Current Ethics problem

Glenn Morton (
Wed, 04 Feb 1998 19:52:35 -0600

With all this ethics discussion in the air, I have a question about how to
handle certain things. There are several questions about this incident at
the bottom. All names will be removed from the following but it is real. I
personally know an apologist who used to work with me. I found the following
describing my friend's areas of specialization on the web:

Areas of specialization: Molecular Biology, Naturalism, Evolutionary Science.

Now I wrote the organization the following:

>>[name] probably isn't going to like this. I used to work with
[name] at [name] before he went to get his Ph. D. and know
him personally. He is, or was, a friend. What I mention I do because I
am tired of seeing christians in the creation/evolution area claim
expertise they don't have. On your website he lists his qualifications

[name and position removed]
Areas of specialization: Molecular Biology, Naturalism,
Evolutionary Science

Now, I agree that [name] has expertise in Naturalism, and evolutionary
science. But to claim specialization in molecular biology seems odd.
His training is philosophy and geophysics and none of his listed
publications have anything to do with molecular biology.

When you ask [name] about this, tell him that he doesn't answer e-mail so
I decided that it was useless to send him one.<<

The director wrote me back,

>>Thank you for your scrutiny of this matter and the note of concern about
the stated areas of [name] professional expertise.
In review of [name] curriculum vitae, I found the following entry:

Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science. University of [univ. & year
removed]. Thesis: "Of Clues and Causes: A Methodological
Interpretation of Origin-of-Life Research." Thesis analyzed scientific and
methodological issues in origin-of-life biology.

M.Phil. in the History and Philosophy of Science. [Univeristy and year
removed]. Emphases: History of *Molecular Biology,* History of Physics,
Evolutionary Theory.

In light of these credentials and a perusal of a number of his
publications, including his upcoming book, you will surely find critical
and informed discussion of molecular biology. (If you would like a copy of
one or more of these, I would be glad to send one to you).

>When you ask [name] about this, tell him that he doesn't answer e-mail so
>I decided that it was useless to send him one.

The same sometimes happen to me, but I know that he has been extremely busy
teaching, writing, editing, traveling and directing the Center.<<

I wrote the following:
>>Thank you for your quick reply. While I will accept what you have
presented, many atheists will view this as another example of christian
degree exaggeration. And don't get me wrong, I didn't say that [name] didn't
know many areas outside of his exact expertise. [name]'s actual emphasis was
on philosophy and history of molecular biology not molecular biology. If
you can tell me that he actually engaged in chemical research then I would
see no problem and would stand corrected. There is a big difference between
the history of molecular biology and molecular bioloty. It is generally wise
to avoid even the appearance of evil. We should be excruciatingly honest
about our past. In Dallas we have the local young-earth creationist who
claims to be a geologist. I am a manager of geoscience for a large oil
company. I can tell you that this local guy does not have a degree and does
not know didly about geology, yet he claims to have a Ph.D. [Another name
not the local guy] of [institute name] claims to be a geologist but his
degree is in engineering. His Ph.D. and Masters thesis are engineering
topics not geological. For someone I respect as much as [name] to be subject
to that type of association bothers me. It all brings discredit on our Lord
if we exaggerate ever so slightly.<<

I got a "thank you for your concern" response.

My question is this. Is the type of "exaggeration" I am talking about
important? Is it exaggeration? Should christians stop doing it? And was my
approach wrong?


Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


Foundation, Fall and Flood