Young Earth and Scientific Creationism in the U.S.A. Its History and Influence in Christianity and the Understanding of Science in the U.S.A. By Christopher Sharp University of Arizona
Let us first listen to Ken Ham’s Kangaroo Sound Bite
Contents 1 0. Abstract 1. Introduction 1.1. What is Christianity, What is Science? 1.2. The Spectrum of Beliefs 1.3. A Potted History of Cosmology 1.4. Hebrew/Babylonian Cosmology 1.5. Geocentric Universe 1.6. Heliocentric Universe 1.7. Our Location in Milky Way 1.8. The Big Bang and Scientific Timescale 1.9. Primordial Nucleosynthesis 1.10.The Young Earth Creationist Timescale 2. History of Creationism 2.1. History up to the Late 1700s 2.2. Evolution of Creationism after 1800
Contents 2 2.3. Creationism since World War II 3. Modern Creationism 3.1. Creation “Scientists” and Organizations 3.2. Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith 3.3. Why do Young Earth Creationists Insist on a Recent Creation? 3.4. The Distant Starlight Problem 3.5. Creationist Apologetics 3.6. Noah’s Flood 3.7. Plausible Scientific Explanations for Noah’s Flood 3.8. Creationist Duplicity 3.9. The Rotten Fruits of Creationism 3.10.Creationism in Other Countries 4. Summary 4.1. Summary 4.2. A Last Look
Abstract Young earth and scientific creationism are two distinct but closely related issues: (1) Young earth creationism, often abbreviated as YEC, is a belief that the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are scientifically correct, in particular that a literal 6 day creation took place about 6000 and 10,000 years ago, and Noah’s Flood was a global event that took place about 1500 years later. (2) Scientific creationism, or creation science, is an attempt in apologetics to support (1) using scientifically sounding language. In fact this is pseudo-science. The object of this presentation is to show that young earth and scientific creationism not only seriously undermine the teaching and understanding of science, they seriously undermine Christianity by making a number absurd claims that are totally contradicted by well established scientific evidence, in many cases evidence that has been known for over 100 years. The credibility of Christianity in general is thus seriously damaged, and agnostics and atheists can use the claims made by young earth creationists as ammunition to ridicule Christianity. The claim is thus made here that young earth creationists unwittingly, or even wittingly in some cases, undermine Christianity by proxy. This presentation concentrates on the issues of the age of the universe, the age of the earth and the solar system, and the timing, nature and extent of Noah’s Flood. Other issues such evolutionary biology, who was Adam and the meaning of sin are outside the immediate scope of this presentation.
What is Christianity, What is Science? • Christianity is about a relationship with God through Christ who atoned for our sins on the cross. Christianity is also an explanation for meaning and purpose of our existence. • Christianity is not a scientific explanation of how the physical universe operates, nor how creation took place. However, in common with all other religions, before the advent of modern science it did give an explanation within the cultural context of the day. • Science tries to understand the nature of the physical universe, and the mechanisms of creation, such as the Big Bang, through methodological naturalism, i.e. it is confined to only naturalistic explanations. • Science does not address meaning or purpose, nor makes any assumptions about a supreme being, or supernatural processes. Teleology is not a part of science.
