Dispatches from the Forum: Details and nominating process


(Brad Kramer) #1

Occasionally I add to a series on my blog called “Dispatches from the Forum”, where I take especially excellent posts and conversations here on the Forum and adapt them into an article. The current entries in the series can be found here.

An important note about this series: Please be aware that, by posting here on the Forum, you are giving implicit permission for your material to be posted elsewhere at BioLogos. Thus, we don’t need to ask you permission to do this. However, we will notify you if your posts will appear on a BioLogos blog, and we will cite these entries according to your chosen username. We will also link to your original posts. This is a public forum whose posts are already accessible by major search engines. If you don’t want your posts to be cited publicly, don’t post publicly.

So, here’s where we need all of your help: There are literally thousands of posts here every month. The moderators do read every post, but not always in depth (in my case, “skim” is more appropriate). There are many excellent posts and exchanges here, and the moderators may not always catch them. So if you see a post or series of posts that you think is particularly excellent, please nominate it in one of the following ways:

  1. Post a link to it below (use the button below each post that looks like a chain link to get the URL)
  2. Quote the excerpt below
  3. Send a message to myself (@bradkramer) with your nomination

(Brad Kramer) #2

(George Brooks) #3

Sigh … this is wonderful. Thank you.

George


(George Brooks) #4

You don’t provide a sample … so let me see if this is what you mean:

This is the specific part of the text I nominate:

“Young Earth Creationists do NOT “use the same scientific evidence and interpret it differently.” They simply dismiss any evidence which they cannot reconcile with their predetermined conclusion of a young Earth and a global Flood. Thus, when the much-vaunted RATE Project encountered a tiny problem with their rapid-decay model–namely, that their own calculations indicated that the excess heat would melt the planet’s crust and kill every living thing–they concluded that, since they couldn’t possibly be wrong, God must have taken the heat away through some unknown, possibly miraculous mechanism.”

@BradKramer and @Christy, let me know if I need to change the format …


(George Brooks) #5

@BradKramer

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the intent of this “folder”. I was thinking it would be a place for nominating posts or parts of posts as being worthy of being considered a “Greatest Hit” of narrative.

Is it your intention to open up “nominated posts” for special debate? That’s what it looked like in the other thread (now closed) also called “Dispatches…”

Just let me know … so I can play my part accordingly …

George
(Totally Interested in Nominating Good Posts or Good Sections of Posts)


(Brad Kramer) #6

That’s correct.

Not really. I just wanted there to be a way for people to highlight the posts that they thought were especially excellent. The mods will take it from there.


#7

Great idea. I’ve mostly been a lurker on the Forum, I’ve gained much from reading many of the gems posted here. Unfortunately, one has to wade through a lot of material to find those gems and I applaud any effort to make them easier to find.

By that I don’t just mean ground-breaking facts or interesting citations. I value things like the instructive analogies and new ways to describe old concepts. I’ve often found myself saving those teachable tidbits which I’ve often struggled to explain to someone with limited science or theology background. As I see it, this is a wonderful aspect of Biologos’ mission.

I look forward to seeing how you go about titling and keyword-tagging such material.

I do wish that there was a way to bring in defenders of young earth and anti-evolution viewpoints which were a step up from the usual AIG-style copy-and-paste. Yet, many will no doubt benefit from seeing the classics rebutted. But speaking personally, I wish I could see more exchanges dealing with the arguments published by the few young earth creationists who hold PhD’s from relevant fields of science. I’m thinking of Dr. Todd Wood, for example. I disagree with most of his conclusions about the scientific evidence but he seems to be among the very few Christian skeptics of billions of years and evolution who actually appears to understand how science works. Plus, he often rebukes and distances himself from the pervasive science-ignorant nonsense of AIG, ICR, and the like. No wonder that so many of the young earth community either despise or completely ignore him. He tells them truths that they don’t want to hear and he seems to do so with grace and a Christ-like demeanor.

I know it is a lot to wish for but in the interest of maximum fairness to those of the creation science world, I’d love to read more dialogue with the best (??? Yeah, I know) of the young earth side of things and not just the same lame propaganda arguments that simply play on the science-ignorance and Bible-ignorance of vulnerable audiences.

