Internet References

Copyright 2000 by Carl Drews
Last update: December 4, 2011

URLs are provided for direct access to these web sites. Since the World Wide Web is constantly changing as people modify sites and switch Internet providers, I have provided keywords for searching.

In general I have limited my commentary to a brief description of the content that can be found at that web site. I want the reviewers of these web sites to examine them for themselves and draw their own conclusions. However, in a few cases I have added an editorial comment. I have supplied my opinion of the site when I feel that the author of the site has presented the information with a bias that may not be obvious to the average reader. I will not permit distortions or important omissions to stand without at least a disclaimer.

Return to main Evolution page. Go to Essay.

Creationism is causing young Christians to leave the Church

Why young Christians leave the church (The Barna Group, September 28, 2011):

Author David Kinnaman explains the results of a five-year survey of young people in his book You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church..

http://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/528-six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church
Reason #3 - Churches come across as antagonistic to science.
One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is "Christians are too confident they know all the answers" (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that "churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in" (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that "Christianity is anti-science" (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have "been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate." Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.

Joshua's Long Day

Keywords: hoax NASA computers joshua on Alta Vista.

Harold Hill's story about the NASA computers finding a missing day is a deliberate hoax, and one with a long history.

http://www.ibri.org/joshua.htm
http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-a001.html

Harry Rimmer perpetrates the hoax.

James Bartley swallowed by a whale and lives

Keywords: James Bartley whale Jonah Davis on Excite.

http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/PSCF/1991/PSCF12-91Davis.html

Excellent scholarship! A hoax, but the original hoaxer remains unknown (possibly Bartley himself).

Harry Rimmer again.

Whale fossilized in vertical position across layers

Keywords: Lompoc whale fossil Corliss on Alta Vista.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/whale.html

Not a deliberate hoax, but instead very poor scholarship led to the urban myth. The whale is fossilized parallel to the sedimentary layers, and uplift has tilted the entire formation to about 50 degrees.

This article also cites a whale skeleton in the process of being buried in the bathyal Santa Catalina Basin.

Darwin's Final Recantation

http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0724_Darwins_Final_Recant.html

According to the story he does not reject evolution as a scientific theory, but he obviously believes that Salvation through Jesus Christ is far more important.

A great Christian story, especially for me because it supports my position exactly.

I am suspicious of this account - it quotes only one source and it is lacking in details such as the location and the date. Needs independent confirmation. (see below)

Note: Charles Darwin died on April 19, 1882, at the age of 73.

Refutation of the Lady Hope recantation story

Keywords: Darwin recantation recant death on Excite.

The original story is a hoax. See James Moore, The Darwin Legend, Baker Books, Grand Rapids,Michigan, 1994,pp. 113-114.

http://www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/ladyhope.html

Stephen Jay Gould and Evolution through Punctuated Equilibrium

Dr. Gould and Dr. Niles Eldredge formulated the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium. Very briefly, they suggest that the tempo of evolution is not constant; periods of relative stability are interrupted by bursts of rapid evolution. Some young-earth creationists falsely characterize "punk eek" by saying, "Evolution used to be too slow to observe - now they say it's too fast to observe (ha hah)!" Another creationist distortion is to confuse punctuated equilibrium with the "hopeful monster" theory of Richard Goldschmidt.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/g/goulds1j1.asp

Punctuated Equilibrium (1972) does not require large scale mutations. It is distinct from Goldschmidt's earlier theory, although they have some common features (e.g., relatively fast evolution):

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/punc-eq.html

See also Richard Goldschmidt [1878-1958] Geneticist. Noted for his book, "The Material Basis of Evolution" (1940), where he advances a hypothesis of macroevolution via systemic or macro- mutations. I do not know the origin of the "Hopeful Monster" term.

http://www.bartleby.com/65/go/GoldschmR.html

Note: Dr. Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University died of lung cancer on May 20, 2002. He was 60 years old. Here is his obituary in the Harvard Gazette:
http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/05.16/99-gould.html
Here is another obituary at CNN.com:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/05/20/obit.gould.ap/index.html

Landslides stopping the Jordan River

http://www.ldolphin.org/quakes.html

Keywords: Earthquakes and the Bible Lambert Dolphin on Alta Vista.

Historically known quakes have dammed the Jordan River repeatedly, sometimes for several days---in 1160 AD, 1267, 1534, 1834, 1906 and 1927. Scripture is clear that God fully controls nature (Gospel story of Jesus calming a storm). There are no accidents in His universe.

The Alleged Cruelty of God's Plan

The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." - Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865.

Transitional Fossils

Keywords: transitional fossils on Alta Vista.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

Part 2 has extensive lists of transitions.

Here are some examples of smooth change in the fossil record, with pictures:

http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/fossil_series.html

See also the pictures of humanoid skulls in TIME Magazine, August 23, 1999, pp. 54-55. Look for eyebrow ridges getting smaller and craniums getting larger as time goes by. Click here to view a reprint of the article and a commentary.

Here are some fossil hominid skulls, with front and side views. This article is "29 Evidences for Macroevolution" by Douglas Theobald. Click on the link below and look at Figure 1.4.4.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/hominids.html

Western Grand Canyon Lava Flows

Keywords: strontium dating Western Grand Canyon lava Austin

The original article by Steven Austin mentions also the Cardenas Basalt formation:

http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-178.htm

Direct rebuttal of Austin's article (add keywords: isochron, Uinkaret Plateau). Austin found a minimum age for the mantle material, not the age when the lava flowed:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/icr-science.html

Christian defense of radiometric dating by Roger Wiens:

http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

An Overview on Radiometric Dating of all kinds (Carbon-14, etc.)

Authored by Jonathon Woolf [sic]. It's a critique of young-earth creation, but it's useful in describing the kinds of dating methods.

http://www.erinet.com/jwoolf/rad_dat.html

Note: Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years. Dating is good up to 50,000 years. This page describes calibration, measurement, adjustment, accuracy, and objects that cannot be carbon dated:

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/carbon.html

Humanism

Humanism originated in Italy during the 14th century, with Petrarch (1304-1374). Go to

http://www.britannica.com/

and Find "humanism" from there.

So humanism pre-dates Charles Darwin by 500 years. Humanism existed for 5 centuries without any philosophical assistance from the scientific theory of evolution. Does evolution lead straight to secular humanism? I hope Pope John Paul II and I have demonstrated that that's not true. Neither he nor I believe that humans can accomplish everything necessary through our own efforts alone.

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Some definitions in humorous question-and-answer format, by Frank Lambert:

http://www.secondlaw.com/two.html

Lots of confusion about the different types of entropy, by Brig Klyce:

http://www.panspermia.com/seconlaw.htm

Heat transfer increases entropy in the transferree (from sun to earth); but sun's light is an energy transfer, not heat, because the earth does not warm up and the sun does not cool down. (Global warming is not relevant here - too slow and variable.)

Good discussion on the Second Law by Dr. Allan Harvey. The earth is not an isolated system because it receives energy from the sun. Harvey is an evangelical Christian and a chemist with a high regard for telling the truth: "There is no room for falsehood in God's kingdom, even in the defense of the Gospel."

http://steamdoc.s5.com/writings/thermo.html

Dr. Harvey has also posted an essay on Science and Christian Apologetics, in which he discusses young-earth creationism.

http://steamdoc.s5.com/writings/apologetics.html

Anyone who uses the Second Law of Thermodynamics as an argument against evolution is hanging out a sign that says, "I don't know what I'm talking about."

Number of Chromosomes and Complexity

Horse has 64 (32 pair) chromosomes, compared to human 46 (23 pair) and mouse with 40 (20 pair) chromosomes. (Horse count seems high - needs independent confirmation.)

http://www.horse-country.com/science.html

This source states that horses have 62 chromosomes:

http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/rirdc/articles/genetics/chrom.htm

Apes have 48 chromosomes. Human chromosome 2 = chimp chromosomes 10 & 11 fused together.

(This is a discussion board, so cross-check everything you read here:)

http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/danny/anthropology/sci.anthropology.paleo/archive/october-1995/0706.html

There are 22 pairs of chromosomes in whales, so there are 44 chromosomes in total (humans have 23 pairs).

http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/ask97/0128.html

The upshot is that unless you are willing to accept that horses are considerably more complex than humans, the number of chromosomes is a bad measure of complexity.

Human Footprints alongside Dinosaur Tracks

Keywords: human footprints dinosaur tracks Paluxy River Glen Rose Texas on Alta Vista.

For a nice picture of the tracks:

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/taylor-all-14.jpg

Spectacular picture of an individual print, with toes, claimed to be a combined human-dino print

(it looks to me like the toe "impressions" are sticking up, not down):

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/taylor-3b-java.htm

Scientists say the fossil markings are not "man tracks".

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy.html

Long list of articles about the prints:

http://www.usd.edu/anth/cultarch/paluxybib.html

Study of the tracks by Berney Neufeld.

http://origins.swau.edu/papers/dinos/tracks/default.html

History of the Paluxy site:

http://www.youdebate.com/DEBATES/creationism_footprints.HTM

The London Hammer

Keywords: hammer London Texas John Cole on Alta Vista.

Article by Glen Kuban:

http://members.aol.com/paluxy2/hammer.htm

The hammer was not found in situ, but loose. What does it prove?

Quotations and Misquotations

Keywords: 1980 Chicago Conference Macroevolution on Alta Vista.

The words quoted by Ken Ham are at:

http://id-www.ucsb.edu/FSCF/LIBRARY/ORIGINS/QUOTES/macroevolution.html

I have ordered (July 25) the original article "Evolutionary Theory Under Fire" in Science magazine to check it out (received September 5). This segment is a misquote because it does not accurately describe what happened at the conference. The rest of the paragraph should be added: "...given as a clear, No. What is not so clear, however, is whether microevolution is totally decoupled from macroevolution. The two can more probably be seen as a continuum with a notable overlap." The reporter is Roger Lewin, Science magazine, Volume 210, 21 November 1980, pp 883-887.

Quote: Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard paleontologist, on the "extreme rarity of transitional forms" (the web page contains the misquoted section and clarification on Gould's view):

http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/quote_gould.html

Many misquotations and their corrections (Charles Darwin, Isaac Asimov, etc.) are at:

http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/quotes.html

Keywords: Don Lindsay Archive on Alta Vista.

Pre-Cambrian Explosion

Something very strange happened right at the Precambrian/Cambrian boundary:

"Snowball Earth", by Paul F. Hoffman and Daniel P. Schrag. Scientific American, January 2000.

http://www.sciam.com/2000/0100issue/0100hoffman.html

A revolutionary hypothesis suggests that hundreds of millions of years ago, ice up to a kilometer thick engulfed even the tropics, snuffing out most life. A runaway greenhouse effect ended the deep freeze but baked the planet. These brutal climate reversals might have encouraged the rise of multicellular organisms.

For an evolutionary scientist (theistic or not), this discovery provides a tantalizing clue about the still-puzzling mystery of the Pre-Cambrian Explosion. It must have triggered the sudden flowering of life forms, but how? Progressive special-creation advocates assert that the Cambrian Explosion is evidence of God's creative burst about 540 million years ago. But why did God see fit to send the planet into a deep freeze just before the emergence of complex life forms?

The Appendix

The appendix performs a minor endocrine role in the fetus and in young adults. Among adult humans, the appendix is now thought to be involved primarily in some limited immune functions.

http://www.sciam.com/askexpert/medicine/medicine8.html

Author: Loren G. Martin, professor of physiology at Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Douglas Theobald at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/vestiges/appendix.html states: "Deadly infection of the appendix at a young age is common, and the lifetime risk of acute appendicitis is 7% (see the original article for references published in scientific journals). The most common age for acute appendicitis is in prepubescent children, between 8 and 13 years of age." There are no known adverse consequence to removing the appendix (apart from complications of the surgery itself).

Lucy

Keywords: Lucy chimpanzee Donald Johanson on Alta Vista.

Simple description of the Lucy skeleton:

http://cgi.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/evolution/lucy.html

Discussion of claims and refutations, by Jim Lippard:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/knee-joint.html

Letter from Donald Johanson (May 30, 1990) concerning Lucy:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/knee-joint/johanson2.html

Fossilized footprints found by Mary Leakey in 1976 near Laetoli, Africa

http://cgi.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/evolution/footprints.html

The Lucy controversy seems to be about her knee, not her skull (Pierre Stromberg):

http://www.eskimo.com/~pierres/lucy.html

The important thing about Lucy is that she walked upright (as shown by her knee and pelvis); she is a transitional hominid because of her bipedal gait, not her head.

