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Started by Recusant, August 16, 2020, 06:29:42 AM
QuoteI'm sad to announce that Glenn Morton, the geophysicist and former creation scientist who eventually became a critic of creationism, and who coined the term "Morton's Demon", died on August 5 after a long battle with cancer. He was 70....Morton, who was not afraid to criticize other professional creationists for their lack of rigor, soon became known as a maverick among creation scientists. In Robert Schadewald's summary of the 1986 International Conference on Creationism, published in Volume 6, issue 5 of NCSE Reports, Schadewald describes a presentation by Morton titled "Geological Challenges to a Young Earth". By this point Morton was what he called a "middle-Earth creationist" - someone who still sought to interpret the book of Genesis as literal history, but who recognized that a 6,000 year old Earth was incompatible with geological data. Morton's presentation was negatively received by most of the conference's other attendees, and Morton asked Schadewald (perhaps only half seriously) to "catch any tomatoes that came sailing over".By the end of the 1980s, Morton's growing disillusion with the creation science community led to a complete withdrawal of publishing papers in that area - and eventually, by 1994, to his abandoning creationism entirely. From the 1990s onward, Morton was a prominent critic of creationist arguments in the field of geology, and his earlier years as a creation scientist gave him an intimate familiarity with these arguments. Morton's transformation from a young-Earth creationist to a critic of creationism is described in his article The Transformation of a young-Earth creationist, originally published in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith in June 2000.After his transformation, Morton regularly wrote criticism of creationist models for journals and websites related to the creation/evolution controversy, including NCSE reports, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, and the Talk.Origins website and newsgroup. Probably his most influential article is the one that coined the term "Morton's Demon", which describes a type of confirmation bias that is particularly strong among creationists. Morton also is the author of what is arguably the definitive refutation of the creationist argument that the entire geologic column cannot be found in a single location.[Continues . . .]