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.