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Monday, December 22, 2008

Ice Cores and Dating - Part One - Being a Foreigner to long age interpretations using ice cores

Foreigner said it for me


"You're as cold as ice, you're willing to sacrifice our love

You never take advice, someday you'll pay the price, I know
"

The subject of Ice Cores as tools used in dating the age of the earth has been brought up more than once on this blog and the time has come to address the subject well and fully. I believe that there are several reasons that ice cores are not going to be able to be a reliable indicator of the age of the Earth. I believe that those who believe in an old age for the earth are seeking to find solid proof for their beliefs within those ever-changing and difficult to interpret set of glacial ice deposits found in the area of both poles.

One problem with using ice cores or tree rings or ocean floor sediments and so on as a way to date the Earth is that one absolutely has to use certain assumptions in the dating method that cannot be tested and proven. We don't have historical records of continual and documented ice core samples going back for thousands of years, so the results need to be interpreted within the light of the assumptions that are used in the process. This is why vast differences in the ages represented in ice cores are suggested by those within the long-ages scientific community and how YEC scientists find the ice cores make sense from their perspective as well.

For instance, some scientists believe they can prove a very long age for the earth by interpretation of sediment cores from the ocean floor. Yet there is an area in the Pacific Ocean the approximate size of the nation of Mexico that is almost entirely without sedimentation! Such a situation is not terribly difficult to explain if you postulate a world-wide flood that happened within the last five thousand years or so...but it takes backflips and flipflops of logic to try to explain it in a uniformitarian scenario.

This following post is by a scientist (Dr. Sean Pitman) who believes in intelligent design but also in longer ages. Yet he believes that evidences from the ice cores supports ages of thousands of years rather than long ages. Here is his summary statement:

First glance intuition is often very helpful in coming up with a good hypothesis to explain a given phenomenon, such as the hundreds of thousands of layers of ice found in places like Greenland and Antarctica. It seems down right intuitive that each layer found in these ice sheets should represent an annual cycle. After all, this seems to fit the uniformitarian paradigm so well. However, a closer inspection of the data seems to favor a much more recent and catastrophic model of ice sheet formation. Violent weather disturbances with large storms, a sudden cold snap, and high precipitation rates could very reasonably give rise to all the layers, dust bands, and isotope variations etc. that we find in the various ice sheets today.

So, which hypothesis carries more predictive power? Is there more evidence for a much warmer climate all around Greenland in the recent past or for the survival of the Greenland Ice sheet, without melting, for hundreds of thousands to millions of years? Both positions cannot be right. One of them has to be wrong. Can all the frozen temperate plants and animals within the Arctic Circle trump interpretation of ocean core sediments, coral dating, radiometric dating, sedimentation rate extrapolations, isotope matches between ocean and ice cores and Milankovitch cycles? Most scientists don't think so. Personally, I don't see why not? For me, the evidence of warm-weather animals and plants living all around Greenland around the entire Arctic Circle, is especially overwhelming.




The fact is that no system of interpreting ages of fossils or sea sediments or ice cores or tree rings exists that can be proven to be true. Ice cores in particular are exceedingly difficult to use as a method of dating because of so many factors that come into play as the drill goes deeper. I will post an online article at the end of this blog post that touches on some of these problems as an overview. Even people who believe in long ages for the earth are skeptical of using ice cores for dating.

One doesn't drill down into ice and find a tag that says "2000 BC" that identifies how many years of ice you have just drilled through. Experts will think they will have found evidences of a volcanic eruption as an age marker within the ice and then discover that other scientists have identified the same layer as representative of an entirely different eruption, just as a for instance. Here is an article that illustrates that, when it comes to ice layers and ice cores, all is not as it first seems...

The lost squadron

First published:
Creation 19(3):10–14
June 1997

by Carl Wieland

From a secret US Army air base in Greenland, six P–38 Lightning fighter planes and two gigantic B–17 Flying Fortress bombers rose into the early dawn. The date was July 15, 1942, and they were headed for a British airfield to join the war against Hitler.

Heading east over the polar icecap, they ran into a massive blizzard. Flying blind, they heard that their first planned refueling stop, in Iceland, was ‘socked in’, forcing them to return to their home base. As they approached this, however, critically low on fuel, they found that it, too, was closed. Realising that their only hope was to crash-land on the icy wastes of Greenland’s east coast, they desperately searched till they found a break in the cloud cover.

The nose-wheel of the first plane to land hit a crevasse, which caused it to flip. Fortunately, the impact on the canopy of the 8-ton P–38 was cushioned by snow, and the pilot’s injuries were minor. After they saw this, the rest of the squadron came in with their wheels up for belly landings. The planes were only lightly damaged.

All the crewmen were rescued unharmed by dogsled, about nine days later. However, the planes had to be abandoned where they had slithered to a stop.1

In the years to follow, a few people occasionally recalled the legendary Lost Squadron of 1942, but it was only in 1980 that anyone thought of a salvage mission. U.S. airplane dealer Patrick Epps told his friend, architect Richard Taylor, that the planes would be like new. ‘All we’d have to do is shovel the snow off the wings, fill them with gas, crank them up and fly them off into the sunset. Nothing to it.’

It took the two of them many years, much money and several failed expeditions before the first real clue came. Using a sophisticated form of radar with the help of an Icelandic geophysicist, they located eight large shapes beneath the ice in 1988.

As a small, makeshift steam probe began to melt a hole in the ice, expedition members watched dumbstruck as more and more extensions were added to the hose, some 75 metres (250 feet) before reaching the first airplane!

None of the discoverers thought that the planes could possibly be buried under more than a light cover of snow and ice. And why would they? After all, the impression the general public has is that the buildup of glacial ice takes very long time periods — thousands of years for just a few metres (see ‘deep freeze salamanders’). [Ed. note: We were not claiming that the salvagers’ perceptions were correct. Published figures of average ice accumulation rates are quite a bit lower than 1½ m/year that clearly must be true here, but not nearly as low as the salvagers thought. But it shows how much the ‘millions-of-years’ ideas have permeated into the general public, and the point of this article was to undermine this common preconception, as the subtitle should make clear] In fact, ice cores in Greenland are used for dating, based on the belief that layers containing varying isotope ratios were laid down, somewhat like the rings of a tree, over many tens of thousands of years.2

It is the same sort of conditioning which makes many people instinctively think in terms of millions of years for coral reef growth, for stalactites to form, and so on. This is in spite of ample demonstrations that these things do not need vast time periods.3, 4, 5

Epps and Taylor realised that it would be impossible to dig or blast through this astonishing depth of solid ice, which had built up in less than 50 years. They returned in 1990 with a low-tech implement called a super gopher. This five-foot-high device, wound with copper coils through which hot water is pumped, melted a four-foot-wide shaft into the ice at about two feet an hour until it struck the wing of a B–17. A worker lowered down the shaft then used a hot water hose to make a cavern around the plane. To their disappointment, the huge bomber was crushed and mangled, beyond worthwhile salvage.

Dejected, the pair returned home. However, only a month later they realised that the more solidly-built P-38s would have had a much better chance of having survived the ice’s weight. In May, 1992, they returned with fresh financing from investors in a high-precision effort. True to expectations, the P–38 they located seemed in superb condition.

After many weeks of intense effort, the wings and fuselage were brought to the surface through a large opening made by using the ‘gopher’ to sink four more holes side by side. The pieces were helicoptered to a Greenland port, then sea-freighted to the US for final restoration. This turned out to be more difficult than imagined, as the plane had actually been more damaged by the crushing weight than met the eye. However, when operational again, it will be using around 80% of its original parts. Interestingly, the planes under the ice were in exactly the same pattern in which they had landed — except they had been moved (by glacial flow) three miles from their original location!

Evolutionists and other long-agers often say that ‘the present is the key to the past’. In that case, the 3000-metre-long ice core [brought up by the joint European Greenland Ice-core Project (GRIP) in Greenland in 1990–1992] would only represent some 2,000 years of accumulation. Allowing of course for compression of lower layers, (which is also offset by the inevitable aftermath of a global Flood, namely much greater precipitation and snowfall for a few centuries6) there is ample time in the 4,000 or so years since Noah’s day for the existing amounts of ice to have built up — even under today’s generally non-catastrophic conditions.

As usual, it is not the facts which speak against the Biblical account of a recent creation, but the mindset of our culture. ‘Millions of years’ are casually tossed around so often that we unconsciously perceive all natural changes as taking long timespans. That is why many are ‘amazed’ to hear of facts like 180 metres (600 feet) of layered sedimentary rock built up in months after the Mt. St Helens May 18, 1980 eruption.7 Or when hearing of real precious opal formed in months,8 or coal from simple heating of wood in mere months.9 Or about the flag, tent and sledge left at the South Pole by Antarctic explorer Amundsen in 1911 now being 40 feet under the ice,10 or this deeply buried lost squadron.

However, we should really not be surprised when the facts show that things generally happen more quickly than expected within the old-earth mindset, since ‘Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever’ (Psalm 119:160).

Addendum: would planes sink into ice?

A number of readers have contacted Creation magazine about the sensational information in this article. Recalling the common school experiment in which a wire tensioned with weights ‘sinks’ through a block of ice, some wondered whether the planes could have sunk to that depth. However, the wire sinks through the ice in the experiment only if it is done at room temperature. Do the same experiment with the whole apparatus in a freezer, which would mimic the situation with the planes, and it does not work.11 The common explanation for the wire/ice experiment that the pressure of the wire melts the ice is wrong — such a device does not generate enough pressure to melt the ice [see The wonders of water, in the section ‘Why is ice so slippery?’, for further discussion]. Heat transferred from the air in the room by the metallic wire, which is an efficient conductor of heat, melts the ice, which is a poor heat conductor, to allow the wire to ‘cut’ through.

Also, Jonathan Brombley (Paisley, UK) pointed out (Creation 20(2):5, March 1998):

It is true that the pressures involved would not cause the planes to descend through the ice but there is a simpler and more visual way to determine whether this has happened or not. To attain forward directional stability, aircraft must have their centre of mass ahead of what is termed their ‘aerodynamic center’. The centre of mass is moved forwards by siting engines and other heavy elements towards the front and adding control surfaces such as tail fins whose surface area pulls the aerodynamic centre to the rear. A simpler equivalent is the arrow (weight in the nose, flights at the rear) which attains forward directional stability by the same means.

