Commended for aiming for accuracy
These three letters are in response to Maintaining Creationist Integrity, which in turn was a response to criticism of our Q&A page, Arguments we think creationists should NOT use. The first letter is from ‘Robert Newton’ (Jason Lisle), USA, an astrophysicist Ph.D. Candidate [now fully-fledged Ph.D.—Ed.]. Mr Newton has contributed several articles to Journal of Creation, e.g. The short-period comets ‘problem’ (for evolutionists): Have recent ‘Kuiper Belt’ discoveries solved the evolutionary/long-age dilemma? and one relevant to the topic in hand, ‘Missing neutrinos found! No longer an “age” indicator’, Journal of Creation 16(3):123–125, 2002 (to be posted; meanwhile see summary) [and a very important one to Creation magazine, Light-travel time: a problem for the big bang—Ed.].
The second letter, from Bobby Thomas, Springfield, MO, was posted after the other positive and negative letters in this week’s feedback, showing how our allegedly negative articles have helped his creationist presentations. The third letter, from D.M., Australia, was posted later, pointing out that the ones at fault are those presenting error—not those exposing those errors. A fourth letter, from Jeff Wilson of Bradenton, FL came in later and made a number of good points.
I really enjoyed the article on Maintaining Creationist Integrity. It is vitally important that we creationists are honest and truthful in all things to the best of our ability. We should never use arguments that are based on faulty or dubious science to defend our faith; such methods harm our cause by giving unbelievers a reason to write-off all Christians as dishonest. There is no need to resort to questionable pseudo-science. Indeed, the well-established scientific evidence (when interpreted with Biblical ‘glasses’) supports our faith (as your many articles have repeatedly demonstrated).
Thank you for your boldness in challenging all creationists to adhere to proper peer-reviewed science, and for exposing the invalid arguments that some creationists use. It is unfortunate that some Christians oppose such constructive criticism. ‘Iron sharpening iron’ is an essential part of good science. I commend you for your high standards of integrity. God Bless you.
My first exposure to creation science was through a set of tapes by Dr Hovind in 1997. His tapes really helped me with a lot of my questions. It seemed everytime I turned around creation was being directed at me and I wanted to know more so I could defend creation without looking stupid. In August of 2001 I ordered Dr Hovind’s powerpoint slides and started working on my presentation. After I got done cutting out everything I wasn’t going to cover I had taken it from about 15 hours to 4. It was shortly after this time I was introduced to ICR and [CMI]. After veiwing many tapes by Dr. Morris and Ken Ham I have had to rework my presentation even more. Then I came across the list Arguments we think creationists should not use. I was confused at first on what to think, but as I did more research I came to agree with what [CMI] has to say about these arguments and have changed by seminar to that effect. My presentations now are mainly based on information that I have recieved from [your organization] and I would like to thank you for your web site the great tool it has been for me. I am one of those ‘one man bands’ you talk about and without your help I could not keep current. Keep up the good work.
I have seen that [your organization]has received some heat concerning the publishing of the article Arguments we think creationists should not use, and as I have read the article I want to say that [CMI] was right to publish it.
I note that some critics assert that the article seems to single out specific creationists (who insist on teaching disproved, scientifically invalid theories). However, with respect, such objections from critics are irrelevant: basic sense suggests that if certain people are presenting untruths, then they are the ones who need to lift their game and stop doing it—no rocket science; it’s as simple as that. The article isn’t at fault: it’s accurate and truthful; what the article does do is state what science and hypotheses have been discredited over time, and that’s all it does. If some people feel the heat of the spotlight as a result of the truth coming out through the article, that isn’t [CMI’s] fault, nor is it their problem. If those telling untruths were to stop doing so, they would be in the clear. One has to wonder what their motivation is to persist in doing this. Misleading people is not how great works of the Holy Spirit are achieved. Or do the critics seriously propose that untruths should continue to be taught in creationist circles, in the name of ‘unity’ and ‘peace at all costs’?
The fact is that ‘all truth is on our side’. We have more than enough real scientific evidence available to us right now to make a convincing case for special creation and a literal Genesis to a person with an honest mind. To tell people anything less is to undermine our own position, and we have no biblical mandate to mislead people to the truth; indeed, such a proposition is manifestly absurd.
This letter comes late but I couldn’t help but say something. I enjoyed your ‘arguments creationists shouldn’t use’ that came out a while ago. I also, for some reason, had been checking out Kent Hovind's site once in a while. Reading a few of his articles here and there, it seemed like he used much material straight from your books and much material from old sources. It appears that since he doesn't really have a research department that he relies on others to bring updated information to him. His attitude is very unprofessional sometimes in how he approaches those without his view but he seems to run a small operation so as someone like me who scans internet for creationists, I found his site to be more of a novelty site and figured his site might appeal to a fringe group.
I happened to stumble on his response to your ‘arguments’ article almost right after he posted it at his site. I saw right away that his responses weren’t up to snuff. I went to his site for weeks after wanting to see if he could respond back to your rebuttal of his remarks. I just went to his site today and finally found a response to what you (CMI) had to say. I would like to make these comments:
- I read TJ [now Journal of Creation] and CRSQ and for the most part those Journals keep me up to date on news, so to those informed, the vapor canopy model really began to lack bite and therefore it should have came as no surprise to anyone keeping updated on creation stuff to see it on your bad arguments list.
- Those arguments that you said we shouldn’t use, show their head in many creation books and sites and Kent Hovind and his readers were out of line to think it was a personal attack on him.
- What I also find peculiar is that he made the first move against you and his letters he posts on his site implies you attacked him first.
- Denis Peterson, whose name also shows up in a letter on Hovind’s site, made the same mistakes as Hovind. Peterson also didn’t keep up to date material and made statements that would make people look foolish if they tried to use them on evolutionists who knew better. I wrote an e-mail to you immediately following your critique of Petersons book to say that I found the same things wrong with the book as your site stated and I was surprised to see Peterson still using dated stuff as fact. The book is very pretty but not very useful for the educated creationist. [Ed. note: see also the responses both positive and negative (with our response).]
- Christians do have the right to call out other Christians when they possibly are leading sheep astray. Only someone full of pride would not want to take your wisdom about what not to say in debates.
- There really was nothing Hovind could say in response because he was out of line. Pretending to take the ‘high road’ by not responding to your critique of his remarks was absolute dishonesty. He was caught with his pants down.
- Keep on showing the misleading facts out there because I don’t want to be debating with bad information because CMI was afraid to offend another Christian groups giving out bad information.
- CMI and ICR will always get my support. I actually thought a year ago about buying Hovind’s $99 classroom set to teach at church and then discuss the problems he presented to show where Christians can make mistakes too but I feel now that if he’s not willing to present truth or at least state where something is controversial then I don’t want to support him.
You guys are doing God’s will.
Thanks for everything!