Christian Educators – Heed This Survey!

I was sent a link to an interesting article written by Ruth Lukabyo of Youthworks College in Sutherland, New South Wales (Australia). In it, she reports on the results of a survey she gave to “scripture kids” in Australia. What are scripture kids, you might ask? They are children who elect to receive religious training as a part of their schooling.

In New South Wales, students in the government school system are allowed to choose whether or not to attend “special religious education” classes during the school day. These classes, commonly referred to as “scripture classes,” are not funded by the government, but they do take place during school time. The children who choose to attend them are commonly called “scripture kids.”

Well, Lukabyo decided to give 208 of these kids a survey. The children were 11-14 years of age, and since they have chosen to attend these classes, you would think that they are at least a bit more favorable to Christianity than the general public. In addition, since they have actually been attending these classes, you would think that they are better educated about Christianity than the general public. Given those two assumptions, the results are rather surprising.

The students were given a list of questions, and they were asked to choose which was most important to them. Here are their top four choices:

1. How can I know that God exists? (Answer)
2. How could a good God send people to hell? (Answer)
3. How can I believe in a good God when there is so much suffering? (Answer)
4. Doesn’t evolution prove that God doesn’t exist? (Answer given below)

These are all very important questions, but I am a bit surprised that they were chosen by “scripture kids.” If these kids are receiving instruction in Christianity, they should know the answers to these questions, as they are very common questions that should be addressed in any basic Christian education setting.

I have linked answers to the first three questions, but I want to answer the fourth one myself, because more than any of the other questions, it shows how poor these children’s Christian education is. Of course evolution doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist! If evolution is true (I don’t think it is), it merely shows how God created.

First, some of the greatest thinkers in Christendom were theistic evolutionists. C. S. Lewis is regarded by many as the most influential Christian apologist of his time. His book, Mere Christianity, was voted best book of the twentieth century by Christianity Today in 2000. He has been called “The Apostle to the Skeptics.” As I have pointed out in the past, while he wasn’t rock solid in his belief in evolution, he was a theistic evolutionist.

Alvin Plantinga is probably the most important Christian philosopher alive today. He is widely credited for the revitalization of Christian philosophy that took place in the mid-to-late 1900s. Indeed, a 1980 Time Magazine article reported on the remarkable resurgence that had occurred in religious philosophy and gave Plantinga the lion’s share of the credit for it, calling him “America’s leading orthodox Protestant philosopher of God.” He is also a theistic evolutionist.

If evolution proved that God doesn’t exist, these incredible thinkers (and many, many others) would not be such amazing servants of the Lord!

Second, you can argue (as Cornelius Hunter does) that evolution was devised as a defense of God’s goodness. It was a means of removing him from the nasty details of nature by allowing a blind force like natural selection to do all the “dirty work” necessary to make the world we see today.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think evolution (in the flagellate to philosopher sense) is incredibly bad science. It almost certainly never happened. However, even if it were true, it doesn’t affect God’s existence at all. It simply tells us the physical means by which He produced the wonder we see all around us.

What’s the take home message from this survey? For me, it’s that we need to do a better job of educating our children when it comes to Christianity. Now I recognize that the children in this survey might not be getting much serious Christian education. After all, how good can the Christian education be in a government school? Nevertheless, all Christian educators should heed the warning that this survey provides: Children who have had any measure of Christian education should be well-versed in the answers to these basic questions. If your Christian education doesn’t address such questions, you need to change it so that it does.

71 Comments

  1. josiah August 24, 2011 9:55 am

    It isn’t just Australia. When I took a Religious Studies IGCSE a few years back I was horrified to realize just how simple the courses are. It almost seemed (from the mark schemes) that even the examiner knew only of one or two pet parables and the golden rule! There was also a disproportionate amount of emphasis placed on abortion and euthanasia, as though those were the only real world ethical issues that needed considering.

    To be fair though, the questions you mention are incredibly complex philosophical issues; issues that have had many vastly intelligent men pondering for years to plumb their depths and often coming to very different answers. They can’t really be taught in the manner of teaching of the modern classroom.

    The lesson I’d really like people to take from that is that even early teenagers don’t want to be spoon fed predigested information any more, but want to be exposed to really meaty problems. Unfortunately I’ve a sneaky suspicion that even if many respondents weren’t lying outright, when they actually realize how much work such questions entail they’d stop paying attention and get on with more interesting things like sport and romance.

    • jlwile August 24, 2011 12:22 pm

      Josiah, I expect your concluding sentence is the most accurate assessment of the situation, unfortunately!

      While you are right that the questions raised are complex philosophical issues, they are basic issues in the Christian faith. Thus, Christian education programs should address them. They have, indeed, “had many vastly intelligent men pondering for years to plumb their depths and often coming to very different answers.” What should be taught is the various ways these men (and women) did plumb the depths and what answers they did come to.

      http://www.drwile.com

  2. NoOneKnows August 24, 2011 1:37 pm

    “If evolution proved that God doesn’t exist, these incredible thinkers (and many, many others) would not be such amazing servants of the Lord!”

    Wow! I doubt if there could be a more convoluted argument than that.

    Problem statement:Observed reality doesn’t agree with scripture.
    Solution A – Reinterpret scripture to match the reality with mind numbing rationalizations.
    Solution B – Challenge the observed reality with pseudo science, twist the facts to cause enough confusion and convince the sheep that the stories written by bronze age nomads are inerrant.

    hmmm….which one it is???

    Hint Hint: The real solution is much simpler and is neither A nor B.

    • jlwile August 24, 2011 2:28 pm

      NoOne, this is not a convoluted argument. It is really quite simple. Lots of very deep thinkers believe in both evolution and God. If evolution proved God doesn’t exist, that could not happen. Don’t call an argument convoluted just because you can’t come up with a legitimate response.

