A flood of evidence

Scientists are still seeking an explanation for a significant gap in the geological record:

When the famed explorer John Wesley Powell bumped, splashed and thrashed his way down the Colorado River in 1869, he discovered one of the most striking geologic features on Earth. Not the Grand Canyon — although that too is a marvel — but a conspicuous boundary between the sunset-colored sediments of the upper walls and the dark, jagged rocks below them.

Powell had learned to read the layers of desert rocks like pages in a book, and he recognized that the boundary represented a missing chapter in Earth’s geological history. Later, researchers realized it was more like an entire lost volume, spanning roughly one-fifth of Earth’s existence, and that a similar gap existed in many places around the world.

There must have been some sort of special event in Earth’s history that led to widespread erosion,” said Steve Marshak, a geologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studies what has come to be known as the Great Unconformity. (emphasis added)…

Since there are so few rocks from that period, the researchers had to look for other kinds of clues to figure out what happened. They reasoned that the missing layers probably went through the full geologic spin cycle: They would have been broken down into sediment and washed out to sea, then deposited on the ocean floor and recycled into the mantle during subduction before finally melting into the magma that feeds volcanoes.

Keller’s team found stark variations in the oxygen and hafnium in zircons, consistent with the continents losing an average of 2 to 3 vertical miles of rock.  “We are talking about an absolutely huge amount of crust being eroded,” he said. “In which case, we should have noticed it missing — and we have.”  (emphasis added)

The story’s headline notes a leading theory for this erosion being repeated eras of glaciation — “snowball earth” — but the story also notes the theory may not explain the rate of erosion.  Here’s another idea:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights… The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:6-10, 24; emphasis added)

The Flood was more than just torrential rain.  The “springs of the great deep” imply massive tectonic upheaval — just the sort of thing to produce the enormous recycling of crust described in the linked article above.  There’s no question these combined effects could account for the erosion and “Great Unconformity,” because Scripture also tells us:

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  (2 Peter 3:3-7; emphasis added)

There IS a ‘great unconformity’ between the world that is, and the world that was.  There is an even greater unconformity between the world that is, and the world that is to come. The present world is filled with evidence of the Creator and the truth of His Word — for those who “have ears to hear.”

No matter what credentials are attached to one’s name, there is no excuse for denials.  Sadly, that won’t prevent many of today’s most brilliant scientific minds from reflexively ruling out any chance that Scripture has something to tell them.

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Agenda uber alles

To the Left, everything — absolutely everything — must be subordinate to the Narrative.  Truth, tradition, facts, common sense — all must be jettisoned if they threaten to break the spell of today’s Wormtongues.  In academia, the social sciences have long since bent the knee.  Even the ‘hard sciences’ aren’t immune:

Academics and scholars must be mindful about using research done by only straight, white men, according to two scientists who argued that it oppresses diverse voices and bolsters the status of already privileged and established white male scholars.

Geographers Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argued in a recent paper that doing so also perpetuates what they call “white heteromasculinism,” which they defined as a “system of oppression” that benefits only those who are “white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.” (Cisgendered describes people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.)

Mott, a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Cockayne, who teaches at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, argued that scholars or researchers disproportionately cite the work of white men, thereby unfairly adding credence to the body of knowledge they offer while ignoring the voices of other groups, like women and black male academics. Although citation seems like a mundane practice, the feminist professors argue that citing someone’s work has implications on his or her ability to be hired, get promoted and obtain tenured status, among others.

And in a sane world, citing someone’s work because of their position in the victimization hierarchy instead of the quality of the work itself would ALSO have implications on hiring, promotion and tenure for those who engage in such practices.  In fact, in a sane world, one’s first question after reading the passage above should be “what does any of this have to do with geography… the complainants’ professed profession?”  Is it possible a couple special snowflakes have found real geography work too tedious or difficult, and have decided this is the best way to make names for themselves?  Academic citations are now a “system of oppression?”  This is just the latest example of why our entire higher education system needs to be plowed under and started anew, with an emphasis on facts and results.  Oh, wait… that’s oppressive, too…

We simply do not live in a sane world, as I’ve shown in an earlier Saturday Sounds post that strikes just a little too close to home these days.  Every week seems to see new heights to the insanity that’s been unleashed.

