Re: Re: TE/EC ad hominems-a fact that cries out for an explanation (was petty personal agendas)

Stephen E. Jones (
Wed, 01 Sep 1999 05:58:36 +0800


On Thu, 26 Aug 1999 10:59:45 -0500 (CDT) Stan Zygmunt wrote"


SZ>I agree with Steve Clark's reply to your silly, self-absorbed note to Glenn.

See my response to Steve Clark's post. Stan completely misunderstands
what I am saying. I am not concerned for myself. I have much bigger fish
to fry!

I am concerned to show that "the usual varying degrees of intimidation,
denigration and abuse that I am accustomed to at the hands of TE/ECs on
this Reflector", is due to the adverse effects of otherwise fine Christians
having been taken "captive through [a] hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on ...the basic principles of this world..." (Col 2:8), namely
scientific materialism-naturalism.

This "usual varying degrees of intimidation, denigration and abuse" by "TE/ECs
on this Reflector" against their fellow Christians who are creationists is so
pervasive, and so contrary to normal Christian ethics (let alone the world's
ethics), that it is itself a fact that cries out for an explanation.

Because TE/EC, by its very name, endeavours to combine a "philosophy", namely
scientific materialism-naturalism, with Christian theism, it is obviously a
prima facie candidate for coming under the ambit of Paul's warning in Col 2:8.
I expect TE/ECs to take this seriously and debate it like any other topic.

As I said in my response to Steve Clark, I make this claim, *only* in the
area of Creation/Evolution. I assume that TE/ECs are otherwise fine
Christians. I do not claim that TE/ECs realise this problem.

I also said to Steve that paradoxically, if my analysis is correct, I would
expect TE/ECs to continue to react with hostility and personal attacks,
even maybe trying to have me banned from the Reflector or `sent to
Coventry' (which has in fact been tried by one TE/EC before). But if
TE/ECs reacted with Christian grace, and patiently listened to what I said,
calmly pointing out where they think I am wrong, then I would have to
reconsider my position.

SZ>Grow up!

I thank Stan for his concern for my personal growth! ;-)

However, if this routine resorting to ad hominems by TE/ECs is supposed to
intimidate me into silence, it does the complete opposite! It only confirms
me more strongly in my thesis that evolution (and naturalistic ways of
thinking generally) has an adverse effect on those TE/EC Christians who hold

SZ>We have all been slighted, many times, and often in public.

First, Stan simply misunderstands what I am saying. He may not have
noticed that I never ask for apologies, which I would do if I was concerned
about being "slighted". I am not concerned in the least that Glenn has
"slighted" me. I have been "slighted" so many times by Glenn and by other
TE/ECs on this Reflector and it is just like water off a duck's back to me
these days. I have bigger fish to fry than my personal feelings.

I see these pervasive `slightings' by TE/ECs of creationists (and indeed of
anyone who is anti-evolutionist - like Bertvan, for example), as itself a fact
that cries out for an explanation, because it is so obviously contrary to
TE/ECs Christian profession. My thesis is that they are symptoms of a
deeper underlying problem of the TE/EC position, namely the conflict
caused by TE/ECs trying to "serve two masters..." (Mt 6:24), namely
Christian theism and scientific materialism-naturalism.

Second, the `slighting' in this case was Glenn privately sending a
demonstrably false story about me to another reflectorite about me
allegedly driving away all the "really powerful thinkers on the list...within
about 3 months of" me "coming aboard". Glenn refuses to defend his story
yet he refuses to retract it.

I am not aware of this form of `slighting' happening "many times" on this
list. But what is even more significant to me is that TE/ECs seem to think
this is OK. AFAIK no TE/EC has criticised Glenn for his gross breach of
Christian ethics (let alone the world's ethics), but instead they attack me
with personal invective for having the temerity to point it out!

This tells me that there is something seriously wrong with the TE/EC
position, that TE/ECs seem to be unaware of the gravity of what Glenn has
done. TE/EC adherence to a scientific materialist-naturalist philosophy
seems to have dulled their senses to Christian ethics, *in this area of
Creation/Evolution*, with the result that to TE/ECs, *in the area of
Creation/Evolution*, evolutionist `blood' is thicker than Christian

SZ>You yourself have slighted many people

In my 4 years on this Reflector, I am only aware of one person ever
complaining that I have "slighted" them *personally*.

I do not intend to "slight" *anyone* personally, and I would regard that as
inconsistent with my Christian profession. My focus is on TE/ECs' *position*.

It is inevitable that that some may feel "slighted" by me critcising their
position, but if I have intentionally personally "slighted" anyone (rather
than their position), I would appreciate it being drawn to my attention, so
I can have the opportunity to apologise.

