In light of MJL’s new Science & Judaism section, the case of paleontologist Marcus Ross is worth noting.
The New York Times reports:
There is nothing much unusual about the 197-page dissertation Marcus R. Ross submitted in December to complete his doctoral degree in geosciences here at the University of Rhode Island.
His subject was the abundance and spread of mosasaurs, marine reptiles that, as he wrote, vanished at the end of the Cretaceous era about 65 million years ago. The work is “impeccable,” said David E. Fastovsky, a paleontologist and professor of geosciences at the university who was Dr. Rossâ€™s dissertation adviser. “He was working within a strictly scientific framework, a conventional scientific framework.”
But Dr. Ross is hardly a conventional paleontologist. He is a “young earth creationist” â€” he believes that the Bible is a literally true account of the creation of the universe, and that the earth is at most 10,000 years old.
For him, 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. (MORE)