.  The problem lies in the assumptions (e.g. have the elements always decayed at the rate which we measure today?).

I think the biblical case for a literal 6 days is so strong that I have to take that into account as I look at the scientific evidence (which always has to be interpreted).  I have been very encouraged to see great amounts of evidence from science that are supportive of a relatively young Earth.  Each method yields a different “age”, but at least 90% of the methods we could potentially use to attempt to determine an age yield ages far too young for the current secular models to be valid. 

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 13, 2014 at 11:33am

(Part 2 of 2)

One specific issue that always arises is that of starlight.  Specifically the belief that the universe cannot be young, because we see stars that are so far away it would take 100,000 million years for their light to reach the Earth, so the universe would have to be at least that old.  My response is to always point out the fact that even those who believe in the Big Bang have the same starlight travel problem, because even in their timeframe of 13.8 billion years, there’s not enough time for light to have traveled from one side of the universe to the other.  However, they believe that it must have, because the temperature of the universe seems so uniform and they only way they believe that could happen would be through distribution of light from one side to the other.  So we both have an initial issue to deal with (both young Earth and old Earth adhearents).   Since we are discussing origins (something that happened in the past when no humans were around to observe it and we can’t repeat it in the laboratory or test it directly, all anyone can do is come up with models that help to explain what we actually observe in the present.  Those who believe in an old earth/universe rely on tweaking their model with things that are not really scientific, that is, actually go against what we believe today to be established “laws” of science.  Specifically, that have added “inflation” to their model which has the universe undergoing an incredible (additional)  period of expansion in which the universe expanded much faster than the speed of light early on while it was still “small”.  However, they then have to slow this expansion down, or nothing will form.  But, if they slow it down the slightest bit too much, it will collapse on itself, so it has to be set to a very, very precise rate or the model won’t work.  There are other details, but I have to skip them for now.  Young Earth creationists also have developed models to deal with this issue.  They generally involve known laws of physics, (e.g. Theory of General Relativity, etc.) to explain how the light could travel those distances in 6 literal days here on Earth.

Wrapping up for now, both side have an issue, but I believe young Earth creationists have models based more on known science than “ad hoc” solutions.  This is all the “tip of the iceberg”, but I hope it helps.

Comment by Floyd on August 14, 2014 at 2:36am

Jay, this is a hypothesis, that I've seen elsewhere, which I have been tweaking and reflecting on. It’s just another model, probably could be named Acceleration Creation Model. It’s only a theory not a 'proof'.


Taking as true that the universe was created in six literal 24 hour days, we must take as true that during these six days the creation process was accelerated i.e. ‘normal speed’ for God. For example, on the 3rd day, in one 24 hour day, the earth brought forth trees that at today’s rate takes years. The separation of the land from the water on day 2 took 1 day or less that at today’s rate (where catastrophe isn't involved) takes decades. Man was created in 1 day on day 6, when it takes approximately 40 weeks to conceive a baby.


So we must concede that the speed of light or expansion of space was faster than today’s rate. Science has proved that light can be slowed, halted, transported on something else and speeded up see http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/02/light-and-matter-united/. This makes the statement that “it would take 100,000 million years for their light to reach the Earth, so the universe would have to be at least that old” not as straight forward as it initially seems.


Why? Because any calculations of light at today's speed needs to be adjusted to the speed of light during the days of creation i.e. “God’s initial light speed” (GILS). Unfortunately we do not know what this speed was nor the relative deceleration speed. But educated guesses could be made.


Once the speed of light or expansion of space slowed down, relative (probably from outside in) to after the creation of the stars on day 4, to its current rate (probably on day 5) there is no reason to suggest that the universe is more than approximately 6,000 years. This is because calculations inside “God’s initial light speed” (GILS), based on the current speed of light, if GILS isn't taken into consideration, will give trillions/billions/millions of years.


