Re: the atheist question

J.D. Guzman (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 23:57:16 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Glenn Morton <>
To: J.D. Guzman <>;
Date: Thursday, April 16, 1998 8:55 PM
Subject: Re: the atheist question

>At 04:51 PM 4/16/98 -0500, J.D. Guzman wrote:

>>First of all let me clarify that I am far from being an anti-evolutionist,
>>however, I am disapointed at the way evolution is touted around as if it
>>were the only explanation to life.
>So do you believe in evolution? If you do, then you are not an
>antievolutionist. If you don't you are. The only out I guess would be for
>you to say that you are agnostic about evolution.

Let me put it this way, currently I accept that species adapt and that these
adaptations lead to changes in the speicies. What I haven't yet been able
to accept is the claim that every living organism came from a common
ancestor. This is not to say that I don't think that this is possible, only
that given the evidence I find it very unlikely.

>>The reason that I brought up the above argument was not to throw the
>>responsibility to the other side but rather to cause you to realize that
>>Christians aren't the only ones that can misinterpet facts, scientist can,
>>and do, too. In light of this shouldn't the question you asked be
>>suplumented with the additional question of how are we to know that
>>scientist are correct?
>Where scientists talk about things in the observable world, one can go
>observe the same thing the scientist observed. That is how you tell if they
>are correct or not. Go look.

The problem is not so much with the observations, after all both the YECs
and non-YEC scientist all observe the same thing. The problem arises in the
interpretation of the data, and the real twist is that all interpretation is
highly subjective. So yes I can go and observe what the scientist has
observed, but this doesn't necesarily mean that I will interpret it the
same. In light of this who would be right? This decision would come down
to credibility, and even that is subjective. So who do we trust? I guess
we trust the person with the theory that makes to most sense, given the
data, and the least amount of unverifiable assumptions. Having said this I
would have to admit that the YECs don't score to high.

However having said all of the above, we still can't be 100% certain that
the enterpretation given by scientist (and I mean all those that aren't
YECs) is the correct one.

>>I admit that some Christians make the very bold assertions that the Earth
>>only 6000-10000 years old. I will also tell you that when asked for some
>>decent evidence of this most people have nothing to say. Personally I
>>the young earth theory very shakey, and I believe that even this is
>>it too much credibility. The flip side to all of this is that even in the
>>scientific arena we can find people that manipulate facts, and falsify
>>to agree with their theories.
>Can you name names and cite these facts? I hear young-earth creationists
>these things and when I go check out the "facts" they say are manipulated,
>find that the young-earthers are wrong.

Well I will refer you to the April 2nd issue of Nature (392 p. 424 and p.
434). Here you will find information on two scientist that have been caught
in falsifing data. One has plead guilty while the other pleads inocent. In
the case of the scientist that is pleading inocent, the NIH and the Baylor
College of Medicine conducted investigations and found that there was
sufficient reason to believe that this scientist is guilty.

>>It is true, as you pointed out in you rhetorical question, that Christians
>>should be setting an example. Personally I am ashamed when Christians do
>>such ill mannered things, however, seeing how we are human I don't think
>>that there will be a stop to this any time in the near future.
>I agree that it won't stop. But until Christians tell other Christians to
>get their facts correct and tell other Christians to stop being
>ill-mannered, NOTHING will change. In fact silence becomes acquiescence.

I agree.

>>>Can you refresh my memory on this. In general I tend to hold that the
>>>Genesis account is entirely historical. Is there a mis-spelling or two?
>>>yes. But that is well documented. So please remind me of specifically
>>>you think I don't believe happened in the Scripture.
>>I would like to apologize for the above comment. I made the mistake of
>>confusing you with someone else.
>No problem. I often confuse myself with someone else also.
>>Well it is true that this Christian will in all likelihood be start to ask
>>himself questions as he progresses in his education; however, I don't
>>that this would happen if the Bible wasn't taken as scientific text. The
>>Bible main purpose is to be a spiritual guide, and due to the content it
>>also be considered a historical document.
>Now we have made some progress. If the Flood is a historical account, then
>it must have left SCIENTIFIC evidence of itself. This is where the science
>comes into the equation. Science is one of the means by which history is

As far as the flood goes, I can't remember where it is the I read it but I
do believe that there is evidence for a flood in the Middle East. However,
this evidence only supports a local flood.

What I am going to say next is purely my opinion. I believe that given the
fact that the Middle East was the known world at the time of the Flood, a
local flood would be all that is needed to destroy the "world" as the Bible
puts it. So in this sense there is evidence that supports what the Bible

By the way in the May issue of Discover there is an article on evidence of a
massive drought in Egypt and the surrounding areas. The dates that are
given for this drought would correlate it with the 7 year drought that is
mentioned in Genesis. The article makes to mention of this correlation,
which is the result of my own research. I just thought it would be
interesting to mention.

>>As to the resurrection that is believed by faith. That it is documented
>>a book called the Bible is secondary. Even if the Bible didn't exist I
>>would still accept the resurrection, because I have faith that it
>I agree that the resurrection must be held by faith. But if the
>of those who inform me of the resurrection is in question because they
>get their facts correct, even simple facts, then why should anyone believe
>that they know what they are talking about when it comes to the
>resurrection? And if the earlier Christians were as lousy at getting their
>facts straight as are the modern ones, then the resurrection is
>questionable. Credibility is everything when it comes to the historical
>events in Christianity.

If you are going to view the Bible as a purely historical text then yes
credibility is everything. However, the Bible was divinely inspired, and
like I said the resurrection is accepted by faith, if we at any time doubt
the resurrection, and I am not saying that you are, Christianity becomes
pointless, and just like any other religion.

Just to clarify, when I say that I accept the resurrection by faith I don't
mean that I have faith in what the apostles wrote. When I say I have faith,
I have faith in what Jesus said, which was that on the third day he would
rise from the dead.

Best Regards,

J.D. Guzman