RE: Another thing people can throw rocks at

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 00:34:42 EDT

  • Next message: Glenn Morton: "RE: Another thing people can throw rocks at"

    Hi Burgy,

    You wrote:

    >In a recent class here at Iliff, a Native American was lecturing. He was
    >both a Native American and a Ph-D professor of -- I think -- biochemistry.
    >At one time in the lecture he wished to express his thoughts by telling an
    >Indian folk story.
    >He began with the words "Now I don't know if the things I am about to tell
    >you really happened, but I do know that this story is true."
    >Try to get your mind around that.

    I can accept that. Now tell me how do I say that about "in the beginning God
    created the heavens and the earth"? I can't say, I don't know if God created
    the heavens and the earth but I am sure that the story is true. It simply
    doesn't compute to me. If you can tell me how to make that one both real and
    not real, then y'all might be able to convince this obstinate fellow.

    You also wrote:

    >Glenn, I see you have left YEC but you have not yet left the YEC mindset.

    I would prefer to call it the scientific mindset. My job is to decide what
    oil wells get drilled, what technology to use to lower the risk and the
    validity of the geologic history which people generate in order to explain
    why oil and gas are trapped in a particular place. This generation of a
    geologic history is an implicit part of the exploration process. We use
    well logs to come up with ideas of where river channels were 200 million
    years ago, we figure out where the shoreline was at that time, we postulate
    where the sands were deposited, where they were eroded, when the earth rose,
    when the faulting occurred and thus when the trap formed. We then use
    chemical data to estimate when the oil came through the region. If the oil
    came by before the trap was there, it is unlikely that we will find oil. If
    it came after the trap, there is a chance. We also look at the chemical
    history of the rocks. If the rocks cemented up all the pore space before the
    oil came through, then we won't have an oil field. Some histories are true
    (or closer to the truth) and some are totally false, ignoring vast amounts
    of data which falsifies them. My job is to figure out which ones fit in
    what category. We don't want to drill a prospect whose history gives us
    little chance for having oil or gas trapped there. Thus, my entire job is
    to listen to 'concordistic' stories about the data at hand. I have to spot
    the flaws.

    I think my bosses would have every right to fire me if I told them that we
    should drill prospect X even though the geologic history is false. It
    wouldn't matter that I told the boss that the geologist came up with a
    wonderful geologic story which made me gasp in awe and wonder at his/her
    creativity, and that it even left tears in my eyes at the beauty of this
    story. I couldn't tell them that it was a wonderful morality tale about the
    conflict of great forces in the earth. I couldn't tell them that I don't
    know if the history is true, but the story is. That simply won't cut it. We
    are about to spend 20 million dollars. Yet, when it comes to spending our
    souls (betting our souls) on a given theology of salvation, we think it is
    appropriate to base that bet on standards which are less stringent than I
    use to spend a mere $20 million. Frankly, my soul is worth more than what I
    spend in the oil industry. I absolutely refuse to settle for a lesser
    standard of truth. Yeah, that ain't a popular position, but it is the one
    that makes sense to me, given the stakes on the poker table.


    for lots of creation/evolution information
    personal stories of struggle

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