Russell and Duenes

You Can’t Get These Fossils Over Long Ages

with 10 comments

I have argued before in this space that the best science refutes the Darwinian geology known as “uniformitarianism.” That is, the evidence simply does not support the idea that the sedimentary layers found in the geologic column nor the fossils contained within them arose over millions of years. Rather, the evidence points to the fact that a catastrophic event, like a flood, is what likely caused the formations we see in our geological structures. Here’s why, according to Jonathan Sarfati:

1) We still have no record of transitional fossils in the record. In this case, as Sarfati rightly says, “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence; it’s just not proof of it” (p.106, The Greatest Hoax on Earth?) If the earth were really hundreds of millions of years, or even billions of years old, and neo-Darwinian evolution were true, we would expect to see all sorts of transitional fossils.

2) The fossils we do see show evidence of rapid burial. A good example of this would be the ichthyosaur that was fossilized while giving birth. It was not fossilized while lying on the ocean floor, there to be slowly buried in sediment (ibid., 107) Sarfati says, “Hundreds of fossil giant jellyfish, with many specimens measuring over 50 cm (20 in) across, were found in a Wisconsin sandstone quarry. Such fossils certainly could not have formed gradually – how long do dead jellyfish normally retain their features (along with ripple makes in the sand)?” (108)

3) We see knife-edge contact between sandstone and shale in the Grand Canyon. How in the world could we see such a razor-thin, uniform layer of sediment? It certainly could not have developed over millions of years. Further, these layers are perfectly flat – called “flat gaps” – and we would not find them this way were we talking about normal erosion. We would expect to see uneven and jagged erosion instead (110).

4) We see what are called “polystrate fossils,” which are fossils that cut through many layers (111). As the anti-creationist, Derek Ager, says, “Assuming a constant rate of sedimentation, it would have taken 100,000 year to bury a tree 10 m high, which is ridiculous.” (111-12)

5) We see rapid layer formation even today. Sarfati explains: The Mt. St. Helens eruption in Washington State produced 7.6 metres (25 feet) of finely layered sediment in a single afternoon!” (112)

6) The “Cambrian Explosion” is a massive and, as yet, unanswered problem for neo-Darwinian evolution. It points up a problem for the “goo-to-you” evolutionary theory on its own terms. Where are the fossilized partial skeletons we would expect to find if a Darwinian mechanism were at work?

The fossils we do, in fact, see give evidence of a quick and violent formation, evidence of something that the Noahic Flood and its abatement could have produced.

If you are inclined to respond to this evidence, then may I ask that you respond in kind, namely, with scientific evidence refuting the evidence I just provided, rather than with put downs of “creationism.” What is needed is a convincing explanation refuting the notion of catastrophism.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

December 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Duenes, Science

10 Responses

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  1. Sarfati has never made a scientific discovery in his life. He has contributed nothing to biology. He’s a professional liar and you’re one of his gullible customers.

    Human Ape

    December 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

    • Hello again. I kindly replied to your rather boorish and obnoxious comments on one of my previous posts. Not this time. Since you have nothing to say here, nor on your site, that is anything other than personal attack, your comments will no longer appear on this site and will be immediately deleted, unread, by me. Thank you very much.

      -D

      russellandduenes

      December 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm

  2. D-

    I respect you and your thinking, so If any of what I say below is offensive, please let me know.

    I feel like you are not really asking an honest question. If I am not mistaken, you are asking for an evolution/creation debate based on the scientific evidence.

    However, I think no amount of scientific evidence will ever change your mind, since I think you have decided on theological grounds. That is, your interpretation of scripture forms your opinion on this matter, not scientific evidence.

    Some in the evolutionism camp will never change their minds, either. For them it is as much a religious question as it is for you. But that doesn’t mean there is no middle ground.

    I am a Christian who changed his mind from a literal creationist account from Genesis, to an evolutionary account. I did this based on the scientific evidence I was able to look through, and examining the scriptures.

    I think you would never change your mind based on scientific evidence, so there is no point in arguing it that way.

    I think you might change your mind, however, if one were able to convince you against a literal interpretation of Genesis based on theological grounds, if such grounds were convincing enough.

    Perhaps a more productive question in this case would be “How can a Christian do anything but interpret Genesis literally?”

    What do you think?

    -Bates

    Bates

    December 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    • Bates – I respect you as well, and find nothing offensive in what you’ve written. I think your question at the end about “anything but a literal interpretation of Genesis” is a good one. Let’s start there. I think you’re incorrect in your assessment of whether the scientific evidence would ever change my mind. As I said, apart from the Scriptures, I’m not at all satisfied with a Darwinian account of our history, not even one where there’s a robust theism along with it. i just don’t think it makes the best sense out of the data we have.

