Is Genesis History: Digging for Truth and Coming up Empty-Handed

Please welcome Lars Cade* as a guest blogger on Naturalis Historia.
I am a Christian currently studying to become a paleontologist. While I still have much more that I need to learn before I could properly consider myself one, I know enough of the discipline to know when it is being misrepresented. Unfortunately, the young-earth creationism (YEC) documentary-style film Is Genesis History? (IGH) portrays paleontology (and the other disciplines it highlights) extremely inaccurately, despite conducting interviews with (among others) two paleontologists.

Heterodontosaurus
Heterodontosaurus, one of the fossils featured in the film Is Genesis history

Consider this clip, which was shared on IGH’s Facebook page shortly after the release of the film, taken from a segment in which Del Tackett, the host of the film, interviews Dr. Art Chadwick, a taphonomist.

Taphonomist
A taphonomist is a paleontologist who studies the process of death and fossilization

In just over two minutes, Del Tackett and Art Chadwick present no fewer than fourteen false and/or misleading ideas, either stated or implied, and not one that is both accurate and informative on the subject being discussed (the full interview in the film contains a few informative bits). While Tackett lacks formal scientific training and may thus be forgiven for being unaware of the nature of the evidence presented, Chadwick has such training and thus, his false statements take on a more blatantly dishonest tone. Whether or not the conclusions of a young earth, a global flood and largely unrelated species (and those that are related having diversified impossibly rapidly) put forward by the makers of IGH are correct (and I do not believe they are), trying to support them with false and misleading statements only serves to weaken their case and damage their Christian testimony. They are as follows:

Paleontologist
A paleontologist is a scientist who studies ancient life, using body fossils, trace fossils (trackways/footprints, burrows, etc.) and geochemistry to learn about ancient organisms and the environment they inhabited.
  1. Beginning at 0:11, Tackett claims that paleontologists “look at [dinosaur paleontology] from the standpoint of early dinosaurs, middle dinosaurs and late dinosaurs.” However, this is not accurate. Rather than imposing ideas about age on the fossils they discover, they find that, consistently, certain species are confined to certain strata which are positioned below (i.e. older than) some strata and above (i.e. younger than) other strata. This fact has been established by over 150 years of observations by thousands of paleontologists and amateur collectors. It’s simply an observation that anyone examining the geological context of dinosaur fossils can repeat. So, rather than imposing a belief on the data, as Tackett implies, paleontologists—as all scientists should—make careful observations and draw conclusions from them.
  2. If, as the makers of IGH claim, dinosaur fossils were actually all (or nearly all) deposited in a single flood, they should all be distributed more or less uniformly, with no sorting except by density of the organism at death and with little disarticulation (separation of the bones) or weathering of the bones. However, this is not what is actually observed. In fact, the very fossils shown in situ in the film exhibit both disarticulation and weathering.

    The explanation offered—that the observed bone bed was laid down rapidly—is not consistent with their claims elsewhere in the film where well-preserved, fully-articulated fossils are held up as evidence of rapid burial by a global flood, though is it consistent with observed local flooding today, specifically when such flooding occurs on a long-dead assemblage of bones where there was once a body of water that had dried up. While some well-preserved fossils were likely rapidly buried, others show signs of desiccation or slow burial in an anoxic environment (one with little free oxygen, which is necessary for most decay processes). If a global flood were an accurate explanation for most of the world’s fossils, then virtually all of them should show similar levels of preservation and burial conditions, and most crucially, evidence of having been buried nearly simultaneously with all other fossils. However, as even this film highlights, this is simply not the case.
  3. Eoraptor and PostosuchusTriassic Eoraptor (top) and Postosuchus (bottom). The first is considered a “dinosaur”, while the second is a non-dinosaurian archosaur. – Image credits: Vlad Konstantinov; Jeff Martz

    Starting at 0:28, Chadwick says that “The dinosaurs are already dinosaurs when they first appear. They look just like anyone would think a dinosaur looked.” This statement is trivially true, in that fossils are not taxonomically classified as “dinosaurs” unless they meet the taxonomic criteria necessary for such a classification, much as only those organisms bearing enough traits in common with other canids (wolves, foxes, coyotes, etc.) are called “canids,” and within family Canidae, every organism is identified with a particular genus and species (or occasionally as a hybrid), since we humans feel compelled to name and categorize everything we can. However, the earliest dinosaurs (i.e. those found in the lowest strata) looked very little like the latest dinosaurs (i.e. those found in the highest strata). They looked very similar to other archosaurs (of which dinosaurs are a subset), including those which are thought to be ancestral to crocodilians, just as expected within evolutionary theory.

