Re: Keith Sisman: There is still time!
- Dear Nelta,
I have occasionally lost a post I'm writing, when I used the online
edit box rather than my text editor on my computer, and that is
indeed a frustrating experience.
Actually, I was not asking you about what I call "YEC exclusivism"
(which is the belief that many young earth creationists, but
certainly not all, advocate that "a Christian who doesn't accept the
doctrine of young earth creationism can't be a good Christian"). My
question is a different one:
Is it okay for a Bible believer to advocate the idea that Christians
should ignore or distort truths about the real world?
Finally, you ask if it was my study of the scientific world that was
why I left the Church of Christ. Actually, no. I left the Church of
Christ specifically because I learned that people weren't all that
concerned about following the truth, despite the common rhetoric.
(You know, where we tell people in denominations to throw off their
personal beliefs and traditions, to examine the truth and follow the
truth even if its different from what they were brought up to
believe.) Well, I took the rhetoric seriously, and when I learned
certain factual aspects about the real world that contradicted some
of the traditional doctrine of the COC, I found that when I told
people about this, COC members themselves were not all that concerned
about following their own rhetoric. I can't stand hypocrisy. So in
1983 I ended up leaving the COC due to this kind of attitude.
It was at that time that I began exploring other churches. However,
my study of the Bible continued to evolve, and what I eventually came
to realize, in focusing on the concept of the Bible as being God's
communication to us, is that I couldn't find objective evidence of
this being true while at the same time I *could* find objective
evidence that the Bible was from the hands of men. (Incidentally,
I've had some Old Testament classes, among other Bible classes, at
Abilene Christian University under Dr. John T. Willis.) With
continued study of the Bible, I came to realize that the Bible
displayed the human parochialism that we would expect it to display
if the authors were human and that it did *not* display the
transcendence that it ought to display if it genuinely came from God.
If there is a God, he (it) doesn't seem very interested in
discussing matters with us mere humans on some tiny speck of this
reality that we find ourselves in. God certainly doesn't need a book
written by human beings to communicate with us. There are many books
and documents written by human beings, which claim to be from some
divine source, and I find it ironic that God is so limited that he
must choose a medium for which we know for a fact (due to the
multiplicity of completely contradictory traditions) that such a
medium is immediately suspect. If it's from God, then why is it
coming from the hand of a man? Men have always used the superstition
of religious belief to the advantage of social and political
contexts, and they will continue to do so. If there is a God, and God
is the kind of a being that would do such a thing (which Christians
assume, though it is not a given), and he chooses to tell us
something, I have absolutely no doubt that it would be impossible for
us to mistake the source.
Please know that I'm not describing this for the purpose of stating
an argument in discussion to persuade anyone here to accept this. I'm
just explaining my view in answer to your question.
While I can't say that my study of science had nothing to do with
this (because objective truths that we learn about the real world are
in fact relevant to the general question), I can say that studying
science was certainly not the primary factor in my leaving the COC,
and it was a secondary factor in my leaving Christianity in general.
The primary factor was the nature of the Bible itself, including its
portrayal of God, especially in the Old Testament.
Back on the original issue, whether or not the Kuiper Belt exists out
beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune is an empirical question. When
YECs make empirical claims, then we can check their claims by
empirical examination of the real world. If you were discussing, say,
whether or not it was okay for Christians to use a guitar in the
worship assembly, I would have to admit that my comments as a non-
believer would be quite irrelevant, but when it come to these
empirical claims about the real world, then if you have a genuine
interest in truth you have no choice but to consider relevant
information about the real world, and in this case it doesn't matter
whether I'm a Christian, an atheist, or even, God forbid, a Pepsi-
lover! In this case what is relevant is the information about the
real world itself, and since this is objective information that I can
direct you to just as well as anyone else, it is the relevant
information that you must take into account, not whether or not I'm a
Of course, those who are not genuinely interested in the truth may
ignore whatever they wish to ignore. But then when they start
preaching about Christian morality the sermon is quite hollow.
Todd S. Greene
P.S.: This is my last weekend online participating in discussion
groups. My summer "vacation" from discussion groups starts real soon!
--- In 1stCen-Christianity, Nelta Brock wrote (post #19333):
> Hello, Todd and list,
> I was answering your last post to me and WHAM! it disappeared. But
> the last part of your post was...... did I think people who didn't
> believe in the young earth theory could be saved? (paraphrased.)
> Hoping I am not going to step up on the throne with God and condemn
> anyone, I will just say, I don't know. This is such a new theory,
> at least to me.
> Todd, is this why you left the Church of Christ (and all religion,
> with no longer believing the scriptures are inspired) because you
> started studying the scientific world?
