What caused the Flood?

I’m not sure that there is a war on science. I believe that it is more a matter of friction, caused by arrogance by a small part of the scientistst and by a large part of the atheists.
And many scientists are making unbelievable errors. But we all do that. Sometimes we are all seeing blind and hearing deaf. I give you a test, 3 questions on items that have to do with Genesis:
You all know the story how Noah got beached on the Ararat. It rained 40 days and the water rose even higher then te highest mountain. What is wrong in the story?
Look at a globe of the Earth and tell me what is clearly visible and yet not noticed by you?
Prof. Rob Coe, a very capable man, wrote an article in Nature about an unexplainable and extremely large movement of the magnetic poles. Which unbelievable error did he make?
I have asked these question many times. Please be the first to give a correct answer.
@BradKramer:.could we have a private e-mail conversation about some subjects?

Jan, you have moved me to curiousity. Obviously, you are the first to have a correct answer, although you are keeping it to yourself. And you have seen the unbelievable errors… although you believe they are errors. Forgive my teasing. I will only comment or propose something for the first two questions… you did not provide a link or date for the nature article, so… I would propose there is nothing wrong with the Ararat story, but am curious as to your difficulty. When I look at a globe, whatever is clearly visible is certainly noticed. It would be difficult for me to identify something which I did not notice or see. However, just for fun, I will say that the world is mostly covered by oceans, and the great majority of land is in the northern hemisphere. What do you say to that?

@johnZ Hi John, thank you for your reaction. I admit that it is a provocation, but it is also a very sertious matter. Every day there are people on Earth who are confronted with its consequences.
My paper on this and related subjects it too large, too shocking and too explosive to be published here as a topic.
I want to share my knowledge with Brad Kramer and Dr Walton and leave the publishing to them.
Back to the riddle, No, it is not something you mentioned. So far only a few people did read my paper. One of them suddenly realised the implications of what is visible on the globe, he said “Godallmighty”, remained silent for a long time and admitted the next day that he had not been able to sleep. NASA did waste a nine figure amount on finding out something directly related to it.
Robert S. Coe is a a geophysicist primary research paleomagnetism. He found, with Mr Camps, Montpellier University, an extreme movement of the magnetic poles comparable to moving the magnetic North pole from its present place to Mexico city. I did read their article long ago, but Nature has switched to a new search system which cannot find him. However, what I wrote here above about the movement was enough for me to pinpoint his error.
Calculate the rainfall in mm/sec to find the error in the Ararat story. And next, find out what caused the flood

I think we might not be sure how high the highest mountain was, at the time. For a flood of that magnitude all kinds of possibilities of plate movement, continental upheaval, etc., are likely. But to humor you, forty days would contain 40 x 24 hrs = 960 hrs. To get a flood higher than 5000 feet would mean 5000ft/960hrs = 5 feet per hour. (1500mm/hr), which is beyond our comprehension. However, scripture also indicates much water coming from springs and from deep in the earth. It does not say what proportion came from above and what proportion from below. Nor does it say where the water in the skies kept coming from. Perhaps the event was combined with land subsidence as well. Scripture does say it would never happen again, so it was quite unique. So far, I have not seen the error in the story, but maybe in our assumptions of what the story said. So I read the story again. Interestingly, if read in sequence, it appears that the flood lifted the ark after forty days, and that possibly the waters rose for some time after to cover the mountains, before they began to recede again (prevailed on the earth). It seems it took much longer for the water to recede than for it to appear. But you can imagine the erosion. And again the possibility of continental plates moving, mountains forming, sea valleys shifting to accomodate the water. Glad I wasn’t there to see it.

Hi John. The highest mountain is in the Himalaya range and older than Noah. Noah got beached on the Ararat, which is 5.4 km high. So it had to rain 5.4 m/h = 9 cm/min = 1.5 mm/sec. The air cannot transport so much water, and it has to rain all over the world that much or the water would flow faster back to the sea than it could rain down.
The Bible was written for Stone Age people, as intelligent and sophisticated as we are but lacking our knowledge, with the intention to bring religion and civilization. There was a flood. I know its cause and they would not have believed it. And you are right to be glad that you were not there.
Would you please agree to stop our discussion on these unimportant details?

Jan, the rocks in the himalya might be older than Noah, but whether they occupied their current elevation…

in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and … (Genesis 7).

