New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues



By Shane Hilde

Newly elected North American Division president, Dan Jackson, was interviewed in Adventist World (September 2010) by Bill Knott and Mark Kellner. Jackson says he is a “dogmatic believer in a short-term, literal, six-day creation” and he anticipates this discussion will not “go on and on.” Spectrum reported that during a press conference following his election as NAD president, Jackson said he would visit LSU to tell the faculty he loved them:

Jackson said that he had just told LSU President Randall Wisbey that he wants an opportunity to come to LSU to tell the faculty that ‘we love them.’

Given La Sierra’s status at the center of the denominational debate on creation, Jackson may be sought to play a peacemaking role.

However, it seemed Spectrum’s hopes for Jackson disappeared when he gave his support for the change to fundamental belief #6. Two days after Jackson’s press conference, Keith Lockhart at Spectrum wrote:

Even Dan Jackson, newly elected president of the North American Division, who raised hopes in a press conference two days ago of a more tolerant approach to La Sierra University, which has been under fire for allegedly teaching evolution in science classes, said he was in ‘full agreement’ with the change.

The buzz surrounding Jackson’s comment must have caught his attention, “The fact that I say ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean that we won’t deal with issues.” It’s beginning to sound like we have a few leaders who are capable of addressing the La Sierra conflict.

[Excerpt from Adventist World]

KNOTT: In addition to the systemic needs for institutional strength, financial support, and enrollment, there are the issues that we recently discussed at the General Conference session, particularly the science curriculum on Adventist campuses in North America. You’ve probably already begun sketching some process by which those issues come to fruitful discussion. What process will you be following?

JACKSON: We need that discussion; I don’t think we should run away from it. I feel very keenly that one of the things we need to do is to embrace our institutions. They need to know that the crew in Silver Spring is saying to them, “We believe in Christian education.That’s part of the core teachings of our church. We’re not going to back away from that.” We need to let our educators know that we love them, that we want them, that they are a significant part of the ministry force of this organization.

“But while I say that, I don’t want anyone to mistake my own resolve. I am by faith a dogmatic believer in a short-term, literal, six-day creation. While I say that, and while I believe that, I don’t believe that we will resolve issues by alienating individuals or institutions. The fact that I say “I love you” doesn’t mean that we won’t deal with issues.

KNOTT: When do you see that process beginning? Many members are a bit wary that the church will tend to put things off three, four, or five years, hoping that something will change. Are you talking about a conversation that starts within six months, or is this something that will stretch out over several years? I have two university-bound Adventist young people in my family, and they’re going to be in those classes this fall and beyond. Our kids are in the crucible right now.

JACKSON: Let me make this point right now: I stand very close philosophically with our General Conference president. We have already set in motion a discussion to be conducted sometime this summer at General Conference headquarters with some of the leaders of our institutions. I would not anticipate that this discussion will go on and on.

KNOTT: Many parents will be encouraged to hear that you have a short chronology of moving to address these issues.

JACKSON: I’ll tell you why I have no softness [on this issue]. A precious child of mine, many years ago, went through an Adventist institution and had some challenges. I have no difficulty understanding the angst of parents; and my commitment is to do all I can to assist whoever is dealing with the issue to bring it resolution.”

Please follow and like us:
273
37

558 thoughts on “New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues

  1. Dear Wes

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I’m indeed sorry if I’ve left the impression that I want to reconfigure Sean’s science. Actually I want to do exactly the opposite: encourage Sean to focus on empiricism. What I hope Sean will do is let us know when he is speculating or theorizing versus when he is citing scientific research.

    I like that evolution is being vigoursly attacked. It is not a sacred cow and needs to be strenuously examined to test it’s merit. Sean has a very important role in this. But such attack must be based on good rigorous science to be credible, not speculation. Hence where is the science to demonstrate the tectonic plates moved dramatically at the time of the flood and caused mountains covered in sediment to rise well above the flood waters? Is this based on EGW proclamations or scientific facts? I’m OK if it is the former as long as it is clarified so. Perhaps Sean can address this issue if I am misunderstanding what he is saying.

    Wes, I hope this helps to clarify mt former comments.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  2. So here we are in a research lab. A brilliant scientist, PhD of course, a Principal Investigator, first sits down and thinks hard and concocts a theory or hypothesis, and then goes after data that will prove or disprove his theory.

    So where did he get the idea for the theory in the first place? Usually from another scientist, that scientist’s published data and conclusions, and the second scientist sets out to prove or disprove the first scientist. That’s science in action, the best kind of science. Happens all the time. I know, I was an NIH research fellow at Washington University.

    But if the idea came from the Bible, by definition and peer review it’s not a theory at all but myth, disproved already – and no way it’ll ever get funded much less published unless to scorn, except to scorn. Now then, young man, you know how you’d jolly well better write up your grant application. And you know the comments and catcalls and hoots and hisses your blog will get.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  3. @Professor Kent:

    So where does one find references 94, 95, 96, and 97? Who is Harutaka Sakai, what is his evidence, and why should I believe him? Did you sit in his Sabbath School class in 1988, or did he publish in the prestigious journal SCIENCE?

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/geologiccolumn.html#References

    The references (94-97) are listed at the bottom of the webpage as follows:

    Harutaka Sakai, a geology professor at Kyushu University, western Japan ( http://staff.whsh.tc.edu.tw/~huanyin/kuo_9.htm )

    M.P. Searle, Extensional and compressional faults in the Everest-Lhotse massif, Khumbu Himalaya, Nepal, Journal of the Geological Society, London, Vol. 156, 1999, pp. 227-240. (http://eprints.ouls.ox.ac.uk/archive/00000811/01/searle_1999.pdf)

    D. Vance et. al., Erosion and Exhumation in the Himalaya from Cosmogenic Isotope Inventories of River Sediments ( http://www.ipp.phys.ethz.ch/research/experiments/tandem/Annual/2003/24.pdf )

    D. Vance et. al., Cosmogenic Isotope Constraints on Erosion Rates in the Himalaya ( http://www.ipp.phys.ethz.ch/research/experiments/tandem/Annual/2000/15.pdf )

    Other studies using different methods have show the erosion rates in the Himalayan region to be similar to that suggested above:

    The comparison between the Brahmaputra and the Ganga shows that the eastern Himalaya has a higher erosion rate (2.9 mm/yr) than the western Himalaya (2.1 mm/yr). [over 200 cm/kyr]

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/29/1/23.abstract

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  4. And now, class, for today’s crystalline Socratic heuristics. Oh.., you, with your hand up…, no, NOT catechistics. What’s your name, kid?

    So when is working from a preconceived idea empirical — and, why not, existential? Add compassionate. And award-winning. Right, exactly! When the idea is from another scientist.

    Now, when is working from a preconceived idea idiotic and hootable and doctrinaire and knuckle-headed? Yes, precisely. Here’s your cookie! When it’s from the Bible.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  5. Dear Wes

    Excellent polemic, I enjoyed it.

    Here is the problem. Bias. If one starts out assuming that the Bible is inerrant and all scientific ideas must conform or be wrong then the science is flawed. I have no problem whatsoever with theories from the Bible being tested. That is a good thing, it can only bring mankind closer to the truth.

    You see I don’t care if the scientist is an atheist, Hindu, Muslim, SDA, Catholic, etc, as long as that hat gets checked at the door when the objective science us done. But if one allows the heat of the hat to warm the cool of the head the subjective red flag gets raised. For example, I deplore Dawkins promotion of atheism based on his evolutinary science. On the other hand I admire a man like Dr. Clausen who, notwithstanding his profound faith, makes painful scientific discovery that is contradictory to that faith. That is sublime scientific integrity.

    That is why I encourage Sean to continue with his quest but do it with an absolute open mind. I am open to being persuaded that evolution is wrong but it will have to be by rationnal methods not prophetic utterance.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  6. Professor Kent says:

    Funny that we had no tall mountains before the flood, then they appeared during the flood, and then the only force acting on them ever since has been erosion. If I understand this correctly, Bob Ryan, Sean Pitman, and all true Adventists believe that mountain-building, uplift processes, and sediment deposition could only have happened during the flood. Professor Kent(Quote)

    Even your friendly neighborhood evolutionist is not going to argue for “A lot of mountain building in the past 5000 years”. What part of that statement are you struggling with?

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  7. Dear Ken, Thank you kindly, good friend. Being seriously old and retired from the lab (research and clinical) and from writing no-nonsense pathology reports (I was a pathologist too), and since you brought it up, and since I like a cheekiness as much as the next professor, I’d rather talk about Sean and whether he’s a scientist than Evo vs. creationism, theistic or otherwise. But, sh—h-h-h, not too loud, or Sean will hear us talking behind his back and shush us up.

    Let us proceed,. The title of this polemic as personal profile is, “ERGO; moveOn.org”

    As I hear him, Sean is indeed proceeding from a premise, unashamedly, no question. Like a scientist should proceed, must proceed, always proceeds, they all do, or should. That’s the scientific method. Having a premise per se is scientific per se, nor anti-scientific per se. It doesn’t take a PhD in philosophy of science per se to know that. Ergo, Sean’s a scientist, per se. His proceeding from a premise is not the question. To always and always make it the question is to spin the prayer wheel, just setting it spinning in the breeze. Like Evo never got started. So let’s moveOn.org (as a neologistical generic verb)

    The question is not whether he proceeds from a premise – the Bible, no bones, even dinosaur bones, about it — but whether you like his premise. You don’t. Is that the real question, whether you like his premise? Ergo – fill in the blank. MoveOn.org.

    No, the question is how he proceeds. He proceeds like a scientist by demanding scientific evidence, i.e. data (which gets him guff from the Purer-higher-Groundless-Faith crowd). Ergo, Sean’s a scientist with thick skin, like a scientist has to have. Moving right along—

    No, the question is where he gets his evidence. Same literature, same universally available and accepted data as Evoeans. He can give references, plenty of references, footnotes, no less. How scientific can you get, footnotes! Ergo, Sean’s a scientist who knows his literature and knows the data and how to present it. Move it, Sean.

    So the next question is, what conclusion does he move to from the data? That there is evidence for Intelligence, he concludes. That the evidence is not inconsistent with a 6-day creation. Or a Noachian flood, smashing tectonic plates and all. Ergo, Sean knows how to come to a conclusion from evidence, and present it. Next move, the pivotal question.

    Pivotal question: do you like his conclusions? You don’t? So what do you conclude? There’s only one allowable conclusion? Ergo, Sean can’t be a scientist, his science can’t really be science, he is closed-minded, his premise is just a myth, he left his lab coat and ID array at the door? He’s the one who should be fired? Now he’s getting guff from the science, er, community. Ergo, the conclusion turns out to be more crucial than the premise, after all. (Oh no!) Ergo-Ergo, Sean is a scientist with thick skin who wants and finds scientific evidence for or against his premise, weighs it, comes to creditable conclusions, but the wrong conclusions, and gets guff from both sides, and is no scientist. Ergo, he MUST be a real scientist. Galileo (he always gets into it) got guff from only one side. Ergo, Sean is twice the scientist.

    Oh, we forgot to work “bias” into it. Ergo, wrong vocabulary? Ergo, skewed?
    But seriously, your move.
    Happy ergos, W

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  8. Re Wes’s Quote

    “So the next question is, what conclusion does he move to from the data? ”

    Dear Wes

    Or is the question did Sean move to the data from his conclusion based on faith?

    Regards
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  9. @ Bob Ryan

    Even your friendly neighborhood evolutionist is not going to argue for “A lot of mountain building in the past 5000 years”. What part of that statement are you struggling with?

    Are you trying to make a point?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  10. @Ken:

    Or is the question did Sean move to the data from his conclusion based on faith?

    The real question is, what do you think the data says? Even scientists are forced to make leaps of faith beyond which the data will conclusively support. Scientific theories are subject to potential falsification. Therefore, the conclusions of scientists are not absolute, but are dependent upon leaps of faith that cannot be known, with certainty, to be valid. The best anyone can say when coming to a particular conclusion about the reality of the world in which one finds ones self is that all beliefs regarding the true nature of reality are in some degree subjective and therefore potentially wrong.

    In short, I’ve based my own conclusions on the best available evidence that I can personally understand and that make rational sense to me; not on blind faith or some emotional conviction. I dare say that you can do no better…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  11. Hmmmm. Do I correctly register your (Ken’s) question, its wording? “….did Sean move to the data from his conclusion…?” Assuming this is a correct quote, it is to be noted that the syntax of the Seanistic protocol is carefully and, of course, crucially reversed. As previously recorded (you could look it up), the investigator moves from premise to data to a conclusion, not the other way around. Thus correctly vectored, progress of the empirical experience of this segment of the process is not faith dependent, the conjoining of faith to it irrelevant, and the attendant question, being unanswerable, evocative only of deeper fog.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  12. Welcome again, class, to Philosophy of Science 101. Today’s carefully devised Socratic: Ignoring all other variables (e.g., data, protocol, even bilateral bias, direction of process vector, etc.), which of the following, as a scientific tool, is the more productive in the lab (not the blog)? (1) Sean’s faith. (2) Agnostic obsession with it.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  13. Re Sean’s Quote

    “The real question is, what do you think the data says? Even scientists are forced to make leaps of faith beyond which the data will conclusively support. Scientific theories are subject to potential falsification. Therefore, the conclusions of scientists are not absolute, but are dependent upon leaps of faith that cannot be known, with certainty, to be valid. The best anyone can say when coming to a particular conclusion about the reality of the world in which one finds ones self is that all beliefs regarding the true nature of reality are in some degree subjective and therefore potentially wrong.

    In short, I’ve based my own conclusions on the best available evidence that I can personally understand and that make rational sense to me; not on blind faith or some emotional conviction. I dare say that you can do no better…”

    Dear Sean

    As always thanks for your comments

    I quite agree with you, I don’t think my subjective “I” can do any better. In fact I think my subjective “I” or eye does far worse than you who has studied the topic far more thoroughly than myself. That is why, as best as I can with my human foibles and subjective ego, attempt to view the data objectively without a faith or non-faith bias. Moreover I think the objective capacities of men like Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein and Darwin, won over the subjective parts of their human personalities when it came to their scientific theories. Are you of that ilk or does your SDA faith prevent you from doing so? That is the question my dear friend, who so wonderfully has espoused the Royal Law of Love. Look into your heart on that one my dear man, as I have done in mine.

    If Jesus, or EGW, or any other modern day prophet should appear and speak to me then I will factor that into my reckoning. So far that has not happened but I remain open to the possibility. If reading the Bible, which I have done -as well as many other ‘sacred’ texts – results in a spiritual experience that suggests my rational reckoning is wrong, then so be it.

    The real question is not what “I” think the data says. The real question is what objectively the data says. Now if enough rational minds examine theories over time, be it gravity, evolution etc. what conclusions does collective rationality reach? That is far more the question or the test than whether “I” could do better. I cannot.

    Dear Sean, please look at the following statements you have made and advise whether this comes from your empirical study of the data or from your faith in the pronouncements of EGW and your interpretation of the Bible.

    “Since there were no great oceans before the Flood, the boats in existence during this time would not have been built for rough ocean voyages – but would have been build only for easy going lake, river, and shallow sea voyages. Such vessels would have been no match for the Noachian Deluge.”

    “There were no “continents” before the Flood. There were no great oceans and it never rained either. The Earth was watered by four great rivers and the “fountains” that were broken up during the Flood.”

    “There were no rough seas before the Flood as the weather was very mild and consistent world wide.”

    ” Before the Flood, it never rained and there were no large oceans. The Earth was watered by four great rivers and every morning the surface of the Earth was watered by dew that came up from the ground; with the water being supplied by the extensive underlying network of “fountains”. This mechanism of watering the Earth would have produced an extremely lush planet worldwide. This is consistent with Mrs. White’s claim that there were no extremes of temperature on the pre-Flood Earth – that the entire planet was of a uniform temperature and extremely lush and verdant.”

    “All of this changed in one day when catastrophe struck the planet and broke up the Earth, all over the place, in a single day, resulting is massive flooding and rapid continental movements and collisions… ”

    Sean,if these theories are based on empirical data then I’d be most happy to review the data you rely upon. If, however these statements are based on your belief in the Bible and the prophetic utterances of EGW, then I ask whether you are subject to a faith bias when you are conducting your scientific inquiry on origins.

    Respectfully
    your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  14. @ Bob RyanAre you trying to make a point?  (Quote)

    The assumption was that you were following the argument that you carefully snipped out of that post.

    You were the one expressing doubt about the fact that Bible believing Christians argue that the mountains we see today came from the flood and that very little “mountain building” has gone on in the almost 2000 years since the flood.

    I pointed out a key flaw in your argument which is (again) that even your own evolutionist friends do not argue for massive mountain building events in those 4000-5000 years that Bible believing Christians say the mountains were pretty much what we see today.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  15. Dear Wes

    I do enjoy your writing.

