Re: [asa] Denver RATE Conference (Thousands...Not Billions)_Part 6 & The End

From: Robert Schneider <>
Date: Sat Oct 13 2007 - 10:45:51 EDT

About Gary Parker. When he was on the AIG staff he gave a two-day "creation
seminar" in Berea, KY, about ten years ago. I heard him speak at Berea
College during an afternoon and evening presentation. What a colleague of
mine learned about Parker is that he does not have a Ph.D. in biology but an
Ed.D. in biology education. My colleague asked Parker about it in a Q & A,
and he spent ten minutes justifying his biology background before admitting
that he was an Ed.D. I think it is a stretch to call him a "scientist." In
his book _Creation Facts of Life_, his presentation on genetics is
ludicrous, but sounds very authoritative (the YEC rhetorical approach). Your
description of his presentation, Steve, fit the Parker I heard to a tee.
He's quite slick. In one Q & A a physics major challenged Gentry's work on
polonium halos, citing a few scientific papers. Parker dismissed the
critique with polite disdain. Parker is basically a preacher, as you said,
and he's good at it. Those of us academics in the audience knew it was
useless to challenge him and just made notes of things he said in order to
comment on them to any students who might ask. Interestingly only about
fifty students showed up for his afternoon presentations, and most of them
were "bobbing heads" as another students called them (i.e, the campus
student YECs, constantly nodding in agreement). The evening session
consisted of an audience of mostly people from local conservative churches
that jointly sponsored the seminar. He preached to them, starting with

Shortly thereafter Campus Ministry invited me to lead a discussion for the
dorm student chaplains on Parker's presentations. I asserted that what
Parker had to say about evolution was a caricature and not a true
representation. I mainly talked about their chief concern, does the Bible
teach science. Since I was a respected professor at Berea, I saw much
anxiety in the faces of the students as the discussion wore on. Berea is
only 100 miles away from AIG headquarters, and Ham & Co has sown seeds in
that field.