  4. Despite what Chadwick then states, the appearance of dinosaurs in the fossil record is no “enigma” to paleontologists who note the changing trends in archosaur (including dinosaur) morphology through rock strata. While most YECs are unaware of this fact, many intermediate fossils between multiple entirely extinct lineages have been discovered, not only between extant organisms and their ancient putative ancestors. While there is certainly disagreement over the finer (and occasionally larger) points of dinosaur evolution, nobody (with the exception of those few who—like Chadwick—reject evolution on ideological grounds) well-versed in paleontology suggests that dinosaurs (as well as crocodilians, phytosaurs and probably pterosaurs) are not the descendants of the few archosaurs (or their near ancestors) that survived the end-Permian mass extinction.
  5. Interestingly, by recognizing that there are strata in which dinosaur fossils “first appear” and later acknowledging the validity of grouping various stratigraphic units (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous in the case of dinosaurs—better known as geological “periods”), Chadwick inadvertently recognizes the fact that the fossil record does not appear as one would expect if most of it were the result of a single global flood, since dinosaurs of a given lineage should share stratigraphic depth with other animals of similar density, including all other dinosaurs, yet they do not. Elsewhere in IGH, another paleontologist refers to the various stratigraphic periods as “ecosystems,” each buried successively. However, this idea fails to stand up to even minor scrutiny, as each period is globally represented and has organisms representing all kinds of ecological niches, each restricted to their own strata. Grasses, for example, are not found at all prior to Cretaceous strata.
  6. Transitional Fossil
    A “transitional” (or “intermediate”) fossil is any which exhibits traits intermediate between fossils found in stratigraphically earlier strata and those found in stratigraphically later strata. While relationships between lineages are inferred through careful study, and absolute ages may be assigned to strata using radiometric methods, these fossils fit the definition of “intermediate fossil” regardless of actual biological relationship or absolute age.

    One minute in, after acknowledging that scientists have found fossils that are “challenging” to his view, Dr. Chadwick makes the bold—and completely false—claim that “The rule is there are no transitional fossils.” While it is true that many are not so obviously transitional as something like Tiktaalik, Microraptor, Maiacetus, Odontochelys or Australopithecus, any fossils that are not identical to any population alive today are transitional as long as they have traits that are intermediate between an earlier and later lineage.

    Australopithecus SedibaAustralopithecus sediba, an obviously intermediate fossil. – Image credit: Lee Berger

    One could say the real “rule” of the fossil record is that transitional fossils are the rule not the exception. One wonders what he thinks of post-flood speciation as proposed by Todd Wood later in the film? If two “cats” on the ark were ancestors of lions, jaguars, bobcats and house cats, were there no intermediates in the line leading to these species?

  7. He also claims that the relative paucity of obviously transitional fossils (as distinct from those which, while certainly transitional by definition, are less obviously so to the untrained eye) is “contra to Darwin’s hopes,” yet Darwin acknowledged that such fossils would be unlikely to be found, simply because of the “extreme imperfection of the geological record.” The fact that the fossil record has been substantially filled in since Darwin’s time with fossils matching the predictions of transitional species is strong confirmation of the predictions of evolutionary theory.