The Spectrum of Beliefs CREATION Flat Earthers Charles K. Johnson - International Flat Earth Society Geocentrists Gerardus Bouw - Biblical Astronomer, Cleveland, OH www.biblicalastronomer.org Tom Willis - Creation Science Association for Mid-America, Cleveland, MO -www.csama.org Young Earth Creationists – outsiders Kent Hovind - Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola,FL- www.drdino.com Carl Baugh - Creation Evidence Museum, Glen Rose, TX - www.creationevidence.org Young Earth Creationists – “mainstream” Henry and John Morris – Institute for Creation Research, Santee, CA – www.icr.org Ken Ham – Answers in Genesis, Petersburg, KY – www.answersingenesis.org
Young Earth Creationists – Omphalos Philip Henry Gosse (1857) Old Earth Creationists – Gap Jimmy Swaggart Old Earth Creationists – Day-Age Jehovah Witnesses - Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Brooklyn, NY Old Earth Creationists – Progressive Norman Geisler Hugh Ross – Reasons to Believe, Pasadena, CA – www.reasons.org Old Earth Creationists – Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Paul Nelson, Jonathan Wells, Stephen C. Meyer - Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA - www.discovery.org/csc and Center for Renewal of Science and Culture. Evolutionary Creationists Schneider, Susan, 1984. Evolutionary creationism: Torah solves the problem of missing links – www.orot.com/ec.html
Theistic Evolutionists Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Methodological Materialistic Evolutionists Stephen J. Gould Philosophical Materialistic Evolutionists Richard Dawkins EVOLUTION Originally from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wic.html with some changes
A Potted History of Cosmology Biblical Universe (Enuma Elish) Geocentric Universe Copernican Universe Newtonian Universe Galactocentric Universe Big BangSteady State Inflation, Multiverse and Quantum Cosmology? Next Model? Yet the Next Model (and so on)? 1000 BC Before 1543 AD After 1543 After 1687 After about 1850 1929 1950 Now
The Big Bang and Scientific Timescale 1) 0 second to 10-43 second. Only God knows or can know what happened during this period of time. We know only that at least 9 dimensions of space existed as what is called singularity. All of the universe-to-be existed as a point of no volume. Time as we know it was created. 2) 2. 10-43 second, also known as Planck time. This is the point at which gravity, one of the four unified forces, became separate from the remaining three forces. 3) 10-36 second. The strong nuclear force (the force that holds the nuclei of atoms together) separated from the other three unified forces. 4) 10-36 to 10-32 second. Immediately following and triggered by the separation of the strong nuclear force, the universe expanded rapidly for this brief period of time. 5) 10-32 to 10-5 second. The universe is filled with quarks antiquarks, and electrons. The quarks and antiquarks combine and annihilate each other. Quarks are in excess of antiquarks by a ratio of 1,000,000,001 to 1,000,000,000. The remaining quarks will make up all the matter that exists in the universe. 6) 10-12 second. The final two unified forces split from one another. Electromagnetism, which controls the attraction of negatively and positively charged particles, becomes separate from the weak nuclear force, which controls radioactive decay. 7)10-5 second. The universe cools to 1,000,000,000,000 K allowing quarks to combine to form protons and neutrons, the building blocks of atomic nuclei. 8) 1 second to 3 minutes. The universe continues to cool, allowing protons and neutrons to combine to form the nuclei of future atoms.
9) 10-32 second to 3000 years. Electromagnetic energy, produced during the annihilation of quarks and antiquarks, dominates the forces of gravity. 10) 3000 years to present. Matter becomes the primary source of gravity. Matter begins to clump with the aid of large amounts of exotic or dark matter. This matter interacts weakly with electromagnetic energy, but is able to clump with itself through gravity, even during the domination of electromagnetic energy. 11) 300,000 years. Continued expansion and cooling allow matter and electromagnetic energy to decouple. The nuclei of atoms are able to capture electrons to form complete atoms of hydrogen, helium and lithium. 12) 200,000,000 years. Galaxy formation begins as matter continues to clump. 13) 9,000,000,000 years. The solar system forms. 14)10,000,000,000 years. Life begins on earth. 15) 14,000,000,000 years. Jesus Christ conquers sin. The inflationary big bang theory is, by far, the most accepted theory of the origin of the universe. All evidence gathered to date supports this theory. Other theories rely upon sets of unlikely circumstances or phenomenon which can never be tested or proven. Taken from the Christian website http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/bigbang.html
Primordial Nucleosynthesis The isotope 7Be decays to 7Li by electron capture with a half-life of 53 days. Some 3H (tritium) is also formed, but beta decays to 3He with a half-life of 12 years. Diagram from http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/astr_250/Lectures/Lec_27sml.htm
Creationist Geologic Time Scale: an attack strategy for the sciences. Should the scientific community continue to fight rear-guard skirmishes with creationists, or insist that "young-earthers" defend their model in toto? - Donald U. Wise. Fromhttp://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/wise.htm
History up to the Late 1700s Ca. 310 - 230 BC – Aristarchus of Samos was the first person known to have proposed the heliocentric system, but this was mostly ignored in favor of the geocentric system. 354 - 386 AD – St.Augustine of Hippo - "Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the
household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although _they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion_. [1 Timothy 1.7]” - De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim.
