Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fossil Order - Exposed and Explained

Why is there an apparent order in the fossil record from simple life to more complex? A philosophical answer to this question is in chapter 12 of Rock Solid Answers ed. by Mike Oard and John Reed, is “Fossil Distribution and the Flood” by John Reed (pp. 207-215). A good summary on fossil order is found here. John Woodmorappe has shown that much of the fossil record is random.

There are places on the earth where ALL the geologic periods overlay the Pre-Cambrian (Pre-Flood). In fact, 23.2% of the Ordovician is directly on top of the Pre-Cambrian and 18.6% of the Devonian is directly on top of the Pre-Cambrian. [1]
How do we explain the order where it does exist (e.g. Grand Canyon and correlated deposits)? Harold Clark proposed his ecological zonation theory back in 1946 in his book The New Diluvialism - animals in habitats at higher elevations would be buried later during the Deluge. [2] Andrew Snelling deals with fossil order in chapter 31 of The Answers Book 2 as well as chapter 91 of Earth’s Catastrophic Past and explains these mechanisms:

· Pre-Flood Biogeography (Ecological Zonation)
· Early Burial of Marine Creatures (95% of all fossils are shallow marine organisms)
· Hydrodynamic Sorting (diameter, sphericity and density)
· Behavior & Higher Mobility of Vertebrates (instinct and intelligence)

How do creationists predict the fossil sequence? Birds are found later in the record since they can escape a Flood more easily. Creation Geology Theory predicts the initial strata would show great diversity – that’s what the Cambrian Explosion is all about. Another important factor is that there are Pre-Flood, Deluge and Post-Flood deposits. Snelling places the start of the Post-Flood era around the KT boundary. [3]

In the evolutionary narrative, life started as a single cell so we should find the following in the fossil record:
In fact, we do not find 2-20 celled life in the fossil record.

The Cambrian Explosion, where a wide diversity of life appears suddenly, is consistent with Global Flood Theory, but is a great headache for anti-creationists – Darwin’s Dilemma. As Stephen Jay Gould (d. 2002) stated, “… if the true ancestors of Cambrian creatures lacked hard parts, why have we not found them in the abundant deposits that contain the soft-bodied Ediacara fauna?” [4]
Vertebrates have been found in the Lower Cambrian. [5] In 1969, it was thought that the first vertebrate appeared in the Middle Ordovician. [6] According to The Complete Encyclopedia of Fossils, jawless fish (Pteraspis) appear in the Cambrian. [7] Wikipedia still places them in the Devonian! In 1988, The Washington Post reported on jawless fish found in Bolivia and dated at 470M (Early Ordovician), 20 million years older than previously dated. The BBC reported on a jawless fish found in the Lower Cambrian in China! Apparent bird tracks have been found in Carboniferous strata, over 150M before Archaeopteryx! [8]

It is often claimed that primitive and complex life are not found together in the fossil record. What is meant by “primitive?” If we mean trilobites (not-primitive, e.g. their eyes), then they do coexist. The first mammal has been dated at 260M and the most recent trilobite existed 251M – so they overlap by nine million years by consensus dating. We would not expect them to be in the same rock layer since they live in different habitats.

Are there mammals in lower layers? Yes! In 1969 it was thought that the first mammals began about 170 million years ago. [9] Now it is accepted that the first mammal existed 260 million years ago – that’s a difference of 90M! Mammal footprints have been found in rocks at least 275M and, in similar fashion, horse hoofprints have been found in strata at least 350M (this would put horses at 300 million years older than previously thought). [10] Likewise, cuttlefish were found in the Lower Cambrian in 1974 thus extending their range back 400M! [11] In 1958 echinoids were thought to go back as far as the Middle Ordovician, but since then have been found in the Lower Cambrian – a change of tens of millions of years! Before 1963, it was generally accepted that Belemnoids first appeared in the Triassic. Actually, they were discovered in the Devonian in 1843. [12]
The chart above shows how fossil tracks of animals consistently appear before their body fossils. [13] During the Global Flood creatures fled the oncoming surge of destructive waters and left footprints. Later these same animals were buried during a later stage of the Deluge.
The Laetoli footprints that Mary Leakey found are clearly human. They are assumed to be an upright hominid because of the dating of the beds (3.75M).
There are many examples where the appearance or lack of fossils do not fit the evolutionary view of fossil order:

· Living Fossils (e.g. Coelacanth, Wollemi Pine)
· Lazarus species· Stratigraphic Range Extension (both older & more recent)
· Out-of-Place Fossils

Empire Mountain exhibits a reversal in the accepted order where the Permian rests on the Cretaceous (out-of-order) with no evidence of a thrust plane, but actually having an unconformity which indicates erosion:
There is even a reversal at Heart Mountain (WY) where a period repeats:

If we consider this as an overthrust, then only catastrophism associated with the Flood can explain such massive rock movements. John Morris tells how 50 large carbonate blocks moved over 30 miles at an incline of less than two degrees. Catastrophic Plate Tectonics may help power this mass movement. [14]

There are fossil reversals where we find a change from type A to type B then back to type A. Marvin Lubenow, known for his work with alleged “ape-men,” has compiled a few examples [15]:

James Beerbower, the author of a mainstream paleontology text, freely admits that Dollo’s Law (evolution has no reversals) is not valid. [16] There are also “condensed” sequences where fossils from many ages are found in a thin layer. There are examples of this for ammonites in the Alps, Bosnia, Greece, the Himalayas, Hungary and Italy. [17] In one case, seven ammonite zones (7-10 million years) are found in a deposit that is only three feet thick! The standard explanation that sedimentation was slow is not reasonable. The better explanation is that the entire layer was deposited at the same time and that the various ammonites lived concurrently. Fossil order favors the Flood and contradicts Darwinism.  Does the fossil order support ID and who actually is the Intelligent Designer?
How old is the Earth?  Is Darwinism valid?  How does the Renaissance of Catastrophism relate to the age of the world?  Is your favorite planet thousands or billions of years old?  Discover the shocking evidence in this powerful new book, YES – Young Earth Science by Jay Hall (at Amazon.com). 

Here are some cool Zazzle items on Young Earth Science (YES): 

Notes:
1) “The Essential Nonexistence of the Evolutionary-Uniformitarian Geological Column: A Quantitative Assessment” by John Woodmorappe, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 1, June 1981, pp. 46-71, p. 67.
2) "ecological zonation" "global flood" gets 727 hits on Google, 12-14-10.
3) Earth’s Catastrophic Past by Andrew Snelling (Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, TX, 2009, Vol. 2), pp. 751-761.
4) Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould (W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1989), p. 59.
5) Snelling, p. 352.
6) Historical Geology 3e by Carl Dunbar and Karl Waage, (John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1969), p. 208.
7) The Complete Encyclopedia of Fossils by Martin Ivanov, Stanislava Hrdlickova, and Ruzena Gregorova (Rebo Intl., Netherlands, 2001, 2002 ed.), p. 244.
8) Snelling, p. 356.
9) Dunbar and Waage, p. 364.
10) “An Anthology of Matters Significant to Creationism and Diluviology: Report 1” by John Woodmorappe, Creation Research Society Quaterly, Vol. 16, No. 4, Mar. 1980, p. 211.
11) “Significant Fossil Discoveries Since 1958: Creationism Confirmed” by Marvin Lubenow, Creation Research Society Quaterly, Vol. 17, No. 3, Dec. 1980, pp. 155-157.
12) “The Cephalopods in the Creation and the Universal Deluge” by John Woodmorappe, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2, Sep. 1978, pp. 94-112, p. 101.
13) Snelling, p. 451.
14) “Catastrophic Superfaults and the Biblical Flood” by John Morris, Acts & Facts, April 2009, p. 23.
15) “Reversals in the Fossil Record” by Marvin Lubenow, Creation Research Society Quaterly, Vol. 13, No. 4, Mar. 1977, pp. 185-190, 230.
16) Ibid., p. 189.
17) “The Cephalopods in the Creation and the Universal Deluge” by John Woodmorappe, Creation Research Society Quaterly, Vol. 15, No. 2, Sep. 1978, p. 103.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall of the House of Ussher?

Edgar Allan Poe (d. 1849) wrote a gloomy tale The Fall of the House of Usher. He describes the melancholy Usher mansion that is about to fall apart and the demise of the Usher family line. Evolution, if carried to its logical conclusion, is a very depressing philosophy. Darwinists claim that mind ultimately comes from matter. Poe tells us that Rod Usher held to the “sentience of all vegetable things” and that this attribute applied even to inanimate objects as well! Poe speaks of a “dragon of a scaly and prodigious demeanor,” reminding us of the coexistence of man and dinos in the past. Rod Usher and his sister lady Madeline both die and House of Usher falls apart. So the House of Usher is no more - both the building and the family.
James Ussher (d. 1656) wrote The Annals of the World setting the date of Creation Week in 4004 BC. The date of his death, 1656, is the same as the age of the Earth at the time of the Flood (1656). The number 4004 is also fascinating, 4004 = 2 x 2 x 7 x 11 x 13. Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould gave a fair evaluation of Ussher’s work:

Ussher represented the best of scholarship in his time. He was part of a substantial research tradition, a large community of intellectuals working toward a common goal under an accepted methodology… [1]

There has also been a Fall of the House of Ussher. His date for the beginning is no longer in vogue. A number of scientists helped promote the idea of an old earth:
Benoit de Maillet (d. 1738) estimated the age of the earth at two billion years based on his study of sea level decline. [3]

According to historian R. F. Foster, Ussher’s dating led to the “… practice among Irish antiquarians of showing scant respect for time.” [4] Leonard Bruno, Senior Science Specialist at the Library of Congress, claims that Ussher’s Annals is based on an “unscientific method.” [5] Ussher made reference to Scripture as well as many non-biblical sources (Livy, Tacitus etc.).

