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A Short Commentary on the Nye-Ham Debate

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I originally wrote this for a friend, but decided that other people might be interested, too. Anyway, this is not a blow-by-blow, and I’m sure I’m missing some important points, but here is my commentary on the debate. If parts of it read like an email to a friend, well, that’s because that’s where it originated 🙂


Overall impression – Ken Ham made an excellent (and better) initial presentation, but he faltered quite a bit at answering questions from both Bill Nye and the audience, in which part Bill Nye was the clear winner.

Where I Thought Ken Ham Succeeded, and Nye Failed

One thing I was surprised at was that Bill Nye completely discounted the distinction between operational science and origins science, even though that distinction is very well documented in the philosophy of science. Actually, it was the evolutionists themselves who recognized the need for a distinction, and a difference to the types of evidences and procedures needed for historical vs. operational science!

Here, for instance, is famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr:

Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.

I thought Ham had a better grasp on the philosophy and limitations of science. Nye failed to grasp that science has methodologies, and each methodology has its own limitations. Instead, science functioned as a religion to Nye, answering all of his questions in the way he wants it to, without regard to its limitations.

Ham also emphasized the origin of logic and reason. Philosopher Alvin Plantinga has done a good job showing that science is consistent with theism but inconsistent with naturalism, since naturalism doesn’t provide adequate warrant for believing one’s own theories about nature, but theism does. A lot of Ham’s specific arguments come from a talk by Jason Lisle on this subject, which I think is well done.

Nye, quite predictably, hammered on about the need for science and engineering education and how creationism somehow prevents this. The funny thing is that the place where Nye thought was currently on top of science (i.e. the current US) is also the place where it is on top in creationism. Likewise, the subject he thought most important (engineering) is likewise the subject that produces the most creationists. I thought that Ham’s showing of many important Creation scientists and engineers was quite a good answer to the question of whether or not creation hinders the progress of engineering and science – it certainly has not been shown to do this.

Nye, for his part, seemed to be altogether ignorant of Christian theology. He tried several comments on it which were never responded to, primarily because the amount of education needed here would be so remedial.

Also, Nye harped quite a bit on the number of species, but he seemed to misunderstand his own calculation. His number (16 million I think) of species are based off of the total number of species anywhere – including bacteria, fungus, molds, plants, single-celled organisms, fish, etc (it is also an *estimate*, not an actual count). The number of species on the ark is based on the total number of land-based animals and birds. I don’t remember exactly what the present number of species is for land-based animals, but it is a much more reasonable number (I think there is an average that each ark-kind has only diversified into 8-10 species in total).

Finally, Ham did a decent job of explaining why current education in origins is already religious – by allowing only naturalistic causes, it is merely the religion of naturalism in disguise.

Where I Thought Nye Succeeded, and Ham Failed

Ham, however, failed to show, except in the narrowest cases, how the Creation model can be predictive. He did a good job showing Creationists who were scientists and engineers, but did not do a good job connecting their science and engineering to their creationism. He made a passing remark at one point that having a correct view of origins will lead a scientist in the right direction, but failed to show a specific instance of this actually happening.

Ham also left the audience without a sense of what a Creation scientist would actually *do*. Bill Nye pointed out the things that scientists investigate to discover, and how science generates a passion for knowing. Ham merely pointed to the Bible, as if the Bible answered every scientific question. Ham failed to give a positive account of what science looks like under the Bible except to assert that “the Bible is true”. If that was all Creation scientists did, it would be extremely boring.

Nye did a decent job of coming up with a short but powerful list of evidences to show that the world is old, and Ham did very little to counter any of that evidence. Nye also used Tiktaalik and humanoid skeleton’s to show the evolutionary tree, and that was also not countered by Ham.

Nye did a pretty good job of painting Ham into a hard-headed provincialist, unable to see past his own beliefs, and unwilling to dialogue with the rest of the world. On the flip side, however, Nye seemed altogether ignorant of the fact that he, too, was bringing in prior beliefs. I admire Ham for boldly proclaiming his beliefs, and he did a decent job of showing why his beliefs were not unreasonable; unfortunately, he gave very few reasons why other people should change their beliefs to his. Nye picked up on this instinctively, and hammered him nearly the whole night for it.

Overall, I appreciate Bill Nye’s willingness to engage in a respectful public dialogue with people he disagrees with. The world would be better off if that happened more often. I also appreciate the moderator, whom I thought did an excellent job. He did such a great job, I almost forgot to mention him!

Please post below if I left anything out important.

For those who missed the debate, it is available for viewing online for the next few days at this link.

UPDATE – Casey Luskin provides excellent commentary from an Intelligent Design perspective (my commentary had the aim of being more focused on what was said than what I wished was said).

92 Replies to “A Short Commentary on the Nye-Ham Debate

  1. 1
    JGuy says:

    Nye’s biggest weapon was to launch a thousand arrows… reminecent of the Persians in the movie 300… “our arrows will blot out the sun”… but the persistent student of the debate will find that each of those arrows is thwarted within the Answers in Genesis website… “haha..we’ll fight int eh shade!”… still, it was a bit annoying to see Nye just lob random questions, and not keep on point with the debate topic.

    e.g. Nye referring to ice cores… Did Nye read the creationist literature before the debate?

    If he would have, he would have found the AIG addresses this (in depth). One point to make is that in Greenland, according to AIG’s website, the avg depth of ice in Greenland is 1600m, with a maximum thickness of 3,367 m there… Ham pointed out, though I’m not sure it registered on the Nye side, that Ham was reporting about a World War II P-38 aircraft that was ditched there. After a mere 45 years, it was 80m under new ice.

    I realize it isn’t exactly this simple, but do the math for just the ice depth… it is clearly possible to have that thickness of ice within ~4500 years. (3367m)*(45y/80m) = 1893 years. Not to mention, that after the flood, the conditions were perfect for ice would to accumulated far faster (i.e. warm evaporating oceans and an atmosphere dimmer with volcanic dust/ash ).

    Well, that is just one random arrow that didn’t do mortal damage, but certainly distracted from the full scope of the war.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Mapou says:

    YEC explanations sure sound like the just-so stories of their opponents. Nothing of substance. Pathetically weak.

  4. 4
    bevets says:

    Mapou

    YEC explanations sure sound like the just-so stories of their opponents. Nothing of substance. Pathetically weak.

    Does this count as your substantive rebuttal?

  5. 5
    Mapou says:

    bevets,

    Does this count as your substantive rebuttal?

    I don’t have to provide a rebuttal. Bill Nye’s arguments obliterated both the young earth and the global flood nonsense. And, as a Christian, I think it’s a shame that Christianity has to defend itself against science when it should be opposite. Young earth creationists should spend as much time and diligence researching the basis of their interpretation of the Bible as they do trying to buttress their silly doctine. It does not seem like this is going to happen anytime soon, however.

    So I eagerly await the coming of God’s messenger, Elijah, who is prophesied to restore all things. I can assure you that Elijah will be nobody’s female dog.

  6. 6
    johnnyb says:

    For those interested, a better defense of YEC ideas is Ian Juby’s Complete Creation.

  7. 7
    Mapou says:

    Here’s a Daily Beast article of interest:

    Christians against creationism

  8. 8
    bevets says:

    Mapou

    Young earth creationists should spend as much time and diligence researching the basis of their interpretation of the Bible as they do trying to buttress their silly doctine.

    Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; … Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know. ~ James Barr Regius Professor of Hebrew at Christ Church, Oxford 1978-1989

    So far as the days of Genesis 1 are concerned, I am sure that Professor Barr was correct… I have not met any Hebrew professors who had the slightest doubt about this. ~ Hugh Williamson Regius Professor of Hebrew at Christ Church, Oxford 1992-Present

    I know you have read an interlinear translation so you may not find Oxford professors very convincing.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    Bevets,

    I don’t need professors of Hebrew to interpret the book of Genesis for me. I thank God I can read and am not incapacitated. And thanks to the computer, the internet and Google, we all have the ability to conduct Biblical research in the comfort of our homes.

    In my book, Ken Ham is either a deranged individual or a con artist. He does not speak for me. But then again, neither does Bill Nye. That is the way I see it.

  10. 10
    scordova says:

    David Coppedge also says Nye won the debate:

    http://crev.info/2014/02/bill-nye-scores/

    So now we have:
    myself (YEC)
    David Coppedge (YEC)
    johnnyb (YEC)
    Casey Luskin (ID)

    critical of Ham’s debate performance.

    The model of a good debate against the mainstream would be Stephen Meyer vs. Peter Ward. That was so lopsidedly bad for the Darwinists that many IDists felt sorry for Ward.

    Maybe Ham’s loss will embolden the Darwinists to debate more. That will be good thing. I hope so.

    But you get to see even better debate on the Net almost every day!

    Ham’s biggest problem is not the debate, but his lifelong procedure of saying “it’s true because the Bible says so” and then avoiding giving much justification why the Bible, and his interpretation is to be authoritative especially in light of the fact that many every day perceptions seemingly contradict the Bible. i.e. God seems so uninvolved in people’s lives.

    Declarations of belief are not arguments in favor of a belief. The way the Ken debated last night is the way he’s done business most of his life. That works for some not for all.

    Remarkably, a few atheists have become believers just by reading the Bible, so it is understandable that Ham’s prescription of seeking God and reading the Bible occasionally works. One example was US Naval Academy professor RA Herrmann.

    But such a procedure can also have an opposite effect as it did me. For a season, the more I read the Bible, the less I believed it! It was only when I began to study ID, creation, and archaeology that I began to believe again.

    As I’ve suggested, everyone comes and leaves the faith for various reasons. There is no one-size-fits all. But not even giving much justification why you believe the Bible seems a bit inexcusable, imho.

    Here might be simple ways of saying why you believe, for myself my answer would be:
    “Several times in my life and that of others, God answered a prayers miraculously when in desperation we prayed in the name of Jesus. I know of no immoral cruel person who became a moral loving charitable and kind person by becoming an atheist, but I know of so many who did in the name of Jesus. When I study history and archaeology, it seem to accord with the Bible. It was sealed with the blood of the martyrs of the early church, and eyewitnesses of the resurrection or the miracles of the Apostles. Darwinian evolution and chemical evolution fail and will fail to explain the obvious evidence of intelligent design in life which accords more with the work of a Creator God. There are many reasons to believe, and those are some.”

  11. 11
    johnnyb says:

    Sal –

    Don’t just mention the debate, Link to It! Yes, that was classic. Great remarks, and I thought Coppedge’s remarks were spot on as well.

    One thing that Coppedge picked up, that I almost completely missed, is that Nye didn’t even give the faintest defense of Darwinism – primarily because Ham never asked him to (there was one exception, but I think it was poorly worded)!

  12. 12
    Mapou says:

    Nye played his card perfectly. He attacked the weakest and most pathetic part of Ken Ham’s personal theology: that the earth and the universe are only 6000 years old and that a global flood occurred about 4000 years ago. Ham made Christians like me look like idiots and I, for one, do not appreciate it.

  13. 13
    scordova says:

    One thing Nye did was lay out what would change his mind. A wonderful, wonderful challenge, and some of which has been addressed at UD, but the most important is out of place fossils.

    I just realized, thanks to someone on an e-mail list, that there are actually out-of-place fossils but we aren’t realizing it like the Coelacanth that supposedly went extinct 65 million years ago. It is like a pre-Cambrian rabbit, but we aren’t realizing it! If we find living organisms today that are in lower strata but which do not appear in more recent strata, that will answer Nye’s question. The data may have been there all the time, but like so many things, ideology blinds them to the truth.

    I know Danny Faulkner personally and he’s invited me over to his house many times. Faulkner was presented by Ham and is distinguished professor emeritus of Astronomy. I know why Faulkner boldly asserted astronomy is consistent with the youth of the universe even though we don’t know the mechanism of seeing distant starlight in a youthful universe, the evidence is the structure of deeply redshifted Galaxies.

    Nye talked about the red shift and expanding universe and dark energy, but even secular cosmologists have serious doubts which I’ve laid out at UD.

    The complications of the Ark are a serious issue, and I actually commend Nye for pointing out the difficulties, but if we can find evidence of the orchards and mechanisms of fast evolution for the orchard, it would solve a lot of problems. I pointed out creationists extreme interest in hybridization:
    De-origination of species by means of reunion

    Nye’s argument regarding drowned plants was impressive, but that’s actually what we see in the fossil record. Drowned plants!

    The tree ring issue is easily solved. Many trees can develop more than one ring per year, and some of the dating methods that argue for 15,000 year-old-trees is not based on actually counting 15,000 rings! That’s the other thing that is peculiar, even supposing the Bible is a little off in dating, how come we really don’t find 1,000,000 year-old trees?

    Thanks to JGuy, seeing videos on fast sedimentation showed me most paleontologists have no clue about the formation of the layers. Nye asked how these layers can be formed so fast. Well, we have operational demonstrations in the present!

    The reason the debate faltered is we didn’t have the Creationist dream team vs. the Darwinist dream team waging battle for 2 weeks. The outcome would be different if it were done that way. But in a sense the debate on the net has been just that, and the ID proponents have long won that on evidential grounds, and now it’s time for the creationists.

    Ham failed to take advantage of the question regarding C-14! But thankfully the case for creation doesn’t rest on any individual or individual debate performance, it rests on the facts.

  14. 14
    JGuy says:

    Sal, I’m more critical of Ham’s second half. Personally, I think his opening presentation was superior to Nye’s. And he answered the question of the debate.

    As I wrote in the other thread on this topic, and above in this one, I’m more critical of how the rebuttals went.

    My question for you is, if you based your decision on just the two opening statements, how would you rate the two speakers?

  15. 15
    scordova says:

    One thing Ham did well was introduce a new phrase or idea, and one that will be a nice slogan.

    “Darwin’s Tree of Life vs. Creation’s Orchard of Life”

    Darwin’s writings were basically straw man attacks that went something like “creationists say species are immutable, but I have examples that species are not immutable, therefore we all descended from one creature”.

    Two rhetorical fallacies bordering on dishonesty:

    1. creationists never said species are immutable and even Blyth showed that they were not:
    Deorigination of Species. Darwin plagiarized Blyth and then added a straw man on top of it!

