Item description for The Young Earth: The Real History of the Earth: Past, Present, and Future [With CDROM] by John Morris...
Overview John Morris has long been on the forefront of creation research, and his classic work The Young Earth (originally published in 1994) gets a well-deserved facelift. The revised and expanded text is now illustrated with full color photographs, charts, and original art, providing a book suitable for young and old alike. A complimentary PowerPoint presentation on CD-ROM is included, visually displaying key concepts as addressed in the book. Dr. Morris, the president of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), presents a versatile, deep, comprehensive work demonstrating how God's Word can be trusted concerning both science and history.
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Studio: Master Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 8.75" Height: 11" Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Release Date Jan 8, 2008
Publisher New Leaf Press/Master Books
ISBN 0890514984 ISBN13 9780890514986
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More About John Morris
John Morris, MA, PGCE, M.Ed, PhD, taught and lectured for 35 years before becoming an unpaid Anglican clergyman. His royalties go to charity.
John Morris has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Sydney, NSW, Australia University of Auckland, New Zeala.
John Morris has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Young Earth: The Real History of the Earth - Past, Present, and Future?
False witness Jan 21, 2010
"The Young Earth" is one of many books designed to convince readers to choose young-Earth creationism over consensus-based science. Dr. John Morris is the president of the Institute for Creation Research, and his popular-level book presents data from ICR's recent RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) project, along with many standard creationist arguments.
In this review, I'll provide a scientific critique of Dr. Morris's young-Earth claims. I will not denigrate Christianity or the Bible, or engage in ad hominem attacks. I will, however, show that Dr. Morris fails to live up to his pious words (p. 5) that "we serve the God of truth, and must be both truthful and careful in our study." His book is full of disregarded evidence and distorted science. It is far from "truthful."
Everything I say is documented (see the references in the "comments" section following this review). I apologize for this long review, but I hope you're sufficiently interested in an honest assessment of the scientific evidence to put up with a certain amount of detail. My approach is to give in-depth information about selected topics, while necessarily passing over other parts of the book without comment. (Being a physicist, I emphasize radiometric dating.)
Dating of Historical Lavas... According to Morris (p. 51) the scientific literature shows that, when we radiometrically date lava samples from recent volcanic eruptions, "In almost every case, the age of these recent lavas has come back from the labs in terms of excessively high ages, not essentially zero, as one would predict." He cites results from Arizona's Sunset Crater (which erupted about 1,000 years ago) that were reported in a study by Dalrymple (1969). Morris says: "Two of the lava flows were dated by the potassium-argon method. Much to everyone's surprise, the lava flows gave `ages' of 210,000 and 230,000 years!...The date falsely registers old because of excess argon."
But here's what Dr. Morris conceals. Dalrymple actually studied samples from 26 flows, not just two. A total of 41 samples were taken, from Iceland, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, and Mexico, as well as Sunset Crater. Dalrymple's results were not a "surprise"; the whole point of the study was to assess dating anomalies due to excess argon, which had been seen before in volcanic rocks. In other words, Dalrymple was carefully examining one of the "assumptions" that scientists (according to Morris) unthinkingly make.
But of Dalrymple's samples, 31 of the 41 showed no anomalies at all! That is, they had no excess Argon-40, and therefore 40Ar/36Ar radiometric dating yielded correct (low) ages. Even in the "anomalous" cases, the amount of excess argon was generally small. Such a tiny excess can make recent samples look hundreds of thousands of years old, but in all but one location, Dalrymple found that the excess argon was "too small to cause serious errors in potassium-argon dating of rocks a few million years old or older." An error of 200,000 years doesn't matter much if the sample is 20 million years old! The one exception was a lava flow from Hawaii (two samples) that was known to include extraneous minerals with high argon content. The result from this sample was also not a surprise.
What else doesn't Dr. Morris mention? A well-known study by Renne et al. (1997) studied pumice from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius with the 40Ar/39Ar radiometric technique. Their measurements indicated that the material was deposited 1,925 +/-94 years ago. We know exactly when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, because it was observed and documented by Pliny the Younger. The eruption occurred 1,918 years prior to the measurements reported by Renne et al. Their result was off by only 7 years!
