Tag Archives: young earth

The Population Bomb

worldpop

Type “population explosion” into google. It returns over 27,000,000 hits and almost every one refers to future human population. The current world population is over 7 billion people. It was 1 billion just after 1800. But as we look back the census data becomes less certain. It is difficult to find an agreement about the census of 1 AD. Estimates vary from 2 to 6 hundred million for a worldwide population. Most population estimates either use 2 or 300,000,000.

From 1 AD to the present, human population has not grown at a consistent rate. The major change has not been a massive jump in the birth rate (worldwide, some local jumps have occurred), but an increase in lifespan. As medical treatments and living conditions have improved so has life expectancy. So we either look at all the data and have a somewhat erratic growth chart, or we average the data and make a smooth growth chart. When we average the data, there is enough evidence to make reasonable estimates of past growth rates as well as future projections.

The first observation is that human growth rates prior to 1800 AD were much lower than human population growth rates are today. The second and critical observation is that as we look back in history, the data is less reliable and more subject to misinterpretation. Back to 1 AD the following data comes from Vaughn’s Summaries, World Population Growth History. All dates are AD.

1810 1 billion
1800 900 million
1750 750 million
1650 600 million
1500 500 million
1000 400 million
500 300 million
1 200 million

As we move back, the data is unreliable. Most population sites do not post data beyond 1 AD. This site does. While the following population figures are unreliable, the trend is critical. From this point, all dates are BC.

1000 50 million
2000 27 million

27 million people is roughly the greater metropolitan New York City Area.

http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/history/world-population-growth.htm

Before we even look at data from the Bible, one fact jumps out. These growth rates do not support a human population that is one million years old. They do not support a human population that is 100,000 thousand years old. The population data is a much better fit with a very young human population. People who want to believe in a very old human population will claim that the rate of growth might have been lower in the past, that there might have catastrophes to reduce population, that environmental conditions might have caused human population to reach the earth’s carrying capacity and the population stabilized for thousands of years.

None of this speculation has any scientific basis. These and other arguments can be made by people who desperately want to believe that the human race has lived on earth for hundreds of thousands or millions of years in spite of the human population growth rate not supporting that belief.

These population growth statistics, however, fit very well with a 2350 BC beginning as Noah and his family left the Ark. Since there is no record of Noah producing any more children, we can calculate population growth from his three sons and their wives. Also, though there might have been deaths from accidents and murders, there were no deaths due to natural causes before the death of Peleg 340 years after the flood. For that 340 year period, population growth would not have followed normal population formulas.

exponent paragraph 1

Both Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein were told by their publishers that they would lose half of their audience for each formula included in their books. So here is the conclusion. You do not have to look at the formula if you do not want to. For an average overall population growth rate of slightly less than half of one percent per year (.0049) starting just after the death of Peleg in 2010 BC would result in a world population of 232,725, 878 in one AD. This is very much in line with the estimates for world population in 1 AD. Right around the time of Peleg people lived longer and had much larger families, accounting for a more rapid growth rate before 1 AD.

Then the average overall population growth rate drops down to less than one tenth of one percent (.0009) from 1 AD to 1800 AD. The average overall population growth rate then jumps from 1800 to the present. One factor accounting for the decline in world population during this period is the Black Death, carried everywhere by European traders.

This means that the population growth of the human race from three sets of parents in 2350 BC is very much in line with existing population growth rates using standard population formulas. The population growth rate is much higher today than it was before 1 AD.

Uniformitarianism needs a completely flat, no growth rate in order to have any human population before 20,000 BC. According to Occam’s razor, the simplest solution is usually the correct solution. No growth rate for hundreds of thousands of years is not a simple solution.

stand pop form

Since you cannot have a part of a person, there is rounding of final numbers. All calculations are estimates, with no attempt to represent these calculations as actual demographic information. It is, however, to be a reasonable estimate.

Image from “Population Growth Over Human History”, http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/human_pop/human_pop.html

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The Age of the Earth: The Burden of Proof

cartoon-mantis-earth-hi

Like everyone, I fail to completely live up to my principles. One of my principles which I have done much better at keeping is to not discuss evolution. Believers in evolution have chosen to believe and nothing I can do will change that belief.

