And finally, where would we be without some Discussion Starters?
Dr Forlow divides these up into ‘classroom’ and ‘dinner table’ starters:
How long do you think it took to build this school? How long do you think it would take to fly to somewhere on the other side of the world? How old do you think the earth is? How do you know that?
The first question returns to the idea that you need written, eyewitness records. However, there are other ways to date a school. How old are the textbooks? If land was cleared during construction, and allowed to regrow since, what level of succession has taken place? How yellowed is the map on the wall? How many layers of paint are there on the roof? What period do the tiles correspond to? What level of health and safety regulations does the building fit? What other schools of know age have similar characteristics to this one?
In schools that have been built progressively over time, you can also easily see which rooms are older than each other. It may even be possible to determine the age of rooms without recourse to the written records at all. In short, it’s even worse than a “bad analogy.”
“Older students” are given the task of watching that goddamn video, and summarising its “message to tell others [that] the earth is 6,000 years old.”
If you can’t remember from before the logic of that video – if it can be called ‘logic’ – is that A, 1 billion is a very big number and B, they have a couple of PRATTs that prove that the earth could not be billions of years old, therefore C, the Earth is 6,000 years old.
At dinner, you are supposed to broach the theological question of, effectively, why did God bother? My favourite solution to this age-old, purely hypothetical question is that God is trying to build up a fanatical army to fight some opponent – who will be equated with Satan – and which will not desert Him even in the face of defeat and/or massive evidence in favour of the idea of said deity being a complete twat.
For the older student: Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” What does this verse tell you about what God formed the earth out of? If you were having a conversation with a friend who was an atheist, how could you use this verse and the creation account in Genesis to show evidence of God?
Look: atheists are generally not satisfied with bible verses. You can’t use the bible to prove the bible – this passage is not evidence in favour of there being a god. The correct answer for her, judging by various pieces on the ICR’s main website, is that God made the earth out of water, but that’s a pretty weak argument even theologically.
What interesting “discussions” these would be…