Earth Science Associates
Creation's Tiny Mystery
Debate over the origin of man is as much alive in the eighties as it was during the famous Scopes trial of 1925. A 1991 Gallup Poll found the public about evenly divided between belief that God created man within the last 10,000 years and belief in some form of evolution. At the very heart of the question of the origin of man is the matter of the origin of the earth.
How did the earth arrive at its present condition? Was it through slow, random, evolutionary changes? Or is there evidence the earth was called into existence by an infinite Creator who is above and beyond His creation? This book deals with these questions as I tell of my efforts to unlock the secrets of nature hidden with the Precambrian granites--the foundation rocks of the earth.
According to modern evolutionary theory, our planet originated from the accumulation of hot, gaseous material ejected from the sun, and the Precambrian granites were among the first rocks to form during the cooling process. University science courses convinced me that the evolution of the earth was just a part of the cosmic evolution of the universe. As a result I became a theistic evolutionist. Years later I began to re-examine the scientific basis for that decision. My thoughts turned to the age of the earth and the Precambrian granites. Were they really billions of years old? The supposed proof of their great age involved certain concentric ring patterns found in the granites. Under the microscope a tiny radioactive particle could be seen at the center of the rings, like the bullseye at the center of an archery target. These microscopic-sized ring patterns became known as radioactive halos because of their radioactive origin and their halo-like appearance.
Adventure in Science
My enthusiasm for pursuing reseach on radioactive halos began over two decades ago while I was teaching and working toward a doctorate in physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. I was informed, however, that the age of the earth had already been scientifically determined, and it was not something the physics department wanted to have re- investigated. Concerns were expressed that I might find something which would conflict with the accepted evolutionary time scale, and this could be a cause of considerable embarrassment to Georgia Tech. Since the outlook for my research on radiohalos was unfavorable, my plans for completing the doctorate program there were forfeited.
Working at home, I used a microscope to search for radiohalos in thin, transparent sections of granite-type rocks. One spring day in 1965 I was pondering over some special types of halos; there seemed to be conflicting requirements as to their origin. According to evolutionary geology, the granites now containing these special halos had originally formed as hot magma slowly cooled over long ages. On the other hand, the radioactivity responsible for these special halos had such a fleeting existence that it would have disappeared long before the magma had time to cool and form the granite rocks. I wondered over how this baffling problem would be resolved.
As I peered into the microscope to view these tiny halos again, some profound questions flashed through my mind: Was it possible that the Precambrian granites were not the end product of slowly cooling magma, but instead were the rocks God created when He spoke this planet into existence? Were the special halos the Creator's fingerprints in earth's primordial rocks? Was creation a matter of science as well as faith? I determined to explore these questions.
My quest to find the ultimate meaning of these special halos has involved financial uncertainty, disappointment, and failure. But mostly it has been exciting, rewarding, and always challenging. More than once I have experienced the high adventure of scientific discovery.
My goal, then, was clear: to pursue an investigation of these halos with the aim of publishing definitive results in well-known scientific journals. I felt the scientific community needed to examine my work prior to presenting it to nonscientists as evidence of creation. My investigations would require expensive research equipment, and the prospects of gaining access to such equipment seemed dim. There was no laboratory space save that carved from a small room in my house and no equipment but a borrowed microscope. Even the granite-type rocks used in my studies had been borrowed from a university in Nova Scotia. Personal funds were almost nonexistent. At the time I could not visualize where this meager beginning would lead in the future.
Though I was an unknown in the scientific community when my research began, a few years later a way opened for me to affiliate for one year as a guest scientist at one of America's national research laboratories. Exceptionally cordial relations were established, and my stay was extended for thirteen years until June 30, 1982. During that time the laboratory's facilities were accessible for all phases of my research, including work on the special radiohalos.
The story behind these investigations, some of which provide evidence for a worldwide flood and young earth, is related in the pages of this book. It provides a behind-the- scenes account of the events surrounding the publication of over twenty reports in notable scientific journals. And it reveals how the scientific establishment reacts when one of its superstatus theories is threatened.
