Re: Full disclosure (was Grand Canyon Tears America Apart )

From: John W Burgeson <>
Date: Thu Jan 22 2004 - 11:17:56 EST

I wrote: "What I do call for is for mainstream science to pay more
to the YEC arguments, by "welcoming" them into the discussion (in
moderation, of course), and publicly refuting them in discussion."
Don wrote: "A problem with this approach is that you're unlikely to
effectively refute "informed" YECs in a public discussion. YECs will
bring out their technical arguments, scientists will present technical
reasons as to why those arguments are invalid, but the public will just
see two sets of experts that disagree on technical details. Unless a
member of the audience is unusually well informed and can follow the
arguments, he will have little reason to change his mind. Furthermore,
it's often the YEC who's the more practiced and effective debater, as
debating skills are usually of secondary importance for scientists.
There's no substitute for careful consideration and evaluation of the
scientific evidence of the sort one should engage in when taking a
geology course. Limited public discussion cannot cover enough territory
to settle anything."

I'm not much in favor of "debates" either. But when I use the word
"discussion," I mean it in a wider sense than public debate. I mean it in
the widest sense -- confrontation.

When you write that "the public will just see two sets of experts that
disagree on technical details" I think you are underestimating the
competence of the average person. Yes -- if one is a convinced YEC, it
will take some time to overcome what "he KNOWS to be true." We don't take
that time nowadays very often. And all over this country kids are being
taught nonsense in many home schools and not a few private schools, as
well as in thousands of large conservative churches which will cause them
to abandon Christianity when they grow up.

I think that is sad. I think it is sadder that more is not done to
counteract that. I applaud Ted's post of the seminar at Messiah College.
That needs to be replicated thousands of times across the country. The
YECs are very good at getting their message out. And they are winning.
That's the bottom line.

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Received on Thu Jan 22 12:10:59 2004

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