to John Woodmorappe's rebuttal
Copyright © 1997 by Steven H. Schimmrich
[Last Update: February 12, 1998]
ohn Woodmorappe posted a reply to my critique of his paper "Radiometric Dating Reappraised" in both the Talk Origins newsgroup and on the ASA mailing list server. The reply was posted to the ASA list by Allen Roy in three parts which are located in the ASA archives:
Here is my reply to Woodmorappe's rebuttal. I reproduced his rebuttal in its entirety below. The only editing was to trim the mailing list headers, delete Allen Roy's initial comments, and to format the text for HTML compatibility. This reply is subdivided into the following sections:
Woodmorappe's Initial Comments
JOHN WOODMORAPPE KATA GEOCHRONOLOGY: a Reply to Steven Schimmrich and his discussion group.
First let me say that my "discussion group" (the Science & Christianity mailing list), had no part in the writing of the critique of Woodmorappe's paper. I take full responsibility for all of it's contents.
The criticism of my work was originally at http://www.students.uiuc.edu/~s-schim/scichr/essays.woodmorappe.html
There is a typographical error here. The critique is available at:
It's also mirrored on the Talk Origins archives at:
The following response, initially presented in three parts, is not as detailed as I would like to make it. This stems from the fact that I am currently enmeshed in research and also because I want to get this on Schimmrich's net before it closes down. Before responding to Schimmrich's latest attack against my work, I would like to clarify some general matters that have commonly been verbalized in connection with this discussion.
I'm currently enmeshed in the writing of my doctoral dissertation at the University of Illinois. I've decided to take time to reply to this, not in any hopes of convincing Woodmorappe of the error of his ways, but only so that this accusations do not go unanswered and thus be given undue credibility.
Let us first consider those who bemoan the division that exists among Christians. The sad fact is that there should be no division at all. ALL Christians (and non-Christian theists, for that matter) should be 110% supportive of the truths of the young earth, six-day Creation, and global Flood. And theists with a scientific background should all be thinking and working scientifically within the framework of Creation Science and its God-affirming fulness, not the conventional God-rejecting rationalistic science (which Schimmrich imagines to be objective and value-free).
I obviously disagree as do most other Christians.
It is a pitiful sight to behold my sisters and brothers in Christ, such as Schimmrich, blindly believe and defend humanistic ideas and premises with such intensity and abject servility. It reminds me of SOME of the Christian pacificists of WWII, who were absolutely blind to all of Hitler's crimes while constantly hurling venom against the Allies for their "unChristian" attitudes and conduct.
I obviously disagree and find your comparison odious.
I find it amusing to see members of Schimmrich's group complain about the intensity of my responses in view of the scurrility of their own remarks (see below). Then again, perhaps some of these people are bullies/crybabies combined: they love to punch others but run home to mama in tears if someone punches them back. And everyone should know by now that I don't put up with any crap from anti-Creationists.
They complained about your lack of civility which is amply demonstrated here. In regard to your punching back comment, may I recommend reading the words of our Lord in Matthew 5:39.
In science, when you publish your ideas, especially controversial ones, they're fair game for criticism. Your comments are unnecessarily insulting.
Typical of anti-Creationists, Schimmrich name-calls those who disagree with him (e. g., "anti-intellectual" and "pseudo-scientists"). In doing so, he is parroting the humanist line on science--plain and simple. In actuality, the true intellectuals are the Scientific Creationists, who value science without making an idol out of it, and recognize and discard the rationalistic presuppositions that govern science.
Let's keep the discussion on my critique please. I did not use the terms "anti-intellectual" or "pseudo-scientists" in the critique so your quotes around them are misrepresenting what I wrote. I did, however, write that your paper was a "typical example of pseudoscience" which I still believe to be true.
What about the issues? For those who do not want to wade through a lot of technical detail (below), I will now provide a summary: As in the previous discussion around Christmas, Schimmrich imagines that he can rescue isotopic dating from its fatal flaws by nickel-and-diming my work to death with various technicalities, most of which are trivial, irrelevant, or just plain WRONG. And, as shown below, Schimmrich once again does a masterful job of obscuring the issues with geologic sophistry. Or, as Creationist (and former oil-exploration geologist) Jill Whitlock put it even better, Schimmrich is a very skillful dancer in getting around the real issues.
Let's discuss the "real issues", shall we?
For all of Schimmrich's professions of loving scientific accuracy, and of his constant accusations of me misrepresenting cited authors, he egregiously misrepresents my own work in many places. For instance, and as discussed below, he accuses me of ignoring such things as local geology, the trend of glauconite dates in Evernden's work, advances in technology, etc. The fact of the matter is that ALL of these issues have been discussed in my work, and why I find them utterly unconvincing as support for the validity of isotopic dating. Yet Schimmrich deftly ignores all this in order to create and then bravely destroy a straw-man of my work.
I encourage people to read your paper, read my critique of your paper, refer to the primary literature referenced in my critique, and draw their own conclusions.
As far as scientific methodology is concerned, it should be obvious that any system (in this case, isotopic dating) that requires constant subsidiary hypotheses to escape its problems is seriously flawed, and should be rejected. This is all the more true when one considers the subjective nature of all geologic interpretation. The more I study geology and do field work, the more obvious to me becomes the fact of how uniformitarians read interpretations into the rocks more often than they read information out of the rocks. Schimmrich simply repeats the geologists' rationalizations as facts, and imagines that the fatal flaws of isotopic dating go away because of them. The truth of the matter is that the selective manipulation of isotopic dating results, given by cited authors, are convincing only the those who already buy into the uniformitarian system of geology and all of the mental boxes that it entails.
A lot of rhetoric, let's get to the examples...
A useful idea for Sshimmrich: Send me to any place on earth and give me a little time to study its geology. Then throw some darts at a chart with numbers which depict the age indicated by the results of isotopic-dating results. I will soon come up with a geologically-plausible and intellectual-sounding interpretation of them that would do Schimmrich proud.
Let's talk about your paper and my critique of it...
One type of ad hominem remark that I have faced is the charge that I reject isotopic dating on the basis of my belief in the young earth. That is patently false. In none of my works do I advocate the rejection of these dating methods on the basis of my convictions. I advocate their rejection on the basis of their own fatal flaws, and layer upon layer of special pleading involved in their use by conventional uniformitarian geologists.
I never said this in my critique. I would like to discuss your paper and my critique of your paper.
I must, in all fairness, compliment Schimmrich for his skill as a clever spinmeister. He would do President Clinton proud. Schimmrich should have no difficulty getting a good job after May 1997. If the humanists are smart, they will recognize what a useful tool he is for them, and will hire him with good compensation. Of course, Schimmrich would be very happy in such a position, as he would be constantly surrounded by humanists who think just like him (and vice-versa).
A gratuitous insult.
Now let's get to the charges:
Finally! The only problem is that he now talks about someone named Jim Moore!
(Jim Moore) After reading the paper, I was impressed with the hoops that creationists like Woodmorappe go through to try to overturn geology (or _any_ science for that matter.)
