A History of Brief Time
by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D.
(From the July edition of Acts & Facts, published by ICR).
Some 20 years ago I made the statement,
There are two major problems in physical
science that young-earth creationists need
to address which are central to the conflict
between evolution and creation—(1) radioisotopes
and the age of the earth, and
(2) the size of the cosmos and the time it
takes for light to arrive on earth from distant
stars. Within the past few years both
of these questions have begun to be resolved
in favor of the young-earth position.
Yes, Virginia, there are creation scientists and they do research and testing like all scientists should do. There is widespread agreement about the two major problems with Young Earth Creationism, as highlighted above. Naturalistic Evolution has more than two major problems, but four big ones that immediately come to mind are 1) Matter appearing from non-matter, 2) Life forming from non-life, 3) Fine-tuning of the Universe, Solar System and Earth and, 4) Design features across the spectrum of life from tiniest organisms to human beings.
The RATE project reported in 2005
that rapid helium diffusion rates in granitic
zircons, the formation of polonium
radiohalos in granitic biotite, and the
presence of radiocarbon in coal and diamonds
have provided evidence for accelerated
nuclear decay in earth’s past which
leads to an estimate of thousands, not
billions of years for the age of the earth.
Recently, Dr. Russell Humphreys, as
part of the ICR COSMOS program, reported
that he has successfully developed
a new solution to Einstein’s equation of
general relativity which lays a foundation
for a new creationist cosmology. His solution
is based on using boundary conditions
which place earth at the center of the heavens
rather than at some insignificant position
in a universe with no center or outer
boundary. He had reported earlier in Starlight
and Time that time would be slowed
dramatically near the center of such a cosmos
because of the gravitational effects of
the mass of stars surrounding earth. In other
words, a day on earth would be equivalent
to millions or billions of years at the stars
far from earth, resulting in sufficient time
for their light to reach earth in only thousands
of years of earth time.
The majority of creation scientists have not signed on to Humphrey's basic premise of an earth created at an event horizon. However, most are in agreement that the Earth appears to be centrally located in the Universe and it is understood that relativity predicts that time would virtually stand still at the event horizon, so he may be onto something. The point is that creation scientists don't simply think up "just-so" stories but then scrupulously try to study and research to determine if they could actually be correct.
Dr. Humphreys has now formulated
his model into predictive equations which
can be used to explain other observations
and validate his solution, such as the red
shifts of stars, the rotation of galaxies,
and the “Pioneer Anomaly.” He hopes
soon to be able to explain the rapid formation
of stars during the fourth day of
creation, the source of cosmic background
radiation, how we can see post-
Fall events like exploding stars and colliding
galaxies, and why all galaxies look
the same regardless of distance. He presented
these early results at a recent meeting
with other creationist cosmologists,
who are also making good progress toward
solving these problems in similar
ways. COSMOS is reclaiming the heavens,
so that Christians can once again proclaim,
“The heavens declare the glory of
God” (Psalm 19:1). It appears that we are
well on the way to solving both of the
big problems in the physical sciences I
identified 20 years ago. As Dr. John Morris
often says, “It’s a wonderful time to
be a creationist.”
The Institute for Creation Research has two major ongoing research projects other than the COSMOS project, which studies the creation of the Universe. The ICR GENE Team is studying variation in the human mitochondrial genome. RATE, which stands for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth, is another research endeavor.
The ICR publishes articles designed for the layman, such as the three posted below. Highlights are mine...
Imagine a world with no oceans where it rains lead. So stifling hot that human visitation is inconceivable, the planet Venus is curiously similar to Earth, yet profoundly different. Venus has a sultry atmosphere, supersonic winds, a mountain higher than Everest, volcanic flows that look like pancakes, and about a thousand craters -- but no plate tectonics and only a weak magnetic field. Our ideas about Venus have made an almost complete about-face since 1960 when many hoped it was a lush, tropical world that might host exotic life. This hellish world now poses a serious challenge to uniformitarian views.
