Nature Identifies Events during the “Gap” in Creation: Authors’ Response

On May 23, we published a perspectives piece by Col J. Gibson and D. Stuart Letham titled "Nature Identifies Events during the ‘Gap’ in Creation." Many readers responded with questions and comments, to which the authors of the original piece have responded in depth below. -Ed.

Apologies for the delay in responding to readers which is mainly due to our desire to complete a draft for the next article in this series: "Nature Confirms a Recent Creation Week." –Col J. Gibson & D. Stuart Letham

Comments Addressed to Specific Readers that also Impact Other Readers:

Brizy (Brian Hull) Some facts, perhaps, you should consider include:

The Bible does not give an age for the Earth; the 6,000 years back to Creation Week is not an age for the Earth. Because many, possibly including E.G. White, believed the Earth was created at Creation Week, an age of 6,000 years was concluded (the modern YEC view).

However, Ellen White states that we can expect to receive new truth (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 34), and science has provided new knowledge in relation to the age of the Earth, and hence Creation. In the days of E.G. White, the age of the Earth was unknown. The true age (4.5 billion years) changes our perception of Creation and reveals a Creator who transcends time and maintained our planet for eons.

Billions of years: Some are saying that means evolution. Not necessarily! There is no evidence that macro-evolution ever occurred. In the primeval world, evolution of the first living cell would require formation of over 300 complex interacting genes produced from only simple chemicals like methane, ammonia and water. It requires a Creator.

The age of the earth probably means that some aspects of the preparation of the Earth for Creation Week required time to reach the optimum. One of several possible examples is the development of an oxygen-containing atmosphere essential for life, and during its formation the oxygen content was observed to change from almost zero to a probable maximum of 33% followed by a decline to a stable 21% (the optimum for man). When we look at the planet Earth, we see optimization and perfection everywhere, from the genetic code and the structure and function of living things, to the geometry of the Earth's orbit and the tilt of its axis. Evolutionary biologists agree that evolution by natural selection can never achieve optimization in biology, only a localized solution. In the observed optimization and perfection and in the great age of the Earth, we see the signature of the Creator. It should never be assumed that people who believe in an old Earth also believe in evolution.

Before Creation Week, we see God's glory from the abiotic creation of stars and planets apparently over eons of time. It is this component of God's glory that YEC would close from view. The recent creation of life during Creation Week reveals God's glory in the beauty of the creation, in the mystery of the creation of human life, and in the Sabbath when we can meet with God in worship. It is our privilege to celebrate the glory of Creation as part of our [Adventist] message to the world, God's last message. If the Creation is described just as recorded in Genesis 1, as a two-stage creation involving an ancient Earth, God will truly be glorified.

The comments of James J. Londis should be helpful to you. That being comment #13 of 25 on the original article.

gordonjura This respondent states that according to the Sabbath commandment the heavens and earth were created during the six days of creation. One is tempted to ask: on what particular day does scripture say that? We also recall that YEC often use Exodus 20:11 to support their doctrine.

That text says: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them..." (YEC usually omit "the Sea," to make it sound more like Genesis 1:1). However, it is clear Exodus 20:11 refers to the three habitats of life associated with the earth (the atmosphere, the biosphere of earth or land, and the sea). This is the "official" position of the Adventist Church (see comment related to revised FB #6 in Adventist World, September, 2015, by C. Wahlen). Creation Week is limited to creation on and around our planet.

In support of this view Wahlen quotes Rev. 10: 5-6. Verse 5 is particularly relevant in ESV:

"The angel's stance - one foot on sea, one on land, and right hand raised to heaven - unites three spheres of created order (see Rev. 5:13) as their divine creator is involved to witness the angel's oath."

The three orders of Creation originated in Genesis 1:8-10, viz. heaven, earth and sea, referring to creation on the planet. Reference to these habitats occurs throughout Scripture including Exodus 20:11.

The Church quotes Rev. 10:6, quite appropriately, but a much more meaningful reference could be Ezekiel 38:20:

"So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence." (KJV, emphasis added).

Again, we find heaven, sea and earth mentioned, but the heaven has birds. In 24 out of 47 other English versions of Ezekiel 38:20, the word given as heaven in the KJV is translated as sky or air.

If this biblical assessment is unconvincing to any reader, may we suggest consulting God's Book of Nature as amplified by modern science. This reveals an ancient Earth created eons ago before Creation Week and Exodus 20:11 is clearly referring to the three habitats of life on Earth.

rodneybda rodney smith The water was created before Creation Week. Genesis 1:2, Psalm 104:6. You are right, there are indeed millions of planets, but God chose one, designed it specifically for man and it became our home. Once it was an infinitesimal rock in the infinity of the cosmos. Now it is covered in the glories of Creation (note those six photos of New Zealand!) which were initiated during the "gap" period.

Elouie "...each creative 'day' could have been thousands of years in length." That appears to be your view. However, the thousands of years came before the Creation Week days. Please consider the next story we expect soon to appear on Spectrum.

Harry Elliott Harry here is quoting Gen. 2:4 which speaks of "the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens" and concludes all was created at Creation Week. One might ask: Which day?

However, the Ancient Hebrew expert, C.J. Collins (ref 4 in Spectrum article) states the expression translated in the KJV as "in the day that..." only means "when." 17 Bible versions including NIV express it as "when." It cannot be a single day because it relates to Creation Week.

agingapes Joe Erwin Very much agree Joe. We are encouraged by the fact that the science we presented accords with Scripture and so does our next article about a recent Creation Week.

wresch R Wresch, MD Thank you for your comment regarding how in an earlier age, Christian geologists concluded the Earth was old. Why cannot YEC look at our six photos and reach the same conclusion?

How did the geologists of a bygone age reach this conclusion? A possible answer. The old geologists read their Bibles and correctly interpreted Genesis 1:1-2 ("In the beginning ..." = old Earth) and noted Creation Week only concerned creation of life forms and their habitats. They then looked at the majesty of the mountains and rocks which also conveyed a sense of age.

HalfNelson Some brief comments to questions relevant to the original article.

At Creation Week, Scripture frequently states that living creatures were created when God spoke (fiat creation). We believe that. You suggest everything in the physical world has always functioned in the same way. The laws of Nature (e.g., the speed of light) have always remained constant. The claim by some YEC to the contrary regarding the speed of light, for example, has no basis.

You state scientific inquiry is "nothing more than man's understanding of the world." True, but God has often revealed important truth in this way. See our next article regarding the time of Creation Week.

