Sal Cordova: Why is there no creationist Isaac Newton?

At UD, Sal asks:

When I watched the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate, I lamented, “Why Lord do we not have an Isaac Newton of today defending your creation?” In years gone by, Christians were at the forefront of intellectual advancement in science, technology, medicine, literature, art, music, etc. I lamented, “dear Lord, why has this happened? Why do you defend your Word and the testimony of your creation this way? Wouldn’t the world be inclined to believe if you raised up someone like Newton to defend creation in the present day?”

76 thoughts on “Sal Cordova: Why is there no creationist Isaac Newton?

  1. Gregory, you can use a word however you want, but if you don’t clarify, ambiguity reigns. As it happens, I wouldn’t even concede that theistic evolution isn’t a system of ideas. Certainly, it is a set of beliefs characteristic of the Catholic Church. It is also visionary speculation.

  2. JT:
    God equates to Reality.You look at the biological world and say, “This is what Reality is capable of doing.”I say “This is what God is capable of doing.”

    I don’t share your assumption that Reality has abilities and purpose.

  3. TO davehooke, my intention in this forum was not to proselytize for Christianity, but I’ll take a stab at addressing as many of the points as I can in your Blog against Christianity, etc, tomorrow. As far as why Christ never returned, I personally think it has something to do with how screwed up the Church is and has been for the last 2000 years. I personally think his return is contingent on his own people getting their house in order. Regards.
    JT,

  4. You say the Ten Commandments doesn’t even prohibit rape. It took me about 30 seconds to find the following:

    “(Deu 22:25-26) But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged
    to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor,”

  5. JT:
    TO davehooke, my intention in this forum was not to proselytize for Christianity, but I’ll take a stab at addressing as many of the points as I can in your Blog against Christianity, etc, tomorrow.

    A reason and evidence based post would be welcome here I think. I don’t know if you have posting privileges, but I don’t think anyone who has asked has been refused. Apologies to Lizzie and yourself if I am being presumptuous.

  6. JT:
    You say the Ten Commandments doesn’t even prohibit rape.It took me about 30 seconds to find the following:

    “(Deu 22:25-26)But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged
    to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the girl; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor,”

    That is not one of the ten commandments.

    What do verses 23-24 and 27-9 say? What do you think of those verses?

    What do you think of verses 13-20 for that matter?

  7. JT:
    As far as why Christ never returned, I personally think it has something to do with how screwed up the Church is and has been for the last 2000 years.I personally think his return is contingent on his own people getting their house in order.Regards.

    Jesus effectively says he will come back within 30 years. There was no time for the Church to be established, let alone screwed up.

  8. JT: As far as why Christ never returned, I personally think it has something to do with how screwed up the Church is and has been for the last 2000 years.

    We are drifting off-topic.

    It is clear enough that Paul expected the return to be within his (Paul’s) own lifetime.

  9. davehooke: A reason and evidence based post would be welcome here I think. I don’t know if you have posting privileges, but I don’t think anyone who has asked has been refused.

    JT now has posting privileges (“author” role).

  10. “We are drifting off-topic.”

    I offered Francis Collins. Nobody commented.

    One problem seems to be shared by Salvador and many (perhaps most?) people here at TSZ: the equivocation between ‘belief in Creation’ and the labels ‘creationist’ and ‘creationism.’ Neither Salvador nor many here think one can ‘believe in Creation’ without being a ‘creationist.’ But that’s just silly.

    There are lots of high quality scientists who are theists that ‘defend creation.’ Salvador’s myopic self-label (“Hi. My name is Salvador. And I’m a creationist. Also, I’m an IDist. And the two go together like fries and gravy.”) based on his local Protestant evangelical religious affiliation (PCA – whose ‘Creation Study’ report flip-flops between lowercase ‘intelligent design’ and uppercase ‘Intelligent Design[er]’ and gives no clear position, naively welcoming even ‘young earth creationists’) blocks his ability either to learn much about or to comment on them. This is a psychological issue, a personal motivation issue (e.g. he has mentioned wanting to be a ‘creationist’ ideologue because of Protestant missionaries he knows); it’s not purely scientific (so there’s a danger of it appearing ‘ad hom’ to moderators).

    Besides, Newtons don’t come along very often! Theodosius Dobzhansky would certainly count as a major figure, though he’s passed. He even called himself both a ‘creationist’ and an ‘evolutionist.’ As a Russian Orthodox theist who was a biologist, he surely ‘defended creation.’

    Also, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Catholic palaeontologist.

    Most IDists are too provincial, politically-motivated and ‘anti-evolution for cultural renewal’ in USAmerica to research or write about them.

