VIDEO The Fossils Still Say No: Tumultuous Triassic Tussle

BY JEFFREY P. TOMKINS, PH.D. *  | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2021

The Triassic system of the geologic column is an enigma to evolutionists because it represents both a continuance of many life forms found buried in lower strata combined with an alleged and unexplained recovery from a convoluted mass extinction. In addition, many unique life forms make mysterious sudden appearances in the Triassic without any previous evolutionary ancestry. And this massive convoluted fossil assemblage is also accompanied by signs of the initial breakup of a once-existent mega-continent.

However, the evolutionary confusion over this curious quandary of catastrophically buried fossils and tectonic teasers makes perfect sense when we apply a model of progressive burial by ecological zonation and plate tectonics associated with the global Flood of Genesis.

Permian-Triassic Extinction Not So Clear

As I mentioned in my previous article in this series, one of the chief enigmas evolutionists have at the base of the Triassic is an apparent mass extinction event at the Permian-Triassic (P-T) boundary.1 The enigma lies in the fact that the timing or the order of buried plants and animals is very convoluted and drawn out in evolutionary deep-time thinking. Many Permian marine organisms were abundant right up to the P-T boundary, but land life was much less represented in the sediments—especially land plants that allegedly exhibited a more extended extinction, with their fossils extending well into the Triassic.

In other words, why is there a more sudden and extensive marine creature extinction compared to the spread-out land extinction? And why is the timing different between land animals, land plants, and marine creatures regarding the overall event, which according to evolutionists took about 15 million years? Furthermore, why did this event occur in the middle of a global megasequence (Absaroka) and not at one of its boundaries?

Dinosaurs Appear

Coelophysis

Dinosaurs are clearly the rock stars of fossil land creatures, and this diverse group of reptiles makes their first appearance suddenly in the Triassic with no evolutionary precursors.2-3 The alleged first of such reptiles is the unique Eoraptor, a small and lightly built bipedal creature that was about five feet long. A nearly complete Eoraptor fossil was found in northwestern Argentina. Eoraptor had a variety of different tooth shapes, which led scientists to suspect that it was omnivorous. Although it’s claimed to be about 230 million years old (Ma) and from the Late Triassic, it actually occurs in sediments smack dab in the middle of the Triassic.

In nearly the same strata, but in a Triassic quarry in New Mexico known as Ghost Ranch, another notable complete bipedal dinosaur known as Coelophysis was found. (It’s New Mexico’s state fossil.) In fact, the Ghost Ranch site has produced one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur fossils. Coelophysis is believed to have been carnivorous because it had curved claws on its hands and a slim head with lots of sharp teeth. It was about twice the size of Eoraptor, growing to 10 feet long. Because many Coelophysis fossils have been dug up in the same locations, scientists think they may have lived together in herds, although their rapid burial en masse points to the global Flood.

Plateosaurus

In slightly higher Triassic strata dated about 210 Ma, another interesting type of dinosaur called Plateosaurus was found. This was yet another bipedal dinosaur but even more massive in size than Eoraptor or Coelophysis. This creature was up to 23 feet in length and was thought to weigh about three tons. It had a thick, powerful, long tail and coarsely serrated teeth for chewing plants. Interestingly, it had a curved claw on its thumb that may have been used to grasp branches or even for defense.

Fossils for this creature have been found in diverse places in Central and Northern Europe and Greenland. One Plateosaurus bone was even found 70 miles offshore of Norway below 1.5 miles of Flood sediment.4 As with Coelophysis, large numbers of Plateosaurus skeletons have been found in the same location, suggesting herd behavior and a catastrophic burial en masse.

Dicynodonts

Dicynodontia is a very broad and diverse taxon of different kinds of creatures called therapsids that I introduced in my previous article.1 They first appear in the mid-Permian and then become more numerous in the upper Permian and continue on through the Triassic. The dicynodonts are not fully part of the great P-T extinction enigma because they selectively survived the extinction that wiped out other creatures.

Dicynodonts are considered to have been herbivorous and had two tusks, hence the name, which means “two dog tooth.” Evolutionists have classified them as non-mammalian therapsids, having traits that are mostly reptilian with some mammal-like features. Their diversity is emphasized in over 70 genera, with the different types varying in size from as small as a rat to as large as an elephant.

One of the most unusual dicynodonts buried in the Triassic is Placerias. Some have speculated it looked like a cross between a hog, a cow, and a turtle. Like other dicynodonts, it is believed to have been a herbivore. It had a horny beak and a pair of downward-pointing tusks. Paleontologists speculate that it ate low-growing plants and used its tusks and beak to grub roots and tubers out of the ground.

Lisowicia

Yet another unusual dicynodont is called Lisowicia. It had an estimated length of more than 14.7 feet and a height of 8.5 feet, yielding a body mass of an incredible nine tons. Not only does its massive size baffle paleontologists, but it has forelimbs indicating an erect gait (upright limb posture) completely different from other dicynodonts that were characterized with sprawling forelimbs giving a posture like extant reptiles. Its massive size and unique form appeared suddenly in the fossil record of the Triassic and utterly defied the preconceptions of evolutionists.

Marine Reptiles

The Triassic also contains a whole host of creatures known as marine reptiles. Most of them looked like ocean-adapted lizards, with long bodies, necks, and tails.2-3 One well-known type is Keichousaurus, which had a very long neck and is often found as complete articulated skeletons. This makes them very popular among fossil collectors.

