|...and one very big reason why it never happened.|
I thought I would promote this article, Twenty One Reasons Noah's World Wide Flood Never Happened by Christian geologist Lorence G Collins. If it should go offline I also have a copy here. It even got a recommendation from evangelical atheist PZ Myers who said:
A geologist gives 21 evidence-based reasons why Noah’s Flood never happened. It’s nice, short, succinct, and clear, and is going to be useful in future discussions about creationism. It’s also all really obvious — we have a few hundred years of observations by geologists, who were mostly Christian, that made it irrefutable that, in the most charitable interpretation, the book of Genesis was a metaphorical fable.
Also enthusiatic is the friendly atheist: see here:
Professor Collins has succeeded in building a bridge to the atheist community by having his article published in the Skeptical Inquirer. He has also published some very useful material here:
Near the beginning of his article Prof Collins says this:
I realize that readers of Skeptical Inquirer accept modern scientific views on this subject, but this examination of the creationist claims might be useful when communicating with others less imbued with scientific thinking
Well yes, we know all about the "less imbued with scientific thinking" on this blog.
In response to Prof Collins' work my text-book fundamentalist, Ken Ham, provides us with yet another essay on how the fundamentalist mind responds to this kind of bridge building. Needless to say Ken is foaming at mouth with righteous indignation and issues the standard spiritually threatening missive which presumably would have some God-fearing folk quaking in their boots. Read Ken's outburst calling down hell and hamnation here:
I'll follow my usual practice of quoting Ken's post and interleaving my comments
Apparently Dr. Collins must think that if someone disagrees with the naturalistic model that rejects God’s Word and is an interpretation imposed on the evidence, the person is “less imbued with scientific thinking” than those who do accept this framework.
MY COMMENT: Change "God's Word" here to "Ken's Word"; Ken believes in the divine authority of his opinions - after all he thinks he can simply extract those opinions from the Bible with little or no interpretative and epistemic responsibility, as all fundamentalist think they can. For the old "naturalistic" vs "supernaturalistic" dualism see here. If the thinking of fundamentalists like Danny Faulkner and John Sarfati has become so imbued by fundamentalist anti-science strictures, in spite of their scientific training, you can rest assured so too will be the thinking of the fundamentalist rank-and-file.
Many creationists love science, of course, and are quite knowledgeable. Indeed, many hold degrees—even PhDs—in their field, including several who work here, such as Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson who holds a PhD from Harvard; Dr. Andrew Snelling who earned a PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia; Dr. Georgia Purdom who holds a PhD from The Ohio State University; Dr. Tommy Mitchell with an MD from Vanderbilt; Dr. David Menton with a PhD in biology from Brown University; and Dr. Danny Faulkner who received a PhD from Indiana University. To round out this group, we also have a historian of science, Dr. Terry Mortenson with a PhD from Coventry University.
MY COMMENT: Fundamentalists do not "love science" - they only love the kind of destructive take down of science and rationality that we see among the John Sarfati's and Jason Lisle's of this world; they don't want to do positive science but only negative science - ergo, they are anti-science. I note that the same familiar old names crop up in Ken's list of PhD's; evidently scientifically trained fundamentalists are in short supply. In comparison I'm always coming across new names from the Christian academic establishment; in fact Prof Collins is new name to me and I'm very pleased to hear it.
Now, we’re used to hearing false claims like that. What made me sad was that Dr. Collins was specifically writing this article to give Skeptical Inquirer magazine readers counter-arguments to use against Christians. And who are the readers of this magazine? Most are skeptics and atheists! A professing believer (who claims on his website that he has “sought to bring people to Christ”) is trying to equip unbelievers to tear down the faith of believers! Ultimately, he is helping atheists attack God’s Word and the Christian faith. I would not want to be in his shoes standing before our holy God—he will give an account one day!
MY COMMENT: Collins claim is utterly true; Fundamentalists are in general less scientifically savvy especially those like Ken Ham who are swayed less by scientific argumentation than they are by the letters after the names of his small minority of tame scholars whose chief "scholarly" activity is anti-science. Notice the spiritually threatening language in the last two sentences. So imbued with a belief in the divine authority of his opinions we find Ken threatening a Christian bridge builder with divine displeasure, perhaps even a threat of hell. This is very reminiscent of the incident recorded in my VNP blog here, here and here where a Christian bridge builder, Bishop Harrison, was condemned by Ken and I too was then attacked by Ken for condemning his attack!
As believers, we are commanded to tear down arguments that are against the knowledge of Christ and make our thoughts obedient to him (2 Corinthians 10:5). Dr. Collins certainly isn’t doing that when it comes to origins. Instead, he’s taking man’s ideas and reinterpreting God’s Word in light of them. No longer is God the authority—instead Dr. Collins has made evolution-believing scientists and their interpretation of the evidence (and thus, even himself) the authority.
MY COMMENT: Here Ken effectively affirms the divine authority of his opinions. According to Ken, Prof Collins is merely opining "man's ideas" whereas Ken, of course, believes his opinions to be God's very word. Yes Prof Collins' ideas are man's ideas but then so are Ken Ham's ideas; the difference is that Ken has an inflated opinion of his authority. Ken fails to see the symmetry: Ken sees himself as "interpreting God's Word" and Prof Collins as "reinterpreting it" rather than seeing two people before God, one a fundamentalist and the other a free-thinking Christian, coming up with two very different interpretations.
Ken Ham puts me off Christianity so completely that I can't imagine how atheists feel! Moreover, vicious fundamentalist infighting is another turn-off. It's a good thing that there are a lot of Christian academics out there like Prof Collins, a lot more than Ken's small band of tame fundamentalist anti-scholars, otherwise I might have given up the faith.