The Saturday Review (2) – The Scots in China; The Old Man and the Gun; Logic on Fire; Romans 9 – God’s Sovereign Purpose;

TV – The Scots in China

This is a short two part series on the Scots in China.  Neil Oliver is a marmite presenter.  You either love or hate him – many people find his voice really grating.  I actually enjoy his style.  The whole programme was intriguing- although it skirted some of the serious issues.  How did the businessmen and media people justify working for an oppressive regime?  The bottom line is that they didn’t.  Chinese culture, history and philosophy is utterly fascinating to me.  The one major lesson I would take from this is that I suspect the West is going to move more towards the authoritarian version of Chinese capitalism, rather than the other way around.  For freedom, Christianity is essential.

The Scots in China – BBC 

This clip re the broadcaster – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06xhpw3

Screenshot 2019-01-20 at 09.29.12

 

Book – The Old Man and the Gun – 3/5

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I bought this book on the back of going to see the film.  I was not expecting much but my expectations were exceeded.  Its a short book that looks not just at the Old Man and the Gun but at two other crime stories – True Crime is about a Polish detective who thinks that a novelist  planted clues in his fiction to an actual murder. The Chameleon is about a French imposter who pretends to be a boy from Texas, only to wonder whether he is the one being conned.   Its a good short read…

Bala cast himself as an enfant terrible who sought out what Foucault had called a “limit-experience”: he wanted to push the boundaries of language and human existence, to break free of what he deemed to be the hypocritical and oppressive “truths” of Western society, including taboos on sex and drugs. Foucault himself was drawn to homosexual sadomasochism. Bala devoured the works of Georges Bataille, who vowed to “brutally oppose all systems,” and once contemplated carrying out human sacrifices; and William Burroughs, who swore to use language to “rub out the word”; and the Marquis de Sade, who demanded, “O man! Is it for you to say what is good or what is evil?”

“The key is actually not lying about everything,” Bourdin said. “Otherwise, you’ll just mix things up.” He said that he adhered to maxims such as “Keep it simple” and “A good liar uses the truth.” In choosing a name, he preferred one that carried a deep association in his memory, like Cassis. “The one thing you better not forget is your name,” he said.

The Old Man and the Gun

Film – Logic on Fire – Martyn Lloyd Jones

I was sceptical about this film (now available on Amazon as well).  To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of Christian films – but this is a documentary that is well worth your viewing.  Despite a slow start it develops well and I found it to be very moving – despite the music which is a bit dull and jarring.    It left me longing for a renewal and revival within the church – and even more convinced that a key part of that will be a renewal and revival of biblical preaching.

Book – God’s Sovereign Purpose – Romans ch.9 -Lloyd Jones 4/5

Speaking of the Doctor I have been preaching through Romans (for the first time in my51SX33RXAZL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_ life).  I know of at least one evangelical who after they finished chapter 8 – just jumped to chapter 12 – finding 9,10 and 11 too difficult.  But we have stuck with it and amazingly have found it to be a great blessing.  Much of that is due to Lloyd Jones’s book on Romans 9 which I have just finished.  It is so warm and helpful…..highly recommended.  There are far too many quotes to put in a review…but here is one taster…

“We must give people a chance, give them an opportunity. They are blinded by the devil; we must not be in too much of a hurry to be negative and denunciatory. We should put the positive and make it as attractive as we can. We must do everything we can to win people. And the more certain we are that they are wrong, the more we should go out of our way to try to win them to the truth”.

Musical Theatre – Shen Yun

On Thursday night, thanks to our generous family, Annabel and I went to see Shen Yun – https://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/edinburgh/edinburgh-playhouse  It was indeed a magical night and very impressive.  The Chinese dance, music and the choerography were a delight….but……..and that will have to wait for a full review on next week….

Saturday Review 1 – Stan and Ollie; Middlemarch; Les Miserables

 

66 thoughts on “The Saturday Review (2) – The Scots in China; The Old Man and the Gun; Logic on Fire; Romans 9 – God’s Sovereign Purpose;

  1. Hello Pastor

    I was going to rest from posting on here because I have submitted quite a few comments recently but since you have mentioned Dr Lloyd Jones recently I must admit I have never been sure what to make of him.

    Hopefully I am not opening a can of worms on here but my primary issue is his creationism. As someone who believes in theistic evolution (but I am open minded if strong evidence to the contrary eventually emerges, the problem is that Lloyd Jones himself quite openly admitted that his whole theology relied on a foundation of the Genesis creation story being literally true and comes crashing down if this is not the case. What value then does he have for the majority of Christians today who are not creationists in the sense of interpreting the early part of Genesis in a highly literalist manner?

    I guess what also intrigues me is that Lloyd Jones trained as a medical doctor. How did he reconcile his belief in creationism/rejection of Darwinian evolution with his understanding of biology? I have looked on the internet but haven’t found any quotes from him specifically about this.

    I do have some concerns about some other specific areas of his theology but this isn’t the time to debate them. Overall though I sense from his writings and a few recordings I have heard that he was a sincere, committed and warm-hearted man of God.

    1. “As someone who believes in theistic evolution (but I am open minded if strong evidence to the contrary eventually emerges….”

      As the “evidence to the contrary” is what was accepted by the majority of Christian leaders & thinkers as truth until a couple of centuries ago, I have to ask what evidence you think has arisen which undermines that?

      “Lloyd Jones himself quite openly admitted that his whole theology relied on a foundation of the Genesis creation story being literally true and comes crashing down if this is not the case….”

      As Biblical scholars agree that the Creation account in Genesis clearly describes the days of Creation as just that – days – then the conclusion one is forced to is that any other conclusion drawn from the Genesis narrative is determined, not from Scripture but from flawed & changeable scientific theories.

      This is borne out by the fact that you recognise the truly dichotomous nature of the debate, as it involves “belief in creationism/rejection of Darwinian evolution”.

      As there is no shortage of people from both sides of that debate who recognise the fact that Darwinian Evolution completely negates the requirement for any kind of supernatural involvement in nature, I am left to wonder by what standard of theology you judge Lloyd Jones’ to be concerning simply on the basis that he was a Creationist, that the first chapters of Genesis are meant to be taken literally, which is in line with what Hebrew scholars tell us is the clear & unabashed meaning of Genesis 1-2?

      As someone who spent the first 30 years of his life convinced by Evolutionary thought, even long after I became a Christian, but have since spent much time examining this issue, I see less & less in the Evolutionary hypothesis which is supported by true scientific inquiry, let alone Scripture.

      For an exhaustive study of this, In fact the first 11 chapters of Genesis, I have found no better resource than Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s “The Genesis Account” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Genesis-Account-JONATHAN-SARFATI/dp/1921643919/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1548569397&sr=1-2&keywords=genesis+account+sarfati)

      1. Thanks. I will have a look at that book.

        I am an Australian… Correct me if I am wrong but I presume you are not *the* Kim Beazley. 😛

      2. No, I’m not the RT Honourable Kim Beazley. In fact, some have reckoned I should be called the Rt Dishonourable Kim Beazley!!

        Hope you do check out the book, but for a wealth of relevant information on the Creationist position that’s easily accessible, there are literally thousands of articles at http://www.creation.com which should make any Christian think twice about Evolution.

      3. G’day Dishonourable 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Thanks. As promised I’ll check out the book. I looked up the author and I see he is a member of some Australian creationist groups.

        When I was talking about “evidence” I was thinking more in terms of objective studies in peer reviewed academic journals but I will definitely assess his arguments on their own merits.

        You said, “As the “evidence to the contrary” is what was accepted by the majority of Christian leaders & thinkers as truth until a couple of centuries ago”. Yes, the majority but by no means all. Origen and Augustine were two significant figures who did not regard it as a literal account.

        Regarding Lloyd-Jones’ famous statement, I just found this blog post discussing it. It seems MLJ may have been slightly misquoted:

        https://gavinortlund.com/2018/02/18/is-6-day-creation-the-only-long-term-viable-option-a-response-to-tim-challies/

        Christ be with you, Kim.

      4. Jean,

        “Origen and Augustine were two significant figures who did not regard it as a literal account.”

        I don’t know where you get that information, as its clear from their own writing that they did not believe in long ages. Try this:-

        https://creation.com/augustine-young-earth-creationist

        But I would go even further & claim that, either way, appealing to the authority of those early Church Fathers is misplaced, a fact that is referred to in the link, which states, “Augustine was not a Hebrew scholar, nor exactly an expert in Greek….He consequently thought that God would have created everything instantaneously. That is why he came up with the theory that Creation should have been shorter than six earth days.”

        That’s why we always need to be careful that when we make appeals to authority that those authorities actually are authorities.

        So that’s why I referred you to Sarfati’s book, being as it is an exhaustive reference book (so I hope it doesn’t prove exhaustING), as it provides a wealth of linguistic proof from a whole raft of Hebrew scholars regarding the literal nature of Genesis, especially 1-2.

        Oh, & thank you for getting my designatory title right! 😉

      5. Thanks, Kim. I am planning to go to my local Koorong store when I am in the city on Thursday, so I will look for the book while I am there.

      6. @ Kim.

        Do you believe that dinosaurs and humans at one time co-existed?
        If so do you have , any evidence to support this?

        Thanks. Ark.

      7. Arkenaten,

        You’re very big on demanding evidence, yet very short on providing it for your own unsupported assertions. You’re also very big on specifically demanding “falsifiable” evidence from others, yet fail to recognise that, in the case of matters pertaining to history or pre-history, falsifiability is impossible.

        But then you know all that, don’t you.

        So your question is just another “gotcha” for you to use the opinions of scientists who believe the evolutionary paradigm is true to say that there is only evidence for Evolution.

        But that’s the thing. Evidence in the case of past occurrences is only evidence that something happened. Thus any explanation arising from it is an interpretation based on prior beliefs, as geneticist Richard Lewontin famously admitted in a book review in the “New York Review of Books”, where he wrote:-

        “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

        “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

        Other evolutionary scientists were aghast, & Lewontin claimed he was mis-quoted. But I have read the review many times, & far from it being taken out of context, those two paragraphs serve as a climax akin to a long musical crescendo such as those used by Mahler in his symphonies (unfortunately it appears that the review of Sagan’s “The Demon Haunted World” has now disappeared behind a paywall).

