Rosie Webel

I don’t think it’s a trend (I can’t even give you other specific examples, my archives are a little too long to quickly search), but I feel like non-YEC forms of creationism are being targeted by the ICR of late. Today we have gap creationism, which claims a significant temporal “gap” between the creation of the universe in Genesis 1:1 and the creation story that continues beyond it. James J. S. Johnson calls this idea a “Trojan Horse.”

I don’t know anything about gap theory beyond what I’ve read in Johnson’s article, information that I naturally hold as suspect. I get the impression that you can have a good argument over whether the scriptures do or don’t support the idea, while from a purely scientific standpoint it seems like a very strange thing to believe. So I really make no comment here, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not this attack on one creationist belief by another is a fair criticism. It’s all the same to me, really.

What’s a little more interesting is a strange, largely unrelated diversion Johnson makes near the beginning of his article. He wants to show his readers how terrible it is when you don’t know who you are or where you come from, relating the story of a Rosie Webel, who got lost from her family while leaving post-WWII Europe bound for America.

The Salzburg policemen’s many questions further rattled her. Who are you? What is your name and address? Who do you belong to? What street do you live on? What town are you from? Poor Rosie was completely confused and upset, even though the kind policemen gave her candies to calm her fears. Rosie’s parents always knew the answers to everything important in life, but they weren’t there, and the mix of alien surroundings and strangers disoriented her.

All he actually seems to have shown is that the negative effects of not knowing where you’re from only manifest when you’re being quizzed on them. Or perhaps her simply being lost was the cause? Again, this is a strange diversion from the topic of the article, which is in effect to attack the very foundations of the identity and origins that other people have made for themselves. I mean to say, it’s not like the accuracy of those kinds of things can be determined by how they make you behave under questioning.

Some further curiosity of mine is aroused by the fact that this doesn’t seem to have been taken from a book or a Wikipedia article, but from a recent personal interview with a relation of Webel’s. In fact I get the impression that Johnson specifically wrote this article so that he could work it in as an example. If that’s really how these things are written – with the strange metaphor or what-have-you coming first – that would explain a lot about Johnson’s articles.

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One thought on “Rosie Webel

  1. You could well be right in your last paragraph.
    The thing to remember about YECs is that the science is secondary to the real aim, which is to show that the Bible is the answer to everything; science, psychology, ethics, morality, government and – well – everything.
    The other three main creationist theologies are, in the YECs’ eyes all compromised because they add something to the Bible stories. Gap theory adds an unknown time gap, day/age theory assumes that ‘day’ is symbolic of a period of time, perhaps adding up to 13 billion years and some kinds of progressive creationism allow all the processes science has discovered, including evolution, but with God as a kind of cosmic George Lucas.
    If they allow that, the YECs have to allow that other stories may need interpreting so they can’t insist that men are the head or being gay is a sin or that you will go to hell if you don’t pray the sinner’s prayer and believe in Jesus, just because the Bible says so.
    Basically it’s the ‘slippery slope’ argument.
    ICR is kind of the scientific arm of YEC so they don’t usually get so het up about the other stuff. For that you need Ken Ham.
    If the Bible isn’t exactly true in every word and detail you cannot know anything for certain – not even the fact that you cannot know anything for certain; hence the Rosie Webel story.
    Anyone interested in the philosophy could try reading Cornelius van Til, Greg Bahnsen, R J Rushdoony or Francis Schaeffer but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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