1543 - Copernicus publishes De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium (On the Revolution of the Heavenly Orbs). 1483 - 1546 – Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation. "People gave ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon....This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth." "Table Talks" in 1539. However, this citation is in doubt. "Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters... It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night... We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things.
And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding." Luther's Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis, ed. Janoslaw Pelikan, Concordia Pub. House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1958, pp. 30, 42, 43. 1600 - Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for his many heresies, including teaching heliocentricism and that the stars are distant suns. 1611 - The King James Bible was first published. 1632 - Galileo publishedthe Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World - Ptolemaic and Copernican, which ultimately led to his trial. 1654 – Archbishop James Ussher calculated that the earth was created on Sunday October 23, 4004 BC. For many years this was given as a
footnote in the King James Bible. He also proposed that Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden on Monday November 10, 4004 BC, and the Ark touched down on Mt.Ararat on Wednesday May 5, 2348 BC. 1752 - Franklin's experiment during a thunder storm proved that lightning was an electrical phenomenon. The church held that Satan (the Prince of the Power of the Air) was responsible for lightning, so to install a "heretical rod" was to admit that centuries of theological teachingswere false. Churches were reluctant to use them. Seventeen years after Franklin's experiment, lightning struck the unprotected Church of San Nazaro, near Venice. This ignited 200,000 pounds of powder which had been stored there for safe keeping. The explosion wiped out one sixth of the city of Brescia and killed 3,000 people. Lightning rods soon appeared on spires across Italy. 1726-1797- James Hutton, who was a devout Christian, is considered the founder of geology, and first proposed deep time and uniformitarianism.
Evolution of Creationism after 1800 1797-1875 - Charles Lyell, who took Hutton’s theories further and was more successful. 1807-1873 - Louis Agassiz, who first proposed an ice age. 1831 – Adam Sedgwick, ordained minister and geologist, recanted in his presidential address before the Geological Society of London that flood geology cannot be supported by any evidence. 1857 -Phillip Henry GossepublishedOMPHALOS: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot. 1809-1882 – Charles Darwin, who published The Origin of Species in 1859. 1827-1915 - Ellen G. White, co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, with a strong belief in a 6 day recent creation and a global Noah’s flood, was foundational in the beliefs of the SDA Church, and
its influence in creationism beyond the Church. 1870-1963 – The Adventist, George McCready Price, published The New Geology in 1923. 1925 – The Scopes “Monkey Trial” - John Thomas Scopes was prosecuted in Dayton, Tennessee for teaching evolution in a public school, in contradiction to the the Butler Act. His opponent was William Jennings Bryan. Scopes lost the case, but later the case was lost on a technicality. Bryan died a few days after the trial. Although Bryan was strongly opposed to evolution, he had no problem with an ancient earth and a non-global Noah’s flood.
Creationism Since World War II 1957 – Sputnik I was launched. This scared the educational establishment in the USA into creating a better science curriculum, including evolutionary biology. 1961 – John Whitcomb Jr. and Henry Morris publish their book The Genesis Flood. This caused a major revival in the USA of the creationist movement. Much of the material in that book is based on George McCready Price’s book The New Geology. 1963 – Henry Morris, along with several other people founded the Creation Research Society. 1970 – Henry Morris moved to San Diego, California, to help Tim LaHaye found the Christian Heritage College. 1972 – Henry Morris founded the Institute for Creation Research
1981 – Judge Overton rules that creation science is not science, and should not be taught under the balanced treatment act in public schools in Arkansas. 1999 – Jonathan Wells, “Moonie” (Sun Myung Moon Unification Church) and intelligent design creationist, helps to get evolution, the Big Bang and long timescales de-emphasized from the public school science curriculum in Kansas in August. 2001 – Evolution, the Big Bang, and long timescales are re-emphasized in Kansas in February.