Another point neglected by Morris is that recent studies, like the one by Renne et al., are able to correct for excess 40Ar by using the 40Ar/39Ar isochron method. This technique was not available to Dalrymple in 1969. The excess argon he observed would not be a problem with today's technology.
Morris claims that, "in the scientific literature," ages of recent lavas are found to be erroneously high "in almost every case." His words misrepresent the very study he cites, and are flatly untrue.
Discordant Dates and Meteorites... Dr. Morris includes two pages of discussion about the Allende meteorite (pp. 59-61). Here's a summary of his claims:
He says that numerous radioisotope techniques have been employed in determining Allende's age, but "it is the lead-lead dating result which has yielded the date of 4.6 billion years for the meteorite, and thus for the earth". But, he says, "as you might suspect," the different age determinations disagree. He cites a 1976 paper by Tatsumoto et al. and says, "The U-Th-Pb suite of tests on the inclusions yielded much scatter, from 3.91 billion years to 11.7 billion years. The matrix results varied from 4.49 to 16.49 billion years, with 13 out of 18 ages being impossibly high...The Rb-Sr suite of techniques yielded differing results...The inclusions yielded ages from 0.70 billion years to 4.49 billion years, with most being significantly lower than expected. The matrix ages were reported as 4.60 and 4.84 billion years...." He says that "many other" values were greater than the accepted age of the Solar System, which is "an impossibility." He says that dates are accepted or rejected based on their agreement with "an unproven and unprovable idea about solar-system formation..." The agreement with the theory is "forced"; the scatter in the results is more important. He says that other scientists used potassium-argon dating on Allende, but it was not helpful because the age derived was 5.29 billion years, again older than the Solar System (he cites a book by Holland that discusses a 1980 German-language paper by T. Kirsten). He says that "even some evolutionists are inclined to agree" and quotes a paper by Gale et al.: "...the whole of the classic interpretation of the meteorite lead isotope data is in doubt, and...the radiometric estimates of the age of the earth are placed in jeopardy."
To someone who trusts Dr. Morris, all of this may sound quite convincing. But if we do independent reading of the scientific literature, a very different picture emerges.
Let's start with the cited paper by Tatsumoto et al. It's true that several radiometric dating systems gave discordant results. The disturbance to these systems was clear from the lack of an isochron - the isotope ratios from different mineral samples in the specimen didn't form a straight line. But for some reason Dr. Morris doesn't quote a key result noted in the abstract (and discussed at length later in the paper): "A striking linear relationship exists among leads in the chondrules, aggregates, and matrix on the 207Pb/204Pb vs. 206Pb/204Pb plot...yielding an isochron age of 4553 +/- 4 m.y." Chondrules and refractory inclusions fell on the same isochron line with enough precision to derive an age of 4.553 billion years with a statistical uncertainty of only 0.1%. Another spectacular concordance in this data set is with the Canyon Diablo meteorite (which formed Meteor Crater in Arizona). It has the lowest lead ratios ever measured, indicating that it reflects the composition of primordial lead in the Solar System. The lead ratio from Canyon Diablo fits exactly on the Allende isochron line!
This example illustrates a favorite creation "science" tactic - tell all about discrepancies, while somehow forgetting to mention successes. Note how Morris diverts the reader's attention from the lead-lead dating result of 4.6 billion years. He certainly doesn't explain that it stood out from the others in the study he cites and was accepted as the right answer, not because of "assumptions," but because of the quality of the data. This was the radiometric method that yielded a well-behaved isochron, displaying impressive coherence between isotope ratios derived from several different components in the meteorite.
