Date: 19 Feb 94 18:38:39 To: All Subject: Pt 1/2: Kent Hovind Arguments Since I've receive

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Date: 19 Feb 94 18:38:39 From: James J. Lippard To: All Subject: Pt 1/2: Kent Hovind Arguments From: lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) Organization: University of Arizona Since I've received very little response to my previous article about the Babinski/Hovind debate, I thought I'd just post some of Hovind's material here for critique. I will collect responses, edit them together (retaining authorship information), and send them off to Babinski for use in his debate. (He told me yesterday that he also will publish this material in his _Theistic Evolutionist Forum_.) Everything from here on is Hovind, except for my comments in brackets. FACTS FROM SCIENCE THAT DEMONSTRATE THE UNIVERSE IS NOT "BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD" by Dr. Kent Hovind The general theory of evolution is based on several faulty assumptions. One of the easiest assumptions to prove wrong is the assumption that the universe is billions of years old. If it could be demonstrated that the universe is not billions of years old then all other arguments about evolution are meaningless and unnecessary. In fairy tales for children we are told that FROGS + MAGIC SPELL (usually a kiss) = PRINCE. In modern(?) biology textbooks we are told that FROGS + TIME = PRINCE. The same basic fairy tale is being told with the new magic potion being TIME. TIME is the panacea for all the thousands of problems that come up when the theory of evolution is discussed. In most of the discussions and debates about evolution that I have had at universities and colleges, I will ask the evolutionist how certain things could have evolved by chance. The answer is often, "Given enough time ...." TIME becomes "god" for the evolutionist. TIME is able to accomplish anything the evolutionist can dream up. TIME can easily turn a frog into a prince. TIME can create matter from nothing and life from matter. TIME can create order from chaos (at least they _believe_ it can). Removing time from the equation above will yield three results: 1. evolution will become obviously impossible (even if the universe were billions of years old evolution is still impossible), 2. evolutionists will holler like a baby whose pacifier has been pulled out. They know that if time removed, their religion (evolution is a religion, not part of science) looks silly. 3. Creation becomes the only reasonable explanation for the existence of this complex universe. IT ONLY TAKES ONE PROOF OF A YOUNG EARTH TO SETTLE THE CASE FOR CREATION AND AGAINST EVOLUTION. Let's imagine we are exploring an old gold mine. Now imagine we find a Casio Databank watch half buried in the mud on the floor of the mine. Suppose also that the correct time and date is displayed on the watch and it is still running smoothly. Then imagine that I tell you that the watch had been there for over one thousand years! "That's impossible!" You say, "That watch could not have been there for a thousand years and I can prove it!" "How can you prove I'm wrong?" I say. "Well, for one thing, this mine was just dug 150 years ago." you say. "O.K." I admit "you're right about the thousand years being too much, but the watch has been here for 150 years at least!" "No!" you say, "Casio didn't make the Databank watch until 12 years ago." "All right," I saw "The watch was dropped here 12 years ago then." "Impossible!" you say, "The batteries only last 5 years on that watch and it's still running that proves it has been here less than 5 years." While we still can't prove exactly when the watch was left there, you have logically limited the date the watch was left to within the last 5 years. The larger numbers prove nothing in this deate. Even if I were to carbon date the mud or the plastic in the watch to try to prove that it was thousands of years old, my data would be meaningless. The same logic can be applied to finding the age of the earth. If several factors limit the age of the earth to within the last few thousand years, the earth cannot be older than that! Even if a few indicators seem to show a greater age for the earth, it only takes ONE proof of a young earth to prove the earth is young. Below is a list of some of the factors from various branches of science that limit the age of the universe and earth to within the last few thousand years. It cannot be scientifically proven exactly when the universe was created. The age can be limited easily, however, to within a few thousand years. [1. To use Hovind's analogy, what creationists are trying to do is date the earth (or the mine) by using the watch. 