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Cetacean Folly: Whales with Hind Limbs? Email Exchange on Creation Evolution

KYLE (TO ED) :


Kyle: Cetacean Folly: Whales with Hind Limbs?

(The following is a response to E. T. Babinski (*3), author of Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists (Prometheus Books, 1995). I was under the initial impression that this individual was of a PhD level of training. I have since discovered that he works on the Duke Library staff, at Furman University (South Carolina.) As for any PhD training in biology or as such, Mr. Babinski may possess these credentials, but these are as of yet forthcoming to my knowledge. He had posted web site links which reportedly showed what was, in his mind, positive proof of whale evolution. Remnants of hind limbs were reported in several instances of whales over the last thirty-plus years or so, with additional embryonic studies which showed "limb buds" popping up on fetal whales. I attempt to show that even these "vestigial limbs" actually fit very well within a creationist context, with no evolutionary connotations necessary. I also present some of the more difficult questions regarding how macro evolution could bring about a sea fairing animals from a land dwelling ancestor. Some of my responses have been reworded, but nothing to effect the overall character of what I was trying to present to Mr. Babinski. 95% of the entire two sections of the essay are original, with some additions to clarify certain points. The reader is encouraged to view the links Mr. Babinski provided, and to see just exactly where his arguments fall flat in explanatory power.)


The first is my initial response to the evidence:


"Even if hind limbs are there in whales (or remnants of hind limbs as may be the case), it stands to reason that we, as finite humans, really cannot say for certainty just what they were in their original or historical form. Were these limbs the same design for other presumably non-related aquatic animals, such as Basilosaurus or other extinct marine life that we know very little about? Were these features the same in that they were most likely for the same purpose for many sea going animals (copulation during reproduction), and have since degraded in the living whale representatives? An anchor point for groin muscles? One or several of these functions in tandem, with one or more falling into degradation? In any of those scenarios, you have a function for the feature described, becoming lost over time and mutation; no gain in complexity or functionality, only loss. It is only by assuming a-priori by evolutionary lenses that we see vestigial limbs from a land dwelling ancestor. It is also by viewing through these same lenses that we would consider a common trait as evidence of common ancestry. This is either a philosophical or theological statement. My saying that these similarities could be by a common designer, given to several separate orders or genera for the same desired biological or biomechanical purpose, is as rooted in the same evidence as any macro evolutionary interpretation. Both are faith statements. To me, it just seems more logical to conclude that any sort of biological feature such as reduced limbs or the like are more the result of a degradation in lieu of the Biblical account of animal kinds degrading, rather than a signpost of an unobserved, blind, creative process which can transform a land dwelling mammal into a sea fairing one.


These limbs may be vestigial and degraded, but this also fits within the context of a creation model as well (the original whale type may have had copulatory limbs that have since mutated for the worse, with several other unrelated marine creatures having a similar design for the desired same end result). Either way, we both start with a faith doctrine for our respective claims. There is no observable, testable, repeatable real-time scientific proof for the claim that, historically, whales macro evolved f genetic functional complexity (We may need to ask, how many other features are there in a whale that would need to be explained in a macro evolutionary scenario?: Ability to give underwater birth, ability to suckle child underwater, ability to navigate underwater, ability to maneuver underwater, ability to properly respire underwater, ability to eat underwater, ability to copulate underwater, etc.(*1) If it's science we are discussing here, then it needs to be tested, measured, repeated, in so far as how these creatures were able to gain the genetic functional complexity to derive all of these traits from a already-specified state {land dwelling has its own set of specified biomechanical characteristics and concerns that cannot be simply "played with" genetically without dire consequences to the recipient's ability to function and survive}. More than likely, you'd have to eventually explain these and features in so far as they would have had to have come from a de novo (non existent) state. Without an observable, testable, repeatable mechanism to explain this Darwinian or, inversely, Gouldian process of macro leaps in the intertwined functionality and complexity of biological systems, the hypothesis remains bound and chained within the realm of conjecture)."




(Babinski's response):


Photos (with discussion) of hind limb rudiments found on modern day whales (scroll down): Cetacean Evolution (Whales, Porpoises, Dolphins)

----- Photo of hind limb bud on whale embryo: imiloa.wcc.hawaii.edu

----- Photo of hind limb bud on dolphin embryo (dolphins are another member of the Cetacean family, along with whales): www.dal.ca

Edward T. Babinski (author of Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists, Prometheus Books, 1995; and editor of Cretinism or Evilution?)




My response (Note: the link to the pdf file above is broken. This was the article that I quoted and focused on below):


"Great information, and a well laid out article Mr. Babinski. But again, what do these examples show? Atavistic limbs? Again, this seems to only show either a genetic loss of information and specificity in biomechanical design, or a mutated malfunction in limb development. In fact, your example of displaying polyphalangy shows this: a degraded state of either an original digit count into "nubs" if you will, or a Hox gene malfunction in digit overload some time during embryonic development (I suspect that this is the same culprit in such instances as Acanthostega and Ichthyostega, with these animals having had several digits on either the front or hind limb). Again, what was the condition for these sea dwelling animals? Did these repeating digits within the fins arise from Hox gene mutations, or are these nubbins a required part of the biomechanical design for optimal performance?


Did they need these hind limbs in order to possibly procreate (what has been the proposed function for Basilosaurus' hind limbs)?
Were they (are they) anchor points for muscles associated with this function?


Is this now delving into historical proposals rather than testable, repeatable scientific inquiry? Is the proposal that these degraded limbs represent a macroevolutionary explanation any less a non-scientific historical proposal?......


Gould attempted this same explanation some time back, citing ichthyosaurs' limbs as proof of macroevolutionary descent. His argument, in a nutshell, was "Why would an underwater dweller need limb bones in their fins?". This, of course, ignores the possibility that biomechanical considerations for this animal required it to have the limb-in-fin design in the first place.


The coelacanths are a good example; the robust nature of their lobe fins help to stabilize the fish in some rather awkward positions underwater. Yet, evolutionists will point out that the coelacanth has what appears to be a radius and an ulna- or something close in design to it anyhow- and use that as a reason to use the argument of "Why would God use a land dwelling design in an aquatic animal?" But, for the coelacanth to hit the breaks under water so to speak, it seems to need this radius and ulna design so as to rotate its fin in such a motion-stopping manner. Basic biomechanics, it would seem, for a desired purpose. The same argument would, I believe, hold true to any similar design found in underwater animals that exhibit "land dwelling" features such as the coelocanth. Given the careful observations of the above case, who is to say that we wouldn't find that many an ancient sea dwelling creature possessed features that, given a proper examination apart from evolutionary biases, would display how fully suited and perfectly designed the "limb in fin" construction really was for these animals? Looks aren't everything, and we can't be misled into "it looks like a land dwelling remnant" when we could be in serious ignorance as to the functional significance of a particular biological design or feature. It is "evolutionary" for a modern taxonomist to take similar looking structures among different animals and assign them to a "modified descendant" explanation, but it is an explanation that rests upon:


An a-priori commitment to evolution at all costs (and thus a predisposed bias against creation and intelligent design) Ignorance as to our knowledge of how a particular function within an organism truly suited it in its given environment at the time. (Hence, why so many "vestigial" organs are now known by modern medicine to be useful and truly needed. The more we know, the less "vestigial" our internal workings become.)


Gould never proposes or performs any tests to ascertain the validity of his "God couldn't have done it this way" comment; he simply "tells a tale" while calling it science. It also blankets a theological (anti-teleological) statement under the garb of a seemingly neutral scientific statement or proposal. "If a creator did it in such a way that I don't think is most efficient, then it obviously must not be created in any way, shape, or form at all." Gould's literature is replete with this sort of appeal. It is nonetheless a materialistic philosophical outlook on life and the biomechanical designs we see all around us. It is willingly ignoring the possibility that the state of affairs in biology represents a fallen condition from a formerly perfect state. His explanation does nothing to provide the genetic mechanism, one which would facilitate these leaps in information complexity from a previous biological state of design (what he defines as adaptation. Although genetic loss can confer a selective advantage, and be defined as an adaptation, it nonetheless cannot explain the arrival of the previous genetic condition which was lost in the first place. Adaptation requires an already specified state of affairs, a specificity that cannot be adequately accounted for by macro evolutionary proposals).


In any case, the challenge to a macroevolutionary mechanism that increased the genetic specificity to include numerous features to an organism needs to be addressed (in this case, features such as ability to give underwater birth, ability to suckle child underwater, ability to navigate underwater, ability to maneuver underwater, ability to properly respire underwater, ability to eat underwater, ability to copulate underwater, etc. all of the things that separate Cetaceans and other aquatic mammals from la scenario is indeed scientific (testable, falsifiable, observable, measurable, repeatable), then the mechanism which provides these naturalistic leaps in complexity needs to be observed. It needs also to demonstrate the ability to bring all of the above features from a land dwelling state of affairs into an aquatic organism. Atavistic hind limbs do not substitute for the observable mechanism that provides specified complexity from a de novo state.


In fact, it seems as if the article you posted proposes a sort of Lamarckian explanation as to these limbs being as they are now:


"Reduction in phalangeal number is attributed to "regression" of the most distal phalanges as a consequence of the forces acting on the leading edge of the flippers.."


At this point, the article you cited is referring to this animal in the embryonic stage, so I am unclear on whether you or the article's author are referring to outside forces in a Lamarckian sense, or in some other unspoken proposal. The article further elaborates;


"In an interesting example of convergent evolution in which 'the influence of aquatic life.manifests itself in the same direction' (Kukenthal, 1891), polyphalangy occurs in other aquatic animals that secondarily returned to an aquatic environment...".


