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Friday, May 30, 2008

Global Dumbing update post number two

For those who weary of me posting information from other sources, my next article will be extremely self-generated...but first, while we wait for my math expert to weigh in on questions posed by scohen and before I post my essay...

LOBOINOK was kind enough to send me this article:

The end of the fake consensus on global warming

Mark Milke, For The Calgary Herald

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2008

An anti-nuclear, Toronto-based, urban-loving, 1970s peace activist who opposes subsidies to the oil industry might be the last person expected to detail cracks in the science of global warming.

But Lawrence Solomon has done just that in a short book with a long subtitle: The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud (and those who are too fearful to do so).

The spark for the book came after an American TV reporter compared those who question the Kyoto Protocol to Holocaust deniers. But Solomon wondered about that so he sought out the experts in specific fields to garner their views.

Consider Edward Wegman, asked by the U.S. Congress to assess the famous "hockey stick" graph from Michael Mann, published by the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and which purported to show temperatures as mostly constant over the last 1,000 years -- except for a spike in the last century.

The IPCC claimed the hockey stick "proved" unique 20th century global warming.

But it didn't. Wegman, who drew on the initial skepticism of two Canadians who questioned Mann's statistical handling, found that Mann's "hockey stick" was the result of a statistical error -- the statistical model actually mined data to produce the hockey stick and excluded contrary data. That mistake occurred not because Mann was deceptive or a poor scientist -- he's an expert in the paleoclimate community as were those who reviewed his paper. But that was the problem: the paleoclimate scientists were trapped in their own disciplinary ghetto and not up to speed on the latest, most appropriate statistical methods.

Is Wegman the scientific equivalent of medical quack? No. His CV includes eight books, over 160 published papers, editorships of prestigious journals and who was a past-president of the International Association of Statistical Computing, among other distinctions. Opinions in The Deniers vary dramatically and Solomon, a non-scientist, does not try to settle the disputes. He instead attempts to give readers insight into how non-settled and fragmentary the science actually is on climate change.

For example, think the polar icecaps are melting? That's true at the North Pole, but it's not certain at the South Pole, according to Duncan Wingham. A portion of Antarctica's northern peninsula is melting. But that's a tiny slice of the 14 million square kilometre continent. And confounding evidence exists. Since the inception of the South Pole research station in 1957, recorded temperatures have actually fallen.

Wingham is cautious. He doesn't deny global warming might exist. But his data show the Antarctic ice sheet is growing, not shrinking, and the chapter on why ice measurements are tricky is another fine, informative part of The Deniers.

Is Wingham a flake, a denier in league with flat-earthers? Only if you think the chair of the department of space and climate physics and head of earth sciences at University College London, and a member of the Earth Observation Experts Group, among other qualifications, qualifies for such a label.

The most intriguing part of The Deniers is the attempt by dozens of credible scientists to point out what should be common-sense obvious: the sun might affect Earth's climate.

"We understand the greenhouse effect pretty well," writes Solomon, "we know vanishingly little about how the sun -- our main source of energy driving the climate -- affects climate change."

But the IPCC refuses to even consider the sun's influence on Earth's climate -- it conceives of its mission only to investigate possible man-made effects upon climate. But that's akin to a hit-and-run investigation where police rule out all cars except one model, this before they even question witnesses.

No one who reads The Deniers will be able to claim a scientific consensus exists on global warming. (Some scientists even argue the planet's climate is about to cool.) But it might leave honest readers with this question: So what? Why not spend billions to reduce possible human-induced climate change just in case? Because, as Antonio Zichichi (a professor emeritus at the University of Bologna and author of more than 800 papers) argues, global warming is only one alleged calamity that faces the world's poor. As Solomon writes in his interview with Zichichi, "every dollar and hour diverted to a crisis that might not exist, has real and tragic costs."

The "deniers" and The Deniers matter because the book is about the search for scientific explanations for a complex phenomenon by eminent scientists in a better position than most to judge whether a consensus exists on global warming. Their collective verdict, much varied in the particulars, is "no."

Mark Milke is the Frontier Centre's senior fellow in Alberta.


Alas, the Presidential candidates for 2008 remind me of the three blind mice. See how they run away from the energy crisis...see how they run away from the Global Warming mess. Not one of them has the guts to stand up and say that the GW hysteria is a crazy, runaway train of a movement that is anti-human and anti-progress. The government decides that Polar Bears are endangered even as their population reaches record numbers. John McCain claims to be a disciple of Teddy Roosevelt, who sought to expand the protected areas of the nation and was proud to be considered a conservationist. Well, Teddy is dead and modern oil-drilling techniques can harvest oil without destroying the environment. I expect the left-wing side to be against anything that helps us out of the oil crisis because a limping economy helps propel them into office. But when the Republicans drink the same kool-aid, then I shake my head in dismay.

Not one of the three candidates (yeah, I am including Hilary while she still has a heartbeat) sees the need to drill for oil in shale, in Alaska, off the coast, heck, everywhere we can get our mitts on the stuff. Meanwhile gas prices have cause prices to rise in almost every segment of the marketplace, fueling a price inflation that has stalled what was a growing economy. If gas was still going for even two bucks a gallon, no one would be claiming that we are in or are about to enter a recession. It is almost entirely because of the rise in fossil fuel costs.

Would drilling today help prices tomorrow? No, because we also need more refineries and because there will be a long delay between the time a site gets drilled and recovered crude is transported and refined and enters the marketplace. But, yes, because the price of oil is dependant in large part due to the bids entered in for it - it is a kind of futures market. The knowledge that more oil will be incoming from domestic sources would help drive down the future price bidding and that change would be felt more quickly.

I laugh when Congress grills the top oil executives on their salaries and the company profits. Oil companies make normal profit margins and a huge portion of their profits go to developing new sources. R & D is a major portion of their expenses right now, you don't want to cap their earnings because then they would be forced to slow down their search for new sources and new methods of claiming crude from the ground.

The pornographic salaries of CEOs in general, not just in the oil industry, are sickening. Still, if you took the few millions they earn and dropped it into the barrel, it wouldn't be enough to change the price of gas even one penny. In a multi-multi-billion-dollar industry a few million is a drop in the ocean. The only way to drop the price of oil is either to increase the supply or drop the demand.

With the rapidly developing Chinese economy taking bigger and bigger gulps from the fossil fuel spigot, there is little likelihood of a drop in demand. So we need to go after more supply and normalize prices that way.

The days of one dollar gas are gone forever. When I was a teenager I bought it for about 19 cents a gallon during a gas price war once and several times got it for less than 29 cents a gallon. The good old USA didn't know how good we had it, price-wise. Even now, the prices for gasoline in place like France and Belgium are two and three times what we pay here. But two dollar a gallon gasoline is possible in the not-too-distant future if we aggressively work to get what we can get our hands on now.

I want to see someone in the government to come up with a real energy policy that makes sense. I think it goes like this:

1- Get all the crude you can get your hands on now and refine it like mad to keep the economy flowing and the income coming in to the hands of John Q Public and Uncle Sam alike.

2- Begin building more nuclear plants to generate electricity. Nuclear power plants are becoming commonplace in Europe and, for once, they are ahead of us here.

3- Hydroelectric plants, well, we have utilized that pretty well so far. But wind power has been neglected. There should be windmill farms all across this land and it is a shame how we have neglected this basically free source of energy.

4- Tax credits for folding in solar power and other energy saving methods into new construction should be kept and probably expanded.

5- Private industry is usually best at R & D. New means of powering cars and trucks are being developed and hybrid and cell and related technologies being improved upon. The government could help by deciding to purchase only the newest kinds of vehicles when recycling their fleets of government automobiles.

6- CNG and Coal should continue to be a major source of energy for the next sixty-to-one hundred years. There is still a great deal of coal to be mined and expended in this country.

7- Energy from trash is the coming big energy source. This is one arena where the government should intervene by sponsoring prizes for the best new innovations in this area each year and by expanding the military's R & D in this area. One day turning trash into energy may well be the primary source of electric power in the world and that day cannot come a minute too soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Global Dumbing update post

Graph from Joe D’Aleo at ICECAP - click for larger image

I thought I should post this from

Watts Up With That?
Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts

About Global Dumbing and then see the Manhattan Declaration following...

