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REPLY #20a TO
"EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM"



Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

This is the first of a three-part reply. Select the "Go to next reply" link at the end of each part to read the next part of the reply.

(R) Before I continue let me just say that you've given me enough insults. It's pointless.
(MB) Perhaps you could enlighten me by pointing out an example or two of where I have insulted you. I have pointed out inadequacies in mathematics, understanding of scientific data, and reasoning and have shown why they lead to the incorrect conclusions that are the heart and soul of Creationist argument. If you take this as some sort of directed personal insult, I'm sorry, but the only way a debate about an issue can be resolved is to present the truth and to debunk the nonsense.


(R) Now do you want to continue this debate or begin a name-calling contest?
(MB) In the opening statement of your first reply, you said:
"I am absolutely, positively, not going to start a debate on this, I just want to hear you defend evolutionism after you read the following..."
Interestingly enough, this reply is now the fourth in what looks to be a continuing series. I have no need for name-calling since there is overwhelming evidence to support my case and none whatsoever to support Creationism.



(R) How can you say that if I believe In the world-wide flood there would be a present population of 1740 people?
(MB) Because I can do the math properly and can perform the calculations using proper historical data. This is opposed to the Creationist method which performs an invalid extrapolation of a modern population growth rate backwards through thousands of years where it does not apply.


(R) If you look back at my 1st letter it explains that the present population would have been developed from a single family in just 4,000 years if the growth rate were reduced to only 1/2 % per year or about an average of only 2 1/2 children per family.
(MB) If you'll look back at my response, you'll find the proper data with which to perform the calculations. You'll also find a conclusive debunking which uses your own figures to disprove the Creationist argument. In recap, if the Creationist model is correct, then the world's population grew from an initial core of eight people (Noah and his family) after the Flood to its present total of 5.5 billion. If the Creationists want us to believe their growth rate figures and time scale, then they must admit that the entire population of the world at the time the Israelites entered Canaan was 2024! Since this is clearly bunk, the Creationist model is conclusively refuted.


(R) That's one forth the present rate of growth. It would easily allow for long periods of no growth due to famines and wars. Please tell me you're either joking or you made a mistake.
(MB) Sorry, I have done neither. On the contrary, it is you that must admit error in the face of the evidence.


(R) You still haven't answered my question on how many germs there would be today if they've been living for billions of years.
(MB) There would be exactly as many as currently exist because they *have* been living for billions of years.


(R) At the present rate of growth, for germs, were constant since their beginning you said the germ population would be "through the roof" in just 6,000 years. If they've been living for much longer wouldn't there be a slight problem?
(MB) Nope. This is because Creationists fail to understand that no form of life can expand its population exponentially for any appreciable length of time. In my previous reply, it was shown that the Creationist "germ population" argument leads to the inevitable conclusion that an initial population of 8 germs would grow to a population density of a million germs per cubic inch for a thickness of over one mile entirely covering the entire surface of the Earth. Once again, the dangers of invalid extrapolation of exponential growth rates is conclusively demonstrated and another Creationist argument crumbles under its own weight.