Here then lies the crux of the matter. You use the article's explanation of "outside forces of aquatic life influencing or shaping the biomechanical level into a 'suited' state". Of course, this "suiting" would require whole new specified genetic complexity being added to the already existing genetic info. If this is your proposal, that some unknown genetic mechanism transmits new information impressed upon it by environmental factors, then this truly is no step further from Darwin's "gemmule" hypothesis giraffe has a long neck because it's genetic predecessors willed it to be so, performing the task physically, and thus impressing its genetic qualities onto its offspring." If ever there were examples of what the environment does in regards to effecting an organisms development, one only need look at what certain amphibians have gone through, due to a proposed exposure to the sun's radiation: negative or obviously detrimental genetic mutation. Whether some outs for these genetic mutations in whales is uncertain, it could be just as due to genetic mutational events independent of outside environmental factors. In either case, the results are the same: loss of information (or, in the case of the amphibians, a remixing or doubling of info that was already there to begin with; never an arising or addition of previously non existent complex functional info).


This article's explanation of positive macroevolutionary events upon an organism's genetic information also seems rather dubious with the proposal of "convergent evolution". Random genetic mutations some how converge onto a similar body plan over millions of years? However convenient it is to assign similar body plan in distal groupings of organism to convergent evolutionary explanations, it is still not a verifiable proposal by scientific means in any way, shape, or form. It is an assumption which is thrown into the pool of physical evidences we all have.


And, following this convergent evolution explanation: If some sort of mitigating outside environmental force is acting upon organisms so as to shape and mold their limbs in a similar fashion at very distal times from one unrelated or "branched off" organism to another (i.e., ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, Bipes, Basilosaurus, etc.), then this truly is appealing to a Lamarckian mechanism to explain similarities on a biological level. Again, I would seriously reconsider the article's proposal if the mainstay of its explanatory power is to resort to ideas that Darwin himself described as "rubbish" (although he had to rely on those same type of explanations within his own hypothesis to make it seem explanatory to any sort of degree).


Ultimately, both of our explanation fall into the category of metaphysical explanations. I propose that atavistic limbs are tell tale signs of a once-suited aquatic (not land dwelling) design for whales and possibly other sea fairing animals, whether copulatory or some other secondary option, and that this feature has since degraded, due to the fall described in Genesis. From what I could gather from your article, you would propose that outside environmental forces could converge body plans into a similar of our initial historical proposals are just that, historical proposals. Neither one of us can prove "scientifically" that our initial starting-point historical sketch happened......


But, what we can look at are the possibilities that, at least on a genetic level, one of the scenarios is more plausible than the other. Since macroevolution deals with the genetic code as being the mode for shaping an organism, as well as transmitting that info on to the next generation, we should be able to ascertain by our current knowledge of genetics whether or not these quantitative and qualitative changes in increased functional genetic complexity could be possible. Despite the fact that genetics shows no sign of this scenario ever being plausible, and that the exact opposite (information scrambling, loss, or neutrality) is the mainstay of mutational events, it is nonetheless what the doctrine of macroevolution would propose as the most logical explanation for created genetic vitality, functionality, and information. It unfortunately entails an explanation that is contrary to the observed, tested, and repeated facts that we have regarding genetics."


End Notes:


*1. "Let us notice what would be involved in the conversion of a land quadruped into, first a seal-like creature and then into a whale. The land animal would, while on land, have to cease using its hind legs for locomotion and to keep than permanently stretched out backwards on either side of the tail and to drag itself about by using its fore-legs. During its excursions in the water, it must have retained the hind legs in their rigid position and swum by moving them and the tail from side to side. As a result of this act of self denial we must assume that the hind legs eventually be came pinned to the tail by the growth of membrane. Thus the hind part of the body would have become likes that of a seal. Having reached this stage, the creature in anticipation of a time when it will give birth to its young under water, gradually develops apparatus by means of which the milk is forced into the mouth of the young one, and, meanwhile a cap has to be formed round the nipple into which the snout of the young one fits tightly, the epiglottis and laryngeal cartilage become prolonged upwards to form a cone-shaped tube, and the soft palate becomes prolonged downwards so as tightly to embrace this tube, in order that the adult will be able to breathe while taking water into the mouth and the young while taking in milk. These changes must be effected completely before the calf can be born under water. Be it noted that there is no stage intermediate between being born and suckled under water and being born and suckled in the air. At the same time various other anatomical changes have to take place, the most important of which is the complete transformation of the tail region. The hind part of the body must have begun to twist on the fore part, and this twisting must nave continued until the sideways movement of the tail developed into an up- and-down movement. While this twisting went on the hind limbs and pelvis must have diminished in size, until the latter ceased to exist as external limbs in all, and completely disapp [British zoologist], "More Difficulties of the Evolution Theory: and a reply to "Evolution and Its Modern Critics", Thynne & Co: London, 1938, pp.23-24).


*2. Polyphalangy: multiple fingers or toes; can be considered as such if present in bone structure only, minus musculature or other soft tissue other than skin and fatty tissue.


*3. For an interesting look into Mr. Babinski's emotionally presuppositional view that the Bible is incorrect:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/negative4-9-2001.asp




ED TO KYLE:


Dear Kyle,


Thanks for reading my Cetacean evolution article and contacting me at www.edwardtbabinski.us with all of your questions below concerning "what the evidence for Cetacean evolution shows."


I see from your blog that you advocate "Flood geological explanations." Perhaps you know that I once was a young-earth creationist? I rejected it because the fossil record is not one of a great violent Flood. The earth's sediments were formed by rising up of rock on the surface of the land via volcanic activity and mountain-building and rising of even some large flat portions of the earth, along with the slow wearing down of that rising rock via rain, rivers, etc. Hence the accumulation of sediments on the earth's surface. In fact the sediments on land are twice as thick as the ones at the bottom of the sea. If a recent Flood had covered the earth and pulverized the world's rocks down to dust, and then that rock dust settled, most of it would have settled at the bottom of the ocean. Why? Because the depth of the oceans and the rock dust it could suspend in that water would have been twice as high as the depth of water and the rock dust it could have suspended above the submerged land. Also, a lot of rock dust would have been carried off the continents as the water fled from the land. Instead we find twice the thickness of sedimentary rock on the continents as we do at the bottom of the ocean. Hence, the old-earth hypothesis certainly appears to make the most sense. Below is my review of


THE GENESIS FLOOD by Henry Morris, the book that heralded the re-brith of "Flood Geology" in the 20th century

Reviewed by Edward T. Babinski

Henry Morris' book, THE GENESIS FLOOD helped me to enter the creationists fold but also inspired me to leave it. For instance Morris advocated in THE GENESIS FLOOD such things as the "Paluxy mantracks," "fossilized human skull of coal," "Lewis Mountain Overthrust" (Morris argued that the world's largest overthrust was not an overthrust at all, but disproves modern geology since "older layers" lie atop "younger" ones), and the "Greenriver Formation" (Morris argued that its millions of varves were formed by "the Flood").


PALUXY TRACKS

Speaking of Morris' first point, the "Paluxy mantracks," whose photos adorn THE GENESIS FLOOD, I kept up with the evidence of "giant man tracks" discovered by creationists in the Paluxy river region of Texas, but the evidence grew increasingly more questionable the further it was examined by creationists and non-creationists alike. For instance, you can even see evidence of dinosaurian side-toes alongside the oblong "giant human prints" even in the old creationist film, "Footprints in Stone" that was later taken off the market by its owner after such things were revealled. ORIGINS RESEARCH magazine was founded with seed money from ICR, and that magazine, founded by creationist Christian college students, published several in-depth exposes of the Paluxy manprints, including photos showing trails of dinosaurs whose side toes slowly disappeared in trail, leaving only middle-metatarsal oblongs, then the side-tarsals and toes slowly reappeared further on down the trail. Such dinosaurs were putting most of their weight on their middle metatarsal bones, and the side-tarsal bones later became infilled by sediments in some portions of the trail. None of the in situ trails were human-life other than being mere oblongs. The carved footprints on the other hand were all shaped like human feet and lay right in the middle of detached slabs of limestone, one print in the middle of each slab, none were found in situ nor as part of a trail. Some of the carved prints had peanut shaped toes, others had toe-dots, and the arches were wrong, an arch right in the middle of the foot. Limestone slabs lay all around the banks of the Paluxy, and during the depression there were known carvers of such items, who would just pick up a slab and work on it at home. The "human prints" sold more than the faked dino prints. The 7th Day Adventist creationists at Loma Linda still own the original carved prints and have them in one of their museums. They did cross-sections of them decades ago and wrote a research paper and concluded that they were carvings even before Morris published photos of them in THE GENESIS FLOOD. Today both ICR and Answers in Genesis caution against citing such "evidence": Dinosaur Tracks


FOSSILIZED HUMAN SKULL OF COAL

What about the "human skull of coal," the "Frieberg skull," mentioned in THE GENESIS FLOOD? Young-earth creationists of the CRSQ (Creation Research Society Quarterly) tracked it down in Germany and were dissappointed by what they found, even admitting it was formed by simply sticking together bits of brown coal and it had no genuine cranial features. They reported on it in CRSQ in two articles: www.darwin.ws/~contradictions/skull.html


LEWIS OVERTHRUST FORMATION

What about the world's largest overthrust, the Lewis overthrust, is it a mere convenient invention of uniformitarian geologists or is it evidence of the largest mixed-up strata on the planet and thus disproved modern geology? Well, that story is interesting too. If you read the book, THE CREATIONISTS by Ronald Numbers, you would learn the interesting details that Morris sent Lammerts to photograph that thrust line, and Lammerts admitted that he didn't know WHAT he was photographing, those photos in THE GENESIS FLOOD are not of the thrust interface. Furthermore, ICR's geologist, Steve Austin, and the paleontologist young-earther, Kurt Wise, both have stated that it is a genuine overthrust. The force of the thrust was from the rising of the Rockies, and the thrust moved along like an inch-worm, the older rocks overthrusting the younger ones, and the rocks on the top are "cooked," their minerals are in a state of having been cooked under greater pressure and for much longer periods of time than the rocks on the bottom which are "uncooked," and there is plenty of evidence of jaggedness, the formations do not lay smoothly on top of one another, though Morris did try to miscite one geological work to the effect that one layer does lay completely smoothly on top of the other. Morris cited the following words by a noted geologist as a footnote in THE GENESIS FLOOD: "Most visitors, especially those who stay on the roads, get the impression that the Belt of strata are undisturbed and lie almost as flat today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished so many million years ago." But the quotation continued: "Actually they are folded, and in certain zones they are intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the park it is possible to observe places where the beds of the Belt series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs, and canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the park to the east."

