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Why I’m paying $100 to hear Paul Nelson, November 16, 2006

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1. Paul Nelson is such a cool and brilliant guy
2. I’ve never met him before
3. There are lots of extras at the event he is speaking at, such as:

William Lane Craig, Ph.D., D. Theol.
Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:30pm

Paul Nelson, Ph.D., “Intelligent Design in Three Easy Steps”
Thursday, November 16, 2006 8:40pm

World Premiere of Lee Strobel’s film, “The Case for a Creator” by Illustra Media
Friday, November 17, 2006 6:00pm

[ attendees get a free copy of their choice of Illustra Media’s other DvDs: Privileged Planet or Unlocking the Mystery of Life ]

J.P. Moreland, Ph.D.
Friday, November 17, 2006 7:30pm

Bruce Gordon, Ph.D., “String Theory and Cosmological Fine-Tuning”
Friday, November 17, 2006 8:40pm

Guillermo Gonzalez, Ph.D., “The Privileged Planet”
Saturday, November 18, 2006 12:55pm

Michael Behe, Ph.D., “Intelligent Design at the Foundation of Life”
Friday, November 18, 2006 2:40pm

The event will take place on a beautiful 43 acre 90-million dollar high-tech multi-media-equipped campus which has a cafe and Starbucks coffee store.

At Uncommon Descent we have highlighted the developments at the Vatican and within the Catholic Church which have been favorable to ID. I delight to report on the developments favorable to ID within conservative Evangelical Protestant circles, and thus I report on this event.

Contrary to the perception given by the media, ID has had some difficulty getting a warm reception in certain Evangelical circles, particularly the Creationist circles. It has been my personal desire to work at reaching and teaching Creationists. So these developments have been personally rewarding to see.

This is a Christian apologetics conference, but one thing of note is that it will explore science and history and the ideas and philosophies of OTHER religions. It is not about directly studying the Bible or some sort of Christian retreat. The conference has invited speakers who received PhD’s from respectable secular institutions ( 2 from Oxford, 1 for U Penn, 1 from U of Chicago, etc.). They are 22 highly regarded scholars in their field.

This conference is being hosted by a very influential mega-church which recently organized a Bible study to 100 members of the United States Congress. The conference is in McLean Virginia in Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington DC, home to the most educated population in the world (highest number of advanced degrees per capita) and home to the Silicon Valley of the East, and minutes from a community competing to become the Biotech Capital of the World. It is very typical to find scientists from NASA and NIH and other institutions in the churches of these communities (i.e. Francis Collins attends a church in nearby Bethesda). The conference is appropriately titled, “With All Your Mind”.

Though the host church is YEC friendly , there is a noticeable absence of any speaker from big name YEC organizations like AiG or ICR! This is news in and of itself!!! ID and its pro-Intellectual culture is now making serious inroads into Creationist circles.

In the secular colleges, ID-friendly speakers are invited to Christian events, AiG and ICR are almost universally ignored. This has been the case for a while. There is an important reason for this. AiG and ICR argue “from the authority of the Bible” in an anti-intellectual fashion, whereas modern defenders of the Christian faith will make their case from science and history and logic and often will only mention their deeply personal beliefs in passing. That is why I believe ID will be welcomed at such a conference and Bible pounding YECs will not. I do not think YEC militancy serves the Christian faith nor even the YEC cause in the end. And so, ironically, a YEC friendly church is hosting big name IDers, not big name YECs. This is news in and of itself.

To be fair, and in the interest of news reporting, some congregations in the surrounding area refused to participate and advertise the event because Michael Behe accepts common descent. Well, I say, it’s their loss if they wish to close their minds and not learn about important developments in biochemistry because Behe is not a Creationist. They can instead go to this event in Staunton Virginia: JMU Professor vs. AiG YEC, November 3 or Marshall Virginia: Mark Riddle (AiG), November 5 or Fairfax Virginia: Mark Riddle (AiG), November 6.

The Creationists of prior decades (with notable exceptions like A.E. Wilder-Smith) promoted their Christianity in an anti-intellectual way. This conference signifies a new direction. It emphasizes making the case for a creator by arguing history, empirical facts, and theoretical science. The speakers are good role models for young individuals who chose to study at good secular colleges where they had to engage a non-Christian world rather than have their beliefs remain unchallenged in insular enclaves.