Institute of Human Origins web page on Lucy:

http://www.asu.edu/clas/iho/lucy.html

Stanley Miller and Amino Acids

Keywords: Stanley Miller amino acids lightning on Alta Vista.

Brief mention of 1953 study at University of Chicago with Harold Urey:

http://bondo.wsc.mass.edu/dept/garp/faculty/lightn.htm

Stanley Miller's home page (Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego):

http://exobio.ucsd.edu/miller.htm

PBS report of the laboratory experiments:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/do53am.html

The Miller-Urey experiments are about 50 years old now; later experiments have been performed with more accurate estimates of the composition of the early atmosphere, with roughly similar results.

Population of the United States

Keywords: 1900 census population on Alta Vista.

76 million in 1900:

http://home.earthlink.net/~walterk1/Patr/US/Census.html

United States Census Bureau (281 million in 2000):

http://www.census.gov/

Eve and Mitochondrial DNA

Keywords: Eve mitochondrial DNA Africa on Alta Vista.

Brief description of study (author Nancy Darrall blithely changes time scale to fit with 10,000 year Bible).

http://www.pages.org/bcs/bcs023.html

DNA and Fossils (debate between Ward Wheeler and Eric Delson):

http://www.amnh.org/enews/news/index.html

Corresponding "Adam" (Washington Post article by Boyce Rensberger):

http://wsrv.clas.virginia.edu/~rjh9u/adameve.html

Southern African Eve - Science magazine, October 8, 1999:

http://www.ishius.com/evedna.htm

Another report on the male mtDNA study, by Deborah M. Ketterer:

http://www.asri.edu/genetics/brochure/agh/news/jan96/y.html

The original 1987 study seems to have been reported in:
Cann RL, Stoneking M, Wilson AC. Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution. Nature. 1987;325:31-36.

Lewis Overthrust

Keywords: Lewis overthrust on Alta Vista.

Troy Britain analyses an out-of-context quotation by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb in their 1961 book The Genesis Flood; of technical paper The Rocks and Fossils of Glacier National Park: The Story of Their Origin and History by Clyde P. Ross & Richard Rezak, Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K (1959). Creationist botanist Walter Lammerts took a picture of the wrong rock layer.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/troybritain/morris_overthrust.htm

Nice pictures of the area to look at (if you're getting tired of arguments!):

http://www.3rivers.net/~dwedum/therockymountainfront.html

Fossilized Tree Stumps Across Layers

Keywords: oregon beach tree stumps el nino Jesus on Excite.

A forest was submerged during an earthquake 2,000 years ago. Now unearthed by storm erosion.

Visible at Neskowin Beach (reported by Brian T. Meehan in The Oregonian, March 7, 1998).

This beach is north of Cascade Head. Also, "This winter, erosion exposed 4,000-year-old stumps at Beverly Beach State Park, north of Newport."

http://www.oregonlive.com/todaysnews/9803/st03073.html

Another news story by Lynda V. Mapes in the Seattle Times, Posted Monday, May 11, 1998:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/health-science/html98/altstum_051198.html

Pilgrims descended on the beach by the thousands in Neskowin after news reports described stumps "dating back to the time of Jesus." A flyer pasted on a motel-office door notes: "As a matter of general interest, the stumps are visible most years." Geologists theorize that a subduction earthquake lowered the coastline suddenly and shoreline erosion buried the trees.

These fossils are being formed now without the aid of a global flood. A catastrophic event (an earthquake) certainly helps to form fossils, but a worldwide flood is not necessary to explain the Neskowin trees.

Keywords: Neskowin tree stumps on MSN search.

Picture of the Neskowin tree stumps:

http://www.freespeech.org/vitour/forest.html

Picture of a tree stump at Moolack Beach near Newport:

http://www.freespeech.org/vitour/stumps.html

Geology of the Oregon coast:

http://www.navicom.com/~andrehage/geo.html

"Episodically Buried Forests in the Oregon Surf Zone", a scientific paper by Roger Hart and Curt Peterson.

http://www.netbridge.net/~rogerhart/dogami.html

Polystrate Tree Fossils

Creationist Gary Parker in the videotape "Answers in Genesis" made the following statements:

"Evolutionists are mystified by these things [cross-layer fossils]."
"No one has proposed a way they can form slowly."

In fact, John William Dawson (1868) described a classic Carboniferous-age locality at Joggins, Nova Scotia, and provided a reasonable explanation for its formation:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/trees.html

Coal deposits were formed from ancient swamps, and the trees grew there. The trees kept growing as the level of the swamp slowly rose through accumulation of sediment and organic matter. The point of citing such an old reference is to emphasize how long these fossils have been known and understood.

A diagram also shows rootlets extending from the coal layers down into the clay layers beneath, implying a time of growth between deposition of layers. The Flood model does not explain cross-layer rootlets.

Mr. Parker did not provide a reference for the cross-strata nautilus, and I cannot find one.

Creationist picture of a polystrate tree fossil. Note that the location is vaguely given as "in Germany."

http://128.241.130.141/onlinebook/figures/7.html

Discussion on polystrate trees by Don Lindsay, with more examples:

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/polystrate.html

Discussion of polystrata fossils (and many other geological topics) by Dave Matson. He also talks about missing layers, out of order and reversed layers, and misplaced fossils:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/dave_matson/young-earth/geologic_column/out-of-place.html

Dave Matson's references for that section are at:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/dave_matson/young-earth/biblio.html

This site has a major attitude problem (note the URL infidels.org), but seems well documented.

Hugh Ross, Astronomer

Hugh Ross argues that the old-earth view is consistent with the Bible (The Creation Date Controversy):

http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/date.html

He addresses the Christian fears of accepting an old earth.

A brief glance at his web site seems to indicate that he is an old-earth, local-flood, special-creation guy. That makes him an Old-Earth Creationist. Hugh Ross often comes under attack by young-earth creationists. Although he and I disagree on biological evolution, I consider Dr. Ross to be my colleague and friend.

Ross is President of the organization "Reasons to Believe," in association with his wife Kathy Ross.

http://www.reasons.org/

William Stansfield, The Science of Evolution (1977).

Here is a collection of quotations ascribed to William Stansfield on a creationist web site. Gary Parker mentioned a few of them (oil pressure, radiological 'clock'):

http://bible.ca/dp-ageStansfld.htm

Here is a mis-paraphrase that avoids mentioning evidence for an earth older than 10,000 years:

"Even at today's low rates of volcanism, "juvenile" water released from volcanoes would fill up all the oceans in far less time than the supposed 4.5 billion year-age of the earth."

http://associate.com/ministry_files/The_Reading_Room/Evolution_n_Creation_1/A_Young_Earth

The "far less time" originally cited is actually .5 billion years:

"It has been estimated that seventy volcanoes the size of Mexico's Paricutin producing 0.001 cubic mile of water per year for 4.5 billion years of earth's history could account for the 315 cubic miles of water in the oceans today. There are now approximately 600 active volcanoes and about 10,000 dormant ones. Six hundred volcanoes comparable to Paricutin could account for the present oceans in approximately 0.5 billion years."

http://www.bible.ca/dp-ageStansfld.htm

Yes, .5 billion years is "far less time" than 4.5 billion years (by a factor of 9). But it's also far more time than 10,000 years (by a factor of 50,000)!

William Stansfield is characterized in the above page as an "AntiCreationist". He is a professor in the Biology Department at California Polytechnic State University.

Geologist Don Patton's page introduces Stansfield as follows: "Anti-Creationist, William D. Stansfield Professor of Biological Sciences at California Polytechnic State University describes evidence that supports the theory of a young earth."

http://iwhome.com/spiritualquest/tracts/dp-index.htm

Patton's web page entitled "Descriptions of Young Earth Evidence: William D. Stansfield" has numerous quotations from pages 80-84, all of which need to be checked for context.

http://iwhome.com/spiritualquest/tracts/dp-agest.htm

Here are numerous misquotations of William Stansfield's book compiled by Don Patton, and corrected by putting them in context by Andrew Arensburger. This web page contains long sections of the book:

http://www.ooblick.com/text/patton/

The lesson here is: To obtain an accurate picture of Stansfield's views we will have to locate the book and read it ourselves. Also keep in mind that the book is 23 years old.

I got the book from the Public Library (on an inter-library loan) and checked it out for myself. Andrew Arensburger is right and Don Patton is wrong. Patton's introductory statement that "William D. Stansfield . . . describes evidence that supports the theory of a young earth" is false. The evidence that Stansfield describes does not support the theory of a young earth.

Don Patton has a disclaimer about the context of his quotations at

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/dp-age-science.htm

He says that the quotations should be accompanied by his lecture. However, it is common practice in creationist circles to pass around quotations without checking the context, as shown by the recurring error "315 cubic miles" instead of "315 million cubic miles." If these quotations require the lecture, then Don Patton and those who repeat these quotations have the responsibility to ensure that they are together.

Woodpeckers

Keywords: woodpecker impact G force on hotbot.

This topic has been the subject of neurological research more than 20 years ago (The Lancet, 28 February 1976, p 454, Archives of Neurology, 1979, vol 36, p 370). A study was carried out by Philip May, Joaquin Fuster, Jochen Haber and Ada Hirschman. "...the impact deceleration when the bird's bill struck the trunk was staggering, sometimes reaching as high as 1200g."

http://www.newscientist.com/lastword/answers/lwa1105plants.html

A much lower figure of 10 G is quoted below (this page is about birds, and has nice pictures):

"The beak of the red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) hits the bark of a tree with an impact of velocity of 13 mph, subjection [sic] the bird's brain to a deceleration of approximately 10 g when its head snaps back. Other woodpeckers may experience and [sic] even higher g-force."

This reference was located using the same keywords on google:

http://www.victorialodging.com/birds_smallest_biggest_fastest_slowest.htm

Old-Earth Creation and a Pre-Adamic World

Very long article (sermon) by William F. Dankenbring & John D. Keyser. They mention Del Mar man, and don't seem to know that his date has been revised. They are not kind to young-earth creationists. This article ("Was There Life Before Adam?") has no date, and needs one because it seems old. The authors are Christians. They theorize that the Nephilim of Genesis 6:4 are the Neanderthal humanoids.

http://hope-of-israel.org/lifeadam.htm

Jim Schicatano is an old-earth creationist with a high regard for honesty who objects to the disingenuous information put forth by young-earth creationists. His book, "The Theory of Creation", is a scientific analysis of the creation story. I have not read the book, but he has some interesting information on his web site.

http://www.theoryofcreation.com/

Chicxulub Impact Crater

Keywords: Chicxulub impact crater on Alta Vista.

Article by Virgil L. Sharpton in Earth in Space Vol. 8, No. 4, December 1995, p. 7.

http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/sharpton.html

Scientists theorized in 1980 that a large meteorite had struck the earth 65 million years ago and caused extinction of the dinosaurs. A worldwide layer of iridium pointed to a meteorite impact, but they could not find the crater. The Chicxulub structure was discovered in the 1950s by the Pemex oil company, but it was not until 1990 that most scientists connected it with an impact catastrophe at the Cretaceous - Tertiary (K-T) geological boundary. A minority view says that Chicxulub is volcanic in origin.

Nice color graphics and other links (the crater is buried underneath limestone):

http://www.man.ac.uk/Geology/special/stehoy.htm

Radar image (the picture seems to show a portion of the rim):

http://planetscapes.com/solar/cap/earth/chicxlb1.htm

Dispute over the size of the crater:

http://quartz.ucdavis.edu/~gel3/Chicxulubsize.html

The Manson crater in Iowa has been rejected as the cause of the K-T extinction (too small):

http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/communication/Hanks/eff.html

Time Magazine article "A Double Whammy?" from January 9, 1995 Volume 145, No. 2 by Leon Jaroff:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/archive/1995/950109/950109.science.html

After the Chicxulub comet hit, a second jolt from volcanoes (caused by the impact) may have helped send the dinosaurs to their doom. Luis Alvarez proposed the 1980 theory.

30 Young-Earth arguments by Kent Hovind and rebuttals by Dave Matson

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/matson-vs-hovind.html

Rock Formations along the Colorado River

Keywords: Washer Woman Arch on Alta Vista.

