Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Ok - the much admired Bill Nye the Science Guy of Disney Channel fame has recently waded into the origins controversy with a short 'talking head' slot on the 'Big Think' YouTube Channel.
Sadly, given Bill's great pedagogic skill of packing wacky facts into short memorable soundbites, two and a half minutes are more than enough time for him to expose considerable 'custard-brains' on this particular subject!
His very first sentence is a blatant fallacy which betrays astonishing misconceptions of the creation/evolution controversy:
Bill Nye: "Denial of evolution is unique to the United States..."
Hmmm...regrettably that is:
ABSURDLY WRONG! Historically, protesting against the ideology of evolutionary humanism actually began long ago in the Mediterranean Middle-East where some of the first recorded rationalistic philosophies were constructed. This protest set a deep and rich historical precedent in the second and third centuries anno Domini - which heavily influenced subsequent centuries.
Using Holy Scripture, the early church fathers utterly refuted the Ionian Greek philosophers who often argued (via proto-evolutionary notions) that the world was ancient or even eternal. These creation apologists included: Barnabas (b. AD 100), Irenaeus of Lyons (ca AD 120-202), Clement of Alexandria (c AD 150-215), Julius Africanus (c AD 160-240), Hippoplytus of Rome (AD 170-236), Theophilus of Antioch (c AD 180), Origen (AD 185-253), Methodius (AD 260-312), Lactantius (ca AD 260-330), Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 263-339), Victorinus of Pettau (d. ca AD 304), Ephrem the Syrian (AD 306-373), Epiphanius of Salamis (AD 315-403), Basil of Caesarea (AD 329-379), Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430), Cyril of Jerusalem (d. AD 387), Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397), Bede of Northumbria (AD 673-735) and John of Damascus (ca AD 675-749). ALL these teachers understood the seven days of the creation week as EITHER normal, literal 24ish-hour days OR corresponding (in an eschatological-typological sense) to seven ages of a 7,000 year world history. ALL these early teachers, therefore, without exception, were explicitly and unequivocally Young-Earth Creationists - contrary to the fatuously ignorant (and often pernicious) claims of old-earth heretics.
During the Middle Ages the received biblical tradition (clearly taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Mark 10:6, Mark 13:19-20 and Luke 11:50-51)) of a Young Cosmos was maintained by (among others) Peter Lombard of Paris (d. AD 1164), Hugo of St. Victor (AD 1097-1141), Thomas Aquinas (AD 1225-1274) and Giacomo Filippo Foresti da Bergamo (AD 1434-1520).
During the Ages of Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment (including the Early Modern Period), a full-bodied Young Earth Creationist doctrine was faithfully maintained by many authorities of repute in Science and Theology.
These included: Johannes Werner (AD 1468-1522), Martin Luther (AD 1483-1546), Wolfgang Musculus (AD 1497-1563), Philip Melanchthon (AD 1497-1560), Peter Martyr (AD 1499-1562), Heinrich Bullinger (AD 1504-1575), John Calvin (AD 1509-1564), Rodolphus Gualterus (AD 1519-1586), Francois Hotman (AD 1524-1590), Benito Arias Montano of Spain (AD 1527-1598), Zacharias Ursinus (AD 1534-1583), Joseph Scaliger (AD 1540-1609), Guillaume Salluste DuBartas (b AD 1544), Francisco Suarez (AD 1548-1617), Hugh Broughton (AD 1549-1612), Gervase Babington (AD 1550-1610), Lancelot Andrewes (AD 1555-1626), William Perkins (AD 1558-1602), Annotations from the Geneva Bible of AD 1562, Andrew Willet (AD 1562-1621), Johannes Polyander (AD 1568-1646), Johannes Kepler (AD 1571-1630), Henry Ainsworth (AD 1571-1622), Thomas Gataker (AD 1574-1654), William Ames (AD 1576-1633), John Diodati (AD 1576-1649), Rabbi Lipman (AD 1579-1654), John Richardson (AD 1580-1654), James Ussher (AD 1581-1656), Petavius of France (AD 1583-1652), the Irish Articles of AD 1600, John Trapp (AD 1601-1669), John Lightfoot (AD 1602-1675), George Hughes (AD 1603-1667), Roger Drake (AD 1608-1669), Francis Roberts (AD 1609-1669), John Owen (AD 1616-1683), the Annotations of Dordt of AD 1619, Thomas Manton (AD 1620-1677), Thomas Watson (AD 1620-1686), Francis Turretin (AD 1623-1687), the Dordrecht Confession of 1632, Ezekiel Hopkins (AD 1633-1689), Thomas Vincent (AD 1634-1678), the Haak Bible of AD 1637, William Beveridge (AD 1637-1708), Niels Steensen of the Netherlands (AD 1638-1686), Isaac Newton (AD 1643-1727), the Westminster Confession of Faith of AD 1646, the Westminster Annotations of 1657, Johann Osiander of Germany (AD 1657-1724), the Congregational Savoy Declaration of AD 1658, Mathew Henry (AD 1662-1714), John Woodward (AD 1665-1722), Thomas Ridgeley (AD 1667-1734), Thomas Boston (AD 1676-1732), the Baptist London Confession of AD 1689, John Gill (AD 1697-1771), John Wesley (AD 1701-1791), Johann Lehmann (AD 1719-1767) and Alexander Catcott (AD 1725-1779).
