Are the creation ministries shooting straight with us (part 1)
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Are the creation ministries shooting straight with us (part 1)

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We want to believe what the young Earth creation ministries are telling us in their books, seminars, videos, and websites, but are they being 100% honest with us? This is part 1 of a presentation ...

We want to believe what the young Earth creation ministries are telling us in their books, seminars, videos, and websites, but are they being 100% honest with us? This is part 1 of a presentation which looks at this issue.

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  • Are the Young Earth Creation Ministries Shooting Straight With Us? Thousands of people attend seminars put on by the young earth creation ministries each week and hear convincing-sounding arguments for a recent creation (6 to 10 thousand years ago) and against what they broadly refer to as evolution. In my opinion, the young earth creation ministries have not been truthful with Christians at these seminars and it is time to call them to task for this. Can I substantiate my claim with solid evidence that doesn’t rest on opinions? Review this presentation and see for yourself. I believe Christians should stand for the truth no matter where it takes us. This presentation will present a case supporting my assertion that indeed, the young earth ministries have indeed not been shooting straight with us.
  • Remember – no matter what you see in this presentation: God is still creator of everything Jesus is still God in the flesh He lived among us and died for our sins on the cross He was raised from the dead, and was seen by many witnesses He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God My goal isn’t to turn Christians into agnostics or atheists. I just think believers need to turn away from the fantasy science (or pseudoscience) being pushed on us by the young earth ministries and find a better way to deal with the issues of science and faith. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Background: Three crosses on a sunset . This free sample graphic from collection at: WorshipPhotos.com
  • YECs often knowingly or unknowingly provide false and deceptive information
  • False and Deceptive Information Do rocks harden the same way as concrete? “ A young man came up to me during a break after one of my presentations and said ‘Don’t you know that sediments take thousands and thousands of years to lithify (turn to rock)?’ So I said to him – have you ever heard of concrete?” On February 14, 2009, while attending an Answers in Genesis creation conference at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, I heard Ken Ham tell a story about how after one of his talks a student walked up to him during the break and said “Don’t you know it takes millions of years for rocks to lithify?” Ham told us he just looked at the student and said “Have you ever seen concrete?” For a good discussion on the composition and curing of concrete, check Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete .
  • Rock Lithification – Same as Concrete? Wet sediment doesn’t turn into rock the same way concrete or bricks harden I’ve noticed that almost all YECs don’t seem to understand the processes by which deposited sediment really turns into rock – a process known as lithification. The YEC thought process seems to be “doesn’t deposited sediment turn into rock the same way and at the same speed as concrete or bricks?” After all, doesn’t concrete dry in just a day or so? I’ve seen YEC presentations filled with examples of how rock-like deposits have formed around leaky pipes, inside pipes, and underneath concrete structures such as monuments or bridges. Dr. Tommy Mitchell of Answers in Genesis and Kent Hovind even show a slide of a fossilized hat, as if this shows how rocks can form rapidly! Hoover Dam concrete had to be poured into small boxes and specially cooled Back in 1961 when I was six, my family visited Hoover Dam at the start of a two-week vacation trip across the southwest U.S. We watched a movie in the visitor’s center where they showed the construction of Hoover Dam and how they poured concrete into hundreds of individual boxes, one at a time, to gradually form the dam structure as we see it today. I remember wondering why they didn’t just make one big mold the shape of the dam and keep pouring concrete into the mold until it reached the top – wouldn’t that have been easier? Well, it turns out the concrete had to be poured into small interlacing boxes and specially cooled, because the concrete has special drying agents which release large amounts of heat as the concrete hardens and there has to be a way to dissipate the heat for the concrete to dry properly. For each box, workers first had to insert special rods connected to a giant refrigeration unit, then the concrete was added. When concrete in a particular box had dried, they would pull out the rods and fill the holes with a special grout. This process had to be repeated over and over for each box, but the clever cooling rod invention allowed the dam to be completed ahead of schedule (chief engineer Frank Crowe and Six Companies wanted to get the incentive bonus for beating the schedule). Note: the story that someone fell into one of the boxes full of wet concrete and is still entombed there is false! For just this one dam, concrete poured in one huge mold the size of the dam would grow large cracks and take 125 years to dry! Because of its peculiar drying properties, concrete poured in one huge “Hoover Dam sized” mold would expand, develop huge cracks, and take 125 years to dry! Today, we’d still have to wait another 70 years for the concrete to dry before we could use the dam, and once it dried the dam would be useless, because it would have so many cracks that it wouldn’t be able to hold back water! It is important to realize that the binding materials in concrete are completely different from those which hold sedimentary rocks such as sandstone, limestone, or siltstone. Also, take a look at an old, pitted concrete road or sidewalk – it wasn’t made to last. Natural rock is made to last much longer. Look at the ancient structures which still exist today like the Roman aqueducts. I sincerely doubt any of today’s man-made concrete structures last as long as the Greek Parthenon or the Roman Coliseum. If wet sediment actually did turn into rock just like concrete, take a step back and imagine what it would be like after the YEC’s worldwide flood scenario played out. Today, about 75% of the continents on earth are covered with sedimentary rock, so there would be miles-deep sediment all over the place. The buried animals and plants would be crushed, so we wouldn’t see them as fossils today. Where would the water within the sediment particles drain off to – sideways to another area of drier sediment? Nope – that area would be saturated with water too. Sideways into the ocean? Nope – much of the sedimentary rock column of Cambrian age and younger is below sea level – some 2 to 5 miles deep. Down? Nope – that’s where the “pre-flood and creation week” rocks are, and they would already be hard. Four thousand years later, we’d still be sitting on top of a waterlogged planet. Now suppose all that flood deposited sediment dried like concrete does. The rocks making up earth’s surface would develop huge cracks and be totally useless for construction, confining an oil or natural gas deposit, or separating the water table from oil. Lakes couldn’t form. Well water would be too hazardous to drink. Thousands of similar problems would exist. What a planet we would have! Why would God give us such a mess?
  • False and Deceptive Information: Do rocks harden the same way as concrete? For most sedimentary rocks to form, already solidified sediment grains must be cemented together by the precipitation of microlayers of minute crystals around the solid particles In Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings , (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/RESOURCES/Wonderly2006.pdf) Daniel Wonderly stated “None of the proposals that sedimentary rock strata of the earth could have been formed rapidly are based upon scientific observations” (p 49). Furthermore, what holds individual sediment particles together is critically important. On page 50, Wonderly states: “ In the case of igneous rocks the crystalline structure which binds the particles together is formed as molten rock material cools and solidifies. But in the formation of most sedimentary rock types, already-solidified particles are the basic raw material, and these must be cemented together by the precipitation of layers of minute crystals around the solid particles. The substances for forming these delicate microlayers of crystals have to be carried by circulating water, in ionic form, to the surfaces of the sediment grains. The most common cementing substances which are thus carried and precipitated are calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide, and various types of iron oxide.” The substances for forming these microlayers must be carried in ionic form by circulating water to the surface of the sediment grains. Common cementing substances: calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide, and various types of iron oxide. Wonderly is making the point that each type of sedimentary rock requires its own type of ion-bearing water to serve as a cementing agent. This couldn’t occur during a single global flood that supposedly laid down all the rock layers from the Cambrian (543 to 490 million years ago) on up through the Cretaceous (144 to 65 million years ago). “… Each type of rock layer—whether it be sandstone, siltstone, graywacke, or one of the different types of limestone—during the time it was being cemented, had to be receiving its own proper kind of ion-bearing pore water.” A global flood laying down dozens of layers at the same time could not accomplish this. On pages 53-54, of Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings, Wonderly states: “ One cannot solve this problem by saying that the water was circulating vertically up or down through all the sediment beds (even if such were possible through 3 to 5 miles of sediment) and that the quartz sand and silt layers were cemented with silica ions from their own grains, and the carbonate layers with calcium, magnesium and carbonate ions from theirs. The fact is that we regularly find such distinctly different layers in direct contact with each other, each with its own kind of cement. If the flow of water had been passing from one type of layer into the next above or below, there would have been an intermingling of cement-types throughout the column. Also, it is necessary to face the fact that the physical conditions for silica cementation are very different from those for carbonate cementation. There seems to be no way the two sets of physical conditions could have been maintained adjacent to one another in alternating, repeating, and often thin layers. The only really logical conclusion concerning the formation of such strata is that the limestone layers achieved their original primary cementation while they were within reach of the type of pore water they needed, and that the sandstones and siltstones were cemented at a time when a non-carbonate-producing environment was prevailing in the area. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Background: Muav Limestone close-up – Robert Leighty. Tim,   No problem about using the images.  Bob L. 
  • False and Deceptive Information A typical Mt. St. Helens argument Mt. St. Helens seems to be a popular topic for young earth advocates. Lets look at a typical but very deceptive argument…
  • False and Deceptive Information Are Mt. St. Helens layers the same as lake couplets? Geologists can instantly recognize layers seen around volcanoes such as Mt. St. Helens as being composed of ash, and know they accumulate rapidly. Geologists know how to recognize the light and dark layers formed through the seasonal accumulation of organic and non-organic material. Simple tests can be done to determine the composition of such layers. Any geology professor who can’t see the difference between volcanic ash layers and lake couplets would be summarily fired (or never hired in the first place). Dr. Morris knows this and is willfully misleading his Christian audience.
  • 2. YECs often don’t practice what they preach.
  • Answers in Genesis and “Magic Bullets” Young earth proofs, somewhat mockingly also known as “magic bullets,” are the classic weapon of the YEC. Young earth proofs are single, isolated arguments used in an attempt to “win all the chips” in a old earth vs. young earth discussion. Think of a hypothetical situation when on one side, you could have an person armed with volume after volume of carefully researched books and scientific papers with literally thousands of arguments supporting his case for an old earth, and on the other a young earth believer who, feeling quite sure of himself, whips out a short one- or two-line young earth proof which in his view, closes the issue. Whether it be “comets disintegrate too quickly for the solar system to be old,” “the salinity of the ocean proves it isn’t billions of years old,” “the earth’s magnetic field is decaying too fast,” or any one of several hundred such arguments, a young earth proof will pretty much follow the same formula – rip some fact or statement out of its context from a scientific paper, book, or journal and then use it to try to prove that the earth couldn’t possibly be as old as the scientists say it is. Whenever I see or hear someone use a young earth proof, I mentally picture the Geology Library at UCLA. The YEC is essentially saying that he/she has this one “zinger” which renders the millions of hours of painstaking field work, literature search, data analysis, graphics development, writing, and reviewing that went into all the geology books and journals in that library a total waste. Typically, the person will have heard or read about the young earth proof from a YEC ministry book, website, or seminar and hasn’t done any further research on his or her own to validate the proof in the scientific literature. 2003: Ken Ham urges YECs to stop looking for “the magic bullet” You don’t see the YECs coming out with very many new “proofs” these days, since refutations can now be easily found on the Web (e.g., http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html) and the YECs now seem to be focusing more on broader themes such as the “flood geology” explanation for the Grand Canyon’s rock layers, Russell Humphrey’s theories for starlight travel time, and activities which appeal to the fundamentalist “base” such as “creation seminars” and AiG’s new Museum of Creation in Kentucky. In fact, Ken Ham, apparently seeing the writing on the wall, wrote an article in 2003 entitled “ Searching for the ‘magic bullet’ - Why do creation-defenders often seem to be too quick to jump onto the latest ‘evidences’? (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i2/bullet.asp). In this article, Ham stated: “ In 1986 a number of leading creationist researchers decided that the evidence of supposedly human and dinosaur footprints, found together at the Paluxy River in Texas, had serious problems. They decided that, pending further research to establish the correct interpretation of the prints, they could no longer be safely used as evidence supporting the fact (based on the biblical account of creation) that man and dinosaur lived at the same time. Regardless of what the correct interpretation really is, I want to discuss a related phenomenon that is rife throughout the church. I believe it is one of the reasons so many Christians believe in millions of years, and do not accept the days of creation as ordinary-length days. It is also why so many creationists are not able to successfully argue with evolutionists in a convincing way.” Instead, they should try to understand the right way to think about “the same evidence the evolutionists use” Later in the same 2003 article “ Searching for the ‘magic bullet’ - Why do creation-defenders often seem to be too quick to jump onto the latest ‘evidences’? , Ken Ham proposed a new approach YECs should use in countering the “evolutionists.” In this article, Ham stated: “ Most well-meaning creationists would agree in principle that things that are not carefully documented and researched should not be used. But in practice, many of them are very quick to accept the sorts of evidences mentioned here, without asking too many questions. Why this seeming urge to find a startling, exciting ‘magic bullet’? I think it is because probably the majority of Christians believe that the ‘evidence’ overwhelmingly supports an old (millions of years) earth. For many, it causes them to reject what the Bible makes so plain about history, to the great detriment of the Gospel founded on that history. But even those who keenly support Genesis still tend to see it as if there is a ‘mountain’ of ‘their’ facts/evidences lined up ‘against our side.’ This is, I believe, why they are less cautious than they might otherwise be, because they are so keen to have ‘our’ facts/evidences to counter ‘theirs.’ That is, both of the above groups suffer from the same basic problem. They really don’t understand that it is not a matter of ‘their evidence vs. ours.’ All evidence is actually interpreted, and all scientists actually have the same observations—the same data—available to them in principle.” Still later in the article, Ham stated: “ My point is that if we Christians really understood that all evidence is actually interpreted on the basis of certain presuppositions, then we wouldn’t be in the least bit intimidated by the evolutionists’ supposed ‘evidence.’ We should instead be looking at the evolutionist’s (or old-earther’s) interpretation of the evidence, and how the same evidence could be interpreted within a biblical framework and be confirmed by testable and repeatable science. I believe if more creationists did this, they would be less likely to jump at ‘flaky’ evidence that seems startling, but in reality may be being interpreted incorrectly by the creationists themselves in their rush to find the magic-bullet, knock-down, drag-em-out convincing ‘evidence’ against evolution that they think they desperately need.” I found further information supporting this change in direction in an article on the AiG website dated July 31, 2007 about a recent conference of creationist “geologists” (many of them had no geology degrees) at Cedarville University (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/07/31/creation-geologists-meet-at-cedarville). The following is an excerpt from that article: "Creationist geologists have developed a big-picture view of how the rock record correlates to the Flood, but there are still many points on which they disagree. Meetings such as this one can only help to build lines of communication and cooperation in constructively critiquing ideas and models. This will aid geologists to shift from attacking uniformitarian and evolutionary claims to providing biblical explanations for the sequence and structure of the rocks and fossils found across the globe. The shift has already been seen in the recent RATE research and models like Catastrophic Plate Tectonics that present an alternative to the billions-of-years models proposed by secular science." (emphasis mine) Abstracts from talks given at the conference can be found in the Proceedings of the First Conference on Creation Geology, Cedarville University , at http://www.cedarville.edu/departments/er/geology/abstractbook.pdf. To my understanding, “attacking uniformitarian and evolutionary claims” is probably a code-phrase for young earth proofs. Many young earth proofs have been around even before Henry Morris’ The Genesis Flood was published and have come to be known as “YEC golden oldies.” Some of these have come to be quite an embarrassment to the YEC cause. For example, the first edition of The Genesis Flood included the claim that dinosaur tracks and human footprints had been found along the Paluxy River in Texas, but this was removed a few editions later. Such bloopers are probably why some YECs are trying to shift their focus to providing “an alternative to the billions-of-years models proposed by secular science.“ I am fairly sure some young earth proofs can be traced back to the days of George McCready Price. On page 126 of The Christian View of Science and Scripture , Bernard Ramm states: “ Suppose that 80 per cent of the geological record makes clear sense when interpreted from the Lyellian point of view, and that 20 per cent remains a problem to uniformitarian geology. We have our choice of taking the 80 per cent as established and going to work on the 20 per cent; or, or taking the 20 per cent as normative, and trying to dissolve the 80 per cent. Price adopts the latter procedure. The author does not know what the actual percentages are, but he is sure that he is generous to Price in the choice of the above percentages. If by analogy Price’s principle were followed in other sciences it is obvious that chaos would result. Medicine would be impossible of serious practice if doctors conducted their practice on the guidance obtained from the exceptions rather than from the averages. Physics, chemistry, physiology and psychology would all be impossible. Price is popular for one reason alone – that he strode forth like David to meet the Goliath of modern uniformitarian geology and that even though the giant has not fallen Price has been slinging his smooth stones for more than forty years.” (more like 95 years now!) However… Ken Ham, the Museum of Creation, and YEC books and web pages continue to use young earth proofs Ken Ham says that creationists shouldn’t “rush to find the magic-bullet, knock-down, drag-em-out convincing ‘evidence’ against evolution,” but apparently he and others in his ministry don’t fully practice what he preaches. For example, recall Ham’s young earth proof just a few slides earlier on the Lost Squadron – that one has rapidly achieved “golden oldie” status. Ham made that statement in 2006 – three years after he admonished YECs to stop using young earth proofs. In AiG’s Museum of Creation in northern Kentucky which opened in 2007, there is a “Special Effects Theater,” where a film is shown entitled Men in White. In one scene, two angels drop in on a classroom at “Enlightenment High School” where a boring, arrogant teacher mindlessly spouts evolutionary jargon and chants phrases like "separation of church and state.“ The angels pepper her with questions like, "Well, if all agree the sea is getting somewhat saltier every year, why, after billions of years, isn't the sea all salt?“ This, of course, is another YEC “golden oldie” young earth proof – the very kind Ham says creationists shouldn’t use – and it was one of the proofs in my friend John’s senior paper way back in the late 1970’s (see slide 1 notes). The use of “young earth proofs” is really an effort by YECs to limit the debate to the following two models: Literal 24 hour, 6-day creation, or Atheistic evolution, occurring over “millions and millions of years” Therefore, all YECs try to do is disprove evolution or “millions and millions of years,” and in their mind, the 6-day, 24-hour model is the only alternative. This tactic was introduced to 20 th century readers by George McCready Price. Price, being uneducated in the sciences (especially biology), saw young earth arguments as a short cut to undermining evolution. He felt that if the long geologic record could be disproved, it would take away the primary ingredient needed for evolution - time. This would eliminate the need to directly address the complex subject of biological science. This idea of the existence of only two options or “models” – 6-day, 24-hour creation or evolution – was popularized in 1974 with publication of Henry Morris’ book Scientific Creationism . In this book, Morris attempted to present a secularized form of young earth creationism in a handbook for use by high school teachers. Morris maintained that young earth creationism could be taught without reference to the book of Genesis or to other religious literature or to religious doctrines. As I recall, the book was not so much presenting evidence for creation as it was providing a string of arguments for a young earth like The Genesis Flood did.
  • Three Common Types of Young Earth Proofs The vast majority of young earth proofs can be grouped into three categories: The Apparent Glaring Exception The Uncovered Mistake The Rip and Run I will define and provide examples of these three types of young earth proofs in the following slides. The background photo you see on this slide shows Dr. Tommy Mitchell giving a presentation in the “Special Effects Theatre” at AiG’s Creation Museum. Dr. Mitchell is a medical doctor who retired to become a full-time speaker for AiG. The young woman you see kneeling on the stage in front of a pile of sticks is a prop for the multimedia presentation “Men in White,” which is shown numerous times a day. In “Men in White”, the woman is out by herself in the wilderness, warming herself in front of a campfire, looking at all the stars, and asking questions out loud about whether there is any meaning to life. Suddenly, two angels (cool looking young men in white outfits and dark shades who speak like the characters in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”) zip out of the sky and appear to the woman and the movie and special effects take off from there. I took the photo on September 1, 2008 (Labor Day). The “Hundreds of Physical Processes Set Limits on the Age of the World” PowerPoint slide Dr. Mitchell is pointing to was a spruced up version of a slide in a Russ Humphreys presentation from over a decade ago. All of the arguments on the Humphreys/Mitchell slide turn out to be “Rip and Run” young earth proofs, probably because they are most keeping with Dr. Humphrey’s “scientific” style. The following is a complete list of the arguments shown on the slide (some are covered by the black “sawtooth” area at the bottom of the slide), along with a URL where a rebuttal for that proof can be found on either the God and Science website or the Talk Origins website: 1. Helium in atmosphere http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#he4 2. Helium in ground http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#lead 3. Meteor dust http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE020.html 4. Buildup of carbon 14 http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#c14meteor 5. Human population http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#pop 6. Natural plutonium http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#pu244 7. Sodium in sea http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#salt 8. Sediment in sea http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#sediment 9. Erosion of continents http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD501.html 10. Earth's magnetic field http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD701.html, also http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/magfields.html 11. Oil leaks in earth http://www.eharmony.com/singles/servlet/user/comm/closedreason 12. Natural gas in earth http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD230.html 13. Orphan radiohalos http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#po218 14. Neutrons and strontium http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dalrymple/creationist_age_earth.html#h40 15. Decay of rock magnetism unknown origin 16. Tight bends in rocks http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#strata 21. Coral reef growth http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood-yea2.html#proof26 22. Oldest living plants http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CG/CG010.html 23. Human civilizations http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#civ 24. River delta growth http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#delta 25. Undersea oil seepage http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#delta 26. Uranium in sea http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD221.html 27. Neutrons and lead 28. Rotation of spiral galaxies http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#spirals 29. Interstellar gas expansion http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#interstellargas 30. C-14 in meteorites http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#c14meteor 31. Decay of comets http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#comets 32. Interplanetary dust removal http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#poynting 33. Lifetime of meteor showers http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#showers 34. Dust on the moon http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#moondust 35. Slowing of earth's rotation http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#tidal 36. Heat loss from earth http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#cooling 41. Peat bog growth 42. Multi-layer fossils http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#polystrate 43. Hardening of rocks http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#polystrate 44. Decay of Saturn's rings http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#ringstable 45. Potassium in the sea http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#salt 46. Titan's methane loss http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#po210 47. Internal heat of Io http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#io 48. Leaching of chlorine http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#leaching 49. Radiogenic lead 50. Niagara Falls erosion 51. Stone age burials 52. Seafloor calareceous ooze http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#ooze 53. Uranium decay 54. Squashed radiohalos http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#po210 55. Young water to sea http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#juvenile 56. Magma to earth's crust http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/yeclaims.html#erosion Wow check out #28, rotation of spiral galaxies – that’s the same one I mentioned in my first slide that I heard from Dr. Harold Slusher way back in 1980! ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo: Dr. Tommy Mitchell showing list of young earth proofs in presentation at AiG’s Creation Museum, by Tim Helble
  • “ Apparent Glaring Exception” Proof – First Example The “Lost Squadron” was buried under 268 feet of ice in only 50 years If you read a YEC article or book or listen to a YEC speaker, it won’t be long at all before you hear them bring up an “Apparent Glaring Exception” – some kind of finding that “proves” mainstream science has been ignoring or even covering up some critical piece of information that proves the earth is young.  For example, during an exchange between Ken Ham and old-earth creationist Dr. Hugh Ross on a half-hour segment of the John Ankerberg Show, Ham presented some evidence he had read about on the young age for the Great Barrier Reef (which by the way is totally incorrect) and then went on to say: “ And see, another example would be up in Greenland, when in 1942, there was bombers and fighter plans that were landed because they ran out of fuel and when they came to look for them about 40 years later, they couldn’t find them, and found them about two miles from their original location 250 feet deep in the ice – the ice had accumulated on top of them. There’s observational science – we see rapid accumulation. See, when you get ice cores or other cores, you’re interpreting them on the basis of uniformitarian processes that you believe have gone on and on over time…” Ross then explained how the aircraft landed near the coast in southeast Greenland – an area that receives a lot of snow – and how the ice core data by scientists were collected further north on the central plateau where snowfall is much less. Ham then interrupted: “ Ah! Assumptions! You’re assuming the climate today is the same as what it’s been in the past – things have changed rapidly over the years because of the flood.” (From the DVD entitled The Great Debate on Science and the Bible ) Ham was referring to a squadron of World War II escort planes (P-38s) and heavy bombers (B-17s) being flown from the U.S. to England. The squadron had been forced by bad weather to land on the ice in Greenland. One of the P-38 aircraft in the “Lost Squadron” was recovered 50 years later (not 40 years) under 268 feet of ice (not 250 feet). Ham’s argument was essentially this - how can you rely on small bands in a few thousand meters of ice cores that supposedly represent annual accumulation over a very long period of time (much longer than allowed for by YEC) if the Lost Squadron could be covered by 268 feet of ice in only 50 years? Therefore, ice layers indicating tens of thousands of years of accumulation were really laid down in a short time… after the global Flood YEC scientists, including the man widely recognized as the creationist expert on the ice age – Michael Oard, maintain that a huge volume of ice accumulated at the higher latitudes during a rapid cool-down episode after the worldwide flood. For example, see http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i3/greenland.asp. Problems with “Lost Squadron Proof” Much more precipitation occurs near Greenland’s southeast coast where “Glacier Girl” was found than in the central plateau where the GISP2 ice cores were taken Hugh Ross was correct in pointing out the difference between the climates where the Lost Squadron landed and where the GISP2 ( Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2) ice core data was taken. The location where the Lost Squadron landed was on the southeast coast of Greenland, which as the map on the slide shows, is among the snowiest places in Greenland – having about 10 or more times the annual snow/ice accumulation as the location much further north and inland where the ice cores were taken. The caption to this map is “Observed annual accumulation distribution over Greenland Ice Sheet adapted from Bender (1984) by Bromwich et al. (1993) in centimeters (water equivalent). The contour intervals are 20 cm, but 10 cm if smaller than 40 cm, and 60 cm if larger than 100 cm” (see: http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0442(1997)010%3C0839%3APOGRBA%3E2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1). The 1961-1990 average precipitation at Tasiilaq, which is on the coast and close to where the Lost Squadron landed, is over 98 cm [39 inches] of water. That’s quite a bit of precipitation in a year – about the same as Washington D.C. Since the Lost Squadron landed a few miles inland where orographic uplift cause the precipitation to be even greater, the two numbers compare favorably. Also, as the name “Glacier Girl” given to the P-38 aircraft conveys, it was recovered from a mass of very dense ice and snow moving downhill under its own weight – a glacier – some 2 km from where it landed 50 years earlier. Ice core dating is performed in stable ice fields, not active glaciers. Furthermore, the official website for The P-38 Lost Squadron Museum (http://www.thelostsquadron.com/) pointed out the following about another aircraft in the squadron, dubbed the Big Stoop : “50+ years in the icecap had basically ground the plane to pieces and it was determined that it was not worth salvaging.” This would seem to indicate there was movement within the glacial ice which also could have affected the ultimate vertical location of the aircraft. Daily warming, cooling and formation of frost during summer causes ice at the surface to be lighter – this repeats each year and is easily seen in ice core Recent snow layers don’t have much weight on top of them, so you have to go fairly far down to reach snow from 50 years ago.  Deeply buried snow is compressed into thin ice layers, but annual bands remain . ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo: courtesy U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory 200,000 annual layers can be reliably identified in ice cores from central Greenland because: Ice crystal characteristics are known to vary from summer to winter Daily warming, cooling and formation of frost during summer causes ice at the surface to be lighter – this repeats each year and is easily seen in ice core Dust concentrations vary seasonally Observations of recent and currently forming ice layers have shown that the concentration of dust deposited by the atmosphere varies in a seasonal manner – In the late winter/early spring when the wind is stronger than usual, significantly more dust is carried in the air than at other times of the year. This variation can be identified in the ice cores. Electrical conductivity varies from summer to winter In the spring and summer, the sun is shining more and nitric acid is produced in the stratosphere and enters the snow. This process does not occur during in the winter. The acid accumulated in the spring/summer portion of the layer more easily allows an electrical current to pass through, but the lower concentration of nitric acid in the winter portion of the layer allows much less current to pass through. This change in conductivity can be measured in each layer of an ice core. The 18 Oxygen/ 16 Oxygen ratio varies from summer to winter Water contains two isotopes of oxygen – 18 Oxygen and 16 Oxygen. T he lighter isotope 16 Oxygen evaporates more readily from the ocean than the heavier 18 Oxygen. B ecause water evaporates more easily from the ocean when temperatures are low, winter snow contains more of the lighter isotope than summer snow. The ratio between 18 Oxygen and 16 Oxygen can be measured with a mass spectrometer. The variation in this ratio can be detected in each layer of an ice core starting with recent layers and going back in time with deeper layers. Dating of volcanic ash from certain layers verify that annual layers are being counted correctly. The age of volcanic ash in an ice core layer 2,808 meters down was determined using radiometric dating to be 115,000 BP (before present), which was in essential agreement with an age of 111,000 BP as determined layer counting using gas-age dating. Also, a sh from known volcanic eruptions during the past few thousand years verify that annual layers are being counted correctly. For more information on ice core data, see a NOAA presentation at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/slideset/15/index.html For detailed information on failed YEC attempts to use the Lost Squadron to explain away ice core data, See The GISP2 Ice Core: Ultimate Proof that Noah’s Flood Was Not Global at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2003/PSCF12-03Seely.pdf .
