Re: [asa] meteorites in the geologic column

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Mon Sep 22 2008 - 11:39:43 EDT

We should indeed call a spade a spade. As has been frequently pointed out on this site, the tone and manner with which we do so has as much impact as the content. We can call something ridiculous without using ridicule or sarcasm. This is why I felt it was important to call the RATE conclusions "deception." Effective communication means understanding the audience and keeping them engaged. Our audience ranges from the secular scientist watching to see how we address bad science to the church youth leaders devotedly teaching YEC to their students and everything in between. I agree with you--we need to speak clearly and strongly against all misrepresentation and erroneous claims of science. These are not in the category of "honest disagreement among Christians."


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: George Murphy
  To: Randy Isaac ;
  Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 11:21 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] meteorites in the geologic column

  Randy -

  I think we need not, & in fact should not, be quite as nice in dealing with YEC claims as you suggest. I don't want to be misunderstood - we shouldn't engage in mudslinging campaigns &c. But ridiculous claims should be called ridiculous without any euphemisms. (There's a difference, to recall Pauli, between "wrong" and "not even wrong.") And while ad hominem attacks should be avoided, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't call attention to the fact that many YEC practitioners are guilty of one or more of the following - carelessness about claims, not bothering to check the facts, misrepresentation of the scientific &/or theological views of those they oppose, and scientific &/or theological ignorance. & we absolutely should call attention to such behaviors and those who practice them. We need, e.g., to be willing to tell people, e.g., "You cannot trust what person X says about these matters because he/she has a history of demonstrably false statements about them" - with documentation. & no, we shouldn't add "We're sure he means well" or some such mollification. You know what the road to hell is paved with.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Randy Isaac
    Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 10:56 AM
    Subject: Re: [asa] meteorites in the geologic column

    Michael wrote:

    I agree, Michael, and this is a dilemma, especially for an organization like ASA. A large number (I presume a majority but we haven't done the study) of ASA members want to move on to more interesting and productive discussions. Yet at least a third or so continue to ask about YEC (and ID) issues. If YEC were a small, low-key minority in the church, we would indeed take a different view. But it isn't. Burgy keeps saying "YEC has won" and I understand his point--the ubiquitous teaching of the John MacArthur's and the like is a rather strong YEC position. Hence, it is part of our responsibility to calmly and methodically respond, without using ridicule or sarcasm or ad hominems and the like.

    The people I'm most interested in reaching are those who are honestly seeking but haven't seen or been exposed to other material. Last week a 12-th grader wrote to me asking for help. He wasn't being very successful with his arguments against evolution on his own blog. He wanted me to provide him with some definitive arguments that would convince those who were debating him. After some correspondence, it seems he is only aware of the standard Christian school curriculum A Beka. I pray that his eyes will be opened.


      What else could one do with the time spent on this type of thing?

      How many man/woman hours are spent in refuting YEC?

      What I have always found is that if a YEC argument is presented as plausible, research ALWAYS finds it wanting. That can take a long time.

      It also undermines whatever else John Macarthur does. Surely he should check out the science given to him as well as studying the bible etc?


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Received on Mon Sep 22 11:40:25 2008

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