    Faith vs. agnosticism as the more productive, non biased scientific tool? I can live with the verdict on that my friend. Who do you suggest we put on the jury?

    Obsessed? Oh so very guilty as charged. your honour. But on the topic of origins not any particular faith.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  16. @Ken:

    Sean,if these theories are based on empirical data then I’d be most happy to review the data you rely upon. If, however these statements are based on your belief in the Bible and the prophetic utterances of EGW, then I ask whether you are subject to a faith bias when you are conducting your scientific inquiry on origins.

    If you would take the time to review my website you would find no references to the Bible or Mrs. White. My point in this particular forum is that the available evidence is consistent with the statements of these texts on origins while being strongly inconsistent with mainstream theories. At one point in time the entire planet was covered by water since the Cretaceous layer has a worldwide distribution. The layers of the geologic record are also extremely flat relative to each other. During the formation of this column, obviously, there were no very tall mountain ranges as exist today… just like Mrs. White says she was shown. These features are consistent with her claims. The same is true of the biblical claims regarding the recent formation of all life on this planet and a recent world wide Noachian deluge. This claim is consistent with the overwhelming weight of empirical evidence as far as I am able to tell…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  17. Re Sean’s Quote

    “If you would take the time to review my website you would find no references to the Bible or Mrs. White. My point in this particular forum is that the available evidence is consistent with the statements of these texts on origins while being strongly inconsistent with mainstream theories. At one point in time the entire planet was covered by water since the Cretaceous layer has a worldwide distribution. The layers of the geologic record are also extremely flat relative to each other. During the formation of this column, obviously, there were no very tall mountain ranges as exist today… just like Mrs. White says she was shown. These features are consistent with her claims. The same is true of the biblical claims regarding the recent formation of all life on this planet and a recent world wide Noachian deluge. This claim is consistent with the overwhelming weight of empirical evidence as far as I am able to tell…

    Sean Pitman”

    Dear Sean

    Good reply.

    I want you to know that I have read considerable portions from your website and will continue to do so. I enjoy them and am that much better informed as a result.

    You make a valid point on the distinction between this forum and your website. This forum does indeed deal with issues of faith as well as science. The problem though is that the reader can get confused as to which statements are faith based versus science based, or perhaps based on both.

    To your credit, you have avoided mixing faith apples with scientific oranges on your website. I’m not sure however, if, regarding your previous statements I cited, there is specific empirical data that support these points. Are you saying that in general the empirical evidence corroborates these ‘faith’ based statements?

    Kind regards
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  18. Re Bob’s Quote

    “I pointed out a key flaw in your argument which is (again) that even your own evolutionist friends do not argue for massive mountain building events in those 4000-5000 years that Bible believing Christians say the mountains were pretty much what we see today.”

    Dear Bob

    I start with the caveat that geology is not my forte and I did not do well in it ant university. Notwithstanding my ignorance, and please do correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t mainstream geology theorize that the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayan Mountains are greater than 50 million years old?

    Regards
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  19. Re Age of Mountains

    Hi Sean

    I was scanning your website to look for information on the speed of movement of tectonic plates but did not see any information. If you have specifically commented on that could you please direct me to that specific article.

    Many thanks
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  20. Regarding Sean Pitman’s statements:

    “Since there were no great oceans before the Flood, the boats in existence during this time would not have been built for rough ocean voyages – but would have been build only for easy going lake, river, and shallow sea voyages. Such vessels would have been no match for the Noachian Deluge.”

    I’d like to see the evidence that the majority of the earth’s crust comprised dry land. I’d also love to learn more about antedeluvian boat architecture.

    “There were no “continents” before the Flood. There were no great oceans and it never rained either. The Earth was watered by four great rivers and the “fountains” that were broken up during the Flood.”

    Okay…so there was a Gondwanaland (a supercontinent), but no ocean? We know that for fact? No rain? Where is the physical evidence for pre-flood rain or its absence? And for four ancient great rivers?

    “There were no rough seas before the Flood as the weather was very mild and consistent world wide.”

    How rough is “rough” and how would pre-flood waves be recorded in the geological evidence? Do ice data support a mild world-wide pre-flood climate?

    ” Before the Flood, it never rained and there were no large oceans. The Earth was watered by four great rivers and every morning the surface of the Earth was watered by dew that came up from the ground; with the water being supplied by the extensive underlying network of “fountains”. This mechanism of watering the Earth would have produced an extremely lush planet worldwide. This is consistent with Mrs. White’s claim that there were no extremes of temperature on the pre-Flood Earth – that the entire planet was of a uniform temperature and extremely lush and verdant.”

    So Ellen White is consistent with Ellen White. I’d like to see physical evidence consistent with Ellen White.

    “All of this changed in one day when catastrophe struck the planet and broke up the Earth, all over the place, in a single day, resulting is massive flooding and rapid continental movements and collisions… ”

    I thought the Noachian Flood lasted more than one day. How do we know that rapid continental movements and collisions took place the first day?

    I’d like to remind readers that beliefs based on blind faith are as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If there is no physical evidence for these beliefs, there should be no place for them in the sincere Christian’s life.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  21. Sean Pitman wrote

    At one point in time the entire planet was covered by water since the Cretaceous layer has a worldwide distribution.

    Despite years of gardening, I haven’t seen the cretaceous layer in my backyard. Do you suppose I’m not digging deep enough?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  22. Regarding Sean Pitman’s statements:

    “Since there were no great oceans before the Flood, the boats in existence during this time would not have been built for rough ocean voyages – but would have been build only for easy going lake, river, and shallow sea voyages. Such vessels would have been no match for the Noachian Deluge.”

    I’d like to see the evidence that the majority of the earth’s crust comprised dry land. I’d also love to learn more about antedeluvian boat architecture.

    “There were no “continents” before the Flood. There were no great oceans and it never rained either. The Earth was watered by four great rivers and the “fountains” that were broken up during the Flood.”

    Okay…so there was a Gondwanaland (a supercontinent), but no ocean? We know that for fact? No rain? Where is the physical evidence for pre-flood rain or its absence? And for four ancient great rivers?

    “There were no rough seas before the Flood as the weather was very mild and consistent world wide.”

    How rough is “rough” and how would pre-flood waves be recorded in the geological evidence? Do ice data support a mild world-wide pre-flood climate?

    ” Before the Flood, it never rained and there were no large oceans. The Earth was watered by four great rivers and every morning the surface of the Earth was watered by dew that came up from the ground; with the water being supplied by the extensive underlying network of “fountains”. This mechanism of watering the Earth would have produced an extremely lush planet worldwide. This is consistent with Mrs. White’s claim that there were no extremes of temperature on the pre-Flood Earth – that the entire planet was of a uniform temperature and extremely lush and verdant.”

    So Ellen White is consistent with Ellen White. I’d like to see physical evidence consistent with Ellen White.

    “All of this changed in one day when catastrophe struck the planet and broke up the Earth, all over the place, in a single day, resulting is massive flooding and rapid continental movements and collisions… ”

    I thought the Noachian Flood lasted more than one day. How do we know that rapid continental movements and collisions took place the first day?

    I’d like to remind readers that beliefs based on blind faith are as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If there is no physical evidence for these beliefs, there should be no place for them in the sincere Christian’s life.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  23. @Professor Kent:

    Despite years of gardening, I haven’t seen the cretaceous layer in my backyard. Do you suppose I’m not digging deep enough?

    You think? Maybe if your garden there in Hemet were just a bit deeper… The Cretaceous layers, around the globe, range from several hundred to well over a thousand meters in thickness.

    Are you really questioning the worldwide distribution of the Cretaceous layers? – especially the K-T boundary?

    I thought the Noachian Flood lasted more than one day. How do we know that rapid continental movements and collisions took place the first day?

    The Bible says that all the fountains of the great deep were broken up in a single day. Such a huge release of energy is consistent with a break up of the supercontinent and very rapid continental drift. This position is consistent with the physical evidence – that continental drift occurred much much more rapidly in the recent past. The modern theory that continental drift has been occurring for some 250 million years is inconsistent with the current evidence of very rapid coastal erosion rates and ocean sedimentation rates…

    I’d like to remind readers that beliefs based on blind faith are as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If there is no physical evidence for these beliefs, there should be no place for them in the sincere Christian’s life.

    The physical evidence is consistent with the Biblical statements of origins while, at the same time, being inconsistent with the mainstream theories of origins regarding the geologic column and fossil records. These are records of a series of shortly spaced watery catastrophes on a worldwide scale – just like the Bible says. This evidence of a Noachian Flood was intended by God to support a rational faith in the reliability of His written Word – the Bible. However, this evidence has been misinterpreted far beyond its clear meaning to the candid mind by mainstream scientists. Mrs White comments on this situation as follows:

    In the history of the Flood, inspiration has explained that which geology alone could never fathom. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and trees, many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same error as did the people before the Flood–the things which God gave them as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them.

    – Ellen White, PP, p. 112
    http://www.whiteestate.org/books/pp/pp9.html

    Also, consistent with Mrs. White’s claim that there were no tall mountain ranges as exist today, the layers of the geologic column are universally very flat relative to each other. Many of these layers have a very extensive distribution, being found all over the world (such as the Cretaceous and the K-T boundary), strongly supporting the conclusion that there were no very tall mountain ranges during this time. The Earth was in fact a much flatter place and was entirely covered by water at the same time.

    The universal paleocurrents noted by Prof. Arthur Chadwick, all flowing the same direction around the entire globe at the same time over all the continents, also supports this conclusion in line with the biblical story and commentaries of Mrs. White.

    Beyond this, there is no evidence in the geologic column to support your notion that there were tall mountain ranges as exist today during the pre-cretaceous periods of time. This notion of yours is completely unsupported by the evidence. The Earth was in fact a much flatter place than it is today before the end of the Cretaceous… world wide. This is the reason why we see sea shells and diatomaceous sediments on all of the tallest mountain ranges and on all the continents in the world today. This is also one of the reasons why all of the tallest mountain ranges in the world today, from the Rockies to the Himalayas, are thought, by mainstream scientists, to have started their uplift within the past 70 million years. Before this time, there simply were no such mountain ranges of remotely similar height. In other words, the world was, according to mainstream scientists, much much flatter than it is today – right in line with the comments of Mrs. White regarding the sequence of events (except for the actual timing of these events of course).

    Please review the following topographical map of the Earth during the various periods of time geologic column formation:

    http://www.scotese.com/3Dmodels.htm

    Note that before the late Cretaceous, especially during the Middle Devonian, there simply are no significant mountain ranges evidenced in the geologic record. Even according to mainstream thinking the continents were nearly completely covered with water and the average surface ocean temperature was close to if not over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also consistent with a huge release of energy that significantly warmed the entire planet during the Flood and for several hundred years after…

    So, there is really no need for your appeal to blind faith or that all the available evidence is clearly in support of the mainstream model of origins. That notion of yours simply isn’t true. Your argument that just because every point and every claim found in the Bible cannot be directly proved is a silly argument. If every point could be directly proved without reference to the Bible, there would be no need of having the Bible at all. The credibility of the Bible is derived, not from absolute demonstration of all of its claims, but by the demonstration of those claims that can be tested to be consistently reliable and by the lack of any clearly falsifying evidence regarding the Bible’s description of the empirical reality in which we live.

    I’m glad to see, though, that you’ve dropped your most interesting argument that no one can determine erosion rates in the Himalayas because no one has been directly observing and recording erosion rates over the course of even a thousand years ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  24. @Ken:

    I’m interested in this. Do you have references to the science in this regard?

    What references do you need besides the ones I’ve just provided above as well as those on my website discussing the problems with the mainstream model of plate tectonics taking place over some 200 million years?

    As I’ve already explained, the coastal erosion rates are far too great for continental drift to have been taking place for 200 million years and mainstream scientists believe. Rather, this evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the continents have not been separated for nearly so long. There is also no known source of energy that could slowly drive continental drift. Rather, it seems like the current motion of the continents was the result of a recent catastrophic release of energy with a rapid initial movement of the continents and then a slowing down of their movement with the building of tall mountain ranges and deep ocean trenches. We are simply experiencing the residual aftershocks of that original catastrophe…

    The same is true of the lack of ocean sediment. The ocean sediments could have been deposited in less than 15 million years at current rates of deposition – and much much faster given a catastrophic scenario as is supported by the many other world wide water-based catastrophic features that are recording in the geologic record.

    Overall, the weight of available evidence is consistent with the Genesis account of a recent creation of all life on this planet with a destruction of that life by a recent worldwide Flood of magnificent proportions. This weight of evidence is, at the same time, inconsistent with the mainstream story of origins – as far as I am able to understand the evidence.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  25. Re Sean’s Quote

    “The Bible says that all the fountains of the great deep were broken up in a single day. Such a huge release of energy is consistent with a break up of the supercontinent and very rapid continental drift. This position is consistent with the physical evidence – that continental drift occurred much much more rapidly in the recent past.”

    Hi Sean

    I’m interested in this. Do you have references to the science in this regard?

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  26. @Ken:

    I’m interested in this. Do you have references to the science in this regard?

    What references do you need besides the ones I’ve just provided above as well as those on my website discussing the problems with the mainstream model of plate tectonics taking place over some 200 million years?

    As I’ve already explained, the coastal erosion rates are far too great for continental drift to have been taking place for 200 million years and mainstream scientists believe. Rather, this evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the continents have not been separated for nearly so long. There is also no known source of energy that could slowly drive continental drift. Rather, it seems like the current motion of the continents was the result of a recent catastrophic release of energy with a rapid initial movement of the continents and then a slowing down of their movement with the building of tall mountain ranges and deep ocean trenches. We are simply experiencing the residual aftershocks of that original catastrophe…

    The same is true of the lack of ocean sediment. The ocean sediments could have been deposited in less than 15 million years at current rates of deposition – and much much faster given a catastrophic scenario as is supported by the many other world wide water-based catastrophic features that are recording in the geologic record.

    Overall, the weight of available evidence is consistent with the Genesis account of a recent creation of all life on this planet with a destruction of that life by a recent worldwide Flood of magnificent proportions. This weight of evidence is, at the same time, inconsistent with the mainstream story of origins – as far as I am able to understand the evidence.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  27. @ Sean Pitman

    What references do you need besides the ones I’ve just provided above as well as those on my website discussing the problems with the mainstream model of plate tectonics taking place over some 200 million years?

    I’m assuming that Ken is not particularly impressed that you would use Ellen White and Art Chadwick (cited above) to support your rather extraordinary and effusively dogmatic geological claims.

    So, there is really no need for your appeal to blind faith or that all the available evidence is clearly in support of the mainstream model of origins.

    I have never made an appeal to “blind faith.” A number of us, including individuals like the Marshalls whom you have run out of here, have countered the “blind” aspect of faith while defending faith itself, which you continue to denigrate. There is NOTHING wrong with SDAs who advocate faith (including Geoscience Research Institute employees), and you should stop belittling them and arguing that they are unfit for denominational employment. Nor have I ever suggested that all the available evidence clearly supports the mainstream model of origins.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  28. @ Sean Pitman

    At one point in time the entire planet was covered by water since the Cretaceous layer has a worldwide distribution.

    I am still highly amused by this statement. I’m not questioning the extent of the Cretaceous layer; after all, uniquely identifiable deposits were preserved during this particular time, whether it was millions of years ago or during a brief period of the flood. I’m questioning the scientific validity of your deductive reasoning.

    1. The cretaceous layer occurs worldwide
    2. Therefore, water occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

    Do you not see the problem here? If your reasoning was correct, as simple and straightforward as you insist from the observed facts alone, wouldn’t everyone understand it the same as you?

    Out of curiosity, how do you explain the very obvious subdivisions of the cretaceous period? Why are the life forms so very different when comparing the lower and upper deposits?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  29. @ Sean Pitman

    What references do you need besides the ones I’ve just provided above as well as those on my website discussing the problems with the mainstream model of plate tectonics taking place over some 200 million years?

    I’m assuming that Ken is not particularly impressed that you would use Ellen White and Art Chadwick (cited above) to support your rather extraordinary and effusively dogmatic geological claims.

    So, there is really no need for your appeal to blind faith or that all the available evidence is clearly in support of the mainstream model of origins.

    I have never made an appeal to “blind faith.” A number of us, including individuals like the Marshalls whom you have run out of here, have countered the “blind” aspect of faith while defending faith itself, which you continue to denigrate. There is NOTHING wrong with SDAs who advocate faith (including Geoscience Research Institute employees), and you should stop belittling them and arguing that they are unfit for denominational employment. Nor have I ever suggested that all the available evidence clearly supports the mainstream model of origins.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  30. @ Sean Pitman

    At one point in time the entire planet was covered by water since the Cretaceous layer has a worldwide distribution.

    I am still highly amused by this statement. I’m not questioning the extent of the Cretaceous layer; after all, uniquely identifiable deposits were preserved during this particular time, whether it was millions of years ago or during a brief period of the flood. I’m questioning the scientific validity of your deductive reasoning.