  • 3. YECs will make it sound like you are less of a Christian (or not a Christian at all) if you believe the Earth is old
  • 4. Young Earth leaders sometimes modify history to suit their purposes.
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  • 5. Young earth advocates will tell you almost all of Earth’s fossil-bearing sedimentary rock layers were deposited during Noah’s Flood. The doctrine proposing that the sedimentary rock layers containing the large majority of the earth’s fossil record were deposited in one year by Noah’s Flood is often referred to as Flood geology. You will see the term “Flood geology” used often in this presentation. Young earth geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling stated how critical Flood geology is to young earth creationism a May 29, 2009 article on the “Feedback” section of the Answers in Genesis (AiG) website ( http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/05/29/feedback-having-it-both-ways): "What many scientists continue to suppress (Romans 1:18) is God’s clear description in His communication to man, the Bible, that what happened in the past (that is, the global catastrophic Flood of which He was an eyewitness) is the key to understanding why and how the earth is as it is today." When the spherical shape of the Earth became common knowledge during the last 500 years, people looked at passages in the Book of Genesis referring to the Earth (Hebrew: eretz) and projected their understanding of a spherical Earth onto the pages of the Bible. Passages referring to Creation, Noah’s Flood, and the confusion of language at Babel were assumed to be addressing the entire globe. As early scientists began looking at fossils they found in rock layers, the accepted paradigm at first was that they were somehow products of a catastrophic Flood, or later, a series of catastrophic floods. About 200 years ago, with the work of Hutton, Lyell, and other geologists, the paradigm of a global catastrophic Flood being responsible for most of the earth’s fossil-bearing sedimentary rock layers changed. It wasn’t jettisoned because the geologists were all atheists trying to discredit the Bible – it’s just that the more people looked, the more they realized that the evidence for a single catastrophic Flood isn’t there in the stratigraphic record.  However, geologists found there was abundant evidence that local geologic formations were deposited by innumerable local floods and various gradual processes. When you look back at the roots of modern Flood geology in the 20 th century, you will see that it is actually an attempt to deny sufficient time for evolution to occur. Evolution is defined as descent with modification from a common ancestor, and this occurs over long periods of time when looking at the entire range of living things. Figure out a way to take away the long periods of time, especially the time required to deposit all the fossil-bearing layers, and you’ve undermined evolution – at least in the minds of its detractors. This is summarized perfectly by Ken Ham, the head of the YEC organization Answers in Genesis: “ Those Christians who believe in evolution and/or millions of years just cannot allow ‘it.’ To do so would destroy the fundamental nature of what they believe. To allow ‘it’ would mean that their belief in the supposed millions of years in the fossil record never existed—this ‘it’ would eliminate millions of years of supposed history. The ‘it’ would show that God does not break His promises. The ‘it’ refers to the global Flood of Noah’s day. Let me explain… Think about it: if you accept a real global Flood, then you destroy (rightly) evolution’s millions of years of history, as supposedly recorded in the fossils found in the layers of rock. You see, the eroding of these layers by the Flood—and then the ‘re-depositing’ of the sediments and the destroying of many of the fossils—would eliminate much of this ‘evidence’ of these alleged millions of years. It’s an important point.” (They can’t allow “it”!, http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/newsletters/0805lead.asp).
  • Keep in mind that about 75% of Earth’s land surface and almost all of the ocean bottom are covered by sedimentary rock. When talking with young earth advocates about Noah’s Flood and its effects on Earth, it is often tempting to focus on one location and forget that the same sort of impacts must also be seen all over the globe. Moreover, those impacts would have had to take place simultaneously everywhere on the Earth. In the following discussion, we will focus on the young earth advocate’s favorite area – the Grand Canyon. However, just when they think “Ha, I got you,” remember that they must be able to explain how that same mechanism they are proposing was depositing sedimentary layers in adjacent areas and indeed all over the globe (over at least 75% of the area) at the same time, not just at Grand Canyon or wherever they happen to be focusing on at the same time.
  • Young-earth advocates will say most of these layers were deposited by the global Flood To illustrate where the Grand Canyon rock layers fall in the young-earth/flood geology interpretation, here’s a photo of Grand Canyon where you can see everything from the Colorado River up to the South Rim. The Hermit’s Rest viewpoint is at the rim, to the left of the yellow line.
  • Young-earth advocates Drs. Steve Austin and Andrew Snelling divide up Grand Canyon’s layers according to this scheme Starting at the “Great Unconformity” near the top of the inner gorge, everything from the first distinct layer (Tapeats Sandstone) on up to the rim contains fossils. Therefore, Dr. Austin and most other Flood geologists classify everything from the Tapeats on up to the rim (Kaibab Formation) as “Early Flood” layers. No reason is given for establishing the Kaibab Formation as the last “early flood” layer other than that it seems to indicate a turning point in the Flood. Note how the “late Flood” portion in this photograph is just blue sky. You don’t see any rock layers there, but it turns out there are many more located stratigraphically above the Kaibab Formation which are found just to the north (and in a few cases south) of Grand Canyon. In other words, if you went north to a place like Zion National Park or Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and drilled a hole downward, you would eventually run into the Kaibab Formation and other Grand Canyon layers (not all layers, because some don’t reach that far north). To give you an idea of how thick the layers used to be above the Grand Canyon strata, consider geologist Michael Morales’ overview of the importance of rock layers located stratigraphically above the Kaibab Formation in a chapter of Grand Canyon Geology : “ If you stand on either the north or south rim of the Grand Canyon, the soles of your shoes will rest on the cracked and weathered limestone of the Kaibab Formation. This topmost rock unit of the canyon was deposited near the end of the Paleozoic Era. As you peer into the deep chasm below, you will see a mile (1.6-km)-thick section of strata that accumulated during the Proterozoic Eon and Paleozoic Era. Now turn your gaze skyward and imagine a section of rocks extending above your feet for approximately another mile, about the same distance above the rim as the bottom of the canyon is below the rim. This exercise will give you an idea of the great thickness of marine and terrestrial rock layers that were deposited on the top of the Kaibab Formation in several intervals during the Mesozoic Era (Hintze 1988). These sediments once covered the entire southwestern portion of the Colorado Plateau Physiographic Province, an area that includes the Grand Canyon (Billingsley 1989).” Wow! Morales’ statement is probably not going to make any sense to some people, because it’s hard to imagine the Grand Canyon not existing at all let alone another mile of rock layers above where the canyon is now. However, the fact that higher layers once existed here is surprisingly conceded by at least some YECs. For example, on page 84 of Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe , Steve Austin states: The top of Red Butte is capped by a lava flow which has protected the underlying shale and conglomerate from erosion. We might ask how a lave flow could cover a butte, since lava does not usually flow over hills but around them. The answer is found by postulating that the lava flowed over a vast plain that existed 1,000 feet above the present south rim of the Canyon, and the Moenkopi and Chinle formations covered the entire surface of the present Coconino Plateau and Kaibab Plateau above the Kaibab Limestone!... This plateau appears to have been buried even deeper than the 1,000 feet indicated by Red Butte. There is evidence above the Moenkopi and Chinle formations, which have now been eroded off the south rim, that the Glen Canyon Group (Navajo Sandstone, Kayenta Formation, Moenave Formatioin, and Windgate Sandstone) – another 2,000 feet of strata – were present, as well. Our minds are staggered in the attempt to imagine not just 1,000 cubic miles of canyon erosion, but many times that volume, indicated by thousands of feet of erosion off the plateaus which surround the Canyon.” It is stated much more succinctly in a “Fast Facts” box on page 104 of Your Guide to the Grand Canyon A Different Perspective by Tom Vail, Mike Oard, Dennis Bokovoy, and John Hergenrather. Here, it states: “ Over a mile of sedimentary rock has been eroded from the top of the Grand Canyon area.” To old earth people, this amount of rock ought to really give you an idea of what is meant by “deep time.” To young-earth people, you have to figure out how to remove an incredible volume of sediment or rock covering the entire Coconino and Kaibab Plateaus when the global flood that just deposited the layers is already over. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo: Looking up (east) Grand Canyon from Marsh Butte, morning of July 2, 1983, by Tim Helble. I shot this photo from where I camped overnight on a three-day hike to Crystal Rapid – not a bad view to wake up to! On July 2 nd , the Colorado River at this location was just a day or two away from maximum flow during the 1983 flood, so the it appears wider than it usually is.
  • Let’s just look at one layer – the Coconino Sandstone – and see if it could have been laid down during the Flood
  • Geologists say the Coconino’s complex cross-bed structure indicates it was formed through eolian (wind-driven) processes. Desert dunes can’t be formed during a global Flood, so young-earth advocates try to prove it was deposited by water . The arrows were added to highlight the direction of cross beds. Note the complex pattern in just this small section of Coconino Sandstone!
  • Desert dunes can’t be formed during a global Flood, so young-earth advocates try to prove it was deposited by water .
  • Let’s look at a graphical procedure developed by young-earth advocate Dr. Steven A. Austin to show how the Coconino could have been deposited by flowing water during the Flood. Austin’s procedure is widely used by other young-earth advocates such as Andrew Snelling, seen here showing it at an Answers in Genesis conference. Dr. Steven Austin developed a graphical procedure for his book 1994 Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe in an effort to show how cross-bedded sandstones could have been formed as underwater sand waves. Here we see Andrew Snelling of Answers in Genesis showing the graphical procedure at the “Answers for Darwin” conference at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA on February 14, 2009. This was part of a series of slides where Dr. Snelling was trying to show how several different sedimentary formations in the Grand Canyon area and other locations around the world were all deposited during a global Flood. Note that the caption for Snelling’s slide states “The height of the sand-waves is due to the water depth and current speed.” A moment later, the following appeared immediately below: “These sand-waves were up to 60 feet (18 m) high and were moved by water flowing at 3-5 miles per hour (5-8 km per hour).”
  • Austin’s Flood Velocity Estimation Procedure – Found in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe, Page 34 In Dr. Steven Austin’s Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe , we find the centerpiece of his case for underwater deposition of Grand Canyon sandstones – a procedure for estimating the water velocity required to deposit sand during the worldwide flood. Austin knew that not just any water velocity would do – it had to be fast enough to transport sand while not being too fast so as to preclude formation of the kind of high angle cross bedding we observe in the Grand Canyon sandstones. (It turns out there is no such thing as high angle underwater sand waves, but Austin throws a few angle numbers at his readers and hopes they’ll buy it.) He probably also was aware of Stoke’s Law – if the water’s velocity was too fast, any sediment it might be carrying wouldn’t be able to settle out. Dr Austin actually presents his estimation procedure in the context of sandstones in the Supai Group and Kaibab Formation, citing them as “the ones with strongest evidence for marine sand-wave deposition.” However, the description of his estimation procedure on page 34 is intertwined with arguments for underwater deposition of the Coconino Sandstone and he ends up applying his estimates to the Coconino anyway. Also, YEC speakers and writers continue to cite the results of Dr. Austin’s estimation procedure in the context of the Coconino Sandstone. Dr. Austin estimates the current velocity which deposited the sand making up the Grand Canyon sandstones using Figure 3.12 in Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe . The caption of Figure 3.12 is as follows: “ Graphs of water depth versus sand-wave height, and water depth versus water velocity, showing bedforms in fine sand expected under different water conditions. The thickness of cross beds observed in fine-grained sandstone is used to estimate sand-wave height. Then, sand-wave height is entered into the graph on the left to estimate the water depth where the sand wave formed. After a water depth is estimated on the left graph, that depth is transferred to the right graph, where the minimum-and-maximum velocities of water are indicated for the specific water depth.” It turns out Austin derived this figure from two completely different sources. On the left hand side, we find a simple plot derived from equation 2.20 on page 78 in the book Physical Processes of Sedimentation by John R. L. Allen (1970). The equation in Allen’s book is: H = 0.086d 1.19 Where: H = the underwater dune height in meters d = water depth in meters, 0.1 ≤ d ≤ 100 meters Dr. Austin states that Allen derived this equation empirically through laboratory observations of sand waves in large flumes and that it describes the relationship between sand wave height and water depth. Notice that Austin used a simple equation obtained through experiments in a laboratory flume and extrapolates the results to a worldwide Flood! Also notice that Allen’s empirical equation expressed sand wave height as a function of water depth [H = f(d)] while Austin’s graph shows water depth expressed as a function of sand wave height [d = f(H)]. This means the equation Dr. Austin actually plotted in the left side of Figure 3.12 was: D = 7.86H 0.084 Right off the bat, we can see Dr. Austin is making some rather creative use of information in a scientific source. As an interesting side note - Since Dr. Austin uses J.R.L. Allen’s book as a source, most YECs would probably assume that Allen agrees with Austin’s argument for underwater deposition of the Coconino Sandstone. However, in the very same book Physical Processes of Sedimentation , we see Allen contradicting Dr. Austin when he states the following on page 115: “ In the Colorado Plateau region of the USA hot desert conditions prevailed throughout Late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic times, so that there now exists in this area a whole series of aeolian sandstone formations closely associated vertically and horizontally with fluviatile and shallow-marine strata. The Colorado Plateau must during these times have closely resembled a modern desert basin of interior drainage, for it was bounded to west, south and east by hills and mountains, and was open to riverine lowlands and the sea only to the north. The most closely studied of the dune sandstones are the Coconino and the Navajo, neither of which is thicker than about 370 metres. Their cross-bedded units are seldom thinner than 1.5 metres and practically never thicker than 12 metres, though exceptional units 30 metres thick are recorded. The sands are well sorted and here and there yield ventifacts. vertebrate tracks, rain prints and undoubted wind ripples are recorded from the Coconino.” For the right hand side of Figure 3.12, Dr. Austin used a redrawn version of a graph taken from a 1980 paper by D. M. Rubin and D.S. McCulloch entitled Single and Superimposed Bedforms: A Synthesis of San Francisco Bay and Flume Observations, which was published in the journal Sedimentary Geology . This graph was the left half of Figure 8 on page 218 in Rubin and McCulloch’s paper. I overlaid a digital copy of Rubin and McColloch’s graph on top of Dr. Austin’s version to see if Dr. Austin accurately reproduced the figure in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe and found that was a good copy, but I noticed that he extended Rubin and McColloch’s horizontal scale from a little over 160 cm/sec to 200 cm/sec. One thing that Austin didn’t tell his readers was that this figure he took from Rubin and McColloch’s paper was for a very narrow range of sand grain sizes – 0.19 to 0.22 millimeters. The sand grain sized distribution of Grand Canyon sandstones is actually much wider than this. If one checks through Rubin and McCulloch’s paper, two other graphs representing different sediment particle size ranges (i.e., .35 - .60 mm sand and .13 - .25 mm sand) will be found, and that lines separating the various dune forms (ripples, dunes & sand waves, etc.) on these other graphs define quite different ranges of water velocity. As we will see, Dr. Austin uses Rubin and McCulloch’s Figure 8 graph to derive quite specific numbers for the depth and velocity of Flood waters which he says deposited the sediments comprising the Grand Canyon sandstones. The widespread quoting by YEC writers of the water velocity estimates derived through this procedure as if they were precise calculations applying to all sediment deposited by the Flood in itself shows the shallowness of YEC science. I noticed YECs sometimes attribute both halves of Austin’s Figure 3.12 to Rubin and McColloch, when in fact it was derived from two different sources. For example, Guy Berthault, in his article on the AiG website (http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v11/i1/sedimentation_reply.asp), states the following: “ Rubin and McCulloch’s diagram (see Figure 1) clearly shows that at different depths, and according to their speed, lateral currents produce deposits with various stratified configurations.” It makes me wonder if Berthault ever really read “ Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe ” himself, or perhaps just skimmed it. Here’s another interesting side note on Dr. Austin’s use of John R.L. Allen’s Physical Processes of Sedimentation . Allen has since replaced it with an updated book entitled Principles of Physical Sedimentology (1985). This new version was published well before Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe , but Austin used the older book because the newer one didn’t include the equation he wanted to use. To the average young-earth believer, Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe will be very convincing, but to a secular geologist, it appears rather juvenile. For example, geologist Wilfred A Elders summarized his main objection to the book as follows: “ The crux of the book is a lengthy and detailed, but ultimately failed, attempt to rebut published accounts of the geology, paleontology, and dating of the strata of Grand Canyon and to present re-interpretations consistent with the Genesis story. Such reinterpretations are buttressed by some original creationist research. However, a case of contamination of pollen samples, 12 oriented nautiloids, the tale of 94 squirrel skins, some experiments with tracks made by newts in an aquarium, and willful misinterpretation of radiometric dates based on five Rb/Sr (Rubidium/Strontium) isotopic ratios scarcely constitute a deluge of new compelling evidence for the flood of Noah.” (see http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol18/8233_bibliolatry_in_the_grand_canyo_12_30_1899.asp)
  • Austin’s Flood Velocity Estimation Procedure – How does it work? To set the stage for his Flood water velocity estimation, Dr. Austin enters into a discussion on the “very thick cross bed sets in the fine-grained sandstone strata of the Grand Canyon.” He mentions the existence of cross beds in sandstones found in the Kaibab Limestone and Supai Group, and suggests the sand wave height indicated by these formations was “ten meters (33 feet).” He further states that sand waves “ could easily be 18 meters (60 feet) high” if the Coconino Sandstone was deposited underwater. Austin decides to use a sand wave height of 10 meters in the demonstration of his estimation procedure, because he states that the Supai and Kaibab sandstones are “the ones with strongest evidence for marine sand-wave deposition.” (Actually, the Supai Group and Kaibab Formation are more than just sandstones.) To start his estimation procedure, Dr. Austin states we can draw a line upward from the 10 meter point on the sand wave height axis of the left hand graph until it meets the curve. At the point where the vertical line intersects the curve on the left hand graph, Dr. Austin states that “the logarithmic scale on the vertical axis indicates that the sand wave formed in water at a depth of 54 meters (177 feet).” The horizontal dashed line you see here was drawn from the intersection point on the curve leftward to the water depth axis. It would be unrealistic to expect anyone to achieve two significant figures in estimating water depth from this graph. I miniaturized a logarithmic scale and aligned it with the existing left hatch marks, and found the intersection point on the curve actually corresponded to 57 meters. I don’t know why Dr. Austin didn’t just use his reversed version of J.R.L. Allen’s equation to make the calculation instead of plotting the equation and then obtaining the answer visually from the graph. Perhaps he felt graphs look more “scientific.”
  • Austin’s Flood Velocity Estimation Procedure – How does it work? Next, Dr. Austin then draws a line right to the far edge of the “Dunes & Sand Waves” section on the right-hand graph. Dr. Austin focuses on the “Dunes & Sand Waves section” of the right hand graph because he is trying to estimate water velocities that would be consistent with the pattern of cross beds in Grand Canyon sandstones. Recall from a few slides earlier how he was trying to explain how the cross bedding seen in these sandstones would be the product of dunes and sand waves formed by underwater currents. Therefore, Dr. Austin notes the two locations where the horizontal line for a 54 meter water depth intersects the “Dunes & Sand Waves” section in the right-hand graph. This might be as good of a time as any to discuss a key aspect of this underwater sand wave topic. As Greg Neyman points out on his Answers in Creation website ( http://www.answersincreation.org) , Dr. Austin uses some creative “slight of hand” with his numbers for the range of angles found in underwater sand waves: “ Finally, Austin argues that the angle of the slope of the cross beds indicates an origin other than eolian.  He claims the average angle for Coconino cross beds is about 25°, which is less than the average angle of slope observed in sand dunes today.  He states that sand dunes today exhibit angles as much as 30°, and even up to 34° (notice he doesn't actually give the average angle observed today).  By contrast, oceanic sand waves are less.  However, as one of my readers has noticed (thanks David), a casual reading of geologic literature shows records of wind-deposited cross beds which are as low as 10°.  They have been found to range from 10° to 34°, but typically, they average between 25° and 28°. Austin fails to tell the reader all the information (a typical young-earth tactic).  By contrast, water deposited sand is rarely steeper than 10°.  When he claims that water-deposited cross beds are less, he fails to tell the reader by how much.  Since the Coconino's cross-bedding is 25°, they are obviously wind-deposited.  They fall within the average for eolian cross beds (25°-28°), but are far from the angle expected for water-deposited cross-beds (less than 10°).  Had Austin included the actual cross-bed angles for water-deposition, it would have ruined his argument.  Thus, we see the trickery that he has to resort to in order to deceive his readers.” (see http://www.answersincreation.org/coconino.htm) At any rate, the two locations where the horizontal line for a 54 meter water depth intersects the “Dunes & Sand Waves” section in the right-hand graph is marked with two red “X’s.” These two red “X’s” then mark the maximum and minimum water velocities at which Dr. Austin says underwater dunes and sand waves could form at a water depth of 54 meters. If the water velocity is too slow (i.e., less than that at the left-hand “X”), the graph indicates only underwater ripples would form. The cross beds seen in Grand Canyon sedimentary rock layers don’t indicate underwater ripples – the cross beds are too long and steep. On the other hand, if the water was flowing too fast (i.e., greater than that at the right-hand “X”), the graph shows you would get flat beds. In other words, if the water were flowing too fast, it would just “flatten” out any sand waves and just leave layers that appear pretty much horizontal. This also wouldn’t match the cross beds we see in the Grand Canyon sandstones Dr. Austin is trying to address. As we will see, this puts the YECs in a real pickle – they need super fast water currents to transport phenomenal amounts of sand, but cross beds we see in Grand Canyon sandstones don’t allow for that.
  • Austin’s Flood Velocity Estimation Procedure – How does it work? From the two points where the horizontal line intersects the boundaries of the “dunes and sand waves” section, Dr. Austin then draws two lines straight down to the horizontal axis to find the water velocities corresponding to the two red “X’s.” Dr. Austin states his results – the minimum velocity would be 90 centimeters per second and the maximum water velocity would be 155 centimeters per second (2.0 to 3.5 miles/hour).
  • Another graph in the same paper! With s ediment transport rates... As is often the case when scientific literature is cited by YECs, there will be other information in the same reference which contradicts the young-earth position. This is certainly the case for Dr. Austin’s flood velocity estimation procedure. In Rubin and McCulloch’s paper, we find another graph on page 226 – the left side of Figure 12 – which looks similar to the one used by Dr. Austin (Figure 8, page 218) in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe . However, close examination of Figure 12 reveals it is for a wider (and more representative) range of sand grain sizes. As stated earlier, the left half of Figure 8 in Rubin and McCulloch’s paper was for a sand grain size distribution from 0.19 to 0.22 millimeters, while the graph on the left half of their Figure 12 was for a sand grain size distribution from 0.13 to 0.25 millimeters. The 0.19 to 0.22 millimeter range used in Figure 8 is a very narrow – the sand grains would be essentially uniform – and it is clearly unrealistic to expect only such fine sand grains to be suspended during a flood, especially one of worldwide dimensions envisioned by the YECs. A range of 0.13 to 0.25 millimeters as used in Figure 12 is also somewhat narrow, but at least it is wider and more realistic size range than those in the Figure 8 graph used by Dr. Austin. This is where trouble really starts for the young-earth position . The dashed lines and numbers in red circles on the new graph indicate sediment transport rates in kilograms per second per meter. What is a “kilogram per second per meter?” In short, 1 kilogram per second per meter means 1 kilogram of sand crossing a 1 meter long line every second. In other words, if you laid a meter stick (a little longer than a yard) on the ground and had a pile of sand on one side of the stick, every second you would be filling a small can with one kilogram of sand (about 1.1 pint or 32 cubic inches) and dumping it out on the other side. (This assumes the density of sand is 1900 kilograms per cubic meter.) If you had a sediment transport rate of 3 kilograms per second per meter, you would be scooping up 3 1/3 pints of sand and dumping it on the other side of the meter stick every second. That’s starting to be a lot of sand being dumped every second – pretty close to a half a gallon.
  • What kind of sediment transport rates would we see if the current speed was between 90 to 155 cm/sec and the depth was 54 meters? At the top of page 35 in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe, Dr Austin launches into a discussion of various locations (e.g, the Norwegian, Mediterranean, and Red Seas) where fairly high underwater currents have been observed. Possibly being aware the Flood water velocities his procedure is about to provide couldn’t possible transport enough sand to form any Grand Canyon rock layer let alone the Coconino Sandstone, Dr. Austin then states: “In shallow oceans, tsunami-induced currents have been reported, on occasion, to exceed 500 cm/sec.” (Note: 500 cm/sec is about 11 miles/hour.) He then states: “ Such an event would be able to move large quantities of sand, and, in its waning stages, build huge sand waves in deep water. A tsunami provides the best modern analogy for understanding how large-scale Grand Canyon cross beds form. We can imagine how the Flood would cause similar sedimentation in strata of Grand Canyon.” One problem an unbiased reader would immediately see is that fast currents on the order of 500 cm/sec would easily wipe out any already existing cross beds that previously formed in the sand. A consistent, long duration current of 11 miles per hour over wide swaths of land would cause all layering in sandstones to appear horizontal. However, we will suspend reason for the moment (as if we haven’t already!) and proceed to show that sediment transport rates don’t support formation of the Grand Canyon rock layers during a worldwide flood.
  • A generous sediment transport rate for a current speed between 90 to 155 cm/sec and a depth of 54 meters Focusing our attention to the new right hand graph, note that t he four dashed curves in the right hand graph represent sediment transport rates of 0.01, 0.1, 1.0, and 3.0 kilograms per second. However, Rubin and McColloch didn’t provide a dashed line in the upper right area the graph, which is the region where the 54 meter depth line intersects the “dunes and sand wave” section. However, we could certainly add one of our own. What sediment discharge rate would such a line represent? From its position on the graph and the progression of numbers on other lines of constant sediment transport rate, it looks like the line could represent 6, 9 or maybe 12 kilograms per second per meter, but let’s be very generous and say it’s 30 kilograms per second per meter. 30 kilograms is a lot of sand – a little over 8.3 gallons or 1.1 cubic feet – and that volume of sand would be crossing a meter long line every second. Do a little math and we could show that 30 kilograms per second equals almost two U.S. tons per minute – i.e., every minute we’d have two tons of sand crossing a one meter long line, four tons crossing a two meter line every minute, six tons crossing a three meter line every minute, etc.