        I happen to believe, after growing up being fully convinced by the evolutionary paradigm, & even after I became a Christian, & changing my opinion, & so having been keenly interested in Palaeontology & Ancient History from about the age of 5 or 6 & reading widely on all of these subjects for nearly 60 years, that the evidence for the ideas which have grown out of Darwin’s hypothesis are unsupportable & simply don’t stack up.

        A classic case in point is the recent phenomena of findings of soft tissue, proteins such as collagen, hemoglobin, osteocalcin, actin, and tubulin, all being substances with very rapid decay rates, not to mention the even more rapidly decaying carbon-14 & DNA, which are known to fully decay within thousands, NOT tens of millions of years.

        As https://creation.com/dinosaur-soft-tissue reveals, every speculative explanation they have come up with is already refuted by true, experimental science – what you would call “falsifiable” evidence.

        Many years ago, the evolutionist JBS Haldane was asked what kind of evidence would convince him that evolution wasn’t true, & he is reported to have responded, “A rabbit in the Precambrian”.

        This is just one instance of something as extraordinary as finding a rabbit fossil in Precambrian rock, & there are more.

        But all of this has strayed far from the original topic, so you have my answer, & I will not comment here on anything which goes further down that rabbit hole.

      8. “As Biblical scholars agree that the Creation account in Genesis clearly describes the days of Creation as just that – days – then the conclusion one is forced to is that any other conclusion drawn from the Genesis narrative is determined, not from Scripture but from flawed & changeable scientific theories.”

        Biblical literalists agree about creation, biblical scholars do not. The majority do not accept or propose a literal 7 day creation, you really do need to expand your source of reading.

        As for science being changeable, that’s the point. It changes when new evidence comes to light, science actively looks for evidence to update and clarify ideas. Only a fool thinks they have all the knowledge they need already.

      9. “Biblical literalists agree about creation, biblical scholars do not.”

        When I referred to “Biblical scholars” I should have been more precise, as I specifically meant scholars of Hebrew, & it is an unarguable fact that scholars have shown conclusively that Genesis clearly describes six normal days. The reference work of Sarfati’s I previously mentioned provides a virtually exhaustive examination of this issue, taking as he does nearly 200 pages over Genesis 1 alone, citing Hebrew scholar after Hebrew scholar, along with authoritative lexicons such as Brown, Driver & Briggs.

        It is also more correct to speak of Biblical inerrancy than Biblical literalism. After all, inerrancy does not insist on things like the Sun being a bridegroom after the act of consummation, does it. Or the Earth standing on four pillars.

        So your reference to “literalists” merely serves as a straw man.

        “As for science being changeable, that’s the point.”

        Exactly!

      1. Thanks for that, Arkenaten. I appreciate it.

        If you don’t mind me asking, I am curious: why does an atheist like you hang around a site like this? Are you searching for something or do you just like trolling Pastor David?

  2. Aye David , China is a country and a people of great interest to most and none more so than Jesus Christ. I too watched Neil Oliver’s programme on Scots in China but always at the back of my mind was his dismissive attitude to the Covenanters in a previous expose on Scottish history. Most of those interviewed, sadly had sold themselves to the system and were in it for themselves .
    I suspect Mr Oliver would have rushed to fawn at the foot of James Mathieson of Lews rather than Eric Liddle , despite their being a century between them. I will still watch Neil’s offerings , but will always do so in hope !

  3. You’re very big on demanding evidence, yet very short on providing it for your own unsupported assertions.

    I shall take this as: ” Yes, I do believe humans and dinosaurs co-existed.”

    And what unsupported assertions are you referring to, Kim?
    If you would like to be specific – make a short list if you like – I give you my word I will provide all the scientific evidence you could possibly need.
    And where I can’t find any I will openly admit: ”I don’t know”.
    At this point you are free to offer up all the evidence for any claims you have that you believe refute the science/archaeology etc.

    I reckon that’s about as open and fair as I can be.

    As for your evidence regarding dinosaurs. I recommend you widen your field of study.
    I will post all the relevant links if you like?
    Of course, they are scientific in nature, and thus I am not sure if your strict YEC views would even allow you to consider them?
    Let me know anyway.

    However, for what it’s worth, your examples have been explained.
    By scientists.

    I also have an excellent and very thorough post by an Evangelical Christian that goes into more detail than even most of the regular scientific sites I have read on this issue.
    He truly does cover everything on this subject.
    There is even a video of Mary Schweitzer.
    It is incredibly fascinating, but there really is no great mystery,Kim, just highly advanced science.
    I suspect you already know most of this, yet reject the science all the same.
    Which is unfortunate.

    Anyway, for now, our friend, T-Rex is quite happy to remain in the Cretaceous Period – 65 million years ago.

    1. “However, for what it’s worth, your examples have been explained.
      By scientists.”

      Obviously you didn’t bother with the link I took the trouble to provide. Because if you had done so you wouldn’t have embarrassed yourself with such a statement, as it’s clear from the article that the explanations are not supported by REAL science, as the SCIENTIST who wrote the article shows.

      But your cherry-picking of my post, ignoring as you do the fact that both sides are indelibly wedded to explanations of the evidence that arise from an a priori philosophical position, leaves you grasping at the same straw, i.e., that the evidence is evidence of evolution, which it is not. Nor is the evidence evidence of Special Creation. It is ONLY evidence that something occurred in the past. Anything else is a deduction FROM the evidence.

      This is clear when you state, “At this point you are free to offer up all the evidence for any claims you have that you believe refute the science/archaeology etc.”

      But be that as it may, there are thousands of articles at http://www.creation.com on any issue you can think of. Knock yourself out. But you’ve already proven here that you don’t have an open, inquiring mindset. You proved that on another thread on this site when you stated categorically that even if Jesus could be proven without doubt to be God that it wouldn’t affect your own atheism.

      Professor Lewontin & you make a good pair!

      So don’t bother me here with your opinions on this. As I already stated, all of this has strayed far from the original topic, so you have my answer, & I will not comment here on anything which goes further down that rabbit hole.

  4. If you don’t mind me asking, I am curious: why does an atheist like you hang around a site like this? Are you searching for something or do you just like trolling Pastor David?

    I don’t mind you asking at all.
    I find religion fascinating and Christianity in particular (coming from a nominally Christian background).

    Searching? What could I possibly be ”searching” for on an evangelical blog site?
    🙂
    David’s outlandish evangelical posturing is highly entertaining and so I comment, and where he sees fit, he releases comments from moderation.

    He blogs, I blog , you blog – lots of people blog. In the end, all good clean fun. No bombs set off, no lives threatened and no blood spilled.

    Besides, if he really wanted to only engage like-minded Christians all he has to do is take his blog Private.
    However, I suspect David is less of the Meek and Humble Village Vicar type and rather more the In your Face and Up for the Challenge type of bloke.
    Me too!
    Shouldn’t hide things under a bushel, isn’t this what you Christians believe?

    All the best.

    Ark.

  5. The link you offer is a YEC site and thus, has no credibility among the mainstream scientific community.
    Neither does it garner much respect among the majority of your fellow Christians either, for that matter.

    It is the lack of scientific credibility that Creationism is not taught in state schools and why ID is treated similarly.

    With David’s leave?
    Here is the article written by Evangelical Christian, Scott Buchanan.

    https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/dinosaur-soft-tissue/

    If David allows this dialogue to continue then, to use your term: Knock yourself out, and I hope you read it with an open mind.

    1. “….I hope you read it with an open mind.”

      Boy, that’s rich coming from a person who has shown that they do anything but! In fact, you are as far from being open minded as anyone I’ve ever experienced, either online or in the flesh! After all, how much more blinkered & bigoted can you get than someone who stated on another thread that even if the divinity of Jesus could be proven outright that it would not affect their own atheism??

      So when you make such a comment as “I find religion fascinating and Christianity in particular”, nothing could be further from the truth, unless you suffer from some kind of mental dysfunction where you find some weird kind of fascination in something you actually despise.

      And your blinkered bigotry is borne out here, as all you are capable of, instead of engaging with the article I linked to (which is a summary of the actual science which shows the many flaws in the speculations of Dr Schweitzer, being explained by means of a large number of citations from mainstream scientific authorities & peer reviewed journals, apart from Creationist publications) is to “poison the well”, inferring that those at CMI are not proper scientists when nothing could be further from the truth.

      Not only that, but to attempt to make out that Creationism is a minority position from the fringes of mainstream Christianity is laughable. As for your link, well, the link I provided already rebuts most of the attempts to explain away the “inconvenient truths” which Dr Schweitzer & her team came up with as outlined in your interminably long article, showing why they just don’t hold water.

      So your blatant dishonesty is enough on its own to make further debate on this impossible, even without your mendacious smearing. And as I already noted twice, it has caused the conversation to drift off-topic.

      1. There is nothing to engage with the article. I reiterate, experts from every relevant field have been engaging Young Earth Creationists since it appeared and as far as I know every major YEC issue has been addressed. /and continue to be addressed)

        If you want to read what an ex-YEC has to say about this aspect of Christianity then I would highly recommend Johny Scaramanga, who was once part of the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) movement in the UK.
        He eventually got out as a young adult and eventually wrote his doctoral thesis on ACE and YEC.
        You can google his name or follow this link.

        https://www.patheos.com/blogs/leavingfundamentalism/

        Not only that, but to attempt to make out that Creationism is a minority position from the fringes of mainstream Christianity is laughable

        You are probably right. So, as I seem to have been ambiguous, let’s stick with – Young Earth Creationism.

        I offered you a link that gave a thorough, almost exhaustive breakdown of the state of the dinosaur collagen ‘‘controversy’, from a fellow Christian no less, and you summarily reject it?
        Why?

        CMI is notorious for – to use your own words – poisoning the well – and Scott Buchanan, an evangelical Christian, addressed, explained and qualified every point of this entire issue, from collagen to iron to contamination.

        As I mentioned before, your strict YEC perspective simply won’t allow you to even consider what science is telling us.

        Even people such as Hugh Ross have no truck with YEC. Neither well-known Christians such as NT Wright, Keller, or Collins, and I only mention them (a tiny sampling) to illustrate how extreme YEC views are even for evangelical Christians.

