Much like my Blog debunking FLAT EARTH Morons by using solid science, personal use in both at sea navigation during my US Navy career, personal Aviation navigation, and solid evidence by a commercial airline pilot who hates flat earth nonsense, and I use scripture.
My subject here is the GAP Theory. Although I personally do not believe the word theory when applied to the gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 2, I’m using the term for the purpose of discussion. Solid Bible scholars like Dr. Kim correctly teach GAP Theory.
You can do your own research but I invite the reader to read and study their KJV Bible for themselves with me to understand the GAP Theory. I also invite the reader to study for themselves how the Charlatans like Young Earth Bible Creationists are debunked solidly by both scripture and by science. I don’t think it any coincidence that when doing a search for GAP Theory, the Creation Science heretics and Young Earth Cretins fill the first 3 pages. Why are these people so desperate to mislead the masses? My answer is to make Science and enemy of the Bible. When in reality science and the Bible go hand in hand. Read on please.
See notes below ranging from a Christian science teacher and a Christian Geophysicist who shares my thoughts on the GAP THEORY in Creation to Bible teachers and open minded Christian writers; to even an atheist who exposes Kent Hovind and Ken Ham – 2 outspoken critics of the GAP Theory – as fakes. Note: It took an atheist to fully expose Ravi Zacharias’ fake Phd. Likewise the atheist in link below exposes Kent Hovind’s cereal box Phd.
I usually don’t bother with issues like Creation. But I came across some more misguided material from the Genesis Creation, Young Earth Creationists people with the likes of Ken Ham and his Ark Encounter in Kentucky, Kent Hovind and his Dinosaur Adventure Land all stemming from the Institute for Creation. Note: ICR Ministry Who We Are | The Institute for Creation Research (icr.org) although based on sometimes solid biblical based fact often go off the track and seems to have spawned the false teachers like Ken Ham who used the free slave labor of misguided young Christians in building his Ark down there in Kentucky. Different subject for different day perhaps.
Open your Bible and read carefully the following scriptures:
King James Version
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Next read Jeremiah:
King James Version
23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.
27 For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Commentary: Scripture with scripture proving the earth was recreated from a fallen, destroyed state.
Open and read:
King James Version
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
King James Version
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
King James Version
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
A blog dedicated to investigating the latest research on the interaction between science and Christianity.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Scofield and Gap Creationism
One of my treasured possessions is a King James Version Scofield Reference Bible presented to my father in 1966 by board members from the church he pastored. The Scofield annotated study Bible was a staple of people in fundamentalist churches early in the 20th century, and was first published in 1909. It promoted the dispensational theology of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), later popularized by the Niagara Bible Conference (1876-1897).
Cyrus I. Scofield (1843-1921) placed his commentary on the same pages as the Bible text rather than in a separate volume. Prominently displayed at the top of each page were dates from the event chronology calculated by Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656), primate of Ireland. Dates such as the creation of the world (4004 BC) and Noah’s flood (2349 BC), as well as outlines of Scofield’s concepts of dispensationalism, assumed credibility on a par with scripture itself for many people.
The first page of scripture text contains the first four verses of Genesis along with hundreds of words of Scofield’s own commentary. Referring to Genesis 1:1, he states, “The first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope to all the geologic ages.” He believed in a “primitive order,” a world filled with animal life in the very distant past. Evidence of this long dead animal life remains today “as fossils,” he said. Scofield confidently proposed, in his first and succeeding editions, that the earth had suffered a “catastrophe” associated with Satan’s fall and expulsion from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). This event had lethal and disastrous results on earth. In recent times there was a re-creation described in the later verses of Genesis 1.
Scofield’s proposal became known as the “Gap Theory” and Ruin-Restoration creationism. It held sway for many years among Christian circles. Young earth creationists reject it because the death of ancient animals would preclude their “no death before the fall” paradigm and their concept of a young earth. Old earth creationists reject it because there is no scientific evidence for this sequence of events. The gap theory held appeal for many years. It was tantamount to “eating your cake and having it too,” satisfying both the need for a very old earth, conforming to overwhelming scientific evidence, and a recent creation as well.
More specifically, in the late 18th and early 19th century geologists were thrilled to discover the reality of earth’s physical history. That history clearly showed sudden appearances of new life forms in the geologic column over long time periods. Many of those Christian scientists counseled their fellow believers to view science as clarifying, not contradicting scripture. The evidence was overwhelming and undeniable but is far stronger today.