    Since it is unlikely that any given organism will be preserved as a fossil and even less likely that a human will later discover it, the predictions of common ancestry according to evolutionary theory would be fulfilled if even one such fossil were found. In fact, thousands of fossils obviously meeting the predicted criteria of a transitional form have been found. Conversely, finding just one out-of-place fossil (i.e. significantly older than evolutionary theory would predict, such as the fabled “Precambrian rabbit” or even a Tyrannosaurus rex in Triassic strata) would pose a significant challenge to evolutionary theory, yet no such fossil has ever been found.Dinosaur Graphic
  8. Psittacosaurus and StyracosaurusAn early Cretaceous (nearly Triassic) Psittacosaurus (top) is hardly “unchanged” when compared with a late Cretaceous Styracosaurus (bottom), even though both are classified as Ceratopsians. – Image credits: Robert Nicholls; Everything Dinosaur

    Starting at 1:10, Dr. Chadwick makes the claim—accompanied by the above graphic—that “A form exists in the fossil record; it basically stays unchanged and it disappears from the fossil record.” The graphic shown is false. There are massive changes in each lineage throughout the specified strata. The earliest theropods looked very little like the latest ones. The same is true of ceratopsians, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and sauropods. If Chadwick is merely referring to species, rather than orders, suborders and families (as shown in the graphic), the graphic is still false, as no individual dinosaur species is found throughout the specified strata (and sauropods are found through the end of the Cretaceous). Furthermore, this contradicts the assertion, made elsewhere in the film, that the different geological periods actually represent individual ecosystems, since separate ecosystems should preserve separate species.

  9. At 1:20, Chadwick states “We don’t ever see changes from this form to this form in the rocks themselves.” In fact, we do, that’s what transitional fossils are. That we have discovered any at all is fortunate, since it’s unlikely that an individual that’s part of a transitional population (i.e. one undergoing adaptation due to a change in environmental factors) will be preserved as a fossil because such changes, often being the result of strong environmental pressure, are usually relatively quick, small populations are more subject to rapid change, fossilization of any individual organism is a rare occurrence and human discovery of a specific fossil is even rarer. Alternatively, he may be insinuating that under evolutionary theory, one would expect a chimeric organism, literally half one species and half another. However, evolutionary theory predicts no such thing. In fact, despite the insinuations of YECs, evolutionary theory relies on organisms always reproducing “after their kind.”
  10. Ten seconds later, he says “It’s a paradigm that’s being imposed on the data rather than the data that’s providing the paradigm.” While this obviously echoes the film’s constant theme of “two paradigms,” it completely mischaracterizes how scientists work, as Chadwick, a scientist himself, ought to know. Scientists draw conclusions by testing hypotheses on existing data and new discoveries. It is by this very process that scientists have determined that the earth must be ancient and species must be related by common ancestry. Like many YECs, Chadwick apparently ignores or forgets the fact that geologists originally began their work with the assumption that the earth was on the order of thousands of years old and had experienced a global flood, while Linnaeus developed the nested hierarchy of organismal traits in Systema Naturae more than 70 years before Darwin was born, firmly believing in the fixity of species over time.
  11. Beginning at 1:40, the clip shows a montage of several fossil organisms. In order, they are Heterodontosaurus, Archaeopteryx, Wiwaxia, Marrella and Comura. Over these images, Dr. Chadwick says “The complexity is all there from the beginning.” Assuming he means the beginning of the fossil record, this is blatantly untrue. The Phanerozoic era (Cambrian-present; conventionally dated as the last 541 million years), in which all these complex fossils are found, only represents the most recent 1/6th or so of the fossil record, regardless of the absolute age of the fossils. Prior to that, even multicellularity is rare, and completely absent (as far as we currently know) in strata dated prior to 2.4 billion years ago.
  12. In addition to implying that these finds represent the beginning of the fossil record, the filmmakers omit the fact that of the fossils shown, only two might be found in the same strata—the Wiwaxia and Marrella, which can both be found in Cambrian strata dated between 520 and 505 million years ago. Heterodontosaurus (200–190 million years ago), Archaeopteryx (150.8–148.5 million years ago; ironically, a fantastic example of a transitional fossil—something this video claims does not exist) and Comura trilobites (~415 million years ago) are all confined to specifically dated strata, with gaps of tens to hundreds of millions of years (according to conventional dating techniques) separating them. While elsewhere in the film this is passed off as “separate ecosystems,” the fact that in this clip, the jumbled nature of the fossils in the Hell Creek formation is held up as evidence of a global flood means that these fossils should exhibit the same jumbling, yet they never do.Fossils
    Upper left: Archaeopteryx; Upper Right: Wiwaxia; Lower Left: Marella; Lower Right: Comura. Heterodontosaurs pictured at top of article – Image credits: Is Genesis History
  13. Also implicit in the mention of “complexity” is the idea, often repeated by YECs, that evolution (and other non-“supernatural” processes) cannot produce complexity. However, there is simply no reason to think this is true. Complex patterns are visible at all levels in nature, from galaxies to clouds to snowflakes, each enabled by a transfer of energy. Additionally, if indeed predation, defense, natural selection and adaptation are solely the result of sin and were not part of the original creation, as IGH repeatedly asserts, then even YECs must acknowledge that evolutionary processes have brought about fantastically complex traits which aid in predation or defense. Even if God had “preprogrammed” genetic information into the original animals—as proposed, without genetic mechanism, by many modern YECs—natural selection has sorted out, among trillions of possible combinations, the combinations of genetic switches necessary to be best adapted to a particular environmental situation.
  14. Finally, at the end, Art Chadwick and Del Tackett go back to the “two paradigms” dichotomy that pervades this film; i.e. that one must accept YECism in its entirety or “reject the authority of scripture.” Chadwick refers to “blind faith” which he claims is required to “believe in evolution” because he “can’t even see how it could have happened.” In addition to the fallacious appeal to incredulity (assuming that something is false because one can’t imagine/understand it), he ignores the fact (of which he is likely aware, given his training) that evolutionary theory is built entirely on observed patterns of evidence, something at least a few YECs such as Todd Wood, interviewed elsewhere in IGH, are honest enough to recognize.

