Nick Matzke posted Entry 1224 on July 17, 2005 12:00 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1222

http://www.answersingenesis.org/events/megaconference/images/logo_top.gifIf you are looking for entertainment this week, I recommend you follow the Answers in Genesis Creation Mega Conference 2005 blog.  The conference is starting today, July 17, and is running through July 22 — and it’s Featuring a stunning lineup of the world’s greatest minds in creation apologetics presenting their premier presentations.   It looks like they will put some devotions and videos online, but if any Thumb-ites happen to be in the vicinity of Lynchburg, Virginia, and have the courage to attend for a day — you should come prepared to be stunned — we would be glad to post a report.

If anyone is looking for a suggested day, on Wednesday, Dr. Georgia Purdom is doing a talk on The Intelligent Design Movement; How Intelligent Is It?.

Looks like their poetry is almost as good as their science:

Twas’ the Night Before MEGA Conference (Part One)

Twas’ the night before MEGA Conference and all through Liberty,
not a creationist was stirring, not even Carl Kerby.
The books and DVDs were set out with care
in hopes that people would buy them to share.

Anyhoo, if anyone goes, I would like to see if any of the creos attempt to deal with this Listing of Persistent Nuclides by Half-Life from Dalrymple’s The Age of the Earth (this particular table excludes radionuclides that are produced as by-products of decay from  other radionuclides).

Listing of Persistent Nuclides by Half-Life
[ From Dalrymple (page 377), also Kenneth Miller (page 71)  ]

Nuclide Half-Life Found in Nature?
50V 6.0 x 1015 yes
144Nd 2.4 x 1015 yes
174Hf 2.0 x 1015 yes
192Pt 1.0 x 1015 yes
115In 6.0 x 1014 yes
152Gd 1.1 x 1014 yes
123Te 1.2 x 1013 yes
190Pt 6.9 x 1011 yes
138La 1.12 x 1011 yes
147Sm 1.06 x 1011 yes
87Rb 4.88 x 1010 yes
187Re 4.3 x 1010 yes
176Lu 3.5 x 1010 yes
232Th 1.40 x 1010 yes
238U 4.47 x 109 yes
40K 1.25 x 109 yes
235U 7.04 x 108 yes
244Pu 8.2 x 107 yes
146Sm 7.0 x 107 no
205Pb 3.0 x 107 no
247Cm 1.6 x 107 no
182Hf 9 x 106 no
107Pd 7 x 106 no
135Cs 3.0 x 106 no
97Tc 2.6 x 106 no
150Gd 2.1 x 106 no
93Zr 1.5 x 106 no
98Tc 1.5 x 106 no
154Dy 1.0 x 106 no

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Comment #38376

Posted by Geral Corasjo on July 17, 2005 1:11 PM (e)

“If you guys put as much time and money into making scientific discoveries, as you do creationfests maybe you’ll help move science ahead like a real scientist, instead of 3 steps behind.”

**BAM**
Geral: 1
Biblethumpers: 0

GAHHH, WTF. After I posted it, it says its “waiting moderation”. Geez, not only do they ignore valid science they cut out peer review and freedom of speach. I wish I could of saw some of the replies to it, but it will probaly be deleted.

Now, what was I discussing last time about ignorance and closed minds?

Comment #38391

Posted by Jon Fleming on July 17, 2005 3:29 PM (e)

Geez, not only do they ignore valid science they cut out peer review and freedom of speach

Freedom of speech is not applicable. It’s their sandbox, they are not a governmental organization, and nothing requires them to publish your writings.

Comment #38407

Posted by ts on July 17, 2005 4:52 PM (e)

Freedom of speech is not applicable. It’s their sandbox, they are not a governmental organization, and nothing requires them to publish your writings.

Freedom of speech is not just a legal issue, it’s also an ethical one.

Comment #38424

Posted by Rupert Goodwins on July 17, 2005 7:02 PM (e)

I’m having trouble even parsing their schedule:

10:25 - What’s the Best Evidence That God Creation (Basic) - Carl Kerby

That God Creation, eh? Is that a Freudian slip revealing idolatry?

Assuming that they meant to say something like “What’s The Best Evidence That Creation Was By God” (there doesn’t seem to be a simple modification to the sentence that renders it grammatical), then I’d quite like to hear that talk - assuming that it doesn’t boil down to “It’s in the Bible, the Bible is never wrong”.

I’m even less keen on literalism these days, after four particularly ardent fans of the philosophy tried to blow up my city…

R

Comment #38430

Posted by qetzal on July 17, 2005 7:17 PM (e)

I wondered about that, too, Rupert. But that seems to be sloppy transcription by whoever’s writing the blog.