Another sea-lizard type of creature was the thalattosaur, which had a long, paddle-like tail and slender body. Interestingly, a thalattosaur was found in the belly of another creature claimed to be a marine reptile called an ichthyosaur, which looked more like a dolphin than a lizard.5 Truly, the diversity of marine creatures buried in Triassic sediments is mind-boggling and also contains many different types of fish, reptiles, arthropods, and gastropods.

Breakup of Pangaea and Dinosaur Tracks

The Institute for Creation Research’s global megasequence research has shown that the Triassic system also represents the beginning of the breakup of the pre-Flood mega-continent Pangaea. This was accompanied by massive pulling apart (rifting) of the outer rocky part of the earth’s crust (lithosphere), creating deep basins where material from the continental edges and Flood sediments broke off and collected. One striking example is known as the Newark Supergroup, which contains an assemblage of Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic sedimentary rocks that protrudes (outcrops) in various places along the East Coast of the United States.5 These rift basins were formed as North America began to separate from Africa during the Flood.

While evolutionists like to claim the Newark Group is non-marine and formed over millions of years, the rocks are composed of rapidly deposited material, as evidenced by the fact that the breccia (angular fragments), sandstone, siltstone, and shale are poorly sorted. In other words, they were buried so quickly and violently that gravity and water transport had little time to sort the material by particle size or round off the edges.

Furthermore, even the fine-grained red beds of the Newark Group feature ripple marks, mud cracks, and even raindrop prints that are best explained by the ebb-and-flow nature of the global Flood. But even more revealing are the numerous dinosaur footprints that are found without fossilized body remains.6 While this conundrum of lots of tracks and no bodies mystifies evolutionists, a Flood-based interpretation indicates that dinosaurs and other creatures were fleeing en masse to higher ground and left tracks as they traversed these freshly filled, soft sediment basins.

Explaining the Triassic Enigma with the Global Flood

The global Flood involved the formation of increasingly more new seafloor and plate activity, escalating the inundation of the land with tsunami waves and marine sediments. As I mentioned in my previous article, Permian strata leading up to the alleged mass extinction of marine life actually represented the increasing accumulation and systematic burial of the offshore ocean ecosystems.1

The land life later entombed in the Triassic rocks represented the increasing water height and subsequent burial of tropical and semitropical forest biomes farther inward on the Pangaea mega-continent. This is why we see such a rich diversity of plant-eating creatures that were living in these lush forests, along with a rich diversity of reptile-like creatures in general that would have been well adapted to such environments.

In the global Flood model of progressively higher water levels and deposition of megasequences, the Triassic represents part of the deposition of the Absaroka Megasequence.7 The Absaroka began in the Late Carboniferous, continued through the Permian, and is responsible for the entire deposition of the Triassic.

Also, according to the Flood model the pre-Flood mega-continent Pangaea would have started to break up in the Triassic. The breakup is primarily visible where modern North America and Africa first separated from each other. This is why global maps of the oceanic lithosphere show Triassic strata along the ocean edge at these points of separation along the continental margins of North America and Africa.8

While the prolonged and out-of-order extinctions coupled with plant and animal life that never went extinct across the P-T boundary make little sense in light of evolution, they integrate seamlessly with a model of progressive burial over the year-long global Flood of Genesis.

References

  1. Tomkins, J. P. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Global Flood Solves Permian PerplexitiesActs & Facts. 50 (6): 10-12.
  2. Benton, M. J. 2015. Bounceback: Tetrapods of the Triassic. In Vertebrate Paleontology. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  3. Prothero, D. R. and R. H. Dott. 2009. Evolution of the Earth, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  4. Clarey, T. and J. J. S. Johnson. 2019. Deep-Sea Dinosaur Fossil Buries Evolution. Acts & Facts. 48 (8): 10-13.
  5. Jiang, D.-Y. et al. 2020. Evidence Supporting Predation of 4-m Marine Reptile by Triassic MegapredatoriScience. 23 (9): 101347.
  6. Wicander, R. and J. S. Monroe. 2016. Historical Geology: Evolution of Earth and Life Through Time, 8th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
  7. Clarey, T. 2020. Carved in Stone: Geological Evidence of the Worldwide Flood. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 234-255.
  8. Müller, R. D. et al. 2008. Age, spreading rates and spreading symmetry of the world’s ocean crustGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 9 (4): Q04006.

* Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Cite this article: Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. 2021. The Fossils Still Say No: Tumultuous Triassic TussleActs & Facts. 50 (7).

https://www.icr.org/article/the-fossils-still-say-no-tumultuous-triassic/

VIDEO Walton’s Lost World Obscures Biblical Clarity

BY RANDY J. GULIUZZA, P.E., M.D. *  | WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2021

“Now, that was as clear as mud!” is an exclamation we’ve heard before. We picture a frustrated person having just heard a convoluted account where, despite their best efforts, they can’t figure out what a speaker is trying to say. We chalk such episodes up as the unintentional consequence of the speaker’s hasty thinking or a lack of experience in communicating.

But how do we explain the experience where our clear understanding of a topic has been thoroughly muddied by the end of a talk or a book? Christians who have read some of The Lost World series of books by Dr. John Walton of Wheaton College have complained to me that, in effect, their formerly clear understanding of Genesis has now been turned to mud.1 These are only anecdotal accounts. I would never imply they can be extrapolated to a generalization of everyone’s experience with Walton’s materials. But I’ve heard enough from some very thoughtful people that I needed to read Walton’s material to see why it’s having this effect on some people.

