Please note - My use of the terms "evolution" and "evolutionary" in the discussion below only means "change over time" and does not address any spiritual beliefs about whether or not a Creator exists and interacts with the natural universe. If you compare the YECS explanations of origins with those of mainstream science, they both employ remarkably similar evolutionary events to explain the same physical evidence. The primary difference is that YECS evolution is hundreds to millions of times more rapid than anything conceived by mainstream evolutionary theory, which results in some serious logical problems described in the other sections.
|Problems with Plate Tectonics, Noah's Ark and Flood
For evidence of plate tectonics, which is accepted by YECS leaders, to fit within the confines of a young earth a period of "Continental Sprint" would be required in which continents jetted around the globe, at least 100 thousand times faster than they currently move, driven by forces that have no natural explanation that has been demonstrated as possible by those promoting "Continental Sprint".
|Problems with Sedimentary Sequences,
other Continuous Timeline Evidence and Flood Geology:
For evidence of sedimentary deposits, coral reefs, exposed salt deposits, Ice Ages and other natural phenomena to fit within the confines of a young earth history, it would have been necessary for the natural processes to occur thousands of times faster than accepted by mainstream scientists. These phenomena would also have to be driven by speculated mechanisms that are completely unobserved or tested by science. Sediments miles deep would need to form in a few months (Sedimentation Sprint) in carefully defined layers ("Selective Sedimentary Sorting"), each representing a specific aquatic or terrestrial environment during a cataclysmic worldwide flood. These miles of new mud, sand and silt sediments (even the sediments at the surface) would then need to undergo lithification (turn into rock) in a remarkably short period of time ("precipitous lithification").
|Problems with Genetics:
Suffice it to say that Young Earth Genetics requires a "Genetic Sprint"" on a scale that is unprecedented and unimaginable based on all commonly accepted mechanisms of genetics and speciation. Current mainstream theories would, by definition be false and, as with all other YECS explanations, a complete reinvention of genetics would be required with solid proof of all replacement hypotheses.
with Animal Diversity and Distribution:
The new locations of the continents after the period of "Continental Sprint" following the flood would mean any plants that managed to grow on top of thousands of feet of recently deposited flood sediments would need to be fully adapted to these new environments, or evolve the ability to survive in a remarkably short period of time ("Speciation Sprint"). Did all these migrating animals have a road map to new environments they were already 'designed' to inhabit, or did the "Speciation Sprint" include dramatic physical and behavioral changes that allowed them to survive in the new environments ("Adaptive Sprint")? This proposed "Speciation Sprint" is even more remarkable considering that the flood would have eradicated nearly all pre-flood genetic diversity since all except 2-7 pairs of animals died. Without the genetic diversity of a large population the only way "Speciation Sprint" could have taken place would have been by a "Mutational Sprint". It would have been necessary for new, beneficial genes to form at a completely unheard of pace to restore the genetic diversity required to quickly form very different species of animals.
|Problems with the Apparent Size
of the Universe, the Speed of Light and a Young Universe:
YECS leaders speculate that all of branches of mainstream science and all theories that relate to the age of the universe, the speed of light, the formation of stars, the elements, galaxies, solar systems and planets are completely wrong. The primary evidence for this conclusion is that the age of the universe, as understood by all mainstream scientists, does not fit within the confines of a very specific and narrow interpretation of a few Biblical passages.
The Big Picture: When someone reads two completely different and mutually exclusive explanations of how some specific feature or characteristic of our earth, the solar system or the universe originated it can be difficult to determine which version is true if the reader is not a trained and experienced scientist who understands all of the evidence. If details (and proof) of exactly how the proposed hypothesis create the observed evidence are ignored or glossed over, and logical consequences of accepting an explanation are disregarded, any explanation can be made to sound convincing. When you take a long, considered look at the YECS explanations you will discover an amazing fact. This group is not actually against evolution (change over time) at all, the problem is their concept of time is completely outside the realm of natural cause and effect relationships as understood by science.
My goals in these examples are to demonstrate how:
Most people believe BiasScience positions, not because of any actual supporting science, but because the BiasScience beliefs and explanations resonate with pre-existing personal beliefs and have been presented with science-sounding supporting "evidence". I know first-hand, if a person who has a strong faith in Biblical Truth has been taught that their understanding of God and their salvation depend on a very specific interpretation of a few Biblical passages, it is extremely easy to accept the YECS interpretations of all evidence without question.
There are many respected,
conservative, evangelical Christians who accept the
mainstream consensus of evolutionary
change - with God as the planner.
I will try to quote specific YECS explanations in the context of the Big Picture that frames the details of what Young Earth Creation Scientists claim must have happened during an exceptionally short period of time for any YECS hypotheses to be valid. If you accept the YECS story of the natural world because that is all you have been taught, consider examining the possibility of alternative interpretations of Genesis (as I did years ago) which don't require the arbitrary dismissal of all mainstream science as it relates to evolutionary change and an old universe. Consider the possibility of a Creator who is capable of designing and implementing a spectacular evolutionary plan that can unfold over hundreds of millions of years (without the necessity of constant tweaking) instead of several thousand years with continual intervention. Consider the scriptures as a theological document that presents Spiritual Truths not a science textbook that describes provisional truths and human understanding.
The goal of science is to understand the workings of the natural universe and determine natural cause and effect relationships (natural laws). The goal of religion is to understand the spiritual (non-scientific) component of humanity. Nothing in any scientific discipline can prove (or disprove) any spiritual belief, and no spiritual belief can provide a scientific explanation for any observation of nature. Any scientist of any religious belief (or no religious belief) can perform the same scientific experiments and observations and come to the exactly the same conclusions about natural laws. Scientific conclusions can never be dictated by spiritual beliefs any more than spiritual beliefs can be validated by science, a constantly changing human endeavor.
Young Earth Creation Science (YECS) leaders employ three tactics in an effort to try and support their beliefs:
Legitimate disagreements within the scientific community (and alleged problems with mainstream explanations) are presented to try and prove that the overall scientific consensus is false. The goal of that strategy is, if the current scientific explanation is false, that 'proves' the YECS alternative is valid. That's a false assumption. First, because mainstream scientists don't accept the alleged problems and disagreements as legitimate issues of concern. Second, even if all current scientific theories in all disciplines that seem to validate the conclusion of a very old universe were conclusively shown to be invalid, that does not automatically validate the YECS alternative of a young earth. All YECS hypotheses that allegedly explain the formation of all natural evidence in a few thousand years would need to be independently confirmed. If even one of the thousands of lines of interrelated evidence that support evolution and an old universe is true, YECS explanations cannot be a valid explanation of nature.
The 10 Best Evidences from Science that Confirm a Young Earth -
Answers in Genesis
Ken Ham's 10 facts that prove creationism - Debunked
Evidences for a Young Earth Countered by a former creationist.
How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?, Dave E. Matson; The Fatal Flaws of Flood Geology, C.G. Weber
YECS leaders provide explanations for isolated, specific issues and "evidence" they believe contradicts mainstream evolutionary theory and instead support a young-earth/flood model. As you read through YECS literature you will never find specific explanations of all the physical evidence in the universe, on earth and in all organisms (living and dead) in a unified creation/flood theory. YECS leaders generally accept the same physical evidence as mainstream scientists, however the alleged "natural processes" and timelines proposed to explain the evidence are dramatically different from those accepted by nearly all scientists.
You will read that the mainstream theory of plate tectonics must be wrong and that someone has proposed an alternative ("Continental Sprint") where the same movement of earth's continents is accepted, but in months instead of millions of years - but you will find no evidence to support that alternative.
You will read that the mainstream theories explaining nearly all geological features on earth - including very Specific Sedimentary layers -- which for example, contain terrestrial footprints between layers of marine sediments -- must be wrong and that someone has proposed an alternative ("Selective Sedimentary Sorting") where a catastrophic flood was able to deposit carefully sorted sediments miles deep from many dramatically different ecosystems - but you will find no evidence to support that alternative.
You will read that mainstream theories which describe many cycles of long periods of relatively stable environments punctuated by periodic floods, landslides, earthquakes, tectonic movement, dramatic climate changes, volcanic activity, multiple meteor and asteroid impacts, etc. must be wrong and that instead there was a single catastrophic, year-long flood and 600 - 700 year Ice Age that created all the same evidence unbelievably rapidly - but you will find no comprehensive body of evidence to support that alternative.
You will read that the mainstream theory of evolutionary genetics - living organisms evolving over very long periods of time - must be wrong and that someone has proposed an alternative ("Genetic Sprint") to create all modern species from a relatively few "Kinds" after Noah's flood) - but you will find no evidence to support that alternative.
You will read that the mainstream theory that the distribution of all animals around the world required millions of years must be wrong and that all land animal and bird species alive today (and many extinct species) evolved from 2-14 representatives of 1,000-8,000 "Kinds" of ancestors that survived the flood. In several thousand years offspring from each of these "Kinds" underwent "Speciation Sprint" into dozens of new genera and species and migrated from the mountains of Ararat to specific environments all over the world where they already had (or evolved) the physical and behavioral traits to survive - but you will find no evidence to support that alternative.
You will read that the mainstream theory of light must be wrong and that someone has proposed a possible alternative (infinite light speed) - but you will find no evidence to support that alternative.
In the YECS literature you will read descriptions of purported evidence and alleged historic events that by all commonly accepted scientific theories could not possibly have been caused by natural processes (processes that can be studied by science). These explanations require the YECS leaders to create spectacular, unobserved, unproven, untested 'natural processes' (one might even say supernatural intervention).
Keep this description of scientific consensus, presented earlier, in mind as you examine YECS speculations, "Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing. ...Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during [the testing of different proposed hypotheses], because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy." This is not even strictly applicable, however, because YECS speculations have never been any part of the mainstream discussion of possible legitimate hypotheses. I include it, however, because of the statement, "Bad theories are usually rather untidy" YECS 'theories' are not only untidy, but as you can determine for yourself by considering the examples provided, they usually don't fully explain the evidence, and they actually create more questions and problems than they try to answer.
Not only must the YECS leaders demonstrate exactly how nearly all scientists in the world have completely misinterpreted all evidence that evolutionary theory explains, they must clearly prove that all natural evidence supports their theories instead - without any supernatural help.
Ask YECS leaders to provide a cohesive, unified set of alternative scientific theories to explain how all of the existing evidence in all of the interrelated scientific disciplines clearly describe and explain a universe that is no more than 10 thousand years old - somewhere in the explanation you will hear that God just created it that way. What you will read is hundreds of isolated speculations that can seem plausible until they are examined within the context of the entire body of evidence and checked for internal consistency and actual supporting evidence that proves the explanations are possible without supernatural intervention.
The other sections contain just a few examples of evidence and theories accepted by the entire scientific community that are challenged by YECS leaders. To be clear, the "evolutionary examples" in the following discussion do NOT require an atheistic interpretation of the evidence. The examples only represent a description of how nearly all scientists, whatever their religious beliefs, interpret the the evidence as supporting natural processes that require extremely long periods of time to unfold. These interpretations are supported by natural processes that can be observed and studied today. It is my contention that neither the challenges to evolutionary theory nor the YECS alternatives are supported by comprehensive, rigorous, testable explanatory scientific hypotheses within all relevant disciplines. A common YECS ploy is to try and link mainstream evolutionary theory with atheism. An absolutely fundamental and necessary characteristic of any scientific theories, however, is that validity does not depend on specific religious beliefs or lack thereof.
When examining YECS claims, begin with the Big Picture of evolutionary vs. young earth explanations of all the available scientific evidence. The magnitude of the problems caused by condensing evolutionary theory requirements of hundreds of millions of years into six thousand years or less will become obvious.
