Re: AiG bites the dust

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (dfsiemensjr@juno.com)
Date: Sun Sep 29 2002 - 23:37:33 EDT

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    On Fri, 27 Sep 2002 11:52:42 -0400 "Jay Willingham"
    <jaywillingham@cfl.rr.com> writes:
    >
    > Burgy,
    >
    > I detect the same lack of healthy skepticism from both sides of the
    > debate.
    >
    > On one side there is a lack of skepticism about radioisotope and
    > stratigraphic dating techniques as well as fossil record
    > interpretation.
    >
    > On the other side there is a similar dismissive attitude about the
    > same
    > hypotheses and a lack of skepticism about certain biblical
    > interpretations.
    >
    > <snip>
    > Jay Willingham, Esq.
    > Central Florida
    >
    Jay,
    I was taught YEC and thought the world of George MacReady Price and Byron
    Nelson. I collected quotations that I thought showed the error of an old
    earth. Then in grad school I read the journal articles for the first
    time. As I checked the data, I discovered that there might be an error in
    dating by a factor or 2 or 3, but not by twice that number of orders of
    magnitude, which YEC requires. This conclusion has been strengthened by
    the more recent computations that give the correct numbers for
    radioactive half lives of the various elements involved in the dating. It
    is no longer the U-Pb series alone, nor just radio-carbon. To this must
    be added the nearly incontrovertible Big Bang, plus the distances
    measured by various techniques to the stars, galaxies, quasars,
    etc.--unless the Creator is deliberately misleading us, making him have
    the same character as the devil (John 8:44). The same science that
    supports the half life data is what gives us atomic and hydrogen bombs,
    explains the power of sun and stars and the amounts of elements
    throughout the universe. Unless you deny the existence of all these
    phenomena, you cannot reject radiological dating.

    One does not need advanced science to find problems with creation
    research claims. Some years back I saw the bristlecone pines, perhaps the
    oldest living things we know. (I've seen a claim that some rings of
    desert plants are probably older, but one can't count annual rings
    there.) The ring count goes back some 7 Ky. This creates such a problem
    for the Flood date that their journal claimed that some years these trees
    produced a double ring. But this would have to happen in a majority of
    years, which is incredible. The radio-carbon dates also generally agree,
    though they may be corrected from the ring record, for radio-carbon
    production has not been absolutely consistent. This agreement had to be
    explained, so a nearby nova or supernova was claimed. The problem with
    this explanation is that such astronomical events (1) do not produce the
    required results (this involves more advanced physics); (2) leave a
    pulsar or neutron star or similar residue, which cannot be pointed out
    (this is a simple matter of looking). This follows the principle that no
    man is smart enough to be a successful liar, the foundation of cross
    examination by a lawyer.

    Michael Roberts has given us evidence that the YEC "history" of belief in
    the age of the earth is false. Glenn Morton presents evidence that they
    misquote and misuse the scientific literature. All this is independent of
    any appeal to the interpretation of scripture. The only YEC scientist
    that I know of whose work was taken seriously was the chap with Po halos.
    I don't recall the details, but he interpreted them as indicating a
    recent catastrophe. There are alternative explanations in standard
    science. For the rest, when I encounter nothing but mutually inconsistent
    ad hoc explanations from flood geology/creation science, am I somehow
    lacking in skepticism about scientific hypotheses?

    I was at the meeting of the Western Section of AAAS in Santa Barbara when
    Gish spoke. After his presentation, he was asked, "Is there any possible
    evidence that could change your opinion?" His immediate reply was, "There
    is none." Is this the attitude of a scientist? I know that I have been
    forced to change my mind repeatedly, reluctantly: the evidence demanded
    it. I trust that God in his mercy and wisdom will forgive and control my
    mistakes and ignorance. But I am certain that I cannot serve him with a
    lie."I had the best intentions" will not justify a lie when I face the
    judgment seat of Christ.
    Dave



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