Very nice pictures (use the arrow buttons to move in both directions). Also Delicate Arch, Turret Arch, Colorado River from Dead Horse Point, and White Rim hoodoos. Photographer is William Chan.

http://bauhaus.cs.washington.edu/homes/wchan/photo/gf29.html

It would take a very special set of circumstances for the Flood to lay down all these sedimentary layers, let them harden somehow, then erode them into these tall arches and towers; all in a few months. There is a picture of river meanders from Green River Overlook. Loops like this are not usually formed by floods of the magnitude that could carve the entire Grand Canyon in a few months. These views are from Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Same keywords on Google.

http://rampages.onramp.net/~acronym/isky.html

Utah: Canyonlands: Island in the Sky

A Global Flood proponent could argue that the main channel was formed during the Flood, and the deeper meandering channel was formed by conventional erosion after the flood. The rebuttal to this theory is that it does not explain the lack of an obvious and consistent main Flood channel, the lack of silt-laden benches high on the sides of the canyon, and how the inner channel would form in just 5,000 years with typical flash floods. The Grand Canyon and Canyonlands look more like a many-branched tree than a single-channel trench. The side canyons had much less water to work with because of the topography of the Colorado Plateau, yet they are comparable in depth with the main canyon (they are not "hanging valleys"). Remember that we have to use a substantial portion of the Flood to lay down the sedimentary layers, and that the pour-off eroding phase did not involve much rain. That web page also has a picture of Musselman Arch, a horizontal arch that would be unlikely to form from recently-hardened (dried?) sediment. How did sediment dry out or harden so quickly when it was underwater?

Colorado Plateau and rainfall

Keywords: Colorado plateau rainfall on Google.

"Recent Alluvial History of the Southern Colorado Plateau" by Richard Hereford, USGS, Flagstaff, AZ.

http://climchange.cr.usgs.gov/info/sw/scpalluvial/

Describes patterns of river channel erosion (arroyo cutting) and refill in alluvial valleys.

Arroyo cutting occurs during extended periods of unusually high runoff (floods).
Valley-fill alluviation is apparently related to extended periods of relatively low runoff.
Source of rainfall data is tree-ring chronology.

Climate of the Colorado Plateau over tens of thousands of years (Agents of Change):

http://www.cpluhna.nau.edu/Change/climate.htm

There have been warmer and wetter periods (mid-Wisconsin Period 33,000-19,000 B.C.).

Also see paleoclimate article by R. Scott Anderson:

http://www.cpluhna.nau.edu/Research/paleoof_southern_coloplat.htm

The biota of the Colorado Plateau during the middle (48,000-25,500 B.C.) and late (25,500-12,000 B.C.) Wisconsin time periods was dramatically different from that seen today. Studies indicate that during the middle-Wisconsin [period] temperatures on the Colorado Plateau were approximately 3-4 degrees Celsius cooler than they are today, and perhaps 5 degrees cooler during the late-Wisconsin. There is also some evidence that these time periods were wetter as well, resulting in an environment on the plateau very different than that of today. The much cooler, and likely wetter (35-65% greater), conditions of the middle and late Wisconsin period led to heavy snowfall and the development of glaciers on the highest areas of the plateau, including the La Sal Mountains, the Aquarius Plateau, and the San Francisco Peaks.

A Geological Wonder (brief history and description of the Colorado Plateau):

http://www.blm.gov/education/colplateau/geologic/

Geology of the California's Imperial Valley, a monograph by Eugene Singer (Chapter 13 describes the Colorado River):

http://www.aloha.net/~esinger/chap13.htm

The largest flood on record occurred in 1884 when an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 cubic feet per second passed through Black Canyon, future site of Hoover Dam. Uplift of the Colorado Plateau commenced in Pliocene time, about 7 million years ago.

Kaibab Plateau

Keywords: Kaibab Plateau uplift on Google.

The geology of the Grand Canyon, with good diagrams of rock layers.

http://www.kaibab.org/geology/gc_geol.htm

Before the Glen Canyon Dam was built the Colorado River used to carry three cubic miles of sediment into the Pacific Ocean every hundred years. One theory says that the Kaibab plateau was uplifted as the Colorado River cut into it (17 - 5 million years ago), but the river had already committed its course.

Another theory involves temporary blockage forming Lake Bidahochi to the south about 12 million years ago (nice sequential diagrams):

http://www.kaibab.org/geology/canform.htm

After the breakthrough (over millions of years) the lake drained to form what is now the gorge and drainage system of the Little Colorado River. The author is Bob Ribokas.

Either way, the Kaibab plateau was an elevation barrier across the path of the Colorado River. This dam tilts downward slightly from north to south, and the river has cut across that tilt.

Grand Canyon Geology

Young-Earth Creationism and the Geology of the Grand Canyon, by Jonathon Woolf. This is a comparison of young-earth-flood and conventional theories of the Grand Canyon. It critiques Steve Austin's work.

Analysis of the rocks, including lots of pictures:

http://www.erinet.com/jwoolf/gc_rocks.html

Analysis of the canyon itself (includes a discussion of lava dams):

http://www.erinet.com/jwoolf/gc_canyon.html

Woolf asserts that Steve Austin cannot explain why the Canyon looks like a dendritic drainage basin, not a flood drainage. V-shaped canyons and other shapes are mentioned here. He admits that the conventional explanation of the Grand Canyon's formation is weak, but says that the Flood model is definitely worse in several ways. Woolf discusses the "look" of the Grand Canyon and other compared canyons (Grand Coulee and Palouse Canyon in the Scablands, Loowit Canyon and the canyon of the Toutle River near Mount St. Helens) at the bottom of this page.

Quotation by Charles Darwin

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." -- Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 6th ed., p. 429.

http://www.erinet.com/jwoolf/evoldescr.html

It would be good to check the context of this quotation. Later - the context checks out okay.

It seems that a true agnostic can assert the inability to know the Creator, and yet stand in awe of Him.

Coelacanth or Coelecanth

Keyword: coelecanth on Alta Vista.

The official Coelecanth web site ("The Fish Out of Time"). The coelecanth is a lobe-finned fish.

http://www.dinofish.com/

The first specimen was discovered in 1938 off South Africa by Hendrick Goosen and Marjorie Courtenay Latimer. Other specimens were found at Comoros Islands, between Madagascar and the African mainland, by Ahamadi Abdallah, Affane Mohamed, Eric Hunt, and Professor J.L.B. Smith beginning in 1952. Another population was discovered off North Sulawesi, Indonesia in 1997 by Mark and Arnaz Erdmann.

The theory of evolution does not require every species to change over time. A "living fossil" is not a problem for evolution. However, it does demonstrate that there are big gaps in the fossil record.

News article describing the Sulawesi discovery (Berkeley Magazine, Summer 1999):

http://www.berkeley.edu/magazine/summer_99/discoveries_coelacanth.html

Book: A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth by Samantha Weinberg (2000).

Wollemi Pine

Keywords: Wollemi pine on Alta Vista.

Another species thought extinct, the Wollemi Pine, was discovered by Dave Noble in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia in 1994 and identified by botanist Wyn Jones. "The rugged site has protected these plants from fire and prevented their discovery until a few weeks ago."

http://kaos.erin.gov.au/life/end_vuln/plants/wollemi2.html

Another article by James Woodford. The DNA of this tree has no observed variation, which is either: a puzzle for their evolution, an explanation for why they have remained unchanged for so long, a reason why they almost died out, or all three. The trees seem to clone themselves to reproduce. About 40 adult trees remain in two remote groves. Efforts are underway to cultivate the tree elsewhere, and in the meantime the exact location is kept secret.

http://203.26.177.61/news/specials/local/wollemi/index.html

News article describing the tree's discovery by David Noble, Michael Casteleyn, and Tony Zimmerman.

http://203.26.177.61/news/0007/01/features/wollemi8.html

James Woodford is writing a book "The Wollemi Pine", due for publication soon. The Wollemi Pine is part of the Araucariaceae family, and it is related to the Norfolk Island pine. Birkdale Nursery in Queensland is cultivating pines for sale. The first commercial release is expected in 2005! The tree reaches 35 meters high, and it has bubbly bark and fern-like leaves.
http://www.birkdaleinternational.com/
http://www.wollemipine.com/

English Peppered Moths

Keywords: English peppered moths Kettlewell on MSN search.

The moth populations shifted according to coloration as industrial pollution in Great Britain came and went. The original study was published in 1955 by HBD (Bernard) Kettlewell. His explanation for the changes has been brought into question by later research; cryptic coloration and selective predation seem inadequate as the cause for the natural selection that was indeed observed and confirmed, because of the moths' behavior.

Brief mention of the study in an article "Are Mutations Harmful?" by Richard Harter (go to the page and search for "moths"):

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mutations.html

A discussion of the scientific discrepancies found since the original study, by Intelligent Design advocate Jonathan Wells:

http://www.trueorigin.org/pepmoth1.htm

The Wells article is professional and well-stated (the quotations still need to be checked). However, in two related messages on an Internet discussion board, Wells accused the scientists and textbook writers involved in the moth studies of fraud. These messages were re-posted by Art Chadwick:

http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199903/0348.html
http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199903/0355.html

Donald Frack offers a long counter-rebuttal, especially by examining the original source Sargent that Wells used:

http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199904/0100.html

British geneticist Michael Majerus joins the counter-rebuttal, saying "I myself have recorded 168 peppered moths on tree trunks or at trunk/branch joins." (Re-posted by Don Frack.)

http://www.calvin.edu/archive/evolution/199904/0103.html

Favorable Mutations

Basketball player Michael Jordan !

Article "Are Mutations Harmful?" by Richard Harter. Click on the text "Are there any favorable mutations?" His short answer is, "There are, but it can be hard to tell.":

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mutations.html#Q2

The author lists and describes the following favorable mutations:

1. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The mutation was not present originally. Standard practice in microbiology is to start cultures from single colonies on agar plates - colonies which represent the descendents of a single cell.

2. Bacteria that "eat nylon".

3. Sickle cell resistance to malaria. This is advantageous where there is a lot of malaria.

4. Lactose tolerance.

5. Resistance to atherosclerosis.

There is a community in Italy near Milan whose residents don't get atherosclerosis because of a fortunate mutation in one of their forebearers. This mutation is particularly interesting because the person who had the original mutation has been identified (Giovanni Pomaroli, born 1780 in Limone sul Garda, Italy).

Article in the Health section of USA Today, March 2, 2000. "Mutant Gene May Curb Vascular Disease", by A.J.S. Rayl and Stephen Shoop:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/health/doctor/lhdoc103.htm

6. Immunity to HIV (the AIDS virus).

Pope John Paul II

From The Boston Herald, p. 2, Friday, October 25, 1996, by J.M. Lawerence: "In a message he sent to scientists who advise the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope proclaimed Charles Darwin's landmark ideas compatible with Christian faith and called them more than just a theory."

It would be best to obtain and read Pope John Paul II's original statement (October 22, 1996):

http://www.cin.org/jp2evolu.html

"Magisterium Is Concerned with Question of Evolution For It Involves Conception of Man", by Pope John Paul II, Message to Pontifical Academy of Sciences, October 22, 1996.

Theistic Evolution

As of 2001 the majority of web sites attack theistic evolution.

Keywords: theistic evolution on Excite.

Article "God and Evolution" by Warren Kurt VonRoeschlaub:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-god.html

I don't know if the author is a Christian or not. [Note: On November 9, 2001 Kurt informed me that he is indeed a Christian.]

Article "Chance from a Theistic Perspective" by Loren Haarsma.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance-theistic.html

I would say it is likely that this author is a Christian.

