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Monday, July 09, 2007

A History of Brief Time, among other scientific endeavors

From the ICR - Creation scientists doing, well, science!

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!

  1. Thompson, A. 2007. Jellyfish have human-like eyes. LiveScience. April 2. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17913669/.
  2. Hickman, Roberts, and Larson. 1997. Zoology. Dubuque, IA: WC Brown Publishers. p. 275.
  3. Than, K. 2005. Nature inspires design of new eyes. LiveScience. Nov. 18. http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/051118_animal_eyes.html.
  4. Ehrlich, P. 2000. Human natures. Washington, DC: Island Press. p. 21.

*Frank Sherwin is a zoologist and seminar speaker for ICR.

Don't try to tell me that creation science isn't science. Those who say this are simply defending their own particular worldview by trying to pretend that there are no competing worldviews. What a narrow way to look at life!

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
Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021
Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469
Copyright 1996 � by Creation Science Foundation, Ltd. A.C.N. 010 120 304
Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal Vol. 10 (Part 3) - ISSN 1036 CEN Tech. J.
All Rights Reserved.
ABSTRACT
The conventional K-Ar dating method was applied to the 1986 dacite flow from the new lava dome at Mount St. Helens, Washington. Porphyritic dacite which solidified on the surface of the lava dome in 1986 gives a whole rock K-Ar 'age ' of 0.35 ± 0.05 million years (Ma). Mineral concentrates from the dacite which formed in 1986 give K-Ar 'ages 'from 0.34 ± 0.06 Ma (feldspar-glass concentrate) to 2.8 ± 0.6 Ma (pyroxene concentrate). These 'ages 'are, of course, preposterous. The fundamental dating assumption ('no radiogenic argon was present when the rock formed ') is questioned by these data. Instead, data from this Mount St. Helens dacite argue that significant 'excess argon 'was present when the lava solidified in 1986. Phenocrysts of orthopyroxene, hornblende and plagioclase are interpreted to have occluded argon within their mineral structures deep in the magma chamber and to have retained this argon after emplacement and solidification of the dacite. The amount of argon occluded is probably a function of the argon pressure when mineral crystallization occurred at depth and/or the tightness of the mineral structure. Orthopyroxene retains the most argon, followed by hornblende, and finally, plagioclase. The lava dome at Mount St. Helens dates very much older than its true age because phenocryst minerals inherit argon from the magma. The study of this Mount St. Helens dacite causes the more fundamental question to be asked—how accurate are K-Ar 'ayes 'from the many other phenocryst-containing lava flows world-wide?

