Thursday, October 13, 2016

Some Ruminations on Natural Selection and Genetics off the film "Evolution's Achilles' Heels."

Watching the film again, Evolution's Achilles' Heels, have a couple of comments I might as well get said.  I've seen just the first two segments, the one on Natural Selection and the next one on Genetics.

Taking down Natural Selection is really pretty easy, although of course it's strongly resisted by believers in evolution.  Remember that Darwin's big discovery was Natural Selection as the supposed engine of evolution, the title of his book being The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection.  The obvious simple fact is that Natural Selection works by subtracting or eliminating, not by adding anything, while of course evolution to be true beyond variation within a Kind requires the addition of novel features.  In fact the way natural selection produces new variations is by eliminating other variations.  Natural Selection is one of the ways new variations occur, which are sometimes called "species" if they seem quite different from the parent organism, but the point is that the processes involved are subtractive, and my own observation is that you can only subtract to a certain point when there is no more change possible -- which is my own argument in a nutshell, Evolution Defeats Evolution.  But the film simply makes the point that selection subtracts and that in itself is contrary to what evolution needs in order to be true.

The film doesn't make a distinction between the phenotype or outward form of a creature and its genotype or genetic information, but the changes that are seen in the outward form that is brought about by natural selection occur by the elimination of other forms or phenotypes, and the corresponding elimination of the genetic information that codes for the different forms.   You can have part of the genome being eliminated in one population of a species to produce one new variation, while in a separate population another part of the genome may be eliminated to produce a completely different new variation.  Either way you've got your new variation as a result of subtracting genetic information, and that can never ever produce anything truly new, it can only bring out a new combination of traits already existing in the genome, which makes the whole idea of evolution of species from species impossible.

The next subject is genetics and they cover the amazingly complex workings of DNA replication within a single cell.   They point out that the different parts of the cell couldn't have evolved separately because of their interdependence, one part needing to exist in order to produce another part, that in turn needs to exist for the first part to operate.  They also point out the essential roles of information, communication and language, also interdependent and inseparable, another proof that evolution could not possibly have designed the cell.

Mutation is of course discussed as evolution's only hope of producing anything truly novel, but of course it usually does nothing but destroy things, destroy DNA itself, destroy genes, remove parts of an organism which under certain circumstances can be adaptive, such as wingless beetles on a windy island, sickle cell anemia as the cost of protection from malaria, the loss of the ability to ingest some things protecting against poisons and so on.  All subtractions and eliminations that are sometimes adaptive but not in any sense the Theory of Evolution requires.

They don't discuss the argument I've so frequently encountered, about mutation increasing genetic diversity, which would take too much discussion for this post.  The main answer is that the increase in diversity is usually an increase in disease of one sort or another, that is, ultimately a loss to the organism rather than anything beneficial, let alone of any value toward species evolution.

They present the idea that the term Junk DNA for or the 98% of the genome that does not code for protein, was based on the ideological commitment to the theory of evolution, the interpretation being that it represents former functions in the history of the organism back to the primordial soup, that are no longer of use as the creature has evolved.   Now it is claimed that these noncoding regions of the genome actually do have functions, and many were listed though none of them discussed, so I don't know what science supports them or why there are so many different functions involved. 

I still think that Junk DNA probably IS junk, though not for the evolutionist reasons.  My creationist interpretation is that it represents the result of the Fall, or in other words the operation of death on living things since that event, death not having been part of the original Creation.  Since the Flood wiped out all but eight human beings, and an even higher percentage of animals, a lot of genetic material would eventually have died out in each species as it went on reproducing after the Flood.  So many alleles for a great number of genes would have perished that eventually those genes would themselves die out in the population wherever they were already reduced among the survivors on the ark.  Of course the increase in the destructive effects of mutations in the genome, which the film pointed out are cumulative down the generations, would facilitate the death of genes by destroying alleles to the point that a given gene locus would have no functional alleles left.  What would that be but a "junk" or unfunctional or dead gene?  Thus whatever the junk DNA used to code for is lost to all living things, former functions that would once have supported the enormous longevity that existed before the Flood. 

