Posted tagged ‘natural history research’

Build a Better Engine

April 17, 2014

Over the last few years, I have talked to a lot of people who spew propaganda claiming Bible-believing Christians are “anti-science.” Because people like me are skeptical of the history claims of evolutionists and futurology claims of global warming alarmists, we are labeled “anti-science.” Fortunately, discerning between what is and is not a scientific claim is as easy as understanding a chocolate chip cookie recipe. Unfortunately, some refuse to acknowledge the differences, using the “Christians are anti-science” fallacy to create political division. For others,  it’s just another excuse to hate their neighbor.

One pattern I’ve noticed among the “Christians are anti-science” crowd is that the most outspoken individuals tend to have little or no background in science or engineering. When God gives me an opportunity to talk to unbelievers that promote this agenda, I have learned to 1) let them know Christians like me are most assuredly pro-science, 2) present the Gospel, and 3) encourage them to stop doing what they are doing and get into a science and engineering field.

Something I have encouraged more than one unbeliever to do is “build me a better engine.” Promoting the idea that fossil fuels are causing catastrophic global warming is foolish. In spite of increased atmospheric CO2 levels, there has been no warming for 17 years and 8 months now. If, instead of promoting unscientific future climate ideas and labeling those who disagree as “anti-science,” why not do something meaningful?  Why not be actively involved in designing less expensive, more fuel efficient engines, ones that could reduce air pollution and provide better lives for the poor? Wouldn’t a pro-science, love-your-neighbor mindset be better than an unscientific, hate-your-neighbor one? Well, of course it would, but the former is a difficult concept for those who don’t believe the foolishness of God is wiser than men (I Corinthians 1:25).

Unless God changes their hearts and they repent and turn to Christ, foolish actions are to be expected from unbelievers (Psalm 14:1). Fortunately, there are young Christian men and women out there who love God and His creation, and want to “build a better engine” for His glory. Listen to this testimony from David K., a homeschooling senior that is currently using our DIVE Calculus course (bold emphasis mine):

“Thank you also for all the work you have put into the DIVE CDs. Your teaching is clear, easy to understand, and you explain everything really well. Your lectures have helped me immensely, and I don’t know where I would be in math with out them. I definitely agree with you, in that God has allowed us to understand math so that we can get to know Him better. I love looking in Creation and seeing God Himself! I am a senior in high-school, and I plan to go to college to study Engineering Physics, with mechanical emphasis. I want to eventually perform engine research to produce a more financially feasible engine. I would do this by creating a new energy conversion process that does more work per unit of fuel than engines today. I have always had a love for science and math, and I really look up to people like you who know so much and use it for the glory of God. Thank you for being a great example for me to follow.” 

While David K’s words are incredibly kind and humbling to me, I hope they are an encouragement to you! A lot of people are surrounded by hopelessness and despair, but there’s also a lot of hope out there, too!

Are you a young person like David K who loves the Lord and wants to take what God has made and use it to design things that will serve others? Are you currently an unbeliever? Whoever you are, it is important to be intellectually honest and spread the word that Christians are pro-science. History proclaims this truth, as do present actions of humans all over the world.  So, enough of this blog post, get out there and build a better engine!

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ham, and Nye

February 15, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies

What do chocolate chip cookies have to do with the recent Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate? Well, you’ll see shortly! First though, one conversation the debate stirred up among believers and unbelievers alike relates to differences between what Mr. Ham referred to as observational science and historical science. This is an important distinction, which I think becomes clearer if we refer to the two as scientific research and natural history research. Dr. Mortimer Adler described natural history research in the 1960’s. His ideas have been developed further by Dr. John K. Reed and others, and their efforts help us better understand the limitations of scientific research. More importantly, they help us see the real battle is not “science vs. religion” as some falsely claim, but Christianity vs. naturalism. Naturalism is basically the idea that nature is all there is, and there is no God who created everything.

