Re: Cliff Peterson v. "Goliath of GRAS"
- WARNING: Very long post ahead. I've tried to make it interesting,
but unfortunately what I think is the best stuff is way on down
toward the end.
> Rick Hartzog:You are welcome. I had hoped for the same from you in return,
> Thank you for your intelligent and mature response.
but as I read down through your post last night I realized I
had been overly optimistic. It was very late and it had been
a long day, so I thought I would just let it slide, but the
farther I got into it the more I realized a reply was in order,
just to let you know I'm on to you.
> While I appreciate that you opened with compliments, quiteThis isn't about who else, this is about you. When you first
> frankly it doesn't matter to me who else does what, what they
> claim or how far they get in apologetics.
posted here I saw that you were very confused about logic, as
most newcomers are, and I offered you encouragement. I said,
"Logic isn't a trick; it's a very useful tool, handy for
debates but even more useful for examining your own reasoning."
I now see that you are not interested in logic itself, or in
making application of it to your own reasoning; you only want
to *appear* that you know logic and think you can get away with
misusing logical terms and nobody will know the difference.
Sorry. When I said logic isn't a trick you should have paid
attention to that.
> I only concern myself with being honest and reading people'sI'm afraid in this case your response does not indicate that
> words in a natural and straight forward manner and responding
> in kind.
you really mean that.
Let me illustrate:
> > "Do you really agree that no evidence can be valid if itAnd you replied:
> > contradicts your interpretation of Scripture?"
> First, I made the mistake, for ease of response, of committingOK. In the first place, your use of "reification" is misguided.
> the logical fallacy of reification.
> For that I apologize.
> Evidence doesn't agree or disagree with anything.
> It simply exists.
> Conclusions agree or disagree.
> Thus, the proper way to rewrite that statement is as follows.
> "No evidentiary conclusion can be valid if it contradicts your
> interpretation of Scripture."
> With that in mind; in response to your question
> -- Yes.
Evidence is concrete and observable. In science, an interpretation
of evidence that has "predictive validity" is also concrete and
observable. For example, if I look out and see frost on my
windshield (evidence) I can interpret that evidence to predict
that it's cold outside. Whether my prediction is true or false
is immaterial -- I have made a prediction based on interpretation
of an observation and can test my prediction by stepping outside.
There is no reification going on in this anywhere.
So enough of that. Let's get to the second place:
You say no interpretation of evidence can be valid if it
contradicts your interpretation of Scripture.
But then you say:
> You're making two mistakes.How can you possibly arrive at "proper" interpretation if there
> First, I'm not concerned with my "interpretation."
> My sole concern is proper interpretation.
can be no valid interpretation of evidence that contradicts *your*
interpretation of Scripture?
> I have changed many beliefs through the course of timeSo according to what you've just said above, this "transformation"
> and in the past 5 or so years; I have gone through a major
> paradigmatic transformation in my understanding of Scripture.
to *your present interpretation* of Scripture was just arbitrary and
willy-nilly, and not the result of any evidence that contradicted
*your former interpretation* of Scripture.
> Second, you're assuming I'm not open to evidence proving otherwise.How can it be my assumption? I'm just taking you at your word.
You just got through saying that no interpretation of evidence
that contradicts your interpretation of Scripture can be valid.
> I'm totally open to it.And now you are saying exactly the opposite of what you just got
> To this point I've seen nothing to convince me.How can you see something that doesn't exist?
In other words -- your words: There exists no valid interpretation
of evidence that can contradict your interpretation of Scripture.
> I know that to you, this seems ridiculous.Does that mean that it seems ridiculous to you, too?
> I don't blame you.
> Everyone believes they are the only person who actuallyDo they? How do you know?
> lives in reality.
How can someone take seriously what it says in Isaiah 55:8,9 or
1 Corinthians 13:12 and think that they actually know what
> I rest everything on a natural and straight forward readingRegardless of your beliefs about the Bible, you have not
> of the Bible because I believe the Bible to be a close
> rendition to God's immutable and infallible eternal Word.
justified your reliance on what you keep calling a "natural
and straight forward" reading, and I don't think that you
can justify it without referring to extra-Biblical evidence,
and I think when you do attempt to refer to extra-Biblical
evidence you will have to misinterpret that evidence in
order to make it fit your predetermined belief.
And once you do start misinterpreting extra-Biblical evidence
you are not going to be able to retreat back to the Bible
in order to justify your misinterpretation of the evidence.
> I don't stand by just one translation.Good.
> I have a working knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek
> as well.
So let's hear your natural and straightforward interpretation
of Matthew 23:24.
> Thus, my way of articulating that statement isSo you are arguing in a circle with no way out. You can't
> "No evidentiary conclusion can be valid if it contradicts
> a natural and straight forward reading of Scripture."
appeal to the external world because it is full of
evidentiary conclusions that you can neither accept nor
> To verify a natural and straight forward reading of Scripture,Please ask your eight-year-old to interpret this verse for me:
> all one needs to do is have an 8 year old who has not been
> indoctrinated for or against religion read a section of Scripture
> and ask them to put it in their own words.
| When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood
| as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became
| a man, I put away childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
> That's the only way I know of to come by an unadulteratedYou are contradicting yourself here -- *again*. You just got
> Would I build doctrine on that?
through saying that the way to "verify a natural and straight
forward reading" was to have an eight-year-old do it.
*Are you* or *are you not* building your doctrine on a "natural and
straight forward" reading?
> But I have yet to see an adult as trustworthy as a childThen Paul erred in telling Timothy to study. He should have
> in interpreting Scripture in a natural and straight forward
told Timothy to get a child to explain it to him. And Peter
erred in saying that some of Paul's epistles are hard to
understand. He could have just told the believers to get a
child to explain Paul's letters.