I like this interpretation because it fits with the Biblical understanding of the Fall.  But again, the idea that noncoding DNA has other functions has to be considered.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Some Good Creationist Arguments Undermined by the Failure to Recognize the True Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, The Roman Catholic Papacy

Just saw a creationist film at Amazon that was made in 2014, Evolution's Achilles' Heels.  It's also in book form and DVD.  It's made by Creation Ministries International, based in Australia, and features interviews of fifteen scientists on aspects of the Creation-Evolution debate: 

Natural Selection,
Genetics and DNA,
The Origin of Life,
The Fossil Record,
The Geologic Column,
Radiometric Dating,
Cosmology and

showing how the scientific facts in each category support Creation and not Evolution.  In my opinion any one of the arguments should bring the theory of evolution crashing down, but since most of the support for evolution isn't science it remains a belief system that can keep justifying itself.

I'll have to watch it again to have anything more specific to say about the arguments.

Meanwhile I have to comment on something that is not about the debate as such.  In the segment on Ethics, in which it is shown that the idea of evolution promotes every kind of immorality including the Holocaust, I had to object to the imputation of the mass murders of the twentieth century to "atheists,"  in particular one remark by Jonathan Sarfati that answers accusations that "Christians" committed as many murders, by saying they were nothing compared to the atheist evolutionists.  What I object to is the idea that "Christians" committed the atrocities of the Inquisition, which of course is the ONLY  murderous campaign that could ever be imputed to Christians.  But there is also reason to object to the idea that the mass murders of the last century were simply due to atheist evolutionists.

The Inquisitions was NOT THE WORK OF CHRISTIANS.  It was Christians who SUFFERED FROM the Inquisition, estimated to something like 50 million victims, separate from the Jews, Muslims and other victims who added another 17 million over its 600-year reign.  How the murderous papacy manages to keep its status as "Christian" after the Reformation leaders showed it over and over again to be the Antichrist is a sad testimony to the lack of a historical perspective by "Protestants."   WAKE UP, CHURCH.  Good grief this is sickening.  We're in a historical period right now when the Inquisition is still going on in secret in some parts of the world, and very likely brewing behind the scenes of the One World Order that's shaping up, to be reinstated in all its horrific ugliness when the European Union finally gets its act together, while real Christians are a bunch of silly sheep who are ripe for the slaughter because they don't know history and keep calling the Roman Church "Christianity."   

And not only is the Inquisition not to be imputed to Christianity as against the murderous regimes of the twentieth century, in many cases it was the Roman Church that was behind those murderous regimes.  Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot all had Catholic upbringing or education;  the Rwanda massacre was fomented by a Catholic priest.  Hitler had the support of the Pope of his day, who was also responsible for the "Ratlines" after the war that relocated Nazi criminals to South American Catholic countries.  Hitler even said he modeled his Holocaust on the Inquisition. 

There was no evolutionary theory during the time of the Inquisition, but the Roman Church has been embracing it in stages over the last century, adding to their blasphemies against God and their arsenal of justifications for murder.  And the Communist philosophy that outwardly fueled so much of the mass murders of recent times, is a development of the idea of "Social Justice" which was invented by a Jesuit.

While of course Evolution needs to be brought down as a satanic stronghold that is only contributing to the demoralization of the whole human race, I couldn't help but find the idea that "Christianity" was the cause of the Inquisition to undo all the good the arguments on that video might have done.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Yes, the only reality is the stacks of rocks.

Apropos the previous post, the "stacks of rocks" mentioned came from the title of a thread I started at EvC:  The Geological Timescale is Fiction, Whose Only Reality is Stacks of Rocks.

The direction I took with that argument was to try to show the implications of the fact that the actual and only evidence we have on which the Geological Timescale is constructed, is the rock strata, usually called the Geologic Column, that the whole idea of time periods is based on that stack of rocks and on nothing else, but that in reality there is no physical way for the scenes imputed to the time periods to have become reduced to the actual layers of rock that represent them.

The scenes or landscapes I'm referring to are those fictional illustrations you may have seen here or there, depictions of whatever environment is supposed by standard Geology to have characterized a particular time period, a particular kind of landscape with particular plants and animals, as determined by the fossils found in the rock layer of formation of layers that represents that time period. 

