Re: [asa] On telling the truth about science

From: James Mahaffy <>
Date: Fri Jan 18 2008 - 18:00:15 EST

Amen David.

I have spent some time thinking about YEC Creationism, I think it is a big mistake to appear as we often do on this list that current scientific paradigms have the truth and therefore YEC folks must be deceiving themselves (some should read more science). In fact their science, which I think fits well with a lay science (like homeopathy or some forms of alternative agriculture) is to them real science.

You notice by this I am not suggesting in a postmodern sense that both have equal validity (while I will take my Mom herbal remedy for an enlarged prostrate, I will still check out my PSA and certainly won't follow her advise if there is cancer there). My Mom is a strong believer in "natural remedies".

However, much of YEC can not in my mind be simply categorized as pseudoscience (even though pseudoscience will be found more often in this science) nor as a wrong science. They answer not to mainstream science but to scientists who give what they think are reasonable answers without conflicting with the Scriptures. And few laymen read or can be expected to read Scientific America. They MUST depend on some scientists they trust for their science which also has to be given in lay terms which usually means it is stripped of its empirical basis.

Lastly, those of you who conflate all types of YEC and then try and paint all of ID into the same negative box could be accused of taking in vain the good name of good scientists. I know of many (more in the ID camp) that probably do more and better science than some who are so negatively categorizing. Sighhhhh!. Now I am not suggesting we should avoid talking about the issues but lets avoid the name calling and strawman I hear too much of on this group.

And yes it is scientific impossible for a man to rise from the dead but I believe Christ did and I don't believe I have to resort to two flat fish or ice to explain Peter walking on water. I don't think I should limit my God's actions to what fits into the framework of science [miracles are I think sometimes not explainable]. While I don't have a problem with an old earth obviously my faith and reading of the Word of my God tells me that in these regards I should take the revelation more or less in a literal fashion.

bcc to a couple of colleagues

>>> On 1/18/2008 at 3:41 PM, in message
<>, "David Opderbeck"
<> wrote:
> I don't know that the reluctance to accuse fellow Christians of lying is
> either "a generous spirit toward fellow humans" or "teambuilding." In my
> case, at least, it's (a) a concern for the unity of the body of Christ; and
> (b) a hesitancy to pluck splinters out of others' eyes before tending to the
> logs in my own.
> As to (a), I wouldn't disparage that as "teambuilding." I have no interest
> in supporting the YEC program and no concern about unbelievers seeing us
> engage in honest, civil debate. However, many of the regular, decent folks
> I fellowship and minister with would likely be hurt / offended / threatened
> by strong, public accusations of dishonesty against some YEC leaders. They
> will not be convinced by those accusations, and making such statements would
> hinder our fellowship and ministry. IMHO, scripture and experience are
> clear in circumstances like this: the wise and loving action is to express
> your opinion sparingly (see, e.g, Prov. 12:18: "Reckless words pierce like
> a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.").
> As to (b), let's say there are some hucksters out there who are actively
> dishonest in selling YEC. YEC can be a lucrative business, like many other
> "Christian"-related products. But would we also agree that most YECs --
> both professional and lay -- are not lying but rather are taking what they
> believe is the right approach to reconciling science and scripture? And are
> we also willing to recognize that none of us has this exactly right and all
> figured out? Don't we all have a few areas in which we're not completely
> comfortable with our own views? Are we secure and mature enough in our own
> beliefs to gently admonish and encourage our YEC brothers and sisters to
> consider looking at things differently, without anger or accusations? Or do
> we really think it's all about *us* and what *we *think?
> On Jan 18, 2008 1:48 PM, Stephen Matheson <> wrote:
>> I don't see how Menton's abuse of Tiktaalik can be anything but outright
>> fabrication:
>> But this is what we get when science mutates into folk science, and when
>> its purpose is not exploration or understanding, but apologetics.
>> Having said that, I'm baffled by the reluctance to suggest that Christians
>> can lie. If the hesitation is a general one, born of a generous spirit
>> toward fellow humans, great, but if it's some kind of teambuilding strategy,
>> ditch it as fast as you can. (That's an overall comment, not specifically
>> addressed to Ted. Who looks like Michael Keaton, don't you think?)
>> Steve Matheson
>> >>> "Ted Davis" <> 01/18/08 1:27 PM >>>
>> I changed the heading of this thread to reflect this particular topic.
>> A couple of years ago, in the wake of the Kitzmiller trial (ID), I
>> attended
>> Kent Hovind's seminar, in the auditorium of Dover Senior High School.
>> I'll
>> skip the details on how it was arranged, and who declined an invitation to
>> "debate" "Dr Dino," (not yours truly), and cut to the chase. Forget ID,
>> Hovind told the audience -- most of whom did not live in the Dover school
>> district (there was a show of hands about this during the seminar).
>> Forget
>> creationism. Forget the Bible. Just focus on the "lies" in the
>> textbooks.
>> All from a man who is now in jail on a criminal offense. Hovind still
>> likes
>> to use some of the arguments that creationists themselves say you
>> shouldn't
>> use, esp the howler about the retrograde rotation of Uranus disproving the
>> big bang. Hello? A few details would be appreciated, to help me connect
>> those dots. That one, as Pauli or Dirac or someone (I've forgotten
>> exactly
>> who) once said, isn't even wrong. He has to know that some of his stuff
>> is
>> more than out there on the fringe and entirely unsupported even by his
>> fellow YECs. He has to. I just don't think he cares. Whether his tune
>> will change after he gets out of prison, we'll just have to wait and see.
>> I
>> hope it does, literally for Christ's sake.
>> The closest that most YECs come to deliberate lying, IMO, is when the
>> present the big bang as an atheists' theory. That one also isn't even
>> wrong. It's such a profound distortion of the history of the theory and
>> how
>> it is often viewed even by religious sceptics today. A profound
>> distortion.
>> It absolutely enrages me when I hear it, so I do make a big point of
>> telling my students why I get angry about that one. Here's a little bit
>> of
>> what I tell them:
>> On the other hand, I get comparably angry when Scientific American devotes
>> an issue to the multiverse and present it without blinking an eye as good,
>> hard science that challenges religion. Of course--with Michael Shermer on
>> board there now, they are advancing the old warfare thesis of religion and
>> science. I know quite a few people who've canceled their subscriptions in
>> recent years for similar reasons.
>> Ted
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Received on Fri Jan 18 18:01:22 2008

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