David Palm says
September 8, 2020 at 3:10 pm
Dear Dr. Davidson,
I have read and appreciated a number of your articles on geology and the age of the Earth. I have been a old-Earth creationist since my high school years, now am wrestling with evolution itself. I’ve been corresponding with the organizers of a Catholic YEC group called the Kolbe Center and, in part of that correspondence, got this in reply to my encouragement that they interact with your 2018 article on the Lake Suigetsu varves:
“Years ago, Ken and Gregg had published an earlier version of this paper (attached). They were very proud of it and were constantly “beating creationists over the head” with it, telling us that we really needed to “interact” with their paper. Moreover, this paper, or excerpts from it, were featured on many old-Earth internet blogs. It was also featured on the Biologos website. Old-Earth Christians thought it presented an unanswerable argument for an old Earth.
In 2016, I decided to attempt to respond to their paper. So I did a LOT of research, going back to the sources that D&W referred to in their article, and even going back to the sources for those articles. I found that D&W had simply not carefully read the papers they cited. In fact, they made a lot of blunders in that paper. In December 2016, I, Tim Clarey, and Andrew Snelling published a thorough response to their paper:
We also published a popular-level version of this paper in Acts & Facts:
In some ways, the popular-level article is better, because it makes the same important points in a much more concise manner.
Well, apparently some of our criticisms “stung” enough that D&W have since removed the original paper from the Biologos website. In fact, it has been “disappeared” from pretty much the entire internet! You are now hard-pressed to find it anywhere! Moreover, it was removed without explanation. This was really unfortunate, because it makes it much harder for someone new to the debate to tell who had the stronger arguments: Tim, me, and Andrew, or D&W. This is why I have attached a copy of their original paper. You can go through our responses point-by-point and see their errors for yourself.
The new paper that David cites is really just the same argument as the first paper, but expressed in a different mathematical way. So we pointed this out in a follow-up news article:
It is very telling that D&W were not willing to stand by their original paper. Naturally, we don’t think their argument is very convincing, either in its original or new form.”
The first thing that I noticed here is that they essentially contradict themselves — they insist that you had retreated from your original paper, but then dismiss your more recent one as “really just the same argument”.
I was surprised to find that the original 2010 article was so difficult to find — I remember reading it some time ago and finding it extremely useful. I’m guessing that there’s more to this story, but wanted to reach out to you to glean your side of the story.
Thanks and God bless,
Gregg Davidson says
December 17, 2020 at 1:17 pm
My apologies for the slow response. There was this “covid thing” and then my wife’s mother passed away – got me a little distracted. The short answer to your inquiry is that we (Ken Wolgemuth and I) pulled down the old paper because the new one is an updated version, taking advantage of a whole new round of varve-sampling by the Suigetsu team, and we added new sections on (1) how assumptions can be tested and (2) the methods YEC use to create doubt (including Hebert and company). In a similar fashion, I discontinued my book “When Faith and Science Collide” because my newer book “Friend of Science, Friend of Faith” updates and expands upon the older book. I don’t want people to accidentally pick up an older version when there is a new and improved version available.
The newer 14C-Suigetsu article is freely available at https://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2018/PSCF6-18Davidson.pdf
Stefan Frello says
December 17, 2020 at 6:50 am
Dear Dr. Davidson
I’ve with interest read your and your colleagues’ book on the Grand Canyon.
As you probably know, YECs have attacked the conclusions in the book. Lately, Terry Mortensen, Answers in Genesis, has written a long comment on AiGs website, promoting a number of serious accusations.
I think you or one of your co-authors need to respond. AiG is an influential organization, and their word should not be left without response.
One way to do that could be an article in Answers Research Journal.
I have myself had a number of very critical articles accepted for publication in the journal, so it can be said to their defense that they are not completely avoiding critique.
I hope you will consider the suggestion
December 17, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Thanks for your message and suggestion. We have seen the AiG rebuttal paper. We have mixed feelings about getting into the “rebuttals of rebuttals” infinite loop, but you may be right that some measure of response is warranted to have it in the record. AiG loves to claim that no challenge has been raised to their rebuttals.
If you have not seen my more recent book, Friend of Science, Friend of Faith, I will bring that to your attention. It is a deep revision and update of the older book When Faith and Science Collide (long story on the publisher decision of a title change).
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