googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: June 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Discordant Dates for Evolution

In my last blog, I highlighted a fossilized dino ulna that threw a wrench into some of the dates assigned by evolutionary theories. I didn’t mean that to be some magic bullet aimed at destroying evolution in one swoop. Rather, it was an example of the many discordant dates that evolutionists face. It’s by no means the only example.

Another amusing example comes to us from It started off as a somewhat minor annoyance reported in July, 2005 (Footprints in Mexico Create Scientific Stir). From that article:
British scientists claimed on Tuesday to have unearthed 40,000 year-old human footprints in central Mexico, challenging previous studies that put the arrival of the first humans in the Americas at about 13,500 years ago.
Missing the correct date of an event that happened only 13-40K years ago makes me somewhat skeptical that scientists could accurately date something that happened (supposedly) 500,000,000 years ago – but never mind that now. What were scientists going to do about this “challenge”? Though the headline described this as a “stir” the scientists seemed to be somewhat cavalier about what damage this could do to their theory:
"We think there were several migration waves into the Americas at different times by different human groups.''
Like the imagined land bridge in my last blog, they simply assumed there were waves of immigrants at different times. I think the ‘scientific” term for this method of ironing out disagreeing data is the “fudge factor.” But in this case, the data was not going to go away that easily.

In a follow up story in November, 2005 (Controversial Footprints: Earliest Man or Modern Machine?), the “stir” had become a full blown “controversy.” It seems someone had the bright idea of dating the volcanic ash the footprints had been made in. The results put a whole new kink in their theory:
Using palaeomagnetic analysis—a technique that looks at the Earth's magnetic field during past geologic time—and a radioactive dating technique called argon-argon, the team concludes the ash is actually 1.3 million years old [italics in original].
Now that would not do at all. This is absolutely contrary to all previously believed ages assigned to modern man. In the same article, it’s pointed out that:
“Humans are not thought to have even been around 1.3 million years ago. According to most scientific estimates, modern humans didn't begin appearing in Africa until about 200,000 years ago.”
Wow, that’s queer. But the quote continues:
If the markings really are footprints, then it would mean one of two things: either humans appeared much earlier than previously thought or the footprints were made by an early ancestor of humans like homo erectus.
NO NO NO!! This cannot be! This put humans or the ancestors of humans at the wrong place at the wrong time. Scientists investigating the find had to resolve this issue in such a way as to protect their precious, “concordance of dates.” What would they do?

After visiting the site, Renne believes the markings are not really human footprints at all, but rather impressions left by machines or animals that have passed through the quarry in recent times.

"You have to remember this is a public area," Renne said in a telephone interview. "Vehicles drive across it, you can see tire tracks on the surface. There are cows and other animals grazing nearby."

Whew! That was a close one. The dozens of footprints from the site had been misidentified all along; they must have been made by cows or machines. //RKBentley chuckles// The seeming harmony of different dating methods is saved again. This time they simply ignored the aberrant data.
I kid you not, folks, I cannot make this stuff up. This is what passes for “science” when it comes to evolutionary dating. So, if you ever hear an evolutionist trying to convince you that the earth is old, and he offers the seeming agreement of several different dating methods as evidence, remember that there are also examples where the data doesn’t agree at all. Remember too that this is how they treat the data that doesn’t fit.

Further reading:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Evolution’s Discordant Dates

One argument I constantly hear in support of evolution is the seeming harmony of different sciences that support evolution: biology, geology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, etc, all marvelously work together to paint a seamless story of the unfolding of life and the universe. Is there such a concordance of data? To evolutionists there certainly is. But I think the fact of the matter is that most of the seeming concordance is the result of evolutionists forcing the facts to comply.

A good example of this was discussed lately in an AP article titled, Aussie dinosaur bone defies theories. From the article:
A dinosaur bone discovered in Australia has defied prevailing wisdom about how the world's continents separated from a super-continent millions of years ago, a new study says.