Papers like this one describing natural history research are helpful, but complex. While thinking about an easier way to explain the differences, I realized cooking might serve as a useful explanatory tool. In what follows, I will use chocolate chip cookie recipes as an analogy to help discern between scientific research, natural history research, and futurology claims.

Scientific research: Like a good chocolate chip cookie recipe, scientific research involves developing a testable, repeatable method that others can follow AND produce similar results. A good recipe produces good cookies for everyone who follows the directions.

Example: The cadmium reduction method is a common procedure used to measure the concentration of NO3 (nitrate) in water. Nitrate is an important nutrient, but can be a pollutant when concentrations are high. If I collected a water sample from a river for nitrate analysis, I should be able to send it to any laboratory in the nation and receive similar results.

Natural History Research: This is like the scientific method in reverse. You have the cookie (the result), but you don’t have the recipe (the method). So, you decide to try and use the cookie to figure out what the recipe is. At present, a Google search for “chocolate chip cookie recipe” yields 49,600 results! Which recipe is the one used to make the batch of cookies shown above? How will you know? Well, you probably won’t know for sure, but through chemical analysis run on your cookie, plus other research including reading historical documents like cook books, you can eliminate a lot of the possible recipes.

Example: Historical documents and eyewitness accounts show Novarupta volcano’s lava dome formed in 1912, about 100 years ago. I had a sample age-dated using the Argon-Argon method, and it showed the lava dome was up to 5.5 million years old! Both methods (historical records, Ar-Ar dating) have the same material evidence, but the massive time differences result because extremely different procedures were used to interpret the data. It is also obvious that, for this example anyways, one interpretive framework, or “recipe” (historical records), is clearly better than the other. They’re not equally valid.

Futurology claims: This is like having an untested chocolate chip cookie recipe. You think it will make good cookies, but you’re not sure yet, especially since your recipe is quite a bit different from some other recipes. Some are more skeptical of your recipe than others.

Example: Confusion over what future climate will look like. Will it be warmer, cooler, or the same? The data show warming in the 80’s and early 90’s, but no warming for 17 years and 5 months now. Nevertheless, media and many scientists continue to paint a grim futuristic story involving catastrophic global warming resulting from carbon dioxide emissions linked to human activity.

The debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was an origins debate. It was not a “Science vs. Bible” debate as some may claim. It was about how the way we view things influences our perception of reality. It was a battle between Christianity and naturalism. So, the next time you hear someone describe Christian and conservative people as “anti-science,” understand that it has nothing to do with scientific things. Christians, as Mr. Ham mentioned during the debate, are not anti-chemistry, anti-physics, anti-technology, etc! That’s irrational, but then so is unbelief, so Christians shouldn’t be surprised when unbelievers say irrational things. God has to change their heart and mind. Only then will they see more clearly.

The “anti-science” mantra is a straw man argument by dogmatic, and often bigoted individuals who want their naturalistic story of the past, present and future told, to the exclusion of other stories. Especially the story found in Scripture. Pray that God will turn the hearts of unbelievers to Him, and that they would trust His story of Creation, Fall, Redemption through Christ alone, and Restoration, which is the greatest story of all! Pray also for Christians who are confused by naturalism, and erroneously seek to find a “middle ground” between Christianity and naturalism in places where it doesn’t exist.

Age Calibration of the Ar/Ar method against Novarupta

September 3, 2013

Novarupta Dome

The world’s largest volcanic eruption in over 100 years occurred June 6-8, 1912 in what is now Katmai National Park in Southwest Alaska. The Novarupta-Katmai eruption of 1912 was 30 times larger than Mt. St. Helen’s 1980 blast.

In 2012, 100 years after the eruption, I had a piece of the Novarupta lava dome (in photo above) age-dated using the Argon-Argon method. While eyewitness testimony and historical documents suggest that Novarupta is no more than 100 years old, the Ar-Ar results concluded the rock sample was up to 5.5 million years old!