God isn't deceiving us, but our knowledge based on uniformitarian principles doesn't take into account factors during creation. A basic illustration of this is given below.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 14, 2014 at 8:24am

Hi Floyd, I read your post with interest, and jay, please comment on this.  There is little evidence in theory to suggest that the speed of light ('c') changed suddenly from your GIL to 'c' at c186,000 mps (c300,000kps).  The more likely hypothesis is that 'c' is affected by two conditions, 1) the density of the spacial fabric through which it travels (as you have evidenced in the Harvard article) and 2) the point in the universe, e.g. the distance from the universal centre.  Both secular science and the Bible tell us that the universe expanded, and it is this expansion that gives us the clue.  Although we cannot test this we need to look for examples in general physics, here the nearest parallel is the reaction of gas in a vacuum, which expands to fill the available volume, just as I believe the creation of matter at the event horizon of the creation acted, except that the volume was infinite.  If we increase the volume of the gas container we can see that two things happen, the molecules on the borders of the container move very quickly, whereas the molecules in the centre hardly move at all, but the density of the gas changes, or dilutes.  Hence the speed of 'c' changes depending on where your are in the universe and at the border of the universe, where expansion continues at speeds greater than 'c' the light may well travel at greater speeds.  I believe that it is entirely possible that the initial expansion after the event horizon was almost instantaneous as there was no restriction or resistance to prevent it.  This is assuming that the event horizon occurred in a condition of true void, no space or time.

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 14, 2014 at 11:48am

Floyd,

Your comments on the speed of light are very interesting.  In my relatively brief response yesterday I did not mention the speed of light, but that is a legitimate question.  I know that originally Barry Setterfield and Trevor Normon (Australia) proposed a change in the speed of light as a possible explanation for light travel from distant stars in a young universe.  I am intrigued by the idea of a change (or decay) in the speed of light, but from most of the reading I’ve done, it doesn’t seem to hold much sway with other creation physicists and astronomers.   It does introduce some significant challenges, but I don’t know that it can be thrown out altogether.  I am not enough of an expert in this area to say one way or the other.  To my knowledge, it doesn’t seem like very many creationists are pursuing this option.  Have you seen much activity in this area?

Comment by Floyd on August 14, 2014 at 1:30pm

Hi, Jay and Dr. Derek P. Blake, I should have probably said it’s a hypothesis rather than theory because a theory can be taken as proof. But, I’ll throw in some ideas here:


Based on the Harvard link, it proves that light can gradual decelerate. The question is whether 'c' was many times faster than c186,000 mps (c300,000kps) , so I can understand why it’s not pursued much.


Dr Blake’s condition (1) is more appropriate because:

  1. The Harvard link proves that light can be transported by something else and 
  2. The scientific evidence of acceleration in the past is shown in the homogeneity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR). This is because radiation coming from the east and west and north and south are uniformly the same temperature.


The point that I’m making is that, before this hypothesis would never be considered, but through recent scientific progress it’s now in the realms of possibility. Although the question is should we wait for science to catch-up before we start thinking on these things when it can be inferred in the bible?

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 14, 2014 at 1:41pm

I think any research driven by biblically-based principles and constraints is worthy of pursuit.  I am encouraged by your respect for Scripture, and although we know it was never intended to give us all the scientific details we might want, it certainly can aid us in those pursuits when we use it as a proper framework for whatever we
are considering.  I’m all for pursuing this line of thought.  We will either determine it is somewhat of a dead-end, in which case we can channel our efforts elsewhere, or we can pursue it further, continually adding to our apologetic.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 14, 2014 at 2:37pm

Jay, the mainstream creationist view is that the Earth was created before the remainder of the universe, based upon the Bible stating that God made the Sun, Moon and stars 'appear' on day four.  In Biblical cosmology, this is always a stumbling block, as it is possibly the one thing that is contrary to our observations and to the laws we have developed from those observations.  As Floyd says:

The scientific evidence of acceleration in the past is shown in the homogeneity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR). This is because radiation coming from the east and west and north and south are uniformly the same temperature.

This goes some way to show that we, Earth, the galaxy, are somewhere close to the universal centre, otherwise there would be slight differences in the CMBR temperature from one specific direction.  So this may suggest that the event horizon was in our local area.  However recent mapping of the galaxy distribution by NASA shows that it is very unlikely that the point of origin was the Milky Way, so we cannot claim to be the actual centre of the universe. 

