Arguments for a young earth (wasICR; June 2005)

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 18:04:58 EDT

My answer to Burgy is that one should kill every one of the Hydra's
heads as they appear, while simultaneously pointing out that the Hydra
has no power anyway.
On the NZ scene, a booklet with the title "In the Beginning: Three Views
on Creation and Science" has just been published. The 3 views are YEC,
IDT, TE. The 3 authors wrote 6000 words each, exchanged documents, and
wrote 2000 more words each. I contributed the TE view. My closure
section included the following:

It is a misconception to suppose that one can present pieces of “young
earth evidence” and expect that the truth of a single one of those
claims is sufficient to make the evolutionist position collapse. Science
just does not work like that. In any case, one can point out weaknesses
in each of the evidences given by Lewis Meyer, so I shall do this. I
will respond very briefly. More detailed refutations are available on
the internet, notably at <> .

1./Earth’s magnetic field/. Modern electrodynamic theory predicts rapid
reversals but long intervals between the reversals.

2. /Helium in rocks/. Deeper zircons have less helium, less uranium, and
less radiation damage, and thus have much smaller diffusivity than
shallower zircons.

3. /Salt in sea/. This is largely in equilibrium. Excess salt is removed
by deposition in shallow sea beds.

4. /Missing supernova remnants/. Davies and Sarfati are correct about
the frequency of supernovae occurrence in our Galaxy, but they are wrong
about the number of observable SNRs, the typical observed lifetime of
SNRs, the evolutionary timescales involved, the uniformity of SNR
characteristics, and the difficulty of finding SNRs

5. /Short period comets/. Those objects in the Kuiper Belt sufficiently
large to be observed are indeed observed, while those of typical comet
size are too small to be observed at present.

6. /Moon’s recession./ The rate of recession varies as the Earth’s tidal
drag varies, and this has changed as the distribution of the continents
has changed.

7. /Radiohalos/. These were observed, and an explanation proposed for
them, long before Gentry wrote on the subject. Also, the fact that a
thing can form quickly does not imply that it formed a short time ago.
Also, that similar phenomena are found in different places does not
imply that they formed at the same time.

8. /Erosion of continents/. Valid mountain building processes have been
ignored by the YECs.

9. /Spiral galaxies/. Density wave theory leads to predictions that are
in accord with observation.

The arguments put forward by Meyer are typical of YEC arguments. The
YECs latch on to isolated instances where standard science has not yet
produced a good explanation and they ignore all the other evidence.
Their own arguments are ad hoc. They are full of serious faults. Robert
Snow^1 has documented one case study where the faults included (1)
unwarranted extrapolation, (2) exclusion of relevant data, (3) failure
to consider relevant processes or events, (4) failure to correct items
1- 3 even after learning of the problem, (5) loss of contact with the
professional scientific literature, and (6) dependence on secondary
sources. It is the poor standard of their arguments -- not the
supernatural aspect -- that puts the YEC position in disrepute for most
scientists. By insisting on their particular interpretation of Genesis
the YECs have put themselves in a straightjacket that prevents them from
considering properly the bulk of the scientific evidence.

The Snow reference is to Van Till (ed), Portraits in Creation. The nine
"evidences" are essentially those used by Sarfati in his "Refuting
Compromise" book -- which I assume are those currently pushed by AiG.

>The Impact article (#384) by Humphries is interesting. Fourteen natural
>phenomena are discussed, all of which conflict with the "billions of
>years" theory. These are presented in a way that -- if even one cannot be
>refuted, the earth MUST be young. ICR will no doubt have these up on
>their web site shortly; for reference, here they are:
>1 Galaxies wind up "too fast."
>2 Too few supernova remnants
>3 Comets disintegrate too quickly. The Oort cloud is unobserved.
>4 Not enough mud on the sea floor
>5 Not enough sodium in the sea
>6 The earth's magnetic field is decaying too fast
>7 Many strata are too tightly bent
>8 Biological material decays too fast
>9 Fossil radioactivity shortens geologic "ages" to a few years
>10 Too much helium in minerals
>11 Too much carbon in deep geologic strata
>12 Not enough Stone Age skeletons
>13 Agriculture is too recent
>14 History is too short
>My expectation is that this list of 14 will be expanded as the countdown
>to 11/5/05 continues. Kill 13 of them; the one remaining will still be
>used to "prove" a young earth.

Received on Fri Jun 10 18:08:28 2005

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