Commentary: US “doomed” if creationist president is elected

TurkishPress.com had a hilarious article out this week, citing a bunch of scientists peddling their doomsday predictions for the US.

http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=209467&s=&i=&t=US_’doomed’_if_creationist_president_elected:_scientists

It was too good to pass up making comments, as the “scientists” (who are clearly no scientists at all if they honestly believe that frogs can, and in fact did turn into princes) claimed that the US would be “Doomed” (yes, that’s the word they used) if a creationist president were elected.

Logic and Science

Their arguments were too funny – get a load of what Gilbert Omenn had to say:

“The logic that convinces us that evolution is a fact is the same logic we use to say smoking is hazardous to your health or we have serious energy policy issues because of global warming,”

Well, they struck out on the last one – seeing as how one good volcano emits more greenhouse gases than all of the industrial world does, combined, in a year. Sure – we may be facing global warming, but it has absolutely nothing to do with us!

But they also claim that evolution is logical! Really? How logical is it to suggest that a rock turned into a frog, which turned into a prince? In fact, evolution requires a second frog to evolve into a princess at precisely the same time and place in history! Evolution is anti-logic, and anti-science. If you don’t believe me, just publically question evolution, and watch what happens (*See legal disclaimer below).

This bad Omenn contains the common mistake and false claim that is typical of anti-creationist arguments: “Evolution is science.” My response is short: NO IT IS NOT. In fact, this is Myth #93 on our “Wall of fame” at CORE Ottawa. Science is based on observation, repeatability, and predictability. Evolution is none of these things.

If these are examples of “logical conclusions,” then I dare say the US would be doomed listening to such “scientists!”

The Fear Factor:

They don’t stop there – no, no. They then take up anti-creationist tactic #2, and call upon the fear mongering. Another bad Omenn:

“I would worry that a president who didn’t believe in the evolution arguments wouldn’t believe in those other arguments either. This is a way of leading our country to ruin,”

Let me get this straight: If a president questions the validity of the claim that a frog turned into a prince, he is leading the country to ruin? (See section 1 on the illogical logic of evolution).

But wait for the punchline! He’s not finished! Like any good comedian, he revisits his previous jokes throughout his routine, and later on, says “If our country starts to behave irrationally…we are doomed.”

This guy is great material for Montreal’s comedy festival. Who on earth is the irrational one here?

Science versus fairy tale

In another bad Omenn, he says “Scientific inquiry is not about accepting on faith a statement or scriptural passage. It’s about exploring nature, so there really is not any place in the science classroom for creationism or intelligent design creationism,”

I see. So let’s not take anything in blind faith then, right? Let’s see how y’all do in this test of evolution: Which is the correct answer?

We know that a frog turned into a prince because:
A) Omenn said so.
B) It was observed to happen
C) A frog looks like a prince
D) Frogs and Princes are very similar genetically

There is no fossil evidence connecting frogs and princes. The more we learn from genetics, the more we find out how impossible it is for a frog to turn into a prince (even if you do have an ape-like creature in the middle somewhere). A frog doesn’t look anything like a prince, and evolution has never been observed. So the correct answer is A) Omenn said so, and thus we are required to simply take his claims in blind faith – or the US will be “doomed” if it doesn’t.

But the closing jokes made in conjunction with the bad Omenns were what really put a smile on my face. Francisco Ayala ended with

“We must understand the difference between what is and is not science.”

I say a hearty “Amen.” I agree that religion and fairy tales have no place in the science classroom. How about we start cleaning up the education system by removing the fairy tale of evolution from the science classroom? But I’m not questioning evolution of course (*See legal disclaimer below).

*Legal disclaimer: The authors of this article cannot be held responsible for the consequences of such actions. This information and “how to” is provided simply for convenience and education, and is provided “as is” with no warrantees, guarantees or promises, expressed or implied. Should you in fact, publically deny evolution’s validity, we cannot be held responsible for your friends, families, and complete strangers treating you as if you have the intelligence of a tree. Nor can we be held responsible for your loss of job, tenure, status, etc… These public declarations have been made by trained professionals, and should not be tried at home. As it is, the trained professionals take a beatin’ for their actions – and they know what they’re doing!

TDG felt my Sources were suspect

This was in direct response to my quick critique of five specific intermediate fossils. The sources I brought up were Discover, National Geographic, and Time to name a few.

Specifically, TDG’s main criticism was that none of these were peer reviewed journals.

TDG clearly knew his stuff and clearly was good at debating. He did not question any of my detractions, (presumably because he was well aware my detractions were correct and he could not answer them) but instead called question to my sources – redirecting attention away from my arguments.

This is perfectly acceptable to me, and he certainly has every right to question my actions. It’s only fair to suggest that perhaps (deliberately or not) I specifically chose claims that were easy to debunk and poke fun at, so as to make evolution look bad. It is fair to suggest I did this rather than answering the far more serious claims and evidence presented in peer-reviewed journals.

My response:

I was going to respond, but got interrupted in the fray of discussion and another question that came up. One point I already made during Q & A:
These magazines paint a powerful picture of evolutionary evidence – whether the evolutionary community accepts these interpretations or not is irrelevant. I deal with the general lay public who is literally overwhelmed and brainwashed with these claims. I am answering these claims; carefully, specifically.

Furthermore, in general, these magazines are also merely popularizing what the peer-reviewed journals are claiming! They are merely “dumbing down” the claims and explaining them in layman’s terms.

I am happy to provide references for any information that I bring up. There were several points throughout the evening where I did cite from specific, peer-reviewed journals, but it is true that none of the information I addressed with regards to intermediates happened to be from peer reviewed journals.

