Critique of the video Genesis Impact

I would ask you to honestly critique the following video. The video looks at some very specific YEC counterclaims to accepted evolutionary theory on the origins of man and the age of the earth.

Are these claims made by this video correct? If not, where are they mistaken and why?

I would ask you to honestly provide a transcript of the video before expecting myself, or anyone else for that matter, to watch it. Or, at the very minimum, to summarise it and provide timestamps to the key points. I have a policy of not watching videos that don’t. Especially if they are an hour long and promoting pseudoscience or conspiracy theories (and the idea that the entire scientific community is lying wholescale to us about evolution is a conspiracy theory).

This is simply basic netiquette. Expecting other people to spend an hour watching a video when the information could just as easily and more effectively be communicated in text that we could read in five minutes and, on top of that, copy and paste into Google to fact-check it, is disrespectful of our time. In other words, it is rude.

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ah see now you are presenting the Jehovahs witness defense…i don’t read/watch other organizations publications.

Do you know why the Watchtower push this response onto their membership? Because they also actively discourage their membership from getting a higher education and as such this makes it much easier to brainwash whilst at the same time avoiding revolts from among the members who may seek to gain a knowledge that would provide them with sufficient intelligence to see through the web of deceit and lies!

OK here’s another one for you then…

Whales… did they evolve from land mammals as claimed?

Explain how that is possible given the male whale’s testis require a mechanism for cooling in order to be able to produce viable sperm? My understanding is that it is widely believed that the capacity for the cooling mechanism, utilized by whales in order to resolve the problem of heat in the internally contained testis, to evolve from a land animal is simply not consistent with the Darwinian model (even by evolutionary scientists)This would mean therefore that the possibility for whales to evolve from land mammals is a porky and only possible via huge artistic license rather than sound science (As is the case for the similar claims counterred by the video that you refuse to watch from my previous post!)

And I can see that you didn’t even read my response properly.

I asked you to summarise the video and provide timestamps so that I could approach it in a more easily fact-checkable format. That is a very different thing from saying “i don’t read/watch other organizations publications.”

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Joel Anderson watched it and wrote up a summary blog post:

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Thanks Christy. That’s useful. It’s enough for me to give a response.

@adamjedgar I shall assume that Joel’s summary of the video is accurate; if it is not, it is up to you to tell me what he is misreporting. This being the case, the video brings nothing to the table that I haven’t already seen, but just repeats the same old shenanigans that YECs have been parroting for years.

I’d just like you to understand something here, Adam. A few years ago, I spent an extensive amount of time reviewing young earth claims. I started up a blog with a summary of my findings, and you can find it here:

In my review, I was asking the following questions.

  1. Are YECs reporting the evidence and scientific methodologies accurately? Do scientists really make the assumptions that YECs claim that they make? Does the evidence actually consist of what they claim it consists of?
  2. Are YECs interpreting the evidence honestly? In particular, is their approach to measurement accurate and honest, as Deuteronomy 25:13-16 and other Bible verses demand? Are they applying the same standards of rigour and quality control in their experiments as other scientists do? Are they reporting their findings accurately? Are their claims proportionate or are they downplaying things and/or blowing things out of all proportion?

These are questions that can be answered using objective, measurable criteria, Adam. Science has rules, and the rules are the same for everyone, whether you are a Christian or an atheist or an aardvark. If you want to interpret science according to Scripture, you must do so within the constraints of the rules, because disregarding the rules is not interpreting science according to anything; it is scientific fraud, which is a form of lying, which is something that the Bible condemns in the strongest possible terms over and over and over again.

So basically, my question was whether YECs were sticking to the rules. In every case that I studied, the answer to these questions was a resounding NO.

I’ll just touch on one of the subjects that Joel mentions that the video covers: radiometric dating.

Just how unreliable is radiometric dating?