I just wondered how you viewed this Jay.

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 14, 2014 at 2:55pm

You said “based upon the Bible stating that God made the Sun, Moon and stars 'appear' on day four.”  I’m not sure what you mean by this.  I know there are those who try to say that the Bible does not teach that God created the Sun, moon and stars on day four… He already created them earlier (usually billions of years, in their mind), and then He only made them “appear” on day four.  I believe the text clearly teaches they were created on day four and not just made to appear.  However, I’m not sure that this is what you were alluding to.

According to most Big Bang cosmologists, there really shouldn’t even be a “center” of the universe, because their model dictates against it.  The fact that there are evidences that we are close to the middle is very uncomfortable for them.  The fact that the red shift of galaxies are quantized in concentric rings speaks of us (our galaxy) being close to the middle or we would not observe this pattern.  Their recent comments on galaxy distribution might be a problem for a centralized Milky Way galaxy in their model, but not for a biblical model.  I’m not sure if I am being helpful here, or missing your question/point altogether.  Just let me know.  Great discussion, however!

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 15, 2014 at 7:01am

As I said, this is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in biblical cosmology. My question was how you deal with the apparent discrepancy between a naturally developing universe, with planets being way down the cascade, and the 'creation' of stars, and moon and ultimately the universe on day four.  Our observations dictate that for planet Earth to exist without the supporting universe would be impossible other than by a miracle.

My belief is that God may have only actually 'created' once, and that was the creation of matter 'in the beginning'.  The bible seems to support this, in the Hebrew Bible the word 'created' is only used twice; the first occasion was in verse one with the creation of the heavens and the Earth.  The second use is in verse twenty-seven in relation to the creation of Adam, which is qualified as being from the 'dust of the ground' (matter).  Again, if God created the heavens and the Earth 'in the beginning', how could He create them again on day four?  In all other cases in the Genesis account the words 'let there be' or 'brought forth' are used, and the fact that He made man from already created matter, would suggest that this is how God also made other living creatures, just He brought forth from the ground the plants and trees.  This is the reason that I used the word 'appear' in relationship to the Moon and stars.

Comment by Lou Hamby on August 15, 2014 at 7:44am

Agreed Dr. Blake...

We have a "privileged planet" its existence, placement, and support of the universe is absolutely necessary for life, just a slight change in our position could cause nuclear winter or heat unbearable to most species. 

There is nothing I am aware of that is inconstant with the scripture and this observation at all. This does not affect the YE view of earths creation or Gods employ. Preparation "must" have taken place in order for the earth to survive and thrive and this I assume was part of the design of the planet(s) as set forth in Scripture any more than land was brought up and the waters separated and the biosphere was pre-pared to receive life per His design....   

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 15, 2014 at 8:58am

As I said, it seems logical to me that God used naturalistic processes to create our world, that is NOT saying that He used evolution.  Before the universe was created, the Creator must have set the physical laws for our universe,  there is just too much precision for that not to have happened, and it cries out 'design'!  That being true then why would He ignore those laws and processes in the creation?  One may say that the Father is the sum of those laws, He is in control and through the 'Word' holds all things together.  He is the God of order not entropy, nothing happens or exists without Him.

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 15, 2014 at 9:02am

Dr. Blake,

I guess I’m not sure why we would ever think about a “naturally developing universe” as you stated.  I believe that the universe (and everything else in the original creation) was brought into existence supernaturally.  The laws we observe today for the most part seem quite capable for explaining its current operation, but they are quit inadequate for explaining its origin. With a six literal day creation week, there certainly is no problem with the Earth being here with vegetation for one day before the sun, moon and stars are created on the next day… they wouldn’t need an entire universe to support them, especially being part of God’s miraculous creation.  I believe there was quite a bit of miraculous phenomenon going on during that week, as opposed to primarily “natural phenomenon” occurring today.