But don't take my word for what I said about the Lewis overthrust above, contact Dr. Kurt Wise at Bryan college, Tennessee, and ask him about the Lewis Overthrust, Kurt sent me an email a while back admitting it was a genuine overthrust. So the world's largest overthrust is not a problem for modern geology. See also: Lewis Overthust


GREENRIVER FORMATION

Next we come to the Greenriver Formation of ancient fossil lake deposits, which neither Morris nor any modern day creationists have succeeded in debunking. Each fossilized lake in that formation contains fossils typical of Eocene lake environments, namely only freshwater fish fossils and mammal fossils with some small lizards some flying mammals (bats) water fowl and their nests (no dinosaurs for instance, no dinosaurian bone fragments, and no fossilized plants that were once associated with dinosaurs but which became extinct with them). Each fossil lake deposit also contains a million or more varved layers, pointing to a past far older than the age of the earth as determined by adding together the genealogies of the partriarchs in Genesis.


The Greenriver formation includeds the walking prints of mammals, web-footed water fowl, and small lizards, along with fossilized tree stumps, found around the periphery of these ancient fossilized lakes, and millions of varved layers in the lake sections, and the bones of some of the fish are so finely preserved they had to have died in situ and not been buried violently, nor carried any great distance after death by any traumatic means. The "fish kill" layers in the formation are restricted to distinct layers, and in distinct geographical areas of the ancient fossilized lake beds of the Greenriver formation. There are even fossilized nests from the water fowl whose bones also lie along the perimeters of those same ancient fossilized lakes. Speaking of the fish kills, major fish kills occur today in the lower levels of some lakes, a school of fish has only to swim beneath a certain layer of CO2 laden water to die quite quickly and en masse. Some lakes in Africa even today have spewed up CO2 bubbles killing even whole herds of cattle instantly along their shore.


Young-earth creationists have attempted to counter the evidence above with mere photos of fish from the Greenriver with the tails of their latest prey sticking out of their mouths apparently to emphasize the quickness of that fish's death, supposedly in "mid-swallow." However, I have a file of such photos and the tails sticking out of the mouths of such fish are quite large, and they certainly appear to have bitten off more than they could swallow whole, in otherwords, the fish suffoctated on prey a third or more their size, blocking their gills so they couldn't breathe. Reminds me of a video I saw about a species of large-mouthed frogs that are cannibalistic and sneak up behind each other and try to eat each other, and in some cases the prey is as large as the predator so the prey's head and forearms stick out of the other frog's mouth, and of course it sits there inside the other frog's mouth, still breathing and refusing to either be eaten or die, and yet the frog who is trying to swallow its brother refuses to cough it up, so both frogs die slowly in their mouth-to-rump embrace. So there is no "quick swallow" nor quick death with a large frog sticking out of the frog's mouth. The same is probably true of the fossilized fish in question, with the tails of fish half their own size (or larger) sticking out of their mouths. They could have taken days to digest such large prey. Nothing quick about it, and died in the process, perhaps by slowly moving toward the lake bottom and being asphyxiated by the CO2 there. Or the predator fish could have choked to death on its last meal, its gills being clogged with the prey it just swallowed, no longer able to filter the water for oxygen, and again sunk to the bottom.


The other creationist claim, that fossil fish exist that extend upward through many layers of varves is false. They lay on their sides dead, not vertically, and not sticking through many varved layers.


How can Morris explain the tracks of water fowl and their fossilized lakeside nests and other tracks from other land-dwelling animals lying along the perimeter of those ancient fossilized lakes? Seems to have been an ancient lake and lakeside environment. As I said above, the "fish kill" zones are restricted to particular layers and to particular regions of each fossilized lake, they aren't jumbled up randomly by any great catastrophe. And there are also layers of volcanic ash found every so often between the varved layers, evidence of ancient eruptions of the extinct volcanoes in that region. A rare thin layers of volcanic ash only occurs all by itself not mixed with the many varves above and below it. And as I said above, the Greenriver Formation does not contain any dinosaur fossils, nor dinosaur bone fragments, just mammals and mammal tracks, bats (flying mammals), mosquitoes, fossilized leaves, fossilized freshwater fish species, some tiny lizards, typical from a lakeside environment during the age of mammals. The Greenriver Formation is so obviously an ancient lake formation, judging from all the evidence, that it remains difficult for young-earth creationists to explain it, as Morris originally recognized and acknowledged when he wrote THE GENESIS FLOOD and attempted to do so. It remains a problem for YECism today since one giant cataclysm seems incapable of being able to account for all the peculiarities of the Greenriver Formation.


Even the creationist Duane T. Gish has admitted that creationism has difficulties trying to explain the fossil record in general, since it shows a succession of forms. The bones are not mixed up, not even bone fragments or microfossils mixed up, nor corals, nor types of shellfish. Instead everything is sorted out too perfectly for "Flood geology" to explain, as even Christian geologists pointed out before Darwin's day, when "Flood geology" first died the death of a thousand qualifications. Creationist "Flood Geology" Versus Common Sense -Or- Reasons why "Flood Geology" was abandoned in the mid-1800s by Christian men of science.


"When I asked Duane Gish what were the biggest difficulties for creationist science... he answered after a moment's thought that it was the apparently great age of Earth as shown by the fairly recent advances in radiometric dating; and that the the fossil record could be interpreted as showing ecologically complete ages -- the age of invertebrates, the age of fishes, the age of reptiles, and so on up to the present." [Hitching F., "The Neck of the Giraffe: Or Where Darwin Went Wrong," Pan: London, 1982, pp.115-121]


There is one further argument that creationists use against the Greenriver Formation being a number of ancient fossilized lakes. They point out that the number of varves lying between the volcanic ash layers in different lakes are not exactly the same number of varves for each fossilized lake in that region. True they are not, but out of the million or so varves found in the midst of each lake deposit, the differences in the numbers of varves counted between thin layers of ash are relatively slight, and varves can be formed more than once a year if major rains or runoffs occur, and the lakes in each case lay at the bottom of slopes of ancient rising volcanic mountains on either side of them so major water runoffs would have occured from time to time down the slopes around them, i.e., more often than only once a year (conversely, if the level of one particular fossil lake dried out or got very low, that lake may not have been forming varves at all during such a time), so varve numbers can differ from lake to lake in the same region between volcanic eruptions.


In fact, it is young-earthers who have to explain how one thin distinct layer of ash could settle in the midst of all those varves, then lay down thousands of varves on top of it, and then another thin distinct layer of volcanic ash. That means the waters were extremely still for a thin layer of ash to settle out of them and not mix the ash with all the other layers, then time passed to form the thousands of varves above that thin ash layer, then another volcanic eruption followed occurred and a thin layer of ash settled out, then many more varves above that ash layer, but none of those later varves mixed with ash. In other words, time between volcanic eruptions. And what about the evidence that the freshwater fish were undistrubed, not laid down cataclysmically nor carried any great distance? (In a later Morris book on the Greenriver Formation he actually MISQUOTED the paleontological authorities of Greenriver who jad pointed that out, and COMPLETELY REVERSING what they said, in other words, Morris cited the authorites to the effect that "such fish bones were carried a great distance and laid down cataclysmically," when the authorities had said exactly the opposite!) And what about the fact that there are tracks formed by land mammals and lizards and water fowl, walking around during the "Flood" on dry land on the lake's ancient shores?


I sent one young-earther in Australia several geology articles on the Greenriver Formation, and he became an old-earther. I also had dinner with a teacher at a fundamentalist university who admitted to me he had been to the Greenriver Formation, and he couldn't honestly tell me how old the world was. He admitted it could be a lot older than his university taught it was. Also, there is a varved lake in Japan and the organic material in each individual varve was carbon-dated and agreed with the hypothesis that each varved layer was formed annually or very close to annually.


TWO ADDITIONAL "AGE OF EARTH QUESTIONS"


ICE CORES

Evidence of an old-earth is also provided by ice cores, i.e., not just the numbers of distinct layers of ice found in the deepest known ice cores but also via analyzing the individual peculiarities of each individual layer of ice in such cores, which was definitely NOT all laid down together at once, nor in a very short period... Speaking of such evidence, has Young Earth creationism finaly met the "tiny mystery" that it cannot explain away? As I stated above, there already exist evidence for an earth older than the one pieced together by simply adding the geneaologies of the partriarchs of Genesis together. Such evidence includes individually carbon-dated tree rings from overlapping series of trees whose rings reach back over 10,000 years. And there's individually carbon-dated varve layers in a lake in Japan that reach back in time continuously for even greater periods, i.e., for tens of thousands of years. Now there's ice cores that reach back 40,000 years as well, which are perhaps even more difficult to explain away than the evidence already mentioned above. See the information on such cores provided in the letter below, submitted by a Christian who is also a professional glaciologist.


