Logic Textbook Attacks Mid-19th Century Creationist Argument

Continuing on in Hurley’s, A Concise Introduction to Logic, Hurley now begins to use his own logic against some of the early defenders of the book of Genesis, who often accepted parts of the old earth Lyellian arguments, thus weakening their defense. He notes that Phillip Gosse argued that God created the earth with the appearance of age, even to the point of having instantaneously created fossils that looked millions of years old. Naturally our champion of logic has fun with that, lol, but I wonder how he would do in an open debate with a modern creationist? It’s not for nothing that the famous Isaac Asimov called for evolutionists to stop debating creation scientists, because they were losing the debates so regularly.

Not that I think that all Gosse’s ideas were wrong. Undoubtedly God did create many parts of creation in a mature form, which would give it the appearance of age to some degree. Adam was not created a little baby, but a mature man and the same with Eve. The earth was made fully functional and to make it so, it had to have at least the appearance of being older than it really was. But of course, there wouldn’t have been any fossils, or any need to create fossils and Hurley rightly scoffs at that. In doing so however Hurley once again shows himself to be suffering from a lack of a working knowledge of the scientific arguments and data involved in the origins discussion. This is disconcerting in someone doctored in logic and being paid a handsome sum to write a logic textbook for  secular colleges. Hurley replies to Gosse thus;

“Does his theory make God out to be a deceiver? Is a theory with a fake history better than one with no history? If we were to update Gosse’s theory we would have to add that God created the world with light rays having been emitted by distant galaxies more than 10 billion light years away and with fossils having carbon 12 to carbon 14 ratios that indicate the fossils are millions of years old.”

Of course a fake history would not be better than no history, but that is exactly why I reject the theories of Charles Darwin and Lyell, they are fake histories which cannot be falsified, and apparently unknown to Hurley, many leading geologists and paleontologists who are active evolutionists have admitted that Charles Lyell played fast and loose with the facts, much more so than the biblical flood geologists. God certainly isn’t trying to deceive anybody and plainly tells us that Adam and Eve were created in a mature form. It is Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin who turned hand stands to avoid the obvious catastrophic nature of the geological column and it’s fossils, not Moses.

Fossils are the product of catastrophe not long periods of slow burial. And while many local fossil beds were caused by small floods and volcanic eruptions, the huge layers we find in many parts of the earth and on top of almost all the major mountain ranges were laid down by what appears to have been a global flood. And as for Hurley’s statement about the carbon content in fossils, he is misinformed. Carbon can only give evidence for up to about 50,000 years, it can’t give dates in the millions. So in reality no fossil alleged to be millions of years old should have any carbon left to date. Hurley is confused here, but brings up an interesting point. A team of scientists performed tests on many fossils, and even on coal and diamonds, all thought by Lyell’s theory to be millions to billions of years old, yet all of them showed trace carbon, meaning they had to have been buried much more recently.

But when you’ve got such a good argument going, particularly on students who have grown up with inaccurate media and TV propaganda, why let the actual scientific data get in the way? The distant starlight problem is not one easily answered simply because in reality no knows how light travels in space or exactly how it is affected by gravity and other forces. The atheist creation story also has a light/time problem as background radiation has spread all over observable space faster than is accountable by their present paradigm. Creationists have come up with some interesting ideas on this, including the effects of a gravity well on time which could account for light reaching earth in a biblical time frame.

As a matter of fact one creation scientist, Russel Humphrey’s, used a young earth/universe model to predict the magnetic fields of some of the planets and when the actual data came in he was the only scientist that got it right. Hurley was probably at home reading Dawkins when that event hit the science tabloids. What John Eddy, a solar astronomer in Boulder Colorado said some years ago is still true;

“I suspect the sun is 4.5 billion years old. However, given some new and unexpected results to the contrary, and some time for frantic recalculation and theoretical readjustment, I suspect we could live with Bishop Ussher’s value for the age of the Earth and Sun. I don’t think we have much in the way of observational evidence in astronomy to conflict with that.”

(Eddy, Geotimes, vol. 23, 1978, p.18)

The evolutionary story has lot’s of time problems, for example they had to invent Oort’s field to account for the presence of the many comets we observe, and they seldom tell students that the field is purely hypothetical. As a matter of fact, Hurley never seriously critiques his own world view, or at least I haven’t found any evidence for that in his textbook. Hurley makes a point of asking whether Gosse’s arguments are disconfirmable, and of course to a great degree they are not, as Hurley’s also are not. We can’t go back in time and see how long it took for starlight to reach the Earth or watch God create ex nihilo.

Gosse’s arguments about a mature creation of Adam and Eve though could be tested to a degree by studying biology and seeing whether living things can form slowly piece by piece from dead matter, and if they appear that way in the fossil record. Unfortunately for Hurley and Darwin, yet fortunately for even Gosse’s worst arguments, most phyla show up in the fossil record fully formed and life cannot arise from dead matter. So while not ultimately provable by scientific experiment, Gosse’s arguments, which are some of the least based on actual scientific data, still fare better than Hurleys.

But Hurley never puts his atheistic beliefs to the same tests he so zealously applies to theism, the bible, or other competing world views. And as far as I know, no other student has ever complained or challenged the college on this illogical and biased approach to logic. I did write a letter to Sekulow’s ACLJ, but received no response. ( they are busy and may have felt it would be an unwinnable suit) And I challenged the prof when she used one of Hurley’s strawman and false dichotomy arguments in her online lecture attacking intelligent design; after that she studiously avoided using any part of his book that took that approach.

Next we will look at another Hurley attack on scripture, where Hurley targets the Genesis flood story.

Have a great day.


About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
This entry was posted in Secular college textbooks reviewed. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Logic Textbook Attacks Mid-19th Century Creationist Argument

  1. Yirmeyahu says:

    Could you please provide the section in which Hurley makes the comments?


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