Essay on Creationism
The term “Creationism” refers to the idea that an omnipotent God created the universe and everything in it by an act of volition.  Nothing existed prior to the act, and everything was made from nothing.  According to Bishop Ussher, the universe was created on 23 October 4004 BC.

1.  If Creationism is correct, there can be no certain knowledge.  This statement follows from the logical conclusion that God could create the universe at any time with all the attendant characteristics we think exist.  We can imagine that at 11:59pm on 22 October 4004 BC nothing existed.  Then, when the clock struck midnight, the universe appeared.  If such an event is possible, then similar and subsequent events could occur at any time.  If that condition is the case, there is no way to ascertain if the universe was created a few moments ago or not.  Thus, we cannot know anything for certain.

2. Our ability to measure things is highly developed, and our measurements indicate that the universe is very old.  Measurements of radioactive elements indicate that our earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.  When we measure the distances that stars are from the earth, we find that they are millions of light years away from the earth.  These (and many other) facts support the knowledge that the universe is old.  However, if Creationism is correct, then God made the universe as it is, and thereby deliberately misled us.  The stars were deliberately placed far from the earth, and the radioactive elements that we measure were placed in the states we find them.  Thus, our measurements indicate great age, but, due to creation, the ages are false.

3. If the conclusions from argument 2 are correct, we must also conclude that God has purposefully deceived us by creating a universe which appears to be old, but is not old.

4. If history is true (as Bishop Ussher claimed through his studies of the Bible), that fact argues against creationism, because it supports the idea that measurements are valid.  In this case, Ussher used the biblical chronology to determine the starting date of the universe, thus directly assuming that time measurements were valid, and that our historical record was more than momentary imagination.  In fact, Ussher’s assumptions about time meant that he believed our history actually stretched backward to the first day, and that knowledge was certain.  This position cannot be maintained if God can recreate the universe at any second.  The possibility of the creation of a new universe complete with stars, elements, and history eliminates the possibility of any knowledge beyond what appears to be our mental states.  That is, we think we have a history, and we think we know things, but there is no way to know if God recreated the universe just a few seconds ago, and gave us what we think is our history.

5. If Creationism is true, then the body of information we call “scientific knowledge” is false, because that “knowledge” leads us to think that the universe is very old.  Creationism, then, dismisses all objective means to know the universe, and replaces such endeavors with simple faith in an idea which can neither be proven nor disproven.


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