Park Service Reverses Decision, Allows Christian Geologist to Study Grand Canyon Following Lawsuit

PHOENIX, Ariz. – A Christian geologist who sued government officials for discriminating against his religious beliefs will be allowed to conduct research within the Grand Canyon after all, as the National Park Service (NPS) has reversed its initial decision to deny the request.

As previously reported, Dr. Andrew Snelling of Answers in Genesis requested permission from the NPS to study sedimentary rock layers within the Grand Canyon. After three geologists advised the NPS that Snelling’s research was “inappropriate,” “outlandish,” and “dead end creationist material,” the NPS denied his request and recommended that he conduct his research elsewhere.

Alleging discrimination on the basis of his religious beliefs, Snelling filed a lawsuit against the NPS.

“I am merely asking for equal treatment by the government,” he said in a press release in May.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represented Snelling in the case. ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb said the case was troubling “because park officials specifically targeted Dr. Snelling’s religious faith as the reason to stop his research.”

On Wednesday, ADF and Answers in Genesis announced that, after the lawsuit was filed, NPS officials reversed their decision and finally granted Snelling a research permit to conduct research in the Grand Canyon. As a result, ADF attorneys voluntarily dismissed the case in federal court.

“We commend Park Service officials, Interior Secretary Zinke, and the Trump administration for understanding that specifically targeting Dr. Snelling’s faith as the reason to stop his research was both inappropriate and unconstitutional,” McCaleb said in a news release.

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“As the Park Service finally admitted, ‘Dr. Snelling’s proposal is well stated with methods that are similar or equal to standard scientific practice to test the hypothesis provided,’ so it is the right choice to let the research go forward.”

“This settlement benefits everyone, in that it sends the message that the government will not interfere with basic scientific inquiry,” added ADF attorney Michael Kitchen. “Scientists must be allowed to pursue their research, put theories to the test, and reach independent conclusions without the federal government blocking access to data based on a researcher’s religious faith.”

In a press release from Answers in Genesis, Snelling said he was thankful that government officials reversed their decision.

“I am gratified that the Grand Canyon Research staff have recognized the quality and integrity of my proposed research project and issued the desired research permits so that I can collect rock samples in the Park, perform the planned testing of them, and openly report the results for the benefit of all,” he said.

Ken Ham, president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, said that Snelling “was only asking for equal access to the canyon.”

“I trust that government officials and secular activists will think twice now before attempting to infringe on the religious liberty of Christians who are creationists and qualified scientists,” he stated. “I am very thankful for the work of the excellent attorneys at ADF for standing up for a scientist’s religious beliefs. More than ever, we need to be upholding the First Amendment’s guarantee of the freedom to express religious beliefs.”

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  • John Connor

    Aig? Let them study the canyon. They’re nothing more than a group of quacks

    • Gary Johnson

      Said the duck

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Good! Evolutionists need to stop being afraid of real science.

    • John Connor

      Show us your “real” science. AIG is the laughingstock of the true scientific community. These are the people who believe men and dinosaurs had gladiator battles and that the earth is 6000 years old.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Real science? You mean like inventing the MRI? Or being the first surgeon to reattach the human ear? Or how about the senior researcher chemist at DuPont who invented the bulletproof vest? The biggest and the best scientific discoveries have been made by Creationists.

        • John Connor

          Are you saying that only creationists have invented great things? Surely not. That would be a lie sir. The Debakey clamp, Blaylock-Tausdig shunt, CT scanner were not invented by creationists. That’s just for starters. One one greatest lifesaving devices called ECMO wasn’t invented by a creationist. I can go on all day. Stop the prevarications.

          • DrFinster

            Hear! Hear!

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I didn’t say all, I said most. Dr. DeBakery was raised in a Christian church, by the way. He said he became a doctor as part of his religion and believed in putting his beliefs into action by helping others. Dr. Bartlett was raised in a Christian church, too. He’s a descendant of Puritans. You want to try again?

          • John Connor

            Nope. Show that they are creationists please. Christian doesn’t equal creationist. It’s also telling that creation science doesn’t ever seem to publish their “findings” in peer reviewed science journals. Wonder why…

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Christian does mean Creationist although it is not exclusive to Christianity. It means that one believes in a Creator. Many Creationists have been published in peer reviewed journals. Do you even read them? You didn’t even know who Dr. DeBakery or Dr. Bartlett were or what their beliefs were.

          • John Connor

            Wrong again. There is too much disagreement within the christian community on creation.
            My close friend and colleague trained with Dr Debakey during his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery. Debakey is no creationist. Bartlett was definitely a christian but, again, it doesn’t mean he believed in a 6000 year old earth.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You are confusing the term Creationist with Young Earth Creationist. Dr. Debakey believed in Intelligent Design. He did not believe in debating it. Dr. Bartlett was also a Creationist.

          • John Connor

            We are talking about aig which is comprised of yec’s.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You need to re-read my original post.

          • John Connor


    • MCrow

      We aren’t. The thing is, I bet I already know exactly what AIG will “discover” from the study. The conclusion is already set for them. That is the opposite of “real science.” If they have any new evidence or arguments from this, they can submit it to the scientific community for peer review

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Don’t be afraid of real science or of thinking. It’s good for you.

        • MCrow

          Again, I’m not. When I see some real science from AIG, I’ll support them

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            When have you ever subscribed to anything from AIG? And how would you know real science in the first place?

          • MCrow

            I used to be a creationist, actually. I know real science by looking at whether the steps follow the scientific method. Deductive vs. inductive reasoning

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            So you don’t think Newton did real science? Or Dr. Snelling who is published in peer reviewed journals?

          • MCrow

            Did I say I did not think Newton did real science? Or even Snelling? No. I said that the methods of science are very clear: deductive, not inductive. AIG already knows what their conclusion will be, so their methods are inductive, not deductive. That is all I said, and all I will continue to say

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            What do you think evolution is?

