Re: [asa] Lets move beyond straw men and uninformed opinion

From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Dec 13 2006 - 12:09:10 EST

> As for Greg's comment "In fact, I find P. Johnson's position on the
> age of
> the earth entirely satisfactory and rather candid for a lawyer - he
> says he
> just simply doesn't know. " is just absurd. A lawyer is supposed
> to weigh
> evidence and go for the best, whereas there is only evidence for a
> great age
> and none against. Is it OK for a Christian astronomer to accept old
> style
> Ptolemaic astronomy with tiny stars fixed on a dome and then to say
> "Well I
> don't know if Copernicus was right " or for a chemist to be
> agnostic about
> phlogiston versus oxygen?.

To me, the problem is not so much that he says he doesn't know how old
the earth is but that he says he knows all about evolution, AIDS, etc.
when he doesn't. Understanding the age of the earth is highly
relevant to understanding evolution, so the coupling of a "don't know"
position on the age of the earth with "do know" position on evolution
is the problem.

Johnson's approach also raises concerns that the "don't know" position
on the age of the earth might be deliberate fence sitting to try to
attract young earthers while evading some of the problems that
young-earth claims raise. It's unsurprising that some of the
antireligious anti-ID folks would conclude that it's just a political
ploy, though I think that's oversimplification.

-- 
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 Dec 15 01:59:07 2006

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