For the flood waters, you are not calculating in the fountains of the deep, whatever that might be. It’s possible 90% of the flood came from the earth, and only 10% from the rain or some similar scenario…

So, unimportant details, you say. What was your cause for the flood that could not be believed then?

Hi John
If so much water came from the crust, you have a new problem: where did that water go after Noah was beached and the Earth became dry again? Back into the crust? 5 km water in 60 to 70 km crust would be noticed by its mass. Also it would be above boiling point and buble up…

@BradKramer, @johnZ
Hi Brad and John
Reading the various subjects in Biologos Discourse, I came across the reference to “ Ultimate Proof that Noah’s Flood Was Not Global by Paul H.Seely.”.
There is a Dutch expression, which translates as: “Not looking further than your nose is long”. We all suffer from it sometimes.
Mr Seely presumes understandably but incorrectly that the Flood was caused by rain. He apparently never verified if rain could cause the Flood. And rain cannot have caused the Flood: to cover the Ararat by rain requires that the whole world is covered with water as high as that mountain. If not, the water would flow faster back from the slopes of the Ararat to the sea than it rains.
The Flood was an extreme tsunami, a by-product of what I call a hiccup of our Earth, and sound proof is available.
I see no religious conflict with the Bible here. It is my considered opinion that the book Genesis was written with the purpose to bring religion and civilization to Stone Age people. And a simple technical detail like the cause of the Flood was adapted to something those people could understand and therefor would accept.
His conclusion that it did not rain on Greenland is correct, but only by chance and not for the reason he states. He states that the ice sheet would have started to float if it had been submerged by rain water. And that is a totally incorrect conclusion: It seems that he does not understand the mechanism of floating. Even if the ice sheet had been completely immersed by water, it would still not start to float because it was glued to the rock below. The ice sheet is also a glacier and during the previous more than 100 millennia all loose material has been removed. And due to the high pressure the ice has penetrated every crack and pore. As result it is impossible for the water to form a layer between the ice sheet and the rock, which makes it impossible for the water to exert pressure on the ice and push it up.
In summary, his statement that the Flood was not global and his motivation for this statement are both invalid.
The tsunami was global. But its flow went parallel to the coast of Greenland. That is the reason why the ice on Greenland remained untouched. The edges of the ice along the Atlantic Ocean were hit, but not the inland part where the ice cores were taken. A part of Siberia was also not hit for the same reason. And because of that we can still dig out frozen animals like mammoths.

But Mr Seely is also in the position that he can date the year and maybe also the season of the Flood. No doubt he has also the average temperature of the Earth in each year. What he should look for is an abrupt drop of temperature of maybe 10 or 20 °C, combined with an extreme large quantity of volcanic dust. The quantity of dust will go back to normal in just a few years, the temperature will return to normal values after 30 to 50 years. Goblekli Tepe is dated as some 13 millennia old. A documentary about the extinction of the Irish elk set a date around 15 millennia old. Any way, the Flood happened between 10 and 20 millennia ago.
The season it started can be determined from the food in the stomach of the mammoths. The time of day can be estimated by the quantity of food in the stomachs.
Would you please contact Mr Seely, show him my comment and invite him to find the year of the Flood.

Jan, some good comments you’ve made. There is enough water on earth to cover the earth by 5km, if the earth was level, so it is already there. I like your tsunami idea, but a tsunami would not last for a year, so it would have to be sustained by something, such as extreme crustal movement, lowering and raising of the crust both on what is presently dry land, and also on the seabed floors. It would seem possible that this crustal fluctuation resulting in changing sea levels, would augment the water from under the crust. The theory is that during the flood it indeed did result in a large increase in ocean temperatures, and that this caused a large increase in precipitation for several hundred years after the flood. This precipitation also caused a rapid increase of snow and ice layers, since while the ocean was warm, the air was cooler, due to volcanic ash.

Hi John. The whole hiccup of our Earth lasted some three weeks. The tsunami needed a few days to develop and did not last to the end of the hiccup. Lets conclude that you are convinced that it was rain, that I am convinced it was a tsunami and lets stop the discussion this subject.

Jan, let’s conclude that you are not reading nor listening. I never said it was all rain, so that would not be a good conclusion. If I had to say, I would say it was mostly water moving around, also a significant amount of saltywater from under the earth, accompanied by a large amount of rain. Arbitrarily, probably 40% water from under the earth like a geyser, 55% from shifting tectonics (tsunami type flooding and changing sea levels), and 5% from rain. But that is without doing the math. If you are okay to stop discussing this, then that’s allright.