Clearly, something is wrong with radiometric methods. My sample is just one in a long line of samples that give huge errors when radiometric dating methods are calibrated against rocks of known age. Radiometric methods may be useful for studying a rock’s environmental history, but are useless for determining absolute ages.

You can read more in my new paper, published in the 50th Anniversary Issue of the Creation Research Society Quarterly: Ar Ar Calibration Against Novarupta

HMNS To Sponsor Religious Intolerance, Bigotry

July 30, 2013

atheist protest signsThis weekend (Aug. 3-4, 2013), atheists plan to display their bigotry and intolerance of Christians at two locations. Their first display of irrationality will be outside the Texas Home School Coaltion’s annual convention in The Woodlands. Then, on Sunday, they will take their show to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, who stands to profit off their bigotry and religious intolerance by renting them Moran Lecture Hall.

In the photo, you can see some of the signs they plan to wave, which make irrational, untrue, and downright goofy claims. The photo is found on the blog of atheist Aron Ra (Warning! Aron is quite the capitalist, fueling his anti-Christian bigotry with “pop-up” advertisements that appear when you click on any links, plus ads to the side of the blog text). If you would like to hear Aron completely reject reason, click here and listen to a clip from an audio debate he had with Sye Ten Brugencate.

Because God is a necessary precondition for rationiality, rejecting God equates with rejecting reason. Atheist Aron Ra makes this obvious in the audio clip, as apparently he uses magic instead of reason to define things. Of course, Aron and all atheists use reason to understand and evaluate anything, which exposes the fact that they know God exists.

Atheist rejection of reason is obvious on their protest signs, too. For example, take a look at their foolish sign that ends with “don’t handicap your kids with creationism.” This is obviously false for many reasons, one of which is that the founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, was a young earth creationist! In his book New Atlantis, he described a “College of the Six Days Work”, dedicated to advancing science for the Glory of God and service of mankind.

It is self-evident to the Christian that from the beginning, God commands Christians to “do science” (Genesis 1:26-28). He lets us know that He created us in His image, so we are obviously designed to be creative, too. A Christian education that emphasizes the creativity of God (rather than man) is more likely to produce a very creative individual, one who may go on to be a great mathematician, scientists, engineer, doctor, etc.

And no, it’s not just 1 job that requires creationism, as another atheist protest sign reads, it’s ALL jobs that require someone who can think creatively!

I am particularly disappointed that the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) does not seem to have a problem with making a profit off of such a religiously intolerant group. Not only are they attacking Christianity, they are attacking one man in particular, Ken Ham. It is un-American to support such religious intolerance and false claims that Christians are “anti-science”. Christians are not anti-chemistry, anti-physics, anti-biology, etc! I am sure that we would all make a lot more headway in scientific things if atheists showed a lot more tolerance for historical interpretations that differ from theirs, and focus on advancing testable, repeatable science instead.

If you are also disappointed that HMNS is profiting off of the anti-Christian “Answers in Science” meeting (you can see the sign announcing the meeting in the photo above), please consider contacting them to kindly but firmly express your displeasure. You can contact them at 713-639-4629, press “2”, and ask for Brad Levy. I asked Brad that if, for example, a group asked to have an “Answers in Science” meeting, and it turned out their meeting was to discuss “scientific” findings that Jewish people were inferior and Hitler was right about wanting to kill them all, would HMNS support that? Brad immediately answered “no”. Brad is Jewish, so it was obvious to him a meeting like that would be about religious intolerance coupled with unscientific claims. But it is also obvious that the atheists “Answers in Science” meeting is about the same things, religious intolerance coupled with irrational claims that Christians are “anti-science”! Unfortunately, Brad and others at HMNS are having a hard time understanding why they should instantly respond “no” to both my anti-semitic example AND to the real “Answers in Science” anti-religion meeting planned for Sunday. Please contact them and help them correctly reason through this.