> I saidYour correction doesn't change anything, Cliff. You are
> I perceive your interpretation
> of this to assert that I simply
> dismiss any and all claims contrary.
> I don't.
> Rather, I seek empirical evidence
> that leads to logical and rational
> - - And you responded:
> > "This is in contradiction to your indicated agreement with
> > the statement above that says no evidence can be valid if
> > it contradicts your interpretation of Scripture."
> Reread my correction of this statement.
simply saying that no interpretation of evidence that
contradicts a natural and straightforward reading of
Scripture is valid.
So insects have four legs and bats are birds. (Leviticus 11)
No, that's all right! No need to explain! Your "natural
and straight forward" reading says it all! What we can
clearly observe in the natural world has no bearing on
your interpretation of Scripture. I get that!
> With that in mind, yours is a false dichotomy foundedOK, first the misunderstanding of "reification" and now a
> in the deep time paradigm.
> That dichotomy is evidence vs. the Bible.
misunderstanding of "false dichotomy."
Have you ever heard of the "fallacy fallacy"? No? Well,
let me explain it to you.
In rhetorical confrontations, it is the tactic of accusing the
opposing party of committing a logical fallacy when in fact the
opposing party has committed no such fallacy.
This puts an unnecessary and unproductive burden on the opposing
party to stop in the middle of everything and explain why the
accusation is false.
In other words, it is a dishonest rhetorical strategy.
That's OK. It's not like I had anything else to do today, like
go over to the garden and pick the peas or go down below the
pond and cut some firewood for this winter. I'll just sit
right here and mollycoddle you.
This isn't a matter of evidence versus the Bible. It is a
matter of science's interpretation of the evidence (e.g., the
Earth is old) versus Cliff's interpretation of the Bible
(e.g., the Earth is young). Now, that *is* a dichotomy --
they can't both be right. But it isn't a *false* dichotomy,
it is a real live dichotomy -- the two interpretations are
mutually exclusive, UNLESS Cliff is going to opt for the
"apparent age" solution, which is an option I have already
offered him and which he has apparently rejected, preferring
instead to continue on with his claims that the dating methods
are all wrong.
Therefore, the false accusation on his part.
> Again, evidence doesn't speak or "say" anything.And now a false charge against me. I have "assumed" no such
> It must be interpreted.
> Your mistake is the assumption that evidence
> contradicts Scripture.
thing. Somehow you forget that we're not talking about
Scripture, we're talking about your *interpretation* of
Scripture. I'm not saying the Scripture is wrong, I'm saying
your interpretation of it is wrong.
Your interpretation, Cliff, is not the word of God. You keep
trying to conflate the two, but they are two different things.
And that in itself is the fallacy of equivocation.
> Your conclusions definitely contradict Scripture.If "evidence" was a reification fallacy, as you said at the
beginning of this post, then "Scripture" is a reification
fallacy. Both have to be interpreted. Don't you get that?
But no matter -- you were wrong anyway. I'm just pointing
out the inconsistency of your thinking.
But science's conclusions don't contradict *my* interpretation of
Scripture, they contradict *your* interpretation of Scripture.
I can take anything and everything science legitimately concludes
and my interpretation of Scripture can readily absorb it. You,
on the other hand, must be continually at odds with science.
But the thing is, you can offer no alternate interpretation of
the scientific evidence that will be coherent, consistent, and
comprehensive -- none. It isn't possible -- UNLESS, as I said
in the last post, God just made everything look old. But if that's
the kind of God we're dealing with, who's to say He didn't just
poof the Bible into existence 5 minutes before you were born?
> But please explain how the forensic examination of aI didn't say it was. I say it is evidence contradicting
> static environment like the fossil record is evidence
> contradicting Scripture.
*your interpretation* of Scripture, and I say again that you
are attempting to conflate your interpretation of Scripture
with Scripture itself. Cliff's word is not God's word, Cliff.
> The only thing the static record proves is that thoseHow do you know they existed? How do you know God didn't
> creatures existed.
just put them in the rocks when he made the rocks?
Two can play the presuppositional logic nonsense game!
> The rest is conclusion. I come to a different conclusionYes, your interpretive method is to ignore any evidence
> than you. That doesn't mean the evidence is proof. It only
> means your interpretive method differs from mine.
that contradicts your interpretation. Your method is
neither externally applicable nor internally consistent.
And any conclusion you want to offer about those fossils will
be falsified by the body of empirical evidence that surrounds
> We have to decide whose interpretive method is right.From your demonstration, we know whose method is *not*
right. Lack of internal consistency is a dead giveaway,
lack of external applicability makes one wonder why you
even bother. What good is an interpretation that doesn't
apply to the real world?
> I saidWell, let me put it to you this way, then: Can you
> Instead, what I find with deep
> timers is a universal acceptance
> of non-provable assumptions as
> The very foundational assumptions
> are never questioned.
> Why not?
> You asked
> > "Do you have any evidence that they should be?"
> I really don't understand this inquiry.
think of any way to falsify an axiom?
> Aren't all facets of science continually questioned?No. The physical world is what it is. We can hardly
question that and remain in the realm of rationality.
> I am inundated with people who claim that.I think you are trying too hard to not understand them.
> Are you not of the same persuasion?Yes, scientific theories are falsifiable. Scientific conclusions
> Notice that I'm not assuming you are; I'm asking so
> I know for certain.
are tentative and potentially falsifiable. But axioms are another
matter. They are self-evident without proof and yet science does not
have a way to falsify them, either.
