I get email

I often get requests from students to answer questions about biology -- typically, they've been told to write to a scientist and get a response, and somehow they've picked me. I try to answer them, but due to the number of requests, I usually only give brief answers. Here's an example:

Dear PZ Meyers,

Yeah, I know. Somehow my name is impossible to spell correctly. I'm resigned to it and just let it slide nowadays.

My name is XXXX and I'm a 19-year-old junior in college.

Now this part was a little weird. They're a college junior…but the questions are more like what I'd expect from a grade school kid. But OK, I'll go with it.

I know you might be quite busy, but I wanted to ask if you could assist me with a simple assignment for one of my college courses dealing with the origins of life on earth. I am required to ask anyone (preferably someone who is science-minded such as yourself) the following four questions:

Here are their four questions, and my short answers.

1. How long are the days in Genesis 1? Why?

The bible is not a science textbook, and trying to pin a specific length to a vague metaphor is a category error. All that matters is that the events described in Genesis 1 cover a period of billions of years, and are presented in an incorrect order.

2. How old is the earth and life? Why?

The Earth is approximately 4 1/2 billion years old. Life arose approximately 4 billion years ago. We have multiple corroborating lines of evidence from physics and astronomy that confirm the first date, and genetic and trace fossil evidence confirms the second.

3. Did man and apes share a common ancestor? Why or why not?

Humans ARE apes. Yes, all modern primates share a common ancestor. The last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees lived roughly 6 million years ago. Again, this is confirmed by molecular and genetic evidence.

4. Were Adam and Eve real people? Why or why not?

No. Humans have more genetic diversity than could possibly arise by divergence from only two ancestors; also, a population of 2 lacks the genetic diversity that would allow the population to survive. Population genetics tells us that the greatest population bottleneck in our history occurred about 80,000 years ago, when the human population was reduced to 15,000-20,000 breeding pairs. Not two.

I fired those off, and thought I was done. I just got a thank you from the student, though, which was nice.

Dear PZ Meyers,

I hope you've been doing well.

First, I'd like to thank you again for helping me with this assignment because I got all the points on my grade for it! As promised, my professor sent some comments (quite a bit in fact) for me to read over and share with you. I don't know how much you've heard already, but if you have the time, you can read them over and give a reply. I'm not as knowledgeable in this scientific area but I do believe in God and that his Word is true.

Uh-oh. Their professor did send a reply.

Jebus, did they. 11,000 words of pure, ripe, grade-A creationist bullshit. I'm exhausted just looking at it.

Apes & man:
The original claim of 98.6% DNA similarity between humans and chimps was based upon a very limited comparison of protein generating genes and by intentionally not including DNA segments that are not comparable. More recent and more complete comparisons put this value closer to 95%, then more recently and completely at 90% or less! The most recent and complete human/chimp comparison places their DNA at 70% identical…a far cry from the very much hyped 98.6% figure. Consider this: a jellyfish and a watermelon are both 99% water. Does this make them very close evolutionary ancestors?

Stop right there. This person is just making up numbers.

A comparison of just the genes between chimpanzees and humans reveals a difference of about 1.4%, so their first number is about right. The difference is larger if you include non-coding regions, but you know, we have the full sequence of both human and chimp genomes, and there's essentially no way to tally up a 30% difference.

Humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor ∼5-7 million years ago (Mya). The difference between the two genomes is actually not ∼1%, but ∼4%—comprising ∼35 million single nucleotide differences and ∼90 Mb of insertions and deletions.

So the professor makes an invalid claim of more differences than there are, but at least they go back to the more conservative (and accurate) numbers to do the next calculation. Which they get wrong.

Even a 1% difference within the human genome of over 3 billion nucleotides still represents a difference of 30 million nucleotides. Given the presumed 6 million years ago figure for the splitting of chimps and humans, this 1% difference would require an average of 5 species wide nucleotide exchanges per year! When was the last time the entire human population swapped the same nucleotide for even 1 nucleotide position? That would require the extinction of all not possessing a given new mutant nucleotide and their replacement by those that did! The great evolutionist Haldane determined that even if natural selection were working at maximum efficiency for 5 million years, no more than 1,000 nucleotide replacements could have occurred, many orders of magnitude less than what evolutionary common descent requires!

Well, given that the mutation rate in humans such that each person is born with something over a hundred mutations, and that the substitution rate, as figured out by people like Haldane and Kimura is approximately equal to the mutation rate, we know the answer to those questions. I'll let Larry Moran explain it.

The human and chimp genomes are 98.6% identical or 1.4% different. That difference amounts to 44.8 million base pairs distributed throughout the entire genome. If this difference is due to evolution then it means that 22.4 million mutations have become fixed in each lineage (humans and chimp) since they diverged about five million years ago.

The average generation time of chimps and humans is 27.5 years. Thus, there have been 185,200 generations since they last shared a common ancestor if the time of divergence is accurate. (It's based on the fossil record.) This corresponds to a substitution rate (fixation) of 121 mutations per generation and that's very close to the mutation rate as predicted by evolutionary theory.

So, contrary to what the creationist claims, the theoretical number of differences between humans and chimps is pretty much in the ballpark of what the molecular evidence shows.

That was just the first couple of claims in this explosive diarrhea of creationist nonsense. I skimmed over the rest, and it's all lies, ignorance, and bullshit, and there's just no way I'm going to wade through it all. It's shameful that a college professor should shovel this much garbage at their students.

One thing I should have done before replying to the initial request was check the source. Can you guess at which "university" this class is being taught?

Recently, the chimp Y chromosome has been completely sequenced. It is twice as long as our human Y chromosome (thus, 100% difference, right out of the gate). Comparable portions are just under 70% similar, with profound fundamental structural and gene sequence differences (similar to the man/fruit fly comparison). Are then the chimp and human chromosome Y undergoing extraordinarily rapid evolution? No, except for rare point mutations, the structure, gene sequence, and DNA sequence of all human Y chromosomes are identical! This is not true of any other human chromosome. Reason: in the beginning there was only Adam and Eve. Between them, there were 4 chromosomes1-22, 3 X chromosomes, but only 1 Y chromosome! Other chromosomes can reshuffle via crossing-over, but not chromosome Y! For evolution, its game over!
Most strong similarities that I observe are not the results of common ancestors (although sometimes they are). Cars all look and are built similarly because they share common designs from common designers. The wheels of cars, trucks, skateboards, bikes, planes, and wheelbarrows are also similar. So are books by the same author, art pieces by the same artist, computer programs from the same programmer. In all these cases, no common ancestors, rather common designers. For many reasons, I am convinced that fundamentally different creatures, like chimps & humans, share common design because they share a common Designer, not common ancestors.

Adam:
Molecular genetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA suggests that all people came from one woman (whom molecular geneticists call “mitochondrial Eve”, appropriate enough). Similar studies of chromosome Y indicate that all came from one man, “chromosomal Y Adam”. When these data are analyzed using measured mutation rates, these results suggest that both “mitochondrial Eve” and “chromosomal Y Adam” existed perhaps less than 10,000 years ago. However, not all agree with this interpretation and fewer still believe that they existed less than 10,000 years ago, but that is a matter of false assumptions and prior biases.

Further genetic studies show that the human race came very close to extinction not all that long ago and was repopulated by 1 genetically distinct male and 3 genetically distinct females. How could this be? It is normally males that constitute armies and spread their genes across the globe; not women. In the past, women were much more likely to remain close to home to take care of their children. Discovering that the world’s 3 basic genetic groupings were defined by 3 female ancestors came as quite a surprise to evolutionists.

In sharp contrast, this is exactly what the Bible predicts. Following the Flood, the world was repopulated from Noah (via his 3 sons, who were naturally genetically descended from Noah) and his 3 daughters in law (who were likely genetically dissimilar to Noah’s family). Thus, the world’s 3 fundamental human genetic haplotypes were derived from Noah’s 3 daughters-in-law.

