Sadly too many Christians both church leaders, bishops and members of CIS seem unwilling to take on creationism. It is being smuggled into schools with too little opposition.
We should make clear that creationism is simply a fraud.
Time to stop pussy-footing about
In an earlier thread I noticed exchem (I think) make a disparaging/dismissive comment re IDers and YEC's. This approach seems to be continued in this posting.
Can you please tell me how the layman is supposed to reach a reasoned position on this area. Whichever position you look at , ID, YEC, Theistic Evolution, Atheist Evolution the proponents of each include Professors and Doctors of assorted science subjects. Who should I believe and why.
(As a comment, my life experience is that, generally, those who just dismiss glibly opposing views are either afraid to check that view for philosophical reasons, or scared to check in case they are found to be wrong.)
Thank you. I would say you have stated your opinions without addressing my main question, that is, 'How should the layman decide'.
You both suggest that science has unequivocally proven evolution. Simon says that those scientists who don't agree have not been trained in the right fields to make true judgements.
So against this I offer the following;
YEC believer, Professor of Physics (relevant enough surely), PhD Physical Chemistry; BSC (Hons) Geology & B.Eng (Hons), PhD (one person); Professor of Aerospace Engineering; B.Ag.Sc (Hons), PhD plant physiologist. There is also an organisation called 'Creation Science Movement'. I also include a sentence from an e-mail I rec'd yesterday 'Today, he speaks passionately about the relevance and the scientific integrity of the biblical Creation'
My purpose in putting these down is to give examples of people who are properly qualified to comment on the subject, with expertise in many areas which relate to the subject. On one website, in excess of 100 scientists, minimum qualification of a doctorate, have put their names down in support of the YEC position.
Please do not dismiss them all as incompetent or something. By all means disagree. They have the same evidence as you but reach different conclusions.
My original question then, How does the layman decide?
Anthony, I’m afraid some of this again strikes me as a bit slippery. I notice you choose the terms "huge" and "gaping" for the "holes" you refer to in current theories of science. And I see you are then happy to acknowledge "enormous", "gaping" holes in YEC creationist "scientific models". The suggestion seems to be that, really, it's just six of one, half a dozen of the other, take your pick, right? Well, no, actually, for the numerous reasons Simon and I have given already in this discussion.
While it may be risky to disagree with an astronomer on such a matter, it strikes me as unfair to state that quantum theory and relativity "flatly contradict” each other, without qualifying this statement heavily. The everyday implication of “flatly contradict” is that you can’t use the one without denying the validity of the other. But of course these models each work exceptionally well for the classes of phenomena they are designed to address, just as Newtonian mechanics works fine unless you deal with the very small or the very fast. Surely, within these limits, these models do not have “gaping holes” in them, they are amazingly powerful, unifying and consistent. It has always been my understanding that conflict only arises when you try to stretch them into each other’s domains, to provide a completely coherent set of laws of physics, across the whole of nature. This is not something most scientists need to do when they use these models for most purposes (though I can see that maybe astronomers bump up against the limits more than most). They are simply, like Newton’s laws of motion, acknowledged to be incomplete and attempting to reconcile them is one of the current frontiers of science.
Are you suggesting YEC can shed light on the way quantum theory and relativity can be unified? Or that it offers a rival explanation that avoids the conflict, while retaining the explanatory and predictive power of them both? I bet you aren’t. No one working in this field would dream of suggesting: Hey, I’ve got it, we reject all these theories and say instead “God does it”, there you are, that’s your improved explanation.
Everyone would agree with you that nobody is under any “obligation”, as you put it, to “believe” any theory in science - this point obviously follows from them all being provisional. But this degree of reserve (element of agnosticism, one could say), is not at all the same as saying that every rival theory has to be taken seriously. The key question is what does the rival theory add to understanding (once we’ve decided the proponents are probably not charlatans, of course).
In relation to YEC, you mention that it might “fill a hole” in geology, regarding continental scale catastrophic geological features. Well I suppose it might, though saying “God did it” would not stop most geologists continuing to search for natural, as opposed to supernatural, explanations. (And if they succeeded, as has happened with the evolution of complex biological features, then YEC would have to move its goalposts to a new area where there wasn't an explanation - yet.)
But just think what you would have to THROW OUT in order to achieve this goal. Plate tectonics successfully connects the magnetic and laser measurement evidence for seafloor spreading with mountain building, the shapes of the continental blocks, vulcanism and earthquake prediction. Not only that, it also successfully explains some divergences in the genealogy of various life forms (via evolution, a totally independent theory), as land masses separated. This genealogy is evident both from the fossil record and, quite independently, from biochemistry via the DNA sequences of their descendants. To adopt YEC, you have to throw this wonderful consistency, across independent fields of study, all in the dustbin and say instead, “God did it. Now, how do we predict earthquakes? Sorry, no idea, we’ve junked our theory of that - it’s just God’s will.”
How could that be progress?
From the above responses it seems if you read YEC/ID literature and give credence to it you must be an imbecile. By extension then, all evolutionary reading must be wholesome and good.
If I am to accept science as my FAITH I have to believe it cannot be wrong. History proves, as stated previously, this is not so.
To have doubts about evolution is not being brain dead it is; a) seeing there are flaws in the argument
b) Having faith in God and not scientists.
A couple of anomalies (from many) that cause doubts about evolution 1) Living fossils "Milliions of years" old fossil but no change in the still extant creature.
Birds come from dinosaurs but no fossil has been found showing intermediate stages of bone structure which must have occurred if that transition did occur.
Lastly, a quotation
An Open Letter to the Scientific Communitycosmologystatement.org
(Published in New Scientist, May 22, 2004)
The big bang today relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities, things that we have never observed-- inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent examples. Without them, there would be a fatal contradiction between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.
I do think I have enough grounds to be dubious about evolution and this is reinforced by my faith in a living and personal God, my Saviour jesus Christ. Presumably Simon won't want to speak with me now?
Finally, I don't know anyone who says 'God did it' and metaphorically shrugs their shoulders.
Plate tectonics are part of His creation and affect us all so yes, science should seek to understand it, and all natural penomena, as best they can.
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