That's another common creationist tactic: to assign equal importance to all data points, regardless of their accuracy or credibility. In truth, radiometric dates differ in their accuracy. Error bars are derived objectively and mathematically, for example by evaluating the scatter on isochron plots. The extreme (high and low) values often carry large error bars, showing that they should be given little weight. Another Allende example demonstrates the emergence of a convincing single answer when accuracy is taken into account. Jessberger et al. performed argon-argon measurements that gave ages from 3.8 billion years (Ga) for matrix to 5.5 Ga for some inclusions. However, there were a number of values that clustered near 4.53 Ga, and these had much lower errors than the others. These low-error data points deserve the most weight. When we analyze the data in this common-sense way, 4.53 billion years stands out as the best (and quite authoritative) age estimate for Allende from argon-argon dating.
The evidence for a 4.5 Ga age for Allende doesn't stop here, though. All of the following published results are easy to find, but are undisclosed by Dr. Morris:
- Huey and Kohman (1973) obtained a 207Pb-206Pb isochron age of 4.528 Ga for Allende. - Gray et al. (1973) performed Rb-Sr dating on Allende. Sample data exhibited wide scatter. Although a single isochron was not obtained, the data were consistent with an age between 3.5 and 4.6 Ga. The total meteorite analyses gave model ages of 4.56 Ga. - Tatsumoto et al. (1973) obtained a 207Pb-206Pb age of 4.496 Ga for Allende. - Chen and Tilton (1976) perfomed Pb-Pb measurements on Allende samples. On a 207Pb/204Pb - 206Pb/204Pb diagram a line fitted to all data showed an age of 4.565 Ga. The 207Pb/206Pb ages of four samples averaged 4.505 Ga. - Chen and Wasserburg (1981) found a mean 207Pb/206Pb model age of 4.559 Ga for Allende coarse-grained inclusions. - Dominik et al. (1978) searched for "anomalously" old material in Allende. Using potassium-argon dating, three different samples proved no older than most of Allende's constituents, 4.510 Ga. Two further coarse-grained inclusions showed greater ages (discussed below). - Manhes et al. (1988) analyzed several Allende inclusions using a Pb-Pb technique. They obtained ages between 4.565 and 4.568 Ga.
All of these references were published before the 1994 first edition and 2007 revision of Morris's book, but he utterly ignores them. And things don't get any better for creationists as time goes on. In 2007 Amelin and Krot published Pb-isotope studies of Allende chrondrules. U-Pb results were scattered, as earlier investigators had found, but Pb-Pb isochrons gave highly concordant results. Ages of eight individual groups of chondrules agreed within error, and isochron regression for the eight most radiogenic analyses yielded consistent dates with an average of 4.5666 Ga, with a cited error of only 0.02%.
Morris's discussion demonstrates yet another creationist tactic: citation of outdated references. The cited paper by Gale ("the classic interpretation of the meteoritic lead isotope data is in doubt") was written in 1972. A lot generally happens in science in a third of a century, but this doesn't matter to creation "scientists": if anyone, at any time, has expressed any doubt about anything, it becomes ammunition, and is repeated forever. The paper by Gale et al. discussed data, obtained on seven meteorites (not Allende), that did not form a perfectly straight line in a lead/lead isochron diagram. These early data had very low lead ratios, over a very limited range. Compared to the wide range of values we now have, the discrepancies between the seven data points are negligible; they would fit well on Tatsumoto's Allende isochron figure, and would not significantly alter the derived age. The disquiet expressed by Gale et al. is no longer relevant - but Dr. Morris isn't interested in letting his readers know that.
But what about those "impossibly high" values obtained for Allende's age? Is it an impossibility - as Morris says - for meteorites to contain material older than the Solar System? Not at all - measurements like these are exciting, not embarrassing, to scientists (the cited book by Holland calls them "one of the most intriguing recent discoveries"). Jessberger and Dominik made a particular effort to identify old material in Allende inclusions. Two coarse-grained chips showed ages somewhat above 5 Ga. These results were eagerly sought because they are what one would expect from material introduced into the primordial Solar System by an outside source - perhaps interstellar dust from the early history of the Universe, or even material from a supernova-produced shock wave that triggered the formation of the Solar System.
