Re: Griffin book

From: Allen Roy (
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 17:03:20 EST

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    From: John W Burgeson <>
    > Allen -- I did not tell you that you should AGREE with Griffin; I did say
    > that I, and others here also, had found his definitions useful.

    I know that you didn't expect me to agree. I was just explaining that I
    disagree with his three foundational assumptions.

    > "Therefore, Creationary Catastrophists would disagree with the three
    > things that Griffin things are absolutely necessary -- i.e. that Science
    > and Religion must:
    > 1. share a worldview
    > 2. science must insist only on naturalism(ns),
    > 3. religion must live with naturalism(ns) and no supernaturalism"
    > I'm sorry you thought I was recommending Griffin because I "agreed with
    > him." As far as the above is concerned, I probably do agree
    > (provisionally) with #1 and #2 but I do not agree with #3 at all,
    > although I do not "read out of the faith" those who subscribe to it.

    What you thought of Griffin did not enter my mind. I was responding to what
    you said Griffin promoted, not that you promoted it.

    > How you can conclude from the above that "Griffin does not know what
    > Johnson is talking about" is problematical, to say the least.

    Now that I have read your comments and reread the article. I find that I
    over reacted and should not have said what I said. I appologize.

    > "However, Creationary Catastrophists and Evolutionists do hold in common
    > some assumptions that must be true for the scientific method to have
    > 1. Uniformity of law over time and space.
    > 2. Uniformity of process over time and space.
    > 3. Uniformity of rate over time and space.
    > Creationary Catastrophists add the following caveats acquired from their
    > Biblical worldview:
    > 1. These assumptions are valid only since origin.
    > 2. They are unable to define origins.
    > 3. That inorganic and organic origins are beyond the ability of science
    > to explore.
    > 4. That time is limited to that defined by God's word.
    > 5. That non-uniformity of rate and non-uniformity of process are
    > possible on occasion"
    > I think that's a fair statement of your particular worldview, based on
    > your particular interpretation of scripture. Of course, it IS a worldview
    > which attributes to scripture certain characteristics which almost all
    > scholars regard as silly. That does not make it "wrong," of course, but
    > it does "put the ball in your court" to defend that particular
    > interpretation.

    1. Since nothing exists before origins, then the assumptions about existing
    things must apply to after origins only.

    2. Since nothing exist before origins, the assumptions that apply after
    origins cannot apply before origins and cannot therefore define origins.

    3. By accepting that God created by speaking things into existance (i.e.
    "And God said, let there be light....") one is faced with the reality that
    there is no scientific way to evaulate, test, or repeat events of origin.

    4. Anyone can compute from given Biblical chronologies that the events of
    the Creation Week story date to somewhere in the vicinity of 6000 BP. (The
    Bible does not ever give any precise dates for anything). The origin of
    life forms on the earth dates to that era. Thus, there is a Biblical time
    constraint on anything involving life forms that may studied scientifically
    (such as Noah's Flood and related flood depositions). Creationary
    Catastrophists choose to accept this constraint as valid.

    (I have said on this list before that I am not a typical YEC, for I believe
    that there is Biblical evidence that the universe (all inorganic matter) was
    created at a beginning long before the Creation Week.)

    5. Huggett, R., in "Catastrophism: Systems of Earth History" (1990)
    illustrates that catastrophists of the 18th and 19th centuries as well as
    non-creationary Neo-Catastrophist of today (Ager, Gould, etc.) have proposed
    and defended non-uniformity of rate and non-uniformity of process. In fact,
    non-uniformity of rate (sometimes called Actualism) is the working
    hypothesis of nearly all geological study today.

    > "Unlike Evolutionary theorists, who focus their study on developing
    > theories of Origin of matter/energy/motion, Abiogenesis and the origin of
    > species from common ancestory according to natural law, Creationists
    > start with knowing how the universe and types of life forms originated.
    > They have no need and, indeed, will not even attempt to
    > develop theories of origins. Creationists study nature not to discover
    > how it got here, but how it functions as designed by the Creator. The
    > origins were singular events which have little to no relationship to the
    > day-by-day functioning thereafter."
    > So the Creationist starts by "giving up." That's OK, of course. But how
    > would you answer a "Creationist Shaman" who insists that "God makes the
    > thunder" and therefore disdains any investigations into natural causation
    > for thunder?

    Give up?!?! Not hardly, it is simply a different focus of attention.

    Let's just suppose that today scientists prove beyond any doubt just exactly
    how the universe and life originated. Every scientist would now know
    everything there is to know about origins.

    What would they do tomorrow?

    They would simply focus their attention in other directions. They would not
    need to consider origins any longer.

    That is the position of Creationary scientists. They know that God
    designed, invented and created the inorganic universe. They know that God
    designed, invented and created life forms. They know that God spoke and it
    was so. Since such action is beyond the scope of science, it is impossible
    to try to develop a scientific theory to explain HOW God did it.

    But what they can do is study the inorganic and the organic to learn how
    they function after being created. They can learn how lightening causes
    thunder. They can study the ins and outs of genetic variation. This is
    hardly giving up!

    Mankind does not need to know exactly HOW God did it. Just knowing that God
    did it is all that is needed.

    > "Since Creationary Catastrophists disagree with Griffin's primary
    > assumptions, the rest of his book is basically irrelevant to the issues
    > between Creationists and Evolutionists."
    > That's a very easy position to take, my friend. In my book it is called
    > "the ostrich position."

    It has nothing to do with being easy. It has everything to do with logic.
    If basic assumptions are invalid, then conclusions based on those
    assumptions are invalid. I disagree with Griffin's primary assumptions, so
    I am certainly going to disagree with his conclusions based on those
    assumptions. Since I find his assumptions irrelevant to the issues between
    Creationists and Evolutionists, then I will automatically find his
    conclusions irrelevant to the issues between Creationists and Evolutionists.

    The ostrich supposedly hides his head so as not to see. I have looked at
    the foundations and found that I do not need to examine the superstructure.


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