Calming the Storm & Discerning God's Work
Author's Response to “Unleashing the Storm,” (a critique by AiG)
By Dennis Petersen, Author of Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation --
The core of the following article appeared on the World Wide Web home page of a popular creation ministry called Answers in Genesis (AiG). The apparent purpose of that article is to discredit the book, Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation. That book is potentially one of the most effective tools yet published to help open-minded people wake up to reality that has been largely hidden by secular influences for at least 50 years. The accusatory spirit of the critique proves to be severely lacking both grace and truth. As you read the long list of negative complaints you soon realize that all of them are either: 1) petty, 2) erroneous, or 3) simply a matter of personal opinion. I'm grateful for the noting of a few errors resulting from oversight or new information. However, many discerning observers have noticed how unfortunate it is that the critic could not offer those corrections in a positive spirit of improving the work rather than condemning it. This unfortunately reflects poorly on the critic as having a bad attitude toward what is unquestionably an excellent new book.
When you, as an unbiased new reader, pick up and read the book you can't help but detect the warm flavor of fascination and a deep sense of reverence for the Creator. So, what were our goals and motives for writing the book? It's important to note that Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation is not just a book. It is a series of seminars and biblically based lessons that have culminated through a lifetime of study and ministry devoted to honor the Lord Jesus Christ in every aspect. We aim carefully at keeping a God-honoring attitude and behavior as we attempt to present the truth in love and share how we must fear God rather than man.
Telling the truth, as we know it, is always a vulnerable position. Not only will we draw criticism from outright enemies, we can also draw attacks from some fellow Christians with different opinions. Because new insights are being constantly discovered, there is no book that can be considered the final word on things, except the Bible. That's why we anticipate changes in future editions of our book.
Helping others develop a confident faith in the Bible is our paramount motive. Observations in nature and history are interpreted through many different preconceptions. Reports about them, no matter how well meaning and carefully researched, are continually subject to flawed reasoning or prejudiced presuppositions. Our premise is that the Bible is true and that everything around us should be examined and understood in view of the truth of God's Word. As expressed in the introductory pages of the new book, our goal is to help people look at all kinds of things with open hearts and with questioning minds. A key goal of the book is to reach people who are not reading, seeing or hearing the truth of creation, often because they have not seen the topic in an exciting and engaging way.
Two observations are highly unusual about the AiG critique/review. I can't recall seeing a published review that did not acknowledge the name of the reviewer. Since most people who know of AiG's work associate major announcements with Ken Ham, I can only suppose the critique was endorsed, if not written, by Mr. Ham. Secondly, I have not seen such a detailed and lengthy review that was 99.9% negative especially when there is such a large amount of positive material in the book being reviewed. This only serves to accent the purpose of the review: to discredit the book rather than to urge readers to evaluate it on its own merits in view of the reviewer's criticisms.
Both the critic (AiG) and the author (me) are deeply concerned about telling the truth. I respect the critic's desire to maintain a high standard of both Biblical truth and scientific facts. However, when a critic perceived to be respectable makes sweeping criticisms to reject various statements in a book, he does prejudice his readers. To the reader I say, please be aware that I have worked painstakingly for years with many experienced and knowledgeable expert researchers to establish a great burden of integrity in my work. I have now submitted the book to the whole world of knowledgeable experts to evaluate. These new readers are an extension of my “peer review” process. A critical reviewer may expect many of his supportive readers to take his criticisms as authoritative. However, my objective as the author is to get readers to think for themselves, taking the whole work into consideration. And that seems to be something that is far different from what the critic apparently wishes the work were.
What is the essence of God's work that we, His servants, are supposed to be going about doing? It is the ministry of reconciliation, in all its manifold facets. Yet, even in the storms that the enemy stirs among the family of God, our foremost goal must always be to see Christ, the Master of the storm, as the One who always works ultimate good out of even controversial challenges. May He give us all discernment as we humbly depend on His providence to fulfill our many different gifts of service…Dennis Petersen
[The entire critique is reproduced in black font below. My bracketed responses preceded by (**) are in red font and the bracketed responses of my research team are in other color fonts – D.R. Petersen]
--- the AiG critique follows (in black font) [rebuttal statements in different font are in brackets.]
“Unleashing the Storm”
With heavy heart, AiG must give strong ‘thumbs down' to beautifully-presented new creationist book.
13 January 2003
When we heard that a new version was being prepared of Dennis Petersen's book Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation, we were at first excited. We had previously sold the earlier book of the same name, until it became a little outdated in some areas. That book had communicated very well to the layperson. **[AiG did not mention that the book was dropped in 1996 from their list, despite its continuing popularity, because it contained some of the same information that AiG still disagrees with even though those same matters were included in other books they carried.] But when we were given a small number of pages of the new one as color proofs by the publisher, **[actually by the distributor Master Books] we became very concerned, and sought to convey the reasons. **[The few issues that were raised by email to the author were either adjusted or left unchanged after acknowledging there was a difference of opinion among respected researchers with whom AiG disagreed.] [Creation Science is developing each year. We are learning from each other; at times competitive sub-theories collide, but this should be handled in a positive manner.]
There was no doubt that it would ‘sell well', because of the unsurpassed quality of its colorful presentation and its easy-to-read style. It also upholds a straightforward understanding of Scripture, and so is much preferable to books by those who compromise the Bible with evolutionist interpretations, such as Hugh Ross. But the concerns, which were greatly reinforced when we saw the final product, were wide and deep. [The reader will be surprised, as I was, by the lack of depth and insight revealed by many of the critic's sharply opinionated remarks.]
Despite its good intentions, it seemed to be focusing heavily on material that was incorrect, outdated by many decades, speculative, poorly documented, and usually not peer-reviewed by the creationist scientific journals. **[Generalizations like these misleadingly attempt to convince the readers that they cannot trust anything in the book. This intimidation is deceitful and contrived.] [It is regrettable that some now exalt “peer reviewed” creationist scientific journals. The “peer reviewed journal” has become the means by which scientists in all areas keep people in line and squelch the presentation of theories or opinions other than their own. The trick is simple: Quote and endorse the party line or forego publication in our journal. Forego publication in our journal and we can claim that you have no credibility!] And it was precisely because the book was so well presented that we feared greatly for the many Christians who would be misled into thinking that at least most of its evidences and arguments would be sound. **[Indeed, all of the book's evidences have been carefully reviewed to make sure they ARE sound. Some evidences are tentative but worthy of inclusion to evoke readers to think. If we cut out certain evidences that AiG chooses to disregard because of their biased preferencesrather than objective careful study, would readers THEN be misled?]
We also became concerned at the surprising lack of discernment from many creation-oriented ministries, who were saying things like ‘every Christian home should have one' and that this book is set to become ‘the new standard for creation material'. All this—and the fact that we keep getting asked about it—was ultimately why we have taken the unusual step of releasing an edited cut-down version of our in-house review notes, which follow. These notes are a compilation of input from a number of scientists and researchers active in the creation movement (who do not all work for AiG, incidentally). **[In all fairness, why, as an evangelical ministry with similar objectives and values as the author of the new book, wouldn't AiG also consult with knowledgeable people who take a supportive position on the book?]
This release is not coupled with ill will of any sort. We sell many materials from various authors and organizations. If it was a matter of some minor disagreements on a few issues, we would simply not stock it. But we believe that this book has the potential to set the creation movement back by many years if we do nothing, and if undiscerning creationist groups promote it uncritically.
Note that this is neither a formal review nor a full one, these are just a few of the many problems, i.e. a sample of the main reasons we cannot recommend this book.
**[Beware. Discerning creation groups DO support the book regardless of the often-capricious criticisms leveled by AiG's personal opinions that seem to ignore qualified research on a sizeable number of topics. This is not to say that anyone agrees with everything in the book or that the book may not have a few legitimate errors that will be corrected in future printings. As the opening pages of the book indicate, there will always be differing views and new data to warrant the publishing of new material or revisions. This is always a risk any writer takes in publishing. The stated purpose of the book, from cover to cover is clearly NOT to provide an encyclopedic detail of every topic raised. Rather, it is to provide a very God-centered, Bible-based “guide” to help Christian families and their friends to see many reasons to “think” and grow in their confidence in God's Word.]
Page 19 — The ‘Lucas model' of the atom is highly controversial and has had little peer review either by creationist scientists or secular scientists. Further, those creationist scientists qualified in nuclear and quantum physics, both within AiG and well respected ones outside AiG, reject this model. Moreover, even if it were true, it wouldn't have the slightest effect on refuting evolution or supporting creation, so it is completely irrelevant to the book's theme. **[Why is this criticism here when the book says nothing to endorse the Lucas model? The point of the mystery of the atom is the main issue here. This shows the critic is not focused correctly.] Since the Lucas model does not require quantum mechanics in order to understand its organization or operation it is no wonder that those devoted to a different tool that has its own shortcomings would reject an alternative one.]
Page 21 — The vast majority of the text on this page is in support of dubious health beliefs **[only by AiG's dubious standards and limited viewpoint], about how much water to drink, and so on. It seems to be ignorant of some basic scientific facts about water production from metabolism, etc. **[How can it seem to ignore facts that aren't even part of the discussion which simply praises the Creator for the wonderful benefits of the unique creation: water?] And it promotes a highly controversial ‘fringe' book which pushes water as the cure for a whole host of medical conditions. This **[What? The book's high regard for the importance of water?] is regarded by most scientifically trained people as on roughly the same par as water-powered cars, and the like. Even if an author does passionately believe that ‘pure water' can cure a wide range of disease, why put such tangential material in a creation book? Our concern is that such things allow most people to ‘write off' the Bible, making it an easy target. **[The critic oddlydecided to equate the important role of water to good health with “water powered cars.” The critic ignored the simple point made in the book about the important role water is created to play in God's creation. It is doubtful that “most people” would “write off” the Bible for such a premise.] [Our wellness physician research associate has studied this subject intensively. He attests not only to the paramount importance of drinking substantial (at least ½ of one's body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water daily, but to the incredible complexity of God's creation in the substance of water. To criticize this basic axiom of health is to demonstrate one's ignorance of the subject. It is axiomatic in education that a person can be very dangerous when he does not know (isn't aware of) what he or she does not know. See the article “The Four Stages of Knowledge.”]
