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In 'checking out' the facts, he gathers data for the interesting declaration that diversity, ''disparity in anatomical design'' of life in these Cambrian rocks exceeds what is in our contemporary oceans. Of gradualistic concepts in the face of this vital profusion of multiply-modelled, hi-tech abounding life, Gould attests this: ''literally incomprehensible''! (Op.cit., pp. 208, 260; cf. p. 160 supra.)
Not merely, then, is there a substantial contribution to currently known life immediately in this first basic 'geological age', as the theory has it: it exceeds what we now have in the oceans. A more delightfully sharp rebuke to the evolutionary notion of gradual arrivals could scarcely be constructed by Lewis Carroll, even with all his gifts, even if he set his mind to parody evolutionary pretensions. Here, however, the 'parody' is found... in the facts. Evolution is a parody of a scientific theory, one so gross, that if it were instead a scientific theory, those who hold it could be appalled by the gall of the maker of the parody.
Put more specifically,
in terms of form: the theory of gradualism
is a parody of the facts; a rejection of the evidence;
is falsified as a scientific theory by continual confirmation of this contradiction of what it would predict;
formally defunct character is re-asserted with the progress of knowledge, with increasing and now mortifying force and firmness. That is its logical character. It is like the corpse of Lenin: very dead, but surprising kept on view. In this case, however, wanton devotee work is not interested in acknowledging that the corpse is (scientifically) dead.
One example of the reluctance to acknowledge this death, comes in a form to which Gish makes illustrative reference, in Eldredge's assertion that the soft-bodied biota in the early Cambrian would not display much in the way of intermediates because they were soft-bodied. At this Gish explodes:
It is difficult to believe that Eldredge or any other scientist could have made such a statement . . . Surely if palaeontologists are able to find numerous fossils of microscopic single-celled, soft-bodied bacteria and algae, as Eldredge does not doubt they have, then they could easily find fossils of all the stages intermediate between these microscopic organisms and the complex invertebrates of the Cambrian. (P. 59, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record).Gish continues, citing examples, and speaks of many hundreds of examples of fossil preservation of the soft- bodied, indicating that the difficulty, for Cambrian, is that they do not find them, these 'fossils of all stages': easily or otherwise!
A similar astonishing statement is self-confessed by Richard Leakey in his claims in the human palaeontological field, when he acknowledged:
I am staggered to believe that as little as a year ago I made the statements that I made (Gish cites, op.cit. p. 156).Oxnard, having earlier wondered about new forms which might contribute (1975), is most cautious in his 1981 comment. Similarly, depreciatory and systematic downgradings of some "hopefuls", in the Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) type, arrived from such as Stern and Susman. Their comments are extensively noted by Gish (op.cit., pp. 158 ff.); and in fact, these exhibits were among the earlier cases of the Australopithecine type Oxnard had carefully categorised as way out of human relevance as a line: affirming indeed in 1987 (p. 227, Fossils, Teeth and Sex) that all Australopithecines are further from African apes and man than these latter are from each other. Similarly Leakey was to co-author of a paper with Alan Walker in 1981, which includes Walker's view that the famed 1470 skull was in fact australopithecine; and Leakey, says Gish, "backed down considerably" in his own categorisation.
Small wonder then that Oxnard in the midst of a long history of such happenings could say (Homo, 30; 243, 1981): "There has never yet been announced a new find that was not a human ancestor", a statement made it would seem, not without considerable irony from the one who showed so authoritatively with Zuckerman, equipped with thoroughness and persistence, the alien elements of australopithecines for any station or stop on the human line, which, like the rest, arrives in its own right.
Zuckerman as we note, has referred to this lack of any established ancestry after some 15 years of intensive research with multivariate analysis: this technique being brought in for more objectivity in assessment, involving the use of computers. If man had been created direct, we recall that he indicated, there would be no evidence to dispute it (p. 64, Beyond the Ivory Tower). The Cambrian case differs not in kind, but in drama from some of the others.
With the 'Cambrian' ocean explicitly stated to have more life forms than is now the case, including a mollusc with eyes advanced like our own, it is time a little refrigeration was employed on the corpse of this mutilated theory: even for devotees. It is time eyes of human understanding opened on this sight - not the sightless eyes of the rigid dead.
37 EXTENSION K: ON DATING: MODELS, PREDICTIONS AND DATING
1. Morris notes - and this is an indirectly related but important point: that not only does creation admit of an answer to the 'wrong order' phenomenon for strata, as noted; it predicts such a phenomenon (Scientific Creationism, p. 116). Predictively, Morris indicates the situation on the flood basis, and its competence for covering the case, compared with uniformitarianism and its capacity to meet the data. He cites 14 predictions which are fulfilled from the flood model, and which accord better than is the case for those which uniformitarian considerations can produce.
While some things are complex, making precise prediction difficult, there are many which are relatively straighforward; and the tally speaks of superior power to meet what evolution so often disregards, the exact contour of the facts. It is precisely the intractable character of many of the results, for any theory of evolution, which accords relatively so well with the turbulent but powerful mechanisms of the flood, a sort of hydraulic holocaust which, while far from uniformitarian, would tend to act predictably in such ways as Morris outlines... and finds in fact.
In other words, such things as awkward non-conformities in geology and fossil aggregations and order are not only covered but predicted - on the one approach, but neither on the other; and we have in fact such things in front of us.
2. It is not surprising if some creatures, such as for example, bony fish, were not impounded and compacted by flood waters below certain sedimentary depths and, though capable of intermixing, have a heavy outcome at certain levels, as is the case. Morris speaks of the depth of normal habitat for fish and reptiles, and the tendency for the latter to be at the water-level verge; and notes that one would expect to find 'higher' such creatures than bottom dwelling invertebrates (see Genesis Flood, p. 276, Scientific Creationism, p. 119).
