Founding Principles of Geocreationism
Mike from Geocreationism.com, in his post on February 13, 2007, has given the following seven points as the founding principles of his viewpoint of creation vs. evolution:
- Science is accurate.
- Scripture is accurate.
- Young Earth Creationism is correct that Genesis 1 is literal and historical.
- Old Earth Creationism is correct that the earth is old.
- Gap Theorists are correct that there is a gap in the creation story (it’s Day 4 though, not Genesis 1:1)
- Day-age Theorists are correct that each day maps to an age.
- Theistic Evolutionists are correct that God caused mutations and allowed Natural Selection to occur. [source]
This seems to me as though Mike is starting with the assumption that everyone is correct and working on the premise that some sort of middle ground exists between the various viewpoints. That middle ground, which he calls Geocreationism, is the subject of his blog.
The crux of the matter, really, comes to how the reader answers the following question: For all of the competing theories, must someone necessarily be wrong? Obviously, Mike has decided to ride a seven-way fence by deciding that no one has to be wrong. But let’s take a closer look at Mike’s list and see if he is actually on to something.
First, as a student of human nature, I recognize that the order in which someone lists items is extremely important and reveals something about the nature of his underlying premise. For example, when receiving Christmas gifts from my wife’s family, I very well expect that such gifts will be To Jody and Cory. However, Christmas gifts from my side of the family are addressed To Cory and Jody. The reason for this should be obvious. When my side of the family sends a gift addressed first to my wife, I know that it is a gift that, while useful for both of us, is actually intended for her–such as a pastel colored set of towels. And when my name is listed first from her side of the family, likewise–the gift is usually something intended for spiritual development, which the husband ideally is in charge of.
So it is therefore significant to me that Mike lists science first, and Scripture second. The implication, from my perspective, is when science and Scripture meet in a place that has no reconciliation, I expect Mike will side with science. This is borne out by even a casual perusal of the Geocreationism blog, which is heavily pro-evolution. In fact, the site never doubts that humans evolved, however, it teaches that God used evolution as one means of creating the kinds of things He wanted.
This site does not teach Darwinian Evolution, but a variation where God introduces what he [sic] will, and then alternately lets the species tree grow wildly for a time, and then prune [sic] and graft [sic] until it looks like what He wants. He then lets the entire cycle go again, letting it grow, and pruning it back again. Evolution on the other hand is a continuous a process, where Natural Selection goes unchecked; I do not believe God lets nature go unchecked. He reigns it in. Regularly. Forcefully. Actively. Lovingly. In a similar fashion to how He maintains the Olive Tree of faith in Romans 11. That is the model for creation advocated here. [source]
Notice the inherent contradiction of this position already within only one paragraph: “. . . God introduces what he [sic] will, and then alternately lets the species tree grow wildly for a time, and then prune [sic] and graft [sic] until it looks like what He wants.” This is almost immediately followed by “I do not believe God lets nature go unchecked. He reigns it in. Regularly. Forcefully. Actively. Lovingly.”
Science 1, Scripture 0. See, mainstream science believes in natural selection as a process, and in order for Mike to make Scripture fit the science, he has to create a contradictory position where God lets nature take its course, but exercises meticulous sovereignty over it.
God cannot create a rock so big He couldn’t move it, because He can’t create something greater than Himself. He can’t make a square circle, simply because that is impossible to do within the geometric system He created. By allowing for free will, He necessarily allows for rebellion against His cause. Stark contrasts and opposites must exist within an orderly world, and God cannot create something that is defined by its opposite (such as a square circle, a triangle with five sides, or a greater deity than God Himself). This is the significance of separating Light from Darkness on Day One of Creation. The point here is that God cannot, by definition, allow something to propagate wildly by natural selection while also exercising meticulous sovereignty over it. This is logically, scientifically, theologically, and (most importantly) physically impossible.
Tomorrow, in part II of this series, I will take a closer look at each of the seven points.
Posted on July 19, 2007, in Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Science, Theology and tagged Creationism. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
Hope you don’t mind me responding to your welcome review of my site:
The reason I listed science first is because for Christians, my target audience, accepting the science is more controversial. Writing to atheists, I would have listed the scripture first. Just so you know.
