Catch Up a Bit, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 19, 2015 19 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next one is here.]

Last week we finished up by touching on radiometric decay and dating as well as the non-issue of distant starlight. The author of the blog posts I’m referencing, Tyler Francke, is remarkably behind in his information because he thinks decay rates are the only problem with radiometric dating, and he thinks distant starlight causes a problem for the Biblical view. He also seems to be unaware that the old earth/deep time proponents have similar issues with the universe. We’ll remark a little further on these issues before we move on as we dismantle his blog posts titled “Ken Ham has a problem with the Bible” and “Why Ken Ham’s scientific defense of young-earth creationism just doesn’t make any sense.

Tyler continues to misstate Ken Ham’s position in order to make it easier to refute. This is an extremely common tactic by evolutionists and it’s called a “strawman” argument. He claims Ham denies that the laws of nature are fixed, which is not true. In fact, Ham’s position is that the only way to know the laws of nature are fixed and to account for the laws of nature existing at all is through belief in the Biblical God. Tyler also claims that “historical science” for distant events in the past no one was around for is exactly the same as practicing observational science here and now. In last week’s blog post I linked to a few other blog posts I’ve written on this topic. For the sake of convenience, I’ll leave them here, here, here, and here as well. The lack of understanding by evolutionists almost seems like it must be intentional concerning what a fact is, what science is and can do, and what the scientific method is. To say that studying the effect of gravity on an object as you drop it is the same as making up something about the past that 1) no one was around for, 2) no one understands, and 3) no one knows the conditions under which it may/could have happened is just more evidence that evolutionists have no interest in truth or in discussing this stuff honestly or logically.

He also seems to want to mock or ridicule the Christian/Biblical worldview, which seems a little strange since he claims to love the Bible and be a Christian. Again, be cautious of accepting the arguments and statements from someone who uses atheism to bash Christianity while claiming to be a Christian. “They will know you are My followers by how you join with those who hate me to attack those who love me” is not something I think Jesus was recorded as saying. Tyler has criticized Ham for sticking to the Bible and for even using the Bible in the discussion. He’s held up arguments atheists use for why they are atheists to say why the Bible can’t be true. He’s attacking Christians and Christianity in general, as well as the Bible repeatedly. I’m not sure what sort of fruit this theistic evolutionist bears that is consistent with that described in the Bible as “good fruit.” I don’t particularly enjoy being that harsh or critical, but the pattern has been fairly well set in Tyler’s writings.

Tyler then goes on to paraphrase Ken Ham’s statements in such a way that seems to incorrectly state Ham’s position. He states Ham’s position this way: “…the only way we can do science is because God created a law-governed, rational universe, and then turns around and says we can’t trust the evidence of the past, because God could have ignored the laws that govern the universe when he was designing and creating the universe, and besides, the laws of nature may have been operating completely at random before we started paying attention to them.” This isn’t correct. We do exist in a law-governed universe and we trust those laws. However, the “evidence of the past” that Tyler and others like him reference is not “evidence of the past” but is their interpretation of the evidence. How can two equally qualified scientists look at the same information and come up with two completely different and even opposing interpretations? This happens in science frequently, and rarely is one side of the debate considered moronic or anti-scientific or whatever name calling evolutionists like to do. Your worldview determines how you interpret the evidence. We all tell a story based on the evidence. I guess the point here is that there is no “evidence of the past” when it comes to deep time. There is just evidence. We have the exact same evidence and it fits in nicely with our version of origins. They have their version as well. They clutch at “science” while they’re touting their beliefs because if they lose that label for their beliefs, they will quickly lose the discussion. The claim (and that is all it is) of “science” for their worldview and their origins beliefs is a sham.

But also notice that Tyler doesn’t seem to think the creation was a supernatural event. He seems to mock Ham for believing that God did, in fact, “suspend” natural laws that govern the universe when He created it. In fact, those laws didn’t exist prior to the creation of the universe. In my opinion, the inability to see the juvenility and illogical nature of his points is staggering. How could God do anything if not supernaturally? Any miracle recorded in the Bible is a supernatural event. Any miracle that happens today is a supernatural event. Does Tyler believe God is real and is above His creation? I’m not so sure he does.

In light of the terribly inaccurate description of Ken Ham’s statements, Tyler says, “Make sense? Of course it doesn’t. It’s a convoluted mess, but it’s what Ken Ham thinks we should all teach our children.” Look at that! He’s using the same sort of arguments that Bill Nye, an atheist and militant one at that, uses to support his atheism. Tyler claims to be a Christian, but he says, “Make sense? Of course it doesn’t.” Of course it doesn’t when you distort nearly everything involved. Over and over Biblical creationists are defending themselves against attacks from atheists or others who are not arguing against our position. It’s easy to feel like you’re wasting your time when no one will argue about your points. They will restate them in childish, ignorant ways and then act like they’ve got you. This, to me, shows the strength of the evolutionist’s claims. They can’t argue against our position so they make up something foolish to argue against.

And further in here we see the infamous appeal to consensus. Consensus science is junk science and there is no way around that. Consensus science means, “Everyone thinks this might be right, so it must be right.” Science is based on knowledge, not best guesses. Sure, there is guesswork involved sometimes. But when the entire story is a slippery slope of extrapolation, storytelling, and making up all sorts of things there is no evidence for, I’d venture to say that’s not science. It’s a belief system. There’s nothing wrong with belief systems, really. But if you’re holding yours up as “science” and a fact and all this sort of thing (which is way too common with evolutionists), you’re not honestly involved in this debate.