Jan, a book I really enjoyed reading a few years ago is called “In the Beginning”, by Walt Brown, PhD (former evolutionist, christian, professor at US Airforce Naval Academy, PhD in Mechanical Engineering). You might enjoy this book also, since you are interested in the math behind the water for the flood. He deals with many aspects of evolutionary theory, but concentrates primarily on his theory for the flood, and deals with properties of the earth’s core, energy released by gravitational settling, energy in subterranean water, force of overthrusts, friction in subduction, arguments opposing a water canopy, fountains of the deep, and many more topics in this 440 page book which has numerous references. This can also be accessed freely on line.

Jan, just to get in another thought here in response to your comment that a flood would not have caused the glacier to float if it was attached to the rock below… this is interesting, because I had this happen in a plastic tank, where a 10 cm layer of ice at the bottom of the tank did not let go from the bottom, until there was about 100cm of water above it. This was smooth sided tank with no real projections to hold on to the ice, which became melted by the incoming water just enough to let go of the sides and bottom. Greater volumes of ice attached to rocks and crevases would certainly be different situation.

However, most creationists propose that the ice layers and glaciers were formed during an ice age after the flood, and that the method for counting annual layers is faulty. More work is required in this area.

The Genesis Flood is described as deluging Noah’s ERETZ (“land”, “country”, “region”), not the entire planet earth. Plus, only the passage which appears to indicate the “height” of the flood [it’s contestable whether ancient Hebrew had a word for “depth” per se] is very difficult to translate and many of us think the grammar weighs in favor of a total flood crest of just 15 cubits, about 23 feet—not 23 feet above the highest mountain in the world. Plus, the word translated “mountain(s)” can just as easily be rendered “hill(s)”. Of course, there is no Mt. Ararat in the Bible, just a region by that name. I favor the translation “the hill country of Ararat.” Where was the Ararat region? Nobody knows. Placement in Turkey is just one of several ancient traditions about the arks final resting place.

In any case, if Young Earth Creationists are correct in placing Noah’s flood just a few thousand years ago, we know that the earth’s topography in terms of mountain ranges and elevations was little different than today. (If there were violent changes so recently, we’d see evidence of a violent flood everywhere we look. Yet even Young Earth Creationists can’t agree which geologic strata contain the flood debris–because a flood of that magnitude and scope should have left lots of evidence. But it didn’t. Moreover, if it was global in scope, why do we see such throughout the planet such a consistent order in the fossil record instead of the chaotic jumbling produced by floods? Answer: The Hebrew Bible makes no mention of a GLOBAL flood, only a flood of the ERETZ. Even 2nd Peter chooses to refer to a worldwide scope of the flood in terms of the KOSMOS world of people, not the GE world of rocks and continents. So I prefer to interpret the Bible more literally than I did in my Young Earth Creationist days and accept the regional flood the Bible describes.)

Scripture refers to earth, not as Noah’s earth, but the whole earth, and all life under the heavens. Why Noah would spend 100 years building an ark for a flood for his local area, when he could have easily moved to egypt, or spain in 1 tenth that time is a mystery? The waters covered the mountains, that is clear. It doesn’t matter whether they were hills or mountains, they were certainly covered. It doesn’t say how high mountains were, whether they grew or diminished during the year long flood, but they were covered.

Certainly if it was a regional flood, the bible gives no evidence of this. No mention of people who escaped, no mention of animals who escaped, no mention of mountains which were not covered. Yes, the term “global” is not used, since it is not used in the english bible either. All the earth is used. Under the heavens is used. Covering the highest mountains in sight is used. Preponderance of evidence.

We do not have proof that the topography didn’t change during the flood. We also know that floods and moving water can easily lay down sediments in definable visible layers during the course of a small flood. It is reasonable to assume that a large flood would do the same, but the layers would be more numerous, larger, repetitive, and with greater anomalies. Chaotic jumbling is an assumption, based on a particular assumption about how a global flood would operate.

Genesis is written in Hebrew. That’s why scholars don’t work from English translations. If they did so, they would duplicate the errors of your post, which are based on TRADITIONS favored by particular TRANSLATIONS rather than the original TEXT.

