Dinosaurs for Everyone

As you’ve probably heard, Ken Ham’s Creation Museum has recently acquired it’s very own Allosaurus skeleton. Ham boasts that it “is believed to have one of the four best-preserved Allosaurus skulls ever discovered.” He elaborates:

The new allosaur, as today’s news release states, “probably stood 10-feet high and 30-feet long. It stands out for a few reasons. It was found with its bones arranged in their correct anatomical positions relative to each other rather than in a scattered assortment of bones as is often the case. Also, much of the spine and 97% of the skull were found. Lastly, the skull is much larger than the famous ‘Big Al’ dinosaur at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana.”

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Creationism at University

Genesis page 1, KJVOver the last week there has been an explosion of interest in the blogosphere about an amusing article from December of last year by Jake Hebert, called “Wanted: Young Creation Scientists” (which we looked at at the time). The likes of Larry Moran jocularly treated it as an actual job advertisement, but in fact Hebert was offering advice rather than employment. In particular, he said:

Work hard to get the best possible grades and push yourself to truly understand the material. When choosing a school, choose one with a rigorous academic program and a research program that truly interests you. Although you should not be dishonest about what you believe, it’s probably prudent to not draw attention to your creationist beliefs while you are a student, particularly if you are in a field that directly touches upon the origins controversy (such as paleontology, biology, or geology).

Given the increasing anti-Christian sentiment in society and the academic persecution in the secular universities, there may very well come a day when it will no longer be possible for a Bible-believing Christian to get an advanced degree in the natural sciences. Academically gifted young Christians should therefore “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16) before that door of opportunity closes.

In other words, work hard and keep your head down. Continue reading

Delayed-Action Flood

Modern Plate TectonicsLacking a DpSU for today as we seem to be it’s time to return to the Acts & Facts magazine for February. Our article is John Morris’ Geologic Changes to the Very Good Earth, which is apparently another adaptation from his recent book, The Global Flood: Unlocking Earth’s Geologic History. The topic of this excerpt is plate tectonics.

The Flood cataclysm dramatically morphed the early earth into the earth we know today. Its original “very good” state was pleasant and stable (Genesis 1:31), but today things are not so quiescent. Earth’s crustal plates move relative to one another. If they collide, they either crumple up into mountains or plunge one beneath the other, producing volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Genesis 1:31 is of course the verse where God calls His creation “very good,” but the extrapolation that this must mean that the Earth was then – geologically speaking – “pleasant and stable” would appear to be baseless. What, exactly, is “very good” to an omnipotent and omniscient deity anyway? Consider the implications if He happened to be quite fond of volcanic mudpools (they’re actually supposed to be quite good for you, so would that make their omission an imperfection?). Continue reading

Thomas and Morris on Radioisotope Dating

The February edition of Acts & Facts is out, and the first article we’ll look at is the “Q&A,” Doesn’t Radioisotope Dating Prove Rocks Are Millions of Years Old?, by John Morris and Brian Thomas (M&T, as well shall call them). The answer they are aiming for is, of course, “no.”

Radioisotope decay rates are renowned for constancy under normal conditions, so this assumption appears reasonable. But two observations and two clues omitted from physics textbook discussions of radiodating show that these radioisotope “clocks” are broken.

The four examples that they give should not be unfamiliar to anyone by this point – we have seen them all many times before. But in the interests of creating a shadow Q&A they are worth looking at again. Continue reading

Acts & Facts – January 2013

The first edition of Acts & Facts for 2013 has been noticeably redesigned from last year. Aside from various cosmetic changes there is now a dedicated contents page, a new series of articles, and some of the usual sections have been rearranged. For its part the A&F page on the ICR’s website now has pictures, linking to some of the articles which are similarly highlighted in the magazine itself. Because I have been going through these articles for the last five days this recap is mostly for future archaeologists, but there are still a few things I missed. Continue reading

Larry Vardiman’s Weather Report

Great Blizzard of 2006Larry Vardiman retired from the ICR back in June, but has continued some of his writing work. Our final January Acts & Facts article of interest – A Mountain of Snow after the Genesis Flood – is largely cribbed from one of his (and Wesley Brewer’s) more recent Answers Research Journal papers, “Numerical Simulations of Three Nor’easters with a Warm Atlantic Ocean.” You can find a brief analysis of the paper at RationalWiki, but let’s take a look for ourselves. Continue reading

The Fact of Evolution

Dr John's Q&AFrom 1989 to 2006 the ICR ran a Frequently Asked Questions column – sometimes referred to as “Dr John’s Q&A” – in it’s Acts & Facts newsletter. For 2013 they appear to have revived the concept in the form of a new series of “Creation Q&A” articles. The first is by Nathaniel Jeanson, and his question is “Is Evolution an Observable Fact?

“Evolution is fact!” is one of the most popular evolutionary assertions made by evolutionists, ranging from those at the National Center for Science Education to those working for PBS. Proponents of Charles Darwin want you to believe that his hypothesis is being confirmed right before our eyes.

The NCSE page linked to does not actually make this claim, and neither does the PBS FAQ. Not a great start. Continue reading

One Book, One Dogma

A medieval bulgarian bibleTwo articles in the January Acts & Facts edition argue a similar point. According to them, the young Earth creationist approach of biblical literalism is superior to world-views influenced by observation of the actual universe. The articles aim their attacks primarily at fellow Christians who don’t take the YEC position, but take slightly different angles.

The first is by Jason Lisle, and is called The Two-Book Fallacy. It begins:

The founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, taught that God has written two books: the Scriptures and the book of creation (or nature). Today, many professing Christians affirm this view. After all, the Scriptures teach that God’s attributes are clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:20). So we can learn about God through both Scripture and science—the systematic study of nature.

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The Creation & Earth History Museum

The Museum of Creation and Earth History, in 2005Answers in Genesis have a Creation Museum – indeed, they’re famous for it. The ICR used to have one of their very own, but they sold it in 2008. In a thinly-disguised advertisement for the still-in-operation museum, an article in the latest edition of Acts & Facts catches up with how things are going back in Santee, California.

The Institute for Creation Research launched the Creation & Earth History Museum in Santee, California, in 1992. For 16 years, ICR developed and grew the exhibits with a mission to equip believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework. When ICR moved to Texas in 2008, the entire museum and its contents were sold to Scantibodies Laboratory, Inc.

The museum is now being run by Tom Cantor, who owns the Scantibodies company. He has made a few changes, which the article advertises. These include the “new 2,400-square-foot Human Anatomy Exhibit”; the “Tabernacle Theatre”; and the “Age of the Earth Mineral Cave.” Continue reading

Sinking the Ark

As part of the December edition of the ICR’s Acts & Facts magazine I looked at an article by John Morris attempting to defend the feasibility of constructing the Ark by arguing that Noah and his sons would have had time to move the required volume of lumber. This is, however, hardly the most problematic aspect of the story, and so for the just-posted January edition Morris has written The Survival of Noah’s Ark, which is an attempt to defend the boat’s ability to float in the conditions.

Skeptics raise a serious objection to the Flood account given in Scripture: How could Noah’s Ark and its precious cargo survive the turmoil of the Flood? Wouldn’t it have sunk beneath the waves, sending its cargo to a watery grave?

Some very important questions there. Having read Morris’ defence, I would have to say that the answers are still “it couldn’t” and “it would have” respectively. Continue reading