Review of Review Pt. 3

Allen Roy (
Tue, 25 Mar 1997 17:41:00 -0700 (MST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 22:53:12 -0600
From: John Woodmorappe <ujwoody@UXA.ECN.BGU.EDU>

(Schimmrich). A more fair characterization of this data would be to
say that the validity of a marginal isochron was reevaluated by
Higgins (1973) in light of more recent geologic fieldwork. This
interpretation, however, wouldn't support Woodmorappe's insinuations
that geologists arbitrarily toss out radiometric age data.

(Reply). Well, OK, let's go along with Schimmrich's reasoning. Is anything
changed in terms of the original arbitrary rejection of data? Does a
formerly-yellow car that has now been repainted red stop having once been
a yellow car? Ridiculous. The fact that these authors LATER went back and
came back with some sort of ostensibly-plausible geologic explanation for
it does not change IN THE SLIGHTEST the fact that they had in fact first
summarily rejected it as a "meaningless" result when it suited their
then-current preconception to do so.

(Schimmrich). Example 10 - Forman. First, Woodmorappe directly implies
that Forman was reluctant to
provide a certain date yet Forman only states that the date was "a
little untidy". I fail to see how Woodmorappe can ascribe that motive
to Forman given the text of the above quotation.

(Reply). My point RE:Forman was to show a preconception of wanting
agreement with previous results. I thought that scientists were supposed
to accept all data that comes in and not label disparate data as "untidy".

(Schimmrich). Secondly,
Woodmorappe draws from this example, the grand conclusion that there
is a tendency among researchers not to publish discrepant results.

(Reply). Horsedump! The fact that geologists don't publish discrepant
results is supported by THE ENTIRE SET OF PARAGRAPHS (especially the
Mauger quote), which clearly demonstrates that many if not most discrepant
results go unpublished. (And, BTW, in case Schimmrich has any plans
of doing so, let him spare me the Glen Morton canard
about me quoting Mauger out of context).

(Schimmrich). not here providing evidence for that asssertion and totally
ignored is that fact that all of Woodmorappe's data comes from the
published scientific literature! If it wasn't for geologists
reporting all of their data, even if it isn't tidy, Woodmorappe would
have had nothing to write about.

(Reply). So asinine as to be hardly worthy of a reply. I was
not claiming that ALL discrepant results go unpublished, just that some or
most of them do not.

(Schimmrich). Selective quotations from the scientific literature

(Reply). Bunk. I had provided a variety of uniformitarian opinions
in the field of isotopic
dating. On the other hand, Schimmrich falsely accused me of things like
ignoring Evernden's conclusions. Just who is being "selective" in a
mendacious sense???

To the extent that the quotes I use actually are selective, the fact that
they exist at all indicts isotopic dating. The truth of the statements I
cite does not go away merely because they are "selective" or
because Schimmrich
does not like them. If I were to quote from Hitler's MEIN KAMPF by
"selectively" citing
his anti-Semitic statements while ignoring all of the many other
topics which Hitler discussed, could I (following Schimmrich's logic) be
accused of "selective"
quotation in trying to prove that Hitler was an anti-Semite?

quoting people out of context to make your point is generally frowned
upon as being dishonest.

(Reply). Will I ever see the day that anti-Creationists stop repeating
this mendacious crap? Or need I remind Schimmrich or his admirers just how
egegriously out-of-context Schimmrich's own treatment of my paper has

(Schimmrich). Ignoring well-known limitations of dating methods.
It's a well-known fact that not all rocks and minerals are
suitable for radiometric dating and that not all radiometric dating
methods are suitable for all geologic samples. An analogy I like to use is
that of a wooden yardstick

(Reply). Another one of Schimmrich's transparently bogus red herrings.
Where did I ever claim that all materials were suitable for isotopic
dating? And it is the "suitable" materials (such as micas) that give "bad"
results not much less frequently than the "unsuitable" ones (such as
K-feldspars). The existence of discrepancies is a matter of degree, not
kind (as Schimmrich is falsely implying).

(Schimmrich). Similarly, there are some
geologic samples for which the K-Ar method doesn't work very well
(because they've lost argon due to heating) yet the Rb-Sr method
works perfectly well.

(Reply). Ridiculously misleading, and irrelevant. As I showed in my 1979
paper, there are also many cases where BOTH the K-Ar and Rb-Sr results are
disregarded. Yet how are we to evaluate Schimmrich's statement above? By
supposing that the K-Ar result is wrong and the Rb-Sr result is correct.
How convenient.

