Re: the atheist question

Glenn Morton (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 05:08:22 -0500

At 11:57 PM 4/16/98 -0500, J.D. Guzman wrote:
>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.

Fair enough. But what exactly is the evidence that makes you doubt that all
organisms came from a common ancestor?


>>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.

Now, here I must disagree with you. They do not observe the same thing.
Young-earth creationists have stated that overthrusts do not exist. But when
I point them to the field relationships they haven't every mapped an
overthrust i the field or off of seismic. Thus, the geologist is actually
mapping the surface data and mapping the seismic data and looking at the
data from oil wells. The YECs who say that overthrusts don't exist, have
looked at none of this data.

YECs say that the entire geologic column does not exist anywhere on earth,
yet if it were merely a matter of having looked at the data with a different
interpretation that would be one thing. Unfortunately, the YECs who have
said such things have never looked at the data from oil wells which DO drill
through rocks of every single age all piled up in proper order at the drillsite.

When I told the editor of te Creation Research Society Quarterly that there
were footprints on the layers of the Green River formation, he emphatically
denied that there were footprints. I cited several articles which showed
that this was true, and he wouldn't even go get them. (see Bruce R.
Erickson, Fossil Bird Tracks from Utah," Museum Oberver 5:7 (1967 in W. A.
S. Sarjeant _Terrestrial Trace Fossils_, (Stroudsburg: Hutchinson Ross
Publishing 1983), p. 146)

So, I would contend that YECs are not looking at the same data, because they
aren't looking at the data!

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.

No, we trust the person who is more often correct when he makes a statement
of fact.

>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.

No, we can't be certain. But then we can't be certain that God didn't
create the world 5 minutes ago either. What you suggest is far too high a
level of skepticism

>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.

I am aware of this case and I can point you to many, many more. People are
people. But it was scientists who caught these guys not creationists. Now,
let me ask you something. When was the last time you heard of a christian
group disciplining one of their own for falsifying data or making terrible
mis-statements of fact? I very seriously doubt that Christian apologists
have never engaged in that type of behavior. Yet they are never disciplined
for it. Only if they engage in drinking or sex will they be disciplined.

>>>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 evidence? One of the problems is that claims like this are far too
general. They should be backed up with specifics.

>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

Actually this is not quite the case. The Middle east was not all that was
known of the world if you include the collective knowledge of all humanity.
Human beings were spread across all the world as early as 15,000 years ago.

>>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.

So, are we saying that because the Bible is not a purely historical
document, it doesn't have to match the simple standards of truth that we
expect of other documents? If that is so, the Bible can claim anything at
all and we can believe it because the standard of truth is gone.


Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


Foundation, Fall and Flood