> Just wondering,
- Dear Keith,
You ask, "What has 'rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt, and SN1987A'
to do with bible discussion." I'm not sure, Keith, so why don't you
explain this to us? After all, it is young earth creationists (like
yourself) who themselves discuss these issues at length.
In fact, I myself would never have even thought to talk about rock
deformation. It was the YEC Marion Fox who thinks that it is highly
important for YECs to challenge the geological fact of rock
deformation, and it was the YEC Marion Fox who brought this issue up
and made the challenge on the BereanSpirit list. Regarding the Kuiper
Belt, it was the COC preacher Darrell Broking who brought up the
issue on the LUR list, and it was Marion Fox who also stepped in to
defend Broking's false argument that "evolutionists" (it's actually
astronomers, not evolutionists, since comets happen to be an
astronomical subject) don't have any explanation for short-term
comets. The Kuiper Belt is one specific explanation that astronomers
have had for about 50 years, and in addition to this this particular
explanation was empirically verified in 1992. Regarding SN1987A, it
is young earth creationists who falsely claim that observations of
the past are based on nothing more than "uniformitarian assumptions"
about the past. This is a complete lie, since the fact of the matter
is that astronomical observation is by its very nature direct
observation of events that have taken place in the past.
So it is YECs themselves who think that these issues are very
important for Bible believers to discuss, since it is YECs themselves
who are discussing them and lying about them.
You weren't trying to pretend that young earth creationists aren't
the ones who discuss these issues. You weren't trying to pretend that
young earth creationists don't argue that "good Christians" should
follow the fake "science" of YEC. Or were you?
Certainly, I do not "demand" that all who wish to discuss the Bible
should have a degree in science. In fact, Keith, I don't have a
degree in science, nor do I have a degree in anything else for that
matter! (I'm a Senior Programmer at the firm I work for.)
Where did I attack the Bible in my post? What I criticized is the
irrational argument that some people make that they can make
empirical claims about the real world but that then at the same time
they have the right to completely ignore factual characteristics of
the real world that contradict these empirical claims.
Oh, Master of Red Herring, you now continue to pursue your glorious
*non sequitur* with talk about evolution, fleeing morality, Naziism,
Communism, Hitler, Stalin, and even Nimrod. Yet again, you have
**still** failed to explain what relevance any of those things have
to do with the empirical facts of the physical world regarding rock
deformation, the Kuiper Belt, and SN1987A.
As I've already pointed out, YECs have nothing but irrational
prejudice in their favor, which is why they use it so much!
Todd S. Greene
--- In 1stCen-Christianity, Keith Sisman wrote (post #19334):
> The problem Todd is this, this is a Bible discussion list. What
> has "rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt, and SN1987A" to do with
> bible discussion. Are you saying, or should I say, you demand that
> all who wish to discuss the Bible MUST have a degree in science?
> I see no bible argument in your case, I see no bible, just you
> attacking it.
> It is well known that when evolution first became popular (Darwin
> onwards), it was seen as an avenue for the liberal church of
> England, so joined by Rome to be freed from Genesis, the foundation
> book of the Bible. By being free of Genesis, those folk were free
> of the Bible, and hence teaching of morality and so on.
> Darwinian sociology was a major cause of WW2. The rise of
> communism can also in part be attributed to Darwinian sociology.
> Take yourself for example, you being freed of the bible allows you
> to put yourself on a higher plain than the rest of your fellow
> man. Like Hitler, Stalin and the Biblical Nimrod! If we were all
> liars (and Todd it has been proved is a liar) there would be no
> point in discussing anything.
> Todd, one accusation (lie) you have made against me is my refusal
> to deal with your faulty science. I have only discussed matters
> with you on Bible discussion lists. When I come onto the
> 'creation' list I shall presumably be free of that.
> Regards, Keith s.
- Dear Debra,
Let's see, Debra, you wrote your whole post (copied below) and never
once even attempted to address a single detail regarding empirical
information about such subjects as rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt,
or SN1987A. Instead, you choose to make the completely
unsubstantiated statement that such information has somehow
been "tampered with." What gives you the right to make this false
You wrote, "You all are dealing with information which has been
tampered with." Where is your objective justification for this? The
supernova SN1987A is still there, astronomers are still looking at it
(actually, observing the after-effects of the stellar explosion). I
understand that you may wish to believe that the information has
been "tampered with," but your statement is based on nothing.
Futhermore, the objective data of the real world falsifies your claim.
People who have an extremely difficult time with accepting that their
personal beliefs have been demonstrated to be wrong are known to make
all kinds of unsubstantiated and known-to-be-incorrect statements.
The claim "You all are dealing with information which has been
tampered with" is certainly not a new one.
