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Creationists fail in bid to offer ‘science’ degrees

 From Nature:

A religious group has had its application to offer Master of Science degrees rejected by Texas authorities.  The Institute for Creation Research— which backs a literal interpretation of the Bible, including the creation of Earth in six days — was seeking a certificate to grant online degrees in science education in Texas (see Nature 451, 1030; 2008).  But the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board voted unanimously last week not to grant the institute’s request, following the recommendation of Raymund Paredes, the state’s commissioner of higher education.  “Religious belief is not science,” Paredes said in his recommendation. “Science and religious belief are surely reconcilable, but they are not the same thing.”  The institute has 45 days to appeal or 180 days to reapply.

Religious belief is not science?  Does Paredes feel that “religious” people can’t teach adequate science?  He’s right, “religious belief is not science,” but should creationists be barred from teaching/offering degrees because of their beliefs?  EXPELLED!

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108 Responses to Creationists fail in bid to offer ‘science’ degrees

  1. If the basis of the decision is that the Institute for Creation Research is run by mostly Christians, I predict involvement from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), as the ACLU is often slow to defend those discriminated on the basis of Christian religion.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. I just got to say, knowing most people who read this probably don’t think too highly of young earth creationism, I’m surprised by the amount of tolerance/respect for creationists(such as myself) you folks give. I was wondering if any ID blogs would mention the intolerance with ICR.

    Thank you.

  3. I think this is a tough call.

    As a creationist myself, I haven’t always been enamored with ICR’s demonization of their Christian brethren who sincerely believed in an Old Earth. Someone can be wrong, but that does not deserve being labeled as some sort of malefactor….

    I’m not so sure that ICR is above reproach. They pressure students to agree with a party line. That’s hard to justify as a “scientific” approach. I don’t know that I’d be accepted in the ICR grad school because I don’t think YEC is a settled fact.

    Is “I don’t know for sure” such an evil statement?

  4. I’m sorry, but my experience with ICR is that they are gifted editors (rejectors) of scientific evidence. I would never pursue a degree with them myself, nor would I be quick to employ someone with such a degree in a field that required an understanding of the pre-history of the earth. I remember this application popping up. I am not particularly disappointed that it is rejected. I hope that the ACLJ doesn’t waste its hard-earned money and talent on this one.

  5. Señor Cordova,

    Can’t get into your Young Cosmos blog but maybe if you’re interested you could snatch my address from UD and mail me and I’ll send you a copy of my heretical The First Two Verses. It’s rather Old Earthy but neither Day Agey nor Gap-Theoretical. I’d be interested in what you think.

  6. scordova:

    “As a creationist myself, I haven’t always been enamored with ICR’s demonization of their Christian brethren who sincerely believed in an Old Earth.”

    Perhaps you have a problem with Christ’s statement, “If they don’t believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if someone should rise from the dead”?

    “I’m not so sure that ICR is above reproach. They pressure students to agree with a party line.”

    Saying that the first three days in Gen. 1 are necessarily 24 hours is eisegesis. The text doesn’t specify any length at all. All it specifies is exactly one dark/light cycle per day and a precise sequence. Of course, this eliminates millions of years in terms of 365.25-day years.

    I think that 24 hours/day is the most likely for the first three days, but the text doesn’t insist on it.

    The initial big ball of water was used to make everything. That big a mass would have necessarily generated a variety of isotopes when separated. The stuff at the center would have been a slurry of basic particles. When pressure was removed due to separation of the waters, they would have auto-assembled into the elements which would have reacted chemically with one another, ionized, dissolved in super-hot water, etc. Humphreys goes into this in his papers. Long ages aren’t required nor is any change in decay rates.

    Humphreys’ theory is philosophy, but it might be true.

    john1989:

    Mix together equal parts hope, faith, stubbornness, blindness, belief in magic, superstition, and wishful thinking and you have an evolutionist. Do evolutionists understand how life was originally formed or any real genetic/epigenetic/selective testable mechanism that explains fossils? No. The only explanation they have is “magic” and the only recourse “superstition”.

  7. 7

    Due to the fact that so many of their beliefs aren’t established science, and so many flatly contradict established science, I don’t see how this is a problem.

    Imagine if the Flat Earth Society was trying to offer science degrees. If they were turned down would that mean that “Big Science” is trying to supress flat earth research?

  8. “Is “I don’t know for sure” such an evil statement?”

    If you are deviating from a party line apparently it is.

    Look what happens when you question Darwinism ? We shouldn’t tolerate the behavior in allies that would be criticsed in opponents. Leave that to the lefties.

  9. Come off it. That is hardly the excuse to deny accreditation. Universities that insist on the party line of Darwinian materialism and political correctness are still accredited.

    Mind you, Thomas Sowell’s new book Economic Facts and Fallacies points out some of the absurdities in the accreditation process in general, not related to this issue:

    * How the extraordinary protections and prerogatives enjoyed by faculty members at colleges today permit not only a great deal of self-indulgence, but also corruption.

    * Why professors tend to focus on narrow subjects rather than broad analyses — to the detriment of educational quality.

    * The huge incentive colleges and universities have for keeping tuition high enough to be unaffordable for large numbers of students.

    * Why faculty tenure is one of the main reasons why college tuition rates are so high.

    Sowell raises the example of the University of Colorado’s law school. Although 92% of its graduates passed the bar exam on the first try, the American Bar Association threatened its accreditation. The ABA’s excuses were lack of the “diversity” in faculty, that too many courses were taught by adjunct profs (lawyers teaching part time), and that not enough money was spent on law library materials. So the university had to build a new law library building, which more than doubled tuition fees.

    One would think that producing more graduates with less money was a good thing. But the ABA basically imposed a tariff to protect other law schools from the competition of the University of Colorado’s cheaper school.

  10. Come off it. That is hardly the excuse to deny accreditation.

    Perhaps you’re right. I probably have a bit of an axe to grind with that organization, so I’m not exactly objective….

    To ICR’s credit, their literature persuaded me to reject Darwinism while I was in high school. I didn’t like some of the rest however….the distaste has remained to this day, though I have great reverence for Duane Gish…

    But let me state that while I think the ICR ought to be accredited (since we accredit the quackery of Darwinism we surely should allow anti-Darwinism a fair chance) — some of the reasons I’m not exactly enamored with the ICR. From their website:

    The Institute for Creation Research Graduate School has a unique statement of faith for its faculty and students

    All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the Creation Week described in Genesis 1:1-2:3

    That would mean the following people in the movie “Expelled” might not be granted degrees from ICR if they don’t agree to YECism:

    Guillermo Gonzalez
    Richard Sternberg
    Caroline Crocker
    Stephen Meyer
    William Dembski
    Gerald Schroeder
    David Berlinski
    Johnathan Wells

    I’m sympathetic to YEC. I think the natural reading of the Bible is sympathetic to YEC. But I can’t say my understanding of anything is so infallible that I’m incapable of mis-reading or misunderstanding.

    I would hope a school, at least with respect to its students, will be merciful to the Doubting Thomases like myself.

    Jude 1:22 “Be merciful to those who doubt”.

    My feelings as far as a solution? Let a YEC come forward with a convincing re-formulation of the creationist Maxwell’s Electrodynamics and the associated aspects of relativity tied to Maxwell’s equations, and maybe my doubts won’t be so strong anymore. I’ve been working on the project myself. Not much luck, but I’m hopeful. Sorry if I’m a bit biased, but maybe more facts and less theology would be more solidifying to my ability to believe in the ICR mission. That’s just me I suppose…

    Any disgruntled UD readers can express their disagreement with me in person at the ICC2008 and Baraminology 2008 conference this August. :-) God willing, I’ll be there….

  11. ICR is not forcing anyone to take courses there. Similarly, theological colleges are entitled to have Calvinist, Premillennial, or Wesleyan statements of faith. If ICR didn’t have such a statement, then it would be pointless.

  12. Jonathan,

    First of all, let me apologize for delays in the posting of your responses. Akismet spam protection has just be reactivated and even my comments are being delayed….

    I personally hope the YEC enterprise succeeds. But there are some days the problems for the hypothesis seem insurmountable. I have tried to persist. I hope God will help with evidential discoveries, especially in cosmology and plausible mechanisms for accelerated decay…

    I think churches can and ought to require that people who voluntarily join a church subscribe to certain professions of faith…

    I think religious institution are free to do the same and be accredited to teach science. I hope the ICR can receive accreditation…..

    But as a matter of business, I think some consideration has to be made as to whether serious scientific research institutions will be run like churches where creeds are demanded.

    The Baraminology Study group appointed an old-Earth evolutionary biologist in 2004 by the name of Richard Sternberg to be editor of their proceedings. This bore much fruit (although regretably for Richard Sternberg it resulted in his expulsion from the Smithsonian).

    The ICR is free to do business as they choose. I’m merely observing a pattern that I personally have reservations about.

    The most talented YECs that I know came from an OEC background. By and large, I found many OECs hoping the YEC hypothesis succeeds. Both parties cannot be right. The OECs have some scientific concerns which I think are legitimate, not the least of which are the creationist Maxwell’s equations in their present form.

    The Baraminology Study Group (BSG) has been a little more open to non-creationists participating in the scientific research enterprise. If the ICR will not open it’s doors, I expect other YEC organizations to open their doors.

    In any case, I agree with you that ICR should not be denied accreditation.

  13. john1989,

    Why would they reject the FSM? It’s such a fantastic parody of chemical evolution, and schools _already_ teach that.

    Jonathan Sarfati,

    Wait … THE Jonathan Sarfati? You’re really the guy?

    Can I just tell you that your book Refuting Compromise is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is PACKED with information. That book is seriously THE reason that I got into the subject of life’s origins. Thanks so much!

    And unfortunately, the term “creation” and its many variations bears a heavy burden of negative connotations, like “religion,” “supersition,” “fairy tales,” etc. Is it fair to pass judgment based on connotations rather than content? No. But unfortunately, that’s the way the world is right now.

    Perhaps we need to take it one baby step at a time: Introduce the idea that intelligent activity produced life. Then eventually, perhaps people will be more prepared to hear other valid arguments about the science of earth’s history.

  14. QuadFather, thanx for your generous comments about my book. :)

    Scordova, Refuting Compromise explains why the “YEC” position is the most consistent, and why old-earth positions are exegetically unsound, are contrary to what the Church Fathers and Reformers taught, and not supported by science. It includes chapters on the history of mankind, the origin of death and suffering, the created kinds, the big bang, scientific support for a young earth, and refutation of old-earth “science”.

  15. Jonathan,

    Jobe Martin gave me your book. I will endeavor to give it a fair reading.

    As far as the science of old earth, I studied some physics under James Trefil and his books were among the first to make me aware of the problems in the Big Bang (even though he himself believes it).

    I’m aware the Big Bang has problems, enough for me to disbelieve today. But even David Berlinski disbelieves the Big Bang. His observations are posted at the Discovery Institute here: Was there a Big Bang?.

    I think there is strong evidence of accelerated radioactive decay. I believe the geological column is suspect based on first principles of physics alone, etc. etc.

    I also believe John Sanford made a devastating case against long ages for biology in his book “Genetic Entropy”.

    I myself have done research on amino acid racemization rates which suggest systematic errors in C-14 dating. This work was initially done by RH Brown and Michael Brown at Loma Linda, and I did some of my own follow up.

    I have been encouraged by some predictions of the population of spectroscopic binaries in globular clusters. But this research is awfully pre-mature right now and it’s not without some serious problems….

    That said, there are still disturbing loose ends which I have discomfort sweeping under the rug, not the least of which were the equations which a creationist formulated for electrodynamics (Maxwell was by no means a Darwinist).

    When I was confronted with a “30,000 year-old” Mira Variable star last year, I thought the Old-Earther’s had some very good counter arguments to YEC. Not necessarily fatal, but awfully tough.

    I appreciated your research on YEC. One may argue the scriptural case for YEC is strong, but if so, any major gap in YEC science is a reason to wonder if the scriptures may not be from God afterall. I hate say it, but the thought has crossed my mind each time a piece of evidence potentially falsifying YEC came to my attention.

    I will be much less worried if we have:

    1. pluasible reformulation of Maxwell’s equations and accompanying changes in Relativity

    2. plausible mechanism for accelerated decay

    The above to problems will also lead to a pluasible cosmology.

