Ham/Nye debate – commentary

video analysis of Nye Ham debate at Creation.com:
http://creation.com/creation-videos Richard Fangrad and Calvin Smith


The first voice (in the sweater on the right in the video) is Calvin Smith:

He says “I grew up in an un-churched home. I can honestly say I was an atheist and accepted the humanist/naturalistic viewpoint that I was taught through the public school system and my environment (media, friends, siblings).”


Through lots of reading, Calvin has become well equipped to talk about many aspects of science and history that relate to the creation/evolution controversy. He has consistently immersed himself in creation apologetics through seminars, classes, scientific papers and hands-on opportunities to study. When asked what formal science background he has, Calvin responds, “the same as Charles Darwin. His only formal training was in Theology!”
Richard Fangrad:


Richard has been speaking on the creation/evolution issue since 1994 and involved with a creation-oriented ministry in Canada since 1996. The Canadian office of Creation Ministries International began as a room in his home in late 1998. As a speaker, he is known for his easy-to-understand scientific presentations. He was driven to get involved with creation ministry primarily because of the influence that creation materials and resources had on his own faith and his walk with Christ.


Richard’s professional training is in electronics. He has worked on advanced communication satellite systems at Com Dev, a world leader in this field. Shortly before working in creation ministry full-time in 1999, he worked at Raytheon Canada and was involved in the early testing phases of the first all-digital radar system. He is now CEO of CMI–Canada and co-host CMI’s TV show Creation Magazine Live!


Nye claimed ice cores show 680,000 annual layers…not if you understand the actual evidence:
A number of cores have been drilled into the Greenland ice cap (Figure 1). Two of them, GRIP (Greenland Ice Project) and GISP2 (Greenland Ice Sheet Project) are only 28 km apart.  …


‘ … then the problem is not missing core or other “block” data loss. Rather, the GRIP core lacks about half the annual layers throughout this interval, or the GISP2 ice contains many subannual structures which mimic annual bands, or the layers are in fact annual but one of the counts is erroneous.’


Here’s an important portion:


Furthermore, at the time the snow was building during the Ice Age the elevation of the ice sheet would have been lower and the air temperature warmer. This would have produced more melt or hoar-frost layers (cloudy bands), which is one of the variables uniformitarians used to determine the annual layers. Therefore, what uniformitarian scientists are claiming as annual variations are simply oscillations that occur within a single year.

In the creationist model, the oscillations in the variables used by uniformitarians to determine annual layers could have been produced within a single year. Indeed, uniformitarians understand that very short-term oscillations, representing as little as a day or two, show up in the variables. For example, a storm has a warm and cold sector that produces significant fluctuation in each of the variables and these storm oscillations may be on the order of several days. Even uniformitarians recognise that these storms can produce problems for counting annual layers, as Alley et al. state:


‘Fundamentally, in counting any annual marker, we must ask whether it is absolutely unequivocal, or whether nonannual events could mimic or obscure a year. For the visible strata (and, we believe, for any other annual indicator at accumulation rates representative of central Greenland), it is almost certain that variability exists at the subseasonal or storm level, at the annual level, and for various longer periodicities (2-year, sunspot, etc.). We certainly must entertain the possibility of misidentifying the deposit of a large storm or a snow dune as an entire year or missing a weak indication of a summer and thus picking a 2-year interval as 1 year.’


Besides the subannual layers caused by precipitation factors, subannual layers can also be produced by other factors such as snow dunes.


Adding to the problems of estimating the number of annual layers is the fact that cold or warm weather patterns can run in cycles, anywhere from a week to even a season. These cold or warm spells, which are typical today at mid and high latitudes, also cause oscillations over periods of a month or longer.



Uniformitarian scientists interpret variations in measured parameters below the top section of a central Greenland ice core as ‘annual’ cycles. This interpretation is based on their long-ages model with an ice sheet in equilibrium for several million years. So they manage to ‘squeak out’ 110,000 years of ‘annual’ cycles by using several parameters. However, the cycles can be produced by subannual oscillations in the parameters. Thus, the creationist young-Earth model, including a rapid ice age, is just as viable if not more so.

Read the entire article and the references for yourself.  You’ll see that Nye’s assertions are unsupported: Do Greenland ice cores show over one hundred thousand years of annual layers?
More info here:
Nye repeatedly asked for “just one” example of a modern fossil with ancient creatures or vice versa, an ancient one in modern rock.


Well, what happens when an ‘old’ fossil is found in ‘young’ sediment?  It is called a ‘reworked’ or ‘derived’ fossil.  Here’s the definition:


World English Dictionary


reworked fossil (also called: derived fossil): a fossil eroded from sediment and redeposited in younger sediment


What about a ‘young’ fossil among ‘old’ sediments?  It is called a ‘leaked fossil’ and considered the result of the younger elements ‘leaking’ into the older strata.


Thus in each of these cases the assumed age of the fossil in this case is *not* the same as the assumed age of the sediment in which it is found.


This makes it rather easy to explain anything that is found, doesn’t it?


Furthermore, some creatures show up as fossils only in ‘ancient’ strata, were considered extinct and are actually still alive today.  For example, the coelacanth was supposed to go extinct 65 million years ago. Thus the absence of the coelacanth as a fossil in the past 65 million years says *nothing* about the existence of the creature during that supposed time period.


Many modern creatures are found as fossils with ‘dinosaur age’ rocks.  See: The so-called ‘Age of Dinosaurs’


Additionally, some fossil trees span many meters of rock layers, some of which are supposed to have taken very long to be deposited.  These are called polystrate fossils and provide solid evidence that the long ages supposed for the deposition of these layers are pure fiction.