      Your choice “A” shows an incredible lack of understanding of basic history. There have been theologians from the beginning of Christendom (and even back into pre-Christian Judaism) that have interpreted the Genesis account figuratively, and they weren’t doing it because of evolution. They were doing it because they thought there was a legitimate reason to do so. Thus, there is no “reinterpretation” going on among theistic evolutionists. They simply accept an interpretation of Scripture that has been around since the beginning of Christendom (and even before that).

      Your choice “B” is also false, since creationists do not challenge observed reality. In fact, we are the ones who focus on data and evidence rather than “just so” stories that try to explain around the evidence.

      You are correct that the answer is neither A nor B, but that’s because your “Problem Statement” is wrong. Observed reality agrees quite well with Scripture. There is sometimes a discrepancy between certain views of Scripture and certain hypotheses of scientists/historians. However, real science and Scripture are in agreement, which is why the science we have today is the result of Christianity.

      http://www.drwile.com

  3. Elizabeth August 24, 2011 8:51 pm

    Excellent admonition about what we want to keep priority in the education of our kids. Lee Strobel’s books address these topics pretty well as a starting point — Case for Faith, Case for Christ, Case for Creation. I think he has written a “junior” series of these books for young people.

    Thanks for the important reminder!

    • jlwile August 25, 2011 7:40 am

      Excellent recommendation, Elizabeth. I find Strobel’s work to be very understandable, even to the person who has not studied such issues much.

      http://www.drwile.com

  4. The Black Sheep August 25, 2011 8:54 pm

    I tend to agree with Josiah here. I also think particularly for number 3, but somewhat 1 and 2 as well (not really 4) that these are things people continue to struggle with throughout their lives. I think even the most steadfast Christians would be hard pressed to say that in the face of tragedy they don’t at least have an inkling of doubt. Certainly I’ve encountered situations where, even if ever so briefly, I’ve thought, how can God allow this to happen? Not quite the same as “How can I believe in God…?” but it’s not a far stretch.

    Also, just curious… who are the teachers? The classes aren’t mandatory, but are the teachers who teach them required to do so? And are they themselves Christians? And are the classes really meant to be geared toward Christianity, or are they more like Religion classes that tend to explore multiple religions and belief systems?

    • jlwile August 26, 2011 8:18 am

      Black Sheep, I agree that these questions are valid ones, but the point is that these students don’t seem to know that there are answers for them.

      I also agree that “even the most steadfast Christians would be hard pressed to say that in the face of tragedy they don’t at least have an inkling of doubt.” The great scientist Robert Boyle wrote, “He whose Faith never Doubted, may justly doubt of his Faith.” But that’s not what these questions address. They address the global issues. Why is there ANY suffering if God is both good and incredibly powerful? These are intellectual/philosophical questions, not emotional/personal ones. They have intellectual/philosophical answers. Students should be educated in those answers.

      The teachers of these classes can be teachers from the school, but the school cannot force teachers to teach the scripture classes. Thus, the teachers have to choose to teach the class. The classes can also be taught by part-time or volunteer teachers. However, regardless of who the teacher is, the teacher must be accredited through a religious institution that the government recognizes. This includes a lot of churches, and some other religious organizations. Since those organizations must accredit the teachers, I assume the teachers are proponents of that specific religion.

      While the vast majority of scripture classes in Australia are Christian, there are some that are not. There are recognized Buddhist, Bahá’í, Muslim, and Hindu religious institutions. They can offer classes, but if no one opts into them, the classes don’t take place. Since most students opt in to a Christian scripture class, most scripture classes are Christian.

      http://www.drwile.com

  5. The Black Sheep August 26, 2011 9:20 am

    I haven’t had enough coffee yet to debate my first point. At least the teachers are accredited and not being forced to teach the class, that’s at least a step in the right direction.

    On a completely separate note, you once indulged me with a blog post about a question I had, http://blog.drwile.com/?p=3764. I was hoping I could convince you to do so again.

    In an effort to drop some pounds, I’ve started focusing on building muscle (instead of endurance) and therefore lifting weights. I understand the basic principle of why muscles get sore, but for me, and most people I know, 2 days after the work out seems to be FAR more painful than the day after. As with my other question, why is this, and is there anything I can do to prevent it?

    • jlwile August 26, 2011 9:44 am

      Black Sheep, I will be happy to answer that question. The answer is (not surprisingly) a bit in-depth, so I will need to spend some time to put it together. Unless something incredible happens (like NASA releasing the new MESSENGER data on Mercury’s magnetic field), it will be my next post.

      http://www.drwile.com

  6. Louis August 29, 2011 8:25 am

    Oh, I don’t know. I received a very good Christian education. You know, Adam, the flood, sins, the works. I believed in it wholeheartedly.Didn’t know anything better.

    Then I started studying the real world. I studied the natural sciences and majored in Chemistry and Geology. Then I got advanced degrees in Geology. So many of my former teachers and ministers kept on talking about an earth less than 10 000 years old (how absolutely ridiculously crazy must you be to believe that). Educated people talked differently. I started working for mining companies (the Karoo Sequence deposited in a flood- how absolutely crazy must you be to believe that).

    Then I dropped religion- some believers are just to far removed from reality. The creationist types don’t even do science, they just pretend to do science!

    It was only later that I realised that more than 99.9% of all relevant scientists, religious or not(life and earth scientists) accepted an old earth and evolution. I also only later realised that more or less the same percentage of Christian scientists also accept an old earth and the Theory of Evolution.

    Reality-deniers are not doing Christianity a favour. For me to go back to religion? I would only accept empirical evidence that a god exists. No religion has got any observable evidence for their viewpoint.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 10:26 am

      Louis, your story is interesting, because it is essentially 100% opposite of mine. I was an atheist, and when I started studying the real world, I realized how irrational that position was. My scientific knowledge led me directly to a belief in God. For a long time after that, I still believed in the scientifically-irresponsible position of an old earth, because it was what I had been taught. As I started studying for my PhD in nuclear chemistry, however, it became clearer and clearer to me how that position did not make sense in the light of the data. Thus, I became not only a Christian, but a young-earth creationist, because of the evidence.

      It is unfortunate that you are still trying to mislead people. Creationists do not pretend to do science, they do it. In fact, they often do it better than the evolutionary scientists, because they follow the data. Also, it is far from clear that 99.9% of all relevant scientists accept old earth and evolution. In fact, there are nearly 1,000 relevant scientists who are willing to go on record as doubting evolution.

      Even if 99.9% of scientists believe in old earth and evolution, so what? There are many instances throughout the history of science where the vast majority of scientists were simply wrong about an issue. This is the problem with the argument from authority – it often leads to faulty conclusions. Real scientists don’t rely on the argument from authority. They follow the data, and the data clearly point to the reality of Christianity. I hope that you will actually start looking at the evidence!

      http://www.drwile.com

  7. Louis August 29, 2011 12:12 pm

    No scientific organisation in the world accepts creation science as science. Not even one court does, either.

    Creationists all pretend to do science, but don’t. It’s called pseudo-science. No matter how many times you pretend to do science; you don’t. You don’t follow the scientific method.

    Anyway, I see you missed explaining to me how the Karoo Sequence was deposited in a flood a few thousand years ago. Plese explain. Your word salads won’t alter verifiable evidence.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 12:46 pm

      Once again, Louis, you are trying to mislead people, and I won’t stand for that on my blog. Of course a lot of scientific organizations all over the world accept creation science as science. The Creation Research Soceity is a scientific organization that has existed for almost 50 years, and it actively encourages creationist research and publishes a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The Institute for Creation Research has been funding scientific research that has produced some amazing results. There are also many international scientific organizations that accept creation science as science.

      Of course, even if there weren’t any scientific organizations that accept creation science, that would mean very little. Once again, you are relying on the argument from authority, which has no sway for any responsible scientist. A responsible scientist follows the data.

      You can make false claims all you want, Louis, but they don’t stand up to the evidence. As discussed in the link I provided previously, there are many instances in which science that was done by creation scientists has corrected the scientific mistakes that non-creationists have made. Thus, not only do creationists do science, they sometimes do it better than those who are not creationists!

      The Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  8. Louis August 29, 2011 12:39 pm

    Oh, and Dr. Wile, you are very irresponsible to comment on an area outside of your expertise. I wouldn’t even call it irresposible, I would call it madness.

    Are you trying to tell us that all the geologists in my country are irresponsible, but that only you are right? Are you trying to tell us that mining companies are irresponsible to follow the models presented by thousands of geologists, spend billions on mining according to those mining models, but that you are the only person who’s right?

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 1:26 pm

      Louis, I specifically referenced the book so that you could read the discussion of the Karoo sequence from someone within whose expertise the issue falls. I am not a geologist, so I cannot give you the details of how the Karoo sequence fits into Flood geology. However, I gave you a reference where you could learn from someone who does know. I hope that you will look at the reference!

      Once again, there is no reason to try to mislead people. I am not claiming that I am the only one who is right and all the geologists in your country are wrong. In fact, there are many geologists around the world who are creationist geologists. I am saying they have the better arguments and are adhering to the data more closely than other geologists. Thus, I consider them to be correct.

      http://www.drwile.com

  9. Louis August 29, 2011 12:49 pm

    Dr. wile, could you explainn the deposition of the Karoo Sequence by a flood?

  10. Louis August 29, 2011 12:53 pm

    I’m not asking for book references on fossils, I’m asking for the deposition of the Karoo Sequence. Lets start with the Dwyka Group. Are you trying to tell us that all geologists are wrong, but only you are right?

  11. Louis August 29, 2011 1:30 pm

    Dr. Wile, I know that you are going to ban me from your blog. I know that the moment you come under scrutiny, you ban people.

    It won’t change reality. It doesn’t matter how many times you censor people, the truth will prevail, eventually. People are not as stupid as you think they are. A little bit of education and people like you are gone.

    I guess that’s why people like you prey on the marginally (un)educated, thinking that the “institutions” you mentioned are ‘scientific’. You can’t make a living in the real world.

    Come and present your “flood-models” to Anglo, BHP, Exxaro, etc. Then we see how big-mouthed you are. All you can do is lie, it doesn’t work in the real world. Your uneducated sheep would always believe you, though. Luckily the world is getting more educated.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 1:46 pm

      Louis, I have only banned one person from this blog, and that was because of his behavior, not his ideas. Although your behavior is certainly not ideal (repeatedly trying to mislead people never is), I think your comments are illustrative, because they show how little your ideas are based on evidence. Mostly, you seem to just want to insult people.

      It is interesting that you try to characterize me as preying on the “marginally (un)educated.” In fact, what we find in the real world is that a young-earth creationist education produces excellent students (see here and here). Several students who have used my award-winning science texts have gone on to university and distinguished themselves quite well (see here, here, here, here, and here). Thus, I am actually producing very well-educated people who are becoming the scientists and engineers of the next generation!

      The real world is, indeed, becoming more educated, which is why the number of young-earth creationists is increasing!

      http://www.drwile.com

  12. Louis August 29, 2011 1:43 pm

    No, the Genesis flood (Whitcomb and Morris)had absolutely no SA geologist participating. They haven’t even seen a Karoo rock, therfore what they did was the opposite of science.

    Morris was a civil engineer and Whitcomb did theology. Could you direct me to an SA geologist who thinks that the earth is less than 10000 years old?

