Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Creationism and Foundationalism
Creationism (particularly the young earth variety) is a topic I’m very interested in, so I read Osborn’s book Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering with great eagerness. I recently reviewed the book, so you can check that out for my thought on the work as a whole. Here, Osborn is arguing that creationism relies upon modernist notions of epistemic foundationalism (essentially, a view that our knowledge must be based upon some irrefutable or simply necessarily assumed bedrock belief)*:
Creationists have posited a… source of absolute certainty… the firm foundation or base of universal and infallible knowledge on which all truth is said to rest is a “plain” reading of Scripture alone, with particular emphasis on the first verses of the book of Genesis…
Creationism is… not merely indubitable. It is incorrigible–it canot be undermined or altered by any new information… It is impervious to the weight of empirical and historical evidence. (44, 46, cited below)
Here is one of the great insights of Osborn’s book: that Creationism is an epistemology. That is, it is a way of knowing as opposed to simply a position on what is to be known. I have found this to be the case in many discussions with young earth creationists. There simply is no such thing as evidence which can challenge the position. Rather, all things which purport to be said challenges are often seen as either deceptions of secular scientists or results of anti-Bible presuppositions. I think this is a very problematic position.
What are your thoughts? Is YEC falsifiable–is it possible for it to be false? Does YEC turn into a way of knowing?
Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)
Book Review: “Death Before the Fall” by Ronald Osborn– I review Osborn’s book, outlining its contents while also providing some comments on its value.
Ronald Osborn, Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsit, 2014).
*Yes, this is simplified. Want to dig in? Check out this article on the topic.