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Creation/Evolution, science

Confirmation bias in mainstream science

consensus

 

Creationists are often accused of confirmation bias.  In other words they say when we look at data we contort it to fit our preconceived ideas about how we think the world works.  These accusers often cite how science looks to weed out that bias through the peer review process.  They are right and wrong at the same time.  We do have a bias, but so do they.  We take certain unprovable, unverifiable beliefs about the past (supernaturalism, catastrophism) to interpret evidence from the past (unobservable).  They take other unprovable, unverifiable beliefs about the past (naturalism, uniformitarianism) to interpret the same evidence.  Therefore we both have a bias before we look at the evidence.  Those who share our biases will also interpret the evidence the same as we do.  That is the answer to why the majority of scientists see the evidence the same way – they all are interpreting it the same and agreeing with the starting assumptions.

So… how does confirmation bias play into mainstream science?  Five scenarios:

  1. Red blood cells, soft tissue, and DNA found still intact in supposedly millions-of-years old dinosaur fossils (http://blog.drwile.com/?p=12518).  Normally these elements would decay very rapidly.  Mainstream sciences answer:  preservation must last longer than we thought before.   Obviously, the most apparent response is that the dinosaurs are not as old as previously thought.  Instead they maintain their beliefs and offer explanations with no evidence as to how these materials can last this long in the face of repeated demonstrations of rapid decay of these materials.  Their explanations actually defy the evidence of decay to maintain their beliefs.  Confirmation bias!  Note:  some evolutionists have tried to use iron as the mechanism for preserving the materials, but that explanation fails miserably (http://blog.drwile.com/?p=11753).

 

  1. Do a Google search or image search for human artifacts found in coal deposits or “out-of-place artifacts”.  Mainstream science maintains that coal seams were formed over millions of years of gradual, uniform deposits well before humans came onto the scene.  Yet, there are many examples of manmade items found embedded in these coal deposits and other rock layers (http://s8int.com/page8.html).  The only response from mainstream science is that these anomalies must be forgeries.  They must be forgeries because the alternative explanation does not fit their worldview.  Confirmation bias!  Of course the obvious interpretation is that perhaps humans existed prior to a worldwide catastrophic event (the flood) that laid down most of the coal deposits and rock layers.

 

  1. Did you know that genetics only finds evidence of degeneration?  Dr. John Sanford, a geneticist, argues that evidence from observational genetics confirms what he calls genetic entropy.  That man is degenerating, not improving through some imaginary upward evolution.  Here are three peer-reviewed papers published in secular journals confirming this concept (http://www.tbiomed.com/content/9/1/42, http://ge.tt/7mN7K6O/v/0, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1716299/pdf/ajhg00429-0003.pdf).  Dr. Sanford goes on to claim that nearly all leading geneticists acknowledge this: “Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically. The most definitive findings were published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch. That paper indicates human fitness is declining at 3–5% per generation.”  Obviously evolutionary biologists must simply ignore this data to maintain their beliefs.  Confirmation bias!  I would say this is possibly the most striking blow to Darwinism and a complete scientific confirmation of a creationist prediction.

 

  1. Carbon still remaining in diamonds.  Carbon, which due to its decay rate cannot last longer than 60,000 years, is consistently found in diamonds and other samples believed to be millions or even billions of years old (http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-breakthroughs)!  What is the mainstream science answer: contamination.  They claim the scientists or labs must have contaminated the samples… yet often times these are the same scientists and labs they use to verify their own data.  I smell a double standard.  What is the obvious answer?  The samples are not as old as believed.

 

  1. Young comets exist with no evidence of a comet-maker.  Every time a comet circles the sun in our solar system it loses some of its matter.  Therefore comets have a relatively short lifespan, yet we have no observable evidence of a source that is making new comets.  Mainstream science suggests either the Oort Cloud or the Kuiper belt – yet neither of these have been observed.  They are mythical.  They are necessary for mainstream scientists to maintain their beliefs about the age of the universe.  The Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt have never been observed.  They are hypothetical.  Need I say it?  Confirmation bias!  What is the obvious answer?  The solar system and the universe are not as old as previously believed.

 

Seeing a pattern?  This is by no means an exhaustive list either, there is much more I could go into.  We could also talk about fossils being found “out of place” all the time (http://creation.com/fossils-wrong-place).  Or we could talk about the dinosaur stone carving from 1200 AD (http://creation.com/did-angkor-really-see-a-dinosaur).  Or we could talk about the Big Bang’s horizon problem (https://answersingenesis.org/big-bang/light-travel-time-a-problem-for-the-big-bang/).  We would simply not have enough room to write about all the inconsistencies.  Yet in the light of all these inconsistencies, the UK has the gall to outlaw any suggestion of anything contrary to that of the consensus!

Mainstream scientists believe creationists are the only ones who use confirmation bias to hold onto their beliefs, yet this is demonstrably incorrect.  Now combine all five anomalies to mainstream science from above (DNA still in dinos, human artifacts in coal, genetic entropy, carbon in diamonds, & young comets), combine those with all the other inconsistencies that have filled volumes of books (https://answersingenesis.org/store/topics-themed/) that we don’t have time to discuss here , and now decide if there is still “overwhelming evidence” for their positions?  I will leave the conclusion up to you…

I will leave you with a quote from Michael Crichton (PhD in biology, writer of Jurassic Park), although an evolutionist – he had strong words for what he called consensus science…

“I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”

________

For more resources on scientific issues with the consensus I suggest…

http://blog.drwile.com/  –  written by a PhD in nuclear chemistry & science textbook writer.
http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/  –  written by a PhD in biophysics.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/  –  collection of recent science news that defies the mainstream.
http://www.icr.org/news/ – Institute for Creation Research.
http://www.reddit.com/r/creation/  –  online community discussion.

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

322 thoughts on “Confirmation bias in mainstream science

  1. Why do the majority of creationists see the evidence the same way? As you say because they have the same bias. The conclusion to such reasoning is that there is no way to distinguish who is right. There may be hundreds of different acceptable answers to the same evidence it all depends on your bias. This is not a bad way of explaining the chaos we see around us but it does not say much for our reasoning ability but perhaps that is subject to bias and we are lost completely.

    Posted by magnocrat | July 3, 2014, 6:10 pm
    • I would say the best way to distinguish who is right is to examine the biases and see if you can poke holes in them. Obviously we can’t prove supernaturalism or naturalism as starting assumptions. But we can study uniformitarianism (the belief that today’s processes and rates are the same as all of history) and catastrophism (certain events may have sped up processes in the past). Obviously we can’t directly test the past, but we can see evidence of how catastrophism works in the present.

      For example, after Mt. St. Helens erupted we were able to observe a 100-ft canyon formed complete with layers/strata in under one week. Creationists maintain that during the flood, volcanic activity would have been going off all over the world. Therefore it is not hard for us to imagine how that might have played a role in rapid canyon formation vs. gradual, uniform creation over millions of years.

      That alone can’t prove it since we can’t observe the past, but it is a strong explanation. I’d say the other point supporting our view is that we believe we have eye-witness testimony of past events. In fact, that is all any history book is. You probably believe Abraham Lincoln was assassinated because you read it in a history book and you trust the authors. You didn’t observe it. The evidence could be faked. But you believe it. Same with creationists. We trust the Bible as an accurate history book. Hope this helps!

      Posted by Tim | July 3, 2014, 6:19 pm
      • Well we could produce evidence for almost any view we wished, to me this merely implies we are all standing on sand that can be washed away at any moment. You have made your bias choice but there is no substantial evidence for making it other than it feels satisfactory.
        I suppose its not a bad thing to accept a view that feels good even if you can’t be sure its right but I could not bring myself to make such a jump. They all seem to make some sort sense; could it be that we want to have some solid rock to stand on when we know nothing is really solid?
        Of course I have my own bias pet views like everyone else but I cannot believe in absolute truth whatever that may be it a topsy-turvy world.

        Posted by magnocrat | July 4, 2014, 9:24 am
        • Wait? Woah! What?? You don’t believe in absolute truth?? That’s impossible. You are saying you don’t really know if 2+2 is 4. You are saying you don’t really know if you exist. You are saying you don’t really know anything at all. Well, if that’s the case – then there’s really no point to debating anything at all – ever.

          Again you say there is no absolute truth. Is that statement absolutely true? 🙂

          I’d say the solid rock on which we can stand is the unchanging, unfailing word of God that stands up to every test.

          Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 1:03 pm
          • I’m taking the truth of your premise about us all being bias seriously. It means we can never be certain of what we believe for when anyone presents us with a truth we know for certain they are bias. By absolute truth I mean truth without bias and by the premise it does not exist.
            Mathematics the most logical of subjects was shown by Kurt Gödel to be limited in his incompleteness theorem. There are even mathematical things it cannot prove.
            This does not stop you or anybody claiming solid rock it just means you cannot prove solid rock.
            My advice would be to stop trying to prove solid rock but talk about the advantages of believing in solid rock.

            Posted by magnocrat | July 5, 2014, 10:35 am
  2. “Obviously evolutionary biologists must simply ignore this data to maintain their beliefs.” The irony.
    The people who ignore data, evidence, and refutations of their past claims, are the young Earth creationists. Nothing can falsify their beliefs (not anything written by a non YEC anyway)!!
    Please see:
    https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/the-science-of-creationism/ (my comments here, notably at 2.33 am on 2 May 2014, address what you previously wrote, and are now repeating, re Sanford; note that apart from the paper which actually reports simulations rather than observations*, the other two papers you offer either focus solely on the H1N1 influenza virus or else the paper is more than 60 years old).
    You point to nothing in secular journals by creationists, or by anybody else, about ‘observed’ human ‘genetic entropy’.

    * This paper:
    http://ge.tt/7mN7K6O/v/0
    But despite my previous comments, which you did not refute, you continue to talk, falsely, of ‘observational genetics’ in this particular context. You are ignoring refutations in order to maintain your beliefs – and spread misinformation.

    PS Your new blog also alludes to this paper (which does not refute evolution nor confirm young Earth creationism):
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/961.full
    A decline in human ‘fitness’ over time, if it occurs, may be thought ‘biblical’ but it does refute evolutionary theory or ‘prove’ a ‘young’ human race.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 4, 2014, 1:20 am
    • Your comments are confusing. First you say I point to no secular journal that speaks of human degradation, but then point out the PNAS link which talks about human degradation (which you found through my comments from Sanford).

      Answer a simple question: if the only observations done show a decline in human fitness – how do you get an evolved human? Observable evidence defies evolutionary philosophy.

      Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 3:10 am
      • You did not link to that PNAS journal and I had to search for it. You are also misquoting me – I wrote “You point to nothing in secular journals … about ‘observed’ human ‘genetic entropy’”. You DIDN’T.

        “Iif the only observations done show a decline in human fitness”. First of all you need to substantiate that claim.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 4, 2014, 4:13 am
  3. For reasons unknown, my first response (to which the second response above relates) is awaiting moderation. However, it can be read HERE:
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2970&p=49365#p49365

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 4, 2014, 1:25 am
  4. You quote Sanford as saying: “Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically. The most definitive findings were published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch. That paper indicates human fitness is declining at 3–5% per generation.”

    Yet the Abstract of the paper in question states: “Here, recently established databases on de novo mutations for monogenic disorders are used to estimate the rate and molecular spectrum of spontaneously arising mutations and to derive a number of inferences with respect to eukaryotic genome evolution… a consideration of the long-term consequences of current human behavior for deleterious-mutation accumulation leads to the conclusion that a substantial reduction in human fitness can be expected over the next few centuries in industrialized societies unless novel means of genetic intervention are developed.”

    Somewhat different.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 4, 2014, 1:39 am
  5. The point being that – based on the Abstract – Lynch is forecasting the future not reporting ‘findings’ or direct ‘observations’.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 4, 2014, 1:40 am
    • Uh…. if he has the ability to forecast the future, I’m guessing that is based on some sort of observation here in the present. I don’t think he’s just pulling out the 3-5% degeneration numbers out of this air. Can you provide counter evidence that shows the opposite? Say a 3-5% improvement due to mutation?

      Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 3:13 am
  6. ““I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.” Bombastic? Yes. But what would he recommend as a replacement? Crighton’s complaint about peer-review and consensus science reminds me of the ol’ saw that says, “Democracy is a terrible way to govern a society and choose leaders—except when you compare it with all of the alternatives.”

    Like the scientific method in general, peer-review has proven itself to be a powerful and reliable way to compile new knowledge and explanations. It suffers from all of the foibles which humans suffer from, which is why the process of competition in the academy filters out the unsubstantiated and maintains a momentum towards the ultimate source of all consensus: CONSILIENCE.

    Magnocrat wrote: “There may be hundreds of different acceptable answers to the same evidence it all depends on your bias.” No. Not really. I would challenge you to find anyone within the science academy who believes that there are “hundreds of different acceptable answers.” How about some concrete examples of this from the peer-reviewed literature? More importantly, when the evidence all points to the same explanation, consilience results because the evidence of so many different types DOES lead to harmony of consensus. The denialists would LIKE to think that science is terribly subjective and it floats back and forth with the wind according to the biases of the participants. But after a lifetime in the academy I never witnesses anything of the sort. (When a new field of inquiry first encounters a large collection of data, it is certainly true that there may be little consensus initially. But that is also when nobody is publishing textbooks announced any definitive theory declared as settled science. Again, I would need examples to know what the author is talking about. But it sure doesn’t sound like the science academy I observed at state university and also the Christian universities where I taught.)

    Posted by Allen Joseph | July 4, 2014, 2:34 am
    • I spoke in my post about consilience results from different disciplines when I said: “Those who share our biases will also interpret the evidence the same as we do.” Most scientists agree with uniformitarianistic assumptions about the data. If they see the Colorado River cutting the Grand Canyon at a gradual, steady rate – then they see no reason to doubt it has been doing so for billions of years. I see evidence as to how major, catastropic events (like Mt. St. Helens) can form geological formations rapidly under the right conditions. Therefore since I believe the Bible is accurate, I can easily entertain how a worldwide catastrophic event like the flood could also do such a thing. So, I have no reason to accept that uniform assumption when I look at the evidence.

      Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 3:28 am
      • “Therefore since I believe the Bible is accurate, I can easily entertain how a worldwide catastrophic event like the flood could also do such a thing.” But why is it that the Grand Canyon (especially the course of the Colorado River) looks NOTHING like the work of a flood! Do you understand what kind of evidence a flood leaves behind?

        But most of all, how do you explain the fact that we see NO EVIDENCE for a global flood—especially just a few thousand years ago. If there had been a global flood, we should see the results nearly everywhere we look!

        However, what I began to realize as a young “creation science” professor lecturing wherever I could on these topics, I realized that there was no GLOBAL flood in the Bible! Genesis says that it was a flood of Noah’s ERETZ (“land”, “region”, “country”.)

        But in order to read Genesis “literally”, in its most natural sense, one has to understand their cosmology and cultural context. And I discovered that ERETZ (often translated “earth”) in the KJV Bible in 1611 loses some of that meaning in modern English where “earth” tends to be interpreted as “planet earth”. Not until I became more fluent in Hebrew did I realize that I had allowed my church’s TRADITION’s about Noah’s Flood replace what the Bible said. The Biblical text says NOTHING of a global flood—-and that explains why we find no geologic evidence for a global flood!

        That has been the great blessing of learning about geology and learning Hebrew lexicography and exegesis. They agree! (Of course, I EXPECT them to agree because God created both!)

        Posted by Allen Miller | July 5, 2014, 10:55 pm
        • “how do you explain the fact that we see NO EVIDENCE for a global flood” – it IS everywhere! I produced a 50-min. video on the topic here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzOu2s9DBko). Or here is a write-up as well (https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/defense-of-the-flood-why-it-is-important/). We would say that the evidence for the flood is the fossil record, the rock layers, the ice age, plate tectonics, polar ice caps, canyons, mountains, valleys, and on and on and on. The evidence IS literally everywhere. We would just say it is being interpreted incorrectly due to incorrect starting assumptions.

          “The Biblical text says NOTHING of a global flood”. If you are seriously one who can interpret the BIble that way, I don’t believe we are going to have decent discussion. The BIble talks about ALL life being wiped out. If the flood was not global – why not just spend the 100 years migrating to another part of the world? And why even collect the animals? I’m sure there are animals on the other area not affected by the flood. LOL. I’m sorry. That explanation is just horrid. There is no way you could read Genesis 6-9 with a straight face and keep that explanation.

          There is nothing in the text to let on that this was a local flood, and if you believe that then you are reading something you believe in into the text. Sorry.

          Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 2:04 am
          • “We would say that the evidence for the flood is the fossil record, the rock layers, the ice age, plate tectonics, polar ice caps, canyons, mountains, valleys, and on and on and on”. 0% science. 100% religious faith. Since all the things you cite are fully explainable – without any ‘wrong’ starting assumptions (you have not shown any) – without any literally worldwide flood within the past 5,000 years.

            Of course if all these things were MISSING that would be rather perplexing. But planet Earth has a fossil record, rock layers, glaciers and ice caps, canyons, mountains and so forth – quelle surprise.

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 4:50 pm
            • Your entire response can be summed up to “nope”. You offered no actual response. You just verified my position. You cite the same evidence for your position. That’s what I’ve said all along. It’s not in the evidence. It’s in the interpretation of that evidence. You need to show why my interpretation is wrong. Just basically saying “nope” isn’t sufficient.

              Although Allen’s length of posts were over the top, his content was what I am actually looking for. Real substance. Real stuff to talk about. Your comments are just saying “nope”. If that’s all you’ve got to say you might as well say nothing.

              Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 5:41 pm
              • You censored my comment where I proved that you were talking dishonest nonsense. How predictable!
                It can be read here. Clearly you had no rational response so you reached for the ‘zap’ button instead.
                http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2970&start=750

                Any god is evil. How do I know? Because of people like you.

                Non-YECs SINCERELY believe YECs to be hypocritical liars. But you are so certain of yourself that that does not even trouble you (and fellow YECs including those who ban ALL dissenting comments in order to make themselves look good).

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 11:18 pm
                • Why do you assume some YECs delete comments to make themselves look good? Why is that your automatic thought? I’m sorry you feel that way. Honestly, nothing you’ve said has ever proven me wrong. It can’t. You can’t prove your position, just as I can’t prove mine. It’s much more beneficial then for us to have an exchange of ideas calmly than to call each other liars back and forth. That’s boring to me, and yes I will delete comments that have absolutely no substance to them. I went to your link here and it was just a post about Cowboy Bob. Cmon Ashley, this is distracting from the topic. I really like talking with you sometimes. But you get so offended so quickly that it makes it difficult sometimes.

                  If you’d like to ask a question to me about genetics or biology or the Bible or whatever, I am happy to entertain that. But if I give my answer and you simply comeback with “liar” or “nope” – then the conversation is dead and no need to keep posting that stuff. That is why I deleted a couple of your comments on this topic. Perhaps now you could take my actual word on it instead of accusing me of things.

                  I’ve done no accusing anyone yet I’m the one who is evil… are you sure?

                  Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 11:31 pm
                  • “nothing you’ve said has ever proven me wrong”. That’s your Christian arrogance showing again. You have an unfalsifiable unscientific worldview and you declare attempts to show you to be wrong to be ‘futile’.

                    If you have never been shown to be wrong about anything, why the need to censor so often?

                    Your position is the total opposite of science/scientific enquiry. Stinking hubris (it’s not just you but any YEC).

                    You could prove me wrong if I was wrong! Have you proven me wrong? I don’t claim that my position cannot ever be shown to be wrong in some way.

                    My aim is not to stop you being a YEC but simply to remind you constantly whenever you are lying about science or about your critics. Such as when you falsely declare that my posts lack substance and are just me saying ‘nope’.

