Mt St Helens Blowing Up Evolutionary Expectations

On May 18, 1980, Mt St Helens erupted with intensity that not only shook the things around its environment more so than any other volcanic eruption worldwide that year but it also shook a new reality for scientists known as catastrophic geology. It’s powerful blast that went from five to fifty feet in the air each day causing 600 feet of new strata to form inspired many young men to become geologists.

In a mere three hours, 25 feet out of 600 feet was accumulated. It was deposited by pyroclastic flows produced by the eruption plume of debris over the volcano. The strata contained thin laminae and cross bedding. It’s absolutely amazing how the finest stratification was formed in an event that resembled the same type of violence of a hurricane!

On this 30th anniversary of the eruption we see differences between creationists and evolutionists on what we have learned from Mt St Helens.

Creation geology pointed out that Mt. St. Helens was an important observation for catastrophic flood geology as well. The work of geologist Dr. Stephen A. Austin in particular has had a large influence in creationist circles. He took a team scuba-diving in Spirit Lake to study the effects of waterlogged trees sinking in the peat sediments at the bottom. He found logs uprooted by the blast were being planted in upright positions at the bottom of Spirit Lake, giving the appearance they had grown in that position.  This was reminiscent of the Yellowstone fossil forests. A layer of peat buried in Spirit Lake has the texture and appearance of a coal deposit forming.

Observations like these could not be dismissed outright but certainly they were ignored. Not surprisingly, his work wasn’t even mentioned in secular publications like Nature or Live Science 30 years later. Rather the focus was drawn to Mt St Helens making a “indelible mark on the field of volcanology” which is true but only selected certain lessons. But one thing she did point out concerning the new realizations of the power of landslides and lateral blasts during eruptions but refused to mention anything about the work of Dr. Stephen A. Austin because he was a creationist.

Although, they (like talking origins) have tried to discredit him in other publications by claiming  that he believed Mt St Helens was responsible for “suddenly” carving a canyon like a miniature Grand Canyon. Creationists do not believe the Grand Canyon was formed during the original days of creation mentioned in the Bible but rather the result of a global flood. Mt. St. Helens only provides a model for how rapid erosion occurs! So what creationists proposed about the formation of the Grand Canyon took much longer with much stronger processes than “suddenly” at Mt St Helens level but not in the realm of the evolutionary time framework.    

Once last thing, Satellite images showing 30 years ago and then today show a remarkable amount of vegetation that has grown during those years. Live Science gives a list of plants and animals in the blast zone with a record of how they have fared since the eruption.

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31 thoughts on “Mt St Helens Blowing Up Evolutionary Expectations

  1. Hi Michael !

    we’re *still* waiting for the answers to these three questions:

    (1) Blog readership numbers

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject, in response to the challenge to Olorin.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    You do have the answers to the first two questions readily available, but refuse to tell us so far.

    Of course we can guess why, but hey, knowing is better than guessing. So do your bit !

  2. Once more Michael has cut and run from his contested claims without any defense.

    Forget mitochondrial Eve or evolutionary “religion.” The golden oldies still demand answers—.

    (1) Blog readership numbers in response to Eelco’s February challenge that your readership asymptotically approaches zero.

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject, in response to the challenge to Olorin.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    One might think that Michael could take just a little time away from his manure spreader to, say, defend one of Stephen Meyer’s 12 predictions in Signature in the cell. Just one, Michael? You claimed to have read it at that time—after ten months, you have no idea how to support even one of Meyer’s smaller claims?

    Just jump to a new subject, leaving the smoldering wreckage behind.

  3. Creationists yet again repeats their unsupported contention that any rapid geologic process must demonstrate a young Earth/Mars/Jupiter/whatever.[1] And that local catastrophic events “could” have scaled up to global proportions in the past.[2] Without, of course, giving any evidence for such phenomena.

    <Michael;

    Creation geology pointed out that Mt. St. Helens was an important observation for catastrophic flood geology as well. The work of geologist Dr. Stephen A. Austin in particular has had a large influence in creationist circles.

    First, we do believe that Dr Austin teaches at the Institute for Creation Research. Yes, that’s the one that was refused academic accreditation by Texas last year—partly because of the credentials of Drs Snelling and Austin.

