In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
|The divine comedy|
In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood is a book by Young Earth Creationist Walt Brown, an engineer with a degree from MIT.[note 1] The book is divided into 2 parts. Part I is a list of 131 PRATTs that "debunk" evolution (1-42), "debunk" deep time (43-93), and support global flooding. Part II lays out the foundations (haha, hydroplate puns) for Brown's the Hydroplate "Theory" for how the Flood could've happened. The book is freely available online.
The first part consists of 131 (!)
sound-bites "summaries" in outline form of categories of scientific evidence that support a sudden creation and oppose gradual evolution, divided itself into three sections: Life Sciences, Astronomical and Physical Sciences, and Earth Sciences" (each then further subdivided into 3 subsections). In practice he attempts to disprove evolution, and then assume the only other explanation is YHWH as opposed to the multitude of other gods or other supernatural explanations. Brown's arguments are as varied in subject as they are in fallacies. His favorites seem to be Straw man, Argument from incredulity, Science was wrong before, and Science doesn't know everything. He contradicts himself a lot and reveals himself in the latter parts to be supremely bad at math. On the rare occasion he actually understands the scientific theory or model he's trying to disprove, he relies on previous incorrect models, or blatantly ignores newer research and evidence (research that has come out decades before his most recent update to the book which, as of this writing, was 2013).
The kindest thing to say about him is that he's ignorant about much of science, but it's also possible he willfully lies about what models say and what research has shown to try and pass off his own pet hypothesis as true.
The second part covers the Flood, and Brown's Hydroplate theory. It's pretty bad, and a few of the chapters are covered as he mentions them within the 131 points. The main Hydroplate Theory article has more info on the general idea, but down below you'll see Brown's particular take on it, along with some basic mathematics of how it'd destroy the planet. Enjoy!
Part I: The Scientific Case for Creation
Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed
1. The Law of Biogenesis
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life comes only from life. This has been observed so consistently it is called the law of biogenesis. The theory of evolution conflicts with this scientific law when claiming that life came from nonliving matter through natural processes.||This argument rests on misinterpreting a scientific theory with the colloquial definition of "theory" being "an idea someone had." Scientifically, a theory is an idea someone had that has been tested mercilessly and not found to contradict evidence. Additionally, the Theory of Evolution doesn't concern itself with the origi — oh, wait, he actually acknowledges that in the next paragraph!|
|Evolutionary scientists reluctantly accept the law of biogenesis. However, some say that future studies may show how life could come from lifeless matter, despite virtually impossible odds. Others are aware of just how complex life is and the many failed and foolish attempts to explain how life came from nonlife. They duck the question by claiming that their theory of evolution doesn’t begin until the first life somehow arose. Still others say the first life was created, then evolution occurred. All evolutionists recognize that, based on scientific observations, life comes only from life.||The Theory of Evolution doesn't concern itself with the origin of life, just what happens after self-replicating things exist in an environment. Likewise, the Theory of Gravity doesn't concern itself with the origin of mass or energy, but "begins" only after such things exist, since the theory only describes how such things behave. Not that scientists aren't looking for the answer to abiogenesis, but it truly is a separate issue from evolution. But just because science yet doesn't have a solid working theory doesn't mean you can claim Goddidit and walk away.|
2. Acquired Characteristics
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Acquired characteristics—characteristics gained after birth—cannot be inherited. For example, large muscles acquired by a man in a weight-lifting program cannot be inherited by his child. Nor did giraffes get long necks because their ancestors stretched to reach high leaves. While almost all evolutionists agree that acquired characteristics cannot be inherited, many unconsciously slip into this false belief. On occasion, Charles Darwin did.||
While it's true that early proponents of evolution might've believed in such things, even Darwin himself, the thing about science is bad ideas are weeded out when shown to be false, and modern scientists don't believe such silliness, nor does the Theory of Evolution require or even expect such things. Of course epigenetics exists, where life experiences can alter gene expression in ways that propagate through generations, but that field of study is still new, and we don't understand the full implications or power of it, and it's nowhere near as crude a mechanism as Lamarckism made it out to be.More to the point of the example, giraffes didn't get long necks because their ancestors stretched to reach high leaves, but they did get long necks because the slightly-longer-necked descendants of a short-necked ancestor were, in general, able to get more leaves, which gave them more food, which made them more healthy and more likely to reproduce, which meant, on average over the species, neck length continued to increase through the generations.
|However, stressful environments for some animals and plants cause their offspring to express various defenses. New genetic traits are not acquired; instead, certain environments can switch on genetic machinery already present. Amazingly, that optimal genetic machinery already exists to handle some contingencies, not that time, the environment, or “a need” can produce the machinery.||
Brown references a paper published in Nature in 1999 which, yes, showed that radishes, when exposed to caterpillars that ate up to 50% of their leaves, but were kept from being fully consumed, did produce more defense chemicals, and did pass that trait onto their offspring (in what might be a contradiction to the earlier paragraph about acquired traits, but remember epigenetics exists). The thing to keep in mind is that we're studying radishes as they exist today, not some primordial radish that doesn't have billions of years of biological history behind it.
While it's very likely modern radishes do have unexpressed genes relating to toxin production that are activated upon being eaten (a trait many plants share, including trees that will also produce chemical signals to warn their neighbors), that doesn't mean they've always had those genes.[note 2][note 3]A radish that constantly produces toxins is less fit than one that produces toxins only when needed, and if it can epigenetically turn on those genes for its children in what it then 'knows' to be a caterpillar-infested area, then those children will be better fit, etc.
|Also, rates of variation within a species (microevolution, not macroevolution) increase enormously when organisms are under stress, such as starvation. Stressful situations would have been widespread in the centuries after a global flood.||
It's called punctuated equilibrium. Though more technically, it's probably that the rate of mutations stays the same, but in periods of "stress" (i.e. changing environment), these mutations are more likely to be selected for because the general population is no longer the best fit for its niche. That's why creatures that stay in the same environment for hundreds of millions of years (sharks, e.g.) change very little in comparison to creatures that have to deal with more chaotic environments (land mammals, e.g.).As for after a global flood, yeah, there are issues with what happens after. While it's true a changing environment can spur evolutionary change if the environment changes too quickly, or too frequently, genetic variation can't keep up and lots of creatures die. It's happened a half-dozen times over Earth's history so far, though none of those bear signatures of a worldwide flood, and are instead boring things like asteroids, supervolcanoes, and atmospheric composition changes.
3. Mendel’s Laws
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Mendel’s laws of genetics and their modern-day refinements explain almost all physical variations occurring within species. Mendel discovered that genes (units of heredity) are merely reshuffled from one generation to another. Different combinations are formed, not different genes. The different combinations produce many variations within each kind of life, as in the dog family. [See Figure 3 on page 6.] A logical consequence of Mendel’s laws is that there are limits to such variation. Breeding experiments and common observations also confirm these boundaries.||
Contrary to such claims, breeding has actually shown that continually-applied selection can induce traits not present in the original population. You can mate wolves all day, every day, and that wolf won't give birth to a pug-shaped dog. You can, instead, track the evolution of pugs through history: 1745, 1759, 1802, 1900, and modern. The pugs that more closely resembled the "perfect pug" were bred to accentuate those traits, and because mutations do happen, eventually we get pug-shaped dogs.If you consider this "micro-evolution" or just "re-arranging genes", then you shouldn't have any problem with bears and wolves sharing a common ancestor, or giraffes descending from short-necked ancestors. Nature selected for giraffes that have longer necks in the same way humans selected for pugs with shorter snouts. Bears were selected to be more bear-shaped because that's what fit their environment, whereas wolves were selected for a different shape (in the same way humans selected Great Danes to be a different shape than pugs). Extrapolate backwards, and oh, would you look at that!
4. Bounded Variations
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Not only do Mendel’s laws give a theoretical explanation for why variations are limited, broad experimental verification also exists. For example, if evolution happened, organisms (such as bacteria) that quickly produce the most offspring should have the most variations and mutations. Natural selection would then select the more favorable changes, allowing organisms with those traits to survive, reproduce, and pass on their beneficial genes. Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring. We see the opposite. In general, more complex organisms, such as humans, have fewer offspring and longer reproduction cycles. Again, variations within organisms appear to be bounded.||More complex does not equal more evolved. Technically speaking, things with shorter generation cycles are "more evolved" than those with longer ones for exactly those reasons. The thing is, evolution isn't "trying" to get anywhere. There's no goal to produce more and more complex creatures. The only "goal" of evolution is to spread DNA, by which standards microbes have been fantastically successful. The ocean floor alone has on the order of 1029 microbes [note 4] Even within our own bodies microbes at least have parity with the number of human cells Likewise, bigger and more complex organisms are more susceptible to quickly-changing environments, because they can't reproduce as quickly, and thus can't roll the mutation dice as often. That's why big, complex life tends not to survive mass extinctions. The T-Rex didn't survive the asteroid, but what would become sparrows did.|
|Organisms that occupy the most diverse environments in the greatest numbers for the longest times should also, according to macroevolution, have the greatest potential for evolving new features and species. Microbes falsify this prediction as well. Their numbers per species are astronomical, and they are dispersed throughout almost all the world’s environments. Nevertheless, the number of microbial species is relatively few. New features apparently don’t evolve.||Once again, Brown proves evolution right. Not only is the number of microbes on Earth astronomical (literally!), the number of microbial species is also literally astronomical. There are an estimated 1 trillion microbe species, across far more Phyla than exist for animals (a single aquifer on Colorado has more Phyla than the entire animal Kingdom).|
5. Natural Selection
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Like so many terms in science, the popular meaning of “natural selection” differs from what the words actually mean. “Selecting” implies something that nature cannot do: thought, decision making, and choice. Instead, the complex genetics of each species allow variations within a species. In changing environments, those variations give some members of a species a slightly better chance to reproduce than other members, so their offspring have a better chance of surviving. The marvel is not about some capability that nature does not have, but about the designer who designed for adaptability and survivability in changing environments. With that understanding, the unfortunate term “natural selection” will be used.||
To paraphrase: "Nature cannot select. Instead, God created nature to select."In fuller terms, "the complex genetics of each species allows variations within a species. In changing environments, those variations give some members of a species a slightly better chance to reproduce than other members, so their offspring have a better chance of surviving" is natural selection. While it's true the term "Selecting" implies agency, the phrase "natural selection" doesn't have that implication, just like "Theory of Gravity" doesn't imply it's "only a theory". In scientific terms, both "Theory of Gravity" and "natural selection" have meanings that don't correspond to the sum of their parts in layman's terms.
|An offspring of a plant or animal has characteristics that vary, often in subtle ways, from those of its “parents.” Because of the environment, genetics, and chance circumstances, some of these offspring will reproduce more than others. So, members of a species with certain characteristics will tend, on average, to have more “children.” Only in this sense, does nature “select” genetic characteristics suited to an environment—and, more importantly, eliminates unsuitable genetic variations. Therefore, an organism’s gene pool is constantly decreasing.||
Again, thanks for further clarifying that natural selection is a thing that happens in nature.
There's a footnote for this paragraph in the book, though all the citations are from the 19th Century so, ya know, take those with a grain of salt (for comparison, there are medical citations from the 19th Century that talk about miasma and the aether, because Germ Theory and Relativity weren't a thing).The final sentence of the paragraph doesn't follow from the rest, since the "genetics" bit of "because of the environment, genetics, and chance circumstances" includes mutations, which can increase the gene pool.[note 5]
|Notice, natural selection cannot produce new genes; it “selects” only among preexisting characteristics. As the word “selection” implies, variations are reduced, not increased.||Once again, relying on baggage that results in using words to convey ideas to refute said ideas. Word meaning depends on context. Do you grok my jive? But hey, at least the citations are from this century, if from a paper that doesn't seem to exist except being referenced form creationist literature.|
|For example, many mistakenly believe that insect or bacterial resistances evolved in response to pesticides and antibiotics. Instead,
|While natural selection occurred, nothing evolved; in fact, some biological diversity was lost.
The variations Darwin observed among finches on different Galapagos Islands are another example of natural selection producing micro- (not macro-) evolution. While natural selection sometimes explains the survival of the fittest, it does not explain the origin of the fittest. Today, some people think that because natural selection occurs, evolution must be correct. Actually, natural selection prevents major evolutionary changes. It deletes information; it cannot create information.
|Yes, random variations and mutations do explain the origin of the fittest, and while in the past that was "only theory" it has been observed many times in labs. And you even say yourself in the above bullet points (the first one) that it CAN create information (restoring via mutations previously-degenerated genes).|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Mutations are the only known means by which new genetic material becomes available for evolution. Rarely, if ever, is a mutation beneficial to an organism in its natural environment. Almost all observable mutations are harmful; some are meaningless; many are lethal. No known mutation has ever produced a form of life having greater complexity and viability than its ancestors.|
See the main article on this topic: Evolution of new information
Notice how he immediately contradicts his own claim that there's never new genetic material by saying a process by which new genetic material is made. Consistency isn't Brown's forte. Also, notice the words "Rarely" and "Almost all". It's true many mutations are harmful, and most of those that aren't are neutral, neither conveying an advantage or a disadvantage to the organism. Those mutations which are harmful tend not to pass those mutations to further generations. In the rare instance it is beneficial, they tend to pass those mutations to further generations. Yes, it's relatively rare, but "relatively rare" over a population of an astronomical number of cells and generations becomes quite common.Also it should be noted that all his citations for that final sentence come from the 1950s and 60s. You know, back before plate tectonics was settled. There's been over 50 years of research since then, that has produced forms of life "having greater complexity and viability than its ancestors". It's just that even for quickly-reproducing species, it can take decades.
|Dr. John Sanford has shown that mutations occur at such a rapid rate that “mutational meltdown” would have occurred if humans were only 100,000 years old. In other words, “genetic entropy” is pushing mankind toward extinction.||Unlike his other citations, which tend to have quotes from the sources supporting the claims, here Brown just says "See this other book". However, the claim is on its face ridiculous, since, especially before modern science, genetic mutations that could start humans on the path to "mutational meltdown" tended not to live long enough to have kids. For all of humanity to be on a march to death would require every single member of the species to develop the exact same set of detrimental mutations simultaneously, so the mutation couldn't be out-competed by healthier sets of genomes. And for that to happen generation after generation with no single specimen getting a mutation that undoes the damage (which Brown admits happens in point 5).|
7. Fruit Flies
|In the Beginning||Response|
|A century of fruit fly experiments, involving 3,000 consecutive generations, gives absolutely no basis for believing that any natural or artificial process can cause an increase in complexity and viability. No clear genetic improvement has ever been observed in any form of life, despite the many unnatural efforts to increase mutation rates.||
A rehash of point 6, but with an example. Great. Well, the rebuttal here lies more with his sources than him (though isn't that true of most things?) He quotes "It is a striking, but not much mentioned fact that, though geneticists have been breeding fruit-flies for sixty years or more in labs all round the world—flies which produce a new generation every eleven days—they have never yet seen the emergence of a new species or even a new enzyme." So Brown gets through saying how rare beneficial mutations are, then gets annoyed that species with generation times every eleven days hasn't developed a new enzyme. Fortunately, we live in the 21st Century (as opposed to 1983, when that quote was written), and actually have some data on how long it takes species to develop new enzymes.
E. coli can, under ideal conditions, reproduce every 20 minutes, or about 800 times faster than fruit flies. Lenski has been running his experiment since 1988, and it took over 31,000 generations for it to develop the ability to digest citrate. If we were to run the experiment with fruit flies, we shouldn't expect to see any such dramatic change for 391 years.Yes, Dr. Brown, evolution is slow on the human scale. But the human scale is also incredibly short in comparison to geologic scales. You agree that beneficial mutations are rare, and that it takes a lot of them to produce something as complex as a new enzyme, and even moreso to go fully separate a population into different species.
8. Complex Molecules and Organs
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Many molecules necessary for life, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, are incredibly complex—so complex that claims they have evolved are absurd. Furthermore, those claims lack experimental support.||And such molecules didn't just spring into existence out of nowhere. Again, abiogenesis is an ongoing field of research wholly disconnected with evolution, but there are already several plausible situations by which RNA could've developed through natural processes. Again, just because we don't currently know exactly how doesn't mean Goddidit.|
|There is no reason to believe that mutations or any natural process could ever produce any new organs—especially those as complex as the eye, the ear, or the brain. For example, an adult human brain contains over 1014 (a hundred thousand billion) electrical connections, more than all the soldered electrical connections in the world. The human heart, a ten-ounce pump that will operate without maintenance or lubrication for about 75 years, is another engineering marvel.||As with RNA, such organs didn't just spring into existence ex nihlo. This is a massive argument from incredulity, and a bad one, since the evolution of the eye is well-documented with extant "transitional" forms of it we can study, not to mention that most vertebrate eyes are built backwards. Ditto with brains. Yeah, these are all great organs (though, c'mon, not even mentioning the liver, a self-healing filtration system!), but they also had literally hundreds of millions of years to develop! Poorer versions of those organs lost out to the better ones. And so now we have pretty good organs. Not the best one could ask for — again, our eyes are backwards — but pretty good.|
9. Fully-Developed Organs
|In the Beginning||Response|
|All species appear fully developed, not partly developed. They show design. There are no examples of half-developed feathers, eyes, skin, tubes (arteries, veins, intestines, etc.), or any vital organs (dozens in humans alone). Tubes that are not 100% complete are a liability; so are partially developed organs and some body parts. For example, if a leg of a reptile were to evolve into a wing of a bird, it would become a bad leg long before it became a good wing.||
There are plenty of examples of half-developed feathers (emus), eyes (grasshoppers have 5 eyes, 3 of which are very simple), skin (micro multicellular creatures), tubes (insects). Vital organs are, by definition, vital and so have to be functional. "Fully-developed" not so much,[note 6] since things that are vital now can be not-vital later (I think the appendix used to be vital for human digestion, but isn't anymore; maybe in 100,000 years it'll have a different function), and vise-versa.Brown is right, though: a leg would become a bad leg before it became a good wing. That's why flying squirrels and bats don't exist.
Figure 4: Microevolution vs. Macroevolution. Notice that macroevolution would require an upward change in the complexity of certain traits and organs. Microevolution involves only “horizontal” (or even downward) changes—no increasing complexity. Also note that all creationists agree that natural selection occurs. While natural selection does not result in macroevolution, it accounts for many variations within a very narrow range.
Science should always base conclusions on what is seen and reproducible. So what is observed? We see variations in lizards, four of which are shown at the bottom. We also see birds, represented at the top. In-between forms (or intermediates), which should be vast in number if macroevolution occurred, are never seen as fossils or living species. A careful observer can usually see unbelievable discontinuities in these claimed upward changes, as well as in the drawing above.
Ever since Darwin, evolutionists have made excuses for why the world and our fossil museums are not overflowing with intermediates.
This is hilarious. It's a straight image transition from lizard to bird. Like, the lizard's left foreleg becomes the bird's right leg, simply because it happened to be similarly-placed in the initial and final images. In this way he leads his audience to expect a crocoduck-like creature (especially since he uses a lizard instead of a more-biologically-accurate theropod). Scientists know of many such transitional forms (check out our List of transitional forms). In a way everything is a transitional form (assuming it doesn't go extinct in the near future). Flying squirrels could be the ancestor to families of flying mammals, cousins to bats. Lungfish could be the ancestor to families of amphibians or all-out land reptiles. Slime molds and siphonophores could be the ancestors to entire orders of multi-celled organisms.Also a note, by Brown's definition of "microevolution", he'd be okay with birds evolving into lizards, because that's a "downward" change. Despite the fact that in #5 he admits that random mutations can "add information" to a gene pool by stumbling upon a fix for a previously-broken gene.
10. Distinct Types
|In the Beginning||Response|
|If evolution happened, one would expect to see gradual transitions among many living things. For example, variations of dogs might blend in with variations of cats.||No, evolution doesn't turn one modern species into another modern species. That's not how evolution works. Variations of what would eventually be dogs and cats did mingle, about 42 million years ago. Today such intermingling is happening: mules are infertile offspring of horses and donkeys. As the genomes of horses and donkeys continue to diverge[note 7] mules will no longer exist, and eventually horses and donkeys will be as discrete as dogs and cats.|
|In fact, some animals, such as the duckbill platypus, have organs totally unrelated to their alleged evolutionary ancestors. The platypus has fur, is warm-blooded, and suckles its young as do mammals. It lays leathery eggs, has a single ventral opening (for elimination, mating, and birth), and has claws and a shoulder girdle as most reptiles do. The platypus can detect electrical currents (AC and DC) as some fish can, and has a bill similar to that of a duck—a bird. It has webbed forefeet like those of an otter and a flat tail like that of a beaver. The male platypus can inject poisonous venom like a pit viper. Such “patchwork” animals and plants, called mosaics, have no logical place on the so-called “evolutionary tree.”||
The platypus fits rather well in the tree of life, actually. They're "monotremes", and along with echidnas, are the last surviving members of a very early branch of mammals, back when mammals were first splitting from reptiles (which would later split a branch that would become today's birds). Unlike marsupial and placental mammals, monotremes didn't develop live births or evolve away from the cloaca, and its bill is only superficially similar to a duck's. Its webbed feet could also be related to ducks', and they, with the venom, are examples of convergent evolution. In its watery environment, webbed feet are superior to non-webbed feet. That's why ducks and otters have webbing, but eagles and horses don't.Ironically, a platypus is about as close to a living "transitional" animal as we have, showing a clear linking between mammals and reptiles, and we're extremely lucky that members of that early branching survived to modern times to be studied alive. It's funny, in fact, that YECs continually complain about how we don't find something like a crocoduck, yet when they find something like one, they turn around and claim that what they'd been asking for as evidence for evolution is actually evidence against it.
|There is no direct evidence that any major group of animals or plants arose from any other major group.||
See the main article on this topic: Common descentIn short: yes there is. The sources he cites for this rely on the misconception that evolution claims one extant species will evolve into another extant species. His sources even affirm that modern species are all related (using the analogy of siblings and cousins), but don't share ancestor/descendant relationships. That's exactly what the theory of evolution predicts! My cousin isn't my son nor my father, but we do share a common ancestor: our grandmother. Said grandmother isn't alive today, so I guess according to Dr. Brown, God must've created us both with the illusion of having a common ancestor, and my grandma never existed.
|Species are observed only going out of existence (extinctions), never coming into existence.||Speciation takes a long time, while extinction doesn't. We're also living through a mass extinction, so it's not strange that we're seeing more species die off than new ones forked. But, again, we can witness species that are in varying stages of splitting into two separate species.[note 8]|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Summary: altruism exists, therefore evolution is wrong||See Wikipedia's list of potential explanations. In short, there are plenty of evolutionary explanations for altruism (and, relatedly, morality, though I'm sure he'll get to that later, too). The trick is finding which one or ones are correct. Maybe all are, to some degree. But, again, just because we don't know yet, doesn't mean Goddidit.|
12. Extraterrestrial Life?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|No verified form of life which originated outside of earth has ever been observed. If life evolved on earth, one would expect that the elaborate experiments sent to the Moon and Mars might have detected at least simple forms of life (such as microbes) that differed in some respects from life on earth. [See “Is There Life in Outer Space?” on page 539.] (Related is Figure 6)||
The presence or absence of extraterrestrial life is not predicted by nor in the domain of the Theory of Evolution. That's an abiogenesis question, with ties to the Fermi Paradox. It's also an ongoing area of research: Mars is the only other planet we've been to that has a chance of harboring life.[note 9] The Mars 2020 Rover will be even better-equipped to study that question than MSL (Curiosity) is, which is better-equipped than Viking was. That said, there are interesting signs: methane pockets oozing from the Martian regolith which could be life, though could equally be non-organic processes. Likewise Titan has an interesting flow of hydrogen which could indicate exotic life that metabolizes hydrogen, and both Europa and Enceladus are considered candidates for life to exist in the oceans under their ice crusts. In short, we don't know, and it's irrelevant to the topic at hand.In Figure 6 there's also a handy escape hatch Brown uses, which is basically a Creationist version of Panspermia, which is something that'll be verified if and when we find extraterrestrial life.
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Children as young as seven months can understand and learn grammatical rules. Furthermore, studies of 36 documented cases of children raised without human contact (feral children) show that language is learned only from other humans; humans do not automatically speak. So, the first humans must have been endowed with a language ability. There is no evidence language evolved.||
See the main article on this topic: Language § Origin of languageBrown's citation for that last claim is "Nobody knows how [language] began. There doesn’t seem to be anything like syntax in non-human animals and it is hard to imagine evolutionary forerunners of it." For the uninitiated, "we don't know" doesn't mean "Goddidit".
|Nonhumans communicate, but not with language. True language requires both vocabulary and grammar. With great effort, human trainers have taught some gorillas and chimpanzees to recognize a few hundred spoken words, to point to up to 200 symbols, and to make limited hand signs. These impressive feats are sometimes exaggerated by editing the animals’ successes on film||
See the Wikipedia article on this topicDolphins can understand both vocabulary and grammar. Crows can communicate complex ideas to each other. Turns out humans aren't all that special in the language department.
|Wild apes have not shown these vocabulary skills, and trained apes do not pass their vocabulary on to others. When a trained animal dies, so does the trainer’s investment. Also, trained apes have essentially no grammatical ability. Only with grammar can a few words express many ideas. No known evidence shows that language exists or evolves in nonhumans, but all known human groups have language.||There's plenty of evidence that language exists in nonhumans. Cetaceans have names, which heavily implies some form of language (and dolphins do have the capacity to learn and use grammar). Again, crows talk to each other. Less-complex visual and chemical languages also exist in the wild: canine body language, the flared tail of white-tailed deer, bee dances, ant pheromone trails, chemical warnings certain trees emit when chewed on by deer, etc. While these don't have grammar or syntax, some do depend on context, and are good examples of how languages might evolve from simple origins.|
|Furthermore, only humans have different modes of language: speaking/hearing, writing/reading, signing, touch (as with Braille), and tapping (as with Morse code or tap-codes used by prisoners). When one mode is prevented, as with the loss of hearing, others can be used.||Dolphins and gorillas both can use audible and visual forms of communication. Dogs also combine sound and gestures to convey ideas and information. Incomplete list I know, but you get the idea. The point is that our difference from other animals, in terms of language, is one of degree, not kind.|
|If language evolved, the earliest languages should be the simplest. But language studies show that the more ancient the language (for example: Latin, 200 B.C.; Greek, 800 B.C.; Linear B, 1200 B.C.; and Vedic Sanskrit, 1500 B.C.), the more complex it is with respect to syntax, case, gender, mood, voice, tense, verb forms, and inflection. The best evidence shows that languages devolve; that is, they become simpler instead of more complex. Most linguists reject the idea that simple languages evolve into complex languages. [See Figure 244 on page 541.]||Languages are constantly changing, and while some aspects of them can get less complex, other parts get more complex.|
|If humans evolved, then so did language. All available evidence indicates that language did not evolve, so humans probably did not evolve.||The evidence only points that way when you ignore the stuff that disagrees with that conclusion. Languages did, and continue to, evolve. The Latin languages didn't spring forth from nothing fully-formed, did they? And English as spoken back in 1000 would be unintelligible to us today.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Speech is uniquely human. Humans have both a “prewired” brain, capable of learning and conveying abstract ideas, and the physical anatomy (mouth, throat, tongue, larynx, etc.) to produce a wide range of sounds. Only a few animals can approximate some human sounds.||Nope. See citations to point 13 for details, but at the very least bottlenose dolphins and crows also have a "prewired" brain capable of learning and conveying abstract ideas, with the physical anatomy for language. It doesn't matter that they can only approximate some human sounds (there are birds that can exactly imitate not only human speech, but most anything including camera shutters) because human sounds aren't the end-all be-all for language.|
|Because the human larynx is low in the neck, a long air column lies above the vocal cords. This helps make vowel sounds. Apes cannot make clear vowel sounds, because they lack this long air column. The back of the human tongue, extending deep into the neck, modulates the air flow to produce consonant sounds. Apes have flat, horizontal tongues, incapable of making consonant sounds.||The anthropocentrism is strong with this one. Here, lemme try: Ahem. "Because the avian syrinx is located at the junction of the trachea, only birds can create immediate pitch jumps and, in some cases, full-out lateralization of sound, enabling the complex set of noises required for true language. Some mammals can attempt to approximate these sounds, using organs not designed to make them(such as their tongue, throats, and larynx), but are on the whole incapable of making sharp whistles, warbles, or jitters. Even if humans had the capacity to produce such sounds, it would be useless without a brain that was capable of learning language skills, especially twartli!li and snt!si!^lartl." Wow! Gosh, in the face of such evidence, humans aren't the apex of creation made by a human-god, but rather crows are the apex of creation made by a crow-god!|
|Even if an ape could evolve all the physical equipment for speech, that equipment would be useless without a “prewired” brain for learning language skills, especially grammar and vocabulary.||
First, the obligatory "apes did evolve the physical equipment for speech, and the brain, because humans are apes."There, now that that's out of the way, this is a moot point because not only are humans not the only ones with the capacity to learn language, we're not the only ones that use language in the wild.
15. Codes, Programs, and Information
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In our experience, codes are produced only by intelligence, not by natural processes or chance. A code is a set of rules for converting information from one useful form (such as language) to another. Examples include Morse code and Braille. Code makers must simultaneously understand at least two ways of representing information and then establish the rules for converting from one to the other and back again. It is hard to imagine how natural processes and long periods of time could produce even one language. Having two languages form by natural processes and be able to automatically convert one to the other is unbelievable.||
See the previous point for how his arguments that languages don't evolve is wrong.Since he's bringing up codemaking to set up further arguments, I'll preemptively prime a rebuttal. We humans have to use language to convey ideas about nature. That's what science entails. Unfortunately, nature is often complicated, and so we have to devise abstractions to convey ideas. "Quantum particles" are neither particles nor waves; we just use those terms because they paint semi-accurate pictures in our heads. Similarly, CPUs don't "understand" machine language, but using that word allows humans to more easily write programs for CPUs without having to think about how the transistor paths all work out to produce the intended results. Just because we use a word to describe a thing doesn't mean that thing has all the properties of that word.
|The genetic material that controls the physical processes of life is coded information. Also coded are very complex and completely different functions: the transmission, translation, correction, and duplication systems, without which the genetic material would be useless, and life would cease. It seems obvious that the genetic code and the accompanying transmission, translation, correction, and duplication systems were produced simultaneously in each living organism by an extremely high intelligence.||
With the abstraction nature of language (see previous paragraph) in mind, DNA isn't a code. It's a molecule. All the 'functions' of it are chemical reactions with it. Translation from DNA to messenger-RNA is a chemical reaction of RNA nucleotides with DNA nucleotides, and ditto for the production of enzymes and proteins -- specific trios of bases are chemically bound with specific amino acids that detach because of reactions with the RNA and the ribosome. But instead of running a full intro-to-organic-chemistry class each time we talk about DNA, it's easier to call it a 'code' because that word implies much of the behavior of DNA, just like we use the word 'understand' to refer to CPUs.Because DNA is just chemistry, it's fairly trivial to see that the whole complex system that exists today didn't just spring into existence. RNA, if rooted somewhere stable (like a bit of clay) and in a solution with RNA nucleotides will, because of chemistry and random interactions, reproduce itself. That's what's special about it. You don't need complex systems of proteins and enzymes to do this. Such things help which is why, after 3.5+ billion years of evolution we do have them, but they're not required.
|Also, no natural process has ever been observed to produce a program. A program is a planned sequence of steps to accomplish some goal. Computer programs are common examples. Because programs require foresight, they are not produced by chance or natural processes. A complex program is stored in the genetic information in every form of life. Therefore, it appears that an unfathomable intelligence created these genetic programs.||
Depending on how you define 'natural process', various genetic algorithms would beg to differ. There are computer programs running today that humans didn't write, but were instead evolved through mutations and iterations.Not that it matters, since DNA doesn't run any 'programs' anyway. It's all just chemistry. There's no more a program to use DNA to build lactase than there is one to use oxygen and iron to create rust.
|Life contains matter, energy, and information. All isolated systems, including each living organism, has specific, but perishable, amounts of information. No isolated system has ever been shown to increase its information content significantly. Nor do natural processes add information; they destroy it. Only outside intelligence can significantly increase the information content of an otherwise isolated system.||
Brown's almost right here. All isolated systems have specific information, but that information, as we understand physics today, cannot be created nor destroyed. All the information that exists today existed 13.8 billion years ago.[note 10] Living organisms are not isolated systems in the least, since every living organism requires some form of input, be it oxygen, carbon dioxide, photons, etc., and outputs, making them inherently not isolated. The Earth isn't isolated, either, since matter and energy both join the Earth (light from stars and meteoroids) and leave it (in the form of light elements in the upper atmosphere getting stripped away by solar wind).
The thing is, Brown doesn't define what he means by 'information'. Physics has a very clear definition, which is what I'm using, but he clearly thinks there's more information in a strand of DNA than a glob of those atoms not arranged into a stable double-helix, when that's absolutely not the case. Both things have the same number of the same type of particles, and thus both have the same amount of information, in the physics sense.What Brown probably means is meaning,[note 11] which is subjective. The words you're reading have no inherent meaning: they're just squiggles on a screen. A random set of squiggles "tnetennba" e.g. has no more or less meaning than a different random set of squiggles "bartender", except the meaning we impose on it. Do you grok my jive, me hearties?
|Thousands of scientific observations are consistent with this generalization, which has three corollaries:||It's good that he specifies what he means by a 'scientific observation', since technically looking at a blank piece of paper is a scientific observation of some sort.|
16. Compatible Senders and Receivers
|In the Beginning||Response|
|As explained above, only intelligence creates codes, programs, and information (CP&I). Each involves senders and receivers. Senders and receivers can be people, animals, plants, organs, cells, or certain molecules. (The DNA molecule is a prolific sender.) The CP&I in a message must be understandable and beneficial to both sender and receiver beforehand; otherwise, the effort expended in transmitting and receiving messages (written, chemical, electrical, magnetic, visual, and auditory) will be wasted.||Yeah, messages that don't benefit the system are wasted energy, which is why they tend not to survive and only those that do happen to be "understood" by the parts of the system survive and carry on. That's what evolution is.|
|Consider the astronomical number of links (message channels) that exist between potential senders and receivers: from the cellular level to complete organisms, from bananas to bacteria to babies, since life began. All must have compatible understandings (CP&I) and equipment (matter and energy). Designing compatibilities of this magnitude requires one or more superintelligences who completely understand how matter and energy behave over time. In other words, superintelligence(s) must have made, or at least mastered, the laws of chemistry and physics wherever senders and receivers are found. The simplest, most parsimonious way to integrate all of life is for there to be only one superintelligence.||
Genetic algorithms currently design incredibly effective things without having any "understanding" about how matter and energy behave over time.
|Also, the sending and receiving equipment, including its energy sources, must be in place and functional before communication begins. But the preexisting equipment provides no benefit until useful messages begin arriving. Therefore, intelligent foresight (planning) is mandatory—something nature cannot do.||
So Dr. Brown must believe modern-day GPS was put in place by God, then, right? I mean, there's no benefit to a GPS satellite without ground stations, and there's no benefit to ground stations without satellites. Except in that case, the first satellites used existing ground-stations, which themselves had been built for other purposes (RADAR and radio communication). Eventually more and more specialized stations and satellites were constructed until we had a tight-knit functional system.It's the same with evolution. Organs can perform more than one function (the liver is a filter and produces digestive enzymes, e.g.), and over time new functions can become more important than older ones. Foresight is only mandatory if each piece performs, has ever performed, and will ever perform only exactly one function, which is fundamentally and demonstrably not the case.
The Arguments for Evolution Are Outdated and Often Illogical.
17. Acquired Characteristics
|In the Beginning||Response|
|When the same complex capability is found in similar organisms, evolutionists say it evolved from a common ancestor. When the same complex capability is found in dissimilar organisms evolutionists say that convergent evolution explains it. With such flexible definitions, evolution can explain many things and not be falsified.||
The line between common ancestry and convergent evolution depends more on the similarities of structures of organs with similar functions than on the similarities of the creatures themselves. A whale's fin, a dog's front leg, a human's arm, and a bird's wing are structurally very similar, which points to common ancestry even though the limbs themselves have slightly different functions (swimming vs. walking vs. grabbing vs. flying). An insect wing, bird wing, and bat wing, on the other hand, all have similar functions, but vastly different structures — the former doesn't have bones, while the latter two have vastly different methods of flight, namely feathers and skin membranes, and is the result of convergent evolution: natural selection using different structures to produce the same outcome. In many cases it's not this simple, but there's a whole field of science dedicated to it.And contrary to Dr. Brown's claims, evolution is falsifiable. The fact that its explanatory abilities are so powerful is a large point in its favor. It's like claiming Relativity's too good at explaining phenomena like time dilation and Mercury's precession so it can't be right.
|For example, wings and flight occur in some birds, insects, and mammals (bats). Pterosaurs, an extinct reptile, also had wings and could fly. These capabilities have not been found in any of their alleged common ancestors.||As Richard Lenski showed, just because the ancestors of a creature don't exhibit a particular trait doesn't mean its descendants can't. We've literally seen creatures evolve new and novel traits.|
|Other examples of supposedly convergent evolution are the three tiny bones in the ears of mammals: the stapes, incus, and malleus. Their complex arrangement and precise fit give mammals the unique ability to hear a wide range of sounds. Evolutionists say that those bones evolved from bones in a reptile’s jaw. If so, the process must have occurred at least twice—but left no known transitional fossils. How did the transitional organisms between reptiles and mammals hear during those millions of years? Without the ability to hear, survival—and reptile-to-mammal evolution—would cease.||The same way modern-day reptiles, which don't have those bones, hear and survive today. They don't need such structures to survive. It's possible in the future a reptile will happen upon that or a similar structure that'll give them a bit of an advantage over modern reptiles, but that's not happened yet. Those bones aren't necessary for hearing, just like a lens isn't necessary for sight; they just improve upon the sense. Again, this is another example of Dr. Brown pointing out where extant organs aren't "fully developed" because reptile ears don't have this feature!|
|Concluding that a miracle—or any extremely unlikely event—happened once requires strong evidence or faith; claiming that a similar “miracle” happened repeatedly requires either incredible blind faith or a cause common to each event, such as a common designer.||
Alternatively, that the The Law of Large Numbers is in effect, and we notice the few Black Swan events that happen because they're improbable, while we don't notice the millions of times they don't happen. For instance, some monkeys in the Americas have prehensile tails (which costs more energy to maintain, but gives them a fifth grasping limb), a feature fully absent in all old-world monkeys. That's a convergent evolution thing that didn't happen, because stumbling on such a feature is rare and unlikely to happen twice. Unlikely doesn't mean impossible. It's unlikely for you to win the lottery, but it's almost a certainty that someone will win.More observationally, Dr. Lenski demonstrated a form of convergent evolution with his citrate-digesting E. coli by re-running the experiment with various pre-citrate-digesting strains, showing that yes, it's possible for a trait to develop multiple times in separate populations.
|Furthermore, it is illogical to maintain that similarities between different forms of life always imply a common ancestor; such similarities may imply a common designer and show efficient design. In fact, where similar structures are known to be controlled by different genes or are developed from different parts of embryos, a common designer is a much more likely explanation than evolution.|
18. Vestigial Organs
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Some structures in humans were once thought to have no function, but to have once been useful in some evolutionary ancestor. They were called vestigial organs. As medical knowledge has increased, at least some function has been discovered for all alleged vestigial organs. For example, the human appendix was once considered a useless remnant from our evolutionary past. The appendix plays a role in antibody production, protects part of the intestine from infections and tumor growths, and safely stores “good bacteria” that can replenish the intestines following bouts of diarrhea. The absence of true vestigial organs implies evolution never happened.||I congratulate Dr. Brown for showing functionality in a single vestigial organ, while ignoring the plethora of them (hind legs in whales and snakes, the arms of emus, eyes of blind mole rats, etc.) Not to mention "vestigial" doesn't mean "doesn't have a function." See the Talk:Origins page on vestigial organs for more info.|
19. Two-Celled Life?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Many single-celled forms of life exist, but no known forms of animal life have 2, 3, 4, or 5 cells. Known forms of life with 6–20 cells are parasites, so they must have a complex animal as a host to provide such functions as respiration and digestion. If macroevolution happened, one should find many transitional forms of life with 2–20 cells—filling the gap between one-celled and many-celled organisms.||How many cells does a lichen have? What about siphonophores like Marrus orthocanna? How about slime mold? There are extant things that blur the line between "clump of single-celled organisms" and "single multi-celled organism". Lichens are sybiotic organisms, similar to mitochondria and cells, while colonial organisms might eventually develop specializations for their genetically-identical members, like what Marrus orthocana currently is doing. Thus you don't need a 2-celled organism to exist to make the jump from single-celled to multi-celled.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Since 1868, evolutionists have taught that developing embryos pass through stages that mimic an evolutionary sequence. In other words, in a few weeks an unborn human repeats stages that supposedly took millions of years of evolution for mankind. A well-known example of this ridiculous teaching is that embryos of mammals have “gill slits,” because mammals supposedly evolved from fish. Embryonic tissues that resemble “gill slits” have nothing to do with breathing; they are neither gills nor slits. Instead, those embryonic tissues develop into parts of the face, bones of the middle ear, and endocrine glands.