The explanations of Genesis contained in Walton’s writings, in my view, constitute a classic illustration of the practice of obfuscation. Pronouncing that word leaves someone a bit tongue-tied. That’s altogether fitting. The result of a concept being obfuscated for someone is that their understanding of it has also been tied up in knots. Merriam-Webster says the verb obfuscate means “to throw into shadow: darken.” It adds that the word is related to “obscure” and that obfuscation is a practice of being “evasive, unclear, or confusing.”2 In Walton’s case, his accounts obscure or distort the meaning of the words in Genesis away from how they would normally be understood in common usage. He does this first by his claims that the intended meaning of Genesis cannot ever truly be known by anyone except the original author, and second through his habitual use of ambiguous language.

In addition, Walton does not teach that Christians can reliably arrive at a correct biblical interpretation by giving the words their normal meaning in their normal context. He insists that outside information supplied by historians or scientists is essential. Thus, his teaching is contrary to the doctrine of biblical clarity.

Obfuscation can be unintentional such as coming from a confused child or intentional such as with a criminal trying to thwart the police with a bewildering alibi. Does Dr. Walton intend to obscure the normal understanding of the historical accounts in Genesis to make them compatible with today’s consensus of evolutionary thought? Only the Lord Jesus knows his intentions.

However, looking strictly at outcomes, we ask: Is the intended meaning of Genesis obscured by Walton’s writings? Yes, it is. Using Walton’s approach, Genesis is now compatible with his belief in theistic evolution. We’ll review a few examples of how that happens and why Walton’s conclusions are incompatible with biblical Christian faith.

Walton Obscures Genesis with Professional Jargon

Explanations that are chock-full of professional jargon—uncommon words that most people don’t know—are a powerful means of obfuscation. Even though laypeople may not fully understand what a professional person says, for many of them jargon sounds both impressive and intimidating. So, they tend not to question what a professional says and, by faith, defer to their expertise.

In Walton’s case, his professional jargon consists of his appeal to the ancient writings of Near Eastern people groups that supposedly lived contemporaneously with biblical writers. For Walton these writings (and his interpretations) are extremely important. When introducing The Lost World of Adam and Eve, he explains, “In recent decades, the availability of documents from the ancient world has provided a remarkable resource for our reading of the biblical text. We dare not neglect these tools when they can contribute so significantly to our interpretation.”3 Most people cannot read or access Near Eastern writings. That’s why it’s a “lost world” that’s opened to them by faith in Walton’s beliefs about the meaning of these ancient documents. Thus, much of what Walton discusses is another form of jargon to most readers.

Walton seeks to get into the mind of writers of ancient Near Eastern literature. To him, this is an essential tool to get into the mind of biblical writers. Walton adds, “Biblical authority is tied inseparably to the author’s intention. God vested his authority in a human author, so we must consider what the human author intended to communicate, if we want to understand God’s message….We must understand how the ancients thought and what ideas underlay their communications.”4

For Walton, what a biblical author intended to write isn’t determined by the words they wrote. The discovery of this lost world enables him to present his version of why it is that biblical writers wrote things that are often so contrary to what Walton now believes the writers were actually thinking. Bible passages become less clear. Why? Because Walton’s new conclusions are often the exact opposite of what readers might conclude for themselves when taking the Bible at face value. But when readers insert a vital interpretive filter between themselves and their Bible, then understanding is restored. That filter is Walton’s beliefs about the purposes for which ancient people wrote.

When readers fail to grasp the conclusions Walton derives through this obscure approach to Bible interpretation, they may tend to blame themselves as being too simple to understand his complicated thoughts. Thus, Walton’s claim to open a lost world by employing ancient literature as jargon can be used to impress lay readers while simultaneously leaving them confused.

Convoluted Explanations Characterize Key Topics

Some Christians trying to understand what Walton is trying to say end up frustrated or confused. One case in point is Walton’s convoluted explanation of his central theme. He says:

Those who take the Bible seriously believe that God has inspired the locutions (words, whether spoken or written) that the communicator has used to accomplish their joint (divine + human) illocutions (which lead to an understanding of intentions, claims, affirmations and, ultimately, meaning) but that the foundational locutions are tied to the communicator’s world. That is, God has made accommodation to the high-context communication between the implied communicators and their implied audience, so as to optimize and facilitate the transmission of meaning via an authoritative illocution. Inspiration is tied to locutions (they have their source in God); illocutions define the necessary path to meaning that can be defined as characterized by authority.5

Walton’s main idea is inherently convoluted. Even a summary describing how Bible students must mentally zigzag between different Middle Eastern ages and places is wordy. Here is my attempt: The Bible’s words and concepts are largely unintelligible to anyone living beyond the time period of individual authors unless they possess ancient writings that enable them to project their mind back to the epoch of the biblical author to discern how nearby people groups were formerly thinking in order to figure out what a biblical author was intending to say in his era so that we can properly interpret today what the author actually wrote.

Trying to convince other Christians that what they clearly read in the Bible isn’t truly clear after all is a tough sell. It takes a lot of verbiage along twisted pathways to convince Christians that they—and innumerable Christians before them—have been confused about what the Bible has said all along.