In order to claim that the earth is six thousand years old, it is not sufficient to just show that radiometric dating is “unreliable” or that it makes “assumptions.” You must show that it is sufficiently out of whack that it consistently fails to distinguish between thousands and billions across all the different methods that are used; you must show that the assumptions that it does make could have been violated in ways that are consistent with the results that it does give (and you must make sure that it actually does make the assumptions that you are claiming that it makes in the first place); and you must account for any successful testable predictions that it makes.

YECs sometimes point to results such as Mount St Helens dacite samples from the 1980 eruption giving ages of up to two million years. This indicates that the error in the method concerned (K-Ar if I recall correctly) can be up to two million years and nothing more. This may sound a lot but the oldest samples on earth that have been dated radiometrically (by a completely different method – U-Pb dating of zircon crystals) are over four billion years old – two thousand times as much. To cite an error of just two million as justification for throwing out results two thousand times as much as that is like taking a set of bathroom scales that read 3kg when you’re not standing on them and then, when you stand on a completely different set of scales and see a reading of 93kg, claiming that you weigh nothing.

The reliability of radiometric dating can be established in two different ways that don’t require you to have been there to see things happen from the outset: cross-checks between different methods, and making testable predictions. One example of cross-checks comes from places such as the Hawaiian islands. Radiometric ages increase linearly with distance from the main hotspot under the Big Island, and this can be used to calculate the rate of continental drift for the past 80 million years or so. The result matches very closely with direct high-precision measurements taken over the past few decades by GPS satellites.

YECs sometimes try to argue that this only happens because “both methods make the same assumption of uniform rates,” but that is simply not true. Both methods make different assumptions of uniform rates, and to get the same results in a 6,000 year old earth, two independent assumptions – radioactive decay rates and continental drift – would have to have been violated in complete lock-step with each other by a factor of many millions. Such a possibility is science fiction.

The other way that the reliability of radiometric dating can be established is through testable predictions. Here, we have another example: oil exploration. Petroleum geologists have to know both the ages of the oil deposits and their thermal history in order to determine what state the oil is in. Too young, or too cold, and it won’t have started decomposing yet. Too old, or too hot, and it will have evaporated away to nothing. They have to make these predictions before they can start drilling, because setting up an oil rig costs hundreds of millions of dollars, especially for offshore drilling (e.g. in the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico). Conventional old-earth geology has proven to be very successful in finding oil this way. YECs don’t even have a model that even lets them get started.

YECs sometimes claim that oil exploration doesn’t use absolute ages of oil deposits. This is a flat-out lie. While there are some older techniques that could once have found oil without using radiometric dating, the deposits that could be found that way were all exhausted decades ago. In fact, here is a research paper that describes an oil deposit that was found using more modern techniques involving radiometric dating in a place that the older, age-agnostic techniques had predicted there wouldn’t be any:

(See also this discussion.)

In summary: while YECs may have established that some radiometric techniques give flaky results in some circumstances, they have fallen far, far, far, far short of establishing that all radiometric results are so consistently out of whack that none of them can distinguish between thousands and billions. Radiometric dating has confirmed far beyond all reasonable doubt that the earth is far, far older than six thousand years, and to claim otherwise is simply not honest.

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Im not sure where this came from…never heard that claim made by YEC’s and its not mentioned in the video i posted at all that i can recall!

Could you direct your discussion more directly at the specific points of the video please…instead of 3rd hand critique that did not address the points the video made.

The reason i do not make a summary is obvious…the idea being you are supposedly best qualified to make your own judgment about its points and then critique them. Critiquing another critique is a rather stupid way of doing things…that becomes nothing more than a game of Chinese whispers!

the success rate of oil drilling is actually rather poor considering you appear to claim its a highly successful operation. The failure rates are on the rise and currently stand about 1 in 2 fail. I would hardly call that a great supporting evidence for your statements. To me that seems more like a hit and miss odds.

In fact i think the rates in 2020 are less than 1/5th of drilling operations in previously unexplored areas where a successful striking of oil is the result.

