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On the Extended Dawkins Scales: I’m a Creationist First, a Christian Second

Continuing on with the wonderful Dawkins Festival at Uncommon Descent (UD), I would like to mention the Dawkins Spectrum of Theistic Probability.

1.Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: “I do not believe, I know.”

2.De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.”

3.Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.”

4.Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. “God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.”

5.Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. “I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.”

6.De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. “I don’t know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”

7.Strong atheist. “I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one.”

But I think we can extend this notion to other ideas, like belief in creation:

1. 100 per cent creation is true.
….
4. neutral
….
7. 100 percent sure there was no creation.

or ID

1. 100 per cent ID is true.
….
4. neutral
….

or Christianity

1. 100 per cent Christianity is true.
….
4. neutral
….

etc.

So I would call these scales “the Extended Dawkins scales”.

Some Christians will say, you must be a Christian above all else. Even if that is what we ought to be, we are what we are. It may be surprising that there are those who became Creationists first and then Christians afterwards. The story close to my heart is that of Professor of Parasitology, Richard Lumsden:

http://creationsafaris.com/pdf/lumsden.pdf

Dr. Richard Lumsden was professor of parasitology and cell biology at Tulane University. He served as dean of the graduate school, and published hundreds of scientific papers. He trained 30 PhDs. Thoroughly versed in biological sciences, both in knowledge and lab technique, including electron microscopy, he won the highest world award for parasitology. All through his career he believed Darwinian evolution was an established principle of science, and he took great glee in ridiculing Christian beliefs. One day, he heard that Louisiana had passed a law requiring equal time for creation with evolution, and he was flabbergasted– how stupid, he thought, and how evil! He used the opportunity to launch into a tirade against creationism in class, and to give them his best eloquence in support of Darwinism. Little did he know he had a formidable opponent in class that day. No, not a silver-tongued orator to engage him in a battle of wits; that would have been too easy. This time it was a gentle, polite, young female student.

This student went up to him after class and cheerfully exclaimed, “Great lecture, Doc! Say, I wonder if I could make an appointment with you; I have some questions about what you said, and just want to get my facts straight.” Dr. Lumsden, flattered with this student’s positive approach, agreed on a time they could meet in his office. On the appointed day, the student thanked him for his time, and started in. She did not argue with anything he had said about evolution in class, but just began asking a series of questions: “How did life arise? . . . Isn’t DNA too complex to form by chance? . . . Why are there gaps in the fossil record between major kinds? . . . .What are the missing links between apes and man?” She didn’t act judgmental or provocative; she just wanted to know. Lumsden, unabashed, gave the standard evolutionary answers to the questions. But something about this interchange began making him very uneasy. He was prepared for a fight, but not for a gentle, honest set of questions. As he listened to himself spouting the typical evolutionary responses, he thought to himself, This does not make any sense. What I know about biology is contrary to what I’m saying. When the time came to go, the student picked up her books and smiled, “Thanks, Doc!” and left. On the outside, Dr. Lumsden appeared confident; but on the inside, he was devastated. He knew that everything he had told this student was wrong.

Dr. Lumsden had the integrity to face his new doubts honestly. He undertook a personal research project to check out the arguments for evolution, and over time, found them wanting. Based on the scientific evidence alone, he decided he must reject Darwinism, and he became a creationist. But as morning follows night, he had to face the next question, Who is the Creator? Shortly thereafter, by coincidence or not, his daughter invited him to church. It was so out of character for this formerly crusty, self-confident evolutionist to go to church! Not much earlier, he would have had nothing to do with religion. But now, he was open to reconsider the identity of the Creator, and whether the claims of the Bible were true. His atheistic philosophy had also left him helpless to deal with guilt and bad habits in his personal life. This time he was open, and this time he heard the Good News that God had sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins, and to offer men forgiveness and eternal life.

I actually worked with someone who quite by “coincidence” was family friends with the Lumsdens. I had to know that Lumsden was a real person as his story seemed too fantastic to believe. And indeed Lumsden was a real scientist, a Darwinist turned Creationist, an atheist turned Christian, and I felt that God was somehow reassuring my failing faith at the time by the “coincidence” of placing me at work beside someone who knew Lumsden in his former life.

Lumsden’s story is far more dramatic than my own. My story is more of the discovery of Creation bringing a prodigal son back into the Christian faith. I still have many doubts about Christianity, I am a doubting Thomas, and hence I am chummy with atheists to a great degree, but ID seems undeniable.

On the Extended Dawkins Scales, I would rate myself:

3.5 on the YEC scale
2.0 on the Christianity scale
1.3 on the Creationist scale
1.2 on the ID scale
1.1 on the theist scale

Others are welcome to rate themselves and post.