    2. variability of species does not imply universal common descent, that is a non-sequitur. It is a necessary, but not sufficient condition.

    The creationist orchard model is more in accord with both operational science and the fossil record, the tree of life fails.

    That may be one lasting legacy, I hope, from the debate, that creationist will start using the Orchard vs. Tree argument.

  16. 16
    scordova says:

    My question for you is, if you based your decision on just the two opening statements, how would you rate the two speakers?

    Ham’s 5-minutes were more impressive than Nye’s bowtie/undertaker story. Nye talking about the Seatle Seahawks was probably a bad move since you can alienate half the audience!

    I was impressed by Ham’s almost childlike humility in his acceptance of the Bible and mentioning of Jesus. That’s good for interpersonal ministry, but not the sort of stuff appropriate for a hard hitting debate about empirically defensible models.

    The one thing Ham has always done right is to confess before men the Lord Jesus Christ, and he did so last night, and 1 million years from now, Jesus will be the final judge of which side was closer to the truth in last night’s debate. So even if Ham fumbled, he got the most important thing right, and even Ham himself astutely pointed out, “what use is the joy of discovery after we are all gone”. He could have said it more forcefully, “science is wonderful, but there is no promise of eternal life in science.”

    I’m sure the Lord watched the debate last night too, if you know what I mean!

  17. 17
    scordova says:

    CMI has a devastating critique of Nye’s claims.

    http://creation.com/ham-nye-debate

    He said that in Kentucky, the Creation Museum stands on many layers of limestone with coral fossils. He claimed there would not be enough time in a creationist timeframe for these creatures to grow, die, and then be fossilized. However, creationist marine biologist Dr Robert Carter has addressed the existence of fossil corals.
    The next argument was that there are ice cores with 680,000 layers, each formed in a summer/winter cycle. Again, he claimed that this disproves a creationist timeframe. However, creationists have also answered this, see Greenland ice cores: implicit evidence for catastrophic deposition.
    He also claimed that there are trees older than a biblical timeframe allows for. However, dendrochronology is not an exact science; see plant biologist Dr Don Batten’s article on dendrochronology. Nye specifically mentioned bristlecone pines, but there is evidence that they may have more than one growth ring per year as argued at Evidence for multiple ring growth per year in Bristlecone Pines.
    His next challenge related to geology. He asked, if the Grand Canyon was the result of a catastrophic global flood, why are there not grand canyons everywhere? But as flood geologists have demonstrated, the Flood would have involved a number of different mechanisms at various stages as the waters drained off the continents. In fact, many erosional features are best explained by a global flood. There is a vast body of creation information in this area; we would send interested readers to our Geology Q&A page.
    Nye asked a number of times, why do we not have examples of fossils mixed between layers; for instance, a mammal in trilobite layers. But to the surprise of many, ducks, squirrels, platypus, beaver-like and badger-like creatures have all been found in ‘dinosaur-era’ layers along with bees, cockroaches, frogs and pine trees. See The so-called ‘Age of Dinosaurs’ and Evolution exams and fossil fallacies.</b.

  18. 18
    JGuy says:

    Mapou:

    [Mapou]
    Young earth creationists should spend as much time and diligence researching the basis of their interpretation of the Bible as they do trying to buttress their silly doctine.

    [Bevets]:
    Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; … Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know. ~ James Barr Regius Professor of Hebrew at Christ Church, Oxford 1978-1989

    […]

    [Mapou]
    I don’t need professors of Hebrew to interpret the book of Genesis for me.

    Then do we need you interpreting scripture for us?

    Disregard the Hebrew scholars if you can do better, but I think a point he was making should put you on the path to question your interpretation… instead of claiming others should do more research.

    Meanwhile, you claim that YEC should devote equal time to researching the biblical texts. That really makes no sense. First of all, you can’t produce new scripture out of thin air to research, in contrast, there is physical natural evidence popping up all over the place. So, even in principle your demand would be an obvious waste of resources. Besides being the plain interpretation. They’ve done unique research on the biblical genre that quantitatively demonstrate that Genesis 1-11 are the same as historical narratives to a high degree of confidence – i.e. greater than 99%. Have you done as much? If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you are simply exposing that you have not read YEC literature – in which case you need to do your own research on the matter before lambasting people with your interpretation. The Hebrew scriptures and other biblical texts are the basis of the YEC position. And you have already disregarded the Hebrew scholars that YEC would utilize in evaluating the ancient text. But consulting with such would count as part of the research into the basis of YEC (i.e. the bible). Because it goes against your interpretation, it’s easy to discount it and say you can do better with google search or whatnot.

  19. 19
    scordova says:

    Ham may have lost the debate, but may have won the war. I hope Nye and the Darwinist circulate this debate, because it will raise Nye’s questions, and when people look for themselves, they will see Ham was right. For example, regarding mammals in the age of dinosaurs:

    http://creation.com/so-called-.....rs#endRef1

    “We find mammals in almost all of our [dinosaur dig] sites. These were not noticed years ago … . We have about 20,000 pounds of bentonite clay that has mammal fossils that we are trying to give away to some researcher. It’s not that they are not important, it’s just that you only live once and I specialized in something other than mammals. I specialize in reptiles and dinosaurs.”8

    🙂

  20. 20
    conceptualinertia says:

    bevets,

    With all due respect to Professors of Hebrew/Old Testament they do not know how to interpret Genesis because they are basing their interpretation solely on the words in front of them.

    The Jewish Oral Tradition (embodied most notably in the Talmud) makes it quite clear that Genesis 1 cannot be understood properly with just a literal reading. There is even a dispute in the Talmud (a dispute more extensively re-hashed by Maimonides and Nachmonides) whether there were six days of creation altogether. This isn’t “apologetics” this is an ancient tradition.

    Trying to properly interpret the Old Testament based on the literal words is a fool’s errand.

  21. 21
    JGuy says:

    Sal @ 16

    Thanks for the response. And I like your more spiritual take on it that part (i.e. the opening 5 minutes).

    But I should have been more clear. I was referring to the first 30 minute statements. For example, when Ham used the video clips of the various scientists. Not the second period of rebuttals.

    I was thinking the first 30 minute presentation (I guess I mistakenly referred to as the opening statement) was best on Ham. But in rebuttal period, I think someone like Jonathan Safarti would have been better.

    By the way, I scanned David Coppedge’s blog this morning too. It seemed to me that he was saying that Nye had a more charming stage presence, but not better information. Correct me if you think I need to read his blog in full. Anyway, as such, it would be sad to think a debate is won by performance. I can’t recall who it was that I recently saw, but the claim was that the best debates are those where information takes the lead… for some reason, I think it was Kurt Wise, but I’m not sure.

    By the way… this Kurt Wise presentation would rebut Nye’s points on where fossils are found and/or why they [usually] aren’t mixed. It’s 8 parts.. I probably should take tips for BA77 on how to link to multiple videos as playlists:

    Floating Forest Theory-by Dr. Kurt Wise part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHYjNG_F1BM

  22. 22
    JGuy says:

    conceptualinertia,

    I’ve been open to the day-is-an-age view… and use to be an old earth creationist… I’d still be so if it made better sense. But it just doesn’t measure up to the day-is-a-day view when I account for not just the word usage, but all of the context. And the science simply doesn’t prove one way or the other – I think Ham was right on that point.

    But it’s not simply based on the literal meaning of the words. If that were the case, then I’d really have a problem with much of the texts, especially Revelations. The context is a huge part, especially the context of the whole bible. Again, there are other textual factors going on… not just literal words.

    From the analysis that I’ve read, it makes the most sense as a day is a day. Of course, others may disagree.

    With all due respect to Professors of Hebrew/Old Testament they do not know how to interpret Genesis because they are basing their interpretation solely on the words in front of them.

    How can that be the case if the Hebrew word yom can mean more than one thing? It can mean a span of time, an age, or a solar day. So, why would these scholars opt for it to mean a solar day in Genesis, but yom as an age in some other parts of the bible? Tht simply tells me, it’s not a “literal reading” of the word..but a contextual evaluation.

  23. 23
    JGuy says:

    Statistical Determination of Genre in Biblical
    Hebrew: Evidence for an Historical Reading of
    Genesis 1:1–2:3

    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/techn.....Hebrew.pdf

  24. 24
    JGuy says:

    From the above link:

    “8. Conclusions
    Although lacking the mathematical rigor of the statistical study, which rejected the null hypothesis H0(a classi?cation model derived from the distribution of the relative frequency of preterites classi?es texts no better than random results) and accepted the alternative hypothesis H1 (a classi?cation model derived from this distribution classi?es texts better than random results), which computed that the proportion of error reduction using the model is between 85.5 and 95.5 percent with a 95% con?dence interval, and which determined that the probability that Genesis 1:1–2:3 is narrative is between 0.999942 and 0.999987 at a 99.5% con?dence level, the weight of evidence (summarized in Section 7 and Appendix D) is so overwhelming that we must acknowledge that Biblical authors believed that they were recounting real events. We must therefore call their work history.65 The combination of the statistical and Biblical arguments is the “evidence” to which the subtitle of this chapter, “evidence for an historical reading of Genesis 1:1–2:3,” refers. Since Genesis 1:1–2:3 has the same genre as historical narrative texts.”

  25. 25

    scordova: “Maybe Ham’s loss will embolden the Darwinists to debate more. That will be good thing. I hope so.”

    Hopefully. I’d like to see Nye against Behe, or better yet, Meyer. Or me. 🙂

  26. 26
  27. 27
    JGuy says:

    Sal.

    When might you publish any papers? I’m curious if your YEC view will cripple you from doing any productive science. 😛 …or is such not your plans.

  28. 28
    Mapou says:

    scordova:

    One thing Ham did well was introduce a new phrase or idea, and one that will be a nice slogan.

    “Darwin’s Tree of Life vs. Creation’s Orchard of Life”

    Darwin’s writings were basically straw man attacks that went something like “creationists say species are immutable, but I have examples that species are not immutable, therefore we all descended from one creature”.

    This is one of the only two things that I liked about Ham’s presentation. The other is that he showed convincingly that one does not have to be an atheist or a Darwinist to be a great scientist. Other than that, Ham failed to explain why his interpretation of Genesis is the correct one. He argued that since Jesus quoted the creation story, therefore the entire creation story must be taken literally. There is no reason to believe that this is true.

    I disagree with Ham’s theology and not just his young earth doctrine. His claim that God has infinite power and knowledge is not Biblical. Yahweh never said that about himself. Jesus said that he and his father work always. If you’re infinitely powerful and knowledgeable, you don’t need to work. Everything comes easy for you and you have no merit either.

  29. 29
    Lenoxus says:

    Yes, YEC always has an answer to every piece of old-earth evidence. They never literally go “Wow, you’re right!”, and they never will. Unlike the ID challenge for biologists to demonstrate all the genetic steps to build a flagellum, I doubt a YECist could even identify something that would, in their own view, disprove their position regarding the Earth’s age. They even rule out radiometric dating altogether, dismissing it as… I don’t know, just a crapshoot or something.

    (The only possible situation I can imagine would be some kind of new Holy Bible that clarifies which parts of Genesis are poetic, since their interpretation of that text apparently a more important guide than nature itself. Of course, that would never happen either; Christians in general tend to agree that the Bible will never be augmented.)

    Of course each individual case for an old-Earth can be answered with fudging, or with claims that some processes happen “faster than usual”, or with the classic cure-all “the Flood was just so intense!” The problem is this: Why do all these methods and processes, from so many different fields of study, point to ages older than the YEC claim? Why would tree rings and shelled creatures and bristlecone pines and radiometric decay and ice cores and magnetic pole reversals and starlight all give consistent agreement with themselves, with each other, and against YEC? Is it really that plausible to suppose that dozens of known steady processes all happened to accelerate massively in tandem? Even starlight? Do floods do that, for some reason?

    It would be better to suppose either that God made an already-old Earth (Omphalos hypothesis) or that the evolutionist conspiracy goes much deeper than even creationists are willing to stipulate, eg, all the data, all the data, from star parallax to ice core counting to radiometric dating, is entirely made up.

    As an atheist, I have to agree with Mapou about impressions. YEC makes your side look really bad, and I’m glad when it manages to steal the spotlight and get massively debunked while in said spotlight.

  30. 30
    Mapou says:

    JGuy:

    Then do we need you interpreting scripture for us?

    Of course not. “Search and you shall find” is an exhortation given to everybody. Neither you nor Ken Ham have a right to do other people’s search for them and indoctrinate others into your way of thinking. I have said it before, “don’t take my word or anybody else’s word for anything.”

    Disregard the Hebrew scholars if you can do better, but I think a point he was making should put you on the path to question your interpretation… instead of claiming others should do more research.

    I don’t disregard anybody’s interpretation, including that of YECs. I take everybody’s view into consideration. I keep some and I reject some. I agree with Ken Ham on several points he made in the debate.

    What bothers me is that Ken Ham and YECs are clamoring that their interpretation is the right one. So much so, in fact, that the atheists and the Darwinists find it useful to their cause to lump all Christians into the YEC camp. I resent that. Ken Ham does not represent all Christians and his interpretation of the scriptures is nonsense according to a lot of us Christians out there.

    Meanwhile, you claim that YEC should devote equal time to researching the biblical texts. That really makes no sense. First of all, you can’t produce new scripture out of thin air to research, in contrast, there is physical natural evidence popping up all over the place. So, even in principle your demand would be an obvious waste of resources.

    IMO, it’s a lie that there is evidence cropping up everywhere to support the young earth doctrine. On the contrary, there is evidence cropping up everywhere to support an extremely old earth. The evidence is overwhelming.

    It takes time to analyze ancient words to really understand what they are trying to say. It takes time to do comparisons with other ancient texts and it pays to have no preconceived notions and no agenda. Ken Ham has a lame pony in the religious race and therefore he is not to be trusted. His organization would crumble if people stopped believing in his teachings. That is what he’s defending, IMO.

    There is evidence, for example, that the book of Genesis is a compilation of several texts written by several authors. With the help of computer analysis, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the ancient texts than a cursory interpretation can provide.