I fundamentally disagree with the “two paradigms” theme presented throughout the film. I do not, in any way, believe that recognizing evolutionary theory (or any other scientific discipline, for that matter) as an accurate explanation of observed trends in biology and related disciplines negates God as creator any more than recognition of the heliocentricity​ did in the 16th and 17th centuries. God, as sovereign, can use whatever means He chooses to accomplish His will. It seems as if YECists like Tackett and Chadwick think that God can only “act” within a cage of human ignorance, and so seek to avoid knowledge to “give God room to act.” This is not the God described in the Bible. The God I worship is “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6) and one who is “always working.” (John 5:17) Recognizing evolution as correct does not take “faith.” “Faith,” the author of Hebrews tells us, is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) It is not unseeing the evidence.


Image sources

* This is Lars Cade’s first blog post anywhere. Growing up, he was fascinated by paleontology and built up a sizable fossil collection. His Church background was heavily influenced by YECism, and he even went to a “Back to Genesis” seminar and a Duane Gish debate in the 1990s. A strong interest in computers as a teen led him to major in computer science, a field in which he currently works full-time (a fear of having to study evolution put him off paleontology at the time). However, in internet debates while in college, he encountered evidence that he could not ignore that showed that at least some of the claims of YECism were false. Over the next several years, the scientific and scriptural shortcomings of YECism became ever more apparent. After coming to grips with the fact that the claims of YECism were false, his interest in paleontology has been sparked anew, and this has led him to start taking college courses in preparation for a doctorate in paleontology at North Carolina State University. With such training, not only will he be able to contribute valuable research to the field, but (he hopes), he will be able to help the Church from within to gain a more accurate appreciation of the creation, and to not fear where investigation of it may lead.

Comments

  1. It’s really sad that some Christians fear evolution so much that they are willing to lie to defend against it. How do we engage with the average evangelical church-goer who is by default YECist, believes the YEC scientists without question, and thinks anyone who doesn’t defend every detail of YECism is a liberal heretic?