    But this is an argument from the poisoned well. Let us examine Dr Austin’s published research papers on the subject of Mt. St. Helens.[3] WHAT? He led a research team there and published no results?? We can’t verify or replicate his claims? Some science![3.5]

    Observations like these could not be dismissed outright but certainly they were ignored. Not surprisingly, his work wasn’t even mentioned in secular publications like Nature or Live Science 30 years later.

    Again, Michael fails Dom’s “critical incompetence” test[4] Not dismissed outright? Even in Answers in Creation itself, brave soul Craig Neyman produced evidence to refute Austin’s Mt. St. Helens claims. Kevin Henke notes that Austin simply “overlooked” [5] ancient minerals at the site of Mt St Helens.

    As to no citations, scientific journals cite verified, replicated work, not faith-based junk.[5]

    .

    Even Michael’s attempts at “evidence” are laughable:

    This was reminiscent of the Yellowstone fossil forests. A layer of peat buried in Spirit Lake has the texture and appearance of a coal deposit forming.

    Peat begins to form immediately from waterlogged vegetation. A bog can be converted entirely into peat within 9,000 years. If you claimed that Spirit lake was a lot younger than that, I missed it. It is the next step, the conversion ito coal, even soft coal, that takes much longer. Having the “texture and appearance of a coal deposit forming” is not conversion into coal. It’s another one of your—dare I say it—leaps of faith.

    Vegetation appearing rapidly? Of course. Why is vegetation within 30 years after a vocano eruption evidence of a young earth. By any stretch of the imagination.

    .

    Sorry, Michael. Stuff your Mt St Helens 30-year anniversary in a sock and come back in 30 million years. By that time you will have seen that the vegetation has evolved considerably. And perhaps some coal in Spirit Lake.

    ===========

    [1] Not true, folks. The Washington scablands formed in a matter of weeks when a glacial lake broke loose. But that was 12,000 years ago. Th entire Mediterannean Sea may have filled up from an arid plin in just a couple fo years from the Atlantic. But that was 5 million years ago. The Mediterranean flooded the bowl and created the Black sea in decades. But that was about 70,000 years ago. Creationists have not challenged these dates with anything more than arm-waving—that scientific methods “must” be wrong, for some unspecified reason.

    [2] Not true again. Fior example, tThe water that filled even the Mediterranean lowered the world’‘s sea levels by many meters. The water required to flood all land on Earth would require abot 59 times as much water as currently in all the world’s oceans. Such minor details as ophysical possibility are swept under the abyss.

    [3] Or at least Michael refuses to cite them. Scientists don’t do that, do they?

    [3.5] We did note a news article—news!—in AiG on “Thirtieth Anniversary of a Geologic Catastrophe”. It was by Andrew Snelling (Tweedledum), however, not by Stephen Austin (Tweedledee). The date of the news article in May 18, 2010.

    [4] Post of May 17, comment dated May 18, 2010 at 6:05 am.

    [5] This may be a polite term for “hid.”

    [6] Even junk that appears in reviewed publications. Note that Douglas Axe’s 2004 paper showing the inability of bacterial evolution was cited only 3 times—all three of which refuted his results. After Axe agreed with the critics, no one cited it any more. Of course, the Dishonesty Institute still hails it as a “reviewed paper.”

  4. The first three commentors are showing how scientists have evolved into a group of good ol’ boys interested in keeping outsiders, well, outside. You don’t need Michael’s credentials or blog readership to know if there are valid observations here. It’s not suprising that any papers by a creationist are not published in prestigious journals, or that accrediation is refused. They are outside of the good ol boy network and are persecuted by them. Reminds me of civil rights.

    Have well published scientists ever been proven wrong? I think that’s a resounding, yes. Everyday. Especially amoungst the evolutionary scientists, from what I’ve seen.

    You must put your faith in something. Your faith is in the assumptions that lead one to calculate the earths age in the millions of years. There’s obviously no proof of that. It’s based on emperical data and calculations. Calculations based on assumptions. Tweek the assumptions slightly and the calculations vary wildly. Hmmm. How do you know you have the right assumptions? You don’t. That’s why it is an assumption. They are usually the same set of assumptions

    You put your faith in the establisment of scientists (at least the ones who support the assumptions that support macro-evolution), Michael has faith in a God. Both are models for creation. Michael’s model has just been around a lot longer, and there’s still no proof to refute it. There are some assumptions that do though.

