Answers in Genesis (aIg) Ministry
Are they helping or hindering - Part 2?
By Pastor Kevin Lea
(Version 2 - August 7, 2005)
The following correspondence documents Pastor Kevin's attempt to get the Answers in Genesis (AiG) ministry to stop their practice of spreading false information about Dr. Brown's "Hydroplate Theory."
This correspondence between Pastor Kevin and AiG happened in late 2001 and early 2002. Until now (November 2004) Pastor Kevin chose not to post this correspondence on the church's web site nor give it to others for distribution. He did give it to about ten people who were interested, with the understanding they would not spread it. The decision to keep this correspondence confidential until now was to prevent distracting the body of Christ over this issue, and to give AiG a chance to correct their misrepresentations of Dr. Brown's work. Pastor Kevin was hoping AiG would at least cease from spreading further false statements about Dr. Brown's work.
In December of 2002, AiG again misrepresented Dr. Brown's work and thus misinformed their readers by publishing, in their Technical Journal (16(3)2002 edition), a critique of Dr Brown's theory which was authored by Dr. John Baumgardner. This critique was so blatantly false and misrepresenting of Dr. Brown's theory that it cannot be excused away, or hidden. Dr. Brown had written to AiG years earlier, documenting earlier misrepresentations by Dr. Baumgardner that were published by AiG, asking them to cease this practice. Soon after, AiG stopped distributing Dr. Baumgardner's false representations, but they have now returned to using Dr. Baumgardner as a source to critique Dr. Brown's work and have done so without making a single attempt to ensure accuracy. If the editor of a major newspaper had the same disregard for accuracy, it might make national news and the owner would take drastic steps to correct the wrong and restore reader confidence.
When Pastor Kevin became aware that AiG published John Baumgardner in December of 2002, he decided it was time to make the following correspondence public. However, Dr. Brown told Pastor Kevin that another Technical Journal (TJ) reader (Joe O'Connell), who was also very familiar with the facts of the Hydroplate theory, had also noticed the patent disregard for accuracy and had written his own letter to AiG confronting them about their false statements. AiG refused to print his original letter but encouraged Mr. O'Connell to write another letter limited to discussing the technical issues and without any comments that would put AiG in a bad light. Pastor Kevin waited to see if they would follow through with printing Mr. O'Connell's second letter. Sadly, AiG refused, thus refusing to correct the false statements they helped spread to the thousands who read their TJ.
Finally, as Pastor Kevin continues to follow scientific discoveries on Mars and with the Stardust space probe of the Wild 2 comet, which confirm Dr. Brown's published predictions and/or support the premise of his hydroplate theory, he can keep it quiet no longer. AiG, by their lack of truthfulness in the TJ, may have wrongfully steered many away from Dr. Brown's theory, which is consistent with the Bible, answers where the water of Noah's flood came from, where it went, why there is evidence that large amounts of salt water once flowed in a liquid state on Mars and why scientific instruments are picking up evidence of organic life in comets. Christians must be aware of these answers in order to have "Answers in Genesis".
Isn't it amazing that an organization with this name has for years been one of the greatest hindrances to getting these answers into the hands of those who have trusted them to do so? Getting these answers into the mainstream is more important than the distractions caused by pulling the veil off of AiG.
It is assumed that the reader has read, "Answers in Genesis Ministry - Are they helping or hindering - Part 1?" before coming to this "Part 2" file.
As a lead in to Pastor Kevin's correspondence, the following three letters between Dr. Brown and Dr. Carl Wieland (AiG Australia) provide the background that caused Pastor Kevin to start corresponding with Dr. Wieland:
Letter from Dr. Walt Brown to Dr. Carl Wieland:
Center for Scientific Creation
5612 N. 20th Place
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Phone: (602) 955-7663
email: walt [at] creationscience.com
CSC online: www.creationscience.com
Dr. Carl Wieland
CEO, Answers in Genesis
email: CFW [at] answersingenesis.com
October 30, 2001
Since my two mailings to you and the many specifics sent, I have presumed that AiG would stop putting out uninformed and incorrect information about my work. Therefore, my task was limited: try to correct what others have heard from AiG in the past.
Accordingly and as promised, I have sent and will continue to send our complete exchange of letters and attachments just to those who I know have heard of or asked about our differences-as of now, less than ten people. (You saw and had a chance to comment on this packet first. I wish you had given me a chance to respond to the mischaracterizations in AiG's "Walt Brown response.")
Notice the contrast:
1. AiG has put out false information about my work for years. I have never said derogatory things about AiG and, in fact, have recommended their publications in my book. Until a few weeks ago, I had ignored AiG's misrepresentations.
2. AiG explains our differences from their perspective only. I have sent our complete exchange of letters to a handful of people, so readers can see both perspectives.
3. Many have heard AiG's perspective; if AiG's misinformation stops, few will hear mine.
4. AiG never asked for my comments ahead of time to insure accuracy. I went to AiG first.
5. No one at AiG has read my positions on matters where we disagree. I have studied AiG's positions.
6. I am willing to discuss our scientific differences in a fair and open forum. AiG is not.
However, this is all in the past. Where do we go from here? If AiG decides to expand the audience thousands fold, so everyone who goes to our respective web sites can learn about our difficulties, that would be unfortunate. On the other hand, once misinformation ceases, collaboration could begin.
I am delighted that you would like us to meet to discuss ways to improve our relationship. Thank you, Carl, for that offer. Here are two possibilities that are more practical than my traveling all the way to Florence, Kentucky.
1. You could come to Phoenix on your way to or from Kentucky. Phoenix is almost on the way.
2. I could meet you in Los Angeles (or wherever you land on our west coast) either on your way to Kentucky or back to Australia. Before locking this in, it would be wise for us to agree on an agenda or at least specific things to accomplish.
As for the problems you described in your letter, the solution is simple. AiG should top putting out uninformed and incorrect information. I understand that your comments about the Hydroplate Theory may have a negative spin, but that doesn't bother me. I just ask that any statements by AiG be informed and accurate. That doesn't require, as you say, "a joint communiqué," "creation politics," or nonspecific plans to "attempt to work on healing the problems." Nor do we need to horse trade; i.e. if you change this word in your standard response, I will change that word. Let's just be as accurate as possible.