Of course, when I was a Young Earth Creationist years ago, the standard rebuttal among my colleagues was to quote from Strong’s Concordance as to the Hebrew lexicon entries–which simply reflects the traditions favored by Dr. Strong. (Interestingly enough, once you get past the first few chapters of the Bible, even the KJV and Strong’s favor land/country/region as well as “soil” and “ground” instead of “planet earth”. As I’ve explained, even in Genesis’ early chapters, the “earth” in the King James and other traditional translations is referring to “the opposite of sky” and not “planet earth”, which didn’t become the primary denotation in modern English until closer to our own time. It is anachronistic for modern readers to impute “planet earth” into even the 1611 English of the King James Version. (And that is a good example of the kinds of information I knew nothing about until I did work in comparative linguistics and historical linguistics, something which didn’t become very common among most Biblical scholars until about the 1970’s or so. Indeed, it was the generation of Dr. Moises Silva and Dr. Black when such perspectives started becoming mainstream at evangelical institutions.)

Yes, it was not until I started focusing on the Hebrew text that I started seeing why so many theologians (even among the early church fathers) held views which differed from ours in the “creation science” movement of the 1960’s.

So I’ll say it again: Scripture refers to ERETZ, not to “earth”, which is also why so many modern English Bible translation constantly interject the recurring translation footnote at the bottom of the page: “or LAND, COUNTRY, REGION” to show that EARTH in the main text was a concession to tradition. [I’ve been involved in enough Bible translations to understand why publishers panic at the backlash which would occur if EARTH was placed at the both of the page as the alternative while LAND were to the main text. Traditionalists would go ballistic and protest the publisher and any bookstore that carried inventory of the “heretical” translation. ]

Of course, there’s the problem with the 2Peter reference as well, as I already explained.

In any case, if there were any doubt as to the proper understanding of the word, we can resolve any ambiguity by consulting God’s other original work: the creation itself. We live on the planet discussed in Genesis—and this planet provides zero evidence for a global flood. Moreover, the biomass is far too great to have been buried in a single catastrophe of a little over a year’s duration—despite what traditional “flood geology” fans say. Indeed, the biomass of sea shells alone far exceeds (understatement of the year) what could be produced even in the 6,000 years claimed by Young Earth Creationists. (It has always made me smile a bit to consider that Ken Ham’s Creation Museum is built upon one of the very biggest piles of geologic and paleontological evidence which debunks a young earth viewpoint and the bogus “flood geology”. If he were to examine any of the nearby road cuts where the buried fossils are easily visible, he’d realized that the volume of biomass couldn’t be generated in even 100,000 years. Sea shells have to absorb their molecules from their watery environment. The metabolism and biomass figures are not difficult to calculate. Even allowing for tremendous variability of rates, a few thousand years won’t do it. Same with the White Cliffs of Dover and so many other formations around the world. Of course, this is where the Young Earth Creationist hypocritically deplore “uniformitarianism” even while totally depending upon it when extrapolating THEIR rates into the past in vain attempts at claiming a young earth.)

So, if someone rejects the Biblical evidence, they can check the evidence in creation (i.e., the universe we live in) and the answers are right in front of us. That is why there is no ambiguity within the geology academy. Facts are facts. And that’s why I couldn’t be a Young Earth Creationist anymore. Evidence matters–and it matters far more than mere traditions, just as translation tradition is always trumped by the original text of the Bible.

As I’ve explained, even in Genesis’ early chapters, the “earth” in the King James and other traditional translations is referring to “the opposite of sky” and not “planet earth”,

It doesn’t matter. Whether it is planet earth, or simply “non-water material substance which looks like rock and soil” (opposite of sky) … either way, it was covered. You have not addressed any of the logistical reasons for understanding “earth” or “land” or how much “land” was involved.

You have raised an interesting point about biomass of seashells. I have no answer for this at present. But, based on a previous (not yours) argument that it would take much longer to produce the biomass for oil and coal in the earth, calculations show that there is plenty of solar energy to create this biomas on earth in less than 1000 years. This doesn’t prove that it happened, but there is no physical barrier to it. Your point about seashells is well taken, but taken with reservations and suspicions.

Growth rates of coral reefs have been shown to potentially be much much greater than presently measured average rates as well. I would not be surprised that growth of seashells clams etc could be greater under certain conditions… but at the moment have no such evidence.

For more detailed commentary on the regional Noahic Flood and how we know from both scripture and creation that there was no global flood a few thousand years ago–and no evidence to suggest a global flood[1]-- you will find some of my articles at the Bible & Science Forum blog (https://bibleandscienceforum.wordpress.com/) and some others at the Facebook pages of Bible.and.Science.Forum and ProfTertius.