  • O.k., what area would we be moving all this sand into? And where would it all be coming from? We still haven’t specified where all the sand would be moving to (i.e., where the Coconino Sandstone is found today), and where all of its sand would be coming from. Pinpointing the current area of the Coconino Sandstone is relatively easy, because we know where the outcrops are (e.g., Grand Canyon, Mogollon Rim) and we have extensive bore hole records from the oil companies that tell how deep and how thick the Coconino is where it is below the surface.
  • In Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe , page 36, Dr. Austin provides a map like the one below showing the area of the Coconino and correlated sandstones to the east. (The lines and numbers inside the violet area represent the sandstone thickness in feet.) Here is a map from page 36 of Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe showing the area covered by the Coconino Sandstone and its correlated sandstones to the east. For those readers who might be wondering how we know the area covered by these sandstones since they are mostly underground except for places where they are exposed like Grand Canyon or the Mogollon Rim to the south, Dr Austin helpfully provides the answer: “Drill data from obtained from the oil industry has helped produce the map.” Oil exploration and other geologic studies have provided vast volumes of data on the surface and underground sedimentary rock layers all across the U.S. The lines and numbers inside the violet area represent the sandstone thickness in feet. Dr. Austin states that the volume of this material is 10,000 cubic miles. Area of Coconino Sandstone and Correlated Sandstones to the East , taken from Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe, Page 36
  • Dr. Austin says we need to look to the north for a source of sand for the Coconino Sandstone, so let’s draw a 1,000 mile long northern border. Knowing that the Coconino Sandstone rests on top of other rock layers he also considers to be “early flood” deposits, Dr. Austin goes into a considerably lengthy discussion on possible sources for sediment going into the Coconino and other rock layers. On page 36 of Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe , he states: “ Cross beds within the Coconino Sandstone (and the Glorieta Sandstone of New Mexico and Texas) dip toward the south, indicating that the sand came from the north. Along its northern occurrence, the Coconino rests directly on the Hermit Formation. This formation has a finer texture than the Coconino and would not be an ample erosional source of sand grains for the Coconino. Thus, we cannot look underneath the Coconino for a colossal quantity of sand, we must look northward . However, in southern Utah, where the Coconino thins to zero, the underlying Hermit Formation (and its lateral equivalent, the Organ Rock Shale) continues northward. No obvious, nearby source of Coconino san grains is known. A very distant source area must be postulated.” YEC writer John R. Baumgardner apparently agrees with Dr. Austin. In a paper on the Answers in Genesis website under the heading “John R. Baumgardner, Geophysics” (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/ISD/baumgardner.asp), Dr. Baumgardner stated the following: “ When one looks for a possible source for this sand to the north, none is readily apparent. A very distant source seems to be required.” It appears Dr. Austin calls the shots for YECs on the Grand Canyon and geology in general. I haven’t been able to find any YEC writer who has contradicted him since Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe was published in 1994.
  • How many days would it take to move all the sand from the north across that line? According to Drs. Austin and Snelling… Coconino is an “early Flood” layer (first 150 days) Coconino volume is 10,000 cubic miles Average thickness of the Coconino is 315 feet Total thickness of “early Flood” layers in Grand Canyon is 4,000 feet Therefore: Time to move 10,000 cubic miles of sand to form the Coconino is ≈ 315 ft / 4,000 ft x 150 days ≈ 12 days Not very long!
  • Let’s use bars to represent the sand being transported from the north across the border, and assume 10,000 cubic miles of sand was perfectly positioned to the north at just the right time during the Flood. Remember, lower and higher layers also had to be transported in the same way before and after the Coconino was deposited. Each bar represents 10,000 cubic miles of sand.
  • At 30 kg/sec/meter, we would get: 6.3 mi 3 ( 26 km 3 ), Not 10,000 mi 3 In the next series of slides, we will illustrate the volume of sand that could be built up in the present day area of the Coconino Sandstone if sediment was being moved across the border from the north at 30 kilograms per second per every meter of the 1000 mile red border. The bar on the left represents the huge quantity of sand to the north of the red border, waiting to be transported by the water current. The right side of the graph is for the bar which will illustrate the amount of sand which is transported across the border to the south. This almost amounts to giving away the punch line of my demonstration here, but we really don’t need to show all of the sand to the north of the red line. As you will see, we will only need to show a bar representing 1/10 of the 10,000 mi 3 “sand pile” located to the north. Keep in mind that we would need to see a bar representing 833 cubic miles (1/12 of 10,000 cubic miles) appear on the right after one day to keep pace with the requirement to move 10,000 cubic miles of sand across the 1,000 mile long northern border (represented by the red line) in twelve days. Another way to think of this is that we need to move 833 cubic miles in one day to keep pace with the requirement to form 4,000 feet of Grand Canyon rock layers during the 150 day early Flood period. Something to remember for these slides – 30 kg/sec/m is a much higher sediment transport rate than anything specified by Rubin and McCulloch - Dr. Austin’s own source for the right hand graph on page 34 of Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe .
  • At 30 kg/sec/meter, we would get: 6.3 mi 3 ( 26 km 3 ), Not 10,000 mi 3 In this slide, we will illustrate the volume of sand that could be built up in the present day area of the Coconino Sandstone if sediment was being moved across the border from the north at 30 kilograms per second per every meter of the 1000 mile red border. The bar on the left represents the huge quantity of sand to the north of the red border, waiting to be transported by the water current. The right side of the graph is for the bar which will illustrate the amount of sand which is transported across the border to the south. This almost amounts to giving away the punch line of my demonstration here, but we really don’t need to show all of the sand to the north of the red line. As you will see, we will only need to show a bar representing 1/10 of the 10,000 mi 3 “sand pile” located to the north. Keep in mind that we would need to see a bar representing 833 cubic miles (1/12 of 10,000 cubic miles) appear on the right after one day to keep pace with the requirement to move 10,000 cubic miles of sand across the 1,000 mile long northern border (represented by the red line) in twelve days. Another way to think of this is that we need to move 833 cubic miles in one day to keep pace with the requirement to form 4,000 feet of Grand Canyon rock layers during the 150 day early Flood period. Something to remember during the demonstration on the next two slides – 30 kg/sec/m is a much higher sediment transport rate than anything specified by Rubin and McCulloch - Dr. Austin’s own source for the right hand graph on page 34 of Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe . For the skeptical reader, the calculations used in this animation are provided below. Actually, they were quite simple – just a little multiplication and conversion of units – I’m surprised nobody (to my knowledge) has done this before: If the sediment transport rate were 1 kg/sec/m, how much sand would cross a 1 meter line in one day? 1 kg x 3600 sec x 24 hour = 86,400 kg per day sec hour day If the sediment transport rate were 30 kg/sec/m, how much sand would cross a 1 meter line in one day? 30 kg x 3600 sec x 24 hour = 2,592,000 kg per day (Remember, this is the amount crossing a 1 meter line) sec hour day For a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/m, how many kg of sand would cross a 1,000 mile line in one day? 2,592,000 kg x 1,609.3 m x 1,000 mile = 4,171,305,000,000 kg per day = 4.17 x 10 12 kg per day day - m mile For a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/m, what volume of sand (m 3 ) would cross a 1,000 mile line in one day? (Assume the density of sand is 1900 kg/m 3 – in textbooks, the density of sandstone ranges from 2000 – 2600 kg/m 3 , 1900 kg/m 3 is good for loose, uncemented sand. Note: the lower the density, the more favorable the result would be for YECs) 4,171,305,000,000 kg x 1 m 3 = 2,195,424,000 m 3 per day = 2.20 x 10 9 m 3 per day day 1900 kg For a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/m, how many cubic miles of sand would cross a 1,000 mile line in one day? 2,195,424,000 m 3 x 1 mile 3 = 0.527 mile 3 per day day 4,167,839,956 m 3 For a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/m, how many cubic miles of sand would cross a 1,000 mile line in 12 days? 12 days x 0.527 mile 3 / day = 6.32 mile 3 Dr. Austin says the volume of the Coconino Sandstone is about 10,000 cubic miles. The average thickness of the Coconino is 315 feet. Given those numbers, what would be the average thickness of the sand that crossed the 1000 mile line into the area of the present-day Coconino in 12 days? 6.32 mile 3 x 315 feet = 0.20 feet = 2.4 inches 10,000 mile 3 That’s all! Given a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/meter, an average of 0.20 feet, or 2.4 inches, would accumulate during a 12-day period. We needed to build up 315 feet during this time! Just to drive the point home that the very same source used by Dr. Austin in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe doesn’t specify a sediment transport rate anywhere near what would be required to move enough sand to form the Coconino Sandstone during Noah’s Flood, let’s see how much sand we could get across the 1000 mile border during the entire year-long flood (371 days according to Whitcomb and Morris in The Genesis Flood ). (next slide)
  • At 30 kg/sec/meter, we would get: 6.3 mi 3 ( 26 km 3 ), Not 10,000 mi 3 That’s all! Given a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/meter, 6.3 cubic miles or an average of 0.20 feet, or 2.4 inches, would accumulate during a 12-day period. We needed to transport 10,000 cubic miles and build up an average of 315 feet during this time! Just to drive the point home that the very same source used by Dr. Austin in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe doesn’t specify a sediment transport rate anywhere near what would be required to move enough sand to form the Coconino Sandstone during Noah’s Flood, let’s see how much sand we could get across the 1000 mile border during the entire year-long flood (371 days according to Whitcomb and Morris in The Genesis Flood ). (see slide after next)
  • What if we had the whole year-long Flood to deposit the Coconino Sandstone? About 196 cubic miles… is all that would be transported during the entire flood O.k. – what if we had the entire 371 day (according to Whitcomb and Morris in The Genesis Flood ) flood to deposit the Coconino Sandstone? About 196 cubic miles is all that would accumulate. So where did Whitcomb and Morris get a 371 day duration for the Flood? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 150 th day After 74 days “were the tops of the mountains seen (Gen. 8:5) 224 th day Noah waited another 40 days before sending out the raven (Gen 8:6) 264 th day 7 days later dove sent, but no results because “waters on face of the whole earth” 271 st day 7 days later dove finds olive leaf, showing “that the waters were abated.” 278 th day 7 days later dove sent out. Doesn’t return because “waters were abated.” 314 th day Noah waits 29 days more until “the waters were dried from off the earth” to remove covering from the ark. New raven ceases to go to and fro.” (Gen. 8:7) 371 st day Noah waits another 57 days until the “earth” was “dry,” before leaving ark. (Noah’s hesitance in disembarking until the 2 nd year, and 27 th day shows that the description of abating and dryness in 8:11 and 8:13 are to be understood in a relative sense.)
  • Flood Geology Refuted Using Simple Math Furthermore, this would be equivalent to 25 cubic meters (over four dump truck loads) of sand crossing every meter of the 1,000 mile boundary every second for 12 days.
  • Flood Geology Refuted Using Simple Math This is more like a giant slab of sand 84 feet high, 1000 miles wide, and 910 miles long sliding south at 2 mph. Even if it was possible to have such a moving sand slab, it wouldn’t allow complex cross beds to be formed!
  • And at least nine assumptions were made which favored the young-earth position – without them, the computed height of the moving sand slab could have been greater than the water depth! (I found later there was a 10 th assumption in favor of YEC) Optimal positioning of 10,000 cubic miles of sand at the right time . By assuming that the hypothetical area of sand was immediately north of the present- day area of the Coconino Sandstone at just the right time during the Flood, it could be assumed that sand began crossing the boundary into its present-day area at the earliest possible time. Length of border crossed by “sustained unidirectional currents.” Recall the curved 1,600 km northern boundary in the map. Also note that Austin’s used the phrase “sustained unidirectional currents” to describe the flow of Flood waters. Since sand would not horizontally compress, the true straight-line boundary, perpendicular to the moving sand slab, would be about 1,300 km long. Taking this factor alone into account, the sand slab would have to be 1600/1300 = 1.2 times as high. 30 kg/sec/meter—a very generous sediment transport rate . Recall how Austin used Rubin and McCulloch’s graph for a sand grain size range of 0.19 to 0.22 mm in his Flood velocity estimation procedure. He stated that his procedure applied to all Grand Canyon sandstones, not just the Coconino. However, such a narrow size range is unrealistic for any of those formations, since they all contain at least some coarser sand. Rubin and McCulloch’s figure 8, right-hand graph was for sand grains ranging from 0.35 to 0.60 mm, and could be used to show that a sediment transport rate of 3 kg/sec/m would exist in currents of about 135 cm/sec in the “Dunes and Sand Wave” section at a depth of 54 meters. This indicates that a sediment transport rate of 30 kg/sec/m was more than generous to Flood geology for the first set of computations. Deposition not delayed by period of scouring at onset of the Flood . Deposition of “early Flood” sediments was assumed to begin on day one of the Flood, starting with the Tapeats Sandstone. However, Flood geologists say that the Flood began with a period of scouring of “pre-Flood/ Creation Week” rock before deposition of “early Flood” layers began. Setting aside a portion of the 150-day “early Flood” period for this scouring would affect both sets of calculations in directions unfavorable to Flood geology. Crossing northern boundary equated with depositing the entire Coconino . Computations were simply presented in reference to sand crossing the 1,600 km northern boundary. No time was allocated for redistribution of sediments according to the contours in the previously provided map. Since the Coconino is thickest today at its southern boundary, impossibly deep sand would have to continue sliding south, well past its current northern boundary. No attempt was made here or in any YEC literature to numerically simulate how a regional-scale sand slab could move into a new area in a matter of days, especially when the height of the sand slab is at least half the depth of the depositing water. 10,000 cubic miles appears to be a low volume estimate . Simple multiplication of the Coconino’s average thickness of 315 feet by its stated area (with correlating sandstones) of 200,000 square miles yields a volume of 11,932 cubic miles. Taking this factor alone into account, the sand slab would have to be 11,932/10,000 = 1.2 times as high. No accounting for portion that was eroded away . The Coconino does not lens out to zero thickness along a substantial portion of its boundary. Instead, much of its southern edge is marked by steep cliffs of the Mogollon Rim. A substantially greater original volume for the Coconino would affect both sets of calculations in directions unfavorable to Flood geology. No break in deposition allocated for the channel fill formations . Continuous sediment transport was assumed in allocating time for deposition of the Coconino and other Grand Canyon formations. Allowing time for erosion of channel networks to be filled by the Temple Butte and Surprise Canyon Formations would leave less time for deposition during the Flood. Recent YEC efforts to attribute additional layers to Flood deposition were not considered . Some Flood geologists have argued for including layers above Austin’s “late Flood” and below his “early Flood” layers as Flood deposits. For example, Austin and Wise now consider the Sixty-Mile Formation, the highest formation in the Proterozoic Grand Canyon Supergroup, to be an “early Flood” layer. If the criteria of Oard and Froede were applied, the entire 13,000 ft (4,000 m) thick Grand Canyon Supergroup would be considered “early Flood” layers. Considering any Proterozoic layers to be “early Flood” layers would reduce the number of days allocated to form the Coconino and other Paleozoic layers, further compounding the problems for Flood geology. The compression of the sediments into sandstone, an important part of lithification, was not taken into account. In other words, it takes more than 10,000 cubic miles of sediment to make 10,000 cubic miles of sandstone. Without these nine (ten) assumptions, it can be seen how the computed height of the southward moving “sand slab” might easily exceed the depth of water (54 meters) that is supposed to have deposited Coconino sediments in the first place.
  • “ If you do the math, and with 10,000 cubic miles of sand being moved at that speed, you’d move it all within a matter of a few days and spread it over a 100,000 (square mile area). See? There’s no problem!” Andrew Snelling, Answers for Darwin Conference, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, February 7, 2009
  • Read Dr. Snelling’s conclusion slide for yourself. Is he shooting straight with you? Note: Snelling’s second bullet apparently reflects some confusion in units – he was using Austin’s double graph for a sand-wave height of 20 meters. This yields a velocity range of 95 to 165 cm/sec, which is about 3.1 to 5.4 ft/sec or 2.1 to 3.7 mi/hr. At some point, Snelling began stating the range of current speed was 3 to 5 mi/hr when it was really 3 to 5 ft/sec. Very sloppy scholarship – don’t Christians deserve better?
  • Using arguments and data provided by the young earth advocates, a few simple calculations clearly show the young earth creation ministries are giving us false information when they say Earth’s fossil-bearing rock layers were deposited during Noah’s Flood. Remember – all we needed to show that Noah’s Flood couldn’t have deposited the Coconino Sandstone was the following: The double graph procedure from page 34 of Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe . Another graph from the same source used by Dr. Austin – just a few pages later – and that didn’t figure in any of our computations. It just started our thinking about sediment transport rates. The assumption that the Coconino is an “early Flood” layer (first 150 days of the Flood). The total volume of the Coconino is 10,000 cubic miles (42,000 cubic kilometers). Average thickness of the Coconino is 315 feet. The total thickness of “early Flood” layers in Grand Canyon is 4,000 feet. The assumption that the sediments comprising the Coconino came from somewhere outside its present area (i.e., from the north). All of this came from a premier Flood geologist – Dr. Steven Austin. No tricks. No assumptions from “secular geology” or “the evolutionists.”
  • Dr. Austin has recently proposed a new mechanism for redistribution of sediments across the earth during the global Flood: submarine liquefied sediment gravity currents. Apparently aware that the advancing sand wave mechanism, through a process more properly termed “tractive currents,” would be unable to transport enough sand to form major layers during the global Flood, Austin now states that submarine liquefied gravity currents were the real sediment movers. The following is the full abstract for Dr. Austin’s talk on these currents at the fourth Creation Geology Conference, held at Truett McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia on July 28-30, 2010: 1. Submarine Liquefied Sediment Gravity Currents: Understanding the Mechanics of the Major Sediment Transportation and Deposition Agent during the Global Flood S.A. Austin Institute for Creation Research What was the mechanics of the process that transported more than one hundred million cubic miles of sediment during the global flood? Tractive currents and turbidity currents are both inefficient transport agents because sediment must be entrained by fluid turbulence that moves ten times more water than sediment. Turbulence and exceedingly large flow volumes create friction that defeats sediment movement. Much higher sediment movement efficiency can be achieved by liquefied sediment gravity currents. These are concentrated suspensions (about 50% by volume sediment) that move sand and mud particles as thin, laminar currents beneath the mass of the ocean. Therefore, the ocean is not the direct cause of sedimentation, only the host body for its submarine liquefied currents. These sediment flows are liquefied so that fluid pressure between the grains disperses the sediment, and gravity acts to propel the slurry over very low slopes. Turbulence of fluid and kinetic energy of water are not primary factors in sediment transport. Therefore, the sediment moves the fluid, not the fluid moves the sediment. Liquefied submarine currents resemble mechanically modern mudflows, debris flows, pyroclastic flows and snow avalanches. Dynamic analysis of submarine debris flows indicate that a several-meter-thick current twice the density of seawater moves as a steady current over gentle slopes at a velocity of 6 to 8 meters per second. This velocity allows subcritical flow with enough dynamic pressure and lifting pressure to create a hydroplane. Solid-body modeling of the head of a liquefied gravity current shows that it acts like a wing with lifting pressure greatly exceeding frictional forces. Liquefied currents literally fly beneath the ocean with extreme mechanical efficiency. Slight shear within the liquefied sediment mass sustains internal fluid pressure creating a dispersed sediment condition with very low intergranular friction. Rheology of liquefied sediment gravity currents probably follows a nonlinear, viscoplastic, shearthinning formula (Herschel-Bulkley rheological model). Low strength of the slurry and its shear-thinning rheology further contribute to transport efficiency. High density of the slurry and low friction on the interface with seawater inhibits turbulence within the shearing mass. Flume experiments simulate several features of these liquefied currents. Such currents were likely the major transportation agent for sediment during the global flood. How does a sediment-transporting current make the transition to a sediment-depositing current? Flow transformation is the process whereby a moving fluid changes fundamental flow characteristics and abruptly changes to a different category of moving fluid. A sediment-laden, fast moving, liquefied suspension can transform by the penetrative action of shear from a laminar to a turbulent condition. This flow transformation allows a uniform and steady current to absorb a large volume of water, decrease its velocity significantly, and, thereby, deposit a significant quantity of sediment. By this process a liquefied and laminar current can be transformed into a nonliquefied and turbulent current (either a tractive current or a turbidity current). Flume experiments illustrate the abruptness of flow transformation and also produce the sedimentary structures diagnostic of turbulent, tractive currents. The lower half of the Redwall Limestone of Arizona and Nevada contains a wide variety of sedimentary structures diagnostic of a fast-moving liquefied current and its transformation to a tractive current. These structures are of three types: (1) bedforms diagnostic of both upper and lower flow regimes, (2) graded structures indicating abrupt flow transformation during rapid sedimentation, and (3) imbrication of fossils suggesting hindered settling and abrupt freezing of a sediment-water suspension. Whitmore Nautiloid Bed within the lower Redwall Limestone of Arizona appears to represent the packstone deposit from the turbulent tail of the liquefied sediment gravity current. The distal grainstone equivalent of the bed in Nevada appears to represent the deposit of the turbulent current after flow transformation. Thinly bedded lime-mudstone rhythmites that overly Whitmore Nautiloid Bed are understood to be more dilute “wave-modified turbidites” from a sustained sediment gravity current modulated by the bidirectional surge of water waves. Extremely rapid, submarine sedimentation characterizes the process that formed the lower half of the Redwall Limestone.
  • The submarine liquefied sediment gravity current mechanism identified by Austin still provides an insufficient explanation for how Earth’s sedimentary rock layers could be deposited during a year-long global Flood, because it doesn’t explain how strata could accumulate simultaneously all over the Earth at extremely high rates – can’t just focus on the Grand Canyon area. Even if it were possible for submarine liquefied sediment gravity currents to transport enough sediment into northern Arizona to form the Coconino Sandstone in 12 days, the required deposition rate wouldn’t allow the formation’s famous cross beds to form. Plus, the words of Austin (and others such as Andrew Snelling) in many published documents require the Coconino’s cross beds to form through the advancing sand wave mechanism!
  • 6. YECs will argue that they use the same data as the “evolutionists,” they just come to different conclusions.
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? You be the judge – does the previous discussion about the Coconino Sandstone really look like the young earth creationists are looking at the same data as the “evolutionists?” If that is not sufficient, let’s look at another example – from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions?
