When Models Come Before Data

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Nov 2, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    HELEN

    I’ve known for a long time that evolutionists – not all, but a number of very influential public evolutionist apologists – have been very selective about data, and have sometimes ‘force fit’ ‘evidence’ into the evolution model. I don’t want to review all that here. But it was seeing this that first led me to take creation seriously.

    One of the reasons I was impressed with creationist writing and speaking at the beginning was not just their use of data, but the attitude with which it was presented. Instead of hearing, or reading, “this is the way it was” as though it were already known for sure, I was hearing an invitation to think and reason for myself, which was quite refreshing. I was hearing “maybe we had better take another look at this,” and “considering some of what we are seeing here, maybe it’s time to rethink some of the popular conclusions.” That appealed to me.

    The swing from evolution to young earth creation took five years, and they were five years of mental and heart struggle and battle. I went through frustration with wondering how much of what I had been taught was unsure or flat out untrue. I went through anger when I found out what I had not been taught. I seriously considered both the gap theory and the day-age theory but both had way too many problems. Finally I realized that not only did the scientific evidence support a young creation, but that was what the Bible had been saying all along.

    I am still a young earth creationist. That needs to be said first.

    But recently – within the past year – and partly due to some challenges from some very intelligent and learned opponents here on this forum, both Barry and I (Barry Setterfield is my husband) have had to dig into some material and do some research for ourselves. Barry has done far more than I, but both of us have had to come to terms with something that has caused us a great deal of pain and some embarrassment.

    About a year and a half ago, we started to do an update and rewrite of his book “Creation and Catastrophe.” As I went through it sentence by sentence, I checked and re-checked everything possible – his material to make sure we were presenting it correctly, and material from others to make sure it was correct. The first was easier than the second. One of the things I found out fairly early on was that there were a number of ‘evidences’ for a young earth creation which were somewhere between fraudulent and dubious but which had been presented as verified fact by creationist publications. I will be forever indebted to Dr. Art Chadwick for helping me sort through the maze of material I was trying to deal with.

    And gradually we have had to check more and more material that we had assumed was as meticulously researched as Barry tries to do with his own material – and some of which he has based some of his own material on. As I mentioned before, challenges here on this forum have caused both of us to do more research. Paul of Eugene kept ‘harping’ on the mass issue for so long that Barry decided to really look into it – there was something niggling at him as well. Well, Paul, you had a point, but it was not what you thought! There is a continuing discrepancy in the data, depending on the way mass is measured,
    and Barry has been putting together a paper presenting this problem. I would not be surprised if he credited you with sparking some of his research. I don’t want to jump the gun on it, because Barry – and very possibly you – understand it better than I do, but in this case it is the mainstream physics community which has marginalized the problem.

    To Earl Detra – regarding ocean trenches. You seem to be right about subduction etc. Barry checked into quite a bit of material and found that what he had been basing some of his own material on was out of one of the major creation organizations and it appeared to be false. This is a sad thing for us personally, because it’s hard to admit that both sides are so intent on proving themselves that they will put model before data. But this is happening in the main creation community in some areas as well. I don’t want to say more about that here and now. But suffice it to say that we yield to Earl here and thank him for his determination in establishing his points.

    The last thing I would like to say is that the more we have delved into more and more things in the past months, the more both Barry and I have realized that people on both sides of the evolution-creation controversy are presenting material as positive which should be presented as tentative, and this is dishonest on both sides. Both sides are neglecting some data and concentrating on others which they find more agreeable to their respective points of view. Both sides are, in a number of cases, putting model ahead of data, and this is a disservice to science, to students, and to themselves and whoever they might be representing.

    Personally, we know that a lot of our own research is going to have to be more in depth regarding original sources and less dependent on anything written about those sources. This can really slow things down, when you don’t know who you can trust, and how far, but that is the position we find ourselves in at the present time.

    So a public thank you to both Earl and Paul and the many others who have presented thoughtful and informative challenges. We are both still young earth and creation creationists – there is too much data supporting that as well as full agreement with the clearest and simplest meaning of the Bible. That part won’t change. But we do find ourselves embarrassed by the fact that neither side of the professionals seem to be able to present full data and the possible conclusions regardless of allegiance to any particular model or organization or educational facility.
     

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