Scientific Creationism Fact or Fiction?

Introduction

Thank you! As Mike said I am Donald Whisenhunt and I am chemist with General Electric Corporate Research and Development in Niskayuna.

First, I want to make a small disclaimer. I am not a biologist and my knowledge of evolution is about one question deep. On the other hand I have made a study of creationism and probably know more about creationism than I do evolution -- of course creationism is much simpler than evolution. So tonight I am not going to give you a detailed explanation of why creationism is incorrect. In fact I may try to do just the opposite. Most people would consider many creationist arguments absurd. What I want to do tonight is educate you about the creationist arguments, the different flavors of creationism, who the major people and organizations are, what they hope to gain and what their strategies are. At the end of the talk I will do a couple minutes of a dramatic reading to illustrate how reasonable their arguments can sound (this also gives me a chance to placate the actor in me) and finally I will take questions, they can either be directed to me or to my creationist alter ego to see how he would answer.

Feel free to interrupt with questions at any time.

Definition Of Terms

Before I get too far I need to define some terms. First Creationist -- In general there are two types of creationists the first type is the young earth creationist. These people believe that the Bible is literal true in all respects and that the creation story as told in Genesis is factual, that the earth is only a few thousand years old, that God created all plants and animals in their fully developed forms and that a worldwide Noah type flood occurred. The second type of creationist believes that the earth is old but does hold that at least man was created in God's image and did not evolve from earlier forms of life. The type of creationist also believes that while some limited evolution may occur -- no new species have ever come out evolution. The latter type of creationist is much more common than the former, but generally less vocal and evangelical.

Now for some evolutionary terms.

A lot of confusion arise from the misunderstanding of what evolution is and is not. A good concise definition is.

``In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.'' - Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974

It is easy to see why there might be confusion. Two dictionary definitions are.

``evolution: ...the doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower..'' - Chambers ``evolution: ...the development of a species, organism, or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state; phylogeny or ontogeny'' - Webster's

These are simply wrong. A simple but crude example is that you are different than your parents. While this is not strictly evolution, since evolution only applies to population, but your gene frequency is different than your parents, this process spread over the population is evolution. This is why scientists discuss evolution as a fact and a theory. The fact that the gene frequency of populations change is fact, how this process brought about the diversity of life we see today is the theory.

It is generally at this point that creationists will start with micro- evolution/macro-evolution argument. They will say that my definition is useless and what we are really talking about is the evolution of a new species ( and they would give some example like an ant evolving into a dandelion). By the way I had this very argument with someone (via snail mail) after I wrote a letter to the editor of the Times Union supporting evolution.

Anyway, we need to define the terms micro and macro evolution. One convenient definition is that micro evolution is the change within a species

For example:

The English moth, Biston betularia, is a frequently cited example of observed evolution. [evolution: a change in the gene pool] In this moth there are two color morphs, light and dark. H. B. D. Kettlewell found that dark moths constituted less than 2% of the population prior to 1848. The frequency of the dark morph increased in the years following. By 1898, the 95% of the moths in Manchester and other highly industrialized areas were of the dark type. Their frequency was less in rural areas. The moth population changed from mostly light colored moths to mostly dark colored moths. The moths' color was primarily determined by a single gene. [gene: a hereditary unit] So, the change in frequency of dark colored moths represented a change in the gene pool. [gene pool: the set all of genes in a population] This change was, by definition, evolution.

Macro evolution is the evolution of a new species. This requires that we define what we mean by species. There are a couple of definitions but a useful one for this discussion is that populations are of different species if they are unable to produce fertile offspring. So for example a horse and a donkey are different species because their offspring, a mule, canít reproduce. Using this definition there are examples of species that have been observed.

