Reply to Mr Scott
There are those (including many intelligent educated people,
some holding science degrees and working in science) who believe in a
young earth and special creation by a supreme being in 7 literal days,
as documented in the Bible. Then there are those who believe there is
no God, so theorize that everything came from nothing without any intelligent
design. Some leaders amongst the "young earth special creation"
believers conduct a ministry known as Answers
in Genesis, and run a website as part of this work. There they publish
thousands of articles relevant to this discussion, and some of the letters
they receive from detractors, with their responses. Of course, many of
their opponents also run web sites, and publish their arguments and responses
to the Answers in Genesis people there. Which brings me to the following.
Mr Scott sent a letter to "Answers in Genesis".
They published it on their web site with their reply. Mr. Scott sent them
another letter. It seems the AiD people failed to respond to the second
letter, so Mr. Scott published his first letter, with the AiD response,
interspersed with his further reply, on his web site, where I found it.
I am not part of the Answers in Genesis ministry at all, and I don't pretend
to be a scientist or have any science qualifications, but I thought I
would like to make a few responses of my own to Mr. Scott's letter(s).
Believers in "young earth creationism" get attacked
all the time by people like the publisher of the following vitriolic diatribe.
Obviously, they cannot address every single letter, and indeed their work
is far more positive than just responding to these detractors. However,
there are a few points I'd like to put forward, Mr. Scott. My comments
appear in green. Dr. Sarfati's (Answers In Genesis) comments are in blue
(marked JS). Mr Scott's letters are in black (marked RS1 and RS2). I've
also tried to use indenting to show who said what and when.
Does his silence indicate agreement or
is he finally lost for words?
Yet another unpublished letter to Answers
Does Mr. Scott seriously believe that Dr.
Sarfati must devote his entire life to answering every attack of
the evolutionists? Dr Sarfati did in fact address the first letter
by Mr. Scott. Mr. Scott then wrote a second, and expects to occupy
Dr. Sarfati's attention once again. If DR Sarfati decides that the
second letter adds nothing new to the discussion, and chooses not
to address it, is it fair to construe that DR Sarfati is "stumped"
or "lost for words"? Hardly. I think you flatter yourself,
Mr. Scott, as there is nothing new or convincing in your response.
Those who are part of the Answers In Genesis
ministry are busy ministering to both Christians and non-Christians,
and conducting research, producing resources and educational programs,
and now, developing a "creation museum". They could not,
and will not answer every letter from their detractors, particularly
those who denigrate everyone who takes an opposing view to their
own, and go on and on without adding anything of substance to the
discussion, as Mr. Scott does in his latest diatribe.
Similarly, the Answers in Genesis website
does not exist just to publish all of Mr. Scott's objections, particularly
if they contain nothing specific and nothing new.
From: Roger Scott [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, 17 June 2000 12:26 AM
Subject: reply to Jonathan Sarfati's comments
Greetings to all the YECs at AiD
Fancy seeing the whole of my letter published, even if it was in pieces!
The next step is to clear up some of the fudging and occasional misinformation
in JSs replies.
[RS1] I am of course referring to yourselves, the largely self-uneducated
group of intellectual cave dwellers called young-earth creationists.
|You see - name-calling from the start, with
no specific or apparent logical argument. "Largely self-uneducated"
--- most of these people have degrees in Science earned at public
universities. You cannot win an argument simply by disparaging your
opponents, though this is a tactic you will see evolutionists use
again and again to try to blind people's eyes to the truth of the
|[JS] Actually, many of us have far superior
scientific qualifications to R.S.s see Creationist scientists
or DR John Ashtons book In Six Days Why 50 [Ph.D.] Scientists
Choose to Believe in Creation.
||[RS2] Scientific qualifications are one thing. How you use
them also counts. What if your actions after obtaining them show that
you really do not have much regard for them? What if you actively
campaign against some of the major scientific concepts which have
near universal acceptance among the most distinguished workers in
the discipline and just about everyone else? It could be justifiably
stated that you have gone thru a process of uneducation. Young-earth
creationists (YECs) have done this themselves. Hence the well-merited
comment of YECs being a "largely self-uneducated group".
As for "cave dwellers", caves were lodgings sometimes used
by people of yesteryear and they generally have no windows to admit
any light or fresh air. So the metaphor qualifies thrice. YECism is
a cave of the mind in which you have chosen to dwell.
Aaah - I see it now. If you believe something
that is not taught at most universities, then of course your degree
is rendered invalid. Only those who agree with the majority have
any intellectual validity, because of course, the majority are always
right, aren't they? (Not according to my understanding of the history
of scientific knowledge.)
And of course, some (equally-unproven) ideas
are just more "right" than others, aren't they? If you
adopt belief A, you are "up there", but if you adopt belief
B, then you are are an intellectual"cave dweller" with
no windows to admit light or fresh air. But wait, does this do anything
to establish the validity of belief A and its assumed superiority
over belief B? Of the scientific basis for belief A or B we hear
nothing, just Mr. Scott's proud assumption that his belief is the
DR Sarfati has
earned a number of university degrees. He now holds beliefs that
by Mr Scott's own admission are not held by most scientists or taught
in most universities. And yet DR Sarfati is the cave dweller who
has no windows to admit light or fresh air? Are you saying that
you are only an "open thinker" if you believe exactly
the same as the majority of scientists and what is taught in the
majority of universities? Funny, I would have thought it might be
the other way around ...
