Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Creationists fail in bid to offer ‘science’ degrees


 From Nature:

A religious group has had its application to offer Master of Science degrees rejected by Texas authorities.  The Institute for Creation Research— which backs a literal interpretation of the Bible, including the creation of Earth in six days — was seeking a certificate to grant online degrees in science education in Texas (see Nature 451, 1030; 2008).  But the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board voted unanimously last week not to grant the institute’s request, following the recommendation of Raymund Paredes, the state’s commissioner of higher education.  “Religious belief is not science,” Paredes said in his recommendation. “Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”  The institute has 45 days to appeal or 180 days to reapply.

Religious belief is not science?  Does Paredes feel that “religious” people can’t teach adequate science?  He’s right, “religious belief is not science,” but should creationists be barred from teaching/offering degrees because of their beliefs?  EXPELLED!

Rude, I agree with much of that. For my own part, I'm less dogmatic about the age of the universe or the earth as I am with a literal garden, and a literal Adam and Eve. I am a literal Six Day creationist, and far less certain about the age of the earth and the universe. The first few verses of Genesis 1 are certainly enigmatic, and suggest the possibility at hidden information. I don't personally subscribe to Gap Theory, but I don't discount it either. However if we take Adam and Eve as figurative and representative, we run into problems with genealogies. Noah was descended from Adam, Abraham from Noah, David from Abraham, and Jesus from David on both sides of the family. Matthew accounts Jesus' genealogy through Abraham, and Luke's account begins with Adam. Personally I see no scriptural basis for taking Adam and Eve as figurative or representative. Adam is regarded as a literal person in the NT (Rom 5:14; 1Cor 15:22,45; 1Ti 2:13-14; Jude 1:14) as is Noah, Abraham, and Moses. So there are some real exegetical problems with strictly allegorical interpretations of Genesis 1. Jude refers to a literal Enoch, who delivered a literal 2nd coming prophecy. Enoch is the 7th generation from Adam. Remarkably, we find the gospel message encoded into the first ten generations from Adam to Noah, by considering the meaning of the Hebrew names:
Adam -- Man Seth -- Appointed Enosh -- Mortal Kenan -- Sorrow; Mahalalel -- The Blessed God Jared -- Shall come down Enoch -- Teaching Methuselah -- His death shall bring Lamech -- The Despairing Noah -- Rest, or comfort. The Gospel in Genesis
Read as a sentence, we get: "Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow; the Blessed God shall come down, teaching [that] His death shall bring the despairing rest [or comfort]." I'm quite comfortable taking Genesis literally, without being dogmatic about the exact age of the universe. The 6,000 years is a genealogical inference, and is nowhere explicitly stated. However for other scriptural reasons, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if we find that there have been nearly 6,000 years from Adam. Peter gives us a clue in 2Pe 3:8, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." For seven days of creation, we could very well be preparing to enter His "day" of rest, the prophesied 1,000 year kingdom, where Christ rules on David's throne.