Genesis not being literal does not make evolution possible. There is no evidence to support macro-evolution.

GraemeSharock Graeme Sharock, and TimP Tim Page Both raise the question of life forms before Creation Week (CW). This is not related directly to our article and consequently we had intended not to respond. However, Graham considers that life forms prior to CW "weakens the apparent role of CW."

We have discussed this already in detail in relation to plants (Spectrum, March 4, 2016). Conclusion: some plants were present prior to CW, but CW was essential to give the 400,000 species suitable for post-CW conditions.

Graeme also speaks of a "fully-diversified world of animals and humans" before CW. Below is a graph (human population/time); population increases after about 6,000 years ago (i.e. after CW).

To derive some certainty from the data that varies appreciably between investigators, the above graph was calculated by averaging the data of: McEvedy and Jones 1978 (prior to 7,000 years ago), Durand 1967, Gallant 1990, and Goldewijk et al 2010). The first definite increase in population occurred at about 6,000 years ago.

Some final points:

(a) The pre-CW human-like creatures (hominids) were not created in the image of God; (b) A global flood may have occurred before CW (Ps. 104:6, and Gen. 1:2) and CW might be a new beginning: (c) The Bible says nothing regarding life pre-CW. It is not an issue to become obsessed with; (d) The life forms we have today originated at CW. They were designed for the great climate change that preceded CW and is discussed in our next article.

AND (e) "The 99% of species that Graeme talks about will probably be largely insects and bacteria, the dominant living things of today. These adapt readily to changes in environment giving new related species.”

vandieman jeremy There appears to be some misunderstanding as to how the ages related to Zealandia were determined.

The ages quoted are not calculated using an annual rate of change determined in modern times and then applied to a situation that occurred eons ago. The ages are based on geomagnetic anomaly data concerning the Tasman Sea floor. This gives a reliable age as explained in the references quoted. No ages reported in our paper (including the age of the Southern Alps) are based on modern tectonic rates. The criticism presented has no basis. No "unprovable assumptions" are involved. See also ref. 8 and Gaina et al (1998), J. Geophysical Research, V. 103, No. B6: The tectonic history of the Tasman Sea. Several independent geomagnetic studies yield essentially the same ages, and geomagnetic results have been confirmed by radiometric methods.

End.

D. Stuart Letham was awarded a PhD (Birmingham, UK) in organic chemistry in 1955. His subsequent research work included the purification, determination of structure and synthesis of the first naturally occurring cytokinin, compounds that induce cell division in plants. They occur in plants at the level of 1 part per billion (see Letham, Annual Review of Plant Physiology 1967, 1983). He is the author of over 190 refereed papers in biochemistry and plant physiology journals. He retired from the Australian National University in 1992 as Professor Emeritus.

Col J. Gibson worked in accounting in industry for a decade before taking an academic position as a senior lecturer in accounting at universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the University of South Pacific (Suva, Fiji). As a natural naturalist from an early age he has been active, as a hobby interest, in helping many professional scientists in fieldwork, and now in retirement still acts as a citizen scientist, which includes field observations and bird photography.

Both authors have discussed the Science/Creation subject for the past few years and thought it was time to put some of their thoughts on this interface into the public arena for others to consider and comment.

See also: "Perspective: Clarifying 'Understanding Ice Core Science," "Ice Core Editorial Authors Reply to Respondents," "Perspective: Ice Ages Research Demolishes Young Earth Creationism," "Ice Age Research Demolishes Young Earth Creationism: Reader Feedback & Authors' Response", "Ice Age Research Demolishes Young Earth Creationism: Authors; Second Response", and “Nature Identifies Events during the ‘Gap’ in Creation”

If you respond to this article, please:

Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8076

This attempt to fold science into the two biblical stories of creation is saddening. These sorts of attempts are always counterproductive. The ideas are neither scientific nor can they be shown to be biblical.

Attempts to make the biblical legends into science are both embarrassing and diminish the beauty of the biblical stories.

I prefer this statement, by a very old Christian organization:
[Slightly edited to make you guess…]

"Christians are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church. They need not be hostile to modern cosmology.
… “Many scientific studies . . . have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life forms, and the appearance of man. These studies invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator”

What stodgy old organization do you think has this way-more-progessive-and-secure-in-their-faith-than-Adventist’s attitude regarding cosmology?

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I am intrigued by all of this. I only have limited understanding of these matters but I am certain from reading scripture that the issues you bring up are not addressed in scripture. Does that mean they are without merit. No. It just means that the bible is silent on them and for me that is where many go wrong. They make assumptions about God that is not revealed in scripture. But this idea of a world pre-creation week does bring up some questions for me such as:
*We often assume the angelic rebellion took place right before or at creation week when it could have actually been quite a long while before. And since time as we know it did not exist until creation week-WHO KNOWS how long this rebellion has gone on. Yes EGW might have some insight but even that was limited to post creation week or about 6,000yrs aprox. and 19th century understanding of time and space. NOBODY has any idea of what was taking place before that (the bible only states that the earth was here and was void and without form and did have water). So this could be possible, yes?
*Is it possible that the creation of man in God’s image is a final act and NOT THE FIRST ACT in a prolonged conflict to finally bring it all to a conclusion-finally?
*We assume there was no death before creation week, but scripture might only be referring to what takes place post creation week and in this present world as it existed once Adam & Eve were created. After all sin did exist before Adam & Eve, yes? So then death must have been possible then also.
*What of the dinosaurs? Are they pre-creation week?
*What of continental shift and plate tectonics? pre-creation week also?
*Why would God create humanoid type beings without them being in His image in the first place?

This is as far as I can begin to understand. And what this article proposes here I believe is possible especially since the bible is silent on it. And frankly I have often wondered about the pre-creation form the earth had and why it was here.

The solar system is 4.5 billion years old.
The oldest fish fossils are 500 million years old.
The oldest mammal fossils are 200 million years old.
The oldest bird fossils are 150 million years old.
Genesis says fish and birds were created on the same day.
If we take just 1% of the ages given by science, Genesis 1 is still not true.
Which is correct, Genesis 1 or Science?

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One is science, derived from rigorous methods and producing amazing results; the other is poetic theology, written to magnify the oneness of the Source of all.

No one expects poetry to be scientifically accurate, or science to resemble poetry.

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the simple answer was you there Charley? Science does not have a measuring rod that can measure fossils except by associate with rocks. I cooked salmon on an iron grill that came from ore that in our limited vision is ageless, Datin g by association is not a lick better than Moses.

