Sunday, November 05, 2006

Answers in Genesis?

Recently I have received 2 emails recommending that I check out the Answers in Genesis site. I am quite familiar with that organization, having once been a big supporter of them when I was a creationist. They have an impresive website, with lots of scientific-looking arguments defending young earth creation. But we must be careful not to confuse scientific-looking arguments with science. There is a big diffference.

Science is based on the process of peer-review, in which those who are most familiar with the arguments review the claim before it is published. And after the claim is published, scientists who dispute the findings test the claim. If the claim withstands scrutiny, it is accepted as science. If further study shows the claim does not hold up, the idea is put aside.

But the arguments at Answers in Genesis bypass this process. Mainstream scientists have shown repeatedly that the claims of a young earth and of a global flood causing most of the fossil record are false. Creationists continue to publish their ideas, directing their writings to the general public, even though the claims would never pass the scrutinty of science. True science must first convince those who understand the arguments before it is paraded before the masses as science.

Sadly, many look at the impressive arguments at that site, and are not aware that these are not science.

SH writes:
I appreciate your thoroughness in your writing. I am a young Earth believer, personally converted from an old Earth believer. In your "Did we evolve" article, you mentioned the Gap theory, which never made much sense to me (or apparently to you). Anyway, please consider expanding yourinformation by going to www.answersingenesis.com. Perhaps you have already been there, but they have many well written scientific articles that will give you more information about what many current creation scientists believe. I for one am a scientist that needs the details before I come up with a conclusion and natural selection is one spot where
scientists on both sides of this debate agree. I believe that a Creator God would create many creatures well capable of changing or adapting to their environment, but I have never seen any plausible evidence of one creature gaining new information into its DNA that would make it capable of having useful new features (wings, legs, etc.). I know there is much more to this debate, butI strongly believe that you will find some very useful information on the site above.
SH says he is a scientist. Okay, I wonder if he can point us to a single scientifically valid article at that site that argues for young-earth creation.

SH understands that natural selection can produce changes, but doubts if it can yield new information. But what about bacteria, for instance, that have gained the information on how to resist new antibiotics? That seems to be a clear case of new information encoded in the DNA.

"Honey Brown" writes:

"The important thing is to not stop questioning."I believe this 100%. I question everything all the time, and it is exhausting, the amount of misinformation is infinite (I thought that was funny :-)). Here is the problem - I know there is a God. I know this surer than I know anything else in this life. I know this is the only thing I can bank. I see everything else crumble away in corruption and deception yet God is always strengthened if I take the time to look to Him. I read your web page "Did We Evolve".http://www.geocities.com/questioningpage/Evolve2.html I would just like to show you a couple of pages I looked up regarding the issues you were discussing.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i1/reptiles.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v13/i2/skull_1470.asp

I would be interested to hear your 'questioning mind' opinion on these two
articles. I'm a little scared to read through the rest of your website at the moment as I'm sure I would spend the next week in front of the computer. I've bookmarked your site and will come back and have another nibble when I have more time available.


The first article she mentions looks at the mammal-like reptiles, and argues that there are gaps in the progression. Well yes, of course there are gaps. Those animals lived a long time ago, and not all of the fossils fossilized well. The problem is that the mammal-like reptiles appear in sequence in such a way that they progressively introduce mammal traits into the record. That is strong evidence for evolution. The article does nothing to refute that fact.

The second article argues that fossil KNM-ER-1470 is not as human as some have thought. It may be true that some scientists had originally thought this fossil was closer to humans than is now believed. The specimen is now generally seen as being a little closer to the ape-ancestor in the sequence between ape-ancestor and human than was once believed. But it is still intermediate. The skull is similar to australopithecine, which is an ape that is clearly on the path to humanness. Skull KNM-ER-1470 is even more human-like than australopithecine, having a larger braincase and possessing features that are more human-like. See Human Ancestry.

I would welcome a debate with anyone who suggests that the young earth position of Answers in Genesis is valid science.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

First, I would like to point out that Answers in Genesis is primarily written for lay people, NOT scientists. For much more detail, a scientific magazine such as TJ could be referenced.

I'd love to post several scientific articles for debate:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0325Dino_tissue.asp

Please help me understand how the bone marrow of this T-Rex was still in tact AND stretchy after "65 million years". If a bone is not fully mineralized almost immediately, those bacteria you mentioned would consume any soft tissue. Even if covered up immediately, (by a flood for example), molecular movement would not allow ANY tissue to survive in its pre-burial state for more than thousands of years and certainly not millions. Now, molecular motion is not a "creationist" view, it is a view of every scientist I have heard of. So creationists can feel confident about this marrow while evolutions are puzzled and looking for new answers.

Now let's talks about the bacteria you mentioned. First, I am an aerospace engineer, not a molecular biologist so I do not claim to be an expert here. Here are some links for discussion:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i1/superbugs.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/0512tools.asp

These articles state it much better than I can, but I'll try to summarize.

Please reference for me a bacteria, as you mention, that has GAINED information in its DNA that has produced any beneficial new capability. Scientists have modified bacterial DNA strands, but none have survived these new characteristics. So, "Science" has yet to describe ONE example where a bacteria has gained new information that it didn't have before.