The 31,000 who say “no convincing evidence” for human induced climate change19 05 2008
Of course the alarmists folks will denounce this as they did the last one, and there are bound to be a few unscrupulous types, such M.J. Murphy of Toronto who blogs as Big City Lib, who by his own admission, made false statements to get “weaseled onto the list” (his words). There are others who will do their best to crash the list so they can claim it is a sham, but there is one name on this list worth noting:

Freeman Dyson is one of the world’s most eminent physicists. You can read an essay about his views on climate change, posted here on WUWT a on 11/05/2007.
You can read all about the Oregon Petition Project here at the Financial Post.
I did not sign on to the Oregon list, but rather chose to add my name to the Manhattan Declaration this spring. I also signed the very first petition of this type, back in 1997 called the Leipzig Declaration.

If you want to add your name to the either the Manhattan Declaration or the OISM petition, you can still do so. Here are the links:

Manhattan Declaration via an an interactive PDF of the declaration, which includes a form ready for completing and submitting.

Oregon Petition Project via a mail in PDF form.

It will be interesting to see how the MSM and alarmist bloggers spin this one. I’m sure they’ll do their best to minimize it as being “irrelevant”. I believe at some point though, there will be recognition.

Nature of course will be the final arbiter of truth, such as what we see here in global temperatures from satellite and surface since 2002.

Honor system abuser, BigCityLib, aka Michael J. Murphy of Toronto reports that he in fact did NOT make the list. By his own admission he lied about his background and falsified documents to try to have his name added, but apparently the petition screening process found his deception and denied his application. But he says he’ll keep trying and encourages others to lie and falsify documents such as he has.

On an unrelated note, I orginally had 32,000 in the title because that is how the original email sent to me (third party, not OISM) had it. Upon further inspection I note the number is closer to 31,000 so I’ve edited the title to reflect that.


The Declaration - From the Heartland website:

New York Global Warming Conference Considers 'Manhattan Declaration'Written By: Heartland Institute staffPublished In: News ReleasesPublication Date: March 4, 2008Publisher: The Heartland Institute

(New York, NY / Chicago, IL -- March 4, 2008) Scientists and researchers participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square in New York City closed business today by considering the accompanying "Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change."

For more information contact Harriette Johnson, The Heartland Institute's media relations manager, at 312/515-0559 (cell), email

Click here for an interactive PDF of the declaration, which includes a form ready for completing and submitting.

Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change

"Global warming" is not a global crisis

We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change,

Resolving that scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method;

Affirming that global climate has always changed and always will, independent of the actions of humans, and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life;

Recognising that the causes and extent of recently observed climatic change are the subject of intense debates in the climate science community and that oft-repeated assertions of a supposed 'consensus' among climate experts are false;

Affirming that attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 emission reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing, human suffering;

Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder:

Hereby declare:

That current plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources that should be dedicated to solving humanity's real and serious problems.

That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.

That adaptation as needed is massively more cost-effective than any attempted mitigation and that a focus on such mitigation will divert the attention and resources of governments away from addressing the real problems of their peoples.

That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.

Now, therefore, we recommend --

That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as "An Inconvenient Truth."
That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

Agreed at New York, 4 March 2008


By the way, one of the commenters on Watt's Up is worth noting:

Bill (20:16:08) :

Doesn’t make sense to me, this issue of the number of scientists who believe one way or the other somehow lending credibility to the belief. If 9,999,999 ’scientists’ believe that 2+2 =5 and 1 believes that 2+2 =4, are the 9,999,999 right because there are more of them? Don’t think so.
Science isn’t democratic and, it seems to me, that most of the time the correct belief is held by the minority, at least at first.

Dr Eugene Parker, who predicted the existence of Solar Wind in 1958 , was excoriated by his fellow physicists at first. He was literally told by a ‘consensus’ of eminent scientists, “Parker, if you knew anything about the subject, you could not possibly be suggesting this. We have known for decades that interplanetary space is a hard vacuum, pierced only intermittently by beams of energetic particles from the Sun.” Of course Dr. Parker was proved right and now his beliefs are the ‘consensus'

Friday, May 23, 2008

About Talk Origins as an example

Cartoon from

I have stated previously that I believe the Talk Origins site is a poor source for information, since they are deceptive and out-of-date. I have exchanged emails with one of the members of that site and have been unable to get them to see how deceptive they can be. On the other hand, I have also said that Dr. Dino, a creationist site run by Kent Hovind, is also not worth viewing and for the same basic reasons. There are people who don't care enough about the truth on both sides of the debate, sadly. In any event, I am going to make this about you, the reader. I want you to look into this with me and make your own call. First, here is the TalkOrigins archive site: The Talk Origins Archive

Take a look at the FAQ pages and check out some of the questions and answers.

Now allow me to share a critique of the FAQ page written six years ago and see if corrections have been made...from the True Origins website...

Deception by Omission

Jorge A. Fernandez
© 2002 by Jorge A. Fernandez. All Rights Reserved.


he Talk.Origins (TO) website ( is promoted, among other things, as an educational site, a place for obtaining information on evolution and answers to the numerous criticisms to this theory. Although TO states that it is a “forum for discussion”—presumably unbiased—much evidence testifies to the contrary. I’ve been observing the TO site from the sidelines for quite some time and have until now restrained myself from responding to the materialistic worldview that this organization pushes on the unsuspecting. It is particularly distressing to me to read the feedback letters from young people and watching those impressionable minds being manipulated through TO indoctrination.

To be fair, and to emphasize that this is not a witch-hunt, I must say that some of the volunteers at TO undoubtedly have good intentions and are sincere in their efforts. However, in this particular arena good intentions and sincerity are not enough (I’ll return to this point at the end of the article). The full, unbiased disclosure of truth is what is essential here and TO doesn’t even come close to providing it. In any event, this article is my first, albeit brief, critique of the Talk.Origins site and I herein intend to expose some of what TO doesn’t tell its readers.

I should begin by saying that almost immediately after deciding to write these words I was overcome with a sense of awe at the magnitude of the task—let me explain:

Talk.Origins is very hard to target—a fact that may be so by design. For example, if a person disagrees with TO on the ‘fact of evolution’, these people will employ a definition of evolution [“Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time”] that makes it impossible to disagree and, if one does argue, then that person comes across as being uninformed or irrational or fanatical. This might be acceptable if only it remained right there.

But it doesn’t! That statement about evolution (which happens to be accurate, i.e., genetic characteristics of populations do vary over time) is subsequently modified / extended throughout TO’s many articles and feedback responses so that not only is the person to accept the (empirically corroborated) fact of change, but also that this change is the sole causing agent for the diversity and complexity within an organism (internal organs, cellular structures, etc.) as well as outside of the organism including Earth’s entire flora and fauna. The metaphysical extrapolation of the data that is required to accomplish this feat is somehow missed by TO—either by ignorance or by design. What’s more, if we are to remain exclusively within the natural (material) realm then the term ‘evolution’ must somehow be further extended to include life from non-life, i.e., the emergence of life itself must also be accounted for by the ever-stretching definition of evolution.

There’s more. The origin of the basic materials that make up all objects (living or not) must also somehow be accounted for so yet other forms of evolution enter the scene—chemical, stellar and planetary. In fact, the universe itself must also be accounted for by evolution. Thus, whether they hypothesize a Big Bang, a quantum fluctuation, aliens from another dimension or some other natural explanation, the universe began and has ‘evolved’ to what it is today.

Few would argue with the notion that ‘things change.’ But to take the step from ‘things change’ to ‘and therefore, that’s how it all got here’ is a leap of blind, irrational faith that would send even the most fanatical snake worshipper reeling.

The bottom line to all this is that the fundamental concept of evolution is clearly a manifestation of a metaphysical—not a scientific—worldview and, just as with any other religion, the facts must continually be interpreted and adjusted to fit with this belief.

Essentially then, TO is a propaganda machine for philosophical naturalism using the more acceptable and palatable cover of methodological naturalism. Evolution theory is nothing but the scientific operational model to support this metaphysical position.

