A Second Response to Jim Lippard
Jim Lippard begins both of his articles (1989, 1990) dramatically by claiming that he will expose my poor research techniques. Most readers, especially evolutionists looking for an expose, naturally expect to read about misquotations, bias, false statements, unsupported conclusions, scientific misunderstanding, and ignored or distorted evidence. However, a careful reader of these last two issues of Creation/ Evolution will find that it is Lippard who falls short in these areas.
The Out-of-Date Book
Lippard: "When I first began corresponding with Brown, he sent me a version of his book (in January 1987) which I wrongly assumed was a prepublication copy. . . . I am surprised that Brown did not have the courtesy to send me a copy [of his revision] as wellbut not too surprised. "
Lippard is still confused. I never sent him the book he still claims he critiqued. What I sent him was one reproduced section from the 1986 edition of In the Beginning, a section entitled "The Scientific Case for Creation." In January 1989, that section was revised, expanded, and reprinted as a separate booklet (Brown, 1989a). A month later, Creation/Evolution sent me Lippard's critique, indicating that the journal would publish it. I wrote to the editor, pointed out some of Lippard's errors, mentioned the new booklet, and enclosed a copy, expecting that Creation/Evolution would not publish Lippard's article in light of the errors it contained. I said that if Creation/Evolution did publish it, I would like to respond in the same issue. To my surprise, the editor wrote back and said he would still publish Lippard's article and I had two weeks to submit an article if I wished. I complied.
It is true that I have not responded to most of Lippard's letters demanding answers and explanations. Had I felt that he was open-minded and had scientific competence in any aspect of the origins issue, I would have tried to find the time to respond. However, since the editors of Creation/Evolution are willing to publish Lippard's views, I am again happy to respond.
The 127 Categories of Evidence
In Lippard's first article, he casually dismissed sixteen (now seventeen) features on the earth that support a worldwide flood (1989, pp. 32-33). He said that he had talked to a graduate student who assured him that a flood explanation is unnecessary. In the reference portion of the material I sent to Lippard, I offered to provide an article I had written supporting my claim. Lippard never asked for it. That article, entitled "The Fountains of the Great Deep," explained the many problems with the standard explanations for those seventeen features and how they all appear to be a consequence of a cataclysmic, global flood. I have lectured on this hydroplate theory to over thirty thousand people, including many geologists. From their responses, it is clear that most geology professors (and especially their students) are unfamiliar with most of the problems with these standard explanations. The new edition of In the Beginning (Brown, 1989c) describes the hydroplate theory in a twenty-six-page section entitled "The Fountains of the Great Deep." Now that Lippard finally has that section, why has he not commented on it? If he or the student advising him has trouble understanding some of the mechanical aspects of the flood, I suggest they consult a mechanical engineer.
Lippard similarly dismisses or ignores the bulk of the book and specifically addresses only a very small fraction of its substance. If you read it yourself, I think you will agree.
Lippard: "Brown should also note that there is strong evidence favoring common ancestry over common design (for example, Max, 1986)."
Notice how many times Lippard fails to explain his rationale or to describe the "strong evidence" favoring his position. Too often, he baldly asserts that it exists, cites a reference, and skips on to the next point. For me to respond properly in each instance would require more space than I am allowed. I will deal with this particular example in detail as an illustration and merely call attention to some of the others. I must first explain what Max said, and then I will show what is wrong with it.
Edward Max understands what most evolutionists do not: similarity between different forms of life does not necessarily imply evolution. It may imply a common designer. Therefore, Max's argument rests on the following analogy. Copyrighted material often contains errors. Anyone who copies such material will copy the errors also. Max then says that, if it can be shown in a court of law "that it was inconceivable that the same errors could have been made independently," then one set of errors was copied from the other and the copyright was violated. However, it must also be shown that both sets of errors did not have a common cause, such as an adverse event or some agent. Because of this second criteria, map makers, for example, add unusual intentional errors to their maps to protect their copyrights. Using this analogy but failing to consider or deal with this second criteria, Max argues that genetic errors called pseudogenes must have been copied and thus support the evolution explanation.
Segments of apparently functionless DNA and RNA are called pseudogenes. Max correctly points out that a specific pseudogene is found in gorillas and humans but not in chimpanzees. Max incorrectly concludes that both humans and gorillas must have received the pseudogene from a very close common ancestor. Since most evolutionists believe that humans are more closely related to chimpanzees than gorillas, Max will have trouble selling his argument even to evolutionists. Throwing out the alleged "human-chimp" connection would require evolutionists to retract too many similarity arguments that have propped up the theory of evolution since Darwin.
Max's case is far from complete. He hasn't identified all known pseudogenes nor shown which organisms do and do not have them. Until he has done so, we cannot compare that data with the macroevolution hypothesis. I have done some similar work with amino acid sequences in the protein cytochrome C (rather than pseudogenes) and have followed the work of others who have examined nucleotide sequences. I strongly suspect that such cross-comparisons will continue to contradict the evolution hypothesis as I have shown (Brown, 1989b, pp. 7 and 8).
Let's assume, as Max does, that pseudogenes are functionless. Pseudogenes would then show a degeneration of genetic information. How then did the immense amount of coded, genetic information arise? In our experience, codes are produced only by intelligence, not natural processes or chance. A code is a set of rules for converting information from one useful form to another. Examples include the Morse Code and Braille. The genetic material that controls the physical processes of life is coded information. It also is accompanied by elaborate transmission and duplication systems, without which the genetic material would be useless and life would cease. Therefore, doesn't it seem reasonable that the genetic code, the accompanying transmission and duplication systems, and all living organisms were produced by a very high level of intelligence using nonnatural (or supernatural) processes?