Boy, we’re running out of space today already. Next week we’ll get Bill Nye (the guy that plays the part of a scientist on TV for children) involved and look at how open the “scientific community” actually is to ideas that threaten their worldview. Thanks for sticking with me. My goal here is to expose the inconsistent nature of theistic evolution and the atrocious theology and lack of Biblical study they must have. Let me know what you think.

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Anonymous said...

Just a thought; why would consensus science necessarily be labeled junk science?

It seems fairly obvious that for anyone who does not have in depth training in a highly technical and involved field, like evolutionary biology, there is precious little to go on besides consensus science. How would they otherwise make up their minds in the least biased manner possible? What exactly is left if the consensus is ignored? A hunch? A minority opinion from the experts in the field? A presupposition that ignores everything else? Obviously, the best bet, unless there is strong reason to suspect overwhelming bias in the main body of experts and little bias in the opposing view, is to go with the majority view.

There is, of course, always another choice that can be made; you (this is a generic “you”) may choose to become an expert through years of study at university. Not many choose this one.

There is one further option, but it is difficult to view it as legitimate; you could choose to read up on the subject and make up your own minds. This sounds good and diligent at first sight, but it is based on the idea that (a) you would know what material to choose and what to consider as authoritative on your own and without the background necessary to make this call, that (b) you would be able to identify bias and selective presentation of information when you saw it (again, without the necessary background), that (c) you would somehow do all of the years of less interesting background work that would help you to fully grasp the context when getting to the main arguments for and against the majority view and that (decades can be wasted on only dealing with the main arguments instead of doing the drudge work of investigating the context that would allow you to really assess them) (d) you would not fall into the completely understandable trap usually called the Dunning–Kruger effect. The Dunning–Kruger effect is often discussed in a disparaging way, but frankly, it seems like a very normal and human reaction to assume you have full grasped a topic once you’ve read up on it seriously for many years on a popular level, since to you it will seem simple and you will feel like you have a bird’s eye view, when what you really have is a lack of technical context or nuance that gives it all the illusion of simplicity. The final problem with this approach is that it is based on the idea that your personal investigation is deeper and more comprehensive than that of the vast majority of life-scientists who disagree with you after decades of complex work in the field. This last point, in the absence of massive bias or conspiracy on the part of the experts, looks a bit like hubris.

In order for most of the above to be wrong, and it might be, you would need to establish (a) that the state of your own background knowledge puts you in the same position as that community of experts with whom you differ and (b) that you have excellent reasons to suspect the main body of experts to have some overwhelming bias that overcomes their professional integrity based on some obvious motive and (c) that you have no reason at all to suspect the dissenting voices that have guided or confirmed your disagreement with the consensus to have any serious bias. If you can establish these last points, you should be in good shape to stand your ground, but if not, the consensus opinion is by far the most reasonable horse to bet on. Notice that this argument works for expert consensus in just about anything to a similar degree; quantum physics, plumbing, you name it. In each case, ignoring expertise needs serious justifications on all sides and in some cases, I’m sure that these justifications are available.
I’m wondering what justifications you would offer in this case? I’m sure you have some. Would this be good fodder for a blog post?

Charlie said...

Anonymous, I'll let Steve answer himself, but here is what I understand "consensus" science as. Consensus science is not "what most scientists agree upon". Consensus science is what scientific research and papers must adhere to. It is a priori agenda held by the "gatekeepers" to keep what they want in, in, and keep what they want out, out. Steve, actually talks about this in his next post that was released today: "Catching Up Some More". The documentation of this bias is quite easy to find. Here is what Michael Crichton said about "consensus science."

//In a lecture he gave at CalTech in 2003, Crichton said, "I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had."
Dr. Crichton wasn't done. "Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
"There is no such thing as consensus science," he added. "If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."//

The consensus Steve is addressing is related to Evolution. If the research or paper questions the dogma of Evolution it is immediately rejected, no matter how solid the science behind it. Evolution is not like Gravity. If anyone questions gravity, you can go to your back yard (or a lab), do an experiment, and show gravity is legit. You can't do that with Evolution. And NO ONE, no matter what expertise they claim, has been able to show anything that backs it up. But you can't question it and retain your position in the scientific and academic community. That is the consensus being addressed here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Charlie,

I appreciate your response and I find much to agree with in some of the ideas and quotes. That said, I don’t think it really addresses the issues I’m bringing up. It may well be the last refuge of scoundrels in some cases, and I think that Michael Creighton puts it quite cleverly, even if I’m inclined to take his view as a bit unbalanced. He simply fails to differentiate between the two essential positions that I am outlining and rather botches his otherwise good point by failing to see the distinction.

If you are an expert in the field in question with a comprehensive training and years of research allowing you to fully contextualize each question that comes up, and you signed up for a conference where a particular point was being debated, it would be, as he says, an unfair response to silence your view or suppress your paper by simply saying it is opposed to the consensus. Even in this case, I would hedge a bit; if your view was couched in a paradigm that was radically different from the other participants and based on scientific theories that have long been considered as successfully refuted, then you are not even speaking the same language, and a discussion is simply not possible until you have established to their satisfaction that their paradigm is problematic and the original refutations are incorrect. Even the conclusion of a sound mathematical proof can’t be agreed upon if the selected axioms are considered to be incorrect by other mathematicians.