Here's a typical example, this one of the Permian Period:

So I put together a cartoon to show the basic idea that there were never scenes or landscapes represented by the rocks, but only the rocks themselves, which would be huge flat featureless expanses of sediment. 

Even if there had been a landscape for a particular time period, since it all has to reduce down to the flat rock that is its only evidence, by the end of any "time period" there would be nothing left of the landscape but the flat sediment that will eventually become the rock.

Since the strata do not occur everywhere on earth, presumably there would also be areas of chaotic deposition as well, if the cause was the Flood, but there is no evidence of a normal landscape apart from the strata, although it must be assumed in the standard interpretive scheme, assumed but nothing more, because all the evidence of the time periods is contained in the layered rocks.  It is the strata that contain the fossils, it is the strata that are dated, all schematic representations of the Geological Timescale identify it in terms of the stratified rocks.

But again, the rocks are the ONLY evidence.  And what that means in terms of the historical situation is that if there was once upon a time a landscape in which creatures lived, in a particular slice of time, called Cambrian, or Devonian, or Permian, or Jurassic etc., at the very end of that period there had to be nothing but this expanse of sediment and no remains whatever of the supposed landscape,   And that must be the case because all there is now is an expanse of flat rock.  Before it was rock it had to be an expanse of flat sediment, no doubt wet sediment, and if we are to imagine a landscape that got reduced down to that flat wet sediment we have to imagine that everything that had lived in that landscape left no trace whatever, assuming anything specific lived in that hypothetical window of time.  

But we will be reminded that the surface of some of those rocks is marked by animal tracks, animal burrows and other signs of life, and raindrop impressions and ripple impressions, which are interpreted by the standard theory to be evidence that there did exist a landscape that represents the time period. 

Which led me to another part of the argument:  the observation that those tracks and burrows and raindrops and ripples were clearly formed on a huge flat featureless surface and not in any kind of normal landscape with plants and hills and valleys and so on.  This is apparent, after all, from the simple fact that they are embedded in the surface of a huge flat rock, or burrow into a huge flat rock.  All of such tracks that are found in the strata, all the burrows, all the raindrop impressions, all the ripples:  they all occur on these flat featureless expanses of sediment that are now rock in which they are preserved.  So these very phenomena that are taken for evidence of a time period with its own kinds of plants and animals, are really evidence against the idea.  At the moment they were impressed into the sediment there was no such landscape, only the vast expanse of sediment itself that became the vast flat featureless rock.  So either somehow the assumed landscape was transformed into the rock, or there never was a landscape at all, just the vast expanse of sediment.  Which is of course consistent with the Flood explanation and not the time period explanation.   The time periods are pure interpretation, pure theory, based entirely on qualities of the rock itself plus its fossil contents.  If it's limestone it must have been formed a shallow sea for instance, if it's sandstone with a certain angle of crossbedding it had to have been sanddunes on that very site, that somehow got compressed into rock with flat top and flat bottom.  And so it goes..

The arguments on that thread revolved around efforts to show me how the expected landscape that represents a time period could have been reduced to an expanse of rock, in fact a whole stack of such rocks that was once a whole stack of such landscapes. 

To be continued.

Evidence in the strata against the Geologic Timescale and for the Flood

Having quit posting at EvC again, I've so far resisted all temptations to return, really having no desire whatever to put myself through the inevitable frustrations and utter futility of it.  That's a topic in itself since I used to encounter temptations I couldn't resist and now I can resist them, finally being able to see ahead enough to realize that no matter how good I think my argument is, or a given post, nobody else is going to find anything good in it.  I used to be taken by surprise all the time by the incredibly ingenious ways they all have of managing to mangle a simple reasonable statement.  Well, somehow I did come to be able to anticipate that anything I say will be so mangled and once I could do that all desire to try again just evaporated. 

