On Thu, 14 Feb 2002, Glenn Morton wrote:
> Transitional forms. Even the young-earther Berlinski on the 1997 PBS debate
> was forced to admit that there were reptile to mammal transitional
> forms. And the Cambrian is not the place where phyla first formed nor did
> life first appear on earth in the Cambrian. Neither did multi-cellular life
> first appear in the Cambrian. Everything suggested by OEC's about where
> and when God specially created seems to be wrong.
I don't think this really answers Adrian's question. There is a wide
spectrum of positions that could be called OEC, and the fact that some old
earth creationists make erroneous statements does not automatically mean
that all possible OEC positions have to be wrong.
For those who are willing to admit what it is that scientific evidence has
shown, the issue becomes what their theology or philosophy of science
says. For such a person to be YEC, he would probably have to take Gosse's
view and say that scientific observation cannot be trusted because God may
have created illusions. This view would have to be countered
theologically, and we can't hope to convince such a person if we can't
find common ground theologically that is relevant.
I take OEC to mean anyone who believes in an old earth but denies common
descent of all life from a primitive ancestor. Thus an OEC could believe
in only one gap or many gaps. They could also disagree with one another as
to why God made gaps in his creation. The TE's opinion that none of the
gaps is real reflects his theology or philosophy of science. Until all the
gaps are filled, the OEC can still be open to the possibility that some of
them may indeed be real. An analogy might be someone putting together a
jigsaw puzzle and not knowing for certain that all the pieces were there
until it was essentially completed.
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395
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