When you carefully examine any of the YECS explanations in the context of what is understood about the natural universe by all mainstream scientists it becomes obvious that all alleged "Natural Process" alternatives proposed by YECS promoters are unworkable fabrications. YECS speculations attempt to explain the origins of most of the same physical phenomena in nature as mainstream science, only in an unimaginably condensed time frame (several thousand years instead of many millions of years). Consequently, each YECS explanation of geological, biological, genetic, astronomical findings requires inventing processes to drive "Evolutionary Sprint" like, "Continental Sprint", "Selective Sedimentary Sorting", "Precipitous Lithification", "Genetic Sprint", "Speciation Sprint" and "Anisotropic Synchrony Convention" to try and convince the public they have legitimate "Instant-Evolutionary" alternatives to mainstream long-process evolutionary theories. In fact, the YECS speculations of the natural evidence are no more scientific, and far less believable, than simply invoking miracles.
An Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution - A collection of articles
promoting a positive relationship between Evangelical Christianity and
evolutionary science by Steve Martin. "From my perspective,
it is not actually the theory of biological evolution that is significant,
but Evangelicalism's misguided response to it. Not understanding how
God created life is one thing; insisting that God could not have achieved
his purpose through biological evolution is quite another. Adding
anti-evolution beliefs and an anti-science attitude to the gospel is
no addition at all, but a corruption at least on par with the early
Jerusalem church's insistence on continuing the observance of Jewish
law." and "Though the truth in Genesis is
contained in a vessel that is foreign to a modern, science-oriented
culture, it is a truth that modern man desperately needs to hear. Let's
make sure the world hears this message, and not the one that is garbled,
tainted, and damaged by a dogmatic insistence and focus on specific
Religion has nothing to do with science - and vice versa: Geneticist and Dominican priest, Francisco J. Ayala has this to say about the differences between religion and science, "Science and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction. If they are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters. ... I contend that both – scientists denying religion and believers rejecting science – are wrong. Science and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction. If they are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters." Science, evolution, and creationism, From Priest to Scientist: An Interview with Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, The Christian Man's Evolution, Roving Defender of Evolution, and of Room for God and Scholar Says Religion And Science Can Co-Exist
Letters to Creationists: "Welcome to Letters to Creationists. This represents my attempt to parse reality: what things happen in accord with natural laws, and what is supernatural ? Two major themes are creation/evolution and present-day miracles."
No natural, comprehensive, scientific hypotheses have been proposed by Young Earth Creation Science (YECS) leaders to explain the combined geological, fossil, glacial, paliomagnetic and biological evidence throughout the world after all land animals except those on Noah's ark were allegedly destroyed in a flood just 4,300 years ago. There are also no specific scientific theories proposed to explain either the survival and repopulation of plant species or both fresh and salt-water aquatic organisms (which are sensitive to changes in temperature, turbidity, light and salinity levels). These organisms would have been severely disturbed, if not driven to extinction, by a catastrophic global flood, "Continental Sprint" and a 700-year Ice Age.
If you read the explanations on YECS sites, they will offer only vague suggestions of what might have happened during Noah's flood "Perhaps many fish found shelter and nutrition under [floating mats of vegetation], as insects may have, on the mats themselves." or , "Perhaps before the Flood, fish were even more adaptable." (J. Morris, ICR explanation) As you read the speculations, of how Noah's flood could have resulted in the observed evidence, notice the complete absence of any scientific details or scientific confirmation of plausibility using any processes observable and measurable today. Most YECS explanations have a section that states or implies that the explanation must be correct because they support the YECS interpretations of scripture.
The image to the right shows Pangaea, the most recent supercontinent. According to scientific estimates it existed from 300 to 175 million years ago. By YECS estimates it formed about half-way through Noah's flood about 4,300 years ago.
However, according to an explanation of catastrophic plate tectonics provided by Answers in Genesis, "Conclusions depend on starting assumptions. ...Rather than the slow continental drift suggested by secular geologists, the biblical explanation can be thought of as Continental Sprint. Rather than acting over millions of years to shape the earth's continents, the originally created continents [Rodinia] separated in a matter of weeks, collided [to form Pangeae], and then separated again during the Flood to arrive at their current positions." Additional details, "Today's continents were once joined together because some mountain chains, such as the Appalachians (US) and Caledonians (UK and Scandinavia, are now separated by thousands of miles. But these mountains were not on the original supercontinent because they are made out of Flood deposits. The only way such mountain chains could form is for the original supercontinent to break apart, the plates get covered by layers containing dead animals, and then crash together temporarily. As these plates moved again, they took with them pieces of the mountain chain formed by the collision, one piece in the US and one piece in the UK and Scandinavia."
The diagram to the right shows the three most recent continent configurations as understood by mainstream science and flood geologists. The mainstream dates for the continents are listed, and the YECS date is a one-year period around 4,300 years ago. In the summary below I will use a recent (2014) YECS explanation of geological history. After the Creation, there was a single supercontinent Rodinia (surrounded by a single ocean) on which Adam and Eve, their descendants, Noah and his family and all land animals (including birds) lived.
Consider very carefully exactly what physical processes the highlighted YECS claims above require during a one year period. To the best of my understanding, there are no natural geological processes observable today (or even imagined) that can provide an any mechanism to explain the YECS speculations that:
In the 1,692 years between the Fall of man and Noah's flood all animals found in the fossil record along with all humans and human-like creatures (hominin remains, including Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Homo neanderthalensis, etc.) found in the flood fossil record migrated from the Garden of Eden to the various areas of Rodinia where they were later swept into the flood and deposited into very specific layers of sediment to form most of the geologic record. Creationists do not have an answer for whether or not all insects were invited onto the Ark or whether they had to survive a year in floodwaters, but you can imagine serious problems with either scenario.
"We cannot be certain whether God used an asteroid or swarms of asteroids to begin the Flood event and the resulting breakup of the earth’s crust into plates. However, we do find evidence that asteroids were striking the earth at catastrophic rates during the Flood and that these asteroids were spread over the earth’s surface. Asteroids surely contributed greatly to the horrific and violent geologic events that took place during God’s year of judgment of the earth." (Did Meteors Trigger Noah's Flood?)
"As the volcanic fountains opened up in what is now the Grand Canyon area, the colossally stupendous force just pushed the pre-Flood rock aside and tilted it up. ... The first Flood current in the area came with such tremendous force that it sheared oﬀ the tilted Precambrian rocks in virtually a straight line, producing the so-called 'angular unconformity' and 'great unconformity'" (AIG)
In the YECS model, during the first part of the one-year global flood, the original land surface was "sheared off" and then thousands of feet of sediments were deposited over parts of Rodinia and adjacent areas of the ocean floor. In the region that would become the Grand Canyon for example, after the first flood currents ripped off the Precambrian rocks, about 1,200 feet of marine sediments (which would become the Tonto Group) containing trilobites and other extinct marine organisms were carefully deposited over the unconformities.
After the Tonto Group sediments were deposited, another 8,000 feet or so of additional, carefully sorted deposits of sand, mud, fossils, etc. representing specific marine and terrestrial environments were deposited over the future Grand Canyon with no mixing. This deposition of thousands of feet of sediments containing layers of specific plant and animal remains representing specific terrestrial and aquatic environments was repeated all over the earth.
The organisms that look
most like species alive today are nearly all found in the top-most layers
of the fossil record - in other words, no mammals, fish, birds, reptiles,
flowering plants (or their pollen) , etc. are found mixed into the bottom-most
sedimentary layers with trilobites and other early marine species.
Trilobites and other early marine species found with them are never
found mixed with dinosaurs, mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, flowering
plants (or their pollen) in the upper levels anywhere in the world.
Dinosaurs, and the unique animal species found fossilized with them,
are found in strata below those that contain fossils of most mammals
and above those that contain trilobites - no mixing. This
"Selective Sedimentary Sorting" appears to represent a very
specific flood process unlike anything ever seen or imagined today.
Toward the middle-to-end of the flood (after most new sedimentary layers had been deposited), Rodinia split apart and the pieces "Sprinted" around and crashed together again to form a new continent (Pangaea). This activity formed many of the mountain ranges seen today (the Appalachian, Caledonian, Little Atlas mountain examples in the image above plus many more worldwide).
Pangaea then split apart, and within a few months::
The newly formed continents "Sprinted" away from each other to their new locations thousands of miles apart leaving matching geological and fossil evidence on different continents.
TThe Grand Canyon, Fish River Canyon, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Waimea Canyon and other major canyons and gorges in the world were carved out in a few years as flood waters receded or post-flood lakes emptied.
The 3,000 mile-wide Atlantic Ocean was formed by upwelling molten rock (magma) in the mid-Atlantic ridge which rapidly pushed the continents apart. Symmetrical strips of seafloor formed on either side of the ridge with different magnetic orientation that are consistent with the reversals of the earth's magnetic poles during the process. However, there is no evidence whatever that these magnetic reversals can occur rapidly or that the continental plates can (or did) move rapidly.
India 'Sprinted' north to crash into Asia and form the Himalayan Mountains.
All this remarkably violent geological activity apparently took place during the last half of the flood year or shortly thereafter.
A 600 to 700 year-long Ice Age was triggered during which the "Kind" ancestors of the so-called Pleistocene Megafauna: giant sloths; mammoth and mastodon species; sabre-toothed cats, Smilodon; giant deer, Megaloceros; giant armadillos, Glyptodons; giant birds (Argentavis, Dinornis and Pelagornis); the cave bear, Ursus spelaeus; giant lemurs; the giant rhinoceros, Paraceratherium and Coelodonta; giant pigs, Daeodon; giant otters, Siamogale; and giant beavers, Castoroides all migrated from Mount Ararat to the regions around the world where their remains are found, evolved into different species, thrived for a few hundred years and then all went extinct. Some of their smaller ancestors survived. Imagine the magnitude and speed of diversification required to form all the different modern and extinct species from single pairs of flood-survivor "Kinds". Additional complications will be discussed in the genetics section.
Some YECS explanations add yet another complicating twist. According to Amazing Discoveries 'Continental Sprint' actually occurred aafter the animal migration and recolonization of Rodinia, "t;After the reoccupation of the post-catastrophic world, the earth experienced a further cycle of catastrophism. Evidence for this can be seen in the vast volcanic deposits present in the youngest layers of the geological column. Volcanism of this scale was probably unleashed when the super-continent Pangaea split up to form the present-day continents. It is estimated that 50,000 volcanoes (the mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Pacific ring of fire) were active at this time."
All other geological features found on the newly-created earth's surface were formed within a span of several thousand years. All the diverse and unique ecosystems found on earth today formed on the washed-out, devastated surface of earth within a span of several thousand years during and after a 700-year ice age.
Within several thousand years, all of the modern animal species found in these new, unique ecosystems evolved from 1-7 ancestor "Kinds" on the ark and migrated, often thousands of miles across land and ocean, to these new ecosystems they were already adapted (or rapidly evolved) to survive in.
AAccording to YECS explanations, two of each hominin "Kinds" or "Holobaramins" would have also been on Noah's ark, "Eight previously published cladistic studies of fossil and extant hominids were reexamined with baraminic distance correlation (BDC) and multidimensional scaling (MDS). Results indicate that hominins may be divided into as many as four different holobaramins:" In a few hundred years after the flood these four "Kinds" would have migrated to the areas where the post-flood physical and cultural remains of Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Homo neanderthalensis, etc. have all been found. They lived for a brief period, left some remains and artifacts, and then all hominid species except H. sapiens become extinct.
The timeline of human evolution "outlines the major events in the development of the human species [according to mainstream science], Homo sapiens, and the evolution of our ancestors. It includes brief explanations of some of the species, genera, and the higher ranks of taxa that are seen today as possible ancestors of modern humans." This description, is not meant to be an exact description of evolutionary changes, but it provides a useful timeline to compare against the 6,000 year YECS alternative.
Since most of the continental movement must have concluded before the birth of Christ (sometime between 2347 BC and 4 BC), that "Continental Sprint" was at least 100 thousand times faster than the roughly 1 inch per year measured today and documented historically. Try to visualize this "Continental Sprint"" (including a collision that formed the Himalayan Mountains), an Ice Age and other global phenomena all unfolding during the short time humans and all the animals were migrating and repopulating the earth after Noah's flood -- around 1,000 years maximum.