But nothing's perfect and this morning I found myself tempted to answer something.  I do know better now, I know I can't just get away with simply answering it, I'll be drawn into a round of escalating misrepresentsations that I feel obliged to deal with, having already given in to the initial temptation.  So the only solution seems to be to answer it here:

It's a very simple misrepresentation concerning the use of evidence that I should be able to answer very briefly:
About Earth's history Faith likes to call geological strata "stacks of rocks" as if they contain no evidence of time and process, ... "Evidence? What evidence?
Not exactly.  I find evidence in the rocks and have described it many times, even evidence of "time and process":  it is evidence of rapid deposition, seen in the tight straight lines between layers, lack of the sort of erosion that would be expected from millions of years of exposure, either marine or aerial; also seen in the different sediments that frequently characterize separate layers;  just to name a few.  It is also evidence of process:  rapid deposition by water:  that's the only process that could account for those tight straight lines and the clear demarcation between layers and different sediments.  I also find evidence in the many cross sections constructed of various stacks of rocks, that give away such things as that whole blocks of layers are all bent together in a particular direction which demonstrates that they were all malleable, still soft, which contradicts any idea that they were laid down and lithified into rock millions of years apart.  This is shown in places where the rocks curve as a unit, also in places where faults have displaced sections of strata.  Also the utter lack of the sort of erosion consistent with exposure as mentioned above.

There's plenty more and I may come back to add to the above.

So it's simply not so that I ignore evidence.  I'm sure that every thread I've started on the subject of the strata is aimed to demonstrate the interpretation of a particular bit of evidence in favor of rapid deposition and against the idea of millions of years of time per formation. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The genetic limit to evolution plus the rapid deposition of strata reasserted for what it's worth

The two arguments I started out with remain the two I think are the best after some years of debating them:  the argument for the built-in limit to evolutionary processes, and the argument based on cross sections showing rapid deposition of the strata of the Geologic Column, against the interpretation of time periods and great ages.  The arguments have acquired some changes but not much, a lot of it terminological.  They are both observational and subject to testing, so if they could be established the claims that are conjectural and can't be tested would have to yield.  There are lots of solid creationist arguments, all I did was pick two I felt I could argue effectively, two that would definitively undo evolution if established.

All the dating methods used to support evolution and the Old Earth are conjectural and untestable despite being treated as if they were as solid as fact;  and so is the fossil order that is interpreted to support evolution.  It certainly exists, the fossils do occur in a predictable order, but the interpretation is pure conjecture, and showing that evolution has a natural limit, that it can't continue beyond the boundary of a "Kind," would prove the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil order to have been an illusion.  Showing that the actual evidence proves rapid deposition of the strata would likewise overthrow the Geological Timescale with its imaginary time periods.

To say this here and now is a bit of bluster I know, because I'm not up to making the arguments again right now, but then I've made them dozens, hundreds of times, over the last few years, here but also at EvC forum. 

I've pretty much abandoned my blogs and don't know if I'll get back to them.   Bluster or not I believe the two arguments to be true,  I even believe they have been proved, and I just want to say it again.  I'm tired, I've been tired of debating for some time so I hope I can quit now.  That may or may not mean I'm quitting blogging as well.   If my blogging days are over at least this restatement can be a sort of finale.  And if I get a second wind I'll be back to make the case again.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Let's Bring "Proof" Back to Reality

It's true that I lost track of the subject of the meaning of the words "prove" and "proof" in my last post as I went from Update to Update, which got noted at EvC in the most recent posts on the subject. They keep insisting on formal definitions, stating it all in the abstract, which loses track of what I meant in the first place which is really pretty simple. It's just another way of saying that when you are dealing with the prehistoric past you can never be sure of your hypotheses because they aren't testable, as you can be with those that are testable. This standard objection by creationists is strenuously opposed by evolutionists of course, and it has come up again at EvC here too.

This second link exhibits the tendency of anti-creationists to reduce Christian creationist arguments to Christian belief even when the creationists are sticking to the scientific questions. This is an annoying distraction at best. The argument about the difference between observational and historical/interpretive science is completely valid. You can nitpick about terminology, about the terms "observational" and "historical" and all the rest of it, just as you can about the terms "prove" and "evidence," but there is a legitimate argument here that is being evaded by all this abstract nitpicking.