[1] That statement is a tongue-in-cheek illustration in response to those who insist on a global flood and who deny The Theory of Evolution and the evidence supporting it in the fossil record. Many “creation science” speakers/writers routinely declared “there is no evidence for _____”, where you can fill in the blank with a long list of evolution and old earth phenomena. I think we can all be honest and admit that what is actually meant is “I find no compelling evidence for _____”. After all, for many such claims in the origins debates, there is certainly evidence, whatever the quality. Accordingly, when evolution-deniers say “There is no evidence for transitional organisms in the fossil record”, what all but the most defiant really mean is “I find the published evidence for transitional organisms in the fossil record personally uncompelling.”

Of course, that does not mean that science textbooks and university lecturers can’t justifiably take the more adamant positions when the academy through the scientific method has made determinations through peer-review. Thus, “There is no scientific evidence for the earth being stationary and the sun orbiting the earth.” is a legitimate declarative statement–even though there are people who argue otherwise. What they consider “evidence” has been reviewed by the academy and rejected as erroneous and invalid. Science is built on compelling evidence, not “100.0% proof”, because proofs only apply to mathematics. Thus, the academic can rightly teach declarative propositions of scientific knowledge even if those outside the academy (and perhaps some within the academy) disregard the evidence as personally uncompelling. Therefore, careful nuance applies to personal opinion, not the conclusions of the science academy which have established textbook science. A student with a solid background in the foundations of science and a knowledge of how it operates should understand why carefully parsed disclaimers are unnecessary when learning about The Laws of Thermodynamics, for example.

[That said, here is where those outside the academy will claim “that science is constantly proven wrong.” That’s when I no longer engage the issue and refer students to the classic essay on this topic by Isaac Asimov.]

Bottom line: A geology professor can say during his lecture to undergrads, “There is zero geologic evidence for a global flood” because that is a fact. Indeed, creationist geologists who helped pioneer the science of geology excitedly searched for geologic evidence for a global Noahic Flood and fully expected to find it and learn all sorts of fascinating things from the flood debris. Because they followed the evidence where it led, they realized that their interpretations of the Bible must have been flawed. Yet in the process they made enormous contributions to science. I went through a similar process in my own earnest investigation to confirm my “creation science” Young Earth Creationist position in the 1960’s. Yet, the evidence from the Hebrew scriptures and creation itself convinced me of the fact that I had been presupposing the cherished traditions of my church and my heritage within it.

Incidentally, I have great respect for a Young Earth Creationist friend of mine who freely admits that there is zero geologic evidence for a global flood. He says: “It is God’s nature to deal with the sins of humans and then putting them in the past, forgotten forever. So after God destroyed the earth in a flood, he miraculously erased all evidence, including all of the flood debris and dead animals which should have been easy to find in a particular band of geologic strata.” And then he quotes God: “I will remember your sin no more.” and says that God forgives and removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. I’m not saying I agree with all of his theology but I appreciate that he realizes his view on the flood requires him to explain the lack of evidence in the earth’s crust. There’s no geologic evidence for a global flood and he doesn’t try to deny that.

Tertius, the problem is conflating evolution with science. They are not the same. Nor is evolution equivalent to gravity, heliocentrism, or thermodynamics. If it is equivalent to heliocentrism, then it could be equivalent to geocentrism. Furthermore, when some say that science is constantly proven wrong, this should not be taken literally, but should be taken to mean that scientific theories are constantly being proven wrong. And of course by that they mean at least that geocentrism gave way to heliocentrism, and that relativity expands on theory of gravity, and that coelecanth fish was actually not extinct, and that phylogenetic tree was revised by discovery of micro-genetics, etc, etc… They do not mean that the practice of science, or the exercise of science is always being proven wrong.

Your geology professor can say that there is not "compelling"evidence for a global flood, but to say there is “no” evidence would be equivalent to saying that there is zero evidence for common descent. Most of the sediments on earth are waterlaid, and we find seashells on the highest mountain tops around the world. That may not be compelling to some, but it certainly raises the question. Just for starters.

If you are going to play that game, why not ask:

  1. Why did God take six days to build a universe and everything in it when he could have done the creating in an instant?

  2. Why did the Children of Israel march seven times around the city and then blow trumpets and yet when God could have simply destroyed the walls without their doing anything?

  3. Why did God bother with an ark at all? If what you are saying is true and the logic sound, why didn’t God just give all of ungodly a stroke so they would die instantly?

