Referring to YECs as Dr

Who??? Recently inducted into the pantheon of PhD creationists, presenting Dr. Brian Thomas. Unlike with secular PhD’s, you must never drop the Dr. honorific ever.

Here is the link to his PhD abstract, and there you can download the whole thing:
Collagen remnants in ancient bone
I have only read the abstract and glanced through the rest, but here is a line which jumped out at me, bold is mine:
“Finally, the first AMS 14C results from Cretaceous bone collagen are presented. 14C results discriminated between modern, medieval, Roman era, and ice age, but not between Cretaceous and Jurassic time frames.
You will, however, search in vain for any mention of sauropods on Noah’s ark.

Dr. Brian Thomas contributions to ICR and CMI here:
ICR - Brian Thomas
CMI - Brian Thomas

So where does a nascent scientist curious as to the applicability of C-14 dating to the Cretaceous go to find a supervisor for his work? To this guy at University of Liverpool:
Prof Steve Taylor
who among his undeniably extensive and solid publication list includes these for AiG and CMI:
Latest Articles by Prof. Steve Taylor
Testimony video

And that is how YEC PhD’s are minted, fire breathing dinosaur dragons and all. Dino soft tissue need be no older that St. George.


What is your point with all this? I get you are dismayed that people who disagree with you can obtain PhDs, but are you suggesting Dr Thomas is not a “real scientist”, or that his degree was somehow fraudulent? Because that’s certainly the impression you’re giving with that post.

His point seemed to be that you called him Dr. Thomas, but do not call us Dr. Swamidass, Dr. Matheson, etc. It comes off a bit disrespectful.


Actually you’ll find that I have referred to you as Dr Swamidass. I don’t know everybody here so I don’t necessarily know when somebody has a PhD. It seemed to me that his post was disrespectful toward Dr Thomas and was implicitly suggesting he did not legitimately earn his doctorate.

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That’s a good point. I see why you are tweaked. I don’t think the appeal to authority or the ad hominem on his credentials is particularly effective.

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Yeah, me too. I agree with @PDPrice that the comments were disparaging toward Dr. Thomas. There may be good reasons to doubt his or anyone else’s expertise, but that’s different from blanket aspersions on credentials.

That’s the biggest problem with the comments in the OP: it’s a big big red flag every time someone starts an argument with “we can test… or we have evidence… Dr. X who got his PhD from a secular university blah blah blah.” Neither Dr. X’s degrees nor the nature of her/his university is relevant to whether we can do anything or test anything or whether we know or have evidence for anything.

FWIW, I work all day every day with PhD scientists like myself. We don’t call each other ‘doctor’ and we don’t care about ‘credentials.’ OTOH, expertise is something earned and demonstrated, separate from credentials. We know that @swamidass is an expert in bioinformatics, among other things, not because he has a PhD from somewhere (sorry Joshua I didn’t look it up) or even because he did a postdoc from somewhere. We know because he has a record of scholarly accomplishment.


For you to say this after refusing to even look at a source I provided to you on the basis that it wasn’t in a peer-reviewed journal is somewhat inconsistent, to say the least. The truth is the truth. Peer review can be a useful tool, but it can also be abused. At the end of the day, whether something is peer-reviewed has no bearing on whether it is good, or whether it is accurate.

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No, it’s really not. Sorry.

So can graduate education and the awarding of advanced degrees. Except there’s a big difference, of course: errors and fraud in scientific papers can be corrected and retracted.

No bearing? If that’s what you believe, then please understand that I won’t have any further conversation with you. To have the kind of discussion that is worthy of my Sunday, we would need some basic common ground. It doesn’t seem we have that.

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@PDPrice, I think you are missing the point.

Both @sfmatheson and I are agreeing that @RonSewell’s post wasn’t fair to you or to Dr. Thomas. I’m not sure why you are turning that into an argument. The focus should be on the content of his work.

There also are many peer reviewed YEC journals. Moreover, even unpeer reviewed articles can change our mind if the evidence is well reasoned and carefully presented. So asking for peer-reviewed articles, when we ask for them, is not meant to be dismissive. We are actually scientists. We read work and assess it for our selves. We know that there is good work outside the peer-review literature, and a lot of bad work in the peer-reviewed literature.


You assume too much.

There is the old gag - What do you call the person who barely scraped through, graduated dead last in his medical class, and is about to operate on you.

Answer: Dr.

If the University of Liverpool granted Brian Thomas a doctoral degree, presumably not on the basis of rowing machine pictures, then Doctor he is. I believe people who disagree with me, disagree with political correctness, disagree with colleagues, or are plain disagreeable, should be granted recognition on the evaluated basis of their work. If anything, universities are becoming, in my opinion, rather too sensitive to disrupting the sensibilities of the more easily offended, so my reflex runs counter to litmus tests for academic orthodoxies.