    1. The cretaceous layer occurs worldwide
    2. Therefore, water occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

    Do you not see the problem here? If your reasoning was correct, as simple and straightforward as you insist from the observed facts alone, wouldn’t everyone understand it the same as you?

    Out of curiosity, how do you explain the very obvious subdivisions of the cretaceous period? Why are the life forms so very different when comparing the lower and upper deposits?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  31. @ Sean Pitman

    I’m glad to see, though, that you’ve dropped your most interesting argument that no one can determine erosion rates in the Himalayas because no one has been direction observing and recording erosion rates over the course of even a thousand years ; )

    Returning to this, where exactly in the Himalayas were the estimates obtained? From the summits of these mountains or from the valleys? I was unable to access your references; the unpublished reports you cited to support your claims appear to have been removed from the internet.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  32. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Rather, it seems like the current motion of the continents was the result of a recent catastrophic release of energy with a rapid initial movement of the continents and then a slowing down of their movement with the building of tall mountain ranges and deep ocean trenches. We are simply experiencing the residual aftershocks of that original catastrophe…”

    Dear Sean

    As always, thanks for your comments.

    I’ve been reading and thinking and have a couple of questions based on your quote.

    1. When do you or any scientists predict that continental drift will come to a standstill if it is slowing down? Is there any physical model or physics whatsoever to demonstrate that friction and gravity after 4000 years would not have stopped catastrophic continental drift? Seems like a long time for massive amounts of material to still be moving, if there is no known source of energy to drive continental drift as you posit.

    2. Based on your theory should the rate of growth of Mt.Everest be slowing down? From what I have read GPS readings seem to indicate that it continues to grow at about 2.5 inches a year. When should that stop? Does the weight of evidence support that, 4000 years later, the original energy released from the earth breaking up in one day, is still causing Mt Everest to grow 2.5 inches a year?

    Sorry to be like a dog with a ‘continental drift’ bone but scientific inquiry demands rigour and extreme attention to detail.

    ‘Moving slowly along now.’

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  33. Like the April rains in Ohio, on good days every twenty minutes, and as much a part of the landscape, and as welcome, are the postings of our beloved resident professor. And as inclusive, identifying himself with “all SDAs,” “all conservative Christians,” with all “scientific” and “inquiring” and “right-thinking minds Christian and agnostic,” “all Christians and agnostics of faith” (quotation marks as per Dan Rather) en masse, like the raindrops falling upon the just and unjust alike, like holy water sprinkled upon the throng, with individual blessings upon right-thinking posters like the Marshalls et al singled out by name; indeed upon, it would seem, every man and woman and high school student in creation, upon us all, all except Sean. Such name-dropping. But, alas, there might be some who, otherwise half-dozingly entertained, just might wish the voice sui generis would presume to speak only for itself. Such demographic presumption evokes the proffer’s own standard request — where’s your data? Have you personally done statistically valid polls? Show us your protocol. And parameters. Where are Z- and T-scores? As a start.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  34. From what I have read GPS readings seem to indicate that it continues to grow at about 2.5 inches a year.

    Ken, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everest and http://www.bautforum.com/archive/index.php/t-33523.html make me wonder about that 2.5 in. figure.

    The former says, “Two accounts suggest the rates of change are 4 mm (0.16 in) per year (upwards) …, but another account mentions more lateral movement (27 mm/1.1 in), … and even shrinkage has been suggested.”

    It sounds to me like no one knows for sure.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  35. Speaking of demographic presumption, I assume that everyone here has one question in mind: did God leave room for doubt? (Some might have noticed that the Bible authors failed to report z- and t-scores.)

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  36. @Professor Kent:

    Returning to this, where exactly in the Himalayas were the estimates obtained? From the summits of these mountains or from the valleys? I was unable to access your references; the unpublished reports you cited to support your claims appear to have been removed from the internet.

    The links to the PDF files of the abstracts and papers (which were published by the way) are still active. I just tried them out again and they still work. Many more references regarding erosion rates within major mountain chains are available. Just do a bit of searching yourself if you don’t believe me or if you actually question the erosion rates I’ve listed to any significant degree. Here’s another one I found for you to consider (as already noted above, but obviously you did not even try to read):

    “The comparison between the Brahmaputra and the Ganga shows that the eastern Himalaya has a higher erosion rate (2.9 mm/yr) than the western Himalaya (2.1 mm/yr).” [over 200 cm/kyr]

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/29/1/23.abstract

    Or this letter published in 2003 by the journal Nature noting that erosion rates in the Himalayas have a “long-term” range from 2-5 mm/yr:

    http://lgca.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr/perso/pvanderb/doc_pedago_fichiers/TUE558_articles/Burbank_Nature2003.pdf

    Why then are you arguing that no one can tell what the erosion rate on Mt. Everest is or was over the past thousand years? or more?

    I am still highly amused by this statement. I’m not questioning the extent of the Cretaceous layer; after all, uniquely identifiable deposits were preserved during this particular time, whether it was millions of years ago or during a brief period of the flood. I’m questioning the scientific validity of your deductive reasoning.

    1. The cretaceous layer occurs worldwide
    2. Therefore, water occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

    Do you not see the problem here? If your reasoning was correct, as simple and straightforward as you insist from the observed facts alone, wouldn’t everyone understand it the same as you?

    The reasoning is not at all inconsistent with a worldwide Flood since the entire world is in fact covered by sediments that were deposited by water (water that was flowing in the same direction world-wide at various points in time by the way).

    At the very least this evidence overwhelmingly supports the idea that during this period of time and before, there were no high mountain ranges as there are today – as also noted by Mrs. White and consistent with the Biblical claim that all the “mountains” that existed before the Flood were low enough to be completely covered by the waters of the Flood.

    Clearly, even by mainstream thinking, the entire world was a much flatter place during the formation of the geologic/fossil records than it is today. That’s a fact which even mainstream scientists accept. I’m quite surprised, actually, that you would think to challenge this particular statement of Mrs. White since it is at least one of her statements that is very much in line with mainstream scientific thinking…

    Given the lack of very tall mountain ranges, any massive impact or sudden release of energy on the Earth would have produced huge Tsunamis traveling a very high speeds around the entire globe – with nothing to stop them from going around and around the whole Earth (depositing sedimentary layers each time around).

    Such a view is not only consistent with the Biblical account of the Flood, it is consistent with the general features of the geologic record to include the very flat layers world-wide, the uniform direction of water flow world wide, and the general lack of uneven erosion between layers as well as the general lack of significant bioturbation.

    Speaking of demographic presumption, I assume that everyone here has one question in mind: did God leave room for doubt? (Some might have noticed that the Bible authors failed to report z- and t-scores.)

    People are free to doubt in the face of otherwise overwhelming evidence to the candid mind. People are able to doubt even in the face of someone being raised from the dead before their very eyes or in the face of the 10 plagues of Egypt that came exactly at the announcement of Moses. What are the odds? You don’t need z- or t-scores spelled out for you to understand that the odds of random chance or luck being the true explanation are extraordinarily slim. Yet, you are still free to doubt just the same in the face of clearly overwhelming odds. Remember, science isn’t about what is possible, but what is probable…

    However, even if you think you are correct in your views, you are not free to expect the SDA Church to pay you or anyone else to express views that directly undermine the Church’s clearly stated goals and ideals – even if you think your ideas are much more reasonable and scientifically sound. As any viable organization, the Church must hire only those representatives who are actually willing to accurately represent what the Church stands for as an organization. This really isn’t about judging those who are honestly sincere in their disagreement with the Church. There are many such people who very honest and sincere. It is just that honesty and sincerity aren’t enough to get a paycheck from the Church… or any other organization for that matter with which one fundamentally disagrees.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  37. @Ken:

    I’ve been reading and thinking and have a couple of questions based on your quote.

    1. When do you or any scientists predict that continental drift will come to a standstill if it is slowing down? Is there any physical model or physics whatsoever to demonstrate that friction and gravity after 4000 years would not have stopped catastrophic continental drift? Seems like a long time for massive amounts of material to still be moving, if there is no known source of energy to drive continental drift as you posit.

    Continents are like huge icebergs. Their “roots” extend deep into the mantle of the Earth. They are truly massive. The massive energy release that caused the original break up of their structure would take quite a while to completely dissipate. Beyond this, the constant pull of the Moon on the Earth (and the Sun to some extent) warps the Earth on a daily basis and provides a mechanism for keeping the massive continents from settling into place and becoming stable again.

    2. Based on your theory should the rate of growth of Mt.Everest be slowing down?

    From its rate of original uplift, yes. Again, this is where the erosion rate problem for mainstream thinking comes into play – in a very significant way.

    From what I have read GPS readings seem to indicate that it continues to grow at about 2.5 inches a year. When should that stop? Does the weight of evidence support that, 4000 years later, the original energy released from the earth breaking up in one day, is still causing Mt Everest to grow 2.5 inches a year?

    “In 1994 researchers placed a global positioning satellite (GPS) device on the South Col, a plateau below the summit. Readings suggest that Everest grows 0.1576 inches (about four millimeters) each year.”

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/99/everest/roof_content.html

    Consider that an average growth rate of 4 mm/yr is equal to around 4 million mm of growth in one million years – or 4000 meters per million years. Given 50 million years since Everest is suppose to have started it’s uplift, that works out to be over 200,000 meters of elevation. Yet, Mt. Everest is only ~8,848 meters tall today.

    This strongly suggests that whatever force drove the Indian subcontinent into the Asian continent did so recently – not some 50 million years ago. Otherwise, there would be no sedimentary layers left atop Mt. Everest (because of the very high erosion rate in the region) and the Himalayan mountains, in general, would be much taller than they are today…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  38. Re Sean’s Quote

    “There is also no known source of energy that could slowly drive continental drift.

    ” Beyond this, the constant pull of the Moon on the Earth (and the Sun to some extent) warps the Earth on a daily basis and provides a mechanism for keeping the massive continents from settling into place and becoming stable again. ”

    Dear Sean

    Thanks for your comments.

    Please compare your two comments regarding your theorie(s) of the energy that drives continental drift. This is why I’m having problems with the credibility of what you are saying. With respect, I don’t think you can have your ‘continental cake and eat it too’. Sometimes continents move fast, sometimes slow, it all depends on what? Science or concordance with EGW’s statements. I’m bewildered by these contradictions without scientific reference.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  39. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Consider that an average growth rate of 4 mm/yr is equal to around 4 million mm of growth in one million years – or 4000 meters per million years. Given 50 million years since Everest is suppose to have started it’s uplift, that works out to be over 200,000 meters of elevation. Yet, Mt. Everest is only ~8,848 meters tall today.”

    Dear Sean

    Have you not omitted offsetting erosion here?

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  40. 1. The cretaceous layer occurs worldwide
    2. Therefore, water occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

    1. Humans occur worldwide
    2. Therefore, humans occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  41. @ Sean Pitman

    Consider that an average growth rate of 4 mm/yr is equal to around 4 million mm of growth in one million years – or 4000 meters per million years. Given 50 million years since Everest is suppose to have started it’s uplift, that works out to be over 200,000 meters of elevation. Yet, Mt. Everest is only ~8,848 meters tall today.

    I had no idea that informed geologists believe in uniform rates of mountain building and erosion. But if that’s what they believe, then your reasoning cannot be faulted.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  42. @ Sean Pitman

    Given the lack of very tall mountain ranges, any massive impact or sudden release of energy on the Earth would have produced huge Tsunamis traveling a very high speeds around the entire globe – with nothing to stop them from going around and around the whole Earth (depositing sedimentary layers each time around). Such a view is not only consistent with the Biblical account of the Flood, it is consistent with the general features of the geologic record to include the very flat layers world-wide, the uniform direction of water flow world wide, and the general lack of uneven erosion between layers as well as the general lack of significant bioturbation.

    Would these Tsunamis depositing fossils have taken place before the flood, when you claim there were no large oceans; during the flood, when water covered the entire earth and we are told that all the deposits were buried; or after the flood? Were the deposits washed up on land or buried in situ under water?

    How do you account for the multiple fossil layers? Were these all deposited at one time (e.g., day 17 of the flood)? Or by multiple tsumanis? With such massive tsunamis, why didn’t the marine/lowland/montane sediments containing life forms from different ecological zones (a common creationist explanation for simple-to-complex stratification of fossils) get all jumbled together?

    And, in response to the most fascinating implication of your evidence-based science, in which single direction do tsunamis generally flow–is it east, west, north, or south?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  43. Re Sean’s Quotes

    “Given the lack of very tall mountain ranges, any massive impact or sudden release of energy on the Earth would have produced huge Tsunamis traveling a very high speeds around the entire globe – with nothing to stop them from going around and around the whole Earth (depositing sedimentary layers each time around).”

    “Consider the following statements of Mrs. White in this regard:

    Some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful animals, knowing that these were tenacious of life, and would climb to the highest points to escape the rising waters. Some fastened themselves to lofty trees on the summit of hills or mountains; but the trees were uprooted, and with their burden of living beings were hurled into the seething billows. One spot after another that promised safety was abandoned. As the waters rose higher and higher, the people fled for refuge to the loftiest mountains. Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away.

    – Ellen White, PP, p. 100 ”

    Dear Sean

    Do you think these two statements are compatible?

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  44. Dear Sean and all

    As you recall, in a previous blog I asked Sean for scientific references or models supporting the break up of the tectonic plates at the time of the Noachian Flood. In fairness I found one at Global Flood. org. I reprint it here for everyone’s edification.

    [Length of article too long. Please provide link instead.]

    I hope this assists with the ongoing debate.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  45. @ken:

    Please compare your two comments regarding your theorie(s) of the energy that drives continental drift. This is why I’m having problems with the credibility of what you are saying. With respect, I don’t think you can have your ‘continental cake and eat it too’. Sometimes continents move fast, sometimes slow, it all depends on what? Science or concordance with EGW’s statements. I’m bewildered by these contradictions without scientific reference.

    There is no known energy source that can adequately explain continental drift with the building of massive mountains and ocean trenches over vast periods of time. My statement about the Earth’s rotation relative to the moon is not an effort to explain continental drift via the daily deformation produced by the gravitational action of the moon on the planet. Rather, such deformations may contribute to the lack of re-solidification of the continental shelves. Overall, however, I think current continental drift rates are largely the result of aftershocks from the original point of massive energy release that broke up the continents to begin with. In other words, even though I do not buy-in to many of the features of certain catastrophic models (to include your reference to Baumgardner’s ideas), I do think that the evidence clearly favors a recent catastrophic model for continental drift of some kind…

    Re Sean’s Quote

    “Consider that an average growth rate of 4 mm/yr is equal to around 4 million mm of growth in one million years – or 4000 meters per million years. Given 50 million years since Everest is suppose to have started it’s uplift, that works out to be over 200,000 meters of elevation. Yet, Mt. Everest is only ~8,848 meters tall today.”

    Have you not omitted offsetting erosion here?

    This is taking into account offsetting erosion. Mt. Everest is still growing at a rate of 4 mm/yr despite erosion.

    That’s the problem I’m trying to get you to understand. Even given your argument of offsetting erosion keeping pace with the rate of uplift, the realization of 200,000 meters of offsetting erosion over the course of 50 million years would have completely wiped away all the sedimentary layers on top of the granitic rock many many times over. The fact that these layers, which were originally no more than 6,000 meters thick in these areas, are still there is very good evidence that these mountain ranges have not been uplifted nearly as long as mainstream scientists claim…

    Re Sean’s Quotes

    “Given the lack of very tall mountain ranges, any massive impact or sudden release of energy on the Earth would have produced huge Tsunamis traveling a very high speeds around the entire globe – with nothing to stop them from going around and around the whole Earth (depositing sedimentary layers each time around).”

    “Consider the following statements of Mrs. White in this regard:

    Some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful animals, knowing that these were tenacious of life, and would climb to the highest points to escape the rising waters. Some fastened themselves to lofty trees on the summit of hills or mountains; but the trees were uprooted, and with their burden of living beings were hurled into the seething billows. One spot after another that promised safety was abandoned. As the waters rose higher and higher, the people fled for refuge to the loftiest mountains. Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away.

    – Ellen White, PP, p. 100 ”

    Do you think these two statements are compatible?

    Why not? The “mountains” before the Flood simply weren’t vary tall – likely no more than a thousand meters tall. They were symmetrical and entirely covered with thick rich soil and verdant vegetation according to Mrs. White. That means that they could not have been nearly as tall as the great mountain ranges we have today on Earth because verdant vegetation cannot survive at very high altitudes. This is also consistent with the evidence within the geologic record which supports the idea that during the formation of the geologic/fossil records there simply were no great mountain chains as exist today. The entire Earth was a much much flatter place.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  46. @Professor Kent:

    1. The cretaceous layer occurs worldwide
    2. Therefore, water occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

    1. Humans occur worldwide
    2. Therefore, humans occured worldwide and covered every scrap of land

    LOL – You’re trying to compare humans to water?