Look at the diagram of Rodinia where, according to YECS leaders, Noah lived, and try to imagine where the miles of vertical sediments (alternating marine and terrestrial) came from that formed most of the geological formations on today's continents. Water flows downhill, so all sediments (marine and terrestrial) must have come from areas on and around Rodinia much higher than where they were deposited. Yet most of Rodinia's surface area became the cores of our modern continents which contain sedimentary deposits.
I will leave it to your imagination to figure out where the miles of sediments originated and how all these events could have taken place in the space of a few months. You can open a diagram of the the Colorado Plateau strata which provides just one example of the different, changing environments carefully preserved in the geologic record by the "Selective Sedimentary Sorting". Try to picture the formation of these different strata in the chaotic conditions described by YECS leaders during and immediately after Noah's catastrophic flood.
Evidence that Homo habilis used tools, Homo erectus used tools and controlled
Neanderthals built homes, buried their dead, used tools and mastered
fire have all been found with no evidence of flood deposition. According
to YECS explanations, these human-like creatures must have either been on
the ark (or, as
YECS articles have suggested recently, they descended from Noah and
his family after the flood) and migrated to the regions where their remains
have been found all within several thousand years - then they all went extinct.
Early Neanderthal constructions in southwestern France, "Here we report the dating of annular constructions made of broken stalagmites found deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwest France."
Homo erectus, "There is fossil evidence that [Homo erectus] species cared for old and weak individuals. The appearance of Homo erectus in the fossil record is often associated with the earliest handaxes, the first major innovation in stone tool technology.." Homo habilis, is one of the earliest members of the genus Homo, to use stone tools.
Early Human Culture/a>, "Paralleling the biological evolution of early humans was the development of cultural technologies that allowed them to become increasingly successful at acquiring food and surviving predators."
This story describes a piece of the evolution of evolutionary science.
"Human evolution is the lengthy process of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors. Scientific evidence shows that the physical and behavioral traits shared by all people originated from apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of approximately six million years." This is an extensive resource of information from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
As you read the YECS literature, notice that their explanations are based entirely on the necessity of proving a specific young earth conclusion based on a specific interpretation of Biblical passages, "God’s Word Is Our Ultimate Authority". Consequently it doesn't matter to YECS leaders that neither Answers in Genesis nor any other group (nor any creation "scientist") has been able to provide any testable, natural explanations (hypotheses) to explain all of the actual physical evidence in the context of Noah's flood and the so-called "Continental Sprint" belief - yet the explanation of actual evidence using natural causes is a critical requirement of any legitimate scientific theory.
The AIG statement quoted above, "Conclusions depend on starting assumptions"", demonstrates that YECS leaders have no understanding of how scientific hypotheses are formed and tested. In fact, hypotheses depend on starting assumptions, but valid Conclusions depend on the impartial application and interpretation of scientific observations and/or experiments to prove the hypotheses. In contrast, all BiasScience conclusions are based entirely on starting assumptions - that is precisely why they are biased.
There are monumental problems with trying to explain all of the geological evidence on the earth which YECS beliefs attribute to formation during and immediately after the year-long flood 4,300 years ago. As described in the Continuous Timeline section, YECS explanations of the formation of the Grand Canyon and the White Cliffs of Dover, completely fail to provide a comprehensive description of how all of the evidence in these areas (not to mention the rest of the earth) can be explained by natural processes operating during a single catastrophic flood.
As I was writing this section another type of natural phenomena came to mind - naturally carved arches found all over the world. Go to a search engine, look up "natural arches" and "natural sandstone formations". Then select the images option and scroll through the remarkable pictures of these natural stone sculptures. Now, imagine how these structures could have formed within the constraints of the YECS flood and post-flood model. Sedimentary formations will be discussed in the next section, but here are a few problems I see with the YECS 'geological' explanations.
There would have been miles-thick layers of newly formed mud, silt and sand sediments deposited within a few months followed immediately by processes that formed mountains and removed layers of sediment to form today's surface geology which includes massive, winding canyons, the remarkable carved surface sculptures, exposed petrified forests and surface salt domes, to name a few. There are absolutely no known examples, or even speculated mechanism, that can describe how (under the Flood Geology scenario) any of these structures found today in the topmost, exposed flood layers could have possibly been formed by any known processes of evaporation, rock formation or erosional events.
Request specific evidence. Ask YECS 'geologists' to walk you through exactly how these structures were formed (from the sediment source, to the sorted deposition process, to the formation of rock from mud, to the exposed rock formations seen today), and provide proof that all natural processes have been demonstrated to be possible. Remember, after the flood, all these surface layers would be recently deposited mud, silt and sand. YECS advocates will claim that the sediments all transformed/a> into solid rock (diagenesis) during the last half of Noah's flood, but they can provide no proof that this could possibly happen as a result of completely natural processes.
In addition to asking exactly how the surface changed virtually overnight from soggy sedimentary layers to rock layers, ask them to show you modern examples of sand dunes, dry lakes, flood deposits or marine environments that are turning into exposed sandstone (example 1 example 2, ), chalk (example), shale (example 1, example 2), chert (example), or limestone (example 1 & YECS explanation, example 2). If layers of these rocks can form naturally in a few months on a global scale by any natural process, it should be relatively easy to find modern examples or conduct experiments that would validate the YECS claims of rapid formation of these sedimentary layers.
As in other YECS attempts to fit the evidence into their model, if you carefully read their explanations you will discover that they actually try to explain only small pieces of the global puzzle. Most effort is devoted to trying to discredit all evolutionary theories and any explanations that have been developed by the majority of scientists to fit into the overall picture of evolutionary history as described on my Cosmic Calendar Timeline page.
Over and over in the Creation
literature you will read that an unproven YECS speculation disproves an
accepted scientific conclusion. That is ironic, because disproof of
any recognized scientific explanations in no way automatically validates
the Young Earth Creation model - all evidence must independently clearly
support all Creationist explanations for them to be legitimate science.
The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth, The Grand Canyon and Creation Science, Grand Canyon Creation
100 Reasons the Earth is Old,
The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark,&
Problems with a Global Flood,
Skeptic's Dictionary, Noah's ark,
The Defeat of Flood Geology by flood Geology,
Can Creationism Be Scientific?,
Evidence against a recent creation,
Answers to Creationist Nonsense,
Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions,
Evidence of Evolution
PBS Evolution Library,
"Soft Tissue" found in Dinosaur Bones, "Young earth creationists
have widely cited these findings of soft tissue as evidence that dinosaur
fossils cannot really be millions of years old, and so the rock layers (radioactively
dated to more than 65 million years of age) cannot really be millions of
years old --- and so the entire old-earth dating edifice collapses."
This is just one of the invented problems with evolutionary theory.
Problems With "Flood" Geology - A detailed compilation problems of YECS explanations by Wilfred Elders, "...many large deposits of conglomerate lie on top of great thicknesses - often several miles - of fine-grained sedimentary rock. ...What purely natural processes would enable the Flood to deposit a thickness of several miles of fine-grained sediments first, and then place the boulder-laden conglomerates on top? Above all, there is the fact that the boulders inside conglomerate often contain fossils. How did they get there if, as Flood geologists assert, fossils are the remains of creatures that died in the Flood?"
No natural, consistent, comprehensive Young Earth Creation Science (YECS) hypotheses have been proposed to explain the vast amount of existing continuous timeline evidence (evidence that accumulates sequentially over time in relatively stable environments) in the context of a catastrophic global flood 4,300 years ago. The flood would have "reset the clock" for all of the following natural historic processes. Continuous Timeline processes create observable evidence that can be measured, compared to modern examples and apparently require hundreds to many thousands of years to form.
It is important to understand the fact that, just because the YECS explanations state that these methods of dating are flawed and worthless, does NOT mean that assessment is valid. Many of the dating methods can be independently confirmed by other methods. YECS leaders can demonstrate no processes at work today that prove all natural evidence proves a young earth, and they have no credible, testable alternative hypotheses to replace the long-timeline theories. As you read YECS explanations, keep in mind the vast amount of evidence worldwide that must be explained in the context of the proposed global flood - not just small, isolated pieces of evidence discussed by YECS leaders. If any one of these interlinked chains of mainstream scientific evidence provide even remotely valid and accurate dates, all of the YECS conclusions are false.
Great Barrier Reef is just one example of a living reef structure
6,000 to 8,000 years old which has "grown on top of limestone platforms
that are relics of past (Pleistocene)
phases of reef growth." On the western side of Australia
there is an
exposed fossil reef formation over 360 million years old.
The coral of Eniwetok Atoll is 4,500 feet thick (it formed on top of a volcano as it sank). Since most coral reefs grow best at depths shallower than 230 feet, the reef would have to grow at an incredible average rate of 12 inches a year after the flood while the volcano's top was sinking at a rate that was neither too slow (which would expose and kill the reef) or too fast (which would cause it to die from lack of sunlight). (Reference)
Discussion of Young-earth "proof" #26, "I suspect that the super-rapid growth of corals is as much a part of creationist mythology as is the super-rapid growth of humanity in ancient times or the super-rapid growth of stalagmites. You have [Arkansas trial of Act 590] an admission from someone [A. Roth] who was handpicked by creationists as an expert on super-rapid coral growth. And, what did he say? He said that his work did not establish the super-rapid growth of coral."
and stalagmites: Not only must the YECS theories explain the
development of these geological features in a time frame not supported
by current scientific theories (or observations), they must also explain
how each unique cave in which the stalactites and stalagmites (and other
intricate cave features) are found was formed either during or immediately
after Noah's flood (in addition to explaining the formation of all underlying
and overlying strata and their miraculous tranformation from mud, silt
and sand into rocks). YECS claims that stalactites and stalagmites
can grow very quickly are an example of deliberate deceit. The
structures which can grow rapidly are not equivalent to those in caves
which grow extremely slowly.
Stalactites Are NOT Evidence of a Young Earth discusses problems with the YECS evidence of rapid 'stalactite' growth and concludes that, even if true, "This is NOT evidence or even support for a Young Earth notion. Is it consistent with a YEC notion? I’ll give you that, but it is also fully consistent with an Old Earth view of the planet. In other words, the age and/or speed of formation of speleothems is non-discriminatory between YEC and OEC and actual science. It doesn’t mean anything to the age of the Earth at all."
Littoral Dripstone and Flowstone --- Non-Spelean Carbonate Secondary Deposits, "Speleothem-like secondary deposits occur in the non-spelean environments of marine notches on tropical carbonate coastlines. Although shaped as stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, etc., they are not nearly as well developed, dense, crystalline, and massive as the analogous cave formations." (Taborosi and Stafford, ABOROSI and Kevin STAFFORD, Int. J. Speleol., 32 (1/4) 2003: 85-106) "
Could the largest stalactites and flowstones have formed in about 4,400 years? "...those formations [recent formations that look like stalactites] are composed of gypsum, which is a salt of calcium sulfate. Unlike calcium carbonate, gypsum is moderately soluble in water, which means that transport and recrystallization can take place much more rapidly."
Ice Ages and
Glacier history: According to mainstream science, "There
have been five known Ice Ages in the Earth's history, with the Earth
experiencing the Quaternary Ice Age during the present time. Within
Ice Ages, there exist periods of more severe glacial conditions and
more temperate referred to as glacial periods and interglacial periods,
respectively. The Earth is currently in such an interglacial period
of the Quaternary Ice Age, with the last glacial period of the Quaternary
having ended approximately 11,700 years ago with the start of the Holocene
The YEC model must explain how a single 600-700 year-long Ice Age immediately
following Noah's flood could form ALL of the existing glacial and ice-age
Evidence for Ice Ages/a>, "There are three main types of evidence for Ice Ages: geological, chemical, and paleontological."
The history of ice on Earth, "...in fact there have been many Ice Ages, most of them long before humans made their first appearance. And the familiar picture of an Ice Age is of a comparatively mild one: others were so severe that the entire Earth froze over, for tens or even hundreds of millions of years."