I invite the readers of Uncommon Descent to register for the conference at:
ApologeticsConference.com

Early registration gets you a $15.00 discount off of the $110 walk-in fee. You can also donate a little extra along with your admission fee. I donated $5.00.

Students 18 and under can attend for $20.

I look forward to meeting some of you.

Salvador

14 Replies to “Why I’m paying $100 to hear Paul Nelson, November 16, 2006

  1. 1
    Gods iPod says:

    Darn, already engaged. They do not have any info on where to buy DVDs of the event after the conference. Would you be so kind as to get that info while you’re there and post it for us all?

  2. 2
    scordova says:

    Gods iPod asked:

    Darn, already engaged. They do not have any info on where to buy DVDs of the event after the conference. Would you be so kind as to get that info while you’re there and post it for us all?

    I don’t know if they will have videos of the event available, except Case for a Creator which is avaialable at:

    Access Research Network (ARN)

    Run Time: 1 hour Documentary with over 40 minutes of bonus materials and extra features

    Produced by Illustra Media in association with Carmel Entertainment Group, LLC

    It was in a high school science classroom that Lee Strobel became an atheist. A lecture on the Miller-Urey experiment convinced him that the origin of life, and all life for that matter, could be explained by purely naturalistic processes. Only the hard, empirical evidence of science could be trusted—and it appeared to point to a universe created by purely naturalist processes: time, chance, and Darwinian evolution.

    Although science led Strobel away from a belief in a Creator, it was science that led him back. The atheistic worldview deeply influenced Strobel’s academic years and early career as an award-winning journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Then, in 1980, his wife’s conversion to Christianity led him on an intensive search for the truth about God and our beginnings. Not surprisingly, it began with science.

    This is the third in a series of top quality, block-buster documentaries on Intelligent Design by Illustra Media that started with Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet. Based on Strobel’s popular book by the same title, the documentary leads you through one man’s journey to grapple with the scientific evidence regarding one of life’s greatest questions: How did we get here? Along the way he interviews many of the leading scientists and scholars for the intelligent design theory including Stephen C. Meyer, Michael Behe, Jay Richards, Jonathan Wells, Robin Collins, William Lane Craig, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Scott Minnich. The major topic areas of the documentary cover the fossil evidence, cosmology, astronomy, physics, biological machines and biological information. The bonus material includes additional interviews with the scientists, and special units on the origin of life and the machinery of life.

    As with previous Illustra Media documentaries, this one is chock full of stunning graphics, amazing animations, and a theater-worthy soundtrack. The focus of this documentary is the scientific and philosophical evidence for design and a theistic worldview, and is suitable for use in public schools, especially when shown to balance the atheistic Darwinian worldview found in many educational scientific documentaries on the topic.

  3. 3
    GilDodgen says:

    Paul Nelson is a cool and brilliant guy. I met him at an ID conference at UC Irvine in California. Paul and Denyse, in my opinion, are the two most eloquent and creative writers in the ID movement.

    William Lane Craig I put in almost the same category as C.S. Lewis. I’ve never met Craig, but have read his books an listened to many of his lectures. He is a first-rate intellect and apologist.

    J.P. Moreland: I had lunch with him once and have read his books. If you don’t know this guy, check him out. He is brilliant and and insightful.

    I met Behe after a lecture he gave at UC Irvine. He asked if I had read Michael Denton’s second book, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe. I promptly bought a copy and read it.

    This is an all-star cast.

    The ID movement is incredibly exciting. As the 21st century begins to unfold, it is becoming increasingly obvious that materialistic reductionism is hopelessly doomed as an explanation for all that we observe. Physical reality is just a medium — a medium in which information, design and mind are expressing themselves.

    This will be the great scientific discovery of our age.

  4. 4
    crandaddy says:

    Why are these conferences always either on the West Coast or the East Coast? What about those of us in the middle? 🙁

  5. 5
    Joseph says:

    I agree with Gil, that ID (the ID movement) is incredibly exciting. However my reasoning is that it opens up a new “can of worms”, that is questions unasked by the anti-ID position.