Creation on Trial
The book also details the last year of my guest appointment at the national laboratory, when I was faced with one of the most difficult decisions of my life: whether or not to testify as an expert witness in the 1981 Arkansas creation/evolution trial. The friendship and good will I had established with other scientists over the years were at stake, as was the opportunity to continue my research at this laboratory. As the trial drew near, a number of prominent evolutionists persisted in declaring that scientific evidence for creation was nonexistent.
It seemed the time had come for this claim to be publicly examined. I decided to confront the issue by testifying for creation at the Arkansas trial. There my work would be scrutinized by renowned scientists. They would have an opportunity to expose any flaws. If the special halos in Precambrian granites were not evidence for creation, they should be able to provide an alternative explanation--one which could be scientifically verified. But if the evidence for creation could withstand the scrutinity of some of the world's leading evolutionists and remain untarnished, this scientific truth should not remain hidden from the public.
At the trial, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued against the Arkansas law requiring balanced teaching of evolution and creation science. They contended that creation science is religion in disguise because there is no scientific evidence for creation. All their science witnesses, including a world authority in geology, agreed to this view before the court. Under cross-examination the Deputy Attorney General probed this geologist's testimony and asked whether he could explain the special halos in the granites. He responded that I had found a "tiny mystery" which scientists would someday solve.
This was a moment I had long waited for--a moment of truth. By postponing the day of reckoning to the indefinite future, one of the world's foremost geologists had deftly sidestepped a major confrontation with the evidence for creation. Yet press reports carried virtually no mention of this event. Moreover, after widely publicizing the evolutionary witnesses' testimony during the first week of the trial, some of the nation's leading newspapers let my testimony fade into oblivion as the trial drew to a close. When my testimony began, some of the media representatives actually left the courtroom.
In other instances the media reports, especially those in various scientific magazines, dealt a fatal blow to my hopes of continuing research at the national laboratory. One prestigious science journal denied me the privilege of correcting a misleading account of my testimony--an action that had far- reaching effects on my research endeavors.
The aftermath of the Arkansas trial was a difficult period, one of those times marked by apparent failure. The ACLU had convinced the judge that my results were irrelevant to the creation/evolution issue. I went to the trial to settle the question of whether valid scientific evidence exists for creation. Yet my presence there had produced only an admission that I had found "a tiny mystery." The scientific press generally cooperated with the ACLU and their expert witnesses in writing my scientific obituary. My search for truth wasn't over, but my contributions to science seemed destined to remain entombed in obscurity.
Then some other thoughts occurred to me. The trial had been the crucial test of the scientific evidences for creation. Indeed, those evidences had stood unrefuted after the most critical examination. Like nothing else could have done, the trial had shown that creation does have a scientific basis. I began to realize that the secrets locked within the granite rocks--the secrets until now hidden within earth's invisible realm--provided the key which unlocked the scientific truth about the origin of the earth and humankind as well. I sensed this information might be of considerable import to the millions of individuals on this planet who are ardently searching for truth about their roots and their destinies. Thus the impetus for this book was born out of the ashes of my apparent defeat at the trial.
Creation Science: A Cause for Investigation?
During the Arkansas trial I listened carefully for any new, irrefutable evidence for evolution--such as the synthesis of life from inert matter. During a news conference there I remarked, if this were accomplished, evolution would again be acceptable to me. My intent is not to disparage the evolutionists who advised and testified for the ACLU, but I do question whether their mind sets even allowed them to consider that they might be scientifically wrong.
As Americans, the ACLU and others have the right to oppose the teaching of creation science in the public schools; likewise, I have the right to believe that if the public schools are going to teach about origins, they ought to teach the unvarnished truth about both views. If there is unambiguous scientific evidence that one view is true, this should not be kept secret. Under our form of government, citizens may advocate whatever position they choose as far as the Constitution and the courts allow. But is it ethical for the scientific organization which is mandated to officially advise the Federal Government to unfairly represent the case for creation science in order to maintain preferential treatment of evolution in the public schools? I refer to the most esteemed scientific organization in America--the National Academy of Sciences.