The 19-centimetre bone was found in southeastern Australia but it comes from a very close cousin to Megaraptor, a flesh-ripping monster that lorded over swathes of South American some 90 million years ago.
OK, that’s easy to understand. A fossil is found in Australia of a dinosaur related to dinos that lived in South America. Both supposedly lived 90 million years ago. The article continues:
Gondwana broke up during the Cretaceous period to form South America, Africa, Antarctica and Australia.

The standard theory is that the first continents to go were South America and Africa, which pulled away from Gondwana around 120 million years ago.
Oh. I see the problem. These dinosaurs lived on different continents 90 millions ago yet the continents separated 120 million years ago. That is a pickle. But couldn't they have been together once and were simply separated for 30 million years after the continents divided? The scientists have already ruled that out:
The investigators, led by Nathan Smith of the University of Chicago, say the two dinosaurs are so similar the two land masses of South America and Australia could not have been separated for so many millions of years beforehand.

If that had been the case, evolutionary pressures would have pushed the dinos in different directions as they adapted to their changing environments.
Wow, that certainly could put a kink in the theory, huh? On the one hand, these dinosaurs could not have been separated for 30 millions years but on the other hand, how did this dinosaur get from South America to Australia so long after the continents had been separated? This evidence is certainly discordant. Either the date when the dinosaurs lived is wrong or the date when the continents were separated is wrong. Which theory would get tweaked?Actually, neither. The scientists simply came up with a new theory to explain both:
They speculate that land bridges must have persisted between southern South America and the Western Antarctic Archipelago "until at least the Late Eocene," a period that began some 40 million years ago.
How convenient. Unwilling to compromise on the “strong concordance” of dates, scientists simply invent a land bridge to explain it. The dates remain firmly established and the Theory of Evolution marches on.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Evolutionist Spin on DNA

In a recent blog, I talked about possible methods of falsifying the Theory of Evolution. A reader (NP) made the following comment:
“…finding any lineage of organisms that does not use DNA or RNA as its hereditary material would falsify common descent. But of course, given that every organism we know of uses DNA, it sounds a bit ridiculous.”
Now, my apologies to NP because I didn’t take that as a serious test and I misunderstood NP to be saying in advance that he knew it was a ridiculous test. Afterall, he did say "it sounds a bit ridiculous." But NP left another comment saying the following:
"RK, I already pointed out one. Find any organism that does not use DNA/RNA as it's hereditary material. That would falsify the notion that all life on earth has common ancestry."
So it seems NP does mean that as a serious test of evolution. But that can’t be a true test because evolution does not require every creature to have DNA/RNA and I’ll show you why. Evolutionists assume there was a supposed common ancestor of all living things. This creature would have been the first reproducing life form on earth and would have had something like RNA. However, there is nothing about evolution that excludes some other life form arising which does not use RNA/DNA to reproduce. So if we found some life form that did not have DNA, it doesn’t falsify evolution in the slightest. It is only evidence that the new life form is not descended from or related to all previously known life forms.

But I want to talk a little more about DNA. The title of this thread is not aimed at NP in particular. Rather, all evolutionists have co-opted DNA and now use it as evidence for their theory. NP’s comments are not originally his (no offense, NP) but I will take the opportunity of his comments to address the evolutionist spin on DNA.

NP said:
"compare the genome of a chimpanzee to that of a human and a chicken. If the chimp and chicken have more homologous sequences than the chimp and human, that would falsify common ancestry between humans and chimps."
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Here’s why similar DNA doesn’t really validate evolution: DNA is often compared to blueprints that provide instructions for the constructing of cells. If two organisms are similar, then doesn’t it only make sense that the instructions that build the organisms would be similar? A human is most like a chimp, less like a bear, and least like a bird. Therefore, a human’s DNA should be most like a chimp’s, less like a bear’s, and least like a bird’s. Of course, that’s exactly what we see in nature. If similar creatures did not have similar DNA, then I would say we know nothing about DNA.

