My Letter to the Host of a Local Creation Conference

Ken Ham speaks at a conference a few weeks ago in Ohio.

For many pastors and their congregations, questions about the intersection of science and faith are difficult because of their unfamiliarity with the scientific evidence and the extensive theological literature on Genesis. Hence, they turn to experts to provide answers.  Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AiG) seem to provide the answers many Christians wish to […]

A Dinosaur Tale: A Young-Earth Speaker Takes on the Asteroid Extinction Theory

Some of my kids posing in front of dinosaur bones exposed at Dinosaur National Monument more than 10 years ago.

What happens when a speaker gives a talk about dinosaurs but doesn’t have any training in geology or paleontology? You could get a string of distortions of both of these fields of inquiry and even problems keeping facts straight.  A few weeks ago I witnessed just such a talk when I attended an Answers in Genesis […]

Historical Science: How do We Know a Fish Fossil is a Fish Fossil?

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The difference between what young earth creationists like to term “operational” or “observational” science and historical science doesn’t have the sharp distinction they like to project to their audience.  I was reminded of this recently when I had an opportunity to hear Tommy Mitchell speak at a local Answers in Genesis conference a few weeks ago.  One particular talk was […]

John Ray in 1695: The Flood, Fossils, and Extinction

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John Ray, one of England’s greatest 17th century natural theologians, spent much time pondering the meaning of fossils or “formed stones” as they were called then.  I have shared some of his thoughts about fossils and Earth’s history before (See:  John Ray on Flood Geology: Words that Still Apply Today).   In a correspondence with […]

The Ark Encounter Fossil Sluice: A Missed Educational Opportunity

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The Ark Encounter in Kentucky is built on a foundation of trillions of fossils but when they built a new activity to allow visitors to find their own fossils they opted to give them assorted fossils from other places in the world.  This was a missed educational opportunity. When I wrote about my visit to the […]

The Ark Encounter Sits on a Foundation Made of Trillions of Fossils

I made this image to show that the Ark is built on top of fossil-filled rock.  That is a natural resource they don't seem to be interested in using.

The Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky is literally built on trillions of dead things.  This fact would seem to support Ken Ham’s popular response to what we would expect had the world been subject to a global flood: “Billions of dead things in rock layers…”   But the fossils that form the foundation of his Ark park […]

Quadrillions, Quintillions and Beyond: The Vast Fossil Record Refutes the Flood Geology Hypothesis

Don't worry I left a few for everyone else.  I collected just a few of the quadrillions of belemnite fossils that are contained in rocks of the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming.  These were collected on our hike on Sheep Mountain.  (image: Joel Duff)

Young earth creationists greatly underestimate the fossil record when they tell their audiences that there are “billions of dead things buried in rock layers.”  The point, that there are huge numbers of fossils, is correct but billions is such an underwhelming number compared to the reality of the fossil record.  The vastness of the fossil record was driven […]

Wyoming Fossils: Coming to Grips with the Absurdity of the Flood Geology Model of Fossil Origins

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The sedimentary rocks of the Earth hold vast quantities of fossils.  Hundreds of years of observations have shown that these fossils are far from random in their distribution but rather they appear in the geological column in a distinct pattern or order referred to as fossil succession.  How can we explain the observed distribution of fossils in the geological […]

The Ark Encounter: A Presentation at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

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Take a tour of the Ark Encounter with a geologist, paleontologist and myself in this YouTube presentation.  In July I visited the Ark Encounter with geologist Dr. Kent Ratajeski from The University of Kentucky.   After that trip Kent, myself and Dan Phelps (President of the Kentucky Paleontological Society) worked together – my contribution was rather […]

Hiking through the Jurassic Period in Wyoming: A Sheep Mountain Fossil Hunt

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This summer two of my sons and I took a hike through the Jurassic time period.  Near Greybull, Wyoming is a long ridge called Sheep Mountain.  Geologically speaking, Sheep Mountain is an anticline which is a type of folded bedrock that has an arch-like shape with its oldest rocks at its core.  Because what are typically horizontal rock layers are here found tipped […]

Perceiving Age: Student’s Interpretations of the History of Craters on Mars

Another "young" crater on Mars. Notice the dark debris that has been strewn over the lighter "older" material.

Our perceptions of the age of a subject are frequently based on our common experience with similar subjects. Most people have some ability to guess the age of children with seemingly very little prior information.  We might call this ability to guess age our intuition but this “intuition” is the scientific method working automatically in our minds.  Our […]

Walking in the Footprints of Giants: The Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite in Wyoming

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Scattered across the upper surface of a hard layer of limestone in the badlands of the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming are the tell-tale signs of dinosaur activity: footprints.  Over one thousand footprints have been identified here, most of them on one exposure of rock in a small gully in the Red Gulch region.  On our family vacation this […]

NH Notes: Todd Wood on Creationism and the Origin of Species

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If you have followed my blog for the past six months you know that I have been discussing the feasibility of the young-earth creationist’ (YEC) rapid-speciation model which proposes that hundreds of thousands of species of plants and animals have been formed by natural selection in just the past couple thousand years (YEC Hyper-evolution article archive).  More […]

Remnants of a Shallow Sea: A Visit to Monument Rocks in Kansas

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In remote western Kansas, groups of rock pillars stand like a natural Stonehenge over the grassy plains.  One such group of these pillars south of Oakley is named Monument Rocks.  Returning from our Wyoming and Colorado adventure, we stopped overnight in Scott City, Kansas just south of this interesting rock formation. The following morning we made our way along many […]

The Origin of the YEC Hyper-Speciation Model of Biological Diversity

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Young earth creationists (YECs) are the most vocal skeptics of evolutionary theory, however, they recognize organisms do change over time.  But how much? Everyone agrees that organisms have the capacity to adapt to their environments. This adaptive ability can lead to the formation of isolated genetic lineages we identify as species.  Evolutionary theory posits that continued […]