Saturday, July 16, 2011

Flood Geology and the Geological Society of America

Earth magazine is published by the American Geological Institute. Geologist Steven Newton, programs and policy director for the National Center for Science Education, wrote this months cover story, “Creationism creeps into mainstream geology.” Steve discussed the presentations made by young earth creationists at the last annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA).

My compatriot Joe Meert was also at the meetings, and has recorded his observations and reactions on his personal blog, Science, AntiScience and Geology.

So, I think that I can go ahead and relate part of my involvement. Starting in Spring of 2009, the Calvary Chapel creationists wanted to have a “debate” on the Grand Canyon and the age of the earth. I agreed to present the scientific point of view. The Calvary Chapel people kept changing the scope of the topic, the dates, and even who I was supposed to debate with at their church. Ultimately, I was scheduled to debate with Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research. Austin was the editor, and principle contributor to “The Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe,” a YEC piece of work that attributes the Grand Canyon to the Noah’s Flood in Genesis 6-9.

I was already familiar with Austin, and his book. I had in fact predicted that if not Austin himself, the arguments he wrote would be the actual “debate” material from the creationists. When things seemed somewhat settled, I started an internet search to find any recent critiques of Austin’s work, and to see what he had been up to lately. That is when I saw that he was presenting field trips at the GSA meetings along with a bunch of other YEC “geologists.” I pulled together quick biographies of the YEC presenters, including their claims that the GSA had endorsed their “flood science,” and sent emails off to the meeting organizers, the GSA executive board, Joe Meert, and one that wound its way to Steve Newton at the NCSE.

I would like to share the emails, but I don't have permission. Basiclly it was CYA from the organizers. The whole situation really pissed me off- GSA was allowing these liars and frauds to use the meetings to sell the public the idea that their “flood science” was given peer support.

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