Article 4171 of talk.origins: The source of theinformation on colleges and universities i

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Article 4171 of talk.origins: The source of theinformation on colleges and universities is from "Bear's Guide to Earning Non-Traditional College Degrees," 10th Ed. Where used below, the word "Accreditation" refers to accreditation by one of the recognized Regional Accrediting Agencies, OR by the (legitimate) American Association of Bible Colleges. California has a three tier system: At the low end are "Authorized" schools. More highly scrutinized are "Approved" schools. "Accredited" schools are accredited by the regional Accrediting Agency. Dr. Carl Baugh, a fundamentalist Missouri Baptist minister with no scientific background, claims to be an archaeologist. He also claims to have a Ph.D. from the California Graduate School of Theology in Glendale. When a local skeptic checked with the primary organization responsible for accreditation (The Western Association of Schools and Colleges), he was informed that this "graduate school" has not been accredited. Reverend Baugh claims to have found "human" footprints that measure nearly forty inches from heel to toe. California Graduate School of Theology is "Approved" by the state of California (A step up from "Authorized.") but is not accredited. All degrees are in theology. Credit is given for "experiential learning." Dr. Richard Bliss, a member of the ICR staff, has claimed to have a D.Ed. from the University of Sarasota located in Florida. In the 1984 spring issue of "Scientific Integrity", William V. Mayer pointed out that this university has been characterized by the "Philadelphia Inquirer" as a diploma mill in a Florida motel (see Lovejoy's College Catalog). Bliss has accused evolutionary scientists of "intellectual dishonesty". He also claims to be "a recognized expert in the field of science education" and is co-author of a "two-model" book that is being pushed for use in the public school system. Bear lists the "University of Sarasota" as a "short residency" (total residency may be as short as six weeks) school. The school is the equivalent of California "Approved," but is not accredited. Dr. Clifford Burdick of the CSRC (Creation Science Research Center) is a "flood" geologist who has spent forty years trying to prove that giant humans once roamed the earth and even mingled with the dinosaurs. Burdick has displayed a copy of his Ph.D. from the University of Physical Sciences (Phoenix, Arizona) in the Glen Rose Creation Evidence Museum. However, the State of Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona Department of Geology, and the Arizona State Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology have never heard of this "university." Bear hasn't heard of this school either. There appears to be a "University of Psychic Sciences," in National City, California. Dr. Kelly Segraves, director of the CSRC, listed himself as M.A. and D.Sc. on the 1975 CSRC letterhead. After having it called into question, Segraves dropped the D.Sc. in 1981 and now lists "D.R.E." in its place. Segraves has claimed that his D.Sc. is honorary from Christian University, yet a computer search indicated that the only university with that name is located in Jakarta, Indonesia. The next closest match is a Bible College called Indiana Christian University (see below). Segraves claims to have received his M.A. from Sequoia University in 1972 but Bette Chambers discovered that there is no such place. The closest name match is a Sequoia College in California, which only offers two year associate degrees and has no record of any student named Kelly Segraves. Note that "D.R.E." is a doctorate of religious education and does not qualify as a scientific degree. There are or were several "National Christian University," in Richardson, (Texas), Dallas, and apparently Oklahoma City and/or Missouri. Bear can offer no other information, except that "National Christian" appears on a European list of degree mills. There is a "Christian International University" in Phoenix, Arizona (which was established in Texas in 1967, and moved to Arizona in 1977 when "the Lord provided a central home"). The only staff member listed as having a Doctorate is the President, whose degree is from...National Christian University. CIU is the the equivalent of California "Authorized," but not Accredited. Sequoia University did exist, in California and Oklahoma, but a judge in Los Angeles, in 1984, issued a permanent injunction to cease operations "until it complies with the state education laws." The "university" offered degrees in osteopathic medicine, religious studies, hydrotherapy, and physical sciences. Dr. Harold S. Slusher of the ICR claims to have an honorary D.Sc. from Indiana Christian University and a Ph.D. from Columbia Pacific University. Robert J. Schadewald recently discovered that Indiana Christian University is a Bible College with only a 1/2 man graduate science department, and Columbia Pacific University is nonaccredited. "Indiana Christian University" is unknown to Bear. Columbia Pacific University, in San Rafael, California, is California "Approved," but not Accredited. Of listed faculty, 23% have their own Doctorate from ... Columbia Pacific University. Incidentally, ICR lost it approval to grant graduate science degree last year. (1988) The school has appealed but is expected to lose its reapproval appeal. Article 4173 of talk.origins: Topics: }There are gaps in fossil record } Oldest living things }Man and dinosaurs coexisted. }The suddenness with which major changes }Many extinctions lack obvious reasons. }"carcasses deposited in icy mucky dumps" }evidence of rapid removal and deposition of soil, forest in arctic. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- }- There are gaps in fossil record where you'd expect intermediate forms. There are more fossils than Creationists will admit. Many intermediate forms are known--for example, the development of the mammal skull characteristics from the therapsida of Permian time. What gaps remain can be explained by erosion, lack of proper conditions for fossilization, the punctuated equilibrium model, or simply not looking in the right places yet. } - Oldest living things, bristlecone pines, are younger than 5000 years. Sure. In fact, if you go for grove instead of individual tree and match similiar growth rigns (similiar events in overlapping lifespans) it goes well over 11,000 years. }- Man and dinosaurs coexisted. (Creationist Institute of California). Refuted. Institute discredited and licence (to grant science degrees) recently revoked. BTW: Those "footprints" in the Paluxy river bed are NOT human. A simple observation of the tracks reveal that while an arch is present forward of the heel, there are only three toes. If a track is observed which is uneroded, webbing is visible between the toes. A special on NOVA allowed these tracks to be visible to millions. Dr. Walter Brown, now director of the Center for Scientific Creation in Phoenix, AZ. Brown, may fall back on a rather novel technique that he has employed in the past -- denying having ever supported the idea. Brown first used this tactic not long after the Paluxy River tracks were shown conclusively to be either dinosaur tracks or erosion marks. When asked for his opinion, Brown claimed that he had NEVER supported the Paluxy River tracks. However, he was forced to 'fess up when shown the transcript of a local Ontario TV program, "Speaking Out," when he stated that Paluxy River was very good evidence for creationism. }1) The suddenness with which major changes in pattern occurred and the } virtual absence of any fossil remains from the period in which they } were alleged to be evolving. This can be explained by punctuated evolution, in this regard it is important to note that not all suggested lineages in the fossil record have such abrupt changes and gaps. There are several fossil sucessions that record critical evolutionary steps and at a fine taxinomic resolution. The development of the modern horse is a fairly complete sucession, as is the development of mammal skull characteristics from the therapsida of Permean time. Other examples of pretty gradual evolution? Instantaneous changes of taxa, on a geologic time scale, between long periods of stability does not pose insurmountable problems for neo-evolution since it is genetic equillibrium that allows long stable periods and stressing the gene pool into metastable states that allows for punctuated evolution. }- Many extinctions lack obvious reasons. The "obvious reasons" are obvious to him, and do not necessarily have anything to do with reality (i.e. 'cause he don't see it don't make it gone) This may be a problem for compiling a history of life, but the existence of extinctions at all poses problems for anyone claiming life has teleology. If a divine creator is calling the shots then finding extinctions casts doubt on the perfection of his plan, or even the existance of a plan. As for finding causes for extinctions, this is going to be an area of some debate for years to come. The ideas that have been advanced find some common collapse of habitat that is consistant with evolutionary biology. The suddeness, or seeming catastrophe of proposed events do not really threaten uniformatarianism because they are changes of rate, but not of process. The "Lack of Obvious Reasons", may overstate the problem, for a series of events such as asteriod impact, continental colissions, destruction of barriers between habitats, all have been advanced and all point to the destruction of habitat and with it mass extinctions. } - "carcasses deposited in icy mucky dumps" } - evidence of rapid removal and deposition of soil, forest in arctic. }No, the evidence plainly points to the removal of large areas of soil and }forest along with their rapid deposition and freezing in the artic... now }what besides a tidal surge of immense proportions would do that... and if }such a surge wiped the face of Asia and Alaska, why is it unlikely to extend }it to Mesopotania, where it would have depositied it's debris in the vicinity }of Ararat! Severe temperature changes are known to be responsible for great catastrophic mortalities. Such mortalities are typically associated with unusually cold spells or severe winters. Severe storms are also responsible for catastrophic kills and quick seimentary deposition. During hurricanes and other severe stormes, bottom sediment can be stirred up to a considerable depth and easily bury animals. There is absolutely no question that modern day catastrophes are constantly occuring and that many of these can result in catastrophic kills and rapid deposition of sediment. In short, fossils and fossil graveyards are being formed today. You may be correct in assuming that the evidence of rapid deposition you cite is generally evidence for some catastrophic mode of formation, but you are incorrect in assuming that only the Genesis Flood can account for such deposits. Especially in the face of the great amount of other evidence in direct conflict with the Genesis Flood hypothesis, evidence of slow deposition, evidence in coral reef formations, evaporite deposits, fossil lake deposits, glacial deposits, and desert deposits. When we look at the sedimentary rock record we find some deposits that bear evidence of having been formed by moving water and could have been formed in flood water, but by no means are all rocks like that, in fact there are a considerable number of formations that could not have formed in surging flood waters at all. Article 4174 of talk.origins: } the evidence from the fossil record to support evolution is largely } missing and that critical gaps indicate a single creation of life } as it is today. }The fossil record is incomplete and there are no transitions evident Such a prediction by creationists is rare. The implication of this is that if gaps in the fossil record are ever filled, creationism is falsified. Those outside professional paleontology often find it difficult to access what the fossil record does and does not show. As someone who works within the field of human paleontology and human evolution, I often find it odd when I am told that the number of human fossils is much too meager to allow the sort of extrapolation claimed by biologists for human ancestry. This may have been true 20 years ago, but it certain is not the case now. This might lead one to wonder if the fossil record is not also underrated in the are of other organisms as well. An article in the book _Science and Creationism_, edited by Ashley Montague, addresses this point. The article is by noted paleontologist Roger J. Cuffey, one of the witnesses called to testify in the now famous Arkansas creation science case in 1982. Allow me to quote form the article, entitled "Paleontological Evidence and Organic Evolution,": "If we read the paleontologic literature (especially if with the background of professional paleontologic training and experience) we find that the fossil record contains many examples of such transitional fossils. These connect both low-rank taxa (like different species) and high-rank taxa (like different classes), inspite of the records imperfections and in spite of the relatively small number of practicing paleontologists. Because of the critical role which transitional fossils played in convincing scientists of the occurrence of organic evolution, paleontologists have been appalled that many otherwise well- informed persons have repeated the grossly misinformed assertion that transitional fossils do not exist." Cuffey the goes on to list no fewer than 185 references in the paleontologic literature documenting such transitional forms. One of my favorites is the fossil Therapsid, Diarthognathus. In the fossil record, reptiles are distinguished from mammals by the number of bones that form the lower jaw. This is not a trival distinction, since the musculature of the reptilian jaw is different from that of mammals and would require such a re-design. Essential, reptiles have a lower jaw made of three bones (dentary, articular and quadrate) while mammals have only a single bone (the dentary), with the articular and quadrate relocated to the middle-ear (reptiles have only one ear ossicle, mammals have three. The relocation of this bones is observable embryologically in modern mammals). Therapsids are "mammal-like reptiles" and have a number of traits that put them midway between mammals and reptiles. The skull is larely reptilian but the dentary is much larger than in modern reptiles and other fossil reptil groups. Also, the therapsids have heterdont teeth (different shapes for different functions as in mammals) and limbs located underneath the body, rather than out to the side (not as far underneath as in mammals, however). Diarthrognathus is a therapsid with both a mammalian and reptilian jaw joint. Both are functional, but the mammal-like joint seems to have been the most functional. The quadrate and articular bones are very reduced. The animal is literally hafe-way between a mammal and a reptile. One more thing. I think it unfair to list Denton with other respected biologists. Denton is not a biologists and, while not religious either, had his own philosophical axe to grind against what he felt are the dehumanizing implications of evolution. A recent review of Denton's book appears in the July-August Issue of the NCSE Reports (published by the national center for science education ). The review, by biologists William M. Thwaites, points out the numerous errors, misintepretations and misrepresentations in Denton's book. Denton, as do many religious creationists, relies on outdated material often quoted out of context, and does not seem to understand the implications of the examples he uses, especially those using biochemical evidence. Thwaite concludes: "...Denton's book is just another typical anti-evolution tract. It shows that Dento is motivated, not by a desire to understand the workings of nature, but by apparent fear of "agnostic," "materialistic," and "skeptical outlook of the twentieth centure." }The fossil record is incomplete and there are no transitions evident The fossil record will never be complete, but it is certainly more complete than it was in Darwin's day. Darwin`s prediction that the "holes" would be filled has come true. Transitional fossils now exist for all vertebrate groups. Transitional forms also exist for most major invertebrate groups and for most groups of plants. For those of you without the fortitude to wade through the paleontological literature, a wonder source of information is an article by Roger J. Cuffey in the book _Science and Creationism_ (edited by Ashley Montague). This book should be fairly easy to obtain. In the article, entitled "Paleontologic Evidence and Organic Evolution" Cuffey lists no less than 220 references from various scientific journals documenting these transitional fossils. These transitions include connections between low rank taxa (like species) as well as high-rank taxa (like classes). It is interesting that much is made of the "evolution should not be treated as a fact" when the same people often talk about a lack of transitional forms between