Glaciers and Glaciation, "While glaciers are of relatively minor importance today, covering only about 10% of the surface, evidence exists that the Earth's climate has undergone fluctuations in the past, and that the amount of the Earth's surface covered by glaciers has been as much as 30% in the past. In fact, much of the topography in the northern part of North America, as well as in the high mountain regions of the west, owe their form to erosional and depositional processes of glaciers."
Sedimentary sequences: "Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of that material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles (detritus) to settle in place. The particles that form a sedimentary rock by accumulating are called sediment. Before being deposited, the sediment was formed by weathering and erosion from the source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers, which are called agents of denudation. Sedimentation may also occur as minerals precipitate from water solution or shells of aquatic creatures settle out of suspension." (Wikipedia)
"The climate history preserved within layers of sediments that slowly accumulate on the bottoms of lakes and oceans can span hundreds of millions of years or longer. The resolution of these records is variable; it may be annual or on the order of a century or millennium. Sequences of sediments that are currently at the bottom of lakes or on the ocean floor are used to interpret climates of the recent past. Rocks preserved on the continents that are thousands, millions, hundreds of millions, or even billions of years old are used to interpret the much more distant past." (How do we investigate climates of the past?) Not only climate history but the physical history of the earth and evidence of the evolution of life are all preserved within layers of sediment that accumulate on the surface of the land and at the bottom of lakes and oceans. Sedimentary Rocks Contain Clues to Ancient Environments, "Different types of environments contain different types of sediments. The type of sediment and the way that it is deposited determines the types of sedimentary rocks that will eventually be formed. Thus, sedimentary rocks formed in a lake will be different from those formed in a desert."
Keep in mind when reading the challenges to YECS speculations presented by the illustrations below that there are many thousands of similar examples across the globe that clearly show many layers of sedimentary rock that contain unique characteristics of specific, different environments stacked on top of each other. For each example, YECS arguments can't just state that a single episode of rapid deposition during the flood explains the evidence better than the accepted scientific theories. YECS hypotheses must explain the sediment origins and method of deposition which preserves the specific characteristics of each and every sedimentary layer in the world (Selective Sedimentary Sorting) better than the evolutionary theories. Despite what YECS leaders claim, the natural processes for creating various sedimentary strata can (and frequently do) include reoccurring, relatively local catastrophic events - volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides, dramatic climate changes, earthquakes, asteroid and meteor impacts, etc.
Compare this scientific description of the Morrison Formation in which numerous dinosaur tracks and eggs are found with this YECS description, "...possibly the most plausible view, for the occurrence of dinosaur tracks late in the strata is that advocated by Garton. He suggests that large creatures (including dinosaurs) were trapped in the floating Carboniferous forests. ... Garton maintains that these creatures swarmed the inhospitable land in the final stages of the Flood. It is conceivable that as these mats struck land, the continued pounding of the seas as the waters rose to their maximum height could cause violent deposition of sediments with vast ocean waves criss-crossing the continents. ... Great geological activity seems to have been going on still, even though the rains had stopped. … It is therefore entirely conceivable that further giant mudslides trapped the dinosaurs as the rafts struck land in the final stages of the 150 days, or that some escaped onto land, only to be buried as the rising waters finally covered the land."
This YECS explanation fails to address some fairly obvious problems. The dinosaurs would have been walking, building nests and laying eggs on thousands of feet of muddy, recently deposited sediment (see the geologic column image below). Then, several thousand feet of additional sediment would be immediately deposited by flood waters on top of the nests and footprints so they would be preserved and not disturbed The YECS explanation becomes even more improbable when you consider the fact that there are many regions where layers of footprints, nests, burrows and other surface features are found stacked on top of one another.
Another YECS explanation (Dr. Andrew A. Snelling) of dinosaur footprints in dolomite, "The water temperature would have progressively increased as hot volcanic waters were added to the ocean. Also, many volcanic eruptions would have added magnesium to the lime-rich Flood waters. This combination of hot water, lime, and magnesium would produce the layers of dolomite [in which footprints could form]. Thus, catastrophic plate tectonics can explain the increase in Flood water temperatures, the inundation of the continents, and the formation of enormous amounts of 'marine' carbonate [dolomite] sediments on the continents."
This discussion of the Snelling's interpretation of evidence highlights the tactics used to create a false problem and weave a YECS alternative which may appear plausible (unless the reader understands geology), and it concludes, "Perhaps the most devastating mistake on the part of Dr. Snelling is this: adding magnesium and heat to seawater does not cause dolomite to precipitate. That’s right, Snelling's Flood geology explanation via volcanism is not even physically possible."
Another discussion of YECS explanations, "NNo fewer than thirteen formations within the Colorado Plateau are now known to preserve a large and diverse footprint fauna. ...The presence of fossil footprints in the Colorado Plateau provides unequivocal evidence for the sequence in which the formations which make up the plateau were deposited. (Incidentally, fossil footprints do not sort hydrodynamically; the smallest footprints are at the bottom of the plateau, while the largest are at the top.)"/p>
The Geologic Column and its Implications for the Flood, Glenn Morton
- "This article is a detailed examination of the young earth creationist
claim that the geologic column does not exist. It is shown that the
entire geologic column exists in North Dakota. I do this not to disprove
the Bible but to encourage Christians who are in the area of apologetics
to do a better job of getting the facts straight."
Deconstruction and the Geologic Timescale, Part 1, Part 2, A discussion of YECS claims that "The current stable of 'scientific' methods is riddled by uncertainty, and a very large element of faith is needed to believe that they constitute a valid and verifiable chronometer of Earth’s supposed 4.5 billion-year past."
The Grand Canyon (and surrounding region) is one of the better examples of the formation of many unique and distinctive sedimentary layers. The image to the right is a generalized stratigraphic diagram of the layers of sedimentary rock in in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.
YECS promoters actually agree with mainstream scientists that thousands of feet of sedimentary rock comprises the Colorado Plateau and that completely natural, physical processes were responsible for deposition of these sedimentary layers and their unique characteristics. However, the specific processes involved and the time required are irreconcilably different.
YECS promoters must fit what they promote as their "scientific explanations" into an unalterable, predetermined conclusion that the entire Colorado Plateau (and similar sedimentary formations around the world) was formed just over four thousand years ago over the course of about one year. When you read any of the YECS "explanations" (for sedimentary deposits, plate tectonics, genetic diversity, etc.) it should become obvious that they are actually describing "Divine Intervention" disguised as science since none of the speculated processes can be observed or tested today. Invoking miracles can explain any evidence desired formed over any period of time, but that is not science.
An excellent comparison of how mainstream science and young-earth-flood geologists describe the formation of the Grand Canyon is the book, The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth, published in 2016. It was written by a team of scientists, most of whom are also Christians.
IInstead of debating arguments about geological evidence from all over the earth, the authors of TGC:MtaAE wisely narrowed their focus to one (albeit rather large) piece of evidence --- the Grand Canyon. They didn't simply lay out the evidence found in and around the Grand Canyon and describe how it supports the conclusions of evolutionary processes acting over hundreds of millions of years.
The authors carefully dissect and describe the physical evidence that is agreed upon by both scientists and flood geologists as they move up the canyon (and beyond) examining evidence revealed by the various layers. Then they methodically describe exactly how well the formation of each piece of evidence is supported by (and fits within) the expectation and feasibility of the evolutionary or recent-single-flood explanations.
The Forward, TOC and Chapter 7 of TGC:MtaA can be previewed.
Review of TGC:MtaAE, "It isn't just that the Young Earth version
of the Grand Canyon is wrong from a scientific perspective. It is also
the case that the Young Earth "acts" from the Bible are themselves
Outline of TGC:MtaAE, p208 "The Grand Canyon provides overwhelming evidence that the Earth is old.
p209 "Does in matter? It certainly does! Truth always matters."
Another Review of TGC:MtaAE, "Perhaps we could recover geology as a tool for exploring this Earth, and the Grand Canyon as a testament to its great antiquity. Needless to say, that is precisely what this book accomplishes and why it couldn't come at a better time."
One of the best posters showing relationships among strata of The Colorado Plateau and Grand Staircase.
Image one, two
This is one of the most comprehensive Creation Science Rebuttals - Stratigraphy and the Young Earth Global Flood part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, summary
Web archive of Jon Woolf's Young-Earth Creationism and the Geology
of the Grand Canyon, "Humans can be fallible, humans can be deceptive,
but the rocks cannot lie. Nature is often complex, but never dishonest.
The geologic record shows what actually happened, and there's no way
Grand Staircase - Dr. Jack Share, GGrand Canyon Rock Layers - Bob Ribokas
‘Remarkable’ Dinosaur Nest Discovered in Montana Suggests Some Dinosaurs Re-Used Breeding Sites - It is impossible for a single global flood to explain finding dinosaur nests with eggs in sequential, stacked sedimentary layers.
Geological Formations/Genesis Flood - Frank Steiger, "Creationism assumes, with no justification whatever, that tectonic changes like mountain formation, continental drift, and ocean trench formation took place with extreme rapidity, even though all the evidence shows that these kinds of changes take place very slowly. The Book of Genesis says nothing whatever concerning catastrophic changes like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, seismic waves, and high winds. It merely says the waters prevailed and then receded. The creationist model is based neither on the Bible nor on observable natural processes." this article lists many specific problems with YECS explanations.
Tetrapod Fossil Footprints, Polonium Halos, and the Colorado Plateau, "In summary, secondary polonium halos in coalified wood samples from the Colorado Plateau must have developed repeatedly because fossil footprints, which are unequivocal in the nature of their origin, occur at many levels within the plateau. These multiple footprint horizons formed repeatedly over great periods of time whenever conditions favorable for their formation and preservation prevailed."
The White Cliffs of Dover is another example of the formation of a specific sedimentary layer. Carefully read the YECS explanation for formation of the White Cliffs of Dover, "White chalk is composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate, a very pure type of limestone, consists of billions of microorganisms including foraminifera and calcareous algae, coccoliths and rhabdoliths. ...It is estimated that these remains ... reportedly accumulate at a rate of 0.5-3 inches (1.25-7.5 cm) per thousand years. ...With catastrophic volcanic activity warming the oceans and releasing large amounts of CO2, and with the torrential rains and the churning and mixing of fresh and salt waters, the Flood of Noah's day produced the right conditions for a 'blooming' production of microorganisms and the chalk's rapid accumulation. ...the cliffs tower over the Strait of Dover up to 350 feet high. ...The three major sections of the White Cliffs of Dover give evidence of three major 'blooms' in chalk formation, which would have taken place during the year-long Flood. ...The White Cliffs of Dover confirm the biblical account of a global Flood just about 4,300 years ago." Do you notice any problems with the YECS explanation of "Spectacularly Selective Sedimentary Sorting"?
Compare that catastrophic
environment of a global flood with
this scientific explanation, "Chalk is formed from lime mud,
which accumulates on the sea floor in the right conditions. This is
then transformed into rock by geological processes. ...The lime mud
is formed from the microscopic skeletons of plankton, which rain down
on the sea floor from the sunlit waters above. Most chalks formed
during the Cretaceous period, between 100 and 60 million years ago.
...The Cretaceous chalks record a period when global temperatures and
sea levels were exceptionally high. This coincided with the break up
of the supercontinent Pangaea."
Consider several obvious problems with the YECS explanation of how the White Cliffs of Dover formed:
Plankton growth and deposition requires sunlight and calm water, "In contrast [to most phytoplankton], the coccolithophores prefer to live on the surface in still, nutrient-poor water in mild temperatures." How much sunlight do you think would have penetrated into the waters of a catastrophically turbulent flood which would have been anything but still. How the conditions of Noah's flood would create conditions for optimal coccolithophores growth have never been explained or demonstrated as possible by any YECS model. Another article states, "The chalk in Southern England is considered a calcareous ooze, which is an 'ooze composed mostly of the hard remains of organisms containing calcium carbonate'. ... Oozes accumulate very slowly, at a rate of only about 1 to 6 centimeters per thousand years... The billions of cocolithophores which made up the chalk only survive in warm, relatively pure water, so this sea must have had these conditions. This chalk had to have been deposited in water approximately 200 to 300 meters in depth because this is the only way the small, delicate cocolithophores would have been preserved. ... The Chalk Sea lasted for approximately 30 million years which was enough time for billions of coccolithophores shells to be deposited on the seafloor."
