I had to just shake my head when I read a recent blog post by Scientific American writer Dana Hunter. (I’ve blogged about her writing before.) It contained a strategy for evolutionists to go on the offensive against creationists. Well, this strategy is not really anything new and the article was filled with the usual misinformation and ridiculous claims.
Hunter’s blog makes it really clear that she thinks the argument is all about evidence—but it’s actually about an interpretation in regard to the past. I pointed this out repeatedly during the Bill Nye debate. Hunter completely misrepresents the nature of the debate because it’s evolutionists like her who absolutely refuse to acknowledge the difference between observational and historical science. It’s because they have already defined evolutionary geology (millions of years) as fact! They have beliefs but refuse to admit it.
She titles her blog post “An Offensive Strategy for Dealing with Creationist Attacks on Science.” Creationists do not attack science. It seems like no matter how many times we address this claim, secularists just keep on saying it. But creationists do not attack science. We love science! What we do reject are the secular worldview-based assumptions behind the interpretation of the evidence in relation to the origins issue.
Hunter then says that evolutionists need to go on the offensive instead of the defensive. This is ridiculous. They have been on the offensive—they have been able to get legislation to protect their views and not allow millions of students to hear the problems with their views or the evidence that confirms the creationist position. They force their dogma upon people, and they are intolerant of creationists because there are implications regarding purpose, meaning, morality, and so on from one’s belief in origins. They have been on the offensive in regard to this issue for many years. Naturalism is a religion—it’s the religion of atheism. They have been on the offensive to protect their religion and force it on the culture.
She writes that evolutionists need to “keep after them, when you get chances to confront them in public, or even just casually. Demand the mountains of rock-solid data. Demand the models that explain and predict more elegantly than our current ones. Demand they confront and resolve unanswered questions with their models. Demand the peer-reviewed papers that specifically back up their claims, and if they haven’t got them, demand they write up and submit their work to reputable professional journals. Settle for nothing less than valid science of such quality that it can win majority support amongst the professionals. If they can’t provide that, too bad for them. They’ll have to come back when they can . . . . They want their version of science accepted? They’ll have to do the hard work, and provide the kind of undeniable evidence it takes to change well-supported scientific paradigms.”
Honestly, this is another ridiculous item to write. Evolutionists are constantly demanding evidence to back up our position and yet, whenever we present any evidence, they reject it because it goes against their naturalistic assumptions—they reject our interpretation of the evidence even though observational science confirms it. If Hunter or any other evolutionist really cared about seeing the evidence for biblical creation—all the “hard work” we’ve already done—all they have to do is spend a few minutes on our website. Yet they refuse to acknowledge any of the ‘evidence’ we present. Why? Because the interpretation contradicts their presupposition that life arose naturalistically and that the universe is billions of years old. This is not a battle over the evidence. It’s a battle between two different worldviews and their interpretation of the evidence!
Well, Dana Hunter also coaches evolutionists to demand “the peer-reviewed papers that specifically back up their claims, and if they haven’t got them, demand they write up and submit their work to reputable professional journals.” These days, if a known creationist submits a paper to a secular journal, usually it is rejected because the author is creationist or the paper has positive creationist implications. Regardless of the qualifications of the author or the quality of the research, most scientific journals refuse to print anything with creationist implications. Our resident geologist, Dr. Andrew Snelling, who earned his PhD from the University of Sydney in Australia, says the following of Hunter’s demand for peer-reviewed literature from creationists:
While Dr. Steve Austin was working at the Institute for Creation Research he wrote a technical paper thoroughly documenting the unique straight-shelled nautiloid fossils and the fossil graveyard bed they are in that stretches the length of the Grand Canyon and beyond, based on his meticulous field work over a vast area. Every time he submitted the paper to relevant secular technical journals, the reviewers and editors rejected it, and invariably the excuses were nit-picky or vague to irrelevant. Even when he complied with editors’ requests and revised the paper, it still got rejected every time, quite clearly because he is well known as a creationist and the paper challenged secular uniformitarian thinking. Dr. John Whitmore, geology professor at Cedarville University, has repeatedly had secular journals reject two papers presenting observational data on the Coconino Sandstone of the Grand Canyon area. One presented mineralogical and grain characteristics data from a large suite of samples, and the other presented observed structures in the sandstone layer. Both papers carefully and exhaustively documented these data, but the papers were repeatedly rejected because these evidences are only explainable by massive marine flooding of the continent, which overturns the prevailing desert interpretation for deposition of this sandstone, and because John and his co-workers are known creationists. After three previous successful Grand Canyon research and sampling permits, my latest application was denied on the basis of my being a known creationist, as revealed by the Freedom of Information investigation of the correspondence between officials and secular academic reviewers.