Complex armoured fish might have various forces involved in their placement, such as their comparatively burdened quality on the one hand, and possible earlier extinction on the other. Highly active fish such as sharks might be attracted both to surface conditions and abundant prey. Such questions do not pose any special difficulty to the complex of considerations which would be present; but the results have a strange impact indeed on evolutionary theory here; and this not only in its failure to account for special and varied evidences as noted.
Thus Gish (Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record pp. 94-95) points out that on that readout of the fossil record, you would have this situation:
Evolutionists would have us believe that mammalian evolution stood still for about 120 million years. For 120 million years, according to evolutionary theory, mammals, apparently existing for that vast, vast stretch of time in extremely few numbers, remained evolutionarily dormant as rather small, generalized forms. Then, in the blink of an eye of geologic time, most reptiles, including the dinosaurs, disappeared, and appearing abruptly, fully- formed were the thirty-two orders of mammals, all highly specialized, so that they could immediately be classified as primates, whales, bats, rodents, odd-toed ungulates, even-toed ungulates, etc..
He cites Professor G.G. Simpson to this effect:
It is as if the curtain were rung down suddenly on the stage where all the leading roles were taken by reptiles, especially dinosaurs, in great numbers and bewildering variety, and rose again immediately to reveal the same setting but an entirely new cast, a cast in which dinosaurs do not appear at all, other reptiles are supernumeraries, and all the leading parts are played by mammals of sorts barely hinted at in the preceding acts (from p. 42 of Simpson's Life Before Man).This of course is the Cambrian situation all over again; and just as that was a demonstration from data of the counterfeit character of gradualistic evolution, so here is the duplication of the demonstration. Here is the expression of a modus operandi wholly discordant with anything but creation, plenty of it, both multitudinous and varied, sudden, with sub-varieties. To explain this as any sort of combination of particles with no guidance, program or constraint is not to explain; it is to ignore. To so explain it yet again, not for an event, but for a disposition of all events, is to fail in scientific method not merely in not predicting specific events, but in ignoring specific indications when they come, selecting the nethermost thought to cover evidence. That is simply a fact.
That the conceptual apparatus implicit and operational in the programs through symbols requires no cause, such a view is in itself a denial of science as a discipline at all. Gradualism is anti-evidential and illogical both. Punctuated equilibrium, while bowing to the inevitable, in the evidence, is obliterative of reason. Such is the price for ignoring God, fantasy masquerading as science, in violent, if not indeed comical, departure from reason, like drug-dealing delinquents...
3. On the radioactive dating area, Morris points out that radiogenic materials would tend to be "diluted" nearer the surface in the turbulent churning of the flood, so reducing their apparent age (for example argon would tend to be liberated from the potassium minerals, radon and helium from the uranium), so giving an apparent "age" that would be relatively less than would be the case for the 'deeper and denser rocks' (The Genesis Flood, pp. 367-368).
This is the more impressive in view of the discordant results from different radioactive methods, noted by Melvin Cook1 (see point 4, below) and emphasised at length with data, by Professor E.H. Andrews (God, Science & Evolution, pp. 120 ff.) Such methods can even produce different ages from the same rock, Cook states; just as in Hawaii, volcanic materials hundreds of years old became... millions (#-see note, end of *37).
Morris also observes that this would not be a complete case of simple character (i.e. the differential admixture amid the turbulence, of the radioactive materials), but rather this "dilution" would would be a trend, and that this is precisely what is found. This approach, in other words, not only, once again, accounts for the trend of the evidence, but in numbers of cases, for the fact that it is no more than a trend. It is not a question of an orderly sequence of "ages" but of tempestuous and varying forces, from time to time and place to place, forces which notwithstanding, have a trend on objects subjected to them, in their varying situations both of emplacement and operation.
The flood allows the facts to be met rather than inset into the theory, as anomalous and strange results that really have no explanation at all, and that in massive components. The conformity is in this: that some unexplained facts fit with others of the same kind. Facts notably departed from are 'met', like comrades, with others like them: such as having seamless-robe types of upward movement of hundreds of square miles of territory, free of evidence, just to meet the theory and 'force' the facts to fit... having the strata to conform in their sequence, to a theory to which they do not conform. That theory, however, in such a case is simply contradicted.
It is then not a case of acknowledging vast and diverse forces, sometimes observable, with not always precisely predictable results; the creationist approach has this bill of complete health. With evolutionism, it is a case rather of a theory, contradictory of facts which are a result. That is fatal to any theory put forward with a view to meeting the facts; and that is self-evident.
That is the character of evolutionary theory: it is a religion, and one not factually oriented. To force this on people is even worse than trying to force 'Christianity' on them, wrong-headed as that would also be: it is to force fiasco and fantasy on them, instead of the acceptance of God the Creator who cares and conducts Himself more wisely than His creation, man. It is to force unreality on them, rather than reality, and is doubly wrong therefore.
4. Dr Melvin Cook provides a method of correcting dates in terms of looking at all the evidence, including that of common lead, in the six lead-related methods of date "determination". In his presentation, Do Radiological Clocks Need Repair ? (Scientific Studies in Special Creation, Ed. Walter Lammerts), itself an updating and condensation of some of his work, Prehistory and Earth Models: he makes three important points.
First, the lead methods do not accord with all the evidence; and second, when the evidence is brought to bear more thoroughly, the divergence between the dating results from these methods is brought back to more harmony, among themselves, and thirdly, the dates resulting are brought back to a far nearer age to the present.
Accounting for divergences from the predicting model, in the data, by what he calls the neutron-gamma reactions, intrusive impacts of foreign particles into the system, he shows the extent of these needed, to account for the actual data and harmonise it with fact that Nitrogen 14 / Nitrogen 15 ratio differs in the atmosphere from that found in compounds. The theorised intrusion of these neutron-gamma reactions to explain this is converted to a factor, and applied as a prima facie situation which confronted other radioactive processes, such as those affecting the lead methods. Correcting here by such a factor, he not merely "explains the discrepancies" in readings noted, but "effectively wipes out all of geological time" (pp. 87-88).
