According to this press release from Australia's Avondale College, the General Conference's series of Celebration of Creation meetings continues around the world. On May 13 and 14, the denomination's official scientists continued to present their evidence for a literal interpretation of the six day creation story in Genesis.
Dr Timothy Standish, a molecular biologist who serves as a research scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute, identified problems with evolutionary fossil theory. He spoke of “Lazarus” species such as the Wollemi pine, the sophisticated compound lenses in the eyes of trilobites, which are among the earliest known fossils and have no known evolutionary history, and vertebrates in Cambrian layers. While noting many mysteries remained, he described fossils as appearing to have been well designed, just as do modern organisms.
Paleontologist Dr Raúl Esperante, a colleague of Timothy’s, noted the increasing acceptance of catastrophism, which attributes certain vast changes in the earth’s history as being caused by catastrophes rather than gradual evolutionary processes, in geology. Science recognised catastrophism could result in deposits, often containing extensive fossil beds, of up to 800,000 square kilometres, he said, adding the beds display little evidence of erosion.
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The Celebration of Creation ended with a panel answering questions sent electronically by those attending. The response to, “I don’t believe in a literal, six-day creation. Do I belong in this church?” summarised the weekend. You do belong, said Dr Delbert Baker, a vice-president of the worldwide church. We accept you, but we expect you not to promote views counter to the church’s position.
Here's a fact sheet on the age and ancestry of the Wollemi Pine from the Royal Botanic Gardens.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3166