> Why would assumptions that are considered axiomaticBecause science has no way of questioning nonsensical
> not be questioned?
statements such as "The physical world is not the physical
> How can any assumption be considered axiomatic? How couldSo says Cliff. But, Cliff, your pretense at logic is just that:
> anyone who claims to be a logician, scientist, scientific
> minded or a student of any discipline, accept an assumption
> as axiomatic? That is illogical.
pretense. You have allowed presuppositional nonsense to cloud
People were doing science for a long time before any philosophers
ever came by and asked, "Hey, what do you guys think you're doing?"
Even way back in Genesis they had metallurgy and agriculture. They
learned by trial and error. They didn't stop to think about axioms
or underlying assumptions. They just figured out that if they did
the same thing under the same conditions they would get the same
results, time after time. They tested hypotheses and refined their
methodologies, progressing from clay to ceramics, from bronze to iron,
from mud-and-stick huts to Roman arches, all without even knowing
they were operating under any axioms.
Philosopher: "Hey, what do you guys think you're doing?"
Scientists: "We're digging a canal to irrigate this field."
Philosopher: "But you're relying on unproven assumptions!"
Scientists: "So what? It still works."
> You saidYou're trying to make an issue where none exists.
> > "If, as you say above, you seek empirical evidence that
> > leads to logical and rational conclusions, to logically
> > and rationally conclude that the underlying axioms of
> > science are faulty you need empirical evidence to support
> > that conclusion."
> This is skirting the issue.
> An axiom needs no support; it's axiomatic. I speakSo what? It still works.
> of assumptions that enjoy axiomatic status. Again,
> how can any assumption ever be considered axiomatic?
> That's illogical.
> I statedThat's what I thought. You are not being sincere.
> I already asked several questions
> concerning how we know conditions
> that supposedly transpired millions
> of years ago.
> In return you asked
> > "Do you really want to know, or do you just want somebody
> > to jump through a bunch of hoops for you so that at the
> > end you can say you're still not convinced?"
> You're right: It's a rhetorical question.
> The answer is that we cannot know. I know that peopleYet you can offer no alternate explanations that will come
> who believe in deep time would post all kinds of "proof."
> It's all conjecture based on interpretation of evidence.
> It's all simply more conclusions passed off as fact and
> scientific proof.
anywhere close to the explanations we already have. And
on top of that, you can make no predictions based on whatever
paltry, untested explanations you might happen to dream up,
nor do you dare actually test those explanations.
> In reality, it's all conjecture founded on the best ofOh, I don't know. My best guess is that it is because you:
> human intellect and wisdom. I've noticed the marked
> tendency for otherwise intelligent, rational and logical
> people to throw it all out the window when it comes to
> their personal paradigm. Why?
1) don't understand logical and rational thinking,
2) don't recognize it when you see it,
3) don't have any interest in learning it, and
4) prefer instead to try to bamboozle people by misusing
terms like "reification," "false dichotomy," and "axiomatic," and
5) automatically assume that anything that conflicts with
your own paradigm is "illogical."
But that's just a guess...
> As opposed to repeating Dr. Wiens quote any more, I'llSee, you're wrong here on a number of counts.
> simply respond to one you posted.
> You said
> > "Wiens speaks of several radioisotopes that no longer exist
> > in nature because their half-lives are so short that they
> > have all decayed away to nothing."
> This is a prime example of my point.
> "half-lives are so short..."
> We cannot know the starting conditions, thus this inclusion,
> matching other dating methods, is nothing more than more
> internal comparison, as well as once again begging the question.
1) We don't have to know anything about "starting conditions"
to measure the half-lives of radioisotopes. You simply use
a Geiger counter to count the rate of decays.
2) Matching radiometric dating methods to NON-radiometric methods
is NOT "internal comparison."
3) The suggestion that this is "begging the question" is yet
another instance of the "fallacy fallacy".
> The very question is: Is the world/universe thousands orThat is false. Either you don't know what you are talking about
> millions of years old? In order to arrive at your conclusion
> that half-lives prove deep time you have to assume deep time.
or you don't care whether what you say is true or not. I will
explain this below, under your non-response to my questions about
> The only way to prove deep time is to know the startingWe *do* know the "starting conditions," based on *multiple
independent lines of evidence*. Either the Earth is old,
or God just made it to *look* old, as I explained in my
previous post. And, as I said before, if God just made it
look that way, you have no grounds for criticizing scientists
for saying that it *does* look that way.
> Think of it like this.Well, we agreed in my last post that internal consistency
> Two men are in a diving bell. They are at 11,000 ft.
> Within that bell exists atmospheric conditions that
> easily support life. There is no way for the divers
> to see outside the bell and someone tells them they
> can't step outside or they'll die.
> What if they have no previous experience and don't
> understand the danger?
> What evidence is there to believe the man on the radio?
> If the divers only know they hate being enclosed in a
> tiny prison, there is none. Everything they know for
> certain is consistent with the healthy support of human
> life. What if one was a very self willed and spunky man?
> He hit the "Open Door" lever and hydraulic presses
> slammed the door open. Oops! Yet, how was he to know that?
> He had no way other than someone proclaiming it a foolish move.
> Nope: Internal consistency is no guarantee of reality.
is insufficient evidence that an interpretation is correct,
And I don't think your analogy is very good, but rather
than just tell you it's the fallacy of "argument by false
analogy" I'll try to play along with you:
The diving bell is the young-earth interpretation of
Scripture. The two men inside are you and me (yes, I
grew up believing in a young Earth myself). The voice
on the radio telling us we can't step outside or we'll
die is the voice of our religious leaders, the sadists,
who locked us up in this thing to begin with.
