Sydney University biology course debate
Once a year for the last three years, the introductory ‘Biology Today’ course at Sydney University has invited a creationist to participate on the bulletin boards and in a live–time chat. Dr Carl Wieland, Managing Director of Creation Ministries International (Australia), has partaken in all three chat sessions involving lecturers and students as an invited guest ‘expert’.
As well, there have been CMI comments on the University’s Bulletin Board presenting creationist information, correcting some of the misinformation presented in the course notes, and as a bonus, contributing to the Stem Cell debate in another part of the course.
This time, CMI obtained permission to post the chat transcript on our Web site. We have posted this mainly unedited, apart from minor typo corrections. Because Dr Wieland was typing in real time, trying to answer several people at once, he sometimes had no time to elaborate or to answer every single query, so we have added some URLs to relevant Web articles, and minor comments, in square brackets.
The sequence was often like this: Question A appears, then almost simultaneously Questions B and C appear while the answer is still being typed. So the answers will often not relate to the question directly above.
As readers of our Feedback responses and ‘counters to critics’ would know, we usually advise against debating in Internet chat rooms and bulletin boards. It becomes pointless refuting the same old canards time and time again when most participants are more interested in point-scoring rather than truth. In this case, however, we were given the opportunity to participate in a legitimate chat in a proper University biology course to give a perspective that’s so often missing or even more often misrepresented. The exchange demonstrates how so many critics and even ‘neutral’ people really have no idea what creationists really teach.
We commend the course coordinators for their efforts to apply some balance to their course, even though they are staunch evolutionists. This is a pleasant contrast to the one–sided indoctrination that usually occurs at secular universities, and sadly even at ostensibly Christian universities and Bible colleges.
Dr Ben Oldroyd [Course lecturer]: Everybody please be aware that today’s discussion may be posted on the Answers in Genesis Web site.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Hi Paul. Thanks for doing this. Doesn’t usually get going for a while yet.
BT Expert—Paul: OK.
BT Tutor—Alyson: [Ashe]: Morning everyone.
Eric Gambardella: Good morning
BT Expert—Carl: [Wieland]: Good morning.
BT Expert—Paul: Much better day in Queensland today than yesterday.
BT Expert—Carl: Sure is [we were coming into the Southern Hemisphere summer, which is also Queensland’s wet season].
BT Expert—Paul: Can actually see a horizon now that the dust is gone.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Did you have those dust storms
BT Expert—Carl: Sure did [the East Coast of Australia had just had a huge dust storm, where 15 million tonnes of topsoil was blown into the air].
BT Expert—Paul: Incredibly thick where I was. Fires nearby did not help either.
BT Tutor—Alyson: There seems to be fires everywhere.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Carl, can you kindly tell us something about your background?
BT Expert—Carl: I was a medical practitioner till 1986, since then have worked fulltime for Answers in Genesis.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: And you please Paul?
Eric Gambardella: What exactly is Answers in Genesis?
BT Expert—Carl: A non–profit Christian ministry organization, non–denominational.
BT Expert—Paul: I currently work for the Geological Survey of Queensland. I am a regional mapper dealing (map large areas to interpret Tectonic evolution) and I also study Palaeontology.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: There was an interesting question in the lecture yesterday. Why is it that spirituality has ‘evolved’ in all human cultures? Stumped me!
BT Expert—Carl: What if it hasn’t evolved, but is because all are created in God’s image?
BT Expert—Paul: It changes as society changes.
BT Tutor—Alyson: But then it has still changed in many cultures.
BT Expert—Paul: As you learn more you can add things to you spirituality.
BT Expert—Carl: The expression changes, but not the spirituality.
BT Expert—Carl: I.e. the fact that we are spiritual beings, regardless of the many expressions. But I thought this was to be about biology, etc.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: I was wondering if there was any theory about humans being hard–wired to be interested in religion etc.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Is there belief that animals have some sort of spirit in them?
BT Expert—Carl: Yes, there is such a materialist theory, as well as my creationist one above. The cortical ‘god spot’ is its name.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Can you elaborate?
BT Expert—Paul: There are some theories about such things. It is usually covered by Memes. Ideas that allow your society to survive will survive with it. Religion helped hold societies together in the past
BT Expert—Carl: Animals may be sentient beings. The Bible talks about the ‘spirit’ of an animal, but it is not the same as any immortal non–material component, as for human beings.
BT Expert—Carl: BTW, memes are controversial even among materialist researchers [see Memes].
BT Expert—Paul: They are a useful model for the transport of ideas regardless of whether they exist as a thing or not
BT Expert—Carl: When is the ‘meat’ going to begin?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Isn’t religion another way of explaining the unexplained
Dr Ben Oldroyd: A meme is an idea by Richard Dawkins that ideas and cultural things can be the subject of natural selection like genes are.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Yes, who else has some questions for our experts?
BT Expert—Paul: Some use the Gods of the Gap. I.e. What I can not explain now can only be done by God.
BT Expert—Carl: Ultimately, truth is important — and the origins debate has a lot to do with this whole issue of ultimate reality — is it eternal God or eternal matter (or self-created matter) and if the former, it is logical to take notice of claimed revelation
BT Expert—Carl: We don’t go for the God of the gaps idea, but for a coherent model of origins. Check our website [we have often pointed out that we never seek miraculous intervention in the area of normal ‘operation science’, and also that the evidence for design is not based on a lack of knowledge, but squarely on what we do know about complex specified information].
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Do people have a hard time understanding evolution because of the idea of time and it being so big?
BT Expert—Carl: No, we don’t have a hard time understanding evolution, we just don’t believe it.
BT Expert—Paul: The span of time is hard to grasp and as a palaeontologist I am used to thinking about millions of years
BT Expert—Carl: I used to believe it once, no more.
BT Tutor—Alyson: What made you change your mind Carl?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: What makes you think that time is not so large?
Eric Gambardella: Carl, what are some doubts you have that evolution is taking place?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: there have been lots of evidence which suggest that time is huge.
BT Expert—Carl: Many issues, one of them was an actual irrefutable demonstration that matter is not the ultimate reality, the other was reading scientists who proposed an alternate model of origins. You can do that too, Check our website [e.g. Creationist Scientists].
Adam James—Harris: Was Darwin’s theory of evolution criticised heavily when it came out? Was it because he saw that humans came from apes? And that all animals came from a common ancestor?
BT Expert—Carl: There is also evidence which suggests that time is not huge at all. Check our website
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: If matter isn’t, what is the ultimate reality?
Eric Gambardella: Doesn’t it seem there are a lot more facts supporting evolution that not?
Zachary Wylie–Bent: What kind of irrefutable proof was there?
BT Expert—Carl: Darwinism is completely opposed to the Biblical history of life and the universe. E.g. it postulates death before man.
BT Expert—Paul: Facts do support evolution since the science of evolution was worked out from the facts.
BT Expert—Carl: It is not a question of facts, but interpretation. We have the same world, the same natural selection, mutation, fossils, etc. — the interpretation is the issue.
Adam James—Harris: Death before man? [Ed. note: Yes, as we often point out, this is a key problem with any attempts to marry Christianity with billions of years—see The god of an old Earth.]
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: How old do you believe the earth to be then?
BT Expert—Carl: And the idea that evolution was worked out from the facts denies the historical reality that evolutionary ideas have been around since ancient times — Anaximander, Lucretius, … Darwin’s grandpa wrote on evolution.
