Following registration a welcome was extended by Randall Hardy. Opening the meeting he noted that "The whole hope for these days is that they should be opportunities to communicate with one another, not just days when somebody speaks and that's it." Delegates introduced themselves one by one. About 20 people were present, among whom several who had not been to the May meeting.
A reading from Hebrews 1:1-12 highlighted the theme that it is not Creation but the Creator who is important. The changing world in which we live does not tick by itself but is founded and upheld by Jesus, the unchanging Word of God. This was followed by a time of open prayer, during which Isaiah 66:1 was read.
After a short coffee break Stephen Layfield from Bradford, a Physics teacher, introduced the first seminar : The Solar System - Accident or Design?
The task is not to attempt to explain how God created the Solar System, we do not know that present day natural processes are even the same as they were then. Certainly today's popular theories do not account for the existence of the Solar System and arguments from a number of areas and observations can be given to substantiate this.
Symmetry exists among the moons of Saturn, for example, objects which are too small (in mass) to be spherical by gravitational means alone.
Order too is seen in features such as the scientifically inexplicable: e.g. Bode's Law where relative planetary distances from the sun mostly follow a pattern.
Purpose is another hallmark associated with things that have been designed. It is altogether remarkable that our earth-moon system is essentially a double planet where the moon serves as 'a lesser light to rule the night', and for the finer tuning of time keeping. Sun-moon apparent diameters seen from earth are as aesthetically exacting for human observers as they are for time keepers.
Interdependence, the gravitational balance within the Solar System also bespeaks Design. How could self-gravitating systems such as stars like the sun and planets originate by chance operations from mutually dispersing particles of matter following a Big Bang? How, again, have the planets conserved 98% of the System's angular momentum while they constitute only 1% of its total mass? Features of each of the Solar Systems components were considered. Questioning our understanding of stellar nucleo-synthesis, Stephen asked 'Where are the missing neutrinos?'.
Moving out through the System, if Mercury assembled through long periods of accretion by bombardment, why are vast areas of it un-cratered? How did Venus acquire its retrograde spin? Why are both Venus and Mars, so very different from 'sister' earth, in lacking water, for example? Jupiter's variegated moon's present serious evolutionary problems for naturalistic astronomers, as does the ring system of Saturn - far too 'recent' to be billions of evolutionary years old. The axis of Uranus is wildly tilted with respect to the plain of the Solar System and it is retrograde in rotation, yet its orbital eccentricity is relatively negligible by comparison. How could it have 'evolved' these features? Indeed, evolutionary puzzles exist for the remaining planetary representatives, and throughout the cosmos beyond.
Despite all this, however, Stephen noted that "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." We, on the other hand, who acknowledge the Creator God, agree with the Psalmist who notes that the glory of God and His handiwork is indeed evident in the starry Creation itself (Ps 19:1).
Stephen's talk was followed by questions and wider discussion on the Solar System.
Lunch time included an incidental viewing of a video filmed by Karl (North Wales Creation Science Group) of the field-trip to Snowdonia on July 11th 1998. This led appropriately into the second seminar: Flood, Fire And Ferment. Nancy Darrall, a biologist, gave a report on the trip's investigations.
Nancy noted that in earth science it is asked what sort of rock one is examining - ancient or modern, sedimentary, volcanic, and so on . Such questions are best answered in the field, as this provides the context to help us answer such questions as 'what was it like at the time the rock formed? Was it calm or catastrophic?'. The rocks do contain information about these considerations, exactly the sort of thing those on the trip were encouraged to ask. Even Creationists, though convinced that there was once a global Flood, still have to look at and understand the evidence; "were these rocks laid down at the same time or one after another?", and "in what order have things happened?"
In July the excursion started at Llandudno, went on into Snowdonia - the Llanberis valley, round to Tryfan and then the Ogwen valley. About a 50 mile circuit.
The Great Orme at Llandudno is a massive 'face down platter' of sedimentary limestone rock in which we can see a 'pause' in the layering sequence; a vital question asks whether the pause was a long one or relatively very short. Are we talking about millions of years, decades, days or just hours? Another point to note at this stage is the contrast with the much more catastrophic process that once operated in the Snowdon range. A totally different situation when we get to the Snowdon range itself.