Creation “Scientists” and Organizations Young Earth Henry Morris (hydraulics engineer ) (Institute for Creation Research) John Morris (geologist) (ICR) Duane Gish (microbiologist) (ICR) Andrew Snelling (geologist) (ICR) Steve Austin (geologist) (aka Stuart Nevins) (ICR) Russel Humphreys (physicist) (ICR) Danny R. Faulkner (astronomer) (ICR) Donald DeYoung (astronomer) (ICR) Ken Ham (educationist) (Answers in Genesis) Jonathan Sarfati (physical chemist) (AiG)
John Woodmorappe (aka Jan Peczkis) (geologist) (AiG) Walt Brown (mechanical engineer) (Center for Scientific Creation) Kent Hovind (educationalist) (Creation Science Evangelism) Carl Baugh (“expert” in science) (Creation Evidence Museum) Progressive/Old Earth Hugh Ross (astronomer) (Reasons to Believe) Creationist Non- “Scientists” D.James Kennedy (Coral Ridge Ministries, PCA) Tim LaHaye (Tim LaHaye Ministries)
Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith General 1) Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation. 2) The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six  consecutive twenty-four  hour days of Creation. 3) The Noachian Flood was a significant geological event and much (but not all) fossiliferous sediment originated at that time. 4) The ‘gap’ theory has no basis in Scripture. 5) The view, commonly used to evade the implications or the authority of Biblical teaching, that knowledge and/or truth may be divided into ‘secular’ and ‘religious’, is rejected. 6) By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.
Why do Young Earth Creationists Insist on a Recent Creation? Here is John Morris’s explanation in an excerpt from the ICR tape Science, Scripture, and Salvation 378-Myth#3 The Earth is Millions of Years Old.
The Distant Starlight Problem • As we can see light from stars and galaxies millions and billions of light years away, this creates serious problems for young earth (and universe) creationists who propose that the universe is less than 10,000 years old. Here are some of their explanations: • 1) Astronomers are completely wrong about the distances, and all apparently distant objects are within a bubble of 10,000 light years or less centered on the solar system. • The distances are real, but light takes short cuts through space according to an article by Moon and Spencer published in 1953. • The velocity of light was much higher in the past, by factors of millions or more, and slowed down to the present value according to Barry Setterfield. • 4) The distances are real and the light has traveled at a constant
velocity, but the solar system was close to the center of a white hole, which caused such an enormous distortion of space-time, that billions of years in the external universe elapsed during the creation week on the earth. This is Russel Humphreys relativistic white hole cosmology currently favored by creationists, which also claims that the Milky Way is near the center of the universe and has an edge, as supposedly supported by quantized red shifts; geocentricism revived. God created the light in transit so that Adam could see the stars after he was created. God being omnipotent is quite capable of creating light in mid-stream, and giving the universe a mature creation. This is a usual backup cop-out when other arguments fail. Epistemological nihilism – The non-answer that because cosmologists have gaps in their knowledge about the universe, in particular the nature of dark matter and energy, some other explanation may exist, so this issue is skipped over, and is another cop-out. 5) 6)
On February 23, 1987, the blue supergiant star, Sk 202-69, in the Large Magellanic Cloud was seen to have gone supernova, and was named Supernova 1987A (the first seen in 1987), and the brightest since the invention of the telescope. The distance to the supernova is about 169,000 light years, so the explosion really happened about 169,000 years ago. This poses a serious challenge to young earth creationists who insists on a “biblical” timescale for the age of the universe of about 6000 years. A distance of 169,000 light years is far too large to accommodate a “biblical” timescale, but is still far short of the Big Bang timescale, so they make obfuscatory remarks about cosmology, the Big Bang, dark matter etc., that are completely irrelevant. Not only do they have to explain how in a “biblical” timescale light got to the earth in 6000 years, but also neutrinos, which was the first time these particles were detected to come from outside the solar system. Moreover, after the explosion we could see the decay of freshly created radioactive nuclei, showing beyond any doubt that the laws of physics
and nuclear decay rates were the same in the past as they are now. It is ironic that in their apologetics, young earth creationists insist that they have the truth, but when confronted with irrefutable evidence that contradicts their beliefs, they deny this truth, even though truth stands independent of anybody’s beliefs.
