Re: [asa] Re: How to approach YECs was Empiricism, Faith and Science

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Fri Sep 29 2006 - 16:08:30 EDT

To convince someone, it's necessary to know why they are convinced. In
general, acceptance of young-earth views is because they are thought to be
biblical. Thus, it's necessary to show theologically that other views are
possible, not to mention frequent serious theological problems in
young-earth claims, in order to get a hearing for the scientific evidence.

One possible place to start is to highlight differences within the YEC
camp. For example, Talk.Origins has a bit that Answers in Genesis wrote on
the untrustworthiness of Carl Baugh. Baugh's participation in the Hare
Krishna "Mysterious Origins of Man" TV show might also raise some red flags,
as might the Institute for Creation Research's aiding Harun Yahya (a Muslim
antievolutionary organization and the pseudonym of its leader). The
"testimonies" touted by AiG that feature conversion from evolutionism to
creationism by the work of AiG and no mention of repenting from sin or trust
in Jesus, or ICR telling how the doctrine of creation is essential to
evangelism, etc. shows unacceptable deviation from the gospel (see

Another approach might be to highlight inconsistencies within young-earth
claims. Any percieved problem for conventional geology is given as proof of
a young earth and global flood, whether or not it directly contradicts the
claim that was just made. E.g., the Flood explains wildly catastrophic
events and delicate detailed preservation; radiometric decay rates varied
wildly if used for radiometric dating but perfectly obeyed known laws of
physics if used to identify polonium halos; the geologic column is a lie
invented by evolutionists and is a consequence of the Flood.

Examples of bad science do well to draw on familiar issues as much as
possible. The moon dust argument is extensively documented in Science Held
Hostage. A further twist on it is that AiG admits that it is not a good
argument (though that has not stopped AiG associated speakers from using
it), but they claim that this admission stems from YECs examining new
evidence, even though they cite the Science Held Hostage chapter by an old
earth advocate who showed that the old evidence disproved the YEC claim.
(Summary of the argument: The dust layer on the moon is very thin, contrary
to expectations if the moon had been accumulating dust for 4 billion years.
In reality, the layer is thick; a YEC saw a newspaper photo of an astronaut
footprint and claimed that it demonstrated a thin dust layer, although
stepping on dust would demonstrate that one doesn't sink to solid rock when
stepping on a thick layer of dust.) Another is the claim that fish couldn't
evolve into amphibians because fish have gills but amphibians have lungs
(from It Couldn't Just Happen). Millions of tadpoles make the transition
from gill-breathing to lung-breating every year, so that is not in reality
all that difficult a transition. The living fish most closely related to
amphibians are the lungfish, which have both lungs and gills. Many
amphibians also have both lungs and gills; others have only one or the
other, and quite a few do fine with neither, getting all the oxygen they
need through their skin and the lining of their mouths.

It might also help to point out that fixing the science doesn't require
abandonment of a young earth or antievolutionary view; what it does require
is an admission that the scientific data do not support those views.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Fri Sep 29 16:09:33 2006

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