For example,

Rapid speciation of the Faeroe Island house mouse, which occurred in less than 250 years after man brought the creature to the island. (Test for speciation in this case is based on morphology. It is unlikely that forced breeding experiments have been performed with the parent stock.) Stanley, S., 1979. Macroevolution: Pattern and Process, San Francisco, W.H. Freeman and Company. p. 41

I gave this very example to the creationist I was corresponding with (by the way he did not consider himself a creationist, he just said that evolution did not have all the answers) he responded that this was silly, the new species was still a mouse. So I asked what level of change was he looking for? He said he wanted an example of a creature changing from one kind to another. Of course creatures don't change, populations do -- but he brought in a new word "kind". This is where most creationist end up. They refer to basic kinds of animals that were created and then microevolution has led to different species of mice, but they are still the basic mouse "kind". I have heard no creationist give a testable definition of a "kind". And this where the conversation stopped.

This is good summary of my knowledge of evolution. I don't plan to discuss other subjects like natural selection, genetic drift or mutations. Let me sum up evolution by stating that evolution is a fact, just a gravity is a fact. The theory of evolution is the foundation of modern biology, medicine and other disciplines. There is also, no significant debate in the biology community on the main points of evolution.

General Beliefs

Let's get back to Creationism and in particular Young Earth Scientific Creationism. While there are many groups and they will disagree on specific points their basic beliefs are as follows:

Genesis is literal true: The earth and the universe were created in 6 24 hours days - 6,000-10,000 years ago. Noah's flood did occur and the only survivors were the people and creatures on the Ark Dinosaurs and Man lived at the same time All plants and animals were created at the same time. And more than this they believe that the scientific evidence supports these facts. They don't believe that God is deceptive (for example he makes the earth look old to test our faith), no they believe that if the scientific evidence if examined correctly it will prove that the earth is young and evolution is false.

It is this belief here that has caused me to pick up creationism as something to learn more about and watch, because what is going on here is not just a group of people choosing to have faith in a creation story, but these people actually believe that the scientific evidence is in their favor. The only way they can do this is by practicing what I can anti-science. This is the direct perversion of science by people who are studied in the field. I group this separately from pseudo-science in that, in my experience, people who do not have significant training in science practice pseudo-science. I know this is not universally true, but it is my working definition.

Just to illustrate the point that these people are serious and can have an influence on our lives. In 1981 Arkansas and later Louisiana passed laws stating that creationism should be taught in the science high school class to give equal time to alternate theories on origins. These laws were later struck down by the Supreme Court, not because teaching alternate theories on origins is unconstitutional but the court determined that the creation story was not science but religion. The advocates of this law have since been spending their time trying to build a scientific case for the biblical creation story.

People and Organizations

Let's look at some of the major groups advocating creationism. I got to this point in my preparing my talk and I went to list of creationist web sites. I was stunned to see that there are 65 creationist web sites.

The institute for Creation Research is one of the largest scientific creationist organizations. They actually have a museum in San Diego (that I recently visited), a graduate school and self publish research supporting creation and/or debunking evolution. Their faculty consists of individuals with Ph.D's in Biology, Biochemistry, Geology, Atmospheric Science, Hydrogeology and Astrophysics. Three members deserve special attention they are Duane Gish, Henry Morris and John Morris (Henry's son). These are the three principle debaters for the group. I will discuss debating a bit later.

Another group is the Center for Scientific Creation run by Dr. Walt Brown. They publish text books and sell videos and other materials. Dr. Brown also has a standing request for a written scientific debate about origins that he says has gone untouched for 15 years.

Then there is Creation Science Evangelism, run by Dr. Kent Hovind. Since 1990 he has been offering $10,000 to anyone who can give empirical evidence for the theory of evolution. The lack of interest in this money has been construed to mean that evolution is nothing more than a religious belief. Of course when you look at his terms it is not surprising no one has taking this up. He says you need to "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that:

The universe came into being by itself by purely natural processes (known as evolution) so that no appeal to the supernatural is needed.

He has conveniently redefined the theory of evolution to mean the big bang theory.

He goes on to state that:

Evolution is presented in our public school textbooks as a process that:

1. Brought time, space, and matter into existence from nothing.

2. Organized that matter into the galaxies, stars, and at least nine planets around the sun. (This process is often referred to as cosmic evolution.)

3. Created the life that exists on at least one of those planets from nonliving matter (chemical evolution).

4. Caused the living creatures to be capable of and interested in reproducing themselves.

5. Caused that first life form to spontaneously diversify into different forms of living things, such as the plants and animals on the earth today (biological evolution).