    The two biggies (to me) are “purpose & intent”. The “who, what, when and how” are also very important. And we humans are a curious sort so those unanswered questions would receive much attention.

    I love solving a good mystery.

    Sal,

    If something like this is scheduled for the New England area (including New York), please post it.

  6. 6
    Mats says:

    AiG and ICR argue “from the authority of the Bible” in an anti-intellectual fashion, whereas modern defenders of the Christian faith will make their case from science and history and logic and often will only mention their deeply personal beliefs in passing.

    It’s bkz of words like that that YECers might feel unconfortble with what SOME people in the ID desire YECers to do.
    First of all, there is nothing “anti-intelectual” in starting your reasoning from Scripture. Everyone has a starting point, and so do Bible Believing Christians. Your words portray a false dilema.
    Secondly, and I think this had been said previously, if Americans are skeptic of Darwinism, it is (also but not only) for the decades of anti-evolutionary literature and information being passed around by (who?) YECers. ID itself finds a more “prepared ear” among Americans also due to YECers efforts. (I think that even the owner of this blog can tell you how YECers had some influence in his reasoning.)

    Thirdly,

    I do not think YEC militancy serves the Christian faith

    It depends on what you mean by “Christian Faith”. If by Christian faith, you mean the same faith “Bishop Spong” preaches, then you are right. However, if you believe that the CHristian Faith is the cosmolgy Christians which in agreement with the normals rules of grammar and exagesis, then, Iam sorry to tell you, but Biblical Creationism is 100% Christian.

    nor even the YEC cause in the end. And so, ironically, a YEC friendly church is hosting big name IDers, not big name YECs. This is news in and of itself.

    Why shouldn’t an YEC church host an ID conference?

    The Creationists of prior decades (with notable exceptions like A.E. Wilder-Smith) promoted their Christianity in an anti-intellectual way.

    You mean, Dr Henry Morris, Dr Jonathan Safarti, Dr David Menton and all those PhD scientists somehowe “forgot” to present Christianity in an “intelectual” way ? That must come as a great schock to them 😉

    It emphasizes making the case for a creator by arguing history, empirical facts, and theoretical science.

    The Bible is a Reliable Historical and Factual Document. Why should we “leave it out” when discussing origins?

    Another note:

    “Using the Internet, a daily radio broadcast, a newsletter and books, the Boone County-based group [AIG] says it is sending the creationist message to more than a million people each day, and its popularity is growing.

    http://www.kypost.com/2002/10/26/genes102602.html

    So unlike what you say, Biblical Creationism IS proceeing, by the Grace of God. Don’t forget the major Museum that, thank God, will be opened next year.

    Sal, I really don’t understand why you keep pouding on that key over and over again. Do you honestly think that by maligning YECers you will get a better hearing among Darwinists? It’s getting a bit tiresome to read your attacks against Creationists over and over again. If this is the way you want to proceed, please say it now, so that I can totally avoid your posts.
    God bless

  7. 7
    bj says:

    No offense to anyone,

    My opinion,

    For ID to advance in the years ahead it will have to continue the break with creationist science/theology, and also embrace guided common descent.

  8. 8
    scordova says:

    Sal, I really don’t understand why you keep pouding on that key over and over again. Do you honestly think that by maligning YECers you will get a better hearing among Darwinists?

    Because Mats, I see the YEC militancy driving fine minds that are already in our churches away from our churches. I’m not so much pounding on AiG to impress athiests, it is so that YECs do not drive valuable brothers out of the church.

    Consider that the Lord was compassionate to Gideon when he questioned the Word of God. It says in Jude to be compassionate to the doubting. Consider also the apologetic that Paul used in Acts 17. AiG’s conduct is not completely consistent with these passages, and that in itself is reason enough by their own standards to reform the way they do business.

    I see too many fine minds feeling unwelcome in the church because YEC issue. There is surely a right answer as to the age of the Earth, but perhaps the YEC community should not be labeling individuals like Gonzalez or Stephen Meyer or Bill Dembski or Walter Bradley or James Dobson or even William Jennings Bryan as compromisers. It would be very hard to make the case in looking at these individuals, as AiG insinuates, that their position on the age of the universe is leading to all sorts of moral corruption and Darwinism.