The idea that started Darwin down the slippery slope to unbelief was uniformitarianism: "the present is the key to the past." Reading Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin was impressed by the vision of slow, gradual changes over vast ages. Everywhere he visited on his voyage, he interpreted geological evidence through this lens. Applied to biology, it became a focal point of his theory of natural selection. The slow accumulation of gradual changes, in fact, became a motif of his entire worldview. Can uniformitarianism be extended to the other planets?
Venus has been explored by an armada of spacecraft since 1961. The mission that most revolutionized our view of Venus was the US program Magellan. Between 1990 and 1994, the orbiter mapped 98% of the surface with radar, revealing features that astonished scientists. Uniformitarianism? Lyell need not apply. Craters, mountains, and volcanic features all appear to be the same age. Planetary scientists, believing in long ages, have been forced to infer that the first 90% of the planet's history is missing!
In an interview in Astrobiology Magazine (8/16/2004), David Grinspoon called this the biggest surprise of Magellan. "If you use the word catastrophic it rubs some people the wrong way," he said, "but something dramatic happened on Venus which wiped out almost all signs of an older surface." Nobody knows what could have happened to resurface an entire planet. R. Stephen Saunders, in The New Solar System (4th ed.), made the same astonishing admission. "The geologic rule of unformitarianism -- `the present is the key to the past' -- does not apply to Venus . . ." he said.
One idea never considered is that the missing 90% never occurred. The twentieth century has seen the revival of catastrophism in Earth geology and the discovery of "young" features like Saturn's rings and the geysers of Enceladus. Secular scientists are even exploring the possibility that gas giants like Jupiter could form in mere thousands of years. Earlier reasons for trusting the opinions of Lyell (a lawyer) have eroded away.
Should scientists be allowed to infer histories that are indistinguishable from myth? If it were not that Darwinian evolution requires vast ages (as if that would help), many of the features observed by the space program would be considered young. The planets have no obligation to Charles -- Lyell or Darwin.
*David F. Coppedge works in the Cassini program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (The views expressed are his own.)
Rocks exposed in the walls of Grand Canyon testify of the advance of marine waters upon North America during the Flood. How rapid was the advance? What was it like? We may never fully know the answers but there are few places on earth that are better suited for study. It is of profound importance to Christians to defend the historicity of the Flood; after all, our Lord predicated His Second Coming on it (Matthew 24:38-39). Could it be that the sequence of layers in Grand Canyon known as the Tonto Group exist for the purpose of being a "memorial" (Joshua 4) or a "witness" (Joshua 24) to the world that God has judged in the past and will again?
Secular geologists agree that the Tonto Group of strata, including the Tapeats Sandstone, the Bright Angel Shale, and the Muav Limestone, is perhaps the best example of a marine transgression on North America. However, it was a very unusual advance. It was unusual in at least three ways.
First, it is nearly unimaginable to postulate an ocean on top of a continent for geophysical reasons. No continents are underwater today for the simple reason that continental crust is composed of lighter minerals than oceanic crust. This buoyancy causes continents to sit high in the mantle compared to the denser ocean basins. Geologists must be able to imagine a world very unlike today's, in which either entire continental masses become depressed or else global sea level somehow rose. Neither isostasy nor glacial melt waters are of sufficient scale to explain it.
A second way this marine transgression is unusual is the flatness of the marine advance. Standard interpretation envisions the Tapeats Sandstone as representing a kind of beach or near-shore deposit, the Bright Angel Shale as shallow-water, and the Muav Limestone as a "deeper" water carbonate bank. It is hard to imagine wading into an ocean for hundreds of miles and still be only waist-deep in water, yet this is the picture most secular geologists work with. Thirty-foot boulders in the base of the Tapeats Sandstone do not fit easily into such a picture.