                    Feel free to call me a liar if I actually DO lie in your opinion.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 12:18 am
                    • What substance to the topic did this comment just have?

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 12:28 am
                    • “What substance to the topic did this comment just have?” It’s all about your behaviour here.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 12:52 am
                    • My behavior has nothing to do with whether my points I am arguing in this post are correct or not. Perhaps you should not get so concerned with my behavior. I can easily see your obsession with my behavior as a way of distracting people from the actual topic since you have no actual data to back up your disagreement. I am sure I don’t need to point that out to others.

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 3:01 am
                    • “I can easily see your obsession with my behavior as a way of distracting people from the actual topic”. Total nonsense.

                      As and when this is appropriate, I am pointing out your science denial AND your dishonest behaviour in silently censoring posts that show you to be wrong (while triumphantly claiming “nobody has yet proven me wrong at all and you all lack any substance!”).

                      I do not take other people reading these exchanges for naive fools who can be ‘hoodwinked’ or ‘distracted’ from the ‘actual’ topic.

                      But you wish to portray me as someone who does take others for such ‘fools’.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 4:15 pm
                    • PS – the only time scientific innovation occurs is when someone denies the current science on a matter. Thus perhaps you should realize that “science denial” is not necessarily a bad thing.

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 4:42 pm
                    • PS – the only time scientific innovation occurs is when someone denies the current science on a matter.

                      Absolute rubbish. There’s plenty of reasons other than going against the current orthodoxy, such as gaining interesting new evidence, advances in technology which open up new experimental avenues, and so on.

                      Thus perhaps you should realize that “science denial” is not necessarily a bad thing.

                      Denial of the current legitimate consensus of experts in a field in which you are not yourself an expert is indeed a bad thing.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 7:45 pm
    • The point I was making was that if we accept bias of all observers and we may not accept that as I can see you do not, then there will be many answers to the same evidence. The creationists claim that their scientific investigations express the truth about the world and those accepted by most of the scientific community are false.
      People have to make their choice even if they understand neither of the explanations.
      I have to decide whether I believe in big bangs, multiverses, quarks , quantum mechanics, wave equations ect ect.
      Most of us are unable to figure out the subtle truth of all this stuff some of us suspect we are being taken for a science fiction ride.
      ”Myself when young did eagerly frequent
      Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
      About it and about: but evermore
      Came out by the same door where in I went.”

      Posted by magnocrat | July 8, 2014, 4:45 pm
  7. >”Mainstream sciences answer: preservation must last longer than we thought before. Obviously, the most apparent response is that the dinosaurs are not as old as previously thought”
    >

    Obviously? “The most apparent response”??? Why? There are MANY reasons—-based on entirely different, multiple sets of data and the arguments based on them—for dating dinosaurs for long ago. The claim that just because we have found a preservation process that we don’t yet understand HARDLY wipes off the map THOUSANDS of peer-reviewed papers which establish the same ancient dating consensus despite a variety of methods. CONSILIENCE MATTERS.

    To restate the matter: Are you expecting us to think it logical to throw away scores of different kinds of evidence (which we DO understand) in favor of ONE discovery which is not yet explained? Talk about a thumb on the scales! That is not how science works. We don’t throw away mountains of evidence when on the other side of the scales there is one mystery yet to be explained.

    There are multiple phenomena discovered in the past that shocked us with the fact that some sample was preserved far longer than anyone thought possible. Did science throw out ALL other evidence as a result of the new mystery? Of course not.

    Dr Schweitzer has explained the folly of this “logic” many times—even while being harassed by those who should consider her their Christian sister (because she is an evangelical Christian.) As she has pointed out, it is clear that the same is extremely old and it represents a type of preservation we haven’t seen before. We don’t yet know how it works. But how can you defend the lunacy of saying, “Because we don’t understand this preservation process, let’s throw away everything we DO know and understand and pretend that dinosaurs were contemporary with humans.” Admit it: that is simply WANTING to be something so bad that you throw aways mountains of peer-reviewed papers representing consilience from countless fields.

    It pains me that I should even have to explain how “lop-sided” is this “logic”. But it provides another example of why after many years in the Young Earth Creationism movement, I had to follow the evidence where it led: both scriptural and scientific. (To my joy, the harmony of the two was a breath of fresh air after spending years trying to explain why my views on origins produced multiple-contradictions in Genesis and made the God as creator look like a deceiver because I had to constantly pretend that creation is filled with deceptive evidence.)

    Scientists used to think that various kinds of organisms would NEVER be found in the fossil records. Why? Because we couldn’t imagine how anything dead could last so long? But little by little, we discovered special conditions under which preservation DID become possible. The Schweitzer discovery is just one more. So we aren’t going to panic and throw out everthing we DO know for something we don’t. And that is why you won’t find ANY paleontologist in the academy saying, “I just can’t believe that a organic materials could be preserved for millions of years!” The logic error is known as the “Argument from Personal Incredulity fallacy”. It pretends that just because I find something hard to believe, it COULDN’T have happened. But NOT KNOWING something is not evidence and it isn’t an argument.

    As to Dr. Wile’s hypothesis about why it COULDN’T be preserved in that manner, why do you assume that that is the last word on the subject? He explores just ONE of several possible mechanisms. But that doesn’t “prove” that such a preservation method DOES NOT exist. (How did he prove a negative???)

    Dr. Schweitzer is doing what all respected scientists do: trying to figure out why/how the materials were preserved. EVEN IF the sample is much younger than thought, we still want to know how it got preserved. Jumping to the conclusion like a chicken with its head cut-off and saying, “No! It just couldn’t, no way, can’t be that old and still get preserved. Therefore, it is just a few thousand years old!” No, you won’t see anybody in the academy throw out reams of established, well explained data models on the wishful thinking of a few outsiders who want evidence for people living with dinosaurs. This is an excellent example of why scientists follow the evidence instead of their biases. (No, it is NOT true that everybody’s interpretation is equally biased. Some interpretation fit the evidence and some don’t. While it is true that everybody has biases, it is NOT true that everyone is controlled by them!)

    Posted by Allen Joseph | July 4, 2014, 2:54 am
    • In response to the topic of preservation of ancient DNA, all I said was: “Obviously, the most apparent response is that the dinosaurs are not as old as previously thought.” I am not saying throw out all peer-reviewed science. I am saying explore a new angle. Be skeptical. At least entertain the idea instead of censoring it since it doesn’t fit what we think we already know.

      Let’s say you go on vacation for 4 weeks. After you left you realized you left a jug of milk out on the counter. You knew it would be rotten and smelling when you returned. So, when you got home you found a gallon of milk on the counter but it was fresh, cold, no problems. What is the most likely conclusion?

      I would say it is that that milk jug is not the same one I left out four weeks ago. It has been replaced. It is newer! I would not assume that there must be some unknown variable that has preserved the milk that long. That explanation goes against every observation ever made.

      So, in the case of the dinosaurs – the best explanation would be (at least) these samples are not millions of years old. That doesn’t mean dinos didn’t live millions of years ago – it just means these one didn’t. If you believe in magical ways milk can last for four weeks set out on a counter, all the more power to you. But I believe in observations and tests. And that explanation defies all observations and tests ever done.

      Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 3:23 am
      • “If they see the Colorado River cutting the Grand Canyon at a gradual, steady rate – then they see no reason to doubt it has been doing so for billions of years.” //// No, Tim. That is not how it works. Again and again I notice that you are fighting strawmen of what you THINK scientists are saying. And since your straw man versions are virtually identical to what Morris, Gish, Ham, et al have constructed, I assume that is where you “learned” about their false concepts of contemporary geology.

        As many have observed, “creation science” often fights a version of geology which was actually a presupposition of the Christian geologists who pioneered in the field in the early 1800’s. (They went looking for evidence to confirm their “flood geology” but were shocked to find NONE. Zilch. Indeed, I’ve had several Young Earth Creationist on forums in the past year tell me that the reason why we see zero evidence for a global flood that was so recent that it should have left evidence virtually everywhere is because God intentionally wiped out the evidence of that great judgment because he wanted to put that episode in man’s history of rebellion behind us.) Unformitarianism as a term at that time DID imply that everything was gradual but geologists left that notion behind by probably 1850, so you are fight an ancient battle no body cares about. Uniformitarianism today DOES NOT claim that everything in past happened at the same RATES as today. No, it is the general principle that we can study the PRESENT in order to understand THE PAST. It says that the laws of physics apply at all times as the same laws. Even Ken Ham gets that one right. He complains about “using the present to explain the past” and that is why he abuses children by teaching them to say “Were you there?!” I wish I could be present when he spouts that rubbish. I would say to him, “Yes, I was there, Ken.” And when he replies with, “No you weren’t!” I would say, “How do you know, Ken? You just told me that you would have to be there to witness the event in real time in order to know what happened. That would include whether or not I was there. But you used your common sense to validate uniformitarianism. You know that humans have finite life-spams and that I couldn’t have been around that long ago. When it came time to THINK LOGICALLY, you abandoned the “Were you there?” nonsense. Yes, Ken Ham is not as illogical as he pretends. And if an arsonist burned down the Creation Museum, he would not protest the arrest of the suspect caught walking away from the scene with receipts in his wallet showing he bought the gasoline container found at the scene (and showing he bought gasoline at that same Walmart) just minutes before. Plus, the suspect’s hands still had a gasoline smell and Ken’s common sense would tell him what happened. Ken Ham was NOT there to observe in real time, but he would not be so stupid as to reject forensic science, which learns about the past based upon evidence collected in the present—just like scientists do in many other fields. Yes, Ken Ham is not as foolish as he pretends.

        So many of your posts give the impression that scientists reach conclusions based upon just one or two tiny “trends” that they exaggerate and over-generalize. That is simply not true—though Ken Ham especially says such things on virtually a daily basis. Here’s just one example of many that are common among “creation science” advocates:

        “Evolutionists see two animals that look similar and they leap to the conclusion that they must have shared a common ancestor.” Wow. That is not how it looks. It is not simply that two animals look similar. It involves comparing MANY species and building tree structures based upon many details of those comparisons between those many species. The remarkable fact is that we find nested hierarchies. Of course, you will never hear most YECs talk about NESTED HIERARCHIES—and how we saw them for over a century in comparing morphologies. And once genome mapping became possible and dropped in price, the same nested hierarchies were seen at the molecular level, just as The Theory of Evolution PREDICTED all along! I have yet to see an evolution-denier explain why that GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY (brought by genomic mapping) for The Theory of Evolution to be falsified instead became yet another OVERWHELMING argument for evolutionary processes.

        Of course, non-scientists like Ham don’t talk about nested hierarchies or any other compelling argument for The Theory of Evolution because he’s never bothered to learn the basics. Indeed, misuse of science terminology, strawman arguments, and dishonest quote-mines are so rampant in denialist presentations because the same people who claim to be sufficiently informed about science to correct the science academy sound like they couldn’t pass eighth grade science.

        By the way, one of the most appalling farces in that regard is Dr. Benjamin Carson, the famous surgeon whose rags-to-riches story was a TV movie years ago. He’s currently doing the banquet circuit so he can fund-raise and test the waters for a run for president. I once read an “interview” at the Seventh Day Adventist website where he was talking about the evils of evolution and how the universe was intelligently designed. Now as a Bible-affirming Christian, I’m fine with talking about design and God’s obvious wisdom being displayed in his creation, but ID as promoted by The Discovery Institute and various non-scientists like Stephen Meyer is an embarrassment to us as Christ-followers. But my principal surprise with Carson was how many examples he gave that a sixth grade science class would cure. For example,he talked about the distance of the earth to the sun and “If the sun were a million miles closer we would burn to a crisp. If a millions miles further, we would freeze to death.” Of course, as I explained in a comment I posted under the interview [which was deleted without response and the comment section disabled permanently], the earth isn’t in a circular orbit but in an elliptical one [Dr. Carson, meet Mr. Kepler!], which we’ve known for centuries. Every year the earth gets closer to the sun by a few million miles and then further by a few million miles. Yet, we are not killed by the harsh extremes! In fact, for us in the northern hemisphere, we are furthest from the heat of the sun in the summer and closest to the sun in the winter. So Dr. Carson’s “proof” that our creator “perfectly designed” to place us at “the precise distance” from the sun for survival is so filled with simple, sixth-grade science errors that my list of errors exceeded a dozen major bloopers just like that one. Tim, do you understand why I as a Christ-follower am embarrassed when such science-illiterates claim to be qualified to correct the scientists?

        Of course, I got no further with Dr. Carson and the SDA website admin than I get with most of my Christian brethren—-yet they are all certain they are called by God to rebuke and tutor the world’s scientists on “correct science”. Tim, do you think that this might possibly explain why non-Christians laugh at us?

        I don’t doubt Dr. Carson’s sincerity nor most of my YEC friends. Indeed, I spent years in the “creation science” movement and I still have many friends of that persuasion at my church. But it frustrates me that only about one out of 20 YEC advocates I encounter online are ever “teachable” concerning the science mistakes they post. My efforts to help them rarely turns into a fruitful discussion about basic sixth grade science; instead I’m told that I’m actually an atheist, or “under demonic influence”, or at best a “compromising Christian”. (I probably deserve it because I use to talk the same way when I didn’t know any better and I blindly trusted my creation science heroes like Dr. Gish and Morris.)

        Frankly, I feel the same way when I read your erroneous “science factoids” above which you’ve probably picked up from various “creation science” authors. (I make that assumption because your arguments are identical to theirs.) For example, assuming that my post here finally worked, I reviewed your claims about diamonds and Carbon 14. Even aside from the major science sloopers in your summary of the argument, if you actually examined the journal articles associated with the problems radiometric dating has always posed for C-14 and C-13 in diamonds, the YEC argument you are repeating is about a half century out of date. Even if you corrected your sixth grade science errors on the topic (Of course there is carbon in diamonds. That is what diamonds are!), the mechanisms by which radioisotopes developed IN SITU in the diamonds have been appearing in the journal literature for years. But because YEC authors rarely do careful research of their own (and often don’t understand the journal articles they quote-mine) they make huge gaffes that explain why real scientists ignore them. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard CS speakers false assume that diamonds are formed from organic materials under pressure just like coal does. But coal is a sedimentary rock while diamonds are igneous. As the joke against “creation science” has been made for years now: “Superman can make diamond from coal but nature rarely if ever does.”

        I find it frustrating to read your list of “evidence” and arguments which you’ve apparently picked up from creation science websites, because they are filled with the same kinds of amateurish science bloopers. Even if there were a valid point in there somewhere, no science-literate individual is likely to take them seriously when it is clear that you don’t know what it is that you are copying. As a truth-honoring Christian, Tim, you need to admit it. You don’t understand the “science” that you are copying and pasting (whether you are rewording it or not.) For example, the following statement is sure to crack up the science-literate readers:

        “Carbon, which due to its decay rate cannot last longer than 60,000 years, is consistently found in diamonds and other samples believed to be millions or even billions of years old (http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-breakthroughs)! What is the mainstream science answer: contamination.”

        No. To say that diamonds are contaminated with carbon is extremely funny! It is like saying that the tree in my front yard has been contaminated by wood!

        Scientists are still studying the fascinating question of exactly whether and which fungi and bacteria are flourishing (or at least surviving) in subterranean rock. Do they have some means of introducing atmospheric C-14 into the rock? It is not yet entirely clear. But we DO know that Uranium/Thorium decay produces C-14 all over and sometimes that means introducing C-14 into diamonds in that IGNEOUS (not sedimentary) rock.

        What I see you doing again and again is ignoring the explanations scientists have discovered and simply conclude, “Let’s ignore all of the mountains of evidence for an old earth and decide that this one obscure phenomenon that is still being studied must override them all by default! Yes, if there is even a tiny bit of ambiguity, we will simply decide “We on the YEC side get to count the ambiguities as wins for us!” No. Real science doesn’t work that way. We already KNOW by the mountains of evidence that the earth is very old.

        But this is what humors me the most: The same “creation scientists” who claim that the earth is just 6,000 years old (or slightly older) are willing to pretend that C-14 in some diamonds is PROOF of a young earth—-even though if one ACCEPTED that evidence, it would debunk Young Earth Creationism because the C-14 would suggest a 50,000 year old earth!

        I see THAT double-standard all the time. YECs pretend that evidence allegedly AGAINST an old earth is somehow an automatic vindication of a 6,000 year old earth. But if their logic was consistent, the evidence would debunk BOTH points of view. Of course, if I’m looking for logical consistency, “creation science” is the last place I would go. My favorite is that they denounced uniformitarian methodologies—and then they publish “100 Evidence for a Young Earth”, at least 95 of which are based on uniformitarian assumptions and reasoning!

        You ended your discourse with: “What is the mainstream science answer: contamination.” No, Tim. That is NOT the mainstream science answer. However, contamination IS something which specialists in the field of radiometric dating constantly guard against. Many articles have been published about the special challenged of dating diamonds and carbon and everyone agrees that inert gasses must be surrounding the sample at the point of collection and during transport. Instead of implying that there is something silly of deficient about their contamination worries, you should appreciate their adherence to the scientific method and to controlling sample purity and preventing the kinds of wild reports which ignored basic aquality control procedures that made the R.A.T.E. Project such a disaster. (Yes, the R.A.T.E. Project was one of the very few circumstances in which “creation science” advocates tried to collect and analyze their own samples. They made quality control blunders which could have been avoided if they had read journal articles even of fifty years ago!)

        Tim, I am much less concerned about your personal decisions about the age of the earth and the validity of The Theory of Evolution than I am about your willingness to repeat horribly inaccurate science and construct straw men. After all, a straw man argument is simply lying about your opponent and what he affirms—and as a Christian follower that is something we should not do. Wouldn’t you agree? But you are going to continue to post pseudoscience and lies as long as you are getting your information from horribly discredited sources.

        Now don’t assume that to be a Young Earth Creationist, one has to lie and obfuscate. While I’ll admit that it is easy to get that impression if one judges by the vast majority of “creation science” websites. But I have found a few exception (though far too few.) Dr. Todd Wood is a committed Young Earth Creationist and yet I have NEVER seen him lie about the science, erect straw man caricatures, use science terms incorrectly, or repeat any of the infamous slogans and mantras which has made Young Earth Creationist so disreputable.

        I encourage you to read what is probably the best page on his “creation science” website:
        http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

        I can strongly disagree with Dr. Wood on the age of the earth and other topics and yet fully respect him for his honesty and Christ-like behavior. Not once have I seen him deceptively quote-mine nor have I seen him “Lying for Jesus.” I also respect him for telling the truth to his fellow YECs even when they hate him for refusing to validate the straw arguments they publish. Dr. Wood is living proof that one can be a Young Earth Creationist without lying and without flunking sixth grade science. He is my brother in Christ and I applaud the way he serves as a role model for those who care about truth.

        Posted by Allen Miller | July 5, 2014, 4:17 am
        • Please don’t write entire books in the comments section. I will allow this one since you’ve been having troubles posting, but this is also an example of overwhelming your opponent – which is to give too much information to make them look foolish in whatever response they give. Kent Hovind was a master of this technique. I could copy/paste Andrew Snelling’s 2 volume “Earths Catastrophic Past” which is well over 1000 pages of research on the Grand Canyon and flood geology and it would make your several page response here look foolish, but that is not the point. The point is “comments” should be as brief as possible – pick one main point and/or link to further information – but when you hurl elephants it is unprofessional. I will respond to your information at a later date. Thanks.