Other related processes are examined in detail, and they are then all related to the carbon method. This (in view of the imbalance of C14/C12, the assessable disequilibrium between these two forms of carbon, confirmed and contrary to the assumptions on which this carbon dating method is constructed), after being corrected by Dr Cook, yields then a factually based refinement of the method. So adapted, it yields results at least concordant with those of the other methods rather than, as currently used, discordant. This correction in the carbon model "telescopes all results by this method to about 10,000 years or less!" (p. 81).
The advantage of all this care to cover all the data is great. Not only is such an insistence proper. In addition, substantial and new harmony between dating results from different dating methods, is gained. Thus Cook insists on dealing with all the evidence, including anomalous lead ratios, and accuracy with the carbon ratios: and presents a harmony on such bases as this. However, he equally insists that (though this is a theoretical improvement in its own terms and a scientific advance), "the most serious difficulty is the impossibility of defining initial conditions and isotope concentrations needed in all calculations of time with the radioactive time clocks. One can really never know these necessary concentrations so that the science of radiological dating has become merely a science of guessing" (p. 84).
Dr Cook discusses varied radioactivity methods, and in addition to the above, notes the effects of uranium leaching, which in turn leads to the question of the rate of uranium chemical deposition in the ocean, something which, if followed out, leads to a young earth dating. Thus (p. 85), he states: ''While almost as much uranium crust is disappearing in this way from the surface sediments as is decaying in the entire crust of the earth, particularly revealing is the dilemma that the oceans have in them only a few thousand years of such uranium accumulation. How old are the oceans, after all?''
He also particularly exposes the absurdity of "applying precise analytical methods in an environment where contamination (by precisely the same isotope being analyzed) is greater by a factor of more than a hundred than the radioactivity-generated product one wants to determine...", in the potassium argon case. Further, as Morris points out in his Scientific Creationism, p. 146, decay rates are subject to acceleration by neutrino influx, here also. The effect of this radiation variable is to reduce dates.
DR COOK'S SUMMARY AND ALLIED CONSIDERATIONS
Dr Cook's summary in his Prehistory and Earth Models (pp. 340-341) is cited by Dr James F. Coppedge, as Director of Probability Research in Biology, Northridge, California (in his Evolution: Possible or Impossible? pp. 196-197), and is worthy of note. ''The helium content of the atmosphere, its exudation rate from the lithosphere, and the maximum possible rate of loss into the exosphere indicate a maximum atmospheric age of around 104 to 105 years. The uranium content of the oceans, the flux rate into the oceans, the relatively small uranium content of the ocean sediments and absence of any other uranium 'sink' suggest a maximum age for the oceans of 105 years. Isotopic ratios of lead and strontium seem to show that the age of the earth is small relative to the half-life of corresponding radioactive sources. Uranium-thorium-lead chronometry is discordant and anomalous when interpreted conventionally, but the uranium-lead picture turns out to be remarkably consistent when re-interpreted in terms of possible (n,g) reactions2 and the effects of leaching uranium ores in relatively recent times... The Sr86/Sr87 ratios also bear out a short history of the earth... From the observed magnetism and rates of decay of natural remanent magnetization the upper limit of the age of the lavas exhibiting paleomagnetism appears to be below 105 years.'' Oceanic nitrate concentration suggests an earth younger still (loc.cit.)!
Two related points of interest are noted by Professor E.H. Andrews in his God, Science & Evolution, pp. 122-123. He has worked in the strontium isochron radio-dating field, and notes concerning its basis, that the assumption that the strontium 87/strontium 86 ratios were identical at zero age for 'all closely associated minerals lies at the heart of the method'. He adds that it is to be queried in practice, because 'the isotopic ratio varies widely in nature' and in theory, 'because of the differential mobility of the two isotopes'. Once again, it is mere assumption, onto which mathematics is too late built, the mere slave, in this, of philosophy.
Dr Harold Slusher points out (in his Critique of Radiometric Dating, p. 33) that Dr Cook considers the ratio 'better explained as a natural isotopic effect, since similar curves are obtained for plots of Fe54/Sr86 vs. Fe58/Sr86 which are known not to be time functions', a result which, at the outset emphasises the sheer exuberance of philosophy in rushing in to determine ages from such fields. Delusions of omniscience seems to have become almost a professional hazard in radio-dating.
In similar vein, one finds that helium 4, a by-product of uranium decay is vastly smaller in concentration in our atmosphere than would be deduced from its rate of production, except the production, starting at zero, had been for only some thousands of years. Morris, in his Scientific Creationism, p. 151, gives considerable evidence concerning the atmospheric dynamics of helium production and loss, citing also Dr Cook on his survey of sources and loss, leading to an indication of a very short earth date.
Was there then no helium at the start ? It must be acknowledged that, after all, this is the sort of assumption made for argon, by evolutionists, none at the commencement, and this assumption for helium leads to such a result.
This differs from the case with argon, however, in that there is evidence that argon is present in volcanic eruptions, and that it may have been been in the magma from the commencement, making the assumption that there was none at the first, if a sop to philosophy, certainly no monument to science. As Dr E.H. Andrews points out, it would be just as logical to postulate an argon concentration at the beginning, some "'universal' finite concentration", for example that of the present time. If this were to be taken as the non-radiogenic original, then potassium-argon dating would give dates 'close to zero for most rocks' (p. 122, God, Science & Evolution).
Other sources of wonder and mirth in this elaborately serious field include the fact that potassium argon dating is based on uranium-lead dating, defects of which Dr Cook has sufficiently exhibited, while there is the delicious absurdity of rocks containing different ratios of compounds such as strontium 86 and 87, in parts of the same rock, thus yielding different and even highly different 'results' for it. This merely accentuates the loss of due care in considering all the possibilities and impossibilities of using such methods as these, subject to such ignorance, often to such yawing mathematical extrapolations and escalations, uncertainty, defilements through intrusion, loss through leaching, variability of rates, guesswork about original conditions and so on.