However, I constantly display the evidence for a young earth. Without enormous amounts of time, evolution is impossible. So, without discussing evolution, a scientific examination of the facts shows that God creating the universe is the only possibility.

Believers in vast amounts of time have two and only two foundational points for their belief system. The first is radiometric dating and the second is an unwavering belief that processes acted differently in the past than they do today. This is exactly the opposite of what they claim, that “the present is the key to the past.” This article has a very brief list of processes which today are very rapid (hours to months). Yet uniformitarians believe that these same geologic processes, when unobserved, took thousands to millions of years.

Very few people today understand that Radiometric dating is both the foundation of modern uniformitarianism and requires a belief in the unknown.
All forms of Radiometric Dating require knowledge of three things which cannot be known; 1) the original condition of the sample, 2) if anything altered the sample in any way at any time since it was originally formed and 3) did the decay rate change at any time? Radiometric dating is scientifically examined in detail by the ICR RATE team and their books handle the material very well. A good starting point is the book Thousands, Not Billions, general editor Donald DeYoung.

The rate of known processes is much easier to grasp. The following list of existing, known processes must have been different in the past if the earth is millions or billions of years old. In each of these examples, a known process which can be observed, measured and duplicated today in seconds, minutes, hours, days or at the most, weeks or months, is assumed by uniformitarians to take millions of years when the evidence is not observed. Yes, the results of the evidence is observable, but not the process. The observable processes in the following list are all known.

Ice cores have layers of alternating light and dark layers. These layers are assumed be annual layers and are used to date ice in published scientific journals.

A squadron of P-38s made an emergency landing on a glacier in Greenland on July 15, 1942, where they were abandoned. They were found on 1998. They flowed over two miles with the glacier and were buried in 268 feet of ice. That is an average of about 188 of glacier flow per year and about 5 and 1/2 feet of ice per year. Though no ice core was taken and individual layers counted, pictures were taken which show the individual layers to be similar to other Greenland Ice Cores. Also, the men who descended down to the plane testified that there were hundreds of layers.

If (assumption) the thickest ice sheet in the world, Terre Adelie in Antarctica, formed at the same rate, it could be formed in just over 2,500 years.

The Lincoln Memorial was built between 1914 and 1922 over land formerly at the bottom of the Potomac River. Stalactites and stalagmites have formed beneath the stairs in the period since the construction was completed (less than 100 years at the time of this writing). These stalagmites were over 5 feet in the 1960s, which is a growth rate of more than a foot per decade.

Providence Canyon in Georgia, sometimes called “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon”, is 1100 acres of canyons carved out by erosion since the early 1800s. Though much smaller than the Grand Canyon, it is still one of the largest canyons in America.

All of the following are commercially produced products which are produced and are being mass-produced today under the proper conditions. The proper conditions are usually the correct starting materials, enough heat and enough pressure. The proper amount of time varies, depending on what is produced, but is usually a few hours to a few weeks. The tremendous heat and pressure needed to make these transformations not only do not need vast amounts of time, but longer periods of time under extreme pressure with extreme temperatures actually cause the laboratory-produced products to break down. The Federal Trade Commission requires that these products be labeled “laboratory produced” because they are identical to geologically produced. “Laboratory produced” distinguishes products from artificial products which are used in place of geologically produced but are chemically different. These laboratory processes are observable, verifiable and repeatable. In other words, they are produced through scientific processes.

Laboratory-produced diamonds and other gemstones can be produced hours, for diamond coatings on glasses, to months, for jewelry quality gemstones of several carats. The quality is good enough that producers of geologically produced gemstones, such as De Beers, are seeking laws against laboratory-produced gemstones.

Commercial laboratory coal production was developed in Germany in 1910 and powered the German war machine in WWI. The switch to oil in the 1920s and 1930s, combined with the cheap mining of geologic coal, have virtually shut down commercial laboratory coal production. There are many Youtube videos on how to convert wood to coal for personal use.

Laboratory-produced petrified wood makes up most, perhaps all, of the commercially available petrified wood (used in in jewelry).