I'll be the spunky one, OK? I hit the "Open Door" lever
and outside it's a beautiful sunny day on the beach. We're
not 11,000 feet under water at all. And lined up all down
the beach I see thousands of other diving bells just like
the one I've been confined in, with their radio antennas
all receiving the same threats you and I have been getting.
They've been lying to us all along.
Do you want me to hold the door open for you, or are you
going to sit in there and keep believing you're 11,000 feet
under the ocean with no way out?
> At that, there is no such thing as a consistent dating method.As I stated in my last post, it is intellectually irresponsible
of you to say things like this. I could put that a little
more bluntly if you wish, but 95% reliability is pretty darned
consistent, whether you like it or not.
> If anyone is honest, they will admit that.Baloney. If you were wanting to be honest you wouldn't be
trying to argue against established science with analogies
instead of evidence.
> Arrived at dates that disagree with expected results areWho says? Unexpected results are reported in the literature
> routinely discarded as contaminated without evidence that
> they are.
just like everything else. Unexpected results point the way
for further research. What caused this unexpected result?
If it is contamination, how can we guard against it happening
in subsequent research?
It was "unexpected results" that led to refinement of C-14
dating, and now we not only get more accurate results but we
also know a lot more about past fluctuations of atmospheric C-14
and the lag time between atmospheric and marine fluctuations.
Not to mention a much better understanding of ancient Egypt...
tee hee hee...
> Why should I believe dating methods that are very inconsistentYou shouldn't. But what you are describing is not scientific
> and have at their core, mere assumptions?
dating methods, it is creationist dating methods. Creationists
don't know if all the fossils are from the Flood, or if just
some of them are from the Flood, or if God just put the fossils
in the rocks when He made the Earth.
> I remain unconvinced.Shall I just close the door of your diving bell back for you
> In that you are right.
and leave you in peace? Oh, I see you've already snatched it
back shut yourself.
> I notice a definite difference in approach by otherwiseWell, as I said above, I used to be a young-earth creationist
> logical and rational people. They demand I prove each and
> every jot and tittle of the Bible to their personal
> satisfaction before they'll so much as consider any of it
> as accurate. This, of course, is an impossible task. No one
> can convince someone who won't be convinced.
myself. You don't have to try proving anything about your
interpretation of the Bible to me -- I know what it is already.
There is no way I'm getting back in that diving bell with you.
But now that I'm out, you don't mind if I go tapping on the
doors of these other diving bells and letting folks know it's
OK to come out, do you?
> Simultaneously those people accept assumptions as axiomaticI think you've heard the word "axiom" somewhere and just liked
> in their chosen paradigm.
the way it sounded -- kinda like "reification."
I seriously doubt you could describe for me what are the
axioms of science. But give it a try -- they're not that
At any rate, as I described earlier, people were doing science
long before there were any axioms. In reality, the axioms and
even the supposed "scientific method" are just retrospective
attempts to codify and describe why science works as well as
> Are you aware that archaeologists have begun using theIn other words, because Jericho exists your interpretion
> Bible as their roadmap to finding biblical sites? Yup:
> They have finally wised up. Contrary to the claims we
> hear everywhere today, the Bible is more and more being
> proven infallible and immutable; not the other way around.
of Scripture is infallible and immutable.
Boy, that's an interesting piece of logic...
You say, "Yup: They have finally wised up."
Ha, ha. Biblical archaeology has been going on for well
over a hundred years. The lower levels of Jericho are over
10,000 years old. And those levels sit atop massive sedimentary
formations. And those formations have caves in them, in which
Neanderthal fossils have been found and dated at over 40,000
years. And the slime pits in the Valley of Siddim (Genesis 14)
are tar pits from fossil hydrocarbons that are millions of years
old, which slime is not only what they used for mortar between
the mud bricks of the post-Flood Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) but
is also the "pitch" used for caulking Noah's ark (Genesis 6).
The Ishtar Gate is pretty interesting, too.
It's a pity young-earth creationists have to reject almost
everything Biblical archaeologists have discovered, just
because it contradicts their "natural and straight forward"
reading of the Bible.
> I choose a natural and straight forward reading of theSo you keep saying.
What is the natural and straightforward reading of this
| For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city,
| and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole
| land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes
| thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the
| people of the land. (Jeremiah 1:18)
Did God turn Jeremiah into an iron pillar? Please answer
without appealing to extra-Biblical assumptions...
> You said and asked:"Begging the question," huh? Here you are, committing another
> > "For example, Calcium-41 is a radionuclide with a half-life of
> > 130,000 years. If the Earth is only about 6,000 years old,
> > you should have no problem at all locating some Ca-41.
> > Where is it?
> > Aluminum-26 is a radionuclide with a half-life of 700,000
> > years. If the Earth is only about 6,000 years old, you
> > should have no problem at all locating some Al-26.
> > Where is it?"
> All of these are begging the question and resting on the
> assumptions that are considered axiomatic.
"fallacy fallacy." And here you are, making another verifiably
false claim about assumptions and axioms.
> The assumption is that deep time is proven, thus axiomatic.No, deep time is not an axiom. Even time itself is not an
> The next assumption is that we know the starting conditions.We don't have to know "starting conditions" to measure half-life,
as I explained above. All we have to do is take a known number
of atoms of the radioisotope and count the decays over a
period of time.
> If those assumptions are true, you're right, this isWe don't use those assumptions to measure decay rates and
> very simple.
> How do we know the assumptions are true?
determine half-lives. It's a direct observation. So, yes,
it *is* very simple: short-lived radionuclides such as Ca-41
and Al-26 have all decayed away to nothing, and the creationist
has no rational answer for this, so we are treated to such
impenetrable obtuseness as what you display above.