When I was very young I recall my father telling me about the gap theory, based on his confidence in the Scofield Reference Bible. Later he taught that Genesis 1-2 describes a recent creation event. But still later, very late in his life, he studied the overwhelming scientific evidence for a very ancient earth and a still more ancient universe. He opened his mind enthusiastically to the glory of God in creation. His serious investigations led him to conclude that the record of nature does not conflict with a proper interpretation of scripture. He was a student of the scripture long before he studied creation science. In his twilight years I visited him many times only to find him sitting at his desk doing careful research and study. He was a model for me and for all who knew him
BLOG by Glenn Morton
August 5th, 2020, the geophysicist known for Morton’s Demon, Glenn R. Morton, passed away. Just a week before he died, Glenn appeared on the Peaceful Science forum, sketching out the ideas behind his posthumously published Eden Was Here. Panda’s Thumb noted his passing with a biography worth reading. To commemorate his passing at Peaceful Science, we are publishing one of his articles. In this article, one of many, Glenn explains how his experience in petroleum geology caused him to leave young earth creationism to become an old earth creationist.
For years I struggled to understand how the geological data I worked with everyday could fit into a Biblical perspective. Being a physics major in college I had no geology courses. Thus, as a young Christian, when I was presented with the view that Christians must believe in a young-earth and global flood, I went along willingly. I knew there were problems, but thought I would solve them.
When I graduated from college with a physics degree, physicists were unemployable since NASA had just laid a bunch of them off. I did graduate work in philosophy and then decided to leave school to support my growing family. Even after a year, physicists were still unemployable. After six months of looking, I finally found work as a geophysicist working for a seismic company. Within a year, I was processing seismic data for Atlantic Richfield.
This was where I first became exposed to the problems geology presented to the idea of a global flood. I would see extremely thick (30,000 feet) sedimentary layers. One could follow these beds from the surface down to those depths where they were covered by vast thicknesses of sediment. I would see buried mountains that had experienced thousands of feet of erosion, which required time. Yet the sediments in those mountains had to have been deposited by the flood, if it was true. I would see faults that were active early but not late and faults that were active late but not early. I would see karsts and sinkholes (limestone erosion) which occurred during the middle of the sedimentary column (supposedly during the middle of the flood), yet the flood waters would have been saturated in limestone and incapable of dissolving lime. It became clear that more time was needed than the global flood would allow. 1
One also finds erosional canyons buried in the earth. These canyons would require time to excavate, just like the time it takes to erode the Grand Canyon. This picture was downloaded from a site which is now gone from the web. 2
I worked hard over the next few years to solve these problems. I published 20+ items in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. I would listen to ICR, have discussions with people like Slusher, Gish, Austin, Barnes and also discuss things with some of their graduates that I had hired.
In order to get closer to the data and know it better, with the hope of finding a solution, I changed subdivisions of my work in 1980. I left seismic processing and went into seismic interpretation where I would have to deal with more geologic data. My horror at what I was seeing only increased. There was a major problem; the data I was seeing at work, was not agreeing with what I had been taught as a Christian. Doubts about what I was writing and teaching began to grow. Unfortunately, my fellow young earth creationists were not willing to listen to the problems. No one could give me a model which allowed me to unite into one cloth what I believed on Sunday and what I was forced to believe by the data Monday through Friday. I was living the life of a double-minded man–believing two things.
By 1986, the growing doubts about the ability of the widely accepted creationist viewpoints to explain the geologic data led to a nearly 10 year withdrawal from publication. My last young-earth paper was entitled Geologic Challenges to a Young-earth, which I presented as the first paper in the First International Conference on Creationism. It was not well received. Young-earth creationists don’t like being told they are wrong. The reaction to the pictures, seismic data, the logic disgusted me. They were more interested in what I sounded like than in the data!
