Monday, August 1, 2011

Mark Fitzmaurice - End of Christianity

Mark Fitzmaurice, a physician from Australia, wrote the Foreword to William Dembski’s The End of Christianity where Dembski claims that the effects of the Fall were retroactive.  Fitzmaurice spent 12 years in a rural hospital in Papua, New Guinea and supports Intelligent Design (ID).  I have evaluated The End of Christianity here and here.

Kudos to Fitzmaurice for this admission:

It was natural for me to opt for a plain reading of the Bible. And what could be plainer than the teaching of Genesis on creation? A young-earth perspective therefore seemed to me the only viable approach to anyone who took the Bible seriously.

Fitzmaurice seems to overlook the noetic effects of sin and that non-Christian scientists may come to anti-biblical conclusions (cf. Lk. 11:23):

I never intended to depart from a plain reading of Genesis. It was forced upon me with great pain and with tears. … To question a young-earth reading of Genesis was to question the entire Bible and to place one’s faith in jeopardy. … I was compelled by the scientific evidence:  stars are a long way off and very old; the earth and its landforms seem clearly the result of millions of years of normal processes …

There are a few options for explaining distant starlight.  According to Tom Siegfried, editor in chief of ScienceNews, “No cosmic clock governs time’s flow for the whole universe …” [1] 

We challenge the millions of years for earth’s features.  Let’s take coal for instance.  Even mainstream geoscientists Marshall Kay and Edwin Colbert in their textbook on Stratigraphy admit that polystrate fossils in coal beds indicate rapid deposition [2]: 
One coal seam can be traced from Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky!  [3] Such a widespread formation (260,000 sqr. km) makes more sense in the Flood Model.  The 80 m thick anthracite seam in the Hongai coalfield of Vietnam speaks of catastrophic conditions, not a peat bog. [4]  Andrew Snelling observes, “Some coal seams when followed laterally are found to spit into two seams, separated by strata consisting of transported marine sediments.” [5]  Thus, the whole sequence must have been transported.  Marine fossils have been found in coal as well as boulders as heavy  as 73 kg (164 lbs) - both point to catastrophy and not peat bogs. [6]  Derek Ager, author of The New Catastrophism, has this to say:
Broadhurst and Loring … recorded standing trees up to 10 m high in the Lancashire coalfield of north-west England. … Obviously sedimentation had to be very rapid to bury a tree in a standing position before it rotted and fell down. … we cannot escape the conclusion that sedimentation was at times very rapid indeed and that at other times there were long breaks in sedimentation, though it looks both uniform and continuous. [7]

Or, could they be “uniform and continuous” because their burial was part of the Flood Event?
If Fitzmaurice doubts Young Earth Science (YES), then he can go to a local coal mine in Australia 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.  You can see how AlphaNova did this in Ohio here.

Fitzmaurice rejects the view that, “… a young earth is the only way to be biblically sound and theologically faithful.”  I would recommend the following to help change his mind:

Refuting Compromise (2nd ed., 2011)
Coming to Grips with Genesis (theological and historical)
In the Beginning by Joel Heck (short)
The Genesis Flood (foundational)
The Young Earth (2007)

Fitzmaurice has some issues with YES:

YEC [Young Earth Creationism] has significant issues when it comes to the age and nature of the universe, the dating of the earth, and galaxies, and stars. There are problems with geological history, biogeography, and the high rate of evolutionary change needed to fit with the limited time available since Noah's flood. Population geography and archaeology also present significant challenges to YEC. [8]
Galaxy Age >>
Spiral arms show that the Milky Way is young.  When you stir cream in coffee the swirls quickly disappear.  Crikey!

GeoHistory >>
Please read fellow Aussie Andrew Snelling’s Earth’s Catastrophic Past (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, 1566 pp.)

Earth Dating >>
Precambrian feldspar has been dated at 5100 years old (+3000, -2100) based on Argon diffusion rates! [9]
Biogeography >>
Here’s how the animals went global after the Flood - kangaroos in Australia, kiwis in New Zealand, etc.

No Time for Change >>
Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart wrote The Plausibility of Life: Resolving Darwin's Dilemma in 2005 and proposed the theory of Facilitated Variation. [10]  Modular regulatory mechanisms (switches) allow quick changes to occur.
Archaeology >>
John Ashton and David Down have shown in Unwrapping thePharaohs:  How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline that the evidence fits with a more recent Egyptian history.  Many dynasties overlap. 
Dembski states that ID is based on “a rigorous information-theoretic underpinning” – so is YES. [11]  Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome by John Sanford (PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Wisconsin—Madison) has shown that there is not enough time for a supposed primate ancestor to evolve to man.  The genome is degenerating too rapidly.  Mutations are mostly neutral or harmful and natural selection does not “sanitize” the DNA.  Genetic meltdown would have already occurred if life is so many millions of years old.  Mutations reduce information – evolution needs new info.  Man was perfect and then Fell, thus Genetic Entropy!  Here is an excellent video on Sanford’s book.

Dembski expects that ID will supersede Darwinism by 2025. [12]  We predict that he will adopt YES and reject Old Earth Fallacies (OEF) by 2013.  He has already accepted the Global Flood and even the Father of ID, Phillip Johnson, has warmed up to Recent Creation.  May Fitzmaurice follow their lead.
If Fitzmaurice wants to know the truth about the age of the earth I would recommend the words of scifi time traveler Doctor Who:  “Why didn’t he ask someone who saw it [the origin of the universe] happen?” [13]  The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator (Col. 1:16, Heb. 1:2) and said, “From the beginning of the creation [not billions of years later], God made them male and female” (Mk 10:6).

The following Origins programs are relevant:
World Wide Flood (Parts 1,2,3) – Andrew Snelling
Evidence for a Young World (Parts 1,2) – Russell Humphreys.

The smart money is on YES!  If ID is True, who is the Intelligent Designer?  Check out the bold and fresh new book, YES - Young Earth Science

1) “Anniversaries Inspire Timely Ruminations” by Tom Siegfried, ScienceNews, Sep 13, 2008, p. 2.
2) Stratigraphy and Life History by Marshall Kay and Edwin Colbert (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1965), pp. 259, 261.
3)  Earth’s Catastrophic Past (Vol. 2) by Andrew Snelling (Institute for Creation Research, Dallas, TX, 2009), p. 551
4)  Ibid., p. 552.
5)  Ibid., p. 553.
6)  Ibid., p. 554, 555.
7) The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History by Derek Ager (Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 49.
8) Science and the Christian Mind by Mark Fitzmaurice, p. 4, audio here.
9) “Both Argon and Helium Diffusion Rates Indicate a Young Earth” by Larry Vardiman, Acts & Facts, Aug 2011, pp. 12, 13.
10) summarized in “Facilitated Variation: A New Paradigm Emerges in Biology” by Alex Williams, Journal of Creation, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2008, pp. 85-92.
11)  “Mechanism, Magic and Design” by William Dembski, Christian Research Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2000, p. 46.
12)  Ibid.
13)  “Destiny of the Daleks” Doctor Who w/ Tom Baker (BBC, 1979).


Mark said...

Thanks for your post. I appreciate your kind efforts to lead my thinking. I know David Down personally and I respect his work.

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