Re: [asa] A graduate student speaks out

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Sat Jan 12 2008 - 07:19:44 EST


It's fair enough to criticize what is written, and to expose
scientific misrepresentation , but not fair to attack the people
personally like you do. I've said it before and I'll say it again, of
all the creationists I've met, including Andy McIntosh, none of them I
would say were deliberate liars. Yes they are willfully self-deluded,
because they can't reconcile what science tells them with their faith.

I'll illustrate this with something that happened to me which also
illustrates, Michael, how damaging your approach is, and why you get
accused of tearing apart the body of Christ. I exchanged several
emails with the "BCSE revealed" blogger David Anderson. I took him to
task over one of his blog posts about intelligent design with what I
thought was reasoned argument. As Anderson has a maths degree, some of
it was quite technical, involving Bayesian probability theory.

 He then told me that Andy McIntosh was far better qualified than most
people so who was I or anyone at BCSE to criticize? It so happened
that I had your very well written and researched set of notes on
McIntosh's appalling geology, and offered to send it to him, saying
that I had some notes from a conservative evangelical vicar called
Michael Roberts that completely demolished McIntosh's arguments.

This was, it turns out a big mistake, and lost me a good deal of
credibility, because it seems that you had already sent Anderson a
couple of unsolicited emails in your usual vein, which he considered
so appalling that he doubted that you were even a Christian! He had
considered posting them on his blog, but thought better of it because
he considered what you had written to be a disgrace to the service of
Christ. What is the use of trying to promote your excellent
scientific writing if on the other side you attack the audience like a
Rottweiler? I challenged you privately about this but received no
reply (another ploy that's often employed by Creationists). So this
time it's publicly, on a list that does deal quite a bit with how we
might dialogue with creationists and their false science. I'd
appreciate an answer.

But in the end, I decided to give up on Anderson. I had told him that
Andy McIntosh, in a sermon at my church, had said that if you didn't
believe YEC but believed in evolution that you may as well give up and
become an atheist. Anderson responded with words to the effect that
"if I believed, as you do, that the earth is billions of years old, I
would indeed give up my faith and become an atheist". I replied that
I would leave it there, because I wouldn't personally want to be
responsible for the collapse of someone's faith, and if that was where
my efforts to convince him that the earth is old were going to lead,
then I'd rather drop the line.

Bottom line is that YEC's believe so because they can't deal with the
alternative. It is almost like a psychological hang-up. Tread softly
because you tread on my dreams.


On Jan 12, 2008 8:29 AM, Michael Roberts
<> wrote:
> Too many are too reticent to criticise both the bad science and the
> appalling level of misrepresentation by many "creationists".
> Yet if we do, then we are accused of tearing apart the body of Christ. YECs
> have done that wonderfully
> Few seem really bothered by this
> Michael
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "PvM" <>
> To: "David Opderbeck" <>
> Cc: "Jack Haas" <>; "ASA list" <>
> Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2008 2:18 AM
> Subject: Re: [asa] A graduate student speaks out
> > In this case he is 'making fun' of the lack of scientific depth of a
> > Christian. We should all remember St Augustine here.
> >
> > What damage do we allow fellow Christians to do to religious faith,
> > science and science education? Or do we have some responsibilities
> > here as well?
> >
> > On Jan 11, 2008 8:53 AM, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> >> Jack, this is from the blog of a raging atheist who's making fun of a
> >> creationist and by implication of all Christians.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Jan 11, 2008 11:38 AM, Jack Haas <> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> > This guy has his head on.
> >> > Jack Haas
> >> >
> >> > Dr. Seelke, have you met Liebig?
> >> > By JM Ridlon(JM Ridlon)
> >> > "I also have an ongoing interest in Christian apologetics, which
> >> > sometimes
> >> overlaps my professional career. I am convinced that Christianity is not
> >> only true, but that it is perhaps the only way of viewing the world that
> >> allows you to ...
> >> > Science: The Gap Filler -
> >> > To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> >> > "unsubscribe
> >> asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> >
> >
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
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Received on Sat Jan 12 07:21:09 2008

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