Embryologists no longer consider the superficial similarities between a few embryos and the adult forms of simpler animals as evidence for evolution. Ernst Haeckel, by deliberately falsifying his drawings, originated and popularized this incorrect but widespread belief. Many modern textbooks continue to spread this false idea as evidence for evolution.
Well, that idea may have started in 1868, but it was discredited before we went to the moon. Science advances, and bad ideas are discarded when they don't hold up to scrutiny. That's what science does. Brown even admits scientists have thrown that idea away! "This is false evidence for evolution, and the scientists are saying it's false evidence for evolution!!!one!"Discovery Institute (yes that Discovery Institute) does a good breakdown about the textbook thing here. It should be noted that scientists aren't responsible for the content of textbooks, nor are textbooks necessarily representative of the scientific consensus. Ask the Texas Board of Education. If there is a problem with the accuracy of textbooks, that issue should be taken up with the publishers, or the TBoE, so bringing it up here is a big red herring.
21. Rapid Burial
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Fossils all over the world show evidence of rapid burial. Many fossils, such as fossilized jellyfish, show by the details of their soft, fleshy portions that they were buried rapidly, before they could decay. (Normally, dead animals and plants quickly decompose.)||
True, sometimes rapid burials happen, and we're very lucky to have them. But they're incredibly rare. Otherwise every fossil would have fossilized soft tissue, and it wouldn't have taken centuries to realize theropods were mostly feathered. Rapid burials are the exception, not the rule.As for how and why they happen, landslides are a thing. Every tsunami is an underwater landslide, and each one has the chance of rapidly burying creatures such as jellyfish. Tsunamis and dry landslides aren't particularly uncommon things, and once again the Law of Large Numbers counters the rarity of fossilization in general to give us a few great soft-tissue fossils.
|The presence of fossilized remains of many other animals, buried in mass graves and lying in twisted and contorted positions, suggests violent and rapid burials over large areas.||
Again, there are a few mass graves, usually the result of some local cataclysm, or a trap such as tar pits (which aren't pits and don't contain tar; they're more accurately called asphalt seeps). Volcanoes are great at killing lots of animals in localized areas. Again, mass graves are exceptional, not the norm.Contortions also result from the way bodies behave in water. Tendons contract posthumously, resulting in contorted positions. Contortions aren't evidence of agonized deaths, but rather that the corpse was underwater when it was buried (not even that it died in water).
|These observations, plus the occurrence of compressed fossils and fossils that cut across two or more layers of sedimentary rock, are strong evidence that the sediments encasing these fossils were deposited rapidly—not over hundreds of millions of years.||Once again, there exist some sediments that are deposited rapidly, usually by earthquake or volcanoes, and occasionally by flood. The fact that this happens sometimes doesn't mean every sediment deposit was rapid. As before, rapid deposition is the exception, not the rule.|
|Furthermore, almost all sediments that formed today’s rocks were sorted by water.||Citation needed. Also, completely not true. Water sorts sediment by particle size, not by sediment type (which is what we see in geological layers).|
|The worldwide fossil record is, therefore, evidence of rapid death and burial of animal and plant life by a worldwide, catastrophic flood.||Nope. That's like saying there are instances where brake failures cause car crashes, and therefore every car crash is caused by brake failures, which is simply not true. Again, such things are the exception to the trend of sediment deposition and fossilization.|
22. Parallel Strata
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Earth’s sedimentary layers are typically parallel to adjacent layers. Such uniform layers are seen, for example, in the Grand Canyon and in road cuts in mountainous terrain. Had these parallel layers been deposited slowly over thousands of years, erosion would have cut many channels in the topmost layers. Their later burial by other sediments would produce nonparallel patterns. Because parallel layers are the general rule, and the earth’s surface erodes rapidly, one can conclude that almost all sedimentary layers were deposited rapidly relative to the local erosion rate—not over long periods of time.||
See the Wikipedia article on this topicWhat makes the Grand Canyon so special is that the layers are all parallel and happy and sequential, in a place where local erosion has exposed them to us so nicely. What Dr. Brown misses is the whole field of geology that covers unconformities: places where local erosions and plate tectonics mess with nice parallel strata. You can read more about it here and here. You should keep this argument in mind, though, because Brown will later claim the layers aren't parallel enough for slow deposition.
23. Fossil Gaps
|In the Beginning||Response|
|If evolution happened, the fossil record should show continuous and gradual changes from the bottom to the top layers.||This is a fine straw man, but not what the Theory of Evolution states. Fossilization is rare. Things have to be buried in specific ways, under specific circumstances. The fossil record will always have holes because only a tiny fraction of animals have been or will ever be fossilized.|
|Actually, many gaps or discontinuities appear throughout the fossil record. At the most fundamental level, a big gap exists between forms of life whose cells have nuclei (eukaryotes, such as plants, animals, and fungi) and those that don’t (prokaryotes, such as bacteria and blue-green algae). Fossil links are also missing between large groupings of plants, between single-celled forms of life and invertebrates (animals without backbones), among insects, between invertebrates and vertebrates (animals with backbones), between fish and amphibians, between amphibians and reptiles, between reptiles and mammals, between reptiles and birds, between primates and other mammals, and between apes and other primates. In fact, chains are missing, not links. The fossil record has been studied so thoroughly that it is safe to conclude that these gaps are real; they will never be filled.||
See the main article on this topic: List of transitional formsThis is deliberate and willful misinformation. As of this writing, Brown last updated his book in 2013, so there is no excuse for him not knowing of the many, many transitional forms. He is right in that there exist holes that will never be filled, simply because the vast majority of things don't get fossilized.
24. The Cambrian Explosion
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The “evolutionary tree” has no trunk. In what evolutionists call the earliest part of the fossil record (generally the lowest sedimentary layers of Cambrian rock), life appears suddenly, full-blown, complex, diversified, and dispersed—worldwide.|
See the main article on this topic: Cambrian explosion"Suddenly" in geological terms means "tens of millions of years."[note 13] Again, words mean different things in different contexts. And no, life didn't "appear" "full-blown". A small list of things that aren't represented in any Cambrian life: lungs, wings, fur, feathers, "fully-developed" eyes,[note 14] "fully-developed" ears,[note 15] "fully-developed" hearts.[note 16] It's almost like, while the Cambrian laid the foundations for the diversity and complexity we see today, it would still take hundreds of millions of years to develop to what we see today.
|Evolution predicts that minor variations should slowly accumulate, eventually becoming major categories of organisms. Instead, the opposite is found.||Nope, that's exactly what we find. We have simple fossils from before the Cambrian Explosion, then a 100-million-year-long transition into the foundations for today's phyla, followed by another 450 million years of gradual transitions from those foundations into species, both extinct and extant.|
|Almost all of today’s plant and animal phyla—including flowering plants, vascular plants, and vertebrates—appear at the base of the fossil record. In fact, many more phyla are found in the Cambrian than exist today.||Wait, Dr. Brown found flowering plant fossils in the Cambrian?! No, no he didn't; his sources cite that plants were found, but flowering plants are a recent development, appearing around 300 million years after the Cambrian Explosion I suspect Dr. Brown put "flowering" in there because it says "flowering" in Genesis, and he assumed that if there were plants there were flowers. Otherwise, he's more or less right, in that the drastic increase in diversity during that 100-million-year time-frame laid the foundations for all the life we see today. But that's expected, since in the grand scheme of things the Cambrian Explosion wasn't that long ago. The time since the start of the Cambrian represents about 13% of the time life has existed on Earth. There just hasn't been that much time to develop other structures. Not that it's not still happening: the first birds lived just barely more than the duration of the Cambrian Explosion in the past, and from then they've diversified into the great diversity of birds we see today, from gliders to hoverers to swimmers.|
|Complex species, such as fish, worms, corals, trilobites, jellyfish, sponges, mollusks, and brachiopods appear suddenly, with no sign anywhere on earth of gradual development from simpler forms.||Yup, everything appeared suddenly and without a trace, which is why we've their development through the Cambrian. Nor do simpler, pre-Cambrian fossils exist, which is why we have extensive records of them. There's no excuse for this other than willful ignorance, or willful lying.|
|Insects, a class comprising four-fifths of all known animal species (living and extinct), have no known evolutionary ancestors. Insects and other arthropods found in amber, supposedly 100–230 million-years-old, look like those living today.||This is a good example of the sort of challenge that science flourishes on. We don't know exactly how insects came about, and biologists see that as a mystery to work out. Someday they'll sort it out, and it'll be added to our body of knowledge. The alternative, which Brown and other creationists are pushing for, is to attribute it to divine agency and never try to answer the question. See the Wikipedia article for more information.|
|The fossil record does not support evolution.||You can repeat it as many times as you want, but that doesn't make it true|
25. Out-of-Sequence Fossils
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Frequently, fossils are not vertically sequenced in the assumed evolutionary order.||It's possible for old fossils to be physically higher than new ones. Sediment is laid down, burying some fossils. Tectonic activity lifts a part of that upward into an undersea mountain. Newer sediments are laid down in the valleys. This whole area is then uplifted to be above the water. The older fossils, at the top of the mountain, are physically higher than the new ones, in the valley.|
|For example, in Uzbekistan, 86 consecutive hoofprints of horses were found in rocks dating back to the dinosaurs.||I can't find any non-Brown sources for these hoofprints. His source is Moskovskaya Pravda, a Russian daily newspaper, not any sort of scientific journal, so, as this guy says, take it with several grains of salt.|
|A leading authority on the Grand Canyon published photographs of horselike hoofprints visible in rocks that, according to the theory of evolution, predate hoofed animals by more than 100 million years.||Brown's source, a paper from the USGS, remarks that such prints were found and described as 'horselike' by the local natives (in the 1920s), and then goes on to say that on investigation "No information is available on the type of animal represented, but the pairing of the impressions, the common directions of orientation, and the uniformity of shape, all suggest an origin as trackways of a quadrupedal animal." That's not a confirmation that the track-makers were horses. Quadrupeds existed before horses.|
|Dinosaur and humanlike footprints were found together in Turkmenistan and Arizona.||The Turkmenistan source is also the Moskovskayha Pravda. The Arizona thing is a reference to the Kayenta Formation, a Paluxy Tracks situation. See here.|
|Sometimes, land animals, flying animals, and marine animals are fossilized side-by-side in the same rock.||So? This is as big a "problem" as the fact that anyone can see land animals, flying animals and marine animals simultaneously today. Volcanic eruption suffocates a bunch of animals, and subsequent flows or landslides bury a bunch of corpses together. Just one example: I'm sure each case of this is easily explainable by geologists and paleontologists, or at the very least is the focus of ongoing research.|
|Dinosaur, whale, elephant, horse, and other fossils, plus crude human tools, have reportedly been found in phosphate beds in South Carolina.||His sources for this, and I'm not kidding, are from the 1880s and "personal communications".|
|Coal beds contain round, black lumps called coal balls, some of which contain flowering plants that allegedly evolved 100 million years after the coal bed was formed.||Again, can't find confirmation that flowering plants were found in coal balls. However, there are precursors to flowering plants in coal balls. It's quite possible that, as before, Dr. Brown read "seeds" and inferred "flowering plants" (just as he read "quadruped" and inferred "horse").|
|Amber, found in Illinois coal beds, contain chemical signatures showing that the amber came from flowering plants, but flowering plants supposedly evolved 170 million years after the coal formed.||This is actually hilarious, since Brown's own sources are papers titled, I kid you not, "Flowerless Plants Also Made Form of Fancy Amber" and "Pushing Back Amber Production". That's what happens in science, Dr. Brown: evidence comes along, and we update our ideas. Up until 2009, we thought only flowering plants made this kind of amber. Then we discovered a similar amber not made by flowering plants. Thus we inferred that non-flowering plants made a similar amber.[note 17]|
|In the Grand Canyon, in Venezuela, in Kashmir, and in Guyana, spores of ferns and pollen from flowering plants are found in Cambrian rocks—rocks supposedly deposited before flowering plants evolved. Pollen has also been found in Precambriank rocks deposited before life allegedly evolved.|
See the main article on this topic: Roraima pollen paradoxSee also: Talk:Origins' article. In short, contamination is a thing.
|Petrified trees in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park contain fossilized nests of bees and cocoons of wasps. The petrified forests are reputedly 220 million years old, while bees (and flowering plants, which bees require) supposedly evolved almost 100 million years later.||Dr. Brown's source, aside from "personal communication", is this, which makes no claims of the sort. Rather, he suggests the evolution of social insects such as honeybees is linked with the rise of flowering plants, as both happened around the same time (~100 million years ago).|
|Pollinating insects and fossil flies, with long, well-developed tubes for sucking nectar from flowers, are dated 25 million years before flowers are assumed to have evolved.||I can't find his source anywhere other than Creationists' sites citing it. Though, for the record, Brown has already used the word "instantly" to refer to time spans of tens of millions of years, so, ya know.|
|Most evolutionists and textbooks systematically ignore discoveries which conflict with the evolutionary time scale.||It's almost like "evolutionists" and textbooks actually try to represent the facts and their sources correctly. In this section alone he's cited Soviet propaganda,[note 18] inferred "horse" from "quadruped", inferred "flower" from "seed", cited his own refutation, cited unverifiable personal communication, cited papers from 150 years ago, claimed a source says something it doesn't, and cited papers that |
|In the Beginning||Response|
|For over a century, studies of skulls and teeth have produced unreliable conclusions about man’s origin.||A century ago the Theory of Evolution was still in its infancy, and naturally got a few things wrong, so when you aggregate the ideas and mechanisms of evolution from an entire century, you'll get conflicting and "unreliable" conclusions. Again, that's the point of science: that it fixes mistakes and replaces bad models with better ones.|
|Also, fossil evidence allegedly supporting human evolution is fragmentary and open to other interpretations.||No citation for this claim, which makes sense since the fossil evidence of human ancestors and cousins is so voluminous we have trouble figuring out which were ancestors and which were cousins.|
|Fossil evidence showing the evolution of chimpanzees, supposedly the closest living relative to humans, is nonexistent.||Chimpanzees are geographically minute in comparison to humans. They're also limited to pretty much their one biome, and if that biome happens to be not very good for fossilization, then you're not going to get many chimp or chimp-ancestor fossils.|
|Stories claiming that fossils of primitive, apelike men have been found are overstated.||Good thing for Brown that science operates on stories and not facts, otherwise this might be a red herring.|
|Since 1953, it has been universally acknowledged that Piltdown “man” was a hoax, yet Piltdown “man” was in textbooks for more than 40 years.|
See the main article on this topic: Piltdown ManFirstly, it was "evolutionist" scientists who discovered it was a hoax (not creationists, tellingly), showing pretty blatantly that science doesn't cling to evidence that supports its views, but instead endeavors to find what's real. Secondly, things that can be thought of as true in one decade can be shown false the next, but while it was thought of as true it will probably be taught in textbooks, because that's how education works. And thirdly, just because it's in a textbook doesn't mean it's representative of scientific knowledge. Once again, ask the Texas Board of Education.
|Before 1977, evidence for Ramapithecus was a mere handful of teeth and jaw fragments. We now know these fragments were pieced together incorrectly by Louis Leakey and others into a form resembling part of the human jaw. Ramapithecus was just an ape.||Firstly, again, Dr. Brown's sources only turn up in creationist literature, so take them with a grain of salt. Secondly, once again, this is an example of scientists discovering that an earlier hypothesis was false. As more fossils of Sivapithecus/Ramapithecus were uncovered the idea that they were human ancestors didn't hold up, and so was discarded. Science: it works.|
|The only remains of Nebraska “man” turned out to be a single tooth—of a pig.|
See the main article on this topic: Nebraska ManOnly two scientists ever took the Nebraska Man claim seriously, and the whole thing was debunked in the 1920s. Again, by scientists and not denialists.
|Forty years after he discovered Java “man,” Eugene Dubois conceded that it was not a man, but was similar to a large gibbon (an ape). In citing evidence to support this new conclusion, Dubois admitted that he had withheld parts of four other thigh bones of apes found in the same area.||Java Man, now known as Homo erectus (or potentially a subspecies Homo erectus erectus) was very much a man, since it is in the genus Homo. The gibbon comment was due to Dubois' misunderstanding that gibbons, which can walk upright, are one of the closest human ancestors, and was meant to show how human they were rather than a retraction of his claims. Tiny detail, but what do you expect in a YEC publication?|
|Many experts consider the skulls of Peking “man” to be the remains of apes that were systematically decapitated and exploited for food by true man. Its classification, Homo erectus, is considered by most experts to be a category that should never have been created.|
See the main article on this topic: Homo erectusBrown's source cites "Narmada Man" as a reason to ditch the entire species. Narmada Man is a 200,000-year-old skeleton that is anatomically neither fully Homo sapien nor Homo erectus, but somewhere between. Its age puts it at the tail end of Homo erectus's existence, and the beginning of Homo sapien. Hmm, a homonid that looks to be somewhere between the two species, living right at their conjunction? What could that possibly mean!?
In all seriousness, we still don't know exactly where or when modern humans evolved, and it's finds like those in Narmada that are providing clues. And contrary to Brown's assertions that "most experts" say Homo erectus shouldn't exist, finds like Narmada Man reinforce the current theory which has Homo erectus as a central pillar in the lineage of human evolution.
|Heidelberg man (Homo heidelbergensis), supposedly our ancestor, was based on one lower jaw. Many researchers now feel the species should be eliminated.||Let me quote Brown's source on this: "One researcher began her talk with a call for ‘a moment of silence for the death of H. heidelbergensis." First off, love the weasel word "many", second I love how he turns "one" into "many". You'll always be able to find one person who disagrees with everyone else, because science loves attacking its own theories (that's how science progresses, after all).|
Homo heidelbergensis isn't so key to our ancestry, but they're not being "eliminated". They were the ancestors to Neanderthals, which were contemporary to Homo sapiens and even interbred with them, so in a small way they were our ancestors, but only tangentially (modern humans have a few percent of Neanderthal DNA).
|he first confirmed limb bones of Homo habilis were discovered in 1986. They showed that this animal clearly had apelike proportions and should never have been classified as manlike (Homo)||Yeah, Homo habilis had apelike proportions. They also lived before and up to around the time Homo erectus came around. This is the Narmada man thing again: a species with properties of things that came before and that came after, living temporally between them. Whether or not they should be classified under the genus Homo is wholly separate, since there's not a solid demarcation line. If you lined up every ancestor you had to the common ancestor to chimpanzees, there wouldn't be a generational jump in which a chimp-like being gives birth to a human-like being. You'd not be able to tell the differences between each generation, but on one side you'd have things that are clearly human, and on the other things that are clearly "ape".[note 19] It's a gradual transition, but since we like to classify things into buckets (ask Pluto about that), we have to draw the line somewhere, and we drew it such that Homo habilis is human, while its direct ancestors weren't.|
|The australopithecines, made famous by Louis and Mary Leakey, are quite distinct from humans. Several detailed computer studies of australopithecines have shown that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between those of man and living apes. Another study, showed that their inner ear bones, used to maintain balance, were strikingly similar to those of chimpanzees and gorillas, but differed greatly from those of humans. Also, their pattern of dental development corresponds to chimpanzees, not humans. Claims were made—based on one partially complete australopithecine fossil, Australopithecus afarensis (a 3.5-foot-tall, long-armed, 60-pound adult called Lucy)—that all australopithecines walked upright in a human manner. However, studies of Lucy’s entire anatomy, not just a knee joint, now show that this is very unlikely. She likely swung from the trees and was similar to pygmy chimpanzees. In 2006, a partial Australopithecus afarensis specimen—a 3-year-old baby—with clear apelike features—was announced. The australopithecines are probably extinct apes.||Speaking of the direct ancestor to Homo habilis, yes, australopithecines are extinct apes. And yes, they had "ape-like" features. But, again, they're on the spectrum, just closer to the chimp-human common ancestor than the rest. We had to draw a line somewhere, and so we drew it between australopithecines and H. habilis.|
|For about 100 years, the world was led to believe that Neanderthal man was stooped and apelike. This false idea was based upon some Neanderthals with bone diseases, such as arthritis and rickets. Recent dental and x-ray studies of Neanderthals suggest that they were humans who matured at a slower rate and lived to be much older than people today. Neanderthal man, Heidelberg man, and Cro-Magnon man are now considered completely human. Artists’ drawings of “ape-men,” especially their fleshy portions, are often quite imaginative and are not supported by the evidence.||Yup. Science was wrong in the past. We've fixed those mistakes. We're wrong about some things now, but we're closer to the truth than we were before — and we'll fix more mistaken ideas in the future. Again, that's what science does. We now know Neanderthals were contemporary to Homo sapiens and even interbred with them. Brown's citation for the "matured at a slower rate" thing is pretty well covered here. And yes, Neanderthals, H. erectus, and Cro-Magnon are fully human. They're in the genus Homo. That's what human means. They're also fully ape. That's what the family Hominidae means.|
|Furthermore, the techniques used to date these fossils are highly questionable.||Here Dr. Brown just calls ahead to future |
27. Fossil Man
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Bones of modern-looking humans have been found deep in undisturbed rocks that, according to evolution, were formed long before man began to evolve.||Something tells me these will all be finds from the 19th and early 20th Centuries, or the result of contamination, or exist only in Dr. Brown's "personal communications".|
|Examples include the Castenedolo skeletons,||19th-Century find. Every sign indicates it was a medieval grave, from between the 9th and 13th Centuries.|
|Reck’s skeleton,||Early 20th-Century find. Also a grave, though about 20,000 years old. See, when people dig graves, they dig down into older sedimentary layers. That's why multiple dating techniques are needed to accurately date things.|
|and possibly others.||Wow, nice list there, Doc. There's a bunch of citations, though only a few that give any indication as to what's being said. One's from 1866, another from 1891, a third from 1897. The most recent dated citation is from 1997 from the ... Creation Research Society Quarterly. And here I thought he'd give a reliable source. At any rate, that source is in reference to the Calaveras Skull found in 1866 (so probably linked with the source from 1866). The same skull a local shopkeeper confessed to planting, and later carbon-dated to be from the late Holocene (i.e., the current geological epoch).|
|Remains, such as the Swanscombe skull, the Steinheim fossil, and the Vertesszöllos fossil present similar problems.||Here Brown just has a single citation from a book. The Swancombe skull is from a 400,000-year-old Homo heidelbergensis skeleton. The Steinheim fossil is either late H. heidelbergensis or early H. neanderthalensis, dating around 300,000 years ago. Searching for the Vertesszöllos fossil leads only to creationist sites.|
|Evolutionists almost always ignore these remains.||There has to be some kind of ironic overload. |
Life Is So Complex That Chance Processes, Even over Billions of Years, Cannot Explain How Life Began.
I almost just skipped this section by writing in giant bold letters "The Theory of Evolution doesn't cover the origin of life any more than the Theory of Gravity covers the origin of matter and energy." But then I remembered that, ostensibly, this book is supposed to be providing a scientific case for creation. So far, the only thing Dr. Brown has done is attempt to disprove evolution. Presumably because after that the only explanation left is YHWH. And since evolution has nothing to do with abiogenesis, it seemed fair to skip this section.
But I won't, because maybe, just maybe, Dr. Brown will stray from attempting to do what scientists haven't been able to do for well over a hundred years, and provide some actual concrete evidence for creationism! Or he'll stick to his guns and keep misrepresenting science in the hopes his readers will be too complacent to do their own research. Take your bets now!
28. Chemical Elements of Life
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The chemical evolution of life, as you will see in the next few pages, is ridiculously improbable. What could improve the odds? One should begin with an earth having high concentrations of the key elements comprising life, such as carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen. However, the more closely one examines these elements, the more unlikely evolution appears.||Oh ... oh no. Clearly Dr. Brown's setting up an argument from improbability, so I'll set up a rebuttal. First: Improbable things happen, especially over tens of millions of years' time. Second: Abiogenesis is an ongoing field of study, with many competing theories on how it might've happend. (See Wikipedia's article). Third: something tells me Brown'll try to convince the reader that for life to occur a bunch of elements would need to bump into each other and just happen to form a modern-day cell, which...huh, isn't what biologists think happened. Check out the RNA world hypothesis for just ONE example of how life could evolve without needing to in one instant invent modern DNA, enzymes, and proteins.|
|Carbon. Rocks that supposedly preceded life have very little carbon. One must imagine a toxic, carbon-rich atmosphere to supply the needed carbon if life evolved. For comparison, today’s atmosphere holds only 1/80,000 of the carbon that has been on earth’s surface since the first fossils formed. [See Table 7 on page 259.]||The composition of Earth's early atmosphere is still being studied. It's difficult, since tectonic activity recycles the Earth's crust on a roughly 3.5-billion-year basis, which means, with a few very exceptional exceptions, we don't have a record of anything for the first billion years of Earth's history.[note 20] A lot of it is theory based on the Faint Young Sun Paradox, which implies that there were quite a bit of greenhouse gasses in the early atmosphere, with carbon-rich CO2, CH4, and potentially things like OCS.|
Dr. Brown's claim that the early atmosphere contained 80,000 times the carbon that exists now is based on an un-noted equation that carbon is released into the atmosphere when it precipitates into limestone, while not taking into account other forms of carbon weathering nor the addition of carbon into the atmosphere via volcanoes.
|Oxygen. No evolutionary theory has been able to explain why earth’s atmosphere has so much oxygen. Too many substances on an evolving earth would have oxidized (absorbed oxygen) over billions of years.||Just because you didn't bother to look doesn't mean it doesn't exist, Dr. Brown. The Great Oxygenation Event perfectly explains why we have so much oxygen. And yes, things did oxidize, including whatever methane was in the atmosphere, as well as iron in the crust (we get pretty rust belts from this era). That's why it took 630 million years for the ocean itself to become saturated, which started outgassing oxygen into the atmosphere, where it was bound with land-sinks like iron. After another billion years, the land-sinks were filled, and then the outgassing from the ocean began to actually fill the atmosphere.|
|If the early earth had oxygen in its atmosphere, compounds (called amino acids), which are absolutely necessary for life, would have been destroyed by oxidation.||Yeah, the early oceans in which life began were mostly anoxic, because without an oxygen generator what little molecular oxygen was on Earth when it formed quickly oxidized into other compounds such as water, carbon dioxide, and rust. You know, exactly what Dr. Brown himself said last sentence.|
|But if there had been no oxygen, there would have been no ozone (O3—a form of oxygen) in the upper atmosphere. Without ozone to shield the earth, the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation would quickly destroy life.||Except you don't need an ozone layer to protect things when you have water. Water's a fantastic way to absorb radiation. Note that the bottom of the ocean is dark, because sunlight doesn't reach. Even without an ozone layer, the bottom of the ocean is quite well protected from solar radiation.|
|The only known way for both ozone and life to be here is for both to come into existence almost simultaneously—in other words, by creation.||Well, a good attempt to prove creation, but it's false, because see above. In a single paragraph, Brown forgets that photosynthesis is a thing, that water is a thing, and that life doesn't need oxygen to survive. Even a little bit of research would show that these aren't problems with abiogenesis.|
|Nitrogen. Clays and various rocks absorb nitrogen. Had millions of years passed before life evolved, the sediments that preceded life should be filled with nitrogen. Searches have never found such sediments.||I can't find any sources that claim sediments that preceded life should be filled with nitrogen. Because of plate tectonics we don't have any sediments that precede life. It seems life started almost immediately after Earth's formation, about a billion years before the oldest plates (and the sediments atop them) we have today were formed. Such sediments haven't been found because they subducted into the mantle a billion years ago.|
|Basic chemistry does not support the evolution of life.||If that were the case, abiogenesis would've already been written off as a dud. Instead, it's an incredibly active field with plenty of ideas on how basic chemistry could result in life. This is another example showing that creationism is a science stopper. If you write off even the possibility of figuring out an answer beyond your preconceived notions, you never learn anything new.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|[Placeholder for witty summary here]||Life doesn't need proteins to function. See Wikipedia's article about one of the hypotheses for abiogenesis and early life, the RNA World.|
30. The First Cell
|In the Beginning||Response|
|[Placeholder for witty summary here]||Life doesn't need cells to function. The RNA World is a great example of a working theory that pretty well explains how life could form from non-life, and it turns on its head the misconceptions creationists have about life. Just because modern life has cells and proteins doesn't mean self-replicating molecules require them. Cell walls, proteins, and the like make self-replication more efficient which is why, once they developed, they out-competed the simpler things that came before, but they're not required.|
31. Barriers, Buffers, and Chemical Pathways
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Living cells contain thousands of different chemicals, some acidic, others basic. Many chemicals would react with others unless an intricate system of chemical barriers and buffers already existed. If living things evolved, these barriers and buffers must also have evolved—but at just the right time to prevent harmful chemical reactions. How could such precise, seemingly coordinated, virtually miraculous events have happened for each of millions of species?||I like that Dr. Brown thinks the first cells split into the trillions of species that exist today, and then developed complex features. As before, complexities that exist after at least 3.5 billion years of evolution aren't necessarily required for life, including those thousands of different chemicals. Technically speaking, only one chemical is needed for life, so long as it can self-replicate. RNA's a good candidate. When cells did evolve, those that had some annihilatory chemicals without ways to keep them separate died, until one happened upon a way to keep them separate. If those chemicals gave that cell an advantage, it out-competed the others, and after a while most cells on Earth would have that trait. Life evolved like this for billions of years before the ongoing explosion of complexity and diversity, so it's not strange that the diversity we see today has those underlying developments.|
|All living organisms are maintained by thousands of chemical pathways, each involving a long series of complex chemical reactions. For example, the clotting of blood, which involves 20–30 steps, is absolutely vital to healing a wound. However, clotting could be fatal if it happened inside the body. Omitting one of the many steps, inserting an unwanted step, or altering the timing of a step would probably cause death. If one thing goes wrong, all the marvelous steps that worked flawlessly up to that point would have been in vain. Evidently, these complex pathways were created as an intricate, highly integrated system.||It's so nice that an omnipotent and benevolent creator designed such a complicated system such that it never goes wrong. Alternatively, blood clotting is just one of the many systems that developed over the course of the hundreds of millions of years that blood-containing organisms have been around. In a world without any blood clotting, the lack of blood clotting isn't all that detrimental. But even a system that works a little bit, so long as it doesn't often kill the creature, is better than none, and from there it keeps building. The system we have is still prone to errors, and does kill people frequently.|
32. Genetic Distances
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Similarities between different forms of life can now be measured.
Proteins. “Genetic distances” can be calculated by taking a specific protein and examining the sequence of its components. The fewer changes needed to convert a protein of one organism into the corresponding protein of another organism, supposedly the closer their relationship. These studies seriously contradict the theory of evolution.
|His sole source for this is a quote made by Dr. Colin Patterson, who later lamented that he was careless and his quotes have been taken out of context.|
|An early computer-based study of cytochrome c, a protein used in energy production, compared 47 different forms of life. This study found many contradictions with evolution based on this one protein. For example, according to evolution, the rattlesnake should have been most closely related to other reptiles. Instead, of these 47 forms (all that were sequenced at that time), the one most similar to the rattlesnake was man. Since this study, experts have discovered hundreds of similar contradictions.||The rattlesnake study cited wasn't a study, but a science-fair project done by Dr. Walter Tarleton Brown's son Robert Bayne Brown. His source for the second claim about experts is again a single totally-not-taken-out-of-context quote by Dr. Patterson.|
|DNA and RNA. Comparisons can also be made between the genetic material of different organisms. The list of organisms that have had all their genes sequenced and entered in databases, such as “GenBank,” is doubling each year. Computer comparisons of each gene with all other genes in the database show too many unrelated genes.d Therefore, an evolutionary relationship between genes is highly unlikely. Furthermore, there is no trace at the molecular level for the traditional evolutionary series: simple sea life -> fish -> amphibians -> reptiles -> mammals||Brown's source: The ICR. Also, that series is misleading, since it implies progression through stages. Instead, it's that mammals are more closely related to reptiles than to amphibians, which is closer than fish, etc. It would be more accurate to say that the lineages that would become modern fish split from the "trunk" of the tree of life before what would become modern amphibians, which split before what would become reptiles, etc.|
|Humans vs. Chimpanzees. Evolutionists say the chimpanzee is the closest living relative to humans. For two decades (1984–2004), evolutionists and the media claimed that human DNA is about 99% similar to chimpanzee DNA. These false statements had little scientific justification, because they were made before anyone had completed the sequencing of human DNA and long before the sequencing of chimpanzee DNA had begun.||No citation listed, but the media's claims about science are not authoritative and are frequently wrong, because journalists are not scientists. The media also claimed the LHC would destroy the Earth, and that a plane flew into a black hole. Popular Science rarely represents science.|
|Chimpanzee and human DNA have now been completely sequenced and compared. The overall differences, which are far greater and more complicated than evolutionists suspected,g include about “thirty-five million single-nucleotide changes, five million insertions or deletions, and various chromosomal rearrangements.” Although only 4% of human and chimpanzee DNA differ, those critical differences amount to a vast chasm.||I'm pretty sure he'll very soon be stating how fantastically huge DNA is. Thirty-five million nucleotides over 3 billion is a tiny, tiny fraction. It sounds big, which is why he says it that way, instead of "only about one in one hundred nucleotides are different". The insertions and deletions add or delete big chunks, and chromosomal rearrangements just mean the same genes are elsewhere.|
|Moreover, differences between the male portion of the human and chimpanzee sex chromosome are huge! More than 30% of those sequences, in either the human or chimpanzee, do not match, and those that do, contain massive rearrangements. The genetic differences are comparable to those between nonsex chromosomes in chickens and humans. Also, humans shuffle male and female DNA to their offspring in different ways than chimpanzees.||Chromosomes aren't static objects; they shrink, grow, merge, and split. Humans have one fewer chromosome than other great apes because, in humans, two chromosomes merged (or one was shredded and bits merged into others). Just because the single chromosome doesn't have 1:1 correlation doesn't mean the genes aren't there; it just means they're not in the same chromosome. Brown even said himself that there have been "various chromosomal rearrangements". What's important to genetics, oddly enough, is genes, not chromosomes. Genes are like words, chromosomes like paragraphs: you can merge two paragraphs into one, or split one into two, without changing the substance of what's written.|
|Finally, evolutionary trees, based on the outward appearance of organisms, can now be compared with the organisms’ genetic information. They conflict in major ways.||No examples given as to the way they conflict, and his sources only say "they conflict". Even if it's true, keep in mind the in-depth genetic analysis we can do now is a very young field, and as we learn more our models and theories will shift to accommodate the new data. Our current model of the tree of life will need to be redrawn a bit, but that doesn't mean it'll be thrown away. When we discovered the Earth isn't a perfect sphere that didn't mean it may as well be a flat plate, or a cube. When we discovered Baja California wasn't an island that didn't mean it may as well not exist.|
33. Genetic Information
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Information never self-assembles.||Depends on your definition of "information". RNA can self-assemble, as can other molecular orderings, such as carbon dioxide, rust, and water. The "information" in a computer program can, for varying definitions of "self-assembly", self-assemble via genetic algorithms. Our current model of physics says that the fundamental information of the universe can't be created or destroyed, so in that sense, yes, information can't "self-assemble", though the word "assemble" doesn't really fit into that sentence.|
This is getting long for a rebuttal to a single sentence, but it just shows that unless you define your terms you can claim anything you want. Before communication can effectively occur, all parties must agree to the meaning of phonyms and squiggles, otherwise you open yourself up to people taking whatever meaning they want. Here that's Dr. Brown's goal, because he can use the word "information" in one way to argue one point, and in another way somewhere else to argue another point, like in Point 5 when he started a paragraph saying nature can't select and ended it by saying God made nature to be able to select. Without agreement as to what words mean, any point you try to make is fundamentally meaningless.
|The genetic information in the DNA of each human cell is roughly equivalent to a library of 4,000 books. Even if matter and life (perhaps a bacterium) somehow arose, the probability that mutations and natural selection produced this vast amount of information is essentially zero.||Haha, called it! Just a few paragraphs ago Dr. Brown was talking about the "vast gulf" between human and chimp DNA by specifying the raw number of single-nucleotide changes[note 21] and now here he's cleverly and separately boasting about the absolute size of the genome, which renders his first point mostly moot since all those changes still only account for 1% of the sequence.
If you read any of the competing theories of abiogenesis, you'll find that nowhere does anyone claim a modern genome, even of the simplest organism alive today, sprang out of the so-called primordial soup. The size of the genomes of organisms today has zero bearing on the size of the "genome" of the first "life".[note 22] And once you have self-replicating chemistry, natural selection dictates it will evolve.Dr. Brown is right, though, that the odds of life evolving exactly the way we see it today were, 5 billion years ago, minuscule. Likewise, if you shuffle a deck of cards very well and deal it out in-order, the odds of getting that exact order are minuscule, and yet you did get it. Once the self-replicating chemistry exists and natural selection takes over, it's bound to get more complex and intricate over time, and 3.5 billion years is a long time. Organic chemistry is such a complicated subject we can't even begin to imagine all the possible ways in which life could function, with what proteins, since we really only have the one data point which just happened to go in one direction, like your shuffled cards just happened to be ordered a certain way. If it had gone a different way, then Dr. Brown would still marvel at it and claim it had to be designed, while scientists would have no idea about lactase or insulin.
|It would be similar to producing 4,000 books with the following procedure:c
a. Start with a meaningful phrase.
b. Retype it, but make some errors and insert a few letters.
c. See if the new phrase is meaningful.
d. If it is, replace the original phrase with it.
e. Return to step “b.”