Laboratory-produced fossils have been available for over 100 years, but it is only in the last 15-20 years that the quality level improved to the point that they can deceive experts. Several laboratory-produced fossils from China were discovered in the National Geographic collection in 2011/12.

Laboratory-produced petroleum is still far too expensive to be used in place of geologic petroleum for a fuel. It can be produced without sulfur, so it is in high demand as a lubricant and specialty applications.

Like petrified wood, laboratory-produced geodes supply most of the demand for jewelry.

Laboratory-produced stone, especially granite, can be formed into any shape. Geological stone is still used in areas where it is cost effective.

Ice cores, Providence Canyon formation, stalagmites, and laboratory-produced products are all observed and conditions can be reproduced to duplicate these items. This is science. Actually the production part is technology.

The point is that uniformitarians have the burden of proof to prove why they believe the geologic processes, which have never been observed, take millions of times longer than the observed processes.

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A Pocket Guide To The Global Flood — A Book Review by Michael J. Findley

The Global Flood Pocket Guide: eBook

http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/global-flood-pocket-guide/?sku=90-3-019

There is a larger book with a similar title, The Global Flood, by Dr. John D. Morris on the same theme, providing essential information on the flood. While both books cover the same information from the same point of view, the larger book is more detailed and more technical.
The book A Pocket Guide To The Global Flood was written by four authors, according to the various chapters. Ken Ham and Tim Lovett collaborated on the first chapter, “Was There Really a World-wide Flood?” John Whitmore wrote the last chapter with another author: “Should Fragile Shell Fossils be Common?” The rest of the book is by Andrew A. Snelling. Andrew A. Snelling updated and rewrote the Whitcomb and Morris 1961 classic, The Genesis Flood.
The first chapter “Was There Really a World-wide Flood?” uses the same techniques we use in our series The Conflict of Ages. It provides a brief overview with the basic questions and answers based on the Word of God, but no details.
The first chapter by Andrew A. Snelling provides an overview of his topics. Each of the next chapters examine one point in more detail; “High and Dry Sea Creatures”, “The World’s Graveyard”, “Transcontinental Rock Layers”, “Sand Transported Cross-Country”, “No Slow and Gradual Erosion”, “Rock Layers Folded Not Fractured”, and finally “A Scientific Look at Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Catastrophic Breakup and The Origin of Oil”.
“Many creationist geologists now believe the catastrophic plate tectonics concept is very useful as the best explanation for how the Flood event occurred within the biblical framework for earth’s history.” This is historic science. We retain the biblical framework for earth’s history and use the best explanation with the most current scientific information available. This is the correct attitude. More information might cause us to re-evaluate plate tectonics. But the biblical framework does not change.
“A catastrophic model of plate tectonics (as proposed by creation scientists) easily overcomes the problems of the slow and gradual model (as proposed by most evolutionist scientists).”
John Whitmore’s final chapter in the technical section is somewhat puzzling to me. Uniformitarians do believe in catastrophes, just as creationists do. “Near the end of the Devonian, a mass extinction event occurred.” http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/devonian/devonian.php They simply believe the catastrophes occurred millions of years ago. So John Whitmore’s statement just before his conclusion is puzzling. “One explanation that they did not consider, that would readily explain their results, is the catastrophic formation of much of the fossil record.” Uniformitarians actually believe there were five mass extinction events, as they call them. skepticalscience.com/Earths-five-mass-extinction-events
This is not a new or recent change in their position. The 1940s Disney movie Fantasia has a sequence depicting evolution set to Stravinski’s Rite of Spring. During this sequence, they show the dinosaurs being killed by a catastrophe something like the flood at the end of the Jurassic Period. The issue is not how, but when.
The flood timeline near the end of A Pocket Guide To The Global Flood is helpful, but requires some thoughtful examination. The final chapter “The Flood and the Gospel”, is something many works on the flood lack. Many Christians fail to understand exactly why this material is so important. The personal application is very good.

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AntiScience

mad scientist

“So what evidence would you accept to prove that the Earth is millions of years old?” an atheist asked me on Christmas day. It is not possible to have a reasoned, intelligent discussion with someone whose opinions (beliefs) are not based on evidence and facts. The question changes facts and evidence into a matter of opinion. That is the very foundation of AntiScience. That question ended my participation in that discussion.

