1) "Humans are very different from animals, especially in the ability to use language and logic."
And we're off to a terrible start here with the first sentence of chapter six. You see, many creatures use language of sorts, and our primate cousins can even learn sign language. What's more many animals use tools and logic to navigate their daily lives. We're more advanced, but this point is like saying one bird is a better flier than another so they must be unique in their flight capability. Not just that they alone posess that level of flight, but somehow that being the sole posessor means nobody else ever could have gotten it from anywhere else.
2) "But Teaching about Evolution forcefully indoctrinates readers with the idea that humans have descended from a simple cell via ape-like ancestors. The arguments used involve alleged apemen and DNA similarities. This chapter analyzes the fossil record, and also discusses the large difference in genetic information content between apes and humans."
The large differences like how we have 46 chromosomes and chimps have 48 except our second chromosome looks exactly like two of the chimp chromosomes that got combined, complete with the second chromosome containing a non-functional chromosome termination tail that means we had a common ancestor and humans had a combined chromosome? Probably not though, I mean, that's just god fucking with us.
3) "Teaching about Evolution emphasizes physical and especially DNA similarities between human and other living organisms, and this is alleged to be evidence for evolution. However, again this is not a direct finding, but an interpretation of the data."
Yes, it's an interpretation. One that matches all the evidence and provides predictive power which is confirmed through research and experiment.
"A common designer is another interpretation that makes sense of the same data. An architect commonly uses the same building material for different buildings, and a carmaker commonly uses the same parts in different cars. So we shouldn't be surprised if a Designer for life used the same biochemistry and structures in many different creatures. Conversely, if all living organisms were totally different, this might look like there were many designers instead of one."
I do not quite understand this common comparison. God is supposedly omnipotent and omniscient. So he knows everything and can do anything. Why did he go around designing animals with terrible ad-hoc structures, outdated embryonic stages, and the same sorts of DNA for entirely seperate species? Sure the development of some animals is all well and good, but why would he make an eye with a blind spot in humans when other animals like Octopii have eyes just as good without the blind spot? Why would he have birds develope teeth in utero only to lose them before birth? Why would he make a Kitten and a Human embryo go through the same stages when they're supposedly not at all related outside the mind of god? And if he uses this stage for these two unrelated mammals why doesn't he use it in other places? If god is the designer he's a terrible and likely schizophrenic or forgetful one. It's one thing to say a designer used common materials like a human would, but it's another to limit god by human standards and expect us to accept that and the omnipotence and omniscience thing.
4) "Since DNA contains the coding for structures and biochemical molecules, we should expect the most similar creatures to have the most similar DNA. Apes and humans are both mammals, with similar shapes, so have similar DNA. We should expect humans to have more DNA similarities with another mammal like a pig than with a reptile like a rattlesnake. And this is so. Humans are very different from yeast but they have some biochemistry in common, so we should expect human and yeast DNA to be only slightly similar."
Sure, by evolutionary standards, but not by creationist ones. There's nothing specific about creationist theory that says beings should be biochemically similar. God could have probably made every animal with its entirely own genetic code, and if I was going to say I made stuff in kinds, that sounds more like what I'd do. Either way, just because things are similar in appearance doesn't mean an omnipotent, omniscient being is limited to arriving at those similarities by the same processes. By contrast, this is exactly what evolution demands happen. We shouldn't expect humans to have DNA more similar to a pig than to a cockroach unless we have a reason for the human DNA to be more closely linked. Once you remove evolution and start in with the kind theory, just because something's a mammal, if it's a different kind, we're looking at the possibility of wholly different DNA. That we do not find that isn't really anything against creationism, but it wasn't ever anything for creationism, either.
5) "So the general pattern of similarities need not be explained by common-ancestry evolution. Furthermore, there are some puzzling anomalies for an evolutionary explanation—similarities between organisms that evolutionists don't believe are closely related. For example, hemoglobin, the complex molecule that carries oxygen in blood and results in its red color, is found in vertebrates. But it is also found in some earthworms, starfish, crustaceans, mollusks, and even in some bacteria. The α-hemoglobin of crocodiles has more in common with that of chickens (17.5 percent) than that of vipers (5.6 percent), their fellow reptiles.10 An antigen receptor protein has the same unusual single chain structure in camels and nurse sharks, but this cannot be explained by a common ancestor of sharks and camels."
No it doesn't need to be, but it is. Anomoles? Some hemoglobin chains are millions and millions of years old. We can find similarities in the hemoglobin of a number of creatures not because they shared a recent common ancestor, but because they once did share a common ancestor. That it may have been millions of years before it split into sharks and camels and worms doesn't present a problem for evolution. All that means for evolution is that the DNA must be older than the individual organism. That's called a prediction. While I can't find any details, there's a test for evolution. If two creatures have the same DNA coding for a protein yet are very different (such as a camel and a shark) then the coding ought to be older and found in ancestral lines. If the code seems to have developed after they shared an ancestor, you have a legitimate puzzle. Where's the creationist version of this test?
6) "That is, random mutation plus natural selection is expected to generate the information equivalent of 12 million words arranged in a meaningful sequence. This is an impossibility even if we grant the 10 million years asserted by evolutionists. Population genetics calculations show that animals with human-like generation times of about 20 years could substitute no more than about 1,700 mutations in that time."
From the 29 Evidences FAQ, "In 1983, Phillip Gingerich published a famous study analyzing 512 different observed rates of evolution (Gingerich 1983). The study centered on rates observed from three classes of data: (1) lab experiments, (2) historical colonization events, and (3) the fossil record. A useful measure of evolutionary rate is the darwin, which is defined as a change in an organism's character by a factor of e per million years (where e is the base of natural log). The average rate observed in the fossil record was 0.6 darwins; the fastest rate was 32 darwins. The latter is the most important number for comparison; rates of evolution observed in modern populations should be equal to or greater than this rate.