Yes. Call me a dreamer. I appreciate that many of this forum are willing to grit their teeth and explain for the millionth time why “But it’s still a worm or bacteria or coelacanth!” or “Everybody has the same evidence. They differ only in interpretations.” and other foolishness classics are silly arguments. But it would also be refreshing to see exchanges involving the ideas of the very few within young earth and anti-evolution circles who at least try to act like real scientists who can pursue evidence where it leads and don’t just get paid to spout the usual YEC ministry claptrap. Admittedly they are very hard to find but there are probably people on this forum who know where they are and perhaps even subscribe to their blogs and newsletters.

For example, one of my interests is hearing from Todd Wood and colleagues and why the much trumpeted baraminology research at Answers in Genesis has failed to produce anything. (I also wonder why a tiny fraction of the many millions AIG spends on building programs and tourist traps can’t be diverted to actual “creation science” research. For years we’ve been told that creation science suffered from discrimination against their research and that that prevented them from receiving large financial grants. So now that organizations like AIG take in well over $20 million per year, and that’s not even counting special projects like the Ark Park and the original fundraising for the Creation Museum, shouldn’t all that money make the first scientist beneficiaries of such bounty capable of taking advantage of the low-hanging fruit of being the first well-funded researchers in a wide-open field? Inquiring minds want to know!)

Please excuse my dreaming out loud. I guess it may be due to the fact that I have so many great friends who are young earth creationists and really do represent some of the best examples of what it means to be Christ-like, yet they have been generally stereotyped according to some of the worst but most prominent spokespersons and figureheads at the various young earth ministries. It just doesn’t seem fair to them, even though I disagree with them on so many of their views.

Admittedly, the Dr. Todd Wood types of examples within the young earth side of the fence are hard to find, but surely there are more of them out there. (Sadly, the major ministries won’t have anything to do with them, for obvious reasons. Dr. Wood has repeatedly called them on their dishonesty and their dishonorable quote-mining and just plain ignorant dismissal of science facts. Dr. Wood keeps losing the limited institutional funding that he has had in the past.)

Of course, I probably have an ulterior motive if I scrutinize my thinking. I’m confident that YECs like Dr. Wood, precisely because they are trained scientists who are willing to be honest with the evidence, will eventually leave the YEC world just as so many other former YECs have done. (My favorite professor who got me interested in these topics is one of those.)

By the way, I do realize that in Dr. Wood’s case, he felt he had an unpleasant experience cooperating in a dialogue with a scholar with Biologos ties. I hope that that experience does not prevent productive dialogue in the future.

That’s my two cents.


#8

One other comment. I’ve often appreciated Biologos moderator Christy Hemphill’s comments amid various interesting forum exchanges, so I hope her contributions will be preserved as part of those “greatest hits” exchanges. I’ve noticed that she often draws on her classroom experiences in various courses where the professor drew their attention to the various issues. My academic career has focused on other fields and so those gems have been very helpful for me. She has also drawn attention to various types of dodging and disingenuousness which were obvious and yet of a nature where many participants probably felt uncomfortable about flagging the rhetorical games and posturing without sounding rude. So it is nice to see a moderator providing that frank honesty where warranted so that others don’t have to take that role.


(Brad Kramer) #9

@Christy is about as good a co-moderator as they come. She’s amazing! :thumbsup:


(Brad Kramer) #10

(Christy Hemphill) #11

Aw, shucks. :blush:


(George Brooks) #12

@BradKramer

Shouldn’t this “Dispatches” thread be easier to find? You used to have it tacked to the top …

If I hadn’t known about it’s existence, I would never have found it. Are we discontinuing the idea nominating particularly good postings?

Here’s my latest nomination:

It’s a short post, so I’m not going to specify a specific sentence or paragraph.

I think @Larry_Bunce very economically describes the issue !

[Now that I’ve posted to it, the thread will be near the top again … but is there another way ?]


(George Brooks) #14

Thanks @BradKramer !

Here is my latest nomination to the hall of fame … or whatever …

Continuing the discussion from Creating a "BioLogos: Great Quotes" page ?!:

This is my latest submission for a well stated sentence or two for the BioLogos “Hall of Fame”!!!
Or whatever you want to call it!

Nice job, @dscottjorgenson !!!


(Casper Hesp) #15

I want to nominate a legendary post by @Eddie which gathered six likes on this topic:


(George Brooks) #16

I thought I would bump this thread to remind us all if we see and read a particularly concise or articulate posting …

Great is God in all His Ways.