2. If Hovind's reasoning is correct, then we must take the youngest date yielded by any creationist technique. Since Hovind advocates both the elements in the oceans residence time argument and the population growth argument, then he must advocate a very young earth indeed--just a few decades old using the residence time of aluminum, and only a few years using the populations of some organisms. -jjl] Each of these evidences of a young earth is described in great detail in the books referred to at the end of each line. Anyone wanting more information should consult the sources referred to. The books are referred to by source # and page #. Evidence From Space: 1). The shrinking sun limits the earth-sun relationship to less than 5 million years. #1 P.169, #2 P.30, #4 P.56-63, #5 P.26, #6 P.43. [I have informed Hovind *twice* that he gives bogus numbers in his lectures when he makes this argument, pointing out to him an article in the _Creation Research Society Quarterly_ which debunks the use of the sun as an age indicator. He continues to use the argument. -jjl] 2). The small layer of dust on the moon indicates less than 10,000 years of accumulation. #2 P.26, #3 P.22, #4 P.15, #6 P.35, #9 P.25. 3). The existence of short period comets indicates the universe is less than 10,000 years old. #2 P.31, #3 P.27, #4 P.35, #6 P.37. 4). No fossil meteorites have been found in layers other than the top layers of the earth. This indicates that the layers were not exposed for millions of years. #4 P.26. [Babinski has a photo (on slide) of an Ordovician meteorite. -jjl] 5). The Moon is receding a few inches each year. A few million years ago the moon would have been so close that the tides would have destroyed the earth twice a day. #3 P.25, #6 P.43. 6). The moon contains considerable quantities of U-236 and Th-230 both short-lived isotopes that would have been long gone if the moon were billions of years old. #8 P.177 7). Space dust would be vacuumed out of our solar system by the Pointing- Robertson [sic] effect in a few thousand years. #3 P.29, #6 P.44. 8). At the rate many star clusters are expanding, they could not have been traveling for more than a few thousand years. #3 P.29, #4 P.30&59, #6 P.44. 9). Saturn's rings are still unstable indicating they are less than millions of years old. #4 P.45 10). Jupiter and Saturn are cooling off rather rapidly. They cannot be billions of years old. #5 P.26 From Earth: 11). The decaying magnetic field limits earth's age to less than 25,000 years. #1 P.157, #2 P.27, #3 P.20, #5 P.23, #6 P.42, #9 P.25, #10 P.38. 12). The volume of lava on earth divided by it's [sic] rate of efflux gives a number of only a few million years not billions. #1 P.156 [Compare Hovind's 12 and 16 to 15 and 17! -jjl] 13). Dividing the amount of various minerals in the ocean by their influx rate gives only a few thousand years of accumulation. #1 P.153, #5 P.24, #6 P.42. 14). The amount of Helium 4 in the atmosphere divided by the formation rate on earth gives only 175,000 years. (God must have started the earth with some.) #1 P.151, #6 P.42, #9 P.25. 15). The erosion rate of the continents is such that they would erode to sea level in less than 14 million years (destroying all old fossils). #2 P.31, #6 P.38. 16). Top soil formation rates indicate only a few thousand years of formation. #6 P.38. 17). Niagara Falls erosion rate indicates an age of less than 10,000 years. (Don't forget Noah's flood could have eroded half of the Niagara River in a few hours as the flood waters receded through the soft sediment.) #6 P.39, #7 18). Incredible pressure found in oil and gas wells indicates they have been there less than 15,000 years. #2 P.32, #3 P.24, #5 P.24, #6 P.37, #7. 19). The size of the Mississippi River delta divided by the rate mud is being deposited gives an age of less than 30,000 years. (The flood in Noah's day could have washed 80% of the mud out there in a few hours or days so 4400 years is a reasonable age for the delta to form) #3 P.23, #6 P.38, #7. 20). The slowing spin of the earth limits it's [sic] age to less than a few million years. #3 P.25, #7. [This is an argument Walter Brown used to make, but has since repudiated. Hovind cites Scott M. Huse, who in turn cites R.L. Wysong (who is also on Hovind's reference list, but apparently Hovind can't be bothered to cite directly). Does anybody know if Wysong cites Brown for this argument? -jjl] 21). Only a small amount of sediment is now on the ocean floor. This indicates only a few thousand years of accumulation. This embarrassing fact explains why the continental drift theory is vitally important to those who worship evolution. #1 P.155, #6 P.38, #7. 22). The largest stalactites and flowstone formations in the world could have formed in about 4400 years. #5 P.27, #6 P.39, #7 [For this Hovind likes to use the famous slide of the bat encased in a stalactite. Can anyone comment on that? -jjl] 23). The Sahara desert is expanding. It can only be a few thousand years old. #7. 24). The oceans are getting saltier. If they were billions of years old they would be much saltier than they are now. #7, #9 P.26, #10 P.37. Evidence From Biology: 25). The current population of earth (5.5 billion) could easily by [sic] generated from 8 people in less than 4000 years. #1 P.167, #3 P.27, #6 P.41, #7. 26). The oldest coral reef is about 4200 years old. #6 P.39, #7. 27). The oldest tree in the world is 4300 years old. #6 P.40, #7 [What about the oldest human being? Fruit fly? -jjl] Evidence From History: 28). Oldest known historical records are less than 6000 years old. #1 P. 160 29). Biblical dates add up to about 6000 years. 