The simple statement, “That is a green fence,” is a statement of fact. It may or may not be true. It can be tested and either proven or disproven. Between friends, the statement “That is a green fence” should be enough.

But scientifically, the statement has three parts which need to be defined. 1) What is “that?” Down the street? Are you sitting on it? 2) What is green? Saturation value of 255 while red and blue each have a saturation value of 0? 3) What is a fence? Are you referring to a wall, a pile of stone, a traditional wooden fence?

Seldom, if ever, do we need to be so precise in everyday discussions. Even highly technical scientific discussions are filled with assumptions, such as that the person reading this knows that H is hydrogen and He is helium.

But to replace evidence with opinion is AntiScience. In everyday life we express opinions and that is part of life. “I like that green fence.” “I believe that green is an ugly color.” Both of these are opinions which might start lengthy discussions, but they are not science. Neither are they my opinions. I just used them as examples of opinions.

In the discussion group, I brought up the fact of lunar recession, which is detailed in another blog post as proof for a young Earth. The moon is receding from the earth at a rate of 1.5-2 inches per year (the measurements have been taken repeatedly and there is a very slight disagreement as to the exact amount of recession).

Instead of dealing with evidence, I was attacked and mocked for not believing as they do. Links to articles “debunking” what I “believe” were quickly posted that had nothing to do with my article or my position.

The self-righteous hypocrites who instantly jump to condemn as “ignorant” and “uninformed” anyone who dares to publish evidence and facts which disprove their establishment of religion are AntiScience. Over twenty years ago I saw a St. Louis, MO news piece, carried on both the electronic and print medias. A man was arrested in a park in St. Louis in a drug case. The picture and videos showed a slovenly, haggard man with long, unkempt hair and needle marks. He was a graduate student at Arizona State University. He agreed with the established religion so he could be repeatedly referred to as a “scientist.”

At the same time, well dressed, articulate men with earned PhDs and no criminal records who present evidence against the established religion in this country are vilified by the same media.

Believers in the establishment of religion in this country, Secular Humanism, are intolerant of anyone who presents evidence which contradicts their deeply-held, emotional beliefs.

Illustration From A TOM CORBETT Space Cadet Adventure THE SPACE PIONEERS By CAREY ROCKWELL, 1953, illustrations by LOUIS GLANZMAN. Project Gutenberg Transcriber”s note: Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.

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Science, Falsely So Called

“Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics because the stakes are so low.”

“Sayre’s Law” — this version found in the December 20, 1973 Wall Street Journal.

“The stakes are so low” seems off, but all of us who ever taught at the college level are intimately acquainted with the bitterness and viciousness of academic politics. It goes along with Lord Acton’s well known “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

We are also aware of the corruptions of large organizations, especially governments. Modern science is the biggest of big businesses. It depends on grants from government, big business and massive endowments. Over 90 percent of Big Science is either military or academic. So over 90% of science is controlled by either academic politics or government politics.

Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed (available at http://www.discovery.org/expelled/ and http://www.amazon.com/) examines several scientists whose careers were ruined just because they believed in and supported Intelligent Design. Not Christianity, not Islam, not creation and not opposition to evolution, these scientists simply presented Intelligent Design as a scientific alternative. What is today known as Intelligent Design is very similar to the Deism of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin’s early years.

Today, the Discovery Institute (http://www.discovery.org/) is the most well known of those who publish papers including Intelligent Design. Wikipedia describes it a manner that is more like an attack than an objective evaluation. “Intelligent design (ID) is a form of creationism promulgated by the Discovery Institute. The Institute defines it as the proposition that ‘certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.'”

“ID seeks to redefine science in a fundamental way that would invoke supernatural explanations, an approach its proponents describe as theistic realism or theistic science.”