As the above links are relating ... an actual loss of information in bacteria has resulted in EVERY "super bug", not a gain as you assert. So these bacteria no longer possess a skill that they once had. Usually a protein that was created by the bacteria interacted with the antibiotics and killed the bacteria. In the case of resistant bacteria, they have stopped producing the protein and therefore the antibiotics no longer kill them. (This information is not secret to creationists and is usually proven by evolutionists). This is really a case for devolution. For the layman, this is similar to the recessive gene idea for humans. Once you have red hair you cannot produce a black haired baby unless you marry someone who has dark hair (yes, the traditionalist in me said "marry"). So two red heads are now incapable of ever creating a dark haired baby, that information is lost forever in this gene pool.

Please back up your points with some actual evidence, and of course, feel free to argue on scientific grounds the evidence I am presenting. This statement from you: "Mainstream scientists have shown repeatedly that the claims of a young earth and of a global flood causing most of the fossil record are false", is not scientific or actually helpful. Please provide the data that "have shown repeatedly ...". I haven't seen it yet or the "peer" scrutiny.

SH

Pastor AL said...

SH,
I agree with your statement on bacteria because it is correct scientific observation. "Science has not been able to describe one example where bacteria has gained new information." Science has not been able to explain how one bacteria cell came into existence. Science has not been able to explain how life or matter came into existence. Evolution and Creation are a matter of faith but the most logical stand, according to the scientific evidence is that God created the physical and breathed life on it. Men like Merle, have made up their mind not to understand this.

SH, I know some of your arguments for a young earth. However, can you tell me why this subject is important to you? To me, this subject is not important. I believe we will never know how old the earth is until we meet with the man that was there in the beginning.

TigerNooga said...

"Evolution, and creation are both Faith."
I have heard that statement a lot over the years, and I even said it myself at one time.

However there is one problem with it. Evolution was a theory resulting from observations of scientific principles, testing them in micro form, and then using it as the basis to explain how other observable things in this world came to be. So far the theory of evolution fits. As the National Academy of Sciences, says; "it helps to explain the emergence of new infectious diseases, the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, the agricultural relationships among wild and domestic plants and animals, the composition of Earth's atmosphere, the molecular machinery of the cell, the similarities between human beings and other primates, and countless other features of the biological and physical world, that nothing in biology makes sense with out it".

As with any theory, it is always subject to change as new data come in, but for now, it works with all observations.

Creationism however is a religious doctrine, assumed to be true up front, with no basis to observe the mechanism, or test the mechanism, nor does it fit with the observable data, or scientific evidence we have.

So, as Merle says, “how can God blame us for being fooled by his own mechanisms if he created things to work this way?”

As recently as this year another transitional fossil has been found. It is a fish which had several distinctly unfishlike characteristics, including a short but well developed neck, a flat skull like that of a crocodile, and strong ribs. Most likely, it had both gills and lungs. Especially interesting is the anatomy of its pectoral fin, which contains the bones of a tetrapod (four-legged animal) arm. Many of these were still articulated.

http://www.nsf.gov/
news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=106807

Anonymous said...

Pastor Al,

The reason I find a young earth to be important is because without it Christ is irrelevent.If there was death and decay before Adam, then God did not make everything "good" in the garden. If that is the case, then original sin was not caused by man and forgiveness is not necessary. Therefore, Jesus is not needed to save mankind. What would he be saving us from if death existed before man?

Given that and Ussher's timeline, I don't see how the earth can be more than 6-10,000 years old. And given that I look for the "science" that invites people to deny God by falsely leading them to a humanistic worldview, so I can be an agent of change (however small :-).

SH

Anonymous said...

TigerNooga,

I respectively disagree with your statement "Evolution was a theory resulting from observations of scientific principles, testing them in micro form, and then using it as the basis to explain how other observable things in this world came to be". Natural Selection DID use that process, but evolution did not. Even today individuals such as Richard Dawkins, a/the leading evolutionist today, cannot point to one case of macro evolution. The reason is because it doesn't exist.

You also state from the National Academy of Sciences: "the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria". This has been shown to not be the case. As I stated before, please find me one case where a bacteria gained information through evolution.

"Creationism however is a religious doctrine, assumed to be true up front, with no basis to observe the mechanism, or test the mechanism, nor does it fit with the observable data, or scientific evidence we have."
We agree that Creationism is assumed to be true up front, the rest we need to discuss. Where can we observe the first creature on earth through evolutionism? You are pointing to the beginning mechanism of creation, so I would ask the same of you for evolutionism. If we can both agree that life began on earth at some point in the past, we can talk about what changes, did or did not occur based on the factual evidence (i.e. fossils, dating methods, etc.).

"how can God blame us for being fooled by his own mechanisms if he created things to work this way?"
God does not blame us, He wants us to always be in communion with Him. We were not created to know everything, but He provided pathways of discovery to enjoy our physical world. Our ways are not Gods ways and we will never know everything that he knows. He gave us the freedom to use our minds, but we often waste that gift through sin.

"As recently as this year another transitional fossil has been found. It is a fish which had several distinctly unfishlike characteristics"
Is it through faith that you assume that this is a transitional fossil?