Cain’s wife?
Today, human inbreeding results in severe physical and mental retardation to resulting offspring. This is a manifestation of human genomic entropy, the rapid buildup of harmful recessive mutations within the genome. Every generation, harmful mutations (usually consisting of damaged or broken genes) accumulate within all populations with genomes more complex than about that of a bacterium. Since we normally inherit 2 sets of each gene (one from each parent), and since nearly all of the mutations we inherit from each parent affect different genes than the ones inherited from one’s other parent, most of our mutant genes are masked by normal genes inherited from our other parent.
However, for children born to parents who are brother and sister, there is about a 1-in-4 chance that each inherited mutation will be matched by genes inherited from the other parent. Since we normally inherit thousands of such accumulated mutant genes, about a quarter of these will lack a corresponding normal gene to conceal them. This is why currently inbreeding is so disastrous for the resulting children.
However, in the beginning, it was not that way. Since mutations accumulated throughout one’s lifetime are the key mechanism of aging and death, it is likely that mutation accumulation began at the fall of man. However, in the early generations, children inherited relatively few mutations from their parents. Hence, in the beginning, inbreeding was not a problem to one’s children. Indeed, in ages past, it was more common and culturally much more acceptable to marry a close relative. Indeed, this was often encouraged or even required. For instance, Abraham’s wife was Sarah, his half-sister. Isaac married Rebecca, his first cousin. Jacob married both of his first cousins. The Bible gives us little indication that there was much in the way of significant genetic repercussions for doing so.
However, over the years, as mutations continued to accumulate, this changed. Europe’s royal family suffered much from genetic consequences of inbreeding—e.g., widespread hemophilia among their males, frequent difficulties in having children, especially male offspring. Past inbreeding in Japan was so intense that it is presently considered hazardous for even 2nd cousins to marry.
These are all symptomatic of the fact that the human genome is rapidly degenerating, losing a measured 1-5% of our fitness every generation (Lynch 2009)! At this rate, and apart from the eminent return of our Lord, humanity would become extinct within no more than 100 generations from now (about 2,000 years)! Clearly, not only do mutations and natural selection not result in evolutionary progress, they are rapidly plunging us toward extinction and greatly shorten our lifespan.
Thus, Genesis has the solution to the necessity of inbreeding, immediately following the origin of man. Not so with evolution. In the evolution story, Australopithecine ancestors gave rise to the first humans (in the same vicinity and at the same time), who then had to inbreed with themselves. Since these presumed ancestors came from a very long lineage of previous ancestors, harmful mutations would have had much time to have accumulated. In fact, such mutation accumulation should have caused their extinction long ago. At the very least, the necessary inbreeding in their beginning would have most certainly been disastrous, as it is today. Hence, within just a few such initial generations of intense inbreeding, the human race would have gone extinct.
Thus, rather than the Genesis account of human origins raising a problem of initial inbreeding, it actually provides the solution. Rather, it is the evolutionary theory of human origins that imposes the problem of initial inbreeding, a problem that should have resulted in our rapid extinction, and this theory does not offer for us a solution!

Genetics:
Life’s amazing biodiversity (thousands of fundamentally different kinds of organisms, each kind having countless possible variations within their kind) renders impossible the evolutionary common descent of all life. Natural selection creates nothing. In fact, natural selection reduces diversity—eliminating the “least fit” varieties, displacing them with the most fit, or at least so the story goes. If natural selection were the ruling principle of life, then why is there still so much diversity? Should not the most fit forms have won out by now?

According to neodarwinism (AKA the modern synthesis), it is mutations that give rise to life’s diversity, whereas it is natural selection that purges away all ill adapted variants. This scenario cannot account for the origin of life’s diversity for many reasons. First, too much in biology is irreducibly complex (concept coined by Michael Behe). That is, either you have essentially all of the enzymes for a given biochemical pathway or you have none of it, since, in most cases, part of a pathway would be of no aid to survival. This is true of many universal biochemical features of life, like the plethora of highly complex biochemical elements always required in the translation process of DNA into proteins. Thus, many evolutionary “steps” are just too far apart for time and chance processes to ever accomplish.

Second, no example of the type of beneficial mutations required for the upward-and-onward evolutionary transformation of bacteria into men has never been observed—never! Bergman (2004) inventoried the literature for “beneficial mutations” and out of 453,732 total mutations he found 186 that had been identified as “beneficial”. Upon further research, all 186 mutations were found to be beneficial only in a very limited sense. None of these added fundamentally new information to the genome. Indeed, either they were found “beneficial” because of the loss of information, as in the case of mutations resulting in the antibiotic resistance in bacteria, or trivial modulation, slightly tweaking an enzyme so that it became more efficient at a slightly different temperature or pH. For example, bacteria become resistant to penicillin because a mutation “broke” the gene which produces a membrane pore protein. Although the loss of this protein pore handicaps the cell’s functionality, it saves its life by denying the antibiotic passageway into the cell. The mechanisms involving all other known cases of bacterial resistance within bacteria, insecticide resistance of insects, and malarial resistance among humans suffering from sickle-celled anemia all involve broken genes; thus, beneficial only in the very limited sense, not in a sense that is supportive to upward-and-onward evolutionary progress, which is a myth…an illusion.

Spontaneous mutations are capable of breaking passageways utilized by antibiotics or insecticides, thereby preserving the life of an organism, but this can be likened to a bridge collapsing before an advancing army. Mutations may result in modulations of existing genetic information (like bumping into a thermostat and thereby changing its settings). This too can prove “useful” in some situations, but improving a room’s air quality by bumping the thermostatic control is a far cry from creating and integrating a heater, air conditioner, duct system, power supply, wiring, and thermostat control to begin with. Thus, to this date, no observed beneficial mutation is of the type that lends itself to upward and onward evolutionary extrapolation (e.g., from bacteria to man). Sanford (“Genetic entropy & the mystery of the genome” 2005) refers to these mutations as “beneficial in the limited sense”. Thus, no truly beneficial mutation which could possibly contribute to “upward and onward evolution” has ever been documented—never!

Even more fatal to the evolutionary common descent is the fact that neutral, near neutral, and deleterious mutations accumulate far faster than natural selection could ever hope to remove them. Thus, for all genomes with complexities much greater than that of a bacterium, mutation degeneration will probably spell its extinction within less than a million years. According to the calculations of the evolutionist molecular geneticist Lynch (2010), mutation accumulation in humans will spell our extinction in no more than 100 generations (i.e., within about 2,000 years). Not only are mutation and natural selection incapable of upward-and-onward evolutionary progress, they cannot even sustain a species with a complex genome for more than thousands of years. This is both evidence for creation and the recent creation of complex life forms.

Haldane’s dilemma:
Most recent claims of high genomic similarity between chimps and humans are highly exaggerated. While it is true that in the case of certain hand-selected genes, picked for their similarities, chimp & human DNA sequences are 98.6% the same, the most recent, comprehensive, and honest comparison that I have seen as of late, places this similarity closer to 70%. Indeed, since the chimp’s genome is 10% larger than humans, clearly the highly advertised 98.6% similarity is misleading! Sadly, they never tell the other side of the story! Keep in mind, “the first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him” (Prov. 18:17).

Even assuming 99% identity, 1% of 3 billion nucleotides still requires 30 million fixed point mutations within chimps and humans since their supposed split 6 mya. That would be an average rate of 5 species wide fixations per year! Back in 1957, Haldane (one of the founding fathers of Neo-Darwinism), calculated that given selection’s maximum theoretical rate, the human race could not fix more than 1,000 point mutations within that time, which is only 1/300,000 of 1%! This problem is called “Haldane’s dilemma”, and has been confirmed by numerous recent studies (e.g., see Rupe & Sanford, 2013). Better yet, check out Sanford’s book “Genetic Entropy”, which just came out this month! It’s a show-stopper! Dr. Sanford is the inventor of the biolistic process, which produces about ½ the world’s food supply.