          • MCrow

            Hmm…apparently posting the literal definition of evolution gets my post deleted.

            Genetic change over time resulting in speciation, would be my very clumsy definition. The concept was formed from observation of numerous specific instances to form a general concept. Deduction.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            That’s not what evolution is based upon. Evolution is based upon pure speculation and a presupposed theory that has no evidence.

          • MCrow

            Presupposition would require that the theory was created and then evidence found later to suit it. The opposite is how the theory formed. People observed adapted species, observed how species which had adapted to the environment passed on beneficial mutations and traits, and then took that evidence to create the theory of evolution. As studies have continued, the notion of evolution makes more sense, not less. Evolution is just change in heritable traits over time combined with the pressure of natural selection

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            That’s false. Darwin hopped on a racist theory that certain ethnicities were sub-standard and sub-human, and then tried to fit what he saw into that. It doesn’t work. That’s why evolutionary text books are always changing, sometimes to the point of science students getting handouts to supplement what’s wrong in their textbooks. There is absolutely no proof of evolution whatsoever.

          • Spinuzzi

            The Second law of Thermodynamics, alone, refutes evolution. NO evidence of evolution has ever been verified, and what has been called evidence has been shown to be adaptation using existing DNA within the species, from what has been mis-labelled “junk DNA”. “Science’ is not a sentient being, It is an ever-changing study which is always revealing that we don’t know it all. Witness the dramatic shift, recently, in the understanding of the nature of space, time, and gravity!

          • MCrow

            1) The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that “the entropy of an isolated system does not decrease.” Earth is not an isolated system, nor even really a closed one. Matter and energy do find their way to earth through cosmic radiation, the sun, meteors, etc. Further, evolution is not a function of entropy. Entropy itself is, for lack of a better term, loss of energy and a trend toward uniformity. Google “heat death of the universe” for what happens when entropy wins out.
            2) Adaptation is all evolution is. When a creature that has a trait that gives it an advantage in an environment, it is more likely to pass that trait on to its offspring. That’s it.
            3) Yes, science changes. That’s a feature, not a bug. As we come to better understand the universe, theories are discarded or adapted to better suit the evidence. This is a good thing. Otherwise, we would still think that manned flight was an impossibility, that technology was never going to change, or that man would never walk on the moon. Discovery is the heart of scientific endeavor

          • Edward Borges-Silva

            Isn’t it true that some evolutionary scientists also come to the table with preset biases in the performance of their researches? I don’t think anyone is wholly objective in their approach to science, that is why they take what is a “given” by all scientists and then form a hypothesis to “prove” a particular nuance in the record, whatever the specific discipline.

          • MCrow

            You’re asking me if I think scientists can be biased? Yes, absolutely. However, outside of certain base axioms (namely that we can trust the universe to be consistent), nothing in science is a ‘given.’ If someone has a hypothesis, they must present a falsifiable method of testing it. Evolution is falsifiable. The whole dog becoming a cat thing? That would, amusingly, disprove evolution and we’d now need to operate on pokemon logic. If someone did prove it, they’d be able to present the evidence and have other scientists research and verify it. And that is why evolution is accepted.

            As a side note, there are plenty of Christians who accept evolution. They believe that Yahweh created the universe and the world and then evolution was the method he used to bring about life. Humans were still created from dust (base matter) and he “breathed” a soul into them (clever play on words: Hebrew “breath” and “soul” are the same word) and that the soul is unique to humans and directly created. It’s not what I believe, but does that make the creation account any less miraculous?

          • Edward Borges-Silva

            I’m not disputing the miraculous nature of the Creation though I’m convinced with respect the Genesis account. I’m merely positing that scientists are no more trustworthy than anyone else in the grand scheme of things, and many things are hypothesized that are not testable in the practical sense, at least in terms of present methods.

  • Emerald

    Ever since the discovery of DNA and the absolute proof of its astounding complexity evolutionists have been silenced and Darwin, himself, admitted it would destroy his theory (which is all it has ever been) – “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Charles Darwin: The Origin of the Species.

    • DrFinster

      And where is the proof of this?

    • james blue

      When have evolutionists ever been silent on complexity? Or DNA?

      • cadcoke5

        They weren’t silent. When confronted by the lack of transitional fossils, they modified Darwinism and came up with “punctuated equilibrium” to explain the absence of evidence. Though, they have not demonstrated a mechanism for the punctuated equilibrium.

        • james blue

          Not sure what argument you are trying to make here. You’ve jumped from complexity and DNA to transitional fossils (and claiming there is a lack of them?)

          • Spinuzzi

            Transitional fossils would be the result of changing complexity in DNA, and yes, evolutionists have never been able to provide a single example of a transitional fossil (unless it was fraud).

          • james blue

            Just out of interest, do you think creationists have provide evidence of a creator?

          • Spinuzzi

            Again, this is where we have a problem when trying to explore what cannot be observed. The evolutionist has to use faith to believe what cannot be observed or proven (because we cannot see what happened millions of years age or see the universe from an outside viewpoint). The creationist must also use faith to believe what cannot be observed or proven. The difference in the two viewpoints is HOW MUCH faith is needed to believe in one idea or the other. When looking at the two theories from a pragmatic and logical point of view it seems that the evolutionary faith takes much more faith for the adherent to continue believing.
            On the one hand there is NO evidence for what is believed in the fossil record and the physical reality just isn’t there, and on the other hand the evidence points to a creator BECAUSE the fossil record and physical reality just does not make sense otherwise.
            To one it is easier to believe in a fairy tale of physics with no creator involved, to the other it is easier to believe in a “God-tale” with almost unbelievable powers involved. What I find fascinating is how many people who believe in evolution like reading/watching tales of small groups of people who have physically impossible super-powers, and think that someday mankind may be able to accomplish just that.