INTRODUCTION
Figure 1.
Figure 1. The newest lava dome within the horseshoe-shaped crater at Mount St. Helens during its building process in August 1984 (photo by S. A. Austin).
Dacite magma at Mount St. Helens in Washington State expressed itself directly during six explosive magmatic eruptions in 1980 (May 18, May 25, June 12, July 22, August 7 and October 17, 1980). This magma produced the distinctive plinian, explosive eruptions for which the volcano is famous. After three of these explosive eruptions (June 12, August 7 and October 17), near-surface magma had low enough steam pressures so that viscous lava flows formed three consecutive, dome-shaped structures within the crater. The first two dacite lava domes built within the crater (late June and early August 1980) were destroyed by subsequent explosive eruptions (July 22 and October 17). The third dacite lava dome began to appear on October 18, 1980 above the lip of a 25-metre-diameter feeding conduit.
THE NEW DACITE
LAVA DOME
Figure 2.
Figure 2. Mount St. Helens' new lava dome is composed of 74 million cubic meters of dacite flows and intrusions built up within the crater between October 18, 1980, and October 26, 1986 The view is toward the north looking over the lava dome into the 1980 blast zone (photo by Lyn Topinka of the US Geological Survey, after Pringle, Ref. 1).
After October 18, 1980, this third and newest composite dome of dacite began to appear. By October 1986 this newest lava dome had grown within the horseshoe-shaped crater to be an immense structure up to 350 m high and up to 1,060 m in diameter (see Figures 1 and 2). The lava dome formed by a complex series of lava extrusions, supplemented occasionally by internal inflation of the dome by shallow intrusions of dacite magma into its molten core. Extrusions of lava produced short (200-400 m) and thick (20-40 m) flows piled on top of one another.2 Most dacite flows extended as lobes away from the top-centre of the dome, generally crumbling to very blocky talus on the flanks of the dome before reaching the crater floor (see Figure 3).
Between October 18, 1980 and October 26, 1986, seventeen episodes of dome growth added 74 million cubic meters of dacite to this third and newest dome.3 During these eruptions magma viscosity was high and steam pressure was low so that the magma did not express itself explosively as it had during the six earlier events of 1980. The structure produced within the crater during the six-year period was an elliptical dome of dacite lava flows and intrusions 860 m (diameter east-west), by 1,060 m (diameter north-south), by 350 m (height above northern base). During the six-year period of building of the dacite dome, there was a steady decrease with time in the volume of magma extruded. On October 26,1986, magma movement into the dome ceased and solidification of magma began within the neck of the volcano beneath the lava dome Eruptions after October 26, 1986 were phreatic steam explosions, not direct expressions of magma. The stability of this third dome, along with decrease in the frequency of earthquakes and phreatic steam eruptions in the ten years after October 1986, indicate that the volcano, again, may be approaching a period of dormancy.
Figure 3.
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).
The SiO2 content of 69 samples of the 1980 to 1986 lava dome at Mount St. Helens is 63.0 ± 0.4 per cent.4 Called a 'porphyritic dacite',5 the rock averages about 55 per cent fine-grained, grey groundmass and 45 per cent phenocrysts and lithic inclusions (see Figure 4). The groundmass of the rock is composed of microphenocrysts of plagioclase, orthopyroxene, and Fe-Ti oxides within a glass matrix.6 Later flows on the lava dome showed a tendency toward higher crystallinity of the groundmass7 and about 1 per cent greater SiO2.8 Phenocrysts of plagioclase (30-35 per cent), orthopyroxene (5 per cent), hornblende (1-2 per cent), Fe-Ti oxides (1 to 2 per cent), and clinopyroxene (less than 0.5 per cent) together comprise almost half of the lava dome.9 Lithic inclusions of gabbro, quartz diorite, hornfelsic basalt, dacite, andesite and vein quartz together compose 3.5 per cent of the dome dacite.10 Of the lithic inclusions 85 per cent are medium grained gabbros with an average diameter of 6 cm." The high mafic mineral content of gabbroic inclusions makes a small but significant decrease in the overall SiO2 content of the dacite lava dome.12
Figure 4.
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).
Geologists are in general agreement concerning the crustal source of the dacitic magma beneath Mount St. Helens. Experimental data from the assemblage of minerals in the dacite indicate that just prior to the May 18, 1980 eruption the upper part of the magma chamber was at a temperature of 930°C and at a depth of about 7.2 km.13 That magma is believed to have contained about 4.6 weight% total volatiles, mostly H2O.14 The last dome-building intrusion event of 1986 delineated two aseismic zones (from 7-12 km and from 3-4.5 km depth) indicating that the deep magma chamber has a shallow magma-storage region.15 Fe-Ti oxide pairs indicated magmatic temperatures decreasing to about 870°C in 1986 when flows into the lava dome stopped.16
SAMPLE COLLECTION AND PREPARATION
Oxide or Element Abundance
SiO2 67.50 %
Al2O3 16.10 %
TiO2 0.61 %
Fe2O3 3.97 %
MnO 0.06 %
CaO 4.18 %
MgO 1.27 %
K2O 1.69 %
Na2O 4.78 %
P2O5 0.17 %
Cr2O3 <0.01>
Rb 44 ppm
Sr 450 ppm
Y 13 ppm
Zr 190 ppm
Nb 30 ppm
Ba 411 ppm
Loss on Ignition 0.05 %
TOTAL 100.5%
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.
In June 1992, a seven-kilogram sample of dacite was collected from just above the talus apron on the farthest-north slope of the lava dome. Because the sample comes from the sloping surface of the dome, it most likely represents the upper surface of a flow lobe. The flow interpretation of the sample is corroborated by the 'breadcrust appearance' of dacite at the sample location, the blocky fracture pattern which suggests the toe of a lava flow, and the presence of dacite scoria just above the sample. The position on the dome suggests that the sample represents the surface of one of the last lava flows, probably from the year 1986.