(Schimmrich). How did geologists discover this and quantify
it? By carefully testing and comparing the various analytical
techniques and coupling their observations with laboratory
experiments and theoretical models of things like argon diffusion in

(Reply). As noted earlier, completely misleading. Analytical techniques
and diffusion models do not accredit isotopic dating.

(Schimmrich). Woodmorappe, throughout his paper, lists examples of these
tests and claims that the discordant dates reported are examples of
why radiometric dating is invalid. They are nothing of the sort. They
are instead examples of how geologists refine and test their

(Reply). Bunk! Schimmrich has not shown one iota of evidence why the
"good" results should be accepted. All he has done was repeat geologists'
INTERPRETATIONS of data as fact. And, once again, discrepancies continue
TO THIS DAY, and most of the papers I cite for my 1979 paper come from the
1970's. So, much as Schimmrich would like to confuse the issue and divert
attention from the glaring flaws of isotopic dating, let him get off his
"early papers" fiddle-faddle.

(Schimmrich). and the following data, taken from a search on GeoRef, shows
explosive growth in the number of scientific papers published on four
radiometric dating techniques for each decade between 1950 and 1990
(this graph also indicates the growth in our knowledge of these
radiometric dating techniques).

(Reply). I suppose that Schimmrich thinks that the audience will be
impressed by the beautiful graphics and the steeply-rising curve. And to
think, that just a moment ago, Schimmrich had something to say about not
confusing quantity over quality. As will be shown in my update work,
discrepant results continue to this day, and the most modern analytical
techniques have NOT reduced the proportions of "bad" results. So the
explosive growth in numbers of dating results, shown in Schimmrich's
pretty graphics, MEANS NOTHING. It is just another red herring.

(Schimmrich). The use of a small data set to reach sweeping conclusions
At first glance, Woodmorappe's paper looks quite impressive with
over 350 entries in his data table of allegedly anomalous dates and
over 400 references to the primary literature. Even if all 400 or so
of Woodmorappe's examples, however, came from separate studies (which
they don't), and even if all of Woodmorappe's examples are
problematic (which I think I've shown is false), we can compare that
against more than 10,000 papers published on four popular radiometric
dating techniques alone up to 1980 (and some techniques, such as
40Ar/39Ar dating, aren't even included on this graph). In other words,
Woodmorappe has only referenced, as a rough approximation, less than
4% of the studies and, on this basis, concludes that all radiometric
dating is invalid.

(Reply). Schimmrich's statements are so transparently asinine as to border
on stupidity. Who said, first of all, that my list as of 1979 even
pretended to be exhaustive? And how could we draw conclusions in view of
the fact that, much as Schimmrich may try to deny it, most discrepant
results go unpublished? And why would Schimmrich have us believe his
implication that there are no discrepant results in the "mountains of
papers" he notes that came out after 1979? Finally, how would we "know" a
discrepant result much of the time even if we see one? Had Schimmrich read
my work carefully, he would have noticed (p. 113) that most igneous bodies
have wide biostratigraphic brackets. Therefore, the vast majority of
igneous bodies could have yielded a tremendous diversity and range of
isotopic dates without any of them contradicting biostratigraphic
evidence, and thus being labelled anomalous. Of course, by now, the
geologic rationalizations are so facile that geochronologists hardly
notice them anymore. They don't ask if a particular isotopic result is
valid, they just ask if the result is a
crystallization age, a cooling age, a rejuvenation age, etc., without
questioning these sacred-cow methods themselves.

(Schimmrich). The lack of an appropriate audience
The biggest problems I see with these claims is that
organizations like the Institute for Creation Research (which
published Woodmorappe's book) aim their literature at laypersons.
Most non-geologists simply wouldn't be able to evaluate the claims
made in this book so it's left to people like me

(reply). A pure, unvarnished lie. Schimmrich is again insinuating that I
am a liar, having supposedly written a book intended to fool laymen, and
to take
advantage of their geologic ignorance. As shown throughout this reply,
Schimmrich is the one who has made a stream of misleading and false
statements that sound very intellectual at first glance but turn out to
be poppycock when closely examined. And, in case it matters, quite a few
professional geologists have read my work and endorse most of it.

(Schimmrich). claims don't stand up to detailed scrutiny by people who are
with the relevant geologic literature.

(reply). I doubt if uniformitarians would ever question the sacred cows of
the old earth in general and isotopic dating in particular. Individual
results, yes, but the overall methods, no.

(Schimmrich). problematic results in geochronology? No, and I'm sure
even listed some real problems for radiometric dating along with his
non-problematic examples (although I would argue that they represent
a very small minority of results).