(R) You said that you thought Joseph's brothers were simply "eponyms" or representations for various tribes. In the case of Joseph and his family this definitely isn't true because if you'd take the time to read the Bible it's clear that Joseph's brothers were of his own kin. (Genesis chapter 37-50)
(MB) That is true in every Biblical case of eponymous stories. In fact, that's what an "eponym" is -- it's a representation of a larger group by a single example or founder. That example person may or may not be an actual historical individual. In the case of eponymous stories concerning related tribes, there should be little question that the individuals would be represented as being kin. In the case of the story of Joseph, all it takes to realize that this is a classic case of the usage of eponyms is actually reading the story and knowing a bit about the history of the Israelites.
    In secular history, there are two major groups (the Israelites and the Edomites) who have a long-standing enmity between them. In the Bible, Isaac has twin sons, Esau and Jacob, who have a lifelong feud over a birthright. Since the story is told from the perspective of the Israelites, they "win" and become the "chosen people". In Genesis, this is depicted by Jacob's outmaneuvering Esau and gaining Isaac's final blessing. In GEN 25:30, Esau is given the alternate name, "Edom". In GEN 32:28, Jacob is given the alternate name, "Israel". Therefore, Esau/Edom is the eponym of the Edomites while Jacob/Israel is the eponym of the Israelites and the story continues by chronicling the life and times of Jacob.
    Now, Jacob has twelve sons. These provide the eponymous ancestry of the twelve tribes of Israel. Ten of Jacob's sons are direct eponyms of tribes, while Joseph (as the most important) is the ancestor of two tribes whose eponyms are depicted as being his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob's twelfth son, Levi, is the eponym for what would become the priests who were intermingled with the other tribes.
    The real clincher comes from the Book of Numbers. Here, the results of two censuses of the twelve tribes are reported. Each tribe is identified (as is the Old Testament custom) by its eponymous ancestor. Of course, those ancestors are the aforementioned sons of Jacob. The first census is taken at the time of the Exodus, which the Bible says took place 430 years after the entry of Jacob and his sons into Egypt. The census reports 603,550 men of warrior age. If one figures in the necessary women and children and the men who were either too young or too old to be warriors, the total membership of the twelve tribes must have been at least two million people.
    What does this mean? It means that the Creationists are going to try to tell us that the Israelite population grew from 12 to over 2,000,000 in only 430 years! If we use Dr. Morris' figure of a 0.33% yearly population growth rate, an initial population of 12 could only grow to 49 in 430 years. If we assume a present-day annual growth rate of 2%, those same initial 12 would only grow to 59,876 in 430 years. Therefore, if we accept the claim of the Creationists that the Bible is inerrant, we must conclude that the Bible itself conclusively refutes a major claim of those very same Creationists!



(R) Your explanation of how the Flood became so popular was due to the many people who were nomadic during that time and when they traveled they spread a different version. If this were true then how did ancient Japan get their version? The American Indians have their own twisted account as well. I'm sure you know that China was virtually unknown to the people of Europe and the Middle East until the end of the Middle Ages. A European or Middle Eastern nomad couldn't have traveled all the way to Japan let alone China.
(MB) They wouldn't have to do so. Floods are most certainly known anyplace where there is a river. Floods vary in their magnitude according to such things as rainfall and/or snowfall and drainage patterns. Particularly large or catastrophic floods would be remembered in the oral and/or written histories of the afflicted people and produce a background for stories of heroism and/or devotion to the deity or deities worshipped by those people.
    Therefore, it should hardly be surprising that flood stories are commonplace. It should also be noted that the details of the various stories are mutually-exclusive as they don't occur at the same time, have the same effects, produce the same aftermaths, or involve the same sets of circumstances as might reasonably be expected if they all referred to the same event.



(R) Noah's account was the true original version and was not derived from the Gilgamesh epic. If anything the epic of Gilgamesh and the other distorted versions were derived from Noah's account.
(MB) Untrue. Records of flood stories (such as the Gilgamesh epic) exist and predate the Biblical tale of Noah. This makes it impossible for those stories to have been derived after the Biblical version.
    Consider also that if your claim is true, there would be no reason for the vast differences we find in the details of the various stories.



(R) The different versions might not have been the same, but they all agree with one important thing: that there was a great Flood.
(MB) Considering:
    1) that there is no evidence for any such Flood, and
    2) how many significant differences there are in the details of the stories, and
    3) that both the Egyptian and Chinese civilizations survived the supposed world-destroying Flood and have no records of it, and
    4) how commonplace floods are, and
    5) how much evidence there is which disproves even the possibility of such a Flood,
    we can only conclude that the only reason for the one common element among otherwise contradictory stories is that a Flood is a popular plot device around which to spin a good tale.



(R) How could you say that radiometric dating methods are reliable?
(MB) Because all evidence demonstrates this and none contradicts it. All supposed problems with various dating methods involve conclusions drawn from the employment of invalid procedures, incorrect data, poor mathematics, or invalid reasoning.


(R) That is certainly not the case! Let me show you just how "solid and trusted" these methods are:
    When the Apollo 11 mission brought moon rock and soil samples back the uranium lead tests on them produced 4 different dates:
4.6 billion yrs.
5.4 billion yrs.
4.8 billion yrs.
8.2 billion yrs.
    How do we know which figure is correct? Are any of them correct?