Others have kind words for Ussher. Marcus Tanner called him, “… the greatest apologist the reformed Church in Ireland possessed.” [6] The Standard Dictionary of Facts, published in 1908 and edited by Henry Ruoff, still held a great respect for Ussher’s dating (p. 54):
Dorsey Hager, president of the Utah Geological Society, said in 1957, “Many millions still live in mental bondage controlled by ignorant ranters who accept the Bible as the last word in science, and accept Archbishop Ussher’s claim that the earth was created 4004 B.C.” [7]
If we deny the numbers in Scripture, when do we start denying the words between the numbers?
What of Ussher’s family line? One of his most famous descendents was Clarence Ussher, an American evangelical missionary doctor. He was an Episcopalian and went to Turkey to aid Armenians in Eastern Turkey when they were being exterminated. There are at least 100 Usshers in the United States.
It is not strange that the heathens who are totally ignorant of the Holy Bible, should despair of ever attaining the knowledge of the world's beginnings. Even among Christians, that most renowned chronographer Dionysius Petavius when asked his opinion concerning the creation of the world and the number of years from creation down to us, made this disclaimer: "That the number of years from the beginning of the world to our time, cannot be known nor in any way found out without Divine Revelation.'' (Petav. de Doctrina Temporum, l. 9. c. 2.) – James Ussher

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:7).
Here is a defense of the traditional biblical chronology.

Notes:
1) quoted in Refuting Compromise by Jonathan Sarfati (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2004), p. 129.
2) “St Hutton’s Hagiography” by John Reed, Journal of Creation 22(2), 2008, p. 122.
3) Great Feuds in Science by Hal Hellman (Barnes & Noble, New York, 2007 ed.), p. 108.
4) Modern Ireland by R. F. Foster (Penguin Press, London, 1988), p. 49.
5) The Tradition of Science by Leonard Bruno (Library of Congress, Wash., DC, 1987), p. 200.
6) Ireland’s Holy Wars by Marcus Tanner (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, CT, 2001), p. 92.
7) quoted in The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris (Presbyterian and Reformed, Phil., PA, 1961), pp. 116, 117.



Saturday, October 23, 2010

NOAH, Kinds & Preaching


Noah was warned about the Flood when he was 480 years old (Ge 6:3, 7:11). The Flood came 120 years later. What was Noah doing during this time? Noah’s father Lamech prophesied that Noah would bring relief to the earth (Ge 5:28, 29), so the people at that time should have been open to Noah’s message.

Noah’s sons were not born until twenty years after he was told about the flood (Ge 5:32). How did he start building the Large Barge (Ark)? Cornelius Van Til held that he hired carpenters. After Job’s ordeal he was very very blessed:
Could it be that Noah was also wealthy? He could thus afford dozens or hundreds of carpenters.

Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). Albert Barnes held that Noah, “…warned the world of the judgment that was preparing for it.” [2] According to A.T. Robertson, “… Noah preached to the men of his time during the long years.” [3] This view may also aid us in the interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19, 20. The same word in 2 Peter 2:5, “herald” or “preacher,” is also used in 1 Tim. 2:7 and 2 Tim. 1:11:
But what did Paul do? He went around the world preaching Christ – maybe Noah did likewise. Noah preached on the righteousness that comes by faith (Heb 11:7). Noah could easily travel the globe in 120 years.
Could it be that some repented and believed in the coming Savior (Ge 3:15) and died before the Flood started, such as Methuselah (Ge 5:26-28)?

Many object to the global flood because the ark could not hold all the species. [1] But this shows a serious confusion of kinds versus species. How many kinds are there? First, let’s look at the minimum number of kinds (17):
What about the maximum number of kinds? John Woodmorappe estimates the number of animals on the Ark as around 16K. [4] Thus there may be around 8K kinds. Suppose Woodmorappe is off by a factor of two, then we might give a provisional guess at the maximum number of air-breathing, land-based kinds at 16K. If there were many more kinds than that, the Ark would have been too crowded.

For more on biblical kinds, check out Variation and Fixity in Nature by Frank Marsh and The Natural Limits to Biological Change by Lane Lester and Ray Bohlin.
The work of the Baraminology Study Group and Art Battson is also helpful. Clearly, sponges, clams, starfish and lobsters are different kinds.

“Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” – Ge 6:8

How would Noah evaluate the ID movement and their reticence to name the Intelligent Designer?