          Posted by Tim | July 5, 2014, 1:16 pm
          • No you couldn’t, Tim. This is my own original material. I am not copying 1000 pages of research. Secondly, I”m NOT doing a Gish Gallop which is a long series of disconnected points. I’m explaining to you the things you don’t understand. That requires me to teach just like I would in class, point by point. Tediously slowly. I am NOT cut-and-pasting. This is a slow process because I’m having to cover semesters of material in a short introduction.

            “– but when you hurl elephants it is unprofessional.” And your complaint is childish. I am not “hurling elephants”. (The term refers to tactics similar to “100 Evidence for a Young Earth”. It refers to quantity of debate points, not the number of words.) If you had a basic foundation in science, I could cover your errors in a few paragraphs. But it was you who didn’t understand that diamonds are made of carbon. What do you expect?

            You are doing what we often see on Young Earth Creationist websites: You will censor and then outright block those who show your claims are ridiculous. You have seen my posts and you don’t want the public to read them on your blog because readers would see all of your errors. So I’m not at all surprised that you threaten to censor them. (BSF did a study about a year ago on AiG and Ken Ham websites. The average time for even a comment which slightly disagreed with Ham’s positions lasted about 18 minutes if not immediately. I know the routine. Yet, no matter how angry some atheist might get about my theistic posts on their websites NOT ONCE have I ever witnessed censorship of anybody’s post. Why do you think that is?)

            You claim to debunk established science and then complain when your arguments are refuted. You and I both know that that is why you are complaining.

            If you can’t answer the arguments, fine. Let the readers decide how much they wish to read and who is telling the truth. In TIMED DEBATES, the Gish Gallup is unprofessional and evasive because there are obvious limits in the allotted times for presentation. In print, there are no such limits. It is called DOING WHAT SCIENCE DOES. You are illustrating in your complaint why “creation science” is plagued by a failure to read those long, tedious, hard-thinking-required, peer-reviewed journal articles.

            You can learn from reading my posts or you can reject them. You and I both know what you are going to do. You can concede that your points are wrong OR you can answer my rebuttalls. Censorship is the usual “creation science” tactic. (That’s why it is rare that YECs are willing to debate on websites where they don’t control the microphone.)

            So are you going to debate or censor, Tim? I extended to you the courtesy of my time. I’m retired from the classroom and I don’t normally tutor except occasional international students without other options. I’m teaching you without any cost to you—and yet you are complaining that the information hose is more than you can drink. But you can take all the time you need to read slowly and think through the evidence. Until you do, you are going to continue to think you’ve trumped the science academy with ridiculous claims about subjects you don’t understand.

            By the way, Tim, your posts on this page have already been linked on a series of emails to the entire Bible.and.Science.Forum subscription list along with my replies. So even if you censor my replies here, forum readers will still read your posts from this page and all of my posts (whether censored or not) within the email newsletters. So, you can block the general public from seeing your claims debunked but the BSF list will still be able to read the entire debate. (I have already been sending my posts to other participants by mail because I anticipated that you would be unwilling to let the public see them.)

            By the way, Andrew Snellings rubbish has been rejected by the academy for very good reasons. If he wants to debate me he is welcomed. But I’m not interested in your links to others. It is YOU who don’t understand the basic principles at stake here so why don’t YOU explain your position. Linking to Snelling won’t make any reliable scientific points because Snelling fails to make sense. (That’s not my position. That’s the conclusion of the scientific method.) I’m more interested in YOUR claims about science. You claim to understand radiometric dating but what you’ve posted makes clear you don’t even understand the basic physics involved.

            Big claims require big piles of evidence. That is how it works. Brevity doesn’t help your case. It is what debunks it because your statements defy basic scientific facts.

            Posted by Allen Miller | July 5, 2014, 11:26 pm
        • First you say uniformitarianism does not exist, then you say the real way to say it is “the present is the key to the past” – and that that is very alive and well. YES, that it what I mean by saying uniformitarianism. It’s the same thing. The rate and processes of present times are used to calculate events in the past. What a waste of time talking about it when it’s the same thing, don’t you think?

          “many of your posts give the impression that scientists reach conclusions based upon just one or two tiny “trends” that they exaggerate and over-generalize” They may read that way, but no I understand it is much more complicated than that. What I am attempting to do is break it down to its core meanings. Personally I understand there is much more involved, and I could go into it – but for sake of respecting people’s time I get down to the overall point. Can we talk about an actual issue yet?

          “I have yet to see an evolution-denier explain why that GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY (brought by genomic mapping) for The Theory of Evolution to be falsified instead became yet another OVERWHELMING argument for evolutionary processes.” Now, here we go. Show me a genetic mapping that shows macroevolution. If it only ever shows micro or adaptation, this topic is mute.

          Wow. You wrote a good 5 paragraphs and then finally got down to your response to my C14 topic: “It is not yet entirely clear.” Wow. I respect your attempt to educate me, but ya couldv’e made that a heck of a lot shorter friend.

          “the C-14 would suggest a 50,000 year old earth!” Um… I thought you had more science experience than me? Why would you assume the traced C14 would be at the end of it’s maximum life?? And even if it were, why would this be a problem for YECs who already understand accelerated decay?

          Allen, I thank you for your involvement on this topic, but your manners of posting are unacceptable. Not because I’m intimidated by the information – but because a great majority of your comments are longer in length than the actual post you are commenting on. That seems like a devious way to take control of this website. That just seems inappropriate and inconsiderate to me. It seems to be an attempt to sound smarter than the presenter. You very well may be – but that in and of itself does not make you correct. Just because I keep the topics here on the simple end for the layman doesn’t mean I don’t understand the concepts I’m talking about. And for you to assume you know my educational background is insulting.

          I see some honorable intentions in your posts, but I think this venue is not correct for them. Please feel free to email me through the link at the top of the page if you would like to continue talking with me. If you feel like I’m taking this discussion to a private place to shield myself from being outed – then you would reveal your true intentions: to out me publicly – a very non Christian thing to do. Again thank you, and I hope to talk to you some more.

          Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 2:26 am
          • ““the C-14 would suggest a 50,000 year old earth!” Um… I thought you had more science experience than me? Why would you assume the traced C14 would be at the end of it’s maximum life?? And even if it were, why would this be a problem for YECs who already understand accelerated decay?”

            You are showing your ignorance (or possibly denial) again. The half-life of carbon-14 is around 5,730 years (look up half-life if you need to). After around ten half-lives, amounts of a radioactive isotope cease to be easily detectable. That is after around 50,000 or 60,000 years in the case of carbon-14. Allen is simply saying that if carbon-14 was genuinely detectable ‘in’ a diamond it could still be up to 50,000 to 60,000 years old ie there’s no way all such diamonds would have to be less than 6,000 years old.

            As for accelerated decay, that is a creationist fantasy that does not and could not exist in the particular way that YECs require it to in order to maintain their anti-scientific worldview. It is a shameful crass rescuing device, invented so they can say to critics or to ignorant people who seek their advice “No we’re not wrong, you/they are!”

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 5:01 pm
  8. >”Do a Google search or image search for human artifacts found in coal deposits or “out-of-place artifacts”.

    Better yet: Search the peer-reviewed scientific journals to learn about them. If you do your research by doing a Google search, you will be looking at literally THOUSANDS of webpages which are traceable back to a handful of unreputable sources. Like most urban myths, the “everybody knows that” phenomenon takes over. When I first studied this topic a few years ago, I found it fascinating to follow the chain of quotations back to books of the 1800s which sometimes DID contain the examples cited—but the modern day articles based on them LEFT OUT the portions of those books and papers which explained the hoaxes and the misinterpretations! It was cherry picking and dishonest quote-mining at its best. I found it worked much the same as the infamous POLYSTRATE FOSSILS! (Kent Hovind still includes an illustration in his books that came from a geology paper from the late 1800’s. Hovind decided to borrow the illustration but not the explanation that went with it, a geologists explanation debunking the polystrate fossil myth.)

    Just as medical research is based on controlled studies and not what my cousin’s aunt and her neighbor read somewhere, there are good reasons why “mainstream science” is not so easily fooled. If you let the Internet be your guide, be prepared fro “Vitamin O” and “energized water” and homeopathic concentrations that don’t leave even one atom of the original material in the magic cure.

    >Mainstream science maintains that coal seams were formed over millions of years of gradual, uniform deposits well before humans came onto the scene. Yet, there are many examples of manmade items found embedded in these coal deposits and other rock layers (http://s8int.com/page8.html).
    >

    Did you happen to notice the lack of citations on that hodge-podge compilation of hearsay, curio shops, and Ripley’s Believe it Or Not? If that is your “evidence”, do you think it would make sense for “mainstream science” to throw out MOUNTAINS of well documented and provenanced evidence for that questionable pile of take-my-word-for-it? Science has demanding standards for a reason. This is very similar to how the polystrate fossil myths got started. (By the way, a number of the items shown at the page are famous examples of “evidence” which the owners would NOT allow real scientists to inspect—much like the owners of “Piltdown Man” cast suspicion on their find from Day 1 because they refused to cooperate with the academy by giving full access to the specimens and to their field notes.)

    No, hearsay is not science, especially when we have mountains of GOOD evidence that has been carefully studied, documented, and published for peer-review.

    (Of course, when I was a Young Earth Creationist, I was told that here is where we protest that an “evil atheist world-wide conspiracy” plots and schemes to prevent all of this “alternative evidence” from being accepted. Yes, I was expected to believe that all of the world’s geologists, physicists, biologists, paleontologists, astronomers, chemists, and anthropologists were all plotting to fool the world so that everyone would become an atheist. Eventually, I became fascinated by the phenomenon of conspiracy-theories in and of themselves. When all of the evidence is against a position, one of the last remaining strategies is to claim that a conspiracy hides the truth!)

    >The only response from mainstream science is that these anomalies must be forgeries.

    No. I’ve researched these types of “evidence” for years. A few have been determined to be forgeries. But in most cases, there were a variety of not-so-evil factors obfuscating the facts. I won’t try to include all of the details in this limited venue.

    Now before someone declares me an “evil atheists” or another “conspirator”, I will mention that I”m a born-again, Bible-believing, evangelical minister, retired seminary professor, and Bible translation consultant. (I was also a lecturer in a science department of a large state university, then a tenure-track professor at a private secular university, and then a science professor at a prominent Christian university. Then I changed disciplines and joined the seminary faculty at that institution and several others to follow. So I have an academic background that includes both science and Biblical studies. In retirement I’m involved in bring both Bible translations and seminary textbooks into languages that have not previously been well-served by educational materials.) I also have considerable interest in encouraging Christ-followers not to let their opinions about science result in unnecessary and non-existent conflicts between God’s creation (science) and God’s Word (the Bible.) God is not a liar. He doesn’t fill his creation with evidence that misleads us and he doesn’t want us to heed his written revelation while ignoring the answers he provides in his creation.

    I can still type at high speeds but I often will drop a word now and then or substitute a similar word that doesn’t make sense. So if any statement is hard to follow, feel free to ask me. It is my prayer that young people will not repeat some of the mistakes which I made in my younger years as an overzealous science professor who thought he was qualified to declare all of the world’s scientists wrong and evil in how they understood the evidence in God’s creation. I was the fool that the Book of Proverbs talks about, who scorns knowledges and refuses instruction. Even though I knew relatively little about radiometric dating, atavisms, ERVs, geologic strata, and astrophysics, I read THE GENESIS FLOOD and personally worked with Dr. Gish and Dr. Morris—so I thougth I knew all the answers. I simply presumed that they were godly men who knew what they were talking about. I didn’t have to check their quotations and citations because they surely wouldn’t miss anything, right? They surely wouldln’t mislead anyone, right? And seeing how they prayer to the same God the Father I prayer to, I figured God kept them “right” and revealed things to them that the world’s scientists could never hope to know. Yes, I was a young fool. But eventually I started re-examining the scriptures for myself and I also realized that I could trust the answers God gives in his creation.

    So……..I end my day wishing you well and wishing you all of the wonder and excitement I feel whenever I investigate God’s creation. I can pursue the evidence wherever it leads because I know that God is not a deceiver and I can trust the answers that appear in his creation just as I can trust his Word.

    Blessings on you.

    Posted by Allen Joseph | July 4, 2014, 3:29 am
    • I’m not sure what creationist movement you were involved in, but I’ve never heard the leaders I’ve read or listened to talk about any atheist/satan led plan to deceive the world with evolution. If that exists, it is FAR from my position. That is why I try to always define what the presuppositions are, and have on numerous occasions admitted why those presupps make sense given what information they decide to include in their research.

      The main presupp between Christian evolutionists and creationists is uniformitarianism. You simply cannot prove that just because the Colorado River is slowly cutting the Grand Canyon TODAY, that is always has. That is an assumption. It’s fine if you want to hold that assumption. But it is not fine to present that assumption as fact. And it is not okay to tell me that assumption is more viable than my assumption of catastrophism (which I also cannot prove). So.. my overall point has always been that we are in the same boat. We both have beliefs about the past that cannot be proven. Faith.

      You have just as much faith in your theory of origins as I do mine. It is not, nor has it ever been an argument over who has more evidence. It’s about a question of how you decide to interpret that evidence that makes all the difference in the world. Does God word come first… or does man’s? I’m not calling man satanic here, but I’m just putting it in it’s rightful place. You seem to be defending man’s word quite a bit.

      Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 3:38 am
  9. How do you know that there is no other word in existence apart from ‘Man’s’? Especially on scientific matters.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 4, 2014, 4:28 am
  10. 1. there was never any such thing found. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dinosaur/blood.html

    2. there was never any such thing found. While you do everything you can to twist and distort evidence in # 1, this is just an outright lie, and a pretty childish one.

    3. You should look into the role of gene duplication in the formation of the vertebrate blood-clotting cascade. Behe avoids doing so as well.

    4. In the case of someone who thinks that all isotopes of carbon decay into daughter elements–well there is no way to explain the matter to him.

    5. Google “oort cloud”.

    If you have nothing to offer but lies and ignorance, why bother to post?

    Posted by helenaconstantine | July 4, 2014, 10:31 pm
    • 1. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=soft+tissue+found+in+dinosaur+fossils

      2. Did you follow the link in the point? Also I like #6 here: http://listverse.com/2007/10/01/top-10-out-of-place-artefacts/.

      3. Gene duplication is simply duplicating a strand. So for example: say the strand is XYZ, duplicate it and now you have XYZXYZ. Where is the new information? If it were XYZXYA I would agree. Duplication makes no new information.

      4. I understand how radiometric decay works. How do you explain C14 in diamonds? Let me guess… contamination, right?

      5. Uh… I talked about the Oort Cloud. It has never been observed. Perhaps you should google God? LOL. Seriously saying Google Oort Cloud is no better than me telling an atheist to google God. Neither are observable. Neither are scientific.

      Posted by Tim | July 4, 2014, 10:46 pm
      • “Duplication makes no new information.” Your opinion.

        And just because something has not been directly observed does not mean that it is not out there (within reason).

        Your opinions are a travesty of science.

        Science is about real things (as well as disproven things) even if the real things in question are not spoken about in the ancient Bible.

        If the Bible spoke of a hidden repository of comets you would insist it exists even though it has not been observed.

        Note – many comets approaching the Sun come in on a trajectory that is very different to the plane of the planets, minor planets, dwarf planets, asteroids and so forth. Thus making the Kuiper Belt/Scattered Disk less likely to be where they ‘reside’ when far from Earth.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 5, 2014, 12:25 am
        • You seem to hold to the idea that duplication does make new information? Tell me this… burn a copy of a CD track for track but double up track 1 so it plays twice. Do you have a new song?

          Posted by Tim | July 5, 2014, 12:28 am
          • I ANSWERED your question, lying censoring blogger.

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 5, 2014, 12:53 am
            • I saw no answer to the question about duplicating a CD, How do you make the new song?

              Posted by Tim | July 5, 2014, 3:01 am
              • In reply to Tim’s CD query re gene duplication (again, don’t know what happened the first time) I’m not an expert on gene duplication but that I believe the CD to be a wrong analogy. (CDs do not mate and reproduce for one thing.)

                I am reminded of this as well (though it’s not his best article in the current series): http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/07/understanding-c-5.html

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 5, 2014, 8:20 pm
                • Wait… so your whole big comeback I was waiting for was “wrong analogy”. Do you know what an analogy is? Do you think I’m really claiming that CDs mate? Sounds like you are using a distraction to keep yourself from discussing the topic. If you duplicate ANYTHING how would you get brand-new information?

                  Posted by Tim | July 5, 2014, 9:38 pm
                  • The person trying to avoid scientific reality (and pretending to know what they do not know and experts do know) is you not me. Here – please try this:
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_by_gene_duplication
                    The way YECs debate is very childish. They have no respect for anyone else it would appear.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 5, 2014, 9:56 pm
                    • From your link: “duplication creates redundancy, and redundancy provides fuel for innovation”… kinda sketchy there. Do they care to expand on that philosophical thought? Yes they do. They go on to say: “If a gene duplication is preserved, the most likely fate is that random mutations in one duplicate gene copy will eventually cause the gene to become non-functional” WOW – a LOSS of function, just like I suggested. They also claim that “functional divergence” is another possibility. I followed that link to read about that. They talk about new functions. That is not what I’m asking about. Yes, we already know that loss of information can lead to never before seen functions. Such as the brown fur to white fur mutation in grizzleys to polar bears. But again, that is a LOSS of genetic information and could never be used to claim that through this process a rock was able to GAIN the information necessary to eventually become human. That is ridiculous and not scientific. Care to try again?

                      Posted by Tim | July 5, 2014, 10:24 pm
                    • In reply to Tim, you appear to be muddling gene duplication with loss of genetic information.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_duplication
                      http://content.csbs.utah.edu/~rogers/bio5410/Readings/Zhang-TRE-18-292.pdf

                      “A rock was able to GAIN the information necessary to eventually become human”. Pathetic immature childish strawman ‘argument’. Which is all most YECs are capable of.

                      You and other YECs are telling the world that scientists are ‘not’ doing science. Well, nor are YECs. They are doing anti-intellectual religiously-motivated arrogance.

                      I would be grateful if Helena could comment since she was the one who first brought up this particular topic.

                      Though I note that Allen has also made a new post.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 5, 2014, 10:47 pm
          • TIM: You seem to hold to the idea that duplication does make new information?

            It’s basic Information Theory.

            TIM: Tell me this… burn a copy of a CD track for track but double up track 1 so it plays twice. Do you have a new song?

            No, but you have CD’s which differ. The fact that track 1 appears twice is additional information

            Posted by riandouglas | August 2, 2014, 2:29 am
            • But it’s not NEW information. If I want to develop lungs from a fish I need to create brand NEW information not just double up the info for gills.

              Posted by Tim | August 2, 2014, 1:10 pm
              • There is more material for possible mutations to affect, and which natural selection might favour.

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 3, 2014, 12:21 am
                • If you take the CD analogy thats like handing the tracks over to a remixer and saying here’s another copy of the CD so that should me more music to you to pull from. He would say no, I only need one copy – making another copy doesn’t give me any more material to work with.

                  Posted by Tim | August 3, 2014, 5:27 pm
                  • Introduce copying errors into the process. So you have a population of CD’s, each slightly different. Most differences aren’t really noticable, some of them make the tracks sound worse, some make it sound better.

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 3, 2014, 7:17 pm
                    • Actually it would be like this… most are not noticeable, of the ones that are noticeable 90% remove music (skips a section) and 10% create some new combination never before heard (but consisting of previous heard music – like a remix). That rate is detrimental to the overall CD. If we keep it up we’ll eventually have no more music left to select from.

                      And the science confirms genetic entropy.

                      Posted by Tim | August 3, 2014, 7:38 pm
                    • Mutations don’t always just “remix”. Changes can quite easily alter the amino acid coding which can quite easily change the form and structure of the resulting protein, or change the way other proteins are regulated.

