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Thursday, April 08, 2004 12:55 PM 

Re: Round 2B


 Dr. Olson,


Once again, thank you for taking the time to read through my posts and respond to them.


As to your comment that I "systematically failed to understand your points", I think that you are trying to claim a victory where none exists. Your points are not really novel.  Having debated creationists for a number of years now, I find that they all use the same old hackneyed arguments. You are no different.  So your points are ones that I have seen many times before, making them much easier to understand.  In addition, I generally try to answer specific points with expert opinions.  I will find a reference written by someone with an advanced degree in a particular field and respond using that.


Maybe rather than insisting that I'm not understanding the question, you might consider the possibility that you don't understand the answer.


Also I believe that there are two things that are very apparent to "anyone reading the site"; things that would even be apparent to your colleagues from TCCSA.


The first thing is that you simply don't answer many questions.


In my very first email, I asked the question: "Why did God create a universe that APPEARS to be 14.5 Billion years old, an Earth that APPEARS to be 4.5 Billion years old and a fossil record that APPEARS to show an increase in biological complexity over time – in other words to show evolution."  I have not gotten an answer to that question.


Possibly you "systematically failed to understand my point"?


To me this is an important issue for creationists.  After all, as I understand creationism, its primary purpose is to show that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.  If creationism is valid then what we read in the Bible is exactly what we would hear if we had a conversation directly with God.




If God is deceptive, what difference does it make?  The Universe is undoubtedly created by God.  No one else could have possibly created it. But it appears, at least to creationists, that God created it in such a way that it deceives us in some ways.  God may have His reasons for doing things in a deceptive way, so this does not imply that God is evil in any way.  But if the Universe is indisputably created by God, but created in such a way that it can deceive us, how can we trust with complete certainty what we read in the Bible - even if that is also created by God?


The second thing that would be apparent to "anyone reading the site" is that you raise an immense number of irrelevant points.


I initiated our debate by responding to your article named "Evaluating Evolution".  Therefore I expected to discuss evolution.  Evolution is biological change over time.  Therefore things that are relevant are:


Evidence for and against evolution (biological change over time).  This includes things like fossils, DNA, etc.


The Age of the Earth -  it takes many, many more than 10,000 years for a single celled life form to evolve into complex organisms such as humans.


The Genesis stories of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden relative to how the diversity of life came about - this is, after all, the hypothesis that you are presenting as an alternative to the theory of evolution.


Topics that you have raised that are not relevant to a discussion of evolution are:


Abiogenesis - this is irrelevant because you have to have biology (living things) in order to have evolution.  Abiogenesis is all about chemistry, not biology.  The Theory of Relativity - I'm still struggling with the possible relevance of this.  "The Origin of Species" was published 46 years before Einstein published his hypothesis about the Special Theory of Relativity.  Obviously it didn't have any affect on Darwin's beliefs.


The Big Bang - again, this idea was developed many decades AFTER "The Origin of Species" was published.  Certainly some creationists believe that it affects the integrity of the Biblical account in Genesis about how the universe was formed (while other creationists believe that it actually confirms the Bible).  However it does not relate to the Biblical accounts of the diversity of life.  Some scientists also believe in something other than the Big Bang.  For example, Sir Fred Hoyle (who coined the phrase "The Big Bang") believed in a steady state Universe that has existed forever with mass being continuously created and destroyed.  That hypothesis could be correct and evolution - all life sharing a common ancestor - could also be valid.  So the Big Bang is not a requirement for evolution.  In any case, the way that the Universe was created has no relevance to the diversity of life on Earth.


The existence of quarks - of course, this is irrelevant.  I'm stunned that you would even bring it up in the context of a discussion on evolution.


Strengthening of religious faith - this is also irrelevant, though this is probably the most controversial item. You, and most creationists, believe that evolution weakens the religious faiths of Christians.  I believe, on the other hand, that it is creationism that weakens the religious faith of Christians because it makes that faith so fragile - making your faith depend on the veracity of every single word in the Bible.  But in either case, these various scientific phenomena occurred or they didn't.  Whether it may or may not strengthen or weaken someone's religious beliefs has no affect on the scientific evidence.


All of this is a long answer to your question regarding why I don't tell you which church I attend.  That information is at least as irrelevant as any of the other irrelevant points that you raise.  If I attend a church in Brooklyn Park, will that make evolution less valid?  What if I attend a church in Woodbury instead?  Or Farmington?  Or Minnetonka?  Or Buffalo?  Or Stillwater?  If I attend a church in downtown Minneapolis, will that cause more transitional fossils to appear?  If I go to a church in St. Paul instead, will that increase the DNA differences between humans and chimpanzees?  Of course not!  What possible relevance does the church that I attend have relative to the validity of evolution?  Clearly it has none. I see no reason to bring additional completely irrelevant discussion threads into our debate.


In regards to that debate, I'm sorry to hear that you may not be responding any more.  Your stated reason for doing so is interesting - that I don't understand your arguments.  I keep a record of the email messages that I send to creationists.  Not counting the ones that you and I have exchanged, there are 582 such messages that I have sent.  None of those other creationists who have responded to these have ever they said that I don't understand the points that they are raising.  It seems to be an issue only when I am exchanging messages with you.


Possibly, as I said earlier, you don't understand my points.  Or possibly you just don't explain things very well.


And, of course, there is one other possibility.


Most often it is the person who is losing a debate who wishes to end that debate.   Isn't it possible that you are starting to recognize that you aren't coming up with any valid arguments and therefore you feel that you are losing this debate?  Your actions are certainly consistent with that belief (and, as we all know, actions do speak lowder than words).


Happy Easter, by the way.


