[asa] Believing Scripture but Playing by Science’s Rules

From: Dave Wallace <wdwllace@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon Feb 12 2007 - 07:09:43 EST


KINGSTON, R.I. — There is nothing much unusual about the 197-page
dissertation Marcus R. Ross submitted in December to complete his
doctoral degree in geosciences here at the University of Rhode Island.

His subject was the abundance and spread of mosasaurs, marine reptiles
that, as he wrote, vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era about 65
million years ago. The work is “impeccable,” said David E. Fastovsky, a
paleontologist and professor of geosciences at the university who was
Dr. Ross’s dissertation adviser. “He was working within a strictly
scientific framework, a conventional scientific framework.”

But Dr. Ross is hardly a conventional paleontologist. He is a “young
earth creationist” — he believes that the Bible is a literally true
account of the creation of the universe, and that the earth is at most
10,000 years old.

For him, Dr. Ross said, the methods and theories of paleontology are one
“paradigm” for studying the past, and Scripture is another. In the
paleontological paradigm, he said, the dates in his dissertation are
entirely appropriate. The fact that as a young earth creationist he has
a different view just means, he said, “that I am separating the
different paradigms.”

He likened his situation to that of a socialist studying economics in a
department with a supply-side bent. “People hold all sorts of opinions
different from the department in which they graduate,” he said. “What’s
that to anybody else?”

Seems impossibly schizoid to me. If I were doing something like this
then I'd internally have to hold to something like an appearance of age
theory. To be fair though I don't think the university should withhold
a degree from him although I don't like it.

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Received on Mon Feb 12 07:10:34 2007

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