Again, thank you for your offer. I truly hope we can meet.
Response from Dr. Carl Wieland to Dr. Walt Brown:
5 November 2001
Once again, your letter has confirmed the seemingly never-ending quagmire one seems to get into with such correspondence.
Before fleshing that out, let me say that I am happy to explore further the issue of meeting somewhere on the west side of the USA, which makes sense.
However, I regret the following matters in your reply. First, since you raised the word "spin", I regret the way in which my attempts to come to an understanding which makes everyone content have been "spun" into a context of "horsetrading" and similar loaded words.
I also regret the continual references to "accuracy" in a way which implies that either a) we do not have the same desire as you for accuracy and/or b) "accuracy" is an alternative to coming to an accommodation in the ways I suggest.
In fact, a) is not true, and b) is a caricature of reality. If I were to ask a dozen creationists to give an "accurate" representation of a number of different things/issues within creationism (same for any complex scientific model or even any complex relationship thing) then without any sort of dishonesty in any of them, you would have a dozen different ways of describing reality.
Furthermore, I was asking for a demonstration of sincerity by all parties prior to such a meeting. I see no point in continuing with planning for it while you continue to insist that you will do as you please in putting out whatever passes between us. I don't mind if you publish my part (if in whole). And I don't care if to one person or ten thousand, to me the principle is important. Because it is bordering on disingenuousness to "spin" (your word) the situation as if you are the apostle of disinterested accuracy who will just passively put "all of it" in the public arena. Because that correspondence includes major portions created by yourself, the accuracy of which is itself under dispute. E.g. I respectfully reject the accuracy (or fairness) of your description of Ken Ham, also your characterisation of this ministry.
I don't see what is difficult about the suggestion of "holding off" on both sides till after the meeting, at which time surely we might both come to realise that what we put out has to be changed for accuracy and fairness. If I cannot have your commitment to that, how can I see you as sincerely committed to an openminded, fair approach at such a meeting? This part is non-negotiable to me in order to justify either of us going out of our way to have a meeting.
Personally, I will also be seeking, at that meeting, to raise the matter of how deeply unfair and unChristian it appears to me to see you disseminate second-hand disparagements of Ken's character.
Note from Pastor Kevin: It was this statement by Dr. Wieland that caused me to enter correspondence with AiG.
Months earlier I had met with Ken Ham in a face-to-face meeting in Colorado and encouraged him to stop spreading false information about Dr. Brown's theory, especially since he said he had not read Dr. Brown's book. I wrote to Walt about the encounter, saying that Ken acted arrogant and hostile toward Walt (calling him a lone wolf that was not doing anything to benefit the creation message). Walt included my comments in a form response to the questions that he titled, "Scientific Differences between Answers in Genesis (AiG) and the Center for Scientific Creation (CSC)." Walt gave Carl the courtesy of reading the preliminary version before making it widely available. It was my words about Ken Ham, now in Walt's form response, that Dr. Wieland is referring to in this paragraph.
Nothing AiG has ever written about you, to my knowledge, has attacked you in a personal way. This is so regardless of whether or not AiG was unwittingly unfair or inaccurate in its comments on your work, etc. Two wrongs (if that is what happened) do not make a right.
You seem to be justifying your plan to continue disseminating this character denigration by saying that we put things out about you that were not accurate. But please note that whatever may have been inaccurate in what we put out, it was not knowingly so, and was mostly in the form of an opinion which we would have known would not have thrilled you. I have always been willing to change things in the interests of fairness and accuracy, for anyone. I am not offering this now because of some fear of any correspondence, or whatever, I would do it regardless, on principle.
AiG is a moderately large organisation, probably some 90-100 employees worldwide. As such, sometimes the left hand does not know what the right hand (or indeed, some of the fingertips) are doing. For instance, it is embarrassing to find out that a relatively junior staff member put out the statement that John Baumgardner was a "staff scientist" when he is not (not implying that we would not want him on staff, far from it), but it is neither pertinent nor fair to use this to bolster your case that "AiG is not interested in accuracy". It is especially inappropriate to link it somehow in the "consumer's" mind with the attitude of senior level people in this ministry to your work.
At face value, reading through your material, I would say it certainly looks as if you have had a raw deal from creationist circles, regardless of whether your model is right or wrong. But - and please understand my Australian bluntness here, it is not meant aggressively - the truth is that the more we correspond, and I see how my own statements are dealt with, the more I wonder... what would happen if these people were to be called to the stand, would their perception of what happened be the same as yours? I hasten to add that I am assuming that all parties are acting honestly and conscientiously, it is just that in this fallen world, fallen humanity being what it is, our perceptions of all sorts of things, but especially past events, vary widely. And so does our interpretation, even of things in the present.
Which is why I think the only hope is a personal meeting. I don't believe in formal agendas for this thing, but in majoring on personal relationships. I think you will find me an easy person to get along with. There is no reason why we can't both be content with the outcome, before the Lord, and why we can't work towards such contentment without sacrificing any accuracy or any principle, and without necessarily coming to scientific agreement. Christians in this battle must learn to be better at relationships in spite of disagreements and in spite of failings on both sides, and I readily admit that in this arena I/we have also often failed. So as far as I am concerned at this point, the ball is in your court, Walt. I will try my best to arrange to be either in Phoenix, or at worst within reach such as LA. I ask for a straightforward commitment between us to put everything else in terms of "responses" "on hold" for this short time till then. (I am quite firm on this point - i.e no further attempts to justify putting out this stuff which is damaging to relationships, especially while its accuracy is still such a source of dispute between us.)
I am looking for you to come back to me with a simple positive response in principle, and then let's explore dates and times, etc to see if it can work.
