Re: Questions to Allen Roy

From: Sarah Berel-Harrop (
Date: Mon Sep 22 2003 - 00:46:27 EDT

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    I apologize if you found my comment abusive. That
    certainly is not my intent.

    The point I mean to make is that the YEC position as
    promoted by professional YEC'ers is simply inaccurate -
    this is an assertion I get the feeling you might not agree
    with but let it stand for a moment for the sake of getting
    onto the same page - and what's more there is a significant
    level of dishonesty involved in the literature. I mean their
    description of the science, not the theological issues.
    See for example,

    Science education in this country is so poor that most
    people are hardly capable to properly evaluate the claims
    made either by standard geology or evolutionary biology
    or by professional YEC'rs or OEC'rs ID'rs. That's too
    bad. If lay people want to accept the claims, and they
    are in fields or avocations where science is not involved,
    certainly there is not a problem. I already stated I felt
    such a person has no affirmative duty to investigate the
    claims. They trust whoever told them, and that's fair
    enough. It is my feeling from reading Glenn's and other's
    posts that you are making far too much of their use of
    the acronym YEC. I don't think they mean lay people,
    and you are objecting to their (our?) attitude toward these
    folks. I think they are talking about what I called
    professional YEC'rs. Do you understand the distinction
    and do you find it useful? Although you may still find the
    characterization of professional YEC'rs objectionable,
    if that's who we mean, it would inappropriate of you
    to state that we are disrepecting lay people when we
    say x, y, z about professional YEC'rs. If that's who
    we/they mean, it's time to restrict the discussion to
    professional YEC'rs, adding the caveat that you think
    most YEC's are not professional YEC'rs. ( And I
    agree that that is the case).

    I noted one unfortunate side effect, which is the fact of
    lay peoples' lack of understanding of or indifference to
    the methods and accuracy of professional YEC'rs tends
    to undermine science education because you've got
    folks who might have an effect but don't speak out about
    it and so there are fewer Christians criticizing the scientific
    errors. This also lends to the sort of persecution/seige
    mentality that makes Josh's church leaders think it's ok to
    equate evolution and atheism as a rhertorical strategy. That
    really is sad, but as long as you don't have political activity
    going on it only affects the people who already buy in
    to YEC.

    Going up to a higher level of activity. There are clergy as
    I noted who preach anti-evolution from their pulpits. Some
    of them specifically criticize from what purports to be a
    scientific basis. Some of them just call scientists Athena
    worshippers and idolators trying to set up a secular
    priesthood. These folks are not in theology anymore,
    and they should closely investigate the claims they
    are making. And the example I gave on the Athena
    thing is from a real sermon, here in Houston, and I
    find it truly objectionable. I disagree with you if you
    are stating that I should not be critical of these practices.
    I think these practices are wrong. If you are going
    to preach a sermon you need to do adequate research.
    If you are preaching a sermon that draws from a
    source like ICR or AIG you cannot have done adequate
    research because their material so strongly diverges
    from facts, as Michael Roberts earlier stated, they
    misrepresent mainstream science. Then they tear
    the misrepresentation down as implausible. Sorry
    if it offends you for me to say that.

    Finally you've got folks on school boards and being
    political active. Again, in my view they have an
    affirmative duty to investigate the scientific claims
    they are making. With very few exceptions when
    you dig deeper the claims are rotten. It was truly
    sad to me to see the things people were saying at
    the State Board of Education, flat-out untruths, but
    you would not know unless you checked or had
    prior knowledge of the subject matter.

    This is too long already but I strenuously object to
    your characterization of Dawkins as a prophet of
    evolution. Dawkins is one of the purveyors of so
    much misinformation about evolution it is not even
    funny. In my more cynical moments I suspect that's
    why people who should know better like the ID'rs
    spend so much time refuting his views. Someone with
    a decent biology background reading Dawkins probably
    mentally discounts the misstatements and fills in the
    omissions. Unfortunately he is very popular with lay
    people. I think I've quoted before a fellow "A lot of
    intelligent people who know very little about evolution
    like Dawkins".

    ----- Original Message -----
      From: Walter Hicks
      To: Sarah Berel-Harrop
      Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2003 9:53 PM
      Subject: Re: Questions to Allen Roy

      Let me be clear, Sarah.
      I mention my daughter specifically to personalize it. I really do resent generalizations like Glenn's. To demonize YECs is to lower yourself to the level they are portrayed to represent.

      I am not referring to my daughter when I mention people who basically believe in a Young Earth outlook. They seem to represent most (but not all) of the parishioners in my church -- and they do NOT have the hostile attitude that most on this list portray as the norm for a belief in a literal Bible. They were simply raised on the Bible and take those words at face value. Popular literature portrays science as opposed to Christianity, so what can you expect? Expect YECs to embrace evolution when the Prophet is Dawkins? Even with that, my views are respected.

      My church has a web site that lists various "resources". I have been working for some time to get ASA listed and it is nearly a "done deal". My hope is that they will see intelligent discussion that makes them feel like they are respected as Christians -- and not a lot of criticism that makes them feel that they are looked upon as bunch of illiterate fools. The material on the ASA site is generally good.

      It is the discussions on this list that belittle people. My hope is (should the site be listed) that nobody hears what I have been hearing. In fact, if I "had my druthers', Terry would can any posts of this nature. I would love to see only intelligent and POLITE discussion, rather that what has been posted lately.

      The Christian message is for all folk. If they happen to accept what some call a "mother goose" outlook and still know the Lord, then that it is acceptable in my eyes -- as long as they are more tolerant of scientists than scientists here are tolerant of them.

      When ASA members learn to present the truth of science in a fashion that conveys the points without being abusive and in a manner that can be readily understood, then progress might be made. What I see on this list does meet the mail. IMO

      Maybe I was wrong. Perhaps ASA is for scientists only and I erred in asking that it be listed on the Church's web site. If anyone thinks so, let me know and I can reverse the process.

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