In the middle of addressing the intermediates, TDG shouted a question from the back of the room. Unfortunately, due to the music still being played right behind me, it was very difficult to hear. What I thought I heard was something along the lines of “What about the miniature horse?” However, as I tossed it over in my head the next day, he may have been asking about the recent “Hobbit” discovery. I do not know what he asked, so I will address these two in hopes that it was one of them.

The “miniature horse.”

If this was indeed his question, it was presumably about Hyracotherium, aka Eohippus – the “dawn horse.” Interestingly, I was given a hot tip a couple of years back about possible Hyracotherium running around the Grand Canyon. I tried to mount an expedition there to go check it out, but my transmission blew in Colorado Springs on the way there. I haven’t made it back since.

Sadly, I do not have a drawing I can reproduce on my website, but there’s plenty around like this one. You can quickly see why some would conclude it was related to the horse. This “evidence” falls squarely into the category of homologies which I answered in brief on the proof of Creation webpage.

A number of Creationists have claimed the Hyracotherium is represented by the modern bay Hyrax. Talk Origins has a well done page documenting this, and conveniently provide skull examples of both Hyracotherium and the Hyrax. Interestingly, the CRSQ article they mention actually is simply citing N. Heribert Nilsson – a man who spent his entire life believing and teaching evolution. After forty years of devotion to this theory, guess what he wrote?

“My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed.”…. among other things!

It was Nilsson who debunked the Hyracotherium arguments and the evolution of the horse – in fact, it is not difficult to find evolutionists who don’t buy the supposed “evolution of the horse” sequence. (Quotes run rampant on the internet, I won’t bother reinventing the wheel).

Anyone who was attended my talks has seen the CAT-scan images of a number of dog skeletons, including skulls of the bulldog and borzoi – two different dogs with radically different skulls! Head on over to the Bone Clones website and compare the variations between dog skulls for yourself!

English Bulldog: http://www.boneclones.com/BC-128.htm
Airdale: http://www.boneclones.com/BC-022.htm
Great Dane: http://www.boneclones.com/BC-127.htm
(Man, these are nice – I’m going to have to get some of these!)

These are all dogs and unfortunately one thing you can’t grasp looking at these photos is the size difference as well.
Now take a look at the two skulls presented on the Talkorigins page and quickly realize why creationists and at least one evolutionist have all said Hyracotherium is probably just the Hyrax. The variation with the skeleton is well within the boundaries comparable to that of all the species of dogs.

The “Hobbits”

This is in reference to a recent, intriguing finding in Inodonesia last year of apparently human skeletal remains of humans about 1 meter tall! You can quickly see why it was nicknamed after Tolkein’s race in the “Lord of the Rings” series.

Again, partly because I simply have not had the time to follow this in detail, and to avoid reinventing the wheel, I would merely refer to Answers In Genesis’ three articles on the subject, as they have done an excellent job:
The first preliminary report: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/1028dwarf.asp
The second (more interesting) follow up: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/1108hobbit.asp
The most recent debate: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0228hobbit_war.asp

In brief, there appears to be nothing inhuman about these skeletons, other than their size which is still well within the genetic variation of humans and has nothing to do with evolution per se. A human (even a small one) is still a human, which had to have come from a human.

Put through the ringer at “The Laundromat.

It was like something straight out of the National Inquirer: A grunge metal band called “Ghost stories” playing on a stage shrouded with white curtains, shadow dancing. A thrash metal band called “Stop, die, resuscitate”, the local representative for “The Cannibal Flesh Donor Program”, all in an ultra-classy tavern dedicated to the Rolling Stones with various Stone’s paraphenalia plastering the walls, in the downtown core of Toronto. As if that wasn’t interesting and eclectic enough, they threw a creationist into the mix.

It was March 16, 2005, at “Stone’s place”, I was invited to represent the Creationist position to a bunch of skeptical enquirers, evolutionists and atheists. Though not many people showed up, the crowd was demanding, but respectful and fun.

Unfortuantely, I didn’t sleep well the night before, got up at 6:30 in the morning, worked on my presentation till 11:30, loaded up the van and drove 6 1/2 hours to Toronto. I loaded in my museum displays, got up did my first talk at 10 pm-ish (we were late getting started and I was rushed), “Ghost stories” did their awesome act, then we went to Q & A. I was thoroughly exhausted the entire night and this will definitely go down in the books as not one of my better performances. My good ‘ol A.D.D. was kicking in something fierce with the music constantly playing in the background the whole night, and ye olde synopses just weren’t firing on all cylinders.

My biggest frustration from the whole evening was without question my own exhaustion. If I had managed to get some sleep sometime through the day, it would’ve been a much better evening for all; it becomes a very boring argument when your opponent is asleep! It was bittersweet for me that our 45 minute Q&A session got cut to about 15 or 20 minutes, as I was keenly interested in hearing the questions and arguments, as I’m sure they were in grilling me for a response. But let’s face it; I was in no shape for this.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy myself, and enjoyed the company of the group that was there.

This page is devoted to what went on that night, and more importantly to follow up from Q & A.

The opening talk:

Links lead to responses to these points, and to related Q&A.

My talk was cut short due to various factors.