Likewise, no natural process has ever been observed to produce a program. A program is a planned sequence of steps to accomplish some goal. Computer programs are common examples. The information stored in the genetic material of all living things is an extremely complex program. Since programs are not produced by chance or natural processes, the most probable conclusion is that some intelligent, supernatural source developed these programs.
Nor does information arise spontaneously, at least in isolated, nontrivial systems. Natural processes, without exception, destroy information. Only outside intelligence can increase the information content of an isolated system. If anyone disagrees, please give me an example. Elsewhere, I have also shown how these observations allow one to infer that macroevolution cannot occur and that a "big bang" could not have preceded life (1989c, p. 3).
Lippard: "[Brown] maintains that the sonar of marine mammals, the radar of the bat, the flight of the hummingbird, the bombardier beetle, and other examples point to the existence of a designer. This is simply the standard philosophical argument from design."
The design in living systems is not just a philosophical argument, as Lippard maintains. My contentionthat technologies (such as radar and powered flight) require intelligence and a designerhas its basis in human experience. Lippard's contentionthat complex technologies can come from natural processeshas no basis in experience. Which one is more philosophic?
Just the known genetic information which defines each subcomponent of each living system is vast enough to quantitatively rule out macroevolution. Few realize that there must be even more information that has not yet been discovered. Each gene codes for a protein. Chromosomes code for many proteins. Where is the information that directs how the proteins relate to each other and when they are produced? We know which proteins comprise an eye or a brain, but simply mixing the right amounts of these proteins together will not produce eyes and brains. The information that puts those proteins together must be very complex. For example, skill is required to produce the materials that constitute the Empire State Building: various types of wire, glass, concrete, steel, and so forth. However, additional skill is required to select the right materials, bring them to the building site at the right time, and properly assemble them. I suspect that the amount of undiscovered genetic information is of the same order of magnitude as the known information. Do evolutionists understand these magnitudes? If so, why do they ignore the obvious intelligence and design that information, codes, and programs require?
How could the immune system of all animals and some plants have evolved? Each immune system can recognize bacteria, viruses, and toxins that invade the body. Each system can quickly mobilize just the right type of defenders to search out and destroy these invaders. Each system has a memory and learns from each invasion attempt.
If the extensive instructions that direct an animal or plant's immune system were not already programmed into the organism's genetic system when it first appeared on the earth, the first of thousands of potential infections would undoubtedly have destroyed the organism. This would have nullified any rare genetic improvements that might have accumulated. In other words, the large amount of genetic information governing the immune system could not have started to accumulate in a slow, evolutionary sense. Obviously, for all the organism to have survived, this information must have all been there from the beginning. But that's creation, isn't it?
Lippard: "Further, many cases of bad design can be adduced against his argumentsuch as python and whale vestigial hips, the panda's thumb, and the kiwi's egg. . . ."
Degeneration occurs. What Lippard fails to address is the complexity that must have been there before a design could degenerate and still survive. Keep in mind also that components such as "the panda's thumb," which may not be optimal for the panda, may be optimal for some larger ecological system.
Lippard acknowledges that the existence of valid human thought opposes the idea of atheistic evolution and could support the existence of God and that chance alone could never produce valid human thought. Upon this, we agree. However, Lippard believes that chanceif accompanied by natural selectioncan produce valid thoughts. I disagree. According to evolutionism, everything ultimately gets back to what can best be described as chance. For example, imagine the first mammal that supposedly evolved. Suppose further that it just barely escaped from the jaws of a reptile. Natural selection was at work, but chance entered in many ways: which sperm united with which egg to produce that mammal, which way the wind blew when the mammal first detected the reptile, what foods the mammal and reptile ate just before their encounter, and thousands of other chance events. Each was a consequence of other nearly random events. If we go back far enough, certainly if we go back to the "big bang," the evolutionist should agree that for all practical purposes, chance events become the input for everything, including natural selection and thought. But if thoughts are ultimately derived from chance events, then how can an evolutionist conclude that his thoughts are validespecially his thought that evolution happened? If your brain evolved, then it thinks the way it does not because its ideas are true but because they have survival value. Rationality is qualitatively different from either chance or necessity.
Lippard: "Hidden within [Brown's thought] argument is the unstated premise that any structure created by random processes cannot make valid inferences. This is a highly implausible premise. "
If Lippard thinks that a structure created by random processes can make valid inferences, why doesn't he show us one? In the field of information theory, that would be comparable to building a perpetual motion machine.
Lippard: "It seems quite clear that an appropriate structure, whatever its origin, is capable of producing valid conclusions from correct premises."
I have said that valid thoughts cannot be produced by chance and natural processes. Lippard says that "valid conclusions" can be produced by "an appropriate structure" having "correct premises." Lippard is obfuscating.
Lippard, who claims that my thought argument is only philosophical, conveniently leaves out the second paragraph from the latest edition of the book:
Authorities on the mind frequently state that humans use only a small fraction of their mental abilities. If so, how could such unused abilities have evolved? Certainly not by natural selection, since those capabilities are not used.
(Brown, 1989c, p. 9)
There is nothing philosophical about that.
Walter Brown and Barry Setterfield
In his first article, Lippard accused me of making a statement which I never made and never would have made. Lippard acknowledged that he was using an anonymous source from the creationist publication Ex Nihilo. Over my objection, the editor of Creation/Evolution twice replaced the word anonymous with the words Ex Nihilo, presumably to fit the format of Creation/Evolution. Not only did Lippard know he was using an anonymous source, he also used an indirect quotation (hearsay). Either would have suggested to a careful researcher that the quote might be spurious, which it certainly was.