The exact mechanisms that would enable deposition of over 300 feet of a single type of sediment --- with no significant, normally expected inclusions (like plant and animal remains, rocks, gravel, silt and mud washed in from surrounding land) --- during a catastrophic, world-wide flood have never been explained or demonstrated as possible by any YECS model. The size of coccolithophores and silt particles are similar, yet somehow during the flood-year nearly all silt particles were excluded from the areas where coccolithophores were frantically multiplying and gently settling out of the ocean to eventually form the Dover cliffs.
All it would take to prove the feasibility of the YECS hypotheses would be a simple experiment that would demonstrate that a mix of flood sediments could be separated into strata that contained only coccolithophores and marine fossils from the same environment - yet no such experimental or observational evidence has been provided. You could perform the experiment yourself. Place a cup of diatomaceous earth (diatoms are slightly smaller than coccolithophores) and a cup of silt into a gallon of water. Shake and let settle. According to the YECS predictions, two distinct sedimentary layers should form - silt only and diatom only.
In fact, all of the diatomaceous earth deposits in the world were formed by processes similar to those which formed the chalk Cliffs of Dover. Neither type of sediment has ever been explained by reasonable, testable YECS hypotheses - either with respect to the necessary extraordinarily rapid growth of the plankton or how the plankton remains could have possibly formed hundreds of feet of concentrated sediment and turned into rock during a catastrophic, worldwide flood.
The 350 foot Cliffs of Dover equal 4,200 inches. At a maximum natural deposition rate of 3 inches every thousand years (under perfect environmental conditions), it would require at least 1,400 tthousand years (according to observable, scientific evidence) for coccolithophores to multiply, die and deposit the sediments that formed the White Cliffs of Dover. In dramatic contract, the YECS model would require an average coccolithophore growth, death and deposition rate of about 1 foot every day during the entire year of Noah's flood where thousands of feet of sediment are being excavated and deposited all over the world and continents are ripping apart with the pieces sprinting to new locations.
YYet the YECS model states that a deposition rate more than a million times more rapid that anything observed in the natural world in a catastrophic flood environment is more reasonable than an explanation of long periods of deposition in relatively quiet conditions. A simple experiment that showed the possibility of extremely rapid growth of coccolithophores (1 foot a day) would be required to demonstrate the feasibility of the YECS hypotheses. No such experiment exists because it is impossible for a foot of growth and deposition to occur in a day, never mind in exactly the same location for an entire year during a global flood and "Continent Sprint". YECS leaders, however, expect you believe that their explanation of "Selective Sedimentary Sorting" is more reasonable and scientific than plankton growth and deposition in a quiet ocean basin over a very long period of time.
A major goal of science is to make predictions about cause and effect relationships based on the results of observations and experimentation that are controlled to avoid effects of bias. Scientific observations and experiments of existing populations with various environmental requirements and growth characteristics demonstrate how existing sedimentary deposits could accumulate over thousands or millions of years.
In contrast, nearly all YECS explanations for the observed historic phenomena simply claim the scientific theories do not work because they require an unacceptably old universe and earth, and then proclaim their explanation works because it fits their young universe/earth beliefs. In the case of the YECS explanations for the White Cliffs of Dover, however (as in all other YECS explanations), there are absolutely no observations or experiments that provide any natural, scientific foundation for those young earth and global flood beliefs.
References, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy bby Gary Nichols and Coccoliths: Production, transportation and sedimentation Honjo by S. Honjo
Evaporative layers:: "In many locations there are huge salt deposits, hundreds or thousands of feet thick, laying under thousands of feet of sediment. These salt deposits were formed over many thousands of years, from the evaporation of shallow coastal lagoons or of vast inland seas. These evaporations occurred after the deposition of lower rock layers, and before the deposition of further rock layers above. These deposits could not happen in the middle of a year-long Flood." What is of interest to me is that in addition to huge underground salt deposits which can't be explained by any YECS model, there are numerous salt deposits (salt domes or salt glaciers) on the surface of the earth - not buried where some magical force can be employed to remove the water from ocean-size pools of flood water.
The YECS explanations must be able to describe natural processes which would form these structures. Consider what would be required for receding flood waters to suddenly evaporate in a specific area leaving a dome of concentrated, exposed salt behind, consider how much salty water would need to evaporate to form a salt deposit hundreds of feet deep (below or above ground). Consider a typical YECS speculation, "Many now think the salt was extruded in superheated, supersaturated salt brines from deep in the earth along faults. ... During the Flood, great volumes of magma, water, metals, and chemicals, were extruded onto the surface from the depths of the earth, as the "fountains of the great deep" (Genesis 7:11) spewed forth hot volcanic materials. Today we find them (especially salt) interbedded with Flood sediments, just as the "Back to Genesis" model predicts." Stated another way, "The huge salt deposits found around the globe are not the result of the evaporation of seawater over long periods of time. Rather, the deposits were emplaced as a molten magma at temperatures above 800oC." Since many of these deposits are on the surface, there should be some obvious evidence of the specific processes by which "the deposits were emplaced as a molten magma."
There is absolutely
no mechanism provided nor evidence (past or present) to explain how
massive pockets of "superheated, supersaturated salt brine"
formed or came to be included within normal volcanic materials or how
they could be extruded during a tectonic event, remain separate during
the chaos of the flood and cool into the pure surface salt deposits
found on earth today. The YECS speculations also don't explain
how, "exceptionally well-preserved
Miocene pollen from the Bochnia salt mine of southern
Poland" or "pollen grains from extinct coniferous trees, ...
found in Alpine Permian salt and also in Zechstein", or "different
varve types recur with a period of 1800-3000 years reflecting climatic
changes on a millennia! time scale" could become perfectly preserved
in these pockets of "superheated, supersaturated salt brine":
Exceptional preservation of Miocene pollen, E. Durska;
Deep Biosphere of Salt Deposits, Stan-Lotter, et al;
An explanation for the varves of the Castile evaporites (Upper Permian),
Texas and New Mexico, USA, D. Kirkland
Salt, Meteors and the Global Flood, G.R. Morton
Salt Karst: Mount dom diapir, Cardona Salt Mountain, Kuh-e-Namak (Dashti) salt glacier
Petrified wood: This is an example of a process that requires special conditions and extremely long periods of time for complete petrification (replacement of all organic materials with minerals). The conditions required are far different and far longer than provided by a global, year-long flood and a few thousand post-flood years. If you take the time to read and understand the actual process of petrification and compare them to YECS explanations, you will discover that the rapid permineralization that has been studied for decades does not explain how huge trees could petrify completely in a one year time frame.
Even more challenging for YECS explanations is the fact that around the world there are many areas where petrified logs are completely exposed on the surface, presumably in exactly the same place they would have landed, been buried, petrified and then uncovered shortly after Noah's flood (image above from Arizona's Petrified Forrest). Go back and read the YECS account of the flood and imagine the formation the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest and the rest of the Colorado Plateau during 360 days of:
catastrophic flooding that deposited more than 10,000 feet of unique, carefully sorted strata of the Colorado Plateau, including layers with dinosaur footprints.
continents splitting apart, crashing together to form mountains and "Sprinting" off again thousands of miles to their current locations
concluding in another massive flood that washed thousands of feet of the new sediments from the southern half of the Colorado Plateau and
carved out another mile of sediments to form the Grand Canyon
exposed the logs of the petrified forest which had become completely mineralized in a few months time.
Creationist explanations confuse permineralization (the pores of the organisms' tissues are filled when minerals precipitate out of the water) with replacement petrification (water containing dissolved minerals dissolves the original solid material of an organism, which is then replaced by minerals). Carefully compare the YECS description with the scientific descriptions of a process that required millions of years.
More Petrified Young Earth Claims, "Once again, young earth
creation science theorists have proven that silicification (through
the process of permineralization) can occur rapidly, something we have
known for at least 30 years. However, they have offered no proof that
petrifaction can occur rapidly."
Petrified Wood: The Silicification of Wood by Permineralization, Mike Viney - "Products referred to as "instant petrified wood" may provide insights in the initial stages of permineralization. However, many of the materials and procedures used to make these products are not found in nature. Furthermore, procedures to make silica-cast replicas and ceramics remove wood after the initial permeation with artificial mediums. Products made from the initial emplacement of silica, represented by both artificial and recent natural petrifactions do not resemble what a collector regards as gem quality petrified wood. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that natural fossil wood silicified with opal-CT, chalcedony, and microgranular quartz requires millions of years to form. "
Petrifactions and wood-templated ceramics: Comparisons between natural and artificial silicification. (Dietrich, et al. - IAWA Journal 36 (2), 2015: 167–185) This paper describes in great detail the differences between natural and artificial Permineralization. Completely petrified wood, indistinguishable from that found naturally has not been created in the laboratory.
Hard Woods: 10 Amazing Petrified Forests, "Here's something that'll stump your chainsaw: wood from petrified forests! The mineralized branch you hold today just might have been nibbled on by a dinosaur in some long-ago Jurassic brunch. These beautifully colored remnants of long-vanished landscapes are important links to the world as it was many millions of years ago."
Where is Fossilized Wood Found? "Petrified (or fossilized) wood is found in a range of locations all around the world: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, The Czech Republic, Germany, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Libya, Madagascar, New Zealand, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States (South Dakota, Arizona, California, Mississippi, Colorado)."
Evidence of Human Civilization: Evidence of continual human existence and activities can be documented (according to mainstream science) for over 200,000 years and is categorized into different periods. In Europe evidence is categorized into five pre-historic periods (there are considerable differences in dates between different regions). The modern, historical age begins about 3,200 BC with the invention of writing in Sumer. The prehistoric periods include: Middle Paleolithic Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and the Bronze Age which began around 5,300 years ago (depending on region).
According to the YECS explanations, all evidence of pre-flood human civilizations was deleted by Noah's flood. Consequently, ALL existing evidence of human activities across the globe must have actually been formed no earlier than 2242 BC when descendants of Noah dispersed after the Tower of Babel debacle. During a few hundred years humans managed to leap oceans and create the unique prehistoric post-flood and modern civilizations in Africa, Middle East, Greece, Europe, India, Asia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Australia, North America and South America. According to mainstream science, this evidence extends back far longer than 4,300 years pretty much everywhere on the earth. For this YECS version of history to be legitimate all current dating methods must be completely wrong.
YECS advocates like Todd Wood have gone to extraordinary lengths to determine the "baraminic status of fossil hominids ... using statistical baraminology techniques." Of the genera and species listed in the table to the right, all except Homo sapiens are extinct.
The remarkable conclusions of Wood and others are, "First, the extinct human taxa are entirely post-Flood. They do not represent pre-Flood populations buried during the Flood. Second, ...The diversity of human species could represent a post-Babel diversification event or diversification of the Babel population prior to human dispersal. Third,, the dispersal of the human population from Babel would presumably have been led by H. habilis and H. rudolfensis, specimens of which appear stratigraphically lower than any other human species. Any model of post-Babel distribution must account for the appearance and disappearance of these human species in stratigraphic order. Fourth, DNA sequences from Neanderthal specimens reveal that they are genetically distinct from modern humans, even when rate variation is taken into account and when compared with Cro-Magnon ancient DNA. This suggests that explanations of Neanderthal morphology as the result of disease, environmental factors, or extreme longevity are incorrect." Another YECS claim, "The Bible reveals that God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, on Day Six of Creation Week, and all others descended from that first pair (Acts 17:26). Thus, all humans, despite attempts to classify them separately as Neanderthal, Homo rudolfensis, or Homo sapiens, are equally created in God's image."
The Top Ten Human Evolution Discoveries from Ethiopia Home to Lucy, Ardi, the oldest stone tools, the first fossils of modern humans and many other discoveries, Ethiopia deserves the title of Cradle of Humankind.