  1. I first of all did a quick introduction to the very basics of Creation and Evolution, and what they both believe.
  2. I then addressed the entire scope of the debate first from a philosophical viewpoint First, quoting Sir Francis Bacon’s observation that “People prefer to believe what they prefer to be true” and that one must be wary of their own biases and preferential beliefs. I made the point that both evolution and creation require blind faith.
  3. As an example of the blind faith required of naturalistic views, I showed the front cover of Discover magazine, April 2002. While there was a question about my sources, no one contested my still valid point: The cover accurately depicts the current thinking on the origin of the universe, and provides an excellent example of the blind faith required to believe in its supposed naturalistic origin.
  4. I then quoted the former hard-core atheist turned Christian convert, C.S. Lewis; a brilliant scholar who lived on both sides of the fence and had obviously learned a great deal from it.
    His main point I was repeating was that if evolution has occurred as the result of randomness in the universe, then the thoughts of the evolutionist and naturalist are also random and not be trusted. Evolution undercuts evolution. There was no response to this argument.
  5. Abiogenesis: I then covered, in reasonable detail, the impossibility of abiogenesis (life spontaneously arising from dead matter). I cited several unsolvable problems with abiogenesis (i.e., the necessary and impossible removal of oxygen from the environment, and the lack of evidence of that). I moved on to known natural laws which evolution violated if it has occured. (i.e., the law of biogenesis) This places evolution into the realm of the extra-natural, and metaphysical. In other words, a miracle. Something that cannot be explained within the scientific and natural realm, and thus is believed in blind faith. I covered Stanley Miller’s fascinating 1953 experiment which only showed how difficult it really was to produce life “without outside intelligence.” I also briefly mentioned Louis Pasteur’s experiment which demonstrated that abiogenesis does not occur in nature.
    All of this solicited a question on the definition of life, which of course would relate to all of these points.
  6. I moved on to irreducibility and codependent complexity of even the simplest of cells and organisms, citing Michael Denton’s writings on the cell, and Michael Behe’s arguments relating to the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum. My poor flagellum model needs work, but it was breaking down repeatedly, right on cue! While providing an excellent analogy to the talks, it was also a source of entertainment. :-) There was no response to these arguments.At this point, I completely blew it in totally forgetting one of the more important arguments for the night: Evidence for creation. This solicited a question to which I will respond here.
  7. I covered the supposed argument that chimps and humans are “98/6% genetically identical”, demonstrating that the argument is not even close to being an argument; in fact it actually demonstrates the impossibility of life evolving from other lifeforms. I also covered the vast differences between the two that you never hear of. While this solicited no response to the argument, it did solicit a rather unexpected question from one gentleman there.
  8. We then briefly touched on paleontology and the incredible variation which can occur within a single species – including completely modern humans. This was in introduction to the difficulties surrounding interpretation of the supposed “intermediates” (i.e., supposed half-human, half ape or half-bird, half reptile fossils) in the fossil record. I then proceeded to demolish the interpretations of several of the more famous “intermediate” fossils: Ardipithecus Ramidus Kadaba, “Boxgrove man”, “Lucy”, and Pakicetus. While noone contended with my arguments, this did solicit a question, and a comment on my sources, both from The Distinguished Gentleman (TDG)
  9. Upon citing an excellently written, albeit long, paragraph from the science against evolution website on the missing links, I challenged the audience to find ANY of the missing links mentioned.
  10. I briefly covered giantism in the fossil record, citing the many, many examples, and the problem of prediction for evolution. Prediction is one of the strongest arguments for a theory. The subject of giantism solicited a response. I was going places with the giantism arguments, but we ran out of time.

I must take the time to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and how much I enjoyed the people there. Special thanks to Maria for organizing this event.

Follow-up Questions:

There was some follow-up questions after Q & A, but we were screaming at each other over the band. Needless to say, this was difficult, so I’ll attempt to address these arguments here: (if there’s no active link, it’s because I haven’t written it yet; sorry – check back later)

  • You argued against evolution, what are your arguments for creation?
  • Evolution of species, as demonstrated in fruit flies
  • “Are humans superior to other life on earth?”
  • “Where is hope in all of this?”
  • “Do you think your passion in this blinds you?”
  • The Representative of the Cannibal Flesh Donor Program had a couple of questions which cannot be summed up, nor answered, briefly. I will respond to these later as time permits as I think he brought up several excellent questions I would like to respond to.

My comments on Nova’s “Ancient Creature of the Deep”

A friend and colleague had recently challenged me to respond to Nova’s latest documentary on the Coelacanth. He kindly recorded it for me, only to find out later we ran out of tape half way through the show. (Doh!) He wanted to hear what I had to say on the “obvious evolution” of the Coelacanth.

coelacanthNot knowing what the claims were, I of course refrained from making any comments at all until I could at least see the transcript of the entire show. (BTW, the transcript is now available on line at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3003_fish.html)

So when I finally did get to view the transcripts, it was the same-old, same-old. Rehashed and recycled claims, stated flatly as *fact*. Of course my buddy had questions! I have never had a problem with an honest evolutionist, and I appreciate my friend spurning me on (thanks Dam-O!). He later expressed regret over spurning the fire of Creationism (or was that “Ire”? :-), but really – what’s wrong with asking honest questions? Claims have been made, let’s examine them!

Now don’t get me wrong though – I love the Nova shows. I am merely trying to address the constant bombardment we see every day of evolutionary propaganda filtering down through virtually every facet of the media. Nova is no exception.

Evolutionary history:

It is believed that fish evolved into some land-walking mammal along the great evolutionary lineage. The Coelacanth had been suggested as a possible “intermediate”, a transitional life form mid-way between two stages on the evolutionary tree (as has also been claimed for many other fossil critters found over the years). Known only by its fossils which displayed “limb-like fins” it was thought extinct for at least 50 Million years until the dramatic, 1938 discovery of living Coelacanths.

As stated by J.L.B in the documentary:
“The Coelacanths have lived for probably 350 million years and in that time they have changed but little. ”
How about not at all. A Coelacanth has always been a Coelacanth. If you found the skeleton from a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard in fossil form, would you conclude they were the same species? Heck, let’s throw in a wiener dog and a bull dog for good measure! These are all the same species, yet the variation within the genetic code is quite amazing. I suggest the Coelacanth can express the same amount of diversity well within its genetic code…. and still be a Coelacanth.