Minor errors in the Ex Nihilo statement should also have raised the suspicions of a careful researcher: my organization's name was given incorrectly; I am not a "mathematical physicist"; and the mathematical function whose derivation I supposedly accepted was printed in a way that made no sense. Ironically, the statement that Lippard attributes to me says that I agreed with a certain theoretical derivation. I never did. In fact, in 1986 I told Setterfield that it was wrong. Shortly afterward, he retracted it.
Lippard: "Recently, however, Ken Smith (1989) informed me that the above quotation from Brown appears in its entirety in The Velocity of Light and the Age of the Universe, a technical monograph by Barry Setterfield (1983, p. 172). I have verified this by obtaining a copy of the relevant page. So, the quote predates Brown's 1984 discussions but not his "letter to Setterfield in 1981. " . . . Since Brown was in contact with Setterfield, it stands to reason that Brown was aware of this publication yet apparently he did not complain to Setterfield about being misquoted when he met with him in 1984."
Wrong. No statement of mine is in Setterfield's monograph, as originally published in 1983. Page 172 of that printing contains only an Ex Nihilo advertisement. Someone must have "doctored" Lippard's copy after 1983. Lippard should quit trying to shift the blame and admit that he reached premature and false conclusions by quoting an anonymous, hearsay statement that contained many other errors as well.
Lippard: 'Brown claims that he has 'always tried to carefully point out that [Setterfield's work] may turn out to be wrong.' . . . Why, if this is so, is there not a word of skepticism to be found in the coverage of Setterfield in his book . . . ?"
Only three pages deal with the possible decay in the speed of light: its history, relevance, new and surprising data, past arguments, and the work of many people, including Setterfield. Anyone's scientific work may turn out to be wrong. Certainty doesn't exist in science. For example, I stated, "If either Setterfield or Troitskii's reasoning is correct . . ." (1989c, p. 90) and "If Setterfield is right . .:' (1989c, p. 91). Tentativeness is there.
Lippard: "Unfortunately, Brown gives us no citations for his work nor that of these unnamed statisticians."
What good would citations do? None of this is published. It would be a pound of very dull reading, and few would understand the statistics. David Merkel of Aston, Pennsylvania, a statistician for an insurance company, has written separate computer programs and verified my results. If Lippard can find a competent statistician who will do the same, I will provide that person with enough information to check my results as well.
Lippard: "[Brown] also criticizes Gerald Aardsma's debunking on the basis of its statistical weighting procedure. . . . other problems are dealt with in more detail in yet other debunkings of Setterfield by two of his fellow creationists, in articles in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. . . ."
Setterfield has documented the more serious errors of Aardsma and others and has adequately addressed their relevant criticisms (1988).
Lippard: "Unfortunately, [Brown] fails to address a far more significant problem pointed out in Aardsma's article: that Setterfield uses erroneous values for two of the earliest data pointsmeasurements from seventeenth-century data of Roemer and Cassini. . . . Does Brown's analysis take into consideration corrected values for the Roemer and Cassini points? If not, his alleged result supporting Setterfield is meaningless. "
An error in only two of Setterfield's 164 data points would not be fatal to his case, even the two earliest measurements. Furthermore, the jury is still out on those two data points. The more important of the two is Roemer's data of 1675. Goldstein (1973) did the most detailed study of it. However, in 1985 Lew Mammel (1983a) of Bell Laboratories pointed out "a gross conceptual blunder" that invalidated Goldstein's study. Goldstein privately acknowledged this error to me shortly thereafter, promised an official retraction in The Astronomical Journal, and promised to send me an early copy. He has done neither. Mammel also identified a second error, which he claims shows that the speed of light was 8 percent greater in 1675 than it is today (1983b). Goldstein, however, disagrees. I will not be sure where the truth lies until this complex study is redone by a neutral third party. (Any takers?) Lippard is aware of none of this. In my analysis, I used a value of c = 292,000 +/- 18,000 km/sec, the most pessimistic value of c as far as cDK is concerned. Setterfield's thesis would only have been seriously damaged if the statistical analyses of Aardsma and the other authors mentioned had been correct. They weren't. Setterfield has answered Lippard's comment concerning radiocarbon dating (1988, p. 193).
More Speed-of-Light Decay (cDK)
Troitskii. Lippard doesn't understand Troitskii's paper. Troitskii shows that a ten-billion-fold decrease in the velocity of light would explain many cosmological observations, including the two observations that led to the big bang theory: the redshift of distant starlight and the extremely homogenous cosmic background radiation (CBR). If the CBR is the cold residue of a big bang, its extreme uniformity would mean that there were not early concentrations of matter that would have caused significant gravitational contractions. (A recently launched spacecraft, the Cosmic Background Explorer, is now showing even more uniformity in the CBR than expected.) Yet these pocketsor clumpingsare necessary for evolutionist theories on the origin of planets, stars, galaxies, galaxy clusters, and superclusters. If these various bodies didn't evolve, then organic evolution could not begin. On the other hand, if the CBR is not a remnant of the big bang, then a major argument for the big bang disappears. With the announcement this past year of the discovery of the Great Wall (the most massive concentration of matter known in the universe), the ideas of a big bang and of massive gravitational clumpings become ludicrousso much so, that they are essentially dead. What will evolutionists put in their place? How about creation? (For more on these subjects, see Brown, 1989c, pp. 12-13).
Since the big bang doesn't seem to explain the CBR, why not consider Troitskii's, or even Setterfield's, suggestion that cDK has occurred? I admit that it's radical and it may turn out to be wrong, but let's consider it.
