Re: On scientists

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 23:03:53 -0600

While I have unsubscribed, I got this copy and felt the need to respond to
you, an good internet friend of a few of years.

At 09:28 PM 3/17/97 -0500, John W. Burgeson wrote:
>Glenn, you (apparently) have the deep felt belief that "scientists," as a
>general rule, are more to be trusted, are morally superior, are more honest
>and ethical, and, in particular, are less likely to "follow the crowd" than
>other mortals. All this because of our peculiar (no pejorative intended)

My problem is as I have described many times, is that I found that
*everything* that christian apologists said about geology was wrong when I
went to actually look at the data. I came out of school with a physics
degree, and believed what Morris and colleagues said about geology. As I
learned geology, I was horrified. I found that the only ones who were
telling me the truth were the atheists, the anticreationists and those who
believed in naturalism. This was tough to deal with because one would expect
a superior love of truth on the part of Christians. There is an old saying.
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me." I am and always
will be skeptical of christian claims when they never talk about problems.
Is there anything Johnson thinks is a problem for his view? If there is I
have not read it in any of his published writings, yet all views have problems.

Because of my experience, I am extremely sensitive to Christians saying
things like Gish and Johnson say about Australopithecus's supposed lack of
bipedal walking ability when it is based upon a 27 year old report and NONE
of the more recent data is cited. This omission of more recent data is
exactly what the YECs do with geology. The importance of subsequent
discovery to Zuckerman's report can be shown in a short quote from this
month's Scientific American,

"Lucy and her kind were upright walkers, as the structures of their
pelvises and knee joints particularly attest, but they retained many ancestral
features notably in their limb proportions and in their hands and feet, that
would have made them fairly adept tree climbers."~Ian Tattersall, "Out of
Africa Again...and Again?" Scientific American April, 1997, p. 60

Zuckerman didn't have this data and Johnson, who could have found it out,
either didn't look or didn't report it to his readers. To me, I don't care
about the morality of scientists, but for Christians, who should behave in
the most upright fashion, to avoid dealing with difficult data which
contradicts what they believe by merely ignoring it, is unacceptable. I
agree with you, scientists are not perfect, but avoidance of KNOWN
OBSERVATIONAL DATA is something Christians do quite well.

As I have thought about this, the only difference between liberal and
conservative in the handling of science and Scripture is that the
conservative will always ignore science if it is a problem for his view and
the liberal will always cry "allegory" if a Biblical account gets in the way
of his preferred view. While the results are different, the methodology is
identical. Surely there has to be a way to unite BOTH scriptural accounts
and science without ignoring either.

I truly apologize to you Burgy if I have offended you, that was not my
intent. I would ask you to forgive me. I need to get my batteries recharged
and maybe spend some time working on another unpublishable manuscript this
time on fossil man.


Foundation, Fall and Flood