To produce just the enzymes in one organism would require more than 1040,000 trials. (To begin to understand how large 1040,000 is, realize that the visible universe contains fewer than 1080 atoms.
|It's fortunate that nobody claims a modern genome sprang fully-formed from the primordial soup like Athena from Zeus' skull. We have, today, RNA strands a few dozen bases long that can copy other RNA strands. It's as if, since Brown believes modern life sprang from nothing one day (per Genesis), he thinks scientists must believe modern life sprang from nothing, except without YHWH. It just goes to show that if you have an issue with a scientific theory, it's best to actually study the theory and see if you actually understand what the theory says before you try to dismiss it wholesale.|
|In 1972, evolutionists, out of ignorance, began referring to large segments of DNA as “junk” DNA, because it supposedly had no purpose and was left over from our evolutionary past. What evolutionists called “junk” DNA is now known to contain millions of switches which regulate gene activity at specific times and in unique ways for each of thousands of different types of cells. Most genetic changes that cause disease lie outside the genes and on the 95% of the DNA that evolutionists used to call “junk.”||Science advances and catches its mistakes. Cartographers used to think Cuba was next to China. Geologists used to think the continents were static. Genome research is still a new field. In 1972 we hadn't even started trying to sequence the human genome. Once again it's as though Brown laments the fact that science updates its models and theories based on evidence instead of dogmatically sticking to its guns.|
|Based on all known experience—scientific or otherwise—information comes only from intelligence. Vast amounts of information require a vast intelligence.||Once again he fails to define what "information" means. So no, Dr. Brown, based on all known experience, we don't know where information comes from. Our models of physics break down at the Singularity right at the start of cosmic inflation (if such a time even existed). If you mean "information" as in "the specific ordering of base pairs in DNA" then that doesn't have to come from intelligence. A simple program that iterates through every combination of A, T, G, and C will eventually produce a valid human genome, and at the core of it that program is only counting upwards from 0 — hardly intelligent. But that program goes one step farther because it also produced every possible genome that could ever possibly exist. A DNA-based form of life on the second moon of the fifth planet of a star in the Triangulum Galaxy would be in that program somewhere, as is your grandmother's genome, and the genomes of all the kids you'll have. Along with all the kids you'll never have. Genes that code for the cure for cancer, or ones that consume carbon dioxide and excrete diamond and molecular oxygen would be there (assuming such things are even possible, chemically speaking). The reason is that DNA doesn't contain "information". It's just a molecule.|
34. DNA and Proteins
|In the Beginning||Response|
|DNA cannot function without hundreds of preexisting proteins, but proteins are produced only at the direction of DNA. Because each needs the other, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the other. Therefore, the components of these manufacturing systems must have come into existence simultaneously. This implies creation.||What's true for DNA might not be true for RNA, and in fact, it isn't. RNA can be its own enzyme (called "ribozymes"), and is in fact used in extant organisms to this day. DNA, and its host of proteins and genes coding for them, could've developed side-by-side within RNA-based organisms. Since DNA is more stable than RNA, such minute and gradual changes would be beneficial until, as we have right now, the vast majority of the genetic code is stable DNA, while RNA is what's used to produce the actual proteins and enzymes.|
|Some of these necessary proteins decode the DNA, store DNA (histones spools), transcribe DNA into messenger RNA, assemble proteins (ribosomes), and protect DNA and its products (cell membranes). These systems, present in each cell, are extremely complex.||So what if they're complex? They've had anywhere from 4.5 to 3.5 billion years of natural selection whereby the most stable and efficient systems succeed over simpler, less-stable ones. The result is remarkably complex, but there's no reason to believe it all sprang into being spontaneously.|
|One of the most studied proteins in mammals, including humans, is called p53. It binds to thousands of DNA sites and influences cell growth, death, and structure. It is involved in fertility and early embryonic development. It also stifles cancers by repairing DNA, suppressing tumors, and killing genetically damaged cells. How could DNA have survived unless p53 and its many functions already existed?||
Wow, it's so amazing that YHWH gave us this gene that protects DNA structure! That's why there have never existed any genetic diseases or cancer and why UV light is a terrible way of sterilizing things. Oh, wait, all those things still exist?Remember when Dr. Brown wondered how mammalian ears could've evolved, implying that without the three bones that only mammals have hearing would be impossible? Implying that non-mammals are therefore completely deaf? Yeah, he's doing it again here. Genomes without it are simply more prone to cancer than those with it.[note 23] Since that gene, or its close analogues, appear pretty frequently in multicellular life, it's likely to have evolved pretty early on in the history of multicellular life, and outcompeted all the other life that didn't have the gene. And before you say "Well what were the odds of that!?", first ask yourself why we don't have a better version that actually stops cancer and genome deterioration. Maybe it isn't physically possible, or maybe we've just not gotten lucky enough with the genome dice. We only notice Black Swan events in hindsight, after all, and we don't know nearly enough about organic chemistry to even begin to list all the cool genes and proteins that are possible but we don't have.
|In each human, tens of thousands of genes are damaged daily!||Wait, but you just said there's a YHWH-placed gene that's supposed to stop that!|
|Also, when a cell divides, its DNA is sometimes copied with errors.||Yup, mutations are the reason we know evolution is a thing.|
|Every organism has machinery that locates and repairs damaged and mistranslated DNA.||And none of these systems are 100% perfect, which is why genetic drift and mutations exist.|
|Without such repair systems, the organism would quickly deteriorate and die. If evolution had happened, each organism would have become extinct before these complex DNA repair mechanisms could evolve.||Not unless reproduction happens before the genes deteriorate. Dr. Brown seems to think that "life" involves lifespans of years, or even days, when for the vast majority of time on Earth life had generation times far shorter than that. These repair systems made organisms that had them more stable, and could live longer, and afford more complexity that offered it better efficiency, and thus tended to survive better than organisms that didn't. Hence, we have it.|
|In humans, 2000 genes are “indispensable for viability.” They are required for basic cellular functions such as cell division, transcription, translation, DNA replication, cycle control, and fundamental metabolism.”[sic] Suppose, after millions of years, 1999 of these essential genes had evolved, but one had not yet evolved. What would have happened? Extinction! Human evolution would have had to start all over again.||Once again, just because Dr. Brown believes that humans sprang from the mud one day he seems to think the Theory of Evolution says the same thing. Firstly, evolution didn't "try" to get to humans; we're not the pinnacle of anything. Secondly, organisms don't evolve by nature slamming together random particles and occasionally stumbling upon a dog or human or malaria parasite. After millions of years after the first cell, failing to get one of the proteins needed for human life doesn't mean the whole process would have to start all over, because that organism isn't a human, nor is it trying to be. Everything within that organism is for that organism alone. We are where we are not after millions of years of this, but billions, and those 2000 genes developed slowly along the way. While 2000 are indispensable, there are up to 20,000 in our genome, any subset of which (or, more accurately, any subset of mutations of those genes) might've been indispensable to our ancestors. Ancestors of humans might only have 1,000 out of 30,000 genes that are indispensable, or 5,000 out of 15,000, of which only 20 are from the set currently indispensable. What's required for a most-fit-for-its-niche life form changes depending on its niche, the environment, its competition, and the like.|
|Life’s complexity is mind boggling—not something that random processes could ever produce.||Translation: "I can't imagine it happening, therefore it couldn't have."|
35. Handedness: Left and Right
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Genetic material (DNA and RNA) is composed of nucleotides. In living things, nucleotides are always “right-handed.” (They are called right-handed, because a beam of polarized light passing through them rotates like a right-handed screw.) Nucleotides rarely form outside life, but when they do, half are left-handed, and half are right-handed. If the first nucleotides formed by natural processes, they would have “mixed-handedness” and therefore could not evolve life’s genetic material. In fact, “mixed” genetic material cannot even copy itself.||He refutes his own point. If "mixed" genetic material cannot copy itself, and only those strands which could reproduce themselves passed on to further generations, then every viable organism would consist of non-mixed material. The fact that it's right-handed instead of left is just coincidence, and if it were the other way around people would ask why it wasn't right-handed.|
|Each type of amino acid, when found in nonliving material or when synthesized in the laboratory, comes in two chemically equivalent forms. Half are right-handed, and half are left-handed—mirror images of each other. However, amino acids in life, including plants, animals, bacteria, molds, and even viruses, are almost all left-handed—except in some diseased or aging tissue. No known natural process can isolate either the left-handed or right-handed variety. The mathematical probability that chance processes could produce merely one tiny protein molecule with only left-handed amino acids is virtually zero.||The handedness of amino acids is still an area of ongoing research. Just because science doesn't have all the answers doesn't mean it's wrong. Because spontaneous handedness-flipping of amino acids results in degradation and aging, proteins formed by the wrong handedness of acids misbehave. Thus if the earliest life happened to use left-handed, and we've since all descended from them, then the systems in place have evolved around left-handed proteins, which is why right-handed ones mess up those systems. Once again, it could've been either one or the other; it just happened to be the one.|
|A similar observation can be made for a special class of organic compounds called sugars. In living systems, sugars are all right-handed. Based on our present understanding, natural processes produce an equal number of left-handed and right-handed sugars. Because sugars in living things are right-handed, random natural processes apparently did not produce life.
If any living thing took in (or ate) amino acids or sugars with the wrong handedness, the organism’s body could not process it. Such food would be useless, if not harmful.
|Once again, Brown immediately disproves his own point. If the wrong orientation of sugar prevents its metabolization, then any organism that produced the wrong orientation of sugar (remember organisms create sugar from raw materials to store and transport energy, which is used in ATP production) wouldn't be able to use it, and would be wasting energy, and thus be less fit than those organisms that did only produce the correct orientation.|
|Because evolution favors slight variations that enhance survivability and reproduction, consider how beneficial a mutation might be that switched (or inverted) a plant’s handedness. “Inverted” (or wrong-handed) trees would proliferate rapidly, because they would no longer provide nourishment to bacteria, mold, or termites. “Inverted” forests would fill continents. Other “inverted” plants and animals would also benefit and would overwhelm the balance of nature.||For such a change to happen, the organism would have to be very simple without all the complex equipment that's currently able to process only right-handed sugars. But even then it wouldn't stop predation because organisms digest their food into raw components, which they then use to build what they need. The lipids of the cell walls are useful, as are the amino acids in their proteins, and the nucleic acids in their DNA. Having inverted sugars might convey a tiny advantage, but, again, it'd only be able to happen in the simplest of uni-cellular organisms, which might not even exist any more due to competition with more complex uni-cellular organisms that have the complex machinery dedicated to processing right-handed sugars. As Brown himself would argue, the odds against the sugar-producing and -processing machinery all mutating to "inverted" handedness all at once is ridiculously improbable. Even if a single bit didn't mutate properly, the plant wouldn't even be able to metabolize its own sugar, and thus die.|
|Why do we not see such species with right-handed amino acids and left-handed sugars?||Because, as noted above, right-handed amino acids in creatures that rely on left-handed ones cause deterioration: they don't work properly. As with the sugar, the whole set of systems would have to switch all at once, which is as improbable as a tree springing spontaneously from nothing.|
|Similarly, why are there not more poisonous plants? Why don’t beneficial mutations enable most carriers to defeat their predators?||Generally, because as fast as plants can evolve toxins, their predators can evolve ways of dealing with said toxins. It's a constant arms race. It's also notable that most plants aren't edible to most organisms, and those organisms that can eat some plants can't eat all of them. It's a food web after all, not a food puddle. Neither is there a universal toxin that can kill everything (without also killing the plant itself). Even if a plant produces a toxin that kills insects, they might just be accidentally making themselves more appealing to other creatures.[note 24]|
This argument also only applies to eating leaves, or roots, forms of consumption that actually kill the plant. It's advantageous for plants if their fruit or seeds are consumed, or if a creature can feed off it without killing it, as that creature will then have incentive to protect the plant and allow it to reproduce. Once again, evolution only cares about reproduction, not long healthy lives.[note 25]
|Beneficial mutations are rarer than most evolutionists believe.||As mentioned in point 6 above, "rare" doesn't mean "non-existent", and the Law of Large Numbers turns "rare" into "a mathematical certainty".|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Most insects (87%) undergo complete metamorphosis. It begins when a larva (such as a caterpillar) builds a cocoon around itself. Then, its body inside disintegrates into a thick, pulplike liquid. Days, weeks, or months later, the adult insect emerges—one that is dramatically different), amazingly capable, and often beautiful, such as a butterfly. Food, habitat, and behavior of the larva also differ drastically from those of the adult.
Evolution claims that: Mutations slightly alter an organism’s genetic material, which later generations inherit. On rare occasions the alterations are beneficial, enabling those offspring to reproduce more of themselves and the improved genetic material. [Supposedly] after many generations, dramatic changes, even new organs, accumulate.
If this were true, each organism must be able to reproduce and must be superior, in some sense, to its ancestors. How then could metamorphosis evolve in many stages?
|The evolution of metamorphosis isn't yet nailed down, but here's one possible way: Pre-metamorphosis insects developed similar to extant insects that don't go through metamorphosis, in that they hatch similar to their adult forms. Progressively some insects developed a larval form that would later mature into its adult form. The duration of this premature form gradually extended, as did the severity of its maturation transformation. Those insects that could build cocoons and be protected while they make an all-in-one-go maturation beat out those that didn't, and voilà.|
|What mutations could improve a larva? Certainly, none that destroyed its nerves, muscles, eyes, brain, and most other organs, as occurs within a cocoon. So, even if a larva improved, it later ends up as “mush.” From an evolutionary standpoint, liquefying complex organs is a giant step backwards.||What mutations could improve an infant? Larvae aren't organisms in and of themselves; they're a life stage of certain insects. Butterflies didn't start as caterpillars until they suddenly evolved an adult form, frogs didn't start as tadpoles until they suddenly evolved an adult form, dogs didn't start as puppies until they suddenly evolved an adult form, and humans didn't start as infants until they suddenly evolved an adult form. Merely saying out loud what Dr. Brown is implying is ludicrous.|
|The millions of changes inside the thick liquid never produce something survivable or advantageous in the outside world until the adult completely forms.||The millions of changes inside an egg never produce something survivable or advantageous in the outside world until the organism completely forms. It's just development, Dr. Brown. Most macroscopic organisms aren't born mature, and thus have to get there some way. Metamorphosis is just how some organisms do it, in a way that doesn't leave them vulnerable during the transition.|
|How did the genetic material for both larva and adult develop?||The same way all genetic material developed: through mutations and natural selection.[note 26]|
|Which came first, larva or adult?||Technically speaking the adult since as you go back in time you eventually reach organisms that don't have to mature that way, and thus they are automatically "adult"|
|What mutations could transform a crawling larva into a flying monarch butterfly that can accurately navigate 3,000 miles using antennae and a tiny brain?||Simple process: compare the genome of a butterfly with their closest non-metamorphosing relative. That'll at least give you an idea as to what genes and mutations are required.|
|Indeed, why should a larva evolve in the first place, because it cannot reproduce?||Because it's advantageous to not have to have a creature fully develop to maturity inside an egg.[note 27]|
|Charles Darwin wrote,
Based on metamorphosis alone, evolution “breaks down.”
|It's a good thing metamorphosis is an organ and that Darwin is the end-all be-all of the Theory of Evolution, otherwise this might be a red herring.|
|Obviously, the vast amount of information that directs every stage of a larva’s and an adult’s development, including metamorphosis, must reside in its genetic material at the beginning. This fits only creation.||Only if you think modern insects sprang fully-formed from nowhere one day. Unfortunately for Brown that's not what the Theory of Evolution states.|
37. Sexual Reproduction
|In the Beginning||Response|
|[Caption for a picture of two birds] Figure 17: Male and Female Birds. Even evolutionists admit that evolution seems incompatible with sexual reproduction. For example, how could organisms evolve to the point where they could reproduce before they could reproduce?||Asexual reproduction is a thing, and it's well-established that asexual preceded sexual reproduction.|
|If sexual reproduction in plants, animals, and humans is a result of evolutionary sequences, an unbelievable series of chance events must have occurred at each stage.||This sequence will in no way be a misrepresentation of what evolution says, I'm sure. See the Wikipedia article on this topic.|
|a. The amazingly complex, radically different, yet complementary reproductive systems of the male and female must have completely and independently evolved at each stage about the same time and place. Just a slight incompleteness in only one of the two at any stage would make both reproductive systems useless, and the organism would become extinct.||
Yup, because evolution says that all animals cloned themselves like amoebae until one day one clone was born male, and there just happened to be a female born in that same generation. Because that's how evolution works. </sarcasm>If you look around at the most conspicuous animals, it would be easy to assume sexes are absolute, but you'd be wrong. There are creatures that are born male, and turn female later in life. There are creatures that will switch from female to male and vice versa. When you get down small enough to single-celled organisms, you find they can exchange DNA, but still reproduce by splitting, in a hazy netherworld between asexual and sexual reproduction. Macroscopic species such as anglerfish also do the genetic material swapping long before actual reproduction. As with eyes, hearts, lungs, circulatory systems, multicellular organisms, ears, and wings, there are enough extant examples of "transitional forms" of sex to know that it's not all or nothing, and that sex can evolve gradually.
|b. The physical, chemical, and emotional systems of the male and female would also need to be compatible.||And as we know every member of every sexually-reproducing species is perfectly designed for sexual reproduction. And yeah, it could be that there were whole species that weren't compatible, but they're not around any more because they didn't reproduce.|
|c. The millions of complex products of a male reproductive system (pollen or sperm) must have an affinity for and a mechanical, chemical, and electrical compatibility with the eggs of the female reproductive system.||And they do, after 3.5+ billion years of evolution. Modern sex didn't just spring into existence one day.|
|d. The many intricate processes occurring at the molecular level inside the fertilized egg would have to work with fantastic precision—processes that scientists can describe only in a general sense.||It's a good thing truth isn't defined by what scientists can describe. We still don't know why gravity's a thing, but that doesn't mean it's not. And again, just because it exists today doesn't mean it had to exist at the start of reproduction. Extant microscopic mutli-cellular organisms have very simple reproduction in comparison to growing an elephant or blue whale.|
|e. The environment of this fertilized egg, from conception through adulthood and until it also reproduced with another sexually capable adult (who also “accidentally” evolved), would have to be tightly controlled.||Wait, just last section Brown claimed that organisms needed to evolve an adult form, yet now he's saying it's the child that needed to evolve. Which is actually correct, but also incorrect in that, once again, the entire modern development process didn't just spring from nothing one day. That's what creationism says, not evolution.|
|f. This remarkable string of “accidents” must have been repeated for millions of species.||Waitwaitwait, what!? Okay, so Brown believes that evolution says all the species |
|Either this series of incredible and complementary events happened by random, evolutionary processes, or sexual reproduction was designed by intelligence.||Every bit of evidence points toward evolution. Yeah it's "random" that humans happened to partake in one form of sex amidst the variety of forms, but however that dice fell Brown would be able to claim that result was divinely-ordained.|
|Furthermore, if sexual reproduction evolved even once, the steps by which an embryo becomes either a male or female should be similar for all animals. Actually, these steps vary among animals.||It's almost like there isn't a single method by which sex works! It's almost like modern sexual systems, from gender-switching fish and amphibians to bisexual plants to the way male anglerfish literally become a part of the female well in advance of reproduction to bacteria sharing DNA is all, you know, randomly evolved. A ways back Brown tried to claim that YHWH used similar structures to build life, and sexual reproduction is about as opposite to that idea as you could get. By his own arguments there's no sign sex was designed by any intelligence.|
|Evolution theory predicts nature would select asexual rather than sexual reproduction. But if asexual reproduction (splitting an organism into two identical organisms) evolved before sexual reproduction, how did complex sexual diversity arise—or survive?||Now that's just an outright lie. Sexual reproduction encourages genetic diversity, helps a general population survive by combining good alleles, burying bad ones, and occasionally combining bad ones into organisms that will then die and remove those alleles from the gene pool. Sexual reproduction also allows populations to incorporate into the general gene pool rare beneficial mutations faster than asexual populations can (since each asexual genome is isolated from the rest, each one would have to independently evolve those mutations, while sexual populations can just breed with the mutation to spread it). Sexual reproduction also jumbles genes, which makes offspring less susceptible to viruses and parasites that affected their parents.|
|If life evolved, why would any form of life live long beyond its reproductive age, when beneficial changes cannot be passed on? All the energy expended, supposedly over millions of years, to allow organisms to live beyond reproductive age would be a waste.||Many organisms don't. Wasps starve after reproducing, octopus mothers wither while protecting their eggs. Sexual cannibalism is a thing, famous in mantises. Most salmon die after spawning. Organisms that don't die after reproduction either have some social benefit to the species (like the role of grandparents), or simply that the genes and processes that keep them alive and healthy through reproductive age also continue after it. And if there's no evolutionary disadvantage to surviving beyond reproductive age, there's no evolutionary pressure to see that species don't.|
|For example, Why do human females live past menopause? If there is no potential for reproduction, then according to evolution, there is no evolutionary reason to exist.||That'd be true if there was no benefit to having old people around. Humans are especially needy of old people since our children are so resource-intensive to raise. The adage "it takes a village" didn't come from nowhere. Post-reproductive-age people can still forage, or even hunt, but most importantly they can help raise kids. Social groups that had members who didn't die as soon as they stopped being fertile were better fit to survive than the others.|
|Finally, to produce the first life form would be one miracle. But for natural processes to produce life that could reproduce itself would be a miracle on top of a miracle.||Dr. Brown, life that couldn't reproduce itself wouldn't be life. Reproduction is literally one of the fundamental definitions of "life", and literally the first thing that would need to happen for life to form.|
38. Symbiotic Relationships
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Different forms of life are completely dependent upon each other. At the broadest level, the animal kingdom depends on oxygen produced by the plant kingdom. Plants, in turn, depend on carbon dioxide produced by the animal kingdom.||The arise of oxygen-producing life was a huge deal on Earth, and caused a mass extinction as all life that couldn't survive in such a toxic environment (oxygen is volatile) died. All that remained was life that either produced it, or used it as energy, or wasn't affected by it. Not all animals need oxygen; there are animals at the bottom of the ocean around vents that partake in chemosynthesis, and are wholly separate from the rest of photosynthetic-based life.|
|More local and specific examples include fig trees and the fig gall wasp, the yucca plant and the yucca moth, many parasites and their hosts, and pollen-bearing plants and the honeybee. Even members of the honeybee family, consisting of the queen, workers, and drones, are interdependent.||Yeah, pretty nifty how natural selection can get species to work together. Though not all relationships are beneficial to both parties: some only benefit one party like the mites that life in your eyelashes, and bananas leech off human energy to reproduce.[note 28]|
|If one member of each interdependent group evolved first (such as the plant before the animal, or one member of the honeybee family before the others), it could not have survived. Because all members of the group obviously have survived, they must have come into existence at essentially the same time. In other words, creation.||
Only if you believe these species sprang into being ex nihlo one day which, again, is the creationist viewpoint, and has nothing to do with what the Theory of Evolution says. Self-dependence isn't a goal of evolution, and we'd expect some symbiotic relationships to occur.
For example, say there's an ordinary plant. Things like to eat the plant, which is detrimental to the plant's survival. One mutation of this plant just happens to create an extra-sugary liquid that oozes from pores on the plant. On the surface this seems like a huge disadvantage, since it's now spending even more energy to feed its predators, making its leaves and stems extra-sweet. But one of its predators is an ant that now eats the sugar instead of the leaves, because the sugar's a better source of energy. Ants that still eat the leaves are less fit, and so die off in favor of the sugar-eating ants. The ant populations that start defending the plant from other predators are better fit than those that don't, because they keep their plants healthy and producing sugar to eat, and so both proliferate. Over time the ants, which no longer use any genes that allow the digestion of fibrous plant matter, lose them, while the plant itself, no longer having to worry about parasites and predators, loses what defense-mechanisms it had. In doing so both are saving energy, and thus better fit than their forebears, until eventually the ant can't eat anything but the sugary liquid the plant produces, and the plant can't survive without the protection of the ant.Yes, this requires a fairly unlikely sequence of events, but improbable things happen and the Law of Large Numbers says it will happen a few times. Which is exactly what we see: a few interesting symbiotic relationships. There are a lot of symbiotic relationships that didn't happen, which is why symbiosis is the exception and not the rule. One would think, on the obverse, that if a benevolent intelligence designed everything, there'd be a lot more happy symbiotic relationships than there are, with only a few jerk selfish species — the opposite of what we find.[note 29]
39. Immune Systems
|In the Beginning||Response|
|How could immune systems of animals and plants have evolved?||Really, this? It's well understood! See Wikipedia's section on this.|
|Each immune system can recognize invading bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Each system can quickly mobilize the best defenders to search out and destroy these invaders. Each system has a memory and learns from every attack.||Which is why no creature has ever died of disease or infection in all of history, because the immune system was designed by an all-benevolent, all-knowing intelligence, and not an imperfect result of a natural trial-and-error process of development.|
|If the many instructions that direct an animal’s or plant’s immune system had not been preprogrammed in the organism’s genetic system when it first appeared on earth, the first of thousands of potential infections would have killed the organism. This would have nullified any rare genetic improvements that might have accumulated. Simply stated, the large amount of genetic information governing the immune system could not have accumulated in a slow, evolutionary sense.||
Dr. Brown might not realize that invertebrates don't have full immune systems, and they seem to be doing just fine. Next he'll claim that a four-chambered heart is necessary and had to spontaneously appear since everything with blood has a four-chambered heart.As with so many of his points before, there are extant organisms with varying degrees and powers of an immune system, enough that we can easily see a stable and simple transition from the complete lack of one to what we see around us today. It's true that if you threw an immune-system-less human into the world today, they'd quickly die, because all human-affecting pathogens have also had billions of years to evolve around immune systems, so a human without one would be (and in fact is) an easy target. But back when immune systems were simple, pathogens didn't need to have all this extra stuff to reproduce, and thus didn't.[note 30]
|Obviously, for each organism to have survived, all this information must have been there from the beginning. Again, creation.||Again, this is only true if you expect everything that exists today to have spontaneously appeared one day, which isn't what evolution says nor is it anything like what the evidence shows.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|To claim that life evolved is to demand a miracle. The simplest conceivable form of single-celled life should have at least 600 different protein molecules. The mathematical probability that even one typical protein could form by chance arrangements of amino acid sequences is essentially zero—far less than 1 in 10450. To appreciate the magnitude of 10450, realize that the visible universe is about 1028 inches in diameter.||It's a good thing for Brown that evolution claims proteins are made by amino acids randomly colliding, and that evolution claims cells popped into existence one day, and that there aren't theories of abiogenesis that describe how life could form long before cells even existed, because otherwise this would be a straw man eating a red herring.|
|From another perspective, suppose we packed the entire visible universe with a “simple” form of life, such as bacteria. Next, suppose we broke all their chemical bonds, mixed all their atoms, then let them form new links. If this were repeated a billion times a second for 20 billion years under the most favorable temperature and pressure conditions throughout the visible universe, would even one bacterium of any type reemerge? The chances are much less than one in 1099,999,999,873. Your chances of randomly drawing one preselected atom out of a universe packed with atoms are about one chance in 10112—much better.||Math sure is fun, eh? Unfortunately for Dr. Brown this has nothing to do with either evolution or abiogenesis.[note 31]|
41. Living Technology
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Most complex phenomena known to science are found in living systems—including those involving electrical, acoustical, mechanical, chemical, and optical phenomena. Detailed studies of various animals also have revealed certain physical equipment and capabilities that the world’s best designers, using the most sophisticated technologies, cannot duplicate. Examples of these designs include molecular-size motors in most living organisms; advanced technologies in cells; miniature and reliable sonar systems of dolphins, porpoises, and whales; frequency-modulated “radar” and discrimination systems of bats; efficient aerodynamic capabilities of hummingbirds; control systems, internal ballistics, and the combustion chambers of bombardier beetles; precise and redundant navigational systems of many birds, fish, and insects; and especially the self-repair capabilities of almost all forms of life. No component of these complex systems could have evolved without placing the organism at a selective disadvantage until the component’s evolution was complete. All evidence points to intelligent design.||
Genetic algorithms are powerful tools. Using mutation, reproduction, and selection — the base mechanisms of evolution — we can, and do, design things no human could design on their own, that perform better than any human-designed thing. Brown has no excuse for not knowing about these, since we were using genetically-designed antennae since at least 2006, and he last updated his site in 2013. Evidence shows that genetic algorithms are better at designing systems than any known intelligence.
Also, to be completely pedantic, bats use SONAR, not RADAR. Alsoalso, it's weird that an intelligent benevolent designer that put humans at the top of their creation with a directive to spread across the Earth wouldn't have given us useful things like magnetoception which would make navigation, and thus spreading across the Earth, so much easier! I guess the super-smart intelligence that could put these compact navigation systems into a butterfly and tern forgot about them when building humans.If Brown wants an explanation for how these things could've evolved, keep in mind there's no one sense or ability that's universal to all life.[note 32] If life can get by without these cool features, then such cool features could evolve slowly over time, just like hearts, eyes, immaturity, and immune systems.
|[Caption of a pair of pictures] Figure 19: Arctic Tern Migration Routes and Cockpit. The Arctic Tern, a bird of average size, navigates across oceans, as shown above, with the skill normally associated with navigational equipment in modern intercontinental aircraft. A round trip for the tern might be 22,000 miles. The tern’s “electronics” are highly miniaturized, extremely reliable, maintenance free, and easily reproduced. Furthermore, this remarkable bird needs no training. If the equipment in the lower picture could not have evolved, how could the tern’s more amazing “equipment” have evolved?
Equally amazing is the monarch butterfly which flies thousands of miles from breeding grounds in Canada to wintering grounds in Mexico. In its pinhead-size brain, the butterfly processes information from its antennae and navigates using a magnetic compass and sunlight.
Flight instruments did evolve. The Wright Brothers didn't have any instruments, and as planes got more and more complex and functional, we built things to monitor them more accurately and enable better and more functional flight. GPS is essential for most of modern flight, for example, but for decades we flew without it, and used other methods of navigation.As mentioned above, genetic algorithms have proven far more powerful and competent than any human designer. A human-designed plane needs all of these instruments and methods of navigation, while a genetic-algorithm-designed plane (especially one flown by a neural network, which uses genetic-algorithm-esque methods of learning) wouldn't. And once again, if an intelligence designed all life on Earth and particularly liked humans, why didn't it give us an extra pinhead-sized piece of brain to allow us to do what the butterfly can do? If life evolved, it makes sense, because butterflies and terns are migratory while humans are not and thus don't need these capabilities, and there's little evolutionary advantage to having such an ability.
|Many bacteria, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and some Streptococci, propel themselves with miniature motors at up to 15 body-lengths per second, equivalent to a car traveling 150 miles per hour—in a liquid.||This is misleading, since liquids behave differently on the bacteria scale than they do on a car scale.|
|These extremely efficient, reversible motors rotate at up to 100,000 revolutions per minute.||Again, misleading, since the forces acting on a flagellum aren't the same as those on a macroscopic item. At the scale of the flagellum, atomic and electromagnetic forces — the things that hold atoms and chemicals together — are a lot more powerful. This is similar to how you can swing something around your head faster than a giant wind turbine can spin, except the differences in scale are far greater for the bacterium and us than for us and windmills. Dr. Brown seems to be just trying to dazzle his readers with big numbers, without providing any of the context for them.|
|Each shaft rotates a bundle of whiplike flagella that acts as a propeller. The motors, having rotors and stators, are similar in many respects to electrical motors. However, their electrical charges come from a flow of protons, not electrons. The bacteria can stop, start, and change speed, direction, and even the “propeller’s” shape. They also have intricate sensors, switches, control mechanisms, and a short-term memory||Yeah, flagella are pretty nifty. Not really motors, since at that scale everything is a chemical reaction, not physical interaction, but that's another example of humans using words to paint ideas, allowing us to convey truths without holding lengthy lectures on organic chemistry each time we want to talk about microbes. At least when we aren't taking a word from an analogy and plugging it into a different context where the word means something else, attempting to trick people into equating the two.|
|All this is highly miniaturized. Eight million of these bacterial motors would fit inside the circular cross section of a human hair.||More big numbers (emphasis in original)! Maybe if he says a few more big numbers I'll be convinced. Again, genetic algorithms are powerful, and in something with as short of generations as bacteria, it's no wonder they have a really small, efficient method of transportation.|
|Evolutionary theory teaches that bacteria were one of the first forms of life to evolve, and, therefore, they are simple.||That's a strawman. Bacteria are one of the more distant relatives to mammals, meaning they were one of the first to split from the rest of life (or, probably more accurately, the rest of life split from them), but that doesn't mean evolution predicts that modern bacteria are simple. They, like everything else, have been subject to natural selection for billions of years, and the modern bacteria probably bear very little resemblance to a bacterium of 3 billion years ago.[note 33] A single aquifer in Colorado has more diversity in bacteria than there is in the entire animal kingdom, which means there are bacteria in that aquifer that are more different from each other than an jaguar is from a jellyfish.|
|While bacteria are small, they are not simple.||Yes, and this is exactly what the Theory of Evolution predicts. Brown said it himself in Point 4 that things with the fastest generation times should be the "most" evolved, and yes, bacteria are fantastically complex and successful! While we humans might base some clumsy technologies on macroscopic organisms, like SONAR, cutting-edge technology is more about harassing what microbes can do. It's microbes that can digest plastic and nylon, it's microbes that can produce diesel fuel, it's microbes that synthesize chemicals and enzymes that support modern civilization. Bacteria alone represent a diversity that makes the entire Animal Kingdom barely even register in comparison. Exactly what evolution predicts.|
|They can even communicate among themselves using chemicals.||Funny, Brown said humans were the only organisms that could communicate.|
|Some plants have motors that are one-fifth the size of bacterial motors. Increasing worldwide interest in nanotechnology is showing that living things are remarkably designed—beyond anything Darwin could have imagined.||Translation: No known intelligence can design it, therefore intelligence designed it. Also, Darwin isn't the end-all be-all of evolution.|
42. The Validity of Thought
|In the Beginning||Response|
|If life is the result of natural processes or chance, then so is thought. Your thoughts—including what you are thinking now—would ultimately be a consequence of a long series of irrational causes.||Well, kinda. This touches on things that are, for the moment, more philosophy than science, though that might not be true for much longer. Related articles would be Dualism and Materialism, and evidence is currently pointing toward the latter as being more true than the former. That said, there's nothing "irrational" about what led to the present day, since everything's still bound by the physical laws of the universe. Particle interactions, far from being irrational, are to a point predictable, knowable, and ordered.|
|Therefore, your thoughts would have no validity, including the thought that life is a result of chance or natural processes. By destroying the validity of ideas, evolution undercuts even the idea of evolution. “Science itself makes no sense if the scientific mind is itself no more than the product of irrational material forces.”||It does not follow that brains being the result of, and bound by, physical laws of the universe means that thought has no validity. The human brain (and probably most other more-advanced nervous systems) is great at pattern-matching and causation-discovery.[note 34] It helped our ancestors figure out if the grass rustled because of the wind, or because of a tiger. If the brain can accurately determine that, its thoughts are valid no matter where the brain came from or how its evolutionary history progressed.|
|A related subject is the flexibility and redundancy of the human brain, which evolution or natural selection would not produce. For example, every year brain surgeons successfully remove up to half of a person’s brain. The remaining half gradually takes over functions of the removed half. Also, brain functions are often regained after portions of the brain are accidently[sic] destroyed. Had humans evolved, such accidents would have been fatal before these amazing capabilities developed. Darwin was puzzled by the phenomenal capability of the brain.||First, there's no citations for any of this except the last sentence, so it's a mystery where Dr. Brown gets the idea that brain surgeons remove "up to half" of peoples' brains.[note 35] Most brain surgery is to relieve pressure, fix blood vessels, remove tumors, or take tiny samples of brain tissue for analysis. In cases where large chunks of brain material have been removed, the subject tends to suffer huge personality changes, and/or die. Contrary to Brown's assertions, people who've had their brain-halves separated don't show that one half will make up for the deficiencies, which has led to the idea that certain functions are centralized in certain halves of the brain. Some evidence with split-brain patients even points to the idea that each half contains a fully-separate consciousness that cooperates well in healthy humans and only becomes obvious when the halves are separated. In other words, all evidence points to the "mind" and "thought" being a product of physical things, and not some ethereal "ghost in the machine".
Brain damage currently can and does regularly kill people, despite the brain's incredible plasticity. But even without the plasticity, that would only mean the brain would be more susceptible to accidents, not that every brain would suddenly shut down.[note 36] Brains that had just a little bit of plasticity and self-healing would allow their associated organisms to survive more injuries, and be healthier to and through reproductive age, making their descendants more likely to have those abilities. It's not a surprise to the theory of evolution that we have them.And finally, once again, Darwin is not the end-all be-all of evolution. He lived in the 1800s, and much of modern scientific knowledge would confuse the hell out of him, including modern understandings of his own theory. Isaac Newton wouldn't understand the modern Theory of Gravity either, but that doesn't mean it's wrong and doesn't accurately describe how gravity works on most scales.
|Thoughts are not physical, although they use physical things, such as the brain, oxygen, electrons, and sensory inputs. The mind thinks, but the brain, like a powerful computer, can’t really “think.” Nor can any physical substance.||Then brains can't think, because all evidence points to thought merely being a result of physical processes. We might soon be able to answer that question absolutely, as AI research advances. Already we have neural networks that can learn (self-teach), innovate and invent, and appear to do that strangest of things, confabulation, which is where a mind has a 'memory' of something that didn't happen. In other words, minds tend to make stuff up to justify their present state. It's probable this is the reason we even have the illusion of free will, because it appears our decisions are made well before we even realize there's a decision to be made. What we perceive as a choice could be our brains just justifying the choices it's already made, and confabulating the memory of "making" the choice.|
|Albert Einstein put his finger on this profound issue||Albert Einstein was a physicist, not a psychologist, and he died well before we could really start studying these issues scientifically. No offense to the guy, but he's not qualified to speak on the issue, and bringing him up is a blatant appeal to authority.|
|C. S. Lewis put it in another way||Lewis wasn't even a scientist! Again, he may have been smart, but he's not an expert in this field. This would be another appeal to authority but it'd only appeal to those who already view Lewis as an authority, i.e. Christians, which betrays a motive behind this book. Despite its title, it's not trying to convince people who don't already believe in Creation that Creation is a thing; its arguments aren't strong enough. But to a Christian, they sound strong, and reinforce said beliefs.[note 37]|
|So Who or what provided humans (and to a much lesser extent animals) with the ability and freedom to think? It certainly wasn’t dead matter, chance, evolution, or time.||All the evidence seems to point to dead matter, chance, evolution, and time. It may not sound pretty, but reality doesn't care about our feelings.|
Life Sciences Conclusion
|In the Beginning||Response|
|When Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, the “evolutionary tree” had only a few gaps. Believers in his new theory thought that these gaps would be filled as scientific knowledge increased. Just the opposite has happened. As science has progressed, these “missing links” have multiplied enormously, and the obstacles to “bridging” these gaps have become even more obvious.|
See the main article on this topic: List of transitional formsThe multiplication of gaps is the result of finding what people call "missing links". Since fossilization is rare, and everything older than 3.5 billion years has since been subducted into the mantle, it is impossible to have a 100% complete fossil record of life on Earth. Every transitional fossil found plugs one gap but creates two (smaller) ones, one on either side. Brown has already complained about transitional fossils found between Australopithecus and Homo habilis (Narmada Man) and transitional fossils found between Homo habilis and Homo erectus (Swanscombe Man), while also complaining that we don't find transitionals at all. These kinds of attempts to have it both ways are rife in the creationist camp.
