My goals in publishing this blog are simple and precise.
1) Use my academic experience in research and teaching to review publications from Answers in Genesis (AiG), providing a balanced critique of their methods and interpretations. In doing so, I will take their arguments seriously and give credit where it is due, while making every effort to avoid ad hominem argumentation when I am critical. My plan is to 1) take an article of interest from AiG archives, 2) familiarize myself with the entire bibliography, 3) conduct further (library) research where necessary, and 4) post my response. Though I will strive to post one article per week, I am predicting now that this will not always be practical. We'll see how it goes.
2) Expand my own knowledge of topics pertaining to Earth science, and share the experience with you. Although I will be writing on technical topics, I will make it my goal to do so in a fashion that is understandable by anyone willing to learn them. That being said, please provide feedback on whether I am successful in this regard.
I think a small set of guidelines for me (and you) would be helpful here:
1) If you are having medical problems with your stomach, you may be happy to hear from any doctor, but will ultimately want to ask a gastroenterologist. Why do I mention this? Though I am a geologist by training, my research has focused on carbonate sequence stratigraphy and chemostratigraphy. This means I need to know a lot about sedimentology, stratigraphy, and isotope and organic geochemistry; almost as much about climatology, oceanography, and paleontology; a little less about structural geology, igneous petrology, geomorphology, and geochronology; and even less about metamorphic petrology, volcanology, and economic geology (i.e. ore deposits and mining). I have studied all of these disciplines at some point in my education, but do hope that you appreciate the 'hierarchical' structure of my 'expertise'. Also, forgive me in advance for relating everything back to isotopes. I just...enjoy them.
2) I realize that many AiG articles deal with other disciplines, such as biology, astronomy, history, and theology. Though I have no intention of ignoring those arguments, I will try to remain focused on subjects where I am better qualified to comment. Thus I will not be addressing evolutionary theory, for example, except where it intersects with the Earth sciences (i.e. the fossil record, preservation of organic materials, etc.). With that in mind, please feel free to send suggestions on articles to cover!
3) I do not intend to address theological and exegetical issues in Scripture regarding Earth history (age, flood, etc.). This is not out of ignorance, but of recognition that many able and eloquent theologians have laid out the issues far better than I can. Hopefully, I will publish my own standpoint at some time, and welcome comments or questions until then if you contact me directly (see below). I would be happy to discuss the topic with you, or refer you to resources that I've found helpful.
4) While I encourage feedback and criticism, this is not meant to be a forum for debate (many sites already provide this outlet). Therefore, I ask that you keep comments concise and on topic, keeping in mind that I reserve the right to remove anything inappropriate, irrelevant, or not conducive to a better understanding of the topic. If your comments, criticisms, etc. require lengthy discussion or feedback from myself, please contact me directly (see below).
5) Do you share my concerns about YEC? Are you a scientist/student and interested in sharing your expertise here? I welcome collaboration, particularly if you may comment on topics with which I am less familiar. Please contact me directly.
Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, keeping in mind that unless you expressly forbid it, I reserve the right to publish our discussion here (not including your contact information, of course) if I deem it helpful to my aforementioned goals. Please include your first name, nickname, or initials (will be published with your comments).
Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you!