various taxa. Taxonomic groups are not facts. Taxonomy is an order imposed on the living world by scientists to make the diversity of life easier to deal with. Nonetheless, creationists and fellow travellers refer to it like it is written in in stone. >From stassen@netcom.UUCP (Chris Stassen): For those interested in evaluating "intermediate forms", I'd recommend Chris McGowan's _In The Beginning_ (Prometheus). It's a "good place to start" for the layman (but by no means sufficient all by itself). He devotes two chapters (pp. 110-141) on detailed study of Archaeopteryx and the Cynodonts, comparing their features to those of the two groups which they fall between. While Archaeopteryx appears too late to itself be the transitional form between reptiles and birds, it does fall between the two categories. The Creationists contend that it is a bird - but a detailed study of features shows that it has less in common with birds (feathers, wishbone) than it does with Theropod dinosaurs (pubic peduncle, bony tail, no pygostyle, no bony sternum, three well-developed fingers, three well-developed metacarpal bones, metacarpal bones unfused, metatarsal bones separate, no hypotarsus, abdominal ribs). The first specimen found was accidentally classified as a reptile because the feather impressions were too faint to discern (until the fossil was specifically examined for them). I'll deal with Cynodonts more briefly, but when evaluated in 14 main areas where reptiles and mammals differ skeletally, they are clearly intermediates. They share five of the features with reptiles, five with mammals, and are somewhere in between on the other four. Since they appear in the fossil record at the proper time, and are connected by many other "transitional" fossils in a very detailed sequence, they represent one of the most well-documented transitional forms. (It should be no surprise that more recent transitions are better documented. More fossils are available, and more complex creatures probably change more slowly.) Article 4175 of talk.origins: Topics: }Creationism deserves equal time }Evolutionists themselves admit they have no proof }evolutionists themselves have admitted to flaws in their arguement. }some scientists don't agree }Evolution isn't a science }Life is too complex to have happened by chance. }Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. }Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate. }Radioactive dating can't be calibrated. }radioactive decay rates did not remain constant }the creation of matter or energy is not now taking place, _______________________________________________________________________ }- Creationism deserves equal time because evolution is only a theory. But a theory in the scientific sense of the word, meaning that it explains a wide range of phenomena and that there's lots of data to back it up. Creationism, on the other hand, isn't even a theory; it's an assertion. "Equal time" in what? In schools in general, or in science classes? Science classes are suppose to teach science. There are two criteria for this: 1. It must be falsifiable i.e. there must be some way to show that the theory is incorrect. The theory must be testable. Evolution is, in that there can be things specified which, if they can be verified, would disprove evolution. Creationism allows no such test. 2. It must be able to make predictions i.e. it must be able to tell you how something WILL occur (and then you must be able to verify the accuracy of the prediction). The theories which compose evolution are useful in this regard in that they have made predictions concerning population densities, physiologies, chemistries, fossil find forecasts,... Creationism does none of this. At best, its "predictions" are either in the past (already happened) or unverifiable. }- Evolutionists themselves admit they have no proof. That is because science doesn't "prove": it shows possibilities and disproves things and makes predictions. Science doesn't deal in proof. It deals in evidence. Evolution has LOTS of evidence. } Twenty objections admitted: evolutionists themselves have admitted } to flaws in their arguement. Isn't it nice to have a system that you can critize and test? The only system which has no flaws is one in which those flaws are either defined away or ignored. We call this "dogma". The presence of these flaws reveils the presence of active investigation into the limits. We call this "science". } Scientists condemn evolution: some scientists don't agree etc. .... Then the same argument disproves Creationism, too, since many (most?) theologians don't agree with it. What else has 100% concurrence? Gravity is not 100% concurred with, either. }- Evolution isn't a science because you can't observe things that happened } millions of years ago. Buy you can observe the RESULTS of things that happened millions of years ago. And then, by using basic scientific knowledge, extrapolate back. And by observing trends within the period you can derive general rules which may then be used for predictions into the future. Just the historical observation is not evolution. }Evolution is not so much a science as it is a philosophy or an attitude }of mind... it is manifestly impossible to prove they (evolutionary }changes of the past) actually did take place. I suppose that, if he saw a open square in the wall and pieces of glass by it and a rock sitting amongst the glass that he could draw no conclusions about the possible presence in the past of a window... }- Life is too complex to have happened by chance. Another is the "randomness argument". What is "random", anyway? We are never told. It says that self organization cannot occur because the process is "blind" and "random" that is supposed to drive it. Never mind that the system has a finite number of states it can occupy and its history can constrain its future states. This borrows from the thermodynamic argument the confusion over entropy and open system states. The theory of evolution doesn't say it did happen by chance. This argument completely ignores natural selection. Please read: Life in Darwin's Universe G. Bylinsky, Omni Sept 79 The Evolution of Ecological Systems May, Scientific American, Sept 1978 Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life Dickerson, Scientific American, Sept 1978 The Evolution of the Earliest Cells Schopf, Scientific American, Sept 1978 The Evolution of Multicellular Plants and Animals Valentine, Scientific American, Sept 1978 It is easy to get VERY complicated systems containing a tremendous amount of information starting from very simple, low information systems. Two methods: 1. fractal structures - start with a very simple rule and repeat it over and over and over. The resulting structure can be (usually is) VERY complicated, but the formation equations can be very, very simple. And the universe has had a long time to do so. Example: Look at a snowflake. 2. chaos - You can get very, very complicated systems if you use nonlinearities in the progression. That is why weather forecasting doesn't work. Complexity does not imply design. Recursion or nonlinearity work quite well. And the word is recursive and very non-linear. }- Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Not true. The 2nd law of thermodynamics applies only to closed systems. The Earth is not a closed system. That if thermo could somehow forbid evolution, then it would also forbid babies from growing to be adults, and parents from having children. In fact, we are agents of entropy: we organize our bodies at the expense of the organization of our environment, which we digest and burn. Creationists often (ab)use the Second Law of Thermodynamics, apparently not realizing that it explicitly states, "...in a closed system...". By definition, a closed system cannot contain anything external to itself. A Creator who is entirely bounded by His own creation seems non-sensical, and I can't imagine that many creationists would accept such a limited God anyway. Thus, God and Thermodynamics are mutually exclusive; to invoke the Second Law is to claim that God left!!!!! A subsequent portion of the outline again invokes entropy, stating that "all species are degenerating, since disorder must increase". Ignoring the Theological arguments for the moment, we reiterate, "...in a CLOSED system...". Earth is hardly a closed system. To find a *LARGE* source of negative entropy, one need only look upward on a clear day. The sun delivers approximately 1 horse-power per square meter (sorry for the mixed units, I don't recall the conversion factor to joules/sec) of free energy to the biosphere. Likewise, meteors shower us with several tonnes per day of extra mass, some of it in pre-biotic form - i.e. complex carbon molecules such as formaldehyde and others. Larger objects such as comets and Icarus class asteroid strikes transfer huge amounts of mass, energy, and momentum to the earth. Orbital perturbations and decay, friction from the moon's gravity, and radioactive decay, all add to the total. Sorry, entropy as a disproof of cosmological and biological evolution simply won't wash. Spread the word. [It appears that, more recently, the creationists have been hammered enough with the inapplicability of the Second Law of Theormdynamics that they have modified it slightly -- the reference is now to a closed *universe*, not a closed Earth; the rest of the argument remains essentially unchanged.] Creationists say that systems cannot self-organize because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics, never mind that such systems are not at equillibrium and are open systems. }- Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate. Exactly what is meant by "inaccurate" leaves much to be desired. Please see the August 1989 Scientific American article on the Age of the Earth. (page 90, by Lawrence Badash, "The Age-of-the-Earth Debate") } - Radioactive dating can't be calibrated. You are in this case Dead Wrong. Dating of ancient rocks by radiometric methods (e.g., Uranium-Lead, Potassium-Argon, Rubidium- Strontium) does NOT, repeat NOT depend upon our having available a sample of known age to calibrate the method. Indeed, this is PRECISELY WHY these methods are so useful. The only calibration required is the measurement of decay rates, which can be done IN THE LABORATORY. Furthermore, these methods can be used in ways that do NOT, repeat NOT depend on any assumptions about the initial amounts of the various isotopes involved. Please read the section in Chapter 17 of Strahler's book, _Science and Earth History_. It is true that Carbon-14 dates must be calibrated for variations in the amount of 14C produced in the atmosphere; however, the corrections are small (~10%) and affect only recent ages (~50,000 years). This method is not used to date rocks. - The guy who thought that radioactive dating required knowing the initial amount of lead. He apparently had never heard of isotopes, either. He made a big thing about a science he was a master of: he wrote its name on the blackboard: "numerical analysis". He indicated how this allowed him to "proved" that radiodating was wildly inaccurate. No mention of the fact that the earth was still real old. He encouraged people to go buy a book on numerical analysis: he gave its name. He didn't bother to encourage people to buy a book on dating, perhaps because he hadn't read one himself ? } radioactive decay rates did not remain constant, so you can't }accurately date things If radioactive decay rates were to change, the structure of stars would be affected. But even very distant stars (whose light has been travelling towards us for very long times) have the structure that is predicted by theory assuming present decay rates. They do not have the structure that would be predicted for them if the decay rates were many orders of magnitude larger. There are two major kinds of radioactive decay, alpha decay and beta decay. They are due to different physical processes and are governed by different natural constants. If the decay rates were to change in time, this would produce discrepant dates in rocks that can be dated independently by several different decay series. These discrepancies are not observed. If the decay rates were large enough to produce 4.5 billion years' of apparent ageing in only 6000 years of wall-clock time, the decay rates would have had to have been millions to billions of times as large when Adam and Eve were around as now. The heat generated would have melted the earth, which would still be molten. Furthermore, the earth would have been too radioactive to support life then. Adam and Eve would have glowed for other reasons than their nearness to God. }These laws affirm the fact that the creation of matter or energy is not }know taking place, and, in fact, that the available energy of the universe }as a whole is continually running down rather than building up. Point of fact, matter IS being created currently. Also destroyed. See "virtual particles". And the "available energy of the universe as a whole" says nothing about localities within it... Article 4176 of talk.origins: Topics: } - Helmholtz's contraction theory says the sun is < 20,000,000 years. } - Sun is shrinking by ~5 feet per hour. } - Lunar dust--only 1 to 3 inches, not 54 feet. } - Deterioration of earth's magnetic field } - Atmospheric helium should have built up } - Receding moon would have been touching earth } - All comets would have disintegrated after 10,000 years. } - galaxy formation. ) - biblical cosmology -------------------------------------------------------------------------- } - Helmholtz's contraction theory says the sun is < 20,000,000 years. This (suns energy comes from contraction) is decades old and discarded soon after the discovery of radioactivity. See the Scientific American article from August 1989. The German physicst Hermann von Helmholtz formulated this concept around 1869. It has been soundly rebuffed in the last 100 years. - The guy who thought that we were detecting 0 (zero) solar neutrinos, thus proving his theory that the sun was shining due to the gravitational energy released as it shrank. (they are there, and have been detected) } - Sun is shrinking by ~5 feet per hour. }i.e losing 0.01% per year. 6,000 creation = ~6% shrinkage, but 20,000,000 }years ago the sun touched the earth and 100,000 years ago the sun was twice }as large (making life impossible). I am interested in how you decide that this is a steady-state system? A "Sun" that large could not possibly have this solar system. A brief discussion of this is found in "Looking Inside the Sun", ASTRONOMY, March 1989. Analysis of historical records of eclipses and transits give varying numbers. One result gives 2.25 arcseconds per century, similar to the above figure. Another result gives an upper limit of 0.3 arcsecond per century, but is also consistent with no shrinkage. Two more historical analyses indicate that the sun was a bit larger a century ago than today. Current measurements indicate that the sun is not now shrinking. The long term stability of the size of the sun remains unknown. } - Lunar dust--only 1 to 3 inches, not 54 feet. The calculation you refer to is given by Henry Morris on pp. 151-153 of _Scientific Creationism_. It is based on a grossly erroneous figure of 14 million tons of meteoritic dust per year, quoted by Petterson in 1960. Morris misinterpreted Petterson's article. Petterson published a figure of 15 (not 14) million tons per year as an _upper limit_. In other words, Petterson said that the value is _not more than_ 15 million tons per year. He was not able to measure an actual value. Morris erroneously chose to interpret it to mean it was _equal_ to 14 million tons per year. Accurate values were measured in the late 1960's. The actual value is much lower than 15 million tons per year. Dalrymple gives the value of 22,000 tons per year, nearly 700 times smaller than your figure. That changes your 54 foot figure into about 2 cm, which is quite consistent with the amount of surface soil the astronauts found on the Moon (it was considerably more than 1-2 mm). My copy of "Everyman's Astronomy" indicates that the earth collects about 9000 kg per day from meteors of visual magnitude 5.0 or brighter. Assuming a typical rock density of 3 g/cc, this corresponds to an accumulation rate of one inch per 10 billion years. Unfortunately no data is presented for fainter meteors. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the actual rate is one or two orders of magnitude higher, but "1 inch in 8000 years" is off by six orders of magnitude. A dust accumulation rate of "one inch per 8000 years" should should create a spectacular yearround meteor shower, and cause severe pitting of the space shuttle windshields in just a single orbit. My quick estimates give values far higher than have been actually observed. } - Deterioration of earth's magnetic field, at present rates, implies an } excessive field 10,000 years ago. > Decay of Earth's Magnetic Field - Result of research by Thomas Barnes > during his tenure as Physics Professor at UTEP. Published in _Origin and > Destiny of Earth's Magnetic Field_, 1973. Barnes notes the measured > values over the last 150 years and models according to uniformitarian > principles. The decay is not a steady state. In fact, there is considerable evidence for reversals. The atlantic ocean floor as it spreads shown the weakening - reversing - strengthening recorded in its stone as the contenents spread from the mid-atlantic ridge. The field is expected to reverse sometime in the next few thousand years. A time scale on page 78 shows the reversals over the past 170 million years, as deduced from the magnetic patterns in oceanic crust. I counted about 200 reversals on the chart. Briefly, Barnes took approximately 150 years of data on the Earth's dipole magnetic field and extrapolated it backwards to about 10000 years Before Present (B.P.). He stated that the field 10,000 years ago would, on this calculation, have been as strong as that of a magnetic star, and stated (correctly) that this was absurd. However, there are four fatal flaws in his analysis. In the first place, Barnes studied only the *dipole* component of the Earth's magnetic field, In fact, the very same data that Barnes used show that the *nondipole* component of the field *increased* during the same period of time, almost exactly cancelling the decrease in the dipole field that Barnes calculated (D. Brent Dalrymple, U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park CA, in *Reviews of 31 Creationist Books*). This alone is sufficient to destroy the basis of his work. The second failure of Barnes' study was the idea that one can take data from a short period of time and simply extrapolate it backwards to obtain a reliable estimate at a time remotely removed from the data. Anyone competent in analyzing scientific data knows that extrapolations are good only for a relatively short period of time, if at all, and that the further away from the actual data one goes, the less reliable it becomes. Barnes extrapolated 150 years' worth of data back 10,000 years! In real life, one would be surprised if extrapolation of these data more than a few hundred years back were accurate. The third failure of Barnes' study was the mathematical model he chose. He decided to fit the data to an exponential. The data fit a straight line just as well (see Figure 1 of Stephen G. Brush's article in *Scientists Confront Creationism*), but a straight line would have given a much older age for the Earth than the 10,000 years that Barnes, because of his Biblical literalism, wishes to promote. The fourth failure of Barnes' study was his failure to consider any other evidence than the 150 years worth of data from geomagnetic observatories that he used. There exists, in paleomagnetic data, a long record of the Earth's magnetic dipole strength (extending backwards for millions of years). The data are in agreement with the observatory data Barnes used over their common intersection, but they differ drastically from Barnes' extrapolation when one goes further back in time. } - Atmospheric helium should have built up more from U decay. This statement is false. It falls precisely within predicted limits. Please read: Calculations on the Composition of the terrestrial Planets Reynolds & Summers, Journal of Geophysical Research vol 74, no 10 May 15, 1969 p 2494 The formation of the Earth from Planetesimals Wetherill, Scientific American June 1981 Cloud, Preston E., Jr., "Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Evolution on the Primitive Earth", Science 160, (17 May 1968), pp 729 - 736 Mart, Michael H, "The Effect of a Planet's Size on the Evolution of its Atmosphere", published in some conference or another; I got a copy from the author. (ave Allen ) Our Evolving Atmosphere Is Anyone There? by Isacc Asimov The Evolution of the Atmosphere of the Earth Hart, Icarus, 33, 23-39, 1978 Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans Holland, Lazar & McCaffery, Nature vol 320, 6 mar 1986 Heat and Helium in the Earth O'Nions & Oxburgh, Nature, vol 306, 1 Dec 1983 The Atmosphere Ingersoll, Scientific American, Sept 1983 } - Receding moon would have been touching earth 2 billion years ago. Check up on your orbital dynamics... Assumes a steady rate of recession. Assumes the moon wasn't captured less than 2 billion years ago. } - All comets would have disintegrated after 10,000 years. Jupiter and Saturn wreak havoc to the comet orbits. Some long-period comets are perturbed into short period orbits, others are permanently ejected. Comets are believed to have a short lifetime after being perturbed to short periods. Actually, the Oort cometary cloud hypothesis (published by Jan H. Oort in 1950) was originally proposed in order to explain "the rate of appearance of long-period comets" (i.e. there are a lot of them). It really didn't have anything to do with the age of short-period comets (which the note above refers to). [Long-period > 200 yrs, short-period < 200 yrs.] The problem that is referred to by the creationist here is that the short- period comets *have not occupied their present orbits* for very long (in astronomical terms). Each time a comet passes close to the sun, some of its matter is driven off into space by the sun's energy (forming its "tail"). "Short-period" comets are believed by astronomers to have a lifetime of only a few thousand years, because after that all of their "tail-producing" matter would be used up (indeed, astronomers have noted comets to "vanish"; the remaining material only makes its presence known upon entering the Earth's atmosphere; this is likely the origin of meteoroid swarms.) However, the fact that a comet cannot have occupied its present orbit for very long does not automatically imply that it is young. The Oort hypothesis does explain this problem as well, in that long-period comets -- if frequent enough -- will be moved into short-period orbits by a relatively near approach to a planet (comet loses momentum, planet gains it, comet is now in a vastly shorter orbit, planet is now in a very slightly longer orbit). In fact, of the short-period comets, roughly half orbit pretty much between the sun and jupiter, leading astronomers to belive that jupiter "captured" them into their current orbits. (Statistically, we would expect the largest planet -- the best "capturer" -- to have captured the most short-period comets). Finally, nobody really knows about the Oort cloud. Astronomers like the way it explains the frequency of long-period comets, and there is much support for it amongst them. It apparently also explains the youth of the short-period comets, quite nicely. However, until we see a comet get sucked into a short-period orbit (apparently this must happen every 100 years or so), or until we send something out to 10,000 A.U., Oort's proposal remains a hypothesis. (Conclusion: it was *not* cooked up to explain young short- period comets; this is something of a "fringe benefit". But we aren't very sure that it's true, either.) [From Strahler, "Science and Earth History", New York:Prometheus, 1987; p. 143] }An important element in the argument against the evolutionary universe }is the failure of conventional cosomology to solve the problem of }galaxy formation. With the development of GUT, we see galaxy formation is no longer a problem at all but simply one more natural phenomenon with a perfectly natural explaination. James S. Trefil _The Moment of Creation_ ) - biblical cosmology And in several places in the Bible, the sky is referred to as a vault, with the stars stuck on it. Genesis 1 refers to water above this vault (an idea no doubt borrowed from the Babylonian cosmology, which pictured the Earth as a flat disk inside a cosmic bubble in a cosmic sea). The Book of Revelation states that the stars will someday fall out of the sky like figs from a tree. The Bible says little about the shape of the Earth, referring in one place to the "circle" of the Earth (a disk shape), and in another place to the "four corners" of the Earth (a rectangular surface shape). In one of the Gospels, the Devil tempted Jesus by taking him up a mountain where he could see "all the kingdoms of the world" (no further info on this remarkable mountain). This would only be possible if the Earth was flat. The Bible does indicate more clearly, however, that the Earth is motionless. Witness Joshua's telling the Sun (and not the Earth) to stop just so he could win one of his battles, and some of the Psalms that state that the Earth is motionless. The Joshua story can be used to find a Biblical estimate of the distances of the Sun and the Moon from the Earth. Since we are told that the Sun was stopped to illuminate the Valley of Gibeon, and the Moon to illuminate the Valley of Aijalon, we conclude that either one of them would have been insufficient for both -- and that requires that the Sun be low when viewed from the Moon's valley, as it were, and vice versa. This implies that the distances to the Sun and the Moon are comparable to the distance between the Valleys of Gibeon and Aijalon, which is about 10 mi. In all fairness to the writers of the Bible, none of this cosmology is any worse than the cosmological pictures developed by surrounding peoples, with one exception. Ancient Greek proto-scientists (if that is the proper word) were, without any modern technology, able to establish that the Earth was approximately spherical, and were able to work out the approximate size of the Earth and the distance to the Moon. The distance to the Sun was more difficult, and almost all were agreed that the Sun moved around the Earth. But this knowledge was gained only after the Old Testament was written, though some of the writers of the New Testament may have learned of Aristotle's demonstration of the approximate sphericity of the Earth three centuries ago. The Greeks had data which anyone else living before modern times could collect, but they put the pieces together in the right fashion, and, for some reason, there is no hint of that in the Bible. Article 4188 of talk.origins: Topics: }rift between mathematicians & biologists }exponential population growth }Various conceivable patterns fail to emerge }Complexity from Simplicity > Here's an interesting story... (I think)... In 1967, a few > mathematicians and biologists were chatting over a picnic lunch > organised by Victor Weisskopf, prof. of physics at MIT. A "weird" > discussion took place as the conversation turned to the subject of > evolution by natural selection. The mathematicians were stunned by > the optimism of the evolutionists about what could be achieved by > chance. The wide rift between the participants led them to organise a > conference on "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Theory of > Evolution"...(skip to the conference)... which opened with a paper by > Murray Eden, Prof. of Electrical Engineering at MIT, entitled "The > Inadequacy of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory". Eden > showed that if it required a mere six mutations to bring about an > adaptive change, this would occur by chance only once in a billion > years --while, if two dozen genes were involved, it would require > 10,000,000,000 years, which is much longer than the age of the earth. > (See Gordon R. Taylor's "The Great Evolution Mystery"). "Since > evolution does occur and has occured, something more than chance > mutation must be involved." > Von Neumann & complexity It's hard to see how the described "wide rift" between biologists and mathematicians could exist, since most of the population geneticists I know *are* mathematicians--like my thesis advisor, a PhD in Statistics. Population genetics is an intrinsically mathematical subject, as my students found with great dismay about 2 weeks into the course I TA'ed on the subject..... I get a little angry when people seem to be implying that evolution is casually refutable and was refuted (by a professor of electrical engineering?) decades ago. Do they really think that two decades of bright, dedicated biologists would stick to a theory that this kind of argument could refute? Adaptive change by mutation has been shown in the laboratory and is not in question. It is quite easy to demonstrate in bacteria, and advantageous forms which were generated by the co-occurance of multiple mutations are quite possible. Three points are usually being missed by people who make Prof. Eden's mistake: 1. Disadvantageous forms can persist in the population for a long time; 2. Multiple ways to the same end (multiple mutations giving the same result) are not only possible but common; 3. Intermediate steps often have an inobvious advantage in themselves, making them targets of natural selection. Seriously, there is something badly wrong with the mathematician's models if this story is true. In the first place, there isn't really a necessity for each mutation to occur from a blank slate - virtually all species have a fair amount of diversity. In the second place, there is a considerable amount of recombination - even with base pairs on the same chromosome (crossover) (or maybe the mathematician has never heard of sex :-). Thirdly, the rate of mutations can be measured and is significantly higher than what appears to be implied by the fixing of 6 mutations in 1 billion years. Fourthly, if any intermediate forms have any slight advantage (due to partial implementation of the feature), then those forms will be selected -- and selection is NOT a random process. Fifthly, many single point mutations have similar/identical effect (that is, it wouldn't be necessary for 6 specific mutations to occur but one from each of 6 different sets, a much easier problem). All I can figure is that the model assumes a population of a single homozygous individual whose progeny never exchange any genetic material and in which the mutated genes never recombine by crossover during mitosis. In other words, sort of like analyzing the aerodynamics of racehorses by assuming a spherical horse Sounds like he's talking about six simultaneous mutations, which may very well be statistically phenomenal. Not required they be simultaneous by evolution however, and once one mutation is replicating throughout a group of related organisms, the odds then go up that one of them might develop another significant mutation in addition to the one they are now carrying. } - exponential population growth And by the same exponential growth law we are up to our armpits in roaches. This does obviously not happen, therefore there are other constraints. What leads Creationists to conclude that the exponential growth constants for a 50 year sample apply to 5000 years? This is known as "extrapolating beyond region of known fit". The growth curve is exponential. The population origin can be extended back much further in time, and the recent doublings are bunched together. I love exponential growth when used by those unaware of the basics for the derivation. You can use the same system to show that we are up to our armpits in fruit flies every 3 years or so... According to U.N. figures, the world population in 1650 was 508 million, up from 200-300 million in 1 AD. This corresponds to a growth rate of 0.032 to 0.057% per year during much of recorded history, far lower than the "sickly 0.5%" used here. 5000 years of growth at 0.057% would increase the population by a factor of 17, much less than the 7*10^10 implied by a rate of 0.5%. }- Various conceivable patterns fail to emerge, despite an overwhelming } tendency to diversify. There is always luck. If the mutation does not occur, you cannot select for it. Evolution is not aimed. That's a deity's job. Evolution handles the current entity, not some future not-yet-conceived entity for some not-yet environment. } Complexity from Simplicity There was no primordial chaos before the big bang - not really. Instead, everything was neatly concentrated in one location. Then it scattered, and is still scattering, a disorderliness far exceeding the structural order of galaxies, stars, planets, and life forms which have appeared in the course of the process. Poul Anderson "Science & Creation" Analog, Sept 1983 ref the information example. It is easy to get VERY complicated systems containing a tremendous amount of information starting from very simple, low information systems. Two methods: 1. fractal structures - start with a very simple rule and repeat it over and over and over. The resulting structure can be (usually is) VERY complicated, but the formation equations can be very, very simple. And the universe has had a long time to do so. Example: Look at a snowflake. 