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Kudos to the editors for the willingness to provide content for both sides of the creation-evolution issue. However, I couldn’t get past the first section (response) of this article:

“There is no evidence that macro-evolution ever occurred.” - What??? Microevolution is evolutionary change within a species, whereas macroevolution is the evolution of new species and all higher-order groups. I’m not aware of any sane creationist who believes in fixity of species and absence of macroevolution. For some absurd reason, many creationists apply a very different meaning for the term “macroevolution” than that used in conventional biology–and it results from sheer ignorance, dishonesty, or both. If we’re going to use the same terms that all other scientists use, then we need to use the same meaning.

“When we look at the planet Earth, we see optimization and perfection everywhere, from the genetic code and the structure and function of living things, to the geometry of the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis. Evolutionary biologists agree that evolution by natural selection can never achieve optimization in biology, only a localized solution.” - This is utter nonsense. We see imperfection everywhere, particularly in biology, as even Ellen White would concede. The creation is heavily marred by sin. Moreover, evolutionary biologists have described thousands of examples of evolutionary optimization; exactly WHO among the evolutionary biologists has “agreed” that “natural selection can never achieve optimization in biology?” I’d like to see a source for this bizarre claim. I think the authors are conflating optimization and perfection. Evolution (call it microevolution if you wish) can achieve optimal results given the substrates and constraints it has to work with, but the authors are right if they are saying that evolution cannot create perfect solutions, as those options are not often available (i.e., a bird doesn’t have the option of evolving a jet engine to better avoid the hazards of a 10,000-mile migration).

I hate it when we–as creationists and fundamentalists–create straw man arguments about evolution based on utter nonsense to reassure our membership that “evolution” (which is so often inappropriately characterized) is impossible, and that so-called evolutionists are idiots. We can do better. (And, I should add, I’m a full-fledged believer in creation. I just don’t think we need to defend it with bad arguments and wrong interpretations of data. We do this far too often and bring harm to our cause in the process.)

EDIT: I’d like to add that I admire the authors for sharing their views, and encourage them to continue to do so; I hope they can forgive me for disagreeing with them. I love it that we do have some venues remaining for open discussion, as all such venues have disappeared altogether from within the official church organization. Thank you, Spectrum editors.

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This interesting series is hampered by the imprecise use of terminology. Thus, the original article seemed to imply that Bull and Guy are YEC (they are not, even if they argue that Gen. 1 does not describe a 2-stage creation), while Davidson is cited in support of their own “active gap” interpretation when Davidson specifically argues that Gen. 1 does not support an active gap interpretation, but rather (and only) a passive gap interpretation. And then the authors seem to align themselves with the recent creation week view yet casually slip in references to fossils and now even hominids and other lifeforms pre-creation week. They argue that most of these were bacteria and insects, and that the matter is not of great consequence. Yet most YEC and old earth/young life creationists (including most SDAs) would disagree. Going back to the Davidson article they cite, they could read the list of reasons why young life creationists would argue it is a big deal indeed. Death, predation, suffering, etc., are associated with sin, and thus the entire structure of theology and salvation is argued to depend on the young life creationist viewpoint. So, I think it is unfortunate but true that these authors are sort of “pulling a fast one” on everybody, but I doubt young life creationists are fooled.

Tim Teichman is spot on when he says, [quote=“timteichman, post:2, topic:13709”]
This attempt to fold science into the two biblical stories of creation is saddening. These sorts of attempts are always counterproductive. The ideas are neither scientific nor can they be shown to be biblical.
[/quote]

I agree. And that is the point, I think, of Bull and Guy’s book. They argue that the author(s) of Genesis lived in a prescientific world and if we read it with an ear to what the original hearers of the book understood, we will interpret it differently than if we approach it with our modern mindset (even Davidson’s article seems to miss this point, referring to Earth–capital “E”, planet, global, galactic universe, etc., even though those are modern concepts). Thus, even if the Gen. 1 account does not align with science, it doesn’t detract from the message of the book, nor should it lead us to reject the scientific account, or to try to merge the two despite the fundamentally different worldviews of the authors and ourselves.

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Authors Response to Professor Jeffrey Kent
by D. Stuart Letham and Col J. Gibson

As academics we are used to sharing our views with others who have something to contribute towards progressing the research into the question(s) we have raised for discussion. The fact that some might see it differently is of no concern provided we can continue to discuss it rationally and hopefully get some agreement on those matters that are most critical.

There seem to be two main issues the Jeffrey wants us to address:

(1) The statement we made that there was no evidence for macro-evolution (Jeffrey states creationists believe in macro-evolution); and

(2) The Statement we made that natural selection does not achieve optimization.

Taking each in turn we provide such evidence that has convinced us on these matters and wish now to share that with readers as well as Jeffrey who asked.

(1)
Before proceeding we must get definitions to accord with accepted evolutionary terms. We consider Jeffrey should revise and correct his terminology in relation to evolution. His concept of macro-evolution appears to be in error.

The simple definition given in, Evolutionary Analysis by Herron & Freeman (pp. 850) reads:

“Over long periods of time, novel forms of life can derive from earlier forms. Tetrapods, for example, arose from a lineage of fish.” This kind of dramatic change over time is called macro-evolution.

Elsewhere it states that it operates above the species level.

Also defined on the same page 38 is ‘speciation’:

“An ancestral species may give rise to two distinct descendent species. This is called speciation.”

Like micro-evolution it operates at the species level and both processes should be accepted by creationists. Speciation is not part of macro-evolution but Jeffrey implies it is and thus attempts to rationalise his erroneous statement that creationists believe in macro-evolution. Where is his evidence for this? He is being deceptive, but we will not accuse him of dishonesty, a term he applied to us.

We cannot find any unequivocal evidence for the occurrence of macro-evolution as defined herein. The fossil evidence for transitional forms is largely speculation. How do you account for the great amount of new genetic information required? Random mutation cannot account for it. The vast majority of mutations are neutral or harmful.

(2)
Our statement that “evolution by natural selection can never achieve optimization in biology” was also questioned. And, indeed references for such a statement were also requested.

This topic was discussed by two evolutionists, Fodor and Pitttelli-Palmarini in their book What Darwin got Wrong (Profile Books, 2011). They, and other biologists, are critical of natural selection for a number of reasons. A few quotes from Fodor’s et al book follow:

“Neo-Darwinists are keen to say that natural selection never optimizes, it only finds locally satisfactory solutions.” (p. 93.)