“The scientific community rejects the extension of science to include supernatural explanations in favor of continued acceptance of methodological naturalism, and has rejected both irreducible complexity and specified complexity for a wide range of conceptual and factual flaws. The vast majority of the scientific community labels intelligent design as pseudoscience and identifies it as a religious, rather than scientific, viewpoint.” (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design)

This type of hatred and bias is what passes for objectivity in the “scientific community.” While using this hatred to accuse others, what is the moral condition of this same “scientific community?”

“Gauging the amount of misconduct in science is very difficult, but last year were 381 journal retraction notices-up from 22 in 2001.-according to the Thomson Reuters database Web of Knowledge. Indeed, 2011 was dubbed the ‘year of the retraction’ by the blog Retraction Watch. Last year also saw 13 misconduct rulings by the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in Rockville, Maryland, which oversees misconduct investigations and publishes the findings on its website. Some reports suggest cases of misconduct may be more prevalent than previously suspected.” May 2, 2012 (http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles/10.1038/nj7396-137a)

The point is that facts are facts, regardless of who uses his authority to pronounce otherwise. “The amount of scientific ‘cheating’ has far outpaced the expansion of science itself.” http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/04/20/220201/studies-suggest-massive-increase-in-scientific-fraud I do not know if these articles are valid, but they are certainly believable.

Why? Because scientific articles I know about are attacked on a regular basis for unscientific methods and a lack of facts. The only method for dating the age of the earth as millions of years old is radiometric dating; keeping to just one variable, I am simply writing about the age of the earth only.

While this is an old and familiar topic to many people, many others probably have never heard of this. So to those who think this is old, see if you can catch any mistakes. I’m old and I do make mistakes. In 1974 Los Alamos National Laboratory extracted cores from a borehole nearly 3 miles deep in Fenton Hill, NM. In the bore samples was biotite, black mica containing microscopic crystal zircons; (ZrSiO4) zirconium silicate. Using radiometric dating, the samples measured the U->Pb (Uranium to Lead) decay and determined the zircons to be 1,500 million years old plus or minus 20 million years. The decay process left microscopic radiohalos behind.

“The zircons also would be expected to contain helium, which comes from the alpha particles (nuclei of helium atoms) emitted by many of the nuclear decays. This prompted Robert Gentry at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to ask the Los Alamos team to send him core samples from various depths in GT-2 (as well as samples from deeper boreholes nearby). Gentry and his team extracted zircons from the samples, hand-picked crystals between 50 and 75 microns long, and measured the total amounts of helium in them. From the amounts of radiogenic lead in the zircons, they estimated how much helium the nuclear decay should have deposited in the crystals. They found that “an almost phenomenal amount of He has been retained” in the zircons, despite them being small, hot, and allegedly old.”

Though the phrase “an almost phenomenal amount” of helium could have any one of a number of explanations, there are two important overall points in this quote. First, this testing was done by a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN headed by Robert Gentry, not the Creationist RATE group. The results were published in 1982. Second, the helium is a byproduct of radioactive decay. Since helium is both created and leaves zircons (diffuses) at a known rate, depending on pressure and temperature, it should be just as reliable as the radiometric U235 -> Pb method for dating. Helium Diffusion calculations are more complicated, so there is greater opportunity for human error.

In 2000 the RATE team performed their own experiments on these samples as well as samples from Beartooth Gneiss near Yellowstone, WY. They also included in their report helium diffusion rates performed on Zircons at the Fish Canyon Tuff in Nevada by Reiners (report published in 2002). There were multiple tests over several years.

RATE also used blind third parties, that is, samples were tested and results published by individuals and groups who did not know about the connection to RATE. This is the standard for Peer review, to help keep prejudice and bias out of the published results. Kenneth A.Farley of the California Institute of Technology (Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences measured the diffusion coefficients of the zircon and biotite from Jemez Granodiorite in New Mexico.

The RATE team also used a Russian report using samples from the Ural mountains, the Magomedov report.

The original published results, with documentation, are available for free.

Helium Diffusion Rates Support Accelerated Nuclear Decay http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/research/Helium_ICC_7-22-03.pdf.