    I suppose these things wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t care about the truthfulness of Genesis, but I do care. I hope you are right about the age of the Earth, but I suppose it’s in my nature to be skeptical.

    ID has given me some assurance that the idea of special creation could be right (since ID effectively destroys Darwinism).

    However, a successful reformulation of Maxwell’s electrodynamics to account for distant starlight and possibly accelerated radioactive decay would be most convincing. This would be a slam dunk for ID, a slam dunk for special creation.

    But I’m not sure the science for this is anywhere near completion….

    Best wishes and God bless you.

    Maybe we’ll meet at one of the ICC’s some day.

    Thank you for considering my comments.

    Salvador

  16. “I will be much less worried if we have:

    1. pluasible reformulation of Maxwell’s equations and accompanying changes in Relativity

    2. plausible mechanism for accelerated decay”

    Sal,

    We don’t fully understand electricity (charge), magnetism, mass, energy, gravity, time or space, yet you have to have a theoretical mechanism for accelerated decay that seems plausible to you before you can trust the Bible?

    Does that seem logical to you?

  17. 17

    Hey Scordova,

    I know this isn’t the most scientific argument, but seeing as you at least trust in creation and scripture for the most part I thought I would just throw this in there.

    You say that the 30,000 year old star, or any star for that matter poses a serious problem to young earth creation. I say it doesn’t and here’s why: In scripture, God said let there be light. Why would he wait around for millions or billions of years after this statement for the light in the visible universe to reach its destination. It seems more reasonable to me that when God made this statement, all light within the visible universe would have reached its destination instantaneously.

    Of course this is a supernatural explanation of how it could have happened, but seeing as the very science we fight for assumes a higher intelligence or power, or for this case, an almighty God, would it be unreasonable to consider such a case? I mean obviously if this were the case, where all light instantaneously reaches its destination during creation, distance between stars and consideration to the speed of light would no longer be a defeating factor to young earth creationism.

    Please correct me if there already have been discoveries that would make this approach implausible.

  18. To be honest, though I have no grudge against ICR, sometimes they were a little rude in answering my questions by e-mail. But anyways, two things:

    1. IMO, the best explanation for the days of Genesis is the literary framework hypothesis. (I don’t think nor the Bible nor the LFH gives the age of the earth). While Refuting Compromise is a set of hardcore arguments against Hugh Ross position, it is far from refuting the LFH. Actually most people criticizing it do it in terms of associating it with Big Bang cosmology.

    2. Dr. Sarfati, I really think you should write a book on the origins of life, now that would be awesome! Any projects coming? I really liked your books.

  19. yet you have to have a theoretical mechanism for accelerated decay that seems plausible to you before you can trust the Bible?

    Does that seem logical to you?

    I sooner trust the Bible than people demanding I accept their theology without answering my reasonable questions. Reasonable question #1, what is the correct reformulation of the derivation I laid out here: Lorentz Covariance and the Creationist Maxwell’s Equations. It’s not like I’m asking YECs to rise from the dead or walk on water.

    If YEC is true, that derivation will have to be changed. What’s the reformulation? Are Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics incorrect or should they be reformulated along Ritzian lines? Is relativity Lorentzian, Einsteinian, Ritzian, or Carmelian? Are there merely temporal variations in the speed of light or spatial variations or both? It’s not like my questions are unreasonable to anyone working in the field.

    Maxwell’s equations touch everying in the modern world from micro-wave ovens to radios. We would not have the modern world if the creationist Maxwell did not give the world those equations…

    However, if YEC is true, his equations, as they stand cannot be right. I and Setterfield have suggested temporal variation to Maxwell’s equations. Others like Humphreys and Harnett suggested spatial variation. But who knows?

    I’m seeing museums being built but not answers to basic questions such as the one I posed. It’s not any help either for people to be criticizing me for my doubts while they themselves are not forthcoming with basic solutions.

    I have no problem with the ICR being a religious institution. But if they are going to demand their grad students unequivocally accept a Young Creation, I have a hard time calling that science, that’s faith in the absence of physical evidence or a viable, testable theory. That’s fine. Faith is a good thing. But it’s not science.

    I confess the Nicene Creed. The creed accords with my beliefs. But a Young Earth? That is another story.

    The case for YEC seems less believable when I see people unwilling to acknowledge that there are still serious challenges to be resolved.

    The questions I posed are the sort a sophomore in physics would reasonably ask.

    It’s not like I reject all the ICR has taught. As I said, their materials persuaded me that Darwin was wrong. But of course, Darwin’s theory is so full of holes, it’s not hard to build a case against Darwinism. Building a case against the creationist Maxwell’s equations is another story!

    I laid out what I think could be a viable YEC cosmology here: Bremsstrahlung radiation, VSL, dark matter, plasma cosmology. Do I think the model I suggest is correct? I wouldn’t bet money on it, but at least I’m trying, which is more than I can say for others in the YEC community…

    I can tell you most of my OEC brethren would look favorably upon YEC if a successful, viable reformulation of the creationist maxwell’s equations are achieved. I don’t think their reservations are unreasonable. Perhaps a little charity toward their doubts would be in order….

  20. Hi,

    When I was a teenager I used to think that the earth might be old, I had never heard much arguments at school (in France), about old earth or young earth, it was just accepted as fact that the earth was billions of years old.

    I didn’t care much I have to admit. I knew it was grossly exaggerated. But i was ready to admit the millions of years.

    Anyway, thanks to creationists websites they have presented some good evidence that the uniformitarian view of geology is not that consistent, and it discards catastrophes.

    Also the fact that fossil indexes are used to date sediment layers, make me wonder how this can be reliable in dating the geologic column.

    I don’t know much about geology but so far I feel like there are no reasons 9to me) to accept an extremely old earth.

    One of my problem though is indeed the starlight thing and the billion light years problem. But I am not really into astronomy and I don’t think it really jeopardizes YEC belief. It seems there are many discoveries left to be uncovered.

    But as far as the earth is concerned I am more and more convinced that life was created not too long ago by the greatest Scientist we can ever conceive.

    And i think ID research is so valuable in getting a less religious view to God-allergic media.

    But i am wondering why so many IDers are mostly Old earth oriented. Because if Darwin dogma is false in respect to life’s origins then the methods and the framework used to date sedimentary layers and fossils is most likely wrong.

    So what do OE IDers mean by old earth. How old?

    Merci,

    -DM

  21. Shady_milkman:

    You say that the 30,000 year old star, or any star for that matter poses a serious problem to young earth creation. I say it doesn’t and here’s why: In scripture, God said let there be light. Why would he wait around for millions or billions of years after this statement for the light in the visible universe to reach its destination. It seems more reasonable to me that when God made this statement, all light within the visible universe would have reached its destination instantaneously.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    However, what you describe was the solution ICR and Josh McDowell argued for years. I will let Answers in Genesis give a very cogent analysis of the problems of the ICR “created light” model.

    Some Christians have proposed that God created the beams of light from distant stars already on their way to the earth. After all, Adam didn’t need any time to grow from a baby because he was made as an adult. Likewise, it is argued that the universe was made mature, and so perhaps the light was created in-transit. Of course, the universe was indeed made to function right from the first week, and many aspects of it were indeed created “mature.” The only problem with assuming that the light was created in-transit is that we see things happen in space. For example, we see stars change brightness and move. Sometimes we see stars explode. We see these things because their light has reached us.

    But if God created the light beams already on their way, then that means none of the events we see in space (beyond a distance of 6,000 light-years) actually happened. It would mean that those exploding stars never exploded or existed; God merely painted pictures of these fictional events. It seems uncharacteristic of God to make illusions like this. God made our eyes to accurately probe the real universe; so we can trust that the events that we see in space really happened.

    Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old?

    With respect to the 30,000 year old star, here is the discussion by plasma physicist GP Jellison at YoungCosmos: A 30,000-Year-Old Star.

    I certainly believe a solution to distant starlight can be found, otherwise I wouldn’t have invested large amounts of time in the question. But I have been wrong before about things I thought could be right. That bothers me. I will feel much better with an answer in hand rather than with wishful thinking :-)

  22. So what do OE IDers mean by old earth. How old?

    Merci,

    -DM

    The mainstream view is that the universe is about 13.5 Billion Years old and the Earth is 4 Billion years old. Old Earth ID proponents like Guillermo Gonzalez (featured in the movie Expelled) accept the 13.5 Billion year figure.

    This calculation is based on the estimated distance of stars and the supposed constant speed of light.

    The age of the Earth is calculated using radioactive dating and some other assumptions like the constancy of radioactive decay.

    It is possible the assumptions of a constant speed of light (constant with respect to space and time) and constant radioactive decay rates used to calculate the ages of the Earth and Universe are all wrong. It is possible the assumptions are wrong. Actually demonstrating that the assumptions are wrong is another story.

    Over the years, I have offered reasons why I think there is good reason to think the assumptions of constant speed of light and constant radioactive decay are wrong, but my colleagues can give compelling reasons why they are right.

    I don’t think the issue has been settled in a convincing scientific fashion for either side to claim victory.

    As far as the speed of light, a creationist by the name of Maxwell gave the world the science of electrodynamics and the equations which state that the speed of light is constant over space and time. The constancy of the speed of light however would generally be fatal to YEC.

    If YEC is true, the equations of Maxwell have to be corrected. That is no easy task. The equations of this famous creationist are listed here: Maxwell’s Equations.

  23. Hi Scordova,

    Thanks for your reply. I don’t think I had ever heard of those equations.

    Even though the oldest rocks were dated to 4.03 billion years, I still think the geologic column is biased toward the evolutionist framework.

    I read in Prothero’s book “Evolution what the fossils say”, that they couldn’t date any rocks older than that because of the constant recycling of the earth’s crust.

    If it’s constantly being recycled then we can’t really know for sure that those igneous rocks are actually that old or that young? well i don’t know I am just guessing.

    Right now I have been more focused on Darwinian evolution so I am new to geology and astronomy and I might not understand most of the issues yet.

    But from what I’ve read so far it seems radiometric dating is not that reliable.

    Also what about his YEC argument that the galaxies spirals point to a younger universe or at least to young galaxies, is that correct?

    Thank you.

  24. MaxAug, I have just completed a book on Design, and it includes a big chapter on the origin of life. All we have to do is persuade the IDers to carry it once it’s published ;)

  25. Refuting Compromise was concentrating on the errors of Hugh Ross, but touches on the Framework Hypothesis, a theological novelty. However, the CMI website links to a number of articles addressing the framwork view.

  26. sal

    I posted a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope of a galaxy that had a smaller object collide with it. The collision created a perfectly round wavefront like a pebble being dropped into a pond. The wavefront is some 200,000 light years across and advancing at some 150 kilometers per second. All sorts of laws of physics must be wrong for that wavefront to have grown to that dimension in 6000 years.

    If God created the universe just 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look like it happened many orders of magnitude farther in the past. The same holds true for common descent. If God created all the kinds at once de novo from dirt 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look instead like common descent over hundreds of millions of years.

    So this leaves me to wonder why God would do that. It doesn’t make any sense at all. What DOES make sense is the bible is largely (if not wholly) a fiction written by men thousands of years ago and they, quite understandably, made a lot of mistakes out of ignorance.

  27. Also what about his YEC argument that the galaxies spirals point to a younger universe or at least to young galaxies, is that correct?

    Thank you.

    It is generally correct. Walter Brown gave the best argument here: Galaxies Are Billions of Light-Years Away, So Isn’t the Universe Billions of Years Old.

    I think Brown gives good arguments, but there are still some holes to plug to make his idea viable (like a correction to Maxwell’s equations).

    I will tell you this, two of my physics professors from George Mason debated against William Dembski and Michael Behe. One of them was James Trefil. Trefil does not like ID, and he definitly does not like YEC!

    He wrote a book called the Dark Side of the Universe. He even autographed my copy of his book and told me how delighted he was to have me in his class (he didn’t know at the time I was a creationist and he gave me an “A” in his class). Any way, he wrote in that book:

    The problem of explaining the existence of galaxies has proved to be one of the thorniest in cosmology. By all rights, they just shouldn’t be there, yet there they sit. It’s hard to convey the depth of frustration that this simple fact induces among scientists.