However, this comment immediately brings up obvious questions. Why has it not changed in 400 Million years? Why did it evolve to that point so fast that we can’t even find it’s predecessor in the fossil record, but not any further? Has it really survived 50 Million years? (and don’t get me started on where they get those silly dates!)
By the way, what did it evolve into? We don’t find that in the fossil record either. If evolution had been going on for millions of years, I think it safe to say we’d find remnants of it. The best evidences are arguable at best, and are just as likely to be a unique life form as they are an intermediate.

Yes it is! No it isn’t! Yes it is!…

As one meanders through the show’s script in particular, you quickly see the schizophrenic attitudes portrayed by those wanting to figure out its evolutionary ascent. They want to believe it is an (if not *the*) ancestor to land mammals, but scientists cannot agree on whether it is or not.
The reasons quickly become obvious.

Fish have backbones, land animals have backbones, but the Coelacanth had “no real backbone”. It is described by the evolutionists themselves as having a “primitive backbone”, a soft, “gristly tube”. You need a backbone to walk on land. So what did this thing do? Devolve?
But there’s much more to the story.

Later on in the documentary, Daniel Robineau makes a remarkable statement, almost in passing. He mentions the presence of a “vestigial lung.” Now, please pardon my skepticism but this raises two red flags with me. First, if it’s a “vestigial” lung, that means it’s a leftover from its previous evolution. If it is the intermediate between a fish and a land mammal, why does it have the remnants of a lung? Isn’t it supposed to gaining a lung? (i.e. nascent)

Furthermore, this silly notion of vestigial organs has gone on for way too many years. Our former list of well over 100 “vestigial” organs in the human anatomy has dwindled to zero as over the years we have discovered what these organs did. I am quite confident that with further research, it will be found what this apparent “vestigial lung” is, and I’m going to venture a guess that it’ll have nothing to do with breathing air.

As if that wasn’t enough topsy-turvy evolution (I mean, c’mon – which way is it going? To the sea from land? To the land from sea?), Robin Stobbs mentions:
“The entire fish is filled with oil. There is not a single air sinus in the fish. So, like a diver’s depth gauge, it’s incomprehensible, which, in theory anyway, would allow it to swim at depths of 1000 meters or more.”

And one of the biggest reasons it hadn’t been found before was the depth at which it lives! It has NO inkling of heading to the shore! This fish was built for deep water! As was even stated in the documentary, it dies in shallow water due to the lack of oxygen content in the water.

Originally it was thought that these “limb like lobes” were evidence of a fish with the gear to walk. Surprise! These silly “limb-like lobes” are merely extra articulated fins which allow it to “hover” in the water. Gee, how very appropriate for a body which is neutrally buoyant and can move in any position in the water. Gee, what a good design! (Ooops – we’re not allowed to use the “D” word, especially in West Virginia :-)
Fascinating, yes. Evidence for evolution? Nope.
I mean, puleeze – these people are suggesting that it fits into the evolutionary tree because it puts one fin forward at the same time it puts another backward? C’mon – that’s basic physics in action! The two actions cancel out giving the fish incredible control over which way it goes and how exactly it hovers. Think about it, it’s exactly the same reason you put your right arm forward with your left leg. This isn’t evidence of behavior passed on to us by our “ancient ancestor” the Coelacanth! It’s common sense!

Am I being too skeptical here?

Then there’s talk of it’s mammal-like reproduction. It’s like this fish is a strange patchwork of evolution and devolution combined. Maybe it’s just a unique fish? This fish is starting to sound as mixed up as the duck-billed platypus!

Assumptions as evidence

Unfortunately, I do hear a lot of assumptions promulgated as evidence. I hear it all the time and I honestly don’t think those making the claims really catch on to what they’re doing. For example,

“Their outward appearance has changed little, but internally, they must have adapted to changing environments as the Earth itself was transformed over time.”

Uh huh. Give me ONE good reason to believe that their internal organs have changed.
Is it because they have found fossils that show different internal structures in the fish? Nope.
There is only one reason to believe (or assume) such a statement: Evolutionary presupposition, which is not based at all on fact. If the outside of the fish hasn’t changed, I see absolutely no sane reason to believe the insides have changed. In fact, it appears that after hundreds of millions of years, just like the outside of the fish, the internal organs still haven’t changed.

The undiscovered ocean

I will, however, agree with their statements that the oceans are the most unexplored places on earth. Indeed, what other mysteries await us? If the Coelacanth, supposedly around for some “400 million years” and presumed extinct for the past 50 Million, suddenly turns up alive in entire schools – why not a marine dinosaur?

The skepticism of finding living, marine dinosaurs is justified, but not the cynical and snide remarks I have heard over the years. That is not science.

The Zuiyo Maru catch of a possible Plesiosaur off the coast of New Zealand in 1977 is tantalizing at the least. Now almost thirty years later, evidence is still coming to light and keeping alive the possibility that this was indeed a Plesiosaur. Recently, a second set of flippers on the dead carcass has been pointed out as refuting the possibility of it being a decaying basking shark. An article appeared in the Creation Science Research Quarterly on this.

Yet, the catch is still scoffed at by many. “It can’t be a Plesiosaur”, they say, “They’ve been extinct for millions of years!”

Hmmmm……

A letter with questions regarding the age of the earth

Recently, while Dr. Carl Baugh was on a research trip, questions coming into the Creation Evidence Museum were being forwarded to me. One of them was an excellent letter from a Doctorate in Nuclear Physics. He had asked many pertinent questions which I often hear. So I thought I would post it here for youse guys (that’s Canadian for “y’all”) to enjoy.

