Sal Cordova's Path to Young Earth Creationism


(John Harshman) #62

Do any of these theologians ever come here?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #63

Nope. Not yet. They are rare. Give it time though. We are still on a growth trajectory. The forum, also, is only one of the things we do. There is stuff happening behind the scenes that could upon the conversation very wide.

(John Harshman) #64

I commend your enthusiasm.

(Salvador Cordova) #65

Good question, don’t know, I could be mistaken.

That’s not to say the anomalies I pointed out are any less vexing. The issue is which set of anomalies take precedence? I don’t think either side has fully resolved all the problems.

A testable prediction related to nuclear transmutation theory and some of the problems discussed is the absence of radiation below 10 miles of the Earth’s surface. That is Walter Brown’s prediction. We don’t know, but it would be an interesting test, and the basis for that is the relative absence of radiation on the sea floor.

The hypothesis is there was a lot of piezo electric activity that induced nuclear transmutation and other radio-active behavior. My term paper at Johns Hopkins, for which I feared my professor would flunk me, turned out to be his favorite paper that semester. It listed secular experiments of nuclear transmutation. Because I took a class in cosmology, I somewhat aware with the problems of stellar nucleosynthesis models. The electric synthesis models hold promise, and the stellar nucleosynthesis models of certain elements is problematic. These were done by experimenters in the Ukraine.

You could totally be right. I’ve been wrong before, but my conscience would seriously bother me if I dismissed the serious anomalies that I’ve listed and many more that I’ve not listed in this thread.

I could not in good conscience, absolutely say the evidence unequivocally points to the fossil record being old. Maybe one day I might say one way or another with more certainty, but I think there is a lot of premature model building with lots of speculation and a scarcity of data.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #66

Changing the topic for a moment…

Are you willing to help convince some of the YECs that come here out their unblinkering confidence that the evidence clearly is on their side?

(Salvador Cordova) #67

I’m willing, but from experience the results are to no effect.

As an aside, I thought I posted excellent critiques against ID usage of the 2nd law, I never got forgiven by many OECs, YECs, IDists for criticizing Granville Sewell.

I don’t think ID is science. For me saying so, several on the ID side consider me a traitor.

I’ve said IDists should drop specified complexity, CSI and information theory arguments. I’ve never been forgiven by many the ID side for that either! I said ID doesn’t make predictions. I’ve not been forgiven by many for saying that.

It’s just as well I didn’t end up at Baylor with BIll Dembski and Robert Marks. We would have never agreed.

“Are you willing to help convince some of the YECs that come here out their unblinkering confidence that the evidence clearly is on their side?”

The physical evidence is not yet clearly on the YEC side, but not completely against it either. I’m counting on future discoveries. That’s about all I can say. I think some of the objections laid out in this thread so far are examples, but the worst problem is the problem of distant starlight. There are at least 9, maybe 10 YEC cosmologies, and all of them could be wrong in their solutions to distant starlight.

Let them try to discuss the issues with my personal acquaintance Jerry Jellison. He will pick apart a lot of problems with YEC cosmology. In fact, here is one of my retractions on something he and I first disagreed with, and which I was forced to agree with him:

I’ve gone on record that I think a defensible model (not necessarily all correct, but approximately so) is Young Life, Young Fossil Record, Old Earth, Old Universe. Or simply young fossil record.

I’ve stated the Faint Young Sun paradox requires a miraculously fine-tuned mechanism of global warming. There would be no life, no fossil record were it not for this miracle. There are internal clock in fossils (C14, lack of racemization, DNAs) inconsistent with the other dating methods.

I’m willing to say the data we have are not resoundingly for one model or another.

I don’t get along well with many YECs especially this kind of YEC, Matthew Brady:

Proverbs 25:2. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, the glory of Kings is to search out a matter.” If there is decisive evidence for YEC and God, a lot of that evidence is hidden. It is the glory of kings to look for that evidence. That is my hope and profession, but the evidence, especially for distant starlight solutions is not in hand.

I suggest listening to a recording of ICC 2018 and listen to Danny Faulkner’s talk about progress of creationist cosmology. There are lots of problems. This is acknowledged by YEC physicists. God has still hidden the solution to the YECs if there is one there.

That’s about all I can say.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #68

I’ve not heard Walter Brown mentioned much these days outside of the most fringe-YEC circles. Doesn’t Brown basically ignore even the most fundamental physics difficulties with his claims? Isn’t he self-published and devoid of any peer-reviewed credibility?

