Re: Error in Article & what should be done.

Steven Schimmrich (schimmrich@earthlink.net)
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:22:34 -0500

At 09:57 AM 2/12/98 -0800, Art Chadwick wrote:

>At 08:18 AM 2/12/98 -0500, Steven Schimmrich wrote:
>
>> Amen to that. I feel exactly the same way about YEC claims. If people
>>said "These were totally miraculous events" then I would not have a problem
>>with it. It's when they claim that there is scientific support for their
>>ideas that I think they become fair game for investigation and, as usually
>>happens, debunking.
>
>O.K. so you want to allow only one or the other. That seems to me to be
>pretty arbitrary. After all, the God on earth who healed the leper and
>raised the dead had to eat food, and relieve himself and drink water just
>like the rest of us. Where do you get this philosophy of simplifying
>everything to either all one or all the other? It certainly is not from
>scripture, and not from human experience, so it must be a tenet of
>rationalism that has slipped into this discussion. There probably were
>some events in the history of this world that cannot be explained within
>our limited framework, and there are a number of things that can be
>tentatively defined in rational terms. Is that a flaw of the system? Is
>someone who believes that God does intervene in human history suddenly
>prohibited from being rational, or proceeding as a scientist in areas where
>he or she believes noninterventionist processes were occurring? I do not
>see the connection, unless you wish to define a class of people as irrelevant.

"There was a global flood around 4,000 years ago and we can see geologic
evidence of it preserved within the Grand Canyon." This is a statement Steve
Austin (maybe even Art Chadwick?) would say.

Thousands of other geologists look at the rocks and say "No way, there's
clear evidence of many different paleoenvironments preserved within these rocks
which were clearly deposited over a very long period of time." Those geologists
ask the young-earth creationists "What about this specific feature here, how do
you explain this in your global flood model?"

The young-earth creationist replies "Oh, maybe God performed a miraculous act
to accomodate this problem."

That mixing of methodological naturalistic science with appealing to the
miraculous makes it impossible to investigate the natural world because there
are no criteria for determining where to place the miracle (except the
investigator's ignorance and refusal to deal with problems in his model).

You're not looking into the geologic record and seeing an event preserved that
appears to violate the "laws" of nature and proposing a miraculous explanation
(one place, for example, where I'd accept an appeal to the miraculous on that
basis would be the origin of life), you're starting with a preconceived model
(the flood, for example) and then answering objections to that model by proposing
a miraculous explanation. That's a very different thing.

Young-earth creationists can't claim scientific validation (they do, after all,
call themselves creation "scientists") if they don't play by the rules of science
and steadfastly refuse to address real and substantial problems in their models.

- Steve.

--
   Steven H. Schimmrich              Assistant Professor of Geology

Physical Sciences Department schimmri@kutztown.edu (office) Kutztown University schimmrich@earthlink.net (home) 217 Grim Science Building 610-683-4437, 610-683-1352 (fax) Kutztown, Pennsylvania 19530 http://home.earthlink.net/~schimmrich/