While it’s true that we are living on a “privileged planet”, it only makes sense considering that God designed it that way from the beginning, as opposed to all of these razor-edge factors developing “one piece at a time” over billions of years.  One interesting side note… I have asked many Christians (who tend not to hold to the literal six day view) if they believe that God will one day destroy the heavens and Earth and create new ones (as is referred to in Rev 21:1).  Their response is always “yes”.  I then ask if they think that God will take billions of years in doing so, and their response is always “no”.  So if He is going to do it supernaturally in a short period of time in the end, why couldn’t He have done that to begin with, just as He told us?  Just something interesting to think about.

In response to the idea of “create” and “made” (bara && asah in Hebrew), take a look at the following article by Answers In Genesis, which shows no real distinction between the two words (they in fact are even used interchangeably in Scripture).

https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/did-god-create-bara-or-make-as...

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 15, 2014 at 9:26am

My last post was sent before receiving your latest post… I will send another soon.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 15, 2014 at 9:29am

Jay, where did I say that I believed in anything other than a six day creation?  I certainly believe what God tells us through His inspired word, that the universe and everything in it were created in six periods of one 'day'.

However, with respect, you have still not answered my question, which was about how you present/explain the discrepancy between what we observe and what we know about the celestial mechanics of the universe.  Just saying that it was a miraculous act, does not hold water when talking to the secular science community, and they laugh (which I do not mind) and the TE squad just accuse you of presenting a 'God of the gaps' solution.

Comment by Lou Hamby on August 15, 2014 at 9:37am

Dear Jay; You addressed DR. Blake

You said:  

While it’s true that we are living on a “privileged planet”, it only makes sense considering that God designed it that way from the beginning, as opposed to all of these razor-edge factors developing “one piece at a time” over billions of years. 

You seem to be applying an apologetic to what I stated, let me be clear I am a YE proponent so what ever you hear come from my lips are YE in view.  In spite of your comments, nothing I am aware of here is antithetical to the Scriptures at all?  

One interesting side note… I have asked many Christians (who tend not to hold to the literal six day view) if they believe that God will one day destroy the heavens and Earth and create new ones (as is referred to in Rev 21:1).  Their response is always “yes”.  I then ask if they think that God will take billions of years in doing so, and their response is always “no”.  So if He is going to do it supernaturally in a short period of time in the end, why couldn’t He have done that to begin with, just as He told us?  Just something interesting to think about.

What does this have to do with the creation of the Universe?  First of all it is my total blief that for instance DNA information existed prior to all biologics being made?  This information did not come from nature or some natural process.  It was existent in the designers creative abilities before it was ever actually inculcated.  That also implies or should imply to you that I believe the argument that all things exist and consist in Christ Jesus (John).

So neither one of us here has implied anything about billions of years. Period.  We are both YE.

You said:

So if He is going to do it supernaturally in a short period of time in the end, why couldn’t He have done that to begin with, just as He told us? 

I believe exactly that God could and did create in a short time?  Where has there been ay implication of long periods of time?  BUt I don't think you examining what has been said, that is observation of the universe, what we know by science, what the Scriptures imply, tells us that this "privileged planet" was part of a process which could have been minutes, hours or days or what ever was required.  All I can say before the earth could have its biosphere filled with life, there were certain requirements.  You know this and I know this.  IN order for the earth to be a suitable habitat for life, the earth needed to be placed in a specific place with specific "support" if you will/  Do you not agree with tis or do you take the position that the laws and observable evidences of GODs work in nature and history is not applicable?  So this is "not" antithetical to YE view, unless you assume and insist the Scripture has no other view? 

You said:

 The laws we observe today for the most part seem quite capable for explaining its current operation, but they are quit inadequate for explaining its origin.

I leave you with this thought, it is a huge assumption on your part that the observable laws, mathematics, information pre-creation, is not adequate to explain the whole Genesis account. 

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 15, 2014 at 9:47am

A number of times, God worked in ways outside the constraints of normal physical laws, such as when Jesus turned water into wine, walked on water, calmed the sea, rose people from the dead, etc.  If virtually everything originated by “natural laws”, it would be more evidence of a deistic god, than the biblical, theistic God.

