ANSWERS TO THE “FABNAQ”
By Douglas B. Sharp
I’d like to present to you a document called the ‘FABNAQ’ (Frequently asked but not answered questions). It is not written by me, its written by a Tom Scharle whom I do not know personally. However, I came across this document and since it interested me, I kept it.
When I stumbled over your home page, I immediately knew that if anyone could answer these questions, it’s you.
Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions
directed to scientific creationists, young-earth creationists and their fellow travelers
Comment: First of all, the assertion that these questions are “Never Answered” is incorrect, and it shows that the writer is either unaware of the vast amount of creationist literature available to answer these questions, is unwilling to read it, or simply doesn’t like the answers given.
- Is there any reason to believe in your theory rather than some other version of creationism?
It is true that there are many different theories of creation, and Christians disagree as to what model is correct, just as there are many different ideas about evolution. This is because we do not have a complete picture of the scientific evidence, nor do we necessarily interpret the Bible the same way. As Christians, we all have the responsibility to treat the Bible with respect as God’s word. We who have learned that God’s word is trustworthy elsewhere believe it is best to read the Bible in a straightforward fashion, literally where it is meant to be literal, and figurative where it is meant to be figurative. How do we tell the difference? We ask God through the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the truth. Now even with that we can be fooled, knowing that our heart has a natural tendency to reject the things of God (See Romans chapter 1). But He gives grace to those who approach Him like a little child, and I believe if you give the Bible to a child and ask him to tell you what it means, he will not come up with an idea that the earth is millions of years old. It is clear from the scripture if you read it in a straightforward fashion, that it is talking about a literal six day creation with an evening and a morning, and that the “beginning” according to God took place just before the creation of Adam and Eve.
Some creationists attempt to reconcile evolution with the scripture in various ways, and I do not fault them for trying to make peace between two conflicting camps. But I think that their efforts are futile, and create more theological problems than they solve. Some believe that the days of creation are indefinite periods of time, others believe there was a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and try to fit the millions of years of evolution there. Others reject evolution altogether, but believe in an ancient cosmos. Still others make a case for a young cosmos as well. Although we do not have definitive answers for everything, we believe that the strongest and most exciting research is coming from the young earth creationists. See chapter 2 of my book: “Fault-Finding” Chapter 3: “Which Model is Best?”
1.a. If you believe that some animals — for example, dinosaurs – were not saved on the Ark, explain why you believe the Bible is incorrect.
We do believe that dinosaurs were saved on the Ark, mostly as young or eggs. We believe that they grew to enormous sizes with long life (900 years) before the flood, but gradually became extinct after the flood due to the change in climate and accumulation of harmful mutations. Many creatures, including reptiles, do not stop growing as they age. This would explain the enormous sizes of the creatures found in the fossil record, but not today. The word “dinosaur” was not invented until the early 1800’s, but there are many creatures described in the Bible that fit the description, and many legends of giant reptiles called “dragons” from ancient literature all over the world from a diverse group of cultures. We believe that these legends describe the same creatures, many of which may have survived through the Middle Ages. Look up the word “leviathan”, “behemoth”, and “dragon” in the Bible and see if the description matches that of the dinosaur.
1.b. Why are many Christians evolutionists?
1c) If you are a young-earth creationist: Why are many creationists old-earth creationists?
1d) If you are a young-life creationist: Why are many creationists old-life creationists? Huh?
Just because a person has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and savior of his life, it does not necessarily mean that he automatically becomes perfectly knowledgeable or smart or right in all things. There is quite a bit of pressure on young people to accept evolution, and many of them do not give it much thought as to the impact on their faith.
1e) Some people say that scientific creationism does a disservice to Christianity by holding Christianity up to ridicule. How would you answer that charge?
Jesus Christ himself was despised and rejected of men. We believe the creation message to be the truth. Whether or not it looks good in the eyes of men does not matter. I am certain that if Jesus Christ were to appear before a panel of scientists, he would not adjust his answers to appear scientific; he would speak the truth. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).
2) Is there any observation which supports any feature of your theory?
(An adequate answer to this question will *not* be something which is a problem for evolution, but is rather evidence *for* your theory. Remember that it is logically possible for both evolution and your theory to be false. Something which appears to support Lamarkian evolution rather than Darwinian, or punctuated equilibrium rather than gradualism is not enough. Also, the observation must be something which can be checked by an independent observer.)
First of all, the indirect proof IS adequate evidence. Falsifying alternate theories leaving yours as the only one left is a valid means of logic. The question I would ask is what evidence are you prepared to accept that God exists? You know that no matter how much you know, there is always much more that you don’t know. It is like the mystery movie on TV. You are sure that the butler did it, and half way through the movie, you know that the butler did it. Then, ten minutes before the end, you are presented with all this evidence you didn’t know, and was hidden from you, and the butler didn’t do it after all.