BT Expert—Paul: In the creationist interpretation man was created on day 6. Nothing died before that. In evolution things died for billions of years before man evolved
BT Tutor—Alyson: How long ago was day 6?
BT Expert—Carl: The Bible makes it clear that the earth is about 6,000 years old. Eyewitness evidence is normally regarded highly in forensic issues like determining what happened in the past.
BT Expert—Paul: There were theories of evolution around before Darwin. But evolution is still worked out by the evidence currently at hand
BT Expert—Paul: Nonsense. Physical evidence is much more important in court than an eye witness. [Ed. note: Nonsense? Reliable eye-witness testimony outweighs circumstantial forensic evidence every time. See also Dr Wieland’s discussion on the Lindy Chamberlain travesty of justice below.]
Zachary Wylie–Bent: How would one explain the fact that the fossil record shows that there were billions of years of fossils before man
Eric Gambardella: Do you also believe that earth was created 6000 years ago?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: how can you be sure that everything in the bible is correct?
Adam James—Harris: But Darwins theory cannot be proven wrong? it proves heaps of things doesnt it?
BT Expert—Carl: I suggest that the evidence is interpreted within the evolutionary paradigm. It is a somewhat coherent paradigm, but the problem is that not many get the opportunity to see how coherent the creation one is, i.e. the same facts.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: I heard that the bible was written some time after Christ. [Ed. note: He has heard wrongly. The Old Testament was completed 400 years before Christ, and the New Testament by AD 96 at the latest. And even some liberal scholars point out that there is no evidence that any book was written after AD 70. See Q&A: Bible.]
BT Expert—Paul: Darwin’s theory is the ultimate unifying concept in biology
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Who wrote the Genesis? And how long ago was that? [Ed. note: see Did Moses really write Genesis?]
BT Expert—Carl: Historical models are not ‘proven wrong’. See Thomas Kuhn’s book on revolutions, etc. [T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, 1970]. Darwin was right about natural selection being a fact, but so was Edward Blyth, a creationist who wrote about it years before. Check our website for the article Muddy Waters on selection and how exciting it is for a creationist model [Muddy waters. Clarifying the confusion about natural selection]
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Do progressive creationists believe that each day of creation represents a long period of time? [Ed. note: Yes, and without any basis in the Hebrew grammar of Genesis. See Progressive Creationism]
BT Expert—Carl: Our axiom is that the Bible is divinely inspired by the Creator. Moses was the author [or at least editor] of Genesis.
Adam James—Harris: Why didn’t Blyth get credited for it?
BT Expert—Paul: Since we are advertising websites http://www.talkorigins.org/ is a good one [Ed. note: that’s a matter of opinion — see True Origins or our Countering the Critics page that expose some of the many errors on such essentially atheistic sites].
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: So how would a creationist explain evolution and biodiversity?
Eric Gambardella: If the world was created 6000 years ago how does one explain rock formations that date back millions of years ago?
BT Expert—Carl: Many people today think that Darwin plagiarised Blyth. But don’t get me wrong, a lot of Darwin’s careful observations deserve credit. But to extrapolate from that to universal explanations doesn’t work with what we know about information theory.
BT Expert—Carl: Date back millions of years ago by what evidence?
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: How do you know, Carl? How do you know Moses even existed? [Ed. note: How do you know Julius Caesar existed? You can’t prove that scientifically after all. But we do know because of reliable written records! See also Did Moses really write Genesis?]
BT Expert—Paul: Radiometric dating.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: It didn’t really work then but now with modern genetics it all comes together.
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: Is it more philosophy than science?
BT Expert—Carl: If you mean radiodating, we have published heaps on this, including evidence that you can’t get a date without making assumptions, and that when these assumptions are subject to real time testing (e.g. the lava dome of Mt St Helens) it fails miserably [see Q&A: Radiometric Dating].
BT Expert—Paul: I have used Radiometric dating myself. It is reliable and accurate. [Ed. note: Argumentum ad verecundiam or appeal to authority. How would he know it’s accurate on a rock dated, say, 125 million years old unless he had been around 125 million years ago to witness the lava hardening at the time? And to match Paul’s appeal to authority, former CMI geologist Dr Andrew Snelling has also used radiometric dating and found many anomalies. Further, current CMI geologist Dr Tas Walker has also used typical radiometric dating techniques, and found that ‘isochron’ plots can be constructed that clearly have nothing to do with age.]
Adam James—Harris: But Darwin came up with a lot of evidence himself didn’t he? Vestigial organs? Fossil records?
BT Expert—Paul: Creationists cheat on their dating. They only date samples that they know will give a wrong date. [Ed. note: this inflammatory accusation about ‘cheating’ is without foundation and shows how desperate his case must be. The whole point is: if the dating methods fail on rocks of known age (i.e. documented by eye witnesses), then why should we trust them on rocks of unknown age?] Real scientists are much more careful [Ed. note: again an inflammatory and prejudicial contrast between creationists and scientists, although many creationists are scientists by any normal criteria, e.g. qualifications and publication record].
BT Expert—Carl: [To Zachary] What on earth makes you think that modern genetics supports evolution? I know geneticists who think otherwise. We interviewed Australia’s leading molecular biologist, Ian Macreadie, and he is a creationist.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Would a creationist believe in the existence of dinosaurs?
BT Expert—Carl: Vestigial organs — yeah, sure, appendix and 180 others, now all known to have a function in humans [see Q&A: ‘Vestigial’ Organs]
BT Expert—Carl: Of course we believe in the existence of dinos — and can bring up much evidence that people saw them originally. E.g. dragon stories [see Q&A: Dinosaurs].
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: So did dinosaurs exist in the time of humans?
Adam James—Harris: So does that mean that vestigial organs isn’t evidence anymore for Darw. theory?
BT Tutor—Alyson: I suppose you would explain the similarity between the basic structure of organisms as everything being made from a common blueprint …?
Zachary Wylie–Bent: What’s the function of the hip bone in the whale?
Eric Gambardella: Carl going back to radioactive dating, doesn’t it seem there are many more experiments that support rocks older than 6000 years than not?
BT Expert—Carl: I don’t think that I would want to be an evolutionist using vestigial organs today …
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: So you’re suggesting people existed at the same time as dinosaurs?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Yes, but dinosaurs existed millions of years ago and creationist believe that the earth is only 6000 yrs old.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Now how does the tie in?
BT Expert—Carl: Whale — pelvic support, anchoring of muscles to do with reproduction. I wouldn’t call it ‘hip’ bone
BT Expert—Carl: Dinos did not exist millions of years ago. Check our website for red blood cells found in unmineralized dino bone (secular documentation) [see Sensational dinosaur blood report; update: still-elastic dinosaur blood tissue has also been found—see Squirming at the Squishosaur: A refutation of a progressive creationist response to our articles on the finding of soft dinosaur tissue]
BT Expert—Paul: Pelvic bone has a new function. Cooption of old features for new use is classic evolution
BT Expert—Paul: It was not red blood cells. It was heme molecules.
BT Tutor—Alyson: So what happened to the dinos?
BT Expert—Carl: [To Paul] The cooption is a secondary assumption, not proof. That’s how you fit it into your model.
Adam James—Harris: But I read that the pelvic support in whales had no real use in them, and that another organ would be best suited reproduction. On what u just said?
BT Expert—Carl: [To Paul] Not true — it was both. Hemoglobin immunological tests and microscopic cells with rbc appearance [see this detailed response to a critic]. Looks like you’ve been believing talkorigins [the anticreationist Web site he mentioned earlier] too much.