Also, I would request that you address the olive tree analogy. If you argue that God cannot let something propagate wildly while also excercising meticulous sovereignty over it, then you need to explain why Romans 11 is not a problem. As I wrote in my blog, Romans 11 is my model.
>>The implication, from my perspective, is when science and Scripture meet in a place that has no reconciliation, I expect Mike will side with science.
To address this: I originally had trouble reconciling science with scripture when it came to the initial conditions of day 1. The scripture said that God was hovering the waters, in the dark. I found in science when this most likely was… 3.9 billion years ago. However, the science could only establish the darkness, and the waters were nowhere to be seen. I knew that the scripture was true, but was straining the science to make it fit, so I left it alone for a while.
Then, I found somewhat recent research that discovered zircon crystals from 4.4 billion years ago, which indicated (based on their process of formation) that there was in fact water 4.4 billion years ago. This added the water needed 3.9 billion years ago to the initial set of conditions for day 1, and I knew I had it.
I also didn’t know why it would be so dark. But, according to scripture, I knew it would be. It turns out that there were meteors bombarding the earth until 3.9 billion years ago, and that those meteors were powerful enough to vaporize the ocean. Combine the darkness of the resulting clouds with a sun that was only 75% the intenstiy it is today, and I had my initial conditions.
I am sure will find places in my writing where I initially give science the nod over scripture, but I can honestly say that here I gave scripture the nod over science.
I am glad you are analyzing my motivations, because understanding me will help you understand my writing better. However, you do not yet understand me.
This post reminded me of a book I’m reading now called Strange Creations about many of the crackpot claims about human origins. The first chapter, specifically, looks at “ancient astronauts” and alien breeding experiments, and it’s odd that many accept evolution, but that evolution does not apply to humans (humans being sub-gods/aliens or above apes, neither here nor there). While science and faith can be reconciled in some areas, at other times it just doesn’t work. It would be great if Stephen Jay Gould’s principle of Non-Overlapping Magisteria worked, but it simply does not; there will nearly always be conflicts. After I’m done with this book I’m going to dive into A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White (it’s actually online, here) if for no other reason to see what has happened in the past when the two have conflicted (I don’t expect it to be pretty).
Anyway, while I’ve been in support of theistic evolution in the past in one form or another, I’m not so sure anymore. At times I feel like it’s merely an attempt to give God something to do; to recognize scientific reality, but we need to make a job for God to do so he can be involved in the process. In my mind, however, he either was or was not involved, if there’s no way to tell we simply can’t say one way or another, and many of the attempts I’ve seen to reconcile science with the Bible aren’t violate both science and theology, just a little bit less on either side than saying it’s one or the other.
When looking for God in the science, I look for His motivation. After all, God could have done things in any way that He wanted, but He chose the way that He did. But, if you can see a pattern that fits something He does in scripture, then I would say you may have found something God did, and perhaps may understand why.
Sorry my reply is a bit late (I haven’t been checking back all day). The argument you make is a bit subjective, I’m afraid. Things might be consistent from your particular view of Christianity/theology, but I would imagine there would be some amount of disagreement depending on what “brand” of faith you have. On top of that, there’s no empirical way to prove what you assert one way or another; establishing correlation between a particular verse and a scientific fact does not prove causation or show us the “mind of God” as the “natural theologians” (i.e. Paley, Buckland, etc.) of centuries past tried to do. You might be right, you might be wrong, but it seems to me that there are far more inconsistancies between science and the Bible than there are things in common. Perhaps that is why God is not considered in scientific studies; as you say, if we’re dealing with a deity that could’ve done things “any way He wanted” then we’re dealing with motivation of a supernatural being that we do not have access to and that is beyond scientific testing, so it is more an issue of philosophy/theology than science. It might work on a personal level, but overall I think it’s fairly weak.
>>It might work on a personal level, but overall I think it’s fairly weak.
Then consider how the science and theology match:
I have found sequential periods in the earth’s history that correllate with the conditions described by the 7 days of creation, when the scripture is interpreted literally, and without cultural bias. The motivation I see in God’s actions merely fill in the blanks; it is not the foundation.