Two words defined –
Assume: Take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof.
Rampant: Unrestrained or uncontrolled; abundant.
Assumptions are rampant in human thought. Assumptions can be useful and can help us through many otherwise insurmountable problems. However they can also complicate our thinking and lead to confused and sometimes ridiculous answers. For example, they can be found being used most egregiously in what often passes for popular “scientific” or “logical” thinking. Just because they are found in those kinds of thinking doesn’t make assumptions bad. What makes them bad in those cases is when they are hidden or disguised as facts. When that happens it is possible that we are being intentionally mislead.
Take the age of the Earth. How old is it? I am aware of two ways of answering this question: Biblical and scientific. The Biblical way usually leads to a young Earth, while the scientific way usually leads to a far older age for the Earth. Both of these approaches, however, contain hidden assumptions that make it difficult to accept either one. We end up wondering if we’re being mislead.
In fact, in my mind the difficulty is so great that the only reasonable conclusion is that we do not know and cannot know how old the Earth really is. I don’t believe we have enough solid information from either approach to reach a reasonable answer.
Oh, not just the total age of the Earth, but also the amount of time needed to create it and the universe it sits in. Many people are certain that it took exactly six days for God to create the universe and the Earth. On the other hand, a lot of people are equally certain that it took billions of years for the Earth and the universe to come spontaneously into being. How much time was actually needed? There are good arguments in both camps. But because of the numerous assumptions involved, any conclusion can only be a guess.
Personally, I lean toward a young Earth, but not quite as young as some would have it be. Certainly not billions of years. Why am I a young-ish Earth advocate? I think the evidence I am aware of fits a younger age better than a really old Earth. But I wouldn’t die trying to defend that argument. Can I assume you wouldn’t either?
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