If you haven’t done the leg work for this, then there is nothing to be done, since you have not established the common context necessary for dialogue (and it is difficult to see why establishing that their common paradigm is incorrect would be anything other than your responsibility). If you all agreed on enough of the scientific context that your debate could be sustained, then they may well be scoundrels for shutting you out, whether or not they happen to use the word “consensus” (the word that is used is irrelevant); in this case only does Creighton really make sense. If you haven’t established a common context to begin with, then you are simply trying to bypass the responsibility you have as a dissenter to convince them of the context needed to successfully argue whatever point you want to make. It doesn’t work that way, if the vast majority of other scientists are convinced that your basic premises have been successfully debunked over a century ago, you simply don’t get to waltz in and pretend with faux-democratic indignation that all views are created equal.

It’s even worse if as an expert you simply bypass any effort to convince your colleagues, making your case directly to the public on the assumption that your peers could or would not follow the same technical reasoning that you did. This could only be justified by a serious attempt to established conspiracy and pervasive lack of integrity in the main body of scientists who disagree with you.

To be continued...

Anonymous said...


If, on the other hand, you are a non-expert, or a teacher or a text-book writer or someone who thinks he has it all figured out through his copious reading, Creighton becomes wrong, and this was the case that I was addressing. In this case, there is nothing more reasonable than letting the opinion of the main body of experts who are in the best position to know what they are talking about to point you to the position that is likely to be the best established and supported position. To take on the responsibility as teacher or textbook writer of disagreeing with the consensus is to imply that you somehow know better as a non-expert, which is, in most cases and in most fields, nothing more base arrogance. This only stops being the case once you become an expert (a real one, not a self proclaimed one) who has spent years in the sometimes withering and always critical atmosphere of debate and peer review, but this is not the case we are discussing here. The whole set of questions I posted remain and are unanswered; there are a number of serious justifications that need to be made in reasonably sustaining your view against the “consensus”.

It sounds like you have subconsciously or consciously gone with the conspiracy theory alternative that I suggested, which is certainly a live option (although I noted a few other justifications that where reasonably necessary). This is based on a couple of your comments;

“If the research or paper questions the dogma of Evolution it is immediately rejected, no matter how solid the science behind it.”

“NO ONE, no matter what expertise they claim, has been able to show anything that backs it up.”

“But you can't question it and retain your position in the scientific and academic community.”

“Consensus science is what scientific research and papers must adhere to. It is a priori agenda held by the "gatekeepers" to keep what they want in, in, and keep what they want out, out.”

The first one sort of looks like it supports a conspiracy theory at first, but the truth is, it seems a bit like my conference example above; if you submit a paper that takes as it’s premises a number of points that have long been considered disproven, it is not that you are “questioning the dogma of Evolution”, it is that you are taking as premises points that you have not bothered to prove while rejecting premises that you have not bothered to refute. Every scientific paper is necessarily highly limited in scope, so it is simply impossible to successfully shift such a vast paradigm in one paper, and yes this last sentence remains obviously true whenever you fail to establish this major shift in your submitted paper. It should go without saying that taking as given a number of points that have long been rejected by your colleagues is totally unacceptable for any referee, so I think the “immediately rejected” part can be true and reasonable without it having much to do with what dogma is being questioned or even the scientific reasoning that is based on the premises that you don’t bother to establish. Take as your premises commonly accepted points in order to prove the single point you want to get across or don’t bother to submit at all; your choice.

If you submit a logical and excellently argued paper on chemistry that takes for granted the phlogiston theory, then yes, it will be reasonably rejected without ceremony unless you submit an earlier paper that clearly reestablishes the phlogiston theory in the eyes of your peers. Maybe you are right about the rejected theory, but it’s irrelevant, you still need to establish it to their satisfaction before assuming it in any discussion with them. Cart before the horse man.

To be continued...

Anonymous said...


For the second sentence above; the scientific community would obviously very strongly disagree with the contention that they have been able to show nothing to back it up, so we are back at square one, with the vast majority of experts thinking that it is very well corroborated by the evidence, and you saying that it is unsupported by any evidence. You may be right, but without very serious justification, it’s tough to take it seriously.

For the third sentence, the statement you have made is very contentious and has been argued on all sides, but I would be surprised if a few people hadn’t lost their positions by (a) failing to agree with any of the scientific context considered to be well established by their colleagues - making dialogue on common ground nearly impossible and representation of the institution impracticable (b) acting as a source that completely misrepresents the scientific baseline that the remainder of their scientific colleagues find to be convincing and uncontroversial as a starting point for further discussion. A creationist that dismisses major theories that are considered to be no longer controversial in a whole gamut of scientific fields is not equipped to give their students a good background with which to begin their scientific careers, and does not have the common context necessary to represent a scientific institution in any ongoing scientific controversies. In light of this, especially given that these are the key job descriptions for most academics, I doubt that such institutions would be entirely in the wrong, especially if they originally hired the individual on the false assumption that they were in a position to fulfill both of these responsibilities according to the standards of the institution.

