Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Theism and the Age of the Universe"

On a previous occasion, Paul Manata posted on "Theism and the Size of the Universe." Here's another post in the same vein titled "Theism and the Age of the Universe."


  1. 1)God 'normally' works through ordinary means.
    2) God will end the current age through 'natural' phenomena like the big bounce, big crunch, big freeze, or black hole swallowing and this will take a long time to happen.
    3)God wants to return at time T, T+1 being undesirable, so starts man at the 'right time' along this very long continuum, so that T happens before a big bounce, big crunch, big freeze, or black hole swallowing.

    Perfectly logical, when one assumes the assumptions he does. There's also what the Word of God has to say, but let's set that aside for now and for purposes of this argument.

    One wonders why Manata feels the need to apologize to young earth creationists, not once, but twice? Could it believe he really doesn't think this argument holds water and it's all tongue in cheek?

  2. Steve,

    1. I offered a *possible* way God could want to bring an end to this present evil age, which shows there's nothing *inconsistent* with a old universe and a late arrival of humans.

    2. I apologized to young earthers because I was assuming a premise they would not like. To answer the argument on its own terms, I assumed premises of the argument. I assume young earthers would not grant that we've been here for billions of years less than the universe or earth has been here. It is true that I'm not a young earther, but that's irrelevant to the argument I was making.

  3. Dear Paul,
    Thanks for the clarification. I actually wasn't sure of your position, but you have made that clear now.

    So starting from the end, time T (Christ's return) or T+1 (the undesirable state), you work backwards to postulate a beginning to the universe and man in terms of how old they respectively are? Should we be reading our Bibles then from Revelation to Genesis and not the other way around?

    The age of the universe, earth, and man, is a crucial issue of our day and current evangelical thought. Why would we be talking about it so much if it wasn't, right? We both see the implications, ramifications, and consequences of the positions.

    To argue that an old universe and late arrival of humans is a 'possible' way for God to bring an end to this present evil age, granted, is certainly something God could have done in a hypothetical, let's 'imagine' if we accept the premise that the universe and earth are old, sort of way, but what does our Lord and Savior tell us:

    'But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.' (Mark 10:6)

  4. Steve, no, I'm not doing anything that you say I am. I fear you've not read or understood my post. I am arguing against the *atheist* who says that the old age of the universe conjoined with man's late arrival is inconsistent with what we know of Christian theism. They claim that if Christian theism were true, then God would "start" man at the same time he "started" the universe, and not have this lengthy time lag. I provided a reason for why the empirical data the atheist says is true is perfectly consistent with Christianity. The atheist would need to say that my story could not be true. I am assuming a late date and time lag ad arguendo. I am not intending to discuss the actual age or the Bible's actual position. And I certainly am not intending to get into a debate over the age of the universe and the age of man with a 6-dayer. I don't find such discussions fruitful.

  5. Paul,
    Not fruitful because you can't defend your position from Scripture brother, or not fruitful because you already believe extra-biblical hypotheses have settled the matter?

    Please don't tell me it's because 6-dayers are rude, uncompromising, and over-zealous. Why, in fact, we're all 6-dayers aren't we? Doesn't Genesis 1 speak to one day, 2nd day, third day, 4th day, 5th day, 6th day, 7th day of rest? You must be a 6-dayer yourself when you read Gen. 1, just maybe not six normal 24 hour days like today, for example. Maybe six long periods of billions of years perhaps? Or is it the analogical or framework hypotheses view you take?

    I'm trying to rattle your cage a little bit brother Paul, but I think I'm wasting my time talking to an old earther and I'm not going to engage you further. You have the Word of God. I like what I've read of your 'other' work, by the way.

  6. Steve, yes, not fruitful because I can't defend my position from Scripture. (Thanks for the confirmation of why I won't debate 6-dayers!_

  7. Paul,
    Patronizing is unbecoming of you as a Christian. Please don't ever feel you need to apologize to young-earth creationists again. It smacks as a bit disingenuous.

  8. Steve Drake said:

    "Not fruitful because you can't defend your position from Scripture brother, or not fruitful because you already believe extra-biblical hypotheses have settled the matter? Please don't tell me it's because 6-dayers are rude, uncompromising, and over-zealous."

    It could be Paul doesn't find the debate fruitful for other reasons besides the ones you mention.

    For example, it's quite possible Paul is more than competent in defending his position from Scripture, but he has even greater strengths elsewhere and in other fields. Perhaps he utterly excels in philosophical theology or the historical Jesus or other topics.

    Perhaps the age of the earth issue is like his fourth strongest topic, but he only has so much time in a day to work on his top three.

    Perhaps Paul thinks there's a greater need in other areas of apologetics besides this one at the moment. So he rushes in to fill the gap where he sees a need.

    Perhaps he has obligations to the many people offline including family, friends, strangers, believers, unbelievers, etc. Perhaps he finds his time and talents better spent with people offline. Perhaps he only blogs or does other activities online when he has the time.

    The list goes on and on.

  9. Steve, I would apologize to your for my behavior, but since you're a young earth creationist, per your own direction I don't feel the need to.

    Anyway, you still don't grasp what the phrase "with apologies to" seems to mean. It wasn't meant as a slight as you seem to think. Oh well, I guess it's impossible to avoid running into people who get "offended" at any little thing. Our society waits to find things that "offend" them. Can't do anything without offending someone. Oh well.