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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Introducing Dr. Vern Peterman and the days of creation

Why would a couple of pieces of fossilized Redwood and a pencil mean anything to you? By the bottom of the post you will know...Because if there is no doubt that the Biblical account of Creation is limited to six days, and that Darwinist dating methods are not to be trusted, and that fossilization can take place in decades rather than millenia, before you know it people will begin thinking critically again and perhaps we can get science back on its feet?

This is the beginning of my assault on the religion of Darwinism, now that they have failed to present any evidence that can be asserted in a court of law.

Now if I manage to flatten and scan in the requirements for my son's course in BIO 100 from his first year of college, you will be amazed by the lack of actual evidence and frankly the religious opinions expressed as fact.   I am now aware that this is Darwinist standard operating procedure, present opinion as fact and move on quickly.   In contrast, notice this paper and how it recognizes both fact and opinion and beliefs versus evidence during the discussion:

Q: What does Genesis chapter 1 mean by the word “day”?

A: The days of creation are unquestionably literal days, as we take them now.      Some of the reasons for this are:

·         Neither the text of Genesis chapter 1 nor its context give any indication that metaphorical or symbolic language is being used.

·         Of the more than 2200 times that the Hebrew word yom occurs in the Old Testament, about 95% of the time it refers to a literal 24 hour day.  In those places where yom is used as a figure of speech so that it dos not mean a literal solar day, it is clear that it is still not intended to mean a period of time that includes thousands of years.

·         In every one of the about 200 times in which the Hebrew word yom is accompanied by a numeral in the Old Testament, the context makes it clear that it means a literal solar day.

·         The plural form of yom (yamim) is used about 700 times in the Old Testament, and in each case the context makes it clear that it is referring to literal days.   For instance: "For in six days [yamim] the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day [yom]."  Exodus 20:11.  See also Exodus 31:17.

·         In the Old Testament when the word "day" (yom) is used in a numbered series, it always has reference to a normal day, as in Numbers 29.

·         The repeated phrase "evening and morning" clearly limits the days of Genesis chapter 1 to solar days.  This is the pattern of the Old Testament.  If the days are long periods of time then logic insists that the nights be long periods as well, which is not credible or reasonable.

·         If a day is to be understood as a long period of time in Genesis 1 it makes the observation of Sabbath an absurdity.  Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 do not say God is still resting on the 7th day.

·         The word "days" in Genesis 1:14 is used in context with the word “years," so the time comparison between the two words indicates that “days” is smaller in time, or else the use of the word "years" would be meaningless.

·         Moses could have used the Hebrew word olam to clearly indicate long periods of time, if that were his intent.

The usual reason for a person to seek to make the “days” of the creation account mean long periods of time is to reconcile the Genesis account with the supposed findings of modern science.  This approach requires an unfounded and inconsistent approach to Scripture.  It also reveals a gross misunderstanding of the character of true science and the philosophical mindset of proponents of evolutionary theory.  It is far better for Christians to stand on the revealed word of God than to make any adjustment of Scripture in order to “hit the moving target” of scientific theory.  If this portion of Scripture is adjusted to accommodate the current “scientific” understanding, then the authority and validity of all of Scripture is called into question.

The intended meaning of Genesis 1-11 as summarized by professor James Barr

Quoted as follows in [1]:

The following is an extract from a letter written in 1984 by Professor James Barr[2], who was at the time Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford. Please note that Professor Barr does not claim to believe that Genesis is literally true, he is just telling us, openly and honestly, what the language means.  Professor Barr said [or wrote],

"Probably, so far as l know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Gen. 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah's flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the 'days' of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know."
In response to an e-mail from John Doyle regarding the meaning of the word, yom in Genesis chapter 1 Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Hebrew scholar, wrote:

Subject: Answer - The Word Day
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006

Dear John Doyle:

Thank you for your e-mail letter of January 26, 2006.

While the Hebrew word for day, yom, could refer to a longer period of time by itself, whenever it is used with a numeral, it is only a twenty-four hour day. 

In the Genesis account it is used with numerals and furthermore the Genesis account also mentions “evening and morning” which reconfirms that it is only    a twenty-four hour day. 

Yours for the salvation of Israel,

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
Director [Ariel Ministries]

[1] Author: Answers in Genesis, adapted from an article in Creation Magazine. Copyright © 1996, 2000, Answers in Genesis, All Rights Reserved - except as noted on the accompanying "Usage and Copyright" page that grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches and schools.

