No, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I think evolution is compelling, so it's no mystery why those familiar with the scientific data generally accept it. But I believe that the theological challenges to evolution are even more compelling, despite my best efforts to understand the biblical data another way. That leaves me in the position of seeking alternative explanations of the scientific data, something which presents an entire set of challenges all of its own but which I do not believe is an entirely fruitless task...
What is the difference between a bacteria dying and an aphid?
Also can Paul refer me to the biblical texts to support this?
The short answer is that I've not been persuaded by them. It seems to me that the death that came in by Adam was both spiritual (in the sense of alienation from God) and physical (he returned to the dust). This connection between sin and death in all its aspects permeates the whole of scripture, and it seems impossible to me to understand the necessity of Christ's physical death and bodily resurrection without it. Furthermore, passages such as Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 reinforce this in the way that they link the death that came by Adam with the resurrection life that came by Christ.
Of course, other biblical data bears on the question of the compatibility of evolution with scripture, such as the arguments for a historical Adam from whom the entire human race is descended, the arguments for the universality of the flood and the role that it plays in salvation history, and so on. But the causal connection between sin and death is central in my thinking because it bears upon my understanding of the atonement.
I should add that, although it is the biblical and theological data that lead me to a young-age creationist position, and although I think evolution is a compelling explanation of the scientific data, I do not believe that young-age creationism is without evidential support from science.
What is the evidential support from science for YEC?
Also did aphids die before Adam went wrong?
Thanks, Gavin, for your thoughtful reply. I'll read and digest it carefully and may have more to add later. However, for now, may I recommend what in my opinion is one of the most helpful books from a young-age creationist perspective:
Leonard Brand, 'Faith, Reason, and Earth History' (Second Edition, Andrews University Press, 2009)
I particularly like the irenic tone Brand strikes; there's no railing against evolution or evolutionists here. He is also someone with a long career in research (mostly in palaeontology), and is the author of many peer reviewed papers in mainstream journals. He explains how his creationist views have informed and directed his research, with specific examples. I highly commend his textbook to everyone, whatever their views. I'm not naive enough to think it will convince all its readers, but it might just stimulate some deeper thinking and help us all to understand one another better.
Thanks Simon - an interesting story.
Very different for me. I had little Christian upbringing and was never anti, but no faith. I became a Chrsitan shortly before graduating in geology and never came across YEC for 3 years until i went to L'abri except reading ANTriton's devestating revue of the The Genesis Flood in the Christian Graduate in 21970. I lauughed long and loud but no one heard me as I was in the middle of a desert. LAbri gave me a shock but it took me a few hours to find the flaws in the books. L'Abri made be doubt evolution for a time but not geology.
I consider YEC to be totally wrong-headed and often fraudulent and ID not much better
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