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? Summary of Austin’s Argument Now, let’s look at a “young earth proof” dealing with a subject area in which I have some expertise as a hydrologist. From my experience, this is very typical of the “young earth proofs” of the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but you probably haven’t seen this particular one before. The full text of the “young earth proof” is embedded within an Impact article on the ICR website at http://www.icr.org/article/161. The following summarizes key points of the proof: The Mammoth Cave Area of Kentucky averages 1.22 meters (48 inches) of rain per year. Dr. Austin starts to build his case here - presenting a statistic that nobody can dispute. This lends credibility to the young earth proof he is about to present. It is reasonable to assume 1.0 meters of that rainfall (which contains weak carbonic acid) goes into groundwater . A key assumption here is that the rainfall is essentially pure when it first goes underground – i.e., contains no calcium and magnesium. An important point worth noting here is that weak carbonic acid in the water is responsible for dissolving underground limestone and dolostone, which results in cave formation (actually, Dr. Austin believes caves were formed during Noah’s Flood). The carbonic acid forms through a fairly complex chain of chemical reactions, but the key step is the solution of atmospheric carbon dioxide in water. Thrailkill found the mean calcium and magnesium ion concentrations in the area’s groundwater to be 49 and 9.7 milligrams/liter respectively. Here is the “fact” is ripped out of context from a scientific paper. Dr. Austin obtained it from a 1972 Journal of Hydrology paper by John Thrailkill, a geologist at the University of Kentucky. Here’s how Dr. Austin presented it: “ Chemical analyses of the area's groundwater by Thrailkill indicate that mean calcium ion concentration is 49.0 milligram per liter and the mean magnesium ion is 9.7 milligram per liter. Because rain water has only trace amounts of calcium and magnesium, essentially all of the dissolved calcium and magnesium in the groundwater must come from solution of calcite and dolomite. By simple chemical calculation it can be shown that these concentrations represent 0.16 gram of dissolved calcite and dolomite per liter of groundwater.” This works out to 59 m 3 of limestone and dolomite being dissolved each year per every square kilometer of area. Here’s where Dr. Austin takes the “fact” from a scientific paper and runs with it, using it in a way it was never intended. The following are the calculations provided by Dr. Austin: “ Therefore, each square kilometer (1 million square meters) of central Kentucky receives about 1 million cubic meters of infiltration each year (1,000,000 m 2 x l m = 1,000,000 m 3 ). Because a cubic meter of water contains 1 thousand liters, 1 billion liters of water enter the ground through each square kilometer of land surface each year. The above data can be used to calculate the amount of calcite and dolomite dissolved each year. This is done by multiplying the mass of minerals per liter times the water infiltration rate (0.16 g/l x 1,000,000,000 l/yr = 160,000,000 g/yr). The answer is 160 million grams (176 tons) of dissolved calcite and dolomite per year over each square kilometer of land surface. If the mass of calcite and dolomite dissolved is divided by the density of the minerals, the volume is obtained (160,000,000 g/yr ÷ 2,700,000g/m 3 = 59 m 3 /yr). Thus, if the dissolving power of the acid in one square kilometer of central Kentucky is carried in one conduit, a cave 1 meter square and 59 meters long could form in a year!” Assuming present rates and conditions, this means a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick could be completely dissolved off of the entire state of Kentucky in the assumed age of caves (2 million years). Here’s the punch line for Dr. Austin’s young earth proof: “ The high rate of solution of limestone and dolostone should be a matter of alarm to uniformitarian geologists. In 2 million years (the assumed duration of the Pleistocene Epoch and the inferred age of many caves), a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick could be completely dissolved off of Kentucky (assuming present rates and conditions).” Of course, Dr. Austin’s goal here is to get the reader to think that it would be ridiculous for a 100 meter-thick layer of limestone to be completely dissolved off the entire state of Kentucky in 2 million years; therefore, the young earth view (that the cave was formed rapidly after Noah’s Flood) must be true. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo, “Mammoth Cave, Kentucky” by Tim Helble
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? ”Mammoth” Holes in the Argument As a hydrologist, I was immediately able to see several major holes in this “young earth proof.” The way the whole Impact article reads, it almost seems as though Henry Morris stuck his head in Dr. Austin’s office one morning and said “Steve, we need a new young earth proof, and we need it by 4 o’clock this afternoon!” The “young earth proof,” as well as the whole Impact article it was taken from, is filled with slipshod “science.” Who says it is reasonable to assume 1.0 of the 1.22 meters of rainfall goes into groundwater? The first assumption or premise of Dr. Austin’s “proof” was that the Mammoth Cave Area of Kentucky averages 1.22 meters or 48 inches of rain per year. No problem here. I checked the data for a few National Weather Service climatological observation stations near Mammoth Cave area and 48 inches seems to check out. Bowling Green worked out to be 46 inches, but I won’t quibble over an inch or two. The first big problem with Dr. Austin’s “proof” was his following statement: “It is reasonable to assume that about 1.0 meter of the 1.22 meters of mean annual rainfall go into the aquifer.” Who says “it is reasonable to assume” this? How did Dr. Austin obtain this information? What’s his reference? Did he conduct any kind of rainfall-runoff study in the Mammoth Cave area using small study watersheds, rain gages, flow measuring flumes, hydrologic models, etc. to obtain this 1/1.22 ratio of runoff to rainfall? Did he consult with the National Weather Service’s Ohio River Forecast Center in Wilmington, Ohio, which performs operational rainfall/runoff modeling for the area every day? (I thought YECs liked “operational science!”) Dr. Austin cites page 97 of the U.S. Geological Survey’s The National Atlas of the United States of America as a reference when he states: “Although it receives 122 centimeters (48 inches) mean annual rainfall and would naturally have about 51 centimeters (20 inches) of average annual runoff…”, but it’s a big jump from there to “It is reasonable to assume that about 1.0 meter of the 1.22 meters of mean annual rainfall go into the aquifer.” The rest of Dr. Austin’s proof is based on this 1/1.22 ratio, but he offers absolutely nothing to support it. Austin obviously wasn’t worried about substantiating his ratio, because he knew his target audience wouldn’t care and would be hoping the “proof” will support YEC. Unfortunately, most people – Christian and non-Christian – lack understanding of hydrology let alone the steps involved in true scientific research (i.e., following the scientific method), so it was easy for Austin to get away with saying “it is reasonable to assume…” If it turns out that Austin’s 1/1.22 ratio of rainfall to runoff should be something more like 0.80/1.22, then his estimated time for “a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick” to “be completely dissolved off the entire state of Kentucky” would have to be proportionally greater than 2 million years. Does Thrailkill’s data for one well represent the entire Mammoth Cave area? The next problem comes when Austin obtains a single factoid from scientific literature that he will use as the basis for his “proof.” This is a typical approach used in “young earth proofs” – rip something from a scientific paper, book, or journal and then run with it – that is, use it for something it was never intended. For this proof, Dr. Austin’s factoid from a scientific journal was: “Chemical analyses of the area's groundwater by Thrailkill indicate that mean calcium ion concentration is 49.0 milligram per liter and the mean magnesium ion is 9.7 milligram per liter.” This was taken from a 1972 paper published in the Journal of Hydrology by John Thrailkill of the University of Kentucky entitled Carbonate Chemistry of Aquifer and Stream Water in Kentucky . In this paper, Thrailkill included a table with some water chemistry data measured over a six-month period for four locations in the Sinkhole Plain (Mammoth Cave) area of Kentucky. One of these locations was a well called Mill Hole, which taps an underground stream flowing at about 2,500 gallons per minute and feeding into the Mammoth Cave network. In the table, Thrailkill provided observations of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) concentrations taken from Mill Hole on seven different days over the six month period. Austin calculated an average of Thrailkill’s seven observations and found them to be 49 and 9.7 milligrams/liter respectively. Note that it was Austin who calculated the averages, not Thrailkill – Thrailkill actually had no use for the averages in his study and never mentioned them in his paper. Anyway, here are a few problems with Austin’s use (or should I say, abuse) of Thrailkill’s data: Where in Thrailkill’s paper does it say that these data represent the entire Mammoth Cave network? Are there any other scientific papers where this is stated? Numerous other studies have been undertaken on water chemistry of the Mammoth Cave area. Why didn’t Austin cite any numbers from these other studies? Did Austin make any effort on his own to systematically take water chemistry measurements in the Mammoth Cave system? The greatest problems with Dr. Austin’s “young earth proof” are yet to come. If Austin had an in-depth background in hydrology, he might not have committed these blunders, but this is what often happens when one appoints himself as an expert in disciplines in which he/she has little or no training. Most water enters and immediately leaves the Mammoth Cave system during high flow events – no time to dissolve calcium and magnesium to Thrailkill’s concentrations. The Mammoth Cave area receives a good deal of precipitation, but most of that falls during storms over short periods of time, as illustrated by the graphic at the lower right showing the 24-hour precipitation ending at 1200 UTC on April 4, 2008 (the pink color represents from 6 to 8 inches of precipitation). Austin failed to recognize that most surface runoff enters and immediately leaves the Mammoth Cave system during high flow events caused by such storms. As Mammoth Cave National Park’s website reports, “Aquifer stage can rise tens of feet in a matter of hours, with numerous records showing stage rises of over 100 feet over the course of one day” (see http://www.nps.gov/maca/naturescience/groundwater.htm). Solution of calcium and magnesium in limestone and dolostone by weak carbonic acid is a very slow process. During high flow events, there is no time for water to dissolve calcium and magnesium to the concentrations measured by Thrailkill in Mill Hole. Had Austin read a paper published in the very same Journal of Hydrology just one year earlier by Evan T. Slusher and William B. White entitled Seasonal Fluctuations in the Chemistry of Limestone Springs: A Possible Means for Characterizing Carbonate Aquifers , he would have found the following in the Introduction section: “ The precursor to this work was the study of three springs in Brush Valley (PA) during the water year 1961-1962. There it was shown that the concentration of CaCO 3 in the ground water exhibited pronounced minima at times of high discharge. This was attributed to rapid flow-through times and subsequent lack of equilibrium between the water and the wall rock.” Several flood events occur in the Mammoth Cave area each year due to heavy rainfall. During such events, the excessive rainwater flows into creeks and streams, disappears below the surface in sinkholes, and then zips through the Mammoth Cave system in a matter of hours without dissolving much calcium and magnesium at all. This means Austin’s assumption that all pure rain water goes underground and always dissolves calcite and dolomite to Thrailkill’s measured concentrations of dissolved calcium and magnesium is bogus. Had Austin accounted for the differing amounts of calcium and magnesium dissolved during normal flow and high flow events, he probably would have needed to increase his estimated time for “a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick” to “be completely dissolved off the entire state of Kentucky” by at least an order of magnitude. Can’t assume present rates and conditions – that amounts to a logical fallacy: assuming the conclusion. We’re just getting started with the errors in Dr. Austin’s “young earth proof.” Dr. Austin often criticizes “uniformitarian geology, but In stating “ assuming present rates and conditions, ” Dr. Austin made a “uniformitarian” blunder of his own. He assumed the same cave wall surface area from which limestone and dolostone could be dissolved existed each year no matter how far back into the past one goes. However, that’s not the way caves form – they start as small cracks and grow larger in time. Dr. Austin believes caves were formed rather suddenly shortly after Noah’s Flood, so he believes they’ve been basically the same size ever since then. He’s trying to disprove great age for caves, but his “proof,” he commits a logical fallacy - assuming his conclusion is true from the very start! Consider the following simplified geometric illustration of cave growth. Looking at the photo at the bottom left of the slide, the cave looks extremely wide, but let’s assume for the moment it’s only 10 meters in diameter. I am assuming it started as an infinitely small hole in the rock and grew over time to be 10 meters in diameter (5 meters in radius). Suppose it takes N years to dissolve away 1 mm of cave wall surface area. Since we want to go from a radius of 0 to 5000 millimeters (5 meters), it would take 5000 times N (5000N) years to accomplish this. We don’t have to assume a value for N for this example. Suppose our cave with a radius of 5 meters represented the entire cave network under one of Dr. Austin’s 1 sq. km. land surfaces. Let’s further assume that Dr. Austin’s calculation of 59 cubic meters being dissolved is correct for the most recent year. Now, let’s go back 2500N years to when the cave had a radius of only 2.5 meters (2500 mm). To get the radius of our cave to increase from 2499 mm to 2500 mm, it can be shown with some simple volume calculations that only half the volume of limestone and dolostone would be dissolved as when the cave widened from 4999 mm to 5000 mm in radius. In other words, 2500N years ago, we’d only get the equivalent of 59/2 = 29.5 cubic meters dissolved under each square kilometer of land surface. Similarly, if we go back 3750N years, to get our cave to increase from 1249 mm to 1250 mm in radius, only ¼ the volume of limestone and dolostone (59/4 = 14.25 cubic meters) would be dissolved as when the cave’s radius widened from 4999 mm to 5000 mm. The widening (and lengthening) of a cave network is illustrated in the next slide. Of course, caves don’t grow as perfect cylindrical tubes as in our example, but the principle still holds regardless of a cave’s shape and clearly it is wrong to assume that the same amount of calcium and magnesium would be dissolved each year as you go back in time. No accounting for pre-existing concentrations of calcium and magnesium in stream water before it enters the cave system from the surface. We still aren’t done yet – there’s yet another major problem with Austin’s “young earth proof:” he didn’t account for the pre-existing concentrations of calcium and magnesium in stream water before it even enters the cave system from the surface. When Austin stated that “Chemical analyses of the area's groundwater by Thrailkill indicate that mean calcium ion concentration is 49.0 milligram per liter and the mean magnesium ion is 9.7 milligram per liter,” he failed to account for the fact that surface streams disappearing underground in the Mammoth Cave area already contain significant amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium. Two slides later, an exact copy of the table in Thrailkill’s 1972 paper, from which Austin obtained his 49.0 and 9.7 milligrams per liter concentrations of calcium and magnesium, shows that surface water in the same area already had more than half of the concentrations measured in the underground stream. This dissolved calcium and magnesium in surface streams originates from the land surface (which is sandstone), not the underlying limestone. Another factor to consider is one which Austin dismisses – that rainwater itself has small amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium. During light rainfall events, this calcium and magnesium is carried into the soil as the water infiltrates and accumulates near the surface. Even in heavy rainfall events, some of the water remains as moisture in the soil layer. The soil contains a certain amount of calcium and magnesium from its parent rock. Trees and other vegetation constantly take up and use the water, absorbing the calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. At various times they drop their needles, leaves, flowers, etc.; lose their branches; or die, so a substantial amount of calcium is stored at the land surface. Had Austin been better versed in hydrology, he would have understood this cycle. There is yet another difficulty with Dr. Austin’s “young earth proof” which I didn’t list on the slide, but is probably as important as any of the above. How does Dr. Austin explain caves in the desert southwest such as Kartchner Caverns in southeast Arizona where there is no big surface water source? By the line of reasoning Dr. Austin used for Mammoth Cave, such caverns would be automatic proof of an old earth since the rainfall is about ¼ of that in the Mammoth Cave area, most of which is used by surface desert vegetation, and the Arizona caverns have barely a trickle of water flow passing through them. One final point – the most recent estimates for when formation of the Mammoth Cave system began is 10 million years, not 2 million years as stated by Dr. Austin. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo: “Visible Limestone Layers in Wall of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky” by Tim Helble
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? Dr. Austin’s selective use of data This has to be the most blatant example of selective use of data that I’ve been able to find from a young earth creationist! It is an actual copy of Table 2 from John Thrailkill’s 1972 paper in the Journal of Hydrology, from which Dr. Austin obtained the data used in his “young earth proof.” The bottom group of seven rows, labeled “D. Mill Hole,” shows the data which Austin used to calculate his average calcium and magnesium concentrations of 49 and 9.7 milligrams per liter respectively. However, notice higher up in the table the group of five rows labeled “B. Sinking Creek.” These data are for a surface stream – Sinking Creek – which flows into the underground cave system at a location close to Mill Hole. For the five days on which samples were taken for Sinking Creek, you can calculate average calcium and magnesium concentrations of 29 and 5.3 milligrams per liter, respectively. If you want to assume the data in this table represents the entire Mammoth Cave system (which Dr. Austin obviously did, since he used the Mill Hole data), this means that more than half of the calcium and magnesium concentrations measured in Mill Hole already existed in surface water before it even entered the cave system! Austin never tells his readers about the data in row B and assumes the water is pure when it enters the cave system, but if he had accounted for the already existing surface water concentrations of calcium and magnesium it in his calculations, his time of “2 million years” for “a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick” to “be completely dissolved off of Kentucky” would have to be doubled to over 4 million years. Research and exploration has shown that there is a substantial underground network of caves in the Mammoth Cave area and a lot of limestone has indeed been dissolved away. Mammoth Cave isn’t the only one in the area – you can pay to tour several more privately owned caves in the area. However, an unbiased scientific analysis of all the data taken over several decades would show that the volume of present day caves in the area is entirely reasonable given solution rates for limestone and dolomite over a 10 million year period – the actual estimated age of the Mammoth Cave system.
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? Dr. Austin’s selective use of data This has to be the most blatant example of selective use of data that I’ve been able to find from a young earth creationist! It is an actual copy of Table 2 from John Thrailkill’s 1972 paper in the Journal of Hydrology, from which Dr. Austin obtained the data used in his “young earth proof.” The bottom group of seven rows, labeled “D. Mill Hole,” shows the data which Austin used to calculate his average calcium and magnesium concentrations of 49 and 9.7 milligrams per liter respectively. However, notice higher up in the table the group of five rows labeled “B. Sinking Creek.” These data are for a surface stream – Sinking Creek – which flows into the underground cave system at a location close to Mill Hole. For the five days on which samples were taken for Sinking Creek, you can calculate average calcium and magnesium concentrations of 29 and 5.3 milligrams per liter, respectively. If you want to assume the data in this table represents the entire Mammoth Cave system (which Dr. Austin obviously did, since he used the Mill Hole data), this means that more than half of the calcium and magnesium concentrations measured in Mill Hole already existed in surface water before it even entered the cave system! Austin never tells his readers about the data in row B and assumes the water is pure when it enters the cave system, but if he had accounted for the already existing surface water concentrations of calcium and magnesium it in his calculations, his time of “2 million years” for “a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick” to “be completely dissolved off of Kentucky” would have to be doubled to over 4 million years. Research and exploration has shown that there is a substantial underground network of caves in the Mammoth Cave area and a lot of limestone has indeed been dissolved away. Mammoth Cave isn’t the only one in the area – you can pay to tour several more privately owned caves in the area. However, an unbiased scientific analysis of all the data taken over several decades would show that the volume of present day caves in the area is entirely reasonable given solution rates for limestone and dolomite over a 10 million year period – the actual estimated age of the Mammoth Cave system.
  • More than half of the calcium and magnesium in Dr. Austin’s averages was measured in the water before it even went underground! Randy Massey, the owner of the land to the south of where this photo was taken, told me that the creek starts 5 or 6 miles to the east and ends at this sinkhole. The opening of the cave at the bottom of the sinkhole is rather small, and Massey said that after a good intense rain storm of 2 inches or more, the water backs up in a pond which rises up as high as the location where I snapped this photo. It then takes a few days to drain into the cave, just like a bathtub with a slow drain. The right hand inset photo is a shot I took of Sinking Creek from a bridge several hundred yards upstream from the sinkhole. Possibly, this was the place where Thrailkill took his water sample of the creek. The left inset photo is an aerial photo of the countryside in the Sinkhole Plain of Kentucky. You can see how hundreds of sinkholes cover the area, all feeding into an extensive cave system. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Background photo, The end of Sinking Creek – Tim Helble Left Inset photo, Kentucky sinkhole plain – National Park Service Right inset photo, Sinking Creek, Kentucky – Tim Helble
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? So what do you think – does it look like Dr. Austin was using the same data as the “evolutionists,” just coming to a different conclusion? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Background photo: Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Public domain.
  • 7. Young earth advocates often commit the fallacy of assuming the conclusion in their arguments. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Background photo: Tim Helble
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  • Formation of Caves In his young earth proof, Dr. Austin was trying to take data collected by a scientist and use it to show that the “uniformitarian interpretation” of cave development would lead to an absurd conclusion – i.e., that “ In 2 million years (the assumed duration of the Pleistocene Epoch and the inferred age of many caves), a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick could be completely dissolved off of Kentucky.” But the approach he used has a major flaw in logic which would almost assuredly be missed by YEC readers – if he is going to try to refute the old earth view, his proof should examine each step of old earth, “uniformitarian interpretation” of cave development and demonstrate they lead to an incorrect conclusion. However, by stating “assuming present rates and conditions,” Dr. Austin was assuming that limestone and dolostone were always being dissolved at the same volumetric rate in the past, which means he was assuming his own conclusion was true from the start – i.e., that caves start big and stay big – before disproving the old earth alternative – i.e., that caves start small and grow bigger with time. In the “uniformitarian interpretation” of cave development, which Austin was trying to disprove, limestone and dolostone would not be dissolved at the same rate in the past. This is because caves start small and grow larger as described in the notes section for a previous slide. With time, caves grow wider and their network becomes more extensive – gradually increasing the surface area from which calcium and magnesium can be dissolved through the years. If Austin was going to correctly refute the “uniformitarian interpretation,” he would have to assume the surface area of cave walls increases with time, and then try to show that this led to an incorrect conclusion about the age of caves. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Cave formation diagram – Winona State University – a government institution, therefore photo is in public domain Left hand photo – Fallen Stalactite at Luray Caverns, by Tim Helble New Sinkhole, Sinkholes.org.
  • According to a 1994 paper by six well-known Flood geology proponents, huge reservoirs of sediment could have already existed, ready to be redistributed by a global Flood. The authors explain this assumption as follows: We have three reasons for this position: 1) Biologically optimum terrestrial and marine environments would require that at least a small amount of sediment of each type had been created in the creation week; 2) Archean (probable pre-Flood) and Proterozoic sedi­ments contain substantial quantities of all types of sediments; and 3) It may not be possible to derive all the Flood sediments from igneous and/or metamorphic precursors by physical and chemical processes in the course of a single, year-long Flood. [i ] In this statement, the six authors appear to be conceding the Flood wouldn’t be able to erode enough pre-Flood rock to produce all the sediment needed to form all the “early” and “late Flood” sedimentary rock layers. Most YEC believers think that most sediment was eroded during the turbulent onset of the global Flood. [i] S. A. Austin, J. R.  Baumgardner, D.   R.  Humphreys, A. A. Snelling, L. Vardiman, and K. P. Wise, “Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History,” Pro­ceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, 1994, http://static.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Catastrophic-Plate-Tectonics-A-Global-Flood-Model.pdf (accessed June 6, 2010).
  • Did you catch how the conclusion was assumed in #3? The authors were effectively saying that it wouldn’t be possible for the global Flood to erode all the required sediments from existing rock But in their minds, it’s a given that Noah’s Flood was a global event, and was responsible for depositing almost all of Earth’s sedimentary rock layers So of course, all the sediment must have already been sitting around at the start of the Flood, just waiting to be transported!
  • If you are a young earth believer, you may agree with the six author’s position, but you can’t deny that they committed the fallacy of assuming the conclusion in their 1994 paper. Ironic that the YEC leaders would do this, since they so often accuse the evolutionists of using circular logic! Have you ever considered that young earth advocates always have to assume the conclusion in their arguments?
  • 8. YECs often engage in “science by exceptions”
  • Science by Exceptions Elevated to an art form by George McCready Price Presented as science by modern YEC ministries Here is the text quoted above in its full context as it begins on the bottom of page 125 in Bernard Ramm’s book The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954): “ The so-called strength of Price’s work is his effort to poke holes into the uniformitarian geology of Lyell as it is taught in standard books on geology. We must be careful of a logical fallacy at this point. To show the logical fallacies of another theory does not automatically prove ours to be right. It is admitted that the geological record is not completely lucid, and that there are problems. Suppose that 80 per cent of the geological record makes clear sense when interpreted from the Lyellian point of view, and that 20 per cent remains a problem to uniformitarian geology. We have our choice of taking the 80 per cent as established and going to work on the 20 percent; or, of taking the 20 per cent as normative, and trying to dissolve the 80 per cent. Price adopts the latter procedure. The author does not know what the actual percentages are, but he is sure that he is generous to Price in the choice of the above percentages. If by analogy Price’s principle were followed in other sciences it is obvious that chaos would result. Medicine would be impossible of serious practice if doctors conducted their practice on the guidance obtained from the exceptions rather than from the averages. Physics, chemistry, physiology and psychology would all be impossible. Price is popular for one reason alone – that he strode forth like David to meet the Goliath of modern uniformitarian geology and that even though the giant has not fallen Price has been slinging his smooth stones for more than forty years.”
  • Arguments AiG Says Creationists Should NOT Use Tying in with the previous slide showing how Ken Ham is now urging creationists not to the use “magic bullets” or young earth proofs, Answers in Genesis now has a special web page listing several arguments they believe creationists should not use (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp). This was first published in an article by Jonathan Sarfati in Creation ex nihilo , volume 22(4), pages 44–45 (September 2000). Refutations of these “young earth proofs” apparently have become so obvious and widely available that AiG apparently feels using them makes creationists look bad. The web page contains two lists, one under the heading “ Which arguments should definitely not be used?” and one under the heading “ What arguments are doubtful, hence, inadvisable to use?” Interestingly, AiG states the following in the introduction paragraph to this web page: “ We don’t claim that this list is exhaustive—it will be updated with additions and maybe deletions as new evidence is discovered.” Here are some of AiG’s highlights from the section under the heading “ What arguments are doubtful, hence, inadvisable to use?” : There was a vapor canopy before the flood I remember how this was a central theme in my friend John’s senior thesis. Probably because he had relied so heavily on material from Henry Morris’ The Genesis Flood . In that book, Morris argued that the climate over the entire globe must have been warmer before the Flood, and the primary cause of this was increased retention of solar radiation on the earth’s surface due to higher water vapor content of the upper atmosphere. Morris further maintained that since the temperature is quite warm above the cold stratosphere (“well above the boiling point of water”), it would be possible to sustain a tremendous amount of invisible water vapor high above the earth, if it were somehow placed there (p. 256). According to Morris: “ Thus such a vapor canopy could be maintained indefinitely, until something happened to mix it with the cold gases of the stratosphere and to supply meteoric or other particles for nucleation. When finally that ‘something’ happened, whatever it was – possibly the passage of the earth through a meteorite swarm or the sudden extrusion of large amounts of volcanic dust into the air – the vapor blanket was condensed and precipitated. As the Scripture describes it, ‘the flood-gates of heaven were opened,’ and torrents of rain fell all around the earth for forty days and forty nights!” (p. 257-258) There are a host of physical/meteorological problems with this vapor canopy concept. First , Morris maintained that the tremendous but unspecified volume of water vapor would be stored above the stratosphere, separated from the lower atmosphere. However, even though the zone above the stratosphere is hotter, a tremendous volume of water vapor stored there would still be denser than the colder stratosphere below. Simple gas physics says that when you have denser (and heavier) gas above less dense gas (in the stratosphere), the denser gas molecules sink until they reach an equilibrium with surrounding molecules. Therefore, there would be no physical process by which a vapor canopy could be maintained separate from and above the stratosphere. Second , even though Morris didn’t specify how much water vapor was stored in the canopy, there would have to be a tremendous volume to cause it to rain for 40 days. Atmospheric pressure at the surface before the Flood would be many times what it is now, causing the partial pressure of oxygen to rise above toxic levels . Scuba divers who use Nitrox (enriched air - higher partial pressures of O 2 than the standard atmospheric 21%) are taught about the dangers of exposure to too much O 2 for too long a duration – you get CNS (central nervous system) poisoning and basically you’re toast. Third , water vapor becomes raindrops when it condenses around nuclei (e.g, salt particles, or as Morris proposes, meteor dust), heat is released (when the opposite - evaporation occurs, there is cooling). If this condensation could occur for 40 days all around the earth, a tremendous amount of heat would be released and the raindrops would be superheated, poaching the entire planet. In AiG’s short explanation of why it is inadvisable to use the vapor canopy theory, they state: “This is not a direct teaching of Scripture, so there is no place for dogmatism. Also, no suitable model has been developed that holds sufficient water, but some creationists suggest a partial canopy may have been present.” AiG seems to now place greater emphasis on water stored below the ground “in great subterranean pools, or ‘fountains’ of fresh water, which were broken open by volcanic and seismic (earthquake) activity” ( The Answers Book , see http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/really-a-flood-and-ark) There was no rain before the flood This was also in my friend’s thesis. There are several big problems with this theory, including a meteorological one. Recall Henry Morris’ vapor canopy argument. Moist air is inherently unstable, so if there’s a lot of water vapor in the air, you’re inevitably going to have rising air, towering clouds, and rain in some areas while other areas have drier, stable, downward moving air to compensate. It’s just the simple laws of physics at work. The speed of light has decreased over time I think this idea was mentioned in my friend John’s thesis, and I recall hearing someone from the ICR say this on Hank Hannegraf’s The Bible Answer Man radio show during the early 1990’s. There are no transitional forms X Plate tectonics is fallacious X The gospel is in the stars I’ve always wondered if this was sort of a gentle rebuke of D. James Kennedy, who wrote the much maligned The Real Meaning of the Zodiac . Actually, Kennedy isn’t the only one - several Christian authors have written books on the idea that the Gospel is written in the stars. Here are some AiG’s highlights from the section under the heading “ Which arguments should definitely not be used?” : Moon dust thickness proves a young moon This was one of the YEC “golden oldies” that my friend John used in his senior thesis. Paluxy River tracks prove that humans and dinosaurs co-existed This was another YEC “golden oldie” that my friend John used in his senior thesis. Good information refuting the claim that human footprints have been found along side dinosaur footprints can be found at http://paleo.cc/paluxy/paluxy.htm. Gaps exist in genealogies of Gen. 5 and 11, so the earth may be 10,000+ years old This could be a mild slap at the Institute of Creation Research (ICR) folks. AiG takes the position that Bishop Ussher’s chronology of a 6,000 year old earth is right on target, while the ICR now has articles on their website saying that the earth could be 10-20,000 years old. Perhaps the ICR folks were “seeing the light” when they read about evidence such as tree ring counts that go back more than 10,000 years. AiG prefers to dismiss such dendrochronological studies with statements such as “trees can sometimes grow two rings in one year.” Missing solar neutrinos prove the sun shines by gravitational collapse The idea presented a while back by some YECs was that theories on solar illumination involving fusion of hydrogen and other elements requires the release of very low mass, sub-atomic particles known as neutrinos. The YEC claim was that since no neutrinos had been detected, the sun must shine by simple gravitational collapse and must therefore be quite young. Well, scientists eventually developed techniques which could detect neutrinos, thus blowing yet another YEC “young earth proof” out of the water. For those who would like to read (much) more on this subject, see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-solar.html The YEC ministries seem to have a sorry track record. How many more “young earth proofs” will the they have to repudiate in the coming years? How many before Christians stop placing their trust and confidence in the YEC ministries? In the previously mentioned 2003 paper “ Searching for the ‘magic bullet’ - Why do creation-defenders often seem to be too quick to jump onto the latest ‘evidences’? (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i2/bullet.asp), Ken Ham stated: “ In November 2001, Answers in Genesis published an article on its website entitled, Arguments we think creationists should NOT use, which was added to the Q&A section. This covered a substantial number of widely-used arguments opposing evolution. It was meant to inform Christians why we felt these arguments were either factually incorrect, or were very dubious and unsafe, even counterproductive, to use. Early the following year, a modified form appeared in Creation magazine. Again, some people became upset, expressing their dismay through phone calls, emails and the like. Once more, I had people complain to me at conferences. One man said: ‘Evolutionists have so much evidence; if you people at AiG keep destroying some of the greatest evidence we’ve had, there’ll be none left for creationists. You’re helping the evolutionists win!’” It would seem YECs who rely on “young earth proofs” are now getting it from all sides! Creation Ministries International (CMI), the new Australian creationist group that recently split with AiG under less than amiable circumstances, also provides the same list of arguments creationists should not use at http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/2996 , However, CMI also has a more extensive article in response to something Kent Hovind published on his website which was critical of the AiG/CMI article, so the CMI folks felt they needed to respond with point by point rebuttal. The CMI rebuttal was entitled Maintaining Creationist Integrity and can be found at: http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/2571/. In another amusing turn of events, CMI now offers a DVD on their website entitled Arguments Creationists Should NOT Use by Jonathan Sarfati. Sarfati has authored quite a bit of nonsensical papers about flood geology, which I’ll get into later in the presentation.
