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January 05, 2012

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Michael,

First of all thank you for your posts, I always get great enjoyment out of reading and following your blog. Secondly, I think that this is a very interesting argument as a Christian and as a Geophysicist (I will defend my Master's thesis at the end of this month). What I would be interested in hearing about from you is where do your "initial assumptions" stem from and how important do you feel it is to constantly examine them?

I as a Christian believe that the Bible is a source of truth. This stems from my belief in the incredible beauty that I see in the earth and on the unbelievability, in my opinion, of it being caused by randomness. However, I do not make some of the same assumptions about the bible that Dr. Snelling does (see Section 4 at http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith) and I also find trouble with his use of assumptions to build support for fact (see his assumption about the age of the earth, etc.). I feel like he is using his perceptions and interpretations in order to skew his view of reality and force incorrect conclusions. Yet, as a scientist this is a constant struggle for me also, and I can relate to what I see as his error for I know that I do the very same thing.

Thanks again for the blog.

Very Respectfully,
Justin O'Shay

Justin,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to write this thoughtful comment - and thanks for your kind words about this blog.

Second, let me make it clear that I respect your perspective and beliefs - and your right to hold them. Similarly, I would never dispute Mr. Morgan's right to believe what he does. But what I do dispute (and which led to what is, I admit, an atypically emotional post) is the portrayal of Mr. Morgan's views as news, as science, and as credible; the whole piece is so riddled with fiction that it detracts from the possibility of any kind of intellectually responsible discussion.

Personally, I see the diminishing respect for objectivity and truth, whether it be in the media or in politics, and regardless of country, as not only disturbing, but a threat to a rational and informed society. And the kind of lazy and subjective reporting that this piece represents is irresponsible and utterly disdainful of its readers. Mr. Morgan is entitled to his views, but he is not entitled to completely ignore other evidence and reasoning while being given a public platform from which to broadcast those views as fact. Your point about assumptions, perceptions, interpretations, and the skewing of reality, is right on.

And it's interesting, Justin, that you and I share the same view of the stunning beauty of our planet and yet the paths that that view takes us down diverge. For me, that beauty is, in itself, more than sufficient, and, if anything, its origins in "randomness" only make it more wondrous. But, at the end of the day, we are both scientists, and yes, the constant struggle to question, to clarify. to test - and, if necessary, to reject - is a vital and intrinsic part of being a scientist. This process has got us to where we are today with "conventional Old Earth geology," and it works.

It doesn't just work, but it works extremely well - not only in explaining what we see but in pointing us in the direction of all the fascinating things we still need to address. The origin of the Navajo Sandstone is not, however, one of these - as I am sure you would agree.

Thanks again.

There is a pretty big disconnect with geological reality involved whenever Young Earth Creationists cherry-pick any rock formation and attempt to link it to a biblical account. Thus they challenge the basic reality of lithification, which takes longer than 6 thousand years.

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