Similarities:
Most strong similarities are not the results of common ancestors. Cars are similar because of common design; not ancestors. The wheels of cars, trucks, skateboards, bikes, planes, and wheelbarrows are also similar, due to common design. So are books, art pieces, computer programs, etc. Perhaps fundamentally different creatures, like chimps & humans, share similarities because they share a common Designer, rather than common ancestors.
Similarities are often used as “proof” for evolution; yet in many instances, when similarities contradict evolution, they are ignored. Sharks, skates, rays & higher mammals all share the hormone oxytocin, but not bony fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and lower mammals. Bats, whales, & the duck billed platypus share sonar, but nothing else. Birds, butterflies, bats, and pterodactyls fly, but not their presumed ancestors. Sharks, dolphins, and ichthyosaurs share similar body plans, but nothing else. Brachiopods & clams share strikingly similar bivalve shell design…nothing else. The eyes of squid, octopi, & vertebrates are very similar, especially biochemically, but not their presumed common ancestors. So then, how can similarity be proof for evolutionary common descent?
Thus, apart from objections arising from naturalistic philosophical assumptions, the reoccurrences of the same designs among seemingly distantly related life forms are most parsimoniously accounted for by a common Designer; not common ancestors.

“ORFan” Genes
There are many possible causes for similarities--common descent is just one of them. Consider the recently immerged enigma of ORFan” genes (ORF = open reading frame), essential protein making genes which have no known DNA sequence counterparts anywhere in the living world. Based upon the widely held assumption of evolutionary common descent, just a few years ago, it was also widely thought that unique ORF genes descended from sequences yet to be discovered. In other words, they were an artifact of our incomplete data. However, more recently, entire groups of species have been completely sequenced, yet many ORF genes are still so unique that no candidate for their ancestry has yet been detected.
For instance, the entire genomes of 5,800+ species of ants within the same subfamily have been completely sequenced, averaging over 17,000 genes per species. Over 19% of their ORF genes are unique, with no discernibly similar sequence found anywhere. Thus, 19% X 17,000 genes X 5,800 ant species > 18 million genes with no discernible homology! They seem to have come out of nowhere! Please note, since all known members of this ant subspecies are now sequenced, there is little hope for explaining their evolutionary source. In fact, there is great reason to suspect that these “closely related ant species” are not related by means of common ancestors at all!
The problem for evolution goes far deeper than this. Unique ORF genes are not unique to ants; they are ubiquitous everywhere we look! Once more, some ORF genes have highly similar gene sequences in other organisms. The problem is these other organisms are commonly within completely different phyla or even kingdoms of life!
Thus, many evolutionists have quietly abandoned the notion of evolutionary common ancestry, suggesting instead that thousands of life forms came into existence independently! Darwin would roll over in his grave! Once more, a number are suggesting that these novel ORF genes were not inherited but rather transferred by viruses! Good luck with that!
So then, if we have to do such crazy gymnastics to account for the preponderance of unique ORF genes and ORF genes whose only counterparts are found within extremely dissimilar and presumably phylogenetically distant taxonomic groups, why not give up on the already deeply faulty idea of evolutionary common descent in favor of a common Designer? As with car engines, some parts are ubiquitous among nearly all engine types while others are unique to a particular design. In a few cases, similar engine parts are utilized by radically different engine designs.
Nearly all known widely shared ORF genes are genes involved in basic maintenance metabolic functions. However, the functions of unique ORF genes largely remain unknown, except that most are essential to survival. Perhaps unique ORF genes represent genes specially created to enable unique created kinds to fulfill their intended unique metabolic roll and ecological function. Aside from the arbitrary naturalistic philosophical assumption that there is no Creator God, this makes good logical sense of these data!

“DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” ― Bill Gates, The Road Ahead”

“The secret of DNA's success is that it carries information like that of a computer program, but far more advanced. Since experience shows that intelligence is the only presently acting cause of information, we can infer that intelligence is the best explanation for the information in DNA.”
― Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism And Intelligent Design

Fossils:
Most paleontologists do amazing work in reconstructing fossil finds, even with so many parts missing. Imagine trying to reconstruct a 3 dimensional jig-saw puzzle with most of the pieces missing and most of the rest, broken.  By taking hints from complete skeletons of seemingly similar organisms, they generally do admirable work.  However, sometimes they extrapolate far beyond the evidence, led by their evolutionary biases and desire for fame in finding "the missing link".

Did you realize that even from a Genesis creation perspective, a few" intermediate" fossil forms are to be expected?  Imagine if another Genesis-type flood happened next year, randomly causing well over half of today's species to go extinct.  Many years later we find their fossils.  If whales and dogs survived but dolphins did not, would not the discovery of fossil dolphins, seals, otters, etc. appear somewhat "intermediate" between dogs and whales?  Actually, I am a bit surprised that we do not find more than we do. 

The "intermediate" fossils we do find all consist of highly specialized traits.  As such, they best qualify for curious creation mosaics, not evolutionary intermediates.  A good dino-bird intermediate should consist of creatures with generic intermediate features--part scale/part simple & weekly developed feather, part wing/part upper limb which could be used for both walking and weak gliding, part beak/part jaw, etc.  The geometry, air foil anatomy, and fine structure of Archaeopteryx's feathers are those of as modern, specialized, and strong a flier as any bird alive today!  It's teeth are fully developed and fully socketed.  Many living reptiles lack teeth; are they dino/bird intermediates? 

In my opinion, the best way to differentiate between curious creation mosaics (e.g., duck billed platypus, Archaeopteryx) and evolutionary intermediates, is to consider organisms with an extensive fossil record, and have detailed and specialized fossilized distinctive traits.  If related by common evolutionary ancestors, then the fossil record should support this.  Significantly, according to most evolutionary paleontologist specialists for such specialized creatures with extensive fossil records (brachiopods, bivalves, & crinoids) do not detect evolutionary links among their major groups or between any two groups. 

For instance, the late Collin Paterson, former senior paleontologist for the British Museum of Natural History, having the most extensive fossil collection on earth, and the author of numerous books on evolution and fossils, once quite honestly admitted:

I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them.”
Collin Patterson, April 10, 1979, Letter to Luther Sutherland

Yes, since then there have been claims of finding good intermediate fossil forms.  However, such claims have come in regularly since the time of Darwin.  None of these have survived the test of time.  It was because of this gaping absence of fossil intermediates that inspired Dr. Gould and others to invent "punctuated equilibrium" as a means of explaining away their absence.  In other words, for most paleontologists like Gould, the fossil record does not provide the transitional forms predicted by evolution.

How do they account for this? Evolution happens too fast for the fossil record to catch and the fossil record is extremely incomplete. However, a statistical test performed by Dr. Wise shows us that we have likely already found half of the fossil species that we ever will find. Once more, the fossil record is quite complete for some groups, like clams, brachiopods, trilobites, cephalopods, and corals and these groups most of all show a systematic lack of transitional fossil forms. In other words, evolutionists mostly look to the fossil records of species that we have little information for their support for evolution. Wherever the fossil record is nearly complete, the evidence for evolution seems to disappear. This should tell us something.

If the core of evolutionary paleontologists cannot seem to find clear-cut fossil intermediates that can survive careful scrutiny for more than a few years, then I am reluctant to accept “missing link" claims by tabloid journalism or by brand new finds that have not been critically analyzed by somewhat neutral parties.  I am also reluctant in accepting fossil intermediate evidences from vertebrate fossil finds, since the fossil record for vertebrates is so very sparse, compared to so many others.  If evolution is true then it should be detectable where we have much evidence; not just in those areas where we have little fossil evidence and, thus, there is still room for wild, but false speculation.

