“An Appeal to Reason” is subtitled “Examining the evidence of origins in the evolution verses creation debate”. The author, Jim Gibson, employs a witty and, in some cases, sarcastic style. He intends the book to appeal to the younger generation, who have little knowledge of the facts surrounding the story that is now taught universally in the education system of the origin of life on this planet. Evolution is marketed as a fact—as the true history of life on Earth. The author points to many scientific discoveries that contradict that story. Published by Tate Publishing, Oklahoma, USA (2014) and available from Amazon.com.
The book is wide-ranging in its subject matter, yet does not load the reader with too many or superfluous details, yet provides sufficient explanation to show that the biblical creation model of understanding the history of the universe and life on Earth is a far better explanation than that offered by the evolution story.
Jim Gibson’s approach to the subject is different to the approach I have read in many other creationist publications that deal with similar material. It is fresh, insightful and challenging to anyone willing to open their mind and use commonsense and reason in understanding the evidence—both present day observations and accounts from history as recorded by scientific observers over the past few hundred years. Therefore I recommend it to everyone.
Part 6 of my review of the book: “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself,” by Sean M. Carroll. Part 5 is found here.
The Core Theory
Carroll spends several chapters discussing the quantum mechanical framework for the Core Theory, as he calls it. Quantum mechanics has been an extremely successful physical theory exquisitely predicting with enormous precision some parameters in particle physics. But what many people have heard of quantum theory is more about the various interpretations applied by physicists (e.g. Bohr’s abstract physical description, or, Everett’s many-worlds) to the way the theory might work beneath what we can measure.
Regardless of the correct interpretation it has enjoyed enormous success as a theory of physics in what is called the standard model of particle physics. The second very successful theory is general relativity—Einstein’s theory of gravity. Both work extremely well in their respective domains of operation, but outside that, in the realm of what is called quantum gravity neither operate nor has a theory been found to unite them. But that is exactly what Stephen Hawking and others have been seeking, to have the Universe begin in a quantum fluctuation of a meta-stable false vacuum.
But even though we have this limitation, in the realm of what humans can measure, Carroll has faith and writes:
“What we can do is show that physics by itself is fully up to the task of accounting for what we see.” (p.179)
However he admits that one class of particles not part of the current Core Theory are those that make up “dark matter” in the Universe. Such alleged weakly interacting putative particles are allowed for in the Core Theory because they are so weakly interacting with normal atomic matter that they are hard to detect. I would argue that dark matter and other dark entities are a philosophical construct used to keep the standard big bang cosmology from being discredited.1 Dark matter was first needed to explain the dynamics of spiral galaxies. Now it seems that it is no longer needed, when standard physics is applied correctly.2
An illustrated lecture I presented on March 19th, 2017, at Saidaiji Christian Church in Okayama, Japan. It was translated into Japanese by Mr Toru Yasui. The lecture covers the issue of the need to assume a worldview before we can interpret any observational data from the cosmos. Two worldviews are contrasted: The biblical creation worldview and the pagan big bang worldview. Biblical creation cosmogonies are explained and how they provide an answer to how we see distant starlight, from galaxies billions of light-years distant, in a 6000 year old universe. Running time 1 hour 14 minutes.
In Our eternal universe I laid out the biblical and scientific case for an eternal created universe sustained by the Creator. That article was published in the Journal of Creation 30(3):104–109, December 2016, which has a wider readership than here, my personal web/blog site. And it attracted some comments via Letters to the Editor.
The ‘standard’ biblical creationist view has been that at the New Heaven and New Earth stage at some point in the future God wipes out the whole starry heavens and recreates a new universe of stars and galaxies. I am convinced the Creator will renovate the earth and its atmospheric heavens in that event but what do the scriptures really tell us?
Below I reproduce the letters arguing against my hypothesis and my responses.