The consequence is that, barring control mechanisms acting, an arrow or aircraft will pitch forward and fall nose-down when allowed to fall freely through a medium — whether air, water or ice. So if the aircraft had indeed moved through the ice, they would all have been found in the same nose-down position. They were not.

So the planes could not have sunk through the ice; they were buried by the accumulation of snow (which becomes ice as it is compacted).

References and notes

1. Information for this article is mostly from: ‘The Lost Squadron’ Life magazine 15(14):60–68, December 1992 and ‘Search for a Fork-Tailed Devil’ Compressed Air Magazine, pp. 30–36, March 1996. Return to text.

2. Several prominent ‘old-earth Christians’ have challenged the Bible’s account of a recent creation on the basis of such ice-core dating. However, work by creationist scientists such as DR Larry Vardiman of the Institute for Creation Research has shown that the assumptions involved are far from watertight and that the ice-core results may be understood within a young-earth framework. See his articles hyperlinked in Q&A: Ice Age. Return to text.

3. Creation 14(1):15, 1992. Return to text.

4. Creation 16(3):15, 1994. Return to text.

5. Creation 16(1):15, 1994. Return to text.

6. Creation 19(1):42–43, 1997. The GRIP ice-core (to be precise, 3028.8-m-long) is cited in W. Dansgaard et al., Nature 364(6343):218–220, 15 July 1993. Return to text.

7. Mount St Helens: Explosive evidence for catastrophe in Earth’s history, DR Steve Austin, Ph.D., CSF videos (produced by the Institute for Creation Research). Return to text.

8. Creation 17(1)14–17, 1995. Return to text

9. R. Hayatsu et al., Organic Geochemistry 6:463–471, 1984. These researchers at Argonne National Laboratories in the US combined wood, water and acidic clay, and heated in a sealed container (without oxygen, and no added pressure) at 150 oC for 2–8 months. [Ed. Note: Or to be more precise than was necessary in a family magazine, the reaction included the major wood stiffener, lignin; other reactions contained the other major wood component, cellulose. So the principle is the same. They are hydrothermal reactions, hence the explanation in the magazine that water was an ingredient — although obviously no scientific abstract would bother stating it — and an essential one. See E. Pennisi, ‘Water, water, everywhere’, Science News 143:121–5, 20 Feb. 1993]

In some of the longer runs (still far, far less than millions or even thousands of years!) obtained material which had the infrared spectra like those of ‘high rank coals’. Return to text.

10. Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 1995 p. A12. Return to text.

11. We did this experiment. With a number 1 guitar steel string over an ice block about 40x25x25 mm in size and weighted with 4 kg of water in two plastic milk bottles at room temperature, the wire cut through in 25 minutes, the ice re-freezing behind the cut. However, with the apparatus in a chest freezer, there was absolutely no movement in 8 hours. The pressure exerted by the wire? About 400 tonnes per square metre, which is enough to reduce the melting point of ice less than 0.5 Celsius degrees. As a matter of interest, a P-38 exerts a pressure of only 0.18 tonnes per square metre, enough to decrease the melting point about one five-thousandth of a degree! Return to text.

12. New Scientist, 139(1809):15, September 11, 1993. Return to text.

P–38 Lightning fighter plane

The P–38 Lightning was one of the deadliest planes to come out of WWII. Powered by twin Allison V–12 engines, it had one 20 mm cannon and four .50 calibre machine guns in its nose. Operational from 1941–49, the nickname given to it by German pilots, on account of its double tail, was Der Gabelschwanz Teufel (the fork-tailed devil). They are a highly prized collector’s item; only five were believed to be flying at the time the Lost Squadron P–38 was salvaged — under c. 75 metres (250 feet) of solid ice! Return to text.

Siberian Salamander Surprise

In the frozen wastes of Siberia, an amazing salamander is able to survive in suspended animation for years, deep-frozen at temperatures as low as –50 oC, only to thaw out and run off afterwards. Scientists are not yet sure of the exact mechanism, but, like some other animals, they almost certainly produce ‘anti-freeze’ chemicals to replace water in their tissues and cells.

Some have been found buried in ice which is believed to be from the Pleistocene Age — 12,000 years ago by evolutionary reckoning. Yet they still recovered when thawed out! Though researchers have discussed the idea of radiocarbon dating to test the idea that they could possibly be that old, they say that the creatures ‘probably fell to this depth much later, through deep cracks in the permafrost’.12

Whether so or not, the belief that ice layers only 14 metres (46 feet) down are many thousands of years old, in light of the ‘Lost Squadron’ experience, cannot be taken for granted. Return to text.

So what shall we say then about ice cores? Well, first how about an overview of where all the ice came from and what it contains?~

Where Does the Ice Age Fit?

by Michael Oard


If you ask a youngster the question, “Was there really an ice age?” they might say rather quickly that there was. Then they may tell you that there were two of them. Of course, if you listen much longer, they will tell you that they saw both of those movies in the theater.

The ice age is a popular topic that is often discussed in school, at home, or in Hollywood. Sadly, most people hear the secular/uniformitarian view and don’t look at this subject from a biblical perspective. This is where it gets interesting, though. The secular view has no good mechanism to cause a single ice age, let alone the many they propose. But the Bible does have a mechanism. Let’s take a closer look.

Before I get too deep, let me define a few words you’ll need to know to help clarify this chapter:

Ice Age North Amerca
Ice Age Eurasia

Figures 1 and 2. The extent of the Ice Age over North America and Eurasia.

Glacier: a large mass of ice that has accumulated from snow over the years and is slowly moving from a higher place.

Moraines: stones, boulders, and debris that have been carried and dropped by a glacier.

Uniformitarianism: the belief that rates today are the same as they were in the past, without the possibility of major catastrophes like worldwide floods.

Interglacial: a short period of warming between glacier growth/movement that caused glaciers to melt away.

Ice cores: cores of ice that have been drilled down into a glacier.

Ice Age: when seen in capital letters, refers to the biblical post-Flood Ice Age.

An ice age is defined as a time of extensive glacial activity in which substantially more of the land is covered by ice. During the Ice Age that ended several thousand years ago, 30 percent of the land surface of the earth was covered by ice (Figures 1 and 2). In North America an ice sheet covered almost all of Canada and the northern United States.

We know the extent of the Ice Age in the recent past because similar features, as observed around glaciers today, are also found in formerly glaciated areas, such as lateral and terminal moraines. A lateral moraine is a mound of rocks of all sizes deposited on the side of a moving glacier, while a terminal, or end, moraine is a mound of rocks bulldozed in front of the glacier.

Horseshoe-shaped lateral and end moraines

Figure 3. Horseshoe-shaped lateral and end moraines plowed up by a glacier moving out of a valley in the northern Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon. Beautiful Wallowa Lake fills the depression within the moraines.

Figure 3 shows a horseshoe-shaped moraine from a glacier that spread out from a valley in the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon. The two lateral moraines are 600 feet (183 m) high, while the end moraine is 100 feet (30 m) high, enclosing beautiful Wallowa Lake. Scratched bedrock and boulders are telltale signs of previous glaciation (Figures 4 and 5), which are similar to such features found around glaciers today (Figures 6 and 7).

Striated bedrock
Striated boulders

Figures 4 and 5. Striated bedrock and boulders from an ice cap in the northern Rocky Mountains that spread through the Sun River Canyon out onto the high plains, west of Great Falls, Montana.

Scratched bedrock
Scratched boulder

Figures 6 and 7. Scratched bedrock and boulder from the Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Secular/Uniformitarian Belief

Scratched bedrock

Figure 8. Display of four ice ages at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum at Price, Utah, taken in 2006.

Secular/uniformitarian scientists used to believe that there were four ice ages during the past few million years. However, the idea of four ice ages was rejected in the 1970s in favor of thirty or more ice ages separated by interglacials.1 Such a switch was forced by a paradigm change in glaciology toward belief in the astronomical model of the ice ages (or “Milankovitch mechanism,” as it is called). The idea of four ice ages still lingers in public museum displays, though (Figure 8).

The astronomical model postulates regularly repeating ice ages caused by the changing orbital geometry of the earth. Secular glaciologists believe that over the past 800,000 years there were, allegedly, eight ice ages, each lasting about 100,000 years.2 The glacial phase supposedly dominated for 90,000 years, while the interglacial phase lasted only 10,000 years. Accordingly, the story continues that beyond 800,000 years, the ice ages are believed to have cycled every 40,000 years or so.

The secular/uniformitarian model now holds that the Antarctic Ice Sheet developed around 40 million years ago and reached general equilibrium about 15 million years ago.3 The Greenland Ice Sheet, they say, is younger, having developed only a few million years ago.

Uniformitarian scientists further believe four “ancient ice ages” occurred during geological time (Table 1). These ice ages supposedly occurred hundreds of millions to several billion years ago, with each ice age lasting tens to hundreds of millions of years. Ancient ice ages are deduced from features in the rock that seem to indicate glaciation.

Geological Period Secular Approximate Age Range (million years ago)
Late Paleozoic 256–338
Late Ordovician 429–445
Late Proterozoic 520–950
Early Proterozoic 2200–2400
Table 1. The four main “ancient ice ages” within the uniformitarian paradigm and their inferred age range in millions of years before the present. The age ranges for the earliest “ice ages” are admittedly rough estimates.4

Severe Difficulties with Secular/Uniformitarian Beliefs

Secular/uniformitarian scientists have great difficulty explaining any recent ice ages based on rates they observe today. They have proposed dozens of hypotheses, but all have serious flaws. One problem is that the summer temperatures in the northern United States would have to cool more than 50°F (28°C) accompanied by a huge increase in snow. What would trigger or sustain such a dramatic climate change that would persist for thousands of years? David Alt of the University of Montana in Missoula recently admitted, “Although theories abound, no one really knows what causes ice ages.”5

Ancient ice ages have been somewhat controversial over the years, but recently some uniformitarian scientists have come out with the shocking belief that some Proterozoic ice ages were global.6 This belief is based on paleomagnetic data that supposedly shows certain rocks, believed to be from ancient ice ages, were marine and equatorial. Because of the reflection of sunlight from a white surface, it is likely that a glaciated earth would never melt. However, advocates of “snowball earth” state not only that such a glaciation completely melted but also that temperatures following glaciation ended up much warmer than today. Such a “freeze-fry” hypothesis indicates that the concept of ancient ice ages is unsound.

