A question of authority

What will it take for you to believe?
Charlton Heston as moses - "You are not worthy to recieve these commandments"
Charlton Heston as Moses – “You are not worthy to receive these commandments”

Twitter is of course home to many ongoing debates, one of which is the ongoing debate between atheists and theists; creationists and materialists – those who adhere to the standard non-supernatural theories of origins for the universe and  life. One such debate was brought to my attention with the following tweet:


Sandra does an admirable job of defending the creationist position. I was going to add some evidences – items such as the following in response to the objection “fossils are laid out in the rock layers, they are arranged in an evolutionary order…”

To the contrary:

“Many fossils and artifacts have been found ‘out of place’. That is, they are in strata that the evolutionist says represent a period of time when, for example, that organism did not live, or human artifacts could not have been made.”[1]

This directly contradicts the contention that all fossils are “arranged in evolutionary order”. In fact the situation is worse than that when one considers polystrate fossils. Polystrate fossils cut across many layers of geological strata, and are further evidence of a global flood.  Though they try, the standard approach of “the present is the key to the past” – meaning you can only posit scientific explanations from things observable in the present – fails to adequately explain this phenomenon.

Derek Ager, Emeritus Professor of Geology, University College of Swansea, who was no friend of creationists (in fact he disparaged them) concludes the strict uniformitarian approach to geological strata with regards to polystrate fossils is “ridiculous” saying:

If one estimates the total thickness of the British Coal Measures as about 1000m, laid down in about 10 million years, then assuming a constant rate of sedimentation, it would have taken 100,00 years to bury a tree 10 m high, which is ridiculous.
Alternatively, if a 10 m tree were buried in 10 years, that would mean 1000 KM in a million years or 10,000 KM in 10 million years (i.e. the duratioln of the coal measures). This is equally ridiculous and we cannot escape the conclusion that sedimentation  was at times very rapid indeed and at other times were long breaks in sedimentation, though it looks both uniform and continuous. [Emphasis added].


Clearly the “slow and steady” process theory utterly fails to explain polystrate fossils. Planetary Cataclysm - John Baumgarten

I could go on point by point and refute all these, but that would be long, and not what I had intended.  So instead, let me just recommend a resource that covers most if not all the questions about sedimentary layers and the global flood, and make an observation. First the recommendation – pictured to the left, Planetary Cataclysm by John Baumgardner.

Now the observation: It occurs to me that though I can find experts to answer all the questions or refute all the objections Dave has or will come up with, somehow, I don’t think that will make a difference in what Dave believes.  Let’s take Dave out the picture and speak in general terms of those who deny the creation account. I suspect that regardless of what evidence is presented, it will make no difference to those who reject the biblical account, because they are not looking for reasons to believe the Bible, they already have a belief system that does not include God and they’re looking for reasons to believe everything happens by merely natural means, thus making God unnecessary.

As I said above, I was going to add some evidences when it occurred to me that  “discussions” like these become little more than a series of “my expert can refute your expert” and no progress is made. At the root of the problem is a refusal to recognize truth or accept authority. The Bible makes both claims – that it is both true, and it is authoritative. Thus in saying you don’t believe the biblical account you’re saying:


1. The Bible is not true

2. The Bible is not authoritative

3. Those who wrote the bible are liars or deceived (or both)

4. God himself, who claims he created the world in 6 days and later flooded it to start over, is lying.

Further, those who disbelieve the bible, not only disbelieve the 40 some authors testifying to the truth of the Bible, and the testimony they give of God, but also as CS Lewis famously said, those who reject the Bible must believe Jesus is either a lunatic or a liar (since they refuse to acknowledge him as Lord) because he also believed that God created the universe (Matt 19.4) and that God flooded the earth in Noah’s flood (Matt 24.38-39). Jesus diagnosed the issue as a refusal to believe regardless of the evidence given. Such is the message of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

In the parable, (Luke 16.19-31) Jesus tells the account of a beggar who is disregarded and disrespected by a rich man. Both die, the beggar goes to be comforted at Abraham’s side, and the rich man goes to be tormented in hell. The rich man requests Father Abraham to send Lazarus (whom he apparently still looks down upon) to go back to warn his brothers. Following is the end of the conversation:

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 No father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead”


“Moses and prophets” represents God’s written word, the bible. Testimony from those raised from the dead represents miraculous events and the testimonies about them. The point: for some there is no evidence that will convince them of the truth, neither experts, nor evidence that confirms the Bible, nor miracles, nor even people coming back from the dead – for the bible records even some who saw the risen Jesus doubted. (Matt 28.17) Such are like the people to whom Moses (at least in the movie) says you are not worthy to receive these commandments.

Jesus points out that if you’re not “convinced” by the truth and authority of the Bible, there is likely no evidence that will convince you. My question to those who doubt the many evidences of the truth of God’s word – ask yourself – what will it take to convince you? If you’re like the brothers of the rich man – who would not believe regardless of the evidence presented to them – if what the Bible says is true, what does that say about your future?


Duane Caldwell  | posted 4-7-2014 | print format


1. The Creation Answers Book,
by Dr Don Batten (contributing editor), Dr David Catchpoole, Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Dr Carl Wieland, Powerder Springs GA:Creation Book Publishers, p. 194

2. Noah’s Flood – What about all the water? – Don Baten, CMI pamphlet, 2008 p. 23

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10 years ago

Thanks for your work defending the faith, Duane!
“May you be blessed by the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth!” Psalm 115:15

10 years ago


By the way, here’s more on out of order fossils: