[b-hebrew] Eden

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Tue Jun 15 01:19:44 EDT 2004

Dear Peter:

Now that you bring in science

When I was in college, one of my profs was a missionary for evolution, and to aid in his efforts to convert all of us to believing his religion, he had us use a biology textbook by Dr. George Gaylord Simpson. In its introduction, the textbook had a multipage definition of science complete with examples and counter examples. Briefly, science depends on observation, but in order for that observation to be scientifically relevant, it must be a repeatable observation. Upon noting patterns in observations, hypothesis are made which, upon testing by more, repeatable observations, are developed into theories. Of course, you know that.

After making that definition, Dr. Simpson defined evolution as the theory that teaches that all life are descended by natural means from simple, common ancestors over a long period of time. (I know that‘s not an exact quote, but it is pretty close.) Though he called it ”a scientific fact“, it violates the definition of science he had just spend pages developing. That theory is not scientific at all. Evolution is a perfect example of ”bad science“.

I do not know of a single ”evidence“ for evolution that does not, at least in part, depend on presuppositions that cannot be observed—geologic stratigraphy (Charles Lyell, before Darwin), radiometric dating, phylogeny, etc.—every one depends at least in part on inobservable presuppositions.

This is not a claim that ”creation science“ is science. It is not science for the same reasons evolution is not science.

The reason I objected to ”proto-Semitic“ language, especially as a yardstick to evaluate Biblical Hebrew, is because it, like evolution, is based on inobservable presuppositions that may or may not be true. I would prefer to stay with that which can be observed, in this case, the Biblical Hebrew language recorded in Tanakh and what few other writings in Biblical Hebrew that we have found.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>

> On 14/06/2004 03:03, Robert K Brumbelow wrote:
> >
> > ...
> > Peter,
> >     You can say that, yet I have been in the mountains in Colorado and 
> > in the Alps and in both places I have found sedimentary rock. That to 
> > me is pretty strong evidence of a world wide flood. Further I live in 
> > North Central Texas hundreds of miles from the nearest coast and 
> > hundreds of feet above current mean sea level where almost all of our 
> > stone deposits are sedimentary. Now my understanding is that 
> > sedimentary rock only forms under a liquid such as water. ...
> Yes, of course there is sedimentary rock in very high places, indeed 
> right at the top of the highest mountains. Some sedimentary rock is laid 
> down by rivers and in lakes, or by wind (sand dunes don't need water, 
> but they become sedimentary rock), but indeed most of it is laid down by 
> the sea, and some of this is found on the highest mountains. If you ask 
> geologists who have spent their life studying this, the reason is that 
> this land has been lifted up, by earthquakes and more gradual processes, 
> over periods of millions of years, and simultaneously gradually worn 
> away by water, ice, wind etc until in many places only mountain peaks 
> remain.
> > ... I would not be so quick to divorce faith and science. it has been 
> > my own personal experience that when one is in conflict with the other 
> > its because of a misunderstanding or bad facts.
> I don't want to divorce faith and science, but I do want to show up bad 
> science for what it is. There are too many people who decide in advance 
> what conclusions they want to find (often, but not always, based on 
> faith but often with a lot of their own preconceptions of what the Bible 
> etc means mixed in) and then find some pseudo-scientific means of 
> reaching that conclusion. Very often this science is transparently bad 
> to anyone (like me) with a degree in science and a critical mind.
> And to bring this back to biblical Hebrew etc, the same principle 
> applies in physical science as in linguistics, archaeology etc: if you 
> reach a conclusion which is quite different from that of the established 
> scholars in the field (whether geologists, theologians, archaeologists 
> or whoever), you may be right, but you need to make very sure that you 
> are if your result is to be accepted by anyone except for an uncritical 
> fringe.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
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