Re: Debate

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 21 Dec 1997 09:19:59 -0600

Hi Bill,

At 01:22 AM 12/21/97 -0600, wrote:

>Sat, 20 Dec 1997 21:21:24 -0600 Glenn Morton wrote:
>> But I would suggest that Philip Johnson is going to get unloaded on by the
>> young-earth creationists. He said "I have said on many occasions and have
>> urged persons in the conservative Christian community to put aside the Bible
>> issues and let us ask the question what is actually known from scientific
>> evidence as opposed to materialistic philosophy."
>I don't think any YEC should take issue with that statement. IF the YEC
>view of Genesis is historically true, then there should be scientific
>evidence supporting that view. Unfortunately, the easy route is to say,
>"God said it, I believe it, and that settles it." Phil is simply saying
>that more Christians need to follow the lead of Michael Behe and take
>the time to build the empirical foundation to support whatever it is
>that we believe. When David fought Goliath, he (1) crossed over to the
>enemy's turf, and he (2) used geology to convince Goliath of the truth
>of God. He (3) also used a little metallurgy to obtain data useful in
>reminding Saul of his promises (I Samuel 17).

I would disagree with you here. Under the general principle that most people
don't like to have their ideas called "silly" and "damaging" I can't see how
YEC's would not have a problem with that statement. I do not like it when
people call my ideas silly. Secondly, it is precisely because the Bible says
it (in the YEC individual's view) that they hold the position that they do.
I have had people tell me that if they think the "Bible" says X and the
observational data says not-X then they will believe the "Bible" (I place
Bible in quotes because what they are doing is equating their interpretation
of the Bible with the Bible). I would disagree that lots of YECs care about
the evidence (I know you do but you are an exception) Ken Ham said in
response to being told that a geology professor could prove him wrong, "Even
if your geology professor were here and said things I don't understand
because I'm not a geologist, if what he says disagrees with the Bible, then
he is wrong. If I can't explain why he is wrong, it only means I don't have
the evidence to know the errors in his arguments. The Bible is the Word of
God and is infallible."

Now I would agree that the Bible is God's Word, but what Ham is doing is
equating his INTERPRETATION of the Bible with the Bible itself. This is a
subtle form of sin which is making ourselves out to be infallible.
Creationists always say how the sin of man destroys his ability to really
see the things of God, well, Christians are sinful too so why are we to be
excluded from that source of error? We simply cannot raise our
interpretation of Scripture up to the level of divine inspiration.

Because of this, Ham does not care a whit about what the observational data
of geology says.

I would also like to say that when Berlinski stated that he had no opinion
on certain matters he looked anal retentive. Having no explanation for
factual information creates a huge intellectual vacuum. And nature abhors a
vacuum. Evolution can drive unopposed onto the unoccupied territory. The
big problem with the creationist side of the debate was that they didn't
offer an explanation for the data; they simple said that evolution was wrong.

>> and of a young-earth
>> creationist book said "The kind of thing you are scouraging certainly is
>> silly, just almost as silly as the work of Richard Dawkins. And its
>> damaging. And I mean that."
>I was surprised and sadden to hear this from Phil. If _D Is For
>Dinosaur_ is silly, then what should we say of God, who finished Job off
>with leviathan (dead ringer for a dino) in Job 41? And no, I don't
>believe this can be dismissed as poetic imagery, as suggested not too
>long ago on this site.

See, I thought young-earth creationists wouldn't like what Phil said. :-)
And it was D is for dinosars.

>Incidentally, God wasn't playing patty-cake with Job. How would God's
>question in verse 5 of Job 41 sit with you if you had just experienced
>the loss of your children, especially your little girls, Dads: "Can you
>make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?"
>His girls were dead.

I would say that the leviathan is probably a crocodile. It has rows of
plates on its back (Job 41:15)and in Isa 27:1 it is called the gliding
serpent. His mouth is "ringed with teeth" (Job 41:14) The fire smoke and
lightening could probably have come from their snorting air on a cold day or
the spray and bubbling.

And it might be that the behemoth and leviathon in this passage are
synonyms. In which case the croc has a tail like a cedar and lies hidden in
the reeds and under the lotus plant (I stood next to a gator in Southern
Louisiana once and didn't know it because he was hidden by duckweed. We
were no more than 4 feet from a 10 foot gator and I didn't see him until he


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