30). Many ancient cultures have stories of an original creation in the recent past. Those who believe the earth is billions of years old will typically try to discredit one of these evidences and then mistakenly think that they have successfully proven the entire list wrong. This is not logical of course. Each one stands independently and it only takes one to prove the earth is young. The burden of proof is on the evolutionists if they expect all taxpayers to fund the teaching of their religion in the school system. Evolutionists love to assume uniformitarian processes. These evidences follow the same logic evolutionists use all the time. Sources: #1. Morris, Henry M. _Scientific Creationism_. El Cajon, California: Master Books, April 1985. #2. McLean, G.S.; McLean, Larry; Oakland, Roger. _The Bible Key to Understanding The Early Earth_. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Southwest Radio Church, 1987. #3. Huse, Scott M. _The Collapse of Evolution_. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1983. #4. Ackerman, Paul D. _It's A Young World After All_. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1986. #5. Blick, Edward F. _A Scientific Analysis of Genesis_. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Hearthstone Publishing Ltd., 1991. #6. Petersen, Dennis R. _Unlocking The Mysteries Of Creation_. South Lake Tahoe, California: Christian Equippers International, 1987. #7. Hovind, Kent E. _Creation Seminar, Part One_. (Most items mentioned are referenced on screen) Video tape series available from: Dr. Kent Hovind 29 Cummings Road Pensacola, Florida 32503 #8. Wysong, R.L. _The Creation-Evolution Controversy_. Midland, Michigan: Inquiry Press, 1976. #9. Baker, Sylvia. _Bone of Contention_. Sunnybank, Queensland 4109 Australia: Creation Science Foundation Ltd., Australia, 1990. #10. Moore, John N. _Questions and answers on Creation-Evolution_. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1977. Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721 ============================================================== Number: 143 (Read 0 times) Date: 19 Feb 94 22:24:20 From: Mark Isaak To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: isaak@aurora.com (Mark Isaak) Organization: The Aurora Group In article <18FEB199414230985@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu> lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) writes: >In fairy tales for children we are told that FROGS + MAGIC SPELL (usually >a kiss) = PRINCE. In modern(?) biology textbooks we are told that >FROGS + TIME = PRINCE. This, of course, simply shows that Creationists don't feel that the commandment against bearing false witness applies to them. The strawman which Hovind constructs says nothing whatsoever about evolution, other than that TIME is an important factor in evolution, while MAGIC SPELL is a required part of Creationism. I wish Creationists would get it through their skulls that evolution says that organisms reproduce after their own kind; it's Creationism that has them poofing in out of nowhere. >IT ONLY TAKES ONE PROOF OF A YOUNG EARTH TO SETTLE THE CASE FOR >CREATION AND AGAINST EVOLUTION. >[analogy of watch found in gold mine deleted] Now lets use the same analogy to find out how old Rome is. Records say this particular building was constructed in 1870, so Rome can't be more than 124 years old. That car parked there is an 1989 model, so Rome must be less than 5 years old. And this newspaper laying on the sidewalk is dated yesterday. I guess Rome really was built in a day. Most of Hovind's "evidence" for a young earth assume that certain processes are always constant, even when it is *known* beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are not constant. The evidence doesn't prove the earth is young; it proves that anyone using the evidence as evidence of a young earth is a liar. Most of the arguments have been addressed so often I'm tired of them. They must be in the FAQ's somewhere. >23). The Sahara desert is expanding. It can only be a few thousand >years old. #7. There was an article in _The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists_ in the late 70's or early 80's which explained how human population growth was drastically increasing desertification of the Sahara, and how the problem is only getting worse. More than half of the Sahara is only a few decades old. >25). The current population of earth (5.5 billion) could easily by [sic] >generated from 8 people in less than 4000 years. Yeah. And less than 100 people built all the Pyramids. How stupid can you get? >30). Many ancient cultures have stories of an original creation in the >recent past. I can't think of any cultures aside from Creationism which put a date on the original creation. Also, does Hovind know how long a kalpa is? >Evolutionists love to assume uniformitarian processes. These evidences >follow the same logic evolutionists use all the time. Hovind is suggesting by his choice of arguments that scientists assume that *every* process is uniform. That's nothing more nor less than a damned lie. -- Mark Isaak "There lives more faith in honest doubt, isaak@aurora.com Believe me, than in half the creeds." - Tennyson =================================================================== Number: 149 (Read 0 times) Date: 20 Feb 94 01:23:07 From: Thomas Kettenring To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: kring@physik.uni-kl.de (Thomas Kettenring) Organization: FB Physik, Universitaet Kaiserslautern, Germany In article <18FEB199414230985@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu>, lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) writes: [..] >Everything from here on is Hovind, except for my comments in brackets. [..] >The general theory of evolution is based on several faulty assumptions. >One of the easiest assumptions to prove wrong is the assumption that >the universe is billions of years old. If it could be demonstrated that >the universe is not billions of years old then all other arguments about >evolution are meaningless and unnecessary. The last sentence is more or less correct. (The others are wrong of course.) [lengthy, childish, and illogical rhetorics that unnecessarily attempts to show that the last sentence is indeed correct deleted] >Evidence From Space: >5). The Moon is receding a few inches each year. A few million years >ago the moon would have been so close that the tides would have >destroyed the earth twice a day. #3 P.25, #6 P.43. For such cases, one should draw a graph of some non-linear function of time, mark a few points close to each other and draw a straight line through them. Then as soon as such an argument comes, say: "This is the temperature of a patient in hospital over a month. As you see, it behaves in a rather unpredictable way. Mr. Hovind comes in on the second-but-last day of the month, measures the temperature, does it again the next day, draws a line through the two points and concludes that the patient was deep-frozen last month and will be boiling next month. I guess I don't have to point out that this is a very silly way of doing science." The next times just point to the graph. >9). Saturn's rings are still unstable indicating they are less than >millions of years old. #4 P.45 Nonsense. Saturn's rings are chaotic but such complex chaotic systems aren't so well known yet that one could infer anything like maximum age from that behaviour. (I'm a physicist, and chaos theory was what I wrote my diploma thesis about, in case someone asks.) >Those who believe the earth is billions of years old will typically try >to discredit one of these evidences and then mistakenly think that they >have successfully proven the entire list wrong. Nonsense. Show me one single person who is that stupid. Proving one item absurdly wrong only shows that the person who made the list is incompetent, making it less likely that there is a real argument in there, but of course it doesn't show the entire list wrong. A good method to handle such a list without disproving every single one is letting the opponent choose which item he thinks is the most solid one, then disprove that and ask for the second most solid one. If the opponent refuses to give a favorite, let the moderator or someone say a number between 1 and 30. Emphasize that you know all the arguments and that there is not a single real one among them. >Evolutionists love to assume uniformitarian processes. These evidences >follow the same logic evolutionists use all the time. Nonsense. Scientists don't use such bad logic. -- thomas kettenring, 3 dan, kaiserslautern, germany Writing a spelling flame on Internet is like going to Athens and complaining about all the owls. ========================================================== Number: 157 (Read 0 times) Date: 20 Feb 94 03:59:12 From: Loren I. Petrich To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: lip@s1.gov (Loren I. Petrich) Organization: LLNL In article <18FEB199414230985@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu> lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) writes: >Evidence From Space: >2). The small layer of dust on the moon indicates less than 10,000 years >of accumulation. I guess this is that old "150 feet of dust" argument, which seems to have been discredited -- the true amound is much less. >3). The existence of short period comets indicates the universe is less >than 10,000 years old. Short-period comets are long-period comets that have been pulled into a short-period orbit by an outer planet, usually Jupiter. >5). The Moon is receding a few inches each year. A few million years >ago the moon would have been so close that the tides would have >destroyed the earth twice a day. 1 centimeter/year = 10 km/(million years), which is relatively insignificant. >6). The moon contains considerable quantities of U-236 and Th-230 both >short-lived isotopes that would have been long gone if the moon were >billions of years old. I've never heard that one before :-) >7). Space dust would be vacuumed out of our solar system by the Pointing- >Robertson [sic] effect in a few thousand years. However, it is continually being replenished by disintegrating comets (where do their tails go?). >8). At the rate many star clusters are expanding, they could not have >been traveling for more than a few thousand years. How does he diagnose "expansion" of star clusters? And for a typical star cluster to disperse in a few thousand years, its stars would have to be moving at several thousand km/s, which is simply not observed. >9). Saturn's rings are still unstable indicating they are less than >millions of years