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Young Earth and Scientific Creationism in the U.S.A. Its History and Influence in Christianity and the Understanding of Science in the U.S.A. © Christopher.

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Presentation on theme: "Young Earth and Scientific Creationism in the U.S.A. Its History and Influence in Christianity and the Understanding of Science in the U.S.A. © Christopher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Young Earth and Scientific Creationism in the U.S.A. Its History and Influence in Christianity and the Understanding of Science in the U.S.A. © Christopher M. Sharp - September 2004 This material can be freely copied, provided due credit is given. A number of corrections and updates were made and broken links fixed in May 2012.

2 Let us first listen to KenHam’s Kangaroo Sound Bite

3 Contents 1 0. Abstract 1. Introduction 1.1. What is Christianity, What is Science? 1.2. The Spectrum of Beliefs 1.3. A Potted History of Cosmology 1.4. Hebrew and Babylonian Cosmology 1.5. Geocentric Universe 1.6. Heliocentric Universe 1.7. Our Location in Milky Way 1.8. The Big Bang and Scientific Timescale 1.9. Primordial Nucleosynthesis 1.10.The Young Earth Creationist Timescale 2. History of Creationism 2.1. History up to the Late 1700s 2.2. Evolution of Creationism after 1800

4 Contents 2 2.3. Creationism since World War II 3. Modern Creationism 3.1. Creation “Scientists” and Organizations 3.2. Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith 3.3. Why do Young Earth Creationists Insist on a Recent Creation? 3.4. The Distant Starlight Problem 3.5. Creationist Apologetics 3.6. Noah’s Flood 3.7. Plausible Scientific Explanations for Noah’s Flood 3.8. Creationist Duplicity 3.9. The Rotten Fruits of Creationism 3.10.Creationism in Other Countries 4. Summary 4.1. Summary 4.2. A Last Look

5 Abstract Young earth and scientific creationism are two distinct but closely related issues: (1) Young earth creationism, often abbreviated as YEC, is a belief that the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are scientifically correct, in particular that a literal 6 day creation took place between about 6000 and 10,000 years ago, and Noah’s Flood was a global event that took place about 1600 years later. (2) Scientific creationism, or creation science, is an attempt in apologetics to support (1) using scientifically sounding language. In fact this is pseudo-science. The object of this presentation is to show that young earth and scientific creationism not only seriously undermine the teaching and understanding of science, they seriously undermine Christianity by making a number absurd claims that are totally contradicted by well established scientific evidence, in many cases evidence that has been known for well over 100 years. The credibility of Christianity in general is thus seriously damaged, and agnostics and atheists can use the claims made by young earth creationists as ammunition to ridicule Christianity. The claim is thus made here that young earth creationists unwittingly, or even wittingly in some cases, undermine Christianity by proxy. This presentation concentrates on the issues of the age of the universe, the age of the earth and the solar system, and the timing, nature and extent of Noah’s Flood. Other issues such evolutionary biology, who was Adam and the meaning of sin are outside the immediate scope of this presentation.

6 What is Christianity, What is Science? Christianity is about a relationship with God through Christ who atoned for our sins on the cross. Christianity is also an explanation for meaning and purpose of our existence. Christianity is not a scientific explanation of how the physical universe operates, nor how creation took place. However, in common with all other religions, before the advent of modern science it did give an explanation within the cultural context of the day. Science tries to understand the nature of the physical universe, and the mechanisms of creation, such as the Big Bang, through methodological naturalism, i.e. it is confined only to naturalistic explanations. Science does not address meaning or purpose, nor makes any assumptions about a supreme being, or supernatural processes. Teleology is not a part of science.

7 The Spectrum of Beliefs CREATION Flat Earthers (Late) Charles K. Johnson - International Flat Earth Society Geocentrists Gerardus Bouw - Biblical Astronomer, Cleveland, Tom Willis - Creation Science Association for Mid-America, Cleveland, MO - Young Earth Creationists – outsiders Kent Hovind* - Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL- Carl Baugh - Creation Evidence Museum, Glen Rose, TX - Young Earth Creationists – “mainstream” (Late) Henry and John Morris – Institute for Creation Research, Santee, CA – Ken Ham – Answers in Genesis, Petersburg, KY – * Kent Hovind is currently in jail and the website redirects to

8 Young Earth Creationists – Omphalos Philip Henry Gosse (1857) Old Earth Creationists – Gap Jimmy Swaggart Old Earth Creationists – Day-Age Jehovah Witnesses - Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Booklyn, NY Old Earth Creationists – Progressive Norman Geisler Hugh Ross – Reasons to Believe, Pasadena, CA – Old Earth Creationists – Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Paul Nelson, Jonathan Wells, Stephen C. Meyer - Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA - and Center for Renewal of Science and Culture. Evolutionary Creationists Susan Schneider, 1984. Evolutionary creationism: Torah solves the problem of missing links, but no longer seems to work.

