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.


 

Sarfati Stumped!

(Oh Really?)

Does his silence indicate agreement or is he finally lost for words?

Yet another unpublished letter to Answers in Genesis

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:rscott@gil.com.au]
Sent: Saturday, 17 June 2000 12:26 AM
To: webeditor@answersingenesis.org
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 JS’s 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 creationists' message.

[JS] Actually, many of us have far superior scientific qualifications to R.S.’s — see Creationist scientists or DR John Ashton’s 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 superior one.

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 way.


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 of Genesis.

[RS1] Your site is liberally sprinkled with absurdities, scientific and moral.

[JS] My my, all these to choose from and RS couldn’t 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 AiD’s 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 the future?)

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 nothing.

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 cleansed.

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 their consent.

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 support).

[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?

What nonsense!


[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 the time.

To suggest that creationist scientists can't "come up with scientifically plausible arguments on matters astronomical, geological, biological" is ludicrous; they do so frequently.

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 I’ve certainly never heard him mention it in any of his videos or talks.

[RS2] I note JS said "is not". No reference to Ham’s 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, it’s 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 class.

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 was wrong?

RS2: I said nothing when a photo of sediments in a Tasmanian sea cliff was given as evidence for Noah’s 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 ice ages?


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 Batten’s 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 Batten’s 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. couldn’t 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 anti-God faith.

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 second chapter.

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" degrees.

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 position.

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 early 20s.

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" and "righteousness".

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 don't know.


 

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 isn’t difficult.

One more comment. Dare I hope for a second miracle of the publishing kind?

yours

Roger Scott

 

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.