Dr. Young Addresses The Big Question
- Chapter 1: Deductive and Inductive Logic
- Chapter 2: The Scientific Method
- Chapter 3: The Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test
- Chapter 4: Application of the Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test, Part 1
- Chapter 5: Application of the Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test, Part 2
- Chapter 6: Inductive Arguments
- Chapter 7: Analysis of Counterarguments
Chapter 5: Application of the Forensic Scientific Method and the Inferential Test, Part 2
Now, on to the first part of the inferential test, which states:
One can be reasonably certain if witness accounts of the past are consistent or not consistent with physical evidence in the present …
What “witness accounts of the past” address the question of God creating the heavens and the earth in six literal days?
Take a look at this link on the internet 12. Please read it carefully.
This is an argument offered by a Jewish scholar for the antiquity of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. The author offers a chain of deductive arguments extending back into history. One can discern, for example, the valid deductive argument form, modus tollens (MT), for one of the arguments:
- (P → Q) If the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) had been written during the era of the Judges, then they would not have included a law not to attack the nations of Ammon and Moab (since Israel under the Judges attacked Ammon and Moab frequently).
- (~Q) A law not to attack Ammon and Moab exists in Deuteronomy 2:19.
- (∴ ~P) Therefore, the claim that the Torah was written during the era of the Judges is false (it was written before that).
There are also other evidences that these five books are ancient accounts rather than fiction written at a much later date. I can think of three.
- Genealogical lists and census figures. Genealogies and census results such as the ones listed in the fifth, tenth and eleventh chapters of the book of Genesis and chapters one through four of the book of Numbers are lists that would be meaningful and of interest to a reader of that time, just as our own genealogies and specific enumerations regarding ourselves and our families would be meaningful to us. They would not be as meaningful to a casual reader living during a later time. A work of fiction written at a much later date would not be expected to include such lists.
- Detailed rules and regulations for an ancient society living in a desert. The very specific laws detailed in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy contain information that would be meaningful only to people who were alive during the wilderness wandering. A work of fiction at a much later date would not be expected to contain such detailed regulations.
- Unflattering accounts. Many of the accounts offered in these five books are tragic and demonstrate a baseness and a cruelty of the “protagonists.” A work of fiction or rewritten history from a later date would be expected to paint a picture that is much more positive, flattering, or nationalistic. The candor of these accounts speaks to the authenticity of the Torah writings as historical documents written at or near the time in question.
On the basis of arguments such as these, it is reasonable for my analysis to accept as a witness account these five books that according to Jewish scholarship and tradition were written by Moses, a man who lived during much of the time covered by the books. If you can think of an eyewitness account germane to this topic that can be demonstrated to be older than these books, please let me know (Good luck!).
Moses wrote at the beginning of the book of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Moses was not alive to witness that event directly, but as we will see shortly, he did not need to witness that event directly.
On Mount Sinai, Moses allegedly met the Creator Himself. He told Moses that the children of Israel were to:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” 13.
Why were they to do this?
“For in six days, the LORD created the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” 14.
This was a direct reference to the Sabbath — a day of “rest” on the seventh day — which was established by God Himself following His alleged creative “work” that took place during the previous six days 15. It was intended by Him to be a memorial in time of His creative work.
But were these six days actually “literal” days, or did they represent eons of time figuratively represented as “days” in a fashion hypothesized by some theistic evolutionists?
Prior to the giving of that commandment directly to Moses on Mount Sinai, God instituted a “feeding plan” 16 for the young nation of Israel — an entire nation that had been miraculously rescued from captivity by crossing a parted Red Sea 17 — to sustain them in the desert. During their wanderings for 40 years 18, manna miraculously fell from the sky for the first six literal days, but it did not fall on the seventh literal day because it was the Sabbath day. Twice as much manna would fall on the sixth day, the day of preparation for the Sabbath. This was a consistent reminder to numerous witnesses for 40 years that the heavens and the earth were created in six literal days.
How many witnesses to these events were there?
In the beginning of the book of Numbers, there is a census of the men capable of fighting in battle, 20 years of age and older, in each of the twelve tribes of Israel 19,20. The census results for each tribe were:
(Levites were not numbered)
Total number: 603,550 21
These fighting men, which do not include the priestly tribe of Levi, had wives and children, so the total number of people wandering in the desert at any one time could be estimated at 2 1/2 million people. Furthermore, since an older generation died out and a new generation of men and women came on the scene during the 40 years of wandering in the desert 22, the number of new witnesses increased accordingly. Consider a routine exposure to manna for 6 days / no manna for 1 day occurring continually for 40 years. I estimate the number of witness-days (number of all witnesses multiplied by the number of days the events were witnessed) at 7.28 X 10 10. This is a very, very high number.
This is not simply a “witness account.” This is a history. A history is when there are so many witnesses to the same events that the facts of what happened are unquestioned among a group of people who share this history — such as the Jews. The history is passed down from generation to generation in the forms of memory and record.
