Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) Now it's my turn to ask you a question. You claim to have studied evolution quite extensively, to arrive at your belief, so you must be aware of the well known evolutionists who are abandoning the theory, primarily due to the problems presented by the complexities of micro biology. See the end of my letter. My question is much more simple.
(MB) Looking ahead to the end of your letter, the "well-known evolutionists" to whom you refer are the infamous "two Michaels" -- Denton and Behe -- neither of whom are actually evolutionists. Behe is a biochemist, by training, but a Creationist by belief and was a participant in a televised debate aired on PBS that pitted Creationists against evolutionists. Denton's book is a poorly-received compilation of 20 years of Creationist objections to evolution and science. I'll have more to say about them later in this reply.

(R) As an evolutionist, you would agree that the oceans must be approx. 3 billion years old in order for any hope of evolution to exist.
(MB) That's not quite an accurate statement. Evolution is a process which is separate from the origin of life as we know it in the oceans of Earth. The time span you mentioned is necessary only for life to have evolved from its origins into the multiplicity and complexity of species we observe today. Evolution itself would still have been an ongoing process right from the first time that the first organism reproduced.

(R) The problem arises from a Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) study examining salt levels in the ocean. Knowing the volume of the ocean and the level of increasing salinity, the annual input of salt is presently 450 million tons per year. They then subtracted 450 million tons of salt per year until the oceans would be pure water. Using this calculation the age of the oceans would be 42 million years, maximum.
(MB) Whoever tried to misinterpret the Sandia study needs to go back to his grade school mathematics class. If the present input of salt is 450 million tons per year, taking 450 million tons per year away just leaves the ocean with its original salt content. It does not reduce the ocean to fresh water over any imagined length of time. After all, X + 450 - 450 = X, right?
The "salt in the ocean" argument of Creationism has been conclusively refuted since at least 1954, when V. M. Goldschmidt (in "Geochemistry") published the results of a study that proves that the salt content of the oceans is in stasis.
In addition, Creationists themselves have discounted the "salt in the ocean" argument since at least 1966. In that year, Creationist Melvin Cook wrote in his book "Prehistory and Earth Models" that ...

"The validity of the application of total salt in the ocean in the determination of age turned out to have a very simple answer in the fact shown by Goldschmidt (1954) that it is in steady state and therefore useless as a means of determining the age of the oceans."

(R) Of course this answer is unacceptable from an evolutionary mind set, so the argument was presented that input levels were much lower in the past and output levels (primarily through evaporation) were much higher in the past.
(MB) You've noticed an inherent flaw in most shaky speculations. Without any evidence to support such arguments, they can never become anything more than conjecture. Basing a conclusion upon conjecture is always fraught with peril. In this case, the Creationists are inserting a conjecture into a misinterpreted set of data and bolstering the conclusion with bogus mathematics. The result is an argument that refutes itself.

(R) (so much for a uniformitarian explanation)
(MB) Actually, an ocean in stasis (as Goldschmidt showed) would conform more to the uniformitarian model.

(R) With these criteria in mind the calculation was modified to allow for the highest output levels and the lowest input levels of salt, found in the geological record, to be a constant throughout time (in other words, the best of both worlds which is never supported geologically) and the maximum age of the ocean was then increased to 62 million years, until pure water is reached.
(MB) Found *where* in the geological record? Certainly, any scientist would know that the majority of removed salts would be combined with other minerals and would not show up in any geological record. This argument also assumes that the total amount of salts on land and sea has been increasing over the age of the planet and this simply isn't (and can't be) the case. Salts only move from one place to another.

(R) My question for you is how can you support a theory that is unable to answer a question that is the foundation for the ENTIRE evolutionary mind set, and that is the age of the oceans.
(MB) My answer to you is that evolution theory doesn't rely on bogus mathematics and misinterpreted data for its survival. Also, how do you justify a claim that the age of the oceans is the foundation for the ENTIRE evolutionary mindset when that data is only a very small part of the total data which supports evolution?

(R) It is impossible for the oceans to have existed for any length of time without salt input from erosion and the evolutionary idea of a 3 billion year old ocean is far, far older than can be squeezed out of the calculations even when every conceivable way to lengthen the time frame was used. Source: Austin, S.A. and D.R. Humphreys - "The seas missing salt" SNL scientists.
(MB) Science has known for decades that there is no such thing as "missing salt". Creationists need to learn the basic cycles of mineral deposition and removal that take place in the oceans. BTW, salt is not the only mineral for which the Creationists have tried to use a similar "missing mineral" argument and those arguments have all been conclusively refuted, as well.

(R) Other books you may want to investigate, written by evolutionists (who don't believe in God by the way) are: Evolution: a theory in crisis - Michael Denton and Darwin's Black Box - Michael Behe.
(MB) How can you say that neither Denton nor Behe believes in God? The major argument in Behe's book seeks to demonstrate that "irreducible complexity" of certain structures in living organisms are proof of intelligent design by an external Creator. If that's not "God", then who/what is it? Here is a link to some detailed criticism of Behe's book.
Denton supports the Creationist arguments that are based upon Biblical literalism. Who/what is the main entity featured in the Bible? Here is a link to some detailed criticism of Denton's book.

(R) The second in particular addresses the issue of microbiology and biochemistry and that the chemistry at that level is irreducible and requires numerous systems to coexist in order for any of them to exist.
(MB) Behe's aforementioned participation in the televised PBS debate gave him a forum to promote the points made in his book. He failed rather miserably. Here is a link to a transcript of the PBS debate that is maintained on my site.

(R) These and other books are presenting questions that are much harder for evolutionists to answer than the question of Christ's genealogy.
(MB) None of these books have ever presented a single question that hasn't been conclusively refuted over and over and over again -- sometimes for several decades. Actually, Christ's genealogy is harder to refute since there's more hard evidence with which to refute Creationism.

(R) Thanks for your time and the brain exercise.
(MB) Thanks for your questions. I enjoy the time spent researching, verifying and posting the answers to any questions.

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