Dr Carl Wieland, CEO
Answers In Genesis Ltd. Brisbane, Australia ABN 31 010 120 304
The following is Walt's response to Carl's letter. The reader must understand that these letters are being sent after years of AiG misrepresentations of Dr. Brown's work, which Walt ignored until too many distractions were caused by people calling him to ask what was going on.
Center for Scientific Creation
5612 N. 20th Place
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Phone: (602) 955-7663
email: walt [at] creationscience.com
CSC online: www.creationscience.com
Dr. Carl Wieland
CEO, Answers in Genesis
email: CFW [at] answersingenesis.com
November 14, 2001
This problem is completely of AiG's making and has gone on for several years. While I presume and hope you are no longer sending out inaccurate statements about my work, you have not said that. I have no reason to believe you have done anything to correct those past errors. Worse yet, you say you won't look into the matter enough to see any errors; the subject is too complex; you trust the "gang of six" (AiG's term) even though they know little of what I have written. Now you want me to delay making the most limited of corrective steps I can make. No, Carl, the ball is in your court. My letter to you on October 30th clearly states my position.
Please don't minimize the problem by blaming "a relatively junior staff member" or AiG's size for all the inaccuracies AiG has spread. That shows me you don't understand the problem. First of all, organizational attitudes and practices are set at the top. Second, if you cannot monitor the public criticisms your people level at the work of other creationists, then you have an additional management problem. Third, that staff member's single error was, as I wrote, the least of the errors in those four pages. I explained many inaccuracies in AiG's standard response about my work. AiG's blind acceptance of what John Baumgardner wrote was a serious error; your broadcasting those inaccuracies multiplied the problem. With just a little effort to understand the scientific issues-something people expect of an international creation science organization-you could have avoided those inaccuracies and saved both of us a lot of time and frustration. (AiG's scientific competence has not kept up with its expansion.) Most importantly, you wouldn't have misled many creationists.
You may counter by saying that I am blindly accepting what Pastor Lea has reported. No. I have heard similar remarks from others who have talked with Ken Ham. I have not mentioned those comments because they were hearsay and the parties who reported Ken's blunt hostility were embarrassed and uncomfortable telling me about it. Besides, Pastor Lea's statement is not hearsay (or second-hand, as you say); it is a first-hand account.
Pastor Lea has written, at his own initiative, an expanded version of his conversations with Ken and recently sent them to you. I have also received a copy of his letter and notice that Pastor Lea has withdrawn comments about "lying." My future mailings will reflect these additions and corrections. They will also go to those (less than ten) who have already received the packet. If any stances you took in your earlier letters to me change as a result of Pastor Lea's letter, please let me know.
Beyond that, there should be no further need for lengthy correspondence stating our positions. Of course, I would appreciate knowing if AiG rethinks the sources of our differences, reads what I have written, and describes it accurately. You could do this within a few days. Had it been done weeks ago, my limited corrective steps would have been unnecessary. Because AiG caused the problem, AiG should fix it-posthaste.
The following is Pastor Kevin Lea's letter to Carl, which resulted from the above correspondence between Dr. Brown and Dr. Wieland.
Calvary Chapel of Port Orchard, Wa.
PO Box 151
Port Orchard, Wa. 98366
email - kevinl [at] calvarypo.org
Dr. Carl Wieland
CEO, Answers in Genesis
email: CFW [at] answersingenesis.com
November 13, 2001
Greetings in the name of our precious Lord Jesus, our Savior.
My purpose in writing to you has been prompted by first of all, your recent correspondence with Walt Brown, which I have read with great interest, and the fact that my letter to Walt regarding Ken Ham has caused some consternation to you and possibly others. I sensed it was necessary to provide you with a detailed and comprehensive account of not only my personal fervor for seeing "Creation" being taught Biblically and scientifically, but also, all the particulars surrounding my interaction with Walt Brown and Ken Ham, to the end that truth prevails. Thank you, for giving your time and attention to this important matter; I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
I would like to explain the background of my face-to-face meetings with Ken Ham in 1999 and 2000. I hope this background will help you discern what actually transpired between Ken and myself. You are welcome to send this to Ken for his response. I agree with your statement that people can remember the same event differently. I am sure you have heard Ken's perspective; and I trust you are interested in mine. If, however, my memory is in error, I will correct it.
The events leading up to why I talked with Ken actually go back to 1969. I was an unbelieving junior high student who had embraced the evolutionary lie. Our science class went on a field trip to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, Colorado (a place called Red Rocks). While there, making topographical maps of the area, I kicked over a sandstone rock and uncovered a sea shell fossil. I was challenged with my own eyewitness account of finding a fossil of a sea creature while standing more than 6,000 feet above sea level. Looking east, the nearest mountain range of the same or greater height is the French Alps. The question, "How could this area have been under water?" burned in my mind. I asked my teacher who responded, "there was a local flood." Even then, in a state of evolutionary brainwashing, I realized my teacher's response was ridiculous and pondered whether the flood of Noah could in fact be true. However, I discounted the Biblical flood because of being told it was a myth and the equally ridiculous notion that the entire world was covered with water, and then the water went away to leave the conditions we now see.
In 1974, I was in the United States Navy, attending the Navy's Nuclear Power School. While there, I became a Christian. Within a week of being discipled and shown things out of the Word of God, I threw off the evolutionary lie and embraced the Biblical account of creation and accepted a young earth. I knew the Bible was the truth and could be trusted. BUT, when it came to the flood, I couldn't shake the profound desire to know, "where did the water come from and where did it go." Many of my Christian friends in the Nuclear Navy had the same lingering question. The fossil I uncovered helped me accept the Biblical account, but the question plagued me. Over the ensuing years, I had a burden to be an apologist for the truth of God's word and studied how to have an answer for the hope that was in me. I soon realized no one had the answer that troubled me, and I often ran into unbelievers who scoffed at the Biblical account of the flood because of this question. I was deeply bothered that I could not give them an answer. I shared my frustration with my Navy and civilian Christian friends and told them to let me know if they ever heard of an answer.