TO attempts to cover this point by stating that in their group they also have Christian and other religious evolutionists—people that believe in God, believe in a creation by a deity, but also believe in evolution (i.e., middle-grounders). TO employs this strategy to give its visitors a sense of universal appeal, i.e. that anyone, regardless of their beliefs, may subscribe to evolution. But again, exactly what evolution are they referring to? The one that says “things change” (this is science), or the one that says “that’s how everything came to be” (this transcends science and is philosophical naturalism—a metaphysical position)? TO uses the two interchangeably.

Yet, anyone who knows the score realizes that middle-grounders are at best marginally tolerated by ‘pure-blood’ naturalists—as these say, “the hypothesis of God is unnecessary!” Why, then, do the pure-bloods tolerate these naturalistic ‘misfits’? There are probably many answers to this question but two are worth briefly mentioning: ‘divide and conquer’ and ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Thus, naturalists welcome whatever sows dissension among creationists and, therefore, anyone disagreeing with the fundamentalist Christian position in any way while accepting any part of the evolutionary doctrine is embraced by them (at least for now).

The focus of this article is on those deceptions invoked by the TO writers, which are mostly achieved by omissions, as is demonstrated in the illustrations below. It is often what the people at TO do not say that makes TO a propaganda/indoctrination site as opposed to an educational site.

The Talk.Origins FAQ page ( gives readers a shortened version of TO’s position. On February 13, 2002 this site had 24 questions, with brief answers and links to “relevant files.” My responses (R) to selected entries (Qs & As) taken verbatim from the TO FAQ page, reveal how the TO writers have selectively omitted essential facts in their efforts in order to lend credibility to the TO perspective:


Q: “I thought evolution was just a theory. Why do you call it a fact?”
A: “Biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time. That this happens is a fact. Biological evolution also refers to the common descent of living organisms from shared ancestors. The evidence for historical evolution—genetic, fossil, anatomical, etc.—is so overwhelming that it is also considered a fact. The theory of evolution describes the mechanisms that cause evolution. So evolution is both a fact and a theory.”
R: Clearly there would not be a creation-evolution controversy if it were universally agreed and adhered to that evolution meant solely “a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time.” There is a creation-evolution controversy (a major one at that) precisely because evolution means far more than what TO leads its readers to believe here. The controversy exists because evolution—the full-fledged manifestation of evolution (including Neo-Darwinian macro-evolution)—is for many a metaphysical belief that elevates the philosophy of materialistic naturalism (hailing purely natural laws and processes, including time and chance, as our “creators”), and dismissing God (a Creator with purpose) as an irrelevant product of superstition.

After all, why is it that so many people are offended by the theory of evolution to the point of fiercely opposing it? Why is it that emotions run so high and intellectual battles persist? Because of ignorance? Hardly! Although there will always be uninformed people on both sides of any dispute, a great many well-educated people in science, mathematics and other disciplines are among those who disagree adamantly with the precepts of evolution. Evolution is offensive because it is bad science and is as equally bad a metaphysic—in short, on close examination, evolution fails on all counts. There is a controversy precisely because of clashing metaphysics—the same type of conflict that exists when Christian theology comes face-to-face with Islam, Buddhism, or even atheism, to name just a few popular counter-Christian belief systems.

Despite all of this, TO promotes the view that the creation-evolution controversy is a war of ‘religion versus science’—‘emotion versus reason.’ This view is held mostly out of ignorance, but there are undoubtedly those within the TO organization that understand the matter well enough to know better. However, TO does very little to educate its audience on the philosophical foundation of its position. This is deception by omission.


Q: “Don’t you have to be an atheist to accept evolution?”
A: “No. Many people of Christian and other faiths accept evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity.”
R: Two points here. First, TO wants to assure its visitors that “Christian and other faiths” are compatible with evolution. I would again say that all beliefs are compatible with evolution as long as evolution is confined to speaking about (observed) biological change. But as we all know (or should know), this is not the way that it is.

Evolution, as a manifestation of methodological naturalism (the operational version of philosophical naturalism), makes countless assertions into metaphysical areas with cosmological and biological origins representing just a few of these. TO makes no attempt to make known this subtle yet all-important aspect of what ‘accepting evolution’ comprehensively means. TO lures ‘people of all faiths’ into their camp with assurances of compatibility. Deception by omission.

The second point concerns the latter half of their answer: “...evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity.” Such a statement suggests the necessity of concessions, compromises, and ‘special’ interpretations of the Bible in order to satisfy the (naturalistic) theory of evolution as the explanation for biodiversity. After all, not doing so entails opposing the formidable and authoritative pronouncements of the “scientific establishment”—and who wants to do that? [Besides, exactly how would the average person go about challenging this “scientific establishment”?]

I ask, whatever happened to the answer that, “Biodiversity is part of God’s creation”? Specifically, if a person believes in God as the Creator of everything then this ‘everything’ includes the biodiversity that we observe. Of course, maybe in this arena ‘everything’ does not mean everything? Nowhere does the Bible even hint that a gelatinous substance was formed and that from this goo there emerged ‘simple life’ that diversified—over eons—into zebras, humans, and the rest of the biological community.

Quite to the contrary, concerning man’s origin, the Bible very clearly states that ‘from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female’ (Genesis 1:27; Mark 10:6). It bears pointing out that this foundational event in the biblical record defies any kind of evolutionary ‘interpretation’ that doesn’t compromise either evolutionary dogma, the credibility of the biblical record, or both. The Bible contains numerous other assertions that cannot be reasonably answered under the paradigm of evolution unless the Bible receives ‘special’ interpretation—the kind that denigrates the historical validity of the biblical record in order to accommodate popular contemporary beliefs. This then is the bottom line: the Bible has to be distorted in order to accommodate the edicts of evolution. TO never mentions any of this, preferring instead to shamelessly assert that evolution and Christianity are somehow ‘compatible.’

Besides, “...evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity” is nothing more than a tautology in the sense that it is the “scientific community” that dictates what is admissible and what is not. Is it any surprise that this same community embraces philosophical/methodological naturalism and frowns heavily upon anything that even remotely suggests anything other than material causes?

I can think of no better illustration of this than the case of intelligent design theory (ID). Leaving out numerous details, ID is having a difficult time being accepted into the scientific establishment as a bona fide scientific theory simply because it has metaphysical—in fact theistic—implications. After all, if the logical conclusion is that specified and complex design is present, then a designer is the only available option and the big ‘G’ immediately enters the realm of possibilities. Naturalists were quick to pick up on this rather obvious and, to them, highly unpalatable conclusion and as a result ID is being treated by many as if it were advocating the practice of human sacrifices.

The fact of the matter is that ID is as robust a scientific theory as one should reasonably expect, having all of the components—foundation, logical/mathematical formulation, explanatory/predictive power, etc.—that other widely accepted scientific theories have. For more details on this I recommend two sources: The Design Inference, Cambridge University Press, 1998 by William Dembski and Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology, InterVarsity Press, 1999 also by William Dembski.

To summarize this point, ID is not being scorned because it is bad science or illogical, but because it crosses the line that separates one metaphysical worldview from another. The “people in charge”, i.e., the naturalistic scientific establishment, are unwilling to allow that to happen—naturalism must be protected at all costs, from their point of view. Why doesn’t TO mention or elaborate on any of this to its readers? Deception by omission.


Q: “Isn’t evolution just an unfalsifiable tautology?”
A: “No. Evolutionary theory is in exactly the same condition as any other valid scientific theory, and many criticisms of it that rely on philosophy are misguided.”
R: Evolution is largely an operational manifestation of a philosophically naturalistic foundation—to deny this is to be either uninformed or deceiving. There simply cannot be an area of scientific inquiry without some philosophical foundation for the obvious fact that science is conducted exclusively by humans (no aliens, please!) and all humans—whether they acknowledge it or not—subscribe to some philosophy regarding their internal being (consciousness) and their external world (the universe). For TO to state that philosophical criticisms are misguided is an act of willful ignorance at best and unmitigated deceit at worst.

