RE: David Livingstone's take on geology and creation

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Thu Jan 30 2003 - 14:19:24 EST

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    Jon wrote:
    >One biography of Miller I read said that an autospy showed that he suffered
    from brain lesions the result of tertiary syphylis or a tumour. It was this
    >almost certainly led to his depression, nightmares and sucide. There is
    no evidence what so ever that his work on the science faith intrerface led
    to his sucide.

    One thing I do really well is stir historians up. :-)

    I am aware that the doctors said he was suffering a tumor. This is a
    disease, sadly, that I am somewhat personally familiar with. My brother died
    of it and a friend died of it. The thing that makes me feel that that
    probably isn't the case in Miller's situation is this experienc. There are
    no reports of bizarre behavior (until the suicide), no epilepsy (my
    brother's first sympton), no reports of fugue (my friends first sympton) and
    no reports of severe headaches or infirmities over the months preceding
    Miller's death. To me, that is odd if he had a tumor. Can it happen that
    way, yes, but it is rare. Now, you have a guy who is highly looked up to by
    his entire country who inexplicably blew his brains out. It is not at all
    beyond experience to have doctors give grieving widows ideas that comfort
    them. Why would a strong Christian suddenly do this? Tumor? yes,
    depression? yes, and I would say finding himself in a fix about which, he
    could tell no one without thereby choosing the course of action, which was
    what the turmoil was about in the first place.

    The reason at least, I think that what I say is a possiblity is because of
    statements I have heard Gish make privately, and my own personal travels in
    this apologetical realm. I have heard several 2nd and 3rd hand accounts of
    Gish telling friends that he wished he had taken another path other than YEC
    because now so many people depend upon him that if he gave it up, it would
    disappoint many. I too have felt that tug Gish reportedly speaks of when I
    have struggled with my changing views. Some, like me, decide to disapppoint
    those people. I remember during one crisis as I was leaving YEC, that I
    really didn't want to have to go tell my wife that I wasn't going to go to
    church anymore! I didn't want to have to tell her that I didn't believe it
    anymore. For a period of weeks I was in that situation. I was really
    depressed, and I didn't tell a soul. If I had been Miller in those similar
    circumstances in the middle of the dark season, I might have done something
    rash. Remember, that Miller was looked to as a stalwart of the faith. Who
    was he going to tell that he was having doubts (if he did have them).? If
    he told people that he had any doubts, then he had automatically chosen the
    path forward. Withholding them was the only way to preserve options. I
    have been there and know this dilemma.

    Admittedly I can't prove my point, which is why I said it is my view. It is
    my view colored by my path through life. I know what it is like to have to
    change views publically expressed, and it isn't easy and it is a dangerous
    time. One loaths to tell others such things. One doesn't even want your
    loved ones to know much less a bunch of historians 200 years later.

    One other morbid item I have learned here is Europe is that the farther
    north you go, the higher the male suicide rate, except for Scotland. They
    don't let us have guns here. But when they did, I am told that the suicide
    rate here was equivalent to those of similar latitudes. The dark takes its
    toll. I would prefer this explanation to the tumor one.

    I know what the standard view is of Miller's death, but I know that there
    are no reports of symptoms consistent with tumors of the brain with Miller
    and I know from reading what he said about his own theory that he was
    gingerly acknowleging that he hadn't solved the problem of the flood which
    many who read him believed.

    Historians hack away. I will sit back and enjoy.


    for lots of creation/evolution information
    personal stories of struggle

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