RE: Introduction

Stephen Jones (
Sun, 07 Jun 1998 22:44:35 +0800


On Tue, 2 Jun 1998 18:34:44 -0500, John E. Rylander wrote:

JR>Just to clarify, I think what Glenn means by "destructive criticism" is
>criticism that harms allegedly incorrect theories. I think what Stephen
>means by "destructive criticism" is criticism that harms the cause of
>Christianity by attacking the theories put forward by some leading Christian

Thanks for your clarification. What I mean by "destructive criticism" is
really Glenn's *attitude* in seeking to destroy *totally* the work of leading
Christian apologists like Hugh Ross and Phil Johnson, by discrediting them.

Witness his scraping the bottom of the barrel in his persistent claim that
Johnson is wrong in saying that mammals arose from a "rodent", when
evolutionists like Stanley also use the same word.

I agree with your assessment that I believe that Glenn "harms the cause of
Christianity by attacking the theories put forward by some leading Christian
apologists." I am not saying that Glenn is aware of this. I presume that he
thinks that he is helping the cause of Christianity!

JR>Given this radically different usage, there is no agreement (despite
>occasional and very unfortunate shared use of "destructive criticism") on
>whether or not Glenn is offering "destructive criticism". I believe there
>is agreement that Glenn is offering destructive criticism in the first
>sense. The question is whether his doing so in his characteristically blunt
>and taking-no-epistemic-prisoners way implies that it is also destructive
>criticism in the second sense.

I don't really expect Glenn to agree with me on this.

JR>My opinion: I hope we don't make whole a thread out of this discussion!!
>It doesn't warrant it, in my view. Could Glenn be more sensitive to the
>feelings of others? Sure -- as could many of us. But I hope not at all at
>the expense of his (or our) intellectual forthrightness. In my view, Glenn
>has done far more than most on this list to ground the discussion in
>relevant data, rather than just speculation. For that, I at least am
>grateful. I also note that Glenn has been more than willing to admit error
>on a number of occasions, and tends to be thick-skinned regarding brutal but
>meritorious attacks on his own theories (remember when the faux-Trivers was
>on the list? the most obnoxious poster in living memory?

One of my major criticisms of Glenn is that (in my experience at least) he rarely
admits his errors and usually either ignores critcisms against his own views (eg.
his 5.5 mya Adam/Noah theory), or tries to launch a counter-attack against those
who offer such criticisms.

This is even more reprehensible because it is Glenn who, more than anyone
else on this Reflector, pontificates about the need for Christians to admit error and
seek truth, and to be better at truth-seeking than non-Christians. The only problem
is Glenn rarely applies his own principles to himself.

JR>Glenn was, as I recall, fairly polite to him because some of what the person
>was saying against Glenn's theories was possibly worth taking seriously, even though
>the guy was a -total- jerk).

Glenn is always "polite" to *evolutionists*. It is those who are apposed to
evolution that he is not "polite" to.

Jesus said that there would be those who like Glenn who misguidedly think
that by destroying Christian apologists they would be "offering a service to
God." (Jn 16:2). I pray for Glenn daily that he will come to realise what he is


"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)