9 Theistic Evolutionists Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Methodological Materialistic Evolutionists Stephen J. Gould Philosophical Materialistic Evolutionists Richard Dawkins EVOLUTION Originally from with some changes

10 A Potted History of Cosmology Biblical Universe and Enuma Elish Geocentric Universe Copernican Universe Newtonian Universe Galactocentric Universe Big Bang Steady State Inflation, Multiverse and Quantum Cosmology? Next Model? Yet the Next Model (and so on)? 1000 BC Before 1543 AD After 1543 After 1687 After about 1850 1929 1950 Now

11 Hebrew/Babylonian Cosmology

12 Geocentric Universe

13 Heliocentric Universe

14 Our Location in Milky Way – Above

15 Our Location in Milky Way - Side


17 The Big Bang and Scientific Timescale 1) 0 second to 10 -43 second. Only God knows or can know what happened during this period of time. We know only that at least 9 dimensions of space existed as what is called singularity. All of the universe-to-be existed as a point of no volume. Time as we know it was created. 2) 2. 10 -43 second, also known as Planck time. This is the point at which gravity, one of the four unified forces, became separate from the remaining three forces. 3) 10 -36 second. The strong nuclear force (the force that holds the nuclei of atoms together) separated from the other three unified forces. 4) 10 -36 to 10 -32 second. Immediately following and triggered by the separation of the strong nuclear force, the universe expanded rapidly for this brief period of time. 5) 10 -32 to 10 -5 second. The universe is filled with quarks antiquarks, and electrons. The quarks and antiquarks combine and annihilate each other. Quarks are in excess of antiquarks by a ratio of 1,000,000,001 to 1,000,000,000. The remaining quarks will make up all the matter that exists in the universe. 6) 10 -12 second. The final two unified forces split from one another. Electromagnetism, which controls the attraction of negatively and positively charged particles, becomes separate from the weak nuclear force, which controls radioactive decay. 7) 10 -5 second. The universe cools to 1,000,000,000,000 K allowing quarks to combine to form protons and neutrons, the building blocks of atomic nuclei. 8) 1 second to 3 minutes. The universe continues to cool, allowing protons and neutrons to combine to form the nuclei of future atoms.

18 9) 10 -32 second to 3000 years. Electromagnetic energy, produced during the annihilation of quarks and antiquarks, dominates the forces of gravity. 10) 3000 years to present. Matter becomes the primary source of gravity. Matter begins to clump with the aid of large amounts of exotic or dark matter. This matter interacts weakly with electromagnetic energy, but is able to clump with itself through gravity, even during the domination of electromagnetic energy. 11) 300,000 years. Continued expansion and cooling allow matter and electromagnetic energy to decouple. The nuclei of atoms are able to capture electrons to form complete atoms of hydrogen, helium and lithium. 12) 200,000,000 years. Galaxy formation begins as matter continues to clump. 13) 9,000,000,000 years. The solar system forms. 14) 10,000,000,000 years. Life begins on earth. 15) 14,000,000,000 years. Jesus Christ conquers sin. The inflationary big bang theory is, by far, the most accepted theory of the origin of the universe. All evidence gathered to date supports this theory. Other theories rely upon sets of unlikely circumstances or phenomenon which can never be tested or proven. Taken from the Christian website

19 Primordial Nucleosynthesis The isotope 7 Be decays to 7 Li by electron capture with a half-life of 53 days. Some 3 H (tritium) is also formed, but beta decays to 3 He with a half-life of 12 years. Diagram from

20 The Young Earth Creationist Timescale


22 Creationist Geologic Time Scale: an attack strategy for the sciences. Should the scientific community continue to fight rear-guard skirmishes with creationists, or insist that "young-earthers" defend their model in toto? - Donald U. Wise. From

23 History up to the Late 1700s Ca. 310 - 230 BC – Aristarchus of Samos was the first person known to have proposed the heliocentric system, but this was mostly ignored in favor of the geocentric system. 354 - 386 AD – St.Augustine of Hippo - "Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the

24 household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although _they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion_. [1 Timothy 1.7]” - De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim.

25 1543 - Copernicus publishes De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium (On the Revolution of the Heavenly Orbs). 1483 - 1546 – Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation. "People gave ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon....This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth." "Table Talks" in 1539. However, this citation is in doubt. "Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters... It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night... We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things.

