Old Earth/Universe Christian adherents are guilty, intentionally or not, of attempting to reconcile the Bible with material naturalism instead of taking Scripture as the prime authority. Young Earth/Universe adherents subjugate man’s wisdom and knowledge to God’s Word. (I confess to being deliberately provocative.)
The naturalistic presupposition is uniformitarianism (I.e., natural laws are equally applicable across all places and times) and it is flawed on a cosmological scale. All naturalistic “empirical evidence” is based on it. It is an article of faith.
I have no problem accepting the laws of physics as a general operating rule but I presuppose the laws have not always been uniform in the past, nor will they necessarily be for all times and places. A simple google search can confirm my presupposition. As an example, the naturalistic proposition that “energy is *always* conserved” is neither rational nor scientific as it applies cosmologically.
Naturalists have faith that science will somehow develop a naturalistic explanation given enough time and information and grasp onto every fuzzy theoretical construct (e.g., dark matter and energy, multiverses, string theory, etc.) that supports it - “naturalism of the gaps”.
Here is a great article that illustrates this approach: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-the-multiverse-may-be-the-most-dangerous-idea-in-physics/
I love this quote, in particular:
“we need an open mind, though not too open” - certainly not open enough to consider a Creator God!
My perspective as a Biblical Christian is to question the validity of concepts based on my authoritative source of truth. From that perspective, it is easy to see the chain of consequences naturalistic “deep time” leads to - a rejection of the special supernatural creation of the universe and Man in favor of a purely material naturalistic paradigm.
My own worldview accounts for deep time and the “appearance of age” as a byproduct of a meticulous Master Programmer aligning His program to the laws He developed and complete control over the speed at which that program processes, as well as the authority to supersede those natural processes, at will.
It doesn’t take a degree in physics to figure out that naturalism is not a trustworthy source on which to base a disregard of the plain reading of Scripture. There is too much fuzziness. The more science digs into cosmological scales, the more mysterious the universe becomes.
Now, let’s make sure and be clear - “naturalism” does not equal “science”, although for most practical purposes, they have become close to synonymous. I am a systems engineer/architect by trade, so I leverage logic and science everyday. That being said, I trust the Word of God over all logic and science, because “the wisdom of man is foolishness to God” and there is no practical reason for me to adopt the naturalistic views of deep time and other constructs they have used to ridicule faith in God and in the plain reading of His Word.
1 Thess 5:21 says to “test everything, keep the good” - that is the question OECs have to ask themselves. Is it good to adopt scientific naturalism’s perspective when it contradicts the plain Word? Or is it better to assume that they have a flawed paradigm and work to recontextualize the “fuzzy edges” to meet a more Scriptural framework?
That’s all I’m attempting to do with the OP. Challenge the OEC’s base assumptions and hopefully cause reconsideration, because it is a path I treaded and came out with a new perspective.