Fossils & Gould:
Some species have readily fossilized hard parts and appear to have left us with a nearly complete fossil record (e.g., the brachiopods, clams, cephalopods, and trilobites). If taxa within these groups shared common ancestors, undoubtedly they would have been readily fossilized as well. Yet, the gaps in the fossil record among and between each of these groups are wide and systematic! All paleontologists that I know of agree! Indeed, this is the very reason that they came up with the theory of “punctuated equilibrium” (the belief that major evolutionary events happen so suddenly that it is not detected by the fossil record). Interestingly, most geneticists side with Darwinian gradualism (major evolutionary progress happens so slowly that we cannot observe it within the laboratory, even among bacteria with a life cycle of less than 20 minutes). If so, how convenient! Evolution is so fast that there is essentially no fossil evidence to support it, yet so slow that genetic evidence does not support it either! Like in the King’s New Cloths fairytale, “the king has no cloths”!
If the fossil record could detect macroevolutionary common descent anywhere, it should be within groups like these, where the specimens are characteristically well preserved, the fossil record is extensive, and apparently nearly complete. However, they are essentially completely absent! Statistical patterns of finding previously known species, versus new closely related species within these groups, suggests that these fossil records are mostly complete...no fossil links will ever be found because they never existed! Thus, few evolutionary paleontologists hold any hope for ever finding them! Yet, the theory of common descent predicts that the intermediate transitional fossil forms should outnumber the observed terminal ones! The predictions of evolution concerning fossils failed spectacularly!  This should tell us something!
Notice, Dr. Gould relies upon the fossil record of whales to support evolution, for which he has little training or experience.  The fossil evidence for whales is extremely sparse, fragmentary, and limited in range. Far less than 1% of all fossil remains are of vertebrates and the vast majority of these are fish.  Whale fossil remains are rare even among the vertebrates.  Furthermore, the whale remains we have are mostly highly fragmentary. Thus, there is so little evidence to work with that a plethora of interpretations of the whale fossil record are possible. This is like trying to figure out what picture a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle makes, based upon only a few of its pieces! 
It is also telling that Dr. Gould is a world class expert on brachiopod fossils (a group of marine creatures with clam-like shells), for which the fossil record is extremely dense, complete, well preserved, and with an extensive range. Indeed, based upon the statistical frequency of finding old vs. new brachiopod finds, their fossil record is estimated to be about 90% complete, the most complete fossil record of all major groups of organisms! If evolutionary common descent were true, this should be the best fossil record to document it with. However, Gould, the world class brachiopod specialist, says nothing about brachiopod evidence for evolution! Rather, he depends upon scanty whale vertebrate evidence which he knows preciously little about! His silence on brachiopods is deafening! 
Indeed, it was because of extensive fossil records, like brachiopods, that Gould came up with his idea of punctuated equilibrium to begin with. Please note, the basic evidence supporting punctuated equilibrium (which claims that major evolutionary changes happen so fast and in such small numbers that evolutionary transitional forms are not found within the fossil record) is the virtual complete lack of fossil evolutionary transitional forms! The reason Gould clings to belief in evolutionary common descent is because of his commitment to naturalism and his unwillingness to consider creation as a possibility! Naturalistic philosophy and evolutionary assumptions aside, the fossil evidence provides a compelling case for creation.
Aside from the Genesis Flood, why should it be that marine fossil graveyards should be abundant upon mountain tops and rarely found under the ocean? Since fossilization requires rapid burial and preservation (before decomposers can eliminate decaying remains), why are there massive fossil graveyards at all! For all practical purposes, fossilization like that we observe within the fossil record, is not occurring anywhere on earth today—so much for the myth of gradualistic uniformitarianism! Indeed, in the broadest sense, the fossil record shows us exactly what we might expect from a global flood: billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth!  Evolution--the fossils still say NO!

Dinosaurs:
This is the Chinese year of the dragon, one of the animals that depict the Chinese 12 year cycle. All of their other animals are clearly ordinary common animals. Why then the dragon? In their history records, the same ones from which we derive our understanding of Chinese history, we read about an emperor who raised dragons and used them to draw his chariot!
God spoke to Job about 2 creatures that sound very much like dinosaurs—behemoth & leviathan (Job 40:15 – all of Job 41). God expected Job to know much about these creatures. Thus, it would appear that the Bible further testifies that these creatures existed not all that long ago.

Indeed, nearly every ancient culture scattered all over the earth has accounts and/or ancient artwork depicting dinosaurs. The famous atheist astronomer, Carl Sagan (star of NOVA’s “Cosmos” series) claimed that the reason for this is that we humans have retained within our primitive brains vague memories of these great creatures, dating back beyond 65 million years ago (Sagan, “Dragons in Eden” or something like that).
I say good luck with that theory. It is clear that he is not a biologist. Since memory of the past is stored within associations of nerve cells, it is not even possible that the one cell that we began life from could have retained any memory from before our conception, no less from before 65 million years ago! Do you remember any of your ancestor’s experiences from before your conception? Other than what has since been told to me, either can I.
Thus, it seems to me that the best explanation for this is that dinosaurs were still on this planet not all that long ago. This would help explain why we are able to recover fresh tissue (collagen fibers, blood vessels, blood cells) out of T. rex and other partially fossilized dinosaur remains. Historical sciences have always been notoriously unreliable. Indeed, the scientific method cannot be used to even prove you got out of bed this morning, no less what happened 65 million years ago, come next Tuesday.

Genesis Flood:
The evolutionist’s model has big problems here because the continents are granite, which naturally floats on top of the denser underlying basaltic mantle. Thus, no matter where the continents may have drifted in the past, how could the granitic continents have ever been submerged to account for the billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth?
I think Dr. Baumgartner’s catastrophic plate tectonic model provides us a highly probable framework as to how Noah’s Flood actually took place—the idea is brilliant yet the main concept is fairly simple. The whole process has been successfully modeled by Baumgartner’s computer simulations. Basically, it works something like a lava lamp—the hot basalt from the mantle rises as the cold and denser ocean bottom basalt sinks to the bottom of the earth’s mantle.

Basically, it suggests that the cold, thin, dense basaltic ocean basin was somehow cracked (along where we see the ocean trenches and ridges today). Because of its greater density, this cold and dense ocean bottom basalt sank to the bottom of the earth’s mantle and onto the outer edge of the earth’s core (1,800 miles down). As the pre-Flood ocean bottom sank, hot basaltic mantle material rose along the ocean ridges (e.g., the mid-Atlantic Ridge) to replace the old sinking ocean bottom. Horizontally, this resulted in the splitting of the Americas from Europe, Asia, & Africa at a top speed of meters per second!

Since this new ocean basin would be hotter and, thus, not as dense as before, the ocean bottom rose about 1 mile; thus, also raising sea level about 1 mile. Since the huge mountains of the world did not exist prior to the Flood, this rise in sea level was likely sufficient to flood the entire earth’s surface. Since this would have involved massive movements of the earth surface (the continental drift portion, but all happening within about a year, rather than millions of years), this would have generated enormous tsunamis, eroding the continents and depositing massive sedimentary rocks. The intrusion of hot mantle rock would have injected minerals (e.g., limestone) that would have rapidly precipitated out into massive sedimentary material to be deposited by these tsunamis across the continents.