Page 25 — The ‘appearance of age' model for how distant starlight arrived is only one of many models now available. **[Is this not a book designed to introduce people to basic concepts, encouraging them to pursue further study if they have an interest rather than to be a complete scientific treatise on each subject?] The author does not discuss shortcomings of that model, such as the fact that it requires God to have placed unnecessary indicators of age (like galaxies in the process of colliding) in the cosmos. **[Please read the text in its context. The way that the point being criticized is presented is as an objection. Then it is redefined as “appearance of maturity.” The author can't be faulted for not choosing to give a technical defense for a concept he is not necessarily directly encouraging. Note also that in the paragraph preceding the question it is posed that the speed of light might have been infinitely faster at the beginning… just what evolutionists insist on as noted on page 81. This is a clear example of the critic stretching for something that is not there. The appearance of age in the universe is consistent with all of creation where all forms of life and physical surroundings were mature. The statement "unnecessary indicators of age (like galaxies in the process of colliding)" appears to be an interpretation of whatever photograph or redshift measurements are being considered from present observations. What did the heavens look like 6000 years ago?] [Many AiG books do not even mention that this is an issue (much less fully cover this). Should they then all be banned for not being exhaustive on this particular point? And if not, why not? Their criticisms should be consistent with their actions. Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation is a book for laypersons; and it does a commendable job of touching a wide variety of areas while at the same time not getting too technical.]
Page 36 — About the stronger magnetic field in the past—blocking cosmic rays is said to eliminate ‘one of the chief causes of mutations'. In fact, most mutations are random copying mistakes, with only a minority being due to cosmic rays. **[This criticism is simply not true. The leading cause of DNA damage is the presence of free radicals in the body, the vast majority of which are the result of cosmic rays striking oxygen molecules in the atmosphere. Random copying mistakes rarely, if ever happen. To suggest that they do is to deny the perfection of God's design.] [Yes, it could be changed to say “one cause of mutations” and eliminate “of the chief causes.” We didn't even raise the possibility that the stronger magnetic field might have provided other benefits we know little or nothing about. The growing awareness of magnetic therapy is only slightly related to the discussion.]
Page 37 — The book promotes as if it were proven fact the ideas that increased atmospheric oxygen would virtually eliminate disease, and ageing would be ‘lowered to almost nothing'. There is no evidence that oxygen will get rid of disease or increase lifespans, and plenty of evidence against it. **[This error directly follows from the misunderstanding above. An atmosphere without oxygen free radicals would, in fact, dramatically decrease the process of aging. It is not necessary to dramatically increase atmospheric oxygen concentrations if the partial pressure of oxygen is increased. Healing will result from the increased oxygenation of the blood and tissues.] [What about the fact that cancers, viruses and bacteria die in an oxygen-rich environment? Also consider the good results being experienced with oxygen therapy for dealing with various health concerns. The increased partial pressure of oxygen allows the blood to absorb more oxygen. This minimizes the ability of viruses and bacteria to invade the body.] [Many professional sports teams are using such equipment, but it remains expensive. It is regrettable to point out that AiG's experts are lacking understanding on this issue. Their criticism seems unnecessarily reactive and without substance.] If it were true, then everyone would be lining up for oxygen tents. In fact, the whole issue of higher oxygen is fraught with difficulty. **[AiG is apparently unaware of scientific studies on hyperbaric oxygenation and the fact that some wealthy people are using this therapy to retard aging. Healing is rapid in a hyperbaric atmosphere. Hyperbaric chambers are standard equipment in many hospitals to relieve paralysis, overcome carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation, and speed up healing for burn victims.] [The potential complications arise from increasing the oxygen concentration to high levels. 100% oxygen is toxic. Levels as high as 40% are generally safe. It is important not to confuse the concept of breathing increased concentrations of oxygen as in an oxygen tent with exposing the body to standard or slightly higher concentrations of oxygen at increased pressure.] Some evolutionists believe that oxygen was much higher in the Cretaceous period, but others argue that it would cause big problems with wildfires. **[Increasing the atmospheric content of oxygen above 26% in the present atmospheric pressure would increase the probability of spontaneous combustion and wild fires. Our book suggests up to a possible 25% as optimum.] Also, too much oxygen is a bad thing. Many premature newborn babies have in past years become blind through being given supplemental oxygen. **[Not from hyperbaric oxygen, but from high concentrations of oxygen (80-100%)] [So what does this critical comment have to do with anything in the new book?] Also, increased oxygen will increase the amount of free oxygen radicals, which are believed to cause much damage, which many believe enhances the ageing process. **[What causes free radicals? Not the presence of more oxygen. This argument is misguided.] [The critic's lack of understanding of basic chemistry is surprising. The problem is not oxygen, but exposure to solar radiation knocking electrons off of oxygen molecules or oxygen containing compounds creating free radicals.] (This is why ‘antioxidants' are so popular.) The bottom line is that there is no mandate for dogmatically basing virtually an entire creation apologetic **[what is the “entire apologetic” and who is being “dogmatic?”]on such controversial speculations as if they were ‘facts'. None of these issues are really important in the development of a powerful creation model, nor in effective creation apologetics. There are so many good arguments, that it is sad to see much of the framework of this book devoted to such peripheral and poorly supported ‘evidences'. When it comes to longer lifespans, for instance, it can be said with a fair degree of confidence that these can be Biblically deduced not to be related to the environment, at least not in the ways this book suggests. **[If you think about this objection it becomes apparent that the critic believes the environment has no bearing on longevity and you can deduce that from the Bible] [So, did God have to wave some sort of magic wand and say “Let man's lifespan be reduced by ½ and it was so”?] If the environment is to have changed so dramatically after the Flood that things now live only one ninth as long, then poor old Noah, who was already an old man, even in his own terms (600 years), stepping into this toxic environment, **[Is this a “straw man” the critic is attempting to shoot down? Who said the post flood environment was “toxic?” Again the critic condemns the book for what is not there. Clearly, the critic is again in error.] should shrivel up and die fairly soon, but in fact he goes on to live another 350 years! **[Did the critic forget to mention that the first mentioned post Flood birth resulted in a lifespan less than HALF as long as Noah's? Might this have had something to do with the tremendous environmental changes following the flood?] See Living for 900 years.
Pages 38 & 39 — The book gets into a controversial and unrelated area, i.e. makes a stand on ozone depletion being a ‘scare' and a ‘myth'. Whether it is or isn't, why take a view on a polarizing issue that will cause one half of your audience to turn off? **[How does the critic know that half will turn off to a well-reasoned argument that is geared to make them think with their own brain rather than swallow what the media or the critic insists is the only line to be heard?] And if the view turns out to be unequivocally wrong (as observed data might conceivably show one day), taking such a stand would then cause collateral damage to creation for no good reason. I.e. all downside with no upside. Sadly, this sort of thing is not uncommon throughout this book. **[What the critic calls “sad” is exactly what makes the book so extraordinarily useful – it helps us “think” outside the filtered information typically available to the public. The comments of the critic are conjectural. Facts of earth science that are distorted in school material need to be addressed so students have a chance to counter the false information.] [The lack of respect for reader's ability to view issues with an open mind is disturbing. Such intimidation is characteristic of many in the academic world who consider themselves superior to laymen who are incapable of weighing evidence and adjusting their views as new information becomes available.]
Page 40 — Gets into diet again. The kindest things one can say about the section on ‘minerals and health' is that it contains extremely inadequate and pointless nutritional explanations, and gives the impression that simply increasing mineral intake will solve all sorts of health problems. **[Unfortunately the critic finds it advisable to impress his readers of his low regard for nutritional wisdom that is consistent with a providential creation worldview. If increasing mineral intake did not have positive effects on health, why would the medical profession be so inclined to advise taking mineral supplements and some 70% of medical doctors themselves be taking such supplements (as of 1999)?] It completely ignores the fact that most minerals are trace nutrients. So if you have too much, they can even (likely) be toxic. Statements like ‘drinking mineral water will only put excessive burden on the body's filtration system, causing kidney stones and arterial plaque' do absolutely nothing to enhance a book on creation or the credibility of its science, but rather raise all sorts of questions. **[So should we all submit to the commercial persuasion to live better through chemistry and spend our days on drugs, rather than supporting the God-given intrinsic healing mechanisms? Yes, most minerals are “trace minerals”, but no one gets those trace elements today without supplementation. Researchers in New Zealand have shown that when the body gets the full complement of trace minerals toxic levels of heavy metals and other minerals are released. It is as though the body, unable to get that which it needs, is hanging onto the substances that are similar in appearance.] [The critic inappropriately belittles what we honestly believe can “enhance a book on creation.” And if questions ARE raised, then they are finally hitting on one of the main points of the style of this book: TO ENCOURAGE READERS TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES!] For one thing, what is the evidence for that? That drinking canned mineral water, for instance, will increase hardening of the arteries? We know of none. These sorts of blasé health pronouncements, and many mini-lectures on all sorts of peripherally (or un-) related topics substantially mar this book, in our view. **[The critic is entitled to his view, so why not entitle us to ours? And let readers be stimulated to think? We disagree with AiG's implication that readers are not intelligent enough to think for themselves.] Of course, proponents of this sort of view will probably want to argue the health point, but that is peripheral to the main thing, namely that it is a fruitless stance for a book presented as a major tool for creation apologetics/evangelism. Again, these many ‘side' issues have no ‘upside' and plenty of potential ‘downside' in the battle for Biblical truth. **[Ah, but is it not in the practical application of our understanding of God's creation that blessings ensue? What is the point of holding to and defending an intellectual position while living a lie leading to premature death or disability?] [The reason health issues are touched on in this book should be obvious. Not only should they be a direct outgrowth of discussion on the Creator's balanced plan for perfect health, but the health issues are largely ignored in many if not most books on the subject of creation. The author is attempting to do something about this unfortunate void in the literature.]
Page 43 — Raises the possibility that the continents were ripped apart after the Tower of Babel. Problem: Simple physics says that if the continental separation (of which we have evidence) happened after the Flood, it would have caused another catastrophe on at least the same scale as the Flood—totally global. That's why virtually all well-known creationist researchers with training and experience in the Earth sciences (most not associated with AiG) agree that any rapid continental drift would have had to have been in relation to the Flood, not hundreds of years later. We also point out that the ‘division' of the Earth in Peleg's day was most likely linguistic, so refers to the confusion of languages at Babel. See discussion about Peleg. ** [How did a linguistic division of the earth result in man's life expectancy dropping by half in one generation?] [“Ripped apart” and “separation” are two distinct actions. The ripped apart fits the Hebrew word for action during the beginning of the flood. The act of separation is not described in detail, as is most of pre-flood and early post-flood history. The separation had to have been slow, but not as slow as the long-agers speculate. What about the possibility that the separation underwater occurred at the flood but the separation by the raising of the water levels occurred dramatically at the time of the Babel incident, possibly because of lowered continental shelves and melting ice? This proves the critic is wrong again. The critic states: "that the ‘division' of the Earth in Peleg's day was most likely linguistic, so refers to the confusion of languages at Babel." Did he not discover that the word “Peleg” means “division by water” in most commentaries?] [AiG seems to be intolerant of areas of research that would require comparing theories in a healthy discussion where the experts sometimes disagree. Their offhand geological pronouncements appear to show a lack of scientific understanding.]
