How does BioLogos and its community respond to some of the Young Earth Creationists evidences and their "proofs"?


(David Collins) #1

I have had many of young earth creationists give many of their proofs of why evolution is wrong and YEC view is correct. One example being spread was an article I saw lately claiming the live dinosaur soft tissue had been discovered. So, are they seen as misunderstandings, misrepresentations, falsifications, maybe some of each? Any specific examples are appreciated. Love to hear thoughts, much thanks!
Something you would find in a website like this.


(Randy) #2

Greetings, Dr Collins. Thanks for your thoughts. I am interested in what you think and what background you come from.

Surveying this, there are arguments (eg the ocean’s salinity and focusing on tree rings while ignoring absence of Greenland’s and Antarctica’s ice rings, the sedimentary deposits in Japan) that are really, really old. They don’t acknowledge standard science. However, Eric and Kent Hovind have been immersed in that stuff for a very long time. It’s a good idea to not only presume that the other person believes what he or she is saying, but they think they are being balanced. Randal Rauser advocates the 50/50 rule of arguing from your opponent’s point of view to understand them better https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/overcome-your-cognitive-bias-with-the-50-50-rule/, and Jared Byas tries to attend every discussion presuming he is going to be wrong in some way, and can learn (https://peteenns.com/how-to-talk-to-people-you-disagree-with/) in some way.

So, I’m going to presume that even though his arguments are limited and mistaken, he intends good things.
On his side, this is considered to be a “beginner” article–so likely he doesn’t expect to confuse people by counterarguments.

I’m going to have to work a bit to do the 50/50 thing to understand him better.


(Phil) #3

(I edited your title a bit for length)
That question is pretty much answered by reading over the site information. To generalize, however, l hope that we respond with love and grace, even though the disagreements are deep and emotionally charged. I speak as a community member, as I am not an official spokesperson for Biologos, and will let thewebsite speak for itself.
I think that in general I regard those who believe differently with respect but it is difficult at times, and have to continually guard against and repent from my pride and arrogance.


(Randy) #4

I second that. So, catch me if I’m being unfair, and call me out, please, @IgnoreRoe.

I see that the website also critiques Biologos’ evaluation of Genesis: Paradise Lost. https://creationtoday.org/ironic-review-of-genesis-paradise-lost/.


(Phil) #5

And of course, to paraphrase a recent meme on the humor thread, for every blog we have an equal and opposite blog to quote, and this is a good one referenced here several times by always astute sometimes poster James McKay:


(James McKay) #6

It all boils down to one thing.

YECs need to start respecting the basic rules and principles of how measurement works.

Because on the basis of that one criterion alone, just about everything they come up with is, quite frankly, a joke.


#7

True! 


(Christy Hemphill) #8

Hi David, welcome to the forum. There have been some articles/discussions on the dinosaur soft tissue in the past, if you would like to revive any part of them. To respond to something in a past thread, you can either select text from someone else’s post, hit the “quote” option that appears, and then navigate back to this thread with your post window open to draw it into the discussion, or you can click on the time stamp of any post and click “new” to start a new discussion linked to an old post.


(Chris) #9

AFIK nobody has claimed to have found live soft tissue in dinosaur fossils, but soft tissue has been found in several different fossils by different scientists, the most famous being Mary Schweitzer.
As for the article by Eric Hovind the only I would say is definitely wrong is the rotation speed of the Earth. The article is 10 years old and he might have dropped that by now.


(James McKay) #10

Taking a quick look at Eric Hovind’s article:

  • The Oldest Tree
  • The Oldest Reef
  • Faast eroding Niagara Falls

These arguments claim that the earth is young purely on the basis of the fact that it contains young things. This does not respect the basic rules and principles of how measurement works, because they only set a lower limit on the age of the earth, not an upper limit. The Earth has to be older than the oldest thing that it contains, not the same age as something that you’ve conveniently cherry-picked to make a point. For what it’s worth, the oldest thing dated is currently a set of zircon crystals from the Jack Hills of Western Australia, dated to 4.4 billion years by U-Pb dating. (See this article for an explanation of why zircons are a reliable indicator of old age and why YEC arguments to the contrary don’t work.)

  • Earth’s Slowing Rotation

This argument does not respect the basic rules and principles of how measurement works, because it does not provide any calculations to back it up. It correctly states that the slowing of the Earth’s rotation can be measured, but what it does not state is that the measurement is perfectly consistent with an age of 4.5 billion years.

  • Population
  • Declining magnetic field

These arguments do not respect the basic rules and principles of how measurement works because they extrapolate rates that could not realistically be expected to have been the same in the past as they are today. The Earth’s magnetic field does not decline uniformly; on the contrary, it fluctuates.

  • Salt in the Oceans

This argument does not respect the basic rules and principles of how measurement works because it relies on rates whose uncertainties are enormous: a state of equilibrium, and hence any age of the earth at all, lies well within the error bars (which aren’t cited). In any case, the figures that it gives are (a) cherry-picked, (b) out of date, and © don’t take everything into account.


(Phil) #11

The coral reef thing made me smile as I have a chunk of fossilized coral from Michigan on my desk that is about 400 million years old. (Petoskey stone)


#12

The soft tissue claim is based on a rather dubious assumption, that we shouldn’t find preserved soft tissue in 65 million year old dinosaur bones. I have yet to see a YEC demonstrate that the structures found in these bones could not survive 65 million years. The formation where the T. rex bone was found is one of the most accurately dated formations there are, so YEC’s also need to tackle the radiometric dating methodologies which hasn’t gone well for YEC’s in the past.


(Mitchell W McKain) #13

The difference between science and rhetoric are these two simple pillars:

  1. In science you make an hypothesis and then devise a way to test it. You do not search for ways to prove what you want to believe. The latter works fine for politicians, lawyers, preachers, and used car salesmen. Such rhetoric is the principle methodology of human civilization. This usage of rhetoric will never be replaced with the method of science because the methods of science just isn’t possible for every topic and issue.
  2. Science comes up with a written procedure which anyone can follow to get the same result no matter what they may believe. Thus it is inarguable that these results are facts independent of the person or his beliefs.

These are the foundation of the honesty and objectivity of scientific inquire and its ability to rapidly advance our understanding of the universe. Clothing rhetoric in the terminology of science without following these two principles just gives us pseudo-scientific rhetoric and does not give us anything comparable to science. This is the problem with the so called proofs and evidence of creationists.

As for the trees and ocean reefs, it is more remarkable to me that they can even find living things that old. But to imagine this proves that the earth is young is absurd. Are you trying to imply that the earth was created 4,300 years ago. LOL Surely not! Therefore, what does this prove except that these types of organisms can only be expected to live that long? By contrast, the fossil of the oldest pine tree discovered is 140 million years and we have fossils of ocean reefs going back 350 million years.

The fact is that accumulating evidence has been giving us increasingly accurate measures of the age of both the earth (at 4.543 billion years) and the universe (at 13.8 billion years). And this frankly does not seem very old to me, considering how long some things take like the evolution of life and even just the time it takes for light to travel across the universe. The furthest galaxy we know of is 13.3 billion light years away, so this galaxy must have formed only 500 million years after the beginning and the light from it has been traveling toward us for 13.3 billion years.


(system) #14

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.