Monday, November 1, 2010

The appearance of age that wouldn't die!

I've struck a nerve again on this appearance of age issue. A reader writes,
I can understand these explanations being uninteresting from a scientific perspective, and perhaps even an excuse for not doing the hard work of looking for a scientific explanation. What I don’t understand is arguing against them as a matter of principle. In other words, I don’t see how we can avoid mature creation in a creationist model, and so we should be careful about dismissing it out of hand. You seem to be arguing against it as a matter of principle, but maybe that’s just an appearance.
To clarify, I agree 100%. There are biblical reasons to believe that the creation had some sort of maturity to it. The command to "be fruitful and multiply" would be lost on sexually immature organisms. In fact, I would go further and contend that it's impossible to create something that's intended to be self-perpetuating without creating with some kind of implied history.

What I have a problem with is using this inevitability as some kind of explanation, which it is not. It doesn't help us understand creation better, and more importantly, it doesn't help us to understand the Creator better. By appealing to appearance of age, do I learn something new? No, appearance of age as an explanation is just a fancy way of saying "I don't know." Of course, there's nothing wrong with not knowing, but if that's your position, how can you realistically fault anyone for not accepting it? In other words, if you don't understand something and want to be content with just believing that God did it for whatever purpose He has, why would you think that would be appealing to anyone else?

So my beef is not with appearance of age per se, but with people who want to use appearance of age as an argument or explanation.  Ignorance is not an explanation.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.