Instead, they will serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. (Jeremiah 30:9)
I don’t think it’s helpful to act as though the interpretation of Genesis is a slam dunk, that before materialistic science got under way there was never any controversy. More has been written over the ages on the hexaemeron than on any other part of the Bible. Why insist that Scripture stands or falls on our infallible interpretations—especially when they are controversial? What is needed is an open discussion free of acrimony and accusations of heresy. It’s true that polite scholarship has genuflected to Darwin for well over a hundred years. Modernism stood on two legs: Genesis was wrong and Darwin was right. But now that the Emperor’s nakedness is coming into focus one hopes that more scholars will begin take the book seriously. Both books—the book of Scripture and the book of Nature—should be taken seriously. For those who think Genesis is easy I say read it. Note that in any plain reading you will see that land and sea were already there before the six days began. Those who would have the entire Universe be what was created in the six days still have to finagle with Genesis 1 verse 2. Rude
The ICR has some excellent scientists and researchers who have advanced degrees from the same universities as secular scientists. I also understand that some of their scientists submitt papers to secular scientific journals. So the question arises; are the theories and/or views of the ICR any more sensational or irrational than current Neo-Darwinian views and theories of infinite parallel universes, 27 dimensions, dark matter, life from nothing etc, etc. I mean has anyone ever seen this stuff?. (I read the book:The Devil's Delusion) One large difference between the ICR and the NAS is that the NAS uses science and atheism to reject God while the ICR openly embraces Him (biblically based Christians appreciate this). The folks at ICR have my deepest respect. They stand up for what they consider correct science. Keep up the outstanding work. The best thing I can do is pray for the ICR.. Wonderware1
I think it would be awesome if you guys proved it was a young or younger universe than what the standard dating proposes. PannenbergOmega
At 102 Hi, Patrick. What you are refering to is a MEC perspective? Scordova refered to (I may be mistaken) Dr. Cheesman's work when he mentioned that YEC could very well be wrong. Yet a Middle Ages, that is between 6,000 years and 13.7 Billions (Standard Age of the Universe) could be a very real possibility. PannenbergOmega
Patrick I don't see how that would be devastating to Darwinism. They only have 500 million years to work with in any case. Virtually all the modern phyla appeared suddenly in the Cambrian explosion 500mya and there are few if any predecessors to be found in the Ediacaran era preceding the Cambrian. I wouldn't be too surprised if the generally accepted age of the earth and the universe is off by a factor 10 in either direction. But going from 4.5by for the earth to 450my is still SO much older than 6000y there's really not much difference in that first order of magnitude error. DaveScot
To be fair to Thogan, an effect like gravitational lensing, the bending of light by intervening galaxies, may be what he is positing. Such things could dramatically affect the interpretation of distant objects. What if other phenomenon are introducing systematic errors? I don't think Arp is a theist (is he?) and even he doesn't accept standard interpretations of the data, so I don't see the need to label such ideas as "YEC-only". I'm personally open to the possibility that the universe may be relatively "younger" than currently calculated. That said, I don't hold to YEC nor Ross's OEC. But let's assume the YECs are right in that there are some fundamental errors being made. What if the problem is that YECs are trying to force-fit the data into the 6k-10k model? What if reality is a "middle earth" position of a couple billion? Even a smaller reduction like that would be devastating to Darwinism. Patrick
Salvador I think Drs Humphreys and Baumgardner have both been good influences on ICR. CMI has a clear statement of faith as well as semi-official position statements on a variety of topics. Where we are undecided collectively, we say so. Conversely, ICR defended Aardsma even as he was making excuses not to believe the biblical timescale. I think they have learned from this mistake. TJ (now Journal of Creation) and even Creation magazine are peer reviewed. I've long asked, what exactly has Kurt Wise contributed to the creation movement. He is certainly on record trashing Creation magazine, whinging about its "evolution bashing" (evidently the passages where Elijah mocked Baal's prophets (even including toilet humour) are missing from his Bible, as well as 2 Cor. 10:4–5). I use the term "compromiser" deliberately, because they are very clear that they are, in effect, compromising the Bible's authority by treating uniformitarian geology and astronomy as authoritative instead. Jonathan Sarfati
DaveScot @ 93 I don't like to leave my mistakes uncorrected. I didn't realize that light aging was a YEC speculation-sorry for confusing it with the far more plentiful OE speculations. Also sorry for calling you a software engineer. thogan
Hi Salvador and Jonathan. I was wondering if I could ask you a couple questions about a possible young cosmos. 1. What are you views on the Great Flood? 2. How did Kangeroos get to Australia? Are there precursors to Kangeroos/Wallabies? 3. What are your views on Baraminology? Thanks guys, ~ P.O. PannenbergOmega
But I am not a follower of those who delight in trashing YECs but contribute precious little themselves, like Kurt Wise.