A Helpful Tool: Walton’s Reaction to a Creationist Movie

In 2017, Thomas Purifoy Jr., who produced the creationist movie Is Genesis History?, was invited to host a showing of it at Wheaton College in Illinois.6 The movie asserts that Genesis is a true historical record that anyone can understand. Prior to the showing, Dr. Walton wrote counterarguments to the movie’s conclusions. In them he plainly summarized his suppositions. These were distributed to students and are now available online.7

Walton explains why “in many ways” asking if Genesis is real history “is just the wrong question because it forces us to operate with our modern categories, definitions and worldview regarding what constitutes ‘history.’”7 His paper should be read in its entirety. In a few of Walton’s conclusions with his own emphatic words, he says:

  • When we use the term “History,” what we are thinking about is a modern construct not known in the ancient world.
  • No such thing as a historian existed in the ancient world.
  • Genesis is better understood as narrative rather than as a record of historical events.
  • Genesis narratives are not God’s narratives (that would require dictation theory); they are human narratives that carry God’s authority….It is not provided so that we can reconstruct the creation events addressing the scientific understanding of today or meet demands of our modern worldview. Authority is vested in the interpretation of the narrator, not in the event or in our ability to reconstruct or verify the event.
  • Many believe that the genre of “history” is essentially a presentation of objective data that…takes the text’s details as if they were a series of objective data points….[However] reconstructing the event is not the pathway to truth because the target truth is not inherent in the event but in the interpretation of the event.
  • Genesis narratives are interested in a deep reality that transcends events and history. Their significance is found not in their historicity but in their theology; not in what happened, or even in asserting that something did happen, but in why it happened. What was God doing?…Behind the question of whether Genesis is “real history” is a concern for the truth of Genesis. Truth is found in the narrator’s interpretation, which we accept by faith, regardless of whether or not we can reconstruct the events.7

Walton’s Conclusions Are Contrary to Biblical Christian Faith

One doesn’t need access to Near Eastern literature to engage Walton’s propositions. We should resist the temptation to want to jump into his arena to wrestle with him. First, we do not want to surrender the power of starting with a biblical position. Walton’s conclusions are false at face value, as the Bible itself demonstrates. He says that there weren’t historians in Moses’ day. Really? Moses himself was one. God repeatedly gave instructions to remember, record, and pass on history to future generations. For instance, “these are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the LORD. And these are their journeys” (Numbers 33:1-2).

Second, as you read the Bible, ask yourself: Are our spiritual ancestors really that different from us? Not really. We find their worries, reliefs, joys, fears, and most of their thoughts are just like ours today…that’s why we can identify with them.

Walton’s teaching is contrary to what I learned as a student at Moody Bible Institute. I was taught that the biblical writers were controlled by the Holy Spirit during writing. This truth is termed biblical inspiration, and this doctrine has both breadth and depth. This meant that inspiration encompasses all the canonical books of the Bible and extends down to the words themselves.

I was instructed at this level of detail because some people were claiming that they held to inspiration but that inspiration applied only to the concepts taught in Scripture and not the words. People who want the Bible to say whatever they would like it to say don’t seem to ever want words to have their normal contextual meaning. Walton’s view that the historical accounts recorded in Genesis may not have even occurred is not just a deviation from someone’s traditions, as he claims, but is contrary to the doctrines of inspiration, inerrancy, and clarity.

The Institute for Creation Research’s position is that the doctrines of inspiration and clarity go hand in hand.8 We teach that Christians can reliably arrive at a correct biblical interpretation by giving the words their normal meaning in their normal context. Outside information may be helpful, but it’s not essential for interpretation.

Our Christian ancestors had many solid theologians and good doctrine long before Walton’s “lost worlds” were discovered. We believe in educating others that the sharp differences between ICR and some other organizations are not strictly over science or inspiration but over biblical clarity.

References

  1. Walton, J. H. 2009. The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press; Walton, J. H. 2013. The Lost World of Scripture: Ancient Literary Culture and Biblical Authority. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press; Walton, J. H. and D. B. Sandy. 2015. The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2–3 and the Human Origins Debate. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press; Walton, J. H. and T. Longman III. 2018. The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology, and the Deluge Debate. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.
  2. ObfuscateMerriam-Webster Dictionary. Posted on merriam-webster.com.
  3. Walton and Sandy, The Lost World of Adam and Eve, 12.
  4. Ibid, 15.
  5. Ibid, 17.
  6. Purifoy, T. How did Theistic Evolution Bring 3 Wheaton College Students to the Ark? Is Genesis History? Posted on isgenesishistory.com, accessed May 3, 2021.
  7. Walton, J. Is Genesis Real History? Posted on isgenesishistory.com.
  8. Guliuzza, R. J. 2018. Engineered Adaptability: The Need for Biblical Clarity. Acts & Facts. 47 (8): 17-19. See also Tomkins, J. P. 2020. Walton’s Cosmic Temple Is a House of CardsActs & Facts. 49 (7): 16-19.

* Dr. Guliuzza is President of the Institute for Creation Research. He earned his M.D. from the University of Minnesota, his Master of Public Health from Harvard University, and served in the U.S. Air Force as 28th Bomb Wing Flight Surgeon and Chief of Aerospace Medicine. Dr. Guliuzza is also a registered Professional Engineer and holds a B.A. in theology from Moody Bible Institute.

Cite this article: Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D. 2021. Walton’s Lost World Obscures Biblical ClarityActs & Facts. 50 (7).

https://www.icr.org/article/walton-lost-world-obscures-biblical-clarity/

Willful Blindness in the Sciences

BY RICHARD E. SIMMONS III | February 16, 2021

In my research, I have found that willful blindness is quite common among atheists, particularly in the world of science.

One of the most prominent astronomers in the last century was Dr. Robert Jastrow. He received his PhD from Columbia University and then worked for a number of years at NASA, until taking a position at Dartmouth, where he taught for 11 years.