26 And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding." Luther's Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis, ed. Janoslaw Pelikan, Concordia Pub. House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1958, pp. 30, 42, 43. 1600 - Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for his many heresies, including teaching heliocentricism and that the stars are distant suns. 1611 - The King James Bible was first published. 1632 - Galileo published the Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World - Ptolemaic and Copernican, which ultimately led to his trial. 1654 – Archbishop James Ussher calculated that the earth was created on Sunday October 23, 4004 BC. For many years this was given as a

27 footnote in the King James Bible. He also proposed that Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden on Monday November 10, 4004 BC, and the Ark touched down on Mt.Ararat on Wednesday May 5, 2348 BC. 1752 - Franklin's experiment during a thunder storm proved that lightning was an electrical phenomenon. The church held that Satan (the Prince of the Power of the Air) was responsible for lightning, so to install a "heretical rod" was to admit that centuries of theological teachings were false. Churches were reluctant to use them. Seventeen years after Franklin's experiment, lightning struck the unprotected Church of San Nazaro, near Venice. This ignited 200,000 pounds of powder which had been stored there for safe keeping. The explosion wiped out one sixth of the city of Brescia and killed 3,000 people. Lightning rods soon appeared on spires across Italy. 1726-1797 - James Hutton, who was a devout Christian, is considered the founder of geology, and first proposed deep time and uniformitarianism.

28 Evolution of Creationism after 1800 1797-1875 - Charles Lyell, who took Hutton’s theories further and was more successful. 1807-1873 - Louis Agassiz, who first proposed an ice age. 1831 – Adam Sedgwick, ordained minister and geologist, recanted in his presidential address before the Geological Society of London that flood geology cannot be supported by any evidence. 1857 - Phillip Henry Gosse published OMPHALOS: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot. 1809-1882 – Charles Darwin, who published The Origin of Species in 1859. 1827-1915 - Ellen G. White, co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, with a strong belief in a 6 day recent creation and a global Noah’s flood, was foundational in the beliefs of the SDA Church, and

29 its influence in creationism beyond the Church. 1870-1963 – The Adventist, George McCready Price, published The New Geology in 1923. 1925 – The Scopes “Monkey Trial - John Thomas Scopes was prosecuted in Dayton, Tennessee for teaching evolution in a public school, in contradiction to the the Butler Act. His opponent was William Jennings Bryan. Scopes lost the case, but later the case was lost on a technicality. Bryan died a few days after the trial. Although Bryan was strongly opposed to evolution, he had no problem with an ancient earth and a non-global Noah’s flood.

30 Creationism Since World War II 1957 – Sputnik I was launched. This scared the educational establishment in the USA into creating a better science curriculum, including evolutionary biology. 1961 – John Whitcomb Jr. and Henry Morris publish their book The Genesis Flood. This caused a major revival in the USA of the creationist movement. Much of the material in that book is based on George McCready Price’s book The New Geology. 1963 – Henry Morris, along with several other people founded the Creation Research Society. 1970 – Henry Morris moved to San Diego, California, to help Tim LaHaye found the Christian Heritage College. 1972 – Henry Morris founded the Institute for Creation Research

31 1981 – Judge Overton rules that creation science is not science, and should not be taught under the balanced treatment act in public schools in Arkansas. 1999 – Jonathan Wells, “Moonie” (Sun Myung Moon Unification Church) and intelligent design creationist, helps to get evolution, the Big Bang and long timescales de-emphasized from the public school science curriculum in Kansas in August. 2001 – Evolution, the Big Bang, and long timescales are re- emphasized in Kansas in February. 2005 – In the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case, Intelligent Design was dismissed as science in December and could not be taught in a science class.

32 Creation “Scientists” and Organizations Young Earth Henry Morris* (hydraulics engineer) (Institute for Creation Research) John Morris (geologist) (ICR) Duane Gish (microbiologist) (ICR) Andrew Snelling (geologist) (ICR) Steve Austin (geologist) (aka Stuart Nevins) (ICR) Russel Humphreys (physicist) (ICR) Danny R. Faulkner (astronomer) (ICR) Donald DeYoung (astronomer) (ICR) Ken Ham (educationist) (Answers in Genesis) Jonathan Sarfati (physical chemist) (AiG)

33 John Woodmorappe (aka Jan Peczkis) (geologist) (AiG) Walt Brown (mechanical engineer) (Center for Scientific Creation) Kent Hovind** (educationalist) (Creation Science Evangelism) Carl Baugh (“expert” in science) (Creation Evidence Museum) Progressive/Old Earth Hugh Ross (astronomer) (Reasons to Believe) Creationist Non- “Scientists” D. James Kennedy* (Coral Ridge Ministries, PCA) Tim LaHaye (Tim LaHaye Ministries) * Deceased ** In jail

34 Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith General 1) Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation. 2) The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of Creation. 3) The Noachian Flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time. 4) The ‘gap’ theory has no basis in Scripture. 5) The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of Biblical teaching, that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into ‘secular’ and ‘religious’, is rejected. 6) By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.