I don’t think the fourth sentence needs to be independently discussed; but I will repeat - since each point in a new paper needs to be either be convincingly argued or assumed as being already agreed upon by the community of scientists reading the paper, the fact that they assume premises that are not agreed upon is sufficient reason for the “gatekeepers” to turn them back in the absence of further argumentation. Your terminology certainly fits into the global conspiracy theory category; “must adhere to” “a priori agenda”, “gatekeepers”, even the word “want” all give a nefarious tone to the proceedings and would work well in riling up a convinced crowd against a shadowy evolutionary high priesthood. Works less well in my case, and I find the contention of a complete lack of integrity among scientists to be highly unconvincing.

On a side note, I find the following quote interesting:

“The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus”, yes, but statistically the vast majority of efforts to break from the consensus have been utterly misguided and futile, so I’m not sure how this helps (aside from establishing that efforts to break from a consensus position are statistically ill advised). It certainly sounds good, but then the man’s an excellent writer, so no surprise there. I think he was well intentioned, and even correct within a limited context (in scientific discussions with a commonly accepted context on a specific issue), but in other contexts, the idea of consensus is simple indispensable, especially in an era of necessarily narrow specialization.

Anonymous said...

Charlie; wait a minute, are you seriously suggesting that most scientists do not agree with evolution and that it's just the gatekeepers that make it seem this way?! This is a whole new level of conspiracy that I never even considered. Your definition of "consensus science" is extremely idiosyncratic, and given such a definition, it's no surprise that you don't like the term.

Charlie said...

Anonymous, you seem to be making this point: that in order to question the "consensus" one must have the proper credentials to do so. That one must have passed a quality education program. There are two factors you need to consider here.

1). The cases Steve and I are referencing to being "censored" are FROM those who are experts in the field. One of the sources Steve cited in today's post is Ben Stein's Documentary: "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". There are two other very recent examples. Mark Armitage discovered soft tissue in a triceratops horn. When he published his paper, he was immediately fired with this comment: "We don't need your religion here." This was not a case of using the school's resources to publish. This was a straight out case of disproving Evolutionary timelines.

Here is another example.

A research team carbon-dated 8 dinosaur bones from Texas, Colorado, through Alaska. Each one came with a date range of 22K-39K years old. They presented their case in a conference in Singapore. Without any quality refutation, just a claim of "contamination" without proving that actually happened, their paper was rejected and their mention of even being at the conference was pulled. So we are dealing with professionals with PhDs from accredited universities, not laymen.

2). The other issue to deal with is: what constitutes "quality education"? WHO defines quality education? You can't find a university these days without great difficulty that does not teach Evolution as dogmatic fact, when in fact not one scientist has ever given definitive proof that it is even true. It is just assumed. And when these "experts" are asked for the definitive proof, they never can provide it. Some of the evidences are outright fraud. Example. The Ichiyasaur is a supposed link between web-footed aquatic reptiles to land-dwelling reptiles. The model in the museums (Two weeks ago I saw it as the Sam Noble Natural History Museum at OU) shows five distinct digits on the feet. The actual fossil has 7-8 'digits' and very clearly webbed which would not let it survive on ground very well. What constitutes quality education? That is determined by those who offer it. That is, they are self-proclaimed experts. Does that mean toss the baby out with the bath water? No. But it does mean they are not to be trusted for an ultimate source of authority. Because you have no means of knowing if they are lying or not.

Charlie said...

//Charlie; wait a minute, are you seriously suggesting that most scientists do not agree with evolution and that it's just the gatekeepers that make it seem this way?! This is a whole new level of conspiracy that I never even considered. Your definition of "consensus science" is extremely idiosyncratic, and given such a definition, it's no surprise that you don't like the term.//

I assume you are a different "Anonymous" than the one I previously addressed in this thread. If that is the case, this will be a challenge to keep you two straight.

I fully understand that polls show that 98% of scientists agree with Evolution. But I also know that 0% of Evolution has anything to do with their job. And if you ask the scientists the majority will tell you that they believe in Evolution because the rest of the scientists believe it. Not because they've examined it themselves. The list of those who do not agree with Evolution is growing because they are seeing there is nothing behind the smoke and mirrors of the Evolutionary agenda.

Is there a conspiracy? Hear it from those behind the scenes themselves. There is no evidence for Evolution and they know it. But the alternative is something they WILL NOT TOLERATE.

//Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal produced material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen (emphasis in original). ~Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” 1997

Anonymous said...

To your second comment:

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your response. No, you have misunderstood me. At no point did I emphasized the credentials themselves, I emphasized that there is no substitute for in-depth study guided by professors who are experts and who have decades of research behind them. There is also no substitute for the knowledgeable and fair, but relentless and somewhat ruthless criticism of your peers for many years. It is exceedingly rare that anyone can skip passing through this furnace and still end up equipped with broad context, self-critical tendencies and balanced perspective in quite the same way. There are also huge problems in terms of the ability to choose appropriate resources, detect selective information presentation etc (I listed a few problems above) that can only be avoided by years of broad training that contextualizes your thinking (usually an undergrad degree can give much of this broader context, but it can theoretically be acquired in other ways). I wonder if you might have only heard what you expected to hear on this one; it is obviously far easier to dismiss what I’m saying if it boils down to: “if you can’t show the club membership card, we don’t let you come to the big boy’s table”.

