A Challenge to Ken Ham: Send Your Employees to Professional Science Conferences

Image credit: NASA Ames

How do scientists communicate with each other?  What are the latest research results? How can one learn about theories and how they are regarded by the scientific community? Where can you talk to scientists about their work?  A partial answer to all of these questions is:  scientific conferences.  It is possible to stay somewhat current […]

Stranger Things–Creationist’ Views of Speciation and Natural Selection in the 1980s

Today, young-earth creationists are actively promoting a new model of the origin of the diversity of life on Earth.  This speculative view borrows a number of elements found in any typical evolutionary biology textbook. For example, modern YECs claim that most and possibly all species alive today—except humans—are related to numerous other, though not all, […]

How to Identify Pseudoscience: Lessons from Velikovsky and Catastrophism

Phrenology, essential oils, homeopathy, reflexology, ESP, astrology, creation science, climate change denial, blood-type diet, vaccinations cause autism, quantum computing, smoking causes cancer,  dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid impact, HIV causes AIDS, low-carb diet.  Which of the above would you classify as the products of good scientific research and which would you classify as pseudoscience?  […]

Lab-Grown Diamonds are not Ken Ham’s Best Friend

They say diamonds are forever, but for geologists this saying doesn’t make much sense.  They would agree that diamonds are for a long time—hundreds of millions if not billions of years—but not forever.  Many lines of evidence reveal that one must go deep (more than 150 km) into the mantle of the Earth to find […]

Ken Ham on Dinosaur Extinction, De-extinction, DNA, and Dino-Bird Distinctions

Can scientists bring back an extinct dinosaur?  Way back in 1990, a novel by Michael Crichton and subsequent movie by the same name, Jurassic Park, in 1993 used futuristic genomic biology to suggest how we might de-extinct the dinosaurs. Could we really retrieve dinosaur DNA from preserved dinosaur blood sucked up by an ancient mosquito and […]

Reconstructing the Past from Observations in the Present: A Practical Example from the Outer Banks

We use present day observations to infer past events every day.  I look out and see the patio is wet and a large dark cloud has just passed overhead.  From this I derive a very reasonable hypothesis despite not being an eyewitness to the history: my wet patio was caused by a rain shower.  I […]

Where’s the DNA? Young Earth Creationism and the Search for Ancient DNA

So how long can DNA or even cells survive in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been a topic of considerable debate in the scientific literature since the advent of high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques.  This growing field of scientific inquiry is fascinating to me and promises to shed new light on old questions.  I have […]

Adam, Eden, and the Corruption of Nature: A Thorny Young-Earth Assumption

Are the existence of plant thorns and thistles proof that the world can only be a few thousand years old?  Yes! according to most young-earth creationists. I’ve written several times about thorns and creation (eg. The Prelapsarian Acacia and the Good Creation:  On the Origin of Thorns) but a video available at creationtoday.org – a small fringe young-earth […]

Reflections on the Death of Toads and the Edenic Perfect Paradise

Ecology is the branch of biology that studies the interactions of organisms with each other and their environment.  The animals and plants around you are living in relationship with each other and the environment, including yourself. Around your home you may have considerable control over the environment – moisture, nutrients, lawn-mowing, week control, pest removal – and thus you are probably […]

NH Notes: Fossilized Animal Burrows in Argentina from the Triassic Period

Fossilized bones of dinosaurs, whales and mammoths get all of the attention but trace fossils provide important evidence for interpreting when and how organisms lived on Earth in the past. Trace fossils are not the fossilized remains of organisms themselves but rather are evidence of the past presence of organisms.  The most recognizable trace fossils […]

NH Notes: Fuzzy Orange Galls on Oak Leaves, 2013-2018

My now 10-year-old daughter is very attentive to the insect population around our house. She spends many hours collecting all sorts of insects and other animals.   In the fall of 2013 she brought me a leaf that she thought had a caterpillar of some sort on it.   She is well aware that bugs make […]

Life in a Glass House: Diatoms Shatter Young Earth Flood Geology

Diatoms are single-celled organisms that live in almost any moist environment.  They are found by the millions in a cup of sea water or a puddle in your back yard.  They play a critical role in the environment as oxygen producers. But they are best known for their visually stunning homes constructed of glass. I […]

Smoking Gun Evidence of an Ancient Earth: GPS Data Confirms Radiometric Dating

While writing about the origins of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley I was confronted once again with one of the most striking pieces of evidence for an ancient earth that I am aware of. Take a look at the figure below. This figure shows the smoking gun. Smoking gun evidence of what? That the earth’s plates […]

The Origins of the Dead Sea: A Geo-Biblical Exploration – Part I

Just 50 miles from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea is a deep scar in the face of the Earth.  Long known as the Valley of Siddam, the vale of salt, or the Jordan Valley, its most famous feature is the Dead Sea, which sits 1400 feet below the Mediterranean shore.  The exceptionally salty […]

NH Notes: Fossilization Caught in the Act – A Mammoth from Texas

Does fossilization require rapid burial as the result of catastrophic global flooding?  Literalist creationists would have us believe so for they point to the fossil record as being proof of a cataclysmic global flood.   Look a bit deeper though and you will find that creationists frequently concede there are thousands of exceptions to this general […]