Notes:1) William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary (Fleming H. Revell, Tappan, NJ, 1977 ed. [orig. pub. 1884]), p. 457, “Noah” entry.
2) Albert Barnes, Barnes New Testament Notes (Online Bible), 2 Pet. 2:5.
3) A.T. Robertson, Robertson’s New Testament Word Pictures (Online Bible), 2 Pet. 2:5.
4) John Wodmorappe, Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study (ICR, Santee, CA, 1996), pp. 10-13.

Friday, September 24, 2010

We’re Jamin, but are we certain? (AgeOfEarth)


Jamin Hubner, author of The Portable Presuppositionalist, has a most excellent site on apologetics. He has recently written on the topic of the age of the earth. Stephen Boyd’s research on the verbs in Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 is referred to, but Thousands … Not Billions by Don DeYoung is not. Neither is the second volume produced by the RATE team which contains the details of Dr. Boyd’s work.

Hubner is ambiguous on Genesis and states that it’s narrative in a “general sense” and that the events recounted occurred “one way or another.” In contrast, Stephen Boyd’s results on preterite verbs is aptly summarized by Andrew Kulikovsky, “In the case of Genesis 1:1-2:3, it was statistically classified as narrative with a probability of 0.9999. This is an extraordinary level of confidence that amounts to virtual certainty.” [1]

Hubner states that, “No one denies that Genesis 1 fits with the rest of the book … ;” whereas, Bernhard Anderson, Emeritus Prof. of OT at Princeton, admits, “There is increasing agreement that the creation account belongs to the genre of story, not history. Even conservative ‘evangelical’ scholars are moving in this direction …” [2]

One also wonders how familiar Hubner is with the following creation periodicals:
Creation Research Society Quarterly
Acts & Facts
Answers Research Journal
Journal of Creation
Creation
(CSM, UK)
A more complete list may be found here.

Hubner is under the false impression that the 10 toledoths (“generations,” “historical account”) in Genesis appear at the beginning of a section. They actually occur at the end. [3] Many of Hubner’s concerns are dealt with in the festschrift for John Whitcomb (co-author of The Genesis Flood, 1961) – Coming to Grips with Genesis, ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury. Also, Refuting Compromise by Jonathan Sarfati is a relevant resource.

Hubner claims that, “The only citation of Gen 1 in the NT is of man being made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27 in Matt 19 and Mark 10), a strongly theological point; there is no reference to chronology of Gen 1 in any of the NT …” Both Matthew and Luke contain a genealogy which implicitly yields a chronology. The NT uses the Seven-Day-Week which derives from the original Creation In Six Days (CISD) and the one day of rest. Time IS important in the NT, “… when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4, ESV). Jesus came to earth according to God’s timetable (Daniel’s 70 weeks) – time does matter. In 2 Cor 4:6 we read, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ …” citing Ge 1:3. According to Andrew Snelling, “There are at least 100 quotations or direct references to Genesis 1-11 in the New Testament.”

Hubner brings out the issue of forming and filling during Creation Week. When we make things, we do so in an orderly manner. Building a house involves days of forming and days of filling. We are God’s image-bearers and imitate the work of Creation Week. When we build a house we do so in an orderly manner – first the foundation (with electric and plumbing lines), then the framing, windows, skylights, insulation, drywall, roofing and siding. We put plants, pets, an aquarium, ceiling fans and maybe some reptiles on the inside of the house – a virtual jungle.

Regarding the 3 days of forming and 3 days of filling, Hubner comments, “This could just be irony and genius in the creative order and have no conflict with chronology, but it is central to the account and it must be given attention” (emphasis added). Actually Day 3 of Creation Week was a day of filling since plants and trees were created then. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism what is central about creation?

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Hubner posits, “… if we have a question specifically about chronology, Gen. 2 would probably be the first place we should go …” Ge 1 shows that Adam was made on Day 6 of Creation Week – that is Adam is 6 days younger than the universe and Ex 20:11 makes it clear that these are regular days. Chronology is found in Ge 5&11.


Hubner makes this shocking admission, “… I am hesitant to say ‘I'm a literal 24-hr 6-day young earth creationist’ even though much of what I believe falls into that camp.” Even non-creationist scholars admit to the 144 hour framework. Gerhard von Rad said that, “The seven days are unquestionably to be understood as actual days and as a unique, unrepeatable lapse of time in the world.” [4] Hubner admits to gaps in the chronology of Ge 5&11 and holds that mankind may be as old as 15,000 years. There are no gaps.

Hubner confesses, “I really doubt if there is adequate information in Scripture to plainly tell us how old our expanding and mind-boggling universe is.” Possibly he is unaware of the proposed solutions of the distant starlight problem provided by Russell Humphreys, John Hartnett and Jason Lisle.

