Re: YEC and fossils

Bill Payne (
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 22:53:41 -0600

Glenn R. Morton wrote:
> 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.

Hi Glenn,

Sorry, I didn't mean to be flip; but I do enjoy seeing people supporting
what we would least expect, for reasons that we might not have

> If the minority
> position is the correct one, then it should be the correct one in all areas.

By no means would I agree with this statement. The "correct" position
is the one which makes the most relaxed fit with the available data.
This thread began when Steve Schimmrich said: "Young-earth creationists
DO accept modern science when it appears to confirm their
presuppositions. That's why some call it "creation science" and they
pretend to publish scientific papers in publications such as the
Research Society Quarterly. They have a love/hate relationship with
and eagerly cull from it any data which appears to support their
(but, of course, ignoring all data which refutes it)." I merely wanted
to point out that this culling of data occurs across the board, not just
in the YEC camp.

> 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.

A while back you and I had a discussion about the origin of the
Pittsburg Coal seam. Nearly all geologists believe that Carboniferous
coals are swamp deposits (autochthonous). The outlier interpretation is
that these coals were formed from organics that had been transported and
deposited from water (allocthtonous). The YEC interpretation is that
these coals are from Noah's flood. After we reviewed the data, you
finally admitted (sort of) that you could more easily see the Pittsburg
as being allochthonous. In order for the Pittsburg to be allochthonous,
nearly all of our colleagues are wrong. In order for the Pittsburg to
be autochthonous, the data must be wrong. Which way do you suggest that
I go? With the data regardless of where it leads, or with the crowd? I
have personally experienced the slander of my name because of my belief
that Carboniferous coals are allochthonous. For this reason, I can
empathize with Arp, regardless of whether he is correct about redshift
or not.

> 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.

This is precisely what I have observed with respect to the origin of

> But of course bias never, NEVER occurs in the YEC camp.

If you remember from my earlier post, I said IMO it is a rarity for a
scientist to give us a candid [transparent] look at his data. I would
include YECs and OECs in that group. Only people like me who don't
commit to either position are free from bias. (just kidding :-)

> 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.

Naw, he's guilty as sin.

> 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?

I don't. But that was a really nice try. :-)