What if (I would say when) it is eventually
established that there really is a God, who really did create the
world in 7 days (6, if you discount God's day of rest)? Will Mr.
Scott then be prepared to admit that it was he who was the "self-uneducated
cave dweller", whilst those he railed against were the ones
with the correct science? You see, such charges can be pointed in
both directions, depending on who you think is correct.
The Bible is quite clear that you do not
need a science degree to know that, of course there is a
God who created everything we see. Most scientists, like so many
others, have chosen to reject belief in God (because they don't
want to be answerable to a higher authority), and have then (un)educated
themselves to produce theories to account for everything without
the existence of a God. When these theories fail, they scramble
to replace them. When they are attacked, they rush to prop them
up, whilst loudly decrying the ignorance of anyone daring to attack
their "science". When they are shown to have been faked,
they quietly sweep them under the carpet, whilst desperately trying
to find new supports to replace them with.
Is it more scientific to believe that nothing
went bang and became everything, and that something that wasn't
alive then accidentally became alive, and then through millions
of chance occurrences actually improved itself to become the myriad
of amazingly-designed living creatures that do and have inhabited
the world, than to believe that these things were actually created
by an intelligent and powerful designer?
After all, we have never seen the "Big
Bang", and science has failed to reproduce it in any scientific
experiment. Neither have we ever seen true evolution occur in nature
or in the laboratory, and science has never proven that that has
ever occurred, either. Certainly, the fossil record shouts anything
but evolution, showing after decades of searching no true "missing
link" fossils of any sort.
The true scientific position is the one which
is correct. Neither has yet been proven, but there are intelligent
and knowledgeable people on both sides of the debate.
I have never seen a house that didn't have
a builder. I have never seen a camera which wasn't designed and
built by man, yet Mr Scott would tell us that the human eye, far
more complex and functional than any camera constructed by man,
happened by sheer accident. I have never seen a computer that wasn't
designed and built by man, yet Mr Scott thinks I am stupid for believing
that there was a designer and builder for the human brain, which
is far more remarkable than any computer ever constructed by man.
Isn't it amazing the way the human body can
run, and jump, and swim, and climb, and maneuver. The Japanese are
just beginning to develop robots which can move and function to
some limited extent like a human. Such robots are all designed and
built after years of research, but Mr Scott thinks I am stupid to
think there is a designer behind the human body.
Isn't it amazing that the human body can
repair and renew itself? Isn't it remarkable that human breast milk
is perfect food (and medicine) for babies, and actually changes
as baby grows to continue to provide just what the infant needs
as it grows. Isn't it amazing the way that male and female physical
structures work together to produce pleasure, intimacy, and offspring?
Mr Scott thinks it all happened by chance,
and that I am stupid to suggest that there is a designer behind
it all. I reject his insinuation, and think he is the fool - and
the bible concurs. Calling his opponents names, and insisting they
are stupid, does not establish the validity of his beliefs in any
Clearly you are aware that I am but a humble high school science teacher,
with a mere two Bachelor degrees, from two reputable universities incidentally.
Let us put these 50 Ph.Ds into some perspective. So far the score is 0:50
in favour of YECs.
The YECs at AiD should be aware that hundreds of reputable universities
teach evolution and not young-earth creationism, nor any other strand
of creationism. They would/should also know that almost one hundred percent
of Nobel Prize winners in science have been evolutionists. Moreover, they
would/should be aware that literally dozens, nay scores of academic and
professional bodies have condemned creationism. The Geological Society
of Australia, the professional body of geologists in Australia, is one
such organization. It has formally opposed creationism as unscientific.
Some YECs at AiD may also be aware that a recent Nobel laureate in Medicine,
DR Peter Doherty, went further and on Australian national television described
himself as a strong supporter of Darwin and described creationism as an
"absolute scam". The score is now 1000s:50. (Actually, tens
of thousands to fifty plus something or other; there are some hydrologists,
engineers, metallurgists and the like who have accepted one or other of
the various versions of creationist dogma.)
The argument is not about how many believe
either theory. Creationists readily admit they are in the minority
- but this counts for nothing, as we cannot establish the truth
about our origins by popular vote or by counting opinions.
The comment by Dr. Sarfati about qualifications
was simply a response to Mr. Scott's disparaging his opponents as
a "self-uneducated group of intellectual cave dwellers".
Should Mr Scott be so quick to condemn the intellectual integrity
of practicing scientists who are more highly qualified than himself?
His arrogance in doing so will not bother the Answers in Genesis
team too much.
Interestingly, it is estimated that there
are thousands of qualified, working scientists who do not accept
the theory of evolution - and some of these are not Christians or
"7 Day creationists".
The Bible tells us that the majority will
turn away from belief in God, and that they will hate those who
follow Jesus. It tells us that we will be called "fools"
for believing in God. However, it also says that the evidence for
God is all around us, and can be understood by everything that has
been made, so that those who deny God are without excuse
and fully deserving of the judgment to come. The Bible tells us
that those who truly, in their hearts, determine that there is no
God are fools - and it seems so to many of us Christians as we watch
the evolutionists struggle to propose one theory after another in
their search for an answer for everything that is, whilst discounting
the abundant evidence that there is a God.