    Bottom line: there are many Abrahamic believers, people of faith involved “at the forefront of intellectual advancement.” That stcordova does not see or recognise this in his IDist-creationist pigeon hole is nobody’s problem but his own.

  11. Gregory,

    You are trying to force us to speak Gregoryese. It’s a vain effort, in both senses of the word.

    If you have any ideas to share, then you would be better off expressing them in standard English, forgoing your idiosyncratic definitions in favor of widely accepted ones.

  12. It is refreshing to hear a Christian perspective other than the parochial US evangelical Protestant version. Probably wouldn’t agree with it any more but it would be a change.

  13. To DaveHooke, I have been reviewing your “42 reasons not to believe Christianity” and I guess will endeavor to author a response, but in the meantime am wondering if you’re just attacking Christianity, or all religious belief/assertion in general. Are you attacking Theravada Buddhism as well, or what? And what is your alternative — that we all believe that once you’re dead — that’s it? That’s the philosophy you want us all to adhere to — essentially just John Lennon’s “Imagine”? Just curious.

    At any rate, the reason I first started reading this forum about 10 days ago or whatever, is that I had been fervently scouring the internet, trying to find any response from mainstream science to the recent incredible profusion of YEC claims regarding carbon-14 dating of dinousaur bones. I know such claims go back several decades and the earlier ones are easily refuted (e.g contamination, etc.) but the recent claims seem different, but there is just no response to these recent claims anywhere. So, that’s why I hit upon this forum, and realized it existed as a response to UD. A few years ago, I had come to realize that ID was bankrupt so was curious what the state of it was now, so have sort of got sucked into that discussion again. Just an explanation as to why I’m here. But have been reading your “42 reasons”.

  14. BK,

    No, RATE has nothing to do with carbon-14 or dinosaurs. RATE is thoroughly unconvincing, afaic. Blatant confirmation bias, imo.

    But, just google “carbon-14 dinosaurs bones” and you’ll see a flood of recent claims regarding this from YEC groups, but no responses at all from talkorigins.org, etc. These new claims are saying like 10-2000 years old, well inside the dating range of carbon-14. I’m assuming its all B.S.

    [Guess I was wrong about RATE — was only familiar with the Helium diffusion experiments they did. At any rate, I’m not talking about RATE, unless that included radiocarbon dating of dinosaur bones. Seems like it wouldn’t, because then they were trying to discredit radiocarbon dating apparently. But now their using it to prove dinosaur bones are young. Go figure.]

  15. Do you consider yourself a ‘creationist’ JT? You believe in Creation and a Creator, it seems. Elizabeth has attracted mostly atheists and agnostics here at TSZ.

  16. Gregory,

    I provisionally accept there was an incremental process adhering to natural laws, that led from no-life to advanced life. I believe that. I think ID is bogus. I think YEC is bogus. I believe in GOD. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God (i.e. a unique, personal, human manifestation of the eternal (possibly impersonal) God. I don’t know what that makes me.

  17. Thanks for your honesty and directness. Hope you don’t drown in ideological ‘skepticism’ here. If it helps, I’m not a ‘creationist’ (or IDist) either, though I believe in Creation.

  18. JT,

    My blog is just about Christianity, although some of the reasons apply to all religions.

    I don’t see “death and that’s it” as an alternative to Christianity. I think it is almost certainly true that there is no life after death, but my personal alternative to Christianity is friends, lovers, stimulating conversation, learning, birthday parties, eating out, music, football, cinema, literature, clubs, lectures, walks, history, SIWOTI, science, sunny days, dancing, comedy, tennis, travel, psychology, secularism, philosophy, and more.

    One thing I agree with Gregory on is there are too many atheists here. The creationism “controversy” is not a case of atheists v Christians. So you are very welcome here. Although the focus of this forum is often ID, anything pertinent to skepticism, e.g. religion, is a good topic.

  19. JT:
    But, just google “carbon-14 dinosaurs bones” and you’ll see a flood of recent claims regarding this from YEC groups,but no responses at all from talkorigins.org, etc.These new claims are saying like 10-2000 years old, well inside the dating range of carbon-14.I’m assuming its all B.S.

