Re: It's no joke!

From: Vernon Jenkins <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Date: Sat Apr 09 2005 - 18:11:31 EDT

Hi Christopher,

Concerning the Genesis Flood, you wrote,

"A straight reading of the Genesis story indeed implies a universal flood,
whatever "universal" means, but not necessarily a global flood. But no
matter what the ancient Hebrews knew about geology or hydrology, it is
irrelevant to modern science, which cannot be held hostage to what one group
of bronze age people believed...The matter of a global flood was
investigated by many geologists about 200 years ago, many of whom were
Christians, and they had to come, reluctantly in some cases, that there was
no global flood because the geological evidence contradicted that, at least
a global one less than 10,000 years ago. This was arrived at about 150
years ago, so flogging the dead horse of a global flood is no more
meaningful than flogging the dead horse of geocentricism. They are both
obsolete arguments that had their day in court, but lost out to the
evidence, and in science evidence is what counts, not what people believe or
like."

As a Christian, I am surprised you should rule out the globality of the
Mabbul so readily, for a careful reading of the narrative (Gen.6-9) reveals
a number of logical inconsistencies which face those who hold to the _local
flood_ hypothesis. These have been well aired on the ASA threads, 'So we're
all related!' and 'Is there a Plan B?' (Oct-Nov 2004); however, let me
briefly summarise the more striking of these:
(1) Why the need for a large ocean-going vessel? A trek to higher ground
would surely have been the simpler and more reasonable alternative.
(2) Why the need to save a representative sample of the fauna? - it being
certain that, later, these would freely mix again with those outside the
flood's influence.
(3) It is claimed that the physiography of Mesopotamia suffered no great
change as a result of the Flood. But where are we now to find a virtually
complete ring of high ground that would (a) have held the rising floodwaters
for a total of 150
days (Gen.7:24) and, (b) have retained the slowly lowering floodwaters for a
further 150 days after the rains and subterranean fountains had ceased
(Gen.8:3)?
(4) We are informed that the people destroyed by the cataclysm were _evil_ -
and therefore infer that those living outside its sphere of influence were
essentially _good_ and unworthy of the judgment that God meted out to the
former; yet, unaccountably, these are not included in the covenant God made
with the occupants of the ark!
(5) Further, had the Flood been _local_ then surely, to remove all
ambiguity, the terms of the covenant would need to have made that clear.

Again, those who prefer to read the Hebrew word 'eretz' as 'land' rather
than 'planet earth' are faced with a problem raised by the Apostle Peter
(2Pet.3:6) who speaks of "...the world that then was, being overflowed with
water, perished..." Used in this context, the Greek word 'kosmos' appears to
offer no alternative to 'world' or 'earth'. Peter, undoubtedly, believed the
Flood to have been _global_ and, we infer, so did the Lord Jesus!

It appears to me that this is the crux of the whole matter. As Christians,
who are we to believe? Do we trust _science_ to provide the answers in
respect of this critical event of earth history, or do we trust the Lord
(and common sense)? That is why I believe there are processes - as yet
unknown to science - which might well have accompanied the Flood (which,
after all, was a supernaturally inspired event) and caused a global
disturbance of its 'atomic clocks'. The C-14 data referred to earlier appear
to support this conclusion.

Vernon
www.otherbiblecode.com

PS I trust you will by now have acquainted yourself with the evidence
provided at my website. You may remember that your failure to acquaint
yourself with the strength of my position was a matter of justifiable
complaint during our earlier exchanges.

V

----- Original Message -----
From: <CMSharp01@aol.com>
To: <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 7:23 AM
Subject: Re: It's no joke!