So your accounts of these many great scientists
who decry belief in the God who created the universe only demonstrates
the correctness of the Bible. Nevertheless, the Answers in Genesis
team continue to publish information in the hope that some will
come to see that the evidence all around us really is consistent
with the biblical account of creation and the great worldwide flood
[RS1] Your site is liberally sprinkled with absurdities, scientific and
|[JS] My my, all these to choose from and RS
couldnt even document one
Focusing on alleged moral absurdities,
I wonder why RS should worry, if we are really just rearranged pond
scum, as he believes.
||[RS2] The notion that a change in the diet of the alleged original
humans initiated a worldwide wave of sustained carnivorous activity
on the part of many animals, terrestrial, aquatic and marine, is a
scientific absurdity of the highest degree. There are others of course
in AiDs site. YECism is itself an absurdity. (I suppose JS will
now say that I attempted to point to only one and of course was wrong
in doing so on that occasion. Who said it was difficult to predict
Mr. Scott continues to disparage and belittle
Dr. Sarfati and the Answers in Genesis team, and of course the Bible.
The issue which caused the major disruption to the perfect creation
which God had performed was not just "a change in diet"
but man's deliberate act of sin, having been fully warned by God
that this would bring about the beginning of the death process in
the earth. The major disruption which occurred, introducing death,
decay and destruction is the result of the curse announced by God.
This is all quite logical and believable, in comparison with the
ludicrous nonsense put up by many scientists on how such a good
but presently imperfect universe could have come into being from
Mr. Scott's assertion that "Young Earth
Creationism" is itself an absurdity is clearly wrong. It is
a logical and sensible belief which finds much support in science.
The "everything from nothing by complete chance" theory
Mr Scott has put his faith in I would judge to be the absurdity.
By the way, I don't know who said that it
was difficult to predict the future, but I know that God has done
so, over and over again, in His word the Bible.
As for morals, if you think they derive from somewhere other than the
human mind and human experience, I think you are misinterpreting Christian
history, human history and displaying ignorance of the Bible. All thru
history, people have fashioned their own moral codes and laws, adopting
some, adapting some and rejecting others.
In many societies people have indeed developed
their own moral codes and laws, though we might note that over and
over again we find that unconnected societies have adopted certain
moral standards in common - suggesting an inbuilt sense of what
is right and wrong.
However, Christians believe that humans cannot
establish a perfect moral code, because we are all sinners by nature
and practice, and are thus biased towards sin. Only God can lay
out a definitive perfect moral code (and He has done so, in the
Bible). Any moral standard determined by humans alone will inevitably
change to allow more and more immorality, to the eventual detriment
of that society - as can be seen throughout human history.
At http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1173.asp we find this quote:
"If you remove the biblical foundation for morality you no longer
have a convincing reason for being moral. And that's what is happening.
Why? Largely because belief in evolution has undermined the authority
of the Bible." Let us do a bit of checking on the alleged moral authority
of the Bible.
Here is one moral message which I trust no one at AiD endorses: in war,
soldiers should kill all the enemy men and all the women who have had
sex, but keep the virgins for themselves.
What is the provenance of this absolutely abominable idea? You will find
it in the "good book" - Numbers 31, verses 1 to 18 to be precise.
This sort of thing might have been acceptable to Moses, one of the more
fanatical ayatollahs of his day, but we no longer accept this as representing
anything approaching civilised behaviour. Our civilisation has evaluated
it and has scrapped it. A similar process has been followed ever since
human populations developed a sense of right and wrong whether they had
access to the Bible or not.
Recently there have been soldiers sentenced to long prison terms by a
judicial tribunal in The Hague for war crimes. Many Australians are aware
that during the Boer War, such behaviour would have resulted in court
martial and on conviction, execution by firing squad. The records show
that men were tried and put to death for far less in that particular conflict.
Today, it would thankfully be against the law to follow the criminally
immoral message in Numbers 31. Was there ever a time when any society
wholly adopted biblical principles? Of course not. So just why do the
folk at AiD yearn for it? They should stop making up fairy stories that
the Bible presents a consistent moral message. Those who have critically
read the Bible realise that it is sometimes its own worst enemy.
There are many things in the Bible that are
not terribly pleasant evidence that the Bible is an honest
account, rather than being an invented book which tries to make
its heroes always appear good. The passage in Numbers is an account
of a war of vengeance against a people who had caused God's people
the Israelites to sin against God - it might then be viewed as an
act of punishment by God.
After the battle was won, Moses spoke to
the people, giving them clear instructions as to what could be kept
because it could be ritually "cleansed", and what must
be destroyed because it was unclean and not able to be religiously
Moses instructed his army to kill all males
and all women who had known men, but allowed them to spare the young
girls. There is no suggestion that they were being kept for the
purpose of rape. Instructions in other writings by Moses show that
the men were prohibited from having sex with women to whom they
were not married. If any of the men married one of these girls they
then were required to provide for them and were responsible for
them for the rest of their lives. Women were not married without
Moses charges that the adult women had caused
the Israelites to commit "trespass against the Lord",
which led to a plague among the Israelites, and this was why the
women must be killed.
The Old Testament in particular contains
many accounts of war and killings, but consider this: the Bible
also says that in a day yet future God will cast all unregenerate
sinners into hell, a "lake of fire", where they will be
punished eternally. Not pleasant, but if true, it needs to be said.