As will be stressed, there is some merit in such circumstances in dealing with less volatile evidences, and looking for actions not clearly known to be susceptible to alteration, as it were, without notice, at the decision of the management, like prices in a sale! ... when trying by such methods, to peer into the past. Allowance must also be made for the fact that the onset of catastrophic conditions can affect many rates as vastly, or at least enormously, as does the assumption about decay rate and original condition.
Of fascinating concern, in particular, is Professor Andrew's statement (loc.cit.), as one practising in the field, that 'any whole rock containing two or more minerals with different initial Sr87/Sr86 ratios must automatically give a false isochron, possibly of several hundred million years, even at zero age.' This reminds one of the Hawaiian case, noted at the end of this coverage (p. 241 infra).
Moreover, as Andrews emphasises: "The assumption that Sr87/Sr88 ratios are identical at zero age for all closely associated minerals lies at the heart of the method and is questionable both theoretically (because of the differential mobility of the two isotopes) and experimentally (because the isotopic ratio varies widely in nature)." The fact that it is the very genius of the reality, its esprit and reality, that the BEGINNING MODES and hence 'initial' states, ratios and rates, are precisely the issue, and for different reasons may be wholly diverse from present situations, with therefore unknown procedures and results, both immediate and proximate, makes even Professor Andrews' criticisms, a mere beginning, excellent though it is. The considerations adduced by Dr Russell Humphreys (Starlight and Time) are only one genre in that field. (See also Barbs, Arrows and Balms 15.)
If you want to find what you feel need
to know, guessing, imaging or imaging on convenient bases, what you do
not know, as a method, and then proceeding from there: this is not the
way to do it. To find x, assume y is not so much myth or magic, as presumption.
Its relationship to science is barren. Calling it science is the mythical
part, debasing to that study and demeaning to its methods. When the guess
pre-supposes the very bases you wish to exhibit, the play is inconsequential.
The need is then to proceed from rates or ratios which depend less on imagination,
and more on ascertainable grounds. It is these of course which abundantly
in concord, show a brief style of history for the operation of the earth.
Reverting now to Dr Cook's correction work with lead ratios: the superior degree of dating concordance by different methods he claims as a result, then acts in terms of verification of the young age; as do the other rates and processes he notes in the preceding longer quotation from his cited book, together with the radiocarbon results he cited in his later article as noted.
THE SCIENCE OF GUESSING
In overview then, of this contribution from Dr Cook, and its correlates from others: while this improves the comprehensiveness of data treatment and the concordance of dating results, Cook like numbers of others makes the point that radiological dating has become "the science of guessing". To the extent used, however, his data-conscious corrections solve problems and make for more harmony than otherwise presented in highly diverse dating results from these methods, while harmonising also far better with the other discordant dating criteria, coming from other types of considerations and rates which require a young earth with intractable seeming force.
In addition is the ocean solution rate of different minerals (Dr Cook mentions only one of a number in our excerpt), the extraordinarily thin moon dust layer, the rate of reformation of lunar craters (mentioned elsewhere in this work), the rate of dispersion of galactic spirals, the persistence of comets, Slusher's "missing mass" phenomenon (The Origin of the Universe, pp. 39 ff.), and so on. Of no small impact, moreover, are Dr Robert Gentry's contributions as a leading world expert on pleochroic halos. Not only does this give strong indication of almost instantaneous creation of rock in the early Cambrian. Dr Gentry also provides, through the measurement of the action of particles from radioactive materials trapped in rock, relatively direct confirmation of the reasoning of Dr Cook re the change of decay rate of radioactive minerals, making a potent partnership of theory and observation.
Indeed, sustaining the theme of careful
collation of evidence, Dr Robert Whitelaw3
in Patten's Symposium on Creation V (pp. 39-50) notes that the disequilibrium-adjusted
carbon dating of human and other fossils markedly correlate
i) with history, the Bible and very late human datings; and
ii) with a date c. 3000 B.C. for a world-wide flood. Classifying some 10,000 fossils, (by marine/terrestrial, or hemisphere, or man, animal/tree specific groupings), in each case by 500 year intervals, he shows build up in depositions to around 3000 B.C., THEN sudden dramatic drop in all categories, with growth thereafter.
It is difficult to over-stress the importance of observation in these matters which, together with circumspection, is an excellent corrective to posing as omniscient, with 'inspired' guesses; as if desire constituted knowledge.
In this area of dates relative to models, it is also pertinent to note Slusher's consideration of the big-bang cosmogony (The Origin of the Universe p. 34), at one point in which he notes that on such a model "we should expect the universe to show its age by certain appearances". In addition to other "youthfulness" indices he develops for consideration, as noted in different connections in this work, there is this.
He finds that the extreme diversity in chemical composition which would be expected, on this ancient, self-made basis, between what are taken as very old and very young stars... is not at all what is found. In fact, "the Sun, a very 'young' star, Tau Scorpii, planetary nebulae, a red giant E Virginis, and many other 'normal' stars all have the same chemical composition, within the limits of observational error."
The model... does not work, this evolutionary model, with the facts.
That however was its task. The model has aged more than the universe, and has a 'generation gap' of an unusual and fatal kind.
As a comprehensive data-covering complex, the young earth approach does not have the problems, varied and remorseless, associated with the more extended old earth model, has convergence of results, better meets diversities of data and more comprehensively covers them.
Yet it must be emphasised that this is not to say that the age of the earth is known: caution and conservatism is needed here in such vast areas of research- it is merely to indicate that it is better known on such young earth premises than on the other. What is known is this: that it is not known. Guesswork as a foundation is not adequate, however supposedly shrewd, and the history of this area of thought seems to include large components of 'new' considerations which are either suppressed or not redressed. A completely harmonious approach which reaches all the data rather than suppressively wrestling with them, does, however, have a very due appeal.
