an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

From the Comments, Trees Created With the Appearence of Age

A chap called Jacob (who hides his identity on Blogger) popped by to share his answers to some of the questions raised in my recent post ‘What Would a Created Universe Actually Look Like?’. In amongst some spectacular special pleading was the following response as to why his god would create trees with growth rings for years that had never happened.

“given that things would look weird and out of place if they did not look their appropriate age the moment they were created.” 

Hmmmm.

Hmmmmmmmmm.

My reaction in the comments ran along these lines. To whom would they appear ‘out of place’? Adam? Eve? Did they have an existing mental image of the insides of a tree that, if not mirrored around them by reality, would cause them to stop and say ‘hey! Wait a second, these trees look like they were only created this week! I’ve been hoodwinked, despite the fact that I should have expected to see trees that looked exactly like that!’

Really, what a stupid thing to say! For something to look weird or out of place it has to be comparable to something that existed previous to it, so that one can compare the two things. Given that Adam and Eve had no idea what a tree was ‘supposed’ to look like, and were fully aware that they’d been created by god, why would your god have any reason to create trees with an internal appearance of age?

Once again, you’re back to having to answer the question, one that casts serious doubt on the truth of your claims.

Good luck with that.

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10 thoughts on “From the Comments, Trees Created With the Appearence of Age

  1. Hey there, Alex! I feel honored to have a whole post about something I said in a comment. I'm not sure if that obligates me to respond, but I'll give it a shot.It seems you may be mistaken as to the intention behind what I wrote. That may be my fault for assuming it was obvious when perhaps it wasn't.My intention was simply to demonstrate that the Biblical Christian worldview can address most of those challenge questions within its worldview without running into inconsistency. It was not to convince you to accept those answers. Why would you, given that you operate within a very different worldview?You seem to ignore that my answers to your questions about that worldview come from within that worldview. They are not special pleading, they are merely an amateur attempt to demonstrate that the worldview handles such challenges just fine. You mock the answers from the safety of your own worldview, which seems strange if you were actually trying to solicit and understand how the Biblical Christian worldview responds to your challenge questions. Doesn't one have to stick their head into a given worldview, taking on its presuppositions, in order to perform an honest critique of it that demonstrates where it is internally inconsistent and thus not worthy of holding?Perhaps a better example of special pleading would be critiquing the CT worldview from outside and then not allowing for the CT worldview to demonstrate its consistency by answering said critique from within, but requiring they step outside of their worldview in order to do so?I'm not some scholarly apologist, so please don't take my words as representative of the best response that can be offered. I just noticed that many of your challenge questions directed at my worldview appear rather silly from where I'm standing and attempted to show why.God bless.

  2. Your world view seems to think that replying with absurdity is a valid way to do things.I feel very sorry for you.As for all this talk of 'world views', I suggest you read up about the Primacy of Existence, you might learn something.

  3. Alex,Since you have declined to answer my challenges under the "Questions for YECs" post, and then locked the comments on spurious grounds that the argument is "going round in circles" (which I can only take to mean that you don't want to answer the challenges that have been repeated posed but not answered) I have responded to your last response on this thread, which fortunately does reference your question about tree rings. QUOTE"I wasn't trying to prove anything, merely showing how ludicrous you claims are, as you're effectively making a claim for Last Thursday-ism (albeit a Thursday 6000 years ago)."END QUOTEAlex,I agree with you that Last-Thursdayism claims are ludicrous. But this is not about schoolboy solipsistic imaginings – this is about harmonising God's word in scripture with his revelation in creation.QUOTE""But you still don't answer the question as to how God could create an adult man without the "appearance of age"" That wasn't the question I asked,"END QUOTEAgain I agree with you – that wasn't the question that you asked. But it was the question that I asked of you. You have completely failed to address it!If I may be so bold as to remind you the question you asked boils down to "Why did God create things to look older than they actually are?"My point, arguing from Gosse, is that it is not possible create an adult man without the appearance of age, and by extension it is not possible to create a universe (or a tree to answer your specific example) without the appearance of age. That is why things look older than they actually are.Please persuade me that this is not a good response to your question.And if you choose to delete my comments that is your choice, but it seems to me that it reflects the insecurity of your arguments…Again with the greatest respect.Credo

  4. "My point, arguing from Gosse, is that it is not possible create an adult man without the appearance of age, and by extension it is not possible to create a universe (or a tree to answer your specific example)"A tree, or glacier, or rock, or blade of grass, or night sky can be completely functional without having to demonstrate the internal signs of aging. A tree can only have seasonal growth rings if there has been seasonal growth, there is no other reason. If we saw ancient trees with a solid core, wrapped in subsequent layers of growth rings then we would have powerful support for creation. That we don't see this at all, and DO see growth rings going back many thousands of years, completely undermines the idea of a 6 day creation 6000 years ago. A tree might look 'old' on the outside, but why would your god create it to look old on the inside, if not to give a false impression of age?Even John Woodmorappe at Answers in Genesis thinks claiming that your god made things to look old is a non-starter (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v4/n1/biblical-chronology-bristlecone-pine), and goes on to recognise that there are significant problems for creationism when it comes to trees. Please tell me, in what way would a tree that was designed to look fully adult from the outside be different from a tree that actually WAS that old, if you ONLY looked at it from the outside? Furthermore, please provide evidence that growth rings are needed for a tree to function.Young Earth Creationism is not supported by multiple sources of evidence that can be cross referenced with each other, and is intellectually immature.As for the night sky, if we'd never seen further into the Universe than 6000 light years, that again would be strong evidence for Creation, and (and this is very important) WE WOULD NOT THINK THIS UNUSUAL, as we'd have nothing 'normal' to compare it against. It serves zero purpose to 'fool' us into thinking the universe is older than it is, and the night sky does not need a fully visible universe to be 'functional'.