Whilst God is a God of love, yet He is also Holy and Righteous and
can not tolerate sin forever. Sin, and all that is tainted by sin,
must be destroyed.
God is in a unique position. Because He created
everything, He owns everything, and has the right to order the death
of anyone he righteously judges to be deserving of death. We know
that God's judgments are always correct, because He is just, righteous
and holy. God also knows better than us that death is not the ultimate
catastrophe it often seems to us - as He knows in actuality that
death is not the end; something that many of us believe by faith,
but have not personally experienced.
What you consider to be "criminally
immoral" may be quite wrong, because you are determining what
is moral or not moral on the basis of your own present beliefs,
likes and dislikes, influenced by your circumstances, education,
world view, and desires which was exactly the point being
made by Answers in Genesis on the page to which you refer. Our society's
present tolerance of almost everything except Christianity, for
example, means that they are tolerating (actually, accepting with
open arms) homosexuals. God says homosexuality is an abomination,
and unrepentant homosexuals will be cast into hell. Why does our
society want to accept homosexuality? Because it is no worse than
their own sins of sexual immorality. Society, believing that there
is no God (assisted by the arguments of Mr Scott and his ilk), has
decided to accept sin as normal, and therefore moral, and those
who speak against sin as "immoral". How cunning Satan
is, and how blind are his followers.
Tell me, in that moment when each unrepentant
homosexual is being cast into hell, who will he then think was the
more moral and loving the Christian who tried to warn him
of the judgment he now faces, or the society who condoned and delighted
in the sin which has now brought him to this situation?
A generation ago it was widely believed that
homosexuality was wrong (with good reason). It is today widely believed
that pedophilia is a horrible act. However, many of the arguments
put forward for the acceptance of homosexuality can equally be proposed
to defend pedophilia - and pedophiles do so today. With the world's
introverted method of deciding morality, why should we think that
in a generation to come pedophilia will not come to be viewed
as another legitimate sexual practice? (And those who speak out
against it because of their belief in God's holy standard will,
again, be viewed as the immoral ones promoting "hate".)
It is immoral to applaud the actions of blatant
sinners, whilst hating those who call people to a right and beneficial
way of living.
[RS1] I have noted that your feedback is heavily censored.
|[JS] Very interesting assertion (again without
||[RS2] A few weeks ago there were a number of contributors to the
NAG website who stated that they had sent multiple letters to AiG
which had not been posted. One stated that five e-mails attacking
creationism were sent and not posted. I see no reason why they would
misrepresent on this point. This gives the appearance that AiG is
very careful and selective with the posting of pro-evolution, anti-creation
responses. This looks like a form of censorship to me. See http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/dear_aig.htm
for a letter sent to AiG but not published by them. As it says - Another
Unpublished Letter to Answers in Genesis. Only AiG knows how many
pro-evolution letters they knock back, and I doubt if they will ever
tell. However, equally improbable things have happened.
The AIG website does not exist just to publish
the letters of their detractors. The Answers in Genesis team choose
to publish a selection of letters which present new and interesting
arguments, together with their replies. This is sensible, not censorship.
Would Mr Scott think it reasonable if I proposed
that he must publish on his website every letter sent to him by
any and every creationist at all? Would it be reasonable for me
to suggest that Mr Scott (and all evolutionists) employ censorship
if they fail to publish every letter they receive?
|[JS] But R.S. presumably has no problem with
the entrenched discrimination and censorship against creationists
in establishment educational and scientific journals.
[RS2] If creationists could come up with scientifically plausible
arguments on matters astronomical, geological, biological and so
on, few would have a problem with these arguments being printed
in the scientific press. The problem creationists have is that their
core stance is not scientific. They want to bend some observations
to preconceived ideas and ignore a colossal number of contrary observations.
These preconceived ideas have just not stood the test of time. While
not good at proving concepts, science is very good at disproving
them. The creationist idea was disproved in the 19th century.
The activities of modern creationists are not scientific. They
fall far short of the standards of the creationist scientists of
the early 19th century. It was of course these scientists whose
observations laid the groundwork for the eventual overthrow of creationism
as a serious proposition.
Recently AiG posted a "technical paper" by the YEC Dr
Andrew Snelling on the age of the Hawkesbury Sandstone, a body of
rock underlying and around Sydney, Australia.
Snelling paid some attention to the Hawkesbury Sandstone's cross
or current bedded sandy sediments and its muddy sediments. The cross
bedding to which he referred in the article is linked by mainstream
geology (no pun intended) with shallow water environments such as
river estuaries, off-shore sand bars and so on. All of the rock
sequence characteristics to which he referred can be attributed
to depositional environments such as provided by Moreton Bay, a
bay near where I live (and of course many similar bodies of water).
"(R)aging water" as invoked by Snelling is not necessary
and would in fact produce rather characteristic deposits that are
lacking in the Hawkesbury Sandstone. Raging waters produce a jumble
of different grain sizes. There are no laterally extensive, thick
very coarse poorly sorted beds of breccia as required by Snelling's
scenario. Fine grained interbeds and lenses of shale would be rather
unexpected in Snelling's concept. Well sorted sandstones would also
not be expected yet are present in the Hawkesbury Sandstone.
