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Creation 41(1):24–27, January 2019

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Nuclear physicist for creation!

chats with Dr Heinz Lycklama

Heinz and his wife Gerda during a recent trip to the Netherlands. For more on Heinz’s work, see: HeinzLycklama.com and ApologeticsForum.org

Dr Heinz Lycklama was born in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation. After the war, his family immigrated to Canada for better opportunities. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics (1965) and a Ph.D. in experimental Nuclear Physics (1969) from McMaster University in Canada (at around the same time as CMI-Canada’s Dr Jim Mason was also studying nuclear physics there). By this time, Heinz had already published 10 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, including Physical Review, probably the world’s most prestigious physics journal.

He then worked for some decades in the telecommunications and computer software industries. In 1992, Dr Lycklama formed Open Systems Technology Associates (OSTA) to offer his technology management consulting services to various start-ups in the high technology industry.

In 2013 Heinz founded the Apologetics Forum of Snohomish County in Washington State, USA, to help equip believers in the defence of their Christian faith. He regularly teaches and arranges seminars on topics related to the Bible and science, and has presented in a number of countries around the world.

With such a long career in science, it is not surprising to learn that Dr Lycklama was already interested in science in high school. But even earlier than that, his favourite subject was mathematics. The basis for his later (even busier) career as an apologist goes back even further. He says he was blessed to be raised in a devout Christian family:

“My parents faithfully took us to church each Sunday and instructed us in God’s Word. I never wavered in my belief in God, with Christ being the Creator, Redeemer and Saviour.”

Heinz and his wife Gerda live in Arlington, Washington State, and they have five children and 16 grandchildren

Unlike today, evolution wasn’t brought up at high school. Evolution clearly has no relevance to his main subjects of physics and chemistry, and even his biology class didn’t mention it—despite later propaganda that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

So Heinz was not confronted by the conflict between the Bible and evolution until his first-year geology class at university:

“The professor directly challenged students who believed in the Bible, pointing out that the layers of sediment on the earth were the key to the history of the earth and that this was in conflict with the Bible.”

However, this didn’t affect his general science career, for which evolution was again irrelevant, including his graduate studies in experimental nuclear physics.

Evolution and the Christian faith

Things had changed by the time his own children were attending public schools in the mid 1970s: “Audrey, our oldest daughter, came home from school one day and told Gerda (my wife) that we came from a monkey.” (Evolutionists might protest that they believe that we came not from monkeys or apes as such, but from a common primate ancestor to monkeys, apes, and humans. But if people could see this proposed ancestor, most would indeed call it a monkey or an ape, and language is defined by usage.)

This motivated Heinz to develop teaching materials about the issue for Sunday school and home Bible studies. At the time, the late Dr Henry Morris’s books The Genesis Flood (1961) and The Genesis Record (1976) were very helpful. He saw evolution as a serious stumbling block for young Christians, for two main reasons:

“1.They are indoctrinated in secularism and evolution on a daily basis, and:

“2.They are not getting answers to their hard questions.”

And in his creation talks, Dr Lycklama emphasizes the importance of God as Creator—it means that He owns us and therefore has absolute authority over us. And he copiously documents that Jesus and the New Testament authors affirmed Genesis as real history. Another very important biblical teaching is that death is the result of Adam’s sin, as opposed to evolution’s teaching that death of the unfit led to man.

After seeing the attempted indoctrination of Audrey, Heinz and Gerda enrolled their children in a biblically sound Christian school until they were ready for university or their chosen career path. Later on, Audrey saw the importance of the issue, and gave her own children a Christian home school education.

Unfortunately, she died of cancer in late 2013, but was instrumental in helping Heinz’s founding of the Apologetics Forum.

Evolution vs science

Dr Lycklama points out that Christians should have no fear of evolution on scientific grounds. Rather, “Evolution is the greatest myth ever foisted on our society in the name of science.” One strong reason he provides goes right back to the supposed beginning of neo-Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Natural selection is really differential reproduction, i.e. the fittest are those that leave the most offspring. So before this can even get started, there must be at least two self-reproducing entities—at least one of which must have arisen directly from lifeless, non-reproducing chemicals. But, he points out:

“All attempts by evolutionists to show that first life from non-life by natural processes can be explained by evolution have come to naught for four main reasons:

  1. The Law of Biogenesis discovered by Pasteur in 1864.
  2. The failure of experiments like that of Miller in 1953 to show that life can come from non-life.
  3. The mathematical probability of forming the first living cell by random chance processes is beyond possible, and
  4. Information in a cell (DNA) requires an intelligent mind.”

The failure of the origin of first life from non-life by natural processes is actually a showstopper for evolution.

And even if we grant the first self-reproducing cell, it’s not the end of the problems. No one disputes that things change, but the small changes observed in nature just don’t add up to big changes. For one thing, they are going in the wrong direction: downhill instead of uphill. And, he points out, “the fossil record does not show the ‘innumerable transitional links’ expected by Darwin”—even 160 years later, and neither does it support human evolution.