Page 50–51 — Presents the discredited moon dust argument in a way which seriously misleads. The Snelling/Rush article which reported that the dust influx rates are not what was previously believed, has been widely publicized in creationist circles. So it is strange that the author says outright that it would only take 8,000 years to accumulate the dust on the surface of the moon. From measured influx rates, that is simply not true. **[The moon dust issue is presented in the book primarily as a historical review of early concerns and provides some general information as to physical conditions that might have an impact on the quantity of dust. It ends with the statement that the dust argument is inconclusive in determining the age of the moon. The way it is presented was not a problem to AiG or ICR in their reviews of the text before it was published.] [It was evolutionists in the 1950s and 1960s who raised the moon dust issue. Since this topic had become and remains part of the public's perception it is a perfectly valid topic to address.]
Page 57 — The paragraph on magnetic reversals is extremely poorly expressed and confusing, giving the impression that there are only some minor, very localized patterns. Dr Russell Humphreys' landmark article in the CRSQ showed that there were world-scale patterns of reversal, which his subsequent writings amply explain. See also The earth's magnetic field: Evidence that the earth is young. **[We thank AiG for pointing out this minor insignificant fact that has no bearing on the overall argument of creation verses evolution. We are proposing a revision pending input from Dr. Humphreys, possibly as follows: “Many reports say the earth's field has reversed about every million years over the past several hundred million years. This is misleading. It is a conclusion, not an observation. It does not fit the young earth model. Many rocks around the world reveal different magnetic "fingerprints" than the current magnetic orientation where those rocks are found. Some of these differences are on a global scale. Dr. Russ Humphreys has suggested that turbulence in the core of the earth during the upheaval of the Genesis Flood could have been the cause of these changes.”] [This is a book for laypersons, written for general interest. Evolutionists use their belief in “millions of years” of magnetic reversals as yet another supposed evidence for their “old Earth” beliefs. It was entirely appropriate for this issue to be briefly raised. And conversely, it would have been inappropriate to discuss it exhaustively. Why such faultfinding? If we suggested that they eliminate all of AiG's books that do not “adequately” discuss this one item exhaustively, then we would soon see lots of AiG reversals!]
Also on this page, more recent creationist studies than Melvin Cook's 1957 article (e.g. Dr Larry Vardiman's monograph ‘The Helium Age of the Earth's Atmosphere') reduce the ‘millions of times more helium' to 2000 times more helium. That raises the maximum age from ‘10,000 to 15,000 years' up to 2 million years. **[This is certainly worth noting in the next edition of the book.]
Pages 58 & 59 — Ignoring the lack of appropriate caveats and caution in using the ‘shrinking sun' argument, the major blooper here is that it pushed the ideas that the shrinkage is linked to the sun not burning by nuclear fusion, and thus pushes the ‘missing neutrinos' argument. But we have long pointed out that there must have been some fusion to produce any neutrinos. And while the missing neutrinos were a mystery given the prevailing theories of particle physics, the fact of oscillation has now been shown by observation (i.e. they are ‘missing' no longer), and the sun most definitely burns via nuclear fusion. This sort of thing destroys the credibility of creationism to the scientifically educated. See Newton, R., Missing neutrinos found! No longer an ‘age' indicator, TJ 16(3):123–125, 2002 (to be posted). **[For many years the “missing neutrinos” mystery has been a valid reason to question evolutionary assumptions about the sun's age. The article quoted in the book was a secular one that pointed to a shrinking sun. Certainly the critic must realize that even nuclear fusion would result in a shrinking sun. And just because recent studies supposedly “found” the missing neutrinos, can we really know exactly all of what fuels the sun? The information about the sun shrinking in the book is largely of an historical nature. And let's keep in mind the statement about larger stars that burn hotter and shrink faster than our sun.]
Page 60 — The book mistakenly attributes redshifts in the big bang theory to the Doppler effect, whereas it is in fact the stretching of space. He then embraces a theory of ‘intrinsic' redshifts that is very controversial in both secular and creationist circles. **[Which big bang version is AiG referring to? There are several versions that continue to be modified as new ideas are injected into the discussions. Regarding redshift, the critic states, "Whereas it is in fact the stretching of space" that supposedly produces it. Does AiG have any proof? W. C. Mitchell in Bye Bye Big Bang (p 191) states "Perhaps one of the worst violations of logic and science ... is the belief that the space of the universe is expanding." He then quotes Steven Weinberg as stating, "Cosmologists sometimes talk about expanding space but they should know better." While the critic shows some disdain for intrinsic redshift, the main reason for the rejection by cosmologists is because such a situation means a static universe. What's wrong with that from a creation viewpoint? It does away with the idea of a structured universe and bands of galaxies. So what? Intrinsic redshift can be correlated with known factors measured in the cosmos that can produce redshift of light in discrete steps as it is found to be. The main reason that idea is rejected by secular scientists is likely because the work is done by a creationist, and everyone is supposed to know that “creationists can't do good science.” What you choose to accept is your privilege, but it is inappropriate to dictate against good science.]
Page 61 — A casual statement (in the context of opposing the theory of solar system evolution) ‘there is evidence to indicate that Earth rocks were formed as cold, hard material.' This is such a vague, unreferenced statement as to be almost meaningless. Which Earth rocks? Everybody agrees that basalt, for instance, was not formed as cold, hard material. **[Item 10 should be modified to state "…some earth rocks were formed as cold, hard material” with a reference to Gentry in Creation's Tiny Mystery.] [AiG's criticism here is entirely spurious. This is a general book, introducing a wide variety of topics in a brief, professional manner for interested laypersons. Many brief statements are made as a way of opening communications on such issues. So many average believers have not heard about creation theory until now. They can handle a diverse spectrum of scientific evidences. This book introduces these topics well.]
Page 63 — On this page it refers to the Laetoli footprints as being beneath a layer of volcanic ash, but this is false. (On page 139, the book gives the correct information about these prints, i.e. that they were formed in volcanic ash.) **[The critic is way off here… The National Geographic article in 1979 showed pictures of volcanic ash being removed from the series of fossil foot tracks. So they were beneath a layer of ash. It didn't state specifically that the date came either from the overlying layer or the layer in which the tracks were found, but it would be safe to suspect they might have used both. In the next edition we should change the word “beneath” to the word “in.”] [This is from the book, From Lucy to Language, by Donald Johanson & Blake Edgar, 1996. On page 132 the following statement is made: “It took a unique series of events to create this marvelous portrait of the past. The volcano Sadiman spat out a cloud of ash with the consistency of fine beach sand. The ash blanketed the ground like new-fallen snow. Then, it rained. The ash became mushy, and animals left their impressions in the mud. The sun came out and quickly dried the mud. Because the ash was rich in carbonates, it hardened into an almost cement-like layer. Another puff of ash, and the footprints were sealed for posterity. Sadiman was not quiet until some 16 to 20 centimeters of layered ash had accumulated. The final event occurred 3.6 million years later, when scientists recognized the Footprint Tuff that erosion had exposed.” Maybe Johanson and Edgar are just as ignorant that there were no overlying ash beds, some of which, as I understand, were also used for potassium-argon dating. I wonder why the critic was not aware of this, both in National Geographic and this book?]
Page 65 — Concerning alteration in the generation rate of carbon-14, refers to meteors ‘falling to earth'. How is this supposed to affect the generation rate of 14C to a level that would make a difference to the dating issue? **[Since Carbon 14 is produced in the atmosphere, and since white-hot meteors pass through the atmosphere, the following reference in Readers Digest suggests a good reason to include the process in our list of causes.] In any case, meteors, by definition, do not fall to Earth. A meteor is just a tiny thing that burns up. If it goes all the way through, it's a meteorite. **[Nothing in the text requires correction here. It is quite correct as is, but the critic confuses the reader with his own custom word definitions. Webster's dictionary defines a meteor as “falling to earth”.] This will not help the many Christians who try to impress their science teachers with creation arguments. The book also mentions the Tunguska blast in Siberia in this context. Many think that this was a comet, but at any rate, it was certainly not a ‘meteor', and again it's unreferenced. It is also not clear how a cosmic impact could cause a change in 14C worldwide, but this is such an important thing that one would expect something other than a Reader's Digest reference which is all it gives. In fact, recent discussion in the scientific literature suggests that the Tunguska event involved a high-pressure gas explosion, from the release of millions of tons of methane. Ironically, the soil around Tunguska is so enriched with 14C that it shows up as a future date. So perhaps this has been misread from earlier literature. **[The mystery of this event is still a matter of debate, but the only point of including it here was because of the interesting observation about C-14 in the Reader's Digest. As with a number of other criticisms, this is another attempt of the critic to discredit the book on a point that is only peripheral to the discussion and submitted merely as a curious observation.]
Page 79 — Wrong scientific terminology is used to talk about ‘micro-evolution' (‘physiological changes'). All organisms undergo physiological changes every day — their heartbeat and respiration go up and down, for example. And the whole discussion about macro- and micro-evolution misses the point entirely. That is, the issue is not the size of the change, but whether the change increases information content of the genome. **[This criticism is really grasping at straws. If you read the text being criticized you'll see that the statement reads, “Some call this ‘micro-evolution.'” By implication in the context it should be understood that we're talking about the same “multi-generational” changes observed and described in many creationist books. However, to make it more clear we will insert in the next edition: “…change is always limited by existing genetic information within fixed kinds.”]
Page 80 — Says that some big bang theorists insist that not even space existed. We are unaware of any big bang theorist who would not say that. **[Read Bye Bye Big Bang.] [Due to the possibility that there might be an evolutionist out there who has a different view, it was decided to write “some.” We could write “most” or “all” but in the final analysis, why would the critic even care about faulting a book on this point? The critic's genuinely faultfinding mission appears quite evident here.]