-----Original Message-----

From: Andrew Ruddell

(a Christian and also a professional glacialogist -- E.T.B.)

Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 4:17 AM


To Drs. Meyer and Murray,


What a great web site you two have created! www.bibleandscience.com


Good to see someone taking both the Bible and science seriously. Along with you guys, I believe that God does not need falsehood to prop up his kingdom. While science operates under his lordship it must operate in the realm of reason to achieve the benefits he intends for humanity. When such "reason" is used as a basis for belief it becomes speculative as we see in "creation science," then we run into all sorts of problems such as scholasticism, gnosticism, etc. God's Kingdom can only come by faith when and where he wills. It doesn't come any quicker by us "bearing false witness."


My past career was a science teacher then a glaciologist (following a PhD at Univ of Melbourne -working on the New Zealand glacial retreat due to recent warming, then several years working on the Antarctic Ice Sheet) and now doing a BTh/BMin to go into the ministry.


Attached below is an email sent to Answers In Genesis following the dubious claim that the Greenland ice sheet is only about 2,000 years old. I believe an article similar to my comments exists (Seely, P.H., "The GISP2 Ice Core: Ultimate Proof that Noah's Flood Was Not Global, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 55(4):252-260, 2003.)


The Answers in Genesis people are currently working on a "rebuttal" of the Seely article, which I also look forward to seeing.


Sincerely in Christ,

Andrew


Feel free to use the following material (no need to give acknowledgements). Other material exists elsewhere (Don Lindsay's web site, Todd Greene, etc). The Oard article below has some glaring misquotes and I believe that Dr Weiland is out of his depth, but they are brother's in Christ and I believe that we must work positively and objectively with them.


Summary letter to the editor of Answers in Genesis for publication:


Age of Greenland ice core


Dr Wieland's articles in Creation 26(1) and 19(3) claim that the 3 km Greenland ice core (GISP2) is younger than that determined by glaciological analysis, and represents only about 2,000 years of accumulation. This conflicts with the established age of at least 40,000 years obtained by the counting of annual layers using visual stratigraphy by Meese et al. (1997) to a depth of 2340 m. This method is independently supported by conductivity and particulate variation, and volcanic fallout. The method used by Dr Wieland is much lower because it appears to have not adequately considered the substantial inland decrease in accumulation rate, its density variation, or the rate of strain thinning in the GISP2 ice core. Is this correct?


Reference - Meese, et al. 1997 J. Geophys. Res. 102(C12):26,41126,423.


Andrew Ruddell

Adelaide, Australia.


And a slightly more detailed version for Dr Carl Wieland given below. I would be interested in his comments.


An age of only 4,000 years for the Greenland Icesheet has been proposed by Wieland (1997, 2004). This is considerably less than the age given by Alley et al (1997) and Meese et al (1997) for the GISP2 ice core. Meese et al. (1997:26,413) state that:


i) 'The visual stratigraphy was a consistent parameter throughout most of the core' (i.e. 77% of core depth).


ii) Using visual stratigraphy 44,583 annual layers can be counted with an estimated error of 5-10%.


iii) The visual stratigraphy is independently supported by ECM and LLS measurements.


iv) The summer stratigraphic horizon 'was chosen as the definitive annual layer marker'.


v) Stratigraphy is determined from depth-hoar layers (which are easily distinguished from melt features).


The dating of the core is supported by volcanic fallout from the Saksunarvatn eruption about 10,300 years ago and another event ('Z2') about 52,200 years ago (Zielinski et al 1997). More recent eruptions have been identified as well (Clausen et al 1997, Zielinski et al 1994).


The study of Meese et al (1997) has been meticulously undertaken and is able to provide a reliable age for the Greenland ice sheet of at least 40,000 years. The age given by Dr Wieland is much lower, because his method does not adequately consider:


1) The substantial inland decrease in accumulation rate (in water equivalent).


2) The rate of strain thinning with depth (even for the section with visual annual layers).


Furthermore, it should be noted that:


3) The dating does not depend on isotope variations as stated by Wieland (1997). Although these also give 'a distinct seasonal signal' in the upper 300m.


4) Borehole and ice radar measurements indicate that the world's two ice-sheets are kilometers thick rather than 'hundreds of meters thick' as stated by Wieland (2004, p20).


Questions:


A) I was wondering if you could shed some light on the disparities (1-4) that have been outlined above (I have found similar problems in an article on the same topic written by Oard 2001).


B) I am also interested to know if your articles are peer-reviewed by scientists appropriate to this topic.


C) Has a critique of the Greenland ice core dating been submitted to the relevant journals such as 'J.Glaciology', 'Annals of Glaciology' or J.Geophys.Res.?


Thank you for your consideration of my submission. My colleagues and I look forward to your reply.


Yours sincerely, Andrew Ruddell


11 Feb. 2004.


REFERENCES

Alley, R.B. et al., Visual-stratigraphic dating of the GISP2 ice core:

Basis, reproducibility, and application. Journal of Geophysical Research

102(C12):26,36726,381, 1997.


Clausen et al. A comparison of the volcanic records over the past 4000 years from the Greenland Ice Core Project and Dye 3 Greenland ice cores. Journal of Geophysical Research 102(C12):26,70726,723, 1997.


Meese, D.A., Gow, A.J., Alley, R.B., Zielinski, G.A., Grootes, P.M., Ram, K., Taylor, K.C., Mayewski, P.A. and Bolzan, J.F., The Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 depth-age scale: Methods and results. Journal of Geophysical Research 102 (C12):26,41126,423, 1997.


Oard, Michael J. Do Greenland ice cores show over one hundred thousand years of annual layers? Subsequently published in: TJ 15(3):3942, 2001.


Wieland, Carl Ice-bound plane flies again. Creation 26(1):20-21, Dec 2003 Feb 2004.


Wieland, Carl The Lost Squadron: Deeply buried missing planes challenge 'slow and gradual' preconceptions. Creation 19(3):1014, JuneAugust 1997.


Zielinski et al. Record of volcanism since 7000 BC from the GISP2 Greenland ice core and implications for the volcano-climate system. Science 264, 948-952, 13 May 1994.


Zielinski et al. Volcanic aerosol records and tephrochronology of the Summit, Greenland, ice cores. Journal of Geophysical Research 102(C12):26,62526,640; 1997.




QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE "LIVE OR FRESH" OLIVE BRANCH MENTIONED IN THE FLOOD STORY IN GENESIS

The Flood story in the Bible mentioned that Noah sent out a dove and it brought back a fresh or live olive branch in its beak. Think about that. How exactly did an olive tree or any tree for that matter, survive such an all-destructive "Flood" that supposedly laid down an average of a mile of sediment all over the face of the earth? Wasn't every tree on earth uprooted by such a Flood? If it remained rooted, then how did this olive tree stay alive, submerged for 12 months under water? Have any creationists experimented with submerged olive trees? Or if it was uprooted how did it survive without its roots in soil? Have they experimented with trees being catastrophically uprooted and surviving? One creationist has suggested that vegetation survived the Flood aboard "vegetative mats" that floated on the ocean's surface for 12 months (Austin's hypothesis). How exactly does that work? Have they catastrophically uprooted any olive trees and stuck them on such a mat to see how that works for twelve months?


The ancients apparently did not believe that trees and other things were "alive" in the same sense animals were, and must have simply assumed the survival of such items as "olive trees" when telling the tale of the "Flood." But I would like to see some experimentation from creationists concerning the "olive branch" story in Genesis. Uproot an olive tree for a year under any natural conditions they want, even keep some earth around the roots, float it on waters of any salinity they like on other dead or dying vegetation in a "mat" formation, but DO IT FOR A YEAR, and see how "fresh" a branch from such an olive tree appears afterwards.


So that's how THE GENESIS FLOOD helped inspire me to leave the fold. That book, and of course, the numerous commonsense objections by Christian men of science who rejected the "Flood" hypothesis even before Darwin's day. For some of their commonsense objections to "Flood geology" see Creationist "Flood Geology" Versus Common Sense -Or- Reasons why "Flood Geology" was abandoned in the mid-1800s by Christian men of science. (I have more info and questions from geology to go along with the article above.)




CUOZZO AND HIS ARGUMENT THAT "NEANDERTHALS" WERE "HUMAN BEINGS HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD."

There is a creationist who is also an orthodontist who recently wrote a book titled BURIED ALIVE in which he argued that Neanderthals were merely pre-Flood human beings who had lived for centuries, hence their brow ridges developed over long periods of time.


Cuozzo's book also featured a photograph he took of a supposed "cave drawing" showing a "dinosaur" going head to head with a mammoth or mastadon, as found on the wall of a cave in France. The cave was later closed and Cuozzo hinted that its closure might be the result of his discovery of that "dinosaur drawing" he found inside it, because evolutionists fear such evidence would controvert their hypothesis that most dinosaur species died out millions of years ago. Having examined the photo in Cuozzo's book and also viewed the one online version at his website, I can say that the mammoth drawing is easy to make out and easy to see as a mammoth, but the "dinosaur" much less easy to make out. Viewing such a "dinosaur drawing" reminded me of a photo I had seen in the past of a pile of rubble on the Moon that was far more astounding. The pile of rocks on the moon closely resembled the skeletal structure of a known species of dinosaur. The resemblance was uncanny. I have seen similar "similacra" between objects in nature and the living things they resemble in a magazine called "The Fortean Times." I also ollect examples of photographic evidence of such simulacra since the resemblances are uncanny and amusing.