As stated none of these things is evolution. Evolution did not cause anything.

Answer's in Genesis is run by Ken Ham and is based in Australia, however they do have a presence in the US and in fact are planning to open a creationist museum in northern Kentucky. In late 1998 they announced via their newsletter and radio ministry that they hope they "will change the way science is taught in public schools". They will start "Creationist Clubs" to help students defend there beliefs about creation and counter the information they receive about evolution in science classes. The clubs will revolve around the theme "Were you there?" that students will be encouraged to use when confronted by evolutionist teachers.

Two other people deserve mentioning at this point. They are Philip Johnson and Micheal Behe. Phillip Johnson is a professor at the UC Berkeley Law School, he wrote the book Darwin on Trail in the early 1990's, while it is not clear if he is a young earth creationist he examined the evidence for and against evolution and decided that the weight of evidence was against evolution. Of course as a non-scientist his handling of the scientific data has been highly questioned. Micheal Behe is a Biologist at Leigh High University and wrote the book Darwin's Black Box. Again it is not clear if Behe is young earth creationist or not but his thesis is that there are structures in nature that are "irreducibly complex". By this he means that these structures (the eye for example) could not have evolved because there is no way to reduce the complexity of the eye to a simpler structure and retain any function. If you remove one part of the eye or our blood clotting system it stops working. Therefore the conclusion is that these structures could not have evolved and must have been created -- by some "intelligent designer". This treats the evolution of body structures in a very simplistic way. There are multiple ways to get to the same point and every example in his book has been explained.

Strategies

Now I want to turn to the strategies of creation scientists. If you every find yourself confronted with a well versed creationist, like perhaps at school board meeting or debate, here are some of the strategies they will employ.

First, as I showed above they will redefine evolution to suit their particular bent on creationism. In particular they will include things that are not evolution. They will include the origin of the universe (the big bang theory), they will include the origin of life on earth (abogensis), they will include the lack of transitional fossils (archeology). None of these things are actually evolution but by casting a wide net they require that who ever they are talking to be an expert in a number of fields.

Then they will say that evolution is an atheistic, naturalist, humanist worldview and is held by atheists as a religion. They will then go on to list all of the bad things in the world caused by atheism and of course by analogy evolution. So evolution is not only bad, biased science but it is amoral and destructive.

They will in general not produce evidence in favor of a young earth or creation, but rather they will try poke holes in evolution as they have defined. When back into a corner on this issue they will claim that neither creationism or evolution are truly scientific theories since they both occurred in the past and we have no way of knowing what happened in the past. And the evidence we do have supports creationism at least as well as it support evolution.

They also like to quote evolutionists. They take quotes out of context and change there meanings for example.

``The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer.'' - Dr. Richard Dawkins (Department of Zoology, Oxford University, UK), 'The necessity of Darwinism'. New Scientist, vol. 94, 15 April 1982, P. 130. (The Revised Quote Book, P. 6) By lifting this brief sentence out of its original context the editors of The Revised Quote Book make it sound like Dawkins is in favor of teaching the instantaneous creation of animals and plants as part of a "two model" approach to "origins." However, any reader paying attention to Dawkins' use of the word, "Superficially," and to the title of Dawkins' article, "The Necessity of Darwinism," must realize that the editors have ignored the context of the quotation. In context, Dawkins wrote: "The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer. But Charles Darwin showed how it is possible for blind physical forces to mimic the effects of conscious design, and, by operating as a cumulative filter of chance variations, to lead eventual to organized and adaptive complexity, to mosquitoes and mammoths, to humans and therefore, indirectly, to books and computers. ``Darwin's theory is now supported by all the available relevant evidence, and its truth is not doubted by any serious modern biologist... ''

And when things get tight they will out right lie, even about there degrees. Remember Dr. Kent Hovind I mentioned earlier. I found this on a site that tracks questionable creationist credentials.