1) Yes, I knew very well what you were referring to. Expelled is probably the least balanced presentation of facts imaginable. It reminds me of Michael Moore documentaries, where there isn’t even a token effort to give two sides of the story. When it comes to individuals who are fired, I do not think that anything other than an effort to present both sides of the story is acceptable, and this was not the MO of that documentary. If a professor is failing to fulfill his basic responsibilities as his employers see them, as mentioned previously, he can shout persecution all he wants, but his firing is still the only option he leaves available to his employers. When it comes to rejected papers, it boils down to this for me; if I can see the papers that were rejected and the review comments that came with them, I suspect I can, in the vast majority of cases, detect exactly why it was rejected. I would do this using the framework that I discussed above (plus a few other criteria); either they are using premises that are not accepted by their peers, or they are vastly overextending or coming to unwarranted conclusions, or their methods lack appropriate controls for baseline comparisons, or they are introducing religious or sociological commentary where it is not intrinsic to the subject under discussion. Any of these issues are entirely legitimate reasons to reject any paper whatsoever.

We are dealing with human beings here, so I’m sure that if you scratch the surface you can find all sorts of papers that have been rejected for inappropriate reasons of all kinds (although given standard professional integrity, it should be fairly rare). Between a sustained search that uncovers a few inappropriate rejections/firings and a massive, consistent and systemic conspiracy there is an almost unbridgeable gap. Did you want to fill that gap or just keep going with a few well chosen anecdotes about mismanaged situations? I would need to see Mark Armitage’s paper before I could guess at why such an inappropriate comment was made; clearly the finding of soft tissue in bones has been repeatedly reported without any such comments being returned, so I strongly suspect there is something in the paper that clues the reviewer in to the agenda being pushed, otherwise it’s impossible to see why they would jump at this particular conclusion in this one case. Do you have the paper?


Anonymous said...


As for the research time that carbon dated the bones, there are all sorts of problems here; (1) Contamination is not something you would normally have to prove; any cursory look at the materials and methods section would give you sufficient reason to suspect it; it happens very easily and for known reasons in radiometric dating, so it is rather up to the investigator to establish that there could not be contamination than otherwise, and if they failed to do so; rejection is a natural result. (2) There are a number of extrinsic sources of C14, so geological context (radioactive decay from nearby rocks), bacterial/fungal sources, water leaching through microscopic fissures, and inappropriate treatment of samples all need to be controlled for, and if they weren’t, contamination can be presumed almost certain. (3) Carbon dating would be an excellent way of testing for these extrinsic sources of C14, not an excellent way of determining the age of such samples; if such dinosaur bones were found surprisingly high in the geological column, or if there was surprisingly little mineralization, or something else to give the impression that we could doubt that this fits into the consistent picture we have of dinosaurs dying out millions of years ago, it might make sense to test the samples using an otherwise inappropriate dating method, but especially for C14, we would need to work especially hard to control for possible extrinsic sources.

(2) I really don’t get that. It seems that the common story of those who don’t complete biology degrees in university is: they are indoctrinating people with evolutionary doctrine, while the common story of those who do go through such degrees is: we couldn’t catch so much as a whiff of such indoctrination. Biology class looks nothing like a communist reeducation camp, but I get the impression that this is how it is pictured, which I find really funny. The idea that evolution is “just assumed” seems to be just assumed itself. I certainly don’t recall it being just assumed, although it is certainly viewed as well-established. As with just about everything else in every other topic on earth, it is just assumed (since it is not considered scientifically controversial) wherever it is not the focus of the class, and is carefully investigated where it is. This seems entirely unremarkable to me. I think this last point bears repeating: of course it is assumed! In every biology class where evolution is not the focus, it is taken for granted because it is not controversial!! In any class where evolutionary theory is the focus, then the evidence will be investigated. Why is that viewed as suspicious? Do you think they try to re-prove that electricity is made up of moving electrons in every class on wiring that you need to take to become an electrician?

Anonymous said...


Who determines what constitutes a quality education? The professors, who also happen to be experts working in the field. Did you have someone else in mind? This leads me back to the conspiracy theory escape that you have apparently settled on in order to provide yourself with a justification for ignoring the experts. You aren’t alone in this, I think this is by far the most commonly used strategy. And to my mind, it is really the only workable one. That said, my working theory is that distance breeds mistrust, and I suspect that the only way that these ideas about what actually goes on in universities and journal editorial boards can be sustained is by remaining as far as possible from what actually happens (in this way anecdotal evidence from disgruntled fired creationists can carry far more weight that it would otherwise be accorded). Yet another example of lack of context resulting in a failure to detect biased information presentation. The closer you get to the day to day activities of the scientist, the more accusations of conspiracy become laughable and the more botched firings begin to look like obvious exceptions rather than rules.