Orthodox Protestants who take Genesis as Historical Narrative (OPGHN, “opgane”) should take Genesis as teaching creation in six standard days about six thousand years ago (Y6K). Francis Turretin proclaimed, “Nor does the sacred history written by Moses cover any more than six thousand years …” [5]


Notes:
1) “Higher Critical Hogwash” by Andrew Kulikovsky, Journal of Creation, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2008, p. 33, emphasis added.
2) quoted in Kulikovsky, emphasis added.
3) Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), pp. 152, 295.
4) quoted in “Can Deep Time Be Embedded in Genesis?” by Trevor Craigen in Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), p. 203.
5) quoted in “A Brief Overview of the Exegesis of Genesis 1-11: Luther to Lyell” by David Hall in Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), p. 71.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Adam’s Blog [stardate 18,677.789] - Lost in Space

If Eva and I have twenty daughters and thirty sons and my children have twenty daughters and thirty sons and this pattern continues, then this luscious world God has given us will soon fill up. Could this planet possibly hold 15 billion [1] or maybe even 60 billion?
Before the Bad Time [Ge 3] we were pure. Could there be other worlds with pure people? Once we multiply and fill up the earth, where will we go? Could we live on the Moon? Terry, my pet pterodactyl, takes me up very high, but hardly any closer to the moon. Muh-Quamxcq has built amazing steam powered rockets. One day one of my children may build a contraption that can reach Mars based on the energy that powers the sun. Maybe future space travelers will go beyond the planets to other worlds to encounter pure ones.
Will there someday be the Lost in Space? If the Lost meet the pure ones, how will they react to each other? Could my fallen children cause the pure ones to lose their Edenic state? In the town of Goor-Gar they have built a high wall around the city to keep out ferocious dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs. In like manner, could there be a barrier around a pure planet to keep the Fallen Ones out?

Would the reverse quarantine of pure planets be maintained by angels [Ge 3:24]? Or could a protective barrier be the creation of the pure ones themselves? Time will tell.

**** **** ****

… the interplanetary problem must be left on one side for the moment. The second problem is our rivals on this planet. I don’t mean only insects and bacteria. There’s far too much life of every kind about, animal and vegetable. We haven’t really cleared the place yet. First we couldn’t; and then we had aesthetic and humanitarian scruples; and we still haven’t short-circuited the question of the balance of nature. All that is to be gone into. The third problem is Man himself. --- Feverstone in That Hideous Strength (scifi) by C. S. Lewis

There is presumably an upper limit to the carrying capacity of humans on earth - of the numbers that agriculture can support - and that number is usually estimated at between 13-15 billion, though some people think the ultimate numbers might be much higher --- Niles Eldredge (of Punctuated Equilibrium fame) [2]


Writing in the Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, David Fetcho comments:
…we can only speculate about what the destiny of an unfallen humanity might have been . . . If sin had not entered, and with it death, then obedience to the command to multiply would very quickly have filled the planet earth with an exponentially exploding population of immortals. Was humankind's benevolent subjection of the planet Earth but the first intended step in a plan that would eventually encompass galaxies? [3]

Notes:
1) “Science Will Solve the Population Problem” by Nicholas Eberstadt in Population ed. by Karen Balkin, (Thomson Gale, Detroit, MI, 2005), p. 35.
2) “Overpopulation Could Lead to Humanity’s Extinction” by Niles Eldredge in Population ed. by Karen Balkin, (Thomson Gale, Detroit, MI, 2005), p. 76.
3) quoted in “Defense of Copernicus” by Jay Hall (letter), Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 1, p. 80.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ecology, Environment and Creation Care

“… Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted” (Jn 6:12, Amp).




In 1970 Francis Schaeffer wrote Pollution and the Death of Man and said, “… Christians who believe the Bible are not simply called to say that ‘one day’ there will be healing [for the pollution dilemma], but that by God’s grace, upon the basis of the work of Christ, substantial healing can be a reality here and now” [1]



In 1987 the large garbage barge Mobro from Long Island traveled to six states and three countries trying to get rid of its load. The barge finally went back to New York and the trash was burned in a Brooklyn incinerator. [2]


Just about everything can be recycled; even orange peels can be used in animal feed. It only takes 5% as much energy to make aluminum from old cans compared to making it from scratch using bauxite. Some cities, such as Freeport, IL, charge more for an extra bag of trash. If creating trash cost us something would we be such litterbugs? [3]

Turning trash to energy is one way to reduce pollution. Yes Virginia, there is profit in garbage. One incineration plant in Florida made $15 million from its electricity generation. [4] An incinerator makes ash that takes up one tenth the volume as the original trash:


Triencon is on the cutting edge of the waste-to-energy industry. They use gasification-oxidation which is different from incineration and does not harm the environment. The Fischer–Tropsch process (F-T) can convert carbon monoxide and hydrogen into synthetic lubricants and fuel. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and other trash can be converted into many useful products:


What about the carbon dioxide produced by waste-to-energy plants? When combined with hydrogen (abundant in the ocean) it can make methane gas. Waste to energy works!