        So when you make such a comment as “I find religion fascinating and Christianity in particular”, nothing could be further from the truth, unless you suffer from some kind of mental dysfunction where you find some weird kind of fascination in something you actually despise.

        Until I began writing a novel that included a parody of the Moses character I had little interest in religion in general or Christianity in particular, over and above my nominal Christian upbringing.

        Once I started doing a little research on Moses (for background) I was truly surprised to find that he is considered to be more than likely a mythological character.
        Granted, I gave no credence to the miracle claims but in all honesty I still though he was a genuine historical character.

        I also think Martin Noth’s position of him being a composite figure does not carry much weight among mainstream scholars these days, either, though I stand to be corrected on this point, as it was a while back I read of his views.

        So it was about this time I became interested in Christianity, and I began to read more on the subject. When I encountered Young Earth Creationists I was truly flabbergasted, and when I first came across Ken Ham I honestly thought it was a giant gag!
        Dinosaurs co-existing with humans. Surely this was a joke, someone pulling the proverbial leg?
        Dialogue with Christian deconverts, YECs and similar extreme fundamentalists, and what they were subject to during their halcyon days while members of this church or that has been a real eye-opener for someone who only ever encountered the Village Vicar type.

        So, here we are.
        That’s my story. Nothing fancy; quite ordinary, in fact.

        Your beliefs are built primarily on faith with Yahweh as the foundation, and ( So I understand) interpret evidence through the ”lens of Jesus.”?

        I don’t

        Cool Regards.

        Ark.

      2. “There is nothing to engage with the article.”

        How would you know? You won’t read it. As I already pointed out, it primarily uses REAL science from REAL scientific sources to show how the speculations about preservation over millions of years have already been refuted, including the ones in your interminably long link.

        “….experts from every relevant field have been engaging Young Earth Creationists since it appeared and as far as I know every major YEC issue has been addressed. /and continue to be addressed)”

        That must explain why they’re growing around the world. But as in this instance with Dr Schweitzer’s discoveries, the “engaging” you mention has totally missed the mark (which my link notes in detail).

        “If you want to read what an ex-YEC has to say about this aspect of Christianity….”

        One guy? And that’s a deal breaker? Seriously??

        “I offered you a link that gave a thorough, almost exhaustive breakdown of the state of the dinosaur collagen ‘‘controversy’, from a fellow Christian no less, and you summarily reject it?”

        No. I offered you a link previous to yours which, if you’d bothered to read it, you would have seen the points raised already refuted by real, experimental science.

        So why complain to me about a link I actually read, when you refuse to read mine? More blinkered bigotry!! As is your next howler:-

        “CMI is notorious for – to use your own words – poisoning the well – and Scott Buchanan, an evangelical Christian, addressed, explained and qualified every point of this entire issue, from collagen to iron to contamination.”

        As I said, the link I provided, if you’d bothered to read it, ALREADY dealt with “every point of this entire issue, from collagen to iron to contamination”. As for them habitually “poisoning the well”, show me just one example where they’ve smeared someone in that way!

        “As I mentioned before, your strict YEC perspective simply won’t allow you to even consider what science is telling us.”

        As my link used 19 citations from mainstream scientific publications, then you really cannot say they don’t “consider what science is telling us”. And that’s just one link that’s typical of thousands.

        “Your beliefs are built primarily on faith….”

        Actually they’re not. They’re based on reasonable evidence that I considered carefully & rationally.

        You, on the other hand, admitted freely that even if it could be shown that Jesus of Nazareth was who He said He was, you still wouldn’t give up your unbelief.

        How bleeding irrational is that!! And you atheists accuse Christians of blind faith!! If it weren’t so pitiful it’d be laughable!!

      3. Sorry, Kim, Creationism is not science, and certainly not Young Earth Creationism.
        And before I go rummaging through your 19 links I will gladly agree to meet you half way. and if this pans out I will read your article. On this you have my word.
        Name a handful -5 or 6 is fine – of the secular scientists that feature in your linked article who have fully endorsed the early dating ( that dinosaurs lived thousands not millions of years ago.)

        As for them habitually “poisoning the well”, show me just one example where they’ve smeared someone in that way!

        Just one? That is very generous of you.
        So, your one example: The indoctrination of children that the story of Noah’s Ark and the global flood as told in the bible is factual and every geologist, paleontologist, plate tectonic specialist, and biologist ( who is not YEC) is wrong.

        Actually they’re not. They’re based on reasonable evidence that I considered carefully & rationally.

        Really? Not built primarily on faith?
        Feel free to offer the independent, non-biblical source for the resurrection of the character Jesus of Nazareth and the tomb he was claimed to have been buried in.

        One guy? And that’s a deal breaker? Seriously??

        Yes, Johnny Scaramanga is ”just one guy”.
        Are you suggesting that his doctorate was falsely awarded?

        You, on the other hand, admitted freely that even if it could be shown that Jesus of Nazareth was who He said He was, you still wouldn’t give up your unbelief.

        Wrong! If it could be demonstrated that the character Jesus of Nazareth is who it is claimed then of course I would acknowledge that my atheism was a mistake.
        How ridiculous would I be not to?

  6. I will add:
    I realise this thread is dragging a bit ( and I acknowledge David’s good grace for letting it run) but this point is important and should be made, in case others are following our discussion and perhaps you were unaware?
    The T-Rex bone in question was found in Upper Cretaceous rock.
    Radio-metric dating has established that this would make the bone around 66,000,000 years old.
    Therefore, whatever the cause of the preservation inside the bone , be it iron or it is simply contamination, a young age for it – thousands rather than millions – is simply not possible.

    And of course there are numerous other things that one must take into consideration when discussing such fossils.

    Ark.

    1. “Name a handful -5 or 6 is fine – of the secular scientists that feature in your linked article who have fully endorsed the early dating ( that dinosaurs lived thousands not millions of years ago.”

      You miss the point. They don’t “endorse the early dating”, but by means of previously established experimental science they show why Schweitzer’s speculations don’t stand scrutiny. I may as well cut & paste the relevant portion of the article. Then everyone can see it:-

      Recently there has been a spate of popular level articles claiming that Dr Schweitzer may have found the answer. She had proposed this solution earlier, namely that iron might help preserve dinosaur soft tissue, both by helping to cross-link and stabilize the proteins, as well as by acting as an anti-oxidant. Now she has ostensibly tested this idea. Here are two excerpts from one such article that help summarize this new hypothesis:

      — “New research from North Carolina State University shows that iron may play a role in preserving ancient tissues within dinosaur fossils, but also may hide them from detection.”

      — “Mary Schweitzer’s latest research shows that the presence of hemoglobin—the iron-containing molecule that transports oxygen in red blood cells—may be the key to both preserving and concealing original ancient proteins within fossils.”

      And these comments from another article explain further:

      “The free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knots,” Schweitzer said. “They basically act like formaldehyde.”

      “Formaldehyde, of course, preserves tissue. It works by linking up, or cross-linking, the amino acids that make up proteins, which makes those proteins more resistant to decay.”

      In her technical paper, Schweitzer claimed:

      Haemoglobin (HB) increased tissue stability more than 200-fold, from approximately 3 days to more than two years at room temperature (25°C [77°F]).

      The power in this argument is its seeming simplicity. The ‘average Joe’ might think; “Oh I get it, iron acts as a preserving agent like formaldehyde, the stuff scientists use to embalm things. It’s like those animals preserved in jars I’ve seen in laboratories. So the iron in the dinosaur’s blood must have preserved the organic material. And scientists know what they are talking about much better than I do so dinosaur soft tissue makes sense to me …”

      It’s actually very strategic….However, even under moderate scrutiny, Schweitzer’s explanation quickly falls to pieces. In her new paper she discusses experiments that appear totally unrepresentative of the conditions under which these dinosaur remains were actually preserved. Instead, she describes what boils down to a ‘best and worse case scenario’ for soft tissue preservation.

      “They soaked one group of (ostrich) blood vessels in iron-rich liquid made of red blood cells and another group in water. The blood vessels left in water turned into a disgusting mess within days. The blood vessels soaked in red blood cells remain recognizable after sitting at room temperature for two years.”

      Reading the supplementary material in her article it appears that pure hemoglobin was used, not lysed cells or materials that could be expected to mimic what would be present in an animal carcass. (Blood vessels soaked in laboratory-prepared hemoglobin is hardly representative of decomposing bones).

      One might also ask how realistic a concentrated hemoglobin extract is, compared to the real world. While unrealistically concentrated hemoglobin might preserve for a time, it doesn’t follow that natural, dilute hemoglobin will act the same way. Indeed, tissues rich in blood vessels, such as lungs and gills, often decay very quickly. One infamous example is the gills of dead basking sharks that rot and slough off to form the pseudo-plesiosaur shape. And the suggestion that blood vessels remaining ‘recognizable’ for two years somehow demonstrates that these could last thirty five million times as long requires a phenomenal cognitive leap.

      Further, it is not plausible that iron could be as good a preservative as formaldehyde, which directly forms covalent cross-links between protein chains, something iron can’t do. But even if we grant that it had the same preservative power (just for the sake of the discussion), what reason is there for anyone to expect that formaldehyde could preserve soft tissues, and fine cellular details, for tens of millions of years? Embalmers of human bodies widely acknowledge that their use of formaldehyde is to slow down, not prevent, the relentless process of decomposition. The embalmed body of Lenin has been widely suspected of being faked or touched up due to it looking ‘too good’ after only some 90 years on public display. Even then, more recent photos show it looking distinctly ‘ragged’ compared to earlier shots.

      It’s quite possible that the hemoglobin in Schweitzer’s experiment ‘pickled’ the blood vessels so that neither bacteria nor enzymes could degrade them. This requires a concentrated solution of the pickling agent (usually salt and acidic conditions). If this is the real explanation, then a dilute solution, as normally found in tissues, would not work anyway.

      Even a concentrated solution, while it could keep it for the two years observed, would not suffice over great time spans. Because over millions of years, even the lack of enzymatic and bacterial degradation makes no difference. DNA and proteins will eventually succumb to ordinary chemistry, especially reactions with water. Evolutionists have likewise recognized this:

      After cell death, enzymes start to break down the bonds between the nucleotides that form the backbone of DNA, and micro-organisms speed the decay. In the long run, however, reactions with water are thought to be responsible for most bond degradation. Groundwater is almost ubiquitous, so DNA in buried bone samples should, in theory, degrade at a set rate.