    Look, you’ve tried to argue that world-wide water-deposited sediments and the lack of tall mountain ranges during the formation of the geologic record is inconsistent with the Biblical account of a truly world-wide Noachian Flood – a Flood that was not just “world-wide in effect” as you argue (contrary to the position of the SDA Church). Such an argument doesn’t hold water given all the available evidence. But Oh, I remember, we’ve all been “brainwashed by the SDA Church”, according to you, to believe that the flood waters of the Noachian Flood did in fact cover the entire Earth and wipe out every land-dwelling creature on the planet save those within Noah’s ark…

    Do valleys erode at the same rate of summits? Just curious.

    I had no idea that informed geologists believe in uniform rates of mountain building and erosion. But if that’s what they believe, then your reasoning cannot be faulted.

    Erosion is directly related slope angle – even more so than the local weather conditions. So, the erosion rates on mountains are indeed significantly higher than in the valleys.

    However, mainstream geologists claim that the Himalayan mountains, to include Mt. Everest, had attained their current height by 20 million years ago. In fact, it is believed that Mt. Everest was over twice it’s current height 20 million years ago (>15,000 meters tall) before half of it suddenly slid off. Beyond this, it is believed that these mountains have been exposed as erosional surfaces for over 50 million years.

    Now, it is very hard to imagine how the forces of erosion could have been significantly less than they are today on these mountains in the past (when it was thought to have been wetter locally and world-wide). After all, just two million years of erosion at today’s rates is more than enough to completely wash off all of the original thickness of the sedimentary layers from atop Mt. Everest and all of the rest of the Himalayan mountains.

    Would these Tsunamis depositing fossils have taken place before the flood, when you claim there were no large oceans; during the flood, when water covered the entire earth and we are told that all the deposits were buried; or after the flood? Were the deposits washed up on land or buried in situ under water?

    During the Flood. These massive tidal actions and tsunamis were responsible for destruction of life and largely responsible for the formation of the fossil record that we have today.

    Of course, there were post-Flood aftershocks. I personally believe that the Flood ended with the Cretaceous. The layers following the Cretaceous are post-Flood deposits.

    How do you account for the multiple fossil layers? Were these all deposited at one time (e.g., day 17 of the flood)? Or by multiple tsumanis? With such massive tsunamis, why didn’t the marine/lowland/montane sediments containing life forms from different ecological zones (a common creationist explanation for simple-to-complex stratification of fossils) get all jumbled together?

    I discuss the sorted nature of the fossil record on my website:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html#Simple_Complex

    And, in response to the most fascinating implication of your evidence-based science, in which single direction do tsunamis generally flow–is it east, west, north, or south?

    The fact is that their is evidence of world-wide flow patterns on the surfaces of the sedimentary layers within the geologic record (which shift directions in a world-wide manner). Such evidence is simply inconsistent with the mainstream perspective – dramatically so.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  47. Re Sean’s Quote

    “There is no known energy source that can adequately explain continental drift with the building of massive mountains and ocean trenches over vast periods of time. My statement about the Earth’s rotation relative to the moon is not an effort to explain continental drift via the daily deformation produced by the gravitational action of the moon on the planet. Rather, such deformations may contribute to the lack of re-solidification of the continental shelves. Overall, however, I think current continental drift rates are largely the result of aftershocks from the original point of massive energy release that broke up the continents to begin with. In other words, even though I do not buy-in to many of the features of certain catastrophic models (to include your reference to Baumgardner’s ideas), I do think that the evidence clearly favors a recent catastrophic model for continental drift of some kind…”

    Dear Sean

    Thanks for your comments.

    What is the ‘known’ energy source that supports the recent catastrophic model? What and where was the original point of massive energy release? I’m not trying to be argumentative here I’m just trying to understand if there is evidence to back up your theory or whether like Baumgardner it is just a model.

    Nothing wrong with models and theories by the way.

    My point comparing your tsunami theory to EGW ‘rising waters’ vision was why she did not describe such massive waves that would have hit without warning. How did Noah’s Ark survive those waves? Divine intervention? Hard for me to rationally imagine that.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  48. @ Sean Pitman

    LOL – You’re trying to compare humans to water?

    No…obviously the logic escapes you.

    Look, you’ve tried to argue that world-wide water-deposited sediments and the lack of tall mountain ranges during the formation of the geologic record is inconsistent with the Biblical account of a truly world-wide Noachian Flood – a Flood that was not just “world-wide in effect” as you argue (contrary to the position of the SDA Church). Such an argument doesn’t hold water given all the available evidence. But Oh, I remember, we’ve all been “brainwashed by the SDA Church”, according to you, to believe that the flood waters of the Noachian Flood did in fact cover the entire Earth and wipe out every land-dwelling creature on the planet save those within Noah’s ark…

    Not so. All I’ve done is question whether your “understanding” is based on evidence or faith. It’s pretty clear to even the casual reader that you make great leaps of faith regarding the many geological and biological events associated with the flood. Your theology unquestionably dictates your “science.” And hungry souls want to believe every statement you make against modern science…even though you repeatedly denigrate their faith.

    I’m tired of the Himalayan talk. I find your statements to be based on a highly selective fishing expedition of the literature. That’s okay, but again it’s theology driving your “science.”

    The fact is that their is evidence of world-wide flow patterns on the surfaces of the sedimentary layers within the geologic record (which shift directions in a world-wide manner). Such evidence is simply inconsistent with the mainstream perspective – dramatically so.

    I’m still greatly amused that tsunamis would flow in a single direction from the point of generation, particularly when there is no land (entirely covered by the flood) to buffer their action. This would certainly be consistent with a supernatural (non-scientific) explanation for the deposition of fossils. Fascinating observation.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  49. My SDA biologist friend emailed me the following statement, apparently from some paper or report published at Southern Adventist University.

    As the flood waters rose, they encountered higher, cooler, and dryer habitats. Dinosaurs are buried below layers with large mammals; therefore, they lived at lower elevations than the mammalian communities did. Lower elevations are warmer than higher elevations; therefore, dinosaurs lived in warmer, more humid biomes than modern mammals do. Large mammals would have been too hot to survive within the dinosaur communities. This is why there are no large mammals buried with the dinosaurs.

    I find this statement regarding the sorting of fossil layers by ecological zonation fascinating on a number of accounts. First, I was led to believe by Sean Pitman that the pre-flood climate was very even, which would be the case if, indeed, there were no tall mountains. Where did all these different biomes come from?

    Second, Ellen White stated that “some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful animals, knowing that these were tenacious of life, and would climb to the highest points to escape the rising waters (PP, p. 100).” I can’t think of many animals more powerful and tenacious of life than those pre-flood saurian reptiles. Why couldn’t they have made it to those taller mountains?

    Third, Ellen White also stated, “Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away (PP, p. 100).” Swept away? If animals, including humans, were “swept away” by the water, then why weren’t they mixed in with other animals? Why is it that animals from different biomes that were “swept away,” or sloshed about by Pitman’s giant tsunamis, failed to become just a little jumbled up somewhere–yes, somewhere–on this planet?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  50. Fourth, I am bewildered as to why Seventh-day Adventists must be required to believe that reptiles and mammals (not to mention birds, which must surely be grouped with the mammals) at one time could not coexist because of different temperature tolerances. We surely don’t see this today. Mammals (and birds) abound in the hottest and most humid lowlands today, and reptiles currently abound in the cooler mountains. And, of course, to merely survive the flood, they all had to somehow coexist on one big boat called the ark.

    Perhaps someone could explain to me the physiological systems of these long-extinct animals that rendered small and large birds and mammals alike (some fast, some slow) unable to live in the lowlands, and the small and large amphibians and reptiles alike (some fast, some slow) unable to live at the higher elevations (that weren’t even very high, apparently).

    Fifth, I can’t help but wonder whether someone could get fired at Southern Adventist University for questioning their apparently official position. Anyone got an answer?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  51. @ken:

    What is the ‘known’ energy source that supports the recent catastrophic model? What and where was the original point of massive energy release?

    The catastrophic model is not based on knowing the original source of energy or the point or points of its original release. The catastrophic model is based on features of the geologic column and fossil record that cannot be reasonably explained without invoking a catastrophic event or closely-spaced series of events within recent history.

    It is like in forensic science. One does not have to know the actual mechanism of death to know that a particular crime scene occurred recently and catastrophically…

    I’m not trying to be argumentative here I’m just trying to understand if there is evidence to back up your theory or whether like Baumgardner it is just a model. Nothing wrong with models and theories by the way.

    I’ve giving you a number of points of evidence in support of the recent and catastrophic formation of the geologic/fossil records. Your request for evidence in support of a particular mechanism, which is a lot harder to conclusively demonstrate, does not negate the very strong evidence of sudden catastrophe.

    My point comparing your tsunami theory to EGW ‘rising waters’ vision was why she did not describe such massive waves that would have hit without warning. How did Noah’s Ark survive those waves? Divine intervention? Hard for me to rationally imagine that.

    That is exactly what Mrs. White says. She claims that the Noachian Flood was so fierce that Satan himself feared for his life and that the Ark would have been destroyed had God not sent angels to protect it from the raging waters of the Flood…

    As the violence of the storm increased, trees, buildings, rocks, and earth were hurled in every direction. The terror of man and beast was beyond description. Above the roar of the tempest was heard the wailing of a people that had despised the authority of God. Satan himself, who was compelled to remain in the midst of the warring elements, feared for his own existence.

    But amid the warring elements it [the Ark] continued to ride safely. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to preserve it.
    – EGW, PP, p. 99, 100

    The simple idea that the waters of the Flood quietly rose and fell is mistaken. The Flood was an extremely violent event and was simply part of the overall catastrophe that impacted the Earth at that time.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  52. @Professor Kent:

    I’m tired of the Himalayan talk. I find your statements to be based on a highly selective fishing expedition of the literature. That’s okay, but again it’s theology driving your “science.”

    Of course you’re tired of the Himalayan talk because you clearly don’t know how to explain the obvious implications of the Himalayan erosion rates…

    So, your latest argument is that I’m being “highly selective” in quoting the scientific literature? Really? Why don’t you find any reference in literature that significantly contradicts the erosion and uplift rates I’ve listed for you regarding the Himalayan mountains? And, while you’re at it, why don’t you try to explain how the erosion rates could reasonably have been dramatically less over tens of millions of years of time that the Himalayan mountains were supposedly at their current elevations?

    You’ve clearly demonstrated your ignorance of what the literature really has to say regarding erosion and uplift rates of the great mountain chains. Why don’t you do a little bit more reading for yourself?

    Oh, and by the way, ecological zonation is not the only reasonable explanation for the evident sorting of the fossil record (likely a complex combination of factors), nor is it presented as such by SAU. Why don’t you actually provide the reference to the quote you list?

    Look, we both know that you do not believe in the SDA position of a truly worldwide Flood where the water of the Flood covered the entire surface of the Earth and killed all land animals save those on the Ark. You may call yourself a Seventh-day Adventist, but you are in fundamental disagreement with the pillar of the SDA Church on the topic of origins. That’s fine and all, just don’t present yourself as something you’re not – as truly believing in and actively upholding all of the pillars of the SDA Church as an organized body…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  53. Sean, as you have noted, one does not need to see the actual death to recognize that a crime scene has taken place. I emailed some of your Everest remarks to a highly-respected geologist colleague last week, and I think it would be best if I did not share his remarks here. The bottom line is that I think you stretch your facts too far to fit your compelling need to line up your ducks and know each one by its quack.

    You are right; I am ignorant of erosion and uplift rates of great mountain chains. I am but an organismal biologist who makes no claim to possess extraordinary knowledge of geology, molecular biology, philosophy, nuclear physics, cosmology, medicine, theology, church history…and truth. Again, I think one can find what they are looking for, and I think you’re among the best at that. Take this as a compliment.

    From my perspective, I’m laying this carcass to rest. Dine on as you wish; perhaps the Church has a second geologist with forensic skills willing to discuss the truth of erosion (or erosion of truth) with you.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  54. @ Sean Pitman

    Oh, and by the way, ecological zonation is not the only reasonable explanation for the evident sorting of the fossil record (likely a complex combination of factors), nor is it presented as such by SAU. Why don’t you actually provide the reference to the quote you list?

    Sorry, but you are misinformed. Ecological zonation is indeed the sanctioned explanation at SAU. My friend’s email didn’t give the exact reference, but a simple Google search yielded it:

    https://www.southern.edu/faithandscience/resources/Pages/origins5.aspx

    I take it you disagree with this SAU position. I’d like to know why. I hope you are not interested in seeking employment there.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  55. @ Sean Pitman

    Look, we both know that you do not believe in the SDA position of a truly worldwide Flood where the water of the Flood covered the entire surface of the Earth and killed all land animals save those on the Ark. You may call yourself a Seventh-day Adventist, but you are in fundamental disagreement with the pillar of the SDA Church on the topic of origins. That’s fine and all, just don’t present yourself as something you’re not – as truly believing in and actively upholding all of the pillars of the SDA Church as an organized body…

    I am continually saddened by the dogmatic position you and others take on trivial spiritual issues which, for the sake of “truth,” can be erected as pillars. Believing the flood covered every scrap of land at one point in earth history (which is not the focus of any SDA fundamental belief) has no more bearing on one’s salvation than believing that God forbids one from receiving a blood transfusion, or instructs us to take up poison and serpents. If being a “Seventh-day Adventist” requires a firm position on such trivial points, and people like you are determined to police the membership on these issues, then the SDA Church has become an exclusive club based on ideology rather than fellowship in a loving creator and savior.

    The irony, however, is that I do not take a dogmatic position in either direction on the extent of the flood. I have some skepticism about the meaning of “all” in Genesis, just as you refuse to believe Ellen White’s very clear dictate that the earth is no older than about 6,000 years (3SG 91.1). I don’t believe we have all the facts, and I think it’s a mistake to declare to the world, “we have it right, and if you do not believe as we do, you’re an idiot and you can’t be one of us.” I have met many SDAs in my lifetime who were warm, gracious, and inviting. I would like to be able to say the same of you.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  56. @Professor Kent:

    I am continually saddened by the dogmatic position you and others take on trivial spiritual issues which, for the sake of “truth,” can be erected as pillars. Believing the flood covered every scrap of land at one point in earth history (which is not the focus of any SDA fundamental belief) has no more bearing on one’s salvation than believing that God forbids one from receiving a blood transfusion, or instructs us to take up poison and serpents.

    It is the voted SDA position on origins (at the most recent GC session) that the creation week took place over six literal days and that the Noachian Flood was in fact world-wide and killed all land-dwelling human and animal life save that preserved on Noah’s ark.

    Your re-interpretation of the word “global” to mean only that the effects of the Flood were global, not that the actual Flood itself was global, is the same as suggesting that the days of creation weren’t really intended by the author to mean literal days. You also counter the statements of Mrs. White who claims that the fossil record is preserved evidence of the Flood which produced it – a record that is truly global in extent.

    I’m sorry, but you are in active opposition to a fundamental position that the SDA Church, as an organization, considers to be very important – not at all trivial as you make it out to be. Your argument that such things have no significant bearing on salvation is irrelevant since none of the SDA fundamental beliefs have a significant bearing on salvation. One doesn’t have to be a Seventh-day Adventist to be saved or even understand any of the Gospel story at all. This isn’t an issue of salvation. None of the doctrines are. Hearing the Gospel story isn’t salvational either. However, this is an issue of providing people with a solid hope in the credibility of the Bible and in the reality of the bright future that they have before them… in the reality of the Gospel’s Good News of salvation.

    I’d say that’s very important… at least for someone who is looking for a little more substance than blind-faith assertions can provide…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  57. @Professor Kent:

    I emailed some of your Everest remarks to a highly-respected geologist colleague last week, and I think it would be best if I did not share his remarks here. The bottom line is that I think you stretch your facts too far to fit your compelling need to line up your ducks and know each one by its quack.

    Why not post what he said? I’d be most interested. You can edit any inappropriate language if you wish, but by all means, do let me know the explanation your most esteemed geologist friend shared with you as to why sedimentary layers have not been washed off the Himalayan mountains many times over by now. After all, as far as I know, the facts I’ve listed off for you are rather conservative. And, I’m not the only one who has noticed a problem between the lack of erosion and the assumed time that certain surfaces are supposed to have been exposed to forces of erosion…

    “Some of these rates [of erosion] are obviously staggering; the Yellow River could peneplain [flatten out] an area with the average height that of Everest in 10 million years. The student has two courses open to him: to accept long extrapolations of short-term denudation [erosion] figures and doubt the reality of the erosion surfaces, or to accept the erosion surfaces and be skeptical about the validity of long extrapolations of present erosion rates.”