Incidentally, very few evolutionists realize that some galaxies and quasars have recently been discovered at what are apparently immense distances. They are so far away that there has not been enough time since the hypothetical big bang for them to evolve and their light to travel to the earth. There are three ways to explain these observations: (1) reject the big bang, (2) adopt cDK, or (3) accept creation. Take your pick. (For more details, see Brown, 1989c, pp. 92-93.)
Van Flandern. Lippard missed the point I made concerning Van Flandern's work. Without realizing it, Lippard argues for cDK.
First of all, Van Flandern states that his measurements show atomic clocks and astronomic clocks do not keep the same time. Lippard does not contest this, nor am I aware of anyone who has. Second, Van Flandern states that he knows of only two explanations for this phenomenon: either the gravitational constant is changing or atomic frequencies and the velocity of light are decreasing. Lippard wisely does not contest this, either. Third, Van Flandern states that he tentatively favors a change in the gravitational constant. Lippard jumps in here, disagrees, and cites several authorities. Fine. I gave other reasons as well (1989c, p. 90). But if the gravitational constant is truly constant, then it follows that the speed of light appears to be decreasing.
Lippard: "(Ken Smith discusses Barry Setterfield's use of Van Flandern and cites additional criticisms on p. 26 of his unpublished manuscript.)"
Again, Lippard alludes to something but doesn't explain it. Since it is not published, what can I or anyone say?
Superluminals. Lippard has learned from Professor LeCompte what he thinks is a way to explain superluminals without accepting cDK. LeCompte is referring to what is called the Blunderbuss model. Although LeCompte's flashlight analogy may sound plausible to the uninformed, it has few supporters because such a model cannot reproduce the narrow core-jet structures of superluminals. In other words, relativistic effects would not produce beams that looked like LeCompte's flashlight beams.
Faster than light.
Lippard: ' A problem with the faster-than-light conclusion is that it requires abandoning special relativity. . . ."
No, it doesn't. Lippard is being an alarmist. The faster-than-light experimental results for both electrical and radio signals under special conditions do not require abandoning special relativity any more than special relativity required abandoning Newtonian dynamics. Only modifications to our current understanding of special relativity may be required if further experiments support these surprising phenomena. Please notice that no contention of mine rests on these experimental resultsonly the contention that the light from distant stars cannot reach the earth in less than ten thousand years. It should also be noted that the faster-than-light results for the electrical experiments can be derived from Maxwell's equations, which govern electromagnetic phenomena.
Heavy elements in the oceans.
Lippard: "Brown is referring to the residence times of these elements, which range from 2,000 years for lead to 560,000 years for gold. . . . Brown doesn't mention that other elements have much higher and lower residence times for example, one hundred to two hundred years for aluminum, titanium, and iron, and 2 million to 260 million years for silver, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. This wide diversity of times shows that the use of residence times of various elements in the oceans is not a reliable dating method."
Let's first understand what is meant by a "residence time." If the initial quantity of a substance in a well-mixed reservoir is Qo, and the present quantity is Q, and if the average rate of input and output are Ri, and Ro respectively, then the average time that substance resides in the reservoir is called its residence time. However, if the substance (such as mercury or tin) never leaves the reservoir (Ro = 0), as I will maintain, the reservoir is called a sink. The substance will have no average residing time; it will steadily grow and become a measure of the sink's age. The maximum age would correspond to its age if Qo = 0. This is illustrated in Figure 1 (p. 44).
Unfortunately, we don't know each metal's average input rate into the oceans since the oceans began; we only know the present input rate. If we assume that the present rate equals the average rate, large errors could occur. Actually, all scientific dating techniques, including the majority that suggest a young earth, make similar assumptions. So, even though many people think that "scientists know the age of the earth," there is considerable uncertainty in all dating techniques. However, since we are trying to distinguish between ages that are almost six orders of magnitude apart (billions of years versus less than ten thousand years), many different dating techniques should shed some lightespecially if we don't ignore these key assumptions.
Notice that maximum age and residence time are computed in the same way. However, the models are quite different. Lippard "sloughed over" this critical difference. Which model is correct?
I maintain that the oceans are a sink for most metals (Ro = 0); that is, no significant quantities of those metals are leaving the oceans by absorption, precipitation, or organic removal. Most metals and their least soluble compounds are under-saturated in the oceans (Riley and Skirrow, 1975). This both prevents their precipitation and enhances their tendency for re-solution. Saturation levels should have been easily reached over "geologic time scales."
Lippard cites the wide divergence in "residence times" for various metals. His very low values are obviously explained by the high influx of industrial metals (aluminum, titanium, and iron) into the oceans since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. I contend that Lippard's very high values for sodium, potassium, and so forth, are the result of their high initial concentration (Qo>>0). Why these initial concentrations were high is explained in the hydroplate theory (Brown, 1989c, pp. 58-83).
Lippard says that these metals are leaving the ocean at about the same rate they enter (Ro = Ri). Who has the burden of proof? Obviously Lippard, because I claim there is nothing to measure. But Lippard can't point to any large measurements of Ro, even on the ocean floor. His excuse is that these elements "are subducted into the mantle of the earth at various locations" and therefore cannot be measured. How convenient. Is subduction truly occurring?
The earth's crust is composed of a dozen or so plates, each about thirty miles (fifty kilometers) thick. The plate tectonic theory, which Lippard and most evolutionists accept, claims that some of these plates dive, or subduct, under the edge of an adjacent plate along oceanic trenches. The physics of subduction is never clearly explained. In fact, I claim that forces do not exist to cause subduction. If Lippard (or anyone else) disagrees, I would like to see a free-body diagram of this process showing all relevant forces, including friction. Lippard should also explain the initiating mechanism and describe quantitatively the energy that drives the movement. The hydroplate theory explains how trenches formed, why so many earthquakes occur beneath them, and other aspects of trenches and earthquakes that contradict the plate tectonics theory.