      Another problem for Dr Schweitzer is the burial environment. One article stated;

      “If the hemoglobin were contained in a bone in a sandstone environment, keeping it dry and insulated from microbes, preservation becomes more likely.”

      Reinforcing this, another said:

      “They’re also buried in sandstone, which is porous and may wick away bacteria and reactive enzymes that would otherwise degrade the bone.”

      However, the very same porosity proposed to ‘wick away’ things would also more readily expose it to penetration by water over those millions of years, thus hastening decomposition. But in any case, even supposing that there was no exposure to water, radiation, bacteria or enzymatic attack, measurements of DNA decay rates in bone show that DNA could not have survived the alleged 65 million years since dinosaur extinction. Even frozen at –5°C (23°F), the DNA should have completely disintegrated into its individual building blocks in under 7 million years:

      “However, even under the best preservation conditions at –5°C, our model predicts that no intact bonds (average length = 1 bp [base pair]) will remain in the DNA ‘strand’ after 6.8 Myr. This displays the extreme improbability of being able to amplify a 174 bp DNA fragment from an 80–85 Myr old Cretaceous bone.”

      Another way to highlight the problem for long-agers, even if their ‘wicking’ arguments could solve the water problem, and even if iron were as good as formaldehyde, is the following thought experiment (it has to be just in thought, because of the practical barrier that even several human lifetimes would not be enough to do the experiment in practice).

      Take a laboratory-prepared specimen, place it in a jar full of formaldehyde (even assuming the complete integrity of the jar/seal etc), then stick it in the ground encased in rock—and just for good measure, keep the surroundings permanently frozen at 0oC. It would still be subject to the thermodynamic breakdown of such complex, fragile molecules. Atoms and molecules in a compound are always in motion, even at such freezing temperatures. For any scientist to have said prior to the Schweitzer discoveries that they would have expected blood vessels, delicate cell structures, DNA and proteins after 70 million years from such an experiment would have been inviting derision at best, psychiatric scrutiny at worst. There are very good scientific reasons behind Schweitzer’s earlier (2010) comment on videotape:
      The information that there are abundant amounts of soft tissue in creatures supposedly millions of years old is spiralling out of control. Evolutionists know that they need to confront this dinosaur soft tissue matter head on, and their responses to date have been far from convincing.

      “When you think about it, the laws of chemistry and biology and everything else that we know say that it should be gone, it should be degraded completely.”

      So, as you can see, there is enough there to overrule Schweitzer’s speculations about iron preservation & the T Rex’s burial environment, not least of those being Schweitzer’s own admission of what “the laws of chemistry and biology and everything else that we know say….”.

      1. You miss the point. They don’t “endorse the early dating”,

        Nope, I didn’t miss the point at all. The argument is about how such bones were able to be preserved.
        And as you have acknowledged, no one is endorsing an early dating, other that Young Earth Creationists, of course, who are gleefully giving each other high fives because the dinosaurs must, therefore, only be thousands not millions of years old.
        Which all scientists would regard as rather silly.
        So let’s be honest with each other, shall we? For you, this really is the only pertinent issue is it not?
        And whatever the reason for the state of the Dino bone, your YEC model is, like Noah’s Ark, dead on the water.

        And as far as I can tell you still haven’t answer whether you believe humans and dinosaurs co-existed.
        I think I’ve asked the question 3 times now, and unless I have missed it you seem to be avoiding making answer.

      2. @ Kim. Ark isn’t able to enter into a reasonable discussion – he just throws stones from the sidelines. He can’t say that the evidence you have provided is interesting – he just wants you to say you are a YEC and that you believe dinosaurs lived the same time as humans so he can throw dirt and stones at you. That’s what pigs do with pearls.
        Now he has invited you to visit his den and meet the pack who gather there – sending communal territorial howl-ers back and forth. But I’ve noticed Australian sheep are smart and tough! All the best!

    2. “Just one [example of Creationists “poisoning the well”]? The indoctrination of children that the story of Noah’s Ark and the global flood as told in the bible is factual and every geologist, paleontologist, plate tectonic specialist, and biologist ( who is not YEC) is wrong.”

      Even if it were true that this is “indoctrination”, how is that “poisoning the well”? You obviously don’t know the meaning of the term. At https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/140/Poisoning-the-Well it is described as “To commit a preemptive ad hominem attack against an opponent. That is, to prime the audience with adverse information about the opponent from the start, in an attempt to make your claim more acceptable or discount the credibility of your opponent’s claim.”

      So the fact is that your false accusation is itself the true example of “poisoning the well”. Congratulations!

      “Feel free to offer the independent, non-biblical source for the resurrection of the character Jesus of Nazareth and the tomb he was claimed to have been buried in.”

      Another in a long line of evidence of your own presuppositional prejudice, as your statement assumes that the Biblical account cannot possibly be a true & reliable account. As scholars such as Gary Habermas & William Lane Craig have published extensive, indepth evidence as to why the Gospel accounts are more than reliable, & these are readily available, I’ll just offer this brief article:-

      http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

      “Therefore, whatever the cause of the preservation inside the bone , be it iron or it is simply contamination, a young age for it – thousands rather than millions – is simply not possible.”

      That’s a very dogmatic, un-scientific statement, especially as both contamination & iron preservation are now shown to not be relevant, & that, in fact, the preservation of the soft tissue, haemoglobin & molecules in question are KNOWN, from repeated & falsified experimentation, to be for “thousands rather than millions”.

      “And of course there are numerous other things that one must take into consideration when discussing such fossils.”

      That may be so, but this (still off-topic) conversation is specific to this particular case, which, if you wish to comment further, will begin to go around in circles, so I think we’re done here.

      1. “Nope, I didn’t miss the point at all. The argument is about how such bones were able to be preserved.
        And as you have acknowledged, no one is endorsing an early dating, other that Young Earth Creationists, of course, who are gleefully giving each other high fives because the dinosaurs must, therefore, only be thousands not millions of years old.
        Which all scientists would regard as rather silly.”

        If you’re going to cherry-pick from what I actually wrote to distort my clear meaning, why should I bother? What I wrote was:-

        “You miss the point. They don’t “endorse the early dating”, but by means of previously established experimental science they show why Schweitzer’s speculations don’t stand scrutiny. ”

        As I also excerpted a very long portion of the article your avoidance of commenting on it speaks volumes regarding its factual power.

        “And whatever the reason for the state of the Dino bone, your YEC model is, like Noah’s Ark, dead on the water.”

        Except that “the reason for the state of the Dino bone”, according to what we know from testable, repeatable & falsifiable experimentation (as the CMI article shows from independent sources) gives far more credence to a far more recent burial than the tens of millions of years which REAL experiments proved impossible. As Schweitzer herself admitted (& at least she deserves the last word in this):-

        “When you think about it, the laws of chemistry and biology and everything else that we know say that it should be gone, it should be degraded completely.”

        Get that? The LAWS of chemistry & biology & EVERYTHING ELSE THAT SHE KNOWS!!

        So don’t bother with any more of your cherry-picking distortions. They just prove how desperate your argument is. And besides, you’re now arguing in circles, covering the same ground with the same things over & over & over, & it’s getting really boring seeing nothing but the same old same old.

        And as for your offer of debating on your blog — you’ve gotta be kidding!! I had a good long look at it when you first appeared, & it’s a typically ignorant atheistic back-slapping irrational echo chamber of horrors where everyone is propping up everyone else’s skepticism by mocking those stupid Christians! As I’ve said before, if the subject wasn’t so serious it would be laughable. The fact that it is serious only makes it pitiful.

      2. As I also excerpted a very long portion of the article your avoidance of commenting on it speaks volumes regarding its factual power

        Oh, I read it, but it contains quotes from those who are Young Earth Creationists ( yes, I checked) which, as they have no credibility in mainstream science, once again, rather ruins your argument, for what is the point of me engaging with such arguments when mainstream scientists have already dealt with them?

        Yes, Mary S is baffled at this point and no definitive answer is forthcoming.
        I fully acknowledge this. Why wouldn’t I?
        But this why she is a scientist and not a Young Earth Creationist.
        The leap from: (paraphrase) ”scientists at this point are still working on the issue”.
        to:
        ” Aha … therefore dinosaurs are more likely to be thousands of years old just as us YEC have always claimed.” is borderline dishonest as you simply disregard all the other evidence and shoehorn this example into the 6000 year old Goddidit hypothesis, along with the nonsense of a global flood and dinosaurs accompanying Noah onto his ark.
        For goodness sake, Kim, do you honestly not realise just how silly that is?

        And you still refuse to answer regarding the dinosaur/ human co-existence question, and this is the thunderclap stand-out omission from this conversation.

        As for those religious commentators on my blog:
        Unlike me, who was merely a nominal Christian, most are former Christians and many are from very fundamentalist backgrounds. A couple were even in ministry.
        Some deconverted painlessly once they could not reconcile their faith with what the evidence was telling them, for others it was more traumatic.
        Under those circumstances it is perhaps understandable that many feel somewhat bitter about their past.

        I think you are probably right that this may have run its course.
        Although, with David’s leave once more, I will give you a further opportunity to tell me , and those who are still reading along , your stand on human/ dinosaur co-existence and the evidence you believe you have for such a view.

        Regards
        Ark.

    1. Sure …. No problem. If you promise to answer the question I asked before – Do you believe humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Yes or No? If Yes, tell me what evidence you have.

  7. Just to let you know, Kim , I actually read the Byrom article shortly after you posted the link.
    I have a reply ready to be posted but would prefer to read the answer to my question first.

  8. Sorry, Kim . I forgot to reply to these points you raised.

    Even if it were true that this is “indoctrination”,

    ….described as “To commit a preemptive ad hominem attack against an opponent. That is, to prime the audience with adverse information about the opponent from the start, in an attempt to make your claim more acceptable or discount the credibility of your opponent’s claim.”

    It is indoctrination. The Noah’s Ark tale and the global flood is a myth, and the claim that humans and dinosaur coexisted is absolute nonsense, as is the claim that dinos went on the ark.