    I criticize AiG and ICR because they are not being as effective in arguing the case for special creation as they could be. Their attitude is driving away fine minds from Christian faith.

    Many of the very people who are making the case for a Young Earth were former old Earth Darwinists inside the Christian churches. What would have happened if we had driven them out the church rather than be forebearing with them for many years prior to their change of mind?

    I am critical of AiG and ICR and Kent Hovind. I am favorable to AE Wilder-Smith, Walter Brown’s CFCS, Barry Setterfield, BSG, and the YECs at Loma Linda/GRI (perhaps the finest YEC institution out there which hardly anyone knows about). Look for example at the fact that BSG does not require someone to be a YEC to be a part of their undertakings (i.e. Richard Sternberg and Stephen Meyer)….

    I am skeptical AiG and ICR will reform their ways. I think it is time for new creationists organizations like BSG to form and prosper which have open doors to non-YECs…

  9. 9
    Rude says:

    Amen to Señor Cordova!

    Is it ID which would disenfranchise the YECs? I think it’s the other way around. The genius of ID was not that it disparaged Young Earth Creationism, rather it recognized that the YECs and Day-Agers and Gap-Theorists and all serious theists and honest agnostics had something in common: they doubted Darwin and were open to design.

    Nobody says we owe nothing to the YECs for their fight over the long haul, nor that they should cease being YECs. But Genesis is difficult. The vocabulary and syntax of just the first three verses are controversial. Should בראשית be interpreted as ‘in the beginning of (everything)’ or ‘in the beginning of (the light/Torah, the Covenant, or Adam/Messiah)’? Should ארץ in verse 2 be defined as some undifferentiated matter brought forth in verse 1, the land of Israel . . . or planet Earth? Genesis has garnered commentary and controversy for over two millennia, with more written on the first chapter (within both the Jewish and Christian traditions) than on any other portion of Scripture.

    So should our controversy with the Secular State Religion hinge on an argument over our interpretation of Genesis (i.e., the age of the earth and flood geology) when we as believers can’t agree? Why not support a common front against the deceptions and obfuscations of our materialist opponent? We can disagree among ourselves, can’t we? and still be aligned against a shared adversary.

  10. 10
    Mats says:

    Because Mats, I see the YEC militancy driving fine minds that are already in our churches away from our churches.

    1. Who was the “fine mind” who was already in the church that was “driven away” by Young Earth Creationism?
    2. What reasons did he/she invoke ?

    I see too many fine minds feeling unwelcome in the church because YEC issue.

    Like who?
    Secondly, what would you say if someone was feeling unwelcome in the church just because all the others believed that the Lord rose Bodily from the grave? Should we malign those who hold to that view?

    There is surely a right answer as to the age of the Earth, but perhaps the YEC community should not be labeling individuals like Gonzalez or Stephen Meyer or Bill Dembski or Walter Bradley or James Dobson or even William Jennings Bryan as compromisers.

    If (just if) the age of the earth is fundamental to Biblical Christanity, why shouldn’t those who hold to the young earth see those who doubt such an important doctrine as people who compromise with evolutionary nonsense?
    Secondly, in order for you to understand why we YECers don’t allow (and won’t allow) any kind of compromise with the age of the earth, please read YEC material, and you’ll see. Please do. You might disagree with us, but, please, try to see why we hold strongly to it.

    It would be very hard to make the case in looking at these individuals, as AiG insinuates, that their position on the age of the universe is leading to all sorts of moral corruption and Darwinism.

    Actually, Sal, it was the uniformitarian belief that set the stage for Darwinism. So, yes, belief in long ages, not only destroys the internal logic of Scripture, but leads you to adding to the Holy Word external philosophies. But anway, this is not the right place for this type of discussion. My point was as simple as this:
    You don’t have to malign YEC in order to make a case for ID. Creationists joyfully and happily sell ID material, and I don’t think we will stop anytime soon. Dr Duane Gish said in the beggining of this century “WE Welcome what these guys [ID scientists] are doing”. His words still stand to this very day: we in deed welcome the scientific theory of ID. What you are trying to do is to create a false dilema.

    I criticize AiG and ICR because they are not being as effective in arguing the case for special creation as they could be.

    How do you know that? Have you read the testemonies of people whose life was changed, due to YEC material?