The composition of the sample matches closely the published mineralogic, petrographic and chemical descriptions of 'porphyritic dacite'.17 Phenocrysts of the sample are of the kind and abundance representative of the entire lava dome. The sample even has several gabbroic inclusions of the composition and size representative of the whole lava dome.18 The chemical analysis of the sample's groundmass with phenocrysts (without gabbroic inclusions) gave 67.5 per cent SiO2 by the X-ray fluorescence method (see Table 1). If the gabbroic inclusions were included in the whole rock analysis, the dacite would be about 64 per cent SiO2, the average composition of the 1986 flows on the lava dome. Normative minerals were calculated in Table 2, with the assemblage representative of dacite. Thus, this seven-kilogram sample of dacite is representative of the whole lava dome.
One kilogram of dacite groundmass with phenocrysts (without gabbroic inclusions) was removed from the sample for potassium-argon analysis. The technique began by crushing and milling the dacite in an iron mortar. Particles were sieved through the 80 mesh (0.18 mm) screen and collected on top of the 200 mesh (0.075 mm) screen. The 80-200 mesh (0.18-0.075 mm) particles were specified by the argon lab to be the optimum for the argon analysis.
A second, one-kilogram sample of dacite groundmass was subsequently processed to concentrate more of the pyroxene. This separate preparation utilized crushed particles sieved through a 170 mesh (0.090 mm) screen and collected on a 270 mesh (0.053 mm) screen. These finer particles (0.053-0.090 mm) were found to allow more complete concentration of the mineral phases, even though these particles were finer than the optimum requested by the lab.
Because of the possibility of particles finer than 200 mesh absorbing or releasing a larger portion of argon, particles passing through the 200-mesh screen were rejected. The only exception was the single preparation made from particles passing through 170 mesh and collected on the 270-mesh screen.
Throughout the crushing, milling, sieving and separation processes, great care was taken to avoid contamination. The specific steps used to stop or discover contamination of the samples included:
(1) Sawing of rock from the interior of the collected block of dacite (used to remove particles adhering to the sample),
(2) Washing all surfaces and screens that were to contact directly the sample,
(3) Final wet sieving of particles on the 200-mesh screen (or 270-mesh screen) to insure removal of finer particles (including possible contaminant lab dust introduced during milling),
(4) Filtration of heavy liquids to remove contaminants,
(5) Microscopic scanning of particle concentrates for foreign particles,
(6) Preparation of the second concentrate from the raw dacite sample involving completely separate milling and screening (in order to discover if contamination had occurred in one of the concentrates), and
(7) Sealing of samples in vials between preparation steps.
Five concentrates included one whole-rock powder and four mineral preparations. The concentrate names and descriptions are:
Normative Mineral (Formula) % by Weight
Quartz (SiO2) 23.02
Orthoclase (KAlSi3O8) 9.95
Albite (NaAISi3O8) 40.24
Anorthite (CaAI2Si2O8) 17.40
Diopside (CaMgSi2O6) 0.94
Hedenbergite (CaFeSi2O6) 0.82
Enstatite (MgSiO3) 1.53
Ferrosilite (FeSiO3) 1.52
Magnetite (Fe3O4) 3.04
Ilmenite (FeTiO3) 1.15
Apatite (Ca3P2O8) 0.39
TOTAL 100.0
Table 2. Idealized normative mineral assemblage for the Mount St. Helens dacite calculated from the major-element abundances of Table 1.
DOME-1 'Whole-rock preparation' composed of representative particles from both the dacite groundmass and phenocrysts, without lithic inclusions; particles 80-200 mesh.
DOME-IL 'Feldspar-glass concentrate' from the groundmass and phenocrysts; particles 80200 mesh; mostly plagioclase, but also contains fragments from the glassy matrix.
DOME-1M 'Heavy-magnetic concentrate' from the groundmass and phenocrysts; mostly hornblende with Fe-Ti oxides; particles 80-200 mesh.
DOME-1H 'Heavy-nonmagnetic concentrate' from the groundmass and phenocrysts; mostly orthopyroxene; particles 80-200 mesh.
DOME-1P 'Pyroxene concentrate' from the groundmass and phenocrysts; particles 170-270 mesh; prepared from separate dacite sample in fashion similar to DOME-I H. but with more complete concentration of orthopyroxene.
The last four mineral concentrates were prepared from the whole rock by heavy liquid and magnetic separation. First, the representative particles from the groundmass and phenocrysts were dispersed in tribromomethane (CHBr3), a heavy liquid with a density of 2.85 g/cc at room temperature. These particles and heavy liquid were centrifuged in 250 ml bottles at 6,000 rpm. After ten minutes of centrifugation at 20°C, the float particles were collected, filtered, washed, dried and labeled. This float concentrate, 'DOME-IL', was more than 90 per cent of the original and became the 'feldspar-glass concentrate'.
The heavy-mineral residue that sank in the heavy liquid was collected, filtered, washed and dried. It was discovered that the heavy concentrate could be separated into 'strongly magnetic' and 'weakly magnetic' fractions, with about one-third of the heavy residue being strongly magnetic. The heavy concentrate was divided by a very strong hand magnet on a large piece of filter paper at a 45° slope angle. The 'heavy magnetic' fraction, later labeled 'DOME-TM', was composed of heavy particles which climbed up the paper at 45° slope above the influence of the magnet which was moved under the paper. The residue that did not move up the filter paper was the 'heavy-nonmagnetic' fraction. It was labeled 'DOME-1H'. A fourth mineral concentrate was prepared from a completely separate portion of the dacite sample and processed similar to DOME-1H except from finer particles (170-270 mesh). This finer, heavy-nonmagnetic fraction separated from the dacite was labeled 'DOME-1P'.
