The question of what creationists need to do when asked a question about something we cannot answer, or a question in an area that appears weak to creationists, seems like a good topic to consider, what with Question Evolution Day coming up on February 12 and all. I hope this material will be helpful in everyday dealings.
Evolutionists, atheists, anti-creationists, and others seem to have the notion that biblical creationists claim to have all the answers. It may come as a shock to some people (including underinformed creationists), but we do not have all the answers. We may be asked a question about something for which we do not have an answer, and must deal with the situation correctly. In addition, some areas are underdeveloped by biblical creationists.
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Science covers many disciplines, and even ventures into philosophy. It is unreasonable and irrational to expect an individual creationist to know everything about all areas, although some indulge in verbal automatic weapons by assaulting us with a variety of subjects.
One area of contention that comes readily to mind is the light travel or distant starlight question, which basically says that we are seeing some celestial objects that are millions of light years distant, so how can that be if God created the universe just a few thousand years ago? Creationary scientists have four basic models and are discussing it. Keep in mind, though, that the critic is often unaware that the light travel problem applies to the Big Bang as well, called the horizon problem. In addition, there is an assumption that scientists fully understand the nature of light, the cosmos, gravitational waves, and the like. They don't.
Dr. Ben Scripture mentioned some problem areas in a recent podcast, "What! Creationists don't have all the answers?" (look for that title in the 1/28/17 time slot). One of his concerns was about marsupials found primarily in Australia, with very few elsewhere. How can we explain that? Dr. Scripture had not heard any good explanations from a creationist perspective. It is interesting that the same day I heard his podcast, the Institute for Creation Research released an article by Brian Thomas dealing with the same subject. He pointed out that Marsupials in 'Straya are a problem for evolutionists as well, and that the fossil record is actually hostile to their conjectures. As we saw with the light travel problem, this objection from secularists is not only our puzzle. The biblical creationist speculations are far more plausible, which include the Genesis Flood and the Ice Age. To see this, click on "Why Do Kangaroos Live Only in Australia?"
As Christians and biblical creationists, we need to respond in an honest, God-honoring way.
- No faking it. We know that God's Word is inerrant, but creationary models and conjectures are not. Also, keep in mind that there is no point in living in fear of those who want to score points for their side, since they cannot be pleased with anything you say anyway. If you don't know the answer, admit it. You're more likely to get respect by being honest. This is especially important when dealing with kids! If circumstances allow, offer to get back to the one asking a question.
- Be clear when giving an opinion. This is not faking it, but you can still give a limited answer. Just be certain that you are not pretending to give anything more than what you think or believe. Making Stuff Up™ is the property of the hands at the Darwin Ranch, not Christians.
- Avoid bad "science" and poor arguments. This point is kind of an aside for when joining in with a discussion or presenting a "fact". Some arguments are just plain bad, others are questionable. Here is a list of recommended arguments to avoid. While not exhaustive, and some areas need to be revisited for possible inclusion in yes, use these lists, it's mighty helpful.
- Do some research. This site is searchable, and points you to several other sites that have far more material (some of which is highly technical), and they are searchable, too. You may need to retreat and return later because your search terms were not bringing up results, or perhaps a topic is quite new and still being considered by creationists.
- Be logical. Not only do we need to present things rationally, we can also spot when someone is pulling a fast one on us. Learning to spot basic logical fallacies is extremely helpful, not just here, but in other areas.
- Don't try to be a hero. While our ultimate goal is to show that Genesis is true and point people to Jesus, you and I are not the ones who save people. That's the work of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15), destroy arguments raised up against God (2 Cor. 4-5), and contend for the faith (Jude 1:3), these things are not in our human strength and wisdom (1 Cor. 2:1-5). There are some people, I'm ashamed to say, who are more interested in winning an argument than giving glory to God. They want to take on all challengers and answer all questions, but often end up looking foolish when at the receiving end of a verbal (or typed) barrage and trying to answer everything. One thing at a time, and it's fair to say, "Enough".