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Sarfati's Book Fails to Refute Anything,
This review is from: Refuting Evolution: A Handbook for Students, Parents, and Teachers Countering the Latest Arguments for Evolution (Paperback)Sarfati's book contains countless errors and numerous misused references. For example, when arguing for a "young" Universe, Sarfati(p. 113) claims that no stage 3 supernova remnants exist in our or neighboring galaxies. However, 166.2+2.5, 180.0-1.7, 189.1+3.0, 279.0+1.1, and 290.1-0.8 are just five undisputed examples of these "nonexistent" remnants. Sarfati(p. 113) also claims that a lack of helium escape from the atmosphere supports its "youth." However, recent NASA images show helium being SWEPT from the Earth's atmosphere into deep space. One event occurred on September 24-25, 1998 after a solar coronal mass emission. Considering these readily seen escape mechanisms and the effects of modern helium pollution, the helium content of the Earth's atmosphere in NO WAY conflicts with the ancient age of the Earth. So, why don't creationists use heavier gases(e.g.,argon) that won't readily escape into space for "dating"? Perhaps, it's because the atmospheric 40argon/36argon is consistent with an ancient Earth. Sarfati(p. 114) further argues that salt accumulation in seawater indicates that oceans are "young." However, this argument fails because creationists have refused to properly consider the removal of sodium from seawater by erupting basalts (albitization). Albitization is real and EASILY identified in the glass rims of pillow basalts. All of Sarfati's attacks on radiometric dating are also erroneous. As one example, Safati(p. 110) claims that with radiometric dating, potassium and uranium are "easily dissolved" in water. However, solubility and weatherability depend on mineralogy and oxidation state. Uranium(IV) is generally insoluble, whereas UO2 +2 is highly soluble. Potassium chloride is soluble, but potassium muscovite is not and it's low on Goldich's weathering series. Clearly, Sarfati does not understand simple chemistry.
Geologists know that sediments may be deposited slowly or rapidly by mudslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and other NATURAL catastrophes. Yet, Sarfati's(p. 105) discussions of a rapid depositional event at Mt. St. Helens are presented as news. Besides Pompeii, there have been numerous studies over the years that support rapid NATURAL deposition, including the 1973 studies at Laacher See, Germany. Sarfati(p. 106) also mentions creationist Berhault's lab work on rapid sediment layering as if it's news. However, Berhault's results are similar to layering in catastrophic turbidites, which geologist Bouma described in 1962. Sarfati(p. 105-107) is also mistakenly believes that local natural catastrophes can just be scaled up to produce Noah's flood. As geologists discovered by 1840, nature refutes creationism (e.g., blueschists, varve cycles that correspond beautifully with the Earth's 100,000-year eccentricity, thick non-hydrothermal salt deposits, extinct short-lived radionuclides, radiation movement from the Sun's core, fossil soils, metastable aragonite and obsidian, in place coral reefs and their growth rings, silica cement, fossil desert ventifacts, and even polonium haloes according to a 1989 article by Odom and Rink). Polystrate trees may form from modern mudslides and hurricanes. However, sometimes, their formation is much slower than Sarfati(p. 107) realizes. For example, in 1700 AD, an earthquake caused some coastline trees in Washington State to sink to a few meters below sea level. They're still standing today and are slowly being buried to form polystrate trees. Other modern polystrate trees occur in Texas and at Mt. St. Helens, all without Noah's Flood.
Sarfati(p. 110) mentions how creationist Austin obtained "anomalously old" radiometric dates from Mt. St. Helens. Austin's photographs CLEARLY show zoned feldspar and other broken xenocrysts in the volcanics, which indicate a long history. Considering the enormous number of microscopic xenocrysts in the photographs, it's ignorant to claim that anyone could effectively remove them before the samples were dated. No wonder Austin got old dates. Interestingly, Austin's dates of the impure mineral fractions are consistent with Bowen's reaction series and indicate a LONG history for the volcanics.
Sarfati(p. 18) is correct that science only favors natural explanations. Natural explanations are superior to the wild, untestable supernatural speculations that originate from the boundless imaginations of creationists. If creationists believe that it's suitable to invoke supernatural explanations in biology, why don't they advocate their use in courtrooms, forensic labs, sanitariums, and hospitals? Obviously, even creationists realize that bacteria better explain diseases than demons. Furthermore, any defense attorney would be disbarred if he/she argued that a demon and not the suspect committed the crime. Whether we're dealing with a murder victim, thick salt deposits, or diseases, viable explanations don't involve gods, demons, Noah's Flood or Jack Frost. While creationists object to the lack of eyewitnesses and repeatability in paleontology, how many of them will object to the sole use of forensics with its lack of repeatability and eyewitnesses in criminal trials? Murderers are often solely convicted on forensic evidence without any eyewitness testimony. Indeed, DNA evidence is superior to eyewitness testimonies, which often conflict. At the same time, forensic scientists may have less evidence for the death of a victim than paleontologists have for the death of a dinosaur. How many creationists will demand subjective eyewitness testimony before suspects may be convicted and executed?
Sarfati(p. 15) claims that creationists rely on science, but they really rely on "god-of-the-gaps." Whenever science finds natural explanations and the gap closes, creationists simply remold their plastic Bible interpretations to claim that the Bible had the answers all along (e.g.,Sarfati,p.97-98) or that the obviously ridiculous verses are just non-literal "poetry" (e.g.,Sarfati,p.100-101). Sarfati repeatedly attacks contemporary Christians that support an old Earth in ways that are far more childish than ANYTHING I've ever seen among evolutionists. At the same time, Sarfarti(p. 26) has double standards for famous unorthodox Christians of the past. For example, while denouncing Ross and other contemporary old-Earthers, Sarfarti praises Buckland, Cuvier, Agassiz and Kelvin. Kelvin, for example, believed that the Earth was older than 20 million years. Sarfati(p. 26) also admires Newton, but ignores his Unitarianism. Sarfati (p. 29) even praises Wernher von Braun, but overlooks von Braun's nazism. Galileo, Copernicus and Steno were creationists as Sarfati(p. 26) states, but considering the lethal intolerance of Catholics and Protestants back then, few (DaVinci, Buffon) were brave enough to criticize creationism. Because of the numerous errors in "Refuting Evolution," this book fails to refute anything.