In all the dithering about the meaning of "prove" the argument itself got lost so let me try to restate it. The main argument I've made along these lines is that both Old Earth Geology and Evolutionist Biology make assertions about what they believe occurred in the distant past that they couldn't possibly PROVE, by which I mean all they have is their conjectures and hypotheses which they have no way of confirming, although they treat their conjectures about these things as if they were solidly proven facts. I've given the explanation for this in terms of the lack of "witnesses" to that past, which I say are necessary to confirming such conjectures and are always present in the tests of the "hard" or laboratory sciences. The structure of DNA for instance has been "proved" in a way you could never prove the scenarios concocted about the distant past that are palmed off on the public as fact.

And I'm using the term "scenarios" here because I think that's where the problem lies. We can reconstruct a Stegosaurus from its bones, but when you go on to describe the supposed habitat of that animal, based on the other contents of the rock in which its bones were found, you are giving your hypothesis about those things. If you go on from there to talk about it as if it were known fact you are asserting theory as fact though it can't be verified; in a word you are committing fraud.

I did make a list of the kind of thing that is presented about the past that is often asserted dogmatically that is nothing but this sort of unverifiable or unprovable conjecture.

Looking for other kinds of examples of unprovables described in dogmatic terms I found the Wikipedia article on Stegosaurus where such unknowable/unprovables are asserted, such as when the creature lived:
They lived during the Late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian to early Tithonian), some 155 to 150 million year s ago...
This is interpreted simply from the fact that it is found in a particular layer of sedimentary rock. That is the entirety of the evidence for the scenario. This rock with its contents becomes a time period because that's what the theory says it is.

The usual scenario based on fossil contents of the same strata is discussed in the section on Paleoecology:
The Morrison Formation is interpreted as a semiarid environment with distinct wet and dry seasons, and flat floodplains. Vegetation varied from river-lining forests of conifers, tree ferns, and ferns (gallery forests), to fern savannas with occasional trees such as the Araucaria-like conifer Brachyphyllum.The flora of the period has been revealed by fossils of green algae, fungi, mosses, horsetails, ferns, cycads, ginkgoes, and several families of conifers. Animal fossils discovered include bivalves, snails, ray-finned fishes, frogs, salamanders, turtles, sphenodonts, lizards, terrestrial and aquatic crocodylomorphans, several species of pterosaur, numerous dinosaur species, and early mammals such as docodonts, multituberculates, symmetrodonts, and triconodonts.[54]

Dinosaurs that lived alongside Stegosaurus included theropods Allosaurus, Saurophaganax, Torvosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Marshosaurus, Stokesosaurus and Ornitholestes. Sauropods dominated the region, and included Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarasaurus, and Barosaurus. Other ornithischians included Camptosaurus, Gargoyleosaurus,Dryosaurus, and Othnielosaurus.[55] Stegosaurus is commonly found at the same sites as Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Diplodocus.[56]
The Morrison Formation is a layer of rock. Here it is called an "environment." This is of course because the theory says each of the layers represents a time period. The whole rock "formation" represents a time period, its very own time period. The formations above and below represent different time periods. Slabs of rock interpreted as time periods. Time periods start and stop where the rock ends and another kind of rock begins.

Whatever has been found within that layer along with the bones of the Stegosaurus, goes to make up the interpretation of its "environment," the climate and the kind of vegetation that grew in that "time period."

I am of course emphasizing the rock=time period equation because it is so absurd, but that is a different subject here. I do have to admit that they are less assertive these days in such descriptions. The assertiveness will still be found on signs posted at various natural wonders, however, that inform you that such and such a marvelous phenomenon is so many millions of years old etc.