“There are some instances of optimal (or near-optimal) solutions to problems in biology; so if natural selection cannot optimize, then something else must be involved.” (p. 93)

“… we report cases when optimal structures and processes have been found in biological systems. These are naturally occurring optimizations, probably originating in the laws of physics and chemistry. … They are clearly, for reasons we detail in that chapter, not the outcome of natural selection winnowing randomly generated variations.” (p. xix)

Quotes from other biologists are relevant, but here we restricted ourselves to quoting one well-known scientist (R.G.B. Reid, see text Biological Emergences, MIT Press, 2007, at p. 4).

“Selectionism is the belief that natural selection is the primary cause of evolution. Its influence permeates the Modern Synthesis, which was originally intended to bring together all aspects of biology that bear upon evolution by natural selection. … I have already hinted that the selectionist paradigm is either insufficient to explain evolution or simply dead wrong. Obviously, I want to find something better.”

For a relevant original paper, see Clune, et al, PLOS Computational Biology, Sept 26, 2008, Natural Selection fails to optimize mutation rate.

Novelty derived from random mutation, of course, precedes natural selection in the accepted evolutionary concept. We should remember the word “random” and note that beneficial mutations are extremely rare. This emphasizes the limitations of natural selection.

Through the eyes of evolutionists, Fodor et al have listed biological systems that appear optimal. In reaching these conclusions, they usually have a sound basis and have involved computer modelling to establish their case. For the plant systems, perfection seems to be an appropriate description (the structure of leaves they designated as perfect). These systems all involve control by interacting plant hormones (usually two key hormones are involved). They are synthesized by special enzymes, then move to a site of action, bind to specific receptor proteins, and then function at specific concentrations. To set all that up, requires much more than evolution by random mutation and natural selection. It requires a Creator but Fodor et al would not admit that. They will continue searching for an evolutionary system to replace natural selection.

In their book, Fodor et al list numerous biological systems (e.g. plant leaf structure, the position of new buds on stems, biochemical pathways (no basis at all for selection), the wing stroke of birds) that clearly exhibit optimization, but cannot be explained by conventional evolution theory with natural selection.

Jeffrey states that evolutionary biologists have described thousands of examples of evolutionary optimization (no references given but one at least would be relevant and highly desirable). But what evidence is there that the apparent optimization was derived from evolution. We suggest it was created!

Finally, a simple question: can you (Jeffrey and/or readers) really expect a random mutation to give optimization in a complex system?

END

Commenter’s Response to Authors’ Response to Professor Jeffrey Kent’s Response to Authors’ Article
by Professor Jeffrey Kent

I welcome the authors’ response. And you guys can call me Jeff. Your dispute with my prior response baffles me, but I believe I’m allowed to respond with another post–so here it goes.

Definitions of microevolution and macroevolution - I’m sorry, guys, but the facts are simple and straightforward. Microevolution is change WITHIN a species. Macroevolution is change at higher levels–exactly as I stated–resulting in new species (yes, speciation), new genera, new families, new orders, new classes, new phyla, and new kingdoms. I’m not attempting to deceive anyone; these ARE the standard definitions used by evolutionary biologists. You are misunderstanding “at the species level” by conflating change within a species and change resulting in new species. If you can’t accept the simple distinction between these terms, you seriously need to go to Wikipedia and completely rewrite the highly-referenced accounts for the two terms.

You might not appreciate my pointing this out, but you two gentlemen most certainly believe in macroevolution because there are tons of species, entire genera, and entire families of venomous and parasitic animals that you do not believe God created. God didn’t create cone snails (family conidae)–every one of which is venomous. God didn’t create rattlesnakes or other vipers (family viperida)–every one of which is venomous. You absolutely believe they evolved from non-venomous ancestors. I assume this reality simply hasn’t occurred to you. And it gets even uglier. Do you believe God created thorny-headed worms, which belong to a phylum (Acanthocephala) in which every member is parasitic? Or anemones, which belong to a phylum (Cnidaria) in which every member is venomous? The evolution of new phyla–three levels above that of families–would be at the highest level of change within animals. Clearly, creationists like you (and me) believe a heckuva lot of macroevolution has occurred, even though you don’t seem to recognize it!

I encourage you guys to read the work of Loma Linda University biologist/geologist Leonard Brand, the SDA Church’s leading authority on creation and evolution. He has written a number of books, including a major one used at our universities, and numerous scientific articles. I have read his works, and have seen him speak at local churches on several occasions. He certainly recognizes in his writing the two terms for what they are, though I suspect he is reluctant to use “macroevolution” when speaking in creationist circles because of widespread ignorance and misunderstanding. When he uses the two terms as I do, and as mainstream biologists do, would you say he is as deceptive as I am?

Natural selection can indeed achieve optimization - You chose to anchor your argument against optimization based on Fodor and Pitttelli-Palmarini’s book, What Darwin got Wrong, which does not speak for evolutionary biologists. As Douglas Futuyma, author of the authoritative textbook Evolutionary Biology, put it in his review of What Darwin Got Wrong, 'Because they are prominent in their own fields, some readers may suppose that they are authorities on evolution who have written a profound and important book. They aren’t, and it isn’t."

The problem, as I alluded to, is what you consider to be “optimization.” There are plenty of books that address optimization and optimality theory in biology, and tons of research articles demonstrating traits that function in an optimal manner. Tons. Optimality is generally characterized as the best solution among a range of possible solutions. You asked, “what evidence is there that the apparent optimization was derived from evolution?” and added, “We suggest it was created!” Consider a mountain lion–should it’s foraging behavior focus on abundant grasshoppers, less common small lizards, or larger but scarcer prey items? We know that it’s optimal foraging behavior is to seek out and kill larger endotherms, which represent a favorable trade-off between time and energy for searching, and energy consumed. What about a crab that crushes snails to consume them–the smaller snails require too much time for too little reward, and the larger snails require too much effort and time to crush, so their optimal foraging behavior is to seek out and consume intermediate-sized snails–which is what they do to optimize caloric intake. What about a cone snail species that feeds on fish, and whose venom is most effective at killing fish (rather than worms), and another cone snail species that feeds on worms, and whose venom is most effective at killing worms (rather than fish). God didn’t create or optimize these traits, as he is not the author of death; these traits evolved and became optimized through natural selection.

You argue that beneficial mutations are rare, which I have no quibble with. However, there is abundant documentation of many examples of well-documented mutations that have proved to be beneficial. FYI, here is a Google Scholar link with original research articles characterizing beneficial mutations (with the search limited to papers published 2010 and later): http://tinyurl.com/y7l9jlsm.