By the way, if God purposely engages in deception ("tampered with
them in order to test the faith of mankind"), then deception cannot
be a bad thing. So I guess when YECs promote all of these lies that
they promote about geological and astronomical science, they are
merely emulating the deceptive behavior of God, and what could be so
bad about that? Does this mean God will participate in a fiery lake
at the end? What does believing in a deceptive God do to "Christian
Incidentally, Todd's the real name (Steve was the fake one). If
you're ever traveling through the west Michigan area anywhere near
Grand Rapids, feel free to drop me an email about and let's do lunch.
(You could never have actually met Steve Heiden in Phoenix.)
Finally, the Christian who genuinely chooses to take the approach "I
do not know, and I will not take a position on this issue" (note my
word "genuinely" here, rather than just using the rhetoric as a
smokescreen) can certainly take that approach as an honest one. What
we have every right to criticize is those Christians who claim to be
so concerned about Christian morality (honesty) and truth who yet
obstinately promote erroneous information even after having had their
errors explicitly pointed out to them. These Christians who deceive
people about science deserve to be criticized. Their erroneous
information deserves to be criticized. Also, when they talk about
morality and truth they also deserve to be criticized for engaging in
But to get back to the most important point: If you don't know
anything about rock deformation (geology), or about the Kuiper Belt
and SN1987A (astronomy), then you can certainly acknowledge
honestly "I just don't know." But then you can't make the false
claim "You all are dealing with information which has been tampered
with" since in not knowing anything about any of the details of these
matters you don't know this either, so you are merely making a
(false) claim based on your personal desire to believe it rather than
on any relevant information that you really know anything about. I
hope it is clear to everyone that it is wrong to state
unsubstantiated personal feelings and desires as if they have any
relevance to anything at all. Certainly, when we're discussing
aspects of the real world, personal feelings and desires are
I must also note here that you were ever so quick to criticize me for
lying (for acting out a character), but I've seen no specific
criticism from you about YECs lying about factual characteristics of
the real world, for example, Darrell Broking and Marion Fox lying
the existence of the Kuiper Belt, or Marion Fox lying about rock
deformation and the Moon-Spencer conjecture, or Bert Thompson lying
about the level of moon dust being some kind of an argument for a
young moon. This just demonstrates to everyone that you are quick to
hold me, an atheist, to a particular standard to which you are ever
so reluctant to hold your own brethren to. If you were genuinely all
that concerned about truth and Christian morality, it seems to me we
would see a little less bias in how you apply your standard.
Since I'm making no more posts to this list after today (my
summer "vacation," you know), I leave the last word to you, Debra.
Please be as critical of YECs about being truthful and honest as you
are with me. I insist this of you. If you can't apply your standard
consistently, then you don't have any right to express such
criticisms toward me (merely about acting out a character) while
refusing to express such criticisms toward people who deceive others
about what is known about the real world. SN1987A exploded about
168,000 years ago. You can't change objective facts about the world
merely by wishing them away.
Todd S. Greene
--- In 1stCen-Christianity, Debra Reitz wrote (post #19367):
> Todd, if that is indeed your true name,
> I have no stake in the YEC vs the OEC or the evolutionists
> discussions. You all are dealing with information which has been
> tampered with. You have NO reliable source of information except
> Genesis. You have no idea HOW God created His marvelous work or if
> when He did so, He used materials He aged and tampered with in
> order to test the faith of mankind! I take Genesis on faith and
> let it lay there. God will explain it all someday. Knowing He did
> it all is sufficient for me, I do not need to know just HOW He
> accomplished the task.
> As far as lying goes, all to participate in lies will participate
> in a firey lake in the end. EVERYONE had better put lying behind
> them, EVERYONE!
> --- In 1stCen-Christianity@y..., "greeneto" <tgreene@a...> wrote:
>> Dear Debra,
>> Let's just say that I feel at least as much remorse about lying
>> about my identity (playing the part of an evangelical Christian
>> who accepts factual information about the world, such as
>> heliocentrism and antiquity), as young earth creationists feel
>> when they lie about things like rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt,
>> and the supernova SN1987A.
>> Incidentally, I've never seen *you* express any criticism of YECs
>> who deceive people, not about their identities, but about the real
>> world itself. That seems rather more important, but you seem to
>> have shoved that one under the rug. Don't you think that's a bit
>> Todd S. Greene
>> --- In 1stCen-Christianity, Debra Reitz wrote (post #19308):
>>> Do you feel NO remorse for lying about who you were to all of
>>> these people?
- Hi, Keith.
Just so you know...
