Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Iceman Cometh (Dembski version)

Young Earth Science (YES) holds that scripture and science supports the view the this planet is thousands of years old (not billions). William Dembski, the prominent Intelligent Design (ID) advocate, is somewhat sympathetic to YES: “I myself would adopt it in a heartbeat except that nature seems to present such strong evidence against it.” [1] Is this really true? Dembski counsels, “Young-earth creationists do not merely want to show why the other side is wrong; they also want to show why their side is right.” [2] They have done so Dr. Dembski.

Dembski claims that the multiple layers in ice cores in Greenland pose a problem for the YES idea of one Ice Age after the Flood. However, the layers are not always annual – many layers can occur in one year. J. Southon writing in Quaternary Research freely admits, “… the GISP2 (Greenland Ice Sheet Project) ice contains many subannual structures which mimic annual bands …” R. B. Alley et al. stated in the Journal of Geophysical Research, “… it is almost certain that variability exists at the subseasonal or storm level, at the annual level… We certainly must entertain the possibility of misidentifying the deposit of a large storm or a snow dune as an entire year…” The Post-Flood Ice Age would have produced “hyper-canes” at the poles which would make multiple layers in the ice record each year. [3]
One wonders how much of the excellent research on the Ice Age by Michael Oard and Larry Vardiman that Dembski has read:
Dembski criticizes the “post-flood rapid ice age model,” but fails to see its power and success in predicting the reality on the ground. [4] Evolutionists cannot explain the Ice Age and over 60 theories have been proposed. J. K. Charlesworth explains that there are “… an absolute riot of theories ranging from the remotely possible to the mutually contradictory and the palpably inadequate.” [5] The Flood implies the Ice Age! Volcanic ash cooled the earth; tremendous eruptions in the seas (Ge 7:11) heated up the oceans. This combination of higher precipitation, caused by the hot seas, and cooler summers produced the Ice Age after the Flood. This is the only model that successfully predicts ice sheets where we know they existed and it only takes a few hundred years! [6] This model gives thinner ice sheets than the mainstream view, but this makes it easier to explain the no-ice regions we find in Wisconsin. Assuming the widely accepted huge glacier thickness, we would expect a significant “bounce-back” after the tremendous weight of the ice melted – this would take about 25,000 years. Ohio, Illinois and Indiana show virtually no rebound. [7] Andrew Snelling explains, “… ocean temperatures increased [based on fossil oxygen isotopes] during deposition of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata, and then decreased during Tertiary (post-Flood) deposition.” [8] This is exactly what the Post-Flood Ice Age model predicts.
Dembski has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. Mathematicians are always Killing Lies* – that is they are challenging false assumptions. One example is the old claim that you can only fold a paper in half seven times. YES advocates are also challenging falsehoods promoted by mainstream science. Commenting on ice cores, Dembski claims that Orthodox Protestants who take Genesis as Historical Narrative (OPGHN, “opgane”) are interested in “… devising loopholes to support an otherwise untenable position.” [9] Not so, my brother; in fact, the Post-Flood Rapid Ice Age Model (PRIAM**) is the only explanation that works and fits the data in the real world.
Dembski should take a hint from former aeronautical engineer and award winning SciFi author, James Hogan who said, “A comparatively young word [Y6K] – in the sense of the surface we observe today – is compatible with unguided Catastrophist theories…” [10] Hogan states that conventional dating, “was more a product of materialism’s fight with religion than an empirical construct … [it was] manufactured to provide the long time scales that Lyell and Darwin needed.” [11] Hogan maintains that, “Mountain uplifts and other formations show indications of being younger than conventional geology maintains.” [12] One example that Hogan presents that challenges standard dating uses thermoluminescence of lunar material which was dated at less than 10,000 years. [13] If the Moon is thousands of years old, then maybe the Earth is too!

The Ice Age is apparently referenced in Job, “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen” (Job 38:29–30).

Evolution itself has a chilling effect and Darwinism demands depression.
Don’t mock the faith! Have you no respect for religion…
- Larry in The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill

If I have told you of things that happen right here on the earth and yet none of you believes Me, how can you believe (trust Me, adhere to Me, rely on Me) if I tell you of heavenly things? (Jn. 3:12, Amp)
1) The End of Christianity by William Dembski (Broadman & Holman, Nashville, TN, 2009), p. 55.
2) Ibid., p. 56.
3) Earth’s Catastrophic Past by Andrew Snelling (Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, TX, 2009, Vol. 2), pp. 778.
4) Dembski, p. 61.
5) quoted in Snelling, p. 770.
6) Snelling, p. 774.
7) Snelling, p. 776.
8) Snelling, p. 773.
9) Dembski, p. 61.
10) Kicking the Sacred Cow by James Hogan (Baen, New York, NY, 2004), p. 47.
11) Ibid., p. 175, Note: Hogan is endorsing Velikovsky’s opinion.
12) Ibid., p. 174.
13) Ibid., p. 206.

*Wilhelm Killing and Sophus Lie were mathematicians
**can you say “Troy?”


Chemostrat1646 said...

Hello, thanks for the link.

I am a bit confused though. Since when are ice ages unexplained? Their occurrence is relatively straightforward in the context of astronomical forcing and atmospheric/albedo feedbacks.

I'm afraid the so-called 'hypercanes' don't actually explain glacial ice sheets very well, either. For one, the climate records from surrounding areas are quite clear. We know precipitation wasn't catastrophic to the point suggested by hypercane-driven ice formation. We know the ocean temperatures were not 40°C+ at any time in recent history. How is it that such storms only left their mark in polar ice?

Subannual features can mimic annual ice layers—sure. But there is a simple way to verify whether tens of thousands formed in only hundreds of years: match up isotopic records from ice cores to others around the world—and to lake sediment records, marine sediment records, microfaunal isotopic records, speleothem records, etc., where you have an independent means of dating the strata (rather than simply counting layers).

Since those data are already available, we may conclude that the post-Flood ice age has little to do with the evidence we find today.

Chemostrat1646 said...

In reference [7], Andrew Snelling cites oxygen isotopes in fossils as reflecting ocean temperatures over the Flood year. This is absolute nonsense—a reckless and dishonest use of scientific data. Oxygen isotopes from Paleozoic fossils suggest ocean temperatures of 55°C–75°C. These temperatures assume a constant isotopic composition of the oceans over time (probably not a valid assumption), but more importantly, isotopic equilibrium during precipitation of the fossil. The latter occurs while the organism forms its shell over years of growth.

Are we to believe that all Paleozoic, shelled creatures (brachiopods) grew their entire shells in the year of the Flood, while the ambient ocean temperatures were quite near boiling?