2. chaos - You can get very, very complicated systems if you use nonlinearities in the progression. That is why weather forecasting doesn't work. Complexity does not imply design. Recursion or nonlinearity work quite well. And the world is recursive and very non-linear. I went and got "Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata" by Von Neumann. You know that it was done in 1966 before most of the chaos & fractal work? As an initial look, I see how this is NOT applicable to life as Micha tried to do in <10541@dasys1.UUCP>. Looking at section 5.3.2 "Self-Reproducing automata" we find that, under his constraints, the secondary (initially quiescent) automaton is identical to the parent, except that the constructing automaton is larger, and in a sense more complex, because the construction automaton contains the complete plan and a unit which interprets and executes this plan. This should NOT apply to biological forms as discussed here because: The plan IS the unit that executes itself. In Mary's term, the life is the language. and, what I consider more relevant The constructed automaton IS NOT A DUPLICATE of the constructing automaton. No parent unit that I am aware of (excluding fission reproduction, in which the parent unit cannot be identified afterwards) is the child a duplication of the parent. In every case that I am aware of the constructed unit is a simpler and much smaller unit, which grows OF ITSELF into a near-copy of the original. Since the complexity is added AFTER the reproduction process, the reproduction process should not be a limiting factor. Proof: watch almost ANYTHING grow up. Therefore, while the descent is INITIALLY simpler than the parent, its final state can be more complex. Therefore, the argument that information theory proves that life could not have come from non-life is invalid. BTW: New systems of cooperating parts have evolved, and they are not even biological. See "The Evolution of Cooperation", in particular the computer simulations in which the routines "decide" ON THEIR OWN that cooperation is "better". }simulations cannot produce effects >> And I am as sure of >>the statement "Selection can change the frequencies of variants", >>since I've done computer simulation to test it. That's most >>of evolutionary theory right there. > >Mary, that is very interesting. Could you describe how you modeled selection >pressure. Any thing that I have seen (i.e., non techinical info) is so >vague about what selection is that I have no idea how to model it. >Examples like the light vs dark moths seems too simplistic to me. It shows >how the number of species (or the amount of variation) can decrease but it >gives me no hint as to how the number of species can increase. Directional selection (selection "for" or "against" something) in a static environment will lose variation. To get a more interesting result, you can look at either of two things: 1. Selection which is not directional. Here are some examples: Frequency dependent selection. Forms which are rare are at an advantage. There are several decent real-world examples of this; female fruit flies prefer males who look "different", and animals which have immune system genes different from their neighbors' seem less likely to get diseases from them. Heterozygote advantage. The organism with two different forms of the gene has an advantage over others. The classical example is sickle-cell anemia in humans, where the person with one sickle and one normal allele is protected from malaria. Two kinds of selection pulling in different directions. For example, females may prefer brightly colored males, but so may predators. Some values for the parameters here will give a balance of different forms in the population. 2. Non-static environments. This is much harder to model, but interesting. You can easily get frequency-dependent selection out of an environment with two food sources, both subject to overexploitation. Environments which change over time either randomly or in a cycle can also maintain variability. *** The simplest model I know in which something like speciation can be seen to happen is one that contains two factors: There is a gene with two variants, and the heterozygote is worse than either homozygote. There is the possibility for evolving reproductive isolation based on the first gene. Reproductive isolation could be modeled in several ways. You could explicitly add a gene that controls mate recognition. You could arrange your simulated organisms on a grid and restrict most mating to near neighbors, and see if two populations seperated from an initial mixture. Don't forget that if you use random rather than strictly proportional selection (that is, if you use a random number to see who lives and who dies), population size makes a huge difference. It is almost impossible to maintain high variability in a tiny population, even with strong selection. > Von Neumann clearly chown that more complicated systems cannot come > from less complicated systems. Information gets downgraded I got the Scientific American article (September 1964, vol 211) on interlibrary loan (too early for local holdings) to read Mathematics in the Biological Sciences. The lead in is: "Biologists use mathematics, but the complex systems they study resist mathematical description. The kind of description that might someday be helpful is suggested by the abstract analysis of self-reproduction." Note that this was before most of the developments in Chaos Theory, which does what they are talking about. Most of the examples in the article are concerned with modeling specific systems (neurons primarily), cellular automaton (see newsgroup comp.theory.cell-automata) and a couple of other systems. The relevance to evolution is not brought up until the last column on the last page. The applicability of the approach at all is questioned by the author, though the specifics are said to probably be possible. The last sentence: "Nobody has yet done the engineering design work required to build such a machine, but I think it will someday be built." Not exactly the posture of one "disproving" the concept, is it? I checked out the Von Neumann book _Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata_ and am currently reading ther fth lecture "Re-evalutation of the Problems of Complicated Automata - Problems of Hierarchy and Evolution". The third lecture: "Statistical Theories of Information" brings in the thermodynamics issues as it related entrophy, enthalpy, and information. A worthwhile note is that Von Neumann points out that no local system is closed, and that local increases are easily accomodated by decreases elsewhere. A major disagreement that I have so far is the difference between the automata discussed and actual systems. 1. The cellular automata discussed are assumed to be in their final state. No further increases in complexity are apparently allowed. This is blatently false in actual systems which continuously grow. 2. The descendants are perfect copies of the parents. In fact, this is one of Von Neumann's criteria in self-reproduction. In reality, (with the exception of very few EXTREMELY simple systems) the "child" is nowhere near as complex as the parent. As a major difference, the child is not capable of reproduction. Therefore, actual biological systems do not fit within the Von Neumann's definitions for self-reproducing automata. These two differences alone can account for evolutionary change without the need for a parent to produce (directly) a more complex child. The parent simply produces a LESS complicatd child, which is NOT a replication of the parent, which then grows to a more complicated system than the parent. This can be observed happening when a tree produces seeds (which as-is are incapable of reproduction and are plainly NOT a duplicate of the tree) which in turn develop of themselves into a grove, which is more complicated (see Von Neumann's book on how he measures complexity - the editors introduction covers it in one place with examples as opposed to across numerous lectures for those in a hurry). Did you bother to read _Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata_? The fifth lecture is entitled "Re-Evaluation of the Problems of Complicated Automata - Problems of Hierarchy and Evolution". After a good bit of evaluation & discussion Von Neumann writes: "There is thus this completely decisive property of complexity, that there exists a critical size below which the process of synthesis is degenerative, but above which the phenomenon of synthesis, if properly arranged, can become explosive, in other words, where synthesis of automata can proceed in such a manner that each automaton will produce other automata which are more complex and of higher potentialities than itself." Further down this same page he discusses why a system of "less than a dozen kinds of elements are needed.". That system could come into being other than being constructed by a system designed to do so. Luck, for instance. A close comparison with Turing's machine is done on the next page. And one page further we get what appears to be an analogy to Mary's definition of life: "it might be quite complicated to construct a machine which will copy an automata that is given it, and that is preferable to proceed, not from original to copy, but from verbal description to copy." This "description" almost appears to be Mary's "language". Therefore, this entire string is fallous. First, Von Neumann was not talking about the development of systems like those we observe (he said that was the case early in the quoted chapter), and those differences make the development trivial. And it turns out that EVEN WITH THESE AUTOMATA evolution (once past the simplest stage) is possible. Article 4194 of talk.origins: Topics: }No new species (alternately, "kinds") are evolving today. }Slight variation can't turn one kind into another. }Just because two animals LOOK similiar does not mean there is "common ancestor }Mendelian inheritance says that recessive characters reappear }Hybrids are infertile, so a newly evolved individual couldn't breed. }The animals couldn't have distributed themselves all over the globe. }"impossible gulfs" }The failure of some organisms to evolve at all. }No new phyla, classes, or orders have appeared. }The occurrence of parallel evolution, in which similiar structures evolve }Many species have remained absolutely fixed throughout geologic time. }A great many modern species are very evident degenerate }All the great phyla appear quite suddenly in the fossil record. }Selection cannot change the frequency of variants ---------------------------------------------------------------------- }- No new species (alternately, "kinds") are evolving today. "Three species of wildflowers called goatsbeards were introduced to the United States from Europe shortly after the turn of the century. Within a few decades their populaltions expanded and began to encounter one another in the American West. Whenever mixed populations occurred, the specied interbred (hybridizing) producing sterile hybrid offspring. Suddenly, in the late Fourties two new species of goatsbeard appeared near Pullman, Washington. Although the new species were similliar in appearance to the hybrids, they pproduced fertile offspring. The evollutionary proces had created a separate species that could reproduce but not mate with the goatsbeard plants from which it had evolved." The article is on page 22 of the February, 1989 issue of _Scientific_American_. It's called "A Breed Apart." It tells about studies conducted on a fruit fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, that is a parasite of the hawthorn tree and its fruit, which is commonly called the thorn apple. About 150 years ago, some of these flies began infesting apple trees, as well. The flies feed an breed on either apples or thorn apples, but not both. There's enough evidence to convince the scientific investigators that they're witnessing speciation in action. Note that some of the investigators set out to prove that speciation was not happening; the evidence convinced them otherwise. How can you say that no new species have arisen when dozens of previously undiscovered species are found each year in Costa Rica alone? Also, isn't the latest evidence that maize evolved about 4000 years ago? }- Slight variation can't turn one kind into another. "One lion may be fitter } than another lion, but ... all his offspring will still be lions." What is a "kind"? }Just because two animals LOOK similiar does not mean there is "common } ancestory" The interesting point is that, when checked, there IS. Genetic comparisons reveal (objectively) a kinship where it was before predicted on evolutionary grounds. I believe the error rate is less than 1%. What is facinating about the comparisons of the numbers of genes shared between species is that when you draw a genetic tree of what species are related to what, it looks almost identical to the tree drawn by anthropologists who make their tree based on comparisons of morphology (humans look more like chimps than turtles therefore chimps are more closely related). This is the beauty of science that a hypothesis (relatedness of species) is shown by two completely differing mechanisms just as the age of artifacts can be determined by rock layers (those on top are newer) and carbon and other radioactive dating techniques. How is this done? In brief: DNA similarity is measured by mixing fragments of DNA from the two species and measuring the thermal stability of the resulting hybrid molecules, which is proportional to the degree of matching. It can be calibrated by using DNAs of known composition, for example the genomes of completely sequenced viruses. Accuracy is limited by the ability to measure the melting temperature and by the slight difference in stability between A-T base pairs and C-G ones. There has been heavy theoretical debate (ending in an amazing shouting match at a meeting last summer, alas--I was there, and it was embarrasing) about whether the method is accurate enough to resolve the chimp/ human/gorilla trichotomy. DNA similarity does measure overall composition, and two organisms could be very different morphologically while still having high DNA similarity (indeed, chimps and humans are much more dissimilar than most pairs with the same DNA distance). However, overall composition is probably a better guide to relatedness than specific genes, which are likely to be under different selection in humans and chimps. What is the noise, and what is the signal? "Junk" DNA is the most useful for determining phylogeny, because it is more likely to evolve in a gradual time-dependent fashion. Coding and controlling regions are interesting in that they tell us about the differences. }- Mendelian inheritance says that recessive characters reappear, and thus we } should expect humans with characteristics of apes. They do. Tails, for instance. And other "ape" traits that happen to also be "human traits". Like toes, body hair,... This disregards the basic mechenisms of natural selection and genetics. It makes the wrong assumption that ape-like characters are recessive and that all of the traits in the ancestor population are present but usually unexpressed in the supposed descendant population. Neither idea is true. }- Hybrids are infertile, so a newly evolved individual couldn't breed. Hybrids are often not fertile or robust. They may be desirable to man if man amde, but they may not succeed in an evolutionary sense. The premise is incorrect. First, what is meant by "hybrid" is unclear in this context - is it a hybrid only if it is infertile? And even in those cases in which the offspring is usually infertile, that is not always the case. As witnessed the horse and the donkey. }- There exist "impossible gulfs" between animal/vegetable, } invertebrate/vertibrate, marine animals/amphibians, amphibians/reptiles, } reptiles/birds, reptiles/mammals, mammals/humans. } Eight impossible gulfs: Impossible to find gulfs. } 1) Between the living and non-living or dead matter; This is the abiogenesis debate. The rest is a taxinomy of man with the similarity argument turned into the gaps argument. Is the glass half empty or half full? What is this gulf? I have yet (despite looking and asking many) found it at all, let alone found it to be an impossible gulf. The spectrum between clearly living and singular elementary particles is wide, and not linear (few things really are) but it appears to be continuous. }} 2) Between the vegetable and the animal kingdoms; Animal cells have some similarity with plant cells, and indeed there are forms, euglena, with cloroplasts and flagellae, that look like intermediates. Cells from both kingdoms are eukeryots that are distinct from other cell types belonging to at least three other kingdoms. There are quite a few plant/animals in the same creature. Most microscopic because a plant doesn't collect enough energy to be mobile in large scale. But there are plenty of small ones. What is a euglena? And where do protista & viri fit in here? } 3) Between the invertebrates and the vertebrates; The vetebrates are biochemically closest to the echinodermata, and urochordates. The free swimming soft chord animals are similar to the sessile forms. See also sharks and squids. } 4) Between marine animals and amphibians; A steady change from fish to lobefined air breathing fish to amphibians with fish like larval stages can be observed in extant species and in the fossil record. See also mudpuppies and frogs. An amphibian that never leaves the water is a marine animal. This gulf is not only impossible, it is non-existant. } 5) Between amphibians and reptiles; Amphibians predate reptiles in the fossil record. The development of the amneonic egg, with shell and the difference in the skin of extant reptiles and amphibians suggests that the reptilian characters were adaptaions developed on amphibian ancestors. The time in the fossil record when the reptiles became important was one when amphibian habitats were being reduced and when reptiles