    Besides being the plain interpretation. They’ve done unique research on the biblical genre that quantitatively demonstrate that Genesis 1-11 are the same as historical narratives to a high degree of confidence – i.e. greater than 99%.

    This is obvious nonsense. There is no historical narrative for a six-day creation, or a 6000-year old earth, or for a global flood that occurred a mere 4000 years ago.

    Have you done as much? If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you are simply exposing that you have not read YEC literature – in which case you need to do your own research on the matter before lambasting people with your interpretation.

    It’s nonsense on the face of it, IMO.

    The Hebrew scriptures and other biblical texts are the basis of the YEC position. And you have already disregarded the Hebrew scholars that YEC would utilize in evaluating the ancient text. But consulting with such would count as part of the research into the basis of YEC (i.e. the bible). Because it goes against your interpretation, it’s easy to discount it and say you can do better with google search or whatnot.

    Many Hebrew scholars disagree with Ken Ham’s interpretation. Besides, arguments from authority are lame and worthless.

  31. 31
    Mapou says:

    Lenoxus:

    As an atheist, I have to agree with Mapou about impressions. YEC makes your side look really bad, and I’m glad when it manages to steal the spotlight and get massively debunked while in said spotlight.

    From my perspective, the whole YEC movement is the work of the devil. It has deception written all over it. There, I said it.

  32. 32
    scordova says:

    Since the whole spectrum of issues in the Ham-Nye debate is immense, I chose to start a discussion on an important specialized area Nye said would change his mind.

    Nye-Ham and how Darwinism possibly poisons science in lab, field, and theory

  33. 33
    JGuy says:

    Mapou:

    IMO, it’s a lie that there is evidence cropping up everywhere to support the young earth doctrine. On the contrary, there is evidence cropping up everywhere to support an extremely old earth. The evidence is overwhelming.

    I didn’t say evidence was cropping up to support YEC. I was talking about evidence, as in physical stuff, keeps coming it that research can be done upon. In other words, there is continually more work to do in physical science, than there is textual analysis of the same texts.

    Many Hebrew scholars disagree with Ken Ham’s interpretation. Besides, arguments from authority are lame and worthless.

    I won’t disagree about the issue of arguments from authority. But if you want to make sure you are getting a thorough analysis of a text, you certainly want to consult with scholars in the area. Your point on the existence of Hebrew scholars that disagree with young earth interpretation is noted. They are one’s that I’d also include in any rigorous evaluation.

    What bothers me is that Ken Ham and YECs are clamoring that their interpretation is the right one. So much so, in fact, that the atheists and the Darwinists find it useful to their cause to lump all Christians into the YEC camp. I resent that. Ken Ham does not represent all Christians and his interpretation of the scriptures is nonsense according to a lot of us Christians out there.

    I think you’re directing your energy in the wrong direction. It’s not Ham’s fault that he believes his position. Just as you adamantly believe that position is false.

    Ham doesn’t speak for me. He simply echoes what I already believe. Just like, perhaps, Hugh Ross doesn’t speak for you, but may echo some of your old earth views.

    That Darwinist consider it easy pickings is, imo, going to blow back into Darwinists faces.

    Also, keep in mind, Ken stated that there are Christians with other viewpoints in the debate, and agree’s that they are still Christians despite a old earth belief. Granted, he would argue they are wrong..but like I said, you argue the YEC are wrong.

    Even though the YEC is hit from multiple sides by old earthers (beit Darwinist, IDist or O.E.Creationist), I feel very comfortable in my position, and that’s not just b/c a plain reading of scripture leads to it, but also from a scientific standpoint – notwithstanding claims to the contrary. … A huge advantage of the YEC position is that it is very risky and by far the most unique position (what other model has a young earth?), making it not only testable by predictions, but in a place to advance true knowledge further than any other model. So, I’m very pleased that no other view has a young earth. With the uniqueness and risk, as more evidence points to a young earth, there will eventually be no scientific or pseudo-scientific interpretation of reality to openly compete with the truth of the Christian faith. A boone for God’s kingdom. But of course, I don’t know if this is God’s plan, He has a way of doing things better. It just seems like a good outcome. We’ll see eventually.

  34. 34
    Lenoxus says:

    JGuy:

    So, I’m very pleased that no other view has a young earth. With the uniqueness and risk, as more evidence points to a young earth, there will eventually be no scientific or pseudo-scientific interpretation of reality to openly compete with the truth of the Christian faith. A boone for God’s kingdom. But of course, I don’t know if this is God’s plan, He has a way of doing things better. It just seems like a good outcome. We’ll see eventually.

    That would be a clever plan on God’s part: (1) arrange for science to eventually reject a young earth, thus leaving only certain Christians to be young-earth believers, and then (2) do something-or-other to prove to the world the Earth is actually young, thus leaving only Christians to have been “right all along”. Thousands convert.

    Of course, this inherently implies that had things gone differently — had God simply let things alone — then a highly-evidentially-supported young earth might not have been strictly associated with Christianity. This is actually a point in favor of YEC opponents. Why? Because the only substantial argument YECs make for why so many people accept an old Earth is that they want to reject God (or are persuaded by peer pressure from people who reject God), and that somehow the one proposition (God doesn’t exist) requires the other (Earth is old).

    Myself, I think that given a hypothetical world in which YEC were true, the mild cognitive dissonance of a dogmatically committed atheist accepting a young Earth (“Yes, how it all works out is still a mystery…”) would be less than the huge dissonance required to believe in an old Earth countering more and more and more evidence for its youth. (For an example of that sort of thing, just see the reverse situation in our world: thousands of people who grew up in YEC households end up losing that belief upon becoming familiar with the mountains of old-Earth evidence).

  35. 35

    Mapou:

    . . . the whole YEC movement is the work of the devil.

    ROFL!

    I almost feel off my chair I laughed so hard. I suspect you didn’t mean it as a joke, but I thought it was very funny. I’m stealing this one-liner (to be used with various modifications as the circumstances require, of course).

  36. 36
    Mapou says:

    Eric Anderson @35:

    Mapou:

    . . . the whole YEC movement is the work of the devil.

    ROFL!

    I almost feel off my chair I laughed so hard. I suspect you didn’t mean it as a joke, but I thought it was very funny. I’m stealing this one-liner (to be used with various modifications as the circumstances require, of course).

    Now that you mention it, it does sound funny. LOL. I stand by it though, humor and all.

  37. 37
    uoflcard says:

    What happened to UD? I was a regular reader and commentor for years. YEC was never mentioned, except in passing by a couple of fervent believers. Even those people kept the YEC stuff out of it and focused on ID (while on this blog). Now it seems like anytime I check here, it is either a flood of comment-less News, or a conversation about YEC.

    UD was a wonderfully fascinating, mind-opening place. ID, I still believe, is the only major origins doctrine that is not philosophically ignorant of any possible explanation.

    Materialists, neo-Darwinists, ES-ers, naturalists, etc all operate from the a non-supernatural perspective. They take it to the extreme of being extremely hostile to any theory that is even remotely hospitable to a supernatural explanation, even if it doesn’t require one (Example: ID!). Plainly put – they do not simply follow the evidence where it leads; they follow the evidence wherever it leads, so long as it doesn’t lead down a supernatural-hospitable path (even if said evidence is strongly pulling in that direction – see biological complexity, elegance and ingenuity beyond the engineering capabilities of the entire human race, etc.).

    YEC’s, obviously, believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Therefore, if the evidence disagrees with the interpretation of the Bible, there is something wrong with the interpretation of the evidence, not the interpretation of scripture.

    I find this debate to be a sickening mix of boredom and frustration. Both of these “major” views are so insanely similar to me, as they are limited by their a priori assumptions. And both of their sets of assumptions (although almost polar opposites) have required them to deny the whole truth: That the Earth is very old and life is brilliantly designed.

  38. 38
    Mapou says:

    uoflcard:

    I find this debate to be a sickening mix of boredom and frustration. Both of these “major” views are so insanely similar to me, as they are limited by their a priori assumptions. And both of their sets of assumptions (although almost polar opposites) have required them to deny the whole truth: That the Earth is very old and life is brilliantly designed.

    Well put. Young-earth creationism and materialism/Darwinism are two sides of the same coin of confusion and deception. They both use a mixture of truths and lies in order to deceive. This is why I say they are the work of the devil. LOL. One man’s opinion.

  39. 39
    sixthbook says:

    Regarding Genesis being written by multiple authors:
    This makes a lot of sense to me and I don’t see how it goes against YEC at all. I think I first read the theory on a YEC site (maybe CMI?) in which there were different tablets with different authors each and Moses was essentially the compiler of all of them plus the next four books (with Joshua adding in some finishing touches).

  40. 40
    scordova says:

    What happened to UD? I was a regular reader and commentor for years. YEC was never mentioned, except in passing by a couple of fervent believers. Even those people kept the YEC stuff out of it and focused on ID (while on this blog). Now it seems like anytime I check here, it is either a flood of comment-less News, or a conversation about YEC.

    It’s just a coincidence. For example, count how many YEC threads there have been in the last to months by the YECs at UD (me and JohnnyB). Maybe 4 (I’ve only written 2 myself in the last 2 months). The rest were probably precipitated by News of Ham-Nye debate.

    But don’t blame me for the fact DNA half-life was recently confirmed at 521 years and we’re finding DNA in fossils hundreds of millions years old. Something is wrong and we have a responsibility to report on science news. You classified that as YEC thread, but formally speaking it is not:

    DNA 521 year half-life

    and then I merely pointed out a creationists movie is going to appear in theaters 2014, which is indicative of culture relavant to ID
    Russel Crowe

    That’s about it for the last two months from me regarding YEC.

    Many comments may be YEC related in some threads, but UD welcomes all sorts of comments, and maybe the YECs have become emboldened because there has been a decided shift in observational evidence. Don’t blame UD for the science that is changing the landscape of the debate.

    You missed out on some of the great ID discussions, some of the best in UD history. Seriously, look at the threads in December!

    Here is one that links to others:
    To recognize Design

  41. 41
    JGuy says:

    Mapou @ 38

    Well put. Young-earth creationism and materialism/Darwinism are two sides of the same coin of confusion and deception. They both use a mixture of truths and lies in order to deceive. This is why I say they are the work of the devil. LOL. One man’s opinion.

    …an opinion oft asserted as if a fact fact fact…

    Hmmm… what other camp oft assumes it conveys a fact fact fact?

  42. 42
    tjguy says:

    Sixthbook,

    Regarding Genesis being written by multiple authors:
    This makes a lot of sense to me and I don’t see how it goes against YEC at all. I think I first read the theory on a YEC site (maybe CMI?) in which there were different tablets with different authors each and Moses was essentially the compiler of all of them plus the next four books (with Joshua adding in some finishing touches).

    The way you explain it is right on, but this is not the JEPD theory that liberals hold to.

  43. 43
    Joe says:

    Nye actually brought up Tiktaalik not realizing that 1) it doesn’t say anything about any mechanism and 2) it is out-of-place. Now we have fish-> tetrapods-> fishapods. Darwin required fish-> fishapods-> tetrapods

  44. 44
    Lenoxus says:

    Joe:

    Now we have fish-> tetrapods-> fishapods. Darwin required fish-> fishapods-> tetrapods

    Only sensational science journalism (“MISSING LINK” FOUND!) assumed that Tiktaalik specifically had to be an actual ancestor of tetrapods as we know them. That’s really, really not how it works. Genes, traits, and basic morphologies can and generally do remain extant, in one or more lines of descent, for plenty of time, especially once they’ve diverged along multiple lines of descent.

    (In a sense, all lifeforms are composed of “leftovers” and are examples of “leftovers”; dividing traits or species into “fully developed” or “partially developed” or “vestigial leftover” can be a case of mistaken biological essentialism, albeit one that points to the truth, as a sort of “transitional idea”.)

    The paleontologists who discovered Tiktaalik knew they had a descendant/cousin of an actual reproductive intermediate, not the intermediate itself. That’s because the set of “directly in-between” organisms is much smaller than the set of their close cousins, so the latter is going to be fossilized more frequently.

    Evolution doesn’t require that once a “milestone” such as quadrupeds has been “reached” (as it had been by whatever left those footprints, or rather, by that species’ ancestors), then all organisms who resemble the intermediate steps (such as Tiktaalik) should be extinguished. Really, the argument about tetrapods “preceding” fishapods in the fossil record is a variant on “Why are there still monkeys?” (And evolution doesn’t actually distinguish “milestones” anyway; change simply happens.) Unless you want to assume that the current fossil record entirely represents the actual set of species that once lived on the Earth (and thus the fossils can be seen as “out of order”). Fell free to make that assumption, of course, knowing that it will be disproven within a month.

    The key point of Tiktaalik is that common descent specifically tells us to predict fossil fishapods. YEC does not. ID is neutral (playing it safe as usual) on the whole subject of common descent, while showing its hand when it tries to belittle every line of evidence for common descent, implying that their argument actually does contradict it.

  45. 45
    Joe says:

    Lenoxus:

    Only sensational science journalism (“MISSING LINK” FOUND!) assumed that Tiktaalik specifically had to be an actual ancestor of tetrapods as we know them.

    Non-sequitur. – I have blogged on this before:

    Tiktaalik is still being used as a successful prediction of something. I know it was supposed to be a successful prediction of universal common descent because it is A) Allegedly a transitional form between fish and tetrapods and B) It was found in the “correct” strata because allegedly no evidence of tetrapods before 385 million yeqars ago- plenty of fish though and plenty of evidence for tetrapods around 365 million years ago- Tiktaalik was allegedly found in strata about 375 million years old- Shubin said that is the strata he looked in because of the 365-385 range already bracketed by existing data.

    The thinking was tetrapods existed 365 mya and fish existed 385 mya, so the transition happened sometime in that 20 million years.

    Sounds very reasonable. And when they looked they found Tiktaalik and all was good.

    Then along comes another find that put the earliest tetrapods back to over 390 million years ago.

    Now had this find preceded Tiktaalik then Shubin et al. would not have been looking for the transitional after the transition had occurred- that doesn’t make any sense. And that is why it is a failed prediction- the transition occurred some 25 million years before, Shubin et al., were looking in the wrong strata.