In Snowdonia the hills of the Llyn Padarn valley show a progression of different rocks from its north opening to the south. Northward there is a huge mass of volcanic ash tuff, semi-crystallised and a least 2 km deep in places. Much less material came out of Mt. St. Helens and there is no analogue to this size of outflow in earth events today, even remotely so. There is no indication that it was accumulated over long time periods, but every indication that it represents a short-lived and continuous eruption, a rapid event that was utterly catastrophic, or associated with something very catastrophic, in the past.
Just a little further along the valley (southward) the situation changes and the surface consists of sedimentary rocks, with large embedded pebbles. Some of the tuff, as well as material from Anglesey to the north, is found mixed in this conglomerate, resembling a multi-coloured pebble bed. All the stones are elongated in shape, squashed by simultaneous pressure from the north and south of the region. The eroded tuff shows that this conglomerate came after the outpouring of the volcanic ash that formed it. We therefore have an historical perspective.
Further south along the valley the picture changes again. Slate takes over, as fine grain erosion-abrasion material deposited in layers and subjected to temperature and pressure. Once soft mud in horizontal layers, tremendous forces folded and squashed these layers, transforming them into some of the world's most finely cleaved slate.
Further north, another thick band of very hard and large scale tuff occurs. The two tuff bodies have acted like jaws of a vice squashing the rocks in-between, producing the cleavage, slates and oval pebbles we have noted. Gas bubbles have been captured in some of the rock in this area giving us a further feel for the turbulent and catastrophic nature of the events which formed these rocks . Truly 'acid rain' fell through clouds of the volcanic ash and dust-vapour, the rain collecting a layer of this material as a surface film before falling into shallow water and impacting soft rock to form fossilised impressions we can still see. The few other fossils in the area consist of broken and fragmented brachiopod shells, clearly swept in from outside, being simply shattered and dumped by swirling waters. The environment when this rock was formed was an hostile domain, where nothing could have lived. Here then is more evidence of major catastrophic events.
An important point for consideration is Tryfan Mountain. The whole range of surrounding hills have had much of the original top eroded away, but the continuity of folded bands of rock can still be traced, ranging up and down like the curves of a roller-coaster in the compressed rock faces, and especially notable in the region of the 'Devil's Kitchen', for example. But were these hills and Tryfan itself formed over millions or hundreds of thousands of 'evolutionary' years, or over a very much shorter time? Based on the figures we have for the Mt. St. Helens eruption where volcanic ash flow rates could be accurately calculated, and for sandstone deposit rates based on other modern catastrophes and experimental work done in large water tanks, an estimate of the time needed to form this mountain can be readily proposed.
Tryfan shows sloping layers, and was clearly formed flat and later tilted. The principle layers from top to bottom are:
Ash flow 25m A (later) Rhyolite Intrusion (not relevant) Siltstone and more ash flow 30m Layers of course and fine sandstone 250m Ash flow at the base 35m
Computed on the recognised published figures noted, we can from these features deduce that Tryfan could readily have formed in a period requiring the passage of no more than a day or two, a conclusion totally at variance with what we read in standard 'evolutionary' text books, where a hairbreadth of rock might be deposited, in some such supposed situation, per year. (Even the crystals in the rocks are larger than that.) We see instead quite massive layers of rock laid down at one go, in one episode. These are later tilted from horizontal all together, with no evidence for a long geological pausing in between.
In Snowdonia we are seeing direct evidence for catastrophic events, perhaps the Flood itself. The evidence for millions of protracted evolutionary years is, by contrast, quite absent. This sort of exercise and the evidence presented is useful in establishing the validity of the Bible record and account, and is such that we can use this very fact, as indeed Jesus did, in talking to people unreservedly about the truth and certainty of God's awesome judgements, including that which is to come. That is the main 'take home message' here.
Following questions, discussion and a break for refreshment, the day moved into its final session , which was to consider the future programme.
A four monthly schedule was approved . For 1999 the dates are Feb. 13, June 12, Oct. 9.
We hear and read the Creation facts, but how do you broach the question of 'Creation' in talking with other people? Specific outreach meetings could follow standard seminar formats. Areas mentioned for consideration at future seminars included:
The above report was prepared by Karl Kyrso of the North Wales Creation Science
The N.W.C.S.G. Web Site is located at http://www.marketsite.co.uk/bfm.
© Randall Hardy, 1999.
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This page last edited on 1 March 2000