Creation Conference 2000
Reasons To Believe held its creation conference, "Putting Creation to the Test" from June 22-24, 2000 in Southern California. I was privileged to attend the conference, and like most others, came away with more enthusiasm for the Old Earth creation model and ways of using the model to reach out to secular intellectuals with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dr. Hugh Ross, president of Reasons To Believe, pointed out that we should not have to argue about what creation model is correct. Simply present your favorite model (Old Earth, Young Earth, naturalism, extraterrestrial origins, etc.) and watch the scientific literature to determine which model fits the data the best.
Dr. Ross continued by pointing out the failures of the naturalistic model. Scientists have recognized that science is unable to explain, and have made no significant progress, regarding the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the origin of human consciousness. Atheists contentions that a creation model is not testable, not falsifiable, and has no predictive power have been shown to be false. Dr. Ross then presented his version of a testable creation model. The model was derived from the six major creation accounts found in the Bible. Other models, which use only the Genesis text, were shown to be scripturally unsound.
Dr. Fuz Rana and Dr. Ken Samples presented an excellent response to atheist's objections. Dr. Rana discussed the Cambrian explosion and how the recent finds in China make certain the short duration of the Cambrian explosion. Evolutionists objections, such as the lack of soft-bodied fossils before the Cambrian (both poriphera and jellyfish have been found), and the discovery of vertebrates in the Cambrian layers make a naturalistic explanation unreasonable. In fact, 146 of 182 skeletal designs made their appearance during the Cambrian explosion. Dr. Rana also responded to so-called examples of poor design in nature. Recent studies have shown that the Panda's thumb is optimally designed for the job it is required to do. The opposable thumb is not designed to accommodate 12 hours/day of scraping leaves from bamboo branches. However, the panda's thumb (modified wrist bones) can accomplish this function without a problem (see 3D animation of the Panda's hand). Richard Dawkins has stated that the human eye is defective in that the photo receptor cells are found behind the neural layer that transmits the signal, thus cutting down the efficiency of photon detection. However, recent evidence shows that the arrangement is necessary, since the receptor cells must be next to an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients. Directly behind the receptor cells is a large capillary bed that supplies the voracious metabolic needs of those cells. In addition, the presence of the neural layer in front of the photo receptor cells prevents over-bleaching of the receptor pigments, which would incapacitate the visual apparatus. If the system were arranged the way Dawkins suggested, it would not work at all! A more complete report on the vertebrate eye is available from this site.
Numerous poster presentations/workshops were given the afternoon of the last meeting day, including two by myself. These are available at the GodAndScience.org website:
Teaching Apologetics to Young Children (PowerPoint presentation)
I had the opportunity to meet many people from all over the United States. In fact, about one third of the attendees came from outside of California. Nobody was disappointed by the conference. People were excited at the prospect of sharing the information with others to help break down the barriers to faith. I hope some of you get a chance to go to the conference next year. I expect it to be larger and even more exciting than this year.
Last updated March 31, 2008