What I’ve always found surprisingly lame about the “Noah couldn’t have moved out of the area” argument is that a great many Young Earth Creationist fundamentalist churches also consistently teach that the ark was a type for the salvific work of Christ. They preach Christ to be “the ark of our salvation” and just as sinners today must repent and find salvation in God’s provision, the cross, the sinners in Noah’s day were given over a century to repent, “because God is not willing that anyone should perish but that all would have opportunity for salvation.” They preach that crowds would have come to see this strange site, the construction of a huge “floating barge” and that Noah used that opportunity to preach sermons calling for their repentance and salvation through faith in God’s provision: the ark.

Thus, even when I was a Young Earth Creationist, I was baffled by the self-contradictions of such standard responses to the questions from critics. And whenever they couldn’t justify their position when even they had to admit inconsistencies, back then and just as much today, they will say, “The Bible tells us that our ways are not God’s ways. We don’t always think God’s decisions make sense but we are applying our fallible human logic. We also don’t know all of the reasons behind God’s plans.”

Indeed, even before I became fully aware of the serious sin problems which disturbed me within the movement, I was more and more frustrated by contradictory arguments, even within the same “creation science” book and conference lecture. I’ve published many examples which you can find on the Bible.and.Science.Forum blog and webpages. (For example, Young Earth Creationists who deny evolutionary biology and the fossil record say that uniformitarian methodologies in science are hopelessly flawed and unreliable—yet when you look at their “100 Evidences for a Young Earth”, virtually all of them are based on uniformitarian methodologies!..usually by extrapolating various rates of natural processes into the past!)

So I’m quite surprised you would dredge up that old “Noah’s family would have simply walked out of the flood area” argument—especially when it simply dismisses God’s purposes in the ark foreshadowing Christ, “the ark of our salvation where sinners who repent can avoid judgment.”

Meanwhile, you’ve made sweeping statements about the alleged globality of the flood by citing English Bible translation tradition. You surely are aware of the footnotes about the translation issues appearing at the bottom of the pages in Genesis in most modern Bible translations.

If the Bible actually described a global flood, I would freely assert such a fact. And surely you are aware of the history of Hebrew hermeneutics in Genesis, especially concerning the early church fathers.

You see, I’m much more interested in the Biblical texts than in the traditions. It was when I started to make that distinction has I re-examined my beliefs that I had to revise my views on Genesis. (My Roman Catholic colleagues were very focused on tradition but I am not.)

Unfortunately, I must prepare for my travel so I can’t answer a lot of questions right now but many of my articles at the webpages I mentioned will address most of the standard predictable questions and arguments. (I hope you will understand that I knew and preached all of those traditional claims and rebuttals, such as the self-defeating “They could have walked out of the floodplain” logic failure–which also forgets Jonah’s decision to use that same kind of walk-away from-the-disaster option.) I had virtually memorized Morris & Whitcomb’s The Genesis Flood for my debates against “those materialist evolutionists” on the university campuses.

P.S. I find it interesting that in a half century since I was part of the “creation science” movement as a very ardent Young Earth Creationist, neither the scripture evidence and arguments–nor the scientific evidence and arguments based on God’s creation–have improved. It is as if the movement doesn’t even try to make their case to scientists and theologians. Those same short-sighted, self-refuting/self-contradictory standard replies are still repeated as if there’s no attempt to make a stronger case for their traditions.

Sadly, about the only thing new and different are the sad catchphrases that don’t even try to appeal to thinking adults: “Were you there?”, “That’s not observational science!”, “Evolution is a theory in crisis!” And pablum like “Dating rocks by the fossils and fossils by the rocks is circular reasoning.” is not just untrue, it’s dishonest. (I used to watch scientists in the audience concisely explain that error and many others during Q&A–and then the speaker would ignore it and repeat it the next weekend at another “creation weekend” conference. So it is not like “I didn’t know better!” provides an excuse after the first time one is corrected.)

I’m flabbergasted when I look at the outline of arguments on the Creation.com website. So many of the tactics and false factoids are verbatim from a half century ago. Most are even more ridiculous now than back then. In the 1960’s there was no Internet [I was thrilled to get Arpanet but there was little on it back then] and it was much more difficult to search out the original citations and get to the bottom of “creation science” claims in the light of current science. Yes, it was much easier to hide behind our ignorance. Nevertheless, we should have been far more rigorous and much less gullible and trusting about the deceptive quote-mining, even if we didn’t have access to today’s “Quote-mine database catalogs.”