(MB) You are overlooking one crucially important point that is central to the Creationist argument -- none of these datings produce a result of 6000 years or anything even remotely suggesting such an age. Since the Moon cannot possibly be older than the Earth, if the Creationist model is correct, why do no samples produce dates even remotely in accordance with that model?
    Also, there are other facts not being considered by your argument and much important data that is missing. Apollo 11 brought back many samples of moon rocks. If testing produced only four different dates and they are all over 4.5 billion years old, we can safely conclude that the Moon is at least that old. This destroys the Creationist model.
    Also, the differences in the first three dates listed are not statistically significant while the last is so out-of-line that it must be considered anomalous. You've also failed to cite the source of these figures, how many total tests were conducted and what other methods might have been used to verify and crosscheck the dates produced by the uranium-lead method.



(R) According to Science magazine, potassium argon tests on lunar rocks revealed an age of 2.3 billion years. (vol. 167,1/30/70)
(MB) Which lunar rocks? They're not all the same, you know. Samples have been taken from many places and have been deliberately chosen from several types of formations to produce the widest ranges of data. Samples taken from the lunar maria would always date to be younger than samples taken from highlands or mountainous areas since they would have been produced by geologic activity after the Moon was formed.
    Finally, we see once again that dating results produce ages in the billions of years. Yet again, this is conclusive evidence against the Creationist model.



(R) The best way to test a clocks accuracy is to compare it to a "standard." In other words check with a known reliable source.
Case history:
Volcanic lava rocks from Hawaii were subjected to Potassium Argon testing(KAr).
Result?
160 million to 3 billion years ago is when these rocks supposedly originated.
    Upon further checking it was discovered that the particular lava flow from which these rocks were taken, actually erupted in the year 1800 & 1801!
    Do you suppose there just may be some flaws in the radiometric dating methods?

(MB) Nope. This is a classic example of Creationists using the wrong tool to do the job. No reputable geologist would use dating methods like K-Ar to test volcanic samples since their molten nature would destroy the markers used by those dating methods and produce invalid results -- as your example shows. Yet Creationists continue to trot out volcanic samples as "disproof" of standardized radiometric dating techniques. If anything, this example proves that Creationists don't know how to properly use the tools of science, yet they are fully willing to promote the invalid results obtained to a scientifically illiterate audience.


(R) In the uranium lead method it is assumed that the ratio of lead to uranium in a rock shows its age. The more lead and less uranium in a rock, the older it is. The problem with this method is that we do not know how much lead was in the original rock.
(MB) We don't have to know this. The isotopes of lead produced by this decay process are not naturally-occurring. That is, they aren't produced independently of the decay of the original uranium.


(R) Because 2 kinds of uranium decay into two kinds of lead, they give two dates for each rock. Scientists can therefore check these dates to see if they are the same. If they are, the date is confirmed; if they aren't, the date is doubtful. Scientists have found that the dates from the uranium decays are rarely the same. In one rock the two uranium decays as well as two other dating methods gave four different results ranging from 100 million years to 10.5 billion years. These results show how unreliable the uranium lead method is. Another problem with the UPb method is that it sometimes gives results that are clearly wrong. Rocks in Texas gave ages as high as 11 billion years, about twice as old as you believe the earth is. The rocks cannot be older than the earth.
(MB) This is a common Creationist corruption of the fact that the two different isotopes of uranium used in the UPb methods, (U-238 and U-235) have much different half-lifes. U-238 decays to Pb-206 with a half-life of 4.5 billion years while U-235 decays to Pb-207 with a half-life of 704 million years. When Creationists mistakenly (or deliberately) take sample percentages of the two different isotopes and incorrectly compute dates from them by using a common yardstick, they will obviously get contradictory results which they can then tout to their target audience which knows nothing of the actual process. When this process is used properly, there are no such contradictory results.


(R) Potassium argon (KAr) method is the least reliable of all the radiometric dating methods. This method is similar to the uranium lead method. Potassium-40 decay into argon-40, a gas. The method uses the ratio of argon to potassium to find the age of a rock. Again, to use this method to date a rock scientists must decide how much argon the rock had originally. They usually assume that it had none.
(MB) While it's true that the Potassium-Argon method is the least reliable method used, it still produces results that conclusively refute the Creationist model of an Earth which is only 6000 years old. Creationists also conveniently forget that there are numerous different, very reliable and cross-checkable methods used for radiometric dating and *all* of them produce dates for the oldest samples in the 4.5 billion year range. The Rubidium-Strontium and Argon-Argon methods are among the most reliable and widely-used while the most direct method for calculating the Earth's age is the Pb-Pb isochron method. As always, no method gives an age of 6000 years (or anything remotely close to it) for the Earth.



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