Re: My daughter is a YEC

From: Darryl Maddox (
Date: Mon Sep 01 2003 - 11:12:25 EDT

  • Next message: Loren Haarsma: "Why should Christians care what scientists think?"

    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" <>
    To: "Michael Roberts" <>
    Cc: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>; "John W Burgeson"
    <>; <>; <>
    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?
    > Walt

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