Who determines scientific proof for them? They just accept what the secular scientists tell them what to believe, reasoning backwards from effect to cause instead of cause to effect.
For quite some time they've been saying you can believe the universe is billions of years old, a day isn't really 24 hours, etc and everyone was happy thinking it will all work out. The big bang is even in the frum books like Kelemen's. .
They are tied to this framework, now they realized it's not going to work and they don't know how to deal with it.
I said the position was invalid, but it is not because of the reason you are giving. When you saw in a Sefer or heard in a Shiur that basing a cause on an effect is an inferior way of understanding something, it did not mean that it is not a valid way of proving something. It meant that it is inferior to understanding an effect from the cause. We do prove causes from their effects, you just have to know how to do it the right way.When we prove Hashem's existence from the complexity in the universe, for example
, we are proving cause by observing the effect.
The problem with proving cause from effect is that there may be other causes that caused the effect other than the one or ones you know about and therefore, you cannot prove a particular cause by its effect, unless and until you have eliminated all other possible causes. In the case of proving Hashem's existence from the complexity of nature, we can do so because we are not proving what the cause is, but what the cause it not. The world got here either by (a) accident or (b.) intelligence. There is no third choice.Everything that happens is either by design or not by design (i.e. accident). The complexity of the universe proves it cannot have come by accident. By process of elimination, we know therefore that it had to have come by design.
Of course the scientific "proofs" that the world is billions of years old is invalid, even if we overlook the flaws in the methodology. But it is not because they claim to prove a cause from an effect; it is because they assume, for no reason at all, that the world was not created by Hashem. Without that assumption, their proofs are meaningless because we know the world was created with a built-in a age. Adam was an adult, trees were grown, etc. See here
. Therefore, by proving that the world has the world possesses the effects of something that is billions of years old, you cannot conclude that it started that long ago, because you have not eliminated the possibility that it started much more recently, but when ti started it already had an age.
They assume there is no Creator and then they ask, "How did the world come to look this old?" They see the effects and they attempt to prove the cause, which is not a problem in and of itself. But although they can prove that the world is aged billions of years because of the effect, they cannot prove the cause of the world being aged until and unless they eliminate all possible causes except one. They in fact did not eliminate the world being created with an age, which means they claim to prove a lot more than they have.
As far as "frum books," just because a book was written by a frum person, even a well-meaning one, does not mean it is not against the Torah. That's what we have Haskamos for, and, as an Odom Godol once said, many times the Haskomos themselves need Haskomos.
ANd you are right that of course the misguided approach that the Torah agrees with the scientists, even when they haven't proven a thing (as in the case of the age of the world) is a disaster. If you follow it to its natural conclusion, the Torah falls apart at its seems c"v. It is sad that they ever came up with such an idea ot beign with.
It reminds me of something Rav Hutner used to say. He was talking about Modern Orthodoxy. he compared it to someone that puts on his shirt in the morning and starts buttoning it from the bottom. But when accidentally puts the first, bottom button in the wrong buttonhole. Instead of taking ti out and putting it in the right one, he decides he's going to simply put the next button in the next available hole. And so on. So he keeps putting each consecutive button in the wrong consecutive hole, and all the while he thinks he's solved his problem because it looks and feels like he's really buttoning up his shirt with no problems. Until he gets to the top button. Now his collar is all crooked, he looks ridiculous, and he has to unbutton the entire thing to fix it.
The Nimshal is obvious. They can play around trying to fit buttons in available holes, but quickly they get to a dead end and see the entire thing is messed up and the only two possibilities is to admit failure and re-do the entire thing form the beginning, or walk around looking like a clown.
(There is, however, a third possibility as well: Get a bunch of people who buttoned their shirt wrong, make a community of them, and now to each other they seem normal. Then teach that there are "two approaches" to buttoning shirts, and deride those who insist you refuse to invite you to formal affairs because you look ridiculous, and when they tell you that they'll gladly let you in if you simply button your shirt normally accuse them of sinas chinam..)