Creationists believe "Day" == "24 Hours"evildictaitor said:jonathansampson said:*snip*There is a lot of speculation in ecumenical terms as to whether the term "day" from the original means "24 hour period of time" as Creationists would have it, or "a period of time - literally one 'cycle'". The creationists are taking the literal stance, therefore they are taking the Bible literally. I concede that they do not nessisarilly hold the same standards uniformly over the entire text.
The bold line is completely arbitrary, and not exactly a "perhaps" suggestion.
Completely arbitrary - not quite. It's a statement that is:* Either true or not true.* Corresponds to a question that is being asked (relating to how species got here)* The truth value of which provides insight into the question.
It is entirely legitimate to ask the anti-question to that proposition; "Perhaps the animals arn't evolving", however you'll notice that the truth-value does not provide insight into the question how species got here. If you start from zero-knowledge, then the evidence "that animals are there and they form many distinct species" is true. The question "how/why are there many distinct species, and not just one species, or an infinite spectrum of species" is not answered by the question "Perhaps the animals arn't evolving", because there is no prior reason to believe that they are evolving.
There are then two perfectly good hypothoses to ask. "What if these species were put there by some higher power (let's call him God)" or an alternative question "What if these species arrived from outer space", or even "What if these species evolved from a common ancestor (thus allowing us to say that the multitude of distinct species is a special case of there at one point being only one species - a much simpler assumption)". Perhaps I can venture to ask the hypothosis "What if there was, at one point, infinitely many species, and all the in-between-y ones died out".
All of these are valid hypothoses in science. The next question is to try and systematically discredit the hypothoses by providing counter examples in your set of evidence, and then eithera) Reject the hypothosis because it's just "too wrong".b) Refine the hypothosis because such-and-such a minor change yields a model for which that evidence does not contradict.
If they think "perhaps the animals did descend from a common ancestor" is a reasonable suggestion, then the opposite is equally reasonable, right? Not really.
The opposite suggestion is perfectly valid - it's just if it's true it doesn't give any insight into why there are many species. The hypothosis "What if all animals were made of sticky-tape and blue-tac" may seem arbitrary, but if it fits with all the evidence my hypothosis will shed a bucket-load of insight into what and how animals work (or don't). If I ask the anti-question "What if all animals are not made of sticky-tape and blue-tac", and I conclude that so far as all the evidence can be obtained, animals are in fact, not made of sticky-tape and blue-tac, then this provides no insight. You didn't think animals were made of bits of sticky plastic before, so the sudden realisation that they arn't hasn't changed anything for you, and your ability to predict things about the world remains unchanged.
That's the reason why the question "perhaps the animals did descend from a common ancestor" was asked and the question "perhaps the animals didn't descend from a common ancestor" wasn't.
That's partially true, but not completely. First, I don't take a hyper-technical position that it's 24 hours - our days today aren't even 24 hours. 23 hours and some change. As with any text, it is best to define terms internally, deriving context/meaning/intention from surrounding text, and not from the reader's own ideas.
The 24-hour definition comes from the qualifiers "Day/Night, Evening, Morning" and the ordinal numbers, "First Day, Second Day, Third Day" building a sequence. Furthermore, Exodus 20:11 refers back to the Creation week as a foundation for our work week. "Because God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh, you should work six days, and rest on the seventh." That seems to be very persuasive evidence that the Bible intends to convey the message that these creation-days are 6 ordinary days, perhaps slightly different in duration than our days today, but of negligible difference.
Note, I'm not arguing that this is evidence that the Bible is true, it may very well not be. But the evidence that this text is communicating a story (being conscious of the readers who think it's a story) of six normal days is very clear, and not disputed from the text itself.
The Issue over "Species"
This is a difficult issue, as clearly stated in a recent Scientific American (June 2008) article titled "What is a Species"? Before we can determine if we need to explain the existence of "species" we need to first understand what a Species is - and as of yet, we don't have a very good definition of that.
"Animals that typically breed within the wild" is one common definition, but doesn't address the asexual animals out there, or the animals which are capable of reproducing, but don't commonly do so. Creationists have a field of research called Baraminology, or the study of original kinds of animals. Basically, it seeks to understand which animals are capable of reproducing fertile offspring. That definition reduces greatly the number of "species" as it couples horzes, donkey's, and zebra's. Dogs, wolves, coyotes, dingo's. Etc.
Even with our loose definition of "species" today, we have a very good understanding of how they come about. It's usually (but not always) dependenpant upon splitting a parent population geographically, and allowing them to breed independently of the opposite population(s). This results in a non-sharing of the gene-pool. Information and variation will be reduced, and divided. Some traits may cease to exist in one population, whilst other traits will become exagerated in the other. Natural Selection of course plays a massive role in this process, shaping successive generations to be more fit for their environment.
This process may not cut off any ability to breed if the populations mix again, which creates the confusion over what qualifies one species from the other.
But what do I know - I'm a filthy anti-science Creationist who doesn't know a lick about anything
Which Explains the Evidence Better: Creation, or Evolution?
Both Creation and Evolution invoke the same biological processes - so both explain the data equally. Creationists and Evolutionists both suggest Natural Selection, to maintain strength in a population for their environment. No intelligence creationists I know has ever suggested the animals are biologically-fixed, in that they cannot adapt to their environment. At this point, Both Creationists and Evolutionists agree.
So where do we go from here? Creationists suggest that this has been the process from the beginning, after all, that is all we observe today. We don't see this process adding information that would give an invertabrate a vertabrae, or a jelly-fish eyes and ears. We don't see additive changes that would create bones for a population of worms - we don't observe any of that. Because we don't observe any of that, any suggestion that the animals all descended from a common ancestor has no basis in Science, and is extracted only from a philosophical position.
From the research and observations, there's no reason to hypothesise whether or not we all descended from a common ancestor, since there's no Scientific evidence suggesting that a process of this nature is even ocurring.