                      Your analogy of 90% of noticable changes being complete removal of a section of music is not analogous to actual observed genetics. Most of the deleterious changes are likely to result in music which is a bit less pleasant than the “original”.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 3, 2014, 9:49 pm
                    • So, are you saying our lungs are just “less pleasant” than the original gills we used to have?

                      Posted by Tim | August 3, 2014, 9:52 pm
                    • That’s not what I said. You made the statement that 9% of noticable changes were complete removals of pieces of music, and that other 10% were simply changes of existing music.

                      I pointed out that both of those claims are false with respect to evolutionary theory, and observation.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 3, 2014, 9:55 pm
                  • As I have told you before CDs do NOT reproduce themselves over lots and lots of generations.

                    People do not admire genomes and then throw them away – and then create the same genome again but ‘sounding’ a bit different and a bit more modern.

                    Music CDs are not genomes.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 3, 2014, 7:37 pm
                    • If you cannot follow the analogy that is acceptable, but your response is not necessary. The other poster (riandouglas) gets it.

                      Posted by Tim | August 3, 2014, 7:40 pm
                    • “The other poster (riandouglas) gets it..”

                      Please explain what he gets that I don’t. I wish to know. Also, does he agree that he has ‘got’ something that I haven’t?

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 3, 2014, 11:21 pm
                    • He can work with the CD analogy. When you have no answer you simply say “yeah, well CDs don’t reproduce…” That’s not an answer, that’s a cop-out.

                      Posted by Tim | August 4, 2014, 1:48 am
                    • The CD analogy is pretty poor Tim. Not sure I “get” it so much as perhaps I’m willing to stretch it a little further than Ashley.

                      Funny that you complain about Ashley not getting your analogy when it seems rather obvious you don’t get the topic under discussion (Evolutionary BIology) 🙂

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 4, 2014, 2:16 am
                    • Riandouglas
                      Amen.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 4, 2014, 3:49 pm
  11. I think WordPress has problems when someone tries to post from a Google Account. I kept getting error messages while logged in through Google—but it looks like some of them DID eventually appear even though the error gave the impression they didn’t.

    I have since logged into WordPress using Facebook validation—and now my posts are working.

    So I think what appeared to be a “block” was WordPress errors.

    Posted by Allen Miller | July 5, 2014, 4:20 am
  12. You wrote: “I will approve your further comments when I get a chance to formulate a response.”

    Who ever heard of a debate where one side can’t be heard until when and if the other side thinks up an adequate response? Others might want to respond to the comments even if you don’t.

    Why are you silencing the other side until you are ready? Is that fair? Or are you afraid that the arguments are too strong and you don’t want us readers to see them? Why don’t you let us decide the merit of each side’s arguments?

    I’m not saying I agree with the other side’s argument. I agree with some of Mr. Haworth’s statements and strongly disagree with others. But I want to hear what everybody has to say. Why not allow it?

    I have hesitated joining this discussion because I don’t want to waste time expressing myself only to see you block my comments because they don’t agree with yours. How many days are you withholding the comments you don’t like?

    Posted by Steven Poole | July 6, 2014, 6:10 pm
    • I was stated that I would approve HIS further comments at a later time because he already posted like 15 pages worth of information. My original post was only 2 or 3 pages worth of information. I explained in future comments that I felt that technique was inappropriate. If your comment is longer than the original post, there’s probably a problem. It is not the commenter’s job to take me through an entire college course. Making a counter point in 1-2 paragraphs and then linking to additional information is normally sufficient. I am not hiding any comments that had any substance to them. I did hide a couple that were simply accusations like “you’re a liar” with no additional points to back that up. I obviously don’t block comments that don’t agree with mine or else this comments section would be empty 🙂

      Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 6:23 pm
    • Steven
      Although he has refused some, Tim is not holding back any of MY comments to my knowledge but rather some of Allen’s attempted comments (he has told me that that is the case).
      Not sure which of my comments you ‘strongly disagree’ with.

      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 6:53 pm
  13. Tim is presumably still debating with himself how or indeed whether he should respond publicly to Allen’s question “So, Tim, do you still think gene duplication does not increase information in the genome?”

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 7:17 pm
    • I went back to Allen’s response to the topic of gene duplication. His entire several-word thesis could have been boiled down to: look up “protein folding” and “polyploidy”. Honestly, it could have. And that would have been fine. I would have allowed that. I didn’t need to read an hour’s worth of commentary with it.

      I already understand that what he will be trying to get me to understand is that with the collection of data available in DNA we can make all types of combinations to create all kinds of results. It is similar to computer language only being consisted of different combinations of 1’s and 0’s. I already agree with that point. The data is already there, it is just being moved around, copied, reinserted, folded – use whatever terminology you want. The fact is the information is ALREADY there – no NEW information… again!

      Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 8:41 pm
      • Tim: The fact is the information is ALREADY there – no NEW information… again!

        This is false. As an example, look at nylon eating bacteria. The “information” (genetic sequence) which led to the ability to digest nylon did not exist prior to humans inventing nylon itself – the gene sequence did not exist prior, and was indeed novel/new.

        This is an example of gene duplication with subsequent mutation leading to new function.

        Posted by riandouglas | August 4, 2014, 8:33 pm
        • “There are abundant examples in the evolutionary literature where genetic degradation has been used in an attempt to show an increase in information over time. Examples include …. and nylon digestion by bacteria (which involves a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid). Since they all involve decay of prior information, none of these examples are satisfactory evidence for an increase in biological complexity over time.”

          http://creation.com/mutations-new-information

          Also see here (http://creation.com/the-adaptation-of-bacteria-to-feeding-on-nylon-waste) where they list six additional reasons why this is not a good example.

          Posted by Tim | August 5, 2014, 2:32 pm
          • Tim, the source you quote shows a lack of understanding of information theory, along with the usual misunderstanding and.or misrepresentation of evolutionary theory.

            By any measure used within information theory, the advent of the ability to digest nylon is a novel gene sequence, which represents an increase in information – it’s a great example of the “new” information you were claiming can’t happen.

            Also, given an environment in which nylon is abundant, the ability to digest it increases the fitness of an organism, in this case the bacteria. There is no degradation here, unless you assume that the gene sequence prior to the evolution of this function was in some way correct – which is not something that would be claimed under evolutionary theory (it reeks of importing other presumptions into the discussion).

            Posted by riandouglas | August 5, 2014, 4:18 pm
            • From the quote: “a loss of substrate specificity in one enzyme contained on an extra-chromosomal plasmid”. A loss. But even if it were an increase, again I resort to the evidence from genetic entropy that the minimal amounts of increases can never come close to making up for the overwhelming amounts of deleterious action occurring.

              Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 2:17 pm
              • “Loss” doesn’t mean a loss of information, or degredation, or anything of the sort.
                For example, if we have a population of 10 individuals with the same allele of a gene, eg. ‘ababab’, and a single individual loses the central ‘ab’ there has been a net INCREASE in the information contained in the genes of the population, since prior to the loss, we could represent the genetic information compactly (eg. 10 of ‘ababab’), while now our representation is lengthier (eg. 9 of ‘ababab’ and 1 of ‘abab’). Basic information theory.

                You can resort to your claims of “genetic entropy” all you want – the fact that they don’t actually apply to evolutionary biology in the way you demand or renders such claims moot.

                Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 3:52 pm
              • Tim, instead of your reliance upon creationist propoganda, perhaps you could refer to the primary literature on the topic at hand? 🙂

                Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 3:55 pm
                • Why would I do that? If I were to tell you that there were two history books – one was full of errors and misrepresentations and one was accurate – which would you read? You see we just differ on who has the book of errors and who has the true book – that’s it. I’m sure you don’t read creationist material when you learn of breakthrough in evolutionary biology do you?

                  Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 6:38 pm
                  • Why would I do that? If I were to tell you that there were two history books – one was full of errors and misrepresentations and one was accurate – which would you read?

                    Umm, because you’re talking about evolutionary biology here. Perhaps if you went to the primary literature instead of relying upon the distortions and misrepresentations presented by YEC groups, you’d have a better understanding of what it is you reject?

                    You see we just differ on who has the book of errors and who has the true book – that’s it.

                    Not quite. I have an intersubjective means of separating the wheat from the chaff, while you assert that your books doesn’t have errors.

                    I’m sure you don’t read creationist material when you learn of breakthrough in evolutionary biology do you?

                    No, but it seems you do. And not only that, but it seems you don’t bother to read what the actual biologists have said.
                    If I want to know what creationists actually claim, I don’t read evolutionary biology. You seem not to do the reverse.

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 7:13 pm
                    • Have you read Dr. Wile’s blog at the bottom of my post? It is fantastic. He is a PhD in nuclear chemisty and often blogs about new scientific findings. As most creation science material I read they present what the scientists are saying/explaining first, then present why they believe their interpretations fail. I believe most people stop at the first point.

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 9:44 pm
                    • There are Christian blogs that demonstrate very ably how YEC-ism is wrong. I could name them.

                      I suspect that YECs do not read those blogs.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 10:39 pm
                    • Yes, there are good YEC blogs and bad ones. There are good evolution blogs and bad ones.

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 10:40 pm
                    • Tim
                      I had in mind blogs such as these, written by professing Christians, which politely totally debunk YEC dogma especially by showing that all of Earth history cannot be crammed into 6,000 years:
                      http://questioninganswersingenesis.blogspot.co.uk/
                      http://thenaturalhistorian.com/category/blog/

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 10:50 pm
                    • Tim: Have you read Dr. Wile’s blog at the bottom of my post? It is fantastic.

                      No, and I doubt it 🙂

                      Tim: He is a PhD in nuclear chemisty and often blogs about new scientific findings.

                      A PhD in one field doesn’t make one an expert in another field. I suspect this might be the case here.

                      Tim: As most creation science material I read they present what the scientists are saying/explaining first, then present why they believe their interpretations fail. I believe most people stop at the first point.

                      I would guess that the reasons they believe science fails is because it doesn’t conform to their interpretation of scripture. I doubt they go much further than that (for example, just why should we favour an interpretation of a book over an interpretation of empirical reality?)

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 12:02 am
                    • I suggest you read Dr. Wile explain why iron would not work as a way to preserve dino soft tissue in this blog: http://blog.drwile.com/?p=11753

                      Posted by Tim | August 7, 2014, 2:17 pm
                    • “I suggest you read Dr. Wile explain why iron would not work as a way to preserve dino soft tissue in this blog”. I HAVE read it Tim, and – though a card-carrying YEC – Dr Wile is not dogmatic in the way that you claim.

                      Some quotes from his piece – in the order in which they appear:
                      “While the study represents an excellent first step in understanding how soft tissue can be found in fossils, it doesn’t solve the mystery of how it could be preserved for millions of years”;
                      “There are at least three things that indicate lots more research has to be done on this issue”;
                      (He says the scientists only have succeeded in demonstrating ostrich blood vessel preservation lasting two years, he suggests the authors need to vary the temperature more realistically with a freeze-thaw cycle, and he suggests that iron is not responsible for all soft-tissue preservation in dinosaur bones.)
                      He concludes:
                      “In my mind, then, here’s what Schweitzer’s excellent study demonstrates: In at least some cases, iron can preserve soft tissue for a significant length of time. How long? That’s hard to say, especially since real-world conditions weren’t used in the experiment. Nevertheless, the study at least provides us with a starting point for explaining the preservation of soft tissue in fossils. If the study is extended and starts to use real-world conditions, it might explain how soft tissue can be preserved for hundreds or perhaps even thousands of years. I am not sure how it could be used to explain the preservation of soft tissue over millions of years, but I remain open to the possibility.”

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 7, 2014, 4:33 pm
                    • I finally found this comment. I honestly searched through all of them and this one wasn’t there, but I may have been severely tired at the moment too.

                      This is not “damning” quotes as you seemed to believe per your mass email. I am sure you are talking about the part where Dr. Wile remains open to the “possibility” of preservation over millions of years. What you may be missing is that even if proven that preservation could last for millions of years that would not renounce his YEC. It makes no impact either way. It would just mean that it is possible to preserve for millions of years, but not that millions of years had actually occurred.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:41 pm
                    • Seems like a reasonable analysis – I doubt the scientists themselves claim that they now completely understand the process which preserved the soft tissue. Your description of the blog post is misleading, btw. It’s not that Iron would not work, it’s that it’s shown limited usefulness so far – we don’t have a full explanation. I would expect a number of processes to be involved, not just the 1 the paper being analyzed looked into.

                      Also, you realise that as a YEC you need to explain how the soft tissue has been preserved for thousands of years, right? And you realise that you also do not have such an explanation, right?

                      So, I don’t see an argument for a young earth or against an old earth here. I see a phenomena we currently lack understanding of, and scientists looking to increase our understanding of it.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 4:53 pm
                    • I think it is much more believable to believe that the tissue survived for thousands rather than millions.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:08 am
                  • “I’m sure you don’t read creationist material when you learn of breakthrough in evolutionary biology do you?”
                    Speaking for myself, I read BOTH sides (usually YEC first and then the real science story they are critiquing). Something you say you would not do. Which is revealing.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 7:20 pm
                    • Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that I never read the original scientific material. I do that often as well. I can usually see through it myself just fine, but if I can’t then I consult what the major creationist organizations have to say about it and see if I agree or not.

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 9:47 pm
                    • Tim: I can usually see through it myself just fine, but if I can’t then I consult what the major creationist organizations have to say about it and see if I agree or not.

                      I love the assumption you’re making there, that the science is wrong.

                      What makes you think you’re knowledgeable enough to trust your opinion about the science in favour of experts in the field who have studied the subject for large parts of their lives in an effort to increase our collective understanding?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 12:05 am
                    • Because I already know the truth – it was revealed to all of us thousands of years ago.

                      Posted by Tim | August 7, 2014, 2:17 pm
                    • Because I already know the truth – it was revealed to all of us thousands of years ago.

                      Such hubris Tim. So you’re saying that you are 100% certain of the existence of God and the truth of Christianity? Or is your claim provisional – is there some evidence that would dissuade you from those presuppositions?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 4:54 pm
                    • I cannot fathom any such evidence.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:09 am
                    • So your belief is unfalsifiable?
                      You take it as being axiomatic rather than supported by reasons?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 3:18 am
                    • My belief is unfalsifiable just as yours is.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:42 pm
          • Tim, the link concerned with new information doesn’t seem to try to actually measure anything. It also makes the confused claim that new traits which are developed from preexisting DNA is somehow a corruption, and doesn’t represent “new information”, something which seems to simply be asserted without further justification.

            Can you actually justify the claim that the introduction of new alleles into a population does not represent an increase in information?

            Posted by riandouglas | August 5, 2014, 4:36 pm
          • “Always have an Answer”. Even if it is rubbish from a biased website which will not submit its claims to genuine scientific peer review

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 12:20 am
  14. They have decided that they are ‘right’ even when everything points to them being wrong.

    It’s a religious position not science. ‘Agreeing with God’.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 8:17 pm
    • Amen! I will agree with God everyday for the rest of my life and NEVER be ashamed of it.

      Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 8:42 pm
      • So stop claiming that your ‘science’ is as valid as mainstream science when it is RELIGION and NOT science.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 11:10 pm
        • Validity will always be based on your worldview. In my worldview of course my position is more valid, but I can understand why it is not to you according to your worldview. Of course there is only one truth and this site defends the YEC position. I understand you don’t like that nor agree. You are welcome to the other position.

          Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 11:14 pm
          • “Validity will always be based on your worldview”. No. Your opinions are not valid science because they are “agreeing with God” when everything points to you being wrong as you have admitted (ie evidence rationally interpreted refutes your position but you cling in regardless and tell everybody else they ‘must’ be wrong).

            That is not my ‘worldview’. It is a FACT.

            You are peddling religion here. Fundamentalist religion. Including doctrinaire attacks against the scientific consensus regarding origins and history.

            Your worldview involves aggressively denying disliked facts on the grounds that they are contrary to ‘God’s word’.

            (If you are right, God a is a liar. Otherwise God’s viewpoint would be supported by facts – which it seldom is.)

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 11:31 pm
            • I think you overestimate the word “fact”. I want to ask you Ashley how you know anything to be factual? If your life is the result of meaningless, unguided, random chance accidents… how did humans develop the rationale to determine facts from non-facts? Where does this logic come from? If we are the result of chance, then are logic is by definition chance as well. If we are still evolving, then how do you know you can trust your senses to do science correctly? Perhaps your senses are not done developing or evolving – and once they are… THEN we could know the truth.

              I’m playing devils advocate here. We can know facts. We do have logic. BECAUSE we are not the result of random chance. Only one who holds to Biblical creation can claim to know anything for certain. Therefore your entire efforts to discredit us is futile.

              Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 11:35 pm
              • “Only one who holds to Biblical creation can claim to know anything for certain.” By any standards that is arrogance. Which is not one of the named fruits of the Spirit.

                Successfully exposing lies – which fellow Christians accept as lies too – is never futile imho.

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 12:03 am
              • Does this mean that you’re a presuppositionalist Tim?

                Posted by riandouglas | August 4, 2014, 4:29 pm
              • Where does this logic come from?

                If you are talking about logic in the sense of formal or informal logic (the “laws of logic”), then we invented them. There’s not 1 single “logic” either, but multiple varieties which take different things as being axiomatic.
                Historically, “classical logic”, which is what most people mean when they refer to “logic” was developed as a way to help explain the middle-sized reality we humans find ourselves in – the reality where quantum effects and relatavistic effects don’t really play a role.

                If we are the result of chance, then are logic is by definition chance as well.

                That’s a non-sequitur – just because humans are contingent, doesn’t mean that the results of applying logic must be contingent. Logic(s) is/are formal systems.

                If we are still evolving, then how do you know you can trust your senses to do science correctly?

                We don’t trust our senses absolutely, and in fact investigate ways in which they can and do fail and/or fool us.
                None of this undermines science, by the way.

                Perhaps your senses are not done developing or evolving – and once they are… THEN we could know the truth.

                You seem to be looking for certainty in knowledge. You’d best stick with to manipulating symbols in formal systems rather than trying to understand the world around us (and even there, best not accept everything – thanks Godel!)

                We can know facts. We do have logic. BECAUSE we are not the result of random chance.

                I think you’re missing a few of the steps required to justify these statements.

                Only one who holds to Biblical creation can claim to know anything for certain.

                How do you know your initial presuppositions are true with certainty?
                Or do you simply claim them as being axiomatic?

                Therefore your entire efforts to discredit us is futile.

                This is why it’s a shame that you’re a presuppositionalist – this idea that by sticking your head in the sand and asserting things without justification lends your claims truth value without bothering with that pesky step of justification (presuppositionalism is, as an epistemology, rather shoddy, though I suspect it’s kind of hard to recognise that from the inside).

                Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 7:31 pm
                • So let me get this straight. You can’t know anything for certain, you are not sure if you can trust your senses, there is no set logic… and why am I supposed to believe anything you say again?

                  Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 9:49 pm
                  • You can’t know anything for certain,

                    Tim, you can’t know anything for certain either, regardless of what you believe. You seem to think that taking the truth of the bible as axiomatic insulates you from uncertainty and allows you to be certain of empirical facts. But there doesn’t seem to be any way for you to justify taking something as complex as Christianity as an axiom, rather than something which can more properly be called a “properly basic belief” (assuming you’re a foundationalist when it comes to epistemology).

                    you are not sure if you can trust your senses,

                    Our senses have proven to be somewhat unreliable – so what?
                    I can’t be absolutely certain that they’re trustworthy – again, so what?
                    Science has demonstrated to a high degree of confidence, that our senses are generally reliable in various ways, within various constraints. That’s all we have and that’s all I need.

                    there is no set logic…

                    There are multiple logics. Quantum logic, developed to model quantum mechanics is not compatible with classical logic. There are other varieties of logic which results from different sets of axioms (or laws, if you will).
                    The different logics have different uses and applicability – so what?

                    and why am I supposed to believe anything you say again?