Speaking of Cuozzo's Neanderthal explanations, his hypotheses have been debunked by fellow Christians such as Hugh Ross and Stephen Meyers. See the following webpage for some criticisms of Cuozzo's claims by Hugh Ross


Cuozzo debate recap


In 1992 in Israel archaeologists discovered an infant Neanderthal that had all the anatomical features of the adult like a large forward brow, and jaw showing that these features are not due to old age as Cuozzo says. The same is true for about a dozen other Neanderthals arranging from infant to juvenile. See Hugh Ross, "Neanderthal Tot Discovery," Facts and Faith,, vol. 8. No 1 (1994), p. 4. and Christopher P. E. Zollikofer, Marcia S. Ponce de Leon, Robert D. Martin, and Peter Stuckl, "Neanderthal Computer Skulls," Nature, 375 (1995), pp. 283-285.


Cuozzo also claims that many hominid fossils, even the strikingly human-like Turkana Boy (homo erectus) are non-human.


Cuozzo joins a bunch of other creationists who cannot agree which of the latest hominid discoveries are "human" and which are "ape," which ought to tell you something right there. The following webpage features a pictorial comparison of the views of Cuozzo and other creationists as to which skulls are "apes" and which are "humans." This comparison page is worth taking a peek at!


Creationist arguments: Buried Alive


Chris Stringer responds to Jack Cuozzo's "Swanscombe skull fragments"


Paleontologist reviews Cuozzo


Creationist arguments: Neanderthals


I should add to the Cuozzo discussion above that the "vast ages of the partriarchs" are nowhere attested in ancient archeological digs and investigations of ancient human skeletal remains, not even those going back to Abraham's day:


It is certain that one cannot build up a chronology on the spans of years attributed to the Patriarchs, nor regard it as factual that Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Harran and a hundred when Isaac was born and that Jacob was a hundred and thirty when he went into Egypt, for the evidence from the skeletons in the Jericho tombs shows that the expectations of life at this period was short. Many individuals seem to have died before they were thirty-five, and few seem to have reached the age of fifty.

- Dr. Kathleen Kenyon (the eminent excavator of the city-mound of Jericho)

See also: Exagerrated Ages of Biblical Patriarchs


and


Bible and Science, Ancients


Cheers,

Edward T. Babinski


"Arguments we think creationists should NOT use" by Answers in Genesis

www.answersingenesis.org/Home/dont_use.asp


Maintaining Creationist Integrity: There is a big verbal battle between Ken Ham of AIG and Kent Hovind of CSE. See the arguments at
answersingenesis.org/docs2002/1011hovind.asp?srcFrom=aignews

Getting the lies out of creationism: Unleashing the Storm; Answers in Genesis critique of Dennis Peterson's new book: Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation.

See www.answersingenesis.org

How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments? A Close Look at Dr. Hovind's List of Young-Earth Arguments and Other Claims by Dave E. Matson. This is a great point by point rebuttal of Hovind's arguments.




KYLE TO ED:


Mr. Babinski;


I was quite surprised to see a response from yourself to a piece that I had written some months ago. In any case, since your letter did not touch upon the Cetacean aspect of the article in question, I'll take it that you had no objections to what I presented therein. Indeed, with the more literature I have encountered regarding whale physiology, the more it seems that these creatures are undergoing a significant *observed loss* of physical features (and hence, a loss of genetic information). (* 1)


As with the portion of your letter that dealt with geology, I would like to share one small facet of information with you. I apologize in advance for the size of the email, but including these pictures was, I felt, necessary for me to make my point clear.


I have included several small pictures of a worksite situated near the 126 freeway. They frequently dump large amounts of loose sediments within an eye's glance from the road, and what I saw there caught my attention. As you will see in these pictures, the entire area is surrounded by rather large hills that exhibit massive stratification, with some layers exhibiting a considerable amount of thickness, while others are relatively thin.


In your letter, you advocated a uniformitarian point of view regarding this physical phenomena. You would see these layers as indicative of a gradualist process, and hence be proof positive of millions of years.


However, from what can be discerned from the photographs supplied herein, this does not seem to be the only explanation we have regarding geology or stratification. The stratification that is apparent within these loose piles of sediment happened within a short period of time, certainly not over years, and most definitely not over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. These huge sedimentary piles consist of loose debris that has become stratified, and had no time to harden properly. These piles oare regularly shipped out, and replaced by new piles periodically. The stratification in these periodic pilings is evident within about 80% of the cases observed by myself. Again, this constitutes evidence that these piles of loose debris underwent stratification within a short period of time (due to settling of heterogeneous particles. I suspect that it may be partially due to water, as I have seen workers "hosing down" these huge sediment piles on occasion. This, in turn, would support the idea that massoive stratification is supported largely by a liquid medium facilitating as such. *2)


While this does not scientifically prove a Flood Geology (as science cannot repeat, observe, or measure those unobserved past events of history), it does constitute strong observable evidence that is contra to exclusive uniformitarian interpretations of geology. If this is the case, and uniformitarian principles are your basis for determining such things as stratomorphic sequencing of fossils (*3) or of ages consisting of millions of years (epochs) (*4), I would highly recommend that you reconsider your stoance as being one that is possibly flawed in a very serious manner, especially in its interpretational value. Given the evidence that we have, I do think that this recommendation is worthy of your time and further research into the matter.


Thank you again for your time in reading this.

Sincerely; K. Shockley


Notes:


*1. See, for example, K.S. Norris, Bertel Mohl, "Can Odontocetes Debilitate Prey With Sound?" The American Naturalist, Vol 122, No.1, July 83: 85-86, and A.A. Berzin, 1971, The Sperm Whale, Pacific Sci. Res. Inst. Fisheries Oceanogr., Trans. 1972, Isreal Program for Science Trans., no. 600707, Jerusalem: 1-394. While the macro evolutionary lines of descent presented in these papers are based upon hypothesized extrapolations of an unobserved past, the *observed portion* of the work supports the hypothesis that oCetaceans (widely categorized as such) are undergoing a loss of features: ".many modern genera show marked tooth reduction or outright loss. Some species are functionally edentulous." (Norris, Mohl); "Analysis of all these data leads one to a conclusion which at first glance appears preposterous: there is reduction not only of the function of the teeth but also that of the entire lower jaw in the digestive process of the sperm whale." (Berzin)


*2. This article was not available online at this time, but it definitely serves to make the point regarding sedimentation and the like. See: Geologic Dating Principles Questioned: Paleohydraulics: a new approach; G. Berthault, Fusion 81, May-June 2000, Editions Alcuin (Paris): 1-8. Further links to his and others' work concerning stratification are below in reference *4.


*3. Mammal-like reptiles: major trait reversals and discontinuities


J. Woodmorappe, TJ 15(1): 44-52, 2001


The fossil record: becoming more random all the time
J. Woodmorappe, TJ 14(1):110-116, Dec 99-Feb 2000


Extinction of the Dinosaurs
M.Oard; CEN Tech J., vol.11, no., 1997: 137-154


*4. Experiments on Stratification of Heterogeneous Sand Mixture


P. Julien, Y. Lan, G. Berthault; CEN Tech J., 8(1):37-50, 1994


Sedimentation Experiments: Nature Finally Catches Up!


A. Snelling; CEN Tech J. 11(2):125-126, 1997


Sedimentation experiments: is extrapolation appropriate? A reply
G. Berthault; CEN Tech J. 11(1):65-70, 1997


More evidence against so-called paleokarst
J. Woodmorappe, TJ 15(3):100-104, 2001


Fish preservation, fish coprolites and the Green River Formation

D.A. Woolley; TJ 15(1):105-11, 2001


Wild ice-core interpretations by uniformitarian scientists

M.J. Oard; TJ 16(1):45-47, 2002


New ice core records 120,000 years? M. Oard


Radiometric Dating Questions and Answers


Recovery of Neandertal mtDNA: An Evaluation

M. Lubenow; CEN Tech. J. 12(1): 87-97, 1998


Nailing jello (jelly) to the wall

A review of Extinct Humans by Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey H. Schwartz

Westview Press, New York, 2000; M. Lubenow, TJ 15(2):27-30


Are Pseudogenes 'Shared Mistakes' between Primate Genomes?
J. Woodmorappe; Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 14(3), 2000




ED TO KYLE:


"Kyle S" writes:

Mr. Babinski;

I was quite surprised to see a response from yourself to a piece that I had written some months ago. In any case, since your letter did not touch upon the Cetacean aspect of the article in question, I'll take it that you had no objections to what I presented therein.


ED: Please don't take it that way. Rather, there are too many matters to discuss concerning your attempts to reinterpret the evidence for cetacean evolution. One major point you need to recognize is that cetacean evolution has come a long way since the 1970s when Duane T. Gish of ICR used to simply project a slide during his evoultion debates that featured a cow turning into a whale, and the whole audience would laugh at the caricature hysterically, while today, during such debates, evolutionists are the ones showing the slides, and I read about what a more recent debate in which the crowd drew in its breath and grew silent at the sight of the various early cetacean-like fossils that have since been found.


Have you read my entire online article and visited the various cetacean evolution sites hyperlinked to my article, and seen the photos of cetacean and cetacean-like fossils at each of those sites also? All the early cetaceans were much smaller and slimmer, relatively speaking, than the large modern day whale species, and the early cetaceans all showed obvious signs of being less well adapted to a totally oceanic lifestyle, like still having nostrils at the ends or middle of their snouts, not yet on the tops of their heads, and all lacking the later sonar bulge and apparatus, and having hind legs that would create drag for a fully aquatic creature, and having an inner ear bone that was not fully adapted for underwater hearing as are today's cetacean earbones.