Meteorites are among the oldest rocks in the Solar System. The majority of them show consistent ages, from Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, and 40Ar/39Ar dating, of 4.4 to 4.6 billion years. No knowledgeable person denies this; in fact, the claims of Dr. Morris are contradicted by the creationists of his own organization's RATE project, who acknowledge the concordance of meteorite dating results and rather amusingly regard it as "a puzzle."
Radiometric Results in Earth Rocks: Discordances and Concordances... Dr. Morris discusses RATE results from Grand Canyon rocks on pp. 57-59. Although the dates do show some disagreements, none of them are remotely consistent with his claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. And in fact, they are generally consistent - and sometimes highly consistent - with the standard scientific results for these rocks.
I graphed the RATE Bass Rapids data (both ages and error estimates) on an Excel spreadsheet. I found that the ages straddle the accepted age of 1.07 Ga for this locality, and that this age is within the error bars of 7 of 21 measurements. Six thousand years is within the error bars of none of them. The four results from the Rb-Sr dating method, with very small error bars, show excellent consistency with each other, and they are also very consistent with the accepted date of 1.07 Ga. In fact three of these data points are within two percent of the "right" answer, and two of them are within one percent!
An unbiased observer, perhaps not even knowing what physical quantity is being measured, could conclude from these data that the measurement technique is valid, while noting error sources (in some but not all data sets) that need to be understood. Such an observer could easily conclude that the quantity being measured has a value of approximately 1.07 Ga (and perhaps almost exactly this value, since it corresponds to the only data points that have both small errors and mutual consistency). There is no basis for regarding some other value as a candidate, and certainly no evidence that the correct value is anything like the creationist claim of roughly 6,000 years. After spending $50,000 in an attempt to discredit radiometric dating, the RATE group has produced creationist data in approximate agreement with the standard scientific account of the Earth's age, and in utter disagreement with the young-Earth creationist value of 6,000 years.
Like any measurement process, radiometric dating sometimes gives a spread of results, as in the Grand Canyon data. Under some circumstances atoms can migrate out of a sample, skewing the apparent age. In other cases, as we've seen with the meteorites, a system may not be of all the same age; it may contain minerals that were formed at different times. But what the creationists carefully hide is the large number of consistent results! For example, I recently looked up radiometric dates of a number of samples from the geological layer at which the dinosaurs became extinct. I found results from three different laboratories, on samples from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, Haiti, and two locations in Mexico. Dating methods used were 40Ar/39Ar, Rb-Sr, U-Pb, and K-Ar. The WORST result was within 3 million years of the generally accepted age (65 million years.). Most were much closer; the average discrepancy of the 147 measurements (root-mean-square) was 0.7 million years, an error of only one percent! Errors due to the "assumptions" that Morris cites would affect different radiometric techniques differently, making consistency impossible. Agreements between different techniques validate all of them. I invite creationist readers to ask themselves why Dr. Morris and his ICR colleagues never talk about results like these.
Like many creationists, Dr. Morris claims or insinuates that radiometric dating research is replete with reporting bias (p. 12). Allegedly, scientists' preconceived ideas about the "correct" answers lead them (perhaps unconsciously) to discard discordant dates. But selective reporting can't give the kind of results I've just described. In order to find 147 concordant dates in error-ridden data, one would have to discard thousands of "bad" results. Such a process, besides being prohibitively expensive, would demand a decades-long, worldwide conspiracy of scientists, data analysts, and technicians, without a single "leak" or defection. What sane person could believe such a thing?
There is a vast body of concurrent data establishing the ages of the rocks that make up the various depths of the geological column. There are no concordant, multi-method data giving an age of 6,000 years for the Earth. However, the RATE project claims to have one measurement giving this young-Earth age, which I discuss in the next section.
Helium in the Atmosphere and Crystals... Morris claims that, in billions of years, Earth's atmosphere would have accumulated much more radiogenic helium than we see - an "airtight" (he says) argument published in 1990 by ICR's Dr. Larry Vardiman. However, subsequent research revealed complex phenomena that can account for much higher losses of helium to space than previously estimated. Morris minimizes this development, not telling readers that in 2005 Vardiman conceded that his argument "is no longer valid based on the measured and computed escape rate of helium to space in the polar wind." I cannot fathom why the 2007 edition of Morris's book still retains this claim, in view of its renunciation by its originator (one of Morris's own staff members).
