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gethen
2003-Oct-01, 05:16 PM
My husband has gotten me into a situation I want out of. Seems he was visiting with an associate about their respective families and the associate asked what our older son was doing. My husband briefly explained that he was studying astrophysics, and mentioned things like gravitational lensing and galaxy formation. Two days later the associate arrives at work with a stack of "scientific stuff" that he was sure we and our son would find interesting. My husband (the swine) said that while he really didn't get into that stuff, he'd give it to me, as he figured I'd enjoy reading it. Well, you guessed it. It's a load of creationist codswallop (thanks, Kiwi.)
I am not a physicist, an astrophycisist, or a cosmologist, but this stuff is junk. There are several articles copied from a magazine called Creation attesting to things like:
The orbit of Uranus is too circular for its pole tilt to have been caused my a collsion with a large object. God just made it that way.
The surface of Venus does not show enough evidence of erosion to have been there more than 6000 years. But you can easily explain all this using "biblical principles."
There's lots more and strangely, almost all the references at the end of the articles are to articles previously published in the same magazine.
Each article sets up the adversaries as Christians and Evolutionists, although I don't know what evolution, a biological theory, has to do with the formation of the planets.
So I've been avoiding the associate, even though my husband says the guy has asked several times what I thought of the articles. My question: What's best--play dumb ("Gee that stuff is all way over my little fluffy head.") or pick the stuff apart on the basis of the kind of stuff I've mentioned above? I won't pretend that I can argue the "physics" the writers have used, and I'll be darned if I'll waste my son's time with this hogwash. I just want these people off my back, and I don't want to start a war in my husband's workplace.
What would you folks do?

tjm220
2003-Oct-01, 05:51 PM
For a start try sending the associate here.

aporetic_r
2003-Oct-01, 05:53 PM
Well, you're in quite a pickle. It certainly wouldn't do to start a major conflict in your husband's place of business, but then again if I were you I would find it personally intolerable to claim it was over my head, or to humbly agree with that garbage. You could simply be way too busy to ever look at it, but that seems like a quick-fix that is bound to only prolong the situation. My choice would be to tell the guy that it was interesting reading, but not serious science. Suggest a few good astronomy books and/or websites and tell the guy that since you read his stuff that he should read your stuff.

Aporetic

Archer17
2003-Oct-01, 05:56 PM
Tell the truth. You can say simply that you don't agree with the it and leave it at that.. if he pushes the issue then you gotta start wondering about his motivations. That's when your hubby should step in and put a stop to it ("war" or no war). I also agree with what tjm220 said, you can invite the person to address their theories here .. where education is free 8)

[edited to use word "theories" in last sentence]

OscartheGrouch
2003-Oct-01, 06:07 PM
ewww ... or as we Southern Baptists say, "oy vey" ... yes, quite sticky.

I'm sure your YEC acquaintance sincerely believes in creationism and honestly thinks he's doing your son a favor by providing an alternative viewpoint that's suppressed or censored out of the Establishment curriculum (and he might be right if the subject were politics, economics, history, etc., which is why I stay with physics and math) so try not to take offense. For my part, when the subject comes up around my church brethren, I just don't say anything because nothing good comes of it. When political science majors start authoritatively quoting YEC stuff and concluding that secular scientists simply don't know what they're doing, despite the fact that such personnel actually do science all day long, and that those who disagree with creationism are mere deluded cogs of the Great Evolution Conspiracy, I don't know if there's much I can do to change such minds, so the argument and ill feelings are not worth any gain. But then, nobody has dropped off a load of YECist hooey at my house either.

Why creationists (and I used to be a YEC) lump all science of origins together is that all of them purport to explain things without resort to the Divine, and therefore all such things are anti-Christian and anti-Bible. They aren't, of course-- God not only wrote the Bible, he also made the Universe, and since God cannot deceive or tell lies in anything he does, what we see in nature is just as true as the Bible. Trying to cram 21st century AD knowledge into 12th century BC writings is bad science and bad theology. However, since Biblical principles of morals and ethics and human relations are so successful in their everyday lives even today, some people insist on reading the entire Bible as if it's supposed to be a science textbook. Most people don't know enough science to disagree with YEC arguments that "prove the Bible" and few are motivated to learn any different. Evolution is kind of loosely used in science because you hear of the evolution of life on Earth, and then stellar evolution, and so on, even though they are totally different processes and many creationists/intelligent designists are just fine with natural explanations for anything but biological evolution and abiogenesis. However, you seem to have run across someone who does not draw these distinctions. For folks of this mentality, any theory that invokes the E-word, no matter what the context, is the enemy and must be destroyed. I think God is bigger than all that, but oh well, I should go write my own book.