I will probably come back and expand on this post.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Finishing up the "Proof" and Untestable Past discussion

Just a few brief answers to the latest posts on that thread at EvC about Observational vs. Interpretive Science, which I hope will be the last of it at my end:

Here's Percy in Message 499:
You say you're not using the word prove in any mathematical sense, but you're still using a definition that is tangled up with the concept of "truth" or "correctness". I think the definition of prove that you're using goes something along these lines: To establish the truth of, as by evidence or argument. Do I have that right? If so then you can't really use that definition with science, because science doesn't establish anything with finality. Science is tentative. Truth, once established, doesn't change, but scientific conclusions, once established, can change.
No, it's a lot simpler than that.  All it really means to say you can't prove something is that you don't have the evidence you claim to have.   In this case, the evidence claimed for events in the distant past is all heavily biased, that is, it's bound to interpretations already determined by your theory. The contents of the rock strata are used as evidence for what past eras were like, what creatures lived then, what the climate was like, and so on, but the very idea that the contents of the strata define a time period is already an interpretation based on the theory that the strata represent time periods that succeed one another over hundreds of millions of years. But of course if all the strata represent is a layer of sediment filled with dead creatures deposited during the Flood event, all that is nothing but fairy tale. But I've already said this.

And again it seems important to point out that the very idea that a succession of slabs of rock could represent time periods on the planet is so absurd it takes a massive delusion to maintain the idea. Is time continuing to be represented by such layers? Layers that extend across whole continents? Which built up miles deep over those supposed hundreds of millions of years. But now, for some reason, NOW and only now, that process has stopped and the surface of the earth is not flat like those rocks as one might expect from the Old Earth theory that eras of time are represented in such rocks. For some reason NOW the surface is all mountainous and tectonically disturbed, only now, not during those hundreds of millions of years. Not just in the Grand Canyon but across entire continents. But that can be rationalized away too, at great cost to reason and sanity but who's noticing?

Rationalization is always possible with the unwitnessed past where mere conjecture passes for fact. Which is of course what is meant by the untestability of the unwitnessed past, but fear not, all you have to do is deny that too and assert that it's false. No need for that evidence you keep saying you have, which you can't produce because it doesn't exist.

There's no reason for me to try to answer the next few posts which are the usual accusations I've answered over and over again already. I'll just note that Dr. A in Message 504 is repeating the typical notion that criminal forensics is the scientific method used with the ancient past, but as I've anaswered many times before, it's not the same thing because it deals entirely within the historical past, effectively the present, where there are many witnesses in the sense I've been using the term, such as access to all kinds of documented information from previous events in the historical past. Whereas in the ancient, prehistoric or unwitnessed past there is no such information forthcoming from those time periods. No witnesses from the prehistoric past, but witnesses galore -- in the sense I've been using the term, which is conveniently forgotten -- in the historic past, which is as good as the Present.

And Percy again in Message 510:
Good points, though I do think I'll try to keep things more simple in the discussion with Faith where she's claiming we can't prove anything about the distant past. Hopefully she'll eventually come to understand that we're not trying to prove things about the ancient past, we're only trying to examine and analyze evidence from the ancient past to see what it can tell us. It turns out it can tell us quite a bit.
Except that it's all based on conjecture and interpretation as I keep trying to get across. And this reminds me of one more point I forgot to make above, which is that as I've pointed out below, and many times before at EvC as well, the science of the ancient past is frequently expressed in terms of dogmatic fact, far far from the tentativity you keep claiming for it.

And do note, please, that you continue to make assertions, recite the creeds of sciencedom as it were, rather than actually summoning any of the supposed evidence you claim is the important thing. That's all the quoted paragraph above is, a statement of what you believe science does, or wish science did, with the ancient past, without any proof that it does it.

Oh, just one more very brief comment, on dwise's post 512:
Actually, Faith's beliefs are not based on the Bible itself, but rather on her theology.
He's said this before and I have no idea where he gets his own convictions about the Bible and theology -- his entire post is nothing but assertions, apparently completely of his own invention -- but since I have no interest in continuing such debates there all I can say as usual is that he's wrong, and my beliefs are about as standard and traditional Protestant Reformed Bible-based as you can get.

As for the creationist arguments I make, I've never claimed the kind of certainty for them I claim for the Biblical revelation itself, since the Bible gives very scant information about the character of the original Creation and the physical effects of the Flood. Creationists try to stay within both the Biblical descriptions and the known scientific information, but I don't claim any more certainty for my own conjectures than that they seem inherently more plausible than what official science has to say about the ancient past.

