Re: [asa] YEC social dynamics

From: Merv <>
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 19:04:12 EDT

Michael Roberts wrote:
> My own experience is different. I came across YEC at L'abri after
> working as a geologist, so the vast age of the earth was a given (with
> absolute evidence, of course). As I uncovered the falsity of YEC (in a
> few hours) I was appalled and I could not and cannot cope with the
> fact that otherwise devout Christians can support something which is
> ultimately dishonest. Charges that writers like Morris misquote like
> mad were met with disbelief and results in polarisation, creating a
> bad situation.
> One thing it has resulted in has been a scepticism of all things
> evangelical. Hence I can understand those who as a result question
> much of the bible. Fortunately in the 70s YECs were very rare in the
> UK and no one at seminary had heard of them, despite it being
> evangelical. I was also put onto the whole principle of accommodation
> etc which was saved me from being concerned about concordism or
> literalism, both of which get you in a mess.
> I am afraid Randy's experience is repeated time and again and it's
> getting worse
> Michael.
Something easy to forget when largely among professionals of a certain
feather is that the lay public has (takes) much less real opportunity to
examine original research and writings (much less actual evidence) even
about something like evolution. As a person in the middle (I'm not a
professional scientist -- but I am a high school science teacher who
would rightly be expected to have some familiarity with all this) I am
acutely aware how much even I rely not so much on actual evidence itself
as the trusted opinion of experts on that body of evidence. So for the
majority of YECs and, well, all of us "lay" folks it isn't so much "what
the evidence is" as it is "who ya gonna trust?" If your only
reading is carefully selected YEC publications, then yes, you can
sincerely believe that there is substantial evidence for a young earth,
and that evolution is this tottering house of cards propped up by
establishment commitment (it wouldn't be the first time the
'establishment' was off base -- right?) and that the whole enterprise
is about to crumble when people see through it. And this can be
believed in all sincerity because someone you trust as an expert has
told you so. And of course, any experts who disagree are part of that
evil conspiratorial establishment. Hence, the safeguards are all in
place. I wish we could be sure all this was only true of the YEC camp,
but they aren't the only humans around.

So I think one approach is to encourage YECs to delve into what "others"
think and why. Most should realize that if a debater wants to prepare,
he/she needs to know the "other side". So check out what those experts
are saying as well. Truth has nothing to fear, right? (And all TEs and
YECs DO agree that all truth is God's truth) Realistically -- very few
are going to be evaluating evidence first hand -- most of us evaluate
arguments rather than evidence. That is why the name game (who's on
what side) is unfortunately one of the important aspects of this whole
controversy, and as others in this thread have already suggested:
demonstrating Christian commitment and showing that one brand of origins
interpretations doesn't preclude one from being committed to the
authority of God's Word may go along ways to establishing credibility
with those looking for who they will trust.


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Received on Tue Sep 5 19:03:22 2006

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