Between 2003 and 2005, Dr. D. R. Humphreys and other members of ICR's RATE group reported that their measurements of helium retention in subterranean zircons provided strong evidence for accelerated nuclear decay and a young Earth. Their specimens were taken from a borehole in New Mexico, from depths of 750 and 1,490 meters. Significant amounts of helium were found in the zircons, interpreted by RATE as the result of accelerated radioactive decay of uranium and thorium. Because of the high temperature at the borehole depth, the zircons were expected to be "leaky" to helium. After 1.5 billion years (the generally-accepted age of the samples) Humphreys said that nearly all of the helium should have diffused away. But, he said, "the helium is still in the zircons!" Based on the amount of retained helium, RATE derived an age for the zircons of 6,000 +/- 2,000 years (noted by Morris on p. 53).
These claims were challenged by other scientists, who argued that (1) Humphreys made significant math errors; (2) since the borehole site was near a volcanic caldera, the samples may well have been contaminated with non-radiogenic helium; (3) Humphreys made the unrealistic assumption of constant temperature over time; (4) Humphreys was unaware that the helium diffusion rate depends on whether an atom is in the bulk crystal or near a defect; and (5) the age computations made use of helium diffusion data that were obtained under vacuum conditions, very unlike the high pressures at the borehole site that may have "closed" the zircons to helium loss.
Without delving into the alleged shortcomings of Humphreys' work, we can resolve the controversy by comparing the RATE results with measurements taken under less-problematic conditions. A number of modern studies have determined ages by measuring the buildup of radiogenic helium in surface-layer, "closed" crystals. For example, Fish Canyon Tuff measurements (Reiners, Farley, and Hickes, 2002) involved samples with fission-track and radiometric (40Ar/39Ar) ages of approximately 28 Ma. Initial helium results from eight zircons agreed well with this age; they ranged from 26.4 to 29.2 million years (Ma). Later, more complete measurements (114 crystals) gave results generally in the range of 26.5 to 30.5 Ma, with the mean around 28.3 Ma (Reiners and Nicolescu, 2006). If nuclear decay rates have not changed, these samples are clearly about 28 million years old.
To be sure, these results might be explained away by accelerated decay, and they are not strictly comparable to those of Humphreys because they did not involve helium diffusion out of the crystals. These shallowly-buried, (relatively) young samples, being cool throughout their history, retained essentially all of their radiogenic helium. However, crystals that are much older (hundreds of millions of years), even if they haven't been heated, should show some helium leakage - much more than one would get in 6,000 years or less. We can make specific predictions about what we should find with such samples. If the Earth is old, small crystals should lose more helium than large ones, because of their proportionally greater surface area. Therefore, if diffusion acts over many millions of years, small crystals should show lower helium "ages" than large ones. Furthermore, deeper-buried samples, because they experience higher temperatures, should lose more helium than shallow ones. Given laboratory measurements of helium diffusion coefficients and well-established theoretical tools such as the Arrhenius equation, we can compute how much helium should be lost if the Earth is old. So what do helium loss measurements show, with crystals that have not been subjected to high pressure and temperature?
Measurements on apatite crystals from the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming show clear differences in derived ages that correlate with crystal radius and burial depth (Reiners and Farley, 2001). Small or deeply-buried samples show the most helium loss. Quantitatively, the amount of helium loss agrees with calculations derived using old-Earth assumptions. Creationist models involving accelerated decay are ruled out by the correlation with size and burial depth. It takes millions of years to produce the effects seen in the data of Reiners and Farley.
Contrary to the claims of Humphreys and Morris, the helium is NOT always in the crystals. These results can only be explained by an old Earth.
