Saturday, December 04, 2004

Creationist karstology

I never knew there was a branch of science called 'creationist karstology'. But now I know: probably the best known (and potentially the only) practitioner of it is Emil Silvestru, who was head scientist at the Speleological Institute in Cluj, Romania, before he immigrated to Canada and became a member - and apparently employee - of Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization. 'Creation Magazine' claims he is a 'world authority on caves' - OK, he probably did indeed spend some time in caves and knows something about them. But how seriously can you take someone who honestly thinks that this is reasonable and this is good science:
After becoming a Christian he quickly realized that the ‘millions of years’ interpretation, so common in geology, was not compatible with Genesis. ‘Once I became a Christian,’ Emil says, ‘I knew I had to “tune up” my scientific knowledge with the Scriptures.’

‘Although philosophically and ethically I accepted a literal Genesis from my conversion, at first I was unable to match it with my “technical” side.’

E-mail discussions with qualified creationist geologists, creationist books, Creation magazine and especially the TJ helped him realise what he calls two ‘essential things’:

  1. Given exceptional conditions (e.g. the Genesis Flood) geological processes that take an extremely long time today can be unimaginably accelerated.
  2. The Genesis Flood was global, not regional.

    ‘These factors were immensely important in my conversion and my Christian life. I am now convinced of six-day, literal, recent, Genesis creation. That doesn't mean that there are not still some unanswered problems, but researching such issues is what being a scientist is all about.’"

According to Dr. Silvestru, radioactive dating is wrong; he is "now convinced of six-day, literal, recent, Genesis creation" and that "currently prominent creationist modeling of the post-Flood Ice Age is an important tool in understanding the karst in a young-earth framework".

No comment.

To wrap it up, a little piece of blatant misinformation. Asked if he

experienced any ridicule or persecution because of his strong stand on Genesis creation

, I guess back in Romania, Dr. Silvestru says:

"Not really, for two main reasons. First, after so many years of almost compulsory atheism/evolutionism, most people welcome biblical creationism as a breath of fresh air. Second, God has granted me a professional status that practically bars any attempt to ridicule my creationist convictions."

It is true that religion has gained quite some ground since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe; but I don't think that you can make a blanket statement like "most people welcome biblical creationsim as a breath of fresh air". In fact, most of the people I know, even those who are much more sympathetic toward religion then I am, would definitely not consider bibilical creationism a breath of fresh air.

Regarding his "professional status that practically bars any attempt to ridicule" his creationist convictions - well, here is one.

It is also true that they are ridiculous enough by themselves.


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