    So you are in fact, ”priming the audience” (kids) with adverse info about the assertions of everyone who disagrees with this nonsense is wrong, which will include the vast majority of your fellow Christians.

    1. “It is indoctrination. The Noah’s Ark tale and the global flood is a myth, and the claim that humans and dinosaur coexisted is absolute nonsense, as is the claim that dinos went on the ark. So you are in fact, ”priming the audience” (kids) with adverse info about the assertions of everyone who disagrees with this nonsense is wrong, which will include the vast majority of your fellow Christians.”

      Again you are distorting what’s said. Your statement contains a veiled assumption that I taught my children about the Noachic Flood on the basis of blind faith, which is not so. Neither do any leading Creationists endorse such things.

      As I said before, ALL evidence of past events is no more than evidence of something happening. It is ALL subject to interpretation, which is what happens on BOTH sides of the debate. So your charge of “indoctrination” I find both silly & insulting, & also further evidence of your own blinkered anti-Christian prejudice.

      1. So you did teach the Noachic Flood to your kids but on the basis that your interpretation of the evidence is correct.

        Except for the problem that it isn’t correct and has been demonstrated time again as misrepresentation of the facts.

        The bible s not a science text book and nothing in it can be used to support a global flood.
        So yes, your belief in the Flood and all the details, is based on blind faith and a disregard of the scientific evidence.
        Thus, indoctrinating people with such beliefs is implying there is some sort of global conspiracy among the scientific community and people (kids) should disregard such claims, is most assuredly poisoning the well.

      2. “Thus, indoctrinating people with such beliefs [regarding the Noachic Flood] is implying there is some sort of global conspiracy among the scientific community and people (kids) should disregard such claims, is most assuredly poisoning the well.”

        It’s implying no such conspiracy at all. It IS, however, as I’ve now said numerous times (Are you THAT blinkered that you can’t see past your own prejudice???), that the two different views are simply two different, & in fact opposite, interpretations of the available evidence. If “indoctrination” is teaching children to examine the evidence honestly & openly & see which explanation best fits the evidence, then I’m guilty as charged, & so are all of those scientists on staff at CMI who encourage the same.

        But you wouldn’t know that, would you, as your own blinkered skepticism won’t even allow you to read what they write, & even when you do (as in the case of my link provided here) you so imply don’t comprehend what’s written, as you claim that it only “contains quotes from those who are Young Earth Creationists”, which it patently does not, as I pointed out to you the 19 citations from mainstream scientific sources.

        So what you’re saying is that if a mainstream scientist quotes from such a source it’s OK, but if a Creationist refers to it to make a point in favour of THEIR position it’s inadmissible.

        And the fact is that, in article after countless article on their website, http://www.creation.com, they give evidence from mainstream scientists which acts as “hostile witnesses” against the claims of Evolution, showing exactly where the cracks are papered over & whitewashed, which is precisely the case with the many articles (apart from the one linked here) on the site over a number of years in relation to Dr Schweitzer’s discoveries.

        So YOU want to lecture ME about “indoctrination”??? What an idiotic sick joke!!! You’re the MOST indoctrinated individual I’ve EVER come across in my whole life!!!

      3. It is indoctrination as the interpretation you adhere to is demonstrably false, using a wide variety of well established data points. (Re: the Noachic Flood)

        Some people might think the earth is flat. Others consider it a spheroid.
        Are these simply: two different views are simply two different, & in fact opposite, interpretations of the available evidence

        Of course not. To suggest so is utter nonsense, and to tell children otherwise is indoctrination.
        In fact let’s not beat about the bush – it is lying , plain and simple.

        Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

        As far as the Flood is concerned there are so many established data points that to list them would stretch even David’s patience on this issue.

        And these points are all based on accepted scientific principles whereas YEC interpretation requires the suspension of a multitude of factors – biological not least of these.
        Of the top of my head ….
        You might want to investigate why there are ( as far as I am aware) no YEC geologists working for any major oil company. Time Temperature Index.

        The fossil record firmly establishes an ordered progression.

        There are no human or hominid remains of any sort among dinosaur fossils.
        There are no (modern) mammal species either.
        There is no evidence of our famous Precambrian bunny rabbit.

        And if your case had any merit whatsoever why is there any need to lie in the first place?

        Perhaps you should address this issue first ?

      4. “It is indoctrination as the interpretation you adhere to is demonstrably false…”

        Then demonstrate it as false. But the FACT is that you cannot. Science does not work that way, ESPECIALLY origins science. You’re the one who keeps insisting on the need for Christians to supply “falsifiable evidence” for such things as Christ’s divinity, which is impossible, & then you make the claim that there is “a wide variety of well established data points” which disprove the Flood, which is equally impossible.

        The fact is that, as they are both occurrences from the past, then falsifiability is impossible. That being the case, your claimed “wide variety of well established data points” is simply a figment of your imagination.

        That’s because, as I’ve said now many times, BOTH sides of this debate are subject to the fact that evidence is interpreted through a particular philosophical presupposition.

        So to say one side is “demonstrably false” is itself a demonstrably false statement.

        To add to that, your comparison with belief in a flat earth is also misleading, as the shape of the earth is determined by observations in the present which can be tested, repeated, & yes, falsified. Not only that, from the first chapter of Genesis it is clear that the Bible presents the Earth as a sphere. So by using it as a comparison, all you’re doing is knocking down a straw man.

        But while we’re on the subject, did you know there really is a Flat Earth Society, & its President is an atheist who believes in Evolution?

        In short, this debate is now just going around in circles, & therefore I cannot see any benefit in repeating myself any more, & particularly in light of your accusation, “why is there any need to lie in the first place?”. If you’re reduced to attacking my character then we’re done!

      5. This just came up on my Facebook feed just after I finished my previous comment, so it can serve as an addendum to that:-

        https://www.discovery.org/m/2019/02/A-Scientific-Dissent-from-Darwinism-List-020419.pdf

        There’s over 1,000 scientists on this list. You can see from where they hold tenure that this is far from being a list of YEC or ID advocates.

        One of those scientists, Dr. Yvonne Boldt, Ph.D. Microbiology, of the University of Minnesota, puts the case well:-

        “When Darwinian proponents claim there is no controversy regarding the cohesiveness of the scientific evidence for evolution as creator, they are merely expressing a heartfelt desire….There is a growing contingent of scientists who have found the evidence for Darwinian evolution wanting, and who are ready and willing to debate Darwinists on scientific grounds.”

  9. @Kim

    As you are a Young Earth Creationist I am curious if you have ever read the RATE project and what are your thoughts?
    I think it would probably be better for all concerned if we could take this discussion over to my blog and save David the tedium of approving and releasing our comments – well mine at any rate.
    Would you be prepared to move this thread, Kim?

  10. As the final word in this nonsense, this article came up in my feed, & as the tone of the detractor involved, as well as quite a lot of the content, is so reminiscent of the nonsensical assertions made by Arkenaten here, I thought it worth sharing:-

    https://creation.com/the-indoctrinator

    Particularly pertinent to Arkenaten is the summation:-

    “Of course, it is difficult to talk meaningfully with someone like The ‘Indoctrinator’ who unquestioningly accepts the status quo, and who sneers at anyone who questions it without making the effort to properly understand their arguments….”

    “Many tertiary students have been through indoctrination mills, such as Prof. X’s institution, where the ‘pulpit’ is used to brainwash, rather than to train people in critical thinking. They have been told that ‘creationists’ are wrong, indoctrinating children, frightening horses and that they are environmentally unsound, and so they approach us with misguided atheistic missionary zeal, full of conviction, passion and prejudice, but without real knowledge. Attacking letters are regularly printed on the Feedback section of our Web site. The letters expose an ignorance of Scripture, ignorance of CMI ’s beliefs and often an appalling misunderstanding of science. However, many have told us that the Feedback is the favorite part of the CMI website because they can see that there are answers to the worst the bibliosceptics can throw at us.”

    Sums Arkenaten up to a “T”.

    1. @ Kim. You’ve put a lot of work into your responses – so well done! As I said before – very well put together and good reading. As a non-scientist – I’ve learned a lot and followed your links too – very interesting reading and I’m sure a benefit to any who read – but wasted on the ‘unreasonable’! I hope you continue to write as an apologist (if that’s what you call yourself) because you do a good job and I’m sure David appreciates it. Arkenaten has had more than enough time spent on him – and other regular atheists on here too – whose ears are closed and who are hell-bent on removing the Christian voice from the public space.

      I wonder actually if the argument for Christianity might move away from science altogether as science won’t have the intellectual high ground due to blunders and widespread lack of integrity. Perhaps in the future we may be discussing the discernment of signs and wonders? Not all people are taken in by science – spirituality is growing (angel guides etc) – but discernment is lacking. However, I’m finished on here – there is only so much you can take of “answering fools according to their folly”.

      1. @ Martha

        David is an evangelical Christian and while he may respect that Kim is allowed his own views, David most certainly does NOT hold with Young Earth Creationism.
        And for what it’s worth, neither did the church fathers or the founders of the Christian religion, the Catholic Church.

        YEC is viewed in the most dismal light by such esteemed scientists as Francis Collins and others such as Hugh Ross.

        However, as you seem to find his arguments have merit, perhaps you would like to answer the question he has flatly avoided from the outset, namely:

        Do you believe humans and dinosaurs co existed and if yes, what evidence do you have for this view?

        Thanks.

      2. Martha, we’re all called to be apologists, as the phrase in 1 Peter 3:15, “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…”, shows, as the word translated “defense” is the Greek word “apologia”.

        So I believe that we’re all called to that defense, whatever intellectual level we occupy, & whatever our individual level of Biblical understanding. We are not all scientists, or historians like David, or even high school graduates, but neither is the general population. So there are always individuals out there who we can engage with on our own level & theirs.

        I also believe that the average Christian is ill-equipped for such a defense, but I believe that’s due to the fact that most people today, not just Christians, prefer to be uneducated & unread, & instead to be entertained.

        Therefore, when the average uneducated non-Christian says to the average Christian something like, “But hasn’t science disproved God??”, or in fact any popularly & uncritically held opinion, the average Christian has not equipped themselves to respond to the question & show that average non-Christian how wrong that question is, & that person still blithely goes on with their ill-informed, swallowed uncritically, opinion.

