Friday, December 28, 2007

An Open Letter to Walter Bradley (Flood)

Dr. Walter Bradley:
I enjoyed your article “The Trustworthiness of Science in Areas Relating to Natural Science.” Your work on the origin of life and the impotence of mutations is great. My printer took 28 pages for your article and I will refer to these.  In the appendix Geisler claims (p. 23) that Flood Geology requires a “complete revision of geological science.“ In contrast, Stokes and Lee state in their Geology text Introduction to Geology (pub. by Prentice-Hall), that, "A catastrophist might contend that the twisting and breaking of strata, the transportation of huge blocks of rock, the violent cutting of canyons, and the wholesale destruction of life is within the power of a great universal flood--and he would be right." [1]

On page 18 you mention evaporites as a non-rapid formation, yet in Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals we read, “Rock salt... is formed by direct sublimation from volcanic exhalations.” [2] A similar claim is in the film “Creation or Evolution?“ produced by Plain Truth Ministries. They favor the progressive creationist view and offer mud cracks in the rock record as evidence against Flood Geology. Elaine Kennedy of Loma Linda comments, “Mud cracks are nearly always presented as problematic. For some reason people have the mistaken idea that there could be no dry ground during the entire flood year and... there are synaresis [UK: synaeresis] cracks which can be mistaken for mud cracks.” [3] Synaresis cracks (shrinkage cracks) which look like mud cracks are caused by changes in salinity which would be expected during the Flood.
You provide the oft used quotation by David Kitts concerning gaps in the fossil record (p. 8). Dr. Kitts taught History of Science and stated in class that the supposed explanation for "overthrusts” where strata are in the “wrong” order by the traditional Geologic Column have very insufficient grounding.  As you may know, he debated Gish and Morris and is not a Flood Geologist.

You claim that the days of creation may be “multiple and/or sequential” (p. 12). The “waw” (and) consecutive in such phrases as “and [waw] God said” and “and [waw] it was evening” in reality requires the termination of one action before the next begins. [4] Overlapping days are not allowed. You suggest that the days may be “indefinite time periods.” The scripture uses large numbers on occasion (10K^2, Rev. 5:11) and could have expressed millions or billions of years if that were the intent. Daniel 2:21-45 is an example of sequential indefinite time periods - why was not Genesis written in like fashion if this is the true message? You can have your millions or billions of years just so long as they are post-NOW. I see no limit on the date of the Parousia. If you wanted to express six normal days, how would you do it?

Your arguments from R. J. Snow for a long sixth day are lacking (p. 12). Adam named all the animals in Eden Preserve that commonly interact with man. We are dealing with kinds, not modern species. Also, recall that Adam was unfallen and probably had higher intellectual potential than you or me. Fast talkers may speak as many as 650 wpm and one can think around 1,000 wpm! Adam’s exclamation “now at length” can also be translated “now at last” - if you had spent your time in intense thought while naming the animals you would be ready for a pleasant surprise and might say “now at last!” In this regard, Bert Thompson points to 1 Timothy 2:13, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” [5]

The word “then” is eita in Greek and means “next; after that.”  Jesus “girded himself. Then [eita] he poured water into the basin” (Jn. 13:5) and Christ said “woman, behold your son! Then [eita] he said to the disciple...” (Jn. 19:26,27). There was no long time gap between the creation of Adam and Eve.

You mention some Church Fathers and Josephus as holding to a non-literal day yet their overall position does not support progressive creation. Augustine held to creation in an instant, not multiple creations over millions of years. In The City of God, Augustine places 2,262 years between Adam and Noah’s Flood. [6] One Chinese chronology gives a date for creation of 6157 B.C. Josephus gave a date of 5481 B.C. Kepler held to a date of 3993 B.C. Luther’s date was 3961 B.C. [7] Many Church Fathers held to the pattern that Adam was made on the sixth day so the Second Adam would appear in the 6,000th year: Clement of Alexander, Origen, Eusebius, Lactantius, Theophilus and others. The traditional Jewish calendar places creation at 3761 B.C. The Mayans timed creation on Feb. 10, 3641 B.C. [8]

You mention 10,000 years as the young earth position (p. 13); many hold to the basic accuracy of Ussher’s date of 4004 B.C. whose Annals of the World has been translated into modern English.

