Institute for Creation (Credulous) Research (Retards), PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Voi
Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021
Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469
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No. 218 "Vital Articles on Science/Creation" August 1991
Hugh Ross, ICR, and Facts of Science
by James S. Stambaugh, M.L.S., M.Div.*
Copyright (c) 1991 by I.C.R.
All Rights Reserved
* Librarian, Institute for Creation Research. See _Impact_ Article 217
"Hugh Ross, ICR, and the Bible," _Acts and Facts_, July 1991.
Last month we discussed the Biblical and theological differences
between ICR's position and that of the Hugh Ross organization, Reasons
to Believe. The differences do not stop there, of course. These very
significant theological differences necessarily lead to many other
differences as we interpret God's world in the scientific record. We
trust that our readers are already aware of ICR's scientific position
regarding the age of the earth, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the
fossil record, etc. The need here, then, is an understanding of what
Dr. Ross actually teaches. As the reader sees what Dr. Ross believes,
he then should be able to discern the similarities and differences
between the two ministries.
Days of Creation
Dr. Ross, as the last article stated, accepts the idea that the
"days" of Genesis 1 are long periods of time, yet, he also maintains
that these creative days overlap. God would create one kind of animal
over two or three of those "long" days.
To insist that the creation event of Genesis must be specifically
limited to the creation days in which they are mentioned is to
read too much into the text. It can more reasonably be stated
that each event or life-form was primarily introduced on the
creation day indicated and that each creation day was
preeminently one of the introduction of the event or life-form(s)
described. For example, though most of the lower vertebrates
were introduced on the fifth day, a few may have been introduced
on the fourth and sixth days.
One can see that Dr. Ross, for example, has plants being created from
Day Three possibly through Day Five. Stars could be created through all
six or seven days. To compare this idea with the literal view of the
creation period, see the ICR book, _Scientific Creationism_, pp.
203-255. Or for that matter, just read Genesis 1, and assume God meant
what He said!
Age of the Earth and Universe
The topic of the age of the earth and universe came up on a popular
radio program on which Dr. Ross was a recent guest speaker. This is the
dialogue that took place between the interviewer and Dr. Ross:
Interviewer: "Not all Christians agree that the earth is
three-and-a-half to four-billion years old. You do, I do, in an
unqualified way. Explain why you believe that?"
Ross: "Well, it's because of the strength of the scientific
evidence. I mean, it's really impossible to interpret the universe
without accepting a creation date billions of years ago. But I'd
also like to look at the Bible and say that I want to have a
consistent interpretation of what the Bible is saying about the
moment of creation, whereby Hebrews and Psalms and other chapters of
the Bible to not contradict what's in Genesis. But I have to accept
the long-day interpretation; not the short-day interpretation. This
is not an important doctrine. What's essential for the Christian
faith is _who_ creates, and _how_ He creates. _When_ is
We would agree with Dr. Ross that the "_who_" and "_how_" are
essential. Yet when one understands that God created by fiat miracle,
and not through long natural processes, the "_when_" is part of the
Stellar and Planetary Formation
Dr. Ross accepts the standard evolutionary view of the origin of the
universe -- namely, that there was a "Big Bang" at the start of both
time and space.
This is the typical explanation, using naturalistic means, to explain
the origin of the universe. However, this does not bring either stars
or planets into existence. He thus summarizes the stages bringing into
existence the solar system:
The initial evolution of the solar system. The solar system
began as a giant interstellar cloud. Then it collapsed into a
flattened disk. Then separated into a series of concentric rings
that eventually coalesced into proto-planets.
[caption of an illustration]
So we see that Dr. Ross is content to let the stars and planets
evolve by a naturalistic means.
Fossil Record and Biological Evolution
Dr. Ross accepts the current evolutionary interpretation of the
fossil record known as _punctuated equilibrium_. He believes that some
animal species have appeared suddenly at various times throughout the
earth's billions of years when God directly intervened to create the
"higher animals." He leaves open the possibility that God used
evolution to create the "lower animals."
When we examine the fossil record, we see a growing proliferation
of life forms through time. Though biologists describe various
species as "transitional," we still find no evidence for one life
form transforming itself into a distinctly different life form. A
species suddenly appears, exists for a relatively long period of
time with no significant changes, goes extinct, and much later is
replaced with one or more distinctly different species. In the
animal kingdom, at least, no evidence for any natural process or
means of replacement exists. Likewise, in the Bible, God
declares, that for the higher animals He directly intervenes in
the natural order to create new species, and that these new life
forms reproduce "after their kind." In the book of Psalms, God
speaks of His creating life forms to replace those that have died
A more consistent creationist view can be found in _Evolution: The
Challenge of the Fossil Record_ by Dr. Duane Gish.
Dr. Ross also teaches that there were many catastrophes that caused
extinctions. These catastrophes may have been floods, earthquakes, or
meteors striking the earth. However, he rejects the Noahic flood as
worldwide; it was only one of many local floods. Dr. Ross says:
The earth's geological history and biological history have been
shaped by these events as well as by other natural processes.
Both the Bible and geology speak of probability-defying,
life-supportive surface conditions for planet earth, of the
miraculous appearance of living things in greater and greater
complexity through millennia of life-disrupting catastrophes, of
a flood that was disastrous to mankind, to the land he occupied,
and to the animals associated with him.
