Re: So. Baptist Spin on BOE Vote

From: Blaine D. McArthur (
Date: Tue Jun 05 2001 - 01:32:07 EDT

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    I do not doubt the stories you have just related. I have also somewhat
    similar experiences at the hands of my non-christian peers in the
    anthropology field. Recalling just one: years ago while participating in
    a summer long archeological dig, I was reading W.F Albright's From the
    Stone Age to Christianity. One of my co-workers, a friend, made the
    comment "Oh, that must be the story of devolution"; For the remainder of
    the summer I was the butt of many jokes. True, my livelihood was not at
    stake, but it did make for a long uncomfortable, and at times lonely,

    Robert J. Priest, an anthropologist at Trinity International University,
    has written a fascinating paper titled: Missionary Positions: Christian,
    Modernist, Postmodernist in the February 2001 issue of Current
    Anthropology. He discusses the flagrant opposition to and degrading of
    Christianity so widely prevalent within the anthropological community. I
    strongly recommend this article to all on this list. It is quite

    Nonetheless, this is a knife that cuts two ways. I feel that the bashing
    I have received at the hands of my supposed brothers and sisters has at
    times cut deeper than any "persecution" I received at the hands of
    unbelievers. I have already related on these pages once the story of how
    I had worked with international student through IVCF for a number of
    years... When my own church decided to begin a ministry to these very
    same students, I was deemed "unfit" to participate in this ministry
    because of my heretical views on science. Many of these students my
    church was reaching out to were my friends, whom I saw and ministered to
    outside of church on a daily basis.

    I also assert that many who read these pages could relate similar

    Yes, there is prejudice and persecution of YEC proponents by the academic
    and professional mainstream; but I suggest that we all remove the planks
    from our own eyes before we complain about fiery darts cast at us by

    I expect the criticism and persecution from the unbelievers - they are
    unregenerate sinners and are simply behaving in a way that is natural to
    them. We, as redeemed children of the living God, have no excuse.