BT Expert—Paul: Appearance. Not the blood cells themselves. They were mineralized [Ed. note: one doesn’t get positive hemoglobin immunological tests or even heme molecules with minerals! And the evolutionist researchers themselves said that that section of bone was ‘unfossilized’.]
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Still humans and dinosaurs don’t exist in the same rock strata in the fossil record
BT Expert—Carl: Not sure what you mean, Adam, re another organ … check out our site for ‘whales’ — good search engine [you might find The strange tale of the leg on the whale]. BTW, we’re not claiming to have all the answers, but you owe it to yourself to check the ones we do have.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: But how you explain dino bones being buried under metres of sediment. I am also studying geology and it takes a fair amount of time for sediments to build up, more than 6000 yrs. [Ed. note: Another argumentum ad verecundiam. Actually, if there’s little water, then lots of time might be required. Conversely, lots of water requires little time.]
Adam James—Harris: Is sexual selection in species associated with Darwin’s theory of evolution??
BT Expert—Paul: Darwin covered sexual selection in The Descent of Man.
BT Expert—Carl: Would you expect humans and dinosaurs to necessarily be buried together [i.e. in the same stratum] in a Flood, since the global Flood is the explanation for fossils, not successive ‘ages’.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Yes, if they were both there they should have been buried together
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?
Henny Ciawi—Tjia: What is human’s evolution?
BT Expert—Paul: Not one modern grass grazing mammal with one dino grazer has ever been found in the fossil record.
BT Expert—Carl: [To Paul] Sexual selection is something logical and observable, but like nat. sel, limited to the information present. The problem is the origin of new information, must happen by mutation, this is not observed to date, should be hundreds of examples of increased info. in mutations.
BT Expert—Paul: Increase info by mutation is well known.
BT Expert—Carl: [to Joyce] Dinos could easily have fitted on the Ark — the very huge ones (only a handful) by juvenile specimens. And the Ark had enough room: Check our website [in fact, under the very question Joyce asked!]
Adam James—Harris: So you are saying that vestigial organs are not good evidence anymore because they found uses for them in humans and animals. i.e.: the whale and the pelvic support!
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I’m calling you on the increased info bit; example, please. We have been blowing this around the world, even interviewed Richard Dawkins, even after this when blasting us, he was unable to give an instance [see The Problem of Information for the Theory of Evolution Has Dawkins really solved it?]
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Bacteria can mutate in laboratory settings before your eyes.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Yes, the earth is constantly changing, surface of the earth can be subject to folding and with the help of erosion, it would be possible to find dino bones with human remain.
BT Expert—Carl: Absence of evidence of function is not evidence of lack of function, it may be evidence of our ignorance [see Q&A: Vestigial Organs].
BT Expert—Paul: Population has X alleles at a certain site. One organism has a mutation at that site which is non fatal. Population now has X+1 alleles at that site. How is X+1 not more than X?
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: That’s true Carl!
BT Expert—Carl: [To Zachary] Of course bacteria mutate, all the time, but that is why it is so significant that even with antibiotic resistance, no examples yet exist of info increase. See Spetner, Lee, Not by Chance [right] a biophysicist of international experience prior to retirement.
BT Expert—Paul: How is X+1 not more than X?
BT Expert—Paul: How is it not an increase??
Adam James—Harris: So, Paul … what do you think of Darwin and his theory? is it the best solution that is supported by evidence?
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I’m embarrassed to have to point out that a copy of a gene is not extra information. If I copy the Britannica, I don’t get twice as much knowledge. Please read creationist arguments, not just their critics on the site you mentioned.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: But you don’t have to see to believe, do creationists need solid evidence for them to believe that the earth is more than 6000 yr?
BT Expert—Paul: The theory has changed a lot since Darwin’s time but it is still very good.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: With cross pollination in plants you can get polyploidy which would make them new species. [Ed. note: polyploidy has nothing to do with cross–pollination. Further, polyploidy is a duplication of existing information, not an increase. And the creation model not only has no problem with new species forming, but predicts rapid speciation—see What do creationists really teach?]
BT Expert—Paul: A mutation produces a new allele that was not there before. We now have X+1. How is that not an increase.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: I thought that time written in the Bible was relative?
BT Tutor—Alyson: If you copied Britannica, and then wrote new stuff into it the 2nd copy ... not twice as much info, but still more.
BT Expert—Carl: We are able to see a lot of evidence consistent with our belief. E.g. rapid fossilization evidence, rapid petrifaction, magnetic field evidence of earth’s youth, including documented rapid field reversals as predicted by a creationist, and discovered by an evolutionist pair.
Adam James—Harris: What’s really changed with Darwin’s theory? DNA? But doesn’t that support his theory?
BT Expert—Carl: [To Alyson] Writing more into the Britannica would indeed add info, if it was done by an intelligent agent. You have made our point for us
BT Expert—Paul: DNA is a big one. How inheritance works is another.
BT Tutor—Alyson: No, it could be added by mutation
BT Expert—Paul: Darwin was very confused by inheritance. He could not understand how it was ‘particle’ and not blending.
BT Expert—Carl: Alyson, begs the question — where do we see a mutation adding information? Might be one, should be hundreds, don’t see one yet. Evolutionists will rejoice when it happens — if it does [but it would still not be enough to have one or two].
Adam James—Harris: Wouldn’t inheritance support Darwin?
BT Expert—Carl: Why would inheritance support evolution? It is a mechanism established using ingenious information–bearing systems and machinery, and is conservative, not creative.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: I believe in Christ and I haven’t seen him but I also there are evidence with support the earth is more than 6000 yr, I haven’t seen it but I believe it.
BT Expert—Carl: If you believe in Christ, presumably you would believe what He taught, which is that people were there from the beginning of the world (Mark 10) [for more information, see Jesus and the age of the world].
Adam James—Harris Inheritance is natural isn’t it?
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: Ultimately, is this a question of science or of belief?
BT Expert—Carl: Of course inheritance is natural, i.e. the way the world God made originally works. We’re not vitalists (look that one up). [See Naturalism, Origin and Operation Science.]
BT Expert—Paul: Inheritance is necessary for evolution but not necessarily support. Darwin invented Gemule Reproduction which was plainly wrong given what we now know from Mendel
Emma Louis–Anglesey: That was written in the Old Testament before Christ!
BT Expert—Carl: All science is based on belief and interpretation. Facts do not speak for themselves as all modern science philosophers now acknowledge
BT Expert—Carl: Mark 10:6 was not written in the OT!
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: How you found solid evidence that there is a creator.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Just testing you.
BT Expert—Carl: Thai, Check our website [e.g. How can we know there's a God?] for much evidence.
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: I see what you mean Carl. Then where such moral judgements are concerned, is there really a standard of truth or falsity?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: I want to hear your views.
BT Expert—Carl: If we all just evolved from chance chemicals, there is no absolute standard, can’t be any, just relative
BT Expert—Carl: Thai, it is hard in this forum.
Rebecca Elizabeth—Koncz: So in essence, both you and Paul are no more right than the other? Just expressing different views?
BT Expert—Paul: Evolution and the ancient age of the earth was discovered by Christians in the 19th century. Many scientists today belong to Christianity and other religions. It is not a simple matter of philosophy.
Adam James—Harris: With Darwin, is the evolution of the 5 digits in species good evidence?