Here are two more items, including some new photos I had not yet run across:


Skull of cetacean fossil with nasal opening lying halfway toward the top of the skull


Snake evolution


And have you seen the chromosomal evidence for the shared ancestry of humans and chimps? I am speaking about the shared similar chromosome numbers, shared similar chromosome lengths, and shared similar chromosomal banding patterns, including evidence of a chromosomal fusion in the past, the remnants of which can still be observed in Human Chromosome #2.


Human Chromosome #2 appears to have resulted from the fusion of two ancestral chromosomes (each with their own centrally placed centromeric bodies), and those two chromosomes fused at some point back in time, but evidence of a second centromeric body is still present in Human Chromosome #2. All other chromosomes have only one centromere.

See the article with pictures, "Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes" by Alec MacAndrew

as well as the article, "Comparison of the Human and Great Ape Chromosomes as Evidence for Common Ancestry"


For further Human and Chimpanzee chromosome comparisons see Beth Kramer's site


Also click to sub-page which provides a detailed matching of human and chimp chromosomes 1-4. Note how the chromosomal banding patterns on the second chromosome in humans lines up with those in two shorter chimp chromosomes, while all the other chromosomal numbers and banding patterns of chimp and human match up quite closely. For matchings on other chromosomes
Note: humans have 22 chromosomes (called autosomes), plus the X and Y.

Go to sub-page for a beautiful image matching all the chromosomes of four hominids -- human, chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. Finally see the Hominoid Phylogeny (ancestral tree) based on these chromosome comparisons.


If man's genes were "specially created" then there appears to be no obvious reasons why the chromosome numbers, lengths, and banding patterns of man and the great apes need to have been created so similar, nor any obvious reasons why "centromeric remnants" should have been created in Human Chromosome #2.


After lots of debates I have come to the conclusion that it's easier to begin with the basics, the age of the earth, i.e., "Flood geology," versus, "geology" as known and practiced round the world today by scientists of all faiths and non-faiths.


The vast majority of Christian men of science today agree that the earth is old, and Christian men of science agreed with that deduction even before Darwins day. Did you know that I searched the internet and only found about 210 Young-Earth Creationist Scientists listed?


angelfire.com/falcon/megaraptor/creation_scientists_of_the_world.htm


I performed a similar search at the ICR site and AIG sites and found a little less. I also found out only about 8 of them were listed with an M.S. or Ph.D. in geology. You would think that an organization that boasts that the entire geological establishment is at fault for inventing billions of years of fake time, would have a higher percentage of geologists among its 210 "creation scientists." The percentage is woefully low for an organization whose main focus is "the age of the earth."


There are many more Christians with M.S.s and Ph.D.s in geology who are convinced that the earth is indeed billions of years old. Just go to the American Scientific Affiliation website and find out about them. There is even an Affiliation of Christian Geologists (pro-old-earth) associated with ASA. Geologist Dr. Davis Young has written a number of important books like Christianity and the Age of the Earth and The Biblical Flood. He also contributed to Portraits of Creation along with Howard J. Van Till who also wrote The Fourth Day. Website

The American Scientific Affiliation had already been around long before Henry Morris and the young-earth creationist movement began. Additional old-earth organizations of Christians who are scientists include:


The Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute

They published Dan Wonderly's book, NEGLECT OF GEOLOGICAL DATA, which specifically rebutted young-earth arguments using basic geological data, not even having to employ arguments based on radiometric dating.


Stephen Meyers's Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies -- which includes replies to many young-earth arguments.


Another is Hugh Ross's site: Reasons to Believe.


Furthermore, today's young-earth creationists are a factious bunch arguing against the arguments of other young-earth creationists:
"Arguments we think creationists should NOT use" by Answers in Genesis

www.answersingenesis.org/Home/dont_use.asp


Maintaining Creationist Integrity: There is a big verbal battle between Ken Ham of AIG and Kent Hovind of CSE. See the arguments at
answersingenesis.org/docs2002/1011hovind.asp?srcFrom=aignews

Getting the lies out of creationism: Unleashing the Storm; Answers in Genesis critique of Dennis Peterson's new book: Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation.


Debunking Creation Science With Creation Science


Young-earth creationists even admit that the evidence for stellar evolution is better than what young-earth creationist astronomers have to offer: Creationists Admit Difficulties With Their Hypotheses


Equally troubling for young-earthism is the fact that most of the founders of old-earth geology were Christians and rejected the arguments that all the strata on earth could have been formed by a one-year long Flood, and later they even rejected the alternative hypothesis that the uppermost thinnest layer of strata indicated a world-wide Flood. Flood geology died a long time ago, before Darwin. Henry Morris' attempt to revive "Flood Geology" in the early 60's with THE GENESIS FLOOD only led to him dropping out of the American Scientific Affiliation of fellow evangelical Christians who began critiquing his young-earth arguments. So Morris founded his own little group, ICR, and made everyone sign a statement of young-earth faith before joining. But even that wasn't enough. One ICR member, Aardsma, read a bit too much about tree-ring series, and how they can be traced back before 10,000 years, and how each individual tree-ring in one series had been C-14 dated, and agreed with a continuous past over 10,000 years old, putting the Flood a little too far back for ICR to accept via the Bible's geneaological records. ICR let Aardsma go, his tree ring arguments and other arguments about vast "gaps" of time in the Bible were proving an embarrassment.


Henry Morris, the author of THE GENESIS FLOOD and founder of ICR can't even get along with ICR's own Ph.D. in geology, Steve Austin, and with ICR's Ph.D. in paleontology, Kurt Wise, when it comes to matters of Flood geology. Morris wrote a scathing critique of the views of those two fellow ICR members that was published as an article in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, berating them for believing that the "Flood" only laid down the strata up till the Cretaceous, and that "later post-Flood cataclyms" laid down enormous layers above the Cretaceous layers. To Morris that amounted to another kind of heresy, because the Bible only mentions the "Flood" as being the one great cataclysm powerful enough to lay down huge strata and there's way too much strata above the Cretaceous for any lesser "post-Flood cataclysms" to have laid down. Meanwhile, Austin and Wise appear to agree that the well known "Cretaecous boundary" points to a definite world-wide dislocation in geological deposts being laid down. There's for instance a thin layer of some obscure element right at that boundary point that had to be laid down slowly, and there's all the dinosaur footprints in the Cretaceous and nests and eggs, so the world was habitable for a time, before the other layers formed above that time period. So Morris can't agree with his chief Ph.D. geologist and chief Ph.D. paleontologist Morris thinks they are not interpreting the word of God and the world of nature rightly.


As for the Answers in Genesis website, have you kept up with the AiG rebuttals at the "what's new" portion of the talkorigins archive, like the most recent rebutals to AiG's assertions that "dinosaur blood cells" had been discovered? (In reality just some "heme" was discovered, a part of a hemoglobin molecule, not even the whole molecule) Or have you read the recent article at the T.O. archive on "supernovae" in which it was pointed out that AiG article writers are such amateurs that a photo labeled as a "supernova" is just an overexposed photo of a star? The ignorance at AiG has been proven many times, even by me, when AiG tried to dismiss rear appendages on whales and used a photo of a diseased whale's pelvis to try and make their point. I rebutted it with photos of healthy whale pelvises and photos of actual protruding rear appendages on several modern day whales.


Also, of those geologists who are deeply acquainted with young-earth arguments, I can name three former young-earth creationists (Glenn Morton, Kevin Henke, W. Dale Murphy) who obtained higher degrees in geology and admitted that they could no longer honestly advocate "Flood geology" arguments after examining the evidence thoroughly for themselves. Glenn Morton once "ghost wrote" young-earth arguments for a Josh McDowell book, and also had articles published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. Glenn has collected personal stories of Creation/Evolution Struggles.


And speaking not of the scientific difficulties with young-earthism but speaking of the "meaning of creation" according to the Bible, there are evangelical Christian scholars who have admitted that the ancient near eastern milieu of Genesis needs to be taken more seriously by Christians instead of trying to read "creation science" into the Bible:


THE MEANING OF CREATION IN THE BIBLE: TAKING THE ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN MILIEU OF GENESIS SERIOUSLY

Information concerning the Bible's pre-scientific cosmology has not only been pointed out by "liberals" and "atheists," but also by conservative Bible-believing Christians throughout the ages. Early Church Fathers like Origen called the firmament "without doubt firm and solid" (First Homily on Genesis, FC 71). Ambrose, commenting on Genesis 1:6, said, "the specific solidity of this exterior firmament is meant" (Hexameron, FC 42.60). And Saint Augustine said the word firmament was used "to indicate not that it is motionless but that it is solid and that it constitutes an impassable boundary between the waters above and the waters below" (The Literal Meaning of Genesis, ACW 41.1.61).


During the Reformation Martin Luther taught: "Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters...It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night...We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding."

-- Martin Luther, Luther's Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis, ed. Janoslaw Pelikan, Concordia Pub. House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1958, pp. 30, 42, 43.


Luther was undoubtedly referring to verses such as these:

"God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,' and God made the firmament, and separated the waters which were below the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament...Then God made the two great lights...(and) the stars also. And God set them in the firmament to light the earth."

-- Genesis 1:7,16-17


"Praise the Lord!...Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him stars of light! Praise Him highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!"