    Liked by 2 people

    • datadroid says:

      That’s part of my reason for writing this post. I’m trying to show YECs that even if their claims are correct, the people promoting them are doing so dishonestly. My hope is that realization that at least some of the proponents of YECism are simply lying will cause people to consider the possibility that other claims are false as well. My first wake-up call was learning that mutations can indeed add information to a genome, something I’d been told was impossible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • my goodness, how to reply. Too much to do. May i just suggest that, contrary to your claims (and easily observable in a study of the sciences), scientists, paleontologists included, are not totally objective automatons merely digesting information and spitting out completely objective theories. All scientists are biased, and to a great degree, programmed with certain paradigms. And, much to your surprise, i suppose, scientists are capable of misrepresentation and, gasp, lies. Even you, whether intentional or not. As data studies to become a paleontologist, i hope he realizes that objectivity long ago deserted the field in which he studies. Everything is already interpreted with a certain paradigm, and there will be no room for independent thinking, especially if it broaches any and every form of creationism or intelligent design. If he denies this, he is already deluded and deceived. While many of his arguments sound solid, they are only so if interpreted with his already programmed paradigm. In other words, his arguments are based on his a priori assumptions. He will respond with a consensus argument, but those are fairly worthless, as any history of the sciences will show. The movie was, of course, one-sided, but no less than your average run of the mill film on evolution. I tell you what. I will believe that evolutionists are open-minded when they finally produce a film that acknowledges the many difficulties with Darwinian evolution. May i suggest that you don’t hold your breath. Those discussions take place behind closed doors and very far away from the public eye. For now, I’ll just keep on breathing.

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  2. Welcome, Lars!

    I have heard scientists say, “There are no transitional fossils” and the basically equivalent “All fossils are transitional fossils,” but what they mean by this is that the YEC expectations of a transitional fossil are not met.

    For instance, if one claims a connection between dinosaurs and birds, YECers want to see a fossil that is clearly half-bird / half-dinosaur. But since these changes happen incrementally over time, there are no blatant transformative points where a dinosaur clearly shifted into a half dino/bird hybrid, and then fully into bird. The difficulty is, of course, that any fossil that is less than a clear hybridization is going to simply be categorized as a “bird” or a “dinosaur” by a YECer, even if such fossils show clear incremental changes.

    It’s ironic that such a statement got used in the video to promote a YEC view, but it does seem to characterize the way YEC materials use scientific statements.

    Like

  3. Christine Janis says:

    Re early dinosaurs/transitional forms, check out this paper (you may well know about it, but others may not).

    Nesbitt et al, 2017. The earliest bird-line archosaurs and the assembly of the dinosaur body plan

    https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7651/abs/nature22037.html

    That leads to an article behind a paywall, but if you search for the paper on google scholar you’ll find a link to a free PDF.

    Good luck with your studies Lars!

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    • datadroid says:

      I’d actually considered a link to that paper, but I already had a lot of links in place and I felt that the graphic was sufficiently illustrative. Thanks for the encouragement!

      Like

      • Christine Janis says:

        One of the problems with trying to present “transitional fossils” to creationists is that, if you don’t already have a reasonably deep understanding of morphology, then the pictures don’t resonate as being meaningful, and the default is to what it looks like superficially. Archaeopteryx — has feathers, just a bird. My favorite denial is Tiktaalik as simply a Chinese alligator (those fins were from a fish it was eating that got stuck in its throat).

        Are you going to SVP this year?

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        • datadroid says:

          Not this year. Once I transition to being a full-time grad student, I’ll be able to go. For now, I content myself with my college classes and volunteering at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Paleontology Research Lab.

          Like

  4. ‘Tackett claims that paleontologists “look at [paleontology] from the standpoint of early dinosaurs, middle dinosaurs and late dinosaurs.” AND “It’s a paradigm that’s being imposed on the data rather than the data that’s providing the paradigm.” ‘

    The common creationist technique of pretending that something was an input into interpretation, when in fact it was an outcome of examination of the data. The most sophisticated form of this is the philosophising of people like Phillip Johnson, who claim that the rejection of supernatural explanations is a philosophical presumption of conventional science, when in reality (as in all the work done refuting ESP) the rejection of the supernatural is something that emerges from observation

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin and commented:

    A good detailed exposee of some creationist arguments.

    You can do it on any but it takes a lot of time checking the details and so gets tedious.

    However I have never found a creationist argument which cannot be taken down like this

    Liked by 2 people

    • datadroid says:

      Indeed, that’s why I focused on two minutes instead of the whole film (also because the video is publicly available and does not require that one have seen the entire film).