On a related note, my family will no longer watch the long-running BBC series “Dr. Who.”  We’ve enjoyed several seasons of the “new Who” these past years, but even from the beginning there were clear hints this popular sci-fi series was being used as a vehicle for certain agendas.  Once the series’ arch enemy “The Master” was transformed into “Missy” (an obvious trial balloon), I told the Musketeers’ Mom if they did the same for the Doctor, we were done.  They did, and we are.

“Social Justice Warriors” ruin everything they touch, from entertainment to engineering.  Maybe after all the castles in the air they’ve built for themselves come crashing down as reality inevitably reasserts itself, we can get back to the work of restoring Western Civilization.

 

But…but…Isn’t the science settled?

For years we’ve been told that “all experts” agree the earth is warming, in large part due to humanity’s activity.  When questions are asked, “It’s settled” is often the explanation.

So explain this:

Experts told Daily Star Online planet Earth is on course for a “Little Age Ice” within the next three years thanks to a cocktail of climate change and low solar activity.

Research shows a natural cooling cycle that occurs every 230 years began in 2014 and will send temperatures plummeting even further by 2019.

Scientists are also expecting a “huge reduction” in solar activity for 33 years between 2020 and 2053 that will cause thermometers to crash.

Both cycles suggest Earth is entering a global cooling cycle that could have devastating consequences for global economy, human life and society as we know it.

First the scientists in the 1970s thought we’d freeze.  By the ’90s, we’re going to burn up; now we’re back to freezing up.  Perhaps it’s time to ignore all the Chicken Littles and just try to be responsible stewards of God’s creation, no matter what kind of cycles He’s built into it.

Half-century of hysteria

On this 47th Earth Day (which I prefer to call Creation Day), it’s worth noting the carnage of past predictions of doom and gloom that were made during the first observance in 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial
  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
  11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine
  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

Good thing these would-be prophets aren’t subject to the Old Testament penalty for being wrong (that would be death, by the way).  So this is worth remembering when folks like “The Goreacle” make their thundering pronouncements of catastrophe unless we allow the elite to run everything.

God created us to be stewards.  But not to worship the creation over the creator.

They never learn

Newsweek (which was sold in 2010 for a mere 1 dollar) is taking the liberal mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste” to peddle the idea that Hurricane Matthew is yet another sign of the EcopocalypseTM.

Major storms such as Hurricane Matthew, which has slammed into Haiti and is now headed towards the U.S., will grow in menace as the world warms and sea levels rise, scientists have warned…

There was previously far more certainty among climate scientists over the increase of temperatures than trends in hurricanes, but government officials are now confident enough to say there has been a “substantial increase” in Atlantic hurricane activity since the 1980s, with the destruction set to ratchet up further as the world warms.

Really?  A ‘substantial increase?’  It’s been ELEVEN YEARS since the last major hurricane (category 3 and above) struck the U.S. — Hurricane Wilma in 2005, the same year as Hurricane Katrina.  Back then, that one-two punch was touted as proof positive that these anonymously quoted “scientists” agreed that would be the new normal due to mankind’s bad ecological behavior.

Except that it wasn’t the new normal.  Much like the Goreacle Effect, it seems every time these self-certain scolds make major predictions, the observable data go the opposite way.  Let’s see what some of those ubiquitous “scientists” have to say:

…statistical tests reveal that this trend is so small, relative to the variability in the series, that it is not significantly distinguishable from zero (Figure 2). Thus the historical tropical storm count record does not provide compelling evidence for a greenhouse warming induced long-term increase.

This is why I stop listening to anyone who screams “the science is settled!”  That crowd ignores any ‘inconvenient truths’ the average person can observe directly, and all too often manipulates, er, “normalizes” data to produce the effect they’re selling.  The ‘normalization’ process is too complex for the plebes to understand (kind of like how reading animal entrails to predict the future was only for those ‘in the know’), so we’re expected to just take their word and carefully selected data for it.

Don’tBecause at the end of the day, even the loudest voices calling on the masses to ‘save the planet’ through self-sacrifice don’t seem too troubled by their own ‘carbon footprints.’

So much for ‘settled science’

The devoted acolytes of the Church of the Man-Warmed Earth, Inc (Al Gore, proprietor and chief profit, er prophet) like to shut down discussion of the flaws in their doctrine by asserting “the science is settled.”