    And in 2004, three professors from my school (GMU) signed a statement rejecting the Big Bang. See http://www.CosmologyStatement.org

    At that point I began to think the Big Bang is probably wrong, and maybe YEC is true. But it is in my nature to be skeptical, especially of my own ideas….

  28. Salvador,

    @ 15

    One may argue the scriptural case for YEC is strong, but if so, any major gap in YEC science is a reason to wonder if the scriptures may not be from God after all.”

    I agree. If the earth really is billions of years old, then it appears the Scriptural account doesn’t hold together. Too much depends on the reliability of Moses’ writings.

    @ 19

    I sooner trust the Bible than people demanding I accept their theology without answering my reasonable questions.

    I’m not troubled by the questions you have, not because I have answers but because I don’t have the background to appreciate their significance. Moreover, the fact that there are scientists who believe the evidence favoring YEC is compelling–even though this position puts them very much at odds with the mainstream–encourages me to think the difficulties must not be insurmountable.

    I do, however, have questions of my own that tend to feed frustration as long as they remain unanswered, so perhaps I can understand a bit of your dissatisfaction. I hope you’re able to find resolution–and perhaps even a solution to the Maxwell question.

    I can tell you most of my OEC brethren would look favorably upon YEC if a successful, viable reformulation of the creationist maxwell’s equations are achieved. I don’t think their reservations are unreasonable. Perhaps a little charity toward their doubts would be in order.

    Yes, charity is a good thing. And cognitive dissonance, while maybe not all that enjoyable, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it motivates continued searching for answers.

    I encourage you to keep looking. It may be hard now, but the day may come when the efforts you have invested place you in a position to help someone else who has similar questions.

  29. All sorts of laws of physics must be wrong for that wavefront to have grown to that dimension in 6000 years

    Dang right all sorts of accepted physics have to be broken (like Maxwell’s equations and Einsteinian relativity). You made my point better than I could.

  30. Hi Scordova,

    That is sooo interesting and enlightning. I feel like we don’t get he full picture on such topics at school or in the media. And for example, I didn’t know some scientitst rejected the Big Bang, I also didn’t know about the Galaxies problems etc…

    I will definitely start reading more about astronomy.

    It’s also refreshing to see both sides of an issue, not just the same old explanations or views.

    I once used to think nothing was left to be discovered in science, but this was mostly due to our scientific education at school where we are not really challenged intellectually; well it might be because we don’t really care at that age also.

    A bientot

  31. If God created the universe just 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look like it happened many orders of magnitude farther in the past. The same holds true for common descent.

    Exactly. And that is the question which the YEC Todd Wood posed in his BSG artilce The Problem of Biological Similarity

    Wood lamented:

    Having found most popular [creationist] arguments about the human/chimpanzee genome similarity insufficent, I find myself in the unenviable position of devising my own explanation. Since I have none,……….

    My best answer, it says in Proverbs 25:

    It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out.

    It appears God delights to give us mysteries to uncover. It appears he also gives humanity crosses to bear. Perhaps if the story has a happy ending, then maybe all the present trouble will be seen as part of Divine Drama and making the happy ending that much more meaningful.

    Perhaps a young creation is more meaningful when we had believed it was once impossible. Reality seems more meaninful when at first it seemed impossible (I mean, like the New York Giants beating the New England Patriots in the superbowl. That was the impossible becoming reality!).

    Regarding Global Warming, until you came along, I thought all was lost. It was nice to see the what I once pereceived to be a hopeless situation (global warming) is now hopeful than I ever imagined.

    I have a deeper appreciation for truth and light having had the chance to be in land of darkness for a season. Perhaps God lets us wander in the shadow of darkness and the valley of death to have a greater appreciation for truth and light.

    If Maxwell’s equations and Einstein’s relativity are successfully reformulated, then I’ll be much more comforted. We’re not there yet….

  32. Pazu

    I once used to think nothing was left to be discovered in science

    Yeah, me too. Not nothing, but I believed all that was left were details.

    In reality, what we know about the universe today is comparable to what you could know about an ocean when all you can observe is the waves and froth on the surface.

    Once science and engineering was able to land a man on the moon it was like that’s it – we know everything and can do everything – it’s just a matter of working out the details.

    I’ve since come to learn that’s very, very wrong. Our knowledge of the nature of nature is rather shallow. Shakespeare said it best: “There’s more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy”.

  33. Sal : Are you aware that many of the old (long before modern cosmology) Jewish rabbis believed in an OEC interpretation of Genesis? That their view was Gap theory coincident?

    I don’t understand why facts like that are not troubling to YECs. Of course rabbis may be mistaken. Nevertheless, the fact that there even were OEC rabbis many centuries ago seems to me a significant factor in the debate.

    Most Xians have, at one time or another, been confronted by the Jewish interpretations vs the standard Western-European interpretations. Sometimes the differences in their understanding vs ours are great yet astoundingly enlightening. Sometimes not.

    Nevertheless, the interpretation of scripture in the traditional creeds, handed down from Eurpoean Catholicism or Protestantism, is hardly infallible.

    YECs and OECs should be working together looking for those equations you speak of. Instead of fighting over biblical interpretations.

  34. For those interested, many people once believed the stars and galaxies formed through the action of gravity and dark matter.

    But as I pointed out, even Big Bang advocates like James Trefil find the creation of galaxies deeply problematic. That’s because they think the mechanism of star and galaxy formation is gravity.

    But what if the formation mechanism is electricity and magnetism and not gravity? Many paradoxes disappear instantly. See this video:

    Van Flandern and only a few YECs accept plasma cosmology. Three professors at my former school (GMU) accept plasma cosmology (and thankfully haven’t been expelled yet for their anti-Big Bang heresies).

    Maxwell’s equations in their current form put a limit to the speed which matter can travel. And thus problems like the “30,000 year old star” or the wave fronts which DaveScot mentioned are serious problems for YEC. If however Maxwell’s equations can be successfully reformulated to allow much faster speeds of light (and matter), then the paradoxes have a chance of being resolved purely in terms of physics alone.

    A plasma cosmology combined with a high speed of light in the past will allow stars and galaxies to form in a matter of hours.

    I think Plasma cosmology is solid. A reformulation of Maxwell’s equations is still pretty shaky at this time…we’ll see where the evidence leads. It will take time and hard research.

  35. sal

    Perhaps a young creation is more meaningful when we had believed it was once impossible.

    I never said it was impossible. I said it was impossible under current understanding of physics. Anything is possible if you have no bounds. The laws of physics establish bounds for the possible. Granted those laws are incomplete but they’re still the best set of rules we have and at except at the fringes of the very large and very small are extremely sucessful in prediction.

  36. DaveScot: “If God created all the kinds at once de novo from dirt 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look instead like common descent over hundreds of millions of years.”
    All depends on how you interpret the data of course. Can’t agree on your common descent thing. You pretty much have to accept Darwinism to interpret data like that.

    “So this leaves me to wonder why God would do that. It doesn’t make any sense at all. ”
    Agreed. Assuming that’s what we’re really seeing! But therein I must disagree. I don’t see much verifiable common descent, other than minor variations – unless you have some evidence of novel life forms growing out of old ones – like birds from lizards or princes from frogs.

    “What DOES make sense is the bible is largely (if not wholly) a fiction written by men thousands of years ago and they, quite understandably, made a lot of mistakes out of ignorance.” You clearly don’t know much about that book of books.

    I would suggest you do some homework and study up on biblical archeology and accuracy. Nelson Gluek’s work for example. Gluek said,

    “It…may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”

    Archaeologist Joseph Free says,

    “Archeology has confirmed countless passages which had been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contrary to known facts.”

    One could cite 100′s of like statements made by real experts in the field.

    You might also look into Tablet Theory – maybe start here

    The outdated and erroneous idea that the bible’s books were written by “ignorant herdsman” is still quite prevalent today but no longer carries any weight in view of what we now know.

    Moses, who penned the Torah, was not some ignorant herdsman but a prince and, according to Josephus, a scientist and the commanding general of Egypt’s armies, until his fleeing under threat.

    The whole modern myth that old civilizations were ignorant, gullible and superstitious twits is tripe.

    The ancient Chaldean society (from which Abraham came) did cube root squares using base 60 math in far less time and effort than our modern base 10 math allows.
    There are 1000′s of such examples – electric batteries in ancient Babylon, high levels of knowledge of astronomy, possibly electric light tubes, there’s even evidence of understanding of atomic structures and etc..

    If Genesis 1-3 is true then people were not stupid back then they were more intelligent than us.

    Don’t believe it? Fine, but do some in depth research and I’m sure you’ll find some real challenges.

  37. Granted those laws are incomplete but they’re still the best set of rules we have and at except at the fringes of the very large and very small are extremely sucessful in prediction.

    Agreed. I don’t think most YECs realize the magnitude of difficulties facing them for their theory to be vindicated. There are many days I just want to throw in the towel….

    The case for ID is a piece of cake by comaprison.

    For interested reader’s benefit, what evidence would be persuassive to me.

    Currently we are guessing the size of the universe is very very very large (13.5 billion light years across). We base this not because we actually know it’s that big but by using guesses based on starlight brightness. The father something is, the less bright it will be. The equation describing the relationship of birghtness to distance is an inverse square law….

    We have the privilege of having Dr. Stephen Cheesman in our community at UD. He is a physicist and signatory of the Discovery Institute’s Dissent from Darwin. He was once a YEC and now rejects it based on what he learned in physics…

    He and I had fruitful exchanges last summer. His calculations demonstrated to me that for my cosmological model to work, the universe will have to be a lot smaller since the inverse-square law will actually be an inverse quartic-law for my YEC model to work….

    To cut to the chase, our best instruments can only measure out to 400 light-years using triangulation. Anything beyond that is a guess. As our instrumentation improves, what will happen if we discover Quasars are only 5000 light years away, or the great galaxy in Andromeda is 100 times closer?

    Further, if the light intensity to distance ratio obeys an inverse-quartic law, it would lend confirmation to the YEC cosmology which I currently subscribe to. If this test fails, I think I’ll owe Dr. Cheesman a beer. If it succeeds, he can by me a beer [I don't drink beer, but I would for that occasion.]

    So there you have it. I’ve laid it on the line what would seal the deal…

  38. Hi Dave,

    “Yeah, me too. Not nothing, but I believed all that was left were details.”

    I agree, it’s just the way the educational system portrays science, kind of in a boring way, without much challenging the students about how we came to that conclusion, or why this is so etc.

    Even TV documentaries can be rather boring. Because I think it presents things very flatly, as if it were so and thus make us think that there’s nothing else to research.

    Well it’s just what I felt about it.

    For example before i started researching the creo-evo issue, I had no knowledge of the complexities of even the simplest cell, i thought a cell was just a bunch of chemicals, very simple, that could originate anywhere given the right conditions, following natural laws.

    Anyway, life seems more complex than I once thought and I think now we have a very long way before there’s nothing left to be discovered.

    Cheers

  39. Dear Scordova,

    “by using guesses based on starlight brightness. The father something is, the less bright it will be.”

    First let me repeat I am a novice in this, but, is it possible that a less bright object might just be less bright and not necessarily further?

  40. 41

    Sal,
    It appears to me that you’ve decided what is true (a young cosmos) despite the available evidence.

    Would it not be more scientific if you took the data and tried to explain it, rather then take the position you want to be true and force the data to fit? Why not follow the data where it leads, as others here so often recommend?

    Also, on what basis do you claim that Maxwell was a creationist?
    Maxwell is not saying that the universe doesn’t evolve, and he’s not saying that living things don’t evolve. What he’s saying is that molecules — and only molecules — don’t evolve and hence appear to be manufactured. Maxwell’s argument makes no sense if nothing evolves. It only makes sense if nature exhibits evolution but molecules do not.

    So the argument that Maxwell was a creationist only makes sense if nature does not exhibit evolution and even YEC’s admit micro-evolution.

    Maxwell certainly believed that God created the universe, but based on his lecture titles “Molecules” in 1873, it’s simply not possible to label him as a “creationist” in the modern sense of the word, that is, someone who believes this creation took place relatively recently in accordance with the book of Genesis.

