Re: Russ Humphreys

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 10:58:22 EST

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        To correct my mispeaking, what I mean to say in my final paragraph is,
    "I probably haven't said anything other than what you yourself have
    concluded." Sorry for any confusion.

    Bob Schneider

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Robert Schneider" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 10:04 AM
    Subject: Re: Russ Humphreys

    > Hello, Jonathan and to all reading these postings,
    > I've just joined this listserv, and am glad to be taking part in the
    > discussions. After looking through and reading some of this February's
    > postings in the archives, I have a sense of what topics have drawn
    > and comments. I'll be wanting to contribute and to benefit from the
    > comments others contribute, for reasons I'll give in another message.
    > Some thoughts, Jonathan, to your question. Thompson would have to
    > answer Humphreys' charge that he has misread H's use of the data, and I
    > you will hear directly from him. What I think you can do for your friend
    > church, more importantly, is to ask him to review H's piece and ask
    > if he thinks the language and tone is worthy of a Christian who finds
    > himself in disagreement with other Christians. H. could have expressed
    > disagreement, even strongly, without engaging in what I think any
    > disinsterested observer would consider intemperate, insulting and
    > expressions. His condemnation of Thompson et al. (I read the whole piece
    > the True Origins web site) express a fury that far exceeds what the fault,
    > if it be so, calls for, especially from one that professes his Christian
    > faith so openly. It strikes me--if I may dare to judge, but then H. is
    > being judged--that R waves the word "Christian" against his opponents as
    > it were a club, and that the tone and language of his accusations, etc.,
    > reflect more Gal. 5:20 than 22. (There are other exhortations in Paul's
    > letters and the pastorals that would fit this occasion. A friend of mine,
    > Baptist minister who teaches courses in Old and New Testament at
    > State Unversity, here in Boone, NC, where I live, cites some of them when
    > has occasion to say to his fundamentalist students that they have a right
    > be fundamentalists but not to be mean-spirited.) We know that it is
    > possible to engage in spirited disagreement, and even call attention to
    > errors by others, without coming on like Jesse Ventura in his wrestling
    > days. I think H. went beyond indignation.
    > In looking over H's posting on True Origins I see that he has issued a
    > retraction that appears to be a response to something Glenn Morton wrote
    > him(?). I wish he would pull the whole piece and rewrite it in a way that
    > is more worthy of his Christian commitment.
    > I probably haven't said anything you yourself have concluded, but
    > perhaps you might welcome this confirmation.
    > Bob Schneider, ASA Associate Member
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Jonathan Clarke" <>
    > To: "ASA" <>
    > Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 1:08 AM
    > Subject: 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
    > > him."
    > >
    > > Any light anyone on the squalid piece of near vilification and slander?
    > > Feel free to respond privately.
    > >
    > > Jon
    > >

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