    Many of the very people who are making the case for a Young Earth were former old Earth Darwinists inside the Christian churches. What would have happened if we had driven them out the church rather than be forebearing with them for many years prior to their change of mind?
    Their attitude is driving away fine minds from Christian faith.

    When did AiG or ICR sugest old earthers to be driven away from the church? And, yes, you are right. Many of the YEC scientists were at one time, evolutionists, Theistic Evolutionists, or just long agers. So what?

  11. 11
    scordova says:

    1. Who was the “fine mind” who was already in the church that was “driven away” by Young Earth Creationism?

    Like the young lad who became professor of physics who was given the line that one either is a YEC or effectively a non-believer in the Bible. He chose to disbelieve. He later in life, upon studying the fine tuning in the universe returned to the Christian faith as an OEC. He is now a vital part of advancing the Christian faith in his circles….

    Actually, Sal, it was the uniformitarian belief that set the stage for Darwinism. So, yes, belief in long ages, not only destroys the internal logic of Scripture, but leads you to adding to the Holy Word external philosophies.

    That is not completely true, especially in my case. Do you think those of us who have believed Old Earth accepted it because of uniformitarianism or geology???? Absolutely not.

    The Old Earth interpretation of physics was handed down to us by godly YECs like James Clerk Maxwell who inferred the speed of light by his understanding of electrodynamics. Yet his very equations, as derived, suggested an OLD EARTH. Are we to declare Maxwell some sort of compromiser because his equations for electro magnetism (which put him in the big leagues with Einstein) suggested an old earth? Do we tar him as someone who introduced pagan philosophy and destroyed the internal logic of the scriptures?

    Maxwell was, as far as we can tell was a YEC, but yet his equations suggested OEC. What do we do then, Mats, toss out Maxwells contributions which have brought great honor to Creationist and Christian cause because somehow it disagrees with YEC?

    I’ll tell you a very ugly fix that was attempted to reconcile Maxwells equations with YEC. It was a reconciliation promoted by the ICR and Josh McDowell. Ironically, I will let AiG show the bogus logic of ICR (in the 70s) and McDowell:

    How can we see distant stars in a young universe?
    by Don Batten (editor), Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland

    Perhaps the most commonly used explanation [such as by people like McDowell] is that God created light ‘on its way,’ so that Adam could see the stars immediately without having to wait years for the light from even the closest ones to reach the earth. While we should not limit the power of God, this has some rather immense difficulties.
    ….
    It would mean that whenever we look at the behavior of a very distant object, what we see happening never happened at all. For instance, say we see an object a million light-years away which appears to be rotating; that is, the light we receive in our telescopes carries this information ‘recording’ this behavior. However, according to this explanation, the light we are now receiving did not come from the star, but was created ‘en route,’ so to speak.

    ….
    To create such a detailed series of signals in light beams reaching earth, signals which seem to have come from a series of real events but in fact did not, has no conceivable purpose. Worse, it is like saying that God created fossils in rocks to fool us, or even test our faith, and that they don’t represent anything real (a real animal or plant that lived and died in the past). This would be a strange deception.

    Yet this “enroute created light” is exactly the same kind of stuff that was being fed to people like myself by the ICR and Josh McDowell to fix a very difficult problem with YEC and Maxwell’s equations.

    And as sympathetic as I would have been to the YEC viewpoint, I had less reason to listen to individuals that would offer such bogus fixes to the problem posed by Maxwell’s equations. It’s refreshing to see AiG basically vindicated my view that enroute creation of light was a bad explanation.

    It was NOT uniformitariansim that inclined me and others like me to accept OEC, but rather the very equations a godly YEC like Maxwell had given the modern world and made possible all of the modern technology we have today (like radios, TV’s, radars, computer networks, lasers, etc.)….

    Perhaps the issues are not quite as simplistic as you see them. Perhaps I’m willing to live with the physics of a godly man like Maxwell rather than accept the clearly bogus explanations offered by the ICR and McDowell and maybe live with the fact that I don’t understand the book of Genesis or that I just don’t understand something about the world. I’m willng to say, “I don’t know the answer”.