Bob Schneider

On 10/12/07, Steven M Smith <> wrote:
> Randy,
> You ask a couple of questions in your recent post. Let me address the
> last one first.
> >>Neither the photo of the RATE project team nor the acknowledgments nor
> the list of authors includes Gary Parker or Lawrence Ford. Do either of them
> have scientific "credentials?"<<
> Neither Lawrence Ford nor Gary Parker were actually "RATE scientists".
> Lawrence Ford was introduced at the RATE conference as Director of something
> or another (perhaps Media Communications??) at the Institute for Creation
> Research (ICR). I went to the ICR website looking for Lawrence Ford and all
> I found were a few news articles that he had written. I could not find or
> confirm his official position at ICR. His role at the conference was that
> of "Master of Ceremonies". He introduced speakers; pushed literature; gave
> us details about breaks, snacks, lunch, and restrooms; and read questions
> during the final Q & A session. Lawrence never claimed to be a scientist
> and, if my memory is correct, actually stated that he was not but was
> impressed to be in the company of such august scientific minds. He was the
> 'common man' that everyone in the audience could relate to.
> Gary Parker has a scientific background and was included in the Q & A as a
> 'RATE scientist' but was apparently not one of the RATE researchers. I see
> that in Part 5 ( I said
> that I had given his full introduction in Part 1 (
>; but I didn't. That
> was my oversight. Lawrence introduced Parker to us as having a BA in
> Biochemistry from Walbash College, plus an MS and a PhD in Biology &
> Paleontology from Ball State. He was a Biology Professor at a few Christian
> colleges including Dort & Clearwater, FL and has written secular science
> textbooks. He was a science consultant to the original ICR museum and to the
> new AiG Creation Museum. He is an adjunct professor for ICR and has his own
> Creation Adventures Museum ministry in Arcadia, FL. Gary Parker is
> apparently one of the cadre of YEC speakers for ICR. His two talks were not
> scientific presentations, they were the rambling mixture of science,
> theology, humorous stories, and sermon typically found at any YEC
> presentation. He sounded like a preacher to me.
> >>In scanning over your report again, I noted the rather short
> discussion of "isochron discordances" at the RATE conference. Perhaps it is
> because neither Snelling nor Austin were there and this was their specialty.
> ... [snipped] ... Do you recall if DeYoung gave any numbers in that section
> of the talk? Did he say how big the discrepancies are and did they have a
> quantitative solution that resolves them? <<
> Yes, this section was very short and very fast. I barely had time to
> write down some of the names of sampled locations as DeYoung flashed slide
> after slide at us. Very little explanation was given beyond what I said in
> my review of DeYoung's talk (
> The point seemed to
> be to illustrate that different radioisotopic methods [always] gave
> different dates. [The unstated implication that I heard was that
> radioisotopic methods were unreliable and that geologists would simply pick
> the date they liked.] Each slide was labeled _Radioisotope "Ages"_, had the
> name of the site, the name of the rock, a picture of the site, and three or
> four radioisotopic dates. During this time I did grab my digital camera and
> snapped a couple of fuzzy photos of these slides. One of my photos shows
> the slide about the Bass Rapids Diabase Sill in the Grand Canyon. It lists
> 4 dates:
> K-Ar 841.5 million yrs.
> Rb-Sr 1,060 million yrs.
> Pb-Pb 1,250 million yrs.
> Sm-Nd 1,379 million yrs.
> DeYoung did not say much beyond noting the obvious range between 1,375 M.Y.
> and 841.5 M.Y. - as much as 500 million years difference. You will note
> that their listed dates did not include the +/- error bars.
> It is what DeYoung didn't say (either in his talk or in his book
> "Thousands ... not Billions") that concerns me most. [Note: Since I
> haven't read those "200 pages" you mention in the "RATE VOl II technical
> report", I cannot speak to the absence of critical information in that
> report.] I have done some literature research on the Bass Rapids Diabase
> Sill in the Grand Canyon and, since you have brought the topic up, will try
> to condense my findings into a future post (or set of postings). Suffice it
> for now to say that DeYoung fails to mention:
> 1) K-Ar dating does not always date the 'total age' of the rock. It
> simply dates the age since the rock last cooled below a certain closing
> temperature.
> 2) Grand Canyon researchers have previously noted the low K-Ar dates and
> use these data to support the idea that the area was reheated (to a
> temperature high enough to partially reset the K-Ar 'clock') during a
> recognized tectonic event (The Grand Canyon Disturbance) about 800 million
> years ago. An average age of 823 million years is suggested.
> 3) A published K-Ar study concluded that the K-Ar dates on several of
> these rocks show a scatter and experimental results that are "characteristic
> of rocks that have disturbed thermal histories leading to partially reset
> ages."
> 4) Mentioned in his book but not in this talk: Austin actually got a range
> of K-Ar dates from 686 +/-15 to 1053 +/-24 on various samples from this
> area. Note the scatter and how close the oldest date is to the Rb-Sr date.
> 5) Published studies in the 1970's & 80's obtained Rb-Sr dates of 1,070
> +/-70 million years for sills & flows in this area.
> 6) Published studies showed that zircons in nearby rocks from the same
> stratigraphic interval gave slightly older U-Pb dates (the Pb-Pb method is a
> variation on the U-Pb method) than the Rb-Sr dates.
> 7) Researchers had proposed that the flows & sills that include the Bass
> Rapid Diabase Sill has a *minimum* date of 1,070 million years but that it
> could be somewhat older based on U-Pb results.
> 8) Any one of the 3 older dates fit well within the stratigraphic record
> for these rocks.
> My conclusion from the older literature is that if you were to collect
> samples from the Bass Rapids Diabase Sill, you can expect rubidium-strontium
> dates around 1,070 million years; a good possibility that lead-lead dates
> will be somewhat older; and a scatter of potassium-argon dates due to a
> resetting event averaging somewhere around 823 million year ago.
> So Steve Austin goes to the Bass Rapids sill, collects several samples,
> spends thousands of dollars of charitable donations, and gets the same exact
> results that we would expect from literature published 25 years ago. Looks
> like a case of picking out only the results that you want. Does this sound
> ethical to you?
> Steve
> (Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are my own and are not to be
> attributed to my employer ... or anyone else.)
> _____________
> Steven M. Smith, Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey
> Box 25046, M.S. 973, DFC, Denver, CO 80225
> Office: (303)236-1192, Fax: (303)236-3200
> Email:
> -USGS Nat'l Geochem. Database NURE HSSR Web Site-
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Robert J. Schneider
187 Sierra Vista
Boone, NC, 28607
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Received on Sat Oct 13 10:46:44 2007

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