Consider what would be required for every one of these examples of measurable evidence of the passage of long periods of time to not only fail in the context of providing evolutionary proof but instead support the YECS assumptions. Every one of the current scientific theories would not only need to be proven wrong, but new theories would need to be constructed for each example that would conclusively demonstrate consistent proof of the specific YECS chronology of almost instantaneous evolution.
Consider the specific obvious problems which can be easily demonstrated by a very superficial examination of YECS claims. The greater one's understanding of the evidence and the science involved in evaluating that evidence, the the greater the number of problems with YECS explanations that become apparent.
As described in the Animal Diversity and Distribution section, the most current YECS explanations require a "Genetic Sprint" unlike anything seen or imagined today to cause the remarkably rapid and diverse speciation that would enable dozens of species alive today (along with many extinct species) to evolve from each of the the animal "Kinds" that survived the global flood on Noah's ark.
A few decades ago the main pieces of evidence of relationships among different species of living organisms were their physical and behavioral characteristics and where they lived. YECS alternatives to mainstream theories were fairly easy to concoct. With advances in genetics and the ability to sequence and compare DNA from different species, and individuals within species, a more detailed picture of relationships among living organisms has evolved. YECS explanations must now constantly address new genetic evidence that makes specific relationships among animals and plants easier to detect and evolving techniques that allow specific genetic changes at the molecular level easier to identify and track.
YECS leaders are constantly scrambling to provide alternative explanations for an ever increasing, more detailed body of evidence that supports specific genetic relationships among living organisms and evolutionary change over long periods of time instead of several thousand years. I predict that YECS leaders will be driven to reject genetics entirely as a legitimate scientific discipline as processes are refined to follow the evolution of specific, individual genetic sequences among individuals within and between living and many extinct species.
The AIG article, Getting enough Genetic Diversity by Nathaniel Jeanson makes several claims, "When God created the nuclear DNA in Adam and Eve, He created it in two copies as 23 paired chromosomes. Even though Adam and Eve did not have human parents from which to inherit two copies, it is likely that God created their two nuclear DNA sequences different from one another. In other words, Adam’s first set of 3 billion DNA letters would have contained a certain sequence, and his second set of 3 billion DNA letters would have contained a different sequence—with perhaps 5-10 million differences between the two sets. This would allow them to be fruitful, multiply, and produce diverse offspring --- instead of producing clones." and concludes, " With millions of DNA differences --- massive amounts of DNA variety --- encoded into each kind from the start of their existence, the potential for speciation is mind-boggling. Combined with the fact that species can recover enormous population sizes in very short amounts of time, in addition to the fact that the vast majority of DNA sequences within a creature appear to be functional, these results demonstrate that millions of species in a few thousand years is not only plausible, it is also probable. ... Once the animals stepped off the Ark, their reservoir of DNA differences could have easily translated into a massive amount of morphological change." This alleged "reservoir of DNA differences" in humans or other animals is a completely illogical, improbable, implausible and unsupported explanation as described below.
Another AIG article concludes, "The real geographic origin of all modern humans is Babel, according to Scripture. The high variation in African DNA probably means that the majority of human families coming out of Babel went south and settled in Africa. To be sure, other families settled in other locations, as the Table of Nations indicates (Genesis 10), but the majority of DNA diversity in that Babel population went south."
Jeanson either deliberately or naively confuses genetic variations between maternal and paternal genes of an organism (which has little to do with speciation) and genetic diversity within an entire breeding population (the gene pool which provides the variety required for speciation). Jeanson's claim above that Adam's (and presumably Eve's) DNA might have contained "perhaps 5-10 million differences between the two sets" of chromosomes is completely misleading, and it misrepresents diversity as it plays out in animal speciation.
A brief introduction to some basic genetic facts:
"DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus. ... The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences."
"A chromosome is a packaged and organized structure containing most of the DNA of a living organism. Most eukaryotic cells [living organisms that have a membrane-bound nucleus and other organelles] have a set of chromosomes (46 in humans [23 pairs]) with the genetic material spread among them."
Genes are sections of DNA in chromosomes that code for specific proteins which are responsible for directing all of the biochemical processes that constitute life. One or more genes code for all visible and invisible traits of every living organism. All genes in an organism are collectively known as its genome. The human genome is thought to be about 20,000 protein-coding genes. The gene pool is all genes in a population of organisms.
"Ann allele is the variant form of a given gene. Sometimes, different alleles can result in different observable phenotypic traits, such as different pigmentation." em>"A gene is said to be polymorphic if more than one allele occupies that gene’s locus within a population." "Humans [and nearly all other animals and plants] are called diploid organisms because they have two alleles at each genetic locus, with one allele inherited from each parent. Each pair of alleles represents the genotype of a specific gene. Genotypes are described as homozygous if there are two identical alleles at a particular locus and as heterozygous if the two alleles differ. Alleles contribute to the organism's phenotype, which is the outward appearance of the organism.." Different alleles result in different biochemical processes which cause all differences in organisms. In the example to the right, the female rabbit is heterozygous for fur type - One allele for Wild Type Fur is on the maternal chromosome (the one inherited from her mother) and the allele for Pale Chinchilla Fur is on the chromosome inherited from from the father. The Wild Type (or Full Color) Fur allele is dominant (C+) and, as the name implies, if present with a recessive allele the dominant trait will be expressed. The Pale Chinchilla Fur allele is recessive (cchl). In this example the rabbit is heterozygous for Fur Type (C+ cchl) and will have Wild Type Fur. A rabbit with a (C+ C+) genotype would be homozygous with Wild Type Fur and an individual with (cchl cchl) alleles would be homozygous with Pale Chinchilla Fur. As described below, there are three other recessive rabbit alleles for Fur Type. There is a Dark Chinchilla allele (cchd)) which is intermediate between Full Color and Pale Chinchilla. The Himalayan phenotype represented by the allele (ch) has black fur on the extremities and white fur elsewhere. Finally, the albino, or “colorless” phenotype allele is represented as (c). This Rabbit Coat Color Genetics page provides a fairly extensive description of the "C" Shaded Series of alleles along with a number of other genes that modify the characteristics of a rabbit's coat.
All animals on Noah's ark would have been diploid, consequently the only genetic diversity each animal could carry from the entire pre-flood population to form dozens of dramatically new and different species and repopulate the world would be two different alleles - one from from each of their parents. For example, if a pre-flood population of any YECS "Unclean-Kind" consisted of millions of exceptionally diverse representatives, the post-flood unclean population would contain only two diploid genomes (a maximum of four different alleles for each gene) from the four ancestors -- the parents of the two "Kind" representatives on the ark. Al illustrated in the image to the right, there are five "C" Shaded Series alleles that contribute to rabbit coat color today. If all five alleles existed pre-flood, only four of them could have made it onto the ark in the "Rabbit Kind"", and the diversity of the fifth allele would have been lost. That is a significant way diversity is lost during a population crash.
Jeanson's statement above that there might be "perhaps 5-10 million differences between the two sets" of chromosomes is completely misleading. The differences that matter in the "Speciation Sprint" required to form dozens of extremely different species from a single "Kind" are the four sets of ancestral chromosomes and the maximum number of four different alleles for each gene. This population bottleneck actually reduces the genetic diversity of a population to almost nothing and makes the "Speciation Sprint" from preexisting differences in a pre-flood "Kind" required to create extremely different physical and behavioral differences in dozens of new species completely impossible.
Imagine the image to the right represented the "Rabbit Kind". There could be a remarkably diverse pre-flood "Rabbit Kind"" with dozens of different alleles for fur type or any other physical, biochemical or behavioral traits. After the flood, however, if each ark survivor was heterozygous for each and every gene, there would be a maximum of four alleles for each gene available to create all the diversity in the dozens of species that evolved from most of the ark survivor "Kinds". If the female ark "Rabbit Kind"" survivor had the (C+cchl) fur genotype described above and the male ark "Rabbit Kind" survivor had the (chc) genotype those would have been the only fur-type alleles available for the "Speciation Sprint" that produced 11 rabbit genera and over 60 species of Leporidae unless genes rapidly mutated into new, non-lethal variations.
Noah's flood would create conditions that would have actually produced results completely opposite from those required to form many new species from a single "Kind". The only way to regain the lost diversity would be for new, beneficial mutations to occur at an unprecedented rate (Mutational Sprint).
This YECS explanation by Dr. N. T. Jeanson of speciation attempts to provide a way to overcome the consequences of the population bottleneck, "we’ve concluded that many new species have formed from the kinds that Noah took on board the Ark. We also observed that, when God created the kinds, He frontloaded them with genetic differences --- with the potential to form all sorts of new species and varieties." Again, there is an appeal to supernatural intervention which immediately takes the explanation outside the boundaries of a scientific explanation. Divine "frontloading" of genetic diversity, however, is irrelevant, because the diversity that makes a difference in speciation is in the many individuals of the entire population. Nearly all of that diversity was lost during the flood. Jeanson continues, "For new visible traits to arise from this created heterozygosity, all that appears to be required is a shift from heterozygosity to homozygosity." This explanation of speciation is remarkably ill-informed and naive. Jeanson is apparently claiming all of the remarkable differences (all physical characteristics and inherited behaviors) between most "Ark Kinds" and the dozens of modern and extinct species can be explained when a new generation inherits two identical alleles (two alleles for brown eye or two for blue eye) instead of inheriting two different alleles. The inheritance of different alleles generally causes relatively minor differences in specific traits.
How do all current examples of how differences in alleles influence characteristics in a species relate to the YECS explanations of "Speciation Sprint" after the flood? They clearly demonstrate that there is no supporting evidence for the explanation that for dozens of new species to from form two diploid ancestors on the ark, "all that appears to be required is a shift from heterozygosity to homozygosity."
YECS leaders can produce no examples of this extraordinarily rapid and diverse speciation from a single pair of animals. They can produce no examples of genes with alleles that can account for all of the differences (physical and behavioral) that are found among all of the dozens of extraordinarily diverse species alleged to have evolved from two ancestors around 4,300 years ago.
The different domestic cat and dog varieties used as examples of this "Speciation Sprint" are only possible because of extremely large and diverse original populations from which desired traits were selected. Diversity does not reside within an individual. Diversity is all of the different alleles within all individuals in a population of animals plants or other living organisms --- you lose that diversity and you lose the ability to form new species without a significant amount of time to form then select for and against new genetic mutations.
Bottlenecks and founder effects, "Reduced genetic variation means that the population may not be able to adapt to new selection pressures, such as climatic change or a shift in available resources, because the genetic variation that selection would act on may have already drifted out of the population."
Population bottleneck, "When a new population is formed it is highly unlikely to have the same level of genetic diversity as the parent population. Especially in non-founder effect situations, i.e. when the parent population is killed off, this loss of diversity is permanent. What this means is that if a species comes extremely close to extinction but rebounds, it is not necessarily out of the woods yet. Additionally, an extended bottleneck can lead to inbreeding, causing further problems. "
Will evolution doom the cheetah? "...the bottlenecks that cheetahs experienced led to the species having a drastically reduced gene pool (gene puddle?). As a result, this magnificent species is perpetually at risk of extinction..."
Northern Elephant Seals: Increasing Population, Decreasing Biodiversity, "...the over-harvesting of individuals resulted in a drastic reduction in genetic diversity for the species as a whole. When the effective breeding population reached a low point of 20-100 individuals, it underwent what is known as a population bottleneck, which occurs when a population experiences a catastrophic event (due to natural disaster, overharvesting, or habitat loss) that results in the survival of only a small number of individuals, who represent only a fraction of the genetic diversity that was present in the original population. ... Unfortunately, inbreeding and lack of genetic diversity often result in higher incidence of harmful mutations due to a disproportionate distribution of alleles"
Bottom line - There is absolutely no evidence from the understanding of population genetics that would support the YECS speculations that a single "Kind" of animal on Noah's ark could diversify into the dozens of extremely different species alive today (and extinct). There is also no evidence from molecular genetics that, in the absence of the necessary preexisting genetic diversity for speciation, it would be possible for an extraordinary rate of new mutations "Mutational Sprint" to form the required genetic diversity.
