You are cordially invited to investigate a wide variety of arguments for a young earth, a number of arguments against the radiocarbon dating method, several arguments disputing the authority of the geologic column, and some points of general interest. Our course will closely follow the section of Dr. Hovind's Creation Seminar Notebook entitled "Facts from Science that Demonstrate the Universe is Not 'Billions of Years Old'" and will be amplified by material from his video presentations. Unfortunately, Dr. Hovind's "'proofs' of a young earth" are either brief assertions or outline headings which I have had to flesh out based on my knowledge of young-earth creationism. Dr. Hovind's assertions (paraphrased according to my best understanding of them) are followed by my rebuttals which are labeled for easy reference.
Preface and Acknowledgments
"Scientific" creationists boldly proclaim that, contrary to 200 years of scientific opinion, the physical evidence favors an age of the earth in the neighborhood of 6000 years. No miracles are needed, they say, to arrive at this biblically inspired figure. If the number of popular books written, lectures delivered, and debates staged conferred any degree of truth to an idea, "scientific" creationism would be taught today in every science classroom in America!
The scientific debate, of course, was settled long ago in favor of an old earth. Nevertheless, a belligerent crusade is kept alive in the public forum by the "scientific" creationists. I use quotations here because real scientists look at the data first and then determine if their hypotheses will fit in. The "Scientific" creationists, however, begin with their interpretation of the Bible which may not be questioned. They look at the data and decide whether or not the data will fit in. Supporting data are collected; contradictory data are assumed to be incomplete or erroneous. That is not science!
The scandalous truth, which is unknown to much of the public, is that the arguments of "scientific" creationism are not only bad but shockingly bad. Some of their most popular arguments have rested solely upon obsolete data! Misrepresentation of the data are commonplace. Discrepant data are routinely ignored! In short, there is a wholesale lack of professional scientific integrity among the "scientific" creationists. (It is usually a case of creationists copying from each other or indulging in wishful thinking rather than outright dishonesty.) This wholesale lack of integrity, resulting in bastardized science, has no place in our public classrooms!
This exposé was initially written for the May 1994 Babinski-Hovind debate on the age of the earth; it examined Dr. Kent Hovind's list of 30 young-earth "proofs," which are so typical of those offered by young-earth creationists over the last few decades. Other topics were also examined, and some additional material has since been added.
I wish to thank Edward T. Babinski for proofreading this manuscript as well as offering some good arguments and sound advice. Ed, formerly the editor of the Theistic Evolutionists' Forum, an activist for common sense with irons in various fires, will likely be heard from more and more as the years go by.
I wish also to thank Dr. Alan Hayward, Dr. Stephen Brush, Dr. Arthur Strahler, Daniel Wonderly, Dr. Eugenie Scott of The National Center for Science Education, Dr. Laurie Godfrey, the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Stanford University Press, and Kalmbach Publishing Company (the publisher of Astronomy and other fine magazines) for permitting extensive use of their material.