Praising God in the Planetarium: My Story

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #41

When those millions of data points from dozens of disparate fields of inquiry are read with other assumptions, they’re usually ignored or written off as having been discovered by “atheistic scientists.”

They do not tell any other story.

It seems an objective observation to me, but I’m open to being proven wrong. What books about the evidence supporting evolution have you read? How about one written by a fellow Christian, like Coming to Peace with Science?

And before you turn the tables and ask me what I’ve read in the YEC literature: The burden of proof here is on creationists to show they’ve actually read and understood the relevant data. (There are some, like Todd Wood, and they tend to believe in the “apparent age” hypothesis.)


You can’t have it both ways. To refresh my question was.

So I can not determine something based on what I can see.

And then you say.

So which is it?

BTW, I have made no mention of trying to come up with an interpretation of the past.

PS: There are no assumptions made or worldviews involved when I make measurements on grain size, composition, and shape.

(Lynn Munter) #43

Asking about other possible explanations is important! There are a few different processes recognized by geology that could result in lower layers or materials not being laid down first.

  1. People or animals dug a hole and deposited stuff out of place. This could apply to a few items but we could see visible soil disturbance if we looked.

  2. A whole chunk of rock layers flipped or ‘folded’ due to tectonic activity. Again, we can find evidence of this (it usually happens in subduction zones) if we look for it.

  3. An underground stream or river washed material into a cave. This is also distinctive; for example, there would be the shape of a water channel or underground cavern. The material would have signs of being deposited by water.
    By the way, @Bill_II, what exactly are the physical differences between windblown sand and water-carried sand?

Once we examine all the other possibilities, and do suggest more if you can think of any, then we go back to our original question: were the horsetails there before the oaks were?

Maybe there were oaks and we’re just not seeing them? That might suffice for a small sample size, say we found 20 ferns and no oak leaves in the bottom layers. But what if it’s a hundred ferns? A thousand? What if we get our microscopes out and look for pollen, and we find oak pollen in the upper layers only, and other kinds of pollen in the lower layers?

We don’t just get to shrug our shoulders and say, well, I dunno, there might be explanations I haven’t thought of yet…

If we consider and examine the alternative explanations, is it still an assumption to say the horsetails were laid down before the oaks?



The grains of windblown sand are sharp edged and have a frosted surface. Waterborne sand has rounded edges due to the tumbling they get in the water. The rounding also indicates how far the sand was transported. There are probably others. I am not a geologist.

(Phil) #45

When looking at a sandstone, you have to also keep in mind that you have to make that sand in the first place. Takes a while to grind a granite mountain down to sand. (Though lots of different sand types. Still takes a while to form)


Now Phil, were you there? :wink:

(Phil) #47

Well, I’ve been told I’m “old as dirt.”


I need to move on for the sake of time so let me make just a few comments in closing.

First, there continues to be assumptions accepted uncritically. @jpm says it takes a long time to make sand from granite. Did you notice his assumption? Probably not because we are just used to accepting statements without actually thinking about it. It takes no time to make sand if you are the Creator. And, based on the Bible, there is no reason to think all sand was made by some secondary means. You only say that if you are uncritical about the evidence and the explanations. Or consider @Bill_II assertion about the difference between windborne and waterborne sand. It too is based on assumptions about time, even in the time spent in wind or water. At the end, it’s a worldview issue. It’s not an evidence issue.

@Bill_II says he made no mention of trying to come up with an interpretation of the past. Except his whole explanation of sand and water vs. wind borne is exactly that. This indicates that there is not sufficient thought being given to what is actually being done in these discussions. When you look at a present grain of sand and say that it was windborne (or waterborne), you are interpretation the past about how that sand got to its present state (in appearance and location). That these very simple issues are being missed or glossed over is a significant statement about the way the discussion as a whole is being carried out.

@Bill_II also takes the answer to two different questions and pretends they are contradictory. He takes a “no” to one question and a “yes” to another question and acts like I have contradicted myself. I have to ask, if we are so bad at reading a direct and contemporary conversation, how in the world are to read the past? The answer, once again, is that you can’t conclusively determine the past by present measurements of sand, but yes you can trust what you see. The point is that you can’t necessarily trust your conclusions about what you didn’t see.

In sum I have once again enjoyed the interaction here as in the past. But it does indicate to me just how uncritical in general people are about the conversations and the foundations of them.



So you are saying when I examine sand in the desert and sand carried down a stream and determine they are different I can’t trust the fact that I know where the sand came from as having any impact on the differences?