    You piqued my curiosity so I Googled and came up with just one publication underlying all of the sound and fury on creationist sites (if you know of any others, please share):

    A COMPARISON OF δ13C & pMC VALUES for TEN CRETACEOUS-JURASSIC DINOSAUR BONES from TEXAS to ALASKA USA, CHINA AND EUROPE
    Hugh MILLER, Hugh OWEN, Robert BENNETT, Jean DE PONTCHARRA, Maciej GIERTYCH, Joe TAYLOR, Marie Claire VAN OOSTERWYCH, Otis KLINE, Doug WILDER, Beatrice DUNKEL

    All of these authors appear to be affiliated with an organization who’s website is http://www.dinosaurc14ages.com. The “Who We Are” section says:

    We are a group of consultants in geology, paleontology, chemistry, engineering, and education who perform research on fossils. We are affiliated with no church or university. We are open to ideas concerning the past history of the earth We are especially interested in anomalies of science and theories about past cataclysms that have happened on earth that all scientist acknowledge have happened. We do not receive any funding from any government foundation. Therefore we do not have to hold fast to certain ideas or paradigms for fear of losing our funding or our tenure. We are not all of any particular creed or denomination. We welcome scientific information that may not be published in respected journals due to its controversial nature. We participate in excavations, arrange for radiocarbon dating (RC, 14C, or Carbon-14) of fossil material at licensed laboratories, work with museums, and prepare reports for publication world-wide. We have investigated fossil material from all over the world.

    The smell of crank is strong here.

    The ages they get from this misapplication of C14 dating are from around 22,000 years to over 38,000. If I remember correctly, that’s into the range where extreme care must be taken to distinguish signal from noise. Hopefully someone here with the relevant expertise will comment.

    In any case, the probable reason you haven’t seen any refutations is that cranks can generate nonsense faster and with far less effort than working scientists can document their errors. Playing creationist whack-a-mole is a losing proposition. If this material starts to be used to push sectarian beliefs into public school science classes, I expect someone would take the time to rebut it.

  20. Patrick,

    There was a recent detailed presentation at a geology conference in Singapore, claiming carbon-14 in dinosaur bones that were much younger. The only commentary I could find on it anywhere was here and that guy is confused as well why no one else is talking about it.

  21. JT:
    Patrick,

    There was a recent detailed presentation at a geology conference in Singapore, claiming carbon-14 in dinosaur bones that were much younger.The only commentary I could find on it anywhere was here and that guy is confused as well why no one else is talking about it.

    That’s the same group, I believe. Here are their notes on a Singapore conference they attended: http://www.dinosaurc14ages.com/singnotes.htm

    ETA: Yes, the dinosaurc14ages.com site is cited at the bottom of the comment you linked to.

  22. Patrick
    All of these authors appear to be affiliated with an organization who’s website is http://www.dinosaurc14ages.com.The “Who We Are” section says:

    The smell of crank is strong here.

    Wow, they really have some professional know-how on that site! I like they careful way they’re avoiding contamination by having one fossil bone sitting out in the open dirt and sawing it in two with a hacksaw.

    The best part by far however is the actual dates in the table for the specimens. There’s one triceratops dated 39,230 ± 140 and 30,110 ± 80, over 9K years apart for different pieces of the same animal. Another single hadrosaur has dates of 31,050 + 230/-220 to 36,480 + 560/-530, over 6K years difference for samples from the same individual.

    That’s all you really need to know about the veracity of the data.

  23. “there are too many atheists here.”

    Well, that’s quotable. An explanation would be welcome. Along with recognition of why theists don’t feel welcome here.

    There are too many ‘skeptics’ (read atheists/agnostics) at TSZ.

    Elizabeth, the founder, she’s a quasi-Buddhist, proto-pantheist, small-d ‘designer,’ architect, psychologist, ex-Christian, not-sure-about-it, but still *not* an atheist, musicologist, cognitive studies kinda gal.

    Does that make ‘eclecticism’ a positive worldview in contrast with Cordova’s IDist-creationist evangelical Protestant USAmerican provincial mud?

  24. Gregory:
    “there are too many atheists here.”

    Well, that’s quotable. An explanation would be welcome. Along with recognition of why theists don’t feel welcome here.

    There are too many ‘skeptics’ (read atheists/agnostics) at TSZ.

    Elizabeth, the founder, she’s a quasi-Buddhist, proto-pantheist, small-d ‘designer,’ architect, psychologist, ex-Christian, not-sure-about-it, but still *not* an atheist, musicologist, cognitive studies kinda gal.

    Does that make ‘eclecticism’ a positive worldview in contrast with Cordova’s IDist-creationist evangelical Protestant USAmerican provincial mud?

    You’re right Gregory. Go and make a your own haven for all, where you can bash folks with your dictionary and worship at the alter of HPSS. Bye!

  25. Gregory:
    “there are too many atheists here.”

    Well, that’s quotable. An explanation would be welcome.

    The reason is obvious, but why do you think it is?

    Along with recognition of why theists don’t feel welcome here.

    Almost all of the theists who are aware of this site are from UD. The reason they prefer UD is again obvious.

    I don’t know if and why you don’t feel welcome here. You seem happy to post.

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