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 […]

Dodging Darwin: How Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Slowly Embracing Evolution

MacMillan-Evolution-Creationism-Ken-Ham-Ancestors-full

As the strict young-earth creationists at Answers in Genesis work to complete their Ark Encounter “theme park,” they have expended an impressive amount of energy organizing the millions of species of land animals alive today into a handful of small groups they call “baramins.” Creationists insist that while adaptation or speciation within a particular “baramin” is observable (and, indeed, necessary in order to account for the present observed diversity of life), there is never any overlap between separate kinds. Unfortunately for the young-earth model, the push to minimize the number of animals riding on the Ark has exposed a major problem with this view.

NH Notes: John Ray on the Purpose of Creation in “The Wisdom of God”

Sunflower struck by the suns rays at sunrise. Late summer in northeast Ohio.  Photo by Joel Duff

The Englishman and natural historian John Ray is best known for his book, The Wisdom of God.  Like many other books of the 18th century, he continually revised and reissued his book until the time of his death.  Even after his death notes that he had made on manuscripts were incorporated into later editions.   As a result of […]

The Frequently Overlooked Geological Context of Hominid Fossils

2-10malapa-sebida

The human fossil record is probably one of these least understood yet frequently discussed topics in the Christian church.  I have neither the expertise nor the desire to attempt to resolve the debate over whether particular fossils represent human ancestors or not.  I understand that human origins is a sensitive topic, especially within the conservative evangelical church […]

NH Photography: Summer Nature Pictures from Northeast Ohio

Caterpiller-white-cattail-leafCloseup

Even a small patch of preserved land among the dense suburbia that is the Akron/Canton/Cleveland region of Ohio can contain tremendous natural beauty.   This summer I have enjoyed taking photography forays either early in the morning by myself or as family outings.  There are a couple of places I have visited many times and my challenge is […]

Dogmatic Assertions of Expertise: Having Faith in Flood Geology

In Badlands National Park in South Dakota, August 2013. Photo by Joel Duff

Everyone is an expert in something but they can’t be an expert in everything.  At some point we all have to rely on the expertise of others to guide us through our lives.  I am a biologist, however, the vastness of the field of biology leaves me in the position of deferring to the knowledge of […]

Ken Ham’s Aversion to ‘Life’ on Other Planets, Part I – What is Life?

Is this alien life?  It may look alien to you but this is a reconstruction of life on our own planet from the Cambrian Period based on fossils found.

Ken Ham recently proclaimed that he thought it was highly unlikely that “plant life” would be found on other planets. I wonder what he thinks the word “life” means in this context? For example, does living mean that plants also experience death? If so, how can he say that animals and man were allowed to […]

Fishing for Fossils in the North Sea: The Lost World of Doggerland

The skull of a mammoth is loaded on board a fishing vessel on the North Sea

Imagine trawling for fish and when you pull up your nets you find a massive bone or a huge tooth along with your catch.  For over 100 years fishermen in the North Sea between Britain and Denmark have found such items in their nets but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the items that their […]

The Salty Sea Part IV: Dr. Wile’s Use of the Salt Chronometer

mono-lake-salt-pillars

This is part of  series of posts on the Sea Salt Chronometer. Other posts in this series are: The Salty Sea and the Age of the Earth: Confirmation Bias The Salty Sea Part II:  A Young Earth Salt Chronometer? The Salty Sea Part III: Are the Oceans Getting Saltier Over Time? The Salty sea Part […]

The Salty Sea Part III: Are the Oceans Getting Saltier Over Time?

sea-salt-evaporated-production

This is part of  series of posts on the Sea Salt Chronometer. Other posts in this series are: The Salty Sea and the Age of the Earth: Confirmation Bias The Salty Sea Part II:  A Young Earth Salt Chronometer? The Salty Sea Part III: Are the Oceans Getting Saltier Over Time? The Salty sea Part […]

The Salty Sea Part II: A Young Earth Salt Chronometer?

salt-of-dead-sea-israel

In Part I of this series I looked briefly at some recent encounters in which the salty sea is being discussed as a chronometer of sorts for determining the age of the earth. But how is this salt chronometer actually claimed to work? An article from ICR entitled, The Ocean’s Salt Clock Shows a Young World and includes the following:

The Salty Sea and the Age of the Earth, Part I – Confirmation Bias

salt-crystals

According to young earth creationists, there isn’t enough salt in the oceans if the earth is old. Recent references to this argument have spurred me to look a little closer at how it is being used today. What I find is that it appears to have only a purely rhetorical use as the actual data about the ocean’salinity suggests that the amount of salt in the sea is a useless tool for indicating the earth is old or young.

The Mars Curiosity Rover: A Geological History Detective

nasa_curiosity_rover-geology-mars

How could anyone not be curious about Mars Curiosity rover?   NASA gambled by playing up the “7 minutes of terror” landing, using social media very adeptly to get a huge audience right in the middle of the Olympics.  Failure of the rover to safely land surely would have been a crushing blow to the […]

Isaac Newton on the Mosaic Account of Creation

Sir Isaac Newton (16??

Creation chronometry was a much debated topic in the late 1600s and early 1700s among Christians with virtually no opinion expressed being of the same kind that that could be described as a literalist view held today. I often wonder what would have happened had the Westminster Confession of Faith been written after this debate rather than before it given how the landscape of the discussion changed in the 40 years after the Assembly of the Westminster Divines met.

Geological Context II: Neanderthals and the Italian Supervolcano

A cave with sedimentary deposits on its floor.  Exposure to the atmosphere allows for sediments to be carried into the cave by wind, tracked in by animals but most material is feces from bats and other organisms that make temporary homes here including humans.  This particular cave on ?? island of Indonesia is where the skull and some bones of the so-called human "hobit" fossils were found 5.9 meters below the current surface in a pit seen in this picture.  These sediments also contain volcanic ash layers that allow ages to be assigned to different depths.

There are thousands of sites with either human remains or artifacts (stone tools usually) that are known across southern Europe and many are found in locations where they are found in layers stacked on top of each other like in caves or flood plain locations along rivers. But, the exact pattern of Neanderthal and modern human population migrations and changes is not my main interest.