BT Expert—Carl: There is truth, all I am talking about is the limitations of science in arriving at truth, it depends on the truth of your axioms. We believe that creation is truth. We are not postmodernists who deny truth.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: But how do explain the fact that all over the world, as primates evolved into humans that each different culture developed a type of spirituality?
Emma Louis–Anglesey: This one always puzzles me?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Do creationist believe that the creator created every single animals and human differently and we just didn’t evolved?
BT Expert—Paul: 5 digits was set early on in tetrapod evolution. The early ones had 7 and 8. 5 became the standard very early on and all others evolved from there. Some have lost digits since then i.e. horses. [Ed. note: see the box at Common structures = common ancestry?, showing that the embryonic development of the 5–digited limbs is completely different for amphibians and amniotes, contradicting the expectation of common–ancestry evolution’.]
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, that is the genetic fallacy — it would not matter who believed what, if the evidence supported an old Earth, it would not matter if they were Christians, deists (which actually is the case, not Bible believers as such, so it might be worth checking out our Journal of Creation archives on that one).
BT Expert—Paul: Carl is right, but the evidence is there. That is why Christians such as Sedgwick and Lyell insisted that the earth was very old [Ed. Note: Lyell was an anti–Christian deist — see Darwin, Lyell and billions of years].
BT Expert—Carl: We believe that separate kinds were created, but that there was variation within each kind, within the limits of its information. E.g. dog kind — wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc — speciation can occur with a loss of information, thinning
BT Expert—Carl: We are all descended from Noah and his family, all cultures started with the same knowledge of God. Romans 1 talks about the progressive rejection of this knowledge, but even animist cultures have concepts of a ‘creator’ or ‘sky’ god they once believed in.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Talking of dogs, would wolves have been created and everything changed from them? In which case you’d expect the wolves’ ‘information’ to have elements of every other kind of dog.
BT Tutor—Alyson: or was there some kind of prototype dog that now no longer exists
Adam James—Harris: do you believe in the criteria for what darwin postulated his theory on? Ie: everyone have a common ancestor...variation in the population. Heritable triats? etc. …
Chau—Dinh–Vu: So what is there to say that there are different human kind that existed more than 6000yrs, we are just one of it’s kind.
BT Expert—Carl: Actually, it is believed by all that wolves were the ancestors of domestic dogs. But the wolves themselves shared common ancestry with coyotes, etc. Again, the issue is coherency. This is consistent with my comments on information.
BT Expert—Paul: I accept that all life has a common ancestor
Zachary Wylie–Bent: How can there be the modern diversity of humans from just one family who were all presumably very similar.
BT Expert—Carl: Adam — Darwin was right about some things, and it is the interpretation that is the issue.
BT Expert—Paul: If you think about it all the men should have the same Y chromosomes if we all came from Noah.
Adam James—Harris: So nothing is right and wrong? it is just how people view his theory!
BT Expert—Carl: Zachary — all mol. biologists now agree that we are all astonishingly closely related. We all have the same pigment for skin shade — melanin, just different amounts. Very easy to explain on the basis of the Tower of Babel event — biologically, happens in one generation. Check our website [Q&A: Races and Racism].
BT Expert—Paul: Very close, but not the same. Are you saying that mutations can now add information to a chromosome.
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, if you think about it that is not true, since the Y chromosome contains mutations (degrading of information, or neutral shuffling) and also had variety in it like other chromosomes. There will be reshuffling of this information in the normal Mendelian way.
Adam James—Harris: What were the first group of species to evolve? Birds? Mammals? Reptiles? etc. What is the order?.
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I am not saying that mutations occurred [to explain races]. The Babel thing just separated existing batches of information within the one gene pool. That happens all the time in artificial breeding.
BT Expert—Paul: For land the tetrapods were first. Amphibians, but not like modern ones. Then reptiles, then it splits in many different branches with synapsids mammal, dinosaurs etc.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Why are mutations necessarily degrading information? just because right now it might appear to be negative does not mean that in some other situation it could be positive.
BT Expert—Carl: Adam’s question of course assumes the truth of the paradigm.
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Does that order fit the order God created different species?
BT Expert—Carl: Alyson, it is also possible that the back of the moon is made of green cheese. My point is that it is yet to be demonstrated. You can have faith pending such a demonstration, but you still need hundreds, mathematically, to make neoDarwinism credible (see Spetner book mentioned earlier
BT Expert—Carl: No Joyce, it does not fit the order. Bible says fish came after fruit trees, evolutionary order is the opposite [for more incompatibilities, see Two world–views in conflict].
BT Expert—Paul: No. The order in the Bible is slightly different [Ed. note: actually it is very different].
Adam James—Harris: What was neo darwinism? did it support Darwin or go against it?
BT Expert—Carl: The order in the fossil record is an order of burial, not an order of evolutionary appearance.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Paul, do you believe that Noah really lived to over 100 years, and do you believe that time in the Bible is literal?
BT Expert—Carl: Adam, I will leave that to your teachers to explain, I’m surprised that hasn’t taken place yet.
BT Expert—Paul: It is the ‘New’ Darwinism. It began to incorporate fossils and genetics. Things not covered by Darwin.
BT Expert—Paul: No. Time in the Bible is not literal
BT Expert—Paul: Also re order of burial, why do oak trees occur above velociraptors? Could the oak tree run faster and avoid the flood waters?
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Carl you say order of burial, who buried these animals?
BT Expert—Carl: Emma, check out our article about the biological issues of humans with long lifespans, Living for 900 years (use the search engine on our site). And to say, Paul, that time is not literal begs the question of how you know. Leading Hebrew experts like James Barr of Oxford don’t believe the Bible, but they agree totally that the Hebrew was meant to tell us about 6 ordinary days, young earth, and so on.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Then the Bible does not deny the current geological age of the earth
BT Expert—Carl: Zach, the Flood buried the animals. Genesis Chapters 6–9.
Adam James—Harris: Fossils and DNA wasn’t covered by Darwin. However, it did support the theory?
BT Expert—Paul: In the poetic sense Genesis could be made to fit the Big Bang and Evolution.
BT Expert—Carl: The Bible most certainly does deny current geological speculations about the earth’s age (which have on average doubled several times over the past 300 years).
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Where humans around when this flood occurred?
Zachary Wylie–Bent: If the flood buried them wouldn’t they all be in the same layer?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Is this how you explain fossils?
BT Expert—Carl: [Io Paul] If Genesis gave literary indications of being poetry/allegory/non–literal, like other parts of the Bible, Paul you might have a point, but it does not, that is just a copout, respectfully [Genesis has several trademarks of historical narrative, e.g. ‘waw consecutive’, usually an indicator of historical sequence; ‘accusative particles’ that mark the objects of verbs; and terms that are often carefully defined; and the peculiar sequence of Hebrew verb tenses. Conversely, Genesis is lacking the parallelisms that characterize Hebrew poetry. See also Should Genesis Be Taken Literally?]. And you still have the problem of death and cancer before man, thus before sin, undermining the whole thrust of the Gospel.
BT Expert—Paul: That is your problem
BT Expert—Carl: A flood would sort things into layers, ecological zones, etc. Mt St Helens showed hundreds of sedimentary layers from one catastroph
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, it’s only my problem if I accept the paradigm you do. If you don’t see it as a problem, why worry or pontificate on the nature of Genesis, anyway?
BT Expert—Paul: Geologists are aware that some deposits can form quickly, but they are very different to deposits that take a long time to form e.g. varves.
BT Expert—Paul: I was asked for my opinion.