What is the genetic evidence for human evolution? "In the
last couple of decades, our understanding of genetics has grown dramatically,
providing overwhelming evidence that humans share common ancestors with
all life on earth. Here are some of the main types of genetic evidence for
common ancestry, [Genetic Diversity, Genetic 'scars' & Genetic synonums]."
Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes: "All great apes apart from man have 24 pairs of chromosomes. There is therefore a hypothesis that the common ancestor of all great apes had 24 pairs of chromosomes and that the fusion of two of the ancestor's chromosomes created chromosome 2 in humans. The evidence for this hypothesis is very strong." (Wikipedia)
Scientists Analyze Chromosomes 2 and 4: "In the latest analysis, researchers searched the chromosome's DNA sequence for the relics of the center (centromere) of the ape chromosome that was inactivated upon fusion with the other ape chromosome. They subsequently identified a 36,000 base pair stretch of DNA sequence that likely marks the precise location of the inactived centromere. That tract is characterized by a type of DNA duplication, known as alpha satellite repeats, that is a hallmark of centromeres. In addition, the tract is flanked by an unusual abundance of another type of DNA duplication, called a segmental duplication. "These data raise the possibility of a new tool for studying genome evolution. We may be able to find other chromosomes that have disappeared over the course of time by searching other mammals' DNA for similar patterns of duplication," said Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D., director of the Washington University School of Medicine's Genome Sequencing Center and senior author of the study."
How Similar is Similar? - A discussion on how genetic differences are misused by YECS publications.
This article on Super-Speed Evolution concludes, "As I have pointed out many times in the past, good theories generally help to explain data rather than create more problems. Every time YECs try to provide a solution to a particular problem, in the case the problem of too many species to fit on the ark, they end up creating a large number of problems. They have now been forced to accept a form of super-accelerate evolution by genetic sorting and strong natural selection while at the same time suggesting that natural selection doesn't work. They are saying that intermediate fossils must exist while deny that they exist. Welcome to the wild and confusing world of creation science."
It is ironic and illuminating that YECS leaders who believe and fervently claim that science actually supports their claims of a catastrophic flood 4,300 years ago employ an explanation which requires a supernatural miracle. "Hard Fact #2" from an Answers in Genesis article states, "Another lesson from Genesis 6:20 is that the animals came to Noah. He did not have to go and catch them. Therefore, this preservation of the world’s fauna was divinely controlled. It was God's intention that the fauna be preserved. The animals' recolonization of the land masses was therefore determined by God, and not left to chance." Devine intervention cannot be employed when attempting to present a scientific explanation of natural events.
If YECS leaders are going to try and claim that their speculations are completely scientific, they can't just arbitrarily invoke a miracle when a natural process can't be conjured up to explain an event --- in this case how Noah and his family rounded up thousands of breeding pairs of birds and animals and how subsequent recolonization was divinely directed. If God miraculously bought 2-7 pairs of all land animal and bird "Kinds" to the ark, then initiated a global flood and finally directed the ark survivors to their new homes, why do Creationists bother to try and use the processes of science to prove any of their beliefs?
YECS promoters accept that God can (and does) intervene in the natural world whenever it is convenient for their purposes. When they believe they can employ a natural process they try to demonstrate that science can prove that explanation. It is obvious, however, that when their allegedly natural, scientific explanations are evaluated, they all actually require Divine Intervention to make the processes work within the extraordinary short time periods required.
In addition to accepting Divine Intervention to assist Noah, YECS leaders have created a logical dilemma with their attempts to reduce the numbers of animals on Noah's ark to a more believable number. Instead of trying to explain how pairs of animals representing several million species of living and extinct land animals and birds could survive on the ark for a year, they have come up with the idea of "Kinds" or bramin on the ark which rapidly speciated after the flood to form all living (and many extinct) species of land animals and birds.
The dilemma? Fewer "Kinds" on the ark requires a more aggressive "Speciation Sprint" since each "Kind" must speciate (evolve) into more different, distinct species. According to YECS speculations a single "Cat Kind" evolved into around 13 very different living genera and 42 species (in addition to many extinct genera and species). However, there were only 2 "Cat Kind" representatives on the ark. The "Cat Kind", along with most animal "Kinds", on the ark would have genes from just four parents - each with a maximum of two different alleles for each gene. Consequently, the genetic diversity of the ark survivors necessary to provide the significant genetic differences in ALL the newly formed species during the "Speciation Sprint" would have been almost zero. According to any understanding of genetics, the idea of "Speciation Sprint" and all of the details concocted to support it, is equivalent to "Supernatural Speciation".
Carefully read the specific YECS explanations below about the number of animal "Kinds" on Noah's ark and the post-flood "Speciation Sprint" required to create all living and many extinct species.
According to an AIG article, "So a good rule of thumb is that if two things can breed together, then they are of the same created kind. It is a bit more complicated than this, but for the time being, this is a quick measure of a 'kind'. ... Baramin is commonly believed to be at the level of family and possibly order for some plants/animals (according to the common classification scheme of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species). On rare occasions, a kind may be equivalent to the genus or species levels. ...For living organisms, hybridization is a key criterion. If two animals can produce a hybrid, then they are considered to be of the same kind. However, the inability to produce offspring does not necessarily rule out that the animals are of the same kind, since this may be the result of mutations (since the Fall)."
An ambitious YECS project to determine the mammal "Kinds" that were on the ark had this to say, "It has often been stated that the level of the kind is approximately the level of the family. It can be above or below this level, but the family is a fairly good approximation. ... In this paper 137 kinds have been tentatively identified. If the fossil record is taken into consideration, this number could easily double. Beech (2012) listed terrestrial vertebrate families represented in the fossil record. In the list of mammals 210 to 218 families are not recognized here. This suggests that closer to 350 mammal kinds were on the Ark."
"Since two of each 'Kind' of land animal (and seven of some) were brought aboard the Ark for the purpose of preserving their offspring upon the earth (Genesis 7:3), it seems clear that a 'Kind' represents the basic reproductive boundary of an organism. That is, the offspring of an organism is always the same kind as its parents, even though it may display considerable variation." (AIG)
A 2013 AIG article, How Could Noah Fit the Animals on the Ark and Care for Them?, claims the total number of "Kinds" of land animals and birds on the ark was about 8,000, "Current baraminological research suggests that the created kind most closely corresponded to the family level in current taxonomy. However, to be conservative in this study, the genus was set as equivalent to the original created kind. As for the clean animals that entered the ark in seven pairs, this added a modest number of additional animals, notably bovids (cow-like mammals) and cervids (deer-like mammals). Under these conservative assumptions, there were no more than 16,000 land animals and birds on the ark." Of course those 16,000 individuals must have included ALL extinct "Kinds" of land animals and birds in the fossil record as well, since they would have been alive at the time God brought all animal pairs to the ark.
Another AIG article (2012) by Ken Ham, How Many Kinds?, speculates that the number of animals on Noah's ark was reduced even more, "As part of the evangelistic Ark Encounter project, AIG has engaged scholars to research how many actual animal kinds would have been needed on Noah's Ark. It is important to understand that the word kind used in Genesis 1 seems to represent something closer to the 'family' level of classification in most instances. The scholars doing the research for this project are predicting from their research on living and fossil mammal, amphibian, reptile, and bird kinds that there may have been as few as 1,000 land animal kind represented on the Ark. As there were two of each kind (and seven of some—the clean animals), that would mean somewhere from 2,000-3,000 actual land animals were needed on the Ark. This number is much smaller than what people [i.e. other creationists] have been claiming over the years."
Finally, a 2016 AIG article concluded, "Using the family criterion in combination with the 'breath of life' criterion, the total number of kinds on board the Ark was low. Today, the number of living mammal, amphibian, reptile, and bird families (including the aquatic ones) is just over 500. ...a total of 1,700 mammalian, amphibian, reptilian, and avian families once existed on earth. This number --- 1,700 --- represents an upper estimate of the total number of kinds that Noah took on board the Ark."
16,000 animals on the ark (or 2,000-3,000) is certainly a more manageable number than the 1 to 6.5 million species of land animals currently alive on earth plus all the dinosaurs and other species (Kinds?) that went extinct. That means, on average, though, each "Kind" would need to evolve into 125 to 800 different distinct species (and many genera) in just over 4,000 years - and, yet, as will be demonstrated with the "Cat-Kind" example, the differences among the final species can be quite dramatic.
With the various YECS "Kind" explanations in mind, let's examine a specific example - the "Cat Kind"
An Answers in Genesis article, Reimagining Ark Animal,, states "Noah needed a total of only two cats—studies have shown that all cats are part of the same created kind. This would include modern alley cats, the famous saber-toothed cat (Smilodon), and many other large cats, whether living or extinct."
Consider the evolution of all modern and extinct cat species from a single "Cat Kind" pair of ancestors on the ark. Keep in mind the reality of genetics and the impossibility of generating the extraordinary diversity required to create all existing (and many extinct) species of cats from the two surviving "Cats" after the flood bottleneck.
The table to the right lists all of the cat genera (~30) and species (~100) that YECS speculate originated from the single pair of "Cat Kinds - Family Felidae" on the ark. Remember, nearly all pre-flood genetic diversity was eliminated, and it would have been necessary for the two "Ark Cats" to carry every gene for every trait in all the new species. The other, equally improbable scenario, would require the formation of new beneficial genetic mutations at an astounding, unprecedented rate (Mutational Sprint").
These evolving species migrated around the newly formed continents and oceans and found exactly the right environment in which the newly rapidly formed species were "designed" to survive or they evolved the required traits by "Mutational Sprint".
Click on the links to the different genera to see the remarkable diversity of the Felidae family and try to imagine any process known which could form this diversity from any pair of cats today. Also examine where each of these species (living and extinct) is found and imagine how the ancestors migrated around the world after the global flood and during an Ice Age while evolving into new genera and species that could survive in these new environments.
Like "Continental Sprint" discussed earlier, the YECS explanation of dramatically different species evolving from basic "Kinds" in several thousand years requires a "Speciation Sprint" which has absolutely no modern day precedent or natural mechanism that can explain it.
YECS explanations try to use examples like quickly breeding different verities of cats and dogs and listing different but closely related modern species that can interbreed as proof that lions, cheetahs, jaguars, house cats, saber-toothed cats and related species within the Family Felidae all evolved from two representatives of the "Original Created Kind of Cat" in a few thousand years after Noah's flood. Those examples, however, are not relevant to the problem of "Speciation Sprint". "Speciation Sprint" is another example where Divine Intervention is the only possible explanatory process.
When creating new varieties of any animal or plant, scientists can't just cross two specimens and generate a huge number of offspring with an enormous variety of different characteristics. Breeders must take advantage of the existing genetic diversity in all available representatives of the species (the gene pool). Two specimens are selected that have the desired characteristics and bred. This process of selecting from the available and breeding organisms with characteristics as close to the desired outcome as possible continues until most offspring exhibit the desired traits. To select for a different characteristic, different specimens from the large population are chosen and bred.
There is no place in the history of dog breeding where you could select two dogs, and from only those two dogs and their direct descendants (no additional interbreeding), produce Great Danes and Chihuahuas and all the intermediate breeds. The point is, you can't breed a huge variety of new characteristics - never mind dozens of new distinct species - from the genetic diversity of a single pair of animals. The facts are that a breeding pair of animals can only contain the diversity represented by variations within four copies of each gene - a copy from each immediate ancestor of each parent. There is no way to pack additional potential diversity into the genome of a pair of animals. The lack of diversity in a very small population and the resulting, necessary inbreeding generally lead to significant problems, not the explosion of new, very different species required by YECS to repopulate the earth.References:
Inbred Neanderthals left humans a genetic burden, "The Neanderthal
genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40 percent
less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to new estimates.
Non-African humans inherited some of this genetic burden when they interbred
with Neanderthals, though much of it has been lost over time. The results
suggest that these harmful gene variants continue to reduce the fitness
of some populations today. The study also has implications for management
of endangered species."