    Do you have a actual reference that shows Maxwell was a YEC as you claim?

  41. DaveScott at 36

    The laws of physics establish bounds for the possible.

    How is that any different from materialism?
    Does that a priori dismiss intelligent intervention by all other than intelligent agents bound to the laws of physics?
    Where did the laws of physics come from?

    cf CS Lewis, “Miracles”

    See upcoming paper
    Divine Intervention and the Causal Account of Natural Laws, Steven Horst, Wesleyan University

    Since the 17 th century, theists have gravitated towards two views of God’s causal relation to the created universe. Some, like Leibniz, have held that God is a cosmic architect , designing the laws and initial state of Creation, but thereafter allowing the universe to run on its own like a grand clockwork machine. Others, like Descartes and Newton, took an interventionist view, according to which God has made subsequent miraculous interventions.

    “Architecturalists” have argued that the very concept of a universe governed by natural law is incompatible with miracles. “Interventionists” have often responded by embedding the claims of scientific law within a broader set of extra-scientific theological conditions: for example, “If God does not intervene, then the universe obeys the laws.”

    I argue that a commitment to scientific laws requires neither (a) a rejection of miracles, nor (b) a consistency proof requiring theological suppositions. The apparent inconsistency between laws and miracles arises from a particular interpretation of the nature of laws, made popular by the Logical Empiricists, on which laws make universal claims about the actual (and counterfactual) behavior of objects. This view of laws, however, has received withering criticism in philosophy of science, on grounds having nothing to do with miracles or theology. Its major alternative, the causal account of laws, endorsed by philosophers of science like Nancy Cartwright and Ian Hacking, holds that laws express causal capacities . On this view of laws, I argue, a commitment to the truth of laws is compatible with miracles.

  42. Uthan wrote:

    It appears to me that you’ve decided what is true (a young cosmos) despite the available evidence.

    I was an old earth Darwinist growing up. I was not raised in a fundamentalist home.

  43. 44

    Sal,

    To cut to the chase, our best instruments can only measure out to 400 light-years using triangulation. Anything beyond that is a guess.

    This is interesting. According to Wikipedia the distance to SN1987A has been measured by triangulation. The figure obtained is 168,000 light years.

    The three bright rings around SN 1987A are material from the stellar wind of the progenitor. These rings were ionized by the ultraviolet flash from the supernova explosion, and consequently began emitting in various emission lines. These rings did not “turn on” until several months after the supernova, and the turn-on process can be very accurately studied through spectroscopy. The rings are large enough for their angular size to be measured accurately: the inner ring is 0.808 arcseconds in radius. Using the distance light must have traveled to light up the inner ring as the base of a right angle triangle, and the angular size as seen from the Earth for the local angle, one can use basic trigonometry to calculate the distance to SN1987A, which is about 168,000 light-years

    Will you be giving up your YEC leanings now as this data appears to directly disconfirm your theory that the cosmos can be young?

    http://tinyurl.com/5s6b6o

  44. 45

    Sal,

    I was an old earth Darwinist growing up. I was not raised in a fundamentalist home.

    Define fundamentalist.

    In any case, you are missing the point. My point is that the evidence points to an old cosmos. You believe in a young cosmos. Therefore your belief trumps the evidence. Therefore you formed your belief before examining the evidence (as the evidence points to an old cosmos). Or your formed your belief against the preponderance of evidence despite having examined the evidence, because of religious or other reasons.

    I’ve just given you data that shows that your assumption “our best instruments can only measure out to 400 light-years using triangulation” was wrong. Will you accept this data point and change 400 to 168,000 in future when attempting to argue this point?

  45. Would it not be more scientific if you took the data and tried to explain it, rather then take the position you want to be true and force the data to fit? Why not follow the data where it leads, as others here so often recommend?

    Are you arguing I’m not doing that? Let’s start with the basics. Can you give me a credible model for Solar System evolution based on gravitational accretion and solves the problems of basic angular momentum and differentiated chemistry. Most of the mainstream models are in crisis. Same is true of stellar and galactic evolution.

    When my own old Earth professors are pointing lamenting the existence of galaxies, I knew something was up. Then there is the problem of stellar age homogeneity. Or how about the systematic discord between amino acid racemization rates and C-14 dates. Or how about the problems of the lack of erosion or lack of salinization in the water. Before you go around accusing me of not following the evidence, perhaps you better answer some of those questions….

    I think the issue of the univrse’s age is open for more inquiry. I have my biases, but I’m officially undecided at this time.

    Do you have a actual reference that shows Maxwell was a YEC as you claim?

    I never said Maxwell was a YEC. I said he was a creationist. By Barbara Forrest’s standards, he would be a creationist.

  46. What does YEC beliefs have to do with teaching modern, observable physics, astronomy, biology, electronics, chemestry, etc.

    How things got here is the domain of faith. How they work in the current, real-world, is the domain of science.

  47. 48

    Can you give me a credible model for Solar System evolution based on gravitational accretion and solves the problems of basic angular momentum and differentiated chemistry.

    Can you give me a reason that I should not consider the current models credible?

    What’s the YEC model of solar system formation?

    Most of the mainstream models are in crisis. Same is true of stellar and galactic evolution.

    At least they exist. I don’t believe that there is a YEC model that is worked out to the same level of intricate detail as current models. Care to prove me wrong?

    For example here
    http://tinyurl.com/5ggbo8

    A numerical 3D-model for investigation of non-stationary processes in a gravitating system with gas has been created. The model is based on the solution of the Poisson equation for gravitational field, the Vlasov–Liouville equation for solids and equations of gas dynamics. For solution of the Poisson equation at each timestep an efficient iterational solver is created with extrapolation of the evolutionary prosesses under study. It provides fast convergence at high precision. Parallelisation technique and load balancing strategy are discussed.

    Does YEC offer anything similar? And that’s just one example out of many many similar simuations.

    And if current models are in “crisis” I can assure you that whatever they are replaced by will not provide evidence for a 6000 year old universe.

    When my own old Earth professors are pointing lamenting the existence of galaxies, I knew something was up.

    Have you tried suggesting to them that everything they know is wrong and that in fact the universe is only 6000 years old?

    Then there is the problem of stellar age homogeneity.

    If you have a solution that solves these issues then please do share.

    Or how about the systematic discord between amino acid racemization rates and C-14 dates

    I don’t see how that proves a YEC point of view. C-14 is not the only dating method. If you’ve got proof then proof will win in the end. All scientists are interested in is “can your prove it to a better standard then the current theory?”

    Or how about the problems of the lack of erosion or lack of salinization in the water.

    Lack of erosion where? Lack of salinization where? Are you saying that the grand canyon indicates a young earth? Those stones are hard and you simply can’t erode them in Before you go around accusing me of not following the evidence, perhaps you better answer some of those questions….

    Yet Behe accepts common descent. Do you? If not, better ask the same of him.
    I am accusing you of not following the evidence and the evidence is plain!

    I think the issue of the univrse’s age is open for more inquiry. I have my biases, but I’m officially undecided at this time.

    Yet you run a site called youngcosmos and say things like “Or how about the systematic discord between amino acid racemization rates and C-14 dates” – if you are
    undecided what’s all that about?

    I never said Maxwell was a YEC. I said he was a creationist. By Barbara Forrest’s standards, he would be a creationist.

    The only difference between a YEC and a creationist is when they think the “designer” created the universe.

  48. 49

    Grace

    How things got here is the domain of faith.

    Luckily not everybody shares your lack of curiosity. I’m glad you’ve found an answer that saatisifies you, but personally I find a fable from the bronze age to be somewhat unsatisfying as an explnation.

  49. Dr. Sarfati:

    This new book is very good news, hopefully it will rock.

    I know there are criticisms of the Literary Framework Hypothesis, and I know it definitely needs some more working, but again: I still think it is a very good Biblical explanation. It is interesting some people attacking it because it is new, well, as far as I know, all this baraminology way of thinking is also new…

    Salvador:

    I agree with both your comments on Pv 25 and the museum (though I wonder if the money AiG is getting is not going to finance some research?).

    Currently I’m not bothered by the age of the earth / universe, on the other hand, the extension of the flood seems to me a way bigger problem.

    And you guys don’t get me wrong, I do believe scriptures (the originals) are inerrant and inspired, but unfortunately not written yesterday exclusively for me as a pdf file. There are a lot of things there that are really difficult to figure out.

  50. To Uthan:

    I think this “all evidence points to X” has been played out. It may point to X according adherents of the dominant paradigm, but sometimes it all fall down. Not only that, there are no such things as unbiased, everything is interpreted by people and people have their own subjective presuppositions.

    What is the deal with the guy trying to work on a YEC model? Let him try to finish the thing then he can compare it with the current models and see if it can compete on the market.

  51. 52

    this paragraph

    Lack of erosion where? Lack of salinization where? Are you saying that the grand canyon indicates a young earth? Those stones are hard and you simply can’t erode them in Before you go around accusing me of not following the evidence, perhaps you better answer some of those questions….

    Should have looked like
    Lack of erosion where? Lack of salinization where? Are you saying that the grand canyon indicates a young earth? Those stones are hard and you simply can’t erode them in 6000 or 60000 years.

    Before you go around accusing me of not following the evidence, perhaps you better answer some of those questions….

    No edit function. Is that a design decision? :)

  52. Borne: “Are you aware that many of the old (long before modern cosmology) Jewish rabbis believed in an OEC interpretation of Genesis? That their view was Gap theory coincident?”

    The views of Kabbalists were hardly representative. Josephus and Ibn Ezra believed in a straightforward 6-day creation about 6000 years ago. I cover Jewish exegetes as well as Christian ones in Refuting Compromise ch. 3.

  53. What does YEC beliefs have to do with teaching modern, observable physics, astronomy, biology, electronics, chemestry, etc.

    How things got here is the domain of faith. How they work in the current, real-world, is the domain of science.

    That is actually very very good question.

    For starters, if our geological models are wrong that affects our ability to successfully steward the planet’s resource and deal with Earthquakes etc.

    If YEC leads to a correction to Maxwell’s equations which allow faster than current speed of light communication or travel, then that is a significant technological development….

    If accelerated nucler decay happened in the past, that will affect our understanding of atomic structure…

    If genetic entropy is real, it will influence medical advancement and treatment of disease…

    If YEC cosmology based on stochastic electro-dynamics and zero-point energy is true, then that may influence issues in building spacecraft of the future….

    The stakes are not just for knowing about our past but potenetially influencing technology of the future….

  54. DaveScot: “If God created the universe just 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look like it happened many orders of magnitude farther in the past. The same holds true for common descent. If God created all the kinds at once de novo from dirt 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look instead like common descent over hundreds of millions of years.”

    I think God went to a lot of trouble to explain what He did in the Bible. He also put immense roadblocks in the way of faith in an old earth, such as radiocarbon in diamonds and blood cells and vessels in dino bones. He also went to the trouble of creating distinct groups with similarities that point to one designer rather than many, but with differences that thwart evolutionary explanations.

    I also dispute that the earth “looks old”. It didn’t look old to geological pioneer Steno for example.

  55. Salvador:

    If this test fails, I think I’ll owe Dr. Cheesman a beer. If it succeeds, he can by me a beer [I don’t drink beer, but I would for that occasion.]

    OK, now you’ve blown my feeble pseudonym cover. But I look forward to the beer.

    It’s been quiet over at “Young Cosmos” for several months now, but this is a great opportunity to share some of the evidences of an old universe not mentioned above, and which might be new to some readers.

    Models of the origin of the moon, and its increasing distance from the earth due to tidal interactions, independently give an age for the earth measured in billions of years. I have read an internet account by YEC sources saying simple calculations show the tidal repulsion is in fact too large, and the earth-moon system cannot be so old, but tidal interactions are quite tightly coupled to continental configurations and ocean depth. What is remarkable is that the figure you get from a ballpark estimate is within a factor of two of the age estimated from radioactive decay.

    YEC explanations for the origin of craters on the moon are fantastical, and, from an earthly perspective, utterly deadly and inimical to the continuance of life.

    Many amazing processes such as stellar nucleosynthesis (creating the elements from which life is made) are extraordinary demonstrations of God’s providence in an old universe, but utterly without utility in a new one.

