The up-to-date research from our creation scientists and scholars helps keep our speakers and writers equipped with the latest information and arguments—all from a biblical starting point. Last week at the Answers Mega Conference, some of the newest research was presented by highly qualified creation scientists.
This Answers Research Summit was an in-depth, technical conference geared toward updating our audience with insightful research that will help them understand the world from a biblical perspective. The secular world continues to spread its message of evolutionary-worldview-driven interpretations through public schools, media, and many other places, so it is important to combat that false teaching with truth based on God’s Word.
This is why Answers in Genesis has a Research Department. Its goal is to make sure we have the latest research so that we can show people that the evidence we see is consistent with God’s Word, contrary to the belief of most secular scientists. The Research Department is directed by Dr. Andrew Snelling, who has a PhD in geology.
Dr. Snelling also manages the Answers Research Journal (ARJ), which is a professional, peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework. You can view the papers for free on the ARJ website.
Last Thursday evening, the first three speakers gave presentations on biology:
Dr. Jean Lightner
Dr. Lightner who has a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) spoke on “Determining the Ark Kinds.” The purpose of the research she presented is to eventually depict the animals on the full-size Ark AiG plans to build in northern Kentucky. See ArkEncounter.com for more information about this project. There are many different estimates on how many animals were on the Ark, but AiG is looking for a realistic estimate. So a team of experts was put together to accomplish this huge task.
First, they started with Scripture. The Bible does not answer all of the questions the team would love to ask, but God’s Word gives us the proper starting point. From Genesis 1, we know that animals were created according to their kinds. Regarding humans, Dr. Lightner stated, “Humans were not said to be created according to their kinds; instead humans were created in the image of God.” We are entirely different from animals, and distinguishing between the two is very important. God gave mankind dominion over all of the animals.
When we come to the Flood account, land and flying animals (air-breathing, land-dwelling animals) were taken aboard the Ark. Skeptics say that there was not enough room, but they typically include marine animals. Animals were there according to their kinds (which is usually at the family level)—not species.
Second, there are various methods in helping to determine the Ark kinds, such as hybridization data, the cognitum concept (recognizing similarities), and statistical baraminology. You can find out more about these methods and the Ark kinds research that Dr. Lightner presented in the ARJ at Determining the Ark Kinds and Mammalian Ark Kinds.
Dr. Andrew Fabich
Microbiologist Dr. Andrew Fabich presented a talk on “Microbial Ecology of Antibiotics: A Closer Look at E. coli Adaption.” Dr. Fabich started out by saying, “I am a little different in that I like bacteria and E. Coli.” There are many different types of E. coli. As Dr. Fabich said, “There’s the good E. coli, and there’s the bad E. coli.” Of course, evolutionists will use E. coli in an attempt to prove their worldview, but Dr. Fabich stated, “I suggest to you that we have apparent ancestry with a common design, not apparent design with common ancestry [contrary to many evolutionists].”
Dr. Fabich pointed out that Dawkins put in his book, The Greatest Show on Earth, that Lenski’s experiments on E. Coli bring distress to creationists for good reason. To which Dr. Fabich said, “I am a creationist. I’m not distressed. I have good reason.”
Evolutionists say bacteria are rapidly evolving, but Dr. Fabich went into detail to explain his experiments. He clearly showed why the evolutionists’ claims of bacteria supporting the concept of molecules-to-man evolution are not true. At the end of the day, bacteria never change into anything else—they remain consistent according to their kind.
Dr. Georgia Purdom
Dr. Georgia Purdom has a PhD in molecular genetics and is a speaker for Answers in Genesis. She gave a presentation on microbes, which was titled “Understanding the Organosubstrate: From Rocks to Disease.” Dr. Purdom asked, “What day did God create microbes?” She said that the creation of microbes is not discussed in the Bible. We do know, however, that many are symbiotic, so the ones with plants would have been created on Day Three, sea and flying creatures on Day Five, and animals and humans on Day Six.
What are the roles of microbes? From Scripture, we know that none of them caused disease before the Fall. Today, less than 10 percent cause disease. Dr. Purdom said that microbial communities are kind of like a city, where each microbe has a different role and they work together to build the community.
The study of microbes can help creationists understand one pre-Flood environment, that of stromatolites, fossilized structures originally built by multiple kinds of bacteria. Moreover, bacteria are very beneficial in that they can break down minerals in rocks and make the elements in them available to us. This is just in relation to rocks, and there are many other types of microbes with many different roles.