    Challenge assumptions until they become facts. That’s what scientists do.

  5. Johnson:

    You must put your faith in something. Your faith is in the assumptions that lead one to calculate the earths age in the millions of years. There’s obviously no proof of that. It’s based on emperical [sic] data and calculations. Calculations based on assumptions. Tweek [sic] the assumptions slightly and the calculations vary wildly. Hmmm. How do you know you have the right assumptions? You don’t. That’s why it [sic] is an assumption. They are usually the same set of assumptions

    It’s not quite that simple. We make assumptions from some observed facts—they’re called hypotheses. Then we test each hypothesis, to see whether it is consistent with other known facts, to see whether it can predict facts that have not yet been observed, and to see whether it differentiates (“rules out”) other hypotheses. Then peers review our work to determine that we have accounted for relevant previous work, and to determine that we have addressed weak points and contrary views. The resulting publication is read by other scientists knowledgeable in the field, who attempt to duplicate our results, to criticize it, and to build upon it—that is, to extend our work to other areas or to investigate aspects that our work may have omitted.

    “Challenge assumptions until they become facts. That’s what scientists do,” Johnson says. And that is exactly what is described above.[0]

    Contrast this process of science with creationism. Assumptions are made from theological texts., rather than from observations. In the few cases where these assumptions are tested at all, the results are invariably flawed.or disproved by others.[1] Creationists rarely publish–Michael cites work at Mt St Helens by Austin, but I have been unable to find any paper publishing his results, even in creationist journals.[2] Even when a few papers are published, they are of sophomoric content,[3] obviously addressed to laymen rather than to peers. (Have you actually read any of these papers, Mr Johnson?) Finally, creationist investigations are not cumulative; each one starts back at square one, without building upon previous results.[4]

    Creationism is self-admittedly faith-based rather than evidence-based. Authors in Answers Research Journal, for example, are required to sign a pledge to uphold biblical literalism. When they even mention a contrary theory, their papers must include “biblical alternatives.”[5] So much for “following the evidence wherever it leads.”

    It’s not surprising that any papers by a creationist are not published in prestigious journals, or that accrediation [sic] is refused. They are outside of the good ol boy network and are persecuted by them. Reminds me of civil rights.

    Ah, the conspiracy virus has infected the UK!. Of course, you will have to explain how ID molecular biologist Michael Behe has managed to publish 40 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. And ID astronomer Guillermo Gonzales managed 68 peer-reviewed papers. And bacteriologists Douglas Axe and Scott Minnich. These guys at least are capable of writing papers that are not a pile of half-baked crap that only the ignorant uncritical layman can swallow.

    I’d ask you to read the creationist papers and refutations yourself[6] but you probably can’t judge them any more than Michael can. As I tell Michael often enough, the scientist who comes up with solid positive evidence of special creation will have only one problem—finding a seat on a plane to Stockholm quickly enough to collect his Nobel Prize.

    Have well published scientists ever been proven wrong? I think that’s a resounding, yes. Everyday. Especially amoungst [sic] the evolutionary scientists, from what I’ve seen.

    If you think evolutionary biologists are wrong more often than physicists or chemists, then you are not familiar with physics or chemistry either. I mentioned earlier that science is cumulative. Does knowledge increase when an experiment confirms a hypothesis? No. Knowledge accumulates when an experiment finds an unexpected result. Look through your collection of creationist papers—does any of them admit that it or any other creationist paper might have been wrong in any detail at all? Or that previous interpretations might have been incomplete or flawed? Keep looking—you won’t be back here very soon.

    As a prominent science editor once said, the most exciting words in science are not “I’ve found it!” but rather. “Hm. That’s strange…” Science progresses by fits and starts, wrong turns and unexpected results. Creationism does not progress at all. We still don’t know any more about special creation than we did a thousand years ago.

