Last Saturday (September 21, 2013) I listened to a webcast on a conference sponsored by the Institute for Creation Research and wanted to post a few points. The speakers were Dr. Henry Morris III, Dr. Jason Lisle, Dr. Randy Guliuzza, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, Dr. Tim Clarey, and Astronaut Col. Jeffrey Williams.
Dr. Henry Morris III (ICR CEO) began the event by providing a working definition of evolution from the National Association of Biology Teachers (2000): The diversity of life on Earth is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.
Dr. Morris explained that evolutionary naturalism is the opposite of the Biblical message. With evolution, struggle and death substitute for creation, and unfathomable time makes everything possible.
He also explained that if death came before sin, then the Biblical message that death is a result of sin is wrong. This is an important point because it contrasts two opposing worldviews and demonstrates their incompatibility. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t any other worldviews involved in the debate, but, if we’re to accept what Scripture teaches, then there’s not much room to harmonize the two.
In Genesis three God tells Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” The notion that there was no death prior to the Fall is also apparent through the rest of Scripture, including Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.
The next speaker was Dr. Jason Lisle (ICR Director of Research), and he presented evidence from the field of Astronomy to support a young universe.
- There are many Biblical references to the earth: Skeptics like to poke fun of the Bible because they think it refers to a flat earth, but that’s simply not true. The Bible clearly refers to a spherical earth and the expansion of the universe. Isaiah 40:22 mentions “the circle of the earth” and that God “stretches out the heavens like a canopy”, and Job 26:7 says that God “suspends the earth over nothing.” This is in contrast to the early Greek experts (800-900 BC) who taught that the earth was a flat disk floating on water.
- The earth is designed to support mankind and life. Isaiah 45:18 says, “For this is what the Lord says— he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” The earth is the right distance from the right type of sun; it has the right atmosphere, magnetism and other conditions to support life. In contrast, the moon has been called a “Magnificent desolation”, and Venus and Mars in inhospitable for life. The surface temperature of Venus goes up to 900 degrees!
- The internal heat of Jupiter and Neptune: Jupiter emits twice as much energy as it receives from the sun. However such a process couldn’t last billions of years. Neptune gives off 2.7 times as much energy as it receives from the sun. These planets should have cooled off long ago.
- The earth’s magnetic field: The earth’s magnetic field is decaying exponentially, but there’s no known mechanism that would allow it to remain for billions of years. The fact that the magnetism still exists is evidence that the earth is very young. Other planets, such as Uranus and Neptune also have magnetic fields. In fact creation scientist Dr. Russ Humphreys successfully predicted the magnetic field of Neptune based on Biblical indications.
- Moon recession: The moon is moving away from the earth at about 1 ½ inches per year. This means the moon would have been closer to the earth in the past. According to the Biblical record of creation, the moon would have been only 730 feet closer to the earth, but if we accept the secular age of the earth at 4.5 billion years, then the moon would have touched the earth 1.4 billion years ago.
- The existence of comets: Comets can’t last more than 100,000 years because they’re constantly losing mass. Since comets still exist, this means that the universe can’t possibly be billions of years old.
- Spiral galaxies exhibit youth. Galaxies are wound up, but we don’t find any old, tightly wound spiral galaxies.
- Types of stars: Blue stars expend their fuel quickly and can’t last billions of years. They can only last a few million years, and secular scientists even admit as much. They believe there’s a stellar nursery forming new stars, but no one has ever observed a star form.
- The speed of light: Dr. Lisle has proposed the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention to explain how light could have arrived on earth on Day Four of creation. This allows us to choose the one-way speed of light rather than accepting the conventional two-way speed of light, which measures out to 186,282 miles per second. The ASC means that light would have arrived on earth at the moment that God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” (Genesis 1:14-15).
The next speaker was Dr. Randy Guliuzza. He explained how he went from being an atheist to a Christian and a young earth creationist while dating a girl who made him go to church with her. At first he didn’t hear the gospel message, but after time he learned that he was a sinner in need of a savior.
Dr. Guliuzza was quite emphatic that we haven’t evolved from an ape-like ancestor. He explained that complexity is the mark of biological reality, and that there’s nothing simple in biology- as evolutionists would like us to believe. The human body is incredibly complex, and this should cause us to be in awe of our creator, Jesus Christ.
Evolutionists like to point out similarities in organisms in order to establish ancestry. But there are things that make humans unique, such as the configuration of our hand, which is not like a chimp hand. Our hand was made opposable, and we’re able to vary our grips and utilize fine finger movements.