35 Why do Young Earth Creationists Insist on a Recent Creation? Here is John Morris’s explanation in an excerpt from the ICR tape Science, Scripture and Salvation 378-Myth#3 The Earth is Millions of Years Old. Actually, the best current scientific value is that the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years old, or 4.54 x 10 9 years ± 1%.

36 The Distant Starlight Problem As we can see light from stars and galaxies millions and billions of light years away, this creates serious problems for young earth (and universe) creationists who propose that the universe is less than 10,000 years old. Here are some of their explanations: 1) Astronomers are completely wrong about the distances, and all apparently distant objects are within a bubble of 10,000 light years or less centered on the solar system. 2)The distances are real, but light takes short cuts through space according to an article by Moon and Spencer published in 1953. 3)The velocity of light was much higher in the past, by factors of millions or more, and slowed down to the present value according to Barry Setterfield. 4) The distances are real and the light has traveled at a constant

37 velocity, but the solar system was close to the center of a white hole, which caused such an enormous distortion of space-time, that billions of years in the external universe elapsed during the creation week on the earth. This is Russel Humphreys relativistic white hole cosmology currently favored by creationists, which also claims that the Milky Way is near the center of the universe and has an edge, as supposedly supported by quantized red shifts; geocentricism revived. God created the light in transit so that Adam could see the stars after he was created. God being omnipotent is quite capable of creating light in mid-stream, and giving the universe a mature creation. This is a usual backup cop-out when other arguments fail. Epistemological nihilism – The non-answer that because cosmologists have gaps in their knowledge about the universe, in particular the nature of dark matter and energy, some other explanation may exist, so this issue is skipped over, and is another cop-out. 5) 6)


39 On February 23, 1987, the blue supergiant star, Sk 202-69, in the Large Magellanic Cloud was seen to have gone supernova, and was named Supernova 1987A (the first seen in 1987), and the brightest since the invention of the telescope. The distance to the supernova is about 169,000 light years, so the explosion really happened about 169,000 years ago. This poses a serious challenge to young earth creationists who insists on a “biblical” timescale for the age of the universe of about 6000 years. A distance of 169,000 light years is far too large to accommodate a “biblical” timescale, but is still far short of the Big Bang timescale, so they make obfuscatory remarks about cosmology, the Big Bang, dark matter etc., that are completely irrelevant. Not only do they have to explain how in a “biblical” timescale light got to the earth in 6000 years, but also neutrinos, which was the first time these particles were detected to come from outside the solar system. Moreover, after the explosion we could see the decay of freshly created radioactive nuclei, showing beyond any doubt that the laws of physics

40 and nuclear decay rates were the same in the past as they are now. It is ironic that in their apologetics, young earth creationists insists that they have the truth, but when confronted with irrefutable evidence that contradicts their beliefs, they deny this truth, even though truth stands independent of anybody’s beliefs.

41 This figure is in Russel Humphreys article The Battle for the Cosmic Center, ICR Impact No. 350, August 2002. The caption in the article says: Figure 2. (Idealized) spherical shells of galaxies concentric around our own home galaxy, the Milky Way. Probably the shells are expanding, not orbiting. The text in the article argues that because of the evidence of the quantized red shifts, the universe not only has a center, but we are within about 100,000 light years of that center. Because the universe is so large, it is argued that the chance that we are so close to the center of the universe by accident is so small, God must have placed us there. A link is given to a shorter less “technical” article on AiG’s website for August 7, 2002.

42 Creationist Apologetics 1.Not enough dust on the moon 2.Shrinking sun 3.Decaying earth’s magnetic field 4.Man’s population is too small 5.Not enough sodium in the sea 6.Jupiter is too hot 7.Decay of short period comets 8.Written history is too recent 9.Not enough supernova remnants 10.Too much dust in the solar system Some Creationist “Golden Oldies” (to argue for a recent creation)

43 The worldwide Flood, described in detail in Genesis 6-8, shows how God repopulated the earth from only eight people. This monumental event is mentioned in the literature of various peoples of the ancient world, providing compelling evidence of its universality. If the scientific community recognized that fact, a spike would be driven into the heart of the theory of evolution, along with the theory of “theistic evolution”. (God-guided evolution). But humanistic man would rather believe the unscientific theory of evolution than the truth of Scripture that God created man and will hold man accountable for the way he lives. Pages 7 and 8 from Are We Living in The End Times? By Tim LaHay and Jerry B.Jenkins, Prophesy/Christian Living, Tyndale House Publishing, Inc. ISBN: 0-8423-3644-3 (1999)