old. Even if Saturn's rings are not as old as the Solar System, they could be from some small satellite(s) that spiraled in too close. >10). Jupiter and Saturn are cooling off rather rapidly. They cannot be >billions of years old. He gives no numbers. Not surprising. I don't know much about this subject, but I get the impression that Jupiter and Saturn do not present any great difficulties for planetary-evolution theory. >From Earth: >11). The decaying magnetic field limits earth's age to less than >25,000 years. Well refuted by others. >13). Dividing the amount of various minerals in the ocean by their >influx rate gives only a few thousand years of accumulation. That ignores mineral loss; at most, he has calculated the turnover time. >14). The amount of Helium 4 in the atmosphere divided by the formation >rate on earth gives only 175,000 years. Helium-4 is very light, and can easily evaporate from the upper atmosphere. >16). Top soil formation rates indicate only a few thousand years of >formation. Ever hear of erosion? >17). Niagara Falls erosion rate indicates an age of less than 10,000 >years. (Don't forget Noah's flood could have eroded half of the >Niagara River in a few hours as the flood waters receded through the >soft sediment.) Niagara Falls is less than 10,000 years old because it was covered by ice before then. >18). Incredible pressure found in oil and gas wells indicates they have >been there less than 15,000 years. If it was stably trapped underground, then there is no way of determining its age from that. >20). The slowing spin of the earth limits it's [sic] age to less than >a few million years. Actually, the spindown time is more like a few _billion_ years. >21). Only a small amount of sediment is now on the ocean floor. That's because most of it settles on the continental shelves before it reaches the deep ocean. ... This >indicates only a few thousand years of accumulation. Where does this jackass get his numbers from? >23). The Sahara desert is expanding. It can only be a few thousand >years old. #7. Irrelevant. Climate _can_ change over timescales of hundreds to thousands of years. >24). The oceans are getting saltier. If they were billions of years >old they would be much saltier than they are now. The old residence-time argument. >Evidence From Biology: >25). The current population of earth (5.5 billion) could easily by [sic] >generated from 8 people in less than 4000 years. Humanity's population growth is not a natural constant, like radioactive decay (which the creationists claim is _variable_). >Evidence From History: >28). Oldest known historical records are less than 6000 years old. Actually, 5000 years old. However, the Biblical Flood's date would have to be around 4000 years ago, and there is not a shred of mention of it in Mesopotamian or Egyptian records. >29). Biblical dates add up to about 6000 years. So? >30). Many ancient cultures have stories of an original creation in the >recent past. But the details are all different. I'm sure that Hovind would not subscribe to the theory that the Universe was created from the body of some primordial dragon, for example. -- /Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster /lip@s1.gov / / ***** Happiness is a fast Macintosh ***** --- * Origin: toadnet.org - UseNet <=> ToadNet Gate (86:86/200.0) Number: 158 (Read 0 times) Date: 20 Feb 94 04:18:04 From: Loren I. Petrich To: All Subject: Hovind on Radiometric Dating From: lip@s1.gov (Loren I. Petrich) Organization: LLNL In article <18FEB199414474633@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu> lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) writes: >Here's another page of Hovind nonsense, for comment. Once again, >I'll collect replies and send them to Babinski for his debate. >Several Faulty Assumptions Are Used in all Radiometric Dating Methods Carbon >14 is used for this example: >1. Atmospheric C-14 is in equilibrium. [...] It is unnecessary to assume equilibrium, since C-14 dates can be calibrated by counting the rings of old trees; since trees in annually-variable climates put on one new ring per year, one has a year count of each bit of trunk. >2. Decay rate remains constant. This assumption has been shown to be in >error many times. Several factors affect the rate of C-14 decay. The >11 year solar sun spot cycle is one such factor. Since the rate of decay >is not constant, no dates obtained by C-14 can be trusted. Demonstrably false. There is no convincing evidence for _any_ radioactive-decay rate variation for materials subjected to typical conditions on Earth (I'm leaving out such circumstances as the cores of massive stars, where the electrons may be degenerate with a high enough top energy to block out a lot of beta decays). Furthermore, tree-ring calibration would factor out any decay-rate variation that existed. >3. Initial amount of C-14 can be known. This assumption has been demonstrated >to be wrong many times. Different parts of the same sample often yield >different ratios. Various living samples give very different ratios. Tree-ring dating seems to be self-consistent; different trees do _not_ yield wildly differing ages. >4. The sample being tested has not been contaminated. This assumption is >very difficult, if