There's Something About Mary Schweitzer, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 17, 2022 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Recently, we’ve been exploring some very interesting findings by Dr. Mary Schweitzer and several others since. Dr. Schweitzer is a Christian and a paleontologist. In interviews she’s done, she has said she started college as a “YEC” (which should be labeled a Biblical creationist rather than a young-earth creationist) but later chose to reject that and became, I believe, a theistic evolutionist. This means she is a Christian that does not believe what the Bible says about creation but accepts what the secular version of creation says—that a pinpoint of all matter and energy rapidly began expanding 14 billion years ago and out of it came all the things we see in the universe including life on earth.

What findings of hers are we so excited to read about? About 20 years ago, she published that she had found soft tissue in a Tyrannosaurus rex leg bone. This was remarkable because scientific studies have shown fairly conclusively that soft tissue might be able, under ideal conditions, to last a hundred thousand years or so but most likely much less. This Tyrannosaurus was allegedly 68 million years old. So, either the science that seemed fairly conclusive was off by nearly one thousand times or the leg bone of this dinosaur was not nearly 68 million years old. Later discoveries would mean the research on soft tissue breakdown was nearly ten thousand times off. That, or the fossils weren’t nearly as old as they believed. Unfortunately, when faced with a challenge brought by real science, evolutionists will often make up something out of thin air to explain the problem. That’s what has happened here.

Let’s continue to look at some of the things Dr. Schweitzer said about this topic. Last time we ended with this statement: “If you step back a little bit and let God be God, I don’t think there’s any contradiction at all between the Bible and what we see in nature. He is under no obligation to meet our expectations. He is bigger than that.”

As I stated, I think she’s right here. The Bible, which clearly teaches us that God made everything in a week in a mature form and He did this about 6000 or so years ago, and what we see in nature do not contradict each other. But when she says this, she means the Bible doesn’t say what it clearly says about creation. She means that her interpretation of the data, which coincides with the humanist origins myth, fits nicely with the Bible not saying God created everything maturely about 6000 years ago.

I find it interesting that she says that God is not obligated to meet our expectations when that is what evolutionists and Big Bang proponents do—they force God and His Word to squeeze into their tiny little box of human understanding. God is not obligated to do anything, but He is truthful and righteous. When He speaks, He speaks truth. The God of the Bible is unimaginably bigger than the god of theistic evolution. I agree with the prophet in Jeremiah 32:17 when he says, “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”

I believe God is big enough to create all that there is from nothing. They believe He took billions of years to figure out how to fashion the universe for life and that He had little if anything to do with life forming on earth. I find Him absolutely essential to the universe’s existence and for life to exist. They find Him to be a bystander—watching but not really doing much with it; He sort of wound up the universe like a watch and has just let it go to do its thing.

Dr. Schweitzer goes on to say in this interview: “Finding soft tissues that responded to our tests like modern materials in many ways suggested that after three hundred years of looking at this stuff, we don’t know as much as we thought.”

I like this and think it’s something lost on many today on both sides but more so on the side of deep time and universal common descent. What I’m talking about is our knowledge—what we actually know about any of this. It’s miniscule in reality. Sure, we know much more now than we did a decade ago or a century ago or 300 years ago. But I feel the comparison is like saying we had 4 drops of the ocean in a bucket and now we have a quart. Compared to the size of the ocean, while that quart is enormous compared to the first few drops, it’s nothing in reality. But man’s hubris makes him believe he’s gotten a lot figured out. Truly, we’ve figured some things out, at least partially. But in reality, we know so very little about the universe and about life and physics and chemistry. We know more all the time, but sometimes that means we know less—the old saying the more you learn the less you know applies here very well. We know so little about the universe that we employ a “fudge factor” into our calculations for things we see in deep space because without it, nothing adds up—literally. That “fudge factor” is dark matter and dark energy which, for the calculations to work, comprises over 95% of the universe! That’s right: we know about 5% of what’s going on out there, but we act like we’ve got it all figured out. Amazing, isn’t it?

Dr. Schweitzer then goes on, to finish this question of the interview, to say something that pains me to read. She said, “But I have no agenda, except to produce data.” This hurts because that’s not what she’s doing at all. Not even close. If she was just going to “produce data,” she wouldn’t be offended by people who interpret that data in a way that is different than hers. However, she is. A couple sentences before this she says, “…being a Christian evolutionary biologist…” We see that she does have an agenda, and she admits it while simultaneously saying she does not. Now, I’m okay with her having an agenda. All honest people will say they do in most cases. I have one. You do. We all do. But if she really thinks she’s just producing data with no agenda, it seems her understanding of how science works is a little lacking. Collecting data is one thing. Making that data tell a story is a completely different thing, and Dr. Schweitzer is apparently unaware of the difference. But this is extremely common in this discussion.

It’s almost ironic, I suppose, that some people in this debate will look at me and point at how I see the Scriptures telling us about creation and the Flood and they’ll say, “That’s just your interpretation!” Which is weird because my “interpretation” is exactly what the Biblical text actually says—literally. But then I’ll look at data, which is not a clear communication from a Divine Being but is just information collected and interpret it in way that makes sense and flows well but is contrary to their way of doing the same. While they scream “That’s your interpretation!” when it comes to a clear communication from God, they will simultaneously yell, “Liar! Stop lying!” when I choose to interpret the information differently than they do. It’s quite bizarre and a little silly, but it’s what they do around the clock.

We’ve gone over it a hundred times, but if we have a clear communication from the Lord and we have fallen man’s skewed interpretation of a cursed creation (keeping in mind that man has been at war with God since shortly after creation) and the two do not coincide, I’m going to have to choose to accept the clear written Word of God over a rebellious man’s view of nature which will likely change tomorrow after more information is gathered.

To wrap up this week, we’ll end with this statement from Dr. Schweitzer concerning how she felt about publishing her discovery. She waited a year to do so because she was “terrified” of the consequences. But she goes on to say, “…a scientist’s job is not to prove things but to question them.” While I agree that this should be true, we find even in her own experience that it is not. She questioned the status quo and received a great deal of backlash for it. And she’s not truly questioning the consensus because she forced her data to fit into the preconceived ideas that were popular at the time. Rather than really question the consensus and say, “Maybe these fossils aren’t as old as we all thought,” she said, “Hmm. This data doesn’t reflect what everyone else thinks, so I’ll have to create a rescuing device to find a solution to this problem.” The data was in stark contrast to the well-established scientific research that says soft tissue can last, if conditions are perfect, for maybe a hundred thousand years. This sample was believed to be 68 million years old. Other samples have been taken of soft tissue from finds believed to be 200 million years old and even 550 million years old. I feel like she didn’t really question much at all.

We’ll continue this saga next time. Thank you for reading.

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