An additional import point brought out in this paper is the total amount of helium in the atmosphere. Though these studies were done in the 1950, the studies are still valid. When helium diffuses out of rock, it goes into the atmosphere. One of the first, and very important discoveries of high altitude unmanned rockets was that the earth’s atmosphere was retaining helium. Up to that time it was assumed that helium light enough to escape into space. According the creationist model, the atmosphere only has .04% of the helium it should have if the earth were billions of years old. Uniformitarians still assume the helium has passed into space. With no way of replicating or testing, these are simply very complex theories of the he said/she said variety. The only science in this is actual measurement of current levels of helium in the atmosphere.

My article is about the published critics of this work.

The first is titled RATE’s Ratty Result: Helium In Zircons. It is subtitled Numerous Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions and Questionable Data. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/helium/zircons.html Without even reading the article, we know that this is a biased journalism piece, not a scientific article.

It opens with a list of people who oppose the RATE paper. As mind-boggling as this seems to me, this is more like the magicians of Pharaoh’s court opposing Moses than science. Truth has never been decided by a majority vote. The entire American form of government is designed to shield the innocent from a mob mentality.

After mentioning many people opposed to the “young earth position” the author of the article, Dr. Kevin R. Henke, then makes some serious charges. “Loechelt (2008c) is a detailed report that argues that Dr. Humphreys’ claims and his underlying assumptions are oversimplistic, inconsistent and erroneous, and that Dr. Humphreys’ helium diffusion data are actually consistent with a date of about 1.5 billion years for the Fenton Hill zircons. Although Humphreys (2008b) and Humphreys (2010) briefly mention Loechelt (2008a; 2008b; 2008c), Dr. Humphreys provides no detailed responses to Dr. Loechelt’s models and his numerous criticisms.”

After claiming “Dr. Humphreys largely recycles the materials in Humphreys (2008b),” Dr. Henke then goes on to make a number of authoritative claims without scientific evidence to back up those claims.

“The old Earth multi-domain model from Loechelt (2008c) better explains helium diffusion in the Fenton Hill zircons than Dr Humphreys’ young Earth RATE model,” writes Dr. Henke. I have three serious questions at this point. 1) Why are the other samples ignored? (Beartooth Gneiss near Yellowstone, WY, Fish Canyon Tuff in Nevada, Jemez, NM) By ignoring these samples, he is implying that the RATE group used a single sample. 2) Though Dr. Humphreys led the zircon project, it was a peer reviewed team effort. Oak Ridge National Laboratories did the original study. Dr Henke is making personal attacks on Dr. Humphreys, not making a scientific evaluation. 3) A jump in the results from 6000 years to hundred of millions of years is difficult or impossible without serious scientific fraud. So under the oft quoted maxim, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof,” Dr. Henke has put himself in a very difficult position.

Dr. Henke writes, “Throughout his documents, Dr. Humphreys claims that the Fenton Hill zircons contain too much helium to be 1.5 billion years old. In response, Loechelt (2008c; 2009a) states that his multi-domain models indicate that Dr. Humphreys’ helium diffusion measurements are consistent with the zircons being about 1.5 billion years old.”

“Why shouldn’t they [the RATE team] acknowledge that subsurface minerals (including zircons) could be substantially contaminated with extraneous helium?” If all samples all over the earth are “contaminated with extraneous helium,” then a catastrophic event occurred all over the earth. This level of a catastrophe would invalidate all dating methods.

Most of the arguments Dr. Henke makes could allow for alternate reading of the data up to allow for the earth to be slightly more than half a million years old. Since half a million years is still not enough time for uniformitarianism, and a tiny fraction of 1.5 billion, I will only address issues that allow for a 1.5 billion year interpretation of the same data.

“Even statements in Humphreys (2000) contradict the desperate efforts of the CreationWiki author(s) to conjure up a line with a 15 kcal/mol slope and salvage Dr. Humphreys’ manipulation.”
” DR. HUMPHREYS FUDGES SOVIET HELIUM DIFFUSION DATA TO SUPPORT HIS AGENDA
Dr. Humphreys’ Manipulation of the Magomedov (1970) Data
Without his log base-10 manipulation of Magomedov’s graph, Dr. Humphreys’ methodology provides ridiculous “creation” dates of only a few decades for Magomedov’s zircons.