could have succeeded on drier continents. What is this gulf, and what was a dinosaur? (warning: trick question! Specifically what is the impossible gulf between, for instance, a salmander and a chamelion? } 6) Between reptiles and birds; The ornithischia, with bird-like pelvises appeared before the modern birds, whch began to appear in Cretaceous time. Intermediates are known. } 7) Between reptiles and mammals; The therapsida in permean time, Mammal-like reptiles appear before the first mammals, but intermediate forms are known, and a fairly complete record of the changes in the facial bones between these reptiles and true mammals is known from Permean time. Does anyone know if mammalian dentition is documented into this time. Did the Therapsida have differentialted dentition? } 8) Between mammals and the human body; Man is classified, based on his dentition, with the Primates. All the primates have the same teeth. The fossils that relate to our origins are well understood and dated. The controverseries about the detailed lineages are minor compared with the general phylogeny they document. }12) The failure of some organisms to evolve at all. If it passes the selection filter, no change required. These organisms are excellently adapted to their particular niche in their environment. (like sharks: the "perfect eating machine", right?) Like the brachiopod Lingula, and the cockroach, identifiable through most of the phanerazoic and still with us. If an organism is well adapted to a niche it can readily occupy, then why should it evolve? }- No new phyla, classes, or orders have appeared. Subsequently to what? Trees of descent for organisms are drawn by grouping organisms together based on common features. Twigs which are close together are organisms which differ only in few and minor respects. Main branches, down at the bottom of the tree, are groups of organisms that differ in many and major respects. One of the main premises of evolution is that this tree is (more or less) proportional to time. Asking for a phylum to appear today is asking for a major branch to be up at the tip of the tree--it makes no sense, considering the way such trees are drawn! It is perfectly possible that in several million years there will be recognizable phyla which were just differentiating today, but there is no way to recognize a "new phylum" in the bud. For example, modern plants use two different photosynthesis reactions. It is quite possible that those two groups will eventually be so different that we will call them seperate phyla, because the two reactions probably favor different evolutionary pathways. But how can we know in advance whether or not this will happen? That's what you're asking for when you want to see a new phylum arise today. This is just not true. while most of the phyla present today were present at the beginning of the Cambrian, and their origin is shrouded, there is enough of a fossil record from the so-called eo-cambrain to suggest that some of the animals found in Australia are different phyla that became extinct by the time fossils became abundant. The affinities of several Cambrian groups is by no means clear, and they might be separate phyla, such as the archeocyathids. Our phylum, Vetebrata (Chordata), appears no earlier than Ordovician, and then only the cartilagenous and jawless fish are known. All the other classes appear later than that. Vascular plants, and all more advanced plant phyla appear no earlier than Silurian time. There are now five kingdoms known, based on their biochemistry and there are enough precambrain microfossils to document their appearence. The geochemistry of sediments in Precambrain rocks is understood well enough to establish when the oxygen level of the biosphere was high enough to support modern plants and animals, that comprize two of the five kingdoms. Before this date it can be infered that the Plant and Animal kingdoms did not exist. I am not faliliar with Precambrain events to fix this date, 1.8 billion years B.P. ?, or to document the micro fossils that might bear this out. }- The occurrence of parallel evolution, in which similiar structures evolve } in quite different circumstances. If you start with the same ancestor, they can only vary so much. Also, what he thinks are "different circumstances" are not necessarily so. Physics has an interesting set of constraints... }Many species have remained absolutely fixed throughout geologic time. So? When you are adapted to the specific ecological slot, why change? }A great many modern species are very evident degenerate, rather than }higher, forms of those found as fossils. What is a "degenerate form"? And is it less, or more, adapted to its environment? }All the great phyla appear quite suddenly in the fossil record. Marvelous. As long as he gets to pick which ones he wants, they do. Collect the data to support you conclusion. Keep throwing out the outliers (97% discarded?) till it fits. }Selection cannot change the frequency of variants >> And I am as sure of >>the statement "Selection can change the frequencies of variants", >>since I've done computer simulation to test it. That's most >>of evolutionary theory right there. > >Mary, that is very interesting. Could you describe how you modeled selection >pressure. Any thing that I have seen (i.e., non techinical info) is so >vague about what selection is that I have no idea how to model it. >Examples like the light vs dark moths seems too simplistic to me. It shows >how the number of species (or the amount of variation) can decrease but it >gives me no hint as to how the number of species can increase. Directional selection (selection "for" or "against" something) in a static environment will lose variation. To get a more interesting result, you can look at either of two things: 1. Selection which is not directional. Here are some examples: Frequency dependent selection. Forms which are rare are at an advantage. There are several decent real-world examples of this; female fruit flies prefer males who look "different", and animals which have immune system genes different from their neighbors' seem less likely to get diseases from them. Heterozygote advantage. The organism with two different forms of the gene has an advantage over others. The classical example is sickle-cell anemia in humans, where the person with one sickle and one normal allele is protected from malaria. Two kinds of selection pulling in different directions. For example, females may prefer brightly colored males, but so may predators. Some values for the parameters here will give a balance of different forms in the population. 2. Non-static environments. This is much harder to model, but interesting. You can easily get frequency-dependent selection out of an environment with two food sources, both subject to overexploitation. Environments which change over time either randomly or in a cycle can also maintain variability. *** The simplest model I know in which something like speciation can be seen to happen is one that contains two factors: There is a gene with two variants, and the heterozygote is worse than either homozygote. There is the possibility for evolving reproductive isolation based on the first gene. Reproductive isolation could be modeled in several ways. You could explicitly add a gene that controls mate recognition. You could arrange your simulated organisms on a grid and restrict most mating to near neighbors, and see if two populations seperated from an initial mixture. Don't forget that if you use random rather than strictly proportional selection (that is, if you use a random number to see who lives and who dies), population size makes a huge difference. It is almost impossible to maintain high variability in a tiny population, even with strong selection. Article 4199 of talk.origins: Topics: }Creationism deserves equal time because evolution is only a theory. }The doctrine of evolution is atheistic and therefore immoral. }Competition for survival implies "strife, hatred, war, and death." }The great complexity of nature shows it was designed. }The Bible says so. }The Bible is accurate on other points, so it must be accurate on creation. }(referring to a genesis "day") }Later Biblical characters (Moses & Paul) refer to the fact of creation }Even Jesus Christ believed in the Genesis record of creation. }It is imposssible to believe the Bible and to believe in evolution. }it is almost impossible to believe in God if one believes in evolution. }many evil social doctrines it has spawned. }Fall of man: Records say civilization was man's original condition. }Place of man's origin: Evidence confirms origin in one locality. }Order of events in creation matches what an observer would have seen: }Earth is unsupported (Job 26:7) }Earth is round (Isaiah 40:22) }Water cycle is described (Eccl. 1:7) }History is accurate. }The Bible is harmonious throughout. }Numerous prophecies fulfilled. }Religion's views on creationism: }The Bible Has Two Creation Stories }bible is always right }- Creationism deserves equal time because evolution is only a theory. But a theory in the scientific sense of the word, meaning that it explains a wide range of phenomena and that there's lots of data to back it up. Creationism, on the other hand, isn't even a theory; it's an assertion. "Equal time" in what? In schools in general, or in science classes? Science classes are suppose to teach science. There are two criteria for this: 1. It must be falsifiable i.e. there must be some way to show that the theory is incorrect. The theory must be testable. Evolution is, in that there can be things specified which, if they can be verified, would disprove evolution. Creationism allows no such test. 2. It must be able to make predictions i.e. it must be able to tell you how something WILL occur (and then you must be able to verify the accuracy of the prediction). The theories which compose evolution are useful in this regard in that they have made predictions concerning population densities, physiologies, chemistries, fossil find forecasts,... Creationism does none of this. At best, its "predictions" are either in the past (already happened) or unverifiable. As a BTW: A Creationist posting was made on talk.religion.christian, (a moderated group) but no rebuttal was allowed from any evolutionist. }- The doctrine of evolution is atheistic and therefore immoral. Unlike creationism, evolution doesn't require the acceptance or rejection of any religion. In fact, many theists believe in evolution. The doctrine that atheism is immoral is bigotry, and therefore immoral. Competition doesn't imply hatred or war. } Competition for survival implies "strife, hatred, war, and death." The Soviets did have a problem along these lines. Lysenko in particular disbelieved in natural selection for these reasons. He got charge of the Soviet Union's grain production. Their agricultural industry has almost recovered... }- The great complexity of nature shows it was designed. Laws require a } lawmaker; organization requires an organizer. No, it doesn't. The patterns within a kaleidoscope are very complex, and extremely organized (in the sense of symmetrical patterning) but are not designed. }- The Bible says so. In the resolution from the 67th General Convention of the Episcopal Church acted in September 1982 to "affirm its belief in the glorious ability of God to create in any manner," rejected "the rigid dogmatism of the 'Creationists' movement," and supported "scientists, educators, and theologians in the search for truth in this Creation that God has given and entrusted to us." Addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences before its meetings on Cosomology and Cosmogony in October 1981, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the statement of Pope Pius XII that the universe was created "millions of years ago" directly contrary to creationists views. The Pope declared that "The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise..." }- The Bible is accurate on other points, so it must be accurate on creation. Leviticus 11:113,19 and Deuteronomy 14:11-18 list fowl, and both have bats in the list with heron, lapwing, and bat closing off the list. The bat is not a bird. Leviticus 11:6 has a hare chewing its cud. Rabbits do no such thing. Leviticus 11:21-23 lists things with four legs. Among the list are locust, beetle (cricket in some translations), and grasshopper. Psalms 58:8 says "as a snail melts..." Snails do not melt. Gen 1:20-21 has the waters bringing forth Gen 2:19 has them coming from the ground. Maybe some one should tell them about eggs? Genesis 30:39 cattle looking at pilled rods conceive and bring forth ringspeckled, speckeled and spotted calves. changing the characteristics of a descendant by showing them a rod just doesn't work... Matthew 4:8 ..took upon a high mountain and shewed all the kingdoms of the world. 1. Geology - rock simply isn't strong enough for such a megamountain. 2. astromical bodies are spherical, and you cannot see the entire exterior surface from anyplace. Genesis 3:14 "...and dust though shalt eat all the days of thy life." Snakes, while built low, do not eat dirt. }(referring to a genesis "day") it ALWAYS (Morris's stress) refers to }a twenty-four-hour day. So much for the appologists... }Later Biblical characters (Moses & Paul) refer to the fact of creation, not }the myth. Are we to take people that we have no independent record of as authoratative references in the only document they ARE mentioned in? This is like Santa Claus in _The Night Before Christmas_ testifying as to the veracity of the "visions of sugarplums". }Even Jesus Christ believed in the Genesis record of creation. ibid, though this is clearly an attempt at pleading from authority. }It is thus absolutely impossible to believe in the Bible as the complete }and literal Word of God and to believe in the theory of evolution. But, }more than that, it is almost impossible to believe in a personal God of }any sort if one believes in evolution. The Pope doesn't agree with this statement. Nor do many other leading religious figures. They will be glad that this civil engineer pointed it out for them... }The atheistic and satanic character of the doctrine is evidenced in the }many evil social doctrines it has spawned. What?!?! Talk about irrelevant mud-slinging!!! } - Fall of man: Records say civilization was man's original condition. Which records are these? The Old testiment? And of course. Without the civilization you don't have the records. So "as far back as they go" is civilization. When there isn't civilization, the records quit going. This one is very interesting, it reveals the core prejudice of christian, and other, origins, that man is fallen from some primordial grace. The evolutionary evaluations of origins avoids the opposite prejudice as well, that evolution is always progressive. It says that the idea of progress in the condition of a lineage is misleading; change is reflected in adaptation and specialization which may be by turns sucessful or lethal. } - Place of man's origin: Evidence confirms origin in one locality. Observing population distributions takes divine inspiration? One successful group spread and killed off the less successful ones. Supports evolution, too. OK Bible scholors, where does Moses say man came from? The claim here of proof of God's inspiration is wrong, even if Moses got it right. Man came from Africa, despite years of searching for human ancestors in Europe and Asia. Evidence says Man came from Africa, despite years of searching for human ancestors in Europe and Asia. } - Order of events in creation matches what an observer would have seen: } 1: Beginning, 2: an earth in darkness, 3: light, 4: atmosphere, 5: dry } land, 6: plants, 7: discernable sun, moon, stars, 8: sea and air } creatures, 9: beasts, 10: man. The actual order should be more like 1: beginning, 2: light, 3: sun, stars, 4: atmosphere, 5: earth, 6: dry land, 7: sea creatures, 8: moon, 9: beasts (amphibians and reptiles), 10: fruiting plants (which is what Genesis specifies), 11: air creatures, more beasts, 12: man. I'm not sure the order is exact (the moon may have come earlier, for example), but it is more accurate than the Genesis version. } - Earth is unsupported (Job 26:7) Job 38:4 says Earth has a foundation. Job 26:11 says heaven is supported by pillars. } - Earth is round (Isaiah 40:22) Matthew 4:8 ..took upon a high mountain and shewed all the kingdoms of the Not on a round surface he didn't... } - Water cycle is described (Eccl. 1:7) Job 38:22 says that snow and hail are kept in storehouses. } - Good sanitation practices are given (Deut 23:13, Num. 19:11-22, etc.) People aren't stupid. They could have figured these out without divine aid. } - History is accurate. Not unsurprising. It was written while the history was current events. } - The authors admit their human failings (Deut 32:50, Acts 19:20, etc.) This is true of lots of writings, even some USENET articles. Besides, does it make sense to claim that a book is infallible because its authors admit that they are fallible? } - The Bible is harmonious throughout. Given the amount of editing it went through, you would expect it to be reasonably harmonious, but it still contains contradictions. For