The third way this is unusual is that the Tonto Group has not been dated by any absolute means. That is, there are no igneous rock bodies within the Tonto Group by which scientists can assign with certainty an "age," even though most will assert it to be 500 plus million years old. How can they have such confidence? Marine fossils of the Tonto Group define "bio-zones" that are found in similar rocks in other parts of the world where dateable igneous rocks are inter-bedded with Tonto-like sedimentary rocks. The bio-zones are thought to represent nearly-synchronous worldwide evolutionary "events," and a single radioisotope date from anywhere in the world is considered sufficient to date the entire horizon. There is only one kind of timeline that stratigraphers universally recognize that can trump evolutionary bio-zones, and that is a volcanic ash bed (tuff).
Newsflash! There is now evidence for more than one volcanic ash bed in the Tonto Group of Grand Canyon. An ICR FAST research project is pursuing these ash beds as a means to understand the advance of the oceans on top of the continent, without appeal to evolutionary bio-zones. Please pray for this project, which may open a new means for understanding the Tonto Group and the Genesis Flood.
*William A. Hoesch, M.S. geology, is Research Assistant in Geology.
Squares or cubes in the living world are both rare and strange, but there are species of bacteria that are both flat and box-shaped. A deadly Australian species of sea jelly (jellyfish or medusae) called the sea wasp (Chironex fleckeri) has the fascinating shape of a cube. Remarkably, these creatures -- composed of 95% water -- have multiple sets of eyes, including some which are human-like. Why would these creatures -- supposedly so low on the evolutionary ladder -- not only have several different kinds of multi-purpose eyes, but one set that is human-like? To say this is unexpected is an understatement.
God has designed the box jellyfish with eyes that not only see obstacles, but are also able to detect the size and color of objects, as well as a set to detect light intensity. The eyes work in harmony giving the box jelly "an extreme fish-eye view, so it's watching almost the entire underwater world" according to evolutionist Anders Garm of Lund University in Sweden.1
Does Darwinism explain the form and function of jellyfish? To begin with, evolutionists do not know even the origin of jellyfish: "The origin of the |jellyfish| and ctenophores is obscure . . ."2 Furthermore, they "explain" the amazing eye design by stating, "Millions of years of evolution have produced more than ten different animal vision systems, each perfectly tailored to suit the needs of its owner."3 This is hardly a scientific explanation, of course. Creationists counter with, "God has designed more than ten different animal vision systems, each perfectly tailored to suit the needs of its owner." Each of the preceding statements is as scientific -- or religious -- as the other.
Clearly, random genetic mutations do not begin to explain the origin or function of these incredible eyes. Evolutionist Paul Ehrlich of Stanford states --
Because mutations are random relative to need and because organisms generally fit well into their environments, mutations normally are either neutral or harmful; only very rarely are they helpful -- just as a random change made by poking a screwdriver into the guts of your computer will rarely improve its performance.4
The structure and physiology of eyes, no matter where they're found, are a window to creation!
- Thompson, A. 2007. Jellyfish have human-like eyes. LiveScience. April 2. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17913669/.
- Hickman, Roberts, and Larson. 1997. Zoology. Dubuque, IA: WC Brown Publishers. p. 275.
- Than, K. 2005. Nature inspires design of new eyes. LiveScience. Nov. 18. http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/051118_animal_eyes.html.
- Ehrlich, P. 2000. Human natures. Washington, DC: Island Press. p. 21.
*Frank Sherwin is a zoologist and seminar speaker for ICR.
ICR scientists also produce papers for research scientists and peer review. Often these are difficult to wade through unless you are an expert in the field pertaining to the paper. I present one example for your viewing, and a link to several more of them should you be inclined to look:
Excess Argon within Mineral Concentrates from the New Dacite Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Volcano
Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469
Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal Vol. 10 (Part 3) - ISSN 1036 CEN Tech. J.
All Rights Reserved.
Figure 3. Blocky surface texture of the east side of the dacite lava dome above prominent talus slope (helicopter photo by S. A Austin, October 1989).