Microscopic examination of the four mineral concentrates indicated the effectiveness of the separation technique. The 'feldspar-glass concentrate' (DOME-IL) was dominated by plagioclase and glass, with only occasional mafic microphenocrysts visible in the plagioclase and glass. Although not a complete separation of non-mafic minerals, this concentrate included plagioclase phenocrysts (andesine composition with a density of about 2.7 g/cc) and the major quantity of glass (density assumed to be about 2.4 g/cc). No attempt was made to separate plagioclase from glass, but further use of heavy liquids should be considered.
The 'heavy-magnetic concentrate' (DOME-TM) was dominated by amphibole minerals, with hornblende assumed to be the most abundant magnetic mineral within the dacite. However, there was also a significant amount of Fe-Ti oxide minerals, probably magnetite and ilmenite. The 'heavy-magnetic concentrate' also had glassy particles (more abundant than in the 'heavy-nonmagnetic concentrate'). Mafic microphenocrysts within these glassy particles were probably dominated by the strongly magnetic Fe-Ti oxide minerals. The microscopic examination of the 'heavy-magnetic concentrate' also revealed a trace quantity of iron fragments, obviously the magnetic contaminant unavoidably introduced from the milling of the dacite in the iron mortar. No attempt was made to separate the hornblende from the Fe-Ti oxides, but further finer milling and use of heavy liquids should be considered.
The 'heavy-nonmagnetic concentrate' (DOME-1H) was dominated by orthopyroxene with much less clinopyroxene, but had a significant quantity of glassy particles attached to mafic microphenocrysts and fragments of mafic phenocrysts along incompletely fractured grain boundaries. These mafic microphenocrysts and fragments of mafic phenocrysts evidently increased the density of the attached glass particles above the critical density of 2.85 g/cc, which allowed them to sink in the heavy liquid. This sample also had recognizable hornblende, evidently not completely isolated by magnetic separation.
The 'pyroxene concentrate' (DOME-IP) was dominated by orthopyroxene and much less clinopyroxene. Because it was composed of finer particles (170-270 mesh), it contained far fewer mafic particles with attached glass fragments than DOME-IH. This preparation is the purest mineral concentrate. Microscopic examination of the orthopyroxene showed it to be a high-magnesium variety, explaining why it was nonmagnetic or only weakly magnetic.
The first three mineral concentrates (DOME-IL, DOME-TM, and DOME-IH) are representative of three different assemblages within the dacite. Because only the finer than 200 mesh fraction was discarded during preparation, these three concentrates should approximately sum, according to their abundance, to make the whole rock. They may not exactly sum because of differences in grind ability of the minerals and their groundmass.
K-Ar ANALYSIS
Potassium and argon were measured in the five concentrates by Geochron Laboratories of Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the direction of Richard Reesman, the K-Ar laboratory manager. These preparations were submitted to Geochron Laboratories with the statement that they came from dacite, and that the lab should expect 'low argon'. No information was given to the lab concerning where the dacite came from or that the rock has a historically known age (ten years old at the time of the argon analysis).
The analytic data are reported in Table 3. The concentration of K (%) was measured by the flame photometry method, the reported value being the average of two readings from each concentrate. The 40K concentration (ppm) was calculated from the terrestrial isotopic abundance using the concentration of K. The concentration in ppm of 40Ar*, the supposed 'radiogenic argon-40', was derived from isotope dilution measurements on a mass spectrometer by correcting for the presence of atmospheric argon whose isotopic composition is known. The reported concentration of 40Ar* is the average of two values. The ratio 40Ar/Total Ar is also derived from measurements on the mass spectrometer and is the average of two values.
The 'age' of each concentrate is calculated by making use of what Faure19 calls the 'general model-age equation':
where t is the 'age' l is the decay constant of the parent isotope, Dt is the number of daughter atoms in the rock presently, Do is the number of daughter atoms initially in the rock, and Pt is the number of atoms presently in the rock. Equation (1) can be used to date the rocks if measurements of Dt and Pt are made from the rock, and if an assumption concerning the original quantity of daughter (Do) is made. For the specific application to K-Ar dating,20 equation (1) becomes equivalent to equation (2) when:
where t is the 'age' in millions of years, 5.543 x 10-10 yr-1 is the current estimate for the decay constant for 40K, 0.105 is the estimated fraction of 40K decays producing 40Ar, and 40Ar*/40K is the calculation by standard procedure of the mole ratio of radiogenic 40Ar to 40K in the concentrate. It should be noted that equation (1) becomes equivalent to collation (2) when
Thus, 40Ar* includes within it an assumption concerning the initial quantity of 40Ar in the rock. As a matter of practice, no radiogenic argon is supposed to have existed when the rock formed. That is, Do = 0 is supposed for equation (2) to give accurate ages. Thus, equation (2) yields a 'model age' assuming zero radiogenic argon in the rock when it formed. After the initial daughter assumption is made, 40Ar* is determined. Then, the mole ratio 40Ar*/40K is calculated in Table 3 from each concentrate's 40Ar* (ppm) and 40K (ppm). Once the mole ratio is calculated (see Table 3), it is inserted into equation (2) to calculate the 'model ages' listed in Table 3.