Consider these thoughts from Francis Schaeffer,

Beauty does not have to have pragmatic reasons to have value. … When we have learned this - the Christian view of nature – then there can be a real ecology; beauty will flow, psychological freedom will come, and the world will cease to be turned into a desert. [5]




Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Francis of Assisi

"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth" (Rev 11:18, NASB).


**** HERE IS A VIDEO VERSION OF THIS BLOG ****



Notes:
1) Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer, (Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 1982), Vol. 5: p. 39, emphasis added.
2) “Talking Trash” by Virginia Postrel and Lynn Scarlett, Reason Aug/Sep 1991, p. 24.
3) Ibid., pp. 27, 28, 31.
4) “Cities Give Waste-to-Energy Plants a Second Look” by Ilan Brat, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 6-7, 2008, p. A3.
5) Schaeffer, p. 55.

** ** ** **
BK2C = Be Kind To Creation
NIMBY = Not In My Back Yard
Don’t Mess with Texas
Keep America Beautiful

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Meaning of Fossils

Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation. For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly (2 Peter 3:3-7, ESV)

Would anyone have doubted the reality of the Flood fifty years after it happened? How about 500 years after the Flood? In Post-Babel times certain people groups lost the memory of the Global Flood, yet the rocks cry out and point to the Deluge. Neanderthals put fossils in their graves; could this be because they knew they were relics from the Deluge? [1]
Martin Rudwick wrote The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology which discusses the history of how fossils came to be understood as once living things. He also explains how fossils were interpreted to represent extinction and evolution.

Xanthos of Sardis (c. 500 BC) understood that fossils were the remains of once living organisms. [2] Xenophanes (d. ca. 490 BC) discovered fossil fishes and shells and thought that the land was underwater in the past. Herodotus (d. 425 BC), the historian, concluded that Egypt was once underwater because of the fossil shells there.
Lucretius (d. 45 BC), Roman poet and Epicurean, held the Young Earth view:

Why have no poets sung of feats before the Theban War and the tragedy of Troy[1200 BC?]. The answer, I believe, is that the world is newly made: its origin is a recent event, not one of remote antiquity. That is why even now some arts are being perfected… [3]
Human history only goes back a few thousand years, so the earth is young. If the earth was made recently, then the fossils must be due to the Global Flood.

Leonardo da Vinci (d. 1519) knew that fossils were once living things, but suffered under the misapprehension that the Flood would have left a blended deposit rather than multiple layers. He held that fossils on the tops of mountains were deposited before the mountains were raised which is perfectly consistent with the Flood.

Tertullian pointed to fossils found on mountains as evidence of the Flood. Augustine saw fossils as the remains of creatures living before the Flood. Martin Luther referred to fossils as being the result of the Deluge in his commentary on Genesis. Agostino Scilla published a work in 1670 on fossils which he illustrated himself which pointed to the Flood as their cause. [4]

Colin Stearn and Robert Carroll, authors of a mainstream paleontology text, freely admit that by the middle of the eighteenth century, “Most [naturalists] attributed them [the fossils] to animals destroyed in the Biblical flood…” [5]

Polystrate fossils, such as a trees passing through multiple strata, clearly indicate rapid deposition. One famous example Terry Mortenson highlights in his book The Great Turning Point (p. 205):
This tree discovered in 1826 is from a quarry in Craigleith, Scotland and is about 80 feet long and goes through about ten or twelve different strata (the angle is about 40 degrees). [6]

Even Darwin himself toyed with catastrophism:
What, then, has exterminated so many species and whole genera? The mind at first is irresistibly hurried into the belief of some great catastrophe; but thus to destroy animals, both large and small, in Southern Patagonia, in Brazil, on the Cordillera of Peru, in North America up to Behring's Straits, we must shake the entire framework of the globe. [7]

Terry Mortenson notes the sad paradigm shift away from Flood Geology:

Catastrophism did not die out immediately, although by the late 1830s few old-earth catastrophists in the United Kingdom, America, or Europe believed in a geologically significant Noachian deluge. [8]

Amazingly, as late as 1892 a Yale professor (Military Science) defended the Deluge. Charles Totten wrote The Flood: the Fact of History defending the feasibility of the Ark. [5]

In addition to the geological indicators of the Flood, there are hundreds of Flood traditions from all around the world.

