I was sent this New York Times article in which a Young Earth Creationist gets a real PhD in paleontology.
How does he do it?
Dr. Ross said, the methods and theories of paleontology are one “paradigm” for studying the past, and Scripture is another. In the paleontological paradigm, he said, the dates in his dissertation are entirely appropriate. The fact that as a young earth creationist he has a different view just means, he said, “that I am separating the different paradigms.”
This reminds me of the official church view on the heliocentric model of the universe between the time of Copernicus and Galileo: In the rarefied view of math, the planets move around the sun, but in truth the Earth is the center of creation. Well before Galileo, the church accepted sun-centered orbital dynamics. But not from the pulpit. Galileo then pointed his lens upward, noticed moons orbiting some of these planets, and mocked the pope in the media for his public position. Hence his censure.
It seems that schizoid tendencies are revered in Christianity. You couldn’t be a Saint unless you demonstrate what are now known to be several symptoms of Schizophrenia: Hearing voices and knowing them to be real, projective charisma, supernormal strength or agility, preternatural sensitivity to other’s thoughts, and so on. The bible and chronology of Saints document many textbook cases of schizophrenia. It usually manifests in women at the onset of adolescence (e.g: Joan of Arc) or men at the end of adolescence (pick anyone from Moses forward).
Back to Dr. Ross, paleontologist. (Not the one from TV.) He has managed to compartmentalize his personal belief in a Young Earth safely away from his apparently quite competent scientific mind. Comparing mosasaur migration data, radiography, stratigraphy, and so on for sound scientific analysis of their age and habits has no effect on his belief that the world is really 3,000 years younger than the oldest excavated middle-eastern city. Much less 65 million years younger than the age he himself attributes to the subjects of his degree.
I don’t mind scientists who have invisible friends. However, Dr. Ross has expressed his intent to use his credentials to further the teaching of Creationism and Intelligent Design. Not his skills, his credentials.
Perhaps I was too optimistic in my recent response to The Evangelical War on Evolution.