    – Sparks, B. W., Geomorphology. 3rd ed. Longman Group, London and New York, 1986.

    Consider also a more recent paper published in 2008 by Yang Wang et. al. of Florida State University. Wang and her team found thick layers of ancient lake sediment in the high Himalayan mountains filled with plant, fish and animal fossils typical of far lower elevations and warmer, wetter climates. Paleo-magnetic studies determined the sample’s age to be only 2 or 3 million years old, not tens of millions of years old. In an interview with Science Daily she said:

    Major tectonic changes on the Tibetan Plateau may have caused it to attain its towering present-day elevations rendering it inhospitable to the plants and animals that once thrived there as recently as 2-3 million years ago, not millions of years earlier than that [50-60 million years earlier as noted in the article], as geologists have generally believed. The new evidence calls into question the validity of methods commonly used by scientists to reconstruct the past elevations of the region… It is very exciting that our work to-date has yielded surprising results that are inconsistent with the popular view of Tibetan uplift.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611144021.htm

    And, in the abstract of their paper, Wang et. al. wrote:

    Here we present carbon isotopic evidence, preserved in tooth enamel from 7-m.y.-old horses and rhinos from the high Himalayas, which indicates that, unlike modern herbivores in the area, these ancient mammals ate substantial amounts of C4 grasses. The presence of significant amounts of C4 grasses in the diets of these ancient mammals indicates that the climate in the area was much warmer and the elevation was much lower in the late Miocene than today. The carbon isotope data from the high Himalayas, after accounting for late Cenozoic global cooling and paleoatmospheric CO2 levels, indicate that this part of southern Tibet was less than 2900–3400 m above sea level in the latest Miocene. This implies that the present elevation of the area must have been attained after 7 Ma, much later than generally believed.

    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/34/4/309.abstract

    So, how does your geologist friend explain this apparent discrepancy between known erosion/uplift rates and the assumed ages of these mountain ranges? – not to mention the dramatic discrepancies noted by Wang et. al. when it comes to the dating methods used to estimate the ages of these mountain ranges?

    Sorry, but you are misinformed. Ecological zonation is indeed the sanctioned explanation at SAU.

    I didn’t say that ecologic zonation is not a proposed mechanism to explain certain features of the fossil record. I said that it was not the only mechanism. It is a reasonable mechanism to explain some, but certainly not all, features of the fossil record.

    As I’ve already noted for you, ecologic zonation is one among many potential explanations for the sorting of various features of the fossil record. It is by no means the only explanation (even at SAU since I personally know several of the science professors there) nor is any one explanation completely adequate by itself to explain all of the features of the fossil record.

    Note also that a complete explanation of the fossil/geologic record is not needed before one can recognize the significant weight of evidence for a recent catastrophic origin. You don’t have to understand or explain every aspect of the record in order to recognize that the weight of evidence that is understandable is clearly that of a catastrophic event that took place within fairly recent history…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  58. Re Mountains of Information

    Dear Sean

    Thanks for all your valuable comments and references on the Himalayas. I’ve been reading the articles and it is clear the issues are complicated and ‘unfolding’ with more research.

    From the Wang reference I segued to another article that is very informative:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080324173542.htm

    Here the scientists concluded that the Tibetan Plateau, below Mt.Everest was 40 million years old, while Mt Everest was still under the sea. This may be why the sedimentary layers Of Mt. Everest have not eroded yet.

    They found that the sedimentary layers of the Tibetan Plateau were 5000 meters thick and covered by lava. That is certainly an explanation why they might not have eroded yet, especially as it is a plateau.

    The scientists used the following methods to determine the Tibetan Plateau was 40 million years old: magnetostratigraphy, apatite fission-track analysis and geochronology techniques. Note that these were not ‘leaps of faith’ or speculation but scientific methods to determine the age of the rocks.

    Even the Wang article you cited refers to millions of years not thousands. That is a considerable order of magnitude by any stretch of the imagination.

    Do I think these studies present the final age or that further work won’t narrow down range of age. No. But I don’t see anything in those articles suggesting the area is 4000 years old. Plus, I suggest sedimentary layers covered in lava, mitigates your erosion argument of at least the age of the plateau.

    Interesting stuff.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  59. Re Sean’s Quotes

    “There is no known energy source that can adequately explain continental drift with the building of massive mountains and ocean trenches over vast periods of time.”

    “The catastrophic model is not based on knowing the original source of energy or the point or points of its original release. The catastrophic model is based on features of the geologic column and fossil record that cannot be reasonably explained without invoking a catastrophic event or closely-spaced series of events within recent history.”

    Dear Sean

    Thanks for your candid comments.

    Please compare your two statements.

    You do concede that continental drift is now happening at a slow rate correct? And even though you say there is no known energy source that drives ‘slow’ continental drift building mountains, that is exactly what is happening at Mt Everest right now, correct?

    On the other hand you very forthrightly admit, for which you should be commended, that you do not know of any source of energy that drives rapid continental drift hence rapid mountain building. (not talking about vocanos here)

    So, which plate tectonic theory makes more sense: slow or fast?

    Cheers
    your agnostic friend, mentally drifting along slowly

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  60. @Ken:

    Thanks for all your valuable comments and references on the Himalayas. I’ve been reading the articles and it is clear the issues are complicated and ‘unfolding’ with more research.

    From the Wang reference I segued to another article that is very informative:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080324173542.htm

    Here the scientists concluded that the Tibetan Plateau, below Mt.Everest was 40 million years old, while Mt Everest was still under the sea. This may be why the sedimentary layers Of Mt. Everest have not eroded yet.

    This really doesn’t help at all because Mt. Everest is thought to have attained more than its current elevation (as high as 15,000 meters) over 20 million years ago. That’s far far too long ago for there to be any remaining sedimentary layers atop Mt. Everest. Given just a couple million years all of the sedimentary layers atop Mt. Everest would have been washed completely away by now. That’s the problem in a nutshell – beyond the fact that there is still a great deal of argument over the actual start of the uplift of Everest as an erosional surface (many scientist still beleive it happened some 50-60 million years ago).

    They found that the sedimentary layers of the Tibetan Plateau were 5000 meters thick and covered by lava. That is certainly an explanation why they might not have eroded yet, especially as it is a plateau.

    Not true. 5000 meters of thickness would be eroded in less than 2 million years at current erosion rates at these elevations. Also, the original overlying thickness of the lava layers would not provide significant protection. These layers would also have been eroded completely away in less than 2 million years.

    The scientists used the following methods to determine the Tibetan Plateau was 40 million years old: magnetostratigraphy, apatite fission-track analysis and geochronology techniques. Note that these were not ‘leaps of faith’ or speculation but scientific methods to determine the age of the rocks.

    These are notoriously untrustworthy dating methods and are inconsistent with dating methods used to show that lake bed sediments within this region are no more than 2-3 million years – as per the work of Yang Wang et. al. as already noted above in this thread and linked below for your convenience.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611144021.htm

    Even the Wang article you cited refers to millions of years not thousands. That is a considerable order of magnitude by any stretch of the imagination.

    It is a more than an order of magnitude in contradiction with models that suggest that the Tibetan Plateau has been at its current elevation for tens of millions of years. It just goes to show that various means of estimating age, within mainstream science, can be very very inconsistent and contradictory. The erosion rate evidence, on the other hand, seems to put a very solid cap on maximum ages that is in strong contradiction to most mainstream models and dating methods.

    Do I think these studies present the final age or that further work won’t narrow down range of age. No. But I don’t see anything in those articles suggesting the area is 4000 years old. Plus, I suggest sedimentary layers covered in lava, mitigates your erosion argument of at least the age of the plateau.

    The erosion argument only puts a maximum age on certain geologic features. It suggests that the entire geologic column was set in place within the last few million years at most. This is strongly opposes mainstream thinking and is at least consistent with a recent catastrophic model of origins. Other features of the geologic/fossil records, as I’ve listed on my website, narrow the maximum age of these records even further – much much closer to the ~4000 year old model than to the mainstream model of many tens and even hundreds of millions of years of time.

    You do concede that continental drift is now happening at a slow rate correct? And even though you say there is no known energy source that drives ‘slow’ continental drift building mountains, that is exactly what is happening at Mt Everest right now, correct?

    There is no known energy source that could drive continental drift slowly over tens of millions of years. The current drift that is occurring is the result of a recent catastrophic release of energy and very rapid drift which is consistent with the residual drift that we see today.

    On the other hand you very forthrightly admit, for which you should be commended, that you do not know of any source of energy that drives rapid continental drift hence rapid mountain building. (not talking about vocanos here)

    I don’t have to know a specific source of the catastrophic energy release to know that such an event is most consistent with the evidence. Could the energy have been produced by the impact of one or more large meteors? Sure. Are there other potential sources of catastrophic energy release? Sure, but it really doesn’t matter to the argument at hand…

    So, which plate tectonic theory makes more sense: slow or fast?

    Originally fast in recent history with a significant slowing over time to the current rate of movement… as in a car crash where the beginning of the crash results in very rapid “mountain building”, so to speak, with a rapid decline in the rate of this movement as the energy is used up over time…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  61. Dear Sean

    The irony of course is you again refer to Wang’s research on the Tibetan Plateau which talks about 2-3 million years not 4000 years. Big difference my friend.

    Sean, it is not persuasive to use mainstream science simply to contradict itself but not offer concrete, specific evidence to establish your case. Where is the specific, concrete evidence or research by any geologists to show the Tibetan Plateau is only 4000 years old? Your personal speculation or plain denial is simply not empirical.

    Regarding your response to my slow versus fast tectonic plate query, unfortunately I can only conclude that your response is faith based as you provide no basis in science. The fact remains that the plates are moving slowly.

    On we go.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  62. @Ken:

    The irony of course is you again refer to Wang’s research on the Tibetan Plateau which talks about 2-3 million years not 4000 years. Big difference my friend.

    You seem to miss the point of demonstrating that mainstream dating techniques often signficantly contradict each other to the point of calling their credibility into serious question.

    Sean, it is not persuasive to use mainstream science simply to contradict itself but not offer concrete, specific evidence to establish your case. Where is the specific, concrete evidence or research by any geologists to show the Tibetan Plateau is only 4000 years old? Your personal speculation or plain denial is simply not empirical.

    I’ve presented many features of the geologic column and fossil record to suggest that these records are very young indeed and were formed very very rapidly. You can review these evidences on my website if you wish under the headings of “Geologic Column” and “Fossil Record”.

    Regarding your response to my slow versus fast tectonic plate query, unfortunately I can only conclude that your response is faith based as you provide no basis in science. The fact remains that the plates are moving slowly.

    The basis in science, as I’ve already pointed out to you, is the fact that erosion rates are far to high for plate tectonics to have occured over many tens of millions of years. Obviously the movements of these plates had to have been much much faster in the past than it is today… just based on current erosion rates alone.

    Then there is also the problem of ocean sediment deposition rates… etc.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  63. Dear Sean

    Re Sean’s Quotes

    “I’ve presented many features of the geologic column and fossil record to suggest that these records are very young indeed and were formed very very rapidly. You can review these evidences on my website if you wish under the headings of “Geologic Column” and “Fossil Record”.”

    Specifically of the Tibetan Plateau or are you generalizing here?

    “You seem to miss the point of demonstrating that mainstream dating techniques often signficantly contradict each other to the point of calling their credibility into serious question.”

    I quite understand the psychology of the attack. But it is not just enough to attack Sean, you need to show the empirical evidence that the specific Tibetan Plateau is 4000 years old to counter the evidence.

    “The basis in science, as I’ve already pointed out to you, is the fact that erosion rates are far to high for plate tectonics to have occured over many tens of millions of years.”

    Certainly begs the question on the physics regarding the movement of the plates for which you which you seem to have no scientific explanation.

    Sean, I’m pleased with our progress.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  64. Dear Sean

    I just wanted to let you know that I reviewed I read “Geologic Column and Fossil Record on your website. I only saw one power point page regarding Mt Everest and no discussion or reference to the Tibetan Plateau, or any science whatsoever to support that Mt Everest is only 4000 years old. If I’m wrong please quote the exact information.

    I can only conclude that this is general speculation, rather that supported by specific research, on your part.

    Sean, isn’t the Tibetan Plateau covered with grass steppe. If so why would the lava below or the 5000 meters of sedimentary layers be eroding at all? Remember that the Wang research that you brought to our attention to support your position, said that the Tibetan Plateau was 2- 3 million years old. You have not raised any specific research to counter Wang’s work.

    Could you please specifically respond to the issue of the erosion of the Tibetan Plateau rather than just generalize about average erosion rates on Mt.Everest? Average rates mean nothing if parts of Mt Everest may not be eroding at all.

    In science, specific research rather than generalization, carries the day.

    Cheers
    your agnostic friend
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  65. @Ken:

    I just wanted to let you know that I reviewed I read “Geologic Column and Fossil Record on your website. I only saw one power point page regarding Mt Everest and no discussion or reference to the Tibetan Plateau, or any science whatsoever to support that Mt Everest is only 4000 years old. If I’m wrong please quote the exact information.

    Did you read the parts about the lack of erosion between layers? paraconformities? the lack of significant bioturbation? clastic dykes? The rapid detrimental mutation rate? Intact proteins and elastic soft tissues in dinosaur fossils? etc. The upper time limits for many of these features are well under 100kyr and some are well within 10kyr…

    If one takes all of the available information into account at the same time, the only rational conclusion that I can see is that the geologic column and fossil records are the result of a recent series of very shortly spaced watery catastrophes on a worldwide scale – very much in line with the Genesis account of origins…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  66. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Did you read the parts about the lack of erosion between layers? paraconformities? the lack of significant bioturbation? clastic dykes? The rapid detrimental mutation rate? Intact proteins and elastic soft tissues in dinosaur fossils? etc. The upper time limits for many of these features are well under 100kyr and some are well within 10kyr…

    If one takes all of the available information into account at the same time, the only rational conclusion that I can see is that the geologic column and fossil records are the result of a recent series of very shortly spaced watery catastrophes on a worldwide scale – very much in line with the Genesis account of origins…”

    Dear Sean

    I did and did not see one iota about the Tibetan plateau.

    Rather than just generalize would you please answer my specific questions about the Tibetan Plateau? Otherwise you may leave the impression that you are being evasive and are afraid to do so.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  67. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Originally fast in recent history with a significant slowing over time to the current rate of movement… as in a car crash where the beginning of the crash results in very rapid “mountain building”, so to speak, with a rapid decline in the rate of this movement as the energy is used up over time…”

    Dear Sean

    Do you know of any cars after crashing that are still moving 4000 years – let alone 4 minutes – later?

    Just having a little fun with your analogy, my friend.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  68. @ Sean Pitman

    Erosion is directly related slope angle – even more so than the local weather conditions. So, the erosion rates on mountains are indeed significantly higher than in the valleys.

    You claim to have considerable knowledge about geology in general, and erosion in particular. I’ve been wondering why you would insist that peaks erode faster than valleys, particularly since soils on the highest peaks (like the Himalayas) are frozen and to a large extent covered by snow, and because meltwater in the valleys would cause more erosion. Your claims have seemed counter-intuitive to me, but as you have pointed out, I’m no geologist and have a poor grasp on erosion. Surely you are well read and have seen the article I’ll paste an abstract of below. Have you considered writing the authors to point out their flawed conclusions?

    T.A. Stern, A.K. Baxter, and P.J. Barrett. 2005. Isostatic rebound due to glacial erosion within the Transantarctic Mountains. Geology 33:221-224.

    In temperate climates, 25% of peak elevations in mountain ranges can be created by isostatic rebound as a response to erosional incision. Significantly more relief generation and peak uplift are, however, possible for glacial erosion in a polar climate. We incorporate regional isostasy using flexure of an elastic plate to show that isostatic rebound as a response to glacial incision can account for as much as 2000 m or 50% of peak elevation in the central Transantarctic Mountains. Differences in relief of at least 5500 m over lateral distances of just 40 km are evident within the central part of the 3000-km-long mountain range. Such strong relief is possible because a polar climate since the middle Miocene has resulted in freezing conditions at high elevations, which acted to preserve the peaks, whereas wet-based glaciers at low elevations have produced optimal conditions for enhanced glacial incision. Because isostatic rebound results in permanent peak uplift, this mechanism provides an explanation of why the Transantarctic Mountains are one of the higher and more long-lived continental rift margins on Earth.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  69. @ Sean Pitman

    I’ll also paste an informative quote from another article.

    Kuhle, M. 2005. Glacial geomorphology and ice ages in Tibet and the surrounding mountains. The Island Arc 14:346–367.

    “In addition, if the upper reaches of thin, high-altitude alpine glaciers become frozen to their beds, ridges and peaks may be protected from erosion and glacial valley long profiles may become more concave, adding a potentially important component to overall glacial relief production.”