As far as the ability to ‘falsify’ evolution consider the following:

  1. Nobel laureate Dr. Francis Crick promotes ‘directed panspermia’ (i.e., ‘DNA originated somewhere ‘out in space’ and somehow made its way to Earth’), apparently having recognized the odds against a natural earthly cause for DNA.[1]
  2. Richard Dawkins (The Blind Watchmaker, W. W. Norton, New York, 1986) assumes the number (1020 by his accounting) of theoretically possible planets that may exist in the universe in order to provide sufficient opportunities for the highly improbable event of life to occur naturally (i.e., without intelligent direction).
  3. Barrow and Tipler (The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1986) go far beyond Dawkins in that they invoke entire universes (theoretical, of course) as the potential arenas for (natural) life to emerge.
  4. Kauffman (The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution, Oxford, 1993) takes a different route than Dawkins, Barrow and Tipler. Kauffman brings into the panorama a hypothetical set of laws by which life may emerge here on Earth solely through (only) natural process.

Now, some may choose to argue that these distinguished gentlemen are simply doing ‘science’—proposing theories to explain observations, among other things. However...

The term to remember here was ‘falsifiable’—and, to take just one example, we might ask ourselves how one goes about falsifying an infinite number of universes.

Here’s the point to all of this:

If we are allowed to propose essentially anything (aliens, parallel universes, 1020 planets, extra dimensions, time travel, etc., etc.) in order to uphold our theory then how will it ever be possible for that theory to be truly falsifiable? As clever and imaginative as we humans are, wouldn’t we be able to—don’t we—contrive just about anything that would allow us to retain the position or theory that we cherish?

Well, not always. All human cleverness and imagination could not save the phlogiston theory, the notion of blood humors, the geocentric model, and many other now defunct ideas. There is, however, one major difference where evolution is concerned—a difference that makes evolution impervious to that which toppled these aforementioned and now extinct ideas. That difference is the intimate and critical connection between evolution and philosophical naturalism—a metaphysical (i.e., religious) connection.

As the universally recognized and accepted authority on what is admissible as ‘scientifically valid’, the scientific establishment (anchored in naturalism) has constructed the rules so that evolution is the de facto answer. This matter may be expanded in many directions so I’ll end on this note: eliminate evolution and what are the remaining options? Naturalists know well that to eliminate evolution is to eliminate the single possibility for a natural explanation of the origin of life and of biodiversity. Therefore, evolution must be sustained even if this requires hypothesizing the preposterous or the unfalsifiable. The only other alternative, the supernatural, is simply not admissible.

One further example of this, not listed above, of how the establishment is committed to defending its position at all costs is the case regarding transitional fossils. The transitional fossil evidence is highly suspect and a great deal of controversy exists within and outside of scientific circles—certainly not what the evolution advocates (particularly Darwin himself) ever expected.

So what do the evolution advocates do? Is the validity of the theory even questioned? Never! Instead, ingenious mechanisms such as Goldschmidt’s ‘hopeful monsters’, the ‘emication’ idea of the Swedish botanist and geneticist Nils Heribert-Nilsson and the more palatable ‘punctuated equilibria’ of Gould and Eldredge were proposed—whatever it takes to lend credibility to a theory weakened by the empirical data. There is a fine line between scientific ‘ingenious mechanisms’ and metaphysical ‘sorcerer concoctions’ and it is a historical fact that even reputable men of science have crossed this line many times in order to support a paradigm. So once again I must point out that if naturalists essentially have a carte blanche in what they may propose to uphold their pet theory, in this case evolution, then it will be extremely difficult if not impossible for someone to falsify their position. Why doesn’t TO expound on this fact? Deception by omission.


Q: “No one has ever directly observed evolution happening, so how do you know it’s true?”
A: “Evolution has been observed, both directly and indirectly. It is true.”
R: Need I repeat it? Yes, if evolution is confined to saying that, “biological evolution is a change in the genetic characteristics of a population over time” then TO’s conclusion of “it is true” is an accurate statement. However, it’s what TO doesn’t say that makes their answer deceiving, and this continuous deception makes TO an indoctrination site for advancing philosophical naturalism—buyers beware!

For the record, every informed creationist that I know of accepts changes, mutations, adaptations and even speciation—there is no dispute here. The real dispute is in the naturalists’ extrapolation from (observable) genetic ‘change’ to (unobservable) Neo-Darwinian macro-evolution to (unobservable) ‘cause for being’. Such an extension is no longer science, it is a metaphysical transfiguration. TO does not inform its readers of this, since to do so weakens the case for their apparent true objective: Deception by omission.


Q: “Then why has no one ever seen a new species occur?”
A: “Speciation has been observed, both in the laboratory and in nature.”
R: This is absolutely true [speciation as science defines it has been observed] but, as I have stated already, there is no dispute here. However, TO does not get to the core of the matter and leads its readers to the notion that the origins controversy is one of science versus religion—that creationists deny the fact of speciation and are thus “ignorant”. Why don’t they mention the critical point, namely that creationists do accept speciation—but the dispute is about the causing agent of speciation, biodiversity and, ultimately, biological origins? Why do they make false accusations against creationists, instead of facing the empirical roadblock to the arbitrary extrapolation of Neo-Darwinian macro-evolution from the variations observed in speciation? Deception by omission.


Q: “Doesn’t evolution violate the second law of thermodynamics? After all, order cannot come from disorder.”
A: “Evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. Order emerges from disorder all the time. Snowflakes form, trees grow, and embryos develop, etc.”
R: TO is here propagating one of the most odious of all myths in the creation-evolution controversy, this being that the creationist argument involving the second law of thermodynamics is either invalid or has been amply refuted. This is simply not true.

The essential information that TO is either ignorant of (or is concealing from its readers) is that when snowflakes form they do so according to thermodynamic principles that produce patterns (i.e., symmetric crystalline structures) that are far from the asymmetric, far more complex structures required for life. What’s more, symmetric structures occur naturally because thermodynamic equilibrium is a natural state. On the other hand, life—any life—is actually a departure from thermodynamic equilibrium; a significant departure that requires large amounts of directed energy to be sustained, according to requirements defined in advance by every organism’s genetic code.

Similarly, the example of “trees grow and embryos develop” is again an oversimplification based on either ignorance on the part of TO, or a willful concealing of the whole truth from their readers. The point is not that organisms grow but how they are able to grow. The typical, shortsighted response is that “they are receiving energy from the sun—it is an open system and this energy provides the fuel for growth”. Recently, Harvard’s own Ernst Mayr served up precisely this “open system” explanation in his latest book, What Evolution Is [Basic Books, 2001, page 8]. True, energy is being supplied but the main point is being missed (intentionally?).

Let’s take a blow torch to a tree or an embryo, thereby supplying it with plenty of energy, and then let’s stand back and watch them grow. Of course, what’ll happen is they will be incinerated! Energy is not the key; energy reception, utilization and storage is the key. In other words, there must be a highly sophisticated and fully functional energy management system—a system that enables input, conversion, storage and output—if a tree is to grow or an embryo is to develop. This is the crux of the creationist argument involving the second law of thermodynamics and not some easily discarded strawman. Why doesn’t TO present the real issue and respond to it? Deception by omission.


Q: “The odds against a simple cell coming into being without divine intervention are staggering.”
A: “And irrelevant. Scientists don’t claim that cells came into being through random processes. They are thought to have evolved from primitive precursors.”
R: Let’s just focus on the ending words of their answer, “...from primitive precursors”. Evolution advocates have always believed that it was possible for nature to begin with “simple, primitive life” and evolve over eons towards ever-increasing complexity. This is, after all, a major postulate of evolution. There’s just one problem with this hypothesis and it’s a whopper of a problem!

As science and technology advance, what we are finding is that the notion of “simple, primitive life” is receding at an ever-quickening pace. It is now clear that the idea of a ‘simple gelatinous goo’ actually necessitates a level of complexity that cannot be explained naturally even letting the imagination run rampant. Likewise, the ‘simple’ cell has been found to be anything but ‘simple’. In fact, the cell is now understood to be of a complexity that eludes all scientific attempts to quantify it and the more we study it the more complexities are being unveiled.

These are just a few of the reasons why those that want to uphold evolution while retaining naturalism (their metaphysical position) have come up with aliens or with hypothetical natural mechanisms of self-organization or with other contrivances—it’s the only way to explain these vast directed complexities while keeping the big ‘G’ out!

Thus, when TO uses the words “...from primitive precursors,” why don’t they mention to their readers the fact that the concept of a primitive organism is a philosophical ideal for which there is not a single shred of empirical scientific evidence? Why don’t they mention that current scientific evidence leads to but one reasonable conclusion, namely, that the simplest conceivable organism must be anything but simple or primitive if it is to be capable of carrying out any of life’s functions. Is TO ignorant of these facts? I don’t believe they are. Deception by omission.