|For example, in Darwin’s day, all life fell into two categories (or kingdoms): animals and plants. Today, it is generally accepted that life falls into five radically different kingdoms, of which animals and plants comprise only two. (None of the five include viruses, which are complex and unique in their own way.) In the 1800s, the animal kingdom was divided into four animal phyla; today there are about forty.||True, science advances, and we know far more today than we did 200 years ago; it's telling that progress in a field of study is coming under fire as if it invalidated that field. What we've learned especially is that there's no such thing as a "fully-formed" organ, and the very fact that we can classify every example of life on Earth into the taxonomic system implies common descent. If everything were created ex nihlo one day, one would expect a few creatures to be unclassifiable because they'd share no relation with anything else, the way isolates have no relation to other languages.|
|Darwin suggested that the first living creature evolved in a “warm little pond.”||Darwin is not the end-all be-all of evolution. We've learned an awful lot since Darwin's time, and crucially, we didn't do so by ascribing things to a divine agency and leaving it at that.|
|Today, almost all evolutionary biologists will privately admit that science has no explanation for how the first living cell evolved.||Every honest scientist will admit that publicly, because the various theories of abiogenesis are still competing, and that might continue forever since conditions on Earth for a billion years after it cooled are very difficult to deduce. Even if and when we create an abiogenesis event in a lab, we'll not be sure if that's how it happened on Earth. Just because we don't know, and may never know, doesn't mean Goddidit. We may also never know what, if anything, is smaller than a Planck Length, or if there was a "before" to the Big Bang, but our lack of knowledge doesn't mean you can claim just anything to be true: that, say, fairies are smaller than a Planck Length, or that a 1-km sphere of banana pudding preceded the Big Bang.|
|We now know that is a gigantic leap, vastly more improbable than for bacteria to evolve into humans.||It would be a gigantic leap, if it had to happen all at once. Unfortunately for Dr. Brown, self-replicating chemistry doesn't need to be wrapped in a lipid layer to function. And contrary to his assertions, it's almost a certainty that once self-replicating chemistry became a thing, it would eventually evolve into something resembling a cell, with a protective layer containing a regulated interior and chemical machinery to aid in replication; these are all basic fundamental things that vastly increase the survivability of the self-replicating chemistry. On the other hand, those cells developing in such a way as to form a human is incredibly unlikely: the life we see today is just one of an unimaginably vast number of possibilities. But like shuffling a card deck, it's pointless to ask why we got the result we did. That's just how the cards fell.|
|In Darwin’s day, a cell was thought to be about as simple as a ping-pong ball.||In Darwin's day we also thought disease was caused by bad smells, and draining blood was an effective medical tool for most ailments. We've learned a lot since then.|
|Even today, many evolutionists say that bacteria are simple and one of the first forms of life to evolve. However, bacteria are marvelously integrated and complex manufacturing facilities with many mysteries yet to be understood, such as bacterial motors and communication among bacteria||Nope. Biologists recognize that bacteria are fantastically complex, which is also what the Theory of Evolution predicts on account of their fast reproduction times and their ability to exchange DNA with each other. They just look simple from the outside and compared to multicellular organisms.|
|Furthermore, cells come in two radically different types—those with a nucleus and those without. The evolutionary leap from one to the other is staggering to imagine.||The eukaryote/prokaryote split was one of the first in life's history, and the fact that eukaryotes are still around shows how robust a system it is.|
|The more evolutionists learn about life, the greater complexity they find. A century ago there were no sophisticated microscopes. Consequently, gigantic leaps from single- to multiple-cell organisms were grossly underestimated. Each type of cell in a multicellular organism has a unique job that is controlled by only part of the organism’s DNA. If that organism evolved, its delicate controls (directing which of the myriad of DNA instructions to follow, which to ignore, and when) must also have evolved. Had it not evolved perfectly the first time, that organism would have been diseased. If that first unique cell could not reproduce, the new function would disappear. If just one reproducing cell is out of control, the organism would have one type of cancer.||You know, unless multi-cellular organisms evolved from single-cell colonies. Siphonophores like Marrus orthocanna blur the line between the two. Their cells are genetically identical and it spawns from an egg as would be expected with multi-cellular life, but it behaves far more like a colony, albeit an oddly-organized one with genetically-identical cells performing specialized functions that aid the colony as a whole. It's not a perfect multi-cellular organism, but evolution doesn't claim that sharp discrete jumps are made despite humanity's efforts to classify organisms into neat buckets. It's not diseased, and yet could be on its way to representing new multicellular life in a few hundred million years.|
|Development of the computer has also given us a better appreciation of the brain’s intricate electronics, extreme miniaturization, and vast storage capabilities.||And the more we learn, the more it seems thought and memories are the result of physical processes, and there's no proverbial 'ghost' in the machine of our brains. Neural networks and neurology are on track to conclusively show there's no need for a soul to have consciousness.|
|The human eye, which Darwin admitted made him shudder, was only a single jump in complexity. We now know there are at least a dozen radically different kinds of eyes, each requiring similar jumps if evolution happened.||Ah, probably the all-time #1 creationist quote mine! Ding! Darwin wrote a long paragraph saying that the eye is an amazing organ which would be an enormous challenge to his theory, and spent most of the paragraph explaining how the eye could have developed naturally and therefore isn't, in fact, fatal to evolution. Creationists absolutely love to quote mine that first sentence and ignore the rest. In adjacent sentences here, Brown sets up a problem and then solves it. There are radically different kinds of eyes, all with various capabilities and mostly with a clear indication of developmental pathways. Once again, evolution doesn't claim bacteria split into every extant species today, and then each independently evolved their own eyes, hearts, limbs, immune systems, and the like.|
|Likewise, the literal leap we call “flight” must have evolved not once, but on at least four different occasions: for birds, some insects, mammals (bats), and reptiles (pterosaurs).||Flying fish are also capable of some amount of flight, and certain snakes and squirrels can glide quite well. The latter example is especially potent since we also have bats, which shows how a skin-membrane wing could work on mammals. Point is, wings don't have to pop into existence quickly. Flying fish and gliding snakes might be the ancestors to future orders of flying creatures, and squirrels are even closer to spawning a cousin to bats.|
|Fireflies produce light without heat, a phenomenon called bioluminescence. Other species, including certain fish, crustaceans, squids, plants, bacteria, and fungi, also have lighting systems. Did all these remarkable capabilities evolve independently?||A lot of bioluminescence is bacteria that live inside macroscopic organisms. Fireflies are one of the few exceptions, and they use chemiluminescence.[note 38] And yes, most of those organisms probably did develop symbiotic relationships with bacteria, because bioluminescence can be a beneficial thing for communicating not just with members of their own species, but potential predators and prey[note 39]|
|Before 1977, it was thought that sunlight provided the energy for all life. We now know that some organisms, living at widely separated locations on the dark ocean floor, use only chemical and thermal energy. For one energy-conversion system to evolve into another would be like changing, by thousands of rare accidents, the wood-burning heating systems of widely separated homes to electricity—but slowly, one accident each year. The occupants would risk freezing every winter. How such a system could evolve on different ocean floors, without solar energy, and in a cold, diluting environment, has yet to be explained.||Contrary to Brown's misconceptions about evolution, it's likely chemosynthetic organisms were the first things on Earth. It doesn't produce or require molecular oxygen — a rather dangerous and toxic chemical — to function, and would be protected from celestial radiation by miles of ocean while also provided heat, energy, and a rich broth of elements from ocean vents. The jump to photosynthetic life need only happen, and likely did only happen, once, resulting in the Great Oxygenation Event. While photosynthesis is unlikely, keep in mind far more complex systems have evolved in a shorter time span, because the Law of Large Numbers is a thing.|
|If evolution happened, many other giant leaps must also have occurred: the first photosynthesis, cold-blooded to warm-blooded animals, floating marine plants to vascular plants, placental mammals to marsupials, egg-laying animals to animals that bear live young, insect metamorphosis, the transition of mammals to the sea (whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and manatees), the transition of reptiles to the sea (plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs), and on and on.||Aside from the possibility of photosynthesis, none of these are "great leaps" but rather slow developments whose end result is different from the initial. A great leap would be jumping from Kathmandu to the top of Mt. Everest, but nobody climbs the mountain that way. Instead they walk up, one step at a time.|
|Gaps in the fossil record are well known. A century ago, evolutionists argued that these gaps would be filled as knowledge increased. The same gaps persist, and most paleontologists now admit that those predictions failed. Of course, the most famous “missing link” is between man and apes, but the term is deceiving. There is not merely one missing link, but thousands—a long chain—if the evolutionary tree were to connect man and apes (with their many linguistic, social, mental, and physical differences).||Mostly a rehash of the first paragraph, but it's also blatantly false. We have transitional forms between all of the major types of animals—fish to amphibians, amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to mammals, reptiles to birds, land mammals to aquatic mammals, and yes, even non-human apes to humans. We have so many of the latter we're still trying to figure out which were direct root ancestors and which were merely cousins who went extinct without breeding back into the chain that would become Homo sapiens.|
|Scientific advancements have shown that evolution is an even more absurd theory than it seemed in Darwin’s day. It is a theory without a mechanism.||Which part of evolution's mechanism doesn't exist? Natural selection, which has been demonstrated and observed time and time again? What about genetic mutations, which are absolutely known to exist and occur, to the point we can use them to reliably track human ancestry? What about genetic descent, where mutations are passed to new generations, again something we can now reliably track? Those are the only things evolution requires, and they're 100% known to be functional and exist.|
|Not even appeals to long periods of time will allow simple organisms to “jump gaps” and become more complex and viable.||Good thing for Brown that evolution claims organisms spontaneously "jump gaps" otherwise this might be a straw man.|
|In fact, as the next section will show, long periods of time make such leaps even less likely.||Oh, this'll be good.|
|Later in this book, you will see that those long, unimaginable time periods in which evolution was claimed were a result of a scientific blunder—failure to understand the origin of earth’s radioactivity.||$20 says Brown'll cite that guy who tried to calculate the age of the Earth by treating it like a baked potato.|
|Breeding experiments that many had hoped would demonstrate macroevolution have failed.||Breeding experiments have shown that organisms can evolve new and novel traits requiring new and novel proteins and enzymes. Not just in the lab, like Lenski's E. coli, but in the wild, with microbes that can digest recently-invented materials like nylon. "Macroevolution" is a term made up by creationists, because there's no reason to believe small gradual changes over a long time can't result in overall large changes. It's possible that in another 100 years of Lenski's experiments, his successors will have several species of bacteria. But without strong environmental pressures, speciation takes a long time on the human scale, even for things that reproduce very quickly.|
|The arguments used by Darwin and his followers are now discredited or, at best, in dispute, even among evolutionists.||What arguments? Seriously, there's no citation or anything here. Just a bland, baseless assertion with no actual meaning.|
|Finally, research during the last several decades has shown that the requirements for life are incredibly complex.||On the contrary, research is showing that self-replicating chemistry is quite simple. An RNA strand a few dozen bases long can replicate other RNA strands; it's just a matter of finding one that can replicate itself, or a pair that can replicate each other.|
|Just the design that most people can see around them obviously implies a designer.||Most of the "design" visible in life today, if taken as evidence of a designer, shows incompetence, carelessness, and at best a sadistic streak from here to the Hadean.|
|Oddly enough, evolutionists still argue against this design by using arguments which they spent a great deal of time designing.||Work must be put in to parse data, find patters, and pick the most likely cause. If you want to call it "designing an argument" that's fine, but that has nothing to do with the conclusions: life wasn't designed. It evolved. This sentence, like Brown's appeal to C.S. Lewis, is meant to only reinforce the beliefs of creationists, since it sounds good, but it's a big non sequitur.|
|The theory of organic evolution is invalid.||Repeating it doesn't make it true.|
|As we leave the life sciences and examine the astronomical and physical sciences, we will see many other serious problems with evolutionary theories.||Well, almost by definition nothing in astronomical or physical sciences can show problems with the Theory of Evolution, unless they show that the components of organic chemicals don't exist in space (they do), or such chemicals can't come together to form organic molecules (they do).|
|If the Earth, the solar system, our galaxy, the universe, or even the heavier chemical elements could not have evolved, as now seems to be the case, then organic evolution could not even have begun.||Oh, Brown's going to be trying to disprove all of astrophysics! Surely the good doctor fully understands that topic, won't misrepresent it, won't misrepresent the data, and certainly won't quote single scientists with the idea that they represent the entire field. Surely.|
Astronomical and Physical Sciences
|In the Beginning||response|
|The Universe, Solar System, Earth, and Life Were Recently Created.|
See the main article on this topic: Evidence against a recent creationNo, the evidence shows exactly the opposite. And here we're not talking about biology, so evolution isn't even involved: the evidence for an old universe is grounded in astronomy, cosmology, geology, physics, etc. But never mind, our author will be blindly equating all those disparate fields with evolution, as if that particular idea encompasses all of science.
|Figure 23: Unique Planets. This is a composite photograph (not-to-scale) of all planets in the solar system, except Pluto. They are, from top to bottom: Mercury, Venus, Earth (with the Moon to the right), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The photos were taken by Mariner 10 (Mercury), Pioneer Venus Orbiter (Venus), Apollo 17 astronauts (Earth), Earth-based telescopes (Moon and Mars), and the two Voyager spacecraft (the four giant planets).
Each planet is unique. Similarities that would be expected if the planets had evolved from the same swirling dust cloud are seldom found. Yet, most planetary studies begin by assuming the planets evolved and are therefore similar. Typical arguments are as follows: “By studying the magnetic field (or any other feature) of Planet X, we will better understand how Earth’s magnetic field evolved.” Actually, each magnetic field is surprisingly different. “By studying Earth’s sister planet, Venus, we will see how plate tectonics shaped its surface and better understand how plate tectonics works on Earth.” It is now recognized that plate tectonics does not occur on Venus. (Part II of this book will show that the plate tectonic theory is incorrect.) [See also "Does Recently Declassified Data Falsify Plate Tectonics?" on page 515.]
The 'except Pluto' is a call-forward to arguments Brown'll make that Pluto's planetary status was revoked by biologists because it somehow disproves evolution. Yes, seriously.
Anyway, yes, the planets are unique, because they formed in different places in the solar-system, with different masses, from different raw elements, experiencing different magnitudes of solar radiation and wind. And just like how studying how the eyes of flatworms can give us insight into our own eyes, or those of cephalopods, studying the magnetic fields of Mercury and the lack of one in Venus can gives us insight into our own.It's good to know plate tectonics is going to be added to the list of scientific theories Brown disagrees with. At some point, you'd think he might realize that he might have a misconception about how all of these fields work, but apparently not. His link to page 515 boils down to Brown quoting one member of the US Navy. No peer-reviewed articles by geologists. Just the words of one submariner.
Theories for the Evolution of the Solar System and Universe Are Unscientific and Hopelessly Inadequate.
43. Strange Planets
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Many undisputed observations contradict current theories on how the solar system evolved.||His sources are either from the 60s, or are quoted by Richard Kerr, who holds a B.S. in Chemistry and isn't even an active researcher, but instead a science journalist. Kudos to the AAAS for hiring a scientist as a science journalist, but Kerr, a chemist, doesn't have expertise in astrophysics and is just as likely to quote-mine astrophysicists as is someone with a Ph.D in Engineering.|
|One theory says that planets formed when a star, passing near our Sun, tore matter from the Sun. More popular theories hold that the solar system formed from a cloud of swirling gas, dust, or larger particles. If the planets and their known moons evolved from the same material, they should have many similarities.||"More popular theories" as in "the standard model of planetary formation that we can see happening". And yeah, the planets formed from the same proto-planetary disk, but that doesn't mean each altitude of that disk consisted of similar materials. Lighter elements, like hydrogen and helium, got pushed higher by solar wind. Compounds like water and methane can't condense close to the sun, so planets near the sun could only form from heavier compounds. Due to the relative rarity of these compounds, the planets are smaller than ones that could use hydrogen, methane, ammonia, water, and so on. Models of planetary formation only claim the planets should be similar if you misrepresent or misunderstand what the models say.|
|According to these evolutionary theories:
||Hold on there — once again, these are theories in astronomy, not biology. That said...|
Planetary spin is a result of how they formed (as matter condenses minute variations in angular momentum become amplified) and the forces that act on the body after formation, namely tidal forces and/or impacts from other celestial bodies as well as other causes. Venus's rotation is very slow, Uranus is tilted on its side more than it rotates backwards, and Pluto has a relatively massive moon that it's tidally locked to, which overrides its initial rotation.
|No major body orbits backwards around the Sun — which is a good indication that they all formed from a rotating proto-planetary disk. Unlike 'planet' there's no size limitation to moons, nor is it a requirement that moons form from disks orbiting around the now-parent body. Moons can be captured well after formation, like Phobos and Deimos around Mars and Triton around Neptune. The orbits of these captures are based on the way in which they encountered the parent object, which does mean retrograde orbits are possible and predicted by system formation models.|
|Um, what about them? Tipped as in inclined? No serious planetary formation model predicts all the planets should be on exactly the same plane. They're very nearly on the same plane, which is again indicative they formed from a proto-planetary disk, but the nature of nature is slight variations. It's true that over time gravitational interactions between the sun and the planets and between the planets themselves will tend to move them even more onto a plane, but how quickly that happens depends on how close the planets are to each other and to the sun, and in our system the answer is "not very close" and thus the effect is small, and even over 4.5 billion years isn't enough to force a perfect plane.|
The inclination of most moons depends more on how they encountered their parent body, since most moons are captured post-formation. Earth's moon did form in orbit around the Earth, but it's also very far away in comparison to Earth's size. The sun has twice the gravitational force on the moon that the Earth does, so it's no wonder it's more in line with the ecliptic than Earth's equator.In addition to that, most major moons have orbits that are very close to the equatorial orbit of their planets, exceptions being Saturn's Iapetus, which is very far away from its planet, and Neptune's Triton, which is considered to have been captured by said world.
|Planets orbit within about 7 degrees of the ecliptic, which is the general plane in which the planets orbit the sun (and also the general area of the sky in which the sun and all the planets move through). This is expected if the planets formed from a proto-planetary disk. That disk wasn't perfectly flat, like Saturn's rings, and thus there were some slight deviations in motion. This is expected and predicted by all serious models of planetary formation. In addition to that, Earth is the only one that has its orbit so inclined even if Uranus and Neptune are not very far away.|
|Has Brown uncovered a flaw in the models of planetary formation?! No, he hasn't. Astronomers know how the sun's momentum got transferred to the planets.|
Is Pluto a Planet?
Quick answer: no
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In 2006, after years of internal disagreement, 4% of the members of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)—those meeting in Prague—voted to no longer call Pluto a planet. Instead, they said Pluto is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO). Far more astronomers and planetary scientists quickly signed a petition opposing the IAU’s vote.||Not really. In 2006 members of the IAU — the organization internationally-recognized with the authority to designate celestial bodies — voted on a definition for the word "planet" because it was obvious there needed to be one. That definition happened to exclude Pluto, which was the main public-facing effect of the definition, which gives the impression the IAU had it out for Pluto. Another effect was that an object in the asteroid belt (objects that were once also considered planet) and some recently discovered large bodies were upgraded from "asteroid" to "dwarf planet", but apparently nobody cares about Ceres and Eris.|
|The IAU said Pluto’s was not a planet, because of its small size (two-thirds the diameter of our moon) and the discovery, beginning in 1992, of thousands of smaller trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). However, Pluto is the largest known TNO. A more likely reason for the IAU’s decision was that Pluto, contradicts in many ways evolutionary theories for how planets evolve. Pluto has been a thorn in the evolutionists’ side.||Eris is more massive than Pluto. The definition of planet requires that it be large enough to be gravitationally spherical, that it orbit the sun, and that it has cleared its orbit of significant debris. Pluto and Charon both fulfill the first two requirements, but fail on the third, as they don't even constitute the majority of the mass in their orbit.[note 40] Implying that a) "evolutionists" (who pretty much by definition are biologists, not astronomers, and thus not a part of the IAU) have a problem with Pluto and b) thought they could get rid of that problem merely by revoking its "planet" status as though labels have the ability to make Pluto vanish, is just silly. Plantetary formation models don't have a problem with Pluto.|
|The IAU had no jurisdiction to change the definition of “planet” for the rest of the world. It is fine for an organization to tell others what it considers a word to mean, but common usage is the basis for definitions. Our language is filled with scientific words whose meanings have changed based on new discoveries and broader understandings. Few meanings have changed based on an organization’s vote.||The IAU has internationally-recognized authority to define astronomical words used for astronomical purposes.[note 41] How non-astronomers use words is an entirely separate matter. In science, words need to be precisely-defined to avoid misconceptions and miscommunication. This is the same reason a scientific theory isn't "only a theory", just like a scientific law can't be broken (though human-made laws can). When an astronomer says "planet" it comes with it specific meanings as defined by the IAU. In this case that the object in question is roughly spherical due to its own gravity, that it orbits the sun (or other star) as opposed to a non-star object, and that it has cleared its orbit of most other objects, and constitutes a significant majority of the mass within its orbit. You can probably see why it's handy to use a word to mean all of that instead of saying the whole thing each time you want to refer to a given celestial body. Calling Pluto a planet is as wrong as calling the Sun a planet. The Sun used to fit that definition, but it doesn't any more.|
|Since Pluto’s discovery 76 years earlier, Pluto has been a thorn in the side of astronomers trying to explain how planets evolve, because so many characteristics of Pluto do not fit evolutionary scenarios. No longer calling Pluto a planet (although it is spherical, has five known moons, a thick atmosphere, and orbits the Sun in the right direction) may reduce those man-made problems, but now calls attention to the more difficult question of how thousands of trans-Neptunian objects evolved.||
It's true Pluto puzzled astronomers for a while, until it was discovered it was part of the broader Kuiper Belt. Then it became fairly clear: the Kuiper Belt is remains of the proto-planetary disk that didn't coalesce into planets. Gravitational interactions with Neptune prevent the objects from clumping together.Of Brown's list of Pluto's characteristics, only two have to do with planet: it's spherical, and it orbits the Sun. While it does have an atmosphere, it's neither thick, nor does an atmosphere mean it's a planet.[note 42] The presence of moons doesn't mean it's a planet either.[note 43]
|In 1930, after astronomers had been searching for a suspected ninth planet for 25 years, a tenacious farm boy from Kansas, Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906–1997), discovered Pluto at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He later became one of my favorite professors. Going to his backyard to use his 9-inch handmade telescope was memorable. Professor Tombaugh was a warm, unpretentious man with the biggest smile you have ever seen. However, in class, he sometimes became irate at astronomers who made pronouncements but seldom touched a telescope.
Classification can be a useful tool, but at other times it leads to endless arguments, because the world (or, in this case, the solar system) is usually more complicated than theories imply. We can call Pluto anything we wish, but tens of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of students have called Pluto a planet.
|Won't somebody please think of the children?! Nostalgia's a powerful thing, but it shouldn't warp our perceptions of reality.
The search for a suspected 9th planet was due to calculations of planetary orbits. But calculating them is hard, and can very quickly dissolve into chaos (it's called the Three-body problem). These calculations continued after Pluto was discovered because a) astrophysicists like math and b) it became clear that Pluto was too small to have much of an effect on Uranus and Neptune. As our computation capacity increased, we realized there didn't need to be a ninth planet to explain orbital shifting.More recently, the idea of a ninth planet far in the Kuiper Belt has been proposed as a way to explain oddly-synchronous TNOs. This planet would have to be much larger than Earth, but not so big it would've been seen already (as evidenced by the fact that we've not seen it).
|What is a planet? Its original meaning was “wandering star.” I will always associate Pluto with Clyde Tombaugh and the worldwide excitement of finally discovering the ninth planet. For historical reasons, if nothing else, I suspect that millions of others will continue to call Pluto a planet as well as a trans-Neptunian object.||Its original meaning was "wandering star", and both the Moon and the Sun could, by that definition, be called planets. When Heliocentric Theory came along, anything that orbited the Sun was called a planet. When asteroids were discovered, we realized we needed to keep the planet club more exclusive, and so redefined the three ex-planets in that region as "asteroids". When the Kuiper Belt was discovered, we realized we should probably actually define what a planet was and wasn't, lest the millions of objects in the asteroid belt or the billions in the Kuiper be considered planets. So we did. We now have a solid working definition of planet (though it might need to be expanded slightly to include exoplanets). It's true millions will probably continue to call Pluto a planet, but as with the once-planets Ceres, Vesta, and Pallas, there will come a time when nobody calls it a planet, and the fact it was once classified as such will be as interesting a tidbit as that Ceres, Vesta, and Pallas were.|
|Semantics aside, the scientific question remains: how could Pluto, the largest TNO known, form? Indeed, how did all TNOs form? Later in this book, you will see.||If only there were some way of finding out.[note 44] Alas, in the absence of trying to find out, we can just assume there's no answer and thus it poses a huge problem for astronomers.|
44. Earth: The Water Planet
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The amount of water on Earth greatly exceeds that known to be on or within any other planet in the solar system.||While this is true for planets,[note 45] Earth is nowhere near the record-holder among all objects in the solar system for the most water. Europa, Pluto, Triton, Callisto, Titan, and Ganymede all have more water. Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede all have more liquid water as well.|
|Liquid water, which is essential for life, has unique and amazing properties;||Liquid water is essential for known forms of life. There exist other hypothetical biochemistries that don't require water. Water is also one of, if not the most, abundant compound in the universe.|
|it covers 70% of Earth’s surface.||It also constitutes 0.02% of Earth's mass. So what? Oh, that's right, Brown's trying to dazzle his audience with big numbers.|
|Where did all Earth’s water come from?||If only there were some way to find out.[note 44] Well, in the absence of research, let's just assume science has no answer.|
|If the Earth and solar system evolved from a swirling cloud of dust and gas, almost no water should reside near Earth—or within 5 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. (1 AU is the average Earth-Sun distance.) Any water (liquid or ice) that close to the Sun would vaporize and be blown by solar wind to the outer reaches of the solar system, as we see happening with water vapor in the tails of comets.||Wait, I thought Brown believed the entire protoplanetary disk was homogenous and that it predicted all the planets would be identical. Now he's saying planetary composition depends on its distance from the Sun? Which is true, and yes, very early Earth likely had no water.|
|Did comets, asteroids, or meteorites deliver Earth’s water?||That's the prevailing theory, yes.|
|Although comets contain considerable water, comets did not provide much of Earth’s water, because comet water contains too much heavy hydrogen, relatively rare in Earth’s oceans. Comets also contain too much argon. If comets provided only 1% of Earth’s water, our atmosphere should have 400 times more argon than it does. Meteorites that contain water also have too much heavy hydrogen.||The few comets we've been able to study aren't necessarily representative of the entire Kuiper Belt (let alone Oort Cloud). Asteroids from the outer edge of the asteroid belt better match the D/T ratios in Earth's oceans, which makes them a probable candidate.|
|These observations have caused some to conclude that water was transported from the outer solar system to Earth by objects that no longer exist.||By definition, the objects that brought Earth water no longer exist, because they collided with and were incorporated into Earth.|
|If so, many of these “water tankers” should have collided with the other inner planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) as well. Actually, their water characteristics are not like those of Earth. Instead of imagining “water tankers” that conveniently disappeared, perhaps we should ask if the Earth was created with its water already present.||
They likely did, as both Venus and Mars were wet, just like Earth. Venus, without a magnetic field, had its water split into molecular hydrogen and oxygen by solar radiation. The lighter hydrogen got blown off the planet by solar wind, leaving the oxygen to oxidize with other molecules, like carbon and sulfur, hence its current atmosphere of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Mars had a similar fate, though it was the ground that absorbed most of the resulting oxygen (it's called the "red planet" for a reason, and that reason is rust). Mars still has water, as ice at its poles, and liquid brine still on its surface. It's possible there's even more water frozen deep under the surface. As for Mercury, it's very close to the Sun, and has no real atmosphere, so any water that hit it would've sublimated and been stripped away by solar wind.So yes, it's likely the inner solar system was bombarded by water-filled bodies early in the solar system's formation. That's what the evidence points to.
45. Molten Earth?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|For more than two centuries, textbooks have taught that the early Earth was molten for 500,000,000 years, because it formed by meteoritic bombardment.||The exact duration of the molten Earth is still in question. Since the Moon's D/H ratios are similar to Earth's oceans, it's possible Earth had liquid water when it formed, which would push its solidification to around 200 million years after formation.|
|If so, the heat released by impacts would have melted the entire Earth many times over.||Hence why it was molten for a few hundred million years after its formation, like he stated just before this. All theories of Earth's formation involve it being molten like this after formation.|
|Had Earth ever been molten, dense, nonreactive chemical elements, such as gold, would have sunk to Earth’s core. Gold is 70% denser than lead, yet is found at the Earth’s surface.||If only there were some way the Earth could get more material after its crust cooled. It's also a good thing for Brown that the Earth's core isn't nearly twice as dense as the average density of the Earth, because otherwise it'd appear Brown was pulling fake facts from the aether.|
|Even granite, the basic continental rock, is a mixture of many minerals with varying densities. If melted granite slowly cooled, a “layer cake” of minerals, vertically sorted by density and freezing temperature, would form instead of granite. Therefore, the entire Earth was never molten and did not form by meteoritic bombardment.||If only there were some way that we knew granite, an Igneous rock, could form after the crust solidified.|
|Radioactive dating of certain zircon minerals also contradicts a molten Earth. Trace elements within those zircons show that the zircons formed on a cold Earth (less than 212°F). However, based on radioactive dating, those zircons formed billions of years ago when, according to evolutionists, the Earth should have been molten (exceeding 1,800°F)—an obvious contradiction. Either the molten Earth idea or the radioactive dating method must be wrong; perhaps both are wrong.||"Billions of years ago" the Earth was, indeed, molten. Also, billions of years ago, the Earth didn't exist, and billions of years ago, the Earth had liquid oceans and its surface was relatively cold. "Billions of years ago" isn't exact enough to say anything about the temperature of the potentially-existing Earth. But yes, zircons have been dated to around 4.404 billion years ago, and the presence of certain elements even indicate there was liquid water on Earth at the time, which is why scientists are considering the possibility the Earth didn't remain molten for 500 million years after its formation.|
|Meteorites contain much more of the element xenon than Earth’s surface rocks, relative to other noble (inert) gases, such as helium, neon, and argon. Had Earth formed by meteoritic bombardment, Earth’s surface rocks would have a different composition, and our atmosphere would contain up to ten times more xenon than it has. If Earth did not evolve by meteoritic bombardment, it may have begun as one large body.||As with some of his other sources, this one doesn't seem to exist except in Creationist citations. One possibility from an uneducated engineer is that the asteroids that are hitting us today don't have the same chemical compositions as the material that formed the Earth, something Brown already admits happens in the theory of planetary formation.[note 46]|
|[See “Melting the Inner Earth” on pages 613–616.]||Here Brown does calculations about how much energy accreting an Earth's worth of matter would produce and comes up with enough energy to melt the whole Earth 104 times over. Whether or not his calculations (which are divided into "before flood" and "after flood" so, you know, take them with a grain of salt) are correct doesn't matter as much as his assertions that geologists and astronomers believe the Earth was never liquid, which is false. He bases that assertion on the presence of gold and other heavy non-reactive elements on the surface, ignoring the fact that meteoric bombardment didn't stop after the Earth cooled.|
46. Evolving Planets?
Ah, here we see where some of the "evolution" stuff might be coming from in the astronomy section of the book. It looks like there's some confusion at work between evolution in the original, general sense (meaning gradual change over time) and the theory of evolution (which is specifically about how life forms change over time). If Dr. Brown is simply unaware of the distinction this can be chalked up to a misunderstanding on his part, though typically the big names in creationism are aware of these sorts of double meanings and take advantage of them to deceive the rank and file.
|Contrary to popular opinion, planets should not form from just the mutual gravitational attraction of particles orbiting a star, such as our Sun. Orbiting particles should spiral into its star or be scattered or expelled from their orbit—not merge (accrete) to become a planet.||Brown's citation for this include, in Brown's own words, the refutation. He points out that the Apollo spacecraft accumulated debris around them on their journey to the Moon, mostly from debris ejected from the spacecraft themselves, because the spacecraft's sphere of influence increased as it got farther from Earth, and that the debris were moving slowly in comparison to the spacecraft. He also says that such clouds of particles, through random interactions, will generally settle toward their combined center of mass. He points out that particles entering this cloud's sphere of influence will tend to not join the clump, because the velocity it gains in falling toward it is greater than the clump's escape velocity (which is true, and this is how slingshot orbits work). However, he apparently fails to realize that some particles will actually hit the clump, and thus not escape, and add to the clump's mass, which expands its sphere of influence, which allows it to gather more dust, and oh would you look at that it's a planet (after eons of this).|
|Experiments have shown that colliding particles, instead of sticking together, almost always fragment. (Similar difficulties exist in trying to form a moon from particles orbiting a planet.)||This is why we find so many hybrid asteroids and comets, bodies that are very clearly two or more separate bodies stuck together.|
|Despite these problems, let us assume that pebble-size to moon-size particles somehow evolved. “Growing a planet” by many small collisions will produce an almost nonspinning planet, because spins imparted by impacts will be largely self-canceling.||That's only if the dust isn't swirling, or, say, orbiting a larger body which has it's own motion. That also assumes late-stage proto-planets don't also collide, which would impart rotational velocity unless they collided directly into each-other.|
|The growth of a large, gaseous planet (such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune) far from the central star is especially difficult for evolutionist astronomers to explain for several reasons.||"Evolutionist astronomers"? I wasn't aware there were that many cross-discipline people who actively study both biology and astronomy for them to have a name, let alone have much of an impact on astronomical theories. Unfortunately for Brown, astronomers have several ideas for the formation of our solar system, and the formation of the four gas giants isn't an issue. Most of the revolutions (haha, astronomy puns) have come from the discovery of exoplanets that disagreed with many of the pre-exoplanet theories of planetary formation. Turns out having exactly one data point isn't all that helpful when formulating theories.|
|Computer simulations show that Uranus and Neptune could not have evolved anywhere near their present distance from the Sun. Planets found outside our solar system also contradict the theories for how planets supposedly evolve.||The prevailing hypothesises is that Uranus and Neptune migrated outwards after formation and the same can be said of some of those found outside the Solar System. Planets aren't held in place by crystal spheres, after all. And studying exoplanets has provided lots of data that is still helping astronomers formulate theories of planetary formation. To use Asimov's "The Relativity of Wrong" example, we're at the "The Earth is a perfect sphere" stage of modeling solar system formation. We're wrong, but that doesn't mean the Earth is actually a hyperbolic plane; at the level of the solar system, not taking into account that the Earth isn't a perfect sphere is insignificant (if we were modeling orbits of satellites around Earth it would matter). Nothing has indicated the basic gist of planetary formation is incorrect, especially since we can see it happening!|
|Based on demonstrable science, gaseous planets and the rest of the solar system did not evolve.||Repeating it doesn't make it true.[note 47]|
Have Planets Been Discovered Outside the Solar System?
This section is Brown basically pointing out that when we started being able to see and study solar systems that aren't ours, a few of the models developed when we only had our system as an example turned out to be wrong. He quotes a couple astronomers saying that "this is the end for established theories" and "these are difficult to explain with current models." Yeah, Dr. Brown, that's what science does. When data comes along that doesn't fit our models, we update the models.
It's telling that Brown once complained that the Theory of Evolution was too good at fitting the evidence available (#17). That's because all scientific Theories are crafted around the data. Dr. Brown's way of operating is forcing the data to fit his models, which results in him simultaneously claiming bacteria are simple when they should be "the most evolved", and that bacteria are incredibly complex, and that both fit his world-view. It results in him claiming evolution says that children evolved before adults, and that adults evolved before children, and both mean it's wrong. It results in him claiming Pluto is a planet, except when he has to make a point about how exceptional Earth is for having lots of water whereby suddenly he forgets about Pluto.
It seems that Brown just has a knee-jerk reaction to the word 'evolution,' despite the fact that the word, when used by astronomers, has nothing to do with biological evolution, similar to how Andrew Schlafly has a knee-jerk reaction to the word 'relativity'. It's not that Brown is afraid of the idea of an Earth or solar system that
evolves changes, since his own Hydroplate Hypothesis involves making drastic changes to both.
47. Planetary Rings
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Planetary rings have long been associated with claims that planets evolved. Supposedly, after planets formed from a swirling dust cloud, rings remained, as seen around the giant planets: Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, and Neptune. Therefore, some believe that because we see rings, planets must have evolved.||The way Brown words this implies that only because of rings do we think planets formed from a proto-planetary disk, which is nowhere near the case. Rings are but a single data point that only tangentially supports the theory; a lot of ring material comes from moon material or, in the case of Saturn's main rings, most likely from an icy moon that got shredded by tidal forces, and whose remains have been stabilized by orbital resonances with existing moons.|
|Actually, rings do not relate to a planet’s origin. Planetary rings form when material is expelled from a moon or asteroid passing near a giant planet. The material could be expelled by a volcano, a geyser, tidal effects, or the impact of a comet or meteorite. Debris that escapes a moon or asteroid because of its weak gravity and the giant planet’s gigantic gravity then orbits that planet as a ring. If these rings were not periodically replenished (or young), they would be dispersed in less than 10,000 years. Because a planet’s gravity pulls escaped particles away from its moons, particles orbiting a planet could never form moons—as evolutionists assert.||
Yeah, Saturn's E-ring (which is a faint haze in comparison to the main ring system) is being replenished by ejecta from Enceladus.[note 48] Jupiter's rings come from material from its inner moons as well. The Uranian ring system is relatively young, its material coming from, again, moons. Which is why it's a mystery Brown then turns around and claims astronomers don't think material is being replenished, and that therefore they're very young. He just said himself that they are being replenished!Also, while the escape velocities of moons are generally lower than those of planets, that doesn't mean they're nothing. The volcanoes of Io, for instance, regularly spew matter away from Io, but never with enough velocity to actually escape the moon. Accretion is a matter of spheres of influence, as Brown himself already stated. The larger a proto-moon is, the bigger its sphere of influence, the more chances it has to get more particles, the bigger it grows.
48. Origin of the Moon
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Evolutionary theories for the origin of the Moon are highly speculative and completely inadequate.|
See the main article on this topic: Origin of the MoonBesides, what's his alternative? "Poof"?
|The Moon could not have spun off Earth, because its orbital plane is too highly inclined. The Moon’s nearly circular orbit shows that it was never torn from nor captured by Earth.||As mentioned before, the Sun has twice the gravitational force on the Moon than the Earth does, so it's no wonder it's moving around the Sun in mostly the same plane as the Earth. Even if it formed closer to Earth's equator, solar tidal forces would pull it toward the ecliptic. Tidal forces also have a circularizing effect on orbits, generally having a slowing effect at periapsis and a speeding effect at apoapsis.|
|If the Moon formed from particles orbiting Earth, other particles should be easily visible inside the Moon’s orbit; none are.||Unless, as Brown just said, such fields require replenishing. The Moon's escape velocity is too high for impacts and solar wind to strip enough material off the moon to form even hazy rings.|
|The once popular theory that the Moon formed from debris splashed from Earth by a Mars-size impactor is now largely rejected, because the rocks that astronauts brought back from the moon are too similar to those of Earth. The impactor’s material should have been quite different.||
He's got this one backward. The Giant Impact Hypothesis is the current front-runner because of what we learned from moon rocks.Brown's initial claim was that objects formed by a proto-planetary disk should be similar. Now, when it's convenient, he's claiming the opposite. As before, one of them is right, and it happens to be this one. Theia (the aforementioned Mars-size impactor) did have a different composition, but upon impacting Earth material from Theia and Earth mixed, so both the Earth's upper layers and the Moon are a combination of proto-Earth and Theia.
|In Part II of this book, you will see why the loose rocks the astronauts brought back from the moon are so similar to Earth’s rocks. Those rocks came from Earth.||Astronomers wouldn't disagree; they came from the mingling of material between Theia and Earth.|
|Had a Mars-size impact occurred, many small moons should have formed.||Not necessarily. Brown's source says "unless constraints on initial conditions in the disk are met." It's also possible the several proto-moons congealed together to form the single moon, or some of them impacted the Earth, or were ejected from Earth orbit entirely.|
|Also, the impactor’s glancing blow would either be too slight to form our large Moon, or so violent that Earth would end up spinning too fast.||Earlier Brown claimed that according to "evolutionists" no planets should be spinning at all; now he says they say the planet should be spinning faster? Make up your mind, Doc.|
|Besides, part of Earth’s surface and mantle would have melted, but none of the indicators of that melting have been found.||Does Brown mean the differentiation of heavy metals that has been documented?|
|Small particles splashed from Earth would have completely melted, allowing any water inside them to escape into the vacuum of space. However, Apollo astronauts found on the Moon tiny glass beads that had erupted as molten material from inside the Moon but had dissolved water inside! The total amount of water that was once inside the Moon probably equaled that in the Caribbean Sea.||Ice can and does exist in space. Any water that escaped the molten bits of rock would still be very close and moving at roughly the same speed, like the debris the Apollo spacecraft ejected, and thus would still be expected to accumulate with the rest of the Moon.|
|Finally, a Mars-size impactor would heat up and evaporate much, if not all, of Earth’s surface water. Earth would likely have experienced a runaway greenhouse effect, making earth permanently uninhabitable.||The impact happened before much of Earth's oceans accumulated. There was some water, clearly, but it happened very early in Earth's history, and the rest of our oceans came after. Without all that water, a runaway greenhouse effect is difficult, if not impossible.|
|These explanations have many other problems. Understanding them caused one expert to joke, “The best explanation [for the Moon] was observational error—the Moon does not exist.” Similar difficulties exist for evolutionary explanations of the other (almost 200) known moons in the solar system.||
An aeronautical engineer once joked that according to basic calculations a bumblebee cannot fly. Jokes tend not to represent scientific ideas. There are many theories about how the Moon formed, which match the data we have to varying degrees. As we learn more, these models will change, but as with the bumblebee, the answer won't be "because YHWH did it."The main issue with the moon is that it's unique in the solar system. Compared to Earth, it's huge, and compared to Earth's mass, it's incredibly far away. Saturn has a few moons at relatively greater distances, but no other planet has a moon nearly as big, relatively. Dwarf-planets and asteroids do, but those are fairly easily explained by capture scenarios, not impacting and accretion. In other words, we have exactly one example of a moon like ours. As we learn more about other solar systems, we might find other examples of similar situations, which'll help us form theories on its formation (or, if we're very lucky, we'll even catch one mid-formation!) But if you shout "God did it" each time a current model is incorrect, you're going to look very silly very often.
|But the Moon does exist. If it was not pulled or splashed from Earth, was not built up from smaller particles near its present orbit, and was not captured from outside its present orbit, only one hypothesis remains: the Moon was created in its present orbit.||
Oh, I see...his alternative is "Poof".
49. Evolution of the Solar System?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Evolutionists claim that the solar system condensed out of a vast cloud of swirling dust about 4,600,000,000 years ago. If so, many particles that were not swept up as part of a planet should now be spiraling in toward the Sun. Colliding asteroids also would create dust particles that, over millions of years, would spiral in toward the Sun. Particles should still be falling into the Sun’s upper atmosphere, burning up, and giving off an easily measured infrared glow. Measurements taken during the solar eclipse of 11 July 1991 showed no such glow. So, the assumed “millions of years” and this explanation for the solar system’s origin are probably wrong.||
Brown's citations do support this claim (somewhat). However, two things should be kept in mind. Firstly, the disk of dust absolutely exists, and secondly, it's not leftovers from the formation of the solar system, but instead comes from, as Brown says, collisions in the Asteroid Belt and comet debris.[note 50] The lack of IR signals from the sun due to "burning up" doesn't seem to be a problem for astronomers.A bit of a tangent, but Brown's use of the words "Particles should still be falling into the Sun’s upper atmosphere, burning up, and giving off an easily measured infrared glow" implies he believes dust would a) be destroyed by compression heating in the sun's atmosphere similar to how it is on Earth and b) that even if it did those temperatures, measured in tens of thousands of Kelvin, would be visible against the background temperature of the sun's atmosphere measured in millions of Kelvin. The first part is wrong, not only because the sun's upper atmosphere is incredibly sparse, about 1% the pressure of Earth's atmosphere at 60 km (where stuff "burns up"), but because by the time dust gets close enough to the sun to even interact with this superhot hydrogen it would be vaporized by being that close to the sun (though even still that "vaporization" temperature would be far lower than the corona itself).
|Disks of gas and dust surround some stars. That does not mean planets are forming in those disks. Some disks formed from matter suddenly expelled from the star. Other disks formed from impact debris or other matter near the star. Early astronomers called the disks planetary nebula, because they mistakenly thought they contained evolving planets.||Brown cites one nebula for this claim. Unfortunately for him, we can see actually, physically see planets forming from proto-planetary disks around other stars.. He is also plain wrong about planetary nebula since they are a very different kind of object, and none of the disks he mentions were known to early astronomers as they need quite large telescopes to be observed.|
50. Faint Young Sun
Just because science doesn't have all the answers doesn't mean Goddidit.
Brown describes a Snowball Earth scenario, which is still debated as to whether it happened (though if it did it happened over three billion years after Earth's formation, when the sun was only a bit weaker than today), and claims that life couldn't evolve if it happened, which is blatantly false (and he provides no citation for the claim). Even if the surface of the Earth were frozen, ice is a good insulator, and geothermal vents — you know, the places life likely evolved — would still have liquid water, while volcanoes would still belch greenhouse gasses that would eventually overcome the rise in albedo (which is the prevailing hypothesis as to how we broke out of the various potential-snowball ice ages of the Precambrian.[note 51] in far higher concentrations than today, usually "forgetting" to mention those moments were always followed by a "hothouse Earth" with no glaciers anywhere and tropical life at the poles.)
Brown also states
“”Evolutionists have never explained in any of these approaches how such drastic changes could occur in almost perfect step with the slow increase in the Sun’s radiation.
which means he apparently has forgotten that photosynthetic plants are a thing. It's okay, Dr. Brown, the writers of the Bible forgot about plants, too.
