Tuesday, October 15, 2013


A blonde woman walks into your nice little store that you run, and she looks at you and says, "Who stole the till" with a strong, Swedish accent.  What do you assume?  Do you race to the front of the store to see if the cash register is still there?  Or, knowing a bit of Sweedish, do you know that "Hur står det till?" is Swedish for "How are you"... even though it sounds an awful lot like "Who stole the till"  (thanks to this site for providing such a fine example).

Sort of a big difference.  You've been robbed versus how ya doing.  IT's the same sounds, the same data, the same information - but if your assumption (namely - this gal is obviously speaking English) is off... totally wrong.    

This is why I don't get all out of sorts with the great debates on Evolution vs. Creation and all that - and the piles of evidence tossed against each other on both sides.  The evidence, the data is the same... it is.  There's just two different presuppositions.

1.  We must assume completely natural processes with no divine intervention.
2.  We assume God does what the Scriptures say He did.

Two different presuppositions, two different ways of seeing and observing the world, two different languages.  And if you don't understand the different assumptions that are made, you'll just get into frustrating shouting matches.

Cause it works both ways.  If I am vacationing in Sweden and see that the Cash Register has been opened, I might say, "Who stole the till" (although thanks to this blog post, I never actually would!  See how useful this is!), and the nice Swedish shopkeeper might smile and nod and tell me that she is doing very well in Swedish.

See, this is the thing.  I don't have to disprove Evolution or the Big Bang, or any of that.  I get it - this is your best guess, looking at the data, of what happened.  That's the language you are speaking.  I happen to speak a slightly different one.  And here's the thing - there's no way that you can prove that there is no such thing as Divine Intervention to me.  Now, I can look at your theories, and I can see where things don't hold up within the rules of your own system, and you can do the same for me within the rules of mine (say how does this mesh with Scripture, how does Scripture mesh with X)

We see fossils of sea creatures in the mountain.  You hear echoes of a time 300 million years ago when this was under the ocean, I hear echos of a freaking big flood that covered those mountains and did some crazy stuff.

Two different languages.  Now, please stop saying how terribly narrow minded and close minded I am for not simply conceding that your language is right and is the only possible way in which one can view the universe.


the Old Adam said...

That our lives and the life of the world came from rocks, dirt, and water...something from nothing...without someone behind it all?

Makes our faith look like a mustard seed in comparison.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

It all deals with assumption. We know (well, unless you do some really old fashioned Descartes-style thinking) that we are here... so how did we get here?

Well, if you presuppose that there *CANNOT* be any sort of divine intervention... you gotta have something. And that is chance. And chance runs on time, lots and lots of time.

It's the power-ball approach to Creation.

Mike Baker said...

I used this analogy to explain this presupposition difference to an evolutionist friend of mine who was slamming me for being a young earth creationist:

One day a magician came to a remote village. Using his supernatural powers, he caused a massive tree to appear in the middle of the village. The villagers were amazed. The magician promptly vanished.

Ten years later, a scientist came to the village and saw the tree. The villagers told him that the tree was five years old. The scientist laughed and said, "That tree is at least 50 years old if not more." The villagers strongly rejected his assessment and stated that there were witnesses who had seen the miraculous event take place.

Unable to convince the villagers and completely discounting the eyewitness testimony, the scientist cut down the tree and counted the rings in the trunk using all of the modern tools and methods to gauge the trees age.

"See?!?," the scientist said, "This tree is actually 95 years old."

"It was a full grown tree when the magician created it," one villager replied.

"That's impossible," the scientist laughed. "Magicians don't exist."

The problem lies not in the data or the scientist. It is a misunderstanding of presupposition. Do you believe the rings or do you believe the witnesses? How you answer that question tells you how old the tree was in the village.

Mike Baker said...

*oops... the villagers said the tree was 10 years old... I should proofread better.