                    You’re not supposed to believe anything I say.
                    What you’re supposed to do is apply rationality and critical thinking to my claims, as well as those of others, including your own.
                    What you really should have a problem with is the refusal within YEC circles of admitting any critical and objective analysis or investigation into that massive presupposition required to maintain your position. If the bible were true, you wouldn’t need to assume it in order to demonstrate it.

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 12:14 am
                    • I accept the historical record in the Bible, and the Christianity that follows from it because I see no other evidence to the contrary. It’s evidence is overwhelming and speaks for itself.

                      Posted by Tim | August 7, 2014, 2:19 pm
                    • I accept the historical record in the Bible,

                      Do you have good justification for that acceptance, or is it something you take as given?

                      and the Christianity that follows from it because I see no other evidence to the contrary. It’s evidence is overwhelming and speaks for itself.
                      What about the evidence which is actually to the contrary? Do you simply assume that such evidence (like the apparent age of the earth) is simply mistaken solely because it contradicts your interpretation of the bible?
                      What about the apparent inconsistencies between different books of the bible (and even within them)? How are you able to discern the truth from such ambiguity?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 4:58 pm
                    • I see no apparent age of the earth.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:10 am
            • If I’m right God is not a liar just because man interpreted the evidence incorrectly. You can’t blame that on God. He didn’t interpret any of the evidence. He told us how he did it. We ignored it in search of our own truth. That’s not his fault.

              Roman 3:4 – “Let God be true, and every human being a liar.”

              Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 11:58 pm
              • No – if Christians are correct, God MADE the misleading evidence.

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 12:04 am
                • No. I’m going to make a new topic on this soon, but you miss the scientific method step known as interpretation. God made the trees and the rock and the animals. Man interpreted them incorrectly. Man is to blame.

                  Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 12:27 am
                  • YECs cannot SHOW how scientists have ‘wrongly’ interpreted God’s evidence.

                    They simply declare that they have.

                    Which is fundamentalist religion just like I have already stated.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 12:48 am
                    • Ashley, I don’t think that’s quite correct.

                      YECs can and do demonstrate that scientists have wrongly interpreted the evidence. Unfortunately for YECs, these demonstrations all assume from the outset that YEC is true. This premise is often left unstated, but dig a little and I think you’ll always find it.

                      When you assume your conclusion is true from the outset, it’s totally unsurprising that you find it to be true. I think it’s why YECs like Tim accuse scientists of assuming naturalism, or the falsity of the bible – they do the reverse and assume supernaturalism, Christianity and the bible are all true.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 3:43 pm
                    • Rian
                      YEC-ism is all back to front. Conclusion decided in advance. And all possible ‘unsound’ conclusions automatically ruled out beforehand.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 8, 2014, 4:52 pm
                    • Exactly – take your belief as being axiomatic and unquestionable, and proceed from there.

                      We shouldn’t forget that you also need to assert that anyone who disagrees with you is doing exactly the same thing (regardless of whether they are or not).

                      Anything to avoid investigating those closely held beliefs upon which everything else is built.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:29 pm
                    • This statement is basically meaningless because you are just as guilty. We all do the same thing.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 6:45 pm
                    • Tim, thanks for demonstrating my point – accuse those who disagree with you of the same tactics you use.

                      You’re wrong, by the way. I don’t take the falsity of YEC as being an unquestionable truth. I don’t take the falsity of Christianity as an unquestionable truth. I don’t even take the non-existence of God as an unquestionable truth. About the only things I take as being true are my raw sense experiences (eg I am having the experience of sitting in front of a computer, typing).

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:55 pm
              • That’s not his fault.

                Yes it is (or would be, if God existed)
                Your God is supposedly omnibenevolent, omniscient and omnipotent . Such a being would want people to be informed correctly, know how to do so, and be able to carry this out. So, even if you make excuses as to why your God may not have done this, even though it could have, we can lay the blame directly at God’s feet for not doing so, since it was a decision on it’s part to avoid imparting this information in an unambiguous way.

                Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 7:19 pm
  15. I did not censor his comments about gene duplication because it devastated my position. I deleted his comment because he again was attempting to hijack this page after being warned. The comment regarding gene duplication could have been reduced to 1-2 paragraphs. Instead it was 6-8 pages long. I appreciate his information, this is not the venue to have that indepth of a discussion, and I invited him to email me personally to continue the discussion. Kinda like you now talking about Ray Comfort – that has nothing to do with this topic on this post. Now, I am done talking about censorship. This is not the topic at hand here. Please feel free to discuss that all you want on your forum. Thanks.

    Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 8:33 pm
    • The person trying to control this discussion, through selective censorship (and then telling people in HIS words what the critic ‘said’ and ‘meant’ instead of letting us read their exact words and then refuting their argument) is TIM. Nobody else.

      Allen wrote in his comments “gene duplication can set the stage for more mutations in future generations and produce new species just like polyploidy has done in wheat species”.

      Are you calling him a ‘liar’? YES or NO?

      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 6, 2014, 11:07 pm
  16. “I would say this is possibly the most striking blow to Darwinism and a complete scientific confirmation of a creationist prediction.”

    If that is someone’s belief, they don’t understand The Theory of Evolution. Even if it could be shown that humans are going “down hill”, that would not undermine The Theory of Evolution. The Theory of Evolution does NOT claim that life is evolving in a particular “direction”, whether “up” or “down”. Indeed, those terms can be misleading in themselves. It only claims that life changes over time according to survival advantages. And that is also why Sanford’s claims are rejected by his peers.

    I do understand why you WANT to believe these “rogue” scientists who are few and far between. Have you considered that 99%+ of the Christians in the science academy reject his claims for a reason?

    Posted by Allen Miller | July 6, 2014, 11:06 pm
    • Did you read the quote I included from Sanford in my section on genetic entropy:

      ” Dr. Sanford goes on to claim that nearly all leading geneticists acknowledge this: “Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically. The most definitive findings were published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch. That paper indicates human fitness is declining at 3–5% per generation.”

      Thank you for your brief comment this time. It fosters more direct communication I believe.

      Posted by Tim | July 6, 2014, 11:12 pm
      • I have already addressed this Tim. Please re-read my comments at 1.39 am and 1.40 am on 4 July.

        Sanford misleadingly referred to ‘findings’ when the paper in question did not report such but rather forecasts relating to the future.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 12:00 am
      • The most definitive findings were published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch. That paper indicates human fitness is declining at 3–5% per generation.”

        Tim, a little bit of mathematics shows that this claim of Sanford’s is ridiculous.

        If we assume a base fitness of 100%, the minimal fitness decline claimed (3%) and an avg generation of 25 years, we find that:
        – in just 200 years, fitness has declined to 80%
        – in just 400 years, fitness has declined to 60%
        – in 1,000 years, fitness has declined to 30% of the baseline
        – in 2,000 years, fitness has become a mere 9% of baseline
        – if we assume that the base 100% fitness was 6,000 years ago (which would roughly correspond with the fall) then current human fitness is 0.07% of the baseline.

        Surely an organism being 0.07% as fit as it’s “perfect” ancestor would result in extinction!
        Surely a drop in fitness of far less than 99.93% would result in the extinction of the population.

        Tim, you ought to find better sources than people like Sanford, and actually think about claims rather than simply accepting them on face value (seemingly because they, and the people who make them, agree with your position).

        Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 3:57 pm
        • Why do you AGAIN assume uniformitiarianism with the data? Perhaps the decline was minimal at first and has picked up speed as more and more accumulates?

          Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 5:57 pm
          • Why do you AGAIN assume uniformitiarianism with the data?

            Because it is simpler, and also because there’s no real reason to think that mutation rates have changed drastically in the past.

            Perhaps the decline was minimal at first and has picked up speed as more and more accumulates?

            I doubt that you’ll get a much different result that way either, just perhaps a slightly higher % fitness from the base after 6,000 years. The decline is still likely to be too large to be remotely plausible.

            Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:28 pm
            • Well if the decline is at 4% today, and it started out at 0.0001% or something – then it has increased how many fold in 6000 years? I don’t see why that is not reasonable.

              Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 6:44 pm
              • It’s not reasonable for a couple of reasons, one of which is that you have no reason to favour that over a uniform decline.

                But, mainly, it’s because using a simple linear increase in the rate of decline of 0.035%, which takes us from your initial 0.0001% rate of decline to ~4% decline after 6000 years, results in a fitness of ~33%.

                Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:51 pm
                • Can you explain that a little further?

                  Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 7:04 pm
                  • If we take your figures – an initial rate of decline of 0.0001% of fitness, and a current rate of decline of 4%, using a simple linear increase in the rate of decline (which works out to be 0.035%), we come out with a current fitness of ~33% compared to the initial level.

                    However, as my comment which included a link to the paper Sanford appears to be referring to makes clear, this paper has nothing to do with evolutionary biology itself, and is rather an observation of the impact that medicine and more pollution are having on humans in industrialised nations today.

                    If you were trying to attribute evolution as only causing a decline in fitness, as you and Sanford appear to be doing, this paper lends you no support.

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 7:31 pm
                    • How can they decide that environmental factors are leading to the decline? Did they have a control group?

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 7:46 pm
                    • Environmental factor X is know to cause an increase in mutation rate of Y.
                      These things have been studied.

                      Meanwhile, your YEC claims are left with trying to explain away a mutational rate which puts the results of that paper to shame, which occurred to basically every organism on earth, which left no trace of a cause, and which somehow didn’t result in the extinction of most or all of those organisms.

                      How about you provide an explanation for that Tim?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 7:56 pm
                    • At this point I would refer you to Sanford’s own response to multiple accusations towards his work since he is the PhD expert… not me: http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 8:05 pm
                    • Your link says nothing about how YEC avoids these problems.

                      I will make not, however, that Sanford does appear to be saying the statement “that man is merely the product of random mutations plus natural selection” is treated as an axiom in evolutionary biology. I wonder if he bothers to justify this claim anywhere, or whether he just asserts it, in a similar fashion to your continued insistence of much the same claim.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 8:12 pm
                    • I’m confused – are you disagreeing with the statement? Is man not the product of random mutations plus natural selection?

                      Posted by Tim | August 9, 2014, 2:02 am
                    • Tim, since Sanford rather obviously misrepresents or misunderstands the paper concerning human mutation, what makes you think this doesn’t carry over to his understanding of other papers, and of science in general?
                      After all, I’d have thought that paper was pretty close to Sanford’s area of expertise, being a plant geneticist.

                      And, since Sanford’s views are rejected by the vast majority of other experts in the field, why ought we, non-experts that we are, feel entitled to accept Sanford’s claims at all?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 8:28 pm
                    • He has a whole section called “what other geneticists say” and quotes quite a few leading geneticists that agree that man is in genetic entropy:

                      “Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically. “

                      Posted by Tim | August 9, 2014, 2:04 am
                    • Does Sorensen SERIOUSLY believe that Gilleand REALLY could not find my post – which he attempted to censor until I sent a wide circulation email (mentioned at the British Centre for Science Education community forum) with relevant photographic evidence showing the absurdity of Gilleand’s claim, which caused Gilleand to then ‘find’ my post after all. It being the case that the post in question showed that the Gilleand claim here regarding Dr Wile’s article on iron was nonsensical. This happened after I even sent Gilleand a reminder email QUOTING THE POST’S CONTENTS IN FULL.

                      Surely a blog is set up whereby the author can systematically go through any as yet unapproved comments without having to trawl through all the comments which are already visible? If not, why not?

                      So I do not buy the ‘gremlin’ theory of Sorensen or the ‘tiredness’ theory of Gilleand. ‘Thick as thieves’.

                      Actually since Sorensen believes the absurd and frequently extra-biblical claims of leading YECs, I suppose he must believe Gilleand’s claims here 🙂

                      If I am ‘off-topic’ then so are you.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 9, 2014, 11:48 pm
                    • This comment is in reply to my comment stating:

                      “He has a whole section called “what other geneticists say” and quotes quite a few leading geneticists that agree that man is in genetic entropy:

                      “Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically. “

                      And now… how are you on topic? We are talking about genetic entropy here and you are going on about my comment policy. Move along please and let us have a conversation about the topic at hand. Thank you.

                      Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 2:41 am
                    • I’m confused – are you disagreeing with the statement? Is man not the product of random mutations plus natural selection?

                      It’s not something I take as being axiomatic, nor is it taken as being axiomatic within evolutionary biology generally, contrary to Sanford’s claims.

                      It’s actually a conclusion reached after an assessment of the ebidence.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 9, 2014, 11:16 pm
                    • Sounds like you are tiptoeing around it there a bit.

                      Posted by Tim | August 9, 2014, 11:34 pm
                    • He has a whole section called “what other geneticists say” and quotes quite a few leading geneticists that agree that man is in genetic entropy:

                      And since he misunderstands and.or misrepresents the paper by Lynch et. al. I am inclined to think that he’s misrepresents or misunderstands these other geneticists as well.

                      It’s a fairly well known phenomena that creationists engage in – quote mining.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 9, 2014, 11:18 pm
          • Ps. I assumed a uniform rate of decline because it was simple, not because that’s how I think it must have been.

            Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:33 pm
            • I just redid the calculations using an initial rate of decline of 0.01% (1/10,000) and a rate of increase of that rate of 0.01% (1/10,000).

              After 6,000 years, the fitness is 0.1% of the baseline.

              What initial rate and what function dictating increase in this rate would you like me to use, in order for you to accept that the figure Sanford gave is rubbish?

              Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:43 pm
              • BTW that rate is published in secular, peer-reviewed scientific literature. Why do you have a problem with that?

                Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 6:47 pm
                • Please provide a link to this peer-reviewed scientific paper, rather than Sanford’s paraphrase of it.
                  It’s my suspicion that Sanford is misrepresenting the results of the paper.

                  Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 6:53 pm
                  • I don’t think I have a link to that paper, but I do provide a link to three other papers in my original post confirming genetic entropy.

                    The paper in question was published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science by Lynch.

                    Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 7:06 pm
                • I think I found the paper Sanford is referring to – Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation

                  It’s basically talking about the increase in mutational load being brought about by better medical care coupled with increased environmental mutagens. It doesn’t really have any bearing on the your claims that evolution can and does only result in degradation of fitness. As the paper states at the end of the discussion section:
                  “At least in highly industrialized societies, the impact of deleterious mutations is accumulating on a time scale that is approximately the same as that for scenarios associated with global warming…Ironically, the genetic future of mankind may reside predominantly in the gene pools of the least industrialized segments of society.”

                  Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 7:27 pm
                  • But is all they know or studied those in highly industrialized societies? Did they compare with other societies or are they assuming those environmental factors played a point since any other conclusion might lead to a problem with evolution as a whole? Do you see how that is not really science but speculation?

                    Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 7:45 pm
                    • But is all they know or studied those in highly industrialized societies?

                      They looked at the impact that decreases in infant and other mortality is having.

                      Did they compare with other societies or are they assuming those environmental factors played a point since any other conclusion might lead to a problem with evolution as a whole?

                      We know that various environmental conditions can and do lead to increased rates of mutation. Chemicals that do so are called mutagens.

                      Do you see how that is not really science but speculation?

                      All I see is you speculating at what the authors of the paper may/may not have done, rather than reading it yourself.

                      Do you see how you aren’t even trying to understand, but rather are looking to score points?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 7:54 pm
            • I pointed it out to expose how evolutionists automatically think in regards to the evidence.

              Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 6:46 pm
  17. “The data is already there, it is just being moved around, copied, reinserted, folded – use whatever terminology you want. The fact is the information is ALREADY there – no NEW information… again!”

    I refuse to believe that anybody could be that illogical. Why don’t we do away with copyright law? After all, all books are just a reshuffling of the words of the languages. So there is no such thing as new information in books! They are just being copied, shuffled around, and re-ordered. All the words already exist!

    I’m leaving before I say something blunt, like the fact that I don’t believe for a moment that ANYONE could be ignorant enough to write the quoted sentence above and actually mean it. No way. (And even if such a person actually exists, it would be a waste of time to reason with them. They are beyond all logic and reason.)

    Good bye.

    Posted by Steven Poole | July 7, 2014, 1:48 am
    • All I said was I know of no mechanism to create brand new information. We probably had a misunderstanding over definitions. I simply meant no new information. You meant new functions or abilities. That’s not what I meant. New functions or abilities are of no concern to creationists. We understand and believe in adaptation to environment. We do not believe brand-new information – as in new, never before seen sequences of DNA can create themselves.

      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 2:58 am
      • Events such as gene duplication can lead to more mutations than otherwise to genomes (whether harmful or neutral or beneficial) as has already been explained. New genetic information or function, even though not poofed out of thin air. That’s my understanding anyway.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 4:07 pm
        • Right. I think the only debate thus far has been over terminology. You see a beneficial mutation as “new information”, I do not. I realize that creature lost part of it’s genetic code that it cannot retrieve to get that new function. In other words new functions do not equal new information. If we can agree on that, then it is easy to figure out how creationists have a problem with suggesting that simple-celled organisms can evolve into humans with no new information added.

          Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 4:40 pm
          • I am NOT equating mutations with genetic ‘information’. Where have I said that? Or any other contributor for that matter. I was saying that if genetic material is duplicated via copying errors, there is more ‘information’ upon which random mutations can act from one generation to the next – leading to greater genetic change over time (though harmful mutations might lead to individuals not breeding and not passing on their genes)..

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 5:11 pm
            • Yes. If you copied a CD and duplicated the tracks – there would be more ‘information’ to choose from in the next copy. BUT it would still be the same songs, no new songs. What I’m trying to say is at the end or your argument is that all DNA information to create all the diversity of life MUST have been there in the first single-celled organism. Do you agree with that statement?

              All the information to make a human was available in the first bacteria that evolved from the primordial soup? It just needed to be rearranged? Humans are a result of copying mistakes? In other words that first bacteria is more aptly designed than humans since we are the result of billions of years of copying mistakes. That is your position?

              Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 5:16 pm
              • By bringing up CDs again (which do not mate and reproduce unless you know of CD meiosis) you appear determined to remain ignorant – and spread your ignorance to others.

                I have already stated that I am not a genetics expert. I doubt that you are either. But yes I assume that if evolution is true then the first primitive lifeform contained sufficient initial genetic material in order to be able to eventually bring about evolution of human beings since science currently only knows of one beginning to life on Earth. Humans are not merely reshuffled bacteria when it comes to genetics or genomes. Evolutionary theory predicts more than that. Without resorting to any ‘magic’ addition out of thin air of ‘new genetic information’ midway through the process. Copying mistakes or mutations are not always detrimental (though some YECs have falsely claimed that they are; and people like Georgia Purdom insist that ‘no new information is possible’). Those who accept evolution do not say bacteria were ‘designed’. Thus, if they are right, humans are not an ‘inferior’ version of the first single-celled lifeform, whatever exactly that was.

                If you think humans are inferior to bacteria because they arrived later and mutations were partly responsible, you are entitled to your view. But I suspect you don’t think that.

                My query here today may be of interest by the way (it’s re human chromosome 2):
                https://www.facebook.com/groups/639498262796759/

                You seem to conflate opposing views. If all DNA information needed for human evolution was there at the start of primitive life, that does NOT also mean that humans are an inferior or ‘worse designed’ version of that original single-celled life. But creationists claim that any evolutionary changes (natural selection and mutations) cannot lead to greater complexity over time – in order to discourage Christians from entertaining the possibility that God could have used (unbiblical) evolution. Instead they insist that everything must be degrading or devolving since the ‘Fall’..

