Answers to Life Redux

Hi Phil, Hope you don’t mind that I am using the main column to answer you instead of leave-a-reply area.

Last things first.
Phil: Also, forgive my ignorance, but you have me confused on your last statement. I couldn’t figure out what naturalists questioning the flood in the 1700’s has to do with Christians giving evidence for said flood in present time. Any objection on any topic is directly or indirectly related one to another, right? Only the evidence (or lack there of in an objection) matters in validating said objection or debunking the original claim.

I only mentioned the Naturalists in the 1700’s because they were the scientists of the day. From what I can gather in histories, they were mostly religious, and yet they were coming across evidence that did not support a Biblical, pre-historic, worldwide flood.

At the time I don’t believe they thought much of it, but as more and more of their brethren naturalists noticed some of the same things, or supporting evidence of same, the word spread. I am not saying that this proves the matter…just that real doubt was happening early on, in the scientific fields.

I believe that Darwin himself was schooled in a religious college (University of Cambridge), but when he got out in the real world and started to practice his trade, he too started to see the incongruity of his beliefs vs. reality, in the physical world.

Phil: You said “Whitcomb and Morris wrote the book nearly 50 years ago, did they not?” It is rather unreasonable to render a document or piece of work invalid based on age. For example, the Constitution is still valid (when actually applied…). Also, saying Darwin’s Theory is wrong because it is old would hardly be accepted (there are enough errors to take care of that for me though).

The constitution is not a relevant comparison because it is not a scientific document that is subject to experimentation, or peer review. It is a political statement. (Yes, Bush does have a lot of trouble with honoring or upholding the constitution). I haven’t read the book yet….thank you for your kind offer, but I will decline…however we have a great used bookstore and library system here, and I will be on the lookout for it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that because the book was published in 1961 or so, the science has greatly improved since then, and that is has been discredited because it’s wrong. Following is a quote from talk origins that is related to the book in question:

*Strata in the geological column are sometimes out of order. The mechanisms geophysicists use to account for them are problematic. Thrust faulting would have produced great amounts of debris, which geologists do not see; folding would require great forces for which geophysicists have trouble accounting.
*Whitcomb, J. C. and H. M. Morris, 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., pp. 180-211.
Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 120.

Response

  1. Folds account for out-of-order strata with sequences such as A-B-C-B-A. Faults create sequences such as B-C-A-B-C. The evidence is so overwhelming that these conclusions should be obvious. In many cases, the folds and faults can easily be seen in cross-sections of the strata. In other cases, further geological mapping verifies the presence of the fold or fault. Features such as ripple marks and mud cracks show that the strata were originally horizontal.
  2. Great forces are not a problem in geophysics. First, great forces exist. Earthquakes can move many miles of crust by several feet at a time. Second, the forces act over a long period of time. Rocks, which would fracture, if bent suddenly will deform gradually under hundreds of millions of years of heat and constant pressure. Faults do, in fact, produce a layer of debris along the fault line. Sometimes this layer is fairly thin. There is no reason to expect great amounts of debris along all faults.
  3. The geologic column is never out of order in areas that have not been greatly disturbed.

Sources
1. Numbers, Ronald L., 1992.
The Creationists. New York: Knopf.

2. Ross, C. P. and Richard Rezak, 1959. The rocks and fossils of Glacier National Park: The story of their origin and history. U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K.

3. Strahler, Arthur N., 1987. Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.

4. Weber, C. G., 1980. Common creationist attacks on geology. Creation/Evolution 2: 10-25.

5. Whitcomb, John C. Jr. and Henry M. Morris. 1961. The Genesis Flood. Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co..

6. Wise, K. P., 1986. The way geologists date! In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh, C. L. Brooks and R. S. Crowell (eds.), Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 1: 135-138.

Now I know that the above will not change your mind one iota, but my ramblings thru these minefields of science and religion have shown me enough evidence that some of your brethren, Creation Research Institute and answersingenesis, come immediately to mind, though they are not the only ones, bend the truth, just a little. I can almost sympathize with them, because they truly are losing the argument, as far as the science goes. But I really expected more from religious leaders.

As far as the reference to Mr. Darwin’s theory goes, it only gets stronger as the years go on. The body of evidence has only grown to support him, not detract. Practically every true scientific organization in the world has issued statements concerning Science, Religion, Darwin, and they all support evolution. They support it because the preponderance of evidence is there. Their statements are also available on the Internet if you should choose to inquire.

Phil: In all seriousness, you mentioned advances in radiocarbon to the advantage of an old earth. However, there are many problems with this dating method (amidst the other methods you spoke of) and typically very generous assumptions of a very old earth are made before testing even begins.

I suspect you are a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) by your doubting the old ages found in the earth record. So I know from the get go where you stand on the radiocarbon dating issue, so I will be short on the answer for my position. Like Darwin’s theory; the evidence for the reliability and rightness..?..of radiocarbon dating, stratigraphy, dendrochronology, and other scientific methods of dating grow stronger every year. Creationist, of course, deny it even more…What to do?

Oh, almost forgot to mention. The University town that I live in houses one of the premier radiocarbon dating laboratories and Dendrocronology labs in the country. Have connections.

I suppose the argument will go on…and on…..and on:)

Seriously, I hope all goes well with you in your new position, and arguments aside…Peace to you, and thank you for your reply.

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“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself (or herself) in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.” A. Einstein

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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

One Response to Answers to Life Redux

  1. Phil says:

    Thanks for your response, and no, I didn’t mind at all a new column!

    My years are very few thus far, but in all of my studies I still, whether concerning the earth’s age, creation/evolution, etc., see men on each side of the spectrum, working with the same evidences, only different assumptions. I personally feel those evidences weigh heavier to the side of Biblical accounts.

    My point with the dating methods though (and the suggested article) which was the basis of my reply is that there are very serious problems with radiocarbon dating, which are seemingly overlooked when placing the “best date” on a test subject. These to me are not just questions because the results differ from the Biblical account, but questions anyone who looks into the dating method could rightly raise. Did you have a chance to read the article? I know it is from Answers in Genesis, and that is an automatic red flag for you, but you must agree it is healthy to research both sides of any argument. It brings up many valid points and flaws which I have never heard answers for.

    By the way, you said “the evidence for the reliability and rightness..?..of radiocarbon dating, stratigraphy, dendrochronology, and other scientific methods of dating grow stronger every year.”

    With all due respect sir, this is your opinion, based on your assumptions/conclusions with the evidences. I’m sure we could both agree that “because I said so” is never a valid response when it comes to science.

    Thanks again for the dialogue-it has been a pleasure blogging with you. I trust you won’t mind if I shoot a response/question your way in the future?

    On a side note, I noticed in your bio you are of Scottish ancestry. I was in Edinburgh, Scotland just this past Summer working with a Christian church in the community. I can’t imagine there being any more breath-taking place in the world after being there!

    Blessing!
    -Phil

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