Adam, YOUR VIDEO IS OVER AN HOUR LONG. That alone tells me that either (a) it takes too long to get to the point, (b) it is a Gish Gallop, or (c) it covers material that is too complex to be covered in video format anyway.

Besides, as far as I can tell, it is an introductory-level YEC video. I’ve seen enough introductory-level YEC videos to know that they all make the same claims as each other, and for what it’s worth, they all get the same things wrong as each other. This being the case, a response to YEC claims about the subject in general is sufficient to address it.

If you want me (or anyone else for that matter) to spend an hour of our lives watching a video, and then another 2-3 hours or more fact-checking it and responding to everything that it says, you must first convince us that it is worth watching. You’re not going to do that by shouting, or by calling me a JW, or by throwing round accusations of “not listening” or “Chinese whispers.” No, you must tell us what it brings to the table that other introductory-level YEC videos do not, and to give timestamps. Because until and unless you are able to do so, you are just wasting my time and everybody else’s. For this reason, I am not going to participate in this discussion any further until you do.

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I have read and watched plenty of YEC material

. Do you have any idea of the amount time most of us here will never get back from watching the inexhaustible supply of “me too” YEC videos regurgitating the same old arguments? If you promote a video but will not explain why it is worthwhile, why should anyone waste their time on it?

Wildcatting is a challenge, but it is far far from “hit and miss.” Geologists must understand the geological history of the formation, the organic load from ancient epochs, the cap rock, and the strata buckling to even begin. Even when you know hydrocarbon is there, you need mainstream geology to estimate the reserve, model well behavior, and expected cuts and fractions.

Oil companies actually hire paleontologists who specialize in microfossils, to guide drilling to rock of promising age based on recognized evolutionary drift of microfossils which exhibit small changes over geological time.

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oh boohoo… you have spent far more than an hour of your “precious” time engaged in evolutionary indoctrination…surely a couple of hours of good old fashioned YEC biblical study wont hurt will it?

Are you honestly going to make the claim that someone insulted you so therefore their doctrine must be wrong…really? That is an absurd position to take.

Oh that’s right, there is the fear of being converted one must avoid at all costs! A truly atheistic approach is it not? After all, most Christians spend a large amount of their lives having secular world views rammed down their throats!

The reality here is that the reason for the resurgence in YECism is not because of religious fanatics who apparently suffered a brain injury, its because scientific research has begun to expose gaping holes in the Darwinian model…this is scientific research conducted by proponents of said model! Those are the holes that creation scientists are now using against the evolutionary theory based on that model. Its not our fault your own research is doing this to you!
Clearly, the research methodology and assumptions made from it have some significant problems (ie that chimps and human mutation must have started 3 - 6… or is it now 13 million years ago). I am referring now to the new calculations based on the “pedigree method” which studies current mutation rates.

For example, even if one simply takes an elementary approach to all of this…doesnt it seem rather odd that the evolutionary model now agrees that all humanity came from just two individuals from the northern african region? That sounds a lot like the biblical story of Genesis to me. There are now so many coincidences being found with the bible story that I am starting to wonder if mathematicians would find the correlation figures rather more likely in favour of the literal bible story than the Darwinian one!

James is already a Christian, don’t be ridiculous.

Nope. Not true. Plus the “Darwinian model” was replaced by the Modern Synthesis in the 30s and 40s, so you are a few decades behind in your critique of evolutionary theory anyways.

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Not true. That is a misconception encouraged by some questionable writers, but is a misrepresentation of what a “Mitochondrial Eve” or a “Y chromosome Adam” means. As I recall, there is no evidence that the population of humans ever fell below a bottleneck of an effective population of 1000 or so around 50,000 years ago, Effective populations are sometimes far less than actual populations. And, while different counts give varied numbers, even the lowest I could find was 450, and some calculations are in the 10,000 range.

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No such model exists within the consensus scientific model. What you are referring to is Y chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve. Both are understood to be part of a larger human population that freely interbred and were part of a continuous human population of thousands and thousands of humans.