      Like

    • You can’t take down YEC arguments with science, because it is never about the science. Instead, point out the flaws in their theology as Lars has done here. When they try to use science to justify themselves, THEN you can bludgeon then with the facts.

      Like

  6. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Reblogged this on James' Ramblings and commented:

    Reblogging for the information.

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  7. YEChies have long relied upon the ignorance as their instrument. First, their own ignorance, and now that of their chosen audience. But once a lot of data began to come in some decades ago, data showing in every way an old earth, the YEChies had to up their game with sheer lies. They are now practiced enough to confuse a lot of genuine science students, which makes them well able to completely fool the average Believer. Today, as I often comment, the YEChies constitute the modern Pharasees, dedicated to protecting their small corner of belief, and destroying the chances of others.

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  8. Hi Lars,
    Thanks for the informative post. I noticed in your introduction the statement “(…) Chadwick has such training and thus, his false statements take on a more blatantly dishonest tone.”

    Something that intrigues me is the question of what’s really going on in the minds of those few YECs who have PhD level education in a relevant field of science that contradicts YEC views. I myself am an astronomer and have dealt with some of claims of Jason Lisle (Phd in Astrophysics; AiG, ICR) in a long series of posts on BioLogos. What kept bugging me while writing up those posts was the fact that the observational and theoretical evidence contradicting his ideas is extremely evident to anyone with BSc level education in astronomy or physics. Yet, Lisle somehow managed to “survive” all the way through his PhD while holding these views and spreading these false claims. I don’t want to attribute any level of dishonestly to him, because I believe he is sincere. Still can’t wrap my mind around that. Must be a difficult life for people like him?

    Casper

    Liked by 1 person

    • datadroid says:

      My concern is not just that he misrepresents the observable facts of the discipline, but that he lies about how other scientists work. This (and the dinosaurs through time graphic) is what I find inexcusably dishonest.

      Like

  9. Nick matzke says:

    Art Chadwick is a taphonomist? Wasn’t he actually a video services guy at UCSB, probably retired now? He’s been a creationist activist since the 1980s at least I think.

    Like

  10. ah my bad! I was thinking Art Battson: http://www.arn.org/docs/abstasis.htm

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “I fundamentally disagree with the ‘two paradigms’ theme presented throughout the film…. God, as sovereign, can use whatever means He chooses to accomplish His will. It seems as if YECists like Tackett and Chadwick think that God can only ‘act’ within a cage of human ignorance, and so seek to avoid knowledge to ‘give God room to act.’ This is not the God described in the Bible.”

    This seems to be the central thesis of the post. The post did not respond to the ‘two paradigms’ though, and neither did it respond to the central thesis of the film: the fact that there are two conflicting views of history. It doesn’t take into account the ‘time’ factor, and that a sovereign God can also send massive catastrophes which will change things drastically. I think the question here is: can we take God at His Word or must we recreate history through the scientific data? Because at that point you might also have to recreate the incarnation of Christ through the scientific data. A futile pursuit, unless you take God at His Word. I believe that these are the main questions I leave with after reading this article!

    Nathan

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    • datadroid says:

      Nobody here is suggesting that God could not do such things, only that we know beyond all reasonable doubt that He did not. Furthermore, this does not address the blatantly false and misleading statements and implications made throughout this clip. As I said, even if their conclusions are correct, the fact is that they try to support them with claims that are demonstrably (and demonstrated by me) incorrect.

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      • Thanks for your reply! I’m looking at your statement: “only that we know beyond all reasonable doubt that He did not.” That does not sound like a scientific claim. Are you not interpreting the data through the grid of your dogmatic claims? How could the Bible’s record of 6000 years of world history not factor into the scientific claims of 150 years of scientists? It seems to me to be academic suicide to reject its claims, especially with a dogmatic “scientific” claim like this one. This is what I mean when I mention the competing views of history.

        Like

        • datadroid says:

          We know that the earth is not young and did not experience a global flood with the same confidence that we know that it is not flat or orbited by the sun, planets and stars. Unless you believe reasonable doubt exists about the shape and motion of the earth, then you cannot say that reasonable doubt exists regarding its age or floodedness (to coin a term) either.