K (%) 40K (ppm) Total Ar (ppm) 40Ar* (ppm) 40Ar*/Total 40Ar 40Ar*/40K 'Age' (Ma)
DOME-1
'whole rock'
0.924 1.102 0.0018 0.0000225 0.0125 0.000020 0.35 ± 0.05
DOME-1
tedder, etc.
1.048 1.250 0.0024 0.000025 0.0105 0.000020 0.34 ± 0.06
DOME-1 M
amphibole, etc.
0.581 0.693 0.0027 0.000037 0.0135 0.000053 0.9 ± 0.2
DOME-1 H
pyroxene, etc.
0.466 0.555 0.0015 0.000054 0.0360 0.000096 1.7 ± 0.3
DOME-1 P
pyroxene
0.447 0.533 0.0025 0.000087 0.0345 0.000163 2.8 ± 0.6
Constants used:
40K/K = 1.193 x 10-4 g/g
Decay constant of
40K = 5.543 x 10-10 yr-1
Fraction of
40K decays to 40Ar = 0.1048
Atmospheric
40Ar/36Ar = 295.5
Table 3. Potassium-argon data from the new dacite lava dome at Mount St. Helens Volcano.
DISCUSSION
The argon analyses of the dacite lava dome show, surprisingly, a non-zero concentration of 'radiogenic argon' (40Ar*) in all preparations from the dacite. K-Ar 'ages' using equation (2) range from 0.34 ± 0.06 Ma (million years) to 2.8 ± 0.6 Ma (see Table 3). Because the sampled dacite at the time of the analyses was only ten years old, there was no time for measurable quantities of 40Ar* to accumulate within the rock due to the slow, radioactive decay of 40K The conclusion seems inescapable that measurable 40Ar* in the dacite is not from radiogenic accumulation, but must have been resident already within the different mineral assemblages when the rock cooled from the lava in the year 1986. The lab has not measured 'radiogenic argon' but some other type of argon.
Other historic lava flows have been recognized to have non-zero values for 40Ar*. Of 26 historic, subaerial lava flows studied by Dalrymple,21 five gave 'excess argon' and, therefore, yielded excessively old K-Ar 'ages':
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

