Monday, February 17, 2014

So you think you can debate a creationist?

Bill Nye made it look pretty easy against Ken Ham in their recent debate.  It was so lopsided that people like Pat Robertson are throwing in the towel.

But in my view this is giving a lot of skeptics the wrong idea.  They think disposing of creationist arguments is easy.  It's not.  Take it from me.  I've watched a lot of debates where smart skeptics have gotten their clocks cleaned.  What we are dealing with in this case is a Christian that performed unusually poorly.

Watching Ken Ham you'd think young earth creationists have never heard of ice cores.  Not true.  They've heard of them.  And they have some spin prepared to rebut the argument.  Why Ken Ham didn't unleash it I have no idea.  Bob Dutko would have.  I watched the debate with some young earth Christian friends.  They were likewise dumbfounded that Ham just would not engage Nye's arguments or put forward arguments that challenge the standard scientific view.

What I did over the following couple of days is recorded the Bob Dutko show.  Dutko was likewise disappointed in Ham and wondered why he didn't make better arguments, and of course he proceeded to do so.  Take a look at these and ask yourself if you'd be able to respond on the spot if you were at the podium.

Also, just so it's clear, I'm not saying these are persuasive.  I'm just presenting them as Dutko stated them.  Some are a bit silly on the surface, some maybe don't even make sense.  But some require you to do a little bit of work to figure out, and it may not be possible if you were actually in a discussion with a young earth creationist.  But this is the kind of thing skeptics are usually presented with in a debate, and often they are just not ready.  I was honestly expecting that Nye wouldn't be ready.  But we never found out because Ham really didn't do much except point to the bible.

By the way, these are kind of my notes and so it's not always great grammatically.  I did try to clean it up somewhat.

Rebuttals to Nye

Ice cores do not prove the earth is old.  The gap between layers gets more narrow as you go deeper due to pressure, and after just a few dozen you can no longer see the layers because they are bunched together.  Maybe a few hundred rings can be actually counted.  Scientists extrapolate for the remainder, just assuming that the pace continues throughout.  Christian geologists say an ice age occurred a few thousand years ago and deposited the bulk of the ice that remains.  Technically neither side knows for sure.

Tree rings are not actually counted to millions of years.  The oldest living trees don’t have rings counted.  They assume it by using carbon dating.  They find dead wood in the area and carbon date it.  Based on that age they look at how many rings the dead wood have.  Then they carbon date the live tree.  Then extrapolate forward.  Since a dead tree has a certain age similar to old tree, somehow use ratio of C14 in the live tree and figure out age of live tree.  All based on carbon dating of other trees in the area.  Carbon dating has other problems previously discussed.

If you could count 8700 rings, a young earth creationist scientist guy says many trees, especially bristle cone pines, can produce more than one ring per year, sometimes up to 5.

Why no trail of kangaroo fossils from middle east to Australia?  They could have been transported by boats because of trade.  An ice age causes sea levels to fall.  There are lots of islands between China and Australia.  A little reduction in sea levels and now they can cross.  Ice age ends and their trapped in Australia.

Why no fossils?  Because fossilization is rare.  There are no buffalo fossils for instance in the US.

Nye says 11 new species a day are needed if everything evolved from just a few thousand species that started at the ark.  But this is not a big deal because insects and fruit flies reproduce so fast that it’s not surprising that 11 new ones could emerge daily.  This is nowhere close to a problem when you consider how many insects there are in the world.  And this includes bacteria.  How many new strains of bacteria emerge daily?  Not a big deal.

Nye asks why we don't have Grand Canyon's all over the world due to the flood.  Because the Grand Canyon was formed because of its unique conditions, water bursting through an earthen damn.  Ground was already muddy and dirty.  There’s one in Texas that had been carved in 3 days.

You say it was carved by a river.  But for billions of years there have been rivers all over the world, so why haven’t other rivers produced more grand canyons?

Nye claims that fossils follow evolutionary pattern in the layering.  You never, ever find a fossil in layer that is not supposed to be in.

But this is blatantly false. Ham should have brought up polystrate fossils, which span different layers.  The bottom of tree in rock 50 million years older than the top.  Can’t be due to tectonic movement as evolutionists claim because there no indication of shattered rock where trees are pushed through.  Rock was soft, trees went through, no shattering.  In California a whale skeleton was found 45 degree angle, tail is in rock that is millions of years different from the head of the whale.