Kent Hovind is a young-earth creationist who gives frequent public lectures on evolution and creationism. He is well-known for repeating the claim that the remains of a basking shark found by Japanese fishermen off the coast of New Zealand were actually those of a recently deceased plesiosaur. Hovind claims to possess a masters degree and a doctorate in education from Patriot University in Colorado. According to Hovind, his 250-page dissertation was on the topic of the dangers of teaching evolution in the public schools. Formerly affiliated with Hilltop Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Patriot University is accredited only by the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, an accreditation mill that provides accreditation for a $100 charge. Patriot University has moved to Alamosa, Colorado and continues to offer correspondence courses for $15 to $32 per credit. The school's catalog contains course descriptions but no listing of the school's faculty or their credentials. Name It and Frame It lists Patriot University as a degree mill [3].

The final strategy is the debate. Because creationism is so much easier to understand than evolution and the wide net cast by creationist to cover so many scientific topics they love the debate format. Scientists often times end up looking bad because they can't explain why the creationist is wrong in 4 sentences or less. And often times the debates are held by Christian organizations so the audience is already friendly to the creationist.

Beliefs in Detail.

Let's now look at some of the arguments that scientific creationist use. What follows comes mostly from their own web sites.

If Genesis is literal true then Cain must have married a sister or close relative.

The Bible teaches clearly that all human beings are descendants of Adam and Eve, thus there had to be inter-marriage between brother and sister. There would have been no risk of this causing harmful deformities in the offspring, because mutations (accidental changes in the hereditary information) need time to occur and accumulate in a population. Thus the first few generations would have inherited perfect or near-perfect genes, largely undamaged by mutations. In the pre-Flood world, harmful radiation from the sun and other cosmic sources may have been considerably more filtered than it is in the post-Flood world. Increased radiation and depletion of oxygen in the atmosphere (subsequent to the lowering of the atmospheric pressure) may have contributed greatly to man's rapid degeneration. With the passing of many centuries, many of these harmful, degenerative changes became added to the human race, so by the time of Moses it was absolutely necessary to have laws against incest, as were given to mankind (Leviticus 18-20).Today there would be even more chance of deformity/disease in the offspring of such a union than in Moses's time. Additionally, because of the long life-spans (Adam lived to be 930 years old), Adam and Eve's descendants may have been numerous and widely dispersed before Cain even took a wife. Although all of the inhabitants of the land of Nod would have been descendants of Adam and Eve, who had many sons and daughters, Cain may not have married one of his sisters, but rather a descendant of one of his siblings.

Where did all the water for Noah's Flood come from?

There are two main theories about this. That the water was I a vapor canopy in the sky that circled the earth. This canopy is created with a lot of things, like protecting Adam and Eve's descents from UV radiation hence allowing them long lives. This is also convenient in that it is easy to imagine this vapor canopy coming down in 40 days of rain. One problem is that it does not explain where the water went after the water recessed. The second theory holds that the water was contained in massive underground caverns under high pressure and during Noah's flood fissures appeared that caused large spouts of water that came down similar to rain. During and shortly after the flood this underwater chamber mostly collapsed and the water is now our oceans. Both groups would argue that the geologic structures we see around us are the result of a catastrophic process not a gradual one.

Why are least complex fossils found at the bottom of the geologic column and the more complex ones found at the top? And why are there no dinosaur bones mixed up with human bones?

Most creationist won't touch this, but Duane Gish came up with the theory of hyrodological sorting, such that during the Flood when every thing was mixed up oceans the simplier animals fell to the bottom first and larger animals settled later. And as for dinosaurs and man not being found together Gish has claimed that this is because larger, smarter animals headed to higher ground when the flood began and dinosaurs not being as smart as man were taking over by the waters first and buried. This might work well for mammals, but it does not work so well for prehistoric plants being found under modern day plants.

Given the fact that there were only 7 people after the Flood is there enough time for the human population to have grown to 5 billion people?

Answer: Yes, there was enough time from the flood for the population to grow to the estimated value at the time of Christ. But the entire solar system could not contain the population that would have developed in a million years.