One reason Brad gave for not canceling the atheist’s room rental was that it is “too late in the game” to ask them to relocate. Well, no it’s not too late to ask the intolerant and bigoted group to have their meeting somewhere else! It is not too late for HMNS to NOT make a profit off of them. Please pass this on to anyone you know who loves science and opposes religious intolerance in America, and do what you can to encourage HMNS to cancel the “Answers in Science” rental of Moran Lecture Hall.

Pray for the atheists, and remember too that while we were ALL yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Pray that God would turn many atheist hearts to repentance this weekend, as He has already done for us who call Him Lord and Savior.

Free thinkers to protest the freedom to think?

July 13, 2013

Really? People who tout themselves as “freethoughts” activists are going to protest free thinking? Where? When? Why? How? What should I do?

Where: Outside the Texas Homeschool Coalition’s annual homeschool convention in The Woodlands.

When: August 2 & 3, 2013. The protesters (atheists) are planning an orientation meeting Thursday, Aug. 1 from 8-9 p.m at the Bayland Community Center.

Why: The freethoughts activists are protesting the freedom of Americans to trust God’s word as true in every aspect, including historically true. For some reason, they are particularly concerned about dinosaurs. They are upset with how Christians like myself interpret dinosaur history!And historical interpretation is what they are protesting, not testable, repeatable science.

The fossil record shows many things lived at the same time as extinct dinosaurs, including extant (meaning still alive) starfish and coelacanths. Apparently, the so-called freethoughts activists say we’re lying about the human-dino coexistence thing because we have yet to uncover a fossil of a human riding a dinosaur while holding a coelacanth that ate a starfish. Unless this fossil grouping is found, then atheists will claim the Bible is a book of lies and Christians who believe it are liars. Therefore, since freethoughts activists apparently never lie, and possess a perfect understanding of history, we can trust them over God’s word! And if we don’t buy into their belief that freethoughts activists are the source of historical truth instead of God, they will make laws to suppress our skepticism. Of course, I’m joking here, but are the atheists? Unfortunately, I don’t think so.

How: So how did all this come about? Well, it started when some Houston-area atheists realized that Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis would be a keynote speaker at the THSC Convention. Because Mr. Ham trusts the authority of Scripture, he trusts the Bible’s account of history over other versions that attempt to insert evolution and millions of years to the story. Mr. Ham blogged about the atheists intolerance to Christianity, as well as their unprofessional debate challenge.

What should I do?: First, pray! Then, do! Pray that if the protest actually happens at all, that it will be peaceful. Pray that all Christians (including you!) will make an effort to show the love of Christ to the atheist protestors, and engage them in thoughtful discussion. And bring your friends who may be considering homeschooling, too!

Pray for opportunities to kindly show atheists the folly in their reasoning about so many things. Using reason, the law of non-contradiction (a law of logic created for us by God) states that you cannot be “A” and “not-A” at the same time. You cannot promote yourself as a “freethoughts activist” or a “skeptic” while at the same time protesting someone else’s right to think freely and be skeptical about the way you think yourself. You can’t be “pro-freethoughts” AND “anti-freethoughts”, “for skepticism” AND “against skepticism”, “pro-science” AND “anti-science”. Only an unreasonable fool would think they could.

Pray for opportunities to show atheists that their protest is not about scientific things, but about historic things. Christians are not anti-science. In fact, click here and watch how to start a Christian homeschool science co-op. Or click here to learn more about my company and our goal to encourage homeschoolers to finish calculus in high school, and add a few science and math CLEP and AP exams to the transcript along the way. Our goal is to raise the standard in math and science education, not lower it to government school levels or worse.

Pray for ways to show the atheists that they cannot be pro-science and anti-science at the same time. Science confirms human life begins at conception. Therefore, in order to protect all human life, we need to protect all babies in the womb, from the moment of conception onward. Anything less is murder. To defend the right to murder a baby in the womb is anti-science and just plain wrong.