In 1982, I left the Navy and attended Calvary Chapel Bible School. Instead of going into the ministry at the conclusion of school, I took a job working in the Nuclear Engineering department at the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Around 1990, I was visiting a Christian friend who had served with me in the Nuclear Submarine Navy, in the early months shortly after I had become a Christian. He was also out of the Navy and was excited to give me Walt Brown's 5th edition of In the Beginning. As he handed me the book, he said he was sure I would like it since it had a scientifically sound answer to my question.
I read Walt's book that night as my wife slept beside me and wept in thankfulness to God for giving me an answer. I know you would say I shouldn't have been so quick to accept it as an answer, since it is only a theory and could be wrong, which of course is the case. But, I considered it an answer to prayer at the time and knew, from my training in physics and the knowledge of all the flood related enigmas (uniform sedimentary layers all over the earth, rapid formation of mountain ranges, deeply buried organic life now being drawn out of the ground in the form of gas, oil and shale, etc.) that this theory explained them all and stood alone in tying everything together in a way that was consistent with the laws of physics. In addition, the theory was perfectly consistent with all the scriptures pertaining to the flood and did not require miracles to solve scientific problems.
In 1993, I watched the CBS special about the search for Noah's Ark which was produced by David Balsiger. I was surprised to see an animated version of Walt's theory as part of the special and was pleased with how Walt was able to provide some narrating details. I then made my first contact with Walt by writing a letter saying that a more detailed video needed to be produced in order to get the word out and to more clearly answer the question which had plagued me for years. A few days later Walt wrote a short letter back saying he supported the idea of a more complete video and then mentioned the costs involved (thousands of dollars per finished minute). I was still working in the shipyard, raising a family and did nothing with Walt's response.
Years later I was pastoring this church and my son was going to a secular college in Washington State. He was being subjected to a barrage of evolutionary lies and I was working with him to keep them from overwhelming him. My son had some questions about the frozen mammoths that I could not answer so I gave Walt a call, introducing myself as the one who had written him years earlier about making a video. Walt informed me his 6th edition added an entire chapter on the frozen mammoths and mentioned he was working on the 7th edition. I asked him to send me the 6th edition and read it as soon as I received it. It was a very valuable tool in helping my son, who has now completed college.
As my son and I read the 6th edition, this time (for me) with an even deeper passion to understand, many questions came up. I called Walt hoping he would not mind being pestered by a reader's questions. I soon discovered Walt was extremely generous with his time and was glad to help anyone who had first taken the time to carefully read the book. Some of my questions were a challenge to what he was saying in the book. I was shocked to find he was NOT emotionally attached to his theory and was not offended by someone questioning his conclusions or statements. What I discovered was that my questions often were a result of a lack of understanding on my part or a lack of explanation in Walt's book, which allowed my thinking to go down a wrong logic path. In the latter case, Walt would clarify and I would rejoice that another piece of the puzzle was filled. He would sometimes realize a change should be made in the 7th edition so others would not misunderstand. This relationship developed to the point where I became one of Walt's proofreaders and technical consultants during his effort to publish the 7th edition.
Around the same time I was given an outstanding video by Jim Tetlow (who goes to a Calvary Chapel in New York) called, "A Question of Origins." Perhaps you have seen it. I contacted Jim and told him how much I appreciated the Origins video and of my desire to see someone produce a video series of the Hydroplate Theory. He then mentioned it was Walt's 6th edition book which had provided the inspiration of how to produce the Origins video and that he would love to work on a Hydroplate video but was currently involved in another production. He recommended that I contact another video producer named Kyle Justice from Oregon, who, as it turns out, has done some work for Ken Ham in the past.
I called Kyle and offered to send him Walt's 6th edition and some preliminary chapters on Comets and Trenches, which would be part of the 7th edition. Kyle read the material and we got together for a face-to-face meeting in Oregon. Although Kyle does not have a scientific background, Walt's theory made sense to him. Kyle agreed it would be much easier for people to grasp if it were in a video format. He contacted Ken Ham to get Ken's input about the potential of making a Hydroplate video. Ken said he would not encourage Kyle to make the video, and if he did, AiG would not carry it.
I couldn't believe Ken would make a judgment like this before even seeing a finished product. I talked to Walt about this and he told me he would have anticipated Ken's response and explained why by giving me some correspondence concerning ICR and AiG. I was disappointed but not that surprised, having seen ministry politics at work in other areas of "the church." I then told Walt I was going to do my best to tear down the walls that were separating the major players in the creation movement. I asked if he would be willing to be part of a meeting between interested parties if I was able to make headway in this area. He said he would but told me why it probably wouldn't happen. To this day I am still on my mission. I didn't want to believe (in light of the teachings of our Lord Jesus) that professing Christians could not put down their pride, turf protection, slander, etc. long enough to get into a room and discuss the evidence. I still believe this.
Soon after meeting with Kyle Justice in Oregon, I found out he was asked to video tape a concert and outreach ministry to the Columbine High School students in the aftermath of the school shooting. I knew the Calvary Chapel pastor who was putting the outreach together and knew Ken Ham was invited as the guest speaker. I saw this as my opportunity to start tearing down the walls. I was from Littleton, Colorado, and wanted to be part of the effort so Kyle and I flew to Littleton together for the event, with our church paying the way.
I went to Denver with the following thoughts on my mind:
(1) I was becoming more convinced than ever that the Hydroplate Theory was going to be much easier to grasp if it was put into video format. This was especially true as I was proofreading the chapters Walt was adding to the 7th edition (Comets and Trenches). In order to follow the comet chapter, the reader must have a mental grasp of the laws of physics pertaining to orbital mechanics. But a video of the same material would be very easy for even children to grasp. The same was true for the trench chapter, except in this case it was the difficulty of grasping the effects of the flood on a sphere (the earth) while looking at a two-dimensional picture.
(2) My desire to see a video of the Hydroplate Theory was solely predicated on the belief it was the truth. If the theory had any "fatal flaws" or was technically deficient, I wanted to abandon it in every way. I knew if there were problems with the theory, someone else had to show me, since I had already tried, but failed, to find holes in it. This is why I asked all those I talked to, or left the book with, to please find technical problems if they could and get back to me because I was planning on being part of making a video, but didn't want to waste God's money if it was going to be a lie (I even made this statement to Ken early in our discussion in Colorado). The Church shouldn't be using God's money to make fantasy videos.