Question: can you (Jeffrey and/or readers) really expect a random mutation to give optimization in a complex system? - Yes, most definitely! A colleague shared with me several months ago a recently published example of a mouse species that has a unique mutation in the amino acid sequence of a nerve cell channel that renders it completely immune to the effects of scorpion venom, which allows it to feast on the little critters. Nerve cells are anything but simple. And an animal’s behavioral repertoire involving decision-making about what to avoid (predators), what to seek (suitable food, mates, and shelter), and how to subdue (killing dangerous prey) comprises a highly complex system. You don’t believe God gave them that amazing mutation, do you?

In addition to reading the creationist literature about evilution, I suggest you delve into a few books about evolution written by evolutionary biologists who understand modern evolutionary theory. The fact that they go much further than you and I do by pushing abiotic origins and common descent does not mean everything else should be disagreeable. It’s okay to say that God is the author of evolution (rightly understood).

Blessings to you on your continued quest to understand biology and evolutionary change.

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Robert, your reply suggests to us that we might not have gotten our story sufficiently clear in the first place, or not as clear as we would have wished. Please let us try to do better. As a starter let us state as concisely as possible what we believe regarding Creation.

We believe that the foundations of the planet Earth were laid by the Creator in the beginning, eons ago. That planet Earth was modified geologically during the “gap” period as indicated by our outline of New Zealand geomorphology (as reported in our latest paper). Then Creation Week (CW) occurred recently (6 to 10 thousand years ago). We believe in a 7 day CW with literal days. The above might have been thought of by some as an old earth/recent CW model. The only novelty is the active geological change during the “gap” period. This we suggest further defines the role of the Creator as maintaining as well as the initial act of creation.

In addition to the above, we alluded to two further things without any discussion, viz.

(1) The presence of plants before CW. See comment in our response to Graeme Sharock, Spectrum 23 June 2017; also Spectrum, 4 March, 2016).

(2) The existence of Hominids/Neanderthals prior to CW. (see the present authors in Spectrum, 4 March, 2016).

The evidence for both (1) and (2) above, is very strong. Now just three comments:
(a) the plants and cyanobacteria had a function, to serve as a source of oxygen;
(b) the Neanderthals became extinct about 30,000 years ago (undoubtedly long before CW);
© the pre-CW life does not reduce the significance of CW. Most hominids had probably died out and were not created in God’s image. New plant species were required to suit the great climate change that preceded CW.

We do not cite Davidson in support of our gap studies. We accept his evidence for a gap and then find immense geological change during that gap time. Our studies do not relate significantly to life.

The criteria used by Davidson to select the term passive gap are not clear to us, but passive may imply the absence of life or creation of life.

We see no great problem aligning the basics of Genesis 1 (which we accept) with modern science. We have not attempted in our article to fold science into two biblical stories of creation. It is our attempt to establish the antiquity of the planet Earth. With YEC etc. that appears to not have succeeded - yet! As far as modern science is concerned YEC is an untenable position to hold.

Stuart & Col (12July2017)

Thank you Jeff for explaining why you consider macro-evolution to be an essential part of creationism. You attribute development of venomous and parasitic animals (e.g. snakes) to evolution because it appears that you consider God does not cause death and thus would not create them. But, macro-evolution with natural selection is based on selective death (survival of the fittest). We fail to follow your logic here as you say God is the author of evolution and could presumably control it should it occur!

However, the idea that God does not create venomous or carnivorous creatures appears to us to be misleading. Consider:

(1) “… the beasts of the field …” (Gen. 1:25) are “wild animals” in several translations and commentaries, probably carnivorous after the Fall, when the soil was cursed and toxic micro-organisms could have been formed.

(2) God provides prey for lions necessarily causing death to the prey. (Ps. 104:21)

For a detailed discussion read: David Snoke’s “Why Were Dangerous Animals Created?” (Ref. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 56: 117-125).

Our view is that God created many dangerous species, but some only are beneficial to man.

Overall, the idea regarding evolution of dangerous animals seems to us to have little basis.

Since no agreement has been achieved on the definition of “optimization” further discussion thereof seems pointless. The evolutionist meaning is: “the best solution among a range of possible solutions.” The creationists’ definition may be: something very near to perfection, or perfection as found for some systems, especially plant systems, based on computer modelling.

However, your statements regarding macro-evolution and “the thousands of examples of evolutionary optimization” has a significant corollary. Macro-evolution and natural selection is a key mechanism for development of new organisms. This appears to equate to theistic evolution; in which the Creation Week and Sabbath have no real significance.

When discussing the primeval earth with Brian Hull (in our first response to replies), we stated that macro-evolution did not occur. We have found no convincing evidence yet to the contrary.

In the biological world, and in the geological changes in the physical world during the gap period (which the original article was about but is now largely forgotten because of irrelevant side issues), we see a creator who transcends time. We as creationists rejoice in the beauty of creation but it appears that evolutionists link it to suffering and death. If plants and animals arose from random mutation, we cannot imagine the bizarre features we would be seeing now. The ratio of harmful to favourable mutations is between 10,000 to 1 and several million to 1 depending on species.

These replies and responses are to the original story we wrote (“Nature Identifies Events during the ‘Gap’ in Creation,” published on Spectrum Magazine, 23 May 2017). That story was based on the geomorphology of New Zealand with the intention of establishing the antiquity of the planet Earth. We were then, and are alarmed still, at the untenable situation for the Church if YEC is promoted with a 6,000 year age of planet earth. However, the theme of our forthcoming story, about “Nature Confirming a Recent Creation Week,” also affirms the antiquity of the Earth. Now we must move on.

We have a few suggestions:

(1) we suggest you read Romans 11:33
(2) One day I [Stuart] might find time to write a story about how God created bacteria to cause plant tumours. They kill the plant. They did not arise by chance, or natural selection, or by evolution. That suggestion arose from Genesis 3:17.
(3) might we suggest also that you define concisely for other readers as well as for us and the Church at large such terms as evolutionist biologists use, e.g.: macro-evolution, micro-evolution, speciation, adaption, etc.

Stuart & Col (12July2017)

Your latest response, guys, lacks coherence and has degenerated into a series of bizarre contradictions and vacuous statements.

You earlier conceded that speciation occurs, which IS macroevolution, but you continue to deny that macroevolution occurs. You now state that “macro-evolution and natural selection is [sic] a key mechanism for development of new organisms” and “equate [it] to theistic evolution.” I take it you also deny that natural selection occurs, which begs an explanation for the mechanism by which you think speciation occurs, and how simple change like antibiotic resistance comes about.