There is nothing in this area which does other than confirm the approach of Biblical creation; not least, the amazing freedom with which what is not known, what is guess-oriented, has been presented with a daring presumption which would be hard to understand without the premiss of the Bible. That ? God declares as we saw, the alienation of the life of man from the life of God, and the presumptions of science ( in much of the 'pronouncements' outside its due method, as often seen in our reviews, then very rightly "falsely so-called"): and these are merely one area where this is shown (Ephesians 4:18-19, cf. Romans 1, I Timothy 6:20).
# Re the Hawaii case (see on p. 240 supra), Coppedge in his Evolution- Possible or Impossible gives the following data, of much interest in exemplifying the contrast between assurance and attainment to which Professor E.H. Andrews draws so much attention.
Referring to an article in the 1968 Journal of Geophysical Research, he notes (p. 185) that scientists carefully dated samples of volcanic materials with the known formation of 1800 and 1801 for a flow at Kaupulehu, Hualalai Volcano, Hawaii. The dating, therefore should have matched that time span, namely, around 168 years. Eight tests listed in the article, however, gave ages ranging from 160,000,000 to 2,960,009,000 (almost three billion) years!
38 RATES: IS LIGHT ALSO IN THE ARENA ?
For more on rates, see pp. 244 ff. infra and 76 ff. supra, the latter dealing with variation in radioactive rates, the former with magnetic and others, the magnetic rate being one of exponential decay, that is, one starting very fast and over time, slowing down, so that later reductions in it are relatively very small, compared with earlier reductions, nearer the beginning of the process. It is like any great thrust of energy which gradually comes to terms with restrictive environment, the 'brakes' at first giving a great counter-thrust; but with time, the effects of the impact of environment reduce, as the impact on it, in turn, has become less.
Not unexpectedly, this sort of 'decay curve' (the graphical representation over time of the rate) is quite common in nature.
On the topic of the velocity of light, enormous controversy has been raging, not only in recent years, but earlier in this century. Prima facie, as the lawyers have it, the velocity of light appeared to show clear decrease over hundreds of years. Barry Setterfield helped excite new interest in this in the last decade, working on historic data of past measurements of this velocity, along with a Flinders University (South Australia) mathematician, Trevor Norman, in a detailed monograph.
This was frequently and with considerable force, defended against attacks, and in turn received commendation from some highly placed academics.
One criticism involving statistics, was that the more recent measurements of light's velocity should be weighted, or given more importance, since they would be expected to be more accurate. This matter was then put to Professor Hasofer, in charge of Statistics at the University of New South Wales. This academic indicated that not only should weighting be made, but it should be done by appropriate methods... His result? He found that the data on the velocity of light, changing as it does and showing decrease over time, when statistically analysed does indeed give a 'highly significant fit' in favour of an actual reducing velocity of light. (This was published in the Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Volume 4.)
Later in Creation, Ex Nihilo, Technical Journal, Vol. 5 - Part 2, 1991, Trevor Norman, who lectures in data analysis and statistics at Flinders University to final year undergraduate students, issued a mathematical challenge to any who could find a better approach than that of Setterfield and himself, when the object remains to fit the data with the curve. He defended his procedure as accurate, apt and systematic, with trenchant, detailed criticisms as being irrelevant, of theoretical models deemed ill-chosen or misapplied. Regardless of the final outcome, in this area of postulates Dr Russell Humphreys (q.v.) has found from this phase a stimulus for a monograph, published 1995, and a model even more radical (cf. p. 207 supra, and Ch. 2 Supplement infra).
To revert, however, a Dutch physicist, van Flandern, in an article in Precision Measurements and Fundamental Constants 11 (1984, pp. 625-627) brought in an additional datum. He reported on 26 years of observations on atomic and gravitational clocks. His finding? It appeared that either atomic clocks were slowing down, or gravitational ones speeding up. If the former, the atomic ones slowing, then this would be what would be predicted if the velocity of light is in fact decreasing. Measurements by such atomic clocks, used in more recent years, might not show further decrease in the velocity of light IF they were themselves slowing down.
Thus the more recent method of measurement may well be masking the decline of the velocity of light in the recent past, while the data prior to them gave a significant indication of decline, to which Professor Hasofer has given attestation as appearing decidedly more than illusory.
Additional primary data has also come to light from the Pulkova observatory in USSR. Here, with the same methods of measuring the velocity of light and at the same observatory, over 150 years there has been shown a decreasing velocity of light. Another Russian, V.S. Troitskii, an astrophysicist, in an article in Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 139, 1987 (pp. 389-411) claimed that a declining velocity of light fitted the observations of cosmology in a superior way, and that such an event was not in conflict with physical laws. (See recent work by Dr Humphreys et al., S15, S21-22, S30-32.)
The primary data are considerable and unquestioned as to what the figures actually are; the only questions being how they come to be so. If by inaccuracy, why are there so many inaccuracies, why do not they tend to balance out, but rather go in one direction ? Why do they come from so many sources ? Efforts to derail the point have so far failed, and high level support is both considerable and varied in kind. As might be expected, opposition is also vocal, but it has the facts to contend with; and while the outcome cannot be assumed, there is an impressive array of mutually conforming evidence at this stage.
If light's velocity is decreasing or has decreased, it will be in accord with many natural processes; but in any case, it illustrates the presumption involved in so much dating by assumed processes, constancies and initial conditions. In this case, if the interpretation of the decline in velocity data is correct, then the error from assuming a constant velocity, regardless, would be of a huge dimension. So too would be many dating extrapolations: guesses based on guesses of initial conditions.