Lippard: "Furthermore, Brown's statement, 'There is no known means by which large amounts of these elements can precipitate out of the oceans,' is simply false. Nickel, for example, may be taken up by ion exchange into clay minerals, substitutes for magnesium in crystal lattices, and forms insoluble hydroxides in alkaline solutions
I spoke of no significant precipitation; Lippard countered with examples of minor absorption. He is correct in saying that a few metals, such as nickel, can come out of solutionbut only in small amounts which probably are balanced by resolution. In any event, the ocean floor does not hold the quantity of all of these metals that Lippard requires.
Lippard: "In category ninety-two, Brown claims that the sun is shrinking at a constant rate. . . . "
No, I didn't. There are certain slight oscillations in the sun's diameter. The key question is whether or not those oscillations are superimposed on a diameter whose long-term trend is one of shrinkage. Eddy and Boornazian (1979) reported that, over at least a ninety-year period, the sun shrank. The mere fact that so many studies have since addressed this matter should make it clear that this is a legitimate, current, and critical question. If there is a shrinkage trend, it is presumably driven by gravitational forces. Had the sun existed millions of years ago, it would probably have been so large that it would have heated the earth to such an extent that life could not have survived. I have read at least twenty-one original studies that bear on this question, including the select few that Lippard mentions. To get into the methodology, accuracy, and relevance of even a few would be tedious and inconclusive for most readers, although I feel that the best data supports a slight but significant shrinkage trend.
There is one compelling line of evidence for a shrinking sun. Nuclear fusion in the sun produces neutrinos. Many very elaborate and expensive experiments have found that the neutrino flux is at best only one-third of what it should be if all the sun's heat is caused by fusion. These experiments have been repeated and the computations checked by hundreds of scientists. This is considered one of the biggest surprises in science during the past forty years. If only one-third of the sun's heat is produced by nuclear fusion (as the data implies), then where does the rest of the heat come from?
Prior to the discovery of nuclear fusion, Helmholtz in 1854 and Kelvin in 1861 proposed that the sun's energy comes from gravitational contraction. As the sun compresses, it heats up and radiates its diminishing potential energy as sunlight. The maximum potential energy of the sun establishes an upper limit on the age of the sun (and the solar system) of several million years. Later, when nuclear fusion was discovered, it was seized upon as a source of all the sun's energy, effectively removing the sun's age limit and giving vastly more time for evolution to happen. If we must now replace two-thirds of that upper limit, then the sun cannot be billions of years old, and there would not have been enough time for evolution to have occurred.
Incidentally, Jupiter and Saturn each radiate more than twice the energy they receive from the sun. Where is this excess heat coming from? Not from nuclear "fires," because those planets are not massive enough to initiate nuclear fusion, and because their densities are too low for there to be much material that could cause nuclear fission. Heat should not be released by liquifying the hydrogen and helium gases that make up Jupiter and Saturn, since the temperatures of those planets are above the critical temperatures for hydrogen and helium. (The critical temperature of a gas is that temperature above which no amount of pressure can squeeze it into a liquid.) I know of only two other possibilities: either gravitational contraction is occurring or those planets have not lost their initial heat. Certainly, if they have been sitting in cold, dark space for billions of years, they would have lost their initial heat. Either way, the fact that those planets are relatively hot suggests that they are young.
Other clocks.Again, Lippard alludes to refuting evidence but describes and explains nothing.
Two- to Twenty-Celled Life Forms
I understand what Lippard is saying, but he missed the conundrum I raised. How did the first multicellular lifeanimals, plants, or anything elseevolve? An evolutionist would obviously say, "From unicellular life." Fine. But what followed single-celled life? Certainly not Mesozoa, because they are parasites and must have a complex multicellular host to provide digestion and respiration. Certainly not colonial forms, for reasons I gave in my first article. The simplest multicellular form of life, excluding parasites and colonial forms, probably has over ten thousand cells. What transitional forms evolved to fill the huge gap between one and ten thousand cells? Evolutionists don't appear to have an answer.
Hoyle and Wickramasinghe make a good case that the two fossils of Archaeopteryx that have clearly visible feathers are forgeries (1986). These two fossils (the London specimen of 1861 and the Berlin specimen of 1871) were "found" and sold at very lucrative prices by a father and his son. Hoyle alleges that thin layers of cement were spread on two fossils of the small dinosaur, Compsognathus. Bird feathers were then imprinted onto the wet cement.
Hoyle's and Wickramasinghe's book contains clear color photographs showing several examples of where the coloration, shape, and texture on the main slab and counterslab do not match; feathers that are too flat and lie too precisely at the slab-counterslab interface; and an upside-down furcula. A furcula is diagnostic of a bird. Since it is upside down and is visible on only the London specimen, it may have been carved to create the false impression that Archaeopteryx was a bird.
The "anti-hoax" articles Lippard cites either don't address most of these evidences or else contain statements which are shown to be false by Hoyle's photographs. Lippard cites no contrary evidence but resorts to derogatory comments: "falsehoods," "absurdity," "ignorance," "ludicrous," "contempt," and so forth.
Lippard: "But Brown's comment implies that he now no longer thinks the hoax hypothesis is a good one."
This is a misrepresentation. What I have said, since 1986, is:
Even if Archaeopteryx is not a forgery, it cannot be ancestral to modern birds since the fossils of two modern birds have been found in rock strata dated by evolutionists as much older than Archaeopteryx. For details see: Tim Beardsley, "Fossil Bird Shakes Evolutionary Hypotheses," Nature, Vol. 322, 21 August 1986, p. 677.
