Re: Comment on comment to Elsberry

Steven Schimmrich (
Thu, 27 Mar 1997 14:16:28 -0600 (CST)

Wesley R. Elsberry ( wrote:

> The issue as I see it is that we have here conflicting pressures. On the one
> hand, we have the compunction to use courteous address in our dealings with
> others. As I mentioned, the fact that courtesy is not returned is not an
> excuse for discourtesy. On the other hand, there is the pressure to
> communicate concepts accurately. It is this pressure that I feel overrides
> the specific call for courtesy that you made on behalf of Morris. Does LC
> accurately delineate ICR-style creationism? I think the answer is quite
> clearly "No". The argument for abandonment of YEC as a designator is further
> weakened by its long common usage within the community with which Henry
> Morris is recognized. I don't see a counter-argument forwarded for why
> accuracy should be set aside in this case.
> In short, I say yes to courtesy *except* for when it leads to complicity.

I very strongly agree with Wesley here. I commonly use the term "young-
earth creationist" to describe people like Morris because it's appropriate
and understood. If I used the term "literal creationist" some people may
not really know what I was talking about. Besides which, I believe the term
is inaccurate in that people like Hugh Ross and Glenn Morton would probably
say that they're also interpreting Scripture "literally", just in a different
way (and the ICR crowd denounces people like Ross and Morton!). Same thing
with a term like "Biblical creationist". I'm also very careful not the use
the term "creationist" to describe Morris, et al., because I consider all
Christians who believe God is the Creator to be "creationists".

Having recently been publicly compared to a "Nazi" and called everything
from a "compromising Evangelical" to a "humanist" by a well-know young-earth
creationist, I'm reluctant to show them the courtesy of describing them by
terms of their choosing, especially when I believe the terms to be misleading
or factually inaccurate. For the same reason I don't use the term
"pro-choice" to describe those who support abortion rights since it's such a
vague and value-laden term.

- Steve.

      Steven H. Schimmrich           KB9LCG  
      Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
         245 Natural History Building, Urbana, IL 61801  (217) 244-1246     Fides quaerens intellectum