Witness accounts of this nature would provide powerful evidence in a courtroom, where usually it only takes a few witnesses to allow conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Imagine millions of witnesses taking the witness stand! Conspiracy theories are not supported by millions of people over multiple generations. I will discuss that in detail later.
It is also important to note that the existence of a Jewish race is a miracle from God. Jews are descendants of their patriarch, Israel (formerly known as Jacob). Each of the tribes listed above were sons of Israel. They were enslaved in Egypt, and the rescue of the entire nation from slavery occurred through a miraculous crossing of a parted Red Sea. Furthermore, this large number of people with a population similar to a large metropolitan area in the United States was sustained miraculously in a harsh desert climate. Even during their wanderings for 40 years (the reason for which was dictated by God Himself 22), they not only were miraculously fed but their health and clothing were also miraculously maintained in good condition in spite of the rigors of desert life 23. If these miraculous events had not occurred, there would be no such group of people as Jews.
Does the account in the books of Moses — a record of history among the Jews and many other people — sufficiently explain physical and empirical evidence in the present? They do, in my opinion made to a reasonable degree of forensic scientific certainty. Consider the following consequents, with their antecedents referred to parenthetically:
- Light and heat energy are needed to keep water as both a gas in the air and a liquid on the surface; and light, air, both forms of water, and soil are necessary for life (Creation week — first and second day items and “dry land” precede the plants and animals 24).
- Plant life needs diurnal light and dark cycles for photosynthesis (Creation week — light and dark cycles precede the plants 24).
- Metabolism in animals requires plant life to create oxygen and carbohydrates via photosynthesis (Creation week — plants precede the animals 24).
- The existing concept of time in cycles of days, months, seasons and years (Creation week — sun and moon created 24).
- The existence of a week — a segment of time unassociated with cycles dictated by celestial bodies (Creation week — 7 days 24).
- The commonality of the name for the seventh day in multiple languages and cultures 25 (Sabbath 15).
- The establishment of marriage — needed for stable human societies — which exists worldwide but is currently under attack by modern — and largely secular — Western society (Adam and Eve 26).
- The ever-present evidence of death, disease, heartache, calamity, toil, predators, crime, and war (The Fall 27).
- The inability for us to do what is right even though we know the right thing to do as a recurrent theme in both history and our present condition (The Fall 27).
- The establishment of worship among humans, albeit with widely varying “true” and “false” forms (Cain and Abel 28).
- Concepts of law, evidence, justice and mercy later applied to judicial proceedings (Cain and Abel 28).
- Vast irregularities in landscape, an “unstable” earth with tectonic plates and earthquakes, the current size of land animals in comparison to ancient and extinct land species, sedimentary rock containing vast numbers of fossils, otherwise inexplicable biologic events such as fossils of large tropical beasts in the Arctic and salt water mollusk fossils in the Black Sea, the Grand Canyon and other amazing and otherwise inexplicable geologic formations, vast reserves of oil and coal beneath the earth, tar pits like the one in La Brea, volcanic activity (Worldwide Noachic Flood 29).
- The Sumerian city-states as the earliest recorded human history — older than any other history from anywhere on earth — occurring in the vicinity of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and representing a sophisticated and well-developed population (events after The Flood)
- The distribution of humanity throughout the globe with widely varying languages and cultures, somehow “discovering” each other after several centuries — like Marco Polo “discovering” the Orient, Europeans “discovering” Native Americans, Europeans “discovering” ancient Polynesian and Micronesian cultures (Tower of Babel 30)
- The commonality of varying creation and flood accounts throughout the world (The Flood and the Tower of Babel)
- The existence of a widely distributed people of common genetic ancestry 31 known as “Jews” (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Exodus).
- The existence of the great Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity, Islam — based on monotheism (Abraham 32).
- The continual conflict among peoples in the Middle East, particularly among members of these Abrahamic religions (Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, descendants of Abraham and Canaanites — reminds one of the “Hatfields” and the “McCoys”).
- Archeological sites traced back to ancient history (multiple Bible accounts).
- The finding of ancient bones and ancient chariot wheels from 18th dynasty Egypt at the bottom of the Red Sea near Nuweiba, Egypt 33 (Red Sea Crossing in Exodus 17).
At this point, as a forensic scientist, I could state, under oath and to a reasonable degree of certainty, that the ancient account is sufficient to explain (“consistent with”) present-day empirical and physical evidence and that there are no inconsistencies. The judge would then ask both attorneys, “May the witness be excused?” After both sides and the judge would consent, I would then walk out of the courtroom and out of the courthouse, having completed what I was asked to do.
Once again, as a scientist and a person who applies logic, I can only say if the ancient account is consistent or not consistent with the evidence. Even though I could conclude that the account is false from even one inconsistency, I cannot deductively determine that the account is true. That would be up to the jurors who, having heard all the evidence, get to determine beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case if the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Or in this case, if the account is true or not true.
For that, I would have to enter the jury room with you. In the next chapter, I will offer to you exceedingly strong inductive arguments as to why you should declare “true” beyond a reasonable doubt that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob created the heavens and the earth in six literal days.