  • 9. Young earth advocates provide ad hoc explanations when basic scientific principles are in opposition to the young earth interpretation
  • YEC Explanations The speed of light was much higher in the past The velocity of light was much higher in the past, by factors of millions or more, and slowed down to the present value according to Barry Setterfield. This theory is based on a series of incredibly hokey assumptions. For example, it used measurements of the speed of light starting with the very earliest crude estimates through accurate modern measurements. Setterfield then tried to show that a curve fitted to the data, conveniently starting with infinite slope at time = 6,000 years ago. Also, the speed of light is such a fundamental constant of nature – e.g., E = mc 2 – if the speed of light was faster in the past, then the relationship between energy and mass was also radically different. The Institute of Creation Research has issued an Impact article cautioning against using this explanation, and AiG lists it as a young-earth argument that is “inadvisable to use.” God created the light in transit God created the light in transit so that Adam could see the stars after he was created. The line of thinking here is that God, being omnipotent, is quite capable of creating light in mid-stream and giving the universe the appearance of a mature creation. None of the YEC organizations currently argue for this position – I’ve noticed it is usually just “fallback” position taken by uninformed Christians when all other arguments fail. However, some prominent YECs actually used to take this position. For example, noted YEC debater Duane T. Gish stated: “ How, then, could the stars serve as signs and seasons on the earth if these stars were created on the fourth day of creation and man created on the sixth day? Would man have to wait many millions of years before he could see the stars? When God created the stars, He also could easily have created the stream of light between the stars and the earth .” The Amazing Story of Creation from Science and the Bible , Page 13, ICR Publications (1990). Note - this book is still on sale! A simple illustration of the problem with this explanation was recently provided to us by Supernova 1987A. One day, there was this rather ordinary star called Sanduleak -69 202, located about 169,000 light years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way), and then the next day it was replaced with a fiery spectacle in the sky (see http://www.aao.gov.au/images/captions/aat050.html for good before and after photos) . The light from this explosion arrived at Earth after a journey of 169,000 light years on February 23, 1987. Since that time, astronomers have observed the explosion rings expanding out from the star, as shown in the above right shot from the Hubble Space Telescope. If the light from stars was created in transit, which light was created from Sanduleak -69 202 – the light we say before February 23, 1987, or the light we have seen since that date? On July 4, 1054 A.D., Chinese astronomers noted the even more spectacular appearance of a “guest star” in the constellation Taurus. According to their records, the supernova shined so bright for 23 days that you could see it during daylight hours. It was said to be four times as bright as Venus in its brightest light. Today, we observe the remnant of this explosion as the beautiful Crab Nebula, shown at the bottom right. Same question for YECs holding to the “God created the light in transit” idea – which starlight was created, the “before” light or the “after” light? Another explanation advanced in the past, but not advocated by YECs today, is that distances are real, but light takes short cuts through space. According to this explanation, the distances to stars are real, but light takes short cuts through space according to an article by Moon and Spencer published in 1953. This is sometimes known as the Riemanian space theory. Riemanian space has been thoroughly debunked by those inside and outside the creationist community, so you don’t see this explanation used any more.
  • YEC Explanations (continued) There was an enormous distortion of space-time near the earth – long period of time elapsed in the universe while a very short period elapsed here on earth The latest and currently most favored YEC explanation for the starlight travel time problem is that the measured distances to stars are real and the light has traveled at a constant velocity, but the solar system was close to the center of a “white hole” during the creation week, which caused a an enormous distortion of space-time such that a very short period elapsed here on earth while billions of years elapsed in the external universe. This explanation, originated by D. Russell Humphreys, also claims that the universe has an edge and the Milky Way is near the center. This explanation is supposedly supported by quantized red shifts of galaxies. Essentially, this explanation is a revival of the old concept of geocentricism (earth-centered universe). It gives YECs a nice, tidy way to hold onto their young earth beliefs while acknowledging the reality of a vast universe. The following summary of Dr. Humphrey’s explanation was taken from the article How can we see distant stars in a young universe? by Don Batten (editor), Ken Ham, Jonathon Sarfati, and Carl Weiland, which can be found on the Answers in Genesis website at http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/405.asp: “ Dr Humphreys’ new creationist cosmology literally ‘falls out’ of the equations of GR (general relativity), so long as one assumes that the universe has a boundary. In other words, that it has a center and an edge – that if you were to travel off into space, you would eventually come to a place beyond which there was no more matter. In this cosmology, the earth is near the center, as it appears to be as we look out into space. This might sound like common sense, as indeed it is, but all modern secular (big bang) cosmologies deny this. That is, they make arbitrary assumption (without any scientific necessity) that the universe has no boundaries — no edge and no center. In this assumed universe, every galaxy would be surrounded by galaxies spread evenly in all directions (on a large enough scale), and so, therefore, all the net gravitational forces cancel out. However, if the universe has boundaries, then there is a net gravitational effect toward the center. Clocks at the edge would be running at different rates to clocks on the earth. In other words, it is no longer enough to say God made the universe in six days. He certainly did, but six days by which clock? (If we say ‘God’s time’ we miss the point that He is outside of time, seeing the end from the beginning.) There appears to be observational evidence that the universe has expanded in the past, supported by the many phrases God uses in the Bible to tell us that at creation he ‘stretched out’ (other verses say ‘spread out’) the heavens. If the universe is not much bigger than we can observe, and if it was only 50 times smaller in the past than it is now, then scientific deduction based on GR means it has to have expanded out of a previous state in which it was surrounded by an event horizon (a condition known technically as a ‘white hole’—a black hole running in reverse, something permitted by the equations of GR). As matter passed out of this event horizon, the horizon itself had to shrink — eventually to nothing. Therefore, at one point this earth (relative to a point far away from it) would have been virtually frozen. An observer on earth would not in any way ‘feel different.’ ‘Billions of years’ would be available (in the frame of reference within which it is traveling in deep space) for light to reach the earth, for stars to age, etc.—while less than one ordinary day is passing on earth. This massive gravitational time dilation would seem to be a scientific inevitability if a bounded universe expanded significantly. In one sense, if observers on earth at that particular time could have looked out and ‘seen’ the speed with which light was moving toward them out in space, it would have appeared as if it were traveling many times faster than c (the speed of light). (Galaxies would also appear to be rotating faster.) However, if an observer in deep space was out there measuring the speed of light, to him it would still only be traveling at c . There is more detail of this new cosmology, at layman’s level, in the book by Dr Humphreys, Starlight and Time , which also includes reprints of his technical papers showing the equations.” Humphreys’ white hole cosmology has been royally roasted by astronomers, and even by some YECs. Dr. Danny Faulkner, himself a YEC, announced in 1998 that "the editorial staff of the [International Conference on Creationism]" (all of whom are YECs) has been led "to conclude that there was a failure in the peer review process of Humphreys' 1994 paper" ( http://www.icr.org/research/df/df-r01.htm ). See also: The Unraveling of Starlight and Time By Samuel R. Conner and Hugh Ross, Ph.D. http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/unraveling.shtml
  • Ad Hoc Explanations - W hat did jellyfish do with their killing mechanisms before the Fall? Some ad hoc explanations have led some YEC “experts” to say some things that are downright silly. For example, in AiG’s Creation magazine, Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 34–35 (September 2003), Dr. David Catchpoole addressed the question of “what did jellyfish eat before the fall?” (See http://creation.com/skeptics-challenge-a-god-of-love-created-a-killer-jellyfish). Anyone who has spent a day at the beach knows that Jellyfish can deliver a nasty sting. Their tentacles are lined with amazingly sophisticated stinger cells known as nematocysts, which trigger on contact and deliver their poison with a barb that shoots out from the cell. As shown by the Portuguese Man ‘O War to the right, these nematocysts allow a jellyfish to immobilize its prey, which it then hauls upward and slowly digests. The question of what did jellyfish eat before the Fall is important to YECs because their interpretation of Genesis and other Bible passages holds that there was no animal death before the Fall – i.e., all animals were vegetarians until Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. So how did jellyfish survive before the Fall? In the Creation magazine article, Dr. Catchpoole wrote the following: “ Such is the spectacular efficiency of jellyfish stinging cells, with the triggering mechanism and venomous action being prey-specific in some instances, the first option seems unlikely.  So God probably designed the complex information for these stinging cells, to be switched on at the Fall.  But what did jellyfish eat before the Fall?  Perhaps the following observations of jellyfish today give us an insight into the pre-Fall world: Some jellyfish are said to get nourishment from phytoplankton (i.e. from plants, not animals).  On the Scientific American website, a jellyfish expert writes: ‘ Some jellyfish (like the upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopeia xamachana) are vegetarians that grow their own food and carry it with them.  These jellyfish raise algae inside their belly, giving them a food source that they take along as they float through the oceans.’ (See: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=how-do-jellyfish-reproduc) Many fish ‘shelter’ under the bells of jellyfish, swimming freely among the tentacles.  Their contact does not trigger the firing of the nematocysts. Note that the concept of ‘poison’ depends on amounts—most poisons have benefits in small amounts, e.g. the deadly botulinum toxin is used in modern beauty treatments (botox).  Conversely, even ‘good’ things like oxygen can act as poisons in large amounts.” Ignoring for the moment the ridiculous statement at the end about Botox, notice how the Dr. Catchpool cites an exceptional case or two, then makes “the switch” and applies those exceptions to all jellyfish. Clearly, he is hoping (and no doubt knows) his audience will accept the switch and actually have their faith in a young earth reinforced. However, even in the case of upside-down jellyfish, Dr. Catchpool wasn’t telling the whole story. In their polyp stage, upside down jellyfish feed on small crustaceans. Also, according to an article entitled “Upside-down Jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana ” by Matt Berryman, the algae raised in the jellyfish’s tentacles isn’t enough to satisfy all of its needs. Berryman wrote: “ Cassiopea xamachana contain thousands of tiny zooxanthellae within their mesoglea. This symbiotic relationship accounts for how the upside-down jellyfish obtains most of its carbon. It has been observed, however, that in most medusae of C. xamachana the carbon from the zooxanthellae does not ‘provide all of the energy necessary for basic respiratory metabolic needs’ (Vodenichar, 1995). As a result of this the jellies must also feed themselves to some extent. This species either filter feed, absorbing dissolved nutrients from the water, or can capture prey through the use of nematocysts contained within their tentacles (Fitt & Costley, 1998).” (see http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/MarineInvertebrateZoology/Cassiopeaxamachana.html) Now, if I had the choice, I’d rather be stung by an upside-down jellyfish than a Portuguese Man ‘O War. However, both animals have always depended at least to some extent on killing other life forms to obtain their food. Truth is something Christians have always stood for – we shouldn’t resort to such trickery (and silliness) as Dr. Catchpoole did – even if we think the cause is just. ***** Feedback: Dinosaurs in the Lobby by Tim Chaffey, AiG–U.S. October 15, 2010 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/10/15/dinosaurs-in-the-lobby My wife and I had the pleasure of spending four days in the Cincinnati area last week visiting the museum. Even though we are Charter Members, it was our first visit. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and were very impressed with the quality of the exhibits. There has been much written regarding the display in the lobby showing children playing with dinosaurs nearby, and the controversy it has raised. I have no doubt that Adam and Eve had no fear of any of the animals in Eden including dinosaurs, but after the fall, would that still have been the case? (That the scene in the lobby depicts a time after the fall is clear in that there are children present, who must have been conceived and born after the fall.) Wouldn’t animals, including dinosaurs, have become hostile and violent after the fall? – D.R., U.S. Dear D.R., Thank you for visiting the Creation Museum. We are glad to know you had an opportunity to visit and that you enjoyed your time here. You posed an interesting question that we have heard before. This lobby display of children playing near two young T.-rexes is designed to get people’s attention, and to cause them to think from a biblical perspective. Since both man and land animals—including dinosaurs—were created on the sixth day, we can be certain that man lived at the same time as dinosaurs. Post-Fall It’s true that the lobby scene does indeed depict a post-Fall world as indicated by the presence of children. The Genesis narrative reveals that the first child, Cain, was conceived after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden ( Genesis 3:24–4:1 ). Also, we can be sure that Cain inherited a sinful nature ( Genesis 4:5–8 ), so he must have been conceived after the Fall. Many people have assumed that the Fall and subsequent Curse immediately destroyed the harmonious relationship between man and the animals. The serpent was cursed more than the other animals, but this does not mean that man and beast were instantly at odds. Verse 15 mentions that God would “put enmity between [the serpent] and the woman,” and between his seed and her Seed, but this is a reference to Christ’s victory over the devil (Hebrews 2:14). Post-Flood? Remember, it wasn’t until after the Flood—more than 1,650 years later—that God revealed, “the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea” ( Genesis 9:2 ). If the animals were already afraid of man as a result of the Fall, this verse would be unnecessary. Also, it wasn’t until the next verse that God first permitted man to eat meat. “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs” ( Genesis 9:3 ). Up until this point in history God had prescribed vegetarian diets for both man and beast ( Genesis 1:29–30 ), so animal predation of other animals and man would have been less likely. This truth does not preclude the possibility that in a fallen world some people and animals violated these instructions. We know that mankind was extremely wicked prior to the Flood, so it is very likely men would have mistreated animals leading to a probable breakdown of their original harmony. In light of Genesis 6:12 , which states that “all flesh had corrupted their way,” surely some people and animals were in violation of this initial command by God to be vegetarian. Conclusion Let’s get back to the display in the museum, though. Bodie Hodge often discusses this in his talk on “Dinosaurs, Dragons, and the Bible.” He says the following: Could this event have occurred in the Garden of Eden? No, because there were no children until after sin, when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden. Could this have been between the Fall and the Flood? It is possible because the fear of man was not in the animals yet. Could this have been after the Flood? This is possible as well. Consider that James said,“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind” ( James 3:7 ). So it is possible that such animals may have been tamed at one point. So there are a couple of possibilities. But the point of the display is to get people to think about these things biblically, and we appreciate that this is exactly what you are doing. Keep up the great work. Sincerely, Tim Chaffey, AiG–U.S. Se also: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/origin-of-attack-defense-structures ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Left photo - Don DeMaria, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Center diagram of nematocyst cell – Canada Fisheries and Oceans Right photo copyright Peter Parks, used with permission - Jacky Lewis, Image Quest Marine, North Leigh, Oxfordshire, England Inset photo of Portuguese Man O’ War - NOAA
  • 10. YECs will sometimes quote each other’s errors, showing a lack of original research
  • What’s wrong with this picture – An actual slide from a YEC presentation
  • What’s wrong with this picture – An actual slide from a YEC presentation He has the Colorado River flowing uphill! I found this slide in a PowerPoint presentation on the Northwest Creation Network web site (http://www.nwcreation.net/). This web site provides access to more YEC presentations than any other I’ve seen. Keep in mind, though, all the presentations on the Northwest Creation Network’s site are mostly from what I would call second or third tier YEC ministries (AiG and ICR being the only two first tier). This particular slide came from a presentation by Dr. Thomas Kindell entitled “Worldwide Geologic Evidence of the Flood,” which was given at the August 2007 Northwest Creation Conference. The base photo for the slide was taken from the space shuttle Discovery at the end of the STS 60 mission on February 10, 1994. Unfortunately, Dr. Kindell didn’t realize Discovery’s orbit and the astronaut’s camera were oriented such that southwest is at the top of the photo rather than north. Trying to make the case that Grand Canyon was cut in a short time period after failure of a giant dam caused by the Kaibab Upwarp, Dr. Kindell shows a marked up version of the photo with the elevation labels reversed from where they should be! Anyone familiar with the Grand Canyon area would immediately recognize how features such as the narrow Marble Canyon (bottom center), the Little Colorado River (coming in from the left), the westward bend of the Colorado near Desert View, the extension of the North Rim into that bend, and the nearness of the Colorado River to the South Rim all indicate the orientation of the photo is nearly opposite from a typical map with north at the top. Having lived and worked at Grand Canyon, I spotted this problem in about 15 seconds. All this means the “2800 ft” label belongs at the bottom over Marble Canyon, the “1800 ft” label belongs at the upper right over the lower Grand Canyon (actually, it’s more like the mid Grand Canyon), the “7000 ft” label belongs over the South Rim at the middle left, and the “8000 ft” label belongs over the true North Rim area, just a little below the center of the picture. So how could someone with a doctorate degree make such a serious blunder? We could chalk it up to “everyone makes mistakes now and then,” but Kindell has several slides in his presentation addressing the Grand Canyon and he presents himself as an expert on the subject. I would submit that at least part of the reason for the error is something that is all too common among speakers and “scientists” in the YEC ministries – acting as an authority in subjects outside one’s area of education and expertise. Dr. Kindell’s own background supports my case. According to the website of his organization, Reasons for Faith Ministries, Dr. Kindell has studied Christian apologetics and biblical-scientific creationism at California Graduate School of Theology where he received his M.A. in Biblical Studies.  His doctorate is in the Philosophy of Theology (with a major in philosophy of Biblical apologetics). He has received advanced training in scientific creationism through the Graduate School of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). He has no degree in any of the natural sciences. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Original photo credit: NASA
  • Another YEC speaker fails Grand Canyon geography Interestingly, I saw the same mistake made in Dr. Kindell’s slide repeated twice in a video presentation by Russ Miller of Creation, Science, and Evolution Ministries (CESM) (http://www.creationministries.org/) entitled Mount St. Helens & Grand Canyon - Part B . Miller blundered further when he said the photo was taken from a satellite! You’d think Miller would know a little more about local geography, since he lives only an hour’s drive away in Flagstaff, Arizona and his website says he conducts trips to the Grand Canyon. From what I can see in this and other videos posted on his web site, Miller appears to rival Ken Hovind in his ability to cram the maximum amount of nonsense into each minute of a presentation.
  • Another YEC speaker fails Grand Canyon geography Interestingly, I saw the same mistake made in Dr. Kindell’s slide repeated twice in a video presentation by Russ Miller of Creation, Science, and Evolution Ministries (CESM) (http://www.creationministries.org/) entitled Mount St. Helens & Grand Canyon - Part B . Miller blundered further when he said the photo was taken from a satellite! You’d think Miller would know a little more about local geography, since he lives only an hour’s drive away in Flagstaff, Arizona and his website says he conducts trips to the Grand Canyon. From what I can see in this and other videos posted on his web site, Miller appears to rival Ken Hovind in his ability to cram the maximum amount of nonsense into each minute of a presentation.
  • From the presentation Geologic Worldviews and the Global Flood, by Christopher W. Ashcraft M.S., M.Ed., who founded the CreationWiki web page. (Always watch out for people who flaunt their academic credentials after their name.) Ashcraft’s “CreationWiki” web page dismisses the expertise of dozens of highly qualified geologists – you would think he’d know better than to show a PowerPoint slide like this.
  • Hmmm… the same error occurs in slides from multiple YEC speakers… I wonder what’s going on here? Note: these weren’t the only slides making the “uphill Colorado River” mistake – others can be found through a diligent survey of the Internet. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo of Chris Ashcraft: Tim Helble, taken at the 2009 Seattle Creation Conference.
  • Source of “Uphill Colorado River” Slide Found! One day while glancing through some YouTube videos on young earth creationism, I stumbled across a rather funny video entitled “Kent and Us – The Lost World of Dinosaur Adventure Land” by David Nickle. Towards the end of Nickle’s video, I saw a clip revealing the source of the bogus uphill flowing Colorado River slide - it was none other than Kent Hovind, a.k.a. Dr. Dino. Thanks David! Since that time, I found that Nickle’s video has been removed from YouTube and all other video hosting websites, so I can’t provide a link here. It would be interesting to find out why the video was removed – I suspect there were some copyright issues. The graphic is part of a sandwich sign found directly to the right of the entrance door to Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida. David Nickle emailed the photo to me, which was taken by his friend Karen Fernandez. Below the sign is a long trough filled with sand, with a water spigot at one end. Visitors (i.e., kids) are encouraged to turn on the water and make their own miniature Grand Canyon the way the real one was supposedly made (according to the YECs): by Noah’s global Flood. The five graphics on bottom of the sign mock scientist’s theories of the Grand Canyon’s formation. Ironically, if you could make out the words underneath the five graphics, you would see the following sentence: “Rivers do not flow uphill!” Hmmm… As of this writing (March, 2010), the graphic shown in the upper right portion of this slide has been on display at Kent Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land for over nine years. To my knowledge, nobody has ever pointed out its glaring elevation errors. What does this have to say about Hovind and his clientele? What does this say about the current state of young earth creationism, and in a broader sense, the current state of fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity? (By the way, someone also needs to tell Dr. Hovind the correct way to spell “breach.”) The “uphill Colorado River” slide is contained in a very long set of PowerPoints for sale on Kent Hovind’s website. It is slide number 491 in the package “Seminar 6 – The Hovind Theory,” which you can download for $20.00 at: http://www.drdino.com/downloads.php It is obvious that both Dr. Thomas Kindell and Russ Miller derived their slides from Hovind’s, as they use the same low resolution photograph (I found a higher resolution copy on the NASA website) and have very similar labeling. Actually, Miller essentially acknowledges his use of Hovind materials at the end of his video Global Flood Theory Part B , where he shows and reads a slide stating “Many people have influenced my thinking on the global flood. I’d like to thank them for their information and study.” Following this, he lists six people, with Kent Hovind’s name at the top followed by Walt Brown, Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Steven Austin, Don Patten, and Dr. Carl Baugh. I’ve heard audio recordings of other local, self-appointed YEC experts who are obviously using Hovind’s slide. It’s become painfully obvious that YEC authors and speakers will often use material from other YECs in their books and presentations without checking into the original source themselves. You often see similar errors being propagated over and over through the YEC literature. The fact that two YEC speakers who are well known in the western U.S. would pick up Kent Hovind’s bogus slide and use it in their presentations without checking it for accuracy is evidence of this. It certainly didn’t help the YEC cause when it was found Mr. Hovind received his “doctorate” from a diploma mill. It gets worse – Hovind was convicted of 58 counts of tax fraud, including: Failure to collect nearly $470,000 in employee taxes. Structuring cash transactions of $430,500 to avoid reporting requirements. Filing a frivolous lawsuit against the IRS, demanding damages for criminal trespass. Filing an injunction against an IRS agent. Making threats against investigators and those cooperating with the investigation. Filing false complaints against the IRS for false arrest, excessive use of force and theft. For details on all 58 counts, see http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_States_of_America_v_Kent_Hovind_and_Jo_Hovind). Kent Hovind is now serving a ten-year term in the Federal Correctional Institution, Edgefield (South Carolina). ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Upper left photo, “Kent Hovind holding giant centipede” by Karen Fernandez. Tim, To save you from more copyright hassles when your website, here's another photograph, of Kent Hovind. He graciously posed for us with his spider and centipede when we visited the theme park (full disclosure: he graciously posed for my partner Karen, who's much prettier than me). You're welcome to use this one, instead of the shot you no doubt pulled from their site. Let me know when your website goes live. Cheers David Large kower left photo: “That River Didn’t Make That Canyon!!!” by Karen Fernandez: I'll attach the original photograph of the Grand Canyon display  (and as a bonus, the Granite display too), which you might find of some use. The resolution's higher than youtube... I am delighted to hear you got some use out of our nasty little home movie. Thank you again for the note. Cheers David Nickle Small lower left photo – probably by Kent Hovind, taken from the Dinosaur Adventure Land website. Fair Use claimed.
  • Possible additional books: Grand Canyon – A Different View
  • Quoting the Errors of Other YECs Making it appear scientific sources support a young earth For example, let’s look at what young earth advocate Roger Patterson did with Steve Austin’s young earth argument in #2 on formation of caves. In his book Evolution Exposed: Earth Science , Patterson stated: “ Studies on limestone caves in Kentucky have shown that a volume 59 meters long by one meter square can be dissolved in one year at current rates. So, at the present rate, long ages are not required to create large caverns” (pages 140-141).
  • So what gives here? It’s almost as if they know they can get away with saying just about anything that sounds remotely scientific, knowing that people who aren’t scientifically trained will buy it. Unless, of course, we Christians put a stop to it!