Jastrow was agnostic, but spoke of willful blindness in his book, God and the Astronomers. He described how scientists react when they encounter evidence they do not like. He says:

“Their reactions provide an interesting demonstration of the response of the scientific mind—supposedly a very objective mind—when evidence uncovered by science itself leads to a conflict with the articles of faith in our professions. It turns out that the scientist behaves the way the rest of us do when our beliefs are in conflict with the evidence. We become irritated, we pretend the conflict does not exist, or we paper it over with meaningless phrases.”

This is what so often happens in our lives when we encounter evidence that contradicts a long-held belief—we pretend the conflict does not exist. We become willfully blind and, in the process, become irresponsible in what we believe.

In his book The Creator and the Cosmos, astrophysicist Hugh Ross shares an interesting event in the life of Albert Einstein.

“It was 1916 and Albert Einstein didn’t like where his calculations were leading him. If his theory of General Relativity was true, it meant that the universe was not eternal but had a beginning. Einstein’s calculations indeed were revealing a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space. This flew in the face of his belief that the universe was static and eternal.

Einstein later called his discovery “irritating.” He wanted the universe to be self-existent—not reliant on any outside cause—but the universe appeared to be one giant effect. In fact, Einstein so disliked the implications of General Relativity—a theory that is now proven accurate to five decimal places—that he introduced a cosmological constant (which some have called a “fudge factor”) into his equations in order to show that the universe is static and to avoid an absolute beginning.”

Clearly, Einstein did not like the direction the evidence was taking him. To believe that the universe had a beginning, that it was finite, and therefore there was some type of cause behind it all would disrupt his life as a scientist. For this reason, he came up with a fudge factor. However, according to Ross this fudge factor did not last long.

“In 1919, British cosmologist Arthur Eddington conducted an experiment during a solar eclipse which confirmed that General Relativity was indeed true—the universe wasn’t static but had a beginning. Like Einstein, Eddington wasn’t happy with the implications. He later wrote, ‘Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me… I should like to find a genuine loophole.’

By 1922, Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann had officially exposed Einstein’s fudge factor as an algebraic error. (Incredibly, in his quest to avoid a beginning, the great Einstein had divided by zero—something even schoolchildren know is a no-no!) Meanwhile, Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter had found that General Relativity required the universe to be expanding. And in 1927, the expanding of the universe was actually observed by astronomer Edwin Hubble (namesake of the space telescope).

Looking through the 100-inch Hooker telescope at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble discovered a “red shift” in the light from every observable galaxy, which meant that those galaxies were moving away from us. In other words, General Relativity was again confirmed—the universe appears to be expanding from a single point in the distant past.

In 1929, Einstein made a pilgrimage to Mount Wilson to look through Hubble’s telescope for himself. What he saw was irrefutable. The observational evidence showed that the universe was indeed expanding as General Relativity had predicted. With his cosmological constant now completely crushed by the weight of the evidence against it, Einstein could no longer support his wish for an eternal universe. He subsequently described the cosmological constant as ‘the greatest blunder of my life,’ and he redirected his efforts to find the box top to the puzzle of life. Einstein said that he wanted to know how God created the world. ‘I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.’”

Do you see what Einstein had been doing? Initially, he was allowing his beliefs to shape the evidence in his research. Eventually, he realized that he must be honest and allow the evidence to shape his theories. Therefore, he changed his belief about the beginning of the universe and in the process Einstein discovered the theory of relativity.

This is why, later in life, Einstein made a very important observation about science. He said, “Most people think it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong. It is their character.” Einstein recognized that the key to being a great scientist is to follow the evidence and the truth, wherever it leads you.

One of the most influential books of science in the last century was Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It was about the progress of scientific knowledge. Kuhn was a superb historian who focused on the great advances of science through which he called “revolutions,” which are so often hindered by holding on to old beliefs.

I think it is so easy to believe that scientists are immune to the influence of their own beliefs and biases as they do research. We have this presumption that scientists are dispassionate and unbiased individuals who are committed to the truth and always simply report the facts.

Kuhn’s book points out this fallacy, as his research into the history of science reveals that scientists are clearly not objective. He provides dozens of historical cases that prove researchers are far from being neutral and unbiased, particularly in testing and evaluating results. He makes it clear that scientists have a real tendency to hold on tenaciously to their theories, even though they face contradicting data.

The late Dr. Herbert Schlossberg, a leading historian and scholar, made this observation:

“Thomas Kuhn concluded that at a given time any scientific community will always have in its structure an element that is more will than intellect, a product of personal history.”

Back in August of 2014, David Brooks wrote an article in The New York Times titled “The Mental Virtues.” He refers to the book Intellectual Virtues by Robert Roberts and Jay Wood. In their book, they speak of the importance of having intellectual courage—the willingness to hold unpopular views. In the article, Brooks then makes reference to Kuhn:

“Thomas Kuhn pointed out that scientists often simply ignore facts that don’t fit with their existing paradigms, but an intellectually courageous person is willing to look at things that are surprisingly hard to look at.”

To gain some insight into the psychology of belief, consider C.S. Lewis. As a skeptic, he was quite surprised that his very intelligent friend J.R.R. Tolkien believed not only in God but Jesus as the Son of God. As Lewis began his spiritual search, he continued to gain new insights that were clearly in conflict with his current atheistic beliefs. He then became acutely aware of something that was happening to him. His intellect was taking him in a direction that his heart did not want to go. His mind was being drawn to that which he recognized to be true, but his heart was resistant. He later realized he was attracted to atheism because of the moral freedom it provided. He saw Jesus as someone who wanted to interfere with his life.