Johnathan, Just to be sure, are you saying Kurt was trashing YECs? I'm too new on the scene to know all the prior history. Some of my accounts (like that of Aardsma) are second hand [possibly third hand].... Perhaps I misunderstood what you said about Kurt. If I did not misunderstand, then it confirms my perception that Kurt Wise and the YEC Baraminology Study Group (which included Richard Sternberg, Paul Nelson, and Stephen Meyer) have been at some variance with other YEC organizations like ICR or AiG or CMI. I appreciate your analysis of the ICR during the Aardsma era. I was not aware other creationists like you had concerns about the ICR during the Aardsma era. I think Russ Humphreys has been a very excellent influence on the ICR. I don't delve much in the activities of the ICR except when I see them say something critical of ID or my area of research interest. Regarding the problems that Aardsma caused for the ICR in having too much freedom, is the structure of peer-review in organizations like Creation Research Quarterly or TJ a better way to do business? [I don't have an active subscription to these journals so my assessment of the could be a little sketchy]. I'm of the opion collaborative research from many independent sources might be a very good route for basic research. I'm not as versant in the history of existing YEC organizations as I am with ID organizations. If I mis-stated something pertaining to the history of these organizations, please correct me.... regards, Salvador scordova
Scordova, my list of Arguments we think creationists should NOT use might not have pleased some who cut their teeth on the ICR arguments of 30 years ago. But I am not a follower of those who delight in trashing YECs but contribute precious little themselves, like Kurt Wise. Again, a problem with ICR was that its staff like Aardsma had too much freedom, and were defended for a time even when they went way off beam. Jonathan Sarfati
I remember talking to Marcus Ross last year at Baraminology 2007. I asked if he agreed with my assessment that YEC "science" was really bad 20 or 30 years ago. He agreed. I was tempted to use the word "farce" (to quote Polkinhorne).... Ross pointed out the now discredited flood model by Henry Morris. Morris's model didn't fail on "Biblical" grounds. It failed because of scientific facts. The next generation of YECs seem to have better science. Walt Brown (PhD MIT) and Russell Humphreys (PhD and scientist at Sandia Labs) and John Hartnett (many peer reviewed papers), John Baumgardner (published in Nature), etc... I am hopeful for seeing some issues settled. It is good to see less theology and more real science. The real science questions are deep and won't be settled quickly or by theological debate. To get a taste of what must be examined, consider even a basic question about Russell Humphreys book Starlight and Time. In Humphreys book, page 90, Humphreys refers to things like the Ricci tensor and the D'Alambertian operator with respect to Einstein's relativity. But if Maxwell's equations are slightly inaccurate such that there has been variation over time in the major "constants" of physics, then Humphreys hypothesis is out the window. I pointed out the problem that the D'Alambertian operator will face in a time-varying speed of light universe here: Lorentz Covariance and the Creationist Maxwell’s Equations. Further, there is what is called Ritzian electrodynamics [a claim that Maxwell's equations are wrong]. This leads to different forms of relativity. There has been a small interest in other kinds of relativity like Galilean and Vectorial and Ritzian and Lorentzian, not just Einsteinian (what Humphreys uses). But who is to say what is right? There is still too much serious research that needs to be done. Discussing more theology appears not to be the path to settle the most questions of YEC, namely, the creationist Maxwell's equations. In the mean time a lot of basic Astrometry needs to be done. I'm not so sure we really know how far away things are in the universe or how big it is. For example, I point out here, the quasars could be only a few parsecs away from the sun. Van Flandern and Arp are also skeptical of the published distances of quasars. We could say the same of every thing else, and the early news from our improved astrometry devices is casting doubt on our previous assumptions. See Possible Distance Measurement Flaws. We simply don't know. With respect to these basic empirical and theoretical questions, we need more basic research and less theology. scordova
At # 94 Haha Salvador. You should be a lawyer, you are very careful not to offend anyone. PannenbergOmega
Jonathan, I will try to temper my comments about my fellow brethren at the ICR. I fear I am setting a bad example.... However, I am not the only YEC who has been a bit disgruntled. Bill has been far more charitable to the ICR than I, but it appears the ICR has something of a coolness toward ID. I pointed out in The ICR’s continued misunderstandings about science:
Is thermodynamics or statistical mechanics Biblical or non-Biblical? If these disciplines can’t be shown to be Biblical, then is Morris suggesting these ideas can’t be defended or studied or promoted by the ICR? Given that Maxwell (a creationist) and Boltzmann (a Darwinist) were pioneers in the formulation of statistical mechanics and atomic theory, I suppose by John Morris’s standards, these great theories are non-Christian theories, therefore the ICR can’t join in their promotion and study.
