YEC, LC, BC, SC, and courtesy

Wesley R. Elsberry (
Wed, 26 Mar 97 22:55:03 CST

I note the objection of Henry Morris to being painted with a term
coined by the opposition. Yet many cohesive groups put up with this
all the time, Christians included.

The argument that "YEC" be dropped in reference to ICR-style
creationism as a matter of courtesy doesn't cut much ice in my
opinion. As others have noted, YEC economically and accurately
conveys the distinguishing or diagnostic feature of ICR-style
creationism. Further, there is a bit of "tu quoque" that I wish to
engage in, not because I think it is a clincher, but simply because
the topic of courtesy was broached. Henry Morris has not been shy in
letting various and sundry people know exactly what his opinion of
them is, and that opinion is not always a positive one.


"You can be a Christian evolutionist. You can be a Christian liar.
You can be a Christian thief. You can be a Christian adulterer.
Christians can be lots of things they ought not to be, but that
doesn't make them right. It isn't right to be a Christian

[End quote -- From an ICR-published audio tape transcript of one of
the ICR's "Institute on Scientific Creationism" sessions in 1995, as
quoted in the NCSE's Creation / Evolution journal, Issue 37, Winter


But can't we be Christian evolutionists, they say. Yes, no
doubt it is possible to be a Christian and an evolutionist.
Likewise, one can be a Christian thief, or a Christian adulterer,
or a Christian liar! Christians can be inconsistent and
illogical about many things, but that doesn't make them right.

[End quote -- HM Morris, 1980, King of Creation, pp.83-84]

I find it difficult to dredge up a source of motivation to engage in a
"courtesy" which, as others demonstrate, serves only as a convenient
obfuscation, and which is not likely to be returned in any event.
Actually, I would tend to agree with Morris in the use of direct
commentary that does not pull punches in pursuit of false courtesy.

Additionally, the "YEC" term has a history of usage within the ICR.
Note Impacts 155, 213, 215, 233, 254, and especially 269, titled "A
Young-Earth Creationist Bibliography" and written by none other than
HM Morris himself. Why did it take so long and so much usage for
Morris and the ICR to take exception to it? I find the "scapegoat"
hypothesis forwarded on this issue to be parsimonious.

Another bit of terminological shuffling on the part of the ICR
concerns "scientific creationism", "biblical creationism", and
"creation science". First there was "scientific creationism",
introduced by the same people who founded the ICR. This term, which I
contract to SciCre for brevity's sake, was supposed to help in the
push for adoption of YEC concepts into science classrooms. The
meaning and implications of the term are stated fairly clearly in
books like "Science And Creation" by Boardman, Koontz, and Morris, and
that meaning included direct reference to Biblical sources as arbiters
of truth and a call for the recognition of the God of Genesis as the
person of the Creator. SciCre fell upon hard times, though, because
courts in the USA started applying the Lemon Test to it, and the
results were uniformly sour. IOW, SciCre as defined in various and
sundry ICR published texts explicitly met the test for establishment
of religion. Because of this development, the ICR wordsmiths
introduced a new phrase, "Biblical Creationism". The idea here is
that BibCre contains all the contaminating religious references that
marked SciCre for legal failure. SciCre could then be redefined in
such a way as to excise the (legally) offensive parts, and be used
again in promulgating YEC concepts as suitable fodder for science
classrooms. Books were issued in second editions, carefully
performing operations like a Perl script including


Unfortunately, some wicked people actually retained first editions of
such works, and people presented with both could easily see that the
terminological histrionics did nothing to show that SciCre was not
just BibCre with WhiteOut. Obviously, it was time to go back to the
typewriters. Next up in the phrase arsenal was "creation science".
Advanced as a replacement for the aging and failing SciCre, CreSci was
touted as science with no -ism. Again, the reason advanced in print
for its acceptance was that the SciCre term was used in a pejorative
fashion by opponents, since it included -ism at the end. This implied
that a belief system was being dealt with, rather than actual science.
This might look plausible on the surface, but only to those not
familiar with the actual etymology of SciCre as a phrase designed to a
purpose. The design was later shown to be a bit faulty, but the
failure of a design is not the fault of the inspectors.

The ICR is learning, though. In reading the book, "What Is Creation
Science?" by Morris and Parker, I was struck by a curious fact: they
never appeared to actually answer the question posed by the title,
other than a comment that SciCre and CreSci were synonymous in the

The Better Business Bureau tracks businesses by their names. Some
unscrupulous operators continue to use the same old tactics under
a new, and reputationally clean, name. In the case of certain
concepts which have justly earned reputations, I think it is prudent
to continue to do business using the original name. I think that
"YEC" continues to serve admirably as an accurate label.


Wesley R. Elsberry, 6070 Sea Isle, Galveston TX 77554. Central Neural System
BBS, 409-737-5222, 1:385/385, ANNs, GAs, Alife, AI, evolution, and more.
Student in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences.
"some people i told him inhabit a vacuum all their lives and never know it" -a.