(3) If I could get Ken to at least read Walt's book carefully, maybe the misrepresentations would stop and AiG, ICR, Walt, and the Creation Movement would benefit.
After Ken's message to the audience in Littleton, I approached him with number (2) above and asked why he had told Kyle not to be part of a video project and why he said AiG would not carry it even though he hadn't seen it. I asked if this was based on a problem he knew existed with the theory. Ken's response was hostile and arrogant toward Walt personally and toward the Hydroplate Theory. With a school-professor attitude, he lectured Kyle and me about how the creation movement does not need a model of how the flood occurred and, in so many words, accused people like Walt, who are working alone on these issues, as being a hindrance to the creation movement. I got the impression from him that he was saying, "If everyone would just jump on the AiG bandwagon and support what we are doing, then we will win the war on evolution." Carl, I am sure you are aware of the Biblical teaching about the body of Christ consisting of many members with differing gifts, and that Ken's attitude is not in keeping with this teaching.
Because you have taken offense at my describing Ken as arrogant, I looked it up in the dictionary and am convinced it applies. Any Christian who thinks they are the authority over what is and isn't important in the Creation movement is arrogant. Ken may have told you I was the one who was arrogant. I asked Kyle, who was there and appreciates Ken's ministry, as I do, if he thought I was arrogant toward Ken; Kyle said no. I was confronting Ken, as explained below. Arrogant people, who frequently receive accolades and autograph requests following a speech, might feel that someone confronting them is being arrogant.
Ken didn't provide any technical arguments for rejecting the Hydroplate Theory but at one point said something very close to, "Walt believes the frozen mammoths were blown up into space; how absurd!" I realized by this comment that Ken was misrepresenting Walt's theory. I asked him if he had read Walt's book. He admitted he had not. I was incredulous that someone of Ken's stature would misrepresent a brother's work without having read it.
I then informed Ken that some people (me for example) have many questions about the flood, such as where all the flood water came from and where it went. Only the Hydroplate Theory answers them. Without a good answer to these questions, the lecture Ken had just given (much of which dealt with the flood) would be taken with a grain of salt by many. Ken responded that only 2% had this desire (Wonder where he got this number?). I then asked Ken, "What if God has gifted Walt Brown to discover how the flood occurred so the 2% could have an answer?" He was visibly frustrated with my failure to accept his lecture and turned his attention to those standing around. I wanted to appeal to Ken to at least read Walt's book. I left him a copy of the 6th edition as well as preliminary copies of the 7th edition chapters on comets and trenches and encouraged him to read them with an open mind.
The following May (2000), Ken was a guest speaker at our Calvary Chapel pastor's conference in Costa Mesa, California. I found it interesting that during his presentation, Ken stated, "What a difference when people say 'Where did the water [for the flood] come from?' Here's an answer." (I have listened to the tape to ensure this quote is exact). Ken then listed several other questions in Genesis with, "Here's an answer." He implied that these answers were available by buying AiG books.
Following Ken's presentation, I asked Ken if he had read the materials I had given him the previous September. Ken stated he had not. I then asked Ken for the answer to the "where did the water come from" question and the equally important "where did the water go" since he told the hundreds of pastors how important it was to have answers in Genesis and that he had an answer for where the water came from. He then said some guys from ICR have a model of the flood .... I knew he was talking about the Catastrophic Plate Tectonic Theory (CPT) and I interrupted Ken to remind him of our conversation in Littleton, Colorado, the previous September, where he said the creation movement does not need a model of the flood. He responded that he never said that. I found myself again confronting Ken with the truth, reminding him that he did in fact say this. Kyle Justice, who was also listening to the conversation in Littleton, also remembers Ken emphatically stating the creation movement does not need a model for the flood. (I guess what Ken meant is that it does not need Walt's model). Ken then retracted his statement that we don't need a model.
I returned to the issue of the CPT which does not answer the question of where the water came from (to cover the entire earth, at one time, to a level of 15 feet above the highest mountain), nor does it have an answer for where the water went. I told Ken it is much worse for a Christian college student to go into a class with a scientifically untenable answer than to go in with no answer at all.
Everyone who has studied the CPT theory knows it has a heat problem. If the CPT is how the flood occurred, the entire Pacific Ocean would still be boiling. Several months earlier I had talked with Russ Humphreys (a contributor to the CPT) about this problem. He told me he thought he had solved the heat problem. In his study of the scriptures, he noticed several places where it states, "God stretched the heavens." With his background in physics, he theorized that God miraculously stretched the heavens and therefore cooled the earth as the Pacific began to boil. Thus, Noah, his family, and the animals were not roasted.
I then gave Ken the example of a student telling his or her college professor the above explanation for the flood and how the student would be laughed out of the class (rightfully so). Ken mumbled he hadn't heard this answer. I stated this "miracle" explanation is what Russ Humphreys had told me on the phone. Isn't it amazing that Russ Humphreys makes this outrageous claim while refusing to even consider the Hydroplate Theory? Many other miracles are needed before someone can honestly embrace CPT as a viable flood theory.
I have given Walt's book to dozens of my unbelieving nuclear, mechanical, civil and electrical engineering friends and to other unbelieving friends without a science background. I have also given Walt's book to dozens of Christians. Some, like Ken Ham, have rejected Walt's theory without having read it, based on the input of others who have not read it. In every case I ask them to please find errors in the theory (again, for the purpose of making sure I am not embracing a lie, or wasting God's money in any video project). None of them have ever given me one example of a technical problem, either orally or in writing.