By the way, would any paleontologist who thinks that Archaeopteryx is a bird tell me how it was buried in the ultra-fine-grained, 80 percent pure, Solnhofen limestone? Why is there so much limestone on the earth, and what is the source of all the required calcium and carbon? In just the Bahamas, the limestone is three miles thick! "The Fountains of the Great Deep" contains my explanation for the deposition of most of the earth's limestone and how organisms in general were fossilized in it (1989c, pp. 59-83).
Lippard: " . . . Brown knows there is now another specimen with clear feather impressions. "
Lippard is again vague. He is apparently referring to the Solnhofen specimen. No one knows who found it or when or where it was excavated. Someone has tampered with it, at least to the extent of carving out a longer tail (Wellnhofer, 1988). From its photograph, I cannot see any feathers or feather shafts. Wellnhofer says they are there, although he must resort to a sketch to show readers where he thinks they are. Since the significance of all the other Archaeoptervx fossils may rest upon whether or not the Solnhofen specimen has feathers, why didn't Wellnhofer's paper have a high-resolution photograph showing details of a feather, such as a barbule?
Lippard: "Regarding Brown's other argument (that Protoavis destroys the status of Archaeopteryx as a transitional fossil): while Protoavis, if a bird, would probably eliminate Archaeopteryx as an ancestor to modern birds, the identification of Protoavis as a primitive bird is not yet generally accepted. . . .
Of course, Protoavis has not yet been accepted as a bird by some evolutionists. To do so would eliminate their best example of an embarrassingly few possible transitional forms. Lippard gives no reasons for rejecting Protoavis. Protoavis has a distinct furcula, a small keel, a platelike sternum, and other characteristics that are diagnostic of birds. It is seventy-five million years older (by evolutionists' reckonings) than Archaeopteryx. Therefore, Archaeopteryx cannot be the first bird.
Lippard's reference to Cuffy is one more example of his claiming that someone has some evidence which Lippard cannot discuss.
Lippard: "Regarding Charles Oxnard's studies of australopithecines, Brown's response ignores a significant portion of my commentthat these studies did not take into account Donald Johanson's 'Lucy' find or any examples of Australopithecus afarensis. To Brown's credit, he has changed the latest edition of his book to make note of this fact in a single sentence of a footnote. . . ."
Wrong again. That statement was in an earlier edition of In the Beginning (Brown, 1986, p. 25) as well as the reproduced section from that book that I gave to Lippard on January 22, 1987. 1 cannot include in a short article everything that is in my book.
Lippard: "Citing Oxnard in support of the claim that no australopithecines are in the human lineage is extremely misleading, because Oxnard himself states that Australopithecus afarensis is probably in the human lineage. He states that, if scientists will use the term australopithecine (which has indeed become the case) for finds at East Turkana, Laetoli, and the Afar Valley (for example, Australopithecus afarensis in the latter two locations), 'the new usage of the term will be for these other fossils labeled "Homo?" in figure 18' (Oxnard, 1979, p. 274)."
While Mary Leakey's Laetoli footprints are usually attributed to Australopithecus afarensis, their details are indistinguishable from those of humans. Nothing else at Laetoli was close to being human. Why not conclude that humans made those footprints? Evolutionists don't reach that conclusion because humans would appear "too early" for their evolutionist timetable.
Oxnard never even used the word afarensis in the paper Lippard. referenced. Oxnard has said in dozens of papers, including the one Lippard referenced, that the australopithecines are so distinct that they do not appear to be in the human lineage, that they appear to be a parallel development having nothing to do with humans, and that if old Homo fossils are found their discoverers might mistakenly call them australopithecines. Oxnard warns people not to accept the widely published stories that the australopithecines are in the human line, since those conclusions are based only upon visual techniques and human biases. Oxnard had not then analyzed the afarensis bones with his powerful multivariate techniques. He guessed that recent discoveries might turn out to be Homo instead of Australopithecus, but he tempered his statements with many question marks. Here is just a small sampling of what Oxnard has really said:
The genus Homo may, in fact, be so ancient as to parallel entirely the genus Australopithecus thus denying the latter a direct place in the human lineage.
[1975, p. 389]
. . . [while] the conventional wisdom is that the australopithecine fragments are generally rather similar to humans and when different deviate somewhat towards the condition in the African apes, the new studies point to different conclusions. The new investigations suggest that the fossil fragments are usually uniquely different from any living form; when they do have similarities with living species, they are as often as not reminiscent of the orangutan.
[1979, p. 273]
In Oxnard's latest book, he suggests that no australopithecine, not even Australopithecus afarensis, is ancestral to humans. He even cites a paper by Bernard Wood which states that "no australopithecine currently known could have been a human ancestor!" Oxnard goes on to say, "The last decade has now, however, seen this notion become generally accepted. The various australopithecines [and that would include afarensis] are, indeed, more different from both African apes and humans in most features than these latter are from each other" (1987, pp. xi, 227).
Lippard: " . . . Oxnard says that Ramapithecus may well be a human ancestor . . . (Wu and Oxnard, 1983). "
No, he didn't. That paper was a statistical study of some dimensions of nine hundred teeth of Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus found in China. Oxnard and Wu were trying to identify any sexual dimorphism and just how many species were present. At several points, the authors only said that some of those statistics were similar to humans. Oxnard's most recent conclusion on the matter is that "all non-human Asian fossils (ramapithecines, Gigantopithecus) are on or close to ape lineages" (Oxnard, 1987, p. 219).
Lippard also implied that Oxnard used his multivariate techniques in reaching his conclusions about Ramapithecus. He didn't.
Lucy and Bonzo
Lippard: "Brown should read Johanson's writings before making sweeping claims about what they do or don't say."