The average rate of evolution observed in historical colonization events in the wild was 370 darwins—over 10 times the required minimum rate. In fact, the fastest rate found in colonization events was 80,000 darwins, or 2500 times the required rate. Observed rates of evolution in lab experiments are even more impressive, averaging 60,000 darwins and as high as 200,000 darwins (or over 6000 times the required rate).
A more recent paper evaluating the evolutionary rate in guppies in the wild found rates ranging from 4000 to 45,000 darwins (Reznick 1997). Note that a sustained rate of "only" 400 darwins is sufficient to transform a mouse into an elephant in a mere 10,000 years (Gingerich 1983).
One of the most extreme examples of rapid evolution was when the hominid cerebellum doubled in size within ~100,000 years during the Pleistocene (Rightmire 1985). This "unique and staggering" acceleration in evolutionary rate was only 7 darwins (Williams 1992, p. 132). This rate converts to a minuscule 0.02% increase per generation, at most. For comparison, the fastest rate observed in the fossil record in the Gingerich study was 37 darwins over one thousand years, and this corresponds to, at most, a 0.06% change per generation."
Observed rates of evolution allow for more than sufficient change in species from generation to generation. Additionally, the 10,000,000 years given to a species with a 20 year generation equates to 500,000 generations. Five. Hundred. Thousand. This is not regarding an individual, this is a species. One individual makes one benefit change in one generation and it shows up more abundantly in the next? Ok, repeat that five hundred thousand times. You're looking at ridiculous volumes of changes.
7) "Teaching about Evolution has no embryo drawings. However, many evolutionary books have drawings purportedly showing that embryos look very similar. They are based on the 1874 embryo diagrams by Ernst Haeckel, Darwin's advocate in Germany, whose evolutionary ideas were instrumental in the later rise of Nazism. However, in 1997, a detailed study by Mike Richardson and his team, including actual photographs of a large number of different embryos, showed that embryos of different kinds are very distinct (see illustration below)."
Paging Godwin. Paging Mike Godwin. Please collect the unnecessary references to political organisations which have nothing to do with evolution. Thank you. As for the specific set of drawings, it's irrelevent whether this example is fraud or not for the factuality of evolution. There've been all sorts of evolutionary frauds, and when they're discovered, they're removed from the body of supporting evidence. Turns out the structure still stands, and embryological examination shows similarities and development of ancestral features such as teeth in birds or tails in humans. Wah wah.
8) "Evolutionists believed they had clear proof against the biblical account, because ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ supposedly lived 200,000 years ago. However, recent evidence shows that mitochondrial DNA mutates far faster than previously thought. If this new evidence is applied to ‘Mitochondrial Eve,’ it indicates that she would have lived only 6,000–6,500 years ago. Of course, this is perfectly consistent with the biblically indicated age of the ‘mother of all living’ (Gen. 3:20), but an enigma for evolution/long age beliefs.
Interestingly, there is a parallel account with males: evidence from the Y-chromosome is consistent with all people being descended from a single man. The data is also consistent with a recent date for this ‘Y-chromosome Adam.’"
Thanks for conflating mitochondrial eve with the MRCA. A quick trip to wikipedia or the TO archives gives some illumination on this matter: The Mitochondrial Eve of 200,000 years ago (ME for short henceforth) is NOT our common ancestor, or even common genetic ancestor. She is the most-recent common ancestor of all humans alive on Earth today with respect to matrilineal descent. That may seem like a mouthful, but without even a single one of those qualifying phrases, any description or discussion of the ME reduces to a lot of nonsense.
While each of us necessarily has two parents, we get our mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA from the ovum (and hence from our mothers). Our mothers got their mitochondrial DNA from their mothers and so on. Thus, while our nuclear DNA is a mish-mash of the DNA of our four grandparents, our mitochondrial DNA is an almost exact copy of the DNA of our maternal grandmother (the match may not be exact due to mutations. In fact, the mutations in the mitochondrial DNA provide the molecular clock that allows us to determine how much time has elapsed since the ME lived).
The ME represents that woman whose mitochondrial DNA (with mutations) exists in all the humans now living on Earth. That does not mean that she is our lone woman ancestor. We have ancestors who are not via matrilineal descent. For example, our father's mother (who did pass on her mitochondrial DNA to her daughters) is an example of an ancestor who is not matrilineal to us. However, she did exist at one time and was probably of the same age as our mother's mother, who is a matrilineal ancestor of ours and from whom we got our mitochondrial DNA."
For more you can check this article or check out Wikipedia's article. Either way, conflating two seperate creatures as the same and then saying "WELL SEE IT'S DIFFERENT THAN THE EVOLUTIONISTS THOUGHT" is not a breakthrough for creationism, it's a set back for reading comprehension.
9) "Teaching about Evolution aims to indoctrinate students with the belief that they are evolved animals and ultimately are, in effect, nothing more than a chance re-arrangement of matter. A senior writer for Scientific American had this inspiring comment:
Yes, we are all animals, descendants of a vast lineage of replicators sprung from primordial pond scum.
What this leads to is aptly shown by this dialog between two evolutionists. Lanier is a computer scientist; Dawkins is a professor at Oxford and an ardent Darwinist and atheist:
Jaron Lanier: ‘There's a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.’
Richard Dawkins: ‘All I can say is, That's just tough. We have to face up to the truth."