Lewis wrote an essay titled “Modern Man and His Categories of Thought.” Lewis remarks on how irrational people were becoming in their approach to their beliefs. In the audience where he was lecturing, he began to notice, “it is almost impossible to make them understand that I recommend Christianity because I think it is objectively true. But people today are simply not interested whether a religion is true or false…” Ultimately, he says, they are more interested in how it will impact their lives and their lifestyles.

In a recent Christian Post article, Op-ed Contributor Michael Murphy writes that “we are living in a time unprecedented in the lives of our forebears” and comments that “truth (is) being redefined.”

Do we not care about what is true? Are we afraid to look reality in the eye because it may take us in a direction we don’t want to go? I believe this is one of the great flaws in our human character. We stubbornly hold on to our beliefs because they generally reflect how we want life to be rather than how life actually is. For this reason, evidence does not seem to matter.

My challenge to you is to follow the truth wherever it leads, always remembering that truth is your friend. It enables you to believe responsibly. It leads to your ultimate well-being.

Get your copy of Richard’s newest book Reflections on the Existence of God on Amazon or at reflectionsontheexistenceofgod.com

Richard E. Simmons III is a Christian author, speaker, and the Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership, a non-profit, faith-based ministry in Birmingham, Alabama. His best-selling titles include The True Measure of a Man, The Power of a Humble Life, Wisdom: Life’s Great Treasure, and his newest book, Reflections on the Existence of God.
Follow Richard on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @thecenterbham. Tune in to Richard’s Reliable Truth Podcast on your favorite podcast app

https://www.christianpost.com/sponsored/willful-blindness-in-the-sciences.html

4 branches of the River in the Garden of Eden

4 Branches in Eden’s River

January 25, 2021Author: hephzibahgarden

The Garden of Eden had a river flowing through it that had 4 branches. The Lord God had kept the river to nourish the entire garden.

Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there as well. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:10-14. NASB

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit is like the experience of being in a river. Eden is compared to the Presence of God and the Garden to the Church. From this we gather that the river of the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Presence of God and nourishes the Church.

The 4 branches of the river in the Garden of Eden were:

  • Pison
  • Gihon
  • Hiddekel/Tigris
  • Euphrates

Pison

The meaning of Pison is God’s strength. Jesus was filled with the strength and power of God during His time on earth. With the help of God’s strength, Jesus went about doing good in every place He went to. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38.

Gihon

The meaning of Gihon is the Grace of God. The grace of God helps us to move forward in our spiritual lives. The Scripture teaches us that God grants His grace to those who are humble. But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6. It is a gift of God to mankind.

Hiddekkel/Tigris

The meaning of Hiddekkel is wisdom of God. What do I mean by this? It means God in his wisdom made it impossible for people to know Him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, it pleased Him by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. But, for those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24.

Euphrates

The meaning of Euphrates is the holiness of God. Peace and holiness run in parallels. We grow in God’s holiness when we follow peace with one another. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14. God has called us unto holiness and not to uncleanness. and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]. Ephesians 4:24.

May the Lord help us.

Be Blessed.

Is Evolution ‘Fake Science’?

BY JAKE HEBERT, PH.D. *  | MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021

The organization BioLogos, which advocates that Christians accept secular evolutionary claims, recently published an online essay entitled “How to Spot Fake Science.”1 The not-too-subtle implication of the article is that Christians skeptical of ‘consensus science’ claims are being duped by pseudoscience. Based on their published material, BioLogos clearly thinks that criticisms of evolutionary theory fall into this category. Ironically, however, a number of the stated characteristics of pseudoscience apply to evolutionary claims.

According to the article, one characteristic of pseudoscience is that “explanations are made up after the fact to fit whatever outcomes are observed.”1 Closely related to this is the tendency to invoke “built-in explanations for the cases when the idea fails.”1 Evolutionists do this all the time. This tendency to “explain away” contradictory data was illustrated by a recent article purporting to explain why crocodiles have remained the same for 200 million years.2,3 The very first sentence in the news article claims that “a ‘stop-start’ pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs.”2 Of course, if evolution were true, one would expect creatures to not remain the same for hundreds of millions of years. Creationists would argue that crocodiles have not evolved simply because evolution isn’t true. The fossils show abrupt appearance, stasis, and extinction—not evolution.4

Another trait of pseudoscience is that “scientific-sounding terms or jargon are used in imprecise, incorrect, or undefined ways.”1 Evolutionist invocations of ‘natural selection’ is a classic example of this. When one reads the evolutionist technical literature, it is very clear that evolutionists are ‘fuzzy’ regarding the precise meaning of this term, despite its centrality to evolutionary theory. Is natural selection real, or just a metaphor?5 Does it act on a population or on genes? ICR President Randy Guliuzza has repeatedly shown that evolutionists routinely use the phrase natural selection in contradictory ways, even within the same papers.6-7

Creation author David Coppedge has rightly ridiculed evolutionary storytelling as the claim that “stuff happens.” He observes that

. . . the Stuff Happens Law (natural selection) explains everything. It explains why evolution is fast sometimes, and slows to a halt at other times. It explains why animals get bigger sometimes, and smaller sometimes. There is no observation in biology that cannot be explained by the two words, “stuff happens.”8
But if evolution explains everything, does it really explain anything? One can always come up with an after-the-fact ‘story’ to explain observations that contradict evolution. But according to the BioLogos article, isn’t that one of the characteristics of pseudoscience?