Dalrymple22 recognized that these anomalous 'ages' could be caused by 'excess radiogenic 40Ar' from natural contamination, or caused by isotopic fractionation of argon. Krummenacher23 offered similar explanations for unexpected argon isotope ratios from several modern lava flows. Olivine, pyroxene and plagioclase from basalts of the Zuni-Bandera volcanic field (Quaternary of New Mexico) showed very significant quantities of excess argon inherited from the magmatic sources.24 The same conclusion applies to olivine and clinopyroxene phenocrysts from Quaternary volcanoes of New Zealand.25 Significant excess argon was also found in submarine basalts from two currently active Hawaiian volcanoes, Loihi Seamount and Kilauea.26
What caused the non-zero 40Ar* in the Mount St. Helens dacite? Could contaminant 40Ar in the laboratory have been added to the Mount St. Helens dacite giving the impression of great age? The possibility of contamination caused extreme care to be taken in cleaning the processing equipment, and the concentrates were sealed tightly in vials between preparation and analysis. Could the processing equipment itself be adding argon? For example, might the iron fragments produced during milling the sample in the mortar add argon? The heavy-liquid separation process strongly rejects heavy iron from the light feldspar-rich assemblage (preparation DOME-IL), but this concentrate also contains significant 40Ar. Other processes seem to exclude or isolate laboratory contamination. The wet sieving on the 200-mesh screen, for example, should remove any fine lab dust which could have fallen onto the concentrates. Because of these extraordinary considerations, laboratory contamination of the five concentrates is a very remote possibility.
Could the magmatic process beneath the lava dome be adding a contaminant to the molten dacite as it ascends from great depth? This is a possibility needing consideration. Might an argon-rich mineral ('xenocryst') be added to the magma and impart an excessive age to the whole rock' dacite? The data of Table 3 seem to argue that very different mineral phases of the dacite each contain significant 40Ar. Although the mineral concentrates are not pure, and all contain some glass, an argument can be made that both mafic and non-mafic minerals of the dacite contain significant 40Ar. The lithic inclusions in the lava dome might be thought to be the contaminant, in which case they might add 'old' mafic and non-mafic minerals to the young magma. It could be argued that gabbroic clumps in the magma disaggregated as the fluidity of the magma decreased with time, thereby adding an assortment of 'old' mineral grains. However, Heliker27 argues that the gabbroic inclusions are not xenoliths from the aged country rock adjacent to the pluton, but cumulates formed by crystal segregation within a compositionally layered pluton. These inclusions are, therefore, regarded as a unique association within the recent magmatic system.
Could the magmatic conditions at depth allow argon to be occluded within the minerals at the time of their formation? This last, and most interesting, explanation of the anomalous 40Ar suggests the different quantities of argon in different mineral assemblages are caused by variation in the partial pressure of the gas as crystallization progressed, or by different quantities of gas retained as pressure was released. Crystallization experiments by Karpinskaya28 show that muscovite retains up to 0.5 per cent by weight argon at 640°C and vapour pressure of 4,000 atmospheres. Phenocryst studies by Poths, Healey and Laughlin29 showed that olivine and clinopyroxene separated from young basalts from New Mexico and Nevada have 'ubiquitous excess argon'. A magmatic source was postulated for the argon in phenocrysts of olivine and clinopyroxene in Quaternary volcanics of New Zealand.30 Presumably other minerals occlude argon in relation to the partial pressure of the gas in the magma source.
Laboratory experiments have been conducted on the solubility of argon in synthetic basaltic melts and their associated minerals.31, 32 Minerals and melts were held near 1300°C at one atmosphere pressure in a gas stream containing argon. After the material was quenched, the researchers measured up to 0.34 ppm 40Ar within synthetic olivine. They noted, 'The solubility of Ar in the minerals is surprisingly high'.33 Their conclusion is that argon is held primarily in lattice vacancy defects within the minerals.
Argon occlusion within mineral assemblages is supported by the data from the dacite at Mount St. Helens. Table 3 indicates that although the mineral concentrates (rich in feldspar, amphibole or pyroxene) have about the same 'Total Ar' concentrations, the 'pyroxene concentrate' possesses the highest concentration of 40Ar* (over three times that of the 'feldspar-glass concentrate') and the highest proportion of 40Ar* (40Ar*/Total Ar is over three times that of the 'feldspar-glass concentrate'). These data suggest that whereas the orthopyroxene mineral structure has about the same or slightly less gas retention sites as does the associated plagioclase, orthopyroxene has a tighter structure and is able to retain more of the magmatic 40Ar. Orthopyroxene retains the most argon, followed by hornblende, and finally, plagioclase. According to this interpretation, the concentration of 40Ar* of a mineral assemblage is a measure of its argon occlusion and retention characteristics. Therefore, the 2.8 Ma 'age' of the 'pyroxene concentrate' has nothing to do with the time of crystallization.
Where does the argon in the magma come from? Could it be from outgassing of the lower crust and upper mantle? More study is needed.
To test further the hypothesis of argon occlusion in mineral assemblages, higher purity mineral concentrates could be prepared from the dacite at Mount St. Helens. Finer-grained concentrates should be processed more completely with heavy liquids and magnetic separation. The preparation of DOME-1P, a finer-grained and purer pyroxene concentrate than DOME-IH, has, as expected, a higher concentration of 40Ar* and lower concentration of 40K. Acid-solution techniques or further use of heavy liquids could also help to remove undesirable glass. The glass itself should be concentrated for analysis of argon.
APPLICATIONS TO OTHER K-Ar AGES