(Reply) The real hoops are jumped by the uniformitarian geologists, who have invented an astonishing and unending array of excuses to cover up the transparent failures of isotopic dating as a whole. Later, I will expose the hoops which Schimmrich himself goes through to burlesque my work.
(Jim Moore). They must quote out of context, use out-dated references as if they were current best knowledge, and generally lie, yes LIE
(Reply) Same age-old anti-Creationist drivel and, once again, easily shown to be false (see below). The most unvarnished mendacity comes from compromising evangelicals, who tell us they are Bible believers when they are actually no less steeped in rationalism than the card-carying atheistic humanists. At least the humanists are honest about their preconceptions. The grotesque contortions of Scripture which compromising evangelicals engage in, all to torture the Bible into agreeing with humanist-derived theories and worldviews, is so transparently absurd as to go beyond mendacity. Despite this, the capitulating evangelicals say, without batting an eyelash, that they believe in the Bible and even in Biblical inerrancy. If I were to engage in comparable mendacity, I could subject the Bible to equally ludicrous contortions so that I could later say, in good conscience, that it teaches exactly the same material as a phone book.
BTW, disagreement with isotopic dating, and with the geologic gymnastics employed by the cited authors, is NOT lying. To the best of my ability, I would never lie about such a matter.
(Jim Moore) Hmm, maybe his MS is Master of Speciousness.
(Reply) And to listen to members of Schimmrich's group accuse me of name-calling. What a farce.
(Jim Moore) "Why do I support this sort of chicanery?"
(Reply) THAT is the question to ask of any objective person who believes in isotopic dating and all of its pretensions. Especially evangelicals, who are supposed to think somewhat differently from atheistic humanists.
(Jim Moore) non-Christian behavior
(Reply) The very AUDACITY of infidels, having rejected and villified the truths of Christianity, to presume to pass judgement on Christians. And for compromising evangelicals, who openly play the harlot after rationalism, to actually possess the UNMITIGATED GALL of accusing Creationists of "unChristian behavior". Reminds me of Joseph Goebbels (Nazi minister of propaganda) complaining about the Allies being ruthless masters of genocide.
I don't know who Jim Moore is or why Woodmorappe is including these comments here. These statements were never posted to the Science & Christianity mailing list (contact the author for complete copies of the archives). Therefore, I will not reply to these comments since I don't know who wrote them, where they were written, or in what context they were written.
Note, however, yet another reference to Nazis.
Woodmorappe's Comments Regarding: The Author
(Begin Schimmrich text) The reprints from the Creation Research Society Quarterly appear unusual in this respect since mainstream scientific journals routinely print the author's professional affiliation and a contact address.
(Reply) If it was not for the anti-Creationist and anti-Christian bigotry that is so common in academia, the CRSQ would not need to do what it does, and pen names of Scientific Creationists would not be necessary. BTW, if it makes Schimmrich any happier, my latest CRSQ article does contain a contact address.
Pen names are very unusual in the scientific literature and I believe that pen names should always be identified as such to avoid misleading people.
(Schimmrich) He evidently does have a legitimate M.S. degree in geology from a secular university with which he's still affiliated and has published a couple of papers in mainstream geologic journals under his real name.
(Reply) So Schimmrich insinuated that I was a liar for claiming these qualifications, and, evidently much to his surprise, has now found out for himself that I was not. By contrast, I could never imagine myself accusing Schimmrich of lying about his present affiliation with th University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Much as I disagree with him, I respect his word.
I don't hide behind a pen name. My publications all include my affiliation with the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois. My e-mail has UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) in the domain name. Why would there be any reason to doubt I work here? [Note: I am currently teaching geology at Calvin College - SHS 8/20/98]
Let's face it, some young-earth creationists have misrepresented their credentials. I was doing you a favor by sharing the fact that you have a legitimate M.S. in geology from an accredited university. Note that I also had the courtesy of not publicly "outing" you since I don't believe it would have been appropriate.
(Schim) so I haven't been able to find any evidence that he currently teaches science or is a research fellow at any university.
(Reply) So evidently Schimmrich has not learned anything, and still thinks that I am a liar. Oh well, if it brings him cheer, let him go right ahead.
Where do you teach and at which university are you a research fellow? I did some research and could not verify these claims and shared that information. I'm not necessarily implying anything other than the fact that you're secretive about who you are and where you work which is very unusual in geology.
Woodmorappe's Comments Regarding: Introduction
(Schim) While I would strongly disagree that discrediting radiometric dating would in any way support the occurrence of a geologically-recent global flood
(Reply) Schimmrich is putting words in my mouth. I had NEVER claimed that simply discrediting isotopic dating would IN ITSELF support a young earth, much less a global Flood. Instead, freeing geology from the myth of the old earth, and of past geologic ages, would allow the Flood to shine through as a part of an alternative geology (Diluvialism).
That statement of mine appeared immediately after the following quotation from your paper (p. 102):
Once divested of all the time claims imposed upon it, the fossiliferous rock testifies to the Noahchian Deluge, and all life (fossil and extant) is then mutally contemporaneous as is demanded by a literal six (24 hr.) day Creation.
I stand by my statement.
(Schim) Here I agree with the author, radiometric dating techniques are best understood in their geologic context. Unfortunately, I will provide evidence that Woodmorappe presents most of his examples devoid of any meaningful geologic context.
(Reply) My not buying into authors' geologic rationalizations stems from the fact that I am utterly unimpressed by them, not because I am ignoring what the authors are saying or trying to misrepresent what they believe! And Schimmrich is ignoring (or lying) about the fact that I DID discuss geologic contexts (pp. 114-115) in some detail, and why they do not even provide an internally-consistent excuse for the countless failings of isotopic dating.
You reported hundreds of isotopic dates without ever discussing their geologic context by simply listing much of your data in a table without comment. I gave examples in my critique of several cases where you did not discuss the geologic context in which the data was collected.
Woodmorappe's Comments Regarding: General Criticisms
(Schimmrich) Secondly, throughout the paper, Woodmorappe rhetorically refers to young-earth creationists as Creationist-Diluvalists and, one assumes, anyone who disagrees as either evolutionist-uniformitarians or simply uniformitarians -- terms I believe most geologists would take issue with given the common misrepresentations by young-earth creationists of the term "uniformitarianism" first popularized by James Hutton in his 1788 Theory of the Earth (Shea, 1982).
(Reply) Hogwash. I invite the reader to read any elementary geologic text and see that conventional geologists call THEMSELVES uniformitarians. While this term DOES have a variety of meanings, ALL conceptions of uniformitarianism, whether the classical Huttonian one or modern ones, share in their preconception of "the inviolability of natural law." This is a code word for the rejection of God, on a priori grounds, as a causative agent in the earth's past. Yet compromising evangelical geologists are so eager to buy into this transparently atheistic system of thought which underpins all of modern geology.
