Petrified Ideas of the Williston Basin Part II: Fossil Wood
Michael Oard and Peter Klevber
“Petrified forests” are common tourist attractions, invariably used to promote uniformitarian thinking. One well-known example is in Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, North Dakota, U.S.A. The petrified wood is contained in various strata of the “Paleogene” Fort Union Group in the Williston Basin, but in the park primarily in the lower Sentinel Butte Formation. This formation exhibits much evidence against uniformitarian hypotheses but which fits well with the Genesis Flood. The site shows laterally extensive and vertically limited horizons containing fossilized tree trunks, divorced from fine roots and branches, with no discernible rooting medium such as paleosols, and closely associated with bentonite, iron oxide, and coal. The stratigraphy and sedimentology of the area bespeak continuous, rapid deposition and powerful currents. The uniformitarian scientists also have the problem of how silicification occurs prior to the more rapid normal decay process typical of the supposed swamps which are the interpreted depositional environment for the Fort Union. Burial of vertical trees sinking from log mats and rapid silicification associated with volcanic activity during the Bibilical Flood (responsible for the bentonites) is a more plausible explanation
Dr. Benjamin Rush: Christian Patriot, Scientist, and Physician
Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745–1813) was a leading founding father of the United States of America. He received the best medical education available in his day. Dr. Rush patriotically served his new nation both in peacetime and war. As a pioneer in physical and mental health, he was respected on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout his long and useful life, Rush was a devout Christian who treasured the Holy Scriptures as God’s Word. Much of the foundation for his medical and benevolent activities he learned from the first chapters of the book of Genesis, which he believed were composed of actual, historical people and events. This article examines the scientific and medical genius of Dr. Benjamin Rush and his Christian faith that guided his research and life.
Statistics, Baraminology, and Interpretations: A Critical Evaluation of Current Morphology-Based Baraminology Methods (open access)
Harry Sanders and Matthew Cserhati
Baraminology has been a hotbed of creationist research for the last two decades. Dozens of studies have been published, most using a single methodology, called BDIST. However, there has yet to be a thorough evaluation of the methodology, though a few have raised concerns about its results. This paper reviews the body of work for the most popular statistical baraminology method and finds that it depends on numerous false assumptions and is prone to deliver false results. The method is characterized by evolutionary assumptions and a lack of critical evaluation of the secular literature. Creation science needs to pursue a more accurate method of determining baraminic relationship. Several ideas are suggested, as well as potential revisions to the dominant methodology that might help it return more accurate results.
Pinniped Molecular Baraminology
Matthew Cserhati and Emory Moynagh
Pinnipeds are a group of semi-aquatic animals which live on land, but hunt for food in the water. As such, they constitute an apobaramin, similar to bats, which are the only flying mammals. Differentiating between seals (Phocidae), sea lions, fur seals (Otariidae), and walruses (Odobenidae) is therefore an interesting task for baraminology. A morphology-based baraminology study showed discontinuity between phocids and all other pinnipeds. Hybridization results also show that many different phocid genera are capable of interbreeding. Using a gamut of molecular baraminology tools, the mitochondrial DNA, whole genome sequences and proteomes of several dozen pinniped species were studied. The analysis of mtDNA sequence similarity shows that Phocidae, Otariidae, and Odobenidae form their own distinct groups The whole genome analysis shows discontinuity between Otariidae and Phocidae and also Odobenidae. However, discontinuity between Odobenidae and Phocidae is not so clear. Looking at differences in gene content shows discontinuity between Otariidae and the other two pinniped groups. Discontinuity also exists between Odobenidae and the majority of phocids, except for Leptonychotes weddelli. However, a closer examination of orthology groups unique to L. weddelli, Odobenus rosmarus, and the outlier species, Mustela erminea, show that L. weddelli shows continuity with phocids, whereas O. rosmarus shows discontinuity with this group. Ultimately, the morphological evidence, hybridization data, and the results from the molecular baraminology analyses support three separate pinniped holobaramins at the level of the family. There also appear to be several phocid lineages in the subfamily Monachinae, based on mtDNA analysis, such as Lobodon, Mirounga, and Monachus.
Inflation, the Multiverse, and the Creator
The physical constants of the Universe are fine-tuned to support life, and a design inference logically follows. One can avoid this inference under the assumption that cosmic inflation has produced an inflationary multiverse comprising many universes, a few of which possess the conditions requisite for life. Thus this article first reviews the presuppositional bankruptcy of naturalism and then examines the scientific merits of both inflation and its consequent multiverse, as well as of the hypothesis that a quantum fluctuation produced the Universe. We find that, besides the a priori failure of naturalism in general, the hypothesized scenario is in tension with fundamental principles of science and functions rather as a modern origins myth.