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24 Responses to On the Extended Dawkins Scales: I’m a Creationist First, a Christian Second

  1. Geneticist and inventor of the gene gun John Sanford has a similar atheist to christian story, although I believe he spent a decade or two as a theistic evolutionist along the way and seems to have taken a Christianity-first approach. From his book, Genetic Entropy, page vi.

    Late in my career, I did something that would seem unthinkable for a Cornell professor. I began to question the Primary Axiom. I did this with great fear and trepidation. I knew I would be at odds with the most “sacred cow” within modern academia. Among other things, it might even result in my expulsion from the academic world. Although I had achieved considerable success and notoriety within my own particular specialty (applied genetics), it would mean stepping out of the safety of my own little niche. I would have to begin exploring some very big things, including aspects of theoretical genetics which I had always accepted by faith alone. I felt compelled to do all this, but I must confess that I fully expected to simply hit a brick wall.

    To my own amazement, I gradually realized that the seemingly “great and unassailable fortress” which has been built up around the Primary Axiom is really a house of cards. The Primary Axiom is actually an extremely vulnerable theory. In fact, it is essentially indefensible. Its apparent invincibility derives largely from bluster, smoke, and mirrors. A large part of what keeps the Axiom standing is an almost mystical faith that the “true-believers” have in the omnipotence of natural selection. Furthermore, I began to see that this deep-seated faith in natural selection is typically coupled with a degree of ideological commitment which can only be described as religious. I started to realize (again with trepidation) that I might be offending the religion of a great number of people! To question the Primary Axiom required me to re-examine virtually everything I thought I knew about genetics. This was the most difficult intellectual endeavor of my life. Deeply entrenched thought patterns only change very slowly (and, I must add, painfully).

    What I eventually experienced was a complete overthrow of my previous understanding. Several years of personal struggle resulted in a new and very strong conviction that the Primary Axiom was most definitely wrong. More importantly, I became convinced that the axiom could be shown to be wrong to any reasonable and open-minded individual. This realization was both exhilarating and frightening. I realized that I had a moral obligation to openly challenge this most sacred of cows, but I also realized I would earn for myself the intense disdain of most of my colleagues within academia, not to mention very intense opposition and anger from other high places.

  2. In terms of the world of Darwin, Lumsden story did not have a happy ending:

    Dr. Lumsden rejoiced in his new-found faith, but found out there is a price to pay also. He was ejected from the science faculty after his dynamic conversion to Christ and creationism.

    Technically, it seems it was conversion to creationism then Chrisitinity, but the end result was the same. The Darwinists wanted him out.

    I saw the same thing happen at one of my Alma Maters, Geroge Mason University. My colleague Caroline Crocker (who is agnostic about creationism) accepted the possibility of ID and was shown the door. She is now a black-listed biologist. I sort of had an axe to grind after that…

  3. 100 per cent creation is true;
    100 per cent ID is true;
    100 per cent Christianity is true.

    But what do those claims even mean? It seems to me that they are all too vague. To take the last, for example, there are perhaps thousands of different Christian denominations, and they all disagree with one another.

    To be fair, I think that the Dawkins scale suffers from the same problem. We ought not to be arguing whether p is true, when most of the disagreement is about what p even means (using “p” here for something that has the form of a proposition).

  4. Neil,

    Thank you for your comment. My view is that the extended scale expresses how each individual feels about his own definition of these terms.

    Sal

  5. as to:

    100 per cent creation is true;
    100 per cent ID is true;
    100 per cent Christianity is true.

    Well, it is somewhat ironic that in a materialistic worldview nothing at all, even your own existence, can ever be held with 100% certainty. This complete epistemological failure of materialism to maintain any objective truth claims (100% certainty) about reality is born out on two different levels that I am aware of. On one level, epistemological failure arises for materialism at the cosmological level.

    Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs? – January 2008
    Excerpt: it’s hard for nature to make a whole universe. It’s much easier to make fragments of one, like planets, yourself maybe in a spacesuit or even — in the most absurd and troubling example — a naked brain floating in space.,, Alan Guth, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,,, pointed out that some calculations result in an infinite number of free-floating brains for every normal brain, making it “infinitely unlikely for us to be normal brains.” Nature tends to do what is easiest, from the standpoint of energy and probability. And so these fragments — in particular the brains — would appear far more frequently than real full-fledged universes, or than us.,, quoted from NY Times

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science. – Quoted from Washington Times

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Here is the last power-point slide of the preceding video:

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    ,,,And on the second, somewhat more personal, level, this epistemological failure, this ‘lack of a 100% certainty’, for trusting our perceptions and reasoning in science to be trustworthy in the first place, even extends into evolutionary naturalism itself;

    Should You Trust the Monkey Mind? – Joe Carter
    Excerpt: Evolutionary naturalism assumes that our noetic equipment developed as it did because it had some survival value or reproductive advantage. Unguided evolution does not select for belief except insofar as the belief improves the chances of survival. The truth of a belief is irrelevant, as long as it produces an evolutionary advantage. This equipment could have developed at least four different kinds of belief that are compatible with evolutionary naturalism, none of which necessarily produce true and trustworthy cognitive faculties.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....onkey-mind

    What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? (‘inconsistent identity’ of cause leads to failure of absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yNg4MJgTFw

    Philosopher Sticks Up for God
    Excerpt: Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he (Plantinga) writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12.....wanted=all

    Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.
    ~ Alvin Plantinga

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things? Perhaps we have non-physical souls too. In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth that he is purporting to give in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    Evolutionists Are Now Saying Their Thinking is Flawed (But Evolution is Still a Fact) – Cornelius Hunter – May 2012
    Excerpt: But the point here is that these “researchers” are making an assertion (human reasoning evolved and is flawed) which undermines their very argument. If human reasoning evolved and is flawed, then how can we know that evolution is a fact, much less any particular details of said evolutionary process that they think they understand via their “research”?
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....their.html

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines

    Thus, since I am 100% certain that I really do exist and that 100% certainty exists, and since 100% epistemological certainty for anyone can only be faithfully maintained in a Theistic worldview, then I am 100% certain that Theism is true and I am 100% certain that atheistic materialism is false!!!:

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply? – referenced article
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit

  6. As a Christian, I believe in truth. I believe Christ when He said He was the truth so I don’t feel I would be honouring Him by denying the truth.

    If there were conclusive empirical evidence for common ancestry evolution, I would accept it and still retain my faith in GOD. Unlike most atheists, it would not be a problem if I had to admit I was wrong about darwinian evolution, I have nothing to lose. It’s atheists like Dawkins and Myers who need darwinism otherwise their entire belief system crumbles…which explains their irrational and illogical attacks against those who criticize it.

    Either everything natural is just the product of nothingness and randomness, or it’s the product of something and order. The evidence shows the latter. I will count myself as a Creationist, which I admit is not a scientifically testable theory like I.D because I DO name the Creator (God) and I know He is beyond the limits of science.

    We all place our faith in someone/something, in fact science DEPENDS on it. We can’t prove the laws of cause and effect and non-contradiction have never been falsified, we take them by faith in order to conduct scientific experiments.

    On the other side of the coin, why should we expect a logical answer to a scientific question if the universe and everything in it are just allegedly the products of accidents?

    My faith in GOD/creation is not founded upon ignorance, just the opposite.

  7. 100% of blue is true.

    I think I’ll make that a song title.

  8. 100% of blue is true.

    True, but what is the square root of blue?

  9. 100% of the square root of blue is true.

    Here are the actual calculations:
    50% of the square root of blue is 50% true.
    50% of the square root of blue is 50% not true.
    50% of the square root of blue is 100% true.
    50% of the square root of blue is 100% not true.

    100% of what Sal has written makes no sense, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true (according to Sal).

  10. Sal claims that according to “the Extended Dawkins Scales” he is “a Creationist First, a Christian Second.”

    Not sure I can disagree with “the Extended Dawkins Scales,” whatever that is.

    Salvador obviously places his Creationism ahead of his Christianity.

  11. scordova:

    Something does not ring true in your story.

    I don’t mean you are lying to us; I mean, whoever reported the story to you has reported it incoherently. You say that Lumsden was ejected from the science faculty of Tulane University. I don’t believe that is possible. Tulane presumably respects the institution of tenure. A scientist of the accomplishments you list would have had tenure long before his conversion. So he *couldn’t* have been evicted from the science faculty — it would violate union rules, university rules, and state and federal laws upholding those rules.

    He might have been *ostracized* by the science faculty. They might have given him dirty looks, not invited him to lunch, etc. They might have given his research proposals bad reviews, out of spite. But they couldn’t have taken his job away. If they did, he could have sued the university for millions. And a well-known university like Tulane wouldn’t risk that kind of negative publicity; it would just let the “old kook” hang around until he retired, and pretend he never existed afterward.

    I require more evidence before I will believe this story.