51. Mountains of Venus
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Venus must have a strong crust to support its high, dense mountains. One mountain, Maat Mons, rises higher than Earth’s Mount Everest does above sea level. Because Venus is relatively near the Sun, its atmosphere is 860°F—so hot its surface rocks must be weak or “tarlike.” (Lead melts at 622°F and zinc at 787°F.) Only if Venus’ subsurface rocks are cold and strong can its mountains defy gravity. This allows us to draw two conclusions, both of which contradict major evolutionary assumptions.||
First, there is exactly one citation for this entire section, and it's after the word "dense", from a paper calling Venus "thick-skinned." Second, Venus's temperature isn't really due to it being closer to the sun, but due to its thick atmosphere composed mostly of CO2, a greenhouse gas (remember, it's hotter than the sunward side of Mercury). Third, Venus isn't made of either lead or zinc, but silicate rock like Earth is. Fourth, Venus's atmosphere isn't any hotter than Earth's upper mantle, and that's not "tarlike". Fifth, Venus's crust is stronger and harder than Earth's, due to the lack of water to make it less viscous. Sixth, due to the lack of plate tectonics, all of Venus's mountains are in the form of shield volcanoes, which distribute their mass over a much wider area than mountains on Earth do.
|First, evolutionists assume that planets grew (evolved) by the gradual accumulation of rocky debris falling in from outer space, a process called gravitational accretion. Heat generated by a planet’s worth of impacts would have left the rocky planets molten. However, Venus was never molten. Had it been, its hot atmosphere would have prevented its subsurface rocks from cooling enough to support its mountains. So, Venus did not evolve by gravitational accretion.||
Here Brown once again assumes
|Secondly, evolutionists believe that the entire solar system is billions of years old. If Venus were billions of years old, its atmospheric heat would have “soaked” deeply enough into the planet to weaken its subsurface rocks. If so, not only could Venus’ crust not support mountains, the hot mountains themselves could not maintain their steep slopes. Venus must be relatively young.||
So, Brown thinks that when
In any case, Venus's current mountains are relatively young. Due to its lack of tectonic activity (which is, in turn, due to its stronger and thicker crust, the thing Brown denies exists), Venus's mantle can't convect heat away from the core like Earth does. This leads to the mantle just getting hotter and hotter until it occasionally bursts through the thick crust, and completely resurfaces the whole planet. The last time this happened was a few hundred million years ago, judging from cratering. While this is a long time on Earth, which has water to erode features, or Mars where micrometeors can pulverize things over such long times, Venus has neither water nor micrometeors, and as such its surface is remarkably well-protected against erosion.In addition to that, Venus's mountains are far from steep. They're shield volcanoes, but to a far greater degree than on Earth. In general they're an order of magnitude wider and an order of magnitude shorter than shield volcanoes on Earth. Calling them "steep" would be calling Kansas and Florida "rugged".
52. Space, Time, and Matter
“”No scientific theory exists to explain the origin of space, time, or matter. Because each is intimately related to or even defined in terms of the others, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the others.
-- Dr. Walter Brown, In the Beginning
Wow, a lot to unpack here. First, his citation is from 1939. While the Big Bang Theory did exist back then, it didn't have the observational evidence it has now, and was competing against other ideas. There's been nearly a century of scientific advances since then, and the Big Bang Theory has solidified as the best way of explaining what we see, and does explain the origin of time and space. Matter's a slightly different, if connected, field, over which there is still debate.
It should be noted that the Big Bang Theory probably doesn't satisfy Brown, because it doesn't explain how these things came to be, but instead provides mechanisms for how they behaved in the first few seconds of the universe's existence. If Brown or other creationists want causal relationships before the first Planck time, they'll be waiting for a while, for various reasons:
- We don't know whether "time" even existed before the Big Bang, so asking what was before it to cause it may be like asking what's south of the South Pole. The question could very well be meaningless.
- Current models of physics break down at time periods very close to the start of the universe. It could be that the models will be updated with better ones, or that the current physical laws "condensed" out of the chaos in that first Planck time, and therefore no model of physics can describe what happened because there were no laws upon which to build the models. Which, again, makes the question of what caused it meaningless (or at least unanswerable).
In truth, what happened "before" the Big Bang and immediately thereafter might never be known with 100% certainty. The best we can do, and what we are currently doing, is formulating models that can explain what likely happened, which agrees with what we see (what we see being everything from the distribution of matter in the universe and the near-uniformity of the CMB. Even non-observations such as the lack of seeing evaporating black holes is a data point that has to be taken into consideration for these models, because those first fractions of a second drastically affect the universe that resulted from them.)
Sure, in the absence of 100% certain knowledge, you can claim anything you want, but unless that claim is as robust as the Big Bang Theory and its child-models which involve everything from astrophysics to quantum mechanics to string theory, your claim just isn't as strong as those built by people who are studying every aspect they can about the universe. You could claim the Big Bang was farted out of a unicorn, and it might be impossible to disprove it, but it's also meaningless if the current laws of physics formed after the singularity and inflation.
Yes, the entire universe could have been created by YHWH 6,000 years ago with the appearance of being 13.8 billion years old. It could have also have been created by You last Thursday with the appearance of being 13.8 billion years old. Neither of these are disprovable, and both are equally valid to what happened before the beginning of the universe (if there even is was a "before", if the word "before" has any meaning prior to the Big Bang). The universe could be a simulation, or a turtle's dream, or any of an infinite number of possibilities. What links them all is that it appears the universe is 13.8 billion years old, and behaves in a certain way. Science is about trying to figure out how it behaves, regardless of the "real"ness of the evidence. If you are content with your personal hypothesis for how the evidence is faked, be it by YHWH or You or a computer simulation or a space-turtle's dream, then you have no business talking about science. We could wake up tomorrow where the laws of the universe are all different because it turns out they had been faked by a deity, that gravity really is Intelligent falling, that atoms are held together by the literal hands of Jesus. But until that happens there is value in figuring out these laws and how they interact and how they acted upon the past to create the present, and how they'll further act on the present to create the future. If you don't see that value, then, again, you have no business in the sciences.[note 54]
53. A Beginning
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Heat always flows from a hot body to a cold body. If the universe were infinitely old—has always been here—everything would have the same temperature. Because temperatures vary, the universe is not infinitely old. Therefore, the universe had a beginning. (A beginning suggests a Creator.)||Since Dr. Brown must know that no serious astronomer or astrophysicist today believes the Universe was eternal, we can file this under "Science was wrong before".|
|(A beginning suggests a Creator.)
|The universe did have a "creator". Note the lowercase-c, which isn't because Hawking hates YHWH, but because Hawking wasn't talking about YHWH, but the Big Bang. Once again, words can mean different things when used in different contexts. That at least should be apparent to Christians, who frequently criticize atheists for quoting the Bible out of context...unless, of course, "context" there is just meant as an escape hatch. Nah, couldn't be.|
54. The First Law of Thermodynamics
Ah, we knew the Laws of Thermodynamics had to show up in here somewhere. Well, let's get this over with.
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The first law of thermodynamics tells us that the total energy in the universe, or in any isolated part of it, remains constant. In other words, energy (or its mass equivalent) is not now being created or destroyed; it simply changes form. Countless experiments have verified this.
A corollary of the first law is that natural processes cannot create energy. Therefore, energy must have been created in the past by some agency or power outside and independent of the natural universe.
Unless the universe had a beginning, and all the energy that exists has always existed from that beginning onward, in which case the universe has always had the amount of energy it does now because, so far as we can tell, there was no "before" the Big Bang.In other words, there was never a time when the universe didn't contain the energy it has today, and therefore that energy didn't need to be created. Saying "God created it before the Big Bang" is no more valid than any of the infinite possibilities, such as a Big Bang - Big Crunch cycle, or that quantum randomness sparked the Big Bang after the heat-death of another universe. In truth, we don't know, and may never know, what caused it, or if there even needs to be a cause. Anyone who says otherwise probably has just a high school level understanding of the Big Bang.
|Furthermore, if natural processes cannot produce mass and energy (the inorganic portion of the universe) then it is even less likely that natural processes can produce the much more complex organic (or living) portion of the universe.||It's a good thing for Brown that organic matter isn't made of mass or energy, or this might be a red herring. It's also notable that, to within a rounding error, there is no organic portion of the universe.|
55. Second Law of Thermodynamics
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The universe is an isolated system, so according to the second law of thermodynamics, the energy in the universe available for useful work has always been decreasing. However, as one goes back in time, the energy available for work would eventually exceed the total energy in the universe, which, according to the first law of thermodynamics, remains constant. This is an impossible condition, implying the universe had a beginning.||Wow, it's almost like no serious astronomer or astrophysicist claims the universe didn't have a beginning. It's almost like scientists formulate their models based on evidence and logic, and that Dr. Brown hasn't, in fact, uncovered a logical flaw that everyone has thus far missed.|
|A further consequence of the second law is that the universe must have begun in a more organized and complex state than it is today—not in a random, highly disorganized state as assumed by evolutionists and proponents of the big bang theory.||The Big Bang wasn't an explosion in existing space, but an expansion of all of space and time, and was more ordered than the universe today. A fully entropic universe would have matter and energy evenly distributed throughout its volume, which isn't what we see. The CMB shows that matter and energy clumped together in some places,[note 55] which is where galaxy superclusters come from. Even the fact that matter exists is a form of order, since in an entropic universe it wouldn't, with all of the energy being free-flying photons, neutrinos, electrons, and positrons.[note 56]|
56. Big Bang?
There is a lot of BS in this section, ranging from basic errors in current cosmological models to outright lies, to pointing out that science doesn't know everything. The book starts this section with a big aside on Dark Matter and Dark Energy, but for now we'll just focus on the larger main section under this heading, and handle Brown's lies about those two things as we go.
This section is one of the largest in the book, probably the largest so far, so instead of directly quoting it word-for-word, we'll summarize, and use quotes only sparingly. If you're new to the Big Bang, cosmology, and/or the ideas and evidence behind Dark Matter and Dark Energy, check out the main articles we have on those topics:
With that out of the way, let us begin!
Right off the bat, Brown claims the entire theory was based on three bits of evidence, and presumes that knocking over those three bits will collapse the whole theory like a house of cards and presumably leave YHWH as the only remaining option. He says these three bits are: red-shifting, the CMB, and the prevalence of hydrogen in the universe.
In fact, the big bang was proposed well before we knew about the CMB, and was a logical conclusion to the direct observation that the farther away something was, the faster it appeared to be moving away from us.[note 57] It was as though everything exploded outward in a "big bang" (a name given to it to point out how silly the idea was; the prevailing cosmological theories of the time involved a static, eternal universe). As physics developed and scientists began figuring out just what the universe was like in the early years of this proposed expansion, it was clear there was a time when the universe would've been opaque plasma. Since it's not that now, there must've been a transition to transparency, meaning that no matter the direction you look you'll eventually see nothing but the photons that emerged from that opaque plasma: a universe-wide cosmic background radiation.
When that radiation was subsequently discovered (by accident), the Big Bang Theory solidified as the best way to explain the cosmos. The photons had red-shifted due to the expansion of the universe to low-energy microwaves, which is why it's called the "Cosmic Microwave Background" or CMB for short.
The Big Bang Theory has undergone several revisions, mostly as to how much and how quickly the universe expanded. The numbers change to fit with observations about how much of what matter should have been produced after the plasma soup condensed into atoms. We know the ratios that did form, because we can look up and measure them; the trick is fitting the model to those ratios. So Dr. Brown's third pillar is less of a point of evidence for the Big Bang Theory, and more a point of data that's currently being used to refine it.
One of the more interesting developments was the discovery that the universe's expansion was accelerating. Brown poses this as a problem to the Big Bang Theory, which in its infancy (coming down from the high of a static cosmos) did claim that the mass and energy within the universe would cause, gravitationally, the expansion to slow. In fact it's just an interesting data point, one which might possibly call into question a lot of our various laws, but is more probably just a law we haven't yet figured out yet. We call it "Dark Energy", because we don't know what it is. We do know that it exists, because we can see the accelerating expansion.
“”None of these have been seen or measured
It's possible Dark Energy is just a fundamental property of spacetime, a negative-pressure force just as gravity is a positive-pressure force that's a fundamental property of matter and energy. It's also possible the expansion of the universe is simply the result of geometry.[note 58] We don't yet know what it is, but contrary to what Brown claims, it has been seen and measured. That's how we know it exists. An analogy would be early humans looking at rainbows, and not knowing what they were, and so just slapped on a name to refer to the strange phenomenon. The rainbows exist and have been observed, and early humans even would know the general mechanics of them: happening before or after it rains, but still not know the mechanism. We're at that point with Dark Energy.
Also unrelated to the Big Bang Theory is the issue of Dark Matter, again posed by Brown as something invented by
evolutionists big-bang theorists to protect their precious theory:
“”However, since 1933, it has been known that those velocities are roughly constant beyond the galaxy’s central bulge. (This discovery gives great insight into how and when the universe began, but contradicts the way big-bang advocates think galaxies formed.) To explain these almost constant velocities, those advocates have told us since 1975 that (1) an invisible form of matter, called “dark matter,” must surround and permeate galaxies, and (2) five times more dark matter than normal matter should even be in the room where you are sitting. No direct measurements show that dark matter exists.
As with Dark Energy, the discovery that galactic rotations behaved as though there were a lot more matter that we couldn't directly see was an interesting data point, but not a death blow to the Big Bang Theory. When scientists saw that galaxies spun as though there was a lot of extra matter they couldn't directly see, they presumed there was a lot of extra matter they couldn't directly see, and gave it a name: Dark Matter.
Since then there's been even more observations, including direct measurements of the location and quantity of dark matter. You see, even though it doesn't interact with the electromagnetic force, it does interact with gravity, and we can see the effects of gravity. The universe behaves exactly as if there's about five times more dark matter than "regular" matter, which is why astronomers believe there's five times more dark matter than regular matter.
Instead, Dr. Brown is saying to take the evidence that the universe behaves as though there's a type of matter that is abundant and doesn't interact with the electromagnetic spectrum, and conclude that therefore there exists a being that doesn't interact with any of the four fundamental forces of the universe.[note 59] Pretty much the definition of a non sequitur.
Next Brown talks about element ratios, both hydrogen and lithium. This is an area of physics still being worked on, and depends on the state and conditions of the very early universe. To add to Brown's list, we also don't really know how galaxies and supermassive black holes formed as quickly as they appear to have formed. Science doesn't have all the answers, otherwise it'd stop. The difference between scientists and Dr. Brown is that scientists look at the lack of answers and try to answer them, gathering data, making models and predictions, testing them against observations, and repeating that process over and over until a model doesn't break. Brown, on the other hand, looks at the lack of answers, shrugs, says "Goddidit", and walks away content.
Dr. Brown eventually gets around to "other problems" including the starlight problem:
“”If the big bang occurred, we should not see massive galaxies or quasars at such great distances, but they are seen. [See “Distant Galaxies” on page 447.]
which has a simple explanation: inflation, and "we don't know how galaxies formed so early after the Big Bang, but we're working on it." The great thing about it is his 'distant galaxies' bit says that stars must have formed in a smaller universe, which was then "stretched out" into what we see today. Sounds a lot like the Big Bang Theory there, Brown.
He claims the Big Bang shouldn't produce rotating bodies:
“”Nor should a big bang produce rotating bodies such as galaxies and galaxy clusters.
apparently not realizing that slightly-different linear motion, say between two clumps of gas, whose gravity can overcome inflation, will express their slightly-different velocities as rotation the more they come together.
Brown then calls out yet another part of cosmology that's still being developed: why there was more matter than antimatter. In truth, we don't know. The answer could overturn a lot of physics, or it could merge quantum mechanics and general relativity. Or, more likely, it could just open up a lot of other questions. Brown then asks the wrongly-asked question of what caused the Big Bang, which is not only a question we can't currently answer, it's a question that may not even have an answer. It may, in fact, not even be a question that applies to anything at all! If there truly was no before the Big Bang, then there was no before in which its cause could exist.
“”How then could anything escape the trillions upon trillions of times greater gravity caused by concentrating all the universe’s mass in a “cosmic egg” that existed before a big bang?
Putting aside the fact that "before the Big Bang" may be a meaningless statement, the answer is inflation. We know by looking into space that cosmic inflation can and does overcome gravity easily: only the local group of galaxies is close enough to us to be gravitationally bound to us. Everything else is and, for most cosmic models, will forever be pulled away due to Dark Energy. At the start of the Big Bang, inflation was so fast and powerful that it ripped gravitational bonds apart.
“”If the big bang theory is correct, one can calculate the age of the universe. This age turns out to be younger than objects in the universe whose ages were based on other evolutionary theories. Because this is logically impossible, one or both sets of theories must be incorrect.
Yes, some observations, such as stars that appear older than the universe itself, have been made. Likewise observations that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light have been made. It's also true that observations that stars disappear over horizons as you move south have been made. Sometimes the observation itself is wrong or misinterpreted, while with others it's the cosmological model that needs updating. The observation of stars have pushed back the age of the universe by a few billion years, and the presence of distant galaxies is still being used to figure out how the universe operated in its early years. Cosmological models aren't static objects rooted in dogma, but mathematical ideas that can be molded to match the evidence.
And finally, for completeness' sake, this gem:
“”All these observations make it doubtful that a big bang occurred.
No, Dr. Brown, all observations point to the Big Bang, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, galaxies, black holes, atomic fusion, and yes, even evolution, both cosmological and biological, as the way the universe works. That's why we have those models. If anything seriously disagreed with them on a fundamental level we would replace them with other models that did agree with the evidence. If, as Brown seems to believe, science is dogmatic, we wouldn't even have the Big Bang Theory, because astrophysicists would've dogmatically held to the eternal universe model with Einstein's Cosmological Constant to keep gravity from crushing everything. We wouldn't even have the Theory of Evolution because biologists would've dogmatically held to the spontaneous generation model. We wouldn't have Germ Theory because doctors would've held to humorism and miasmatic models of disease. We only have the models Brown dislikes because of observations and evidence. What Dr. Brown and others like him are doing is tantamount to pointing at a brick in a building and claiming the builders forgot to put that brick into the building.
57. Heavy Elements
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Evolutionists historically have had difficulty explaining the origin of heavy elements.||Brown throws in the word "historically" because the origin of heavy elements isn't a mystery today.|
|(A big bang would produce only the three lightest elements: hydrogen, helium, and lithium.) The other 100+ elements supposedly formed deep inside stars and during stellar explosions. This theory is hard to verify, because stellar interiors and explosions cannot be carefully analyzed.||Not only can stars and their explosions especially be carefully analyzed; their cores can and have been mathematically modeled and match observations. Fusion isn't just a mathematical and physical concept, we can do it here on Earth.|
|However, a vast region of gas containing the mass of 300,000,000,000,000 suns has been found that is quite rich in iron and other heavy elements. The number of nearby visible stars is a thousand times too small to account for the heavy elements in that huge region.||It's a good thing for Brown that the presence of heavy elements is related to stars in their immediate neighborhood, and not the now-dead stars in the past that actually produced those elements, otherwise this might be a red herring. Also, unsurprisingly, he does not mention where is that gas cloud.|
|Heavy elements are even relatively abundant in nearly empty regions of space that are far from stars and galaxies.||It's a good thing for Brown that heavy elements don't form from literally the most powerful explosions in the universe that could propel them well beyond the escape velocity of galaxies, because otherwise this would be a red herring.|
|Most hydrogen atoms weigh one atomic mass unit, but some, called heavy hydrogen, weigh two units.||More commonly known as deuterium. C'mon, Doc, you're trying to sound smart. At least use the cool-sounding name!|
|If everything in the universe came from a big bang or a swirling gas cloud, heavy hydrogen should be uniformly mixed with normal hydrogen. It is not. Comets have twice the concentration of heavy hydrogen as oceans. Oceans have 10–50 times the concentration as the solar system and interstellar matter.||Because deuterium is stable, and not able to be produced by stellar fusion (fusion consumes deuterium faster than it's produced),[note 60] and the concentration of deuterium is so stable everywhere there's not a reason for it to be concentrated or removed, it's a strong point of evidence in favor of the Big Bang, since no other theory can explain why there's so much of it. The reason comets and Earth's oceans have so much in comparison is because heavy water (water with one[note 61] or two deuterium atoms instead of normal hydrogen) has a higher boiling and sublimation point than does normal water. So in comets and oceans normal water evaporates or sublimates in general before deuterium-containing water does. That's also how we artificially concentrate heavy water.|
58. Interstellar Gas
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Detailed analyses have long shown that neither stars nor planets could form from interstellar gas clouds. To do so, either by first forming dust particles or by direct gravitational collapse of the gas, would require vastly more time than the alleged age of the universe. An obvious alternative is that stars and planets were created.||All three of his citations for this come from before we could literally see stars and planets forming from interstellar gas clouds. An ounce of data is stronger than a ton of a priori hypothesizing.|
59. Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The theory of stellar evolution was developed by arranging (on paper) different types of stars according to their color and absolute brightness—what is called a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. A physical rationale was then devised for how stars changed from one portion of the diagram to another. Supposedly, a star’s age was determined by its place on the diagram.||
The diagram in question is shown below. It's a fairly common diagram in astronomy, since it maps stars based on two fundamental and easily-measured properties of stars: temperature (which directly relates to color via black-body radiation) and brightness.
The way Dr. Brown phrases it makes it seem there's no relation to stars on the diagram, or any reason to think there is, but those dumb scientists needed to make one up to make their big bang theory plausible (never mind this diagram has nothing to do with the big bang theory which concerns itself with cosmic inflation, not stellar evolution). In fact, anyone with eyes can see there's some sort of correlation of temperature and brightness, running from cool and dim to bright and hot. And it turns out that physics models about how giant balls of fusing hydrogen develop, predict very close to the same progression, with stars getting hotter and brighter as they age, until they enter late-stage fusion where helium and other non-hydrogen elements are used as fuel, which causes them to swell, which decreases their temperature while keeping the same brightness (hence the sprinkling of stars along the top of the chart). When they eventually reach iron (or usually a lighter element, depending on the star's mass), they either fizzle out or explode, with them leaving their white-hot cores to slowly cool (hence the exponential-decay curve along the bottom).It's like if you took a snapshot of every human on Earth, and plotted them by mass and height. You'd get a strong correlation between the two, running diagonally across the chart. It could be that they're all the same age, that You created them all last Thursday with the mere appearance of correlation, or, now bear with me here, there actually is a correlation. If you get rid of your unfounded idea that every human on that diagram is the same age, you might conclude that you've captured a range of ages, and what you've plotted is roughly the progression of human maturity. It's the same with the star diagram. There's no reason to believe all these stars are the same age (and in fact very good reason to believe otherwise). So what we have are stars of all different ages, that happen to line up a certain way, with older stars tending to be farther along the diagram than younger ones.
|However, astronomers recognize that all stars in each massive star cluster formed at about the same time, because the stellar wind from the first stars to form would have blown out of the tight cluster the raw material needed to form all the other stars in the cluster. Despite the same age for stars in a given cluster, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram sometimes gives drastically different ages.||
This isn't two separate paragraphs in the book, but it should be, because the "clusters" Brown talks about aren't clusters on the diagram, but actual physical star clusters in space. Which, yes, tend to form all at once so all the stars are roughly the same age, which is one of the ways we can tell the ages of clusters. When stars form, there's nothing preventing big, hot stars from forming alongside small, cooler stars. The big hot ones expend their fuel quickly, sometimes within a few hundred million years or even much less, while small cold ones will continue burning for trillions of years. Thus, the fewer big hot stars there are in a cluster, the older the cluster is.Brown's discontent with the diagram appears to come from a misconception that every star follows the exact same path on the main sequence, when astronomers don't in fact say that [note 62]. A young massive star will be bright and hot, and appear close to an old middle-sized star on the diagram. Astronomers don't claim that therefore the young massive star and the old middle-sized star are the same age. So yes, stars in a newly-formed cluster will have vastly different stars in it, which plot to different locations on the chart. But as the cluster ages, and the short-lived giants die out, all that will be left are main-sequence stars and red dwarfs, the former of which track very well across the main-sequence line, while the latter will sit in their cold dark corner for far longer than the Earth will be around.
60. Fast Binaries
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In our galaxy, about 60% of all stars are grouped in closely spaced pairs called binaries.||Depending on your definition of "closely-spaced." 5-10% of binary systems are so distant from each other that we can see the individual stars through a telescope, with stars anywhere from 40 AU to thousands of AU apart. Some stars are so far apart we don't even know if they're just nearby or gravitationally-linked!|
|Fortunately, our Sun does not have a binary partner. If it did, temperatures on Earth would vary too much to support life.||Yes, if the sun's binary partner were a star like the Sun. Also unfortunately for Brown, the vast majority of stars are cold and small red dwarfs, some hardly bigger (by volume) than Jupiter, which we wouldn't even be able to see if it were a few hundred AU from Sol. There are also brown dwarfs that blur the line between planet and star[note 63] that, if they were in our solar system, would make the Sun a binary system, and yet would have little to no effect on Earth if they were even as close as Neptune (29-30 AU). It may sound silly, but it was only recently we were able to rule out the existence of a red or brown dwarf stellar companion to the Sun.|
|The mutual gravitational attraction between stars in a binary pair causes them to orbit each other, just as the Moon orbits Earth.||Well, more like how Charon and Pluto orbit each other, though if there's enough mass difference between the stars, yes, they could orbit much like the Earth-Moon system.|
|The closer paired stars are to each other, the faster they orbit. Their orbits do not change appreciably, even over long periods of time.||Demonstrably not true. Discounting things like gravity waves (which only really affect star remnants on the extreme ends of mass and velocity), there are a multitude of ways in which the angular moment of a binary star system can change.|
|Two particular stars are so close that they orbit each other every 11 minutes! This implies their centers are about 80,000 miles apart. In comparison, our Sun, a typical star, is more than 800,000 miles in diameter. Other close binaries are also known.||
It's a good thing for Brown that every star in the universe is the same size as our Sun, or this might be a non sequitur.
In all seriousness, most stars are much smaller than the sun, and stars less than a quarter the mass of Sol won't even have a red-giant phase (though on that note stars less than 80% of Sol's mass haven't even been around long enough to enter their red-giant phase). Close binaries are interesting to study, and they could provide insight into refining how star systems form, and what could cause them to turn out in such a way.The 11-minute binary Brown mentions is probably this one, where a neutron star orbits a white dwarf (both of them "dead" stars). Neutron stars are massive enough, and an 11-minute orbital period is quick enough, for energy loss due to gravitational waves to factor in. Since both objects can result from short-lived stars, it's possible the pair is incredibly old, and has had billions of years of bleeding energy via gravitational waves to get to where they are today.
|Stellar evolutionists believe that stars slowly change from one type to another. However, scientists have never observed such changes, and many stars do not fit this pattern.||That's why astronomers clarify whether a star is main-sequence or not. As for "observing such changes" that's ridiculous. The vast majority of stars have lifespans measured in tens of billions of years and don't change all that much on human time-scales. Trying to see changes in stars over a human lifetime is like trying to watch a child mature, but only getting 20 consecutive seconds in which to do it. At that scale, humans wouldn't visibly mature, nor would we expect them to.|
|According to stellar evolution, a typical star’s volume, late in its lifetime, expands to about a million times that of our Sun and finally collapses to become a small star about the size of Earth (a white dwarf) or even smaller (a neutron star). Only such tiny stars could have their centers 80,000 miles apart and still orbit each other. Obviously, these fast binary stars did not evolve from larger stars, because larger stars orbiting so closely would collide.||Fast binaries are the exception not the rule, and it's probably exceptional circumstances that put them like they are today. It could be they are very old star remnants, and their cores have since fallen closer due to losing angular momentum to gravity waves and magnetic interactions between the white dwarf and neutron star. Or both dwarf and neutron came from other binary systems that interacted, the two other partners getting kicked away, with the neutron and dwarf falling into a tight orbit. There are lots of different ways this could happen.|
|If two stars cannot evolve into a condition that has them orbiting each other every 11 minutes, one wonders whether stars evolve at all.||Unfortunately for Brown, they can and do, and astronomers have yet to find a star system that is truly impossible to have formed.|
61. Star Births? Stellar Evolution?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Evolutionists claim that stars form from swirling clouds of dust and gas. For this to happen, vast amounts of energy, angular momentum, and residual magnetism must be removed from each cloud. This is not observed today, and astronomers and physicists have not explained, in an experimentally verifiable way, how it all could happen.||This is, like, the fourth time Brown has claimed that we can't see this happening, that it's only a model because astronomers hate God or something. Unfortunately for him, not only can we literally see stars in the process of forming from gas clouds, we can see planets in the process of forming from debris disks.|
|The most luminous stars in our galaxy, called O stars, are “burning fuel” hundreds of thousands of times faster than our Sun. This is so rapid that they must be quite young on an evolutionary time scale. If these stars evolved, they should show easily measurable characteristics, such as extremely high rates of rotation and enormous magnetic fields. Because these characteristics are not observed, it seems quite likely these stars did not evolve.||If only astronomers knew of some way stars could bleed off angular momentum. It's a good thing for Brown that Wikipedia doesn't have whole sections on how it works, otherwise his ignorance might look like he's willfully ignoring astrophysics models.|
|If stars evolve, star births should about equal star deaths.||Only if you believe the universe to be eternal and unchanging. Unfortunately for Brown, those ideas were tossed out in the 20th Century. The rate of stellar formation is decreasing, and in a few trillion years will drop to 0, with no new stars being born after that.|
|Within our Milky Way Galaxy alone, about one star dies each year and becomes an expanding cloud of gas and dust. The less frequent deaths of more massive stars are much brighter, more violent explosions called supernovas. Star births, on the other hand, would appear as new starlight not present on the many photographic plates made decades earlier.||Star deaths happen everywhere, and are significant events. Stars that are too dim and too far away for us to see become visible upon death. Star deaths are so bright they can outshine entire galaxies. Star births on the other hand happen in very specific places, and the vast majority of stars that form are so small and dim we wouldn't be able to see them even if they were closer than Alpha Centauri. So no, star births wouldn't appear as a new star suddenly appearing in the sky where there wasn't one before.[note 64] That would actually be indicative of some supernatural force conjuring stars into existence, and break every single model of stellar formation we have.|
|Instruments which can detect dust falling into and forming supposedly new stars have not done so. Actually, stars that some astronomers believe are very new are expelling matter.||
When stellar fusion starts, stellar wind tends to blow away the close-but-not-quite bits of gas that had surrounded the star, so in a way, yes, new stars tend to lose matter until they stabilize.
|We have seen hundreds of stars die, but we have never seen a star born.||Not only can we see star deaths at far greater distances than star births, but star deaths happen on the scale of months, whereas star births happen on the scale of tens or hundreds of millions of years.|
|Also, some stars are found where astronomers agree they could not evolve, near the center of our galaxy. These short-lived stars orbit a massive black hole, where gravity is so strong that gas and dust clouds could never evolve into a star. Instead, the black hole’s massive gravity would pull such clouds (supposedly evolving stars) apart.||It's a good thing for Brown that stars don't move around in the galaxy, that they never interact with other stars, that all the stars in the galactic center aren't also very old and clearly weren't born there, or that interstellar gas cannot be funneled to the galactic center by a bar like the one our galaxy has at its center and compressed until star formation ensues because otherwise it might appear he was inventing problems that don't exist!|
|Nor could stars have evolved in globular clusters, where up to a million stars occupy a relatively small volume of space.||Globular clusters can still form today if conditions are adequate. Unfortunately for Brown, a static unchanging universe isn't the prevailing model, and conditions of the universe were different in its early days. Globular Clusters were among the first structures to form in the universe. If only Wikipedia had some resources on globular cluster formation, or if a simple Google Search could give Brown some basics on astrophysical models. Otherwise it might look like Brown was just lazy and assumed there was no answer, and that he'd found something no astronomer or astrophysicist had thought about!|
|[See Figure 228 on page 462.]||This whole thing's an argument from incredulity about the early universe, something astrophysicists are still nailing down. In short, the early universe was a lot denser than today, allowing the formation of larger stars, which died quickly and thus very quickly produced heavy elements. The formation of supermassive black holes and quasars in the very early universe is still being studied, but the answer will probably be strongly related to how the universe back then was much denser than it is today.|
|Wind and radiation pressure from the first star in the cluster to evolve would have blown away most of the gas needed to form the other stars in the cluster. In other words, if stars evolved, we should not see globular clusters, yet our galaxy has about 200 globular clusters. To pack so many stars that tightly together requires that they all came into existence about the same time.||Once again, Brown confirms that the universe isn't static and unchanging, and that the environment in which globular clusters formed isn't the environment we see today, which is why most astronomers think globular clusters can't form today as frequently as in the good ol' days at least.|
|A similar problem exists for stars that are more than 20 times more massive than our Sun. After a star grew to 20 solar masses, it would exert so much radiation pressure and emit so much stellar wind that additional mass could not be pulled in to allow it to grow. Many stars are heavier than a hundred suns.||Brown's source for this claim is a popular science magazine, not a scientific journal. I can't find any papers indicating there's a problem with stellar formation of stars over 20 solar masses.|
|Black holes are millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun.||The formation of these supermassive black holes is still being researched, but the answer is likely "it was far denser in the early universe than it is today." It could be these started as primordial black holes, ones formed directly after cosmic inflation by sheer mass without undergoing stellar collapse, and thence grew and merged to the sizes they are today and/or they're the cores of supermassive first-generation stars that grew, merged, and accreted material to the sizes they are today.|
|Poor logic is involved in arguing for stellar evolution, which is assumed in estimating the ages of stars. These ages are then used to establish a framework for stellar evolution. That is circular reasoning.||It's actually physics, spectroscopy, and non-special-pleading logic that leads to estimating the ages of stars. The logic being "nothing prevents big stars from being formed alongside small ones" and "stars in clusters tend to form around the same time in stellar nurseries".[note 65] Physics says big stars have shorter lives than little ones, and observations show that there's either star clusters with all kinds of different stars, or ones with only smaller, longer-lived stars. Logic would dictate the latter clusters are older, since all the short-lived stars are dead. Since there's a physical link between a star's mass and its lifetime, the age of a cluster can be determined by the heaviest still-living star within it, which puts an upper limit on the age of all stars within that cluster, which provides further data on how stars of certain masses appear at certain ages, which is then used to date stars that aren't in clusters, such as Sol.[note 66]|
|In summary, there is no evidence that stars evolve, there is much evidence that stars did not evolve, and there are no experimentally verifiable explanations for how they could evolve and seemingly defy the laws of physics.||In summary, as with everything else, the only reason stellar evolution models exist is because the evidence points to stellar evolution models as the best way of explaining why the universe looks the way it does. If you ignore observations, misrepresent the models, and conjure up issues that the models don't actually have, then yeah you can make them appear to be weak. But you're not being intellectually honest.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Evolutionists now admit that galaxies cannot evolve from one type to another.||While it's true an elliptical galaxy will probably not spontaneously transform into a barred spiral, it's possible for either of the spiral types to become elliptical via collisions, like what'll happen to Andromeda and the Milky Way in a couple billion years.|
|There are also good reasons why natural processes cannot form galaxies.||Good job listing the reasons, Doc. He does have citations, but they're all of people saying "We don't know how", not "we know they can't." The main area of study today is how they formed so quickly after inflation. Ongoing field of research and all that.|
|Furthermore, if spiral galaxies were billions of years old, their arms or bars would be severely twisted. Because they have maintained their shape, either galaxies are young, or unknown physical phenomena are occurring within galaxies.||Or, now bear with me here, an engineer is misinterpreting astronomical models. Crazy, I know, but hear me out. What if, and I know this sounds crazy, but what if astronomers actually have an explanation? Like that the spiral arms are illusions due to the way stars orbit within a galaxy? Or maybe, perhaps, the spiral arms are areas of higher density that ignite stellar formation and are thus brighter than the non-arms? What if, keep bearing with me, Brown didn't even do the slightest bit of research before claiming astronomers have no answers?|
|Even structures composed of galaxies are now known to be so amazingly large and so elongated that they could not have formed by slow gravitational attraction.||Super-galactic structures are the result of cosmic inflation more than gravity. Inflation caused tiny quantum-level perturbations of the ridiculously-early universe to be expanded to universal scales. Superstructures like that aren't actually gravitationally bound objects, but just places where higher densities of matter (both regular and Dark) in the early universe allowed galaxy formation.|
|Slow, natural processes cannot form such huge galactic structures; rapid, supernatural processes may have.||Once again, Brown ignores the models that can predict the formation of such superstructures. This isn't even a thing where the future will catch Brown in his Goddidit rants: we literally have an answer right now. Brown just refuses to do research that might discredit his claims.|
Techniques That Argue for an Old Earth Are Either Illogical or Based on Unreasonable Assumptions.
63. Radiometric Dating
|In the Beginning||Response|
|To date an event or thing that preceded written records, one must assume that the dating clock has operated at a known rate, that the clock’s initial setting is known, and that the clock has not been disturbed. These three assumptions are almost always unstated, overlooked, or invalid.
For the past century, a major (but incorrect) assumption underlying all radioactive dating techniques has been that decay rates, which have been essentially constant over the past 100 years, have also been constant over the past 4,600,000,000 years. Unfortunately, few have questioned this huge and critical assumption.
One of the not-unspoken assumptions of science is that the physical laws that govern the universe today are the same that governed it yesterday and will govern it tomorrow. If that is thrown out, then science becomes meaningless, because there would be no order to anything. There has never been any indication that the laws have changed, though, which is good for our future because that means gravitational attraction won't suddenly become seven orders of magnitude larger, causing the Moon to crash into the Earth, gravitational attraction won't suddenly become seven orders of magnitude smaller, causing the Earth to fly apart, and radioactive decay won't randomly increases, causing humans to suddenly melt from the decay of potassium and carbon in their bodies. Sure, this all could happen if the laws were under the whim of a deity that has a habit of changing its mind about things on a whim, but thankfully there's no evidence of such a relationship.Brown's source for this claim, by the way, is the Institute for Creation Research.
|It is also critical that one understands how a dating clock works. For radiometric dating clocks on Earth, this is explained in the chapter “The Origin of Earth’s Radioactivity” on pages 381–434. After studying that chapter, you will see that Earth’s radioactivity—and the many daughter products that misled so many into thinking that the Earth was billions of years old—are a result of powerful electrical activity during the flood, only about 5,000 years ago.||
For an actual understanding how radiometric dating works, read about it on any of the various science education websites. Instead of trusting a Creationist engineer[note 67] regarding what physicists and geologists say about what they do, ask the physicists and geologists. Radiometric dating is one of those topics science educators are more than happy to properly explain, at any level from the basic to the mathy quantum mechanics.That said, Brown's own chapter is … dense to say the least. So, moving right along...
The Origin of Earth’s Radioactivity
“”Creationists, who believe the earth is young, must explain why we see so many radioactive decay products if the earth is not billions of years old. -- Walter Brown
Despite this chapter's name, it actually lays the foundations (haha, hydroplate puns) for his Hydroplate theory. This may go on a bit, and seemingly detract from the point of this first part (namely
disproving modern science proving creationism), but since Brown references it here, and the chapter's a part of the book itself, let's just get it over with.
This chapter is unfortunately not as outwardly insane as Time Cube, though it makes about as much physical sense. It's clearly the result of an educated person trying to find validation for his beliefs. In between Brown explaining what Carbon-14 is and how electron capture works, there is the fabrication of a
model convoluted mess so insane you really kinda have to read it for yourself. Or don't, and spare yourself the headache.
Brown first claims that radioactive decay rates can be altered very slightly by pressure (increasing electron capture), by distance from the sun, and by unproven electrical mechanisms invented by "major" corporations that now have patents (because patents are the way to tell if something works). His final way to alter radioactive decay is based on, so far, the result of a single lab that studied highly-positively-charged isotopes. Basically, they stripped atoms of all or most of their electrons to study how that affected beta decay, which turned out to be a lot, with even stable elements experiencing decay. The only scientific papers I could find on the matter all referenced the one lab and how it might be a promising area of research, but considering the lab did its thing more than 20 years ago, it's probably not as exciting as Brown claims it to be.[note 68]
After talking for a bit about nucleic stability, the Strong Force, and neutron stars, Brown goes on an aside about Z-pinch fusion, something that requires careful setups of plasma, magnetic fields, and electric generation. This is important later.
He then covers various atomic isotopes, like Carbon-14, Potassium-40, Helium-3, and a few other things. Then, this gem:
“”Books have been written describing thousands of strange electrical events that accompanied earthquakes.
He goes on to recite anecdotes from the 19th Century (back when opium was legal and widely-used). He even has the audacity to say
“”Why are many large earthquakes accompanied by so much electrical activity? Are frightened people hallucinating? Do electrical phenomena cause earthquakes, or do earthquakes cause electrical activity? Maybe something else produces both electrical activity and earthquakes.
Surely Brown knows that earthquakes didn't just happen in the 19th Century, and while there have historically been some phenomena thought to be myth until very recently,[note 69] none of these phenomena have been actually documented. It's not that we don't have earthquakes any more, as Haiti, Japan, and Chile can testify. There's no reports or footage of flames, or lightning shooting from the ground. Just like ghosts and Bigfoot, reports of oddities during earthquakes haven't increased with the increased availability of recording devices. So yes, it's very likely Brown's citations were just the result of frightened 19th Century people possibly high on opium.
This wouldn't be such a big deal, but it turns out these 19th Century anecdotes form the bedrock (lol hydroplate puns) to Brown's theory. Before he gets around to explaining why he took time out of his physics chapter to go on about 19th Century hearsay, he claims that the upper dozen or so kilometers of the Earth's crust has enough radioactive material to account for all heat coming from the Earth, a claim that doesn't seem to have any scientific backing. On the one hand, we can't directly analyze material from below 13 km, because the deepest we've ever dug is 12.3 km. On the other hand, we can measure neutrinos coming from radioactive decay far deeper in the Earth, which is how we know that about half of the thermal energy Earth radiates into space is due to radioactive decay. So on the face of it the claim is bogus: the crust can't account for all the heat, because we know there's heat being produced deeper than the crust.
Brown then spends a bit talking about radiohalos, and then gets into the meat of his claim. Now bear with me, because this gets intense.