Now, the other angle evolutionists take is the similarity in non-coding DNA. Some people estimate that only about 8% of the human genome is coding DNA. The rest has been called “junk” DNA. So if the non-coding DNA were similar, they say that is evidence of common ancestry. The problem with this hypothesis is the assumption that non-coding DNA is truly non-coding. For the last several years, we’ve continuously discovered function in the non-coding parts of DNA. So if the non-coding part of DNA is truly coding then I direct you again to my first point – similar creatures should have similar DNA.

Finally, DNA should be the silver bullet that kills evolution. Because of DNA, bears only reproduce bears and birds only reproduce birds. The remarkable ability of DNA to repair itself or to mask mutations from being expressed make creatures resistant to change. Yet it is that tiny mutation expressed for thousands of generations that is the hope of evolution. Time and mutation are the heroes of the story; without them, evolution is a fairy tale about a frog turning into a prince – over a million years.

DNA is a broad subject and a lot more could be said about it. In short though, DNA is not the champion of evolution. It’s not even close.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Creation Museum is One Year Old

The Answers in Genesis, Creation Museum, recently celebrated the 1 year anniversary of its opening. Before it was built, the museum was expected to have 250,000 visitors its first year. Attendance far outpaced that though and the museum welcomed its 400,000th visitor on May 21 (5 days before its anniversary).

I had the privilege of visiting the museum the week it opened and had written a review of it online. In celebration of this milestone for the museum, I thought I’d repost my first impression here.

My Trip to the New Museum!

Well, I did it! I went to the newly opened Creation Museum. And, as I promised, I’m going to relate a little of my experience there. I’m not sure where to begin but I thought it would be a good idea to divide different parts of the museum into different posts. In this post, I’ll talk a little about the first impressions.

The museum is only a short distance off a main highway that circles Cincinnati. There are road signs directing people to the museum so it’s really impossible to miss. The weather today was hot, but this morning it was overcast so the sun wasn’t glaring. Overall, it was a nice day. As I drove up, I looked to see if there were any protesters and there weren’t. A staff member told me later there were only a few on the first day; she said around 15-20 but the news reported about 100. Either way, I guess that means there were very few.

The wrought-iron gates leading into the museum are topped with silhouettes of 2 stegosauruses. The wilderness area can be seen on the right (described in detail in another post) and the museum itself dead ahead. It’s a very sharp, contemporary building. It had been redone since I visited it about 1 year ago under construction. There had been a covered patio area along the front of the building but that was now enclosed to become a foyer where the ticket counters, brochures, and some cool statues were.

I got there a little after opening (10AM) and there were a fair number of cars already there. I saw license plates from FL, NY, PA, KS, MO, LA, IL, TX, MI, WY, and of course, OH/KY/IN. There was only a short line at the admissions window. Admission is 19.50 for an adult but I had a $5 off coupon I had printed from the website. I also purchased admission to the planetarium for $5. My 4 year old son was admitted free. Also, they gave me a discount card good for $5 off admission all year.

In the foyer there was a dino skeleton but I didn’t notice the name on the plaque. The other statues were a wooly rhino skeleton, a white rhino, and a giraffe. All were life sized and very well done. They appeared carved.

Inside the main lobby there were several animatronic-statues. Overhead, there was a life sized saurapod, eating some plants. There was a large aquarium type display (made to look like a small pond/stream) stocked with real fish and turtles. On the other side of the water were 2 animatronic children playing in the water and 2 small bipedal dinos standing nearby.

Also in the lobby were several display cases with real animals: one holding a chameleon, another dart frogs, and another finches. There were some long hallways leading to the restrooms and along the walls were displays of fossils. Some of them were very impressive. They included the “fish-eating-fish fossil”, a horse-shoe crab with a long trail of its fossilized tracks, several cat skulls, shark teeth, etc.

Everything about the building was very well done. Admittedly, it’s a new building so it would be expected to look new but it was done very high-end.

The Planetarium

While waiting for admittance into the planetarium, on display right outside is the old planetary projector which was used to train the Mercury astronauts. The planetarium sat about 40-50 people. The show itself was 22 minutes long and its theme was “the scale of the universe.” It was narrated by the same guy who does the voice of John Whitaker on Adventures in Odyssey. It began with the reading of Genesis 1 from the 1968 Apollo space mission. It did a pretty good job of impressing upon the viewer the enormity of the universe.