    The Crocker case is entirely different. She did not have tenure and so had no union or legal protection. Spiteful scientists could do to her whatever they wanted, with impunity. And as academics (perhaps after symphonic conductors, a musician friend of mine tells me) have the lowest sense of moral decency on the planet, being a class of people motivated almost entirely by ego, it is not surprising to me that they did her in. But they couldn’t have done in this Lumsden. Not even the Dean or the President could have done what you’ve recorded. Or if they did, they would face a protracted lawsuit which they would end up losing, costing the university all legal fees, millions in settlement, and public embarrassment. Something is missing in your tale.

  12. Sal:

    Technically, it seems it was conversion to creationism then Chrisitinity, but the end result was the same.

    Why would anyone convert to Creationism.?

  13. ok. read for yourself:

    Here’s Salvador’s source:

    http://creationsafaris.com/wgcs_5.htm

  14. Thanks, Mung. I checked it out. Here is the information given:

    “He was ejected from the science faculty after his dynamic conversion to Christ and creationism.”

    That’s the sum of the information given. In other words, the writer of the original source offers no more information than Sal presented. And what it stated sounds, frankly, incredible. I would require proof that Tulane University literally “ejected” this man from its science faculty. I suspect that what happened was that his colleagues thought he had “gone weird” in becoming a conservative creationist, and started to ostracize him socially and professionally, so he felt uncomfortable and left. If that’s it, “ejected” is a misleading term.

    But supposing he was literally ejected from the science faculty, i.e., forced to leave it against his will, there would have to be a procedure and a justification. Tenure would protect him from being forced out merely for unpopular ideas. It would have to be shown that he failed in his university duties, or committed some great act of moral turpitude. As moral turpitude is unlikely in this case, the only grounds for dismissal could be “failure to perform reasonably assigned duties.” The article in question doesn’t provide any documentation of these charges or the legal battle that would have followed upon them. I therefore don’t trust the article. It isn’t well-researched; it isn’t scholarly. I don’t think Sal should rely on a popular summary of this kind; I think he should dig up the facts behind it, before endorsing its conclusions.

  15. I therefore don’t trust the article. It isn’t well-researched; it isn’t scholarly. I don’t think Sal should rely on a popular summary of this kind; I think he should dig up the facts behind it, before endorsing its conclusions.

    I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I didn’t dig up the fact about Lumsden.

    I spent a day in almost 10 years ago researching his story. Why? It was almost too good a story to be true, and as I mentioned earlier I worked with someone who knew Lumsden personally before his conversion to creationism. Did you miss that fact?

    1. My former co-worker is the son of someone listed here along with Lumsden:

    http://www.k-state.edu/parasitology/wardmedal.html

    A miraculous concidence for me that I knew someone who was a family friend of Lumsden.

    2. Richard Lumsden’s testimony is here in his own words and it matches the account given by David Coppedge (the author of the article)

    http://vimeo.com/11466124

    3. Lumsden was obviously at the ICR

    4. Lumsden’s peer-reviewed articles are in Pub Med for all to see!

    5. the mechanics of how he was removed from Tulane is largely irrelevant to the main point of his story. In fact, it would be rather hard to believe that he was still welcome to stay at Tulane. One doesn’t necessarily have to be formally shoved out the door. Even if “ejected” is a poor choice of words, it hardly is grounds for dismissing the main point of the article which was Lumsden’s conversion.

    I think he should dig up the facts behind it, before endorsing its conclusions.

    What conclusion, that Lumnsden became a Christian?

    The mechanics of his departure from Tulane are somewhat smaller details in the scheme of things. You’re arguing over the use of the word “ejected” versus saying something like “pressured out” of Tulane.

    I therefore don’t trust the article. It isn’t well-researched; it isn’t scholarly.

    The article is obviously for popular consumption. If you want to quibble over the nature of Lumsden’s departure, fine, that’s relatively minor in comparison to the fact he was an accomplished scientist, turned atheist, turned creationist, turned Christian.

    I require more evidence before I will believe this story.

    Good, then don’t. You don’t have to believe Lumnsden existed, was an atheist, was a professor, was a scientist, was published in journals, was listed as the winner of the highest award in Parasitology (the Henry Baldwin award), was converted to creationism, was converted to becoming a Christian.

    You can instead believe he was a happy Darwinist who just happened to leave a prestigious post at Tulane to accept a position at ICR for no good reason.

  16. scordova:

    You’re badly overreacting. I’m not denying most of the facts about Lumsden.

    I’m saying that neither you nor your source have provided any justification of the word “ejected.” And I’m saying that this is no mere cavil over words, since the word “ejected” will to the casual reader mean “fired.” Especially since the author of your source does nothing to contextualize the term.

