Saturday, 16 March 2013


Theistic Darwinism and Apologetics

Dr Hugh Ross is a Christian scientist, evangelist and apologist. He runs a ministry called 'Reason to Believe'. He talks to many scientists who accept standard opinions in science and thus accepts the Big Bang. In fact, he uses the Big Bang as an entry into their thinking as the Big Bang proves there was a beginning. Ordinarily I let other people run their ministries their way. If he can lead them to Christ then Christ can deal with these scientists and their evolution theories. In Ross's case I will make an exception.

Ross actively sides with unbelieving scientists and chides creationists for their scientific theories as well as biblical belief in a six-day creation. God did not give him this responsibility. Some scientists see us as fundamentalists and they have a deep prejudice there. Ross and his colleagues should not pick up this prejudice to advance their ministry but they do. In his book, The Fingerprint of God, Ross makes the point that the universe though billions of years old had a beginning and thus there is a God. Then Ross tries to deal with creationist arguments that the world is young [H. Ross, Fingerprint of God, p.155] .

Continental Erosion

Measurements of continental erosion show a loss of .05 millimeters per year. This is enough to put all the rock above sea level into the oceans in only 16 million years. The Grand Canyon, we can see that there is pre-Cambrian rocks older than 500 million years old sitting on the bottom underneath the sedimentary formation. Cambrian rocks, 500 million years old sit on top of these rocks. Kaibob limestone sits near the top, dated to 250 million years old. So how is it that these formations last more than 16 million years? How is it after 25 cycles of continental erosion they are still standing undisturbed without any sign of erosion?

Well Ross claims we fail to grasp the other land building activities like coral reefs and volcanoes that are building up continents at the same time they are eroding. Dr John Morris, a geology creationist, in his book The Young Earth [John D. Morris, The Young Earth, p. 88] states, "The uniformitarian may take solace in the proposal that the continents are still rising and volcanoes are continually erupting, thereby replacing the the volume being displaced and keeping pace with erosion. But that does not address the problem that the surface at the time of the uplift is still the surface, and erosion has hardly touched it. Nor does it account for the present-day existence of so much ancient sedimentary rock." It seems Morris grasps Ross' view quite well.

So imagine that 500 million years ago some Cambrian rock was laid down. Later strata from later eras are laid down on top. Which of these layers get eroded every 16 million years? Suppose we call a continent's weight a glob. Only if the glob each and every 16 million years is made up entirely of additional volcanic rock alone - no fossiliferous rock - can the fossiliferous rock remain untouched until the present time. This, of course is not how erosion works and this is Morris's point. The pattern of rock deposition and continuance does not fit into the measured erosion rate. Ross's dismissal is superficial.

Earth's Magnetic Field

If you run a current through a solenoid a magnetic field will be formed running through the centre, out the top and then arching back around the outside to complete the cycle. Remove the current and the magnetic field decays. It gives back the energy it took to create it. Creationists believe that the Earth's magnetic field is an original feature. The field is decaying into electrical energy as in the lab. In the lab the curve produced by a decaying magnetic field is a negative exponential (which has a half-life). The earth's magnetic field data also shows a negative exponential curve with a 1400-year half life. This cannot be sustained for billions of years into the past.

The problem says Ross is that the curve is sinusoidal - it goes up and down like a sine wave. There is a dynamo that provides the energy to sustain this. However, the magnetic field data never shows the curve has gone up. Ross thinks it will increase some time in the future. But is the magnetic field caused by a dynamo? There is no proof of this. Thus Ross is saying without supporting data that the dynamo theory is true and contradicts the magnetic field decay. Yes, and if the magnetic decay theory is true the dynamo theory must be wrong. So what? Well, since the Earth IS old and the magnetic field theory predicts a young Earth it must be wrong and therefore the Earth is OLD. Yes, but this argument begs the question - it was already ASSUMED the Earth was old to begin with. What does that prove?


I said I make an exception for Ross as an apologist. He puts the discussion of creationist thinking under the heading, "Bogus evidences for a young universe." Well, the only thing that is bogus here is the pretense that  Ross has a knowledgeable understanding of the science involved. He thinks that his contemptuous attitude is a valid substitute for good science. Creationists are used to this attitude from unbelievers but Ross stands on his Christian faith as he presents this material. Does this fall into "Love thy neighbour as thyself?" You be the judge.

No comments:

Post a Comment