Notes:
1) Paleontology: The Record of Life by Colin Stearn and Robert Carroll (John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1989), p. 5.
2) Ibid.
3) “Time and Ancient Records” by David Watson, Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 1, June 1981, p. 34, emphasis added.
4) The Deluge Story in Stone by Byron Nelson (Bethany Fellowship, Minneapolis, MN, 1968), pp. 9, 10, 18.
5) Stearn and Carroll, p. 6.
6) Nelson, p. 111.
7) The Voyage of the Beagle By Charles Darwin, p. 110 (emphasis added).
8) The Great Turning Point by Terry Mortenson (Master Books, Green Forest, AR 2004), p. 33.
9) Nelson, pp. 154-156.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Fall - it Leaves…

In a perfect little town, we got lost and feared the sound
The Fall – it leaves, the Fall – it leaves us on the ground
I tried to hide and had no clothes
And I feared the One who’s Most

Searching for something beyond Eden home
Expelled from paradise to face grime
How could I have done this awful crime!

Run away before you drown ‘cause the Flood will beat you down
The Fall – it leaves, the Fall – it leaves us on the ground
It gets dark in East of Eden Park
Voice in my head will soon be dread
By the Curse my doom is death

Now my shame has now been caught
Staring at thorns, fig leaves were naught
Run away before you drown ‘cause the Flood will beat you down
The Fall – it leaves, the Fall – it leaves us on the ground

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Francis Collins, William Dembski and ID the Future


Opponents of creationism often ignore its vast literature rather than strive to truly understand the other side. Francis Collins, founder of BioLogos and Director of the Human Genome Project, quotes Henry Morris with regard to the cultural impact of evolution, but fails to fully interact with his more recent scientific work defying Darwinism. [1] He should have dealt with The Modern Creation Trilogy by Henry Morris and John Morris (1996). In The Language of God, Collins has one reference for his chapter on Creationism (not even a creationist reference), but there are eight references for his chapter on Intelligent Design (ID).
Francis Collins (on the right) thinks that creationists hold that species are static. [2] The kinds God made during Creation Week display only limited variation – this may in general be at the family level (elephants, armadillos, anteaters etc.). Collins exhibits another point of confusion regarding the creationist stance, “… the geologic strata and the fossils within the various layers were created in a few weeks by the worldwide flood.” [3] There are Pre-Flood, Deluge and Post-Flood deposits and the Global Flood lasted about a year. Collins denies the possibility of accelerated nuclear decay, but ignores the results of the RATE team. [4] Even mainstream scientists admit that some isotope decay rates vary. [5] Francis Schaeffer accepted that the radioactive decay rates may not be constant. [6]

Collins runs to Saint Augustine to support his old-earth views. [7] Actually, Augustine held that the earth was about six thousand years old. Collins is also under the impression that creationists insist, “… that every word of the Bible must be taken literally…” which is quite false. [8] He leans toward taking Genesis 2 as poetry and allegory, but the statistical analysis of preterite verbs has shown that Genesis 1:1-2:3 is historical narrative, not poetry. Collins quotes C. S. Lewis in defense of his views, but Lewis showed creationist leanings in his latter years. C. S. Lewis said in 1951, “The point that the whole economy of nature demands simultaneity of at least a v[ery] great many species is a v[ery] sticky one.” That is all basic types of life existed at the beginning, such as insects and the flowers they pollinate. Accepted dating claims that certain insects appeared millions of years before the flowers they pollinate. Collins even denies that Job and Jonah are historical. [9] He is also completely oblivious to the creationist responses to the distant starlight problem. [10] According to Collins, “Young Earth Creationism has reached a point of intellectual bankruptcy” and that biblical creationists are “… effectively committing intellectual suicide.” [11] Collins is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation (open to theistic evolution) and I would refer him to an article in their Journal defending Global Catastrophe by Loren Steinhauer of MIT.
Francis Collins calls William Dembski “the leading mathematical modeler of the ID movement.” [12] Dembski claims that Scripture contains examples of Intelligent Design, “Predictive prophecies in Scripture are instances of specified complexity…” which is the criteria to determine ID. [13] Scripture teaches that God created the world in six regular days (24 hours) about six thousand years ago and the planet was destroyed by a global cataclysm during Noah’s day (kataklusmon, 2 Peter 2:5). Dembski now admits that the Flood was global:

…not only Genesis 6–9 but also Jesus in Matthew 24 and Peter in Second Peter seem clearly to teach that the Flood was universal. As a biblical inerrantist, I believe that what the Bible teaches is true and bow to the text, including its teaching about the Flood and its universality.
When will Dembski accept the young earth view? Soon, I hope and pray. Dembski spoke at this years meeting of the International Society of Christian Apologetics in Fort Worth (see pic above) where a number of creation scientists spoke (S. Austin, J. Morris and N. Jeanson). [14] Dembski did not treat the young earth defenders as “intellectually bankrupt” and attended lectures supporting the Global Flood. If only Francis Collins had such a generous attitude.