                Those who may know more appear unfortunately to have bowed out.

                Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 5:44 pm
                • Your comment seems to include a contradiction though. On one hand you say all genetic information to create a human must have been present in the first simple organism, yet you also say that humans are not just a reshuffling of this information. That “something” must have been added. Just sounds like you don’t know what was added or how? You name no mechanism that has the possibility of adding new genetic information, yet believe it has.

                  I’m guessing you believe that mutation of the original information is sufficient to do this. Yes, I realize not all mutations are detrimental. There are a small percentage that are beneficial (not to be confused with new information tho). They produced beneficial results. I recognize that. But I also recognize Sanford’s computational work showing that these small percentages of beneficial mutations even under stronger than observed selection comes no where close to overwhelming the delterious mutations. Thus overall we have a loss of information. That is where the 3-5% human decline numbers come into play.

                  If the observations and computational estimates agree that the human genome is deteriorating… what known mechanism has ever or could ever do the opposite?

                  Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 5:52 pm
                  • “That “something” must have been added.” Via random mutations acting upon genomes, including following gene duplication events which mean that there is more genetic material available upon which mutations or copying errors may act. Not added from ‘outside’. But not mere reshuffling in the sense of a pack of cards.

                    I do not accept this ‘loss of information’ mantra. Has that conclusion appeared in a mainstream peer-reviewed science journal? (Your previous Sanford links were either forecasts for the future or did not use the phrase ‘genetic entropy’.)

                    A deteriorating genome in some species would not rule out ‘upwards’ or ‘downwards’ speciation or evolution I don’t think (though sometimes species have gone extinct – something YECs struggle to explain since they cram everything into 3.500 years ‘post-flood’ – and not always due to environmental calamity).

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 6:16 pm
                    • I repeat what Allen said “gene duplication can set the stage for more mutations in future generations and produce new species just like polyploidy has done in wheat species”.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 6:17 pm
                    • Again semantics tho. You say “random mutations acting upon genomes following gene duplication”. If it’s not added from the outside and is not reshuffling, then what is it? “Random mutation” can only work with existing information. Gene duplication only gets another copy of what you’ve already got. Oh well, enough said I guess. Were just going round in circles.

                      They cannot make a 3-5% decline forecast for the future without evidence of it in the present. Again, already said though. So moving on….

                      Extinction fits perfectly with the YEC idea of genetic entropy. Extinction would be the end result of genetic entropy.

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 6:21 pm
                    • “then what is it?” Change caused by the evolutionary process as natural selection and mutations acting upon genomes cause genetic change slowly and gradually from one generation to the next over millennia. Something Jonathan Sarfati seemingly accepts in the short-term:
                      http://www.amazon.com/review/R20EDOWA9ET8XI (see my ‘Overview’ comments in my review of his 2010 book)
                      Sarfati writes early in his book: “I can’t name anyone who doubts the occurrence of “systematic increase or decrease in the frequency with which we see a particular gene in a gene pool.” (He would say all the ‘information’ was there at the outset and I have not disagreed eith that notion, though we are not talking unchanging CDs or packs of cards but reproducing lifeforms over generations.)
                      Apart possibly from idiots like Ray Comfort, higher profile YECs mostly now accept natural selection and mutations (if not gene duplication events) but they also insist that ‘so-called’ evolution cannot extend beyond biblical ‘kind boundaries’ ie a dinosaur species could not evolve into a bird species because they were ‘separately’ created. (Sarfati was also unable to define ‘kind’, with respect to mainstream biological classification, though one assumes most YECs think ‘kind’ is similar to either ‘family’ or ‘genus’.)

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 7:26 pm
                    • I agree with Sarfati, but I would add that although there may be what we can classify as increases or decreases, the decreases far outweigh the increases – thus although they give us beneficial results from time to time, they are buried in the negative ones. And if that is the case, we could never get from a single-celled organism to a human being. Although you hate my analogies, I’ll give you another… https://gracesalt.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/money.png

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 7:35 pm
                    • Increases or decreases of what exactly? I genuinely don’t know what you are referring to there.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 7:43 pm
                    • Increases or decreases of functions. That obviously happens. I’m not talking about genetic information here. I believe that only decreases, but functions increase or decrease based on these changes.

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 7:45 pm
                    • Your continued belief that genetic information only decreases (overall) is simply ludicrous – a belief held despite the evidence (and not even found in the Bible since the Bible is not scientific and YECs try to put a ‘scientific’ gloss on it in order to have an ‘answer’ to give to the scientifically literate who know that Genesis is not well supported to say the least by the available evidence in the natural world).

                      As you said, this is going round in circles somewhat. Not my choice but there we are.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 7:54 pm
                    • I thought I was fairly clear. Evolutionists use the wording “increase” to mean new functions. And this is all you hear about in science news… the new functions. You never hear about the 100 decreases or “losses” that were necessary for this one increase. That’s my point. If it takes 100 decreases to make 1 increase, how would the genome ever truly increase? Sounds like genetic entropy to me.

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 8:06 pm
                    • Perhaps we never hear about it because it is not happening?

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 8:38 pm
                    • Or are you referring to flightless cormorants and blind cave fish (which can manage OK without flying or sight)?

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 8:45 pm
                    • Deleterious mutations can cause beneficial outcomes, yes. Similar to this example: https://www.facebook.com/GraceWithSalt/photos/pb.234483713319709.-2207520000.1404763395./512252005542877/?type=1&theater

                      Posted by Tim | July 7, 2014, 8:49 pm
                    • Yes – YECs concede speciation but deny evolution.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devolution_(biology)

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 7, 2014, 9:37 pm
                    • You make it sound as if we “concede” speciation like we lost that battle. LOL. Speciation within a kind of animal is completely biblical.

                      Posted by Tim | July 8, 2014, 2:36 am
                    • The concept of speciation is not mentioned in the Bible. Thus it is YECs who are declaring it ‘biblical’.
                      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_The_concept_of_fixity_of_species
                      http://ncse.com/book/export/html/5527

                      I sincerely want you to have the last word. However you keep posting drivel that demands a response.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 8, 2014, 3:24 am
                    • Tim: You make it sound as if we “concede” speciation like we lost that battle. LOL. Speciation within a kind of animal is completely biblical.

                      In fact, it’s necessary to have “hyper-evolution” and rapid speciation to occur for the YEC scenario to be supported – to get from the small number of species which were on the ark to the massive abundance and diversity we see around us today, in the time frame available.
                      Yet there is no plausible mechanism available to explain this, nor does the evidence we see support this.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 4, 2014, 8:28 pm
                    • Tim, that’s not even remotely close to the sort of rapid mutation YEC’s require to have taken place.

                      Pick a couple of rather different modern species which are of the same “kind”, such as lions and house cats. According to estimates based upon observed mutations rates, among other things, these 2 species differ by ~12 million years (ie. according to such estimates they shared a common ancestor ~12 million years ago). YEC requires that this have occurred in the last 6,000-10,000 years. That is a mutation rate over 1,000 times faster than estimated under evolution. And you’re working with a far smaller population of organisms here – starting from 2 (or 7) individuals. With this much mutation occuring, the first litter from this ancestral “cat kind” would liikely suffer so many deleterious mutations as to be unviable, and each succeeding generation (assuming they survive and are able to breed) would inhereit not only their parents mutations, but their own accelerated mutation rate, making them even less viable. There would be no time for populations to stabilise, selection to act upon advantageous traits, etc.

                      And I’m very confident I could find even starker examples, where a single “kind” of animal which is claimed to have been on the ark would require even faster evolution.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 5, 2014, 4:05 pm
                    • Tim
                      Observed rates of speciation are much too slow for the YEC post-flood scenario. As was pointed out by Bill Nye when debating Ken Ham. Admit it.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 12:16 am
                    • I will not admit it. Will you admit the opposite given new information? http://creation.com/speedy-species-surprise “The guppies adapted to their new environment in a mere four years—a rate of change some 10,000 to 10 million times faster than the average rates determined from the fossil record”

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 2:22 pm
                    • Tim, please show that the rate of change in the guppies (and note that changes in size tend to be simple changes in the regulation of genes which can be environmental rather than genetic) demonstrates that the hyper-evolutionary processes demanded by the YEC scenario probable, or even plausible, rather than simply laughable.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 3:54 pm
                    • Careful Tim. Next you will be arguing for Darwinian evolution. If speciation (of animals which would have been on the Genesis ark I presume) really goes forward as fast as YECs require it to to account for what is seen today plus extinct animals – which I very much doubt your CMI article actually demonstrates – what is to prevent a bit of evolution beyond those famous YEC ‘kind boundaries’ (even in a ‘young’ Earth never mind the old one we live upon)?

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 7:11 pm
                    • Ashley: what is to prevent a bit of evolution beyond those famous YEC ‘kind boundaries’ (even in a ‘young’ Earth never mind the old one we live upon)?

                      I’m curious about these “kind boundaries”.
                      What are they and how do they differ from the nested hierarchies expected in evolutionary biology (ignoring common ancestry for the moment)?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 11:59 pm
                    • Kinds are usually compared to the FAMILY level on the classification charts. There are some discrepancies, but most 5-year-olds can tell what KIND of an animal a lion is vs. a horse.

                      Posted by Tim | August 7, 2014, 2:15 pm
                    • Kinds are usually compared to the FAMILY level on the classification charts.

                      Since I’ve used the example of cats before, are civet cats of the same kind as lions and domestic cats?
                      If so, how does you now explain the estimated 37 million years of genetic differences between lions and civets (some 3 times as much as between lions and domestic cats)?
                      If not why not?

                      There are some discrepancies, but most 5-year-olds can tell what KIND of an animal a lion is vs. a horse.

                      How are the classifications done? What is the objective means used to identify which animals belong to the same family?

                      And, more specific to Ashley’s question, what restricts the genetic changes so as to prevent an apparent change in kind (ie. how do you explain the apparent common ancestry of, for example, dogs and cats – which have an estimated genetic divergence of some 55 million years)?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 4:42 pm
                    • You cannot show common ancestry. You can make some anecdotal pictures and ad-hoc explanations that fit your particular interpretation of the fossil record and limited genetic information.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:07 am
                    • You cannot show common ancestry.

                      So you’re not aware of just how common ancestry is established?

                      You can make some anecdotal pictures and ad-hoc explanations that fit your particular interpretation of the fossil record and limited genetic information.

                      Perhaps you could clarify what you mean here – could you illustrate why the common ancestry of, for example, cats and dogs, is anecdotal, ad-hoc, and should therefore be dismissed?
                      Also, how does this not undermine your own claims of hyper-evolution from common “kinds”?

                      Also, could you answer my question(s) from the previous comment?

                      How are classifications into kinds done?
                      What is the objective means used to identify which animals belong to which kind?
                      How are the initial kinds deduced?
                      What prevents the sorts of changes that you claim cannot happen (ie, cats and dogs evolving from a common ancestor)?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 3:15 am
                    • I will not respond to another question until you answer me this: is there any possibility in your mind that this world may have been created in six days approx. 6000 years ago?

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:19 am
                    • Yes, it’s possible that the earth was created in 6 days a few thousand years ago. And the evidence could have supported such a claim 🙂

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 8, 2014, 1:30 pm
                    • I believe the evidence does confirm this because I interpret the evidence based on that hypothesis. Our argument is over interpretation, not evidence.

                      Posted by Tim | August 8, 2014, 3:44 pm
                  • Not only does YEC require a mutation rate that would result in organisms which would/could not survive, it also lacks evidence that this incredibly rapid mutation rate actually took place.

                    It’s totally ad-hoc.

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 5, 2014, 4:09 pm
                    • “The guppies adapted to their new environment in a mere four years—a rate of change some 10,000 to 10 million times faster than the average rates determined from the fossil record.”

                      http://creation.com/speedy-species-surprise

                      Yes, there is evidence that species can change millions of times faster than previously believed.

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 2:14 pm
                    • Tim, it seems that most of the reference for the claim about GUppies is behind a paywall. Given the rate at which creationists quote-mine and misrepresent quotes concerning evolution from actual scientists, I’m not at all willing to accept the claim.

                      Perhaps you can demonstrate just how fish getting bigger and maturing later actually justified the YEC requirement that Lions and House Cat’s fit what looks to be some ~12 million years of genetic change into just a few thousand?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 3:46 pm
                    • Of course you would see the creationists as misrepresenting the science because we have a different interpretation. We see evidence of rapid evolution today (up to millions of times faster than normally thought) and feel safe to assume that the same could have happened in the past following the flood.

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 6:35 pm
                    • You’ll note the part in your quote about it referring to the fossil record – even if I were willing to accept that claim on face value (which I’m not), the fossil record is not the only means of estimating rates of change.

                      You might want to take those into account when formulating your response to my previous comment 🙂

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 3:47 pm
                    • Of course you would see the creationists as misrepresenting the science because we have a different interpretation.

                      Based upon unfounded and unsupportable assumptions which cannot and will not be questioned regardless of what the empirical evidence says?
                      What exactly would it take for you to accept the age of the earth?

                      We see evidence of rapid evolution today (up to millions of times faster than normally thought) and feel safe to assume that the same could have happened in the past following the flood.

                      You haven’t shown that the changes to the size of the guppies is in any way related to the genetic changes required to explain the hyper-evolution of lions and house cats from the same “cat-kind” in < 10,000 years.
                      I pointed out why such hyper-evolution is a problem (rapid accumulation of deleterious mutations in a single organism rendering it unviable) which you've yet to address – the claims of "genetic entropy" you're making about current organisms pales in comparison to what would occur under the sort of constraints imposed by YEC, yet you haven't even tried to provide a reason to think that such hyper-evolution would somehow not cause extinction, let alone shown how such hyper-evolution might be remotely plausible (not to mention showing that such hyper-evolution actually happened).

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 7:09 pm
                    • Riandouglas
                      Are you on pre-moderation (as I am)? Tim has claimed that if one person (the bible and science forum for previous ‘verbosity’) is on pre-moderation, everybody else must be too.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 6, 2014, 7:13 pm
                    • Yes, unfortunately everybody is.

                      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 9:42 pm
  18. I have yet to visit a Young Earth Creationist website where censorship was not the norm. There’s always an excuse for it. But why don’t I see at atheist websites? I can present my Bible-based Christian views without ever even once seeing them deleted or getting banned. Why is that? Why are “creation science” websites known for their censorship?

    Posted by Allen Miller | July 9, 2014, 3:26 pm
    • I have been allowing comments for well over a year and have never had to delete comments until you started writing books of information in the comments section. It had nothing to do with content, but length. I responded to one of your lengthy comments and whittled it down to just a couple sentences. There’s no problem with those. But I do agree that many YEC sites either don’t allow comments or censor them.

      Posted by Tim | July 9, 2014, 3:39 pm
  19. This is dangerous information that justifies Tim’s censorship of all dissenting opinions from other Christians but here is an introductory graphic from a Christian source explaining all the ways that God has revealed to us the age of the earth:

    http://biologos.org/blog/how-do-we-know-the-earth-is-old-infographic

    Of course, you can also insist that God would never fill his creation with revelations which we can trust. But what about the claim of Young Earth Creationists that only because of the existence of God does the universe make sense. (But then they deny uniformitarianism and, with it, all science that depends upon evidence—and insist that the universe does NOT make sense and its evidence can’t be trusted!)

    No, it is not differences in interpretation, just as 2+2=4 because it does….not because somebody happened to interpret it that way.

    [Reminder: Be sure to censor this entirely too long comment before it infects the hive.]

    Posted by bibleandscienceforum | July 19, 2014, 5:03 am
    • Nothing in that chart confirms an old earth unless you have a preexisting belief in their extrapolation of uniformitarian assumptions.

      For example, the evidence is simply that when you cut open a tree it shows rings, and we observe them forming at one per year now. Those scientists that then interpret the rings as 9000 years old based on that info of course make sense given that limited information, but when you add in that there may have been a worldwide catastrophe – and that we know catastrophes change the rate of tree rings, then creationists have no problems with more rings than 4300. We are interpretting those tree rings through a belief in the flood. You are interpreting them through a belief in uniformitarian ring production. That’s it.

      Posted by Tim | July 19, 2014, 12:47 pm
      • “Nothing in that chart confirms an old earth unless you have a preexisting belief in their extrapolation of uniformitarian assumptions.”
        Your objection is based on imaginary effects of a fictional event.
        And it’s ALL the evidence presented – NOT just tree ring evidence.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 19, 2014, 9:06 pm
        • You claim that my objection is based on the imaginary effects of a fictional event. How exactly do you propose proving that the events of the Bible didn’t happen? If they didn’t, you wouldn’t know they hadn’t. What I’m saying is the evidence in the world today would be similar. Slow processes could have done it – but so could rapid processes. We’d really have no way of knowing ourselves how quickly or slowly the processes occurred.

          Posted by Tim | July 23, 2014, 7:37 pm
          • A worldwide flood as implied in Genesis (implied to be worldwide I mean) could NOT explain the distinctive patterns pf the fossil record within the geological record. Such an event would have produced a much more random pattern – despite YEC protestations (rightly mocked by Dawkins in ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’).

            Thus ‘slow or rapid processes’ is somewhat beside the point.

            Also the massive accelerated radioactive decay required by YECs to ‘disprove’ dates calculated from radiometric dating (supposedly somehow ’caused’ by claimed events such as Noah’s Flood) would almost certainly have made earth radioactively uninhabitable – even for those on a floating ark above miles of water at the start of the period in question.

            Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | July 24, 2014, 6:16 pm
      • I know you’re overwhelmed with comments here, so I apologize (and again for the somewhat lengthy post), but the formation of tree rings is not as speculative of a science as you seem to imply. Yes, occasionally certain types of trees can exhibit two (or perhaps slightly more) growth periods per year. However, it’s rare and typically easy to spot. Regardless, the addition to the apparent age due to double-rings would be dwarfed by the more common loss of rings (sometimes up to 5%). There are checks to correct for discrepancies in dendrochronology, mostly by cross-checking trees & studying the evidence for the weather which coincides with the formation of various rings (carbon dating, ice cores, etc.).

        But I don’t expect that to convince you – after all, if there can be two growth periods per year, why not many more? Still, a series of huge problems with your proposed solution surface when considering how these growth periods would have been caused. The flood model proposes approximately one year (estimate using the Bible) where all vegetation is submerged under water, the vast majority covered by miles for most of the time. It is not reasonable to expect that various trees would be caused to have hundreds or even thousands of growth periods in this scenario.

        First, the seasonal changes which would normally cause annual rings would be hardly present far beneath the surface. Second, there is no proposed mechanism to produce the many growth periods. Instead, all we have is the ad hoc appeal to catastrophism, but that only seems to worsen the case. Third, and perhaps most devastating, is the fact that we shouldn’t expect much growth, if any, during the flood period. Most sunlight doesn’t penetrate further than a couple hundred meters in the ocean. Even in ideal, freshwater conditions, the light received by most vegetation would very limited. Regardless, most trees don’t survive long underwater for a variety of other reasons (rot, lack of oxygen available for roots, lack of atmospheric CO2, etc.).

        Even if we grant that enough trees survived (which I don’t think is reasonable), we’re still a long way from showing how this would produce massive tree growth separated into hundreds/thousands of growth periods over just a single year. A simple calculation yields a requirement of an average of at least 16 regular growth periods per day during the flood! How does this happen? The flood model/catastrophism is not the most reasonable interpretation of tree ring dating. It’s not merely that we have different starting assumptioms; the evidence for approximately uniform tree ring production (including correlative evidence) vastly outweighs the assertion for hundreds/thousands of seemingly normal growth periods over a very short time span. Thanks for reading!