As far as I am concerned, the best proof that God created the universe is deduced from design evidence, especially at the biochemical level. Proteins need DNA to reproduce, DNA needs DNA polymerase (a protein) to form. The incredible manufacturing process that produces proteins in the cell is self sustaining, self repairing, and interdependent. The chemical reagents needed to produce DNA conflict with the chemical reagents needed to produce amino acids, and there is no adequate scenario for which chemical evolution to occur. Mutations are a dead end for creating new genetic information; they kill the process, much like changing a letter of a computer program will produce a bug.
If you were to observe a person sitting on a chair, you would not deduce that the chair came about by accident. It has obviously been created. Yet, the genetic information that programs the structure of the person sitting in the chair, if laid out end for end, stretches several times to the moon and back, but would collapse into an area no bigger than a teaspoon. How can we say that the chair, which is infinitely less complex than the man sitting in it, was created where the person evolved? For more information see chapter 5.
2a) Is there any observation which was predicted by your theory?
Biochemists are no closer to an explanation for the origin of life than they were in 1969 when I first started to investigate this issue. I observed back then that the chemical components of life were too interrelated and interdependent to have arisen independently and come together to form life. One of the foremost proponents of chemical evolution back then, Dr. Dean Kenyon, is now a creationist.
3) Is there any comprehensive and consistent statement of your theory?
Three excellent books come to mind: “The Genesis Record” by Henry M. Morris, “In the Minds of Men” by Ian Taylor, and “Of Pandas and People” by Percival Davis and Dean Kenyon.
(The suggestion that major points are still under investigation will only be accepted for theories that are relatively recent. Any exposition which cannot be distinguished from solipsism or nihilism will not be accepted.)
3a) Is there any statement of the scientific (or other) rules of evidence which you accept? (If your answer is that some document is your guide, explain the rules for interpreting the document, and your rules for determining which document is your guide.)
The Bible is my ultimate authority, and it is to be interpreted in a straightforward manner, that is where it is meant to be literal, it is literal, and where it is figurative or poetic, it is not to be taken literally (i.e. “the trees will clap their hands”). The wisdom to know the difference comes with knowing the author (God) through a personal relationship and trusting Him to guide you to all truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man can come to the Father but by me.” Similarly unless scientific evidence is approached in the same way, “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” we are likely to fall short of the truth. No matter how much we know, there is more to learn. We solve one problem and introduce six more. And since most of us are short both in our ultimate wisdom and knowledge, and in our relationship with the Lord, all we can hope for is to have a partial view of the total picture, and trust Him for the rest.
4) Why is there the remarkable coherence among many different dating methods — for example: radioactivity, tree rings, ice cores, corals, supernovas — from astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry and archeology? (This is not answered by saying that there is no proof of uniformity of radioactive decay. The question is why all these different methods give the *same* answers.)
See my article on Assumptions of Radiometric Dating.
4a) Explain the distribution of plant and animal fossils. For example, the limited distribution of fossils of flowering plants.
John Woodmorappe’s Studies in Flood Geology is an excellent discussion of this issue. For the example you use, during the flood of Noah, flowering plants would tend not to fossilize. They would be buried in layers as the flood waters subsided after floating for days in mats of vegetation. Fossilization does not occur today except under very special conditions where the specimen is buried quickly and under conditions where the bones are replaced by minerals. You do not see fossilized road kill, do you? Or fossilized buffalo? But you do see marine fossils on top of mountains, and strangely enough, Precambrian rock can be found at some of the highest elevations in the United States: at Glacier National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Porcupine Mountains. Fossils in these layers correspond to the very base of evolution, but they certainly do not fit the pattern of the oldest layers being on the bottom.
5) Is there any feature of your theory which is subject to scientific test? This is often stated: is creationism scientific in the sense that it *could* be falsified? (After Karl Popper’s criterion.) Another way of phrasing it is: is there any kind of observation which, if it were seen, would change your theory?
Is there anything that occurred in the past that is now subject to scientific test using our senses in the present? Our scientific method is woefully inadequate to investigate the past; instead we must rely upon forensic science to provide evidence for what might have occurred. Evolutionary theory suffers from a similar problem.
5a) Is there any observation which *has* changed your theory?
Most creationists have abandoned the idea of the water vapor canopy as the source for the waters of the Flood of Noah. Instead, they favor the idea that most of the flood waters originated from subterranean sources. The mechanics of keeping all the water in orbit proved to be too problematic. Now that does not mean that a canopy didn’t exist, but it did not exist to the extent previously believed. Within young-earth creationist thinking, there are different schools of thought that have different perspectives, and the fact that we do not agree on all things just points out our mortality and lack of omniscience.