Also, in the 21st century, high school and college biology textbooks are becoming bloated monsters. Something has to go to make room for teaching 21st Century advances in biology, including epigenetics and bioinformatics. Many chapters have way too many pages devoted to speculative historical claims about origins, dogmatically asserting only one interpretation (evolutionism). A pro-science person would want to reduce or remove the history to make room for 21st Century science. An anti-science person would reject the 21st Century science in favor of page after page about origins. Ask the atheist which they would choose to include in an already oversized biology textbook, new science or history? If they would rather keep the history, then they are anti-science, which contradicts their claims of being pro-science.

A great analogy I read recently said “To use science to promote atheism is like using a man’s child to prove he does not exist.” Only a fool would say Christians are anti-science. One of God’s first commands to Christians in Genesis 1:26-28 was to think scientifically. Do we have different interpretations of history than atheists? For the most part, yes. But even Christians don’t all have identical interpretations of history, and neither do non-Christians for that matter. Natural history research is not the same thing as scientific research, and not discerning these two is what generates most of the anti-creationism hysteria.  Francis Bacon, the founder of the scientific method and a young-earth creationist, warned us to be careful about muddling the two. The way we each interpret history is something to discuss, not protest. 

Finally, pray for repentence! God changes hearts, and He can change the heart of the most hardened anti-Christian activist. Remember what He did with Paul, a man who was wise in his own eyes until God opened his eyes and allowed him to see the true Source of everything, including reason. Simple logic reveals you cannot claim to be a freethinker, while at the same time protest the rights of thousands of Christian parents to freely consider the best educational options for each of their children. Pray that God will use the THSC convention to remove the blinders from many.

Creationism hysteria strikes again!

May 27, 2013

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Creationism hysteria has struck again, and this time the attack is targeted at homeschoolers. A two-hour YouTube video titled “Home School abuse by Creationists“, shows a recorded Google Hangout of several atheists huffing, whining, head-shaking, and hand-waving over the fact that Christians like me believe Scripture gives an accurate account of history. The atheists are particularly in a kerfuffle over Ken Ham, to the point they are organizing a “protest” at the THSC Home School Convention, August 1-3, 2013, in The Woodlands, TX, where Mr. Ham is speaking. They are also considering protesting the CHEA Home School Convention, June 6-8, 2013, in Anaheim, CA, where Mr. Ham is a keynote speaker.

Some of the women in the video homeschool their own children, and they make some good points about problems with government education, and how other atheists shouldn’t chastise them for wanting to give their children a better education than government schools can. Unfortunately, when it comes to understanding science, or its language, mathematics, these atheists seemed woefully unprepared to give their children anything remotely resembling a proper science and math education.

Where Atheists Always Err

Without fail, hysterical anti-creationists muddle the distinction between a scientific thing and a historic thing. Over and over in this 2-hour video, complaints were made about Christian homeschoolers teaching their kids the “scientific claim” that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time in the past. But this is an interpretation of history, not a testable, repeatable scientific claim! Natural history research is about interpretation of past events, and scientific research is about verifying hypotheses through experiments others can repeat. Scientific research does not need a time machine to verify its conclusions.

At about the 39-minute mark in the video, Shayrah mentioned that this is a “great big war”, and it is “not being handled properly”. Well, that is exactly right! Atheists and Christians alike often foolishly conflate natural history research and scientific research. The creation/evolution battle is a battle over natural history claims, not scientifically testable claims, and the battle is nothing new. It’s an insatiable demand for more evidence, which you will never get enough of. In the film How to Answer the Fool, Sye Ten Bruggencate describes this as an “infinite regress”. So atheist, if you seriously want to advance learning, then don’t waste your time protesting how some Christian homeschoolers interpret history, while simultaneously demanding more and more evidence! Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:2), so have faith(or not) in the evidence from Scripture and nature regarding the past that we cannot see. Then, get beyond your creationism hysteria and get out there and discover some new disease cures, or design a more efficient automobile motor, etc.