And Dawkins is absolutely correct. We do have to face up to the truth. While this has nothing to do with the reality of evoultion and is more of a smear campaign against it, it's still a valid and discussion worthy point. We have no evidence that the laws of the bible are any more true than the laws of the Quran or the laws of Vishnu. Less if you count belief count. Morality is what we think we ought to do given what we think we are and how we view society and our ideas on the overall concept of existence. You may find comfort in blaming everything on god and then following his laws because of it, but there's less validity for that than there is a naturalist approach of just eschewing the entire mythological base and going with what's left.
10) "Teaching about Evolution goes to great pains to ‘investigate the misconception that humans evolved from apes,’ pointing out that evolutionists believe that humans and apes share a common ancestor (p. 57, 62, 83). However, a leading atheistic evolutionary paleontologist, the late G.G. Simpson, called this sort of pedantry ‘pussyfooting.’ He wrote: ‘In fact, that earlier ancestor would certainly be called an ape or monkey in popular speech by anyone who saw it. Since the terms ape and monkey are defined by popular usage, man's ancestors were apes or monkeys (or successively both). It is pusillanimous [mean-spirited] if not dishonest for an informed investigator to say otherwise.’"
Because something looked more like an ape than anything else around and we'd call it an ape no more makes it what we call a modern ape than does saying a dildo is a penis just because they look the same on the surface. Popular speech doesn't care about the technical realities of the differences between species, or the technical use of any word, otherwise we wouldn't call it popular. The fact that many people say "Well evolution is only a theory!" display the inability of popular speech to be used as a guide.
ATTENTION! CONFLATION AHEAD! UNRELATED DISCIPLINES ASSAULTED AS EVIDENCE AGAINST EVOLUTION! WARNING! WARNING!
1) "It may be surprising to see a lot of material about astronomy in a book about evolution. But evolution is not just about ape-like creatures turning into humans. Evolution is a philosophy trying to explain everything without God. Thus, it must be applied to the origin of the universe and solar system. Thus, Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science presents the prevailing evolutionary view on astronomical origins. Also, Teaching about Evolution hopes to diffuse opposition to evolution by a misleading comparison to opposition to heliocentrism (a sun-centered solar system). This chapter critically analyzes typical evolutionary ideas about the universe and solar system, as well as the Galileo controversy."
Uh, yeah it is. It is precisely only about ape like creatures turning into people and cow like creatures turning into whales and reptile like creatures turning into birds and bacteria evolving new pathways and blah blah blah. That's exactly the entire scope of evolution - biology. What sparked life is below evolution, and what life does is above it (In the philisophical sense). Evolution preciesly covers what life is and how it changes as it goes on. That's it. Evolution is not trying to explain everything without any specific piece of beleif or knowledge. It's trying to explain what we see with the evidence we have. No evidence for god means he doesn't get to be a part of it. If there was evidence for god, he'd probably fit in somewhere. The lack of god in evolution is not some atheist plot, it's just the way things turned out.
Why does Teaching About Evolution cover astronomy? I have no idea. My AP Bio books and my college Bio books never had anything about astronomy or cooking or anything not related to biology, so why this one does is beyond me.
2) "We should first note that even under their perspective, the authors admit that the universe had a beginning. When combined with the principle of causality, ‘everything which has a beginning has a cause,’ it logically entails that the universe has a cause."
And why is god immune to this? Because the bible didn't cover it?
"Many Christians support the big bang theory because it implies a beginning of the universe. However, other Christians, based on the teaching of the Bible, reject the big bang."
Of course, why wouldn't Christians accept or reject the big bang theory based on how well or poorly it matches their theological viewpoints. Heaven forbid they look at the evidence, read up on the theories, and do some critical thinking before choosing whether to accept or reject it. No, no, most Christians are apparently retarded and judge modern scientific advancements based on what they think the bible told them. Wait, no they're not, but it's sure nice of this book to paint them into that corner instead of realizing most non-fundamentalist Christians look at the evidence and go from there, without worrying about if a thousands of years old morality play will have anything to say on contemporary understanding of the universe.
3) "The big bang teaches that the sun and many other stars formed before the earth, while Genesis teaches that they were made on the fourth day after the earth, and only about 6,000 years ago rather than 10–20 billion years ago. The big bang also entails millions of years of death, disease, and pain before Adam’s sin, which contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, which is thus unacceptable to biblical Christians. Also, the big bang theory has many scientific problems as outlined in the next section, and quite a few secular astronomers reject it."
Oh no! The scriptures say death and decay could not have occurred before adam fucked us in the garden of Eden. Or Eve did. Or the snake. Or the snake at god's behest. I'm not sure, but I did make a pretty wicked macaroni representation back in the day which made my mom smile, so I guess the fall of man is a happy occasion!
God told some guy to write down that the sun showed up after the earth, so he did. This is clearly evidence that it did just pop in 6,000 years ago. Oh, that 6,000 year number, if you didn't know, is calculated by the most rigorous standards available - adding up all the ages listed in the bible. Pretty swank imo.
4) "Although the above quote from Teaching about Evolution rather simplistically moves from the big bang to the formation of galaxies and stars, it is not so simple. Dr James Trefil, professor of physics at George Mason University, Virginia, accepts the big bang model, but he admits that there are fundamental problems:
There shouldn’t be galaxies out there at all, and even if there are galaxies, they shouldn’t be grouped together the way they are.
He later continues:
The problem of explaining the existence of galaxies has proved to be one of the thorniest in cosmology. By all rights, they just shouldn’t be there, yet there they sit. It’s hard to convey the depth of the frustration that this simple fact induces among scientists."