For yourself, no need to play dumb--I don't know what to suggest really, but if the same thing happened to me, I would start by pointing out to the supplier some things you've noticed yourself, like the circular citations, and go after other things detail by detail, until the other guy gives up. Since you want a harmonious work environment for your husband, a worthy goal I daresay, the next time you're asked you might say something like "thanks, I did read it, but I don't think creationism is correct based on what I know, maybe we can just agree to disagree" and also that your son is getting a pretty good education with the materials they already have at his school.

This advice is worth what you paid for it. Hope all goes well.

TriangleMan
2003-Oct-01, 06:24 PM
My husband has gotten me into a situation I want out of. Seems he was visiting with an associate about their respective families and the associate asked what our older son was doing. Two days later the associate arrives at work with a stack of "scientific stuff" that he was sure we and our son would find interesting. My husband (the swine) said that while he really didn't get into that stuff, he'd give it to me, as he figured I'd enjoy reading it.
<snip>
I just want these people off my back, and I don't want to start a war in my husband's workplace.
What would you folks do?

Based on your story it does not appear that you were involved in the conversations at your husband's workplace so really it is a matter of what your husband should say to the coworker, not you. But that is a minor point.

Your husband should tell the co-worker the truth. You did read it, you found Divine explanations for planetary formation disagree with current observations as there are theories that explain the phenomena, and you put the materials off to the side. Since you won't be there when your husband explains this he can then fall back on "I don't follow that stuff anyway so I'm not sure exactly what she's talking about" if he needs to. That should be the end of story. If the co-worker starts pressing your husband he should tell the co-worker to drop the issue.

gethen
2003-Oct-01, 07:12 PM
Lots of good thoughts here. Thanks. I'm tending toward just telling the guy that I didn't read any further when I saw that the writers were using the term "evolution" to talk about planetary science, where it has no meaning, and hence, I didn't take the articles very seriously. I suppose that if he argues that point I can just say that I guess we're coming from such totally different directions, we may just have to agree to disagree. Your thoughts have really helped me sort this one out. =D> Thanks again.

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-01, 08:02 PM
Oh honey... [sigh] :(


My question: What's best--

(A) play dumb ("Gee that stuff is all way over my little fluffy head.")

(B) pick the stuff apart on the basis of the kind of stuff I've mentioned above?

(C) tell the guy that I didn't read any further when I saw that the writers were using the term "evolution" to talk about planetary science, where it has no meaning

(D) and that I didn't take the articles very seriously.

(E) I can just say we may just have to agree to disagree.
The correct answer is (F) none of the above.

Speaking as a Conservative Christian who has friends who believe this stuff and who shove it under people's noses, and who knows, first-hand, what kind of response is required to (a) get them off your back, (b) without offending them...

Here is the correct response for Hubby to give Mr. YEC. Repeat after me:


"She read the stuff.
She said it was interesting. That's all she said. 'Interesting'. [polite neutral smile]"

And that's it. Think he can handle that? :wink:

Since your ultimate goal here is "harmony in Hubby's workplace" rather than "The Fight Against Ignorance"...

You're not required, through your husband, to tell Mr. YEC what you really thought of it.
You're not required to rebut any of its points.
You're not required to fight his ignorance.

All that's required is, "I read it. It was interesting. [smile]"

(A) is demeaning to you (as well as untrue), and gives a bad rap to "females in science" everywhere. A bad impression to leave him with.

(B) is pointless because you can't win. There are whole websites with sensible, logical people attempting to pick Creationism apart, and the Creationists just cling to their Bibles and refuse to listen. Ultimately you end up looking like an ungodly atheist, and they all agree to pray for you with patient saintly looks on their faces.

(C) is confrontational. It's picking a fight, which you said you wanted to avoid.

(D) ditto.

(E) He will not be able to rest with this. What this amounts to is, you will have disagreed with him, and this will stick in his craw. The point is to avoid a confrontation. So don't even say, "We'll have to agree to disagree", because that's "disagreeing".

Just smile neutrally and say, "I read the stuff. It was interesting."

And if he ("he" meaning Mr. YEC, because presumably Hubby has known you long enough to know when you've read a large dose of codswallop) presses you ("yes, but what did you THINK?"), say, "I'd really rather not discuss it, if you don't mind," and walk away. That's all. He can't force you to discuss it, you're not required to discuss it with him, and if you clam up and walk away, he's left frustrated, but--you haven't provoked a confrontation. He may suspect that you disagree--but he doesn't know, and thus he's left without any fuel for his fire.

