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Ian Taylor responds to
TalkOrigins Criticisms


Mr. Taylor’s response to criticisms of his book,“In the Minds of Men
posted in the TalkOrigins newsgroup in July, 1999.

© 1999 Ian Taylor.  All Rights Reserved. 


Background Information:

Ian Taylor is a well-travelled writer, speaker and researcher. After taking a higher level of qualification in metallurgical engineering at London University, Ian emigrated to Canada and was employed for more than 20 years in the laboratories of the Aluminium Company of Canada, one of North America’s corporate giants.

During this time Taylor specialized in metal physics, and obtained patents for high-strength armour plate and a novel process for automated production of aluminium heat exchangers.

In 1974 he was dramatically converted to Christianity, left industrial research, and went into television production, eventually becoming producer/writer of a science documentary series broadcast throughout the U.S. and Canada. Many of the programs dealt with the creation-evolution controversy.

Taylor’s next project was to spend three years researching and writing the book, In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order. The book fills a vital gap by relating the sciences to the humanities, and carefully documents the history of the ideas that are the foundation of the evolutionary worldview, and has become the definitive work in its field. The book is now in its sixth printing.

In November 1994 Dr. Olga Polikovskaya, at that time the Russian Deputy Minister of Education, phoned Taylor and commented:“This book [In the Minds of Men] must go into every university and high-school school in Russia.” Since then the book has been translated into Russian, and in October ’95 Taylor attended a Moscow conference at which he made a formal presentation of the book to the Russian Ministry of Education.

In 1996 Taylor was asked to be the voice of Creation Moments—a daily radio program that was at that time syndicated on 250 stations. The program is currently broadcast on over 1000 radio stations throughout the U.S., as well as stations in Canada, Puerto Rico, Moldavia and South Africa.

Since the publication of his book, Taylor has travelled thoughout North America, Russia, Romania, Moldova, the Middle East, China and Hong Kong speaking on the the scientific evidences for creation. Two other books are in preparation. During the latter part of ’99 Taylor will go into the TV studio to film a 13-part series based on his book and lectures. Taylor currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.


Taylor’s Response to TalkOrigins Criticisms:

July 22, 1999

This is in reply to all those who have valiantly penned words aimed to strike fear and doubt into the minds of that perceived minority who question the theory of evolution. I have divided my reply into the topics raised and apologize for not always being able to quote from authorities by chapter and verse. My present location does not make it the simple matter it once was to track down the most recent references in university libraries. This reply is thus directed to Andrew, Chris, David, Keith, Jim and Richard:

The Winnipeg Debate with Robert Day
The debate is dated as Friday, October 19 but no year is given. I want the readers to know that this was 1990, almost nine years ago! I do not pretend to be especially skilled in rhetoric yet was asked to take part in this debate with the understanding from the written agreement that it was to be confined to matters of science not religion. From Robert Day’s own words he began and made no attempt to defend the theory of evolution from science but launched into a tirade against religion and creationists in particular. This is the usual tactic offered by defenders of the theory of evolution. As far as my side of the debate was concerned, I stuck to science and only spoke of religion in response to questions raised by members of the audience. I had no control over and was not even aware at the time of all the machinations between the organizers of the debate and Day himself.

Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny
Thank you Andrew for your nice remarks. I want to comment on your comment that the Recapitulation Theory died about 1925 and that it has not appeared in school textbooks for years. Almost ten years ago in Ontario, Canada, creationists had a successful campaign to remove this theory from the High School curriculum. It was removed but then slipped right back in again the following year. To my knowledge it is still there. If the theory died in 1925 would you not agree that this is a disgraceful move on the part of certain people in the Ontario Ministry of Education and would you be willing to help remove the nonsense from Ontario’s school textbooks?