Accelerated Decay and Heat... Despite some hedging about discordant dates and alleged publication bias, creationists realize that alleged unreliability of radiometric dating can't explain the old-Earth evidence. Even the most aggressive creationists (e.g. John Woodmorappe) admit that about half of radiometric dating results agree with accepted stratigraphic dates to within 10%. According to geologist G. B. Dalrymple, the actual proportion of "good" dates is probably more like 95%. Radiometric dating consistently shows that the Earth is much older than 6,000 years, and creationists know it. The only way out of this dilemma is accelerated nuclear decay.
But squeezing so much radioactive decay into a short creationist time scale has a fatal problem: heat. The tremendous energy release from the decaying nuclei would vaporize the oceans and obliterate the Earth's surface. The young Earth would be a cooked Earth! This problem is acknowledged by virtually all creationists, although some, like Dr. Morris, evidently aren't too interested in talking about it.
No creationist has ever found a convincing solution to this problem. However, for an unconvincing solution, see the article by D. R. Humphreys in the RATE volume cited in my "comments" section. Humphreys imagines that God "stretched out" the entire Universe during the period(s) of accelerated decay (Creation week and/or the Flood), refrigerating all material systems, and removing the heat of the accelerated nuclear reactions!
But Humphreys admits a problem with this speculation: non-radioactive materials would get too cold! This issue arises because Humphreys also imagines (with no evidence) that living organisms were virtually devoid of radioactive isotopes; otherwise they would have been killed by radiation poisoning during the accelerated decay. Humphreys says there must be a way around this difficulty, since Noah didn't freeze to death on the Ark, and he offers a still-more contrived solution.
First, he makes the ad hoc assumptions that space has a literal temperature, like a material substance, and that the heat transfer during the expansion depends on the temperature difference between space and whatever material system we are talking about. Then he needs yet another assumption: that for some unknown reason the temperature of space was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (the body temperature of a human being). Heat wasn't sucked out of Noah's body because he was at the same temperature as the "fabric" of space.
He says this is "sheer guesswork," but I don't think any guesswork is needed to verify that the idea is nonsense. Space, at an effective temperature of a human being, might not have removed energy from Noah's body, but this is not the case for the Sun! Humphreys's equation shows that, at its very high temperature, the Sun would have had most of its thermal energy removed by the expansion of the cosmos. Since the Sun's energy is generated in its core, and it takes well over 10,000 years for this heat to diffuse to the surface, the Sun would still be cold today.
Morris touts accelerated decay in his book, without acknowledging that this idea simply doesn't work. Scientific measurements consistently show that the Earth is old, and creationists have no valid counterargument.
Conclusion... No young-Earth creationist takes notice of the detailed data I've studied while researching this review. The selective citing of evidence by Dr. Morris would cause any respectable publisher to reject his work.
But this ploy is not unusual...Creationism is made of it. Creationism thrives because its advocates adhere to the reporting standards of defense attorneys, advertising executives, or political consultants, rather than to those of scientists.
Some creationist researchers occasionally ponder contrary facts that penetrate their religious filters. But they need to keep believing that, against all odds, a handful of creationists can see what tens of thousands of ordinary scientists have missed. In their own way, they are probably sincere, but their integrity is of a complex nature. Then there are the creationist apologists who, in their zeal to discredit mainstream researchers, comb the scientific literature for discrepancies. Considering the amount of reading they do, they must be aware of the massive evidence against the young Earth. On some level, Dr. Morris must know better, but he thinks misleading his readers somehow puts him on the side of God.
I hope you are not like him.
Young Earth versus Scientific Facts Jan 8, 2010
Almost every page of this book has colorful charts and/or photos. It is well presented for those who want to read it page by page and for those who want to page through it in random order. A nice book for any home library. You don't have to read the whole book at one time; you can just read the parts that interest you the most.
The book summarizes many of the geological scientific evidences for a young earth. Then for the areas you are more motivated to study there are lots of other longer books that go into a lot more detail. This book will inspire those deeply interested in scientific geology to explore more and longer detailed books. It will also help give you a young earth prospective of the geological formations you see in nature throughout the world.