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: The book of revelation wouldn’t be literal right? but i guess that’s something diff?
BT Expert—Carl: Paul — OK, fair enoug
BT Expert—Carl: Berthault’s experimental work on sedimentation has shown that ‘varves’ can form quickly [see How can many fine layers of rock be formed very quickly?].
BT Expert—Paul: Many Christians have no problem fitting their beliefs with science. Many evolutionary biologists are Christian and other religions
Adam James—Harris: So, does Darwin’s ‘tree of life’ theory right? In any way?
BT Expert—Carl: There are parts of revelation with quite different literary styles — that is not an opinion, that is objectively establishable. Genesis is written as historical narrative, Rev. is apocalyptic, e.g.
BT Expert—Paul: And did he have the associated lithologies such as drop stones, till etc or did he come up with something that superfically looked like a varve.
BT Expert—Carl: Darwin’s theory is not right, except in that some branching can occur. There is not ‘one tree’, there is a creationist orchard. Many kinds, variation within kind.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Humans have their own ‘kind’?
BT Tutor—Alyson: Or alternatively, it is right. Depending on your point of view.
Adam James—Harris: What things disprove Darwin’s theory?
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, give us specifics of the ‘varve’ interpretations you are talking about? There are postflood varves, not during the Flood time, and more than one varve has been shown to form in one year anyway. [Of course, Paul has never witnessed varves forming at one per year for thousands of years. But not only lab experiments as cited above, but also field observations have shown that laminae can form far more quickly (see Sandy Stripes). Even the ones we haven’t observed to form quickly have evidence consistent with that, e.g. fossil fish penetrating many layers—see Green River Blues.]
BT Expert—Paul: Creationists never give a scientific definition of a ‘kind’.
BT Expert—Paul: Glacial varves. They occur with a host of rock types that are also associated with glaciers
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Do creationists believe in plate tectonic?
BT Expert—Carl: [To Paul] Actually, I gave one [scientific definition of a ‘kind’] in our TJ many years ago [Variation, Information and the Created Kind, Journal of Creation 5(1):42–47, 1991.] There is a whole discipline within creationism called baraminology which deals with issues of how to determine them, etc. [See also What is the Biblical creationist model?, outlining the hybridization criterion. Therefore Paul’s claim that ‘creationists never give scientific definition of a “kind”’ is completely false.]
Emma Louis—Anglesey: This is a point that I like to ponder, and I am interested to hear everyone’s opinions. We are relying so much on chance in all of this. I mean in the first place the earth is so delicately placed. If there was a difference of it’s position of less than 5% either way, in relation to the sun, then we wouldn’t have any water, and therefore no life. look at Venus and Mars.
BT Expert—Paul: Finding varves without other signs of glaciers is meaningless.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: What does plate tectonics have to do with it?
BT Expert—Carl: Glaciers — OK, we are happy to accept an Ice Age. But that is clearly post–Flood. The warm water from below the ground would give the huge increase in evaporation/precipition needed to fuel the formation of ice sheets, this explains the otherwise mysterious source of the energy to pump the water up out of the oceans onto the land to get a huge Ice Age as the evidence indicates [see Q&A: Ice Age].
BT Expert—Paul: What is your implication Emma?
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: The universe is so huge and is continuing to expand, what is there to say that there is life on another planet, we haven’t discovered it or can’t see it
BT Expert—Paul: What about the Varve, glacial scratches etc within the rocks that you would call flood rocks?
BT Expert—Carl: [To Emma] The worlds leading modeller of 3D plate tectonic simulations, Dr John Baumgardner, believes in plate tectonics and also in 6–day creation, young earth and world Flood [see Q&A: Plate Tectonics].
Zachary Wylie–Bent: So you agree with the idea of Pangea and its break–up?
BT Expert—Carl: Thai, I prefer to deal in things that we have observed, not speculate about things which neither science nor the Bible has any evidence of. Note that alien speculations flow naturally from an evol. worldview, not a Christian one [see Q&A: Alien life/UFOs].
BT Expert—Carl: Dr Baumgardner holds to catastrophic plate tectonics — see forum in our Journal of Creation — Check our website [see forum].
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: so is the reason why dinosaurs and humans co–existed because humans were at the beginning and that there isn’t supposed to be death before man?
Adam James—Harris: what support is more significant from a creationist point of view compared to darwinistic point of view so that one explains evolution better than the other?
BT Expert—Carl: Joyce, correct.
BT Tutor—Alyson: But why aren’t there human fossils with dinosour fossils?
BT Expert—Carl: Creation does not seek to explain evolution, but to explain the biological changes we observe. The matter of mutations and information is very significant. So is the fact that in several ‘homologous’ structures, they do not arise by homologous gene pathways. Fits creation better than evolution.
BT Expert—Paul: Yet most geneticists do not see it that way. They see genetics as good evidence for evolution.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: You say there is variation within kinds but why does this variation occur?
BT Tutor—Alyson: Not if that particular ‘homologous’ structure is one of the optimal way to do things, so it’s what everything naturally evolves towards
BT Expert—Carl: There is an extant claim of human fossils in Dakota Sandstone (age of dinosaurs). We have not been able to determine whether they were intrusive burials. But I would not expect dinos and human to have lived in the same environment. Also, humans would have known what was happening and sought to evade the rising water to the very end — they would drown, float, bloat, rot, fall apart, but not fossilize b/o not being buried in sediment. There are human fossils, but we think they are probably all post–Flood
Emma Louis–Anglesey: I’d think that the odds would be in favour of some supreme being, whether it be God, Aliens or the spirit of Elvis had a part in that. Compared to the odds of the accretion of planetesmals with the right composition ending up in a specific place. And then there’s thermo differentiation, and without that there would be no life.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Is there any written records of dino been seen roaming the earth?
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: So ‘the beginning’ is a starting point, but not a time period/era where things were created?
BT Expert—Carl: Alyson, I have to call you on that one. That sounds waffly, and does not come to grips with the fact that common ancestry implies common genes. If common structures are explained by common ancestry, common genes is a PREDICTION. See Gavin De Beer’s classic 1971 article in the Oxford Biology Reader: Homology: an unsolved problem.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Except, Emma, that there are so many billions of stars out there that you’d assume it could happen right at least once [Ed. note: this is handwaving. Rigorous but not–too–difficult calculations show the opposite—see Q&A: Probabilities]. And that’s life ‘as we know it’ anyway.
BT Expert—Carl: Thai, there are many written dragon records. Eg. the Chinese calendar itself – all the other creatures are alive, real creatures, the dragon is the exception. Because extinct.
BT Expert—Paul: Homeobox genes are the ones that control much of the body form
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Why do animals become extinct?
BT Expert—Paul: And they are common to different groups
Emma Louis–Anglesey: catastophism
Henny Ciawi–Tjia: is there any evidence to prove that human exist in dinosaur’s time
Adam James—Harris: How many species approx have become extinct?
BT Expert—Carl: Alyson, you are assuming that given enough time, anything is possible. But the thermodynamic issues for getting raw chemicals to form information–bearing reproductive machinery are such that the more time you have, the more a system will tend to therm. equilibrium, i.e maximise its disorder.
BT Expert—Paul: The legends of dragons could have come from the dinosaur skeletons in the Mongolia Desert.