-- Psalm 148:1,3-4


Speaking of Christians nearer our own day, the authors of two concordances of the Bible often praised by conservative Protestants (Cruden's Concordance and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance) were both aware of the firmness of the Hebrew firmament based on the Biblical uses of its root word, "raqia." The famous Presbyterian inerrantist, B. B. Warfield, whose defense of Scriptural inerrancy and inspiration was published in the Princeton Review (1881), and republished since then (B. B. Warfield and Hodge, A. A., Inspiration. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), continues to be highly regarded among conservative Protestants, yet he wrote that an inspired writer of the Bible could "share the ordinary opinions of his day in certain matters lying outside the scope of his teachings, as, for example, with reference to the form of the earth, or its relation to the sun; and, it is not inconceivable that the form of his language when incidentally adverting to such matters, might occasionally play into the hands of such a presumption."

[B. B. Warfield, "The Real Problem of Inspiration," in The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (Philadelphia, Presbyterian & Reformed, 1948) 166-67.]


Charles Hodge accepted the solidity of the sky in Scripture as a divine accommodation. [Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952), 569-70.]


The famed Baptist theologian, Augustus Strong, wrote, "Inspiration might leave the Scripture writers in possession of the scientific ideas of their time, while yet they were empowered correctly to declare both ethical and religious truth." [Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Philadelpha: Judson Press, c. 1907), 226.]


John H. Walton, past professor Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute, and a teacher at Wheaton Theological Seminary, authored Genesis: The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 2001) that takes the ancient Near Eastern context of Genesis seriously.


Gordon Wenham authored Genesis 1-15, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco: Word, 1987) that takes the ancient Near Eastern context of Genesis seriously. David C. Downing authored, What You Know Might Not Be So: 220 Misinterpretations of Bible Texts Explained (Baker Book House, 1987) in which he addressed a verse in Isaiah (40:22) that speaks of the "circle" of the earth, a verse that many Evangelical Christians believe refers to a spherical earth. Downing explains that the original Hebrew does not support such an interpretation.


Conrad Hyers is past professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, author of The Meaning of Creation, and also has an online article that deals with some of the topics raised in his book, "Genesis Knows Nothing of Scientific Creationism: Interpreting and Misinterpreting the Biblical Texts"


Paul H. Seely is a Reformed Evangelical scholar and graduate of the Westminster Theological Seminary (a conservative Presbyterian seminary founded by Machen after Princeton grew "too liberal") Some of Seely's articles that appear on the web include:

"The Three-Storied Universe," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, No. 21 (March 1969)

"The Firmament and the Water Above," Part I, Westminster Theological Journal, Vol. 53 (1991)

[Unfortunately unavailable on the web, though I do have emailable copies he has sent me, as well as his reactions to "creationist critics" of his articles, like J. P. Holding.]

"The First Four Days of Genesis in Concordist Theory and in Biblical Context," Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, No. 49 (June 1997)

"Genesis Revisited or Revised?" Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, No. 52 (March 2000)

Another graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary is Stephen C. Meyers, who obtained his master's degree in theology there in 1989. His thesis was titled, "A Biblical Cosmology." Most of it is on the web (with additions and changes):

Genesis One by Stephen C. Meyers

Dr. Meyers obtained his Th.D. from Trinity Evangelical Seminary of Florida and is the co-founder of the Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies. He continues to address how seriously the Bible's ancient Near Eastern context must be taken when discussing its creation stories:

Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies

The Bible and Science, Do They Agree?

Stephen C. Meyers personal testimony of the changes he has gone through can also be found on the web: "From a Legalistic Young-Earther to a More Liberal Old-Earther"

Here is an additional online article by a Jewish scholar: "Biblical Views of Creation" by Frederick E. Greenspahn


I have written pieces myself, including a review of the book that started the "young-earth Flood geology revival," the Genesis Flood that I can send you if you wish to read it. Some other items I've been recently working on include a collection of quotations, also not yet on the web:


A RELATIVELY "DRY" FLOOD

The geologic record contains evidence of a wide variety of ancient environments, including ancient oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, soils and deserts, it is not a record of "a year-long Flood." There are desert strata, dried out lake beds, dried up river beds, paleosols (soil horizons), layers of rootlets at different horizons, layers of forests at different horizons, fossilized ant nests, termite nests, fragile wasp cocoons, cells from bees nests, dinosaur nests and eggs, reptile nests and eggs (in the Chinle Formation of the Petrified National Forest), bird nests and eggs (of a relative of the flamingo in the Green River Formation in Wyoming), fossilized holes left by worms, fossilized rodent burrows, tracks, trails and markings left by land-dwelling animals, even animal dung in its original position of deposition as it dried, cracked and hardened on solid ground. The geological evidence is clear that DRY land existed at many different periods throughout the past with land animals continuing to walk around, deposit dung, woo mates, build hives, nests or burrows, lay eggs, hatch those eggs ("empty hatched egg" fossils), then raise their young (then repeat the process), such evidence being found at different horizons, or even in horizons right above each other in the geological record. The fact is, deserts formed, lakes formed and dried up, rivers formed and dried up, soils formed, layers of small rootlets had time to grow, then be wiped out and grow again at different horizons, including multiple layers of forests that required time to grow, die and re-grow.


Young-earth creation scientists will no doubt spend from now till doomsday inventing ad hoc hypotheses to try and reconcile all such evidence above with a "Flood" that kept the earth under water for a year, and that would have had to have pulverized the most solid rock into fine sediment (yet plenty of shells and bones survived that miraculous pulverization of countless mountains of rock, to leave behind fossils, including some extraordinarily delicately laid out fossils and all of the trace fossils already mentioned above).


Next, the "Flood" would have had to have piled sediments at an average depth of one mile over all the earth, keeping a multitude of micro-fossils, fossil fragments, trace fossils, and species ALL arranged in extraordinarily good relative order of deposition, and without smudging together the coal seams of Kent with the great white cliff chalk of Dover.


Then those sediments would have to harden into rock overnight. Let me give one example of why that must be so. Sedimentary rock does not harden overnight the silica takes time to bond. Some strata contain boulders that lie on a geological horizon yet do not sink below that horizon, in other words that horizon had to have hardened before the boulder rolled on top of it. This is not a problem for modern geology, because rivers can move boulders, but when "Flood geologists" encounter such a deposit, they have to admit that at least some time passed between the hardening of that strata and the arrival of the boulder to rest on top of it, yet not SINK INTO IT. Moreover, boulders often are conglomerates, rocks that contain rocks inside them, and those rocks that are inside the conglomerate boulder can be cracked open, and you can find, guess what, fossils. I'm not even going to go into the mental gyrations needed to account for all of this as the result merely of a one-year long "Flood."

- E. T. B.


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"Paleosols" are ancient soils that develop during periods of extensive sub-areal weathering and they are sometimes preserved in the geologic record. Paleosols are found throughout the geologic column and represent periods of Earth history when the region they were found in was not covered by water. Paleosols in the midst of a global flood are not possible.

- Joseph Meert, "Radiometric Dating, Paleosols and the Geologic Column: Three strikes against Young Earth Creationism" (Original Verison Fall 1999, Updated July 3, 2002)


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CHALK UP ANOTHER VOTE FOR AN OLD EARTH

Anyone who believes the earth is only six thousand years old and Noah's Flood formed the geologic record has to explain why there are layers of limestone and/or chalk many feet thick found in that record. Such layers are composed of countless generations of microscopic shelled organisms that used to live near the surface of the water (as their cousins do today), enjoying the sunlight, multiplying, sucking minerals from the water to form their tiny shells, then dying. Afterwards their remains settled to the bottom (microscopic shells do not settle rapidly). Thick layers of such organisms began appearing for the first time during the Cretaceous era (the whole era was named after "chalk"). Trying to imagine enough microscopic organisms living all at once and then dying suddenly to form such thick densely packed layers (rather than the process taking countless generations) is so improbable as to be impossible. Keep in mind their modern day cousins only live close to the surface of the water, they need sunlight and cannot live in thick layers that block light from each other, and sunlight dims quickly as you proceed deeper into the water. Keep in mind the time it takes to grow and suck the necessary minerals out of the water, and add the time needed to settle to the bottom. Moreover, for the "Flood" hypothesis to be true, these microscopic organisms would have had to have dropped miraculously fast, faster than far denser organisms and coarser heavier sediments lying today in strata above them, not to mention the tracks of reptiles, dinosaurs, and other animals lying above them. If these microorganisms settled so quickly, it's also a miracle that there is no bleeding of chalk into the formations above and below such layers.


Even more difficult to reconcile with a young earth are layers of "pelletized limestone" many feet thick. The "pellets" consist of ancient feces left by fish that ate the microscopic shelled organisms, and then excreted them as pellets. Keep in mind all the time factors I mentioned above but also add the time it would take that many fish to multiply and eat that many microscopic shelled organisms and then defecate them out again in formations of pelletized limestone many feet thick. (Maybe they could have defecated all those pellets at once, many feet thick, if the fish were "frightened to death" by "the Flood?")

- E.T.B.


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EXPERIMENT FOR NOAH ENTHUSIASTS:


1. Take one of your favorite household potted plants.


2. Water it like hell for 40 days and nights.


3. Observe rotted dead plant.


As a botanist I get extremely disgruntled when reading about Noah. You see, God appears only to be interested in animals. Noah received no instructions to take on board any plants (by plants I mean angiosperms, gymnosperms, pteridiophytes and bryophytes). Talk about shortsightedness. Could this be the root cause for Zoology always being more popular than Botany? Dear Flood supporters, pray tell how did plants survive the Flood?

Waiting in anticipation.