    That said Tiktaalik is still an interesting find, something tha no on else had ever found and it adds to our knowledge base of organisms that once existed. But that is all it does.

    First, the set-up:

    “In a nutshell, the ‘fish–tetrapod transition’ usually refers to the origin, from their fishy ancestors, of creatures with four legs bearing digits (fingers and toes), and with joints that permit the animals to walk on land. This event took place between about 385 and 360 million years ago toward the end of the period of time known as the Devonian. The Devonian is often referred to as the ‘Age of Fishes,’ as fish form the bulk of the vertebrate fossil record for this time.”- Jennifer Clack, The Fish–Tetrapod Transition: New Fossils and Interpretations; “Evolution: Education and Outreach”, 2009, Volume 2, Number 2, Pages 213-223

    Got that- “the transition” refers to an event, a specific event that occurred between two specified time periods, a time when there were fish and no tetrapods and the time when there were fish and tetrapods.

    With that now firmly established we return to “Your Inner Fish” chapter 1 where Shubin discusses what he was looking for- hint: evidence for the transition, ie the event:

    Let’s return to our problem of how to find relatives of the first fish to walk on land. In our grouping scheme, these creatures are somewhere between the “Everythings” and the “Everythings with limbs”. Map this to what we know of the rocks, and there is strong geological evidence that the period from 380 million to 365 million years ago is the critical time. The younger rocks in that range, those about 360 million years old, include diverse kinds of fossilized animals that we would recognize as amphibians or reptiles. My colleague Jenny Clark at Cambridge University and others have uncovered amphibians from rocks in Greenland that are about 365 million years old. With their necks, their ears, and their four legs, they do not look like fish. But in rocks that are about 385 million years old, we find whole fish that look like, well, fish. They have fins. conical heads, and scales; and they have no necks. Given this, it is probably no great surprise that we should focus on rocks about 375 million years old to find evidence of the transition between fish and land-living animals.- Neil Subin pages 9-10 (bold and italics added)

    OK he did it just exactly as described, bracketed the dates. However his dates were wrong, which means he did not find evidence for the transition, which occurred many millions of years earlier.

    In order to find what he was looking for, evidence of the transition, he needed to focus on rocks 400 million years old, as the new data puts terapods in existence about 395 million years ago.

    Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland

  46. 46

    Lenoxus @44:

    Wow, that’s a whole lot of assertions about how evolution in fact occurs. We understand you though. What you meant to say is that some evolutionary proponents theorize x and y and z, and that despite the fact that the fossil record strongly disagrees as a whole with the Darwinian evolutionary storyline, every once in a while some fossil is found that might possibly be evidence of a gradual Darwinian evolutionary process.

  47. 47
    Xrati says:

    Mapou:

    You claim to be a Christian, but also believe in an old Earth. This seems strange to me. Why would you trust the internet, or even your own opinion more than God’s?

    Why should I trust your view more than those who have studied the scriptures in their original text?

    Why should I trust any faliable mans thoughts or opinions more than God’s?

    Do you believe that God did or did not create the universe and all that is in it?

    If your belief is that God did create everything, but took longer than the Biblical 6 days, why does His Bible lie to us?

    Yes I am what you would call a YEC. I believe that the literal 6 days (24 hours a piece) was absolutely the truth and that God did not and does not lie. But beyond that, without creation occurring as outlined in the bible and there being just one man and one woman in the beginning, then you cannot set up the whole purpose of the Bible:

    Man is sinful and in need of a savior. Our need for Christ is set up in the first few chapters of the book. Without a need for Christ to save us, you don’t need the Bible. Try removing Genesis from your Bible and try to make sense of it. Try just removing everything preflood and tell me where you stand.

    Ken Ham is so right that Genesis is FUNDAMENTAL to understanding the Bible and all the major points of theology, prophesy, and epistemology involved. Without the foundation of a literal 6 days of creation, one man and woman who sinned together, the rest of the Bible makes ZERO sense.

    It’s like a ship without a compass or stars to steer by.

    The Bible makes sense within the confines of the Biblical creation story, and none within an old earth construct.

    Do you have a need for Jesus or not?

  48. 48
    Lenoxus says:

    I will acknowledge that those tetrapod tracks changed the relevant models considerably. And yes, perhaps the timing element of the original Tiktaalik prediction is not as impressive in consideration of the new evidence; had the tracks been found first, the prediction wouldn’t have chosen the particular time. (But I’m not an expert and there were probably even more factors taken into account than is popularly known.) However, the location is still significant; we had already found related fossils in the area, so it made biological sense to look there.

    Do you understand the parallel between the “Tiktaalik got dethroned by the footprints” argument and “Why are there still monkeys?” (Even before those footprints had been discovered, you could have asked, “Why are there still fish? Evolution is happening in the wrong order!”)

    And do you understand why it is significant that fishapods existed at all? Sure, a designer could have made them, but why does the designer only make intermediates that fit into the evolutionary nested hierarchy?

    Eric Anderson:

    What you meant to say is that some evolutionary proponents theorize x and y and z, and that despite the fact that the fossil record strongly disagrees as a whole with the Darwinian evolutionary storyline, every once in a while some fossil is found that might possibly be evidence of a gradual Darwinian evolutionary process.

    No, what’s going on is that evolution is easy to misunderstand. The misunderstanding (for example, that evolution means movement up a ladder of progress, such that “insufficiently evolved” species are doomed to replacement by walking, talking, hat-wearing species) is then treated as one theory. When the actual theory (lineages can persist for plenty of time, and discovered fossils are going to be cousins, not direct ancestor/descendants) is presented in a clarifying manner, the misunderstander thinks they’ve encountered a second, different theory, and hence a suspiciously changing story.

    It’s like saying “But I thought the Coriolis effect meant water drains differently in different hemispheres; I mean, everyone knows that. Now you’re saying they believe something different? They’re just changing the story when convenient!”

    And if ID is really going to stick to a story that the fossil record disagrees with the evolutionary timeline, well, good luck. Let us know if you find any class-crossing hybrids or Precambrian rabbits.

  49. 49
    Collin says:

    Eric, Mapou,

    I’m convinced that the devil uses religion more than God does.

  50. 50
    Joe says:

    Lenoxus,

    In the absence of being found in the right strata, Tiktaalik is a transitional form in that “it looks like what you think a transitional form from fish to tetrapod would lokk like”.

    And do you know the difference between a nested hierarchy, a semi- nested hierarchy and a non-nested hierarchy?

    BTW I have been south of the equator and tested the drain effect. They either drain in the same motion as ours do in the north or they just kind of all empty at once without any whirlpool effect. However I have also seen two compartments of a three compartment resturaunt sink have counter whirlpools- one CW and the other CCW- when drained at the same time.

  51. 51
    scordova says:

    Summarizing the answer to Nye’s question:

    Why do we not have examples of fossils mixed between layers; for instance, a mammal in trilobite layers

    Because they aren’t layers for the most part on top of each other. The “layers” are laying HORIZONTALLY (not vertically) in relation to each other just like eco zones lay horizontally to each other. Because a reasonable explanation is that if the “layers” lay horizontally to each other, they probably represent eco-zones in the first place!

    You won’t find a dead rabbit in the Cambrian any more than you’ll find a living rabbit at the bottom of the sea. And when the “layers” are stacked on top of each other, sometimes they are worse than mixed, they are in the wrong order! It is misleading to suggest they are really “layers” when most of these fossil collections from a given “era” lies horizontally in isolation on about 99% of the Earth. The Darwinists got a way with misleading claim by showing pictures of a vertical column to describe long ages such as this one:

    http://stuartsorensen.files.wo.....rata-5.jpg

    To the extent there may be vertical stratification, it may be explained by the fast stratification methods described in the video Drama in the Rocks

    Nye is asking a leading question like, “have you stopped beating your puppy today”. Even that said, we see mammals in dino dig sites, the fossil record is heavily edited of embarrassments.

    Rapid stratification is demonstrated possible, and actually shown necessary. It’s not just possible that the fossil layers were built fast, it is virtually impossible that they were built slowly if the fossils are permineralized because of the requirements that the entombment happen rapidly (a matter of hours to weeks) and involve water.

    Radiometric C14 dating, measurable DNA and non-racemic amino acids, helium diffusion, consideration of erosion rates indicates strongly the fossil record must be recent. This is also consistent with the evidence that the so-called “layers” aren’t really “layers” but collections of fossils lying HORIZONTALLY (not vertically) in relation to each other, a fact reinforced by the observation that even when they are vertical, they can also be in inverted order, suggesting that as a matter of principle, they had to start out in horizontal relation to each other, and the fact of abundant horizontalization of layers contradicts the assumption that the “layers” accumulated vertically over long ages. Thus Nye’s model is incoherent, self-contradictory, therefore, false.

    Ham may have lost the debate but the facts win the war against evolutionism.

  52. 52
    Mapou says:

    Ham may have lost the debate but the facts win the war against evolutionism.

    The war is not about evolutionism vs. Ken Ham and the YECs. It’s about Darwinism vs. intelligent design. Ken Ham and the YECs are an unfortunate distraction and a red herring.

  53. 53
    conceptualinertia says:

    JGuy,

    I don’t think you are understanding my point. I am not saying yom = age per se (although that is a possibility), rather I am saying that the Oral Tradition teaches that the Creation story in Genesis and the Heavenly Chariot stories in Ezekiel and Isaiah cannot be read and understood, no matter how sophisticated your analysis and no matter how much context you are employing. The tradition understands these accounts to be codes for something else.

  54. 54
    DebianFanatic says:

    sixthbook@39:

    It’s the “Tablet Theory of Genesis Authorship”

    http://www.trueorigin.org/tablet.asp

  55. 55
    Mapou says:

    conceptualinertia @52,

    You are talking to people who believe that the book of revelation, a purely metaphorical book, should be understood literally. In fact, Christian fundamentalists read literally from book of Revelation to preach their doctrine of eternal damnation in hell fire. It’s evil, IMO.

  56. 56
    Lenoxus says:

    Joe:

    In the absence of being found in the right strata, Tiktaalik is a transitional form in that “it looks like what you think a transitional form from fish to tetrapod would lokk like”.

    Yes, it does. That’s because it looks like its ancestors. It’s not in the “wrong” strata any more than a human who died recently and was buried would be in the “wrong” place for not being King Tut or someone equally integral to history. That human’s body could still provide valuable insights to alien archaeologists wondering what King Tut looked like (if they had access to Egyptian writings but not to human bodies), and if these aliens were to predict the human shape based on other evidence, then the discovery of some arbitrary human body would still be of significance.

    You don’t have to agree with me about what I think the scientists believe. However, do you at least understand my argument that they don’t believe we should ever expect to find transitionals in the specific sense of “this animal is a direct reproductive descendant of X and a direct reproductive ancestor of Y”? That (despite how this may seem like special pleading if you refuse to really think about it) it doesn’t make sense to insist on such a thing?

    Complaining that they ought to find and identify those specific fossils if the theory is true is, ironically, a failure to accept that something can leave behind (huge amounts of) indirect evidence of its existence, a line of thinking that actually contradicts the design inference! It would be like refusing to accept that some ancient pottery had been made by a human until that specific human’s corpse has been found and identified as such by archaeologists. The archaeologists could try to explain that for every potter there would be hundreds of farmers, priests, and kings, and there’s no reason to expect any potters specifically to be preserved, and further that there’s no obvious way to tell whether a given body was the same potter who made the pot… but some hyper-skeptic keeps accusing them of evading the problems.

    And do you know the difference between a nested hierarchy, a semi- nested hierarchy and a non-nested hierarchy?

    I suppose so. Could you explain the relevance? Would you describe the actual array of life as semi-nested, or non-nested, or not even a hierarchy?

    BTW I have been south of the equator and tested the drain effect. They either drain in the same motion as ours do in the north or they just kind of all empty at once without any whirlpool effect.

    Right. I was unclear. My intention was to compare the wrong assumption that the coriolis effect affects bathtub water to various wrong assumptions about evolution. They’re both easy misperceptions to fall into, especially because they are widely believed.

    scordova:

    Because they aren’t layers for the most part on top of each other. The “layers” are laying HORIZONTALLY (not vertically) in relation to each other just like eco zones lay horizontally to each other.

    Huh, this is a new notion I haven’t encountered before; the usual argument is for some kind of “hydrodynamic sorting” mixed with an assumption of vertically stacked eco-zones. But you’re basically saying the fossil record is a result of the deluge turning things “sideways” (at least, in the majority cases where the stratification is vertical), is that it? I’m afraid that’s just as problematic; given that hypothesis we would still expect combinations that we never see. For one thing, real-world eco-zones aren’t separated horizontally anything like what we see in the fossil record.

    Even that said, we see mammals in dino dig sites, the fossil record is heavily edited of embarrassments.

    How is that problematic? Mammals date back to the late Triassic, so they overlap with dinosaurs by about a hundred million years.

    Rapid stratification is demonstrated possible, and actually shown necessary. It’s not just possible that the fossil layers were built fast, it is virtually impossible that they were built slowly if the fossils are permineralized because of the requirements that the entombment happen rapidly (a matter of hours to weeks) and involve water.

    Even though fossilization is helped a lot by flood-type conditions (though not solely, see tarpits for example) and thus we can assume that most fossils are of organisms that did go underwater, that doesn’t mean the best explanation of all the fossils is one single massive flood. That’s a bit like proposing that all electrocutions in history resulted from a single lightning bolt.

    And of course, you’re being selective with the data when you make a big deal about water, but ignore that after the flood-sedimentation steps of fossilization are processes known to take an extremely long time. (You also conflated fossilization with stratification so that you could make “rapid stratification” sound slightly less absurd.) No actual flash flood has produced fossils in human-observable time, yet the sheer amount of fossils we have would suggest (under YEC) that nearly all the Great Flood’s water had special instant-fossilization abilities. (At least, I’m assuming that under YEC, the fossils were basically physically the same as they are today, say, within a month after the flood was over.)