At the beginning of this article I had stated that “the full, unbiased disclosure of truth is what is essential here and TO is not even close to providing this”. Aside from the obvious fact that complete, unbiased information is always better than partial or distorted information, it is infinitely more so in this arena than in any other. Why?

Well, it’s because of the stakes. Clearly the majority of TO supporters belong to the atheist/agnostic/naturalist camp. Hence, to them there is no afterlife (certainly not one in the Christian sense) nor is there a personal God; a judgment by Jesus Christ; accountability to a Creator; heaven or hell. This belief is their choice and no one is denying their right to this choice. However...

To those that visit the TO site in search of answers—people that may be undecided and seeking unbiased information—to these people TO owes the courtesy of behaving in an informative capacity and not as an indoctrination site.

But it goes far beyond being just courteous or professional. It is morally irresponsible to misguide people through omission into any position that has eternal consequences—yes, eternal consequences. That last statement may sound religiously biased but is actually a logical result since, regardless of who is right or wrong in this matter, the ultimate end is of eternal consequences (whether an eternity in the grave, or an eternity in heaven or hell).

This, then, is my strongest criticism of TO. If TO is going to educate, then educate they should! To educate means to present all sides in truth and completeness and accuracy. Education is the antithesis of indoctrination. In this article I have presented but a small sample of the many cases where TO is guilty of being nowhere near complete, accurate or truthful. In some cases this may have been through their ignorance, and in other cases through deliberate intent—I’ll not pretend to know which of the two is the case.

One thing is clear, if intellectual integrity and ethics mean anything to the TO staff, then after this article I would expect to see one of two things—ideally it would be both:

  1. A clearly stated disclaimer at their website indicating that their goal is about promoting the theory of evolution—to the point of demanding ‘special’ interpretations of the Bible—and, more generally, about promoting a naturalistic, materialistic view of the universe (a la Carl Sagan).
  2. A truthful, accurate and complete presentation of views other than evolution or naturalism (e.g., intelligent design theory) alongside their own preferred views. If they are unclear as to what these other views are, then they should conduct a serious, scholarly inquiry and not simply post some incomplete or distorted version of what they believe the other side has to say on the matter.

I cannot see how Talk.Origins will be able to acquire a status of objectivity and truthfulness without adding at least one of these attributes to their site. As it stands, Talk.Origins is an affront to the ideal of intellectual integrity, scholarly pursuit and moral responsibility.

Jorge Fernandez
March, 2002


[1] Crick, Francis, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981) 192 pp.

pp. 51-52:
If a particular amino acid sequence was selected by chance, how rare an event would this be?
This is an easy exercise in combinatorials. Suppose the chain is about two hundred amino acids long; this is, if anything rather less than the average length of proteins of all types. Since we have just twenty possibilities at each place, the number of possibilities is twenty multiplied by itself some two hundred times. This is conveniently written 20200 and is approximately equal to 10260, that is, a one followed by 260 zeros.
Moreover, we have only considered a polypeptide chain of rather modest length. Had we considered longer ones as well, the figure would have been even more immense. The great majority of sequences can never have been synthesized at all, at any time. [emphasis added]

p. 88:
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. ...The plain fact is that the time available was too long, the many microenvironments on the earth’s surface too diverse, the various chemical possibilities too numerous and our own knowledge and imagination too feeble to allow us to be able to unravel exactly how it might or might not have happened such a long time ago, especially as we have no experimental evidence from that era to check our ideas against. [emphasis added]


If you read the above article and then peruse the FAQ page for Talk Origins, you will see that they still list these refuted "answers" on that page, six years after the untruthfulness of said answers was pointed out to them. I therefore contend that the site is meant to play on the ignorance of the general public, believing that they will accept their "pat answers" and not do further study.

Next, I will post a thorough study of a very interesting subject from a YEC website, link to some articles I have written on the subject and then present Talk Origin's take on the same subject. I think the contrast will be instructive.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More commentary and answers - Worldview and Science

Thanks to Lava for some intelligent questioning...I will italicize his comment and answers from me in between. If he quotes me, I will color the words.

To follow up on some of your points from the last post's comments: It isn't about conspiracy, it is about worldview and religious orientation. Naturalistic materialism is a BELIEF SYSTEM, DUH. The problem I see with this is that it ISN'T about world view. It is about science. Science doesn't have presupposed answers; this is the clear difference from YEC. YEC has the bible which says "X" and YEC scientists try and take evidence and make it show "X". Science doesn't do this.

"Science doesn't do this" is the idealized version of what happens in the real world. But your first assumption is flawed. Here is where the rubber meets the road. Scientists do have presupposed answers, or at least, a set of answers that they will not even consider. You see, I have been on both sides and I can clearly see it and, truly, I don't understand why it is not obvious to you, Lava.

The vast majority of Naturalistic Materialistic scientists (let's refer to them as NM from now on) have arbitrarily excluded a large set of possibilities from their minds before they even begin to consider a subject. They have decided, entirely apart from any evidentiary considerations, that there is no possibility of any supernatural force or cause that is involved in the Universe, whether when considering the past or systems and organisms that exist today. Now why you cannot see that this is a worldview issue is beyond me, because it is obviously so.

You see, I was a NM myself up to the age of about 26 years old. However, I had not excluded the possibility of the supernatural, I just didn't see any evidence that there definitely was a God. I also so no evidence that there definitely was NOT. So I viewed all evidences within the framework of the NM mindset but left myself open to supernatural possibilities should they show up in the evidences available to me.

Later on, I found evidences to lead me to believe in God and, still later, evidences to believe that God created and did so according to the testimony of the Bible. I now accept the Bible as an evidence that helps me understand where things came from and how they came to be, but that was not my starting point. I started as an NM with an open and inquiring mind.

In any event, NM scientists do exactly what you say they do not - they start with a presupposition. Their presupposition is quite different than the one I hold today, but it nevertheless is a presupposition that excludes several possible solutions to the problems that the evidences available to us present.

For example, look at the idea of the age of the universe. Science finds an age of the universe based on stars- the rational and science based answer tells us it is 6 or 8 billion years old. YEC tries to take that same evidence, contort it, and then try and fit it in the 6,000 year timeframe the bible supplies(still I haven't read a YEC explanation of this that makes any sense...the best I've heard is god placed the light there...but why is he trying to trick us if that is the case?). Scientists aren't coming in and saying "how can i take the evidence of the stars and make them fit into a 6 billion year timeframe?". (BTW- i'd love a post in the big lie about how stars being 6B years old is a lie...)

Are there liars and fools in the NM world (or everywhere, for that matter)? Of course, as Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man attest. But I am not saying that the majority of NM scientists and academics are liars, I am saying that they are captives to their presuppositions.

But yes, YEC advocates do not all march to one drumbeat on the starlight and time issue. Keep in mind that YEC stands for Young Earth Creationist, not Young Universe Creationist. Lets look a some of them:

~There are those who believe that a "gap" was written into the start of Genesis that allows for billions of years of time to pass before the Earth was created and the stars and Sun and etc. were in their places as we now experience them. The phrase that sounds phonetically like "Tohu a bohu", or, "without form and void" indicates to some that before God put the Earth together he was forming the Universe and that billions of years may well have gone by during that time.

~There are those who believe that the speed of light has changed drastically since the beginning of time.

~There are those who believe God created the Universe with an appearance of age, just as He would have created Adam with an appearance of age. Some will say that this is deceptive, on the other hand, since He wanted light from stars to appear on Earth right away it is certainly a possibility.

~There are those who believe God arbitrarily worked with time, so that the Universe aged 5 or 10 or 15 or whatever billion years while just seven days happened on the Earth. This involves time passing at a different pace outside the Earth or the Solar System during the week of creation or at least during the first part of that week. The language of the Bible could allow for this.

~There are those who believe that God actually caused time to run at different speeds. One way would be by forming the Earth at the cusp/event horizon of a White Hole, so that time actually did move much slower on Earth while billions of years went by elsewhere in the Universe. It would be instructive to read the book, Starlight and Time by Dr Russell Humphreys.