Because he does have a fire, all ready to light, the fire of Creationism Evangelism. So your job is to not give him any fuel for it, by smiling politely and walking away, without comment. And Hubby's job is thus to merely relay the message that you read it, you said it was "interesting", and that's all.

gethen
2003-Oct-01, 10:29 PM
I really don't intend to make this my husband's problem. He's busy enough managing his associates in their practice. Also, it's quite true that this is not a topic in which he has a particular interest. And, of course, I never really considered pulling the fluff card. The YEC in question is an otherwise pretty inoffensive sort of guy, I don't want to make an enemy, and I don't want to "correct" him. People are entitled to their own beliefs, as long as they don't try to force them on me.
Jigsaw, your suggestion that I say simply that I found the stuff interesting seems pretty good. One thing that I neglected to mention, and should have, is that during the time when I was at my husband's workplace daily(it was also my own workplace) the YEC and I had some rather spirited discussions about the bible and so forth, and we did come to an understanding that it was best we not go there anymore. I suspect that the articles were delivered at the instigation of his wife, who is not a person likely to accept a noncommital answer. My hope was that my reminding him that he and I, at least, had agreed to disagree would put the thing to an end.
Keep your fingers crossed.

(p.s. I really hate being called "honey." :wink: )

russ_watters
2003-Oct-02, 04:57 AM
So I've been avoiding the associate, even though my husband says the guy has asked several times what I thought of the articles. My question: What's best--play dumb ("Gee that stuff is all way over my little fluffy head.") or pick the stuff apart on the basis of the kind of stuff I've mentioned above? I won't pretend that I can argue the "physics" the writers have used, and I'll be darned if I'll waste my son's time with this hogwash. I just want these people off my back, and I don't want to start a war in my husband's workplace.
What would you folks do? Depends on the nature of your relationship with the "associate." No need to bring it up, but I guess if he/she asks you need to have a response ready. In similar situations I almost always take the honest approach: "Sorry, I think that stuff is crap and no I don't want to discuss it." Or with a little more tact if your relationship isn't strong enough: "ehh, that stuff didn't really mesh with what I know of science. I'm not really interested in reading more of it." I'm not real big on tact though. And playing dumb can be entertaining and useful, but it can backfire. Gotta be careful with it.

beskeptical
2003-Oct-02, 05:28 AM
You have some good advice here. I'm not sure if I can add much.

If it were me, I'd have to decide first how much energy I wanted to expend on the issue.

If I had no energy and no interest in chipping away at the YEC's delusions, then Jigsaw has the best advice. I have always thought saying something was 'interesting' was the way out of having nothing good to say.

If I had a little energy, and I thought the YEC had a tiny bit of rational thought in his head somewhere, I'd set a very low goal of instilling doubt or giving him something to think about. I'd ask him a question.

"Why is it that you think the majority of very educated and some very religious scientists think YEC is full of bad science and faulty logic?" "What would cause them to reject YEC science if it had merritt?"

Questions are hard to view as confrontations.

Tim Thompson
2003-Oct-02, 07:06 PM
What would you folks do?

Well, personally I would be inclined to tell the man he was an idiot. Another good ploy is to tell him you were so impressed by the obvious evidence for divine intervention, that you high-tailed it down to the local Synagogue and converted to Judaism, which after all, is the well spring from which Christianity arose (if he is a fundamentalist Christian, I think it's safer to 'fess up to Judaism than to tell him you became Roman Catholic). That should get a rise out of him.

But, of course, what we might do, and what you might do are two really different things. Personally, I'm a fan of the notion that honesty is the best policy. Tell him you don't believe it. Let your son tell him he doesn't believe it either (I assume he doesn't). Let Hubby tell him the same thing. As long as the creationist guy isn't his boss, what's the difference to the workplace if you & yours choose not to believe everything that he & his believe?

And above all, I agree 1000% with the idea of sending him here. We'll either teach him to mend his ways, or drive him nuts, either of which seems like a reasonable outcome.

Or just send him here and forget about it:

The Collected Works of Tim Thompson (http://www.tim-thompson.com/faqs.html) - The index to my own collection of webpages, many of them being in the anit-creationism vein, and most are relevant to the astrophysics & geophysics of creationism.
The Age of the Earth FAQs (http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-youngearth.html) - A section of the Talk.Origins Archive, specifically targeted towards YEC claims, including the sun & other extraterrestrial subjects.
An Index to Creationist Claims (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html) - Just added to the Talk.Origins Archive, an extensive index to creationist claims & refutations (and a still growing work in progress), in all areas, even including philosophy & theology.

gethen
2003-Oct-02, 08:39 PM
Like I said, lots of good ideas here. I most certainly will direct him to this website if he's unwilling to let the matter drop. But I really can't imagine that even arguing with the very capable folks here would change his mind a bit. You know the type, always "wins" every argument by saying "Because it says that in the Bible and I believe the Bible is the revealed word of God."
I will let you know how this works out if it goes any further.

mr. show
2003-Oct-02, 09:15 PM
but if we all thought the same, would message boards be any fun?

