Re: [asa] ICR for May, 2007

From: Robert Schneider <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 21:20:15 EDT

I am in the process of writing an annotated essay on young earth creationism. While the essay necessarily must highlight YEC positions to keep it from being unduly lengthy (and besides there is quite a bit of information out there dealing with them in detail), I have read a cross section of YEC arguments for a young earth and universe, from appearance of age to shrinking suns to decelerating radioactive elements or the speed of light. In every case I am hard put to accord any scientific value to any of these arguments. This is aside from false claims against evidence and arguments for an old earth and universe one often finds in YEC literature (and they are numerous). All of these arguments, for YEC and against criticisms or opposing evidence, serve only one purpose: to justify a particular biblical interpretation for a young earth. Some have labeled YEC science as "bad science"; I think as it is presented to the Christian community and to the public, it is worse than that.

Not being a natural scientist myself (holding ASA associate status as a social scientist), I would want to let those trained in the former like George to take the lead on this issue. Yet, even as a layman, I think that the portrait of an ancient universe and earth 4.6 billion years old is so factual as to be beyond refutation. I also think that the ASA needs to utter a stronger voice in the conversation about the relationship between religion and science. I believe that it would strengthen its bona fides with the larger scientific community by taking a clear and unequivocal position on this issue. I think it also needs to take this stand for the sake of the larger Christian community. We are one and perhaps the only organization of Christians in the sciences in the USA that can speak truth to this issue, and we need speak it to the churches. It takes courage to do this, as many of you can already attest, but as a group we have a model before us in our own society.

Over the past year we have seen a growing consensus within the leadership of the evangelical community to take a strong stand on caring for creation, despite the objections of popular voices like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson. People like Richard Cizik and Rick Warren, and many others, are speaking up and urging evangelical Christians to act. Let them serve as a model of active truth telling for the ASA. Both would be speaking of the creation: one of caring for it, us of understanding it. Both would be doing God's work in the world. God is not served by silence in the face of those who are preaching to God's people a truly false portrait of the creation. It has taken twenty years or more for leaders in the evangelical community to respond to the dire need for creation care. Perhaps it would take longer to educate Christians about the nature of the creation, specifically its age. But it would not be too soon for this association of believers to begin the task as an organization.

Bob Schneider
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: George Murphy
  To: asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:27 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] ICR for May, 2007

  I think the time has come to ask if ASA can continue to remain silent on the age issue. This is merely an academic discussion, as shown by the upcoming opening of the AiG museum. We really have to ask if the organization is acting in a responsible way if it allows such blatant, well-financed & well-publicized activities to mislead people and give Christianity a bad name among the scientifically literate without speaking out.

  It is very important to realize that official acceptance of an old earth would not mean taking a official stance on biological evolution.

  A good deal has been made of the fact that there are a few scientifically trained YECs who are honest about the fact that present-day science points to an old earth but who themselves believe in a young earth because of their theological position. It might be unfortunate if they had to leave ASA because of the organization taking an old-earth position but that may be the prcise for organizational integrity and credibility. & there have always been intelligent fellow Christians who didn't meet the criteria for membership.

  Shalom
  George
  http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
   

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Received on Thu May 10 21:20:40 2007

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