This follows from the fact that the velocity of light is systematically related to many other processes, one of which is the rate of radioactive decay, and that the kind of decay curve which has been derived from the measurements of this velocity over time, and which in any case is frequently found in natural decay processes: is one of exceedingly rapid decline, initially, and very reduced and almost imperceptible declines, much later. If this sort of consideration should not produce salutary caution, it is hard to know what would (see Cosmology - Ch. 2 Supplement). Perhaps, as with a child and ice-cream on a hot Summer's day, very often, the desire can be predominant. (See also Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Item 15, Let There Be Light!)
The only scientific answer to the question of the age of the earth is this: it is not known. However, there is no way known of explaining many of the rates indicating a very young earth, except this: that it is very young. That is always one of the tests of an hypothesis: the ease and comprehensiveness of its coverage of the case, including all assaults, and of explaining all difficulties.
One of the biggest jolts came when the moon landing craft, evidently built for a deep landing layer of dust gathered from enormous ages of exposure to meteors and the destructive debris, found little dust to settle on, on the moon's surface. This would be predicted by the view that the moon is far younger than was imagined; just as the declining velocity for light (c) being linked to radioactive decay rates by equations, would indicate this very same thing.
Professor Harold Slusher (Physics, San Diego University, Texas), as earlier noted, but for convenience mentioned here also, has done some important work in these areas of rates and origins. In particular his study of the earth's cooling rate in his monograph, The Age of the Earth; and of other rates relating to the unspiralling of galaxies and the time spirals, such as we have in our universe, could be retained in that condition on secular models; on the maintenance of galactic clusters and their duration; on the viscosity of moon rocks and the time it would take for the resumption of form in moon craters (the more interesting in view of the shallow moon dust layer); on comets and argumentation for the time they could continue - unsupported by visionary comet clouds; the rings of Saturn and the contribution their examination and assessment of rates of decay makes to their age (Age of the Cosmos, monograph, cf. his The Origin of the Universe)... leads him to early or very early birth for earth and the cosmos.
Time and again he shows how elaborate, detailed astronomical specificities, real rates of attrition, of deposition, of unwinding, of change, war on the concept of vast duration. As relating to a theoretical model, the latter is at war with the data. Reviewing options, Slusher takes the one unharassed by data, a young earth.
Other work on chemicals in the ocean waters, the current rates in which they are brought in yearly, and the time it would take for this to accumulate, often yields very short available time, starting at nil concentration of the chemicals concerned; and while more chemicals can enter a particular area or scene, from unexpected sources, it is another matter to abstract, and produce less of them, with no known 'sink' to accomplish such an undertaking! Such stringencies are best dealt with in theories on time, rather than ignored. This area is dealt with by Morris in Scientific Creationism, pp. 149-169, the work of an outstanding and clear-headed scientist.
In general, then, when no other explanation is found, what we have fits far better as a basis for acceptance, in that we find no rational way of avoiding it, and thus do not do so! On the other hand, what can be explained on available methods - as by declining natural process rates, environmentally variable rates and erroneous or even merely guessed initial assumptions about the state of things at the first: this has no power to contest the case. Firstly, guesswork is not God; and secondly, the data must be faced along with the logic. The heart may demand a bypass; but the head in this case cannot afford that luxury. As to the heart in such a case, the desire to avoid the realities is itself symptomatic of disease: the disease of the heart. That emphatically is the Biblical diagnosis of extreme reluctance to face the evidence.
Dates offer no problem to Biblical statements on origins, but rather to desired options widely at variance from these.
Interesting technical monographs by Professor Slusher include: The Origin of the Universe; Age of the Cosmos; Age of the Earth; Critique on Radiometric Dating; while Physics Professor Thomas Barnes' The Origin and Destiny of the Earth's Magnetic Field, a tour de force that is yet patient and data-related with great persistence, is also arresting, he being outstanding as a researcher in that field, with results re the age of the earth, notably consistent with many of these other findings. It may be stressed that consistency is another of the criteria which can reinforce a scientific hypothesis, just as inconsistency can cripple and doom it.
39 EXTENSION L: ON DATES AND REALISM WITH RATES
The concept of a rate is of great interest. Take for example a simple case. If the rate of formation of a poem were compared, its rate of deposition with the rate of maintenance (if the pages yellowed and words were re-touched); or if the rate at which its physical condition deteriorated were to be compared with the rate of its first composition, any concept of gradualism derived from maintenance, and then gratuitously applied to the rate of the poem's creation would be not merely unscientific. It would lack even commonsense; it would be a work of folly or roguery, so to suppose!
What then of such an arbitrary premise ? What happens while things are being instituted in kind is, by any observable evidence, not what is at all likely to be happening now; the concepts are scarcely even correlative; for we are moving in entirely different dimensions, with wholly different parameters.
In one instance, creation presents accomplishments, with the implements of creative power; in the other, there is comparative and perhaps slow loss, with the agencies of untoward events and attrition. There is virtually no comparability at all to such things, within the field of creation, of created works, which comes daily into our observation, from elements of the composition, personal contributors, of this world. Authors and readers, both have their... little ways. This is how creative production is found to be in this sort of field, where creative design is the testimony of the evidence in any area, and date is desired.
The dynamic of delivering the goods by creative effort is wholly diverse in time observations, from the period required to reduce it to dust. Chronological assumptions in such an area, slapped down from the function of creation to that of destruction, could vary from the pride of presumption to the folly of asininity. It would certainly help if one had seen both! Thus at creation, space could be poured out in creative 'time and extension' mode, splashed, thrusting into existence with light velocity declining from its first flush.
What we observe quite generally is just this, over many fields of endeavour: composition and facility. What then is happening ?
In the field of non-currently operative intelligence, deterioration is what is happening; and this is the observation. This, then, is the rational expectation based on events impacting on a design, and is in any case found in the second law of thermodynamics, which smiles benignly on objections, with the force of evidence.