    Could you also explain why you think the Karoo Sequence was deposited by a flood?

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 1:57 pm

      Once again, Louis, it is really distressing that you keep trying to mislead people. I have already given you a reference that discusses why it is reasonable that the Karoo Sequence was deposited by a flood. If you don’t care to read that reference, that’s unfortunate.

      I am not familiar with the countries of origin for all the creationist geologists. However, here is a list of creationist scientists which has several geologists in it. Perhaps one of them comes from South Africa.

      http://www.drwile.com

  13. Louis August 29, 2011 1:55 pm

    Great, at last you recognise that you are not a geologist. Why do you pretend that you know more than geologists and that they all are wrong?
    Dr. Wile, please explain why you think the Karoo Sequence was deposited by a flood.

    Lets start with the Dwyka Group. Please explain why you think the Dwyka Group (if you don’t know, it is the lowest group of the Karoo Sequence, with all the characteristics of glacial deposition), was deposted by a flood?

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 1:59 pm

      Louis, once again, you need to stop misleading people. I do not claim that I know more than geologists and that they are all wrong. I say that young-earth geologists have better arguments and follow the data more closely. Thus, they are correct.

      Once again, I gave you a reference that discusses how the Karoo Sequence was deposited by a flood. It is unfortunate that you are not willing to educate yourself on the matter.

      http://www.drwile.com

  14. Louis August 29, 2011 2:15 pm

    It doesn’t matter how many times you think that I mislead peple, other people can read for themselves. They can judge who mislead who.

    Could you please explain how the Karoo Sequence (let’s start with the lower-most group, the Dwyka Group), was deposited by a flood?

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 2:20 pm

      Louis, I agree that people can read for themselves and will see that you have been trying to mislead in nearly every one of your comments! That’s why I don’t see any need to ban you from my blog. Your comments are incredibly illustrative.

      The Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  15. Louis August 29, 2011 2:36 pm

    That was funny. I looked at one of your references, called list, I don’t know how to reference it here, but there was listed around 200 ‘scientists’ who are creationists.

    Not even one SA geologist. None at all. (although around 300 geologists work in this country at the moment).

    I also noted that most “scientists” mentioned were Engineers and Philosophers. (Noting the fact that there’s over 700 000 Earth and Life scientists just in the US). Very few Earth and life scientists. Could you reference me to even one SA earth scientist who is a YEC?

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 3:12 pm

      Louis, I have never made the claim that YECs represent a large portion of the scientific community. However, you have made the claim that YECs are not scientists, and the list demonstrates that such a claim was (not surprisingly) false.

      Also, you are once again (not surprisingly) trying to mislead people about the list I linked. There are only two philosophers on the list and only 22 engineers. The list contains 195 scientists. Thus, “most” of the list is not made up of engineers and philosophers. Only 12% of the list is. You claim there are “very few earth and life scientists.” However, there are 81 earth and life scientists on the list, which is almost four times the number of those you claimed made up “most” of the list! Given the fact that you are so wrong on your evaluation of the list, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are South African scientists on the list and you are just ignoring them, as you seem to do with most data.

      Once again, since I am a responsible scientist, the argument from authority means very little to me. Thus, it doesn’t bother me that YECs are in the minority. They are the ones who are following the data, which makes them the more responsible scientists.

      I don’t know any geologist who works on the Karoo Sequence, so obviously I can’t point you to a YEC geologist who has experience with the Karoo Sequence. However, as I have told you repeatedly, the Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  16. Louis August 29, 2011 2:41 pm

    Sorry, I made a mistake. 3000, not 300, geologists actually work in SA at the moment. Not one is a YEC.

    Could you explain how the Karoo Sequence was deposted by a flood? (Lets start with the Dwyka Group)?.

  17. Louis August 29, 2011 2:51 pm

    Could you direct me to a Young Earth Geologist who has ever seen a Karoo rock and thinks that it’s 10 000 Years old?

    With this question I don’t refer to Engineers or Theologists or someone who claims to be a geologist who passed by, I refer to someone who works on the Karoo Sequence for a living.

  18. Louis August 29, 2011 3:26 pm

    That was funny. At 1:43 I poined out that neither Morris, nor Whitcomb were geologists. Then you accused me of lying. I wasn’t. No lies about it. You accused me of lying. I was not. People are not as stupid as you think they are. This is also there for ever. People can read who lied. Your writing would be there, forever. Wishful thinking won’t change it.

    Dr. Wile, how was the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence deposited?

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 3:29 pm

      Louis, I was not accusing you of lying about Morris and Whitcomb. I was pointing out that by repeatedly asking a question I had already answered, you are trying to mislead people. I am glad that this will be here for people to read, as it shows how you spend most of your time trying to mislead people!

      The Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  19. Louis August 29, 2011 3:47 pm

    Dr. Wile

    I know lots of scientists who actually do work on the Karoo Sequence. I know lots of scientists who work on the Dwyka Group. I know lots of scientists who work on various parts of the Ecca Group. I know lots of scientists who work on all the Groups of the Karoo Sequence.I work on it, myself. That’s why I’m asking you, how did the Dwyka Group get deposited?

    Which formation of which Group of the Karoo do you know?

    All these scientists got degrees from universities. Most of them work for mining companies, now. Where it matters. The models have to work, or they don’t employ you anymore. Old earth models work, a global flood doesn’t even feature in real life. No evidence for it at all.,

    That’s what’s called “operational” science in creo pseudo-sci-fi-“language”

    Why do you think you know more than them? You’re arrogant enough to think that you know better than them. You don’t.