Finally “because you have no means of knowing if they are lying or not”. Yes you do. I’ve pointed it out repeatedly. Context. The wider you cast your nets in learning about the details of biology, performing research, reading and writing scientific papers, agonizing over new data, discussing with a wide range of colleagues, the more it becomes absolutely impossible for a professor to mislead you. There is an enormous amount of cross referencing, both with prevailing paradigms and with source data that goes on through the years at university, and any idea that is dissonant or fails to match your growing database of knowledge immediately stands out. Only an absolutely crazy conspiracy, including false data mills, rigged labs, uniform and concerted twisting of information, shadowy puppet master committees, and ruthless suppression of anything that doesn’t fit, could possibly accomplish this level of fraud over the many years that your biology student is studying and researching, but now we are talking 1984 crazy, and I seriously hope you don’t think along those lines.

To your third comment:

That confirms it. A full-blown conspiracy theory is your chosen route. Lewontin clearly got carried away (Gould had a similar habit), and I know very few scientists who would even consider endorsing this view. It is astonishing that you would suggest that nearly all of the biologists out there have not bothered to seriously consider evolution, that they just take it for granted. Again, we are in Emperor’s new clothes territory here. There is little I can do for such an all out conspiracy theory; all I can say is that a few years in a university biology department would probably disabuse you of the least suspicion of conspiracy, but that one is your call. Distance really does breed mistrust.

Charlie said...


I thank you for being respectful in this discussion. It is extremely rare to see someone with a different view to retain such an attitude.

A few questions though.
1). Is it possible to work in a field for decades, doing the job you know how to do, and yet having done it wrong the whole time? There are long records of numerous entire fields that were done this way. Just one example is the whole medical field once thought you could bleed out diseases. That is what killed Washington. And what it takes to get such an agenda out of the community's heads is for that generation to die off. In his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Thomas Khun pointed out the problems associated with this mindset. It's not just one person seeing this problem. There are MANY seeing this as a problem. Evidence that challenges the current paradigm is being discarded, silenced, or even changed to fit the paradigm.

2). You show you have a lot of faith in the scientific community that they are upholding proper standards. You speak of the ideal of what they SHOULD be doing. You complain that distance breeds mistrust. Distance also gives proper perspective that you may not see if you are too close. You are not one of the outsiders, so you won't see the vicious opposition we see. You have not challenged the system. We have good reason to question the integrity of the system. And here is another article suggesting that nearly half the scientific papers written today are FALSE.
And this is not by a Creationist.

3). Also understand our position as Bible-believers. One of the things prophecies for the End Times is a great deception. Something so strong it could even win over the elect. Those who are born-again believers. There is a conspiracy but it's not the scientists doing the conspiracy. It is Satan himself. One thing about Lewtonian and Gould that you don't see is that both of them were very honest about their position. There are countless quotes out there from these scientists that say there is no evidence for Evolution, but they refuse to consider the alternative: Biblical Creation. And again, I've seen what the biologists have to offer. Not one piece of evidence they cite actually does what they claim it does. I am well-read and what I have learned outside the classroom actually exceeds most of what I would learn inside the classroom.

4). Radiometric dating is a personal project of mine. I actually have mathematical proof the whole is a farce. And I am in process of getting connected with some higher up people to confirm my work. Contamination is a cop-out. When the data does not agree with the expected results: cite contamination. And notice how the contamination claims always occur AFTER the dating has been done. It didn't agree to the consensus, therefore it must be wrong. There is another group doing the same thing and they are making sure that contamination cannot be claimed. Guess what? Same results. Dino bones from every geologic layer from all over the world, taken to 5 different labs and all date between 15K and 50K years with no correlation in regards to the order of the layers. Does science follow the evidence? Or does it adhere to "consensus" precisely as I've described it? You need something better than what you have brought to convince me otherwise.

Charlie said...

Again, I understand your trust in them. I understand your desire to believe they really are doing their job right. I wish I could trust them too. But what I see is completely different. What I see is a generation of college age students who have access to the greatest technology the world has ever known and yet according to Mark Bauerlein, this generation is the dumbest and most gullible generation who have ever lived. Baurlein cites that while we have the information super highway, while we have access to more information out than ever before, we have no ability to discern true information. You cited "get more knowledge". But what knowledge are you talking about? How do you determine what is true or not? I have an ultimate filter that determines true science from not: and that filter comes from a Biblical Worldview. What is yours? How do you determine what is true or false? Which authorities are believable or not?

Again, you say I need to get closer into the system. I suggest you need to take a step back and look at the whole picture. You are not seeing what I am seeing. I have that broader perspective you think I need. And with it, I can see what you don't want me to see. What you think I am imagining.

You claimed that the scientists that did the dino bones did not do proper research and did not account for contamination. If they could prove to you they DID what you think they should have done, would you still reject their findings as the rest of the scientific community did? I've tried talking with one of the labs to further understand the system and they would not give me a straight answer. Even with a question like :"How many times do you data a sample until you can account for outliers?" Their response? Go read a textbook. When I see lab reports that say samples were dated 87 times (Lucy in particular was dated 22-23 times) I see an extreme lack of confidence in the method if they have to keep dating it until they get a result that matches their pre-determined estimation (a requirement for the system to work).

Anonymous, I've done my homework. I'm not hopping on a bandwagon here. The ideal you wish the scientific community carried out is not there. I wish it were there too. If it was, Evolution would have been discarded over a century ago.

Anonymous said...


Thanks again for your response and for the polite tone you manage maintain. This subject too often seems to bring out the worst in the best.

