Creation Weekend 2023
It was like old times again! What a pleasure it was to hear our speaker, Dr. Gordon Wilson of New Saint Andrews College in Idaho, address us in person. And everyone appreciated the wonderful venue, Meadowlands Baptist Church, which provided excellent technical assistance as well as an attractive facility. The opportunity to chat with other people and to buy new book and DVD titles, were additional blessings.
On Friday evening October 27, Dr. Wilson introduced his keynote message Young Earth Creation with Confidence and Grace. Preliminary to the discussion, Dr. Wilson remarked that our modern culture is so permeated with old earth views, that any other position may strike hearers as patently ridiculous. It is in this cultural context he declared that we need to present our position in neither too defensive nor too aggressive a fashion, but “just right” with courage and empathy.
Sometimes even church leaders, anxious to appear relevant and sophisticated, may refuse to question reigning evolutionary worldviews. It is easy enough for everyone to seek after prestige and popularity by supporting the secular worldview, but the issue of truth is not so easily pushed aside. These worldly philosophies may lead to a cultural train wreck such as we see in society today, while those impacted by this culture may not even perceive the problem.
Firstly then, Dr. Wilson discussed what the Scriptures say pertaining to the age of the earth (which is a key issue when the message of the early chapters of Genesis is concerned.) The clear message of Genesis 1-11 is that God made everything in the space of six days. This message is packaged in historical narrative, the method of communicating a factual account. This genre does not exclude the use of literary devices such as chiasms, parallelisms and poetry. Such inclusions however do not deny the historicity of the account.
Thus, Dr. Wilson discussed the use of the Hebrew term yom which means day. That term is apparently used in the Hebrew only in conjunction with small numbers, not anything like millions of years. So, accommodations which try to incorporate millions of years into the creation account, are not warranted. Dr. Wilson also discussed the genealogies presented in Genesis 5 and 11 which describe the passage of time in terms of a couple of thousands of years from Adam to Abraham. Dr. Wilson’s conclusion here is that trying to work evolutionary interpretations into the Biblical narrative, does not work.
Dr. Wilson next considered what science indicates about the age of the earth. Firstly, he addressed the issue of fossilization. This proceeds only when organisms, once dead, are buried quickly, permanently and deeply. If scavenger organisms can access the carcasses, then the remains will soon rot away, even bones. These requirements were met in the past by energetic water currents carrying tremendous loads of sediment. That is why we do not see fossils forming today. Fossilization did not require millions of years and the great depths of sediment accumulated quickly, not over vast ages either.
The flat surfaces of so many bedding planes in sedimentary rock also testify to the rapid process of depositing these sediments. If there were a considerable time interval between the laying down of each layer, there would be erosion on the surface and disturbance by organisms. There was no erosion or bioturbation of the strata (layers) in the Grand Canyon, for example. These came down boom, boom, boom – one on top of the other. The whole thing accumulated quickly, not over millions of years.
Dr. Wilson next discussed the unreliable nature of assumptions that scientists must adopt to calculate a radiometric date for a rock. Finally, he discussed recent discoveries of soft tissue in dinosaur bones. The known rates of organic decay mean that no biomolecules from dinosaurs could last for even a million years, let alone for 70 million years!
Having established that Scripture and science both testify to young ages, Dr. Wilson provided insights on how to communicate this message to others. Firstly we must be good listeners to what others have to say, he declared. Then we are encouraged to share, in winsome fashion, what we know.
The next morning Dr. Wilson looked in detail at popular “pre-human” fossils which many people think prove human evolution. When each artifact is examined more closely, we see that none of them is transitional between humans and primates. In the afternoon Dr. Wilson presented Alphabet Soup: can biological building blocks become a living cell? With wonderful diagrams and some models (taken from children’s toys) Dr. Wilson delighted his audience with his critique of origin of life scenarios. Many people enjoyed this presentation the most, and so an inspiring series of presentations ended on an even higher note!
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