R**** C****






 Thursday, April 08, 2004 4:44 PM 

Quick response


 Dear R**** C****


 I do not even have time to go through your whole e-mail right now as I am on my way out the door but a prime example of the communication problem jumps right out.


You say:


 In my very first email, I asked the question: "Why did God create a universe that APPEARS to be 14.5 Billion years old, an Earth that APPEARS to be 4.5 Billion years old and a fossil record that APPEARS to show an increase in biological complexity over time – in other words to show evolution."  I have not gotten an answer to that question.


 My response:


I did answer that question.  It only appears to be old if you accept the interpretations, which are faulty.  I gave you reasons to doubt the old age proofs and several proofs of young age which you apparently either ignored or somehow did not think they affected your belief that the earth "appears to be old."  I give up.






Friday, April 09, 2004 9:28 AM Re: Quick response



Dr. Ross,


In MY email on the Age of the Earth I explained in detail why I did not accept your young Earth evidence.  In fact I think that I wrote about six printed pages explaining why the "evidences" that appeared in two of your references are faulty.  In response to my laying out these many details you say nothing or refer me to yet another web site with more bogus arguments.


This is a perfect example of what I mentioned in my last email - you simply don't understand the answers.


It appears that I have specific, sound, verifiable, repeatable reasons - also called facts - on which I base my beliefs.  You have only wishful thinking.


For example, one of the evidences of a young Earth that I discussed is that, according to Henry Morris, the amount of dust on the Moon is inconsistent with an old Earth.  I described the many different experiments that were performed in space that consistently show that the amount of dust on the Moon is exactly what there should be if the moon is 4.5 Billion years old.  I also pointed out how the motivation for these experiments has nothing to do with confirming mainstream scientific views - they are motivated by the desire to build satellites that will last for a while. You have failed to show why these experiments conducted by NASA and organizations from other countries are "faulty" (to use your word).


Which begs the question....


Why is there 4.5 Billion years of dust on the Moon?  What possible reason would God have to do that?  How could it possibly affect life on Earth? Isn't this, in fact, evidence that God is deceptive if the Universe is only a few thousand years old?


I answer your questions.  You do not answer mine.  Anyone reading our dialog is bound to notice.


You say you are giving up.  You only need to admit that the reason that you are giving up is that you can't answer questions from someone who can provide actual evidence showing that all of your arguments are bogus.


You are indeed running and hiding.  Enjoy your hiding place.


R**** C****






Friday, April 09, 2004 4:55 PM




Dear R**** C****


We agree that it is over.  We both keep saying the same things over and over.  You think you have won.  I think that we never engaged.  I finally see why that is the case.  Your intent is to argue by parading out your experts with PhDs.  I assume therefore that you will not change your own mind about anything until your experts change theirs.  But, of course, they are not even in our discussion.  If I brought out my experts, would that make a difference?  A.E. Wilder-Smith has three PhDs.  Does he trump all the single or double PhDs on your side? I know that you would discount the experts with PhDs who disagree with the mainstream paradigms.


Your response shows exactly what I was talking about when I say you fail to understand.  I DID answer your questions.  You just do not agree with my points.  If we have any readers, I am content to let them decide whose points are stronger.  All your claims of irrelevancies are covered in my letters.  I wanted to know which church you went to because, as you stated, you have been engaged in an ongoing interaction with your pastor and I wanted to point him to some resources.


And as an illustration of not understanding, you have laid yourself wide open and demonstrated it.  Regarding Moon dust, I told you that it is not an argument that is used any more.  So your insisting that this is at the heart of the case for young age means you just did not even read or remember the answer.  Yes, Henry Morris used it at one time but not any more.  Are YOU willing to give up any of your arguments for the sake of evidence? 


I find it interesting that there indeed WAS concern about the amount of dust that would be encountered on the moon.  Isaac Asimov said so in 1959.


"It strikes me that if this dust is the dust of falling micrometeors, the thickness may be great. On the moon there are no oceans to swallow the dust, or winds to disturb it, or lifeforms to mess it up generally one way or another. The dust that forms must just lie there, and if the moon gets anything like the earth's supply, it could be dozens of feet thick. In fact, the dust that strikes craters quite probably rolls down hill and collects at the bottom, forming {at}drifts' that could be fifty feet deep, or more. Why not?  I get a picture, therefore, of the first spaceship, picking out a nice level place for landing purposes coming slowly downward tail-first ... and sinking majestically out of sight."    ("14 million tons of dust per year" Science Digest, 45(l):33-36, 1959.)


But after the first readings were made, then the calculations came along to harmonize with reality that had been established.  It sounds a bit like Gould coming up with punctuated equilibrium to explain the lack of transitional forms and then saying that lack of transitional forms is exactly what punctuated equilibrium expects.  But I admit, the measurements now seem compatible with a very low rate of dust influx.


But regarding logic, you fail to see that a dust layer that is "compatible with" billions of years does not PROVE billions of years.  To do that you would have to know the rates of deposition in the past and know that they have not changed.  In fact, those who think about this note that there are a lot of craters on the moon which indicates that there has been bombardment with large objects so that it would be reasonable to assume that there may have been more material hitting the moon in the past.


But regarding the use of experts and faulty logic, I hope that you remain illogical when it comes to some things.  Otherwise, you might feel obligated to give up your relationship with Jesus Christ if you meet one of the many experts with PhDs who would say that your concept of God is an expression of the immature wish to have an all-powerful parent in the sky to take care of you, or another expert who says that they have isolated the religiosity gene which causes people to believe things that are not true.


I Do wish you a wonderful Easter.  Very few experts with PhDs acknowledge that Jesus rose from the dead, but He really did and that makes all the difference.


With a final goodbye.


Ross Olson



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