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Social Issues: Letters


ASA Journal

To the Editor:

Dr. Denis Burkitt is a scientific giant whose opinions on theistic evolution ("What's the Difference? Is Disease and Depth. the Result of Human Sin or Just a Biological Inevitability?" Winter 1927) receive careful consideration on the basis of his reputation alone. .And if opportunity for response were limited to his intellectual veers, few would dare step forward. Certainly not me.

Yet by the evidence, on this one point I believe that Dr. Burkitt is mistaken and find it very understandable that he would be. For he has established himself as a member in good standing of the community of scientists and not as a. gadfly or rebel. Therefore he speaks as a mediator between Christian and scientific orthodoxy.

Unbeknown to Dr. Burkitt, however, the foundation of scientific orthodoxy is crumbling and the case for evolution is in disarray. The accumulated "anomalous data" far outweighs that deemed believable.

In the area of age of the earth and solar system, for example, consider the shrinking sun with no demonstrable nuclear fusion whose total energy output can be accounted for by gravitational shrinkage. Consider the continued presence of space dust and comets that could not survive even millions much less billions of years. Consider the decay of the earth's magnetic field and continued presence of oil and gas under pressure in rocks that would leak over 10's of thousands of years, not to mention the fascinating radiohalos noted by Robert Gentry. Contrast the shaky assumptions and highly selected data used to build the usual dating by geologic period and radioisotopes.

Dr. Burkitt's analysis of disease and death in the plant end animal kingdoms assumes the traditional explanation that the geological strata. represent geological ages. Yet the missing or reversed periods, the uniform character of deposits supposedly laid down over millions of years, the plethora of obviously rapidly buried fossils and simultaneous lack of transitional forms at every hand fit much better with rapid deposition during the cataclisms of the flood and the period of geologic adjustment that followed.

I fully agree with his final section that it is unscriptural and unkind to consider the presence and progression of disease in an individual to be due to lack of faith. And we certainly see that Cod is great enough to take traedy and make of it something beautiful for His kingdom. Yet today's sophisticate says, "Natural processes explain everything. If you want to tack on 'God', that's fine hut I find the concept unnecessary." Contrast the apostle Paul who states, "Ever since God created the world, is invisible qualities, both His eternal power and His divine nature have been clearly seen; they are perceived. in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all." Romans 1:20 TEV.

I hope the journal entertains further discussion of this crucial topic. For it is the missing link in evangelism and the foundation for understanding the God who is not only really there but who acts in time and space to make His presence and claims on us perfectly clear.

In Christ.

Ross S. Olson MD

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