~ I will also present an article by Dr John Hartnett, author of Starlight, Time and the New Physics at the end of this posting that speaks to this issue and he suggests five viewpoints in his own way and probably far better than I have done.

Worldview is an issue when you try and contort evidence into that worldview. The example above is a dumbed down illustration of that, but it fits in with everything else you are saying here.

So why is my worldview any more of a contortionist than that of Richard Dawkins? You see, the first step is to understand and admit that you have a worldview, a set of assumptions from which you begin your understanding of everything around you. Everyone has one, whether they are able to admit it or not. The question is, does your worldview allow you to consider every side of an issue or does it arbitrarily dismiss an entire set of possible answers without even considering them?

I am able to see that the evidences of starlight conflict with the most obvious interpretation of Genesis chapter one. This doesn't frighten me and I don't pretend that it is not so, I simply decide to look at evidences and try to decide based on those evidences what is the most logical explanation for the conflict. I have not yet decided. I am quite sure that the Earth is about 6,000 years old or so and I believe that the evidences agree with me. I also believe that the light being emitted from the stars probably has been traveling for millions of years (in some context, anyway), again, based on evidences.

Now, the NM side has all sorts of problems with their explanations of where everything came from, whether there was a Big Bang and, if so, whether it was a designed event. For instance, the most recent anomalies in the flights of Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft support Creationist concepts of a God-created Universe. It is certain that the NM side doesn't have it figured out, either.

Ya'know...I almost deleted this because it is just going back to the same freaking argument that goes back and forth here. Every time. After about a year of reading your blog it is growing a little tiresome. Please just answer me a couple question: are the majority of scientists liars who are looking to remove god from society, brainwashed, or just plain ignorant? Are those scientists who determined the age of the universe through starlight trying to trick me into not believing in YEC? If so, why would people be devoting their lives into tricking society into believing the earth isn't 6,000 years old?

I appreciate all honest commentary and I certainly do appreciate your input to the blog. It appears that we have been patient with each other. I hope I have been considerate of your point of view and if I have not, I hereby apologize. I do lose patience with people who do not honestly debate issues and exchange ideas and you are not among them.

I think any scientist that is deliberately lying about evidences is a fool. I doubt that we have too many stupid scientists. It is better and much more likely to say that, to an extent, they are brainwashed and have been brainwashed by the academic world as they grew up to believe that God and the supernatural must not even be considered and cannot be part of the discussion.

Liars? Unlikely and illogical. To lie to the world means you are lying to yourself first of all and that would be a stupid thing to do, so...

Stupid? I would hardly think so. I have met scientists who are quirky and some who seem to lack basic common sense, but I don't believe I have ever met a stupid one.

Brainwashed? Primarily. The majority of scientists seem to be NM fundamentalists who cannot even consider the supernatural no matter what the evidence. They also seem to be incapable of understanding, many of them, that they even have a worldview! If you don't want to use the term brainwashed, then how about brain compartmentalized, so that an entire set of possibilities is entirely walled off from consideration.

When I encounter someone who doesn't even understand that they have presuppositions and a worldview, I do my best to try to enlighten them. I can understand if they disagree with me and certainly that is their right. But if they disagree with me because they are starting from a place that keeps them from understanding the argument, I want to do my best to help them understand that part of the problem.

I submit that you cannot have a strictly NM worldview and do good science, because that keeps you from considering all possibilities. You can weigh in on the NM side but with an open mind and then you are able to do good science. If you have a strictly YEC worldview and will not even consider the possibility that light has been emitted for longer than 6,000 years, you cannot do good science. Again, no matter what your worldview, keeping an open mind when doing historical science is absolutely necessary. We cannot go back in time to observe the beginning of the Universe, so we have to look at the evidences available today and interpret them within the context of our assumptions. So in the case of historical science one needs to be able to look at the evidences from more than one side to have a balanced view of it all and then come to your best and most logical conclusion.

In conclusion, on the issue of starlight and time I am still open to more than one reasonable possibility. Allow me to close with an article by Dr Hartnett that manages to sum up the most basic of YEC/ID viewpoints on the matter:

A new cosmology: solution to the starlight travel time problem

by John G. Hartnett


Solutions proposed for the starlight-travel-time problem in creationist cosmology fall within one of five categories. Probably only two of the categories hold any hope of a solution. Any solution must be self-consistent and the type of solution adopted affects which astronomical arguments can be used as valid evidence for a young universe. A new cosmological model, of the same class as Humphreys’ white-hole cosmology, is presented, which fits the observational evidence from the cosmos.

As has been often repeated in creationist literature, the starlight-travel-time problem is particularly important to solve. The problem is simply that in the time available since creation (about 6,000 years) there has not been enough time for light to get to Earth from even the nearest neighbour galaxies (1.5 to 3 million years travel time at constant speed of light c) let alone the most distant galaxies (billions of years travel time at constant c). How then do we see them and how did Adam see them?

One common solution that has been presented, and continues to appear, is that the speed of light was enormously faster around Creation Week and has slowed down since (c-decay1). A good example of this may be found in a book by Burgess,2 which has recently been reviewed. The review describes a rapid aging process for stars and a faster speed of light. The universe was accelerated like fast-forwarding a videotape, and after all the light information reached the Earth the rates were reduced to what we now measure. The problem with this model is that the stars would disappear from view as the light slowed down, subsequently taking millions and billions of years to get to Earth. Also, such light arriving at the Earth would show enormous observable blueshifts.3 It doesn’t. A more ingenious mechanism is needed to overcome such obvious objections.

In a recent letter to the editor,4 R.E. Kofahl describes an appealing scenario of the heavens being stretched out and the speed of light being up to 600 billion times the present value. Again this presents the same problem: once the speed of light slowed down, how do we now see the stars? The stars provide us with information in the starlight that we see. If the speed of light had been enormously faster in the past we should be able to detect that in the starlight. Unless a plausible mechanism can be demonstrated, that doesn’t lead to absurd physical implications, these types of scenarios will always fail.

As an argument against the validity of long ages in the universe and for recent creation, it is not uncommon for creationist authors to point out some astrophysical feature (e.g. the high dispersion velocities of stars in galaxies)5 that is inconsistent with the assumed long ages in big bang cosmology. The authors then use this as evidence for short ages (i.e. 6,000 years) in the cosmos, consistent with a creationist view. But surely that type of argument is only valid in the framework of the creationist model adopted. You can’t have a Humphreys’ type model,6 with time running faster in the cosmos than on Earth and as a result billions of years pass, and use the short age argument together. Within the framework of the adopted model, for example, there may still be insufficient time for the observed spirals to wind up. In the big bang conjecture all galaxies in the universe formed at the same epoch only a billion years after the big bang, which is alleged to have occurred 12–18 billion years ago. So the question may still be asked, ‘why are there still spirals?’ Why haven’t they all wound up?7 This would still be a cogent creationist argument. Self-consistency is essential or we have no argument.

The whole underlying problem may be a reluctance by creationist cosmologists to break with the idea that time is absolute and that it has always flowed at a constant rate all throughout the universe. Humphreys’ white-hole model6 made such a break and has generally been well received by creationists. Probably this is because his model involves accelerated time increments happening in the cosmos during 24-hour periods on Earth. It needs to be made very clear that in the cosmos billions of years of ordinary Earth time may have passed, while only 6 x 24-hour days passed on Earth. But a valid mechanism describing how this happened has yet to be discovered.

The Humphreys’ model uses an ‘economy’ of miracles and as a result relies heavily on a particular solution of Einstein’s field equations from general relativity to explain the mechanics of the cosmos. In terms of apologetic value, this approach is very appealing but observationally there are difficulties.8 Also, it is important to remember that God was not bound to any laws of physics until the end of the Creation Week. After it ended, the Word says ‘He rested’. Maybe the solution to the starlight travel time problem is in this fact that the conservation laws we observe today were not yet all operating.

Wherein lies the solution?

