Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs

From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Sat Oct 25 2008 - 23:15:21 EDT

I think that one's approach to a YEC should depend on why that individual is a
YEC. If it is ONLY because he is misinformed about science, then that is the
subject to be addressed. However the more typical case would be the person who
thinks that the Bible demands YEC. In that case that misconception is what I
would address first. If you address science first, you may convince him of
nothing, or you may shake his faith in the inspiration of Scripture. It has
been noted at least as far back as the early church fathers and probably
earlier that creation in six 24-hour
days leads to problems within the Biblical texts. Add to that the flood geology
of present-day YECs, and you have even more problems with the Biblical account.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

On Sat, 25 Oct 2008, Gregory Arago wrote:

> One question to ask up front is what 'science' means to said person. If he or
> she doesn't value scientific knowledge, then this is an indication that
> 'scientific arguments' will not convince them. Thus, one's 'map of knowledge'
> becomes important and 'science' can actually figure quite lowly in some
> people's ordering. Thus, Dennis, I suggest you take with you a grain of salt
> that people in a given society needn't necessarily elevate 'science' into
> the titanic that our (N. American) 'mass scientific society' has assumed.
> Inquiring to discover what knowledge means to said person could go a long way
> and may even disabuse the notion that 'scientists are smarter'
> than other citizens.
> For some people, science can be seen as helpful when a loved one is sick and
> needs a cure, but in other ways constantly damaging to the soul, in the sense
> of 'disenchantment' from the world of Dreaming that a supposedly 'primitive'
> or less sophisticated people enjoys. If you speak openly with respect and
> humility for the mysterious involved in human life and avoid the
> over-rationalising that often accompanies scientific methods, you'll probably
> have more success. If not in convincing a YEC at your local church, then at
> least in developing a respectful relationship with him or her that will
> display that 'scientists' are not all rational idiots who would de-mystify
> the universe from the smallest atom to the largest reaches of the cosmos.
> Warm regards,
> Gregory

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Received on Sat Oct 25 23:16:13 2008

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