This document is a journal article review providing a brief synopsis, observed strengths, and observed weaknesses of Doctor Mortenson’s “The Origin of Old-Earth Geology and its Ramifications for Life in the 21st Century”. This article is not an attack on Christianity or the Christian ideology. This paper is simply an honest attempt to review Mortenson’s information provided, his hypothesis, and venue chosen for Christian Apologetics. Brief Overview and Main Points
The Origin of Old-Earth Geology and its Ramifications for Life in the 21st Century, by Doctor Terry Mortenson, is a journal article that claims to be about Old Earth Geology history, and perceived consequences that this ideology has inflicted on our society today. In actuality, this article provides little knowledge or background on the Old-Earth theory. This article utilizes most of its text explaining Scriptural Geology, key individuals of Scriptural Geology, arguing the validity of the Young-Earth belief, and closing with an over generalized assessment of Old-Earth theory’s impact on society.
Article Strengths The article clearly identifies the writer’s discontent with the flaws in modern science, and the downfall of modern society. Doctor Mortenson provides, with vast detail, the belief of validity regarding Scriptural Geologist theories, and their credentials. Mortenson provided a section, consisting of seven paragraphs, which discussed the development of Scriptural Geologists, and dynamic backgrounds for various individuals of importance in this geological community.
This article immaculately depicted the flaws in modern science, historical science, and in scriptural science. Mortenson wrote, “They were in fact just as biased as the scriptural geologists” (Mortenson, 2003, 5/9). Mortenson depicted a flawed system of research with all sciences that tried to prove or disprove Old-Earth creation. Each science developed a hypothesis based on their worldviews, and spent all their energy trying to prove that it is true rather than being open to alternatives. This article was very detailed and informative leaving conciseness to the wayside. Article Weaknesses
The article was flawed in a since that the author let his biases digress his topics away from the intent of the article. The author begins on the right track discussing Old-Earth background, and keeping the focus on the topic. Mortenson goes on to spend 12 paragraphs digressing into sciences outside of Old-Earth geology, and their arguments against the Old-Earth theory. These two sections of his article were irrelevant, and took the article far off topic from its original intended direction. Mortenson got back on track in his last paragraph writing about ramifications of the Old-Earth theory.
However, while doing so, he began making ridiculous claims that this theory was a major factor in the downfall of society, “the last 170 years in the Western world has confirmed the scriptural geologists’ worst fears. The West is in rapid moral and social decline” (Mortenson, 2003, 6/9). This was addressing the Social Geologist’s theory that the society would reject the bible, and eventually decay. The idea that today’s Western society is worse off than it was when the laws and government were under religious oversight is ridiculous.
Our author seemed to have forgotten Christianity’s unfortunate American history where a Christian led society burned men and women in Salem, tortured and conducted acts of genocide on Native Americans, legalized prostitution, only to name a few mistakes. All the claims made by the author, while demonstrating good intentions, have valid counter arguments against them that he failed to address or acknowledge. The weakest part of this article was the author’s claims against naturalists.
Individuals that have naturalistic beliefs have contributed greatly to a moral and just society, and most have different perspectives on their purpose in life. Many families in today’s society that do not share a belief in religion with the rest of us still go to work, love and provide for their families, partake in charities, help others, and strive daily to be “good people”. The author’s approach to his hypotheses on the downfall of society is a perfect example of a flawed scientific method. It clearly seemed as if he had his answer to the problem before he made his hypothesis, did valid research, or tested any theory.
The author could have better stated his case in this article, if he had avoided his consistent use of the slippery slope and overgeneralization fallacies. One example would be, “it has been the scientific justification for the rejection of God and His work and for much of the evil of the last 150 years” (Motenson, 6/9). Conclusion 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 overgeneralization, 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-exaggerative 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.