I further note that you have neglected to address the
observations that spectral analysis of supernovae and the
fact that the Earth is not molten put the lie to the
creationist contention that decay rates may have been
different in the past.
That's OK. It just makes it that much easier for me to
wholly discredit your objections.
> I am responding to the rest of the posts in this comment.The natural and straightforward reading of your words leads to
> Shortly it will become clear as to why.
> Immediately I notice a couple of things in the responses to me.
> People read between the lines rather than just reading my words
> in a natural and straight forward manner.
so many self-contradicting assertions that you *force* your readers
to "read between the lines" to try to make any sense out of it at all.
And then it is quite easy for you to say that you have been
misunderstood. Welcome to presuppositionalism, folks! This is
exactly how they operate. It's all a bunch of deliberate
> 2.This statement is belied by your use of the same old tired
> My responses are interpreted through the strawman edifice of
> creationism rather than through the true creationist's belief
and false criticisms of radiometric dating that the "edifice
of creationism" has been using for decades, promoted by
"creation science" organizations and uncomprehendingly picked
up and regurgitated by young-earthers such as yourself who
don't understand the subject matter enough to know that it
does not require speculative assumptions about "deep time" or
"starting conditions" to determine half-lives -- AND the
deliberate dismissal of correction about these things AND the
dishonest repetition of the same false claims after you have
Regardless of what you want to claim the "true creationist's
belief system" is -- well, ye shall know them by their fruit.
Whatever their axioms are, their science doesn't work.
Which makes all their griping about unproven assumptions pretty
> I have neither the time nor the inclination to straighten outApparently neither do you have the time or inclination to get
> every misinterpretation and misrepresentation of my words.
your story straight before you go posting long, garbled-up
non-responses to plain questions. This is very like the tactic
used by not only presuppositionalists Jason Petersen and
Sye Ten Bruggencate, but creationists in general. Normal people
get so confused trying to wade through all the meaningless and
irrational diversionary blather that they walk away in disgust.
Unfortunately for you, I'm not normal. I saw through the
creationist facade many years ago. You are not really about a
defense of the gospel at all -- you *are* the "strawman", Cliff.
That's why the atheists love you so much. You're an easy
takedown of "Christianity".
> I will correct only a couple showing why they are false.Sure you will. Keep reading:
> I was asked how I know that a natural and straight forwardThen it shouldn't be any problem for you to point us to
> reading of the Scripture is the way to properly interpret it.
> In no uncertain terms the Bible tells us that very thing.
those verses. Yet you don't.
> God inspired and preserved his word, not just the concepts.Doesn't mean He meant for you to misrepresent radioactive decay
in order for you to stick to your "natural and straight forward"
> For the sake of commentary flow; rather than typing out allAnd yet you didn't. You put them in another message.
> the Scriptures I'll post a few biblical references at the end
> of this comment.
Careless, careless! But I have to keep asking myself, is this
just a matter of carelessness or is it just more deliberate confusion
Forgive my suspicion, but you are not the first creationist I've
dealt with, and it appears to me that you have neglected to explain
to me how you know that a "natural and straight forward" reading
of Scripture is the correct approach, and I don't think you
are capable of justifying your hermeneutical "axiom".
> I was asked whatIs that what I asked you? Maybe you'd better go back and
> "A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a
> thousand years is like a day." means to me.
> It means exactly what it says when interpreted in a
> natural and straight forward manner. It means that to God,
> there is no difference.
read the question again.
> Think of a time traveler. He can be with the dinosaursWhile God does know the end from the beginning, that is
> just as easily as he can be in current time or with those
> in the Star Trek era of temporal existence. Now, consider
> that same traveler only he can be all those places at once.
> That is God: He's omnipresent.
> He knows "the end from the beginning." Isaiah 46:10
not what Isaiah 46:10 says.
There is a difference, Cliff, between knowing something and
declaring something. Do you recognize the distinction?
> People seldom, if ever, take that Scripture in context.Since you just misrepresented it, I think your concerns about
context are premature. First you need to know what the verse
says, and apparently you either don't, or you don't want to
accept the "natural and straight forward" reading.
> Peter is talking to believers about the end days and thoseI'm pretty sure Peter isn't the author of Psalm 90.
> who will scoff about the Return of Jesus.
> Here are sentences in order that bring out the context.While Jesus does say he will return like a thief in the
> "I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers
> will come, mocking the truth and following their own
> desires...A day is like a thousand years to the Lord,
> and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn't really
> being slow about his promise, as some people think. No,
> he is being patient for your sake. He does not want
> anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
> But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as
> a thief."
> To God, it's just like one day. But to us, Jesus' return
> will come as a thief. God already knows the end. He knows
> what will happen. He's giving every one of us the opportunity
> to respond.
night, and that no one knows exactly when that return will
be, Peter does say that he will not have us be ignorant.
The bridegroom comes at midnight. See Matthew 25.
> This has nothing to do with creation taking eons.How do you know?
It seems to me that your evasion of Psalm 90 could be deliberate,
and that you jumped over to Peter's reference to that verse to
*separate it from* its original context.
I will say to you that Psalm 90 is a very solid and even not so
subtle hint as to how we should treat those Genesis "days".
> I am assuming the intent of this challenge is to bolsterNo, the intent of my asking was for you to give me your "natural
> the paradigm of deep time by saying that God could
> just as easily mean eons of time during the creation account.
> That's not true because God's omnipresence has nothing to do
> with temporal creation.
and straight forward" interpretation of that verse in Psalms.
Apparently your "natural and straight forward" reading of my
question, in plain English, was very wide of the mark of what I
was asking, since you didn't refer to Psalm 90 at all.
