Some kind of waterfall that quickly fossilized teddy bears

Substitute “old” for “young” in the above statement. If “everything” is what is required for YEC, then certainly you would also require that for deep time advocates. But of course, our knowledge is not nearly that complete that either position can “demonstrate that everything” neatly fits their position.

So we are left with determining which is the best explanation, the one that is the best explanation for evidence, and not “everything.”

Of course, the assumption is that the continental drift rate has been uniform from the beginning. But how can we possibly know that. In fact, change seems to be the rule rather than uniformity.

The Apostle Peter quotes scoffers as saying, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.”. Of course, John Walton says that there is nothing at all about science in the Bible, so using his hermeneutic, deep time folks are off the hook.

Of course, that is a straw man. YEC adherents claim no such thing. And I think you mean “permineralize,” not fossilize. There are dinosaurs that are now being dug up that are not fully mineralized, but have cell nuclei, stretchy tissue, etc. Deep time advocates claim that they are 65 million years and more even though they are not completely permineralized. YEC makes the much more rational claim that these fossils are only a maximum of about 4500 years old.

Interesting, I’ve not heard this. Would you be kind enough to provide a couple of sources?

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Though not directed at me I imagine it’s some kind of reference to soft tissue. Many of them seem to think it’s soft tissue like what we find on half eaten disregarded chicken wings and so on.

I have been been frequenting YEC Facebook groups and linking BioLogos in many of them and I kept seeing this argument. Same as with that verse from Peter. It’s the new trend for whatever reason among them.

Not exactly. Everything may well be overstated, but the with old and young, you can show some things are young, but that does not mean there is nothing older, whereas if you show something is old, it does not mean there is nothing younger.

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Dinosaur soft tissue may be a better term to use. That several, or even many dinosaur and other fossils have been found containing soft tissue is not controversial. Both young earth and deep time advocates agree. (I use the term “deep time,” as both old earth creationists who deny evolution and evolutionary creationists hold the same view on the age of the earth and universe.)

Where the controversy lies is with the interpretation of the evidence.

Here are a couple of sources that discuss the evidence, one right here in the BioLogos forum, and another on -

["Soft Tissue" in Dinosaur Bones: What Does the Evidence Really Say? - Articles - BioLogos ]

Mark Armitage

Maybe this should be another thread, but the controversy is not with one cherry-picked line of evidence that YECs can devise arguments against, but the whole ball of wax, to mix metaphors. The amount of evidence pointing to the antiquity of the earth and the cosmos is overwhelming, and new evidence always points to it too.

(All of the following were written by Christians):

Here, varve, radiometric and dendrochronology methods all validate each other:

Extinct radioactive atoms is not about radiometric dating of earthbound objects:

Radioactive Atoms — Evidence about the Age of the Earth - Ken Wolgemuth

And on and on.

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I don’t think I have ever seen a YEC counterargument for the girdled rocks.

We are confident it has decreased from (high uncertainty) ~3 cm/yr to ~1 cm/yr. That is not the same as wildly bouncing to/from 20 m/s.

Impressions of nuclei, and highly mineralized stretchy tissue. It had to soak in a demineralizing solution for a while before it was a bit stretchy.

Or the lower-elevation ubiquitous mutli-layer marine columns with index fossils.

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I’m sorry Craig, but that is just (a) whataboutism, (b) ignorance about how measurement works, and (c) ignorance of the extent and nature of the consilience of evidence that points to an old Earth.

Do you know what a “lower limit” is? No matter how old the Earth is, it has to be older than the oldest thing in it. You don’t need to be an “evolutionist” or a “deep time advocate” or a “scoffer” to see this. It’s simply measurement 101.