The Genesis spacecraft mission, launched in August 2001 by NASA, was designed to observe the solar wind, particles coming from the sun, entrap a sample of those particles on substrates and safely return them to Earth. The spacecraft travelled to a point about 1.5 million kilometers (or about 1 million miles) from Earth called Lagrange point, L1, where the gravitational force of the earth is matched by that of the sun. At this location the Genesis spacecraft was well outside of Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic environment, allowing it to collect a ‘pristine’ sample of the solar wind. Genesis’ overall flight path resembled a series of loops (Fig. 1): first it circled five times around L1, called Halo orbit, where it remained for 850 days, then it moved back for a short loop around the opposite Lagrange point, L2, in order to position the spacecraft for a daylight return to Earth.
On board the spacecraft, ions from the solar-wind impacted the collectors at speeds over 200 km/sec and buried themselves in specially-selected materials. These samples were sealed in enclosures for their safe return to Earth in a sample-return capsule (SRC). Then during the return-to-Earth stage something went horribly wrong. On NASA’s Genesis Search for Origins website it is described as follows.1
On 8 September 2004 the SRC entered Earth’s atmosphere as planned, but its gravity switches were oriented incorrectly as the result of a design error and the parachute system failed to deploy. The high-speed wreck compromised the SRC and shattered many of the Genesis collectors.
The samples were scattered and shattered. But all was not lost it seemed.
However, the Genesis Preliminary Examination Team was able to show that, because the solar-wind ions were buried beneath the surface of the collectors, it is possible to detect and quantify elements in the solar-wind.1
Composition of original solar nebula
Thus in March 2005, Johnson Space Center curatorial staff started allocating solar-wind collectors to the international scientific community to see what could be determined from those samples. The purpose was to glean information on the composition of the solar wind, and hence to determine the chemical and isotopic composition of the original solar nebula which it is alleged formed our solar system. See Fig. 2.
I don’t know how I missed this news item back from 2010! Then NASA reported a single bit-flip error occurred in Voyager 2’s software code used to communicate with Earth. That sounds pretty mundane in today’s IT savvy world where we are all used to software errors and corrupt code.
But sometime the corruption of code is due to deliberate interference. Hackers hack into computers everyday for fun or more nefarious reasons. In this instance several scientists suggested that the on-board computer was hacked by an alien race (from another star system) who were trying to communicate with us.
But note the Voyager 2 space craft at that time was nearly about to cross over into what we would call interstellar space. It was about to leave the solar system in 2010 at a distance of 90 times the distance between the sun and the earth. That is about 8.6 billion miles or about 14 billion kms. That means it takes a light signal nearly 13 hours, travelling at nearly 300,000 km/s, to travel from the space probe to Earth. For NASA to send and receive a signal that would take twice that time, nearly 26 hours. It is certainly at a distance where one can easily discount any Earth based hacker.
The following is excerpted an online news item from 6 years ago and is typical of the several available.1
NASA space probe Voyager 2, which left earth 33 years ago, may have been hijacked by aliens who are now trying to make contact with earth according to a German academic.
The craft, which is 8.6 billion miles from earth on the very edge of the solar system, has been sending back data ever since it was launched – until last month when it briefly stopped transmitting before starting to send strange messages that scientists cannot decipher.
German academic Hartwig Hausdorf believes the change could be down to extraterrestrials. He says that because the rest of the spacecraft is still working normally there may be more to the cryptic messages than meets the eye.
“It seems almost as if someone has reprogrammed or hijacked the probe,” he told German newspaper Bild. “Thus perhaps we do not yet know the whole truth.”
NASA was much more circumspect stating that they believe it was due to this one corrupt bit of code. That may have occurred due to radiation in space or impact by a highly energetic particle which flipped the bit.
The following I received in an email in relation to the ASC model. The ASC model, I believe, answers the biblical creationist starlight-travel-time problem. Actually it eliminates it, because there is no light-travel problem, of any sort, in that biblical cosmogony. I do agree though that people not familiar with ideas of relativity and the speed of light measurement may have confusion or misunderstandings on this topic. The writer’s words are in blue text and my responses in grey.