In your referenced article, it shows a picture of a pretty cool looking Pike. Even with their "fantastic" drawing, those still look like fins. In any event the article starts out with the statement "Working in rocks more than 375 million years old". Please help me discover the source of their dating of these rocks. Also, let's be honest on the presuppostions of this statement: "The species shows that evolution from life in water to life on land happened gradually in fish in shallow water." Did they find one of these next to a land animal and one in the water? How does Ted Daeschler have this leap of faith? When evolutionists want something to be true, they say that it's true. Unless you're God, no matter how hard you try, saying it's true does not make it true.

I really would like to start talking about the rocks before making any further comments on the fish, because if they are really 375 million years old, then I would tend to agree with you that this may show evolution. However, what if we find that the date of the rocks was really only 50,000 years old? Would that leave enough time for evolution? Probably not, but it would leave time for creation.

SH

Merle Hertzler said...

SH,

I have some responses to your comments.

First, I would like to point out that Answers in Genesis is primarily written for lay people, NOT scientists. For much more detail, a scientific magazine such as TJ could be referenced.


That is my point exactly. The AIG site is aimed at lay people, but it presents claims that have not been submitted in peer-reviewed journals. Writing impresive scientific-sounding claims that fool the general public is not the way science is done. Scientists publish instead in peer-reviewed journals, where knowledgable independent scientists can reject the article before it is published.

I'd love to post several scientific articles for debate:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0325Dino_tissue.asp

Please help me understand how the bone marrow of this T-Rex was still intact AND stretchy after "65 million years".


This may come as news to you, but 3000 years from now, you and I will not be intact and stretchy unless special effort is made to preserve us. So how is this T-Rex material stretchy, even if it is only 3000 years old? Saying it is only 3000 years old is not a valid answer.

Actually, it appears that the material was "entombed in a thick mineral sarcophagus, protected from bacteria and other external insults." You see science has already studied this tissue. See Tyranosaur morsels.

Every dinosaur fossil dates older than 65 million years. That in and of itself invalidates your claim of a young earth.

"Science" has yet to describe ONE example where a bacteria has gained new information that it didn't have before.

Uh, I gave you one example: Bacteria gained the ability to survive in the presence of antibiotics.

Here is anoter example of information gain: Bacteria have evolved the ability to ingest nylon. A mutation now allows them to create an enzyme to digest it that had never existed before. See
Are mutations harmful?

Mainstream scientists have shown repeatedly that the claims of a young earth and of a global flood causing most of the fossil record are false", is not scientific or actually helpful. Please provide the data that "have shown repeatedly ...". I haven't seen it yet or the "peer" scrutiny.


You haven't seen the peer-reviewed data? Yes, it would appear that you haven't yet seen it. Have you looked for it yet?

And why do you put "peer" in quotes? Peer-review is a fundamental part of science.

For starters, look at my arguments for the age of the earth at How old is the Earth? , and against the flood at WAs there a worldwide flood?

I can give you some links to peer-reviewed articles supporting evolution if you have trouble finding them.

Merle

Merle Hertzler said...

Sorry, those links were not set up right. Here they are again.
Tyrannosaur Morsels
Are Mutations Harmful
How Old is the Earth
Was there a Worldwide Flood

TigerNooga said...

Anonymous said. "Where can we observe the first creature on earth through evolutionism? You are pointing to the beginning mechanism of creation, so I would ask the same of you for evolutionism."

What?
I don’t understand what you are getting at. All I said was basically how the theory of evolution came to be a scientific theory. It is a theory based on the observable scientific evidence we now have. All of the current evidence in existence, such as it is, fits this theory. I did not say that evolution has observed every instance of life, or the evolution of every instance of life, or the first creature, on earth, nor more than likely will it ever.

It simply is the scientific theory which best fits the data which has been observed so far, and it is the theory which helps to explain many things in the biological and physical world. It is simply how science today is making sense of other things as well.
The theory simply fits, with what we see, and what has been observed so far.

There is no scientific creation theory which fits and explains the evidence gathered so far from the physical world, as well as evolution does.

You don't start with the assumed preconception of something in science, (like intelligent design), and then look for only the evidence which supports your preconceptions. You look at the observable data, and the facts and then come up with a theory of how it developed. Then you find ways to test your theory, in other instances. So far, and in fact in so much every day, and for so long the theory of evolution has fit. So much so, that scientist consider the argument settled. At least those not trying to hold on to their faith in something else.

Pastor AL said...

SH,
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. As you know, I agree with you on creation except on your understanding of a young earth and Christ.

Your statement: "The reason I find a young earth to be important is because without it Christ is irrelevant.

