I recently came upon what is, in my opinion, the finest collection of essays challenging the scientific aspects of Young Earth Creationism to date. The blog, Naturalis Historia features a broad spectrum of posts offering challenges to Young Earth perspectives from a scientific viewpoint. I can’t recommend the blog highly enough. Below are a few links with brief summaries of the contents.
An Ancient and Alien Forest Reconstructed– the recent finds of several fossilized forests have revealed alien landscapes not similar to our own forests in any way. In fact, many of these ancient forests lack any kind of flowering plant whatsoever. If the biodiversity found across all of fossil history is compressed into a young earth timespan, the possibility of explaining these anomalous forests without contemporary features becomes extremely difficult for young earthers. Another forest found in New York exacerbates the problem.
The impact craters from various meteorites presents another difficulty for YEC. Dating these craters puts them well beyond the allowances of a young earth perspective, but the young earth explanations stretch credibility beyond the breaking point.
What of dinosaur eggs? The fact is that these eggs are found across the various strata. Now most YECs I have read argue that the large amounts of sediment across the earth were deposited by the Flood. If that is the case, then how did these dinosaur nests appear across various layers. Natural Historian put forward this challenge in the post, “Juvenile Dinosaur Fossils In a Nest…” One current YEC explanation is that the dinosaurs moved on top of the sediment as it was deposited and laid their eggs on the various layers, which were then covered as the rains continued to fall. The problem is that discoveries have now been made of juveniles in these nests, which would mean they would have had to hatch and grow before being buried by the Flood. Again, this truly stretches credulity beyond the breaking point.
What is the point of linking to these posts and challenging YEC? I am a devout Christian and I’ve struggled with the issues involved in this debate myself. I’ve written extensively on the topics involved and I continually seek to read and understand more about the debate. So why have I been focusing on rebutting YEC? The more I’ve read on the topics involved, the more I’ve realized that YEC truly does undermine the Christian faith. I’m not suggesting those who defend YEC are actively seeking to discredit Christianity; no, I think that YECs generally have their hearts in the right place–they are seeking to defend what they view as the only possible Biblical position against attack. The problem is that when one investigates the scientific evidence, one finds that if one ties Christianity to YEC, it simply cannot hold up to a deep investigation. The issues above are just a number of peripheral problems with YEC, and I don’t see any feasible answers forthcoming on just those topics. There are a great many to be found over at Naturalis Historia, as well as across the web. We must not marry Christianity to positions that are indefensible.