I don't call myself a uniformitarian. It's only young-earth creationists who use that label on geologists. The "elementary geologic texts" you refer to discuss the concept of uniformitarianism, and refer to the conflict between uniformitarians and catastrophists in the late 18th century, but I think it would be difficult to find any modern geologist who applies that archaic label to themselves today (at least not without a lot of qualifications).
Also the phrase "inviolability of natural law" is not a part of the definition of uniformitarianism. It's a philosophical statement that, as a Christian, I myself would reject.
(Schimmrich) My third criticism is Woodmorappe's use of rhetoric in general. other geologists is highly inflammatory rhetoric not normally seen in the scientific literature.
(Reply) Again I hear Goebbels complaining about the Allies being masters of genocide. Again, whatever strong words I have used are kid stuff compared to the vile, scurrilous, and slanderous terms used by the humanists and the evangelicals who obsequiously serve them. And while Schimmrich's wording is clever and not overtly inflammatory, it certainly is so in the falsehoods it conveys about my work.
Yet another odious comparison to the Nazis.
(Schimmrich) For example, Woodmorappe claims that age data is routinely "explained away" (p. 102) or "rationalized away" (p. 113), that some age values are "arbitrarily" accepted or rejected as true (p. 113), that anomalous dates are not reported in the scientific literature (p. 114), that some geologists have "fudged" Rb- Sr isochrons (p. 118 & 120), and that geologists "cover-up the basic failure of the paradigm" (p. 123) of radiometric dating.
(Reply). I substantiate all of these claims of mine with facts. And the more arrogant and dogmatic are the uniformitarians about the virtual-certainty of the old earth and of the dating methods which "prove" it, the more forceful I will be in demonstrating the contrary.
Your choice of words are uncivil and unchristian, in my opinion.
(Schimmrich) The general tone throughout the paper is that geologists who use radiometric dating are often intentionally dishonest in their handling of the data.
(Reply). This misreads my work. Let us recognize that geology is highly interpretive. As for fraud in science, everyone would agree that reporting experimental data that does not exist is fraud. But most scientists would view the SELECTIVE reporting of data as a gray-area of science and not usually dishonest. Personally, I don't consider selective use of isotopic data to be dishonest in itself, but I do consider the dogmatic claim of the reliability of these methods (by humanists and capitulating evangelicals) to be close enough to dishonest.
I agree that selective reporting is dishonest. That's why I believe that your paper is dishonest since it very selectively reported data on radiometric dating and misrepresented the work of the scientists who performed these studies.
Like I said before... I encourage people to read your paper, read my critique of your paper, and refer to the references I cite in my critique. Let them make up their own minds.
(Schimmrich) Finally, a major general criticism of this paper is its sheer magnitude and its superficial treatment of data.
(Reply) Naturally, an overview cannot be too detailed. Then again, Schimmrich evidently supposes that presenting a lot of geologic detail, (and, of course, interpretation based on uniformitarian preconceptions masquerading as fact) will somehow make the glaring and fatal flaws of isotopic dating go away.
I would like to refer readers to the example presented in my critique from Hurley, et al. (1960). This is an example of Woodmorappe presenting data devoid of any geological context.
(Schimmrich) In my opinion, Woodmorappe would have had a much stronger paper if he simply confined himself to a detailed discussion of what he believed to be the dozen or so strongest examples discrediting a specific technique of radiometric dating as it's applied to a specific rock or geologic environment.
(Reply) There is value in BOTH overall reviews and detailed, individual studies. While I have done the former, other Creationist geologists (Austin, Snelling, etc.) have done the latter.
I would call your "overall review" a shotgun approach. You presented a large number of examples of what you believed to be problems with many different methods of radiometric dating, from the Precambrian to the Cenozoic, using a multitude of minerals and rock types, yet, and here is the important point, only discussing them in a superficial way if at all. I don't believe this to be a useful approach.
Woodmorappe's Comments Regarding: Specific Criticisms
Woodmorappe now moves on to discuss the specific examples I used to illustrate problems in his paper. Note how he totally skips Examples 1 (McKee & Noble) and 2 (Wasserburg & Lanphere) and jumps right into Example 3 (Adams, et al.). I find this interesting since Examples 1 and 2 discuss egregious misquotations by Woodmorappe.
(Schimmrich) This problem was first recognized by Compston and Jeffery (1959), and overcome by the invention of the isochron diagram (Nicolaysen, 1961). So, we have Woodmorappe citing a 1958 paper as evidence against radiometric dating because an anomalous age was reported
(Reply). Schimmrich is correct on this technicality. But this fact does not validate Rb-Sr dating one bit, because (needless to say) the isochron methods (which do not assume an initial ratio) have their own flaws. And these flaws cannot be wished away by focusing on the state of knowledge in 1958, because papers on fallacious isochrons appear in the literature of the mid-1990's. Again, Schimmrich has shown himself a master of confusing the issue: raising red herrings about old papers while cleverly tiptoeing around the REAL issue (the constant stream of disregarded isotopic-dating results, including Rb-Sr ones, which continue TO THIS VERY DAY).
Refer to Example 3 (Adams, et al.)...
This is not just a technicality. I demonstrated that Woodmorappe used an invalid example that does not support his thesis and that he should have known at the time he wrote this paper that the example was invalid. Woodmorappe is the one attempting to confuse the issue.
BTW, Schimmrich's reference to me citing "20-30 year old papers" is disengenous. My paper was written nearly 20 years ago (written in 1978, published in 1979). And many of the papers first published about 1960 were still cited in summaries written in the 1970's as current knowledge). What about my 1979 paper in the light of 1990's knowledge? Most (though not all) of the material written in my 1979 paper is still valid, and an update paper I am now working on will show that the flaws of isotopic dating are just as real in the 1990's as they were in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's (if not more so). So all of Schimmrich's emphasis on 1960-publications is another of his red herrings.
I addressed this very issue in my critique when discussing Example 3 ( Adams, et al.)! There is a difference in science between an old paper and an obsolete paper. Some old papers are still perfectly valid citations while others are obsolete because of advances in knowledge or, especially in the case of radiometric dating, in technology. I documented the fact that Woodmorappe cited several obsolete (not just old) studies in his paper.
Will Woodmorappe acknowledge any errors in his 1979 paper when he publishes his update?
Schimmrich also conveniently fails to mention that, in the late 1950's, very dogmatic claims were made about isotopic dating being an "absolute age". Uniformitarians have since been forced, by the sheet mass and variety of rationalizations used, to backpedal from this term.
Quite honestly, I'm not sure since I'm not very familiar with the radiometric dating literature of the 1950s (I wasn't born yet!) and Woodmorappe give no reference so it's difficult for me to address this accusation.
Schimmrich is also insinuating that I have ignored advances in the technological aspects of isotopic dating. Had he read my work more carefully, he would have seen that I have discussed just that (p. 102, near the very beginning of my paper). I pointed out that most discrepant results CANNOT be blamed on the relatively poor technology of the late 1950's as compared to that of the late 1970's (when my paper was written). To add to the irony of Schimmrich's false accusations against my paper, I also had pointed out (p. 102) that the scatter in dates has INCREASED in spite of major advances in isotope-dating technology.