    All the dynamical systems we observe astronomically are built to last millions and billions of years, and reflect their ages; from the distributions of velocities in globular clusters, to the resonances of panetary rotations and orbits, to the birth and death of stars in galactic arms.

    Large impact craters such as the at Chicxulub crater in Mexico, are devastating enough in an OEC framework. Imagine the concentrated affect of it and all the other recognized craters concentrated into the few thousand years leading up to and during the flood (because they sure didn’t happen since then).

    Any theory of vast changes in the speed of light in order to avoid the creation of a universe with the mere appearance of age (e.g. what we see of distant galaxies is really just an illusion in light, created in transit) produces measurable affects in the measured movements of stellar objects. We can now measure directly (and I mean by their observed motion, relative to distant galaxies as measured on photographs) the revolution of globular clusters about our galaxy, as well as the actual motion of stars orbiting the centers of gravity of the clusters themselves. These movements are just what you’d expect if there were no “time distortion” introduced by changes in the speed of light. (By way of explanation, some, such as Barry Setterfield, have proposed that the speed of light was near-infinite at the moment of creation and decreased over time to its present value, thus explaing how 6000 years of light might fill a 15-billion year universe).

    Thats enough for now… maybe this will spur some of you reading out there to post some responses to existing threads on Young Cosmos. I love a challenge.

  56. Dr. Cheesman,

    You were my inspiration to go to grad school in physics at Johns Hopkins. It was either physics at Johns Hopkins or Engineering at Robert Mark’s Evolution Informatics Lab at Baylor.

    Well, we all know what happened to my tuition offer at Baylor when the EIL was shut down….It seems God sent me to Hopkins rather than Baylor.

    I thought your Old Earth arguments were very potent and should not be ignored.

    The quietness at Young Cosmos is owing to the fact that some very basic research needs to be done for the stalemate to end. Basic triangulation and astrometry need to be revisited. I’m not far along enough in my studies to offer anything productive at this point, except an occasional polemic against the Darwinists…

    regards and God bless you,
    Salvador

  57. Jonathan Sarfati:

    Let me just say thank you for your books. They have been a blessing to me. I always had a mental disconnect between the Bible and reality until I learned the absolute frailty of evolutionary theory. I had no reason to consider trusting the Word until then. Your work is doing wonders in causing people to consider the Word. Keep writing.

    One of the things I’m curious about: Do you regularly get frustrated by misinformation by Darwinists? More interestingly, how do you feel about your Wikipedia article?

    Sorry I don’t have a much more intellectually stimulating question to ask, I’m just curious. :o)

  58. DaveScot: “If God created the universe just 6000 years ago he sure went to a whole lot of trouble to make it look like it happened many orders of magnitude farther in the past.”

    Perhaps the fault is in the foolish eye of the beholder rather than God?

    Philosophically speaking, inferring a mechanism and conditions from a cause is irrational, yet such is done in all dating methods. “What is lacking cannot be counted.” It’s obviously true whether you believe the Bible or not.

  59. thogan

    Perhaps the fault is in the foolish eye of the beholder rather than God?

    If by that you mean to ask me:

    “What are you going to believe, a book thousands of years old packed full of absurd claims or your own eyes?”

    Need I really answer that?

  60. Noremacam, thank you for your generous comments on by books.

    Oh yes, the same old misinformation by Darwinists gets tiresome. But in some ways, even more worrysome are the church leaders who claim that evolution is just a side issue, or say, “I just believe in creation so it’s no problem for me”. They are too ostrich-like to know that it really is NOT a side issue and IS a problem for many people, as you have confirmed.

    The current Wikipedia article is about as good as can be expected under the circumstances. Wikipedia might be OK on non-controversial topics, but when it comes to anything controversial, it should be called The Abomination that Causes Misinformation. Anyone can edit that, or be promoted to administrative bullying powers so they can drown out debate, and there is the proven fraud Essjay. See also The Six Sins of the Wikipedia by Sam Vaknin Ph.D., 2 July 2006.

  61. DLH

    How is that any different from materialism?

    It isn’t. When it comes to science I’m a materialist. In point of fact ID is not at all in opposition to materialist science so long as one grants that intelligence is, or may be, manifest in material form.

  62. Dr. Cheeseman,

    Perhaps you can explain the formation of the heavy metals found on earth (e.g., iron, lead, mercury, cesium) using accepted cosmogonical theories? Dr. Humphreys’ model accounts for heavy metals on earth as well as finding organic compounds in meteorites. Its big advantage over competitors is that it has no lack of energy for heavy-metal formation or need for initial expansion. We are told, of course, that the expansion did occur at some point. Interesting that that the expansion of space is predicted by a scriptural framework without any measurements of space. “God stretched out the heavens.”

    Do you know of any serious criticism of RATE? I don’t consider Henke or the piece on the ASA site to be adequate. Has anyone measured the rate of helium loss from zircons under pressure?

    “All the dynamical systems we observe astronomically are built to last millions and billions of years”

    Solar comets–aren’t they decreasing in number?

    My apologies, I have serious problems with regarding astronomy as a science, since the heavens are outside our realm of control. It is easy to imagine that undiscoverable systematic error (especially contextual error) can bias all measurements quite drastically towards a coherent, erroneous conclusion. Amazing how much hangs on the Hubble constant which keeps getting revised ad hoc and quite frequently in the not-too-distant past.

    I’ve barely dabbled in the lab, and that was long ago, but I’ve dabbled enough so that I have great respect for the knowledge and assurance gained by hands-on control with repeatability. The epistemological certainty of earth-bound science, cet. par., far exceeds that of astronomy, my apologies.

  63. DaveScot:

    “What are you going to believe, a book thousands of years old packed full of absurd claims or your own eyes?”

    I suppose the science of ocean and wind currents, the water cycle, and spacial expansion mentioned in the thousands-year-old book are all absurd.

    When my eyes look far off into space I can’t see as well as when I look near. I also find I have a problem varying perspectives significantly.

    When I try to look into earth’s past, I find that I can see nothing. Maybe your eyes are magical, but mine aren’t.

    I happen to accept methodological naturalism when doing science, but my demarcation criteria reject the oxymoronic “historical sciences” as irrational and non-science.

  64. thogan

    When you look through a telescope you are looking directly at the past. Look at the moon and you’re looking a few seconds into the past. Look at Mars and you’re looking a few minutes into the past. Look at Alpha Centauri and you’re looking a few years into the past. We can see billions of years into the past in this manner. If you don’t understand that then your science literacy is woefully lacking.

  65. DaveScot

    When you look at a star from 200 million miles do you see the same image as at 2 light years? How about if the light is reflected from a series of mirrors and passes through filters and amplifiers?

    My physics work was in classical optics. I argued with a YEC astronomer about how with the right optics I could make him see whatever I wanted. The movie “Running Man” makes the same point.

    The teleological point of the old book about the stars is that their purpose was to give light on the earth. Draw inferences about stellar distances at your own risk.

  66. I’m not sure why you brought up the point about seeing the stellar past in any case, since I didn’t mention it before you.

  67. thogan

    You mentioned historical sciences as irrational non-science. I pointed out that cosmology is an exception because we are literally looking at the past.

    If you want to refer to your work then either point to it or put a sock in it. I’m not interested in anonymous claims of credentials. The electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the universe at large covers a lot more than visible light, by the way. Ever heard of a radio telescope? Think you can fool electronic circuits and computer analysis into “seeing” whatever you want them to see? Let’s see some of your “work”. I dare you.

  68. Salvador,

    Re the 30,000 year old star:

    How do they know it’s 30,000 years old? I presume they’ve divided 13 light years (the length of the tail) by 130km/sec (the estimated speed of the star).

    But what if the tail is not formed from matter left behind during the star’s passage through space but is an electrical phenomenon?

    See here where, discussing a galaxy with a 200,000 light-year-long tail, the author states that

    One of the hallmarks of plasma foci is that they glow in high-energy x-rays, gamma rays or ultra-violet, depending on how much current is available.

    Mira’s tail I’ve seen described as, “a wake broken into turbulent knots or loops,” and, “two sinuous streams of material coming out of the star’s front and back”.

    If the tail is due to electrical currents would it take 30,000 years to form? I’ve no idea but maybe you have.

  69. thogan et al:

    I’d love to respond to all these questions, but this blog, and this thread, is not about YEC vs OEC. If Salvador posts some of these to Young Cosmos, I may take up the challenge in a few weeks…

  70. 71
    PannenbergOmega

    Hi Sal,

    As I’ve mentioned before on this blog. I hope you’re right about the possibility of a Young Cosmos.

    I think you and John are correct about the dangers of OEC for Christianity. As the decades go by, Christians really begin to “stretch” their interpetations of the Bible to make it compatible with Old Earth thinking.

  71. I think you and John are correct about the dangers of OEC for Christianity.

    PannenbergO:

    I do not think OEC is a danger of Christianity. That is a Ken Hamism…That is not my view.

    The major Creeds of Christianity do not mention the age of the Earth. I think it is plain wrong to be demonizing innocent Christians like Guillermo Gonzalez — to be referring to them as people who are part of gang that are attacking the Christian world view (as Ken Ham does).

    I actually think ICR and AiG’s method of doing business is a disgrace to the YEC cause and will actually impede the progress of YEC research.

    Not to mention Ken Ham’s rather distasteful treatment of the CMI offshoot? Or how about the behavior of YECs like Ted Haggard and Kent Hovind?

    The model the Baraminology Study Group where problems are openly acknowledge and friendly critics of YEC are sought after and welcomed is the better way to do science, and in the end fosters more trust. Many of the BSG’s top members studied in secular schools under Darwinists. Curiously, I don’t recall seeing one graduate of ICR’s grad school at BSG!

    Many of the best YECs came from OEC or Darwinist backgrounds. What does that tell you?

    One fairly respected contributor to YEC theory had this to say about his eventual frustration with the ICR grad school:

    Why I left YEC

    This page is published with the full permission of a friend of mine, Steve Robertson who obtained his bachelor’s degree from Christian Heritage College, the former educational arm of the Institute for Creation Research. Steve Robertson wrote a master’s thesis which became an ICR Technical Monograph entitled, The Age of the Solar System: A Study of the Poynting-Robertson Effect and Extinction of Interplanetary Dust. This monograph was designed to show that the solar system was young because interstellar dust still remained. After school, Steve went to work as a geophysicist in the oil industry where he, like me, became intimately familiar with the geologic data that contradicted the young earth position. I have only seen Steve in person once in my life but we have communicated via phone often over the past 12 years and have become friends. Like me, Steve has anguished about the discrepancy between what he was taught and what he saw for years. This is because the ICR/young-earth approach makes a person feel that rejecting a young earth is equivalent to rejecting the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. Steve has graciously allowed me to quote from an old letter he sent me nearly 11 years ago in 1987.

    Steve Robertson wrote:

    “It is sad to say that I am one of those CHC/ICR graduates who has had a severe crisis of faith as a result of their ministry.” Letter, Steve Robertson to Glenn Morton Dated Feb 22, 1987.

    “My greatest beef with ICR is their polarization of the creation/evolution issue. If you are not entirely in their camp, by their own declarations you are entirely out of the camp of those who accept the Bible as a completely true and literal account of God’s interaction with time, space and matter. There is no leeway for any other interpretation of the Biblical text since Henry Morris studied it and figured out what it really means. Now that he as found out exactly what God meant, all observations must fit within his (Morris’) explanation of Genesis because God would not lie. It is not at all illogical to throw out interpretations/explanations of observed natural phenomena (biological, geological, astronomical, or what have you) even though there is no sufficient or reasonable alternative offered from their group. Petrified sand dunes in Utah CANNOT be subaerial, even though they show a complete set of characteristics that match present day subaerial dunes and the evaporite deposits in the lows between them demand a subaerial environment of formation, because they HAD to have been deposited in the flood and God doesn’t lie. Varves CANNOT be annual features because they HAD to have been deposited in one year and God doesn’t lie. Your example of the meander through carbonate rock CANNOT have been produced by eroding solid carbonate because it HAD to happen subaqueously and within minutes, hours or a day at most since the Bible clearly says that all geological formations except the basement rock and a thin upper veneer were laid down during the year of the flood. God doesn’t lie! In ICR’s logic, to ignore or deny problematic natural observations is not to be deceitful. (A perfect example of this is John Morris’ statement that he has never seen a geological fact that did not fit equally as well or better in the flood model than any other model.) At worst, in their view, it would be glossing over what remains to be explained properly, and WOULD be explained properly if more scientists did creationist research. The problem, from ICR’s viewpoint, is the vast, hidden conspiracy to interpret the world around us in a way to discredit the Bible, not that any of the data from the world around us is contrary to their explanation of what the Bible means in Genesis. This inflexible, dogmatic, self-blinding position is my bone of contention regarding ICR. Until a person begins to understand where they [the scientists--GRM] are coming from, and the rules of their game, he is incapable of realizing that he could question their dogma and still be a Bible believing Christian.”