/got nothin

Mig
2003-Oct-02, 10:17 PM
The guy is obviously proselytizing. That is not usually very considerate among aquaintances, but, it happens everywhere we go... nothin' we can do about it. These circumstances can often be dealt with by polite dimissal. However, adherants to any set of ideas can be pretty persistant-- for good or ill. So my advice would be to attempt the ever so polite blow-off, any person who persists beyond that should be prepared for a much more firm, and potentially unpleasant, response.

Betenoire
2003-Oct-03, 02:08 PM
I like the idea of having your husband say "It was interesting" and leaving it at that.
I'd suggest passing it on to your son. He's welcome to say, "Why the hell are you doing that?" but if the man asks if you did, you can say, "Yes," instead of having to explain why you didn't.

Good luck. And keep us updated.

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-04, 03:08 AM
Sorry, Gethen, I call everybody "honey". You wanna join the Make Jigsaw Quit Calling Everybody Honey Lynch Mob, take a number and get in line. ;)

Mig
2003-Oct-04, 05:00 AM
Jigsaw wrote:


Sorry, Gethen, I call everybody "honey". You wanna join the Make Jigsaw Quit Calling Everybody Honey Lynch Mob, take a number and get in line.

Hey, I wanna join, I wanna join. It just sounds kinda fun...

Uh, do we have to meet on weekends, because, weekends aren't very good for me.

gethen
2003-Oct-04, 01:05 PM
Sorry, Gethen, I call everybody "honey". You wanna join the Make Jigsaw Quit Calling Everybody Honey Lynch Mob, take a number and get in line. ;)

Got my number, waiting in line, although I do think lynching is a bit extreme.
Incidentally, or maybe back OT, your advice about saying the creationist stuff was "interesting" seems to have worked so far. I did also tell him I was a little surprized that he'd give the stuff to us, remembering that we'd agreed about not discussing religion way back when. He looked a little sheepish and mumbled something about his wife. Who knows? At least if it goes further it will have to come from her, and then it's no longer protected by workplace etiquette and I'll feel I can be much more blunt.

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-04, 01:12 PM
It's a lynch mob, Mig, honey, they don't have "meetings" [explains with great patience], just whenever they're ready, they find the rope and get the party started. If it's on a weekend, that's just your bad luck, I guess.

If you do come, you could bring some cupcakes, would be nice...

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-04, 01:16 PM
He looked a little sheepish and mumbled something about his wife
Oh, excellent outcome. =D> "Embarrassment" works better than anything else at derailing the "shove the pamphlet under their nose" brigade. I predict you've probably heard the last of it.

gethen
2003-Oct-04, 01:23 PM
It's a lynch mob, Mig, honey, they don't have "meetings" ...
If you do come, you could bring some cupcakes, would be nice...

Kind of "Let them eat cake" eh?
What is the proper menu for a lynching? Somehow tea and cupcakes don't seem quite right. Beer and burgers? A nice buffet?

Donnie B.
2003-Oct-05, 12:25 AM
It's a lynch mob, Mig, honey, they don't have "meetings" ...
If you do come, you could bring some cupcakes, would be nice...

Kind of "Let them eat cake" eh?
What is the proper menu for a lynching? Somehow tea and cupcakes don't seem quite right. Beer and burgers? A nice buffet?
Mob psychosis is the only prerequisite.

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-05, 01:57 AM
Three words:

Bar.
B.
Q.

NASA Fan
2003-Oct-05, 02:40 AM
Question asked out of ignorance...what does YEC stand for?

russ_watters
2003-Oct-05, 05:10 AM
Question asked out of ignorance...what does YEC stand for?Young-Earth Creationist. Ie, according to the bible, the earth (and universe) is only 4000 years old.

NASA Fan
2003-Oct-05, 05:27 AM
Thanks. I was trying to come up with answers myself. I figured that the "c" was either Christian or creationism, but I could not come up with what the other letters were. Thanks again.

Only 4000 years? that just seems to young. How do they explain things that are proven by carbon dating to be older?

Next question of ignorance. Haven't we found human remains that prove that humans have been around longer than that? I know that before modern man, there were un-modern man (can't remember the proper name), but how long ago were they around? I seem to have very vauge memories of that being more than 4000 years.