    Anyway, could you explain how the Karoo Sequence was deposited? Could you explain how the Dwyka Group was deposited?. Real life situations, not wishful thinking.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 3:54 pm

      I don’t know any of the formations in the Karoo group, but I never claimed that I did. I have pointed you to a reference that explains the Karoo group in terms of Flood geology, but you are simply ignoring it. That is not surprising, but it is unfortunate.

      You say, “a global flood doesn’t even feature in real life. No evidence for it at all.” However, that is clearly not true. I wish you would stop trying to mislead people. Of course there is lots of evidence for a global flood. That’s the difference between you and me. I look at the evidence, while you simply rely on the opinions of the majority.

      Once again, I do not think I know more about geology than the people who work with you. I really wish you would stop trying to mislead people about that. However, I do think that the young-earth geologists have much stronger arguments and follow the data much more carefully, so I think they are correct.

      The Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  20. Louis August 29, 2011 3:51 pm

    Whitcomb and Morris were not geologists. They had no clue about geology. Natural science means natural science. They were not even natural scientists at all. They lied pretending to be natural scientists.

    They were creationists. They had no idea about the natural sciences. That’s it. In one word: creationists.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 3:58 pm

      Louis, once again, you are misleading people. Whitcomb and Morris did not claim to be anything other than what they were. In fact, if you would read their book, you would see that they list their credentials in the book. Thus, they say upfront who they are and do not attempt to lie in any way.

      http://www.drwile.com

  21. Louis August 29, 2011 4:04 pm

    Again, could you explain the deposition of the Dwyka Group, seeing that you think that Morris and Whitcomb were right?

    Could you also explain why the geologists are wrong, discussing the depositional environment of the Dwyka Group.

    While you’re at it, please also discuss the fossil record encountered in deposits of the Dwyka Group? (hint, the rocks are not, but the fossil record is very relevant to the fossils found in Vryheid Formation). A wonderful change, very relevant to our energy needs.

    But, please discuss why you think the Dwyka Group was deposited in a flood.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 4:05 pm

      Louis, the Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  22. Louis August 29, 2011 4:14 pm

    Me asking you for an explanation of the depositional environmrnt of the Dwyka Group is not misleading. It’s question. A direct question can’t be misleading.

    Please explain the depositional environment of the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence.

    • jlwile August 29, 2011 4:15 pm

      It is misleading, because you are trying to imply that I haven’t answered your question. I have, as follows:

      The Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      http://www.drwile.com

  23. Louis August 29, 2011 4:21 pm

    That’s rich. How does continental-wide flooding fit in with the deposition of the Dwyka Group? Please explain.

  24. Louis August 29, 2011 4:51 pm

    A reference on SA geology from a US Engineer and a then a US theo? Sorry, no. Not worth it. (US geos work very well in geology with an old earth model over in the US, European geos do the same, Chinese geos do the same). They wouldn’t know much about those rocks in the Karoo. You’ve got no name of a geo who actually worked on the Karoo Sequence and is a YEC?

    Sorry, I prefer getting my geology from scientific journals. SA Journal of Geology does just fine. Religious tracts don’t rate.

    Are you telling me that you think that all SA geologists, ever, have all been wrong? I wonder what Anglo, Exxaro, BHP,etc. have to say about it. Of course you can submit your “flood-model” to any of them if you think that you’re right. They are there for the money, and that’s it. The old earth models have been working very well for them.

    Is it only me wondering why they’ve spend billions of dollars in mining following the old-earth model, but not even one dime following the ‘flood-model’/?

    • jlwile August 30, 2011 6:52 am

      Louis, I am not surprised that you don’t want to find out the answer to your question. You seem to prefer to ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit into your preconceived view.

      As I said before, I expect there are SA geologists who are YEC, so I don’t think that “all SA geologists, ever, have all been wrong.” The very fact that you deliberately tried to mislead people about the list of YEC scientists I gave you indicates to me that I can’t trust your evaluation that there are no YEC geologists in South Africa. I do think that old-earth geologists are wrong, because rather than relying on the opinion of the majority, I actually follow the data.

      You might be wondering why the oil companies have been spending billions of dollars in mining following the old-earth model, but I am not. An old earth is part of the scientific dogma of the day. Of course companies will follow it. Real scientists, however, don’t follow dogma. They follow data.

      You can keep asking your question over and over again, Louis, but you have already admitted that you don’t care to learn the answer to it.

      http://www.drwile.com

  25. Louis August 29, 2011 4:53 pm

    Oh, I forgot to ask. How do you explain the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence?

  26. Elizabeth August 29, 2011 9:53 pm

    Love all the linked information in your responses, Dr. Wile! Thanks!

    • jlwile August 30, 2011 6:53 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I expect that you love the linked information because you are interested in evidence.

      http://www.drwile.com

  27. Louis August 29, 2011 11:29 pm

    Can’t you answer a simple question, Dr. Wile? But yet, you think that those geologists who have worked and studied the Ecca Group are all wrong?

    Please describe the deposition of the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence.

  28. shevrae August 31, 2011 9:02 am

    I find the discussion in the comment interesting, because it reminds me very much of the story of Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. Their hypothesis that peptic ulcers were caused by a bacterial infection was dismissed for years by the scientific establishment, who lazily followed the decades long paradigm that uclers were caused by diet and stress.

    They were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2005 for their discovery, and millions of people now get the appropriate treatment for their condition.

    This is only one story – there are plenty of similar anecdotes. That is not to say that every minority theory is correct (there are also many Peter Duesbergs among us), but that science is NOT “consensus”. As soon as consensus is more important that being open-minded and following observational evidence, we might as well all pack up go home, because we are no longer doing science, we are simply promoting a worldview.

    • jlwile August 31, 2011 9:50 am

      Excellent point, Shevrae. You are very correct when you portray those who dismissed Marshall and Warren as lazy. It is very easy to follow the “consensus” opinion. It is much harder to follow the data, regardless of where they may lead.

      http://www.drwile.com

  29. Louis August 31, 2011 1:49 pm

    Dr. Wile

    Why don’t you answer the question? You keep referring me to a book written by an Engineer and a Theolegian. Not even peer-reviewed by anyone.