BT Expert—Paul: [To Adam] About 99% of species are now extinct [Ed. note: how could Paul possibly know that, although like many falsehoods, it’s been repeated often enough that people come to think it’s true? Reality check: we have only about 250,000 actually catalogued fossil species compared to about 2 million living ones. In reality, Paul is presupposing evolution to be a fact, with the corollary of innumerable transitional forms connecting the known ‘end forms’.].
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: These records could just be a legend. They could just be stories to scare or entertain people and over time people have come to accept being true
Adam James—Harris: You’re quite right there!
Emma Louis–Anglesey: One of the most rapid extinctions in the history known history of the planet is occuring now!
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, the problem is that they are found in most parts of the world, not just China. (the dragon stories, I mean). Most ancient attempts at reconstructing creatures from fossils were very ‘off beam’. The dragon stories, on the other hand, have remarkable similarities to dinosaur reconstructions.
BT Expert—Paul: The end Permian extinction is still the worst one known
BT Expert—Carl: Thai, the issue is why stories to scare people have such similarities that even Carl Sagan, the renowned evolutionist, wrote his book Dragons of Eden to try to explain this ‘puzzle’ — why would we have stories describing creatures we have never seen?
BT Expert—Paul: between 85 and 97% of all species went extinct
Adam James—Harris: Where did dinosaurs evolve from? what type of speciies?
Emma Louis–Anglesey: And wasn’t it only accepted in the 1800’s that fossils were extinct species?
BT Expert—Carl: Adam, I hope you don’t expect me to answer a question which assumes the truth of evolution
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Figured stones!
Susan Yen–Ly: have there been any new possible theories in evolution since the times of Darwin and Wallace with the modern technology and data that we’ve acquired in the past century?
BT Expert—Paul: Dinosaurs evolved from a group of reptiles known as the crocodilians in the Permian. [Ed note: The requisite transitional forms for the origin of dinosaurs have yet to be found in the fossil record.] You may want to check that up since dinos are not my speciality.
BT Expert—Paul: Crocodilians.
Adam James—Harris: Thanks.
Susan Yen–Ly: Have most of the extinctions of animals contributed more to their inability to survive natural competition or would you say it’s mostly human intervention?
Emma Louis–Anglesey: I think people are too quick to believe what they are told. When we were growing up we were taught to accept evolution
BT Expert—Carl: Emma, modern science really only became possible as people realised that the world was created by a trustworthy God, i.e. post–reformation emphasis on the Bible. The Greeks were clever, but their Gods could be deceptive, so that they could create fossils to fool people. This idea was adopted in the middle ages, but the father of modern geology, who recognised that fossils were dead creatures (not necessarily extinct, there are 100s of living fossils) was a Bible believing creationist
BT Expert—Carl: BTW, the father of modern geology I refer to was Nicolaus Steno.
Adam James—Harris: Why are peahens so attracted to peacocks with the most eyes spots on their train? Why is sexual selection so important or is it? [Ed. note: see also The beauty of the peacock tail and the problems with the theory of sexual selection.]
BT Expert—Paul: Currently humans are a big cause of extinction. In the past it seems that there are periodic extinctions. Many people think that there must be a astronomical cause of the extinctions since they are spaced ~30 million years apart
Emma Louis–Anglesey: With our current rate of vegetation depletion I’m not surprised
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Carl you claim that there is variation within the ‘kinds’ that God created but why does this variation occur?
BT Expert—Paul: We may be the first non–astronomical cause of a mass extinction. Not something to be proud of.
BT Expert—Carl: Sexual selection is a pretty straightforward, easy to understand thing that can ‘finetune’ things, but again is not a creative force by itself, it can only do things if the genes are already there.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Yeah, doesn’t variation occur through evolution?
BT Expert—Paul: Still denying that new things can come from mutation
BT Expert—Carl: The variation occurs because of the useful variety already in the genes, by Mendelian recombination. Note that it is important for creatures having to adapt to a whole range of empty niches after creation and the Flood to have this capacity for variation.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: You said earlier that the wolf was the first of its ‘kind’ but then why do other dogs exist? Is it because they some how became better adapted to their environment?
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Adam: sexual selection is one of the most active areas of evolutinary research at the moment. One idea is that the tails of birds are used to display that their barer has ‘good genes’. If you want to follow this up check any evolution textbook.
BT Expert—Paul: Dogs would be the result of domestication. You would breed with the cutest, least violent ones.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: It is funny. Umm, when a forensic scientists looks at a crime scene for evidence, there are endless amounts of possibilities that can be constructed and prooved by the evidence. And then they may still never know what actually happened.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: What about coyotes?
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Or African wild dogs?
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I am not denying that new things can come from mutation. Again, read your opponents’ stuff, not just their critics, please. We even talk about beneficial mutations, which are a reality in a handful of cases (loss of beetles’ wings on windy islands, but this is a loss of information in every case [see Beetle Bloopers]). Note that the ev. model can deal with observed losses of info, but it requires lots of increases to be credible, since it postulates that heaps of new informtion has arisen (specified complexity)
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: You the say that the flood sorts thing out, how would that occur?
BT Expert—Paul: But the story developed by the forensic scientists is worth more than an eye witness in court
Henny Ciawi–Tjia: how did dinosaur extinct?
BT Expert—Carl: Coyotes and wild dogs are part of the original dog kind.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: So there is more than one species that makes up a kind?
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, no wonder, with an argument like that about forensic evidence, they convicted Lindy Chamberlain on the forensics, but ignored the eyewitness who heard the baby cry after the Crown said it had been murdered. All forensic evidence needs interpretation — Emma is right. [Ed. note: This disgraceful miscarriage of justice, partly motivated by anti-religious bigotry, was dramatized in the 1988 film Cry in the Dark (aka Evil Angels) starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.]
BT Expert—Carl: Incidentally, we interviewed a leading forensic expert, Dr Saami Shaibani, with 4 Oxford degrees, who is right on our side.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: In spirituality, believers feel like they are the eyewitnesses.
BT Expert—Paul: And was she released because a new eye witness came forward or because better forensic evidence was used.
Zachary Wylie–Bent: In psych we learn that most eyewitness accounts are full of inaccuracies.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Carl, if you say that the creator created one kind of everything and everything branch out from there. Then are we human the original kind?
BT Expert—Carl: Zachary, you are 100% right. I said that before— speciation took place after the Flood, rapidly, just as have seen rapid speciation (with NO increase of information) in salmon, mosquitoes, etc. today.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Why does 4 oxford degrees make one person’s beliefs better that another’s.
BT Expert—Paul: I will take a biologist over a forensic scientist every time when it comes to evolution [Ed. note: the discussion referred to the cogency of forensic evidence v eye–witness evidence, for which a forensic scientist’s opinion seems more pertinent than that of a geologist.].
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: I agree with Emma.
BT Expert—Carl: Emma, it doesn’t, but I make the point because of the many caricatures that only morons believe creation and they have phony degrees. You’ll find that sort of thing on the website Paul advertised, sadly.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: The forensic evidence in the Chamberlain case was flawed, poorly done science. But this does not negate the general utility of forensic genetics.
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I understand your point about biologist vs forensic science, but I was responding to the fact that you had raised the issue of forensic evidence, I thought.
BT Expert—Paul: Creationists are not just morons. Some are very intelligent people but they are ideologically tied to their beliefs [Ed note: Evolutionists are not?]. Doesn’t the [CMI] have a statement of Faith saying that they will reject all evidence that contradicts their interpretation of the Bible.
BT Expert—Carl: Dr Ben, I agree in principle. I was replying to the ‘universality’ of the argument re forensics as it was originally put. But again I stress the ultimate superiority of eyewitness testimony.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: I actually signed a letter saying that the immunology had been done wrong!