This does not bolster my confidence in your "natural and straight
forward" reading skills, Cliff, or in your sincerity.
> I already posted a long dissertation as to why the GenesisYour "dissertation" is no such thing. It is simply a jumble
> creation account is 6 normal length days.
> Please reread that.
of baseless assertions and unstructured reasoning. There is
no concern for truth or even consistency. We don't arrive at
a conclusion by way of your rational argumentation; rather you
just throw your presuppositional conclusion in there and make
a pretense that you have supported it.
From your very first two sentences I knew it was evil -- if
the Genesis days are not ordinary days the whole Bible is
You really should reconsider that.
> It's an arbitrary assumption that II Peter chapter 3 isI'm afraid you have not yet shown yourself worthy to receive
> evidence for an unnatural interpretation of the creation
> account. In return I ask: How do you know it is applicable?
> What is the logical reasoning that led you to that conclusion?
> I've given mine. Let's compare.
those pearls of wisdom. If you wish to apply yourself, I'll
give you a hint: Cast your unfounded presuppositions aside
and go back to Psalm 90 and look for keywords to mark your
place in time. If you are able to figure this out, I think
you will find that 2 Peter 3 makes a lot more sense, in a
whole new light.
Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
- Cliff Peterson updated the "about" description of his FaceBook Presuppositional Apologetics group to reflect the following, in relevant part:
>> The Bible presupposes the existence of God and Jesus Christ as God's one and only Messiah. <<Cliff, I hope you're still here, because I strongly disagree with part of the above statement, which I will break down into three parts:
1. The Bible (we've only got as far as the first noun and already we've reached the first presupposition: that we know what "The Bible" is and what it says)
2. presupposes the existence of God (no dispute there; the first verse of the Bible depicts Him as the First Agent)
3. and Jesus Christ as God's one and only Messiah (bit of a tautology there, as "Christ" and "Messiah" are the same thing, just transliterated from two different biblical languages).
And it is on this third point that I vehemently disagree. If the word "presupposition" means what I think it does, it cannot apply to the idea that Jesus is God's only Messiah, because this point is never assumed but frequently asserted on the pages of Scripture. Just an example:
"But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ." --Acts 9:22
You don't prove a presupposition; you can't.
Thanks again for that lengthy anlysis of Cliff Peterson's efforts here. I have linked to it, with a short introduction, on numerous FaceBook pages.
The following struck me as particularly insightful as far as context and perspective regarding Cliff and others similarly situated.
--- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
"w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@...> wrote, in part:
> I (Cliff Peterson) have neitherApparently neither do you have the time or inclination
> the time nor the inclination to
> straighten out every misinterpretation
> and misrepresentation of my words.
to get your story straight before you go posting long,
garbled-up non-responses to plain questions.
This is very like the tactic used by not only
Sye Ten Bruggencate,
but creationists in general.
Normal people get so confused trying to wade through
all the meaningless and irrational diversionary
blather that they walk away in disgust.
Unfortunately for you, I'm not normal.
I saw through the creationist facade many years ago.
You are not really about a defense of the gospel at
all -- you *are* the "strawman", Cliff.
That's why the atheists love you so much.
You're an easy take-down of "Christianity".
- Robert wrote:
> Rick,Facebook! Am I going to be famous?
> Thanks again for that lengthy anlysis of
> Cliff Peterson's efforts here. I have
> linked to it, with a short introduction,
> on numerous FaceBook pages.
Maybe I'd better clean up my act a little.
For example, how many times have we heard this?:
"We all have the same evidence -- it's just a matter of
interpretation according to one's worldview."
And we've been letting them get away with that. But it's
We *don't* all have the same evidence.
If you noticed at the beginning of Cliff's last message, he
talked about "reification" and said:
> Evidence doesn't agree or disagree with anything.And accommodating fellow that I am, I let it slide, and
> It simply exists.
> Conclusions agree or disagree.
changed it to "interpretations of evidence" for the sake
But we don't need to be doing that anymore, not if we're
going to be famous, because that's not the way it really
We all have the same *things* -- or observations of things --
and we interpret the observations and draw conclusions.
The "evidence" is the *interpretation* that leads to the
conclusion -- but only if the interpretation is not shown
to be false or otherwise unsupported by existing evidence.
While science is inductive, "evidence" can be likened to the
major premise of a deductive syllogism; it carries both the
minor premise and the conclusion.
So evidence does agree or disagree with *things* and it
also agrees or disagrees with *conclusions*. And it is
these conclusions that lead to worldviews, not the other
In this way the old-earth worldview has literally mountains
of evidence, while the young-earth worldview has exactly
zero evidence. That's right, exactly zero.
"We all have the same evidence," is a rhetorical attempt to
give the impression that creationists actually have some
evidence when in fact they do not.
And they're getting too much mileage out of it. Google
the phrase "we all have the same evidence" with the
quotemarks around it and see what you get.
| "We all have the same evidence but we interpret it
| according to what we already believe. This is the
| point Bruggencate tries to drive home."
I'm sure Bruggencate does try to drive this home, but it
simply is not true. For him to have evidence he has to
interpret some thing in such a way that it supports his
conclusion, and that interpretation has to withstand
Take these two interpretations of the same observation,
which are used to support two different conclusions:
1) The observation of C-14 in a dinosaur bone
is interpreted as indicating the age of the bone,
leading to the conclusion that dinosaurs lived
only thousands of years ago.
2) The observation of C-14 in a dinosaur bone
is interpreted as contamination, leading to the
conclusion that other biochemical signals in the
bone may also be from contamination.
In the case of the first example the interpretation ignores
all the previous research that has concluded the dinosaurs
have been extinct for 65 million years. This is not science.