SZ>in your responses by assuming that you know their motives

I do not assume that I know people's "motives", except in the ordinary way
that we all make assumptions about other people based on what they profess
to believe, say and do. It is routine for TE/ECs to make assumptions about
creationists "motives". Indeed Stan and Steve have done this in this very
post about me, assuming (wrongly) that my problem is just a need to "grow

SZ>and by sweeping generalizations that are
>far short of the whole truth and paint whole groups of diverse individuals with
>a broad brush.

Stan has yet to demonstrate that my "sweeping generalizations" about
TE/EC are "far short of the whole truth". And the "whole groups of diverse
individuals" who I "paint with a broad brush" all share a common TE/EC

I can only say that my position about TE/ECs is one I have come to reluctantly
after debating TE/ECs for 4 years on this Reflector. It is a warning in Scripture
to Christians (Mat 6:24; Col 2:8), and therefore it must be a real possibility.

TE/ECs very name indicates they are trying to combine Christian theism
with materialisticnaturalism. My hypothesis fits the facts, so I expect
TE/ECs to either refute it or accept it. TE/ECs trying to `shoot the messenger'
will only confirm my hypothesis.

SZ>Now you are on the receiving end of it, and you are acting like a spoiled
>child. Or perhaps like a mean-spirited parent, who after correcting his
>child, says something like:
>"I reserve the right to bring up your bad behavior in
>the future when it serves my purpose to do so."

Note how Stan feels its OK for TE/ECs to assume that they know
*creationists* motives!

But Stan is here misunderstanding what I am on about. I am not complaining
in the least about being "on the receiving end of it". I have been "on the
receiving end of it" from TE/ECs for the best part of 4 years, and if I was
concerned about I wouldn't have stayed or indeed come back.

But I am at least pleased that Stan appears to acknowledge that it *was*
"bad behavior" on Glenn's part! If that is the case, why has neither Stan, or
any other TE/EC publicly admonished Glenn for his "bad behavior", but rather
are defending it?

SZ>Are you interested in the truth, or merely in scoring debating points by
>impugning the character of your intellectual adversaries?

The former. I happen to believe that it is "the truth", that all TE/ECs are in
fact, to varying degrees, under the adverse influence of a naturalistic
philosophy, on the basis of: 1) Scripture warnings about mixing worldly
philosophies with Christianity (Mat 6:24; Col 2:8); and 2) personal experience
of debating TE/ECs on the Reflector.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years in a variety of churches and some
TE/ECs on this Reflector, without a doubt, are the nastiest Christians I have
ever come across. This is a fact which cries out for an explanation. The
common factor evidently is the "E" in TE/EC.

SZ>I suspect that I will be the next target of your defensive, self-justifying

I am not interested *at all* in "justifying" myself. I have bigger fish to

But I note that Stan admits that my posts are "defensive". One defends only
when one has first been attacked. Stan just ignores the attacks by TE/ECs on
this Reflector against their fellow Christians who are creationists, and then
blames creationists for having the temerity to defend themselves!

SZ>Oh well, at least it will take some of the heat off Glenn for a while :)

It is interesting (and I believe significant), that Glenn who is clearly the
wrongdoer in this issue, is by virtue of him sharing the same TE/EC position
as Stan is transformed by Stan into the `victim' taking the "heat"!

I ended my post to Steve Clark with a quote from Phil Johnson, and
pointed out that what I am trying to do is what Phil Johnson is trying to do,
namely issue a `wake up call' to those theists who have tried to marry
Christian theism with the non-theistic philosophy of scientific naturalism,
resulting in the sterile hybrid that Johnson accurately calls "theistic

"Obviously I offended Van Till with that phrase "theistic naturalism." In a
way I am sorry for that, for he is a decent and honorable person whom I
would like to have for a friend. But it is necessary to send a wake-up call to
a Christian academia that has complacently assumed that mild protests
against the most explicitly metaphysical claims by scientists are all that is
needed to maintain an intellectually respectable place for theistic religion.
The situation is far more serious than that. Metaphysical naturalism has
taken over mainstream science, not in a superficial sense but in a profound
sense." (Johnson P.E., "God and Evolution: An Exchange", First Things,
34, (June/July 1993): 32-41.


"...we have proffered a collective tacit acceptance of the story of gradual
adaptive change, a story that strengthened and became even more
entrenched as the synthesis took hold. We paleontologists have said that
the history of life supports that interpretation, all the while really knowing
that it does not." (Eldredge N., "Time Frames: The Rethinking of
Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria", Simon &
Schuster: New York NY, 1985, p144).
Stephen E. Jones | |