YEC marginalization (was Biblical Interpretation Reconsidered)

From: John W Burgeson <>
Date: Sat Jan 03 2004 - 11:21:32 EST

George wrote: " I appreciate the points you make here - up to the last.
As I said to
begin with & explained in more detail later, I was hesitant about making
suggestion. I still am.
        But I am also not convinced that the "let 1000 flowers bloom"
approach will work. The liberal tradition (in the sense in which you use
word here) tends to assume that education & the free exchange of ideas
lead more or less inevitably to consensus in the truth. I'd like to
that that was right but have my doubts."

I guess we have to disagree (mildly) on that point, George. I'm not sure
it's ever really been tried. I do know that the present course of
marginalization is leading to a worse situation, not a better one.

I really recommend the book FRACTURE OF GOOD ORDER to you (and others) in
which the arguments are developed fully.

I note in the last ICR ACTS & FACTS that the ICR RATE papers (3 of them
think) were accepted and read at a recent secular scientific meeting.
Can't put my hands on the ICR pub right now or I's post more on this. I
think it is a healthy move, even though the YECs will make good use of
the appearance in their propaganda.

You also wrote: "As to your closing paragarph: There have been many
articles in PSCF
pointing out (a) scientific errors in YEC claims, (b) dubious aspects of
biblical interpretation (such as Paul S's recent one) & (c) theological
alternatives to YEC. How many YECs have they convinced?"

Probably very few. But not all YECs are "die hards," and I suspect that
more than a few people who once gave some credence to the YEC claims (I
did so at one time, holding YEC as a "live option) have been persuaded by

  "How many YECs even read them? "

My guess -- a few. My interchanges with my friend Dr. Gish (admittedly,
15 years ago now) led me to believe he was widely read in non-YEC

" & what reason is there to think that increasing the numbers of
such articles will produce different results? "

Probably none. But that's hardly the point. ASA has -- what? -- about
1500 members and a few others who read the journal in libraries (I
finally persuaded Iliff to subscribe to PSCF two years ago) and a few
others who participate here and -- hopefully -- more than a few who
stumble over the web site.

We should (as a society) not be content with these numbers -- they soul
-- in a rational world -- be 10x or even 100x larger. I don't personally
have a plan as to how to achieve this. But with a few exceptions nobody
is even working on such a plan. On Theologyweb I mention ASA (with a web
address) frequently; I have done the same on Compuserve since becoming a
sysop there nearly 10 years ago. I include two links to the ASA site on
my own web site (Google uses such info to rank choices when appropriate
searches are made) and I frequently encourage others to add such a link
on their own web site. In spite of the ASA somehow thinking my real name
is "John Warwick Burgeson" (it is not), I support ASA each year with a
few $$ in addition to my membership. Many here, I perceive, do the same.

But we do not yet (after 55 years ) have a critical mass.

"& there's a downside to publishing a lot of YEC related stuff.
Mainstream Christians interested in science-theology questions may look
the journal, see such articles & wonder "What sorts of people are these
still be arguing about _that_?" They may be turned off by the journal &
ASA as a whole."

I agree that this is an exposure.

I just read John Polkinghorne's article in THEOLOGY & SCIENCE, Vol 1, #1.
Great article. I'd like to see it reprinted in PSCF. In general, the
articles in T&S are of higher quality (IMHO of course) than PSCF -- not
necessarily because of the authorship, but because they tend to address
wider issues.

Burgy (Into the Shadows)

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Received on Sat Jan 3 11:24:13 2004

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