44 New scientific theories exist which explain the size of the universe in agreement with the biblical timescale. One example is the young-earth relativistic cosmology formulated by physicist Dr. Russell Humphreys based on Einstein’s general theory of relativity. We are told that this alternative to the “Big Bang” has been well- received by scientists trained in relativity. [See: D. Russell Humphreys, Starlight and Time (Colorado Springs, CO: Master Books, 1994)] In addition, the majority of scientific age estimation methods indicate a young earth. [See: Paul S. Taylor, The Illustrated ORIGINS Answer Book (Mesa: Eden Productions, 1992) and Dr. John D. Morris, The Young Earth (Colorado Springs, CO: Master Books, 1994)] Page 40 of Creation and Time – A Report on the Progressive Creationist Book by Hugh Ross, Mark Van Bebber and Paul S. Taylor, Eden Communications, 2 nd Edition, (1996). ISBN: 1-87777- 02-9.

45 What about Distant Starlight? Fallacious Distant Starlight Solution: “Light Created in Transit” After presenting an alternative cosmology that provides a plausible solution to the “distant starlight” problem, it is worth showing why another idea is unsound. Some older creationist works propose that God may have created the light in transit, and Ross harps on at this as if it is still mainstream creationist thinking (for example C&T:96-97). But AiG long ago pointed out the problems with this idea. It would entail that we would be seeing light from heavenly bodies that don’t really exist; and even light that seems to indicate precise sequences of events predicable by the laws of physics, but which never actually happened. This, in effect, suggests that God is a deceiver. Page 189 of Refuting Compromise – A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of “Progressive Creationism” (Billions of Years), As Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross, by Jonathan Safarti, Master Books, Inc., P.O. Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72639, (2004). ISBN: 0-89051-411-9 However:

46 [Regarding light from distant stars] How, then, could the stars serve as signs and seasons on the earth if these stars were created on the fourth day of creation and man created on the sixth day? Would man have to wait many millions of years before he could see the stars? When God created the stars, He also could easily have created the stream of light between the stars and the earth. Page 13 of a child’s book The Amazing Story of Creation from Science and the Bible, by Duane T. Gish, ICR Publications (1990) ISBN: 0-89051-120-9 Note that this book was still on sale at least in 2004! Note that the young earth creationist movement, in particular Answers in Genesis, appears to have launched a jihad against Hugh Ross and progressive and old earth creationism.

47 Also, the Ph.D. physicist and geologist who contributed to the RATE book Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth have adduced several lines of evidence that decay has been faster in the past. They propose a pulse of accelerated decay rate during creation week, and possibly a smaller pulse during the Flood year. Page 382 of Refuting Compromise. What Would Cause Accelerated Decay, and How Would It Affect Different Isotopes? According to the nuclear physicist Dr.Eugene Chaffin, there are theoretical means of producing accelerated decay, for example, a small change in fundamental constants or the shape of the nuclear potential well can have a large effect on the decay rate (but little effect on radiohalo diameter). Alpha decay rates are extremely sensitive to the nuclear potential energy well. If God weakened the strong nuclear force (greatly speeding up alpha decay), the nucleus would increase in size and restructure itself. The lower the decay constant (that is, the higher the half-life), the more the decay rate would be accelerated. Again page 382 of Refuting Compromise.

48 If we recognize the empirical nature of true science, that scientific models derive from observations of data in the present, then we recognize that the big-bang idea of the unobserved past is not even good science. What we observe are points of light each with certain unique luminosities, certain spectral bands, and other features like nebulous gas clouds. With the exception of an occasional explosive destruction of a star, these points of light are not seen to change or move with respect to one another. Their present state is not questioned. Their past may be theorized, but there will be more than one legitimate view of their unobserved history. Page 136 From Is the Big Bang Biblical?, by John Morris, ICR publications (2003). ISBN: 0-98051-391-0 However: Soon after [Tycho's supernova in 1572], some more variable stars were discovered, including the first periodic one, Mira, the periodicity of which was only discovered considerably later in 1638, see The discovery of proper motions was made by Edmund Halley in 1718. He noticed that the positions of three bright stars (Sirius, Arcturus and Aldebaran) were over half a degree different from those recorded by Hipparchus more than 1800 years earlier, see

49 Excerpt from ICR tape Science, Scripture and Salvation 842-Myth#7 That the Big Bang Has been Proven. The speaker is introduced as Dr. Otto Berg, who is a retired particle physicist with NASA. NASA does not employ particle physicists as far as I know, and it turns out that he was not a particle physicist, but worked with dust particles in the solar system. He designed and built the dust accelerator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He is also an alumnus of Concordia College, which is a four year liberal arts Lutheran college. He states here that there is no way 12 C (99% of all carbon is this isotope) can be produced naturally, but explains that 8 Be is an intermediate nucleus in its production, if it could be produced. In fact this is exactly what happens in red giant stars. By mentioning a production process that supposedly does not happen, he is condemned by is own words, showing that he cannot claim ignorance. See the following two slides.