Leaving aside the fact that proper scientific inquiry *always* admits (and should welcome) the possibility of new and deeper understanding that challenges old models via new evidence, this assertion is also false on its face:

Gigantic Ocean Vortices Seen from Space Could Change Climate Models

NOAA Reinstates July 1936 As The Hottest Month on Record

So the next time someone accuses you of the heresy of doubting we all need to allow the Goreacle to manage our lives so as not to burn, and screams at you “the science is settled!” you need only make one reply:

Horse hockey (sticks)…”

Initial thoughts on the debate

My apologies, as I’d meant to publicize the Ken HamBill Nye debate on this blog but got wrapped up in other things and didn’t get to post the past couple days.  The family did, however, make time to watch it live.  You can still see the whole event here.

As a former competitive debater, it was difficult to be a mere observer — a part of me wanted in the ring.  That said, here are some impressions:

The long-form opening presentations were much more informative/effective than the multiple shorter rebuttals.  I thought Ham’s opening was more traditionally methodical on definitions and premises, but it had to be, since Nye could assume audience understanding of what is now the prevalent naturalistic worldview.  This was where I thought Ham was most effective, exposing some of the hidden assumptions people now accept without questioning the underlying chain of logic (or lack thereof).  Ham’s overall performance would have been even stronger had he continued to hammer at this aspect.

Both presenters became more scatter-shot as time went on, jumping from point to point instead of fully exploring what had already been introduced.  I’m probably more annoyed by such because I’m used to the tournament rules where “you can’t introduce a new argument in rebuttal.”  That this wasn’t followed allowed Nye to take the traditional atheist approach of constantly shifting ground in order not to be pinned on a particular point.

Mr Ham’s opening presentation was on the debate resolution, whereas Nye’s approach throughout was increasingly to make the question one of why people should accept Ham as an authority.  Had I been Mr Ham, I would at some point have noted this scoffing ad hominem  by saying “you keep asking why people should accept my interpretation of things, with the implication I am a radical cultist or some such.  But creation is not my theory or invention; it is God’s Word, the authority of which I accept and which many people have accepted over centuries — including the scientists I’ve noted today.  Part of the reason I accept it is that the account it records explains the world around us, from the majesty of creation to the frustration of sin and tragedy and the hope in something larger than this earthly existence.  I admit this as the starting point of my worldview — my assumption, if you will.  We all have these.  You, on the other hand, actively exclude any role of a Creator in creation, assuming a self-existent universe that in the words of your mentor, Carl Sagan, is “all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”  Those words are a religious worldview of secular atheism, no more falsifiable by observational science than my own belief in the authority of Scripture.  So on what basis are you asking us to accept your personal choice of a starting assumption that there is no God?

That would have been an interesting turn to the discussion, I think.

I also think Ham should have pointed out Nye’s dismissal, without discussion, of the distinction between observational and historical science.  Nye kept asking Ham what predictive models creationism could offer that could be tested.  All Ham had to say is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death,” then ask Nye to point out any demonstrable examples of one “kind” of animal becoming another, as macroevolutionary theory demands.  While Ham did point out more than once that mutations involve a loss of information or a switching on/off of existing genetic info, I’d wager most of the audience lost the point that evolution is falsifiable because there are no examples of mutations ADDING genetic information in the way “molecules to man” would demand.  Asking Nye to provide such an example could have been telling.

There was much to appreciate about the event (to include the fact my three kids willingly watched the entire thing and even had comments afterwards!), and much I would have liked to have seen gone differently.  It goes without saying that it’s easier to be a commentator and Monday-morning quarterback than a participant, so I tip my hat to both men for getting in the arena for an event that devoted a worthy amount of time (2.5 hours!) to the topic.  In the end, I was humbled to watch a Biblical worldview explained clearly to a very large potential audience.  It is my prayer that this will challenge people to earnestly seek after truth, because I know to Whom such an honest search leads.  Any of us who seek to testify to the truth are merely flawed vessels being used by a Holy God.  So I thank Mr Ham and his AiG team for the obvious preparation and prayer they put into this opportunity to present what Scripture has to say.

May it generate more such opportunities!