Also please may I remind you of this comparison of old Earth and young Earth evidence:

Old earth Young earth
Extent of data Hundreds of thousands of measurements A few hundred measurements
Sample sizes Significant sample sizes Tiny sample sizes
Precision High precision
(error bars in the ±0.01-5% range)
Low precision
(error bars several orders of magnitude)
Rates of change Rates that have a strong theoretical and experimental basis for assuming that they were constant (e.g. radioactive decay, the speed of light) Rates that nobody expects to have been anywhere near constant (e.g. the amount of salt in the sea, Earth’s magnetic field, changes in the Earth’s population)
Predictions Precise and specific So broad as to be effectively meaningless
Cross-checking Extensive cross-checking between different methods Ad-hoc, frequently mutually contradictory explanations with little or no cross-checking
Standards of peer review Peer review looks for rigour, factual accuracy, precision, mathematical correctness, and adherence to proven best practices Peer review looks solely for being “on message” about the age of the earth and doesn’t even mention accuracy
Qualifications of peer reviewers Peer review carried out by subject matter specialists Peer review carried out by people whose area of expertise lies elsewhere
Reproducibility Common Rare if not nonexistent
Response to falsification Findings are discarded if further studies contradict them Studies that contradict the claims are dismissed as “rescuing devices” or “uniformitarian presuppositions”

The point, Craig, is that before YEC can be considered a credible alternative to the mainstream scientific consensus that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, it needs to meet the same standards of mathematical rigour and quality control as everybody else. It doesn’t have to explain everything down to the last decimal point. It just has to explain at least as much of the evidence as conventional old Earth geology, in at least as much detail, with at least as much mathematical precision, and with at least as much predictive power. As it stands, it falls far, far, far, far short on all four of those counts.

No it is NOT an “assumption” that the continental drift rate has been uniform from the beginning. The fact that distance measurements correlate linearly with radiometric dating over hundreds of miles and millions of years, giving rates that are exactly the same as modern day GPS measurements, is a test of that assumption. Tests of assumptions are not assumptions themselves.

For the Earth to be six thousand years old, it is not sufficient to just say that rates could have been faster in the past. Radioactive decay and continental drift would have to have varied by exactly the same amount in exact lock-step with each other. They would also have to have varied in exact lock-step with all the other measurements of deep time, such as tree rings, lake varves, ice cores, thermoluminescence dating, and so on and so forth. And on top of that, they would have to have done so by a factor of a billion without generating enough heat to turn the Earth into a ball of hot plasma.

Once again, this is simply measurement 101. It’s nothing to do with being a “scoffer.” It’s about obeying the Bible’s demands for accurate and honest weights and measures. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s one thing being scoffed at for being a Christian. It’s a completely different matter being “scoffed at” for not getting your facts straight, or for not having accurate and honest weights and measures. See 1 Peter 2:20.

No it’s not a straw man. It’s an analogy. You may not be claiming specifically that I can walk from London to New York in five minutes, but if you don’t want to be accused of claiming such a thing, then don’t make other claims that exhibit the same logical fallacies.

And even if the word is “permineralize” rather than “fossilize”, my point still stands. Claiming that T-Rexes the size of a school bus can permineralise in a year because much more porous teddy bears the size of your foot can permineralise in a year is a textbook case of having two different measures in your house, one large, one small.

But young Earth advocates repeatedly exaggerate and distort the state of preservation of what they describe as “soft tissue.” So they will describe fossilised dinosaur skin as “dinosaur skin”; DNA breakdown products as “DNA”, tiny flecks of iron left over from the breakdown of haemoglobin as “red blood cells,” and so on and so forth.

I could put this down to good faith misunderstanding in some cases. It’s not just YECs who do this – tabloid journalists, with their motto of “never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” do it too to boost sales by titillating the public’s imagination with fantasies of maybe one day turning Jurassic Park into reality. Maybe some YECs do trot out this line because they haven’t properly understood what Mary Schweitzer actually found, or because they just read a headline in their Facebook feed without clicking through to it. But when the same YEC repeatedly brings up the same argument time and time again despite having had this pointed out to them over and over again, that excuse does start to wear a bit thin.


I wonder how thoroughly continental rock would be
pulverized by earthquakes associated with high speed tectonics


What earthquakes? The high speed movement generates enough heat that the surface of the earth would be molten.

