From: Darryl Maddox (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Sep 01 2003 - 11:12:25 EDT
Hello Walter and others,
I don't know what has been said before on this thread but perhaps some will
find the following helpful as an answer to Walter's question. I am going to
address this from the point of geology but readers should feel free to
substitute biology astronomy anthropology or any other field you think may
be more relevant to their individual situations.
I am a non-Ph.D. scientist, a geologist by education, avocation, and
profession. My wife says I am possed by geology. I am also a geologist who
teaches historical geology in a part of the country where many people
believe in a young earth, I attend a church where, as near as I can tell an
even higher % believe in a young earth and the ICR, AIG etc version of
Noah's flood. I am also currently writting a book on the Geology of Palo
Duro Canyon State Park. Needless to say my writing, my teaching, and my
church affiliation create some intersting conversations. So, from some 30+
years of going from Baptist, to athiest, to Mormon, to generic Christian and
from highschool aiming to be a music major nerd to college geology and
physics teacher nerd, I offer the following. As far as I can tell there is
no reason "Why should a lawyer, mill worker, or anyone else respect the
arrogant opinions of this list just because "PhD" can be tacked on after
most our names..."
Let me begin by saying that when a geologist, and most particularly a
Christian geologist, encounters a person who whose beliefs are essentially
YEC that we be particularly careful how, where, and when, we address their
beliefs. Otherwise we run the risks, none of which I personally care to
take. When I do my lecture on why regular geologists do not accept YEC
teachings about the science of geology I make sure the students know that
attendance is at their discretion, and that under no circustance do I wish
to interfere with or change their religious beliefs, and finally that if
they choose to attend and feel their faith beginning to waiver I would
rather the quietly leave the room than stay and loose it all together. If
they want to come back and discuss something with me later that is ok, but
the scientific classroom is not the place, nor will I, attempt to change
anyone's beliefs about anything except the current geologic paradigm.
Now, let finally get to the essence of this by tring to clarify something.
Are we asking: "Why should a non-geologist respect the geological opinions
and statements of professional geologists about geological matters?" or are
we asking: "Are non-scientists are obligated to subjegate their religious
beliefs to the current beliefs and teachings of the geological community?"
If we are asking the first question then I believe and will contend that the
answer is YES - they should respect our version of earth history unless one
or more of the following conditions apply.
1) They are prepared to disregard every aspect of geological science.
2) They can specify a logically consistent method, other than religious
belief, of differentiating those parts of geology with which they agree and
those parts with which they disagree.
3) They can explain why people whom they accept as being compentent
chemists, physicists, etc. become incompetent when they apply their
knowledge to geological questions and furthermore why the techniques used by
those people in their "home" field to determine valide and useful data,
suddenly become worhtless when applied by the same people to determining the
same kind of data except in a geological context.
4) They can explain why geologists, whom they must believe are incompetent
scientists because otherwise they would respect our version of earth history
as being the one supported by science, suddenly become competent scientists
when, as many have been forced to do and some have simply chosen to do, they
change their occupation to that of chemist, physicist etc.
5) They either doubt or have reason to believe that geological data and
reasoning are valid for finding mineral resourecs, studying earthquakes,
volcanoes, rivers, beaches, and deltas, and for determining which bodies of
rock are suitable for disposing of various forms of polutants and which way
those polutents are going to migrate, but invalide for determining earth
However, if we are asking the second question then the anwer is a loud and
resounding NO. There is no reason anyone should change their religious
beliefs about earth history just because those beliefs do not conform to
those of the most professional geologists.
One last note - I respect anyones right to hold whatever beliefs they wish
to and for what ever reasons they wish to. But the minute they start
talking about earth history AND CLAIMING TO BE DOING SO FROM A "SCIENTIFIC"
POINT OF VIEW, then, if and only if, the conditions are appropriate for such
a discussion, they had better be prepared to play hard ball because, in the
kindest way I know, and hoping not to offend them or destroy their faith,
the gloves are coming off and it's going to be bare fisted science, data and
logic, my version of earth history vs yours, and if they are that intersted
we can go look at some rocks and see how much their version explains vs. how
much mine explains. I frequently learn a great deal from these people and
these encounters, but it is rarely about geology. I greatly cherish the
friendship of some of them and their help, encouragement and Christian
companionship as I learn more about how to be and what it means and to be a
Christian, rather than to just have an intellectural acknowledgment of the
I hope this helps. It's the best I can offer.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Hicks" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Michael Roberts" <email@example.com>
Cc: "Alexanian, Moorad" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "John W Burgeson"
<email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <ASA@calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2003 7:13 PM
Subject: My daughter is a YEC
Why should a lawyer,
> mill worker, or anyone else respect the arrogant opinions of this list
> because "PhD" can be tacked on after most our names --- pray tell?
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