From: Sarah Berel-Harrop (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Sep 22 2003 - 00:46:27 EDT
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
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
----- 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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