Did the Flood Trigger the Ice Age?

If uniformitarian scientists have severe difficulties accounting for ice ages, how would creationists explain an ice age or multiple ice ages? Let’s start with the recent ice age.

When attempting to account for ice ages, the uniformitarian scientists do not consider one key element—the Genesis Flood. What if there truly were a worldwide Flood? How would it have affected the climate? A worldwide Flood would have caused major changes in the earth’s crust, as well as earth movements and tremendous volcanism. It would have also greatly disturbed the climate.

A shroud of volcanic dust and aerosols (very small particles) would have been trapped in the stratosphere for several years following the Flood. These volcanic effluents would have then reflected some of the sunlight back to space and caused cooler summers, mainly over large landmasses of the mid and high latitudes. Volcanoes would have also been active during the Ice Age and gradually declined as the earth settled down. Abundant evidence shows substantial Ice Age volcanism, which would have replenished the dust and aerosols in the stratosphere.7 The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets also show abundant volcanic particles and acids in the Ice Age portion of the ice cores.8

An ice age also requires huge amounts of precipitation. The Genesis account records the “fountains of the great deep” bursting forth during the Flood. Crustal movements would have released hot water from the earth’s crust along with volcanism and large underwater lava flows, which would have added heat to the ocean. Earth movement and rapid Flood currents would have then mixed the warm water, so that after the Flood the oceans would be warm from pole to pole. There would be no sea ice. A warm ocean would have had much higher evaporation than the present cool ocean surface. Most of this evaporation would have occurred at mid and high latitudes, close to the developing ice sheets, dropping the moisture on the cold continent. This is a recipe for powerful and continuous snowstorms that can be estimated using basic meteorology.9 Therefore, to cause an ice age, rare conditions are required—warm oceans for high precipitation, and cool summers for lack of melting the snow. Only then can it accumulate into an ice sheet.

The principles of atmospheric science can also estimate areas of high oceanic evaporation, the eventual depth of the ice, and even the timing of the Ice Age. Numerical simulations of precipitation in the polar regions using conventional climate models with warm sea surface temperatures have demonstrated that ice sheets thousands of feet thick could have accumulated in less than 500 years.10

A Rapid Ice Age

Most creationists agree that there was one major Ice Age following the Flood. The timing of the Ice Age is quite significant, since uniformitarians claim that each ice age over the past 800,000 years lasted about 100,000 years. To estimate the time for a post-Flood Ice Age, we need to know how long the volcanism lasted and the cooling time of the oceans. Once these two mechanisms for the Ice Age wane, the ice sheets will reach a maximum and then begin to melt. So, an estimate of the time for the Ice Age can be worked out based on the available moisture for snow and the cooling time of the ocean (the primary mechanism) in a cool post-Flood climate.

I used budget equations for the cooling of the ocean and atmosphere, which are simply based on heat inputs minus heat outputs—the difference causing the change in temperatures. Since there is no way to be precise, I used minimums and maximums for the variables in the equations in order to bracket the time. The best estimate is about 500 years after the Flood to reach glacial maximum with an average ice and snow depth of about 2,300 feet (700 m) in the Northern Hemisphere and 4,000 feet (1,220 m) on Antarctica.11

Once the conditions for the Ice Age ended, those ice sheets in unfavorable areas melted rapidly. Antarctica and Greenland, possessing a favorable latitude and altitude, would continue to grow during deglaciation and afterward. To calculate the melting rate for the ice sheets over North America and Eurasia, I used the energy balance over a snow cover, which gives a faster rate than the uniformitarians propose based on their models.

An energy balance equation is a straightforward and more physical method of calculating the melt rate. Using maximum and minimum values for the variable in the melt equation, I obtained a best estimate of the average melt rate along the periphery (a 400-mile [645-km] long strip) of the ice sheet in North America at about 33 feet/year (10 m/year). Such a melting rate compares favorably with current melt rates for the melting zones of Alaskan, Icelandic, and Norwegian glaciers today. At this rate, the periphery of the ice sheets melts in less than 100 years. Interior areas of ice sheets would melt more slowly, but the ice would be gone in about 200 years. The ice sheets melt so fast, catastrophic flooding would be expected, such as with the bursting of glacial Lake Missoula described later in this chapter.

Therefore, the total length of time for a post-Flood Ice Age is about 700 years. It was indeed a rapid Ice Age. This is an example of bringing back the Flood into earth history. As a result, processes that seem too slow at today’s rates were much faster in the past. The Flood was never disproved; it was arbitrarily rejected in the 1700s and 1800s by secular intellectuals in favor of slow processes over millions of years.

How Many Ice Ages?

Still, there is the claim of many ice ages. Most formerly glaciated areas show evidence for only one ice age, and a substantial amount of information indicates only one ice age.12 The idea of multiple ice ages is essentially a uniformitarian assumption. Today this idea is strongly based on oxygen isotope ratios from seafloor sediments. The paleothermometers developed from these data assume highly questionable statistical comparisons between peaks and valleys in temperature, which are claimed to correspond to orbital changes in the heating of the earth. In a provocative paper concluding that only one ice sheet covered southern and central Alberta late in the uniformitarian timescale, Robert Young and others stated: “Glacial reconstructions commonly assume a multiple-glaciation hypothesis in all areas that contain a till cover.”13

Areas that appear to have evidence of more than one ice age can be reinterpreted to be the deposits from one ice sheet that advanced and retreated over a short period. The more modern understanding of glacial activity indicates that ice sheets are very dynamic. We do not need 100,000 years for each ice age or 2.5 million years for multiple ice ages.

One of the key assumptions in the multiple glaciation hypothesis is the astronomical model of ice ages. This mechanism is based on cyclical past changes in the geometry of the earth’s orbit. Uniformitarian scientists believe that a decrease in solar radiation at about 60° N in summer, resulting from orbital changes, causes repeating ice ages, either every 100,000 years or every 40,000 years. By matching wiggles in variables taken from deep-sea cores, uniformitarian scientists believe they have proven the astronomical mechanism of multiple ice ages.14 There are many problems with this model and relating deep-sea cores to it; mainly, the decrease in sunshine is too small.15 Didier Paillard stated,

Nevertheless, several problems in classical astronomical theory of paleoclimate have indeed been identified: (1) The main cyclicity in the paleoclimate record is close to 100,000 years, but there is [sic] no significant orbitally induced changes in the radiative [sunshine] forcing of the Earth in this frequency range (the “100-kyr Problem”).16

Although the main cycle in the astronomical model is 100,000 years, the change in sunshine at high northern latitudes is insignificant for such a dramatic change as an ice age.

Is the Ice Age Biblical?

Since the Flood offers a viable explanation for the Ice Age, one could expect that the Ice Age would be mentioned in the Bible. It is possible that the book of Job, written about 500 years or so after the Flood, may include a reference to the Ice Age in Job 38:29–30, which says, “From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, and the surface of the deep is frozen.” However, Job could have observed frost and lake ice during winter in Palestine, especially if temperatures were colder because of the Ice Age. The reason the Ice Age is not directly discussed in the Bible is probably because the Scandinavian ice sheet and mountain ice caps were farther north than the region where the Bible was written. Only an increase in the snow coverage of Mt. Hermon and possibly more frequent snowfalls on the high areas of the Middle East would have been evident to those living in Palestine.

How Are “Ancient Ice Ages” Explained?

The evidence for “ancient ice ages” is found in the hard rocks; these deposits are not on the surface like the deposits from the post-Flood Ice Age. There are substantial difficulties in interpreting these rocks as from ancient ice ages.17 An alternative mechanism can easily explain these deposits within a biblical framework. This mechanism is gigantic submarine landslides that occurred during the Genesis Flood.

The Mystery of the Woolly Mammoths

Millions of woolly mammoth bones, tusks, and a few carcasses have been found frozen in the surface sediments of Siberia, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory of Canada—a major mystery of uniformitarian paleoclimate. The woolly mammoths were part of a Northern Hemisphere community of animals that lived and died during the post-Flood Ice Age.18 Woolly mammoths probably died after the Flood because there are thousands of carcasses scattered across Alaska and Siberia resting above Flood deposits. And there must have been sufficient time for the mammoths to have repopulated these regions after the Flood. The post-Flood Ice Age provides an explanation for the mystery of the woolly mammoths, as well as many other Ice Age mysteries.

Dust drift

Figure 9. Large dust drift to the top of a house during the dust bowl era in the Midwest.

The mammoths spread into these northern areas during early and middle Ice Age time because summers were cooler and winters warmer. The areas were unglaciated (just the mountains glaciated) and a rich grassland. However, late in the Ice Age, winter temperatures turned colder and the climate drier with strong wind storms. The mammoths died by the millions and were buried by dust, which later froze, preserving the mammoths. Severe dust storms that produce tall dust drifts (Figure 9) can also explain a number of the secondary mysteries, such as some carcasses that show evidence of suffocation in a generally standing position, and how they become entombed into rock-hard permafrost (for a more complete treatment of this subject, please see my book, Frozen in Time).

Is Glacial Lake Missoula Related to the Ice Age?

Map of ice sheet and glacial Lake Missoula

Figure 10. Map of ice sheet and glacial Lake Missoula (drawn by Mark Wolfe)

At the peak of the Ice Age, a finger of the ice sheet in western Canada and the northwest United States filled up the valleys of northern Idaho. A huge lake 2,000 feet (610 m) deep was formed in the valleys of western Montana. This was glacial Lake Missoula (Figure 10). In the course of time, the lake burst and emptied in a few days, causing an immense flood several hundred feet deep that carved out canyons and produced many flood features from eastern Washington into northwest Oregon (Figure 11).