He then even later continues, "With the development of GUT, we see galaxy formation is no longer a problem at all but simply one more natural phenomenon with a perfectly natural explanation." [James S. Trefil, The Moment of Creation]"
So I think we can safely say that when the guy you're using as the foundation of your argument later retracts or states plainly his earlier statements - in or out of context - are bunk, the argument is kind of null until further evidence is available.
5) "Another problem is cooling a gas cloud enough for it to collapse. This requires molecules to radiate the heat away. But as Teaching about Evolution points out in the quote earlier, the big bang would produce mainly hydrogen and helium, unsuitable for making the molecules apart from H2, which would be destroyed rapidly under the ultraviolet light present, and which usually needs dust grains for its formation—and dust grains require heavier elements. The heavier elements, according to the theory, require pre-existing stars. Again, there is a chicken and egg problem of needing stars to produce stars.
Abraham Loeb of Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics says: ‘The truth is that we don’t understand star formation at a fundamental level.’"
This article offers some explanation of the original formation of stars. For a more in depth understanding of dark matter and exactly what it entails to the big bang theory, you can read this FAQ.
6) "This results in a cosmology which allows for the formation of the universe in the biblical time-frame, as well as the traveling of light to earth from stars billions of light years distant. This plausible solution to a commonly raised skeptical problem works because general relativity shows that time is different in different reference frames with different gravitational fields. So the universe could have been made in six ordinary days in earth’s reference frame, but the light had ample time to travel in an extraterrestrial reference frame. However, as with all scientific theories, we should not be too dogmatic about this model, although it seems very good."
The model where they compare space to wet sand on a trampoline and dictate that the edges of the universe are water/ice? That model? Oh, why yes it is. Read through the model, it's pretty amusing. Seriously, water barriers and trampolines. This is real science though, so don't let my sarcasm influence you. If you'd like an answer to the pioneer data issue, here is a possible answer.
7) "As usual, the book’s authors are dogmatic about what happened, although they weren’t there."
My cat ate my ham. I didn't see it happen, but I did see a happy cat and an empty plate. I suppose it could have been the Queen of England, but all the evidence points to my cat. How dogmatic of me.
"One authority summarized: ‘The clouds are too hot, too magnetic, and they rotate too rapidly."
Well if authority said it, obviously that is factual as the words of authorities dictate the way the universe is. No that still seems wrong. :(
8) "One major problem can be shown by accomplished skaters spinning on ice. As skaters pull their arms in, they spin faster. This effect is due to what physicists call the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum. Angular momentum = mass x velocity x distance from the center of mass, and always stays constant in an isolated system."
It's a good thing we don't only have the one theory relying solely on angular momentum. Here is a write up of the various theories, why they're flawed or what holes they have, and current theories regarding the formation. Few, that took me all of three minutes on google.
"Another problem with the nebular hypothesis is the formation of the gaseous planets. According to this theory, as the gas pulled together into the planets, the young sun would have passed through what is called the T-Tauri phase. In this phase, the sun would have given off an intense solar wind, far more intense than at present. This solar wind would have driven excess gas and dust out of the still-forming solar system and thus there would no longer have been enough of the light gases left to form Jupiter and the other three giant gas planets. This would leave these four gas planets smaller than we find them today."
The article I linked above also explains the existence of Jupiter like planets around other stars. While the nebula theory may be wrong, that's just one theory and has no bearing on the overall universe or our understanding of it other than to say "Well nice try there but no."
9) Regarding the Galileo/Heliocentrism debate, "But there existed a powerful body of men whose hostility to Galileo never abated: the Aristotelians at the Universities … . Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole laboriously constructed edifice might collapse."
I find this quote is hilariously appropriate given the overall debate present.
10) "Another problem was that some of the clergy supported the Ptolemaic system using verses in the Psalms. However, the Psalms are clearly poetic, not historical like Genesis. Thus, they were never intended to be used as a basis for a cosmological model. This can be shown by analyzing the context of Psalm 93:1: ‘The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.’"
Genesis is also clearly poetical, not historic, depending on who you ask. That's ok though, there are like 500 measuring sticks for the bible, none of which agree, and all of which are right.
The rest of this section basically says that Galileo didn't contradict the bible and goes into some detail about translations and such. It's really uneventful, and Galileo agreeing or disagreeing doesn't matter to the bible unless you believe every last word has to be accurate or the whole thing collapses. As I said above its suspect use of translation to justify things is not really a big deal, but it is going to vary from person to person, which is fine as that's how a lot of translation works, but it's usually not your entire worldview hinging on a coherent use of one word or phrase throughout a 1500 page document.
1) "For particles-to-people evolution to have occurred, the earth would need to be billions of years old. So Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science presents what it claims is evidence for vast time spans. This is graphically illustrated in a chart on pages 36–37: man’s existence is in such a tiny segment at the end of a 5-billion-year time-line that it has to be diagrammatically magnified twice to show up."
Yes the earth would need at least 3~ billion years of history to line up with what we see evolutionarily. However, this is related in a way the big bang theory isn't. The big bang theory is a specific answer to how, this is merely an age question, and any dating systems can be used. As for the graph, yes, man has been around for like 200K to 2000K years as our lineage is traced, so 200K compared to 5,000,000K is going to be an invisible fraction without adjusting in the manner stated. What this has to do with anything other than as an impossibility if you think we've been here the whole time is beyond me.
"On the other hand, basing one’s ideas on the Bible gives a very different picture. The Bible states that man was made six days after creation, about 6,000 years ago. So a time-line of the world constructed on biblical data would have man almost at the beginning, not the end. If we took the same 15-inch (39 cm) time-line as does Teaching about Evolution to represent the biblical history of the earth, man would be about 1/1000th of a mm away from the beginning! Also, Christians, by definition, take the statements of Jesus Christ seriously. He said: ‘But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female’ (Mark 10:6), which would make sense with the proposed biblical time-line, but is diametrically opposed to the Teaching about Evolution time-line."