in contrast John Morris wrote:
The differences between Biblical creationism and the IDM should become clear..... ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.
ID in the most formal sense has been argued as the 4th law of thermodynamics (No Free Lunch by Bill Dembski). As it is inappropriate to label the 2nd law of thermodynamics as "Christian" or "non-Christian", so I think it is inappropriate to label ID as "Christian" or "non-Christian". The YEC model as a strictly scientic theory (meaning a theory of physics that argues the universe is young) will probably put the design inference for biology beyond reasonable doubt if the major holes can be plugged. I'm skeptical of Humphreys and Hartnet's work, but I'm delighted to see the attempts they are making. They appear to be fine physicists, and I'm glad to see Hartnett's work passing peer review in the secular journals. I do however object to Harnett's misrepresentation of Setterfield's work. There are creationists in Northern Virginia who are also physicists. One was former associate chair at the Naval Academy another from William and Mary and others from universities I'd rather not identify. We are hoping to organize a creationist organization along the lines of the Discovery Institute where theological purity is not demanded.... I wish to explore YEC as a purely physical and scientific hypothesis. It is my understanding that the Temple of God in the Old Testament was built by a mix of believers and unbelievers. I don't think there is anything wrong in enlisting the help of non-believers to gather data and build mathematically sound theories. I certainly think there is nothing wrong inviting OECs or undecided creationists to offer legitimate scientific criticism's of YEC theory. I have reservations about Russ Humphreys physics, but I'd gladly be wrong, because if Humphreys is right, the Universe can be shown scientifically to be young. [In such case I suppose Dr. Cheesman and I will owe Russ a beer....] My colleagues in Northern Viriginia are still working on building out the infrastructure of the new creationist organization. I hope to keep the readers at UD posted.... I am grateful you have posted here at UD, Jonathan. I have to admit I found it difficult to be friendly given some of the things I have seen you write and the labeling of some of my friends as compromisers. I believe a compromiser is someone who knows the truth but chooses to compromise it. That is different from someone who has made a mistake, but an honest one. If YEC is true, I put OECs in the latter category of "honest mistake", not compromiser. I hope the Movie Expelled has shown that many non-YEC Christians do not have the character flaw associated with a "compromiser". Caroline Crocker was an old-Earth Darwinist. She was a Theistic Evolutionist. Her husband is a rector at a very conservative Anglican church.... She has approached me to ask why I think YEC is viable. She is willing to learn. 7 years ago she rejected Darwinism in favor of ID. She doesn't enage in questions of creation or age of the Earth. She does not feel qualified to discuss those areas, but she is willing to learn. I don't think it is productive to label such people as compromisers...they are people willing to learn and change their minds.... That said, I will pray that God blesses your scientific work and your CMI ministry. I consider you a brother, and not the enemy. I will also pray for the ICR. I hope you find it in your heart to offer prayers for the new creationist organization that is forming in Northern Virginia. scordova
thogan Thanks for dropping by and thanks even more for leaving. Light "aging" by redshift is something that few astronomers put any stock into. It's nothing more than a YEC invention. Astronomers know that red shift (and blue shift) occurs by Doppler effect (proven by experiment) and by the expansion of space itself (theoretical/red shift only/Hubble Constant). Kind of funny that a software engineer is testing my physics. Not half as funny as you calling the YEC nonsense you've been spouting "physics". And yet another mistake of yours is calling me a software engineer. My initial training in electronics (military) was in radio theory over 30 years ago. Most of my career has been in circuit design, not software design, although I've done a lot of both. DaveScot