You are welcome to insist that God created dangerous organisms, including toxic and venomous species, pretty much as they are–designed to kill. Seventh-day Adventists teach that death did not exist in Eden before sin. Your heterodox view implies that God intended for these animals to kill. Most creationists are comfortable with the view that God created life with a harmonious existence, and that things changed after death entered the planet. God imbued living organisms with the capacity to change–it’s built into the genetic machinery–so that organisms could adapt to the consequences of sin. This is why I stated that God is the author of evolution; God knew that organisms would need to adapt to changing abiotic and biotic environments, which occurs through a process called evolution–changes in gene frequencies. God created the mechanisms by which change (evolution) occurs: random genetic drift and natural selection. You’re comfortable, apparently, with microevolution (changes in gene frequencies within a species), but uncomfortable with macroevolution (changes in gene frequencies that lead to new species and higher levels of change), because you lack any understanding of what macroevolution actually is, and think that it represents some kind of intolerable evil no matter the proper definition and overwhelming evidence for it.

You’ve asked me to “define concisely for other readers as well as for us and the Church at large such terms as evolutionist biologists use, e.g.: macro-evolution, micro-evolution, speciation, adaption [sic], etc.” What’s your point? I don’t understand why you would ask me to define the terms, as they are well established in science and easily looked up (try Wikipedia). I define them exactly as evolutionary biologists define them, as it would be disingenuous to do so any differently. I’ve already supplied definitions for microevolution and macroevolution in each of the two previous comments. Speciation is the evolutionary process by which biological populations evolve to become distinct species. Essentially all informed creationists acknowledge it occurs. Adaptation is the outcome of an evolutionary process (natural selection) that renders organisms more fit to reproduce and/or survive. Essentially all informed creationists acknowledge it occurs. If you prefer different definitions than those used by real scientists–and informed creationists–I think you guys are the ones who need to explain your definitions.

You’re certainly welcome to respond to this post, but I am finished with this conversation. Your arguments are not going to change my understanding, and it’s clear that I am unable to change your understanding.

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Since you responded directly to me, I think the moderators allow a response…

My quibble is partly with your use of language. It looks like Jeff Kent is having the same issue with you. My plea to you would be that as you continue your series, that you not be coy, nor ambiguous. Describe your views using common terminology when it exists, and use that terminology the way it is commonly used by experts in the respective fields. And if your interpretation represents a modification of a commonly accepted meaning, then explicitly say so. This isn’t diplomacy: there is no benefit in infusing terminology with a different meaning so that there is enough ambiguity or overlap that disputing parties can come to some kind of pseudo-agreement.

“Passive Gap”, at least as used within recent SDA literature on creationism, refers to an initial creation of the planet but formless and void, a state in which it lay for an indeterminate period of time before Creation Week. “Active Gap” refers to a situation where there was life in at least part of the gap period, either because God created it “in the beginning” long before Creation Week, or sometime along the way. “Ruin-Restoration” is an active gap interpretation that describes a creation event followed by eventual ruin and destruction, then restoration in either another cycle of ruin/restoration, or in Creation Week (which will eventually end in ruin/destruction and then a new heavens/earth–the leading proponents of the active gap theory 150 years ago were also dispensationalist millennialists [see Darby/Pember/Scofield/Plymouth Brethren]).

There are many flavors of these ideas. It seems to me that the most basic difference is that active gap adherents believe there was life before Creation Week, while passive gap adherents do not. Many passive gap adherents accept that geological rearrangement may have occurred during the gap, but none of this involved life, and no fossil-bearing rocks are explained by this gap, in their view. The passive gap view has been expressed in SDA literature for well over 100 years, though YEC has also been expressed–and dominated during a large part of the 20th century. The SDA preference for a gap interpretation seems to be rooted not only in the perceived better alignment with science (though not much improved), but in its alignment with the pre-existing worlds, angels, Satan, etc., required by the Great Controversy narrative as told by Ellen White, whereas many strict (non-SDA) YECs hold that the universe itself was created at the beginning of Creation Week.

If I understand your views, you seem to hold a flavor of Active Gap (though you hint at a theistic evolutionary or progressive creation view). That is, you believe the planet was created a long time ago, and that there was specially created life upon it prior to Creation Week. This is not a novel view, so it would be helpful if you explicitly state where you stand with respect to the well-established spectrum of views on creation and Genesis 1-2; if you differ from the Active Gap, then state how/why. You also seem to believe that there was either theistic evolution (a God-directed evolutionary process, though you do seem to find little explanatory power in the mechanism of mutation/natural selection) or progressive creation (a series of miraculous creations; I’m guessing your sympathies lie here, since mutation/natural selection no longer has to do the heavy-lifting) before Creation Week. This, too, is not a novel idea, though certainly not generally accepted within Adventism. My guess it that you are not Ruin-Restoration adherents, but actually believe in a process whereby the world was created once by God over billions of years, either via TE or PC (the difference between these terms seems another area of potential confusion).

Your reference above to belief in “a” literal 6-day Creation Week 6-10,000 years ago is another example of being coy or ambiguous, in my opinion. That is because most SDAs believe in “the” Creation Week, and would understand the literal Creation Week (capital C & W) to refer to a week literally described by Gen. 1. i.e, they would understand that during that week light first shone on the earth, the dry land and water were separated, lifeforms created, etc. But that is obviously not what you mean by “creation week”; you haven’t defined exactly what the 6000 years-ago creation week means to you, but it appears to mean primarily the creation of man “in God’s image” (whatever that means). So, again, you seem to be using terminology that has a standard meaning (at least to an SDA audience) but you are implying a different meaning. In that case, you owe it to your readers to either use different terminology or else explicitly state how your definition of “creation week” differs from the common SDA understanding.

As far as science goes, I don’t think either of the gap theories as commonly expressed aligns well with modern science. Despite “creation science” efforts, neither does YEC. TE aligns with science (i.e., it describes progressive development of complex lifeforms over a long period of time), but science itself has no need to invoke a theistic aspect to explain development. Invoking a deity as a means of overcoming statistical improbabilities of “random mutation” followed by natural selection is not science; science must and should continue to search for the best naturalistic ways of explaining the development of new species/features. Throwing in the towel and ascribing difficulties to miracles is not a way to make scientific progress. (Intelligent Design theorists argue that a designer hypothesis is scientific; this, of course, is not universally acknowledged by other scientists).