Page 81 — Brings up the missing neutrinos again as some sort of an objection to the big bang. As pointed out, they are not missing, and it does not relate to the big bang notion, anyway. When one attacks an idea, one must be careful to have a good basic understanding of it. **[It is correct that the missing neutrinos point is inappropriate in this context, so we will delete it in the next edition.] It mentions the undeniable fact that there are alternative explanations for redshift, but lists these under the heading of ‘insurmountable objections' to the big bang! **[Red shift assumptions are part of big bang theory yet rarely do people know they are assumptions and that other explanations are viable.] In that same list of objections, it is asked, ‘Where's the big “hole” in the middle of the universe?' Anyone with even a basic understanding of the issues should understand why we cringe. **[It's interesting that even people with college degrees and vast exposure to science literature have asked the author that question. The critic may intimidate people into thinking they should “cringe” but the fact is that this is an understandable question for a layperson to ask because it is logical to expect if an explosion occurred (even if big bang theorists have come up with a sub-theory to cover it up – the “expected hole” that is). The reader might better ask why AiG would wish to censor such scientific discussions from the readers?]
Page 83 — Says that ‘everything in our physical universe is running down'. This is an incorrect statement of the law of entropy. Not everything runs down. Some things run the other way. Open systems can go ‘uphill'. **[Open systems can run uphill as long as they have a controlling intelligence and until they run out of input. The generality of “running down” is a common description among creation scientists to convey in simple terms what the 2nd law is about. To disparage this verbal description is out of line for a professional critic unless his goal is merely to condemn the book.]
Page 85 — Perpetuates the belief that the 2nd Law began at the time of the Curse. This is a common theme that lays itself open to ridicule because, as everyone knows, the 2nd Law also has heat flowing from hot bodies from cold bodies, and is involved in the processes of digestion, etc. So was there no warmth from the sun, and was there no digestion of the fruit that Adam and Eve ate? This could be overcome to make it non-controversial, without losing the force of the argument about the 2nd Law. See Did the 2nd Law begin at the Fall? **[Question: If the perfect earth had no death and the future New Heaven and Earth will have no death, does the second Law fit there? Our present condition provides no way for us to scientifically evaluate the character of a universe where there is no “bondage of decay.” The critic is submitting to his understanding of science in a fallen world. We suggest this approach may lack insight. Everything about the creation is miraculous! From our “fallen” view of reality, the preservation of created order prior to the curse in Eden would logically be considered miraculous. That's why the comments on page 26-27 should be pondered awhile.]
Page 87 — The last sentence says, ‘This kind of trick had to happen trillions of times over to produce all the systems of life on Earth by chance.' In context, it is potentially misleading, and anyone understanding the selectionist arguments evolutionists rely on would dismiss this out of hand. It is a classic case of destroying one's argument by overreach—one can do a brilliant statistical demonstration of the mathematical impossibility of even a single protein evolving, let alone the first living thing. But once you have a living reproducing thing, you then have selection coming into play. It is logical fallacies like these that leave Christians open to demolition by cleverly written propaganda such as Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker. In fact, this whole two-page spread reinforces that concept, i.e. that evolutionists believe all of the complexity of every living thing just happened by sheer ‘randomness'. This is just one of the ways in which evolutionists can gleefully point to this book as a ‘teaching tool' to prove that creationists don't understand the arguments of evolution. The selection arguments have to be met separately, and can easily be (see Weasel: a flexible program for investigating deterministic computer ‘demonstrations' of evolution), but it is very unfair and misleading to attack them all under the same umbrella as randomness. **[Why let the evolutionists get away with rewriting their definitions? Everyone in the general public has been led to believe that chance and randomness produced order. So now they believe that somehow randomness produced built-in mechanisms (unknown) that somehow determined so-called “selectionist” capabilities. This is a form of evolutionary “circular reasoning.” This complaint by the critic is based on a position of accommodating current evolutionary reasoning, which amounts to changing their rules and definitions. It is unwarranted because it gives the Christian the feeling that he has to be constantly updating his arguments and bow to the ‘god' of science.] [The last sentence (on page 87) – as criticized by AiG – is actually a very good generalization. The context is fine. It conveys appropriate meaning. This is a spurious assault, on the grounds of semantics, without scientific merit.]
Page 89 — A paragraph is quoted from an I. Cohen to say that ‘the only way known for DNA to be altered is through a meaningful intervention from … intelligence …'. There are stacks of creationist books that show that DNA can be altered via accidental changes, i.e. mutation. **[In context the reader should logically imply that Mr. Cohen is talking about changes to DNA that are ultimately beneficial. The critic certainly has not seen “stacks” of evidence to validate that accidental changes are ultimately beneficial to various creatures. He misses the point and causes confusion to the reader]
Page 91 — It asks, ‘But wait! Hasn't life been “created” synthetically in a test tube? No!' This refers to the Stanley Miller experiment, but it is another unfortunate overreach, since Stanley Miller never claimed to have created life in a test tube. **[Even young readers understand the order of the logic here. The critic clearly misses the point. Many students have asked the question about “life in a test tube” directly as a result of hearing in their evolution classes about the Miller experiment. It is appropriate that we set the record straight in this context of what has really been done in the laboratory. As with many other topics that are only touched on in this book, because the subject is covered thoroughly in many good creation books, it is only necessary to mention it briefly here. The critic is the one who has “overreached” in his faultfinding mission.]
Page 97 — It dogmatically says that ‘beneficial mutations do not exist' [emphasis in original]. This is just plain wrong. A survival advantage is a clear benefit. Many mutations, even though they are losses of information, help something to survive. E.g. a wing-losing mutation in beetles on a windy island (see Beetle Bloopers). There have been countless articles on other beneficial information-losing mutations in AiG literature. For instance, it is common knowledge that there are mutations in bacteria that cause some types of antibiotic resistance. These obviously benefit the bacteria by enabling them to survive. This is thus an obviously false argument which will therefore back-fire on creationists over and over, and its perpetuation is tragic. **[“Tragic” might be a bit strong since the really tragic outcome in the public perception is that mutations are responsible for the advancement of all forms of life from amoeba to man. It is debatable whether or not beetles or bacterium have “evolved” in any true sense because of mutations. There are other complexities involved here and it is not our purpose to write a book on the pros and cons of both sides of that argument. The critic has championed a particular opinion here that is more inclined to accommodate an evolutionary interpretation than to defend a classic support for creation.]
Page 101 — Talking about fixity of kinds, it says that there are ‘minor' changes occurring within kinds, but it would be confusing for any creationist to say that these changes are ‘minor' if, at the same time, they pointed out that lions, tigers, pumas, domestic cats, lynxes, bobcats, etc. all came from a common ancestral pair on the Ark, or that horses, asses, zebras, etc. were the same created kind. (These are certainly not increases of information, and certainly not evolutionary changes, but no one can honestly call them ‘minor'.) **[The next edition will read: “Although feature variations have occurred within kinds through time, there are definite boundaries.”] [Yes, the author needs to re-word this to keep the critic from getting confused. The rest of us understood this just fine the way it was.]
Page 102 — The whole discussion on whales leaves out most of the story, **[as if to insist that it was our responsibility to include it all?] and will thus be totally unsatisfying to anyone who has ever read a Reader's Digest-level article on the alleged evolution of whales. In any case, it is out of date, since it almost certainly refers to Pakicetus, where leg bones have been found (and it's definitely not a whale—see Pakicetus). **[It's the scientific conclusions drawn by scientists who were out to find proofs of evolution that are worth noting here. Again, our purpose is not to give a discourse on fallacies of evolutionists' claims about fossils used to support the evolution of whales, but simply to point out the absurdity of the idea of whales evolving from a land dwelling creature. They will no doubt continue to publish reports about finding such evidence, but in light of all the content of our book it should be sufficient to say that all such “evidence” will eventually collapse.]
Page 103 — Says that ‘The only reason some make a correlation between reptiles and Archaeopteryx is because of its clawed wing tips and a beak full of teeth'. This is not true. **[The next edition will read: “The main reason…”] There are a number of other reasons evolutionists put forward. E.g. its bones, vertebrae in the tail, etc. Also, on page 103, it favorably mentions the idea that Archaeopteryx was a fraud. See Archaeopteryx (unlike Archaeoraptor) is NOT a hoax — it is a true bird, not a ‘missing link'. **[There are two distinct opinions on Archaeopteryx. Detailed articles have been written by creation scientists for both sides of the issue. Since there are only two fossil skeletons found at the same time in the same place that apparently have not been available for exhaustive testing, Can anyone prove beyond reasonable doubt who is correct?]
(Incidentally, there are many unreferenced claims which we are not critiquing, but are unable to use with confidence because there is no way of checking them out, which is a pity.) **[Here's another example of the critic making it seem to the reader that it is the responsibility of the author to reference “many” so-called “claims” that are not specified. Again, the reader is misled to think the whole book is filled with false claims although the critic hasn't supported his “claim” with appropriate references.]
Page 107 — It favorably quotes someone as saying, ‘I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils …', but in fact this very book itself contradicts that, as it talks about fossils being dated radioactively via such things as volcanic ash, etc. **[The referenced quote here is by an evolutionist. In the context, the point is that the general assignment of ages for fossils is not determined by radiometric dating. The fact that in another context evolutionists are reported assigning ages to fossils because of radiometric tests is another matter. Interestingly, those dated fossils are what evolutionists would consider relatively recent, within the last ten million years. They are also dates that have been debated by evolutionists. The main point here is simply that evolution's millions and hundreds of millions of years dates for fossil bones and shells is not normally achieved by radiometric or any clear cut “measuring stick.”]
Page 107 — It quotes George Gaylord Simpson as talking about the absence of pre-Cambrian fossils — this is a seriously outdated quote, as the Ediacara fossils have been known about for many years. They don't show any ancestors to the Cambrian fauna, but to say that there are no multicellular pre-Cambrian fossils (we are here kindly adding the word ‘multicellular' to this part of the book, because it's applied, correctly, earlier) is simply going to cause people who use it to be ‘shot down in flames'. It was legitimate to use many years ago, but it's no longer appropriate. **[It must be recognized that, regardless of the discovery of a local group of already advanced fossil forms, there still is a worldwide “striking absence of multi-cellular life forms” in the so-called “Pre-Cambrian” layers. Simpson's quote about the “major mystery of the history of life” is still appropriate when one has the knowledge that no evolutionary progression is found in the fossil record leading to the so-called “Cambrian explosion” of diverse forms of life. The final comment on this page that appears in almost all creationist literature is still true: “Multiplied living kinds appear abruptly with no ‘primitive' links leading up to them.” Let's not miss the main point by picking over a technicality that still has implications favoring our conclusion anyway.]
