Evolutionism is a theory that badly needs refuting, but you’re not going to do it by telling me that the creation of man and the creation of the fruit fly were equally miraculous events …
OK, I promise not to do that, The Beauties Of Creation Hymn.
… nor by asserting vague reservations about the speed of light and the properties of matter.
These aren’t vague reservations, and this isn’t a peripheral issue. The laws of nature were not always what we observe today.
That’s not speculation, that’s the truth. The creation events, as you would certainly acknowledge, were supernatural (or pre-natural) processes, in which earthly matter came into existence ex nihilo. If a team of scientists looked upon the world just one year from the date of creation, set up their laboratory, and attempted to date the rocks (or whatever you imagine was there) based on the assumptions they use today, what do you think the results would have been? The results would be inaccurate because their assumptions would not be valid 5 Examples of Evolution.
Similarly, if the universe is expanding, is it not probable that the rate of expansion was different at the creation than it is today, and that the stars began their life much closer to earth than they are today, and that the light we see today has not come from the stars in their present location, and that the stars cannot tell us their true age because they cannot tell us their true distances?
Never mind that the speed of light depends upon the medium in which it travels, and that medium was obviously different when the stars were created than it is today. All of this is only to say that estimating the age of the earth, or of the universe, is something entirely different from dating an oak tree or a horse femur. We can’t use the same assumptions about natural processes when we are dating something that reaches back to creation itself. I don’t see anything the least bit controversial about that.
Arguments for Creationism
You need to say when these things were not what they are, based on some evidential necessity and not on your sense that the evidence doesn’t sit well with Revelation.
The Creation, the period of in-corrupt nature before the Fall, and the Deluge. These are the three historical times when it is certain that “nature” did not behave in the way we would expect from modern observations. Catholics have to keep this in mind when dating anything that may have been affected by them. Obviously, the age of the earth falls into this category. The evidentiary necessity is revelation itself. We know these things happened and that the laws of nature were impacted. Any scientific method that ignores them is suspect.
Do you really want a God who creates all things in maturity (which levels our sense of the miraculous), or who tinkers here and there frequently and unpredictably, thus rendering impossible our ability to distinguish the miraculous from the natural?
I don’t understand how this levels the sense of the miraculous.
Anyway, belief in a young earth does not require a God who perpetually and arbitrarily tinkers with nature so that nothing is predictable. This is required by theistic evolution, but not special creation.
If you want to defeat evolution, defeat it on its own terms, not on terms dictated by the possibilities of spiritual truths.
That seems to be the approach of the Intelligent Design movement, which is well and good if it succeeds. But that’s not my approach. The terms of evolution are ultimately flawed, so why should Catholics accede to them at all?
I agree that the “possibilities of spiritual truths” should not dictate the terms of the debate.
Rather, evolution can and should be defeated by all the material and historical truths that are available to us, no matter their source.
The problem with the ID crowd is that they generally want to exclude the facts of Christian revelation.