Johanson has not addressed the implications of the vertical scattering of his 240 to 350 Australopithecus afarensis bone fragments. These bones consist primarily of a knee joint, the "First Family," and Lucy (a sixty-pound, tiny-brained, long-armed, 3.5-foot tall, adult primate with nearly 40 percent of her fractured bones remaining). One hundred meters separated Lucy and a knee joint, which, let's say, belonged to Bonzo, a member of the same species. (The name "Lucy" sounds human, unjustifiably; so I will balance that with the name "Bonzo ") To my knowledge, Johanson has never presented a reasonable scenario as to why a piece of Bonzo, bone fragments of many cousins, and parts of Lucy span one hundred meters of very interesting strata. Had Johanson squarely addressed this issue, enough controversy and doubt would have been raised that I would have heard about it. Let me explain.
According to Johanson, those one hundred meters represent about eight hundred thousand years of time. Is it reasonable that these afarensis primates lived in the Afar Triangle at various times over an eight hundred thousand year period? During that time, the sea must have transgressed and egressed that region several times. Carbonate and gastropod-bearing horizons were deposited along with an ostracod-rich horizon. Major faulting and other catastrophic events also occurred during that deposition process (Johanson et al., 1982).
Isn't it strange that Lucy came back to the old homestead where Bonzo and her cousins had lived many hundreds of thousands of years earlier? Why haven't more bones of Australopithecus afarensis been found elsewhere if several hundred thousand generations of these afarensis primates had so much time to migrate? And why are the primate bones at Hadar so fractured and scattered?
Let me propose another hypothesis. A colony of apelike animals, which included Lucy and Bonzo, was overcome by a relatively recent, catastrophic flood that was accompanied by major tectonic and volcanic activity. Their dismembered bodies, and some gastropods and ostracods, were sorted out in those carbonate-rich, muddy waters in such a way that pieces of their skeletons now span one hundred meters of strata. Their broken and scattered bones certainly imply some violent event that engulfed many, and their well-preserved bones certainly belie a three-million-year age. (For a more complete description of the setting and reasons for this hypothesis, see Brown, 1989c, pp. 58-83).
How can we test these two hypotheses? Let's encourage the Ethiopian officials to let us radiocarbon date just one of the 240 to 350 Australopithecus afarensis bones. By using an atomic mass spectrometer (AMS), only a tiny fraction of the bone would be destroyed. If Johanson is correct and Australopithecus afarensis is over three million years old, no radiocarbon will be found. If my hypothesis is correct, radiocarbon will be found.
Lippard falsely stated that Carl Baugh "has consistently refused" to have the handle of his apparently ancient hammer radiocarbon dated (Lippard, 1989, p. 31). Plans for such a test are now proceeding, thanks to R. E. Taylor, the director of the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of California at Riverside. I have asked that this be a blind test. In other words, several other miscellaneous specimens and the wood from Baugh's hammer will each be reduced to "a pinch" of carbon powder. Then an independent third party will secretly relabel the specimens and only reveal the true labels after the radiocarbon dates have been established. Let's add an afarensis (or some other australopithecine) specimen to that blind test. If Baugh and the owners of the Shroud of Turin are willing to subject their specimens to a blind, radiocarbon AMS test, shouldn't those involved with "ancient" hominids do likewise? Most scientists consider blind tests a standard procedure for overcoming experimenter bias. Why don't evolutionistsespecially when using radiometric dating?
Lippard: "Brown tries to use the controversy over the nature of Lucy's bipedality to show that Lucy was not bipedal at all
My position has consistently been that Lucy probably did not walk upright in a human manner. Her bodily proportions and bone structure suggest that her gait was similar to that of a pygmy chimpanzee. Furthermore, her long arms and curved finger and toe bones indicate that she swung from the trees.
Lippard: "Brown does not specify what evidence he thinks was withheld [that showed that Java 'man' was a large gibbon]" (1989, p. 27). "Regarding my criticism of his descriptions of Java Man, Brown has no response" (1990, p. 28).
I didn't discuss that in my 1989 article, but it was in my book that Lippard had before the article was published. I will repeat it for his benefit:
Eugene Dubois acknowledged forty years after he discovered Java "man" that it was probably just a large gibbon. Dubois also admitted that he had withheld parts of four other thigh bones of apes, found in the same area, that supported that conclusion.
[Brown, 1989c, p. 5]
The text gives six supporting references and an admission by Dubois.
My previous comments concerning Castenedolo, Calaveras, Neandertal, and Noah's ark stand (1989b).
Lippard: "As I noted in my original article, the points I addressed therein were simply a selection intended to give the flavor of Brown's work. There was no attempt to find the 'weakest' of his points."
Do you, the reader, really believe that?
You have seen Lippard make other inaccurate statements, twist my words, display his bias in many ways, repeat (without any fundamental understanding) erroneous arguments that he drew from various sources, and shallowly deal with scientific matters that he himself raised. One leading anticreationist told me that he felt that Lippard was unqualified to participate in this written exchange. You may wonder if someone other than a graduate student in philosophy could have done better. Certainly. Here are fifty: Isaac Asimov, Frank Awbrey, William Bennetta, C. Loring Brace, Stephen Brush, Catherine Callaghan, Preston Cloud, John Cole, Brent Dalrymple, Bob Demar, Bob Dietz, Russell Doolittle, Vincent D'Orazio, James Ebert, Niles Eldridge, Douglas Futuyma, Owen Gingerich, Laurie Godfrey, Stephen Jay Gould, L. Beverly Halstead, Phillip Hewitt, Jim Hopson, Donald Hornig, Philip Kitchner, John Lynch, Lew Mammel, William Mayer, Ian MacGregor, Chris McGowan, Kenneth Miller, David Milne, Ashley Montagu, Dorothy Nelkin, Craig Nelson, Fred Parish, John Patterson, Ronald Pine, David Raup, Bob Richards, Joseph Roll, Michael Ruse, Carl Sagan, Vince Sarich, Steven Shore, Frank Sonleitner, Arthur Strahler, William Thwaites, Howard Van Till, Stanley Weinberg, and Michael Zimmerman.