example, Matt. 27:5-8 vs. Acts 11:18-19 and Matt. 1:16 vs. Luke 3:23. } - Numerous prophecies fulfilled. Prophecies weren't meant to predict the future. The word originally meant "divinely inspired speech." Not until 1300 did it come to mean "predicting future events." [Oxford English Dictionary] Besides, there are lots of mundane ways to predict the future: (a) Make the wording sufficiently vague that, with proper interpretation, it could apply to practically anything. (b) Predict something which has already happened. (c) Rewrite history to say that your prediction was actually fulfilled. (d) Give no time limit for the prediction. (e) Predict something which is extremely likely to occur. (f) Make so many predictions one of them is bound to occur. Later, edit out those that failed. (g) Predict something that you yourself can cause to happen. All of the predictions below can be fit into one or more of these categories. Religion's views on creationism: ================================ In the resolution from the 67th General Convention of the Episcopal Church acted in September 1982 to "affirm its belief in the glorious ability of God to create in any manner," rejected "the rigid dogmatism of the 'Creationists' movement," and supported "scientists, educators, and theologians in the search for truth in this Creation that God has given and entrusted to us." Addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences before its meetings on Cosomology and Cosmogony in October 1981, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the statement of Pope Pius XII that the universe was created "millions of years ago" (in european millions is american billions. directly contrary to creationists views. The Pope declared that "The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise..." >From _Theology Today_, October 1982, 39(3):249-59 "Creationists have set themselves apart from other Christians by intimately interweaving their story of the "who" of creation with the "how" of creation. For them, it is the flat earth problem all over again. Creationists have taken a theory of creation which is testable and tied it to an inherently untestable story about God. In the process, they have declared a testable theory to be also inherently untestable." ... "Creationists follow a predictable pattern as they find it easier to deny physical evidence than to deny God. Physical evidence, no matter how overwhelming, can be dismissed as the work of the devil." (writer is a Presbyterian layman who has organized conferences on Genesis and Geology held at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico) "Christianity and Crisis" (April 26, 1982) 42:108-15 (referrring to the absure (widely held opinion) Arkansaw law) The authors of the rkansaw law sought to separate the Creator implied by Creation-Science from the notion of "religion". This is an approach to the "first and worst" Christian heresy - the denial of monotheism. ... Clever - if it is a religion, it is not a science and should not be treated as one. If it is a science and not a religion would be a Christian heresy. If they use the Bible to support their "science", by the words of their Bible they shall burn. By Fasther Bruce Vawter, a Roman Catholic read this paper at the Conference on Creationism inAmerican Culture and Theology held at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago on October 9, 1982. (extracts summarized - you go read the whole thing if you want) His objections are: 1. creationism seriously misconstrues the meaning and purpose of the Bible, both in part and in whole. 2. creationism introduces a false dichotomy between religion and science by assuming that belief in a Creator God is incompatable with an acceptance of the scientific hypothesis that existing life-forms came into being through an evolutionary process. 3. So called creationism or creation science is a concept both theologically and philosophically unsound, derived from bad premises. He then proceeds to preach on these points. Some relevant points: a. "Biblical inerrancy" - definitely not one of the authentic heritages of mainline Christianity b. Creationists appear to be as unqualified to talk about science as Scientists are to talk about religion (to wit, almost none) by Nahum M. Sarna. Was teacher at University of London, the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and since 1967 has been Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University. extracted from his "UNDERSTANDING GENESIS" The first biblical account of creation may be found in Genesis 1:1-2:4a. Within the literary framework are described the divine activities within a seven-day period The second biblical account of creation (2:4b-24) opens with "When the Lord God made ..." and goes through how the entire surface of the earth was watered by a flow that owuld well up through subterranean springs. The main topic of this account is the formation of man and his placement in the garden of Eaden. (my note: -2- accounts.) "Biblical man, despite his undoubted intellectual and spiritual endowments, did not base his views of the universe and its laws on the critical use of empirical data (my aside - ie.e not scientific method) Rather, his thinking was imaginative, and his expressions of thought were concrete, pictorial, emotional, and poetic (my aside - get thee behind me, literalists!) Hence, it is a naive and futile exercise to attempt to reconcile the biblical accounts of creation with the findings of modern science. Any correspondence which can be discovered or ingeniously established between the two must surely be nothing more than mere coincidence." #> the Creationist young-earth agenda does great damage to #> Christianity itself, because it makes Christianity seem ridiculous to #> many intelligent and informed people. "Another possible danger is that in presenting the gospel to the lost and in defending God's truth we ourselves will seem to be false. It is time for Christian people to recognize that the defense of this modern, young-Earth, Flood-geology creationism is simply not truthful. It is simply not in accord with the facts that God has given. Creationism must be abandoned by Christians before harm is done. The persistent attempt of the creationist movement to get their points of view established in educational institutions can only bring harm to the Christian cause. Can we seriously expect non-Christian educational leaders to develop a respect for Christianity if we insist on teaching the brand of science that creationism brings with it? Will not the forcing of modern creationism on the public simply lend credence to the idea already entertained by so many intellectual leaders that Christianity, at least in its modern form, is sheer anti-intellectual obscurantism? I fear that it will." [_Christianitiy and the Age of the Earth_, by Davis Young, Zondervan 1982. p. 163.] #> When I made my comment about "anybody" being able to interpret Scripture #> in his own way, I was stating a fact of life. In our society, thank God, #> we have a First Amendment that gives Joe, me, you, and everyone the #> _right_ to interpret Scripture in any way that conscience dictates, no #> matter how foolish or inconsistent it might seem to others. # #And the right to "engage in Science" no matter how foolish or inconsistent #it might seem to others? Absolutely .... but that don't make it science #does it, nor absolve Dr. Gish from being labeled a cretan here. Dr. Gish also has the RIGHT to submit his scientific ideas for publication in refereed journals. He chooses not to do so. Joe Applegate (and Snake Handlers, and you, and I) also have the RIGHT to submit our ideas on Biblical interpretation for publication in scholarly journals. These journals have the RIGHT to reject articles that do not measure up to the standards of the field. I certainly agree with you that scholars have standards that they apply in their fields. Not any interpretation of Scripture would be acceptable to a scholarly journal. But the point is, scholars do not and should not dictate people's personal beliefs about religion. #The lesson may be to clearly indicate that the basis for your position when #unsupported by sufficent evidence is one which is arrived at through certain #metaphysical and philosophical assumptions (faith). You may then specify #why you believe that your assumptions (faith) are reasonable .... you may #not preceed your statements with, "We know ..... ". When evolutionary #scientists (at least many of the ones I've read or encountered) master #this discipline perhaps then .... Science has nothing to do with "faith." Science makes no claim that the conclusions that it arrives at are "true," NO MATTER HOW STRONG THE EVIDENCE MAY BE. On the contrary, it ASSUMES that they may not be true and has invented a procedure to test these conclusions, the only possible results of which will either be to show that they are NOT true or to determine that "further research is required." If someone says that science has "proved" that such- and-such is true, then that is indeed "faith," but it has nothing to do with science. Religious aspects of the Creation/Evolution controversy are appropriately directed to this group, I believe. I've no interest in debating this issue, but only want to suggest some reading for those who are interested in pursuing the topic. Relatively few books discuss the religious (rather than the scientific) side of the controversy, and I believe that this short list includes the best of them. _Is God a Creationist?_, edited by Roland Mushat Frye (New York: Scribners, 1983), is a collection of essays by people of various religious persuasions: Conservative (Davis Young, mentioned by Rob Day), Roman Catholic (Pope John Paul II), Middle-of-the-Road (Conrad Hyers) and others. Although none of the contributors takes the young-Earth Creationist side, it is a relatively well- balanced book on the whole. The editor is Schelling Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton. _The Meaning of Creation_, by Conrad Hyers (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1984). Hyers is a middle-of-the-road theologian who argues that Creationism is not only bad science, but also poor theology. I found it provocative reading. The author is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion, Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota. _Science and Earth History_, by Arthur Strahler (Buffalo: Prometheus 1987) is probably the most authoritative and complete discussion of all aspects of the C/E controversy. Although most of the book is devoted to scientific issues, the first 80 pages or so discuss philosophical and religious aspects. This book has an excellent index and exhaustive references, and is the book I recommend to those who only want to read one book on the subject. Strahler is Professor Emeritus of Geology, and former Chair of the Department of Geology, Columbia University. _Evolution and the Christian Doctrine of Creation: A Whiteheadian Interpretation_, by Richard H. Overman (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1967). This you may have to look for. I found it in the university library. Liberal theology. Finally, I want to second Rob Day's recommendation that Christians who are concerned about the effects of Creationism on Christianity ponder what Davis Young says in his book, _Christianity and the Age of the Earth_. Mysteriously allowed to go out of print by its publisher (the religious house Zondervan) soon after it came out, the book is now available again from Artisan Sales, PO Box 2497, Thousand Oaks CA 91360 for only $8.50 postpaid. Young is a knowledgeable geologist who, although doubting evolution itself on religious grounds, nevertheless firmly opposes young-Earth Creationism as scientifically invalid. }The Bible Has Two Creation Stories A close reading of the first few chapters of the Bible reveals not one, but two different -- and contradictory -- stories of creation. These are from two of the (at least) four traditions that are interweaved in the first books of the Bible, the Priestly and Yahvist traditions, out of the set that includes the Elohist and Deuteronomist traditions. This conclusion is reached by consideration of stylistic elements (for example, the Priestly tradition is heavy on statistics, the Yahvist and Elohist traditions refer to the Deity as "Yahweh" and "Elohim", respectively, and the Deuteronomist tradition is found in the Book of Deuteronomy), and is generally accepted by non-literalist Biblical scholars (for a good introduction to the historical background behind the Bible, see _Asimov's Guide to the Bible_, both volumes). Here is the order in the first (Genesis 1), the Priestly tradition: Day 1: Sky, Earth, light Day 2: Water, both in ocean basins and above the sky(!) Day 3: Plants Day 4: Sun, Moon, stars (as calendrical and navigational aids) Day 5: Sea monsters (whales), fish, birds, land animals, creepy-crawlies (reptiles, insects, etc.) Day 6: Humans (apparently both sexes at the same time) Day 7: Nothing (the Gods took the first day off anyone ever did) Note that there are "days", "evenings", and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim", which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods". In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good". The second one (Genesis 2), the Yahwist tradition, goes: Earth and heavens (misty) Adam, the first man (on a desolate Earth) Plants Animals Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib) Then, there follows the story of the serpent leading Eve, and Adam, to eat that (unspecified) fruit, and get expelled from the Garden of Eden, whereupon that serpent was ordered to crawl on its belly (no mention of how it moved about before that). The Deity is referred to as "Yahweh" here, and creates plants, animals, and finally Eve for a lonely Adam. Yahweh seems to be trying to fix his creation as he goes, with not too satisfactory results -- his prime interest commits a big no-no (why not simply create a psychological inhibition to eating forbidden fruit? It would probably be more reliable). Neither tale, it must be said, has much resemblance to the geological record, but in all fairness to the inventors of these tales, the geological record only became clear in the nineteenth century. I am not denying that one can come up with a Bible interpretation that somehow harmonizes these two tales, but such an interpretation would require rejection of the dogma of the literal truth of the Bible -- two contradictory statements cannot be true at the same time. The first of the two stories is sometimes claimed to be a good match; "Let there be light" supposedly means the Big Bang. But the Big Bang happened well before the Earth even existed. There are other discrepancies. The Sun is almost certainly slightly older than the Earth, and the Moon is as old as the Earth, or a bit younger (from current theories of planetary formation; the time differences are ~100 million years out of 4.6 billion years). The stars have no single age, but have been forming ever since the galaxies came into existence (or even before!); some are older than the Earth, some younger. The order of appearance of various is terribly mixed up. Though blue-green algae are much older than any multicelled animal, the first land plants appear ~400 m.y. ago, as opposed to the first sea animals ~600 m.y. ago. Flowering plants (the most common land plants) appeared about ~120-150 m.y. ago, well after the first land animals appeared, appox 400 m.y. ago. Also, flying animals appear after closely related land animals appear; flying insects after early wingless ones, pterodactyls after proto-dinosaurs, birds after certain small carnivorous dinosaurs, and bats after early placental mammals. Some sea animals are descendants of land animals; consider (partially aquatic) otters, seals and sea lions and walruses, penguins, alligators and crocodiles, and sea turtles and (completely aquatic) whales and dolphins, sea snakes, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs. The second of the two stated that humanity originated in the Garden of Eden or a garden in Eden (depending on which translation you read). "Eden" turns out to be some marshland near where the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers flow into the Persian Gulf. And where did humanity actually originate? Charles Darwin proposed Africa because that's where our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and gorillas, live. This hypothesis turns out to be correct for nearly all of the hominid species, including _Homo sapiens_. All the earlier hominid species, the Australopithecines and earliest _Homo_, are found only in Africa; later species, like _Homo erectus_ and _Homo sapiens_, seem to have originated in Africa and spread to other parts of the world. And from the "Master Blaster": I have received the response to my article on the two creation stories in the Bible that one can somehow fit the Adam-and-Eve story into the Sixth Day of the first story. But I believe that this fit cannot be made. Why? Look again at the orders of creation: The Six-Day Story: Day 3: Plants Day 5: Sea animals and flying animals Day 6: Land animals, then humanity (both sexes) The Adam-and-Eve