In the spring of 1984 the Academy released a booklet "Science and Creationism, A View from the National Academy of Sciences" (National Academy of Sciences 1984). On page two the booklet describes the Academy as a private, self-supporting organization of distinguished scientists which was chartered over a century ago by the U.S. Congress to advise the Federal Government in matters of science and technology. In its official role, the Academy had a double responsibility to act in the highest traditions of science and objectively examine the scientific merits of all evidences for creation. But a prerequisite for this undertaking required that the Academy be open-minded on this issue. The booklet contains a declaration which unmistakably reveals its position:
...The hypothesis of special creation has, over nearly two centuries, been repeatedly and sympathetically considered and rejected on evidential grounds by qualified observers and experimentalists. In the forms given in the first two chapters of Genesis it is now an invalidated hypothesis. ...
Under the guise of defending intellectual freedom and the integrity of the national education system, the Academy has clearly impugned the scientific integrity of the Bible. If special creation, as described in Genesis, has truly been "rejected on evidential grounds" and "invalidated," as the Academy says, then the Academy should provide the basis for these claims, or else tell where such evidence can be found. But the Academy's booklet fails on both of these counts. Instead, it arbitrarily promotes the view that certain scientific results confirm the evolutionary model, without mentioning all the uncertainties connected with those results. Throughout the booklet plausibility arguments based on questionable assumptions are used to support the evolutionary scenario. In its official capacity as the designated adviser to the Government in matters of science, the Academy has done its utmost to promote evolution as truth. Doubtless there are many who believe that meritorious recognition should be given for this action. History may even record that the timely publication of their booklet was one of the Academy's greatest achievments.
The other possibility is that the Academy will gain lasting fame in history for having opened its own Pandora's box. From the economic standpoint, if genuine scientific evidence for creation has been published in leading scientific journals and if the Academy has ignored this evidence while extolling evolution as the only truly scientific theory of origins, should not there be an investigation of this matter? The potential cost for negligence in advising the Government of this information could be enormous. For example, millions of dollars are granted annually by government agencies to fund a variety of evolution- oriented research projects. One well-funded effort concerns attempts to synthesize life from nonliving matter. All such research is based on the fundamental evolutionary assumption that in the distant past life began spontaneously, by chance. However, valid scientific evidence that the earth was created shows the evolutionary scenario to be wrong, and the belief that life began by chance crumbles. Taxpayers have a stake in learning whether the Academy has tried to maintain the status quo of evolution by remaining silent about evidences for creation. And Americans have more at stake in this issue than their money, almost none of which is used to investigate the scientific basis for creation.
The National Academy of Sciences and Academic Freedom
The format of the Academy's booklet--by excluding a fair presentation of the evidences for creation--suggests the Academy wished to secure the condemnation of creation science solely on the basis of the eminent scientific reputations of Academy members. Using private funds, the booklet was distributed gratis to numerous public school officials and legislators across America (36,000 to high school superintendents and science department heads, and 9,000 to U.S. Congressmen, governors, and other influential Americans). Clearly the Academy has assumed a leadership role in the growing movement to maintain the exclusive teaching of evolution in public school science courses.
Americans need to be aware of what this action of the Academy means in terms of one of their most cherished heritages. By using authoritarian measures to promote evolution as truth and creation science as error, the Academy seems to have directly contradicted itself on intellectual freedom. How did this happen?
On April 27, 1976, eight years before its booklet on creation science was published, the Academy adopted a magnificent resolution, quoted below, which aptly represents what America stands for--the freedom to express minority views without fear of repression:
This Affirmation is a marvelous statement of conscience. It focuses attention on the plight of many dissident foreign scientists who might otherwise have been forgotten. We would expect that influential scientists, especially Academy members, would be foremost in adhering to its principles. It is tragic that this prestigious organization, which espoused such high ideals in defense of dissidents, would subsequently advocate a plan that could adversely affect the lives of many school-aged Americans.
