Re: YEC refutation

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 17:36:34 EDT

Let me try this on for size..a little different take on your question.

You described the problem well enough, but the answers so far will only
satisfy some folks, primarily those who might be both openminded and
left-brained, or those who have some really operational understanding
of critical thought.
I would argue that for most folks, the persuasion comes through
plausibility arguments, not facts and logical connection.
Most of the answers here seem to attempt to respond to your request with
logical, factual data.
The essence of this "game" on the other end, though, is who do you
respect enough to trust?
If one has been taught to suspect any contrary data, that factual
approach will not work.
My sense is that there is still a need for factually correct teaching
materials/processes that are more focused on persuasive plausible
counter-stories, not counter-arguments - not succombing to the
relatively unproductive data-lobbing wars.
While this is counter to my instincts as a technical person, what
appears to be needed is wide exposure to well-informed, personable,
trust-invoking individuals (and materials) who (which) are capable of
portraying the stories of nature in more persuasive anecdotal form,
showing how marvelous this creation really is in its workings,
consistency, and coherence, and in its patient homage to an intelligent
creator. If new trust can be established in that form, then perhaps good
data may be more meaningful to a larger audience, not because of its
logic, but because the information complements a heart-felt position in
a way that will proved to robust over time in the face of argument,
additional study, passage of time, personal reflection, and onset of new
discovery. At least one can hope.
No one is going to replace a significant chunk of their belief system
with something that controverts that chunk unless something cause
mistrust of the existing, or creates a level of trust that strongly
compels one to move in a new direction.

The bottom line is that as long as a person does not have the tools to
assess the data, they will rely on personal persuasion and plausibility.
So my argument is that this aspect of education needs to be done with as
much thought and quality as the data-oriented side if a broader range of
folks are to be persuaded.
That, however, takes rather special people to present and create
resources of this sort. The need seems to be evident in what seems to be
the lack of an abundant supply of such teaching materials.


durable and robust way.

Carol or John Burgeson wrote:

>I've been thinking (a painful process) more about the YEC claims in my
>last post.
>The problem is -- the typical person has no way to evaluate them. To him
>(or her) it comes down to two opposing "scientific" viewpoints. One has
>the appearance of being biblically supported. No contest.
>Is there ONE argument that can be used to show clearly and convincingly
>to a nonscientific person that the earth really really is much older than
>a few thousand years?
>Something that can be looked up -- verified?
>One such argument goes something like this:
>1. Almanacs give data on coal and oil production over the past -- say --
>100 years.
>2. This is business data. It is verifiable. Factual. No arguments
>3. All coal and oil deposits ever found and analyzed show that they
>originate with organic (pre-living) plants and animals. No exceptions.
>4. There is a way to measure the biomass that produced these deposits.
>5. There is too much biomass to have been produced in only a few thousand
>6. Therefore (1) either God produced the deposits and made them look like
>biomass had produced them, or (2) many more years than a few thousand
>took place to produce them.
>7. Since (1) is sort of flaky (like the Gosse theory), (2) must be true.
>8. Therefore the earth is much more than a few thousand years old.
>Comments? I tried once to quantify the above argument; it seemed
>reasonable at the time.
>2.9979 x 10**8 m/s, is not just a good idea, it's the law.
Received on Tue Jun 14 17:36:37 2005

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