It's strange to read all these young-earth creationist web sites telling me what I supposedly believe about theistic evolution. Very few of their assertions about my beliefs are correct. This article in New Scientist, "Unnatural Selection", by Debora MacKenzie, April 22, 2000, states that "40 per cent of Americans . . . believe that evolution was God's way of creating life." That's 112 million people.

http://www.newscientist.com/creationism/features_22352.html

I suppose that belief qualifies as theistic evolution; so 40% of Americans accept theistic evolution. (That same article states that "47 per cent of Americans . . . believe humans did not evolve, but were created by God a few thousand years ago.") Theistic evolution is the (official?) position of the Catholic Church:

http://www.catholic.com/library/adam_eve_and_evolution.asp
http://www.catholic.com/library/Creation_and_Genesis.asp
http://www.catholic.com/library/faith_science.asp

Here is some more information about the Catholic Church's position on evolution, from the Most Reverend John F. Whealon, Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut. The date of this missive seems to be June 1, 1999. Whealon is opposed to teaching young-earth creationism in schools.

http://www.philosophy-religion.org/handouts/creationism..htm

Here are some statements from religious organizations, saying that it is okay to teach evolution in schools. Several of them directly oppose the teaching of scientific creationISM. Several statements cite the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/4650_statements_from_religious_orga_3_13_2001.asp

Karl Thornley is another committed Christian who accepts theistic evolution. His web site on the topic is at:

http://freespace.virgin.net/karl_and.gnome/origins.htm

On the web page below he refutes the "10 Dangers of Theistic Evolution", originally by Werner Gitt (1993):

http://freespace.virgin.net/karl_and.gnome/10dangers.htm

Werner Gitt's "10 Dangers" are really not so dangerous. I don't have much to add to Karl Thornley's rebuttal, except to point out that the original article cites only two evolutionists (Richard Dawkins and Hoimar von Ditfurth) without specifying if they believe in God or not. (E. Jantsch and H. Penzlin are cited without identification. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out the faith of Dawkins and von Ditfurth.) Large portions of Gitt's original article seem to be belief statements that he fabricated about theistic evolution. It is wiser to learn about theistic evolution and what it believes from those people who accept this viewpoint, rather than from those who have an interest in making it look bad.

Here is another rebuttal to Werner Gitt's "10 Dangers" article, by Greg Neyman:
http://www.answersincreation.org/theisticevo.htm

The following page is the work of Jes Marie Creech, a doctoral student in Biology at the University of Texas at Austin:

http://www.jesmariecreech.homestead.com/evolution.html

Creech makes a well-researched case for theistic evolution. She suggests that the daily order of creation in Genesis 1 deliberately forms a symbolic picture of a perfect creation, according to Hebrew numerology. "God emphasizes the 'very goodness' of His creation by placing it in a structure that represents perfection. The order of the creations are important, forming a parallel structure of two sets of three days. The creations of the first day, light and darkness, were filled by greater and lesser lights in the fourth. The creations of the second day, sky and waters, were filled by birds and fish in the fifth. The creations of the third day, earth and vegetation, were filled by terrestrial animals and humans in the sixth. Six days, with two creations in each, equaling twelve, allowed the creation story yet another symbol of fulfillment and perfection (Conrad Hyers, 1983)."

John Callahan is President of Faith & Reason Ministries. This ministry accepts modern science (including biological evolution and the Big Bang), a valuable, yet non-perfect Bible, and a Jesus of history, divine. His web site includes an online book, "Science and Christianity".

http://www.faithreason.org/

Here is a well-constructed web site in favor of Theistic Evolution. Phillip Jones and I are not affiliated, but we know each other through the Internet.
http://www.theisticevolution.info/

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, is a dedicated Christian and a theistic evolutionist. He sees evidence for common descent in the similarities in DNA across different animals. This evidence is best explained by evolution, not intelligent design. The book by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, was crucial to his coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Francis Collins has written an excellent book "The Language Of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief" (2006), in which he proposes the term BioLogos to describe God's creative word becoming manifest in the process of evolution: "BioLogos expresses the belief that God is the source of all life and that life expresses the will of God." (page 203)

Dr. Paul Marston sent me a link to a web site Scibel.com in the United Kingdom (Britain). "The fundamental belief of SciBel is that mainstream Christian faith and mainstream science are in basic harmony."
http://scibel.gospelcom.net/

Wendy (Rubystars)
http://www.geocities.com/wendyschristianpage/evolution.html
http://www.geocities.com/wendyschristianpage/theisticevolution.html

Rev. Dr John Polkinghorne is a Physicist and an Anglican priest. He has a Question & Answer page on creation/evolution:
http://www.starcourse.org/jcp/qanda1.htm#creationevolution
"As all sensible people know, scientific Evolution is completely compatible with Christianity: so is Gravity, Relativity (and the rest of Physics, Chemistry and Biology for that matter)."
"No-one with the slightest knowledge of biology can doubt that evolution is a major principle in the development of life on earth, and that all living creatures are related genetically (...). Clearly the details of how this works are still poorly understood - and were not at all understood by Darwin who knew nothing of genetics. However this does not and can not mean that God is not at work as Creator, through Evolution and all the other physical laws. No-one now seriously believes that evolution determines what happens - there is too much chance involved."

The following link is an article by the Reverend John A. Mills, pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Closter, New Jersey. The article posted on his Wisdom's Light website is titled, "Why Evolution Is a More Faithful Response Than Intelligent Design":
http://home.att.net/~wislit/scirel/evlfaith.htm

Evolutionary Devotions by Jedidiah Palosaari. Since God created biological evolution, we can learn about God by studying this process.
http://www.geocities.com/abdulmuhib/evolution

The web site below contains some Christian discussion over theistic evolution:
http://www.thechristiandefense.com/

The November 2004 issue of National Geographic has a cover story entitled, "Was Darwin Wrong?" (No. The evidence for Evolution is overwhelming.) The article cites a Gallup telephone poll conducted in February 2001 to determine American views on evolution. Here are the results:

The article states that "the statistical breakdown hasn't changed much in two decades." The Gallup poll does not capture some important distinctions: for example, some people believe that all animals evolved except for humans, and others believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old but life forms were created by special acts of creation.

True Creation On Matters of Faith and Science is a web site written specifically for evangelical Christian communities. Jude rejects the idea that faith and science must always be in opposition, noting that accusing science of unbiblical results is destructive to our Christian walk and witness. The author asserts that "every true scientific discipline which aims to learn about the world, when practiced with integrity, will reveal results which are in perfect harmony with the Word of God." He shows great respect for the Bible and for the practice of science.
http://truecreation.info/

The Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education has links to a number of web sites that are comfortable with faith and science. The NRCSE are "Nebraskans of various religious faiths who respect both science and theology. Our mission is to proclaim the compatibility of good science (including evolution) and good theology (including creation)."
http://nrcse.creighton.edu/

The link below contains an "Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science." As of May 2005, 3,950 clergy have signed their names to a letter stating in part that: "We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children."
http://www.uwosh.edu/colleges/cols/religion_science_collaboration.htm

Gary T. Mayer has written a book, "New Evidence for Two Human Origins: Discoveries That Reconcile the Bible and Science" (2007). Mayer suggests that the descendents of Adam and Eve remained genetically separate from the pre-Adamic homo sapiens for many generations.
http://www.garytmayer.com/

New Mosquito in London's Underground

The Times of London - August 26, 1998. The report is by Nick Nuttall, Environment Correspondent.

Go to http://www.the-times.co.uk/ and then go to the Back Issues.

The new species is called Culex pipiens molestus. It has developed faster than classical Darwinism would have predicted, but the rate and method of speciation is in accordance with Punctuated Equilibrium.

Junkyard, Tornado, 747, and Evolving Robots

The original analogy was drawn by astronomer Fred Hoyle in 1981, as quoted in "Hoyle on Evolution", Nature, vol. 294, 12 Nov. 1981, p. 105. Here is the sidebar note relating some discussion at the Kellogg symposium:

The essence of his [Fred Hoyle's] argument last week [at the Kellogg symposium] was that the information content of the higher forms of life is represented by the number 10^40,000 - representing the specificity with which some 2,000 genes, each of which might be chosen from 10^20 nucleotide sequences of the appropriate length, might be defined. Evolutionary processes would, Hoyle said, require several Hubble times to yield such a result. The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein".
I think Fred Hoyle's estimate is wrong because he does not include intermediate steps. Let's consider coin flips. 10^40 is equal to 2^133, so 10^40,000 is equal to 2^133,000. To simulate Hoyle's estimate, we would have to flip 133,000 coins and have them all come up heads. This is certainly difficult to do - unless we flip the first coin until a head comes up, set it aside, then flip the second coin until we get a head, set it aside also, then work on the third coin, and so on until we have 133,000 heads all lined up on a big table. This process took me only nine minutes to complete for 133 coins, so at that rate it would take me 6.25 days to complete all 133,000 coins. To those people who would object that my little simulation does not accurately model the process of evolution, I would respond: At least it's better than Fred Hoyle's. This example illustrates the enormous difference between simultaneous probabilities and cumulative probabilities.

For an evolutionary simulation that's better than mine, see the paper by Hod Lipson and Jordan Pollack of Brandeis University in Nature magazine, August 31, 2000.

Go to http://www.nature.com/ and find that issue.

Lipson and Pollack report a system which designs, 'evolves' and manufactures simple robots with almost no human intervention. A computer simulation using genetic algorithms which mutate a simple body plan was used to design robots capable of horizontal motion. The computer system could then test these simulations in the physical world by building the robots using a rapid-prototyping technology. In an accompanying News and Views article Rodney Brooks explains how this research contributes to the development of self-evolving machines.

It strikes me that the robots bear the imprint of their creators. Although the robots evolve through a partially random process, their development is guided by rules originally set up by Lipson and Pollack.

The Daily Camera newspaper reported on the Nature article on August 31, 2000. The reporter is Curt Suplee of the Washington Post.

TIME Magazine reported on the Nature article on September 11, 2000. The reporter is Frederic Golden and the article is titled "A Robot out of Cyberspace."

The reader may judge how relevant the robots are to the junkyard-tornado scenario, and how relevant those two cases are to biological evolution and biogenesis.

Note: Sir Fred Hoyle is a joint proponent of the Steady-State model of the Universe (1948).

http://www.cf.ac.uk/maths/wickramasinghe/hoyle.html

The steady-state model of the universe has since been discredited, in favor of the Big Bang model:

http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/stdystat.htm

Professor E.J.H. Corner of Cambridge University and Special Creation

The original quotation reads as follows: "But I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation." I will keep that sentence underlined below.

Keywords: Professor E.J.H. Corner Cambridge University botany school on Google.

http://www.biblebelievers.com/powell2.html

Ronald Powell surrounds the quotation with his commentary:

"With all of this in mind concerning the lies and frauds that have been committed what would an honest botanical evolutionist say? Professor E. J. H. Corner of the Cambridge University botany school said,

'But I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation.' 6

There you have it. An eminent evolutionist saying that God created everything!"

6 E.J.H. Corner, "Contemporary Botanical Thought", A. M. MacLeod and L.S. Cobley, eds., 1961, Quadrangle Books, Chicago.

http://www.innercite.com/~tstout/cs/pog_7.shtml

Timothy Stout omits the leading word "But", and provides no commentary:

"Professor E.J.H. Corner of the Cambridge University botany school was candid enough to say: "I still think that to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation." ref 10

ref 10 E. J. H. Corner, in Contemporary Botanical Thought, Quadrangle Books, Chicago, 1961, p. 97."

http://www.cft.org.za/articles/evquote.htm

Fortunately, Christians for Truth has provided us with more context:

46. "The theory of evolution is not merely the theory of the origin of species, but the only explanation of the fact that organisms can be classified into this hierarchy of natural affinity. Much evidence can be adduced in favour of the theory of evolution - from biology, bio-geography and palaeontology, but I still think that, to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition.

Textbooks hoodwink. A series of more and more complicated plants is introduced - the alga, the fungus, the bryophyte, and so on, and examples are added eclectically in support of one or another theory - and that is held to be a presentation of evolution. If the world of plants consisted only of these few textbook types of standard botany, the idea of evolution might never have dawned, and the backgrounds of these textbooks are the temperate countries which, at best, are poor places to study world vegetation. The point, of course, is that there are thousands and thousands of living plants, predominantly tropical, which have never entered general botany, yet they are the bricks with which the taxonomist has built his temple of evolution, and where else have we to worship?"

Prof. E. J. H. Corner (Professor of Tropical Botany, Cambridge University, UK), 'Evolution' in Contemporary Botanical Thought, Anna M. Macleod and L. S. Cobley (editors), Oliver and Boyd, for the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1961, p. 97.

That last sentence puzzles me (and I certainly don't like the religious "temple" analogy), but that is the entire quotation as it appeared on the web site. I think he is urging that tropical plants be catalogued and put into textbooks, and those tropical plants will support evolution. Keep in mind that the original book is almost 40 years old.