You won't be able to play these kinds of games in the "creationism"
discussion forum. No one has ever been banned from that group -- even
those who express strong disagreements with and criticism of the
group owner (that would be me). I'm not like you guys. I don't fear
the truth. I don't need to kick people off the "creationism" list for
disagreeing with me. Indeed, my initial impetus for setting up
the "creationism" discussion forum in the first place a few years ago
was because I got sick and tired of the YEC group owners/moderators
who couldn't handle criticism of their arguments and so kept removing
my posts or banning me from their groups. YECs hate having people
point out the fallacies of their arguments and the falsifications of
their speculations, and since they know that their arguments can't
stand the light of critical scrutiny most YEC moderators have a very
nasty habit of booting off people who disagree with them. On the
other hand, I very much invite anyone here, including you Keith, to
discuss any issues (scientific, philosophical, or religious) at all
related to creationism in the "creationism" discussion forum at
and you can rest assured that the moderators (there are actually
several, since as list owner I have appointed several moderators;
four of them are Christians, in fact!) will not disallow your posts
and boot you off the list for disagreeing with them.
Of course, as I've already pointed out, I won't be making any more
posts to this list after today (nor will I be making any posts to
the "creationism" list for a few months) due to my going on
discussion list "vacation" for the summer.
In closing, O Ye Master of Red Herring, I also note here that you
have ***still*** completely failed to explain what relevance the
breakdown of the family, high crime figures, greed, biological
evolution, Stalin, Hitler, Nimrod, Communism, or Naziism -- all of
which you yourself cited -- is supposed to have to determining the
truth about rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt, and the supernova
SN1987A. Since you are not going to provide any such explanation
(first of all, you've have plenty of opportunity and time to explain
yourself and have intentionally chosen to not do so; and second, you
know as well as everyone else here does that the truth is that you
cannot provide any such explanation because these things have
absolutely no relevance to empirical features of the physical world),
why can't you bring yourself to practice your own Christian morality
regarding honesty and just be honest about the fact that these were
irrelancies you brought up merely to prejudicially distract everyone
away from considering the relevant empirical details?
I'm confident that you will continue to be obstinate in your refusal
to admit that your comments about family breakdown, evolution, and
communism in connection with SN1987A and the Kuiper were nothing more
than red herring. With this obstinate refusal, YECs clearly
demonstrate that some Christians just aren't as concerned about
Christian morality as they pretend to be.
Todd S. Greene
--- In 1stCen-Christianity, Keith Sisman wrote (post #19413):
> Keith to Todd,[snip]
> Dear Todd,
> Do you "believe Jesus is the Son of God and the scriptures are
> inspired"? If the answer is no. You should not be here!
> Sincerely, Keith.
- Hi, Keith.
I suppose that when I have explicitly stated to everyone including
you that I'm an atheist, instead of acknowledging that I've been
explicit about this, you intentionally choose to promote the
deception that I have not been explicit about this, and then you
attempt to chastize me for not answering this question that I have
explicitly answered. Ah, yes, my dear Master of Red Herring, most
To everyone else I point out the fact that Keith has ****still****
completely failed to explain the relevance that the breakdown of the
family, high crime figures, greed, biological evolution, Stalin,
Hitler, Nimrod, Communism, or Naziism are supposed to have to
determining the truth about rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt, and
the supernova SN1987A. He never will. As I have pointed out,
irrational prejudice is the foundation of young earth creationism,
and Keith has been so kind to me as to demonstrate this fact.
Regarding honesty, let's remember that you are the one who possesses
the problem of obstinately refusing to acknowledge that every comment
you've ever made about the relevant empirical facts regarding such
topics as rock deformation, the Kuiper Belt, and SN1987A has been
just a red herring. 'We can't accept the existence of the Kuiper
Belt, because of greed and family breakdown.' 'We can't accept the
geological fact that rocks experience deformation, because we don't
want to be Communists.' When you are able to admit the fact that your
prejudicial statements are completely irrelevant to the objective
facts about empirical features of the physical world, then perhaps
you can preach to me about honesty. Until then your comments are no
better than Jimmy Swaggart sermons on the sin of adultery.
I do thank you for your demonstrations, Keith. It's always great when
I discuss the antics of young earth creationists to have at least one
around who demonstrates the very behavior that I describe.
Now since this is my very last post here, you get the last word on
this, Keith. Have fun, and, again, don't forget that you are invited
to and most welcome in the "creationism" discussion forum, as is
anyone else who is interested in discussing creationism-related
issues. Be a bold young earth creationist! Don't be afraid of the
serious criticism that your irrational and irrelevant "arguments"
based on prejudice will surely meet!
Todd S. Greene
--- In 1stCen-Christianity, Keith Sisman wrote (post #19415):
> If you cannot answer a simple question here, why would I wish to go
> on a list where honesty counts for nought?
> My question is fair, it relate directly to YOU being on this list -
> Do you "believe Jesus is the Son of God and the scriptures are
> inspired"? If the answer is no. YOU are here under false
> pretences. That Todd is dishonest. This is not ROCKET SCIENCE. Yet
> it is rocket science (space and age) you want to engage me on. Why
> would I wish to associate with someone of such little respect for
> Have a great night, Keith S.