Oh, so I was correct, it is just because man should be there the whole time according to a book whose dating method involves adding up all the recorded ages of the people within it, creating an age that isn't suggested or found anywhere else.
2) "Great thicknesses could conceivably be produced either by a little water over long periods, or a lot of water over short periods. We have already discussed how different biases can result in different interpretations of the same data, in this case the rock layers. It is a philosophical decision, not a scientific one, to prefer the former interpretation."
Of course it is a philosophical choice. You can either choose to accept the vast body of evidence as an empiricist and base your information and answers on this or you can choose to ignore that and read a thousands year old book. I don't quite think that's what they meant by this paragraph, but that's the only answer I can come up with that turns this to a philisophical debate - you're either a person who's based in evidence or one who's not. Evidence basing, by the way, allows for changing of ideas. I could be shown the error of my thoughts on geological age and adjust my ideas. A creationist could not be shown anything to contradict the flood. While you may have evidence for the flood, there's no evidence that truly matters.
3) "However, a cataclysmic globe-covering (and fossil-forming) flood would have eroded huge quantities of sediment, and deposited them elsewhere. Many organisms would have been buried very quickly and fossilized."
And all the evidence we have does not allow for a flood of this magnitude to follow normal laws of nature and achieve what is implied here. A flood of that magnitude would have left unmistakable signs, as with the local catastrophies. Why don't we see the occasional fossil from a form in Africa chilling out in America? A flood surely could have had some chance of this given all the animals around at the time. Of course, we don't, and the organizatio of the world makes much more sense without trying to explain the organization in light of a global flood.
"Also, recent catastrophes show that violent events like the flood described in Genesis could form many rock layers very quickly. The Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington state produced 25 feet (7.6 meters) of finely layered sediment in a single afternoon!"
A mountain exploded and dropped ash everywhere. A whole bunch of water is not going to leave 25 feet of sediment in the same way or the same time frame. If a Dam burst or something, maybe that could happen, but with a flood covering the entire earth, the sediment would have been stirred around until the water level left most of the earth underwater. At that point, some local exchanges would have occurred, but it wouldn't have been uniform throughout the world and it certainly wouldn't have carved up things like the grand canyon. A flood is not a fire hose.
"And a rapidly pumped sand slurry was observed to deposit 3 to 4 feet (about 1 meter) of fine layers on a beach over an area the size of a football field. Sedimentation experiments by the creationist Guy Berthault, sometimes working with non-creationists, have shown that fine layers can form by a self-sorting mechanism during the settling of differently sized particles."
That's fascinating. It also says nothing other than pressurized waters placed through a pump can deliver decent amounts of sediment. I do not believe god used a pump to flood the earth. Then again he's god so maybe he's way ahead on pump technology.
"In one of Berthault’s experiments, finely layered sandstone and diatomite rocks were broken into their constituent particles, and allowed to settle under running water at various speeds. It was found that the same layer thicknesses were reproduced, regardless of flow rate. This suggests that the original rock was produced by a similar self-sorting mechanism, followed by cementing of the particles together. The journal Nature reported similar experiments by evolutionists a decade after Berthault’s first experiments."
So two types of rocks may have been able to perform self-recreation processes during a flood-like state. What does this have to do with the age of the rock or the reality of the flood? Do we see layers of rocks that form up the same as these experiments showing? Do they have the same look/structure as well as thickness? Do we see that in strata? I don't quite see what this says about positive proof for the flood other than rocks reform in water, which I don't think is a huge shock.
"So when we start from the bias that the Bible is God’s Word and is thus true, we can derive reasonable interpretations of the data. Not that every problem has been solved, but many of them have been."
Yes, when we start with the answers and try to find the questions that will lead us to them, we see we can do this for the most part, but not completely.
4) "Conversely, how does the ‘slow and gradual’ explanation fare? Think how long dead organisms normally last. Scavengers and rotting normally remove all traces within weeks. Dead jellyfish normally melt away in days. Yet Teaching about Evolution has a photo of a fossil jellyfish on page 36. It clearly couldn’t have been buried slowly, but must have been buried quickly by sediments carried by water. This water would also have contained dissolved minerals, which would have caused the sediments to have been cemented together, and so hardened quickly."
Because the idea of a global flood is rejected does not mean that A) Catastrophe is rejected or B) even global catastrophe is rejected. Local catastrophe is very much accepted, and when we see so many fossils with fractured bones we understand that a lot of the fossilization incidents were not normal every day events. We also, from this, expect to have a rather slim fossil record compared to all living life, which is what we see. A flood can happen locally, and in fact the flood in question was recorded in a number of mythologies local to the middle east/mediterranean. Rock slides can happen. Rock shelves can fall. Caves can collapse. All of these things can happen, and we still see them happening today. These are the types of fossilization events we tend to think of based on our evidence. We don't have anything that suggests a flood, though we do have a lot of data which could be incorporated into a global flood theory.
"The booklet Stones and Bones6 shows other fossils that must have formed rapidly. One is a 7-foot (2m) long ichthyosaur (extinct fish-shaped marine reptile) fossilized while giving birth. Another is a fish fossilized in the middle of its lunch. And there is a vertical tree trunk that penetrates several rock layers (hence the term polystrate fossil). If the upper sedimentary layers really took millions or even hundreds of years to form, then the top of the tree trunk would have rotted away."
So since local catastrophes, or even regional/global are not necessarily ruled out (though global catastrophes are harder to deal with), we still have a welath of possible reasons why we have something fossilized mid-birth. Yes, the tree would have disintegrated if it was there the whole time from the lowest strata, but what if it was buried? Submerged? (Lul that means flood am i rite?)
