More for the benefit of the other people standing around, many of whom were probably creationists, rather than for Jason Lisle himself, I asked him about various orbital resonances in the Solar System, and in particular the Kirkwood gaps18 in the asteroid belt, showing irrefutably that the Solar System is much more than 6000 years old. The Kirkwood gaps can be directly tested by placing test particles in a computational model of the Solar System, and just calculating the equations of motions, there are no assumptions other than the orbit of Jupiter has not changed, and the law of gravity has not changed. I pointed out to him that after a few hundred thousand or million years of simulated time on a computer, asteroids in certain orbits are ejected, which confirms the Kirkwood gaps, to which he replied that God created the Solar System to appear that way. This is the common creationist cop-out argument, when all else fails invoke the appearance-of-age argument as an explanation.
A common defense for the creationist appearance-of-age argument is that Adam was created mature in the Garden of Eden in order to be fully functional. There are two problems with this, quite apart from whether Adam existed or not as a real individual: (1) his remains are not around today (or have not been identified), whereas starlight, rocks and asteroid orbits can be directly observed today, and (2) one could argue that if Adam existed, he had to be mature to be fully functional, but, say, the Kirkwood gaps or the craters on the Moon perform no function other than to deceive us into believing in a false and non-existent past history of a 6000 year old Solar System. I argued with him that he was following a God of deception rather than a God of truth. Another problem with the appearance-of-age argument is that it is not science because it is not falsifiable even in principle, i.e. the argument by implication is that God being omnipotent could fool us in such a way that humans could never test this argument out to see if it is true or false even in principle. This type of argument is junk science and trailer trash theology.
My coup de grace was to produce some papers he published and reviewed when he was a research student in Colorado. At http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~joel/seminar98.html under the entries for February 18 and April 22, he reviewed a couple of papers on luminous blue variables, where timescales of millions of years are mentioned. I asked him how he could square that with his belief in a 6000 year old universe. He looked rather surprised when I produced these papers, and could only say that he had to keep his beliefs under wraps when he was studying for his Ph.D. A colleague of mine at work had contacted his old thesis advisor in Colorado, and his advisor was most surprised to hear of Jason Lisle’s beliefs, because he was a good student. Note that it is a matter with his creationist beliefs that is an issue, not his Christian beliefs.
zilch wrote:Again, I'm surprised that Lisle can maintain his heroic cognitive dissonance. He must know at some level that this is bull. But at least he hasn't removed your comment yet.
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