Re: Reply etc.

Bill Hamilton (
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 13:18:12 -0500

Burgy wrote:

>If the scriptures insisted, in some place, that I must believe that 2 + 2 =
>5, that I would call irrational. Likewise, if they insisted, clearly and
>without any possibility of doubt, as my good friend Duane Gish insists,
>that the earth is only 6000 (or so) years old, that I would call
>irrational, with the only loophole available to call it otherwise Gosse's
>theory (last Tuesdayism).

I certainly agree that believing 2+2=5 is irrational. However, while I
believe Dr. Gish is wrong, I think I would have a difficult time showing
him his view is irrational. 2+2=5 is shown false with simple logic. But
Gish would look at evidence we presented which makes us perhaps .999999
certain that the earth is 4.6 billion years old and would simply point out
that we don't have 100% certainty. I would call that poor judgment in
weighing evidence, but not necessarily irrationality.

If I told one of the flatlanders from A. Abbott's book "Flatland" that it
is possible for three lines to intersect at a point and for any two of the
lines to be orthogonal to one another, he would declare that claim
irrational. What may appear quite irrational to me may not be irrational
at all to a being who can deal with more dimensionas than I can.

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr, Ph.D. | Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems | General Motors R&D Center | Warren, MI
810 986 1474 (voice) | 810 986 3003 (FAX) | (home email)