Bottom layer of grand canyon dated to 1.1 billion years old, then the top layer was dated to 2.6 billion years old, why is the Grand Canyon upside down?

How come none of the layers have gopher holes, rabbit holes, river beds, a single crater from anything, a single erosion line.  No caves.

Here’s a creationist prediction, if there was a flood and mud deposits, then we predict that the lines separating layers would be smooth and there would be no rabbit holes, gopher holes, river beds, caves, etc.

The layers in rock sometimes come to a V, yet they don’t appear shattered, as if they move easily.  Why aren’t they shattered if it was solid rock.

4500 years is plenty of time for the development of all the different types of cats.  Just 100 years back we have less than half of the amount of breeds of dogs that we have today.  3000 years ago there were only 10 total breeds of dogs according to evolutionists.

In Uzbekistan hoof prints of horses dated to the time of the dinosaurs (reported in Pravda).

Edwin McKee geological survey professional has hoof prints in Grand Canyon prior to when they should exist per evolution.  100 million years old.  Geological Survery Professional Paper 1173 p93-96.

Whale, elephant, horse, and other fossils plus crude hunting tools found in phosphate beds in SC.  Also dinosaur bones found in the same place.  Edward Noland in his remarks on fossils from the Ashley Phosphate Beds proceedings of the National Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1876 pages 80 and 81.

Grand Canyon, Venezuela, and Cashmere and Guyana have spores of ferns and pollen from flowering plants in Cambrian rock.  Nature Volume 210 April 16th 1966 p292 to 294.

Petrified trees in Arizona’s petrified forest contain fossilized nests of bees and cocoons of wasps.  Supposed to be 220 million years old, but bees and flowering plants shouldn’t have evolved until 100 million years later.  Steven Haciodas, evolutionary paleobiologist with US Geological Survey, in personal communication of his May 27, 1995.  Reported in Discover Magazine in February issue 1998 p76 to p83.

Pollinating insects and fossil flies with long well developed tubes for sucking nectar from flowers are found in deposits dated 25 million years before flowers are supposed to have been evolved.  “Science” Vol 280 April 3, 1998 p85 to 88.

Desert Magazine February 1975 p36 to 39 human bones found in 100 million year old cretaceous strata.  JP Marwhit of the University of Utah supervised excavation.  He caught flak and later retracted his statements.  Years later C14 dating showed the bones were about 200 years old.  The have been dismissed it as an Indian burial, though Marwhit said they were in situ originally.

Regarding Tiktaalik, artists renderings take too much license.  The actual bones lacked hind legs.  Only the top half exists.  Below that was just fragments.  So they fill in the gaps as though the entire skeleton was found then sell the idea that it’s a fish with legs.  Not much different from coelacanth today.

Arguments for a young earth.

C14 dating is good for only about 100K years ago.  Why do we find dinosaur bones that still have plenty of C14?  Aug 10 1990 fossilized dinosaur bones atkanthasauras and allasours dated at 3 different laboratories, including Arizona, everyone came back with ages in the thousands of years.  How do you explain that if it’s 65 million  years old?

How do you explain fresh dinosaur bones unfossilized?  Journal of Paleontology reference NW Alaska dinosaur bones “unfosslized” that “felt like old cow bones.’  Kyle Davies wrote about it.  Referenced in “Journal of Paleontology” 1986-1987 edition, No 1, Vol 61 p 198-200.

“Science” Dec 24 1993 bones of duck billed dinosaur found in Montana with fresh bones, not fossilized, p20-23.

1985 Geological Society of America Volume 17 p548.  More fresh dinosaur bones.

Coal, diamonds, why do they have C14?  Why don’t the ocean floors have enough mud.  Russel Humphries (nuclear physicist) says it should be filled with miles of mud, but it doesn’t have much (the amount consistent with an earth only a few thousand years old).

What about the lack of sodium in the ocean?  There is not enough for the earth to be billions of years old.  What about the decay of magnetic field?  Rate of decay means it would have been too strong in the past.

Radioactive elements produce helium, but we only have a few thousand years worth of Helium.  Atmosphere should have more Helium if it’s billions of years old.

Human population growth.  For all of human recorded history known growth rate for humans is some value.  Applying that value if you go back a mere 40K years you would have to have more humans than there are atoms in the Milky Way galaxy.  If you use the ark timeline it works out perfectly to 6 billion.