Snelling uses carbon-14 dating to suggest that this rock formation
is much younger than geologists think it is. This is simply extraordinary.
Here we have a creationist sanctioning the results of a method which
has no application in samples older than about fifty thousand years
and which creationists have for years attacked as invalid. The article
is appallingly light on details no maps, no geological sections,
no location of the single sample - it is worth repeating, single
sample - on which the entire article is based. In the paper there
is one photograph of a rock that has something resembling an artificial
sun behind it and the name of one of the two laboratories with which
he claims to have dealt. Only one laboratory produced a radiocarbon
date. There was no peer review. The chances of a reputable scientific
journal publishing this are nil. As I mentioned to Dr Batten some
years ago, creationists have a huge credibility problem. It shows
no signs of going away.
Many of the writings of Dr. Sarfati and other
Answers in Genesis workers are intended for a non-scientific audience,
so they are explaining their arguments in non-scientific terms.
Such writings are never intended for publication in scientific journals.
Dr Sarfati has, however, written his Ph.D. thesis and published
papers in secular journals on state-of-the-art supersensitive photomultipliers,
largely involving a technique called Raman spectroscopy.
Other creation-believing scientists are working
and being published in scientific journals. I have been told, though,
that if you let it be known that you are a creation-believing scientist,
you will find it more difficult to get published.
Many creationists would say your charge applies
more to evolutionists ... "They want to bend some observations
to preconceived ideas and ignore a colossal number of contrary observations."
It is frequently the work of Answers in Genesis to point out
the bending of some observations to preconceived ideas, and the
ignoring of contrary observations by evolution-believing scientists,
that so infuriates their opponents. Answers in Genesis workers do
so in print, in their printed material and on their web site, all
To suggest that creationist scientists can't
"come up with scientifically plausible arguments on matters
astronomical, geological, biological" is ludicrous; they do
It is inevitable that scientists will interpret
the same evidence differently depending on their underlying world
view. And it is obvious that scientists do not particularly want
to read interpretations of evidence which are consistent with special
creation. It is also obvious that scientists who have made a faith
commitment to special creation, as has Dr. Sarfati, and scientists
(and science teachers) who have made a faith commitment to long
age evolution, such as Mr Scott, will argue over whose interpretations
are better. Similar argument is common to scientific discussion,
and not necessarily a bad thing. Pardon me if I fail to be convinced
by Mr. Scott that his interpretation is better than Dr. Sarfati's
as far as Hawkesbury Sandstone is concerned.
[RS1] PS: Ken Ham may remember me from circa 1979. I was the teacher
at the back left of the room who pointed out that his use of the second
law of thermodynamics was scientifically invalid. The cheers from the
students who had been forced to listen to him have never left me.
|[JS] Of course, this is hearsay, and I must
wonder about the accuracy of R.S.s recollections after so many
years. Mr Ham says that the second law of thermodynamics is not part
of his talks, and Ive certainly never heard him mention it in
any of his videos or talks.
[RS2] I note JS said "is not". No reference to Hams
past activities was made. My memory of some parts of this talk remains
clear. It was the first time I had heard any person of mature years
support creationism. (This was over 20 years ago.) As a basically
shy person, it was with some trepidation that I responded to Ham's
scientific misuse of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. In the tension
of the moment, as a new teacher in a double room filled with the
entire Year 12 cohort, my throat tightened and my vocalisations
were even less clear than normal. Apparently the message was received
however. The students' cheers were genuine enough. Ham could only
reply that my statement was my interpretation only. (Mine and numerous
others far more expert in thermodynamics than I am of course.) Also
genuine was my chat about 15 minutes earlier with a student who
wanted to walkout, so irritated was he by Ham's talk. I was not
irritated so much as intrigued and amazed.
By the way, Ham must have developed the witty style praised in
recent creationist advertising some time after I heard him speak.
Unless Mr. Ham was giving a talk when asked
about this, one must consider "his talks" to include talks
he has given (in the past) and talks he intends to give (in the
future). He could hardly be giving more than one talk in the present.
Neither would it matter if the event you
mention did happen as you remember it. A creation believer does
not have to be proven to be correct in every argument he has ever
used to prove that his belief in special creation is correct. Hopefully,
we are all still learning, and this means that there may be some
things I believe today that I will learn in the future are not correct
- this does not mean that my core beliefs, or all of my beliefs,
or my whole belief system, is wrong.
Certainly evolutionists have presented ideas
in the past that are now known to have been erroneous; but we do
not do them the discertousy of suggesting that one such incident
would prove that the whole evolutionary theory is entirely incorrect.
Whether you find Ken Ham to have a witty
style of speaking is also totally irrelevant, and I can only wonder
why you waste your time and weaken your position with such arguments.
Certainly, Mr. Ham is a very widely respected speaker who receives
more invitations to speak than he could ever keep, whilst I suspect
Mr Scott speaks only to his captive audience of students.
|[JS] Also, its not just Mr Ham who might
remember R.S., but other creationist scientists too, like Drs
Andrew Snelling and Don Batten. DR Batten informs me that R.S.'s tactic
has been to invite a creationist to speak to his class, then behind
his back criticize his talk when the creationist is no longer around
to defend his position.
