Why Don’t More People Accept the Young-Earth View of Speciation?

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In our series of articles on the biological echo of the Ark’s existence, we’ve seen tremendous scientific confirmation of everything the Bible speaks to on this topic. Evidence from genetics and from Darwin himself argues for the recent origin of species. In addition, comparison of various genetic clocks to one another illuminates the fact of God’s frontloading of the various kinds at creation with the potential for speciation. These facts also simultaneously explain why massive—but limited—speciation can occur on a short timescale. All of these data together lead to testable scientific predictions that put the evolutionary and old-earth creation models to shame.

However, surveys of the professional scientific community in the United States show that the overwhelming majority reject creation and accept evolution—97% or more.1 Why don’t more scientists accept what we’ve proposed?

For many, the answer is ignorance.

For many, the answer is ignorance. In the US public educational system, the courts have effectively forbidden the teaching of what I’ve just outlined. Not surprisingly, since the vast majority of scientists are trained in this public education system, they are completely unaware of the existence of my conclusions.

Demonstrating this fact to be true is not difficult, though some scientists are subtle in their failure to engage our arguments. For example, the Senior Advisor for Dialogue at BioLogos,2 Darrel Falk, has publicly called for more dialogue on the creation-evolution issue.3 Yet when I’ve pressed him and pleaded that he scientifically review my papers, he has evaded giving an answer.4 I first made my request in September of 2015. To date, he has yet to accept it.

Conversely, even in the course of this series, evolutionists have illustrated my main point. For example, going back in our series to our discussion of the origin of genetic diversity, I summarized the data and conclusions from the 29,000-word technical paper5 that I published earlier this year. To make it clear that the web post was summarizing previously published work, I referenced the technical paper repeatedly. A recent article on the Panda’s Thumb blog has attempted to rebut my conclusions.6

The author, David MacMillan, comes with significant creationist and scientific credentials. Self-described as “an author, engineer, and researcher who formerly wrote for Answers in Genesis before obtaining his degree in physics,”7 MacMillan should know the details of the creationist position more than the vast majority of participants in the origins debate. Remarkably, the manner in which he tries to criticize my article reveals much more about him—and evolutionists in general—than it does about my data.

Of the many strong denunciations he makes, the following sequence of statements reveals a major oversight. First, MacMillan quotes one of my statements from the previous web article:

Once the animals stepped off the Ark, their reservoir of DNA differences could have easily translated into a massive amount of morphological change.

Then he criticizes this conclusion:

This claim is clear, concise, and well-defined. Jeanson could go on to provide evidence for this claim or make verifiable predictions associated with it. For example, he could point to observed speciation events matching this model (if any existed), or he could predict a series of conditions under which a single pair of organisms can produce rapid multiple branching speciation in its offspring.

But he doesn’t.

How did MacMillan reach his conclusion? Did he wade through all 29,000 words of my technical paper, exhaustively examining the data and searching for a testable prediction? Had he done so, he would have found abundant testable predictions.

But it gets worse. MacMillan didn’t need to spend hours combing through technical data. In fact, all he needed to do was read the abstract of the paper—the 135-word summary on the first page of the paper. The last line of the abstract states:

Our Created Heterozygosity and Natural Processes (CHNP) model significantly advances the young-creation explanation for the origin of species, and it makes testable predictions by which it can be further confirmed or rejected in the future.8

Obviously, MacMillan either failed to check his facts, or he is being deliberately deceptive. Either way, his claim is intellectually dishonest, and the rest of his criticisms in his article follow a similar path.

These sorts of errors are pervasive. For example, one of the most vocal critics of Answers in Genesis is Joel Duff, a biology professor at the University of Akron. He has a PhD in Molecular Systematics and Evolution and has published numerous technical papers in the conventional peer-reviewed literature. In short, he knows how the process of science works and how peer-review and accountability are critical to the scientific process.

But when it comes to criticizing creation, Duff regularly abandons the accountability of peer-review, choosing instead to launch broadsides from his blog.9 Unlike the technical literature, blog posts are not typically peer-reviewed and, therefore, represent one of the worst sources of scientific information. In fact, Duff deliberately frees himself of accountability with this disclaimer:

The thoughts I have expressed in old posts may have changed over time and thus don’t necessarily represent my current state of thought on some topics.10

In contrast, the peer-reviewed technical literature regularly publishes corrections, errata, and retractions as authors reconsider earlier claims in light of new information.