5b) Is your theory open to change, and if so, what criteria are there for accepting change?
Certainly our perspective of what happened when the world came into existence is woefully limited, and it is possible that we are wrong. Change is just part of the learning process.
6) Why is there the present distribution of animals and plants in the world? How is it that marsupials are restricted to Australia and nearby islands and the Americas, monotremes to Australia, and few placental mammals are native to Australia? Why are tomatoes and potatoes native to the Americas only? (This is not a question merely of how they could have arrived there, it is also of why *only* there.)
We believe that the original “wild-type” organisms that got off the ark of Noah underwent a great deal of diversification and specialization through inbreeding through the process of microevolution, which is the lateral redistribution of existing genetic information. After the flood, land bridges existed between Asia and North America, and also from South Asia through Indonesia to Australia. Isolation and extinction (due to mutations) produced specialization in these continents.
7) Is there a consistent reading of the Flood story of Genesis? How many of each kind of clean animal went on the Ark? Present a calendar of the events of the Flood from the birth of Noah through the birth of Arpachshad (sometimes called Arphaxad, grandson of Noah), paying special attention as to the day when Noah entered the Ark and how long the Flood lasted. If you change the text of Genesis, give a reason for the change other than the need to fit your beliefs.
“The Genesis Record” by Henry M. Morris contains a verse by verse exposition of this calendar of events. Many creationists estimate the number of animals on the ark to be about 16,000.
7a) Why does the Flood story need to be consistent?
If we accept the Bible to be the word of God, and the Bible is found to be inconsistent, what kind of God is that?
An in-depth discussion of questions 8 – 10c can be found in John Woodmorappe’s book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study.
8) Where did all of the water come from and go to? (This is a very old problem for the Flood story, and it may be the most frequently asked. Quantitative answers are required.)
Before the flood, the seas were shallower, and the mountains weren’t as tall. The flood waters came from subterranean sources and the flood was of such extent as to move continents, scour ocean basins, raise mountains, and totally redistribute the earth’s crust. The water filled ocean basins as the continental shelves overlapped.
An in-depth discussion of questions 8 – 10c can be found in John Woodmorappe’s book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study. We will attempt to provide simple answers here where appropriate.
9) What did all of the carnivores eat after leaving the Ark? (This is *not* a question about what they ate *on* the Ark.) In other words, explain how the food chain worked before the present ratios of a few predators to many prey.
We believe that the animals on the ark were omnivorous, and ate mostly plants. Due to devolution, some creatures eventually lost their ability to eat plants.
9a) Explain how the degree of genetic variation in contemporary animals resulted from the few on the Ark.
9b) Explain how a viable population was established for all of those animal kinds from only a single pair of each.
The original created kinds contained all of the genetic information needed to produce such variety. Lateral redistribution of these genes can occur through transmigration.
9c) Discuss how symbiotic animals and parasites survived immediately after the Flood.
Symbiosis and parasitism may have been a result of devolution after the flood.
10) Is it possible to fit the pairs (male and female) of all kinds of land animals and birds on the Ark? The answer must give a detailed calculation. Remember to include all invertebrates as well as vertebrates, food and water, and necessary environmental controls. Remember to include all kinds of cattle. Explain the meaning of the word “kind”.
10a) Calculate the structural soundness and stability of the Ark, both loaded and unloaded, on land and on the Flood waters.
10b) Explain the logistics of loading and unloading the Ark. Relate this to the time available given in the answer to question (7) and to the distribution referred to in questions (6) and (9).
10c) Explain how there were pairs, male and female, of social (forming colonies), parthenogenic (female only) and hermaphroditic (both sexes in one individual) animals.
See John Woodmorappe’s book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study which provides 298 pages of detailed explanations and over 70 pages of references.
- Why do you feel that there must be a mechanistic, naturalistic or materialist exposition of the wondrous events described in the Bible?
Certainly I would agree that a mechanistic, naturalistic, or a materialistic exposition is inadequate.
12) Why has God given us all the evidence for an earth more than 100,000 years old and for evolution and the intelligence to infer that? Why has God given us a Bible with all of the evidence that it is not to be read according to the norms of modern western historical and scientific writing?
I cannot agree that God has given “evidence” for an old earth or for evolution. God warns us that “there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one.” (Romans 3:10-12). The Bible makes it clear that all of our human wisdom and knowledge is foolishness in his sight. Man does not naturally want to follow God, so although there is clearly enough evidence for us to know him, we are all too quick to reject it in favor of our own theories that are less accountable to Him. See Reversing Direction on the Reprobate Road.