  • In reference to the Grand Canyon, William C. Ho wrote in Evolution? Degeneration? Creation?: (English Translation) “ An obvious example occurs where the Mississippian layer (250 million years old according to evolution) is located under the Cambrian layer (500 million years old according to evolution)!” A big problem which may really blow up in the Christian church’s face in a few years is that false information regarding evolution and the age of the earth is being provided to internationals we are trying to win over to Christ. What will happen when an international receives Christ and then later finds out that some or all of the answers he/she was given to the tough questions about science and faith were false? Examples of misinformation on the age of the earth being given to internationals are not hard to find. At the top of page 40 in the original Chinese version of Evolution? Degeneration? Creation? , Dr. William C. Ho states: “ Where can one find this neat geological column? Instinctively, one points to the Grand Canyon in the U.S. The depth of erosion into rock layers is unsurpassed in the Grand Canyon. It is a majestic sight to stand at the North Rim during dusk or dawn. Along the cliffs, layers of sedimentation are clearly seen, yet not necessarily according to the layout of the standard geological column. An obvious example occurs where the Mississippian layer (250 million years old according to evolution) is located under the Cambrian layer (500 million years old according to evolution). Indeed, we cannot find this neat column of evidence anywhere on earth except in books and museums.” (for English translation, see http://www.afcinc.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=y-kWgRrVlZU%3d&tabid=2760&language=en-US Wow! This is so blatantly false, I’m surprised it wasn’t caught by any of the mission agencies providing Ho’s book to Chinese people. No geologist, Christian or otherwise, nor anyone else I can find, has ever stated that a Mississippian layer exists under a Cambrian layer in Grand Canyon. The Mississippian layers in Grand Canyon would be the Redwall Limestone and Surprise Canyon Formation and the Cambrian layers would be the Tapeats Sandstone, Bright Angle Shale, and Muav Limestone. All of the Mississippian layers are over the Cambrian layers. None of the YEC literature (other than Ho’s book) states that a Mississippian layer is located under a Cambrian layer in Grand Canyon. None of the signs in Grand Canyon nor any of the literature handed out to visitors states that a Mississippian layer is located under a Cambrian layer. None of the scientific literature states this either. Any geologic map or geologic column graphic you can find for the Grand Canyon will clearly show that the Cambrian layers are underneath the Mississippian layers (e.g., see http://pubs.usgs.gov/imap/i-2688/i-2688_pamphlet.pdf). This is but one of the many egregious errors in Evolution? Degeneration? Creation? So how did Dr. Ho blow it so bad? In the preface to the second English edition, Ho states: “ We admit that much of the material has been collected from several prominent creationist organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research (San Diego, CA) and Answers in Genesis, and we hereby acknowledge the tremendous work they have done towards the cause of Biblical creationism.” No wonder Mr. Ho blew it so badly. He relied only on YEC literature, and he didn’t even interpret it correctly. I will demonstrate in this presentation how the prominent creationist organizations have been distributing false and misleading information for many years. Here’s the rub - if intellectual internationals find out we have been giving them false information and then leave Christianity, will we still think well about “the tremendous work they (i.e., the creationist organizations) have done?” Please do not give Mr. Ho’s book to your international friends! A much better book to give to Chinese intellectuals who are willing to investigate science and Christianity issues is Song of a Wanderer Beckoned by Eternity by Li Cheng. This book provides a much more balanced treatment of Bible-science issues. My only objections to Song of a Wanderer focus on pages 296 and 297, where Cheng shows that he was temporarily misled by some YEC propaganda: “… Recently, scholars of the Institute for Creation Research diligently investigated the Grand Canyon and Mount St. Helens, a volcano that erupted in the 1980’s. From their research, they obtained abundant evidence to support their young earth theory. Scientific Creationists look at the difficulties faced by evolution and publish evidence from the viewpoint of science to support the theory of a young earth. For example, a researcher discovered that the intensity of magnetic field of the earth has continued to decrease. If the half-life of the magnetic field of the earth is 1,400 years, then the magnetic force of the earth 1,400 years ago was twice that of today. That means the magnetic force 2,800 years ago was four times that of today. About 7,000 years ago, the magnetic force would gave been thirty-two times that of today. If the age of the earth were 10,000 years old, let alone tens of thousands of years old, the earth would have been a magnetic star when it first came into existence. In their research of volcanoes, scientists also discovered that the formation of rocks was much faster than predicted.” Cheng is repeating a series of easily rebutted young earth proofs distributed by Henry Morris and other YECs. Here’s some quick rebuttal information: ICR “scientists” have never made truly diligent investigations of the Grand Canyon and Mount St. Helens. They take pictures and give talks and guided tours, but they have never conducted research that could truly be considered “diligent” or comparable in intensity and duration to that performed by geologists such as E.D. McKee or George Billingsley. YEC geologist Dr. Steven Austin does perform some field research, primarily on nautiloid fossils in the Redwall Limestone, but he never lets the evidence speak for itself and never lets anything he says go beyond an invisible wall created by a very limited, young-earth interpretation of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Scientific creationists rarely if ever use science to support their theory of a young earth. The creationists never let raw observations speak for themselves – their starting point is always that the traditional 6-day, 24-hour interpretation of Genesis is the only valid view and their findings are always shoehorned into molds fitting that constraint. For example, viewing the problem of starlight travel time from distant galaxies through the “lens” of the 6-day, 24-hour interpretation, D. Russell Humphreys developed the “white hole” cosmology described in his book Starlight and Time to fit that constraint. “Scientific Creationists” very rarely publish in true peer review journals. The only “science” the average Christian learns from these ”scientific creationists are “young earth proofs,” which can be easily refuted. The researcher who “discovered” that “the intensity of magnetic field of the earth has continued to decrease” was T homas G. Barnes, whose ideas were published in 1973 as an ICR Technical Monograph No. 4 entitled Origin and Destiny of the Earth's Magnetic Field . It turns out Barnes made many incorrect assumptions and was guilty of selective use of data. For more information, see On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay of the Earth's Magnetic Field by astronomer Tim Thompson at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/magfields.html. Thompson’s web page can be found at: http://www.tim-thompson.com/ .
  • 11. A YEC will sometimes provide an argument which contradicts something he/she said earlier.
  • 12. YECs will tell you that science is simply an encyclopedic accumulation of observational “facts.”
  • Is Science Just An Accumulation of Facts? Here’s an interesting insight from Ken Ham’s notes on his “Relevance of Genesis” talk: Silde #5. The word “science” basically means “knowledge.” We can gain knowledge by observation, which in science is called operational (observational) science. We can talk about knowledge concerning the past and origins, which is called historical science.  Most people don’t understand the difference between historical and operational science. Secularists tend to mix the two together and call it “science,” which is why so many people are easily led astray concerning the truth about origins. (“How to Defend the Christian Faith in Today’s World,” http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2011/04/23/how-to-defend-the-christian-faith-in-todays-world/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KenHam+%28Around+the+World+with+Ken+Ham%29) I think Ken Ham is confusing science and engineering.
  • Understand difference between Engineering and Science According to the National Society of Professional Engineers: Science is knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people. Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives. A YEC engineer may appear to be a scientific expert, but a particular science is much more specialized than engineering Why is this so important? Many engineers are young earth believers, and because engineers are very intelligent, they can sound very convincing to Christian lay people in their “proofs” for a young earth. Why do we find so many engineers who are YECs, while it is very difficult to find anyone from the natural sciences (e.g., geology, geomorphology, paleontology, astronomy, physical geography, hydrology, or hydrogeology) who subscribes to YEC? The YEC leaders would likely say it is because the people in natural sciences have bought into the Darwinist system and, if they are Christians, they have seriously compromised their faith. I would have to disagree with that answer. I feel I have some authority to address this subject, as I am a Christian in the natural sciences, have a father who is an engineer, and am a member of Triangle Fraternity (see www.triangle.org, also UCLA Triangle at http://www.trianglebruins.org/ ). From this point on in my discussion, I will group engineers and closely related laboratory scientists under the banner of “engineer.” Anyway, my working hypothesis on why we find so many engineers in the YEC ranks is as follows: Engineering is an incredibly difficult college major. Clearly, one must be quite intelligent to earn a degree in engineering, and even more so to pass the professional engineering (PE) exam. However, engineering course work is almost completely oriented towards problem solving – i.e., formulas, applied math, and physics. Essentially all work material the student does comes out of engineering textbooks or similar resources. The engineering student works to become more and more proficient at solving harder and harder problems. Some advanced engineering courses involve significant work in the laboratory setting. In the working world, an engineer’s job is focused on the process of designing better “things” – e.g., a processing chip, a piece of software code, a bridge, a robotic device, or in my father’s case, the escape tower on top of the Apollo capsule, the latching mechanism for cruise missile launchers on the B-1, or the zipper latching mechanism on the payload bay doors of the space shuttle. In contrast, a major in natural science is much less oriented towards straightaway problem solving and instead focuses on concepts and research. A student in natural sciences is required to write several research papers with bibliographies, which exposes one to the world of peer-reviewed scientific journals. The scientific method – the process of hypothesis development, testing, publishing, and/or starting over when the hypothesis is found to be wrong – becomes real to the physical science student. Some upper division natural science courses – such as geology field camp – require the student to get out in the field to collect and analyze data. Outdoors in the field setting, the student often sees evidence which contradicts young earth creationism, thus making it easier to see flaws in the arguments of YEC ministries should they be encountered later. For example, had I never taken my field course on California Geology, I never would have noticed the double lateral moraine on the south side of the valley below Convict Lake unless my professor Dr. Clemens “Clem” Nelson had pointed it out from just the right vantage point along Convict Lake Road. Had I stayed in meteorology, which as an undergrad was very much like engineering, I never would have seen this. In the world of natural sciences, one sees the breadth of scientific information that exists out there and the incredible rate at which knowledge is increasing. Graduate students in the natural sciences must become totally immersed in the world of peer-reviewed scientific journals when writing their thesis and dissertations. Later, they often see first hand how the peer review process works in science when they publish findings in their first research paper. To summarize my hypothesis, I’ll rely on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of the website for the National Society of Professional Engineers (see http://www.nspe.org/media/mr1-faqs.asp ), where the following question is included: “ What is the difference between science and engineering?” Here is their answer: “ Science is knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people. Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives.” I believe this supports my hypothesis – engineers are trained to “ plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems,” but they don’t really get involved in “observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people.” They rely on the scientists to do this, then use the results once they stand the test of time. Because of this, engineers don’t get exposed that much to the research arena in natural sciences, where the weaknesses of YEC become most visible. As I stated above – this is a working hypothesis – I am willing to change my position when/if I encounter data and/or studies which force me to revise or drop it. Actually, I think the YEC leaders would have to agree with at least part of my hypothesis. They are fond of dividing science into two types – “operational science” and “origins science.” In AiG’s Answers magazine (June 14, 2007, see http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n3/science-or-the-bible ), Ken Ham and Dr. Terry Mortenson defined the two as follows: “ Operation science uses the so-called “scientific method” to attempt to discover truth, performing observable, repeatable experiments in a controlled environment to find patterns of recurring behavior in the present physical universe. For example, we can test gravity, study the spread of disease, or observe speciation in the lab or in the wild. Both creationists and evolutionists use this kind of science, which has given rise to computers, space shuttles, and cures for diseases. Origin science attempts to discover truth by examining reliable eyewitness testimony (if available); and circumstantial evidence, such as pottery, fossils, and canyons. Because the past cannot be observed directly, assumptions greatly affect how these scientists interpret what they see.” In one of AiG’s newsletter Answers Update (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/e-mail/archive/AnswersUpdate/2004/0925.asp ), we find another statement which provides insight on the YEC’s attitude towards science: “ Ken Ham once had the opportunity to speak to a number of scientists at the Goddard Space Center near Baltimore. He was pleased to see a number of scientists, real scientists—who were involved in building the space shuttle and repairing the Hubble Telescope—who told him they believed that Genesis is accurate.” I suspect YECs would likely agree with at least part of my hypothesis because engineering falls into the category of “operations science” and engineers seem to be exactly the kind of people Mr. Ham views as “ real scientists.” Most of the staff at AiG who deal with the physical sciences are engineers of some type. If a YEC engineer has developed the attitude which often comes with high intelligence – similar to Dilbert’s in Scott Adam’s famous comic strip: “When you’re an engineer, everyone else is a chimp” – and tightly adheres to the idea presented in AiG’s statement of faith that: “No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record,” then carrying on a meaningful discussion on the young earth/old earth issue is going to be problematic. (To view the AiG statement of faith, see http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith). Of course, the “everyone else is a chimp” attitude isn’t limited to engineers – I’ve seen it in scientists and non-scientists as well, and even (horrors!) in Christians. I see it in myself sometimes. I’m pretty sure the term “origins science” is a YEC creation. Outside the world of YEC, the distinction between “origins science” and “operational science” tends to become rather fuzzy. For example, petroleum geologists use principles derived from assumptions about the earth’s past “that can’t be observed directly” (at least to a YEC’s satisfaction) to identify the most likely locations of underground oil reservoirs. In other words, without the “origins science” of geology, we’d be wasting a whole lot of time drilling for oil in the wrong places. In the early 1980’s, John W. Patterson of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at Iowa State University made the interesting observation that many leaders in the YEC ministries were engineers. In the introduction to his 1982 paper entitled “An Engineer Looks at the Creationist Movement,” Patterson stated: “ As a professor who taught thermodynamics to engineering students for many years, I first entered the creation/evolution controversy in 1978. I was motivated to combat what I then considered – and still consider – to be the promotion of grossly erroneous if not deceitful arguments concerning entropy and the second law. I viewed this as being particularly serious, not only because thermodynamics is an important engineering science (in fact, it began as an engineering analysis by Carnot) but also because I found that it was the engineers in the creationist movement who were shaping the apologetics based on the laws of thermodynamics. Indeed, I have since found that engineering educators, senior engineers, and registered professional engineers are perhaps the most prominent leaders of the creationist movement. As an engineering professor and a registered engineer myself, I felt it would be professionally irresponsible to let this travesty continue without comment. This paper attempts to expose the nature of the creationist movement, the role that professional engineers have played in its leadership, and the level of scientific incompetence (particularly in thermodynamics) that these creationist engineers have exhibited both in public speaking and in print. I would hope that similarly revealing exposes will also be forthcoming from such non engineering perspectives as biochemistry, biology, paleontology, physics, etc. but these I will leave to those professionals whose expertise and teaching responsibilities fall in those areas.” Later in the paper, Patterson states: “ My own formal training overlaps significantly some of the areas which the creationists have addressed. In addition to doing research as well as graduate and undergraduate teaching in thermodynamics, I also hold a B.S. and M.S. in mining engineering which, of course, is inextricably related to the geology and the origin of sedimentary deposits. In my view, the level of confusion, obfuscation, and incompetence reflected by the foremost creationist ‘experts’ both in thermodynamics and in geological interpretation is appalling. And here again others strongly agree. Of course, the creationists do not concur with my characterization of their movement. This may be inferred from the following assertions by Duane T. Gish, Associate Director and Vice-President of the San Diego base ICR ministry: ‘ The creationist movement is not a fundamentalist ministry led by incompetent engineers. Rather, it is a movement led by highly competent scientists, many of whom are biologists. As a matter of fact, biologists probably constitute a higher proportion of all scientific categories within the creationist movement...’ Most responsible engineers will wish this were so, but I'm afraid it is not. We can understand to some extent why engineers – who are comparatively ignorant of biological processes, genetics, etc. and who are infatuated with arguments from design – might fall vulnerable to the theological arguments from design. Excuses of this sort, however, can hardly be offered on behalf of biologists, for they have long ago been apprised of the sterility of arguments from design, of teleology and so on in the realm of biology.” At the end of the paper, Patterson offers his explanation why of engineers have become so important in the YEC movement : “ Why have engineers become so important in the young-earth, ‘creation-science’ movement? There are two major reasons: (A) the irresponsible attitude of engineers and their professional societies, and (B) the familiarity of engineers with certain difficult areas of science from which unintelligible but authoritative sounding ‘apologetics’ can be developed. Engineering societies seem to be uninterested in policing themselves, as regards either ethical irresponsibility or scientific incompetence. Thus engineers can publicly endorse ludicrous forms of pseudoscience without being publicly chastised by their professional societies. My experience is that examining boards simply brand the embarrassing utterances as being outside their purview, even though the engineer involved may be flaunting his engineering status while proclaiming the most absurd distortions of engineering science. Were biologists, geologists, or paleontologists to endorse publicly a pseudoscience such as creationism, their chance of achieving or retaining prestigious academic positions would be greatly undermined, as would their chances for high office in professional societies. Only in Bible colleges, seminaries, and creationist ministries can the latter succeed as outspoken creationists. Hence, when creationist groups try to promote their own credibility by flaunting the professional status of selected members, they find they mainly have engineers to select from. An example of such status flaunting is the ICR practice of listing their technical advisors, with status on their official stationery. This list contains more engineering educators who still hold respected academic positions than members of any other group, including physicists, biologists, or geologists. Other examples of creationist credential flaunting are also widely known. Another reason for engineers being so welcome to creationism derives from their backgrounds in the rather difficult subjects of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Creationism is so absurd scientifically that it cannot be defended by any rational arguments which are understandable to thinking laymen. Hence the need to develop confusing and yet authoritative-sounding arguments which are un intelligible to laymen…” Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 89(2):55-58, 1982 (see http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/thermo_patterson.html ). We can see Patterson had some interesting ideas about the YECs in engineering, but he never really got around to saying why he thinks so many YECs are in the engineering ranks. Personally, I think a major reason is that the thinking processes of engineers predispose them to see the signs of intricate design in nature. The engineer looks at things like the complexity of life or the beauty of creation and instinctively knows there must have been a designer. Where an engineer, or any person for that matter, can “go bad” is when they somehow are exposed to young earth arguments – perhaps through a YEC creation conference at their church – and they decide YEC is the way to go, perhaps because of peer pressure and/or their lack of exposure to the learning atmosphere of science which would provide them with the basic information needed to refute YEC. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo Credits: Paleontologist excavating a dinosaur – Courtesy National Park Service, public domain Apollo schematic – Courtesy NASA History Division, public domain
  • Understand difference between Engineering and Science According to the National Society of Professional Engineers: Science is knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people. Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives. A YEC engineer may appear to be a scientific expert, but a particular science is much more specialized than engineering Why is this so important? Many engineers are young earth believers, and because engineers are very intelligent, they can sound very convincing to Christian lay people in their “proofs” for a young earth. Why do we find so many engineers who are YECs, while it is very difficult to find anyone from the natural sciences (e.g., geology, geomorphology, paleontology, astronomy, physical geography, hydrology, or hydrogeology) who subscribes to YEC? The YEC leaders would likely say it is because the people in natural sciences have bought into the Darwinist system and, if they are Christians, they have seriously compromised their faith. I would have to disagree with that answer. I feel I have some authority to address this subject, as I am a Christian in the natural sciences, have a father who is an engineer, and am a member of Triangle Fraternity (see www.triangle.org, also UCLA Triangle at http://www.trianglebruins.org/ ). From this point on in my discussion, I will group engineers and closely related laboratory scientists under the banner of “engineer.” Anyway, my working hypothesis on why we find so many engineers in the YEC ranks is as follows: Engineering is an incredibly difficult college major. Clearly, one must be quite intelligent to earn a degree in engineering, and even more so to pass the professional engineering (PE) exam. However, engineering course work is almost completely oriented towards problem solving – i.e., formulas, applied math, and physics. Essentially all work material the student does comes out of engineering textbooks or similar resources. The engineering student works to become more and more proficient at solving harder and harder problems. Some advanced engineering courses involve significant work in the laboratory setting. In the working world, an engineer’s job is focused on the process of designing better “things” – e.g., a processing chip, a piece of software code, a bridge, a robotic device, or in my father’s case, the escape tower on top of the Apollo capsule, the latching mechanism for cruise missile launchers on the B-1, or the zipper latching mechanism on the payload bay doors of the space shuttle. In contrast, a major in natural science is much less oriented towards straightaway problem solving and instead focuses on concepts and research. A student in natural sciences is required to write several research papers with bibliographies, which exposes one to the world of peer-reviewed scientific journals. The scientific method – the process of hypothesis development, testing, publishing, and/or starting over when the hypothesis is found to be wrong – becomes real to the physical science student. Some upper division natural science courses – such as geology field camp – require the student to get out in the field to collect and analyze data. Outdoors in the field setting, the student often sees evidence which contradicts young earth creationism, thus making it easier to see flaws in the arguments of YEC ministries should they be encountered later. For example, had I never taken my field course on California Geology, I never would have noticed the double lateral moraine on the south side of the valley below Convict Lake unless my professor Dr. Clemens “Clem” Nelson had pointed it out from just the right vantage point along Convict Lake Road. Had I stayed in meteorology, which as an undergrad was very much like engineering, I never would have seen this. In the world of natural sciences, one sees the breadth of scientific information that exists out there and the incredible rate at which knowledge is increasing. Graduate students in the natural sciences must become totally immersed in the world of peer-reviewed scientific journals when writing their thesis and dissertations. Later, they often see first hand how the peer review process works in science when they publish findings in their first research paper. To summarize my hypothesis, I’ll rely on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page of the website for the National Society of Professional Engineers (see http://www.nspe.org/media/mr1-faqs.asp ), where the following question is included: “ What is the difference between science and engineering?” Here is their answer: “ Science is knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people. Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives.” I believe this supports my hypothesis – engineers are trained to “ plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems,” but they don’t really get involved in “observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people.” They rely on the scientists to do this, then use the results once they stand the test of time. Because of this, engineers don’t get exposed that much to the research arena in natural sciences, where the weaknesses of YEC become most visible. As I stated above – this is a working hypothesis – I am willing to change my position when/if I encounter data and/or studies which force me to revise or drop it. Actually, I think the YEC leaders would have to agree with at least part of my hypothesis. They are fond of dividing science into two types – “operational science” and “origins science.” In AiG’s Answers magazine (June 14, 2007, see http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n3/science-or-the-bible ), Ken Ham and Dr. Terry Mortenson defined the two as follows: “ Operation science uses the so-called “scientific method” to attempt to discover truth, performing observable, repeatable experiments in a controlled environment to find patterns of recurring behavior in the present physical universe. For example, we can test gravity, study the spread of disease, or observe speciation in the lab or in the wild. Both creationists and evolutionists use this kind of science, which has given rise to computers, space shuttles, and cures for diseases. Origin science attempts to discover truth by examining reliable eyewitness testimony (if available); and circumstantial evidence, such as pottery, fossils, and canyons. Because the past cannot be observed directly, assumptions greatly affect how these scientists interpret what they see.” In one of AiG’s newsletter Answers Update (see http://www.answersingenesis.org/e-mail/archive/AnswersUpdate/2004/0925.asp ), we find another statement which provides insight on the YEC’s attitude towards science: “ Ken Ham once had the opportunity to speak to a number of scientists at the Goddard Space Center near Baltimore. He was pleased to see a number of scientists, real scientists—who were involved in building the space shuttle and repairing the Hubble Telescope—who told him they believed that Genesis is accurate.” I suspect YECs would likely agree with at least part of my hypothesis because engineering falls into the category of “operations science” and engineers seem to be exactly the kind of people Mr. Ham views as “ real scientists.” Most of the staff at AiG who deal with the physical sciences are engineers of some type. If a YEC engineer has developed the attitude which often comes with high intelligence – similar to Dilbert’s in Scott Adam’s famous comic strip: “When you’re an engineer, everyone else is a chimp” – and tightly adheres to the idea presented in AiG’s statement of faith that: “No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record,” then carrying on a meaningful discussion on the young earth/old earth issue is going to be problematic. (To view the AiG statement of faith, see http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith). Of course, the “everyone else is a chimp” attitude isn’t limited to engineers – I’ve seen it in scientists and non-scientists as well, and even (horrors!) in Christians. I see it in myself sometimes. I’m pretty sure the term “origins science” is a YEC creation. Outside the world of YEC, the distinction between “origins science” and “operational science” tends to become rather fuzzy. For example, petroleum geologists use principles derived from assumptions about the earth’s past “that can’t be observed directly” (at least to a YEC’s satisfaction) to identify the most likely locations of underground oil reservoirs. In other words, without the “origins science” of geology, we’d be wasting a whole lot of time drilling for oil in the wrong places. In the early 1980’s, John W. Patterson of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at Iowa State University made the interesting observation that many leaders in the YEC ministries were engineers. In the introduction to his 1982 paper entitled “An Engineer Looks at the Creationist Movement,” Patterson stated: “ As a professor who taught thermodynamics to engineering students for many years, I first entered the creation/evolution controversy in 1978. I was motivated to combat what I then considered – and still consider – to be the promotion of grossly erroneous if not deceitful arguments concerning entropy and the second law. I viewed this as being particularly serious, not only because thermodynamics is an important engineering science (in fact, it began as an engineering analysis by Carnot) but also because I found that it was the engineers in the creationist movement who were shaping the apologetics based on the laws of thermodynamics. Indeed, I have since found that engineering educators, senior engineers, and registered professional engineers are perhaps the most prominent leaders of the creationist movement. As an engineering professor and a registered engineer myself, I felt it would be professionally irresponsible to let this travesty continue without comment. This paper attempts to expose the nature of the creationist movement, the role that professional engineers have played in its leadership, and the level of scientific incompetence (particularly in thermodynamics) that these creationist engineers have exhibited both in public speaking and in print. I would hope that similarly revealing exposes will also be forthcoming from such non engineering perspectives as biochemistry, biology, paleontology, physics, etc. but these I will leave to those professionals whose expertise and teaching responsibilities fall in those areas.” Later in the paper, Patterson states: “ My own formal training overlaps significantly some of the areas which the creationists have addressed. In addition to doing research as well as graduate and undergraduate teaching in thermodynamics, I also hold a B.S. and M.S. in mining engineering which, of course, is inextricably related to the geology and the origin of sedimentary deposits. In my view, the level of confusion, obfuscation, and incompetence reflected by the foremost creationist ‘experts’ both in thermodynamics and in geological interpretation is appalling. And here again others strongly agree. Of course, the creationists do not concur with my characterization of their movement. This may be inferred from the following assertions by Duane T. Gish, Associate Director and Vice-President of the San Diego base ICR ministry: ‘ The creationist movement is not a fundamentalist ministry led by incompetent engineers. Rather, it is a movement led by highly competent scientists, many of whom are biologists. As a matter of fact, biologists probably constitute a higher proportion of all scientific categories within the creationist movement...’ Most responsible engineers will wish this were so, but I'm afraid it is not. We can understand to some extent why engineers – who are comparatively ignorant of biological processes, genetics, etc. and who are infatuated with arguments from design – might fall vulnerable to the theological arguments from design. Excuses of this sort, however, can hardly be offered on behalf of biologists, for they have long ago been apprised of the sterility of arguments from design, of teleology and so on in the realm of biology.” At the end of the paper, Patterson offers his explanation why of engineers have become so important in the YEC movement : “ Why have engineers become so important in the young-earth, ‘creation-science’ movement? There are two major reasons: (A) the irresponsible attitude of engineers and their professional societies, and (B) the familiarity of engineers with certain difficult areas of science from which unintelligible but authoritative sounding ‘apologetics’ can be developed. Engineering societies seem to be uninterested in policing themselves, as regards either ethical irresponsibility or scientific incompetence. Thus engineers can publicly endorse ludicrous forms of pseudoscience without being publicly chastised by their professional societies. My experience is that examining boards simply brand the embarrassing utterances as being outside their purview, even though the engineer involved may be flaunting his engineering status while proclaiming the most absurd distortions of engineering science. Were biologists, geologists, or paleontologists to endorse publicly a pseudoscience such as creationism, their chance of achieving or retaining prestigious academic positions would be greatly undermined, as would their chances for high office in professional societies. Only in Bible colleges, seminaries, and creationist ministries can the latter succeed as outspoken creationists. Hence, when creationist groups try to promote their own credibility by flaunting the professional status of selected members, they find they mainly have engineers to select from. An example of such status flaunting is the ICR practice of listing their technical advisors, with status on their official stationery. This list contains more engineering educators who still hold respected academic positions than members of any other group, including physicists, biologists, or geologists. Other examples of creationist credential flaunting are also widely known. Another reason for engineers being so welcome to creationism derives from their backgrounds in the rather difficult subjects of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Creationism is so absurd scientifically that it cannot be defended by any rational arguments which are understandable to thinking laymen. Hence the need to develop confusing and yet authoritative-sounding arguments which are un intelligible to laymen…” Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 89(2):55-58, 1982 (see http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/thermo_patterson.html ). We can see Patterson had some interesting ideas about the YECs in engineering, but he never really got around to saying why he thinks so many YECs are in the engineering ranks. Personally, I think a major reason is that the thinking processes of engineers predispose them to see the signs of intricate design in nature. The engineer looks at things like the complexity of life or the beauty of creation and instinctively knows there must have been a designer. Where an engineer, or any person for that matter, can “go bad” is when they somehow are exposed to young earth arguments – perhaps through a YEC creation conference at their church – and they decide YEC is the way to go, perhaps because of peer pressure and/or their lack of exposure to the learning atmosphere of science which would provide them with the basic information needed to refute YEC. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo Credits: Paleontologist excavating a dinosaur – Courtesy National Park Service, public domain Apollo schematic – Courtesy NASA History Division, public domain
  • Does Truth Matter? The Christian’s Dilemma Young earth creationism has put Christians in a very tough spot. If we oppose the teachings of the YEC ministries, they say (and we’re going to feel like) we’ve undermined the Gospel, sold out to liberalism, made science a god, etc. However, i f we side with the YEC ministries and spread their teachings, then we’re providing false information. We don’t like the first option, but the Bible also commands us not to lie or bear false witness. We take the Bible seriously. Non-Christians may not be able to relate to this, but we Christian have found the Bible to be a perfectly reliable guide for our lives – over and over, we have personally verified the truth if it’s teachings. This especially goes for the parts that seem to be most odious to non-believers – the Bible’s teachings about morality. Then, we come to the first 11 chapters of Genesis, and there seems to be drastic discrepancies between what the Bible says and what we observe on our planet and in the universe. How do we decide whether or not to submit ourselves to the teachings of the young earth creationists? This raises all kinds of interesting moral questions, such as “is it right to lie in order to spread the Gospel?” My goal of this presentation was to plainly show that YEC is not an option. Like I said in my notes on the first slide, YEC is demonstrably false and I intend to do just that in this presentation. Then, let’s undertake the effort to find out if there is another. One thing I would remind readers of is that if you make a conscious or unconscious decision to “sit on the fence,” you’re in effect letting the YEC ministries speak for you. And they have been doing an excellent job of doing that for decades for millions of Christians. This is probably as good a place as any to briefly consider the question – why have so many Christians bought into young earth creationism? The answer to such questions is never simple, but I have a few ideas based on my own experience: Biblical inerrancy is important to us . Like I pointed out above, we Christians take the Bible seriously. We like pastors who use the expository teaching style – i.e., “preach from the Bible” (even though I’ve noticed very few actually do it – most use the topical approach). We have an idea of what inerrancy means given our modern knowledge of science and literature, and we project that back two to four millennia and assume same ideas applied when the Bible was written. Peer pressure . We Christians desperately want to be accepted by the community of believers. Nobody wants to be viewed by other Christians as being unspiritual, worldly, liberal, doubting, and/or ignorant. Deep down, we're probably forgetting that we're saved by grace and think if we have doubts, it might mean we were never saved. We want to trust anyone who is “born again .” We tend to implicitly trust anyone, especially people in positions of high status or authority, who say they are a born-again Christian. We patronize businesses in the Christian yellow pages. We believe that anyone who is “born again” will always shoot straight with us and tell the truth, so the possibility never occurs to most of us that the people putting on the creationism seminars are misleading us. After all, they’re Christians, right? We like thinking we have some inside information that makes us smarter than the intellectuals . Knowledge is increasing at an astonishing rate in today’s world, which intimidates many people. Those of us who more or less have settled into intellectual holding patterns after high school or college like the idea of having some kind of “special understanding” that even the smartest people in the world haven’t been able to figure out yet. Urban legends get spread around for the same reason. Keep it simple . Science is incredibly complicated, and many of us have never been very good at it anyway. YEC fits in with our desire to find simple solutions to complex questions. It’s what we were taught . Many of us were raised from our youth to believe the Bible is without error. For the first 11 chapters of Genesis, inerrancy is defined to us as meaning everything was created in six days and Noah’s Flood covered the whole earth. For those of us with a strong sense of family, we implicitly believe most everything we were taught by our parents and Sunday school teachers. Scientific illiteracy . Our knowledge of science isn’t all that great here in the U.S., making us easy targets for purveyors of pseudoscience. We are easily fooled into thinking a stalactite forms in a cave the same way a “stalactite” forms under an old concrete bridge. Theological Illiteracy . Our knowledge of theology isn’t very high either, making us easy targets for those who justify their positions by taking Scripture out of textural or historical context. Many (most?) of us would rather be in churches where the pastor preaches a topical sermon series on “the seven characteristics of a godly wife/husband” rather than an expository, verse by verse series on the Book of Matthew. Evolution gives us the creeps . We don’t like the idea of evolution because on the surface, it appears to eliminate God as the Creator. Young earth creationism seems to offer the best Biblical response while providing a platform for attacking perceived fruits of atheism and modern science in one fell swoop. YEC is a nice counterpunch to the science extremists . Young earth creationism helps us make sense of the Bible. Hyper-literalism provides a convenient way to counter the unyielding secular extremists who have an exaggerated trust in the ability of science to explain everything (e.g., Carl Sagan – “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be”). A quick beginning to the world and a quick end . Young earth creationism dovetails nicely with the predominate view in evangelical and fundamentalist churches that the rapture of the church and return of Jesus Christ is imminent – a quick creation (six days) and catastrophic beginning to everything (Noah’s flood) and a catastrophic close to history (the Tribulation and Second Coming).