SH, this is bad, bad theology. I know that many ministers believe in a young earth and twist scripture to their interpretation. Let's be open minded. I know that when God made creation he said that it was "good" and blessed it. You interpret good as not having death or decay. How do we know what good is. In the mind of God death and decay could be good. For example: 1) If there is no death, then animals and trees would exist forever. With time, there would be no room on earth for the next generation. 2) There is so much wisdom in decay. Without it, dead bodies and trees would pile up. But because of decay, the earth is renewed.
Our understanding of good and God's understanding of good can be open to interpretation. Who can say what good really means in God's mind? I believe death and decay were part of God's original design of the physical world.
When adam and even sinned, death came by one man. What type of death was this referring to? Obviously they did not die immediately. They continued to live for hundreds of years more. This sin brought forth a spiritual death or a spiritual separation from a holy God because of sin. This spiritual death was a spiritual eternal separation from God. No one can regain reconciliation, restoration with God without the blood of Jesus Christ. No matter of the earth is young or old, no one can enter heaven without accepting Jesus Christ. We have eternal life because Jesus gave his life for us and redeemed us from the curse of sin. Now, because death entered by one man, Adam. The bible teaches that life entered by one man, Jesus Christ. Does this mean if we accept Jesus Christ, we will now continue to live on earth forever and never die? No, death and life is not referring to the physical life but for the eternal life. Nothing if more important than eternal life. Do you know what eternity is? Is there something else on earth more important than finding eternal life? We only have a moment in time on earth to understand and seek Christ. Our eternity does not hinge whether the earth is old or young but only in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

PS: No matter how much you tell Merle or tigernooga that evolution needs their blind faith, they won't understand.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Al,

I appreciate your candor.

"this is bad, bad theology. I know that many ministers believe in a young earth and twist scripture to their interpretation"

I must take issue with this statement though. It is not twisting scripture to assume that the earth has not been around for billions of years and that we are not a product of primordial goo.

Do you believe that God created a man or bacteria that grew into man? If it's man, then what about the "missing links"? And where did the needed unaccounted time fit in?

For me, Genesis lays out a timetable of six literal days. As you know the word "Yom" is used throughout scripture to reference a single day (yes, I know there are minor variances but in Genesis context they mean 1 day). So, if man was made on day 6, regardless of the "death issue", we get an account of time around 6000 years (with the help of Usher, I don't have that kind of patience).

So now, I look at each discovery with an eye toward God and what He created. For you others, yes, I have a slant toward creation in everything I look at ... and you have your slant, no one is neutral!! Nebraska man is an example of that slant I'm talking about. Are all scientists telling you the truth?

(back to Pastor Al) What makes you believe that the earth is old? Is it in prayer, or is it from "science"? If it's from "science", I'd like to point you to the real accuracy of dating methods:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/dating.asp

I'll take Gods word any day.

SH

Anonymous said...

Merle,

I'm quickly finding that a blog is a terribly inefficient system to debate, a bulletin board would be much better. But we must carry on!!

Your first bacteria example of "evolution" is inaccurate and not an example, please refer to my writeup above about it.

With all due respect, pointing me to a site about "Bacteria that eat nylon" does not show me anything about a gain of information that evolution requires. Please describe the information in the Bacteria that was not there before that is new. That would be useful. Just saying it does not make it true.

Now for the t-rex bone. I was referring to molecular movement over time. Everything breaks down over time due to this process. It is the reason that I was referring to, not the bacteria. Only FULL mineralization should have been able to preserve this bone over that timeframe and then only if it happened quickly.

Here is Dr. Myers statement from her site:
"…we demonstrate the retention of pliable soft-tissue blood vessels with contents that are capable of being liberated from the bone matrix, while still retaining their flexibility, resilience, original hollow nature, and three-dimensionality. Additionally, we can isolate three-dimensional osteocytes with internal cellular contents and intact, supple filipodia that float freely in solution. This T. rex also contains flexible and fibrillar bone matrices that retain elasticity. The unusual preservation of the originally organic matrix may be due in part to the dense mineralization of dinosaur bone, because a certain portion of the organic matrix within extant bone is intracrystalline and therefore extremely resistant to degradation. These factors, combined with as yet undetermined geochemical and environmental factors, presumably also contribute to the preservation of soft-tissue vessels. Because they have not been embedded or subjected to other chemical treatments, the cells and vessels are capable of being analyzed further for the persistence of molecular or other chemical information."

She states "These factors, combined with as yet undetermined geochemical and environmental factors". Now that is a strong argument ;-)

(Just to rock the boat a bit).
By the way, your 3000 year example may be right on, but maybe this bone is only 1000 years old. There's a lot of talk about dragons in old literature.

SH

Merle Hertzler said...

SH,

You ask me to refer to your writeup about bacteria evolving resistance to antibiotics. I did. Where do you mention anything about those bacteria not having new information? You do agree that these bacteria came from ancestors that were not resistant to antibiotics, don't you? You do agree that those ancestors did not have the genetic information that allowed them to survive antibiotics, don't you? And you do agree that the new bacteria have the information that allows them to resist antibiotics, don't you? So why isn't that new information?

Regarding the bacteria that eat nylon oligomers found in nylon wastewater, you ask what new information these bacteria have. That is simple: These bacteria now have the genetic code to allow them to create enzymes that break down nylon linkages in wastewater. Their ancestors could not make those enzymes. According to my definition of "information", that is new information.

Concerning the T-rex tissues, you state "everything breaks down over time" due to "molecular movements". Please support your claim. There is no principle of science that says that all materials that are millions of years old will break down due to molecular movements.

You say that maybe T-rexes lived 1000 years ago. Really? No dinosaur fossils have been found that were younger than 65 million years old. How could dinosaurs have survived to 1000 AD and not leave a trace in the fossil record during that time? And there have been no reports of humans in contact with T-rexes. Why not?