Genetics-Inbreeding, "Inbreeding doesn't mean you will definitely get a genetic disease or wind up sickly. You are just more likely to have health problems. And the more inbreeding, the greater the risk."
When you read individual YECS explanations they can seem quite reasonable --- if you don't explore the potential difficulties with the Young Earth Creation Science (YECS) model very carefully. However, I and most other scientists, recognize what appear to be some fairly obvious and serious problems that I have not seen addressed in the YECS articles with robust, proven scientific hypotheses (and proof of those hypothesis) instead of speculations.
Below are some additional problems with post-flood animal diversity and distribution that YECS leaders mostly ignore when they propose their "Speciation Sprint".
If the ark carried a single pair of most animal "Kinds", and they were all released in a single location on a mountain that had been completely submerged until fairly recently (or just created by collisions during the "Continental Sprint"):
What did these animals eat, particularly the carnivores and other animals that have very specific dietary constraints, while they bred and began their migration around the globe to their current locations - or the locations where some species ultimately went extinct? Apparently there was an Ice Age in progress for the first 600-700 years after the flood which would have kept the environment all over the world in a constant state of flux.
How did the animals know where to migrate so the new climates and ecosystems that eventually formed after the flood and subsequent ice age matched their physical and behavioral adaptations? Or did they evolve their new characteristics to match the environments as they migrated?
As discussed above, where did the genetic diversity originate to enable manifestation of all the new physical and behavioral characteristics required in the new environments and to form all the physical and behavioral traits of the new genera and species?
The challenges described in the few examples below would have been experienced by every one of the surviving and evolving ark "Kinds". There are many thousands of species of birds and animals in the world that have unique distributions, ranges, behaviors, physical characteristics, diets, etc. -- any one of which can create significant problems for flood geology. There are no natural explanations possible, only Divine guidance and intervention.
Giant pandas, for example, subsist almost entirely on a daily diet of 20-30 pounds of bamboo leaves, stems and shoots . How would that be possible during the 3,000 mile migration from Mount Ararat to the regions in China where they currently reside? They would either need to rapidly evolve from a non-bamboo-eating "Bear-Kind" after arriving or a three thousand mile path of bamboo would be required. There is fossil evidence that, "the giant panda had a much wider range in the Pleistocene [Ice Age - AIG], with fossil records from Zhoukoudian, near Beijing to southern China, and into northern Myanmar, northern Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand." (Zhang, et al.).
According to YECS speculations, the Ice Age lasted no more than six to seven hundred years. For Ice Age panda evidence to be found, the two Giant Pandas and their offspring must have migrated (while evolving?) from the Ark to Asia and all regions where they have been found within that time window. Another complicating factor that YECS models must address is fossils from extinct species that are related to Giant Pandas, but clearly different, found in various regions of China.
Emperor Penguins and their relatives are an interesting example. Living penguin species, as well as larger fossil relatives, are uniquely evolved (behaviors and physiology) to survive in the harsh environment of Antarctica.
If you remember from the Flood Geology section, YECS leaders now believe Noah and his family, along with all living land organisms, including penguins (or penguin "Kinds"), lived on or around the supercontinent Rodinia. According to current geological models, the craton of Rodinia which split off to became part of Antarctica, and where fossil penguins are found -- some extinct species twice as large as living species of Emperor Penguins -- was located in a tropical to moderate climate, completely unlike the frozen environment they have evolved to inhabit.
In fact, all behaviors of the Emperor Penguins (and the other sixteen penguin species) only make sense in their current Antarctic environment. Just one example - they are "the only creatures on earth to breed in the Antarctic winter, their survival, as well as those of their chicks, is put in jeopardy when the temperature falls to 40 below. So, instinctively, emperor penguins all converge on the same central point and begin to form a huddle. As those on the outside take the brunt of the cold, those on the inside take tiny steps that move the huddle in waves." (PBS.org)
If all penguin adaptations and behaviors only make sense in the Antarctic environment, the question for YECS leaders is to explain all these specific adaptations in the context of flood geology. Were there pre-flood Arctic or Antarctic environments where Emperor Penguins (or the "Penguin Kind") lived? If so, how did they get to the ark, and after the flood how did they know know exactly how to execute a very specific migration from Mt. Ararat to Antarctica given their specific behaviors and a completely new geography? Or did all specific behaviors and physical adaptations evolve in several thousand years ("Adaptive Sprint") after some "Penguin Kind" wandered into Antarctica 4,300 years ago and evolved into all living and extinct species?
Sloths: Another interesting challenge for YECS leaders is to provide specific evidence and natural processes to explain the more than 80 genera of extinct Ground Sloths and the six living species of sloths. Evidence of the pre-flood fossils and the Ice Age remains are found in South, Central and North America and some Caribbean islands. The living species are found only in South and Central America.
From AIG, "One of the most common giant sloths known from North
America is Megalonyx jeffersonii [10 feet long and 1,000 pounds]. Fossils
of this extinct animal are found all over the continent in sedimentary
deposits formed just prior to and during the Ice Age that occurred after
The extinct giant ground sloth Megatherium, found in South America weighed up to four tons and was 20 feet in length? Did Noah only collect representatives from the two sloth families alive today and leave all of the large extinct species to die in the flood? Were there several sloth "Kinds" on the ark that all just happened to migrate to the same place?
"The three-toed sloths are tree-living mammals from South and Central America. They are the only members of the genus Bradypus and the family Bradypodidae. Although similar to the somewhat larger and generally faster-moving two-toed sloths, the two genera are placed in different families. Recent phylogenetic analyses support the morphological data from the 1970s and 1980s that the two genera are not closely related and that each adopted their arboreal lifestyles independently. Three-toed sloths are unusual amongst the mammals in possessing as many as nine cervical vertebrae, which may be due to mutations in the homeotic genes.."
Linnaeus's two-toed sloth | Three-toed sloth
The challenges described in the few examples above would have been experienced by every one of the surviving and evolving ark "Kinds".
There are many thousands of species of birds and animals and other organisms in the world that have unique distributions, ranges, behaviors, physical characteristics, diets, etc. which create significant problems for flood geology. Look up a significant number of the "Kinds" listed below. Since many of them are scientifically recognized Families (sometimes Order or Genus), search on the name then examine each of the genera and species to see the diversity required of the "Speciation Sprint" and/or "Mutational Sprint". Examine where each species lives and the different physical traits and genetically controlled behaviors required to live in those locations.
Follow the migration to new environments the animals were (or became) adapted to inhabit after the flood and imagine the "Speciation Sprint" required for each "Kind" to speciate into all of the living and recently extinct species required by the YECS speculations. There are no natural explanations possible, only Divine guidance and intervention.
and migration within several thousand years from 2-14 ancestors must
be able to explain all the differences between all animals in a given
"Kind". Remember the animals leaving the ark had significantly
reduced population diversity and were subject to the problems of inbreeding.
Mammal Kinds (...closer to 350 mammal kinds were on the Ark), Bird Kinds (In this survey, 196 “kinds” of birds were identified), Tuatara, Amphisbaena, and Snake Kinds, ([A] tentative estimate of one tuatara, two amphisbaena, and 41 snake kinds is proposed as being on the Ark), Amphibian Kinds, (Noah had 53 Caudate kinds and one extant Gymnophionan kind represented on the Ark), Turtle and Crocodile Kinds, (...it is estimated that 11 extant turtle kinds and three extant crocodile kinds were brought on the Ark)
What about all the disease-causing organisms and parasites found in and on today's animals? Were they all present in the animals on the ark, or were they all able to survive in the flood for over a year then find and infect their specific hosts later? Obviously, none of these organisms could cause any significant disease or death in the ark survivors until sufficient progeny had been born, migrated and diversified (evolved) to create the new species. A YECS explanation apparently is, "But germs were probably more robust in the past, and have only fairly recently lost the ability to survive in different hosts or independently of a host." Another article produces additional speculations after a complaint against critics, "Some diseases afflicting humans today, whether caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites, are transmitted only from human to human, and the disease-causing organisms (pathogens) seem to be unable to survive for any significant time outside of an infected human host. Would this not mean that members of Noah's family had to be infected with tapeworm, AIDS, syphilis, smallpox, measles and many more? This is a common 'problem' raised by anti-creationists in order to lampoon the biblical account of Noah and his family on the Ark during the Flood". The point is, these are all unsupported speculations -- no scientific experiments or specific evidence are provided to demonstrate the validity of these beliefs. That is precisely why the speculations are criticized by scientists as not scientific.
If any individual in
those 1,000 to 8,000 breeding pairs on the ark happened to die (accidents,
starving, disease, becoming prey, etc.) before reproducing, that would
have eliminated an entire "kind" of animal from those alive today.
The same logic would apply to the immediate descendants of the two-seven original
breeding pairs. The original "Cat-Kind" pair would
have offspring that would pair up to begin producing the first set of
"sub-Kinds" (house cat, lion, tiger, cheetah, leopard, saber-tooth
cat, jaguar, etc.). It is difficult to imagine how all those many
"Kinds" and "sub-Kinds" could survive, multiply and
diversify in the harsh environment immediately following a global flood
without Divine protection. Perhaps there were actually many more
pairs of "Kinds" on the ark that did die like all the dinosaur
No natural, comprehensive scientific theories have been proposed by Young Earth Creation Science (YECS) leaders to explain the formation and distribution of over a trillion galaxies containing an estimated 100 billion stars each, apparently spread over billions of light years in a nearly 14 billion year old universe. Light we can detect today from the center of the Milky Way galaxy started on its journey about 26,000 years ago. If the Andromeda galaxy (the Milky Way's nearest galactic neighbor) is visible tonight, you will see light that started its journey 2.2 million years ago.
No natural theories have been proposed by YECS leaders to explain the existence of incredibly diverse and dynamic cosmic events like the occasional novae and supernovas. The Crab Nebula, for example, is the glowing remnant of a star some 6,500 light years distant that exploded about 7,500 years ago. After traveling for about 6,500 years the light from the explosion reached earth in AD 1054 and, was recorded by Chinese astronomers as a "guest star" that was brighter than anything in the night sky except the moon, and probably visible during the day.
An explanation provided by Answers in Genesis states, "The earth and all the stars in the universe did not originate in a big bang; they were created independently and on different days. On the first day, God created the universe containing no stars, but only the earth. Only on the fourth day --- when plants already existed --- the stars and other planets were created. Thus, all stars are of the same age, excluding the three creation days." There is absolutely no method provided to support these claims except, "God created..." As noted, this belief could certainly be true, but there is absolutely no way this belief can be considered scientific, and it does not explain how a star that apparently exploded before the formation of the universe could be seen over 1,000 years ago. Over 80 novae have been recorded since the 1600s. Over 30 supernovae have been recorded, many in other galaxies.
YECS leaders try to explain
this problem by constructing elaborate theories like the "a href="https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/anisotropic-synchrony-convention-distant-starlight-problem/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">anisotropic
synchrony convention" (a hypothesis that light travels toward an
observer infinitely fast) developed by Dr. Jason Lisle where, "...we
find that an observer-centric anisotropic synchrony convention eliminates
the distant starlight problem by reducing radially inward-directed light
travel-time in the reference frame of the observer to zero. Such a convention
implies that everything in the universe has an age of a few thousand years
as we currently see it."
Dr. Danny R. Faulkner discusses several other proposed YECS solutions
and presents his own hypothesis, "As a part of God's formative work,
light from the astronomical bodies was miraculously made to “shoot” its
way to the earth at an abnormally accelerated rate in order to fulfill their
function of serving to indicate signs, seasons, days, and years. ...it is
likely space itself that has rapidly moved, and that the speed of light
since Creation Week has been what is today." Some
other YECS proposals to explain the apparent size and age of the universe.
Detailed discussions of problems with Dr. Lisle's hypothesis can be read here, here and here. The bottom line is that Lisle's speculation has absolutely no observational or experimental confirmation or plausibility and Faulkner's explanation is not even remotely scientific.
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