Relationship to the facts is always the problem of gradualists and of evolutionists. Not only however is it purely gratuitous, this gradualistic assumption, it actually has long been known that vast and extensive catastrophes have given their evidence, and this long before Dr Immanuel Velikovsky exploded onto the scene with those works which began, in their public impact, with Worlds in Collision.
In Earth In Upheaval, Velikovsky notes, p. 222, a good example of such material, calling a modern generation's attention to the lively impact of Cuvier and Agassiz to similar effect, in terms of catastrophe (which impacts environmentally on time measurement, since the abnormal is happening with not always predictable results):
When a fish dies its body floats on the surface or sinks to the bottom and is devoured rather quickly, actually in a matter of hours, by other fish. However, the fossil fish found in sedimentary rocks is very often preserved with all its bones intact. Entire shoals of fish over large areas, numbering billions of specimens, are found in a state of agony, but with no mark of a scavenger's attack. (Cited by Morris, in The Genesis Flood.)Nilsson, not less emphatic, notes :
On a system of strata (e.g. in the Carbon of the Ruhr) the seams with marine animals are usually in the lower strata, those with sweet-water fossils in the upper ones... But mixtures of marine creatures also must obviously occur, and that they really do occur, I have shown with several examples... (pp. 1208- 1209 Synthetische Artbildung ).
On the same page, Nilsson expands:
The immense masses of animal fossils which may form seams of 10-15 meters thickness (e.g. Aegir in the Ruhr carbon) have been explained by transgressions of the sea. It is impossible to understand why a gradual rise of the sea over the land should result in such a massing of animals. The freely swimming animals need not gather together, and the sedentary cannot do it.The tidal wave collects them, throws them on to the land and freezes them.On London clay deposits (op.cit. p. 1196), Nilsson observes:
The fossils embedded together have evidently been flooded there from all over the earth. Juxtaposition in strata does not mean proximity during life; the conclusion must be considered as obvious.Proximity in fossil beds does not here mean even so much as proximity in world, and this exemplifies the effect of gaining objective criteria for initial parameters, in all efforts to use rates for time.
On p. 1197, re massive carbon deposits in the Ruhr, he refers to over 23 salt water layers some several metres thick. In one seam with several marine layers, one is mainly cuttlefish, mussels and fishes, another contains large brachiopodes, and the demarcations are such that he is "forced to postulate a selective process" as he is marshalling large amounts of evidence for the allochtonous process, that is, the creation of the deposits by flood.
Indeed, the field worker, he notes, was "forced to conclude the sedimentation is not of a brief or local flooding of the wide Aegir sea but of a world-wide phenomenon of long duration." Says Nilsson: "This deduction of a comprehensive and selective allochtony is not only well founded, it is unavoidable."
There is here evidence of a physical sorting of different, now fossilised creatures by marine forces, and as in the London deposits, this may be evidenced as coming from all over the world. The impact of all this on the rates of deposition, composition of residues; its explanatory power and its implications are so vast, reaching to the meteorological and cosmological ingredients, and their physical concomitants: that one wonders how some scientists, perhaps rather as some medical specialists are reputed to do, can so ignore so much in making statements, while so obviously blinkered to a whole range of phenomena, of the utmost significance for the overall situation in which so much is so blithely assumed to happen... as from the beginning. Let us however return to Velikovsky, whose works are so wideranging in their coverage of materials from lore to law, biology to astronomy, his compilation of world-wide flood accounts and relevant events, having value for their scope. Velikovsky's extensive use of historical exhibits, including papyri, and considerable collation of different genres of evidence merely highlighted the fact that catastrophic occurrence is abundantly indicated. Thus Professor E.H. Andrews, prolific author and eminent British scientist, notes some of the scientific evidence (God, Science & Evolution p. 110) that militates against uniformitarian geology, for example, in the widespread evidence of past geological catastrophe and of processes (like mass fossilisation) not observable today.
He draws attention, in particular, to the case of Surtsey- that volcanic island off Iceland which was formed between 1963 and 1967 such that "within a period of months, this sterile, virgin rock was transformed into a 'mature' island with beaches, pebbles, sand, vegetation and many other features which would superficially suggest great geological age."
I do not think that any radiometric dating has been carried out, but judging from such measurements made on other recent lava flows, an apparent age of hundreds of millions of years might easily be obtained (p. 116).Such vast, comically monumental fudges and nebulosities in the area of dating is cause for concern, as well as reflection. Andrews is in practice well aware of the scope and extent of it, and documents not a little.
This fits well with Dr Austin's findings at Mt St Helens, also by observation - (pp. 164 ff. infra). The example of eruption at Hawaii, at the island of Hualalai in 1800, yielding rocks known to be (at measurement) less than about 170 years old, but which gained radiometric 'ages' of 160 million to 3 billion years old, is well- known (cited for example by Ackerman, op. cit., p. 81, cf. p. 241 infra).
In this area, it is notable that Dr Slusher on p. 45 of his The Origin of the Universe, observes: "Emery in a very important paper has shown that here is excellent laboratory evidence that external influences change the decay rates. He reported fourteen different radionuclides have had their decay properties changed by effects such as pressure, temperature, electric and magnetic fields, stress in monomolecular layers etc." As noted earlier, he proceeds to cite Dudley re a new concept... which postulates "a radioactive atom to be a 'linear resonant system, subject to parametric excitation'"... Thus, says Slusher, "the decay constant would instead be a stability index of the element."
This in turn accords well with the findings from the field, of Professor E.H. Andrews, who is at pains to document extensively. He shows not only the contradictions or inadequacies of current radio-dating methods, but indeed the observable practical lack of confidence in field work, so often shown by experts in this area, because of the divergencies from one method to another, or among results (pp. 110-122 op.cit.).
Indeed, he maintains categorically in his From Nothing to Nature (p. 69):
How sure can we be of the ages measured on igneous or fire rocks by the radioactive clock? ...Can we rely on these ages ? The honest answer is no.Systematic dating problems arise from assumed constant rates of decay, when there is observational evidence of change (see also pp. 164-165 supra and 250 infra on Gentry's work) from various variables, and in different measurements, such that the cataclysms evidenced for earlier times might escalate rate change (cf. Dr Cook's findings, pp. 238-239 infra).