Only Kent Hovind gave it a sincere try and stated that he rejected Walt's premise that the crust of the earth cracked because of an existing flaw. His rejection of this point in Walt's theory was because this would mean the earth was created by God with a flaw, which would conflict with his understanding that after the creation God said, "And it was very good." He then stated he felt the flood started by a comet crashing into the earth. I asked him when the comet came into being? He answered, at the creation. I asked if it was "good" for God to create a comet that is on a known collision course with the earth, on the day it was created? He saw the point I was making. I don't know if Kent has changed his position, but the point remains he was the only person who gave a technical/Biblical criticism. Surprisingly, Kent is one of the biggest promoters of the Hydroplate Theory and Walt's book, something that Kent says is one of the things that has placed him on the AiG's "bad-guy list."
By the way, the Lord Jesus is greatly using Kent as an apologist for the truth of God's Word, even though you or I might disagree with parts of his presentation.
As I mentioned above, I also contacted Russ Humphreys, a prominent ICR detractor of Walt's theory, trying to get his technical reasons for disagreement. He agreed to make a technical response if I would send him a free copy of the 6th edition. Walt sent him the book. About six weeks later, Russ told me he still had not read the book, did not intend to, and would not make any kind of technical response. In this same (second) phone conversation, Russ, in a condescending way, said I hadn't listened to him during the first conversation. He informed me he KNEW the CPT model was true because John Baumgardner had evidence to prove the Pacific had subducted under the North American continent. (I guess this is why he didn't intend to read Walt's book.) In other words, the reason Walt was wrong was because he knew the CPT crowd was right. And people say Walt is emotionally attached to his theory!
Carl, I hope you would agree that even if John Baumgardner could prove the Pacific floor is subducting, that does not validate the CPT. Walt has looked at the same evidence the CPT folks have interpreted as subduction and would love to enter a public written debate with them about this "proof," something the CPT folks, so far, have refused to do. In 1992, Walt wrote an extensive technical rebuttal to the CPT theory. Walt and many other creationists have flatly rejected the CPT for technical and Biblical reasons which have been written down. (I have heard that the recent book, Plate Tectonics: A Different View, by the Creation Research Society destroys Plate Tectonics, both uniformitarian and catastrophic.) The CPT folks have not addressed these concerns. Walt is not saying they and the CPT are wrong because he is right. Rather, his rejection is based on science rather than emotion. To this day Walt reminds me he could be wrong about the Hydroplate Theory; he says time and evidence will tell. But Carl, those you have been listening to have made no technical response to the Hydroplate Theory, and feel they don't need to, apparently because they know they are right. If they were all teenagers I could understand this attitude. How can these guys know something is true while volumes of evidence stand in their face to refute them? How can AiG lecture Christian audiences about evolutionary bias and poor science while acting in the same way?
What has shocked me in all of this is that AiG correctly emphasizes the need to have answers for our unbelieving friends (and believing children going to higher learning institutions) who are being deceived by the evolutionary lie. AiG, and Ken in particular, see the tremendous importance of the flood in our apologetic ministry to the lost. But then Ken says he doesn't have a day or so to read the flood related chapters of Walt's book. If things continue as they are, AiG will be filling their museum with flood artifacts without an explanation of where the water came from and where it went. Or worse yet, they will feature the CPT, thus creating a Christian equivalent of the evolutionary monkey-to-man display.
Some say Walt's book is too broad in scope to understand, and yet several teenagers in my church have become exhilarated in their faith as a result of reading Walt's book. One of the young ladies in our fellowship used Walt's book and Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution in a paper she wrote at the local community college. The professor had begged her not to write on the creation/evolution debate because she didn't want to give her a bad grade. The professor ended up giving her an "A" and is now convinced that the evolution model she has embraced and taught for years is a lie. The Lord Jesus is using Walt and others outside of AiG to silence college professors, but Ken Ham considers Walt an outsider and lone wolf who is not contributing to the creation movement. What a tragedy!
Carl, as you know, for years AiG has been putting out a form letter misrepresenting Walt's work. As a pastor, I will add to Walt's comments about this. Your organization has been sinful in the way you have dealt with Walt, and sin comes from pride. You tell your supporters that all creation geologists disagree with Walt (Ken said this in our meeting in Colorado.) However, this is not true because there are young-earth creation geologists who completely agree with Walt's theory (for example, Dr. Douglas A. Block, Geology Professor, Emeritus, Rock Valley College who wrote an endorsement in the front of Walt's book.)
Many years ago a lone wolf theorized the earth revolved around the sun, and he was almost killed by those who didn't want to look at the evidence as they remained intransigent. His theory is now universally accepted and the world scoffs at those who persecuted him.
The Hydroplate Theory is clearly superior to any plate tectonic theory, and is gaining wider and wider acceptance. Someday, people may ask why it took so long for them to hear about it. They will be specifically asking why ICR and AiG didn't even include it in their suggested reading. They will wonder why Ken Ham didn't mention it in his flood lectures. Maybe someone will write a book to answer their question. Both AiG's and ICR's prideful attitudes will be clearly seen.
Carl, IF this is the future, how will the history books record this junction in the road. Will it continue down the path your letters to Walt indicate (we don't have time to read the book or study the evidence)?; or will it reflect a change in course, a repentance, which will honor God and bring joy to His people? What about you personally? In light of the implications to your immensely important ministry, will you take the time to read the book? No matter what you think after reading the Hydroplate Theory, you will at least know more about the subject and you might even have an answer from Genesis about how Ayers Rock formed.
In a few weeks, PAX-TV, with more than a hundred outlets throughout the world, will be featuring the Hydroplate Theory in one of their programs. It will describe just a few of the amazing predictions that Walt previously published that seem to have been verified in recent months. Because you and Ken haven't even read the theory, I couldn't begin to explain them to you. Suffice it to say, the evidence is staggering in its implications. AiG may receive many calls asking for an opinion. What will AiG say?