Page 113 — Once again, it talks about ‘blind mindless chance', without any consideration of the selectionist arguments. In one sense, of course, natural selection is based on whatever environment happens (by chance) to be there, but to imply that evolutionists believe that a complete ‘roll of the dice' caused all the finely tuned adaptations of today seriously misrepresents their position, and so it does us no good. This can again be used as a teaching point against creationists. **[Let's get something straight here… God designed things on purpose. Evolutionists, by definition, can't have purpose because they can't have a designer. Therefore they can only rely on randomness and “chance.” No matter how you cut it, you only have two choices: on purpose, or blind chance. You can complicate the matter all you want and say that evolutionists don't really believe in chance arguments any more because of some word game they play, but the reality is that we are NOT “misrepresenting” the illogical insanity of their “position” that leaves them all “without excuse” according to Romans 1:20.]
Page 126 — The book says, ‘THINK! How can “a whole chain” be “established” when the links are “missing?”' This seriously misrepresents the Reader's Digest statement to which it is responding. **[It's called a “play on words” and we use the technique deliberately to get people's attention, not to “represent” the evolutionists with any honor… they don't deserve it.] In fact, R.D. was careful to put the words ‘missing links' in scare quotes. It is obvious that R.D. is not implying that the very bones they are discussing are missing! The first paragraph on the next page is also responding to (another) evolutionist statement, which is again seriously misrepresented. The statement was by no means indicating that an individual going on a hunting expedition would develop a larger brain! The article being quoted was assuming that one understands that the evolutionary changes are postulated to occur in populations, i.e. that someone whose brain became bigger just a little bit due to a random mutation in his parent's sex cells would have a greater chance of surviving in an environment of more complex hunting, and therefore would have a greater chance of passing the mutated gene along to his descendants. In this way the population ‘responds to the demands of more complex hunting'. This is the sort of chapter that, if one were an evolutionist schoolteacher, one would really enjoy tearing apart in front of the class to show how creationists misunderstand evolutionary science, or misrepresent it purposefully. **[So, the critic now rules that we have to be considerate of the poor deceived teacher who is supposedly able to “tear apart” our deliberate satire on the absolutely stupid reasoning of human brains evolving. Let those teachers rationalize all they want about populations evolving. Let's get on with the rest of the excellent content in this section that brilliantly debunks the whole “missing links” argument.] There are good counters to the evolutionary selectionist arguments; one should not ignore or misrepresent them.
Page 129 — It says that Lucy ‘is acknowledged to be a chimpanzee, but one that is claimed to have walked upright.' This is absolutely false. Lucy may have had many chimp-like features, but this makes it sound as if everyone acknowledges that it was ‘just a chimp', which would scarcely have excited evolutionists. If it was just a chimp, then they wouldn't have been able to claim that it walked upright, so the statement, as it is printed in this book, is self-refuting. The book reinforces that by referring to ‘this old chimp, Lucy', and by talking about ‘Lucy's chimp bones'. There are indeed great similarities between Lucy and the pygmy chimp, but also great differences, which are not transitional, as the work by Oxnard and others has shown. And Lucy did not walk upright, but was likely a knuckle-walker. **[The criticism totally misses the point being made, (i.e. the claims that Lucy walked upright were based on bones not found with the main skeleton.) Conclusions made about hominids that are actually collections of bones that cannot possibly be from the same specimen are not based on good science.
Petersen's claim that Lucy walked upright is labeled as "absolutely false." The critic's claim is itself false. Since Donald Johansen published his claims about Lucy in the late 1970s numerous articles have been written and comments have been spoken about Lucy. People on both sides of the creation/evolution debate have stated that Lucy may have walked upright, although not in the same manner as humans. The same can be (and often is) said about living chimps of both species, and therefore does not prove that Lucy had human characteristics. Anyone who visits a zoo can observe chimps doing this. The debate is well documented by Duane Gish in pages 241-258 of Evolution the Fossils Still Say No! - a book vigorously promoted by the critic's company.
Relating Lucy to a chimp is not historically invalid either. Duane Gish's discussion (above reference) makes several references to Lucy's chimp-like characteristics. Duane Gish and Gary Parker have both often said that Lucy is probably something like a rainforest (pygmy) chimpanzee. See p162 of Creation: the Facts of Life, by Gary Parker, another book promoted by the critic's company. Some evolutionists have even said this. (Behind the scenes the evolutionist camp is deeply divided over many fossils claimed to be "hominids" but they maintain a united front in the face of creationist criticism.)
The reference to knuckle walking in the criticism comes from an article in Nature, vol 404, p382, 23 Mar 2000, where two anthropologists from George Washington University analyzed the hand and wrist bones of several Australopithecine's and found they had the same characteristics as extant knuckle walking apes, including chimpanzees. This only reinforces my point that Lucy was fully ape and the museum displays that show Lucy's bones against a human outline are "baloney".
No one denies that Lucy was an ape. As I explain on the same page, Australopithecus (the scientific name given to Lucy) means "southern ape". Some purists would claim the word chimp should only be used for the animals Pan paniscus (rainforest or pygmy chimpanzee) and Pan troglodytes (common chimpanzee) and that I should have used the terms "ape" instead of "chimp" in discussing Lucy. This is a minor technical criticism and makes no difference to the point being made about checking out the original fossil finds.]
Page 132 — Reinforces the misleading myth that Java man was claimed by his discoverer to be a giant gibbon, though, fortunately, it does point out that Dubois still called it a missing link. This is a minor quibble, but many creationists will have their argument subtly reinforced, which they often use, namely that Dubois himself ‘changed his mind about Java man', as if he repudiated its missing link status. See Who was ‘Java man'? **[In fact, I clearly state that Dubois held on to the claim that his Java Man was “the missing link.” My endnote refers to evolutionist, Stephen Jay Gould as saying that Dubois claimed his Java man was akin to the gibbons. The note also refers to Perloff's observation that Virchow, leading anthropologist of the time, also dismissed Java Man as a type of gibbon.]
Page 133 — Re Peking man: the comment about the huge ash heap indicating significant industry and fire-burning, etc.— this is now in some doubt in the literature. I.e., it seems likely to have been from a non-human source. At the least, this sort of comment about fire for industry is now better not made in an unqualified way. **[Readers can read all the referenced books and see the same story I summarize here. If scientists are reworking their interpretations of the “industrial” ash evidences, are we supposed to anticipate those changes in our text?] It also asks ‘What kind of science depends upon models of evidence that are now lost?' This seems a fairly weak point, because if the casts of the originals are accurate, a great deal of study can legitimately be undertaken on them. And an evolutionist teacher using this book as an example of ‘how creationists distort' would claim that it implies that the whole field is based on missing bones. **[What any person “claims” my book implies is unavoidable. Let the evidence speak for itself. Let the reader make up his own mind and pursue further study. The critic says, “if the casts are accurate.” Why would the critic allow this credibility to a highly debated profession where substantial distortion and fraudulent use of the evidences has been commonplace? My statement about the evidence being “lost” is common knowledge to professionals but often not to the general public. This data deserves emphasis to question the whole realm of falsified fossil anthropology?] [This is a good general book. Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation was written with laypersons in mind. As such, it needs to touch on all of the things that the public has perceived as evidence and on those things commonly taught in classrooms everywhere. If you turn to page 133, look at this well-thought-through presentation of the succession of false fossil claims made by evolutionists over the decades. It follows a pattern of fraud and deception. In short paragraphs it is not possible, nor appropriate, to be exhaustive concerning all that is being discussed in “the literature” or otherwise. This is a good summary just as it is, except for a critic whose disagreement reflects that he is bogged down in details.]
Page 138 — It quotes Leakey as attacking the classification system, but in the context, it's a bit misleading to use this, because it actually argues against the creationist view, as a little bit of thought should reveal. Leakey is saying that, because of changes through time, you can't easily fit things into the classifications of today, i.e. as either apes or humans. (These sorts of things are, in themselves, mild blunders, but, unfortunately, they are so frequent—and we are not even mentioning them all.) **[The critic admits being ‘nit-picky.' Such faultfinding is inappropriate because this book is written for non-technical readers. In fact, the reference to Leakey's statement is simply a reflection on the inadequacy of the so-called science of paleoanthropology. The critic has extrapolated something I never even implied and then criticizes me for bringing it up.]
Pages 144–145 — Re ‘Malachite man': there is a need for great caution here, lest we repeat the whole ‘Guadaloupe lady' fiasco. Malachite man has never been properly published in the peer-reviewed creationist literature, nor subjected to critical analysis. **[That judgment depends on if you believe the critic is better equipped to critically reject something that expert field workers have invested substantial time to critically analyze. Without knowing the facts, the critic seems afraid to raise scientific debate.] The original skeleton discovery, prior to Don Patton's further discovery, offered serious reasons to doubt that it was an in situ burial, so proper analysis of the subsequent find by Patton is extremely important. At this stage, we would classify it as an (so far) unsubstantiated claim that can get people really excited because of its potential significance. (Unsubstantiated in regard to the in situ nature of the burial.) We would strongly encourage Patton and others involved to go through the proper processes of peer review. **[Since when did the critic establish his authority to “classify” this evidence as “an unsubstantiated claim?” This is one of many examples where the critic intimidates the reader to wrongly think the critic has some superior authority to make conclusions in the matter (when the critic has heretofore not gotten dirty in the field with the evidences being shown).] [Allegations against an in-situ burial have never been supported by evidence. What do you expect evolutionists to say? These bones have been examined by experts who determined that the individuals were not Indians.]
**[Whether or not the critic's approved “peers” ever “review” the evidence, the fact remains that the research has been analyzed by a number of careful professionals and continues to be scrutinized by those who have taken the time and trouble to work in the field. The critic has not done so. This is the point: the critic wants to screen knowledge of evidence like this from the reader and I wish for the reader to know about these fascinating and pertinent evidences.]
Page 149 — Says that reptiles keep growing and growing as long as they live. It implies that the reason for large dinosaurs is not because they are genetically programmed to be large, but because they were simply reptiles that lived for many hundreds of years because of the pre-Flood conditions. However, if this were true, why would there be some distinct types of dinosaurs, many of them in fact, which, fully-grown, were very small? Furthermore, the reality is that it is simply not true that reptiles always keep growing as long as they live. Many types, if not most, reach a terminal size. There's no way a gecko or skink, for example, will grow as big as a Brachiosaurus. Rather, the large dinosaurs were genetically programmed to grow to that size—from recent evidence, most likely in a rapid spurt. **[But, what is actually said on p.149 is as follows:
“Animals reach adult maturity when they are able to produce offspring. The fossil evidence we know indicates that dinosaurs laid eggs like many of today's reptiles. The biggest eggs were less than a foot long. It's possible that even the biggest known dinosaurs were mature when they reached the size of a modern day elephant. But what else do we know of reptiles and some other creatures like fish? They keep growing and growing as long as they live.