    But as I have pointed out, the real solution to the dilemma which Maxwell’s equations pose for YEC is perhaps to see his orignal equations as a very close approximation that need a time-varying modification for the speed of light. We can be grateful YEC militancy didn’t destroy the gift of Maxwell’s equations to the world because his equations suggested Old Earth.

    Henry Morris honors Maxwell as one of the great creationist scientists, but the irony is that Maxwell’s equations in the form that he stated is the principle reason people accept Old Earth today, whether they realize it or not.

  12. 12
    Mats says:

    Like the young lad who became professor of physics who was given the line that one either is a YEC or effectively a non-believer in the Bible.

    Can you find me a single AiG or ICR quote where they advise driving people away from churches if they are not YEC ?

    Do you think those of us who have believed Old Earth accepted it because of uniformitarianism or geology????

    To put it simple, “Yes”. Tomorrow, if the consensus of geologists changes the age of the earth, you will change accordingly. In other words, you are at the whims and sugestions of the same people who keep on telling us that evolution is a “fact”. You would never come to believe in an “old earth” by reading the Holy Bible.

    The Old Earth interpretation of physics was handed down to us by godly YECs like James Clerk Maxwell who inferred the speed of light by his understanding of electrodynamics.

    Do you see what you are saying? The YEC scientist gave evidence that the universe of actually very old. WHY then he is a YEC ?!!!

    Yet his very equations, as derived, suggested an OLD EARTH.

    Why was he a YEC if the “equations” said that the earth is old? Doesn’t make any sense.

    Are we to declare Maxwell some sort of compromiser because his equations for electro magnetism (which put him in the big leagues with Einstein) suggested an old earth? Do we tar him as someone who introduced pagan philosophy and destroyed the internal logic of the scriptures?

    We tar him as someone who made mistakes in his “equations”,since, based on Scripture AND plenty of scientific evidence, the earth cannot be “millions of years”.

    Since you use the arguement from authority, what do you make of the equations and the model proposed by Dr Russ Humphreys, in which he, starting from Biblical Creationism, was able to predict the magnetic fields of other planets, while the evolutionary “millions of years” model was way off the line? So why should we discard the Biblical model and adopt the uniformitarian evolutionary model?

    Maxwell was, as far as we can tell was a YEC, but yet his equations suggested OEC. What do we do then, Mats, toss out Maxwells contributions which have brought great honor to Creationist and Christian cause because somehow it disagrees with YEC?

    What do we do with Dr Russ’s evidences which point to a young earth and confirm what Christians have always believed? We toss them, and embrace uniformitarism instead? Remember: Maxwell could have been wrong.

    Yet this “enroute created light” is exactly the same kind of stuff that was being fed to people like myself by the ICR and Josh McDowell to fix a very difficult problem with YEC and Maxwell’s equations

    Saddly for you, the above mentioned Dr Russ has dealt a fatal blow to this arguement against Biblical Creationism. You should read/see the video called “Startlight and Time”, where Dr Russ uses top mof the art science and Biblical references to confirm the Young earth model.

    http://www.icr.org/store/index.....4fc8025043

    It’s refreshing to see AiG basically vindicated my view that enroute creation of light was a bad explanation.

    A

    AIG agrees that the created light is troublesome, but they did not leave it like that. THey have been poiting out that, yes, distant light is a tought thing to answer, but based on what creation scientists have done, and other scientific evidence, and, above all, the Holy Bible, there is an answer that fits with Biblical creationism and true science.

    It was NOT uniformitariansim that inclined me and others like me to accept OEC, but rather the very equations a godly YEC like Maxwell had given the modern world and made possible all of the modern technology we have today (like radios, TV’s, radars, computer networks, lasers, etc.)…

    You should consider the equations of a godly YEC like Russ Humphreys, and see how the YEC model fits with the Bible and with science.

    Perhaps the issues are not quite as simplistic as you see them. Perhaps I’m willing to live with the physics of a godly man like Maxwell rather than accept the clearly bogus explanations offered by the ICR and McDowell and maybe live with the fact that I don’t understand the book of Genesis or that I just don’t understand something about the world.

    Are you wiling to live with the equations of a goddly man like Russ, and above all, are you wiling to let the Bible speak?
    Secondly, just bkz the “created light” is bogus, it doesn’t mean that NO POSSIBLE explination exists that harmonizes the distant starlight with Young Earth Creationism.

