I’ve got good news for you Star Trek TV/movie fans—biblical creation is just like Star Trek! Well, not really, but that’s what a blogger with Patheos would like us to believe.
Fred Clark writes that when we watch or read science fiction, we willingly suspend our disbelief of things that obviously don’t work because we love the story. In science fiction, you don’t have to prove that things like Star Trek’s “warp speed” actually work—you just have to use enough scientific-sounding language (called phlebotinum) to make it sound plausible. Clark then makes the claim that this is exactly what biblical creationists do!
The example he cites is about radiometric dating. He writes the following:
Click over to Answers in Genesis and search for articles on radioactive dating methods and you’ll find lots of phlebotinum—lots of articles explaining that such methods are unreliable because mumblemumblemumble gravimetric field displacement mumblemumble reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.
Do any of these articles actually make sense? Do any of them really disprove the reliability of things like uranium-thorium dating?
No, but that’s not the point. They don’t have to prove that such methods are unreliable any more than Gene Roddenberry had to prove that his warp drive was possible. Phlebotinum doesn’t need to be detailed and fully functional—that’s not what it’s for.
The purpose of phlebotinum is simply to allow the story to continue—to prevent it from getting derailed by the inconvenient existence of impossibilities and insurmountable realities.
Problems with Radiometric DatingNow, are our problems with radiometric dating based simply on “phlebotinum”? Not at all! We merely—through solid, scientific study done by PhD scientists—challenge the unprovable assumptions behind radiometric dating methods. Understanding the problems with radiometric dating involves recognizing the two different kinds of science: observational and historical science. Observational science is testable, repeatable, and observable. Historical science involves what happened in the past, and cannot be tested, repeated, or observed. Therefore, what you believe about historical science is going to be shaped by your assumptions. If you start with man’s word that Earth is billions of years old, you will reach completely different conclusions than if you start with God’s Word. God’s Word records that Earth is only a few thousand years old and that it was devastated by a global Flood. This account of Earth’s history is a reliable one because God was there! Our challenges to the historical science-laden assumptions of radiometric dating are based on our starting point, the Creator God’s eyewitness account of the creation of the heavens and Earth as recorded in His Word, and then on solid, observational science that was done in world-class labs, and that is scientifically documented.
Applying Observational Science to Radiometric DatingHere is one way observational science can be applied to radiometric dating. Creation geologists have gone into the field and collected rock samples, which were sent to world-class labs for chemical analyses. The field work, rock samples, and chemical analyses are the observational science, as they can be repeated with more field work, more rock samples, and more chemical analyses. The same rock samples can even be sent to other labs to repeat the analyses. However, what Fred Clark and so many other evolutionists are confused about (or what they knowingly ignore) is that the chemical analyses have to be interpreted to obtain a radiometric age for the rock samples, and that all interpretations about what happened in the past require unprovable assumptions. The assumptions are unprovable because no scientists were around in the past to check out whether the assumptions are true or not. That’s why creation geologists question the assumptions behind radiometric dating.
One such assumption is that little or no contamination has occurred since the rock was formed. This assumption is clearly questionable in light of the observational evidence. In one example, a creation geologist collected samples of volcanic rocks from Mt. Ngauruhoe in New Zealandand sent them for analyses at a world-class lab. These rocks were observed to have formed only 50 years ago during witnessed volcanic eruptions. But when the rocks were dated with radiometric dating methods, the results gave differing ages of 133 million years, 197 million years, and 3,908 million years depending on which radiometric dating method was used! Obviously, all those ages can’t be right—especially since the rock was known to be only 50 years old! What happened is that the 50-year-old rocks had been contaminated when they erupted so they yielded far older ages than their actual age. Thus if these rocks, whose real age we know from observation, give wrong radiometric ages due to contamination, then how do we know the radiometric ages for rocks of unknown real ages are not also due to contamination? And this is just one example of many that shows that the unprovable assumptions behind radiometric dating are false!
Evolution Is Actually Science Fiction!It is not biblical creation that is science fiction—it’s actually evolution that is! Molecules-to-man evolution has never been seen to occur. Now, many evolutionists try to conveniently get around this problem by equating evolution with natural selection. But they aren’t the same thing. What is termed natural selection is an observable process that we see operating in the world around us. It leads to variations within a created kind, but it has never—not even once—been observed to change one kind of animal into another. And natural selection, a supposed driving force of evolution, is actually opposite to evolution! Natural selection works on existing information, usually leading to a decrease (or at least re-arrangement) of information, but it never creates brand-new information. But evolution requires the addition of new information. You can’t turn a dinosaur into a bird without the addition of new information! But no known process adds information to DNA that could result in molecules-to-man evolution.
Evolution also can’t explain how the first law of biology, the Law of Biogenesis, was violated in the beginning. The Law of Biogenesis states that life cannot come from non-life. There is no known way to violate this law, and yet evolutionists have faith that at some time in the past, by unknown processes, life spontaneously arose from non-life.
Can Fred Clark, who accuses us of believing science fiction, answer the questions posed to Bill Nye “the Science Guy” during our debate in February? Where did consciousness come from? Where did matter come from? Of course he can’t answer these questions from a purely naturalistic explanation because there isn’t one! But there is a Book that tells us where consciousness, matter, and everything else came from. I challenge Clark and other Christians who compromise with man’s ideas to stop trusting in science fiction, which can’t explain our origins, and instead trust in God’s Word, which clearly tells us how and when God created. After all, the evidence is consistent with God’s Word—not man’s. In my live presentation Science Confirms the Bible (available on DVD), I show young people how geology, anthropology, astronomy, biology, and so on actually confirm God’s Word. I encourage you to read my article “Doesn’t Science Disprove the Bible?” for more on this topic.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.