        Posted by Troy Dana | August 10, 2014, 2:17 am
        • I guess its good then that the great majority of trees show no more than 4000 rings. I realize their are some that show more, but not much – and I believe those are tree colonies – not a single tree – AND I believe the weathering would have happened post-flood and more than likely during the Ice Age, which could have been hundreds of years.

          Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 2:48 am
          • Actually, there are several verified trees with greater than 4500 rings, and more with ages estimated beyond this age. These are single trees, not tree clonal colonies, to be clear. Nevertheless, dendrochronology is not limited to studying single trees. We can correlate rings between hundreds of trees to date back to almost 12000 years.

            If you want to consider tree colonies, it gets far worse, the oldest dating to at least 80000 years (Pando). However, this is using methods other than tree ring dating (as no single tree clone lasts more that a couple hundred years), and that would require a whole separate explanation, so I didn’t bring it up.

            Weathering or a post-flood ice age would only inhibit growth, would it not? Certainly trees don’t grow as well surrounded or covered by ice (for hundreds of years?), or influenced by severe weathering. Did you mean to say that the weather post-flood was such that it produced hundreds/thousands of growth periods? I have to ask – how could this happen, and what’s the evidence to support that mechanism? Moreover, how could it be that each growth period exhibit about a normal yearly amount of growth?

            Posted by Troy Dana | August 10, 2014, 3:13 am
            • Could it also not be true that tree rings only normally grow at about one per year NOW and perhaps grew at a different rate in the past? You see part of creationist theory is that all things are running down… so is it possible that tree ring growth may have worked faster in the past and we have the ages wrong because we are using unprovable extrapolation instead of actual observation.

              Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 4:01 am
              • We would have to ask why it is that trees grow one ring per year very predictibly as we currently see it. If you start with the assumption that all things are running down, then it may be true that trees experienced faster growth in the past, but this would not explain the hundreds/thousands of extra growth periods. The main grown – the light regions in between the darker rings – represents faster growth of the tree during the spring and summer. The dark regions represent the reduced growth during late summer-early fall. The cambia tissue in trees is typically completely inactive during the winter, and no growth is experienced. Of course, these time periods tend to vary with climate, as tropical trees for example can experience some growth year round. Regardless, I am not referring to such trees in this discussion.

                Trees grow one ring per year predictibly with the seasons. The seasons don’t repeat multiple times per year, so we instead have to look for some sort of global mechanism which would produce an identical effect to the seasons alternating tens/hundreds of times per year. As well, this mechanism would have to reduce in effect in a precise way such that the simultaneous “running down” of the trees results in rings appearing to always be the normal amount of growth over normal, annual seasonal changes.

                The problems here are insurmountable. Of course, no such mechanism has been proposed, and it’s not reasonable to believe that such a mechanism is possible. The more plausible interpretation of the data, and the interpretation which far better correlates with other dating methods, is that the rings are essentially annual. It’s not an unproven extrapolation – the evidence is in the trees and correlative dating methods. It seems far too often, if the Earth is young, that it keeps leaving evidence which we would only expect to see given the alternative hypothesis.

                Posted by Troy Dana | August 10, 2014, 3:29 pm
                • I would never abandon a literal interpretation of Genesis because of more than 4300 tree rings. I respect the word of God more than that.

                  Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 4:20 pm
                  • Why not accept the empirical evidence over an interpretation of a book which has unknown providence?

                    What reasons do you have to think that the rate of tree ring growth was different in the path? Reasons other than an ad-hoc explanation to save your strongly held but unjustified belief?

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 10, 2014, 6:34 pm
                    • I don’t interpret the words of God through the evidence in the world. I interpret the findings in the world through the absolute truth in the Bible.

                      Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 11:09 pm
                    • You’re asserting that the bible contains absolute truth, but how can/do you know this?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 10, 2014, 11:54 pm
                    • Trial and application. Conversation with the source. Confirmation in the world.

                      Posted by Tim | August 11, 2014, 2:49 am
                    • Trial and application.

                      Such as?

                      Conversation with the source.

                      And you know this how?

                      Confirmation in the world.

                      Except when the world doesn’t confirm it, and then you ignore, right?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 11, 2014, 3:01 am
                    • Trial and application – the Bible makes promises. When I follow it’s commands – do I find that the promises come true? Yes. Prophesies – still coming true today. Historical accuracy – check. Literary accuracy – accepted as most reliable ancient document when criteria is used to judge antiquities. Comparable to real life experience – yes.

                      Conversation with the source. You asked how do I know this? Well, how do I know I’m having a conversation with you? How do I know I have a conversation with my wife. It’s the same. I realize that doesn’t make sense to you and you probably think I’m talking to myself – but I know the difference. Especially when he tells me things I don’t like to hear – that’s not me talking to myself. 🙂

                      Confirmation in the world. Nothing in the world contradicts a literal view of Genesis when interpreted through Genesis as the hypothesis.

                      Posted by Tim | August 12, 2014, 2:20 pm
            • Troy
              Perhaps YECs should jettison their ‘rapid post-Flood’ ice age – which contradicts Genesis 8:22 since ice age conditions (most of the UK was covered by ice for instance in the real last glaciation) would make harvest impossible in large areas.
              But that would create other difficulties …

              Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 10, 2014, 9:23 am
              • But the YEC model needs to be able to account for the clear evidence of a relatively recent ice age. The justification is of course extremely ad hoc, usually with vague appeals to the catastrophic effects of the flood (what else is new), but no tangible evidence to support such claims. Throwing out the rapid post-flood ice age would cause other difficulties, but the YEC model faces plenty already, and that never seems to cause any problems to YEC believers.

                Posted by Troy Dana | August 10, 2014, 3:43 pm
                • Both models contain several difficulties.

                  Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 4:20 pm
                  • That’s false Tim.

                    The mainstream model is likely incomplete. The YEC model is flatly contradicted by the evidence.

                    To attempt to paint the models as having similar difficulties is ridiculous.

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 10, 2014, 6:40 pm
                  • If only it was easy. We all are working from our limited access to the evidence, forming conclusions when it seems pragmatic to do so, but nobody is always right. I know, you believe that we have access to the revelation from Someone who is void of these limitations.

                    That would be nice, but it just doesn’t seem that, for example, a literal reading of Genesis is appropriate given what we can discover about the world. And it’s not just the tree rings; that one thing shouldn’t be worldview-altering. Tree rings are nothing. To me, it’s the whole case, the collection of evidence taken & considered together which I find completely disproves young Earth claims.

                    Posted by Troy Dana | August 10, 2014, 9:20 pm
                    • I’m sorry you feel that way. I’d be happy to discuss other evidence that convinces you if you would like to.

                      Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 11:17 pm
                    • I have never heard a YEC explain how glaciers could retreat so quickly (since they have so little time to fit in ‘their’ ice age) from eg the Thames Valley in England to where they are found now (the nearest glaciers to the UK may now be in Norway though I’m not sure). Their ‘rapid’ ice age must not only set in extraordinarily fast with swiftly advancing glaciers – but also disappear very fast to today’s temperature levels.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 11, 2014, 12:19 am
  20. Sorry, did you really reply to the first article on blood preservation with links to a BLOG?

    Posted by The Star-Splitter | July 28, 2014, 1:54 am
  21. Tim, there seems to be a recurring issue in your claims concerning evolution, and I think it’s due to your understanding of what “information” is and/or how it’s measured.

    When you have claimed that genetic information can/does only decrease, what is it you mean by “genetic information”?

    Posted by riandouglas | August 6, 2014, 7:34 pm
    • I don’t think I’ve only claimed that genetic information can only decrease, my argument is about genetic entropy. The very minimal, rare increases are overwhelmed by the majority decreases and even intense, uncharted selection cannot catch up with it. With that basis I reject molecules-to-man evolution.

      Posted by Tim | August 6, 2014, 9:51 pm
      • What do you mean by “genetic entropy”?
        What do you mean by rare increases and majority decreases?
        What do you mean by “uncharted selection”?

        How does the hyper-evolution required by YEC avoid these problems?

        Posted by riandouglas | August 7, 2014, 12:16 am
  22. When is Tim going to approve my latest comments, please. Of around five hours ago.

    Note – I have saved the text of the longer comment.

    I do NOT understand why everybody is still on pre-moderation when the bible.and.science.forum/Allen Joseph has stopped posting.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 7, 2014, 9:42 pm
  23. “He has a whole section called “what other geneticists say” and quotes quite a few leading geneticists that agree that man is in genetic entropy:
    “Kondrashov, an evolutionist who is an expert on this subject, has advised me that virtually all the human geneticists he knows agree that man is degenerating genetically.”

    Tim keeps repeating this quote in or under his blogs. I assume this is the Sanford article in question:
    http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

    The relevant section of Sanford’s article does NOT use the phrase ‘genetic entropy’.

    Nor does the phrase appear in this link (in the paper’s Abstract):
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/22/0912629107.abstract

    Nor does the phrase appear in this link (in the paper’s Abstract):
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7475094

    As I am SURE I must have pointed out to Tim at least once BEFORE here. But Tim appears to favour the ‘Goebbels’ approach.

    And please do not wriggle and tell us that the ‘genetic entropy’ that Sanford believes in is really what mainstream geneticists also accept, but are simply using other titles to describe!. I don’t think even Sanford is claiming that (in this article at least).

    Sorry, Tim. Your version of reality is normally disprovable fantasy.

    It is a novel thing for YECs to misrepresent fellow YECs rather than the opposition – but Tim seems to have talent for doing just that 🙂

    I believe RianDouglas has made very similar points as well.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 10, 2014, 12:15 am
    • Read the first sentence of the abstract:

      “Although mutation provides the fuel for phenotypic evolution, it also imposes a substantial burden on fitness through the production of predominantly deleterious alleles, a matter of concern from a human-health perspective.”

      Sounds like a definition of genetic entropy to me. I don’t care what they call it. That’s what they are describing.

      Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 2:44 am
      • “Although mutation provides the fuel for phenotypic evolution, it also imposes a substantial burden on fitness through the production of predominantly deleterious alleles, a matter of concern from a human-health perspective.”. That’s not a definition of anything, it’s a statement of fact.
        How did Sanford define genetic entropy in his book (which I have not read)?
        The closest I’ve seen to a definition of the term is here:
        http://creation.com/genetic-entropy-and-simple-organisms
        “The central part of Sanford’s argument is that mutations (spelling mistakes in DNA) are accumulating so quickly in some creatures (particularly people) that natural selection cannot stop the functional degradation of the genome…”.
        In the Sanford CMI article under discussion he states:
        “Let me begin by going to the very end of my book (Appendix 1), where I quote key papers written by the leading experts within the field of population genetics. Scott refers to this as my “final shotgun-blast of misrepresentation to the gullible reader”. This seems grossly unfair, since I am simply quoting the leaders in the field where they acknowledge major aspects of my thesis. In my introduction to that section, I am careful NOT to imply that those scientists would agree with my personal viewpoint, but I point out that they all very clearly acknowledge the major problems which I outline in my book regarding the Primary Axiom.”
        I do not know how accurate this is – or whether Sanford implied that the mainstream scientists agree with his ‘personal viewpoint’ – but this is what he is claiming. Thus he admits to a personal viewpoint that is unlikely to be shared by various scientists whose papers he linked to in Appendix 1.
        I’ll now see what Rian has said.

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 10, 2014, 8:05 am
    • A friend referred me to this new paper that also confirms genetic entropy:

      http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1004351

      “”if the rate at which these mutations are generated is higher than the rate at which natural selection can weed them out, then the collective genomes of the organisms in the species will suffer a meltdown as the total number of deleterious alleles increases with each generation… [This is] incompatible with the view that 80% of the genome is functional in the sense implied by ENCODE.”

      He then uses that as an argument that the genome is mostly junk (the thesis of his paper), since the only other alternative is that evolutionary theory is false. But junk DNA is no longer a tenable position.

      And here is a good write-up why:
      http://notascientist.d512.com/worldview/biology/evolution/junk-dna/index.php#genetic-load

      Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 4:08 am
      • You make a claim about the Palazzo and Ryan Gregory paper. I have not read the whole paper but the sentences you quote are in the ‘Genetic Load’ section. I quote more fully: “It has long been appreciated that there is a limit to the number of deleterious mutations that an organism can sustain per generation. The presence of these mutations is usually not harmful, because diploid organisms generally require only one functional copy of any given gene. However, if the rate at which these mutations are generated is higher than the rate at which natural selection can weed them out, then the collective genomes of the organisms in the species will suffer a meltdown as the total number of deleterious alleles increases with each generation”. They refer to a ‘meltdown’ in such instances. They then say: “In this context it becomes clear that the overall mutation rate would place an upper limit to the amount of functional DNA” (something you conveniently omit). They continue: “These data would suggest that at most 10% of the human genome exhibits detectable organism-level function and conversely that at least 90% of the genome consists of junk DNA. These figures agree with measurements of genome conservation … and are incompatible with the view that 80% of the genome is functional in the sense implied by ENCODE.”

        Bad mutations affecting non-coding or junk DNA (something YECs normally deny even exists) should not affect fitness since such DNA does not code for proteins so a mutation probably would not matter.

        Once again you are quote-mining and in the process misrepresenting scientists. The thing which is “incompatible with the view that 80% of the genome is functional”.is NOT what you imply (‘meltdown’ with increased deleterious mutations from one generation to the next). (You seem to be implying that the true figure for functional DNA is 100% not 80% since you deny junk DNA. How on earth would a genetic meltdown event over human generations disprove that some of the human genome, suggested by ENCODE to be 20% I think, is non-functional?)

        Rather what is ‘incompatible’ is that computer models have demonstrated that genomes could sustain multiple slightly deleterious mutations per generation, and it has been estimated that humans sustain 2.1–10 deleterious mutations per generation, and these data suggest that at most 10% of the human genome exhibits detectable organism-level function whilst at least 90% of the genome consists of junk DNA (my slight re-wording of what the paper says IN ITS PROPER CONTEXT).

        Can you not see?

        The 80% figure is not too low, it is too HIGH according to this paper. Your friend is correct.

        The meltdown referred to in the paper is suggested to be a rare event.

        At first I thought you were saying that the meltdown described could create some junk DNA that was not in existence before! So-called junk (or non-coding) DNA is not the same thing as a deleterious allele (a bad or unhelpful version of a functioning gene) caused by a mutation/copying error. The coding region of a gene, also known as the coding sequence, is that portion of a gene’s DNA or RNA – composed of exons – that codes for a protein. And a gene is not the same thing, in definition, as DNA. A gene is the molecular unit of heredity of a living organism – scientists use this term in relation to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a polypeptide or an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. I trust my terminology in this para is all correct and clear (partly copied from Wikipedia).

        Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 10, 2014, 9:13 am
        • Yes, the paper interprets their data as 80% junk DNA – but that is not consistent with the rest of the evidence available.

          More on that here: http://notascientist.d512.com/worldview/biology/evolution/junk-dna/index.php#new-research

          Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 12:02 pm
          • I see this blog refers to the ENCODE results in order to support the claim of no junk DNA.

            Do you know that the definition of junk/non-junk used in the encode project differs from that commonly used within evolutionary biology, thereby meaning the results of the ENCODE project moot in your belief that junk-dna doesn’t exist.

            I wonder if you bothered to read the original papers here Tim, or just accept the word of others because they agree with your unjustified beliefs?
            I wonder why you’re so eager to go against the legitimate consensus of scientists ONLY when such a consensus renders your beliefs untenable?

            Posted by riandouglas | August 10, 2014, 6:38 pm
            • Actually the individual that gave me those sources is an old-earth creationist who is friendly to YEC concepts and sees much of the science moving in that direction.

              Posted by Tim | August 10, 2014, 11:10 pm
              • Your point being?
                He still didn’t address the issues with YECs requirement for hyper evolution, he misunderstands the ENCODE results.

                Posted by riandouglas | August 10, 2014, 11:55 pm
                • You can get incredible diversity just by filtering new combinations of existing alleles without any beneficial mutations required at all. As one example humans have over 140 genetic loci that affect height. Over many generations you could breed sub-populations that are both very tall or very short simply by filtering out the short or tall alleles in each. Of course you then hit limits where every member of the population is homozygous for all the “tall” genes and successive breeding can’t make them any taller.

                  The YEC claim is that evolution through allele shuffling can be very rapid, but evolution through beneficial mutations (discarding beneficials that destroy function) is extremely slow. So I don’t think this is a valid argument against YEC.

                  Overall I think most common arguments against YEC don’t really work once you get into the details. If you want to argue against YEC, check out Tim Heaton’s Recent Developments in Young Earth Creation Geology. It’s recent, peer reviewed, easy to follow, and he lets YEC geologists describe the problems with their models in their own words. Then again the problems don’t seem that much worse than problems in other models.

                  Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 10:23 pm
                  • The YEC claim is that evolution through allele shuffling can be very rapid, but evolution through beneficial mutations (discarding beneficials that destroy function) is extremely slow. So I don’t think this is a valid argument against YEC.

                    False. YEC requires hyper-evolution involving ridiculous mutation rates, because it seeks to explain in thousands of years, DNA differences which evolutionary biology, using current mutation rates, explains in millions of years.
                    The example I’ve been using is house cats and lions, whose last common ancestor lived ~12 million years ago. As I pointed out to Tim, YEC requires this amount of DNA change in a mere 6,000 (which is rather generous, since we’ve good reason to to think lions and housecats have been around for a couple of thousand years) – which is orders of magnitude more rapid than estimated according to evolutionary biology. Instead of each organism have a small number of mutations, they’d need to have many thousands of mutations. This would incur the sort of genetic entropy which Sanford argues would occur under evolutionary biology – but many many times greater.

                    If you want to argue against YEC, check out Tim Heaton’s Recent Developments in Young Earth Creation Geology.

                    The page you link to is broken.

                    Then again the problems don’t seem that much worse than problems in other models.

                    I don’t see problems of the magnitude of the excess heat from rapid radioactive decay in mainstream scientific models 🙂

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 10:46 pm
                    • The link to Tim Heaton’s page is working for me? Not sure what else to try there.

                      On my computer I have a mysql database of average species and genus mass for all known tetrapods, living and extinct. If you place the ark kinds at the genus level then they still all fit on the ark with only taking up about 30% of the room–based on the volume used by sheep in shipping containers extrapolated by mass. And assuming half the mass of the averages in the database, since it would make no sense to take adult animals instead of youths. And 80% of that mass is taken up by dinosaurs, of all things. Apologies I don’t also have an article written on this, and I honestly don’t feel like typing up all the math again.

                      Cats and lions are in different genera so based on that cats and lions would not need to share a common ancestor under YEC. Some YEC’s still suppose they did. Do we know if their differences are more than what can be explained by shuffling of existing alleles? I haven’t looked into it.

                      And as Tim said I’m not a YEC and I think there are some reasonable arguments against YEC. But I will defend it from arguments I think don’t work 🙂

                      In breeding we reach hard limits because we run out of variation to work with. A mostly-heterozygous population of “tall” and “short” genes is reduced to a homozygous population of one or the other.

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:09 pm
                    • In breeding we reach hard limits because we run out of variation to work with. A mostly-heterozygous population of “tall” and “short” genes is reduced to a homozygous population of one or the other.

                      Enter mutations…

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:17 pm
                    • JoeCoder: Cats and lions are in different genera so based on that cats and lions would not need to share a common ancestor under YEC.

                      How are “kinds” inferred?

                      With house cats and lions, YEC’s ONLY have ~12 million years of genetic difference to explain.
                      If that’s too great (as you seem to be saying) you’re going to have far too many different “kinds” to put on the boat.

                      In fact, if Tim is right and current mutation rates are faster than they were thousands of years ago, you’re going to need to put 2 (or 7) of basically every single species that exists today (as well as all those we know have gone extinct in the last few centuries) on to the ark.