The backlash of rebounding buoyant continental granite (being initially dragged down by the inertia of the leading sinking basaltic ocean bottom at the end of the Flood, but then rebounding because of their lower density) could have likely created many of the earth’s present great west coast mountain systems. As the oceans cooled the hot basaltic ocean bottom, the new ocean basin became denser and thus sank, draining the continents. This sinking ocean bottom explains the sunken volcanoes and atolls that litter the Pacific Ocean.
According to his model, the resulting warm ocean greatly increased evaporation for many years, yielding hypercanes (massive hurricanes). The massive related volcanic activity likely blocked sunlight for many years to follow, cooling the continents. This combination of massive prolonged oceanic evaporation and cold inland climate may be responsible for the ensuing great Ice Age. Although this is only a historical science theory, thus highly subject to error, it goes to show how the Genesis account of creation and the Flood can go a long way in fruitfully guiding our understanding of remote earth history and the resulting geology and geography of the planet.

Big bang:
The big bang contradicts much of what we know about science. For instance, it begins for no known reason, overcoming gravity at its maximum force, yet weakening by many orders of magnitude, gravity finally kicks in to overcome velocities approaching the speed of light to form planets, stars, galaxies, and even clusters of galaxies. Furthermore, it is supposed that somehow by chance, moons, planets, binary star systems, etc. somehow achieved just the right angle, velocity, and mass to go into such long lasting orbits!
If the universe were billions of years old, then why don’t we see the remains of millions of supernovae explosions? Given their observed rate of formation, there are only enough supernovae remains to account for a few thousand years!
How come we can see many spiral galaxies with well-defined spiral arms all across the universe? Since the interior parts of their arms revolve around their centers at a much faster rate than at their outer portions, within 1 revolution, these arms would no longer exist!
The big bang predicts that the universe should have no center and that its mass should be homogeneous. However, observation shows us that it is extremely clumpy…massive clusters of galaxies separated by vast expanses of emptiness! Perhaps most startlingly, recently it was discovered that the universe has a center and that is precisely where the earth is located!
Evolution and the big bang both start with simple beginnings and result in increasing order and complexity (molecules-to-man type evolution). However, this directly contradicts the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which states that all spontaneous processes result in decreasing order, complexity, usable energy, and information. Furthermore, the naturalistic evolutionary worldview make the 1st law of thermodynamics (i.e., “matter and energy cannot be created nor destroyed”) contradict this 2nd law. After all, if matter and energy had existed for eternity past, then by now the 2nd law should have brought our universe to complete random disorder. All forms of energy capable of doing work should have degenerated into forms that cannot. However, obviously this is not the case yet. Therefore, matter and energy must have come into existence sometime within the finite past.
Finding order, information, and usable energy within our universe is like finding a wind-up watch in the desert, still ticking! Such a find tells us not only that there must be a watchmaker, but that someone wound it up in the not too distant past. Combined, these fundamental laws of science demand a creation worldview. Sir Arthur Eddington, the renowned British astronomer, put it so well:
“If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations—then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation—well these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”
— Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington
Gifford Lectures (1927), The Nature of the Physical World (1928), 74.
SETI scientists, most of whom are evolutionists, have established simple standards for determining if radio signals from outer space are coming to us from intelligent life. If they ever detect nonrandom and nonrepeating extraterrestrial radio signals, they are certain that their source will be of high intelligence. In over 40 years of searching, none has been found.
If we apply these same standards to the DNA of any life form on earth, we can know for certain that it was programmed by a brilliant Programmer. Bill Gates stated that DNA contains code far more sophisticated than anything yet programmed by Microsoft Corporation! Indeed, the cell theory tells us that living cells cannot spontaneously arise, as evolution supposes, for it states that “cells can only come from preexisting cells”. Creation does testify of its Creator so that we all are without excuse (Rom. 1:20).
“All that is made seems planless to the darkened mind because there are more plans than it looked for….there seems no plan because all is plan” (C. S. Lewis in Perelandra).

Distant starlight and time:
Both young earth and old universe views have some trouble with this one. According to the big bang model, the universe is 14.2 billion years old (come next Tuesday). However, some galaxies have been determined to be much farther away than even that. Thus, no matter who you are, there is something wrong with this interpretation.
Dr. Russell Humphrey’s gravitation dilatation theory is, in my opinion, the most likely solution that I know of (and there are at least 2 others that also seem fairly plausible, but that’s another story). Identical molecular clocks at sea level (London) and at 1 mile elevation (Boulder, Colorado) measure time differently. The London clock is 5 millionths of a second per year slower than the Colorado clock. When the locations of these clocks were switched, the one in London was still 5 millionths of a second per year slower. This appears to be due to a theory of relativity dynamic which associates the speed of time to the force of gravity (greater gravity causes time to travel more slowly).
In this particular case, the difference in the force of gravity is miniscule, and so is the time difference. However, when we are talking about the magnitude and the expanse of the universe, such differences can be enormous! Here on earth we are very near the center of the universe, where the force of gravity is greatest, thus, where time travels the slowest. However, along the edges of the universe, the force of gravity is much and so time travels much faster.

Consequently, it is very possible that after God created the stars and “stretched out the heavens” as Scripture puts it over a dozen times, on day 4, light from the most distant regions of the universe may have been traveling toward the earth for many billions of years, according to their clock. However, here on earth, perhaps only 2 days transpired and, thus, Adam may have been able to see these by day 6 of creation (our time)!

Radiometric dating:
On the one hand, radiometric dating methods are extremely precise. However, the untestable assumptions upon which they must be based render them completely inaccurate. Radiometric dating methods must make 3 basic assumptions: (1) the original amount of parent and daughter isotopes that were in the rock sample to begin with, (2) none of this original parent and daughter isotopic material neither contaminated nor left the tested rock sample since its beginning, and (3) the rates of radiometric decay of the parent isotope has always been constant.

Since essentially all efforts to date essentially any rock, using more than one radioisotopic method result in vastly contradictory dates, this suggests that at least some of these assumptions must be significantly wrong. Furthermore, other lines of evidence, such as large accumulations of helium within zircon crystals and lesser amounts within surrounding mica crystals, rapid helium diffusion rates, currently low helium production by radiometric decay, and well developed orphan radiohalos of very short-lived polonium all appear to be “smoking gun” evidences that the radiometric decay of deep time radiometric parent elements has slowed down by many orders of magnitude within the recent past, perhaps as a result of the Genesis Flood. Indeed, the 8 year RATE research effort, investigating the reliability of deep time radiometric dating, uncovered several lines of evidence all suggesting that the earth is thousands, not billions of years old (see “Thousands—not billions”).

C-14:
On the surface, carbon 14 dating appears to suggest something in the order of 100,000 years. However, once calibrated to account for presently increasing atmospheric C-14 concentrations & greater pre-Flood biomass, we come up with an estimated date more like 10,000 years or less! Other less reliable radiometric dating methods do yield millions and even billions of years but there is good “smoking gun” reasons to believe that these are highly inflated, as you will see in the RATE video (module #4).

C-14 dating of coal taken from the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras all give the same recent date. Even before calibrating for the fact that C-14 levels in our atmosphere still have not reached equilibrium (which should have happened within 40,000 years) or the much higher biomass which existed before the Flood, we still come up with a date of around 65,000 years for all 3 eras (which are supposed to be tens or hundreds of millions of years apart). Once calibrated to account for probably much lower C-14 pre-Flood atmospheric conditions, these dates are all less than 10,000 years old! Furthermore, Precambrian diamonds (>1 billion years old, according to the standard geology text book belief system), the hardest natural substance there is and the least likely to suffer from contamination, all come up with C-14 dates of less than 80,000 years, even before C-14 calibrations. With calibrations that take into account strong evidence that the concentrations of C-14 in our atmosphere are still climbing, suggesting that in the past, atmospheric C-14 levels were likely much lower than at present, these diamonds and coal samples are dated by C-14 as less than 10,000 years old!