  57. 57
    Joe says:

    Lenoxus, I bet that you look like your ancestors. And unless one, a fishapod, is found between fish a tetrapods, it is in the wrong strata to support universal common descent.

    And yes I understand your argument.

    And a tree of life would a non-nested hierarchy as the parent populations do not consist of and contain the daughter populations. Linnean taxonomy is a nested hierarchy as it exhibits summativity.

    The US Army is a nested hierarchy- it has nothing to do with descent with modification.

  58. 58
    Lenoxus says:

    Lenoxus, I bet that you look like your ancestors.

    Yes. My body is evidence for the existence of primates, and mammals, and all the groups of which I am part. I am a piece of evolution’s evidentiary puzzle, and Tiktaalik is another, much more important piece.

    And unless one, a fishapod, is found between fish a tetrapods, it is in the wrong strata to support universal common descent.

    Tiktaalik tells us that fishapods indeed existed, which common descent calls for, just like it calls for intermediates for which we have even greater fossil support, like reptilian mammals, dinobirds, walking whales, and ape-humans.

    Finding a fishapod that dates to several million years later than the point of transition isn’t some kind of problem, in the way that finding one that was way too early (such as the precambrian) would be. It’s only a problem because news media insists on “MISSING LINK FOUND” stuff. Even before Tiktaalik we had plenty of Elpistostegalians (the bigger word for fishapods) and their close relatives. Tiktaalik is just another one, one that is noteworthy for its particularly “middlish” morphology.

    But no, we haven’t yet found fishapod fossils preceding those remarkable tracks. If that makes you feel smug, then you’re implying that we shouldn’t expect to find them, so go ahead and predict that we never will. I’m sure you’d be as right as if you’d predicted no fossil remnants of those other major transitions.

    And a tree of life would a non-nested hierarchy as the parent populations do not consist of and contain the daughter populations. Linnean taxonomy is a nested hierarchy as it exhibits summativity.

    The US Army is a nested hierarchy- it has nothing to do with descent with modification.

    Ah, I’m starting to understand. I used to think of evolution that way before I learned about cladistics, and it would sometimes confuse me. But drawing distinctions between the groups of ancestors and their descendents is rarely useful, and usually arbitrary. The truth is that humans, being mammals, are by extension a kind of reptile, and hence are a tiny subset of lobe-finned fish. That’s the nested hierarchy of evolution.

  59. 59
    scordova says:

    C:

    rather I am saying that the Oral Tradition teaches that the Creation story in Genesis and the Heavenly Chariot stories in Ezekiel and Isaiah cannot be read and understood, no matter how sophisticated your analysis and no matter how much context you are employing.

    It’s not just the creation account that is being questioned, it is the account of Noah’s flood.

    I was an OEC and also accepted the idea of a great flood. The supposed elimination of all humanity also suggests to me it was global, not local.

    If you read Genesis 10 (the table of nations), it is awfully hard to argue the flood is some sort of mysterious allegory, and further, Luke Chapter 3 ties Jesus as a descendent of Noah, and Jesus refers to Noah’s flood as a real event.

    On top of this there is the tower of Babel.

    So even supposing we don’t understand the creation account, the wording of the flood account seems naturally literal especially in light of Genesis 10.

    But we might consider settling the issue by studying the evidence and seeing a revision of timescales is in order. I say the evidence screams that we should stop and reconsider the claims of Darwinists.

  60. 60
    scordova says:

    Huh, this is a new notion I haven’t encountered before; the usual argument is for some kind of “hydrodynamic sorting” mixed with an assumption of vertically stacked eco-zones. But you’re basically saying the fossil record is a result of the deluge turning things “sideways” (at least, in the majority cases where the stratification is vertical), is that it? I’m afraid that’s just as problematic; given that hypothesis we would still expect combinations that we never see. For one thing, real-world eco-zones aren’t separated horizontally anything like what we see in the fossil record.

    Consider Heart Mountain where we have the layers in the following order from top to bottom:

    Paleozoic
    Jurassic
    Tertiary
    Paleozoic

    it is supposed to be:

    Tertiary
    Jurassic
    Paleozoic

    How did that overthrust happen without the layers being horizontal at one time, maybe horizontal from the very beginning! In fact, overthrusts and overlapping horizontal lithologies require the layers be laid out horizontally.

    The one place lots of layers look in the right order and at least several represented and stacked on top of each other is the Grand Canyon, but even that isn’t the entire Phanerozoic.

    But I don’t think anyone is suggesting we can pick any random spot on the surface of the Earth and start digging and see all the layers most of the time. Usually it’s just one or few, which means the layers are horizontally laid out on the Earth’s surface, and then it becomes questionable then to refer to them as layers at all except when they are stacked on each other like Heart Mountain.

    It is dubious that there is even 1 place on Earth we have a whole Phanerozoic system, there is ongoing debate on the net of the credibility of claims that entire systems exist. If so, then most of the layers are horizontal, which make it questionable to even call them layers in the first place.

    Even though fossilization is helped a lot by flood-type conditions (though not solely, see tarpits for example) and thus we can assume that most fossils are of organisms that did go underwater, that doesn’t mean the best explanation of all the fossils is one single massive flood. That’s a bit like proposing that all electrocutions in history resulted from a single lightning bolt.

    The problem is more general than that, without rapid burial, things will get scavenged, decayed, or destroyed from lack of protection. Burial cannot be slow even in principle. That is the basic mechanical contradiction that is there but never properly acknowledged.

    Thanks for responding.

    PS
    One thing I’m curious about. Are index fossils required to appear always in a certain kind of rock? I actually don’t know. Thanks.

  61. 61
    scordova says:

    Nye apparently made a mistake with tree ring dating. The tree in question was C-14 dated, not done by ring counts.

  62. 62
    Lenoxus says:

    scordova: I’m not a geologist and don’t have more expertise than armchair reading. So I don’t have any answer to your argument about Heart Mountain. I think this is worth a look if you haven’t seen it, but you do seem knowledgeable about phenomena like faults.

    However, I will say that arguing for originally-horizontal strata on the basis of a few exceptions to the vertical model means you’re going against the current of the evidence. This is a good example of where YEC has a consilience problem. You can poke all the holes you like in old-earth and no-worldwide-deluge arguments, but you have no comprehensive alternative that truly predicts and explains the same evidence.

    Hydrodynamic sorting and ecologizal zonation arguments face far, far more issues than the conventional view. When it comes to your idea, there is no reason to think that what paleontologists consider the major eras were actually represented by living creatures all at once, with spatial rather than temporal separation. For one thing, it would require one of the following: that either the entire world was collectively zoned-up like this (with, say, the precambrian life existing in Eastern Americas, the Cambrian to the East of that, and so on until you hit the Cenozoic environment in the Western Americas)… or that the same exact series of eco-zones were, for some reason, represented in the same order several times over, in different parts of the world. And in either case, you also have to argue that the flood always turned the zones sideways in the same direction.

    (Although that’s a pretty cool idea which reminds me of a Tarzan comic book I enjoyed as a kid, “The Land That Time Forgot”, where a single island basically works that way; the further you walked into the island, the more “ancient” the living fauna you encountered.)

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting we can pick any random spot on the surface of the Earth and start digging and see all the layers most of the time. Usually it’s just one or few, which means the layers are horizontally laid out on the Earth’s surface, and then it becomes questionable then to refer to them as layers at all except when they are stacked on each other like Heart Mountain.

    If the entire geologic column were equally represented at all strata, that would imply accumulation of strata at an equal rate everywhere, which we have no reason to expect, in part because stratification typically involves water and the earth has never been covered by equal amounts of water all at once. (A one-time flood creating all the strata would, it seems to me, be slightly likelier to create such a thing, but not necessarily.)

    It is dubious that there is even 1 place on Earth we have a whole Phanerozoic system, there is ongoing debate on the net of the credibility of claims that entire systems exist. If so, then most of the layers are horizontal, which make it questionable to even call them layers in the first place.

    How does it follow (from the noteworthy absence of vertical layers in various places where other vertical layers are found) that “most of the layers are horizontal”?

    One thing I’m curious about. Are index fossils required to appear always in a certain kind of rock? I actually don’t know. Thanks.

    It’s not absolutely required that every slice of deep rock contain any fossils at all, of course. If any fossils are found, they are expected to match the known strata where they have been found before. The commonest fossils are called “index” fossils because they happen to be especially useful for the identification of strata (though they are certainly not the only means of identifying strata, as some creationists like to argue); even non-purely-scientific endeavors like oil wells or highway builders have hired geologists who use index fossils as an identifier.

    Come to think of it, by “kind of rock” you probably meant… kind of rock, such as sandstone or whatever. And as to that I have no idea.

  63. 63
    DebianFanatic says:

    So as I understand it, Tiktaalik is interpreted as a transitional fossil between X and Y, even though Y shows up in the record before Tiktaalik does.

    The explanation is that Tiktaalik evolved earlier, but just didn’t show up in the fossil record until later.

    Okay, I get that.

    But it’s important to realize that this is an argument from the silence of the record; there is no evidence that Tiktaalik had evolved earlier as a transitional.

    In other words, the claim is based on conjecture, not on evidence.

    It’s a plausible-sounding story, but stories do not evidence make, and should not be presented as the final word.

  64. 64
    scordova says:

    When it comes to your idea, there is no reason to think that what paleontologists consider the major eras were actually represented by living creatures all at once, with spatial rather than temporal separation. For one thing, it would require one of the following: that either the entire world was collectively zoned-up like this (with, say, the precambrian life existing in Eastern Americas, the Cambrian to the East of that, and so on until you hit the Cenozoic environment in the Western Americas)… or that the same exact series of eco-zones were, for some reason, represented in the same order several times over, in different parts of the world. And in either case, you also have to argue that the flood always turned the zones sideways in the same direction.

    I appreciate the criticism here. I always welcome such reasoned objections which is far better than the sophistry I’m accustomed to in these discussions. Thank you.

    You raise credible points worth considering, that we, obviously can’t settle in the space of this discussion.

    If I may point out, even if there are difficulties with the suggestion of eco-zones and modest hydrologic sorting, the problem of:

    1. missing layers
    2. out of order layers
    3. horizontal layers

    is clearly in evidence. Missing layers would seem to argue for fast erosion and/or eco zones. This is not explainable for hardened lithified layers, but explainable if we invoke somewhat pliable unlithified layers that are like unsolidified cement which can more easily be washed away, and also the eco-zone can also help explain missing layers.

    One of the most dramatic of these so called erosional breaks in the Grand Canyon strata is that between the Redwall Limestone and the Muav Limestone beneath (see Figure 1). The Redwall Limestone is assigned by evolutionary geologists to the so-called Mississippian Period (or the Lower Carboniferous to Europeans and Australians), said to have been 310-355 million years ago,3 whereas the Muav Limestone is said to belong to the so-called Cambrian Period, believed to be 510-570 million years ago.4 That means that where the Redwall Limestone rests directly on top of the Muav Limestone there is said to be a time gap of at least 155 million years during which the land surface was supposed to have been exposed to the forces of weathering and erosion.

    😯

    there is one place in the Canyon where diligent search has failed to find any evidence of erosion between the Redwall and Muav Limestones. The supposed 155 million years of geological time is not only ‘missing’, but appears to have never existed! The site is found on the North Kaibab Trail, which starts at Phantom Range on the Colorado River and climbs northward up to the North Rim of the Canyon. The trail crosses the boundary between the Redwall Limestone and the Muav Limestone, the spot being signposted by the National Park Service. The sign reads:

    An Unconformity
    ‘Rocks of Ordovician and Silurian Periods are missing in Grand Canyon. Temple Butte Limestone of Devonian age occurs in scattered pockets. Redwall Limestone rests on these Devonian rocks or on Muav Limestone of much earlier Cambrian age.’

    That geological “layers” can be shuffled around like legos or decks of cards isn’t reassuring to the notion the Earth’s history was fundamentally stable enough to maintain such a record in the first place over millions of years. If the Earth was behaving this way for so long, why does the Cambrian look so well preserved?

    It doesn’t make sense that erosion and accumulation is focused like a laser on select areas of the Grand Canyon for 150 million years.

    The special pleading for this would seem to warrant responsible science if not saying, the record is young or old, should say, “the age of the fossil record is inconclusive and requires more investigation”. I say that because fossils themselves evidence youth:

    1. C14
    2. DNA (which only has 521 year half life)
    3. unracemized amino acids
    4. published erosion rate would have erased the fossil record in a matter of millions of years.

    When Nye asked how is it possible that these strata formed so quickly, I thought, given the requirement that burial be rapid, I thought to myself, “how is it possible that these strata could have formed so slowly?”

    There is an incongruity;

    1. C14 says the fossils are young
    2. K/Ar dating says the rocks the fossils are in are old

    It is possible a fossil can be young but the rocks they are buried in are old. I have some info on K/Ar that I intend to provide in the other discussion:

    Nye-Ham and how Darwinism poisons. It will take a while to provide some of the K/Ar dating stuff.

    Thanks again for the civil exchange of views.

  65. 65
    scordova says:

    From my perspective, the whole YEC movement is the work of the devil. It has deception written all over it. There, I said it.

    Could you accept, OLD EARTH BUT RECENT FLOOD? That’s defensible, and even I could live with that.

  66. 66
    Mapou says:

    scordova:

    From my perspective, the whole YEC movement is the work of the devil. It has deception written all over it. There, I said it.

    Could you accept, OLD EARTH BUT RECENT FLOOD? That’s defensible, and even I could live with that.

    No. A worldwide flood occurring just 4000 years ago is not defensible, IMO. Sal, you should not jump into finding scientific evidence to support your beliefs. You should first question the basis of your belief in a global flood. I personally believe there was indeed a flood but all indications is that it was a local flood. Looking at the scriptures, I see no reason to believe there was a global flood.

    Also, the Biblical narrative is somewhat fuzzy and weird. Genesis 10 speaks of different tribes and nations (descendants of Noah) each with a different language (tongue) and then Genesis 11 goes on to say that the whole earth had one language. It makes no sense.

    I strongly suspect that we are missing something very important in the narrative or that the ancient texts became somehow contaminated or incomplete.