To even propose such an interpretation one must be prepared
to address all that previous research, and it is no small
amount. Failure to address the existing evidence means that
the existing evidence immediately falsifies the interpretation
that the C-14 is indicative of the age of the dinosaur bone,
which in turn means the proposed conclusion is unsupported.
Therefore, the proposed interpretation is not evidence at all;
it is false and no conclusions may be drawn from it.
In the case of the second example, the interpretation that
the C-14 is the result of contamination is perfectly reasonable,
given the existing body of evidence across multiple lines of
inquiry. The C-14 had to come from somewhere, but the idea
that it has any bearing on the age of the bone itself is not
even considered. Why should it be? The same body of evidence
that falsifies that interpretation in the first case immediately
falsifies it in the second case as well. Testing the bone for
C-14 was not done for the sake of checking the age of the bone
in the first place; it was done in the hopes of ruling out
contamination as being the source of other biochemical signals
obtained from the analyses, e.g., protein fragments.
Therefore, the proposed interpretation *is* evidence supporting
the conclusion -- the biochemical signals may be at least
partially explained by contamination and the researchers cannot
conclusively say that whatever protein fragments they may find
are endogenous to the dinosaur bone itself -- more research is
Now, about those "worldviews"... In the first example, the
interpretation *was* the result of worldview, but that
worldview was not informed by evidence, because there is none.
In the second example, the interpretation was *not* informed by
worldview; it was informed by existing evidence. Whatever
worldviews the researchers may hold personally is irrelevant;
science doesn't care what your worldview is (forgive the
"reification," Cliff); it is only concerned with evidence and
logical inferences to conclusions.
Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a religious
worldview, and it seems to me that those who hold a religious
worldview have three options: We can ignore the physical
world, which worldview rests on ignorance; we can say the
physical world is all just an illusion, which worldview can
make no appeals to science, and may or may not have theological
issues; or we can say the world is real and tailor our worldview
to accommodate what science is able to tell us about physical
What is wrong, though -- morally, ethically, theologically, and
scientifically wrong -- is attempting to give the impression that
a particular religious worldview has scientific legitimacy by
deliberately misrepresenting science itself. From my way of
thinking, a religious worldview which rests on lies can proceed
from only one source, and that source is evil.
So to recap:
Evidence is the interpretation of an observation that supports
a conclusion. Interpretations are proposed based on existing
evidence, not on personal "worldviews." Interpretations that are
contradicted by existing evidence are, at best, unsupported, and
are likely to be false. Interpretations that are unsupported or
false cannot support a conclusion. Conclusions that rely on
unsupported or false interpretations are themselves unsupported.
And unsupported conclusions have no scientific validity.
So the next time you hear a creationist saying that we all have
the same evidence, that it's just a matter of worldview, point
them to this post, so that they can get to this point and read:
You are either ignorant of science or you are lying. There is
absolutely no evidence that the Earth is only a few thousand
years old, and there never will be.
Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
Thanks again for that additional analysis. I'll have to think of it a bit as it gets a little above my pay grade at points.
Part of my problem is that "other language" they speak. Now I'm going to have to look up "reification" again.
I was glad to see you make the connection to Bruggencate, but wondering why you didn't manage to work Goldsmith into the discussion; Goldsmith being notorious in proposing "we all have the same evidence".
I did get some likes for my reference on FaceBook to your earlier analysis and one comment indicating it was a "good read".
So, there you go; you are a FaceBook celebrity like me!
I like this closing of yours, Rick:
--- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
"w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@...> wrote, in part:
> Conclusions that rely on unsupportedOtherwise, I am more and more thinking that Cliff has cut his losses and simply left the conversation. I haven't noticed him making any comments about his experience here in his FaceBook group, and he did post that note in his group about not wanting me to post links there...so I have not been participating on his page which doesn't have much action.
> or false interpretations are themselves
> And unsupported conclusions have no
> scientific validity.
> So the next time you hear a creationist
> saying that we all have the same
> evidence, that it's just a matter of
> worldview, point them to this post, so
> that they can get to this point and read:
> Dear Creationist:
> You are either ignorant of science or
> you are lying. There is absolutely no
> evidence that the Earth is only a few
> thousand years old, and there never
> will be.
> Rick Hartzog
> Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
- --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@...> wrote:
> Dear Creationist:Dear Mr. Hartzog,
> You are either ignorant of science or you are lying. There is
> absolutely no evidence that the Earth is only a few thousand
> years old, and there never will be.
> Rick Hartzog
> Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
Thanks for letting us know your mind is closed to any other possibilities than the one you already decided is the only one.
Welcome to the club.
- --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "bucksburg" <bucksburg@...> wrote:
> --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "w_w_c_l" <w_w_c_l@> wrote:
> > Dear Creationist:
> > You are either ignorant of science or you are lying. There is
> > absolutely no evidence that the Earth is only a few thousand
> > years old, and there never will be.
> > Rick Hartzog
> > Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
> Dear Mr. Hartzog,
> Thanks for letting us know your mind is closed to any
> other possibilities than the one you already decided
> is the only one.
> Welcome to the club.
> The Creationist
I think I listed all the possibilities:
| Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a religious
| worldview, and it seems to me that those who hold a religious
| worldview have three options: We can ignore the physical
| world, which worldview rests on ignorance; we can say the
| physical world is all just an illusion, which worldview can
| make no appeals to science, and may or may not have theological
| issues; or we can say the world is real and tailor our worldview
| to accommodate what science is able to tell us about physical
| What is wrong, though -- morally, ethically, theologically, and
| scientifically wrong -- is attempting to give the impression that
| a particular religious worldview has scientific legitimacy by
| deliberately misrepresenting science itself. From my way of
| thinking, a religious worldview which rests on lies can proceed
| from only one source, and that source is evil.