50 Helium burning – the triple alpha process for the production of carbon This reaction actually occurs in two stages: first, two alpha particles resonate in the low-lying (but unbound) state that forms the ground state of 8 Be. This state is sufficiently long-lived (τ 1/2 =6.7x10 -17 s) that there is a non-negligible probability that a third alpha particle will be captured before it disintegrates, forming 12 C ** (E x =7.6542 MeV, J=0 + ).

51 Because of its quantum numbers, there is only a small probability that this excited state will de-excite (rather than decay back into three alpha particles), either by e + - e - pair production, or by a γ-ray cascade through the first excited state, leaving 12 C in its 0 + ground state. The prediction, and subsequent experimental verification, of the properties of 12 C ** in order to account for the observed abundance of 12 C remains one of the most impressive accomplishments of nuclear astrophysics.

52 A video clip of the first session by Hank Giesecke held at Calvary Chapel in Tucson during a two day creation conference on May 10-11, 2003 was at, but has since been removed. However it still can be seen by clicking on the link here: View from 18:17 to 18:44 minutes on the Hydrogen Atom To physics all students, throw away your textbooks and forget atomic physics, we don’t know what holds an electron to a proton. Just read Colossians 1:17 and you will have the answer! He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. NIV

53 White dwarf with rings? According to the nebular hypothesis (Creation 19(3):26-29, 1997) of the origin of stars and planetary systems, only young stars should exhibit rings. Old stars like white dwarfs should have long ago either absorbed or driven off the dust, leaving only planets in orbit. However, astronomers have observed excess infrared radiation coming from the white dwarf star G29-38, located in Pisces, about 50 light-years from Earth. They believe this comes from a flat ring of dust, reminiscent of Saturn's rings, about 70-700 million km above the surface of the star. The total amount of matter that may have been accreted, so far, onto the white dwarf is believed to be comparable to the mass of all asteroids in the solar system. The Astrophysical Journal, 20 February 2003, pp. L91-L94. Either stellar evolution is wrong, or the star was created recently (about 6,000 years ago) and as part of a mature creation. From the Answers in Genesis website on February 29, 2004.

54 However, if we look up the paper in question we can find the following paragraph on page L91: “In order to model the circumstellar dust emission, we need to characterize G29-38, a ZZ Cet variable (see Kleinman et al. 1998). We adopt a distance of 14.1 pc (Tokunga, Becklin, & Zuckerman 1990), a stellar radius R * of 8.2x10 8 cm, an effective temperature T * of 11,820 K, and a mass M * of 0.69M solar (Bergeron et al. 1995). These parameters yield a mean density of ρ * of 6.0x10 6 g cm -3 and a stellar luminosity of 2.4x10 -3 L solar and imply a cooling age of 4x10 8 yr (Winget et al. 1987).” And on page L92 we find the following sentence: “… Since there are metals in the atmospheres of over 10% of all white dwarfs (Zuckerman & Reid 1998), it is plausible that G29-38 has been actively accreting for 10% of its cooling age or 4x10 7 yr. …”

55 Noah’s Flood What is interesting is that many creationist seem to hold on to a literal global Noah’s flood with an even greater dogmatism than the age of the earth and the creation week, even though the Bible never says that the flood was global. The two main theories that creationist have as the main source of the water, are that most of the water came from the fountains of the deep, with a relatively small contribution from the atmosphere, or that most came from a huge vapor canopy that collapsed at the time of the flood.

56 Where then does this latter day dogmatism in a global flood come from, as exemplified by this quote? "...the main reason for insisting on the universal Flood as a fact of history and as the primary vehicle for geological interpretation is that God's Word plainly teaches it! No geologic difficulties, real or imagined, can be allowed to take precedence over the clear statements and necessary inferences of Scripture." Henry Morris, Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science (1970), taken from This is bearing in mind that many of the geologists about 200 years ago were committed Christians who started with the assumption that Noah’s flood was a recent and real global event, but with the accumulation of evidence, they were forced to admit they were wrong, as was the case with Adam Sedgwick, an ordained minister and geologist, in 1831. Moreover, many leaders in fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity in the early 1900s had no problems with a non-global flood and a non- recent creation, although some had problems with evolution.

