Re: Four Rivers Revisited

Steve Schimmrich (
Thu, 13 May 1999 10:40:41 -0400 (EDT)

Allen Roy wrote, in response to my comments, that:

> From: Steven H. Schimmrich <>
>> I'm not critical of Allan not knowing stuff, we all don't know stuff,
>> I'm critical of him not knowing stuff and then pontificating about it.
>> Does everyone know that Allan leads tours of the Grand Canyon
>> explaining how it all formed during Noah's Flood? This, in my
>> opinion, makes him a self-styled "expert" on geology and thus fair
>> game for criticism. Check out the web page at
>> anotherviewpoint/. How on Earth can someone do these types of tours
>> and then regularly admit they're unfamiliar with the geologic literature?
> On my web site I identify myself as a rock hound and amateur geologist. I
> am primarily a tour guide interpreting the canyon within the Creationary
> Catastrophist paradigm based upon current Creationary interpretations.
> There are several videos available at Grand Canyon which tell the standard
> line on the geology and formation of the Canyon. What famous geologists
> tell this compelling story? Lorene Green and Telly Sevalis. These guys
> are just actors. How much do these narrators really know about geologic
> literature? How come you don't make the same fuss over them? (This is a
> rhetorical question.)

I'll answer your rhetorical question...

I've never seen these Grand Canyon videos. Obviously these actors probably
know next to nothing about the geology of the Canyon but they also obviously
did not write the text they're reciting either! Geologists judge such videos
by their content -- if the content is good then it's not really important who
narrates the video and actors are often used (no one would want to see my face
on their TV, for example :).

But, if the content is ridiculous, and ignores tens of thousands of geologic
studies of the canyon over the past century, then geologists rightly question
the competence of the source of that information (and rock-hound amateur
geologists presenting entirely new paradigms in geology without ANY scientific
evidence to support their ideas are rightly looked at as kooks).

> I don't mention my tours on this group because advertising is not the
> purpose of the group.

Which is fine but I wanted people to know that you do present youself as an
"expert" of sorts on geology since you're accepting money for tours of the
Grand Canyon in a "creationary catastrophism" framework and criticizing
virtually all geologists for not accepting your odd views on canyon formation.

>> - My criticism may seem harsh but it's because I take YEC very seriously
>> and believe that it has caused a great deal of damage to the Christian
>> community by misleading them about science (sometimes with outright lies)
>> and by telling them that one can't accept certain findings of modern science
>> and still be a Christian. YECs also commonly utilize "creation evangelism"
>> which I believe to be a misguided and indeed dangerous practice ("Hey, the
>> YECs lied to me about science, why should I believe what they told me about
>> Jesus?").
> I know many YECs who have the same opinion of the position you take.

I wish they would speak out publicly on this.

>> Allan will be back on the list when he talks to the other YECs on their
>> secret mailing list and he gets some good Diagenesis arguments :). (Inside
>> joke)
> Actually, I just got back from Northern Arizona University with
> "Diagenesis", ed. by McIlreath and Morrow and 'Petrology' by Raymond.
> So, far I have not found anything that cannot be interpreted with further
> research within a Creationary catastrophist hypothesis.

You're missing the point. It's not enough to grab a book or two and say you
haven't found anything here that contradicts your armchair speculations.
There are journals devoted to diagenetic research (the Journal of Sedimentary
Petrology for example). You also have to do real RESEARCH if you want to be
taken seriously by geologists and not looked on as a kook. Collect rock
samples from the canyon, do diagenetic studies on them, and tell us how the
results can be interpreted in a "creationary catastrophism" model. Then
explain how the results contradict presently-held models of sedimentary rock

My criticism is that you guys have things backwards -- you know the answers
(and present guided tours to present them) BEFORE you've done any research!
Maybe some of the money organizations like the ICR and CRS collect can be used
for increased scientific research (I can just see the grant guidelines -- "You
must seek to prove these results...")

> CRSnet is hardly a secret mailing list. It is for those who hold to the
> same philosophy to share and discuss ideas without antagonists. All who
> join, agree not to re-post to any other list or person the material from
> CRSnet without the permission of the author's. Someone lied his/her way
> onto the list and began re-posting the conversations without permission from
> the authors to an assortment of friends -- including our dear Professor
> Schimmrich -- with his hearty approval. Those on CRSnet can't figure why
> anyone would feel so threatened by our 'secret?' discussions that they would
> have to stoop to such underhanded dealings.

I have nothing against private mailing lists, I belong to one myself. I
think it's foolish for most hard-core YEC to confine themselves to CRSnet and
not engage in open discussion of their ideas on lists like the ASA list,
that's their business (and I can understand why they're reluctant to do so
since their arguments are often shown to be fraudulent and flimsy).

There have been moles on the CRSnet list in the past, primarily people who
are engaged in a fight against the introduction of YEC in public schools and
want to keep tabs on what the YECs are doing. I don't necessarily endorse
such tactics, the people who've done so are not my "friends" as Allen claims,
and I never asked for anything to be forwarded to me from that list. It turns
out, as I'll explain below, that a post of mine was discussed on the list and
Allen's statements about it were forwarded to me by a mole because he thought
I should see them since Allen totally misrepresented what I had stated.

> From time to time I have posted to CRSnet some interesting ideas and
> statements I have found on the ASAnet (and other lists) always removing all
> indications of authorship so those on CRSnet could not identify the
> author's. It was the ideas and statements that were interesting, not who
> said them. Since I am the only one from CRSnet to also be on the ASAnet
> (except, apparently, for the 'mole'), I could use pseudonyms to identify a
> series of exchanges and no one would know who was who. Our Prof recognized
> some of his statements in some of the articles smuggled to him and got all
> hot and bothered. He didn't like the way he was portrayed, but no one but
> himself and myself knew the source of the statements, deliberately obscured
> to protect his reputation; not that anyone on CRSnet would care to know who
> he was anyway, not to mention his reputation.

I was hot and bothered because Allen took a posting I made to the ASA list
and, instead of copying it verbatim, reported it in such a way on the CRSnet
that it bore no resemblence to the truth (and why is it that YECs rarely
honestly quote other people -- they have a long history of shamefully
misrepresenting other's statements?). I sent PRIVATE e-mail to Allen to
complain and he was more annoyed that someone informed me of the CRSnet post
then he was that I took him to task for lying about me.

Allen typically takes criticism of the ideas he posts to ASA and then
reposts them to CRSnet for help in replying and then posts the replies here as
his own ideas. Another thing Allen does is act as an intermediary for YECs
who are too cowardly to engage in debate directly and pass on their comments
second hand. Most notable were his passing on of John Woodmorappe's
despicable comments in rebuttal to my critique of his work. Read them at

- Steve.

  Steven H. Schimmrich                Assistant professor of geology
  Department of Geology, Geography, (office)
  and Environmental Studies  (home)
  Calvin College, 2301 Burton SE      616-957-7953, 616-957-6501 (fax)
  Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546