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Some things never change

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  • Paul Andrew King
    The following quote may be found on : http://www.tiac.net/users/cri/miller_part8.html But start at : http://www.tiac.net/users/cri/miller.html This quotation
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2000
      The following quote may be found on :

      But start at : http://www.tiac.net/users/cri/miller.html

      This quotation is excerpted from _The Testimony of the Rocks_ written by
      Hugh Miller and published in 1857, following his death in 1856. Miller was
      a geologist - and a strong believer in the literal truth of the Bible - but
      rejected the idea of a geologically recent world-wide flood (he held that
      Noah's Flood was correctly interpreted as a local flood).

      Here he writes on the evidence that there are volcanic cones at Etna -
      dated at 12,000 years by Lyell - without any signs of the massive erosion
      that would be caused by the deluge :

      ... The supposed mistake of the Canonico Recupsero, or rather of Brydone,
      who argued that the "lowest of a series of seven distinct lavas of Aetna,
      most of them covered by thick intervening beds of rich earth, must have
      been fourteen thousand years old,"has been often referred to in the
      controversy. Brydone or the Canon mistook, it has been said, beds of brown
      ashes, each of which might have been deposited during a single shower, for
      beds of rich earth, each of which would have taken centuries to form. The
      oldest of the series of lava beds, therefore, instead of being fourteen
      thousand, might be scarce fourteen hundred years old. And if Brydone or the
      Canon were thus mistaken in their calculations, why [p.355] may not the
      modern geologists be also mistaken in theirs? Now, altogether waiving the
      question as to whether the ingenious traveller of eighty-six years ago was
      or was not mistaken in his estimate, -- for to those acquainted with
      geologic fact in general, or more particularly with the elaborate
      descriptions of Aetna given during the last thirty years by Elie de
      Beaumont, Hoffmann, and Sir Charles Lyell, the facts of Brydone, in their
      bearing on either the age of the earth or the age of the mountain, can well
      be spared, -- waiving, I say, the question of whether the traveller was in
      reality in mistake, I must be permitted to remark, that the concurrent
      testimony of geologists cannot in fairness be placed on the same level as
      the testimony of a man who, though accomplished and intelligent, was not
      only no geologist, but who observed and described ere geology had any
      existence as a science. Further, I must be allowed to add, that geology is
      now a science; and that individuals unacquainted with it in its character
      as such place themselves in positions greatly more perilous than they seem
      to think, when they enter on the field of argument with men who for many
      years have made it a subject of special study. It is not by "bidding
      down"the age of the extinct or quiescent volcanoes by a species of blind
      haggling, or by presuming mistake in the calculations regarding them,
      simply because mistakes are possible and have sometimes been made, that the
      portion of the cumulative evidence against the universal deluge which they
      furnish is to be neutralized or set aside. The argument on the general
      question is a cumulative one; and while many of its component portions are
      of themselves so conclusive, that only supposititious miracle, and not
      presentable argument, can be arrayed against them, its aggregate force
      seems wholly irresistible....

      It seems that the tactics of YECs have not changed much in the last 148
      years :-)

      I have put on the mask of the sorcerer to hide my true self, but I am
      revealed for the mask has become my own face,

      (Darrell Schweitzer _The Mask of the Sorcerer_)

      Paul K.
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