In its Affirmation the Academy urges that those who search for truth should do so under our right of freedom of inquiry and expression. Does this include public school students in America? Does the Academy believe they have the right to ask, to probe, or to critically inquire about creation science without fear of recrimination from their teachers? After their teachers inform them that "the Academy states unequivocally that the tenets of 'creation science' are not supported by scientific evidence," how many students will now ask about it? The few who might venture to do so will now run the risk of being ridiculed because of the invidious comparison which Dr. Frank Press, President of the Academy, makes in his Preface to the booklet:
...Teaching creationism is like asking our children to believe on faith, without recourse to time-tested evidence, that the dimensions of the world are the same as those depicted in maps drawn in the days before Columbus set sail with his three small ships, when we know from factual observations that they are really quite different. (National Academy of Sciences 1984, 5)
The thrust of Press's innuendo is clear. He insinuates that creationism, equated in the booklet with the first two chapters of Genesis, is a deception which ignores demonstrable scientific evidence. Thus, Press's judgment comes close to insulting those Americans who accept the scientific validity of the Genesis account of creation. It is difficult to conceive of a more effective method of intimidation than for a teacher to quote the above statement in answer to any question about the scientific merits of creation.
Later in his Preface,
Press confirms his unalterable faith in evolution:
The theory of evolution has successfully withstood the tests of science many, many times. Thousands of geologists, paleontologists, biologists, chemists, and physicists have gathered evidence in support of evolution as a fundamental process of nature. Our understanding of evolution has been refined over the years, and indeed its details are still undergoing testing and evaluation. For example, some scientists currently debate competing ideas about the rate at which evolution occurred. One group believes that evolution proceeded in small, progressive stages evenly spread throughout the billions of years of geological time; another group believes that there were alternating periods of relatively rapid and slow changes throughout time.
If, as Press claims, the debate centers only on how evolution took place, rather than whether it occurred, in effect the Academy has decreed that creation must be false. Therefore, students have no choice but to accept evolution in their science curricula. Is this suppression of inquiry consistent with the principles of academic freedom for students? Or is it an example of how those in authority can repress an unpopular belief? Some may think that teachers in free America would never attempt to intimidate students for questioning evolution. Unfortunately, this environment existed thirty years ago when I was pursuing my university studies, and as this book reveals, it still exists. The widespread distribution of the Academy's booklet, reflecting the views of confirmed evolutionists, can only be expected to make it worse for conscientious, inquiring students who will not be cowed by proclamations issued by the Academy.
What causes those in the National Academy of Sciences and others, who are confirmed in their evolutionary convictions, to be so entrenched in their views? Perhaps the reason can be found in the following considerations:
Staunch evolutionists are convinced that their theory must be essentially correct because numerous pieces of scientific data from astronomy, geology, and biology seem to mesh naturally to form the beautiful mosaic of evolution. What is often overlooked is that the evolutionary mosaic is actually held together by a glue known as the uniformitarian principle. In reality this principle is only an assumption that the cosmos, including the earth and life thereon, evolved to its present state through the action of known physical laws. If the uniformitarian principle is wrong, then all the pieces in the evolutionary scenario become unglued, and the mosaic disintegrates. This principle, then, is crucial to the overall concept of evolution.
But valid, scientific evidence for creation would contradict the uniformitarian principle. The billions of years postulated for the earth to evolve from some nebulous mass would evaporate when confronted by evidence of an instantaneous creation. The age-dating techniques thought to establish a great age of the earth would be invalidated. The essential time element needed for the geological evolution of the earth and the biological evolution of life on earth would vanish. Thus, unambiguous evidence for creation would devastate the entire evolutionary scenario.
At the Arkansas trial, creation and evolution met in a direct confrontation. The ACLU had the grand opportunity to discredit the evidence for creation. They failed to do this. Instead they minimized the significance of the special halos by having them labeled a "tiny mystery." This ploy was so successful that the judge mimicked the ACLU position--using the term "minor mystery"--when he rendered a verdict favorable to evolution.
As effective as this strategy was in winning the court battle at Little Rock, the court of world opinion has yet to give its verdict on the creation/evolution controversy. This verdict will be rendered in part by those who read this book. In arriving at their decision the reader might reflect on another facet of the label "tiny mystery," not considered by the ACLU. In itself each of the special halos is very tiny; smaller still is a single atom. But enough atoms combined can make a mountain. Likewise, the trillions of "tiny mysteries," embedded in basement rocks all over this planet, together form Creation's Tiny Mystery--a Gibraltar of evidence for creation.
By the end of this book the reader should have in hand sufficient information to decide whether the National Academy of Sciences is correct in claiming that special creation is an invalidated hypothesis--or whether the Creator chose to leave positive evidence of creation, thus showing that it is the evolutionary hypothesis which is invalid.
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