      But let’s not start there. Let’s start with your question. I would love to know, not only how you work out Genesis in non-literal terms, but also how you explain both Jesus’ and Paul’s references to Adam and Eve. Both of them make theological points by appealing to Adam and Eve, and appealing to them as historical persons, best I can tell. So I’m all ears as to how your theological system accounts for this, and I mean that. I’m not being sarcastic. I’d like to know your interpretation, and I’d be willing to be convinced by one if it seems to make sense to me.

      -D

      russell and duenes

      December 13, 2010 at 8:32 pm

  3. D-

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond.

    You say the evidence isn’t convincing, apart from the scriptures. But what if it were? Is there any amount of evidence that would cause you to reevaluate how you interpret the scriptures? I honestly don’t think there is. That’s why I proposed arguing the theology first, instead of the scientific evidence.

    As for the theology- admittedly, I do not have a strong answer as to Jesus’ and Paul’s reference to Adam, but my answer is that they were referring to a character in a parable, as they would do, for example, in reference to the prodigal son.

    As for Genesis 1 and 2 taken by itself, I don’t see how you can take it literally. The form and structure of Genesis 1 is obviously poetic, in my opinion.

    First of all, God spoke “Let there be light”. Did he really speak with a mouth and cause air to vibrate on his vocal chords? Is that literal? If we were a race of deaf people, wouldn’t it say that God “signed ‘Let there be light'”?

    Genesis 1:
    Day 1 – Light, it is good Day 4 – Sun, Moon, Stars, it is good
    Day 2 – Sky and Sea, it is good Day 5 – Birds and Fish, it is good
    Day 3- Land and Plants, it is good Day 6 – Land Animals, Men/Women -good

    Notice the repetition of it is good. And the way the days fit together, day 1 with day 4 (light goes with sun), day 2 with day 5 (sky goes with birds, sea goes with fish), etc. This seems poetic to me, not literal.

    Notice the lack of logical coherence that normally exists in literal writings. There is light without the sun and stars. There are days and nights before the sun exists, for that matter. Could God have done it that way? Yes. Does it make much logical sense? No.

    Then, Genesis 2:4 starts a completely different creation account- different style, different tone, different details, and if taken literally, contradictory to the first account.

    For example, in Genesis 2, man is created before plants, but in Genesis 1, plants are created before man. Gen 2- man created before animals, Gen 1- animals created before man. Gen 2- Man created before woman, Gen 1- man and woman created at same time.

    How can these creation accounts both be taken literally, if they literally contradict each other? I’ve seen people try to synthesize the two literally (Josh McDowell tries it in one of his books), but it always seems forced and unreasonable to me.

    It makes much more sense to me to interpret them figuratively. What is the spiritual message? There is one God, not many. Nature is His creation, not to be worshiped itself. Nature is good. Man is special, higher than the animals. Man sinned, rebelled against God. Men are meant to lead women, etc.

    All these messages are in the figurative interpretation, and they are the most important messages, in my opinion. Does it really matter how many days it took to create the world?

    There is no need to mess with all the logical contradictions and inconsistencies if you interpret it figuratively, and you lose none of the spiritual meaning by doing so, in my opinion.

    Again, I think it’s not fair to imply that one is objectively evaluating the scientific merit of a claim when one has a religious conviction against that claim. That goes for the atheist-evolutionists, as well.

    Bates

    December 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

    • Thanks for this, B, and I will respond to it at more length after Christmas. But, I do believe that I’m open to scientific evidence, wherever it leads. And I’m not locked into what many call a “literal” interpretation of Genesis 1-2. I would agree with you, that whatever Genesis 1-2 is teaching, it is teaching “There is one God, not many. Nature is His creation, not to be worshiped itself. Nature is good. Man is special, higher than the animals. Man sinned, rebelled against God. Men are meant to lead women, etc.” The problem is, how do you get, on a neo-Darwinian, “goo-to-you” account of biological history, the fact that “man is special” and “man sinned?” Man is clearly not special in the Darwinian account, even if you believe “God did it.” He is merely descended from less sophisticated creatures, a product of chance mutations and adaptations. Further, how do you get a “fall” into sin? On the Darwinian account, death is part of the picture. But the Bible clearly makes death out to be a result of our rebellion. How do you square these things? Further, how do humans come up with a “soul” on the Darwinian account? I think there might be a way of understanding Genesis 1-2 so as to account for these things, but I just don’t understand how any such account would square with the scientific account to which you hold.