_The Genesis Flood_, by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, provides a
good contrast to Dr. Ross's multiple/local catastrophe view.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a fundamental principle in modern
science. Dr. Ross comments on the origin and usefulness of this law:
Moreover, the Second Law of Thermodynamics has nothing to do with
man's sin. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is good for us.
That's the law that says that things tend towards decay, from
order to disorder, and we look at that as bad. But without the
Second Law, organisms couldn't possibly exist. It would be far
more chaotic if the Second Law of Thermodynamics were not in
operation, and it would be far worse for the planet, if animals
and plants did not die.
Compare the statement by Dr. Ross to the one by Dr. Henry Morris, of
ICR. It is important to observe the difference between the two. Dr.
Morris says of the Second Law of Thermodynamics:
In the primeval creation, however, even though what we might call
"decay" processes certainly existed (e.g., digestion, friction,
water erosion, wave attenuation, etc.), they must all have
balanced precisely with "growth" processes elsewhere whether
within the individual systems, or perhaps more commonly, in an
adjacent system, so that the entropy of the world as a whole
would stay constant!
Dr. Morris states that before sin entered the world, there would have
been no net deteriorating effects of the Second Law. Yet once Adam
sinned, God cursed the world and all that is in it. Thus the "decay"
that we see today is a result of man's sin (note Romans 8:20-21).
Hominids and "Spirit Man"
Dr. Ross teaches that there were man-like creatures on the earth
prior to Adam's creation. The distinction between the two groups is
that Adam and his descendants "are aware of God and capable of forming
relationships with Him." He says:
Clearly, as man's story unfolds through subsequent chapters, one
discovers that what makes him different is a quality called
"spirit." Man is unique among all species of life. By "spirit"
the Bible means aware of God and capable of forming a
relationship with Him. Evidence of man's spiritual dimension
would include divine worship, shown by religious relics, altars,
and temples. From the Bible's perspective, painting, burial of
dead, or use of tools would not qualify as conclusive evidence of
the spirit. Moreover, non-spirit beings such as bower birds,
elephants, and chimpanzees are observed to engage in these
While bipedal, tool-using, large-brained hominids roamed the
earth at least as long ago as one million years, evidence for
religious relics and altars dates back only 8,000 to 24,000
years. Thus, the secular anthropological date for the first
spirit creatures is in complete agreement with the biblical
Dr. Ross goes on to say that he believes Adam was not physically
related to these hominids. He believes that they suffered a
catastrophic extinction sometime before "spirit" man was created.
We trust that our readers have observed the wide differences in
scientific interpretation between Reasons to Believe and the Institute
for Creation Research. These differences stem from our
Biblical/theological interpretation, yet they strongly influence how
each organization approaches science and the interpretation of the
scientific data. We recognize that Dr. Ross accepts many fundamental
truths of Christianity, such as the deity and virgin birth of Christ,
Christ's vicarious atonement, and salvation by faith. The purpose of
this article, however is to point out that there are, nevertheless, very
important differences between Dr. Ross's teachings and the accurate
Biblical/scientific approach to the key question of origins, at least as
we here at ICR understand it.
1. Ross, Hugh. _Genesis 1: A Scientific Perspective_, p. 12. Note
especially the illustration used to support this idea. One
should also compare Dr. Ross' drawing to Davis Young's in
_Creation and The Flood_. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977.
2. _Focus On The Family_, April 18, 1991.
3. Ross, Hugh. _Genesis 1: A Scientific Perspective_, p. 4.
4. Ross, Hugh. 90 second radio news spot _Reasons to Believe #50_,
10th spot for February 1991.
5. Ross, Hugh and Kathy. "Uniformitarianism -- Friend or Foe?" _Facts
and Faith 2_. Fall 1988. p. 3.
6. _Focus On The Family_, April 18, 1991. This quote is part of
dialogue between Drs. Dobson and Ross on the origin of suffering
7. Morris, Henry. _Biblical Basis For Modern Science_. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Baker Book House, 1984. p. 195.
8. Ross, Hugh. _Fingerprint of God_. Orange, California: Promise
Publishing, 1989. pp. 159-160.
This "Impact" was converted to ASCII, for BBS use.
Comments regarding typographical errors
in the above material are appreciated.
Don Barber, ICR Systems Administrator
Fax: (619) 448-3469
All ICR staff members adhere to a Statement of Faith
in the form of two documents:
"Tenets of Scientific Creationism"
and "Tenets of Biblical Creationism."
(see Impact No. 85)
As a missionary organization, ICR is funded by God's people. The
majority of its income is provided by individual donors who desire to
proclaim God's truth about origins. Gifts can be designated for
research, the graduate school, seminars, or any special part of the ICR
ministry. All others will be used where most needed. We pledge to use
them wisely and with integrity.
If you would like to receive our free monthly newsletter "Acts & Facts,"
or our free quarterly devotional Bible-study booklet "Days of Praise,"
just request them by contacting ICR at (619) 448-0900.
We believe God has raised up ICR to spearhead Biblical Christianity's
defense against the godless dogma of evolutionary humanism. Only by
showing the scientific bankruptcy of evolution, while exalting Christ
and the Bible, will Christians be successful in "the pulling down of
strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians
Member, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
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