But as usual we are just repeating ourselves and I hope this is my last.


Do have to say a word in answer to RAZD's later post about the age of the earth. Yes, there is lots of evidence of a sort for an ancient earth, but as I've said before, that too is untestable evidence since it purports to reveal information about events in a completely opaque unwitnessed past. The methods themselves cannot be confirmed is the point, so what they seem to say remains hypothesis and not fact. As long as there is no other way to confirm a particular age estimate it remains theory or hypothesis. Also, other explanations for some of those numbers have been suggested, also unconfirmable explanations, but that's the way it usually is with the untestable past.

Meanwhile I'm not focused on the question of age as such, my arguments are all about the reasonableness of explanations for phenomena such as the strata and the fossils. Scenarios really, fictional stuff that's all too frequently treated as fact, BECAUSE there's no way to confirm or disconfirm it, without a shred of that highly touted tentativity so often imputed to science. The Old Earth explanations for these things remain absurd apart from the age of the earth.



I don't think there's much point in continuing this discussion but I'll respond to this last one from Percy at least:

Percy responds to the above in Message 519:
I said "No, it's a lot simpler than that. All it really means to say you can't prove something is that you don't have the evidence you claim to have."
and Percy replies: "I think you must have meant to say something else, because this makes no sense. Of course we have the evidence we say we have, so I think you must have meant to say that the evidence we have doesn't lead to the conclusions we claim, especially since your subsequent discussion goes on as if you had said exactly that."
But of course, have it your way if you must but you know what I mean. It isn't evidence if it doesn't lead to the conclusions you claim for it.
[I said] The contents of the rock strata are used as evidence for what past eras were like, what creatures lived then, what the climate was like, and so on, but the very idea that the contents of the strata define a time period is already an interpretation based on the theory that the strata represent time periods that succeed one another over hundreds of millions of years.
[Percy]This is self-evidently false. Sedimentary layers will always contain evidence from where and when they formed. This is true of both flood geology and actual geology (e.g., a limestone layer could only have formed where and when there was calcium carbonate in the environment) and was established well before we knew how much time each layer actually represents.
Limestones do not normally build up as layers among layers, they had to have formed elsewhere and been transported and deposited as a layer. Water, of course, makes sedimentary layers;  this is demonstrated in deltas and along the coastal margins.

The content of a limestone layer shows that it had a marine origin but not that it formed where it is found. The Dover cliffs didn't form where they are either, but just as the entire British Isles are layered like so much of the rest of the planet, that chalk was layered there along with all the rest of them, it didn't form in place, as none of the layers did, which were all laid down one on top of another and then after they were all in place (which took hundreds of millions of years according to standard theory, but only a year or so on Flood theory) the whole stack was upended by tectonic force, as indicated on those diagrams I posted over there.  The order is obvious:   Layers laid down, one after another, horizontally, then tilted or twisted or otherwise deformed. That is the order of things just about wherever we look, and it supports the Flood explanation and NOT the Old Earth explanations.
But of course if all the strata represent is a layer of sediment filled with dead creatures deposited during the Flood event, all that is nothing but fairy tale.
The evidence doesn't support a single flood as responsible for all the sedimentary layers of the Earth for a number of reasons that you invariably ignore or dismiss, so I shan't waste my time listing them yet again, but will gladly do so upon any indication from you of a willingness to discuss them.
Discussed it to death at EvC. Your term "a single flood" as usual totally distorts the Flood arguments, trying to imply that it was like any old flood which of course has been argued down time and time again. Obviously there is no point in continuing the discussion.
[Me] And again it seems important to point out that the very idea that a succession of slabs of rock could represent time periods on the planet is so absurd it takes a massive delusion to maintain the idea. Is time continuing to be represented by such layers?
[Percy]You participated in an entire thread about this ([tid=17517]) and cannot pretend to be unaware of all the evidence that sedimentary layers are accumulating today just like they did in the past.
So it was said but it isn't true. They are "continuing" elsewhere, while the fact is that the strata that define the former time periods span entire continents but sediments are no longer accumulating on that scale in those same locations, which they should if there's anything to the idea that they represent the time periods of the Geologic Time Scale.
Rationalization is always possible with the unwitnessed past where mere conjecture passes for fact. Which is of course what is meant by the untestability of the unwitnessed past...
[Percy]   You have yet to offer any valid arguments for why prehistoric evidence is untestable. You continue on to repeat your argument that makes no sense:
I've made the case many times. Actually, it's intuitively obvious.
[Me]  I'll just note that Dr. A in Message 504 is repeating the typical notion that criminal forensics is the scientific method used with the ancient past, but as I've anaswered many times before, it's not the same thing because it deals entirely within the historical past, effectively the present, where there are many witnesses in the sense I've been using the term, such as access to all kinds of documented information from previous events in the historical past. Whereas in the ancient, prehistoric or unwitnessed past there is no such information forthcoming from those time periods. No witnesses from the prehistoric past, but witnesses galore -- in the sense I've been using the term, which is conveniently forgotten -- in the historic past, which is as good as the Present.
[Percy]   To make clear why this objection makes no sense just take the example of the Laetoli footprints. At a minimum they are evidence that something walked there in the distant past. You've never been able to explain how the absence of any human witnesses changes that.
They ARE witnesses in the sense I've used that term -- there are some, but they can't tell you anything about WHEN they occurred, just that they DID occur -- and they are evidence that something walked there in the past, as you say, such as, for instance, between waves or risings of the tide during the Flood, which I've explained many times, contrary to your assertion.
[Me]  And do note, please, that you continue to make assertions, recite the creeds of sciencedom as it were, rather than actually summoning any of the supposed evidence you claim is the important thing.
And Percy pointed to some other threads which he claims give lots of evidence and prove me wrong. I suppose he believes that.