I think one reason (and this is truly just a thought I have) that God created the sun on day four, was to show us that He doesn’t need the sun to provide light… He is light.  He created light before He even created the sun.  In the new creation, there will no longer be any sun (Isaiah 60:19  &&  Revelation 22:5), because God Himself will provide the light, most likely just like He did in the beginning. I think that because God knew that mankind would eventually start worshipping the sun, He created things in the order listed in Genesis 1 as a way of countering the idea that the sun is what gave us life (which is what many pagans believed).  Again, just a thought of mine.  I do not claim to know the mind of God, other than from what He has revealed directly through Scripture.

If we associate “natural processes” to the original creation, then we have a whole slew of events that are out of order in the Genesis creation account.  For example, the standard secular natural view states that the sun evolved first, then, much later, the Earth “evolved”.  (as we have been discussing).  But Genesis states that the Earth was here on day one and the sun later on day four. Also, natural views hold that Earth developed first, then much later, water, but Scripture teaches us that the Earth was covered with water right from day one and that the dry land didn’t appear until day three (opposite order).  Same thing goes with the appearance of fish and plants… natural view states sea life including fish would be here first, then land plants, but the Bible states that the land plants were here first (day three), then fish (day five).  There are a number of other examples that could be added to this.  So much so, that many have eventually resorted to viewing Genesis 1-2 as “just a story” or “just poetry” or “just a framework”, but not meant to be taken literally.  The problem is that it was written as literal, historical Hebrew narrative, conveying actual, literal history.

Comment by Lou Hamby on August 15, 2014 at 10:36am

Jay you said:

If we associate “natural processes” to the original creation, then we have a whole slew of events that are out of order in the Genesis creation account.  For example, the standard secular natural view states that the sun evolved first, then, much later, the Earth “evolved”.  (as we have been discussing).  

Jay I am not espousing a "secular natural view" I am YE person who believes in the adequacy of the natural laws of mathematics, DNA information, and other disciplines are all within the context of GOD our designer and creator, so no; I don't accept nor am I espousing Sec-science views of Creation?  

You seem to be giving me an "apologetic" as if I am espousing something that isn't biblical?  Is that correct?  I will say that 99% of what you say I agree with, "that" is the Genesis narrative!!! You seem to be unable to consider any other "biblical" view with respect to the planet requiring some sort of preparation in order to receive life, what about that inference is unbiblical?  I am a little confused as to what your taking issue with?  You seem to be applying arguments that I would give to someone who doesn't believe in Genesis account or an evolutionist or one who assumes a natural unguided process for an explanation and that's not me?

Again let me ask you this question again.  Did the earth require certain nuance necessities in order to be ready to receive life? Its position in the Universe and support by other planets.  This does not assume some long period of time, God being who he is could of done this in a short time as I don't assume to know how long - seconds, minutes, hours, day, I only imply by what scripture says and implies that our privileged planet was planned and designed and required these nuances in order to be ready to receive life, that's all. 

Lastly you have  spoken "taking the Genesis account literally"...I do! Its not poetry, its not a framework, or a nice story...I believe the accuracy and historical content of Scripture is true, however it sounds like your inferring you don't think I do...  If this at the point your unable to consider a further discussion I don't want to press it.  We can agree to see the Biblical mandate of Genesis truths differently.  A deeper examination of the issue should be forthcoming.  Dr. Blake's observations are poignant and in the context of YE views maybe someone should go a little deeper.  

 

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 15, 2014 at 10:46am

For Dr. Blake…

“Uncle!”  I  guess that’s what people cry when they give up (not sure where that originated, but everyone seems to know what it means).

 

Actually, I am not really giving up… just clarifying myself.  Please forgive any implication that I thought you believe in billions of years.  I know you don’t.  I think I was just pointing out some inconsistencies that some people have who try to mesh long ages with the biblical narrative and a few things that were mentioned reminded me of that and I also felt it was applicable, especially when trying too hard to explain origins by natural processes.

Could you be more specific regarding your statement of “present/explain the discrepancy between what we observe and what we know about the celestial mechanics of the universe”? Please give me some examples so that I know what to comment on. – Thanks!