This figure is in Russell Humphreys article The Battle for the Cosmic Center, ICR Impact No. 350, August 2002. The caption in the article says: Figure 2.(Idealized) spherical shells of galaxies concentric around our own home galaxy, the Milky Way. Probably the shells are expanding, not orbiting. The text in the article argues that because of the evidence of the quantized red shifts, the universe not only has a center, but we are within about 100,000 light years of that center. Because the universe is so large, it is argued that the chance that we are so close to the center of the universe by accident is so small, God must have placed us there. A link is given to a shorter less “technical” article on AiG’s website for August 7, 2002.
Creationist Apologetics Some Creationist “Golden Oldies” (to argue for a recent creation) • Not enough dust on the moon • Shrinking sun • Decaying earth’s magnetic field • Man’s population is too small • Not enough sodium in the sea • Jupiter is too hot • Decay of short period comets • Written history is too recent • Not enough supernova remnants • Too much dust in the solar system
The worldwide Flood, described in detail in Genesis 6-8, shows how God repopulated the earth from only eight people. This monumental event is mentioned in the literature of various peoples of the ancient world, providing compelling evidence of its universality. If the scientific community recognized that fact, a spike would be driven into the heart of the theory of evolution, along with the theory of “theistic evolution”. (God-guided evolution). But humanistic man would rather believe the unscientific theory of evolution than the truth of Scripture that God created man and will hold man accountable for the way he lives. Pages 7 and 8 from Are We Living in The End Times? By Tim LaHaye and Jerry B.Jenkins, Prophesy/Christian Living, Tyndale House Publishing, Inc. ISBN: 0-8423-3644-3 (1999)
New scientific theories exist which explain the size of the universe in agreement with the biblical timescale. One example is the young-earth relativistic cosmology formulated by physicist Dr. Russell Humphreys based on Einstein’s general theory of relativity. We are told that this alternative to the “Big Bang” has been well-received by scientists trained in relativity. [See: D. Russell Humphreys, Starlight and Time (Colorado Springs, CO: Master Books, 1994)] In addition, the majority of scientific age estimation methods indicate a young earth. [See: Paul S. Taylor, The Illustrated ORIGINS Answer Book (Mesa: Eden Productions, 1992) and Dr. John D. Morris, The Young Earth (Colorado Springs, CO: Master Books, 1994)] Page 40 of Creation and Time – A Report on the Progressive Creationist Book by Hugh Ross, Mark Van Bebber and Paul S. Taylor, Eden Communications, 2nd Edition, (1996). ISBN: 1-87777-02-9.