    ==============

    [0] Ah, you say—but we don’t challenge basic assumptions, such as the common ancestry of all living organisms. Just this morning, I was reading about Paul Davies’ investigations into possible life forms here on Earth that do not share a common ancestor with the ones we know about. A year ago, Scientific American reported on another, independent group conducting field studies into this contrarian hypothesis.

    [1] An example in this post: The geological investigation by Stephen Austin purported to find young geological formations at Mt St Helens. However, an actual scientist investigating the same area found minerals millions of years old that Austin had “overlooked.” Andrew Snelling’s young-earth data for polonium halos has been blown to bits many times—by finding natural mechanisms for old halos, and by finding vastly older rocks in the same formations as the ones Snelling supposedly studied. Other examples abound.

    [2] Michael? A citation for your claim?

    [3] Yes, I have read most of the papers in Answers Research Journal and a couple others. 95% of the content is undergraduate stuff designed to bedazzle the layman. Reporting of actual results is minimal or non-existent. Most end with a statement such as, well someone really should investigate a creationist interpretation of pink lawn flamingos (or whatever.).

    [4] Except possibly Andrew Snelling, but he cites noi one besides himself for support of his creationist contentions. He hopes you won’t notice that in the blizzard of journal citations to basic stuff that is entirely conventional background, not related to creationism. Maybe that’s why his Institute for Creation Research flunked accreditation. by everyone except TRACS, an accreditation group for Christian seminaries.

    [5] Look up “Information for Authors.” You’ll have to follow a couple of links; they don’t like to have that stuff publicized.

    [6] The vaunted 2004 paper by Douglas Axe on impossibility of bacterial evolution, for example, was later disavowed by the author after his peers demonstrated that his sample size was a billion times too small to support his conclusion.

  6. Johnson: “Have well published scientists ever been proven wrong? I think that’s a resounding, yes.”

    What is even more interesting is: Who was it who showed these scientists to be wrong?

    Was it creationists? No doubt about this one–a resounding NO.

    .

    The main problem with creationism, however, is not that it’s wrong. The problem is that it offers nothing.. For a thousand years biblical creation was the dominant explanation for the origin of life, the universe, and everything. During all that time, it has added nothing to the store of human knowledge.about the way the world works. It has brought forth no applications of benefits to man. Nothing.

    Why should it not be cast into the flames, like the barren olive tree that bears no fruit?

  7. The study done by Steven Austin is faulty. And if you read oit close enough, you would realize it yourself.

    Ausin, in his paper talks abut contamination happening in his samples from rocks from Mt. St. Hellens, and then he says that he didn’t take the trouble to decontaminate the samples. . .

    — I know. I read the paper!!!! That is enough to just throw this BS into the trash!

    Thank you.

  8. — Oops, wrong Austin paper. . .

    Oh well, doesn’t matter. The one i had in mind is enough to show that Steven Austing is a liar. . . So, rest assured. Everything he says is bull.

  9. Johnson…

    “The first three commentors are showing how scientists have evolved into a group of good ol’ boys interested in keeping outsiders, well, outside. You don’t need Michael’s credentials or blog readership to know if there are valid observations here.”

    Thanks for the comment, The “good ol’ boys club also has a striking similarity with cults where its members are able to read but interpretation is only allowed by certain enlightened ones.

  10. krisssmith777,

    Dr. Austin comments about real cool observations more so than your ranting…I can see why many wanted to go into this field during the early 80’s…

    “Up to 400 feet thickness of strata have formed since 1980 at Mount St. Helens. These deposits accumulated from primary air blast, landslide, waves on the lake, pyroclastic flows, mudflows, air fall, and stream water. Perhaps the most surprising accumulations are the pyroclastic flow deposits amassed from ground-hugging, fluidized, turbulent slurries of fine volcanic debris, which moved at high velocities off the flank of the volcano as the eruption plume of debris over the volcano collapsed.”

  11. Michael,

    You still have not adressed the real issue here. . . I can prove to you that Austin is a liar. . . In fact, the “study” he did about the K-Ar method dating of Rocks from the 1986 eruption of Mt St. Hellens is a great example of his deliberately twisting the truth…

    But you seem too impressed by some extra polemic he writes about to care.