Figure 4. Photomicrograph of Mount St. Helens dacite flow of 1986. The most abundant phenocrysts are plagioclase which are embedded in a much finer-grained groundmass containing grass end microphenocrysts. Photographed in polarised light with 2 mm width of view (dacite sample 'DOME-1 photo by A. A. Snelling).
|Oxide or Element||Abundance|
|Loss on Ignition||0.05 %|
|Table 1. Major-element and trace-element abundances in the 1986 dacite lava flow at Mount St. Helens determined by X-ray fluorescence. The analysis was performed on dacite groundmass and phenocrysts without lithic inclusions.|
|Normative Mineral (Formula)||% by Weight|
|Table 2. Idealized normative mineral assemblage for the Mount St. Helens dacite calculated from the major-element abundances of Table 1.|
|K (%)||40K (ppm)||Total Ar (ppm)||40Ar* (ppm)||40Ar*/Total 40Ar||40Ar*/40K||'Age' (Ma)|
|0.924||1.102||0.0018||0.0000225||0.0125||0.000020||0.35 ± 0.05|
|1.048||1.250||0.0024||0.000025||0.0105||0.000020||0.34 ± 0.06|
|DOME-1 M |
|0.581||0.693||0.0027||0.000037||0.0135||0.000053||0.9 ± 0.2|
|DOME-1 H |
|0.466||0.555||0.0015||0.000054||0.0360||0.000096||1.7 ± 0.3|
|DOME-1 P |
|0.447||0.533||0.0025||0.000087||0.0345||0.000163||2.8 ± 0.6|
40K/K = 1.193 x 10-4 g/g
Decay constant of
40K = 5.543 x 10-10 yr-1
40K decays to 40Ar = 0.1048
40Ar/36Ar = 295.5
|Hualalai basalt (Hawaii, AD 1800-1801)||1.6 ± 0.16 Ma |
1.41 ± 0.08 Ma
|Mt. Etna basalt (Sicily, 122 BC)||0.25 ± 0.08 Ma|
|Mt. Etna basalt (Sicily, AD 1792)||0.35 ± 0.14 Ma|
|Mt. Lassen plagioclase (California, AD 1915)||0.11 ± 0.3 Ma|
|Sunset Crater basalt (Arizona, AD 1064-1065)||0.27 ± 0.09 Ma |
0.25 ± 0.15 Ma
- Pringle, P. T, 1993. Roadside Geology of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Vicinity, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources, Information Circular 88, 120 p.
- Swanson, D. A. and Holcomb, R. T., 1990. Regularities in growth of the Mount St. Helens dacite dome, 1980 1986. In: Lava Flows and Domes, J. Fink (ed.), Spnnger-Verlag, Heidelberg, Vol. 2, pp. 3-24.
- Swanson and Holcomb, Ref. 2.
- Swanson and Holcomb, Ref. 2.
- Cashman, K. V., 1988. Crystallization of Mount St. Helens 1980 1986 dacite: a quantitative textural approach. Bulletin Volcanologique, 50:194 209.
- Cashman, K. V. and Taggart, J. E., 1983. Petrologic monitoring of 1981 and 1982 eruptive products from Mount St. Helens. Science, 221:1385-1387.
- Cashman, K. V., 1992. Groundmass crystallization of Mount St. Helens dacite, 1980 1986: a tool for interpreting shallow magmatic processes. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 109:431-449.
- Swanson and Holcomb, Ref. 2.
- Cashman, Ref. 5
- Heliker, C., 1995. Inclusions in Mount St. Helens dacite erupted from 1980 through 1983. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 66:115-135.
- Heliker, Ref. 10.
- Heliker, Ref. 10.
- Rutherford, M. J., Sigurdsson, H., Carey, S. and Davis, A., 1985. The May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens 1: melt composition and experimental phase equilibria. Journal of Geophysical Research, 90:2929-2947.
- Rutherford, M. J. and Devine, J. D., 1988. The May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens 3: stability and chemistry of amphibole in the magma chamber. Journal of Geophysical Research, 93:11949-11959.
- Endo, E. T., Dzurisin, D. and Swanson, D. A., 1990. Geophysical and observational constraints for ascent rates of dacitic magma at Mount St. Helens. In: Magma Transport and Storage, M.P. Ryan (ed.), John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp. 318-334.