THINK! If the early earth's environment enabled creatures to live a much longer time than they do today, then how large could they grow? Could the enormous size of some the types of monster dinosaur skeletons be a result of having lived for hundreds of years? “
A leading authority in Creation Research noted:
“You may have noticed that what AiG is criticising is not what Petersen actually said.
“Nowhere does Petersen say that dinosaurs were “simply reptiles that lived for many hundreds of years because of the pre-Flood conditions.” He challenges the reader to think about the possibility that “some types of monster dinosaur” achieved large sizes because they have the ability to grow all their lives and the pre-Flood conditions allowed for long lifespans. Neither does Petersen claim that extant reptiles such geckos or skinks would grow a big as a brachiosaurus, given long enough. Different reptiles do have different growth rates and patterns of growth.
“After visiting reptile farms and talking with those who work with reptiles we agree with Petersen that many reptiles keep growing all their lives, provided they are in a suitable environment, are well fed and free of disease and stress. The growth rate is not the same all their lives – many have a period of rapid growth early in their lives and only grow slowly later in life. Nevertheless, given right conditions they will keep growing all their lives.
“As can be seen in this example, AiG's treatment of Petersen's book is similar to the tactics used by well known anti-creationist organisations who deliberately misconstrue and exaggerate what an author has written, and then write blustering rebuttals about things the accused author has not written.”]
Pp. 154–159 — Our concerns about the Paluxy ‘human prints with dinosaur prints' are well known, but they occupy all of these pages. Paul Taylor, of Films for Christ, despite knowing that he would lose much money by doing so, felt obliged to withdraw his [father's] famous film Footprints in Stone after he went and re-examined the prints (including the famous ‘Taylor trail' featured in the film) for himself. A team from the Creation Research Society has re-examined the whole issue of ‘quasi-human ichnofossils' and was unable to conclude that one should use these evidences any longer. Due to the widespread potential sales of this book, creation ministries will probably have to spend many hundreds of hours explaining why reputable creationist speakers don't use Paluxy, etc., in creation ministry—sowing confusion in the process. On page 158, it implies that authors who withdrew about the Paluxy have ‘never personally witnessed the tracks', but John Morris personally witnessed them before withdrawing his book on the subject. Petersen refers to excavations continuing to discover more tracks, and to a Japanese team of scientists, etc., but there are no references for any of this, so as to be able to check it out. ** [As indicated in the text, the author has had first hand experience in the field at this controversial site with many other experienced researchers. There is plenty of information presented here to encourage the reader to search into the debate personally, knowing that critics without personal hands-on experience will always be at a serious disadvantage in evaluating this evidence.] [British and German creationists have examined the evidence, and the British recommended that Footprints in Stone should be updated. One British group had been trying to raise money to do their own documentary, but couldn't find enough supporters. The only reason we can determine for creationists not to use the Paluxy evidence is the apparent personal prejudice against those involved in the work. If there are scientific reasons, the critic has yet to specify them.]
Pages 160–161 — More unsubstantiated ‘evidences' that seem exciting, but are in fact poorly documented and dubious. For instance, the ‘fossil finger'. Despite various claims, none of these sorts of things have ever been written up as a properly researched report, subjected to peer review by other creationists, etc. **[Where would such a report be published, given the fact that the critic's peers have dismissed it as unworthy of publication? How convenient.] [When the critic mentions “peer review” it is important for the trusting reader to realize that only the critic's choice of “peers” are acceptable to the critic. As the evolutionists claim the same sort of exclusive authority, so our critic also insists they are the final authority and thus they deny the validity of the positive support of other “peers” who have labored for years in the field with the primary researchers involved in this work. In fact, this book has been submitted to substantial peer review.]The book also features the alleged ‘hand imprint'. But it turns out that no-one is able to verify that it really is from Cretaceous rock, and creationist experts in hand anatomy such as Dr Jon Jones (plastic surgeon) and Dr David Menton (emeritus professor, human anatomy) have recently examined the specimen and expressed serious doubt that it really is a human handprint, based upon such features as the ‘web angle'. **[If the web angle between the thumb and forefinger is a problem, the critic should consider that it's less than 90 degrees, and some musicians can have angles exceeding 120 degrees.]
Page 165 — Promotes the Cabrera discovery of the Ica dinosaur stones. We featured these very gingerly in the magazine, saying that they might turn out to be man-made artifacts. **[Notice that the critic's language is a bit confused here.] The evidence now appears to strongly suggest that they are of modern-day manufacture. **[The critic tries to influence the reader to shy away with no substance but his own opinion. In fact, the evidence gathered by primary researchers who have been marginalized by the critic supports the genuineness of these unique artifacts. A pattern woven into many of the critic's remarks is demonstrated here. It is unethical for a critic to condemn a book on the basis of the critic's unsubstantiated and weak opinion and then use his wide public influence to intimidate readers not to buy the book.]
Page 167 — The ‘Japanese plesiosaur' is rehashed. But this has been profoundly discredited. **[The critic speaks too self confidently. In fact the recent documented and thoroughly compelling publication by the British Creation Science Movement shows that this evidence has NOT been discredited at all. It curiously, was purported to be discredited by a scientist who claims to be Christian and yet accepted public praise and recognition at an event put on by atheists.] [The Japanese Plesiosaur is good evidence. It is too bad that AiG, relying on old opinions and outdated conclusions, still labors to steer people against this small but important piece of evidence that the dragons and sea monsters of old were not in the distant past, but recent phenomena, just as has been recorded in histories around the world. Japanese fishermen know what sharks look like. They know what whales look like. But this carcass was completely different! The marine biologist on board the ship took tissue samples and made a drawing (it's in the CSM booklet, referenced in Unlocking…) of what he thought the creature must have looked like. Unfortunately, they threw it overboard as it was decomposing and they did not want to contaminate their catch. It is strange how AiG sides with evolutionists, and against creationists, in wanting to discredit this piece of evidence.]
Pages 172–175 — One wonders about the apologetic value of spending four pages on the speculative idea (whether right or wrong) that Adam and Eve were dressed in (physical) light. **[I would invite the critic to read the whole segment in depth and ponder it while asking the Holy Spirit to be his teacher. His seemingly reckless attempt to find whatever he can to discredit everything in the book seems to betray that he is unwilling to accept what he has not personally rationalized through his own self-imposed filters.] [As this complaint exemplifies, much of this entire critique is not based upon scientific objections. AiG doesn't like what's included; AiG doesn't like what's not included. AiG doesn't like how a wide variety of topics are brought up briefly, discussed professionally, and then the reader is guided forward into a better understanding of the Scriptures and our human potential as a whole. When carefully considering the lack of both truth and grace in the complaints against this book the reader begins to see that the critic may have some other motivation that is revealed in a subtly derogatory way.]
Pages 182 & 183 — Twice perpetuates the common myth that we only use 10% of our brains. This was allegedly attributed to Einstein—Creation magazine ran an article showing that this was a totally unsubstantiated idea and that there was no way to even measure this (Our Brain: Do we use only a small portion of it?, Creation 21(2):42-43 March–May 1999.) **[The critic misses the point entirely. Evolution has no explanation for the natural development of capacities that are never put to use. Whether humans use 10% in their lifetime – described in the text as a popular concept only – or some other portion is not the issue. It is apparent from the summary given that one human brain can process more information in a million lifetimes than man-made computer hardware. This is a wonderful reflection of God's awesome creation that is worth alluding to in this way so every child can understand it well.]
Pages 184 & 185 — Toys with the idea that maybe modern technology isn't as effective as the technology of the ancients. This is a bit risky—especially implying that there are larger long-term benefits with ‘less complex hardware'. **[Just because the critic does not wish to take what he sees as a risk, does not mean that the very evidence shown should be ignored. In fact the suggestion made in the text is consistent with both biblical and archeological findings, even if ignored by mainstream evolutionary scientists (and apparently this critic as well). This underscores the fact that the critic wishes the book to address different tame topics, and thus be a different book. This is a matter of taste and opinion. It is inappropriate for the critic to censor the book for information like this.] To use the incredible ingenuity of the Incas, etc., to show that man has always been smart and ingenious is very appropriate, but here a position is taken that will draw a lot of flak (maybe rightly so) from many readers, who may well conclude that the benefits of modern technology are immense and unprecedented. (Most people would, one suspects, rather have their brain surgery done, or appendix removed, in a Western culture rather than among the Incas or Egyptians of old.) **[There are many other items that could have been mentioned. Early concrete structures can only be demolished with dynamite while modern structures begin to deteriorate in less than a hundred years. Hydraulic engineers are amazed at the long range, underground aqueducts that supply water from inland reservoirs to coastal cities. Ancient records of early aircraft indicate that once airborne, the energy for continued flight came from the atmosphere, something that modern engineers are trying to figure out. And it goes on and on.] [An important point is that “humans have always been intelligent but often unwise.” When we see the high technology of the past it should help us realize that we are not somehow more advanced than them. We're not on an upward progression as the evolutionists contend, but rather we are fallen creatures in need of a Savior. We had so much potential in the past, but due to sin we have fallen again and again from what our potential could have been.]
Page 186 — The paragraph which assertively asks where the evolutionary ‘Cain' found his ‘sweetie pie' is an example of something which evolutionists will decry, with some justification, as incredibly foolish. It is even more pronounced by the fact that there is a mocking cartoon to go with it. The sarcasm bounces back upon the writer, because once again there is absolutely no indication that the writer understands what evolutionists are actually saying. To suggest that a male ‘primeval man' or ‘ape-man' evolved in isolation is simply ‘way off beam'. Populations evolve, not individuals, in evolutionary models. A book with such a superb illustrative appearance makes itself a major target for astute teachers to demonstrate that creationists are either totally ignorant of evolutionary biology, or dishonestly and willfully misrepresent it. **[The discerning reader should at once realize that the critic himself is missing the point. The sarcasm is appropriate because the evolutionist has no clue how to explain the origin of male and female sexuality. Just as the biblical explanation for the common question about the wife of Cain is sensible, so the fiction that ape males and females gave rise to humans is obviously nonsense.] [AiG has devoted a small booklet to the topic, Where Did Cain Get His Wife? Could this critic possibly be unaware of the importance of this question to the public? The illustration he complains about is at least as funny as any that AiG itself posts on a similar humorous basis. The criticism is not a scientific argument at all. It betrays an unreasonable appetite for finding anything that might look like an “error.”]