Helium diffusion:
As to helium diffusion rates, yes the rate varies tremendously, depending on temperature.  A research lab, specializing in measuring helium diffusion rates (who also happen to be very avid old earth evolutionists) did these measurements for the RATE research, not knowing what this data would be used for.  Their data produced a very neat logarithmic curve relationship between temperature and helium diffusion rate.  Long before these measurements were made, the RATE team calculated what this curve should look like from both a young earth creation and a deep time evolution perspective.  These differences followed similar curves but their predictions differed by a factor of about 100,000 times faster for the young earth creation model.  These predictions were boldly published before the experiments were performed.

The results? The actual data produced followed the curve predicted by the young earth creation model precisely!  Once these evolutionists learned the implications of the data they collected, they were furious!  The last thing that they wanted was to offer support to the YEC Biblical worldview. 

A large number of radioactive decay processes result in the giving off of "alpha particles" which instantly transform into helium atoms.  In the case of Ur-238 decay into Pb-206, the present half-life has been measured at 0.7 billion years and in the process, 8 helium atoms are released.  Helium is a very slippery gas which relatively rapidly escapes through solid rock.  Instead of the hour glass illustration, consider 1 person who is extremely slow about washing dishes and setting them on a drain board (uranium 238 decay) and a 2nd person who is in the order of a million times faster at picking them off of the drain board, drying them, and putting them away (helium diffusion).  Given this scenario, we would expect the drain board to have next to no dishes (helium atoms still in the zircon and surrounding biotite crystals) just sitting there on the washboard waiting to be dried.  However, the RATE team demonstrated that considerable helium is still in these zircon and surrounding biotite crystals (more concentrated, the closer you come to the decaying specks of Ur-238).  Yet the lab demonstrated that helium is diffusing out of these zircon/biotite crystals extremely rapidly--so rapidly that it would be completely gone within 10,000 years or so, depending on the particular rock's temperature. 

Since currently, the drain boards (zircon/biotite crystals) are very much loaded with dishes (helium atoms), this strongly suggests that either helium diffusions rates have increased very recently by a factor of at least a million, or that the radiometric decay of U238 has very recently decreased by a factor of a million times or more.  The existence of polonium radiohalos, conflicting radiometric dates, and approximately identical carbon-14 dates (which does not involve helium production) for coal taken from throughout the geologic column (presumably differing in ages by at least tens of millions of years, according to conventional deep time dogma) all point to the later solution.  Thus, these evidences strongly suggest that sometime in the very recent past, most if not all radiometric decay rates appear to have been accelerated by a factor of at least a million and likely much more than even that! 

Bottom line: it appears that creation and Flood related processes caused the uneven acceleration of nuclear decay among radioactive isotopes that involve alpha decay (i.e., produce helium as a decay byproduct). Consequently, deep time measurements by presently slow decaying radioactive isotopes are erroneous. Helium diffusion rates suggest a maximum age of these rocks of about 10,000 years! It's a young earth after all!

Haeckel’s Embryos:
While in my early years as a biology major, Haeckel’s embryos seem to provide the most convincing evidence for evolution there was! We were told “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” (= embryo development repeats evolution). But is this true? If evolution is the product of time and chance, should it even be true?

According to “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”, the farther you go back in your development, the more you resembled your ancient ancestors. Indeed, we start out as a single cell and life is said to have evolved from a single cell. Looking at Haeckel’s famous and ancient embryo series (slides 1, 2, & 3), the evidence seems compelling! Looking at slide #3’s earliest embryo stages, you can’t tell them apart!
Except for evolutionary common descent, why else would humans have embryonic tails, gill slits, and a yolk sac? We were told that these evolutionary vestiges of our past are proof positive evidence for evolution, and so it seemed! The human embryonic “tail” was said to be a now useless vestige from the evolutionary stages when we swung from trees and/or swam in the ocean as fish. The gill slits were said to vestiges from back when we had gills. The yolk sac was said to be the left-over vestige from when as reptiles, we hatched from eggs. If we were created by God, why would He deceive us, making it look like we evolved? At least, that is what we were told.

However, upon closer examination, this evolutionary story falls apart in every way imaginable! First of all, the human embryonic “tail” is largely our backbone before our arms and legs are formed. Thus, it only superficially resembles a tail. Once more, even our so-called “vestigial tail” provides attachment points for muscles, allowing us to sit, stand, bend over, and straighten up. Try getting through a day without doing any of these motions. Good luck with that! So much for being “vestigial”.

As for human “gill slits”; they are neither gills, nor are they slits, so why are they called “gill slits”? They are more correctly called pharyngeal pouches and grooves. If these are truly evolutionary gill relicts, then they should be closely related to respiratory function. After all, is evolution competing in a “look alike” contest or is it all about what helps one survive? For evolution, its results that matter; not superficial similarity. What does the evidence tell us? The first pharyngeal ridge forms your lower jaw (skeletal and muscular systems), the 2nd forms your thyroid gland (endocrine system. Indeed, as we continue on down, none of these form structures closely related to our respiratory system. Actually, our lungs form much further down and then later relocate upward into our chest cavity! Furthermore, if we compare real human pharyngeal pouches and grooves (and not just Haeckel’s fraudulent sketches) to that of gill breathing vertebrates, their similarity becomes far less convincing!

As for your embryonic “yolk sac”—this was actually your blood sac. It takes bones to make blood, but it takes blood to make bones! So which came first, your bones or your blood? Answer: your blood! Your blood sac made your first blood, which then made your bones. Once made, the red bone marrow of your long bones take over the job of making blood, and thus, your blood sac disappears! Thus, rather than being a useless vestige left over from our “reptilian” stage, as assumed for so long by evolutionists, your “yolk sac” is really your blood sac, a vital component of successful development!

Furthermore, Haeckel was wrong about the farther we go back into our embryonic history, the more we resemble our progressively more ancient ancestors. If this were true, then at some early point in vertebrate development, all vertebrates should look nearly alike. Indeed, according to Haeckel’s “earliest” embryonic stage, they do! But there are two problems here: (1) his fraudulent pictures are not what they really look like at this stage and (2) in earlier stages of development still, they look less, not more alike!

Indeed, on PPt slide #4, this much earlier stage of human embryo development is much more similar to that of a fish or frog than it does to our presumed closer ancestors, the reptiles and birds! Thus, Haeckel’s embryological support for evolutionary common descent fails in every way possible! Such evidence for evolution is misleading at best, if not deceptive!

Keep in mind, this fraudulent argument for evolution has been showcased in science textbooks for over 100 years, effectively convincing millions to abandon their “religious superstitions” in favor of such “proof” of the “fact” of evolutionary common descent! These are the kind of problems we can expect (and that we indeed have in abundance), when we censor from consideration opposing views to evolutionary common descent. Without cross examination, faulty scientific evidence like this, is deceiving many into serious falsehoods, including who they are and what the meaning and purpose of life might be.