[2] Per, footnote [5], a letter from Professor James Barr to David C.C. Watson of the UK, dated April 23, 1984. Copy held by the author. Note that Prof. Barr does not claim to believe that Genesis is historically true; he is just telling us what, in his opinion, the language was meant to convey.

"Dr. Vern Peterman: Dr. Peterman holds a BS in Civil Engineering, which included a substantial background in Geology and Geotechnical Engineering, an MBA in Business Management, and a Doctor of Ministry. His work background includes Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Forensic Engineering, Marketing and Accounting. For the last 6 1/2 [should be 9] years he has been a pastor and Elder at the Holly Hills Bible Church, which hosts RMCF at its facilities in Denver, Colorado [HHBC has not hosted their meetings for the last 14 months or so].
When Dr. Peterman began his geology studies, they began from an old-earth standpoint, since that's what they taught as fact as than [should be at that] time. But in his concurrent fieldwork and classroom studies he began studying the young earth perspective, including books and the Creation Research Society quarterly.
He attended several ICR seminars. In his independent investigations, he made a trip around the western US, along with additional reading, substantial calling and writing letters to scientists, noting limestone cave features (stalactites & stalagmites) growth rate, he accepted the young earth model of geology.

One more item from the slide set: as a point of contrast, the San Francisco Bay are mud has a layer of volcanic ash several feet down that extends over the whole bay area.  As the attached slide shows, the ash layer has been dated by radioactive dating techniques to one million years BP, plus or minus one half a million years.  The late V.L. Westberg, California manufacturer, sent me a piece of wood taken from a boring at 80 feet below the SF bay mud - well below the ash layer just referenced.  The wood is darkened, but otherwise shows no evidence of being petrified.      
Slide 1
Radioactive dating techniques arrived at an     age for the volcanic ash of 1 million years                        +/- 0.5 million years > 0.5 – 1.5 million years!

Slide 1
V.L. Westberg sent me a piece of wood taken from 80 feet under the surface of the bay mud. It was found dozens of feet below the volcanic ash but had neither petrified nor rotted

So no petrification in an area like this, in conditions Darwinists would expect it to have at least begun? Yet Vern found another interesting anamoly -

"A few years back I presented these slides to a YEC group in Denver, at Holly Hills Bible Church, 2400 S. Holly St., Denver, CO 80222.  If these are of interest to you, you may post them on your blog, as you see fit.  They have not been posted or shown anywhere else.  Feel free to get back to me if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

I majored in Geology initially, then switched to Civil Engineering when I could no longer stomach all  the old earth teaching in the Geology program.

One more thing: You have more patience with abusive unscientific comments than I would likely tolerate.  You don't appear to deserve it. Winking smile emoticon

By the love and grace of the Lamb,
Vern Peterman
BSCE, San Jose State University, '77
MBA, Golden Gate University, '86
D.Min., Tyndale Seminary, '01"

Very kind words, Doctor.   We are cohorts as members of the Rocky Mountain Creation Fellowship, among other things.   Here is the basic presentation:

Rocky Mountain Creation Fellowship

The three part presentation for September 10, 2004:

  1. The geology adventure

    1. Initial geology curriculum
    2. Concurrent fieldwork & classroom studies
    3. Independent investigations
    4. The switch to civil engineering
  2. A Recent discovery

    1. Petrified stump from the 1920s in Mendocino County, California
    2. Photographs, map
    3. History of the stumps, discovery
  3. The days of Genesis 1

    1. Reasons why the days of Genesis are solar days
    2. The difference it makes
The photographs in the slides were taken earlier in 2004, and the pieces in the photos were and are now still located in Mendocino County, CA.  I have two additional pieces from the petrified stumps with me in my home in Colorado (photo attached).  Those two pieces still evidence wood grain patterns.
The material for part C was per page 1 (but not page 2, which has been added later) of the attached word document.
Slide 1
Mendocino County in California

Slide 2
Ukiah Sheet, Geologic Map of California 
Slide 2US 101 runs along the right side of the map,
Ukiah can be seen when you click on the map and the Robinson Creek drainage is found to the SouthWest of Ukiah
Here two pieces of fossilized redwood sit on a rotting log
Slide 5
So… what’s so special                 about these pieces of wood?
Slide 6
These pieces were from redwood trees which were cut down by logging in the 1920s – about 80 years ago
The grandson of one of the 1920s crew was part of a crew which logged the area again in 2003!
Slide 7
These pieces are from redwood trees cut down in the 1920sSlide 7
The grandfather  who was part of the 1920s logging crew died in June of 2003
But by then at least some of the tree trunks & pieces left over from the 1920s operation had completely petrified

