Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


Author Responds to Critic
David J. Krause
Science Division
Henry Ford Community College
Dearborn, Michigan 48128

From: JASA 34 (June 1982): 123.

D. M. D'Aria has criticized my paper "Apparent Age and its Reception in the 19th Century" (Journal ASA Sept. 1980), characterizing it as a "misconstrued analysis" (Letters, Journal ASA Dec. 1981). Meaningful criticism is always welcome, but how accurate are his/her charges? I respond as follows:

D'Aria claims that "Krause ignores completely" differences in the use of apparent age by Gosse and more recent creationists. In fact, even though my paper is historical and not comparative, I commented at length on precisely these differences, summarizing with the statement, "Thus, apparent age as used by present day "creationists" does not correspond to its consistent use by

Gosse (note 34). 1 cannot see how I could possibly have been more explicit, yet D'Aria somehow has managed to miss this. D'Aria also feels that I do not recognize that the recent creationist version of apparent age is of a softer, less radical nature than that of Gosse, stating "they certainly do not fly off to the extremes of
Goose." In fact, I specifically commented on this also, and further pointed out that in his interpretation of astronomical data Morris has utilized apparent age in a manner more extreme than any, to my knowledge, ever used by Gosse himself. (note 27, also discuss ed further in my Communication, JASA Dec. 1981). D'Aria
charges that I find it "laudable" to criticize Gosse as "simple minded." In fact, nowhere do I make such a judgment of Gosse. D'Aria charges me in addition with "suggesting that Genesis should not be taken too literally." Again, nowhere do I make such a suggestion. Evidently D'Aria both has not completely read the
paper he/she criticizes and has failed to understand that the primary. purpose of a historical study is not to prescribe what should have happened but rather is to describe and illuminate what in fact
did happen- It remains to be seen whether this episode of the 19th century and the response it elicited has any relevance for us today.