Hello. I appreciate greatly your ongoing contribution to the creation-science cause. However, I find I just don’t get ASC. I’m sure the following will expose a misunderstanding, but when you suggest ideas like celestial events being ”time-stamped” only when seen on Earth, that comes across as if God really created the stars earlier than Day 4, but their light was only visible on Earth on Day 4. ASC also sounds to me like it’s not describing actual reality, but only appearances. Thus it seems (again, to my confused perspective) that straightforward biblical statements about actual celestial events are not trustworthy.
Firstly let me define ASC model. It is the biblical creation model where the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (ASC) is assumed as the clock synchrony convention for timing all events. The ASC model was developed by Jason Lisle (references below) and I have developed my own model as an extension of his using the exact same ASC convention.
If starlight travel is to fit within 6 Earth-days, then it confuses me even further when you say that the ASC model doesn’t require time dilation.
I suspect you may tell me that my reasoning “assumes the ESC model,” as I’ve read you telling several others. In case you would say the same to me, I don’t see how that could be the case, since I’d never heard of the ESC before an hour ago. No, my only assumption here is that Genesis statements about celestial events are statements about actual reality, not mere “time-stamps.” I don’t see how the ASC model can be squared with Exodus 20:11.
Quite obviously not having heard the term, or even the reason, for something does not exclude the use of it from our experience as it could be something we have been taught all our lives but never known what it was called. Does the average person, who keeps their food cool in a refrigerator, actually know why it preserves food better than being left in a room temperature box? And does the average person even know the term ‘thermodynamics’ and how it works? Have they ever heard of ‘Gibbs free energy’ without which the fridge couldn’t do any ‘work’? Do they even know that refrigerators do ‘work’? Ignorance is not necessarily a valid argument.
Just never having heard the expression “Einstein Synchrony Convention (or ESC)” does not mean that a person doesn’t automatically assume itwhen thinking about an event connected to the reception of a light signal.
“When the light from this massive solar flare left the sun we had our eyes closed but when we opened them, 8.3 minutes later, the light entered our eyes and we saw it at the moment of the eruption.”
Some biblical creationists argue for a mature creation as an explanation for the history of Genesis to align with modern cosmological observations. Don DeYoung1 is one who argues that such a view is not refutable, and he is quite right. But neither is any cosmology as really cosmology is not science.2 It is not subject to repeatable laboratory type tests that is normally required in science. Its goal is to reconstruct the history of the Universe, and in so doing cosmology is more akin to evolutionary biology or geology in which researchers must simply accept some facts as given. That makes cosmology more like a religion, a belief system, with its unprovable axioms upon which everything else is based.
De Young argues that all biblical creationist cosmogonies (i.e. worldviews) contain some level of mature creation, which I do agree with. The problem, though, which he does not address, is the issue of false information in starlight.
We know that the Universe is very large. Light travels very fast indeed, yet light travelling at its measured speed travels one light-year distance in one year (by definition). The Bible tells us that the Universe is only about 6000 years old, but the distances light needs to travel from the most distant sources to Earth, since creation, is about 14 billion light-years. So DeYoung, and others like him, claim that God created the ‘light in transit’. He says that this explanation is valid as it is equivalent to the mature creation of our sun or even to adult forms of life created on Earth (i.e. Adam and Eve created in the Garden as adults and not babies or embryos). On some level this may be true, but the ‘light in transit’ remains a problem in terms of God’s truthfulness.
No doubt DeYoung, and those others who hold similar views, believe that God is 100% truthful, yet they see no problem with false information in the ‘light in transit’. DeYoung excuses it by saying that it is nevertheless true in the mind of God. But there still remains a problem.
In Psalm 91 (and other passages in the Bible) we are told that the heavens tell us of God’s workmanship. Is this also only in the mind of God? Is everything that is in the astrophysical heavens just part of a big light show, which has no reality, such as the reality we can discover with the rest of our senses here on Earth? I don’t think so.