            All that said, yes, I think they have provided evidence of a creator, as nothing else adds up when you look at the physical evidence in an unbiased way. It is for this reason that I abandoned evolutionary faith for a creationist faith – it takes much less of a mental leap to believe in a creator than it does to believe that, against all odds and against the laws of physics, such complexity, balance, variety, and life itself just happened – repeatedly, in a hostile environment, and in quantities that would insure success. (of course, using the word “success” would, actually, infer a mind behind it all…..)

          • james blue

            What evidence of a creator have they provided?

    • John Connor

      Citation? Evolutionary science has no more been silenced by DNA than cut off toe nails. And here you are quoting the very man that most religionists completely disagree with on everything… hmmm….

    • Vladimer Limbaugh

      Low income republican logic

  • FoJC

    The reality of God creating the universe cannot be proven by pure science.

    God isn’t an idea. God speaks to those who listen to Him. Those who hear and believe Him know He created the universe. Everyone contrary to this is lost in Darkness.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • Grace Kwon


    • Sedagive

      If it can’t be proven through science, do you have anything through science proving your god did anything at all?

      • tu.mult

        Evolution or Global Warming….both remain theories?

        • Sedagive

          Evolution is a theory, just like gravity is a theory. In science, a scientific theory is the highest station an idea can attain.

          • Spinuzzi

            Not so. A physical law is highest, as it is repeatable and falsifiable. Theory comes in two stages, proposed and generally accepted. They are not, however, considered law unless they can be proven. Neither creationism nor evolution can be proven at present, and much of the basis for evolution is being dis-proven, both positively and negatively, which is why so many thinking people are turning to creationism in one form or another.

          • Sedagive

            Evolution has been proven, multiple times, with over 150 years, and many thousands of man-hours of research done to show that evolution can, and does happen.

        • Bob Johnson

          We probably disagree on the definition of “theory.”

          • tu.mult

            scientific theory has one definition? Which “theory” are you referring to?

    • The reality of God creating the universe cannot be proven by pure science.

      Of course it can’t. It cannot “prove” anything that does not exist.

      • FoJC

        The universe exists.

        Are you into some strange sci-fi with a little dose of LSD? Do you think you’re just imagining that you’re imagining all this?

        • The universe exists.

          Are you into some strange sci-fi with a little dose of LSD? Do you think you’re just imagining that you’re imagining all this?

          I’ll overlook this logical fallacy because it is clear that you’ve never had training in logic or philosophy. This not a condescension even though you condescended to me. It is implied by your fallacious reasoning, (i.e., something exists, therefore, God exists). It’s called a non-sequitur–the conclusion does not follow from the premise.

          Science, once it broke away from the Church, has gained a great deal of evidence through physics and application that not only does the universe exist, but theoretical science now has growing evidence that ours isn’t the only universe in existence. The mere existence of our universe is definitely not evidence of the existence of a god.

          However, if you would like to have a debate on “Intelligent Design,” then have at it. I doubt, however, you will trust any science, especially theoretical science (which gave us nuclear power and space travel and refutes God’s reason for changing languages at the Tower of Babel Fabel) that tends to refute your religious belief.

          In a novel I wrote (for full disclosure only), a character gives the following argument with the last paragraph incorporating the his interlocutor’s argument:

          . . . I believe evolution to be true because I accept the voluminous body of evidence obtained by objective research and corroborated independently by virtually every field of science. Most people of faith believe their religion is true because, when they were children, it is what they were taught.

          Accepting evolution to be true requires an acceptance of the evidence for its truth. Faith requires only that a believer believes any particular proposition for any number of reasons, but objective evidence is not one of them.

          Secondly, if you will recall the context from which you quoted, I’m saying that the most perplexing question of all is not, ‘Does God exist?’ but, ‘Why is there anything at all?’ I am musing about the origin of existence. It’s an unanswerable question, really, but it’s nonetheless fascinating to ponder, at least for me.

          What I am saying is that, even as my mind reels in awe at existence itself—even as I am staggered by the breathtaking improbability of it all, I cannot conceive of a conscious, intelligent being at its foundation.

          And, to assume that such an intelligent being—a god—is the cause of existence, is no answer at all, even if you do agree with the concept that this god caused Itself to come into existence. Whence did it come by all the knowledge it needed to create anything?

          In my humble opinion, it is more reasonable to accept the possibility of the eternal existence of energy, manifesting in one form or another, or even to believe in energy as self-causing, than to suggest that a thinking mind, consisting of nothing, coming from nothing, popped out of nowhere, into nowhere, thought about it, then made it somewhere.

          For there to be a thought, or even a popping into existence, logic would say there must first be motion, and that which is in motion would have to become organized. There must be a causal link from movement to organization before a thought can organize.

          And, for there to be motion, of course, there must be something that moves, which would necessarily be something energetic. There is an energetic precondition, Reverend, for every thought and memory in your head.

          So, to boil all this down to its base element, even though I believe both propositions—existence caused by a god, and existence caused by no god—are irrational, I think the existence of an eternal energy field is less so because we know the energy field exists. We are a part of it. We have the observable evidence of its existence.

          • FoJC

            Multitudes of words not worth reading. Such of waste of your time.

          • Multitudes of words not worth reading. Such of waste of your time.

            This is why you remain ignorant of science and it is why you cowardly run from my question. You have no intellectual curiosity. Such a terrible waste of a brain.

            There is no way you can hide your hypocrisy at this point.You’ve laid it out for all to see. To run from facing a hard question by attacking the person instead of facing the question with honor (win or lose) is the same as throwing up a smokescreen to hide a fear-driven retreat.

            I’m sorry that you apparently think so little of your own mind that you have no desire to improve it.

