Action & Reaction - October 1998

The Young Earth

One of the visitors to our booth at the Community Dinner was a local science teacher. He was particularly interested in the displays showing evidence of a young earth. So, we loaned him two Steve Austin tapes about Mount St. Helens and the Grand Canyon geology. He returned the tapes a few days later with this note:

David:

Thanks for the loan of these tapes. Beautifully done with great photography. They selected their data very carefully to demonstrate a foregone conclusion. Try turning all this around: Take the data you have and try to make a theory that unites all of it and explains it all. If the evidence doesn't explain the theory don't throw out the evidence.

Thanks again,

<science teacher's signature>

We agree with almost everything in his note. The tapes are beautifully done with great photography.

Steve Austin did select the data carefully. It would be a shame if he had selected it carelessly. (We will talk more about this later.) Steve took the data and found it to be compatible with a theory that unites all of it and explains it all.

Evolutionists would do well to take the science teacher's advice that, "If the evidence doesn't explain the theory don't throw out the evidence." For example, if there is abundant evidence that people have seen "prehistoric" creatures, One should not throw out that evidence just because it doesn't fit the theory of evolution.

The real issue is how to select the data, and how much a foregone conclusion should affect that selection process.

It happens that I work at a military test range. Our customers put electronic countermeasure devices on airplanes and fly those airplanes against the radars we have on our range. We give the customer a data product that tells him what his countermeasure device did, and how it affected our radars. The group I work in does the post-test data reduction. We "reduce" the data because there is too much to comprehend. On rare occasions, some of the data is bad, and we have to discard it before we give it to the customer because bad data is misleading.

As a general rule, experiments always produce too much data. Some of it is irrelevant. Some of it is wrong. The trick is to separate the useful data from the bad data, and to reduce it to a form that mere humans can understand. That's what good scientists do.

All scientists have expectations and prejudices. They do experiments expecting to obtain particular results. Would the scientists at the SETI project waste their time listening for signals from intelligent life in outer space if they didn't expect to receive any signals? Of course not. Should we criticize them for expecting certain results? No. We should only criticize them when there is evidence that they have allowed their prejudices to influence their judgment.

There is no question that Eugene Dubois went to Indonesia with the foregone conclusion that a missing link between ape and man existed, and he intended to find it. When he found a part of a skull cap in 1891, and a thigh bone 50 feet away a year later, he rashly concluded that both came from "Java Man (Homo erectus)." Evolutionists accepted Java Man as a missing link based on just these two bones. That was not good science.

When skull KNM-ER 1470 was discovered, it was radioactively dated many times, giving many different results (some as old as 230 million years). Evolutionists discarded all the results, except those that agreed with the assumed age of the extinct pigs (1.9 million years) in the same rock layer. They recklessly selected the data that demonstrated a foregone conclusion.

We have, over the past two years, pointed out numerous instances of when the evidence doesn't match the theory of evolution, and the evidence is discarded instead of the theory. For example, in this issue we examined evidence that descriptions of "prehistoric" creatures have been found in historic literature. Next month we will look at geological evidence that rock layers assumed to be millions of years old cannot be as old as is usually claimed. When we make the general claim that evolutionists cling to an incorrect theory despite the fact that the evidence is against it, we cite specific examples.

The science teacher implied in his note that because Steve Austin is a flood-believing Christian, he has ignored important evidence that the Grand Canyon is millions of years old. If so, we want to know what that evidence is.

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