Comment by Jay Seegert on August 15, 2014 at 11:04am

To Lou…

I will same the same thing to you as I said to Dr. Blake… I never thought you were not a young Earth creationist, so forgive me if anything I wrote implied that.

Regarding the “privileged planet” arguments… the only point that I was making is that I believe the way it got that way, from  Divine intervention, and that it could not be the result of known laws of nature acting over billions of years (which is also what I know you believe).  I just stated that, because those Christians who accept billions of years, are not making secular scientists happy by accepting the general Big Bang scenario, because the Christian still has to evoke God in order to “set” all those factors to begin with, whereas, the secular scientists work very hard at explaining everything apart from God.

Also, you were in disagreement with my statement: “The laws we observe today for the most part seem quite capable for explaining its current operation, but they are quit inadequate for explaining its origin.”  I still stand by that… I think our disagreement is more of a misunderstanding.  What I meant is that there are no current laws of science that can explain the origin of matter and energy out of nothing.  In fact, that laws we do have mitigate against it (specifically, the first law of thermodynamics).  The laws we have are adequate for explaining how matter is converted into energy and energy into matter, but they cannot explain where matter and energy came from to begin with (i.e. their origin).  The laws of science can also not explain the origin of information or life.  They do a great job of helping understand how information and life function, but cannot explain their origin.  That’s why the creation account is certainly miraculous overall.  Would you disagree with this?  If so, please let me know what laws can explain the origin of these things in and of themselves.

Again, I doubt that we are disagreeing with each other… just temporarily got off track and I can take responsibility for that if my comments regarding billions of years were misunderstood.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 15, 2014 at 11:23am

Agreed, I myself have experienced a miraculous healing, and I have seen things in my forty years plus as a Christian, that have astounded me.  When Jesus (through His Father) changed the water (H2O) into wine (CH3CH2OH) it was just a matter of rearranging certain molecules.  As Jesus proved to Peter, walking on water was a matter of faith.  calming the sea and raising from the dead both come under the heading of God being in control.  These things are a matter of manipulating what is already in existence, just as He seems to have done after the event horizon of matter.

You make some good points here Jay, I had never thought about the Sun worship issue, however it didn't work, did it.  However, consider this.  Imagine the amount of light that the event horizon and after would generated during the first three days of creation, verse 15 says "15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth".  These days you cannot exactly read by starlight nor see very much at all, maybe because the sky is not as dense with stars as it once was.  That is not to say that God is not light, and light is everywhere, just as God is.  It may have been that He realised that light from the star-field would diminish and arranged for a the Earth to capture a moon, at the same point that our star commenced its fusion reaction and started flooding light on the Earth.

A star does not need to be in its reaction stage to exert a gravitational force on bodies that are within its field, so the Sun could have been there with the Earth and other planets in orbit when the Sun commenced its fusion.  We continue to struggle with the opening statement of Genesis that clearly states that the Universe was created 'in the beginning', so the universe was already there, but not seen.

I have no problem with the order of the creation, and there is little that is not logical or scientific, under God's control. My point is that, although He manipulated matter nothing was done that was not logical. Plants needed the ground, animals needed the plants (food), it is because of it's logical sequence that I believe in this order of creation, NOT despite it.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 15, 2014 at 11:48am

Of course we agree about the action that triggered the event horizon of creation, there is only one explanation possible, that matter was created by God into a condition of perfect void (no matter = no time/dimension).  What fascinates me is the process that developed into the universe.  But I believe that this was the first and only event at which matter was created, and through matter, energy, space and time.  Once matter was created everything within the bounds of the proto-universe must have been subject to the physical laws.  However this does not exclude God's manipulation of matter.

Comment by Dr. Derek P. Blake on August 15, 2014 at 12:03pm

“Uncle!”  I  guess that’s what people cry when they give up (not sure where that originated, but everyone seems to know what it means).

Well that seems to be everyone but myself Jay, Uncle is my father's brother as far as I'm concerned, or . .  a spoof spy TV programme of the sixties, Ha-ha.

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