Do other volcanic rocks with phenocrysts have mineral assemblages with generally occluded argon? Phenocrysts are very common in volcanic rocks, so a general test of the hypothesis could be devised. In addition to testing other historic lava flows, phenocrysts from some ancient flows might be tested for phenocrysts which greatly exceed the 'whole rock' age. Three possible applications are suggested here.
(1) Basalt of Devils Postpile (Devils Postpile National Monument, California)
Plagioclase separated from the Devils Postpile basalt gave a K-Ar 'age' of 0.94 ± 0.16 million years.34 The basalt has been reassigned recently an age of less than 100,000 years based on new geologic mapping and detailed stratigraphic study.35 What was the cause of the excessively old age? It could be argon occluded within the plagioclase.
(2) Basalt of Toroweap Dam (western Grand Canyon, Arizona)
The basalt of Toroweap Dam lies at the bottom of Grand Canyon very near the present channel of the Colorado River. The basalt has been dated twice by the K-Ar method at 1.16 ± 0.18 Ma and 1.25 ± 0.2 Ma.36 The original researchers qualified their statements concerning the basalt date by saying, 'There is the possibility that pre-eruption argon was retained in the basalt'37 Many other basalts of western Grand Canyon have been shown to contain 'excess argon'.38 Although the original researchers do not express certainty concerning the K-Ar age of the basalt at Toroweap Dam, other geologists have assigned much greater certainty and use the K-Ar age to argue that Grand Canyon has existed for a very long time (see especially D. A. Young39).
(3) Keramim basalt (northern Golan Heights, Israel)
'Stone Age' artifacts occur beneath Keramim basalt dated at 0.25 Ma by the K-Ar method.40 However, human occupation is not thought to have occurred in Israel during the Lower Palaeolithic,40 so this and other K-Ar 'ages' should be checked. Because the K-Ar method has been used elsewhere to date Neanderthal Man, we might ask if other Neanderthal 'ages' need careful scrutiny.
CONCLUSION
Argon analyses of the new dacite lava dome at Mount St. Helens raise more questions than answers. The primary assumption upon which K-Ar model-age dating is based assumes zero 40Ar* in the mineral phases of a rock when it solidifies. This assumption has been shown to be faulty. Argon occlusion in mineral phases of dacite at Mount St. Helens is a reasonable alternate assumption. This study raises more fundamental questions—do other phenocryst-containing volcanic rocks give reliable K-Ar ages?
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Financial support was provided by the Institute for Creation Research and Mr. Guy Berthault. Dr. Andrew Snelling provided helpful comments and reviews of the manuscript.
REFERENCES
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Swanson and Holcomb, Ref. 2.
  4. Swanson and Holcomb, Ref. 2.
  5. Cashman, K. V., 1988. Crystallization of Mount St. Helens 1980 1986 dacite: a quantitative textural approach. Bulletin Volcanologique, 50:194 209.
  6. Cashman, K. V. and Taggart, J. E., 1983. Petrologic monitoring of 1981 and 1982 eruptive products from Mount St. Helens. Science, 221:1385-1387.
  7. 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.
  8. Swanson and Holcomb, Ref. 2.
  9. Cashman, Ref. 5
  10. Heliker, C., 1995. Inclusions in Mount St. Helens dacite erupted from 1980 through 1983. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 66:115-135.
  11. Heliker, Ref. 10.
  12. Heliker, Ref. 10.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Cashman, Ref. 7.
  17. Cashman, Ref. 5.
  18. Heliker, Ref. 10.
  19. Faure, G., 1986. Principles of Isotope Geology, 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 42.
  20. Dalrymple, G. B.and Lanphere, M. A., 1969. Potassium-Argon Dating: Principles, Techniques and Applications to Geochronology, W. H. Freeman, San Francisco, p. 49.
  21. Dalrymple, G. B., 1969. 40Ar/36Ar analyses of historic lava flows. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 6:47-55.
  22. Dalrymple, Ref. 21.
  23. Krummenacher, D., 1970. Isotopic composition of argon in modern surface volcanic rocks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 8:109-117.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Heliker, Ref. 10.
  28. Karpinskaya, T B., 1967. Synthesis of argon muscovite. International Geology Review, 9:1493-1495.
  29. 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.
  30. Patterson et al., Ref. 25.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Broadhurst et al., Ref 31.
  34. 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.
  35. Huber, N. K. end Eckhardt, W. W., 1985. Devils Postpile Story, Sequoia Natural History Association, Three Rivers, California, 30 p.
  36. Hamblin, W. K., 1994. Late Cenozoic Lava Dams in the Western Grand Canyon, Geological Society of America, Memoir 183, Boulder, Colorado, 139 p.
  37. 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.
  38. Hamblin, Ref. 36.
  39. 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.
  40. Mor, D., 1987. Har Odem Geological Map, Geological Survey of Israel, Jerusalem, scale 1:50,000, one sheet.
  41. 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.
* Dr. Steven A. Austin has a B.S. from the University of Washington, an M.S. from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, all in geology. He is well known as a Professor of Geology at the Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, California, and for his research at Mt. St. Helens and in Grand Canyon.
"Excess Argon within Mineral Concentrates from the New Dacite Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Volcano," by Steven A. Austin, Creation Ex Nihlo Technical Journal, was converted to HTML, for Web use, from the original formatted desktop article.
Comments regarding typographical errors in the above material are greatly appreciated.
Webmaster or ICR Systems Administrator, Electronic Editor - Fax: (619) 448-3469
Additional Resources:
Mount St. Helens: Explosive Evidence for Catastrophe by Steven A. Austin (58 min. video)
Impact #157 Mount St. Helens And Catastrophism by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D. (July 1986)
Catastrophes in Earth History by Steven A. Austin (1984, 318 pp.)
CatastroRef (Catastrophist Geology Reference Database) by Steven A. Austin (updated from 1994)
The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods by John Woodmorappe (1999)
The Cause of Anomalous Potassium-Argon "Ages" for Recent Andesite Flows at Mt. Ngauruhoe,
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.

