The History of Life
by Lane P. Lester, Ph.D.
It has often been claimed that the evolution-creation controversy is a conflict between science and religion. This is given as a primary reason for keeping the creation alternative out of the science classroom. But the two powerful ideas of evolution and creation cut across the academic disciplines of science, religion, philosophy, and history. Both are developed from the findings of scientists and are appropriate subjects for science classes. However, both go beyond the capabilities of science and require a measure of faith from their proponents. Although there are variations in both the evolutionist and the creationist camps, the controversy can be simplified to state that either evolution is true or creation is true. To eliminate one is to confirm the other. Many writers have concentrated on exposing the fatal weaknesses of the evolutionist position, thereby showing that creation is the superior scientific model. But rather than follow this same approach, I would like to provide a positive statement of the creation alternative and give you some of the evidence supporting it. I'll frame this in two somewhat simplified statements, one about the origin of life and one about the origin of species.
The Wisdom of Saving Wisdom Teeth
Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.
Evolutionary theory concludes that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors, and in the process the jaw became smaller, leaving less room for the third molars. This conclusion was a major factor in the common past dental practice to remove relatively healthy wisdom teeth during adolescence. Recent empirical research has shown that this practice is unwise and often needless. Third molars in general should be left alone, and if a problem develops, they should be treated as any other teeth.
Polytropic Model of the Universe
J.K. West, Ph.D.
The universe is either expanding or it is not. If it is expanding then the Big Bang may have been the cause. If it is not expanding then the Big Bang did not occur. In recent literature, there has been a significant number of objections and problems concerning the Big Bang. In this work, a non-expanding polytropic model of the universe is presented that can account for many of the observations previously attributed to the Big Bang, and some observations that cannot be explained if the Big Bang did occur.
Bangs Canyona Valley of Boulders
Edmund W. Holroyd, III, Ph.D.
Large boulders of Dakota sandstone are strewn completely across a broad valley in Bangs Canyon in western Colorado. The boulders near the bases of the sandstone cliffs at the valley sides form talus. The rest of the boulder distribution may be remnants of a rapid process that carved the valley. Giant boulders scattered as far away as 800 m from the cliff face seem to provide a counterexample to other Colorado Plateau cliffs where the talus stops abruptly near the base. This region has additional geologic features, such as peneplain erosion of the Precambrian strata; salt, coal, and uranium deposits; and the large range of aeolian, riverine, lacustrine, marine, and igneous deposits, which will be of interest for future studies by creationists.
The 1993 Midwest Floods and Rapid Canyon Formation
Glen W.Wolfrom, Ph.D.
The processes which creationists postulate may be responsible for rapid canyon formation were vividly demonstrated during the floods which occurred in the Midwest during the summer of 1993. Erosion damage to spillways at three sites is described: Tuttle Creek Lake on the Big Blue River at Manhattan, Kansas; Coralville Lake on the Iowa River at Coralville/Iowa City, Iowa; and Milford Lake on the Republican River near Junction City, Kansas. Each location involved not only the removal of overburden, but also rapid erosion of the underlying strata. Details of duration, water volume, and water flow rates are presented and, where possible, these data are compared to those of prehistoric flood catastrophes. It is shown that extensive erosion in a short period of time is possible even in relatively well-consolidated and lithified strata, and that the pattern of erosion sometimes is remarkably similar to certain features found in the Grand Canyon. Additionally, brief descriptions of strata and fossils are provided.
The Use of Trace Fossils in Refining Depositional Environments and their Application to the Creationist Model
Jack H. Cowart, M.S., and Carl R. Froede, Jr., B.S., P.G.
Trace fossils are evidence left by animals in the rock record (such as tracks, trails, burrows, and borings) that can be used by the creationist modeler to: 1) more accurately interpret depositional environments and 2) more confidently defend the creationist model. Trace fossils are useful in these regards because they reflect animal responses to a wide variety of environmental conditions, such as abundance of nutrients, photic levels, salinity, temperature, pressure, oxygen levels, and predators, to which lithologic materials cannot easily respond. Trace fossils are important because: 1) they are found in numerous rocks devoid of body fossils, 2) they have a narrow facies range, 3) they are almost never transported, and 4) they span most, if not all, of the sedimentary record. By being able to interpret these "contemporaneous witnesses," the creationist modeler has another "arrow in the quiver" in the argument against the concepts of uniformitarianism and geological evolution.