Zachary Wylie–Bent: Eyewitness testimony is often very inaccurate, as many psychologists will tell you.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: If no supreme being exists don’t you think that the thought that most of the world is deluded is kinda weird. [Ed note: Most prominent evolutionists are atheists; they therefore believe that most of the world is deluded into believing in a supreme supernatural being. Billions of people believe in things that most readers would insist are wrong. There is nothing ‘weird’ in the notion that billions of people are deluded.]
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, we at CMI are always free to abandon our belief. At least we are up front about our axioms. Others will not accept any interpretation which denies their materialist framework. Our site quotes Richard Lewontin on this. NB we do not reject evidence, it is interpretations that are the issue.
BT Tutor—Alyson: Even what people ‘see’ can be very different once filtered through their brain. Depends a lot on the person.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Yeah you’re right.
BT Expert—Paul: But wouldn’t you have to leave [CMI] if you decided that the earth was 5 billion years old.
BT Expert—Carl: Note that the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles, to the risen Christ, involved them being willing to die for their beliefs. Today I might die for a lie thinking it is the truth, but I will not die for a lie knowing it is a lie. NB I was referring to the ultimate in eyewitness testimony, God who cannot lie. That is the axiom, I challenge you to explore the evidence
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, you are right, I would want to leave CMI if I decided the earth was 5 billion years old. So?
BT Expert—Paul: I will agree with Carl on that. Reading both sides can be very important]
BT Expert—Paul: If you didn’t want to leave, would they force you??
BT Expert—Paul: In the GSA we have 2 Young Earth Creationists. We have no rules about what people can believe.
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, if I became a Moslem, would it be wrong for a Buddhist monastery to not accept my monastic vows anymore?
Emma Louis–Anglesey: I guess faith is like love. You can’t really prove that you love some one but you know you do. Corny I know, but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it!
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Carl, where you raise in a Christian family coz maybe is where you got your views about the earth being 6000yr old
BT Expert—Paul: That’s what I thought Carl.
BT Expert—Paul: It is about religion and not science
BT Expert—Carl: Re the GSA — I have seen some of the ‘flak’ and hostility people are exposed to. I have also seen creationists who have been refused publication in secular journals once the creation–supporting implications of their work became known. Scientific American openly rejected Forrest Mims for his creationism, although he is a top science writer in his field [see Revolutionary Atmospheric Invention by Victim of Anti–creationist Discrimination].
BT Tutor—Alyson: what does gsa stand for?
BT Expert—Carl: Thai, I was not raised in a Christian home. But when I believed in evolution and materialism, that was also a worldview which involved faith and belief, only I was not aware of it.
BT Expert—Paul: The papers on Creationism get rejected for being Kindergarten science. Real scientific papers still get published. Snelling’s work on the Uranium orebodies in NT was published despite the fact he is a known YEC [Ed. note: see the Journal of Creation paper based on this research published in the secular journal mentioned, The Failure of U–Th–Pb ‘Dating’ at Koongarra.]
BT Expert—Paul: GSA = Geological Society of Australia
BT Tutor—Alyson: Thanks.
Thai Chau—Dinh–Vu: Doesn’t religion then to reject science and science explaining religion
BT Expert—Carl: [To Paul] Rubbish — Robert Gentry was a world authority on radiohaloes. His work was regularly published in science, nature, etc until the implications became known [see also Do Creationists Publish in Notable Refereed Journals?]
BT Expert—Carl: Materialist religion is a religion, too, as indicated, and has its axioms. See Lewontin reference earlier.
BT Expert—Paul: I thought Gentry was still published after his beliefs were known. There has been plenty of arguments in the Letters to the editor of that magazine
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, not sure what you mean by ‘that magazine’.
BT Expert—Paul: Materialism is the only way science can operate. Does oxygen combine with hydrogen to form water any differently if you are a materialist or a Christian?
BT Expert—Paul: Astronomy something. Can not remember the exact periodical he published in.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Carl, the issue for this part of Biology Today is why is evolution so controversial? I’d like your views on it. Do you feel for example, that its wrong for me to teach evolutionary ideas at a publicly–funded institution?
Haroula Zerefos: Do you believe that science and religion (on some level) can co–exist , cause that’s the only logical way I think, that these 2 poles can function. I mean in Biblical times, ‘God Almighty and creator of all things’ was the only explanation those people had. The same goes with cultures around the world who created their way of life– myths etc to give them purpose and to explain the way things around them were!
BT Expert—Carl: You are confusing philosophical materialism with methodological naturalism, which latter was used by all the creationist fathers of modern science, who also understood the difference between operational science (your e.g. above) and origins (forensic) science.
BT Expert—Paul: Yes. And methodical naturalism gave us an ancient earth and evolution as its conclusion.
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Wouldn’t it be that the facts of science and religion can go together but not the interpretation of the science?
BT Expert—Paul: A book was written by Gould called Rock of the Ages (I think) and discusses how science and religion can co–exist [Ed. note: but see Stephen Jay Gould and NOMA which demonstrates the logical fallacies and disingenuity of Gould’s argument].
Emma Louis–Anglesey: I think it is wrong for teachers anywhere to subtly subject [sic] views whether it be Christianity, evolution or ellemcphersonism.
Kaan Duran: I believe science and religion are linked and should prove one another.
BT Expert—Carl: Ben, if you are convinced that evolution is fact, why would it be wrong for you to teach it? What is wrong is that the evidence against it is so rarely taught fairly, nor is the evidence for creation presented except by way of caricature. Even your unis web site had a ridiculous book promoting a guy who was thoroughly discredited, who had to stoop to telling lies about creationists.
[Ed. note: And it’s still there, despite our having documented the scientific incompetence and dishonesty of this vociferous misotheist in the last two years.
However, we commend the course coordinator for finally removing the statement in the course notes after leaving there for one year after we pointed out the error as follows:
‘The notes said “Radioactive carbon dating strongly supports the hypothesis that the oldest rocks are 4 billion years old”, with a big graphic on the right of the page of 14C, which is indeed the radioactive isotope of carbon. This statement was just plain wrong, and it was not simply a matter of world view. It is a brute fact that 14C has a half life of about 5730 years, so there would be no detectable 14C in a sample much older than 50,000 years. There’s just no way that 14C could be used to measure billions or even millions of years. No informed evolutionary geochronologist would ever use 14C as proof of billions of years. In fact, if a sample does contain 14C, and if outside contamination can be ruled out, then the sample cannot be older than 50,000 years. It could be younger, but 50,000 years is a definite upper limit. In fact, 14C has been detected in samples in strata claimed to hundreds of millions of years old, so this falsifies those claims.’ [Update: seeRATE group reveals exciting break-through!]
But since they’ve finally removed that, we’re hoping that next year they might remove the favorable citation of that ethically and scientifically discredited author.]
Kaan Duran: When they don’t it shows that our perceptions about them are flawed.
BT Expert—Paul: But which one is flawed.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: people need to make up their own minds and not be told that something is right or wrong.
Kaan Duran: Could be both.
BT Expert—Carl: Kaan, we have no problem with science. Science is a methodology, but it operates from axioms. If you start with materialistic assumptions, you will exclude from your origins discussions any possibility of creation, regardless of the evidence. See our article about ‘two fleas’, I think it’s on the site [yes, A tale of two fleas].