11 comments:

cranky old fart said...

"From the July edition of Acts & Facts, published by ICR"

That about says it all right there.

cranky old fart said...

"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)."

Yep, there's some solid scientific thinking right there, you betcha!

Taxandrian said...

That's a damn nice cut & paste job, Radar. Surely copying and pasting a link to the figures that made you claim that 11% of the prison inmates are Christian won't be too much of an effort?

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused about the point of that Venus section:

"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!

Okay, so that's interesting, but, um, why isn't the first 90% of Earth's history missing?

Or to put it another way: why isn't everything older than 6,000 years missing?

Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon, by my hand!
Read My Inaugural Address
At = http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman

lava said...

I'm too lazy to read this long post. Can anyone sum it up for me?

I wish I could cut and paste "A brief history of time into here" in response.

radar said...

Christians acknowledge that they have a world view, whereas often you guys cannot even seem to see it.

"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)."

Yep. The opposite of the Lewontin quote. Each side has an agenda.

"Okay, so that's interesting, but, um, why isn't the first 90% of Earth's history missing?

Or to put it another way: why isn't everything older than 6,000 years missing?"

Answer: It is missing!

Anonymous said...

"Or to put it another way: why isn't everything older than 6,000 years missing?"

Answer: It is missing!"


If that is true (and there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that it isn't), then we eagerly await a YEC explanation that ties together ice cores, dendrochronology, radiometric dating etc. in a 6,000 year time frame. So far, YECs only have a yawning chasm instead of an answer where they should be finding all the facts supporting their view.

If you want to respond that the facts do support a YEC view (as you'll no doubt attempt to claim), then please point us to a coherent 6,000 year timeline that fits observable data. So far, there have only been attempts to question this or that detail, but no actual comprehensive YEC theory that actually matches the data.

That's what YECs would be working on if they took their own claims seriously, instead of seeing it as a silly contest with "evolutionists".

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Christians acknowledge that they have a world view, whereas often you guys cannot even seem to see it."

There's nothing wrong with acknowledging a world view, and I think the commenters here are not averse to acknowledging this, but you're missing a key point here:

Science would be vastly ineffective if scientists just nodded at each other and said "we'll just have to agree to disagree". What science does is strive to be as objective as possible. Anyone participating in the scientific method bases their claims on observable, demonstrable facts; any hypotheses are then subject to testable claims: a claim that, if shown to be true, confirms the hypothesis and, if shown to be false, rejects the hypothesis. If you examine the list of Christian scientists you like to trot out, you'll see that they all adhered to this principle to make their discoveries. Regardless of their beliefs, it's a naturalistic method.

"There is widespread agreement about the two major problems with Young Earth Creationism, as highlighted above."

Good, and those aren't the only problems, either.

"Naturalistic Evolution has more than two major problems, but four big ones that immediately come to mind are 1) Matter appearing from non-matter,"

a.) Who says matter appeared from non-matter?!

b.) What does this have to do with the theory of evolution?!

"2) Life forming from non-life,"

a.) Again, what does this have to do with the theory of evolution?!

b.) How do YECs scientifically explain how life was formed from non-life? i.e. let's say God did it, by what mechanism did it happen?

"3) Fine-tuning of the Universe, Solar System and Earth and, "

Again, this has zip to do with the theory of evolution.

"4) Design features across the spectrum of life from tiniest organisms to human beings."

Not all functions are automatically "design features".

You must have very little beef with the actual theory of evolution (which you're clearly not very familiar with...) if that's all you can name off the top of your head.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"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."

So, for example: what kind of testable prediction have they proposed for a scenario in which Noah's Ark, containing all the fauna of the time, landed in one particular location around 4,000 years ago?

What evidence would we expect to find if that was the case? And did they find it?

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, what testable prediction do you think was made in any of the three articles you presented in this post?

-- creeper