Basically, Brown's sub-crustal ocean of super-critical water (presumably heated by the wrath of YHWH) ruptures out of the crust, causing the entire Earth's surface to flutter like a flag in wind. Peizo-electric effects, proven to exist in the earth's crust by those 19th Century fear-and-opium-induced hallucinations, create extreme voltages within the crust, bathing the Earth in neutron radiation that creates various isotopes
and kills most everything on Earth because the crust basically becomes a Neutron bomb. The intense voltages also turned bits of the crust into plasma. This plasma fused crustal material either Z-pinched — you know the thing that requires very careful and specific setup to get to work[note 70] — or via physical impact from the collapse of the plasma bubbles, like intense cavitation.[note 71][note 72] The heat from this fusion further heated the water, which increased the flapping crust,[note 73] which magically produces more electricity, which magically[note 74] fuses more, which heats the water more, and so on. For weeks.
Crucially, Brown's method of fusion isn't just Z-pinching, which has been done for decades. It involves a fancy new fusion invented by some Russians in 2007. And by "invented" we of course mean "immediately pushed for a patent, published an 800-page book on how revolutionary it is, and wrote exactly 0 papers for peer-review." Ten years later, they remain about as obscure as perpetual-motion quacks, so clearly their invention was truly revolutionary. Anyway, back to the Flood.
The superheated and superpressurized water then calmly mixes with surface water, erupts from the crust at suddenly near-absolute-zero temperatures to fall back as ice to flash-freeze
everything only those things which froze quickly, and was rocketed into space at over 32 miles per second to form comets, craters on the Moon, and all asteroids and TNOs, which means his "fountains of the deep" would've taken a significant fraction of Earth's current mass. His reasoning for how superheated fusion-water becomes nearly absolute zero is because he needs the water to reach 32 miles per second to account for long-period retrograde comets, and calculated that for superheated, superpressurized water to reach those speeds would require it to decrease in pressure so quickly as to become near absolute zero. He then uses that calculation to show that superheated, superpressurized water accelerating so that it would reach near absolute zero would be accelerated fast enough to become long-period retrograde comets, in glorious circular reasoning. This doesn't seem contrived at all, does it?
“”Nuclear energy primarily became electrical energy and then kinetic energy. Had the nuclear energy produced heat only, much of the earth would have melted. Also remember, quartz piezoelectricity shuts off at about 1,063°F (573°C). -- Walter Brown
Brown's theory relies on that electrical energy becoming thermal energy, which triggers more nuclear thermal energy, only some of which is converted to electrical energy (which is thereby very quickly converted back into thermal energy). In other words, by his own admission, this would've melted "much of the earth" during the Flood.
During the weeks of the entire Earth's crust being an active fusion reactor producing all of the heavy elements we see on Earth today, especially the radioactive ones, the newly-formed elements begin to decay. Brown bases his assertion that the decay rates increased dramatically on two things: first that patents have been issued for electronic devices that supposedly speed up decay a billionfold, and second that there's a lot of electricity rolling around in the Earth's crust (according to 19th Century tales). (The amount of radiogenic heat, along with the energy required to create all Trans-Neptunian Objects, is covered at the end of the article. In short: it'd destroy the Earth.)
Far from providing a scientific way for his flood to work, Brown has cobbled together a model that is less likely than just saying "God conjured water from the ether, dumped it on Earth, then made the water vanish, while giving everything the appearance of being billions of years old just to troll future humans whom God endowed with reason."
64. Corals and Caves
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Estimated old ages for the Earth are frequently based on “clocks” that today are ticking at extremely slow rates. For example, coral growth rates were thought to have always been very slow, implying that some coral reefs must be hundreds of thousands of years old. More accurate measurements of these rates under favorable growth conditions now show that no known coral formation need be older than 3,400 years.||
Coral isn't used to date the Earth, so this is a red herring. Coral can be used to provide duration estimates for certain biomes, since it deposits rings in a daily, monthly, and seasonal cycle, allowing scientists to not only measure how many years the coral was growing (which indicate it was in a shallow, warm sea), but how many days were in a year, and how quickly the moon orbited.Even still Brown's citation for the 3400 years thing is a paper that mentions a particularly thick still-growing piece of coral, and coral growth rates are sensitive to their environment. If the seafloor drops steadily at the rate of max coral growth, that particular column of coral could've been formed in 3,400 years. The paper provides no evidence that such fortuitous circumstances did occur; they didn't count the daily or seasonal calcium deposits the coral laid down and figure out how long it has been growing, just that it could be as low as 3,400 years.
|A similar comment can be made for growth rates of stalactites and stalagmites in caves.||
Under ideal conditions, stalactites can grow as quickly as 3 mm/year, but this requires a constant and consistent supply of water rich in calcium carbonate delivered at precisely the right rate to not be too fast (so deposits don't form) or too slow. Since most conditions aren't ideal, and we have growth-rate data from a lot of stalactites form a lot of conditions, we know the average growth rate is far lower, at 0.13 mm/year.For the current record-holder of the longest stalactite to have grown so long after the Flood (as Brown implies in the picture associated), those ideal conditions would have had to exist for thousands of years, and then mysteriously vanish as we learned to measure thir growth rate. An alternative hypothesis is that growth rates don't magically slow down once we can measure them, and these formations are instead tens of thousands of years old.
65. Index Fossils
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In the early 1800s, some observers in Western Europe noticed that certain fossils are usually preserved in sedimentary rock layers that, when traced laterally, typically lie above somewhat similar fossils. Decades later, after the theory of evolution was proposed, many concluded that the lower organism must have evolved before the upper organism. These early geologists did not realize that a hydrodynamic mechanism, liquefaction, helped sort organisms in that order during the flood. [For an explanation, see pages 195–212.]||
Brown's explanation is that during the chaos of crustal flapping of his proposed flood (see rebuttal to "The Origin of Earth’s Radioactivity" for more info on that), floodwaters caused sediments to undergo liquefaction which would've propelled fossils upward until they reached a "nearly-horizontal" area that is the boundary between more-porous sediments below and less-porous sediments above (just how the sediments are nicely separated in such a chaotic environment isn't explained), whereupon they stop. He also cites an "unpublished experiment" in Loma Linda University that showed that dead animals floated in water eventually sort themselves "from the bottom up: amphibian, reptile, mammal, and finally bird".
This explanation predicts two things:
|Geologic ages were then associated with each of these “index fossils.” Those ages were extended to other animals and plants buried in the same layer as the index fossil. For example, a coelacanth fossil, an index fossil, dates its layer at 70,000,000 to 400,000,000 years old. Today, geologic formations are almost always dated by their fossil content—which, as stated above, assumes evolution. Yet, evolution is supposedly shown by the sequence of fossils. Because this reasoning is circular, ...||
It's a good thing for Brown that there isn't a plethora of dating techniques which all confirm each other's results, because otherwise it might look like he was deliberately misrepresenting dating techniques. Radiometric dating can be and is used to date certain sediment layers. Using the admittedly ridiculous and unfounded assumption that younger sediments are always deposited atop older ones, it's then a fairly simple process to give date ranges to most, if not all sediments. The fossils within those sediments also match aging techniques, never producing a fossil far younger or far older than its brethren in other locations.[note 75]
For example, say you have a set of geological layers, A-Z. Some of them can be radiometrically dated: D comes out to around 53 million years, G around 120 million years, M to 150 million years, P to 350 million years, and V to 420 million years. This gives date limits on those layers you can't date. For instance, Layer E is between 120 million and 53 million years old. You notice a particular species of bird fossilized almost entirely in E, with a few in the upper levels of F. Elsewhere in the world, you find that same species, but this time in a layer directly beneath a lava flow, which you radiometrically date at 82 million years. That number firmly agrees with what you already know, but also gives you a better estimate for when that bird lived. So you can use those fossils to indicate a layer is around 82 million years, but no more than 120, or less than 53.
This system can be used to make predictions as well. In layers T, U, and V you notice a lot of aquatic species in oceanic sediments, but no fossils that seem able to walk on land. In layers R and S, however, there are a lot of fossils that are clearly land animals. Using the above method of assigning ages to fossils, you manage to estimate S at 365-372 MYA, and T at 395-402 MYA. You therefore can conclude that somewhere between 372 and 395 MYA there was at least one species of amphibious fish. Using data from plate tectonics, and sedimentary compositions to build rough maps of what the world looked like in that time period, you predict that somewhere in northern Canada there should be sediment layers from that era, with the right environment to have amphibious fish. After a little searching, you find exactly what was predicted.See, this is why scientists are so confident at aging methods. They all reinforce each other, and the predictions they make come to fruition, and there's never yet been a single find so obtuse that it throws the whole system into question. Yes there have been surprising finds that adjust dates a bit back and forth, but never a Precambrian rabbit, or a dinosaur with a human skeleton in its stomach. You know, the types of things you'd expect if it were all buried in a single catastrophic event.
|..., many discoveries, such as living coelacanths, were unexpected. [See "Out-of-Sequence Fossils" on page 13.]||
See the main article on this topic: Living fossil
There are plenty of "living fossils" today — organisms that haven't changed structurally or aesthetically much in long periods of time. Sharks and crocodiles are good examples, as are coelacanths. That doesn't mean they haven't changed at all since fossilization generally does a poor job at preserving organism behavior. Coelacanth was interesting in that we found fossils of it before we found the living specimen, and the fact that the most recent fossil was from 70 million years ago indicates that for the past 70 million years it's been in an environment where either it doesn't fossilize, or the fossils are still at the bottom of the ocean and we've not found them yet. Neither conclusion is a blow against evolution, since it's already agreed that fossilization is rare, and that we still haven't explored much of the ocean floor.See above for the rebuttal to "Out-of-Sequence Fossils", point 25.
66. Humanlike Footprints
|Humanlike footprints, supposedly 150–600 million years old, have been found in rock formations in Utah,||Not human, and also not footprints.|
|Kentucky,||It's Native-American rock art.|
|Missouri,||Also Native-American rock art. The great thing about this is Brown's citation comes from 1822, and the debunking comes in 1913. So, ya know, real up-to-date |
|and possibly Pennsylvania.||Citation and discovery from 1938, and they only seem to exist on Creationist fora. From the quality of the print it could be most anything, from more Native-American petroglyphs to contamination.|
|At Laetoli, in the east African country of Tanzania, a team headed by Mary Leakey found a sequence of humanlike footprints. They were dated at 3.7 million years.||It's likely A. afarensis made them.|
|If human feet made any of these prints, then evolutionary chronology is drastically wrong.||It's a good thing for Brown that humans can never access older sediment layers to make footprints, because otherwise this might be a straw man.|
67. Geological Column
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Practically nowhere on Earth can one find the so-called “geologic column.” Most “geologic periods” are missing at most continental locations. Only 15–20% of Earth’s land surface has one-third of these periods in the correct order. Even within the Grand Canyon, more than 100 million years of this imaginary column are missing. Using the assumed geologic column to date fossils and rocks is fallacious.||
Scroll up and read Brown's point 22, since he answers this problem. Let me quote:
68. Old DNA, Bacteria, Proteins, and Soft Tissue?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|DNA. When an animal or plant dies, its DNA begins decomposing. Before 1990, almost no one believed that DNA could last 10,000 years. This limit was based on measuring DNA disintegration rates in well-preserved specimens of known age, such as Egyptian mummies.||You know, well-preserved specimens of known age, like those that pre-date creation by a thousand years. Also, science bases its ideas on evidence. Back when the only evidence we had of DNA decay implied it couldn't last more than 10,000 years, we believed it couldn't last more than 10,000 years. However, since then there's been observations and evidence that DNA, in certain conditions, can last hundreds of thousands of years, with models implying it can last for millions of years.|
|DNA has now been reported in supposedly a 400,000-year-old hominin femur from Spain,||This isn't a problem, since we know from observational evidence DNA can survive far longer than that.|
|17-million-year-old magnolia leaves,||It's possible the team did something wrong and the DNA isn't actually from the leaves. It's also possible they didn't, and therefore there are some conditions under which DNA can last for geological time periods. It's far more likely that there's something we've yet to discover about DNA preservation than that every single dating mechanism we use is wrong. As this article says, observation trumps theory.[note 76]|
|and 11-to-425-million-year-old salt crystals.||The "DNA" found was actually a subunit of a ribosome called 16S rRNA. Brown's confusion is understandable, since he doesn't believe RNA can form ribosomes (it'd throw a wrench in the whole "life can't slowly evolve" thing, after all). Both samples had a minimum age of 11 million years which, as seen above, might be possible DNA survival for some situations.|
|Dozens of plants and animals have left DNA in sediments claimed to be 30,000–400,000 years old.||Again, not a problem, since we know DNA can last far longer, both observational and theoretical.|
|DNA fragments have been found in the scales of a “200-million-year-old” fossilized fish||Brown's source says nothing of the sort. It does say 30-million-year-old DNA was recovered from a tick preserved in amber. No sign of anything huge and game-changing, so it's possible the results couldn't be replicated, and the resulting hybrid animals the researchers got was simple contamination.|
|and possibly in “80-million-year-old” dinosaur bones buried in a coal bed.||The DNA turned out to be a human Y-chromosome. No, that's not evidence that humans and dinosaurs lived together; it's evidence of contamination.|
|Frequently, DNA is found in insects and plants encased in amber samples, assumed to be 25–120 million years old.||Brown's sources refer to the tick again. They don't mean anything until contamination has been ruled out.|
|These discoveries have forced evolutionists to reexamine the 10,000-year limit. They now claim that DNA can be preserved longer if conditions are dryer, colder, and freer of oxygen, bacteria, and background radiation. However, measured disintegration rates of DNA, under these more ideal conditions, do not support this claim.||science was wrong before. When we find extremely old DNA, there are a few possible reasons: we don't know everything about DNA preservation, the sample was contaminated, or every single method of dating we use is simultaneously wrong in the same direction at the same magnitude, due to causes that, due to their fundamental differences, cannot be the same. Hint: it's most likely not #3.|
|Bacteria. Even living bacterial spores have been recovered, cultured, and identified in intestines of bees preserved in supposedly 25–40-million-year-old amber.l The same bacteria, Bacillus, have been found alive in rocks allegedly 250 million and 650 million years old.||Likely contamination on both counts. Similar procedures were performed on dust and got similar results. Other research also suggests that certain bacteria can live a very long time at low metabolic rates while repairing their DNA.|
|Italian scientists have recovered 78 different types of dormant, but living, bacteria in two meteorites that are presumed to be 4.5 billion years old.||HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaha no. First, if that were actually true, we wouldn't be hearing about it from a creationist footnote; it'd be all over the papers everywhere, because it'd be pretty solid evidence for Panspermia and a potential extraterrestrial origin of life. Second, the bacteria "revived" from the asteroids were not all that different from modern-day Earth bacteria (as admitted by Brown's own source), which is indicative of (say it with me now) contamination, since bacteria will have changed an awful lot in 4.5 billion years; bacteria from 2-4 billion years ago was much more primitive than modern species.|
|Proteins and Soft Tissue.||We can stop Brown right there and say "no". See TalkOrigins' page, or Potholer54's video, or our very own article about it:|
See the main article on this topic: Soft tissue preservation
69. Human Artifacts
|In the Beginning||Response|
|At various times and places, man-made objects have been found encased in coal.||Brown has a long list. For the sake of this, we'll ignore anything from the 19th Century; not that we're biased, but because people in the 19th Century weren't all that great at archaeology. The chances of contamination, misinterpretation, and frauds is too high, with the object in question too likely to have vanished or been replaced with replicas, which makes them hearsay, and as scientifically-weighted as Grimm's Fairy Tales.|
|Examples include a thimble,||1883.|
|an iron pot,||Same source as the bogus footprints, published by Creation Research Society Quarterly|
|an iron instrument,||1853.|
|an 8-karat gold chain,||1891.|
|three throwing-spears,||They're the world's oldest throwing spears, and at an age of 400,000 years, aren't a problem for archaeology since that's well within homonid timescales.|
|and a metallic vessel inlaid with silver.||1852.|
|Other “out-of-place artifacts” have been found inside deeply buried rocks: nails,||1844.|
|a screw,||No verifiable source given, so this Reddit thread is as good as any. In short: fake.|
|a strange coin,||While Brown's source is from a 1979 print of Bible-Science Newsletter, it's also unverifiable. A strange coin is mentioned here as having been found in 1870, and it's likely they're the same thing, so ... 1870.|
|a tiny ceramic doll,||1889, 1890, 1897.|
|and other objects of obvious human manufacture.||1873.|
|By evolutionary dating techniques, these objects would be hundreds of millions of years older than man. Again, something is wrong.||That assumes first that the objects are genuine, and second that "evolutionary dating techniques" date them hundreds of millions of years older than man. Of the list, there was exactly one artifact that appears genuine and recent enough to be verifiable, and it's dated to 400,000 years ago, and shows only that our non-H. sapiens ancestors hunted with spears.|
70. Parallel Layers
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Because no worldwide or even continental unconformity exists in earth’s sedimentary layers, those layers must have been deposited rapidly. (An unconformity represents a time break of unknown duration—for example, an erosional surface between two adjacent strata.)||
So, a rehash of #22, Dr. Brown? What, was "130 proofs" not as impressive as "131" or something? At any rate, this is what |
|Parallel layers (called conformities) imply continuous, relatively rapid deposition. Because unconformities are simply local phenomena, one can trace continuous paths from the bottom to the top of the stratigraphic record by simply moving around these time breaks.||Yeah, that's how geologists can help date layers, and is the result of them being deposited in different environments at different times and subject to different erosion epochs.|
|The sedimentary layers along those paths must have been deposited rapidly and continuously as a unit.||Notice that Brown has now straw-manned three sides of this same question. #22 said the geological column was too even, without unconformities, which geology predicts would happen; and therefore God. #67 says the unconformities are too big, and geology predicts there wouldn't be any; and therefore God. Now he says there are no global unconformities, therefore God. Or, to put it another way, "There's no evidence there was ever a single worldwide environment or event, therefore there must have been a single worldwide environment or event."|
|Frequently, two adjacent and parallel sedimentary layers contain such different index fossils that evolutionists conclude they were deposited hundreds of millions of years apart. However, because the adjacent layers are conformable, they must have been deposited without interruption or erosion.||Not true. Say a long-lasting river-delta deposits 40 meters of sediment. The river then moves away from the area, leaving the sediment exposed and ungrowing. For dozens of millions of years, it slowly erodes down to 20 meters. Then rising sea levels put the whole area under water and a new sedimentary layer starts building atop the old. You'd have adjacent parallel layers dozens of millions of years apart, with no intervening layer.|
|Often, in sequences showing no sign of disturbance, the layer considered older by evolutionists is on top!||Wow, Brown actually did it with this one! He made a claim that would totally shake the whole idea of the geological column! Let me just check his source for this ... oh, what? He didn't give one? Imagine that.... Well, until he provides something to refute,[note 77] we can move on.|
|Evolutionary dating rules are self-contradictory.||On the contrary, they each confirm the other. Radiometric dating, genome tracking, plate tectonics, sedimentary deposition, species migration paths, fossil chains, ring counting (both trees and coral), ice-core drilling, astrophysics ... it all points to the same thing: a 4.5 billion year old planet in a 13.8 billion year old universe with life that has been evolving since at least 3.5 billion years ago. Dr. Brown was even talking about a conspiracy between biologists, astronomers, and astrophysics, revoking Pluto's planetary status and coming up with the Big Bang because they're all in cahoots, so he acknowledges that these fields all confirm each other's ages! You can't have it both ways.|
Most Scientific Dating Techniques Indicate That the Earth, Solar System, and Universe Are Young.
|In the Beginning||Response|
|For the last 150 years, the age of the Earth, as assumed by evolutionists, has been doubling at roughly a rate of once every 15 years. In fact, since 1900 this age has multiplied by a factor of 100!||OMG, guys, did you know that science was wrong before? That means everything they say is 100% false!!eleven!1!|
|Evolution requires an old Earth, an old solar system, and an old universe. Nearly all informed evolutionists will admit that without billions of years their theory is dead. Yet, hiding the “origins question” behind a vast veil of time makes the unsolvable problems of evolution difficult for scientists to see and laymen to imagine.||The "origins question". Does that mean abiogenesis? Because we already covered that in the first section. This is about dating techniques; about the only "origins" relevant are the origins of heavy elements, which is pretty well handled by stellar fusion and supernovae. Nowadays the only "unsolvable problems" of evolution are how to get creationists to stop wasting their time trying to disprove it. You'd do even better at disproving gravity, because we still don't even know why it's a thing, whereas we do know exactly how evolution works; the mechanisms and forces behind it. If you personally find it hard to imagine, that's not a problem with evolution. The universe doesn't care whether every thinking being can imagine its workings. Back in 100 B.C. astronomers couldn't imagine anything not being a perfect circle or sphere, and yet the Earth was neither.|
|Our media and textbooks have implied for over a century that these almost unimaginable ages are correct. Rarely do people examine the shaky assumptions and growing body of contrary evidence.||The media and textbooks "imply" that because it's where the evidence points. And rather than people not examining them, the assumptions are tested each time a date is taken of anything: stars, rocks, bones, fossils, genetic ancestors, etc. If the assumptions upon which the dating techniques were wrong, then the dates would disagree. They don't. That either means the assumptions aren't wrong, or they are, but the dates that result are correct anyway.|
|Therefore, most people today almost instinctively believe that the Earth and universe are billions of years old. Sometimes, these people are disturbed, at least initially, when they see the actual evidence.||Good to know Brown's been flagrantly lying to people. And it's a wonder why science education is so poor in the USA. He's right about people being disturbed by evidence, though: some are so disturbed by it that they write books of 131 self-conflicting "refutations" and refuse to accept any alternative to their indoctrination.|
|Actually, most dating techniques indicate that the Earth and solar system are young—possibly less than 10,000 years old. Here are some of these points of evidence.||As we've shown both here and in our Evidence against a recent creation article, no. Brown regularly contradicts himself, offers evidence against his own claims, doesn't do the most basic research on the established models (or willfully sets up straw men), ignores evidence that goes against his point, relies on outdated and unreliable reports from nearly 200 years ago, outright lies about observable evidence, leans on logical fallacies, and constantly seems surprised or angered that science alters its views in the face of new data.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|One product of radioactive decay within rocks is helium, a light gas. This helium enters the atmosphere at a much faster rate than helium escapes the atmosphere. (Large amounts of helium should not escape into outer space, even when considering helium’s low atomic weight.) Radioactive decay of only uranium and thorium would produce all the atmosphere’s helium in only 40,000 years. Therefore, the atmosphere appears to be young.||It's a good thing for Brown that the Earth doesn't lose 1600 tonnes of helium every year, or it might seem that he's a blatant and unabashed liar.|
72. Lead and Helium Diffusion
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Lead diffuses (or leaks) from zircon crystals at known rates that increase with temperature. Because these crystals are found at different depths in the Earth, those at greater depths and temperatures should have less lead. If the Earth’s crust is just a fraction of the age claimed by evolutionists, measurable differences in the lead content of zircons should exist in the top 4,000 meters. Instead, no measurable difference is found.||It's a good thing for Brown that there's not something like Uranium in zircon crystals that replenishes lead via radioactive decay, and is a highly-refined radiometric dating technique that actually forms the bedrock of some of Brown's arguments (#45),[note 78] or it might seem like he didn't do an ounce of research on the topic.[note 79]|
|Similar conclusions are reached based on the helium content in these same zircon crystals. Because helium escapes so rapidly and so much helium is still in zircons, they (and Earth’s crust) must be less than 10,000 years old.||Turns out there are a few ways zircons might lose helium more slowly, or even gain helium in certain conditions.|
|Furthermore, the radioactive decay that produced all that helium must have happened quite rapidly, because the helium is trapped in young zircons.||Non sequitur since there are ways for zircons to gain helium. Brown does believe that 4.5 billion years of radioactive decay happened over the span of the flood, which, as calculated in the "The Origin of Earth’s Radioactivity" would've turned the surface of the Earth several thousand degrees hotter than the sun. At least.|
73. Excess Fluid Pressure
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Abnormally high oil, gas, and water pressures exist within relatively permeable rock. If these fluids had been trapped more than 10,000 to 100,000 years ago, leakage would have dropped these pressures far below what they are today. This oil, gas, and water must have been trapped suddenly and recently.||Most oil and gas reserves aren't pressurized, and require pumping to extract. Reserves beneath the ocean are as pressurized as the water above them. Pockets that are under pressure with frail rocks around them do bubble upward, even all the way to the surface. In modern times such easy places have been tapped and drained already, so they're not as common as they once were. Keep in mind tar pits — those things Brown tangentially mentioned in #21 — are ancient lakes of petroleum that seeped to the surface exactly as Brown says should've happened.|
74. Volcanic Debris
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Volcanoes eject almost a cubic mile of material into the atmosphere each year, on average. At this rapid rate, about 10 times the entire volume of Earth’s sedimentary rock should be produced in 4.5 billion years. Actually, only about 25% of Earth’s sediments are of volcanic origin, and much greater volcanic activity existed in the past. No means have been proposed for removing or transforming all the missing volcanic sediments. Therefore, Earth’s sediments seem to be much younger than 4.5 billion years.||
First, the Earth's sediments are much younger than 4.5 billion years. Subduction constantly recycles the crust, and any sediments atop them, so the oldest sediments we have are around 3.5 billion years old.Second, sedimentary rock only contributes 8% of the mass of the Earth's crust, so there's not really a problem here. Third, sedimentary rock is formed from stuff that has to be eroded from elsewhere, including volcanic sediments (igneous rock), so keep this argument in mind since Brown's about to complain about how there's too much erosion.
75. River Sediments
|In the Beginning||Response|
|More than 27 billion tons of river sediments enter our oceans each year. Probably the rate of sediment transport is diminishing as looser topsoil is removed and as erosion smooths out Earth’s terrain. Even if erosion has been constant, the sediments now on the ocean floor would have accumulated in only 30 million years. No process has been proposed which can remove 27 billion tons of ocean sediments each year. So, the oceans cannot be hundreds of millions of years old.||
Wow, so Brown agrees that the less sediment there is on the ocean floor, the younger the ocean floor is? Because there just so happens to be a correlation between the thickness of sediment on the ocean floor, and the proximity to mid-ocean ridges, heavily implying that ocean crust closer to the ridges is younger than crust farther from it. It's almost like Plate Tectonics is a thing!And yes, the ocean floor is relatively young, usually no older than 200 million years old. As for how to remove all that sediment: subduction does it. All that sediment gets recycled, along with oceanic crust, to be reborn as igneous rock.
76. Continental Erosion
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The continents are eroding at a rate that would level them in much less than 25 million years. However, evolutionists believe that fossils of animals and plants at high elevations have somehow avoided this erosion for more than 300 million years. Something is wrong.||Told you. Brown really doesn't like plate tectonics, apparently. You know, the thing he implies via #75. Yes, erosion is a thing (despite him ignoring it for #74), but those volcanoes mentioned in #74, along with the plate tectonics implied in #75, keep mountains growing and the continents above the ocean. Though when mountains stop growing, they do erode away, which is why the Appalachian Mountains or the Australian Alps aren't as stunning as the Andes, or Alps, or Himalayas.|
77. Dissolved Metals
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Rivers carry dissolved elements, such as copper, gold, lead, mercury, nickel, silicon, sodium, tin, and uranium into oceans at very rapid rates when compared with the small quantities of these elements already in the oceans. In other words, far fewer than a million years’ worth of metals are dissolved in the oceans. There is no known means by which large amounts of these elements can come out of solution. Therefore, the oceans must be much younger than a million years.||Unfortunately Brown doesn't show his work on how he comes to that conclusion (a trend that will continue, unfortunately). However, it appears that metals tend to bind to organic stuff in the oceans, and when they die they drop to the bottom and, you guessed it, subduct (again, something Brown implies in #75). In this way, the ocean's mineral content has been mostly stable for a few billion years. No need to feel bad though, Dr. Brown, the writers of the Bible forgot about aquatic life, too|
78. Crater Creep
|In the Beginning||Response|
|A tall pile of tar will slowly flow downhill, ultimately spreading into a nearly horizontal sheet of tar. Most material, under pressure, “creeps” in this way, although rocks deform very, very slowly.
Calculations show that the growing upward bulges of large crater floors on the Moon should reach their current extent in only 10,000 to 10,000,000 years.
|Because meteoroids are still impacting the Moon (and other bodies), old craters tend to get obliterated by fresh young ones. Not to mention Brown's source for those calculations tried to treat the rocks of the Moon — which are usually between 120 K and 396 K — like rocks in Earth's mantle — which range from 773 K to 1173 K. Moon rocks are so cold their viscosity is essentially infinite.|
|Large, steep-walled craters exist even on Venus and Mercury, where temperatures are hot enough to melt lead. Therefore, creep rates on those planets should be even greater. Most large craters on the Moon, Venus, and Mercury are thought to have formed more than 4,000,000,000 years ago. Because these craters show no sign of “creep,” these bodies seem to be relatively young.||
It's a good thing for Brown that both planets are made of lead. In all seriousness, Mercury's surface spends far more time around 100 K than it does at 700 K, so even if it did occasionally get hot enough for the rocks to turn semiplastic over geological timescales, those moments are brief enough to not matter.Venus, on the other hand, does have young craters, because its entire surface was wiped clean a few hundred million years ago. Its crust is also (as mentioned in #51) quite thick and strong.
79. Shallow Meteorites
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Meteorites are steadily falling onto Earth. This rate was probably much greater in the past, because planets have swept from the solar system much of the original meteoritic material. Therefore, experts have expressed surprise that meteorites are almost always found in young sediments, very near Earth’s surface. (Unsuccessful searches have been made for these deep—and very valuable—meteorites, including in the Grand Canyon and along conveyor belts in coal processing plants.) Even meteoritic particles in ocean sediments are concentrated in the topmost layers. If Earth’s sediments, which average about a mile in thickness on the continents, were deposited over hundreds of millions of years, as evolutionists believe, we would expect to find many deeply buried iron meteorites. Because this is not the case, the sediments were probably deposited rapidly, followed by “geologically recent” meteorite impacts. Also, because no meteorites are found directly above the basement rocks on which these sediments rest, those basement rocks were not exposed to meteoritic bombardment for any great length of time.||
Meteorites are rare. Most meteoroids completely disintegrate in the atmosphere, and settle on the Earth eventually in an extremely thin layer. Those that do make it down are then subjected to the same weathering and erosion as anything else. Most sediments that get laid down later get eroded away, or compacted into metamorphic rock, where noticing and identifying them is extremely unlikely. Eventually it all gets subducted into the mantle, whereupon identification becomes impossible. Since meteorites are subject to the same forces sediments are, it's no surprise they're pretty evenly distributed through the geological column.Not to mention Brown already
|Similar conclusions can be made about rock slides, which are usually found at the Earth’s surface.||Similar refutations can be made as well.|
80. Moon Dust
|In the Beginning||Response|
|If the Moon were billions of years old, it should have accumulated a thick layer of dust and debris from meteoritic bombardment. Before instruments were placed on the Moon, some scientists were very concerned that astronauts would sink into a sea of dust—possibly a mile in thickness. This did not happen.||Those calculations came from a guy who calculated smog levels from a mountaintop, and assumed all of the nickel came from space. And while it's possible "some" scientists were concerned about astronauts sinking, NASA wasn't, since they didn't design the LEM to float on dust. "Some" scientists also believe the Earth is expanding, but nobody's concerned about geostationary satellites getting out of sync, because "some" scientists being crazy doesn't mean all of science is wrong.|
|Very little meteoritic debris is on the Moon. In fact, after examining rocks and dust brought back from the Moon, scientists learned that only about 1/67 of the dust and debris came from outer space. Recent measurements of the influx rate of meteoritic material on the Moon also do not support an old Moon.||And once we were able to directly measure lunar dust accumulation, we discovered that those earlier calculations had been overestimating by four orders of magnitude, and there was nothing contradicting the age of the moon. It's also likely that most of the dust comes from the Moon itself, since erosion by micrometeorite is a thing. Something hits the Moon at 15 km/s, it powerdizes more of the moon than the mass of the impactor, and thus creates more Moon-sourced moon-dust than the meteorite itself.|
81. Meteoritic Dust
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Meteoritic dust is accumulating on Earth so fast that, after 4 billion years (at today’s low and diminishing rate), the equivalent of more than 16 feet of this dust should have accumulated. Because this dust is high in nickel, Earth’s crust should have abundant nickel. No such concentration has been found on land or in the oceans. Therefore, Earth appears to be young.||
I'll let Dr. Brown start debunking this. "Earth sediments ... average about a mile in thickness on the continents." Now, to find out how thick the dust should be (rather than rely on Brown's undisclosed calculations), is just a simple calculation. The mass of meteoric dust added to the Earth yearly is about 40,000 tonnes. Divided by the average density of meteoroids of around 3.6 g/cm3 gives us the volume of dust added to the Earth each year. Divide that by the surface area of the Earth to get its depth, multiplied by the 3.5 billion years of Earth's oldest crustal plate, and you get a whopping 7.6 cm (¼ foot). Where Brown got 16 feet is a mystery.As for the concentrations of nickel in the crust, well, he overestimated the amount of dust (distributed across "a mile" of sediments) by 64 times, and since he again doesn't share his calculations, it's safe to say he probably vastly overestimated the concentrations of nickel we'd expect.[note 80]
82. Rapid Cooling
|In the Beginning||Response|
|If the Earth began in a molten state, it would have cooled to its present condition in much less than 4.5 billion years. This conclusion holds even if one makes liberal assumptions for the amount of heat generated by radioactive decay within Earth. The known temperature pattern inside Earth is consistent only with a young Earth.||Once again, Brown doesn't provide the calculations. However, the thermal flux from the interior of the Earth is minuscule compared to the flux from sunlight, about 0.1 W/m2 compared to 340 W/m2. The Earth is very nearly at equillibruim. To use an analogy, it's like saying an 8-hour-old cup of tea could only be less than 5 hours old because it would've cooled to its current temperature (room temperature) in that time.|
83. Moon Recession
|In the Beginning||Response|
|As tidal friction gradually slows Earth’s spin, the laws of physics require the Moon to recede from Earth. (Edmond Halley first detected this recession in 1695.) Even if the Moon began orbiting near Earth’s surface, the Moon should have moved to its present distance from Earth in billions of years less time than the 4.5-billion-year age evolutionists assume for the Earth and Moon. So, the Earth-Moon system must be much younger than evolutionists assume.|
See the main article on this topic: Recession of the moon
Once again, evolution doesn't say anything about the age of the Earth, since biology is the study of life, not of the Earth itself. Really this is akin to insisting that economists claim the wrong date for the dawn of civilization, because you have a problem with the principle of supply and demand.
No surprises for guessing Brown doesn't provide his calculations. Let's do it for him because, as with most things in this area of the book, he's very wrong. The Moon is currently receding at about 38 mm/year. If that number's been constant (it hasn't), then over the full 4.5 billion-year lifespan of the Earth, it would only have traveled 171,000 km, less than half its current distance.
Unfortunately for Brown and other creationists, we can do far better than that. You see, coral and coastal sedimentary deposits can lay down daily, monthly, and seasonal layers, much like tree rings and ice cores, which we can use to count how many days were in a year (how quickly the Earth rotated), and how many times the Moon orbited the Earth in a year (how far away it was). Using that data, we know the average rate of lunar recession over the past 640-ish million years is around 21 mm/year, about half of what it is today. It was even slower before that, averaging 12 mm/year between 2.5 billion years ago and 640 million years ago, leading to the conclusion that, around 2.5 billion years ago, the moon was a harrowing 90% the distance it is today. That's because the amount of tidal drag depends on the depths and extend of Earth's oceans, which depends on the orientation and size of the continents.The great thing about this is that all the data agrees. Rate of lunar recession matches the tidal forces that would've been produced by plate tectonics at any given epoch, which all matches the rotational rate of the Earth that has since been transferred to the Moon. We're not exaggerating when we say all the data points toward an old Earth. All the pieces fit together beautifully and reinforce each other's veracity.
84. Hot Moon
|In the Beginning||Response|
|A surprising amount of heat is flowing out of the Moon from just below its surface, and yet the Moon’s interior is relatively cold. Because it has not yet cooled off, the Moon is much younger than most people had guessed, or recent events have altered the Moon’s heat flowc—or both.||The heat flux measured at the Apollo 15 and 17 landing sites isn't particularly surprising. Just like the Earth, the Moon's internal heat flux through its surface is small compared to the energy it receives from the Sun, .02 W/m2 vs around 29 W/m2. It's not at all surprising the Moon has also gotten very close to equilibrium with solar irradiance.|
85. Young Comets
|In the Beginning||Response|
|As comets pass near the Sun, some of their mass vaporizes, producing a long tail. Comets also fragment frequently or crash into the Sun or planets. Typical comets should disintegrate after several hundred orbits. For many comets, this is less than 10,000 years. There is no evidence for a distant shell of cometary material surrounding the solar system, and there is no known way to add comets to the solar system at rates that even remotely balance their destruction. Actually, the gravity of planets tends to expel comets from the solar system, not capture them. So, comets and the solar system appear to be less than 10,000 years old.||
Most comets are younger than 10,000 years old. Unfortunately for Brown, the Kuiper Belt exists, and contrary to his baseless assertions, we've literally physically seen it. Not just the big objects, like Pluto and Eris, but little things. The trouble is they're very cold and very small (and far away), so finding them is hard. Finding things farther out, like the hypothesized Oort Cloud, is even harder, and it may be a while before we actually see an Oort object.
Planetary gravity only really affects comets once they're already comets — that is, once they enter the inner solar system (compared to the Kuiper Belt and especially the Oort Cloud, Neptune is part of the "inner solar system"). And yes, they do tend to disrupt comets. But nobody says planetary capture is involved in adding comets to the solar system. It's interactions and collisions within the Kuiper Belt (for short-period) and Oort Cloud (long-period). We're still finding comets, and some have such long periods it's hard to tell if a found comet was already documented (people in the 13th Century sucked at calculating comet orbits), so it's hard to say if we've found one fresh from the outer system or if it's been around a while. Sometimes we can tell because its orbit is hyperbolic,[note 81] like C/2012 S1, which indicated it was fresh from the Oort Cloud (especially once it was shown it wasn't the Great Comet of 1860).So not only have we seen the Kuiper Belt, we've seen new comets being added to the system.
86. Small Comets
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Photographs taken from Earth-orbiting satellites show small, ice-filled comets striking Earth’s upper atmosphere at an average rate of one every three seconds. Each comet adds 20–40 tons of water to Earth’s atmosphere. If this influx began when evolutionists say the Earth started to evolve, all our oceans would have come from small comets. No doubt past impact rates were even greater, because the planets have swept many of these comets from the solar system. Therefore, small comets would have placed much more water on Earth than is here today. Obviously, this did not happen, so oceans look young.||Confirmation of small comets from spacecraft has caused some debate as to where Earth's water came (and comes) from. We don't really know the D/H ratios of them, because they're too small, so we can't rule them out as potential candidates. At any rate, they do add water, which could be maintaining the amount of liquid water on Earth's surface. See, plate tectonics removes water from the oceans via subduction, which has created a layer of water-rich rock called ringwood, which could have as much water as all the oceans or more. This water may or may not be key to plate tectonics.|
87. Hot Planets
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune each radiate away more than twice the heat energy they receive from the Sun.||Jupiter and Saturn both are heated by the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism, which means that as their surfaces cool, the gasses fall close to the core, where compression heats them back up. That might not be enough to explain how hot Saturn is, but it's possible helium is condensing and falling around the core, making up the difference. As for Neptune, we don't know. Neptune and Uranus haven't had dedicated probes to study them (like Gallileo and Juno for Jupiter, and Cassini for Saturn), so our data for them is lacking.|
|Uranus and Venus also radiate too much heat.||Like with Neptune, we don't know about Uranus. As for Venus, it's hot because of its runaway greenhouse effect, which insulates to the point that it has to be that hot to equalize with solar irradiance.|
|Calculations show that it is very unlikely that this energy comes from nuclear fusion, radioactive decay, gravitational contraction, or phase changes within those planets. This suggests that these planets have not existed long enough to cool off.||Gravitational contraction and phase changes actually does work for Jupiter and Saturn. Again, for Uranus and Neptune, we don't know yet. We do know[note 82] the answer won't be "Oh, it turns out Uranus is only 10,000 years old!" because there's way too much evidence to the contrary.|
88. Solar Wind
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The Sun’s radiation applies an outward force on particles orbiting the Sun. Particles less than about one 100,000th of a centimeter in diameter should have been “blown out” of the solar system if it were billions of years old. Yet, these particles are still orbiting the Sun. Conclusion: the solar system appears young.||Contradicts #49, which says there's not enough particles orbiting the Sun to account for asteroid collisions. As with planetary rings, the dust is getting replenished (which Brown says in #85).|
89. Poynting-Robertson Effect
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Dust particles larger than about one 100,000th of a centimeter in diameter form a large disk-shaped cloud that orbits the Sun between the orbits of Venus and the asteroid belt. (This cloud produces zodiacal light.) Forces acting on these dust particles (called the Poynting-Robertson effect) should spiral most of them into the Sun in less than 10,000 years. Known forces and sources of replenishment cannot maintain this cloud, so the solar system is probably less than 10,000 years old.||Contradicts #49 which says this should still be happening. Brown himself states the source: asteroid collisions. Cometary debris is also a factor.|
|Huge quantities of microscopic dust particles also have been discovered around some stars. Yet, according to the theory of stellar evolution, those stars are many millions of years old, so that dust should have been removed by stellar wind and the Poynting-Robertson effect. Until some process is discovered that continually resupplies vast amounts of dust, one should consider whether the “millions of years” are imaginary.||Unfortunately for Brown, while we can see star systems and planets in the process of forming, the resolution of our telescopes on the scale of dozens if not hundreds of light-years isn't big enough to allow us to see whether dust is microscopic or not. We have a hard time distinguishing planets from abnormally-dense clusters of debris; how Brown knows these stars have lots of microscopic dust vulnerable to solar wind and Poyntig-Robertson effect is a mystery.|
90. Supernova Remnants
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In galaxies similar to our Milky Way Galaxy, a star will explode every 26 years or so. These explosions, called supernovas,||Technically, they're called "supernovae". However, only massive stars produce supernovae; most expel a planetary nebula and leave a hot white dwarf behind.|
|produce gas and dust that expand outward thousands of miles per second. With radio telescopes, these remnants in our galaxy should be visible for a million years. However, only about 7,000 years’ worth of supernova debris are seen. So, the Milky Way looks young.||
Turns out we weren't looking in the right places. As with most things, the answer is "there's something we're missing" and not "all of science is wrong |
91. Connected Galaxies
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Galaxies frequently appear connected or aligned with other galaxies or quasars that have vastly different redshifts. This happens too often for all examples to be coincidences. If redshifts imply velocities (which is most likely), these galaxies and quasars have not been moving apart for very long. If redshifts do not always imply velocities, many astronomical conclusions are in error.||
Brown doesn't cite particular examples, but he does mention a book. That same book is mentioned here, and does have examples.