Estimates of the total human population at the time of Christ center at about 300 million.1 If the Flood was at about 5000 B.C. and if the average length of a generation was forty years, Noah's family of eight people would reach 300 million by Christ's time if each family had an average of just 2.3 children. This is an average annual population increase of only 0.35 percent, whereas the present world population growth is almost two percent annually. Thus the theory that the human race had been multiplying for a million years or more seems farfetched, even considering the fact that modern medicine and technology were not available. For example, with an annual growth rate of only 0.01 percent, in a million years the population would be over 1043 people, enough to fill 3500 solar systems solidly with bodies out to the orbit of the planet Pluto.

This assumption of a simple exponential rate of increase is an oversimplification, however. Occasional population collapses caused by environmental changes or disease could greatly reduce the overall rate of population increase. We should be cautious about any dogmatic assertions, for occasional plagues and other catastophes could greatly decrease the cumulative population increase. Nevertheless, it does seem unlikely that humans could have lived here for a million years without long ago completely overrunning the globe.

To state that this is an over simplification is an extreme understatement. Also, given this time line and growth rate there would have been only about 20,000 people in the entire world at the time the pyramids of Egypt were built.

What are some positive evidences for a young earth?

Answer: Yes, helium gas in the atmosphere points to a young atmosphere and earth. Just as many dissolved salts are building up in the oceans via drain-off of continental rivers, in a similar manner helium-4, the most abundant isotope of helium(the nuclei of which contain two protons and two neutrons), is flowing into the atmosphere from at least three sources: (1) principally helium-4 produced by radioactive decay of uranium and thorium in the earth's crust and oceans; (2) from cosmic helium raining on earth, mainly from the sun's corona and in meteorites; and (3) from nuclear reactions in the earth's crust caused by cosmic rays. In addition, the earth's original atmosphere may have contained helium-4. At the present rate of flow of helium into the atmosphere, the content of helium in the atmosphere could have been built up in only a small fraction of a billion years. This difficulty for an old earth has yet to be solved.

Of course the problem is that Helium gas is light enough to escape into space, so amount of He would build up no matter how old the earth is.

d. Lord Kelvin, the eminent British physicist of the past century, was a Bible-believing Christian. He showed that if the earth were once in a molten state, the time for cooling, from the first appearance of an initial solid crust to the present temperature could not have required more than about 22 million years. More recent studies show that even taking into account the heat produced by radioactive decay in the earth's crust, the cooling time could not be more than about 45 million years.5 This is simply not enough time for evolution to occur, in the opinion of evolutionary scientists.

This is very interesting evidence, in that this does not point to a 10,000 year old earth, but they still site it as positive evidence for creationism.

b. The average depth of sediments on the ocean floors is only a little more than one-half mile. If the total weight of these sediments is divided by the estimated annual addition of sediments from the continents, the age thus calculated for the oceans is only about 33 million years. This is less than one percent of the currently accepted earth age of 4.5 billion years. In this calculation a correction has been made for the possible subduction (burial in the crust) of sediments underneath sliding tectonic earth plates. At present rates of erosion the continents should erode down to sea level in only about 14 million years, but there is no proof that they have yet been worn down even one time. Another way to put it is that billions of years of erosion and sedimentation should have loaded sixty miles of non-existent sediments on the ocean floors.8 From another perspective, the present load of sediments was probably mostly deposited very rapidly during the period of the global flood of Noah's time.

Once again this is not 10,000 years and they have neglected the fact the crusts rises and falls and material gets recycled. And large parts of our country used to be ocean and now they are not since they have risen over time relative to other areas.

Finally, there is the issue of complexity. The earth and all of its organisms are too complex to have developed by chance. Many, creationist have done calculations and have come up with numbers like the probability of life arising on earth by chance is 1 to a number with 40,000 zeroes. Of course it is not accurate to say that life arose by chance but a better illustration of the failure of this type of argument is to consider where each of you is sitting right now. What are odds of each you being exactly were you are (small I would say). Let's consider all 5 billion people on the earth and their positions, again the likely hood of any particular combination is small, but it does not mean that it does not happen or that it requires divine intervention to occur.

Now I will do a little dramatic reading. It is in a question and answer format so for the sake of the reading I will assume questions have been asked from the audience. I will read the question and the give the answer.

Dramatic Reading

So can you tell us a little about scientific creationism?