Based on earth-local measurements, e.m. radiation can change direction when gravity applies sufficiently (e.g., the sun's). Astronomers think that light "ages" and undergoes a red-shift with time. There are still some anomalies that lead us to believe that light has characteristics of a wave, so your choice of "photon" to describe e.m. radiation is curious. What's the rate of deposition of moon dust? What's the density of dust in extrasolar space which has actually been collected and tared? What is the tared mass of the sun and its *observed* internal composition? There's so much of what you know that may not be so. Kind of funny that a software engineer is testing my physics. I'm looking for someone who is able and willing to discuss the philosophical difficulties with "historical sciences", but I don't think that I'll find it here. I've got more profitable things to do to test my ideas. Thanks for the suggestion to leave. Ciao everybody. thogan
thogan As e.m. radiation travels, it is modified by whatever medium it passes through. The more it travels, the more modification it undergoes, cet. par. We never see the original light from the source exactly as it left the source. How does a photon change when passing through a vacuum? Get this one right or it's out the door with you. I'm growing weary of your weird science. DaveScot
DaveScot @ 68 "You mentioned historical sciences as irrational non-science. I pointed out that cosmology is an exception because we are literally looking at the past." That is simply a delusion. As e.m. radiation travels, it is modified by whatever medium it passes through. The more it travels, the more modification it undergoes, cet. par. We never see the original light from the source exactly as it left the source. "If you want to refer to your work then either point to it or put a sock in it." "I’m not interested in anonymous claims of credentials." This wasn't a claim other than one of a very little experimental experience. My thesis was in IR reflectance at the University of Missouri at Kansas City over 20 years ago. "The electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the universe at large covers a lot more than visible light, by the way." Somehow I'm aware of that. :-) "Ever heard of a radio telescope?" Radio waves? What will they think of next? ;-) "Think you can fool electronic circuits and computer analysis into “seeing” whatever you want them to see? Yep yep yep yep yep. A rational argument is sufficient. GIGO. Surely you know what that means. Radio waves can be massaged with filters, lenses, mirrors, amplifiers, etc. just like any other e.m. radiation. The point is that we can't know enough about the conditions of space to be able to speak authoritatively about it due to our inability to directly test it and exert some sort of control over it or examine it close up. We dare not assume that the radiation has been unaffected during its travel by unknown substances. I think about all the mistakes here on earth that science corrects where control is possible and we are able to directly investigate things and get a variety of perspectives; when we make these mistakes in a situation where we have control and are able to investigate up close, it arouses skepticism that we can do a reasonable job with things far away. Surely you must entertain a *little* doubt about the accuracy of astronomical claims. Philosophical naturalism is ready to make all kinds of bold, speculative claims about things distant in space or in time on earth when no one can directly investigate those claims. Me, I'm a skeptic about such claims. thogan
scordova "Lots of theology, not enough serious science." May I suggest that some of us who have a lot of history with the YE/OE debate think that a philosophical approach will prove more fruitful than one relying upon "science." Evolutionary theories are merely nudged to accomodate the data (or, more often, to just ignore the anomalous data). There's a lot of toleration among evolutionists for anomalous variation between their theory and the data, so showing more anomalies is hardly likely to prove fruitful. More useful is to show that "historical science" is an oxymoron, as this demarcation is actually easy to support with many strong arguments; however, it requires a basic understanding of the relationship between technology and experimental philosophy. Once this relationship is properly understood, rational