If you go to the actual conference website, it turns out the session is called “What’s the Best Evidence that God Created?”

Not that I have any interest in defending these folks, of course.

;-)

Comment #38436

Posted by GuyJ on July 17, 2005 8:09 PM (e)

July 17, 2005
Rain Rain Go Away
Filed under: Mega Thoughts
No Comments

Monday’s Schedule
Filed under: Mega Schedule
No Comments

July 16, 2005
Twas’ the Night Before MEGA Conference (Part One)
Filed under: Mega Thoughts
No Comments

July 15, 2005
Mega Contest Answers
Filed under: Mega Thoughts
No Comments

Leaving Tomorrow
Filed under: Mega Thoughts
1 Comment

July 12, 2005
The Mega Conference is Coming!
Filed under: Mega Thoughts
No Comments

*crickets chirping*

What’s worse, having an open comments section, or censor it, and make the creation mega-conference look as exciting as a … creation mega-conference.

Comment #38437

Posted by Mike Walker on July 17, 2005 9:24 PM (e)

Here’s a bizarre page from the conference site:

http://info.answersingenesis.org/mc2005/?pageName=questionSummary

Pakicetids are to walking whales, as firetrucks are to:
Tomatoes

Huxley is to Bulldog as Wells is to:
Chief apostle

Comment #38441

Posted by Henry J on July 17, 2005 10:35 PM (e)

Re “10:25 - What’s the Best Evidence That God Creation (Basic) - Carl Kerby”

They might also explain why God being resonsible would have to conflict with the idea that complex life forms came from ancestors similar to themselves.

Henry

Comment #38453

Posted by RBH on July 18, 2005 1:44 AM (e)

Nick wrote

If anyone is looking for a suggested day, on Wednesday, Dr. Georgia Purdom is doing a talk on The Intelligent Design Movement; How Intelligent Is It?.

That would be real interesting. Purdom is a YEC molecular geneticist (Ph.D., Ohio State) who teaches at Mt. Vernon (OH) Nazarene University. I’d love to know what she thinks of the ID movement.

RBH

Comment #38464

Posted by Kaptain Kobold on July 18, 2005 5:33 AM (e)

“creation apologetics”

I love that phrase; they certainly have a lot to apologise for.

Comment #38467

Posted by Rasmus on July 18, 2005 6:53 AM (e)

Did anyone see the Creation Mega Conference 2005 video?

Comment #38479

Posted by Frank J on July 18, 2005 11:14 AM (e)

Nick Matzke wrote:

If anyone is looking for a suggested day, on Wednesday, Dr. Georgia Purdom is doing a talk on The Intelligent Design Movement; How Intelligent Is It?.

I’ll say it again. Gotta at least hand it to AIG for not going for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy. Hard-core YECs are a bigger thorn in the side of ID than “evolutionists” are. But IDers can’t complain too loud without weakening the big tent.

Comment #38499

Posted by Glenn Branch on July 18, 2005 2:00 PM (e)

Ed Brayton noted that Reason‘s Ron Bailey will be attending and blogging from the conference.

Comment #38538

Posted by Salvador T. Cordova on July 18, 2005 7:07 PM (e)

Regarding the radio isotopes in question, the AiG/ICR people de-emphasize the competing YEC theory offered by Walter Brown and Barry Setterfield. Decaying speed of light would account for the absence of those isotopes.

We have reasons quite apart from YEC to believe the speed of light may have decayed.

The Setterfield Cosmology also may have solved the problem of the quantized redshifts in distant stars and the apparent correlation between the appearance of a Lorentz tranformation and the degree of the red shift.

Speed of light decay combined with the quantum inertial hypothesis more adequately accounts for redshift data, especially if the redshifts of distant starlight are “quantized”.

See:
Quantized Redshifts

The problems for Old-Earth + Darwinism pale in comparison for Young Earth and Creation. Darwinism is unsupportable scientifically and only supported by dogmatisms of it’s adherants. Old Earth/Big Bang is a reasonable view, but it has many problems, beginning with the Big Bang. There are respected secular cosmologist who reject or question the big bang.

www.cosmologystatement.org

Comment #38542

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on July 18, 2005 7:18 PM (e)

Did anyone see the Creation Mega Conference 2005 video?

That video is amazing! I had seen a black-and-white, non-animated version of the two-battling-castles cartoon, but this is full color, full animation.

You do not understand creationism if you have not seen this cartoon or something like it, e.g. the various “evolutionary tree has evil fruits” iconography.