At about the 36-minute mark, Lilandra proclaimed that “teaching the earth is 6,000 years old is not science”. Correct again! Teaching ANYTHING about earth history is not scientific teaching. It happened in the past, which is why we call it HISTORY. Natural history research certainly involves the use of scientific instruments, but it is ultimately a historic endeavor, not a scientific one.

If atheists like Shayrah, Lilandra, and her husband AronRa are serious about defusing this “great big war”, then they will make a giant intellectual leap forward and start properly discerning between a scientific thing and a historic thing. Battles over earth age and origins will always be with us, because we don’t have time machines to go back and determine exactly how it all went down. Old earth or young earth, common descent or uncommon descent, we all have the same evidence. The differences come when we try to interpret the evidence. A true freethinker (which is usually the Christian, not the atheist) will teach their child about all the evidence about our past, and let them decide which interpretation they think is the best one. And if the child ends up believing God’s story about history, and trusting Christ as their Savior, what does that matter to the free-thinking atheist? If it matters in the slightest, then they are not true free-thinkers, but rather atheists with an agenda.

Why are hysterical a-theists also a-math and a-science?

Another big disappointment in this video was the lack of any real discussion about teaching children real science and its language, mathematics. There was some discussion about scientific illiteracy, but the discussions almost always reverted back to hysteria over how to interpret natural history. For example, at about the 1 hour, 27 minute mark, Shayrah made the illogical connection that if you believe man and dinosaurs lived together, then you can’t advance the study of disease cures! Whatever.

What is logical though is this: if your child has poor math skills, it will be much more difficult to understand 21st Century science, including finding disease cures. Calculus in particular is probably one of the most important tools for students to learn. Understanding calculus opens a student up to take courses in every department on a college campus. Not knowing calculus shuts them out of most science and engineering degrees.

Not surprisingly though, calculus was not mentioned once in this two-hour atheist history rant. To the detriment of society, most atheists are totally focused on the wrong thing. They say they want more scientific literacy, but they go about it by getting hysterical about, of all things, Christian homeschoolers! Actually, if the atheists in this video were more scientifically literate, they probably wouldn’t be so hysterical about Christian homeschoolers’ beliefs about history.

Borrowing from Christianity to make sense of reality

Here is a syllogism:

Second causes have a first cause.

First causes have no cause.

God is THE first cause.

Therefore, God is without cause.

It is logical to conclude that God is without cause. What is illogical though, is to assume that nothing created everything. If, in the above syllogism, you substitute “nothing” for “God”, then the conclusion is that “nothing has no cause”. In other words, not one single thing is without cause. Everything has a cause! Except God.  So, the atheist is left to teach their child the illogical claim that nothing caused all the atoms, the light, the energy, time, etc.  There was no cause for all the trees, fishes, birds, and there was no cause, and therefore no purpose, for the atheist or their children. Of course, no atheist acts like this, so their idea (atheism) doesn’t match their reality.

Since the atheist must believe in a life without cause or purpose, they must borrow from Christianity to do anything, including science. The Christian understands that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search a matter out (Proverbs 25:2). Created in His image, both male and female (Genesis 1:27), human “kings” are therefore creative, too, and designed with the ability to discover the plan and purpose God put into everything He made.

Scientific investigation is about making observations and discovering the pattern, purpose, and predictability of things. Science is about understanding what “is”, not about interpreting what “was”, and then getting hysterical when others disagree with your interpretation of what “was”. Doing science is about finding out how the world works, which is actually one of the first commands God gave humans in Genesis 1:28. He told us to take dominion, which the wise Christian interprets as being a good steward of what He made. Scientific investigation is founded in biblical Christian thinking about the world, not atheistic thinking.