57 The answer to this question is with the scriptural geologists of the 19 th century and Ellen G. White, co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. This was furthered by the self taught geologist and Adventist George McCready Price, whose writings, in particular The New Geology in 1923, strongly influenced Henry Morris, who with John Whitcomb Jr., published the book The Genesis Flood in 1961. This started the post World War II creationist revival in the USA. From “main stream” creationist writings an approximate chronology of Noah’s flood and associated events can be established as follows: 1. The pre-flood world is a tropical paradise, all the land is concentrated into one giant continent, Pangea, there are no high mountains, and there is a vapor canopy, whose thickness depends on the flood model, but it filters out harmful cosmic or UV rays causing humans to live several hundred years. Also the laws of physics and radioactive decay rates may have been different, depending on the model.

58 2. The start of the flood year, which according to Answers in Genesis was somewhere between 2300 and 2400 BC (even they admit this is uncomfortably recent, but they “know” the truth, so accept it without question). Two of some, seven of others, of each biblical kind of land animal, including representative kinds of kangaroos and dinosaurs, board Noah’s Ark from various parts of Pangea. 3.The flood starts with 40 days of rain from the collapsing vapor canopy and the fountains of the deep opening up. This includes comets and asteroids being ejected into outer space according to Walt Brown’s hydroplate model. 4.The main part of the flood lasts about 250 days with runaway subduction causing rapid continental drift, e.g. the Atlantic opens up at the rate of several km/hour, and most of the world’s sedimentary rocks, thousands of meters deep in many cases, are formed, together with nearly all of the fossils. 5.The final retreat of about 100 days, when the Grand Canyon was cut

59 by the receding flood waters. During this and possibly earlier stages mountains such as Everest were pushed up, and the ocean basins were deepened, so the runoff water had somewhere to go. 6. In the post-flood world the animals leave Noah’s Ark and make their way to various corners of the world, somehow the kangaroos don’t get eaten by the lions on their way to Australia, and find plenty of food to eat that has survived being under water. However, all the dinosaurs saved on the Ark die out. Various other plant seeds, such as the saguaro cactus, also survive about a year under water. Incidentally, the animals hyper-evolve to account for the large number of species today. 7.An ice age then follows the flood and lasts several hundred years, creating the Antarctic and Greenland icecaps. 8.The ice age ends and sea level rises causing the Black Sea to flood. We are now around 1400 BC. Sometime during steps 6, 7 or 8 the dispersion after Babel takes place and the Neanderthals die out.

60 One of the main problems with a global Noah’s flood that creationists face, is that invoking miracles as an explanation or saying that an omnipotent God has no limits, requires that an exceptionally large number of miracles have to be performed, such as getting the animals to the Ark before the flood, feeding and looking after them during the flood year, and then getting them off to remote areas like Australia and South America after the flood. Moreover, God then has to perform a large number of cover-up miracles to erase the evidence, and make it look as if a global flood never took place, such as the annual layers in ice cores in Antarctica, except for the creation “scientists” investigating the Grand Canyon.

61 Plausible Scientific Explanations for Noah’s Flood Is it really necessary to accept a global Noah’s flood in order to appreciate the message behind it, just as the Prodigal Son story conveys an underlying message without being literal? Is someone committing some sort of blasphemy by questioning a global Noah’s flood and “daring” to find scientific explanations, and does this take anything away from the Bible? There are several plausible explanations for the flood, which in some combination may explain it, as well as flood stories in other parts of the world, including the Babylonian Gilgamish Epic. 1.At the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, as the icecaps in North America and Eurasia melted, sea level rose by over 100 meters. This would have inundated coastal areas and low lying

62 plains. In addition the breaking of ice dams would have caused local but catastrophic flooding. Many of the flood stories from around the world could be a distant memory of this, in addition to the fact that most settlements would have been near rivers and lakes, which are prone to flooding anyway. 2.Specifically for the Middle East, there is now plenty of evidence that the Black Sea was a low lying freshwater lake until about 5500 BC, when the rising Mediterranean broke through the Bosphorus and caused it to rise rapidly, see publications by Ryan and Pitman. This is a possible candidate for the Gilgamish and Genesis flood stories. 3.There is evidence of past flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates since the Black Sea flooding, which could have contributed to the stories, or have been a source for the stories. 4.Some flood stories could have been obtained from missionaries in more recent times.

63 The Black Sea with the former freshwater lake elevation (about -110 meters) shown as a dotted line inside of the present sea level. Rivers flowed into the former freshwater lake from the north.