Pages 190–193 — Pushes the speculative idea of some sort of incredible technology prior to the Flood. A huge amount is demanded of the two verses in Job (8:8–9). The book says that developments of the last 4,000 years can be used to show that in the 1,600 years before the Flood, when people lived much longer, it would have been something like ‘inevitable' to have more or less those same sorts of developments. (A number of things are ignored, however. Most prominent among them is the fact that Noah's family would have understood the technology of the age, and therefore one would expect that at least some of the post-Babel civilizations would reflect the technology of that previous world. Some would be lost, of course, hence cave men etc., but speculation about (in effect) laptop computers and power tools etc., before the Flood have no sound basis. **[The critic is not engaging his reasoning power with the text being criticized. We never said anything about laptops. The point is that if fallen post-flood man can rise from utter desolation to produce some of the most tremendous accomplishments soon after the Flood, then it is no stretch to think that pre-Flood technology might have been even more advanced. If the critic doesn't like to think about that, it is his privilege to remain hushed by his own lack of insight from scripture and archeology.] It may also be worth mentioning that our modern technology really ‘took off' due to the availability of energy from coal and oil. **[A highly speculative statement]Yet most, if not all, of this was formed during the Flood. **[Another dogmatic statement that is in conflict with historical, geological and archeological records.] Yet, that is what it invites us to conclude on these two pages.) Also, it ignores the fact that the real explosion in science and technology was after the spread of the Gospel. The pre-Flood world was exceedingly wicked, and discoveries/inventions are surely not random, but have something to do with God's blessing or otherwise. **[Didn't modern rocketry & explosives originate in pagan China? Didn't the process for producing porcelain elude Christian Europe for centuries after it was developed in the Far East? Didn't the U.S. & Soviet space programs spring from German scientists who were developing Hitler's V-1 & V-2 rockets? Where is it written that evil men cannot be creative?] [Technology did carryover from pre-flood man. The earliest documented man-made atomic explosion is dated at about 2000 BC when a single airplane dropped a single bomb that exploded with the brightness of 10,000 suns. A number of city remnants are found with high levels of radioactivity. The ruins of two cities are located on the India-Pakistan border (2000 AC Distruzione Atomica -- Atomic Destruction is 2000 BC--, David Davenport, 1979, Milan, Italy). The people responsible must have had prior knowledge of flight and explosives. The aircraft figures engraved in stone on the beam of an ancient Egyptian temple are testimony to early flight as is the airplane model found in an early tomb that has been called a poor model of a bird.] [In the pre-Flood world, an Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein would have had hundreds of years to work on experiments or inventions. There is very good evidence that ancient peoples had some high technology. In the modern world we have persons who are poor and barefooted while others of us have landed on the Moon. Similarly, among pre-Flood people, discoveries would not have been universal; they would have been protected and exploited. We are not “going up” as evolutionists and even AiG seems to contend. We are going down due to sin. There are some technological improvements, but the level of civilization itself is in many ways lower than at many times in ancient history. Nazi Germany had high technology but low civilization. Ancient Rome had much lower technology, but higher civilization. We notice that the critic is quick to criticize things he apparently has not studied like some of the abstract concepts raised in this book.]
The entire book majors on using techniques such as rhetorical questions to get you to draw conclusions, not just a conclusion about the authority of the Bible, as such, but majoring on the various speculative ideas it favors. **[Perhaps the critic missed the fact that Jesus also asked rhetorical questions to get people to think “outside their box.” If the critic supposes we favor speculative ideas, are we to speculate that the critic is incapable of thinking speculatively on matters about which there is plenty of room to speculate?]
Page 200 — Continues the theme of strong hints at the high technology before the Flood; to cement the fact that it is not just talking about some ingenuity, on page 201, it stretches Solomon's ‘nothing new under the sun' Bible comment to mean this: ‘Whatever we discover or invent has already existed in “ancient” time.' By definition, that means that laptop computers, atom bombs, moon rockets, MRI scanners, etc., are all not original, but were previously discovered and lost. This is obviously ‘stretching it' to an extreme point. **[The critic has distorted the clear meaning of the scripture here by insisting that since he has not seen the evidence, it cannot mean what it says. He shows what appears to be an obsessed desire to be right by thinking that our present day technology is far superior to what could ever have developed in an advanced intellectual world prior to the Flood.] [A class of technology does not necessarily include all the potential products of that technology. Since moon travel is mentioned in ancient writings, and NASA photographs (not necessarily published by NASA but available from NASA) clearly show extensive structural remains on the moon, what's wrong with the idea of early space travel? From earlier AiG written material, it is apparent that they would rather listen to skeptics who rejected the idea, rather than former skeptics who changed their opinion after studying the evidence.]
Page 201 — It is risky to claim that there is ‘no proof' that there are planets outside of our solar system. There is ever-increasing evidence for this, and so what if there are some gas balls or piles of rock circling some star? In the same box, we read, ‘Many UFO reports can be explained by top-secret human technology.' It's not even that it is presented as a possibility, but stated dogmatically—many reports can be explained in this way. And this is a statement without real evidence (by definition, since the technology is top-secret!). **[This critic seems to specialize in revealing his unwillingness to think either creatively or realistically. On the one hand he refuses to admit the fact that there really is “no clear proof” of planets beyond our solar neighborhood. Then he plays a polarizing word game about dogma and top-secret technology that most modern junior high students would easily see through. The critic is confusing the reader.]
Page 202 — It says that the planning and construction of the Great Pyramid was somehow super-human or mysterious because it ‘evades our attempts to understand it'. This seems somewhat ‘over the top'. Certainly, it is an immense achievement, but is it not consistent with the ingenuity of people at all stages of history, without having to be supernatural or similar? This is especially so considering the number of demonstrable ‘false starts' in pyramid building technology. **[The critic is imposing his own attribution to “super-human” engineers and then criticizing us for it. We simply point out the reality that our modern perspectives do not provide conclusive explanations for the high degree of technology found among the ruins of some of the most ancient relics of mankind. The reader by now is easily realizing that the creator of all these ancient wonders were descendants of Genesis man rather than “hominids.”]
The book also asks, ‘With no evidence of a crude past, why were the earliest people of Egypt so culturally sophisticated, yet insistent that their forefathers were even more advanced?' We are not aware of any evidence for this alleged insistence. And in fact, many will point out that certain sites in Egypt have been interpreted as evidence of pre-civilization settlements. That doesn't mean that they didn't live contemporaneously, but to say that there is ‘no evidence of a crude past' is pushing the envelope. There is evidence, but from Biblical history, we know it has been incorrectly interpreted. **[Is the critic siding with those who believe the evolutionary party line about crude human ancestors for Egypt? The admission of the critic to be “not aware of any evidence” should not surprise a reader who is accustomed to arrogant critics plagued by academic ignorance. Such arrogance is understandable for those who are limited by their exclusive dependence on certain “peer reviews.”] [AiG seems to approve the evolutionist belief that there is an upward progression of human society. This distortion of history must be corrected by creationists who have studied the issue. However it does require an open mind.]
Page 203 — It again says about the ancients, ‘Remember that they used their brains to a greater degree than we do today'—a completely speculative statement, made with no supporting evidence whatsoever. We can't even establish what percentage of our brain power we use today, let alone say that ancients used a greater percentage. **[Is this critic out of touch or just committed to the world's academic party line? If he doesn't even realize that modern society is suffering an alarming ‘brain drain' then there's not much point to try helping him open his ‘mind' to the evidences supporting the premise that the earliest descendants of Noah (not to mention his pre-Flood ancestors) were sharper in intellect than most of our degenerate generation.]
Page 204 — The collection of ‘pre-Flood artifacts' is interesting, but unfortunately all are anecdotal. I think some are worth featuring in such a book, but with much greater caution. The Texas hammer is an example—it is a classic concretion around an iron artifact, like the ‘fossil pliers', which we showed in our magazine. It is not buried in sedimentary rock, but a concretion. There are many reasons to think it may well have been a miner's hammer that dropped down a crack and the concretion formed later. **[The very shape of the hammer eliminates the possibility of it being a “miner's hammer”.] In fact the reason why people say that the rock is ‘supposed by evolutionary reckoning to be 135 million years old' is apparently because there are some shells in the concretion which are typical of that ‘period'. Unfortunately, the same shells have a range which extends to the present, so they are not at all diagnostic of that age of rock. The allegation about the apparently anomalous metal structure of the hammer has never been, to our knowledge, published in the peer-reviewed creationist literature, e.g. testing the assertion that ‘an alloy of iron with chlorine cannot be made in its present atmospheric condition.' But in any case there is no such thing—chlorine is simply not an element that can form a metallic alloy, as opposed to an ionic compound with a metal. **[Chlorine cannot bond to iron in the current atmosphere! Ignoring the implications of this fact needlessly distorts the reader's conclusion.] This highlights the major flaw in this whole book—it completely overlooks almost all the sound arguments, and ‘zooms in' on precisely the ones that are dubious and are based on untested, unpublished assertions. **[The critic misses the whole point of this fascinating collection of data. To marginalize the evidence is unwarranted since the discoverers were not trying to prove anything. To say the reports are anecdotal is the critic's way of saying they are not acceptable to him and should not be told to the public. Let the reader make his own conclusions. If we overlooked “almost all the sound arguments” is the critic expecting us to rehash the content of other books that we recommend to our readers?] [The details of the area where the hammer was found have been published, describing the area as Cretaceous concretionary sandstone that makes up the bluffs and the riverbank. It was identified by Texas Water Commission geologist, John Watson, who has had geology articles published in the Creation Technical Journal. The area is frequented by fisherman because of easy access to the riverbank from Texas Highway 385. Since pieces of rock occasionally fall from the bluff and land on the riverbank, it was not unusual to find a piece of sandstone there. Many pieces were observed during a visit to the site. If someone left a hammer there, and all the fishermen ignored it for some years, and the flooding of the river never disturbed it, it could possibly have a concretionary layer form over it. Finding a piece of sandstone with a piece of wood protruding from it would attract the attention of the one who found it. After seeing the details of the hammer and noting that it is not a common type we see today, and that the chemical analysis is unique, is it so hard to believe that it is old? The critic's speculations of a miner's hammer don't fit with the location, nor the configuration of the object itself.]