As Jeff Kent pointed out, some life forms are difficult to interpret by direct special creation at the hands of a loving God. That seems to favor TE over PC (God is further removed, and chance/free will plays a larger role, in TE). But, as you point out in your latest reply to Kent, you seem to be arguing that venomous creatures could have been created by God, so you apparently don’t see a contradiction, and apparently reject TE on Sabbath theology and evolutionary mechanistic grounds, not because of the problem of death/predation.

The evidence from science is that the planet is very old, life upon it is very old, life developed from simple to complex forms over a long period of time, and there is no evidence that man was specially created 6000 (or 10,000) years ago, or acquired special attributes then (other than the agricultural revolution, which of course significantly affected the development of human civilization and culture, and occurred close to that timeframe). Some interpreters have argued that man acquired a spiritual nature ~6000 years ago. I don’t think that idea–whatever it means–can be supported scientifically. And as for Neanderthals, modern science has found that about 20% of their genome survives in some humans. http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/anthropology/science-neanderthal-genes-modern-human-dna-01734.html [Edit: Thanks, Tim, for pointing out the error in my original summary, where I wrote that humans shared 20% of the Neanderthal genome].

Anyway, to sum up: (1) Please use existing terminology to describe your views, where appropriate. (I think part of your debate with Jeff Kent–including the latest exchange–results from talking past each other because you haven’t identified where you stand with respect to standard positions on origins. I.e., if your view is essentially TE, then death and predation are not contradictory in your view with God’s role in the creative process, yet Jeff Kent has assumed that you don’t see God as using death in that way, so he used the existence of venomous phyla as evidence for macroevolution by a mutation/random selection. Had you specifically identified yourselves as theistic evolutionists and described explicitly what that means to you, then I think much of the argument could have been avoided or been more productive. On the other hand, if you are not TE (as your latest comment on the Sabbath seems to imply you are not), but progressive creationists, then I think the theological problem of death/suffering has not been overcome, and your discussion with Kent needs further elaboration on this point). (2) When doing so, use the terminology in the same way as common within the field, or else explicitly state your deviation from that usage.

I believe this is an issue of writing style and method of argumentation, not a matter of dishonesty or even deception. But it has the appearance of deception and may have that effect as well, for some. I’m sympathetic, because I know that when I write, sometimes my words are interpreted very differently than what I mean. Sometimes this is most likely to happen when I have thought deeply about a subject, so that when I write about it, my mind tricks me into thinking that my readers know all the background I do, and I make unconscious assumptions about what they know and what they know about me and my thoughts, which of course are poor assumptions to make, and lead to misinterpretation. Perhaps this is especially easy to occur when a complex topic is written as a series of temporally spaced short articles. So, I offer these comments with sympathy and appreciation for what you are trying to do, and encourage your efforts!

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Great post!

That article indicates that 20% of the Neanderthal DNA survived, not that we share that 20%.

We actually share about 99%, more than with chimps: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_genome_project

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Luthor, we are impressed with your logic although you admitted to having only limited understanding of these [modern scientific] matters.

You said they are not brought up in Scripture, and we admit some questions are not. However, we as humans are advised to study as deeply as possible, both the Bible (Scripture) and Nature (God’s Second book). And modern scientists are committed to doing just that, that is with respect to nature, if not so much the Bible now days.

God’s second book [i.e. Nature] actually does provide clear answers to some of your questions.

However, as you say Scripture [the Bible] is silent on many issues. Issues not addressed by Scripture [the Bible] might include some that the ancient Hebrews would not understand. Some of these are revealed now by Nature aided by modern science. Nature can convey knowledge difficult to express in words. It is directed essentially to the “last days” because only we have the ability to “decipher” (comprehend) it.

Pre-creation form of Earth. For eons of time, ice core studies show it was an ice age climate (see our next story, - since that statement now published on Spectrum website as “Nature Confirms a Recent Creation Week”) and much of the planet Earth would not permit human habitation. Then a great climate change occurred and Creation Week followed.

Time of angelic rebellion. You write: “We often assume the angelic rebellion took place right before, or at creation week, when it could have actually been quite a long while before.” How true. The age of the planet Earth suggests it could have occurred millions of years ago. An ice age world would be an ideal place for banishment of the evil angels! However, this is a side issue, and not an important issue to us.

Humanoids. Why did God create them? Perhaps (an assumption!) for His pleasure, but they failed him and died out (Neanderthals extinct about 30,000 years ago). God then created our race in His image: you are one of His children.

Time began at Creation Week? We suggest time began at the creation of the Universe, not Creation Week. The ice core studies imply it was not the latter. The annual layers can be counted year by year back to 100,000 years ago in Greenland and back to nearly 1 million years by calculation in Antarctica. Creation Week occurred 6 to 10 thousand years ago. We suggest you might like to read Romans 11:33.

Consider the following as a few examples of the relationship of the Bible (Scripture) and science as Ellen White saw it:

1 Scripture says:

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Gen. 2:15, ESV; and

Ellen White said:

"Useful occupation was appointed them [Adam and Eve] as a blessing, to strengthen the body, to expand the mind, and to develop the character.
“The book of nature, which spread its living lessons before them, afforded an exhaustless source of instruction and delight. … With both the animate and the inanimate creation, – … all were objects of study by the first pupils of earth’s first school.” Edn. 21

2. Scripture says:

 "He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass to grow on the hills." Ps. 147:8, ESV.

Ellen White has said:

Ellen White spoke and wrote often on education topics and especially relating to kids (she said, ‘children and youth’). Consider:

"While the Bible should hold first place in the education of children and youth, the book of nature is next in importance. God’s created works testify to His love and power …

"The same creative energy that brought the world into existence is still exerted in upholding the universe and continuing the operations of nature. …

“The whole natural world is designed to be an interpreter of the things of God.”

“In the natural world, God has placed in the hands of the children of men the key to unlock the treasure-house of His Word [Scripture/Bible]. The unseen is illustrated by the seen; divine wisdom, eternal truth, infinite grace, are understood by the things that God has made. …” - CT. 185,186,187.

In the book Education (Ellen White) there are several chapters on Nature and one on Science and the Bible, in which the first sentence is: “Since the book of nature and the book of revelation bear the impress of the same master mind, they can but speak in harmony. …” - Edn, 128.

Then a little further on we read:
"He who studies most deeply into the mysteries of nature will realize most fully his own ignorance and weakness. He will realize that there are depths and height which he can not reach, secrets which he can not penetrate, vast fields of truth lying before him unentered. …

  • Edn, 133.

