Fairness and communication with YEC

James Mahaffy (mahaffy@mtcnet.net)
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 19:58:48 -0600

In response to a message by John Stahl:

Dr. John Stahl (jwstahl@geneva.edu)
Mon, 29 Nov 1999 12:11:47 -0500

Dick originally wrote:

YEC's have no scientific integrity - period! Furthermore, they have "no
fidelity to the Word of God" they purport to defend. Here are some
examples.
[snip]

In short, YEC's ignore the Bible, distort science, and are ignorant of
the
historical underpinnings of Genesis.
---------------------
and in a later post Dick related at interpretation of "evening and
morning"
from an understanding of grass in Psalm 90.
---------------------

As many on this list, I am also concerned about the increasing tendency
to
use YEC as a litmus test of orthodoxy among conservative and evangelical
Christians. This is a live issue in many churches and also at some
Christian colleges. Many dear brothers and sisters in Christ hold a YEC
conviction, and the present discussion makes me wonder about the best
way
to proceed in discussion with them that is helpful, humble, and
truth-seeking versus merely debate-winning.

Folks,

As I was glancing at the posts this one caught my eye. Like Stahl I
worry about YEC becoming a litmus test of orthodoxy. But as an
evangelical[Reformed flavor] paleobotanist who is neither a YEC or A TE
and who thinks he understands some of the concerns of the laity - Dirk
statement that
"YEC's have no scientific integrity - period! Furthermore, they have "no
fidelity to the Word of God" they purport to defend. Here are some
examples." IS SIMPLY FALSE. It is true that many do not know or
understand science and hence may buy into a science that is weak. There
are others who are good scientists and many who are excellent scholars
in other areas. May I suggest that statements like this make
communication impossible. Moreover perhaps the most scholarly treatment
of Creationists by Wisconsin's Ron Numbers shows a much better
understanding of what drives them.

I guess I feel strongly because the christian geology forum had a
geologists of YEC persuasion join the group and the way some picked on
him was I thought totally unfair. Unfortunately one of the few
sceintists who could communicate with us left the group. Mind you I
think he is a bit too sensitive - but this group can be a bit nast
sometimes too.

btw I do NOT use the flood model in interpreting the palynology of
Carboniferous coals because I don't think I don't think it will work.
But I also know enough about fossils and paradigms of science and what
drives the evangelical mind that I would say the statements like this
help make this a group WHICH ANY YEC WOULD THINK WOULD BE DOMINATED BY
FOLKS who would not be willing to discuss their position in a civil
manner. I would like to see ASA including this list be a place that
could influence evangelicals.

-- 
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