> Hi Vernon,
>
> You wrote:
>
>> Hi Christopher,
>>
>> In response to my request for details of the technique(s) used for the
>> remote measurement of decay rates - as in supernovae, you wrote:
>>
>> "The light curves of supernovae during the postmaximum decay phase
>> are powered by the decay of radioactive nuclei, in particular Ni-56
>> and Co-56. Not only that, but we can see the spectra of these and
>> other radioactive nuclei, and the gamma rays given off when they decay.
>> The decay rates are exactly the same as observed in the lab. No
>> uniformitarian assumptions there, just direct observations."
>>
>> I still have some difficulty getting my head around the quantitative
>> implications of all this. Is it your claim that _no_ assumptions of any
> kind
>> are
>> involved in the procedure?
>
> Why is it so difficult to accept that, the only assumption, if you could
> even call it that, is objective reality? If you see a star exploding
> about
> 169,000 light years away, it obviously really exploded, and that was
> about 169,000 years ago. We can see isotopes decaying in the
> remnant at exactly the same rate as the same isotopes decay here
> on the earth. This is direct observation and no assumption, unless as
> I said, you consider objective reality to be an assumption.
>
>> In response to my further questions, Do you discount the possibility
>> of _local_ changes in these rates (as suggested by Baumgardner et al)
>> as a result of a global cataclysm (e.g. the Noahic Flood)? If so, on
>> what basis?, you wrote:
>>
>> "As to any global Noah's flood, which is a figment of imagination of
>> the 7th Day Adventist Church, and the YECs who picked up on that,
>> such a global catastrophe, even if it had taken place, would not
>> have effected decay rates. With the exception of electron capture,
>> which can be affected to some extent by the environment, regular
>> alpha and beta decay are totally unaffected by the environment the
>> atom is in. I suggest that YECs should take a course in nuclear
>> physics 101."
>>
>> Whether or not one is a 7th Day Adventist, I suggest a straight reading
>> of
>> Genesis 6-9 inclusive fosters the understanding that the Noahic Flood
>> was _universal_. Remarkably, you then appear to imply that there is
>> nothing left to know about sub-atomic particle physics, and further
>> assume
>
> A straight reading of the Genesis story indeed implies a universal flood,
> whatever "universal" means, but not necessarily a global flood. But no
> matter what the ancient Hebrews knew about geology or hydrology, it is
> irrelevant to modern science, which cannot be held hostage to what one
> group of bronze age people believed. Be that as it may, no known
> mechanism could have altered the decay rates, so the argument about
> the flood is irrelevant on that count also.
>
> There is and always will be a lot more to learn about sub-atomic
> particles,
> but so what? We know enough about them to state that there is no
> KNOWN process in a terrestrial environment that can alter their
> properties. If you can propose a mechanism that can be tested, and
> is found to be supported by the evidence, then you are in line to win the
> Nobel Prize, and I will even pay your airfare to Oslo! Otherwise you are
> just engaged in epistemological nihilism, which is one of many creationist
> rhetorical debating tactics.
>
>> that the local environment during the Mabbul via-a-vis decay rates was
>> much
>> as we experience today. Can you prove that it was? If not, then I
>> suggest
>> the matter (including the universality of the Flood) is hardly _closed_
>> ,as
>> your words suggest, but wide open to further careful inquiry - which is
>> what the RATE program is all about.
>
> The matter of a global flood was investigated by many geologists about 200
> years ago, many of whom were Christians, and they had to come, reluctantly
> in some cases, that there was no global flood because the geological
> evidence contradicted that, at least a global one less than 10,000 years
> ago. This was arrived at about 150 years ago, so flogging the dead horse
> of a global flood is no more meaningful than flogging the dead horse of
> geocentricism. They are both obsolete arguments that had their day in
> court, but lost out to the evidence, and in science evidence is what
> counts,
> not what people believe or like.
>
> If John Baumgardener can provide a testable theoretical model to explain
> the
> decay rate changes, and that model is backed up by evidence, then this
> would be very exciting. If I were in contact with him, I would encourage
> him that once he has worked out his model, it should be submitted to a
> refereed journal in geophysics, or even theoretical physics.
>
> Christopher Sharp
> http://csharp.com/creationism.html
>
Received on Sat Apr 9 18:13:49 2005

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