I simply refer the reader to my quotation from Dicken (1995) in the discussion of Example 3 (Adams, et al.).
(Schimmrich) Therefore, this data point does not, in any way, support Woodmorappe's thesis that present-day techniques of radiometric dating are unreliable.
(Reply). Whoopee! But what have the proponents of isotopic dating gained by it? Some of the problems of the isotopic dating of early years have been solved, but MANY MORE new ones have taken their place. Again, Schimmrich is misrepresenting my work by implying that I am purposely focusing on old papers. A cursory look at the bibliography of my 1970 work shows that most of the cited papers were from the 1970's.
I found a mistake in Woodmorappe's paper. The example he cited does not support his thesis. His response is sarcasm and obfuscation.
Apart from this, discoveries and advances work both ways. They solve some problems of isotopic dating, only to create new ones. For instance, a few decades ago, the closure temperature for igneous minerals was thought to be well-established, and in a narrow range. More recent evidence which I will cite in my update will show that this seemingly-established fact is a gross oversimplification at best.Who discovered this "gross oversimplification"? Young-earth creationists or mainstream scientists? Science advances and as it does our techniques become increasingly accurate and reliable. Far from discrediting science, this is one of it's greatest strengths!
(Schimmrich). Example 4 - Hurley, et al. All this shows is that the mineral glauconite may be unsuitable for radiometric dating because it loses argon. It hardly shows that radiometric dating, in general, is fundamentally flawed.
(Reply). Laughably misleading. Glauconite dating is not the ONLY form of isotopic dating. Isotopic-dating results from igneous minerals have THEIR OWN FLAWS, which I discuss. BTW, the controversy over glauconite dating continues to this day, and geochronologists are divided as to its suitability. Again, the flawed results do not go away as a result of improved technology, nor as a result of more recently-published papers!
Refer to Example 4 (Hurley, et al.)...
Yes, the sedimentary mineral glauconite is difficult to date. No geologist would, or has, claimed otherwise. The difficulty in dating one particular mineral with one particular dating method (K-Ar) has no bearing on radiometric dating as a whole.
(Schimmrich) Woodmorappe quoted from what is now an obsolete source.
(Reply). Hogwash! The most recent studies, using the most sophisticated methodology now available, continue to show frequent anomalous results from glauconite. So it is NOT a problem ONLY from the early 1960's. BTW, Schimmrich earlier stated that glauconite may not be suitable material for dating, and now he implies that more modern techniques have overcome these problems. He cannot have it both ways. If a material does not act as a closed system, no amount of technical advances will read a putatively correct date from it. And, as shown in an upcoming update-paper, improved technologies also generate a new set of rationalizations invoked to cope with unwanted results.
Woodmorappe is missing the point here. Go to Example 4 (Hurley, et al.), and read my quotation from Odin (1982). Improved geochemical techniques and a better understanding of glauconite formation allows us to better evaluate the reliability of K-Ar dates from glauconite. It's still a difficult mineral to date.
(Schimmrich). Example 5 - Neumann. This paper is a compilation of earlier studies performed in the 1950s when these techniques were first being developed. According to the author, much of the data was out of date already by 1960.
(Reply). "Out of date" is a relative term. If I remeasure the isotopes from a rock using 1990's technology and compare it with results from the measurements using 1950's technology, and get a "bad" result both times, then the advance in technology is completely irrelevant. Again, Schimmrich is trying to divert attention from the continuing flaws of isotopic dating (which most certainly DID NOT END in 1960!) by citing a few papers which I included from the late 1950's and early 1960's. Never mind the hundreds of papers that I cite from studies which were indisputably up-to-date as of 1979 (when the paper was written).
Refer to Example 5 (Neumann)...
Let me remind the reader that the author of the paper from which Woodmorappe extracted dates to use in support of his thesis stated quite clearly that much of the data in the paper was already out of date by 1960. Woodmorappe didn't share that bit of information with his readers and simply presented the dates in his data table as evidence against radiometric dating in 1979. This is not honest.
(Schimmrich). Example 6 - Evernden But they go on to argue that it can be used if the samples are collected carefully with regard to their geologic history
Reply. More misleading doubletalk, or lies, from Schimmrich. As noted in my 1979 work, no matter how carefully samples are collected, and screened for seeming unalteration, results that need to be rejected still routinely occur.
Refer to Example 6 (Evernden)...
Woodmorappe ignores the discussion by the author where he spends some time outlining the factors which are detrimental to the accuracy of K-Ar dates from glauconites.
(Schimmrich). As a matter of fact, Dalrymple and Lanphere use the data from Evernden, et al. (1961) to create a figure, reproduced below, illustrating this very fact:
(Reply). Schimmrich's beautifully-drafted figure, shown in color, again confuses the issue, AND ITS USE IS A PATENTED FALSEHOOD, as shown in the ensuing reply.
On the contrary, I believe it beautifully clarifies the issue. That's why is was included in Dalrymple & Lanphere's (1969) included it in their textbook on K-Ar dating!
(Schimmrich). This is most emphatically not an example of errors in radiometric dating! As a matter of fact, the K-Ar method worked exactly as expected (argon is lost from glauconites with increasing depth of burial) and this data poses absolutely no problems for geologists.
(Reply). Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. If Schimmrich had practiced what he preaches about accurately citing authors, he would have seen that I discussed this matter. Far from ignoring what Evernden believed, I had pointed out (p. 114) that, while Evernden felt that deeply-buried glauconites will give results too-young, Holmes believed the exact opposite: deeper-buried glauconites would actually be MORE RELIABLE. Why is Schimmrich lying (yes, lying) about me ignoring such things as Evernden's ideas, and the depth of glauconite burial?
That one sentence is not a "discussion" of the matter. A discussion in a scientific paper reports exactly what the author of the paper stated and then clearly states your point-by-point objections to those statements. A discussion is not a one sentence dismissal of the author's paper.
Based on these contradictory opinions on glauconite reliability, I could throw darts at a chart, and explain geologically, on an after-the-fact basis, whatever "results" I got!
More meaningless rhetoric.
(Schimmrich). Another reason, besides simple burial, for argon loss in glauconites, is heating due to tectonic activity.
(Reply). Yes, and the presumed effects of heating due to tectonic activity can be invoked to occur whenever they are conveniently needed to explain away any unwanted result. Why is Schimmrich telling lies about me ignoring these matters? Had he read my 1979 paper more carefully, he would have seen that I had dealt with this matter in considerable detail. I had shown that heating events are frequently invoked even when there is no evidence for such a history based on the rock sample, petrographic examination of slides, or even regional geology.
Not for this particular case. My critique examined, in detail, individual examples from Woodmorappe's paper. For this example, Woodmorappe did not in any way discuss heating events, petrography, or regional geology. This data was simply reported in Table 1 without comment.
And for all of Schimmrich's mendacious protestations about me resting my arguments on out-of-date studies, I cited Morton and Long's research (1978, very much up to date in 1979) which had clearly shown that "bad" glauconite results CANNOT be unambiguously attributed to such things as former deep burial, tectonic effects, etc. So why is Schimmrich lying through his teeth about my treatment of glauconite results?