When we look at the entire context, we can see that Ronald Powell's summary/paraphrase is dead wrong.

http://www.indirect.com/www/wbrown/onlinebook/scc/references.html

Walter Brown, in the References section of "The Scientific Case for Creation," has a go at the quotation, and interprets "knell" to mean "death knell":

". . . to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favour of special creation. If, however, another explanation could be found for this hierarchy of classification, it would be the knell [the death signal] of the theory of evolution. Can you imagine how an orchid, a duckweed, and a palm have come from the same ancestry, and have we any evidence for this assumption? The evolutionist must be prepared with an answer, but I think that most would break down before an inquisition. Textbooks hoodwink."

E. J. H. Corner, "Evolution," Contemporary Botanical Thought, editors Anna M. MacLeod and L. S. Cobley (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1961), p. 97.

I think Brown's "death signal" is the wrong interpretation, judging from the entire context. The second definition of "knell" is "to sound in an ominous manner or with an ominous effect; to summon, announce, or proclaim by or as if by a knell." - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 1977. Note that Corner does not use the common term "death-knell", but only the word "knell." And he's a British writer in 1961, so his word usage is likely to be a different than ours.

Some quotations on the Internet omit the words "But I still think that", and begin their quotation as follows: "...to the unprejudiced, the fossil record of plants is in favor of special creation."

http://www.gospelcom.net/faithfacts/ev_origins_b.html

That web site quotes Gary Parker, "Creation Facts of Life", Master Books, 1994 as the source of their quotation. I was not able to copy from the "Answers in Genesis" video the exact selection that Parker used.

Richard Lewontin and the "Supreme Designer"

Keywords: Lewontin supreme designer 1978 scientific american on Google.

Here is the original quotation by Gary Parker in Impact No. 88, "Creation, Selection, And Variation":

http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-088.htm

"Living things also have properties of organization that clearly transcend the potential of their parts. As Harvard's Richard Lewontin recently summarized it, organisms " appear to have been carefully and artfully designed." 4 He calls the "perfection of organisms" both a challenge to Darwinism and, on a more positive note, "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer." "

4. Lewontin, Richard, "Adaptation," Scientific American. V. 239. No. 3, 1978, pp. 212-230.

Misquotations in the Creation Book, authored by Jan Haugland. JW stands for Jehovah's Witnesses.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/6040/cemisq.htm

THE QUOTE:

*** ce 143 11 The Amazing Design of Living Things ***

5 Zoologist Richard Lewontin said that organisms "appear to have been carefully and artfully designed." He views them as "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer." It will be useful to consider some of this evidence.

THE SOURCE:

Richard C. Lewontin, "Adaptation", Scientific American, vol. 239, September 1978, p. 213

"The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution.... Life forms are more than simply multiple and diverse, however. Organisms fit remarkably well into the external world in which they live. They have morphologies, physiologies and behaviors that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life. It was the marvelous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. Darwin realized that if a naturalistic theory of evolution was to be successful, it would have to explain the apparent perfection of organisms and not simply their variation."

(In my [Jan Haugland's] opinion, this is one of the worst misquotes ever, and one who has given JWs much bad publicity on Usenet. Lewontin himself wasn't very happy about it.)

A web page entitled "Creationist Misquotes" has a paragraph regarding Lewontin and this quotation (the paragraph is reproduced below in its entirety):

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/misquote.htm

"In another page, the Jehovah's Witness Life booklet quotes biologist Richard Lewontin as saying: ""Zoologist Richard Lewontin said that organisms 'appear to have been carefully and artfully designed.' He views them as 'the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer.' " (WTBS, p. 143). The implication here is that Lewontin himself believes that life was intelligently designed by a "Supreme Designer". In fact, Lewontin believes no such thing. As he explained in a letter to a creationist publication debunking the misquote, "The point of my article, 'Adaptation' in Scientific American, from which these snippets were lifted, was precisely that the 'perfection of organisms' is often illusory and that any attempt to describe organisms as perfectly adapted is destined for serious contradictions. Moreover, the appearance of careful and artful design was taken in the nineteenth century before Darwin as 'the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer.' The past tense of my article ('It was the marvelous fit of organisms to the environment ... that was the chief evidence of Supreme Designer') has been conveniently dropped by creationist Parker in his attempt to pass off this ancient doctrine as modern science." (Lewontin, "Misquoted Scientists Respond," Creation/Evolution VI, Fall 1981, p. 35) Parker's selective editing, repeated later by the Witnesses in their tract, can only be viewed as a deliberate attempt to distort Lewontin's meaning and make him say what creationists would like to hear him say."

Faith in Future Discoveries

Creationist Gary Parker, speaking on a videotape made sometime in the 1990s, scoffs at Charles Darwin's assertion that future discoveries will add more evidence in support of his theory of evolution. Parker claims that no such discoveries were ever made, and that evolutionists' faith in future discoveries is hollow. Parker asserts that no future discoveries will ever be made in support of evolution.

I kept track of the news articles that appeared during the time that I was creating this web site. Gary Parker's claim sounds like the infamous patent examiner who claimed in about 1900 that everything that could ever be invented had already been invented. Parker's claim is demonstrably false in the year 2000 alone. Here are some recent discoveries and developments that support evolution and an old earth:

1. Evolving robots (August 2000)
2. Pre-Cambrian thaw (January 2000)
3. Chicxulub impact crater (1990 and 1995)
4. Extreme bacteria (1997)
5. Human genome project (June 2000)
6. Black Sea archaeology (September 2000)

Fountains of the Great Deep

From CNN.com, September 13, 2000. Earthweek: A Diary of the Planet.

http://www.cnn.com/NATURE/specials/diary.planet/#geyser

Spanish Gusher
"A 100-foot-high gusher of water that began shooting from the parched soil of La Mancha in central Spain earlier this summer is still going strong."
"The reddish water, mixed with soil and carbon dioxide, first burst forth on July 25 as olive growers in the city of Granatula de Calatrava were deepening a well. They tried unsuccessfully at the time to stop the flow of 13 gallons per second by piling rocks over the opening. Geologists studying the site say that it is definitely not a geyser because it is not an intermittent event and the water is cool. Enrique Calleja, director of hydrology for the Castilla-La Mancha regional government, believes that spout is probably caused by an aquifer, a water-bearing layer of rock or sand. The masses of people who have come to view the site are advised to keep a safe distance as the highly concentrated amounts of carbon dioxide could be toxic."

It's rather a small fountain, but it is interesting. There are also natural artesian wells and pools in Saudi Arabia along the Persian Gulf coast, and these oases are sometimes called "fountains." The source for the Arabian water is probably the mountains along the Red Sea coast.

Even advocates of a local flood may wonder what on earth were the "fountains of the great deep" mentioned in Genesis 7:11 and 8:2? Here is perhaps a clue, but it's not on earth:

From CNN.com, February 27, 2002, reported by Richard Stenger. Report: Big floods on Mars in Recent Past.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/02/27/mars.floods/index.html
"The most recent great floods on Mars took place in the recent geologic past, not billions of years ago as previously estimated, according to scientists. More water than that contained in Lake Erie likely gushed over the surface about 10 million years ago, said planetary geologists investigating photographs from a satellite in Mars orbit. The liquid surge came from fissures near the martian equator, the same cracks that have issued forth great gobs of lava, the research team said."

The research team consisted of Devon Burr and Alfred McEwen at the University of Arizona at Tucson, and Susan Sakimoto of NASA. They reported their findings in a January 2002 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Before any Biblical Flood theorists get too excited about this discovery, remember that there are huge differences between the geology of the earth and the geology of Mars. Nobody has found similar fissures on earth, or evidence of the subterranean aquifers that gushed forth here, and we've been looking on earth a whole lot longer and closer. Nevertheless, this discovery is an interesting sidelight on an ancient Biblical mystery.

Undersea explorer finds new evidence of biblical flood.

News story on CNN.com - September 13, 2000.
http://www.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/09/13/great.flood.finds.ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first evidence that humans lived in an area now covered by the Black Sea -- perhaps inundated by the biblical flood -- has been found by a team of explorers. "Artifacts at the site are clearly well preserved, with carved wooden beams, wooden branches and stone tools," lead researcher Robert Ballard said.The remnants of human habitation were found in more than 300 feet of water about 12 miles off the coast of Turkey.

Fredrik Hiebert of the University of Pennsylvania, the team's chief archaeologist, said the discovery "represents the first concrete evidence for occupation of the Black Sea coast prior to its flooding."

Many ancient Middle Eastern cultures have legends of a great flood, including the Bible story of Noah.

Columbia University researchers William Ryan and Walter Pittman speculated in their 1997 book "Noah's Flood" that when the European glaciers melted, about 7,000 years ago, the Mediterranean Sea overflowed into what was then a smaller freshwater lake to create the Black Sea. Last year Ballard found indications of an ancient coastline miles out from the current Black Sea coast. The new discovery provides evidence that people once lived in that now inundated region.

Ballard, a National Geographic Society explorer in residence, said he studied shells found along the ancient coastline and found two types. One group is an extinct type of freshwater shell, while the second is from saltwater shellfish. The saltwater shells date from the present back 6,500 years, while the freshwater shells all date to 7,000 years ago and older. "So we know that there was a sudden and dramatic change from a freshwater lake to a saltwater sea 7,000 years ago," he said Tuesday.

Note: This is a local flood, not a global flood.

A freshwater lake? Keywords: salinity Caspian Sea on Google.

The average salinity of the Caspian Sea is slightly over 1/3 of seawater, so it can be classified as brackish. Evidently there is some mechanism that removes the salt, perhaps via the outflow to Kara-Bogaz-Gol.
http://global.finland.fi/english/publications/discussion/envcaspi.html

See also "Dramatic relics of Noah's flood?" Archaeologists discover human-made structure deep in the Black Sea, by Guy Gugliotta of The Washington Post, September 13, 2000.
http://www.msnbc.com/news/336589.asp?bt=nm&btu=http://www.msnbc.com/tools/newstools/d/news_menu.asp

Bali-Lombok Strait (The Wallace Line)

Keywords: Bali Lombok strait depth on Google.

http://www.csuchico.edu/cged/curent/past/dec98/12-98-3.htm

Lombok Strait is a deep strait with a minimum depth of 192 meters (630 feet) for shipping.

http://www.hotelindonesia.net/bali/aboutbali/environment3.html

Lombok Strait is 24 kilometers wide. The Wallace line extends through the Makassar straits between Borneo and Sulawesi. Later zoologists view the area as a transition zone (Wallacea) with some leakage.

See further information on the [Alfred Russel] Wallace Line (proposed circa 1860):

http://www.runet.edu/~swoodwar/CLASSES/GEOG235/zoogeog/walline.html

http://homepages.iol.ie/~spice/backgrnd.htm#WallaceCrew

http://www.earthsystems.org/seac/seac-aseed/0049.html

Here is a web site devoted to naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who was a contemporary of Charles Darwin:

http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/index1.htm

The Makassar strait has a depth of 600-900 meters and is about 400 kilometers long.

http://www.apcss.org/Paper_SLOC_Occasional.htm

Ken Ham theorizes that the Australian land animals returned from Noah's Ark to Australia across land bridges during the post-Flood ice age. If so, that ice age must have been very severe in order to lower the ocean levels enough (630 feet) to permit crossing the Bali-Lombok Strait on dry land! And if that ice age (after 2500 BC) was so severe, it is unlikely to have gone unnoticed by the Bible, history, and geology. Ken Ham is wrong. For estimates on ice age ocean levels, see the section on Ice Caps below.

Meteorites and Their Craters in the Geologic Column

Keywords: Chicxulub Haughton on Google.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/dave_matson/young-earth/specific_arguments/meteor.html

The geologic record contains at least 130 positively identified "fossil" craters. That web site (at Infidels) has a two-page list of fossil craters from Precambrian to Pleistocene, including Manicougan (Manicouagan).

Two Swedish scientists made the first positive identification of a fossilized stoney meteorite (Astronomy, June 1981). Per Thorslund and Frans Wickman reported in Nature that a 10 centimeter object found in a limestone slab from a quarry in Brunflo, central Sweden in 1952 is really a stony meteorite as demonstrated by microscopic examinations and other properties. It has a terrestrial age of about 463 million years. The object had until recently been mistaken for something else. If the odds were not bent enough, it appears that the meteorite hit an Ordovician mollusk which is fossilized in conjunction with the meteorite! (Spratt and Stephens, 1992, p.53)

Spratt, Christopher and Sally Stephens. 1992. "Against All Odds" Mercury The Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Vol. XXI, No.2 (March/April 1992), pp.50-56

I think Dave Matson is not a Christian, and he certainly does not speak in accordance with 2 Timothy 2:23-25. You have been warned.