There are five possible areas of explanation, in my opinion, all consistent with the text of Genesis, that still maintain the 6 x 24-hour literal days. They are,

  1. That the language of Genesis is phenomenological language (describing appearance). In this case, stars were made millions and billions of years before Day 4, but in such a manner that the light from all stars, no matter how far away, all arrived at the Earth on Day 4 and so would have been seen first at that moment. This is then a reference frame time-stamping events from that moment they are seen on Earth. Newton’s time convention9 describes this idea. The long-term survival of this model, in my opinion, lies with scriptural interpretation, for example, whether the phenomenological view is consistent with Ex. 20:9,11, which reads, ‘Six days you shall labour, and do all your work: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day ... ’. The emphasized word ‘all’ seems to restrict the work being done before to the Creation Week period where 6 days pass on Earth. The phenomenological interpretation puts the actual physical creation of the stars before the six days begin and is ‘seen’ as happening on Day 4 on Earth. Note that Newton’s physical interpretation is questionable and I have elaborated on this in published correspondence.10

  2. That clocks in the cosmos in the past have run at much higher rates than clocks on Earth. Especially during Creation Week, clocks of the exact same type on the edge of the universe ran something like 1013 times faster than clocks on Earth and therefore light from such regions had plenty of time to get to Earth in a matter of days, not millions or billions of years. The Burgess model2 is of this type.11 This hypothesis is not as simple as it first seems and the light coming from the cosmos carries information that makes the model testable. We can compare clock rates on Earth today with clock rates in sources on galaxies in the cosmos and we should still see a difference. However, I contend that there are no observations that support this hypothesis. In fact, observational evidence suggests the contrary. Light from those sources that have faster clock rates should be blueshifted3 compared to Earth clocks. It is not.

  3. That clocks on Earth in the past have run at much slower rates than clocks in the cosmos. Especially during Creation Week clocks of the exact same type on Earth ran about 1013 times slower than clocks at the edge of the universe and therefore light from the edge of the universe had plenty of time to get to Earth in a matter of days as recorded by Earth clocks, not millions or billions of years. Humphreys’ model6 is of this type. The perception of time to someone on the Earth looking at astronomical clocks, during this period, would be that they are running very fast. The hypothesis is simpler than number 2 and not equivalent.12 It is important to realise that this description requires that the universe have a preferred frame of reference. There is evidence that this is the case and it appears the Earth is actually near the centre of the universe.13 The language of Genesis puts the Earth in a reference frame that is special, in the centre of God’s will and plan. A new model of this type is suggested below.

  4. That the speed of light was enormously faster in the past, of the order 1011c to 1012c. This may have been the case during Creation Week and then the light slowed enormously to the present value. Again this model is testable, especially with astronomical observations, such as measurements of the fine structure constant. This hypothesis has been advanced in the past by creationists Setterfield and Norman,1 who placed considerable weight on the precision of a few historical astronomical determinations of the speed of light. The idea is currently in vogue in the secular community,14 but they are not dealing with timescales on Earth of only 6,000 years. The observational evidence available to us today clearly precludes this model.15 It is absolutely not viable, unless there is and has been a complicated balance of changes in many ‘so-called’ constants over observable history. But Occam’s razor16 would tell us that this is not the case. Another model in this category is the Harris model.17 It starts with an infinite speed of light at creation. Then, after the Fall, it changes to the current value as a function of time and linear distance from Earth. Like an expanding bubble spreading out through the universe, the speed of light drops from an infinite value to the current value at the surface of the bubble. One problem with this model may be the massive blueshifts resulting from a change of infinite to finite speed of light. Also the fine structure of the atomic spectra must change from a stage of no fine structure to the current state as the bubble passes. This would be observable in starlight. It isn’t.

  5. Mystery and miracles! This last option I have to include because the Creator God revealed in the Bible is a God of miracles. It is probably true that if we were looking a miracle in the face we might try to reason a naturalistic mechanism for it. God does intervene in the physical world and during those times the laws of physics are obviously ‘put on hold’ (or rather, added to). However, I don’t believe God commits fraud. Creating a beam of light from source to observer so that the observer appears to see current information must also mean there is a whole stream of information in the beam that is false. But the question may be asked whether God created the light from the stars just outside the solar system that carries current and accurate information from those stars? Yes, He could have, but when it is a miracle it is usually understood and/or revealed. For example, when supernova 1987A exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, did it explode 200,000 years ago or in 1987? God could have miraculously translated the light across 200,000 light-years distance of space instantly (as if the photons passed through a wormhole) and then just outside the solar system let it move at the speed c. This hypothesis is untestable and seems implausible.

Humphreys’ white-hole cosmology

Humphreys’ white-hole cosmology (HWC)6,18,19 model is an excellent attempt to address this important question in creationist cosmology. However it seems to suffer from a few deficiencies.8,20 In this model, all the matter of the universe expanded out through a ‘white hole’ during Creation Week to form the cosmos. At the same time space expanded with the matter, moving by virtue of that expansion. Due to gravitational time dilation, clocks on Earth near the centre of this spherically-symmetric, bounded and finite distribution of matter ran slower than clocks throughout the cosmos. The farther out one looks the faster clocks would appear to run compared to Earth clocks. But because Earth clocks are, at least initially, deep in a gravitational well, they are running slow and the clocks in the cosmos are less affected by gravity and run fast. Let’s say for clocks free from gravity that they run at a normal rate, the same as most clocks run today on or near the Earth. (Let’s not concern ourselves with small corrections due to relative motion or gravitational potential near Earth).

If this picture was still the state of the universe that we see today, then starlight would be blueshifted (a gravitational effect) and that blueshift would be greater at greater distances from the Earth. This is not what is observed. We, in fact, see redshifts that are small in magnitude compared to the required magnitudes for the needed blueshifts.8 The HWC model however also involves a ‘timeless’ Euclidean zone where the time coordinate in the general relativity spacetime metric becomes spacelike during the expansion stage. This timeless region collapses as material expands out through the ‘white hole’ and eventually it disappears as it reaches Earth. As addressed in another paper,8 this too has its problems both in its mathematical description and conceptually, as there is insufficient time-dilation locally (between nearby galaxies at least). As a result there remains a difficulty in explaining how light from nearby galaxies would get to Earth in 6,000 years or less.

A new model

I propose a new model of type 3. During Creation Week, all clocks on Earth, at least up to Day 4, ran at about 10–13 times the rate of astronomical clocks. Actually the rate is a parameter of the model. All astronomical clocks in the cosmos run at the same rate that we would measure any normal clock today. They have always done so except under special circumstances where they might have been affected by gravity. During this time the rotation speed of the newly created Earth was about 10–13 times the current rotation speed as measured by astronomical clocks, but normal by Earth clocks. By the close of Day 4 the clock rates on Earth rapidly speeded up to the same rate as the astronomical clocks. All of this was maintained under God’s creative power before He allowed the laws of physics to operate ‘on their own’ at the end of Creation Week.

An ‘observer’ on Earth at this time looking at the heavens would have seen apparently accelerated motions. Conversely, an ‘observer’ outside our solar system would observe apparently very slow advance of time on Earth clocks. In fact, only in an extra-solar system frame of reference would Earth clocks appear to be running slow. This effect would allow millions and billions of years to pass in the cosmos, while only a few 24-hour days pass on Earth. Hence the light from the most distant stars traveling at the normal speed, c, would have plenty of time to get to Earth. Of course, I am not suggesting there were any such observers, except the Creator, but He doesn’t live within time.

The question might be raised as to the spatial region of this special frame around the Earth where clocks run slower up to or during Day 4 of creation. To be consistent with Scripture it doesn’t necessarily need to include the whole solar system. However, it may have, because light from anywhere in the solar system can reach Earth within about 8 hours. If the special frame was confined to the solar system, we could call it ‘young’.21 If the special frame was confined to the Earth only, we could call the solar system ‘old’.22 The difference would make the model testable. However, to be self-consistent with other evidence that makes the solar system appear ‘young’,23 I would place the boundary of the special frame at least outside the solar system. So then this is consistent with my Young Solar System (YSS) model.8 Further investigation is required though to see if this is consistent with other age estimators within our region of space.

Of course the stars were made on Day 4. In order for Adam to see light from the nearest stars (other than the sun), on Day 6, it is necessary that the edge of the special Earth frame not extend much beyond Pluto. Therefore due to the massive time dilation effect, during Creation Week, Adam would have been able to see starlight on Earth coming from the visible stars of at least our own galaxy. The light coming from supernova 1987A travelled most of its journey through a portion of Day 4 of Creation Week, when the Earth clock rates were very slow. It arrived at the Earth in 1987, some 200,000 astronomical years24 after it departed.