John Morris came to the stage to challenge me. He claimed to have been in the oil industry. I asked him what oil company he had worked for. I am going to share an account of this published in the Skeptical Inquirer in late 86 or early 87. It was written by Robert Schadewald. He writes,
“John Morris went to the microphone and identified himself as a petroleum geologist. He questioned Morton’s claim that pollen grains are found in salt formations, and accused Morton of sounding like an anticreationist, raising more problems than his critics could respond to in the time available. Morris said that the ICR staff is working on these problems all the time. He told Morton to quit raising problems and start solving them. “Morton chopped him off at the ankles. Two questions, said Morton: ‘What oil company did you work for?’ Well, uh, actually Morris never worked for an oil company, but he once taught petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Second, How old is the Earth?’ ‘If the earth is more than 10,000 years old then Scripture has no meaning.’ Morton then said that he had hired several graduates of Christian Heritage College, and that all of them suffered severe crises of faith. They were utterly unprepared to face the geologic facts every petroleum geologist deals with on a daily basis. Morton neglected to add that ICR is much better known for ignoring or denying problems than dealing with them.”
It appeared that the more I questions I raised, the more they questioned my theological purity. When telling one friend of my difficulties with young-earth creationism and geology, he told me that I had obviously been brain-washed by my geology professors. When I told him that I had never taken a geology course, he then said I must be saying this in order to hold my job. Never would he consider that I might really believe the data. Since then, this type of treatment has become expected from young-earthers.
I have been called nearly everything under the sun, but they don’t deal with the data I present to them. Here is a list of what young-earthers have called me in response to my data: ‘an apostate,’ (Humphreys) ‘a heretic’ (Jim Bell although he later apologised like the gentleman he is) ‘a compromiser’ (Henry Morris) “absurd”, “naive”, “compromising”, “abysmally ignorant”, “sloppy”, “reckless disregard”, “extremely inaccurate”, “misleading”, “tomfoolery” and “intentionally deceitful” (John Woodmorappe) ‘like your father, Satan’ (Carl R. Froede–I am proud to have this one because Jesus was once said to have been of satan also.) ‘your loyality and commitment to Jesus Christ is shaky or just not truly genuine’ (John Baumgardner 12-24-99 [Merry Christmas]) “[I] have secretly entertained suspicions of a Trojan horse roaming behind the lines…” Royal Truman 12-28-99
Above I say that I withdrew from publishing for 10 years. I need to make one item clear. It is true that I published a couple of items in the late 80s. The truth is that these were an edited letter exchange I had with George Howe. When George approached me about the Mountain Building symposium, I told him I didn’t want to write it. He said that was ok he would write it, give it to me and then publish it. Since it was merely splicing a bunch of letters together, it was my words, but George’s editorship that made that article. To all intents and purposes I was through with young-earth creationist (not ism yet) because I knew that they didn’t care about the data.
Giving up on Young-Earth Creationism and almost Christianity
But eventually, by 1994 I was through with young-earth creationISM. Nothing that young-earth creationists had taught me about geology turned out to be true. I took a poll of my ICR graduate friends who have worked in the oil industry. I asked them one question.
“From your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true?”
That is a very simple question. One man, Steve Robertson, who worked for Shell grew real silent on the phone, sighed and softly said ‘No!’ A very close friend that I had hired at Arco, after hearing the question, exclaimed, “Wait a minute. There has to be one!” But he could not name one. I can not name one. No one else could either. One man I could not reach, to ask that question, had a crisis of faith about two years after coming into the oil industry. I do not know what his spiritual state is now, but he was in bad shape the last time I talked to him.
And being through with creationism, I very nearly became through with Christianity. I was on the very verge of becoming an atheist. During that time, I re-read a book I had reviewed prior to its publication. It was Alan Hayward’s “Creation and Evolution.” Even though I had reviewed it in 1984 prior to its publication in 1985, I hadn’t been ready for the views he expressed. He presented a wonderful Days of Proclamation view which pulled me back from the edge of atheism. Although I believe Alan applied it to the earth in an unworkable fashion, his view had the power to unite the data with the Scripture, if it was applied differently. That is what I have done with my views. Without that, I would now be an atheist. There is much in Alan’s book I agree with and much I disagree with, but his book was very important to keeping me in the faith. While his book may not have changed the debate totally yet, it did change my life.
Copyright 2000 by Glenn R. Morton. This may be freely distributed so long as no changes are made to the text and no charges are made to the reader.
(See http://www.seg.org/publications/geoarchive/1996/sep-oct/geo6105r1336.pdf for an article showing an example of a deeply buried karst. For a better but bigger (3.4 meg) version of that paper see http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/97/97ng/ng97_pdf/NG4-1.PDF