                      Either way, things don’t work out for YEC

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:21 pm
                    • @RianDouglas: What does any of that shuffling I describe have to do with mutations?

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:24 pm
                    • What does any of that shuffling I describe have to do with mutations?

                      Because an organism which had ALL of the alleles found in ALL present cat species would not be viable.
                      And, as Ashley pointed out, if we start out with a more modest view of the allele diversity of animals on the ark, we can’t get from there to here without massive rates of mutation.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:28 pm
                    • It’s this complete lack of coherence and consilience between YEC claims which really shows it to be the fiction it is.
                      Basically everytime some solution is suggested to a problem (eg. rapid radioactive decay in the past), it creates more problems (excess heat, consilience of dating techniques, lack of mechanism for increased decay rate, and so on).

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:30 pm
                  • “The YEC claim is that evolution through allele shuffling can be very rapid,” YECs need either to abandon the young earth dogma or explain properly how rapid speciation could produce all the extant and extinct land animals we have found (though in reality many fossils are millions of years old) from pairs of so-called representative kinds of such (not a biblical idea see Genesis 6 19-20) saved on an ark less than 5,000 years ago. Unless I am missing something all that Joe has explained (is he a YEC or an OEC) is human height variations across generations due to genetic variation ie differing alleles.

                    As Heaton’s Abstract did conclude: “An examination of these efforts demonstrates the anti-scientific nature of using the Bible as a non-negotiable framework for earth history”.

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 13, 2014, 10:52 pm
                    • or explain properly how rapid speciation could produce all the extant and extinct land animals we have found (though in reality many fossils are millions of years old) from pairs of so-called representative kinds of such (not a biblical idea see Genesis 6 19-20) saved on an ark less than 5,000 years ago.

                      I know the answer to that one – “God did it!”
                      God influenced the billions of mutational events that occurred, and carefully guided selection in order to end up with the result we see around us today. The same explanation covers the missing heat from radioactive decay – God simply willed it away.

                      Would that be accurate Tim? Joe?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:00 pm
                    • No. The YEC view would be that we are degenerating. As the degeneration increases across time, it increases exponentially.

                      Posted by Tim | August 13, 2014, 11:02 pm
                    • But why is shuffling of existing alleles sans beneficial mutations not an adequate explanation for rapid but limited variation? We can see it happening over and over again in breeding experiments, which after a while hit hard limits.

                      Heaton’s purpose was to argue against YEC so of course he says that :). I’m trying to replace your bad arguments against YEC with what I think are valid ones, lol. I myself am agnostic on the age of the earth. I think there’s good arguments both ways and I don’t take a side. And too much I haven’t looked into.

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:02 pm
                    • But why is shuffling of existing alleles sans beneficial mutations not an adequate explanation for rapid but limited variation?

                      Because we can and have actually analysed the DNA.

                      We can see it happening over and over again in breeding experiments, which after a while hit hard limits.

                      Hard limits? Or simply reduced variation?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:05 pm
                    • I myself am agnostic on the age of the earth. I think there’s good arguments both ways and I don’t take a side. And too much I haven’t looked into.

                      What are the good arguments against an old earth (which don’t already assume a young earth, as I’ve pointed out Tim does)?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:06 pm
                    • As the degeneration increases across time, it increases exponentially.

                      Yet your YEC view requires a period of hyper-evolution, when every offspring had numerous mutations, yet didn’t suffer genetic degeneration.

                      How long did this period go for, when did it stop, why did it start, and why did it stop? 🙂

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:08 pm
                    • When the world was cursed following original sin, that is the point in which mutation/degeneration began, and has been increasing every since except for the bottle neck at the Ark.

                      Posted by Tim | August 13, 2014, 11:11 pm
                    • @RianDouglas
                      Shuffling of existing alleles doesn’t require any mutation. Why do you say it requires hyper-mutation?

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:12 pm
                    • “But why is shuffling of existing alleles sans beneficial mutations not an adequate explanation for rapid but limited variation?” Well it is not use for the YEC (biblical timescale) scenario. Variation not rapid enough. As mentioned by Bill Nye at the February debate with Ken Ham.

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 13, 2014, 11:14 pm
                    • When the world was cursed following original sin, that is the point in which mutation/degeneration began, and has been increasing every since

                      The current mutation/degeneration rate is not sufficient to explain the rapid speciation which would have had to occur shortly after the Ark in order to explain the diversity and genetic differences we find today.
                      If the current rate is not sufficient, then it can’t have been increasing since that would mean it were slower at the beginning of the post-ark period, which is something which further undermines your position.

                      except for the bottle neck at the Ark.

                      There’s no genetic evidence for such a bottle neck, which is yet another reason not to accept this story as historical.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:15 pm
                    • JoeCoder: Shuffling of existing alleles doesn’t require any mutation. Why do you say it requires hyper-mutation?

                      YEC requires hyper mutation in order to explain the genetic diversity of, for example, the cat “kind”.
                      Allele shuffling is not going to get you the required diversity and observed genetic difference between species we see today.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:17 pm
                    • Ashley: Well it is not use for the YEC (biblical timescale) scenario. Variation not rapid enough.

                      To explain it (away), YEC would need to claim that the animals on the ark contained basically ALL of the genetic diversity contained in present species – the “cat” would need to have all of the alleles found in all of the species of cat.

                      I would like to hear an argument as to why such an organism would be viable (and how the 2 “cats” on the ark were able to breed, given they would have had to have vastly different genes in order to cut down on the genetic diversity in a single organism)

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:26 pm
                    • When the world was cursed following original sin, that is the point in which mutation/degeneration began, and has been increasing every since except for the bottle neck at the Ark.

                      What mechanism was responsible for the change from perfect fidelity to imperfect fidelity at this time?
                      Were the copying mechanisms in cells better, or the DNA repair mechanisms, or both? Was there nothing like radioactivity, or micro-organisms which could directly alter the DNA, or were they somehow prevented from doing this?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 14, 2014, 4:44 pm
                    • All we know about it is recorded in Genesis 3. We now refer to it as “the curse”. We believe that the significance of the “tree of life” was to give the proper nutrition or revitalizing (think fountain of youth) to keep our mortal bodies alive. As Adam/Eve were ejected from the Garden of Eden, and no longer had access to this fountain of life – their bodies began breaking down as ours do today.

                      Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 4:47 pm
                    • All we know about it is recorded in Genesis 3.

                      Since the present is not useful in exploring the past, how do we know we should accept Genesis 3?

                      We now refer to it as “the curse”. We believe that the significance of the “tree of life” was to give the proper nutrition or revitalizing (think fountain of youth) to keep our mortal bodies alive.

                      How did it do this Tim?
                      Also, there is no reference to Adam and Eve eating from the tree of life. The story actually states that they were ejected from the Garden so they could/would not eat from the tree of life – So this “belief” not only has no basis in empirical evidence, but also has no basis in the bible.

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 14, 2014, 5:03 pm
                    • They were told they could eat from any tree in the garden. The tree of life would have been one of those trees.

                      Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 5:18 pm
              • friendly to YEC concepts and sees much of the science moving in that direction.

                I take it this individual is not a scientist themselves, since science has long since moved past YECism. There is no scientific debate about these matters.

                Posted by riandouglas | August 11, 2014, 3:40 pm
            • Hello, I’m the author of the junk DNA article and would like to have a friendly debate 🙂

              If you’ll see I started at the top with definitions of function vs junk and stayed consistent with them throughout the article. The evolutionary community defines function as what’s conserved and what’s under selection to be maintained against deleterious mutations. In other words, if we share 5-10% of our DNA with other mammals then not much more that can be functional because everyone knows evolution couldn’t do any better. Even if it somehow did, it couldn’t stay that way because of too many deleterious mutations. So the modern argument for junk DNA has been reduced to using evolution as a premise. That’s why ENCODE is controversial, because it contradicts evolutionary theory. As Dan Graur argued for junk DNA, “If the human genome is indeed devoid of junk DNA as implied by the ENCODE project, then a long, undirected evolutionary process cannot explain the human genome.”

              But we have lots of reasons that we know it mostly is functional. At least 85% (and rising) of DNA is known to be transcribed, it’s transcribed in precise cell-type specific patterns, those transcripts are usually transported to specific locations within the cell, and mutations within those transcripts usually affect development or disease. In those transcripts “the nucleic acids that make up RNA connect to each other in very specific ways, which force RNA molecules to twist and loop into a variety of complicated 3D structures.”.

              Even without that, the intersection of DNA conservation, RNA structure conservation, disease association puts the strictly-functional, change-that-nucleotide-and-something-bad-happens amount of functional DNA at a minimum of 20-30%. Those are all lower-bound estimates but still too high for nearly-neutral evolution to have created from the ~5% shared sequence between all mammals. Or to be maintained against deleterious mutations.

              This is not to say that every nucleotide is “strictly-functional” critical. There are of course four-fold degeneracy sites, substitutions that can replace amino acids or RNA bases without a negative effect on phenotype, and many redundant backup systems that can be degraded without affecting phenotype.

              You say that junk DNA the “legitimate consensus of scientists”. That was certainly true several years ago but now the tide has changed. Junk DNA proponents like Larry Moran tell us that “the majority [of evolutionary biologists] still don’t feel very comfortable with the idea that 90% of our genome is junk”. And that was even before ENCODE phase 2.

              And yes I read dozens of papers published on junk DNA before writing that article, tracing the 40 year history of this debate. I summarize many of them on my article’s sources page. I’ve long been urging Tim to do the same before engaging in these debates :/

              Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 10:16 pm
              • That’s why ENCODE is controversial, because it contradicts evolutionary theory.

                False. ENCODE is controversial because they defined anything which is transcribed at all as being functional.
                It’s not the results of ENCODE which were controversial, but their use of terminology.

                At least 85% (and rising) of DNA is known to be transcribed,

                Transcription != functional.

                Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 10:28 pm
                • That’s why above I gave half a dozen other indicators for function beyond just percentage of transcription. Details and sources in my article, as I linked above

                  Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 10:34 pm
                  • So how does this contradict evolutionary biology as it’s understood by scientists?

                    Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 10:46 pm
                    • Because evolution can’t produce that much function. And if it could it couldn’t maintain it against genetic entropy. I explained that with links to sources in my first comment above.

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 10:49 pm
                    • Because evolution can’t produce that much function.

                      Therefore God?
                      Or therefore “Something else could be happening. Lets look into that…”?

                      No one here, or to my knowledge anywhere, claims that the modern theory of evolution is complete. So what?

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 10:57 pm
                    • Are you agreeing that evolution can’t produce that much function? Hmm…

                      Posted by Tim | August 13, 2014, 10:58 pm
                    • JoeCoder
                      Genetic entropy is rare (and mainstream scientists rarely use this ‘creationist’ term). See my recent detailed post (after Tim misrepresented his own link) in either this thread or the ‘Interpretation’ thread.

                      In the (lengthy) post in question I set out as best as I could exactly what this paper was saying at the para on ‘Genetic Load’:
                      http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1004351

                      As I understand it many deleterious mutations matter little because they affect non-coding DNA.

                      Ashley

                      Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 13, 2014, 11:00 pm
                    • Are you agreeing that evolution can’t produce that much function? Hmm…

                      Nope, I’m simply wondering what Joe’s thought processes look like.
                      And pointing out that a leap to any conclusion from a lack of knowledge is not a valid leap – you need that pesky “justification” thingy that your God belief is lacking Tim 🙂

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:02 pm
                    • You forgot “according to my standards”. My justification is missing according to your standards.

                      Posted by Tim | August 13, 2014, 11:04 pm
                    • @Ashley

                      I cite Gregory’s paper in my junk DNA article and have read it at least twice. Most DNA is non-coding but most non-coding DNA is functional. See my response here.

                      We’re getting so deep in these threads it’s hard to see who is responding to who :/

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:05 pm
                    • Most DNA is non-coding but most non-coding DNA is functional.

                      Most non-coding DNA is still transcribed. You haven’t shown the last step from transcribed to functional holds for most non-coding DNA 🙂

                      Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:11 pm
                    • @RianDouglas

                      My first comment here I offered several lines of evidence to go beyond transcription to functional. Since these comments are getting hard to follow I’ll repeat what I wrote again here:

                      It’s transcribed in precise cell-type specific patterns, those transcripts are usually transported to specific locations within the cell, and mutations within those transcripts usually affect development or disease. In those transcripts “the nucleic acids that make up RNA connect to each other in very specific ways, which force RNA molecules to twist and loop into a variety of complicated 3D structures.”.

                      Even without that, the intersection of DNA conservation, RNA structure conservation, disease association puts the strictly-functional, change-that-nucleotide-and-something-bad-happens amount of functional DNA at a minimum of 20-30%. Those are all lower-bound estimates but still too high for nearly-neutral evolution to have created from the ~5% shared sequence between all mammals. Or to be maintained against deleterious mutations.

                      For sources please see the five bullet points in this section of my article.

                      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:15 pm
  24. I agree. Sorry if my original remarks implied that before Darwin (and indeed 19th century geologists) Christians were ‘not bothered’ about the age of the Earth. It’s more that scientists did not know the true age – but since they have known it many fundamentalist Christians have consciously refused to accept the scientific data and have produced or consumed YEC denialist apologetics (not just the theology of why long ages and sin bringing death ‘don’t mix’, but also all the false or highly selective arguments for a ‘young’ earth and indeed ‘young’ universe).

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 13, 2014, 8:29 pm
  25. PS The post of mine that I have just referred to (it’s in this thread) was timed at 9.13 am on 10 August.

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 13, 2014, 11:08 pm
  26. I’ll start a new comment, because the indent is getting painful 🙂

    JoeCoder: My first comment here I offered several lines of evidence to go beyond transcription to functional.

    One of those lines, that concerned with RNA in brains, only looked at a specific type of RNA, so I don’t see how or why the results can be extrapolated to ALL non-coding DNA – you don’t explain it but seem to just assume it.

    Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:23 pm
    • Thanks for starting a new comment.

      If every time you look at RNA it shows these various indicators of function, why would it not be the case for all RNA? What would be the odds that you do it hundreds of times and you see function 80% of times, but then the rest of it is mostly non-functional? It would be essentially zero. As the authors (who are not ID proponents) wrote:

      “with, by our estimate, hundreds of validated cases already published and many more en route, which is a big enough subset to draw broader conclusions about the likely functionality of the rest.”

      And I’m sorry guys, but I don’t intend to sit here debating all night. I have better things to do. This will be my last post and then I’m out.

      Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:35 pm
      • you’ll notice they say “boarder conclusions” rather than saying it’s directly applicable.

        As the authors wrote:
        “This case is, moreover, entirely consistent with the broad tenets of evolution by natural selection, although it may not be easily reconcilable with current population theory and current ideas of evolutionary neutrality. In any case, that our understanding of the remarkably complex processes underlying the molecular evolution of life, including the likely evolution of evolvability, is incomplete should not be surprising.”

        Basically, the authors are arguing against the protein centric view of evolution, which if false (or, more likely, just incomplete) doesn’t make YEC (or ID) more probable. Nor does it render evolutionary biology false (as the authors point out)

        Posted by riandouglas | August 13, 2014, 11:42 pm
        • I said before it was the last comment but I really have to clarify this. Among these three:

          1. Population genetics: “current population theory and current ideas of evolutionary neutrality”
          2. Mostly-functional-genomes
          3. Evolutionary theory

          You can pick only two. The junk DNA proponents are trying to argue against #2. Mattick and Dinger are trying to throw out #1. But if you ignore the (very well supported) math behind mutation/selection/nearly-neutral evolution and divorce evolution from any mathematical theory underlying it, what’s left? Imagination?

          Posted by JoeCoder | August 13, 2014, 11:54 pm
  27. More lying from the AiG camp (relevant to whichever of these two live threads previously discussed gene duplication). And there’s a new YEC nonsensical-sounding nebulous term to learn – a ‘GONI’ (Gain of Novel Information’):
    https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/mutations/hijacking-good-science-lenskis-bacteria-support-creation/

    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 14, 2014, 12:06 am
    • Ashley – please refrain from using the terminology “lying” form here out. Even if they are incorrect, they are not lying – only misinformed. What they are reporting they believe in all earnest to be truthful. There is no cause for defamation through attack language. I will allow this post as the topic is very related to our discussion, but won’t allow something like that again.

      Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 3:14 am
      • Tim, given the misrepresentation, willful ignorance and distortions creationists routinely engage in, lying may be an appropriate term.
        For example, from the page Ashley linked to:
        “A GONI must involve a mutational event or series of events that enable the production of novel protein(s) that can perform a specific and previously unknown activity. This type of mutation has not been observed. “

        Yet he discusses a previously unknown activity evolving (metabolism of citrate in the presence of oxygen), and also discusses increases in the specificity of a protein/enzyme (“Neither would a mutation that brings back a function that was previously lost”).

        So, basically he’s saying that novel functions can evolve (citrate metabolism), and specificity can increase (function can be regained, fitness can increase), but for some unstated reason an increase in specificity cannot occur to a novel function.

        So, is has the author simply failed to carry out basic reasoning, or are they knowingly being dishonest?

        Posted by riandouglas | August 14, 2014, 4:03 pm
        • I don’t see a contradiction. I am no expert in the terminology, but it seems like he is first saying that evolution must create a brand-new protein and then he is discussing where a protein has changed function. Those sounds like two different situations to me. Like instead of dying my hair a different color, I would need to grow completely different hair all together.

          If he misunderstands what he is talking about – that’s one thing. But he is not lying no matter how you spin it.

          Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 4:17 pm
          • I am no expert in the terminology, but it seems like he is first saying that evolution must create a brand-new protein and then he is discussing where a protein has changed function.

            In the case of Lenski’s bacteria, there was a new function, and then refinement. In the case of nylon eating bacteria there was a new protein with a new function (through an adaptation of an existing protein).

            If he misunderstands what he is talking about – that’s one thing. But he is not lying no matter how you spin it.

            Why are you so sure that he’s not lying (being knowingly dishonest or misleading)?

            He seems to have some grasp of the science involved (though he doesn’t seem to have studied biology, having a Bachelor in Health Science” and a Masters in “Physiotherapy”), so I would think misunderstanding would be a low probability.
            I’m not sure if there’s another option apart from the author being either ignorant or dishonest. If the author is ignorant, isn’t AiG being dishonest in presenting them as an authority on the matter?

            Posted by riandouglas | August 14, 2014, 4:36 pm
            • I would say being dishonest out of ignorance is not the same thing as deliberately lying.

              Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 4:40 pm
              • So, you think the author is merely ignorant of the science?
                Does that mean you accept that AiG are being dishonest in presenting this person as an authority?
                Or are AiG ignorant as well?

                If AiG are blameless as well, then you’ve undermined any reason for you to take anything they say seriously. You’ve relegated them to something akin to the “flat earth society” (which, btw, takes the bible as being more literally true than you do) 🙂

                Posted by riandouglas | August 14, 2014, 4:58 pm
                • I didn’t say they were ignorant or lying. You did. I was going from your perspective. If they are truly ignorant, then they can’t be called liars – just misinformed.

                  Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 5:17 pm
                  • If their claims are false they are either ignorant or are lying.

                    Neither is defensible given the strident claims of AiG and the high profile context in which they make them (and then forbid ALL comments under their articles except – at times – on facebook).

                    Posted by Ashley Haworth-roberts | August 14, 2014, 9:31 pm
                    • Ashley if you said that dinosaurs lived 65 millions years ago, and I didn’t agree – I would not call you a liar. Why would you not extend me the same courtesy? Just because you disagree does not mean they are lying. No one can prove that.

                      Posted by Tim | August 14, 2014, 10:10 pm

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