I never claimed that Woodmorappe ignored the topic. I claimed that he presented data from Neumann in his data table without discussing the details of this data. The details of this data show an excellent correlation with depth of burial and argon loss. Woodmorappe superficially dismisses all of this data by referring to yet another paper which, once again, he did not discuss in any meaningful way.
(Schimmrich). Once again, there are absolutely no problems here for geologists.
(Reply). Of course not. When it comes to isotopic dating, there never are. ANY result can be explained-away on an after-the-fact basis with justification cited from some aspect of local or regional geology. In this particular instance, justification was relatively strong. Others are weak, as noted above, and in more detail in my paper.
If the justification was so "relatively strong," why is Woodmorappe arguing so vigorously against it?
However, even arguments for disregarding isotopic results based on obvious tectonic effects are internally inconsistent. Again, had Schimmrich spent more time studying my work instead of making a straw man of it, he would have seen that I HAD discussed tectonic effects on isotopic results in some detail (pp. 114-115). I had shown that, as if to spite the rationalizations of uniformitarians, unexpected "good" isotopic results turn up even when the rock is from a geologic environment obviously affected by heating from nearby intrusions, tectonic events, weathering, etc.
I wish Woodmorappe would stick with the examples I discussed rather than referring the reader to other examples. It's like saying "Well, this example you looked at may not be so good, but what about this one over here!" I will stick with the examples discussed in my critique since Woodmorappe literally gave hundreds and I can not discuss each and every single one of them in a reasonable amount of time.
(Schimmrich). Why didn't Woodmorappe discuss the 40 glauconite dates listed in the data table of this paper that were well within 10% of the expected geologic age?
(Reply). Simple. Why on earth should I believe SOME results when so many others are explained away. Again, the web of rationalizations available to geologists is so extensive and so frequently invoked that it deprives ALL of the isotopic results of credibility. And why does Schimmrich first say that the 1960 papers are obsolete, and berate me for mentioning them, and now he is USING THEM HIMSELF (by implying that the "good" results from these very "obsolete" papers should be accepted?) Is he not engaging in EXACTLY the type of special pleading which is TYPICAL of geochronology: we are too make nothing of the "bad" results because the studies were done about 1960, and are now obsolete, and yet we are to make something out of the "good" results!
If you're going to discuss a paper, discuss the entire paper. It's not honest to selectively pull data out of a paper, without even indicating that it's actually a subset of data, and then present it to support a thesis.
(Schimmrich). At most it shows that one should be careful when dating buried glauconites with the K- Ar method which is something that geologists already know (and is
(Reply). Poppycock. Again, all of the care in the world which geologists use, to this date, does not prevent the constant appearance of inconsistent and obviously not-credible results. And why is Schimmrich repeating falsehoods when he knows (or should know, at least if he wants to give an opinion on it) that careful selection of glauconite results does NOT guarantee their supposed reliability?
I stand by my statement.
(Schimmrich). Example 7 - Lyons & Livingston What reason do the authors give for omitting MK 37-73 (p. 1809)?
(Reply). You can always think up of a reason after-the-fact. And if the point did not belong on the isochron for geologic reasons which Schimmrich thinks are obvious, why was it placed there in the first place? Only to be rejected AFTER the result was obtained? It was clearly a trial balloon. But then again, so are all isotopic results.
Refer to Example 7 (Lyons & Livingston)...
I still believe Woodmorappe had a duty to discuss the author's reasons for omitting the data point before claiming that they "fudged" the data! That's a serious accusation.
(Schimmrich). The basic question is: Is there any basis for the omission of the MK 37-73 data point from the isochron or is it just done to "fudge" the data to obtain a more favorable result?
(Reply). Of course, any basis can be "found" afterwards. And anyone familiar with the construction of isochrons for dating knows that there is considerable subjectivity in deciding which of the rocks were co-magmatic (a necessary assumption to have an ostensibly-valid isochron). This subjectivity increases as one must include rocks of ever-different petrological composition in order to have a useable spread of isotopic ratios (so that an isochron can be constructed). So the opportunity for fudging constantly exists because you can always later reject points (and convincingly justify their exclusion) on an after-the-fact basis, if the desired result is not obtained.
Woodmorappe should have discussed the author's reasons and refuted them. Instead he merely made the slanderous accusation that they "fudged" the data without any discussion of the geologic context.
(Schimmrich). Woodmorappe may very well disagree with this interpretation, but if he accuses the authors of "fudging" data he has a responsibility to at least discuss it and to explain why he disagrees.
(Reply). If Schimmrich had bothered to read my paper more carefully, he would have seen that I have done exactly what he berates me for not doing! My reason, then and now, is the fact that all of these interpretations are on an after-the-fact basis. Again, these isochrons had been constructed as trial balloons.
Woodmorappe discussed generalities and made accusations against other authors. He did not discuss the specifics of the paper by Lyons & Livingston.
If the geologic grounds for not including points on an isochron (which Schimmrich has spent so much time prattling about) had been followed, the isochron would not have been constructed in the first place, and there would have been nothing to discuss!
Discussing the geologic context of the paper is "prattling"?
(Schimmrich). Example 8 - Dott & Dalziel Fair enough, they simply decided to test, using radiometric dating, the commonly held assumption that the two sequences were correlative since similar assumptions in the past had been incorrect.
(Reply). Granted that there had been errors in lithologic correlation of PreCambrian rocks. But the fact remains that the authors still felt that the age-equivalence had been COMPELLING. (to use Dott and Dalziel's very words, which cannot be obfuscated by false charges of me quoting out of context). (BTW, I have done field work on these rocks, and agree with the extreme similarity of these lithological sequences). So the isotopic results still contradicted what the best evidence appeared to show. And that is far from the only example of isotopic results contradicting common-sense geology! (see my 1979 work for many more examples.)
Refer to Example 8 (Dott & Dalziel)...
I've seen those rocks and my advisor and one of his students have worked up there as well. Precambrian rocks are often difficult to correlate in the field and some past correlations have been incorrect as the authors document. That's why they wanted to use radiometric dating to test this hypothesis.
(Schimmrich). the limits of the method's sensitivity and would therefore be unreliable. There were clearly defined reasons for considering the age to be problematic.
(Reply). Again, an isotopic date that is a trial balloon. It shows how geochronologists want to have it both ways. First they say that low-potassium results will be of questionable reliability, then they go ahead and date the rock anyway. If they like the result, they will make nothing more of the low-K and at least provisionally accept the result. But, as in this case, if they don't like the result, they can always fall back on the line that this result is untrustworthy anyway because of its low K-content. Very scientific, this popping of isotopic-dating trial balloons.
No. Geochronologists say the results may have large margins of error but we're going to try anyway since the margins of error may not be too large and since poor data may be better than no data at all. The authors discussed all of this in detail in their paper. Woodmorappe discussed none of these issues in his.
