Creation Bits

This blog has been superceded, and is only here for archive purposes. The latest blog posts, depending on topic, can be found at one of the blogs at the new location!

These are very uneditted and underthought ideas that I get while debating the creation/evolution debate. This is the more-often-updated but less-thought-out version of the crevo blog.

Friday, May 13, 2005

More Replies to T.O's Creationism Claims Index

CD103: The entire geologic column is based on the assumption of evolution.

The responses are these:

"The geologic column was outlined by creationist geologists."

This is an exageration at best, and direct misrepresentation at worst. Let's look at their example:

"For example, Adam Sedgwick, who described and named the Cambrian era, referred to the theory of evolution as "no better than a phrensied dream" (Ritland 1982)."

Based on this link, Sedgwick is a theistic evolutionist. His problem with Darwin was the part of leaving a purely naturalistic view of evolution.

Here's some relevant paragraphs from that link:

Sedgwick also did not object to evolution, or "development" as such theories were called then, in the broad sense -- to the fact that the life on Earth had changed over time. Nor was he a young-Earth creationist; he believed that the Earth must be extremely old. As Darwin wrote of Sedgwick's lectures, "What a capital hand is Sedgewick [sic] for drawing large cheques upon the Bank of Time!"

However, Sedgwick believed in the Divine creation of life over long periods of time, by "a power I cannot imitate or comprehend -- but in which I believe, by a legitimate conclusion of sound reason drawn from the laws of harmonies of nature." What Sedgwick objected to was the apparent amoral and materialist nature of Darwin's proposed mechanism, natural selection, which he thought degrading to humanity's spiritual aspirations. His letter of November 24 went on to state:

This view of nature you have stated admirably; tho' admitted by all naturalists & denied by no one of common sense. We all admit development as a fact of history; but how came it about? Here, in language, & still more in logic, we are point blank at issue-- There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. Tis the crown & glory of organic science that it does thro' final cause, link material to moral. . . You have ignored this link; &, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it--& sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.

It seems that T.O is just as bad at quote mining as they claim creationists are. They also entirely leave out the Scriptural Geologists, who objected to the evolutionary geologists of the period.

One thing to point out is that "evolution" had been around long before Darwin -- Darwin simply provided a naturalistic mechanism. Many naturalists even back to the Greeks (and before) believed in a gradual evolution.

Also to note, is that creationists don't object to the idea of a column of geologic rock per se, but of the specific interpretation given it by evolutionists.

"The geologic column is validated in great detail by radiometric dating, which is based on principles of physics, not evolution. Furthermore, different dating techniques are consistent, and they are consistent with the order established by the early pioneers of stratigraphy."

This is only true if you completely gloss over the aberrant dates. Aberrant dates are often not reported. Here are some aberrant dates to think about:

  • Diamonds found at the bottom of the geologic column are fairly consistently dated to 50,000 to 70,000 years on equipment that can accurately detected up to 90,000 years.

  • Dating by the speed of helium escape from Zircons usually shows around 5,000 years on rocks that otherwise date to millions of years (this is controversial, so you can see the ICR claim, Talk.Origin's response, and Russel Humphrey's reply)

  • Woodmorappe has given a number of accounts of known cases where dates are discarded. T.O has replied (see their "other links" section to see Woodmorappe's and other's reply to T.O's reply). In fact, you should probably take the time to read Woodmorappe's reply.

The fact is that aberrant dates ARE thrown out. If they get data back which conflicts wildly with "known" ages for things, they probably wouldn't even bother publishing it. Why would they? This is not an accusation of lying, but rather human nature. "It was probably a bad sample -- I must have overlooked something."

Anyway, the RATE group this November, 2005, is going to be giving the results of their multi-year study into radiometric dating for determining earth ages. It should be interesting.

Just to note, we've hit some other T.O claims in here, such as CD015 and to a lesser extent CD010 and its sub-claims.

Also, I _think_ in the RATE group data to be presented in November, the RATE group is going to present evidence that certain types of radioactive decay has had other rates in the past. This should be interesting, if true.

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