Actually creationists have developed their own peer-reviewed journals like the or the Creation Research Society Quarterly, but because they are creationist they are automatically rejected. So as much as Hunter demands that creationists publish in secular, peer-reviewed journals, she will likely just reject these articles when they are presented to her because of her evolutionary and naturalistic bias.
You see, creationists do rigorous research—like Dr. Snelling has on radiometric dating—but secularists ignore it because the implications are against millions of years being fact. Dr. Snelling writes the following:
The fact is that I had three successful permits to do research and collect rock samples in the Grand Canyon, which resulted in laboratory and analytical work being done to radioisotope date by multiple methods several prominent rock units in the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon and to document the widespread occurrence of physical evidence for the past accelerated radioactive uranium decay (uranium and polonium radiohalos) in the granites and schists through the length of the Inner Gorge. This research produced numerous technical papers in conference proceedings and contributed to several chapters in a technical monograph, all thoroughly peer-reviewed before publication. Studies also involving field and sampling work in many other locations, as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom have similarly resulted in laboratory and analytical work that produced numerous technical papers on radioisotope dating and radiohalos in several peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings volumes. Several of these technical papers have received awards as the best research presentations at several conferences (as voted by peers). All of this has been rigorous original scientific research.
Now, Hunter also claims that this offensive strategy will help deal with “creationists and Intelligent Design proponents who are attempting to force their nonsense into science class.” But most creationists do not try to legislate to get creation taught in science classes. That has never been a goal of AiG and is well documented on our website. Although AiG would like to see teachers be given freedom to present the difference between observational and historical science and to allow students to hear other views and the problems with evolution, AiG has never been involved politically in such matters. But we do try to inform the public that evolutionists basically have their views protected by the government so, in essence, it’s a state religion taught to kids.
Hunter also wrote, “I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading about the failures of young earth creationist attempts at doing geology.” Biblical creationists can do geology. For example, when geologists are finding oil or other deposits, it has nothing to do with millions of years, but everything to do with the type of strata and how it’s been laid down. Creationists and evolutionists can use the same names for the layers to find oil and other deposits—it’s not the age that matters but the type of layers. Dr. Snelling writes the following:
Successful oil and mineral exploration and discoveries do not depend on believing the strata are millions of years old. In fact, the supposed ages are irrelevant, both to the exploration techniques used and to successful discoveries. I personally was involved in such work throughout Australia for several successful commercial exploration and mining companies over nearly ten years.
In the case of oil deposits, geologists first survey the targeted sedimentary basin, sampling prospective source sedimentary rocks that might have generated oil from organic matter buried in them and looking in them at the state of the fossilized organic remains (primarily plants and algae) to determine if they had been subjected to temperatures and pressures high enough to generate the oil from them. If the sampled sedimentary rocks show evidence of the buried organic matter in them having been subjected to what is known as the “oil window,” then geophysical surveys using seismic and other techniques are conducted to map the subsurface to find suitable structural and other “traps” in suitable reservoir rocks above the source rocks, porous enough for the oil to migrate into and then be trapped. Once such traps are located then holes are drilled down into those traps in the reservoir rocks in the expectation of finding the trapped oil (and gas). At no point in this exploration and discovery sequence is the supposed age of the rocks relevant.
In the case of finding a gold deposit, one first decides what area to explore based on the types of rocks known to host gold deposits. Once that area has been decided on, field surveys are done in which outcrops, soils and stream sediments are sampled. The samples are analyzed in the lab for gold and other metals that occur in gold deposits. The results highlight locations within that explored area where the gold and other metal values are higher and thus anomalous. Those locations may then be further sampled at closer spaced intervals to narrow down target zones. Various geophysical surveys using magnetic, gravity, electrical and other techniques may or may not then be conducted to try and map the subsurface in order to figure out the way the potential host strata may be dipping, and even find targets of denser rock containing the gold and other metals. Finally suitable potential targets are drilled into, bringing to the surface samples of the rocks being drilled through, that can then be examined visually for gold and the other metals, followed up by lab assaying to determine whether the find is of economic grade. Further spatially stepped out holes may then drilled on a grid pattern over the find to determine the size (length, width and thickness) of the economic gold deposit so the ore tonnage and grade can be calculated ahead of a proposed mining operation. Again, at no point in this sequence from exploration to discovery and proving up an economic gold deposit is the supposed age of the rocks relevant.
Creationists need to respond to demands such as the ones made by this author by doing what I did during my debate with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” last year—teach people the truth about science, that there are two kinds of science, observational and historical. Teach people to distinguish between beliefs about the past and what is directly observed. Help people to understand the difference between origins (historical science) and developing technology (observational science).
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
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