[RS2] Behind his back, eh? Although I no longer remember clearly
how the first invitation came to be made, I have had a number of
creationist speakers over the years. I was told in clear terms on
the very first occasion that the talk was to be THEIRS. The reason
for this was that I had the students for the whole year and they
had a mere hour or so. This talk set a pattern from which I have
tried not to stray and have been largely successful.
I can understand why creationists might consider
it a waste of time to give a talk to Mr Scott's class, knowing he
will wait until they leave, whereupon he will try to debunk all
that has been said whilst they are unable to counter with any argument.
I can also understand why they might not want to bother coming if
they are going to be interrupted and argued with throughout the
I would think that my time could be better
spent speaking to people who are going to be allowed to hear, and
then think over what they have heard with the opportunity to decide
for themselves in their own time what they believe.
Obviously, Mr Scott is committed to his faith
in evolution, and will not allow his students that opportunity;
he must oversee their destruction of the creation view in case by
any chance one or more of the students might be tempted to accept
what they have heard.
RS2 I said nothing when the speed of light decay was introduced,
in spite of nearly falling off my chair. (Later on I confess to
pointing out to the students that some of the supporting data was
from the 17th century when clock technology was just a little limited.)
||I think there might be a little more to the
theory than the accuracy of clocks now and in the past. But I wonder
how Mr Scott will feel and react if it is later proven that the speed
of light is in fact decaying. Will he honestly then admit that he
RS2: I said nothing when a photo of sediments in a Tasmanian sea
cliff was given as evidence for Noahs Flood.
Why shouldn't a photo of sediments in a Tasmanian
sea cliff, or any other geological formation, be used as evidence
for Noah's Flood? The point is, Noah's flood did happen, and this
is shown in geological formations world-wide.
And while I'm on the subject; why should
you ridicule a world-wide flood, when scientists accept world-wide
RS2: I said nothing when a film featuring one Dr Wilder-Smith,
who was touted as a scientific expert on why creationism made more
sense than evolution, proceeded to give no evidence at all for creationism
other than that the Bible mandated it. Perhaps I am guilty of being
overly self-assured here, maybe even arrogant, but I think I could
well have mauled the film's core message.
I don't know of this particular film, and
of course Mr Scott once again fails to present any details which
would allow checking and informed reply.
But it is likely that Dr Wilder-Smith was
presented as being a scientist who also believes the biblical account
of creation. From a Christian point of view, there is a valid religious
argument that Christians should believe the Bible, and they will
find that true science will support that belief.
Mr Scott is once again supremely confident
that he can destroy the message of this video, along with every
argument presented to support the historical accuracy of 7 day special
creation, but judging by this letter (which AiG understandably decided
not to publish), he would need to do better than this.
I only very vaguely recall Dr Battens single talk. I think
he had a video showing graded beds in the American west which were
supposed to support the Flood. I do remember briefly commenting
in class while Batten held the floor. I cannot remember any longer
what it was but remember being amazed at some interpretation of
data. I also felt that I had temporarily failed as a host.
||One gets the feeling that Mr Scott would be
amazed at any interpretation of evidence which supports biblical creation
a mark of the true religious convert.
The accusation that I work behind the backs of creationists is
rather unfortunate. I would be quite willing to debate creationists
in class but as already stated it was made clear from the outset
that this was not wanted. This is the bed made by creationists themselves.
They should sleep in it or announce that they want to proceed differently.
What did they think a science teacher would do after YECs parade
a stream of non-scientific and anti-scientific statements, all the
while masquerading as scientists? Thank them? Well, they did receive
the thanks of the class every time. Congratulate them? Hardly. Ignore
the statements? Wrong. Some of the claims made by YECs depart so
dramatically from scientific principles that I would be pleased
to discuss scientific concepts with them in class. Can it be assumed
that they will not object if I come prepared with some stuff to
support the other side of this debate? Or do they still want the
whole time for themselves? They can have it either way but not both.
It is not impressive when they ask for one particular way, receive
it and subsequently complain.
They do, of course, have another option;
of accepting that they are wasting their time speaking to Mr Scott's
students in his presence. It is the option that I would adopt.
As far as "YECs" parading "a
stream of non-scientific and anti-scientific statements, all the
while masquerading as scientists" is concerned, it is a hostile
and non-sensical accusation, and evidence that speaking to this
zealot's class is a waste of time. Young Earth Creationists successfully
show how the evidence in many instances is consistent with the biblical
account of creation, and they are always honest about their qualifications.
|JS Dr Battens presentation apparently
left the class stunned with such overwhelming evidence for recent
geological catastrophism, consistent with the biblical Flood.
||RS2 I beg to differ. My memory of the class was that they just sat
there listening. I detected no wave of fresh insight nor of intellectual
excitement. Now that is something I WOULD remember!
I find myself feeling sorry for Mr Scott's
students. What chance do they have?
|JS So much that R.S. couldnt restrain
himself from abandoning his usual strategy, and injecting his views
on the spot (before he apparently remembered his strategy and regained
his composure). For some reason, he has not had a creationist presentation
since. Perhaps he had difficulty in countering the creationist arguments.
||RS2 I have answered the accusation in the first sentence already.
It reflects an unfortunate situation of creationists own making. As
for "difficulty in countering the creationist arguments",
JS must be joking. But then again, maybe he isn't. After all, it is
mainly people who have received a thorough indoctrination in fundamentalist
dogma who cannot see the overwhelming arguments in favour of evolution
and against creationism.