    Erosion rates are usually measured by sediment load in streams. If no one is measuring erosion rates from the summits, aren’t your conclusions a bit over-reaching? Yes, the Himalayas are eroding. A major factor is rainfall runoff associated with monsoons, which disproportionately affects the lower elevations. The resulting runoff is a major source of sedimentation in the world’s oceans. I believe you are mistaken to insist that the peaks themselves are eroding at the rates you are basing your arguments on. Where is your evidence that the erosion rates you have cited apply to the frozen summits?

    God bless!
    Professor Kent
    …a curious and humble non-geologist

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  70. @Professor Kent:

    @ Sean Pitman

    You claim to have considerable knowledge about geology in general, and erosion in particular. I’ve been wondering why you would insist that peaks erode faster than valleys, particularly since soils on the highest peaks (like the Himalayas) are frozen and to a large extent covered by snow, and because meltwater in the valleys would cause more erosion. Your claims have seemed counter-intuitive to me, but as you have pointed out, I’m no geologist and have a poor grasp on erosion. Surely you are well read and have seen the article I’ll paste an abstract of below. Have you considered writing the authors to point out their flawed conclusions?

    The primary influence on erosion rates is slope angle. The steeper the slope, the higher the average rate of erosion. Valleys that have a lower slope angle will have a lower overall average rate of erosion. River bed incision rates are not the same as average erosion rates over an area. Also, steep mountain ranges that are not covered by extremely slow moving glaciers will have a high erosion rate even if they are “frozen”. The repeated warming and cooling of high mountains adds to the fracturing of rock and therefore to erosion rates. Chemical erosion is also a significant factor.

    The amount of snow in the high Himalayas also varies considerably. The greatest depths are recorded in the summer when the monsoons dump large amounts of snow on the higher elevation of the Himalayas. In the winter, high wind scour the landscape and blow snow away – producing erosion.

    This is why the Himalayas experience frequent landslides and rapid erosion, creating precipitous topography with sharp peaks and V-shaped ravines rather than alluvial valleys or lakes. This same process of erosion also affects Mt. Everest. Consider the following reference along these lines:

    Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is still growing as India continues to push into Eurasia. Average growth in the Himalayas is 3-5 mm/year total as measured using the Global Positioning System (GPS) units that have been placed on the top of Mount Everest by scientists. This growth includes the uplift from the two colliding plates (about 1 cm/year) and erosion of the mountains (approximately 3 mm/year). Not only is Mount Everest growing higher every year, it is also being pushed in the north-easterly direction about 3 cm/year as India continues to move northward into Eurasia!

    http://madsci.org/posts/archives/2003-07/1058996766.Es.r.html

    So, you see, although the elevation of Mt. Everest is indeed increasing, the erosion rate of Mt. Everest is still very high at ~3mm/yr (and probably a bit higher at around 4mm/yr).

    T.A. Stern, A.K. Baxter, and P.J. Barrett. 2005. Isostatic rebound due to glacial erosion within the Transantarctic Mountains. Geology 33:221-224.

    Such strong relief is possible because a polar climate since the middle Miocene has resulted in freezing conditions at high elevations, which acted to preserve the peaks, whereas wet-based glaciers at low elevations have produced optimal conditions for enhanced glacial incision. Because isostatic rebound results in permanent peak uplift, this mechanism provides an explanation of why the Transantarctic Mountains are one of the higher and more long-lived continental rift margins on Earth.

    Interesting, but the Himalayas are not polar mountains nor are they protected against very high rates of erosion by very deep snow and very slowly moving glaciers…

    I’ll also paste an informative quote from another article.

    Kuhle, M. 2005. Glacial geomorphology and ice ages in Tibet and the surrounding mountains. The Island Arc 14:346–367.

    “In addition, if the upper reaches of thin, high-altitude alpine glaciers become frozen to their beds, ridges and peaks may be protected from erosion and glacial valley long profiles may become more concave, adding a potentially important component to overall glacial relief production.”

    Again, the Himalayan Mountains are not protected by very slowly moving glaciers that are “frozen to their beds” or by very deep layers of non-moving snow.

    Erosion rates are usually measured by sediment load in streams. If no one is measuring erosion rates from the summits, aren’t your conclusions a bit over-reaching? Yes, the Himalayas are eroding. A major factor is rainfall runoff associated with monsoons, which disproportionately affects the lower elevations. The resulting runoff is a major source of sedimentation in the world’s oceans. I believe you are mistaken to insist that the peaks themselves are eroding at the rates you are basing your arguments on. Where is your evidence that the erosion rates you have cited apply to the frozen summits?

    The Himalayas are eroding at different rates based on elevation with the higher elevations eroding more rapidly than the lower elevations. Also, as already noted and referenced for you, erosion rates are strongly related to slope angle. This is one of the main reasons why the higher elevations are in fact eroding away more rapidly than the lower elevations within the Himalayas.

    Come on now, if this is the best your expert geologist friend can come up with, I’m distinctly underwhelmed…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  71. @ Sean Pitman

    The Himalayas are eroding at different rates based on elevation with the higher elevations eroding more rapidly than the lower elevations…So, you see, although the elevation of Mt. Everest is indeed increasing, the erosion rate of Mt. Everest is still very high at ~3mm/yr (and probably a bit higher at around 4mm/yr).

    Sean, you crack me up. Are you suggesting that geologists err in their claims that a frozen landscape slows rates of erosion? Are you suggesting the summit of Mt. Everest is not frozen? Do you seriously believe slow-moving glaciers are absent from Mt. Everest? What force at the summit is causing erosion at a rate greater than ice movement and water runoff in the valleys? Why can’t you provide actual estimates of erosion from the summit itself, or from other summits in the Himalayas, rather than make up your own estimates? Your calculations are derived from sediment loads in streams extrapolated over area; do you even know whether the calculations are based on 2-dimensional (flat earth) or 3-dimensional (ridges/valleys) area?

    If the actual summit of Mt. Everest is truly eroding at the rate you indicate (3-4 mm/year, which I believe is based on your totally flawed understanding of geology), you’ve got a much bigger problem. In 1924, George Mallory perished on the summit. Yet 75 years later, his frozen body was rediscovered, exposed on the surface but remarkably intact. Can you please explain how, in 75 years, 225-300 mm (8.9-11.8 inches!!!) of rock eroded all around Mr. Mallory’s body, when his frozen flesh did not erode at all? Not even the papers in his wallet were degraded! My understanding of geology is rudimentary, but I was under the impression that human flesh, leather, and paper would degrade more readily than rock.

    I think you have an outstanding opportunity to make an earth-shaking contribution to our understanding of geology: that high elevation rock is far more brittle than human skin. If your science and reasoning are as solid as frozen human flesh, you should have little difficulty publishing in one of the world’s premier journals: either Science of Nature.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  72. @Professor Kent:

    Sean, you crack me up. Are you suggesting that geologists err in their claims that a frozen landscape slows rates of erosion? Are you suggesting the summit of Mt. Everest is not frozen?

    Freezing alone does not significantly reduce granitic erosion rates. Covering the rocks with deep snow or ice that is not moving does significantly reduce erosion rates – as would be expected.

    In your references glaciers that are not moving are described as being “frozen to their beds”. However, those glaciers that are moving produce enhanced erosion – as would be expected.

    You need to read up a bit on a theory called “glacial buzzsaw”. As it turns out, mountain tops that are above the line were snow does not melt are rapidly eroded by moving snow and ice in a “buzzsaw” effect. There are a few exceptions to this rule – usually regarding mountains in the South Pole. The suggested reason for these exceptions, as your own references point out, is that it is so cold at the South Pole that the glaciers are frozen in place and therefore do not move and therefore do not cause erosion.

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1737061/climate_change_causes_mountains_to_downsize/

    Faster rock uplift rates lead to more terrain at higher elevations thus allowing for more ice and snow accumulation. Steeper slopes (higher relief) at higher elevations result in greater movement of both snow and ice in a downhill direction (except in some places at the South Pole of course). Such movement of snow and/or ice, along with the many landslides in the Himalayas (the primary mechanism of very high erosion rates in the Himalayas), drive erosion rates that can match and sometimes exceed the mountain uplift rates. Of course, because landslides are primarily responsible for the greatest amount of erosion over time, erosion rates over short periods of time are episodic.

    http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~bodo/pdf/gabet08_modern_erosion_himalaya.pdf

    It is for such reasons that “Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is still growing as India continues to push into Eurasia. Average growth in the Himalayas is 3-5 mm/year total as measured using the Global Positioning System (GPS) units that have been placed on the top of Mount Everest by scientists. This growth includes the uplift from the two colliding plates (about 1 cm/year) and erosion of the mountains (approximately 3 mm/year). Not only is Mount Everest growing higher every year, it is also being pushed in the north-easterly direction about 3 cm/year as India continues to move northward into Eurasia!”

    http://madsci.org/posts/archives/2003-07/1058996766.Es.r.html
    http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=1075

    This particular reference, as already noted for you before, is in fact talking about erosion affecting the top of Mt. Everest. That is why the height of Mt. Everest doesn’t increase even faster – – because it is being eroded, top down, at ~3mm/year as I’ve already explained to you several times now (ala the ‘buzzsaw’ effect). Compare this rate of mountain top and side erosion to the incision rates of the river or glacial beds which can be as high as 10-15 mm/yr. Also, sediment yield derived from the measurement of suspended load in Himalayan rivers suggests that fluvial incision drives hillslope denudation of the landscape at the scale of the whole range.

    http://www.geo.tu-freiberg.de/oberseminar/os03_04/martina_b%F6hme.pdf
    http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2001/2001JB000359.shtml

    Oh, and by the way, the tops of the Himalayan Mountains are not the only surfaces covered by thick sedimentary layers within the Himalayan region you know. The “valleys” in between the mountain peaks are also covered by sedimentary layers as well. So, either way you want to look at it, there’s a problem when it comes to explaining the continued existence of these sedimentary layers within the Himalayas…

    Do you seriously believe slow-moving glaciers are absent from Mt. Everest?

    That’s the problem. The snow and ice is not frozen in place in the Himalayas, but is moving. Of course, this movement results in very rapid erosion (along with the other forces of erosion in play that I’ve already mentioned).

    What force at the summit is causing erosion at a rate greater than ice movement and water runoff in the valleys?

    The slope angle of these high-mountain “valleys”, as you call them, is quite steep. Therefore, these very steep “valleys” are also eroding quite rapidly… as are the tops and sides of the mountains themselves…

    Why can’t you provide actual estimates of erosion from the summit itself, or from other summits in the Himalayas, rather than make up your own estimates? Your calculations are derived from sediment loads in streams extrapolated over area; do you even know whether the calculations are based on 2-dimensional (flat earth) or 3-dimensional (ridges/valleys) area?

    I’ve given you references discussing the erosion rates of the mountains themselves – erosion rates which significantly affect the uplift rates (rates that are known based on GPS mapping). I’ve also given you the mechanism of mountain top erosion – i.e., glacial buzzsaw:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLfM1FB58yA

    What else do you want? I know, why don’t you tell me what you think the mountain top erosion rate of Mt. Everest is? – have any references to counter mine?

    If the actual summit of Mt. Everest is truly eroding at the rate you indicate (3-4 mm/year, which I believe is based on your totally flawed understanding of geology), you’ve got a much bigger problem. In 1924, George Mallory perished on the summit. Yet 75 years later, his frozen body was rediscovered, exposed on the surface but remarkably intact. Can you please explain how, in 75 years, 225-300 mm (8.9-11.8 inches!!!) of rock eroded all around Mr. Mallory’s body, when his frozen flesh did not erode at all? Not even the papers in his wallet were degraded! My understanding of geology is rudimentary, but I was under the impression that human flesh, leather, and paper would degrade more readily than rock.

    Come on now…

    Exposed granitic rock has an average erosion rate that is much faster than the rate you would assume based only on chemical erosion or in comparison to a frozen corps. This is, of course, because of landslide erosion due to cracking of the granitic rock as it is exposed to changing weather conditions over time and because of the “buzzsaw” effect of moving snow and ice down the granitic slopes.

    I think you have an outstanding opportunity to make an earth-shaking contribution to our understanding of geology: that high elevation rock is far more brittle than human skin. If your science and reasoning are as solid as frozen human flesh, you should have little difficulty publishing in one of the world’s premier journals: either Science of Nature.

    These rates and mechanisms of mountain erosion have already been published Professor. They aren’t anything new…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  73. Sean,

    I recognize the superiority of your geology knowledge compared to mine. I have only had one course in geology, and it was close to 40 years ago. I don’t read much, either. However, I would like to meekly offer a few suggestions that might benefit your understanding:

    1. Your sources, so far as I can see, make no mention of actual erosion rates from the summit of Mt. Everest, or even specifically from Everest itself. Also, I’m not sure what you mean by the “summit,” which itself, I believe, is perenially covered with snow and would be technically very challenging to measure erosion at. So why are you making claims about erosion rates on the summit if you cannot cite a source wherein those data are produced? Range-wide erosion measured from stream sediment does not equate to homogenous erosion rates for all valleys and summits.

    2. I had read about the “buzzsaw” effect of glaciers. Apparently, you did not read about the evidence that contradicts the impact of buzzsaw effect on reducing mountain height. You can start with this:

    Thomson, S. N., M. T. Brandon, J. H. Tomkin, P. W. Reiners, C. Vásquez, N. J. Wilson. 2010. Glaciation as a destructive and constructive control on mountain building. Nature 467:313-317.

    From their work in the Patagonia Mountains of South America, the authors wrote: “That glaciation can act to protect an active orogen from erosion opens up the intriguing possibility that, given favourable glacio-climatic, geologic and tectonic conditions, a cooling climate can act to enhance topographic relief, not in the manner originally envisaged in ref. 16 through passive isostatic response to locally enhanced erosion, but by inhibiting erosion to promote further accretionary growth in orogen height and width.” Numerical modelling and the authors’ extensive thermochronological data suggest that, under extremely cold climatic conditions–and not just in Antarctica–mountain glaciers do not slide but are frozen to the bedrock, which protects mountain peaks rather than erodes them. (Now I’m not making a claim that Everest is particularly cold; the reader can decide that for him/herself.)

    3. An issue you are overlooking is that a glacier does not cover the summit of Everest. Glaciers occur downslope where avalanche falls accumulate. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the movement of a glacier is going to be less at its higher elevation, and therefore glacier-associated erosion (the “buzzsaw” effect) will be greatest at its lower-elevation margin. When you have a perennial layer of snow packed against the actual summit rock, where is all that rock disappearing to?

    4. You keep speaking of the extreme slope angle, yet Everest is regarded by many mountaineers as a relatively “easy” summit because, after all, it is not as steep as many other mountains. The summit slope is relatively broad and requires comparatively little technical climbing.

    5. It’s funny…you stated that erosion is, in fact, higher on the summit of Everest than at lower elevations. And then, in your later post, you wrote: “That is why the height of Mt. Everest doesn’t increase even faster – – because it is being eroded, top down, at ~3mm/year as I’ve already explained to you several times now (ala the ‘buzzsaw’ effect). Compare this rate of mountain top and side erosion to the incision rates of the river or glacial beds which can be as high as 10-15 mm/yr.” Thank you for now agreeing with me.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  74. Regarding George Mallory’s non-eroded body, Sean Pitman wrote:

    Exposed granitic rock has an average erosion rate that is much faster than the rate you would assume based only on chemical erosion or in comparison to a frozen corps. This is, of course, because of landslide erosion due to cracking of the granitic rock as it is exposed to changing weather conditions over time and because of the “buzzsaw” effect of moving snow and ice down the granitic slopes.

    Could you be more clear? Why, exactly, is it you would expect “landslide erosion” and the “buzzsaw” effect of the glacier that does not cover the actual summit of Everest to erode more snow-buried rock on the summit of Everest than the body of a frozen human on the summit? And why would a landslide erode rock but not a frozen human body?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  75. Sean,

    Despite my persistently repeated challenges, you still can’t bring yourself to admit that no one has actually measured the erosion rate from the summit of Mt. Everest. Nevertheless, I think you truly believe YOU know with precision the rate of erosion, in spite of the fact that some debate continues as to the mountain’s actual height (summarized nicely at Wikipedia–very interesting reading)! You apparently require this knowledge because you believe it shows that the mountain could not remain at 20,029 ft (1955, 1975), or 29,035 ft + 3 ft snow/ice (1999), or 29,017.16 ft + 11 ft of snow (2005) if it had been eroding at this supposedly well-documented rate for 50 million years.

    For your argument, I’m more than a little surprised that you would assume this supposedly well-documented erosion rate has been consistent over time. Your calculations also assume that tectonic (mountain-building) pressures, temperatures, and monsoonal rain have been consistent the past 50 million years. If, for example, temperatures were colder than today during substantial portions of the past 50 million years, glaciers would be even more likely than today to have stabilized the summit, actually contributing to the mountain-building process. This would be the opposite of what you have insisted, utterly destroying your argument.

