RE: Answersingenesis

From: Vandergraaf, Chuck (
Date: Sat Mar 31 2001 - 20:33:52 EST

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    Take off one afternoon to drive to the next village for a haircut and come
    back to find the electronic mailbox full with correspondence on a new topic!

    I'm not all that surprised to see the numbers that John cites, nor am I
    surprised to learn that YEC is alive and well and that this is reflected,
    among other, in comparing numbers of visitors to ASA and YEC-based sites or
    numbers of attendees at various meetings.

    I don't see any particular mystery in the support that the YEC-based views
    are receiving in the evangelical arena. If one holds to a literal (or
    near-literal) interpretation and ignores the geological record, a YEC-based
    view makes perfectly good sense. Since there are many more Bible-reading
    Christians than Christian geologists, a YEC-based view will no doubt

    Over the last few years since I started "lurking" on (in?) this forum I've
    noticed a marked decrease in the YEC-OEC debate. Rather than thinking that
    this means that the YEC-based supporters have "lost" the argument, it's more
    likely that many of the YEC adherents have simply given up.

    I want to pose another question: how many of "you out there" grew up with a
    literal interpretation of the Biblical narrative and when, and what caused
    you to change your views to your current view?

    With "literal interpretation" I mean an actual Adam and Eve, walking and
    communing with God in a lush garden, surrounded by an impenetrable wall
    (remember the angels with flaming swords at the gates), a factual murder of
    Abel by Cain, the flooding of the entire world, an honest-to-goodness
    floating axe head, the collapse of the walls of Jericho, etc.

    What changed your views from this interpretation? Was it a pastor?
    catechism classes? the results of a Bible study? a friend? a geology course?
    Now picture a typical parishioner: he or she grew up with the same Bible
    stories, underwent the same type of instruction in catechism class, and may
    have participated in many Bible studies. He or she may not have had the
    benefit of a geology course, though.

    My gut reaction is not to make too much of the spectacular success that the
    YEC supporters appear to have (at least in the US). The worst may be that
    it puts evangelical Christianity in a less favourable light to the
    non-believer; it certainly won't affect one's ultimate destiny.

    I've been teaching science and math courses on a part-time basis at a
    fundamental / evangelical Christian college for almost four years now. When
    I deal with the age of the earth, I cite geological evidence for an old
    earth and leave it at that. I don't get into arguments about 24-hour days.
    I tell my students that, scientifically, an old earth makes more sense but
    soften that by saying that, in the final analysis, we all extrapolate back
    in time. Time and time again, I've had students come to me at the end of
    the course and telling me that they had never thought about this in this

    My advice is to discuss the geological record and the flaws in the logic
    of(some of the )YEC-adherent but not to make too big of a deal of it.

    Finally, a word of caution: beware of the "domino theory:" some vulnerable
    Christians may not see a "middle road" between a literal interpretation of
    the Bible and total unbelief. Let's be careful that we don't make any
    Christian stumble.


    Chuck Vandergraaf
    Pinawa, MB

    -----Original Message-----
    From: 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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