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Author Topic:   Could asteroids lead to the extinction of YECism ?
Posts: 4715
Joined: 05-02-2006
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Message 14 of 137 (722321)
03-20-2014 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by vimesey
03-20-2014 10:15 AM

Asteroids are real and what they do is real.

We already know the effect that reality has on creationists; ie, none.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by vimesey, posted 03-20-2014 10:15 AM vimesey has responded

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 Message 15 by vimesey, posted 03-20-2014 11:12 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

Posts: 4715
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.8

Message 64 of 137 (722561)
03-22-2014 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Faith
03-22-2014 1:55 PM

Re: Back to the asteroids
Provided for informational purposes. Even though you have claimed to not have studied "creation science", you have admitted to visiting creationist sites and using their materials. Since those sites themselves mostly recycle the claims made by prominent creationists, you should try to familiarize yourself with those creationists and with their claims, as well as with the criticisms of their claims.

Apparently the theory I found is THE main creationist theory, by a Walter Brown?

Walter Brown has been active in "creation science" at least since 1979, when a brochure he'd written contained the earliest instance that I know of for the "leap second" claim; since this is the earliest instance I could find, I assume that he had created that claim. Now about 76 years old, he currently resides in Phoenix, AZ, but in his heyday he mainly operated out of the Mid-West, having been described as "the Mid-West ICR" and "a one-man ICR". He's a PhD Mechanical Engineering and a military retiree (I had heard Air Force, bolstered by his having used two Air Force magazines plus Reader's Digest as his three sources for the leap second claim, but Wikipedia doesn't say which branch he had served in and that he had graduated from West Point, which would have made him Army -- he enlisted post-National Security Act, so the Air Force would have already been a separate branch). He is credited with having developed a Flood Geology model called "hydroplate theory", though I have no idea how much he actually knows about geology and geo-physics. He wrote at least one book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, which I believe is what he has posted on-line and which I have looked through. His Wikipedia article is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Brown_(creationist).

I first became aware of him in 1984 when an encounter with him appeared in an article on Dr. Duane Gish's infamous bullfrog-protein claim made on national TV and for which Gish repeatedly promised to support with evidence, but never ever did. Brown claimed that an actual scientific study (the1976 study by Margaret Dayhoff's comparing cytochrome c sequences of different species) showed show that the rattlesnake is more closely related to humans that to any other organism. What the study actually shows is that higher taxa are roughly equidistant from each other genetically. Cytochrome c in rattlesnakes and humans differ by 14 amino acids and humans and rhesus monkeys by only one amino acid -- chimpanzees were not included among the 47 species in that study, but in other studies human and chimpanzee cytochrome c is identical, no differences. There were no other snakes in the Dayhoff study, so by coincidence it was the human protein that was marginally closer to the rattlesnake than any other species in the study was to the rattlesnake.

The point is the Brown's claim had to be worded very carefully in order to remain technically true. It would be ludicrously false to say that, according to that study, "humans are more closely related to rattlesnakes by cytochrome c than to any other organism", since the study clearly shows that humans are more closely related to other mammals than to rattlesnakes. You could only be technically truthful in saying that, according to that study, "rattlesnakes are more closely related to humans by cytochrome c than to any other organism", because the study included no other snakes.

So Brown had to be very careful in his wording of that claim, which means that he was aware that it was false. In addition, when the reporter, Robert Kenney, came across Brown repeating his rattlesnake protein claim to group crowded around him, Kenney then started to explain the facts about that claim, whereupon Brown very quickly changed the subject. This demonstrates that Brown is known to have chosen to deliberately lie and deceive.

The leap second claim is much more likely to have been an ignorant mistake. As the NAVSTAR project was being developed in the 1970's leading up to its going on-line in 1980 (it's what provides the GPS service), articles about it flooded technical and science popularizing periodicals. One aspect of the system is that our highly accurate time-keeping has set the standard for the length of a second (an atomic clock standard) and the length of a day. But since the earth's rotation is generally slowing down, this throws off when noon occurs (the basis of the solar day, AKA UTC, that all our clocks are synced to), so we need to correct that periodically by adding or subtracting a "leap second" (so far, we've only added them). Although the rate of slowing down has been measured empirically at about 10 ms / day / century (from memory), the error that accumulates can require adding a leap second every 18 months, though we have also gone through periods where we didn't add one for a few years (I work on products that use GPS receivers).

(assuming that Walter Brown created this claim) When Walter Brown read about having to add a leap second every 18 months because the earth's rotation was slowing down, he mistook that to mean that the earth's rotation was slowing down by one second every 18 months, a rate that is about 6000 to 7000 greater than the actual rate. He used that to extrapolate back to find the earth's rotational rate millions and billions of years ago and came up with ridiculous rates, such that the rotational forces would have reduced the earth to a flat disk. This claim became very popular among creationists and spread very widely, such that it is still a very popular claim.

In 1982, the claim was soundly refuted by Awbrey and Thwaites, creators of one of the only true two-model classes (until the campus Christian clubs revolted and forced it to be cancelled) in their article, As the World Turns: Can Creationists Keep Time?. Despite that, creationists continue to use the claim three decades later. It was one of Hovind's favorites, and when a group tried to engage creationists in dialogue by contacting 15 web sites that carried the claim and revealing it to be blatantly false, the response was either stonewalling or abject refusal to correct a blatant falsehood (An unsuccessful attempt to correct an error on young-earth creationist websites. Part 1, An unsuccessful attempt to correct an error on young-earth creationist websites Part 2 by ReligiousTolerance.org, the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance).

One exception to that creationist rule appears to have been Walter Brown himself. When I read through his on-line book, there was no mention of the leap-second claim. This tells me that he had realized the mistake he had made and stopped using that claim. However, his rattlesnake-protein claim is still in there, albeit as a footnote, so he still has not learned to not lie. He is to be commended for his response to the refuting of his leap-second claim, but condemned for the rattlesnake-protein claim.

At any rate, you now know about his book and should be able to find it on-line so that you can see what he actually said about asteroids -- creationists are infamous for misrepresenting scientific sources and I see no reason why they wouldn't do the same to creationist sources as well. Just take what you read with a generous amount of salt.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Faith, posted 03-22-2014 1:55 PM Faith has not yet responded

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