Yellowstone stacked fossil forests

Keywords: petrified trees Yellowstone Lamar Valley Specimen Ridge on Google.

Scientific paper by Harold Coffin (1999). He provides evidence from Mt. St. Helens and Spirit Lake of upright floation and underwater burial of trees. The diving research was done 2.3 years after the eruption.

http://origins.swau.edu/papers/dinos/yellowstone/default.html

The same paper in booklet form (1997):

http://www.grisda.org/reports/or24_02.htm

Pre-Mt. St. Helens paper by Harold Coffin about soils in the Yellowstone petrified forest, "The Organic Levels of the Yellowstone Petrified Forests" (1979). He does not address the obvious problem (in 1979) of upright trees.

http://www.grisda.org/reports/or06_71.htm

Rebuttal stating that the claims of transport are not supported by the evidence. The article cites authors Fritz and Yuretich, published in Geology magazine. They assert that the Yellowstone trees contain examples of both in situ fossilization and transport. The Specimen Ridge trees are in situ. Fritz has proposed ways to differentiate in situ from transported stumps.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/polystrate/yellowstone.html

See also Dorf, E. The Pertrified Forests of Yellowstone Park Scientific American 1964; April: 79-85.

By the way, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is a classic V-shaped valley cut by time, not a flood.

Dangers for Christians of Creationism

http://members.aol.com/dwise1/cre_ev/quotes.html#HUNT

False statements and distortions hurt the cause of Jesus Christ. Authored by David Wise.

http://members.aol.com/dwise1/cre_ev/index.html

See also Glenn Morton's web site. He ghost-wrote the evolution section in Josh McDowell's book "Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity." A former young-earth creationist, he remains a Christian believer.

http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/

http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/dmd.htm

Glenn Morton has an interesting theory on Genesis and Creation. He suggests that the 6 days of creation are proclamations by God, not their actual time of fulfillment. He suggests that Genesis 1 and 2 are separate events. Evolution is included in God's phrase, "Let the land produce . . ." Adam was the stillborn product of chromosomal fusion (fatal in this case) that God brought back to life and adopted as His own son! Eve was created as described. The Garden of Eden and the Fall happened as described. Morton supports the Flood as a local flood in the Mediterranean basin. The Hebrew word "Eretz" can be translated as "earth", "land", or "country."

http://www.glenn.morton.btinternet.co.uk/synop.htm

See also "The Testimony of a Formerly [sic] Young Earth Missionary" Joshua Zorn:

http://members.aol.com/paluxy2/joshzorn.htm

Robert Morphis also contends that young-earth creationism is harmful to Christianity:

http://www.physics.niu.edu/~morphis/evolution/harm.html

Plesiosaur Carcass Snagged by a Japanese Fishing Boat in 1977

Keywords: Plesiosaur Japan 1977 on Google.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/plesios.html

This article asserts that the decayed carcass was probably that of a basking shark.

The carcass was found off New Zealand, about 30 miles east of Christchurch. The fishing vessel was named Zuiyo-maru, and it was captained by Akira Tanaka. A crewman named Michihiko Yano took a few measurements, photographs, and tissue samples. He should have preserved the skull or at least a vertebrae! Author Glen Kuban provides evidence that dead basking sharks decay by losing their lower jaws and gill arches, thereby giving the appearance of a long neck and small head. It is not clear if there was a dorsal fin. Analysis of the fin tissue showed close agreement with that of a basking shark. There have been other cases of basking shark carcasses decaying into something that looks like a plesiosaur. The original news stories were sensationalist, and the follow-up (debunking) ones less so.

Here is an anti-evolutionist version of the story, authored by John Koster. He concludes, "For the open-minded skeptics, or for those who were just plain curious, the New Zealand monster remains one of the most tantalizing enigmas of the sea."

http://www.gennet.org/nessy.htm

Creationists claim that evolutionists don't want to find a modern-day plesiosaur because it would upset the theory of evolution, and creationists allege a cover-up of the Zuiyo-maru event. This is another bogus straw-man argument. Scientists would love to find a living plesiosaur! I know I would (I even went monster-watching at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in 1981). A modern plesiosaur would not upset the theory of evolution any more than other "living fossils" have (coelecanth, tuatara, crocodile).

I first heard the Zuiyo-maru plesiosaur claim from creationist Ken Ham in 2000, in a videotape series by Answers in Genesis (I could not find a date when the videos were made). In 2002 I discovered that Answers in Genesis has rejected Ken Ham's claim - see "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use":
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

500 doctoral dissertations were written on Piltdown man

Creationist Gary Parker's pamphlet "Origin of Mankind", Impact series #101, Creation-Life Publishers (1981) makes this claim without qualification or source.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/piltdown.html

In the introduction to The Piltdown Men (1972), Ronald Millar says "it is estimated that some five hundred essays were written about [Piltdown man]".

Millar gives no source, evidently not considering the matter to be important enough to document. However it probably was the editorial in the 10 July 1954 issue of Nature (vol. 274, # 4419, pp. 61-62) which describes a meeting of the Geological Society (30 June 1954) devoted to the exposure of the hoax. The editorial (unsigned) says:

"It is agreed that the skull fragments are human and not of great antiquity; that the jawbone is ape; that they have no important evolutionary significance. More than five hundred articles and memoirs are said to have been written about Piltdown man. His rise and fall are a salutary example of human motives, mischief and mistake."

The Millar and Nature references do not support Parker's assertion. "Doctoral dissertations." are not the same as "articles, memoirs, and essays." Furthermore, the estimate for 500 doctoral dissertations on Piltdown Man during the period 1912-1953 is much too high.

An Atheist Quotation

The quotation below is by Richard G. Bozarth, "The Meaning of Evolution," American Atheist, February 1978, page 30. (That publication date may be wrong by a few months; there are various versions on the Internet. I attempted to verify the quote with American Atheist in March 2005 but did not receive a reply.)

"Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus' earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!"
Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis displayed the quotation above in his videotape series and followed it up with the comment, "This guy oughta preach in our churches!" I believe that Bozarth's statement above is a lie from the mouth of satan. Ken Ham should be ashamed to repeat this statement with any kind of favorable comment.

The Bonobo, a species of chimpanzee

Keywords: human bonobo DNA on Google.
http://www.2think.org/bonobo.shtml

Human DNA is 98.4 percent identical to the DNA of chimps and bonobos. (That web page is somewhat off-color.) See also:
http://www.angelfire.com/il/tamarin/crazychimps.html

The following article was posted on CNN.com on September 24, 2002:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/09/24/humans.chimps.ap/index.html
The CNN article is a summary of a study by Roy Britten, a biologist at the California Institute of Technology. The Britten study reports that a new way of comparing the genes shows a smaller similarity of 95% between the DNA of humans and chimpanzees. "Britten said the new study, appearing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, should help biologists figure out how species branched out from each other over the course of evolution." It remains to be seen whether the scientific community will accept the new way of comparing the genes, or whether peer review and examination will eventually conclude that the previous method produces more valid results.

According to Morris Goodman at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, humans and chimps share 99.4 percent of their DNA. Goodman suggests that common chimpanzees and bonobo chimpanzees be classified under the genus Homo instead of under the separate genus Pan. I (Carl) disagree with that suggestion, based on the fact that chimps have a different number of chromosomes than humans. Goodman's report was published in the May 20, 2003 online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/05/20/humans.chimps.ap/index.html

Dr Derek Wildman is quoted in this article by the BBC: "And so what we've shown is that humans and chimpanzees are actually more similar to each other than either is to any of the other apes." Next on the tree are gorillas, then orangutans, followed by Old World monkeys.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3042781.stm

The Discovery Institute

http://www.discovery.org/crsc/

They are old-earth, special-creation people who favor Intelligent Design (ID). This page is sub-titled, "Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture."

Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller, the author of a book called Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution (1999) that offers a remarkably clear exegesis of creationism and Intelligent Design as well as a definitive refutation of them, gives a more compelling answer [to the problem of irreducible complexity]. He says that if you can show that any complex mechanism can evolve over time, then you can show that more complex mechanisms can, too. There is plenty of evidence that some primitive gizmo, such as the eyespots on bacteria that vaguely sense light, became a more advanced one, such as an actual eye.

As a practicing Christian, Miller brings a deep sympathy to his analysis of Intelligent Design--he has his own critique of evolutionary theory, particularly when it strays out of the natural sciences--but as a dedicated biologist, he won't let the ID-ers get away with bad science. Here is Dr. Kenneth Miller's web site, which includes the 1994 article "Life's Grand Design":

http://bms.brown.edu/faculty/m/kmiller/

Ice Caps

Area covered by ice caps, worldwide. The author is Richard S. Williams, Jr.

http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/DAAC_DOCS/geomorphology/GEO_9/GEO_CHAPTER_9.HTML

Total surface area covered is 14, 898, 320 square kilometers.

Antarctica and Greenland together contain an estimated 97 percent of all the glacial ice and 77 percent of the freshwater supply on Earth.

Glaciers are of considerable scientific interest because of the extensive record of variations in atmospheric gases and aerosols contained within a vertical column of glacier ice. In optimum geographic locations, the record can extend over several hundred thousand years and provide specific information about variations in carbon dioxide (CO2), the O18/O 16 ratio (a measure of temperature in the lower atmosphere), variations in meteoritic infall rates, the occurrence of explosive volcanic activity through deposition of tephra, etc.

Glacier ice constitutes 2.15% of the earth's water supply; oceans, 97.2%.

10% of the earth's land area is presently covered by ice. During ice ages that expanded to about 29%.

http://www.daflight.demon.co.uk/science/index.htm

Web page entitled, "The Vostok ice core data" says:

"The end result [of this project] was the Vostok ice core data (so named because it was collected at the Russians' Vostok base). It provides a simultaneous record of climate and atmospheric CO2 over 160,000 years, covering all of the last ice age and part of the ice age preceding that."

"At the peak of the last ice age the temperature was about 9 degrees colder than it is now. At that time a layer of ice up to 2 miles thick in places extended all the way from the North Pole down to where London and New York are today. So much water was locked up as ice that the sea level worldwide was about 450 feet lower than it is now - this opened up "land bridges" which made it possible for prehistoric humans to spread around the world. There is still about a third as much water locked up as [in] ice as there was at the peak of the last ice age, most of it in Antarctica. If this were to melt, the result would be a sea level rise of roughly 150 feet - enough to flood every major coastal city in the world, and even to consign whole countries such as Holland and Bangladesh to the briny depths."

http://www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/New_Data/

That article, "Climate Change: New Antarctic Ice Core Data" from May 2000, has a graph of temperature variation and CO2 concentration over 420,000 years of historical ice core data.

http://a088.specialsystems.net/Enviro/archive/ENV19981012a.html

Global sea levels are rising. They have risen about 400 feet since the earth emerged from the last Ice Age between 8,000 and 20,000 years ago. If all the earth's frozen water melted, scientists say sea levels could rise about another 275 feet. [Note from Carl: I should be gratified that they state the exact same figure that I estimated in my essay, but my estimate was an absolute maximum rise. The actual rise would be less than 275 feet because of rising sea levels pouring over onto dry land, and the fact that Greenland and Antarctica are not really 100% solid ice.]

http://kurellian.tripod.com/atlnts1.html#section18

Sea levels were 300-400 feet lower during the last glacial maximum than they are circa 2000 AD.

http://www.stanford.edu/~moore/Boon_To_Man.html

As the earth warmed with the waning of the Ice Age, the sea level rose as much as 300 feet.

http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2000/sea.htm

The melting of the ice [at the end of the Ice Age] raised global sea levels by over 120 meters (393 feet).

Greenland summit ice cores were extracted by the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) and the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2), from 1989 to 1994.
http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/
The GISP2 site was located at 72° 36' N, 38° 30' W. The GRIP site was located at 72° 35' N, 37° 38' W. The annual layers are counted individually down to 2,431 meters, or about 50,000 years, and also correlated with volcanic markers.