    We can be grateful YEC militancy didn’t destroy the gift of Maxwell’s equations to the world because his equations suggested Old Earth.

    Since the old earth contradicts the Bible and many scientific evidence, we can rest assured that Maxwel, as goddly as he was, must have made a mistake.

    Henry Morris honors Maxwell as one of the great creationist scientists, but the irony is that Maxwell’s equations in the form that he stated is the principle reason people accept Old Earth today, whether they realize it or not

    This is just bogus. The reason why people accept the old is based on uniformitarianism, and NOT on the equations of a YEC.

    Destroy the geological column, and the old earth belief dies

  13. 13
    scordova says:

    This is just bogus. The reason why people accept the old is based on uniformitarianism, and NOT on the equations of a YEC.

    Destroy the geological column, and the old earth belief dies

    Mats,

    I’m sorry to say it but you words covey exactly what drives good minds away from creation science and even to some extent the churches. When I was an OEC, my rejection of YEC had every thing to do with Maxwell’s equations and nothing to do with the geological column.

    Your words evidence the “close my eyes” approach to the historical facts. This dishonors the creationist cause. I know what made me believe in OEC once upon a time, and yet you argue that it was something else. How do you know the geological column was a factor for me? You are not me. I have said, it was Maxwell’s equations and the speed of light issues that made me an OEC, not the geological column or even radio metric dating.

    For the reader’s benefit here is what Answers in Genesis says of James Clerk Maxwell:
    James Clerk Maxwell (1831 – 1879) by AiG

    What could be more different than magnetism, electricity, and light? Yet, in the nineteenth century, James Clerk Maxwell showed that these phenomena were simply different manifestations of the same fundamental laws. He described all these, as well as radio waves, radar, and radiant heat, by a unique and elegant system of equations.

    Maxwell strongly opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution, which was becoming popular at that time. He believed that the speculations involved in evolutionary thinking contradicted scientific evidence. In a paper he presented to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1873, he said:

    ‘No theory of evolution can be formed to account for the similarity of molecules, for evolution necessarily implies continuous change…. The exact equality of each molecule to all others of the same kind gives it … the essential character of a manufactured article, and precludes the idea of its being eternal and self-existent.’4

    Maxwell was able to refute evolutionary thinking in another important way. He mathematically disproved the nebular hypothesis proposed in 1796 by French atheist, Laplace.
    ….

    But AiG’s account is a tidy verion of Maxwell’s story. Here is the other side of the story. It begins with Maxwell’s equations:

    Maxwell’s Equations

    which result in

    c = speed of light = 1 / sqrt ( mu_0 epsilon_0 )

    Taking the distance of stars and c, and solving the equation:

    d = tc, t = d/c, t = billions of years

    where
    d = distance to farthest stars
    c = speed of light
    t = time of starlight travel from farthest stars

    Who will a young Chrisitan physics student believe at that point? Josh McDowell and Henry Morris’s with their bogus fixes to YEC or Maxwell’s equations which have ushered in the era of modern science and so many of the technologies that seem far more real and reasonable than the unscientific and perhaps unscriptural reasons one should accept YEC. One would be hard pressed to argue Maxwell had some atheistic anti-Christian motivation for giving the world the very equations that suggest an Old Earth.

    It says in Romans 1:20 nature will testify such that men are without excuse, and yet Morris and McDowell violate that by arguing nature does not, that somehow the Lord gives the appearance of age. That is inconsistent with what God declares. They teach perhaps one right thing by providing something perhaps inconsistent to what God said.

    A possible fix to Maxwell’s equations is that mu_0 is not a constant but a function of time and position, same with epsilon_0. There may be temporal spatial variation. But that is far beyond the anti-intellectual culture of some YEC circles, and it was exactly these anti-intellectual circles that impeded other more open-minded YECs like Barry Setterfield (who inspired Russell Humphreys) from exploring legitimate solutions to the problem of distant startlight. See: Upheaval in Physics and you’ll see an account of ICR stabbing other YECs in the back.

    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!

    To clarify, Aardsma sabotaged of work by the YECs Setterfield and Norman as Aardsma was part of a rival creationist organization. It was dirty politics at it’s worst. Let the reader read the whole story, but in brief, something else to consider:

    And there is a reason why the major creation organizations [like ICR] are holding his [Setterfield’s] 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.

