Saturday, May 14, 2016

More creationism and evolution

The Daily Sentinel has "lit up" with an "editorial" debate about creationism and evolution. Dr. Kenneth Price took on creationism and creationists in an Op-Ed piece on the 29th of April, which I reference HERE. Evidently not satisfied with Dr. Price's performance, SFA's Philip Blackburn entered the fray on May 3rd threatening to rip to shreds any letter to the editor submitted by "fundamentalist" Christians. His bark may be worse than his bite.

First, Mr. Blackburn complains of a bait-and-switch routine with one of his own. He deduces that "The writer on April 24 must get her “science” from the Institute for Creation Research" and then remarks that evolutionism is not a scientific theory. This creates a commotion and cozies up his cozenage. From whence someone gets his or her science is not a refutation of that science. (And there are real scientists at ICR.*) He notes that "Evolutionism is a term that is not used in the scientific field of evolution." Misdirection. Again. The author of the April 24 letter is a layperson using lay language. But Mr. Blackburn knows she is talking about origins and avoids taking that head on in deference to whining about terminology.

Next, Mr. Blackburn tells us "that the age of the universe has been measured with several independent methods that have nothing to do with radiometric dating." (I think radiometric dating is pretty much reserved for the age of the earth, right?) He is correct that there other methods, such as looking for the oldest stars; measuring the ages of long-lived dying stars; and measuring the rate of expansion of the Universe and extrapolating backward. The main reason the old age of the universe is widely accepted by the scientific community -- even the scientific community doesn't claim they are universally accepted by the scientific community -- is because it is derived from different lines of evidence. Of course, these lines of evidence are also based on certain assumptions. He does not go on to tell us that even in the scientific community these broad conclusions are subject to inspection, elucidation, and even replacement.

Finally, the gloves come off. He invents an argument not posited by the author of the April 24th letter -- claiming that she charges "the overwhelming majority of Christians have “eliminated God” from their belief system because they advocate theistic evolution."** Mr. Blackburn attacks "fundamentalists" as a religious cult and inerrantists as idolaters. "The fundamentalists practice bibliolatry." He doesn't know whether the fundamentalists can be saved from their idolatrous ways, but he assures us he "will rip their nonsense to shreds with the sword of truth." 

We're waiting.

*  In an article directly complaining about creation scientists, Ronald H. Pine still had to be honest enough to recognize many have degrees in some field of science and some are employed as science teachers in high schools, accredited colleges and universities. Some (gasp) even have Ph.D. degrees.
** Maybe with this Blackburn is flaming Mr. Roland Muckleroy, who he jabs in his last paragraph.

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