    Dr, Wile, why do all those mining companies keep using an old earth model where the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence was definitely not deposited by a flood? Billions of Dollars are involved, Dr. Wile.

    Dr. Wile, could you describe to me how you think the Dwyka Group was deposited? Mining companies would love to get a model that works better than the present one. They would make more money and so would you. All you have to is logically predict where those companies would find that coal all those meters underground using your model. The mining companies do go and check once you’ve convinced them, Dr. Wile. It costs them a lot of money, but they would make more if you’re right.They’d go bust if you’re wrong.

    Oh, and Dr. Wile, there’s not even one SA geologist on your list. It’s a very short list, considering that there’s over 700 000 natural scientists and Engineers with Ph.D’s just in the US. Not even Philosopher included here as in your short list.

    Don’t you think that you’re a bit irresponsible to call all those South African geologists wrong, but refer me to an Engineer and someone who only did theolgy? What happened to evidence, Dr. Wile? The natural sciences actually work on physical evidence. Did you forget about the physical evidence, Dr. Wile?

    • jlwile August 31, 2011 2:19 pm

      Louis, I have answered your question. As I told you before, the Karoo sequence is discussed in detail in the creationist classic The Genesis Flood. I suggest you read it. As the book details, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology. The fact that you refuse to look at the book because you don’t like the authors demonstrates that you are uninterested in the physical evidence, which is truly unfortunate. I would think that a real scientist would be interested in the physical evidence. It is a shame that you are not.

      You seem to be fond of repeating your questions, because you once again ask, “Dr, Wile, why do all those mining companies keep using an old earth model where the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence was definitely not deposited by a flood?” As I have already answered you, an old earth is part of the scientific dogma of the day. Of course companies will follow it. Real scientists, however, don’t follow dogma. They follow data.

      I didn’t accuse you of lying.; I proved that you were lying. You said, “I also noted that most “scientists” mentioned were Engineers and Philosophers.” That is, of course, a lie. The fact is that engineers and philosophers make up only 12% of the list. You also said, “Very few Earth and life scientists.” Once again, that is a lie, as there are 81 earth and life scientists on the list, which is four times more than those you claimed made up most of the list! Given the fact that you have been caught in two lies about the list, there is no reason for me to believe you when you say that there is no South African geologist on the list.

      This is why it is distressing to me that you are so dishonest in your comments. Since you seem to be happy to lie in order to try to defend your case, it is very hard for me to believe anything you say. As I told you before (honestly), I don’t know any South African young-earth geologists. However, I certainly can’t believe you when you claim that there are none!

      http://www.drwile.com

  30. Louis August 31, 2011 2:01 pm

    Oh and again Dr. Wile, how do you think was the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence deposited?

    Think carefully, Dr. Wile, it has been thoroughly studied as it is a very important Group in the mining industry in my country. Why do you think all those geologists are wrong?

    Seeing that you accused me of lying, could you provide the name of even one SA YEC geologist, seeing that you expect one?

  31. Louis August 31, 2011 2:15 pm

    Dr. Wile

    You accused me of lying, but you referenced me to book by Whitcomb and Morris. Whitcomb studied theology and Morrris was a hydraulic engineer.

    In your comment, on August 29, 2011 at 1:26, you said:
    “Louis, I specifically referenced the book from someone within whose expertise the issue falls”.
    Dr. Wile, that certainly is false. Neither of the writers has any expertise on the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence. Dr. Wile, why can’t you reference even one South African geologist who has ever taken a YEC viewpoint on the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence? SA geologists, who study and work on it every day, are the the experts on it, Dr. Wile, not an Engineer and a Theolegian from the US.

    • jlwile August 31, 2011 2:26 pm

      Louis, just because someone doesn’t have a degree in geology doesn’t mean a geological issue falls out of his area of expertise. Dr. Morris studied geology extensively, and this kind of issue is right in his area of expertise. It is unfortunate that you are unwilling to look at the physical evidence that he presents.

      And once again, Louis, I didn’t accuse you of lying. I proved that you were lying.

      http://www.drwile.com

  32. Louis August 31, 2011 11:51 pm

    Dr Wile
    I still see that you refuse to answer questions. Dr. Wile, how do you think the Dwyka Group was deposited? Dr. Wile, could you name one SA YEC geologist?

    And, Dr. Wile, contrary to what you preach, mining companies don’t follow dogma. They don’t work like the flock in your church. They don’t follow dogma. They work like the preachers in a lot of curches. They follow the money. That’s what they are after. They don’t worry which dogma is followed, they only worry about which model works to make money. Guess which models every single one of them uses?

    Morris was a Hydraulic Engineer. Not a geologist. Yet, you pretended he was an expert on it. I checked, and he wasn’t. Just as I’m not a medical doctor. The fact that I read a lot on medical subjects makes me neither an expert on medicine nor an MD. For people to refer to me as in “expert” on medicine would be completely dishonest. That’s what you did with your references to Morris and Whitcomb as having “expertise” on geology. They don’t. You didn’t think that I was going to look at their qualifications, did you?

    Again, Dr Wile, why do all those mining companies use old earth models and why do you think Dwyka Group was deposited by a flood?

    I can give you a reason why I think you don’t want to provide a reason: Mining geology is what you would call an “operational” science in creo-pseudo-sci-fi speak. A model of a single global flood flood depositing the Dwyka Group just doesn’t work. No word salad is going to change that fact.