        This dumbing down of the debate can be clearly seen in the arguments of Arkenaten (& he is far from unique, being more your typical, uninformed online skeptic), who simply spouts opinions that could have been cut & pasted from any number of atheist or skeptic websites, all ultimately deriving from writers like Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Onfray, etc. So all of these online bloggers end up sounding like trained parrots sitting on those writers shoulders, mindlessly reciting the lines they’ve learned from their masters.

        Thus they fall into the pit where their only means of attack is by fallacious ad hominems, misinformation & straw man attacks, as they have no understanding of Theology, Biblical History & any other associated field of learning other than what they swallow whole from these blogs & websites.

        In short, I’ve seen some online echo chambers in my time, but the atheist & skeptic examples absolutely take the prize!!

      3. Arkenaten, you continue to show the level of ignorance to which your blinkered skepticism drives you. And it’s no better shown than here:-

        “….neither….the church fathers or the founders of the Christian religion, the Catholic Church [held with Young Earth Creationism].”

        First, the Catholic Church we know today wasn’t the founder of “the Christian religion”. It’s founder was Christ, who delegated His authority to His apostles to continue to take the Good News into all the world, a fact which stands out in the consistency of the NT writings with the Gospel accounts.

        Second, the fact that the MODERN Catholic Church, through successive Popes, has given limited assent to Evolution is a fallacious appeal to authority, as it is neither evidence nor proof of anything, least of all whether or not Evolution is true or not, as the Church, nor the Pope who represents it, are scientific authorities.

        Third, you are completely wrong about the Church Fathers, as they almost universally accepted the 6 literal days of Creation in Genesis, as this article proves:-

        http://www.creationism.org/english/EarlyChurchLit6Days_en.htm

        In fact, as I pointed out in an earlier post, those like Origen & Augustine were merely positing the fact that God, being God, could have chosen to create the universe & everything in it instantly. So their concern was that 6 days was TOO LONG!

        Also, whether David, or even scientists like Francis Collins or Hugh Ross, disagree with the Creationist position or not is irrelevant to whether or not it’s an authentic field of enquiry. So all you’re doing is putting forward a genetic fallacy. Besides, there are more than enough scholarly rebuttals online, particularly of Ross’s position, to show that your confidence in them is misdirected.

        As for those gentlemen viewing Biblical Creationism in “the most dismal light”, none of them, not only as scientists, but particularly as Christians, would use such derogatory language. So all that means is that YOU hold it in such a light, which is worthless information.

        “Do you believe humans and dinosaurs co existed and if yes, what evidence do you have for this view?”

        Just another cheap & meaningless atheist “gotcha” question. I don’t know how many times I have to say this till it sinks into your deadened skeptical brain, but my “evidence” is identical to your “evidence”. Evidence of a past occurrence is, by definition, ONLY evidence that something occurred, & the deductions FROM that evidence will ALWAYS arise from a particular philosophical viewpoint.

        So now that you’re done repeating yourself ad nauseum, I’m not inclined to give your arguments (if they can be so described) any more unwarranted oxygen.

        But you have a choice. You can either go back to your dark little echo chamber of a blog & continue with your mutually mocking buddies there in your mutually mocking ignorance. Or you can be honest with yourself & take on the BEST arguments for Christianity, of which there’s no shortage online or in print, eminent writers like William Lane Craig, John Lennox, C S Lewis, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias, G K Chesterton, not to mention our host, David, & many other Christian scholars & intellectuals, & follow the evidence where it leads, instead of where your blinkered, ignorant skepticism leads you by the nose.

      4. I forgot to address the rest of your post, Martha.

        “I wonder actually if the argument for Christianity might move away from science altogether as science won’t have the intellectual high ground due to blunders and widespread lack of integrity.”

        I feel that unless those “blunders and widespread lack of integrity” wind up in the popular press then most people will remain unaware of issues such as the repeated failings of, & protests against, biased peer review, to name one. Thus it will remain a debate only known within the sciences & by those who know where to look.

        “Perhaps in the future we may be discussing the discernment of signs and wonders?”

        I am thoroughly convinced that this will be the final area where non-Christians are reached, & it is already occurring at an increasing rate. But then there will always be those like Arkenaten who are irredeemably hardened that no miracle will suffice. And the evidence is found in two accounts in the Gospels.

        First, when the Magi came to Herod the Great & asked questions about the recently (within the previous two years) born “King of the Jews”. Herod knew they weren’t asking about a human contender for the throne, as he’d had all of those, including many of his own offspring, assassinated. So he knew they could only mean the promised Messiah.

        This is confirmed by his asking the experts where Messiah was to be born. So Herod, when he had every male child in Bethlehem put to the sword, was trying to kill God’s anointed (as though that were possible)!!

        Second, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the inner circle of the Sanhedrin connected to the High Priest plotted to have Lazarus murdered. How loony can you be to try & murder someone who has been miraculously brought back to life to try & hide such a proof of Jesus’ divinity instead of falling on their faces in worship??

        So hard hearted unbelief is possible no matter how definitive the miracles.

  11. but my “evidence” is identical to your “evidence”. Evidence of a past occurrence is, by definition, ONLY evidence that something occurred, & the deductions FROM that evidence will ALWAYS arise from a particular philosophical viewpoint.

    Fair enough, let’s call it interpretation of the available evidence.
    Thus, as you state that your evidence is identical to my, please tell me what particular evidence you have seen that led you to believe that humans and dinosaurs co existed?

    Please bear in mind that, for obvious reasons anything you identify and / or link to should be based solely on the physical evidence.
    So while I fully acknowledge your views will have a theological base I am only interested in the physical evidence.
    Thanks.

  12. @ Ark
    “Do you believe humans and dinosaurs co existed and if yes, what evidence do you have for this view?
    Thanks.”

    I’m trying to get off this blog because engaging with atheists is disturbing. But seeing as you were so polite and thanked me in advance I have crafted you an answer. I think I’ll be finished then – see you at the pearly gates – and don’t expect David Robertson to put in a good word for you there!

    Ode to Arkenaten

    I know that Dinah saw(r) us
    Sitting on a Yak
    But that was not before us
    If you are a YEC.
    Behold the controversial bone
    Twas sliced and results spiced?
    For YECs this surely was great news
    Their cake was surely iced.
    But other peers whose brain expanded
    Just like the Universe
    Had YECs with looney label branded
    The dialogue was terse.
    The evidence is clear as mud
    From which it was extracted
    The answer’s set in stone you see
    Yet cannot be exacted
    The theory’s on and in the rocks
    I’m slow to settle in the stocks
    For if I answer this or that
    I’m sure to be told “that’s a lie that’s fat!”
    I really do not know for sure, when looking at the pages
    As to whether Yours Truly truly sees there, merely days or ages.
    But perhaps, with lots of tears and prayer
    I could pull a rabbit by the ears from the Precambrian layer
    Now that would really help my case
    And I wouldn’t need to hide my face.
    Failing that I remember that somewhere
    In a rusty dusty case of memoirs
    A picture done in hieroglyphics
    Of my ancestors, they really looked horrific
    But if I find I’ll let you see
    A picture that’s clear as clear can be
    Of my great great great etc…..grandmother from 4000 BC
    Sitting on a dino’s knee!

    1. Oh, Martha, that’s priceless (not to mention brilliant)!! I take my hat off to you! Or, as our famous Aussie poet, C J Dennis, put it in his poem, “The Sentimental Bloke”, I dips me lid!

    2. Ode to Martha

      While ”humerus” ditties of dino bones will likely raise a smile,
      One must endeavor, if one is clever, to go the extra mile.

      If you wish to taste the dish, namely the icing on the gateaux,
      Then for heaven’s sake , don’t be a flake, and wear the right chapeau.

      ”It’s fact!” they cry, oh me oh my, it’s granny on dino’s knee
      But sad to say, they’ll rue the day believing the Flintstones is a document-ary.

      1. Well, I must take my hat off to you too, Arkenaten. I confess I’m in shock. Your ditty is the equal of Martha’s & an excellent & “humorous” riposte. I can say it “raised a smile” from me! Perhaps you should stick to poetry. In fact you & Martha both display no small talent allied to wit.

      2. @ Kim
        And can one hope the hat or chapeau you have ”taken off ” is the YEC one?

        Irrespective, it is heartwarming to note you have an appreciation of poetry – even one of my very limited Worth-words salad.

        Maybe you should steer clear of the sciences? It might be better for your health?
        I for one have great faith you would do far better speculating on the abstract and the supernatural. Exorcism for example?
        Regards
        Ark.

      3. @ Arkenaten

        Ode to Arkenaten number two: A Lament

        While I can say that you display, a talent not inferior
        I have got the cutting edge, as my source’s far superior
        While mine is from the Maker’s hands
        Your’s is just by random chance
        So like Le Penseur please reflect
        Avec your pencil please correct
        The errors that are writ therein
        Or you’ll surely be guilty of unpardonable sin.
        For you invoked to make your case
        My God’s abode in the Highest place
        You can only use a place down here
        How about London, Paris or Windermere?
        What’s more, in reference to walking
        You used the words of Jesus talking
        Use old wives’ tales or your own devise
        If you want words to make you wise
        You cannot dip into His Word
        And pick some jewels like a magpie bird.
        Now I don’t think that like you say
        That ‘sad to think I’ll rue the day’
        For if I’m fooled the very same rules
        Will apply to me and you the very same way
        My bones will rot there in the ground
        Unless some day they will be found
        When man’s evolved to amphibian,
        With an IQ score of a thousand and ten
        With handy tail and eagle eye,
        Ow-l wings with which to fly
        Speed of cheetah strength of lion
        I’ll be seen as transition time.
        But if there’s something to be rued
        It is that in the time accrued
        The hardened pharaoh was deceived
        He’ll rue the day he did not believe!

      4. Ark, I’m sure you know that I will not be taking off my YEC “chapeau” any time soon, but neither will I be taking off the one I wear for poetry. One of my favourites can actually be used to describe the kinds of debates on media such as these. It is from W B Yeats’ “The Second Coming”:-

        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity

  13. Seriously, Arkenaten, you just go from bad to worse, then from worse to irrational. I only comment now because such nonsense requires correction.