    He further wants to add:

    “I do not consider myself to have undergone a “severe crisis of faith” in the sense of struggling with whether to be a Christian or not. The struggle for me was to come to the point where I could accept that a Christian could disagree with Morris’ interpretation and still believe in the literal truth of Genesis. For me, that crisis never wandered from within a Christian worldview. If it was a crisis, and I guess it would be fair to call it one, I look back now and believe it was a false one created by my naive acceptance of ICR’s dogmatic presentation of their view as the only allowable Christian view. The result of this crisis was that I stopped actively participating in this debate and still consider myself to be mainly a passive bystander.”

    As for myself, I was effectively Expelled from Baylor and I’d be shown the door at ICR. Isn’t school a place where you ought to have the freedom to express your questions and learn things you didn’t know before. Same is true of scientific questions at a research institution….

    Ironically, I feel far more comfortable at secular institution like Johns Hopkins, even though there are probably professors there that would gladly see me elsewhere. I have more confidence that I won’t be tossed from the school because I refused to sign a creed of belief. I don’t think universities and research institutions should be run like churches…churches should be run like churches.

  72. 73
    PannenbergOmega

    Hi Scordova,

    Thank you for that information. You are probably right. I am allowed my own view though, right?

  73. PannenbergO:

    I’m reluctant to tell people what is right or wrong. If they ask me, I can explain why I believe something, and I’ve been delighted to help atheists and agnostics into the Christian faith. I’ve been delighted to show fellow Christians that Darwinism is false based on the physical evidence alone. I can’t recall that I ever told a believer “Darwinism is wrong because God said its wrong.” If the evidence says Darwinism is wrong, its a moot point to even worry about arguing theology. There is no need to argue theology because the physical facts are so obvious. Yes there are issues with common descent and biological similarity, but the evidence shows that man could not have been the product of mindless processes. That is a significant enough fact for most….

    I have my opinions, I go to a church which shares my opinions (a PCA church). I prefer that people have the freedom to believe what their conscience leads them. Faith from free choice and a clear conscience is probably more pleasing to God in the end….

    Let’s say hypothetically the world is young, and God delights that someone is a YEC. Would it not be more precious in His eyes that his profession of belief that God created the world recently came from his deepest convictions rather than being pressured to sign a creed or from fear of being labeled a “compromiser” by his peers?

    I can say at this time I think there is the possiblity of YEC. I’d go so far as to say it is a promising area for serious research….I could not say that 7 years ago.

    On the other hand, there are still problems that distrub me. I don’t need every question to be answered to find YEC believable, but right now there are some pretty big obstacles.

    I think ID is on much more solid ground scientifically. But this is not surprising. ID’s claims are far more modest than YEC.

    But with respect to the ICR grad school. Legally they are entitled to be acredited. But personally, I have felt the ICR’s decline in their influence on YEC research and ID is a good thing.

    It’s a bit disturbing, but the one individual who has been pretty good at damaging the YEC case came from the ICR, namely, Glen Morton!

    How many from the ICR grad school (excluding their faculty) have made a stellar contribution to ID or YEC theory? I don’t think the anemic track record will change until they allow a bit more freedom to dissent and express doubts.

    I hold dearly this verse in Jude 1:22: “Be merciful to those who doubt.” I can understand a church asking an elder who doubts to leave the church. But surely there should be places in Christendom where a doubter can find merciful treatment. I think a research university is one of them. Showing doubters the door in the very institutions where they might have a chance for their doubts to be cured does not seem very merciful to me….

    As I said, research institutions and research universities should not be run like churches. Furthermore, I don’t think the enterprise of science should be run through the process of creeds.

    If God made the world to testify of Him, we should be confident the facts will prevail in the end…

  74. 75
    PannenbergOmega

    Thanks Scordova. I hope my comments didn’t sound snippy. I have Aspergers.

  75. All the same, try deriving an old earth from the propositions of Scripture. All the non-YEC interpretations (gap, framework, day-age) are the result of trying to fit Scripture into millions of years.

    This means that the creation debate is unlike the debate over baptism, Sabbath, the Millennium, forms of church government etc. All these views presuppose biblical authority, and debate what it means. But the debate over creation is really about whether the Bible is authoritative, or should uniformitarian geology and evolutionary biology stand magisterially over Scripture?

    See End-times and Early-times and chapter 1 of Refuting Compromise.

  76. Jonathan Sarfati:

    This means that the creation debate is unlike the debate over baptism, Sabbath, the Millennium, forms of church government etc. All these views presuppose biblical authority, and debate what it means. But the debate over creation is really about whether the Bible is authoritative, or should uniformitarian geology and evolutionary biology stand magisterially over Scripture?

    I would counter that your assertion that all scripture is authoritative, where “authoratative” implies scientifically accurate is overreaching what scripture says about itself. Timothy says “All scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”. These could all remain true with an allegorical understanding of the first chapter of Genesis. Allegories can still be inspired, and profitable for instruction.

    Where does your certainty that all the Bible must be interpreted the same way come from? Does that certainty exceed any possible demonstration from science/nature that the universe is old? What would it take to change your mind?

  77. I went through a period of about 10 years where I accepted the YEC model. Eventually the angst of trying to shoehorn all the evidence of an old earth and an old universe into a 6-10 thousand year-old earth exceeded my confidence in the exegetical skills of those trying to convince me that Genesis I had to be interpreted as literal, scientific truth, or in the traditions or historical views of the same.

    That was over 20 years ago, and I’ve seen nothing in the evidence revealed in God’s Creation since then that has come even remotely close to changing my mind.

  78. Jonathan: “The views of Kabbalists were hardly representative.”
    So that makes them wrong?
    Are you sure only Kabbalists believed this?

    You write off views contrary to your own too easily.

    “the overwhelming view of the majority of exegetes throughout church history has been that the days were 24 hours long, ..”
    Granted. Does that make it true?
    Besides, Gap type views do not question the literal 24hr day.

    “Long-age interpretations of the Bible arose only after these ideas became popular in ‘science’ and conservative exegetes tried to bring scripture into line.”
    Simply false. There were medieval (before the era of modern science) OEC Jewish teachers who had no motive to stuff scripture into some scientific view. OEC, under a gap type view – not a questioning of 24 hr days, is not as young as you claim.

    And you make the usual YEC mistake of accusing others of compromise where there is none.

    Have you ever thought that just maybe the OEC people were actually just thinking things through? That they may have noticed something in scripture that led them to question YEC?

    I really appreciate your work. I also appreciate your taking time here to respond. However I think accusing other believers of compromise is crude. It carries an inherent assumption that all OECs have some ulterior motive other than getting to the truth.

    In all cases, the earth is as old as it is. And no one’s interpretation of Genesis can change that.

  79. Where does your certainty that all the Bible must be interpreted the same way come from?

    Where does your certainty that I say any such thing come from? I can’t think of any YEC who thinks that. We think that history should be interpreted as history, poetry as poetry, parable as parable etc. Genesis has the structure of Hebrew historical narrative, and the rest of the Bible treats it that way.

    You have no credibility as a supposed former YEC when you get simple things like that wrong.

    ID theorists are good at pointing out the materialistic bias behind biological evolution, but are far too often blind to the materialistic bias behind geological evolution, which was its forerunner.

  80. Borne, there are countless admissions from holders of all the rival views that they were motivated by trying to fit the Bible into millions of years.

    It is a stretch to see gap theorists represented by medieval Jewish exegetes. It can’t be defended from the Hebrew.

    As I say in Refuting Compromise:

    Why is church history relevant?
    Some may argue, ‘Isn’t the Bible all we need? Don’t you realize that interpreters can err?’ Indeed, the correct view must be obtained from the Bible alone. But then, modern exegetes are not the first who have known about the original languages and cultures of the Bible. The onus is on those proposing a novel interpretation to prove their case.

    There are two more reasons why it is instructive to analyze the history, which will be explained in detail in this chapter:

    1. Generally: If long-age interpretations had always been popular, then a case could be made for assuming that the Bible hints at this. But if they were absent until they became popular in ‘science’, it’s more likely that such interpretations were motivated by trying to reconcile the Bible with ‘science’.

    2. Specifically for [Hugh] Ross [day-age advocate and enemy of ID and Expelled]: he often claims that interpreters throughout history have allowed for long creation days. Since this is a book on his claims, it’s important to address evidence that he uses to overcome the charge that he’s motivated by ‘science’ and not the Biblical text.

  81. Just to jump in with a real quick comment…

    Borne wrote:

    Simply false. There were medieval (before the era of modern science) OEC Jewish teachers who had no motive to stuff scripture into some scientific view

    The Medieval scholars had their own potential motive for “compromise”, which was the Aristotelean view of an eternal universe. As mentioned by Dr. Lee Spetner in his book “Not By Chance”, pp. 211-212, the consensus scientific view from the time of Aristotle was that the universe was infinitely old and this denied the Torah concept of Creation. “Torah scholars unanimously rejected the infinite-age theory, in spite of all the scientific authority behind it,” he writes. So there was scientific “fact and authority” that acted as pressure to view the cosmos as (infinitely) old. The Torah scholars, however, stuck to their guns and held the authority of Torah over that of all current scientific musings. Spetner points out that their position would eventually be vindicated with the discovery of Big Bang cosmology.

    Who knows, maybe Science will eventually argue for a young cosmos itself…much like they did an about-face on the beginning of the universe. So it is best to not be dogmatic either way, but simply to acknowledge the evidence for each case, and then put your trust in whichever authority you hold as most authoritative.

  82. SCheesman wrote:

    If Salvador posts some of these to Young Cosmos, I may take up the challenge in a few weeks…

    To interested readers: Dr. Cheesman usually wins the debates he has with me. I’ve had to put forward several retarctions last summer because his math and physics were absolutely correct….

    But I don’t think the issue is really about winning debate. We need research and data and testable predictions.

    For myself, I’m not yet qualified on important matters in physics. Even one of Abbie Smith’s (ERV’s) acquaintances, a professor at my school, fed me some serious humble pie recently over Maxwell’s equations. I had severe misunderstandings of basic electrodynamics, and at least my detractor was gracious about point out my error: A million thanks to olegt!.

    This highlights my dissatisfaction with the current situation. Lots of theology, not enough serious science.

    I shouldn’t have to be the one putting forward physical evidence for YEC. Some of the people who are so sure it’s God’s truth could be doing a little more in terms of making their case believable.

    We need more:

    1. Observation
    2. Hypothesis
    3. Testing

    The age of the Earth is a basic empirical and theoretical question. It doesn’t appear theological discussions will resolve the issue.

    And since this thread is about ICR, let me air a little more about the history of how ICR suppressed rival YEC researchers:
    History of the Light-Speed Debate

    Their math department had checked it [YEC speed of light research] and approved it and it was published with the Stanford Research Institute logo as well. What happened next was like something out of a badly written novel. Gerald Aardsma, a man at another creationist organization [ICR], got wind of the paper and got a copy of it. Having his own ax to grind on the subject of physics, he called the heads of both Flinders and SRI and asked them if they knew that Setterfield and Norman were [gasp] creationists! SRI was undergoing a massive staff change at the time and since the paper had been published by Flinders, they disavowed it and requested their logo be taken off. Flinders University threatened Trevor Norman with his job and informed Barry Setterfield that he was no longer welcome to use any resources there but the library. Aardsma then published a paper criticizing the Norman-Setterfield statistical use of the data. His paper went out under the auspices of a respected creation institution [ICR].

    Aardsma worked for the ICR. He deliberately sabotaged the work of someone he disagreed with ethically suspect tactics.