  5. And if we look at man – why would Adam and Eve have navels? To make them 'appear' to be born of human parents? To what end? They didn't need fooling into thinking they had parents, as they knew full well they'd been created! To prevent them looking 'weird'? Compared to what? The other humans that weren't yet alive?A human being could appear to be fully adult without a navel. Please provide some evidence that an adult human could not function successfully without a navel (here's some evidence that seems to show a navel isn't needed http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7738144.stm)What we're left with is either a very ancient Earth, or a trickster god – which would YOU rather believe in?

  6. Alex,Thank you for your more considered responses to my comments.You appear to be arguing that things could have been created without the appearance of age, and still be functional. That is certainly true.But if we need to harmonise a belief in God's revelation in His word with the findings of science then the notion that God had to create things with the appearance of age seems to me to be a very good way to do it. Your argument that God could have done it differently is intriguing, but I still have to wonder what a newly created adult man would be like if he were not created with the appearance of age (and it's not just about navels!)If you could for a moment imagine that God created the universe and all that is in it, and man just 6,000 years ago without the appearance of a past history what would you expect to see?An adult man who was like a newborn baby – unable to speak or walk, or feed himself, incontinent? This is not how Adam is portrayed in Genesis. A night sky where new stars appear every night as light reaches us from 6000+ light years away? This is not what we see.Therefore the only reasonable way to harmonise scripture and science is to believe that God created the universe with the appearance of age.It is good to discuss these things with you.With respect,Credo

  7. "You appear to be arguing that things could have been created without the appearance of age, and still be functional. That is certainly true."I'm glad you see this."But if we need to harmonise a belief in God's revelation in His word with the findings of science then the notion that God had to create things with the appearance of age seems to me to be a very good way to do it."No! That's the thing! If the Universe were created 6000 years ago and appeared that way, then science and scripture WOULD be in harmony! The findings of science would ENTIRELY match the teachings of the Bible! You wouldn't be having to desperately beg for absurdity to be taken seriously if it were that way! In fact we wouldn't be having this conversation at all. Reading through what you've written there it seems you think your god had to make things look like they are so that our *subsequent discoveries* over the last couple of thousand years would match what we NOW see! That makes literally no sense. "If you could for a moment imagine that God created the universe and all that is in it, and man just 6,000 years ago without the appearance of a past history what would you expect to see?"Let's think about that (and this is pasted from a previous post of mine) – # As the Solar System is created, there would be no meteors or asteroids or any other pieces of rubble left over from the naturalistic origins of our immediate corner of the Milky Way# As woman is created from the rib of Adam, there would be no Mitochondrial DNA# We would not see any stars any further than 6000 light years away from the Earth, and would be seeing a gradual increase in stars in the night sky as time passes and the light from more distant objects reaches us (even Answers in Genesis think that the argument of Tired Light – that is light created en route at the moment of creation – is a non-starter, as it makes a liar out of their god)# Digging down through ice sheets would result in us finding a single solid layer, as yearly build up would not have happened up until this point (again, to claim that the Christian god made things appear ancient is to make a liar of their deity)# Likewise ancient trees or fossils of trees would be found that had a solid central core, the result of their creation, before growth rings showing as a result of the beginning of seasonal growth"An adult man who was like a newborn baby – unable to speak or walk, or feed himself, incontinent? This is not how Adam is portrayed in Genesis."Being able to create a man to look and act like an adult is not the point I'm making. What I'm looking at is things that DON'T NEED to be apparently 'old' or 'mature' to be fully functional."A night sky where new stars appear every night as light reaches us from 6000+ light years away? This is not what we see."Indeed, and we don't see that because the Creation story isn't true."Therefore the only reasonable way to harmonise scripture and science is to believe that God created the universe with the appearance of age."Or, if we are to apply occam's razor, the only reasonable assumption is to realise that Young Earth Creationism is untenable.

  8. You seem to be saying that your god had to make things look old so that they would look old when we subsequently discovered them….and that they HAD to look old, because our discoveries were of old things!Can you see how circular and frankly insane that is?

  9. Alex,Alex,I take your point that if the world appeared to be just 6000 years old then there would be no need for this argument – scripture and nature would agree.But I accept the findings of science. And if I want to also accept Christian scripture I must find a way to make their teachings harmonise with science. It doesn't seem unreasonable to use the appearance of age argument.Non of your listed things persuades me otherwise – they are part of the appearance of age.Mitochondrial DNA is a strange one. Cells have mitochondria as a source of energy and if Eve was created out of Adam's rib she would share his mitochondria. I don't get your assertion that if woman was created out of the rib of Adam there would be no mitochondrial DNA. Doesn't make sense. Please elaborate. It's true that mitochondrial DNA is inherited exclusively from the mother because sperm cells are too small to incorporate mitochondria, but how does that affect a woman cloned from a man's rib?You may think that my arguments wrong, but if I want to accept modern science and still accept the ancient wisdom found in the God's word, what alternatives do I have? Thank you for your responses,With respect,Credo

  10. "but how does that affect a woman cloned from a man's rib?"I think that the moment you start asking questions like that with a straight face, that's the time you need to radically reconsider your beliefs."if I want to accept modern science and still accept the ancient wisdom found in the God's word, what alternatives do I have?"Plenty of Christians accept that the Creation story is dead wrong, and you're admitting that reality doesn't chime with Genesis. As before, I'd suggest you re-evaluate your beliefs, decide what's important, and ditch the stuff that's absurd.

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