Here’s part two of Monday’s events at the International Conference on Creationism, and it includes the afternoon and evening sessions.
I attended a presentation on chromosome changes by Karen Bedinger, a physical therapist with a Masters in Science Education. I found this session of interest because it explored the study of baraminology (identifying the various kinds of animals originally created by God) and hybridization. For example, since zebras, horses and donkeys can interbreed and produce zonys, zorses, zonkeys and zedonks, they’re all related to the original “horse” kind that was created on Day Six by God. After Noah’s Flood, the original horse kind left the ark, their offspring populated the earth, and they diversified into various species as they became isolated in different environments.
I’ll try not to be too technical in my summary, but in her research Badinger found that there’s no conformity to chromosome numbers in animals, which would be expected if evolution were true. For example, Equidae (horse family) varies in diploid number of chromosomes (cells have two copies of each chromosome) from 32-66 depending upon the species; Urside (bear family) varies from 42-74, Canidae (dog family) varies from 34-78, and Bovinae (cows) from 46-60. This demonstrates that there’s a significant amount of diversity in diploid numbers within each family. Examples of mechanisms that may cause such diversity include centric fusion, fusion burst, fission burst and polyploidy.
Badinger also found that 62 baramins can be identified by their karyotypes (number and appearance of chromosomes in the cell’s nucleus).
These studies support creation rather than evolution because it’s evident that there are clear barriers that can’t be crossed; this demonstrates diversity, not evolution.
The next session I attended was with Dr. John Whitmore (Professor of Geology at Cedarville University) on post-Flood erosion.
Most creationist models have the flood itself producing features across the earth, such as canyons, basins, deltas and blankets of sediment on the seafloor. But Whitmore is suggesting that there was a great deal that happened after the flood- such as meteorite activity, earthquakes, volcanism, ice deposits and flooding- to shape the earth that we need to acknowledge, and that these cataclysmic events caused much of the erosion and wasting processes we see today. He also proposed that the post-Flood boundary occurred early in the Cenozoic period.
My favorite part of this session occurred during the question and answer time. I thought it was entertaining to watch the geologists in attendance (Michael Oard and John Baumbgardner) jump in to defend their positions and question Whitmore. Even though there were some disagreements, they agreed that these discussions are helpful to the overall creationist debate because there’s still plenty of research to be done.
After the session had ended I stuck around for his post-session discussion, and someone asked him if the fossil record was a weakness for creationists, and I really liked his response; he said, “No, it’s a strength.” Such a matter of fact response would be jaw-dropping for any evolutionist, but quite satisfying for creationists. Evolutionists are under the impression that there are no weaknesses in evolution, and that only creationists have unanswered questions. But just the opposite is true, and it’s great to see that some of the big names in the creation movement understand that. Whitmore explained that the fossil record is strong evidence for rapid burial and erosion, and that’s a strength for creationists and the flood, but it’s problematic for evolutionists because they don’t have a mechanism for such catastrophic events to cause such a massive amount of fossils all over the world. He explained that the real need for future creationist geologists would be to present a model for the order of the fossil record.
Another good question asked was why creationists use evolutionist boundaries like Cenozoic and Tertiary, and Whitmore responded that those are real boundaries determined by the placement of fossils, and that’s helpful even though we don’t agree with the long ages assigned to them.
The last session of the day was with Dr. Mark Horstemeyer (BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS in Engineering Mechanics, PhD in Mechanical Engineering), who presented a Creation State of Affairs.
He began this session with some examples of how engineering in the auto industry is relevant to plate tectonics and forming a possible mechanism for initiating Noah’s flood. Using computer simulations for stress testing vehicles has been instrumental in vehicle safety and design. Building on this idea Horstemeyer presented computer simulations showing how meteorites striking the earth at various locations would have produced enough stress and instability that the continents could have broken apart. He also showed stress simulations demonstrating how Noah’s Ark was well built and designed for stability rather than navigation.
After this he addressed the students in the audience and charged them with the task of pushing creationism to the next level. He encouraged them to go into the various fields of science, make great strides in research and development, and follow in the footsteps of great creationist scientists of the past, such as Boyle, Euler and Pascual.
Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.
Thanks for your feedback.
Kudos to Tennessee! Seriously, I see this as advancement in scientific progress and a plus for academic freedom and critical thinking. This is something for Tennessee to be proud of, and I hope other states follow suit and make progress in educating their students.
I’m not in favor of mandating the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in schools; that’s because teachers who are evolutionists probably wouldn’t teach it fairly. But I’m certainly in favor of allowing for discussion, and if you love freedom, then you should be in favor of this too. From what I’ve read no one is demanding that creationism or ID be taught, and no one is banning the teaching of evolution (although I’d rather see it taught as history or mythology), but instead they’re allowing freedom of thought where freedom of thought should be allowed- in the classroom! We live in America where we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but there are many out there who want to squelch our freedoms and prevent students from hearing a truthful alternative to evolution. What are they afraid of? Are they afraid the students will reject evolution in favor of creationism if given an opportunity to study the evidence? If that’s what they’re afraid of, then perhaps evolution isn’t all that convincing. Certainly they’re not afraid of lowering academic standards and creating a nation of dummies, which is what is often touted. We already have low education standards, so obviously the mandatory and exclusive teaching of evolution hasn’t helped improve education or science standards in America.
In actuality there are many valid arguments against the theory of evolution, and many good arguments in favor of creationism. I’ve presented many of them on my blog. And there was much evidence presented at the International Conference on Creationism that I attended (soft dinosaur tissue for example). Since you’re not aware of any such evidence, I’d say that reflects poorly on the one-sided education you were given. If you had been allowed to study the evidence against evolution and the evidence in favor a young earth you wouldn’t have made that statement. Such a statement is an admission that our students have been subjected to censorship at the cost of education. Since when is the teaching of truth prohibited because it may lead students into believing in God? I think the real fear is that students may actually become Christians, which would be good for them.
As for religious fanatics, I’ve seen plenty of fanatical evolutionists who stop at nothing to protect evolution from critical thought while mocking creationists. So fanaticism should have nothing to do with what gets taught- as long as students have an opportunity to examine all the evidence and think critically.
In fact here’s an example of atheist fanatics protesting a homeschooling conference in Texas.