Re: An interesting atheist book

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (bnelson301@yahoo.com)
Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 20:50:10 EDT

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    Historians do read the 19th Century literature, they
    also use a far broader set of resources than Glenn
    gives them credit for. Perhaps a little primer on
    different historical methodological approaches would
    help to explain why good historians doing solid
    historical work do not reach the same conclusion as
    Glenn.

    Certainly, the claim that a few books or statements by
    those with a particular axe to grind constitute clear
    falsifification "by literature of the day" seems to be
    overstretching a couple of documentary sources.

    Let's, for the sake of argument, assume that books in
    print during the time period constitute the only valid
    historical data (they don't and they often do not
    constitute the best historical data for obvious
    reasons), how do you determine which books and
    statements therein should be included as being germane
    to the issue? Does silence in a theological work re
    Genesis/geology conflict, literalism, etc. result in
    tossing out the work because you assume it doesn't
    address the issue? (if it does you are already
    skewing your data selection to support a conflict
    outcome)

    So, at the end of this process, you end up with some
    total "n" of books you deem relevant. Unless you can
    speak confidently about what the appropriate "n" is
    you can't really make statements about "the
    literature" of the time does or does not say. (And
    again, this is a terrible way to do historical
    research.)

    If one is so confident about what the literature
    clearly falsifies, please provide an _exhaustive
    bibliography_ of all relevant literature (the total
    'n' on which you base your conclusion) from the
    revelant time period, and the criteria you use to
    include or reject books from that list, so we can
    evaluate whether the totality of the literature
    supports the assertion or perhaps can make suggestions
    as to literature -- or more usefully, other primary
    sources -- may display a different view. That would
    be a step towards _something_ approaching a pastiche
    of a historical method.

    --- Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
    wrote:
    > The 1880s and 1890s were the period when the
    > conflict thesis of science and
    > religion was put forward by the likes of Huxley.
    > Huxley made up accounts of the so-called Huxley
    > Wilberforce confrontation of
    > 1860 which has been demythologised by scholars like
    > John Brooke, Frank
    > Field JR Lucas etc.
    > Leslie Stephen made up stroires how he lost his
    > faith in the 1860s cos of
    > the Flood . Sir Owen Chadwick scotched that from a
    > detailed study
    >
    > I could go on.
    >
    > The quote from Hardwicke proves nothing except what
    > atheists percieved.
    >
    > Here we go again
    >
    > Michael
    >
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Glenn Morton" <glenn.morton@btinternet.com>
    > To: <asa@calvin.edu>
    > Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 9:33 PM
    > Subject: An interesting atheist book
    >
    >
    > > During our last week here in Aberdeen, my wife
    > went (once again)
    > antiquing.
    > > She found a book by Arthur B. Moss with a preface
    > by Herbert Junius
    > > Hardwicke, entitled, The Bible and Evolution. The
    > preface is dated March
    > > 10th, 1890. In the preface Hardwicke writes:
    > >
    > > "It has often struck me with surprise that so many
    > intelligent and
    > educated
    > > people still cling to the old myths and
    > superstitions of the past, when
    > > reason and common sense so clearly proclaim them
    > to be utterly unworthy of
    > > acceptance. It seems almost incredible that, in
    > the latter part of the
    > > nineteenth century, a large proportion of the
    > people of Europe still
    > profess
    > > to believe the fables of the Creation, FAll, and
    > Redemptions,
    > > notwithstanding the fact that science and reason
    > both declare them to have
    > > been impossible as historic occurrences." Herbert
    > Junius Hardwicke,
    > > "Preface" in Arthur B. Moss, The Bible and
    > Evolution, (London: Watts and
    > > Company, c. 1890), p. 3
    > >
    > > This was not the type of book my wife expected to
    > have purchased.
    > However,
    > > it does show that my claim that Biblical
    > literalism was not dead in the
    > late
    > > 19th century is basically correct. It also is
    > supportive of the view that
    > > Biblical literalism was not revived in 1961 as
    > some claim. Claims that
    > there
    > > wasn't a battle over Genesis, Geology and Biblical
    > literalism and
    > evolution
    > > are clearly falsified by literature of the day.
    > Here we have atheists
    > > claiming that there are many biblical literalists
    > in the 19th century, but
    > > modern historians seem to think this wasn't the
    > case. I simply don't know
    > > why. Do they not read the actual 19th century
    > literature?
    > >
    > > This will be added to my web page
    > >
    >
    http:\\www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk\nineteenth.htm
    > >
    > >
    >

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