What about church leaders who are afraid to challenge the ruling ‘scientific’ paradigm? Dr Lycklama reminds his readers and listeners that many supposed irrefutable proofs of evolution in the years since Darwin have been totally discredited, yet too many Christians of the day swallowed evolution because of them—and some are still in today’s textbooks!

“Some of the more dramatic examples were (and still are) Haeckel’s embryonic recapitulation and embryo similarity, vestigial organs, and claims made by evolutionists at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Dr Jonathan Wells identified ten discredited icons of evolution in his book by the same name, Icons of Evolution, and he identified more discredited icons of evolution in his more recent book Zombie Science. Recent examples include the alleged ‘98% human-chimp DNA similarity’, and the alleged ‘junk DNA’.”

The hourglasses represent radiometric dating. It is assumed that we know the amounts of parent and daughter elements in the original sample, the rate of decay is constant, and no parent or daughter material has been added or removed.

Trust the Bible!

The above are just some of the many reasons that Christians ought not to be intimidated by evolutionary ‘science’, and instead believe Scripture as written. Heinz points out:

“The truth of the Bible has also been confirmed by history, geography, prophecy and archaeology. In terms of prophecy, more than 50% of the prophecies in the Bible have already been fulfilled. Archaeology has supported the accuracy of many statements in the Bible.”

In particular, Heinz is impressed by the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1948. They show the accuracy of the copying of Isaiah, and that Isaiah’s prophecies about Christ were written centuries beforehand, not after the events, as skeptics asserted. He is also impressed by the Ebla tablets, discovered in northern Syria in 1974 and dating from centuries before Moses. They document the five cities of the plain (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, Zoar) in Genesis 14, and destroy skeptical theories that writing wasn’t invented by Moses’ day.

Radiometric dating

Many people think that radiometric dating proves millions of years. After all, haven’t scientists precisely measured both half-lives and amounts of isotopes in samples? So I asked Dr Lycklama, since he is a specialist in experimental nuclear physics. He pointed out:

“It takes more than today’s known decay rates to determine dates. There are three basic assumptions made in radioisotope dating methods:

  1. The initial conditions of the sample are known.
  2. There has been no contamination of the sample.
  3. The decay rate of the radioactive isotope has remained the same since the sample’s formation.”

He then referred to the meticulous research by the RATE group in the early 2000s, which showed that these assumptions were demonstrably false:

“For example, they have found C-14 in diamonds and coal where there should have been none if the earth was millions/billions of years old. The RATE team has also identified many discordant dates for rock samples when different radioisotope dating methods are used. This all puts into question the accuracy of dates determined using conventional dating methods that depend on the validity of the three basic assumptions.”

Relativity and quantum mechanics

There is no doubt that the 20th century was revolutionary for physics. Some Christians are unnecessarily unnerved by these developments. But Dr Lycklama wants to reassure them:

The quantum world inside the atom revealed by modern physics might seem bizarre, but it’s good experimental science, says Dr Lycklama (see text).

“Relativity and quantum mechanics are part of our operational scientific knowledge. Einstein’s Theories of General Relativity and of Special Relativity have never been falsified and are regarded as true science. Quantum mechanics solved some of the classical physics problems that had remained unresolved in the 20th century. But this did not render classical physics obsolete at all. The dual wave-particle nature of light has been well established by science using the scientific method.

“I do not see relativity and quantum mechanics as being in conflict with what the Bible teaches. In comparison, evolution behaves more like a dogmatic belief system that cannot be refuted by any conceivable evidence.”

Advice for science students

Heinz says:

“I would encourage Christians today to study and know His Word first, and with that knowledge to enter a field of science that is of interest to them.

“We need to counter the indoctrination of evolution and secularism with scientific evidence for creation and against evolution.”

Heinz concludes:

“Throughout my scientific career and beyond, I’ve been encouraged that true science has always supported the truth of God’s Word. As a scientist, I’m not afraid of what real science will discover in the future—in fact, I look forward to it.”

References and notes

  1. A famous quip by evolutionary geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900–1975), but based largely on pseudo-theological arguments rather than science. See Dilley, S., Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44(4B):774–786, December 2013 | doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.06.006. Return to text.
  2. Cf. creation.com/nt and creation.com/gen-hist. Return to text.
  3. Wieland, C., The evolution train’s a-comin’ (Sorry, a-goin’—in the wrong direction), Creation 24(2):16–19, 2002.; creation.com/train. Return to text.
  4. Darwin, C.R., The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, ch. 10 (1), On the absence of intermediate varieties at the present day, 1859. Return to text.
  5. See for example van Niekerk, E., Countering revisionism—part 1: Ernst Haeckel, fraud is proven; part 2: Ernst Haeckel and his triple-woodcut print, J. Creation 25(3):89–95, 2011; 27(1):78–84, 2013. Return to text.
  6. See articles under creation.com/vestigial-organs. Return to text.
  7. One of the leading evolutionists behind this claim, Jon Ahlquist, has since become a biblical creationist! See interview by Wieland, M., Creation 40(3):36–39, 2018. See also, Batten, D., The myth of 1%, Creation 36(1):35–37, 2014; creation.com/1-percent-myth. Return to text.
  8. See Tomkins, J., The junk DNA myth takes a well-deserved hit, A review of The Myth of Junk DNA by Jonathan Wells, J. Creation 25(3):23–27—December 2011; creation.com/review-wells-junk-dna. Return to text.
  9. Radioactivity and The Age of the Earth, a research project by the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society—see creation.com/RATE.