- M. (Matto), University of Stellenbosch


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QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE SURVIVAL OF PLANT LIFE AFTER THE FLOOD


After a year at sea, what is the likelihood:


1) That more than a handful of seeds miraculously survived the violence of "the Flood of Noah" -- a flood that allegedly reduced rock to fine sediment overnight?


2) That such seeds did not sprout prematurely, which seeds often do in water, doubly so when their seed coasts are abraised which prompts them to begin sprouting.


3) That any surviving plant seeds would be dropped in an area where the temperature, rainfall, soil, and light would be suitable for the growth of that particular species?


4) Even after having reached a spot capable of supporting the growth of that particular species, how long would their flowers have to wait before the birds and insects arrived from Mount Ararat to cross-pollinate them?


Isaac Asimov observes that the ancient Hebrews did not regard plants as alive in the same sense animals are; therefore they had less of a problem than modern botanists do, imagining that an olive tree could endure a year's drowning and sprout immediately afterward. [As in the Biblical tale of the dove that returned to Noah's ark with a live "olive branch" in its mouth. -- E.T.B.] Today's creationists should have learned some botany since then, but they still carry on about the "hardiness" of olives.


Creationists need to soak seeds in muddy salty water for a year [The water should also be "boiling" if "Flood geologists" are correct about the extent of the Flood's rock-pulverizing violence. -- E.T.B.] and then plant them in unconsolidated, briny silt in an unfavorable climate without insect or avian pollinators to see what happens. Have their mathematicians, so skilled at calculating improbabilities for protein formation, ever determined the odds of plant survival?

- Robert A. Moore, "The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark," Creation/Evolution, Issue 11, Winter 1983


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With the land bare of plants what did all the herbivores eat after they disembarked from Noah's ark? Oh wait, I forgot, they did not have time to eat; they were too busy fleeing from the hungry carnivores that disembarked after them.

- E.T.B.


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The marsupial population of Australia contains animals found nowhere else on earth -- not even in fossil form. Are we to suppose that those marsupials managed to travel from the landing place of Noah's ark to. Australia? What a long perilous post-Flood journey. I guess God guided them. But you don't hear about that miracle in the Bible. Why not? It's at least as good as the story about God herding the Israelites through the desert, only these marsupials were herded through a denuded post-Flood earth undergoing cataclysmic aftershocks. This menagerie of wombats and koalas, bandicoots and kangaroos (not to mention the flightless moa and kiwi birds of New Zealand) had to keep ahead of lions-'n-tigers-'n-bears all the way to Indonesia, and then -- although the superior placental mammals could not manage it -- reach the continent of Australia. As if this were not mind-boggling enough, it turns out that the types of marsupials that made it to Australia just happened to form an ensemble able to fill all the ecological niches available!


Thus, there were marsupial moles, marsupial ant-eaters, marsupial mice, marsupial grazers, marsupial carnivores, marsupial frugivores, etc. -- not one of which can be found anywhere else in the world. If this highly diversified marsupial population evolved from one or a few primitive generalized marsupials that reached Australia millions of years before it separated from Indonesia (and before mammals had evolved on the mainland), then this peculiar situation is understandable. But if all these creatures had to journey from Turkey to Australia as an ensemble, it is incredible beyond computation.

- Frank Zindler, "The Kiwi Question," American Atheist, May 1988


Molecular biology and anatomy both demonstrate that, of living marsupial groups, koalas are most closely related to wombats. And both the living species and fossilized remains of koalas and wombats are found only in Australia. In other words they evolved there from shared marsupial ancestors that had been living on that continent even before the land bridge that connected Australia with Asia had dissolved. And all of those changes, both geological and biological, took more time than young-earth creationists can find mentioned in their Bibles.

- E.T.B.


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Such fragile creatures as the platypus and the blind marsupial mole raced across the land bridge to Australia quicker than the Malaysian tigers and other robust placentals?

- Robert A. Moore, "The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark"


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Can I suggest that there was a large sign, somewhere in South-East Java, reading something like:


Celestial Quarantine Zone

NO placental land mammals may be transported or allowed to wander past this point. American marsupial species must take the Bering Straits route. Maps available at the quarantine station office. (Office hours 9:00 A.M. -- 5:00 P.M.)

- Peter Lamb, talk.origins newsgroup, April 30, 1996


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God made all the animals in a single day; he could have swept them all away in the flood and re-created them in one day when they were again needed. Therefore it was an odd idea to save specimens of them for eleven months in the ark, whilst aware that eight persons could not feed or water them by any human possibility. If they were to be preserved by miracle, the ark was not necessary -- to let them swim would have answered the purpose and been more indubitably miraculous.

- Mark Twain, "God of the Bible vs. God of the Present Day"


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Catastrophic flooding occurs in most areas of the world. However, if [flood] stories are gathered from around the world, one may be struck far more by the divergencies than by their similarities. It is important that such collections have been gathered without regard for their support for a single universal flood. It would be easy to rule out those that sound dissimilar and then to be amazed at how similar the remainder are!


Although flood stories from around the world vary widely in their content, those from Syro-Palestine and Mesopotamia (the so-called lands of the Bible) are strikingly similar. While it is difficult, if not impossible, to believe that flood stories gathered from around the world descended from a single source (or describe a single event), the reverse may indeed be the case in the Ancient Near East. It is, after all, an area given to regular and catastrophic flooding, for which adequate archaeological and geological evidence has come to light. Furthermore, it is an area through which the story of "the flood" could easily spread: it is geographically small and well defined (the so-called fertile crescent), its inhabitants spoke closely related Semitic languages, there was occasional political unity of the whole (under Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians), and commerce was widespread throughout at all periods.

- Lloyd R. Bailey, Noah: The Person and the Story in History and Tradition


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Dr. Howard M. Teeple of the Religion and Ethics Institute is the author of The Noah's Ark Nonsense in which he traced the movement in place and time of the "Flood" story in the ancient Near East from its first known location and earliest version, uncovered by archeologists in Sumer/Babylon, to its subsequent appearance in a little civilization just north of Sumer/Babylon. From there the tale is recorded to have spread east, then south, and finally continued east till a version appeared in ancient Greece. Each civilization along the way adapted the "Flood" story to suit their culture by changing the names of the people involved and which mountain the "boat" allegedly "landed on."

- E.T.B.


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We do not see the name of "Noah" or of "Adam" in any of the ancient dynasties of Egypt; they are not to be found among the Babylonians and Sumerians. We cannot comprehend how the father of all nations has so long been unknown, not until the time when the Jewish books began to be known in Alexandria and were translated into Greek under one of the Ptolemies. In the natural course of things Adam's name should have been carried from mouth to mouth to the farthest corners of the earth. I will venture to affirm that it has required a miracle thus to shut the eyes and ears of all nations -- to destroy every monument, every memorial of their first father.


What would the Roman philosopher and orator, Cicero, have thought, if a poor Jew, while selling him balm, had said, "We are all descended from one father, named Adam." Cicero would doubtless have inquired about the great monuments, the indisputable testimonies which Noah and his children had left of our common father. "After your so-called Deluge," he would have said, "the whole world would have resounded with the names of Adam and Noah, one the father, the other the restorer of every race. These names would have been in every mouth as soon as men could speak, on every parchment as soon as they could write, on the door of every house as soon as they could build, on every temple, on every statue. You mean to tell us that you knew so great a secret, yet concealed it from us?"


Every people has attributed to itself some imaginary origin, yet none has approached the true one.

- Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, entry under "Adam"




KYLE: Indeed, with the more literature I have encountered regarding whale physiology, the more it seems that these creatures are undergoing a significant *observed loss* of physical features (and hence, a loss of genetic information). (* 1)


ED: I'd like to get into a discussion of "genetic information" sometime, but the fact is that species can "lose" such information and flourish quite well, as well as "gain" such information and also flourish quite well. Genetic deletions and also genetic increases can both be inferred or shown to have occurred in many different cases of speciation and via studying closely related species. In other words all genetic changes are not simply "downward" after some hypothetical point of "creation."


I will be happy to discuss the rest of your letter, below, later. But must leave work now! Far too late to continue.


Cheers,


Edward T. Babinski

http://www.edwardtbabinski.us


P.S., I have looked over your references toward the end of your email to me, and your references to articles by young-earth creationists like Berthault, Woody, and Oard, contrast poorly with the known data and work of professionals in each respective field. For instance, Woody, the young-earther, knows little about "pseudogenes" compared with Dr. Edward Max, who works professionally in genetics and who has responded to Woody's objections in articles at the Talk Origins Archive.

M. Oard, another young-earther whom you cited, has a degree in "meteorology" (studying the weather and atmosphere), and so Oard's objections concerning "ice cores" contrast poorly with the arguments and data of professional glacialologists like Andrew Ruddell (who is also a Christian by the way).


Meanwhile, Berthault has merely shown one possible way to sort very similar granules of two distinctly different sizes, into alternating order. He has not shown how varved lake bottoms are actually formed, each varve having a variety of different contents, including different types and differing amounts of microcontents like pollen, and even different types and amounts of macro items, like dead leaves, i.e., sorted into alternating varves which certainly appear to have been laid down during alternating seasons of the year. Nor do Berthault's experiments deny that varves are formed in lakes, as have been observed. Nor do Berthault's experiments address the total geological environment of say, the Greenriver formation, with fossilized tree tunks found round the lake's perimeter, with the nests of water fowl found round the lake's perimeter, with the tracks produced by walking lizards, and tracks produced by walking water fowl and walking mammals, found round the lake's perimeter.


Further, ICR's and Aig's and Woodys' attempts to deny the validity of radiometric dating have been addresses by geologists like Kevin Henke, former young-earth creationist who left young-earthism. Henke's article is on the web.


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