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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).

There is no reliable evidence to suggest any other age of the Earth.
(R) What about the dust on the moon? Ultraviolet light changes moon rocks into dust. Over a period of 4 billion years, there should be a layer of dust that would cover the moon's surface. But there is only about 2-3 inches of dust, the amount that should be there if the moon was only a few thousand years old.
(MB)The amount of dust on the moon is exactly as it should be. Ultraviolet light is not strong enough to break down rocks into dust over any possible length of time. The amount of dust on the moon is attributable to the amount of dust particles in the solar system which have impacted the Moon over its lifetime. Measurements conducted by the instruments left on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts have verified the rate of deposition.

(R) Also, the moon is relatively close to us. Due to tidal friction, the moon is gradually moving away from us. Based on the location of the moon, it can't be very old. If it were even 500,000 years old, at some time it would have been so close that it would have been in our planet.
(MB)This is another golden oldie that doesn't take into consideration the fact that the arrangement of the Earth's land masses have not always been the same. When the Earth's continents were all together in a single land mass, there was only one mass of water on Earth and this would not have produced the amount of tidal friction we see today when the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean are on opposite sides of the globe. This causes their respective tides to set up harmonic forces which have a larger effect on the tidal friction applied to the Moon. Another proof that the Moon can't be young is the fact that it is in captured rotation (i.e., it always shows the same face to an observer on the Earth). This would not have been possible if the Earth/Moon system was only a few thousand years old.

All other elements are created in the titanic explosions of supernovas.
(R) Where did the energy and matter needed to cause this come from?
(MB)The matter (in the form of protons and neutrons) already exists within the star itself. The energy comes from the gravitational collapse of a massive star after it uses up its hydrogen fuel supply and can no longer support its own weight via the expansive forces produced by the burning of that fuel.

(R) A few more questions. How did life form from non-life when it is a biological law that life comes from life?
(MB)This is a confusion of biology with chemistry. Since all living things contain the exact same atomic elements as all non-living things and that different non-living things are only "different" due to the arrangement and composition of those elements, it should be obvious that living things are just another arrangement of those same elements. Chemistry shows how elements combine to produce different things. Biology is the study of how living things live, die, and reproduce.

(R) Would you be willing to say that all of the governing forces of the universe, such as gravity and energy, were created by accident?
(MB)Yes, I would. Current theory says that universes are being created all the time. Only those whose creation produces the proper mix of forces and constants will end up producing universes which can support the same sorts of things that we observe. Other universes may also be able to support life, but the life in those universes would be quite different from that found in our universe. Obviously, we only know the universe in which we live and, if our universe wasn't the beneficiary of certain random events, it wouldn't be as we observe it. This does not require divine intervention of any kind.

(R) The Second Law of Thermodynamics is the opposite of evolution. According to evolution, order has increased over time, but without any energy.
(MB)This is not true. The Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLT) has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. Evolution is the change in gene frequency in a population over many generations. The SLT says, in short, that in any closed system to which no energy is input, that the total amount of disorder in that system will always increase. A living thing is not a closed system since energy is always being input into it in the form of the food it eats or the energy it absorbs from other sources (such as sunlight). The tiniest fraction of the energy contained in that food is converted into a localized increase in order in the form of body mass in the creature while the rest is converted into a far larger amount of disorder in the form of expelled heat energy and other waste products. You can easily prove this by considering how much food you eat in the course of a year. Do you ever gain weight exactly equal (or anywhere close) to the mass of the food you ate? So, where does the rest of the food go? It doesn't disappear.

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