Another characteristic of pseudoscience is that “[i]deas from outside the realm of science are presented as scientifically established.”1 Evolutionists do this with a vengeance, especially in the field of cosmology. Speculative ideas such as inflation theory are invoked to solve problems with Big Bang cosmology even when there is zero evidence for those ideas. Some evolutionists are willing to invoke other (unobservable) universes, in part because it’s demanded by inflation theory,9 and in part because they (mistakenly) think that it removes the need for a Creator.10

The subject of origins is inherently religious or philosophical, and some evolutionist philosophers of science have acknowledged that evolution is a religion.11 Some supernatural (“beyond nature”) cause must be invoked to explain our universe. Evolutionists claim otherwise, but their own theories compel them to invoke entities that are effectively supernatural, such as other universes. Because creationists candidly acknowledge that a supernatural Creator is required to explain our existence and unashamedly acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator,12 creation critics are quick to label creation science as “pseudoscience.” Yet these critics often overlook the fact that the charge of pseudoscience can just as easily, and with more far more justification, be applied to evolution.

References
1. Hemphill, C. How to Spot Fake ScienceBioLogos. Posted January 4, 2021 on biologos.org, accessed January 11, 2020.
2. University of Bristol. Why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaursScienceDaily. Posted January 7, 2021 at sciencedaily.com, accessed January 11, 2021.
3. Stockdale, M. T. and M. J. Benton. 2021. Environmental drivers of body size evolution in crocodile-line archosaurs. Communications Biology 4 (1).
4. Thomas, B. Should We Drop the Term ‘Living Fossil’?Creation Science Update. Posted July 18, 2016 on ICR.org, accessed January 11, 2021.
5. Guliuzza, R. J. 2018. Evolutionists Sense Life’s Design and Deify NatureCreation Science Update. Posted October 11, 2018 on ICR.org, accessed January 11, 2018.
6. Guliuzza, R.J. 2011. Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: Recognizing Missed Warning SignsActs & Facts 40 (5): 12-15.
7. Guliuzza, R. J. Doolittle’s Recycled Evolutionary Theory Is Old NewsCreation Science Update. Posted May 10, 2018 on ICR.org, accessed January 11, 2021.
8. Coppedge, D. F. What a Croc: Punk-Eek invoked for Crocodile EvolutionCreation Evolution Headlines. Posted January 7, 2021 at crev.info, accessed January 11, 2021.
9. Hebert, J. 2012. Why Is Modern Cosmology So Weird?Acts & Facts 41 (8): 11-13.
10. Hebert, J. 2013. Hiding from God in the MultiverseActs & Facts 42 (6): 9.
11. Morris, J. D. 2008. The Contrasting Religions of Creation and EvolutionActs & Facts 37 (11): 13.
12. Colossians 1:16.

*Dr. Jake Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

https://www.icr.org/article/is-evolution-fake-science/

VIDEO Grand Canyon: Exposing the Flood

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2020

Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.

Grand Canyon carves a 277-mile-long chasm through northwestern Arizona. Running from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead, the expansive landscape reveals some of the most colorful geology in the world and provides strong evidence for the global Flood.

Lateral Extent of Strata

As you look across Grand Canyon, observe the layers on both walls. The cliffs and the colors match from one side to the other. The gaps between the cliffs were once filled solid, the layers continuous, but the space in between has since been removed by erosion. The bottom flat layers are older and were deposited first; these are called Cambrian system rocks. The youngest layers are on the canyon’s rim; these are identified as Permian system rocks

All of these layers were deposited during the rising phase of the global Flood. Powerful tsunami-like waves spread massive, continuous sedimentary layers for hundreds of miles in all directions across this part of North America. Even relatively thin layers extend across Grand Canyon.

Flat Contacts Show Little Time Between Layers

Grand Canyon’s layers are like stacked pancakes. The lowermost flat layer at Grand Canyon is called the Tapeats Sandstone. At about 200 feet thick, it makes a thin, dark brown layer from a distant view. This layer represents the first extensive Flood deposit at this location. The basal boundary of the Tapeats is a special type of unconformity1 called a nonconformity, where sedimentary rock resides on top of pre-Flood crystalline rock. This surface is also referred to as the Great Unconformity (Figure 1).Figure 1. ICR geologist Dr. Tim Clarey addresses a Grand Canyon tour group with the Great Unconformity behind himImage credit: Kevin Turley

This global phenomenon is found in countless locations where Cambrian system sedimentary layers overlie Precambrian crystalline rocks. Just below the contact, we observe metamorphic crystalline rocks that are oriented nearly vertically, but the overlying Cambrian Tapeats is horizontal. Although secular geologists claim the Precambrian rock surface here experienced over a billion years of erosion, the contact with the Tapeats is almost perfectly planar—it’s flat! Where are the gullies and chasms from billions of years of erosion?

The Redwall Limestone is Grand Canyon’s most prominent layer—a red, thick, vertical cliff that spans the middle of the exposed rock layers. It’s part of the Mississippian system. Right below it, the Muav Limestone of the Cambrian system appears a bit more grayish. The evolutionary narrative claims 160 million years of erosion occurred between these two rock units. But where are the v-shaped channel patterns that gullies and canyons should have carved on top of the Muav? Instead, one flat limestone lies flat on another nearly everywhere you look.Figure 2. Flat contact shows no erosion and thus no time between the deposition of the Muav Limestone (gray) and the overlying Redwall Limestone (red). The inset shows the Great Unconformity.Illustration by Scott Arledge

A third flat unconformity lies between the Coconino Sandstone and the Hermit Shale. If you look toward the top of the layers in the canyon, you’ll see a thin, light, tan-colored cliff on top of a dark red layer. About a million years of erosion supposedly separates these two units (Figure 2). But if they were really deposited millions of years apart, valleys and canyons should be found between each of these layers. Instead, the contact is almost perfectly flat everywhere we see it.

