My YEC confession (was Post-Empiricism Science)

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Thu Sep 25 2003 - 11:25:45 EDT

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    Allen wrote, in part: " In light of that, I have here some edited
    sections of an article by Del Ratzsch, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin
    College, called, "Cradled Science: Examining the Cosmos in the context of
    Faith." (Journal of Adventist Education, Summer 2002, pp. 2-12.)"

    Allen -- thanks much for sharing these comments by Ratzsch. Have you read
    his recent book, NATURE, DESIGN and SCIENCE?

    I neither agree nor disagree with Del's viewpoints, but continue to study
    them. He makes some good points, both in the sections of his article you
    quoted and in the book I cited above.

    I attach no significance to the fact that his article is in a 7th Day
    Adventist magazine. George Murphy writes a lot in a Lutheran magazine.
    One publishes where the opportunities lie. <G> I know there are some,
    perhaps even some on this list, who would read the Adventists out of the
    Christian community. I think that is a silly thing to do.

    Ratzsch speaks, on occasion, of "certainty." There are those who are
    "certain" of their claims. I am not one of them. As bad as I find the YEC
    arguments, I am only 99.44% convinced that YECism is false. Some
    variation of Gosse's thesis might still be possible. Over the years,
    though, my percentage of conviction has risen asymptotically towards
    100%. But -- like Glenn, I was once a YEC. (At least a YEC variation).

    I began reading about origins in the 60s, shortly after I became a
    Christian. The ICR books were available, and, for a time, I gave them
    credence. For a while I embraced a variation (my own) of Gosse's thesis.
    By 1979 I was calling myself a "fiat creationist." In a sense, I was
    where Glenn Morton was at that time, although I did not publish and did
    not spend very much time on the subject. In the 80s, as I continued to
    study the issues, the inconsistencies in ICR's claims slowly dawned upon
    me. In 1988 I attended a 4 day seminar by ICR in Dallas, meeting Gish (a
    very nice guy), Morris (a gentleman) and Ham. On the last day I took
    these guys to lunch, and we had a long and very interesting conversation
    about all this stuff. It was about that time that I found, through inter
    library loan, a photocopy of Gosse's book. That led to serious study, and
    by 1990 (maybe a year earlier) I had quite completely repudiated the
    ICR/AIG claims and concepts. In retrospect, I was a very slow learner.

    I think that there were three reasons I was off track so long. First, I
    dabbled in the subject; I did not really study it. A 2nd reason was that
    I saw ICR's views, in my fairly conservative churches* (EUB, College
    Church in Wheaton, Orthodox Pres, Evangelical Covenant, Church of
    God,Southern Baptist and Nazarene), as "Christian." The 3rd reason was
    that I was, until the late 80s, quite unaware that there were books being
    written which countered ICR's claims. I remember reading Kitcher's
    ABUSING SCIENCE. I did not "like" what I read. But what he wrote could
    not be ignored. When I returned to ICR's claims, and found them
    incomplete, off base, sometimes (often) false, there was no way I could
    intellectually hold to them. Fifteen years later, I have found no reasons
    to return to them; they get flakier every year.

    I remember the magnetic field argument of Dr. Thomas Barnes, Hey -- he
    was a Prof at the University of Texas. A physicist. I was very impressed
    with the argument. Then an IBM friend shared with me the math under the
    claim. I don't think I ever gave the YEC claim and serious credence after
    that. The claim was not only abysmally incompetent physics, but
    irrational and speculative mathematics and, as presented by ICR,
    bordering on being intellectually dishonest.

    Burgy (and now you know the REST of the story)

    * Working for IBM, we moved around the country a lot. With eight kids,
    the church with the best youth group always won out, regardless of

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