Polystrate Fossils Require Rapid Deposition

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by Michael J. Oard and Hank Giesecke
CRS Quarterly, Volume 43 Number 3, March 2007, pp 232-240.

Polystrate fossils are one of numerous evidences for the rapid deposition of strata, as opposed to the uniformitarian belief in slow deposition over millions of years. They are briefly described from the Joggins Formation, Nova Scotia; Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Wyoming; Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, Washington; the Geodetic Hills of Axel Heiberg Island; the Lompoc diatomite, California; and a diatomite from Peru. Uniformitarian geologists usually ignore polystrate fossils or claim that they represent only local rapid deposition, but they rarely supply any supporting evidence. A new location with polystrate petrified trees is described from open-pit coal mines in Alaska. About twenty upright trees at many different levels support rapid deposition of the strata there. The upright trees can be explained by the log mat model, and evidence from the coal mines supports that interpretation.

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"Answers in Genesis: Reason’s Assassins & Why Darwin Is Your Savior" Lecture

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Miami University (Ohio) Professor Nicholas P. Money (mycology) is presenting the above lecture this Tuesday afternoon, March 27, at 5 pm in Alumni Hall 001, on the Oxford, Ohio campus. Sponsored by the Miami University Department of Comparative Religion and the Comparative Religion Student Association the meeting is free and will include a Q&A.

From the announcement:

Join us for a presentation by Dr. Nicholas Money, Professor of Botany at Miami University. He will be addressing why religious groups such as Answers in Genesis® and the majority of scientists view the theory of evolution so differently as a force within society. There will be time for discussion following the lecture.

Here’s the poster advertising this lecture:

Money's AiG Lecture

While the topic description seems reasonable enough, the title, and especially the poster, suggest this will be a rather inflammatory talk! A reviewer on Amazon describes Money as:

…the Steven Jay Gould of mycology, the Richard Dawkins of the fungi, …

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"Evolution: Education and Outreach" Slated for December 2007 Publication

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As part of the Darwin Day celebrations back on February 12, Biology News Net and Information World Review blog trumpeted the announcement of a new journal to be used against the steadily increasing influence of creationist and Intelligent Design proponents. Evolution: Education and Outreach is expected to launch sometime in December 2007 under the wing of a major science & business publishing conglomerate, Springer-Verlag.

The initial press release said:

Outreach and Education in Evolution, a traditional peer-reviewed journal with non-traditional features, will address these concerns. Each quarterly issue will feature peer-reviewed articles on evolution, “letters from the trenches,” interviews with prominent scientists and educators, lesson plans, critical essays, cartoons, puzzles, reviews on evolution in the media (books, movies, museum openings and exhibitions) and more. The full-color online edition will offer added value, for example chat rooms, teaching resources and blogging opportunities. In addition, Springer has committed up to $10,000 annually in grants and prizes for the best paper, the best lesson plan, etc. The journal, aimed at members of the educational, museum, and scientific community involved in the teaching of evolutionary theory, will be available at a very affordable price.

Springer has finally placed more details online (oddly enough under their Human Genetics Journals pages) including a revised launch date and minor title change. Among the evolutionary luminaries on the ‘Editorial Board’ are: Joel Cracraft, Douglas Futuyma, Ronald L. Numbers, Eugenie Scott, Ian Tattersall, and Carl Zimmer. Editors are Niles and Gregory Eldredge (father & son) with Mick Wycoff as managing editor. ‘Partner Organizations’ include: the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology. Global Education Outreach is presumable a partner, although not directly listed as such. The connection appears to be through Dr. Harry Kroto, Nobel Prize winner and an ‘Editorial Board’ member of EEO. (Warning, the GEO website and it’s parent, The Vega Science Trust, make use of the color red in a rather hideous way!)

NOTE: One wonders if Springer’s annual $10,000 in grants and prizes isn’t partly a response to Answer in Genesis’ $50,000 Research Paper Challenge 2007 and AiG’s earlier War of the Worldviews Research Paper Contest?