not impossible to prove. Parent or daughter products >could have leached in or out of the sample. Many lab tests have confirmed >that this does happen. One _does_ have to be careful. But it _can_ be done. >5. Accurate measurement of C-14 in sample. This is not reasonable to >assume. The amount of C-14 in the atmosphere today is less than one >part per million. Claiming to be able to measure accurately to 7 decimal >places is not reasonable. One does not measure C-14 abundance by taking the difference of two nearly equal quantities. One does it by either: Putting a sample in a vault and measuring its radioactivity. Putting a sample in a mass spectrometer and seeing where the ions wind up (C-14 has an atomic weight greater than that of "normal" C-12 or C-14, and gets deflected less by the spectrometer's magnetic field). The result may only be accurate to one or two significant digits, but that is enough for dating purposes. >6. Shape of the curve of the line is known. This assumption is not >rational. The oldest sample of independently known age is Hemaka, the >Egyptian mummy from 2700-3100 B.C. To base a graph on such a small >section of the curve is not wise. (Secular writers of antiquity tend >to exaggerate ages so even these dates are suspect) Some dead trees are older than Hemaka. >7. The geologic column is a base to calibrate the C-14 dates. Not done. Trees are used instead. ... This >assumption is not wise. The entire geologic column is based on the >assumption that evolution is true. This fictitious column (invented >in the 1800's to discredit the Bible) does not exist anywhere in the >world except in textbooks. It was NOT invented to "discredit the Bible". It does not even assume biological evolution. Its authors apparently believed in special creations over geological time. ... Poly-strata fossils, missing layers, layers >out of order, misplaced fossils, and layers in reverse order all >invalidate the geologic column. A fossil can stick upward. Sediment can fail to flow down. Older rock can be pushed above younger rock. _The assumed age of the sample will >dictate which dating method is used since each will give a very different >result._ Actually, they are surprisingly consistent, and this consistency can be (and I'm sure has been) used to set limits on relative decay-rate variation. -- /Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster /lip@s1.gov / / ***** Happiness is a fast Macintosh ***** --- * Origin: toadnet.org - UseNet <=> ToadNet Gate (86:86/200.0) Number: 159 (Read 0 times) Date: 19 Feb 94 23:13:24 From: Michael Siemon To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: mls@panix.com (Michael Siemon) Organization: Panix Public Access Internet & Unix, NYC In article <1994Feb20.012307.1514@rhrk.uni-kl.de> kring@physik.uni-kl.de (Thomas Kettenring) writes: [quoting Hovind] >>The general theory of evolution is based on several faulty assumptions. >>One of the easiest assumptions to prove wrong is the assumption that >>the universe is billions of years old. If it could be demonstrated that >>the universe is not billions of years old then all other arguments about >>evolution are meaningless and unnecessary. >The last sentence is more or less correct. (The others are wrong of >course.) But you are being over-generous in your comment (unless you mean to stress the "less" in "more or less" :-)). The billion (10^9) year horizon is necessary if the tree of descent is to "root" itself into one or a few forms. But arguments using evolutionary logic are both meaningful and neceesary on smaller scales: The 100-million year horizon is sufficient to encompass the radition of the mammals or angiosperms. (And Gould's most recent _Natural History_ essay points out that the "Cambrian explosion" is now constrained quite tightly to a few 10's of megayears.) A 10-million year horizon can show substantial "innovation" at the level of orders, or families (consider the primates :-)). A million years is a fair rough estimate for the lifespan of a species -- and hence is the granularity of the issue which drove Darwin's studies. Shorter scales continue to be significant -- even the decade horizons of the classic British moth population changes or the years of laboratory study of drosophila or bacteria. All that happens as the horizon shortens is that the cumulative magnitude of evolutionary change is less, so that deluded Creationists can think to have an escape into "microevolution is OK, but macroevolution doesn't happen." The point is, however, that at year/decade/millenium/megayear/... granularity the fossil record is entirely consistent with the amount and kind of change we see in the laboratory. So that the *scope* of change over the history of the earth is almost a necessity given *current* evolution and the actual time-scale of earth history. *That* is what is terrifying and boggling to the Creationists -- they cannot conceive of orders of magnitude beyond a few human generations, and whatever excuse they have for "thinking" about these issues simly goes "tilt" at the full scope of time. Part of this is a failure of counting -- they understand "traditional" counting [1, 2, 3, many] without ever having come to terms with the difference between 3 and many being