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Comment by Michael Aprile on 2006-07-17 at 14:27:04:
OJB. I really like exchanging ideas with you. I went to your website.
I find it interesting how you think. You say, "We know the age of the Universe because we can measure the distance to the most distant and ancient objects. Their light takes over 10 billion years to get here, so the Universe must be at least that age." So, by that reasoning: I know it takes me two days to travel from Texas to Kentucky. Therefore, Kentucky must be at least two days old. I am learning! But, what if "In the beginning, God created the heaven(s)...?" That would mean that the stars that were 10 billion light years away were created where they are in proximity to Earth in the first place. Hmmmmm??!!! If there is one thing I have learned about science and its so-called "knowledge" it is that it changes constantly. But, don't believe me, simply read its recorded history. The only thing that can be called absolute knowledge is that knowledge that does not change over time (or ever, for that matter).
Now then, the question is: Would you rather believe in so-called facts or knowledge that are not absolute (or those that will change over and over to some different conclusion with passing time) or would you rather consider a foundation for thinking (and perhaps believing) that is established upon absolute knowledge (unchanging, eternal fact)?
If you had ever studied Hebrew, you would have known that when Genesis refers to the creation of "heaven," it is not even referring to the ethereal heaven where some believe exist people with wings and harps, but rather two heavens (one below the water and the other above the water) that are the sky and space. I doubt that if you knew that you would have stated that they do not exist (even atheists concede that they do).
You contend that "the Old Testament stories are based on earlier myths," however, these so-called stories have been authenticated to the letter by many historians and archaeologists. No one doubts that they actually occurred or that the people in them existed. It is not healthy to select what authenticated history to believe or not to believe.
It seems like you need evidence of everything (within the confined limits of what you already know) before you will take the risk of accepting or believing it. I think it is wonderful that you want evidence. I am not sure what you define as evidence. For instance, I mentioned in my last comment how there were over 500 eye-witnesses (not at all believers, by any shake) who reported the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and you would not concede that as even plausible, let alone possible. Now that, by anyone's standards, is narrow thinking. I just wish that you would have given me the "[proof] by facts" that you said you have on your web site that "Genesis was wrong." All I read was your opinions and beliefs (conjecture, if you will) - there was no proof.
I am led to believe that the real question is not whether or not the Bible is the truth, but rather there is the honest question: if you did come to believe that what the Bible says is true, would there be anything you would have to change about your life.
I will leave you this time with the following question to answer, if you so wish (I realize you could refuse to even put this comment out on this blog). I will begin with some needed background and then conclude with the question.
In the book of Job, chapter 38 (which secular, non-religious historians date as to have been first written down a little over 3400 years ago), "God" is reported to have asked Job, "Have you entered into the springs of the sea? or have you walked in the search of the depth?" You can check my facts that de-pressurized diving helmets and suits did not come on the scene until the late 1800s or early 1900s and even then were not able to travel two or three miles down to the depth of the bottom of the oceans. Added to that fact is that no one had invented a light that would not implode if taken to those depths. It was reported in National Geographics Magazine, in 1997, that they finally developed a minature yellow two-man submergable that could explore those depths and that had powerful enough lights to endure the pressure and to light up an area down there that could cut through the emmence darkness to be able to see things. When they got down there, what they found was these springs or fountains (just as the author in the book of Job had reported). So my question is: How could the author of the book of Job know about these springs or fountains at the bottom of the ocean more than 3400 years prior to their discovery by oceanographers?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Comment by OJB on 2006-07-17 at 14:27:35:
You don't seem to quite understand what I am saying...
We know the galaxies exist because we see their light. Light travels at a certain speed and takes a certain time to get here. If the light got here it must have left that long ago. Therefore the galaxies must be at least that old.
To use your analogy: I know it takes me two days to travel from Texas to Kentucky. I have just travelled from Texas to Kentucky. Therefore Texas must be at least 2 days old. Do you get it now?
Let's get this sorted, then I'll deal with your other issues.
Comment by Michael Aprile on 2006-07-18 at 09:09:44:
What you are saying, regarding the age of the universe, is not difficult to understand... thank you for your kind concern about that though.
Yes, I have read http://owen2.otago.ac.nz/owen/XuOtherPhilosophy/ReligionAge.html thoroughly, and I find a great amount of "room to doubt" what is claimed there.
I seriously doubt the several assumptions in calculating both the distance to stars, planets, etc. and probable factors that have been overlooked in arriving at those calculations. It never ceases to amaze me how "scientists" imply that they have "knowns" that are actually (at the very best) wild guesses. For instance, NASA is constantly discovering that the principles, properties, and experiments found to be valid within the confines of the earth's atmosphere do not have the same results outside our stratosphere (in space). So, for scientists to extrapolate data, such as age and distance of stars, planets, and the like, in space, from data they tested and devised on earth, and then to apply them to outer space, is no better than guesswork and assumptions (and certainly not fact). The fact is that the best astrophysicists, scientists, and mathematicians will admit that the larger amount of what they “know” about space is still in the guesswork stage. I suggest seriously that, given enough time, scientists will change their minds about the age, distance, size, and consistency of stars, planets, and the like. I also suggest that they will find that age and even distance measurements, within the vacuum of space (which they will discover is not even constant), is variegated and irregular, being strongly effected by the magnetic fields, electrical properties, solar winds, and a multitude of other out-there factors. When this occurs, they will find the need to seriously adjust their so-called facts and figures regarding time, distance and space in outer space. I reckon, that as they begin to make these adjustments, they will find the age of creation to be between 6000 and 10000 years old. Whoever are our greatest grandchildren, in that age, will be strengthened in their faith in a Creator of the Universe.
May I just add the possibility that you overlooked the probability that, just as creationist (and the Bible) purport that Adam was created not as a baby, but as a full-grown man, maybe God created the stars already aged and their light already reaching the earth. Then what?
Comment by OJB on 2006-07-18 at 09:51:10:
I deliberately kept to simple physics which has not been seriously questioned and is accessible to everyone without complex maths and scientific understanding. There is practically no chance that there are unknown factors which could make it significantly wrong.
As for your idea that light was already in transit when the Universe was created. Well, that is possible, but it is a huge stretch of credibility. Why would god do that? To deliberately mislead us maybe?
There is also the fact that other factors, such as those I mentioned in the Big Bang section, also point to an old Universe. So the age of almost 14 billion years is supported by many independent streams, not just my analysis of the speed of light.
Comment by OJB on 2006-08-15 at 22:45:34:
OK, I heard no more from him. It looks like he finally realised the science is basically indisputable. The Universe really is that old - there's no room for serious doubt. Would any other creationist out there like to try to disprove this?
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