  12. Michael

    Thanks for the comment, The “good ol’ boys club also has a striking similarity with cults where its members are able to read but interpretation is only allowed by certain enlightened ones.

    .

    The first reading for this morning is taken from the Information for Authors of Science magazine:

    Science seeks to publish those papers that are most influential in their fields and that will significantly advance scientific understanding. Selected papers should present novel and broadly important data, syntheses, or concepts. They should merit the recognition by the scientific community and general public provided by publication in Science, beyond that provided by specialty journals.

    We welcome submissions from all fields of science and from any source.

    The second reading for this Sunday is from the Authors Guide to the Answers Research Journal, the organ of the Institute for Creation Research.

    3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
    4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?

    .

    Query—Which one looks more like a cult, science or creationism?

  13. krissmith777, I’d appreciate on-line sources for the Stephen Austin papers you mentioned. On Mt St Helens and on K/Ar dating.

    Mahalo — thanks.

    .

    I assume that Michael’s quote above (May 20, 2010 at 2:34 am) is from one of them.

    Did you consider Neyman’s and Henke’s work cited above? (May 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm)

  14. Eelco: “Ehhhhhhhhh …. what a horrendously difficult question, Upson Downes”

    Then perhaps I may proffer a hint. Here is a snippet from an article “Science for Christians” in The Journal for Young Investigators—

    According to Purdom,[1] in order for an article to be published in ARJ, the author’s position must be consistent with the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Purdom explained how the peer-review process includes not only fact checking, but also faith checking.

    Similarly, everyone working with AiG must sign a Statement of Faith. The declarations within the document range from “The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” to “No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”

    Now let’s try it again. Which one looks more like a cult, science or creationism?

    If the answer is not correct, we start flogging you.

    ==============

    [1] Dr. Georgia Purdom (PhD in molecular genetics) is a member of the Creation Research Society and serves on the editorial board and executive council of BSG: A Creation Biology Study Group. She serves as a peer reviewer for Answers Research Journal and Creation Research Science Quarterly.

  15. Can I get another hint ? It is *such* a difficult choice …

    Personally I like my own Statement of Wisdom:
    “No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts whatever I say.”

  16. Heaven forfend that I should be accused of quoting out of context. Therefore, here is the complete unvarnished set of review criteria for Answers Research Journal. (PDF version)

    The following criteria will be used in judging papers:
    1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?
    2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?
    3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
    4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
    5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?
    6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture? If necessary, refer to: R. E. Walsh, 1986. Biblical hermeneutics and creation. Proceedings First International Conference on Creationism, vol. 1, pp. 121–127. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.

    Remark:
    The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of faith. The editors play a very important initial role in preserving a high level of quality in the ARJ, as well as protecting AiG from unnecessary controversy and review of clearly inappropriate papers.

    Note in particular criterion #6. Authors must not only adhere to the biblical account, they must conform to a particular interpretation thereof. These Proceedings appear to be available only as a PDF CD; see here. Page numbers are not given in the on-line ToC. From the title and author, I believe the relevant paper is “Biblical Hermeneutics and Creation,” by Robert Walsh. In case you might be interested.

  17. That’s strange. None of the ARJ “peer-review” criteria say anything about increasing scientific understanding, or about adequate evidential support for the conclusions, or about logical consistency.

  18. Michael: “Dr. Austin comments about real cool observations more so than your ranting…I can see why many wanted to go into this field during the early 80′s…’

    Too bad (for you) that Dr Austin’s conclusions cannot be supported by his observations. See Neyman ansd Henke above.

    Neyman notes that Austin “overlooked” older minerals in his samples. That’s too kind a way of putting it, as krissmith777 explains.

  19. @Upson Downes

    Don’t worry, I’m well aware of the ‘statement of faith’ of the creationists, and have been throwing that back at them for many years now. It is so obviously unscientific that it is clear to me that the term ‘creation science’ is some kind of creationist sense of humor.

  20. Olorin

    You say:

    krissmith777, I’d appreciate on-line sources for the Stephen Austin papers you mentioned. On Mt St Helens and on K/Ar dating.