Hello Dr. ***********,

Dr. Baugh is out of the country currently, and so your recent letter to him was forwarded to me in hopes that I might be able to respond. My name is Ian Juby, I am a consultant of the museum and a friend of Dr. Baugh’s.

You asked some excellent, pertinent questions which myself and many others have also asked. As fellow skeptics, Dr. Baugh and I respect such questions, and I am happy to respond.

Your first and second question are intimately related, so I will address them both at the same time. You had pointed out that there are no naturally existing long-life isotopes with half lives shorter than 1E9 years. You also enquired about the apparent difference in radiometric “age” between layers that were supposedly laid down by one event, the global flood of Noah.

I would recommend an excellent book, the RATE II book, which is the compilation of an eight year study carried out by a team of scientists. It is
available for purchase online at the Creation Research Society’s website: http://creationresearch.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BK-RAD2&Category_Code=B&Product_Count=139

Creation Research Society was one of the organizations that helped fund this study. It is an expensive book at $80, but worth every penny. I will give you the run-down on the results in a moment, but first, let’s look at some background information:

C14 in “old” rock layers:

The Creation Evidence Museum is built on the banks of the Paluxy River, which is famous for its “Cretaceous” dinosaur footprints. These are supposed to be ~100 million years old by conventional dating methods. As I’m sure you are already aware, one cannot date sedimentary rock, therefore these ages are relative to other layers which can be dated. However, these layers contain quite a bit of biomatter, such as coalified plants or dinosaur bone, which can be carbon dated.

Dr. Baugh and numerous others have succesfully obtained C14 dates from such samples for decades now. These dates vary from 5,000 to
50,000 “years BP.” Hugh Miller compiled many of these results, and results from multiple samples from literally all over the world, in his article in Creation Research Society Quarterly (Vol 43, No. 2, pg 84, September 2006 “Pioneering 14C Dating of Wyoming Amber and Its Implications for a Young Earth and Global Catastrophism”) I supplied him with some coal samples from the coal beds of Eastern Canada, conventionally dated as carboniferous; I do not know as of yet whether those samples have been tested or not.

John Dougherty also published similar results for numerous gas, oil and CO2 wells – all of which should have absolutely no C14 left in them. Their high C14 ratios indicates an “age” of only a few thousand years – far short of the claimed age of those layers as hundreds of millions of years (Creation Research Society Quarterly, Volume 44, No 2, Fall 2007, Dougherty, “Deep Wells – Deep Time?”, also “Isotopic Analysis of Fruitland Formation Coal Bed Carbon Dioxide and Methane”, September 2006 CRSQ)

As part of the RATE study, coal samples were collected by Dr. John Baumgardner (Los Alamos, retired) which all had significant levels of C14 in them. Anything older than 100,000 years old should have no C14 in it. As pointed out by Baumgardner and Dr. Russell Humphreys,(personal communication) they took the coal samples (supposedly millions of years old) and sealed them in a barrel purged with nitrogen to counter any possible contamination. While I am certainly not an expert on such matters, I have never heard of anyone taking such steps to avoid contaminating a sample for C14 dating.

But let’s assume that the coal somehow, miraculously, absorbed an equal volume of modern air. This would cause the pMC value to increase by .0001. This cannot account for the pMC values of .2 to .4 that were obtained from this coal. So we have an apparent problem: Many of these layers, or associated layers can be dated using typical rock-dating methods which give “ages” of hundreds of millions, sometimes billions of years – while simultaneously giving Radiocarbon ages of 5,000 to 50,000 years! Which one is correct?

Even C14 dating methods are still founded in untestable assumptions; i.e., the assumption that the C14/C12 ratio in the atmosphere has always been the same. There are many reasons to question the “old ages” (i.e., anything above the half-life of C14, ~5,000 years) of C14 as well.

Other dating methods indicate a few thousand years, not millions

Dr. Robert Gentry published numerous articles on radiohalos throughout the years. One of these articles was a study of these rings of radiation damage (radiohalos) in coalified wood. He noted that the rings were formed, then crushed flat when the wood was compressed into its now coalified state. A second ring was sometimes produced afterwards, and thus was not flattened. Samples were taken from the Eocene, Jurrassic and Triassic – a “time span” of 37 million to 245 million years. However, the radioactive decay of the Uranium within the halos indicated that only “several thousand years” had elapsed since the formation of the coal! There was no “millions of years” – only a few thousand (Gentry, R.V. et al. 1976a, “Radiohalos and Coalified Wood: New Evidence Relating to the Time of Uranium Introduction and Coalification.” Science 194, 315.) All of Gentry’s articles can be found on his website: http://halos.com

Discordant/Discrepant dates produced by dating methods:

Another example of the major contradictions that radiometric dating methods  face comes from the Grand Canyon. For simplicity, I’m including this image from one of my slide shows:

sld050

Various radiometric dating tests were performed on two lavas in this area; the Cardena basalt (in the supergroup, lower arrow) and the lava flows on the plateau, which flowed into the canyon. Clearly the plateau flows are younger, yet the R-S isochron methods gave it an older age of 1.27 billion years compared to the Cardenas basalt which gave an isochron age of 1.1 billion years at most!

This was compiled primarily in “Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe” by Dr. Steve Austin, which sadly I can’t seem to find anywhere, however, it was also referenced in Dr. John Morris’s book, “The young earth”, which is available through Creation Evidence Museum. (254-897-3200)

To top it all off, follow this link:

http://bara.arizona.edu/research/stoffle/volcano/presentations/Alaska3-PuhaPaths-SouthernPaiutePilgrimagesonAZSt.pdf

Specifically pay attention to slides 19 through 23. The Native Indians actually captured some of the flowing Uinkaret lavas as part of their
religious rituals. Therefore we know that those lavas flowed roughly 800 to 1,000 years ago, and the R-S isochron method (deemed one of the most reliable radiometric dating methods ever produced) is completely unreliable – not even close.