Creationist: Thank you,

Now first of all let's get a clear idea of what the theory of evolution is all about. The definition of evolution according to Julian Huxley is: "Evolution ... can be defined as a directional and essentially irreversible process, occurring in time, which in its course gives rise to an increase of variety, and an increasingly high level of organization in its progress. Our present knowledge indeed forces us to the view that the whole of reality is evolution, a single process of self-transformation." Now, first of all, ladies and gentleman, please note, according to evolutionary theory, everything has come into being by a process of self -transformation. Now certainly, not all evolutionists are atheists; as a matter of fact most are not. But the theory of evolution is a non -theistic theory {3}. By definition, God is excluded from this process. He had nothing to do with it. It was a process of self- transformation.

Notice furthermore, it is a directional process. It goes from disorder to order. Disorder created order. We went from simplicity to complexity, to ever and ever higher levels of organization. According to the Bing Bang theory all the energy and matter in the universe, everything in your body, everything in the entire universe, was crammed together in a huge cosmic egg or subatomic particles and radiation. Now of course, nobody knows where the cosmic egg came from perhaps the cosmic chicken laid the cosmic egg. But anyhow, it exploded, and out of this huge explosion, hydrogen gas was generated. And some helium. And these gases expanded out in the vast stretches of the universe. Now at that time, that's all there was. Hydrogen gas was the universe. And somehow from this hydrogen gas stars created themselves, galaxies created themselves, our solar system created itself, life evolved into everything living today, and that has ever lived, including people. According to this theory. Someone has said that if that's true then we could say that hydrogen is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas, which if given sufficient time, becomes people {4}. And of course this is precisely what evolutionists believe, because there was nothing but hydrogen then, now we have people, obviously the only place we could have come from is from this hydrogen gas. I, as a scientist I find that notion to be absolutely incredible, I don't know how anybody could even believe such a thing, but they do believe it. Now notice furthermore, according to this theory, everything is a product of evolution, not only the galaxies and stars and our solar system and all living organisms, but our consciousness, our ability to remember the past and plan for the future, as a matter of fact our very faith in God is nothing more than a product of evolution, beginning with this hydrogen gas {5}.

I accept the Biblical account of creation that we find in the Bible: God did create the heavens and the earth and we read in the Bible that on the fourth day God created the sun and the moon and the stars and that when that period of creation was over - six days creation was finished - it has not been continued for billions of years of time. Now I want to make very clear, that I do not believe that any theory on origins, whether it be creation or evolution, can properly be called a scientific theory. Now both of these positions have scientific characteristics, of course. But there obviously were no human witnesses to the origin of life or the origin of any living organisms. These events happened only once. They happened in the unobservable past and you cannot construct scientific theories about events of that kind. I've never seen god create anything, and [evolutionists] obviously have never seen a fish evolve into an amphibian or an ape evolve into man.

Now there are at least two ways of looking at the past. One is this evolutionary world view that the earth is billions of years old, and another world view is that perhaps the Bible is right, and that it does represent accurate history. But in a real sense either view is outside the realm of science and into the realm of faith.

Narrator: But can't radiometric dating tell us how old things are?

Arriving at a "date" depends upon a chain of assumptions. The validity of the calculated date can be no stronger than the weakest link (weakest assumption) used in the calculation. Let us look at one of the assumptions made by most Evolutionists in using these systems? It is not clear that radioactive decay rates, the foundation of estimating ages, are as constant as most scientist believe.

Scientific measurements of decay rates have only been conducted since the time of the Curies in the early 1900s. Yet Evolutionists are boldly making huge extrapolations back over 4.5 billion years and more. There is some evidence that the rate of radioactive decay can change. If the decay rates have ever been higher in the past, then relatively young rocks would wrongly "date" as being old rocks.

And, clearly we can't know what effect the Flood had on radioactive decay rates.

Narrator: Can't we see stars that are millions or billions of light years away? Doesn't that mean it took billions of years for that light to reach the earth?