Helpful Resources

Busting Myths
by J Sarfati & G Bates, edited
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Thousands ... Not Billions
by Dr Don DeYoung
US $14.00
Soft Cover
Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
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Readers’ comments

Richard M.
My apology for questioning your grammar. I didn't know that one can immigrate to a country.
Your use of English is just as good as your science. Keep up the good work CMI.
Richard M.
Surely his family emigrated to Canada (not immigrated!).
Jonathan Sarfati
Surely his family emigrated from the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada.

Vocabulary.com has:

Emigrate means you are exiting your current homeland:

People are always saying there's no quality of life in Russia, and everyone wants to emigrate," he said. (New York Times)

Immigrate means you are coming in to a country to live:

Citizens from 17 European Union countries were given freedom to immigrate to Switzerland in 2007. (Business Week)

Grammarly.com has:

  • Emigrate means to leave one location, such as one’s native country or region, to live in another.

  • Immigrate means to move into a non-native country or region to live.

  • Associate the I of immigrate with “in” to remember that the word means moving into a new country.

Correct: Arnold Schwarzenegger emigrated from Austria to the United States.
Correct: Natalie Portman immigrated to the United States at a young age.

How to Remember the Difference Between Immigrate and Emigrate
Immigrate begins with the letter I. If you associate I with “in”, you can easily remember that immigrate means to move into a different country. Emigrate begins with an E, so if you associate it with exit, you’ll remember that it means to leave your home country.
Thomas C.
Science cannot test the past, nor the future, only the present. It is an act of faith to attribute what can or cannot be done in a lab, attribute either to the past or the future. So when a scientist tells us about the past he is exhibiting his faith. Miracles are defined as outside of the normal, that is events as we experience them and reproduce them. So the honest scientist should be saying we cannot test a miracle, nor deny them.
Jonathan Sarfati
Matthew T.
A fascinating biography and an excellent review of the history of evolutionary thinking.

Thank you!
Sam C.
What a wonderful tribute to a great man! I regularly attend Dr Lycklama’s monthly Apologetics Forums and he was responsible for my advancing from Intelligent Design (which I regard as general revelation) to Young Earth Creationism (special revelation). He has been tremendously influential in many lives in advancing the Lord’s kingdom.
Dan M.
Today's scientific community reminds me of WWII Nazi Germany. By the time the sane Germans realized something was drastically wrong with Hitler, it was too late. He had power giving him control over the people, and that power had been given by the German people by failing to react to his obvious unstable personality. People don't generally react until it is too late because it doesn't affect them at that moment. The moral of the story is, it will eventually affect you if you do nothing. So we need to stand for truth, no matter the consequences. I don't care that they, (secularists) insult me for standing against the fallacious doctrine of death, (evolution). I stand with the LORD!
Bill P.
I remember long ago (1970) in high school having to take an Earth Science class. I was still not a believer in the Gospel of Christ at this time YET as I was taking this class there were a lot of things that made no sense.

For example, being taught that C14 had a very short shelf life when compared to what we were taught about the age of the earth BUT that this element was in coal which we were taught (the coal deposits) were 10s of millions of yrs. old. I went to a strict Catholic High School and you did not question what you were taught.

It was ten years later that The Lord had mercy on me and I came to faith in The Gospel of Christ. At last I picked up the Bible and started to read and study for myself, but what I was taught about evolution was still a roadblock in my mind and it took another 15 yrs. to sift out evolution and to take the Word of God as the real truth about how the heavens and the earth came to be.

This happened in the mid-'90s and what was strange was that it was Dr Hugh Ross and his teachings that caused me to dig deeper. After listening to Dr Ross for a while I noticed how he sounded so much like the man who was my teacher in Earth Science and those doubts I had back then came back. Once evolution was taken out of the way things began to make sense and I clearly saw how the Word of God is not only true BUT that it in itself “Is Truth”.

This site and your articles have been a big help. I hope many more will see this site (and others like it) along with Scripture as a way to clean away the cobwebs of secular teachings and move people to cling to The True and Living God Creator of heaven and earth. Time is so very very short, before you know it the Kingdom of God will at last be here.

TY for your articles; see you soon.
Nicholas K.
Great to see such top scientists accepting and giving assent to Creation from a scientific standpoint. Very clear and well set out valid scientific reasons in a concise résumé. I hope l can do as well when called for (1 Peter 3:15).
Simon S.
Great, great, great article! Thanks. Certainly nothing to fear from the fairy tale that is evolution.
Philippus S.
Praise the Lord, thanks for sharing it, Dr Jonathan Sarfati.

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