How arrogant Mr Scott is ... telling us over
and over how superior he is over these cave-dwellers masquerading
as scientists with their invalid degrees. Supremely confident, but
with no real substance at all.
How he puts down these educated men, and
all the evidence they present, and all he produces to back it up
is this drivel. Check out the real substance on the Answers in Genesis
web site, and compare it to Mr Scott's egotistical nonsence. No
wonder they didn't bother to waste any more time or website space
on this fellow's rubbish. - it would teach nothing and have no value
except to pander to Mr Scott's considerable ego.
||There are two reasons why I have not had a creationist speaker for
a few years. There has been a syllabus revision and therefore a workbook
reorganisation. Chiefly, however, it is because, even though I usually
booked creationist speakers well in advance, they were unreliable.
Once I could not get a speaker at the time required to fit the program.
On another occasion after a completely wasted 20 minutes or
so - the scheduled speaker (whom I can name if required) was discovered
to be still in the head office "having coffee". As this
was on the other side of town, it was not possible to give the talk.
Head office was embarrassed enough to mail two rather expensive books
in lieu. (I am grateful for one of these works in particular.)
||I think it is a little in-credible to suggest
that all creationist speakers are unreliable on the evidence of one
mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, even Christians and creationist
speakers. They acted honourably in trying to make up for the error.
Your assertion that creationist speakers are unreliable tells us once
again that you are hardly unbiased, and that no creationist speaker
would ever be able to please you. You are truly committed to your
||Next year historical geology comes around again. I will ask the
class if they would like to hear from a creationist speaker. If they
would, and they probably will, I will take my courage in hand, try
to make a booking and hope for the best. Will there be approval for
a guest lecturer vs host teacher session, with an audience of adolescents
fascinated and transfixed by the spectacle of adults advancing totally
opposing views? Time will tell.
||I wouldn't bother. There are plenty of speaking
opportunities where a creation scientist can actually be heard, but
Mr Scott's class is not one of them.
||Invitations are well received in creationist circles. They become
news of a sort. Once there was a phone call from a very concerned
geologist asking why creationists were talking to my science class.
He was in possession of a creationist newsletter mentioning that talks
had been given at my school. Did I not know that these people - actually
he named just one YEC - said one thing when pushing (my word) creationism
and quite another in their purely scientific publications? What was
going on? No, I replied, I was unaware of this inconsistency. (Since
then, Dr Alex Ritchie has written informatively on just this issue,
which is of course one of a host of embarrassments for creationism.
See NAG at http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/realsnelling.htm) The
caller's concerns quickly evaporated. It was clear that a scientifically-based
course was being taught, while at the same time I was attempting to
show a quaint aspect of contemporary human belief.
||Tales without facts or confirmation. Meaningless.
||And it is quaint. It is also weird, bizarre, astonishing and in
this day and age, almost unbelievable.
Condescending and foolish. "THe fool
has said in his heart, 'there is no God'".
After all, science has yet to explain how
everything came from nothing, and how life came to exist in non-life,
and how simple systems became marvellously complex, performing functions
beyond our present understanding - and all by sheer random chance
- not a jot of intelligence in the whole thing.
You see - how sure they are that they
are right - and what little basis for such confidence.
Demonstrate the big bang for me in a laboratory,
Mr. Scott. Show me true evolution in action. Make life from non-life
in the laboratory, Mr. Scott. And even then, you would only have
shown that these things are possible (if you could) due to the exercise
of much intelligence and research and experimentation - not by random
chance without any intelligence.
Mr Scott, I think you are going to look very
silly in a coming day - and I wouldn't want to be you.
||YECs support a story in a book they hold to be infallible without
any sound evidence that it actually is infallible. They support a
story in the first chapter of a book which is contradicted in the
||Don't be so silly. Many very learned and intelligent
people accept the truth of the Bible as God's word to mankind. The
contradiction you allege is non-sensical, answered a million times,
and not a problem to any intelligent reader of the Holy book. These
are throw-away arguments not worth wasting time on.
||Even more astounding is that we have a group of people who flaunt
their scientific credentials but at the same time reject one of science's
greatest discoveries. If they have a degree in geology or biology
from a reputable university, they will have studied under professors,
lecturers and tutors who do not support creationism. In other words,
YECs hold their views not because of their tertiary studies but in
spite of them.
They "flaunt" their scientific
credentials? (And it galls you, doesn't it?) If they didn't have
credentials, you'd be the first to point it out; when they mention
that they do, you complain that they are flaunting their "valueless"
Apparently Mr Scott is unable to comprehend
that science's theories about the big bang and evolution are unproved
and really just the theory that they are stuck with, seeing they
started from a point of "there is no God". I suspect if
they could come up with a new, better theory (which didn't involve
the existance of a God), they'd jump ship from the sinking evolution
hulk without a second thought.
Mr Scott's unshakeable faith in tertiary
education is remarkable. Like Dr. Sarfati, I think faith in a more
logical belief in God, as revealed in the Bible, puts me in a better
When God is finally revealed to all, on that
day when "every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess,
that Jesus Christ is Lord", Mr. Scott will have to face the
fact of his great folly in putting such a depth of faith in such
a fallible institution as the universities and their "science".