If these people were around more than 4000 years ago, and the earth is only 4000 years old, where did they live? Planet X?

OK, I am babeling to much, I better go to sleep.

Musashi
2003-Oct-05, 07:35 AM
Yeah, it was a little more than 4000 years, but how do you prove this? Carbon dating? OK, I get it, but a YEC would say that carbon dating is bogus. Basically, a YEC is going to say that any science you use is bogus, it is their only real strategy for arguing.

kilopi
2003-Oct-05, 01:09 PM
Question asked out of ignorance...what does YEC stand for?Young-Earth Creationist. Ie, according to the bible, the earth (and universe) is only 4000 years old.
I believe it's more like 6000 years.

I mean...let me rephrase that...

Don't they believe it's more like 6000 years? 4000 BC, in other words.

gethen
2003-Oct-05, 02:12 PM
...I believe it's more like 6000 years.

I mean...let me rephrase that...

Don't they believe it's more like 6000 years? 4000 BC, in other words.

Had me worried there for a moment.
Yes, my YEC aquaintance says the earth is 6000 years old. I'm not sure whether he buys into Bishop Usher's more detailed timeframe. (http://www.jimloy.com/math/accuracy.htm):roll:

Bawheid
2003-Oct-06, 11:56 AM
I'm really, really, really glad I got here after NASA Fan asked the YEC question.

Does anyone else deploy the "Have you read the Bible (pause) or only in translation" question? Or do YECs think it has always been in English? Nothing to do with astronomy but an old History trick.

Jigsaw
2003-Oct-06, 12:54 PM
YECs generally feel that the only true, accurate, and worthy Bible is the King James Version. And they aren't much interested in reading it in the original Greek or Hebrew because nothing really changes for them that way--even in Hebrew, the gist of Genesis is still, "God created the world in six days", and the story about the sun standing still for half a day is still the story about the sun standing still for half a day. So, they figure, why bother?

Betenoire
2003-Oct-06, 01:11 PM
I've heard the KJV described as "A divinely-inspired translation." Interestingly enough, it was translated by committee (I think some twenty plus government counselors worked on it). I've never seen anything divine about committees :-D

The claims re: carbon dating are that the rate of decay has changed substantially over the last six thousand years. Why do they assert this? Well, you weren't around five thousand years to measure the rate of decay then, were you?

Bawheid
2003-Oct-06, 01:21 PM
Good to know Scots are to blame for it all, since the King, and I think, the translators were all from this fair land. #-o

I meant more the bits that get missed out, the compromises in the KJ version, the decisions of the various Councils of Nicea as to what went in, the various Medieval forgeries, and the information allegedly suppressed by the Vatican that came from the Dead Sea Scrolls. (The Fifth Apostle "Jesus is selling us out, Thomas is our leader").

The specifics are mostly the same all the way through but in the UK these guys argue semantics and very narrow definitions which are the things that get lost easily.

The only example I can think of from astronomy is the canals of Mars which I understand is a mis-translation of the Italian term "canali" which simply means channel and implies nothing of how they were created. No doubt someone will put me right.

Ach, Hell mend the lot of them, as we say in Scotland. :D

(Edited for spelling) :oops:

gethen
2003-Oct-06, 02:20 PM
Interestingly, I actually asked another YEC this exact question, "Don't you worry about errors in translation of the Bible, because I've studied languages enough to know that there is often no direct translation of a certain word or phrase, and the translation is often just a matter of style or opinion." His response was that he had complete faith in the "integrity of the word of God." You can't argue with that, I guess, because it's meaningless.

aurora
2003-Oct-06, 02:34 PM
Only 4000 years? that just seems to young. How do they explain things that are proven by carbon dating to be older?


There are dozens of dating techniques, for age of rocks Carbon dating is probably the least useful.

But to answer your question, they pretty much dismiss all science, while using computers to write their messages.

If they are confronted with something incontrovertable (like the 200,000 annual layers of ice in Greenland and Antartica) they either ignore it and make up a lie, or say that the G man "created the earth old" (this last one actually was a serious argument one or two hundred years ago, but was pretty much dismissed by pretty much everyone except YEC's). Same thing when we see light that took millions or billions of years to reach us (like from, say, a galaxy).

Bawheid
2003-Oct-06, 02:37 PM
Meaningless or ********. The KJV is at best a translation of a translation, and should be treated as such.

Tangentially, I seem to subconciously apply the "Young" to "Creationists" rather than "Earth" and turn them into an organisation similar to the Young Pioneers of the Communist East. :roll:

tjm220
2003-Oct-07, 03:45 PM
It's a lynch mob, Mig, honey, they don't have "meetings" ...
If you do come, you could bring some cupcakes, would be nice...