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Ooops. Overlooked that

The amount is fairly constant, but the rate is a bad measure of age because, depending on what element you use, the oceans are somewhere between 5 and 150,000,000 years old. Fairly obviously from that, they measure the amount of time the atom typically spends in the ocean.

Yes, in about 30 minutes. It would reach an equilibrium (if the energy input needed to move them continued long enough) temperature of about 50,000 K. And would be emitting 60% as much light as the sun. But with a Planck curve peaking at about 50 nm, so mostly worse than UV-C.


Makes me think of what they say of Venus’ recycling its surface

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:slightly_smiling_face: Except that this would blast off the surface (and everything else).

How can we trust the Gospels to tell the truth about Jesus? After all, they were written by followers of Jesus. Won’t these be ideological documents? Of course, but it is a mistake to say that because of this, they are not true. They are ideological in the sense that each of the authors have particularly truths they wish to teach.

Well, you ask a similar question. How can we trust young earth creationists to tell the truth about science? After all, they are biased. How can we trust Jewish people to tell the truth about the Holocaust? They are biased. Ad naseum.

But deep time advocates—that is different. Let every evolutionist be true, and every young earth creationist be a liar. Consensus science has more data points, more precision, you say, and many more trained scientists that hold our view. Yet you don’t even stop to consider that almost all the billions of dollars going to taxpayer funded “research,” almost all of the billions of dollars going to publically funded educational institutions, and the mainline media are gatekeepers that allow only the evolutionary message. Of course, billions of dollars of funding creates more data points. You also tout the fact that most people who are educated (indoctrinated) into the evolutionary and deep time worldviews hold the evolutionary and deep time worldviews, as though that validates those views. And you note that a lot more evolutionary research is done. What a surprise! Who woulda thunk that billions of dollars would make that kind of difference?

There are peer reviewed journals, reviewed by other deep time advocates and evolutionists to make sure that the writers stay on message. After all, a person could jeopardize their professional standing in the evolutionary community, lose funding, and even lose their livelihood if they don’t stay on message. So peer review is a gatekeeper to keep everyone on message. And if the wrong message is published, heads may roll—and economic slaughter of the dissidents. And yet you consider “peer review” your gold standard when you should really be ashamed of that behavior. Or maybe you aren’t aware of this or have had your head in the sand.

Let’s talk radiometric dating: The theory behind radiometric dating is that during the immense heating of the volcanic event that produces these rocks, all the daughter products are heated or boiled out, and all that remains is the parent element. How do we validate that theory? We certainly don’t have eyewitness data for rocks formed many millions or billions of years ago. But we can check out the theory against rocks of known age.

A few months ago, I wrote about an expedition to Novarupta, a volcano on mainland Alaska that erupted about a hundred years ago. The purpose of this expedition was to bring back sample volcanic rocks from that eruption to have them radiometrically dated. These rocks were taken to an accredited laboratory for analysis. When they were submitted, they were asked how old they thought the rocks were. Why did they want that information? Because, the lab employees said, that would tell them how long to heat the rocks prior to testing. Really? So much for your narrative about unbiased reporting of the evidence. How much of the data that you are relying on for your conclusions is cooked, both figuratively and literally?

Well, from memory, I reported that the lab results were that the rocks were dated at 100,000 years. Oh the angst and anger that came back on the forum, as though “Argument from personal indignation” or “Argumentum ad indignatione personali” was somehow a valid form of argument. Well, going back to the source, the actual date given by the lab was 5.5 million years. Sorry for the angst experienced by my incorrect information. But the actual number is far outside even where you would place the error bars—not just three orders of magnitude, but more than four.

You’all claim that when dating rocks radiometrically from the inaccessible past, we can know the dates are accurate. But when dating rocks from known events, over and over, when these measurements are not accurate, it is because they are contaminated, collected by creationists who obviously don’t know what they are doing, ad naseum. Who has their heads in the sand, metaphorically speaking?