Sadly, he will also have to face the fact that many others may spend
eternity in hell because of his preaching of the evolutionary gospel.
||YECs are prisoners of their religious indoctrination. In reality
they regard their degrees as no more than tinsel on a Christmas tree,
useful in impressing their scientifically uneducated faithful.
||I think we've been here before. This isn't
argument, this is just the rantings of a religious nut.
||Would AiG be interested in some personal information about an atheist
and alleged "vociferous opponent of Christianity" (ie me)?
In spite of my comments above, I think the
AiG people would indeed be interested in you not necessarily
how or why you came to this religious faith in evolution, but in
your soul and in your spiritual well-being.
I can tell you, I would love to greet you
one day in God's presence, in heaven. I would be so glad to hear
that you had found your way out of spiritual blindness and into
the light of the Gospel of Christ. God loves you, and longs to save
you, but will you ever stop trusting that intellect of yours, and
your base nature's love of argument and egotistical grandstanding?
Will you ever see and admit your need of a Saviour?
As I type this, I pause to pray for you,
Mr Scott - and to thank God for the faithful work of the Answers
in Genesis people in trying to challenge and reach people like you.
I was fortunate enough not to be indoctrinated with religious propaganda
in my early years. However for some reason I read most of the Bible
before leaving primary school. While accepting few of its main historical
claims as fact, I would have unhesitatingly answered Church of England
to anyone who asked my religion. This situation persisted into my
Those years in the field as a geologist did not help. Is it possible
that geologists tend to come from those walks of life where religious
dogma is not only not proselytised but is regarded with some skepticism?
Or does the job do that to the majority of them? When I began teaching,
I was no more than a Christian fellow-traveller, not a believer
in god but someone who basically supported the notion of a Christian-oriented
society. Even today I subscribe to some of the more human-oriented
aspects of Christian belief, but experienced a series of attitude-changing
events while a still slightly-young teacher. Without doubt the first
was Ken Ham's talk. What an eye opener! Later came two holidays
in a Christian camp and further visits by YEC lecturers. What a
barrage of baloney! What I heard was clearly at variance with reality.
Another look at Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not A Christian"
more or less completed the makeover. Shortly after my father died
it dawned on me that I had not prayed even once for his recovery
during his illness. I realised I had become an atheist, in both
the emotional and intellectual senses.
My secular humanist stance has remained stable for many years now.
Has this resulted in my pulling the wings off birds and butterflies?
No. My life is fairly staid and conformist actually. The local Blood
Bank thinks I am sufficiently kosher to have accepted over 40 donations.
There have been a few American televangelists they would not touch
with a 10-foot pole. Compared with those lads, my life is positively
colorless. I have been married to the same fantastic girl for nearly
29 years and have three great kids, all of whom are a credit to
themselves and the community. I do not smoke, have never even seen
marijuana let alone used it, drink very little alcohol, like a cup
of tea and spurn the gambling associated with horse racing and casinos.
I jogged for many years until my knees gave out. I like classical
music to the point of needing to hear it. (Even church music is
stirring, but not if written after about 1916; anything post-dating
that is likely to have been written by someone whose thinking I
do not respect much.) While a non-committed voter, I am something
of a political conservative, but only by the rather liberal standards
of Australia; I would hesitate in supporting a politician who tried
to drum up support at places such as Bob Jones University. I support
the legalisation of prostitution, regard many opponents of non-violent
erotica as either misinformed, hypocrites or fools, support euthanasia
and the decriminalisation of some drugs, although I have no intention
of using them. Church organisations should pay local taxes like
the rest of us.
Yes, a typical value system for those who
deny there is a God, and have no concept of "holiness"
How would you like your daughter, Mr Scott,
to be legally engaged in prostitution, or a participent in non-violent
(hard core) pornography? I trust that you have the courage of your
convictions, and think there would be nothing wrong with that?
It seems you have a propensity for calling
anyone who thinks differently from yourself mis-informed, hypocrites,
or fools, regardless of what the issue is. You might want
to check yourself for intellectual arrogance some time - its a common
complaint amongst people who know too little to know how much they
So, there it is. And congratulations, YECs, you helped make me
what I am today. One can but wonder how many others share my views
and have seen thru your simplistic, utterly superficial, pseudoscientific
dross. It isnt difficult.
One more comment. Dare I hope for a second miracle of the publishing
Dear, dear Roger ... What can I say?
I think you have chosen to be what you are
today - and not a wise choice, in my opinion. God will hold you
accountable for what you have chosen to be, and believe.
As for simplistic, utterly superficial, pseudoscientific
dross - friend, just reread your own letter(s) above. I don't want
to be rude, mate, but you're an idiot. I think you're an idiot,
and God thinks you're an idiot (ok, he used the word "fool").
Pardon me for spending more time on the AiG website than yours.
As for the publishing miracle - I suspect
you'd have to say something significant to earn the space on the
AiG website, and mate, you just haven't done it. You have presented
virtually no science, and certainly no scientific challenge to biblical
creation. Sorry, I only bothered to write this in the hope
that it would help you reassess who you are and what you believe,
and possibly undo some of the damage you've done to your poor students.
Should you present a letter in response to this one, I doubt that
I will take the time to reply - but please don't presume its because
you've made me see the light (you don't have a light to shine
- you are, yourself, in darkness) or have got me stumped. Like the
AiG people, I have only so much time to waste.