Kind of "Let them eat cake" eh?
What is the proper menu for a lynching? Somehow tea and cupcakes don't seem quite right. Beer and burgers? A nice buffet?

I recommend the buffet after the lynching otherwise everybody will be too lethargic. :D

Bawheid
2003-Oct-07, 04:01 PM
It's a lynch mob, Mig, honey, they don't have "meetings" ...
If you do come, you could bring some cupcakes, would be nice...

Kind of "Let them eat cake" eh?
What is the proper menu for a lynching? Somehow tea and cupcakes don't seem quite right. Beer and burgers? A nice buffet?

I recommend the buffet after the lynching otherwise everybody will be too lethargic. :D

Maybe the invitations should make it clear that in addition to a pitchfork or similar, everyone brings something to suit themselves, then the vegetarians etc will know they can work up an appetite. :-k

Stuart
2003-Oct-07, 04:26 PM
Kind of "Let them eat cake" eh?
What is the proper menu for a lynching? Somehow tea and cupcakes don't seem quite right. Beer and burgers? A nice buffet?

I recommend the buffet after the lynching otherwise everybody will be too lethargic.

I would always stand by serving the buffet during the lynching. Barbequed wild pig is much to be recommended (Split the pig down the belly and spreadeagle on the barbeque pit and baste with sage and rosemary-infused olive oil. That way the skin gets nice and crunchy. The best accompaniment is the simplest, good, fresh-baked bread still hot from the oven (warmed half-baked rolls are just not good enough) . There's something about fresh bread that just goes perfectly with the pork.

Salads should be served first; egg-and potato is good so is macaroni. Coleslaw should be avoided; it gives the pork an unpleasant aftertaste.

tjm220
2003-Oct-07, 04:41 PM
The menu sounds wonderful, I just thought after would be better so people wouldn't eat so much that they could hardly move. Maybe my experience with buffets is unique? :oops:

russ_watters
2003-Oct-07, 07:00 PM
I've heard the KJV described as "A divinely-inspired translation." That's convenient.
Don't they believe it's more like 6000 years? 4000 BC, in other words. Yeah, you guys are right. My bad. In any case, its still a few orders of magnitude off.

Hypatia
2003-Oct-08, 02:52 PM
Don't they believe it's more like 6000 years? 4000 BC, in other words. Yeah, you guys are right. My bad. In any case, its still a few orders of magnitude off.

There are also OEC's - Old Earth Creationists, who believe that that world was created by God but many millions/billions of years ago. The consider that a Biblical "day" before there was actual day & night could have been eons long. They don't get along too well with YEC's.

Several years ago I read a book, written by one of the CSI founders, who claimed that the measures of dissolved elements in seawater 'proved' that the Earth was young. The time required to dissolve the current levels of gold, uranium, calcium, iron, etc varied from 200 years to 20, 000 years. The scientific rebuttal was that these times had not factored in that elements also precipitate out of seawater. Calcium & carbon bond & settle as calcium carbonate (chalk) and are consumed by sea creatures (clam use it to build shells and polyps to build reefs).
However, the most glaring "fact" was that none of their times came out to 6,000 years, either! DUHH!

When the newer breed of YEC's start trying to put science into their theories, they have to 'stretch' 6,000 years into a very unBiblical, unliteral 10 - 15,000 years.

P.S. CSI - Creation Research Institute (not Crime Scene Investigation!)

kilopi
2003-Oct-08, 02:57 PM
P.S. CSI - Creation Research Institute (not Crime Scene Investigation!)
CSI? Were you thinking of Creation Science Institute?

Is there a difference between Creation Research Institute and the Institute for Creation Research?

Bawheid
2003-Oct-08, 03:20 PM
If there are Old Earth Creationists and Young EarthCreationists are there
Middle Earth Creationists?

I have to start reading some of this stuff, I'm getting bored with pyramids and alien landings. :D

gethen
2003-Oct-08, 03:41 PM
If there are Old Earth Creationists and Young EarthCreationists are there Middle Earth Creationists?
:D

:) I think I'd enjoy reading that stuff much more than the YEC stuff.

TriangleMan
2003-Oct-08, 03:58 PM
If there are Old Earth Creationists and Young EarthCreationists are there
Middle Earth Creationists?

There were at one point but they left us and sailed west. :D

OscartheGrouch
2003-Oct-08, 04:20 PM
About the translation issue, no I don't speak/read/write/understand Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, but there are people who do, and can more or less express what they read in English.