The "Lost Squadron" of B-17 bombers and P-38 fighters from World War II landed 10 miles from the coastline of southeastern Greenland near 65° 20' N, 40° 20' W on an active glacier, and was separated from the sea by a crevassed glacial barrier. Snowfall rates are much higher near the coast.
http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/1999/squadron1.htm

The 3-kilometer ice core from Dome C in Antarctica goes back 740,000 years. This core was extracted by the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA). Their report "Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core" is published in the journal Nature on 10 June 2004.
http://www.coolantarctica.com/News/antarctica_press_release.htm

Speed of Light

Keywords: Barry Setterfield speed of light on Google.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c-decay.html

Australian creationist Barry Setterfield introduced his hypothesis of "c-decay" in 1981. The scientific establishment crticized it heavily. The San Diego-based Institute for Creation Research later rejected it (Acts and Facts , June 1988, Gerald Aardsma). This page is authored by Robert P. J. Day.

For a rebuttal to the article, see this response by creationist Malcolm Bowden:

http://ldolphin.org/bowden.html

Here is another critique of Setterfield's work. The article "Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?" is by Frank Steiger:

http://home.attbi.com/~fsteiger/light.htm

Modern measurements indicate that the speed of light has remained constant since 1960.

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/speed_of_light.html

Ice Age Floods in Washington State Scablands

http://www.idahogeology.org/iceagefloods/iafihome.html

This page is maintained by the Ice Age Floods Institute in Moses Lake, Washington. For an excellent map and diagram of the ice dam theory, see:

http://www.idahogeology.org/iceagefloods/iafidesc.html

The Channeled Scablands Theory was proposed by J. Harlan Bretz in 1922. Evidence from huge upstream-pointing sand bars in the Yakima and Snake river valleys suggests that the floods recurred at fairly regular intervals up to as many as seventy times.

http://www.spokaneoutdoors.com/scabland.htm

For lots of good pictures, see this creationist site by Emerson Thomas McMullen. The Scablands section is part of a discussion on catastrophism vs. uniformitarianism. Note: McMullen repeatedly refers to a single "superflood" and uses the plural only in his page title. He also mentions "glacial melt" only briefly as the source of the "superflood" and does not mention the ice dam at all. This is called selective reporting.

http://www2.gasou.edu/facstaff/etmcmull/DINO.htm

More pictures are on this web site about Glacial Lake Missoula Floods by Northwest Naturalist:

http://www.nwnaturalist.com/text/g_missfloods.htm

"Proglacial and Paraglacial" Landforms, authored by Bryan Gartland and Terry Phillips (nice pictures):

http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/propara1/

A glacial flood in Iceland is called a jökulhlaup. There was a spectacular one in November 1996 at the Vatnajökull ice sheet. It is not clear from this page if a subglacial volcanic eruption triggered the flood, but there was definitely an ice dam at the Grímsvötn caldera that burst, releasing huge amounts of flood water. In its early stages the flood flowed under the ice dam and then shattered it.

http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/jok/jok.htm

From Iceland Review, November 5, 1996: "A tidal wave [sic] of black melt water and huge chunks of ice from last month's Vatnajökull eruption is hurtling southwards under and over Europe's largest glacier sweeping aside everything in its path." It seems that the volcanic eruption increased the amount of meltwater dramatically, but it was water pressure that floated and broke the dam, not the actual eruption.

http://wwwcatsic.ucsc.edu/~eart8/Lectures/lecture22.html

Here is a page describing the mechanism of jökulhlaup, or glacier outburst floods.

http://students.washington.edu/throstho//science/jhlaup/jhlauptutor.htm

Hubbard glacier is a large glacier ending in the ocean near Yakutat, Alaska. In May 1986 a surge of the Valerie glacier, a tributary of Hubbard glacier caused Hubbard to advance across the entrance of Russell fjord, turning the fjord into a lake. The lake rose to 25.5 m above sea level. On October 8, 1986, the ice dam burst and Lake Russell drained in a few hours back down to sea level. The peak flow was about 100,000 m3. This is the same mechanism of Lake Missoula, but on a much smaller scale. See also Krimmel, R. M. and D. C. Trabant (1992). The terminus of Hubbard Glacier, Alaska. Annals of Glaciology, 16, 151 - 157.

Lake Russell threatened to overflow into the Situk River in 1986 and endanger the salmon there.

http://www.hbcumi.cau.edu/tqp/301/301-13/Hubbard%20Glacier.html

http://www.csc.noaa.gov/products/ak/html/projdesc.htm

http://www.jsd.k12.ak.us/dzh/AKonline/SE/YAKUTAT.HTML

Bishop James Ussher and the Date of Creation

Keywords: Bishop Ussher Nebuchadnezzar on Google.

Article by Colin Groves "From Ussher to Slusher, from Archbish to Gish: or, not in a million years..." debunking certain misinformation about Ussher:

http://artalpha.anu.edu.au/web/arc/resources/cult/aogroves.htm

"What Ussher wrote in 1650 (in Latin: English edition, 1658) was simply this: the Bible says that the death of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, occurred 3442 years after the creation of the world; history records that he died in 562 B.C.; 3442 plus 562 equals 4004, so that's when the creation happened."

Where does the Bible say that about Nebuchadnezzar?

Here is another site that contains a table of Bible chronology with many scripture references (taken quite literally). Creation is at 4004 B.C., and Noah's Flood is at 2348 B.C. The sources of this information are Martin Anstey and Philip Mauro, and the site is maintained by Central Highlands Christian Publications. The table appears to have been made in 1996. The authors damage their credibility by including many predictions/prophesies for the years 1997 and 2000, none of which look at all familiar in June 2001. They do include a section on possible errors.

http://www.cbl.com.au/~bga/bibchron.htm

This page analyzes a range of proposed dates for the Exodus from Egypt. Author Dennis Bratcher examines Biblical and archeological evidence with regard to dates from 1440 to 1290 BC.

http://www.cresourcei.org/exodusdate.html

Arlton Murray and Stephen Meyers are President and Vice-President of the Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies. They have compiled a great deal of information, including sections on Biblical archeology and comparisons with other ancient texts.

http://www.bibleandscience.com/

Answers in Genesis is not defending the Bible from the very first verse; they are defending the human interpretation of Bishop James Ussher from 1650.

Y2K Predictors

Gary North's web site still has all the dire warnings and cover-up allegations as of November 2000.
http://www.garynorth.com/

Ed Yourdon
http://www.yourdon.com/
He admits, "I was wrong about Y2K." and discusses in what ways he was wrong.
http://www.yourdon.com/y2kfan/index.html

Michael Hyatt. He is author of three books on Y2K: The Millennium Bug (1998), Y2K: The Day the World Shutdown (1998), and The Y2K Personal Survival Guide(1999). His web site still tracks Y2K bug reports, but the main focus now is on conservative political commentary.
http://www.michaelhyatt.com/

Chuck Missler is founder of Koinonia House Online. A search for "Y2K" on that site turns up nothing.
http://www.khouse.org/misslers.html
This page claims to have archives of Missler's radio reports on Y2K, but the links there don't work:
http://home.earthlink.net/~tomatoe/khouse_org_radio_Y2K.html
Missler's ministry used to offer an audio cassette report titled: "The Millennium Bomb: Y2K". He also organized and/or spoke at a series of Y2K Preparedness conferences in the years before 2000.

The Origin of Species and The Creator

An on-line searchable version of the book's text (First Edition) is at:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/origin.html

Charles Darwin uses the word 'Creator' (meaning God) as follows:

3 times in Chapter 6
3 times in Chapter 13
1 time in Chapter 14

Darwin refers to the Creator with a mixture of agnosticism and admiration.

The words 'by the Creator' were added to the very last sentence of the conclusion (Chapter 14) in the Sixth Edition.

The Battle of Kadesh, 1294 BC

Keywords: Battle of Kadesh on Google.
This web page is authored by Jan Hjelm:

http://hemma.kramnet.com/jan.hjelm/kadesh.htm

The battle has been made into an "Age of Heavens" computer game:

http://aoe.heavengames.com/newfiles/april26.shtml

Total combatants (the battle was fought at Kadesh on the river Orontes):

Hittite infantry: 35,000
Hittite chariots: 3,500
Egyptian forces: 20,000

On-Line Bible

An on-line searchable version of the New Living Translation of the Bible is at:

http://www.newlivingtranslation.com/

Check it out!

The Age of the Earth

Darryl Stringer is a Christian in Australia who accepts evolution. His web site has a history of the church with regard to the question of the age of the earth and the days of creation. The view that the days of creation in Genesis are not ordinary 24-hour days has been around since the second century A.D. Click on the link Science v God, then Genesis - the creation account.

http://think.findhere.com/

From "The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology", by Simon Winchester, 2001, pages 285-286.

"The six days of Creation were properly to be thought of as Six Ages, he [William Buckland] said [in 1830]. Scientific observation had now displayed, without a shadow of a doubt, that there was much more to the Bible than could be learned from its strict literal interpretation. The new science of geology, in other words, was now capable of asking - and probably of answering - the truly great questions, the fathomless wonderment about God, the cosmos and humankind. The conclusions to which Buckland, the keenest of all observers, eventually came were to change the relationship between science and religion for all time. And geology, this brand-new science, with a brand-new society and now a brand-new medal from Wollaston, was the key to unlocking thousands of years of fettered and blinkered prejudice." (emphasis mine)
Winchester does some sniping at the Anglican Church in the early part of his book, but I did particularly appreciate the paragraph above. God turned out to be bigger than mankind originally thought.

Pastor Carl Johnson of A Christ Walk Church in Kingsbury, Indiana offers an extended discussion in favor of the day-age theory for Genesis 1. He suggests that the sun and moon appear late in the sequence (on day 4) because the early atmosphere was very cloudy, much like the planet Venus is today. Remember that the creation story is told as an earth-based observer would perceive it.

http://mb-soft.com/public/genesis5.html

I checked my Meteorology Today textbook, by C. Donald Ahrens (Sixth Edition, 2000) for independent confirmation of Johnson's theory about thick clouds hiding the sun and the moon. In Chapter 1, page 7 there is a discussion on The Early Atmosphere. According to Ahrens, there was definitely a phase of thick clouds and continuous rain on earth, but it's difficult to say if some primitive plants emerged (2-3 billion years ago?) before the sun began to peek through the clouds on a regular basis. Remember (again) that Genesis 1 is primarily a faith account.

Cedar

There is a description of behemoth in the Book of Job, Chapter 40. Verse 17 reads "He[behemoth] moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together." (King James Version). Job 40:17 in the New International Version reads "His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit."

The commentary in my NIV says that behemoth is possibly the hippopotamus or the elephant. However, Ken Ham and other creationists claim that behemoth is a dinosaur, and they use this verse to support their claim that dinosaurs once lived at the same time as humans. They point to verse 17's comparison between the animal's tail and a cedar. The cedars of Lebanon are huge trees, not like the small tails of a hippo or an elephant. Creationists argue that behemoth is one of the dinosaurs with a big strong tail.

Note that verse 17 does not say "cedar of Lebanon", which is the common term used when describing the building of Solomon's Temple. Verse 17 says only "a cedar." I looked up "cedar" in The Revell Bible Dictionary, edited by Lawrence O. Richards, Copyright 1990 by Fleming H. Revell Company. It's a great book with lots of illustrations. The entire entry for "cedar" on pages 197-198 reads as follows:

Cedar
Large evergreen tree of Lebanon, prized for its use in the construction of public buildings; generally, any evergreen, including the juniper bush.

Cedars once covered Lebanon's western slopes, 4,500-5,700 feet above sea level. When Solomon contracted with the local king to use those cedars to construct the Temple, his palace, and other buildings, he employed 10,000 lumberjacks at a time to cut them down (1 Kings 5:13,14). Five hundred years later, when the Temple was being rebuilt, the builders sent to Lebanon for more cedars (Ezra 3:7). Many noted buildings of the ancient world, such as the temple of Diana at Ephesus, used the famous cedars of Lebanon in their construction.

The wood was prized for various reasons. The trunk is tall, with the typical tree growing to a height of 70 to 80 feet (21 to 24 meters) and a girth of 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters). The fragrance of the Lebanon cedar's wood is attractive to human beings, but repels insects. The warm red wood is solid, unmarred by knots, and is very slow to decay. These qualities made it ideal for the construction of important buildings and also ships.

Poetic references to Lebanon's cedars emphasize the strength and beauty of this most prized of ancient trees. Psalm 92:12-13 says, "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God."