          • FoJC

            I’m not ignorant and not a coward. You’re just baiting me with a prideful accusation. You are most definitely of the world, lost in the Darkness of Sin.

            “Fight, Fight!” They cried to the Christians as they watched them killed by beasts.

            Oh, how the Wicked love a “good fight”. I will fight the good fight of Faith, and lay hold of Eternal Life.

            If you want to continue to believe lies, that is your choice. I will continue to believe the Truth.

            (I’m breaking this up so you can copy and retort easier.)

          • Let me refine my question. Do you believe that your brand/denomination of Christianity has inaccurate and/or falsehoods concerning history? Or, is it pure–free of any wrong information whether in the OT or the NT, and, if so, how do you know it’s true?

            I’m expecting another dodge, but I still hold out hope for a more detailed, in depth, civil discussion of history.

          • FoJC

            The Scriptures weren’t given to Believers to be a history book.

            History books are inaccurate, often one sided, and incomplete. All the recorded history we have, and people are still doing the same stupid, destructive things as those in past times. It shows you just how ineffective history is on current behavior, and a testament to the truly fallen nature of mankind.

            Jesus came to save you from your fallen nature. He will forgive you of your Sin and grant you His Righteousness. He will also baptize you with His Holy Spirit. He will start the work of Salvation in you and He will complete it, so that you can enter into the Eternal Life and Place He is preparing for those who Believe.

            Jesus loves you.

          • Well, that didn’t actually answer the question. Are you suggesting there is no misinformation and no mistakes in the Bible and that whatever history books or science books say that conflicts with Biblical Stories, the history books and science books are wrong? We should not learn about history from history books? Stop scientific research where it might conflict with scriptures?

            I think most Christians, these days, decide that when science happens to conflict with the Bible, then they relegate the biblical story(ies) in conflict with science to metaphor or parable—the stories of Noah, the Tower of Babel, and the invasion and genocide of Canaan by the Israelites, for example. Then, of course, there is the implied geocentrism of Earth.

            And, for that matter, the creation story is logically inconsistent—a fact that led to women being blamed for the evil in the world, while all along the Bible states that God, Itself, created evil.

            And, if evil was introduced so that humans would have free will, then wasn’t it in the plan all along, and the creation, as told in Genesis, was merely a stage and the characters were little more than scripted automatons from the start? Thus, who is to blame for the introduction of evil?

            You might consider, as many Christians have, that the Genesis story is a metaphor for evolution. Our now extinct ancestors living in a “state of nature” were driven only by instinct.

            They were innocent, having no ability for abstract thought, but being unable to outrun predators or fight them off, they had to be more cunning. The more cunning individuals lived to pass on their genes to succeeding generations, which became ever more cunning, leading to abstract thought and then to technology, which, perhaps, was the forbidden fruit?

            Or do you suppose “creation” happened as stated in Genesis?

  • Grace Kwon

    Good! Americans should read George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and stay honest and fair till the end. True Americans are Christian-honest and Christian-fair. Americans are not supposed to bully anyone or do anything unfair. Merchants don’t build a nation or sustain it; Christian fathers do.

    • John Connor

      True Americans rise from many faiths as well as being atheists and agnostics as well as pagans. Christian fathers aren’t the only ones supporting America and its values as you would know if you were American

      • Grace Kwon

        But Americans were mostly Christian and created the finest nations. All others are beneficiaries. Non-christians can never come up with the concept of human rights or freedom or fairness.

        • John Connor

          This nation belonged to the native Americans. Your fine christians came to America and slaughtered them by the thousands. We’re a nation built on the bodies of the murdered. What happened to their human rights? What about their freedoms and fairness? You haven’t a clue about America

  • Grace Kwon

    Couldn’t they do what is right in the first place without the lawsuits from the Christians? Where is the brave honest American-ness? Sad. USA needs Judeo-Christian values to be fair.

    • Bob Johnson

      In America I can not just claim I am a scientist and that gives me the right to walk into your backyard and dig up rocks. Likewise, people can not remove rocks, plants, or animals from our national parks – the parks are owned by everyone. The park service does allow a limited number of research projects and many qualified projects do not get permits.

      The park service followed “what was right” and AIG did not like the results. So they sued and won. How every scientist who fails to win a permit can follow AIG’s example. Soon Pastafarians will be in court because their search for pirates is being infringed by the government.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        AIG won because Dr. Snelling is a scientist, published in peer-reviewed journals, and who has gone on digs in the region before.

  • Fang

    The big divide is between “God made this” and “It just happened.” The number of years is moot. This stuff is just a big distraction from the core beliefs of Christianity.

    • Spinuzzi

      Not so! The “big divide’ is Truth! The wording in Exodus concerning creation (see the Sabbath) leaves no room for long epochs and evolution. Either all of the Bible is true, or you can not trust any of it – a Christ-follower cannot be a follower of that faith that is called evolution, and which is not true science. All of scripture agrees with the physical laws we know of, especially the Second Law of Thermodynamics. All things decay – get worse with time. this has been proven concerning the human genome, which means that it is losing information and integrity as time goes on. The result is that the human genome could NOT have been around that long. So far, science validates scripture, and the faith that is called evolution has been increasingly invalidated. Origins CANNOT be verified by scientific study. Make your choice, but don’t claim you can be of both faiths.

  • Yan

    ““I trust that government officials and secular activists will think twice now before attempting to infringe on the religious liberty of Christians who are creationists and qualified scientists…”

    Doubtful, that.

  • Grace Kwon

    To those who believe that white settlers slaughterd the natives; you must remember that the natives slaughtered the white settlers, too. Those who believe that the Europeans should never have come to America should be the first ones to leave America. Everyone is a migrant or migrant’s descendants on Planet Earth.