      I’m not sure how I can say that Jesus and Paul were referring to Adam in simply a parabolic way. Perhaps there was a non-literal way they understood Adam and Eve. Perhaps they don’t believe that there was literally a guy named Adam, but I find it difficult to see how they would not have believed in a first sinless man. Paul’s entire argument about women being silent in church is based on “Adam being formed first” and “Eve falling into sin.” Jesus’ teaching about marriage is based on “God creating them male and female,” and “a man leaving his father and mother and cleaving to his wife.” Paul’s exposition of how “sin entered the world” is through the “trespass of the one man.” These beg for explanation, in my mind, far more than one’s understanding of Genesis 1-2. I’d like to see you grapple with the NT texts. I certainly think it’s worth it if we are going to retain our confidence in the Scriptures.

      -D

      russell and duenes

      December 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

  4. I tried to respond to your request to explain how I work out Genesis in non-literal terms.

    How do you work Genesis out in literal terms?

    The theme that man is special and has a soul does not come from “goo to you” Darwinism. It comes from the Bible. A soul is not something that science can speak to. Religion can. Similarly, religious concepts such as sin and redemption cannot be addressed scientifically, whether for or against, since they are not in the realm of science.

    I think at some point God infused a soul into man, before that, he was a monkey, to use the vernacular. Genesis says God breathed life into dirt and created man in His image. Is that any different than breathing life into a monkey? Does it really matter if it was dirt or a lower life form from whence God created us?

    How do you work out Genesis in literal terms? If you don’t interpret it literally, how do you treat it as a source for any useful scientific knowledge?

    Also, this is not meant as a slam, but have you investigated the evidence for evolution as presented by experts who promote it, such at reading “Origin of the Species”, or taking a college geology class, carbon dating in physics, etc? If you have done due diligence in giving it a chance, there’s probably little I can do to change your mind, since I’m not an expert. I find a lot of Christians never give it an honest chance, however. They’ve already decided that it can’t be true, as it apparently violates their religious convictions.

    -Bates

    Bates

    December 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    • B – I will spend some time crafting my best thoughts on a “literal interpretation” of Genesis. Though I’ll add at this point, “literal” in biblical hermeneutics does not mean that one has to believe in a talking snake because it said a snake spoke. “Literal” means interpreting a piece of literature in the sense the author intended. So when a biblical author talks about a “sunset,” the literal interpretation is not one where we believe the sun is actually setting. The “literal” interpretation means taking it as an epiphenomenal statement. But I digress.

      Before I get to my thoughts, I still would like to know from you how you come up with a Doctrine of the Fall on a neo-Darwinian account. In evolution, death and corruption are a part of things from the very beginning (if one can even speak of a beginning). I follow you in saying that God could have breathed human life into a monkey, but what I don’t follow, because you have not explained it, is how you account for death and decay in the creation prior to mankind rebelling against God. The Bible seems clear that death came as a result of sin, but on an evolutionary account, this cannot be true. Death would have to precede sin since many organisms died before the first man came on the scene. How do you explain this specific point? If you think you’ve already explained it, humor me and explain it again.

      -D

      russell and duenes

      December 31, 2010 at 11:21 am

  5. D-

    Didn’t the original author actually think the sun was setting?

    I think he did. If I take it literally, as many early Christians did, I would be opposed to the scientific theory that the Earth rotates around the sun.

    But was the original intent of the author to define how the planets are moving in relation to one another? I say no. So even though the author thought the sun literally set, I don’t get hung up on that, and I dig for the spiritual meaning, which I believe is his actual intent.

    -Bates

    Bates

    January 12, 2011 at 10:03 am

    • B – You nor I have any idea what the original author thought about cosmology. So I think it’s best to keep agnostic about things which we certainly cannot know. But you are quite right, the original intent wasn’t to say anything about the movement of planets in a strict scientific manner, but to talk about the wonder of God in poetry.

      And I think we would also do well to go back and do a bit of research as to why Christians thought the sun revolved around the earth. Are you sure it was only because they thought the Bible was teaching that, or is that just the popular myth that Catholic Church haters have propagated? Could it simply be that the Ptolemaic cosmology was the ruling SCIENTIFIC paradigm and people were reluctant to abandon it, say, much as people are highly reluctant to abandon materialistic, naturalistic evolution today?

      -D

      russell and duenes

      January 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm


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