Thanks for your reply. Even though it uses a type of wiki as “authority”, and your simple link does not require you to understand what you have linked to, nevertheless, I appreciate your response. It is a long article, so I don’t know how much I can respond to, but I will make a few attempts.
From the article: > creationist theories on the constancy of the rate of radioactive decay over time, which if valid would mean that the entire planet had been bathed for quite a while in far more radiation than would have been required to kill off all life - problematic because life does, in fact, still exist on earth; or…
Before I respond directly to this, I just want to say that rather than defending the proposition, or addressing the actual objection, this article rather begins to attack various creationist options. While it is legitimate to attack these options, this does not mean that the actual objection is refuted. It just means that “if I am bad, then so are you”.
The reasoning in this above statement is fallacious. The point is true that far more radiation would have killed off life, but the fact that life exists on earth does not disprove that life could not have been created later, after this radiation had killed off existing life, or if no life yet existed. The whole response in this article does not really address the objection in a substantive way; it is legitimate to counter that we decide to choose certain assumptions, but not legitimate and it is self-defeating to counter that because we do not like some alternate assumptions therefore we have decided to use ones we prefer, while ignoring that we cannot really prove our assumptions.
The author misunderstands crater counting. It is not used to obtain absolute dates, but to compare the age of one region to another, whose age is known through radiometric dating. Its only assumption is that the bombardment of the moon was uniform over its surface (not necessarily over time).
We assume an approximately constant rate of meteor impacts on the moon, with variations depending on the stage of development of the solar system
Can you see the contradiction in this statement? I can. It says, Its only assumption is that the bombardment of the moon was uniform over its surface (not necessarily over time).* This implies not uniform over time. But the next sentence "We assume an approximately constant rate of meteor impacts on the moon". So now there is a constant rate after all. But, an exception… as stated, “with variations depending on the stage of development of the solar system”. which is exactly what the objection was stating. So in essence, no substantial reply to the objection was given. Way more craters on the moon than on earth. So the reply concentrates on their assumption of misunderstanding of crater counting, and ignores the real objection, and also ignores the most obvious explanation for different levels of craters, which is that it was unlikely that the moon had a global flood, that it has no water erosion, no plants, no wind, and has no glaciers.
> Creationism is unanimously rejected by the scientific community. Deep time and the 4.5 billion year age of the Earth are not pet hypotheses of “evolutionists”, a postulated faction of godless maverick scientists — they are uncontroversial and widely accepted facts, with consistent evidence from multiple disciplines.
This is false of course. Unanimity is quite different from a large majority. Being widely accepted is not synonymous with unanimous or uncontroversial. Not understanding this distinction calls into question both the capability and the bias of the one who wrote it. In addition, is misses the point of the objections. To me it is like answering the question… “Is it right to bribe someone?” with the answer, “well, everyone is doing it.”
> So, while accepting that DNA sequencing is probably impossible for remains that are a million years or more in age, it has been established that sequencing is reliable for DNA far older than the claimed 6,000 years. Consequently this is not evidence for young earth creationism.
Part of the problem with this response, is that just because something is not evidence for young earth creation, does not mean that it is not a serious problem for evolution. That is a common fallacy, ie. “it is not evidence for young earth creationism, therefore old earth evolution must be true.” This is the fallacy that evolutionists often accuse creationists of as well, and of course, this is a legitimate point. But it is not legitimate to make the same mistake. More pertinent is the point that dino dna is not expected to survive for millions of years, and yet it was found. Furthermore, the quoted reference for possible lab contamination is 12 years old, and more discoveries have been made since. And there is no doubt, that soft tissue and dna have been found since, using all the normal lab techniques with all the normal safeguards and controls and comparisons. Whether this does not provide evidence for young earth creation is entirely beside the point. It simply does not match the expectation of scientific evidence for old age of the type evolution theory postulates, which is why no scientists were looking for this kind of thing for so many years. The reply to this objection is simply out of date, wrong, and invalid. Based on the real scientific evidence.
The tendency to reject scientific evidence that does not meet expectations, could not be more clear than in the reply to this objection, as given in your link.