This first; but secondly, they also arise from impurity difficulties which, as Andrews stresses, escalate results, where the mathematics involves millions of years for very minor amounts, by the nature of the system and assumptions used to measure (hence readily enabling in practice the ridiculous cases of living or recent things becoming 'millions of years' old). This intensifies errors here, multi-sourced, whether from assumption, from impurity or from measurement. Thirdly, the systematic dating problems come from the further mere assumptions which 'provide' the... initial conditions, how much of this, that and the other were 'there' to 'start with'. All depends on those but... they are assumed! If we knew them, at least some science might be restored to this part of the scene, and observations of rates could replace rash theory further.
But we do not know them. Assumptions which beg the question being examined, may 'know them'; but that is mere hocus-pocus, taking for granted what it is your purpose to prove! That the velocity of light has been seriously questioned, and may have declined immensely, merely adds to and illustrates the extreme nature of the problem of early dating of the earth, in that this rate, light's velocity, is basic to radioactive rates and their results. It changes; they change.
Indications such as that mentioned (pp. 163 ff. supra, cf. p. 250 infra) for the non-equilibrium of radioactive and non-radioactive carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, the short time scale this would involve for the earth when dating took account of it, in method: such things merely increase the comedy of presumption using the name of science, involved in the assurance of much early dating.
Andrews, mentioned above, notes simply, in God, Science & Evolution, p. 117:
The validity of the uniformitarian time-scale is thus based wholly upon the assumption that the forces acting historically within the earth's crust were, on average, those observed in today's quiescent conditions. If conditions such as those that shaped Surtsey prevailed to any significant extent during geological history, the age estimates may need drastic downwards revision.He notes that there is in fact "evidence of massive volcanism, tectonic processes, metamorphism and wholesale fossilization" indicative rather of a 'turbulent' than 'quiescent' history. After all, to assume that creation did not happen in order to show that it did not happen is not very bright; and to presume a uniformitarian past in the face of striking indications to the contrary is not merely circular reasoning, but anti-scientific fraud. All such avoidance of the data, coupled with assumptions that govern what is to be shown, are not really items of serious study.
Facts, on the other hand, come so refreshingly into the medium of philosophy into which come so many scientists (who as Lord Zuckerman found and reflected, in the course of his own scientific work) are no less inclined to be prejudiced than others; which of course is one major reason why they differ so severely in such subject areas as this. When facts and observations are so treated, and assumptions made grist to the mathematical mill in this way, as if they were facts, then science is degraded, and dating is a prime exhibit. Poor philosophy replaces good science in this way.
Rates, actual rates, again have interesting sidelines. Thus the oft-quoted stalactites and stalagmites, lime formations sometimes seen in caves, are found under bridges, on occasion forming in a few years. Morris in his work, The Genesis Flood (p. 418) cites Hendrix (The Cave Book, p. 26) to the effect that many people, impressed by repeated statement on the 'extreme duration of geologic time', have imbibed the thought that it takes 'practically forever' for these relatively common 'cave' shapes to form.
He cites the growth of such mouldings however in man-made tunnels in a few years, noting as does Morris the relevance of the conditions to the rate of their formation- including the state of the earth concerned; and he gives the example of 'several cubic inches' of growth in a single stalactite in one year. Creation magazine in its September 1987 issue cites a number of such cases, including one growth rate at Yellowstone National Park: one inch per year. One recalls Dr Steve Austin's comparison of his recent work on Mt St Helens newly made types of formations, to the layering at Yellowstone National Park, to similar effect.
Similarly, a careful work of observation and evaluation of data was made and reported in Creation in the November 1985 issue, in an article by Peter Read and Dr Andrew Snelling, a professional geologist. Data gained through the Australian Institute of Marine Science at Cape Ferguson in Queensland have aided the analysis which concludes with these words:
So how old is the Great Barrier Reef on this basis ? Pandora Reef is approximately 10 metres in thickness; 1.8 metres of this coral has grown in the last 118 years. On this basis the whole 10 metre thickness of coral that makes up this reef would have taken only about 660 years to grow!Abraham, it is noted, would not have found it there...
Similarly again, concordantly, Dr Slusher, in the wake of the great Lord Kelvin, who constructed a gradient for earth heat loss over time, has delivered to us detailed calculations in his work, Age of the Earth. Examining, with meticulous care, the situation using a physical model, this prominent physicist concludes that the earth, on this basis, is shown to be not more than several thousand years old. This is a rate basis also, one of heat loss by the earth. Again, as we saw, Professor Barnes of the same University showed that the rate of magnetic loss (in a work of great care and thoroughness from this specialist in the field) for the earth's magnetic field is such that the age of the earth could scarcely be more than a very few thousand years. Rates of flow of minerals into the ocean give in a number of cases also very limiting maximum ages (cf. pp. 241 ff.supra). Again, the rate of recession of Niagra Falls was once considered as giving a starting time again of the order of a few thousand years.
Various components of the earth and its existence are thus given by rates comparatively short histories; and if in past times, cataclysms increased their action, the time would be even shorter.
The evidence for such cataclysms is of frequent note by eminent geologists, and its evidence is overwhelming. This then makes the position more extreme yet.
Amidst all this come theories based on guesswork and assumptions, either gratuitous or circular; and while they may create diversion, they do not secure truth.
Page 249 continued in the next section
1. Professor of Metallurgy, University of Utah.
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2. I.e. the neutron-gamma reactions, which form crucial, noted and common cases, he observes, appear to outweigh the other decay.
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3. Professor of Mecahnical Engineering and Nuclear Consultant, Virginia Polytechnic Institute. and State University. Cf. Neutrino effect, p. 238 supra.
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