This flood can help us understand the global Flood. Interestingly, the Lake Missoula flood was rejected for 40 years despite tremendous evidence because of the anti-biblical bias in historical science.19

Now this flood is not only accepted, but uniformitarian scientists now believe many more of them occurred. They postulate 40 to 100 at the peak of their last ice age, with perhaps hundreds more from previous ice ages. However, the evidence is substantial that there was only one gigantic Lake Missoula flood, with possibly several minor floods afterward.20

The Potholes

Figure 11. The Potholes, remnants of a 400-foot (120 m) high waterfall. The lakes at the bottom are remnant plunge pools.

What about Ice Cores?

Uniformitarian scientists claim to be able to count annual layers in the Greenland ice sheet to determine its age, in the same way people can count tree rings. In doing so, they arrive at 110,000 years near the bottom of the Greenland ice sheet. Similar claims for a much greater age are made for the Antarctica ice sheet. These claims are equivocal and are essentially based on the uniformitarian belief that the ice sheets are millions of years old. The data from ice cores can be better explained within the post-Flood Ice Age model, which dramatically reduces the calculated age to well within the biblical limit.21

Conclusion

Although a major mystery of uniformitarian history, the Ice Age is readily explained by the climatic consequences of the Genesis Flood—it was a short Ice Age of about 700 years, and there was only one Ice Age.22 We do not need the hundred thousand years for one ice age, or the few million years for multiple ice ages, as claimed by uniformitarian scientists.

Even their claim of ancient ice ages in the hard rocks can be accounted for by gigantic submarine landslides during the Flood. The post-Flood rapid Ice Age can also account for a number of major mysteries and other interesting phenomena that occurred during the Ice Age, such as the Lake Missoula flood and the life and death of the woolly mammoths in Siberia and elsewhere. When we stick to the Genesis account of the Flood and the short scriptural timescale, major secular/uniformitarian mysteries are readily explained.23

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

Footnotes

  1. J. Kennett, Marine Geology, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1982, 747. Back
  2. D. Paillard, Glacial cycles: toward a new paradigm, Reviews of Geophysics, 39(3):325–346, 2001. Back
  3. M.J. Oard, The Frozen Record: Examining the Ice Core History of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 2005, 31–34. Back
  4. J.C. Crowell, Pre-Mesozoic Ice Ages: Their Bearing on Understanding the Climate System, Geological Society of America Memoir 192, Boulder, Colorado, 1999, 3. Back
  5. D. Alt, Glacial Lake Missoula and its Humongous Floods, Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula, Montana, 2001, 180. Back
  6. M.J. Oard, Another tropical ice age? Journal of Creation 11(3):259–261, 1997; M.J. Oard, Snowball Earth—a problem for the supposed origin of multicellular animals, Journal of Creation 16(1):6–9, 2002. Back
  7. M.J. Oard, An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1990, 33–38. Back
  8. Oard, The Frozen Record. Back
  9. Oard, An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood. Back
  10. L. Vardiman, Climates before and after the Genesis Flood: numerical models and their implications, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 2001. Back
  11. Oard, An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood. Back
  12. Ibid., 135–166. Back
  13. R.R. Young et. al., A single, late Wisconsin, Laurentide glaciation, Edmonton area and southwestern Alberta, Geology 22:683–686, 1994. Back
  14. J.D. Hays, J. Imbrie, and N.J. Shackleton, Variations in the earth’s orbit: pacemaker of the ice ages, Science 194:1121–1132, 1976. Back
  15. Oard, The Frozen Record, 111–122. Back
  16. Paillard, Glacial cycles: toward a new paradigm, 325. Back
  17. M.J. Oard, Ancient Ice Ages or Gigantic Submarine Landslides? Creation Research Society Monograph No. 6, Chino Valley, Arizona, 1997. Back
  18. M.J. Oard, Frozen In Time: The Woolly Mammoths, the Ice Age, and the Bible, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2004. Back
  19. M.J. Oard, The Missoula Flood Controversy and the Genesis Flood, Creation Research Society Monograph No. 13, Chino Valley, AZ, 2004. Back
  20. Ibid. Back
  21. L. Vardiman, Ice cores and the Age of the Earth, Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1993; Oard, The Frozen Record. Back
  22. Oard, An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood; Oard, Ancient Ice Ages or Gigantic Submarine Landslides? M.J. Oard and B. Oard, Life in the Great Ice Age, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 1993. Back
  23. For more on the Ice Age, see www.answersingenesis.org/go/ice-age. Back
~

Truly I fear that those who do not thoroughly consider the evidences will fall prey to the standard long age teachings based on unproven assumptions and the tyranny of a presumptive and dogmatic majority. I do not wish anyone to "pay the price" associated with rejecting God because they believe in bad science. Therefore I continue to post on in hopes that people will be inspired to, at the very least, investigate for themselves before falling into lockstep with the Richard Dawkins crowd.

47 comments:

Taxandrian said...

I do not wish anyone to "pay the price" associated with rejecting God because they believe in bad science. Therefore I continue to post on in hopes that people will be inspired to, at the very least, investigate for themselves before falling into lockstep with the Richard Dawkins crowd.

In other words: I'm not sure about my own claims, so I'll throw in a little fear to add some weight to them.
Well -news flash- there are people who are not intimidated by fear-mongering.

Hell, even your Christian buddies from Answers in Creation don't believe you:
click

QUOTE:
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here

END OF QUOTE

I mean, why should I be worried about the 'price to pay for rejecting God' when you Christians cannot even agree among each other what I should believe? Sort it out amongst yourself first, I'd say.

I recently read this review of a YEC book. One quote was quite revealing about YEC science:

Since the Bible undisputedly teaches a young earth, when someone claims that scientific evidence proves otherwise, we can be certain they are mistaken. (pp. 153)

Nuff said, methinks.

Taxandrian said...

Oh, and by the way: if you really do care so much about your readers, please stop the relentless, merciless copy/pasting. It hurts!

A simple link to the original article will suffice, thank you very much!

radar said...

Answers in Creation is not a site I endorse. They do not believe in a literal six days of creation.

I do. I am an unapologetic believer in a six day creation scenario and an Earth that is less than 8,000 years old. I present evidences and arguments to back my point of view.

Scientists disagree. There are Christians who believe in long ages. There are adherents to YEC. The major Christian science organizations such as ICR and AIG are YEC. Non-Christians tend to believe in long ages for the earth but not all. There are intelligent design people who reject evolution but have varying views on how old the Earth and the Universe might be. It isn't like there are just two positions to take.

I present my views and cut and paste articles that present evidence for my side of the issues. My blog is a combination of my own articles and a presentation of articles from other sources conveniently brought here to the blog by me. It has always been so and likely always will as long as I am alive.

The reason I sometimes cut and paste rather than link is because I think the entire article needs to be read/considered. I am doing it a bit more recently because I am exceedingly ill and trying to write from bed while holding on and trying to not be sent to the hospital. Being hospitalized is potentially deadly to my financial situation so I am home on strong meds and holding on.

Fear-mongering? I don't do it. I don't post a long series of articles on Hell. I don't dwell on negatives at the expense of positives. If that little phrase scares you the scare is in you and not in my words. Only one way to deal with that fear, old buddy, and that is to resolve your issues with God.

radar said...

" Ice cores drilled from the polar regions provide us with excellent records of the history of the climate on earth. They are also very useful in dating the ice caps, as you can count the layers, similar to counting tree rings. These layers are deposited annually, and are relatively simple to read. Although not an exact science, it does provide a good estimate of the age of the ice caps. "

The above is the beginning of the article Taxandrian linked to refute my ice core posts. It could well have been written by a fourth grader and it is ridiculously wrong! Any scientist involved in reading ice cores would immediately agree that they are not read as one layer=one year and that they are exceedingly difficult to interpret and understand. That Answers in Creation site appears to be a group of compromising Christians who don't understand science well enough to refute evolutionists and don't know the Bible well enough to defend their beliefs, so they put it all in a blender, mix it up and serve the result with garnish on the side. Yech!

Taxandrian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taxandrian said...

Fear-mongering? I don't do it.

Well then, what exactly did you mean by the phrase "I do not wish anyone to "pay the price associated with rejecting God because they believe in bad science."? What is that 'price' people will pay when rejecting God because they believe in 'bad science'? Is it something bad? Then you are fear-mongering, no matter which way you look at it.
More importantly though, why did you need to put that phrase in? Couldn't stand the article on its own merit?

Oh, and by the way: after the Hartnett debacle you are not really in a position to lecture anyone about 'bad science'. If there ever was one example of bad science, that was it. And you defended it, remember?

If that little phrase scares you the scare is in you and not in my words. Only one way to deal with that fear, old buddy, and that is to resolve your issues with God.

Now, now, Radar. Are you telling me that after all the time I've been commenting on your blog, you still don't know I'm an atheist? Ergo: I don't have any God to fear or have issues with. No matter how much you would like me to.

The above is the beginning of the article Taxandrian linked to refute my ice core posts.

Comprehensive reading, my dear Radar, comprehensive reading! I did not link to that article to refute your ice core posts. I linked to it to show you how futile and unneccesary your reference to possible consequences for not believing in God as a result of believing in 'bad science' is when even those who do believe in God don't believe your 'science'.
Once again: if Christians among themselves cannot even agree on when the Earth was created, why should I even bother?

It could well have been written by a fourth grader and it is ridiculously wrong!.....That Answers in Creation site appears to be a group of compromising Christians who don't understand science well enough to refute evolutionists and don't know the Bible well enough to defend their beliefs, so they put it all in a blender, mix it up and serve the result with garnish on the side. Yech!

Don't you just love it when creationists bash each other over the head with the Bible?

It's really funny, Radar: I post a really daft quote from a YEC book, and you immediately prove that YECs really do think this way:

Since the Bible undisputedly teaches a young earth, when someone claims that scientific evidence proves otherwise, we can be certain they are mistaken. (pp. 153)

They believe in an Old Earth!!! Yech, boo and ewww!! Bad Christians! Bad science!!!

This reminds me why I keep coming to this blog: the entertainment value is simply staggering!

On a more serious note now:
I'm not sure if I can say it more clearly than creeper has already done, but:

If you are seriously ill and in pain while blogging, THEN DON'T BLOG!!!

