A few weeks ago I did a Skype interview with atheist Adam Reakes (@adamreakes on twitter) from Australia for his Herd Mentality podcast. We spent about 30 minutes talking about God, the Bible, creation, evolution, and science. He just posted the podcast online. You can find it at herdmentalitypodcast.com. From the homepage click “Episodes” at the top of the page, and then Episode 24 to check it out!
Adam did a great job editing. He kept pretty much the entire interview from what I remember, which from his own admission challenged him. Often times he was baffled and taken back by my responses to his challenges. When you listen to the podcast, feel free to stay tuned after the interview for his “bonus material” featuring another 30 minute interview with fellow atheist/scientist @kaimatai (twitter) who helps him reframe some of his arguments and offers several new challenges. Once you’ve listened to the podcast, come back and read my below responses to the new challenges.
@kaimatai (kai for short from here out…) did a great job schooling Adam and bringing up fresh debate points.
The first error I caught in Kai’s discussion came from the part about abiogenesis. While explaining how laboratory experiments do not prove intelligent design he said these two comments within a few seconds of each other: “we just set it up (the experiment)” and then “we don’t do anything”. From my perspective, I hear a contradiction. He says I’m quote-mining. Feel free to review the section and make up your own mind. If you “set up” the experiment, do you do that unintelligently? If you set up the experiment intelligently, then you’ve now injected intelligence into the experiment, thus proving my point.
Towards the end of the conversation on abiogenesis, Kai references a meteor that was found with organic material on it as a “better” argument than the lab experiments. What does this really do though? Doesn’t it just make your argument “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”?? Doesn’t really solve the heart of the issue of abiogenesis, just pushes it to a different planet. Doesn’t bolster atheism at all.
Kai is correct in calling me out that dinosaur fossils should not be considered a “prediction” of the flood. I did use that terminology loosely. I would challenge Kai to revisit some of his favorite historical science predictions and see if they may not fall in the same category though. In my opinion ALL historical science (evolution, big bang, abiogenesis) is ad-hoc explanations. It is attempting to recreate what may have happened based on what evidence we find today. I simply also include the Bible as historical evidence. New evidence normally reinterprets previous findings, and that is what happened here. IF the flood really happened – what should we expect to find? A massive graveyard – exactly what we find. If fossils were not there, our flood theory would be done for.
Before moving onto some of the bigger challenges Kai layed out, I do want to mention that I find it ironic that when talking about radioactivity that he and Adam talked about the laws of nature. If I were an atheist I would probably keep away from mentioning laws of nature which they cannot explain their origins. Laws of Nature make no sense in an evolutionary/atheistic worldview. Laws cannot slowly form – they are eternal, unchanging, constants… in the midst of everything else which is finite and changing. Laws don’t fit their worldview. Just a word of caution for future debates.
A main challenge given by Kai is how to fit in 4.5 billion years of radiation into 6000 years. This is currently explained in two events: the 6-day creation week and the flood. The article here (http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-and-old-ages-in-disarray) gives a much more thorough explanation, but the basics of it is that most of the radiation would have occurred while God was in the midst of forming and creating the universe/earth within the same 6-day period. “The RATE group concludes that there was about 4 Ga of accelerated decay at creation and about 500 Ma worth at the time of the Flood.” Although they still admit that 500Ma during the flood is too much, they are working on several scenarios that could have removed the heat as well such as conduction and convection. Creationists admit there is much research to be done in this area, while maintaining that like evolution and other historical sciences this is a limited field of research.
Kai tried to then convince the listeners that there is no C14 in dinosaurs. That is simply incorrect. See here: http://creation.com/c14-dinos. “A team of researchers gave a presentation at the 2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore, August 13–17, at which they gave 14C dating results from many bone samples from eight dinosaur specimens. All gave dates ranging from 22,000 to 39,000 years, right in the ‘ballpark’ predicted by creationists.” Dino bones give C14 results all the time but they are normally excluded from final published information because they are deemed “corrupted data” because they do not fit the established mold. I call that confirmation bias.
The next challenge from Kai is found in trilobites. First I find it ironic that he mentions the “Cambrian explosion” where all a sudden a TON of fossils are formed within a relatively short period of time. Sounds familiar to me… flood anyone? Another funny – I was introduced to trilobites during my tour of the Creation Museum! Apparently, trilobites do not worry them too much. Another conundrum for evolutionists and trilobites is their extremely complex design. They are anything but primitive – yet appear very early in the fossil record with no apparent ancestors. Interesting!
As for “flooding” Trilobites, a marine creature one needs only realize that the great flood was not just rain from above. Many Christians themselves do not realize this. The flood was also from below the earth’s crust bursting forth. The Bible says “the fountains of the great deep burst forth”. Most creationists interpret this as volcanic activity and the onset of plate tectonics as the earth’s crust ripped apart. Could this volcanism activity in the oceans fossilize them?
I find it quite interesting that Kai is willing to admit that many fossils left footprints. Really? How is that possible if fossilization normally takes a very long time to occur? Wouldn’t erosion and other things destroy the footprints? On that point, don’t most things that die just decompose and fade away – not fossilize. I submit that it takes an extreme catastrophic event to quickly bury something in order to fossilize it rapidly…. especially footprints. J
One more point on the volcanism with the flood. Kai said that one tiny volcano caused enough cooling that one area experienced two winters in a row. This is perfect for us. We submit that because of all the volcanic activity during the flood year, it led to a single ice age. Without that explanation (and that evidence) our theory may be bankrupt, right?
My last point will be a final response to Adam’s conclusion. He posits that he should simply ask “how do you know” more often. I find it quite ironic that this is Ken Ham’s (founder of the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis) main suggestion to creationists to ask evolutionists! Perhaps that door swings both ways? In every debate with atheists I’ve had we eventually get down to “how do you know” – and they are left with “well we can’t really know”… but I’m left with “I do know – cause I’ve heard it from the source who has always been there and cannot lie”. I don’t have faith in “I can’t really know”.
Thanks again guys, and I look forward to doing it again someday!