For the 1st 19 minutes or so, the film was pretty matter of fact and only occasionally mentioned God. It could be used in most secular planetariums. Only for about the last 3 minutes did it talk about a young universe. It touched upon the distant starlight problem and offered a couple of suggested resolutions. I couldn’t take notes in the dark (and with my son on my lap) but I recall one that was mentioned was the time dilation effect of a deep gravitational well (I suppose from Humphreys White Hole cosmology model). At least one other was mentioned but I couldn’t recall it later. Theories not mentioned were CDK or light-in-transit. The film concluded by pointing how earth, though it is seemingly inconsequential in the immense universe, it still the center of God’s attention.

In all fairness, the last planetarium I’ve visited was on the University of Louisville’s campus about 20 years ago. I would suppose that technology is a little improved since then. Even so, this was good. The movie played more like an Omnimax or IMAX show rather than the planetarium shows I remember from my youth.

The Museum Itself

The entrance into the main exhibit area is done in a Grand Canyon motif. Immediately inside is a mocked up display of an archeological/pale ontological dig. On TV monitors (monitors are everywhere here) 2 archeologists are explaining how they each interpret their find – one is YEC and the other evolutionist. In the next room, there are several wall plaques (plaques isn’t quite the right word but I can’t think of how else to describe them) show different explanations of various evidence side by side. One plaque, for example, has the evolutionary “tree of life” with the first organism living ~4 billion years ago. Next to it is the YEC “orchard” of life showing a variety of species descending from a single created kind.

In the next area were some displays of people trusting or rejecting the word. I recall there was a statue of Luther nailing his 95 theses to a door. There was a Gutenberg bible and a Hebrew text smuggled out of Iraq in a car tire just before the deposing of Sadam. On the far wall was a mural depicting a scene from the Scopes trial. Just before leaving the room, there was a copy of Charles Templeton’s book, Farewell to God, with a quote explaining how he rejected a belief in God based, in part, on not believing the Genesis account of creation.

The next area was built like a city street or alley with walls covered with graffiti depicting a type of “dark side” or life without God. In a small room there were some college age kids on monitors with facts being displayed how there are many young adults leaving the church.

Up until now, an emphasis has been on contrasting 2 world views: A natural view without God and a Christian view. From here, the remainder of the exhibits revolve around the 7 C’s of creation: Creation, Curse, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Crucifixion, and Consummation.

The 1st C is kicked off in a small (30 or so seats) theater with a video dramatization of Genesis 1. It’s extremely well done. Leaving that room, there’s an area with several picture/plaques discussing the unique design of creation. There’s a monitor showing a 1 minute loop of the creation of Adam. Just past this, the real meat of the museum begins.

There’s a long pathway which winds past scenes from Genesis. The first scene is of Adam naming the animals. Several life sized animals are exhibited. There had to be a tremendous amount of artistic license used in creating the animals since we have no way of knowing what the original kinds looked like. I remember there were some horse like animals; they had zebra like faces and manes but their coats were a mixture of spots and stripes. There was also a leopard like cat and a cougar like cat, the latter with a small mane. There were also 2 dino-kind animal statues.

The next scene was of the creation of Eve. Then finally, a scene with Adam and Eve standing waist deep in a pond with a serpent looking down on them from a tree.

This is the start of the curse section.

Around the corner a display case with just the serpent. It was portrayed as being red with mane around its head like a horned toad. From there was a scene of Adam and Eve wearing skins and standing next to an altar with 2 sacrificed animals on it.

Immediately past this room is a large area with an animatronic dino. It’s standing over a small, dead dino either having just killed it or about to scavenge it. All along this area are small plaques discussing how certain condition may have come to be in the world: diseases, venom, etc.

Next was Cain* with a small garden in front of a brick home. There were 2 small children playing nearby and a pregnant woman (I suppose Cain’s wife) standing on a step by the door. On the wall across from the display was a plaque with the question, “Where did Cain get his wife?” There was a long explanation below which I didn’t read. Ken Ham says this is THE most asked question he gets while lecturing.