On page 277 of my book, In The Minds of Men, the illustration shows exactly how Ernst Haeckel cheated in 1868 to make the facts fit his theory. This was exposed as fraudulent in 1874 by Wilhelm His, and the theory should have died then and there, not in 1925. For those critics who would side-track the issue by pointing out that textbooks have replaced the old nineteenth century engravings of the embryos with modern drawings, this is of no consequence whatsoever. The textbook The Way Life Works by Hoagland & Dodson, 1995 published by Ebury Press, London, still used Haeckel’s drawings but took the trouble to colour them! Most readers will recall the famous row of embryos shown in the school textbooks. The usual argument for their retention is because although it is admitted that the stages of development (the vertical sequence) do not appear as Haeckel showed them, the horizontal likenesses of the early stages of the fish, the salamander, the turtle, the chicken the rabbit and the human are all virtually the same and illustrate embryonic homology. Michael Richardson, a lecturer and embryologist at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London has recently exposed the so-called “embryonic homology” as another fraud. In his paper published in Anatomy and Embryology 1997, Vol.196 (2), p.91-106 he shows that the early embryonic stages of 39 different creatures including the fish, the turtle etc., are nothing like the same. Haeckel had simply repeated a series of look alike drawings for his 1874 Anthropogenie and, until Richardson reported the facts in 1997, no one had taken the trouble to actually check on Haeckel’s work! May I suggest that this was because Haeckel’s theory seemed such good evidence for evolution?

The Polystrate Trees
A genuine fossil tree that traverses a number of stratum can always be explained away, as it has been, by arguing for a local flood. I changed my illustration from what was a sandstone column near Kingston to what is an acknowledged fossil tree at Joggins, NS. The argument has now changed to the immersed fossil tree being the result of a local flood. However, while that explanation does contribute to the demolition of uniformitarianism as a dogma, the doubt may even begin to be cast on the theory of evolution itself when those stratum through which the fossil tree passes are discovered to extend continuously for hundreds of miles. More will be said of this under “Geologic Column.”

The Mammoth Erection
It does not take those specialists in this subject, the civil engineers, to know that suffocation or lack of oxygen, was the ultimate cause of the poor beast’s demise. The same thing is sometimes reported in victims of drowning and of crucifixion. Nevertheless, reduction of body temperature must have been extremely rapid not only to preserve the phallus intacta but more especially to preserve the seeds within the stomach acid. The Beresovka mammoth died with a stomach full of identifiable sedges and grasses that could not have been supplied from the environment of 70 degrees North today. It must have been a lot warmer at the Beresovka River when the mammoth died. Burian’s out-dated picture of the Mammoth rutting about among the snow with its tusks for morsels of grass has at long last been replaced in Museum diaramas by the mammoth in lush and verdant valleys. Needing at least 400 pounds of food per day would certainly require this kind of environment to support a beast the size of the mammoth. I believe that Dillow is correct, freezing had to take place very quickly in order to prevent the hot stomach acids from dissolving the seeds in the still warm body after death. Critics seldom address this problem and, as far as I know, no one has a good explanation for why a few animals are preserved with many of the soft body parts while most are merely bones.

Chris Nedin’s correction of the age of the Diprotodon
Thank you for that correction, the carbon 14 age given in my appendix J and taken from Radiocarbon Journal Vol. 7, was 11,100 years. I had thought that the Diprotodon was from the dinosaur era and thus an alledged 70 millions old. But this mistake on my part makes the argument stronger for placing in doubt the alleged millions of years for the coal and oil. Both the Diprotodon bones and the coal and oil were dated by the same carbon 14 method and the reported ages for the coal and oil were 1,680 and 24,000 years respectively; these were reproduced from Radiocarbon Journal in my appendix J. I can well anticipate that the rebuttal here will be to retain the carbon 14 date for the Diprotodon because it falls within the expected ball-park but reject the oil and coal figures because they don’t. Rejection by fiat is exactly the kind of non-scientific argument that has enabled the faith in the millions of years to remain inviolate.

The Diprotodon discussion followed the remarks I raised about the DNA found in non-mineralized dinosaur bones. The complex DNA molecule has been observed to hydrolyse in the laboratory and at the observed rates, Brian Sykes, who seems to be the authority, has stated that, “no DNA would remain intact much beyond 10,000 years.” (Nature August 1, 1991, Vol. 352, p.381). Even if Sykes is out by an order of magnitude it is totally inconceivable that any recognizable DNA would exist after 70 million years. Yet, with difficulty, DNA has been extracted and the results reported but of course disputed. And how do they know when they have a piece of dinosaur DNA and not contamination? The fragments are compared with what is believed to be the dinosaur’s nearest living relative, the alligator and almost unbelievably, the bird! We recall the reptile is cold-blooded and the bird is warm-blooded indicating major genetic differences. So what is the basis for rejecting the claims that the DNA discovered is from the dinosaur? It would be an easy guess to say that the rejection is based upon the comparison with the bird! And why is it so vehemently rejected? Because it poses such a threat to the millions of years. The same old bottom-line.