Slide 8
So when one of the 2003 logging crew (Kevin Williamson) was clearing old stumps out of                the way with a bulldozer, he was very surprised to find the bulldozer stopped cold by the “old” redwood tree stump! – petrified down to the roots! 
 Those interested in seeing and reading the entire powerpoint presentation can provide me with an email address to send it to and I will seek permission from Dr. Vern.


Jon Woolf said...

This is the beginning of my assault on the religion of Darwinism, now that they have failed to present any evidence that can be asserted in a court of law.

[snicker] Judge Overton and Judge Jones would both disagree with you. Since they're judges with courtroom experience and you're not...

As the attached slide shows, the ash layer has been dated by radioactive dating techniques to one million years BP, plus or minus one half a million years.

What dating method was used? When, where, and by whom were the tests done?

So when one of the 2003 logging crew (Kevin Williamson) was clearing old stumps out of the way with a bulldozer, he was very surprised to find the bulldozer stopped cold by the “old” redwood tree stump!

[sniff sniff] I smell a lumberjack's prank...

I ran several web searches looking for more information on this claim. I found nothing. A lot of hits about known petrified redwood forests, such as the Calistoga Woods Petrified Forest in Sonoma County, CA. But about this particular claim, not a word. Not even another creationist site.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, Radar. Got any?

Anonymous said...

1. I'll note up front that you still haven't come up with any objective evidence that rocks are no older than 6,000 to 10,000 years, which doesn't surprise me in the least but should give some readers pause.

2. "Because if there is no doubt that the Biblical account of Creation is limited to six days" - except that there is. Why are you bothering to rehash the "yom" argument? It was previously discussed here and we can gladly pick up the discussion where we left off.

Even if there were no such doubt, that still doesn't mean the creation myth presented in Genesis is true. If you're reading some creation myth and are absolutely certain that it says, for example, that the world sits on top of a giant turtle, that still doesn't mean that the world actually sits on top of a giant turtle.

3. "Darwinist dating methods are not to be trusted" - except that they are, and you have yet to come up with any reasonable alternative explanation for the data. Actual scientists can interpret the data and can understand cases of experimental error; you wish to only focus on experimental errors and dismiss the whole thing, for obvious religious reasons, without coming up with a plausible explanation for the data that would support the conclusion you're dying to see supported. That explanation eludes creationists to this day. Why?

4. "they have failed to present any evidence that can be asserted in a court of law" - no matter how many times you repeat this lie, it will not become true. Evidence that can be asserted in a court of law was actually asserted in a court of law. You and Mr. Mastropaolo can read the court transcripts yourself; they're not that hard to find, and as far as I recall, Jon even linked to them.

Not only that, but tons of evidence was presented to you on your own blog, and you have been unable to address it at all, opting instead for an obvious ad hominem. A complete failure on your part, and your only way out now is to deny deny deny and lie to your readers.

5. "So no petrification in an area like this, in conditions Darwinists would expect it to have at least begun?"

Those conditions being what exactly? I suspect that if you actually look at this in more detail, you will find that the conditions for petrification were in fact not present.

6. What exactly is the point of highlighting this petrified tree? The find seems fairly unremarkable to me.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Creeper, I think the point of the "petrified redwood fragments from the 1920s" story was that petrification can occur in a very short period of time, hence all those millions of fully-mineralized fossils could in fact be less than 6000 years old.

You see, it all makes much more sense when you keep in mind that Radar knows he has no valid evidence for his YEC position. His only available route is to show that "evolutionism" is impossible, after which he thinks his side wins by default.

Why we should accept his version of his holy book as factually accurate, and not any of the sacred stories of any of the world's other religions, is left as an exercise for the reader.

In any case, Rule 3 applies again: Never believe what you're told; always double-check. In this case, the lack of any second source for verification of the "petrified redwood bits" story suggests rather strongly that the story is not to be believed.

radar said...

supply me with an email address and I will make sure you get more information on the petrified wood. I am not publishing his personal information on this blog!

Anonymous said...

creeperzoid at

-- creeper