News Articles

Biblical creation account described as ‘clear historical narrative’ by Wise

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–He graduated from Harvard. He has a Ph.D. in geology. He studied under eminent evolutionist Stephen J. Gould.
One would not expect a man of Kurt Wise’s credentials to argue strongly and convincingly for biblical creation. Nevertheless, during the Nov. 2-3 Gheens Lecture series at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Wise debunked his former professor’s viewpoint — presenting theories of fossil records and the flood which sustain a young earth creation.
“I do believe that based upon the nature of God that the testimony in Genesis is a perspicuous account — a clear historical narrative of the origin of things,” said Wise, the director of origins research at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn.
Despite claims by conventional science to the contrary, Wise said, issues of creation and biblical accounts are far from settled.
In fact, as one compares the “crazy idea” of biblical creation with evolutionary and old earth theories, often a young earth seems more probable, Wise contended.
Much of Wise’s reasoning for a young earth proposal is based on his belief in the validity of the biblical flood accounts.
He theorizes that an ocean catastrophe of tremendous proportions initiated the flood, a cataclysm which resulted in a number of simultaneous occurrences.
The ocean crust, being denser than the mantle below it, subducted, or literally dove into the strata below it, Wise said. As massive slabs of rocks plunged lower into the earth, they pulled continents with them. Such force, moving at a meter per second, created enough velocity to move the continents to where they are today and to create mountains where they collided (as is the case with the Himalayans between India and the neighboring region of Asia).
This model, as validated by computer simulation, is the only one that provides sufficient velocity to create these huge mountains, Wise said, while an old earth theory, in which continents move as fast as a fingernail grows, would not produce such velocity.
At the same time as subduction, hot mantle material moved upward, vaporizing ocean water, shooting water thousands of feet into the air, Wise said, describing the spouts are the “fountains of the deep” mentioned in Genesis.
Wise speculated the rising mantle combined with rain also raised water levels about a mile — thus creating the flood.
Covered with water, the earth, in a manner similar to tides, turned beneath the water, Wise said, and the resulting massive swishing moved debris and buried the fossils. Thus, many rock patterns and fossil accounts are explained, he said.
This fossil record perhaps presents the best proof of creation and disproof of old earth theories, Wise said.
With an evolutionary model, one would expect to find characteristics of the fossils in the rock layers such as a gradual evolving of species up the layers. On the contrary, scientists have discovered little variation. The fossil records in the layers are missing the so-called “missing link” species.
This sameness of species throughout the layers, Wise said, fits more with a theory of a flood burying the various species randomly.
“Catastrophic plate tectonics is a very powerful explanatory tool,” Wise said. “It explains an enormous amount of data on the surface of the earth. Not that we’re done — this is only the beginning because there’s a whole bunch of questions that we don’t know the answer to.”
Thus, the crazy idea, Wise said, “as is true of every good theory of science, generates more questions than it seems to answer.” One of those questions deals with the age of the earth — “a difficult topic,” Wise said. Traditionally, scientists have argued that a universe billions of light years in diameter would have to be billions of years old in order for one actually to see the stars.
But, Wise argued, such a theory ignores the idea of God creating the light from the stars “in transit.” In addition, the traditional theory assumes a flat universe — a proposition which is far from universally accepted.
In considering the many different theories, Wise said, some scholars argue strongly for a young earth, while others that argue strongly for an ancient earth.
“Ultimately,” Wise explained, “it comes down to a question of which of those you wish to believe.”
Individuals interested in hearing Wise’s complete lectures about the flood, the age of the earth and the fossil record may hear them in RealAudio on the Southern Seminary web site, www.sbts.edu.

    About the Author

  • Bryan Cribb