Oh, and dragon stories are legends, not historical accounts.

Anonymous said...

Merle,

My reference was here: "Please reference for me a bacteria, as you mention, that has GAINED information in its DNA that has produced any beneficial new capability."

You see, the bacteria that you reference have not evolved at all, the actually devolved. They lost a charastic trait that they had before and cannot get it back. So yes, we agree that there were bacteria that "came from ancestors that were not resistant to antibiotics", but those ancestors already had the trait that if you shut off enzyme production through a mutation, then they become resistant to the antibiotics. And that is the key difference, they LOST information on how to produce their enzyme, they did not create a new feature through an evolutionary process. This is natural selection and we agree on that.

For the nylon eaters. Please be specific about what "new" DNA these bacteria have that allows them to do this. How do you know that their ancestors did not know how to do this? Yes, nylon is a new manmade product, but that does not mean that bacteria didn't have information in their DNA to eat nylon (or other similar substance). That is a circumstantial supposition, not evidence. By my definition of information, if there is no new information added to the DNA of a creature, then there is no new information ... where else would a creature store this information? And, where would the "evolution" be? So again, what you will find in these cases is a LOSS of DNA information that allows bacteria to be resistant, NOT a gain. Please research the DNA changes in these bacteria as you should not believe my words alone.

I will discuss "molecular movements" in a separate blog.

You say: "No dinosaur fossils have been found that were younger than 65 million years old". Is this because you were there? No, it's because you believe it to be true. I'm assuming that you believe it's true because you have been told that it's true. So, you are putting you faith in someone who created a theory about dating rocks (who created the theory based on rock layer dates, thought to be millions of years old).

Now dating rocks is about as accurate as two electrons hurled from opposite ends of a section of land (1 square mile), and assuming that by chance they will collide with one another. (This is an analogy of the A-bomb by the way, so you need to use a bunch of electrons).

Here are some links that test the accuracy of testing old ages:

http://www.icr.org/research/index/researchp_as_r01/
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/dating.asp

How is it that the atomic clock can yield results of 3.5Ma (3.5 million years), for a rock that is known to be only 44 years old? This testing was not done by creationists, it was done in the same secular labs that evolutionists use.

Lets calculate percentage error:

e-t
--- * 100
t

3.5Ma - 44
---------- * 100 = 7954445.45% error
44

Now to be fair, this was the worst case timeframe that the lab calculated, but it was repeatable by the lab. So, please factor in the percentage error in your 65 million year calculation and you will find that the timeframe can condense quite rapidly.

Merle said: "And there have been no reports of humans in contact with T-rexes. Why not? Oh, and dragon stories are legends, not historical accounts."

You presume that they are legends, but you'll have to note that many countries throughout the world have similar accounts. Again, to be fair, I don't personally believe that a t-rex lived a thousand years ago, but that is just my belief that we would have more recent accounts of such a beast. However, they survived the flood if not extinct by then.

Isn't it convenient that crocodiles are considered dinosaurs that have remained unchanged for xxx million years. Am I to believe that all kinds of creatures evolved (including humans), and many went extinct during this time, but the crocodile has been the same? That kind of logic doesn't follow in ANY other science.

SH

Merle Hertzler said...

SH,

Your comments are shown in bold.

"You see, the bacteria that you reference have not evolved at all, the actually devolved. They lost a charastic trait that they had before and cannot get it back"

As I explained to you once, the Answers in Genesis site proclaims things as science to the general public that are not science. And yet somehow you plod on, pronouncing that the things you read at that site must be true. Why do you put so much faith in the things they write?

Let's look at the facts about bacteria that evolve resistance to antibiotics. According to the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA), resistant bacteria gain traits. They write, "Different genetic mutations yield different types of resistance. Some mutations enable the bacteria to produce potent chemicals (enzymes) that inactivate antibiotics, while other mutations eliminate the cell target that the antibiotic attacks. Still others close up the entry ports that allow antibiotics into the cell, and others manufacture pumping mechanisms that export the antibiotic back outside so it never reaches its target." Okay? There are many ways that mutations can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, including new features, such as new pumping mechanisms to pump out the antibiotics. Mutations in the bacteria DNA add new features that increase their ability to survive.

Also, contrary to what you proclaim, the APUA says bacteria can lose that resistance with time.

"For the nylon eaters. Please be specific about what "new" DNA these bacteria have that allows them to do this. "

I told you about the DNA change that the nylon-oligomer-eaters have. The change allows the bacteria to make new enzymes. That, of course, is what DNA does: It specifies proteins such as these enzymes. What else do you want me to say? Do you need the names of each of these enzymes? Why?

"How do you know that their ancestors did not know how to do this [ingest nylon oligomers]?"

The concept was tested, that is how we know bacteria evolved this new function. In the link I had mentioned, you will see that after it was discovered that bacteria had evolved this new ability on their own, scientists did a test to see if other bacteria would evolve this ability in time. These bacteria also evolved the new feature.

"I will discuss "molecular movements" in a separate blog."