Not every reference to "cedar" in the Bible is to the cedars of Lebanon. The Hebrew 'erez, rendered "cedar" in all English versions, is most likely a generic word for the pine family. "Cedars" that grow beside waters (Numbers 24:6) and the "cedar wood" of Leviticus 14:4, found on the hot, low Sinai peninsula, are probably the scented juniper, which was more a shrub or bush than a tree.

Fascinating! But since the words "of Lebanon" are missing, and because there are other kinds of cedars, I do not believe that Job 40:17 can properly be used to support the contention that behemoth was a dinosaur. Ken Ham is wrong.

Geocentrism

This web site declares that the earth is at the center of the solar system, not the sun:

http://www.biblicalastronomer.org/

The "Why Geocentricity?" page states the reasons for geocentrism: "It is the testimony of God as found in the Bible which constitutes the foundation of modern geocentricity." In my opinion, author Gerardus Bouw has a strong case that he is sticking to the plain meaning of the Biblical text. He takes a more literal view than most young-earth creationists.

Articles in Opposition to Creationism

Lorence Collins is a Christian and a geologist who opposes young-earth creationism. His web site contains a number of excellent articles, as well as his own Christian beliefs. Christianity and science are not contradictory.

http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/creation.html

Radiocarbon Calibration

Lake Suigetsu in Japan is a varve lake. Each spring, algae in the lake bloom and die, then settle to the bottom in a thin white layer. The rest of the year, dark clay sediments settle on the bottom. Hiroyuki Kitagawa, of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, has examined core samples from Lake Suigetsu and has found that the black-and-white layers are quite distinct and easy to count. "There was beautiful black and white lamination, like a bar code," he says. Distinctive layers of sediment are called varves. There are 45,000 layers in the lake bottom, which strongly suggests a historic record of 45,000 years, since the algae bloom only once per year. Kitagawa has dated the muck at various layers using Carbon-14, and has used the layer count to calibrate his radiocarbon dates. He finds that there have been some small fluctuations in atmospheric Carbon-14 over the last 45,000 years. The new results don't radically change any carbon dates, they just narrow down the uncertainties of how long something has been dead. Here are some news articles from February 23, 1998:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/carbon0220.html
http://www.newscientist.com/ns/980228/ncarbon.html

We can also calibrate Carbon-14 dating with the Bible. The September/October 1988 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) magazine has an article "The Galilee Boat" by Shelley Wachsmann, describing the discovery and excavation of a fishing boat from Lake Kinneret that dates from Jesus' time.

The archaeologists used seven methods to date the boat:

Taken together, these different dating methods give us convincing evidence that the Galilee boat dates from the time of Jesus. We have a good example where the Carbon-14 date matches the date from the Bible and other known sources. The fishing boat is now in the Yigal Allon Museum at Kibbutz Ginnosar on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Another example of the radiocarbon date matching a known Biblical date is King Hezekiah's water tunnel from Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. A story on the BBC web site (September 10, 2003) described how a team of Israeli scientists led by Amos Frumkin have dated Hezekiah's water tunnel in Jerusalem:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3098018.stm
The scientists used bits of organic material embedded in the tunnel's plaster coating to date the construction of the tunnel. See also the Houston Chronicle (September 13, 2003). The original article is in the journal Nature.
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/world/2095896
The scientists used Carbon-14 dating to obtain a date of about 700 BC. The Ussher Biblical chronology at
http://www.cbl.com.au/~bga/bibchron.htm
suggests that Hezekiah reigned from 662 to 636 BC, and the Bible says that he was the one who constructed the Siloam Tunnel. Other Internet sources say that Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem in 701BC. The web site below (by Dr. James E. Lancaster) gives a fascinating account with pictures of traveling the length of the tunnel through chest-deep water.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/1631/hez1.html
Even if we use the Ussher date, the Biblical date and the carbon date agree to 98%.

Oldest Tree

The oldest known tree is the bristlecone pine. Two specimens in the western United States are 4,723 years old (Methuselah, discovered in 1957 in the White Mountains of California) and 4,950 years old (Prometheus, cut down in 1964 on Mt. Wheeler, Nevada). That puts Prometheus at about 638 years before Bishop Ussher's Flood in 2348 BC, and Methuselah at about 418 years before the Flood. By matching overlapping sets of growth rings, the dendrochronology history of bristlecone pines can be extended back to 9,000 years ago.

http://www.geobop.com/world/na/us/nv/Tree.htm
http://www.extremescience.com/OldestLivingThing.htm
http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/intro.html
http://www.sonic.net/bristlecone/Martyr.html
http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/

Billy Graham on Evolution

Joel Webster sent me a newspaper clipping of a national column that Billy Graham wrote. The clipping has a hand-written note on it: "091893". We assume that this note refers to the publication date: September 18, 1993.

Billy Graham
Man was created by God

Dear Dr. Graham: Where did we come from? Did God create us or are we descended from lower animals, like my high school biology teacher says? Or does it make any difference? - M.N.

Dear M.N.: Although the Bible doesn't say exactly how He did it, one thing is very clear: God is our creator, and we are not here by chance or accident. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).

Yes, it makes a difference how we see ourselves. If you believe you're here by chance, and are only a highly developed animal with no eternal soul, then you will deny that God exists (or at least that He matters or cares about us). You will see little reason to follow any absolute standards, and you will believe that death is the end and life is meaningless.

But when you understand that God created you and gave you a spiritual (as well as physical) nature, it will make all the difference in the world to you! Then you will realize you're not here by chance, but God put you here for a purpose. You'll understand that there is right and wrong, and you will realize that there is hope for the future - hope for this life because it has God-given meaning, and hope for life after death.

My prayer is that you'll turn to the Bible and discover in its page who God is, and who you are as part of His creation. You also will discover there that God loves you, and He wants you to come to know Him in a personal way. In fact, that's why Christ came: "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Peter 3:18).

Billy Graham became the greatest evangelist of the 20th century by focusing on what is important, not by arguing about fossils. I will add only that I believe we got here "by chance" exactly as much as Jesus was born in Bethlehem "by chance".

Speciation

Speciation can occur by splitting of a single species into two distinct species, and by transformation of one species into another over time.

The definition of what constitutes a distinct species has at least two popular forms: fertility and morphology. Fertility, the ability of two organisms to mate and produce fertile offspring, is useful for evaluating existing life forms. Morphology, the difference in organisms by some physical measure, is useful when evaluating fossils.

Note that dog breeds are distinct species by morphology, but they can breed together successfully. However, some dog breeds are distinct species by fertility, because Great Danes and Chihuahuas cannot mate naturally without assistance because of their size difference. To complicate matters, the physical range of dogs easily encompasses foxes and wolves, who might be classified as dogs by morphology. Furthermore, every now and then mule breeders get a fertile one, suggesting that horses and donkeys are almost but not quite distinct species. Thus do the works of God confound the classification of Man. Oh well, the taxonomists will have to do the best they can.

Having pointed out some exceptions, the fact remains that the most useful scientific definitions of speciation are: by morphology (physical appearance) for fossils, and by fertility (fertile offspring) for live organisms. If someone wants to see some evidence for speciation, ask them first what definition they are using.

Chris Ho-Stuart writes: "Evolution is occuring today, and is being directly observed and measured. One of the most famous and thorough examples of direct observation of evolution over an extended period of time is the work of the Grants in observing finches on the Galapagos islands continuously for more than thirty years. A very readable and gripping account of this work is available in
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time
by Jonathan Weiner (Knopf, 1994), (paperback reprint by Vintage books, 1995)."
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/feedback/jan03.html

I have heard some creationists respond to the Galapagos finch study by claiming that "A finch still remains a finch. Macroevolution has not occurred." I have never heard a definition of a finch that would make this claim testable. How big does a finch's beak have to be before it is no longer a finch? Without some measure of what is a finch, this response is meaningless.

Observed Instances of Speciation, by Joseph Boxhorn
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

Some More Observed Speciation Events, by Chris Stassen
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

James Meritt's General Anti-Creationism FAQ
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-meritt/evolution.html#nonew

Speciation, from an online biology textbook by Dr. John W. Kimball
http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/S/Speciation.html

Answers in Genesis has an FAQ in speciation here:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/speciation.asp
To their credit, they acknowledge that speciation has occurred and can be observed happening now. However, they delight in the fact that speciation happens "much quicker than evolutionists had expected." It's true that Charles Darwin envisioned slow and gradual change over thousands and millions of years. Unfortunately for Answers in Genesis, Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge suggested long before AiG even existed (1994) that evolution happens quicker than classical Darwinism had predicted, with their theory of Punctuated Equilibrium (1972). The rapid tempo of evolution was also discussed at the 1980 Conference on Macroevolution in Chicago, and AiG uses misquotes from this conference in their videotape series.

Christian Biologist Dr. Kenneth Miller of Brown University gives four examples of speciation on pages 43-48 of his 1999 book "Finding Darwin's God."

Speciation in Progress: A Classic Example of Darwinian Evolution, by Dr. Charles W. Brown. He gives examples of speciation in the Ensatina genus of salamanders.
http://www.santarosa.edu/lifesciences2/ensatina2.htm

Extreme Plate Tectonics

The Sumatra earthquake of December 26, 2004 measured 9.0 on the Richter scale. It caused massive tsunami waves in the Indian Ocean, killing an estimated 226,000 people on the coasts of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India. According to the article below at NASA Earth Observatory, "Seismic measurements and computer models show that the Burma Plate slipped up to 20 meters (66 feet) at the location of the earthquake, 18 kilometers underground. The sea floor above moved less, up to 5 meters (16 feet) vertically and 11 meters (36 feet) horizontally. ... The maximum [vertical] rise, along the subduction zone where the Burma Plate is moving over the India Plate, was over 5 meters (16 feet)."
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=12646

Tsunamis are most severe in shallow water along the coasts, and are smaller in height out to sea in deeper water.

Some proponents of flood geology argue that the earth's continents were much flatter before Noah's flood. According to them, these continents flattened still further to permit flood waters to cover the entire planet, then raised up at the end of the flood into the configuration we see today, all in the single year of 2348 BC! As we can see from the 2004 Sumatra earthquake, even displacements of the earth far smaller than the ones proposed by flood geology cause massive ocean waves. Proponents of flood geology need to explain how the Ark avoided these tsunamis, and why they are not mentioned in the Bible. It's just not credible to suggest that the unpowered Ark was able to float off its original drydock frame, remain in deep water for the duration of the Flood while continents disappeared and appeared again all around, and then somehow make landfall safely on the mountains of Ararat without being upset by a single tsunami.

If the entire Flood was a miracle by the Hand of God, that's fine. Then there is no need to come up with a pseudo-scientific "explanation" for Noah's flood. The Biblical flood happened all right, but flood geology as described by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb did not.

Senator John McCain

The October 30, 2005 issue of Parade magazine contained a news report on page 15 about Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona. The entire story by reporter Lyric Wallwork Winik is worth reading; it reviews McCain's new book "Character is Destiny". John McCain "and co-author Mark Salter include Charles Darwin among the 36 figures they profile - from Joan of Arc to Nelson Mandela - who 'put honor and the demands of conscience above all else'. McCain admires Darwin for being 'steadfast and honest in his pursuit of knowledge,' even in the face of illness and controversy." This is the same courage that Thomas Huxley, English biologist and contemporary of Darwin, stated: "God give me strength to face a fact even though it slay me."

The Parade article further states, "McCain quoted Darwin to us - about the richness and diversity of life on earth - then said, 'I don't see why that magnificence excludes religious faith from its interpretation.'" Senator McCain is a Christian. He goes on to say that the scientific advocates of evolution "need not deny a religious person's 'perception of divine purpose.'" In other words, non-religious scientists should quit saying that evolution has no purpose. McCain recommends "letting the facts of evolution speak for themselves and letting the faithful see the hand of God in nature."

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for the Washington Post, and a conservative by any political measure. His column from November 19, 2005 is titled, "Evolution is not the enemy of God." This entire column is worth reading, but I'll include some quotations: "Let's be clear. 'Intelligent Design' may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological 'theory' whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge - in this case, evolution - they are to be filled by God." "How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein?"

I'm not keen on arguments from authority, so Charles Krauthammer's column must be judged in the context of evidence from Scripture and science, as usual. Charles Krauthammer believes in God, and he accepts the scientific theory of evolution. If nothing else, his viewpoint should convincingly refute the false notion that theistic evolution is only for liberals.

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