Your reference to dust on the moon (p. 14) neglects the fine work of Andrew Snelling who cautions against using this argument. Many advocates of Young Earth Science (YES) no longer bring forth the lunar approach.

You mention radiometric dating (p. 14) which may have beta decay rates that are a billion times faster under certain conditions. [9] The RATE group has found a diamond with C14 supposedly hundreds of millions of years old. This implies that the diamond is less than 50K years old - truly a platinum bullet for the YES position. Diamonds are not subject to contamination due to their tight crystal structure. The RATE group also found C14 throughout the rock record which implies that the entire sum of deposits are less than 50K years. [10] As Don Batten has pointed out concerning coal, some of which is traditionally dated at hundreds of millions of years, “No source of coal has been found that completely lacks 14C.” [11]

Magnetic reversals are mentioned (p. 14) yet there is evidence that this can occur quite rapidly. Prevot and Coe have concluded from their work on lava flows of Steens Mountain in Oregon that the field may rotate as much as 6o per day! [12] This would produce a reversal in one month. Russell Humphreys has a model of the field that allows for decay and reversals.
The coral growth required to form Eniwetok atoll would have supposedly taken 175K years (p. 14). Coral growth based on soundings is as fast as 414 mm per year and thus Eniwetok atoll could have been formed in less than 3,500 years.
In 1972, Cyclone Bebe formed a transported “reef” 3.5 m high in a few hours. [13] This work is supported by growth rings (p. 15), but this is also suspect. According to some astronomical data tidal friction was twice what is now one thousand years ago. Some living shelled creatures have total yearly growth rings from 283 to 425. [14]

You claim sediments formed from shells on the sea floor must take long ages (p. 15). You may be familiar with the whale fossil in the diatomite beds in Lompoc, CA. These beds are tilted and at one time was reported as being in a vertical position yet even horizontally this whale vindicates a catastrophic origin. The present day accumulation of diatoms give no clue to this process. [15] You refer to multiple layers as indicators of great age; however, Mt. St. Helens created many layers in a short time.

The Lord knows the thoughts of man;
he knows that they are futile.
Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord,
the man you teach from your law
-- Psalm 94:11,12 (NIV)

1) Stokes, William Lee and Judson, Sheldon 1968. Introduction to Geology: Physical and Historical: Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, p.296.
(this reference was provided by Dr. Elaine Kennedy of Loma Linda Univ.)
2) Annibale Mottana et al, Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Rocks and Minerals, 1978, Simon & Schuster, item 47 - Halite.
3) Personal communication, 2004.
4) “Understanding the Hebrew of Genesis One: Star Formation and Genesis 1” by James Stambaugh,
5) “Too Much Activity on Day Six?” by Bert Thompson,
6) Kelly, Douglas, 1997. Creation and Change. Mentor, p. 128, 129.
7) “Old-earth or young-earth belief” by Don Batten,
8) “Estimates on the Biblical Date of Creation” by B. A. Robinson,
11) Batten, Don, Does Carbon Dating Disprove the Bible?, AiG
12) “The ‘Principle of Least Astonishment’!” by Andrew Snelling,
13) “How long does a coral reef take to grow?”
14) “An Eveluation of the use of Growth Lines in Geochronology, Geophysics, and Paleoecology” by Conrad Clausen,
15) “The Whale-on-its-Tail Fossil”

Young Earth Science (YES) in the news >> Dr. John Baumgardner (Ph.D. Geophysics & Space Physics) was profiled in U.S. News World Report and invented TERRA (a program to model plate tectonics).  They described him as "the world's pre-eminent expert in the design of computer models for geophysical onvection."  Check out Richard Bell's brass dino here.  Neanderthals were no simpletons and even invented a form of super glue.  Young Age of the Earth supported by oil formation off Baja.

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