In the Modern Age, orthodox Young Earth Creationist teaching continued with tenured, erudite Scientists and Theologians such as: Richard Kirwan (AD 1733-1812), Thomas Scott (AD 1747-1821), Andrew Fuller (AD 1754-1815), Thomas Gisborne (AD 1758-1846), Granville Penn (AD 1761-1844), George Bugg (AD 1769-1851), Adam Clarke (AD 1772-1832), Richard Mant (AD 1776-1848), George Young (AD 1777-1848), George D'Oyly (AD 1778-1846), Andrew Ure (AD 1778-1857), John Murray (AD 1786-1851), George Fairholme (AD 1789-1846), Michael Faraday (AD 1791-1867), William Rhind (AD 1797-1874), Franz Pieper (AD 1852-1931), George McReady-Price (AD 1870-1963), Louis Berkhof (AD 1873-1957), Valentine Hepp (AD 1879-1950), Herman Hoeksema (AD 1886-1965), and Henry M. Morris (AD 1918-2006).
Present-day Scientists and Theologians who protest evolutionary deep time all over the world are too many to list on a short blog article such as this! Furthermore, individual protests have multiplied such that since the year 1865, when the Victoria Institute began a powerful critique of Darwinism in England, a whole variety of scientific institutions, charities and think-tanks have arisen to critique evolutionary theory across the globe. One of the first was the Evolution Protest Movement founded in 1932:
(see: https://www.csm.org.uk/whoweare.php for further information).
A list of just some of the more recent groups providing counter-evidence and alternative explanations can be found online here:
Bill Nye: "Once in a while I get people that really...or that claim, they don't believe in evolution. And my response generally is why not? - really - why not? Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution..."
Answer: Well, Bill, quite apart from the illustrious heritage of Bible believing saints, scholars and hard-nosed empirical scientists outlined above (all of whom rejected evolutionary history with its logical positivist or Hegelian historicist world-views) there is a large and growing body of evidence that suggests evolution over billions of years never actually happened!
Personally, I think a potentially fantastically complicated world-view (such as orthodox Christian Theism can become given hard study of both natural and special revelation) is a rather exciting prospect for any student to consider in Science class! A 'world-view' is, after all, meant to be a view of the 'whole world' isn't it? And this planet is a rather complex and diverse place to live on don't you think?!
Let's allow parents, teachers and students a little freedom to ponder these great issues no?!? The History of Science certainly has something to teach us all! Or are your motives, along with Sagan, more ideologically-driven than you really make out? :-) Go figure...
Jackson, P.W. (2006:14-19). The Chronologers' Quest: The Search for the Age of the Earth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kulikovsky, A.S. (2009:59-84). Creation, Fall, Restoration: A Biblical Theology of Creation. Scotland: Christian Focus Publications.
Mortenson, T. and Ury, T. (2008:53-89). Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth. Arizona: Master Books.
Sarfati, J. (2004:107-139). Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of "Progressive Creationism". Arizona: Master Books.
Posted by The Absent-Minded Avatar at 17:45