And low-K content is another of Schimmrich's red herrings. The fact is, there are plenty of "bad" results which have high K-levels.
We're talking about this particular paper and Woodmorappe is throwing in an unsubstantiated red herring.
(Schimmrich). What about the spread of K-Ar and Rb-Sr dates from 1.1 to 1.6 b.y? Yes, the dating yielded a range of values, but a range of values was expected since the rocks had been subjected to metamorphism.
(Reply). Yes and no. Again, had Schimmrich bothered to read my 1979 work more carefully, he would have seen that I had discussed this issue. I had showed that, while metamorphism was known and a spread of results was expected, in some cases this spread of values has taken on an absurdly-large range.
Once again Woodmorappe is confusing the issue. He discussed this by referring to other papers, not in referring to the paper by Dott & Dalziel or by discussing the geologic context of Dott & Dalziel's paper in any detail.
(Schimmrich). I believe that Dott and Dalziel (1972) have made a compelling case for the Baraboo sequence being younger than the Animikie sequence
(Reply). Just the opposite. Schimmrich is clearly the one who is misrepresenting the cited authors! As noted earlier, Dott and Dalziel had first believed, as appeared to be common-sense geology, that the Baraboo and Animikie Sequences had been contemporaneous. They had even used the phrase "SEEMINGLY COMPELLING," which usually is considered a strong confidence in accuracy. It was only AFTER the isotopic results came in that they came up with a geologic justification for the isotopic results having given such differing ages for the two sets of sequences.
No, I don't believe I'm misrepresenting the authors. Dott & Dalziel would not have wasted time checking the correlation with radiometric dating if there wasn't some suspicion that they weren't actually correlative. I would refer the reader to Dott & Dalziel's paper to evaluate if Woodmorappe or I are more fairly representing their position.
(Schimmrich). While more work needs to be done on these rocks, Woodmorappe has little basis for simply ignoring the data and dismissing their work with a sarcastic comment.
(Reply). On what planet has Schimmrich been reading my paper? My argument is based on the similarity in lithologies and sequence, not sarcastic comments.
I would call Woodmorappe's following rhetorical question sarcastic (p. 122):
Are rocks of such similar composition and lithostratigraphy really separated by hundreds of millions of years of time, or is radiometric dating a delusion?
Let the reader decide.
(Schimmrich). A more fair characterization of this data would be to say that the validity of a marginal isochron was reevaluated by Higgins (1973) in light of more recent geologic fieldwork. This interpretation, however, wouldn't support Woodmorappe's insinuations that geologists arbitrarily toss out radiometric age data.Refer to Example 9 (Higgins)...
(Reply). Well, OK, let's go along with Schimmrich's reasoning. Is anything changed in terms of the original arbitrary rejection of data? Does a formerly-yellow car that has now been repainted red stop having once been a yellow car? Ridiculous. The fact that these authors LATER went back and came back with some sort of ostensibly-plausible geologic explanation for it does not change IN THE SLIGHTEST the fact that they had in fact first summarily rejected it as a "meaningless" result when it suited their then-current preconception to do so.
One needs to discuss the geologic context in which the author, and others, made this decision. Woodmorappe did not do this and his selective quotation from Higgins' paper was therefore misleading.
(Schimmrich). Example 10 - Forman. First, Woodmorappe directly implies that Forman was reluctant to provide a certain date yet Forman only states that the date was "a little untidy". I fail to see how Woodmorappe can ascribe that motive to Forman given the text of the above quotation.
(Reply). My point RE:Forman was to show a preconception of wanting agreement with previous results. I thought that scientists were supposed to accept all data that comes in and not label disparate data as "untidy".
Refer to Example 10 (Forman)...
You slanderously stated that Forman was "reluctant" to provide a certain date which is in no way supported by Forman's own words.
(Schimmrich). Secondly, Woodmorappe draws from this example, the grand conclusion that there is a tendency among researchers not to publish discrepant results.
(Reply). Horsedump! The fact that geologists don't publish discrepant results is supported by THE ENTIRE SET OF PARAGRAPHS (especially the Mauger quote), which clearly demonstrates that many if not most discrepant results go unpublished. (And, BTW, in case Schimmrich has any plans of doing so, let him spare me the Glen Morton canard about me quoting Mauger out of context).
We don't have Mauger's paper in our library so, to my dismay, I can't check this out. If Glenn Morton states you quoted Mauger out of context, however, I'm inclined to believe him!
(Schimmrich). not here providing evidence for that assertion and totally ignored is that fact that all of Woodmorappe's data comes from the published scientific literature! If it wasn't for geologists reporting all of their data, even if it isn't tidy, Woodmorappe would have had nothing to write about.
(Reply). So asinine as to be hardly worthy of a reply. I was not claiming that ALL discrepant results go unpublished, just that some or most of them do not.
And how on earth would Woodmorappe know this if they're unpublished?
Woodmorappe's Comments Regarding: Conclusions
(Schimmrich). Selective quotations from the scientific literature
(Reply). Bunk. I had provided a variety of uniformitarian opinions in the field of isotopic dating. On the other hand, Schimmrich falsely accused me of things like ignoring Evernden's conclusions. Just who is being "selective" in a mendacious sense???
I gave concrete examples of Woodmorappe providing selective quotations whose end result, if not intent, was to mislead the reader about the author's study. I can only refer readers to my critique.
To the extent that the quotes I use actually are selective, the fact that they exist at all indicts isotopic dating. The truth of the statements I cite does not go away merely because they are "selective" or because Schimmrich does not like them. If I were to quote from Hitler's MEIN KAMPF by "selectively" citing his anti-Semitic statements while ignoring all of the many other topics which Hitler discussed, could I (following Schimmrich's logic) be accused of "selective" quotation in trying to prove that Hitler was an anti-Semite?
I really do find all of these Nazi comparisons obnoxious. My wife (whose father's family is Jewish) and I both had relatives who had to flee Europe due to the rise of the Nazis. One can disagree with someone, especially a brother or sister in Christ, without constantly comparing their position to that of the Nazis!
(Schimmrich). quoting people out of context to make your point is generally frowned upon as being dishonest.
(Reply). Will I ever see the day that anti-Creationists stop repeating this mendacious crap? Or need I remind Schimmrich or his admirers just how egegriously out-of-context Schimmrich's own treatment of my paper has been!
You'll see that day when you cease the practice.
(Schimmrich). Ignoring well-known limitations of dating methods. It's a well-known fact that not all rocks and minerals are suitable for radiometric dating and that not all radiometric dating methods are suitable for all geologic samples. An analogy I like to use is that of a wooden yardstick
(Reply). Another one of Schimmrich's transparently bogus red herrings. Where did I ever claim that all materials were suitable for isotopic dating? And it is the "suitable" materials (such as micas) that give "bad" results not much less frequently than the "unsuitable" ones (such as K-feldspars). The existence of discrepancies is a matter of degree, not kind (as Schimmrich is falsely implying).