Grand Canyon:
The Grand Canyon is the greatest geologic feature on the face of our planet. It is considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. More research has gone into it than any other geologic feature! Textbooks, TV series, and park rangers tell us in nearly complete unanimity precisely what happened to form the Grand Canyon layers and canyon itself, and precisely when it all happened. However, these explanations leave us with many critical unanswered questions. Here are a simple dozen:
The canyon is composed of many rock layers that extend across massive portions of our continent. One goes from Mexico to Canada and from California to back east! No such rock layers are forming anywhere on earth today. Why?
The contact surfaces between these layers are flat and the borders are sharp. Yet today, sedimentary rocks are primarily deposited by rivers within river deltas which are relatively small, triangularly shaped from the side-view, and lack sharp barriers. Within a few years, bioturbation (sediment mixing by burrowing organisms) render such layers on land or under the sea indistinguishable. Also, within a few years, the landscape should have become irregular, due to channeling and other such processes. How did it happen at the Grand Canyon?
The top layer of the Grand Canyon is a mile above sea level, several hundred miles from the ocean, yet is loaded with marine fossils. The underlying rocks are granitic, which are much lower in density than the basaltic bedrock of ocean basins. Furthermore, these granitic rock layers are well over 30 km thick, whereas ocean basins are less than 7 km thick. Both of these features explain why this area is continental and not marine. So then, how did all of these massive marine fossil deposits get way up here?
Today, fossil formation is extremely rare and localized. Yet, here at the Grand Canyon, fossil deposits are many and extensive. Why?
When creatures die, they decompose and, thus, do not leave fossil remains. In order to fossilize, a creature must be buried and the sediments must be turned to rock before such decomposition can take place, but typically, in order to turn sediments into rock, they either must be mixed in with a cementing agent and water, or be heated. However, such heating destroys fossil remains. Thus, why are massive fossil graveyards so common within sedimentary rocks, like those found in the Grand Canyon, yet we cannot find this kind of fossilization happening anywhere on earth today? How could have this happened?
It is widely claimed that the Colorado River cut the Grand Canyon. However, the canyon is 4-18 miles wide and over 1 mile deep? How could the Colorado River ever contain enough water to widen its outer cliffs? I for one cannot even imagine how under present conditions it could have ever gotten out of its relatively tiny inner gorge!
At its greatest flow intensity, the Colorado River has been found capable of moving small pebbles that are over 100 feet below the river bottom. However, there are large boulders that appear polished by means of being extensively rolled that are well over a thousand feet below the river’s bottom! Even all the rain in the world coming down that canyon at once would not have the energy to roll one of these even once! So how did it happen?
The ground level of the Colorado River before the Grand Canyon is more than a thousand feet lower than on top of the Grand Canyon. So then, how did the Colorado River manage to flow uphill to begin with?
Fossil nautiloids (squid-like animals with long spiral shells that are over a foot long) are found concentrated within a narrow 5 meter band of the Grand Canyon’s famous Redwall formation. These fossils extend from California to Colorado. Nearly all of them are pointed in the same direction. Why are they restricted to such a narrow portion of the Redwall and what force caused billions of them over such a broad area to be oriented in the same direction?
The bottom most layers of the Grand Canyon are nearly void of fossils, strongly tilted, yet they appeared to be sheared off flat, with all subsequent layers lying flat on top of them. What sheered them all off like this and why did very hard rock layers get sheared off almost equally with very soft rock layers?
The top layer of the Grand Canyon forms the flat surface of the Kaibab Plateau. Yet on top of it are scattered mesas consisting of remnant sedimentary rock layers which appear to have once covered the entire region. What removed all of these sedimentary rocks, leaving only a few well preserved mesas behind, and how did it leave the rest of the Kaibab Plateau surface so flat?
Conventional textbook dating of the Grand Canyon dates the top layer of the Grand Canyon (Kaibab limestone) at 130 million years old and the bottom (Vishnu Schist) right at 2 billion years. In contrast, the Cardinas basalt composes a lava flow that resulted from an eruption observed by the local Indians. It flows off the top of the Kaibab Plateau down into the bottom of the Grand Canyon and for a time, cut off the Colorado River! However, extensive attempts to date these recently formed rocks give a consistent age of 2.05 billion years, slightly older that the presumed oldest Grand Canyon rocks! Indeed, when different radioactive isotopes are used to date the same Grand Canyon rock, they consistently come up with significantly different dates? So then, how old are these rocks anyway? How can we be sure? How can textbooks claim dates for each of its layers with such great precision and certainty?

The moral of the story seems crystal clear. Not nearly so much is known about our geological past than what textbooks would have us believe. Indeed, the study of the Grand Canyon, or anything else that occurred in the remote past, is not observable, repeatable, testable, nor falsifiable. In other words, it lies outside of empirical science. Its study belongs to a realm of study called historical or forensic science. As such, it lacks virtually all of the powerful self-correcting mechanisms which have led to the legendary successes of the empirical sciences of physics, chemistry, biology, and physical geology.
Incidentally, most evidence, including all the above, fit remarkably well with Dr. Baumgardner’s “catastrophic plate tectonic” model, which also accounts for the Genesis Flood. I think that the Genesis Flood is vital for any real understanding of the formation of the rock layers of the Grand Canyon.

Humans from chimps?
But does it? Consider what deriving humans from chimps requires:
The entire human population’s genome transforming uniformly at 30 million to 1 billion nucleotide positions. How long does it currently take for the entire human population to adopt a new nucleotide change? At top speeds, it takes at least hundreds of generations for all those lineages without the new mutant nucleotide to completely die out and for the offspring of the possessor of the new mutant nucleotide to replenish all of these deaths! Haldane, one of 3 founding fathers of today’s reigning neo-Darwinism theory, calculated that the theoretical maximum number of nucleotide changes that could become fixed for the entire human population in 5 million years (the assumed time when humans split off from chimps) is only 1,000 nucleotides…about a paragraph worth of changed information!
If all the necessary millions of mutations to create a human all happened in one chimp’s offspring, it would have to happen almost identically twice at the same time and same location. Otherwise, whom would they mate with? The human sperm and egg match are more precise than a lock and key fit! How are such lock and key matching systems to develop by chance at the same time and place? Has anyone ever seen a fully human born to a chimp even once? I don’t think so.
Assuming that genetically compatible male and female humans were born to chimps at the same time and place, survived, and had children, who would their children mate with? In order to be the start of the human race, would this not require intense inbreeding? Would not that result in hopelessly mentally and physically retarded offspring, resulting in their extinction?
These problems are pretty much the same for the origin of any distinctly different kind of sexually reproducing organism, which is most of them. Thus, the evolutionary theory of common descent is untenable. Why not simply accept the written eyewitness testimony of He who cannot lie? Why not accept the very credible Genesis account that God created each original kind of organism in male and female pairs and equipped them to reproduce “after their kind” just as we observe them doing today?

How do we know for certain that the Bible is true?
Because of the often spoken claims in my public school years, I once assumed that the Bible was mythological, allegorical, historically unreliable, and textually corrupt, by virtue of having been passed down orally for so many years. My opinion radically changed, however, as a result of taking on the challenge to disprove the Bible’s veracity using objective evidence. While in pursuit of doing just that, I was shocked to discover that the historicity and literary integrity of the New Testament is far greater than all other documents of antiquity (F.F. Bruce “The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?” 1960)!
The Bible claims to be the very Word of God hundreds of times throughout its pages. It contains hundreds of specific fulfilled prophecies, including about 300 concerning Christ’s first coming alone. These prophecies specify that this coming Messiah will be “God with us”, and will redeem His people from their sins. His coming kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, displacing all others. Furthermore, these Messianic prophecies predict where, through whom, and when the Christ will be born, His healing ministry, his betrayal for 40 pieces of silver, the dividing of His inner garments and casting of lots for His outer garment, His death by crucifixion, then raising from the dead 3 days later. These prophecies also tell of the ministry of John the Baptist, who would serve to prepare the way for Messiah and to identify Him for us. These prophecies were written by 40 human authors from every imaginable walk of life and life circumstance (kings, priests, generals, tax collectors, scribes, a doctor, fishermen, shepherds, a prime minister, a king’s cup bearer, a fig picker, and a shepherd) from 3 continents, written in 3 languages, and written over a period of 1,600 years! It is truly the most amazing an unique book ever written!
Perhaps most significantly, within its pages, Jesus claimed to be God the Son, the Creator of all things. Jesus also claims that the Bible is the unbreakable and eternal Word of God and attests to much of its historicity. His claim to be God was convincingly verified by His raising from the dead 3 days after His death! The fact of His resurrection was attested to by many eyewitnesses, who saw, touched Him, spoke with Him, and ate with Him on numerous occasions over a period of 40 days, there being over 500 witnesses at one time! His enemies could not refute these eyewitnesses of His resurrection by displaying His dead body because His tomb was now empty!
Were these witnesses lying? I don’t think so. First of all, prior to seeing their Lord and Savior risen from the dead, they were hiding. After speaking with Him after His resurrection, they became as bold as lions, choosing to die horrible martyr’s deaths, rather than deny this undeniable truth, to which they were eyewitnesses! People have died for a lie before, but only because they thought it was the truth! However, if Jesus did not raise from the dead, then their many claims to be eyewitnesses of His rising from the dead are all lies, and they knew it! Remember, there were over 500 of them who ate with Him, spoke with Him, touched His wounds from the cross over a period of 40 days, then witnessed Him ascend into the clouds and disappear before their very eyes. This could not have been a casual mistake in identity. If they had all lied about this, upon torture and threat of martyrdom, some of them would have confessed the truth to save their own skin, but this never happened. On top of all of that, many great miracles accompanied these early disciples, further validating their claim.
Lastly, the Bible makes many promises that anyone can test for themselves. I have, and have found God’s Word always true. I know He is true because He changed my life, and the lives of many others. Besides, I spoke with Him just today! You can’t argue with results like these.
I discovered that if we reject the historicity of the Bible, then by the same objective historical standards, we must also reject the historicity of all other documents written before the printing press and much that has been written since! This would not leave us with much history to work with! As for the veracity of Scripture, see my last CO.