  67. 67
    Lenoxus says:

    DebianFanatic:

    But it’s important to realize that this is an argument from the silence of the record; there is no evidence that Tiktaalik had evolved earlier as a transitional.

    Actually, the term “argument from silence” refers to the opposite, that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. In this case, an argument from silence is the point being made by Tiktaalik naysayers such as this blog: We see no pre-trackways fossils of fishapods, so why assume there were any then? (This is assuming the trackways were definitely a tetrapod, which might not be the case, but for the sake of argument we can assume it was.) That’s not a bad point. Here’s my counter…

    Tiktaalik had to come from somewhere (it had parents and they had parents, right?), and the vast set of related evidence, including fossils of over a dozen other relatives from that time and place, suggests that it had fishapod ancestors, either distant or recent, that gave rise to tetrapods. Otherwise, the placement of those species, both geographically and laterally, would be arbitrarily similar to what we would expect if there had been a fish-to-tetrapod transition. If it’s compatible with creationism, fine, but evolution gets the points for actually predicting those fossils, the morphology, and the contemporary DNA evidence that complements it.

    You don’t need a specific parent-species fossil to infer the existence of some sort of parent species, unless you intend to be hyperskeptical no matter how many parent-species (technically, more like uncle-species) fossils keep getting found. Additionally, any fossils we do find would still only be “the closest we’ve come” to the actual transition that interests us. Right now, the closest we’ve come (on the tetrapod side) is Tiktaalik. (We never expect to get “all the way there” because it’s a tiny needle in a stack, or rather a tree, of millions of needles. And its physical similarity to the other needles means that the needle experts will always debate over the particulars, even while agreeing on the nature of the overall picture, and even on relatively close-up pictures as well.)

    Meanwhile, referring to Tiktaalik “evolving as a transitional” suggests an incorrect framing of the situation. Species simply evolve; they don’t change “as a transitional” or “not as a transitional”, although some lines undergo more obvious outward change than do others. Try to remove the species-essentialist goggles that everyone (including me) naturally wears all the time, such that if you can find enough X-type traits on a creature then it is “fully X”, otherwise it is “fully Y” or some sort of poor confused “halfway X-Y creature”. Tiktaalik was a fully-formed (to use creationist language for a moment) creature in its own right, just like all species are. Its morphology happens to be interest to human paleontologists millions of years later, because it clearly resembles the sort of fossil they had been expecting to find.

    If tetrapods had never evolved, then (hypothetical non-human) scientists would consider Tiktaalik interesting without being “transitional”, rather like how we look at today’s flying squirrels, or at the triceratops. As it happens, the combined patterns of extinction and continuation (tetrapods developed and then persisted to this day, while alternative possibilities did not) are such to make Tiktaalik interesting as an intermediate form.

    Given the current “silence”, do you wish to predict that within, say, the next fifty years, no fishpod fossils will be found pre-dating the famous tracks? Should the expected fossil record should go fish, (to-be-discovered) tetrapods, trackways, Tiktaalik — an out-of-order deal?

    scordova:

    It doesn’t make sense that erosion and accumulation is focused like a laser on select areas of the Grand Canyon for 150 million years.

    Why should all places erode equally? I’m not an expert here, but surely erosion is a process entirely dependent on the environment, and environments can be very different from one place to another.

    Given the requirement that burial be rapid, I thought to myself, “how is it possible that these strata could have formed so slowly?”

    Again, I believe you are conflating fossilization with stratification. Even if the fossilization did always require initial rapid burial, that doesn’t mean stratification is rapid. To consider the distinction, just suppose that living things never fossilized, then try defending the proposition, with specific details, that geologic strata were laid down rapidly.

    1. C14
    2. DNA (which only has 521 year half life)
    3. unracemized amino acids
    4. published erosion rate would have erased the fossil record in a matter of millions of years.

    The first two points, as I understand them, are simply mistaken. I believe it is possible to “carbon-date” something that doesn’t actually contain carbon, and to get a wrong answer as a result. And we haven’t found “T-rex DNA”, that’s just sensationalistic science journalism again. As for the third item, I am less familiar with that data, although it should be pointed out that amber fossils, where the unracemized amino acids were found, are known to require millions of years to form. Your fourth item assumes uniformity in erosion for no reason. It’s entirely possible (and a bit sad to consider) that millions of years’ worth of fossils may have been eroded from some places. That doesn’t mean the entire fossil record ought to have disappeared — Earth isn’t a uniform biosphere.

    Thanks again for the civil exchange of views.

    Thank you likewise. I will say this in favor of creationism — by some quirk in my personality, there’s nothing more than these debates (either reading about or participating in them) that gets me so motivated to learn about this stuff, which is rewarding because this stuff is so awesome.

  68. 68
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Mapou: Also, the Biblical narrative is somewhat fuzzy and weird. Genesis 10 speaks of different tribes and nations (descendants of Noah) each with a different language (tongue) and then Genesis 11 goes on to say that the whole earth had one language. It makes no sense.

    The Old Testament is full of contradictions. Anyone who has seriously studied it with an open mind knows it. However, it still may have some value. What do you think?

  69. 69
    Mapou says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    Mapou: Also, the Biblical narrative is somewhat fuzzy and weird. Genesis 10 speaks of different tribes and nations (descendants of Noah) each with a different language (tongue) and then Genesis 11 goes on to say that the whole earth had one language. It makes no sense.

    The Old Testament is full of contradictions. Anyone who has seriously studied it with an open mind knows it. However, it still may have some value. What do you think?

    The evidence seems to indicate that Genesis is a compilation of several texts that were badly put together into one book, thus falsely suggesting a continuity that was not there originally. However, it is one of my favorite books of the Bible. We just don’t know how to read it properly. Not yet, anyway. It does mention another source of information, some ancient chronicle or other. Unfortunately, it has never been found. Hopefully, archaeology will come to the rescue some day.

    I do research in Biblical metaphors and I find certain books fascinating: Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Revelation, etc.

  70. 70
    DebianFanatic says:

    Lenosux writes:

    Actually, the term “argument from silence” refers to the opposite, that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    Tiktaalik had to come from somewhere …. If it’s compatible with creationism, fine, but evolution gets the points for actually predicting those fossils, the morphology, and the contemporary DNA evidence that complements it.

    You don’t need a specific parent-species fossil to infer the existence of some sort of parent species, unless you intend to be hyperskeptical no matter how many parent-species (technically, more like uncle-species) fossils keep getting found.

    Perhaps I used the wrong terminology, but my point was that what the actual evidence shows is tetrapod fossils, then later in the record, an “ancestral” fishapod form; it does not show an ancestral form followed by an evolved descendant, which is what claim is being made for it.

    This explanation is consistent with evolutionary theory (in other words, evolutionary theory gets the points for predicting it), but it’s not evidence of it. As you yourself say in the quote above, it’s an inference. Nothing wrong with making inferences; they just shouldn’t be confused with actual evidence.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  71. 71
    DebianFanatic says:

    Mapou:

    The evidence seems to indicate that Genesis is a compilation of several texts that were badly put together into one book, thus falsely suggesting a continuity that was not there originally.

    [Genesis] does mention another source of information, some ancient chronicle or other.

    Since the discovery of thousands of tablets in places like Tel El Amarna since the 70’s, the evidence seems to indicate that the book of Genesis is a series of “ancient chronicles” stitched together into a coherent whole. Moses cites his source material; we just haven’t recognized those citations until these tablet discoveries showed us how to recognize them.

    As Welhausen, et al, recognized, Genesis 1 is a separate account from Genesis 2. But rather than being two stories told around the campfire, passed from generation to generation over hundreds of years before being written down, Moses copied down a tablet he had found in his research, and cited it as, “This is the record of the creation of the heavens and earth, concerning their creation, when Yahweh God created them” (Gen 2:4), making sure to identify the God of this creation account with Israel’s God, Yahweh.

    The next tablet he found seems to have been written by Adam himself, covering the events of which Adam would have personal knowledge. Moses gives his citation for this tablet also, actually mentioning that it is a “book”: “This is the book of Adam’s family” (Gen 5:1).

    Moses then seems to weave a single story of the Flood out of the stories of the three sons who survived it and who would know the events of these tablets first-hand: “These are the records of Shem, Ham, and Japeth” (Gen 10:1). It makes sense that one son might mention that the animals came on-board by single pairs (Gen 6:19), whereas a different son might add the detail that clean animals came on by seven pairs (Gen 7:2).

    He cites Shem’s family records to establish part of the family tree (Gen 11:10).

    Moses then cites Terah’s family records to establish more of the tree (Gen 11:27).

    And so on. When Moses gets to the part of Jacob’s story where Jacob reunites with his long-lost brother Esau, he then incorporates into his story Esau’s records, which were probably exchanged with Jacob during that reunion (Gen 36:1). Having only passing interest in that side of the family, after giving a brief rundown of that side of the tree, Moses then moves back to the Jacob line and continues his story (Gen 37:2).

    And then Moses (and later editors) wraps us the story that leads up to his own story (Ex 1:1), and begins telling the story he knows in much more detail, that of his birth and life and the Exodus of which he was a central part.

  72. 72
    Mapou says:

    DebianFanatic @71,

    Thanks for the comment. Moses was a highly educated man, having been trained in all the wisdom of the land of Egypt. It’s a sure bet he had access to all their records and could read and speak several languages. In those days, records were kept on either clay tablets or papyrus scrolls. I suspect that there were several scrolls in the beginning and that they eventually became a single book long after Moses’ death as the scribes continued to copy the original records.

  73. 73
    scordova says:

    The Ham-Nye debate raised a question, “do you have testable predictions?”

    The Table of Nations in Genesis 10 predicts the structure of population genetics for the current day. That is a topic research in its infancy.

    We may get there some day for the table of Nations in Genesis 10, but even now, Abraham first mentioned in Genesis 11, about 10 generations after Noah is being explored by Jewish geneticists:
    Abraham’s Chromosomes

    Can recent genetic research give some indication of the existence of the historical Abraham?

    Recent genetic studies of the Jewish people clearly indicate that the roots of the Jewish nation can be traced to the Middle East. This research confirms the geographical origin of the core of every major Jewish Diaspora community. (See: “Jewish Genes.”)

    Furthermore, the discovery of the “Cohen Gene” — the genetic signature shared by the majority of Kohanim — the Jewish priestly family worldwide, is an indication that this signature is that of the ancient Hebrews. (See:”The Cohanim – DNA Connection”)

    Based on the DNA of today’s Kohanim, the geneticists have dated their “Most Common Recent Ancestor” to 106 generations ago, approximately 3,300 years before the present. This is in agreement with the Torah’s written and oral tradition of the lifetime of Aaron, the original High Priest and founder of the Kohen lineage. Further genetic studies have found that the CMH-the Cohen Modal Haplotype-a haplotype of the MED (J) haplogroup-is not exclusive to Kohanim, and not unique to Jews. It is also found in significant percentages among other Middle Eastern populations, and to a lesser extent, among southern Mediterranean groups. A haplotype is a group of distinct DNA markers — neutral nucleotide mutations, which when found together indicate a lineage. These particular markers were discovered on the Y-Chromosome, which is passed from father to son, without change, thus establishing a paternal lineage pattern.

    All of the above is scientific fact, which has only become known in recent years. Using these findings as a basis, perhaps we can speculate and consider some implications of the findings.

    If the CMH is the genetic signature of Aaron, the father of the Kohanim, it must also have been the genetic signature of Aaron’s father, Amram, and that of his father, Kehat, and of his father, Levi. Levi’s father was Jacob who also must have had the CMH as his Y-Chromosome genetic signature, as did his father, Isaac.

    Thus we arrive at Abraham. Abraham was only seven generations removed from Aaron, a matter of a few hundred years. Genetic signatures change slightly only over many generations. Thus, it is very reasonable to assume that the CMH, the most common haplotype among Jewish males, is therefore also the genetic signature of the Patriarch Abraham.

    Of active interest is the fact that Y-chromosomal Noah (mistakenly called Y-chromosomal Adam) should be a few thousand years younger than mitochondrial or matrilineal Eve according to the Genesis flood and creation model. The problem is the clocks don’t say that right now. We’ll see…

    Because it is an open question as to how accurate the first tablets were, how well Moses copied, them etc., there is plenty of room for doubt, but that doubt may be reduced by modern genetics.

    Now, a speculation. Could it be that God made sure those genealogies were written and preserved for 6000 years knowing one day we’d have the ability to confirm it through science? I think so. It seems the enterprise of science has been miraculously gifted to humans, that there is no reason we should have the technology today that we have, that instead we should just be behaving like chimps if the Designer didn’t intend for us to have technological advancement.

    DebianFanatic, that was some awesome commentary. I didn’t know that about the tables. I learned something! That totally makes sense! I believe that personally because the Designer is all-wise and all-knowing and knows our days even before we were born.

  74. 74
    scordova says:

    One conflict with the Genesis account that creationists should consider is that it says Noah had 3 daughter-in-laws.

    That means we should see 3 matriarchal lineages that are daughters of one Eve. Instead, the best assessment is:

    The Seven Daughters of Eve by Oxford Geneticist Bryan Sykes.

    Sykes got a little flak because of some his (unwitting) creationist friendly writings like: Adam’s Curse

    But finding the 3 daughters of Eve would be a great project for a creation model.

  75. 75
    Mapou says:

    Sal,

    In my opinion, using genetic analysis to trace the Jewish lineage to a single common male ancestor (Noah) would not constitute proof that the flood was global. To lend credence to the global flood hypothesis, the analysis would have to include all the far-flung ethnic groups of the world and arrive at the same Noah common ancestry.

    On another tangent, I doubt that the Adam that married Eve and had Cain and Abel was a common ancestor to all of humanity. Moses was only interested in the lineage that engendered the Hebrew or Abrahamic tribes. It is almost certain that there were many other lineages on earth at the time and that the Adam lineage was not the first.

  76. 76
    Querius says:

    Robert Carter, PhD (Marine Biology) touches on mtDNA here at about 39:00 minutes into his presentation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....38;t=9m40s

    There are three mitochondrial lineages: M, N, and R across the globe.