What about Distant Starlight? Fallacious Distant Starlight Solution: “Light Created in Transit” After presenting an alternative cosmology that provides a plausible solution to the “distant starlight” problem, it is worth showing why another idea is unsound. Some older creationist works propose that God may have created the light in transit, and Ross harps on at this as if it is still mainstream creationist thinking (for example C&T:96-97). But AiG long ago pointed out the problems with this idea. It would entail that we would be seeing light from heavenly bodies that don’t really exist; and even light that seems to indicate precise sequences of events predictable by the laws of physics, but which never actually happened. This, in effect, suggests that God is a deceiver. Page 189 of Refuting Compromise – A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of “Progressive Creationism”(Billions of Years), As Popularized by Astronomer Hugh Ross. Master Books, Inc., P.O. Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72639, (2004). ISBN: 0-89051-411-9 However:
[Regarding light from distant stars] How, then, could the stars serve as signs and seasons on the earth if these stars were created on the fourth day of creation and man created on the sixth day? Would man have to wait many millions of years before he could see the stars? When God created the stars, He also could easily have created the stream of light between the stars and the earth. Page 13 of a child’s book “The Amazing Story of Creation from Science and the Bible”, by Duane T. Gish, ICR Publications (1990) ISBN: 0-89051-120-9 Note that this book is still on sale! Note that the young earth creationist movement, in particular Answers in Genesis, appears to have launched a jihad against Hugh Ross and progressive and old earth creationism.
Also, the Ph.D. physicist and geologist who contributed to the RATE book [Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth] have adduced several lines of evidence that decay has been faster in the past. They propose a pulse of accelerated decay rate during creation week, and possibly a smaller pulse during the Flood year. Page 382 of Refuting Compromise. What Would Cause Accelerated Decay, and How Would It Affect Different Isotopes? According to the nuclear physicist Dr.Eugene Chaffin, there are theoretical means of producing accelerated decay, for example, a small change in fundamental constants or the shape of the nuclear potential well can have a large effect on the decay rate (but little effect on radiohalo diameter). Alpha decay rates are extremely sensitive to the nuclear potential energy well. If God weakened the strong nuclear force (greatly speeding up alpha decay), the nucleus would increase in size and restructure itself. The lower the decay constant (that is, the higher the half-life), the more the decay rate would be accelerated. Again page 382 of Refuting Compromise.
If we recognize the empirical nature of true science, that scientific models derive from observations of data in the present, then we recognize that the big-bang idea of the unobserved past is not even good science. What we observe are points of light each with certain unique luminosities, certain spectral bands, and other features like nebulous gas clouds. With the exception of an occasional explosive destruction of a star, these points of light are not seen to change or move with respect to one another. Their present state is not questioned. Their past may be theorized, but there will be more than one legitimate view of their unobserved history. Page 136 From Is the Big Bang Biblical?, by John Morris, ICR publications (2003). ISBN: 0-98051-391-0 However: Soon after [Tycho's supernova in 1572], some more variable stars were discovered, including the first periodic one, Mira, the periodicity of which was only discovered considerably later in 1638.http://www.seds.org/~spider/spider/Vars/vars.html The discovery of proper motions was made by Edmund Halley in 1718. He noticed that the positions of three bright stars (Sirius, Arcturus, and Aldebaran) were over half a degree different from those recorded by Hipparchus more than 1800 years earlier. http://www.dur.ac.uk/john.lucey/one_lab/pm_intr.html
Excerpt from ICR tape Science, Scripture and Salvation 842-Myth#7 That the Big Bang Has been Proven. The speaker is introduced as Dr. Otto Berg, who is a retired particle physicist with NASA. NASA does not employ particle physicists as far as I know, and it turns out that he was not a particle physicist, but worked with dust particles in the solar system. He designed and built the dust accelerator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He is also an alumnus of Concordia College, which is a four year liberal arts Lutheran college. He states here that there is no way 12C (99% of all carbon is this isotope) can be produced naturally, but explains that 8Be is an intermediate nucleus in its production, if it could be produced. In fact this is exactly what happens in red giant stars. By mentioning a production process that supposedly does not happen, he is condemned by is own words, showing that he cannot claim ignorance. See the following two slides.
Helium burning – the triple alpha process for the production of carbon This reaction actually occurs in two stages: first, two alpha particles resonate in the low-lying (but unbound) state that forms the ground state of 8Be. This state is sufficiently long-lived (τ1/2=0.968x10-16 s) that there is a non-negligible probability that a third alpha particle will be captured before it disintegrates, forming 12C** (Ex=7.6542 MeV, J=0+).