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Science suggests that the earth is millions of years old, and many Christians accept this premise. Instead of accepting that God created everything in six days, they accept the finding of scientists based on "scientific evidence".

I am a literal interpretation Christian, and I have strong faith that God created the world in six days, less than ten thousand years ago. I believe that when Christians accept science, they do not trust God's Word as much as they trust Man's word.

Is it fair to make the statement that scientific findings are a test of faith?

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closed as not constructive by Bruce Alderman, Flimzy, warren, DJClayworth, Ray Sep 15 '11 at 22:27

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Are you seeking a specific viewpoint or are you open to all viewpoints? It could dramatically change the answers and responses to this question if you are only looking for a YEC viewpoint. –  Richard Sep 15 '11 at 15:39
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actually, re " and tell about how they want to destroy religion" - most Humanists etc are only against the priveleged association of religion, i.e. that it somehow gets special treatment re laws, public policy, education, etc. –  Marc Gravell Sep 15 '11 at 15:46
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@Jonathon: Are you genuinely interested in hearing other perspectives, or are you just trolling? –  Bruce Alderman Sep 15 '11 at 16:43
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I'm really not sure what this question is getting at. I think the simple answer is "Yes--anything that presents evidence that disagrees with your convictions is a test of faith." But I don't think that's a useful answer, because it doesn't address any real issue. It's just making an observation in a vacuum. –  Flimzy Sep 15 '11 at 17:27
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amazon.com/Science-Grace-Reign-Natural-Sciences/dp/1581345496/… a book written by 2 profs at my college reflecting on the supposed conflict between faith and science. Good further reading if anyone is interested in the subject. –  wax eagle Sep 15 '11 at 17:42
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I don't think the world was created in such a complex way that there are always new discoveries to be made just to test our faith. I would say that God can use scientific discoveries to help us test and fortify our own faith.

I think Proverbs 25:2 can be applied here. I believe scientific discoveries are really just discovering what God has hidden.

Is it really a surprise that God would create the universe with order in a way that it can be discovered? While the scientists are undeniably intelligent, God is infinitely more intelligent. I believe as long as we have this universe there will also be something new to discover, either smaller than the smallest or greater than the greatest. I'm sure God can create the universe to operate beyond our comprehension.

Proverbs 25:2 NIV
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

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+1 Wow. That is an excellent Proverb. Nice find. –  Richard Sep 15 '11 at 15:40
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And when discovery disagrees with scripture? –  Marc Gravell Sep 15 '11 at 16:11
    
@Marc Gravell I'll leave the answer to that to Peter Turner's answer. –  a_hardin Sep 15 '11 at 16:16
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That's a good question but one you already know the answer to.

The LORD then answered Job and said: Will one who argues with the Almighty be corrected?

Job 40 (NABRE)

There is no sense arguing with God and His Creation.

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said: Gird up your loins now, like a man. I will question you, and you tell me the answers! Would you refuse to acknowledge my right? Would you condemn me that you may be justified?

Furthermore man has no right or justification for questioning God's creation.

Let creation be a mystery and leave it at that, it should still be compatible with your faith to say to say, "I don't fully understand the biblical account of creation".

Scientists plumbing the depths of what it is possible to know seem to be consistently finding that there is more stuff that they didn't even know that it was possible to know even while they prove that they now know things they previously said were impossible to know in the first place.

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One should be mindful of 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 (ESV):

20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good.

and of Proverbs 14:15 (ESV):

The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

and of Proverbs 4:5-7 (ESV):

5Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. 6Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

These provides some support for the idea that faith is not meant to replace evidence or common sense entirely. Thus, if you read Deuteronomy 14:7, ESV:

Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you.

and you go find that hares neither chew cud nor do they have cloven hooves, you don't assert that hares do actually chew cud but don't when anyone is looking in order to test us, but instead decide that you were perhaps interpreting the passage wrong; maybe "chew cud" was intended just to mean "eat grass", or was a more poetic way of getting the point across: don't eat hares, even if you think they fall under the earlier rule of allowed animals.