This is not science. These are baseless personal attacks. Dr. Henke claims that the RATE team manipulated the evidence to arrive at the conclusion they wanted. Based on these statements, I think that any reasonable person would say that is exactly what Dr. Henke is doing. Dr. Henke is making baseless charges because the data the RATE team provides does not give the results he wants.

Dr. Humphreys explains in some detail that the 1970 Magomedov data shows lead (Pb) retention, not helium retention, in zircons. Helium retention is only a side issue. The Mogomedov data must be evaluated very carefully to extract helium retention from the report.

Dr. Humphreys openly admits making a number of errors in the early tests, since there was no literature of anyone doing the exact same type of procedure. Since creationists believe that God could have created the earth any way he wanted to, there is no need to manipulate or falsify data. The tests results could be off by a factor of thousands of a percent, yet the final conclusion would be the same.

The one theme throughout Dr. Henke’s paper is that the RATE team did sloppy research, falsified data and had a preconceived agenda which drove their results. I say these are the driving sins of Dr. Henke’s article as well.

The only evidence in Dr. Henke offered in his entire paper for a 1.5 billion year date for helium retention is an article by Gary H. Loechelt dated March 18, 2009 and titled  “A Response to the RATE Team Regarding Helium Diffusion in Zircon.” Unlike the rant of poor journalism by Dr. Henke, this is a legitimate scientific paper.

Dr Gary H. Loechelt is a 1995 graduate of Arizona State University, where I attended classes and my wife worked in the Carl Hayden library. Though I do not know who he is and we never met, it is possible that somewhere along the line we were in class together.

This is most of the abstract, “I had previously challenged the scientific merits of RATE’s helium diffusion study, to which Dr. Russell Humphreys, a leading member of the RATE team, responded with his own criticisms. This paper responds to Humphreys’ comments. Three topics are discussed: my old-earth helium diffusion model, RATE’s young-earth helium diffusion model, and a test between the two models. Regarding my old-earth model, computational evidence is presented supporting my interpretation of the diffusion kinetics, contrary to Humphreys’ unsubstantiated claims. Regarding RATE’s young-earth model, a case is made that the apparently good agreement between their model and experimental data is the result of adjusting model parameters to fit preliminary data. Finally, regarding a test between the two models, evidence is presented which shows that the initial heating ramp of a diffusion experiment better supports my old-earth model.”

Dr Loechelt originally wrote on September 11, 2008, “Two fundamental flaws are usually seen in these arguments.  [For a young earth] First, they fail to demonstrate in the common case that experimental uncertainties result in errors of sufficient magnitude to completely invalidate the dating methods in question.  Second, and perhaps more importantly, no credible alternative is given which can adequately explain the well-documented patterns in isotopic ratios which are repeatedly observed in terrestrial, lunar, and meteoric samples (Dalrymple, 1991).”

Dr. Loechelt is correct that all experiments have experimental uncertainties of sufficient magnitude as to invalidate the experiment. The data needs to be examined very carefully. He is, however, in error in saying that just because he does not like the conclusion (the earth is young) therefore the data is invalid.

His is second point, “no credible alternative,” is based on the religious belief in uniformitarianism. Without a worldwide catastrophe, there is no credible alternative. However, a worldwide catastrophe is a very credible alternative.

With the phrase “Perceiving this weakness in the young-earth position” Dr. Loechelt leaves the realm of science and enters religion and politics. Like Dr.Henke, Dr. Loechelt establishes a religious bias in his introduction. While accusing ICR and RATE of manipulation of data to achieve desired results (the earth is young according to the Bible), Dr. Loechelt believes the earth to be old because “mainstream science ha[s] known since the early 20th century, ” His trust is in the bulk of his colleagues worldwide, “mainstream science.”

The RATE team exists because many people worldwide do recognize his next statement to be scientifically valid. “Nuclear decay [i]s the best and perhaps the only viable explanation for the isotopic patterns observed in rocks and minerals today, as well as other related phenomena, such as radiohalos and fission tracks.”