    Helen Setterfield writes:

    there is a reason why the major creation organizations are holding his work at an arm’s length as well: they are sinking great amounts of money into trying to prove that radiometric dating procedures are fatally flawed. According to what Barry is seeing, however, they are not basically flawed at all: there is a very good reason why such old dates keep appearing in the test results. The rate of decay of radioactive elements is directly related to the speed of light. When the speed of light was higher, decay rates were faster, and the long ages would be expected to show up. As the speed of light slowed down, so the radioactive decay rates slowed down.

    Not one mention of possible temporal-spatial variations in Maxwell’s equations in the recent ICR RATE group project. Why?

    Certain creationists have been arguing accelerated decay for decades…..no mention in ICR RATE reports of some of the pioneers of the idea of accelerated decay like Walter Brown, Barry Setterfield, and others.

    There are some fine researchers at ICR like Russell Humphreys. If ICR changes the way they do business, I might be a little more sympathetic with their plight. Of course they are entitled to accreditation, although I can’t say I’d be completely enthusiastic to see it happen…

  83. IMHO, the theological need to hold YEC is usually about the origin of death and suffering. If sin brings death and Jesus defeats sin, then Jesus defeats death. If, in an old earth, death comes before sin, then defeating sin does not seem to necessarily defeat death. This is a big problem.

    The paper I found most helpful in this regard is Dr Dembski on Theodicy. Please read it in its intirety. It is a very important paper. Enjoy.

    http://www.designinference.com.....eodicy.pdf

  84. If one concedes that revealed morality — as in Judeo-Christian morality — always trumps science, a lot of the tension in this debate goes away.

  85. Scordova, Aardsma was bad news, and one of the embarrassments for ICR. But this shows the opposite of what you think: far from enforcing a party line, ICR did too little at keeping their people under control at the time.

    There seem to be insuperable problems with c-decay theory. It’s not through lack of trying to make it work.

    Hartnett’s cosmological model is based on work he has published in secular physics journals on Carmelian velocity-time relativity. See papers in his bio. He has applied this to a galactocentric universe and shown the the light travel problem is solved, in his book Starlight, Time and the New Physics.

  86. idnet.com.au, sin-death causality is a big problem for any compromise with geological and biological evolution. The Bible is crystal clear that Adam’s Fall brought physical death to both humans and animals. Human death alone is enough of a problem for long-age ideas, since undoubted Homo sapiens skulls at Omo, Ethiopia, have been “dated” — by methods long-agers accept — to 195,000, far older than Adam.

    What makes modern IDers think they can do any better trying to explain way this teaching than at the time of Darwin? Darwin’s opponents were basically ID types, already compromised with geological evolution, and they failed badly. They couldn’t answer why a loving God would created a germ as a pathogen and kill his 10yo daughter Annie, and call this “very good”. See Darwin versus a faulty creation model and Annie’s death and the problem of evil).

    Another problem with long-age compromisers involves the fact that the prophet Isaiah spoke of the coming Messiah as literally the ‘Kinsman-Redeemer’, i.e. one who is related by blood to those he redeems (Isaiah 59:20, which uses the same Hebrew word ???? (gô?l) as is used to describe Boaz in relation to Ruth). The book of Hebrews also explains how Jesus took upon Himself the nature of a man to save mankind, but not angels (Hebrews 2:11–18). So only Adam’s descendants can be saved, because only thus can they be related by blood to the Last Adam.

    So a big problem for long-agers is how they should preach the Gospel to the Australian Aborigines. If they have really been here for 40,000 years (according to carbon-14 dating that old-earthers accept), then how could they come from Adam, and how could they be related to Christ, so how can they be saved? Indeed, a compromising clergyman of Darwin’s day claimed that Aborigines had not evolved enough to preach the gospel to them!

  87. Scordova, Bill Dembski himself doesn’t share your negative views of ICR, in a reply to the late Henry Morris:

    “Nonetheless, it was their literature that first got me thinking about how improbable it is to generate biological complexity and how this problem might be approached scientifically. A.E. Wilder-Smith was particularly important to me in this regard. Making rigorous his intuitive ideas about information has been the impetus for much of my research.

    “In his book Darwin and Design (Harvard University Press, 2003), Michael Ruse makes clear that the key question in the debate over biological evolution is not whether evolution is progressive but rather how biological complexity originated. Creationists have always, and rightly, kept this question at the forefront.

    “For these reasons, I regard Henry Morris as a great man. I’ve met most of the leading lights associated with his Institute for Creation Research (e.g., Duane Gish,John Morris, and John Baumgardner). Moreover, I corresponded in the 1980s with the late A.E. Wilder-Smith. Unlike many Darwinists and theistic evolutionists, young earth creationists have been extraordinarily gracious to me, and I’ve always tried to return the favor. I therefore regret never meeting Henry Morris in person. I hope still to do so in this life.

    “Despite my disagreements with Morris and young earth creationism, I regard those disagreements as far less serious than my disagreements with the Darwinian materialists.”

  88. scordova

    “Lots of theology, not enough serious science.”

    May I suggest that some of us who have a lot of history with the YE/OE debate think that a philosophical approach will prove more fruitful than one relying upon “science.” Evolutionary theories are merely nudged to accomodate the data (or, more often, to just ignore the anomalous data). There’s a lot of toleration among evolutionists for anomalous variation between their theory and the data, so showing more anomalies is hardly likely to prove fruitful.

    More useful is to show that “historical science” is an oxymoron, as this demarcation is actually easy to support with many strong arguments; however, it requires a basic understanding of the relationship between technology and experimental philosophy. Once this relationship is properly understood, rational skepticism may be properly applied against the untestable, inferential claims of naturalism with regards to alleged prehistory. Methodological naturalism is proper in science; however, since evolutionary “historical sciences” are actually manifestations of philosophical naturalism as a consequence of being unable to rely upon *direct* experimentation (as opposed to *analogical* experimentation), they, like all “historical sciences”, cannot be legitimately and truly categorized as “science.”

    Once evolutionary “historical sciences” are disposed of, the philosophical difficulties between Christian theology and naturalism will be made plain and naturalism will be much easier to deal with as it will no longer be able to rely upon the authority of science. This will have an immediate, positive effect upon the general public for whom the authority of science is very weighty.

  89. DaveScot @ 68

    “You mentioned historical sciences as irrational non-science. I pointed out that cosmology is an exception because we are literally looking at the past.”

    That is simply a delusion. As e.m. radiation travels, it is modified by whatever medium it passes through. The more it travels, the more modification it undergoes, cet. par. We never see the original light from the source exactly as it left the source.

    “If you want to refer to your work then either point to it or put a sock in it.”

    “I’m not interested in anonymous claims of credentials.”

    This wasn’t a claim other than one of a very little experimental experience. My thesis was in IR reflectance at the University of Missouri at Kansas City over 20 years ago.

    “The electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the universe at large covers a lot more than visible light, by the way.”

    Somehow I’m aware of that. :-)

    “Ever heard of a radio telescope?”

    Radio waves? What will they think of next? ;-)

    “Think you can fool electronic circuits and computer analysis into “seeing” whatever you want them to see?

    Yep yep yep yep yep. A rational argument is sufficient. GIGO. Surely you know what that means. Radio waves can be massaged with filters, lenses, mirrors, amplifiers, etc. just like any other e.m. radiation.

    The point is that we can’t know enough about the conditions of space to be able to speak authoritatively about it due to our inability to directly test it and exert some sort of control over it or examine it close up. We dare not assume that the radiation has been unaffected during its travel by unknown substances.

    I think about all the mistakes here on earth that science corrects where control is possible and we are able to directly investigate things and get a variety of perspectives; when we make these mistakes in a situation where we have control and are able to investigate up close, it arouses skepticism that we can do a reasonable job with things far away. Surely you must entertain a *little* doubt about the accuracy of astronomical claims.

    Philosophical naturalism is ready to make all kinds of bold, speculative claims about things distant in space or in time on earth when no one can directly investigate those claims. Me, I’m a skeptic about such claims.

  90. thogan

    As e.m. radiation travels, it is modified by whatever medium it passes through. The more it travels, the more modification it undergoes, cet. par. We never see the original light from the source exactly as it left the source.

    How does a photon change when passing through a vacuum? Get this one right or it’s out the door with you. I’m growing weary of your weird science.

  91. Based on earth-local measurements, e.m. radiation can change direction when gravity applies sufficiently (e.g., the sun’s).

    Astronomers think that light “ages” and undergoes a red-shift with time.

    There are still some anomalies that lead us to believe that light has characteristics of a wave, so your choice of “photon” to describe e.m. radiation is curious.

    What’s the rate of deposition of moon dust? What’s the density of dust in extrasolar space which has actually been collected and tared? What is the tared mass of the sun and its *observed* internal composition? There’s so much of what you know that may not be so.

    Kind of funny that a software engineer is testing my physics.

    I’m looking for someone who is able and willing to discuss the philosophical difficulties with “historical sciences”, but I don’t think that I’ll find it here. I’ve got more profitable things to do to test my ideas. Thanks for the suggestion to leave.

    Ciao everybody.

  92. thogan

    Thanks for dropping by and thanks even more for leaving.

    Light “aging” by redshift is something that few astronomers put any stock into. It’s nothing more than a YEC invention. Astronomers know that red shift (and blue shift) occurs by Doppler effect (proven by experiment) and by the expansion of space itself (theoretical/red shift only/Hubble Constant).

    Kind of funny that a software engineer is testing my physics.

    Not half as funny as you calling the YEC nonsense you’ve been spouting “physics”. And yet another mistake of yours is calling me a software engineer. My initial training in electronics (military) was in radio theory over 30 years ago. Most of my career has been in circuit design, not software design, although I’ve done a lot of both.

  93. Jonathan,

    I will try to temper my comments about my fellow brethren at the ICR. I fear I am setting a bad example….

    However, I am not the only YEC who has been a bit disgruntled. Bill has been far more charitable to the ICR than I, but it appears the ICR has something of a coolness toward ID. I pointed out in The ICR’s continued misunderstandings about science:

    Is thermodynamics or statistical mechanics Biblical or non-Biblical? If these disciplines can’t be shown to be Biblical, then is Morris suggesting these ideas can’t be defended or studied or promoted by the ICR? Given that Maxwell (a creationist) and Boltzmann (a Darwinist) were pioneers in the formulation of statistical mechanics and atomic theory, I suppose by John Morris’s standards, these great theories are non-Christian theories, therefore the ICR can’t join in their promotion and study.

    in contrast John Morris wrote:

    The differences between Biblical creationism and the IDM should become clear…..
    ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.

    ID in the most formal sense has been argued as the 4th law of thermodynamics (No Free Lunch by Bill Dembski). As it is inappropriate to label the 2nd law of thermodynamics as “Christian” or “non-Christian”, so I think it is inappropriate to label ID as “Christian” or “non-Christian”.

    The YEC model as a strictly scientic theory (meaning a theory of physics that argues the universe is young) will probably put the design inference for biology beyond reasonable doubt if the major holes can be plugged.

    I’m skeptical of Humphreys and Hartnet’s work, but I’m delighted to see the attempts they are making. They appear to be fine physicists, and I’m glad to see Hartnett’s work passing peer review in the secular journals.

    I do however object to Harnett’s misrepresentation of Setterfield’s work.

    There are creationists in Northern Virginia who are also physicists. One was former associate chair at the Naval Academy another from William and Mary and others from universities I’d rather not identify. We are hoping to organize a creationist organization along the lines of the Discovery Institute where theological purity is not demanded….

    I wish to explore YEC as a purely physical and scientific hypothesis. It is my understanding that the Temple of God in the Old Testament was built by a mix of believers and unbelievers. I don’t think there is anything wrong in enlisting the help of non-believers to gather data and build mathematically sound theories. I certainly think there is nothing wrong inviting OECs or undecided creationists to offer legitimate scientific criticism’s of YEC theory.

    I have reservations about Russ Humphreys physics, but I’d gladly be wrong, because if Humphreys is right, the Universe can be shown scientifically to be young. [In such case I suppose Dr. Cheesman and I will owe Russ a beer....]

    My colleagues in Northern Viriginia are still working on building out the infrastructure of the new creationist organization. I hope to keep the readers at UD posted….