Creationist: Obviously, this assumption is impossible to prove, however reasonable it might seem at first. If light was faster in the past, then it would be possible for stars to be both very distant and very young. This could be achieved either by a direct change in light-speed at some time after creation, or by a yet-unknown physical principle which caused the light velocity to slow down to today's. An interesting is a monograph published by creationists Norman and Setterfield in 1987. They have accumulated all the known measurements of c for the last 300 years, and claim that when tabulated, these show that c was not constant in this period, but still declining, seemingly tapering off to a constant level in about 1960.

Narrator: You mentioned before that you believe Noah's Flood actually occurred?

Creationist: Yes, of course. It is clearly described in the Old Testament.

Narrator: How is that possible given what we know today about geology?

Creationist: I think the story of the flood clearly has its miraculous aspects to it; but by and large, the kinds of things that are mentioned in the scriptures regarding Noah's flood are natural processes. I mean we're talking rainfall and erosion and deposition; and these sorts of things are present processes that are studiable and understandable. And in those areas, by all means, I do believe that the flood account is compatible with the geologic data. Now we can't prove the flood; we didn't see the flood. It's totally outside the realm of our experience, and so we can only argue by analogy of that. My study of geology has shown me that by and large all of the rock units that are on the earth's surface were laid down by catastrophic processes. All of geology is beginning to move toward this catastrophic interpretation of the rocks...

Narrator: What about the fossil record. Don't we see plants and animals change, evolve, as we go deeper into the earth crusts?

Creationist: I have two strong issues with the fossil record as it is currently interpreted by archeologist and geologists, remember fossils, like rocks can not speak the evidence has to interpreted. The first is that they do not take into account the effects of a global world-wide flood. Many geologist are coming to understanding that a global flood is a better explanation for the geologic column and the fossil record than the evolutionists point of view.

Second, on the basis of evolution we would expect the fossil record to produce a tremendous number of transitional forms. After all we have a quarter of a million different fossil species in our museums today, a quarter of a million different fossil species. If evolution is true, tens of thousands of those things should be of undoubted transitional forms, I mean beyond dispute, there'd be no quarrel. If evolution were true, the evidence would be so overwhelming in our museums there'd be absolutely no question about it. On the other hand if creation is true, we'd expect each one of the creation kinds, what we might call basic morphological designs, or basic types, we'd expect each one to appear abruptly, fully formed, with no indication that they had evolved from a common ancestor. And that is exactly what we see. Now Darwin realized the fossil record was an embarrassment to his theory, but the expected the missing links to be discovered. Well we're a hundred and forty years after Darwin, and the missing links are still missing.

Narrator: If what you are saying is true then the majority of scientists are either gross incompetent or they are hiding the truth.

Creationist: In spite of evolution's continued scientific failure, it persists among many scientists and others. Some scientists believe in evolution by conscious choice, but most believe it because they are under the mistaken impression that there is no viable alternative. Evolution is not the best explanation for: the diversification of life forms; the direction of change in any organism; the observations in the fossil record. But, if evolution becomes the only idea that can be brought to bear on the subject of the origin of life and the overall theme of science education, then all children in the public schools of America are destined to be brainwashed in a philosophy of science that cannot stand the rigorous test of scientific falsification, repeatability, or verification. We have, in this case, taken away the right of our students to think creatively and critically. This is not only unconscionable, but harmful, and certainly not in keeping with the proper method, mode, and purpose of science education for our public school system.

Narrator: Do you have any closing words for us:

Creationist: Yes the point I am trying to make is that scientifically, the evidence supports the fact of creation. There has to be a creator external to the natural universe who introduced the complexity, the organization, structure, and information within it. It could not be self-generating. That's what we want our school kids to hear. We are not proposing to go into the schools and teach them about Noah's ark, Adam and Eve, six day creation and all that. We are not going to do that. We just believe that our school child have the right to hear all the of scientific evidence on the subject of origins.

I will close with the reason I feel creationist feel that they must defend a literal interpretation of the bible. I will use the words of Robert Ingersoll spoken more than 100 years ago.

``One of the foundation stones of our faith is the Old Testament. If that book is not true, if its authors were unaided men, if it contains blunders and falsehoods, then that stone crumbles to dust.''

Thank you very much for having me here and I would be pleased to take any questions.