    “Wrong … it was Paul [who founded Christianity, not Christ]. Learn your history instead of trying to fob off weak apologetics.”

    Seriously? Have you ever read the Acts of the Apostles or Paul’s account in Galatians 1 where he met with the leaders of the Church in Jerusalem, whose leadership he acknowledged?

    “Wrong again. Evolution is accepted [by the Catholic Church]… albeit guided.”

    And how is that any different to the “limited assent” I mentioned?

    “And … wrong yet again [that the Church Fathers believed in a six day Creation]. Origen and Alexandre were two considered Genesis allegory.”

    So you pick two out of many, & as I already noted (were you not reading what I wrote? Again??), their position was that six days was TOO LONG, as God could have created everything in the blink of an eye! Not only that, it’s not “Alexandre” its “Augustine”.

    On top of that, I provided a link which consisted EXCLUSIVELY of excerpts from the writings of a large number of the Church Fathers showing their adherence to a six day Creation &, again, you refuse to read it because it came from a Creationist source! How ignorantly blinkered can you be??

    But the worst I leave till last, as it shines a spotlight on just how blinkered your skepticism truly is, as I recommended a list of “eminent writers like William Lane Craig, John Lennox, C S Lewis, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias, G K Chesterton, not to mention our host, David, & many other Christian scholars & intellectuals, & follow the evidence where it leads, instead of where your blinkered, ignorant skepticism leads you by the nose”, but you chose the latter by replying:-

    “There are no ”best arguments ” for Christianity., as none of the individual you mention his ever presented a single piece of evidence for the tenets of your faith. Once more I remind you: You have no evidence merely arguments.”

    These are some of the finest & most respected writers & thinkers of the past hundred years, yet you blindly dismiss them with such a dismissive & wildly inaccurate claim that NONE of them has “ever presented a single piece of evidence for the tenets of your faith….no evidence merely arguments.”

    This is all the proof that’s required to show that you have no intention of engaging honestly with ANY issue raised by Christians, so don’t bother replying. You’re willful ignorance means you’re just not equal to the challenge.

    1. Well, as you have nothing but disdain for my views, perhaps you would like to explain to Scott why he is so patently wrong in his interpretation of the evidence.
      Surely you are not afraid to take your arguments to a genuine fellow Christian?

      1. “….as you have nothing but disdain for my views….”

        Not disdain your views, but evidence against them. You are demonstrably wrong in relation to Paul as the founder of Christianity (from the only written accounts of those facts, the Acts of the Apostles & Paul’s Letters), the Church Fathers not believing in a six day creation (again, from their own accounts), & that there are no “best arguments” for the truth of Christianity, when there is no shortage of “best arguments” available, both online & in print.

        As for summoning your new friend Scott to defend you, I think you should have read his exhaustive link on the historicity of Jesus before trying to use him to defend your position.

        In short, you display a complete lack of knowledge of the issues you claim to dismiss.

  14. Hello Kim,
    It has come to my attention that my article on dinosaur soft tissue, https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/dinosaur-soft-tissue/
    , was posted here, and that some dialogue has occurred regarding this subject.

    It is not clear to me whether you actually read this article carefully or at all. I wrote it to address exactly the issues that YE creationists like Jonathan Sarfati bring up. Like all the evidences presented by YE creationists, what he presents regarding soft tissues in dinosaurs seems very impressive at first, especially if you are not a research scientist with wide acquaintance with biology, chemistry, geology, etc. But if you take the trouble to look at all the factors, you will see that there is no good reason to believe that the dino fossils are drastically younger than 66 million years.

    If something in that article is not clear to you, feel free to post a question in the comments there, or in your thread here. I’ll try to work with you as long as it seems productive.

    Speaking of Sarfati, he came to my area not too long ago and presented a workshop promoting YE creationism. I attended, and wrote up my observations on his claims here:
    https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/a-creationist-speaker-comes-to-town/
    As you see if you even skim this article, there is a practical difficulty for practicing scientists in addressing what YE creationists claim: they can spew attractive but unfounded claims far faster than a scientist can answer them. The reason is that to address these issues typically involves teaching a lot of background in order to demonstrate why the partial truths presented by the YE creationist do not imply what he claims they do.

    I have assessed a set of claimed evidences for a young earth, showing why they fail, here: https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/evidences-for-a-young-earth/
    …..And presented some evidences that convinced nearly all practicing geologists (many of them devout Christians) by 1840 that the earth was many millions of years old, here:
    https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/some-simple-evidences-for-an-old-earth/
    You can, for instance, drill cores in lake bottoms and in glaciers and simply count the annual (summer/winter) layers down for many tens of thousands of years. This is not hard.

    As Ark mentioned, I am indeed an evangelical Christian. FYI, my article https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/historicity-of-jesus/
    is a vigorous defense of the historicity of Jesus, which (bizarrely) has come under attack by atheists recently, and yes, I believe that remarkable healings in Jesus’ name still occur:
    https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/study-healing-miracles-in-mozambique/
    https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/healing-of-nearly-deaf-boy-on-youtube/

    But…how can I support a non-literal reading of Genesis???
    If you are interested, you can look here:
    https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/evolution-and-faith-my-story-part-2/
    [I was originally a YE creationist myself, until I looked deeply into the issues and found in every case the YE proponents were only presenting partial truths, and systematically withholding “the rest of the story”]

    Finally, you might be interested to learn that hardly any Christians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, even the most rock-solid fundamentalists, held to a recent (6000 year old) creation. Today’s young earth creationism sprang almost entirely from the 1961 publication of “The Genesis Flood”. But that teaching was lifted from a bogus Flood geology inspired by a cult “prophetess” Ellen White, whose Adventist cult was spawned by the widely believed 1848 prophecies of the Second Coming by one William Miller, a farmer in rural New York state. Failed science stemming from a failed prophecy – – You couldn’t make all this stuff up. Anyway, you can read about it here: https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/exposing-the-roots-of-young-earth-creationism/

    I know I have dumped a lot of links on you here. I have found, in many interactions now, that most YE creationists have no genuine interest in the truth, but only in defending their viewpoint, so they cite an endless stream of assertions from creation.com or answers in Genesis instead of digging all the way down to bedrock on the technical issues themselves. I don’t blame them for this approach…if they feel (mistakenly, in my view) that they MUST take a literal interpretation of the Genesis narrative, then I understand and respect the feeling that they MUST shoehorn any physical evidence into that framework…

    I don’t really have time to debate all the possible issues. I will try to answer all reasonable questions you have about the dino soft tissue (your original issue raised here), and also about the evidences for an old earth discussed in the link I provided above. No other subject ; I believe I have given you enough material to peruse if you so choose.

    Best regards,
    Scott Buchanan (real name – – my great great grandfather Buchanan came to North America from Scotland)

    1. “I know I have dumped a lot of links on you here.”

      Boy, you’re not kidding!! But seriously, I will do my best to get through what time allows.

      “I have found, in many interactions now, that most YE creationists have no genuine interest in the truth….”

      Sorry, but I have met a number of these gentlemen, & I find them to be thoroughly reputable. Besides, as Christians, I find such a smear reprehensible, & it doesn’t help your argument to insinuate a base of dishonest motivation against other Christians just because you disagree with them, especially on issues which are not of major importance to the broader Christian worldview. We should always operate according to the old adage, “unity in necessary things; freedom in doubtful things; love in all things”. This you are not doing.

      “I believe I have given you enough material to peruse if you so choose.”

      More than enough. Thank you. Though I will not clog up this thread any more with off-topic commentary on it. In fact, I will struggle to find time to read them all, I’m afraid.

      “As Ark mentioned, I am indeed an evangelical Christian. FYI, my article https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/historicity-of-jesus/
      is a vigorous defense of the historicity of Jesus, which (bizarrely) has come under attack by atheists recently, and yes, I believe that remarkable healings in Jesus’ name still occur:
      https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/study-healing-miracles-in-mozambique/
      https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/healing-of-nearly-deaf-boy-on-youtube/

      I am familiar with the Bakers’ ministry in Mozambique. In fact, a few years ago one of our pastors’ wives served there as a volunteer, along with a couple of other ladies from our church. I have also seen video of Heidi teaching at a conference here in Sydney, but unfortunately wasn’t able to attend. But I have been to conferences here with Bill Johnson from Bethel in California & Randy Clark, & seen many people healed, & in fact have been the recipient of instantaneous healing myself on one occasion.

      Your article on the historicity of Jesus is certainly exhaustive & a model of its kind. So I must note the irony of Arkenaten so enthusiastically citing your blog entries against Biblical Creationism, yet blindly asserting that “There are no ”best arguments ” for Christianity., as none of the individual you mention [William Lane Craig, John Lennox, C S Lewis, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias, G K Chesterton, not to mention our host, David, & many other Christian scholars & intellectuals] his ever presented a single piece of evidence for the tenets of your faith. Once more I remind you: You have no evidence merely arguments.”

      Selective blindness at its worst.

    2. Postscript: Scott, I’m sure you would enjoy a book by a friend of mine in Sydney. His name is Roy Williams & the book was written as a response to a number of “New Atheist” books written not long before his in 2007. The title is “God, Actually” https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9780733322921/god-actually/.

      As a fairly new Christian at the time, coming from a family steeped in Left wing politics at the highest level in Australia (his father served one of our Prime Ministers as press secretary & speech writer — kind of like CJ & Toby from the TV series “The West Wing” rolled into one), he has some rather unorthodox views from within his beliefs (for which he took some lashes in print over here), particularly on the subject of Hell & eternal justice & mercy, but his legal background gives him a tremendous ability to tease out all facets of an issue, which he does with clarity, style & poise.

    3. “But that teaching was lifted from a bogus Flood geology inspired by a cult “prophetess” Ellen White, whose Adventist cult was spawned by the widely believed 1848 prophecies of the Second Coming by one William Miller, a farmer in rural New York state. ”

      My mother’s parents were Adventists, & while I would certainly disagree with them on a number of theological issues, to call them a “cult” is extreme in the least.