- Cashman, Ref. 7.
- Cashman, Ref. 5.
- Heliker, Ref. 10.
- Faure, G., 1986. Principles of Isotope Geology, 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 42.
- Dalrymple, G. B.and Lanphere, M. A., 1969. Potassium-Argon Dating: Principles, Techniques and Applications to Geochronology, W. H. Freeman, San Francisco, p. 49.
- Dalrymple, G. B., 1969. 40Ar/36Ar analyses of historic lava flows. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 6:47-55.
- Dalrymple, Ref. 21.
- Krummenacher, D., 1970. Isotopic composition of argon in modern surface volcanic rocks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 8:109-117.
- Laughlin, A. W., Poths, J., Healey, H. A., Reneau, S. and Wolde Gabriel, G., 1994. Dating of Quaternary basalts using the cosmogonic 3He and 14C methods with implications for excess 40Ar. Geology, 22:135-138.
- Patterson, D. B., Honda, M. and McDougall, I., 1994. Noble gases in mafic phenocrysts and xenoliths from New Zealand. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 58:4411-4427.
- Honda, M., McDougall, I., Patterson, D. B., Doulgens, A. and Clague, D. A., 1993. Noble gases in submarine pillow basalt glasses from Loihi and Kilauea, Hawaii: a solar component in the Earth. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 57:859-874.
- Heliker, Ref. 10.
- Karpinskaya, T B., 1967. Synthesis of argon muscovite. International Geology Review, 9:1493-1495.
- Poths, J., Healey, H. and Laughlin, A. W., 1993. Ubiquitous excess argon in very young basalts. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 25:A-462.
- Patterson et al., Ref. 25.
- Broadhurst, C. L., Drake, M. J., Hagee, B. E. and Benatowicz, T J., 1990. Solubility and partitioning of Ar in anorthite, diopside, forsterite, spinel, and synthetic basaltic liquids. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 54:299-309.
- Broadhurst, C. L., Drake, M. J., Hagee, B. E. and Benatowicz, T. J., 1992. Solubility and partitioning of Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe in minerals and synthetic basaltic melts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 56:709-723.
- Broadhurst et al., Ref 31.
- Dalrymple, G. B., 1964. Potassium-argon dates of three Pleistocene interglacial basalt flows from the Sierra Nevada, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 75:753-758.
- Huber, N. K. end Eckhardt, W. W., 1985. Devils Postpile Story, Sequoia Natural History Association, Three Rivers, California, 30 p.
- Hamblin, W. K., 1994. Late Cenozoic Lava Dams in the Western Grand Canyon, Geological Society of America, Memoir 183, Boulder, Colorado, 139 p.
- McKee, E. D., Hamblin, W. K. and Damon, P. E., 1968. K-Ar age of lava dam in Grand Canyon. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 79:133-136.
- Hamblin, Ref. 36.
- Young, D. A., 1990. The discovery of terrestrial history. In: Portraits of Creation: Biblical and Scientific Perspectives on the World's Formation, H. I Van Till, R. E. Snow, J. H. Stek and D. A. Young (eds), William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, pp. 26-81.
- Mor, D., 1987. Har Odem Geological Map, Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem, scale 1:50,000, one sheet.
- Bar-Yosef, O., 1989. Geochronology of the Levantine Middle Palaeolithic. In: The Human Revolution, P. Mellars and C. Stringer (eds), Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, pp. 589-610.
Comments regarding typographical errors in the above material are greatly appreciated.
Webmaster or ICR Systems Administrator, Electronic Editor - Fax: (619) 448-3469
and the Problem of Excess Argon by Andrew A. Snelling (Mar. 1999)
Argon-Argon "Dating" of Volcanic Rocks by Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D. (Jan. 1999)
New Zealand, and the Implications for Potassium-Argon "Dating" by Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D.(1998)
Did you make it this far? Here is a research paper index for those papers currently available online, some in HTML and others in pdf format: Research papers index.