    By assuming today’s rate of decay has been uniform, the earth and universe look extremely old. Thus, the evolutionists are happy with the time that gives for evolution and the creationists are looking for flaws in the methods used for testing for dates. But if the rates of decay for the different elements have not been the same through time, then that throws both groups off! Here was an “atomic clock” which ran according to atomic processes and, possibly, a different “dynamical” clock, the one we use everyday, which is governed by gravity – the rotation and revolution rates of the earth and moon. Could it be that these two “clocks” were not measuring time the same way? A data analysis suggested this was indeed happening. Tom Van Flandern, with a Ph.D. from Yale in astronomy, specializing in celestial mechanics, and for twenty years (1963-1983) Research Astronomer and Chief of the Celestial Mechanics Branch at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., released the results of some tests showing that the rate of ticking of the atomic clock was measurably slowing down when compared with the “dynamical clock.”9 (Tom Van Flandern was terminated from his work with that institution shortly thereafter, although his work carries a 1984 publication date.)

    In recognizing this verified difference between the two different “clocks,” it is important to realize that the entire dating system recognized by geology and science in general, saying that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and the universe somewhere around ten billion years older than that, might be thrown into total disarray. The standard science models cannot deal with that. The standard creation models cannot, at this point, deal with the fact that radiometric dating may be, for the most part, telling the truth on the atomic clock. And, meanwhile, the Hubble spacecraft keeps sending back data which keep slipping into Barry Setterfield’s model as though they actually belonged there.

    You ask why I’m not enthused with ICR. Read the entire account by Helen Setterfield of how they systematically sabotaged the work of a competing YEC, and you’ll understand why I don’t look favorably on them as an institution. I don’t believe Morris or Gish were directly involved, but rather it was the work of Aardsma and the now traitorous Glen Morton.

  14. 14
    Rude says:

    For what it’s worth I’d like to give a hearty thumbs up to Sal Cordova.

    Back in College I was one who rejected Darwin but was turned off by the Young Earthers. Then in August of 1996 I had just gotten back from a long and tiring trip from Mexico and had to go to the University for something—don’t remember what—but my wife said, “Hey, there’s a talk there tonight on evolution.” So before leaving I stepped into Columbia Hall and saw one lone man sitting up front. “Are you the speaker tonight?” “Yes, sir, I am.” “Well, are you a young earther?” I asked in my grumbly too rude manner. “No, sir, I am not,” replied the stranger. Well it turned out to be Phillip Johnson. He held me spell-bound for the duration of the evening—it was the greatest thing I’d heard in all my years at the University of Oregon.

    I had never been interested in the YEC lit, even very much in the Day-Age lit, but had read Norman Macbeth (Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason) and Michael Denton (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis), though I knew nothing of ID. But this was supremely exciting! Finally someone saw clearly the real situation: It was epistemological naturalism. We could leave the age of the earth and Genesis to other venues. Here was a real cause that, were I younger and not so rude, I’d take up with a vengeance.

    We are sectarian creatures and often driven by a single minded conviction, and so for some this seems to be a particular interpretation of Genesis. For them this is absolute, utterly unarguable, nonnegotiable, eternally fixed and final, just like materialism is for others.

    They “know” they are right and there is nothing—no argument from Scripture or any Judeo-Christian source ancient or modern and no evidence from science—nothing that would change their minds, and so it seems to me that Intelligent Design is just what the doctor ordered. Why? Because other believers disagree.

    GENESIS IS CONTROVERSIAL!!

    And because the central scientific evidence against Darwin is not the precise age of the cosmos—anything less than infinity is not enough for Darwin—the central question is whether there is a Designer. It’s not a question of whether we should be divided in regard to Genesis—the fact is that we are divided. I, personally, believe that Genesis is not talking directly about the creation of the physical Universe but is more like a Table of Contents to the Torah—more Covenant than cosmic oriented, more prophetic than historic. Now of course I could be wrong, but this is my sincere conclusion after much study. But among my secular friends I don’t dispute Genesis—they could care less. There I confront them on Darwin. Genesis is for another time and place.

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