Re: YEC and fossils

Glenn R. Morton (
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 19:47:53 -0500

At 10:08 PM 7/15/98 -0600, Bill Payne wrote:
>gordon brown wrote:
>> I find it ironic that in the YEC version of things Burbidge, an outspoken
>> atheist, is the good guy, and Sandage, a Christian, is the bad guy.
>Refreshing, isn't it?

Bill, I find this to be a rather flip answer to a serious question. Your
logic is highly flawed and your rules of evidence, if applied to other
areas would lead to conclusions you wouldn't like. Your epistemology is
highly flawed.
You claimed in response to my post the other day,

>You will always be able to find in print that outlier
>observations/interpretations are invalid for some seemingly good
>reason. Without understanding the perhaps unconcious bias of the
>author, it is virtually impossible to know whether he is slanting his
>observations to support his position, or giving us a candid look at his
>data. In my opinion, the latter is a rarity.

Here is the problem Bill, and I am going to put this in terms I think you
will understand. I don't want anyone to necessarily assume that the
following are or are not my political beliefs, however.

A number of women have accused Clinton of having had sex with them and/or
having sexually harassed them. Clinton has denied this each and every time.
One political commentator has often pointed out the odd fact that in order
for Clinton to be correct, lots and lots of women must be wrong. But in
order for the women to be correct, only one man has to be wrong. Given the
odds on this sort of thing, one would tend to believe that Clinton's claims
are the most precarious since the majority of testimony is against his
statements. But when you look at science, you become a Clinton supporter.
I would charge you to be consistent in all your dealings. If the minority
position is the correct one, then it should be the correct one in all areas.

Now, apply this to the YEC position. In order for the YECs to be correct,
all of Astronomy must be erroneous. This means that Arp is correct and
nearly all of his colleagues are wrong. Thus, you are backing the minority
position with the view to resolving a big dating problem that astronomical
redshifts cause your position. The outlier positions are not generally
accepted because they have lots of evidence against them. In order for Arp
to be correct, the cepheid variable periodicty/luminosity relationship
accepted by most astronomers must be wrong. The 1/r^2 decrease in light
intensity, observed on earth, must also be wrong. The angular size/distance
relationship of galaxy size must be wrong. In short the majority of physics
and physicists must be wrong.

In order for the YECs to be correct, most of atomic physics and
geochemistry must be erroneous. This means that the majority of people
involved in radiometric dating are erroneous and the young-earthers are
correct. And I would submit that very few of the young-earther's could
name the electron shells much less understand the mathematics of quantum
mechanical tunneling that creates alpha decay. Can you? Yet these people
presume to submit for our consideration that they and not those who have
dealt with quantum and radioactive decay theories are the ones who are
correct. Once again, the many in the field must be wrong and those NOT in
the field must be correct.

In order for the YECs to be correct, most of geology must be wrong. The
majority of geologists believe that the geologic column took much time to
be deposited, yet the YECs claim that all those thousands of geologists are
deluded and slant their theories toward the uniformtiarianist bias as you
suggest above. But of course bias never, NEVER occurs in the YEC camp.
Young-earth creationists have absolutely NO bias towards a young-earth and
claim to be perfectly able to be totally objective in all matters. In
fact, young-earther's claim, on scientific discipline after scientific
discipline, to be the ONLY ones who are really objective. Of course, this
means that the majority of scientist MUST be wrong rather than the few YEC

In order for YECS to be correct, all of paleontology and nearly all
paleontologists must be wrong. Given that I only know of two YEC
paleontologists, this means that the other several thousand paleontologists
around the world must be wrong and those two are the only ones who have the
wisdom and insight to be correct.

In order for YECs to be correct, all of biology must be erroneous. The
similarities of morphology and molecular biology, which is used to
determine relationship are NOT in fact relationships and the few YEC
biologists must be correct and the many evolutionary biologists must be
wrong. Once again it is the minority position among the experts which must
be correct.

Given all of the above, I would presume that you must beleive that Clinton
is innocent and the victim of a horrible smear campaign from his political
enemies who slant their data (unconsciously) to match their bias's.
Clinton must be correct and all those women wrong, because Clinton is in
the minority position and you seem to support ALL minority scientific
positions. Clinton is innocent as the driven snow. Lets apply your
standard to courts of law. Your reasoning would lead to the absurd
conclusion that the more witnesses a defendant has against him in a court
of law, the more certian is the accused's innocence! Thus, all those poor
people in prison, who had trials in which the majority of witnesses were
against them, should be released because they must be innocent. By golly
this could lead to an emptying of the jails and we would have no more crime
problems. This will save much money building new prisons when we realized
the wisdom of believing the minority witnesses in a criminal trial rather
than the preponderance of the evidence. Why we can probably take care of
the prison/military/industrial complex.

So Bill, are you going to be true to your epistemology and become a
supporter of Clinton's minority position?????? Somehow I doubt that you
will be so silly. So why do you do it with science and scientists?


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