rather more complex than the difference between 2 and 3. -- Michael L. Siemon "We honour founders of these starving cities mls@panix.com Whose honour is the image of our sorrow ... - or - They built by rivers and at night the water mls@ulysses.att.com Running past the windows comforted their sorrow." --- ======================================================= Number: 170 (Read 0 times) Date: 20 Feb 94 14:55:18 From: Justin M. Sanders To: All Subject: Hovind on Radiometric Dating From: jsanders@phys.ksu.edu (Justin M. Sanders) Organization: Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS, USA In article <18FEB199414474633@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu> lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) writes: >Here's another page of Hovind nonsense, for comment. Once again, >I'll collect replies and send them to Babinski for his debate. >2. Decay rate remains constant. This assumption has been shown to be in >error many times. Several factors affect the rate of C-14 decay. The >11 year solar sun spot cycle is one such factor. Since the rate of decay >is not constant, no dates obtained by C-14 can be trusted. Kurt von R. has already mentioned this howler. 14C decays to 14N by beta decay which is mediated by the weak nuclear force (or electro-weak force to be more accurate). No varitions in beta decay (or any nuclear decay) rates have ever been reported to depend on sunspot activity. Sunspot activity can affect the *production* of 14C in the upper atmosphere by affecting the flux of solar wind particles which produce the 14C. >5. Accurate measurement of C-14 in sample. This is not reasonable to >assume. The amount of C-14 in the atmosphere today is less than one >part per million. Claiming to be able to measure accurately to 7 decimal >places is not reasonable. Snort! Any number of physical quantities have been measured to the ppm level. Measurements of chemical contaminants to the parts per billion (ppb) level are also done routinely. In the case of 14C, accelerator mass spectrometry has pushed the limits of accuracy to very high levels (don't have a number handy unfortunately). Among on the most precisely known physical constants, the electron g-factor is known to at least 11 decimal places. >6. Shape of the curve of the line is known. This assumption is not >rational. The oldest sample of independently known age is Hemaka, the >Egyptian mummy from 2700-3100 B.C. To base a graph on such a small >section of the curve is not wise. (Secular writers of antiquity tend >to exaggerate ages so even these dates are suspect) First, on extrapolating beyond one's database and on using the wrong curve, let's recall from another of Jim's Hovind collections: >11). The decaying magnetic field limits earth's age to less than >25,000 years. #1 P.157, #2 P.27, #3 P.20, #5 P.23, #6 P.42, #9 P.25, >#10 P.38. Which suffers from exactly these flaws. More to Hovind's point, the decay curve of radioactive decay is well known. It has been directly verified many times this century using radioisotopes with sufficiently short half-lives. Somewhat more indirectly, the exponential decay law is a mathematical consequence of something that can be experimentally verified, namely that the number of decays is directly proportional to the amount of material. In mathematical form dN/dt = -lamda*N [lamda is the decay constant] If the number of atoms N of the isotope is increased by some factor (by taking that much more material), then it is found that the decay rate dN/dt increases by exactly the same factor. The exponential exponential decay follows immediately from the rules of calculus. -- Justin M. Sanders "Nothing is more unfamiliar or Research Associate uncongenial to the human mind than Physics Division, ORNL thinking correctly about probabilities." jsanders@orph01.phy.ornl.gov --S.J. Gould, "Eight Little Piggies" ============================================================== Number: 216 (Read 0 times) Date: 21 Feb 94 06:15:59 From: James C. Harrison To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: hexis@netcom.com (James C. Harrison) Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 241-9760 guest) Previous follow-ups have demolished the particulars of Mr. Hovind's Arguments. I'd like to post a sort of metabitch about his kind of arguments. Do the Creationists pay Royalties to Karl Popper? They are certainly enamored of his idea that only disconfirmations are relevant to evaluating an hypothesis. As a non-Popperian at least in regards to historical sciences, I would like to point out that the positive evidence in favor of Evolution is simply overwhelming, consisting as it does of the results of entire sciences as recorded in thousands and thousands of books, maps, data sets, computer tapes, fossils, photographs. Geologists, paleontologists, biologists, and psychologists reverify the basic facts of evolution every day and continue to add new stories on the huge edifice of theory.Hovind's list is pretty pathetic stacked against the labors of so many. Evolution has got to be just about the best evidenced scientific theory outside of physics. If we had to make a choice between Darwin and Popper, Popper would have to go. None of this will faze the Creationsists, of