64 Creationist Duplicity ----- Andrew Snelling ----- He has an identical twin with exactly the same name, address, and geology degree, but they do not seem to know of each other. Snelling 1 publishes creationist material, such as SNELLING, ANDREW A 1986. Coal Beds and Noah's Flood. Creation Ex Nihilo 8 (3), 20-21. SNELLING, ANDREW A 1989. Is the Sun Shrinking? Creation Ex Nihilo (pt. 1) 11 (1), 14-19. (pt. 2) 11 (2), 30-34. - The Debate Continues. (pt. 3) 11 (3), 40-43 - The Unresolved Question. SNELLING, ANDREW A & John Mackay 1984. Coal, Volcanism and Noah's Flood. Ex Nihilo Tech. J. 1, 11-29. Snelling 2 publishes regular scientific material, such as The Archaean basement consists of domes of granitoids and granitic gneisses (the Nanambu Complex), the nearest outcrop being 5 km to the north. Some of the lowermost overlying Proterozoic metasediments were accreted to these domes during amphibolite grade regional metamorphism (5 to 8 kb and 550° to 630° C) at 1870 to 1800 Myr. Multiple isoclinal recumbent folding accompanied metamorphism. Pages 807-812 ( 1990) in the authoritative two volume work on Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ed. F E Hughes), published by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne.

65 The references list eight earlier papers by Snelling 2 in refereed journals (or symposium volumes) on aspects of uranium mineralisation; three as sole author and five as junior co- author. ----- Jan Peczkis (alias John Woodmorappe) ----- As Jan Peczkis, he is a high school geology teacher in Chicago, Illinois, and has authored old earth evolutionary articles. As his alter persona, John Woodmorappe, he publishes creationist material, such as Noah’s Ark a Feasibility Study, on how Noah and his family tended about 16,000 biblical kinds on the Ark. ----- Steve Austin (alias Stuart Nevins ) ----- Steve Austin got his degree in geology as Steve Austin, but first started publishing creationist material under his alias Stuart Nevins, until he came out of the closet and reverted to being Steve Austin. ----- Jason Lisle (alias John Newton) ----- Jason Lisle got his doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Colorado. While he was a student he wrote creationist articles under the alias John Newton, but wrote scientific articles under his real name. After graduating he was hired by Answers in Genesis, and came out of the closet and wrote creationist articles as Jason Lisle.

66 The Rotten Fruits of Creationism Creationism in general and young earth creationism in particular, not only undermines the teaching and understanding of science, which are necessary in today’s world, it undermines Christianity by painting targets on Christians to be shot down by atheists and agnostics, as well as putting Christianity into the ghetto of anti-knowledge and anti- intellectualism. When some Christians have something important to say on some moral issues, their effectiveness is undermined by the negative image that Christianity as a whole gets, as seen through the eyes of atheists and agnostics. It is my humble opinion that the professional creationists, such (Late) Henry Morris and Ken Ham are committing grievous sins. At best serious ignorance is displayed in their teachings, with facts being well known, in some cases by several hundred years! Perhaps this is deliberate ignorance in order to avoid the worse sin of deception and bearing false witness. In some cases the evidence is so strong that

67 there is no alternative but to assume that deception, either deliberate or in the form of self-delusion, has taken place. The professional creationists appear to take advantage of the fact that their audience often has little scientific training, particularly in the subjects covered, so can be fooled by scientifically sounding jargon. The members of the audience hear what they want to hear, and are happy to have their beliefs re-enforced. In the mean time many scientists who have the necessary training ignore creationism. There are a number of cases of people leaving Christianity because of creationism, or at least having a serious crisis of faith. Such examples can be found on Glenn Morton’s website at

68 Creationism in Other Countries There is of course plenty of homegrown creationism in other parts of the world according to the traditions and religious beliefs of the people, often being non-Judeo-Christian, particularly in less developed places. However, American-style creationism has appeared in several places, including the UK, thanks to Answers in Genesis. What is particularly interesting is the Harun Yahya ( Turkish Islamic creationism, which has its seeds in the influence of the Institute for Creation Research when its members made their many expeditions to search for Noah’s Ark.

69 Summary Young earth creationism is pseudo-science and cheap trailer trash theology that sells God short. Not only does it undermine the teaching of science, it undermines Christianity, which for some people can have very bad effects. I have demonstrated here that the professional creationists take advantage of the fact that their followers generally do not have the necessary background in science, and use obfuscation, ignorance, deliberate or otherwise, and deception, deliberate of otherwise, and do not follow the truth, which supposedly as Christians they should do, indeed they deny the truth when it contradicts their particular theology. Lying for God is still lying. I have given several examples in astronomy and geology that show young earth creationism to be a totally false teaching, that divides and undermines the Church.

70 A Last Look We will conclude with a video clip of the first session by Hank Giesecke held at Calvary Chapel in Tucson during a two day creation conference on May 10-11, 2003. It was originally at the website, but the link has since been removed. This is a different clip from the same video in an earlier slide, so click on the link here: View from 10:51 – 15:18 minutes on the Big Bang To all astronomy students, throw away your textbooks and forget about gravity!

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