From this article on polystrate trees. "Well, they were not a problem to explain in the 19th century, and are still not a problem now. John William Dawson (1868) described a classic Carboniferous-age locality at Joggins, Nova Scotia, where there are upright giant lycopod trees up to a few metres tall preserved mainly in river-deposited sandstones. These trees have extensive root systems with rootlets that penetrate into the underlying sediment, which is either a coal seam (i.e. compressed plant material), or an intensely-rooted sandstone or mudstone (i.e. a soil horizon). Dawson considered and rejected anything but an in situ formation for these fossils, and his interpretation is closely similar to current interpretations of sediments deposited on river floodplains. An interesting feature of these examples is the presence of vertebrate fossils (mostly small reptiles) within the infilling of the stumps."
5) "Ironically, NASA scientists accept that there have been ‘catastrophic floods’ on Mars7 that carved out canyons8 although no liquid water is present today. But they deny that a global flood happened on earth, where there is enough water to cover the whole planet to a depth of 1.7 miles (2.7 km) if it were completely uniform, and even now covers 71 percent of the earth’s surface! If it weren’t for the fact that the Bible teaches it, they probably wouldn’t have any problem with a global flood on earth. This demonstrates again how the biases of scientists affect their interpretation of the evidence."
Because mars and earth are so similar that how water behaves on mars must be exactly how it operates on earth. Not that, you know, earth has an atmosphere and a different distance from the sun, etc... The Martian floods are supposedly attirubuted to the water trapped in the mineral layers (some kilometers thick) was simultaneously released when the core of mars heated up. This would be a fine explanation for a global flood on earth, as well, if Earth was cold as mars was and trapped water and then heated it all up at once. Except, you know, it wasn't and it didn't. Science doesn't consult the bible to find out what to go about disproving, science consults nature. The only reason anyone even worries about the bible is that people keep bringing it up. If religious folks didn't try and say the bible matched reality and science, scientists wouldn't have to keep refuting these claims. Some people may have a hardon for disproving god, but that's their bag of tricks. If you want to look more into the specifics of the Martian floods, this article is pretty interesting.
6) "As shown above, the evidence from the geological record is consistent with catastrophes, and there are many features that are hard to explain by slow and gradual processes."
Many, but nowhere near a majority of features can be explained by catastrophe. Most fall under the gradual heading.
"However, evolutionists point to dating methods that allegedly support deep time."
You can disagree with the validity of the methods, but the methods don't allegedly point to deep time. They do point to deep time. To say allegedly in this way is misleading, though it may have been a grammatical snafu and not an intentional misrepresentation of dating methods.
7) "It is true that in today’s world, radioactive decay rates seem constant, and are unaffected by heat or pressure. However, we have tested decay rates for only about 100 years, so we can’t be sure that they were constant over the alleged billions of years."
This is more of the "No eye witness (except the bible!)!" thing. Again, you do not need to be present to figure out what happened. I leave a piece of meat on a plate in a room with two animals, I leave. I come back, the meat is gone without an eye witness. Is determining which animal ate the meat a mystery never to be answered because there was no eye witness? No. Nor is it some sort of situation where all we have is a best guess. Either animal A ate it, animal B ate it, or they shared it. How do you determine this? Check the available evidence. Look at the animal's teeth. Any signs of stuff stuck in them? Check the fur around the mouth or on the plate for signs. Is one of the animals a vegetarian? You could always pump the stomachs and check the contents, or do a chemical analysis on the stool. These are all things you can do to find out what happened when there was no eye witness. Dating methods are not at all different. In our animal example if we thoroughly checked them and found no traces of meat, we'd have to look further into the evidence - was a window open? Did the meat simply get hidden or knocked behind a door? If the initial hypothesis - one of the beasts ate it - fails to have any supporting evidence, we drop it and come up with something that explains what we see more clearly.
Dating is exactly the same. We have a body of evidence gleaned from a century of detailed physics work. We take this data and look at what it tells us. From there, we begin making hyoptheses about the state of the world based on various assumptions. These assumptions aren't generally pulled out of thin air, but that could be a starting point as well. What matters is that we then take that hypothesis and compare it to the world around us. If it accurately describes the data we see, and doesn't have any glaring holes or serious problems, we look deeper into it and start making predictions with it. With dating we assume the solar system formed from the same general pool of material and maintained a constant set of physical attributes over billions of years. That is, no change in decay rate. We found that a lot of the data we'd gathered supported that idea. Ok, time to go deeper - what does it predict? Well, if the decay rate is constant we should see similar dates for various things in the solar system - and we do. We also find that multiple (a dozen or more) dating methods date things within the same age range. Why would an argon-argon dating method give the same age as the Samarium-Neodynium method? If it was one sample it could be feasible that it was a fluke. But when you look at the results of these dating methods over numerous samples and you get similar age ranges, you can either accept that they might be actually giving valid answers, or you can try to explain how dozens of methods over scores of samples from dozens of source materials would give the same age ranges and still be wrong. However, your explanation has to follow the same basic idea - make an observation, explain it, make some predictions, test them. The constant decay rate does all of this and seems to match up with the numerous samples and places we apply it to. With an inconstant decay, which could explain erroneous dates, you have to explain a few more things. If the decay rate was different in the past, it'd have to be universally different. That is, isotopes of Argon, Uranium, Carbon, etc... would all have to have the same percentage decrease or increase in decay rate to rate the same ages. Yet, these molecules are all very different at the molecular level and we've seen no alteration nor evidence of alteration in these items at the atomic level. Even if the decay rate did change, we see no reason why it would change solidly across all of these elements.
