Re: [asa] FYI: Arrogance, dogma and why science - not faith - is the new enemy of

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Sun Aug 19 2007 - 17:29:56 EDT

> I had intended to write that I expect there is a huge amount of good
> science and engineering performed by Christians who hold YEC or ID
> positions. It seems to me that most of Michaels concerns relate to
> science more or less directly bearing upon origins (eg the Rate effort)
> and such like areas in controversy.

Dave, I think you have bought into the whole Operational science /origins
science schemata, which tends to regard empirical/experimental science as
Operational as it deals with present events and is thus sound/true/real
science. In contrast Origins science deals with the past which is not open
to experiment and thus conclusions are predicated by presuppositions, hence
they are unreliable unless backed up by an eye-witness - and Genesis 1-11
does nicely here. This idea was only invented in the last two decades and
probably goes back to Geisler in the 80s.

It is a good ploy to dismiss the whole of historical science like geology,
palaeoanthropology and cosmology, but for many reasons is fallacious

If we go back to the late 17th century shortly after the foundation of the
Royal Society, scientific methods included observation and description
(astronomy and biology eg John Rays early classification of plants).
experimentation of all kinds eg Boyle and his law etc and the beginnings of
doing historical science as with Steno and the many theories of the earth.
Practitioners of each were recognised by the RS and to use the word
anachronistically were all seen as scientific . And so it has continued to
this day. By 1780 historical science in the form of what came to be called
geology demonstrated the vast age of the earth but that ruffled few
Christian feathers. Hence in the heyday of geology in the early 19th century
geologists saw their work as sound as any experimental science. All were
seen as aspects of scientific methodologies and equally scientific . The
difference between historical and experimental science was often noted as by
Rev William Whewell in the 1840s, but both were equally science. Those who
did not think about scientific methodology (i.e. most scientists!) could
pass seamlessly from one to another, as could those who did think about
methodology. When studying geology in the 60s it never came up and we were
taught geology with both experimental, and historical methods. Thus when I
swapped from chemistry to geology at the end of my first year (equiv to 2nd
year in the USA) I never taught about the difference . We simply used
different scientific methods for different aspects.

To get back to Dave, most physical science eg physics and chemistry and
engineering can be done without reference to historical science as those
methods are not applicable , thus a YEC who accepts only what he falsely
terms Operational science can do good scientific work as it is not
time-related. Ultimately it is impossible for a YEC do any geology,
beyond a descriptive approach as they simply deny the validity of historical
methods of science which have been refined over the last 300 years. A YEC
geologist is obliged to accept only those aspects of geology which fit his
so-called "paradigm" and reject everything else. The controversy is an
imaginary one as it has been caused by YECs who simply refuse to accept the
scientific evidence for an ancient earth. As for the RATE project that is
simply nonsense, produced by people which should be able to use their
science properly.

Meanwhile we should resolutely refuse to use the terms Operational and
Origins science as they are both nonsense and hand the ball to YECs .

Finally the likes of Ross and Chadwick have to be geological schizophrenics
and it is no wonder that so many of them flip and up with a crisis of

I hope this brief answer helps.


> Previously I had asked how someone like Marcus dealt with the implications
> of his work and an old earth vrs his YEC position? Appearance of Age?
> Just lives with the intellectual dissonance?
> ...
> Any comments James?
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sun Aug 19 17:31:13 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Aug 19 2007 - 17:31:13 EDT