2013 International Conference on Creationism

icc2013Every five years or so, the top young-Earth creationist scientists gather in Pittsburgh for the International Conference on Creationism. From what I understand, this is quite different from your typical Answers in Genesis or Institute for Creation Research seminars that are presented for the general public at local churches. Instead, this will be the YEC researchers talking to each other at a technical level.

The topics for this summer’s meeting have been posted, and here are a few that caught my eye, mostly those relating to geology:

  • Genesis, Biblical Authority & the Age of the Earth — Ken Ham
  • The South Fork and Heart Mountain faults: Examples of Late Flood, Gravity-driven “Overthrust” — Timothy Clarey
  • A Reconstruction of the Physical Geography of the Early Earth — Stan Udd
  • Geomorphologym [sic] The Flood/Post-flood Boundary and the Potential [sic] — John Whitmore
  • Numerical Simulations of Ice Age Precipitation and Hypercyclones Using the NCAR WRF Model with a Warm Ocean — Larry Vardiman
  • The Mars Desert Hypothesis and The Mars–RATE Connection — Ron Samec
  • Bolides, Global Contraction, Isostasy and the Flood — Hamilton Duncan
  • Might Rotational Instability of the Earth During the Genesis Flood Explain the Megasequences of the Phanerozoic Sediment Record? — John Baumgardner
  • A New Model of the Earth’s Pre- Flood Canopy — Ed Boudreaux
  • Numerical Simulation of Lithospheric Breakup in the Biblical Timescale — Jesse Sherburn
  • A non-uniformitarian model of ice bodies impacting Mars, leaving craters, flowing water and water ice. — Trevor Holt
  • Double-Beta-Decay as a Possible Indicator of Change in the Strong Force — Eugene Chaffin
  • Initial Conditions for a Post-Flood Rapid Ice Age — Steven Gollmer
  • Higher Order Magnetic Multipole Expansion Terms Show A Sinusoidal Variation In The Earth’s Magnetic Field — Robert Hill
  • Superfaults and Pseudotachylytes:Evidence of Catastrophic Earth Movements — Timothy Clarey
  • Ancient Egypt, the Ice Age, and Biblical Chronology — Anne Habermehl
  • Baraminological Analysis of Jurassic and Cretaceous Avialae — Paul Garner
  • Planetary magnetic dynamo theories: A century of failure — Russ Humphreys
  • Soft Tissues in Solid Rocks — Brian Thomas
  • The Temporal Geographical and Geological Ubiquity of Excess Argon with a Young Earth Analysis — Richard Overman
  • Simulating Flood Deposition of Mudrocks — Steven Austin
  • A Model explaining craters, comets, asteroids, meteorites, icy satellites, planet rings, water and ice by the short term passage of ice bodies through the solar system around 2300 years before Jesus Christ — Trevor Holt
  • Modeling the Large-Scale Tectonics of the Early Stages of the Flood Cataclysm — John Baumgardner
  • How Does an Underwater Debris Flow End?: Flow Transformation Evidences Observed Within the Lower Redwall Limestone of Arizona and Nevada — Darry Stansbury
  • The Impacts Vertical Tectonics Model of the Flood — Michael Oard
  • The Crucifixion Earthquake of 33 AD: Evidence in the Dead Sea Sediment –Dr. Steve Austin

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • I don’t know who all of these speakers are, but those I am familiar with are very smart people. The caricature of young-Earth creationists as a bunch of low-I.Q. Neanderthals doesn’t fit this group of people.
  • Young-Earth creationism has become considerably more sophisticated over the past couple of decades.
  • Despite this sophistication, the YEC flood geology model still suffers from many weaknesses that make it untenable. The basic problem is that there are too many events occurring in too little time. I cannot conceive of squeezing the Quaternary Period into a few centuries after the flood (as many YECs advocate), much less trying to compress the entire Phanerozoic (Cambrian to present) into a year.
  • Even more serious than the geological problems of young-Earth creationism is the fact that none of this is Biblically necessary. The Bible does not teach that Earth is only 6000 years old, that Noah’s flood is responsible for most of Earth’s geology, or that there was no animal death before Adam’s sin. If the Bible doesn’t require any of this, and if it doesn’t work scientifically, then we shouldn’t be teaching it in the church or to our youth.
  • Having said that, I would actually like to go to one of these conferences some time.

Grace and Peace

13 thoughts on “2013 International Conference on Creationism

  1. Mike Riter

    Another excellent posting! Keep up the good work of keeping us informed. I’m going to (in my book) hammer YEC for using The Bible to confirm their science. That’s going to be the thrust of my
    argument against YEC. They’re constantly forcing The Bible to say what it doesn’t say, in order to confirm their science. By taking this approach, I’m turning the tables on them and putting them on the defensive. I’m often saying, “Instead of believing The Bible, they believe their science.


  2. Reblogged this on Teenage Christian and commented:
    As someone who doesn’t have any scientific qualifications past GCSE, I’ve come to realise that I don’t really have any right to talk about science debates. I wasn’t aware that this conference even existed, and this post is just some information that some people may find interesting.


  3. I’m probably going to attend at least a day time. I would go for more but it is hard for me to justify paying the conference fees to attend. Regarding your list, I’ve looked at the lineup as well and there aren’t many names I don’t recognize. What is remarkable is the overlap in names if you pull up a list from one of these conferences from the early 1980s. Its the same people over and over again. I agree these aren’t dummies and they have come up with some sophisticated work-arounds to some very difficult problems that are created by forcing a young earth. Despite their work, there number of new recruits to actual YEC research has been modest at best and possibly not self-sustaining at worst.


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  5. Mark B

    One of the more radical articles is:

    Might Rotational Instability of the Earth During the Genesis Flood Explain the Megasequences of the Phanerozoic Sediment Record? — John Baumgardner

    In reading the abstract for this talk he suggests that the earth’s axis of rotation rotates 3-4 times during the flood year. Imagine taking a spinning top and trying to turn it upside down while it’s spinning. Or take a bicycle wheel, hold it vertical by holding onto the axle on both sides, and get someone to give it a good spin; now try and turn that spinning wheel horizontal. (Make sure you don’t knock your teeth out if you try this.)

    The abstract doesn’t make it clear where the forces come from to accomplish this acrobatic earth motion. However, there are those ‘numerical’ calculations that make it all sound good.


  6. geochristian

    Mark B — I hadn’t read the abstract for this one (http://creationicc.org/more.php?pk=42).

    It is hard to visualize such a mechanism producing nicely sorted carbonates, sandstones, mudstones, and evaporites. One would expect chaos rather than order in the record, both in terms of lithologies and fossil succession.


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  8. Martin Lack

    As I said to my son recently, when pointing him in the direction of 11 thousand years-worth of climate data that says we are now in big trouble, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was a very wise man…

    “Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, [and] one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing…” (Thomas Aquinas).

    Therefore, I think Falsifiable Theology is what is needed. Failing that, buy a copy of The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood


  9. geochristian

    Martin — thank for pointing me to the article in The Atlantic about old-Earth homeschoolers. I’ll write more about it in a separate post.


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