This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Creation Vs. Evolution

Search :

The Fourth International Conference on Creationism

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Held every four years, the International Conference on Creationism has become the preeminent gathering on young Earth creationism and flood geology. Recent meetings have improved substantially, thanks to a team of reviewers working with the Creation Science Foundation of Pittsburgh (sponsors of the conference). Indeed, one of the trends in contemporary creation science is a movement toward peer-reviewed consensus, and away from “lone guns” producing idiosyncratic theories.

At present, the best flood model draws on the proposals of John Baumgardner (plate tectonics), Michael Oard (ice ages), and Russell Humphreys (magnetic field). In brief, this model begins with a catastrophic subduction of cold, pre-flood ocean floor, initiating volcanism and mountain building along the plate margins. At the same time, new sea floor builds up at the mid-ocean ridges. This influx of hot rock displaces ocean water, causing massive flooding on land. Warm ocean water promotes evaporation, leading to copious quantities of rainfall. Rapid cooling of landmasses at high latitudes, combined with high precipitation rates, leads to snow build up and, ultimately, ice sheets. Catastrophic subduction leads also to a cooling of the core and mantle, and rapid decay of the Earth’s magnetic field. Cooling of the ocean floor expands the ocean basins, causing water to retreat from the continents.

Several papers this year made small, but important, contributions to this framework. For instance, Larry Vardiman used standard climate models to confirm the effects of heated water over mid-ocean ridges on precipitation in polar regions.

Mark Horstemeyer addressed one problem with Baumgardner’s catastrophic subduction model. Simulations suggested massive amounts of heating from rapid crustal deformation. A miraculous intervention would be needed to prevent the Earth from melting. Of course, that was an option, but it seemed too much to ask, especially when the model lacked this problem when spread over longer time scales. Horstemeyer has removed this sticking point by inserting a more realistic understanding of material behavior into Baumgardner’s model.

Not all aspects of geology are as well developed. For instance, we still lack a coherent model for radiometric dating. We do not know why dating methods consistently overestimate the length of time for decay when compared to the biblical chronology. Having said that, it is exciting to see new contributions based on hard data gathered by Andrew Snelling and Steven Austin. Their studies show significant discrepancies in potassium-argon dating that are better explained by geochemistry than geochronology. This may turn out to be true for other dating methods as well. All we can say right now is that isotopic ratios used in radiometric dating may, in fact, reflect some sort of geological phenomenon other than the passage of time.

A great deal of work remains, but this conference showed progress in several areas. Fortunately, the papers are published in a Proceedings volume, which is available from CSF for $34.95 plus $4 for shipping within the U.S. (send payment to P.O. Box 99303, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-4303).

Copyright © 1998 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

We are happy to grant permission for items in the "Creation Vs. Evolution" section to be reproduced in part or in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the author’s name must remain attached to the materials; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558