William Dembski seems to favor the fixity of kinds, “Actual scientific evidence, both experimental and paleontological, supports only limited variation within fixed boundaries…” [15] He also references The Natural Limits to Biological Change by Lane Lester and Raymond Bohlin. Art Battson may be the most ardent advocate of the conservation and stability of kinds (limited common ancestry [16]) within the ID community. Even ID super-star Michael Behe concedes that the data favors limited variation:

… data available in just the past decade from studies of microbes which occur in nature in truly astronomical numbers, such as the malarial parasite and HIV, demonstrate random mutation to be incoherent, and Darwinian processes capable of only trivial changes to pre-existing systems. … Extrapolating from such data allows relatively precise, firm limits to be placed on what is reasonable to expect of unintelligent processes…
Nancy Pearcey, Senior Fellow with the Discovery Institute, provides similar sentiments, “Is change limited or unlimited? – that simple question is the heart of the creation and evolution controversy … For centuries both laymen and specialists have known that biological change is in fact limited.” [17] Even evolutionist Francis Hitching agrees, “Genes are a powerful stabilizing mechanism and they minimize the chances that new forms will evolve.” [18] Once the fixity of kinds is assumed the only sensible interpretation of the geologic record is via Noah’s Flood. Acceptance of the Global Flood leads to a young earth interpretation.
“ID the Future” is an excellent ID podcast, but what about the real future of ID and its stance on the young earth? Francis Collins predicts the “ultimate demise” of ID and that is has already been refuted and that it is headed “to the bottom of the ocean.” [19] In contrast, Phillip Johnson, the father of ID, has become sympathetic to creationism:

l have met many young-earth creationists and respect their position, whatever the world may think of it. They are dismissively called “Genesis literalists,” but this is a caricature. … Creationists read Genesis not with a wooden literalism but by an interpretive principle that was standard everywhere before the rise of postmodernist innovations such as deconstruction and reader response theory: a text should be read as the author meant it to be read. [20]
He is even willing to consider that certain “constants” may have changed:

All that is necessary to research the lifespans in Genesis 5 is to put aside the philosophical dogma of uniformitarianism and proceed instead on the assumptionthat the basic “constants” of physics may have changed over time. [21]
Is Phillip Johnson ready to accept accelerated nuclear decay and the evidence for a young earth provided by the RATE team? If William Dembski doubts the results of the RATE team he can go to a local coal mine in Texas where he lives and have a sample dated by radiocarbon. I predict that the sample will be dated in the 40K-60K range and not millions of years old; “come, Dembski, come – the game is afoot!” How does Dembski explain bivalves, supposedly millions of years old, with their original ligaments intact! Geologist Andrew Snelling, who’s young earth research was referenced in the July 2004 issue of Sedimentary Geology, has a perfectly reasonable explanation:

The pristine fossils disgorged by these mud springs, still with either their original external iridescence or their original organic ligaments, can’t be 165 million years old! Both the fossils and the strata that entombed them must only be recent. They are best explained as testimony to the global watery cataclysm in Noah’s day about 4,500 years ago.
Will ID evolve into Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC)? Time will tell.  Also, who actually is the Intelligent Designer?   Read the bold new book on Young Earth Science (YES).
“It is written” appears 78 times in Scripture – we must base our thinking in all areas, both academic and practical, on the Bible. Evolution only leads to despair, but God’s Word brings wisdom:

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Bound in affliction and irons - Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High (Ps. 107:10, 11).

Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” (Deut. 4:5, 6).


Notes:
1) The Language of God by Francis Collins, (Free Press, New York, NY, 2006), p. 5.
2) Ibid., p. 172.
3) Ibid.
4) Ibid., p. 173.
5) “Half-life (more or less)” by Davide Castelvecchi, Science News, November 22, 2008, Vol. 174, No. 11, pp. 21-23.
6) The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer, (Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 1982), Vol. 2: p. 134.
7) Collins, pp. 174, 175, 199, 200.
8) Collins, p. 175.
9) Ibid., p. 209.
10) Ibid., pp. 176-177.
11) Ibid., p. 177, 178, emphasis added.
12) Collins, p. 194.
13) Intelligent Design by William Dembski, (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1999), p. 233.
14) “Taking God Seriously” by Lawrence Ford, Acts & Facts, June 2010, p. 3, we attended this conference.
15) Dembski, p. 250.
16) “Common Ancestry and the Bible – Discerning Where to Draw the Line” by Nathaniel Jeanson, Acts & Facts, June 2010, p. 6.
17) “Everybody Can Know: The Most Powerful Evidence Against Evolution” by Nancy Pearcey, Bible-Science Newsletter, June 1987, p. 7.
18) “Where Darwin Went Wrong” by Francis Hitching, Reader’s Digest, 1982, Vol. 121, No. 725, p. 14.
19) Collins, pp. 194, 195.
20) The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate by Phillip Johnson, (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 2004), p. 57, emphasis added.
21) Ibid., p. 147.