Check this out:
Skeptics will bite back normally with four problems with the above scenario. First, how do we know we can trust the invisible writer of the note? That’s a good question! What this simple example fails to convey is that the writer’s note has been verified reliable with other corroborating evidence and we have no reason to doubt it. (See our post on how the Bible is reliable: https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/is-the-bible-really-reliable/ and also our full Biblical Authority section).
The second problem skeptics will level is that they do not just rely on radiometric dating, but also other methods like tree rings, ice cores, etc… and that they all corroborate the decay method. What I could have added to my scenario is that there are also 10 other hourglasses of different designs in the room that corroborate the 12-hour conclusion, but the note says that the person also interrupted the process on those hourglasses equally – therefore we would expect them to align with the first one.
The third problem is probably the most common leveled argument against this scenario. Doesn’t this make God deceptive? If he created the world with built-in apparent age, then changed the way some things work during the curse, and changed and/or initiated many geologic processes during the year-long global flood – that would be misleading! My response: not if He told us He did it that way! Yes, it would be deceiving if he turned those hourglasses over, made changes, and then never told us about it… but that’s not what happened. WE decided the note he left us was unimportant in our science.
The final problem is: why would God just change the natural laws at a moment’s whim?? That is NOT what we are suggesting. First, it wouldn’t be at a moment’s whim if He told us about it. We are not in the blind about this. It was fully revealed to us how/when/why this all occurred. Second, we are not suggesting that laws whimsically change at any time. Not that God can’t do that; just that it wasn’t necessarily needed to be done that way. If God created the world with apparent age that doesn’t require changing any of the natural laws. If God changed the way certain processes occur following original sin that wouldn’t require changing any of the natural laws. And if the world reacted differently during the global flood than it does today, that also doesn’t require changing any of the natural laws. We need to differentiate between processes working differently in the past vs. God changing laws on a whim. We are not advocating that, nor is it necessary. But we are promoting the idea that assuming things about the past based on how they work today is not final truth if we ignore the note in the room.
In conclusion, new evidence should change our conclusions. You may see me as foolish for accepting the note on what you consider is blind faith, but I see you as foolish for overlooking it. You are welcome to question, deny or ignore the evidence, but you are not allowed to criticize me for accepting it into my conclusions.