[*Added in edit. On a subsequent visit to the museum, I realized this was not Cain and his wife but Adam and Eve. The 2 children playing presumably were Cain and Abel.]

Next was a scene of Cain standing over a dead Abel.

Here began the Catastrophe section.

The first scene was an animated Methuselah talking about how he was alive while Adam was and knew what the world was once like. Now, his grandson Noah had been warned of God’s judgment. The next room depicts the construction of the Ark. One animated workman is talking about how foolish it is to be building the Ark. In another area, Noah is overseeing things as he talks to one worker about coming on the Ark with them. One plaque says the Ark in the room represents about 1% of the actual Ark.

In the next area are several Ark models. One gives a good depiction of scale by showing several animals outside the Ark. There was good attention to detail because I noticed several tree stumps all around the Ark demonstrating how many trees would have been cut down in the immediate area to build the Ark. The exhibit did make one small mistake by having both horses and zebras displayed outside the Ark. I think both would have been represented by a single pair of horse-kind.

A TV monitor in the room showed a 1-2 minute loop of the world just before the flood. It did not portray a “canopy” collapsing. Instead, it showed great fissures (the fountains of the deep) bursting open with water shooting far into the air. The clip ends with 2 small girls looking out the window of their home and seeing a tidal wave coming.

The next room displays what might be the most “scientific” part of the tour. There are several photos from the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption. Explanations of how certain geological formations are formed by water.

I believe it was here also that discussed some of the YEC theories about plate tectonics.

Next began the Confusion area of the museum. A monitor played a short vignette on the account of the Tower of Babel. One wall displayed people of various cultures with the “One Blood” account of how different ethnic groups arose. It also discussed racism and how some people incorrectly consider people of different skin color to be qualitatively different.

Finally, the final C’s (Christ, Crucifixion, and Consummation) were presented in a 10-15 minute video that explained how Christ was born to be the Lamb of God and His death was the payment for our sins. Ultimately, the world would be restored to its original, perfect state. It was very moving and after the movie, a staff member announced there were staff members available to discuss what was shown (almost like an invitation).

Honestly, the museum was not quite what I expected. While there were some dinos in different places, and some technical stuff, the over impression of the museum was more evangelical. It didn’t go out of its way to bash evolution or present YEC over ToE as the better model. Instead, it simply presented the events as the Bible as actual history.

The Bookstore

The tour of the museum ends in the bookstore (a fairly common tactic; the aquarium in this area does the same thing). Like everything else in the museum, it’s done up very well. It has a sort of Barnes and Noble feel with its wooden bookcases – except here there is a dragon-like dino right in the middle of the room. There are many books/DVDs on creation of course, but there are other Christian books as well: there are some bibles, bible commentaries, and some classics like Pilgrim’s Progress. I was surprised how few toys and souvenirs there were for children. They had some interesting novelties like real dino egg shell fragments and some biblical coins (a widow’s mite and a drachnia) The prices were reasonable for a gift shop. I bought my son a pack of 12 toy dinos and a magazine for myself for a total of $11.

The Noah Café/Grill

The food was typical for a museum. It was served cafeteria style. Again the prices were reasonable for a place like this. We bought a 10 piece chicken nugget to share, mac/cheese, a pop and 2 candy bars for $8.

The floor of the café was made to look like rock strewn with fossils. On the back of the café was a beautiful mural of Noah’s ark resting on a mountain with a rainbow above it. The tables and benches were wooden to give the room a feel like being inside a wooden boat.

We ate on the large patio area that overlooked the pond and wilderness trails. At the bottom of a flight of stairs was a huge wooden deck that stretched out over the lake.

The Wilderness Trail

There was a meandering trail that was still being worked on. It’s not a “hike” by any means. The whole thing is wheel chair accessible. A lot of the plants looked like they had just been planted. Along the way were some topiary bushes of deer, dinos, and a sort of Loch Ness looking one at the water’s edge.