BT Expert—Paul: I think they should remain two separate fields. Science should not rely on religion and vice versa. Gould gave some good reasons.
BT Expert—Carl: I hope we can at least all agree that we need to carefully define our terms, and also need to be careful to understand fully the other’s position.
BT Expert—Paul: Terms are very important
Dr Ben Oldroyd: I must confess I haven’t read it. But still, I don’t think there would be many other scientific disciplines that would have private think tanks dedicated to their criticism.
BT Expert—Carl: The problem is, Paul, that Gould’s science does rely on religion — his own ideas of what God does or does not do, or could and could not do, his own Marxism, etc etc. All these ideologies affected his science.
BT Expert—Paul: Using a philosophy to guide science is very dangerous
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Can’t agree with that Paul!
BT Expert—Paul: You claim that but since Evolutionary Biology and other fields of science has supporters from all kinds of religion it suggests that science is separated from the religion
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I think it is crucial that all in teaching positions should be made to have some background in the philosophy of science — because there is no science without philosophical assumptions. It is an exhilarating and refreshing thing to explore. I commend to you JP Moreland’s Christianity and the Nature of Science. He is not a 6–day creationist, btw. [Ed. note: Actually he claims he is, 40% of the time. Go figure.]
BT Expert—Paul: Philosophy can be dangerous. Read about Lysenko who rejected Darwinian evolution because it conflicted with his Stalinistic communism.
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I don’t know of anyone who believes that Jesus spoke the truth about Genesis, and that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, and that Genesis gives us real history, who holds to the full framework of evolutionary biology. There are many who use the Christian label — I spoke to one such lecturer at UQ, who privately admitted that he did not even believe in life after death.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: I agree with Carl (for once!). Philosophy permeates even how we do statistical tests.
BT Expert—Paul: The Pope is not a Christian??
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, I agree re Lysenko. Ideological matters can be dangerous, and the evolutionary ideology affected Nazi science, and also Nazi actions. Much documentation of this on our website [under Q&A: Communism and Nazism].
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Just curious, who believes that when we die that’s it, no more, gone forever?
BT Expert—Carl: Thanks, Ben, I’ll try to do the same for you sometime : –)
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Me.
Kaan Duran: Not me.
BT Tutor—Alyson: And me.
BT Expert—Carl: Ben, you’re being consistent at least.
BT Expert—Paul: Don’t forget that religion can be a dangerous ideology too.
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Are many Christians who teach science theistic evolutionists?
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Not me.
BT Expert—Carl: Pascal made this point — what if you’re wrong about the lack of judgment after death – if you lose that bet, you lose everything. For ever. If the Christian is wrong, they lose nothing [‘Pascal’s Wager’]
Emma Louis–Anglesey: So you all believe that there is life after death? or
BT Expert—Paul: Pascal
BT Expert—Carl: Alison and Ben have already answered your q, Emma.
BT Expert—Paul: Pascal’s wager must be a very poor reason to believe.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Joyce: There are at least very committed Christians on the staff of the biology department. But I’ve not talked to them about their views on creation.
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: I see.
BT Expert—Carl: Pascal’s wager is a good reason to at least make sure one has carefully considered the facts.
BT Expert—Paul: A recent survey of Science and science teachers in Ohio revealed that about 85% saw no conflict between Christianity and evolution.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: I don’t see a conflict either.
Henny Ciawi—Tjia: Is it only Christian? what about other religion?
Zachary Wylie–Bent: I think it depends on how orthodox your views are.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Good point.
BT Expert—Paul: There are some literalist Jew, Islamics and others.
Kaan Duran: That shows that science and religion are intermingled.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: to flat out deny religion is like denying evolution.
BT Expert—Paul: I think there are some Hindus that believe that the earth is billions of years old but humans have been here the whole time.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Yeah I’ve read that somewhere too.
BT Expert—Paul: If you do not put any thought into the denial or the acceptance then I would agree with Emma.
BT Expert—Carl: Paul, again, it’s a matter of carefully defining your terms. Many people also believe that one can water down the Bible and still have ‘Christianity’. Don’t forget that science
BT Expert—Carl: Sorry, I was cut off for a while there [meant to say that modern experimental science grew out of a Biblical world view. See Creationist contributions to science].
Emma Louis–Anglesey: The question is, if you die tomorrow, do you know where you will go. General question?
BT Expert—Carl: One more time, ‘religion’ is an all encompassing term. Everyone is religious in the sense of having a guiding philosophy, worldview, etc.
Henny Ciawi—Tjia: Is it only Christians [who] believe that the earth is thousand years old?
BT Expert—Paul: I know what you are saying Carl. However, most surveys in America have about 90% Christian and 45% creationists. In your method there are only 45% Christian in America. Why do you get to decide if they are a real Christian or not.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Sorry.
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Folks I think its getting near time to wrap this up.
BT Tutor—Alyson: we might start to wrap it up soon folks.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Nooooo.
BT Expert—Carl: [To Paul] I am not therefore defending ‘religion’. Jesus had his biggest problems with religious people. I am about His claim to be the Creator, and to give us absolute truth about the big things, including origins, destiny, meaning, etc.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: They don’t believe that the earth is 1000 years old
Haroula Zerefos: This was our last chat thing for the course, right?
BT Expert—Carl: Any example going to come about that information increasing mutation? (chuckle)
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: I suppose we really have to separate Christian and creationists?
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: I mean make a distinction
BT Tutor—Alyson: Yes Haroula, last chat.
BT Expert—Paul: But it still comes down to how YOU define a Christian. Most people who call themselves Christians do not agree with how you interpret the bible.
Haroula Zerefos: ;)~
BT Expert—Carl: I would have thought that creationism is garden variety orthodox Christianity, because it’s what Christ taught and believed.
BT Expert—Paul: That is your interpretation of the scriptures
BT Expert—Paul: The Pope disagrees.
BT Tutor—Alyson: ok....
BT Tutor—Alyson: Thanks everyone for a very interesting chat!
BT Expert—Carl: All commentaries on the Bible were unanimous about the general meaning of Genesis UNTIL people outside of that sphere began to toy with the idea of millions of years, then the ‘reinterpretation’ frantically began.
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Throughout history we have proved and disproved things, ie the earth is flat etc. how can we say that something is definitely right if there are holes that need to be discovered, and differences in theory, confusion?
BT Expert—Paul: Thanks everybody for all the good questions
BT Tutor—Alyson: Thanks Carl and Paul for volunteering your time, you’ve both been great.
BT Expert—Carl: Actually, you may be interested to know that the Church Fathers did not generally believe in a flat earth; that is a discredited myth. Check our website [at Does the Bible really teach a flat earth?]
BT Expert—Carl: Thanks, everyone.
Haroula Zerefos: Um …are we going to have an overview of the course before the exam?
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Thank you, every one!
Joyce Hoyun—Auyeung: Yes. Thankyou very much. I have a better understanding of the relations now.
BT Expert—Paul: I had great fun. Thanks
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Good luck with your presentations guys
Henny Ciawi—Tjia: thanks
Dr Ben Oldroyd: Thanks everyone
Emma Louis–Anglesey: How good would it be to have a discussion like this in person!!
BT Tutor—Alyson: Perhaps we all can next week at the presentations
BT Expert—Paul: Probably more chaotic ^_^
Emma Louis–Anglesey: The mouth speaks more quickly than the fingers
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Yeah, no shouting over others this way!
BT Tutor—Alyson: Bye everyone
Emma Louis–Anglesey: Bye