If just a few of these people were willing to participate in a book-length scientific debate, then much of this origins controversy could be clarified. Tens of thousands of teachers, and many others, would like to read what both sides have to say about radiocarbon dating, interesting fossils, the likelihood that mutations could produce increasing complexity, many dating techniques, dinosaurs, many geologic matters, and a hundred other topics. Lippard said that "holders of doctorates . . . are less likely to have the time or desire to debate Brown." That won't wash. Each person above has devoted much time trying to attack the creationist case. This list could be multiplied many times.
I'll lay it on the line. Leading anticreationists have everything to lose and nothing to gain by engaging in an extensive written debate. It's hard to retract things that are in print. Their careers and reputations would be jeopardized, and many of their evolutionist colleagues would be angry with them for opening up evolution for criticism. Furthermore, qualified anticreationists have everything to gain and nothing to lose by having someone like Lippard "enter the ring." In the meantime, you (the reader) are not able to see if the evolution case can really stand head-to-head with the creation case. These individuals ought to be ashamed.
Most readers of Creation/Evolution are evolutionists. I was too until about twenty years ago when I began studying the evidences dealing with origins. After learning of just a few of the 127 categories of evidence, I was curious enough to study in various fields that I felt held the evidence for evolution. I found very little. Instead, there was more and more evidence for creation and a recent, global flood. Since then, I have been appalled at what is and has been taught concerning origins.
What are most scientific creationists advocating? As I see it, three things: (1) that no religious doctrine or writing be taught or ridiculed in the public schools; (2) that all the major scientific evidence dealing with origins be brought out at the appropriate grade levels; and (3) that when a theory of origins is presented, any opposing evidence must also be presented. Knowledgeable and honest evolutionists must admit that there are many strange observations that do not fit evolutionism. If they don't know of any, they are not on the "cutting edge" or they haven't looked in the right places. The history of science shows repeatedly that scientific advancement usually results from a surprising observation that challenges current thinking. The new explanation is usually resisted by those who have a stake in the current thinkingthose who teach it and those who derive income, power, and prestige from it. Students and laypeople who have no desire or ability to examine the new evidence naturally tend to accept the prevailing view. The desire to conform and be accepted is powerful, especially in academia. Those who want to appear knowledgeable will spout the prevailing "wisdom." The more people ally themselves with the old thinking, the greater the contest becomes, as long as the new explanation uniquely explains the scientific anomaly.
If the change in thinking has philosophical, social, or religious implications, the issue will become very emotional. Courts, legislatures, and committees may be drawn into the battle by the nonscientific elements of each side. Neither they nor money and verbiage will settle the issue one way or the other, although they may delay its resolution, raise the stakes, attract attention, and ignite tempers. Only by dealing with the scientific anomaly and all possible explanations can the matter be resolved. In other words, the challenge to the old thinking will ultimately rise or fall on the scientific evidence. Ignoring the evidence is bad enough; misrepresenting, dismissing out of hand, and censoring one's opposition is even more serious; but failing to tell students about it betrays a trust.
Brown, Walter T. 1986. In the Beginning. Fourth edition. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation.
. 1989a. The Scientific Case for Creation. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation.
. 1989b. "Brown Responds to Lippard." Creation/Evolution XXV:35-48.
. 1989c. In the Beginning. Fifth edition. Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation.
Eddy, John A., and Boornazian, Aram A. 1979. "Secular Decrease in the Solar Diameter, 1863-1953." Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. 11:2:437.
Goldstein, S. J., and Trasco, J. D. 1973. "On the Velocity of Light Three Centuries Ago." The Astronomical Journal. February. 78:122-125.
Hoyle, Fred, and Wickramasinghe, Chandra. 1986. Archaeopteryx, the Primordial Bird: A Case of Fossil Forgery. Swansea, England: Christopher Davis Limited.
Johanson, Donald C.; Taieb, Maurice; and Coppens, Yves. 1982. "Pliocene Hominids from the Hadar Formation, Ethiopia (1973-1977)." American Journal of Physical Anthropology. April. 57:373-402.
Lippard, Jim. 1989. "An Examination of the Research of Creationist Walter Brown." Creation/Evolution XXV:23-35.
. 1990. "A Further Examination of the Research of Walter Brown." Creation/Evolution XXVI:17-33.
Mammel, Lew, Jr. 1983a. UCCP: Net Origins. (An interactive computer network connecting many research laboratories- and universities). Unpublished. December 2.
. 1983b. UUCP: Net Origins. December 7.
Oxnard, Charles E. 1975. "The Place of the Australopithecines in Human Evolution: Grounds for Doubt?" Nature. December 4. 258:389-395.
. 1979. "Humans Fossils: New Views of Old Bones." The American Biology Teacher. May. 41:264-276.
. 1987. Fossils, Teeth, and Sex: New Perspectives on Human Evolution. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Riley, J. P., and Skirrow, G. 1975. Chemical Oceanography. Second edition, volume 1. New York: Academic Press.
Setterfield, Barry. 1988. "The Atomic Constants in Light of Criticism." Creation Research Society Quarterly. March. 25:190-197.
Wellnhofer, Peter. 1988. "A New Specimen of Archaeopteryx." Science. June 24. 240:1790-1792.