What is true Biblical faith?
Typically, evolutionists portray the origins controversy as “science” vs. “religion”, “superstition” vs. “reason”, “faith” vs. “truth”. Sadly, most Christians accept this dichotomy, transforming the certainty of Biblical faith into credulity. However, credulity is the very antithesis of Biblical faith.

Francis Schaeffer defined faith as the highest form of reason.  It takes what we know about God (His love, goodness, faithfulness, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and unbreakable promises toward us) and applies them in ways that often seem so very counter intuitive (trusting Him to provide for us when there seems to be no earthly way possible).  Living life based upon Biblical faith is highly rational--indeed it is highly irrational not to trust God’s counsel on a matter, for His track record is impeccable! 

The typical evolutionist's "faith" does not compare to this.  Such "faith" is better labeled "credulity", for it generally lacks a sufficient logical basis to justify “putting-your-life-on-the-line” over whether it is true or not.  The faith of most evolutionists that I know of (but not all) is often not much more than willful and hopeful wishing. More often than not, they are either living in a state of denial and/or they just have no idea of the superiority of evidence supporting the Bible and its claims. 

In contrast, only by God’s grace, my faith is much more than what I once had as an evolutionist, for I "know whom I have believed in an am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day".  Therefore, I am prepared, for the most part, and continue to prepare, to provide for each man an "answer for the faith which lies within" me.  This is what Biblical faith is all about (e.g., Abraham, Luke 1, Acts 1, I John 1, and the end of John). Yes, faith is assurance based upon evidence (Heb. 11:1).

True Biblical faith is 100% rational and logically defensible.  Not logical to the naturalist who dismisses out of hand the existence of the supernatural, like God. A decision to fly in a 747 can be rational, not because each of us can explain how this giant steel contraption is going to defy the law of gravity and safely deliver us to our destination, but because it has a very successful track record and those credible people who do know much about it, put their lives on the line, day after day, on their belief that it will work (= Biblical type of faith). 

One of the most destructive works of our enemy has been to widely characterize Biblical faith as ignorant, irrational, and wishful thinking—i.e., credulity. Let’s set the record straight once again and restore the virtue of our good word “faith”, without which “it is impossible to please God (Heb. 1:6).

I wonder why we would characterize Biblical faith as ignorant, irrational, and wishful thinking? Quite possibly because professors like that one equate Christianity with the kind of ignorant, irrational, wishful thinking that they teach. They make it incredibly easy for us to discredit their religion.

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Time for another edition of "I get email"! Below the fold you'll find a comprehensive example of the kind of exhortation I get all the time—this one is a long list of assertions that god is right, science is wrong, all transmitted in short sentences that aren't in any particular order. No, I didn't…
Rob McEwen has left a comment on a post that has slipped way down the page, and as it's worth responding to and fisking in some detail, I thought I'd bring it up top to answer it. Pre-script: Turns out this guy left this same comment, word for word and breathless exclamation point for breathless…
PrefaceI originally wrote this post during the late summer of this year, a piece that was fraught with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and an overall cumbersome attribute that made me admire anyone who was able to get through the whole thing. I have revised and edited the text starting with…
As I mentioned the other day, about 1/3 of Ann Coulter's new book is devoted to "Darwinism". Since she has no background on the subject at all, she had to get some tutoring on the subject and she got it from none other than the Discovery Institute folks. She says in the book, ""I couldn't have…

I can't guess which "university" this came from. It could be dozens of them, alas.

By Donald Terndrup (not verified) on 02 Sep 2015 #permalink

This could easily have come from see noevo, the uneducated creationist who has been trolling various blogs here.

The "19 year old junior" is either gifted, or really is a 19 year old junior at some "university" for people who don't think.

I think it's the latter.

the 'water' argument, from a supposed professor?
Humans consist of about 2/3rd water.

But these creationists? 100% troll.

@dean #2: Noooooooooo! Do you not know that names have the power of summoning? Doomed, we are, now, for trolls and acephalopods shall stalk these comments, inflicting all manner

By Michael Kelsey (not verified) on 02 Sep 2015 #permalink

Michael: well s**t, you're probably right. For penance I'll go back to Rstudio and continue writing a simulation example for stat class.

Note: I have to say that many folks like me, simply because we live in the mitten part of Michigan, have residents of the U.P. refer us as trolls, because we live below (south of) the Mackinac Bridge.

Young earth creationists tend to be a bit thick, brighter creationists just say evolution was the tool used by the creator. And there's hope your young correspondent will figure out the score in the next few years.

Is it Liberty? Do I get a cookie if I'm right?

By John Raykowski (not verified) on 02 Sep 2015 #permalink

Student: "I am required to ask anyone (preferably someone who is science-minded such as yourself) the following four questions.

Professor: "One of the most destructive works of our enemy has been to widely characterize Biblical faith as ignorant, irrational, and wishful thinking."

Since when do people seek out the "enemy" for enlightenment? This is the Trojan Horse, wheeled into Dr. Myers computer, hiding the clueless giggling creationsits within. They are the Monty Pythons of religiuos cults.

This professor referred to Noah, so I'd like to take the opportunity to give Noah a compliment. Apparently, Noah somehow managed to get kangaroos and koalas onto the arc even though Australia had never been heard of. Ditto for bison and polar bears and llamas, etc. even though the Americas hadn't been discovered. It was also quite liberal of him to rescue cobras and komodo dragons, not to mention more than a million species of insects. What an unbelievable feat!

Marsupials and dinosaurs lived together in the Holyland, with all the other 10 million mostly unidentified species. Then God got his panties in a knot and made the rational decision to kill 99.9% of all living thing - bunnies, puppies and crippled kiddies be damned. Later, as the billions and billions of dead stinky decaying creations filled the planets beaches, Noah was unloading the 10 million species from his water-logged ark and a strong wind kicked up, filled up the pouches of marsupials and blew the little buggers all the way to Australia. Athesistic Dawinist liberal socialists want to hide these stories from our children, by creating lies like evolution, plate tectonics, global warming, vaccinations, universal health care......

Wow! I promise you I understand all the words, even the big, hard ones ("miniscule", lol), but I cannot quite parse the foetid melange this benighted creatard whipped up with them (sorry, rather off-colour image produced there).

It's like religious education is a kind of consensual, continuous binge on pillow-sized Bible marshmallows, day and night until there's no chance of getting even a waffer-thin mint of rationality in there...

Sorry, I skipped breakfast,

By Al Archibald (not verified) on 09 Sep 2015 #permalink