    Americans are the only few who were good enough to leave any records. Also, the Non-chritendom’s barbarism must have crossed the line in the sight of God around the time of the West’s Exploration. God punishes tribes when their evil gets full by sending foreign powers. Genesis 15. Everyone must repent of one’s own sin and trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. There will be justice for all evil individuals and all evil tribes and all evil nations. Revelation 20.

  • nineleven

    government needs to respect the founders and that the majority of them were Christians. atheists and militant secular humanists want Christians dead and their beliefs and their God. But God turns the tables on them–God exalts his own people and place under wrath and chains for those that despise him and his own believers!

    • Sedagive

      The government does respect the founders. What makes you think they don’t?

      Which atheists and militant secular humanists want Christians dead?

  • I suppose that if fake news is spread about by the Russians with Trump’s and evangelicals’ blessings, fake science is fair game as well.

    Note: Creationism isn’t science when a conclusion is decided before research, and at no time is the conclusion (God did it) ever doubted or questioned.

    • Spinuzzi

      Note: Evolutionism isn’t science when a conclusion is decided before research (especially using circular logic), and at no time is the conclusion (everything came from nothing, and the Second Law didn’t apply back then) ever doubted or questioned.

      • I’m sorry that you apparently have no idea about the scientific method. You are quite confused.

        Do you really believe that women should be blamed for introducing evil into the world because she was fooled by a talking snake into eating fruit? Yet you deny science that cannot proceed without evidence and INDEPENDENT verification of hypotheses?

        Don’t you know that such hard line thinking is easily harnessed by self-interested politicians–such as voting for Donald Trump who is as far from Christian ethics (as many Christians are), as one can be? Are lies part of your family values?

        • Spinuzzi

          All of your accusations here are part of an ad hominim attempt to discredit me without addressing what I actually said.
          1) I do understand the scientific method, and am also aware of how easily it may be subverted by approaching the problem from a biased viewpoint – which can happen on either side.
          2) I am in no way confused, and that is the problem that you have with me – that I an NOT confused at all.
          3) Your overly simplistic idea of what may, or may not, have happened concerning how sin came into this world shows a lack of understanding of your opponent’s viewpoint, the scriptural account, and what sin is. It would appear that you are, indeed, the confused one.
          4) I nowhere have denied that science cannot proceed without evidence – on the contrary, I suggest that people of a particular viewpoint are IGNORING evidence, and basing their conclusions on inaccurate data and/or false assumptions.
          5) Where on earth did you ever get the idea that I voted for Trump or support him? In fact, I have said I DON’T like him (other places, not here). This is a childish and, if I do say so, a stupid attempt to attack my character and credibility, and has no place in this discussion.
          6) Truth is the most important factor in my life, and I have taught my children to believe the same way. You confuse belief (yours) with Truth. Truth supersedes belief – mine or yours.
          The question is whether we deny Truth because of our beliefs. My own investigations have caused me to abandon my previous belief system (evolution) for a different belief system (based on the Bible) that makes much more sense from an evidence-based point of view.

          • Evolutionism isn’t science when a conclusion is decided before research (especially using circular logic), and at no time is the conclusion (everything came from nothing, and the Second Law didn’t apply back then) ever doubted or questioned.

            Well, faking outcomes is NOT the scientific method. It is in creationism because at no point will the conclusion that a god did it all, is questioned of doubted. Therefore, either data must be discarded (including physics) or “redefined” or faked.

            And please don’t just try to say that apples to evolutionary science, because it is an affront to critical thinking. For example, two children accusing each other of being “stupid.”

            In any case, I’m understanding that you suggest that objective, scientific method is no more reliable (or even less so) that a subjective, religious belief. I’m sure fundamentalist believers in every religion would believe exactly the same. That is not a condescension, but a fact.

            1) I’m sorry that you took my answer to be demeaning. I suppose it did sound that way. Perhaps I should have been more clear. But your answer was insufficient to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method.

            I’ll try again in case I missed something.

            Using the scientific method means that when a question about natural phenomenon arises and a scientist investigates it, she first observes it closely and makes an educated guess as to the nature of the phenomenon. This is a hypothesis and it is based on logic and empirical knowledge of similar phenomena.

            She then devises ways to test–to experiment–such that, if her hypothesis is correct, she should see a particular result (prediction). If the tests refute her hypothesis, she DISCARDS the HYPOTHESIS for one that better fits the evidence of her experiments, and then begins to test the new hypothesis.

            Once she’s come up with a hypothesis that fits the experimental evidence and cannot find a way to refute it, then she publishes her data in a peer reviewed scientific journal. At that point, other scientists, independent of her, will reproduce her experiment for proof that the outcome is as she said. Then they devise their own experiments for further testing in order to verify or refute their previous findings.

            Only after years of such testing and independent verification–especially subsequent findings in the field–they cannot refute the hypothesis, it becomes a scientific theory. Thus, the pedestrian definition of a “theory,” is nothing like a scientific theory even though creationists dishonestly (or ignorantly) try to conflate the two.

            Does creation do this? No. That is why it is not science.

            2) Irrelevant.

            3) You gave no argument to back up your assertion.


            I suggest that people of a particular viewpoint are IGNORING evidence, and basing their conclusions on inaccurate data and/or false assumptions.”

            Certainly that happens, but rather infrequently–an infinitesimally small percentage across all nations and generations, and when it does, it is most often discovered through the scientific method when an INDEPENDENT observation or study is made (e.g., Piltdown Man and the Fleischmann-Pons’ “discovery” of cold fusion).

            Do you think that faith/religious belief can get it wrong or contain false or faked information? And, BTW, exactly what is your evidence that evolution is false and your religious belief is correct?

            Check out this article in Scientific American, When Scientists Sin. As the article states, “Fraud, deception and lies in research reveal how science is (mostly) self-correcting” In other words, the scientific method works despite the fact that some try to falsify it or force a conclusion.