Comment #38544

Posted by steve on July 18, 2005 7:26 PM (e)

ah, I see, everything’s fine when you substitute, for modern astrophysics, an untrained crank named Setterfield who thinks the universe is static.

I guess believing that, is no more ridiculous than believing Jay Richards’s disproof of Special Relativity.

Comment #38546

Posted by steve on July 18, 2005 7:33 PM (e)

Comment #38499

Posted by Glenn Branch on July 18, 2005 02:00 PM (e) (s)

Ed Brayton noted that Reason’s Ron Bailey will be attending and blogging from the conference.

He might wind up feeling sympathetic towards the creationists. Since they’re christian conservatives, they’ll probably be complimenting him on his global-warming denial.

Comment #38552

Posted by Alan on July 18, 2005 8:15 PM (e)

Dr Cordova

To offer a little constructive criticism, your posts are generally unintelligible to the layman, unfamiliar with creationist jargon, but this latest seems to imply that you believe the speed of light in a vacuum is/was not a constant.

How do you reach this conclusion?

Comment #38554

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on July 18, 2005 8:28 PM (e)

Hi Sal. Welcome back.

For some oddball reason, you still have not answered my four simple questions.

As promised, I will ask again. And again and again and again. As many times as I need to, until you answer.

*ahem*

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method? And please don’t give me more of your “the scientific theory of ID is that evolution is wrong” BS. I want to know what your designer does, specifically. I want to know what mechanism it uses to do whatever the heck you think it does. I want to know where we can see these mechanisms in action.

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? If you’re one of the very few IDers who is NOT sucking at Ahmsonson’s teat, I’d like to know if you repudiate his extremist views anyway.

Oh, and if you want to feed me some horse hockey about “I already answered these questions”, I apologize for missing them (apparently everyone else did too) and politely ask that you repeat your, uh, answers for me.

Or, you could just tuck your tail between your balls and run away … Again.

Comment #38555

Posted by steve on July 18, 2005 8:30 PM (e)

Hey, Alan, didn’t you see Salvador’s link to a 29,000-word paper written by an untrained crank? If your time is worth absolutely nothing, you might go read it. Then perhaps you’ll understand where Salvador’s coming from.

Comment #38556

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on July 18, 2005 8:30 PM (e)

There are respected secular cosmologist who reject or question the big bang.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just like there are respected secular medical people who reject or question that HIV causes AIDS, right Sal ….?

Are any of these respected secular cosmologists named “Steve”, Sal?

Same song. Different record. (yawn)

Comment #38559

Posted by Alan on July 18, 2005 8:40 PM (e)

Steve

I found googling Setterfield and following the link to http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/C-decay more productive!

Comment #38560

Posted by ts on July 18, 2005 8:44 PM (e)

Ed Brayton noted that Reason’s Ron Bailey will be attending and blogging from the conference.

He might wind up feeling sympathetic towards the creationists. Since they’re christian conservatives, they’ll probably be complimenting him on his global-warming denial.

Indeed; he’s used as a reference to that effect at
http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/green.htm

There are respected secular cosmologist who reject or question the big bang.

There was, but Fred Hoyle died 4 years ago, completing the Kuhnian die-off of a failed paradigm.

Comment #38561

Posted by ts on July 18, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

The problems for Old-Earth + Darwinism pale in comparison for Young Earth and Creation.

Hey, Sal got something right.

Comment #38617

Posted by Rod on July 19, 2005 9:00 AM (e)

Glad to see you guys are interested (I realize your interest isn’t the same as mine :) ).

Since Dr. Purdom’s presentation is something many of you would like to see/hear - I’ll make sure it’s podcast for you.

Check the blog around noon on Wednesday.
http://info.answersingenesis.org/mc2005/

Comment #38623

Posted by SteveF on July 19, 2005 10:44 AM (e)

No doubt Setterfields cosmology can also explain why radiometric methods agree with a number of non radiometric methods when it comes to dating various deposits*.

Oh. Wait a minute. No it can’t. Ho hum.

Next.

*As an example, pop over to Norway and visit the late glacial-early Holocene site of Krakenes. Get a Russian corer and push it into the ground (coring is the best part of working in my field). Do a quick bit of pollen analysis and find the change in the pollen that marks the boundary between the cold Younger Dryas and the warm Holocene. Date this boundary using radiocarbon.

Next, pop on over to Greenland. Get another corer (a big one built specially for digging into ice) and go down till you find the transition from the Younger Dryas to the Holocene. Count the layers back to this point. Then compare the age you got from the ice to the age you got from the radiometric dating. Note the fact that they agree. To within a matter of years. Twenty years in fact.