          As I pointed out, none of these scientific claims are dogmatic—they are based strictly on observable evidence. The issue with “competing views” is that it implies that there is at least some validity to the YEC interpretation of the Bible and the associated interpretation of history. However, in reality, there is no more “competition” between the YEC view and the scholarly understanding of human and geological history than there is “competition” between flat-earth views and our current understanding of the earth’s shape.

          Furthermore, you still haven’t addressed the fact that not one of the claims or implications which are made in support of the YEC view in just this short clip (to say nothing of the whole film) are actually true, and most of them are downright false. Is it ever acceptable to lie to defend the faith?

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thanks for the reply again! Nice comparison to me being from the flat-earth society ;) While we are at it, maybe my ape ancestors knew better than me…

            I’m not a scientist, and I don’t believe that science is the only existing sphere of knowledge. Science studies the observable evidence. It CANNOT reconstruct history. Where your dogma is coming in is that you are making heavily dogmatic and religious claims about the HISTORY of the world, when your specialty is studying the observable evidence. Besides the fact that you are leaving out half the evidence: the Word of God. I’m not going to debate which claims were true and which were false, because you have accepted from the get-go the lie that YEC as an entire perspective is false (I definitely will go and study it on my own). This is unacademic, and even worse does not seek to reckon with the historical claims in God’s Word. It is also intimidation, and makes it impossible to have a rational and academic discussion about the claims of evolution and how that is challenged by God’s Word, and even the observable data. So it looks like I’m going to peace out.

            Cheers!
            Nathan

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            • datadroid says:

              Nathan, I’ve not suggested you are from the FES, only that there is exactly as much reason to think that the earth is young as to think that it’s flat. Neither you nor any young-earth creationist I have encountered have provided any reason to think otherwise.

              I am also not (yet) a scientist and as a Christian, I also agree that there are other spheres of knowledge. However, you are entirely mistaken when you say that scientific studies “CANNOT reconstruct history.” This is entirely what forensic science is about, to use a more easily-understood example than geology. In fact, all historical claims are entirely based on currently-observable evidence.

              Again, I’m not making any dogmatic claims. All my claims are open to review, reconsideration and revision if and when ample reason to do so has been provided. As I said, neither you nor anyone else has yet provided such a reason. The Bible, on its own, is merely words on a page. It is the responsibility of every believer to try to incorporate the best understanding of those words possible. When a particular understanding of those words leads to denial of reality, as YECism does, then we know that that interpretation must be wrong.

              I have not “accepted from the get-go the [idea]e that YEC as an entire perspective is false.” Rather, having been raised to think it was true, I slowly and painfully discovered that, in fact, it is not. In all my years of investigating it, I have yet to encounter even one YEC-specific claim that is, at the same time, true, logically sound and actually supportive of the YEC position. If you’re aware of any, feel free to share them here.

              Again, as I’ve pointed out several times already, regardless of whether or not the YEC conclusions are true, the arguments used to support them in this clip are definitely not true.

              One last thing to consider: can you point out just how and where my position is refuted by the Bible?

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            • Clarke Morledge says:

              Nathan: You state the question like this, “Can we take God at His Word or must we recreate history through the scientific data?” It sounds like you are pitting God’s revelation through Scripture against God’s revelation through Creation. Scripture is to be trusted, but Creation is not.

              Is this really a biblical way of thinking about it? Is it not possible to trust both?

              Like

  12. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    I can’t really comment on ‘Is Genesis History?’ as I’m in the UK and have not viewed it. But I always find blog posts like this about the film’s claims interesting.

    I am puzzled by this reference in a new AiG article about the Grand Canyon:
    https://answersingenesis.org/about/press/2017/06/28/grand-canyon-scientist-creationist-receives-permits/
    “… these rocks must have supposedly remained soft for 450 million years”. 450 million years? Where on earth does that figure come from? Most scientists now think the formation is a good deal ‘younger’ than eg 450 million years old and could have formed in as little as 6 million years.