I’ll try to synthesize your various points as best I can to maintain focus. You don’t seem to be responding directly to much of what I was originally saying; you instead seem to be saying that the perspective of insiders is either (a) clouded by their proximity to the field or (b) corrupted by their active participation in what amounts to an intellectual conspiracy.

The points that I mentioned in my first comment are extremely general and have a bearing on just about any field that demands a degree of expertise and organization. Using these points as a framework, you have, as I said, opted for (b) in the last set of choices – you suspect some overwhelming bias in the main body of experts that overrides all professional integrity. This point is being emphasized to the exclusion of the rest, and I think this may be a mistake, but regardless, it seems to be the common trend.

You have not avoided this observation or downplayed it, but you have provided some clarity on your perpective;

(a) Satanic conspiracy: When it was observed that the level of conspiracy and pervasive duplicity required for anything like this to work, convincing the generations of well-meaning students and working scientists, was literally incredible, you made the observation that we are not dealing with a human conspiracy, but with Satanic conspiracy, not unconnected with end times expectations. Presumably Satan is far better at orchestrating such conspiracies, and he would certainly need to be in order to accomplish what I list above. There is little else that can be said about this one (I am amazed that rigged labs, shadowy closed door conspiracies etc have duped myself and others, but so be it).

(b) You seem to suggest that much of this conspiracy is more or less innocently maintained in some cases by the agency of generational inertia involved in holding back Kuhnian paradigm shifts. That’s fine, although I would point out that Kuhn’s main study was the Copernican revolution, which took place rather before many of the checks and balances of modern science had been so much as considered (not to mention the fact that essentially all of the data at that time could support either Ptolomaic or Copernican formulations). Most of the more recent shifts have not progressed in a parallel manner and it should be added that few historians now take Kuhn’s position as it stands due to extensive criticism, although he had a very valid point to some degree, one that was needed in an era where an idealistic view of scientific progress still held too much sway. Be that as it may, one might suspect that enough generations have passed away from the formulation of such an intellectually bankrupt idea as evolution that we might see some movement on this front. Oddly, it seems that the serious problems with evolution are nearly exclusively upheld by individuals with an unambiguously theologically driven agenda, while scientists generally do not see such serious problems at all, merely seeing many open questions in frontier science, which is normal in any healthy scientific field (see point “(c)” near the end of my original comment).


Anonymous said...


(c) You seem to contend that it is the outsiders who are best placed to see this conspiracy at work, while the insiders are in collusion, cowed by peer pressure or blinded by lack of distance. This sounds good and you put it well, but in this case, you may as well convince me that that a flat earther can gain a privileged perspective by smashing his telescope, quitting school, staying earthbound, and spending his life in his basement reading underground conspiracy journals and biographies of disgruntled eccentrics astronomers. I’m exaggerating for (hopefully) humour, but more to the point, you are missing an element in what would otherwise be a workable point. It is not distance alone, but distance acquired by an insider that can lead to perspective. Distance alone accomplishes two things; it leads to (1) a lack of direct information and (2) a golden opportunity for indirect channels of information to be mediated through any party or perspective that is hostile to the majority view without any prospect for seriously cross-checking this information against the daily experience derived from the insider perspective. Only those who have had an in depth and day to day experience of working as a scientist will be in a position, with some distance, to see global problems with the approach that is generally taken. Guess who figured out that bleeding out didn’t work so well? Experts with perspective, not outsiders who had never studied or practiced medicine. Again, using my original framework, the initial point “(b)” is highly relevant: as an outsider you (generic) are simply not close enough to the practice of science to “be able to identify bias and selective presentation of information when you saw it (again, without the necessary background)”. The answering point would perhaps be that there are some scientists who have switched to creationism. But here’s where one of my other original points comes in; (a) this has almost never occurred except under the influence of a clear theological bias (this point is a rather massive elephant in the room and its almost astonishing how little it is addressed) and (b) it is comparatively very rare, and very little can be safely built on rare exceptions when other psychological factors are involved.

You name some other minor points about some specifics;

About dino bones and contamination, you seem to have mixed together two different points being discussed, so I would maybe check that, but anyway, it is noted that you view contamination as a cop out, in spite of the fact that sources of contamination, the science involved in ruling it out, and the frequency of such incidents when not controlled against are very well known. My understanding is that there would have to be an incredible degree of systemic lying and data invention and hiding going on among scientists for the picture painted by creationists to be remotely possible. Again, it’s often difficult to argue against such a conspiracy theory, especially when Satan is running the show with apparent impunity.

The dating of Lucy point simple lacks critical information and references for me to make anything at all of it.


Anonymous said...


Your article from the Irish times is very interesting, but I have enough of a background to know that most scientists and industry insiders would view this as a gross exaggeration of real problems, one that fails to mention many of the rather hard-line checks and balances that have been implemented by many scientific bodies (exaggeration and data invention curiously seems to be a very serious problem in China, but it is less prevalent elsewhere). Still, many of the problems are real and are known, and the article makes some good points that are not nearly as bad as you need them to be to support your contention. I would also notice that creationists have a cottage industry of collecting and disseminating any quote (usually the same few) or article that seems to support their view, and I’m sure this particular article was appreciated. Even Lewtonian and Gould have gone on record as strongly disagreeing with the points that their quotes have been used to make, which indicates that they are frequently misused instead of being carefully contextualized by the rest of their writings (this aside from the fact that most other scientists directly disagree with these quotes, so you seem to be favouring exceptions rather than patterns; not the best move if you are looking for global patterns).