I anxiously await the documentation of your claim. For if you can show convincingly that, in several million years, "everything breaks down" beyond the state of those T-rex tissues because of "molecular movements," you may well earn yourself a Nobel prize. And so I await eagerly to see you support that claim.

"You say: 'No dinosaur fossils have been found that were younger than 65 million years old'. Is this because you were there? No, it's because you believe it to be true. I'm assuming that you believe it's true because you have been told that it's true. So, you are putting you faith in someone who created a theory about dating rocks (who created the theory based on rock layer dates, thought to be millions of years old)".

No! No! I do not say that the theory says all dinosaurs will date older than 65 million years. I say that the data obtained in the field for all known dinosaur fossils dates them at over 65 million years. There is no theory that says the data needs to conform to that pattern.

And no, these dating methods are not based on a theory that rocks must be old. Not all rocks are that old. All human artifacts, for instance, come from rocks that date less than 1 million years old. All dino fossils come from formations that date over 65 million years when submitted to objective dating.

And, for the record--without revealing my age--I was not there when those dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago. Why do you ask?

"Now dating rocks is about as accurate as two electrons hurled from opposite ends of a section of land (1 square mile), and assuming that by chance they will collide with one another."

If dating of the rocks is so inaccurate, why do all dinos date older than 65 million years and all humans date less than 1 million years? If the data gives random results, shouldn't the human bones sometimes date older than the dino bones?

And why do independent tests using different testing techniques have a very high rate of coorelation on the same formation?

"Here are some links that test the accuracy of testing old ages: http://www.icr.org/research/index/researchp_as_r01/ ,
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/dating.asp"


Ah, impressive scientific-looking writing. But putting impressive scientific-looking arguments on the web does not make something science.

As I have explained, the real test of a scientific claim is whether it impresses those who understand the science behind the claim. Wowing the general public does not prove something is science.

As it pointed out at Questions about Xenoliths and Dating the first article above mentions that xenoliths were present in the sample, and yet "whole rock" samples were used. Those that are familiar with the details instantly raise the flag when they see this. Xenoliths are older rocks that are mixed in with the lava. Taking whole rock samples of such flows is not valid, for the tests end up measuring the xenoliths. If this article had been submitted to peer review, it would have been thrown out long ago.

The second article is even worse. It never even mentions the xenoliths. And yet xenoliths were known to be in this rock, and are known to cause false readings. But AIG does not tell the readers that important fact. The public thinks this is an impressive scientific discovery, when it is garbage.
Once more, this is why true science stresses peer review.

"Isn't it convenient that crocodiles are considered dinosaurs that have remained unchanged for xxx million years. Am I to believe that all kinds of creatures evolved (including humans), and many went extinct during this time, but the crocodile has been the same? That kind of logic doesn't follow in ANY other science."

First crocodiles are not dinosaurs, they are reptiles.

Second, early crocodiles have gone through tremendous evolution. The first crocodiles were land-dwellers. See Crocodile Evolution

Third, there is no need for creatures to be constanly changing. Once crocodiles had come to dominate a particular niche, there was little need to change as long as that niche was stable. Sharks are another example of creatures that have changed little in millions of years.

Merle

Pastor AL said...

SH,
I believe in the word of God to be true. I believe that the word of God needs to be studied and not simply read as it declares, "Study to show thyself approved.."
I believe the Genesis account and not in evolution.

Sciene has only discovered the wisdom of God in nature and has used it to benefit mankind in all fields. I believe science will one day catch up to the wisdom of the word of God. All the fields of science given enough time (Time may run out though) will some day point to the existence of God. (Although in some fields science already has).

I don't trust in man, I trust in God. If we do not understand something in the Bible, with time we will. The Bible is more advanced scientifically, moral, and spiritual that we are. We are only catching up to the wisdom of God which is so far advanced.

You do agree with me that our eternal salvation does not hinge whether the earth is young or old but what Christ did on the cross for us?

Regarding the age of the earth I do not say it is 10,000 years or a billion years old. I say that I do not know how its age. There are many things in the bible that are meant for us to know. Yet there are other things that God did not reveal to us. One is the rapture, 2nd the time when earth will end, 3rd when earth came into existence.

God asked Job, "Where were you when I founded the earth?" Job 38. I wish all my colleagues in the ministry are wise enough to respond as Job, "I will lay my hands upon my mouth." Job 40.

No where in the Bible does it teach that the six days of creation where a literal 24 hour days. On the other hand, all people at that time and through the bible times and jewish poeple now, understand that a day is only a reference for a period of time and not only for a 24 hour period. Here is an example, the young earth ministers will not tell you: In Genesis 29:27, it talks about a week, however, it does not refer to a literal 7, 24hr, day period but there, a week refers to 7 years. All throughout the bible we understand that God does not work according to our understanding of time but there is another understanding of time. When Daniel received the revelation of heaven regarding the 70 weeks, we understand that heaven was not relating to our understanding of weeks but a heavenly understanding of time. We now understand that those seventy weeks began when the 2nd jewish temple was constructed, we are still living in those 70 weeks and will end at the 2nd coming of Christ when the jewish nation will declare that Jesus is the Messiah. See, no man can box God to our time frame. This is one way that God tells us that he is God and we need to trust in him and simply obey his word.

Honey said...