The King Jimmy will never go away and the English-speaking world owes an incalculable debt to it. However, it's pushing 400 years old and the language has changed since then. That's why there are dozens if not hundreds of other English translations. Other versions like The Living Bible are not translations and don't claim to be; they are only close paraphrases and must be read with caution, if at all.

Probably the most popular translation today is the New International Version, and here is what its preface says about its origins: "The translation of each book was assigned to a team of scholars [who came from five different countries and many denominations]. Next, one of the Intermediate Editorial Committees revised the initial translation, with constant reference to the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Their work then went to one of the General Editorial Committees, which checked it in detail and made another thorough revision. This revision in turn was carefully reviewed by the Committee on Bible Translation, which made further changes and then released the final version for publication. In this way the entire Bible underwent three revisions, during each of which the translation was examined for its faithfulness to the original languages and for its English style. All this involved many thousands of hours of research and discussion regarding the meaning of the texts and the precise way of putting them into English. It may well be that no other translation has been made by a more thorough process of review and revision from committee to committee than this one." Sounds all right to me. Like other modern translations, the NIV footnotes passages whose meaning or authenticity are not certain, but none affects central doctrines.

The NIV has been for years the version quoted in "official" Southern Baptist material, and is the one you find in the pew racks next to the hymnals, but just last month in Sunday school the new study book started using another translation, whose title escapes me, that is supposed to be even better. It seems to me there's no material difference.

If you don't like the NIV (there is a more Anglicized edition available), try the New American Standard, the Revised Standard (what the Methodist Church used to give out when I went there long ago), the New King James, the Phillips, or any other. Evangelical/fundie scholars disfavor some of them as "too liberal" but all I have read do not seem all that different in meaning, just in style. I stick with the NIV because supposedly it's written on a 12-year-old literacy level, which is about my speed. I also don't think we should be using the KJV because the language has changed and also because, as I understand, better manuscripts have been found since then.

Here (http://www.victorious.org/translat.htm) is a summary of why and how so many English translations are floating around.

In short (although it's too late), there are many valid criticisms of Christianity in general and Biblical literalism/inerrancy in particular, but bad translation is IMO not one of them. We do not all have to go learn Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic in order to understand the Bible.

However, no new translation helps the YEC cause a bit. In Genesis 1, the NIV might say "expanse" instead of "firmament" (I still have no idea what a "firmament" is) and set out the details of the creation story more clearly, but still it isn't a science text and does not affect my opinion that it should not be taken as any evidence, even to a believer, that the earth is young and that evolution couldn't have happened in a theistic universe. I used to adhere to YECism until checking out some of their claims, and though I'm still not personally satisfied that all of life on Earth can be accounted for without intelligent intervention, that is probably only a matter of time and more research.

Middle Earth Creationists? Ohhh, GOOD one!! Just for myself, I am a huge fan of JRRT, and most Christians, except the ones who can't distinguish literary devices from holes in the ground and therefore don't like any story that invokes wizardry and such, will easily see the many Christian parallels in LOTR.

Oh yeah, any updates on the situation gethen? If the YEC advocate gives you any more static, you can direct him my way and I'll be glad to see if I can take some of the heat off.

Bawheid
2003-Oct-08, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the info Oscar, it seems the NIV is better researched than most used over here. As they went back to the original sources and didn't just rehash the version before it it should cut out most of the Medieval alterations. Though as they say "the Devil is in the detail".

I may pay too much attention to these things, being a Medieval historian by training and a lawyer by trade. I know the EU has five official languages that everything is produced in and they keep finding differences in the various treaties depending on which languauge you read.

gethen
2003-Oct-08, 07:39 PM
Nope, no further action on the YEC scene. I think it's over. I hope it's over.
As far as the Middle Earth Creationists, I don't know about parallels with Christianity, but I would certainly call The Silmarillion another version of the creation myth, just like Genesis and other more modern (at least from this age) creation stories. I don't want to offend anyone, but the main difference, IMO, is tht Tolkien knew it was a myth.

Musashi
2003-Oct-08, 07:41 PM
I was going to say the Silmarillion! Interesting read for anyone who likes Tolkien.

kilopi
2003-Oct-08, 07:42 PM
I don't want to offend anyone, but the main difference, IMO, is tht Tolkien knew it was a myth.
And he didn't know the other was a myth, is that it? :)

gethen
2003-Oct-08, 07:52 PM
I don't want to offend anyone, but the main difference, IMO, is tht Tolkien knew it was a myth.
And he didn't know the other was a myth, is that it? :)

I can't speak for Tolkien, but his good friend, C.S. Lewis did dedicate The Screwtape Letters (http://www.biblestudyinfo.com/screwtape/index.shtml) to Tolkien. So I have to guess that maybe your assumption has some validity.

kilopi
2003-Oct-08, 07:57 PM
No, I meant, is that the difference?

gethen
2003-Oct-08, 08:00 PM
No, I meant, is that the difference?