This model is simple in design and makes no unusual predictions about past events. It is similar to Humphreys’ model with some important differences. Time after the end of Day 4 is linear in the whole universe and may be understood in the normal commonsense way. Time during Creation Week up to Day 4 is highly non-linear but only on Earth (and possibly the surrounding solar system), and nowhere else throughout the cosmos. (Note: the HWC model employs different rates of clocks and different passage of time in the cosmos in a highly non-linear fashion, which should be detectable from Earth today.) In my model, the general matter distribution of the stars and galaxies in the universe is the universal frame of all reference clocks. Generally these astronomical clocks have ticked at the same rate. Clocks on Earth since Day 4 also have ticked at the same rate as these universal clocks. Only clocks on Earth up to the close of Day 4 ticked much slower compared to the universal reference clocks. The model does not employ any general relativistic effects as does HWC but it doesn’t impose any implausible conditions either. The Creation Week period, by definition, is not expected to be a period where natural law explanations apply.

There are a few points about this model that should be stated here:

  1. It has low apologetic value, because in terms of extra-solar system observations it makes no unusual predictions.

  2. In terms of locally elapsed time since creation, this model does imply that objects within the solar system are much younger than objects outside it. Therefore, even though further investigation needs to be undertaken, there is some evidence for a young sun25 but it may also be argued that God created the sun mature26 as it was especially important for life on Earth.

  3. There is the question of where and what type of boundary should be postulated that once enclosed the ‘slow’ zone. Was it a sharp or gradual transition to ‘astronomical’ clock rates, and what observational consequences might be expected?


Let’s do a few simple calculations. Let us suppose that the relative rate of clocks on Earth compared to astronomical clocks during Creation Week was

Equation 1(1)

where t0 represents time on Earth and t represents time in the cosmos (same for all clocks everywhere except on Earth). By integrating over the 24 hours of Day 4 (assuming = 0.003 years approximately), we can calculate the time available in the cosmos for a photon to travel to Earth. It follows from (1),

Equation 2(2)

There is more than sufficient time during Creation Week. And since light now arriving on Earth left the stars some time during Creation Week, it had plenty of astronomical years to nearly get to Earth. The rest of the journey has been made in the 6,000 years since creation. No accelerated speeds have been assumed, just the constant speed of light that has been repeatably measured for the past 300 years. It is not necessary to suppose that light from all stars in the universe arrived by the close of Creation Week, but at a minimum from our own Milky Way galaxy and maybe farther out to the Virgo Cluster of the order of 70 million light years. The specific dilation rate in (1) is an adjustable parameter of the model, which would determine the extent to how far starlight travelled during Day 4.

Expansion of the cosmos

The issue of whether or not the universe rapidly expanded during the Creation Week is not crucial to this model; however it seems the scriptures demand it. Verses like Job 9:8, 37:18; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, etc., may have their fulfilment in an expansion scenario. Since the model provides plenty of astronomical time during Days 1 to 4 on Earth, God could have stretched the heavens out to the billion light-years scales in this period of time, while forming the stars and galaxies on Day 4. And light travelling at constant c still would have gotten to Earth in little time as measured by Earth clocks. A mature creation that is seen as an expanding universe27 may also be part of the description.


The amount and passage of time in the cosmos is pertinent to the creationist because we need to interpret the evidence within a self-consistent framework of the model we adopt. Therefore in a model of type 1 or type 3, which incorporate astronomical time, explanations of the rotation curves in galaxies,28 the Tully-Fisher law29 or the apparent excess of mass inferred from the dynamics of equilibrium clusters of galaxies become an issue to creationist cosmology.

A new model, of a type similar to Humphreys’, has been described that allows billions of years to pass in the cosmos but only 24 hours on Earth during Day 4. In this model, the laws of physics are suspended while creation is in progress and enormous time dilation occurs between Earth clocks and astronomical clocks. This solves the light-travel-time problem faced by creationist cosmology and makes all astronomical evidence fit the Genesis account. No non-physical requirements are placed on the model.


  1. Norman, T. and Setterfield, B., The atomic constants, light and time, SRI International Invited Research Report, Menlo Park, 1986.
  2. Burgess, S., He Made the Stars Also, Day One Publications, Surrey, 2001. Recently reviewed in CRSQ 39:39, 2002.
  3. If the speed of light was much greater in the past, either the frequencies were higher due to higher excitation energies of the sources or the received wavelengths are shortened by the Doppler effect. In either case, referenced against standard sources on Earth, such light would appear blueshifted.
  4. Kofahl, R.E., Letter to the Editor: Speculation concerning God’s ‘big bang’, CRSQ 39:64, 2002.
  5. Bernitt, R., Fast stars challenge big bang origin for dwarf galaxies, TJ 14(3):5–7, 2000.
  6. Humphreys, D. R., Starlight and Time, Master Books, Colorado Springs, 1994.
  7. Astronomers no longer believe ellipticals wound up from earlier spiral forms because most have little angular motion. They are more like motionless blobs. However, in the time available to a spiral galaxy since the big bang it could have wound around about 500 times.
  8. Hartnett, J. G., Look-back time in our galactic neighbourhood leads to a new cosmogony, TJ 17(1):73–79, 2003.
  9. Newton, R., Distant starlight and Genesis: conventions of time measurement, TJ 15(1):80–85, 2001.
  10. Hartnett, J.G., Distant starlight and Genesis: is ‘observed time’ a physical reality? Letters, TJ 16(3):65–68, 2002.
  11. It may be more accurately classified as a hybrid between my categories 2 and 4. But it does have a strong element of this type 2.
  12. Consider the clock rates at emission and reception. In category 2 at emission, clocks in the distant cosmos were running faster than Earth clocks now run at reception. In category 3 at emission, clocks in the distant cosmos were running at the same rate as Earth clocks now run at reception. Only during a few days of Creation Week were Earth clocks running slower on receiving the light.
  13. Humphreys, D.R., Our galaxy is the centre of the universe, ‘quantized’ red shifts show, TJ 16(2):95–104, 2002.
  14. Cho, A., Light may have slowed down,,, 2001.
  15. Hartnett, J.G., Is there any evidence for a change in c? Implications for creationist cosmology, TJ 16(3):89–94, 2002.
  16. Occam, William of Occam (or Ockham) (1284–1347) was an English philosopher and theologian. His work on knowledge, logic and scientific inquiry played a major role in the transition from medieval to modern thought. He based scientific knowledge on experience and self-evident truths, and on logical propositions resulting from those two sources. In his writings, Occam stressed the Aristotelian principle that entities must not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. This principle became known as Occam’s (or Ockham’s) Razor or the law of parsimony. A problem should be stated in its basic and simplest terms. In science, the simplest theory that fits the facts of a problem is the one that should be selected.
  17. Harris, D.M., A solution to seeing stars, CRSQ 15(2):112–115, 1978.
  18. Humphreys, D.R., New vistas of space and time, TJ 12(2):195–212, 1998.
  19. Humphreys, D.R., More on vistas, TJ 13(1):55, 1999.
  20. Worraker, W.J., Look-back time in Humphreys’ cosmology, TJ 15(2):46–47, 2001.
  21. ‘Young’ means that the age by Earth clocks is <>
  22. ‘Old’ means the age by Earth clocks is of the order of millions or billions of years.
  23. E.g. the abundance of short-period comets.
  24. Astronomical years measure time applicable to astronomical objects. The ordinary years we measure on Earth now are also identical and have been since the end of Day 4 of Creation Week.
  25. Davies, K., Evidence for a young Sun, ICR Impact 26:1–4, 1996. Note that even though the question of the neutrino emission has been answered (see Newton, R., ‘Missing’ neutrinos found! No longer an ‘age’ indicator, TJ 16(3):123–125, 2002) the questions Davies discusses relating to the oscillation periods are still outstanding.
  26. Faulkner, D., The young faint sun paradox and the age of the solar system, ICR Impact 300:1–3, 1998.
  27. A non-static universe seems to be an inevitable conclusion considering gravity to be only an attractive force.
  28. Worraker, B. J., MOND over dark matter? TJ 16(3):11–14, 2002.
  29. Tully-Fisher law: observed luminosity of spiral galaxies varies as the fourth power of their rotational velocities.