The Origin of Old-Earth Geology and its Ramifications
Dr. Terry Mortenson in the article The Origin of Old- Earth Geology and its Ramifications on Life in the 21st Century, discusses a well know debate that goes back many years. In this review I will give a brief overview of what the article itself is about. Along with that, I will discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses that I have found and thought about. There are some very great points in this article, as well as weak points. I think it is important to discuss both. Overview: The Origin of Old-Earth Geology and its Ramifications on Life in the 21st Century is an article by Dr.
Terry Mortenson. He discusses a well know debate that goes back many years. He mentions three French scientists, Comte de Buffon(1708-88), Pierre Laplace(1749-1827), Jean Lamarck(1744-1829), and how they were involved in the development of theories without the involvement of God. He defends his arguments with the mentioning of the four scriptural geologist, George Young(1777-1848), George Fairholme(1789-1846), John Murray(1786? -1851), William Rhind(1797-1874)(Mortenson, 2003) . Strengths: I think Dr. Terry Mortenson makes very good points in his article, with great detail.
He mentions the French scientists, and give a brief overview of what they brought to the table. “Three French scientists were prominent in this development. In Epochs of Nature (1778), Comte de Buffon (1708–88), postulated that the earth was the result of a collision between a comet and the sun and had gradually cooled from a molten lava state over at least 78,000 years. Pierre Laplace (1749–1827) published his nebular hypothesis in Exposition of the System of the Universe (1796). He imagined that the solar system had naturally and gradually condensed from a gas cloud during an indefinite but very long period of time.
Jean Lamarck (1744–1829), in his Zoological Philosophy (1809), proposed a theory of biological evolution over long ages by means of the inheritance of acquired characteristics” (Mortenson, 2003). He made it clear that a person’s worldview greatly affects their scientific view on creation. The relationship to the belief in God to the belief in creation seems to be the central focus. He mentions the four scriptural geologists as well. “Four of the most geologically competent scriptural geologists were George Young, George Fairholme, John Murray and William Rhind.8 Their writings demonstrated extensive reading in the scientific (especially geological) literature of their day as well as considerable investigations of geological formations. They were men of strong Christian faith and respected character. Coincidentally these four were all Scottish” (Mortenson, 2003). Weaknesses: I believe with all of the information that Dr. Terry Mortenson gives, he could have given more biblical quotes backing his beliefs. He speaks of the flood, but gives no information from the Bible itself.
Catastrophists believed that the creation was ‘untold ages’ old and that from time to time over those ages before man there had been several major catastrophic floods that destroyed a large percentage of living creatures, which God replaced with new, supernaturally created species” ( Mortenson, 2003). Had he backed up his beliefs with more information from the bible, I think I would have believed more myself. He speaks a lot on old theology studies, more towards the 1600s. I think he could have given examples from closer to the time frame the article is actually about.
Conclusion: All in all I think the article itself was great. Could he have done better? Yes, but so could anyone else with their articles. It is hard to spot weaknesses myself, because I would like to see the best in everyone. I definitely found all the strengths easily. This article seemed to have a good premise behind the information. All of the information that the author provided was interesting, and thought provoking. Unfortunately, the author fell off topic for the better part of the article, and made ridiculous claims in his final section.
The idea that naturalism and the spread of the Old-Earth ideology are remotely responsible in the downfall of society is an over-generalization, unverifiable, and an erroneous hypothesis at best. In my opinion, although an informative article, this document lost its legitimacy, and credibility due to the writer’s inability to convey his information in a concise and non-exaggeration manner. For a person who was looking forward to learning more about the history and development of the Old-Earth theory and valid impacts on today’s society, this article was not impressive.