    -Q

  77. 77
    Lenoxus says:

    DebianFanatic:

    This explanation is consistent with evolutionary theory (in other words, evolutionary theory gets the points for predicting it), but it’s not evidence of it. As you yourself say in the quote above, it’s an inference. Nothing wrong with making inferences; they just shouldn’t be confused with actual evidence.

    True, the inference itself isn’t evidence, but the inference is based on evidence. Scientists aren’t saying “There’s a gap in the timeline, ergo, the gap will be filled”, but rather, “The fossil and DNA evidence suggest a branching of the tetrapod group of lobe-finned fishes from a “fishapod” group of lobe-finned fishes. Assuming those are in fact tetrapod trackways, we can assume that an ancestor to both groups existed before the tracks, and if we’re lucky some close relative of that ancestor fossilized in an accessible area.”

    I appreciate the credit given for an at-least-partly-fulfilled prediction. And I think the sci-blogging community has perhaps been a little quick to jump on defense rather than acknowledge that the trackways, in addition to being a marvelous find, are also a small wrench in a “clean” prior hypothesis. This hypothesis would be that Tiktaalik, along with all the other fossil fishapods, was relatively close to (say, within 5 million years of) the true common ancestor in question.

    In a way, the situation turns out to be the opposite of the human-chimpanzee split: Whereas there are many more specimens for the side that interests us (the human side), there aren’t many relics of chimpanzee evolution from the common ancestor, probably because chimps didn’t diversify as much as humans. Conversely, most of the fishapods we’ve found post-date the tracks, and might therefore represent a separate diversified group with no living descendants at all. (In other words, the pre-trackways lobe-finned “fish-not-very-pod” fossils were in the same group as some common fishapod ancestor. From that ancestor are two branches, one including the tetrapod trackmaker, while the other includes all the post-tracks fishapod fossils we’ve found).

    Scordova: Do you understand my interpretation of your argument about rapid burial of fossils and rapid strata formation? Do you think you could defend (not necessarily here, just hypothetically) your assertion that all the strata formed rapidly, without making reference to fossils? Or is the rapidness of fossilization integral to that argument?

  78. 78
    DebianFanatic says:

    Mapou writes:

    On another tangent, I doubt that the Adam that married Eve and had Cain and Abel was a common ancestor to all of humanity. Moses was only interested in the lineage that engendered the Hebrew or Abrahamic tribes. It is almost certain that there were many other lineages on earth at the time and that the Adam lineage was not the first.

    I can certainly understand your doubt from a naturalistic perspective, but not from a Scriptural perspective, for Moses writes:

    HCSB Gen 3:20 – Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.

    HCSB Gen 5:3 – Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth [who through generations, v. 28] fathered a son. 29 And he named him Noah….

    HCSB Gen 9:19 – These three were Noah’s sons, and from them the whole earth was populated.

    HCSB Gen 10:32- These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their family records, in their nations. The nations on earth spread out from these after the flood.

    And not just Moses, but the Mosaic Law scholar / Pharisee Paul:

    HCSB Acts 17:26 – From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.

    HCSB Rom 5:12 – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One.

    HCSB Rom 5:17 – Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone.

    HCSB 1 Cor 15:45 – So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

  79. 79
    DebianFanatic says:

    Interesting, that as we speak of fossils being not quite in the right order in the rocks, there’s this new piece:

    A team of paleontologists affiliated with USC Dornsife and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has determined that birds were capable of modern flight patterns much earlier than previously suspected — at least 60 million years before T. rex stalked the land.

    So maybe dinos weren’t the ancestors of birds after all?

    http://crev.info/2014/02/creta.....sO2Cy.dpuf

  80. 80
    DebianFanatic says:

    Sorry; messed up the link:

    Here.

  81. 81
    Mapou says:

    DebianFanatic @78,

    I can certainly understand your doubt from a naturalistic perspective, but not from a Scriptural perspective, for Moses writes:

    HCSB Gen 3:20 – Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.

    HCSB Gen 5:3 – Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth [who through generations, v. 28] fathered a son. 29 And he named him Noah….

    HCSB Gen 9:19 – These three were Noah’s sons, and from them the whole earth was populated.

    HCSB Gen 10:32- These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their family records, in their nations. The nations on earth spread out from these after the flood.

    I see your point and I, too, believed this to be true for most of my life. However, I find it hard to believe that humanity is only six thousands years old in view of the evidence from modern science. For one, I don’t believe the Adam in the Garden of Eden (the Adam that named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living) is the same Adam that fathered Cain and Abel. I am almost certain that the Garden of Eden story is a purely metaphorical description of a very ancient humanity. My main reason for saying this is that strange talking snake which, based on other scriptures, I believe to be a metaphorical reference to Lucifer.

    The story of Noah and of a global flood that occurred only 4000 years ago is even harder to accept. The geological evidence for this is simply not there. No, the Grand Canyon is not evidence for a recent global deluge. We have strong evidence that North Africa used to be a green fertile land with lakes, rivers and many tribes of people as recently as 12,000 years ago.

    It is very possible that either Moses himself was mistaken or his use of the phrase “the whole earth” is not what we think it means. I have seen the same phrase translated “the whole land” in other places. Alternatively, it is possible that the flood occurred tens of thousands of years ago and that there is an error in the Mosaic genealogy. It is possible that there is a vast historical gap between Noah and Abraham. After all, Moses was relying on records that were already ancient even in his day.

    And not just Moses, but the Mosaic Law scholar / Pharisee Paul:

    Paul could have been mistaken about this. And it would not be the only time that Paul showed his lack of understanding of things. Paul thought that the end of world was going to happen in his lifetime and, as a result, he advised people not to get married. How can someone as knowledgeable and educated as Paul make such a mistake? It happens.

    I could be wrong about all this (I certainly am no better than Paul), but, as I have said elsewhere, even though I am a true blue Christian, I do not worship the Bible as the inerrant word of God. That would be idolatry, in my opinion. I keep searching always in the hope of improving my understanding.

  82. 82
    scordova says:

    Scordova: Do you understand my interpretation of your argument about rapid burial of fossils and rapid strata formation?

    Yes, but you’re characterizing my argument in a mistaken way, and that’s perhaps because this is an informal discussion and I’m not a geologist I’m a derivatives trader and I don’t always say things in the clearest most rigorous ways.

    I was avoiding being polemic since we won’t settle anything in this discussion, this is just an exchange of views.

    A strata containing certain kinds of fossils, cannot in principle have formed slowly, unless you invoke special pleadings like: “Cambrian formed in an instant, and then stop for a buzzilion years, and then Permian formed and then stopped for a buzillion years, etc.”

    Do you think you could defend (not necessarily here, just hypothetically) your assertion that all the strata formed rapidly,

    I didn’t mean all strata (and if I said all I have to clarify a mistake), I meant strata that contain fossils requiring rapid burial.

    I can’t defend it because I’m not a geologist, but one thing I know, geologists and evolutionary biologists who claim long ages haven’t been able to defend the opposite viewpoint given the parameters I described.

    I usually get dismissal and put downs, not reasoned answers, I may not be a scientist, but I’m not exactly science illiterate either.

    Without making reference to fossils? Or is the rapidness of fossilization integral to that argument?

    Don’t know about the argument without fossils, but then in that case neither side can assert much in face of the fact we know stratified sedimentary layers can form quite rapidly as demonstrated by the University of Colorado turbidity studies and that simple physics equation in the video I linked to.

    The fossils serve as index fossils in a way that was not realized, they contain:

    1. C14
    2. DNA
    3. unracemized amino acids

    I’ve never gotten satisfactory answers from the mainstream either on those points. Personally, I don’t care anymore. If there is no determination to be self-skeptical, nothing is going to change.

    And in the case of some layers, POLYSTRATE orientations of fossils like trees pretty much demand rapid burial as a matter of principle.

    Maybe one can get away with layers containing only mirofossils, but then if the microfossils in the Cambrian are ever found to evidence:

    1. C14
    2. DNA
    3. unracemized amino acids

    Then I don’t see why someone shouldn’t be skeptical to begin with about the age of the FOSSIL not necessarily sedimentary rocks that could possibly be old.

    Old rocks are a challenge to YECs, but I was specifically challenging the age of the fossils. C14, DNA, unracemized amino acids indicate we are not accounting for something.

    I would think on those grounds, saying, “we don’t know for sure” would be a good answer, but that seems intolerable for both poles of the debate. I have my personal views, obviously, and I’m glad my profession doesn’t depend on being a conformist to prevailing paradigms because my conscience would bother me to insist the layers are old when there are these unresolved discrepancies.

    I was an Old-Earth believing evolutionist long ago raised in a Roman Catholic home that didn’t care one iota about the creation/evolution controversy, and they were just happy to see me get an A in my high school biology class. I became an OLD Earth creationist before graduating high school, and even after 3 undergraduate science degrees, I still had believe the fossil record was old, and changed my mind only before entering grad school. I say that just in case some readers might think I came with some religious bias to the argument, I didn’t, I got convinced of another viewpoint by examining the evidence.

  83. 83
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    What I find interesting is how intelligent people do not acknowledge all the contradictions in the Old and New Testament. If we’re going to talk theology and Bibliology, I may as well throw it out. I can post tons of stuff.

    The Bible is LOADED with contradictions. Shall I point out a few of them?

    Please, please, people, leave the Bible alone. Leave your pet religions at the doors. Let’s talk about ID. Let’s DO SCIENCE.

  84. 84
    Mapou says:

    CentralScrutinizer:

    What I find interesting is how intelligent people do not acknowledge all the contradictions in the Old and New Testament. If we’re going to talk theology and Bibliology, I may as well throw it out. I can post tons of stuff.

    The Bible is LOADED with contradictions. Shall I point out a few of them?

    Please, please, people, leave the Bible alone. Leave your pet religions at the doors. Let’s talk about ID. Let’s DO SCIENCE.

    I disagree. The real reason that UD exists is that Darwinism and Christian creationism exist. Regardless of the strength of ID, Darwinists will continue to ignore it because it’s more advantageous for them to target the weak underbelly of their enemy. This weak underbelly is called Christian fundamentalism, the same fundamentalism that gave us young earth creationism.

    Christian fundamentalism exists because its leaders make a good living by preaching that the Bible is the infallible word of God and that God has infinite power and knowledge. As a Christian, it bothers me a great deal that people find it profitable to preach that God, the extremely advanced being who created the universe and life on earth, could have been the author of some of the nonsense I read in the Bible. In so doing they offend God’s intelligence and mine. As a Christian, I strongly resent that and I think it’s the work of the devil.

    Now, I don’t believe for a second that the entire Bible is nonsense and that God’s revelation cannot be found in it but I am convinced that Christianity will not win this war unless it does something about its weak underbelly.

  85. 85
    Lenoxus says:

    Scordova:

    A strata containing certain kinds of fossils, cannot in principle have formed slowly, unless you invoke special pleadings like: “Cambrian formed in an instant, and then stop for a buzzilion years, and then Permian formed and then stopped for a buzillion years, etc.”

    But this doesn’t follow even if every individual fossil required rapid formation. It is entirely consistent to suggest something like, “An average of once every thousand years (and probably more frequently than that), the right combination of circumstances occurred for another fossil to form (or two or a hundred all together), a process that by itself took a couple days.” That could raise questions about fossils at identical depths, but I take it on pure ungrounded faith that these do not create a problem for geology/palaeontology. 🙂

    … we know stratified sedimentary layers can form quite rapidly as demonstrated by the University of Colorado turbidity studies and that simple physics equation in the video I linked to.

    Okay, that’s an interesting suggestion. I’ll look into it.

    The fossils serve as index fossils in a way that was not realized, they contain:

    1. C14
    2. DNA
    3. unracemized amino acids

    While I agree that the third one has definitely been found and I’m not sure about the first one, the second one simply isn’t the case. No DNA has been discovered in any fossil that is “too old” to have DNA (or indeed, in any fossil at all, as far as I know). At least, not if you’re thinking of “T-Rex DNA.”

    I hope none of my responses have come across as personally insulting to you or to your expertise. I just couldn’t help but read (possibly misread) your fossilization/stratification argument as involving a simple error. I now amend that interpretation somewhat.

  86. 86
    pgcawley says:

    There is a better answer to this entire debate that needs to be brought to light. The answer I’m referring too is the Gap Principal view of Genesis. This view is held by over 40 Biblical scholars and was the predominant view of Genesis until the militant YEC movement took over evangelical Christianity. Some of the most profound Biblical scholars of modern times hold too (or held too) this view and it has a TON of exegetical and scientific proof to sustain it. I offer the following websites/books/authors/scholars/teachers for your review: 1. “A Long Held View” by Arthur Custance (Google the title to get to the website) 2. http://www.EvoGenesis.com (“EvoGenesis” book and website by author John Thomas). 3. http://www.kjvbible.org (“The Bible, Genesis & Geology” book and website by Gaines R. Johnson). 3. http://www.gaptheoryofcreation.com (“In The Beginnings” book and website by Steven E. Dill). 4. “The Truth About Evolution Or; Don’t Let Satan Make A Monkey Out Of You” Google title to find more info on the book and author Max D. Younce. This last book contains a chapter listing over 25 MAJOR Biblical scholars who hold to the Gap Principal view of Genesis. EVERY SINGLE PERSON MENTIONED ABOVE IS A OLD EARTH CREATIONIST. I include myself in this list. ALL of us utterly REJECT Darwinian Evolution or any other version of Macro-Evolution. We believe the earth is VERY old (at least hundreds of thousands of years old) but that “modern man” made in the image of God and ALL of the current life and creation were “made” by God about 6,000 years ago BUT that the earth itself and a previous age existed on the earth LONG before Adam & Eve. We believe the Genesis account of creation is a literal historical event that took place about 6 thousand years ago and it is describing God returning to the earth to RESTORE IT in 6 literal 24-hour periods of time NOT creating it for the first time. More to come….