Page 214 — Continues the book's fascination with the Great Pyramid, which is not unusual in ‘fringe' literature, incidentally. The text says its location ‘is the very center of Earth's landmass'. That is a very precise statement to make about one single building. Others have claimed this for Ararat, and for Jerusalem. We've heard people say that Ararat is, Jerusalem is, whatever. There is no reference given for the claim, or how it was calculated. Amazingly, it quotes, without disapproval, the following: ‘Some say Seth built it before the Flood (even if it contains Flood-made rock)'. First, how could anything survive such a great catastrophe? Second, it's built on top of Flood deposits. And third, how could it possibly have been built before the Flood if it contains Flood-made rock?? **[The critic seems needlessly harsh to imply that the book is ‘guilty by association' because “fringe literature” discusses the Great Pyramid, which is just one of several examples of pyramids mentioned here. We include the introductory list of points about the Great Pyramid that is common knowledge to any reader about the subject, so a reference here is unnecessary. Why would the critic chastise our comment regarding the view that some say Seth built the Great Pyramid before the flood? The statement about it containing Flood-made rock is expected to make the reader think and conclude the very same comments the critic lists… we just don't have the space to list them here in the book.
Page 217 — The book goes deep into the realms of way-out speculation, by reporting a Spanish conquistador talking about how the great stones in some South American ruins were ‘carried through the air to the sound of a trumpet'. **[Perhaps when modern technology some day catches up to the ability of the ancients to use methods we currently know little or nothing about, then the critic will retract his assertion that we are “deep into…way out speculation.” All we are doing is reporting what others have reported to help build the case that Solomon was correct in his summary of human achievement. On the other hand, if evidence is revealed that disproves this report, then certainly that will be updated and corrected in future printings.] [The information cited is but one of many where ancient legends tell of construction by means of floating material to their proper location. The basalt log construction at Nan Modal, one of the lost cities of the Pacific, where 5 to 10 ton magnetized pieces used to construct 30 foot high walls has been referenced for years. The legends of the floating logs have been handed down for years, just as have the flood legends.]
Pp. 218–219 — It is perfectly justified to talk about the marvels that the ancients achieved with engineering, moving huge blocks in astonishing ways. Such things have been properly used to show that ancient people were sufficiently ingenious to have figured out how to do without our level of technology (which present technology is not the result of evolving higher intelligence, but is the result of inventions being passed down and added to). In other words, such demonstrations of ingenuity can be a powerful argument against the idea that ancient man was a less-evolved primitive. **[This commentary is of little use to this critique. The critic reiterates his subtle belief that modern technology is what's “new under the sun.” He is free to disagree but should not intimidate the reader to infer that our biblical framework for understanding pre-Flood and ancient advancement is without merit.]
But here, it moves into the realm of the mystical, in the way it reports on a mysterious ceremony in Tibet in the 1950s, allegedly witnessed by an engineer, in which a block of rock began to rise into the air by itself through drum beats and trumpet blasts. Incredibly, it links this to the reports in science journals in which sound waves have levitated pellets of glass or metal. This misleads to an extent that is mind-boggling. For a scientist to use extremely concentrated (‘hi-tech') sound waves to levitate tiny pellets in the laboratory is so vastly different to the belief that a group of people stood around a huge rock, beating drums and blasting trumpets to make it rise into the air, that we are frankly incredulous that the link was made. **[Critics are notoriously skeptical of reports they don't understand. This critic is no exception. And like the evolutionary naturalist who insists that if he can't explain it he refuses to believe it, so this critic is loathe to allow a straightforward eye witness report stand on its own merit, even if it does stretch our limited understanding. This is why we prod the reader to think on page 217 about the perception of a 19th century observer conceiving a jet plane taking off.]
Page 223 — More Nexus type material. It says, ‘A number of mysterious indications from ancient cultures link the use of rock crystals with communications through the air'. It then says, ‘Even the Bible draws this connection'. The evidence? Crystals being part of the breastplate prescribed by God to be worn by the high priest. This is getting uncomfortably close to ‘new age' beliefs. The book says, ‘It should be no surprise if we someday learn that even the realm of wireless communications was known by people before and after the Great Flood.' **[Although the critic's fear of “peer-review” does not seem to allow him to think “outside his box” there is plenty of reason in the context of the Bible and all the evidences we merely touch on to suggest that Pre-Flood society was extremely advanced. For the critic to throw up the “new age” red flag is a technique for someone trying to get his followers to pronounce anyone guilty by association who does not stay “in the box.” Since God made crystals with the ability to receive radio waves, is it so far-fetched to think that 20th Century man is not the first to discover the fact? In view of Solomon's assessment, the simplicity of the discovery, and other archeological and biblical points, it is certainly worth exploring further. That's what the adventure of scientific innovation is all about.] [There have been a few reported cases when a particular person (or persons in close proximity to a particular radio transmitter) began hearing muffled sounds in their heads. Such stories have come from a few different countries over the decades. It may be possible. Dissimilar metals (multiple fillings) in a solution (saliva) could allow for some kind of “reception” of radio waves through the air. Did the Ark of the Covenant have “extra power” built into it? This too can quickly become speculative, but still an interesting topic to discuss. Honest researchers shouldn't be afraid to discuss such things and then keep the public on track with a good, Biblical presentation of science and faith. There is so much we don't know about the world around us, but we don't need to be in fear. Is it not wise to learn what types of things the public is interested in trying to understand! An insulated fear of challenging the many things they don't know seems to be hampering AiG's research, causing them to then speak out of ignorance in their criticisms of others.]
Pages 224–225 — Continue the fascination with ‘nothing new under the sun'. The ancient battery discovery certainly shows ingenuity, and we have used it ourselves for that. But the fact that a very crude chemical battery, which, using lemon juice or vinegar, can produce a tiny half volt of electricity is hardly enough to justify the previous assertions about everything having been previously discovered! **[We did not say or imply that “everything” was “previously discovered.” The critic clearly has disregarded the obvious point about “simplified ingenuity” and the breadth of the biblical implications regarding the marvelous advancement of the “former age” mentioned in Job.] And the toy gliding machine presented is clearly meant to make people think that the ancient Egyptians had airplanes. While it does show great ingenuity (just like the Aboriginal people with their boomerangs), it seems remarkable that anyone would seriously believe that the Egyptians had airplanes. (They would have been much more successful in chasing after the Israelites if they had). There is not a single hint of them in all the hieroglyphic inscriptions on tomb after tomb, which show many details of an everyday life which was anything but ‘high-tech' in today's terms. Nor did the pharaohs take images of airplanes into their tombs to make their transport in the afterlife comfortable, yet they took all sorts of everyday objects to ensure they enjoyed the benefits in that afterlife.
**[The critic wrote, "it seems remarkable that anyone would seriously believe that the Egyptians had airplanes." There is at least one inscription of an aircraft displayed on the beam of an ancient Egyptian temple. Some of these pictures have been shown on television programs dealing with ancient cultures.]
If this review were about one or two problems or points of disagreement in a generally sound book, or if the book were such as to likely cause little impact, AiG would see little cause to risk the storm of censure that will doubtless come from many for having been this openly critical. However, the overwhelming thrust of this book falls into an extremely dubious, speculative and poorly argued category, one which may not be instantly obvious to the layperson, and much of what it argues is plain wrong. Most, if not all, of these questionable items have never been peer-reviewed in the creationist scientific journals.
Apart from the Bible, no book, including any we publish, is perfect. But in this case, the potential for many thousands of people to be seriously misled into believing they have a major weapon, when it is a major step backwards for the creation movement, has led to this review. We also feel that this is the sort of book that your average neighborhood evolutionist will have been ‘waiting for', in a sense, to reinforce his prejudice that creationists do not understand evolutionary science and misrepresent it, etc. We believe that we have a responsibility to not just refrain from stocking it, but to actively warn against uncritically accepting its contents as if they were generally based on some sort of consensus from the global community of qualified creationist researchers. That would be far from reality.
**[The noble sounding motive of the critic intentionally lures many loyal fans. However, a thoughtful investigation of his arguments reveals, not only that there is more to the subjects than meets the eye, but also that there is an underlying attempt to detract readers from pursuing the topics further and “getting out of the box” of prejudice and erroneous presuppositions. Many brilliant researchers in many fields, both past and present, have seen the futility of relying on “peer review” to verify what is innovative and worthy of study. The critic also misses the point that this new book is not written to convince cynics and hard-core skeptics. They will mock no matter how much you try to appease their tiresome arguments. It is written for those with “ears to hear” and open to the Holy Spirit to be their Teacher. Jesus said, “There are many things I have to teach you but you cannot receive them yet.” No doubt, there are many myopic yet highly intellectual people who will never be open to think outside their own restrictive box… This book is filled with sound biblical, historical and scientifically valid insights. The fact that it also guides average people to ask meaningful questions, think through areas that may not have been fully determined yet, and explore the implications of God's Word as it applies to the natural world, make this book completely unique. The critic and much of his audience might be surprised at the vast array of credible researchers who are courageous enough to resist the intimidation of his opinionated criticisms.]
It is a hard thing to have to point out this tragic consequence of people ‘doing their own thing' in creation ministry without any sort of concession to the normal processes of peer review. It is especially hard, because the book is doubtless well meant, and its motives good Christian ones. Readers of this review who have read the book will no doubt make their own judgment. But if the book doesn't convince creationists such as us, then readers should realize that evolutionists are even less likely to be swayed. At least readers will then be prepared when their evolutionist acquaintances gleefully commence their ‘demolition derby' on its contents. **[Why is it supposed that a book must “convince evolutionists” to be worthwhile? Is it not a worthy enterprise to build the faith of those who already believe? See the article “Believing is seeing”] [Jesus said to the Pharisees of his time: “You do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God.” Many of us have discovered that the adventure of trusting God's revelation as we explore the reality around us far surpasses the trap of bowing to “peer review.” Even a lifetime of evolutionist conditioning can be utterly disarmed when the Spirit of God gives the willing learner a heart of repentance. We caution and urge the reader not to fall into the trap of the self-appointed judges of acceptable ideas who themselves may only be able to "see" these awesome truths on that day when all of our physical eyes are overcome by that unapproachable light that surrounds the Creator Himself.]
original article COPYRIGHT © 2003 Answers in Genesis Ministries
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