I think I might try to assemble all the information I can find about the fossil contents of the various layers that are used for evidence of evolutionary progression, whereas all they really show is the accidental collection of living things along with sediments in the Flood waters. This can probably be shown pretty well but it would take quite a bit of work.



Now I'm hearing that back at my blog I revert to my old ways which they think get cured or at least modified while I'm at EvC. It's true that when they keep insisting on a particular idea I accommodate at least to their language, but if there's more to it than that I'd have to go review those other threads which isn't on my schedule at the moment.

What comes to mind is the lengthy discussion about whether the Geologic Time Scale has come to an end as I was saying it obviously has, or the Geologic Column. They kept insisting that as long as sedimentary deposition is continuing anywhere that's the continuation of the Geologic Time Scale, even if the deposition is not on anywhere near the same geographic scale -- covering whole continents -- and not anywhere near the same locations -- now at the bottom of the sea or willy-nilly here and there and so on. So basically they've defined away my argument. Which of course is still convincing to me so I'll continue to state it from time to time.

They also argue that there is evidence of volcanic activity lower in the column than I'd seen before, and that may be the case, but the only actual evidence of that is a typed sheet that indicates "tuff" in two locations in the Grand Canyon, in the Muav formation, no photos, no other references. Still it may be true. Other evidence they supplied of volcanic activity during the laying down of the column occurs at the very top, indicating, on the Flood model, that it occurred in the last stages of the Flood. Someone produced a picture that at first looked like an actual layer of magma between layers but it turned out that the whole formation was volcanic so it wasn't a volcanic layer between sedimentary layers, which is the same situation with the evidence they produced from Ascension Island. And there is still the Cardenas layer at the base of the Grand Canyon which they insist is an actual layer and not a sill because of the way the edges interact with the sediment on either side. But I still have questions about that since a layer that formed at the surface and then hardened before the next sedimentary layer was laid down just wouldn't be straight and flat like that is. Lava is pretty lumpy stuff at the surface of the earth. But it's a question, not a definite opinion yet.

They also insist that just because faults don't penetrate through all the layers of a given geologic column / stack of strata, that is evidence that the layers were not already in place when the faults occurred, and I'm definitely skeptical of that. It's a lack of evidence, not positive evidence. And other cross sections are similarly subject to interpretation, so all that remains inconclusive.

Still looks to me like the strata are good evidence for the Flood.