    Was Lumsden fired? Was he “ejected” in some other improper way? I see no evidence for this.

    I looked at your linked video, and listened to a few minutes, but I don’t have time to listen to 38 minutes of “I once was lost, but now am found” — I have more important things to do with my life. If you will tell me where, in minutes, he discusses the circumstances of his leaving Tulane, I’ll check out that portion.

    Sal, I’ve read other creationist writings where allegations of firings have been made. Very often the situation is very incompletely described, i.e., either the person was not actually fired, or the person was fired but there was cause for dismissal — cause which the person’s creationist biographer is suppressing. (E.g., in some cases, these people have taught creationism in their science classes after being explicitly forbidden from doing so by their principals, supervisors, etc.) Without a full account of what happened at Tulane, I don’t trust the conspiracy-theory overtones of “ejected.” Popular account or not, the use of “ejected” has a demagogic effect (“Them thar ejjicated smart-asses from the East fired our Christian, God-fearin’ perfessor, even though he wuz real good at science, ‘cuz they wuz prejudissed by thar ay-thee-ism.”) I’ve got no use for vulgar appeals to the folksy American hatred of the educated, and that’s what the use of the term “ejected” is — a vulgar appeal — unless it’s explained.

    As you’ve said yourself elsewhere, Sal, certain forms of creationism can be liabilities for ID. Another liability for ID is the genre of “expelled” writing — where that genre is not executed in an academically responsible way. In the cases of Crocker and Sternberg, we have responsible documentation. In many other cases, we don’t. In your source, we don’t.

    I’m not telling you not to believe your source. You can believe what you want. I’m telling you why I don’t believe it, and won’t believe it, until someone comes up with some verifiable statements of fact. I’ve never known a case where a stellar scientist *with tenure* was fired from a major university for no other reason than his religious beliefs. I’m willing to be shown a first instance.

  17. I’ve never known a case where a stellar scientist *with tenure* was fired from a major university for no other reason than his religious beliefs

    You don’t have to fire someone to make them miserable enough to leave.

    You could be tenured and a distinguished professor like Robert Marks and just have your labs shut down, your funding blocked, your graduate students possibly impeded from graduation. Technically you aren’t fired, but you get disgraced by the University president and are told to shut up. Marks stayed at Baylor, but it’s not a stretch to say life could be made bad enough to leave.

    Also the sample size of creationist conversions is not large at that level to begin with. Such conversion stories are rare and that is why Lumsden’s story was news worthy. He may be one of the few that even converted. So you won’t hear of many, if any, other such dismissals to begin with.

    I’m telling you why I don’t believe it, and won’t believe it, until someone comes up with some verifiable statements of fact.

    Fine. Don’t accept David Coppedge characterization. I wrote to David Coppedge yesterday to thank him for writing the original article, but you don’t have to believe that I did that either nor that I knew a family friend of the Lumsdens. You can just believe David was misinterpreting the facts. I have no reason to believe David would misreport something of that magnitude.

    But it’s nice to know you believe the more fantastic part of the story: Lumsden converted to creationism.

  18. BTW Timaeus,

    Your skepticism is welcome in this discussion, thank you for posting your thoughts.

    I can understand your skepticism your vantage point, but from my vantage point, the characterization seems quite believable.

    Sal

  19. scordova:

    I never doubted any of your statements where you were speaking for yourself. The only statement I questioned was one you did not make on your own authority, but got from the Coppedge article, about the circumstances of Lumsden’s leaving Tulane.

    I think that Coppedge was leaving out a great deal of detail. And I’m not saying that he needed to go into detail for the purposes of his short article on Lumsden; I’m just saying that if anyone is going to use the word “ejected” to prove anything, the omitted detail then becomes necessary. I believe everything you have said about Lumsden, but withhold assent to “ejected” until I know the circumstances. The word is too loaded with connotations (in the context of ID and YEC folks being “expelled” from various positions) to be used without explanation.

    If you can’t provide a more complete account of what happened at Tulane, I’m not angry and I’m not going to demand that you explain what Coppedge wrote. I just wanted to flag the questionable term “ejected” for the reader. I had no problem with your post beyond that. Best wishes.

  20. Best wishes as well, Timaeus, and apologies for me getting snippy, I was wrong to do so.

  21. My apologies, too, if I said anything aggressive or arrogant. I didn’t mean to, but sometimes I get carried away with myself.

  22. yup. see sal in his full glory here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....eationism/

  23. Salvador:

    My former co-worker is the son of someone listed here along with Lumsden

    I suppose that what we are to infer from this is that anything you say about Lumsden should be take as gospel.

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