Recently Glenn Morton has been promoting his web article entitled “John Murray: A Misrepresentation of History.”1 Morton claims to have formerly been a young-Earth creationist but is now strongly opposed to AiG and other creationist ministries. In his article Morton criticizes my handling of the historical evidence related to John Murray, an early 19th century “Scriptural geologist” who was opposed to the old-Earth geological theories that were being developed at that time and wrote about his objections in a book in 1840. Morton attempts to show that Murray was not as geologically competent as I say he was, in fact that Murray was quite out of date and uninformed in his views.
I have responded point-by-point to his article in a longer response (click here to read the longer response.) In this current article, I will briefly summarize Morton’s argument and my response.
Morton first says that he got a copy of an 18-page paper that I wrote and presented at a conference in November 2001, which was a summary of my 500-page Ph.D. thesis about the “Scriptural geologists.”2 Right here at the beginning of Morton’s criticisms I was alerted to his less than careful method of investigation, for he says (as he also told me in an email on Dec. 30th) that he got a copy of my paper from his son who got it from me in Denver. The conference was in Colorado Springs, and though I was in Denver for 40 hours after the conference I neither met his son nor gave him my paper. Morton’s criticisms of Murray’s thoughts communicated in his 1840 book (The Truth of Revelation) reveal a similar lack of careful attention to detail.
Morton discusses five points that he says show Murray’s failure to use known facts of his day in his thinking about geology, Noah’s Flood and the age of the Earth, thereby proving Murray’s geological incompetence. Morton’s points are:
For all these reasons and those outlined in my detailed response we must conclude that Morton’s handling of the historical evidence seems to fit his handling of the geological evidence. It is he, not I or John Murray, who is misleading readers. Morton’s thinking has clearly been influenced by old-Earth philosophical assumptions and by what I believe I have here demonstrated are his own less-than-careful observations and inadequate investigations. Therefore, his criticisms of Murray and my writings about Murray and the other “Scriptural geologists” should be viewed in the light of those serious deficiencies. Murray was not a geologist. But by reading and fieldwork he, like several other “Scriptural geologists,” was very competent to judge the validity of the evidence used to argue that the Earth was much older than the Bible teaches.
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