Badlands Topography Shows Catastrophic Carving

By examining the topography of areas that have been catastrophically restructured recently, we can estimate the effects of the Flood and compare that estimation with Grand Canyon’s topography. A mudflow following the 1982 eruption of Mount St. Helens created a steep-walled, 140-foot-deep canyon system, complete with side canyons, in a single day.2 It looks remarkably like a 1:40 scale of Grand Canyon.

And we see similar deep gorges and butte-and-basin (badlands) topography associated with the flooding that followed the bursting of Ice Age Lake Missoula. This occurred about 4,000 years ago in the American Northwest. Even secular geologists now recognize that this catastrophic megaflood created the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington and widened the Columbia River Gorge.

Today’s processes do not form broad, flat rock layers or carve such big and clean canyons. Different processes must be responsible—catastrophic processes. Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that early floodwaters laid down Grand Canyon rocks while the water was rising, and the receding floodwater carved most of the Canyon.

The present narrative for Grand Canyon’s formation is insufficient. Most of today’s secular scientists assume the Colorado River slowly carved Grand Canyon over a period of six million years. But today’s flow rates simply don’t have the power to push the 1,000 cubic miles of rocks and debris all the way out to the Pacific Ocean. Even after millions of years, we should see a lot more talus and debris. Talus refers to rock piles that lean against the cliff walls where they fell. The canyon’s base looks like it was swept clean. Only catastrophic water flow and water volume many times greater than what flows there today could sculpt badlands topography and wide gaps in the canyon.3

Noah’s Flood Explains Grand Canyon

Secular interpretations still cannot adequately explain why the Colorado River cuts right through the Kaibab Uplift that formed on the western flank of the Colorado Plateau. The Kaibab Uplift has warped an arch of rock about 3,000 feet above the surrounding terrain. Water should have flowed around it, not uphill and through it.4

How do Flood geologists explain this? The year-long Flood narrative in Genesis helps us understand what we see. After sediments like the Coconino, Redwall, and Tapeats were deposited in the rising phase of the Flood, the Colorado Plateau was pushed up 5,000 feet during the receding phase of the Flood. This caused the floodwaters to drain off rapidly. Grand Canyon is on the western edge of that plateau. When packed, wet sand is lifted up, it stretches and cracks. Water naturally follows the cracks and fractures. Some of those would have run through the Kaibab Uplift to create a path for lots of water to flow downhill and carve a vast canyon.

Rapid uplift and drainage of the receding floodwaters provide both the pathway and the necessary volume of water to quickly carve Grand Canyon.4 This was all accomplished before the Ice Age began. How do we know? Because there are about 150 lava flows that originated on the Uinkaret Plateau and poured down into Grand Canyon during the Ice Age. The canyon had to exist before these lava falls poured in.5

The lateral extent of the sedimentary layers, flat contacts between the layers, and vast badlands topography all point to rapid deposition and ultra-high-volume erosion. The rocks reveal the enormity of the global Flood, and the canyon exhibits catastrophic carving from receding floodwaters. Grand Canyon is a reminder of the immense power of the judgment of the Flood.

References

  1. An unconformity is where some amount of erosion has taken place, removing a segment of the rock record. Unconformities can also occur if there was a brief hiatus in deposition. Unconformities do not imply vast amounts of time since they can form quickly as tsunami-like waves wash across the landscape, eroding the surface as they go.
  2. Morris, J. and S. A. Austin. 2003. Footprints in the Ash: The Explosive Story of Mount St. HelensGreen Forest, AR: Master Books, 72-76.
  3. Austin, S. A. 1986. Mt. St. Helens and CatastrophismActs & Facts. 15 (7).
  4. Clarey, T. 2018. Grand Canyon Carved by Flood RunoffActs & Facts. 47 (12): 10-13.
  5. Clarey, T. 2020. Lava Flows Disqualify Lake Spillover Canyon TheoryActs & Facts. 49 (10): 10-12.

* Dr. Clarey and Dr. Thomas are Research Associates at the Institute for Creation Research. Dr. Clarey earned his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University, and Dr. Thomas earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.

Cite this article: Various Authors. 2021. Grand Canyon: Exposing the FloodActs & Facts. 50 (1).

https://www.icr.org/article/grand-canyon-exposing-the-flood/

A significant percentage of biologists are now questioning Darwin

I didn’t post this to start an argument about creation vs evolution but because I found it interesting.

While Christians have long challenged Charles Darwin’s theory of undirected evolution, few appreciate the true extent of the challenge beyond the church. Current estimates are that approximately one-third of professional academic biologists who do not believe in intelligent design find Darwin’s theory is inadequate to describe all of the complexity in biology.

More of my thoughts on evolution and how it’s basically a religion can be found here.

A similar situation exists today. Concerted efforts to indoctrinate people into believing evolution have been ongoing for decades. However, polls continually show that the majority of Americans believe in God, and believe that He created the Universe and life.

While that is good news, the promotion of evolution by many “important” people in our society likely has caused many of those polled either to doubt God, or be intimidated to the point that they are unwilling to stand firm for God.

This is the main reason it is important to realize that evolution is simply another false religion, and that the temptation people face when confronted with that religion is nothing new.

https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/a-significant-percentage-of-biologists-are-now-questioning-darwin/