Well, yeah, I guess it is, except that I was maybe going for something a little different--that everybody (I hope) knows The Silmarillion is myth, but many believe that other creation stories are fact. I didn't mean to pick on Tolkien's beliefs in particular.

OscartheGrouch
2003-Oct-08, 08:39 PM
Good to hear that things are quieter, gethen. I've never read The Silmarillion all the way through but have looked up the origins of Balrogs and such to find out what Gandalf meant by: "... the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not, for they are older than he." I also marked Glorfindel's (?) observation at the Council of Elrond: "I fear to take the Ring to hide it. I will not take the Ring to wield it. For nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so." Or something like that. CSL's work is marvelous, and I still consider the Narnia books the best-written fiction I've ever read. However, since he wasn't as marinated in mythology and languages as Tolkien was, Middle-earth remains the superior universe. Yeah, both of them could tell the difference between creation myth and fact! CSL wrote a very good essay on why complete fantasy fiction is less "dangerous" than reality-based fiction, in that we all really know we can't make the complete fantasy world come true, but we might be keenly disappointed that our lives don't measure up to conventional fiction.

You're quite welcome, Bawheid. I'm a lawyer also, and I have learned both the hard and easy ways to look at details of cases to find either more efficient solutions, or a solution where none seemed possible, or maybe some way to ease the insoluble ones. Detailed facts are also indispensable when trying to invoke or distinguish precedent, and to help my nonlawyer friends understand why, say, a Supreme Court case applies or doesn't apply to a situation. However, my clients seem capable of getting themselves into far more trouble than even I can get them out of. As I'm always having to say, I'm only a miracle worker not a magician; plan accordingly.

Wow! A real medieval historian! My history lasts only from about 1939-45. What I know about medieval history is mostly from "edutainment" on TV so I am sure I'm deficient. I don't know if you get to see the wonderful little show Conquest (http://www.historychannel.com/global/listings/series_showcase.jsp?EGrpType=Series&Id=230459&Netw Code=THC) that we have on the History Channel; it often features medieval weapons and tactics.

gethen
2003-Oct-09, 03:13 AM
Glorfindel! Yes, he was at the Council Of Elrond, but he, or an elf of the same name is described in the Silmarillion as having "fallen" while battling a balrog. I really was disappointed that he didn't show in the movie version, but that Arwen was the elf at the ford.
Last year I read Heaney's translation of Beowulf and was surprized to read in the preface that the first modern translation of the book that really made it back into something other than an exercise in old English was done by none other than J.R.R. Tolkien. It's obvious he was well prepared to write his own creation myth.
p.s. The Silmarillion starts slow, but if you stick with it, it's full of wonderful stories.

nokton
2003-Oct-10, 06:20 PM
Interestingly, I actually asked another YEC this exact question, "Don't you worry about errors in translation of the Bible, because I've studied languages enough to know that there is often no direct translation of a certain word or phrase, and the translation is often just a matter of style or opinion." His response was that he had complete faith in the "integrity of the word of God." You can't argue with that, I guess, because it's meaningless..
Gethen,ask your YEC,if he is has so much faith in the integrity of God,
Why did Christ His Son,reply to the the question his beloved disciple
asked about the second coming,saying,'it will be within the life time of
the present generation'.St Paul took it to heart,thats why priests are
celebate.He told his followers,there is no time for marriage,the second coming is soon,it's all in the Bible,if one but reads

tjm220
2003-Oct-10, 06:28 PM
Interestingly, I actually asked another YEC this exact question, "Don't you worry about errors in translation of the Bible, because I've studied languages enough to know that there is often no direct translation of a certain word or phrase, and the translation is often just a matter of style or opinion." His response was that he had complete faith in the "integrity of the word of God." You can't argue with that, I guess, because it's meaningless..
Gethen,ask your YEC,if he is has so much faith in the integrity of God,
Why did Christ His Son,reply to the the question his beloved disciple
asked about the second coming,saying,'it will be within the life time of
the present generation'.St Paul took it to heart,thats why priests are
celebate.He told his followers,there is no time for marriage,the second coming is soon,it's all in the Bible,if one but reads

Possible mistranslation or incorrect interpretation, especially since we are many generations removed? A little off topic anyway.

nokton
2003-Oct-10, 07:03 PM
If mistranslation or false interpretation is involved in reading the Bible,
where does that leave the believer?Or the truth of what the reader is
reading.Far from being off the point,feel am answering a serious post
by gethen