    Oh, that I can do. :)

    Austins’s paper on K/Ar Method from Mt St. Hellen’s rocks is found here:

    http://static.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Excess-Argon-New-Lava-Dome-at-Mount-St-Helens.pdf

    — The majority of the statements I am most interested in are on PDF page 4, on the right collumn.

    —- But a good link that DOES point out the same, as well as gives a good refutation of Austin is here:

    http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/mt_st_helens_dacite_kh.htm

    —- I hope this is helpful. :)

  21. Olorin,

    Here is a couple of quotes from the paper where Austin basically admitts to contamination of his samples from Mt. St. Hellens when he used the K/Ar method:

    Although not a complete separation of non-mafic minerals, this concentrate included plagioclase phenocrysts (andesine composition with a density of about 2.7 g/cc) and the major quantity of glass (density assumed to be about 2.4 g/cc). No attempt was made to separate plagioclase from glass, but further use of heavy liquids should be considered.

    Notice he says there was no complete separation of the materials, and then he later says in some cases he made no attempt at separation of certain materials.

    On the same page, and the same collumn, he says:

    The microscopic examination of the “heavy-magnetic concentrate” also revealed a trace quantity of iron fragments, obviously the magnetic contaminant unavoidably introduced from the milling of the dacite in the iron mortar. No attempt was made to separate the hornblende from the Fe-Ti oxides, but further finer milling and use of heavy liquids should be considered.

    Here, he is saying there was contamination, anf that “no attempt was made to separate” anything.

    IF this doesn’t show that his research is faulty, I don’t know what does.

  22. Thanks, krissmith777, fior the refs.

    The paper from NoAnswers is the one I had cited earlier. Henke makes a dog’s breakfast of the only half-way rational excuse that creationists have come up with for radiometric dating discrepancies—and he uses the creationists own methods to do it. Priceless.

    I’ll read the Austin paper. I beleive that this is the one that Neyman (May 4, 2010) discusses in his Answers in Creation paper that I cited above. The name threw me off for a while—superficially, it seems that “Answers in Creation” has no relation to Answers in Genesis—it is an old-earth creationist site that refutes young-earth claims. Interesting.

  23. Olorin,

    Answers in Creation is very useful for refuting young-earth creationism…

    Neyman, even though he says he doesn’t think Evolution happens, he DOES SAY on some of his pages that it may have happened, and that Christians should not be dogmatic against it.

    — Based on that, I would say he is a rare (almost non-existant) case of an intellectually honest Creationist.

  24. Yes, I was surprised at the number of different varieties of creationism. At the further end, would a theistic evolutionist be a creationist? Is ken Miller a creationist/

    I recently finished Michael Gazzaniga’s book, “The Ethical Brain,” and have read several earlier ones as well.

    Michael is certain that any valid evidence for evolution—or cosmology, or radiometric dating, or hot chicken soup—will entirely abnegate his religious beliefs.

    Maybe I’m at the other extreme. In my opinion, science will someday explain religion. Will that crush my beliefs? Probably not. Maybe I’m one of those “accommodationists” that PZ Myers sneers at. So be it, amen

    Gazzaniga rsaltes that the apostle paul probably suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, as a result of malaria (his “affliction”). His experience on the road to Damascus shows the symptoms of a TLE seqizure—visual and auittory hallucinations, falling down, temporary blindness. His non seizure behavor also exhibits the signs—religiosity, hypergraphia.

    Does that make his vision the less authentic, for him or for us? Does Van Gogh’s TLE make his paintings the less valid? Does Dostoyevsky’s TLE make his novels less insightful?

    One of Michael’s many failings is that he believes is a ;persistent God-of-the-gaps belief. That God had no hand in anything we can understand. Thus he tries to keeps the gaps as large as possible But as I remember) Carl Sagan said, “The awe of understanding surpasses the awe of ignorance any day.”

    There. J. Random Hacker’s (aka Olorin) screed for the day.

  25. Eelco: “I’m well aware of the ‘statement of faith’ of the creationists, and have been throwing that back at them for many years now. It is so obviously unscientific that it is clear to me that the term ‘creation science’ is some kind of creationist sense of humor.”

    You need not worry about creationists’ sense of humor. Their sarcasm detectors are disabled at birth. Where do you think Poe’s Law came from?

