Re: Numbers an "historian"?

From: William T. Yates (
Date: Wed Aug 22 2001 - 15:31:07 EDT

  • Next message: Vandergraaf, Chuck: "RE: Response to Why YEC posting"


    I'm the Editor of the Believer's Weekly, a weekly review of Christian
    web sites done for We have an email circulation of
    over 8250 and the reviews are posted at

    This week, coincidentally, I reviewed the site of SDA Outreach at I just went back to see if there was
    anything specific on the site regarding SDA teachings on creation but
    found nothing explicit. I did, however, find the Numbers book listed in
    their references. Here is the info in case anyone wants to look it up.

    Numbers, Ronald L., Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White (New
    York: Harper & Row, 1976)

    --Bill Yates

    Ted Davis wrote:
    > I will post just this one message concerning Ron Numbers and his objectivity
    > as an historian--and I am not using scare quotes around that word. Allen or
    > others may have their say, but except to correct any factual errors (should
    > there be any) I will not belabor the issue and confine myself to the points
    > below.
    > Those interested in Ron's personal history can read some of it for
    > themselves, in the very revealing introduction to The Creationists. His
    > father was a leading SDA evangelist, and Ron was himself an SDA believer
    > until some years after his graduation from an SDA college. As he reports,
    > his lectures on the history of creationism have led people in the audience
    > to castigate him for being a creationist himself, since he doesn't engage in
    > debunking the ideas he presents. In the final paragraph of the
    > introduction, he writes, "Although I no longer believe in creationism of any
    > kind, I am strongly committed to treating its advocates with the same
    > respect I might accord evolutionists." Everything I know--and I've known
    > Ron for nearly 20 years--is consistent with this statement. I know
    > personally at least a dozen people treated in his book, and none of them
    > believes that Ron did him wrong, including John C. Whitcomb, Jr., who told
    > me that both he and Henry Morris believe that Ron treated them fairly in his
    > account. Indeed, Whitcomb gave Ron a pile of correspondence about
    > creationism that Ron drew on carefully in the book.
    > Ron is presently President of the History of Science Society, a signal
    > honor that one ordinarily does not attain in this day and age without being
    > known for a general absence of bias, in the pejorative sense of that word.
    > Bias, of course, can also mean that one has a point of view--and we all do,
    > and Ron bends over backward in his book to tell the readers what it is.
    > There are circles, however, in which Ron's work is simply not appreciated.
    > One of his first books was a scholarly biography of Ellen White (she is
    > mentioned in various posts lately), a book that some viewed as an "expose"
    > of this SDA prophetess, and a book that helped get Ron sacked from his
    > teaching job at Loma Linda University.
    > If Ron's not an historian, the real thing, then I'm not one either.
    > Ted Davis

    --Bill Yates
    --Moderator, Writer's Club Christian Writer's Workshop
    --Editor,'s Believer's Weekly
    --Theron Services: Web Design, Editing, Writing

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Aug 22 2001 - 15:32:45 EDT