Really Radar, I cannot stress this enough: health before blogging. And rest assured: we will survive without our monthly dose of Radaractive.

radar said...

Tax, the last comment would be selection 4) under the definition of "meandering." I wonder if you would be able to just discuss the actual evidences on a subject rather than attacking sources or source materials.

Someone who believes in an old earth is not a YEC by definition, obviously!

I am in bed continually and sometimes do a bit of posting. Sick? Yes, but also bored.

So Tax, if you are an atheist then why would you object to my belief system, since in your view it is meaningless? Also, if I believe you may face consequences as a result of your beliefs am I not showing concern by warning you rather than thoughtlessly ignoring you? You make your own choice.

If I believe you are about to walk over a cliff and don't shout at you to stop, then I am allowing you to be harmed or killed. If I am mistaken and the cliff is only a step down, my warning does you no harm. But if it is indeed a cliff and you stop in time I have helped you by warning you and saving you from disaster.

radar said...

As to Hartnett, I am told his equation works despite a nonsensical notation by a guy who is on full scholarship and in honors society at Rose Institute (the Midwest MIT) and it was confirmed by an engineer who had completed college-level calculus classes while still in high school. Whether his assumptions all are true is yet another matter.

He never responded to me, but then he is not one of the scientists I have met and corresponded with so I have no way of nailing him down on this.

highboy said...

Radar you're wasting your time. It all comes down to credibility and whose science best supports whose worldview. Unless Tax and others have millions of dollars of research equipment and have conducted the necessary experiments themselves, not to mention witnesses macroevolution with their own eyes, then they are merely arguing based on at best, relentless research by evolutionist scientists. Any opposing view can't be proven or disproven via internet so the only tactic left is to merely attack the source.

Taxandrian said...

Radar,

You didn't answer my question: what is that 'price' people will pay when rejecting God because they believe in 'bad science'?

You do know what you're warning for, I hope? After all, when you state:

If I am mistaken and the cliff is only a step down, my warning does you no harm.

it seems as if you're not entirely sure about it yourself. A vague warning is no warning at all.

So you need to be clear here: what exactly are you warning people for? What exactly are the consequences I will face as a result of my 'belief system'? Please be very clear.

scohen said...

Radar,
If you remember, the implication was never that Hartnett was wrong per se, it was that he used integrals as an obfuscation tactic. This behavior counted on your ignorance to make him look like more authoritative than he actually is.

Tim,
thanks, I couldn't have said it much better myself:

"then they are merely arguing based on at best, relentless research by evolutionist scientists"

Yes, we're arguing based on relentless research by scientists.

Exactly.

Do you expect every person to perform every experiment that underpins current knowledge?

highboy said...

"Do you expect every person to perform every experiment that underpins current knowledge?"

I expect people to acknowledge that without the piece of paper, without having done the experiments themselves they are merely believing what someone told them because THEY have a piece of paper. The only way you've attempted to ever refute the science posted here on this site, which was researched by others, is to provide other science researched by others. So without having done any objective experimentation yourself, you've simply ascribed to what a majority of the science community has told you is fact. Appealing to a majority is a logical fallacy as I'm sure you well know. In the end, your final argument in an online science debate where only online sourcing arguments can be posed, all you can do is attack the credibility of the opposing source, which is all Taxandrian has been doing. Get it?

highboy said...

"Once again: if Christians among themselves cannot even agree on when the Earth was created, why should I even bother?"

Yup, because we know all those evolutionist scientists with their old earth science all agree on every detail of cosmology and evolution. You bet.

scohen said...

"The only way you've attempted to ever refute the science posted here on this site, which was researched by others, is to provide other science researched by others"

Tim, you should really read the Hartnett article(s) before you go and make statements like this. I did the integrals myself (they weren't hard) and they were bunk. It's not that I'm attacking Hartnett's credibility by citing other science, I did the math, and it was clear that the sole reason the integral appeared was to impress people like you and Radar. Hartnett tried to pull one over on you and he was exposed by someone with a modest grounding in math.

Your insistence that we perform experiments ourselves betrays an ignorance of how human knowledge works. We stand on the shoulders of previous generations of thinkers and experimenters in order to progress. If we had to repeat all the experiments that were already done and settled, then we'd never progress at all. It also seems that there is a large contradiction in your logic where you demand that science perform every experiment over and over again (to what end, exactly?) while you accept the divinity of Jesus solely from a single source.
(not that I even *want* to discuss Jesus's divinity)

Tim, I've taken lots of Biology courses in college (indeed, it was my major before I switched to CS) and it's not that I blindly accepted anything at all. It's that this stuff makes sense on a deep level. I think the accusation of blind acceptance is projection on your part.


"Yup, because we know all those evolutionist scientists with their old earth science all agree on every detail of cosmology and evolution"

I'm pleased that you've come out as a YEC, in the past you hedged.

Pretty much all scientists (those in the fields of geology, astronomy and astrophysics) agree that the earth is old and that the big bang happened. There might be disagreement on what happened shortly *after* the big bang, but that's what's fun about science --it changes with new information. It seems that the only way YEC people like you and radar deal with new knowledge is to ignore or refuse to accept it.

Not that the earth being older than 6000 years is exactly new knowledge.

scohen said...

I forgot: I must admit that I've never seriously considered YEC to be a valid model. There's much too much evidence that the earth is old to ignore.

In addition, it seems that in order to accept YEC, you must first be a believer in the fundamentalist branch of one of three religions, which pretty much fails it as science in my book.

highboy said...

"I'm pleased that you've come out as a YEC, in the past you hedged."

No, I haven't. Please show me the comment I posted that indicated this in any way. I'm not sure where I stand and frankly I don't care. Radar does, and that's fine. I'm simply not gullible enough to ascribe to that notion that the earth is old/young because a majority/minority of scientists in that field have a theory one way or the other. Its all very well for you to say there is too much evidence to support old earth, but there is just as much evidence against it. The only way to refute either is to examine the source of the "new" information, unless you've conducted the necessary experiments themselves. I guess I just get pissed when people get on Radar's website and talk to him like he's a mindless sheep. (not that you've ever done that) But Radar's crowd is better than mine. I have a people on my site wishing that a drunk driver killed me and my family and that my mother secretly wished she aborted me because I'm such a loser.

"It also seems that there is a large contradiction in your logic where you demand that science perform every experiment over and over again (to what end, exactly?) while you accept the divinity of Jesus solely from a single source."

This is where you crack me up. Go ahead, what single source is my belief in Jesus' divinity based on? This ought to be good.

"If we had to repeat all the experiments that were already done and settled, then we'd never progress at all."

So you just accept the results given to you based on...? You're taking what I stated in my previous post somewhere it was never meant to be taken. I'm merely pointing out that in a debate where only online sourcing can be posed as evidence, all you're going to be able to do is attack the credibility of either source. I'm not arguing for one age of the earth over the other. Every time I think I have a firm handle on what's what, "new information" presents itself to me. (new to me I should say, maybe not new to you. I'm not the science guy) But in the end the age of the earth is a non issue to me.

scohen said...

If the age of the earth is a non-issue to you, how do you create informed opinions about, well, everything?

Also, I must say that I *don't* just blindly accept things based on the fact that a majority of scientists go along with it. I accept things because multiple experiments confirm them. This has been done again and again and again with the age of the earth through many disparate scientific disciplines (geology, geophysics, astrophysics, paleontology, linguistics, etc). And no, there is no evidence that supports a young earth/universe. Saying that there is just as much evidence supporting a young earth is unbelievably ignorant (or maybe not, there is a ton of evidence "supporting" a young earth, it's just not correct). The onus is on young earth "scientists" not to disprove pieces of real science, but to show that their model accounts for everything that the current model accounts for. Like Hartnett, they have completely failed in this mission.

Also, if none of this matters to you, why post?

I apologize if I thought you came out as a YEC. The snark factor in saying "evolutionist scientists with their old earth science" seems to indicate to me that you think it's silly to hold old earth beliefs. Calling scientists "evolutionist" is a common tactic in YEC groups, and sounds incredibly ignorant to people not in those groups. Evolution is a theory in Biology, not science in general.

As for your single source Tim, it's pretty simple: The bible is your single source of the divinity of Christ --that's all there is. Again, I don't want to/need to/have the time for a religious debate with you or anyone else. I'm perfectly happy with letting other people make those decisions for themselves, as long as they let me make mine for myself and don't proselytize to me.

Taxandrian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taxandrian said...

"...as long as they let me make mine for myself and don't proselytize to me."

Which is exactly the problem with Radar's article and what I've been pointing out all the time.
From the last paragraph we can clearly tell that Radar is not simply posting 'evidence' to support a specific scientific view. No, by his own admission, his ultimate goal is to bring people to God, i.e. proselytize. It does seem, however, that Radar himself is not completely convinced of the credibility of his sources since he felt the need to refer to some 'price' to be paid by those who believe in 'bad science' (which I presume is all science that comes to conclusions which might contradict his worldview). After all, if the evidence is so solid, why would he need to do this?
Although initially admitting that his objective is indeed to proselytize, Radar does seem a bit uncomfortable being confronted with the fact that he is actually trying to coerce people into believing his sources, if not for the credibility, then for their own good. Therefore he evades answering my question as to what exactly this 'price to pay' is and instead focuses on the Hartnett debacle to accuse me of attacking the credibility of his sources. The amusing part of course is that he has no problem doing exactly that himself when confronted with Old Earth Creationist sources.

@highboy:

"Yup, because we know all those evolutionist scientists with their old earth science all agree on every detail of cosmology and evolution. You bet."

They don't agree on every detail but they do agree on the big picture: that the Earth is around 4.54 billion years old. Why? Because it's based on evidence and experiments that have been repeated again and again and have been submitted to rigorous peer-reviewed scrutiny by publication in scientific magazines. It's also worth noting that this evidence is accepted by scientist from various religious and cultural backgrounds.

On the other hand though: disagreeing whether the Earth is around 4.54 billion years or 6.000 years old is in an order of magnitude that can hardly be called a detail. And Christians on each side consider themselves to be saved and those on the other side not.