As John Woodmorrappe put it, if those who believe in deep time are free to reject the dates that don’t line up with their preconceptions, than so are we. Incidentally, this brings me to another fantastic book on this very subject, “The Mythology of Modern Dating methods”, which I’m sure you would also enjoy very much.
http://creationresearch.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BK-MYT1&Category_Code=

John is a methodical researcher and an excellent writer.

Helium retention in zircons:

Creationists had been criticized for years for pointing these problems out. We were told to “make your own dating methods then,” which we did, and this was part of the RATE project.

Dr. Robert Gentry mentioned an anomaly in his research on zircons found in granites many years ago. (Gentry, R.V., 1982b, Geophysical Research Letters 9, 112, “Differential Helium Retention in Zircons: Implications for Nuclear Waste Containment.”) He noticed that the helium produced by the radioactivity of Uranium in the zircon crystals was retained within the crystal. Helium, because of its small atomic size, is quite free to leave the crystal, yet there was an excess of helium within these supposed “2 billion year old crystals.” 2 Billion years was certainly enough time for the helium to leak out of the crystal!

So the RATE team took this concept and ran with it. They made two predictions of the helium diffusion out of the zircon crystals:

sld055

The green bars represent the helium diffusion rate prediction for a 6,000 year old earth, the red bars are the predicted diffusion rates for the 2 billion year old age assigned to the granite the zircon crystals were removed from. The difference between the two is a factor of 100,000 – obviously this removes a lot of experimental error.

When the helium diffusion rates were actually measured, they landed squarely on the predictions for the 6,000 year old earth (results in purple):

sld056

No long half-life isotopes:

This brings me to your first question, which ties in to all of this. Why is there no long half-life isotopes? The amount of helium in the zircon crystals suggests that “2 billion years” of radioactive decay has gone on within the crystal; yet the crystal has only been leaking the helium produced by that radioactivity for a mere 6,000 years. Therefore they concluded that radioactive decay rates in the past were faster than present. To be more specific, the decay rates were inversely affected: the longer the half-life of the isotope, the more its half-life was accelerated. The shorter half-life isotopes had little change to their decay rates.

This throws out all of the old-earth dates that are produced by the various radiometric dating methods, as the assumption that decay rates have always remained the same is untenable. I have only given you a sampling of some of the overwhelming evidence that at sometime in the past, decay rates were radically faster than the present. There’s much more to this which I won’t get into now because I’ve already gone on long enough here.

Ice Cores in Greenland and Antarctica:

Your last question is a common one, regarding the supposed “250,000 years” of layers in the Greenland ice. One must first recognize the assumptions in this “dating method.” It is first assumed that one winter produces one layer. We count the layers, voila – we have an age. If I may respectfully say so, we do not have an “age,” we have a number of layers. The first article I would point to is from my good friend, Michael Oard. He is a meterologist who has taken a strong interest in geology and geomorphology in his later years. He specifically addressed many of the arguments used with the Greenland ice cores in the Technical Journal; conveniently, the entire article happens to be online: http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i3/greenland.asp

However, perhaps you are familiar with “The lost Squadron?” This was a group of aircraft that crash-landed on the Greenland ice sheet in 1942, after running out of gas. The aircraft were only lightly damaged, and so years later, an expedition was launched to salvage the planes in 1988. This was featured in National Geographic in 1992. The search team was rather surprised to find that the planes were buried underneath 250 FEET of ice! Clearly the assumptions involved with the annual deposition of ice layers is wrong, as this works out to an average of over 5 feet per year! There is an excellent article, again conveniently on the Answers In Genesis Website: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i3/squadron.asp

This was published in Creation magazine, Volume 19, Issue 3.

Some will still contend that the layers indicate “years”, but I would once again point out that the observations are interpreted to indicated annual
layers. In short, assumptions are simply not fact. On behalf of Dr. Baugh and the folks at the Creation Evidence Museum, thank you for writing, and I’m glad to hear you and your wife enjoy “Creation in the 21st Century.” I hope I have answered your questions. Feel free to email me directly if you have any others, and I’ll see what I can do.

Yours truly,
Ian A. Juby

Reply to criticisms of the Delk track report

I like being a nice guy.

I like to encourage people and speak of the good things that they do. But when someone decides to publically oppose the truth, using falsehoods, while making increasingly condescending remarks, then there’s not much else I can do except publically rebuke them. When you take it upon yourself to oppose the truth with falsehoods, you will lose. And so….

A few days back, I posted some further X-rays from the CT scans of the Delk track on my official “Delk track” page. This was in response to a question by username “ftom2006” over at the Delk track video on youtube. [At the time of this writing there are well over 700 comments on the video – all the quotes here are buried in the comments there]

He had a good point which I felt should be addressed, basically stating that if the density gradients show that the lowest density in the rock revealed that it has the density of a jellyfish (for example), then there’s something wrong.

I wanted to be respectful to ftom, as at the time, he was being quite respectful. But his comments were also raising some concern – he seemed to know something about what he was talking about, but also made huge errors in his claims. His first big blunder was in trying to pass off the high-density area at the junction of the dinosaur toe and the human track as simply an artifact of beam hardening:

“Actually, there’s nothing special about the alleged 4 cm deep ‘high density’ point (07:40). Similar to the ends at the smaller sides of the rock, that’s an area of morphologic edges, and it shows a variation in brightness compared to the alleged ‘low density’ areas exactly as it has to happen due to beam hardening.”