    I am grateful you have posted here at UD, Jonathan. I have to admit I found it difficult to be friendly given some of the things I have seen you write and the labeling of some of my friends as compromisers. I believe a compromiser is someone who knows the truth but chooses to compromise it. That is different from someone who has made a mistake, but an honest one. If YEC is true, I put OECs in the latter category of “honest mistake”, not compromiser.

    I hope the Movie Expelled has shown that many non-YEC Christians do not have the character flaw associated with a “compromiser”. Caroline Crocker was an old-Earth Darwinist. She was a Theistic Evolutionist. Her husband is a rector at a very conservative Anglican church….

    She has approached me to ask why I think YEC is viable. She is willing to learn. 7 years ago she rejected Darwinism in favor of ID. She doesn’t enage in questions of creation or age of the Earth. She does not feel qualified to discuss those areas, but she is willing to learn. I don’t think it is productive to label such people as compromisers…they are people willing to learn and change their minds….

    That said, I will pray that God blesses your scientific work and your CMI ministry. I consider you a brother, and not the enemy. I will also pray for the ICR. I hope you find it in your heart to offer prayers for the new creationist organization that is forming in Northern Virginia.

  94. 95
    PannenbergOmega

    At # 94

    Haha Salvador. You should be a lawyer, you are very careful not to offend anyone.

  95. I remember talking to Marcus Ross last year at Baraminology 2007. I asked if he agreed with my assessment that YEC “science” was really bad 20 or 30 years ago. He agreed. I was tempted to use the word “farce” (to quote Polkinhorne)….

    Ross pointed out the now discredited flood model by Henry Morris. Morris’s model didn’t fail on “Biblical” grounds. It failed because of scientific facts.

    The next generation of YECs seem to have better science. Walt Brown (PhD MIT) and Russell Humphreys (PhD and scientist at Sandia Labs) and John Hartnett (many peer reviewed papers), John Baumgardner (published in Nature), etc…

    I am hopeful for seeing some issues settled. It is good to see less theology and more real science.

    The real science questions are deep and won’t be settled quickly or by theological debate. To get a taste of what must be examined, consider even a basic question about Russell Humphreys book Starlight and Time.

    In Humphreys book, page 90, Humphreys refers to things like the Ricci tensor and the D’Alambertian operator with respect to Einstein’s relativity. But if Maxwell’s equations are slightly inaccurate such that there has been variation over time in the major “constants” of physics, then Humphreys hypothesis is out the window. I pointed out the problem that the D’Alambertian operator will face in a time-varying speed of light universe here: Lorentz Covariance and the Creationist Maxwell’s Equations.

    Further, there is what is called Ritzian electrodynamics [a claim that Maxwell's equations are wrong]. This leads to different forms of relativity. There has been a small interest in other kinds of relativity like Galilean and Vectorial and Ritzian and Lorentzian, not just Einsteinian (what Humphreys uses).

    But who is to say what is right? There is still too much serious research that needs to be done. Discussing more theology appears not to be the path to settle the most questions of YEC, namely, the creationist Maxwell’s equations.

    In the mean time a lot of basic Astrometry needs to be done. I’m not so sure we really know how far away things are in the universe or how big it is. For example, I point out here, the quasars could be only a few parsecs away from the sun. Van Flandern and Arp are also skeptical of the published distances of quasars. We could say the same of every thing else, and the early news from our improved astrometry devices is casting doubt on our previous assumptions. See Possible Distance Measurement Flaws.

    We simply don’t know. With respect to these basic empirical and theoretical questions, we need more basic research and less theology.

  96. Scordova, my list of Arguments we think creationists should NOT use might not have pleased some who cut their teeth on the ICR arguments of 30 years ago. But I am not a follower of those who delight in trashing YECs but contribute precious little themselves, like Kurt Wise.

    Again, a problem with ICR was that its staff like Aardsma had too much freedom, and were defended for a time even when they went way off beam.

  97. But I am not a follower of those who delight in trashing YECs but contribute precious little themselves, like Kurt Wise.

    Johnathan,

    Just to be sure, are you saying Kurt was trashing YECs? I’m too new on the scene to know all the prior history. Some of my accounts (like that of Aardsma) are second hand [possibly third hand]….

    Perhaps I misunderstood what you said about Kurt. If I did not misunderstand, then it confirms my perception that Kurt Wise and the YEC Baraminology Study Group (which included Richard Sternberg, Paul Nelson, and Stephen Meyer) have been at some variance with other YEC organizations like ICR or AiG or CMI.

    I appreciate your analysis of the ICR during the Aardsma era. I was not aware other creationists like you had concerns about the ICR during the Aardsma era.

    I think Russ Humphreys has been a very excellent influence on the ICR. I don’t delve much in the activities of the ICR except when I see them say something critical of ID or my area of research interest.

    Regarding the problems that Aardsma caused for the ICR in having too much freedom, is the structure of peer-review in organizations like Creation Research Quarterly or TJ a better way to do business? [I don't have an active subscription to these journals so my assessment of the could be a little sketchy].

    I’m of the opion collaborative research from many independent sources might be a very good route for basic research.

    I’m not as versant in the history of existing YEC organizations as I am with ID organizations. If I mis-stated something pertaining to the history of these organizations, please correct me….

    regards,
    Salvador

  98. 99
    PannenbergOmega

    Hi Salvador and Jonathan.

    I was wondering if I could ask you a couple questions about a possible young cosmos.

    1. What are you views on the Great Flood?
    2. How did Kangeroos get to Australia? Are there precursors to Kangeroos/Wallabies?
    3. What are your views on Baraminology?

    Thanks guys,

    ~ P.O.

  99. DaveScot @ 93

    I don’t like to leave my mistakes uncorrected. I didn’t realize that light aging was a YEC speculation-sorry for confusing it with the far more plentiful OE speculations.

    Also sorry for calling you a software engineer.

  100. Salvador

    I think Drs Humphreys and Baumgardner have both been good influences on ICR.

    CMI has a clear statement of faith as well as semi-official position statements on a variety of topics. Where we are undecided collectively, we say so. Conversely, ICR defended Aardsma even as he was making excuses not to believe the biblical timescale. I think they have learned from this mistake.

    TJ (now Journal of Creation) and even Creation magazine are peer reviewed.

    I’ve long asked, what exactly has Kurt Wise contributed to the creation movement. He is certainly on record trashing Creation magazine, whinging about its “evolution bashing” (evidently the passages where Elijah mocked Baal’s prophets (even including toilet humour) are missing from his Bible, as well as 2 Cor. 10:4–5).

    I use the term “compromiser” deliberately, because they are very clear that they are, in effect, compromising the Bible’s authority by treating uniformitarian geology and astronomy as authoritative instead.

  101. To be fair to Thogan, an effect like gravitational lensing, the bending of light by intervening galaxies, may be what he is positing. Such things could dramatically affect the interpretation of distant objects. What if other phenomenon are introducing systematic errors? I don’t think Arp is a theist (is he?) and even he doesn’t accept standard interpretations of the data, so I don’t see the need to label such ideas as “YEC-only”.

    I’m personally open to the possibility that the universe may be relatively “younger” than currently calculated. That said, I don’t hold to YEC nor Ross’s OEC. But let’s assume the YECs are right in that there are some fundamental errors being made. What if the problem is that YECs are trying to force-fit the data into the 6k-10k model? What if reality is a “middle earth” position of a couple billion? Even a smaller reduction like that would be devastating to Darwinism.

  102. Patrick

    I don’t see how that would be devastating to Darwinism. They only have 500 million years to work with in any case. Virtually all the modern phyla appeared suddenly in the Cambrian explosion 500mya and there are few if any predecessors to be found in the Ediacaran era preceding the Cambrian.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if the generally accepted age of the earth and the universe is off by a factor 10 in either direction. But going from 4.5by for the earth to 450my is still SO much older than 6000y there’s really not much difference in that first order of magnitude error.

  103. 104
    PannenbergOmega

    At 102

    Hi, Patrick. What you are refering to is a MEC perspective?

    Scordova refered to (I may be mistaken) Dr. Cheesman’s work when he mentioned that YEC could very well be wrong. Yet a Middle Ages, that is between 6,000 years and 13.7 Billions (Standard Age of the Universe) could be a very real possibility.

  104. 105
    PannenbergOmega

    I think it would be awesome if you guys proved it was a young or younger universe than what the standard dating proposes.

  105. 106

    The ICR has some excellent scientists and researchers who have advanced degrees from the same universities as secular scientists. I also understand that some of their scientists submitt papers to secular scientific journals. So the question arises; are the theories and/or views of the ICR any more sensational or irrational than current Neo-Darwinian views and theories of infinite parallel universes, 27 dimensions, dark matter, life from nothing etc, etc. I mean has anyone ever seen this stuff?. (I read the book:The Devil’s Delusion)

    One large difference between the ICR and the NAS is that the NAS uses science and atheism to reject God while the ICR openly embraces Him (biblically based Christians appreciate this). The folks at ICR have my deepest respect. They stand up for what they consider correct science. Keep up the outstanding work. The best thing I can do is pray for the ICR..

  106. I don’t think it’s helpful to act as though the interpretation of Genesis is a slam dunk, that before materialistic science got under way there was never any controversy. More has been written over the ages on the hexaemeron than on any other part of the Bible. Why insist that Scripture stands or falls on our infallible interpretations—especially when they are controversial? What is needed is an open discussion free of acrimony and accusations of heresy.

    It’s true that polite scholarship has genuflected to Darwin for well over a hundred years. Modernism stood on two legs: Genesis was wrong and Darwin was right. But now that the Emperor’s nakedness is coming into focus one hopes that more scholars will begin take the book seriously. Both books—the book of Scripture and the book of Nature—should be taken seriously.

    For those who think Genesis is easy I say read it. Note that in any plain reading you will see that land and sea were already there before the six days began. Those who would have the entire Universe be what was created in the six days still have to finagle with Genesis 1 verse 2.

  107. Rude, I agree with much of that. For my own part, I’m less dogmatic about the age of the universe or the earth as I am with a literal garden, and a literal Adam and Eve. I am a literal Six Day creationist, and far less certain about the age of the earth and the universe. The first few verses of Genesis 1 are certainly enigmatic, and suggest the possibility at hidden information. I don’t personally subscribe to Gap Theory, but I don’t discount it either.

    However if we take Adam and Eve as figurative and representative, we run into problems with genealogies. Noah was descended from Adam, Abraham from Noah, David from Abraham, and Jesus from David on both sides of the family. Matthew accounts Jesus’ genealogy through Abraham, and Luke’s account begins with Adam.

    Personally I see no scriptural basis for taking Adam and Eve as figurative or representative. Adam is regarded as a literal person in the NT (Rom 5:14; 1Cor 15:22,45; 1Ti 2:13-14; Jude 1:14) as is Noah, Abraham, and Moses. So there are some real exegetical problems with strictly allegorical interpretations of Genesis 1. Jude refers to a literal Enoch, who delivered a literal 2nd coming prophecy. Enoch is the 7th generation from Adam.

    Remarkably, we find the gospel message encoded into the first ten generations from Adam to Noah, by considering the meaning of the Hebrew names:

    Adam — Man
    Seth — Appointed
    Enosh — Mortal
    Kenan — Sorrow;
    Mahalalel — The Blessed God
    Jared — Shall come down
    Enoch — Teaching
    Methuselah — His death shall bring
    Lamech — The Despairing
    Noah — Rest, or comfort.
    The Gospel in Genesis

    Read as a sentence, we get: “Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow; the Blessed God shall come down, teaching [that] His death shall bring the despairing rest [or comfort].”

    I’m quite comfortable taking Genesis literally, without being dogmatic about the exact age of the universe. The 6,000 years is a genealogical inference, and is nowhere explicitly stated.

    However for other scriptural reasons, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if we find that there have been nearly 6,000 years from Adam. Peter gives us a clue in 2Pe 3:8, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” For seven days of creation, we could very well be preparing to enter His “day” of rest, the prophesied 1,000 year kingdom, where Christ rules on David’s throne.

    Instead, they will serve the LORD their God
    and David their king,
    whom I will raise up for them. (Jeremiah 30:9)

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