A new book that relates to this will be in the book stores in a few weeks-Christian Men of Science: Eleven Men Who Changed the World. It is described at http://www.emeraldhouse.com/prodinfo.asp?sku=ChristianMenofScience. Henry Morris wrote the forward. Walt is pictured on the cover. After you look at the book's description, if you want to read the chapter relating to Walt, you can read the attached file: Julia.pdf. I have read the chapter on Walt's life and think you may be interested in the portions describing (1) Walt's friendship and extensive dealings with Dr. Robert S. Deitz, a founder of the plate tectonic theory and one of the leading geologists of this century, (2) Walt being the director of a 450-man research and development laboratory and being scheduled to become the Director of the Air Force's Geophysical Laboratory at the time he suddenly retired to devote full time to his creation-flood research, and (3) Walt's work in the Grand Canyon. If you read endnote 10 [correction - 11], you may be able to guess who the unnamed geologist is. It is someone you have mistakenly relied on.
Although many people, from all over the country continue to contact Walt, and desire to see a video series done, the project remains on hold. Walt forwards their calls to me. Some have financial means to help, but I inform them it is likely their principal investment would never be returned in this lifetime. When they ask me why, I tell them the sorry truth.
After more than two years of trying to see the division stop, I have concluded the root cause of this problem is spiritual. The Biblically and scientifically sound Hydroplate Theory could be a "silver bullet" in the wicked heart of the evolutionary lie. As such, Satan is using the fleshly pride and empire building of some Christians to create confusion and division, otherwise, they would at least read the book and be willing to debate its arguments.
In summary, I would like to emphasize I still hope the walls of division can be torn down. I also believe this can only happen if people are willing to rally around "truth." I actually foresee a time when all the gifts God has given his people in the area of creation apologetics are working together, and the Body is rid of the cancer (a cell that wants to be all the body consists of) which currently exists. Walt knows his gift is research and science. AiG and ICR, as organizations involving many people, have shown their combined gift in getting the word out and packaging resources that believers can use in their various walks of life. Carl, what if the Lord Jesus did gift Walt with the wisdom to know how the flood occurred, and the Lord wants to use ICR and AiG, as well as others, to get the word out?
It is my sincere hope that you, and possibly others in AiG, can someday meet with Walt face-to-face. I feel the Lord has given me some ideas how this could occur in a way which would "break the ice" and otherwise honor our Lord. If you are interested in these ideas, please let me know.
Pastor, Calvary Chapel of Port Orchard
Carl Wieland then responded to Walt's letter of November 14th and Pastor Kevin's letter of November 15 in a letter dated November 19th. Pastor Kevin responded to the November 19th letter by Dr. Wieland on February 7th, 2002, in a format where Pastor Kevin interspersed comments in Dr. Wieland's letter.
Prior to this letter by Pastor Kevin (which follows shortly below), Dr. Wieland wrote the following short message to Dr. Brown and Pastor Kevin.
22 November 2001
Dear Walt and Kevin
This is not re‑initiating correspondence, this is simply by way of tidying up our end. We had recently added a whole new section to our Web site titled 'Arguments we think creationists shouldn't use' (or similar wording).
There was a subheading of 'doubtful, so don't use at present' (or similar wording). Under that heading was a section which listed Walt Brown's hydroplate model and stated that it had not attracted significant support from the creationist geological community.
Despite this latter statement being not in any way inaccurate, in the context of the whole section it was potentially prejudicial. In the interests of acting in good faith in the spirit of our recent exchange (despite the seeming lack of good faith in your not wanting to ‑‑ even temporarily‑‑ cease sending out character denigrations we claim are false and misleading) I have had it removed.
Dr Carl Wieland, CEO Answers In Genesis Ltd. Brisbane, Australia ABN 31 010 120 304
The following is Pastor Kevin's response to Carl Wieland's letter of 19 November and the subsequent "tidyup" letter of 22 November.
Calvary Chapel of Port Orchard, Wa.
PO Box 151
Port Orchard, Wa. 98366
email - kevinl [at] calvarypo.org
Dr. Carl Wieland
CEO, Answers in Genesis
email: CFW [at] answersingenesis.com
February 7, 2002
I understand your desire to cease devoting time to the issues surrounding Walt's and my correspondence with you. I do not expect a reply to this letter, nor do I plan on writing again.
For the purpose of truth, integrity, and accuracy, I would like to leave you with these final thoughts pertaining to specific comments in your letter of November 19, 2001. I am sorry about the time that has transpired since then, and I am sure you are not wanting to rethink these issues, but I hope you will bear with me one more time.
I wrote the following (with a few minor rewording exceptions and the concluding paragraph which was added today) within a couple days of receiving your letter. I regretted mentioning Kyle Justice in my first letter to you when I realized my very minor statements involving him became, in your response, the major issue. I try to clarify this misunderstanding in this letter.
After receiving your letter, I sent Kyle Justice a copy of my original letter to you, and your November 19 letter to me, to ensure I had not misrepresented him in my first letter. Kyle found no errors in my original letter to you. He does find errors in your letter to me, at least as he remembers the conversation with Ken.
In November, I sent a draft of this letter to Kyle for his comment before sending it to you. I asked Kyle if anything needed to be changed in the interest of accuracy. He said, "no"; but requested that I delay sending this letter and allow time for him to send his own letter to you. I welcomed his interest in doing so, since it eliminates second person statements and the muddy waters that can result.
Unfortunately, Kyle's intensive work schedule, some with National Geographic, has not allowed him to draft a letter to you. In addition, he was concerned that he could not remember exactly what he had said to Ken, since Ken had called in the middle of a production project. He recently contacted Ken to see if he had made a recording of the conversation. Ken said he did not, but that he had sent notes to you which were reflected in your letter to me (which he also sent to Kyle).
This week Kyle agreed that my letter to you should go out before any additional time goes by. I want to again emphasize that this letter was read by Kyle before sending to you. He wishes he had not been a part of this correspondence but he does not disagree with the facts stated. You may want to talk to Kyle yourself. His phone number is 503-381-3879.
Your entire letter is reproduced below. My italicized comments are interspersed immediately below certain paragraphs of your letter.
YOUR LETTER TO WALT WITH COPY TO ME FOLLOWS:
19 November 2001
I sincerely regret the thrust of your latest letter. I had hoped for an amicable meeting ‑ you have rejected the most reasonable of conditions, namely to simply stop sending out what we maintain are unjust character denigrations for a few weeks until we met. In fact, your latest letter expresses no interest in such a meeting at all, so I have dropped the idea of such a meeting from my intended itinerary.