"A Great Debate : Can Physics Prove God & Christianity?" June 3, 2007

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The Skeptic Society is sponsoring a debate between Dr. Frank Tipler and Dr. Lawrence Krauss at Caltech’s Baxter Lecture Hall:

In his book, The Physics of Christianity, Dr. Tipler argues that the God depicted by Jews and Christians, the Uncaused First Cause, is completely consistent with the Cosmological Singularity, an entity whose existence is required by physical law. He makes the case for the scientific possibility of miracles, including the Virgin Birth (Jesus was a rare XX male), the Resurrection (a baryon-annihilation process converting flesh into neutrinos), and the Incarnation (reversing the dematerialization process). Tipler outlines practical experiments that can help prove the validity of the “miracles” at the heart of Christianity.

Dr. Krauss, an expert on cosmology, quantum mechanics, and general relativity, is quite familiar with Tipler’s arguments and will provide a cogent response and argue that the scientific evidence from these fields, upon which Tipler rests his case, do not confirm the central tenets of Christianity or any other religion, and that attempts to employ science in the service of religion are doomed to failure. Science and religion, Krauss believes, are best kept separate, and that the tools of science that search for naturalistic explanations cannot be used to prove the supernatural.

We can assume that this debate is partly inspired by the upcoming May 2007 publication of Tipler’s newest book, The Physics of Christianity. Tipler’s opponent, Dr. Krauss, has a long history as a debunker of religion, creation, and now, intelligent design.


Historical Relationship of Geology and Religion Symposium 2007

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The International Commission on History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) will hold their annual conference from July 28 thru August 5, 2007 in Eichstatt, Germany. The event is hosted by the Jura-Museum Eichstatt, home to one of the better preserved Archaeopteryx fossil specimens.

According to the Jura-Museum Symposium page:

Topics of Scientific Sessions

The general heading of the symposium, “The historical relationship of geology and religion”, will be addressed in specific scientific sessions on the following topics:

1. religious interpretations of the nature of the Earth and its history
2. geological research with religious motivation
3. life and work of geological authors with a religious/clerical background
4. geological institutions run by religious organisations
5. evolution and creation
6. other related topics

These scientific sessions will be held in the Bishop1s Seminary in Eichstatt on July 30th, July 31st, August 2nd and 3rd. August 1st is dedicated to a field-trip in the vicinity of Eichstatt. The conference language will be English.

A notice in the Geological Society of America, History of Geology Division newsletter says:

The meeting will offer a stage to openly discuss, from a historical point of view, this longstanding relationship, which in the past has been sometimes indifferent, sometimes fruitful, and sometimes full of conflict.


Discovery Institute Sponsoring Two Darwin vs. Design Conferences

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Lee Strobel, Dr. Michael, Behe, Dr. Stephen Meyer, and Dr. Jay Richards will be the featured speakers at two Discovery Institute sponsored conferences this spring:

The first conference on March 24, 2007 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The second conference on April 13 and 14 in the McFarlin Auditorium at the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

…Lee Strobel and leading scientists and philosophers as they explore the growing scientific evidence that life and the universe were intelligently designed at this all-day event…


Geology Education for the Future 2007 Conference, July 26-28

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“Geology Education for the Future” is the theme for a new conference designed to gather together the young earth creation geology community. All young earth creation geologists and earth science teachers are urged to attend. Technical and education sessions will be held on the first two days of the conference where professionals can present research, get feedback on new ideas, and develop collaborative relationships with one another. Time is planned for a local geology field trip and group discussion and interaction. General sessions will be held on the last day of the conference. General sessions will be open to the broader public and will cover topics that some professional participants may already be familiar with.

This conference is being jointly sponsored by the Cedarville University Geology Department and Creation Research Science Education Foundation (CRSEF) of Columbus, Ohio.