Russ Humphreys

From: Jonathan Clarke (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 01:08:33 EST

  • Next message: Robert Schneider: "Re: Russ Humphreys"

    Hi all

    I started this discussion on acg-1 which I run from my work computer but
    as it is the weekend and I won't be at it until Monday I will continue
    it here.

    I asked for some information about an attack (and a nasty one at that)
    by Russell Humphreys on Tim Thompson, Steve Schimmrich and Glenn Morton
    that is on the True.Origin Archive. In particular i was after the
    background information especially the criticism of Steve (who may still
    lurk here) of Humphreys and any response by Steve. The material I got
    was to another unpleasant discussion with John Woodmorappe, which was
    not it.

    Sorry to have to drag this unplesantness up, but i need it for a
    discussion with someone at church, who has given me RH's attack.

    Part of it says:

    "An anticreationist named Tim Thompson read one of my ICR Impact papers
    on the earth’s magnetic field and looked up one of my references, a
    six-page section in a well-known magnetism textbook. Thompson saw a
    figure near the beginning of that section which roughly resembled a
    mirror image of my Impact article figures.

    Thompson immediately jumped to a wrong conclusion; he thought I had
    either stupidly or dishonestly reversed the time axis of the text’s
    figure to get my figure, and he hastily rushed to judgement upon me in
    his website. If he had bothered to look up some of my other, more
    technical references, he would have seen that I used data from a
    different part of the section in the textbook. The technical references
    are harder to get, but they spell out exactly how I made my figure. A
    critic is morally obligated to look up all references before rushing to
    accuse. At the very least, Thompson might have asked me about it first.
    He did not follow any of those normal procedures of good scholarship. As
    far as I know, he still hasn’t, despite my informing him of the above.
    He justly deserves any embarrassment he may get from this incident.

    The response of other anticreationists to Thompson’s piece of poor
    scholarship is instructive. Glen
    Morton, a former young-earth creationist, immediately believed Thompson.
    Without checking with
    me --- or the copies of my technical papers he has in his possession ---
    he immediately began
    spreading his “good news” around the darker corners of the Internet. I
    corresponded privately
    with him after my response to Thompson was posted. Although Morton says
    he is still a Christian,
    he apparently feels no obligation to retract his inaccurate information.

    Then an assistant professor of geology named Steve Schimmrich at Calvin
    College grabbed the
    ball and began to run with it. He posted a caustic note in various
    places, including the Calvin
    college net, accusing me and creationists in general of being dishonest.
    Calvin college (in Grand
    Rapids, Michigan) has been a center of anticreationism for several
    decades, being the home
    territory of such worthies as Howard Van Til, Davis A. Young, and
    Clarence Menninga. Though
    still nominally a Christian college, many of its faculty seem to have
    slid very far down and away
    from its original principles. However, I decided to give Dr. Schimmrich
    the benefit of the doubt. I
    sent him the following e-mail privately, asking him to retract his piece
    of misinformation. As an
    experiment, I appealed to Christian ethics.

    His response? He ignored my request and challenged me to debate him on
    other technical issues.
    He showed not a shred of shame about relaying bad scholarship and
    wrongly accusing creationists
    of dishonesty. I wrote back that I was not at all interested in debating
    him, because I was so
    disgusted with his hypocrisy that I didn’t want anything more to do with

    Any light anyone on the squalid piece of near vilification and slander?
    Feel free to respond privately.


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