(Reply). I would love, for once, to see concrete proof for this
oft-repeated claim by the apologists of isotopic dating.

(Schimmrich). are what increase our knowledge of the natural world (which
is why we
understand radiometric dating far better now than we did 40 years

(Reply). Another misleading appeal to technical advances, which I had
dealt with. And increasing "understanding" of radiometric dating implies
more varied, diverse, and clever rationalizations than were invoked

(Schimmrich). A Personal Note. used radiometric dating in my research to
date. I have no vested
interest in the methodology used by my fellow geologists.

(Reply). What a laugh. He is as blind to the fallacies of
uniformitarianism as a deer is in headlights of a vehicle at midnight.

(Schimmrich): community. I too believe in Genesis 1:1, but there is simply
credible evidence that the earth is less than 10,000 years old (and a
lot of credible evidence that it's around 4,600,000,000 years old) or
that there was a geologically-recent global flood.

(Reply). Judging by his servile adherence to uniformitarianism, I doubt if
he would recognize either of these things if they grabbed him by the
throat and hit him over the head. I too am a geologist by training, and I
see PLENTY of evidences against current uniformitarian views and FOR

(Schimmrich): of Genesis rather than the historicity of the Gospels, has
harmed the
cause of Christ by making Christians appear foolish and by making it
very difficult for scientists and those who value reason and truth to
accept Christianity.


I also value reason and science, but NOT rationalism and scientism, as the
compromising evangelicals do. And compromising evangelicals are not
teaching the Word of God, but a prostitution of the Word of God which is
designed to fit the prevailing rationalistic worldview.

By the way, I have witnessed to hundreds of people on campus and have met
made Creationism an excuse for rejecting Christ. And why should anyone,
when there are so many stock excuses available (e. g., the Inquisition,
the real or imagined hypocrisy of churchgoers, the "exclusiveness" of
Christianity, how a loving God could send anyone to hell).

On the contrary, many people have been LED TO CHRIST as a result of
Creationist ministries, which is all the more impressive in view of the
fact that few of the Creationist messages have been openly evangelistic in

Finally, if Schimmrich is so desperate about making Christianity
intellectually respectable, why does he not reject the truths of the
Gospel and become a full-blown modernist? After all, by far most of the
intellectual community whose
admiration he so craves do not accept the
miracles and Resurrection of our Lord any more than they do the miraculous
Creation of the world several thousand years ago. And exactly the same
rationalistic worldview that has its incarnation in standard
uniformitarian geology is
the same one that denies the truths about our Lord. When will compromising
evangelicals come out of their mentally and spiritually schizophrenic

(Schimmrich): Those who teach young-earth creationism to
Christians should keep in mind the warning given in James 3:1 and
remember what our Lord said about those who lead His sheep astray in
Matthew 18:6.

(Reply). To hear compromising evangelicals cite these verses, to me, is
something that is somewhere between hypocrisy and blasphemy. First of all,
how is it that these cafeteria evangelicals cite Scripture against
Creationists when they
themselves selectively deny Scriptures by their ludicrous contortions of
it? Reminds
me of the blatant hypocrisy of those who tried Paul for violating the Law,
and, in violation of the Law, ordered him struck (Acts 23:3).

Secondly, in view of the fact that the Lord Himself taught the Creation
and Flood, I think that misusing His warnings (concerning false teachings)
as a weapon AGAINST the
supporters of the truth (modern Creationists) borders on

(Schimmrich). Christians should have a reputation for being
scrupulously honest, not a reputation for playing fast and loose with
the truth.

(Reply). Amen from Woodmorappe also. When will Schimmrich stop confusing
the false uniformitarian worldview as truth? And when will he admit his
lies about my work? Until he does, I do not wish to hear any more of
his prattling about scientific and personal integrity. He of all people
has nothing to say about these matters.

(Schimmrich). arguments are well reasoned, persuasive, and thoroughly
documented, I
would only recommend this paper as a typical example of pseudoscience

(Reply). Here we go again. Anyone who does not buy into science as defined
by humanists is labeled a pseudoscientist. Well, like it or not, I am a
scientist, and am no less I scientist because I refuse to fall down before
the idol of anti-supernaturalism. From God's viewpoint, the
rationalistic, anti-God preconceptions
which govern uniformitarian geology are pseudoscience PAR EXCELLENCE. How
sad that Schimmrich and other compromising-evangelical geologists are so
devoutly willing to follow it--hook, line, and sinker.

CONCLUSION: Schimmrich's clever red herrings, and outright falsehoods
about my work, do not whitewash isotopic dating at all. Enough time spent
on Schimmrich's anti-Creationist garbage.