I’m really surprised to see him mentioned in this context. Can you help me to understand why he is worth considering? It has been years since I’ve read Brown’s stuff and it did not at all impress me. (Admittedly, his Kent Hovind-style challenge for a debate hurt his credibility even more, especially when he turned down everybody who agreed to the challenge, including a friend of mine.)

Come to think of it, isn’t Walter Brown the guy [OK, I think there are multiple people who qualify for this one] who would send his debate challenge to countless well-known scientists and then when they ignored the challenge, he added them to a webpage of people who were allegedly “afraid” to debate him because his Hydroplate Theory was so incredible?

(Isn’t Walter Brown the mechanical engineer who claims to know physics better than the world’s geophysicists?)

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #69

You guys were “Counting Cards for Jesus”. Anyway you look at it is was cheating.

(Ashwin S) #70

Can you list down what would be the positives and negatives for such a model…
I guess one requirement would be to explain how fossils ended up where they did, if they were curried higher initially… and of course the order/pattern for the depth in a hitch they were found.

(Salvador Cordova) #72


That would be a good project! I haven’t done this methodically. I’ll post something here if I’m able to put it together.

(John Harshman) #73

Could you at least start by explaining what “Young Fossil Record, Old Earth” actually means? What portions of the earth are old? What portions are young? “Young Life” would demand that all the rocks of Archaean age or younger would be young, and only Hadean rocks (of which there are almost none, mostly just reworked zircons) would be old.


It seems that you are inventing anomalies. When there are multiple different decay chains which decay through different mechanisms and at different rates, and all of these methods arrive at the same age, that seems like ironclad evidence. What you are describing seems to be physically impossible.

Radioactive decay in the mantle and core is what stopped the Earth from solidfying over the last 100’s of millions of years. I think you are going to be seriously disappointed in that one.

For this to work it would have to affect K, two isotopes of U, Rb, and Sm all in very specific ways as to produce agreement between the ages they give. Many of these isotopes decay by different mechanisms. You would also have to explain why we see secular equilibrium, which are ratios within the decay chain that are consistent with the decay rates for all intermediate links in the decay chain. I just don’t see how this is possible.

That only begs the question of what would convince you.

(Blogging Graduate Student) #75

Can you provide some citations for this?

(Salvador Cordova) #76

Looks like this thread could last a year discussing all the issues. John Harshman and I went at it at The SkepticalZone over Common Descent vs. Common Design where the discussion lasted 4 months and 5000 comments. We’re only up 75 or so with this comment. Maybe this thread will set a record.

I think the objections about my beliefs are very credible and should be addressed. If I don’t answer a specific question, my default response is: “I could be mistaken, maybe I’m wrong.” OK?

Now, I’d like to comment again to Michael_Callen’s discussion about philosophy affecting my views. First, I’m not a typical YEC, I’m a gambler-type YEC, as in Pascal’s Wager, I’m not “Evidence and God’s Word are absolutely Clear that YEC is true”-type YEC.

That said, philosophically when I concluded the Origin of Life was miracle, it seemed reasonable to me there is a Miracle Maker, and if I could accept one miracle of special creation, I could accept N miracles of special creation, where N is large number. The issue then is the timing.

Also, in 2005, a professor at Johns Hopkins, Richard Conn Henry, wrote an opinion piece published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, where he argued, quantum mechanics (QM) reasonably infers the existence of God. A physicist who was acknowledge in my graduate school textbook on statistical mechanics by Pathria and Beale, by the name of FJ Belinfante, said the same thing. Respected physicists Barrow and Tipler said the same thing, and last but not least, Darwinist Ken Miller, of all people, said QM could be evidence of God (Darwin’s God).

Here is my essay on Henry’s 2005 Nature Opinion:

Paul Davies book, which won the Templeton Prize for Religion, was also persuasive to me of God’s existence and work in creating the universe. Francis Collins indirectly talks about the origin of the universe as if it were a miracle in Language of God. And if Collins believes Jesus rose from the dead, worked miracles of healing, turned water into - wine, then what’s stopping God from creating kinds? The question is if one accepts miracles, is there evidence that is persuasive a miracle indeed happened and when?

This was important to me to be able to build a philosophical view with minimal (but not non-existent) bias. At least some facts accorded with the existence of God and at least one act of special creation.

YEC is a bolder claim of multiple acts of special creation, of life, of planets, stars, star systems… and all in the recent past.

I was an OEC for a long time. But at some point, anomalies were strong enough in some data points, I could no longer in good conscience subscribe to OEC, YEC became a stronger hunch.