"Answers in Genesis site proclaims things as science to the general public that are not science.” And yet somehow you plod on, pronouncing that the things you read at that site must be true. Why do you put so much faith in the things they write?”

If I might be so bold as to jump in with a reply to that question from my perspective. So much faith is put in the articles AiG write because as a non-profit organization many are written as a labour of love in service to God and the Christian community. People are seeking for truth and so many have so little faith in the “Scientific” community as a whole, much of which is dismissive of God with no hard evidence to support such dismissal. For those who experience God, there is no dismissing Him. There are things of a spiritual nature that can never be proven by science because they are outside the realm of science, i.e. the natural world.

Disregarding the spiritual aspect entirely, there is more than sufficient reason not to be blindly led by the popular belief of the scientific community. Let me just pull out my Oxford Students Atlas….here we go, Pluto!…I’ll just measure…yep, bigger than Mars and Mercury and about the same size as Earth. Now to quote what is written below the diagram, “In the illustration above the planets are drawn to scale, but the distances between them are not to scale.” So all this mathematical science was what? Not very accurate it seems. For certain there were scientific papers written in support of this inaccuracy.

Next, anyone who’s had to diagnose themselves after a misdiagnosis from a medical professional will have a certain amount of skepticism, and gosh, I cringe to imagine the statistics on that alone – “professional” is frequently far from Professional.

And speaking of medical science, here is a link to an interesting site, mentioning of the well publicised difficulties a noble prize winner experienced up against the “scientific” beliefs of his medical and scientific peers. This demonstrates that you can be in opposition to the scientific majority and still be right. This is just one example of the illegitimacy of your assertion “the real test of a scientific claim is whether it impresses those who understand the science behind the claim”. What this man claimed was not rocket science, but simplicity, and highlights the propensity of many to cling to the nexus of scientific dogma.

http://www.tallpoppies.net.au/cavalcade/warren.htm

Also the scientific proponents of global warming were quite the minority not so many years ago. Ooops! I write this as snow falls in Australia two weeks from summer! Egads!

There are many respected scientists who support and write for AiG.
A list of professional creation scientists can be found at this site.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/default.asp

And discussion on some creationists who publish in notable scientific journals can be found at this site.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/538.asp

Choosing not to submit to the popular scientific publication standard does not make one wrong or any less scientific, it merely makes one independent of a evidently fallible arena.

Now as far as I see it, if there are links missing in the proposed fossil linage, it is not established scientific fact. This leaves the matter wide open to the proposal of other possibilities does it not?


And a few other thoughts I would like to include from Einstein

"Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts."

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

“If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.”

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

"The only real valuable thing is intuition."

"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."

And I thank you kindly for your reply to me email.

Pastor AL said...

Honey, (Also Merle, please answer)
If I can make a comment. First of all, I do not know where you stand. It seems you lean more towards evolution. Either way, let's be logical. Will you confirm this statement:

No one knows how all the matter in the universe came into existence. 2nd, no one knows how life came into existence.

Science has not been able to provide proof to the statement above. If matter could easily be made then we would have done it in our laboratories. If life could easily be reproduced, we would have done it in our laboratories.

Nevertheless, with our logical, superior brains, man has not been able to provide such experiments and somehow we reason that a brainless thing like time figured out how to create matter and life.

Therefore, would you agree with me that without hard scientific observable evidence we conclude that man does not know how matter and life came into existence.

Surely, you can tell me all the theories in the world. All the clever imaginations of man. I can tell you my theories and you can tell me your theories. I can tell you my faith in God and you can tell me your faith in man and in their science. However, can you agree with me that there is no hard science evidence that proves how matter and life came into existence?

Therefore any theories on the assumption how matter and life came into existence is only a personal belief. You lean on evolution so all you will see is evolution. I lean on God and all I'll see is the hand of God.

Science believes that time alone created matter and life. I choose to believe God created matter and life. Would you agree with me that they are both faiths?

Honey said...

Pastor Al,
I’m just a simple girl with an open mind, who knows there is a God.
I see everywhere a lot of people making a lot of assumptions, of which I too am sometimes guilty. I’m frustrated at theory portrayed as fact and I find it a hindrance to truth. My immediate concern here is that there be recognition of the fact that the popular scientific peer review system, is not in itself science, but a valuable scientific tool to be used with consideration as to its potential failings. If we can move out of this box there may be progress made.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Al,
Frankly, I do not know which to believe, the Creation or the Evolution theory. Even though there are evidences of the evolution process, what I am really interested is how life began. I mean if the earth and the world is a result of a Big Bang, that still doesn't explain how a single cell became alive. On the other hand it is difficult to believe in Creationism because of the scientific evidences of evolution. Could it be that God did create the first living cell and let it evolve? That's what I wondered but could not get the answer.

Anyway, I have since decided not to pursue on this matter anymore because what's important now is the present and how it will affect my future.

In my first email to Merle (around Aprill 2006), I asked about why there aren't any Biblical stories about people in China, the Red Indian tribes in America or etc in the Bible when God is supposed to be universal. Well, a friend explained that God did not neglect people not mentioned in the Bible. God in fact sent different "representatives" to the people located in different places to teach them. Somehow, I agree with him.