One final thought concerning the mineralization of dinosaur bones by which it is claimed that the bones must be millions of years old. I rather like this quote from Alfred S. Romer writing in Natural History (October 1959, Vol.68, p.456):

“Just because something is ‘fossilized’ does not mean that it is millions (or even thousands) of years old. When the conditions and materials are right, a bone can become filled with minerals fairly quickly ... Researchers have found that chicken bones and wood can be replaced with minerals in just five to ten years” (p.467).

Dinosaur bones are, of course, usually much larger and more dense than chicken bones, but if we increased the time by not one order of magnitude but say two—give it a 1000 years, this would still bring the mineralized bones within historical time and certainly not indicate millions of years at all.

Sun’s Energy Output
Someone has confirmed that three billion years ago, the time according to current wisdom when life first began on planet earth , the sun’s energy output was 40% less than it is today. Wonderful, this means that the early earth three thousand million years ago would be a very cold place, far too cold to support life and what about the oceans? Would there be any oceans? The armchair scientist will immediately counter, ah, but you don’t understand, the earth itself was still slowly cooling from its primordial state while at the same time the sun increased its energy output, thus, by another of the miracles of evolution the surface temperature of the earth remained perfectly stable.

Lord Kelvin scuttled this kind of argument in 1865 by showing that from the earth’s observed rate of heat loss, the age was at the very maximum 400 million years. More recently, Ingersoll (Ingersoll & Zobel. 1954. Heat Conduction: With Engineering, Geological and other Applications. University of Wisconsin Press) has reworked Kelvin’s data and shown that a more realistic age based upon heat loss is 22 million years.

Since the discovery of radioactivity the rationale to bring the age of the earth back to 4.5 billion years has been to claim that there are great quantities of radioactive elements deep within the earth sustaining the earth’s heat by decay processes. Ingersoll pointed out (p.99) that with the known radioactivity, the age could not be increased beyond 45 million years. In order to sustain a warm earth for 3 billion years nearly a hundred times the known amount of radioactivity would be required. If someone writes in to say that Ingersoll’s figures have been discredited this would not surprise me in the least. Again, the billions of years must be safeguarded. This entire argument will be found in expanded form in chapter 11 of In The Minds of Men.

The Geologic Column
In quoting Schafersman I made the very error I am normally quite careful not to make, I quoted someone (who shall be nameless) who had taken the quote out of its context! Access to the university library is not as convenient as it used to be. Nevertheless, Schafersman did actually say he knew of no fossil out of sequence then gave a list of reasons for those instances when fossils are found out of sequence. To my mind, if those reasons are valid then the contracted quote remains his unabashed opinion and, of course, this remains the nonsense I claimed it was. There are many examples of out of place fossils both up and down the column and in the upward direction the celebrated case of Jacques Deprat (1880-1935) comes to mind. French geologist Deprat discovered trilobites in the Ordovician where the wisdom of the day said trilobites were long gone before this era. Deprat was accused of falsification and fired from his position. Since then the fossil record has been reinterpreted and Deprat was reinstated into the Societe Geologique de France in 1991, although of course this correction had to be made posthumously. (M. Millet. L’Affaire Deprat. Geochronique 1991, No.40, p.19). Out of place fossils in the downward direction such as human remains in say, the Cretaceous, are seen to be a more serious threat to the theory and the usual reaction is to totally ignore the evidence or, discredit it or its finder as quickly as possible.

With regard to all the instances of the entire geologic column being found from oil-well cores and reported by Glen Morton, I must say, common sense leaves me a little skeptical. The things of nature are never this perfect and it seems to me that this claim has all the earmarks of someone overzealously trying to confirm the theory. It would mean very little to the oil company whether the geologic column was perfectly confirmed or not but making that claim might give a lowly geologist some kudos among his peers. I don’t mean to appear overly skeptical but such things have happened before and are part of human nature. Those claims would need to be examined very closely by unbiased experts if such can be found.

