An anonymous commenter has left a detailed justification for the curiosities in Patton's 'CV' on an earlier post. All of the justification apparently proceeds from the source, which is to say Mr. Patton himself.

This is circular reasoning. You can't prove the legitimacy of Mr. Patton's credentials by asking him. You have to provide independent corroboration. Presuming that you are a member of Sun Garden Church of Christ, consider: if you are bringing in a speaker with a controversial message and tying the credibility of your church or school to that speaker's credibility, you should make every effort to confirm their claims in an independently verifiable manner. You guys aren't doing that. You're relying on the guy selling the horse without looking in the horse's mouth.

Notice that Patton's 'explanation' is appealing prejudicially to the idea that there is a conspiracy to keep Christians out of the conversation, particularly YEC. With all due respect, I think this is a terrible argument. I know of no instance in which a graduate student in any science has been denied a Ph.D because of their YEC views, and I know of at least two Ph.D's in paleontontology who earned the same while openly identifying themselves as YEC's.

As an example, consier Dr. Kurt Wise, of whom even the assertive partisan Richard Dawkins has admitted to be 'an honest creationist.' Wise's advisor was Stephen Jay Gould, and Wise's professional credentials are impeccable. Answers in Genesis, the largest YEC group in the United States, has an entire page listing dozens of such scientists and they have a link to a biography of Dr. Wise. All told, that page lists at least twelve Ph.D's in geology, geoscience or paleontology. To the best of my knowledge, these were all legitimately-earned. Further, the original YEC group, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is headed by Dr. John Morris, who earned his Ph.D from Oklahoma State even though his father was Dr. Henry Morris, the founder of ICR and (as the author of The Genesis Flood) for many years the best-known YEC in the United States.

Surely, if there is some conspiracy preventing YEC from getting legitimate scientific credentials it is a highly-ineffective one! It is true that YEC's have problems getting ideas from the Bible into the geological literature, for the same reason that Hindus have problems getting Hindu cosmology into the astronomy literature. But this is due to how science is defined, not about who gets to practice science. The evidence doesn't support a claim that YEC's can't earn Ph.D's, and in fact they do.

Thus, I have no problem admitting that there are, in fact, legitimate, intelligent, highly-educated YEC scientists who hold legitimate degrees and who do legitimate science. So far I have seen no independent evidence that would corroborate the claim that Mr. Patton fits in that category, and you should be aware the well-established YEC organizations like AIG and ICR have examined some of the claims made by Patton and Baugh and found them wanting. AIG describes them as one of many bad arguments that creationists should not use , while ICR founder John Morris concludes that in "it would now be improper for creationists to continue to use the Paluxy data as evidence against evolution. "

Now, I didn't come to those conclusions, nor are these the conclusions of any other scientist who accept an ancient Earth, common descent and evolution. These are the considered opinions of the leadership of the leading young-earth creationist groups in North America. About this fact, there can be doubt, and you can't dismiss this evidence as the product of a worldwide conspiracy of evolutionists. Mr. Patton owes you an explanation of why he and Baugh continue to promote these claims.

Now, you appear predisposed by your worldview to give Mr. Patton the benefit of the doubt and accept what amounts to special pleading on a number of particulars. That's all well and good, but ask yourself this: which is the more extraordinary claim, that one individual might not have legitimate credentials or that there is a worldwide conspiracy of sorts to deny this individual a legitimately-earned credential? The fact is, the latter claim is the more extraordinary claim, and much harder to demonstrate than the former claim is to test. It's much easier to attempt to verify one man's claims about his education. Don't you think you should independently verify that claim first, rather than accept the more extraordinary counter-claim upfront?

So, since you appear to have direct access to Mr. Patton, perhaps you might consider asking him for some independent verification. Sooner or later, someone outside your church is going to ask, and if his answers don't jive with reality, your church is going to look foolish. Instead of winning souls to Christ, you will have brought shame on His church on Earth. Jesus said the truth will make you free, and I urge you to test the spirits, to see whether they are of God, or not. Good luck.

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