--julnee

Merle Hertzler said...

"Honey",

See my response at Can We Trust Science?

Merle

Merle Hertzler said...

"Honey"

You also wrote:

Now as far as I see it, if there are links missing in the proposed fossil linage, it is not established scientific fact. This leaves the matter wide open to the proposal of other possibilities does it not?

Interesting.

And can you give me an example of an "other possibility" that can explain all of the available data as well as the Theory of Evolution? You want us to be open to other possibilities. Which ones?

We see a clear progression in the fossil record from reptiles to mammals. How does this "other possibility" you propose explain that observation? Or does it ignore such facts?

Let's suppose you look through a drawer of old family pictures, and find no picture of yourself in third grade. Ah hah! You would not tell your parents that this proves you were never in third grade, would you? The gap does not prove that God created you as a fourth grader, does it? Surely you understand that the pictures show a progression through time, even though there are some gaps?

Sure there are gaps in the fossil record. We understand that. The record is by its very nature spotty. But the fossil record also shows that there has been a progression of life forms.

Anonymous said...

You see a clear progression in some skeletal fossils. There are scientific others who strenuously disagree. You claim they are wrong because you say they have not been through the secular peer review system (I will get back to that in another comment later).

There are gaps in the skeletal fossils. ‘Gaps’ does not demonstrate a clear progression.
And it seems to have been overlooked that this alleged progression is only drawn from a skeletal system. So the 11 (at least) other systems within the body account for what…nothing? How can it ever be demonstrated that just because two fossils had a similar skeletal system that the other systems were closely related. The various inconsistencies in skeletal system may have in fact been due to differences in other systems that were unrelated to the animal on either side of the alleged progression.

Let’s take a look at the photos. If I took all the photos out of my own families draw then yep, I would have to agree. But that is not what is going on here. They are taking random pictures from all over the world, lining them up, The King Of The Jews at one end and The King Of Pop at the other, and a progressive colour range in-between and claiming that a direct linage connection can be established. No proof whatsoever of any descent. No proof of any DNA link, and what is worse, (she pulls a couple of pictures from out of the lineup) there are gaps! Sure it seems possible, but what most stands against the demonstration here, is the small detail that Jesus allegedly had no descendants. Now the only apparent consistency in the fossil record is a time frame established by rocks that have been aged through…um the fact that some have some fossils, and others have other fossils.. MY! How scientific. And the little dilemma in the fossil record? Well that would be that there has never been a SINGLE observed instance of one species of creature actually ever evolving into another species of creature. So at this point it seems to me that Jesus and Michael Jackson are on a pretty level playing field with the fossil record. Now as far as I recall there was a post about some bacteria that did something…what was that again? Some sort of immune response, not unlike our own immune systems, but bacteria style. Hmm. So, with the ever so profuse and prolific bacteria imprisoned in the labs throughout the world, for the purpose of study over the last 150 so odd years, there has not been one single instance of a known species of bacteria, changing into anything other than another bacteria? Well let me weigh that up (juggles the weights in both hands carefully), yep, I really think they should stop wasting time and money on evolution research and sink some serious funds into researching The Da Vinci Code.

Honey

Anonymous said...

The above analogy was used a little too derisively to accentuate what I see as an exceptionally weak theory. It was in no way intended to be disrespectful of Jesus Christ, whom I hold in my heart most respectfully as resurrected Lord and Savior, but referred in a way, to the secular sense of the mythological Jesus. If anyone should find my manner offensive, then I offer my sincerest apologies.

Honey

ken said...

DON'T BE CONCERNED ABOUT ANSWERS IN GENESIS OR EVOLUTION LET SCIENCE PROVE WHICH ONE IS FACT

nolan said...

Honey:

Do you think when Einstein said "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." that he was refering to the stupidity of scientists, of which he was one? Or, maybe, was he refering to those who don't have a curiosity -- that urge to try and understand the universe the way it is? Einstein was a strong proponent of a theoretically sound universe with no need for a god. Any god. Read the work and you find a deist at best and an uneasy athiest elsewise.

Anonymous said...

I am a creationist,and a conservative pastor, however, my son, who has an honours 1 Physics degree and who is a Christian argued the following: Dad, he said, what if death and destruction was part of God's plan and purpose from the very beginning of creation and He allowed it in the animal-physical creation, but not in the case of human creation. What if, when animals were created it was God's plan to let them kill to eat, and that was part of God's perfect and good plan (God protecting Adam and Eve from the animals). But in the case of Man, He said they could live without death and decay providing Adam and Eve obeyed His command not to eat of the forbidden fruit. What if the tree of life was created just for Man so that he/she could live eternally. But when Adam and Eve sinned, they were booted out of Eden and forbidden entry to that tree. Therefore, death became part of the human experience too, after Adam and Eve sinned. Death is a judgment against Man not the animals that already had death and decay as part of their God-allowed experience. God could well have said the creation was "very good" even if He had allowed for death and decay for the animal and physical creation. The Bible account merely focuses on Man's fall and the consequences of that. Death, therefore, for Man, is a result of sin, and sin brought Man into the same experience the animals already had as a natural consequence.

I am still working through all this. What do the rest of you think? Pastor JG

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