    Frankly, I don’t think you have thought through many of your arguments carefully. A few examples illustrate the capriciousness of your logic. When convenient, mountain erosion rates remain constant over time, because they support a recent origin of Mt. Everest. But when convenient, radiometric decay rates cannot be constant over time, because they would imply long ages. What other evidences for YEC have you arrived at based on assumptions borne of convenience? Are you capable of changing your interpretations as you become aware of new science? I’m convinced that this particular theory of yours–the height and longevity of Mt. Everest–is one of Bob Ryan’s oft-spoken-of “rabbit trails.” He might also call it “junk science.” And the unbiased objective reader would note that it required “blind faith” to accept in the first place.

    The bottom line: I don’t understand how you can write here, and at DetectingDesign.com, about all the amazing evidences for Young Earth Creationism with such extreme dogmaticism. You write with forceful conviction that you are correct and others who disagree “are mistaken.” I think if you communicate with a little more humility, tentativeness, and open-mindedness, you would gain the respect and credibility you believe you deserve. As it is, you are still unable to say, “You’re right, Professor Kent; no one knows with certainty the erosion rate at the summit of Mt. Everest, and no one, including myself, can estimate with certainty what erosion rates might have been for this one mountain over the past 50 million years. Maybe I was premature in using it as a rock solid example of why we can be confident that the weight of evidence supports Young Earth Creationism.”

    God bless!
    Professor Kent
    Of whom was written, “You’ve clearly demonstrated your ignorance of what the literature really has to say regarding erosion and uplift rates of the great mountain chains.”

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  76. @Professor Kent:

    As it is, you are still unable to say, “You’re right, Professor Kent; no one knows with certainty the erosion rate at the summit of Mt. Everest, and no one, including myself, can estimate with certainty what erosion rates might have been for this one mountain over the past 50 million years. Maybe I was premature in using it as a rock solid example of why we can be confident that the weight of evidence supports Young Earth Creationism.”

    As far as the evidence that I’ve read and am able to comprehend, I think you’re mistaken Prof. Kent. I believe that scientists have a very good idea as to the average current yearly mountain top erosion rates for the Himalayan Mountains, to include Mt. Everest, based on the measurements and theories already listed. Just ask your friend the geology “expert”. After all, this is why geologists have concluded that the average annual uplift rate of Mt. Everest (~10 mm/yr) is mitigated by the average annual erosion rate (~3 mm/yr) on Mt Everest. I’m not making this stuff up…

    Given such high modern rates of erosion, it is very hard to imagine how these rates could have been significantly different given the mainstream notion that these elevations have been maintained for tens of millions of years. After all, it has been demonstrated that these rates are more tied to elevation than to weather or precipitation differences.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v426/n6967/full/nature02187.html

    Your argument for protective snow/ice is not valid for the Himalayan mountains as already noted because the snow and ice on these mountains (unlike your antarctic and southern South American examples) is not frozen in place but moves…

    Beyond this, you aren’t arguing with me here. You’re arguing with the conclusions of mainstream scientists regarding the average erosion rates of the Himalayan Mountains – to include Mt. Everest. If you don’t accept these argued rates from the mainstream perspective, what more can I say?

    Frankly, I don’t think you have thought through many of your arguments carefully. A few examples illustrate the capriciousness of your logic. When convenient, mountain erosion rates remain constant over time, because they support a recent origin of Mt. Everest. But when convenient, radiometric decay rates cannot be constant over time, because they would imply long ages.

    There you go again – making stuff up that I never said. I’m really not sure why you accuse me of questioning radioactive decay rates? I’ve never questioned the rate of decay of radioactive materials. There has been a fairly recent demonstration of an effect of solar flares on radioactive decay rates, but as far as I know this effect is rather minimal. Anyway, you seem to make it a habit of repeatedly attributing statements to me that I’ve never made… for some reason?

    You keep speaking of the extreme slope angle, yet Everest is regarded by many mountaineers as a relatively “easy” summit because, after all, it is not as steep as many other mountains. The summit slope is relatively broad and requires comparatively little technical climbing.

    I just had to respond to this comment in particular.

    Mt Everest - North Face

    Note that in this image the relief of the north face of Mt. Everest is very steep. Climbers don’t climb up this sheer massive cliff. Rather, they climb up the very narrow ridge. Notice also that most of the snow has been blown off in this particular picture. Mt. Everest simply isn’t constantly covered by non-moving glaciers or deep snow to protect it from erosion. After all, it is so tall that it is occasionally hit by the jet stream with winds over 100 mph…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  77. Good photo, Sean. She’s a beauty from that angle! There are also a ton of Google images showing the gently-sloping, snow-encased actual summit that thousands of mountaineers have climbed over the years. Somehow, in spite of that jet stream, the summit stays covered in snow/ice–though not to protect it, as you rightly point out.

    How do you really know that the highest glaciers on Everest move at rates faster than those measured by geologists on South America and Antarctica? I have not read anywhere comparisons of movement among these very cold mountain ranges (yes, I happen to think that Everest and neighboring mountains are quite cold). Do you make this stuff up?

    I assumed you were on board with Paul Giem and the RATE initiative at ICR that has been questioning the stability of radioactive decay. Perhaps not. This gives more perspective as to why you are willing to assume constant rates of erosion, temperature, and rainfall in your calculations of how tall Everest should be. As an honest scientist, I can readily man-up to my mistaken assumption.

    Do you still insist that erosion is happening faster on the summit of Everest than at lower elevations?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  78. @ Sean Pitman

    Beyond this, you aren’t arguing with me here. You’re arguing with the conclusions of mainstream scientists regarding the average erosion rates of the Himalayan Mountains – to include Mt. Everest. If you don’t accept these argued rates from the mainstream perspective, what more can I say?

    Hmmm… This remarkable statement by you is really quite puzzling.

    First, I have looked at your cited references and found more of my own. There is no question that you are the only “geologist” making claims that the erosion rate from Mt. Everest is known with certainty [not so!]; that erosion happens more rapidly at the summit than at lower elevations [not so!]; that the glaciers cannot be frozen to Everest’s rock, as documented in some very cold mountain ranges in South America and Antarctica [really?]; and that the erosion rate is so rapid that the mountain couldn’t possibly be 29,000-some feet tall if it formed some 50 million years ago [this is faith-based geology at its finest]. Sorry, Sean, but I am arguing with YOU, not other geologists (unless you happen to be…naw, I won’t go there).

    Second, I think you should offer us some guidance as to when published research by geologists is believable. Obviously, the vast majority of geological publications contain assumptions and calculations that support the conclusion that life on this planet is more than a million-fold times more ancient than we know to be true. As Ellen White has declared, their science is “falsely so-called.” As Bob Ryan has described 17,328 times, it’s nothing more than “junk science.” You yourself dismiss the vast majority of it. But curiously, when you find something that you think might support or be needed by your argument, you defend it and the research it was based on tooth and nail. So how do we decide which geological studies are valid? Does it depend on whether or not they support the traditional SDA interpretation? Can we truly cherry-pick which studies are believable amongst the vast throng of “junk science” out there? Or should most of us throw up our hands because we lack your skill at science divination?

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  79. @Professor Kent:

    First, I have looked at your cited references and found more of my own. There is no question that you are the only “geologist” making claims that the erosion rate from Mt. Everest is known with certainty [not so!];

    Nothing is known with absolute certainty. However, it is true that geologists do indeed believe that the uplift of Mt. Everest is mitigated to a significant degree (~3mm/yr) by the erosion of Mt. Everest so that the overall elevation is not increasing as rapidly.

    that erosion happens more rapidly at the summit than at lower elevations [not so!];

    Erosion, everything else being equal, does indeed happen more rapidly with increased slope angle. Your argument that erosion happens more rapidly under a moving glacier or in a river bed under moving water is a given. Obviously, I’m not talking about “valleys” that are being eroded under a moving glacier. I’m talking about valleys that are at a lower relief compared to steep mountain slopes which are not at the bottom of moving glaciers or rivers…

    that the glaciers cannot be frozen to Everest’s rock, as documented in some very cold mountain ranges in South America and Antarctica [really?];

    The glaciers in the Himalayan Mountains, to include Mt. Everest, move. They are not frozen in place as is the case for much more southerly glaciers as are found in the most southern aspects of S. America and the Antarctic. In fact, when it comes to Mt. Everest in particular, much of the sedimentary layers are completely exposed as erosional surfaces – not covered by snow or ice at all much of the time. Just look at the picture of the north face of Mt. Everest I posted above. See much snow or ice there? Yet, most of those layers you see are sedimentary layers from the geologic column which contain fossils…

    and that the erosion rate is so rapid that the mountain couldn’t possibly be 29,000-some feet tall if it formed some 50 million years ago [this is faith-based geology at its finest].

    That’s not the argument. The hight of Mt. Everest has nothing to do with it. Mt. Everest could reasonably be much taller and it would make no difference to my argument that the sedimentary layers should have been washed away by now down to the underlying granite if the Himilayans really did start their orogeny some 50 million years ago. In other words, Mt. Everest could be just as tall after 50 million years, it just doesn’t seem remotely resonable that it would still be covered by fossil bearing sedimentary layers after tens of millions of years of erosion…

    Sorry, Sean, but I am arguing with YOU, not other geologists

    Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  80. Loud Cries from the Bigger Tent, an Allegory (allegorical is big nowadays): “You accuse me of accepting theistic evolution? You lie! (By the way, what IS that?)”

    “You accuse me of denying the Bible? How do you know what I believe, just from what I’ve proclaimed! Don’t tell me what I believe. I can’t believe you said I deny the Bible — I’m a believer possessed of fuller, more transcendent faith than you.”

    “You accuse me of scoffing off the 6-day creation of Genesis 1? That’s abuse, that’s persecution; you’ve hurt me. Better a millstone be tied around your neck. I believe in the 6 days as much as you do! Only they’re allegorical, those days. And I see a broader meaning to Genesis 1 than what we’ve been taught (or what EGW says).”

    Moral: the Third Angel’s Loud Cry in the Broader Tent is “Broader Meaning,” not deeper understanding.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  81. Dear Sean

    Sorry to be like a dog with a bone but what about the erosion rate on the Tibetan Plateau? If forest and steppe grew on it how much has it eroded?

    Sean you have not presented any specific evidence to indicate that the Tibetan Plateau is 4000 years old. Like Dr Clausen. a GGI Adventist with a PhD in nuclear physics has said there is no young earth scientific model. Now I have read your website and read your critique on and old life on earth, but where is your young life on earth model? What is your scientific dating method?

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  82. @Ken:

    Sorry to be like a dog with a bone but what about the erosion rate on the Tibetan Plateau? If forest and steppe grew on it how much has it eroded?

    As already noted numerous times, erosion rates are closely tied to slope angle. The Tibetan Plateau, being a plateau, has relatively little surface erosion because there is obviously no significant slope (the sloped edges of the plateau are a different story). This is why the average erosion rate of the surface of the Tibetan Plateau is less than 30 mm/ka while the erosion rate for the steep mountain slopes is around 4000 mm/ka.

    Sean you have not presented any specific evidence to indicate that the Tibetan Plateau is 4000 years old.

    Erosion rates are a good way to put a maximum cap on the exposure of certain features as erosional surfaces. The modern claim is that the Himalayan Mountains, to include Mt. Everest, have been at their current elevation as mountainous terrain for over 20 million years and have been uplifted as erosional surfaces for some 50 million years. Erosion rates on the mountainous slopes suggest that these ages are off by at least an order of magnitude. Other lines of evidence, such as that presented by Yang Wang on lake sediments, suggest the same thing… that the uplift of the Himalayas could not have taken place more than a couple million years ago.

    This means that the uplift could have taken place much more recently than that. And, there are other lines of evidence that restrict the time of formation much much further – as I’ve already noted for you in this forum and on my website.

    Some of these evidences include the very flat formation of the layers of the geologic column with minimum erosion between layers. The lack of expected bioturbation, universal paleocurrents on the surfaces of the sedimentary layers, the presence of significant amounts of radiocarbon within the fossils, the presence of elastic soft tissue and sequencable proteins within the fossils, the high mutation rate and rapid deterioration of the genomes of slowly reproducing creatures (i.e., the genetic meltdown rate puts a maximum cap on the age of many types of living things), etc.

    All of these features are much more consistent with a very recent universal watery catastrophe or shortly-spaced series of catastrophes within recent history than with the mainstream interpretation of the geologic column, fossil record, and various geologic features like the Himalayan Mountains and even the Tibetan Plateau.

    Like Dr Clausen. a GGI Adventist with a PhD in nuclear physics has said there is no young earth scientific model. Now I have read your website and read your critique on and old life on earth, but where is your young life on earth model? What is your scientific dating method?

    As I’ve already explained, there is a young-life model that suggests that much of the geologic column and fossil record was produced by a recent worldwide Flood or very closely-spaced series of flood that were likely part of a single universal Flood – consistent with the Noachian story recorded in Genesis and more loosely in the nearly universal Flood legends of ancient cultures around the world today.

    The evidence for the recent occurrence of such a Flood, as already noted, comes in the form of maximum age limits of many features associated with either the geology itself or the fossils or organic material within the geologic column. K-Ar dating, and other such radiometric dating methods, are not the only ways to reasonably estimate elapsed time – nor are these radiometric dating methods consistent with each other or other the other dating methods listed (as noted by Yang Wang).

    Now, it’s fine to conclude that you really don’t have enough evidence to come to a reasonable conclusion in the credibility of the Biblical account – or even the existence of God as is your position. However, you do yourself a great disservice to remain in the boat you’re in. At the very least, the evidence for the existence of a Designer that is effectively indistinguishable by humans from a God or God-like Intelligence and Power is, in my opinion, enormous. Even many modern physicists are coming to this conclusion based on the anthropic features of the universe itself that are needed to make this place able to support complex life.

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/detectingdesign.html#Special

    Given such evidence, how reasonable is it for someone to continue to avoid taking advantage of what God offers to those who believe in Him and ask for His personal help in daily life? I know it is nice to be in an unfalsifiable position. You can never be wrong because you don’t put yourself out on the line. It is very easy to simply avoid taking any position whatsoever on the existence of God – to be free to argue all sides without personally committing to one or the other. However, this fence-sitting position is not without its own costs and losses. You will end up loosing much that you might have had in this life if you remain on your fence…

    Just something to think about. I do appreciate your natural kindness and apparent sincerity, but I do not envy you your position.

    All the best…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  83. Dear Sean

    Thanks for your candid comments on the lack of erosion on the Tibetan Plateau. My point here is that one can’t make generalized comments about erosion in the Himalayas to demonstrably argue for a young earth. Couple that with my previous remarks on the pure speculation of fast moving tectonic plates and I think you have a mountain to overcome if you wish to use the Himalayas as evidence of a Noachian flood. But I think we have reached the summit on this argument and I’m prepared to move on to other topics.

    I’ m enjoying our moveable feast. Wonderful civilized repast!

    Thanks for your kind comments on my nature. I think of myself as far less kind and ruthless in pursuit of the truth. I just think personal attacks are not necessary and cloud one’s objectivity when examining facts and theories. Ego can be an awful prism to view reality.

    Your comments on my fence sitting are very apt and I appreciate your concern for my salvation. That is a far more kinder, humanitarian appeal than fire and brimstone- the ‘hard sell’! But you see I am not looking for personal salvation as a pre cursor for investigation of reality. In fact, with the greatest respect for all my Adventist friends, I see that need as something that would cloud my objective judgement. Just as I see an atheist bias doing the same as well. If my agnosticism comes at the price of my mortal ‘soul’ I accept that as the price of relentless objectivity. Sean, in that I hope you can trust in my absolute sincerity.

    What concerns me about faith is the cart driving the horse when it corms to scientific investigation. My life long study suggests that all religions are social constructs of Man. That does not mean that I disparage faith or your faith. I find it quite remarkable and forth moreover a tool of moral and social order. I am especially interested in how religions schism over doctrinal differences and In I think Adventism is on the brink of that now, fueled by the debate of crescent creationism vs. theistic evolutionism.

    I’ ll send this now and continue with another post so I don’t lose this to date.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  84. Continued to Sean.

    Sorry about spelling errors. Sometimes the intuition of this iPad is not too accurate! ‘ Crescent – vs. Recent’ creation! Oh brother.

    OK on we go. I hope my agnostic voice can be of some value to the site, if only to provide a neutral straw man to he debate. I think there is a need for agnosticism in a world separated by strong ideologies each proclaiming their respective superiority over the others. Although I think to date that evolution presents the most compelling case for origins I am open to scientific persuasion that this is not the case.

    Notwithstanding all of this the most important thing you have espoused to date is the Royal Law of Love. I’ ve always intrinsically felt that, thought certainly not practice it! I’ m a poor worknin progress in that regard but I ‘ ll keep plugging away.