            5) I’m always interested in the way people vote and why. Evangelicals/fundamentalists who are strongly in the camp of faith over facts, support Trump (the consummate deceiver) and appear to have no problems with his virtually daily cardinal sins. Your assumption about your faith outweighing science, I think, is the same as faith over facts.


            Truth is the most important factor in my life

            So do I.

            “Truth” is the most abused word in the English language.” Every one of every religion believes theirs is THE Truth.

            And I think you’d better explain your definition of the word “truth.” Are you speaking of objective truth or subjective truth? There is a very big difference, you know.

          • Spinuzzi

            Your own arguments in this reply validate what I have said. You say I am wrong, then give an example that proves what I said. I believe that others here can see that, and that any response to you here is a waste of my time. Good day.

          • You need answer my questions. Why are you declaring victory and running from the field of debate?

          • Spinuzzi

            Because this debate, with you, is a side issue. Let’s get to the crux of the matter, shall we Max? You use issues like this as a weapon to demoralize and confuse those who wish to follow what they believe is a good and just God. The real issue with you is your all-consuming hatred of God. You blame Him for your unhappiness and for the unfulfilled nature of your soul. You have believed the great deceiver in his oldest lies, that you can be like God, that He will ultimately be thrown down as Ruler of the Universe, and judged by you or someone like you. This is an extremely foolish position to take, as those powers you rely on to do this were also created by Almighty God, and are subject to His will. You do not accept that you are, as part of His creation, wholly owned by Him, as we are all. As such, He may do with you as He wills. The prophecy is true, He will judge us all. I fear for you, for if you do not change course and recognize Him for who He is, you find yourself at odds with the all-powerful God who has given you every chance to become an adopted son and who has every right to do with you whatever He wishes. He gave you the opportunity to live. He gave you the opportunity to have your own mind. He gave you the opportunity to either love Him or rebel against Him. But that opportunity is going away – you are no longer young, Max, and your time will soon come to an end here on earth. After this will come certain judgement, one that your lying master will not be able to prevent. This is the case for us all, and this is the truth you rail against, for He alone is Truth, as He decides what is or is not true. You try to convince others that He does not exist – that He is not God, yet you believe in Him, or the hatred that consumes you and keeps you up at night would not be there to torment you.
            First company Marines has a saying: “Best friend – Worst Enemy.” Nowhere in this universe is that saying more true than when applied to God Almighty. Repent of your rebellion, Max, and with us, enter the incredible joy of our true Master, who offers us the adoption of sons.
            Max, it was God Himself who put the snake in the garden. This whole thing is a setup to find a family for Himself – and He allows us to choose! I urge you to make the right choice, which leads to love, and not the choice you have made so far, which leads to hatred.
            -Your fellow traveler, -S

          • I do wish you would break up that huge paragraph into many. It would make for easier reading.

            You use issues like this as a weapon to demoralize and confuse those who wish to follow what they believe is a good and just God.

            How can my argument’s be confusing and demoralizing? I stated the scientific method. Is that confusing? Was it not clear that the key to real science is independent verification?

            And it is definitely not off subject. Snelling is doing unscientific research. He will not follow the scientific method because he already is assuming that the Genesis creation story is true. And, of course, the story is not verifiable and replete with logical errors.

            This debate is about what method of investigation is most likely to render objective evidence of the origin of the Grand Canyon. Trying to fit the evidence to the conclusion (creationism), or trying to ascertain the age and origin of the Grand Canyon by independent verification (the scientific method).

            The reason I pose these questions that are challenging to fundamentalist Christians is because Christians, while screaming bloody murder any time they perceive the government intruding into their lives and religion, have absolutely no problem in using that same government to force the rest of society to abide by their beliefs (in the name of “religious freedom”).

            I keep up with the news on church-state separation and how fundamentalists are constantly trying to tear down the wall. If Christians would simply worship their god as they have the perfect right to do and leave others alone to live according to the dictates of their conscience, then I’d have no problem with it at all.

            As for your god being “good and just,” surely you must have cognitive dissonance when you read the OT. Or, are you able to hold and believe two contradicting propositions in your head at the same time? That is not a condescending question. It is, in fact, a question philosophers and psychologists have been arguing for many years.

            How can you say, for example, that the god of the OT ordering Joshua to commit genocide in Canaan was just, merciful and good? (Actually, there is little or no evidence shown by objective archaeology that it ever took place either at Jericho or on into Canaan sequentially.)

            What is moral in a god killing 70,000 innocent men for the transgressions of their leader (one man)? What is moral in ordering an attack on a city and butchering every man woman and child without warning, without negotiations, and without even an ultimatum? What is moral good and just in having two bears rip apart 43 children because they laughed a the god’s prophet’s bald head? What is moral about buying and selling people (slaves)? What is moral about a god “hardening the heart of Pharaoh” just so he could “show his signs” by killing thousands of innocent men, male children and beasts?

            Exactly what is your definition of “morality” and how does it apply to the OT god? Was he amoral. Were his actions good and just because they were his actions, or were his actions good and just because they were the good and just things to do?

            I don’t want to confuse you here, but that is another long debated question in philosophy, originally posited by Socrates.

            The real issue with you is your all-consuming hatred of God.

            Pardon me, but I have to laugh at that one. If one does not believe in the existence of a thing, one cannot hate it. Please think about that. It is basic logic. For example, Why do you hate Ahura Mazda?

            Think about that last question.

            The rest of your post is simply wasted. I don’t believe in your god. I do not believe in the existence of any gods. I follow only one tenet, “do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”

            That is in your Gospels, as well as it is in many religions and was the clarion call of the wise, ancient sages. But religions have built so many walls of exclusive dogma that the Golden Rule, the only path to world peace, has been crushed beneath them. It is ignored.