There were 3 waterfalls and 4-5 wooden bridges. There were also 2 rope bridges: one was suspended and the other floating.

Men in White

This was a 20-25 minute movie shown in the museum’s special effects theater. The theater seats around 200. The special effects include seats that vibrate as a dino walks by and mists of water during the flood scene.

The Men in White movie is introduced as a “satire” and some of the characters are identified as “stereotypes.” I would say rather they are caricatures of certain types of evolutionists. The movie is meant to be light hearted and not a “slam” on evolution.It starts with an animatronic girl named Wendy sitting in front of a camp fire facing the screen. On the screen is a beautiful panorama of a canyon and the night sky. She’s asking the typical questions: why am I here, is there a God, etc? Suddenly, 2 angels appear (named Mike & Gabe) and start talking about how there is a God who created the world.

The scene cuts to the caricatures of a scientist, a school teacher, and a philosopher going on about the “facts” of evolution and “there is no God.” When a student questions the teacher about the possibility evolution might not be true, she answers, “You’re violating the constitution of the United States and the separation of church and state!” It’s really kind of funny the way she says it.

It then has a news interview with Susan TeeVee and Ed U. Kashan. Ed is citing the “facts” about how radiometric dating has proved the earth is 4.2 Billion years old and Susan is nodding along in agreement with everything he says. Mike & Gabe hit pause on their remote every few minutes and interject a YEC explanation of the evidence.

A little later, the 2 angels are in a classroom where a teacher is showing a slide show about YellowstonePark and discusses the evolutionary angle of it. Mike and Gabe begin asking the teacher tough questions and offering some evidence for a young earth.

The movie wasn’t attempting to be “scientific” but some of the evidences talked about for a young earth were the helium present in ancient zircon, the amount of salt in the ocean, decay of the earth’s magnetic field, etc.

In the end, Wendy had not made up her mind, but she was at least considering both options.

Of everything I’d seen in the entire museum, this was the most “confrontational” in contrasting YEC and evolution. Even though the evolutionists were portrayed in caricature, they were still giving the same lines I always hear from evolutionists. Also, Mike & Gabe never said evolution was wrong or creation was right. Only that evolution wasn’t proven and there are other explanations for the “evidence” which evolution presents.

While obviously favoring the YEC position, the movie was sending the message just to question the “facts” of evolution and decide for yourself.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Evolution is Easy to Falsify

That was the title of an online discussion I recently participated in; the title was actually written by an evolutionist. In a previous blog, I mentioned that a good theory should be falsifiable. This particular evolutionist agreed with me (at first) and even made the following remarks:

I am interested in clarification of terms because our friends on here in a few threads have shown some great misunderstanding of key concepts of a scientific theory and the scientific method.

Evolution IS falsifiable, it is science after all..

One of the requirements of a good scientific theory is falsifiability. [bold in original]

Needless to say, my ears perked up. Typically evolutionists are loathe to recommend a way ToE could be falsified but here was someone who seemed ready to do just that. He went on to say:

How can we falsify evolution you ask?Simple, we define a hypothesis from the question that we will should not find fossils in the strata out of order, and thus there should be no fossilized dogs in the Pre-Cambrian layers.

If we find a fossilized dog there, then evolution is over and we need to rethink the entirety of it and retool it, basically 'back to the drawing board'.
Ugh. It’s not like I’ve never heard that one before. Well I gave him kudos for trying but I reminded him of a quote I read on TalkOrigins (a pro-evolution web site):

“In order to falsify a theory, you need to know what the theory says. Finding an out-of-sequence fossil or an "impossible" animal may not falsify evolution, but it would falsify the particular theories (in this case historical theories) about that group of organisms - for example, if we found a modern rabbit in the Cambrian Era, we would have a massive problem with existing phylogenies. We might even say that if the program of constructing phylogenies based on the theory of common descent were that wrong, there might be a problem with common descent, and abandon that theory. But this, in itself, would be insufficient to falsify the entire set of theories of evolution, although it might be enough to make people think twice about the general set of assumptions on which they are based.” [Bold in original].