So how do you justify ‘light in transit,’ which does not relate back to real events in the past history of this Universe? If you want to take the approach of the least number of assumptions, that is, using Occam’s Razor,3 a law of economy, then I would say that a time-dilation model or a time-convention model is a far simpler and better choice.4 For example, I could construct a cosmogony (description of the origin of the Universe) where our Creator God makes the sun, the moon, the planets and all the stars and galaxies on Day 4 of Creation Week, according to Genesis 1.5 But in so doing He slows the rate of clocks on Earth during that day only. Really that means he slows the rate at which time passes on Earth relative to elsewhere in the cosmos. He makes some galaxies initially and places them throughout the Universe, like unfurling a flag or tent. It does not necessarily involve any stretching of the fabric of space, or of time or of space-time. This Universe is not an expanding, but created static, with the galaxies essentially in the same locations now as when they were created 6000 years ago, as measured by Earth clocks.
On Saturday 4th June we returned from our 2½ week tour of Israel where my wife, Christina and I teamed up with 14 others from Australia, USA, NZ, Japan and Finland. The trip combined a biblical creation ministry with a 10 day tour of the sites around Israel, with a focus of relevant Bible history and creation science teaching. Our tour guide was a professional archeologist and Christian. The tour was sponsored by a Finish Christian outreach ministry. We were also supported by Israeli Messianic congregations and an Israeli Messianic conference ministry.
Biblical creation lectures, “8 Reasons Why Evolution is Foolish” (JGH), “The Heavens Declare…” (JGH), “Evidence for a Young Universe” (RH), “Cosmic Magnets” (RH) and “Flood Geology” (JB), “A Linguistic Argument” (JB) and others were delivered all over the country. They were given at:
a student conference (about 40, mostly Arab Christians,18-25 years old)
a youth conference (270 Jewish children, between 13-20 years old)
about 8 Messianic congregations (Tiberias, Jerusalem, Modi’in, Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv and other cities)
Hotel presentations: 3 different talks, in 2 cities
Total of 24 talks presented over 12 days by 3 speakers: myself (Dr John Gideon Hartnett), Dr Russ Humphreys and Dr John Baumgardner
The talks were translated into Hebrew and video recorded. Eventually we hope they will be available on YouTube.
For highlights of the guided archeological tour watch this 6 minute video (Powerpoint presentation) Archeological tour.(Sound only in two places)
Album of some meetings
Dr J. Gideon Hartnett speaking to students at the student conference
The Bible teaches that God first created the earth from a ball of water. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)
To the contrary, the dominant evolutionary theory for many decades has been that the earth’s water was derived from ice-rich comets or asteroids, which allegedly hit the planet after it formed 4.5 billion years ago. Now new research overturns those notions and brings the ‘official’ secular creation story closer to the Genesis account. A team of scientists found evidence that,
“Earth has had water since the beginning of its formation,” according to planetary scientist Lydia Hallis, who led the team.1
Their recent paper,2 published in Science, has the following abstract:
The hydrogen-isotope [deuterium/hydrogen (D/H)] ratio of Earth can be used to constrain the origin of its water. However, the most accessible reservoir, Earth’s oceans, may no longer represent the original (primordial) D/H ratio, owing to changes caused by water cycling between the surface and the interior. Thus, a reservoir completely isolated from surface processes is required to define Earth’s original D/H signature. Here we present data for Baffin Island and Icelandic lavas, which suggest that the deep mantle has a low D/H ratio (δD more negative than -218 per mil). Such strongly negative values indicate the existence of a component within Earth’s interior that inherited its D/H ratio directly from the protosolar nebula. (emphasis added)
This claimed discovery and its interpretation were boldly announced in the online Earth & Space Science Newswith the headline “Earth’s Water Came from Space Dust During Planetary Formation.” The article translates the science thus:
A new analysis of lava from the deep mantle indicates that water-soaked dust particles, rather than a barrage of icy comets, asteroids, or other bodies, delivered water to the newly forming Earth.1
Hallis and the team looked at the ratio (D/H) of the heavy form of hydrogen (deuterium) to the ordinary form. In the rocks (lava from deep in the mantle) they found a value of D/H much lower than that found in the earth’s oceans. They then interpreted this low value as strongly indicative of Earth’s water being derived from the alleged solar nebula, of gas and dust, from which it is alleged that the sun, the planets and all the smaller bodies in our solar system formed.