Story: The first man (Adam) Plants Animals (both land and air) The first woman (Eve) The contradiction between the orders of creation between the two stories is rather glaring. There are other contradictions. As I mentioned earlier, in the first story, God creates according to a carefully laid-out plan, one set of entities at a time. He says after Article 4200 of talk.origins: Topics: }There are gaps in fossil record }Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate. }K-Ar dating of Hawaiian lava is wildly inaccurate. }Erosion should've dumped at least 30 times more sediment in the sea. }Top soil }Mississippi delta would have formed in 5000 years. }Niagara Falls-the rim is wearing back }Deterioration of earth's magnetic field }Not enough dissolved minerals in oceans. }Other "geological clocks" that suggest a "young" earth }Polonium halos }The animals couldn't have distributed themselves all over the globe. }Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana, Glacier Nat'l Monument. }Heart Mountain, north of Cody WY }Unexplained by uniformitarian model on which the evolutionary model is based }A near planetary collision }Shifting the poles rapidly over Hapgood's waveguide zone }"carcasses deposited in icy mucky dumps" }evidence of rapid removal and deposition of soil, forest in arctic. } the are no layers which require more than 6000 years to build up }no more fossils being made ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- }- There are gaps in fossil record where you'd expect intermediate forms. There are more fossils than Creationists will admit. Many intermediate forms are known--for example, the development of the mammal skull characteristics from the therapsida of Permian time. What gaps remain can be explained by erosion, lack of proper conditions for fossilization, the punctuated equilibrium model, or simply not looking in the right places yet. }- Methods of dating the earth are inaccurate. Exactly what is meant by "inaccurate" leaves much to be desired. Please see the August 1989 Scientific American article on the Age of the Earth. (page 90, by Lawrence Badash, "The Age-of-the-Earth Debate") In an abstract from _Nature_, Vol. 341, p. 518 (12 October 1987). "Direct dating of Phanerozoic sediments by the 238U-206Pb method," by Patrick E. Smith & Ronald M. Farquhar, Geophysics Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Toronto, Canada M5S 1A7 "Direct radiometric age determination of Phanerozoic carbonates has been a long-standing problem in geochronology. Rb-Sr and K-Ar dating schemes, commonly used to constrain the chronology of Phanerozoic sediments, have so far proved to be unsuccessful in dating these rocks because of their poor enrichment in radiogenic 87Sr and 40Ar and also because of analytical difficulties. Recent studies have demonstrated that large amounts of radiogenic Pb exist in some carbonates and that they could be dated by the Pb-Pb method. However, the precision of this method is severely limited to samples having very high uranium to lead ratios because by the beginning of the Phanerozoic (~590 Myr ago) 98% of 235U originally present in the Earth had decayed to 207Pb. Here we report the first isochron age of carbonates using the 238U-206Pb method on corals. This method, which gives good accuracy even for low U concentrations, has great potential for the direct dating of sedimentary sequences and should be valuable for refining the Phanerozoic timescale." } - K-Ar dating of Hawaiian lava is wildly inaccurate. That's why geologists don't pay much attention to analyses of rock samples unless their geological context is well understood. Since Hawaii is built on oceanic crust that is about 80-100 million years old (the age is known more precisely than this; I don't have the references handy), it was immediately obvious that the observed isotopic ratios didn't represent the ages of the rocks. Our confidence in radiometric dating techniques comes from years of careful comparisons to other radiometric techniques and to relative age determinations from biostratigraphy (fossils in layered rocks). In some cases, there are multiple isotope systems that may be analyzed in the same sample. Since these different systems react differently to the processes that disturb age recording, if the systems disagree with one another the age significance of the data is suspect. Geoscientists try to use all available tools in combination to make sure that they're not fooled by a single spurious analysis. In some journals, analytical results aren't publishable unless they're backed up by field relations and/or by other analytical methods. The particular case of young Hawaiian volcanic rocks is interesting for reasons other than the absurd age interpretations. Since these rocks are very poor in the potassium from which radiogenic argon decays, their argon content is determined largely by the composition of the argon in the rocks from which the Hawaii lavas were derived. The data tell us something about the composition of the mantle down to about 150 kilometers below the surface, where earthquake data tell us the lavas originate. The example of the Hawaii rocks is a Red Herring, as I will demonstrate momentarily. However, the answer to your last question is very simple. If you can date a rock by a number of different methods, involving different decay series, and if you arrive at the SAME AGE using any of a half-dozen different and completely independent methods, then you can be quite confident that the age you have measured is reliable. If you wish to dispute these ages, you have to come up with EVIDENCE that they are unreliable. It is not sufficient to wave your hands and express your skepticism. We all know you are skeptical, but saying "how do we know," without EVIDENCE to suggest that there is a problem, is just whistling past the graveyard. And now for the Red Herring. Creationists often bring up the example of the Hawaiian pillow basalts with anomalous K-Ar ages, but they neglect to mention that geologists _already thought_ that rocks formed under THESE PARTICULAR conditions would give unreliable K-Ar ages because they would trap argon before it can escape. The studies in question were performed to confirm this under controlled conditions, and thus to confirm to the scientific community that THIS PARTICULAR type of rock is unsuitable for radiometric dating. The misuse of this work by Creationists is particularly despicable, IMHO. } - Erosion should've dumped at least 30 times more sediment in the sea. }and all the continents would be worn to sea }level in just 14,000,000 years. Ever heard of plate tectonics? Please read: On Volcanism and Thermal Tectonics on one-plate Planets Solomon, Geophysical Research Letters, vol 5, no 6 June 1978 The Supercontinent Cycle Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988 } - Top soil--6 inches form in 5,000-20,000 years, but earth averages 7 to 8 } inches. Or erosion. Your county Soil Conservation Board will be happy to tell you why your topsoil is getting shallower, and what you can do to curb the problem. } - Mississippi delta would have formed in 5000 years. So? You have (given a steady-state system which it is NOT) identified a possible geographic feature less than 5k years old. }Niagara Falls-the rim is wearing back at a known rate and taken ~5,000 years }from its original precipice. That's neat - and the steady-state assumptions are? And how did you get the "original precipice" without deciding up front how old you wanted it? The Niagara River HAS been where it is for only a few millenia (or tens of millenia). Before that, the whole area was under glacial ice! (And it some millenia after the ice retreated for the land to reach its present level and the drainage paths to reach their present alignment. I'd love to see what happens in the year the falls erode back to Lake Erie! At the present rate of erosion, I think that's supposed to be ~100,000 AD. } - Deterioration of earth's magnetic field, at present rates, implies an } excessive field 10,000 years ago. The decay is not a steady state (you love this - Morris does, too). In fact, there is considerable evidence for reversals. The atlantic ocean floor as it spreads shown the weakening - reversing - strengthening recorded in its stone as the contenents spread from the mid-atlantic ridge. The usual creationist assumption behind this extrapolation is that the decay is exponential, which excludes the possibility of field reversals. The limited existing measurements cannot yet distinguish between exponential, linear, or other decay patterns. The source of the earth's magnetic field remains uncertain. A good summary of what is known is found in "Ancient Magnetic Reversals: Clues to the Geodynamo", SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 1988, p. 76-83. The field is expected to reverse sometime in the next few thousand years. A time scale on page 78 shows the reversals over the past 170 million years, as deduced from the magnetic patterns in oceanic crust. I counted about 200 reversals on the chart. The sun reverses its magnetic field every 11 years in a 22 year cycle. } - Not enough dissolved minerals in oceans. dissolved minerals - the stuff moves in cycles, and as such most of the minerals are very close to their balance levels. Remember "carbon cycle"? The same general idea holds for everything else. Remember the space shuttle? Except for the last time, it has been landing on salt. Like from the oceans, remember? }Other "geological clocks" that suggest a "young" earth- }13-16) juvenile water (from volcanoes), oil deposit pressure, Stalactite Growth }(limestone) juvenile water is covered in those same computer models, and again nothing tricky is involved at all. oil deposites themselves require a time well over 6000 years to exist, so try again. stalactite growth - of some, perhaps. You are still identifying merely temporary features The formation of the Earth from Planetesimals Wetherill, Scientific American June 1981 The Steady State of the Earth's crust, atmosphere and oceans Siever, Scientific American, May 1974 The Evolution of the Atmosphere of the Earth Hart, Icarus, 33, 23-39, 1978 Evolution of the Atmosphere and Oceans Holland, Lazar & McCaffery, Nature vol 320, 6 mar 1986 Enhanced CO2 greenhouse to compensate for reduced solar luminosity on early earth Owen & Cess, Nature, vol 227, 22Feb 1979 How climate Evolved on the Terrestrial Planets Kasting, Toon, & Pollack, Scientific American, Feb 1988 Climatic Changes of the last 18,000 years: Observations and Model Simulations COHMAP members, Science vol 241, 26 Aug 88, p 1043-1052 } - Polonium halos indicate granite-producing magma cooled suddenly, not } over millions of years. Gentry's work is of particular importance because it involves actual field and laboratory work followed up by papers appearing in refereed scientific journals, offering some credibility to the field of "creation research." There is, however, a serious weakness in Gentry's work. It has been devoted almost entirely to the physics of the polonium halos, thereby neglecting the geological setting of the samples in which the halos are found. Because of this neglect, Gentry makes unwarranted generalizations about the nature of the world's Precambrian rocks. THE BASIC PREMISE Polonium halos are small spherical "shells" of radiation damage that surround radioactive inclusions within certain minerals in rocks, which Gentry has described in his book "Creation's Tiny Mystery." [1] The halos are formed by alpha particles released during the decay of an isotope. As an alpha particle nears the end of its path and slows, it causes disruption of the crystal structure leaving a small damage track. Over time, repeated decays from the parent isotope will leave a spherical halo of discoloration. The distance that an alpha particle travels depends upon the energy of the decay and that, in turn, is a function of the particular nuclide that decays. Theoretically, then, the radii of a series of halos that surround a radioactive inclusion permit identification of the specific decaying nuclides. Gentry has claimed that certain of these halos indicate that the granite "basement rocks" of the earth are "the primordial Genesis rocks" and were created instantaneously about six thousand years ago. Essentially, Gentry has found that in certain samples of Precambrian biotite (a mica) the inner ring halos for uranium and other nuclides in the decay chain which should be producing Polonium 210, Po214 and Po218 are missing; only the polonium rings for these three isotopes are present. In addition, Gentry observed little or no uranium in the radioactive inclusion. His conclusion is that the polonium must have been primordial and, because of the short half-lves of the polonium isotopes (138.4 days , 0.000164 sec. and 3.04 minutes, respectively), the granite, therefore, must have been created in the solid state in "only a brief period between 'nucleosynthesis' and crystallization of the host rock." [1, p. 270] The fact that Gentry has published in Nature, Science and Medical Opinion and Review leads one to believe that there is a fair amount of support for his work, but Gentry avoids making direct creationist statements in these works -- it seems he is only cautiously trying to link the rocks of the Precambrian to the rocks that existed right after the Earth's formation - or creation. His book, however, leaves no doubt on his position: "Were tiny polonium halos God's fingerprints in Earth's primordial rocks? Could it be that the Precambrian granites were the Genesis rocks of our planet?" [1, p. 32]1 THE GEOLOGY The first curiosity that Wakefield uncovered was that the sites from which Gentry obtained his samples were not in the older Archean era of the Precambrian, as one would expect, but in fact were in the considerably younger (as dated radiometrically and structurally) Proterozoic era; specifically, the Proterozoic Grenville Supergroup of the Grenville Province, here in Ontario. This misunderstanding came about because Gentry is annoyingly vague on exact sites in his book. One mine, the Silver Crater Mine, is mentioned specifically, while the remaining sites are described only as being in Madagascar, New Hampshire and Norway. This tendency towards vagueness also occurs in his Medical Opinion and Review article, in which he refers to "the Wolsendorf (Bavaria) fluorite." [2] After some research, Wakefield tracked down the three sites, all near Bancroft in southern Ontario. Regarding the first site, the Fission Mine, it appeared to Wakefield that this was where Gentry obtained his fluorite samples and some of his biotite. Gentry denied this, saying they had come from Germany, but Louis Moyd of the Mational Museum in Ottawa indicated that samples from the Fission Mine were in fact sent to Gentry. I will break tradition briefly and quote Wakefield exactly, "it is clear we are dealing with intrusive calcite vein dikes (rocks containing mostly the mineral calcite and other minerals, such as mica) that are small in length and width and cut metasedimentary rocks which still retain bedding planes. Radioactive minerals abound in this locality. Percolating water from the hill the deposit occupies is strongly radioactive and was sold in the 1920s for therapeutic purposes." The second site, the Silver Crater mine, is related to the Fission mine and is a calcite intrusive of the same origin. Neither of these mines are in fact granites, a fact Gentry gets wrong. In addition, while Gentry claims that "halos occur in many mica samples which have not undergone metamorphism of any kind," the micas of the Silver Crater were indeed formed during metamorphism under the load of moderate-depthed overburden, whch has since been eroded off. Gentry's primordial biotite was in fact metamorphically derived. The third site, the Faraday mine, I will touch on only briefly. Gentry emphasizes that the oddity of the halos is that there is no uranium or thorium in the nucleus at the center of the polonium halos. Unfortunately for him, the Faraday pegmatite was mined for uranium -- a total of some four million tons of U(3)O(8) ore were mined for a total of 7.3 million pounds of uranium oxide until the mine's closure in 1984. The most common radioactive mineral was uranothorite, hence lots of uranium and thorium. Gentry's case rests heavily on a "God-of-the-gaps" approach to the halos; that is, it requires that there be no acceptable naturalistic explanation for the halos. Once such an explanation is found, Gentry's case crumbles. One paper that proposes such a naturalistic explanation is by N. K. Chaudhuri and R. H. Iyer [3]. I make no pretense about being able to understand the model they present; perhaps those with the necessary background will help out here. Gentry also has problems with accuracy in his quotation of other scientific sources. In one case, Gentry (p. 71) refers to a paper by N. Feather [4], saying that Feather discusses "clear mica (without any conduits)," but there is no reference to this in Feather's paper. In another instance, Gentry quotes Steven Talbott for scientific support and provides a copy of Talbott's article in the appendices of his book, but Talbott himself states that he has relied on two sources for HIS