3. Scripture says:

“When He, the Spirit of truth, is come. He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13, or
"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, …" ESV.

Ellen White said:

“Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning ‘was brooding upon the face of the waters;’ of that Word by whom ‘all things were made;’ of that ‘Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,’ can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted. Only by their guidance can its deepest truths be discerned.” Edn, 134.

Perhaps that is sufficient to stress the vital relationship between Scripture and ‘modern’ science.

Stuart & Col (13 July2018)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. This subject-creation, has puzzled me for a long time. Given what you have written here on the subject a whole new world of possibility has dawn on me. It is literally blowing my mind. I knew there had to be more to the creation account than what we have been going over and over and over again. AND I knew it involved the fact that the earth was already present BEFORE creation week. I just did not know what or how. You have opened up some new ideas in my mind. Thank you again I am very appreciative.

In these conversations, the position of theistic evolution (TE) continues to get short shrift. The issues of death-before-sin, divine cruelty, etc seem to be conclusive in the dismissal of TE as an intellectually satisfying solution to the creation-evolution divide. When various positions available to SDAs are listed, TE usually doesn’t make the list.

Recent Gallup data, however, has shown that, for the first time , just as many Americans now believe in some form of evolution (including God-directed), as hold to a strict YEC creationist interpretation. This gradual shift might justify another look at TE by Adventists, even if a reconciliation with official positions might seem impossible.

Without going into things at great length, I believe that many of the inconsistencies and peculiarities of the position explained by Col J. Gibson and Stuart Letham would disappear if TE were entertained as an alternate explanation to their literalist offering.

What if the observable age of this earth-or even our universe-is merely an educated “guesstimate” of how long daddy sat down at the end of the cosmic driveway waiting for his first prodigal son to return home?
What difference does ten billion years (difference between accepted age of earth, about 4 billion years, give or take, and age of our universe, about 14 billion years give or take) mean to a daddy completely unlimited by chronological time?
What if, when the petulant rising star rebelled and ran away from home was given a chemistry kit (half of daddy’s estate?)and some time to prove he too was worthy to be a creator and not merely a created?

What if daddy is still waiting for the first lost son?
Who are we to shorten the arm of daddy’s grace, distinctly elder-son-like?

Just some musings by a slightly querious mind.
I sense the truth about daddy will blow our minds completely out of our pedantic and soporific laodicean stupor.

my understanding is that sea floor geomagnetic anomaly data is dated through a correlation with magnetic data preserved in continental igneous rock, which is dated through the K-Ar radiometric dating method…radiometric confirmation of what is originally radiometrically determined may therefore be an example of the type of circular methodology and reasoning that generally afflicts many evolutionary interpretations…and K-Ar dating, itself, suffers the same limitations as other radiometric methods…that is, the current observed half-life for the decay of K40 to Ar40 gas of around 1.25 billion yrs, which no-one can have actually observed or measured to completion, is assumed to be what existed in the past; K40 is assumed to be the only source for any measured Ar40; and all measured K40 is assumed to be accounted for by the residue and what has decayed to Ar40 and Ca40, with no additional K40, Ar40 or Ca40 entering the system, or leaving it, after the initial amount of K40 began decaying…

meanwhile, K-Ar dating of igneous rock taken from Mt. St. Helens, known to have formed between 1980 and 1986, has yielded an age range of .3 - 2.8 Ma, and K-Ar dating of igneous rock taken from New Zealand’s Mt. Ngauruhoe, known to have erupted in 1949, 1954 and 1975, has yielded an age range of up to 3.5 Ma…from the Mt. Ngauruhoe case, it is now established that Ar40 contamination in earth’s upper mantle may be an evidence for a young earth because it means that primordial argon from earth’s interior hasn’t been expelled through the process of outgassing that supposedly occurred at earth’s formation, which it likely would have if earth really were 4.5 billion yrs old…but possibly even more importantly for the K-Ar method, which is used so extensively, is the fact that contaminant primordial argon is almost certainly circulating and building up partial pressures in crustal rock, where it is impossible to distinguish from the product of K40 decay wherever it is measured ( https://answersingenesis.org/geology/radiometric-dating/anomalous-potassium-argon-ages-implications/ )…
,
there is also the not so small problem that current dynamo theory, the conventional explanation for earth’s magnetic field invented in order to sustain a 4.5 billion yr earth origin, and which by definition, if true, would mean that each so-called stripe of magnetic anomaly data, or magnetic reversal, on the sea floor represents many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of yrs, at a minimum, cannot account for the known rapid reversals - sometimes as much as 500 times the rate expected - measured at oregon’s steens mountain, southern israel’s copper mines, and at least one extinct lake in what is now italy…is it objective to conclude that magnetic anomaly data represents hundreds of thousands of yrs of sea floor spreading when the model for earth’s magnetic field interprets each reversal in terms of long periods of time simply because it cannot account for short periods of time, even when those short times are actually observed…in addition, the fact that the decrease in today’s magnetic field represents an exponential slope, and not the linear decline predicted by the dynamo theory, is another indication that the dynamo theory, which evolution depends on, may not be valid, and that time measurements associated with it are being generated to prop up preconceived conclusions…

no-one is arguing that in the absence of a world-wide, reality-altering and cataclysmic flood - in which entire mountain ranges were formed within a comparatively short time, and satan, a spirit, feared for his existence, according to our prophet - and assuming that every measurement system used today is always perfectly closed, that it isn’t reasonable to conclude that observed conditions and isotopic decay rates must have existed in the past, and that evolutionists’ methods and inferences are possibly valid…but creationists, with the same degrees from the same institutions as evolutionists, have seriously challenged these and other notions of uniformitarianism, using everything from alternatives to the conventional dynamo magnetic model to alternate ways of looking at isotope decay…for instance, russell humphreys’ free decay model for earth’s magnetic field, which conforms to a young earth interpretation, not only accounts for known rapid reversals and the exponential slope we see in today’s decreasing magnetic field, but has correctly predicted the existence and strength of magnetic fields for the planets mercury, neptune and uranus, as well the magnetic fields of several large moons, and even the sun…alternative interpretations of isotopic data include the possibility that extensive decay isn’t necessarily evidence for great age, but of the large amounts of exothermic energy used by divinity in noah’s flood…i fail to see why any attempt should be made to incorporate evolutionary assumptions and interpretations in a valid earth origins theory…actual evidence can be interpreted apart from and unfettered by evolutionary theory…