FOR your weekend contemplation, dear reader, we present a letter-to-the-editor which is much more than the usual “maniac in a shack” job. This one appears in the Orange County Register, our biggest source of information about the plight of Dr. James Corbett. Our last post on that topic was here, about a letter written by one of Corbett’s lawyers and two of his students.
Today’s letter-writer is responding to that letter, so this is in the nature of a follow-up. This morning’s gem is titled Debunking myths seculars spin against creation.
We’ll copy most of today’s letter, omitting the writer’s name and city, and adding our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. The bold font was added for emphasis. Here we go:
My rebuttal is not related to the specifics of Dr. James Corbett’s case, but to the lack of scientific scholarship from writers Hannah Block, Michele Tyler and J. Craig Johnson [AP teacher challenges untenable views” Commentary, Nov. 15].
Ah, so this isn’t a follow-up about Corbett — it was inspired by the Corbett imbroglio, but it’s all about “lack of scientific scholarship.” Okay, now that know what we’re getting, let’s read on:
These scholars are not trained in theology or in its relationship to science. Otherwise, they would not make misleading statements about the Bible’s position on the placement of the Earth in our solar system, and its account of creation. Their understanding of evolutionary theory is also faulty.
We sense that a massive load of something will soon be showing up. The letter continues:
As a computer scientist who has completed all M.A. requirements in Science and Religion, and who is working toward a Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, I believe I’m on solid ground when I say that these writers may understand a few things about their respective domains, but they honestly need to avoid making public comments on the relationship between science and religion. Masters in education or a law degree does not qualify one to be a theologian, though some may think it does because they don’t view theology as representing a legitimate form of knowledge. As a result differing creation views are treated as equivalent regardless of the level of effort it takes to understand them.
Now we are confirmed in our suspicions. According to the Salem hypothesis, engineering types — and that often includes computer scientists — have a tendency toward the creationist viewpoint. Today’s letter-writer has taken that to the next level by seeking an additional degree of a religious nature. We’re in for a treat, so hang on!
There are two key falsehoods in this article that must be addressed: the belief that the Bible 1) endorses a geocentric model that the Earth is at the center of the universe and 2) specifically advocates a Young Earth Creation view.
This guy can’t be serious! Or can he be?
The view that the Earth is at the center of the universe is the original work of Aristotle, who considered the Earth an imperfect place where heavy and corrupt things fell. Copernicus introduced the heliocentric model, but his observations were not accurate enough to be verified, and his intent was never to challenge “untenable religious views,” since geocentricism had been the prevailing scientific view since Aristotle. It was the observations of Galileo along with Kepler’s laws of planetary motion that verified heliocentrism. Far from demoting the status of the Earth, Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler saw the new scheme as exalting it. Newton was not a part of the story. So clearly, the writers of this article didn’t do their homework.
There’s more! The letter-writer continues into his next paragraph to further exonerate the bible from the “false” accusation of being geocentric:
The Genesis account in the Old Testament was produced well before the Greeks, and the Bible never mentions the Earth was at the center of our solar system or the universe. So this cannot be a flaw in the Bible when such a claim doesn’t even exist.
Of course, people from several hundred years ago, as well as today, believed exactly the opposite! Galileo’s trial involved extensive quotes from the Bible demonstrating that the Earth was the center and the Sun revolved around it.
And while this letter writer may be describing the beliefs of many scholars today, there is a very large group who do believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and its description of ‘days’. There are many people who do believe that the Bible advocates a Young Earth Creation (YEC) view and they certainly are not scientists.
I guess it is the choice of the word ‘specifically?’ Because I would be that YEC certainly feel that the Bible advocates. Science has proven that their geocentric view is incorrect. But they continue to fight a rearguard action on something that science pretty much demolished over the last 100 years.
The Earth is billions of years old, not thousands. Data from almost every arena of science demonstrates this, with actually more proof than the heliocentric view. Yet they continue to preach this sort of creationism.
And the Old Earth Creationism, such as this writer, , feel:
While I do agree with the writers that the Young Earth Creation view should not be taught as a generally accepted view, it should be acknowledged as an alternative with arguments for and against, since it does have some merits (I say this as an Old Earth Creation proponent).
Yes, it should be acknowledged … as wrong, just as the geocentric view is wrong. Deal with it.