The most significant issue with this is that on top of what I've listed, is that a change in decay rate is no small thing. It would have measurable impacts on our universe. We would see things like the radius of Mars, Mercury, or the Moon. We would see alterations in coral growth patterns. We would expect to see different data from the Oklo site than we do today as there has been 1.8 billion years since its nuclear reaction occurred. We should see some sort of difference between the data we gather on space samples versus terrestrial - if the decay rates changed, why would they necessarily be universal and not specific to the location? Information from neighboring supernovae, quasars, and other star based information. Furthermore, why couldn't we change the decay rates ourselves? We've tried, and failed, but we've tried all the same. (Granted this is shakier as failure now does not preclude possibility, but we have been able to do a whole lot with the things we've found when it comes to the evolution debate, so I felt it was a neat point.)
Both ideas make predictions, but only one has any significant evidence behind it. Essentially old earth holds all the aces, and creationism is holding a jack and a two, and deuces ain't wild.
"Nuclear physicist Dr Russell Humphreys suggests that decay rates were faster during creation week, and have remained constant since then. There is some basis for this, for example radiohalo analysis, but it is still tentative."
There may be some basis for this, but the author doesn't cite any, so it's somewhat hard to confirm or deny this. He does however link to Dr. Humphreys' biography, I suppose we're meant to assume his Ph.D is proof enough of this idea?
8) "It also assumes that the rocks being analyzed have not been altered over time by migration of atoms in or out of the rocks, which requires detailed information from both the geologic and chemical sciences. This is a huge assumption. Potassium and uranium, both common parent elements, are easily dissolved in water, so could be leached out of rocks. Argon, produced by decay from potassium, is a gas, so moves quite readily."
This is a huge assumption, one which requires matching evidence to give it legs on which to stand. The very nature of the dating methods give them these legs. When we look at the ratios and plot the associated graphs, we can see with some ease whether the sample's been contaminated or altered. In the case of contamination we'll see plots that don't line up properly, indicating an invalid or unuseable sample. If it's been sucked through lava and re-created, the dates given will be much newer, indicating it's been recently formed. In the specific case of contamination we'll see all kinds of weird graphs, points showing introduction of unwarranted daughter or parent isotopes. All these potential problems with samples such as leaching, chemical contamination, migration, etc... are things geologists and physicists are well aware of. They go into the dating game with an understanding of all of these problems and how to avoid them. I can't really give a simpler explanation than this, but I do recommend reading through this go-over of isochron dating if you want a more in depth discussion of how these methods work and why the error checking involved is sufficient to rule out anything as simple as a rock that'd been leached.
9) "There are many examples where the dating methods give ‘dates’ that are wrong for rocks of known historical age. One example is rock from a dacite lava dome at Mount St Helens volcano. Although we know the rock was formed in 1986, the rock was ‘dated’ by the potassium-argon (K-Ar) method as 0.35 ± 0.05 million years old.9 Another example is K-Ar ‘dating’ of five andesite lava flows from Mt Ngauruhoe in New Zealand. The ‘dates’ ranged from < 0.27 to 3.5 million years—but one lava flow occurred in 1949, three in 1954, and one in 1975!"
Yes. This happens. And it's taken into account. And studied. As we see by the following paragraph in the book: "The secular scientific literature also lists many examples of excess 40Ar* causing ‘dates’ of millions of years in rocks of known historical age." So we're aware of these anomolous results. And that's why we call them anomolous results. If they were the common, default answer, they wouldn't be anomolies. They'd be the norm. They are, however, anomolies, and we can account for them. We understand the exceptions and the undatable items we find. This is to be expected.
"If excess 40Ar* can cause exaggerated dates for rocks of known age, then why should we trust the method for rocks of unknown age?"
If I hit a baby in the face and I break it's face, why shouldn't I expect the same method that broke a baby's face to break a prize fighter's face! Oh wait! There's a significant difference between the samples in question- namely an infant's face versus an adults. A punch that would cause one kind of damage to a baby will not do the same damage to a solidifed skull. And you take that into account when you're applying those forces. Rocks and meteorites are the same. We know how rocks are formed and we can take the anomolies into account. Again, it's not that they could produce odd or inaccurate dates - they can and do. It's that we know which ones will do that, and we know why, and we don't take anomolous rocks into account. We don't reject them because they give ages we don't like, we reject them because of their nature. Again, even if these methods were incorrect, why would the uncontaminated samples from the Earth, The Moon, Mars, and deep space (meteorites) produce coherent, convergent results? If the methods were suspect, why would they consistantly show agreed upon ages? This is also why you don't take one reading by one dating method and call it law and fact. You take multiple readings with multiple methods and check for errors or contamination. When six dating methods show the same age range, you begin to have less room for error. So Ar-Ar dating is wrong on these rocks. Well, what about Sm-Nd? What about Rb-Sr? Just because a method doesn't work in one instance does not mean it never worked, nor that it is unreliable. English is a perfectly viable language, but it doesn't work everywhere. That's not an indictment of English, it just means you have to take things into account like your audience, the country you're in, etc... We shouldn't trust or distrust them on the merit of one experiement. But when we apply these methods over a wide variety of situations and find it to be accurate with known historical dates and in accordance with physics and our understanding of geology, it becomes less likely that it's just randomly pulling these numbers out. Or, to twist this argument, if this method is known to be accurate for one sample, why shouldn't we trust it for all samples? We shouldn't, and we don't. Thanks science.
10) "Another problem is the conflicting dates between different methods. If two methods disagree, then at least one of them must be wrong."