> This argument relates to the claimed Fall of Man, in which it is posited that humans were cut off from God’s life force and their genomes thus started “decaying”. This is completely factually inaccurate. Not only is there no evidence of a general genetic decay, but there are known recent beneficial mutations in humans. e.g. lactase persistence,
So the objection to evolution is that there are too many harmful mutations, and that this would lead to human genome deterioration in the time span allotted. The reply given (as above) says there is no evidence of a general genetic decay. Impasse. So which is true? genetic decay or not? Well, if we assume that the human genome is appropriate and necessary for human reproduction and maintenance, then we could assume that in general, a change to this would be harmful. But it seems many mutations are apparently neutral, providing neither harm nor benefit. Yet, Kondrashov indicates that at least 10% of mutations are harmful, but that they can easily be selected against. So the reply seems to me to be false. Yes there is evidence of general genetic decay, even if it is not as quick and obvious, and if selection does not sort out the deleterious and apparently neutral mutations, then this decay will not be selected against. Furthermore, the more mutations there are, the more difficult it is to select against them, especially if the selection does not occur until after the person has reproduced and achieved maturity.
But it is also ironic that the reply on rationalwiki mentions that there is not evidence there is general genetic decay. While this is untrue, nevertheless it hints at the fact that genetic decay is not as great as it should be, based on present mutation rates and the ratio of harmful to beneficial mutations. Which is exactly the point that the objection to evolution old age raises. Once again, the reply to the objection does not work, and in this case is woefully incomplete.
One more: The key point, however, is that the “living fossils” didn’t change much because they were well-adapted to a stable environment. This argument also presumes that the only changes are morphological — evolution also includes biochemical changes, behavioral changes, and others that are not preserved in the fossil record.
Evolution does not give creatures an expiration date. The only thing that dictates whether a species will survive is its ability to produce offspring in its environment, not some arbitrary amount of years.
But the “only thing” is not the only thing. It is the result… producing viable offspring is the result of many things, but includes the stability of genomes not disabled by mutations over a long period of time, or altered by mutations, as is the claim for changing one species into several different species. It rather implies that the unaltered species did not undergo the normal number of mutations to be expected. Over a shorter period of time we would not expect the dramatic changes, but over a long period of time, the theory and modern observations would not lead us to expect any form of stability, due to the number and frequency of genetic mutations which are the foundation of the opportunity for change.
I hesitate to bring up more replies to examine their validity, because so far, this is only the beginning. Here and there, the response to the objections has a glimmer of reasonability. However, it also seems that there is a different standard for evaluating hypotheses. For example, the fact that there were no coelacanth fossils for 60 million years is passed off as reasonable because fossilization is rare. The fact that there were no elephant fossils for millions of years is positive proof that they did not exist.
It is often difficult to get beyond the motivation and worldview to examine the actual evidence objectively.
… . . . . .
One more… (I couldn’t resist). Objection to old age -> Erosion at Niagara Falls and other such places is consistent with just a few thousand years since the biblical Flood. However, much of the Niagara Gorge likely formed very rapidly with the catastrophic drainage of glacial Lake Agassiz; see: Climate change, Niagara and catastropheimg.
Response to objection -> Waterfalls are sites of rapid erosion and therefore highly dynamic. There is absolutely no reason to suppose any waterfall is as old as the Earth. Furthermore, we might ask that, if under a creationist scenario the Grand Canyon and Niagara Gorge supposedly both came into being after the global flood, why aren’t they of similar sizes? After all, they would supposedly be cutting through similar soft flood sediments; but the more energetic Niagara River (200,000 ft3/s) has incised a much smaller canyon than the Colorado River (30,000 ft3/s) in a supposedly equal period of time. This highlights the absence of coherency in the flood geology paradigm where the apparent aim is only to try to undermine the old-Earth model rather than give a consistent alternative.
The question in the response to objection is why are the canyons of different sizes? Which in this case reveals the level of assumptions, first that the rivers were always the same size they are now. Second that the sediments are the same, third that the level of drop is the same. All these assumptions are wrong. The Niagara Falls only drop 170 feet to the water below, which cushions its erosive impact and limits its erosive potential, although the water itself below the falls is also 170 feet deep. The Grand Canyon drops about 1800 metres, 30 times more drop. For a number of years, apparently the Niagara was a smaller 1/10 size river than today. Although the rock is sedimentary rock, it is a much harder rock than what is found in the grand canyon, and the river was fed by glacier ice which followed the flood, compared to the Grand Canyon which formed from a disappearance of a lake, a much quicker and more violent event. But even today, Niagara Falls recession rate is estimated at one foot per year, compared to one and a half metre per year for the last 500 years. New evidence suggests the western Grand Canyon was cut to within 70 percent of its current depth long before the Colorado River existed. Credit: National Park Service