Gulliksen, S., Birks, H.H., Possnert, G. and Mangerud, J. (1998) A calendar age estimate of the Younger Dryas-Holocene boundary at Krakenes, western Norway. Holocene, 8, 249-259.

This example is one of countless others that demonstrates both the consistency of radiometric dating (and don’t give me that bullshit about only selecting dates that you like) internally and with other dating methods.

Comment #38638

Posted by Peter Henderson on July 19, 2005 1:52 PM (e)

Re Fred Hoyle:Apparently Fred Hoyle believed in the steady state theory.As the universe expanded new matter was continually being created.However, when the cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered in 1965 his ideas were proved wrong.He persisted for a while but as far as I know even he accepted the big bang in the end.
I don’t think he was a young Earth creationist.

I may be wrong but I think the scientists that AIG are referring to were featured recently in an article in New Scientist magazine.Although these scientists object to the big bang again I don’t think they are YEC’s

I know everyone is having a laugh at the Mega Conference,but this event will
be very well attended by many well educated people just like the recent visit to Belfast by Ken Ham.I was dissapointed to learn that nearly 2000 people turned up at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast which was packed to capacity. It dosen’t say much for the education system in this part of the world.Here in Northern Ireland we still have a selective educational system (ie children sit a test at 11 to determain the school they go to)and all three universities have now withdrawn their geology degree courses.

For an excellent interview with Ken Ham go to www.bbc.co.uk/sundaysequence. The interviewer,William Crawly, didn’t let Ham of with too much. In the end he said that this is just ridiculous. This just about sums up Young Earth Creationism for me as well.

Comment #38644

Posted by Rupert Goodwins on July 19, 2005 2:32 PM (e)

Oh, that’s not fair… I thought I was being mildly sarcastic when I wrote:

Assuming that they meant to say something like “What’s The Best Evidence That Creation Was By God” (there doesn’t seem to be a simple modification to the sentence that renders it grammatical), then I’d quite like to hear that talk - assuming that it doesn’t boil down to “It’s in the Bible, the Bible is never wrong”.

but (although there’s some ambiguity at the end) it looks as if I was just a bit close for comfort… but, uh, what are they trying to say here?

What’s the Best Evidence that God Created? — Carl Kerby

Carl Kerby spoke to a packed audience in DeMoss Hall, across from the Vines Center. His interactive presentation on the best evidence that God created kept the audience engaged throughout. So, what’s the best evidence that God created? Is it the Weta, the Moloch Horridus frog that squirts blood when it gets mad (the guys really liked that one), or the Emperor Penguin which can fly in short distances and whose eggs are kept warm by the dad while Mom goes fishing for three months (That’s just not fair, Carl joked.) Or, is it the marsupial frog, the glass frog, the poison arrow frog, the water holding frog, or the Tomato frog. Not even close, the audience exclaimed! Or, is it man with the complex workings of the brain, the heart, and the eye?

No, the best evidence is …. God’s Word, the history book of the universe!

Comment #38646

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on July 19, 2005 2:49 PM (e)

This must be the New Scientist article under discussion:

Marcus Chown (2005). “Did the big bang really happen?New Scientist, 2506, p. 30, July 2, 2005.

I read it, it is interesting, but I don’t know enough about the topic to tell if the complaints of the “small band of dissidents” (sound familiar?) – dark matter vs. MOND, stars older than galaxies, anisotropy in the cosmic background radiation, etc. – are reasonable or kooky.

Comment #38678

Posted by ts on July 19, 2005 6:09 PM (e)

Re Fred Hoyle:Apparently Fred Hoyle believed in the steady state theory.As the universe expanded new matter was continually being created.However, when the cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered in 1965 his ideas were proved wrong.He persisted for a while but as far as I know even he accepted the big bang in the end.

But you don’t know, do you? Hoyle never accepted the Big Bang.

Comment #38685

Posted by ts on July 19, 2005 6:43 PM (e)

There is an appropriate and an inappropriate way to use the phrase “as far as I know”. The appropriate use is when one’s personal knowledge is at issue; if, for instance, you are asked a direct question, and you make it clear that your knowledge is incomplete, so that people won’t take your statement as more authoritative than it is – it’s an indication of intellectual humility. And then there is the inappropriate use, which indicates the opposite, when one parades one’s ignorant beliefs as if they amounted to a hill of beans, as when a creationist announces on PT that “as far as I know, speciation has never been observed” or an IDist announces that “as far as I know, there is no way that evolution can explain this”. Why should anyone care what the personal opinions of these people are? They have no relevance to anything. This is no less true when someone who isn’t a creationist pops into a discussion and naysays a previous claim (“There was, but Fred Hoyle died 4 years ago”), based on nothing more than their ill-informed assumptions – in this case that Fred Hoyle must have abandoned steady state theory because they think it would have been reasonable to do so given the evidence. But google is just a few keystrokes away, and it’s easy enough to check whether this assumption is valid.