Are bacteria an appropriate model for evolutionary biology? There are only differences within a kind and nothing else, so the simple answer is no. Dr. Purdom went into details about microbes from a biblical starting point, describing their roles and functions and gave many examples in the modern world.
On Friday morning, the next three speakers gave presentations on the issues regarding the age of the earth and universe:
Dr. Terry Mortenson
Dr. Terry Mortenson has a PhD in the history of geology and is a speaker for Answers in Genesis. His presentation, “Refuting Current Persuasive ‘Biblical’ Arguments Against Young-Earth Creation,” showed why believing in millions of years is placing man’s opinions above God’s Word.
Dr. Mortenson talked about how the judgment of God in Genesis 3 was not just spiritual but physical., God cursed the ground, and at the Flood of Noah destroyed every living thing. Because of man’s sin, God punished man’s domain, his realm. Genesis is very clear that God judged the world, and we see that over and over again in Scripture.
With that being said, what kind of God would call His creation “very good” if disease, death, and suffering already existed? Scripture is very clear that God created a perfect world with no disease, earthquakes, or tsunamis. Sin entered the world in Genesis 3, and it brought all kinds of disease and suffering. However, God promises to restore all things where there will be no more death, disease, and suffering (Revelation 21:4).
Theistic evolutionists, however, believe in millions of years, which demand that death and disease existed pre-Fall, contrary to the Word of God. Dr. Mortenson used many examples of well-known, highly respected speakers and theologians who have compromised. He showed that they offer weak explanations of how the supposed millions-of-years age of the earth apparently “fits” Scripture, and showed biblically why they are wrong.
Dr. Danny Faulkner
Dr. Danny Faulkner has PhD in astronomy and is a researcher and writer for Answers in Genesis. He talked on “Things that Go Bump in the Dark: Do Black Holes and Dark Matter Exist?” Dr. Faulkner listed the following common objections to black holes and dark matter:
- “We don’t see these things. If we can’t see them, do they really exist?”
- “How can we believe in them if we don’t see something, or aren’t they hypothesized solely to salvage evolutionary ideas?”
However, as Dr. Faulkner pointed out, there are other things that we believe in but do not see, such as wind and electrons, which we can learn about in science. So, is there evidence that black holes and dark matter actually exist?
What is a black hole? It is a small massive object for which the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. The name was coined in 1963. One way black holes can be detected is by the motion of stars around the black holes. Dr. Faulkner went into detail about black holes, giving a number of examples. He showed the audience the inconsistencies and lack of explanation in evolutionary theory regarding black holes.
What is dark matter? Well, we do not know, but it is probably some form of matter that we do not know of yet. We think we are so clever, but we do not even know what most of the universe is made of, which is very humbling and exciting, as Dr. Faulkner said. So what about the evolutionary view? There is no evolutionary view needed at all to understand what dark matter is. But if dark matter really dominates the mass of the universe, it ought to be in the models of the big bang. Dr. Faulkner stated, “As a Christian, we should not be afraid of dark matter or black holes.”
Dr. Andrew Snelling
Dr. Andrew Snelling, Director of Research at Answers in Genesis, gave a talk on “The Latest in Radiometric Dating Research: Where Should We be Heading?” Radioactive dating assumes that the rate of radioactive decay has remained constant at today’s measured rate. However, the rocks are not in a closed system. How do we know the rate has remained constant? The key point is that we do not. The past cannot be observed or measured.
Dr. Snelling gave many specific examples of radiometric dating. One such example was diamonds; they yield a date of six billion years, but that is older than the earth itself! Did you know that the age of the earth was not determined by earth rocks? It was determined by meteorites in 1956. There is the added assumption that the meteorites are representatives of the primordial earth material.
As can be seen from these two examples, there is a significant worldview bias in the use of these dating methods. The results derived by the secularists agree only because of the assumption that they should agree. They manipulate the decay rate data to make dates by different methods agree, not because of dishonesty but because of their worldview.
As Christians, we do have someone who has given us an account of the past—God’s Word. Using the Bible, we know that the world is only about 6,000 years old. Did you know that helium diffusion dating gave a helium diffusion age for a granite that is supposed to be 1,500 million years old (according to uranium-lead dating) of about 6,000 years? However, only that one rock unit has so far been tested, and thus we need more rock units tested for helium diffusion ages vs. radiometric ages. As Dr. Snelling stated, “Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we went to Canada and Australia and we looked at granites of other ages, and they all yielded the same helium diffusion age of about 6,000 years?”
Moreover, Dr. Snelling said that we need more data from rock units that yield discordant radiometric dates by the different methods. Much of this information can already be found on the AnswersInGenesis.org website just by using the search function.