  • My email: TKHelble@oldearthchristian.org
  • My email: TKHelble@oldearthchristian.org

Are the creation ministries shooting straight with us (part 1) Are the creation ministries shooting straight with us (part 1) Presentation Transcript

  • Are the Young Earth Creation Ministries Shooting Straight With Us? Tim Helble May 4, 2011
    • God is creator of everything
    • Jesus is still God in the flesh
    • He lived among us and died for our sins on the cross
    • He was raised from the dead, and was seen by many witnesses
    • He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God
    Remember – no matter what you see in this presentation:
  • Twelve ways the young earth creation ministries are presenting deceptive and false information to manipulate Christians
    • 7. Young earth advocates often commit the fallacy of
      • assuming the conclusion in their arguments.
    • 8. YECs often engage in “science by exceptions”
    • 9. Young earth advocates provide ad hoc
      • explanations when basic scientific principles are in opposition to the young earth interpretation.
    • 10. YECs will sometimes quote each other’s errors,
      • showing a lack of original research
    • 11. A YEC will sometimes provide an argument which
      • contradicts something he/she said earlier.
    • 12. Some YECs will tell you that science is simply an
      • encyclopedic accumulation of observational
      • “facts.”
    • 1. YECs often knowingly or unknowingly provide
      • false and deceptive information
    • 2. YECs often don’t practice what they preach.
    • 3. YECs will make it sound like you are less of a
      • Christian (or not a Christian at all) if you believe
      • the Earth is old
    • 4. Young Earth leaders sometimes modify history to
      • suit their purposes.
    • 5. Young earth advocates will tell you almost all of
      • Earth’s fossil-bearing sedimentary rock layers
      • were deposited during Noah’s Flood
    • 6. YECs will argue that they use the same data as the
      • “evolutionists,” they just come to different
      • conclusions.
  • 1. YECs often knowingly or unknowingly provide false and deceptive information
  • False and Deceptive Information Do rocks harden the same way as concrete? “ A young man came up to me during a break after one of my presentations and said ‘Don’t you know that sediments take thousands and thousands of years to lithify (turn to rock)?’ So I said to him – have you ever heard of concrete?” – Ken Ham, February 14, 2009
  • False and Deceptive Information Do rocks harden the same way as concrete?
    • Wet sediment doesn’t turn into rock the same way concrete or bricks harden
    • Hoover Dam concrete had to be poured into small boxes and specially cooled
    US Bureau of Reclamation
    • For just this one dam, concrete poured in one huge mold the size of the dam would grow large cracks and take 125 years to dry!
    US Bureau of Reclamation
    • For most sedimentary rocks to form, already solidified sediment grains must be cemented together by the precipitation of microlayers of minute crystals around the solid particles
    • The substances for forming these microlayers must be carried in ionic form by circulating water to the surface of the sediment grains
    • Common cementing substances: calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide, and various types of iron oxide
    • “… Each type of rock layer – whether it be sandstone, siltstone, graywacke, or one of the different types of limestone – during the time it was being cemented, had to be receiving its own proper kind of ion-bearing pore water.” A global flood laying down dozens of layers at the same time could not accomplish this.
    Source: Daniel E. Wonderly – Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared to Young-Earth Creationist Writings http://www.asa3.org/asa/resources/Wonderly2006.pdf False and Deceptive Information Do rocks harden the same way as concrete?
  • False and Deceptive Information A typical Mt. St. Helens argument Mt. St. Helens seems to be a popular topic for young earth advocates. Lets look at a typical but very deceptive argument…
  • False and Deceptive Information Are Mt. St. Helens layers the same as lake couplets? Watch the following video clip of Dr. John Morris of the ICR, speaking about Mt. St. Helens… Note how he states at time = 0.59, ”When we look at these layers up close, we see that they’re layered just like Grand Canyon, and look at them really closely, we’ll see that there’s paper-thin little layers in these and, you know, when I went to graduate school in geology, I was taught that these little laminations like that, those are the result of yearly deposits, maybe a winter/summer couplet, 
  • False and Deceptive Information Are Mt. St. Helens layers the same as lake couplets? and so a geologist, to study this region here, the way that they would answer the question ‘How long did it take for this deposit to accumulate,’ they would go in there and count those layers, and there are millions of these layers in there, all of them deposited rapidly, but they would conclude that those are yearly deposits, and so they would say ‘Oh, this deposit took long periods of time to accumulate,’ when in reality, it accumulated rapidly.” John Morris (video): A Walk Through History
  • False and Deceptive Information Are Mt. St. Helens layers the same as lake couplets?
    • Geologists can instantly recognize layers seen around volcanoes such as Mt. St. Helens as being composed of ash, and know they accumulate rapidly.
    • Geologists know how to recognize the light and dark layers formed through the seasonal accumulation of organic and non-organic material. Simple tests can be done to determine the composition of such layers.
    • Any geology professor who can’t see the difference between volcanic ash layers and lake couplets would be summarily fired (or never hired in the first place).
    • Dr. Morris knows this and is willfully misleading his Christian audience.
    Click here for more information Background: Michael Collier – Earth Science World Image Bank
  • 2. YECs often don’t practice what they preach.
    • 2003: Ken Ham writes article urging YECs to stop looking for “the magic bullet” 
    • Instead, they should try to understand the right way to think about “the same evidence the evolutionists use”
    • However… YEC books, web pages, and conferences as well as Ken Ham continue to use young earth proofs – even Ham’s own Creation Museum…
    Answers in Genesis and “Magic Bullets” Do they practice what they preach?
    • “ Magic bullet” (young earth proof):
      • Single, isolated argument in an attempt to “win all the chips”
  • Wow – that’s a lot of magic bullets! Answers in Genesis and “Magic Bullets” Do they practice what they preach? Here’s Dr. Tommy Mitchell giving a presentation at the Creation Museum in 2009, showing a list of several dozen “magic bullets,” six years after Ham’s statement
  • “ Glacier Girl” P-38 found under 268 feet of ice Anthony Gow, USACE CRREL THE LOST SQUADRON “ And see, another example would be up in Greenland, when in 1942, there was bombers and fighter plans that were landed because they ran out of fuel and when they came to look for them about 40 years later, they couldn’t find them, and found them about two miles from their original location 250 feet deep in the ice – the ice had accumulated on top of them. There’s observational science – we see rapid accumulation.” Answers in Genesis and “Magic Bullets” Do they practice what they preach? Ken Ham, The Great Debate Between Science and the Bible, John Ankerberg Show, 2005 Click here to view
  • 3. YECs will make it sound like you are less of a Christian (or not a Christian at all) if you believe the Earth is old
  • Less of a Christian YEC leaders pass judgment on “compromisers” “ If you believe the Earth is old, then Jesus didn’t die for your sins!” Ken Ham, Around the World With Ken Ham , November 3, 2010 http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2010/11/03/do-old-earthers-and-young-earthers-agree-on-anything/ – Ken Ham, May 21, 1994, Answers in Genesis Conference , Trinity Assembly of God, Lutherville, MD “… I do not say, and have never said, that a person has to believe in a young earth to be a Christian.”
  • Less of a Christian YEC leaders pass judgment on “compromisers” Q: “Do you believe that you can be a committed biblicist and come up with an old age view…?” A: “It’s kind of like asking: ‘Can you be a Christian and an adulterer.’” Dr. Henry M. Morris III of the ICR, answering a question from the audience at a debate with Christian geologist Glenn Morton at Le Tourneau University - Nov. 13, 2006 http://www.icr.org/articles/view/3132/
  • Less of a Christian YEC leaders pass judgment on “compromisers” “ It is compromisers like (Francis) Collins who cause people to doubt and disbelieve the Bible—causing them to walk away from the church… How we need to pray that Collins and his group will repent of their compromise and return to biblical authority.” – Ken Ham, Around the World With Ken Ham , May 11, 2009 http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2009/ 05/11/who-teaches-this-you-may-be-surprised/
  • Less of a Christian YEC leaders pass judgment on “compromisers” Interviewer: “Back in 2001, you published a book, The Battle for the Beginning, on the creation account in Genesis. Why?” John MacArthur: “During nearly two decades as president of The Master’s College, I had been watching the erosion of belief in Genesis among the Christian colleges in the national Christian College association. Many of these were supposedly conservative in their biblical beliefs, but they were quietly, tacitly denying the authority of God’s Word in exchange for worldly academic esteem .” Defending the Authority of Scripture , Creation 32(4) 2010, http://www.gty.org/media/PDF/Blog20100713.pdf How does he know that?
  • Less of a Christian YEC leaders pass judgment on “compromisers” “ And this man (Hugh Ross) and the progressive creationist movement says, that is a literal interpretation of the Bible. Well, let’s see, does that statement agree with God’s Word? Well, let’s take a look at what the Bible says. Genesis 1:16 – ‘And God made the two great lights to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night; He made the stars also.’ That settles it right there, doesn’t it? That should settle it right there, but it doesn’t for some of these people. They want to believe the evolutionist’s model, because they want to be friends with the world .” Mike Riddle, Creation/Evolution: Does It Matter What We Believe? October 2003, Bellevue, WA http:// www.nwcreation.net / How does he know that?
  • 4. Young Earth leaders sometimes modify history to suit their purposes.
  • Consider the following example of some liberties Answers in Genesis took with a Charles Spurgeon sermon…
  • Revising History Excerpt from original Spurgeon’s Sermon #30 “The Power of the Holy Ghost” “ First, the Spirit has manifested the omnipotence of his power in creation works… In the 2d verse of the first chapter of Genesis, we read, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be – certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, wherein man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion. He allowed the inward fires to burst up from beneath, and melt all the solid matter, so that all kinds of substances were commingled in one vast mass of disorder. The only name you could give to the world, then, was that it was a chaotic mass of matter; what it should be, you could not guess or define. It was entirely “without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The Spirit came… See: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0030.htm
  • Revising History Answers in Genesis’ Initial Revised Version of Spurgeon’s Sermon #30 “ First, the Spirit has manifested the omnipotence of his power in creation works… In Ge 1:2, we read, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Our planet has passed through various stages in creation , and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, when man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator initially created the world as a chaotic mass on the first day of creation . It was entirely without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The Spirit came… See: http://johnscorner.blogspot.com/2009/02/honesty-its-such-lonely-word.html Notice anything different? Check back to the previous slide and note the sentences that are missing or changed.
  • Revising History Answers in Genesis Changes to Initial Sermon After Being Caught by Bloggers (a) [We do not know how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, when man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion. He allowed the inward fires to burst up from beneath and melt all the solid matter, so that all kinds of substances were commingled in one vast mass of disorder; the only name you could give to the world then was, that it was a chaotic mass of matter; what it should be, you could not guess or define.] Bracketed text removed from the sermon. As brilliant as Spurgeon was, even he did not understand the age issue. –Editor A few days later, the following footnote mysteriously appeared… **Please also note that this footnote was intended to be in the original posting, but was lost somehow in the transition of these files for web publication. Thanks to our astute readers for finding and reporting this error. See: http:// www.beyondcreationscience.com/index.php?pr = Why_Doesnt_Answers_in_Genesis_Tell_You_the_Truth
  • Revising History How the Same Excerpt to Spurgeon’s Sermon Now Reads on the AiG Website “ First, the Spirit has manifested the omnipotence of his power in creation works… In Ge 1:2, we read, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” [We do not know how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God. But before that era came, when man should be its principal tenant and monarch, the Creator gave up the world to confusion. He allowed the inward fires to burst up from beneath and melt all the solid matter, so that all kinds of substances were commingled in one vast mass of disorder; the only name you could give to the world then was, that it was a chaotic mass of matter; what it should be, you could not guess or define.] 1 It was entirely without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The Spirit came… See: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/02/26/power-of-holy-ghost
    • Footnote
    • Bracketed text indicates that as brilliant as Spurgeon was, even he did not understand the age of the earth issue. Editor.
  • Revising History Some Closing thoughts on AiG’s revisions to Spurgeon’s sermon See the video: C. H. Spurgeon calls “Answers in Genesis” to repentance : http://deathisdefeated.ning.com/video/ch-spurgeon-calls-answers-in Do you think the “sanitized” version of Spurgeon’s sermon would still be on Answer in Genesis’ website today if the change hadn’t been caught by bloggers? Do you think Ken Ham’s pattern of leadership created a climate whereby the person providing the versions of the sermons for Answers in Genesis’ web site thought it was o.k. to edit out text that acknowledged an old earth?
  • Revising History ”I used to be an evolutionist” Have you ever noticed how a young earth speaker will say “I used to be an evolutionist” or “I used to teach evolution in [college, high school, etc.]?” A bit of healthy skepticism is probably a good idea in such cases. Let’s check the record of young earth advocate Dr. Steve Austin…
  • Revising History ”I used to be an evolutionist” Watch the following video clip of Dr. Austin speaking on Mt. St. Helens… Note how he states at time = 4:38 “If I had not known about Mt. St. Helens and I’d ventured on this canyon, I might assume that that canyon was formed one sand grain at a time as it was eroded slowly by that stream” 
  • Revising History ”I used to be an evolutionist” (You may recall that the first eruption of Mt. St. Helens occurred on May 18, 1980) While giving a tour of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) to a group of 25 skeptical geologists on Jan. 9, 1998, Dr. Austin stated that he had once been an evolutionist, but that his observations after the Mt. St. Helens eruption had converted him to catastrophism and creationism. But it turns out Dr. Austin had been writing young earth creationist articles under the pen name of Stuart Nevins since at least 1972. Click here , here , and here , for examples. See also note #36 at the following URL: http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/GrandCanyon17.html
  • 5. Young earth advocates will tell you almost all of Earth’s fossil-bearing sedimentary rock layers were deposited during Noah’s Flood Note: this was already covered in Were Most of Earth’s Fossil-Bearing Sedimentary Rock Layers Deposited by Noah’s Flood? Click here if you’ve already seen that presentation and want to jump to #6
  • Keep in mind that about 75% of Earth’s land surface and almost all of the ocean bottom are covered by sedimentary rock.
  • Young-earth advocates will say most of these layers were deposited by the global Flood
  • Early Flood Layers (1 st 150 Days) Pre-Flood/ Creation Week Rock Late Flood Layers The “Great Unconformity” Young-earth advocates Drs. Steve Austin and Andrew Snelling divide up Grand Canyon’s layers according to this scheme NPS
  • Let’s just look at one layer – the Coconino Sandstone – and see if it could have been laid down during the Flood
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geologists say the Coconino’s complex cross-bed structure indicates it was formed through eolian (wind-driven) processes
  • Desert dunes can’t be formed during a global Flood, so young earth advocates try to prove it was deposited by water U.S. Geological Survey
  • Let’s look at a graphical procedure developed by young earth advocate Dr. Steven A. Austin to show how the Coconino could have been deposited by flowing water during the Flood. Austin’s procedure is widely used by other young earth advocates such as Andrew Snelling, seen here showing it at an Answers in Genesis conference.
  •  
  • Austin derived this graph from an equation in “Physical Processes of Sedimen-tation” by J.R.L. Allen (1970)… And combined it with this graph, re-drawn from a 1980 paper by D.M. Rubin and D.S. McCulloch Austin’s Flood Velocity Estimation Procedure Found in Grand Canyon – Monument to Catastrophe , Page 34
    • First, he assumes a 10 meter height for sand waves
    • From 10 meters, draw a line up until it reaches the curve
    Austin’s Flood Velocity Estimation Procedure How does it work?
    • Austin states this indicates the sand waves formed at a depth of 54 meters (177 feet)
    54
    • Then draw a line to the right through “dunes and sand waves” area
    X X
    • Note the two points where line crosses edges of “dunes and sand waves” area
    • Want “dunes and sand waves” area because it has cross beds
    NPS
  • ↔ 90 to 155 cm/sec (2 - 4 mph) NPS
    • Then go down from those two points to the bottom
    • Austin says this gives the range of water velocity needed to form 10 meter sand waves at a depth of 54 meters
  • 1 kg/second/meter means 1 kilogram of sediment (sand) crossing a line 1 meter long every second Another graph in the same paper used by Austin! And this one has sediment transport rates… What’s a sediment transport rate?
  • What kind of sediment transport rates would we see if the current speed was between 90 to 155 cm/sec and the depth was 54 meters? i.e., somewhere in this area of the graph
  • A generous sediment transport rate for a current speed between 90 to 155 cm/sec and a depth of 54 meters 30 We could draw a curve through that area and estimate it represents a rate of 6 or perhaps 9 kg/second/meter… But let’s give the young-earth position every possible break and estimate it would be 30 kg/sec/meter
  • O.k., what area would we be moving all this sand into? And where would it all be coming from? 10 meters This was from the Answers in Genesis website. Notice the regular pattern of cross beds here. Compare to the complex pattern in the previous close-up of the Coconino Sandstone Current
  • In Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe , page 36, Dr. Austin provides a map like the one below showing the area of the Coconino and correlated sandstones to the east
  • Dr. Austin says we need to look to the north for a source of sand for the Coconino Sandstone, so let’s draw a 1,000 mile long northern border. ← 1,000 miles ->
    • How many days would it take to move
    • all the sand from the north across that line?
    • According to Drs. Austin and Snelling…
    • Coconino is an “early Flood” layer (first 150 days)
    • The Coconino’s volume is 10,000 cubic miles
    • Average thickness of the Coconino is 315 feet
    • Total thickness of “early Flood” layers in Grand Canyon is 4,000 feet
    • Therefore:
    • Time to move 10,000 cubic miles of sand to form the Coconino is ≈ 315 ft / 4,000 ft x 150 days ≈ 12 days
    • Not very long!
  • Let’s use bars to represent the sand being transported from the north across the border, and assume 10,000 cubic miles of sand was perfectly positioned in an area to the north at just the right time during the Flood. Remember, lower and higher layers also had to be transported in the same way before and after the Coconino was deposited. 10,000 cubic miles of sand 12 Days? 10,000 cubic miles of sand North South
  • 10,000 cubic miles of sand The big question: could enough sand be transported in 12 days through Dr. Austin’s advancing sand wave mechanism to form the Coconino Sandstone (with its complex cross beds) in Flood currents moving at speeds anywhere close to 90 to 155 cm/sec ? North South
  • How much sand would cross the 1,000 mile boundary in 12 days? Let’s find out. Advance the next 12 slides in rapid succession ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone -> 12 days? 30 kg/sec/meter 1,000 mi 3 (This is 1/10 of the total)
  • 1 Day ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 2 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 3 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 4 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 5 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 6 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 7 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 8 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 9 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 10 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • 11 Days ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone ->
  • ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone -> 12 Days
  • ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone -> 12 Days Time’s up! At 30 kg/sec/meter, we would get: 6.3 mi 3 ( 26 km 3 ) Not 10,000 mi 3
  • For the doubters, here are the calculations:
  • ← “ Sand pile” to the north -> ← Present day Coconino Sandstone -> About 196 cubic miles… is all that would be transported during the entire flood. Time = 371 Days And remember… This started as only 1/10 of the 10,000 mi 3 What if we had the whole year-long Flood to deposit the Coconino Sandstone?
  • Flood Geology Fails To Explain the Coconino
    • At 30 kg/sec per each meter along the 1,000 mile border, it would take 52 years to move 10,000 cubic miles of sand into the present day area of the Coconino Sandstone
    • A sediment transport rate of 48,000 kilograms per second per each meter or 32,000 pounds per second per each foot of the 1,000 mile border would be required to move enough sand across the border to form the Coconino in 12 days
      • That’s 1,600 times greater than what a sediment transport rate of 30 kg / sec / m would give you
    • That’s equivalent to over four dump truck loads of sand crossing each meter of the 1,000 mile boundary every second for 12 days
    Flood Geology Refuted Using Simple Math
  • Flood Geology Refuted Using Simple Math
    • This is more like a giant slab of sand 84 feet high, 1000 miles wide, and 910 miles long sliding south at 2 mph
    • Even if it was possible to have such a moving sand slab, it wouldn’t allow complex cross beds to be formed!
    Note: This graphic is actually to scale. The water depth is 54 meters (177 feet) as calculated using Austin’s double graph procedure, the sand waves are 10 meters (33 feet) high, and this “bar” at the bottom is how high a sand slab would be (25 meters or 84 feet) if it was moving south at 1 meter/sec (2 mph)… about the same speed as the water! 1 meter/second (2 miles/hour)
  • Calculations for previous slides:
  • Flood Geology Refuted Using Simple Math
    • And at least nine assumptions were made which favored the young-earth position – without them, the computed height of the moving sand slab could have been greater than the water depth!
    • Optimal positioning of 10,000 cubic miles of sand, just to the north of the present day Coconino, at just the right time during the Flood
    • Length of border crossed by “sustained unidirectional currents,” as Austin termed it, was really less than 1,000 miles.
    • 30 kg / sec / meter – a very generous sediment transport rate.
    • Deposition not delayed by period of scouring at onset of the Flood.
    5. Crossing northern boundary equated with depositing the entire Coconino. 6. 10,000 cubic miles appears to be a low volume estimate. 7. No accounting for portion that was eroded away – e.g., at Mogollon Rim. 8. No break in deposition allocated for the channel fill formations (e.g.,, Surprise Cyn Formation). 9. Recent YEC efforts to attribute additional layers to Flood deposition were not considered.
  • “ If you do the math, and with 10,000 cubic miles of sand being moved at that speed, you’d move it all within a matter of a few days and spread it over a 100,000 (square mile area). See? There’s no problem!” Andrew Snelling, Answers for Darwin Conference , Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, February 7, 2009 .
  • Read Dr. Snelling’s conclusion slide for yourself. Is he shooting straight with you?
  • Using arguments and data provided by the young earth advocates, a few simple calculations clearly show the young earth creation ministries are giving us false information when they say Earth’s fossil-bearing rock layers were deposited during Noah’s Flood. For more information, see: Sediment Transport and the Coconino Sandstone: A Reality Check on Flood Geology by Timothy K. Helble, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, Vol. 63, No. 1, March 2011. ( Text only version )
    • Dr. Austin has recently proposed a new mechanism for redistribution of sediments across the earth during the global Flood: submarine liquefied sediment gravity currents
    • Austin now maintains that “Such currents were likely the major transportation agent for sediment during the global flood.”
    • See: http://www.cedarville.edu/event/geology/2010_proceedings.pdf
    A follow-up note…
    • The submarine liquefied sediment gravity current mechanism identified by Austin still provides an insufficient explanation for how Earth’s sedimentary rock layers could be deposited during a year-long global Flood, because it doesn’t explain how strata could accumulate simultaneously all over the Earth at extremely high rates – can’t just focus on the Grand Canyon area.
    • Even if it were possible for submarine liquefied sediment gravity currents to transport enough sediment into northern Arizona to form the Coconino Sandstone in 12 days, the required deposition rate wouldn’t allow the formation’s famous cross beds to form.
    • Plus, the words of Austin (and others such as Andrew Snelling) in many published documents require the Coconino’s cross beds to form through the advancing sand wave mechanism!
  • 6. YECs will argue that they use the same data as the “evolutionists,” they just come to different conclusions. After Austin, Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe , 1994 Evolutionist Conclusions Creationist Conclusions Two interpretive frameworks:
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? You be the judge – does the previous discussion about the Coconino Sandstone really look like the young earth creationists are looking at the same data as the “evolutionists?” If that is not sufficient, let’s look at another example – from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions?