Common sense would say that’s ridiculous, as this would completely invalidate CT technology: What’s the point of buying a bazillion dollar machine if it throws out random errors on the order of centimeters deep?
But to be sure, I asked not one, but two separate CT technicians about this, quoting ftom’s comment. They both said the same thing, almost verbatim: “….that’s…. just …. not possible!” They were both rather surprised at such a ridiculous suggestion.

I addressed this erroneous claim of beam hardening, and a whole wack of other claims on my official Delk track page.

Despite this ridiculous claim, I did feel his questions about density variations and sample measurements were quite reasonable and called for. I had to wait several days for the CT tech who actually carried out the scans on the Delk track, as he was out of his office for several days. Though I already had the full suite of X-rays from the Delk, including the ones with density sample sites, I had several technical questions that I wanted to ask the technician. After having a very enlightening conversation with him, I posted some of the highlights on my official Delk track page, as well as the X-ray scans which had the density sample sites on them.

Ftom then posted back a very long, technical, impressive sounding response that was sure to send the Delk track proponents scurrying! And consequently, he started getting a little lippy.
(note: I’m not going to sit here and nit-pick over spelling mistakes, etc… So don’t expect a [sic] at every single mistake – this is the internet, and I think people are allowed to make speeling mistakes in posts.):

prime_003Ftom wrote:
“[1] Well, since absolute density values are still missing: one does not really need to know the absolute density values to evaluate the scan results. If the inherent assumptions of the method, like detection of transmitted intensities, no scattered fraction, no beam hardening would be true, indeed, there would be an essentially linear relation between the Hounsfield number and the true density values.

A minimum HU of 488 (Fig. 7e, #3) and a highest HU of 3048 (Fig. 7a, #2) are given for the rock on the ianjuby-Delk website. Both values are clearly distinct, since the internal precision (sd) of the HU determination reads about 1% for the highest, 5-10% for somewhat lower, and 25% for the lowest values. Whatever the absolute apparent density values, their difference translates to the fact that the minimum apparent density is only about 16% (=487*100/3048) of the maximum apparent density.

Let’s consider the consequences in case that the apparent density variations, as obtained from uncritical HU reading, would be mistaken to reflect true physical densities of the rock. The investigated sample appears to be some impure limestone, someone please correct me if I’m wrong. Accordingly, the rock is essentially composed of the mineral calcite (CaCO3). Calcite has a density of 2.71g/cm^3.

prime_009This value is the maximum physical density for a 100% dense, totally compacted limestone at room conditions, just as Delk proponents are about to sell for the rims of this slab.
Accordingly, the minimum apparent density corresponds to the value of 0.43g/cm^3. This is simply not a realistic density for this rock, not even remotely, not at all. The corresponding absurd rock would be a limestone composed of 84% porosity and 16% calcite floating in air. Adding some impurities like mica or quartz won’t change anything significant in this estimation.

Prize question, therefore, which of the two is hollow and rattles if shaken: the Delk slab or the oversimplified notion that HU readings correspond to the physical density of this rock?”

Prize question indeed!

It’s at this point that I usually just sit and wait, to see if the skeptics are going to sink their ship just a little bit more, or start frantically bailing the boat and trying to patch the holes.

But wait – Glen Kuban (username “nabuk3” on youtube), apparently revelling in the “thorough debunking” of these sophisticated CT-scans, decided to jump on the ship as it was going down:

“ftom, Thank you for contributing your expertise and insights. To boil it all down… do I understand you correctly to say that in this case the print proponents were _not_ justified in assuming, as they seem to have done, that lighter areas = higher density = compaction?”

Ftom replied in a string of impressive sounding comments, based on his original analysis:

“Yes, nabuk, equation essentially _not_ justified. The estimates demonstrate that the apparent density differences are far too large to represent true density differences.”

“Starting with lower density of a more realistic, porous limestone (e.g. ~2.2 g/cm^3) would just worsen the situation, yield even more absurd, low density values for the core of this rock (~ 0.35 g/cm^3). In this case, the whole slab is likely to float in salt water. Turning the model around, starting with a realistic density assumption for a porous limestone in the core (~ 2.2 g/cm^3) would necessitate a density of ~ 13.8 g/cm^3 for the a rim of this slab, i.e a density higher than elemental iron (~7.9), somewhere between a bar of lead (~11.4) and native gold (~19.3 g/cm^3).

Inherent assumptions for X-ray CT density measurements had not been fulfilled in the case of this rock-shaped, rock-dense object. ”

It’ll float on water….?

Through a bunch of convoluted math and illogical reasoning, ftom used the Hounsfield numbers to “calculate” the density in the center of the rock. A Hounsfield unit of 487 in this case (figure 7e, sample 3). By his reckoning, the rock density at this sample point must be on the order of 0.43 g/cc (0.43 grams per cubic centimeter). And of course to come to that figure, he was being generous to us creationists. As he astutely pointed out, anything of this density will float.

It was Andrew Rodenbeck, a guy who knows nothing about CT scanning technology, who pointed out the first, most obvious error in ftom’s logic and calculations.

hugraph

CT scanners produce Hounsfield numbers. The Hounsfield scale is based on water and air. Air is -1,000 (negative one thousand) on the scale, water is zero. As an example, bone can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand Hounsfield units, depending on the bone and where the sample is taken. The CT scanners are calibrated to the density of water as their zero point.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that 487 is a higher number than zero. If a Hounsfield unit of zero is equal to the density of water, and water has a density of 1 g/cc, one does not have to be the head cashier at Walmart to realize that a Hounsfield number of 487 must represent a density much higher than 0.43 g/cc, as ftom claimed.