In Woodmorappe's paper, criticisms of different dating techniques, different minerals and rocks used in radiometric dating, differently-aged rocks and minerals, and different geologic settings were all thrown together without any serious discussions of these differences. Woodmorappe will disagree and state that he did discuss them but I would reply that he only mentioned them in a superficial way and did not substantiatively discuss these issues.
Compare Woodmorappe's discussion of anything with any textbook on radiometric dating to note the differences in the quality and depth of the discussions.
(Schimmrich). Similarly, there are some geologic samples for which the K-Ar method doesn't work very well (because they've lost argon due to heating) yet the Rb-Sr method works perfectly well.
(Reply). Ridiculously misleading, and irrelevant. As I showed in my 1979 paper, there are also many cases where BOTH the K-Ar and Rb-Sr results are disregarded. Yet how are we to evaluate Schimmrich's statement above? By supposing that the K-Ar result is wrong and the Rb-Sr result is correct. How convenient.
Woodmorappe again is avoiding the issue. These dating methods have been evaluated by careful studies (dating samples at different distances from a pluton, for example, to demonstrate how minerals lose argon with proximity to the hot pluton). Refer to Dalrymple & Lanphere's book Potassium-Argon Dating (1969, W.H. Freeman) for detailed discussions of these issues.
(Schimmrich). How did geologists discover this and quantify it? By carefully testing and comparing the various analytical techniques and coupling their observations with laboratory experiments and theoretical models of things like argon diffusion in biotites.
(Reply). As noted earlier, completely misleading. Analytical techniques and diffusion models do not accredit isotopic dating.
They quantify the possible errors in radiometric dating. How is this misleading?
(Schimmrich). Woodmorappe, throughout his paper, lists examples of these early tests and claims that the discordant dates reported are examples of why radiometric dating is invalid. They are nothing of the sort. They are instead examples of how geologists refine and test their
(Reply). Bunk! Schimmrich has not shown one iota of evidence why the "good" results should be accepted. All he has done was repeat geologists' INTERPRETATIONS of data as fact. And, once again, discrepancies continue TO THIS DAY, and most of the papers I cite for my 1979 paper come from the 1970's. So, much as Schimmrich would like to confuse the issue and divert attention from the glaring flaws of isotopic dating, let him get off his "early papers" fiddle-faddle.
I stand by my statement.
(Schimmrich). and the following data, taken from a search on GeoRef, shows the explosive growth in the number of scientific papers published on four radiometric dating techniques for each decade between 1950 and 1990 (this graph also indicates the growth in our knowledge of these radiometric dating techniques).
(Reply). I suppose that Schimmrich thinks that the audience will be impressed by the beautiful graphics and the steeply-rising curve. And to think, that just a moment ago, Schimmrich had something to say about not confusing quantity over quality. As will be shown in my update work, discrepant results continue to this day, and the most modern analytical techniques have NOT reduced the proportions of "bad" results. So the explosive growth in numbers of dating results, shown in Schimmrich's pretty graphics, MEANS NOTHING. It is just another red herring.
They should be impressed with the number of studies utilizing radiometric dating techniques.
Your statement that most modern analytical techniques have NOT reduced the proportions of "bad" results is unsubstantiated and I don' believe it to be true.
(Schimmrich). The use of a small data set to reach sweeping conclusions At first glance, Woodmorappe's paper looks quite impressive with over 350 entries in his data table of allegedly anomalous dates and over 400 references to the primary literature. Even if all 400 or so of Woodmorappe's examples, however, came from separate studies (which they don't), and even if all of Woodmorappe's examples are problematic (which I think I've shown is false), we can compare that against more than 10,000 papers published on four popular radiometric dating techniques alone up to 1980 (and some techniques, such as 40Ar/39Ar dating, aren't even included on this graph). In other words, Woodmorappe has only referenced, as a rough approximation, less than 4% of the studies and, on this basis, concludes that all radiometric dating is invalid.
(Reply). Schimmrich's statements are so transparently asinine as to border on stupidity. Who said, first of all, that my list as of 1979 even pretended to be exhaustive? And how could we draw conclusions in view of the fact that, much as Schimmrich may try to deny it, most discrepant results go unpublished? And why would Schimmrich have us believe his implication that there are no discrepant results in the "mountains of papers" he notes that came out after 1979? Finally, how would we "know" a discrepant result much of the time even if we see one? Had Schimmrich read my work carefully, he would have noticed (p. 113) that most igneous bodies have wide biostratigraphic brackets. Therefore, the vast majority of igneous bodies could have yielded a tremendous diversity and range of isotopic dates without any of them contradicting biostratigraphic evidence, and thus being labelled anomalous. Of course, by now, the geologic rationalizations are so facile that geochronologists hardly notice them anymore. They don't ask if a particular isotopic result is valid, they just ask if the result is a crystallization age, a cooling age, a rejuvenation age, etc., without questioning these sacred-cow methods themselves.
I never claimed your treatment was "exhaustive" just that it only represented a very small subset of all the studies and do not support your sweeping generalization that radiometric dating is invalid.
(Schimmrich). The lack of an appropriate audience The biggest problems I see with these claims is that organizations like the Institute for Creation Research (which published Woodmorappe's book) aim their literature at laypersons. Most non-geologists simply wouldn't be able to evaluate the claims made in this book so it's left to people like me
(reply). A pure, unvarnished lie. Schimmrich is again insinuating that I am a liar, having supposedly written a book intended to fool laymen, and to take advantage of their geologic ignorance. As shown throughout this reply, Schimmrich is the one who has made a stream of misleading and false statements that sound very intellectual at first glance but turn out to be poppycock when closely examined. And, in case it matters, quite a few professional geologists have read my work and endorse most of it.
The ICR does indeed aim much of its literature at laypeople, who are not necessarily qualified to judge the scientific issues. Studies have shown that approximately 94% of adult Americans are scientifically illiterate and I believe organizations like the ICR capitalize on this (Science, 1986, 243, 600).
Who are these professional geologists? I'm guessing John Morris (who, as Glenn Morton has pointed out, while calling himself a geologist is actually an engineer) and Steve Austin (read a brief critique of his book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe). Which geologists, outside of the ICR fold, support and endorse your work?
(Schimmrich). claims don't stand up to detailed scrutiny by people who are familiar with the relevant geologic literature.
(reply). I doubt if uniformitarians would ever question the sacred cows of the old earth in general and isotopic dating in particular. Individual results, yes, but the overall methods, no.
I wish I could scientifically prove that the earth was young. It would earn me a Nobel Prize!
(Schimmrich). problematic results in geochronology? No, and I'm sure Woodmorappe even listed some real problems for radiometric dating along with his non-problematic examples (although I would argue that they represent a very small minority of results).
(Reply). I would love, for once, to see concrete proof for this oft-repeated claim by the apologists of isotopic dating.
I'm not going to do all the work. Why don't you compile a listing of Rb-Sr and Ar-Ar dates for meteorites for the past 10 years and we'll talk about them.
(Schimmrich). are what increase our knowledge of the natural world (which is why we understand radiometric dating far better now than we did 40 years ago!).