The geologic column is of course based upon a fossil sequence and not upon the actual nature of the stratum itself. This has caused attention to be directed to the life forms and away from the actual rock. I appreciate that this was not done deliberately but it has shifted attention away from those evidences, such as the persistence of facies, that tend to support the many accounts of a world-wide flood.

Derek Ager’s The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record (1973 McMillan) or The New Catastrophism (1993, Cambridge University Press) give some wonderful examples of facies such as the Cretaceous chalk identified by its index fossil micraster and found as a continuous band from Northern Ireland to Russia and Australia via India. I think everyone understands the Cretaceous chalk to be a sedimentary deposit and thus laid down under water. Since it is a continuous deposit extending more than halfway around the world surely this means that the continental land surfaces involved were all under water at the same time. I find it difficult to regard this as a local flood and more reasonably think of it as good evidence for the world-wide Flood described in Genesis.

That great scholar Sir James George Frazer culled the libraries of Cambridge University and reported the accounts from 137 separate cultures of what was said to be a world-wide flood in which one man was saved in a large vessel (Folklore in the Old Testament. London: MacMillan 1918, Vol. 1, p. 104 - 361). The details of each account have local coloring although the picture remains essentially the same. Anyone familiar with Frazer’s work will know that he was not a Christian, that his writing style exceeds almost anything written today and that his documentation was exhaustive. A more complete account of Frazer’s work is given in chapter 14 of In The Minds of Men.

The Peppered Moth Debacle
Like Haeckel’s “Ontogeny recapitulates etc”, this old classic won’t go gracefully. The diehards like Richard Dawkins will have to go into old retirement and senility before the peppered moth story disappears from textbooks. No one with any common sense is going to pay the obscene price of US $104 for Michael Majerus’ book Melanism: Evolution in Action thus my comments will be taken from Jerry Coyne’s book review which appeared in Nature, November 5, 1998, Vol.396, p.35.: Quote:

“The most serious problem is that B.betularia probably does not rest on tree trunks—exactly two moths have been seen in such a position in more than 40 years of intensive research. The natural resting spots are in fact a mystery. That alone invalidates Kettlewell’s release-recapture experiments ...”

Jerry Coyne very graciously does not mention the fact that Kettlewell had to glue two moths, a black one and a white one, on a tree trunk to take the classic photograph that has appeared in every school textbook for over forty years! Coyne goes on to show that Kettlewell’s behavioural experiments were not replicated in later studies, and points out that moths have no tendency to choose matching backgrounds.

According to Coyne, Majerus exposes several other serious flaws in the industrial melanism theory and Kettlewell’s work. In short, the theory is in bad shape. Certainly worse than all these deficiencies is the fact that the industrial melanism story never did demonstrate evolution in action. If the two varieties of moth (the typica or white variety and the carbonaria or black variety) were say, black and white soldiers on a battlefield at night, it would be reasonable to say that the white soldiers would have more casualties. Eventually, only black soldiers would remain but no one would claim this to be evolution in action! Recently there have been reports from Uganda that about 15% of the elephants are now born without tusks. This is the result of a mutation which prevents tusks from developing, but selection is the logical explanation. Like the white soldiers in the above example, ivory poachers kill only those elephants with a fine set of tusks leaving the tuskless type to multiply. It is quite illogical to call industrial melanism in the story of the black and white moths or the black and white soldiers or the tuskless elephants evidence of evolution. These are examples of natural selection but no new genetic information has been added, no new creature has been created.

Don Lindsay’s assertion that I don’t understand the mechanism of evolution
If I may quote Mr. Lindsay, this is the definition he gives, probably from a textbook:

“[E]volution normally seizes upon a variation between individuals. Mutation is considered to be mostly the long-term source of that variation. Mutations are normally trivial. Albinos are mutants; must they seek out another mutant? No.”