That said, the content of a PhD dissertation, which is supposed to advance the state of knowledge on behalf of mankind, speaks to both the quality of the candidate and the accepting institution. That this work seemed to imply that C14 can be applied to Cretaceous remains, expecting anything other than a null result, is to me a bit odd. That should require a explanatory qualification in the paper as to what the presumption and purpose is supposed to be. On the positive side, the work seems to incorporate an interesting survey of analytical techniques which can be engaged in fossil research.

Now c’mon Paul. If you have not noticed the degree to which YEC peacocks credentials I would suggest that you are just not self aware. That honorifics and the adjective “prestigious” are overworked in the ID/YEC camp has been noted by others in this forum. The irony is that opinions of the overwhelming majority of mainstream scientists, the “so called experts”, which have also earned degrees from prestigious institutions, are relegated to the mindless indoctrination of Darwininian dogma, the massive body of their research counting for naught. So personally, I think you are a bit touchy on that point, but that is your prerogative.

The main content of my post was just linking to the dissertation and intro pages for Brian Thomas and his supervisor, Steve Taylor. There were a few other inferences I allowed, the first being that the supervisor was a fellow creationist. This may or may not have had bearing on the paper but I believe it is pertinent. The second is that whatever the academic merit leading to the award of PhD, that upon reading Dr. Thomas’ contributions to YEC organizations it appears that he does subscribe largely to the gamut of YEC credo, including dinosaurs mixing it up with people and this being preserved in human legend and artifact. Lastly, I inferred that some of the presumptions, specifically the YEC view of the age of dinosaurs, was present but not explicit in the work.

I think it is a pointlessly subjective and unresolvable exercise to debate whether anyone is a “real” scientist. I think that Dr. Brian Thomas has the recognized training to be so considered, his degree is duly conferred, and that makes him all the more culpable for some of the nonsense he espouses. He is in a position to know better.


No bearing, that’s right, from a logical perspective. Truth is truth regardless of what anybody says about it, or who decides to endorse it or refuses to. In the end all that matters is the evidence. “peer-review” in this case is being used as a tool of censorship and exclusion. I showed you where somebody who has a PhD in a relevant field has responded to your paper and showed problems with their reasoning.

You refused to even look at it. That’s called being closed-minded and abusing the concept of peer review.

Not according to @sfmatheson. He refused to even consider an article I presented on the basis that it wasn’t peer-reviewed. I also wonder if he would agree with your statement that there are many peer reviewed YEC journals. Would you, Dr Matheson?

I was going to let this slide, but your constant insults and your disgraceful conduct will have to be addressed. You cannot even know whether I looked at the thing you posted–in fact, I did, and chose very carefully not to address it. Instead, I asked for “a reference to peer-reviewed science if you want to convince me that the ‘claim has been addressed.’”

Now that you have publicly accused me of “abusing the concept of peer review” by asking for peer-reviewed science, I will dismiss myself from any conversation with you and will encourage others to do the same. My final comment to you is this: I think it may be important to note that you assumed, without any justification at all, that when I asked for peer-reviewed science, I had not read the thing that you linked to. That’s potentially informative, I think.


Your words strongly indicated to me that you did not choose to look at it. Your refusal to address it is no better in any case. Simply arguing it’s “not peer reviewed” is not an excuse to ignore it as you chose to do. I’m not insulting you, I’m just stating what happened.

I’m not sure how reading it and then refusing to address it is any better. In either case you have dismissed it and your only grounds for doing do was an appeal to peer-review.

Is there such any thing as Cretaceous and Jurassic time frames in Dr Thomas’s YEC view of history?

Creationists do use the terms evolutionists have assigned to the strata even though we don’t agree with the timescale they assign to them; we do not have an entirely separate naming system for them. (Even if we did, we’d still have to use the evolutionist naming system when submitting papers to evolutionist establishments for review and acceptance).

You mean the terms geologists have assigned to the strata. No notion of evolution is necessary or relevant.


True in so many ways.

Quite so. Many of the strata were named before Darwin was born.

It’s not disagreeing with the timescale, it’s disagreeing that there even is a timescale. If Cretaceous and Jurassic deposits represent different pre-flood biomes, or different deluge escape capabilities, or hydrodynamic sorting, or post-flood expansion, or when floating vegetable mats finally sank, or any of the other YEC fossil deposition ideas, then a Cretaceous deposit from one part of the world may predate, postdate or be contemporaneous with a Jurassic deposit from elsewhere in the world. There’s no such thing as the Jurassic or Cretaceous period, so dating something Jurassic is meaningless.