And then—and then—you dismiss the data from “fresh” unpermineralized material in dinosaur fossil bones. Creationists have exaggerated, you say; the data is nowhere near as pervasive or convincing as we seem to present it. Really now! Soft stretchy tissue—check. Nucleated blood products that Mary Schweitzer initially called blood cells–check. Intact valves in arteries–check. DNA fragments when there should be zero, because DNA is so fragile—check.

The following from Discover Magazine, hardly a YEC publication: “One day a collaborator brought a T. rex slide to a conference and showed it to a pathologist, who examined it under a microscope. “The guy looked at it and said, 'Do you realize you’ve got red blood cells in that bone?” Schweitzer remembers. "My colleague brought it back and showed me, and I just got goose bumps, because everyone knows these things don’t last for 65 million years."Even Schweitzer was shocked at what she saw, and said that it required rethinking about everything.

Discover Magazine states in the article Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery: “When this shy paleontologist found soft, fresh-looking tissue inside a T. rex femur, she erased a line between past and present. Then all hell broke loose.

“Ever since Mary Higby Schweitzer peeked inside the fractured thighbone of a Tyrannosaurus rex , the introverted scientist’s life hasn’t been the same. Neither has the field of paleontology. Two years ago, Schweitzer gazed through a microscope in her laboratory at North Carolina State University and saw lifelike tissue that had no business inhabiting a fossilized dinosaur skeleton: fibrous matrix, stretchy like a wet scab on human skin; what appeared to be supple bone cells, their three-dimensional shapes intact; and translucent blood vessels that looked as if they could have come straight from an ostrich at the zoo.

“By all the rules of paleontology, such traces of life should have long since drained from the bones. It’s a matter of faith among scientists that soft tissue can survive at most for a few tens of thousands of years, not the 65 million since T. rex walked what’s now the Hell Creek Formation in Montana."

And YEC scientists exaggerate the extent of the findings? Really? Absolutely not, as the findings are incredible as they stand—no need to exaggerate.

Do you realize how much credibility is shot with a post like this in BioLogos that misrepresents so much?

We call that a gish.

Two quick things: first, that yec is a commitment to intellectual dishonesty.
I could enlarge in great detail on that.

Second, more important- you nor anyone can deliver one single fact contrary toToE or deep time.

Skip the screed, give us a fact.

This will be a very long wait.


Another big difference. I believe there is roughly 8,000,000 scientists worldwide and just a few thousand are YEC. I don’t think YEC even makes up 0.1%, and I mean 0.1% and not 1.0%. We have several million scientists from all across the globe of many generations from all backgrounds including Christians that all say the evidence points towards a several billion year old universe snd earth.

Then you have a few thousand, almost all from America, saying they are wrong. Saying scientists are wrong about everything.

To believe in YEC here is a few things you have to automatically disagree with.

  1. The fossil record which shows different species in different geological layers. Such as we don’t find chimps before the earliest monkeys. We don’t find humans with dinosaurs.

  2. The fossil record shows morphological development within the same clade. So we see things like spines and knees developing differently.

  3. They must ignore geothermal understanding. Such as a global flood is impossible. We could not have that much water in the air without superheating earth. It could not have been dusty ice either without freezing the world. That much water could not have been just below the surface of land because it would be to mushy. The water could not have came from deep enough in the earth because the rate and depth would mean it came out boiling hot like geysers.

  4. They must ignore the speed of light, the sizes of stars and so on. Science says Icarus for example takes 8 billion years to reach earth. If the earth is 6k it would mean the light had not even reached us yet. Or either it means it’s a lot smaller and closer than we thought.

  5. They have to ignore genetics that show how mutations altered us or preserved us.

Unfortunately, there are distortions and misrepresentations which can lead those unaware to false impressions of what it really means. Which is why you need peer review to keep the published papers honest. People do have biases and researchers do attempt to pass off poor research as valid, and standards must be in place to protect the ignorant and gullible from the manipulative and predatory. Sometimes it works better than others.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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