Jim whether your errors are egregious errors or not I do not know, but errors they are.. You display the same confusion as do most in assuming theorys to be facts... I -place the comments in (RED) brackets for the color blind... Needless to say, Tom Harpur in the face of undeniable evidence has no argument either, except that he bases his belief system upon a different faith. Phil. ----- Original Message ----- From: Jim McCrea To: Tom Harpur Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 2:51 AM Subject: Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity? ** Open letter to Tom Harpur *** cc. All my e-mail lists Hi Tom! In your article "Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity" there are a number of egregious errors. For instance, to defend creationism, we do not have to hold to a fundamentalist literalist interpretation of the Bible that says that the universe was created in 6 days 6000 years ago. [Surely this, Jim, is an opinion... Giving or taking a few thousand years, who makes that a fact? Are you not absolutely sure that the Church has ruled as absolute that the resurrection of Christ did occur? Can you say with such certainty that the Church has not ruled with the same certainty about Genesis? That the modern church has chosen today in a "face saving" compromise to not insist on the letter, has no bearing on the fact of the letter.] All we have to look at are the metaphysical and scientific facts. [And pray tell us , what are scientific facts? We can say that de fide definitions are facts.. There are no such things as De Fide scientific facts. Science is the first to admit that it is based upon chaos and uncertainty. Accidents? Then you confirm your error with the following, ] We can certainly accede to the Big bang taking place 13.7 billion years ago, as the creation ex-nihilo of all matter and energy in the universe. [Why can we accede to this Theory? And might I ask, which Big Bang specifically? Last time I looked there were about 15 modified and sometimes contradictory versions. Hardly could such be a FACT. I really have a hard time considering it as a reliable theory. (theories) ] We can look at all of the scientific and palentological facts squarely in the face. [I doubt you can prove many as good assumptions, let alone as facts. Some still today teach the Dinosaurs as reptilian, despite latest genetic evidence asserting that they are more related to the Kangaroo. ] Indeed we can accept, as paleontology tells us, that there are a vast number of fossils in rock strata that have built up over billions of years. [You can accept that if you want to deny the word of God and indeed the infallible word of the Church. And for what reason? An observable scientific presumption, as though if you look at a loaf of bread you can presume it was made by human hands. Yet to presume so theologically is based upon a false premise. That is, it is false to presume so for every loaf of bread. Take the loaves and fishes that Jesus created to feed the multitude. Was the water made wine made from the vine, an aged and fermented product, or was it but a few minutes old, from when it had previously been water? What would science say? What was the fact? Tom may say old myth, not evidence. When the 20 year old man had a large section of bone replaced in his leg by the miraculous water of Lourdes, observed and certified by representatives of the atheistic hostile French Acadamy of science, who noted that the bone was that of a normal healthy 20 year old, how old was that bone in FACT? Science today puts that in the too hard basket, and does not want to know about it. This bone had but a few minutes of existence. THAT IS THE REALITY . The point is that God proves He can create a fossil in an instant.. Why deny Him the infinite power to create the whole world in an instant, with aged trees, worn canyons and any other aged fossil He would need to do? Thus your following statement is easily proven to be a paradox. ] Earth's history, with life in it, is divided into eons, eras, and epochs. There exists a very sophisticated fossil record, with ever complex grades of life as time goes on. [You are attempting to make a compromise with those who see science as proving the word of God is not literal, and that it must allegorically fit with observable science. Just as some today, will say that Jesus did not really die.... and still find a way to call themselves Christian????? 27 But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise: and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. 28 And the base things of the world and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen: and things that are not, that he might bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his sight. (1Cor 1) It is not about physical science at all. Its a matter of two opposing faiths, and to bring them together is a denial of Christ. "The Prince of this world is to come... and he and I have nothing in common.." ] Philip. <SNIP> from www.thestar.com Columnists section: Tom Harpur **Tom Harpur's Article** Creationist arguments are damaging to Christianity TOM HARPUR From a page of letters in The New York Times (Jan.24) to the Star's recent feature on the topic - "E" word makes U.S. teachers skittish' (Feb.5) - it's more than obvious that a battle everybody thought had been ended several times in the past is still being waged. In fact, it's heating up on a far wider front than anyone could have dreamed of a decade ago. The bitter, divisive issue in thousands of schools across the U.S. today is the teaching of evolution in biology classes. Fundamentalist Christians are demanding that "intelligent design," which is really their new mantra for bolstering the former "creationism," be given equal billing in high school science classrooms. For them, Darwinism is synonymous with teaching atheism and so they are insisting that at the very least evolution disclaimers should be added to science curricula. They insist evolution is "just a theory" - one among many. Given that the U.S. president himself has said publicly that "the jury is still out on that one" - i.e. whether evolution or creationism is right - you can't blame those who espouse the same simple theology as he does for their present militancy. In many ways, though, it's a sad commentary on the state of religion in the U.S. and on the general level of understanding of the majority of Christians there. Evolution is not "just a theory" if by that is meant it's merely a fragile, unproven idea likely to be revoked at any moment in favor of something else. In science, a theory of this magnitude and potency - in terms of the vast mass of data which it and it alone clearly explains - has become a reliable, trusted model. Yes, it can be altered in details; yes, it is always subject to further testing, and yes it has its gaps. But, no credible scientist today questions its overall validity. Creationism, together with its creed of a "young Earth" and "instant humans" in Eden is soundly refuted by the fossil records alone, and ongoing attempts by creationists to argue down evolutionists are painfully damaging to Christianity in general. The tragedy is that this furor is utterly unnecessary and a hugely wasteful spending of moral and material energies in a bogus campaign. Moral challenges such as child poverty, excessive spending by the military, space weapons planning and a host of other matters calling for spiritual outrage and action are neglected instead. When will these conservative religionists wake up and realize you don't have to choose between the best that science can offer, i.e. evolution, and a lively belief in a divine Mind or God behind the origins and development of life? Looking in the Bible for a scientific account of origins is like looking in the phone directory for a recipe for angel cake. Science begins with curiosity and deals with the what and how of things in the universe; religion flows from awe and wonder and tries to deal with the ultimate question: why? Why are we here at all? The answers are wholly compatible. That God used the method of evolution to select the myriad species of Earth is much more "miraculous" than some kind of magical fiat in a mythical Garden of Eden. The "Big Bang" is a greater miracle than any described in Genesis. Most sophisticated, religious persons find no conflict whatever between science and faith. Some of the greatest scientists of our era have been or are deeply religious (though often unorthodox) in outlook. For example, Albert Einstein was able to say: "I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research." It's important to understand why the fundamentalists are so fired up on all this. The reasons go far beyond their misunderstanding that evolution and belief in God cannot peacefully co-exist. To begin, their doctrine of an infallible, inerrant Bible, to be taken literally unless the context indicates otherwise, is threatened if science says we are the product of millions of years of natural selection while Genesis talks as though humans snapped to attention fully formed about 6,000 years ago. Inability to distinguish myth from history presents them with this false dilemma. But, their difficulties increase exponentially. If there was no age of innocence in a historic Eden, if there has been an upward-moving process involving hundreds of millions, even billions of years, then there was no literal, primal "Fall" involving "original sin." With this, the whole edifice begins to shake. No "Fall" means no monumental problem of sin staining everything human. No "Fall" means no cosmic necessity for a Redeemer, no Cross of Atonement, no bloody Passion. The evangelical "plan of salvation" totters and collapses. It doesn't make much sense anyway, but, evolution administers the coup de grace. This means bad news for the good news. What's feared most of all is this call to change.