    On the other paw, we might guess that Michael will search for the statement of faith that authors must sign to get published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Do you think he’ll find it? Perhaps it’s kept locked in a vault, available only to reviewers, who are sworn to secrecy.

  26. Apropos of nothing, I must pass along a groaner today in a Panda’s Thumb post on scientific ethics.

    Henry J noted that pier review keeps scientists from missing the boat.

    .

    Well, maybe ethics is apropos of Michael’s post, after all…

  27. Apologies for all the tupos in my previews screed. A quick review would have helped. Maybe even a look back at the dock—that is, a pier review.

  28. Michael, it’s time to send up another creationist hot-air balloon. This post on “Mt St Helens Pumping Up Evolutionary Expectations” has deflated.

  29. The following are the various methods that are adopted by scientists to assess the age of the earth:
    a)Using sea composition to compute the age of the earth:
    Scientists used sea composition to derive the age of the earth. This method has its derivation from Edmond Halley (1656-1742). In his opinion, the rain would have dissolved all salt from the ground and would bring down to the sea with the assumption that there would be no salt in the sea initially.
    In 1910, George F. Becker found the age of the earth to be between 50 and 70 million years by means of salt clock method.
    However, the measurement by means of seawater composition does not give an accurate age of the earth on the condition if the sea might have been formed initially with much salt in the beginning. If that would be so, it is irrational to measure sea composition to determine the age of earth since much salt would have been in the sea already during its creation.
    b)Lord Kelvin in 1862 did compute the age of earth through the estimation of the coolness of the earth from its original molten state in which he concluded that the age of the earth was between 20 to 400 million years ago.
    However, its assumption that the earth would be in the molten state might not be accurate on the condition if the earth would have been formed in solid state initially instead of in molten. If that would be so, the computation of the age of this earth that is by means of the computation of the time taken for earth to be cooled down would not be reliable.
    c)Erosion method: The assessment of the age of the earth is by means of the observation with presumption that erosion would take place at about 1 ft every 5,000 years. With this method, they assess Canyon would start out flat and it would take 30,000,000 years for the Colorado river to erode 600 ft of the Grand Canyon.
    The computation above suffers a shortfall with the assumption that it would start up flat. What if the place does not start up flat or it would be that the place has already been created nearer to current condition in the beginning of its creation, the computation would not give the accurate period of erosion.
    Another query is why the erosion rate should be consistent at 1 ft every 5,000 years and not 1 ft every 4,000 years or otherwise.
    Thus, the computation of the earth by means of erosion method would be subjective and not reliable.
    d)Using radiometric dating methods to compute the age of the earth:
    The derivation of radiometric dating methods or radioactive dating methods came in the late 1940s and 1950s. These methods focus on the decay of atoms of one chemical element into another. This technique is based on a comparison between the measured amount of a naturally occurring radioactive element and its decay product, assuming a constant rate of decay – known as half-life.
    Using this technique, scientists could analyze the rock to assess the age of the earth through uranium and lead, plug those values along with the half-life into a logarithmic equation. They have arrived with the conclusion that the age of the earth should be 4.5 to 4.6 billion years.
    However, what if both the parent isotopes, i.e. Samarium-147, Rubidium-87, Rhenium-187, Lutetium-176, Thorium-232,Uranium-238, Potassium-40, Uranium-235, Beryllium-10, Chlorine-36, Carbon-14, Uranium-234 and Thorium-230, that have been commented by Scientists to be the products (daughter) of Neodymium-143, Strontium-87, Osmium-187, Hafnium-176, Lead-208, Lead-206, Argon-40, Lead-207, Boron-10, Argon-36, Nitrogen-14, Thorium-230, and Radium-226 respectively, might have co-existed in the beginning of the world during its formation, it is erroneous to comment that there would be relationship among them and to use them to assess the decay rate of half life in order to use it to compute the age of the earth or fossils since all these materials might have been created ever since the beginning of the earth. As that could be so, it is erroneous to use it to compute the age of the earth to be billion years.

  30. The fear of evolutionists – there is a God and He is a consuming fire so diss the dirt on anyone or anything to do with creation – The surface of the earth was never molten anyway – the granite has polonium rings which means instant creation.

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