      Also, your oft-repeated tale regarding her influence on modern day Biblical Creationism is completely inaccurate, & as far as I can find, being the invention of Ronald Numbers in his book, “The Creationists”, which then got repeated by Mark Noll, in his book, “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind”, as Noll writes:-

      “[Creationism] has spread like wildfire in our century from its humble beginnings in the writings of Ellen White, the founder of Seventh-day Adventism, to its current status as a gospel truth embraced by tens of millions of Bible-believing evangelicals and fundamentalists around the world….Numbers described how a fatally flawed interpretive scheme of the sort that no responsible Christian teacher in the history of the church ever endorsed before this century came to dominate the minds of American evangelicals on scientific questions.”

      Yet, as Dr Terry Mortenson lays out the facts at https://answersingenesis.org/creation-scientists/profiles/historical-setting/, it was the “Scriptural Geologists” of the first half of the 19th century to whom the current Creationist authorities look to from that period, not to mention the fact that before the Enlightenment a literal reading of Genesis was clearly the orthodox view.

      Besides, what you do is repeat the fallacy of both Numbers & Noll, as https://answersingenesis.org/creationism/old-earth/defense-poor-reasoning/ points out:-

      “In his zeal to blame young-earth creationism for a large portion of evangelical ills, Mark Noll also ignored common sense. By claiming that young-earth creationism was founded on the teachings of Ellen White, he committed the logical error known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy occurs when one confuses the origin of a view with the truth of the view. It may be a good strategy in a courtroom (i.e., discrediting the witness), but it has no bearing on truth or the validity of an argument. If a discredited witness said that “2+2=4” the statement is still true, even though the witness may be lying or mistaken about other things. Clearly Noll’s reasoning here is not logical. Whether or not young-earth creationism began with Ellen White would have no bearing on its truth or falsity. Furthermore, White was taking Genesis 1–11 as literal history just like scriptural geologists did and just as the vast majority of the Church had for the first 18 centuries. Young-earth creationism is nothing new. Rather, old-earth creationism is the novelty and fatally flawed interpretive scheme.”

      So in my view you blot your copybook by falling into the trap & smearing other believers with such falsehoods to try to make your case, & I’m afraid it disinclines me to take any of your other objections seriously. After all, if you stoop once & are found out, how can I accept what you say elsewhere?

  15. Kim,
    Nice to hear you have had good experiences with Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, etc… we spent a whole month last summer living at an Air BnB in Redding, California , specifically to hang out at Bill’s Bethel church and participate in as many of the many activities there as we could. I wrote about that pilgrimage here: https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/prayer-for-healing-at-bethel-church/
    . We also went on a missions trip with Randy to Germany in 2013, https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/germany_mission/ (I know, more links….)

    Are you in Australia? I had the impression that the Wee Flea was sort of Scot-centric. It seems like one of Australia’s chief exports to the U.S. has been YE creationists (just kidding…)

    About my characterization of YE creationists – – I was not making some baseless smear. I was reporting my uniform experience with them in dealing with scientific issues over the past ten years. Let me say that I agree with you that their motives are laudable and their intention is to be truthful, but in fact they are not truthful when it comes to physical evidence. There is a straightforward reason for that: they have confused their interpretation of the Word with the Word itself. They elevate their six 24-hour day interpretation of the Genesis narrative (with Flood geology) to non-negotiable status. That then becomes their filter for everything else, including physical facts. If the facts do not fit their worldview, they will deny or distort the facts as much as needed till they do fit. Again, with a crystal-clear conscience and the very best of intentions.
    Here is how this works, in their own words. This next paragraph is from the preface to The Genesis Flood:

    “We believe that the Bible, as the verbally inspired and completely inerrant Word of God, gives us a true framework of historical and scientific interpretation, as well as of so-called religious truth. This framework is one of special creation of all things, complete and perfect in the beginning, followed by the introduction of a universal principle of decay and death into the world after man’s sin, culminating in a worldwide cataclysmic destruction of the “world that then was” by the Genesis Flood. We take this revealed framework of history as our basic datum, and then try to see how all the pertinent data can be understood in this context…the real issue is not the correctness of the interpretation of various details of the geological data, but simply what God has revealed in His Word concerning these matters.”

    On this telling, the authors KNOW that the earth was recently created, that decay and death only entered the world following Adam’s apple, and all terrestrial life was drowned apart from the humans and animals on Noah’s ark. Knowing this to be the case, they feel justified in distorting or ignoring whatever physical evidence points to an old earth – they KNOW that old-earth evidence must be invalid, so they need give it no credence: “We take this revealed framework of history as our basic datum, and then try to see how all the pertinent data can be understood in this context.”
    And you will find similar statements from other YE creationist authorities on how no physical fact can possibly contradict their YE creationist model.

    My article on Evidences for a Young Earth https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/evidences-for-a-young-earth/ (linked earlier) walks through several claims by YE creationists, and shows how in most cases these claims are simply incorrect, and that the YE creationists have been clearly told why they are incorrect, and yet the YE creationists keep making them.

    Perhaps the easiest for a layman to understand is the claim around the folded rock layers in the Grand Canyon. I’ll just give a quick recap here, but you’d need to go to the link for the full story. The Answers in Gene site shows a photo of tightly bent rock layers, claiming these layers could only have been thus deformed if they were still in a soft, unconsolidated state immediately following their deposition during the Flood. As Snelling has stated elsewhere, “When solid, hard rock is bent (or folded) it invariably fractures and breaks because it is brittle. Rock will bend only if it is still soft and pliable”. The uninformed layman may be impressed by this argument, but it is shameful for a PhD geologist like Snelling to make this claim. Obviously, solid rocks at atmospheric pressure and temperature will fracture if you try to bend them. But every geologist knows that since the 1960s geophysicists have been able to attain high temperatures and high pressures in the laboratory which mimic conditions several miles deep in the earth, and have demonstrated that at these conditions and with slow deformation, rocks can easily bend without major fracturing.

    So the AiG claim is simply false. Geologists have pointed this fact out to AiG for years, but I guess they find their little photo so compelling that they won’t let it go. This is sheer dishonesty. But it actually gets worse:

    In the particular case of the folded Tapeats sandstone in the Grand Canyon which Snelling claims as evidence for a young earth, he is not telling the truth even about obvious observations. He presents a low-resolution photo, where it is impossible for the reader to determine if there are small-scale fractures. Snelling writes, “The folded Tapeats Sandstone can be seen in Carbon Canyon (Figure 3). Notice that these sandstone layers were bent 90° (a right angle), yet the rock was not fractured or broken at the hinge of the fold.” But a higher resolution photo on the HowOldIsTheEarth blog [see link on blog ] shows a clear set of fractures on either side of this sharpest bend in the rocks. So Snelling can be formally correct in saying the rock was not fractured right at the “hinge”, but that is because the rock is fractured just on either side of the hinge. This is a rock formation that AiG has repeatedly visited, so they know perfectly well that these fractures are there. However, in the AiG photograph, besides being low-rez, there are two people carefully positioned to hide these two key fractures. (!!!!)

    And in the https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/a-creationist-speaker-comes-to-town/ I note many instances where Jonathan Sarfati “shades” the truth – – he presents a few facts, but withholds all the other facts which would disprove his claims. Towards the end of that looong article, I note where he is still quoting a 1975 article on australopithecines, which is known to be incorrect (it was a very early, preliminary study, not based on all the evidence), despite other scientists telling Sarfati that this 1975 quote is simply wrong. However, it seems Sarfati likes this quote because it gets him what he wants.

    I could go on and on with these instances with the “professional” YE creationist advocates. But what I was really referring to with “..I have found, in many interactions now, that most YE creationists have no genuine interest in the truth, but only in defending their viewpoint, so they cite an endless stream of assertions from creation.com or answers in Genesis instead of digging all the way down to bedrock on the technical issues themselves” was not the pros, but all the YE creationists I have personally interacted with on the internet over the past ten years.

    Pattern: They bring up some something that they think disproves an old earth or evolution. I have spent considerable time providing them with “the rest of the story”, showing why that claim fails (as with the “Evidences for a Young Earth” link). To the best of my recollection, never once in ten years has any of my correspondents ever said, “Yes, now that all the facts are on the table, I see now why this claim is not valid”. They either ignore what I have shown them, and want to change the subject by posting links to yet some other YE claim, or they conclude by telling me that I am in danger of hellfire for destroying people’s faith in the Bible. (The irony there is that it is the YE creationists who destroy faith in the Bible – – untold thousands of young Christians are told that a 6000 year old 6-day creation is a non-negotiable part of Christianity, then they go to college and learn enough science to realize that is completely ridiculous, and then they quite reasonably conclude that the Bible is not a trustworthy guide.)

    And so I was trying to inform you up front that I would try to answer specific questions about the dino tissue (which was the original issue that brought me to this site), or about the Evidences for an Old Earth link, but I am not going to chase down whatever is the latest claim in the YE blogosphere on why an old earth has been disproven. I hope you can understand my position here.

  16. Regarding the harm that YE creationism does to faith of educated people (which is a large part of why I bother to engage with all this), I’ll share two quotes, one old and one more recent:

    “ Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the Earth, the Heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.

    “ The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?” – St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis (408 A.D) Book 1, ch.19.

    And from a missionary in the former Soviet Union in the 1990’s, lamenting how YE creationists denounce Christians who disagree them and warning of the impact on evangelism:

    “The worst aspect of YECS [Young Earth Creation Science] teaching is that it creates a nearly insurmountable barrier between the educated world and the church. .. How many have chosen to give up their faith altogether rather than to accept scientific nonsense or a major reinterpretation of Scripture? How much have we dishonored our Lord by slandering scientists and their reputation? How much have we sinned against Christian brothers holding another opinion by naming them “dangerous” and “compromisers”? …Pastors need to rethink these issues as outlined above and teach a responsible Christian viewpoint with all humility…Christian radio and TV stations need to invite qualified speakers to wrestle with these issues in a responsible way…Finally, missionaries and evangelists need to get materials expressing other viewpoints translated to oppose the virtual monopoly YECS teaching has overseas. As I write this paper, I see YECS literature becoming more and more widely distributed in the growing churches in my corner of the former Soviet Union. We are sowing the seeds of a major crisis which will make the job of world evangelism even harder than it is already.”

    http://paleo.cc/paluxy/joshzorn.htm

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