    • In 1980, young earth geologist Dr. Steve Austin wrote an article entitled Origin of Limestone Caves for the Institute for Creation Research’s Arts and Facts magazine ( Arts & Facts 9(1), http://www.icr.org/article/161 )
    • In this article, Austin sought to:
      • Present an alternate hypothesis to that of “uniformitarian geologists” for the formation of limestone caves
      • Present an argument that refutes the “uniformitarian” explanation (a “young earth proof” – more on that later).
    • Let’s summarize Dr. Austin’s argument and see if it really illustrates how creationists use the same data as “evolutionists,” but just come to different conclusions.
    • The Mammoth Cave Area of Kentucky averages 1.22 meters (48 inches) of rain per year.
    • It is reasonable to assume 1.0 meters of that rainfall (which contains weak carbonic acid) goes into groundwater.
    • Data collected by a geologist named John Thrailkill indicate the mean calcium and magnesium ion concentrations in the area’s groundwater are 49 and 9.7 milligrams/liter respectively.
    • This works out to 59 m 3 of limestone and dolomite being dissolved each year per every square kilometer of area.
    • Assuming present rates and conditions, this means a layer of limestone well over 100 meters thick could be completely dissolved off of the entire state of Kentucky in the assumed age of caves (2 million years).
    Same Data, Different Conclusions? Summary of Austin’s Mammoth Cave Argument
    • Who says “it is reasonable to assume” 1.0 of the 1.22 meters of rainfall goes into groundwater?
    • Does Thrailkill’s data for one well represent the entire Mammoth Cave area?
    • Most water enters and rapidly leaves the Mammoth Cave system during high flow events – allowing much less time to dissolve calcium and magnesium to Thrailkill’s concentrations.
    • Assumed the stream water is pure when it enters the cave system from the surface - no accounting for pre-existing concentrations of calcium and magnesium.
    NWS 24-hr rainfall ending 4-04-08 Same Data, Different Conclusions? ”Mammoth” Holes in the Argument
  • An exact copy of Table 2 from Thrailkill’s paper in the Journal of Hydrology 49 9.7 ◄─ Austin used these data to calculate an average A stream flowing underground in a cave Same Data, Different Conclusions? Dr. Austin’s selective use of data
  • An exact copy of Table 2 from Thrailkill’s paper in the Journal of Hydrology 49 9.7 29 5.3 ◄─ Austin used these data to calculate an average ◄─ But not these data ! A stream flowing underground in a cave A surface stream flowing into a sinkhole Same Data, Different Conclusions? Dr. Austin’s selective use of data
  • More than half of the calcium and magnesium in Dr. Austin’s averages was measured in the water before it even went underground! The end of Sinking Creek: a cave entrance (Near Hays, Kentucky) Sinkhole plain, KY Sinking Creek, KY
  • Same Data, Different Conclusions? So what do you think – does it look like Dr. Austin was using the same data as the “evolutionists,” just coming to a different conclusion? Alapaha River flowing into sinkhole (USGS)
  • 7. Young earth advocates often commit the fallacy of assuming the conclusion in their arguments.
  • Assuming the Conclusion
    • “ This fallacy is committed when a person merely assumes what he or she is attempting to prove or when the premise of an argument actually depends upon its conclusion.”
    • Example – Lisle’s conversation with a 4-year old boy at his telescope party. “I asked this young budding astronomer if he believed in alien spaceships.” “Of course,” he said… “How else would the aliens get here?” (click here to view Lisle’s article)
    • See also Wikipedia
    According to Dr. Jason Lisle of Answers in Genesis: Halfblue on en.wikipedia
  • Assuming the Conclusion In his previous argument about Mammoth Cave, did you catch where Dr. Austin assumed the conclusion? Here it is…
  • Formation of Caves Geologists say that with time, caves grow wider and their network becomes more extensive, gradually increasing the surface area from which calcium and magnesium can be dissolved. Sinkholes.org Winona State University When Dr. Austin stated “assuming present rates and conditions,” he was assuming his own conclusion because he treated it as a given that caves don’t start small and grow larger with time.
  • Assuming the Conclusion Let’s look at an example pertaining to an important question faced by young earth advocates – where did all the sediments come from which most of Earth’s fossil-bearing rock layers were derived from “in a matter of days” during the global Flood?
  • In 1994, Six well-known young earth advocates tackled this and related questions in an often cited paper entitled Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History , published in the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, pages 609-621
    • Biologically optimum terrestrial and marine environments would require that at least a small amount of sediment of each type had been created in the creation week;
    • Archean (probable pre-Flood) and Proterozoic sediments contain substantial quantities of all types of sediments; and
    • It may not be possible to derive all the Flood sediments from igneous and/or metamorphic precursors by physical and chemical processes in the course of a single, year-long Flood.”
    On page 611, the six authors stated: “ We believe that there was a significant thickness of all types of sediments already available on the earth by the time of the Flood. We have three reasons for this position: See: http://static.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Catastrophic-Plate-Tectonics-A-Global-Flood-Model.pdf
  • Did you catch how the conclusion was assumed in #3?
    • The authors were effectively saying that it wouldn’t be possible for the global Flood to erode all the required sediments from existing rock
    • But in their minds, it’s a given that Noah’s Flood was a global event, and was responsible for depositing almost all of Earth’s sedimentary rock layers
    • So of course, all the sediment must have already been sitting around at the start of the Flood, just waiting to be transported!
  • If you are a young earth believer, you may agree with the six authors’ position, but you can’t deny that they committed the fallacy of assuming the conclusion in their 1994 paper. Have you ever considered that the young earth leaders might always be assuming the conclusion in their arguments? Note: observe how Answers in Genesis wiggles out of this problem in responding to some recent feedback on their website: http://www. answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/03/04/feedback-logical-fallacies
  • 8. YECs often engage in “science by exceptions”
  • Science by Exceptions Think of all the young earth arguments you’ve ever heard of… Carbon 14 in diamonds Salt in the sea Rapid formation of stalactites Polonium radiohalos Decay of earth’s magnetic field Recession of the moon Soft dinosaur tissue found See Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe See also: Is There Really Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth? Tightly folded strata Erosion at Niagara Falls Sediment on sea floors Rapid canyon formation Salt in Lake Eyre Sediment stratification in flumes River delta growth rate Underfit streams Erosion of continents Inter-tonguing of strata of different ages Coal forms quickly Flat contact planes between layers Discordant radiometric dates Short life of comets
  • Is that the way science should be conducted? Way back in 1954, Baptist theologian Bernard Ramm warned us against thinking of science in terms of exceptions, citing 7 th Day Adventist George McCready Price, the founder of 20 th Century creationism… Did we listen to him?
  • Science by Exception
    • “ The so-called strength of Price’s work is his effort to poke holes into the uniformitarian geology of Lyell as it is taught in standard books on geology. We must be careful of a logical fallacy at this point… If by analogy Price’s principle were followed in other sciences it is obvious that chaos would result. Medicine would be impossible of serious practice if doctors conducted their practice on the guidance obtained from the exceptions rather than from the averages. Physics, chemistry, physiology and psychology would all be impossible.”
    • Bernard Ramm, The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954), p 126
    Which do I go with? The 99.99% that we know? The apparent 0.01% exception?
    • Elevated to an art form by George McCready Price
    • Presented as science by modern YEC ministries
    • Definitely don’t use:
    • Moon dust thickness proves a young moon
    • Paluxy River (Texas) tracks prove that humans and dinosaurs co-existed
    • Gaps exist in genealogies of Gen. 5 and 11, so the earth may be 10,000+ years old
    • Missing solar neutrinos prove the sun shines by gravitational collapse
    • Inadvisable to use:
    • There was a vapor canopy before the flood
    • There was no rain before the flood
    • The speed of light has decreased over time
    • There are no transitional fossils
    • The gospel is in the stars
    • Plate tectonics is fallacious
    How many more “young earth proofs” will the YECs have to repudiate in the coming years?  Click here to view entire list Some of the young Earth Arguments Answers in Genesis Says Creationists Should NOT use (Science by Exceptions that you should NOT cite!)
  • 9. Young earth advocates provide ad hoc explanations when basic scientific principles are in opposition to the young earth interpretation
  • Ad-Hoc Explanations Ad hoc hypothesis (explanation) – something added to a theory in order to save it from being falsified. Ad hoc hypothesis are neither required or supported by any observational data whatsoever. . For example, if someone wants to believe in leprechauns, they can avoid ever being proven wrong by using an ad hoc explanation for why no unbiased observer has ever been able to see or photograph one.
  • The distant starlight problem is the first that comes to mind. We know that the speed of light is fixed, so light from distant galaxies (and even light from distant stars within our own galaxy) takes much longer to get here than the age of the earth/universe specified by the young earth creation ministries (6 to 10 thousand years). For example, the M31 Galaxy (Andromeda) is over 2 million light-years away. Therefore, young earth advocates have tried to come up with all kinds of ad hoc explanations for how we could see light from stars that are greater than 10 thousand light years away. Here’s a few…
  • Ad Hoc Explanations The Distant Starlight Problem
    • The speed of light (c) was over a million times faster in the past. Problems:
    James P. Dawson
    • God created the light in transit. Problem:
      • When distant stars go supernova, which light was created, the point of light we used to see or the explosion and expanding nebula we now see?
    NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona St Univ.) “ Guest Star,” 1054 A.D. Dr. Christopher Burrows, ESA/STSci and NASA
    • Setterfield, the man who originated this idea, used rather creative curve fitting
    • Early values of c were faster because measurement techniques were primitive
    • c is a fundamental constant of physics
  • Ad Hoc Explanations The Distant Starlight Problem D. Russell Humphreys
    • There was an enormous distortion of space-time near the earth – a long period of time elapsed in the universe while a very short period elapsed on earth. Problems:
    • If correct, distant starlight should be blue shifted, but it’s red shifted
    • Can’t account for 2 nd generation stars like the sun which have heavy elements from 1 st generation stars
    • Periodic objects (e.g., Cepheid variable stars) all indicate the same “clock” regardless of their distance
    • Conflicts with laws of physics as we know them
  • Ad Hoc Explanations The Distant Starlight Problem From Lisle (2010) http:// www.answersingenesis.org / articles/arj/v3/n1/anisotropic-synchrony-convention
    • Light travels at different speeds depending on its direction or position relative to an observer (Jason Lisle’s new anisotropic synchrony convention). Problems:
    • Again, c is a fundamental constant – e.g., does this mean the relation-ship between energy and mass varies all over the universe?
    • There is no observational data supporting this convention – by definition, it is ad hoc
    • What about disposal of heat and deadly radiation from accelerated nuclear decay (see next slides)?
  • Ad Hoc Explanations Dispersal of heat and radiation from rapid radiometric decay
    • Age of universe: 13.7 billion years, based on precise measurements of background radiation and expansion of the universe
    • Age of the earth: 4.54 billion years, based on radiometric dating of meteorites, the actual building blocks of inner planets
    • Oldest rock found on earth: Acasta Gneiss in NW Canada – 4.0 billion years
  • Ad Hoc Explanations Dispersal of heat and radiation from rapid radiometric decay
    • Young earth advocates argue that radiometric dating of rocks is unreliable, claiming that nuclear decay rates were much higher in the past
    • Nuclear decay releases heat and deadly radiation – if it was confined to a short period of time as required by the young earth scenario, all living things would receive lethal doses of radiation and be incinerated.
    • See RATE: http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/research/rate-all.pdf , page 8
  • Ad Hoc Explanations Dispersal of heat and radiation from rapid radiometric decay
    • The RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) Project tasked Dr. Russ Humphreys to come up with explanation for how rapid decay could occur without all life forms being obliterated
    • Humphrey’s solution: “volume cooling” – appealing to cosmic expansion associated with his “white hole” cosmology as the mechanism for getting rid of the heat and deadly radiation.
    • (See RATE: http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/research/rate-all.pdf , pages 364-374)
    • Dr. Brian Pitts (Univ. of Notre Dame) mathematically demonstrated that cosmic expansion is irrelevant to terrestrial physics because the static gravitational field on Earth conserves terrestrial energy.
    • (see: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2009/PSCF3-09Pitts.pdf )
  • Don DeMaria – Florida FWCC Canada Fisheries and Oceans Peter Parks / Imagequest3d.com Upside-Down Jellyfish Portuguese Man ‘O War Nematocyst (Stinging Cell) Ad Hoc Explanations What did jellyfish do with their killing mechanisms before the Fall? What did jellyfish eat before the fall? Young earth writer David Catchpoole took on this topic in Creation magazine:
    • “ So God probably designed the complex information for these stinging cells to be switched on at the Fall.”
    • “ Some jellyfish are said to get nourishment from phytoplankton,” and he then goes on to cite the upside down jellyfish.
    • “… most poisons have benefits in small amounts, e.g. the deadly botulinum toxin is used in modern beauty treatments (botox)…”
    See: http://creation.com/skeptics-challenge-a-god-of-love-created-a-killer-jellyfish
  • Ad Hoc Explanations Notice a pattern here? The young earth advocates keep having to come up with ad hoc explanations to cover themselves… Starlight travel time? No problem! We can just say light traveled faster in the past, was created in transit, etc., or invent something like “white hole cosmology” or the anisotropic synchrony convention Heat and radiation from accelerated nuclear decay? No problem! We can say cosmic expansion made it disappear, nuclear forces were different in the past, etc., and ignore findings of people like Brian Pitts – they’re not ‘true believers’ anyway Animal prey and defense mechanisms? No problem! We can say God designed them to be switched on at the Fall, a little bit of poison can be a good thing, etc.
  • Ad Hoc Explanations
    • What about the sediment transport problem described In section 5, where we used simple math and numbers provided by prominent young earth creationists to show there was no way the Flood could have formed the heavily cross-bedded Coconino Sandstone in a matter of days? Are we going to come up with an ad hoc explanation for that too? Like…
    • Multiplication tables were different in the past?
    • When will we stop and think: “Hey, maybe I need to reconsider my position about this young earth stuff.”
  • 10. YECs will sometimes quote each other’s errors, showing a lack of original research
  • Consider the following egregious example…
  • 1800 ft 7000 ft 2800 ft 8000 ft The snow line tells the story. Grand Canyon is a breach in a giant dam, the Kaibab uplift. An actual slide from a YEC presentation… Dr. Thomas Kindell What's wrong with this picture?
  • 1800 ft 7000 ft 2800 ft 8000 ft The snow line tells the story. Grand Canyon is a breach in a giant dam, the Kaibab uplift. He has the Colorado River flowing uphill! There – that’s better. But the argument to the left is still flawed. Dr. Thomas Kindell What's wrong with this picture? North Rim South Rim
  • 6900+ feet 2800 feet 8500+ feet After Russ Miller Another YEC speaker fails Grand Canyon geography* The elevations tell the story. The Kiabab Upwarp was a large dam until it was breached. *Apparently, Miller has since corrected the problem – see him on Carl Baugh’s show: Part 1 , Part 2 Sure took a while!
  • 6900+ feet 2800 feet 8500+ feet After Russ Miller The Breached Dam Theory The elevations tell the story. The Kiabab Upwarp was a large dam until it was breached.
  • Still Another... 7000 ft 1800 ft 2800 ft 8000 ft After Chris Ashcraft
  • Still Another... 7000 ft 1800 ft 2800 ft 8000 ft After Chris Ashcraft
  • After Chris Ashcraft Hmmm… the same error occurs in slides from multiple YEC speakers… I wonder what’s going on here?
  • Quoting the Errors of Other YECs The “Uphill Colorado River” Slides The Source: Dr. Dino! (Kent Hovind) Karen Fernandez Karen Fernandez Redrawn by Tim Helble from photos Kent Hovind
  • Or consider the following…
  • Remember Austin’s double graph procedure for the Coconino and other sandstones? It was thoroughly debunked on the Answers in Creation website in 2003. However, young earth advocates such as Andrew Snelling still use it today as if it supports a global Flood.
    • At least ten different locations on the web, some of which are recent posts,
    • Four books by young earth advocates in addition to Grand Canyon Monument to Catastrophe,
    • Two videos from young earth organizations,
    • Two secular journal articles (Russian), and
    • One young earth journal article
    Austin’s two Flood current speeds and/or his double graph procedure have been found in: Books: J. Morris, The Young Earth, page 101; A. Snelling, “What Are Some of the Best Flood Evidences?” in The New Answers Book 3, page 289; A. Snelling, Earth’s Catastrophic Past, pages 506–508, 1081, and T. Vail, Grand Canyon: A Different View, page 42. Videos : Answers for Darwin—Refuting 200 Years of Evolution, The Word for Today, 2009; and Grand Canyon: Testimony to the Biblical Account of Earth’s History, Answers in Genesis, 2009. Secular Journals: G. Berthault, “Analysis of Main Principles of Stratigraphy on the Basis of Experimental Data,” Lithology and Mineral Resources 37, no. 5 (2002): page 445 and G. Berthault, “Sedimentological Interpretation of the Tonto Group Stratigraphy (Grand Canyon Colorado River),” Lithology and Mineral Resources 39, no. 5 (2004): page 507. YEC Journals: G. Berthault, “Time Required for Sedimentation Contradicts the Evolutionary Hypothesis,” Creation Research Society Quarterly 46 (Spring 2010): page 266. See:
  • At a later point in time, when a second young earth advocate cites that young earth argument in a book or article, he/she may actually try to make it look like the young earth argument came from one or more mainstream sources (e.g., “scientists say” or “studies show”) rather than the original young earth advocate. In a type of young earth argument known as a “rip and run” proof, a young earth advocate will take data or a finding from a scientific book or paper (rip) and extrapolate from it in an unintended way (run) to try to show the earth couldn’t possibly be old. Quoting the Errors of Other YECs Making it appear scientific sources support a young earth
  • Quoting the Errors of Other YECs Making it appear scientific sources support a young earth
    • For example, let’s look at what young earth advocate Roger Patterson did with Steve Austin’s young earth argument in #6 on formation of caves. In his book Evolution Exposed: Earth Science , Patterson stated:
      • “ Studies on limestone caves in
      • Kentucky have shown that a volume
      • 59 meters long by one meter square
      • can be dissolved in one year at
      • current rates. So, at the present rate,
      • long ages are not required to create
      • large caverns” (pages 140-141).
  • Quoting the Errors of Other YECs Making it appear scientific sources support a young earth Problem is, no “studies” were done. The only “study” was done at a desk by Austin when he was writing an article in an Institution for Creation Research magazine ( Origin of Limestone Caves, Arts & Facts 9 (1) ). And that was done by “ripping” one group of data from a table in a 1972 paper by geologist John Thrailkill and “running” with it in a way which totally ignored all other data and research on water chemistry of caves (as shown earlier under #6: Same Data, Different Conclusions ). Don’t Christians deserve better scholarship than this?
  • And what happens when inter-nationals start writing their own young earth literature based on material from the U.S. ministries? Consider the following regrettable example…
  •  Here’s the problem: nobody ever claimed a Mississippian layer is located under a Cambrian layer in Grand Canyon! English translation: An obvious example occurs where the Mississippian layer (250 million years old according to evolution) is located under the Cambrian layer (500 million years old according to evolution)! (page 28) In reference to the Grand Canyon, William C. Ho wrote in Evolution? Degeneration? Creation?:
  • “ We admit that much of the material has been collected from several prominent creationist organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research (San Diego, CA) and Answers in Genesis, and we hereby acknowledge the tremendous work they have done towards the cause of Biblical creationism.” In the preface to the second English edition of Evolution? Degeneration? Creation?, Dr. William C. Ho states:
  • What happens when an international is led to Christ through this kind of young earth literature, but finds out later that the information he/she was given was false? Same goes for our own children. Do you think it’s likely they would stay in the Church?
  • 11. A YEC will sometimes provide an argument which contradicts something he/she said earlier. It’s almost as if they’re hoping nobody will notice…
  • “ I believe in the global Flood of Noah. I am wondering how to explain the frequency of large fragments of sedimentary rock ( e.g. the size of a house or car) which include strata yet are broken from a parent rock, also cliff faces bearing horizontal strata which also have vertical fissures where two different slabs of sedimentary rock meet. Obviously the strata was laid by the flood but for large pieces to be broken and repositioned during the flood would require that sedimentary rock can harden whilst under water within less than a year. The existence of folded strata shows that hardening had begun underwater and that uplifting processes happened during the flood, but is there sufficient evidence to conclude that 100% hardening can be achieved underwater or is a drying out process also required? If a drying process is required then the fragments could best be explained by a post flood uplifting catastrophe, but of course the scriptural evidence for this is wanting.” See: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/03/26/feedback-tough-questions-about-the-flood Answers in Genesis received the following question on their feedback page:
  • Here are some excerpts from Andrew Snelling’s response to the feedback:
    • “… the objective in this instance is to understand how rocks may have hardened during the Flood year, sometimes sufficiently to then be eroded and broken up for pieces of rock laid down earlier in the Flood to be included in later rock layers.”
    • “ As with man-made Portland cement, water is often an important ingredient in the natural cementing process in rocks. In the case of man-made cement, the water actually triggers the reaction in the mixture of dry cement and sand so that the cementing process not only relies on water, but can take place underwater. Many natural cements are somewhat similar in that they can achieve sufficient hardening under water without needing to dry out.”
    • “… there would have been periods when the water levels may have dropped hundreds of meters and exposed recently deposited sediment layers. If this exposure was for several hours between high and low tides, then there could have been sufficient time for these rocks that had already begun to harden as a result of the cementing process to now begin to dry out.”
    • “ So, we can’t simply assume that after deposition, rock layers were always underwater during much of the Flood.”
  • But look at what Snelling says in another article (Rock Layers Folded, Not Fractured):
    • “… Do we see evidence in the walls of the Grand Canyon that the sedimentary layers were all laid down in quick succession? Yes, absolutely!”
    • “ This article explores evidence that the entire sequence of sedimentary strata was still soft during subsequent folding, and the strata experienced only limited fracturing. These rock layers should have broken and shattered during the folding, unless the sediment was still relatively soft and pliable.”
    • “ Herein lies an insurmountable dilemma for uniformitarian geologists. They maintain that the Tapeats Sandstone and Muav Limestone were deposited 500–520 million years ago; the Redwall Limestone, 330–340 million years ago; then the Kaibab Limestone at the top of the sequence, 260 million years ago. Lastly, the Kaibab Plateau was uplifted (about 60 million years ago), causing the folding.”
    See: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v4/n2/folded-not-fractured
  • Snelling’s explanation in another article (Rock Layers Folded, Not Fractured) cont.
    • “ That’s a time span of about 440 million years between the first deposit and the folding. How could the Tapeats Sandstone and Muav Limestone still be soft and pliable, as though they had just been deposited? Wouldn’t they fracture and shatter if folded 440 million years after deposition.”
    • “ The only logical conclusion is that the 440-million-year delay between deposition and folding never happened! Instead, the Tapeats-Kaibab strata sequence was laid down in rapid succession early during the year of the global cataclysmic Genesis Flood, followed by uplift of the Kaibab Plateau within the last months of the Flood. This alone explains the folding of the whole strata sequence without appreciable fracturing.”
    See: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v4/n2/folded-not-fractured
  • Loads of Contradictions
    • If “we can’t simply assume that after deposition, rock layers were always underwater during much of the Flood,” that takes away from the time for deposition of all the Flood layers, which in turn makes the sediment transport problem described under #1 even worse!
    • In Grand Canyon, the Redwall Limestone is considered by both Austin and Snelling to be an early Flood layer. Carved into its top is an extensive channel network up to 400 feet deep filled by the Surprise Canyon Formation. Conglomerate rock is part of the Surprise Canyon Formation, and the large rocks in the conglomerate are chunks of Redwall Limestone. This means the Redwall Limestone had already hardened when the Surprise Canyon Formation was formed.
    G. H. Billingsley, USGS Brian F. Gootee, Arizona Geological Survey National Park Service, Billingsley and Beus, 1999
  • Loads of Contradictions
    • In Snelling’s response to the feedback on the Answers in Genesis website, he says newly deposited layers could have been exposed at most any time during the Flood, allowing rock layers to harden during the Flood, but…
    • In Rock Layers Folded, Not Fractured , Snelling states that the existence of folds is proof in itself that the rock layers were still soft when they were folded. Many other young earth advocates say the same thing.
    • But given given the clear evidence that the Redwall Limestone had already hardened during the early Flood period along with the fact that it is found between the Tapeats and Kaibab in the strata sequence, how could it have been folded without fracturing?
    Background courtesy of Tom Vail So what will it be? Did the Redwall Limestone harden early in the flood, or did it harden later in the flood after it was folded? If you’re a young earth advocate, it’s apparently whatever is convenient at the time.
  • 12. Some YECs will tell you that science is simply an encyclopedic accumulation of observational “facts.”
  • Is Science Just An Accumulation of Facts? No! “…science is a dynamic process with the continual construction and revision of theories based on new discoveries. It is that dynamic process which makes science so inherently exciting.” Christian geologist Keith B. Miller, http:// www.scifaithkansas.net /
  • Understand difference between Knowledge and Science
    • Knowledge ≠ Science
    • Knowledge – the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association
    • Science – an enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the natural world
    • - Science is a process
    • Science is knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people.
    Understand difference between Engineering and Science
    • Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives.
    According to the National Society of Professional Engineers:
    • Engineering ≠ Science
  • “‘ Facts’ are neutral. However, there are no such things as ‘ brute facts’; all facts are interpreted.” - Ken Ham
  • A closing thought…
  • Does Truth Matter? A False Dilemma… We don’t like the first option, but lying or bearing false witness doesn’t sound very appealing either. We take the Bible seriously – what should we do? There are other options! Sit on the fence and the YEC ministries speak for you.    If we oppose the teachings of the YEC ministries, they say we’ve compromised, sold out to liberalism, made science a god, etc. If we side with the YEC ministries and spread their teachings about “a young earth,” we’re providing false information ???
  • For more information on young earth creationism and how you can stop believing in it and still be a Christian, see: The Bible, Rocks and Time Davis A. Young and Ralph F. Stearley Coming to Peace with Science Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology Darrel R. Falk When Faith and Science Collide G. R. Davidson
    • A version of this presentation with full animation capabilities, along with several other presentations and materials on young-earth creationism, are available at:
      • www.oldearthchristian.org
    • Other good resources are:
      • American Scientific Affiliation: http://www.asa3.org/
      • The GeoChristian Blog: http://geochristian.wordpress.com/
      • Answers in Creation: http://www.answersincreation.org
      • Letters to Creationists Blog: http://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/
      • Beyond Creation Science: http://www.beyondcreationscience.com/
      • Affiliation of Christian Geologists: http://www.wheaton.edu/ACG/
      • Old Earth Creation Society: http://oldearthcreationsociety.org/
      • Questioning Answers in Genesis Blog: http:// questioninganswersingenesis.blogspot.com /
  • Some excellent online books describing the errors of young-earth creationism (particularly Flood geology), are: NEGLECT OF GEOLOGIC DATA: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings by Daniel E. Wonderly God’s Time-Records in Ancient Sediments by Daniel E. Wonderly A New Look at an Old Earth by Don Stoner Click here to jump to “Were Most of Earth’s Fossil-Bearing Sedimentary Rock Layers Deposited by Noah’s Flood?