Consistent with Duff’s approach to the origins controversy, Duff gave an unqualified and enthusiastic endorsement to MacMillan’s article:

I would also highly recommend a recent article by David MacMillan that examines Dr. Jeanson’s attempts to provide a genetic explanation for rapid-speciation. That article, Creationists evolve “new” arguments to explain genetic diversity, was published at Panda’s Thumb.11

In light of what we just observed in MacMillian’s article, it appears that either Duff has failed to read even the abstract of my technical paper, or Duff has not read MacMillan’s post. Had Duff actually read both, he could not have given an unqualified endorsement to an article that manifests such basic factual errors. This example of poor scholarship is symptomatic of Duff’s approach to the origins issue, and many of his other posts reflect similar shortsightedness on our technical papers.

Not surprisingly, my explanation for scientific community’s resistance to these ideas has, itself, been resisted. Yet, in one case, the attempt at resistance actually ended up further supporting my contention.12

Evolutionists are unaware of our scientific literature; and even when they become aware, they appear to prefer ignorance of the key scientific details.

In summary, evolutionists are unaware of our scientific literature; and even when they become aware, they appear to prefer ignorance of the key scientific details.

You don’t have to take my word on this conclusion. Here are some ways that you can investigate the evolutionists’ strategy and explore why so many scientists object to young-earth creation:

  • Share the links to this series as far and wide as you can.
  • As you encounter evolutionists, ask them to name the major young-earth creation technical journals. If they can, ask them how many papers that they have read in those journals. Press them to describe the details in these papers. If, as I suspect, they are unable to supply the requested information, share links to the technical papers that we have published and footnoted in this series.
  • Follow up with them to see if they’ve read them. And then send us a write-up of the results.

Together, in time, we might be able to document a widespread phenomenon—at which point, the burden of proof will be on our opponents.

Footnotes

  1. “Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media Section 5: Evolution, Climate Change and Other Issues,” Pew Research Center, July 9, 2009, http://www.people-press.org/2009/07/09/section-5-evolution-climate-change-and-other-issues/.
  2. As of August 3, 2016; see “Darrell Falk,” BioLogos, http://biologos.org/about-us/our-team/darrel-falk. BioLogos is an organization that endorses evolution while professing Christianity.
  3. Andrew Schmutzer, Darrel Falk, Nathaniel Jeanson, “Panel Discussion on Genetics and Genesis—Apes to Adam?,” Session, recorded at the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Atlanta, GA, November 2015, http://www.wordmp3.com/details.aspx?id=21252; start around 1:55:00 mark and listen to approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Ibid.; listen especially to exchange around the 2:17:00 mark and in the 15 minutes following.
  5. Nathaniel Jeanson and Jason Lisle, “On the Origin of Eukaryotic Species’ Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity: Genetic Clocks, Population Growth Curves, and Comparative Nuclear Genome Analyses Suggest Created Heterozygosity in Combination with Natural Processes as a Major Mechanism,” Answers Research Journal 9 (2016): 81–122, https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/speciation/on-the-origin-of-eukaryotic-species-genotypic-and-phenotypic-diversity/.
  6. David MacMillan, “Creationists Evolve ‘New’ Arguments to Explain Genetic Diversity,” Panda’s Thumb (blog), August 2, 2016, http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2016/08/creationists-ev.html.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Jeanson and Lisle, “On the Origin of Eukaryotic Species’ Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity.”
  9. Naturalis Historia, https://thenaturalhistorian.com/.
  10. “About NH,” Naturalis Historia, https://thenaturalhistorian.com/contact-2/.
  11. “The Young-Earth Hyper-evolution Hypothesis: A Collection of Critiques,” Naturalis Historia, August 3, 2016, https://thenaturalhistorian.com/2016/08/03/the-young-earth-hyper-evolution-hypothesis-a-collection-of-critiques/.
  12. Nathaniel T. Jeanson, “When Hostility Helps,” Answers in Genesis, March 31, 2016, https://answersingenesis.org/ministry-news/ark-encounter/when-hostility-helps/.

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