Discarded Science & The Genesis Flood – Wrap Up







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R P from over at Why Things Are The Way They are made the following comment on my last post:

Hello. Perhaps I missed the point, but why of all possible books would you pick Grant? His interest is wide-ranging, so only one section of the book is related to Whitcomb and Morris. But more to the point, his intent is half-comical – his publisher is “Facts, Figures & Fun”! Whitcomb and Morris on the other hand is technical, lengthy, and highly specific. It’s like comparing a Bill O’Reilly book to a Doonesbury cartoon and claiming the cartoon loses because it doesn’t provide an in-depth critique. Well no kidding. Compare Whitcomb and Morris to actual scientists who are engaged in the same topic. Otherwise… I don’t know, like I said, maybe I missed the point. This is just confusing.

My reply, in short, was 1) why not; and 2) because Grant’s perspective (i.e. creationism is pseudoscience) is typical of the ‘public face’ of the evolutionary establishment and should be rebutted for that reason. However, as I acknowledged, R P does have an important point. I do disagree that Grant’s book is meant as ‘half-comical’ or cartoonish; Grant himself commented:

In my book I don’t go into detail because I’m merely summarizing the informed viewpoint of, not just innumerable readers who’ve found Whitcomb & Morris’s work as risible as I did, but also the vast body of scientists who’ve done the hands-on stuff and know that what Whitcomb & Morris are saying is tripe.

All of that aside, as R P said, it makes little sense to ‘provide an in-depth critique’ to what is little more than a summary; I should started and finished with Part I. For that reason, I’ll reserve further any ‘in-depth critiques’ of ‘anti flood-geology’ for those that deal with it substantively and at length.

Incidentally, a quick rejoinder to Grant’s above comment is in order. He borders on making an appeal to popularity argument – resting his characterization of the work of Whitcomb and Morris as ‘pure pseudoscience’, ‘wild guesses’ and ‘straight-forward fantasy’ on his agreement with the ‘informed viewpoint of, not just innumerable readers..but also the vast body of scientists [who] know that what Whitcomb & Morris are saying is tripe’. Grant should know better, for he writes at the beginning of his book:

There are growing signs at the moment of science being corrupted by the wholly spurious notion that somehow truth can be determined by a democratic vote: if polls show that 60% or 70% of the people don’t accept that humankind is the production of Darwinian evolution, for example, that’s accepted by some as ‘proof’ that Darwinian evolution must be false.

~p.9

The same applies to both the ‘innumerable readers’ and ‘the vast body of scientists’ Grant refers to. To paraphrase him,

it is a corruption of science to assert that, if the vast body of scientists don’t accept that the geological record is the production of the Genesis Flood, that’s to be accepted as ‘proof’ that the Genesis Flood account must be tripe.

As his books attest, the vaunted ‘scientific consensus’ has often been wrong – and it will be again in the future. Grant is certainly entitled to his beliefs and points of view, but there is no room for ‘the wholly spurious notion that somehow truth can be determined by a democratic vote’ – even if it is scientists casting the votes.

There are a few more comments that Grant makes in his book regarding creation and/or Intelligent design that I plan on responding to, but this is it for Grant’s treatment of Whitcomb & Morris.

Thanks to R P for pointing out the obvious before I got too carried away and thanks to John Grant for taking the time to comment.

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Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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