skepticism may be properly applied against the untestable, inferential claims of naturalism with regards to alleged prehistory. Methodological naturalism is proper in science; however, since evolutionary "historical sciences" are actually manifestations of philosophical naturalism as a consequence of being unable to rely upon *direct* experimentation (as opposed to *analogical* experimentation), they, like all "historical sciences", cannot be legitimately and truly categorized as "science." Once evolutionary "historical sciences" are disposed of, the philosophical difficulties between Christian theology and naturalism will be made plain and naturalism will be much easier to deal with as it will no longer be able to rely upon the authority of science. This will have an immediate, positive effect upon the general public for whom the authority of science is very weighty. thogan
Scordova, Bill Dembski himself doesn't share your negative views of ICR, in a reply to the late Henry Morris: "Nonetheless, it was their literature that first got me thinking about how improbable it is to generate biological complexity and how this problem might be approached scientifically. A.E. Wilder-Smith was particularly important to me in this regard. Making rigorous his intuitive ideas about information has been the impetus for much of my research. "In his book Darwin and Design (Harvard University Press, 2003), Michael Ruse makes clear that the key question in the debate over biological evolution is not whether evolution is progressive but rather how biological complexity originated. Creationists have always, and rightly, kept this question at the forefront. "For these reasons, I regard Henry Morris as a great man. I’ve met most of the leading lights associated with his Institute for Creation Research (e.g., Duane Gish,John Morris, and John Baumgardner). Moreover, I corresponded in the 1980s with the late A.E. Wilder-Smith. Unlike many Darwinists and theistic evolutionists, young earth creationists have been extraordinarily gracious to me, and I’ve always tried to return the favor. I therefore regret never meeting Henry Morris in person. I hope still to do so in this life. "Despite my disagreements with Morris and young earth creationism, I regard those disagreements as far less serious than my disagreements with the Darwinian materialists." Jonathan Sarfati
idnet.com.au, sin-death causality is a big problem for any compromise with geological and biological evolution. The Bible is crystal clear that Adam's Fall brought physical death to both humans and animals. Human death alone is enough of a problem for long-age ideas, since undoubted Homo sapiens skulls at Omo, Ethiopia, have been "dated" — by methods long-agers accept — to 195,000, far older than Adam. What makes modern IDers think they can do any better trying to explain way this teaching than at the time of Darwin? Darwin's opponents were basically ID types, already compromised with geological evolution, and they failed badly. They couldn't answer why a loving God would created a germ as a pathogen and kill his 10yo daughter Annie, and call this "very good". See Darwin versus a faulty creation model and Annie’s death and the problem of evil). Another problem with long-age compromisers involves the fact that the prophet Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah as literally the ‘Kinsman-Redeemer’, i.e. one who is related by blood to those he redeems (Isaiah 59:20, which uses the same Hebrew word ???? (gô?l) as is used to describe Boaz in relation to Ruth). The book of Hebrews also explains how Jesus took upon Himself the nature of a man to save mankind, but not angels (Hebrews 2:11–18). So only Adam’s descendants can be saved, because only thus can they be related by blood to the Last Adam. So a big problem for long-agers is how they should preach the Gospel to the Australian Aborigines. If they have really been here for 40,000 years (according to carbon-14 dating that old-earthers accept), then how could they come from Adam, and how could they be related to Christ, so how can they be saved? Indeed, a compromising clergyman of Darwin’s day claimed that Aborigines had not evolved enough to preach the gospel to them! Jonathan Sarfati