So, for the devout evolutionists, even a rabbit (or a dog) in the Cambrian would not be enough to falsify their theory. But I didn't want to let it go that easily. After all, this guy had said it was “easy” to falsify evolution so I asked him or other posters for some other ways we might falsify the theory. Here are some of the suggestions I got. I kid you not - these are actually quotes from real evolutionists (some of who claim to be scientists):

Find a mammal with a plant cell-wall.

you could demonstrate that speciation does not occur;

1. Visit every case study or scientific article of observed evolution in the wild and in the lab. This should keep you busy for quite some time

2. Show that in every case the experimental design was flawed, or the data was wrong, or the analysis was wrong. etc.

This is not like disproving parentage with a DNA test, it's like proving the entire science of Biology is wrong.
[bold added]

There you have it folks, if I can find a mammal with plant cell-walls, prove animals don’t speciate, read every technical paper ever written about evolution and prove them all wrong, AND overturn the entire science of biology, maybe I’ll falsify the theory of evolution.

There are only 2 possible explanations for the origin of life and the universe: we are either here as the result of a supernatural Creator or we are here by entirely natural processes. If you disqualify one option a priori, you have no choice but to cling blindly to the second. True believers in evolution aren’t really interested in seeing their theory falsified. Is ToE a scientific theory or not? If so, there should be a clear way to falsify it. But when you ask an evolutionist how, these are the kinds of answers you’re going to get.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Dating Game: How Old Ages Are Assigned to Rocks

During old fashioned revivals, red-faced preachers have often said that some people are more interested in the ages of rock than the Rock of Ages. I guess that’s true to a point but some people believe that there are rocks that are billions of years old. We need to be able to address this and not simply sweep it under the rug as if we’re not concerned with it. If the old dates are correct, it’s direct evidence against a young earth. This undermines the clear reading of Genesis. Then how do scientists date rocks? There are actually several methods. We’ll discuss a few here and also point out some of the flaws in those methods.

First, some rocks are assigned ages based on which fossils are found in them. If you find fossils of trilobites, for example, then scientists will assume the rocks around it are approximately 300 million years old. That’s because they believe trilobites lived 300 million years ago. However, this is a dangerous form of circular reasoning. Consider this hypothetical discussion:

Evolution Scientist: “Those rocks are 65 million years old.”
Creation Scientist: “How do you know that?”
ES: “Because they have dinosaur fossils in them and dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago.”
CS: “How do you know dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago?”
ES: “Because they’re found in rocks that are 65 million years old!”

So we see dating rocks according to the fossils in them assumes the dates assigned to the fossils are correct.

Another method of dating rocks is radiometric dating. Rocks contain unstable isotopes such as uranium and potassium. Over time, these unstable isotopes decay and turn into stable isotopes (uranium decays into lead and potassium decays into argon). The decay rate can be very slow and is measured in terms of half-lives. When a rock of unknown origin is found, scientists can measure the ratio of uranium/lead, for example. Then, they can calculate how long it would take for that ratio to be reached and that becomes the age assigned to the rock.

However, there are a few assumptions that make radiometric dating suspect:

1) It must be assumed that decay rate has always been constant (not faster or slower in the past).

2) We must assume that the beginning ratio of parent element/daughter element was 100/0 – that is, there could be no daughter element present at the forming of the rock.

3) It assumes an entirely closed system. None of the parent element could have leeched out of the rock and none of the daughter element could have entered in.

If any of these assumptions are shown wrong, this entire method of dating is proven unreliable. Is there a way to see if these assumptions are valid? Actually there is!

Dr. Steven Austin, a young-earth creationist and PhD geologist, tested (via potassium/argon testing) some of the rocks formed during the Mt. St. Helens eruption to see what dates the samples would yield. His samples were only a few years old, yet yielded ages between 350,000 and 2.8 million years old! (source here). Needless to say, this is strong evidence against the reliability of radiometric dating. If rocks of known ages cannot be dated correctly with these methods, how can we put any faith in the dates of rocks of unknown origin?

