RE: Answersingenesis

From: Stephen J. Krogh (
Date: Sat Mar 31 2001 - 17:25:50 EST

  • Next message: Jonathan Clarke: "Re: Why?/Re: Answersingenesis"

    Hi John,

    I see a few reasons for the disparity. I realize this is all opinion based
    on my experience, but here goes.

    1) Simple awareness. I would say that while people, maybe not a lot, in my
    church circles know about the AIG, ICR, etc, none of them know about the ASA
    or affiliated sites, at least I didn't know about it until a few years ago
    when I was surfing for something else, and the ACG site popped up, but I
    already knew about the YEC sites. The YEC groups, being very outspoken,
    become lobbying groups for the Church's inquiring minds, while the working
    scientists in the congregation tend to be working on more constructive
    pursuits. These groups run a lot of seminars at church's. That certainly
    creates awareness.

    2) Demographics. I am thinking about who the intended audience is. The YEC
    sites have a lot of appeal to the church laity that don't know much about
    the sciences. It provides a source of something that looks and sounds so
    convincing as science to Christians that are not scientists but are
    intrigued by science. These Christians have been preached to for many years
    that "secular" science is anti-God. So now they have their own science.

    What percentage of the general church population is actually doing science
    as a profession, where the age of the earth really becomes an issue. (I
    added that qualifier because as I wrote that, I recalled that I did have a
    Sunday School teacher who was a Chemist for Mobil that was a staunch YEC.)
    It would be a small minority. I don't know any other Geologists, Astronomers
    or Astrophysicists at our church, and our membership grew to 28,000. That is
    to be expected since they only make up a very small part of the population
    in general. However, there are a lot of lawyers at my church;-). The ASA
    site is primarily populated by scientists and not the general congregation
    of the Church. The YEC sites are predominantly visited by the rest of the
    congregation per-se.

    3) Purpose. What seems to me to be the sole purpose of the YEC web sites is
    to show Christians, who happen to be YECs, can have their beliefs validated
    by "science," while equating any other view as being in error or atheistic.
    Systematic arguments disputing evolution and the ancient age of the Earth
    reinforce this position. After all, if the Bible is the Word Of God, then
    scientific investigation should be considered valid until it conflicts with
    scripture, or their specific take on scripture. This is part of their
    mission statement.

    The Laity, in its efforts to deny the E-word, has an understandable affinity
    to Christian groups that claim to be scientific and hold to a young Earth,
    because they are told that the "Word of God" demands this view. That in
    itself is interesting simply because they do see some value to scientific
    investigation of a real world, but just to a point. The YEC sites are
    repositories of arguments for the YE laity involved in C/E debates. They are
    a source in presenting apparent fallacies in "evolutionistic" science from a
    Christian perspective. Certainly, if it is from a 'Christian" perspective,
    it must be the correct view, right? The counter to that is offered from
    other sites such as "No Answers in Genesis" and "Talk Origins." But these
    can tend to be anti-Christian or more specifically anti-YEC, which of course
    is used to bolster YECs arguments not to accept any evolutionary
    explanations, equating evolution and atheism.

    A major source of the YEC sites' hits are from both sides of the C/E debate.
    Both creationists and evolutionists make up the huge number of hits.

    The purpose of the ASA seems to be much broader than necessarily taking a
    position either way. From its Statement of faith, "As an organization, the
    ASA does not take a position when there is honest disagreement between
    Christians on an issue." Is ASA's sole purpose disputing YECism as a
    counterpart to the YEC sites?

    From Richard Bube's paper
    It should be well known to readers of the Journal ASA that the ASA does not
    take an official position on controversial questions. Creation is not a
    controversial question. I have no hesitancy in affirming, "We believe in
    creation," for every ASA member.

    Various views are held by ASA members:

    Just looking at the sigs of these discussion list postings, participants are
    primarily scientists, former scientists and science professors. The ASA site
    generally caters more to working scientists that are Christians, than it
    does to the general congregation.

    Papers and discussions are very broad and can range from various science and
    faith issues to philosophical positions on origins to environmental

    ASA's broad scope is exhibited on its home page:

    "Topic Collections feature papers from PSCF and other sources on themes
    important to the discussion of Christianity and science."

    Youth Page, Essay Reviews, Worldview, Mathematics, Creation-Evolution,
    Origin of Life, Bible & Science, Psychology-Neuroscience, Historical
    Studies, The Environment, Philosophy, Ethics, Astronomy-Cosmology,
    Technology, Apologetics, Education, Dialogues, Physical Science, Science &
    Technology, Ministry College Science Teaching & Research. That is pretty
    broad and the C/E issue is only one of many.

    Another purpose is that the ICR and AIG are money generating machines,
    staffed by professional YECs. That in itself is an incentive to popularize
    it. And who best to sell to, but a ready-made market of the Church laity,
    already primed for the picking.

    I guess all the reasons I have proposed are variations on a theme.

    Stephen J. Krogh, P.G.
    The PanTerra Group

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of John W Burgeson
    Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2001 12:00 PM
    Subject: Answersingenesis

    The other day I noted that the young earth site,, is
    receiving a reported 10,000 visitors a day.

    I also note that the ASA web site has had about 80,000 visitors since

    Assuming the answersingenesis reported number is inflated by a factor of
    ten, and that the ASA site has been active for 3 years, that reduces to
    80 /day for the ASA and 1,000/day for answersingenesis.

    I could not find a visitor count at, but surely they must be
    doing a comparable business.

    I surmise we are being outgunned by a factor of at least 20 to 1. Very
    likely a lot more.

    At the occasion of the NTSE conference in Austin, in February 1997, ICR
    put on a conference at a local Baptist church. There were 125 at the NTSE
    -- the church was overflowing with a reported (this is from memory) 3,000
    in attendance.

    I surmise that although the YEC view has been thoroughly falsified
    (unless one espouses the Gosse thesis), it is certainly not going away. I
    had had visions of that happening as the Internet revolution began -- but
    Gresham's law of $$ seems to apply even more so to rational discourse.

    We can debate endlessly the amount of the beating we are taking; is it
    "only" 20 to 1 or is it, perhaps, 100 to 1, but I think nobody here will
    deny that rational discussions on origins ARE an uninteresting backwater
    in current origins thinking in our country. We can also argue that this
    does not matter because the academic / intellectual world is not so
    polarized. Which may, or may not, be true.

    Or those of us who care can try to do something about the current sorry

    I don't have any magic bullets myself, but I have been discussing with
    Jack Haas at least one fairly modest action we can take (I speak here to
    ASA members) to work on the situation. That will be the subject of a post
    I will make later.

    In the meantime, comments anyone?

     Burgy (John Burgeson)

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