    • jlwile September 1, 2011 9:42 am

      Louis, it is unfortunate that you will not admit that I answered your question, and it is even more unfortunate that you refuse to educate yourself on the issue. If you want to actually learn, you will read The Genesis Flood, where the Karoo Sequence is discussed. As I have told you before, the Karoo sequence’s fossil richness and preservation fit much better with the notion of massive continent-wide catastrophic flooding than with uniformitarian notions of geology.

      Once again, you seem very fond of repeating questions I have already answered. As I have told you at least twice before, I don’t know any YEC geologists in SA. However, as I have also said, since you are willing to lie in an effort to support your case (as I have already proven), I certainly can’t take your word that there aren’t any.

      Companies do, indeed, follow dogma. In fact, most companies are very hesitant to try new ideas. They stick to what does a “good enough” job, because trading “good enough” for something that might be better is a huge financial risk. Thus, the very fact that they follow the money keeps them from trying out new and innovative ideas. I would think that as a scientist, you would know that the superiority of one theory cannot be shown unless it is tested against other theories. Since (as you admit) no company uses the young-earth theory, it is impossible to tell from company experience whether or not the old-earth theory is superior to the young-earth theory. This is why it is important to follow the data, which demonstrate the superiority of the young-earth theory. It is unfortunate that you are unwilling to do that.

      Your idea that an expert has to have a degree in the subject is demonstrably false. Let’s take an example from history. Ernest Rutherford was a professor of physics. However, what did he win the Nobel prize in? He won the Nobel prize for chemistry. According to your criteria, he shouldn’t have even been doing research in chemistry, since his degrees were not in the field of chemistry. Thankfully, most scientists know more about how science works, and they understand that a degree is not necessarily what makes you an expert in a field. If you study a field long enough and hard enough, you can become an expert in it.

      Let’s look at another example from more modern times. Jerry Manning is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of microbiology. Until his recent retirement, he was a professor of biology at the University of California Irvine, and he had a vigorous research program in molecular biology and parasitology. What was his degree in? physical chemistry. His degree has nothing to do with the field in which he is currently recognized as an expert. The reason he is currently recognized as an expert in molecular biology is because he was on the team that first sequenced a gene. As a result of that research, he became very interested in the field of molecular biology, so he started studying it. As a result, he became an expert in the field, once again demonstrating that expertise does not necessary follow degrees.

      You claim I have not given you a reason why companies follow the old-earth theory. Of course, this is just another attempt to mislead, since I have given you the reason twice. Companies follow dogma, not data, specifically because they do not want to risk their profits. You claim, “A model of a single global flood flood depositing the Dwyka Group just doesn’t work.” Of course, this claim is ridiculous, since you don’t even know how the flood model relates to the Dwyka Group. In fact, you refuse to educate yourself on the issue, despite the fact that I have given you a reference that will allow you to do so. If you don’t even know how the flood model relates to the Dwyka Group, you clearly haven’t tested the model. If you haven’t tested the model, then there is simply no way you can know whether or not it works. You simply proclaim that it doesn’t, because you don’t want to even consider the idea that it might! More than anything else, this statement shows how little you care about evidence!

      http://www.drwile.com

  33. Jake September 1, 2011 3:47 pm

    I am reminded of this:

    “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”
    – Revelation 22:11

  34. Elizabeth September 4, 2011 3:22 pm

    I didn’t read all the comments very carefully, but I am interested in something.

    How do mining companies utilize the “old earth model”?
    Louis, can you outline the general contrasting assumptions of old earth vs. young earth geology, as well as their resultant predictions and how those specifically impact the mining industry.

  35. Vivielle September 4, 2011 8:31 pm

    Wow 60 comments! I nearly forgot what it was that I wanted to say by the time I got to this comment box…

    Oh, it was that when you said “I was an atheist, and when I started studying the real world, I realized how irrational that position was. ” I wanted to chime in and say that even though I’ve been raised a christian the more science I study the more convinced I am of the Truth. (And I thought you needed a non-argumentative comment on this post. :)

    • jlwile September 5, 2011 7:05 am

      Thanks, Vivielle. I honestly don’t see how anyone can study science seriously and not be convinced of God’s existence.

      http://www.drwile.com

  36. Dan September 5, 2011 12:43 am

    Louis,

    You haven’t even attempted to address Morris and Whitcombe’s evidence for flood-deposition of the Dwyka Group that Dr. Wile pointed you to multiple times. It is absolutely necessary that you address that point if you want to continue arguing that the flood model doesn’t work scientifically. Why do you keep avoiding this?

    Also, attacking Morris and Whitcombe’s credentials rather than addressing the CONTENT of their scientific argument is a “red herring.” The credentials that those two authors have are irrelevant to the data they present for a flood model.

    Louis, why do you think that the Dwyka Group was deposited under the uniformitarian model and not deposited by a flood?

  37. Louis September 5, 2011 5:20 am

    Dr Wile

    I see that you’re still trying to word salad the fact away that all the mining companies in my country use science for their operations.

    Your word salads won’t change facts. No matter how many times you use deception on your sheep.

    The fact is, all mining comapanies in my country use the old-earth model. Science. In creo-pseudo-sci-fi language, the old earth model works in “operational” science.

    It doesn’t work on the creationist pseudo-science model.

    • jlwile September 5, 2011 7:19 am

      Louis, I see you are still trying to mislead people. I have answered your questions, and even the commenters are becoming impatient with you claiming otherwise. As Dan says:

      Louis,

      You haven’t even attempted to address Morris and Whitcombe’s evidence for flood-deposition of the Dwyka Group that Dr. Wile pointed you to multiple times. It is absolutely necessary that you address that point if you want to continue arguing that the flood model doesn’t work scientifically. Why do you keep avoiding this?

      Also, attacking Morris and Whitcombe’s credentials rather than addressing the CONTENT of their scientific argument is a “red herring.” The credentials that those two authors have are irrelevant to the data they present for a flood model.