The next statement of Dr. Loechelt’s introduction is simply not true. ” Conceding the occurrence of billions of years’ worth of nuclear decay created a major dilemma for people believing in a 6000-year-old earth.  Since questioning a young-earth position was unthinkable (DeYoung, 2005, p. 174), the only remaining alternative was to postulate that nuclear decay rates were accelerated by many orders of magnitude in the recent past.  The goal of the RATE project was to find scientific evidence to this end.”

So the foundation of Dr. Loechelt’s scientific paper are several religious beliefs. He believes that the earth is not 6,000 years old. While I do not know Dr. Loechelt, others who share that belief manipulate evidence to prove their point. The written goal of the RATE project is “review the assumptions and procedures used in estimating the ages of rock strata.” http://www.icr.org/research/rate/  It is actually the opposite of Dr. Loechelt’s statement.

Attributing something to your opponents which they do not believe is both a logical fallacy and dishonest. Nuclear decay has never been any kind of dilemma, major or minor, for understanding geology. It has been, however, a major tenet  of the secular humanist religion.

This antiscientific prejudice which invalidates Dr. Loechelt’s entire paper is shown by the following statement “Most of the cases documented by the RATE team proved to be weak tests for their hypothesis because the other clocks were not independent (i.e.they were also based upon nuclear phenomena) and showed very little difference in time (i.e. 10-20% instead of 5-6 orders of magnitude).

Let me reword this; “Because we KNOW that the RATE project conclusions are in error by a magnitude of 5-6, anything the RATE project uses as support but only shows an error rate of 10-20%, we know that to be in error also.”

Though there are many technically accurate details included in Dr Loechelt’s paper, it is an exercise in the very fallacy he accuses the RATE team of: believing in a conclusion so strongly that they falsify the evidence to support it. His multi-domain model achieved the results he wanted; therefore it is the correct model. He did not run tests of his own; he simply criticized the work of others.

Those of us who understand the earth to be young do not need the evidence of the RATE project. God could create the earth any way he wanted to. Also, the worldwide catastrophes since the original creation altered the geologic data. There is no accurate record of the past in a mythical geologic column. It is secular humanists who desperately need some type of scientific evidence to shore up their religion.

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Principles of Science Teaching


There are only two ways to teach Science: to teach it as a unified subject or divide it into categories. Unified sounds good but can be overwhelming to students. Subatomic particles like electrons don’t divide themselves into disciplines according to how they behave. In Physics we study electrons in different ways from observing how they behave in Organic Chemistry as electrons generating electrical impulses. By the time they have traveled down nerves and crossed synapses and caused our muscles to move they have gone over into the study of Biology. In fact, a degree in electrical engineering is known as an EEE (electrical and electronics engineer) because electricity and electronics operate so differently on a large and a small scale.

To keep from overwhelming students on high school level and below the sciences are generally divided into different subject areas. In Jr High or Middle School they are simply taught as Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. In High School the subjects are usually broken down into Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Interrelationships are rarely explored in detail because there is no time.

The question often asked about science is, how do you make these subjects Christian? In Life Science, you can emphasize the fact that God created all life, and it did not develop by evolution. We can also study God’s requirements for treating all life, animal, plant, and human. In the hard sciences (those that are testable in a laboratory setting), the Bible speaks just as clearly.  “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb 11:3 NASB).

The spiritual created the material. The supernatural can intervene in and change the material world. Job got boils from head to foot from no physical cause. Jesus walked on water and healed people born blind and lame. Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot.

The material universe is finite, not infinite. Though God is in control, we are responsible as mangers. God will hold us accountable for the way we manage the material world. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26)

The world is relatively young, less than 10,000 years old. It is going to be destroyed by act of God’s judgment because of man’s rebellion. Man cannot destroy the earth.The Bible demands that we have wisdom and skill in handling material possessions but we should not spend all our time efforts and energy developing these things. They are secondary to worshiping God. The material world is not to become our god. We should not become obsessed with seeking material possessions or how to manipulate the material world. How we handle science will determine the quality of our life here on earth. We are limited in what it can do to the material world and it is finite and temporary.

Science is constantly changing, more than any other field. Whatever curriculum a homeschooling family chooses it must be a modern, comprehensive textbook acknowledging the principles God has set forth.

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