On a side note:
If you have any problems or criticisms regarding my comments on this blog (i.e. the accusation of me descrediting Radar's sources), I'd appreciate it if you'd address me directly instead of doing this indirectly via a comment directed at Radar.

highboy said...

"Also, if none of this matters to you, why post?"

Why not? What purpose are your own posts serving? Or do you think you'll change Radar's mind?

"As for your single source Tim, it's pretty simple: The bible is your single source of the divinity of Christ --that's all there is"

Try again slick.

highboy said...

"If you have any problems or criticisms regarding my comments on this blog (i.e. the accusation of me descrediting Radar's sources), I'd appreciate it if you'd address me directly instead of doing this indirectly via a comment directed at Radar."

I bet you would. LOL. But the object of my post was to point out to radar that he's wasting his time. I'll address you directly if I feel something you said is worth addressing.

Taxandrian said...

highboy,

Indeed my initial suspicions were correct, LOL. I will no longer spend any time replying to any of your comments.

highboy said...

"Indeed my initial suspicions were correct, LOL. I will no longer spend any time replying to any of your comments."

Sounds like a winner. LOL.

scohen said...

"Try again slick."

Why bother? You completely failed to rebut my point. It reminds me of the old days.

Fist-sized holes, Tim... Fist sized holes.

I only post around here when Radar makes a grievous error --as he did by posting Hartnett. I'm under no delusions that he'll ever change, but I know at some level that he realizes that much of what he posts is bunk. Keeping that cognitive dissonance alive is why I bother.

Now, why do you bother? After all you're so incurious as not to even *care* about the age of the earth.

It boggles my mind that you haven't settled on an age for the planet on which you live. Then again, I also suspect that you really *do* have an opinion, but just like the intellectual wiggle room that comes with not making your choice known. That way, you can sidle up to Radar in comment #103 and claim umbrage in comment #105 when someone accuses you of being a creationist in comment #104.

Maybe it's those fist sized holes in my brain, but I just think that either of those two options doesn't reflect particularly well upon you.

highboy said...

"Why bother? You completely failed to rebut my point. It reminds me of the old days."

You didn't make a point to refute slick. All you did was assert that I base my belief in Christ's divinity on one source, the Bible. This assertion requires some type of evidence or some explanation, neither of which you provided. So either give an explanation for your assertion about my belief or retract your statement. Because its hard to buy into that education you tout so highly when you consistently botch basic reading comprehension.

"I'm under no delusions that he'll ever change, but I know at some level that he realizes that much of what he posts is bunk."

So now radar is a dishonest liar? Because that is what you're saying. You haven't practiced much at this trolling thing in the last 2 years I see.

"It boggles my mind that you haven't settled on an age for the planet on which you live. Then again, I also suspect that you really *do* have an opinion, but just like the intellectual wiggle room that comes with not making your choice known."

Yes, because I care so much about what some individual blogging over the internet from all the way out in San Francisco thinks of my thoughts on science that I go out of my way to hide my true opinion. LOL.

Anonymous said...

This is where you crack me up. Go ahead, what single source is my belief in Jesus' divinity based on? This ought to be good.

Rather than guess, why don't you tell us what your source or sources of belief of Jesus' divinity is based on?

lava

scohen said...

"So now radar is a dishonest liar?"

As opposed to an honest liar?

Where did I ever say that? Radar is in an unenviable position. His religion has helped him to overcome a great deal, but it also has told him that there is a "price" that will be paid for believing in what he terms "bad science" (indeed, look at this post). So, he must believe in this junk, even though he knows that it is full of garbage math (Hartnett) misquotes (of Morowitz) etc. That's not lying, that's cognitive dissonance.

Troll? Who is calling whom names now? Who is combative, argumentative and bullying? Not I.

"Yes, because I care so much about what some individual blogging over the internet...San Francisco..."

Well, I did live in Ohio for 27 years. Does that help any?

I never said you hide your opinions because of what *I* think, I said you hide your opinions because:

a. You are so incurious as to never have given the age of the earth any serious thought.

or
b. You like the fact that if you say you don't have an opinion you can sidle up to creationists, yet hide behind 'not making your mind up' when confronted by people who have a more scientific view thus making it impossible to pin you down. This is akin to taking a 'maybe' position in a debate.

You know, for someone who routinely criticizes others for lacking reading comprehension (a Tim High trademark), you sure do suck at it. More projection on your part?

Fist sized holes, Tim. Fist sized holes.

scohen said...

"All you did was assert that I base my belief in Christ's divinity on one source, the Bible."

Wow, when I re-read this it blew me away. I did *not* say that, I said that the bible is the only proof of Jesus's divinity. This has nothing to do with why *you* believe in it.

More of that famously great Tim High reading comprehension®.

highboy said...

"Where did I ever say that?"

No matter how you try to spin your way out of it, you are claiming that he is knowingly posting science that he knows is bunk. Since he's posting it and presenting it as fact, your assertion is that he knows otherwise. In case you've missed it in that "college" you went to, when you knowingly make a declarative statement that is false while presenting it as true that is a lie.

"Well, I did live in Ohio for 27 years. Does that help any?"

No.

"a. You are so incurious as to never have given the age of the earth any serious thought."

So those are the only options? Or are you guessing again? And even if the above was correct, why does that look bad upon me as you earlier asserted? Or are you under some delusion that my life is some how less rich and fulfilling without knowing one way or the other how old the earth is? Can you be as specific as possible as to what consequences my life will suffer, or what possible negative effects not knowing or caring how old the earth is will have on my life? Again, specifics if you please. You seem to think that both a and be reflect poorly on me so please be specific in describing why/how a.) not knowing/caring how old the earth is reflects poorly on me b.) recognizing that taking a position one way or the other without certainty reflects poorly on me?

"His religion has helped him to overcome a great deal, but it also has told him that there is a "price" that will be paid for believing in what he terms "bad science" (indeed, look at this post)."

And your objection to this is what?

"Wow, when I re-read this it blew me away. I did *not* say that, I said that the bible is the only proof of Jesus's divinity."

Let me correct you again:

"As for your single source Tim, it's pretty simple: The bible is your single source of the divinity of Christ --that's all there is"

Those are your words. You stated that my source, my only source, for Jesus' divinity is the Bible. Explain.

scohen said...

"And your objection to this is what?"

That it doesn't have to be like this, he can belive in God *and* believe in good (actual) science at the same time. Radar would do himself a great favor by doing this, at least he wouldn't have to defend charlatans like Hartnett.

Moses Maimonides (a central figure in Judaism) said some 800 years ago that if observation and your interpretation of the Torah are not compatible, then you need to adjust your interpretation of the Torah. (The torah, if you didn't know, is the first five books of the bible)

"So those are the only options?"

From where I sit, yes. Would you care to elucidate?

"And even if the above was correct, why does that look bad upon me as you earlier asserted"

Alright, you asked, please don't take this the wrong way.

Here are the two options:

a. incuriosity
b. wanting to win arguments

Option A reflects badly upon you because it makes you look uneducated and ignorant. It will make it impossible for you to evaluate scientific evidence such as whether or not global warming is real (and a number of other things), and will make you less able to teach your children science. This, of course will steer them away from scientific endeavors, thus eliminating a large swath of career paths. It could also be the symptom of a greater disbelief in education as a whole, which would have immense ramifications on your children (a college graduate makes on average twice as much as someone with a high school degree).
It will make you easier to fall into pseudo-scientific traps like homeopathy, "natural" cures and the like, which could have serious effects on your health.

Option B reflects badly upon you because it makes you look petty and immature. It's also sort of lying, which I believe is wrong, no?

Jesus's divinity:

I said they're your only source for the divinity of Jesus because there is no other source for Jesus's divinity. You conflated this with belief *in* Jesus's divinity, which is a wholly different thing. If you have extra-biblical contemporary evidence of Jesus's divinity, please share --it will be a tremendous boon to history. Your repeated requests for me to prove it does not exist are baffling; do I have to read every book in order to show that it's not there? How do you prove a negative? Wouldn't it be easier (and quite satisfying) for you to show some?

Also, that matter is wholly uninteresting to me. Unless you show me some extra-biblical evidence for Jesus's divinity I'll not respond further and consider the matter closed.

highboy said...

"That it doesn't have to be like this, he can belive in God *and* believe in good (actual) science at the same time. Radar would do himself a great favor by doing this, at least he wouldn't have to defend charlatans like Hartnett."

I understand what you're saying.

"(The torah, if you didn't know, is the first five books of the bible)"

No, it isn't. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Pentateuch. The Torah is merely a part of the Pentateuch in which God's Law is written.

"From where I sit, yes. Would you care to elucidate?"

Option C: There is a wealth of scientific research on the web,in the library, and everywhere else, and I'm not convinced one way or the other how old the earth is. Next.

"Option A reflects badly upon you because it makes you look uneducated and ignorant"

How? So in your opinion, not caring how old the earth is means I'm not educated? So if I don't care whether or not macroevolution is a scientific fact means I'm ignorant and uneducated about the process? You can't be serious.

"It will make it impossible for you to evaluate scientific evidence such as whether or not global warming is real"

That's pure b.s., not to mention the majority of the debate about global warming isn't over whether or not its real, but as to what causes it. Whether its caused by cyclical changes in climate or by soccer moms driving suvs.

"and will make you less able to teach your children science"

Also b.s. I'm entirely capable of teaching my child all the evidence presented in the realm of cosmology and allowing my child to make the best guess as to which theory is more plausible. After all, having not conducted any experiments ourselves, that is all anyone can do.

"b. wanting to win arguments"

That makes no sense whatsoever. How many arguments can I win by saying "I don't know"?

"Your repeated requests for me to prove it does not exist are baffling"

What is baffling to me is that you limit a Christians source for his/her faith merely to the Bible. That is where the "belief" comes in. If the Bible were our only source for Christianity we probably wouldn't be Christians. Personal experience with Christ would be the main source for believing in His divinity. Though I see now what you were implying and that this is an extreme case of word salad. The point is you made it seem like a Christian picked up the Bible, read that Jesus was God, and ran with it, which is rarely the case.

"Also, that matter is wholly uninteresting to me."