Scientific theories only predict present day processes based on observation. You can't observe the past. You can only guess the past based on things written in the past and that is not scientific, it is faith. Those who believe in evolution as their faith often also believe by faith the Grand Canyon is being carved out by the Colorado River. But modern recent scientific observation says it is currently slowing filling in and getting slowly buried with sediments. Based on that observation, the Grand Canyon was formed by processes rarely observed anywhere in the world in the past few decades. Same can be said of most every canyon in the world. Mt. St. Helens provides a process of how at least some canyons are formed. There are nearly no observed processes of canyons being formed by today's rivers. You can go on and on about every detail of evolutionary theory showing the impossibility of each theory. If you cannot prove a theory in a laboratory, it is not a scientific theory, it is a faith theory. Evolution is faith based and so it the bible. Both are not based on provable fact, but on a long list of improvable assumptions based on short term or incomplete observations or what seems to be true. One comes from the belief in the accuracy of the bible and finite time and the other from the belief of mysteriously unproved random processes and infinite time.
My faith is in the accuracy of a world wide Genesis flood of which the world is full of millions of pieces of evidence that could be used to prove it in a court of law. I think the nature of that kind of flood based on the biblical account of it disproves everything the evolutionary faith is currently based on. I believe John Morris shares this belief.
A Really Nice Book Jan 3, 2010
A very well done book! It encapsulates a variety of interesting topics, in a very readable & attractive format. You need not be a professional to understand this. You could even take the kiddos on your lap, & introduce them to science via discussing the pictures.(After YOU read it, folks -- so you know what you are yakking about.)It would make a nice present, instead of the "assorted trash" folks already have too much of. The DVD included makes for an even better deal.
I bought this via this site, for myself, in preparation for presentations. As a former science teacher & researcher, I am fed up with the pseudo-science & outright lies which were taught me - & is still enforced as the "politically correct" way to go, compliments of the "vested interests". And, I am in eternal indebtedness to those scientists brave enough to stand up under the barrage of garbage thrown at them, & say: "Hey! No way, Jose!!" Get yourself a refreshing dose of REALITY --- get this book!
Good Overview Aug 13, 2009
The purpose of this book is to review evidence that is a) grossly inconsistent with a putative age of the earth of 4.5 billion years and b) much more consistent with an earth that is on the order of 6,000-10,000 years. The word `consistent' here is important. Throughout the book, Morris repeatedly stresses that the evidence under review does not **prove** that the earth is young, only that it is far more consistent with an earth much, much younger than 4.5 billion years. Furthermore, he acknowledges that one can make a good bit of the evidence `work' within either paradigm. The question, he points out, is which paradigm makes the **best** sense of the most evidence. Thus, Morris understands and acknowledges the inherently provisional nature of science. He doesn't make the foolish claim, as many evolutionists do, that science has proven the age of the earth.
Another good aspect of this book is how Morris explains the importance of operative assumptions or axioms in science, particularly the historical sciences (e.g. earth history). Morris makes clear that the argument is not over evidence, but the **framework within which it is interpreted**. If one, for instance, does not believe in a Creator, then evolution of some sort, along with its attendant eons of time, **must** be true. On the other hand, if one believes the bible is the inerrant Word of God and are convinced that it teaches a recent creation, then a `youthful', scientific interpretation of the evidence **must** exist, even if presently unknown. In each case, one's prior - and necessarily unprovable - philosophical commitments concerning earth's history govern the interpretation of the evidence. For those who might claim that evolutionists are exempt on this count, here is Richard Lewontin:
------------------- 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 an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen. ~ Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997 -------------------
Pretending that they have no philosophical pre-commitments, evolutionists will often charge that creationists try to force recalcitrant evidence into a pre-existing conclusion, but they are no less guilty of this charge themselves. For instance, two of the critical factors that any theory of origins must explain are the transition from non-life to life and the origin of homochirality. Evolutionists, despite occasional claims of `progress', currently have no materialist explanation for either of these factors; they simply have faith that one day they'll figure it out. This is a luxury they vociferously deny creationists.