information: phone calls with Gentry and "the available technical literature", which turns out to be based on Gentry's own articles. What Gentry has in essence done is to reference himself and attempt to pass this off as independent corroboration. [1] Gentry, R.V., 1986. Creation's Tiny Mystery. Knoxville, Tenn. Earth Science Associates. [2] Gentry, R.V., 1967. "Cosmology and the Earth's Invisible Realm." Medical Opinion and Review. October, p. 79. [3] N.K. Chaudhuri and R.H. Iyer, "Origin of Unusual Radioactive Halos," Radiation Effects, 1980, vol. 53, pp. 1-6. [4] N. Feather, "The unsolved problem of the Po-halos in Precambrian biotite and other old minerals," Comm. to the Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, no. 11, 1978. And for a more recent: In the 6 October 1989 issue of SCIENCE magazine (Vol 246, #1 pp 107-109), there is a report on work with Radiation Induced Color Halos (RICHs) in quartz, suggesting a mechanism for the "Po halos" that removes their utility as Creation Science evidence. The abstract and first two-and-a-half and last one paragraphs of the report, giving a summary of the problem and the authors' conclusion: ABSTRACT "The radii of radiation-induced color halos (RICHs) surrounding radioactive mineral inclusions in mica generally correspond closely to the calculated range of common uranogenic and thorogenic alpha particles in mica. Many exceptions are known, however, and these variants have led investigators to some rather exotic interpretations. Three RICHs found in quartz are identified as aluminum hole-trapping centers. Whereas the inner radii of these RICHs closely match the predicted range of the most energetic common alphas (39 micrometers), the color centers observed extend to 100 micrometers. Migration of valence-band holes down a radiation-induced charge potential might account for these enigmatic RICHs. Such RICHs provide natural experiments in ultraslow charge diffusion. "In 1907 Joly pointed out that microscopic color halos commonly observed surrounding small inclusions of radioactive minerals were caused by damage produced by alpha particles emanating from the inclusions. Shortly afterwards, Rutherford noted a close correspondence between the radial size of halos and the energies of the alpha particles. A number of workers have described and measured these radiation-induced color halos (RICHs) and, from their sizes, have tried to match them with specific radionuclides in the inclusions. Although it seems possible to relate the sizes of most of the described halos to alpha emitters in the U and Th decay chains, there are many exceptions. Particularly controversial have been two (perhaps artificial) classes of RICHs referred to as Po halos and giant halos. "The Po haloes are RICHs that have a size and ring structure apparently comparable with the range in silicate minerals of alpha particles emmited by uranogenic Po radioisotopes of mass 210, 214, and 218, although this interpretation has been challenged. Significantly, rings that can be attributed to the other five alpha decays in the 238-U seroes seem to be lacking. That the half-life of 218-Po is 3 min has not deterred some investigators from proposing separation of Po from its radioactive progenitors before its inclusion in minerals. Indeed, Po halos have even been offered as possible evidence of an instantaneous creation. "Giant halos are anomalous RICHs that have radii extending more than approximately 47 um from the edge of the inclusion..." [Their proposal is that aluminum inclusions can create a semi-conductive area where beta particles can cause diffusion and discoloration over a very large area] "...We strongly suspect...that the sizes and structure of giant and Po RICHs in mica are also artifacts of radiation-induced conductivity and their explanation requires neither unknown radioactivity nor an abandonment of current concepts of geologic time." }- The animals couldn't have distributed themselves all over the globe. This is written at the time Wagener proposed Continebtal Drift for the first time. He is rejected by the geologists of the day, but now Plate Tectonics is well accpeted among geologists and is used to construct paleobiogeography that explains fossil distrubutions. And like horses (that man transported), camels, pandas, kangaroos, marsupials,.. In fact, this supports the evolutionary postulates in that the distribution matches transportation capabilities. What is more interesting is why are not animals everywhere? If they all got themselves originated from one place (did this twice, supposidely - everyone was originally present in Eden for the naming and everything was together again in the ark) why are not marsupials found everywhere? Ibid old world vs. new world species. The Supercontinent Cycle Nance, Worsley, & Moody, Scientific American, July 1988 Alfred Wegener and the Hypothesis of Continental Drift A. Hallam, Scientific American Feb 1975 }- In some places older fossils appear above young ones. } - Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana, Glacier Nat'l Monument. }Lewis Overthrust, Northern Montana including Glacier Nat'l Park }Here inorder to explain the problem of much older fossils superimposed }on much younger rocks we have a massive sheet of rock 6000 ft+ thick }and 100+ miles long moving some 65 (or more) miles with no trace of friction }or distortion... EVEN THOUGH THE ROCKS THEY REST ON ARE CRETACEOUS SHALES }AND MUDSTONES WHICH WOULD SHOW DISTORTION QUITE EASILY! In "The Rocks and Fossils of Glacier National Monument", U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K (1959) C. P. Ross and Richard Rezak note: Most visitors, especially those who stay on the roads, get the impression that the Belt strata are undisturbed and lie almost as flat today as they did when deposited in the sea which vanished so many million years ago. Actually, they are folded, and in certain places, they are intensely so. From points on and near the trails in the park, it is possible to observe places where the Belt series, as revealed in outcrops on ridges, cliffs and canyon walls, are folded and crumpled almost as intricately as the soft younger strata in the mountains south of the park and in the Great Plains adjoining the park to the east. Ross and Rezak repeatedly show how "crushed and crumpled" the rocks in the thrust fault are: The intricate crumpling and crushing in the immediate vicinity of the main overthrust, visible in localities like that near Marias Pass, (shown in figure 139), must have taken place when the heavy overthrust slab was forced over the soft rocks beneath... In some places only a single fault surface formed, with crushed and crumpled soft rocks beneath... Rocks between these faults were crumpled and crushed in a variety of ways. In some places the zone in which fracturing occured was as much as 2000 feet thick; generally it must have been at least several hundred feet thick. The statements made by you that there exists "no indication of friction [?] or structural distortion in either the Lewis thrust plate or overridded [sic] surface!" and "In order to explain the stratigraphic imposibility [sic] of such older rocks over younger rocks thrust model is invoked" (don't they teach grammer at the Colorado School of Mines?) is misleading at best and an outright lie at worst. I'm trying to decide if you are ignorant or just plain dishonest. If you'd like to see photographs of the actual thrust fault which we are discussing, may I suggest that you examine the December 1988 issue of the _Geological_Society_of_America Bulletin_? I'm sure your library receives it. While it is true that the thrust fault is often described as being "knife sharp" and there is little structural distortion above and below it, the fault is undoubtably present. You can walk up to it in places and place your hand on it. The thrust model, as you put it, was not just invoked without any supporting evidence. Geologists, unlike creationists, gather data and use it to support their theories. While the actual mechanics of overthrusting may still be poorly understood, geologists are making progress in understanding it (there have been hundreds of papers published on it). }Heart Mountain, north of Cody WY }If you believe that a large block of limestone could be moved uphill }for that distance without becoming pulverized I have some land in Fl. you }would be interested in... Or would you be more interested in the Brooklyn }Bridge? aka }Heart Mountain, north of Cody WY }A huge mountain of Paleozoic limestone setting on top of Eocene/Miocene }clastics... no indication of friction... no indication of pulverization... }yet in order to avoid the failure of uniformitarianism geologists predict }that this "block" of material was broken off from Sunlight Basin and moved }by the vibration of volcanic eruptions over a 3000 ft. structure (the Dead }Indian hill block fault) for a distance of over 25 miles. "in order to avoid the failure of uniformitarianism" is a biased judgement that does not address the issues, I will ignore it. William G. Pierce in his article "Heart Mountain and South Fork Detachment Thrusts of Wyoming" in American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin Vol. 41 (1957), notes that the level Cambrian strata broke off along a bedding plane, and slid downhill. The thrust block slid over younger rocks, parts of the thrust block eroded away, and a volcano finally deposited some debris over the area where a piece of the block had once stood. The volcanic debris, not being a part of the original thrust block, never slid. Pierce also notes that the thrust block strata are often grossly deformed even when the underlying strata are not. He shows how the strata from one piece of the thrust block are often sliced across at a slant, forming an angle with the horizontal strata underlying the thrust fault. If you will allow me to quote from Strahler's book _Science and Earth History_ (Note: Bill Jefferys mentions this book frequently. I advise everyone who reads this group to run not walk to the library and GET it. It would be most useful for Bob Bales and Joe Applegate to read this. Challange to Bob Bales. I will read any creationist book you wish me to, and post a critique to the net if you will read this book and post your critique of Strahler. Why do I think Bob won't take up the challenge?) >From Chapter 40 page 393: For reasons as yet undertermined, the entire layer of post-Cambrian strata simply began to glive as a unit southeastward over a bedding surface located immediately under the massive Bighorn dolomite formation of Ordovician age and above the topmost Cambrian formation. This layer detached itself along a vertical breakaway fracture shown at the left. Movement was evidently on a very low downgrade, decling some 650 meters in elevation from the breakaway fracture to the end of teh bedding slip zone, a horizontal distance of some 50 km. As the rock sheet traveled, it broke up onto blocks on a sucession of vertical tension fractures. The blocks thus became separated by open gaps, in which the bedding plane of gliding (identified as the Heart Mountain fault) was exposed at the surface. Geologists have applied the term "tectonic erosion" to the surface exposure of a fault plane by sliding away of the overlying mass. End quote. So it seems 1) it didn`t move uphill as you claim. and 2) there was pulverization of the rocks. }These just two of the unconformities which are unexplainable by the }uniformitarian model on which the evolutionary model is based... But the point is, whenever one small area is undisturbed, its fossils are found in a very definite order from top to bottom. The fossils close to the top resemble modern species far more than the fossils closer to the bottom. When fossils are occasionally found in the "wrong" order, one finds that the rocks are in disturbed areas like mountain ranges, where the sediments are being squished up and out over the surface of the earth like an ice cream bar crushed in a vice. These mountain sediments show plenty of physical evidence of overturning and overthrusting that has nothing to do with fossils. Therefore, geologists who avoid overturned rocks when they determine the fossil sequence are not commiting circular reasoning. William Smith, a canal engineer, was the father of modern stratigraphy. He was the first to notice that the higher rocks consistently had different fossils than the lower ones did. He was also a creationist, and used his discovery only to make money, yet the whole of geology today is based on his discovery. Geology is self-correcting, so of course, there is always an infinitessimal chance that it will someday contradict evolution, or perhaps render evolution a poorer explanation of the evidence than creationism. It will no doubt take something a bit more serious than the anomalies Joe mentioned here. We're still waiting. }A near planetary collision or an asteroid impact could do a lot of geomorphic }change! And geologically overnight! yeah, and it would probably kill everything, given the size it would have to be. see national geographic, june 1989, 'the march toward extinction', p. 662, especially the chart starting on p. 666. >Shifting the poles rapidly over Hapgood's waveguide zone would be just as >effective and fast! what's wrong with the possibility of shifting them slowly? } - "carcasses deposited in icy mucky dumps" } - evidence of rapid removal and deposition of soil, forest in arctic. }No, the evidence plainly points to the removal of large areas of soil and }forest along with their rapid deposition and freezing in the artic... now }what besides a tidal surge of immense proportions would do that... and if }such a surge wiped the face of Asia and Alaska, why is it unlikely to extend }it to Mesopotania, where it would have depositied it's debris in the vicinity }of Ararat! Severe temperature changes are known to be responsible for great catastrophic mortalities. Such mortalities are typically associated with unusually cold spells or severe winters. Severe storms are also responsible for catastrophic kills and quick seimentary deposition. During hurricanes and other severe stormes, bottom sediment can be stirred up to a considerable depth and easily bury animals. There is absolutely no question that modern day catastrophes are constantly occuring and that many of these can result in catastrophic kills and rapid deposition of sediment. In short, fossils and fossil graveyards are being formed today. You may be correct in assuming that the evidence of rapid deposition you cite is generally evidence for some catastrophic mode of formation, but you are incorrect in assuming that only the Genesis Flood can account for such deposits. Especially in the face of the great amount of other evidence in direct conflict with the Genesis Flood hypothesis, evidence of slow deposition, evidence in coral reef formations, evaporite deposits, fossil lake deposits, glacial deposits, and desert deposits. When we look at the sedimentary rock record we find some deposits that bear evidence of having been formed by moving water and could have been formed in flood water, but by no means are all rocks like that, in fact there are a considerable number of formations that could not have formed in surging flood waters at all. } the are no layers which require more than 6000 years to build up - the abyssal plain ? - the Greenland icecap - Green River Plus, at the statellite-measured recession rate of the NA continent, the Atlantic gets a Real Big age. This is consistent with the mag stripes alongside the mid-Aatlantic ridge. } A while back I heard a Southern Baptist preacher declare that }no more fossils were being formed because the rate of sediment deposition }today is too slow to capture and preserve anything. } This, he said, is proof that the flood happened because that }would have been the only time the rate of sediment deposition would }have been high enough to make fossils. (I didn't bother to ask him how }he explained the layering of fossils, but I'm sure he would have used }some variation of the idea that the larger fossils naturally floated }to the top and the small ones settled to the bottom.) There was a bit of wondering going on amongst the dinodiggers on why so many fossils of a particular type had a specific distribution, especially when that distribution was of a single kind, large numbers, and not uncommon. A light flashed when it was realized that herding animals today, when fording a river, sometimes panic. The stampede occurs IN the river, and many drown. The distribution of animal bodies downstream appear to be the same as those dinosaur distributions. Thats one. Tar pits work quite well today. That's two. I've seen stuff deposited in marine sediments. That's three. There are about a dozen cars mostly buried about 9 miles from here where a parking lot caved in into the drainage ditch/river feeder caved in. I have little doubt that any small animals in the parking lot went with them. That's four. Sedimentation rates look like they are going like gangbusters to me. Look at the estuaries filling in. Look at the marine channels filling in. You don't get sedimentary build up on top of hills.

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