Now one will ask, “how can you be a YEC without all the facts?” First off people believe in abiogenesis and universal common descent without all the facts either!! I ask, “how did eukaryotes evolve, what about this problem, what about that problem…” The response I get is they don’t know, but they believe despite the absence of directly observable facts.

Christians believe in the return of Christ and Eternal Life. We have faith in an event without all the facts in hand. Once judgement day happens, then we’ll have the facts in hand. So too, at some point in my life, without all the facts in hand, I came to accept YEC as the more likely explanation for physical facts.

Now, unfortunately the claims of YEC are not purely theological or eschatological, they are claims that affect our understanding of physics and biology and the deep past. They are subject to empirical falsification. So unlike the claim of eternal life, YEC claims can be overturned. But, in some sense faith in YEC is like faith in a testable claim like eternal life and judgement day.

So, to Michael’s question, I’m extrapolating some of the faith I derived from my study of Quantum Mechanics and Cosmology and the miracle of the origin of life to YEC. But that’s not to say, my biases are purely philosophical, they have some bases in my interpretation of empirical facts and accepted theories of physics and chemistry.

(Blogging Graduate Student) #77

I suspect Collins would reply that he doesn’t believe in a deceptive god that would give us all this evidence of common descent and an old earth if he really created kinds a few thousand years ago.

(Salvador Cordova) #78

Snell’s law isn’t the result of God being deceiving. If one wants to believe God bends pencils when they are dipped in water, they could think, “it’s bent, God wouldn’t deceive us.” The same issue is even worse with gravitation lensing where stars apparent positions are all messed up. The nested hierarchies of biology could be interpreted as evidence of common descent or evidence against common descent.

There is a certain cellular biologists who got her PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry from an Ivy-League school. She was an evolutionist turned creationist. Her name is Change Laura Tan.

She gave a magnum opus on the difficulty of evolving eukaryotes. It think that is good evidence the Eukaryotes are miraculously created. I talked to a Christian Darwinist pre-med biology student about Tan’s work. We didn’t talk thoelogy or the Bible at all, but simply what he was learning in his biology classes. I posed a few non-threatening question to him like, “did your professors explain the mechanistic transition to spliceomal introns and the emergence of spliceosomes” or “how did chromatin and chromatin regulation evolve.” He became a creationist after one hour of discussion.

So, I don’t think God is being deceptive with the nested hierarchy any more than God is being deceptive with gravitational lensing, snell’s law, or the nested hierarchies of life.

Here is Tan’s essay. No evolutionary biologist has even put a dent in Tan’s arguments:

That’s one reason I remain at YEC, at least as far as rejecting universal common descent. The evidence for miracles of special creation isn’t overwhelming, it is hidden, but not undiscoverable for those willing to see.

“It is the glory of God to CONCEAL a matter, it is the glory of kings to search out a matter.” Prov 25:2

Concealing hidden treasures is not the same as being deceptive.

(Salvador Cordova) #79

Citation regarding Uranium:

The present-day abundance of uranium in the ‘depleted’ mantle exposed on the ocean floor is about 0.004 ppm. The continental crust, on the other hand, is relatively enriched in uranium at some 1.4 ppm. This represents a 70-fold enrichment compared with the primitive mantle. In fact, the uranium lost from the ‘depleted’ oceanic mantle is mostly sequestered in the continental crust.

Of course there is an attempt at an Old Earth Evolution rather than a Special Creation event of for the distribution of Uranium.

But I should point out, there are severe problems with the stellar origin of elements theory of the chemicals on Earth.

(Salvador Cordova) #80

As I said, I did a term paper on electrical nuclear transmutation. The paper was inspired by Walter Brown and the work of scientists on electrical nuclear transmutation. This video echoes some tentative ideas in that regard and is relevant to radiometric dating:

(Herculean Skeptic) #81

So, then, you must believe that there is some punitive effect that accompanies a denial of recent creation of life on earth? Or at least that belief in ancient life is incompatible with orthodox Christian belief?

(Salvador Cordova) #82

Not if one is a Christian.

Pascal’s Wager in YEC vs. Atheism I think is straight forward. It doesn’t apply to YEC vs. Christian Evolutionism.

Atheism, as far as I can tell, cannot practically survive from a philosophical standpoint if the Earth, Life and the Fossil Record are the correct description of history. Physical, scientific evidence that the fossil record and life are young is evidence against atheism. There is in Christian doctrine a payoff for believing in Jesus or not believing in Jesus. The payoffs are strictly speaking a separate issue from evidential arguments.