Three good examples of the evidence Morris reviews are 1) clean, straight-edge boundaries between strata whose respective depositions are putatively separated by millions of years, 2) deformed/bent strata, and 3) discordant isochrons. To give just one (of many) example of #1 is the Hermit Shale/Cocconino Sandstone boundary in the Grand Canyon. The Hermit Shale is dated at ~280 million years old while the overlying Coconino Sandstone is dated at ~270 million years old. Thus, there is supposed to be a ~10 million year time gap between the deposition of the two layers. The problem is that the contact between the two is dead flat. There is no evidence of erosion or bioturbation of the Hermit Shale. So, we are supposed to believe that this layer of sediment lay completely undisturbed by weather, plants & animals for 10 million years. That's, well, miraculous! To compound this problem, most such strata gradually grade into one another, making it difficult to impossible to find where one ends and the other begins. Both features are explained much better by rapid, continuous deposition. This was pointed out at the birth of geological science by the Scriptural Geologists (SG), who were simply ignored by those (e.g. Lyell) intent on finding `deep time' (see Mortenson's 'The Great Turning Point'). In fact, the catastrophists, among whom were counted the SGs, were the more empirically-minded geologists of the day. As Gould wrote:
------------------- Charles Lyell was a lawyer by profession, and his book is one of the most brilliant briefs ever published by an advocate ... Lyell relied upon true bits of cunning to establish his uniformitarian views as the only true geology. First, he set up a straw man to demolish. In fact, the catastrophists were much more empirically minded than Lyell. The geologic record does seem to require catastrophes; rocks are fractured and contorted; whole faunas are wiped out. To circumvent this literal appearance, Lyell imposed his imagination upon the evidence. The geologic record, he argued, is extremely imperfect and we must interpolate into it what we can reasonably infer but cannot see. The catastrophists were the hard-nosed empiricists of their day, not the blinded theological apologists. ~ Gould, Prof. Stephen Jay, Prof. of Geol. at Harvard; Natural History, Feb. 1975, pp. 16-17 -------------------
Regarding #2, there are many successive layers of strata that are bent into curves, indicating that the sediments were soft and pliable when bent, a conclusion reinforced especially when the layers on the outside of the bend thin out at the bend, just as you would expect from a soft, pliable material. Evolutionists claim that such bending can occur when the rock is hard. Indeed, it can, but when it does there is physical evidence (e.g. elongated sand grains, broken cement crystals, recrystalization). Most deformed strata (e.g. the Tapeats Sandstone, Split Mountain, CA, Kaibab Upward in the Grand Canyon) do not exhibit such evidence. Again, the evidence suggests continuous, rapid deposition. Concerning #3, isochrons are supposed to dispense with the need for the unprovable assumptions of radiometric dating (initial conditions, constant decay rates, system isolation, etc.) and thus provide a reliable date. The RATE group found that different mineral isotopes systematically yield different isochron dates with K-Ar giving the youngest date through Pb-Pb giving the oldest resulting in a spread of some 1,000 million years. Which to believe? Whichever fits the contemporary consensus, I suppose.
Finally, Morris acknowledges that most evolutionists are capable and honorable scientists. Morris does not take issue with their credentials or competence, but with their interpretive framework; he recognizes that their interpretations follow logically from their prior commitment to materialism. You will be hard-pressed to find such magnanimity on the part of evolutionists, the vast majority of whom are unwilling to acknowledging the possibility of honest, informed & competent disagreement with their interpretation of the evidence.
A great book... May 5, 2009
... if you believe in leprechauns, troll, santa and the easter bunny. This book is not based on facts. It's based on unproven, infactual thoughts according to a book written thousands of years ago by men who based their thoughts on words written by other men thousands of years before them who may have written words based on the idea of a man who may or may not have even existed. Confused yet? But it's not meant to understand, right? Only to BELIEVE! Absurd.
It is better to think than to rely on faith. To examine than to mindlessly believe. To explore than to reside in the muck that is religion.