Scientific Creationism

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Sep 27, 2002.

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    DAN

    As a new topic, I would like your thoughts on the book "Scientific Creationism" by Dr. Henry Morris and the staff of the Institute for Creation Research. I have been asked to do a report on it (as a part of my continuing education requirements) and am hoping for some good discussion to help my report be more complete.
     
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    DEACON

    “Scientific Creationism” by Henry Morris (Publication Date: 1974).

    Be really, really careful about reading older creationist literature. There has been a great improvement in their positions within only the past 5-10 years. Many very popular ideas that still get a lot of press have been abandoned. Older literature on any position [B/] can be misleading as science progresses and older ideas are abandoned.

    Perhaps you can examine and compare the positions then, with their positions now.

    Or maybe you should be reading a newer publication of theirs.
     
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    DAN

    The copy I have is a second edition, dated 1985 - that's still over 15 years ago, but a bit more recent than the '74 edition. From what I've read so far, I find it hard to believe it survived to a second edition, unless it's being used as a text/reference. I have skimmed ahead enough to know that Morris provides some well arranged data, has a good bibliography, and the book is well indexed; but the writing so far is somewhat repetitious and his observations are what I would term a "Blinding Flash of the Obvious" ("BFO" - as opposed to "UFO" or "Uninspired Flash of the Obvious").
     
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    HELEN

    First of all, right up front, I have not read the book. But I think a couple of points should be mentioned regarding Dr. Morris. I'm not sure what you are referring to as obvious, but it perhaps was not obvious then. What he did in opening up the creation science field took a lot of courage. And while I don't know anyone who agrees with him about everything he wrote, I think all of us respect him highly. He is, I suppose, the grand old man of modern creation science, so I am not at all surprised there is a second edition of some of his earlier works.

    If you are to do a report on it, I would suggest that you read it in the context of when it was written rather than what has happened and been discovered since then.
     
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    DAN

    Dear Helen,

    Thank you for your input, especially the reminder to ensure I incorporate the historical context into my study of this book and my report on it. Perhaps I should answer some of your questions and comments so that others who may have read this book will understand my intent (which is NOT to start or exacerbate any quarrels, or to be adversarial in any manner).



    You posted: "I'm not sure what you are referring to as obvious..."

    Perhaps I am too vague (or inappropriately flippant) in my terminology; my apologies. When I said that I was surprised that it survived to a second edition, I meant that it reads like a text book, not one for general reading although it seems to have been marketed for the "mass market" based on it being a small paperback with a cover design that is clearly something of which Roddenberry, Herbert, and Asimov would be proud. Of course, the text book writing style and nature of the book could also explain the decade between editions. As a "Blinding Flash of the Obvious," I meant that the conclusions and positions I have thus far read in this book are neither new nor a leap of any sort from the historical position of scientists (Christian, Jew, or Moslem) from any era except of the last century. The positions I have noticed so far are a call back to scientific dogma and procedure - for example, not calling something a "fact" which is not or cannot be proven. Dr. Morris calls, in the first part of this book, for a return to basic scientific principles. It is a "blinding flash" in that it is an academically intense call to return to a position which has remained unpopular, or even ignored, when it comes to the communication modern evolutionary theory and, for that matter, to creationism. It is "obvious" in that this call to return to historic scientific practice is both "old" (many others have made this call before and since Morris) and "acceptable" (in principle if not practice - and certainly in practice in most other areas of scientific endeavor) in both academia and the "laboratory."



    You posted: "What he did in opening up the creation science field took a lot of courage. And while I don't know anyone who agrees with him about everything he wrote, I think all of us respect him highly."

    I agree that Dr. Morris is highly respected in this field, which is most likely why my denomination’s "Board of Ministerial Education and Advanced Studies" chose his book for this report. I am somewhat familiar with his work - over a dozen books on this subject, mostly in the early ‘80s but going back at least as far as a 1961 work with John C. Whitcomb entitled "The Genesis Flood." Dr. Morris also played a major role in the series of symposia on creation which began, I believe, in the late 60's. He does indeed have impressive credentials and I in no way wish to discredit him or his work. I, too respect his work highly; I am just not yet specifically familiar with this book (although I have now studied through the forwards, credits, indices, bibliography, and first two chapters).



    You posted: "If you are to do a report on it, I would suggest that you read it in the context of when it was written rather than what has happened and been discovered since then."

    That is, and has always been, my intent. Even though I am "doing a book report" (which usually makes me reflect on my school days) I am not a young man. In fact, some of my students have asked, jokingly, how I survived the flood (not the flood of April '97, but the one in Genesis). I discussed this subject, academically, in the late 60's and 70's; indeed, I did a paper on academic freedom and the scientific merits of evolution theory vs creation theory back in 1970 or’71. I recall Dr. Clark’s short, late 60's book, "Darwin: Before and After" and my Grandma’s "library" included some books and pamphlets on this subject which dated to the 50's and 60's. I hope I have convinced you that I have both the capability and intent of placing this work in it’s proper historical context. I take seriously your charge to take care that I do just that. At the same time, I would ask you to help me by sharing any observations you might have regarding the contrast of this type of work in the mid-70's and 80's with what has happened and been discovered since then. This invitation goes out to you and all on this board, as well.

    Thank you for your care and input. I hope you’ll provide more - it will certainly make my report more complete. You see, I don’t look at this as just another academic assignment to be finished as quickly and painlessly as possible (and yet I don’t want it to drag on and be painful either!). I truly appreciate any help I receive - especially when it makes me think.
     

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