Still another method of dating is radiocarbon dating. Similar to radiometric dating, radiocarbon dating can only be used on organic substances. Carbon-14 (C14) is an unstable isotope found in all living organisms. Once the animal dies, C14 decays into C12. By measuring the C14/ C12 ratio, we supposedly can estimate how long ago the animal lived.

But radiocarbon dating has its own shortcomings. C14 has a very short half-life, only 5730 years. This means that after about 60,000 years, there should be no C14 left in organic material. Scientists estimate diamonds to be millions or even billions of years old. However, recently the RATE project found detectable amounts of C14 in 12 samples of diamonds. The only conclusion is that diamonds cannot be millions or billions of years old for there should be no C14 left in them!

There’s a lot more that could be said about dating rocks. I’m sure I’ll touch on some of these tangent issues in future blogs. However, the fact of the matter is clear: the current methods scientists use to date rocks are riddled with difficulties. How they can use them with a straight face remains the harder question!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Evolution

I’m not in favor of teaching Special Creation in public schools. The simple fact of the matter is, I don’t trust non-Christian teachers to represent the creation argument fairly. But I do get annoyed when evolution is presented as “fact” and no arguments to the contrary are allowed.

A few years ago, the Cobb County (GA) School Board inserted the following disclaimer into their science textbooks:

“This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

Now, you’ll notice there’s no mention of God, Genesis, or creationism. However, this benign statement was enough to send militant evolutionists into a tizzy. The ACLU sued Cobb County on behalf of six parents and had the sticker nixed on the grounds that it was religious in nature. //RKBentley scratches his head//

Anyway, the opponents of creation are at it again. This time it’s in TX and they’re up in arms over the words, “strengths and weaknesses.” According to the New York Times, while deciding next year’s curriculum, the TX state school board is considering allowing schools to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. Let me repeat that: Schools are allowed to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. It doesn’t say they can’t teach evolution.

I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough for the left-leaning New York Times or for staunch evolutionists. To them, evolution is a fact and it has no weaknesses. You cannot tell a child there’s any part of the theory we haven’t figured out because that child might suspect evolution isn’t true!! Shock, gasp, gulp!! No! We must tell them evolution is a fact and not allow any evidence to the contrary.

This is the kind of “education” groups like the National Center for Science Education want. They don’t want a rigorous debate of the theories. They don’t want critical thinking or healthy skepticism. They want indoctrination into evolution - plain and simple.

I’ve always said that evolution is the ONLY scientific theory protected by law. We’ll see that evidenced again if this wording makes it into the Texas school curriculum. I can almost hear the ACLU pens scratching as they're already preparing their briefs.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Matthew 5:27-28: A Lesson in Grammar: The Power of Participles

ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· οὐ μοιχεύσεις. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

“You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Matthew 5:27-28

In the King James Version of the Bible, verbs that end in “th,” like “looketh,” (βλέπων) are participles. In English, participles are verbs that end in “ing” (like walking, sleeping, standing, flying, etc). Participles (in both Greek and English) don’t act like a normal verb but act like adjectives or adverbs. If there is a room full of men, and I want to identify a certain man, I might say, “Do you see that man standing by the door?” My emphasis then is not necessarily on what he is doing, I’m just using that as an adjective to describe which man I’m talking about.

A good example of this is seen in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth ( πιστεύων) in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”Believeth” is a participle (in this case an adjective) describing who will be saved – the one believing in Jesus.

So, when we look at Matthew 5:27-28 above, we gain a little more insight into who Jesus was talking about. The word “looketh” doesn’t exactly emphasize what the person is doing, it's describing who the person is: He is the person looking ( βλέπων) at women to lust after them. When he commits adultery, the act doesn’t make him an adulterer. Jesus makes it very clear that he’s already an adulterer even before he commits the act. When he does commit the act, he’s just doing what adulterers do!

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Therefore, the ones who hate are murderers, the ones who envy are thieves, etc. We’re not sinners because of the sins we commit. We’re sinners and so we commit sins. Some people think they’re OK because they haven’t committed a “major” sin. They need to understand that they need Jesus nonetheless.