Evolution

Question:

What do you recommend Christian homeschool parents teach their kids about the Young Earth vs. Old Earth debate?

Answer:

WOW! Why didn’t you ask me an easy question, like how to explain nuclear physics to preschoolers.

Your question is basically the debate about, evolution vs. creationism.
I love archeology, paleontology, and geology. Do I believe everything I read about these sciences? No. In fact, I don’t believe many of ideas about dating fossils, and I do not support macro-evolution (the changing from one species to another). But, I love looking for fossils and seeing “Sue” the Tyrannosaurus Rex displayed in the Field Museum in Chicago was thrilling.

So, is the Earth old enough for  fossil fuels and diamonds to form millions of years? How about the Grand Canyon, is it the result of the Colorado River eroding the land for 6+ million years? Or, is the Earth young. If so,then  God created the Earth with fossil fuels, diamonds, canyons, mountains, etc…. already formed.

The late Carl Sagan, adamantly believed that the Earth is very Old because he believed evolution to be a fact. How could he be so dogmatic? What criteria did he used to base his beliefs on? In his book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Sagan described how one can could detect ideas that are nonsense. He called this the Art and Science of Bologna Detection.

No doubt, Sagan had a brilliant mind. So let’s look at the tools he used to determine that Creatism is bologna-nonsense, while evolution is absolutely correct.

• Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts. [In other words, more than just one person must confirm the facts. ]

• Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view. [UUM! Was the the “Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925?”]

• Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no “authorities,” at best there may be experts).

• Spin more than one hypothesis-don’t simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy. If there’s something to explain, try to think of all the different ways it could be explained, then think of the tests whereby you might disprove each of the alternatives.

• Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. Try to think of ways to prove it false. What are the best arguments against it?

[Have you ever read of an evolutionists trying to disprove evolution? It seems that Christians too often searching for evidence to confirm the truth of the Bible. ]

Quantify, wherever possible. Being able to assign numerical values to whatever you are attempting to explain makes it easier to evaluate and to choose among competing hypotheses. In the absence of the ability to make quantifiable measurements, the task becomes much more difficult.

• If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work, including the premise. [UUM!  The “MISSING LINK” comes to mind.]

• Occam’s razor – if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.

• Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?

So, which is correct–evolution or creatism?

Which idea is testable?

Which idea can others duplicate and get the same results?

NEITHER

It all boils down to what you have your faith and trust in–God or Chance?

As Christians, we use the Bible to support our belief in creationism. But the Bible is not a history or a science book.  Instead, from start to finish it presents the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the Good News about His Birth, His Life, His Death, His Resurrection, and His Assencion.

As Christians, do we teach our children about an Old Earth, or a New Earth? I have no problem with either of these ideas as long as they do not contradict God’s Word. Dinosaurs are fun to study. The Genesis Gap Theory  is interesting, but for me the bottom line is that I personally find it all interesting, but what is most important that we teach our children about  the Gospel –the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Thank you so much for your question. I hope to hear from you again.

Email other questions to askjanice@gwche.org.