Dr. Guliuzza presented some incredible detail about the human body, including muscle-tendon networks in our fingers, the mathematical computations made by our brain, the sophisticated “body logic” that regulates the muscles, and muscles that perform like springs, hydraulic rams, and force dampening devices. He also examined the secular approach to all this, which tells us that all this came about by chance as all the different pieces were added and sorted out for various functions over time.
Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson discussed the five best evidences for evolution and refuted them:
- Evolution is seen in nature: Darwin’s finches are often cited as an example, however the finches haven’t evolved into another organism, nor have they developed any new features. They remain the same kind of organism, which actually supports the Biblical account of creation.
- Transitional forms: Evolutionists like to point out the intermediate candidates in whale evolution, as well as other icons like Archaeopteryx and Tiktaalik, but the evidence linking any of the intermediate candidates is sparse and disputable.
- Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo-devo). Evolutionists present Richard Lenski’s E-coli as an example of a change in chemistry. After 31,000 generations the E-coli were able to eat citrates, where previously they couldn’t. But the problem is that the E-coli always had this capability, it’s just that the preexisting switch wasn’t previously activated.
- Homology (similarity due to ancestry). Evolutionists point out similarities in organisms, such as the arms of humans, horses, whales and birds. They all have the same basic pattern. But creationists point out that there’s a better reason for such similarity, and that’s due to a good design pattern that works well. Creationists also point out that homology has been falsified due to the discontinuities between yeast, beetles, sea urchins, tortoises, and man.
- Plagiarized errors: Evolutionists claim that some organisms contain the same errors in their DNA, which demonstrates their ancestry. However no one tested the entire sequences in the genomes.
Dr. Tim Clarey’s presentation was on Dinosaurs myths:
- Dinosaurs were buried and fossilized slowly. However the dinosaur remains wouldn’t last long enough to be fossilized, and the evidence suggests rapid, catastrophic burial. Dinosaur fossils are also mixed with marine fossils, often with more clams than dinosaurs. Some examples of various fossils found in Hell’s Creek along with dinosaurs include sharks, bony fishes, crocodiles, mammals, and turtles.
- Dinosaurs had many ancestors. Evolutionists assume each type of dinosaur descended from an ancestral type through transitional forms, however there are no transitional fossils for Sauropods, and no ancestors to explain their elongated neck bones and hollowed vertebrae. There are either long necked dinosaurs or short necked dinosaurs, but nothing in between. There are a variety of Ceratopian dinosaurs, but only one basic kind. Even Tyranosaur ancestors are missing in the fossil record. Dr. David Weishampel, who has examined more dinosaurs than anyone, said, “From my reading of the fossil record of dinosaurs, no direct ancestors have been discovered for any dinosaur species. Alas, my list of dinosaurian ancestors is an empty one.”
- Dinosaurs evolved into birds: There are many examples of fraudulent fossils (Archaeoraptor) coming out of China, and this is where many of the alleged “feathered” dinosaurs are coming from. There’s also a dispute as to whether the fossils are dinosaurs or birds. There are really no feathers on these dinosaurs. Some scientists refer to proto-feathers, but what is observed is nothing like a feather. Too often the claims for feathered dinosaurs is the result of wanting to obtain grant money. There’s also the problem of these bird-like dinosaurs being found in layers well above true birds.
- Dinosaurs are 225- 65 million years old. Contrary to this claim we have many examples of dinosaur soft tissue, and this demonstrates that they died fairly recently. Mary Schweitzer found stretchy, red blood cells and protein, which should decay rapidly. We also have examples of dinosaurs being carbon dated in the thousands of years. There are also examples of dinosaurs and humans coexisting, and some of that evidence includes dragon myths, which may have resulted from actual encounters with dinosaurs. The Bible also presents the Behemoth and Leviathan in the book of Job. We’ve also found ancient carvings of dinosaurs, such as Mesopotamian cylinder seals and impressions, the tomb of Bishop Bell at the Carlisle Cathedral, and a Stegosaurus carved on the Angkor Temple in Cambodia from the 11th century.
The last speaker was Astronaut Col. Jeffery Williams, who has taken more photos from space than anyone, and his slideshow was impressive.
All-in-all, this was a very worthwhile conference to listen to and watch. I was very pleased with the speakers and happy for the opportunity to hear them for the first time.