Scordova, Aardsma was bad news, and one of the embarrassments for ICR. But this shows the opposite of what you think: far from enforcing a party line, ICR did too little at keeping their people under control at the time. There seem to be insuperable problems with c-decay theory. It's not through lack of trying to make it work. Hartnett's cosmological model is based on work he has published in secular physics journals on Carmelian velocity-time relativity. See papers in his bio. He has applied this to a galactocentric universe and shown the the light travel problem is solved, in his book Starlight, Time and the New Physics. Jonathan Sarfati
If one concedes that revealed morality -- as in Judeo-Christian morality -- always trumps science, a lot of the tension in this debate goes away. tribune7
IMHO, the theological need to hold YEC is usually about the origin of death and suffering. If sin brings death and Jesus defeats sin, then Jesus defeats death. If, in an old earth, death comes before sin, then defeating sin does not seem to necessarily defeat death. This is a big problem. The paper I found most helpful in this regard is Dr Dembski on Theodicy. Please read it in its intirety. It is a very important paper. Enjoy. http://www.designinference.com/documents/2006.05.christian_theodicy.pdf idnet.com.au
SCheesman wrote: If Salvador posts some of these to Young Cosmos, I may take up the challenge in a few weeks…
To interested readers: Dr. Cheesman usually wins the debates he has with me. I've had to put forward several retarctions last summer because his math and physics were absolutely correct.... But I don't think the issue is really about winning debate. We need research and data and testable predictions. For myself, I'm not yet qualified on important matters in physics. Even one of Abbie Smith's (ERV's) acquaintances, a professor at my school, fed me some serious humble pie recently over Maxwell's equations. I had severe misunderstandings of basic electrodynamics, and at least my detractor was gracious about point out my error: A million thanks to olegt!. This highlights my dissatisfaction with the current situation. Lots of theology, not enough serious science. I shouldn't have to be the one putting forward physical evidence for YEC. Some of the people who are so sure it's God's truth could be doing a little more in terms of making their case believable. We need more: 1. Observation 2. Hypothesis 3. Testing The age of the Earth is a basic empirical and theoretical question. It doesn't appear theological discussions will resolve the issue. And since this thread is about ICR, let me air a little more about the history of how ICR suppressed rival YEC researchers: History of the Light-Speed Debate
Their math department had checked it [YEC speed of light research] and approved it and it was published with the Stanford Research Institute logo as well. What happened next was like something out of a badly written novel. Gerald Aardsma, a man at another creationist organization [ICR], got wind of the paper and got a copy of it. Having his own ax to grind on the subject of physics, he called the heads of both Flinders and SRI and asked them if they knew that Setterfield and Norman were [gasp] creationists! SRI was undergoing a massive staff change at the time and since the paper had been published by Flinders, they disavowed it and requested their logo be taken off. Flinders University threatened Trevor Norman with his job and informed Barry Setterfield that he was no longer welcome to use any resources there but the library. Aardsma then published a paper criticizing the Norman-Setterfield statistical use of the data. His paper went out under the auspices of a respected creation institution [ICR].
Aardsma worked for the ICR. He deliberately sabotaged the work of someone he disagreed with ethically suspect tactics.
Helen Setterfield writes: there is a reason why the major creation organizations are holding his work at an arm's length as well: they are sinking great amounts of money into trying to prove that radiometric dating procedures are fatally flawed. According to what Barry is seeing, however, they are not basically flawed at all: there is a very good reason why such old dates keep appearing in the test results. The rate of decay of radioactive elements is directly related to the speed of light. When the speed of light was higher, decay rates were faster, and the long ages would be expected to show up. As the speed of light slowed down, so the radioactive decay rates slowed down.