Comment #38687

Posted by Flint on July 19, 2005 7:03 PM (e)

Here’s a brief biography of Fred Hoyle. And it says:

in 1973 he resigned his professorship over a series of committee problems. From that time on his ideas were devalued and his dogged devotion to Steady State prompted his reputation as a crank. Rather than retreat, he began to promulgate a series of ideas which the mainstream scientific community regarded as idiosyncratic at best.

What this biography seems to be saying (i.e. my interpretation) is that Hoyle’s positions polarized cosmology. Typically when this happens, too much ego and pride are tied up in the position one is indelibly married to. So if Hoyle ever DID accept the Big Bang, he never let on to anyone, and continued to fight for his steady state until the end. Hoyle WAS steady state.

Personally, it bothers me to see Hoyle dismissed as a crank. He was brilliant but stubborn, and he was far from the first outstanding scientist to be overtaken by circumstances.

I also really enjoyed “Thge Black Cloud” as a teenager.

Comment #38690

Posted by Bruce Thompson on July 19, 2005 7:18 PM (e)

The first installment of Creation Summer Camp Live from the 2005 Creation Mega-Conference by Ronald Bailey is now posted.

Comment #38692

Posted by ts on July 19, 2005 7:24 PM (e)

my interpretation is that Hoyle’s positions polarized cosmology

I don’t follow that. Cosmology was, if anything, overly united; Hoyle became marginal and irrelevant.

So if Hoyle ever DID accept the Big Bang, he never let on to anyone, and continued to fight for his steady state until the end. Hoyle WAS steady state.

Well, yes, but there’s no evidence whatsoever that Hoyle may have secretly accepted the Big Bang, and plenty of evidence – via his public statements – that he didn’t. He almost certainly would have signed the petition cited above calling for research money for alternative cosmologies along with his co-theorist Hermann Bondi (I overstated the case when I said the paradigm has suffered a Kuhnian death, but with Bondi at 86 it’s pretty close).

Personally, it bothers me to see Hoyle dismissed as a crank.

He shouldn’t be dismissed, but he did become a crank.

I also really enjoyed “Thge Black Cloud” as a teenager.

“A for Andromeda” had a large effect and continues to do so.

Comment #38694

Posted by Flint on July 19, 2005 7:49 PM (e)

There is an appropriate and an inappropriate way to use the phrase “as far as I know”.

My experience with this phrase is as a literary conceit used in childrens’ books: “And as far as I know, magic mushrooms from Mars are munched in Mapleville to this very day.”

I agree with your point that the phrase is not properly used as a kind of nonsupport for a checkable statement. I’m not so sure about the usage examples you gave, where the phrase is essentially being used to indicate “there is no compelling evidence contrary to my allegation.” I’ve almost always seen these claims presented as straight facts: speciation does not happen, and evolution can’t explain what we see. Nonetheless, it’s a slippery phrase. Most of the time, it’s used to mean “I’m claiming to be unfamiliar with any exceptions to what I’ve said, and I’m not particularly interested in looking for any.”

Anyway, I agree Hoyle became marginal and irrelevant as time went by. But the Big Bang didn’t sweep cosmology overnight, and Hoyle’s opinion was respected at that time. I think you can legitimately use the Steady State as an example of Kuhnian death, though perhaps not the most striking case. (And I wonder if such characters as Zeus and Thor may be said to have died the same sort of death).

Comment #38734

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on July 20, 2005 1:11 PM (e)

I’m listening to the Purdom mp3, which AiG has kindly put online.

Pretty standard – ID, Behe, Dembski are great, they just don’t go far enough. E.g. 1. Repeat Behe’s argument against “direct” evolution. 2. Co-option doesn’t work because you will have lost the function of the original system (what about duplication, eh?).

I think when she is talking about “Perka” about 40% in she means Mark Perakh.

Comment #38736

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on July 20, 2005 1:22 PM (e)

I’m not overly sure myself, I just finished listening to it now. I posted a summary on internet infidels, http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?p=2557157#post2557157 but I wasn’t convinced. I don’t really think she is a very good or clear speaker. She evidently, despite apparently ‘training’ isn’t anywhere near as slick or well spoken as other creationists.

Then again, it’s not like her material was that great to begin with ;)