That's how I feel about science. I realize that's blasphemy to you as you've already implied a disinterest in science means a greater chance of making dangerous decisions and *gasp* less money. But history proves otherwise. Of all the successful wealthy people in my family, not only do they show little interest in science, but they also don't believe in evolution or a billions year old earth. So I'll take my chances, as dangerous as that sounds to you.

scohen said...

"I understand what you're saying."
Cool, we're getting somewhere. Now you know that I'm not some rabid atheist that has come here to tell Radar not to believe in Jesus.

"No, it isn't. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Pentateuch"

Tim, you have some huevos lecturing a Jew on what the Torah is ;)

Since you won't believe me, let's see what wikipedia has to say:

"The Torah is the most holy of the sacred writings in Judaism.[4] It is the first of three sections in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), the founding religious document of Judaism,[5] and is divided into five books, whose names in English are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy."

It's also a giant parchment scroll that we carry around on holidays and read from weekly.


"That's pure b.s., not to mention the majority of the debate about global warming isn't over whether or not its real, but as to what causes it."

Did you even read this post, or the majority of Radar's posts on the topic? He denies GW's very existence. This (and your statement to a lesser extend) goes against the majority of science, which indicates that GW is made by man. It's also clear that this is an immediate problem and we should act quickly.


"That makes no sense whatsoever. How many arguments can I win by saying "I don't know"?"

It's not that you don't know, it's that you don't *care*. Not knowing implies that you either haven't been swayed one way or the other, while not caring --well, I'm not sure what to make of that. Lack of curiosity? Willful ignorance? Tremendous lack of interest? Even as a kid, you didn't care when the dinosaurs lived? That's hard to believe given how freaking COOL they were. Do you not care why you can see the light from distant stars? I'm genuinely curious about this.

"Also b.s. I'm entirely capable of teaching my child all the evidence presented in the realm of cosmology and allowing my child to make the best guess"

If you can't be bothered (or aren't interested enough) to evaluate it, how can you determine what is junk and what isn't? Despite the fact that the internet contains information about "both sides" of the debate, one side has vastly more credibility than the other (witness Hartnett and creationism's frequent mis-quotes). Again, if you're not grounded in even a little science, how will you know that? How will you determine bad evidence from good? How will you avoid teaching your kids junk?

"But history proves otherwise. Of all the successful wealthy people in my family, not only do they show little interest in science, but they also don't believe in evolution or a billions year old earth."

Actually that's not history, those are anecdotes and the plural of anecdote isn't data. Statistics do not confirm this (I've provided some for you in the comment above). For example, I know people that have smoked all their lives and have lived for 100 years, but that doesn't mean smoking isn't harmful.

It's funny you bring this up, because knowledge of science will make the weakness of your argument very clear to you.

As an aside, it's not just about money. Education has profound health, happiness and quality of life implications as well.

highboy said...

"Tim, you have some huevos lecturing a Jew on what the Torah is ;)

Since you won't believe me, let's see what wikipedia has to say:"

1. I could care less what wikipedia says. I've studied the Bible for yers and took multiple college level courses not only on the OT, but on the Pentateuch specifically.
2. Your wiki source didn't refute what I said. The Torah is divided among the first 5 books. The first 5 books are called The Pentateuch. The Torah refers to the teachings and instructions.
3. What are huevos? I'm guessing balls?

"Now you know that I'm not some rabid atheist that has come here to tell Radar not to believe in Jesus."

When did I imply you were such a thing? The discussion started when I pointed out that a scientific debate like the one you and radar are constantly waging can only come down to the credibility of the sources, since neither can produce actual scientific experimented results. (even a guy like you who took biology in college, you can't produce such a thing via web)

"This (and your statement to a lesser extend) goes against the majority of science, which indicates that GW is made by man. It's also clear that this is an immediate problem and we should act quickly."

To say that my statement goes against the majority of science is false.

"It's not that you don't know, it's that you don't *care*. Not knowing implies that you either haven't been swayed one way or the other, while not caring --well, I'm not sure what to make of that. Lack of curiosity? Willful ignorance? Tremendous lack of interest? Even as a kid, you didn't care when the dinosaurs lived? That's hard to believe given how freaking COOL they were. Do you not care why you can see the light from distant stars? I'm genuinely curious about this."

1. Dinosaurs kick ass, but I'm a shark guy. (not an expert, very limited knowledge, but they're awesome)
2. Not sure how knowing how old the earth is effects my interest in starlight. Not arguing with you, just don't get it.
3. I don't mean that I don't care in the sense of that the truth of the age of the earth is not relevant in any way but that I don't care in that it doesn't effect me one way or the other. Radar disagrees and that's cool, but I don't see the catastrophy in a billions year old earth. Science isn't my thing.

"If you can't be bothered (or aren't interested enough) to evaluate it, how can you determine what is junk and what isn't?"

Again, see above. Its not that I think science simply doesn't matter. (that would be ridiculous) I don't feel one way or another about it, and I'm smart enough to say "I don't know". I know this is crazy to you, but I'm not going to pretend I know something that I don't. My science education is basically whatever I find time to read in a book or journal, or view on the web. With only these sources, you'd have me argue a debate for the age of the earth?

"Actually that's not history, those are anecdotes and the plural of anecdote isn't data. Statistics do not confirm this (I've provided some for you in the comment above)"

Are you arguing for education or science? Because your source referenced college degrees, not degrees in biology. In case you don't remember, we weren't arguing over the benefits of education. If your point all along is that being incurious in general results in the aforementioned consequences than I agree. If you're arguing that a lack of interest in science results in what you described than I don't. I thought that you were implying that my lack of interest in the age of the earth and science as a whole would result in all of those bad things.

scohen said...

Jimminy Christmas Tim,

For the love of all things great and small:
Torah

"The Torah is also known as the Chumash, Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses.
Torah

"Name applied to the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy."
Torah

The Torah is

From this, we can conclude that either you were taught incorrect information, or you misinterpreted what you were taught. Please give up on this, it doesn't reflect well. I wouldn't dare correct you on what the New Testament is.

"When did I imply you were such a thing"

You never did, though I just wanted to be clear. I think a lot of commeters might put off Radar with their atheism since religious types tend not to like atheists.
In the name of full disclosure, I must admit I'm strongly agnostic (leaning atheist, but hey, I could be wrong), but don't have problems with religion --as long as it doesn't alter your perception of reality. I have an uncle I could go on and on about.

"since neither can produce actual scientific experimented results. "

Except my side *can*. It's not hard to read papers on actual experimental results, many of which you could replicate if you were so inclined. I think it's a bit disingenuous to say that science is out of the hands of the common man, when advances in technology make it easier and easier to perform experiments (especially in biology). For example, in the 80s it would take a year or so to sequence the genome of a fruit fly, whereas now it can be done in hours if you have a couple computers lying around.

"I don't see the catastrophy in a billions year old earth"

I assume you mean religious catastrophe... I don't either. I think the argument goes that if genesis isn't literal, then nothing in the bible can be trusted, and the whole thing comes crashing down.
It's a literalist vs. symbolic reading of the Bible, which is the difference between "The story of Adam and Eve is a factual account of the first humans" and "The story of Adam and Eve is a parable used to illustrate a moral message". I'm not sure how the latter makes religion any less useful to Radar or you, especially since Jesus used parables all the time.

"I thought that you were implying that my lack of interest in the age of the earth and science as a whole would result in all of those bad things."

That's actually a good point. Maybe I got a bit off track and meant to say that lack of interest itself is a harmful thing. That said, science education itself is a massive help in living today, and it allows you to analyze information that is of immediate benefit to you. Medical decisions in particular are made easier when you have a grounding in science. Similarly, it's much easier to make political decisions when you see one side twisting facts and the other side representing sound science.

Now on to some science:

"Not sure how knowing how old the earth is effects my interest in starlight. Not arguing with you, just don't get it."

If the world (and presumably the universe) is only 6000 or so years old, you wouldn't see the light from distant stars/galaxies. This is because light has a speed, and takes time to get here. We've measured how far away the galaxies are, and can easily compute how long it would take light to reach our eyes/telescopes. This does not comport with a 6000 year old view. By the way, measuring how far away stars are is something you can do in your back yard if you care to. All it takes is a stick, a plumb bob, patience and simple trigonometry.

Sharks:
Sharks are really awesome, and are some of the oldest fish (they predate dinosaurs), in fact they haven't even evolved bones! They're really remarkable spanning the gamut from filter feeders to lethal predators. Reading about sharks and their evolutionary success shows that when something works, it stays.

highboy said...

"From this, we can conclude that either you were taught incorrect information, or you misinterpreted what you were taught. Please give up on this, it doesn't reflect well."

I'll stick with actual professors on this one.

"Except my side *can*. It's not hard to read papers on actual experimental results, many of which you could replicate if you were so inclined"

Except creationists are able to do the same thing. I don't have radiometric carbon dating equipment lying around.

"I assume you mean religious catastrophe... I don't either. I think the argument goes that if genesis isn't literal, then nothing in the bible can be trusted, and the whole thing comes crashing down. It's a literalist vs. symbolic reading of the Bible, which is the difference between "The story of Adam and Eve is a factual account of the first humans" and "The story of Adam and Eve is a parable used to illustrate a moral message". I'm not sure how the latter makes religion any less useful to Radar or you, especially since Jesus used parables all the time."

Here's my take: The Bible is literal, and the creation story in Genesis is literal. This does not mean it has to be a 24 hour 7 day creation. As I already stated, "day" in ancient Hebrew is 'yom, which has nearly 25 different meanings in English. Not to mention that we measure days with the sun, and in Creation we don't get the sun until day 4. I'm not ruling out a 24 hour 7 day creation, I'm merely stating it doesn't have to be either or to be literal. Jesus spoke in parables but made it clear they were parables, often explaining them afterwards. Genesis is a straight-forward account as to what happened, but not necessarily when what happened happened. Adam and Eve in my view is a factual account yet doesn't necessarily mean we have a 7 day 24 hours a day creation. But if Adam and Eve is not a factual story, than Christianity is a farce. The fall of man is central to the entire plan of salvation.

If none of that made sense, I understand. I do that often.

highboy said...

Wait, you're Jewish and agnostic at the same time? How does that work?

scohen said...