The third major blunder he pulled off relates to the second. In his words, “the minimum apparent density is only about 16% (=487*100/3048) of the maximum apparent density.”

The density “zero” point is -1000 Hounsfield units, not zero Hounsfield units. Ftom incorrectly attributed the entire density span of the rock to the 3048 positive Hounsfield units, instead of the full 4048 HU. So the minimum density is actually 37%, before any error margins are considered.

In fact, if ftom had stopped for a moment to think (more on this in a second), even without calibration on the CT scanner, there was lots of clues that he was in error.

For starters, one can get a pretty good handle on the density variations within the rock. For instance:

  • We can give a very good guess-timate on the density of the rock, and therefore can get a pretty good handle on what density the highest HU value represents.
  • We can then approximate densities using the Hounsfield numbers
  • The lowest reading was clearly an outlier in the measurements
  • Other sample readings of CT scans can be used as a gauge for density gradients within the Delk CT scans
  • For the sake of our study, we are only concerned with sub-surface density variations

Sample measurements from other CT scans:

In all the fray, apparently ftom forgot the sample readings of selected Hounsfield numbers that I provided from various places on a random CT scan of a single patient, on the very same machine the Delk track was scanned on. I’ll repeat them here:

  • Air inside a lung: -651 (note this is negative)
  • Cortical bone: 172
  • Liver: 33
  • Rib center: 104
  • Rib surface: 754
  • Vertebrae: 195

It should be noted that these were select readings from a single patient, and not an average. The fact that 487 is considerably higher than most of the bone samples I provided should’ve been a clue to ftom that somethin’ wasn’t quite right in his equations. Bones sink in water, therefore their densities are higher than 1g/cc, and the reading of 487 was higher than the average bone density. Instead, apparently he forgot this in his “expert analysis.”

In fact, he questioned the sample reading I provided from Cortical bone. He was quite right in that this is one of the densest bones in the body… which is precisely the reason that the CT technician who gave me that number chose that location! I thought perhaps I had made a mistake in transcribing the number, but fortunately, I had recorded the conversation as it was the fastest way to take notes. Nope, there was no mistake.

This just goes to show you that a single, low-density reading is not the end of the matter. If we take the maximum error margin for figure 7e, point 3 (HU 614), that’s 40% of the maximum density – a far cry from ftom’s calculations, and is a discrepancy easily explained in a number of ways.

The Outlier:

This lowest Hounsfield number is very much an outlier in comparison to the other numbers. Indeed, it’s deviation (SD) can be +/- 126, or about 25%. In other words, the CT scanner figured the error margin for that number was on the order of 25%!

Clearly, if anything, the number is going to be higher, not lower – simple logic and comparison to the other samples make this obvious. If ftom wishes to disagree and make a fool of himself some more, he’s welcome to.

After all, ftom was very quick to point out the unexpected HU sample reading of the cortical bone that I provided. He immediately spotted it as an “outlier,” and promptly proceeded to replace the number I provided with a number he thought was more reasonable! He then accordingly re-evaluated all the Hounsfield units right across the board!

Now that would be hypocritical of ftom to then criticize me for saying that lowest HU is simply an outlier, wouldn’t it? Especially because – let’s face it – logic is on my side, and not the side of those who would argue that the rock is less dense than the HU’s imply.

As both the skeptics and myself have pointed out, the rock has many thin laminations and cracks. Thus, this one sampling, taken with a circle a mere 7 milimeters in diameter, may very well have landed on a crack or lamination, thus accounting for the lower HU reading.

No, I feel quite justified in claiming that the lowest Hounsfield number is no doubt higher than 614. This number is simply an outlier – the sample site probably landed on an internal crack or something, it is an anomaly.

We only care about sub-surface:

Of course, we are only interested in sub-surface density variations anyway – variations that occur within the first few centimeters of the rock. This is where all of the “action” is going to take place, and as one can see for themselves, we clearly see a lot of variation several centimeters deep into the rock. Thus, once again, the density variations are demonstrated as genuine.

Lastly, as I have already repeatedly said, the images that are displayed are rendered for maximum contrast. This is to make a good visualization of the very real density gradients in the rock. Density gradients which conveniently line up with two fossil footprints – that’s just a little too much coincidence.

Prize question, therefore: which of the two is hollow and rattles if shaken: the Delk slab, or ftom’s analysis of the CT scans of the Delk slab?
Ftom has apparently gone on to other ‘arguments’ about how the “air” looks as dense, or denser in the rock in the CT scan, yada yada yada… But… I don’t look too worried now, do I? You guys are smart – I think you’ll be able to figure out where he went wrong there too.

Why the major blunders?

Sadly, this is typical of anti-creationist writing. This is what I have to deal with all the time. Anti-creationist propaganda is typically very badly researched and written, often containing major logical and scientific blunders – even from experts and very intelligent people. While sometimes I have no doubt it’s deliberate deception, I do think that usually it is just honest mistakes – but why so many, and so often?

The reason is because the anti-creationists usually venture into nit-picking the evidence, trying to discredit it. As my good friend David Lines says, “They are looking at the eyelid of an elephant through a microscope. As a result, they can’t see the elephant that is about to crush them.”
All too often this nit-picking is to serve no other purpose than to obfuscate the evidence – distract people with so much nonsensical information and impressive-sounding arguments that people will simply not look at the evidence.

The elephant in the living room is obvious to anyone who looks at the Delk track: It is profound evidence that dinosaurs and humans lived together. Don’t let anybody distract you away from this very simple, observable fact.

Indeed, it would appear that we are *quite* justified in assuming that “lighter areas = higher density = compaction”

And by the way Glen Kuban – yes, I do still stand by what I said about the Limestone cowboy. But I’ll deal with that subject later on.

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