Yes, but the question not asked here that should be asked is why are they conflicting. Why are they different? Sure, two methods can look at a sample and disagree, but we don't just stop there and call it a day. Why did one or both of these methods fail? What are they measuring? How is that presented in this sample? Is this the correct method to use? For example if we carbon date something but it turns out to be very old, carbon dating is inaccurate and useless and we have to go to a method designed for longer periods of time. So Carbon and Argon disagree, but that's fine, carbon's not designed for that, and our initial estimate of that age was wrong so we adjusted. What is wrong about this? It's like seeing a lock and trying a key, the first was wrong but the second worked. Does that first key not open anything? Is it suddenly suspect as a key? Yes, these methods are different, yes they do disagree, but when they do, we can investigate why. If the method just sucked and never worked for anything usefull, we wouldn't use it. This is why we don't have a jello dating system based on the cosby value.
11) "According to the Bible’s chronology, great age cannot be the true cause of the observed isotope ratios. Anomalies like the above are good supporting evidence, but we are not yet sure of the true cause in all cases."
The cases pointed out are cases also pointed out by secular science. Many of which were pointed out by secular science before creationists latched onto it. This is not an assault on science, it is a highlight of the efficacy of it.
"Their aim is to find out the precise geochemical and/or geophysical causes of the observed isotope ratios."
Their aim is to find out a method which explains what is observed without violating the bible or other things they can't contradict. (i.e., things which we can see now with our own eyes.). These answers are always fun if not factual.
"One promising lead is questioning Assumption 1—the initial conditions are not what the evolutionists think, but are affected, for example, by the chemistry of the rock that melted to form the magma."
Evolutionists don't care about rocks. Again, this is a geological issue. Geologists care about rocks. Evolutions just care about... evolution. (As disciplines, I'm obviously an evolutionist who cares about rocks, but that's not the point they're making here.) As for the initial conditions, that's constantly being updated as well, as seen by the origin of the solar system switching through models as data is added and experiments are conducted. Turns out secular science is also interested in questioning the initial conditions.
12) "The earth’s magnetic field has been decaying so fast that it couldn’t be more than about 10,000 years old. Rapid reversals during the flood year and fluctuations shortly after just caused the field energy to drop even faster."
So evolutionists can't extrapolate thousands or millions of years of data on a hundred years of observation, but creationists can? Why was this again? To wit, "The young-Earth argument: the dipole component of the magnetic field has decreased slightly over the time that it has been measured. Assuming the generally accepted "dynamo theory" for the existence of the Earth's magnetic field is wrong, the mechanism might instead be an initially created field which has been losing strength ever since the creation event. An exponential fit (assuming a half-life of 1400 years on 130 years' worth of measurements) yields an impossibly high magnetic field even 8000 years ago, therefore the Earth must be young. The main proponent of this argument was Thomas Barnes."
"Helium is pouring into the atmosphere from radioactive decay, but not much is escaping. But the total amount in the atmosphere is only 1/2000th of that expected if the atmosphere were really billions of years old. This helium originally escaped from rocks. This happens quite fast, yet so much helium is still in some rocks that it couldn’t have had time to escape—certainly not billions of years."
Helium escapes at a rate near equilibrium. The amount of helium in the atmosphere isn't a very good dating method for anyone. "
"Banks and Holzer (12) have shown that the polar wind can account for an escape of (2 to 4) x 106 ions/cm2 /sec of 4He, which is nearly identical to the estimated production flux of (2.5 +/- 1.5) x 106 atoms/cm2/sec. Calculations for 3He lead to similar results, i.e., a rate virtually identical to the estimated production flux. Another possible escape mechanism is direct interaction of the solar wind with the upper atmosphere during the short periods of lower magnetic-field intensity while the field is reversing. Sheldon and Kern (112) estimated that 20 geomagnetic-field reversals over the past 3.5 million years would have assured a balance between helium production and loss." ( Dalrymple 1984, p. 112 )"
More specifics on these two points can be found here.
13) "Creationists admit that they can’t prove the age of the earth using a particular scientific method. They realize that all science is tentative because we do not have all the data, especially when dealing with the past. This is true of both creationist and evolutionist scientific arguments—evolutionists have had to abandon many ‘proofs’ for evolution as well. For example, the atheistic evolutionist W.B. Provine admits: ‘Most of what I learned of the field in graduate (1964–68) school is either wrong or significantly changed.’ Creationists understand the limitations of these dating methods better than evolutionists who claim that they can use certain present processes to ‘prove’ that the earth is billions of years old. In reality, all age-dating methods, including those which point to a young earth, rely on unprovable assumptions."
If these assumptions are unprovable, why do they have so many real world, modern time consequences? Decay rates changing? We'd see it in various bodies. We'd see it in meteorites and other samples. This is just another example of "Well you weren't there! you don't know!" Except that again, that is failed logic. Evidence can take the place of an eye witness. It does so in our courts, it does so in our daily lives. I cannot think of anyone who seriously would say if there was no witness we can't conclusively say anything. We can, and we do - every day. That's part of my job, for instance, finding out what happened to a messed up computer. Most of these people don't know what happened, they weren't there. That doesn't mean I don't go in an check logs (non-witness evidence) and other symptoms and determine what happened.
"Creationists ultimately date the earth using the chronology of the Bible. This is because they believe that this is an accurate eyewitness account of world history, which can be shown to be consistent with much data."
Which data? Despite centuries or more of challenge, there has been no evidence to suggest the bible is anything more valid than the Quran or other mythological works. Some of the accounts of the bible are valid, but just like validating one part of a theory doesn't prove the whole thing, Josephus' account of a man named Jesus doesn't prove he was divine, just that he knew of the guy.