course. Oh well, I've read that after Descartes published his "Cogito ergo sum" idea, some clown followed him around, saying "I think but I don't think I am, Whatya think about that Smarty Pants?" A yet more salient analogy: Creationists are like the jealous husband who hired a private eye to see if his wife was cheating on him. The detective reported that a tall, handsome man picked up the wife at her place, took her to several nightclubs where they drank and danced cheek to cheek till late at night. Then the couple took a taxi to the guy's apartment. The detective could see them kissing and petting in the back seat of the taxi. At the apartment the detective saw the man and woman kissing and making out through the window. "And then what happened?" asked the husband. "Well, I couldn't see. They went into the bedroom and turned out the lights." The husband sighs, "Always the nagging doubt!" ======================================================== Number: 286 (Read 0 times) Date: 22 Feb 94 17:12:15 From: Bill Hamilton To: All Subject: Kent Hovind Arguments From: Bill Hamilton Organization: GM NAO R&D Center In article <18FEB199414230985@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu> James J. Lippard, lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu writes(quoting Hovind): > 5). The Moon is receding a few inches each year. A few million years > ago the moon would have been so close that the tides would have > destroyed the earth twice a day. #3 P.25, #6 P.43. The Moon is receding because its kinetic energy exceeds what is required to maintain orbit at the currrent earth-moon distance (I'm ignoring all kinds of orbital mechanics considerations to just get at the essentials) As the moon's distance from the earth increases, its potential energy will increase, and since energy is conserved, that will result in a reduction in its kinetic energy. Eventually the kinetic and potential energies will be balanced and the Moon will achieve a stable orbit. But, as the Moon recedes from the earth, converting kinetic energy to potential energy, its speed will be reduced in proportion to the amount of kinetic energy lost, since kinetic energy = (1/2)mv^2. Similarly, in the past when the Moon was closer, it moved faster. Hovind's remark makes the implicit assumption that the Moon has receded at uniform velocity since whenever it started receding. This sort of reasoning always makes me chuckle because it is exactly the kind of error creationists accuse evolutionists of. Hovind concludes with > Those who believe the earth is billions of years old will typically try > to discredit one of these evidences and then mistakenly think that they > have successfully proven the entire list wrong. This is not logical > of course. Each one stands independently and it only takes one to > prove the earth is young. The burden of proof is on the evolutionists > if they expect all taxpayers to fund the teaching of their religion > in the school system. It may only take one to prove the earth is young, but does he have even one? A thousand broken watches is no substitute for a single watch that works. ========================================================== >5. Accurate measurement of C-14 in sample. This is not reasonable to >assume. The amount of C-14 in the atmosphere today is less than one >part per million. Claiming to be able to measure accurately to 7 decimal ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ >places is not reasonable. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This person is clearly not aware of how accurately measurements have been, and are being, made; 12 significant figures is fairly common. In connection with some of Setterfield's nutty ideas - see, the same creationists keep cropping up over and over again - I looked at measurements of the hyperfine splitting in hydrogen, which gives the famous 21 cm hydrogen line much used in radio astronomy. I turned up the following reference: Essen, L., Donaldson, R.W., Bangham, M.J. and Hope, E.G. (1971): "Frequency of the Hudrogen Maser", _Nature_, vol. 229, pp. 110, 111. This gives the frequency of the radiation associated with the transition as 1,420,405,751.7667 +- 0.0010 Hz or, since Hovind seems to want decimal places rather than significant figures, we can write it in gigaherz as 1.4204057517667 +- 0.0000000000010 GHz There are plenty of measurements in the area of quantum electrodynamics which are made, fairly routinely, to comparable accuracies. Some Russian work a number of years ago checked on the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, and this also was accurate to about 12 significant figures. I could dig out the reference if anyone is interested. Hovind is in good company with his fellow creationists in being ignorant of measurements in modern physics. [items 6 and 7 deleted] >Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU >Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET >University of Arizona >Tucson, AZ 85721 Ken Smith -- Dr. Ken Smith | snailmail: Department of Mathematics, email: kgs@maths.uq.oz.au | The University of Queensland, Mathematician by profession; | St Lucia, Qld. 4072. reason sometimes rules. | Australia.

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