Frankly, this cannot be considered a scientific definition. Unless we are considering identical twins there is variation between any two individuals. And what is meant by “evolution seizes upon ...”? This sort of definition is so flexible every possibility can be explained by it. And this is precisely the point: No matter what evidence shows up it can be turned to advantage, alternatively, if counter-evidence shows up it can be explained away. Can we agree that every human being has many genetic defects and the load of defective genes in the human gene pool is increasing. Among the ancient pharoahs, say before the time of Moses, incestuous marriages were possible but with the increase in defective births these were eventually considered taboo. Today, in many countries, it is not now legally possible to marry one’s first cousin, again, because of the possibility of defective births or congenital idiocy. This is all common knowledge.

Consider a brother and sister who inherit the same defective gene from say, their father. The defective gene may be say, hair lip, but this does not express itself in the father or the children. However, should the brother and sister marry that defect will appear in their offspring. Have I got it right so far? The defective gene that they all have is the result of a mutation and is generally harmful as in the example of the hair-lip. However, evolution posulates that every so often a beneficial mutation occurs and sickle-cell anemia is usually cited. In order that that beneficial mutation (unknown to its host) can be expressed, then like the brother and sister, the two hosts must somehow meet and mate. This was my point, not only has a really beneficial mutation, that is, one having somehow gained genetic information, never been demonstrated, but it means that this rare individual having this specific and unusual mutation must meet and mate with another individual having just the same rare mutation in order that this mutational change can be expressed. You want to breed albinos? then you need two albinos but the offspring won’t be very robust and healthy because this expressed mutation has lost some genetic information and that information can never be recaptured from the offspring of the two albinos. The entire argument about mutations being the long-term source of variation is simply heaping one improbability upon another and the chances of it happening even once are astronomically small. I do not expect those totally blinded to the facts but the bottom line is that the Creator has so designed His creation that under normal breeding conditions defective traits are not propagated. Moreover, with the demise of Lamarckism we know that acquired defects are not propagated either. This all serves to nicely maintain the created order. At the same time, each created kind can vary within certain limits to adapt to its environment. To any rational mind this speaks of superb design. Only those—including many Christians—whose mind is opposed to what the Creator has told us about our origins will accept mindless evolution as their creator.

Anticlines and Erosion
When a person pursues one particular discipline the horizon of their worldview becomes extremely foreshortened. Often the language of their discipline makes it difficult to communicate effectively with others of a different discipline. Thus, biologists and geologists find themselves in separate boxes each using explanations from from facts developed in their own field to support the common paradigm. It used to be that a university education gave a person a well-rounded background in order to understand the universe about them. Not so today, it is all so specialized each student being slowly brought to the point of knowing more and more about less and less. In this short life we can set ourselves the task of reading to broaden our field of knowledge. Jesus told us to “Abide in my Word and the truth shall set you free.” I am only one of millions who throughout the past two millennia have discovered that this is absolutely true. Why otherwise is the Bible published in numbers that far outstrip any other book anywhere? This then is my bias and with that the search through the journals of science and of history has led me to the reasonable conclusion that this earth is not multimillions of years old. The better evidence just does not support it. Worse than that, what kind of god would take multimillions of years to finally get it right in producing, say, a Charles Darwin? Those Christians who worship at the altar of evolution can have that kind of god.

So to return to the question of anticlines and erosion I cannot begin with the assumption that there are millions of years to play with, but rather only a few thousand. Thus I have to look at the evidences within the anticlines that will effectively explain their formation within that time frame. I need time to search this out and can add no more to my argument at this point. I am willing to modify or change the argument in In The Minds of Men if this is possible. However, timing is rather crucial because the opportunity to make minor changes can only occur at the next printing and I am told the the next printing, the seventh, is imminent. Sales have been unexpectedly high recently, possibly because of the attention paid to this book by those who have contributed to this now rather protracted discussion.If that is the case I want to thank you gentlemen. However, I would like everyone to know that I am sorry but I cannot and will not spend any further time on this exercise.

Sincerely,

Ian Taylor


Note:In The Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order” by Ian Taylor (TFE Publishing) can be purchased on the web through Answers in Genesis or Amazon.com, or directly from TFE Publishing:

In the US:
TFE Publishing
P.O. Box 48220,
Minneapolis, MN 55433
Tel: (612) 856-3989
In Canada:
TFE Publishing
50 Gervais Drive, suite 307
Toronto, ON. M3C 1Z3
Tel: (416) 391-3678

Australian, NZ and UK readers can order the book by emailing orders@answersingenesis.com.

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