    Like

    • ashley haworth-roberts says:

      Just realised I’m confusing Grand Canyon formation (beginning after dinosaurs were extinct) with the age of some of the very oldest rock layers exposed by its formation.

      I believe it is a fact that no dinosaur fossils have ever been discovered at the Grand Canyon.

      Like

  13. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    And the ‘youngest’ rock layers at the top of the Grand Canyon are estimated to be 230 million years ago – at this point in time in the Triassic it’s thought the first dinosaurs were just starting to evolve following the ‘Great Dying’ Permian extinction event around 20 million years earller.

    Like

  14. To Chuck on June 27, above — Please focus on miracle vs. superstition, and TIME. Jesus’ miracles of changing water to wine, and stilling storms, were miracles of instant effects. Delugian creationists claim in-no-time-at-all works of God — not mentioned in Genesis — hence superstitions. The creatures (species) seen today supposedly in-no-time-at-all from “kinds” leaving the Ark. Great, thick pieces of a suddenly fragmented created mega-continent rushing in-no-time-at-all to where we see very-much-antiqued continents today. The Hawaiian chain, and Mt. Ararat (and, needfully, all of Iceland, I’m telling you) popped up in-no-time-at-all years – see Snelling – AFTER the Ark landed (200 miles south of Ararat, most probably). So, please, Chuck, focus for me on a solid chalcedony geode, 80 pounds of an unbroken lump, right out of the middle of a high shale road cut 25 miles south of Keokuk on the way to St. Louis. At the Morris (1976) rate of Flood deposition, a foot an hour for 7 months, did God do a miracle (!) – solid quartz picked out of shale today – in half an hour mid-Flood, in-no-time-at-all – OR did God CREATE that lump right there at Creation time? Was your writing anything more than arm-waving noise and bother? Nothing beats attention to specifics. GLL

    Like

  15. Clarke Morledge says:

    Thanks for the putting effort in to tackle specific claims in the film, that can be addressed from both a scientific and biblical perspective. I look forward to more analysis, as I would agree, Is Genesis History? is really a landmark film for the Young Earth Creationism movement. It deserves respectful attention AND a knowledgeable critique.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Funny how, based on what the young earth creationists themselves claim (but not from simply reading the Bible itself) STILL no dinosaur fossils appear to have been discovered anywhere at the enormous Grand Canyon even though they are supposed to have almost all died in ‘Noah’s Flood’):
    https://crev.info/2017/06/ten-flood-evidences-grand-canyon/

    Incidentally I flagged this blog post here (discussion about speciation as started by Jeff Wentz under this post of 30 June: “There’s lots of great teaching in the exhibits at the Ark Encounter. For example: “What is a ‘kind’?” “How many kinds of animals were on the Ark?” Visit and get answers. In N. Kentucky. ArkEncounter.com”
    https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/

    Like

  17. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Finally got around to reading this post. Does Chadwick know that literally hundreds of dinosaur species lived (at differing times) through the Mesozoic?

    He should: http://creationwiki.org/Art_Chadwick

    Like

  18. Momo34532 says:

    If evolution is true.
    How must i sort this with genesis?
    How do you do it?
    I can find no page of it anywhere so i’d like some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t want to anticipate the main reply, but would mention that there is a very active facebook page, Celebrating creation by natural selection, with some well qualfied people on it, devoted to exactly this topic

      Liked by 1 person

    • datadroid says:

      Thanks for your comment! In addition to the Facebook group that Paul mentioned, this blog here is a great place to start, as it has help ed me greatly in my own inquiries on the subject. Another good resource is BioLogos, a site and nonprofit organization devoted to that topic as well. You can also find Joel Duff (the primary author of this blog) and me on Facebook or email me (add gmail.com to my WordPress handle) and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.

      Like

    • Hi Momo34532,

      There are several respected groups that wrestle with this issue, The Hump of the Camel is one (http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/). As for deep time concepts and Genesis, I stay away from condordist attempts (trying to find correspondence between science/history and Genesis) and take an analogical perspective. Several prominent Evangelical theologians also espouse this position. Regardless, I believe the truth can be discerned.

      Keep on seeking.

      Like

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