            I do love debate. I consider it to be both a learning and a teaching tool. I welcome all challenges to by philosophy. That is how I evolved from de facto fundamentalist Christianity to de facto Atheism. My mind is now free to explore in any direction. If there were a just and good god, It would certainly approve of using one’s mind to question and explore.

          • Spinuzzi

            My reply was not about this thread. You seem to have missed that. I was referring to your history. And, yes, you do believe in God, or you would not have written that book. No, this is about you. You can deflect and deny all you want, but eventually you will have to face God, and the Truth.

          • You are quite right that your reply was not about the subject on which we were debating–it was a red herring–an attempt to evade the question by changing the subject. It is a very common argumentative logical fallacy.

            Your original argument:

            Evolutionism isn’t science when a conclusion is decided before research (especially using circular logic), and at no time is the conclusion (everything came from nothing, and the Second Law didn’t apply back then) ever doubted or questioned.

            That argument demonstrated a lack of knowledge about the scientific method that you subsequently claimed to know. I laid it all out for you and then you claimed that my argument supported what you’d said. It certainly did not.

            Your assumption that the scientific method is flawed hinged on the fact that sometimes a scientist will fake the results or rely on incorrect data, therefore, the scientific method cannot be be a reliable means to find truth, therefore (by extension) evolution never happened.

            You then ignored my question to you that I placed in italic to show its importance and to show why you are very mistaken: b>Do you think that faith/religious belief can get it wrong or contain false or faked information. . .?

            I’m not going to let you throw up a fallacious red herring argument and change the subject.

            Because this debate, with you, is a side issue. Let’s get to the crux of the matter, shall we Max? You use issues like this as a weapon to demoralize and confuse those who wish to follow what they believe is a good and just God. The real issue with you is your all-consuming hatred of God

            This is THE CLASSIC red herring argument. You change the subject to make it about me instead of the scientific method with directly applies to this blog.

            Care to get back to the subject and answer my question?

          • Spinuzzi

            Oh, come off it, man! What YOU are saying is the red herring. Hey everybody, notice what this guy does: I said WHEN a conclusion is decided before research then that research isn’t science, but he would have you believe that I do not understand what is true science or the scientific method, which is EXACTLY what I was warning against! Note that I NEVER said the scientific method was flawed – these are his words only. The man has no honor.
            Check this guy out and you will see how he tries to skew what the other person says, while ignoring the validity of what they did actually say, in order to make himself “right”.
            As far as his question about religion getting it wrong is concerned, he obviously did not do due diligence in research, or he would know that my main thrust and passion is in correcting the false assumptions and doctrines that have arisen in the various denominations.
            No, Max, your core problem is, indeed, that you hate God, and THAT is what you really need to deal with!

          • My my, but you certainly are desperate to escape answering my question. Is your cognitive dissonance so intense that you must evade it at all cost?

            Face it. You cannot answer the question because it will expose your hypocrisy and self-deceit.

            Answer the question! Do you think that faith/religious belief can get it wrong or contain false or faked information. . .?

          • Spinuzzi

            I did answer the question in my last post, but you just can’t see it. Got your goat, huh? You need to re-read all my comments, after you take something to relax you a bit.

            Besides, that is NOT, as I have said the real issue with YOU!

          • What you claim to be a red herring with me is absurd. Let’s expand a bit.

            I did, indeed, agree with you that when a scientist begins with a conclusion, it is not science. But it seemed to me that you were implying that evolutionary scientist in general begin with a conclusion (which I agreed that it happens very seldom and is most often caught by the scientific method) when it actually pertains to all of creation “science.”

            Therefore, the scientific method is the correct method for ascertaining the most logical answers to natural phenomena, and creationism is not science because ALL of its research is an attempt to corroborate its conclusion that a god created the earth and all species much as we see them today. That conclusion will never be questioned in their “research.”

            If that is what you were saying, then I’ll have to say that I agree with you.

            Concerning your “answer” to supposing religion ever gets it wrong, you gave another logical fallacy–“I have it right and all others have it wrong.” You didn’t actually say WHY you have the right answers and others have it wrong. You MUST provide evidence that you are right (and not just the ridiculous non sequitur you’ve already suggested).

          • Spinuzzi

            “I have it right and all others have it wrong.”

            Join the club!

          • We are speaking about religious belief. You tend to forget that.

          • Spinuzzi

            Max, for answers to some of the things you ask read my replies to james blue. I doubt it will make any difference, however. Some comments have not been posted yet, but hopefully they will; be allowed.

          • Spinuzzi, if that is your real name (I don’t hide mine and I hope you don’t either), please copy and paste the relevant comments to which you refer. I’ve no idea how many comments you made to James Blue.

          • Spinuzzi

            Well, first off they moderate all comments here, and may be getting a bit tired of all my comments, and I’m reasonably sure they don’t want me to duplicate comments. the comments to james blue are in this thread only, below. &, yeah, not afraid to put my real name & pic out there – don’t have too much respect for anonymous posters (no guts).
            I think it would be really helpful if we don’t make too many assumptions about the position taken by the other, or about each other’s educational level, especially if we are to be friends.

          • I appreciate your civility. It wasn’t as hard to find as I’d thought if I’ve retrieved one of your arguments.

            Spinuzzi to James blue: Transitional fossils would be the result of changing complexity in DNA, and yes, evolutionists have never been able to provide a single example of a transitional fossil

            Sorry, but that is not accurate. every fossil is a transitional fossil. It is a single snapshot in time.

            Why, do you suppose, there are no modern human footprints or fossils to be found in Cretaceous strata and for 10s of millions of years thereafter?

            The scientific method proceeds by independent verification or falsification. A scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable. Hence, one of the best ways to falsify evolutionary science is to find one indisputably and independently verified modern human fossil in Cretaceous rock along with the dinosaurs. Such a discovery would blow the Theory of Evolution out of the water.