Not one mention of possible temporal-spatial variations in Maxwell's equations in the recent ICR RATE group project. Why? Certain creationists have been arguing accelerated decay for decades.....no mention in ICR RATE reports of some of the pioneers of the idea of accelerated decay like Walter Brown, Barry Setterfield, and others. There are some fine researchers at ICR like Russell Humphreys. If ICR changes the way they do business, I might be a little more sympathetic with their plight. Of course they are entitled to accreditation, although I can't say I'd be completely enthusiastic to see it happen... scordova
Just to jump in with a real quick comment... Borne wrote:
Simply false. There were medieval (before the era of modern science) OEC Jewish teachers who had no motive to stuff scripture into some scientific view
The Medieval scholars had their own potential motive for "compromise", which was the Aristotelean view of an eternal universe. As mentioned by Dr. Lee Spetner in his book "Not By Chance", pp. 211-212, the consensus scientific view from the time of Aristotle was that the universe was infinitely old and this denied the Torah concept of Creation. "Torah scholars unanimously rejected the infinite-age theory, in spite of all the scientific authority behind it," he writes. So there was scientific "fact and authority" that acted as pressure to view the cosmos as (infinitely) old. The Torah scholars, however, stuck to their guns and held the authority of Torah over that of all current scientific musings. Spetner points out that their position would eventually be vindicated with the discovery of Big Bang cosmology. Who knows, maybe Science will eventually argue for a young cosmos itself...much like they did an about-face on the beginning of the universe. So it is best to not be dogmatic either way, but simply to acknowledge the evidence for each case, and then put your trust in whichever authority you hold as most authoritative. Atom
Borne, there are countless admissions from holders of all the rival views that they were motivated by trying to fit the Bible into millions of years. It is a stretch to see gap theorists represented by medieval Jewish exegetes. It can't be defended from the Hebrew. As I say in Refuting Compromise: Why is church history relevant? Some may argue, ‘Isn’t the Bible all we need? Don’t you realize that interpreters can err?’ Indeed, the correct view must be obtained from the Bible alone. But then, modern exegetes are not the first who have known about the original languages and cultures of the Bible. The onus is on those proposing a novel interpretation to prove their case. There are two more reasons why it is instructive to analyze the history, which will be explained in detail in this chapter: 1. Generally: If long-age interpretations had always been popular, then a case could be made for assuming that the Bible hints at this. But if they were absent until they became popular in ‘science’, it’s more likely that such interpretations were motivated by trying to reconcile the Bible with ‘science’. 2. Specifically for [Hugh] Ross [day-age advocate and enemy of ID and Expelled]: he often claims that interpreters throughout history have allowed for long creation days. Since this is a book on his claims, it’s important to address evidence that he uses to overcome the charge that he’s motivated by ‘science’ and not the Biblical text. Jonathan Sarfati
Where does your certainty that all the Bible must be interpreted the same way come from? Where does your certainty that I say any such thing come from? I can't think of any YEC who thinks that. We think that history should be interpreted as history, poetry as poetry, parable as parable etc. Genesis has the structure of Hebrew historical narrative, and the rest of the Bible treats it that way. You have no credibility as a supposed former YEC when you get simple things like that wrong. ID theorists are good at pointing out the materialistic bias behind biological evolution, but are far too often blind to the materialistic bias behind geological evolution, which was its forerunner. Jonathan Sarfati
Jonathan: "The views of Kabbalists were hardly representative." So that makes them wrong? Are you sure only Kabbalists believed this? You write off views contrary to your own too easily. "the overwhelming view of the majority of exegetes throughout church history has been that the days were 24 hours long, .." Granted. Does that make it true? Besides, Gap type views do not question the literal 24hr day. "Long-age interpretations of the Bible arose only after these ideas became popular in ‘science’ and conservative exegetes tried to bring scripture into line." Simply false. There were medieval (before the era of modern science) OEC Jewish teachers who had no motive to stuff scripture into some scientific view. OEC, under a gap type view - not a questioning of 24 hr days, is not as young as you claim. And you make the usual YEC mistake of accusing others of compromise where there is none. Have you ever thought that just maybe the OEC people were actually just thinking things through? That they may have noticed something in scripture that led them to question YEC? I really appreciate your work. I also appreciate your taking time here to respond. However I think accusing other believers of compromise is crude. It carries an inherent assumption that all OECs have some ulterior motive other than getting to the truth. In all cases, the earth is as old as it is. And no one's interpretation of Genesis can change that. Borne
1 2 3

Leave a Reply