From: John W Burgeson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 25 2003 - 11:25:45 EDT
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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