            Yet scientists and creationists have been digging and chipping such strata for over two centuries, and have never found such damning evidence. Piltdown man, for example, was discovered to be a hoax by a scientist taking a closer look (and there was a preacher implicated in the hoax, but never proved to be involved).

            It should not be lost that creationists have falsified evidence as well. They are humans, among whom are self-serving parties. I have followed the arguments for many years and have found that there are many, if not most, creationists who love to misquote an evolutionary scientist, leaving out salient words or clauses, or taking out of context sentences in order to make it sound like they were saying the opposite of what they actually said.

            Besides that, unlike creationism, evolutionary science never does research for the purpose of undermining some religious belief. Creationism, however, is all about destroying valid, independently verified scientific theories and data. Science is proactive, not reactive.

            When a scientist falsifies data in order to force a conclusion, it is most often caught by the scientific method. It is likely as well, that a scientist misunderstood some aspect of his experiment. That, too, is caught by the scientific method.

            On the other hand, the biblical creation cannot be directly falsified and nor can the existence of a god. Thus, such notions can never be rated above subjective opinion. This is not an attack, but creationism simply isn’t science.

      • Sorry to take so long to reply.

        First, the link you gave me did not work.

        Secondly, your argument from Intelligent Design is faulty in that ours may very well not be the only universe to evolve in this endless void–if there is a void at all. Theoretical physics is making strides in constructing valid models of a mulitverse/string/brane theory. It certainly makes sense that if there are/were an infinite number of universes such that every conceivable permutation of energy manifests, one or more universes would be fine-tuned enough to bring about life.

        Here is my philosophical opinion, on ultimate origins, from a novel (easier more accurate to copy and paste than to write it all down again):

        It is more reasonable to accept the possibility of the eternal existence of energy, manifesting in one form or another, or even to believe in energy as self-causing, than to suggest that a thinking mind, consisting of nothing, coming from nothing, popped out of nowhere, into nowhere, thought about it, then made it somewhere.

        For there to be a thought, or even a popping into existence, logic would say there must first be motion, and that which is in motion would have to become organized. There must be a causal link from movement to organization before a thought can [manifest].

        And, for there to be motion, of course, there must be something that moves, which would necessarily be something energetic. There is an energetic precondition, Reverend, for every thought and memory in your head.

        So, to boil all this down to its base element, even though I believe both propositions—existence caused by a god, and existence caused by no god—are irrational, I think the existence of an eternal energy field is less so because we know the energy field exists. We are a part of it. We have the observable evidence of its existence.

        Thirdly, you gave the argument from Behe’s Irreducible Complexity. He presented that argument verbally in the Dover, PA trial, Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al, suggesting that the motor mechanism on the bacterial flagellum could not have evolved, but had to be created by an intelligent agent.

        Fortunately there were independent scientists in the courtroom who promptly demonstrated how the mechanism could easily have evolved by natural selection. Behe’s other arguments, e.g., the human immune system, went down in flames as well. You can read the transcript and/or watch the PBS presentation by Googling, NOVA – Official Website | Intelligent Design on Trial – PBS

        And, btw, the judge was a conservative, appointed to the bench by a conservative.
        You stated to James Blue that “The evolutionist has to use faith to believe what cannot be observed or proven.”

        If this were true, then forensic science would be useless (no one saw the murder and police dismiss all clues as irrelevant). This is the position of AiG in its arguments against evolution and this is the crux of your argument. Do you really believe that people are, on faith only, convicted of murder?

        I think that about covers your arguments. I know how fundamentalist faith works. I was a de facto fundamentalist in my teen years, never having been taught anything else. But my life completely turned around on the realization that most people believe their religious “truths” because it is what they were taught to believe from childhood.

        If I had been born to a fundamentalist Muslim family, I would most likely have grown up to be a fundamentalist Muslim and I would have believed it every bit as fervently as the fundamentalist Christian believes Christianity. That is why the divide will always be a divide and the most powerful cannonballs of reason and logic will ever dent their walls.

        • Spinuzzi

          First: I had to email you other parts of a conversation because you did not want to bother finding it on this thread. Then you reply here, where you expect others to figure out what is going on – bad for, old chap.

          Second: I am surprised at your lack of logic in your response, along with the outright misdirection. I will answer your arguments by email.

          • You are quite good at obfuscation. Are you a politician? You make unfounded conjecture and I lay out the logic.

            I could not locate the original message pre email even after searching several pages. Therefore I went back to one that closely matches the arguments you send via email and the one to which is close to the subject at hand. Again, sorry that you are so easily confused.

            However, I can see that you are obfuscating again and not responding to my arguments, but attacking me instead. And you have the temerity to suggest that I lack logic? Why don’t you respond to the arguments instead of using ad hominem attacks? Answer my argument concerning forensic science.

          • Just came across the email you sent yesterday after I posted this morning.

            #1 Very Little Sediment on the Seafloor.

            This first one is very easy. It is certainly an argument from the ill informed to the ill informed. Have you never heard of plate tectonics? The sea floor isn’t static. In fact, the entire surface of the earth is not static. Do you ascribe earthquakes to an angry god? Ever heard of the Pacific Rim? The mid Atlantic rift and the magnetic anomalies banning out from it?
            Sigh . . . Okay, I can see the full picture now. AiG makes an assertion and documents it by referencing a report of their own. That is not scientific. I don’t have the time or the will to plow through and refute all the baseless arguments. That first one is simply profoundly ignorant. And actually, if anyone at AiG is a real biologist he would know about plate tectonics. You are being led by your theological nose.

            I understand, too, that no matter how solidly science refutes the arguments (which have already occurred), you will simply dismiss each one and return to uncivil personal attacks.

            Let’s cut through all the rhetoric. Give me what YOU feel is the BEST argument for a young earth?