Re: YEC Invasion

From: Walter Hicks (
Date: Fri Sep 19 2003 - 12:29:00 EDT

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "Re: Post-Empiricism Science: A little surprised"

    It seems to me, Josh, that one has to allow for the fact Ken Ham probably
    represents the majority opinion among Christians. Not to expect to him to speak
    and voice his opinion would be a total waste of time (IMO). If you have counter
    points to raise, then the proper response would be to have someone (with a
    different viewpoint) invited to speak at your church.

    I never read anything by Ham so I do not now if he is one of the VooDoo Science
    crowd. If he is one who just claims a world with the history built in, then I
    maintain there is nothing to distinuish that from what most scientists believe.

    Either way, the best response is for equal time (IMO).


    Josh Bembenek wrote:

    > List-
    > I wish to update you on the process of working through Ken Ham visiting our
    > church on October 5th. A colleague from Southwestern Medical Center (best
    > described as a theistic evolutionist) and I met with the pastor and three
    > others involved in leadership here at Watermark and we had a very productive
    > conversation which cleared alot of air. Although I was unable to convince
    > them that Ken Ham would be uneffective toward the goal of creating an open
    > dialogue about origins, we agreed that this should be one of our primary
    > goals. The simple difference is that they do not agree that Ken Ham will
    > work against that goal. This is quite tricky business as conversations
    > between Michael and Alexian on this list strongly elucidate: who is
    > reasonable in making a particular deduction and who is unreasonable, and
    > also, who gets to decide? For those who begin with a "straightforward"
    > reading of genesis, the argument of appearance of age is reasonable. For
    > those who begin elsewhere, (and not necessarily with "evolutionized
    > thinking" as Ken Ham would argue, but perhaps a different view of the bible
    > or give more weight to the evidence of science) this does not appear to be
    > very reasonable. I believe that we all enjoyed the conversation and
    > benefited from hearing the others' perspective. One troubling aspect for me
    > was that they felt that the particular rhetorical strategy of Ken Ham (which
    > uses the word evolution in the place of methodological naturalistic atheism)
    > was not out of place due to the mass perception of what evolution means. My
    > belief is that regardless of what perceptions people have, we need to clear
    > the air and clarify the real issues: we disagree with philosophical
    > presuppositions that some scientists use scientific authority to pronounce
    > as the only logical possibility, as opposed to disagreeing with population
    > genetics or the process of random mutation and natural selection operating
    > in the natural world. This point was even conceded by Michael Ruse in his
    > recent science article dealing with issues of evolution and faith, which I
    > forgot to mention. If scientists can realize that they need to start making
    > the distinction between science and philosophy, so can we. The fault we
    > have with scientists is with extrapolation, not with data, and my concern is
    > that Ken Ham does not adequately delineate that distinction, especially when
    > he attacks the reliability of scientific methods/ scientists credibility to
    > obtain factual data. We have not yet resolved this issue, but the
    > leadership charged us with presenting our case as airtight as possible for
    > them to make thier final decision about Ken Ham speaking. Any comments
    > regarding this issue would be exceptionally useful.
    > The most disconcerting aspect of this whole process was the fact that Ken
    > Ham began inquiring with the leadership as to "who this Josh Bembenek" guy
    > is after getting wind of what I had been posting on this listserve. Through
    > my words here, I gave the false impression to Ken that I was a part of the
    > leadership at Watermark and was working with them to prepare a seminar
    > before and after Ken Ham's visit for the purpose of debunking what he said
    > and making him look bad. I wish to publicly declare on this list that none
    > of those intentions are mine, and that my goals are to provide a open
    > dialogue useful for all Christians of any sort of view on origins. This
    > includes those views held by Ken Ham and those who think like him (which I
    > think is a majority at my local body- meaning that a goal to be insensitive
    > to those views would be quite unproductive.) I also gave the leadership of
    > the church the strong impression that I was viewing the sitation as
    > something like "the smart science guy alienated and fighting against the
    > dumb, dogmatic church folk." This is embarissingly not my intention, and I
    > regret fully that they had that impression based upon what they saw from
    > this listserve. Anyone here who had a similar impression, I would like to
    > clarify that this is not the situation, despite the impression I gave. The
    > leadership of our church is more than open to working through the matter,
    > and hadn't even been given a chance to dialogue with me before I began
    > posting on the issue here. I admit to feeling confrontational towards the
    > leadership, but I had yet to know their position and was not aiming to
    > convey anything about their intentions or motivations. My goal in coming to
    > the listserve was to data mine those who are familiar with Ken Ham's
    > approaches and arguments for the purpose of being prepared to explain to the
    > leadership why Ken Ham, IMO and that of others, is not effective in creating
    > an open dialogue about the issue of origins. Hopefully that shoud clear the
    > matter and we can move forward. This example should serve as a strong
    > caveat for those here on the listserve, as it has for me; people are
    > watching. We aren't exactly behind closed doors here, and things I may say
    > that many will understand in a certain way can easily be interpreted
    > differently by others, and we might all benefit by being aware of that.
    > Josh Bembenek
    > _________________________________________________________________
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    Walt Hicks <>

    In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)

    You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================

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