So do not be too sure that the test, if there is one, is to believe one interpretation of, say, Genesis 1, in the face of massive, overwhelming evidence. Maybe instead the test, to the extent that there is one, is to pay attention to the overwhelming evidence and think more deeply about why Genesis 1 is written the way it is.

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Actually rabbits do chew the cud. It passes out as stool and they re-eat it. Something that God knew that we're just learning. –  Jonathon Byrd Sep 15 '11 at 23:48
    
"massive, overwhelming evidence" is completely debatable. Considering all of the evidence is based on itself. –  Jonathon Byrd Sep 15 '11 at 23:50
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@Jonathon Byrd - That is not the typical definition of "chewing cud". One can, of course, seek alternate definitions. Anyway, rock badgers (rock hyraxes, I assume) don't even do that. But if you think all the evidence is based on itself, you don't understand the evidence. Radioisotope ratios are unconnected with geological strata which are unconnected with the distance to stars and the speed of light which are unconnected with genetic diversity and allele distributions which are unconnected with the temperature of nebulae which are (etc. etc.), all of which point to a much older universe. –  Rex Kerr Sep 16 '11 at 8:54
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I take the general approach that, "The honest pursuit of truth will always lead you to God". We are living in the creation of God, after all. The problem is, we are not smart enough to understand and interpret what we find, and we fill in the blanks with our own agenda. Old earth, young earth, or somewhere in between... I don't know, but as our understanding of HONEST science increases, I believe it will undoubtedly point to the God we have faith in. I do not believe that science as a rule should be disregarded whenever it challenges our faith.

In the meantime, this is a hard question to answer and not offend someone's belief. I have a scientific mind, and tend to think that our Earth is probably older than the "young" earth theory holds. I don't believe we have all the evidence to conclude one way or the other. Perhaps the nature of time has changed since the creation; things were happening very fast in the beginning, and it's plausible that a human perception/understanding of time has changed. Perhaps there are nuances in the language in the Old Testament regarding figurative or concrete interpretations that may have some relevance.

I do know that God is not afraid of our questions, and it is not a sign of weak faith to ask God for answers. You may even argue that asking God for answers is a sign of strong faith. It could possibly be there are answers and hints in the world He created.

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"I don't believe we have all the evidence to conclude one way or the other." Every time I read that sentence it's just a sign you either didn't research the evidence for yourself or choose to ignore it. –  Sven Sep 17 '11 at 18:22
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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth –  Sven Sep 19 '11 at 13:40
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That was better, thank you. It's a good read, but I will need some time to absorb it and have a look at the references. Keep in mind that radiometric dating does make assumptions, and is not above scientific questioning. For instance, the amount of "daughter" isotopes present in the sample is assumed to have a known original amount, and the rate of radioactive decay is assumed to be constant, and the system is assumed to be "closed", meaning no isotopes are added or lost. I feel your certainty takes faith, just like a YEC's explanation of creation requires faith. –  Andy J Sep 19 '11 at 14:36
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It takes no faith if the results are confirmed and reproduces by a lot of independent scientists and scientific fields. If you read more about radiometric dating you will find, that there are certain factors that needs to be considered and thus the age of earth is not perfectly known, but differs a good +/- 400-500M years. Btw, you are welcome in the chat, there is even one for creationists (and one for question to atheists) where I would be happy to inform you further :) –  Sven Sep 19 '11 at 14:44
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I appreciate the info, And I think we feel the same way about the age of the Earth. I think we just have different opinions on the "infallibility" of our current science. To be honest, I responded because I was a bit offended by your original comment, not to argue the science. Keep in mind that opinions are numerous and to insult someone for theirs is not constructive. It was a pleasure "chatting" with you here. God Bless. –  Andy J Sep 19 '11 at 14:58
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