  87. 87
    pgcawley says:

    I want to refer anyone reading THIS post to read my first post about the Gap Principal of Genesis. The next point to make is this: the correct exegesis of Genesis chapter 1 is this: the first verse “In the beginning God created (Bara) the Heavens and the Earth” is a complete statement and is referring to the fact that however long ago the beginning started (and it does NOT indicate when that beginning started) when God was finished, the heavens and the earth were completed! The next verse, verse 2, is NOT (I repeat) is NOT a continuation of verse one. There is a BREAK in the text!! There are a number of indicators and word usages that Moses employed to make sure the reader understood this. I offer the following word distinctions for your review: “Bara” means to create something out of nothing for the first time. “Asah” means to MAKE something from materials already in existence. The word Bara is used in verse one of Genesis and not again until the 6th day when God both Bara AND Asah (creates and makes) Adam & Eve. More word contrasts to consider: “World” and “Earth” with the term “World” always and I mean ALWAYS referring to a current world system or past or future world system but NEVER to the globe itself! The term “Earth” is ALWAYS 100% of the time referring to the globe itself…the sphere and or the dirt of the planet itself. Until these differences are thoroughly understood by the Bible student, there will most likely always be a misunderstanding in the translation of Genesis chapter one. More to come….

  88. 88
    pgcawley says:

    Concerning my last post, I mentioned the correct exegesis of Genesis chapter 1 and the need to understand the meanings and definition of words Moses used when writing Genesis chapter 1. Here is a good overview of this by yet another Biblical scholar, of which I will provide the link to his work next. Here is a portion of this work: RUIN-RESTORATION
    “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.” (Gen. 1:2)

    The Ruin-Reconstruction Theory suggests that there is a gap of time between a distinct creation event in the first verse of Genesis and the second recreation in the second verse of Genesis, explaining the age of the Earth.

    And the earth was (ha?ya?h) without form, (to?hu?) and void; (bo?hu?) and darkness (cho?shek) was upon the face of the deep.(teho?m teho?m) And the Spirit (ru?ach) of God (‘e?lo?h??ym) moved (ra?chaph) upon the face of the waters. (Gen 1:2 Hebrew)

    ha?ya?h – become, come to pass, became

    to?hu? – desolation, or become worthless.

    bo?hu? – ruin

    cho?shek – destruction

    teho?m teho?m – abyss

    ru?ach – breath

    ra?chaph – to brood as a mother hen

    The Ruin-Reconstruction theory, known as Gap Creationism, suggests a time lapse exists between a distinct creation event in Genesis’ first verse and the second recreation that takes place in the second verse, explaining the Earth’s age. This concept suggests that science has proven the Earth is much older than accounted for by adding up biblical chronology.

  89. 89
    pgcawley says:

    The author and biblical scholar quoted above is C.K. Quaterman and here is the rest of his treatise on the Ruin-Restoration Principle or Gap Principal (the same view just a different title):

    Furthermore, the Ruin-Reconstruction theory maintains the Genesis Creation account is inerrant in scientific fact. Gap Creationists assert that the biblical account lapse lasted an unknown number of years (between a first creation in Genesis 1:1 and a second recreation in Genesis 1:2). This allows for various observations, including; determining the Earth’s age as well as that of the universe, dinosaurs, oil formation, ice ages, and geological formations that occurred as outlined by science without contradicting a literal belief in Genesis.

    In contrast, the Ruin-Reconstruction theory differs from “Day-age Creationism” and “Young Earth creationism.”

    Day-age creationism claims that the days of creation were much longer (thousands or millions of years). Young Earth Creationism, although it agrees concerning the six literal 24-hour days of creation, does not suggest a time gap.

    The Ruin-Reconstruction concept alleges that a cataclysmic judgment was pronounced upon the earth (between the 1st and 2nd verse) due to the fall of Lucifer. In addition, other verses of Genesis describe a reforming of the earth from a chaotic state. The E.W. Bullinger Companion Bible of 1909 clearly shows the Ruin – Restoration theme of Genesis:

    The beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the Heavens and the earth (Perfect, complete and to be Inhabited). And the earth became waste, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep (Frozen Ice). And the Spirit of God moved (hovering, brooding); [the beginning of the heavens and earth which are now] upon the face of the waters [Melted Ice]. (Gen. 1:1-2, EWB-CB)

    The six days of Genesis are the account of a re-creation, or regeneration of a previously existent heavens and earth (not the original creation), and seven creative days within Genesis chapter one are not a geological history of the earth!

    Ruin-Reconstruction relies upon specific linguistic reasoning behind the Hebrew Scriptures. First, a newly created earth should not have been without form and void. Second, the word “was” in Genesis 1:2 is more accurately translated as “became.” The Hebrew word for “was” is haw-yaw’ and means “become”, or come to pass. Third, “create” and “made” are different in the Hebrew language as well. “Create” (bara in Hebrew) means to call forth out of nothingness. The Christian doctrine “Ex nihilo” has a Latin phrase meaning “out of nothing” from this Hebrew word. Subsequently in the text, the words “make” or “form” (asah in Hebrew) mean a re-fashioning or making from pre-existing material. This refers to the substance remaining after the earth underwent Lucifer’s judgment.

    Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

    This means that the heavens and the earth came into existence by divine command and was not assembled from pre-existing matter or energy. Further support can be seen in Isaiah 45:18 where it is stated that the earth was not created in “vain” (tohu), “He (God) formed (asah) it (the earth) to be inhabited.” The word “was” or “became” in Genesis 1:2, allows a change of state to occur from verse one to verse two and is more accurately translated “became”. That is, the initial perfect creation of verse one “became” without form and void, indicating a transition occurred. Genesis 1:2 reveals that,

    “And the earth was (had become) 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.” (Genesis 1:2)

    Additional support comes from the phrase “without form and void.”

    Consider other Biblical texts in which these words are found together. In Isaiah 24:1 and Jeremiah 4:23, one sees that they are judgmental in character and context.

    Jeremiah describes a time when the earth was “without form, and void.” Noah’s flood was not even as horrific nor brought such barren conditions as described by Jeremiah. It can only be a cataclysmic destruction by God of the Pre-Adamic world. Remember, Isaiah 45:18 states:

    “God did not create the earth in vain; he formed it in order for it to be inhabited”.

    Jeremiah also wrote:

    I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

    For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it (Jeremiah 4:23-28).

    There were no descendants of Adam (no man), yet there were cities that God destroyed by his wrath – who dwelt in these cities? According to Hebrew Cosmogony, Earth was changed by catastrophe, before the birth of our world as we know it. Worlds were shaped and brought into existence, only to be destroyed in the course of time, not to be inhabited by man. He made several worlds before ours, but he destroyed them all. Hebrew mythology assigns this to a period before Adam and different geophysical catastrophes. It should also be noted that DNA remains actually older than 6,000 years (like “Neanderthal” and “Cro-Magnon”) will be found to have no genetic connection to any people living on the Earth today.

    Questions answered by the Ruin-Reconstruction theory include: (1) How can the Earth only be 6,000 years old, according to the Bible’s chronology, when the forensic evidence of geology and the fossil records reveal that the Earth is very ancient?

    (2) How could death have only started with the fall of man at about 6,000 years ago when evidence for death is found in the Pleistocene geologic era, and a long reign of death across ancient ages past? (3) How can man have been on the Earth for only about 6,000 years when there is evidence of man-like creatures inhabiting the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years? What happened during this Gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?

    One also wonders, what took place during this time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Around the Cambrian geologic period (about 500-600 million years ago), an explosion of death happened to well-developed life forms in the fossil record, with no antecedent fossils in the more ancient Precambrian, except for what could be primitive cell remains. Consequently, what appears in the fossil record as an explosion of life was actually an explosion of death. Living things do not leave remains until they die. The Cambrian geologic period marks the first record of death and the fall of Lucifer. Because Lucifer was the steward of the whole creation under heaven when he fell, all things under his rule were also subjected to corruption.

    Adam’s sin brought death into our world (Romans 5:12). Therefore, it is no contradiction with the Bible that Earth’s geology shows an ancient track record of death on this planet long before Adam. As seen throughout the geologic record, there is evidence of mass extinction and geologic catastrophes.

    Recapping, in Gen. 1:1, the word created is baw-raw’ and means to create out of nothing. After, Gen. 1:1 the word “made” is used but it is a different word in Hebrew, known as aw-saw,’ and means “to make out of existent materials.” This is translated as made instead of create so the reader knows it is a different assertion.

    In verse one of Genesis, God created. Thereafter, God made or recreated from existent material the Earth from material he had created out of nothingness in the first verse.

    The science behind both Carbon and Argon data is flawed, but not by millions of years. Carbon and Argon dating based upon radioactive decay may have been accelerated in the recent past. However, the vast age assigned to the earth based on radioactive measurements can by no means be set aside.

    Is there another reasonable explanation for a literal six-day creation that explains the great age of the earth? Perhaps, if one is willing to say that science is very wrong and that the earth is not but 10,000 years old, and that God is tricking the scientists. Many Christians champion a six-day creation, Ex nihilo. In order to do so, one has to deny the geological evidence of the Earth’s vast age. Furthermore, no scriptures warrant an arbitrary assumption that a day is more than 24 hours long. Believing that a day is 24 hours is a general principle in the absence of any statement to other effect. Therefore, one must except the days of Genesis are literal 24 hour days.

    Thus, Ruin-Restoration Creationism best fits the overall understanding of the creative acts of Elohim. In summary, Elohim existed and created the earth perfectly (Genesis1:1), but it became a wasteland because of war in the heavens (Genesis 1:2). Elohim then remade the earth out of the old materials of the previous creation in a literal six-day period. Ruin-Restoration Creationism proves that the Biblical story of creation is in harmony with the teachings of modern science, and this casts a new light on the integrity of the Bible.

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    pgcawley says:

    Please disregard last post. Im using my cell phone and it some how pasted my previous post into my next post! Wow. So I am posting the continuation again. Here we go:

    And finally…let me be crystal clear about the Ruin-Restoration or Gap Principal view of Genesis. No matter HOW MUCH the militant YEC movement (Young Earth Creationist) try to associate us Old Earth Gap believers with the belief in Darwinian Evolution or any other form of Macro-Evolution…Don’t believe it!! We utterly reject it!! We believe God engineered into ALL living organisms the ability to VARY within their OWN KIND and to REPRODUCE after their OWN KIND and that is IT. No animals living today “descended” from any other kind EXCEPT a variation of its OWN KIND with the original versions of each kind “MADE” (Asah) by God only 6 thousand years ago. This view is totally consistent with the literal Genesis account YET still acknowledges that there was a previous “world” on the earth BEFORE Adam. Now, I can already here the YEC believer saying “but Paul the Apostle specifically said that sin and death came through Adam, so how could there be sin and death before him? To which I he good Bible student replies: yes FOR MANKIND sin and death came into the world through Adam. But there were OTHER beings (namely Angelic beings who are NOT human) that existed LONG before Adam and Lucifer (aka Satan) DID in fact sin before Adam and in fact his sin brought DEATH too the ancient cosmos and to our solar system and the earth. Thus the evidence of which is recorded in the OTHER testimony of God….THE EARTH!! (There is TWO main evidences God says testify of Him and His truth and His existence. His eternal Word AND the creation; i.e. inclueing the astronolmical and geologic record of the earth and surrounding planets) And for that matter ALL of the planets in our solar system that have the remains of impact crators and other geologic evidence of MASSIVE destruction on them. When did a man ever live to tell about this destruction? The reason any form of Macro-Evolution utterly fails is because of this: no matter HOW OLD the earth is, there have been AT LEAST 3 known ELE events (Extinction Level Events) is earths natural (geologic) history. The last ELE event being the Younger-Dryas event that took place about 12,000 years ago and left the earth “void and formless and darkness upon the face of the deep” and coincides PERFECTLY with the Biblical description of the earth’s condition JUST BEFORE the “sudden appearance” of modern man and a whole new class of animals and flora and fauna. Just like Genesis reveals. Question: how can Macro-Evolution be true as they say “an unbroken continuous evolution of species descending from earlier forms down to the present day” when there has been these 3 known ELE events that destroyed ALL life on the earth? It would mean that the so-called “miracle” of evolution (oh brother) would have to have occurred not once but at least 3 separate times!!! And that’s not including trying to explain how MALE and FEMALE evolution took place separately (miraculously somehow) 3 separate times!! Who could possibly believe such nonsense!! More to come….

  91. 91
    pgcawley says:

    Special creation took place about 6 thousand years ago when God started a “new generation” of the heavens and earth and placed mankind at the center of it. And all of a sudden out of no where modern humans appear talking with a written language, farming, living in complex societies, navigating by the stars, using herbology and metallurgy etc etc. This alone is enough proof that mankind made in the image of God was a special creative process and is only 6 thousand years old. But there were other man-like creatures who existed BEFORE this time. And they were either created by God purposefully OR….they were a made by Satan as a kind of confusion and as competition against what he knew God was going to create/make when He made mankind. Look, if WE humans can make things….what makes people think Satan can’t? Is Satan not “in competition” against God Almighty? These other men-like creatures had at least 240 anatomical differences to mankind and could NOT talk except with squawks and grunts, had no formal written language, did NOT form complex societies, did NOT farm or navigate by the stars or do any of the other HIGHlY intelligent activities of modern mankind made in the image of God. There is scripture to support the fact that they were used as slaves by Lucifer (at least near the end of his reign) and that when Lucifer rebelled against the Almighty he was utterly destroyed from the face of the earth and all surrounding planets and was forced to living in the cosmos realm when manifesting in physical form and is known as the $prince of the power of the air” and only roams the earth periodically seeking whom he may devour but it is not his main place for living. Satan is an interdemensional being going back and forth between the physical world and the spiritual dimension. When Adam and Eve fell in the garden they gave the temporary ownership of the earth back to Satan but God still rendered his existence mostly to the cosmos and this is where the UFO phenomenon and the Watchers (fallen angels) and their descendants (the Nephilim) come from. Jesus said “I saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven and a third of the company of Heaven went with him” so how many beings is this? Probably millions but at least many thousands. More to come….

  92. 92
    pgcawley says:

    Ok so to avoid any confusion….I thought that my last post contained a copy of my previous post and that’s why I asked to disregard it. It turns out that it was not duplicated over so please disregard my statement to “disregard” my last post! Err…cell phones are hard to post with lol! 🙂

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