(Reply). Another misleading appeal to technical advances, which I had dealt with. And increasing "understanding" of radiometric dating implies more varied, diverse, and clever rationalizations than were invoked before.
Characterizing increasing knowledge of isotope systematics as "clever rationalizations" clearly demonstrates Woodmorappe's own preconceived biases.
Woodmorappe's Comments Regarding: A Personal Note
(Schimmrich). A Personal Note. used radiometric dating in my research to date. I have no vested interest in the methodology used by my fellow geologists.
(Reply). What a laugh. He is as blind to the fallacies of uniformitarianism as a deer is in headlights of a vehicle at midnight.
Yet another gratuitous insult.
(Schimmrich): community. I too believe in Genesis 1:1, but there is simply no credible evidence that the earth is less than 10,000 years old (and a lot of credible evidence that it's around 4,600,000,000 years old) or that there was a geologically-recent global flood.
(Reply). Judging by his servile adherence to uniformitarianism, I doubt if he would recognize either of these things if they grabbed him by the throat and hit him over the head. I too am a geologist by training, and I see PLENTY of evidences against current uniformitarian views and FOR Creationism.
I'd like to know if Woodmorappe ever does fieldwork and, if so, where? I would be happy to take him into my field area and would love for him to try to explain how the Devonian Helderberg strata in the Hudson Valley of New York are 4,000 year-old "flood" deposits.
(Schimmrich): of Genesis rather than the historicity of the Gospels, has harmed the cause of Christ by making Christians appear foolish and by making it very difficult for scientists and those who value reason and truth to accept Christianity.
(Reply). WILL I EVER SEE THE DAY THAT COMPROMISING EVANGELICALS STOP REPEATING THIS UTTERLY BASELESS CANARD?
Not that it will matter to Woodmorappe, but I would like to say that the term "compromising evangelical" used several times in this response is unnecessarily insulting.
Many geologists I've worked and socialized with laugh at Christianity because of the ridiculous ideas espoused by young-earth creationists.
I also value reason and science, but NOT rationalism and scientism, as the compromising evangelicals do. And compromising evangelicals are not teaching the Word of God, but a prostitution of the Word of God which is designed to fit the prevailing rationalistic worldview.
I do not support rationalism or scientism either. How can any Christian support scientism?
Quite honestly, I believe it's young-earth creationists who misrepresent the Word of God by forcing a literal reading on certain passages of Scripture.
By the way, I have witnessed to hundreds of people on campus and have met NOT ONE who made Creationism an excuse for rejecting Christ. And why should anyone, when there are so many stock excuses available (e. g., the Inquisition, the real or imagined hypocrisy of churchgoers, the "exclusiveness" of Christianity, how a loving God could send anyone to hell).
Just try making this claim on the Talk Origins newsgroup! I have met people who have stated that they could never embrace Christianity because of it's perceived anti-intellectualism.
On the contrary, many people have been LED TO CHRIST as a result of Creationist ministries, which is all the more impressive in view of the fact that few of the Creationist messages have been openly evangelistic in nature.
That's due to God's grace, not the false message of young-earth creationism.
Finally, if Schimmrich is so desperate about making Christianity intellectually respectable, why does he not reject the truths of the Gospel and become a full-blown modernist? After all, by far most of the intellectual community whose admiration he so craves do not accept the miracles and Resurrection of our Lord any more than they do the miraculous Creation of the world several thousand years ago. And exactly the same rationalistic worldview that has its incarnation in standard uniformitarian geology is the same one that denies the truths about our Lord. When will compromising evangelicals come out of their mentally and spiritually schizophrenic condition?
I would no longer be a Christian if I were to reject the Gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:14). By the way, by rejecting the clear teaching of Scripture about the truth of a flat, geocentric earth, have young-earth creationists begun the slide down that slippery slope as well?
(Schimmrich): Those who teach young-earth creationism to Christians should keep in mind the warning given in James 3:1 and remember what our Lord said about those who lead His sheep astray in Matthew 18:6.
(Reply). To hear compromising evangelicals cite these verses, to me, is something that is somewhere between hypocrisy and blasphemy. First of all, how is it that these cafeteria evangelicals cite Scripture against Creationists when they themselves selectively deny Scriptures by their ludicrous contortions of it? Reminds me of the blatant hypocrisy of those who tried Paul for violating the Law, and, in violation of the Law, ordered him struck (Acts 23:3).
What's blasphemous is equating young-earth creationism, a man-made interpretation of Scripture, with the Gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, in view of the fact that the Lord Himself taught the Creation and Flood, I think that misusing His warnings (concerning false teachings) as a weapon AGAINST the supporters of the truth (modern Creationists) borders on blasphemy.
Who denies creation? I don't. I just deny that it was done 6,000 years ago! We obviously disagree on what Jesus was indeed teaching.
(Schimmrich). Christians should have a reputation for being scrupulously honest, not a reputation for playing fast and loose with the truth. [AMEN!!!]
(Reply). Amen from Woodmorappe also. When will Schimmrich stop confusing the false uniformitarian worldview as truth? And when will he admit his lies about my work? Until he does, I do not wish to hear any more of his prattling about scientific and personal integrity. He of all people has nothing to say about these matters.
I don't believe I lied about Woodmorappe's work. My critique is publicly available for all who want to read it and compare it to his paper.
(Schimmrich). arguments are well reasoned, persuasive, and thoroughly documented, I would only recommend this paper as a typical example of pseudoscience
(Reply). Here we go again. Anyone who does not buy into science as defined by humanists is labeled a pseudoscientist. Well, like it or not, I am a scientist, and am no less I scientist because I refuse to fall down before the idol of anti-supernaturalism. From God's viewpoint, the rationalistic, anti-God preconceptions which govern uniformitarian geology are pseudoscience PAR EXCELLENCE. How sad that Schimmrich and other compromising-evangelical geologists are so devoutly willing to follow it--hook, line, and sinker.
I labeled the work pseudoscience because it fits the classic definitions as such.
CONCLUSION: Schimmrich's clever red herrings, and outright falsehoods about my work, do not whitewash isotopic dating at all. Enough time spent on Schimmrich's anti-Creationist garbage.
I stand by my critique. Please don't take my or Woodmorappe's word on this issue. Read Woodmorappe's original paper, read my critique of his paper, and then read the references I cite in support of my claims. Make up your own mind.
A Final Note
It's unfortunate that this exchange has become so personal and bitter. I would like to say that, while I did intend to criticize his paper (a valid exercise in science), I did not mean to degrade or denigrate Woodmorappe personally. I would also like to ask him to tone down his rhetoric since I do believe it to be excessively abusive and insulting.
I would like to close with a heartfelt prayer for unity and peace...
Dear God, grant us the grace to love and respect our brothers and sisters in Christ despite our sometimes bitter disagreements. Take away all hatred and strife and whatever else hinders us from glorifying you. We know there is but one Body, one Faith, one Spirit, one Lord, and one God and Father of us all. Unite us in heart and soul, in a holy bond of truth and peace, so that we may with one mind and mouth glorify You, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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