Homeschooling is for everyone

To the atheist considering protesting either the THSC or CHEA conference, I urge you to not stand outside picketing, but come inside and learn! Come with a truly freethinking attitude, and get along with people you disagree with regarding earth history. But join us in our pursuit to build scientific knowledge, and set your standards for math and science education higher than the government schools do.

To anyone considering homeschooling or currently homeschooling, check out my company’s catalog to learn more, or stop by my booth at either the CA or TX conference. I would be happy to discuss science, math, and natural history with you! My math and science courses are for all homeschoolers, including the tolerant, freethinking atheist!

Whatever you do, don’t come to protest Christian interpretations of earth history. That puts the focus on the wrong thing, and makes you look like a scientifically-illiterate fool. Go after math and science knowledge for you and your children instead, but remember this: you can be incredibly smart, understanding all mysteries and all knowledge, but if you have no love for your fellow man, God considers you as nothing (I Corinthians 13:2). Thanks for reading this!

The Revolution of Creationism

November 9, 2012

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A recent article in GSA Today, titled “The Evolution of Creationism“, is just one more of a multitude of biased and deceptive articles mocking and misinterpreting what God’s word and His works say about Earth history. Claiming to be the lead “Science Article” for the November 2012 issue, this should be your first clue that author David R. Montgomery and GSA’s editors are unwisely mingling scientific things with historic things. You see, researching Earth history, including Noah’s Flood, is not a scientific endeavor, but a historic one. The study of the unobservable past is called “history”, not “science”.

Natural history research is not the same thing as scientific research

Anyone, creationist or otherwise, who attempts to interpret unobserved past events is doing history research. Montgomery’s article is no “Science Article”, as the GSA Today publication proclaims, it is a history article, and a dogmatic one at that. It is pointless to write a “science article” against creationism, which is an interpretation of the past, and then bash creationism as “unscientific”. Creationists, but even moreso university professors like Dr. Montgomery, need to better discern between natural history endeavors and scientific ones.

The abstract to Dr. Montgomery’s article claims 21st Century creationists have “abandoned faith in reason and cast off a long-standing theological tradition that rocks don’t lie.” Words cannot describe the amazing untruth of this statement. The truth however, is that the author includes a paltry list of references, and the most recent one by a creationist author is from 1961! So Dr. Montgomery is either deliberately ignoring, or is honestly ignorant of, the revolution of creationism since Whitcomb and Morris’ 1961 book, The Genesis Flood.

God’s word calls Christians to “reason together” (Isaiah 1:18), so our goal is to consider both faith and reason. What many Christians have not “abandoned faith in” is Scripture as both a true and reasonable historical account, and this is evident in Christian churches, private schools, and home schools across America and around the world. Neither have we abandoned faith in man’s ability to unlock mysteries of past events. And we haven’t abandoned faith in even the most dogmatic suppressors of Truth, that they might repent and be baptized, for the promise of salvation is for as many as the Lord our God will call (Acts 2:38-39).

Everybody has an interpretive framework about the past

Earth history is always interpreted within a framework. In Dr. Montgomery’s article, he claims that it is only creationists who “evaluate facts by how well they fit their theories”. This statement does nothing to improve discernment between scientific and historic endeavors, and adds confusion regarding the word “theory”. Plate tectonics, for example, is a theory that can be tested. Is there evidence that crustal plates exist and that they are moving at observable rates? Yes. Is it reasonable to assume the present rates are about the same as rates in the past? Yes. But is it also reasonable to assume that present rates are not anywhere near the same as they were in the past? Yes! Could we also reasonably assume that something entirely different, like vertical tectonics, occurred in the past, and that the current plate movements are just a “settling in” of past movements? Yes, we can do that, too! So now we have one scientific theory, plate tectonics, but multiple interpretations regarding how it may or may not have worked in the past.