Charlie said...

You sure can get long-winded. So can I. I've purposed to avoid that, but unlike most people I've seen who do not agree with me who write a lot, you actually seem to be saying something and actually making a point. Again, someone like you (so far) are a rare find.

Your opening statement about a very general case is not what I was specifically addressing. Because I have been specifically addressing how one's position on origins plays a role in how someone can be published or stay in science/academia. If origins does not have anything to do with it, it seems to get along just fine. But I can see how you seem to have the picture that I am against the whole scientific community. I am not. I love science. My education is in science and I am teacher of it. I was not pleased with your comment that teachers and textbook authors seem to not count, considering that you don't have scientists without them and you cannot be a teacher without having a scientific education.

You also seem to have the impression that the Creationist folk are completely outside the system and are uneducated on the matter. What I have found is that we are the MOST educated on the topics and a good number of creationists I know can squash several PhD professors at the same time. I have personally easily put down arguments from PhD scientists in direct engagements. I don't say that to boast, but to point out that you can have years of experience and still be wrong. We aren't fools. And one does not need a PhD or decades of experience in the field to use logic and reasoning to tell if a "scientific claim" is bunk or not. Many in the Creationist community are well trained and well practiced scientists. One of my personal friends has four degrees at the Master's level and above in biology and related fields with 30+ years of science and science education teaching. He knows his stuff. John Sanford for another example patented the gene gun technique, but was not given credit when he predicted the "Junk DNA" parts would actually operate like an operating system 6 years before the rest of the community figured it out. Russel Humphrey's accurately predicted the planetary magnetic field strengths of Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto based on a Young Earth model and was dead on. The secular models were off by a factor of a million. His models are not accepted. Why? Because it does not agree with the "consensus".

You keep saying that "checks and balances" are in place. But again, who determines the checks and balances? Who enforces them? What I and many others see the "checks and balances" act like a mafia, not a body seeking the truth of the matter. That is what we experience. This is not imaginary. And this is not a result of "lack of information". You claimed how the dino bones testing did not account for contamination, but you don't know that. You don't know what went into this study. You complain that I cited "contamination" is a cop-out, yet that is exactly what you used for it...a cop-out. An attempt to explain away the evidence that goes against your position. Yes, there are factors where contamination must be considered. But contamination in the sample or not, it shows the whole system is not as "checked and balanced" as you would like to believe. And in the analysis I have done personally, I can say with full confidence that radioisotope dating as a whole is not checked or balanced at all. And my research has gotten the attention of several people that are working to get me scientifically published. I can't share my whole work, but simply put, here is a sampler. The methods are supposed to be based on the ratio of parent to daughter isotope, but with basic math skills, you can prove easily that the ranges of the methods have nothing to do with that ratio. Again, I've done my homework and I am not ignorant of what is going on here.

Charlie said...

I have really enjoyed this conversation, but I have been on my Thanksgiving Break this week and I am back to work tomorrow. I won't have the time to continue it. You can still reply, but I likely won't respond much at all. I thank you for the respectful conversation. And I also thank you for actually attempting to say something worthwhile, unlike the author of the post Steve Risner is addressing in this.

Anonymous said...

You are entirely right that I am long-winded; I’ve never been able to get around this. I even started my previous comment by stating that I would respond briefly, but I quickly circled around and removed this once I saw which way the (long) wind was blowing. It’s a curse. Less for me than you. Since clarity with brevity is supposed to be a sign of genius, I guess that rules me out.

I have no problem with textbook authors or teachers (quite the contrary), so don’t misunderstand, my point was more that whenever these individuals are not also researchers in the field they are summarizing, they are one step removed from data and data interpretation, and are often obliged to use scientific reviews that summarize the state of current research or other tools that summarize the general results of a large number of investigations (these are essentially expressions of consensus, as the word is normally defined). This means that they are often not in a position to avoid making use of consensus (and nor is anyone else on most topics given the degree of specialization necessary in modern science).

Third party mediation in general is the issue that removes outside observers from any access to the detailed checks and balances that are ingrained in scientific labs and procedures, so I do understand where the mistrust comes from. Even when they are well-intentioned, third party mediation through agencies (creationist books for example) that are hostile to the conclusions or premises of the research they are passing on should be treated with great care, and it would be charitable to the original research to assume that you don’t have access to the following sorts of details:

Investigator blinding information, anomalous result investigational documents, info about blinded third party analysis, statistical methods applied (including measures of significance), detailed standard lab precautions, organizational (FDA for example) oversight and audits, repeat experiments or repeat observations, measures of %CV between replicates, assay control acceptance criteria, peer review or criticism of initial poster presentation at conferences etc.

Removal from these details means removal from what the actual practice of science is made up of, and it can free us up to entertain all sorts of misconceptions and suspicions.

I think most of whatever else I would have to say in response is either explicit or implicit in my previous comments, so I am doing my best to go into detail right now (especially about radiometric dating, as that can be a deep rabbit hole and misunderstandings are legion).

I’ve appreciated our conversation and your well considered responses too, hope you had a great thanksgiving!