Dr. Ron Carlson takes over for Kent Hovind
Ugh, I listened to a 10 minute rant by Dr. Ron Carlson. The video can viewed here. The number of factual errors in this 10 minutes makes me happy that they cut off the video. I do pity the people who had to listen to more of his nonsense. It seemed eerily reminiscent of a Kent Hovind seminar and proves once again that young earth creationism is built on a bed of lies. I e-mailed Carlson with the following points. We'll see if he responds.
I watched the video on Worldview and was surprised at how poorly you spoke about paleontology and geology. Your video contained many factual errors. I'd be surprised if you'll correct these, but I don't believe that it should be the duty of a Christian to misrepresent science in order to further a worldview. So here are some of the errors I noticed:
(1) The circular reasoning argument- False. You said fossils are dated by the layers they are found in and the layers by the fossils they contained. If true, it would indeed be circular reasoning. It's not true. The geologic column was assembled without knowledge of absolute (years) ages. It was based on the observation that the layers of rock seemed to be the same worldwide. For example, trilobite fossils are found in layers beneath dinosaurs and dinosaurs beneath fossils of humans. At the time, geologists like Lyell and Hutton made the assumption that the layers were in a correct relative order with the oldest rocks on the bottom. Rock layers are dated using radiometric methods. That's how the years were put into the geologic column, by actually using radiometric methods to determine their ages. What was so cool is that those age determinations confirmed the logic of Lyell and Hutton and the lower layers were found to be older than the upper layers. The correct argument is "Fossils are dated by radiometric dating of the rocks they are found in". Nothing circular.
(2) Lyell did not know how old the earth was and is not credited with the currently held age of 4.5 billion years. The age of 4.5 billion is based on work in the 20th century long after Lyell died. At the time of Lyell (or shortly thereafter), the earth was thought to be 20-70 million years or less (based on work of Kelvin, de Buffon and Joly).
(3) The Jurassic is not 65 million years ago. That date is the end of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic began around 199 million years ago and ended 145 million years ago.
(4) Lyell was trained in geology by William Buckland. He chose law as a first career and later decided to work in geology. He was, by all measures, a good scientist. It seems strange that you would criticize him for being a lawyer doing geology when you are a theologian speaking about paleontology. Do you criticize Einstein for being a 'dead patent clerk'?
(5) The Grand Canyon strata are in the correct order of the geologic column. There are some time periods missing, but the ordering of the strata is correct. Furthermore, the top layer in the Grand Canyon can be traced laterally to the bottom of the younger Zion Canyon and the top layer in Zion Canyon can be traced laterally into Bryce Canyon. The so-called "Grand Staircase" spans over 1 billion years of earth history.
(6) The geologic column has been found nearly complete in several places on earth. I suggest you google Glenn Morton and take a look at what this former young earth creationist and geologist has to say about this issue.
(7) Evolutionary events are not presented on every geologic column, but even if they are, so what? The layers were directly dated and thus have absolute ages. What such a picture shows is the history of life on earth. One can even deny that those organisms 'evolved', but their history on earth is accurately depicted. It's similar to creating a family tree based on date of birth.
I know that most creationists don't bother to correct facts. I corrected Kent Hovind and lo and behold, he never changed his spiel. However, at least I can remind you of this e-mail if I ever do hear your speech again.