92. Unstable Galaxies
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Computer simulations of the motions of spiral galaxies show them to be highly unstable; they should completely change their shape in only a small fraction of the universe’s assumed evolutionary age. The simplest explanation for so many spiral galaxies, including our Milky Way Galaxy, is that they and the universe are much younger than has been assumed.||It's not a mystery. It's dark matter. We can observe dark matter as directly as we can observe the wind. The simplest explanation for the universe behaving as though there's a lot of matter that doesn't interact with the EM Force is that there's a lot of matter that doesn't interact with the EM force. We don't know (yet) what that matter is, but astronomers are working on it.|
93. Galaxy Clusters
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Hundreds of rapidly moving galaxies often cluster tightly together. Their relative velocities, as inferred by the redshifts of their light, are so high that these clusters should be flying apart, because each cluster’s visible mass is much too small to hold its galaxies together gravitationally. Because galaxies within clusters are so close together, they have not been flying apart for very long.||This is #91 again.|
|A similar statement can be made concerning many stars in spiral galaxies and gas clouds that surround some galaxies. These stars and gas clouds have such high velocities that they should have broken their “gravitational bonds” long ago—if they were billions of years old. If redshifted starlight always indicates a star’s velocity, then a multi-billion-year-old universe is completely inconsistent with what is observed.||Sometimes stars are ejected from galaxies. Sometimes gas is ejected from galaxies. At all times the gravity of galaxies is far higher than ordinary matter would predict because there's a lot of dark matter in and around them. Dark matter we can directly measure. We've even found galaxies that are almost entirely dark matter.|
|These observations have led some to conclude, not that the universe is young, but that unseen, undetected mass—called dark matter—is holding these stars and galaxies together. For this to work, about 85% of the mass in the universe must be invisible—and hidden in the right places. However, many experiments have shown that the needed “dark matter” does not exist.||If by "invisible" Brown means "doesn't interact with the electromagnetic force"[note 83] then yes, dark matter is invisible. We can still see it, though, because it does interact with gravity, which bends light, and by measuring gravitational lensing we've seen areas of space that seem to have a lot of matter, but no ordinary matter. In other words, the universe behaves as though there's a lot of matter that doesn't interact with the EM force, therefore the simplest explanation is that there's a lot of matter that doesn't interact with the EM force. Brown last updated this book in 2013, and the Bullet Cluster data has been out since 2003. There is no excuse for him not knowing about the evidence.|
|Some researchers are still searching, because the alternative is a young universe.||It's all a conspiracy, these researchers have known all along that the universe is only a few thousand years old! Alternatively, the reason why a young universe is being avoided as the solution is because of all the evidence to the contrary, not some deep inner desire to cover up the truth.|
|In the Beginning||Response|
|All dating techniques, especially the few that suggest vast ages, presume that a process observed today has proceeded at a known, but not necessarily constant, rate. This assumption may be grossly inaccurate. Projecting present processes and rates far back in time is more likely to produce errors than extrapolation over a much shorter time. Also, a much better understanding usually exists for dating “clocks” that show a young Earth and a young universe.||Brown has yet to show what this much better understanding is. So far all the pieces fit together, and all of our dating techniques agree with each other. Brown's method of calculating a young age involves finding a process, ignoring everything that counters that process, and therefore concluding that process couldn't have been going on for more than a few thousand years.|
|This contrary evidence understandably disturbs those who have always been told that the Earth is billions of years old. Can you imagine how disturbing such evidence is to confirmed evolutionists?||
Noah’s Ark Probably Exists.
Spoiler: it doesn't. See the Talk Origins article about this.
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The precise location of the Ark is an open question. While most sightings point to Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey, consideration should also be given to a few nearby mountains in western Iran. The following are the more credible claimed sightings. Some are undoubtedly mistaken. The search continues.||Notice how Brown's standards of evidence immediately drop once he mentions something he believes in. Dark Matter that has been observed and directly measured for at least 10 years? Doesn't exist for Brown. Coral growth rings we can observe and measure? Fake. Plate tectonics for which he himself provides evidence? Hoax. A magical boat nobody's ever seen? Yeah, that probably exists.|
94. Ancient Historians
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Ancient historians, such as Josephus, the Jewish-Roman historian, and his earlier historical sources, wrote that the Ark existed. Marco Polo was also told that the Ark was on a very high, perpetually snow-covered mountain in central Armenia. From A.D. 200 to 1700, more than a dozen other Christian and Jewish leaders wrote that the Ark was still preserved, although few claimed to have seen it.||
Josephus, the religious Jew, would clearly have no bias toward the factuality of his scriptures. Marco Polo "was told" by some random yahoo that it exists? That's not even second-hand information, but third, since it's someone writing about Marco being told by someone else.
And look at that track-record. About one biased and religious person every 100 years putting some words on paper that it exists somewhere. Where? Nobody knows! Convenient, that.There are more recent and more credible reports that Elvis is still alive, and that Hitler moved to Argentina or Antarctica instead of commuting suicide. And at least people looking for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster occasionally produce a picture! This isn't even crypto-archaeology, it's just stories. We've had the technology and there've been people dedicated enough to finding it for the past 100 years that rock formations that look vaguely like boats have been reported. If an actual boat were there, it would've been found, catalogued, recorded, and it's location wouldn't still be a mystery. It's not at the bottom of the ocean like the Titanic, it's supposedly in plain sight on the side of a mountain, and big enough even cameras in orbit should be able to spot it. But, to date, there's been nothing.[note 84]
95. British Scientists
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In about 1856, three skeptical British scientists and two Armenian guides climbed Mount Ararat to show that the Ark did not exist. Allegedly, the Ark was found, and the British scientists threatened to kill the guides if they reported the find. Years later, one of the Armenians (then living in the United States) and one of the British scientists independently reported they had found the Ark.||No citation or anything. Just hearsay from the 19th Century, with a conspicuously shaky trail into more recent times to boot. No reports filed, no logs kept, no evidence. Just baseless claims and apologetic Chinese whispers.|
96. James Bryce
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Sir James Bryce, a noted British scholar and traveler of the mid-nineteenth century, conducted extensive library research concerning the Ark. He became convinced that the Ark was preserved on Mount Ararat. Finally, in 1876, he climbed Ararat and found, at the 13,000-foot level (2,000 feet above the timberline), a piece of hand-tooled wood, four feet long, that he believed might be from the Ark.||A piece of wood. Did he have it dated? Try to find it's source? Supposedly the Ark is perfectly preserved, so a piece of wood shouldn't be all that far from the boat itself, if it came from the Ark. More likely it's a piece of wood from some benign religious project. Bryce himself said "I am, however, bound to admit that another explanation of the presence of this piece of timber ... did occur to me. But as no man is bound to discredit his own relic, ... I will not disturb my readers' minds, or yield to the rationalizing tendencies of the age by suggesting it." Translation: "It's probably not from the Ark, but I want it to be, and therefore, for me, it is."|
97. Turkish Commissioners
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In 1883, a series of newspaper articles reported that a team of Turkish commissioners, while investigating avalanche conditions on Mount Ararat, unexpectedly came upon the Ark projecting out of melting ice after an unusually warm summer. They claimed they entered and examined part of the Ark.||The report's description of the mountain doesn't agree with other reports, it claimed the wood was "gopher wood" despite the fact that nobody knows what gopher wood is, and the original published report has since vanished. So, probably hoax.|
98. George Hagopian
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In an unusually warm summer (about 1904), a 10-year-old Armenian boy, George Hagopian, and his uncle climbed Mount Ararat and supposedly reached the Ark. The boy climbed on top of it and described the structure as a flat-bottomed, petrified barge without nails. It had many windows on top, each “big enough for a cow to walk through.” Two years later, Hagopian again visited the Ark. Shortly before his death in 1972, his detailed testimony was tape recorded. A voice analyzer test (PSE test) gave no indication of lying.||
Well, it clearly wasn't the Ark, then, since the Ark had exactly one small window. It's a shame Hagopian never actually told anyone where the Ark was, so people could find it. And wow, a voice analyzer test of the tape recording didn't indicate he was lying! Well there's 100% pure solid proof, since everyone knows lie-detectors are 100% accurate, especially when conducted without the subject being strapped into various physiological monitors.Even worse, the original 1977 source of the story places Hagopian's two ark visits in the years 1902 (p. 76) and 1904 (p. 90), not in 1904 and 1906 as told by Brown. The source also does not contain anything about many windows big enough for a cow to walk through, but instead mentions "a large black hole in the top" (p. 83) and "at least fifty" "small holes" (p. 89). Indeed, Hagopian is quoted as explicitly denying the presence of windows in his description of his second ark visit: "Oh no! There were no windows in the ship, of that I am certain" (p. 90). It would seem that Brown didn't even bother to consult the original source but has been engaging in apologetic Chinese whispers, again.
99. Russian Expeditions
|In the Beginning||Response|
|A Russian pilot flying over Ararat in World War I (1916) thought he saw the Ark. News of his discovery reached the Czar, who sent two large expeditions to the site. The soldiers found and explored the boat, but before they could report to the Czar, the Russian Revolution of 1917 began. Their report disappeared, and the soldiers scattered. Some eventually reached the United States and Canada. Although a much later magazine account had a few fictional elements, further investigations have confirmed the primary details. In February 2000, Joseph Kulik, an alleged expedition member, was interviewed. Details he provided duplicate those in other accounts.||Aww, shame all that happened to destroy all the reports and evidence. Man, that must be so frustrating for Brown, that each time there's a 100% confirmed sighting all the verifiable information just happens to vanish, or be destroyed. It's also such terrible luck that Kulik couldn't give anyone a location for the Ark.|
100. Ed Davis
|In the Beginning||Response|
|In July 1943, Sergeant Ed Davis (U.S. Army) was stationed in Iran. There, he developed a close friendship with some Lur tribesmen who said they knew the location of Noah’s Ark. (The Lurs are related to the Kurds.) When Davis asked to see the Ark, they first took him to their village. There, Davis claims he saw items from the Ark: a cage door, latches, a metal hammer, dried beans, shepherd staffs, oil lamps, bowls, and pottery jars still containing honey. This Muslim tribe considered it a religious duty to prevent outsiders from seeing the Ark, even if killing was necessary. However, their close friendship with Davis made him an exception.||It's a good thing he had those artifacts dated, because there's no way such items in Asia Minor could've come from anywhere except a magical boat nobody can pin down. Oh, wait, he didn't get them tested? Darn. Guess we'll just have to take his word for it.|
|Tribal leader Abas-Abas and his seven sons took Davis on a three-day climb up the northeast side of what Davis thought was Mount Ararat. (Based on Davis’ description of his trip, he probably was on a mountain in Iran.) Steep, slick rocks, made worse by cold rain, prevented them from getting closer than one-half mile from the Ark. Two broken portions of the Ark, lying on their sides and one-third of a mile apart, were visible during moments when fog and clouds lifted. Wooden beams, three decks, and rooms were seen.||Shame he couldn't get any closer to actually go into the ruins. It's also interesting he'd see the Ark in Iran, when everyone else says it's in Turkey, but that just means the Ark can teleport around! That must be why nobody can find it anymore!|
|Abas-Abas told Davis other details: the Ark’s wood was extremely hard; wooden pegs were used in its construction instead of nails; its large, side door opened from the bottom outward (like a garage door); and the human quarters consisted of 48 compartments in the middle of the top deck. In 1986, several dozen Ark researchers questioned Davis extensively, and in 1989 he passed a lie detector test. (On two occasions, once in his home, I also questioned Davis.)||
So, back to third-hand information. Brown heard from a guy who heard from a guy who totally went into the Ark. Like, for reals.Brown has a picture of an artists' rendition of both Davis' and Hagopian's accounts (while both were present), and while both are drawings of an ark, they depicts two vastly different scenes. In one the Ark is split about in half by a ridge of rock, or glacier, sideways across the mountain. In the other, the Ark is facing up-and-down the mountain, with only one section poking from the rock face. So either there are two Arks, or at least one of them was just imagining it (thereby showing the lack of value of anecodtal evidence), or at least one of them was lying. But Brown cites both as proof it exists.
101. George Greene
|In the Beginning||Response|
|George Greene, an oil geologist, reportedly took several photographs of the Ark in 1953 from a helicopter. After returning to the United States, Greene showed his photographs to many people but could not raise financial backing for a ground-based expedition. Finally, he went to South America where he was killed. Although his pictures have not been found, more than 30 people have given sworn, written testimony that they saw these photographs that clearly showed the Ark protruding from melting ice at the edge of a precipice.||Wow, what rotten luck those pictures haven't been found! It's also a shame that neither Greene nor his pilot told anyone where the Ark was. But 30 people have sworn they saw the pictures! I guess that means Elvis really is alive, and aliens abducted my great uncle Joey right out of the middle of downtown L.A. (the aliens just wiped everyone's minds, except Joey's).|
102. Gregor Schwinghammer
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Gregor Schwinghammer claims he saw the Ark from an F-100 aircraft in the late 1950s, while assigned to the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron based in Adana, Turkey. Schwinghammer said it looked like an enormous boxcar lying in a gully high up on Mount Ararat. He said U-2 pilots had photographed it.||
Damn, yet another pilot who failed to indicate where the Ark was. At least those U-2 pilots know, because knowing where photos are taken is their job. Unfortunately, no such photos have been shown to exist, or any U-2 pilots letting anyone know where to point the satellite cameras, or send other aviation expeditions to verify.We can also add "in a gully" to the list of locations the Ark is, putting us up to four: Split by a glacier, stuck in a rockface, half-submerged in a glacier on a precipice, and now just laying in a gully. Such consistency can only mean they're all describing the same formation.
|Note: Many others claim to have seen the Ark. Some stories are of questionable validity, and others are inconsistent with many known details. Only the most credible reports are summarized above.||Wait, these accounts are the most consistent?! The only consistency among them is that there's something on a mountain. The descriptions that go beyond what's written in Genesis all disagree as to how it's positioned, what mountain it's on, and where on whatever mountain it is. Bigfoot's more consistent than that!|
103 - 127 Many of the Earth’s Previously Unexplained Features Can Be Explained by a Cataclysmic Flood.
|In the Beginning||Response|
|The origin of each of the following is a subject of controversy within the earth sciences. Each has many aspects inconsistent with standard explanations. Yet, all appear to be consequences of a sudden and unrepeatable event—a cataclysmic flood whose waters erupted from interconnected, worldwide subterranean chambers with an energy release exceeding the explosion of 1,800 trillion hydrogen bombs. Consequences of this event included the rapid formation of the features listed below. The mechanisms involved are well understood.||As you'll soon see, these features are not unexplained. Brown just doesn't like the explanation because it doesn't leave room for YHWH. Also, bit of a pedantic note, but "hydrogen bombs" isn't a unit of energy. The energy capacity of hydrogen bombs can vary wildly from tenths of kilotons to hundreds of megatons of TNT, a spread of around 6 orders of magnitude. As we've calculated here, the minimum energy released during Brown's flood is equivalent to not 1,800 trillion |
|103. The Grand Canyon and Other Canyons||Not unexplained: erosion|
|104. Mid-Oceanic Ridge||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|105. Earth’s Major Components||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|106. Ocean Trenches, Earthquakes, and the Ring of Fire||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|107. Magnetic Variations on the Ocean Floor||Not unexplained: plate tectonics and pole-shifts|
|108. Submarine Canyons||Not unexplained: plate tectonics and sea-level changes and erosion|
|109. Coal and Oil||Not unexplained: compression and time|
|110. Methane Hydrates||Not unexplained: chemistry and geology|
|111. Ice Age||Not unexplained: geology[note 85]|
|112. Frozen Mammoths||Not unexplained: the ice age was cold[note 86]|
|113. Major Mountain Ranges||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|114. Overthrusts||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|115. Volcanoes and Lava||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|116. Geothermal Heat||Not unexplained: Gravitational compression and radioactive decay|
|117. Strata and Layered Fossils||Not unexplained: Basic geology[note 87]|
|118. Limestone||Not unexplained: Basic geology|
|119. Metamorphic Rock||Not unexplained: Basic geology and plate tectonics|
|120. Plateaus||Not unexplained: erosion|
|121. The Moho and Black Smokers||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|122. Salt Domes||Not unexplained: basic geology[note 88]|
|123. Jigsaw Fit of the Continents||Not unexplained: plate tectonics|
|124. Changing Axis Tilt||Not unexplained: astrophysics|
|125. Comets||Not unexplained: astrophysics|
|126. Asteroids, Meteoroids, and Trans-Neptunian Objects||Not unexplained: astrophysics[note 89]|
|127. Earth’s Radioactivity||Not unexplained: astrophysics|
|XXX. Rainbows||Okay, not really, but after the list above, would you seriously be surprised?|
The Seemingly Impossible Events of a Worldwide Flood Are Credible, If Examined Closely.
Here Brown breaks from trying to provide compelling evidence for Creation and the Flood, and his last four points are just trying to make the Flood not sound as ridiculous as it is.
128. Water above Mountains?
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Is there enough water to cover all earth’s preflood mountains in a global flood? Most people do not realize that the volume of water on earth is ten times greater than the volume of all land above sea level.
Most of earth’s mountains consist of tipped and buckled sedimentary layers. Because these sediments were initially laid down through water as nearly horizontal layers, those mountains must have been pushed up after the sediments were deposited.
|Yes, most sediments were laid down before the mountains were raised. That's one of the ways unconformities happen. You know, the thing Brown denies exist in #22, and then admits they exist in #68, and then complains there's not enough of them in #70.|
|If the effects of compressing the continents and buckling up mountains were reversed, the oceans would again flood the entire earth. Therefore, the earth has enough water to cover the smaller mountains that existed before the flood. (If the solid earth were perfectly smooth, the water depth would be about 9,000 feet everywhere.)||That only happens if you ignore erosion. If you reverse the effects of plate tectonics and volcanoes crumpling and making new land, you also have to reverse the effects of rain and ice wearing land away. So while the Rockies, Alps, Andes, and Himalayas would shrink toward the oceans, the Appalachians, Scottish Highlands, and Urals would grow. But, of course, we know from #74 that Brown doesn't believe in Erosion. Except for when he needs it to make a point in #76 and #22|
129. Seashells on Mountaintops
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Fossilized sea life lies atop every major mountain range on earth—far above sea level and usually far from the nearest body of water. Attempts to explain “seashells on mountaintops” have generated controversy for centuries.||It may have generated controversy for centuries, but then in the mid-20th Century there stopped being controversy after the evidence behind plate tectonics piled so high (haha, tectonics puns) it couldn't be ignored. You know, plate tectonics, the thing Brown provided evidence for in #75.|
|An early explanation was that a global flood covered these mountains, allowing clams and other sea life to “crawl” far and high. However, as Leonardo da Vinci wrote, under the best conditions, clams move too slowly to reach such heights, even if the flood lasted centuries. Also, the earth does not have enough water to cover these mountains, so others said that some sea bottoms sank, leaving adjacent seafloors (loaded with sea creatures) relatively high—what we today call mountains. How such large subterranean voids formed to allow this sinking was never explained. Still others proposed that sea bottoms rose to become mountains. The mechanisms, forces, and energy required to push up mountains were also never explained.||The forces in question are the convection currents of Earth's mantle. Probably. There are a lot of interactions and physics that happens between the crust and the mantle we don't know, on the account of it being deep and hot. Also it wasn't oceanic crust that got lifted to form mountains, but submerged continental crust. While both are technically "the sea bottom", it's an important distinction. Much of central North America used to be under water not too long ago, the floor of a shallow sea. Now it's not. Because plate tectonics.|
|Because elevations on earth change slowly, some wondered if sea bottoms could rise miles into the air, perhaps over millions of years. However, mountaintops, which experience destructive freezing and thawing cycles, erode relatively rapidly—and so should fossils slowly lifted by them.||Mountain can and do get lifted faster than erosion. The Himalayas, Alps, and Rockies-Andes are still growing, despite snow and ice tearing at them. But yes, the uppermost layers of fossils and sediment get eroded away. It's a good thing for Brown only exactly one layer of sediment can ever exist at a time, and that the fossils are all deposited neatly on the top of that, because otherwise erosion might just expose fossils that had been buried to now be at the tops of the mountains.|
|Also, mountaintops accumulate few sediments that might blanket and protect such fossils.||Wait, what? We're talking about seashells, why would sediments laid down after the land got lifted out of the water have anything to do with that?|
|Some early authorities, in frustration, said the animals and shells grew inside rocksc—or the rocks simply look like clams, corals, fish, and ammonites. Others denied the evidence even existed. Today, geologists rarely acknowledge all the seashells on mountaintops.||
Some early authorities, in frustration to explain planetary retrograde motion when it was so clear the gods made the universe to have perfect spheres, said there were spheres within spheres, epicycles, that could explain the motion. Others denied the retrograde motion even existed. Today, astronomers rarely acknowledge the apparent retrograde motion of the planets.See how silly it sounds? Also, a point: geologists do acknowledge the seashells, because plate tectonics explains them nicely.
|The means by which mountains were pushed up in hours during a global flood will soon be presented. The mechanism is simple, the energy and forces are sufficient, and supporting evidence (pages 110–434) is voluminous—not just seashells on mountaintops.||You know what mountains don't have seashells on them? Volcanoes. If there had been a worldwide flood that buried shells on everything, only to have everything uplift after that, then volcanoes would have as many seashells as any other mountain. Should be easy thing to prove. But while tectonic mountains like the Appalachians have sea-fossils on them, for some reason Mauna Kea and Mt. Hood don't.|
130. Flood Legends
|In the Beginning||Response|
|A gigantic flood may be the most common of all legends. Almost every ancient culture had legends telling of a traumatic flood in which only a few humans survived in a large boat. The many common elements in more than 230 flood legends, suggest a common historical event that left a vivid impression on survivors of that catastrophe. This cannot be said for other types of catastrophes, such as earthquakes, fires, volcanic eruptions, disease, famines, or drought.||
Humans first began farming around 12,500 years ago, ish. Rivers and river mouths are a great place to farm, and it's no wonder the civilizations that arose from these ancient societies all happened around rivers, near coastlines: Norte Chico, Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and the Indus River Valley. So you've got all these humans farming river mouths, and then, a few hundred years later, the last ice age starts to come to a close. The northern hemisphere starts melting, and glaciers that cover most of entire continents release their water back into the oceans. The seas rise by several dozen metres, sometimes all in one go as huge glacial lakes broke their barriers and emptied all at once.
So what's more likely? 1) All the farming societies which would eventually develop into full-blown civilizations had similar destabilizing experiences with rising water, and stories got embellished after thousands of years to be all-encompassing with their ancestors being the only survivors? Or 2) Literally the entire Earth was flooded by a regretful omniscient and omnipotent diety, with such a catastrophe that left no evidence, and somehow missed China (which has had a continuous and literate civilization since before Ussher's date of creation)?
Not to mention most Mesopotamian flood stories are all plagiarized off each-other, which is understandable given how interwoven the various culture groups of the area were.But yes, it's probably the regretful omnipotent and omniscient diety destroying the whole world except China in such a way as to leave no marks and only make it appear that 4.5 billion years of geological history happened.
131. Was There Room?
Spoiler: No there wasn't
|In the Beginning||Response|
|Could the Ark have held all the animals? Easily. A small number of humans, some possibly hired, could build a boat large enough to hold representatives of every air-breathing land animal—about 16,000 animals in all.||Brown fails to mention how he got to 16,000, which is convenient since that doesn't require coming up with a solid definition of "kind". We can try to estimate roughly what one is based on his number, though. Note these numbers are only things that are alive today, and excludes extinct species, genera, families, and orders.|
|.||Very clearly not species, which means Brown agrees that |
|Sea creatures did not need to be on the Ark, nor did insects or amphibians. Only mammals, birds, reptiles, and humans.||
See the main article on this topic: Aquatic species and the global flood
See the main article on this topic: Insects and the global flood
Insects weren't on the Ark? The Bible specifically states in both stories that Noah was to take everything that creeps on the ground. Most insects creep on the ground. Maybe Brown's just decided the Bible can't be 100% accurate, in which case, maybe the flood wasn't accurate? It seems humans aren't mammals, either.
It's also nice that he consigns all freshwater fish and amphibians to extinction. That's borne out by evidence, though, because we all know frogs are mythological creatures.
In all seriousness, Brown does explain how freshwater animals survived. He posits three possibilities:
|The Ark, having at least 1,500,000 cubic feet of space, was adequate to hold these animals, their provisions, and all their other needs for one year.||
While the Ark did have around 1.5 million cubic feet of space (~42475 m³), there were only three decks, so only about 101,250 square feet (~9406.4 m²) of space was available for storage of the animals. That gives each animal about 6 square feet (.59 m²) of space each. A square 29.4 inches (76.7 cm for the civilised) to a side to store it, its water, its food, the caging material, the access-point to get to its cage for cleaning and service, and so on.
Even if Noah stacked the cages and was the Tetris master for packing them all perfectly in, that still only leaves each of the 16,000 animals with a space less than 100 cubic feet (2.83 m³). A cube 4' 6.5" to a side (or 138.5 cm, if you're civilised). Unfortunately Brown doesn't go into details on how 2.6 m3 was enough for the "animal, its provisions, and all its other needs for one year". For comparison, a very small studio apartment with low ceilings is about 34 m3. A US prison cell is around 11 m3.
It seems like Brown just saw the "1.5 million cubic feet" and thought "wow, that's a lot of space!" without actually working out what that implied.For more details, check out the main article: How did Noah care for the animals on the boat?
|Since the flood, many offspring of those on the Ark would have become reproductively isolated to some degree due to mutations, natural genetic variations, and geographic dispersion. Thus, variations within a kind have proliferated. Each variation or species we see today did not have to be on the Ark. For example, a few wolflike animals were probably ancestors of the coyotes, dingoes, jackals, and hundreds of varieties of domestic dogs. (This is microevolution, not macroevolution, because each member of the dog kind can interbreed and has the same organs and genetic structure.) Could the Ark have held dinosaurs and elephants? Certainly, if they were young.||
See the main article on this topic: BaraminologyOh, and dinosaurs, too? It's hard to find an exact number of extinct species, families, genera, and orders of Brown's list of acceptable classes. By trolling around various Wikipedia lists with regular expressions, I've come up with the following estimations. Note that these are most likely underestimates both because my regex didn't catch everything, and we still don't know everything. Numbers in italics are estimates based on rates of genera per family and family per order in extant and extinct groups.
|Mammal||Bird||Reptile||Totals||Totals with Extant|
|Genera||1760||Over 1440||2226||Over 5426||Over 9895|
|Families||437||348||428||Over 1213||Over 1646|
|Orders||75||44||69||Over 188||Over 271|
|So to represent all animals, extant and extinct, with only 8,000 breeding-pairs would require less than one mating-pair per genus. Moving to families, and factorring in the seven pairs of birds and the 17 even-toed ruminate families, you get 5,036 breeding-pairs.[note 91] (Moving down to genus pushes that number to 31,915 breeding-pairs, nearly 4 times Brown's estimate.) So clearly Brown believes that most taxonomical genera |
|What about plants? As the flood began, the powerful fountains of the great deep scattered throughout and even above the atmosphere seeds and spores that settled to earth for years afterward. Fortunately, the 46,000-mile-long fountains were at almost all latitudes. Had they followed an east-west (latitudinal) path, such as along the preflood equator, many plants we now have would have become extinct.||
See the main article on this topic: Plants and the global flood
How fortunate that these fountains of supercritical water at only a fraction of a degree above absolute zero launching from the crust at no less than 16.5 km/s perfectly preserved all those seeds and spores, which happily remained in the upper atmosphere getting blasted by high-energy cosmic rays and solar radiation for 376 days before fluttering gently down.This probably means Brown's theory predicts huge mats of vegetation will be found on other planets, because most of it would've gotten shot into space with the comets and TNOs, with only the luckiest of seeds to be cradled by Jesus until he delicately dropped them from the stratosphere to re-seed the Earth.
This book was written by a creationist for creationists to help validate their beliefs. Brown's modus operandi is to ignore any science since the 1950s, and claim that therefore there are lots of things that are unexplained, and that his model is the only thing that can explain them. Instead of looking at the evidence and following where it leads, Brown looks at the evidence and asks himself how it could fit into a recent creation and worldwide flood. The result of this is a mish-mash of contradictions and fallacies. Brown conveniently breaks the book up into bite-sized bits, which masks these errors, so in the effort of undoing his hard work let's juxtapose them.
Overview of contradictions
- Nature can't create new genetic material (#1-5) except when it does (#6)
- Humans are the only organisms to use language (#13, #14) except when bacteria do it (#41)
- Bacteria are too simple (#4) and too complex (#41) to have evolved.
- Strata are too parallel (#22, #70) and not parallel enough (#67) for the Earth to be old
- Flowers appeared during (#24) and well after (#25) the Cambrian.
- There aren't enough (#23) and too many (#26) proto-human fossils.
- It's impossible (#34) and easy (#35) for complex systems to evolve.
- Pluto is ("Is Pluto a Planet") and isn't (#44) a planet.
- Earth has too much (#44) and not enough (#86) water.
- Volcanoes don't exist (#45) except when there's too many of them (#74)
- There's not enough (#74) and too much (#76) continental crust.
- There's not enough (#49) and too much (#88, #89) dust in the solar system.
- Venus is too cold (#51) and too hot (#87).
- The planets are too dissimilar ("Astronomical and Physical Sciences") and not dissimilar enough (#44, #48) to have formed from a disk of material.
- Planetary rings are too thick (#47) and too thin (#48) to be old.
- Earth shouldn't be spinning (#46) and isn't spinning fast enough (#48)
- Meteorites hitting Earth are too rare (#45) and too frequent (#81)
- There's no evidence for dark energy (#56), except when there is (#56)
- There's no evidence for dark matter (#56), except when there is (#92, #93)
- There's no evidence for plate tectonics (#76), except when there is (#75, #104, #105, #106, #107, #108, #113, #114, #115, #121, #123)
- The universe had a beginning (#53), except when the universe is eternal and unchanging (#61)
- Speciation is impossible (#7), except when it's easy and quick (#131)
Overview of logical fallacies
Here's a list of the most egregious fallacies Brown uses.
|Straw man[note 92]||2, 23, 28, 29, 30, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 43, 53, 54, 55, 57, 59, 61, 62, 66, 69, 70||21|
|Argument from incredulity||6, 8, 15, 17, 29, 30, 31, 34, 38, 61, 62||11|
|Science was wrong before[note 93]||2, 20, 26, 43, 48, 52, 57, 65, 68, 69||10|
|Science doesn't know everything||1, 8, 11, 13, 35, 36, 48, 52, 60, 62||10|
|Appeal to Authority||2, 36, 41, 42, 53||5|
|Red herring||12, 33, 36, 40, 64||5|
Overview of outright lies
Here's a list of all the points where Brown either didn't do basic research, or chose to lie about the evidence available. All of these are debunked by direct observational evidence that existed in 2013 when (as of this writing) Brown last updated the book:
|Lies||7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 28, 34, 45, 48, 51, 56, 57, 58, 61, 65, 66, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 77, 84, 85, 87, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127||55|
Overview of bad math
Several times in the book Brown mentions some natural process that, when extrapolated backward, proves the Earth is young. He gives answers without showing his work, and since the actual calculations don't agree with his results, he either never did them, or is just terrible at mathematics.
|Subject||Brown's Result||Actual Result||Degree of Error|
|Meteoric dust accumulation on Earth over 3.5 billion years (#81)||16 feet||3 inches||64x|
|Lunar recession over 4.5 billion years (#83)||More than 384,399 km||171,000 km[note 94]||At least 2x|
|Energy released by his Fountains of the Deep||Between 2.259×1027 and 4.369×1032 J||At least 9.3×1032 J||Between 2.1x and 411,687x|
Fun with math
There are two major catastrophic things Brown says happened during the flood:
- All the Earth's heavy elements were created and decayed at rates billions of times quicker than today
- All of the Trans-Neptunian Objects were thrown from the Earth and to their current orbits.
Both of these represent mind-boggling amounts of energy. Just how much? Let's find out!
For elements lighter than iron, fusing two nuclei together tends to release energy. For elements heavier than iron, it takes energy to fuse. If the resulting atom is unstable, this can be thought of as a battery: the energy is stored, and will be released later when the atom decays. There are a lot of stable elements above iron, so it's not a perfect battery, but the analogy's pretty good.
We know the decay rates of radioactive elements within the Earth's crust and mantle, and because decay rates are quite stable (barring supernatural processes) we know how much energy was being produced by radioactive decay in the past, and how much we have left. By integrating the equation, we can calculate the total amount of radiogenic energy produced for any given span of time, as well as for all time since the formation of the Earth.
|Total||0 - ∞||3.968×1019 TJ|
|Prior to now||0 - 4.5||3.174×1019 TJ|
|Previous 4,000 years||4.499996 - 4.5||1.135×1013 TJ|
|Next 4,000 years||4.5 - 4.500004||1.135×1013 TJ|
|Remaining||4.5 - ∞||7.935×1018 TJ|
Brown says Z-pinch fusion created all the heavy elements in the Earth's crust during the time when the Earth's crust was flapping like a flag in a stiff wind. This involved exothermic fusion leading up to iron, and endothermic fusion from iron and above. He also claims that heat from the accelerated decay helped fuel the creation of more heavy elements, which is why the decay didn't melt the Earth's crust. Since not every heavy element produced would've decayed, it could've also sucked up the heat from the exothermic reactions. In the end, however, we know around 7.935×1018 TJ wasn't reused, since it's still stored as radioactive elements. That means that energy had to come from somewhere, and since the exothermic fusion is already used to create stable endothermic fusion products,[note 95] maybe, just maybe, Brown can escape from destroying the Earth by taking the energy from the TNO generation.
We know from these calculations that creating the Trans-Neptunian Objects required no less than 9.3×1020 TJ.[note 96] We also can figure out how much energy each energysink can absorb before it destroys the Earth, or otherwise renders it uninhabitable:
|Energy Sink||Explanation||Max Capacity|
|Kinetic (deformation)||The amount of energy it'd take to literally rip the planet apart, and spread its bits so that they wouldn't gravitationally come back together.||2.49×1032 J|
|Radioactive Elements||While the total energy stored in heavy elements was 3.968×1031 J, most of that (3.174×1031 J) decayed within the 40 days of the fountaining, and the energy released in decay since the flood is so tiny in comparison to the energy left to be released, only the energy left to be released could be considered an energysink.||7.935×1030 J|
|Rotational||The Earth is currently spinning about once every 24 hours. If it were about once every two hours (about 12 times faster than now) it would be destroyed. Therefore, the max energy that could be used this way would be if the pre-flood Earth were spinning just under once every two hours, was slowed to a stop, then further accelerated to be where it is now, which is 13 times the current rotational energy.||2.778×1030 J|
|Light||The amount of light energy, assuming it's only at a frequency at which water's the most transparent, it would take to boil all of the Earth's oceans, rendering Earth uninhabitable.||2.227×1028 J|
|Thermal (atmosphere)||The amount of heat it'd take to turn the entire atmosphere into a plasma (simply raising it to 100°C was so small as to be insignificant)||9.064×1026 J|
|Thermal (ground)||The amount of heat it'd take to melt the crust||6.2×1026 J|
|Total Sink Capacity||Total amount of energy to almost, but not quite, destroy the Earth||2.597×1032 J|
We have a minimum of 9.3×1032 J we need to dissipate. Enough to destroy the Earth 3.58 times over. Sorry, Doc. Unfortunately for you, there's no evidence the Earth was destroyed about 4000 years ago (or ever, for that matter).
Freezing the earth
In direct contradiction to the math above, Brown claims that near-absolute-zero ice fell down on the Earth and caused an ice age, freezing all the mammoths and the like instantly. When water falls, its potential energy gets converted to kinetic energy. When it hit the ground, that kinetic energy is turned into a different kind of kinetic energy we call "heat". Because the specific heat of water is so high, this isn't noticeable on human scales — you'd have to drop liquid water 427 meters to have enough energy to raise it a single Kelvin — but Brown's talking about dropping ice from space. Unfortunately he doesn't give a timeframe of when and for how long the ice fell, but he does say all the mammoths were frozen pre-flood
thereby burying them with the trilobites under hundreds of meters of flood sediment, so it had to have happened within the 40 days of fountaining. Of course how the ice remained frozen while half an ocean's worth of hot water covered everything for a year is left as an exercise to the reader.
Calculating how much energy it takes to heat water is a fairly simple exercise in unit cancellation. Specific heat is measured in Joules per Kilogram Kelvin (J/kgK). Before we look up what the specific heat of water is in various states, let's solve for the equations we'll be using, namely how hot you can get water with the energy produced by dropping it from a height h with a heat capacity of C:
Solving for h is clear: just divide C by the acceleration due to gravity. For simplicity's sake that's 9.81 m/s2, because over distances of tens of kilometers it doesn't change all that much. Unit cancellation shows we're on the right track, as it results in meters per Kelvin. Note that the mass of the water cancels itself out, so the result doesn't care how much water you're dropping: if you drop a tiny bit, it'll have less energy, but it also needs less energy to heat.
Air resistance also doesn't factor in, because potential energy is potential energy. Having air in the way just means it'll be converted to thermal energy over a longer period of time; it'll still be the same amount of energy in the end. We also need to consider the energy required to melt ice, and boil water, called the Enthalpy of Fusion and Enthalpy of Vaporization respectively.
With these tools, let's build a table!
|Temp||State||Specific Heat||Meters to raise by one Kelvin||Meters to traverse the entire state's temperature range|
|Enthalpy of Fusion||—||333,550 J/kg||—||34,000|
|Enthalpy of Vaporization||—||2,257,000 J/kg||—||230,071|
As you can see, even dropping absolute-zero ice from 60 kilometers is enough to turn it to just-below-freezing ice. Dropping it from the edge of space at 100 kilometers is enough to further melt the ice into warm rain. But we know the ice didn't just come from the edge of space, because the vast majority of those fountains were spewing at 16.5 km/s, well over Earth's escape velocity. That means there was some amount of water that traveled just to the edge of Earth's sphere of influence, then fell back down, reaching a max potential energy of just under 6.25×107 Joules (the kinetic energy of something traveling Earth's escape velocity). Under a constant gravitational acceleration field of 9.81 m/s2 (like we're using in the table) that equates to an altitude of 6371 km.[note 97]
Using our table, we know it only takes 365.4 km to turn absolute-zero ice into steam, which means the remaining energy would just heat up that steam, to nearly 30,000 Kelvin (several times hotter than the sun). Of course, in reality a lot of that energy would go into the atmosphere and planet itself, but the result is still thermal energy going into the Earth. To prevent the planet from boiling, that energy would have to be absorbed by the still-cold water that didn't go as high, meaning the average height of water shot from the fountains would have to be less than 365.4 km. To prevent even just heating up the Earth the average height would have to be less than 99 km (that'd heat the fountain water up to 15°C), for an average fountain velocity of a mere 1.39 km/s.
If the fountain velocity followed a standard bell-curve, peaking at 16.5 km/s, the majority of water that fell back to Earth would come from very high up. Far from creating an ice-age, Brown's model would push the Earth closer to a runaway greenhouse effect.
Brown's flood relies mainly on 2 things:
- The Earth was created with a huge amount of water — at least five hundred times more than is currently on Earth — trapped in a world-spanning subterranean ocean 60 miles beneath the surface of the Earth
- Tidal forces heating that water until its pressure overcomes the weight of rock and it bursts through at no less than 16.5 km/s.
Note that nowhere does YHWH actually trigger the flood. The only part the god had was in setting up the initial conditions, which means that no matter what happened, roughly 2,000 years after creation, the flood would occur.
That means there's no way God didn't know Adam and Eve would sin, and their descendants would deserve getting wholly destroyed, because otherwise the Flood might've happened during the Garden of Eden, which would've been awkward to say the least. In other words, YHWH set up the universe with the full knowledge that he'd have to kill almost everyone a mere 2000 years down the road, and so provided a way for that to happen while he just sat back and watched.
As the famous verse goes, For God so loved the world that he set up its destruction and the deaths of millions of humans and billions of innocent animals just for giggles.