      Louis, why do you think that the Dwyka Group was deposited under the uniformitarian model and not deposited by a flood?

      Not surprisingly, you have refused to answer Elizabeth’s question. I will repeat it for you:

      How do mining companies utilize the “old earth model”?
      Louis, can you outline the general contrasting assumptions of old earth vs. young earth geology, as well as their resultant predictions and how those specifically impact the mining industry.

      So even though you continually repeat questions that I have already answered in an attempt to mislead people, you can’t bring yourself to answer questions that are put to you. That kind of behavior speaks volumes. Of course, if you actually decide to answer Elizabeth’s question, I will not contiunally repeat it.

      I have, indeed, found a young-earth geologist in South Africa. He is a hydrogeologist who works for AGES. He says he will be happy to discuss the Karoo formation. In fact, he says:

      The issue is not the evidence, but the INTERPRETATION thereof. The same Karoo evidence that he interprets from a uniformitarian perspective, is the same that I interpret from a Flood perspective.

      I have sent you his contact information so that you can be educated on this issue.

      Here’s what I find interesting. You are a geologist, and you are in SA. Yet, you couldn’t find a single young-earth geologist in SA. I am not a geologist, and I do not live in SA. Yet, with just two E-MAILs, I was able to find a young-earth geologist in SA. I think this clearly demonstrates which one of us is actually interested in looking for evidence!

      http://www.drwile.com

  38. Louis September 5, 2011 5:24 am

    Dr. Wile

    I still see that you refuse to answer my questions. Dr Wile, could you explain to me how the Dwyka Group of the Karoo Sequence was deposited?

    Could you give me a name of even one SA YEC?

    Even though you wish these questions to disappear, word salads won’t do it.

  39. Louis September 5, 2011 7:12 am

    Elizabeth

    I’ll wait for Dr. Wile to tell us why he thinks every single South African Geologist, ever, who’s looked at the empirical evidence thinks differently from his “experts”. Remember that his “experts” on the geology of the Dwyka Group are a Hydraulic Engineer and someone who studied Theology. Dr Wile insists that refering to these two “experts” is an answer to the question. It isn’t. He’s just trying to avoid the answer.

    Dr. Wile, couls you explain to us how you think the Dwyka Group was deposited? Empirical evidence would help. “References” to a book written by an Engineer and a Theolegian won’t help you in this case. I would love to see the evidence for your viewpoint.

    Dr. Wile, could you name even one SA YEC geologist? Word salading won’t let this question go away.

    • jlwile September 5, 2011 7:23 am

      Louis,

      I am not surprised that you refuse to answer Elizabeth’s question. Until you answer it, I will continue to repeat it:

      How do mining companies utilize the “old earth model”?
      Louis, can you outline the general contrasting assumptions of old earth vs. young earth geology, as well as their resultant predictions and how those specifically impact the mining industry.

      I will add Dan’s question as well:

      Louis, why do you think that the Dwyka Group was deposited under the uniformitarian model and not deposited by a flood?

      So even though you continually repeat questions that I have already answered in an attempt to mislead people, you can’t bring yourself to answer questions that are put to you. That kind of behavior speaks volumes. Unlike you, I will stop repeating the questions once you have answered them.

      You ask why I think, “every single South African Geologist, ever, who’s looked at the empirical evidence thinks differently from his “experts”.” I don’t think that. In fact, I know otherwise. With just two E-MAILs, I found a young-earth SA geologist. Thus, contrary to your claim, not every South African geologist who has looked at the evidence thinks differently from the experts I have cited.

      http://www.drwile.com

  40. Elizabeth September 5, 2011 4:17 pm

    Louis, might you be demagoguing… just a little?

  41. Louis September 5, 2011 5:08 pm

    Dr Wile, you are not telling the truth, again. You referred me to a geohydrologist, not a geologist. You even changed the name of his occupation, to deceive people, again.

    Dr. Wile, could you explain the deposition of the Dwyka Group? Dr. Wile, could you provide the name of one SA YEC geologist?

    Misleading people about occupations and word salads about it won’t let the questions to go away. Word salds about the Dwyka Group won’t let that Group go away, either. Dr. Wile, please explain the deposition of the Dwyka Group.

    • jlwile September 5, 2011 6:38 pm

      Louis, thank you so much for illustrating just how unscientific and dishonest you are being. I have given you two ways to learn about the Dwyka Group. I have given you a reference, and I have given you the contact information for a South African geologist who can educate you on the subject. The fact that you are avoiding the evidence (as Dan has pointed out) and demagoguing (as Elizabeth has pointed out) indicates that you aren’t being scientific about this at all.

      You are also being incredibly dishonest. You asked for the name of a SA YEC geologist. I gave you not only that, but I also gave you his contact information. Yes, he is a geologist. In fact, he has an honors degree in geology. In addition, he is a hydrogeologist as I indicated. If you had bothered to contact him, you would have gotten his business e-card, which indicates that his title at the company for which he works is hydrogeologist.

      I note that while I have answered all of your questions (the one about the Dwyka Group in two different ways now), you are still ignoring the questions put to you. That behavior speaks volumes. So that no one forgets, I will repeat the questions that you cannot bring yourself to answer. Elizabeth’s question was:

      How do mining companies utilize the “old earth model”?
      Louis, can you outline the general contrasting assumptions of old earth vs. young earth geology, as well as their resultant predictions and how those specifically impact the mining industry.

      Dan’s question was:

      Louis, why do you think that the Dwyka Group was deposited under the uniformitarian model and not deposited by a flood?

      Your refusal to answer these basic questions, despite the fact that I have answered all your questions, tells us just how little evidence your position is built on!

      http://www.drwile.com