    On Mon, 4 Jun 2001 23:20:54 -0600 Bill Payne <> writes:
    > On Tue, 05 Jun 2001 07:42:49 +1000 Jonathan Clarke
    > <> writes:
    > > > The current scientific consensus is an iron collar choking sfree
    > inquiry.
    > > > Professionals in America get fired if they challenge the
    > reigning
    > > > paradigm. Ask me how I know.
    > > >
    > >
    > > How do you know this?
    > Sorry, I didn't really intend to get off on this, but in a nutshell:
    > I
    > was the editor for the Alabama Geological Society Newsletter for
    > about 6
    > months in ~1995. I wanted to foster open debate/discussion about
    > my
    > favorite topic (origin of coal), so I invited Steve Austin (PhD in
    > Geology from Penn State) to write an article presenting his view
    > that
    > coal consists of transported organics. I also innocently invited
    > Bob
    > Gastaldo (geology professor at Auburn University at the time) to
    > submit a
    > parallel article presenting evidence supporting his view that coal
    > consists of in situ organics.
    > Bob and I had a rather tense telephone conversation. The next day
    > he and
    > another geologist from the University of Alabama called the Society
    > President and complained to him along the lines of the following
    > e-mail
    > that Dr. Gastaldo sent to every geology department in the State,
    > along
    > with at least one state agency for which I do most of my work. Here
    > is
    > the text of his e-mail, which was faxed to me:
    > *************
    > I received a telephone call today from Bill asking if I'd write a
    > short
    > generalized article on coal formation for the Alabama Geological
    > Society
    > Newsletter. Bill has taken over as the Newsletter Editor and wanted
    > to
    > "level the playing field" by having my short article "balanced" by
    > one
    > written by Steve Austin. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr.
    > Austin, he
    > works for the Institute for Creation Research in El Cajun,
    > California,
    > and
    > is prominent in their literature and videos. Dr. Austin has been
    > very
    > active for over the past 20 years in the fight to bring "balanced
    > treatment" to the classrooms of America. His present model for
    > coal
    > formation states that coal can form "very quickly." He uses the
    > accumulation of trees in Spirit Lake after the blast of Mt. St.
    > Helens as
    > a
    > model for coal formation. His previous model purported to having
    > "floating
    > forests" in nearshore marine settings. This model validated the
    > idea
    > that
    > all coal formed during the Noachian Flood. The article I wrote in
    > 1984
    > discrediting this hypothesis can be made available to you upon
    > request.
    > I told Bill that I was unwilling to "balance" the presentation in
    > the
    > Newsletter because Dr. Austin's premises are not based upon
    > scientific
    > inquiry. I also told him that if the push to present "creationist
    > views"
    > continues in the Alabama Geological Society, that I will withdraw
    > my
    > membership and suggest that others do the same.
    > The "push" towards "balanced" (read pseudoscience) treatment has
    > already
    > begun in the Newsletter. If you read the article in vol. 9 (no. 3)
    > that
    > was sent in August (dated 1 Aug), you will see that Bill Payne has
    > used a
    > book by van Flandern to cast suspicion on the accuracy of the
    > geological
    > time scale. The article is entitled "Fundamental Principle of
    > Geology:
    > Uniformitarianism/Cosmic Catastrophe." I can supply you with a copy
    > if
    > you
    > do not have one available.
    > As you are probably aware, there is a group of individuals in
    > Alabama who
    > are associated with the Eagle Forum, a christian-fundamentalist
    > group who
    > have tried to place their agenda into the State school system. They
    > were
    > partially successful this year with the inclusion of the "nobody
    > was
    > present when the first organisms appeared on Earth and, therefore,
    > nobody
    > can state how life appeared" statement NOW found in all Biology
    > texts in
    > the state. I believe that the Alabama Geological Society will be
    > used as
    > a
    > "pawn" in this game, particularly if "pseudoscientific" articles,
    > designed
    > to cast skepticism on the principles of geology, appear on an
    > issue-by-issue basis. With the Alabama Geological Society granting
    > their
    > "approval" of these ideas by publishing them, we will become
    > unwitting
    > cohorts in this deceptive game. In the end, we (the members) will
    > all
    > "agree" with what has been published and this will be further
    > confirmation
    > that "balanced treatment" is the right thing to do.
    > If the inclusion of creationist-style articles continues in the
    > Geological
    > Society Newsletter, I hope that you will react accordingly and drop
    > your
    > membership. I would also hope that those of you who regularly
    > participate
    > in the meetings/functions of the Society take a stand against this
    > incursion. Please inform your colleagues of this situation.
    > Robert A. Gastaldo
    > Alumni Professor of Geology
    > Auburn University, AL 36849
    > *******************
    > The next day I received a call from the Society President who said
    > he was
    > getting calls from all over the State about me, and asked for my
    > resignation. I felt at the tiime, and I still do, that as a matter
    > of
    > principle I was correct in what I had done, and refused to resign.
    > A
    > week later I got a letter saying I had been replaced.
    > I have reviewed the 1984 article Gastaldo referenced above; it may
    > be
    > found at:
    > I invited Bob to respond, but he hasn't quite gotten around to it
    > yet.
    > These types of stories are not all that uncommon. You may remember
    > the
    > editor who was hired for Scientific American who was terminated
    > before he
    > began work because it was discovered that he was a creationist.
    > Dean Kenyon, author of "Of Pandas and People," had been an
    > evolutionist
    > for years, until he began to realize that the naturalistic
    > explanations
    > for life were lacking and he became a creationist. As I recall the
    > story, his administrators at the Univ of California (?) tried to
    > fire him
    > but his fellow profs came to his rescue, saying he was exercising
    > his
    > academic freedom.
    > And of course there was Halton Arp, who was denied telescope time
    > because
    > he kept finding evidence that redshift was not due to recessional
    > velocity. Arp finally moved to West Germany where he could
    > experience a
    > little academic freedom again.
    > And a highschool teacher, maybe in Oregon, who has been prohibited
    > by his
    > administrators from presenting problems with the theory of
    > evolution.
    > And a public grade-school teacher here in Alabama who was fired
    > (actually, his contract wasn't renewed, and they don't have to tell
    > you
    > why) because he taught (I think) the concept of intelligent design.
    > I
    > understand that he was a great teacher and the kids loved him.
    > I'm sure Phil Johnson could fill a book with examples. The point is
    > -
    > this trend is real and those who come after you are not very polite
    > when
    > you threaten their religion.
    > Bill
    > ________________________________________________________________
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    "To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand."
                                                     Jose Ortega y Gasset

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