NH Summer Update: Vacation, Ark Encounter and Coming Attractions

The past month has been quite an adventure.  It has been good to get a break from my job and this blog, which was starting to feel like a job.  Hopefully I am refreshed and bring some new perspectives – and photos – to share with you in the coming months.  Below are a couple of highlights from the last month and some of what I am hoping to write about in the near future.

I attended a stimulating multi-day workshop where I was able to interact with many great science and faith speakers and writers.  Hopefully I have learned to be a more effective communicator and I will be applying some of what I learned here and in future speaking opportunities.

In a large 6150.1 mile loop from Ohio out to Wyoming and Colorado I spent three weeks with my family visiting many national parks and monuments and hiking in the desert and high mountains.    Before I left I wrote that I had a 4th grader in tow so we had free admission to almost every place we visited.  We missed all the excitement of the opening of the Ark Encounter which I wish I could have written about at the time.  However, on the day of the big opening we were happily climbing sand dunes at Great Sand Dunes NP in Colorado and enjoying God’s real creation.  Other highlights included Yellowstone NP, Devils Tower, Badlands NP, Grand Teton NP, Fossil Butte, Dinosaur NP, and Great Sand Dunes NP but there were many additional smaller sites that were also pretty awesome.

My family (minus my oldest daughter) in the Bighorn basin with the Bighorn Mountains in the background. We are a few miles from the Red Gulch dinosaur tracks that we visited. Photo: Joel Duff, June 2016

My family (minus my oldest daughter) in the Bighorn basin with the Bighorn Mountains in the background. We are a few miles from the Red Gulch dinosaur tracks that we visited. Photo: Joel Duff, June 2016

On the trip I took over 7000 pictures many of them with this blog in mind. We collected or observed fossils in nearly a dozen locations and I have documented the context of those fossil finds and will explore those with you in the coming year.

More coming attractions:

  1. I intend to finish up my series of posts on the Lost Canyon of Egypt with what I believe is a particularly powerful critique of young-earth geology.
  2. I will likely visit the Ark Encounter in Kentucky in the next few weeks. This is partly because I am contributing to a talk that will be presented at this years GSA (Geological Society of America) meeting that addresses concerns about the Ark Encounter.  I also intend to write my own review of the experience.
  3. I intend to write more about the confusing mixed messages AiG is sending to the public about the mechanisms and pace of evolution.
  4. I am going to share some of my nature photography from my trip out west.
  5. Other topics on my to-do list are: creationism and the nature of thorns and thistles,  YEC and prelapsarian natural selection, an analysis of the YEC view of the physical and biotic appearance of the pre-flood world,  addressing intelligent design which I have long ignored on this blog. I also have several other recent geology and evolution stories I want to respond to.

So there is plenty to talk about and unexpected events will surely take me in new directions.  I can make plans for the future but I don’t have exclusive control over my future. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me over the next year.

Watching NPS employees cut fossil fish from a small quarry on Fossil Butte in the Green River Formation. They had collected more than 4600 fish from this one small cliff face. Photo: Joel Duff - June 2016.

Watching NPS employees cut fossil fish from a small quarry on Fossil Butte in the Green River Formation in southwestern Wyoming. They had already collected more than 4600 fish from this one small cliff face. Photo: Joel Duff – June 2016.

A common scene whenever we crossed through a particular Jurassic-aged rock formation. Devils toenails (Grypheae), an extinct type of mussel. We saw millions of these at multiple locations in the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming. Photo: Joel Duff, June 2016

A common scene whenever we crossed through a particular Jurassic-aged rock formation. Devils toenails (Gryphaea), an extinct type of oyster. We saw millions of these at multiple locations in the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming. Photo: Joel Duff, June 2016

Time spent above 12,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies isn't bad either though no fossils up here. I am on the side of La Plata Peak (14,350 feet) here. My 16 year old son went to the top while I hung out taking pictures of wildflowers, marmots and pikas. Photo: Andrew Duff, July 8th 2016.

Time spent above 12,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies isn’t bad either though no fossils up here. I am on the side of La Plata Peak (14,350 feet) here. My 16-year-old son went to the top while I hung out taking pictures of wildflowers, marmots and pikas. Photo: Andrew Duff, July 8th 2016.

Comments

  1. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Welcome back! I am looking forward to your new posts!

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  2. jjohnson says:

    Could you tell me what the name was of the conference you attended? I’m looking for conferences on the topic of science and faith.

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    • The workshop I attended was a private invite so I can’t say too much about it right now. However, I would recommend attending an American Scientific Affiliation meeting (http://network.asa3.org/). They have a great set of speakers every year and plenty of opportunities to talk about science and faith issues.

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  3. Thank you so much for your posts and all the time you put into your writings. I’m so glad I stumbled across your website! I’m really impressed with the way you critique YEC in a respectful and thoughtful way – without being snarky or insulting. Thank you – looking forward to more of your writings!

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  4. johnscorner says:

    Exciting stuff! And beautiful photos, as always. THANK YOU.

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  5. sounds like some interesting stuff coming up. Yes, there is life outside of this blog. Hope you are refreshed and invigorated.

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  6. Can’t wait to read your new blog posts once they are up!

    Like

  7. In my view, God created thistles (all varieties) exactly as they are, part of what we are told was a “finished” creation. Such an edible plant needed a defense so as to carry out its purpose – fast covering of exposed dirt – as when, from creation time, storms (Job 28:25-28) blow over trees to bring light to the ground. And producing thistle seed for birds, you know. And there isn’t ONE good thing that can be said for the AiG ark design, or its creature-destroying cages, sorry to say. GLL

    Liked by 1 person

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