"I'll stick with actual professors on this one."

Appealing to authority, eh? They're wrong, and are making you look foolish. Look at what *every* link above said. What, your professor is right when every single link above is wrong? I just googled "The torah is", so it's not even a biased search. Yes, the word Torah can mean "law", but the scroll of the Torah is the same as the first five books of the Bible. I know, I've read it. Furthermore, when you read Maimonides's statement, it makes no sense to have observation and "the law" conflict. How's that possible?

"Except creationists are able to do the same thing. I don't have radiometric carbon dating equipment lying around. "

Creationists have shown that radio decay is not constant? BULL. If this were the case, the standard model of particle physics is completely out the window, yet it has been confirmed with slight alterations again and again. Creationists have *never* shown *any* variance in radio decay. Don't pretend for a second that creationists partake in actual research on par with anything scientists do. They're primary objective is to sow doubt.

"is 'yom, which has nearly 25 different meanings in English...."

Yes, yes, I agree with you. Heck, the english word "Day" has many meanings, e.g. "In my Day, whipper-snappers didn't doubt that the Torah was the same thing as the first five books of the Bible" ;)
You still believe in creationism though, right? The earth might be old, but animals appeared on it all at once (or in groups in different eras).
I actually don't support that position either, but it's so much more reasonable than YEC.

"But if Adam and Eve is not a factual story, than Christianity is a farce. The fall of man is central to the entire plan of salvation."

Nah, I don't accept that, it could be a parable *about* the fall of man, much like Jesus's later parables. Your religion is not that weak of sauce to be diluted by just a little less salt.

"Wait, you're Jewish and agnostic at the same time? How does that work?"

Yeah, I know, that must sound *insane* to you, but it's very common in Jews. There's a strong cultural and social component to Judaism which I have, but I don't practice the religion of Judaism any more. I heard somewhere that 60% of Jews are atheist, yet still identify as Jewish. I think the holocaust really takes the belief in an active caring god right out of you.

highboy said...

"What, your professor is right when every single link above is wrong?"

Yes because a simple google is the final authority on all matters. Besides, your links clearly state my case. Torah:instruction. Pentateuch: first 5 books of the Bible.

"Don't pretend for a second that creationists partake in actual research on par with anything scientists do"

Your welcome to have an opposing opinion but unless you have some verifiable evidence of the research habits of every creationist I'll have to stay neutral.

"Nah, I don't accept that, it could be a parable *about* the fall of man, much like Jesus's later parables. Your religion is not that weak of sauce to be diluted by just a little less salt."

You can refuse to accept it but that doesn't make it untrue. The literal fall of man IS central to the plan of salvation. That is a simple fact. It is why the story is referenced repeatedly in the NT as an actual event and not once as a parable.

highboy said...

"Your welcome to have an opposing opinion but unless you have some verifiable evidence of the research habits of every creationist I'll have to stay neutral."

Just want to be clear: I'm not saying you're wrong, only that I have nothing to add one way or another without more.

scohen said...

"Yes because a simple google is the final authority on all matters. Besides, your links clearly state my case. Torah:instruction. Pentateuch: first 5 books of the Bible."

Where do my links say that? The torah *is* the pentateuch. The Pentateuch *is* the torah. There is no difference.

So what you're saying is that despite the preponderance of the evidence on the internet from a wide variety of sources (some reform, some conservative, some orthodox and some non-religous) and testimony from an actual Jew telling you what the Torah (the holy book of Judaism) is, you'll believe one Christian (I'm assuming) professor that it's something else?

I'll try one last shot from two very reputable sources:

The Torah, as defined by Merriam Webster's dictionary

and

The Torah as printed in Encyclopedia Brittanica.

I'll reprint it here:

in Judaism, in the broadest sense the substance of divine revelation to Israel, the Jewish people: God’s revealed teaching or guidance for mankind. The meaning of “Torah” is often restricted to signify the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the Law or the Pentateuch. These are the books traditionally ascribed to Moses, the recipient of the original revelation from God on Mount Sinai. Jewish, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant canons all agree on their order: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.


This stands in direct conflict with what you said:
No, it isn't. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Pentateuch. The Torah is merely a part of the Pentateuch in which God's Law is written.

The Torah is the entire five books, and your teacher is dead wrong (and frankly, to get such a major thing wrong makes me worried what else he/she taught you about Judaism).

...on a literal Adam and Eve
"You can refuse to accept it but that doesn't make it untrue"

Alright, I stand corrected, it's weak sauce indeed. I'm curious how all those Christians that don't seem to believe in a literal Adam and Eve bother to devote themselves to Christ. So I take it you believe in talking snakes then ;)

"Your welcome to have an opposing opinion but unless you have some verifiable evidence of the research habits of every creationist I'll have to stay neutral."

I have posted several egregious and intentional lies by several creationists whose articles are still prominently displayed on AIG and/or creationweb. Do I have to implicate every creationist before you realize the apple is rotten to the core? Why do the worm holes not tell you to stay away?

Science is not perfect, but at least it's not infested with deliberate distortions and obfuscations like creationist literature is. Published articles have to stand up to scientific rigor and replication before they're accepted (witness Pons and Fleischmann who were exposed by science), while creationists seem content to vomit up large words and fancy symbols to trick their believers. Where's the debate? Where's the rigor? Why do they have a separate community?

That said, I *almost* respect your neutrality, but to me it seems that you're just not interested enough to see the distortions inherent in one side of the argument.

Tim, I'll admit that I'm a strange guy --I'd rather watch Nova than a football game, so maybe that's where my curiosity and the drive to get to the bottom of these issues comes from. The evidence is all around us, it just takes a little effort to look for it.

By the way, I hope Radar is alright, he usually would pipe up by now. MRSA is horribly nasty and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

highboy said...

"Where do my links say that? The torah *is* the pentateuch. The Pentateuch *is* the torah. There is no difference."

There are Jews who belief the entire Old Testament is the Torah. Torah literally means "instruction" which is why when Jews speak of following the "Torah" it literally means following instructions. The instructions are found in the first 5 books. I'm not saying there is a difference between the Pentateuch and the Torah. I'm saying the Torah is found within the Pentateuch.

"Alright, I stand corrected, it's weak sauce indeed. I'm curious how all those Christians that don't seem to believe in a literal Adam and Eve bother to devote themselves to Christ. So I take it you believe in talking snakes then ;)"

Never met "all those Christians". But the story of Adam and Eve and the literal fall of man is in fact central to Christianity, a fundamental belief, as it should be. Just because a few people go off the reservation doesn't make it untrue. There are "Christians" who think homosexuals are irredeemable. That doesn't make it a fundamental belief in Christianity. Just as there are Jews who believe the Torah is the entire Old Testament.

"Science is not perfect, but at least it's not infested with deliberate distortions and obfuscations like creationist literature is."

Radar's entire site says otherwise.

scohen said...

"There are Jews who belief the entire Old Testament is the Torah. Torah literally means "instruction" which is why when Jews speak of following the "Torah" it literally means following instructions"

No, that's not totally correct, Torah has several meanings, one of which I used and was quite rudely corrected by you. Speaking of following the Torah means exactly the same things as following the Bible.

"I'm not saying there is a difference between the Pentateuch and the Torah."

You seemed to be saying that several comments before. Since you've come around, there's no need to discuss further.

"Never met "all those Christians".

Too bad, they're really nice people --you should get out more. Catholics don't teach or believe (in the most part) in a literal reading of the Bible, but maybe you don't consider them Christians.

"Radar's entire site says otherwise."

Radar is not an authority, and his site suffers from all of the problems I've highlighted above. To my knowledge no reputable scientific journal still stands by Pons and Fleischmann's results.

radar said...

Guys,

I wanted to carry the discussion on to a new post.

scohen is corect in saying that I am not an authority in any one field. I am well-versed in several of them. I am a Biblical scholar, for one thing. I say that in a humble way as a student and not an absolute authority, because only God can hold that title.

I frankly don't believe what Hartnett asserts anyway. I believe the Earth is a bit older than 6,000 years old and that God created the light we see now during the six days of creation. Reading either the Pentateuch or the Torah will yield as a result the fact that God says "Let there be light" before he created stars and the Sun. Therefore it is most sensible to believe that all the light stretching from all visible stars was created just after God spoke the Universe into existence.

radar said...

As to why creation scientists have a separate community, witness what happened to Iowa State University astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez after the publication of The Privileged Planet. He was hounded and villified and denied tenure for daring to go against the naturalistic materialistic flow.

Copernicus and Gonzalez. Men who followed truth whether the crowd agreed or not. Galileo and Morris. I am absolutely sure that Darwinism will be abandoned eventually as bad science. It is a matter of time. I hope it happens within my natural lifetime.

It is sad how hard it is to shake the scientific community from its preferences. Few men are more dogmatic than a scientist raised on scientism and taught to refute the very concept of God.

highboy said...

"Too bad, they're really nice people --you should get out more. Catholics don't teach or believe (in the most part) in a literal reading of the Bible, but maybe you don't consider them Christians."

We're talking about the literal fall of man, and I know no Catholic that doesn't believe in that as an actual event. You can keep going on about this all you want, but the general consensus among Christianity is a literal Adam and Eve fall and its always been central to the fundamental faith.

Kuldeep said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
radar said...

Since I have recommended this post to people recently, I would like to point out that scohen was WRONG about the Hartnett equation and did not have the civility or grace or cojones (you pick) to admit he was wrong. He and other commenters razzed me about the Hartnett equation and when they were finally shown that they were wrong, they either went away or pretended that they had not erred. Consider this to be typical Darwinist behavior.

The Bible makes it pretty clear that you have the responsibility to God to obey Him, as He created you. Depending upon Jesus Christ as your Savior and establishing a relationship with God is what God wants from you. Obviously otherwise you will be judged and, if you are not perfect you will be sentenced to Hell.

Darwinists depend on the idea that there is no God and that deep age must be true. Creation scientists depend on the Bible as real history and so deep age cannot be true. Both of these positions are assumptions and one cannot be called religion without putting the same label on the other. You are either a Theist or a Naturalist basically. There is a branch of science, Intelligent Design, which ignores the idea of God or not-God and simply studies evidence.