Posted by Nick Matzke on April 10, 2007 02:04 PM
John Mark Reynolds has put up the second part of an essay he is writing on the topic of how young-earth creationists like himself can rationalize sacrificing their scientific honesty on the altar of Biblical inerrancy. Here was my post on part 1.
Here’s a really stunning bit:
Christianity has a general view of the world that accounts for why science works … it allows the cosmos to be a cosmos (ordered) in a deep sense. Secularism lacks the same strength.
Keep in mind that not just any young-earth creationist wrote that, instead it was written by a young-earther who has acknowledged in print that he knows the scientific evidence is massively against a young earth and global flood. How can someone who tosses aside hard data so casually – data accepted by both “secularists” and non-fundamentalist Christians – dare to say that his religious beliefs better support science? Just where does he get off? Why should anyone take him seriously as anything but a reality-denying whacko?
Based on having seen some of his talks and papers, I know Reynolds is a perfectly nice guy, and in general he is rational enough to blend in without scaring people at the supermarket. That’s what makes Reynolds (and other YECs like him, e.g. Paul Nelson and Kurt Wise) so incredibly frustrating. Deep down, they know they’re wrong, and that a literal interpretation of Genesis is hopeless, but they won’t abandon YEC, because of their extremely rigid theology. This is ridiculous enough, but then they have the unbelievable arrogance to get on their high horses and lecture scientists about valuing truth over preconceptions, keeping an open mind, having an “open philosophy of science”, respecting data, and the rest. Gimme a break.
Once we get over sputtering at the spectacle of creationists banging their heads against walls of their own making, we can look at the bright side: these guys are part of the ID movement and the “critical analysis of evolution” movement. Their touch is political and constitutional death in terms of getting the antievolutionists’ junk science taken seriously in the public schools, and is academic death in terms of getting it taken seriously in the universities. They have made it absolutely clear that, for them, it’s all about fundamentalist religion, rather than scientific honesty, and that no amount of scientific data will have an impact on them, if it contradicts their reading of the Bible. All the ID guys can do is attempt to hide them away when convenient, which of course is hopeless if anyone is paying attention at other times.