This wrongheaded argument can be illustrated by looking at your own family just a few generations into the past. Let’s go back to your great-grandparents. You have 8 great-grandparents. Of those 8 ancestors only 1 of them gave you your Y chromosome and only 1 of them gave you your mitochondrial genome. The Y-chromosome came from father’s, fathers’, father. Your mitochondrial DNA came from your mother’s, mother’s, mother. Does this mean you only had 2 great-grandparents instead of 8? No. Does this mean that all of your DNA only came from those 2 great-grandparents? Absolutely not.

On a larger population level, there is pedigree collapse. This is due to the simple fact that if you go back in time you might think that there should be an exponential increase in ancestors. You have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, and so on. However, there weren’t an infinite number of humans in the past, so what is going on? Well, we all share ancestors. We are all cousins at some point. This is pedigree collapse. Part of that process is the elimination of pedigrees. As time moves on a pedigree of mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA will die out, leaving fewer and fewer pedigrees as time marches on. In another 100,000 years there may well be a new Y-chromosome Adam or Mitochondrial Eve, and they may be part of our modern population. It looks a bit like this:

Just remember, only women pass on mitochondrial DNA to their children, and only men pass on the y-chromosome to their male offspring. If a woman doesn’t have daugthers, her mitochondrial lineage stops. If a man doesn’t have a son, his y-chromosome lineage stops.

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That seems very odd indeed since ‘the evolutionary model’ doesn’t say anything like that.


Not seeing a lot of resurgence here.

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I don’t think it’s worth my time responding to Adam any further. It’s abundantly clear he’s not here to have a reasonable discussion, but to point fingers, make accusations, and generally act like a jerk. He seems to think that he can win arguments by shouting rather than by reason and evidence. He can’t.

Deuteronomy 25:13-16 is something of a litmus test for YECs. If they really are approaching the subject in good faith, they will respond by either attempting to defend their approach to measurement or by admitting that it’s beyond their pay grade to do so. But if, as Adam has done elsewhere, they reject it even in principle on any grounds whatsoever, whether by telling me that I’m taking it out of context, or that I’m overthinking things, or that I need to balance it with other verses of Scripture, or by making ridiculous comparisons to David Koresh, it’s a clear indication that they’re approaching the subject in bad faith. Honesty and factual accuracy when discussing science is non-negotiable, and I shouldn’t even have to quote the Bible to make the point, let alone fight to defend it. To suggest otherwise is to demand the right to tell lies.

There are times when one needs to apply Proverbs 26:5 in the hope that the other person will come to their senses, and/or your response will be helpful to onlookers. But there comes a point at which one needs to switch to applying Proverbs 26:4 and just let their bad behaviour speak for itself.

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I don’t know about yelling, but he does seem to think that calling people heretics somehow trumps the scientific evidence. It didn’t work with Heliocentrism, and it isn’t going to work in the fields of biology, geology, physics, and cosmology.

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Play nice, guys. You are talking like he is not here in the room. Sometimes you have to work out these things over time, and Adam seems like he is fairly early in the journey. It is good for me to revisit some of these questions and assertions to make sure I am on the right track. I doubt if we will change his mind or him ours, but it is good to be challenged.

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now that is a white lie…modern synthesis is a joining of the original Darwinian theory with evolutionary biology…it has not thrown out the Darwinian model at all!

What was dishonest in what I said? Plus, you’re wrong again, the modern synthesis is the joining of the Darwinian understanding of evolution via natural selection with Mendelian genetics at the population level. It definitely changed how evolution was conceived of. Adding in concepts like neutral drift, mutation pressure, and gene flow changed the model significantly. When you say “Darwinian evolution,” that is a term that has a meaning from the history of science, and it is not synonymous with the evolutionary model of modern synthesis, so maybe you should try harder to use terms correctly around here where most people actually know what they are talking about from studying real science books and aren’t just cutting and pasting things they read on Creationist indoctrination websites.

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What do you think the Darwinian model is?

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