So what's it gonna be?
Which reminds me...
- Robert wrote:
> Thanks again for that additional analysis. I'll have toWell, as to the difference between "evidence" and "things"
> think of it a bit as it gets a little above my pay grade
> at points.
it may help to think of it like this:
A single tomato plant over in my garden is a "thing."
But that thing can be observed and those observations can
be interpreted in a number of ways as "evidence" to support
a number of conclusions:
Rick knows how to grow tomatoes.
Tomatoes can be grown in Mississippi.
Tomato plants stop putting on fruit when it gets too hot.
Tomato plants are killed by freezing temperatures.
Redbirds will peck holes in tomatoes.
On and on and on. All those conclusions can be inferred from
the various interpretations of various observations of a
single "thing". Since the interpretations of those observations
support the various conclusions, those interpretations are in
fact "evidence" for their respective conclusions.
But think of this interpretation of that same tomato plant:
Tomatoes are a member of the Solanaceae (Nightshade family).
And here are two conclusions:
1) Therefore, tomatoes are poisonous.
(Invalid inference, therefore the interpretation is NOT
"evidence" supporting the conclusion.)
2) Therefore, next year I shouldn't put an eggplant in that spot.
(Valid inference, because eggplants are also Solanaceae, and
growing them in the same spot two years in a row cultivates
soil-borne diseases, and therefore *the same interpretation*
as above *is* "evidence" -- it supports the conclusion.)
Notice in the second instance my inference is based on existing
evidence, not worldview, because if it was up to me I'd like
to plant some eggplants there next year.
So all of this is just to drive home the point, contra Bruggencate,
that we *don't* all have the same evidence -- that even though
creationists do interpret things according to their worldview that
doesn't mean science does, and the evidence for a young age of
the Earth is still *exactly zero*. They do not have a single
scrap of legitimate evidence and what they call evidence is not
what science calls evidence and therefore their arguments are not
science and therefore their worldview has no scientific legitimacy.
> Part of my problem is that "other language" they speak.Well, I do forget that I'm out in public when I start writing.
> Now I'm going to have to look up "reification" again.
When I said "forgive the "reification," Cliff" I was being a
smart-aleck. My crime in that instance is more properly
called "personification". Such things are often lost on
people; especially creationists, who are so literal-minded
about everything. Wikipedia has an entry for "reification"
which may be helpful:
But, yes, it is a problem. If you don't answer them, they think
they have outsmarted you; if you try to speak their language,
then you end up looking like a "fool," too. If you try to correct
them they'll eagerly seize the opportunity to argue with you
until the cows come home and you never even get to the meat
of the argument you actually started in on before they despise
you and take their foolishness to another marketplace.
It's like that "fractal wrongness" article we read online
But as I said, if we're going to have a wider audience, we
don't need to be letting them get away with their foolishness
like we have been, just for the sake of expedience. Trying
to speak their language is futility.
I say, as soon as they say "Sibboleth" take them out and
Don't know the difference between validity and reliability?
End of argument.
Don't know the difference between "evidence" and "observation"?
Off with his head!
And just like exposing their deceitfulness about "evidence"
we need to expose it about "axioms," or "underlying
assumptions," and "worldviews."
As I said in a recent post, people were doing science a
long time before any philosopher ever came along and
started asking about axioms. It was only because of
science, like the practice of agriculture, that humans
rose above mere survival and subsistence and were able
to sit around and start asking questions about how they
were able to have made such progress.
But creationists (and others) like to present it as, if
the underlying axioms haven't been proven, then all of
science is in doubt.
Which is just wrong.
Even my squirrel dog knows better than that. "The world
is a certain way," says he. "I know where my food dish
was this morning, and I know of no earth-shattering events
since breakfast. Ergo," he reasons, "it should still be
in the same place I left it, perchance with some tidbits
from my human's lunch."
"But you can't *prove* the world is a certain way,"
I philosophise to him.
"Is that bologna and cheese I smell on your breath?
I'll be back in a minute," says he, "and then you can
continue on with your navel-gazing musings."
Yes, he's quite the successful scientist, considering his
lack of formal training in philosophy and scientific methods.
> I was glad to see you make the connection to Bruggencate,Because that guy's a nobody -- a *nothing*. I don't even
> but wondering why you didn't manage to work G*l*sm*th into
> the discussion; G*l*sm*th being notorious in proposing
> "we all have the same evidence".
want my name and his appearing on the same page. He's not
even a good troll. There's much higher class trolls than him
on the Amazon discussion threads.
It's like arguing with a batchfile, or with Bruggencate's
"proof of God" maze.
(For those who don't know, G*l*sm*th took over a Yahoo group
with his 24-hours-a-day trolling, everybody left, the group owner --
a creationist -- handed him the keys and told him to lock up, and
he deleted over 400 of my posts, along with thousands of posts by
others, and then declared victory. In a way I'm glad those posts
are gone, because he did bring out the worst in me.)
So let's not even bring him up, Robert. OK? It's like
speaking ill of the dead -- gives me the creeps.
> I did get some likes for my reference on FaceBook to yourWell, good news: I have just now gone wireless! No more
> earlier analysis and one comment indicating it was a
> "good read".
> So, there you go; you are a FaceBook celebrity like me!
of that agonizingly slow, 28 kbps dial-up connection I've been
tied to for the past few years. I can upload and download
photos and movies and radio interviews now -- the whole nine
yards. Just need to get some speakers hooked up.
You know I am rather shy and don't much care to have a
Facebook page of my own, but Jack-my-dog says he wouldn't
mind having one. So I'll let you know when I get it set up.
Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism