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

From: Paul Seely <>
Date: Sat Sep 30 2006 - 03:07:21 EDT

David wrote,

<< A. 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 Galatians).

B. 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.

C. 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.>>

I think these are excellent suggestions, and I know you have a lot of data---and others do too. So, how about we pool our resources and get some of these on to paper?

I think points A and B can be combined. The individual issues could be made into a booklet or more. Ask a question (an issue), then quote those YECs who say Yes, and under it quotes from those who say No (or the opposite). Even the implicit issues like your radiometric decay rates could be in this format. The book could be laid out the way The Genesis Debate ed Ronald Youngblood was set up. Or could be side by side.] The reason this is so powerful is because you are working from inside of their world-view, and at the same time are raising questions in the minds of the readers. Abelard did something like this in his book Sic et Non and I think it had influence in calling the authorities into question. So, why don't you get started on it, and others hopefully can contribute.

Point C. I think listing issues and then offering as you say familiar examples and as simple as possible answers to them would be good. I envision a sort of Encyclopedia of Creation Science Arguments. One of the problems we have is that the various answers to all of these bad arguments are spread all over. They need to be in one place with a good index or table of contents that lets people look at the arguments they have heard and see why those arguments are invalid.

Also, when these books are basically put together, they need to be edited and reedited until a 10-year old can understand them. And they will change as they are developed over time. As time goes on, it may seem more advantageous to publish some as articles or both as articles and books, or change the format, etc. But the main thing is get something put together. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We can deplore the YECs until the cows come home, but until we get it into print in a form they can understand and we can promote, we will continue to languish.




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Received on Sat Sep 30 03:10:13 2006

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