    OK, other duties call. I hope this has some value and is not mere naval gazing.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  85. Re Sean’s Quote

    “At the very least, the evidence for the existence of a Designer that is effectively indistinguishable by humans from a God or God-like Intelligence and Power is, in my opinion, enormous. Even many modern physicists are coming to this conclusion based on the anthropic features of the universe itself that are needed to make this place able to support complex life.

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/detectingdesign.html#Special

    Given such evidence, how reasonable is it for someone to continue to avoid taking advantage of what God offers to those who believe in Him and ask for His personal help in daily life?”

    Dear Sean

    Of course this raises the issue of theodicy and a designer that planned for death and destruction. Not a pretty concept is it?

    As you have often acknowledged if biological life is indicative of design this does not necessarily mean, ipso facto, that biblical God is the designer of our universe. Based on what we see it could be a haphazard designer who built in catastrophe and death into the equation. It could be a dice thrower who if It threw the celestial dice often enough in enough metauniverses would eventually, randomly hit upon a design that would render evolutionary evolving life upon certain planets with the right physical properties.

    You earlier noted that EGW saw life on other planets. Why isn’t there life on all planets or only one planet if there is a design to the universe? Bit haphazard of a design isn’t it? I do not see a pattern there, unless it is one of random natural selection – life adapting to harsh environments where it is able.

    With respect, I think you are taking one of those ‘leaps of faith’ when you leap from the notion of design to the transcendent biblical God. Trite to say that all designers do not see the same design. Behe of the irreducible complexity argument clearly does not support young life on earth. He just sees life evolving from a later point than chemical soup.

    Look at the beginning of human life from a zygote. Clearly a repetitive design. Is human embryonics part of the evolutionary ‘design’ of simple celled organisms evolving to more complex ones? Arguable isn’t it? If God made Adam and Eve instantly in a day, why don’t we see a full formed miniature human formed on the day of conception?

    Sorry Sean, but for me at least, there are a lot of gaps to fill before I can make the leap of faith you advocate. I have to slowly and methodically build those rational bridges across the gaps to make progress down the ontological brick road.

    Cheers
    Ken

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  86. Bill,As you are well aware, Ellen White wrote:Sean Pitman has made clear that he does not believe any straightforward reading of her words. He insists that she cannot be referring to the age of the earth, but instead is referring to the age of life on the earth. Shane Hilde says he leans toward taking Ellen White at her words, but he does not think the SDA Church has an official position. I assume Bob Ryan believes she is correct, because he has cited this passage a hundred gumpteen zillion times.What about you. Do you believe that Ellen White was correct in stating the world is now only about six thousand years old, or do you, like Sean Pitman, think she was simply wrong? Do you believe Adventists generally dismiss her statement as wrong? I’ve been an SDA most of my life, and I am discovering there is a lot more subjectivity in interpreting inspiration than I had realized before.  (Quote)

    In response to the question, ” do ou believe Ellen White was correct…” I do simply state and declare, I do believe in a 6 literal day creation as described in Genesis and by Ellen White. I believe our earth is about 6,000 years old as chronicled in the Bible. These things are not difficult for me to understand

    I do believe in the GAP theory, too. That human reasoning and knowledge has lots of GAPS in them that confuse amd lead many away from God. I believe Deut. 29: 29 gives us more answers then we generally give it credit for answering on this subject being duscussed here. Not familar with this verse? It lets us know that God has given us enough knowledge to get us through this world of sin and misery that is plagued by a literal fallen angel identifed as Satan.

    And how is science doing on that- explaining the reality of demons and unfallen angels? A team of scientists from Central Michigan U came out to a house trailer in the area I once pastored in central Michigan in the late 80s- early 90s to investiage, scientificly a reported haunting. These scientists wired the house trailer all up to their instruments (yes, they had instruments for measuring this kind of thing- science is so, well, scientific these days!) so they could take a reading to see if the “spirit” manifestations in the house trailer where “positive” or “negative.” After their scientific work was done they told the lady living in the trailer “not to worry- the spirits in your house are positive spirits.” She was thrilled to know the spirit manifestations in her house trailer were positive and she had nothing to be concerned about. It made a nice converstaion piece, too, I”m sure, and after all, it was all very scientifically explained. Who can argue iwth science these days?

    I think it is time to let grown men haggle over their scientific stuff. But some of us should gather our children around us and hold them close under the cloak of simple faith in God until the indignation is past.

    BTW, Mt Everst is actually growing in height.

    Pastor Doug Carlson
    Associate Pastor, Battle Creek Tabernacle, Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  87. A little more regarding the erosion rates or “unroofing” of the mountain tops of the Himalayan region:

    The 7000 meters of relief defined by Nanga Parbat and the Indus River reflect
    long-term erosional unroofing rates within the massif as high as 5 mm/a^-1, and incision rates along the Indus as great as 12 mm/a^-1 (Burbank and others, 1996; Shroder and Bishop, 2000).

    http://earth.geology.yale.edu/~ajs/2002/Nov/qn0902000749.PDF

    In the Mount Everest region of southern Tibet, granites both pre- and postdate an important fault of the system, the Qomolangma detachment. New U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronologic data for these rocks… indicate an average displacement rate of ≥47 mm/yr and a consequent tectonic unroofing rate of ≥8.2 mm/yr.

    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/6/483

    Together the geochronologic and thermobarometric data yield an average unroofing rate of 1.2±0.6 mm/yr for the High Himalaya of eastern Nepal.

    http://europa.agu.org/?uri=/journals/tc/90TC02777.xml&view=article

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  88. @Ken:

    Dear Sean

    Of course this raises the issue of theodicy and a designer that planned for death and destruction. Not a pretty concept is it?

    According to the Bible, God never intended for there to be any death or the suffering of sentient creatures in His universe. The death and suffering that now exists on this planet in the direct result of our own rebellion against God and His original plan.

    As you have often acknowledged if biological life is indicative of design this does not necessarily mean, ipso facto, that biblical God is the designer of our universe. Based on what we see it could be a haphazard designer who built in catastrophe and death into the equation. It could be a dice thrower who if It threw the celestial dice often enough in enough metauniverses would eventually, randomly hit upon a design that would render evolutionary evolving life upon certain planets with the right physical properties.

    Given the physical laws of the universe and of statistical probability in play in this universe that are known so far, it really doesn’t matter how many times the dice are thrown, evolution via the Darwinian mechanism would still be untenable.

    Also, when it comes to the responsibility for suffering and death, you forget about the concept of the freedom of choice that God has given to higher level intelligences throughout His universe.

    You earlier noted that EGW saw life on other planets. Why isn’t there life on all planets or only one planet if there is a design to the universe? Bit haphazard of a design isn’t it? I do not see a pattern there, unless it is one of random natural selection – life adapting to harsh environments where it is able.

    Just because you might now have done it the way it is does not mean that there isn’t very good evidence of deliberate design. Also, what may appear to you to be poor design at first approximation may turn out to have been very good design once you learn more information.

    Design flaw arguments have been around a very long time. Most of them end up becoming resolved once more information is discovered about the workings of the phenomenon in question. For example, the tonsils and appendix used to be routinely removed without any thought. No longer as it has since been discovered that tonsils and the appendix are functional parts of the body’s immune system. The same thing is true of the inverted human retina. It was once thought that the inverted retina was poor design; that no intelligent designer would have wired the human eye “backward”. This is no longer the case as many important functional features have been discovered for the inverted nature of the inverted retina that are ideally suited for the human condition.

    So, I would recommend that design flaw assumptions regarding the nature of the universe are also just a bit hasty. Why not have planets and moons and even entire solar systems or galaxies that serve other functions besides to host living things on their own surfaces?

    With respect, I think you are taking one of those ‘leaps of faith’ when you leap from the notion of design to the transcendent biblical God. Trite to say that all designers do not see the same design. Behe of the irreducible complexity argument clearly does not support young life on earth. He just sees life evolving from a later point than chemical soup.

    Actually, Behe does not believe in any kind of evolution beyond very low levels of functional complexity. He clearly believes in an “edge” to evolutionary progress beyond which the mechanism of RM/NS cannot go. He is therefore a theistic evolutionist in that he believes that intelligent input was required to produce all higher level functional differences within the biosphere…

    Look at the beginning of human life from a zygote. Clearly a repetitive design. Is human embryonics part of the evolutionary ‘design’ of simple celled organisms evolving to more complex ones? Arguable isn’t it? If God made Adam and Eve instantly in a day, why don’t we see a full formed miniature human formed on the day of conception?

    Embryologic recapitulation has been falsified. There really is no such thing. If you care to study embrylology in just a bit of detail you will soon realize the extreme intricacy of what is required to get all of the developing cells to interact and fold properly to end up with the final product. It is the height of magnificent design and mechanical engineering – absolutely amazing.

    Again, just because you might have done it differently does not mean that the evidence for design is therefore unrecognizable. Also, just because you may make a cake differently one day vs. the next doesn’t mean that the various methods of making a cake aren’t equally apparent as being the result of deliberate design.

    Sorry Sean, but for me at least, there are a lot of gaps to fill before I can make the leap of faith you advocate. I have to slowly and methodically build those rational bridges across the gaps to make progress down the ontological brick road.

    You cannot be more than you are. All I’m saying is that you’re missing out. You’ll only realize how much you’ve missed out once you get to the end of your yellow brick road and actually make the rational leap of faith to put your trust in God and start to develop a personal relationship with Him…

    Your comments on my fence sitting are very apt and I appreciate your concern for my salvation. That is a far more kinder, humanitarian appeal than fire and brimstone- the ‘hard sell’! But you see I am not looking for personal salvation as a pre cursor for investigation of reality. In fact, with the greatest respect for all my Adventist friends, I see that need as something that would cloud my objective judgement. Just as I see an atheist bias doing the same as well. If my agnosticism comes at the price of my mortal ‘soul’ I accept that as the price of relentless objectivity. Sean, in that I hope you can trust in my absolute sincerity.

    I do trust your absolute sincerity. In fact, I believe that if you really are absolutely sincere, that God will accept that sincerity and you will be saved in Heaven someday. However, in the mean time, you are missing out big time on the relationship and happiness that you could have had here and now. I realize that you cannot be more than you are, but you must also realize that this is no small issue for you personally. It might not mean a loss of your soul, but it certainly means a loss of what you could have had in this life regarding your own conscious realization of hope and happiness.

    What concerns me about faith is the cart driving the horse when it corms to scientific investigation. My life long study suggests that all religions are social constructs of Man. That does not mean that I disparage faith or your faith. I find it quite remarkable and forth moreover a tool of moral and social order. I am especially interested in how religions schism over doctrinal differences and In I think Adventism is on the brink of that now, fueled by the debate of crescent creationism vs. theistic evolutionism.

    You cannot escape the exercise of “faith”. Atheists and even agnostics make leaps of faith when they come to their conclusions regarding the nature of reality or the lack thereof. There is simply no escaping it. Science itself is based on making educated leaps of faith. All that matters is what faith you choose as most rational. Your agnosticism is your faith of choice – – that’s all.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  89. @ Pastor Carlson

    I think it is time to let grown men haggle over their scientific stuff. But some of us should gather our children around us and hold them close under the cloak of simple faith in God until the indignation is past.

    Amen to this, brother!

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  90. Ken said –

    As you have often acknowledged if biological life is indicative of design this does not necessarily mean, ipso facto, that biblical God is the designer of our universe. Based on what we see it could be a haphazard designer who built in catastrophe and death into the equation.

    It could be a haphazard God as you point out. Dawkins also points out the utter absurditity of an intelligent being deliberately choosing to create and sustain such a tooth-and-claw disease and extinction system.

    However the Bible tells us of origins where there is no disease and death as God designs and creates the system. Only after rebellion do we see the “result” of the free will choice for rebellion.

    You earlier noted that EGW saw life on other planets. Why isn’t there life on all planets or only one planet if there is a design to the universe? Bit haphazard of a design isn’t it? I do not see a pattern there, unless it is one of random natural selection – life adapting to harsh environments where it is able.

    Neither Genesis 1 or 2 describes life as arising in a harsh environment where able. Rather the world is “formatted” as we see in Genesis 1 and all conditions are “made” to be ideal.

    Ellen White claims to have seen in vision 1 or two inhabited world personally but in her descriptions of the universe as she said God described it to her – she states that there are in fact many inhabited worlds in the universe.

    Many seem to have the idea that this world and the heavenly mansions constitute the universe of God. Not so. {Mar 368.1}

    God has worlds upon worlds that are obedient to His law. These worlds are conducted with reference to the glory of the Creator. As the inhabitants of these worlds see the great price that has been paid to ransom man, they are filled with amazement. {Mar 368.2}

    The Lord has given me a view of other worlds….an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes; they were noble, majestic, and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place. {Mar 368.3}

    I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was, “We have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God, and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth.” Then I saw two trees, one looked much like the tree of life in the city. The fruit of both looked beautiful, but of one they could not eat. They had power to eat of both, but were forbidden to eat of one. Then my attending angel said to me, “None in this place have tasted of the forbidden tree; but if they should eat, they would fall.” {Mar 368.4}

    Then I was taken to a world which had seven moons. There I saw good old Enoch, who had been translated. . . . I asked him if this was the place he was taken to from the earth. He said, “It is not; the city is my home, and I have come to visit this place.” He moved about the place as if perfectly at home. {Mar 368.5}

    Ken

    With respect, I think you are taking one of those ‘leaps of faith’ when you leap from the notion of design to the transcendent biblical God. Trite to say that all designers do not see the same design. Behe of the irreducible complexity argument clearly does not support young life on earth. He just sees life evolving from a later point than chemical soup.

    It is readily agreed that many in the Intelligent Design group are in fact still evolutionists. However they are believing in evolutionism in a context that is not “distinctly atheist” by choosing an I.D form of evolutionism. Logic would tell us that this is where ALL the T.E’s would be gathered – but innexplicably many of them choose self-conflicted arguments so consistently that they fail to see their blunder in this regard.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  91. Since editing is not possible on this particular site – those last to paragraphs above should be formatted like this —

    Ken said to Sean
    With respect, I think you are taking one of those ‘leaps of faith’ when you leap from the notion of design to the transcendent biblical God. Trite to say that all designers do not see the same design. Behe of the irreducible complexity argument clearly does not support young life on earth. He just sees life evolving from a later point than chemical soup.

    It is readily agreed that many in the Intelligent Design group are in fact still evolutionists. However they are believing in evolutionism in a context that is not “distinctly atheist” by choosing an I.D form of evolutionism. Logic would tell us that this is where ALL the T.E’s would be gathered – but innexplicably many of them choose self-conflicted arguments so consistently that they fail to see their blunder in this regard.

    in Christ,

    Bob

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  92. @ Bill Sorensen

    So, when you stated, “….the SDA Church takes no official stand on the existence of the basic material of the Earth, or of the universe, before creation week.” you are saying the SDA church has abandon the clear biblical revelation and is leaving open human speculation to determine something already clearly stated in the bible.

    I reject your affirmation of what the church affirms and what it does not. And I think more than a few SDA would agree with EGW as I do.

    Yes, Bill, you are correct to point out these flaws in Sean’s placing his so-called science ahead of inspiration. I don’t understand the inconsistencies in how he interprets some passages in a straightforward manner and others in a convulated way that supposedly matches his science. I don’t believe he would be fit to work for the SDA Church.

      (Quote)

    View Comment
  93. Sean said…..

    “As I’ve already explained, the SDA Church takes no official stand on the existence of the basic material of the Earth, or of the universe, before creation week. Therefore, this is an open question from the Church’s perspective…”

    Sean Pitman

    In other words, Sean, “the church” does not endorse EGW’s understanding of the 6,000 year period. And in this light, let’s list other things “the church” does not endorse or demand as a “test of faith” to be a SDA. Things EGW specifically writes about.

    The investigative judgment
    Health reform
    Dress and jewelry
    Music
    Theater going and drama in church……etc.

    So, for you, when the bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, the “beginning” refered to, is not the beginning of creation week.

    Maybe the bible should have said, “In the beginning of this world, God altered the things He created eons before and formed what we now see as the result of His alterations.”

    I don’t see this as the biblical intent. You must use your imagination and considerable speculation to conclude such an idea.

    Of course, this would explain why “rocks” were millions of years old on day one of the “alteration”.

    The first five verses are written in a continum that allows for no such intepretation, and all that is stated is on the first day.

    The alteration theory can only lead to more and more confusion. Let the bible speak for itself, and we need no educated scientist to tell us something different from what is clearly stated.

    So, when you stated, “….the SDA Church takes no official stand on the existence of the basic material of the Earth, or of the universe, before creation week.” you are saying the SDA church has abandon the clear biblical revelation and is leaving open human speculation to determine something already clearly stated in the bible.

    I reject your affirmation of what the church affirms and what it does not. And I think more than a few SDA would agree with EGW as I do.

    Bill Sorensen

      (Quote)

    View Comment

Leave a Reply