Dr. Montgomery’s article mentioned plate tectonics, but he only described one use of it (present is key to past) for interpreting the past. Why didn’t he discuss the other two, the creationist models of Catastrophic Plate Tectonics and Vertical Tectonics? Well, because these don’t fit his interpretive framework, so he ignores them and in so doing suppresses the truth about them.

The truth is, all natural historians evaluate facts by how well they fit their interpretive framework. A young-earth creationist sees a new paper on radiometric age dates proclaiming millions of years, and assumes some sort of error has been made. Likewise, someone who believes the earth is older will reject a radiometric age if it doesn’t fit well in their framework.

Creationist research journals are more open-minded

In the 21st Century, there are many creationist organizations, as well as peer-reviewed research publications, including the Creation Research Society Quarterly, Answers Research Journal, Acts and Facts, and Journal of Creation. A quick look at the references of just about any research paper in these journals will reveal a diverse mix of both creationist and non-creationist writings.

If Dr. Montgomery had bothered to practice the diversity that the GSA claims to preach, he would have known immediately the modern revolution of creationism also believes “the rocks don’t lie”. The truth is that nobody, creationist or otherwise, believes the rocks are lying. That’s absurd. Every rock has a story, but knowing with 100% certainty what the true story is is impossible. So we end up with different interpretations, because there are different frameworks with which we interpret the past.

Another false claim made by Dr. Montgomery’s article is his belief that creationists see “geology as a threat to their faith.” Of course, geology should not be a threat to anyone’s faith. The only threat is dogmatic scientists and educators like Dr. Montgomery, who ignore the evidence presented by creationists, and then act like creationists have “abandoned reason”. This is bad medicine for impressionable young Christians who go off to universities where men and women like Dr. Montgomery teach, trusting their professors’ words over God’s word and abandoning faith in Christ as savior. And that should be a warning to Christian parents to pick your children’s college carefully, and train them to be prepared to always give an answer for the hope that is in them (I Peter 3:15).

The gospel offends and threatens

Dr. Montgomery and other like-minded individuals see creationism, and more importantly, Christianity, as a threat to their own beliefs, so they suppress and ignore the truth (Romans 1:18). For them, it is not about having an open mind regarding interpreting past events. It is more about power, and having the power to control information and then deliver it to a large amount of people who trust their authority. Unfortunately, in Dr. Montgomery’s article at least, it seems GSA is abusing their power by controlling information, while stifling diversity of thought and religion.

Interestingly, dogmatic control of information reared its ugly head in the 1900’s when J. Harlan Bretz, a man who never claimed to be a creationist, published research on the Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington. He believed the scablands formed by catastrophic, post-glacial floods, yet it took 40 years for his ideas to gain wide acceptance. Why did it take so long? Well, mainly because geologists at the time feared that a catastrophic interpretation just might provide evidence for another catastrophic event, Noah’s Flood.

Today, most geologists are slightly more accepting of catastrophism than their 20th century counterparts, so the differences between creationists and others regarding Earth’s features really boils down to this: Are today’s crustal features a result of mostly high-energy, short-term events, or mostly low-energy, long-term events? There is evidence for both, but the former interpretation fits better within a biblical framework of earth history.

Creationism is not going away

There is evidence the earth is old, and evidence the earth is young. Always has been, always will be. The differences arise not because “science has proven” one over the other, but because of the nature of the problem at hand, which is that we simply cannot replicate unobservable past events. The young earth/old earth, creation/evolution controversy is not going away because ultimately, this is not a scientific debate, but a debate about how to interpret both Scripture and nature’s historic accounts. Because man is imperfect, our historic interpretations are imperfect. But this Christian, scientist, and natural historian believes that both Creation and Providence proclaim the earth is thousands, not billions of years old, and that it was created, from nothing, in 6 days.

Let’s pray that those who treat history like history will increase, and those who promote dogmatic and bigoted responses to these different interpretations will decrease, being transformed by the renewing of their minds in Christ (Romans 12:2).