Alternatively, the god that forgot about magnetoception and how to build a proper eye when building its favorite creatures also forgot about the impending flood until a few hundred years before it was set to blow. YHWH found some random guy, told him he was the Chosen One and that he needs to build a box to keep creation alive in. When it's all over the deity just makes sure that the history books say that humanity totally deserved it. After all, Noah and his family aren't going to complain... YHWH gets to cause and watch senseless destruction, and then won't even be blamed for it — the perfect crime!
- Walter Brown
- Young Earth creationism
- Evidence against a recent creation
- Hydroplate theory
- Global flood
- The book itself
- A reply to a late-80s/early-90s draft of Brown's book by Jim Lippard.
- Brown's response to Lippard.
- Lippard's response to Brown's response.
- Brown's response to Lippard's response to Brown's response.
- Lippard's ultimate response to Brown's response to Lippard's response to ...
- A rebuttal to Brown's hydroplate theory, and how it supposedly created the world we see today.
- A (relatively) succinct review on Amazon.
- Old Earth Ministries (a creationist organization) debuking Brown's hydroplate hypothesis
- CreationWiki's page on Brown's book.
- Yes, that MIT.
- To explain what I mean, I'll use the example of so-called "superbugs": bacteria that evolve resistance to antibiotics. So, there's some population of bacteria, say E. coli, that suddenly get inundated with a toxin, say penicillin. The vast majority of the bacteria cannot handle this change and die, but by sheer chance, and the Law of Large Numbers, a few bacteria produce an enzyme that breaks penicillin down and renders it ineffective. Now all surviving members of that population have this gene that produces boatloads of "penicilase", which takes more energy and resources than not churning out enzymes, but also provides protection against penicillin. If the penicillin-infused environment changes to one without so much penicillin, these bacteria are wasting energy producing enzyme which no longer has any direct benefit. Eventually strains will evolve that don't produce the enzyme endlessly, either because that particular gene got an error that renders it inoperable, or because it got shut down by a controlling gene such that it turns off (similar to how lactose-intolerant humans have the gene that codes for lactase — the enzyme that breaks down lactose — behind a lock that gets activated after weaning). In this low-penicillin environment, these strains are more fit than the ones wasting energy producing an enzyme, and so out-compete them. But if penicillin is reintroduced, those ones that broke their enzyme-producing gene will have to un-break it, whereas the ones that simply have it turned off need only activate it, and be safe. The bacteria that have the lock are more fit than any of its ancestors, and survive better than their cousins, resulting in a population that can turn on and off that enzyme production at-will. If we now did that same study on that population, Brown would conclude the whole set of genes — the ones that produce penicillin-defeating enzyme, and the genes that control it's expression — clearly didn't evolve because the bacteria can be encouraged by a "need" to turn on already-present genes.
- It's also key to note that bacteria don't always have the same genes, even within the lifetime of an individual. Bacteria have the unique ability to horizontally (within the same generation) transfer genes.
- Compare with around 1011 stars in the Milky Way Galaxy; there are more microbes on the ocean floor than there are stars in the supergalaxy that would result if you replaced every star in the Milky Way with a copy of the Milky Way. In fact, you'd be able to assign around 10 million microbes per star to that supergalaxy.
- Lenski's E. coli didn't start with a population that could digest citrate, and over time lose the genes that didn't have that trait. They gained the ability to digest citrate, separate from shuffling pre-existing genes around.
- Three- and two-chambered hearts exist in reptiles and fish respectively. While the heart is a vital organ, neither hearts are as efficient as four-chambered hearts which keep oxygenated blood away from deoxygenated blood. Both could be considered transitional forms between proto-hearts, like what insects have, and "true, fully-developed hearts" like what mammals and birds have (though in another 500 million years there'll probably be an even better heart)
- Assuming they survive the next few millennia.
- Just like how it takes stars a long time (tens of millions of years) to form, but only a moment for them to die (which they do fairly spectacularly, making their deaths visible from farther away than their births are). Though I have a hunch he'll get around to that.
- With the exception of Titan, though the probe froze quickly after landing
- There's some debate about this, due to black holes which appear to destroy information. This only shows that we don't know everything.
- He could also be talking about entropy; again, this is the problem of not defining your terms.
- Again, discounting black holes
- To put it into context, a Cambrian Explosion's time ago, dinosaurs were still the dominant form of life, mammals were little more than shrews, and birds and flowers were brand-new.
- While eyes did exist, they were more analogous to insect and slug eyes than to human, cuttlefish, or eagle eyes.
- Dr. Brown has already indicated that a fully-developed ear is mammalian, with three tiny bones that allow greater diversity in hearing. This is something that by definition didn't exist in the Cambrian because back then not only were there no mammals, there weren't even land-animals.
- Again, four-chambered hearts came well after the Cambrian.
- It's like when we found a star that appeared older than the age of the universe. It's not that the star formed literally before the Big Bang, but that the universe turned out to be a bit older than we had initially thought. Or, to put it in Hovind terms, we had a shipwreck with a chest of coins, all of the coins dating no later than 1853, so we presumed the ship sank in 1853. Then we find a coin dated 1855. It's not that we then must assume someone swam down to put a coin in the wreck: our assumption was just wrong, and we update it.
- The Soviets had as much an agenda to deny science (even such basic things as Mendelian Genetics) as modern creationists do.
- Yes, humans are apes, so that doesn't really make sense, but I hope you know what I mean.
- xkcd did a comic about it.
- Though the way DNA works, it's probable the alteration of a single nucleotide won't effect the way a gene functions. There's a lot of redundancy in the codons.
- I'm using "quotes" because in the earliest stages it would blur the line between chemistry and what we would call life. Is a 120-base-long strand of RNA that can replicate itself "life" or just really interesting chemistry?
- Evolution doesn't "try" to produce long-lived healthy happy organisms; cancer doesn't matter so long as it tends to happen after reproduction. Lots of horrible things befall creatures after reproduction: wasps and octopodes starve, for example, while social mammals tend to lose their teeth and either starve or get cancer or lose immune system functionality and die of disease. All things expected of a system that only cares about reproduction, while not really expected of a benevolent designer.
- Coffee says "hi".
- The Malaria parasite says "hi".
- This may sound like a cop-out, but even if scientists were to discover and explicitly list the exact way insect DNA evolved, he'd just say "Well how did the fish genome evolve?!?!" Mutation and natural selection is a perfectly valid answer for "how did X genetic material develop" for any X because it explains, in the general, how genetic material develops.
- Developing to a non-mature but viable stage of life takes less energy than developing outright to full maturity. Thus, organisms that have pre-mature forms don't have to invest as much energy in producing eggs or growing their young in wombs, and can thus have more babies. Once born, these pre-mature creatures can help forage and/or hunt for their own energy to reach full maturity, and so even creatures whose young require upkeep are saving energy in the long run.
- Most of human agriculture, individually, would be considered one-sided parasitic relationships, because we don't necessarily need any one plant to survive, while they most certainly need us. However, taken as a whole, humans and our collective plants are symbiotic, since without us they'd lose out to weeds, and without them we'd starve. The formation of plants dependent on us is pretty well-documented and is due to artificial selection, though in that sense every symbiotic relationship was artificially-selected by their constituents.
- Well, at least relationships between macroscopic organisms. Symbiotic relationships between macroscopic and microscopic are fairly common, since as a general rule bacteria are better and more able to digest things than macroscopic organisms.
- Not to mention that a pathogen that kills its host is less fit than one that keeps its host alive. That's why the malaria parasite is such a menace to human prosperity, while the bubonic plague isn't. A modern virus sent back in time to before immune systems were a thing would be less-fit than viruses that could infect organisms but keep them alive. The examples of very deadly pathogens in humans didn't evolve to infect humans, but instead have jumped from animals, which is why scientists are more worried about bird-flu and swine-flu than human-flu: human-flu doesn't want to kill humans, while bird- and swine-flu might accidentally do that, because the systems that enable them to live in birds and pigs might be fatal to humans.
- Just like proving the fact that three monkeys piled up under a robe and fake beard wouldn't pass for the resurrected messiah is, shall we say, insufficient to disprove Christianity — just like Dr. Brown's math argument is.
- Except the obvious things like reproduction
- Evolution doesn't just mean aesthetics. Changes in enzymes, production pathways, and cellular functions are far more important than body shape when it comes to fitness, especially for microbes.
- So good, in fact, that it over-pattern-matches and over-causation-discovers.
- The statement doesn't even make sense. Which "half" was removed? Answering that question would imply we know which half contains the person, which we don't. (Though evidence suggests both halves contain a person, but only the left is able to communicate with the outside world).
- Just like how seat-belts and airbags made cars safer in accidents, but cars still operated, and people still drove them, prior to both.
- Citation: adolescent me
- Well, technically bacteria are using chemiluminescence too, but fireflies do it without the bacteria.
- The anglerfish says "hi".
- Compare to Jupiter which, while it does have other objects in its orbit, constitutes 99.9999685% of the mass of its orbit.
- It's like saying biologists have no right to define what "mammal" means.
- Mercury says "hi".
- Many asteroids have moons.
- This snark is directed at Dr. Brown, and not the person reading this response. The point is that Brown didn't do even the most basic research to find out whether scientists have an explanation.
- Though since Brown thinks Pluto is a planet, by his own definitions Earth doesn't have more water than any of the other planets.
- Despite the fact that he initially says all the planets should be identical, he admitted planets closer to the sun would be lacking in elements that couldn't condense that close to the sun. Therefore, different regions in the disk would form bodies with different compositions.
- Admittedly, repeating "Repeating it doesn't make it true" doesn't make that more true, either. The difference is that what we're repeating is true, for other, valid reasons.
- The main rings themselves are held stable by orbital resonance with various moons. Particles that get too far off existing orbits are shepherded back into those orbits. That's also why there are gaps in the rings (usually: two of the gaps are because there are small moons actually within the rings). Jupiter does the same thing to the asteroid belt.
- Relativity is a good example of something we know is wrong, but we also know it's accurate enough that whatever replaces it will have to agree with it on almost all accounts. Time dilation, length contraction, and gravitational lensing will all have to be in its replacement. Whatever model of moon and planet formation turns out to be the most correct will also have to have in it all the things we know about them. Accretion will be inside that model, because we can see it happening. It's as much a fact as gravity.
- Though both the asteroids and icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud are leftovers from the formation of the solar system, so in an oblique way the Zodiacal Lights are too.
- Periods that are also cited as why carbon dioxide can't cause rising temperatures because the end of each ice age was marked with glaciers at the equator and CO2.
- Like how he believes the Theory of Evolution claims all the species existed as they are today, but without eyes, ears, hearts, and immune systems, and each had to individually evolve those things.
- Compare to Earth's effective temperature of 254° K (Earth's not as shiny as Venus, and so absorbs more energy from the sun — 236 W/m2 — despite being farther away). Earth doesn't have as much greenhouse gasses (yet), so it only has to get up to 288° K to match the solar input.
- Even the Omphalos hypothesis model is interesting. It implies a deity created a universe with the appearance of being old, where every bit of information that can be gathered from the universe points to a certain, logical, and natural cause for its formation and evolution to where we see today, and placed within this universe creatures able to use logic and reason to figure out these fake causes and laws. If, as creationists tend to believe, the universe is some sort of behavioral experiment, it would seem whatever deity that set this all up either wants us to think for ourselves and figure out these fake laws (last Thursdayism), or believe in spite of them (Pauline Christianity). I guess which god you prefer there is up to you.
- Probably the result of quantum fluctuations from when the universe was very, very tiny, though that's still being researched.
- Even in models without proton-decay, eventually quantum tunneling would result in all matter forming black-holes, which decay into photons.
- No, this doesn't imply the Earth or Sun is the center of the universe; the nature of expansion is that everywhere appears to be the center. Astronomers on a galaxy 60 billion light-years from the Milky Way would also see everything moving away from them.
- Imagine one-dimensional beings living on a one-dimensional line, unaware their line-universe is actually the intersection of a 2-d plane and a sphere. As time progresses, that plane drops through the sphere. In the first half of that universe, the line-universe of the beings would appear to be expanding, without any physical force causing the expansion. In truth the expansion is defined by the surface of the 3-dimensional object upon which their universe rests. It's possible that our universe works in the same way, that our 4-dimensional space-time is the actually the intersection of a 5-dimensional volume and a 6-dimensional shape, and that the expansion we see isn't caused by any force but defined by the surface of that 6-dimensional shape.
- If YHWH did interact with them, we'd be able to see those interactions, and measure them, and thus YHWH would be incorporated into physics models. If YHWH didn't do that predictably, we'd not have consistent laws of physics. We do have consistent laws of physics. Therefore, either YHWH doesn't interact with them, or it does, but is indistinguishable from mindless physical properties.
- Of course, it's not this simple. Some brown dwarves can produce deuterium without having enough pressure in their cores to produce helium.
- Technically water with only one deuterium and one hydrogen is called "semi-heavy water"
- It should be noted that, before it was known nuclear fusion is what powers stars, it was thought that stars began their lives in the upper left part of the diagram, moved to the left as they contracted and warmed up, and finally as they radiated away their internal heat they descended down the main sequence decreasing both their brightness and surface temperature until they faded into oblivion, meaning a red giant or supergiant would be a young star while our Sun and especially red dwarfs would be old ones
- Some brown dwarfs are massive enough for a tiny amount of fusion of rarer elements, though even those that can fuse can't sustain it for long, and eventually cool to the point where fusion stops.
- Except very specific cases as FU Orionis, which are stars in the process of being formed thus located only within star-forming regions.
- Brown points out the "Pillars of Creation" image of the Eagle Nebula as a place astronomers thought stars were forming, when it's more likely the remains of a nursery getting blown away by solar wind, supporting the idea that nurseries grow stars in batches and then fade.
- This is similar to how we get stellar distances. While in general, redshifting is a good way to determine distance, the actual hard data comes from type Ia supernovae, which, due to their physics, all have exactly the same absolute luminosity. By carefully measuring how bright they appear, we can get an accurate idea of how far away they are, and thus can find out the distance of the galaxies in which the supernovae occur. It's that connection that solidifies the relationship between distance and redshifting.
- An engineer who has already shown ignorance and disregard for scientific theories, along with an inability or unwillingness to do even basic research.
- Not to mention that research was initiated to study how elements behave during nucleosynthesis in the heart of stars, something Brown doesn't believe happens.
- The giant squid says "hi".
- Brown's justification is that the Oklo Reactor was a thing, and therefore that nature can assemble complex things, ignoring the fact that nuclear fission is far easier to randomly assemble than Z-pinch fusion, and ignoring the fact that Brown himself argues the Oklo Reactor was never actually a reactor, thus defeating his own justification.
- In which case one would expect mantis shrimp would cause fusion.
- Brown's actual justification for this is Magnetized Target Fusion, in which a bubble of D-T plasma is compressed via extremely-carefully-timed impact on a spherical shell, forming a spherically-symmetric shock-wave that collapses on the plasma. If anything, it's even more difficult to set this up than Z-pinching, not to mention it would only fuse easy-to-fuse things like D-T, and not any old element.
- Literally flapping; Brown says the bottom of the crust slams into the mantle.
- Again, neither of his proposed methods of fusion would happen in such a chaotic state, let alone be sustainable.
- That's where the idea that a herd of Precambrian rabbits would falsify evolution comes from: such a find would be a huge contradiction to what we know about the geological column and fossil record.
- "At pH7 and 15°C, the last 800.bp fragment will be depurinated after about 5 000 years. At higher or lower pH the rate would be faster, whereas at 5°C the reaction would be two to four times slower. As baseless sites rapidly lead to strand breaks [S], it seems that the probability of any 800.bp DNA molecule surviving 16 million years in the presence of water is excluded. But this is a theoretical consideration and the empirical results will have to take precedence if proven right."
- "That which was asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."
- How we know that zircon crystal was 4.004 billion years old
- Seriously, it took me about 23 seconds to find the answer.
- If we reverse the above calculation, but using Brown's 16 feet, and assume Brown thought every meteoroid was metallic with a density of 8 g/cm3, we get 5.7 million tonnes of material per year, instead of the 40,000 tonnes Earth actually receives: 140 times higher.
- A hyperbolic orbit is better referred to as a hyperbolic escape trajectory. It does not form a cycle: it makes an approach, swings around, then leaves—forever.
- Or rather, are exceedingly confident
- Neutrinos don't interact with the electromagnetic force, either. Nor the strong interaction. It's not all that crazy that there could be a massive (as in "has mass", not "huge") particle like a neutrino that also doesn't interact with the weak interaction, and only interacts with gravity.
- And it's not that the evil scientists operating the satellites are hiding the data. Ken Ham's "Ark Encounter" travesty cost over $100 million. The cost of launching a Falcon-9 is only $62 million, meaning Ken would've had $40 million to design and build a satellite with a camera capable of resolving a few meters per pixel. It would only take a few years for him to have a full map of the mountains in eastern Turkey-western Iran at that resolution, and by all claims the Ark is in plain sight from above. But instead of putting his resources into a scientific expedition that would conclusively prove the Ark existed, he built a concrete box and filled it with plastic dinosaurs. Then again, the dinosaurs are more profitable.
- Also, ice age? Just the one? There've been so many ice ages!
- Humans can and do freeze in similar ways in similar conditions.
- Not to mention Brown shows that strata and layered fossils go against his flood theory. See #70.
- C'mon, Dr. Brown, a good 40% of Wikipedia's article is devoted to how they form.
- Also the only one that destroys the Earth when Brown tries to explain them!
- Since there are no saltwater frogs, this would involve animals of one "kind" (fish) evolving into animals of another "kind" (frogs).
- Leaving each animal with a a roomy 4.2 m3, or .93 m2 of deck-space
- Whenever Brown misrepresented a theory or what that theory predicts
- Including relying on papers from the 19th Century
- Using the assumption that the rate of recession hasn't changed; actual observational evidence is around 40,000 km
- It's generous to say the creation of stable heavy elements consumed all the energy of fusing lighter ones, since Brown's source for this revolutionary type of fusion says their electrodes exploded with considerable force. This implies the energy generated from exothermic fusion was somewhat greater than the energy consumed in endothermic fusion. In other words, the fusion was most likely an energy source, not an energy sink.
- Possibly much higher, since Brown says the fountains covered all latitudes, to preserve plants, and not all latitudes could contribute to TNO production. The 9.3×1020 TJ comes from assuming the vast majority of energy was localized near the plane of the ecliptic, instead of distributed across all latitudes.
- Which is almost exactly equal to the average radius of the Earth. I don't know if that's a coincidence, or if there's some fundamental truth there.
- In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood Center for Scientific Creation
- Transgenerational induction of defences in animals and plants by Anurag A. Agrawa et al. (1999) Nature 401:60-63.
- Trees recognize roe deer by saliva: Smart defence mechanisms against browsing (12 September 2016) ScienceDaily.
- There are fewer microbes out there than you think
- Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body.
- Scaling laws predict global microbial diversity
- Newfound groups of bacteria are mixing up the tree of life
- What is the last known common ancestor between canines, felines, and ursidae
- Fauna of Australia - Unlike a bird's beak, the bill is rubbery, doesn't contain mouth or nostrils, and is a sensory organ
- McKay, C. P.; Smith, H. D. (2005). "Possibilities for methanogenic life in liquid methane on the surface of Titan". Icarus. 178 (1): 274–276. Bibcode:2005Icar..178..274M. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2005.05.018.
- What Laboratory Research has Told Us about Dolphin Cognition In this case, Akeakamai could parse meaning of sentences, both audio and visual, which depended on word order ("bring surfboard to person" vs "bring person to surfboard"), while also demonstrating the linking of words to objects even if the object isn't present.
- Wild crows Can Distinguish Faces In a Crowd Crows not only remembered specific faces that harassed them, but conveyed that information to other crows, including newborns that weren't alive when the experiment initially took place
- Dolphins Have "Names," Respond When Called
- Do languages get simpler over time?
- The Grammaticalization Cycle
- Why do languages become easier with time but not more complex?
- YouTube: Evolution and Language, by Potholer54
- YouTube: Bird Mimics Chainsaw, Car Alarm and More
- Compare bone structures of each of them
- Pompeii is the obvious example, but they don't even have to bury their things to kill them. Volcanoes can fill an area with poisonous gasses and suffocate them: Slate, "Lake Nyos Suffocated Over 1,746 People in a Single Night"
- The New York Times "No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Fossil"
- Youtube: Noah's Flood debunked - 1, by Potholer54 even demonstrates this, though feel free to actually do the experiment yourself.
- Brake failures account for only a few percent of accidents, with driver error accounting for around 94%
- Butterfield, N. J. (2007). "Macroevolution and macroecology through deep time". Palaeontology. 50 (1): 41–55. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00613.x.
- To date the oldest known flower fossil is 120 million years old (source), while the Cambrian Explosion started around 540 million years ago.
- Edwin D. McKee, The Supai Group of Grand Canyon, Geological Survey Professional Paper 1173 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982), pp. 93–96, 100.
- https://www.emporia.edu/ksn/v30n2-december1983/index.html Coal Balls: A Key to Ancient Plants]
- When the Soviet Union Chose the Wrong Side on Genetics and Evolution by Sarah Zielinski (February 1, 2010) Smithsonian.
- Gould, Stephen Jay. (1993), Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History, New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company "Dubois's ingenious attempt to retain Pithecanthropus as a direct human ancestor has been widely misread in a precisely opposite manner as an ultimate surrender, almost comical in its transmogrification of a human forebear into a giant gibbon.".
- Kenndy, Kenneth A. R. (2000). "God-apes and Fossil Men: Paleoanthropology of South Asia". University of Michigan Press. pp. 180–181.
- Australopithecines aren't classified under the genus Homo and thus aren't human. Though keep in mind Neanderthals are also extinct apes, because humans are apes
- Weber, Christopher Gregory (Fall 1981). "Paluxy Man — The Creationist Piltdown". Creation/Evolution Journal. 2 (4). Retrieved 2017-07-10. See page 21.
- Taylor, R. E., et al. “The Age of the Calaveras Skull: Dating the ‘Piltdown Man’ of the New World.” American Antiquity, vol. 57, no. 2, 1992, pp. 269–275., doi:10.2307/280732. "Radiocarbon analyses using both conventional decay counting and accelerator mass spectrometry indicate a late Holocene age for the Calaveras skull."
- Jean-Jacques Hublin: Die Sonderevolution der Neandertaler. Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Juli 1998, Seite 56 ff.
- Bartelt, Karen (May–June 2000). "Review: Evolution". Reports of the National Center for Science Education (Book review). Berkeley, CA: National Center for Science Education. 20 (3): 38–39. ISSN 2158-818X. Retrieved 2015-05-21. Bartelt quoting from Patterson, Evolution (1999), p. 122
- Lorena Nasalean, Stéphanie Baudrey, Neocles B. Leontis, Luc Jaeger; Controlling RNA self-assembly to form filaments. Nucleic Acids Res 2006; 34 (5): 1381-1392. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkl008
- Horning, David P.; Joyce, Gerald F. (2016-08-15). "Amplification of RNA by an RNA polymerase ribozyme". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113 (35): 9786–91. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 5024611 Freely accessible. PMID 27528667. doi:10.1073/pnas.1610103113.
- How did insect metamorphosis evolve
- Scientific American: Insect Metamorphosis Evolution
- Common Reed Frog
- African Reed Frog
- Harris Bernstein, Carol Bernstein; Evolutionary Origin of Recombination during Meiosis. BioScience 2010; 60 (7): 498-505. doi: 10.1525/bio.2010.60.7.5
- Beck G, Habitat GS (November 1996). "Immunity and the Invertebrates" (PDF). Scientific American. 275 (5): 60–66. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1196-60. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- Cite error: Invalid
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- Healthline: Brain Surgery
- Phineas Gage is a prime example.
- Joseph, R. (1988), Dual mental functioning in a split-brain patient. J. Clin. Psychol., 44: 770–779. doi:10.1002/1097-4679(198809)44:5<770::AID-JCLP2270440518>3.0.CO;2-5 Patient C-1 showed functional deficiencies in both halves in areas the other could do, while both patients showed that language cognition is almost if not completely absent from the right-half. Patient C-2 showed complete autonomy in both halves, as expressed through each half of his body.
- Puccetti, Roland. “The Case for Mental Duality: Evidence from Split-Brain Data and Other Considerations.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 4, no. 1, 1981, pp. 93–99., doi:10.1017/S0140525X00007755.
- Patrick, M. C., Stevenson-Chavis, K., Thaler, S. L. (2007). "Demonstration of Self-Training Autonomous Neural Networks in Space Vehicle Docking Simulations", Aerospace Conference, 2007, 3–10 March 2007 IEEE link to PDF
- Hesman, T. (2004). The Machine That Invents, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 25, 2004.
- BrainFacts.org: Decision-Making
- Exploring the Mind: Brain scans can reveal your decisions 7 seconds before you decide
- The peppered moth is a classic example
- See Wikipedia's article on the formation of the solar system
- Universe Today: "Why doesn't the sun steal the moon" The Earth is closer, but the sun is far more massive.
- Astronoo: Angular momentum of the solar system
- See Wikipedia's article on the matter.
- For a brief but good explanation, see CGP Grey's video Is Pluto a planet?
- Business Insider: These ocean worlds reveal just how little water we have on Earth.
- ProjectRho: Building Blocks Other solvents include Fluorosilicones, molten sulphur, liquid ammonia, liquid methane, and liquid hydrogen.
- Quora: What are the most abundant compounds in the universe and on earth?
- Volume of Earth's oceans is roughly 1.332 × 1021 liters, which weighs 1.332 × 1021 kilograms, which is 2.23 × 10-2% of Earth's mass
- Wikipedia's article on the origin of Earth's water. Keep in mind Dr. Brown last updated this book in 2013.
- Density of the core is 5515 kg/m3, while the average density of the Earth is 3000 kg/m3
- Wilde S.A., Valley J.W., Peck W.H. and Graham C.M. (2001). "Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago" (PDF). Nature. 409 (6817): 175–8. PMID 11196637. doi:10.1038/35051550.
- Ask the people of Chelyabinsk.
- Massironi, Matteo; Simioni, Emanuele; Marzari, Francesco; Cremonese, Gabriele; Giacomini, Lorenza; et al. (28 September 2015). "Two independent and primitive envelopes of the bilobate nucleus of comet 67P". Nature. 526 (7573): 402–405. Bibcode:2015Natur.526..402M. PMID 26416730. doi:10.1038/nature15511. Yes, I know that's only one example, but considering we've only been to a dozen and a half, if our data's a fair sample of asteroids and comets, that still means billions, if not trillions, of bodies bear direct evidence of formation by accretion. That's also why astronomers are keen on studying the asteroids, comets, and Kuiper Belt objects: they can give us more data on how bodies form in space.
- There are far too many papers to cite, so just see the various Wikipedia articles: Formation of the Planets and Grand Track Hypothesis
- Hubble: Protoplanetary Disks in the Orion Nebula, Hubblesite: Planetary Systems in the Making: Dust and Gas Disks Around Young Stars in Orion Nebula, Views of the Solar System: Edge-on Protoplanetary Disk In The Orion Nebula, and literal pictures of planets in the process of forming Baby Planet Pictures
- Rubie, D. C.; Nimmo, F.; Melosh, H. J. (2007-01-01). Formation of Earth’s Core A2 - Schubert, Gerald. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 51–90. ISBN 9780444527486.
- Citation: comets
- It's called the Zodiacal Light
- Mann, I., Kimura, H., Biesecker, D.A. et al. Space Science Reviews (2004) 110: 269. doi:10.1023/B:SPAC.0000023440.82735.ba This paper doesn't even list solar annihilation as a source of dust removal, saying instead: "The loss processes are: dust collisional fragmentation, sublimation, radiation pressure acceleration, sputtering, and rotational bursting."
- Density of the corona is between 0.1 and 0.6 Pa, and the density of Earth's atmosphere at 60 km is 22 Pa
- The surface of the sun itself is "only" a few thousand Kelvin, so even if the dust were in the sun instead of just near it it would only be a few thousand Kelvin, in comparison to the 2 million Kelvin of the corona
- Data from the Soviet Venera probes (specifically the landers) disagrees with his statements
- Venusian volcanoes cover hundreds of kilometers and average a height of a mere 1.5 kilometers; Mauna Kea, a typical Earthly shield volcano, is about ten times taller, and ten times thinner.
- Michael J. Way; et al. (26 August 2016). "Was Venus the First Habitable World of our Solar System?". Geophysical Research Letters. 43: 8376–8383. [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL069790/abstract doi:10.1002/2016GL069790.}Retrieved 17 July 2016.
- Wolfram Alpha
- Robert G. Strom, Gerald G. Schaber, Douglas D. Dawson The global resurfacing of Venus Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets (1991–2012) Volume 99, Issue E5, pages 10899–10926, 25 May 1994
- Bougher, S. W.; Hunten, D. M.; Philips, R. J.; McKinnon, William B.; Zahnle, Kevin J.; Ivanov, Boris A.; Melosh, H. J. (1997). Venus II – Geology, Geophysics, Atmosphere, and Solar Wind Environment. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press. p. 969. ISBN 0-8165-1830-0.
- Clowe, Douglas; Gonzalez, Anthony; Markevich, Maxim (2003). "Weak lensing mass reconstruction of the interacting cluster 1E0657-558: Direct evidence for the existence of dark matter". Astrophys. J. 604 (2): 596–603. arXiv:astro-ph/0312273 Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/381970. Gravitational lensing has shown us where dark matter is, and allowed us to measure some of its properties. Read more here
- Type Ia supernovae are predicted by models of stellar fusion, as are neutron stars and black holes. If a model matches reality, it's likely to be true, at least insofar as it matches reality.
- Water Properties (including isotopologues)
- Space.com: Binary Star Systems: Classification and Evolution
- Proxima Centauri could be its own star, or a third companion to Alpha Centauri, which is itself a binary system.
- And if it was excessively close to us. Was it at Oort cloud-like distances, we'd just see a harmless bright star
- Keppens, R. . "Spin and orbital angular momentum exchange in binary star systems." Astronomy and Astrophysics 318 (1992): 275-88. Web. 18 July 2017.
- Adams, Fred C.; Laughlin, Gregory; Graves, Genevieve J. M. (2004). "Red Dwarfs and the End of the Main Sequence" (PDF). Gravitational Collapse: From Massive Stars to Planets. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica. pp. 46–49. Bibcode:2004RMxAC..22...46A.
- Except for very late stages (thus rare to spot because of their brief duration) of stellar evolution, that take years or even less.
- Not sure what journal this is for, if any, but I'm giving Brown the benefit of the doubt: Beta Decay of Highly Charged Ions.
- The Kola Superdeep Borehole is still the deepest artificial point on Earth.
- Gando, A., Dwyer, D. A., McKeown, R. D., & Zhang, C. (2011). Partial radiogenic heat model for Earth revealed by geoneutrino measurements. Nature Geoscience, 4(9), 647–651.
- Neither they nor their lab has a Wikipedia page; they're not mentioned in any significant scientific papers.
- Gladman, Brett; et al. (August 2001). "The structure of the Kuiper belt". Astronomical Journal. 122 (2): 1051–1066. Bibcode:2001AJ....122.1051G. doi:10.1086/322080
- The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/02/fossilized-coral-calendar-changes-leap-day/471180/ How Ancient Coral Revealed the Changing Length of a Year]
- Kramer, Stephen P.; Day, Kenrick L. (1995), Caves, Carolrhoda Books (published 1994), p. 23, ISBN 978-0-87614-447-3
- TalkOrigins: The "Meister Print": An Alleged Human Sandal Print from Utah
- Bad Archaeology: Rockcastle County footprints
- Bushnell, David I. “Petroglyphs Representing the Imprint of the Human Foot.” American Anthropologist, vol. 15, no. 1, 1913, pp. 8–15. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/659554.
- TalkOrigins: Creationist Arguments: Anomalous Fossils
- Arriaza, Bernardo T. Beyond Death: The Chinchorro Mummies of Ancient Chile. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1995. Print. Human-mummified bodies started around 5000 B.C., approximately 996 years before God created the universe. Naturally-mummified bodies in that area are even older, from around 7020 B.C.
- Dabney; et al. (2013). "Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a Middle Pleistocene cave bear reconstructed from ultrashort DNA fragments". PNAS. 110 (39): 15758–15763. Bibcode:2013PNAS..11015758D. doi:10.1073/pnas.1314445110. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Erika Check Hayden (26 June 2013). "First horses arose 4 million years ago". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2013.13261.
- Allentoft ME; Collins M; Harker D; Haile J; Oskam CL; Hale ML; Campos PF; Samaniego JA; Gilbert MTP; Willerslev E; Zhang G; Scofield RP; Holdaway RN; Bunce M (2012). "The half-life of DNA in bone: measuring decay kinetics in 158 dated fossils". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 279 (1748): 4724–33. PMC 3497090 Freely accessible. PMID 23055061. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1745.
- Zischler H; Höss M; Handt O; von Haeseler A; van der Kuyl AC; Goudsmit J (May 1995). "Detecting dinosaur DNA". Science. 268 (5214): 1192–3; author reply 1194. PMID 7605504. doi:10.1126/science.7605504.
- Eisenhofer, Raphael, Alan Cooper, and Laura S. Weyrich. “Isolating Viable Ancient Bacteria: What You Put In Is What You Get Out.” Genome Announcements 4.4 (2016): e00712–16. PMC. Web. 20 July 2017.
- Nicholls H (February 2005). "Ancient DNA Comes of Age". PLOS Biology. 3 (2): e56. PMC 548952 Freely accessible. PMID 15719062. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030056.
- Johnson SS; Hebsgaard MB; Christensen TR; Mastepanov M; Nielsen R; Munch K; Brand T; Gilbert MT; Zuber MT; Bunce M; Rønn R; Gilichinsky D; Froese D; Willerslev E (September 2007). "Ancient bacteria show evidence of DNA repair". PNAS. 104 (36): 14401–5. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10414401J. PMC 1958816 Freely accessible. PMID 17728401. doi:10.1073/pnas.0706787104.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Oldest Wooden Spear
- And anyone who bothers to research can see how the measurements of the latest decades are converging to an age of 4.55 billion years - just take or add a couple million of them-
- Like if you did the math wrong, but came up with the right answer anyway. Being right for the wrong reasons is still, by definition, being right.
- SciTech Daily: Earth loses 50000 tonnes of mass every year
- TalkOrigins: Claim CD015
- How Products are Made: Natural Gas
- Quora: If oil deposits are under extreme pressure, why is a powered derrick needed at the surface?
- WiseGeek: What is Reservoir Pressure
- Buchner, K & R. Grapes (2011). "Metamorphic rocks". Petrogenesis of Metamorphic Rocks. Springer. pp. 21–56. ISBN 978-3-540-74168-8. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-74169-5_2.
- Peter Laznicka (2 September 2010). Giant Metallic Deposits: Future Sources of Industrial Metals. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 82–. ISBN 978-3-642-12405-1.
- Reefkeeping: What is Seawater?
- Pinet, Paul R. (1996). Invitation to Oceanography. St. Paul: West Publishing Company. pp. 126, 134–135. ISBN 978-0-314-06339-7.
- Is There Really Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth?: Moon Rock Viscosity
- Citation: physics. 700 K is around the maximum temperature for equatorial regions directly beneath the sun. The vast majority of its surface spends the vast majority of its time with the sun not at zenith, which means more acute angles of sunlight, which means cooler surface temperatures. Its polar regions are constantly below 180 K
- Is There Really Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth?: Absence of Meteorites in the Geological Record
- Is There Really Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth?: Accumulation of Dust on the Moon
- BBC: Who, What, Why: Is the Earth getting lighter?
- Washington University in St. Louis: METEORITE OR METEORWRONG? density & specific gravity Adding up the densities of each type, multiplied by their proportions, comes out to roughly 3.6 g/cm3
- Wolfram Alpha
- Davies, J. H., & Davies, D. R. (2010). Earth's surface heat flux. Solid Earth, 1(1), 5–24.
- Wild, Martin; Folini, Doris; Schär, Christoph; Loeb, Norman; Dutton, Ellsworth; König-Langlo, Gert (2013). The Earth's radiation balance and its representation in CMIP5 models. Copernicus. Bibcode:2013EGUGA..15.1286W.
- Chapront, J.; Chapront-Touzé, M.; Francou, G. (2002). "A new determination of lunar orbital parameters, precession constant and tidal acceleration from LLR measurements". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 387 (2): 700–709. Bibcode:2002A&A...387..700C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020420.
- Wolfram Alpha
- Wolfram Alpha
- "Geological constraints on the Precambrian history of Earth's rotation and the Moon's orbit" -- George E. Williams, Reviews of Geophysics 2000, doi:10.1029/1999RG900016
- Lunar and Planetary Institute: Heat Flow Experiment
- The blackbody radiation of an object the temperature of the Moon (150 K). Without an atmosphere, it's probably close to the actual amount of energy the Moon receives.
- One was seen occulting a star
- Live Science: Found! Hidden Ocean Locked Up Deep in Earth's Mantle
- Solomatov, V. S. "The role of liquid water in maintaining plate tectonics and the regulation of surface temperature"
- Phys.org: Water is no lubricant: Reassessment of the role of water in plate tectonics
- Popular Science: Where have all the Supernovae Gone?
- Moles, M.; Marquez, I.; Sulentic, J. W. (1998). "The observational status of Stephan's Quintet". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 334: 473–481. Bibcode:1998A&A...334..473M. arXiv:astro-ph/9802328
- Bahcall, John N.; et al. (October 1992), "The near-ultraviolet spectrum of Markarian 205", Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, 398 (2): 495–500, 646, Bibcode:1992ApJ...398..495B, doi:10.1086/171872.
- Van Dokkum, Pieter; et al. (25 August 2016). "A High Stellar Velocity Dispersion and ~100 Globular Clusters For The Ultra-Diffuse Galaxy Dragonfly 44". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 828: L6. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/828/1/L6. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- Rene Noorbergen, 1977, Secrets of the Lost Races: New Discoveries of Advanced Technology in Ancient Civilizations , pp. 67-91
- Wolfram Alpha: 9.3×1032 Joules / 50 megatons of TNT = 4.446×1015
- Graeme Barker (2009). The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why did Foragers become Farmers?. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-955995-4
- Couldn't find any firm numbers, so I just counted the number of wikipedia pages under Category:Reptile genera and its child sub-categories.
- Brown, W. In the Beginning "How Could Saltwater and Freshwater Fish Survive the Flood?"
- 200 square feet with 6-foot ceilings.
- 6 feet by 8 feet with 8 foot ceilings.
- To prevent cluttering this page with even more tables, the rate differences between extinct and extant are, for mammals and birds, similar. Extinct genera per family is about half of extant, and extinct families per order is about 1.2 times extant. I've extrapolated those to the reptiles, when there's no hard data.
- While Wikipedia does have a big list, it's not easily regexable, nor searchable for genera. I did get Family and Order estimates off this list, because both follow standard naming conventions. This number comes from my best attempt to get everything, but it misses a huge chunk of the list.
- Extinct reptiles are more often classed using clades and not taxonomy. While they do have genera, those genera don't belong to families or orders.
- Brown says the energy released was around "1,800 trillion hydrogen bombs". The smallest hydrogen (by which he presumably means "thermonuclear" aka fusion) bomb I could find is the variable-yield B61, which has a low setting of 0.3 kilotons, or 1.26×1012 joules. The largest hydrogen bomb was the Tsar Bomba at 58 Megatons (designed for 100, but to date only the half-yield version has been tested), or 2.427×1017 joules.
- Wolfram Alpha: Integration of 100×e(-0.358t) from 0 to infinity multiplied by the number of seconds per billion years
- Wolfram Alpha: Integration of 100×e(-0.358t) from 0 to 4.5 multiplied by the number of seconds per billion years
- Wolfram Alpha: Integration of 100×e(-0.358t) from 4.499996 to 4.5 multiplied by the number of seconds per billion years
- Wolfram Alpha: Integration of 100×e(-0.358t) from 4.5 to 4.500004 multiplied by the number of seconds per billion years
- Wolfram Alpha:Integration of 100×e(-0.358t) from 4.5 to infinity multiplied by the number of seconds per billion years
- Quora: How fast would the earth need to spin for it to tear itself apart?
- Heat capacity of liquid water is 4180 J/(LK), so to raise 1 L of water by 200 K would take 8.36×105 J. Miltiplied by the 1.332*1021 Liters of water on Earth is 1.114×1027 J. Divide that by the 5×10-2 that water absorbs of photonic light at its most translucent.
- Wolfram Alpha: Mass of the atmosphere multiplied by heat capacity of air multiplied by the number of Kelvin required to turn air into a plasma. See here for how hot air needs to be to become a plasma.
- Citation: look outside
- If the average height of water that returned to earth had only half the energy required to leave Earth entirely (again, if the velocities of water coming out of the fountains followed a bell curve, it would actually be far higher), only about a Lake Superior's worth of water could fall before the Earth's atmosphere literally boiled. Air has a heat capacity of around 1012 J/(kg K), and the atmosphere is around 5.14×1018 kg, so it'd take about 5.21×1023 J to heat it up by 100 Kelvin. Divide that by the 31.25 million Joules the average liter of water would have (half of what it'd need to leave Earth entirely) means only 1.67×1016 L could boil the atmosphere. Less than one percent of Greenland's ice-cap.
- Brown says only half the Earth's oceans, but to create the TNOs (which are mostly ice) would require 1.7×1024 kg of material, most of that being water.