Carl, Walt's latest letter DID NOT express "no interest" in such a meeting. In fact, Walt and I were quite hopeful that a meeting would occur as a result of our letters to you.
In Walt's October 30th letter to you, he stated twice that he would like very much to meet with you. His last letter made clear that nothing had changed his position stated in his October 30th letter. Walt still wanted to meet but not under your preconditions, which you considered reasonable, but which Walt did not. You insisted that he delay defending himself against AiG misrepresentations for the next 2+ months. In my e-mail to you, following your receipt of my letter, I asked you for an alternative to your demand so that the impasse I saw developing could be broken. I asked, "What is Walt to do when he receives e‑mails like the one he sent to you yesterday?" But you never responded to this question. Because he wouldn't agree to stop telling people the truth (something that I agree with Walt is not reasonable), you declined his invitation. He was even willing to travel to our West Coast to meet with you, and still is.
Frankly, I find the whole thing astonishing. Neither Ken nor I have ever had any feelings of 'hostility' towards your model. My feathers may have been a bit ruffled by your pugnacious approach to these things, for want of a better word, but that has nothing to do with your model. To me the simplest of things, the most obvious way to get a cordial mutual agreement to avoid ongoing tensions, would have been to have a friendly chat, as brothers in the Lord. However, that has now been firmly put to bed by your response, sadly.
I therefore see no purpose to be served by ongoing correspondence, including with Pastor Lea. The more words and time that have been expended, the less fruitful things have become, regretfully. Pastor Lea's letter is well written, moderate and sincere in tone, and no doubt extremely well intended, and I would have been more than happy for him to have been at our (not‑to‑be) meeting.
However, it has demonstrated a common human weakness, namely of passionate commitment to an extent that changes one's interpretation of events. Let me elaborate. Pastor Lea repeated (and I am sure that he strongly believes it) that Ken had been 'hostile and arrogant' and offered Kyle Justice as a witness to that event. When Kyle was rung today, he was most adamant about the following: 1) He had been rung by Kevin Lea about 2 weeks ago concerning his recollection of this matter. 2) At that time he said that he had told Kevin words to the effect that 'I can see how you might have interpreted it as hostile and arrogant, but I don't believe it was'.
His exact words to me when I called him in November asking for his recollection were that he could see how I could say that Ken Ham was arrogant but that HE would not say Ken Ham was arrogant. I never said Kyle Justice said Ken Ham was arrogant. If you read my first letter to you carefully, I was asking Kyle if he thought I was being arrogant toward Ken, since I was assuming (by reading your earlier response to Walt) this is what Ken was telling you about our conversations in Colorado. Kyle responded that I was "not arrogant, but confronting." I acknowledged this in my first letter.
My letter described Ken's words not Kyle's analysis. Kyle was not there for the entire conversation. By the way, according to Kyle, Ken Ham started his questioning of Kyle by stating that my letter recorded that Kyle said Ken Ham was arrogant, which it does not. Either Kyle misunderstood Ken, Ken did not carefully read my letter and misrepresented it to Kyle, or Ken Ham was not truthful with Kyle. As you say, things like this can get muddy.
Ken's words in Littleton clearly portrayed his attitude toward Walt as being a lone wolf who was not accomplishing things for the creation message; that it was what Ken Ham was doing in lectures for AiG, and AiG's approach to the creation issue that were making a difference. In my letter, I used Webster's Dictionary, not Kyle Justice, to define this attitude as "arrogant." Webster says arrogant means, "exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance in an overbearing manner."
I did call Kyle for his recollections before writing my first letter to you. I explained to Kyle why I was asking for his input before I asked him for his recollection of events. I wanted him to understand the implications of what he was going to tell me. I was even going to bounce the letter off of him before sending it to you, but the urgency prevented that. Since receiving your response to me, I have sent Kyle a copy of my letter to you, and he said he finds nothing in it that he would have wanted me to change. He has asked me to make it clear this does not mean Kyle is on Walt's side. His profession gives him the prerogative to present each side of an issue without a personal stance either way. He tells me he has not done the research to determine if Walt's theory is superior or deficient in comparison to CPT. I don't fault him for this. Ignorance of a subject is not a sin. Judging in ignorance is.
Kyle may have had many reasons for not wanting to go on record and say Ken Ham was arrogant. Ken Ham has hired Kyle in the past to do multimedia work for AiG and other creation organizations. In Ken Ham's call to Kyle, Ken asked Kyle if Kyle thought Ken was arrogant in the Colorado conversation. (Nothing like pressure from a client.) Then Ken Ham calls you to say what Kyle said. (Your letter leaves the impression that you called Kyle. You should have specifically stated that Ken Ham made the call. Had you wanted to get closer to the source of information, you should have called or at least emailed Kyle.) I can understand Kyle deflecting to cultural excuses and I hope he does not loose future AiG business because I have written you a letter trying to get you to see the sinful actions AiG has taken against Walt. (Note - Kyle asked me to remove a portion of the above paragraph, but I kept the paragraph as written in order for you to ponder the way Ken's call to Kyle comes across to me.)
The final determination of Ken's actions are not based on how many people say Ken Ham is arrogant. It is based on whether Ken Ham's attitude is such that he exaggerates his own worth, or the worth of AiG.
But Carl, I don't want to get lost in all this. My prayer is that Ken will consider whether this rebuke has any basis in fact. If he finds any truth as he seeks the Lord, even if his attitude was culturally grown, he can strive to change (repent).
Your letter continues:
3) Pressed on the matter, he affirmed again that he categorically maintains that Ken was NOT hostile and arrogant AT ALL. Kyle has known Ken for some time, and knows that, culturally as an Australian, he was just being 'up front', which is often easy for Americans to misinterpret if they have had no dealings with Australians. 4) Kyle also affirmed that Ken was not negative to the model per se, but rather, the conversation mostly concerned presuppositionalism vs evidentialism (reference‑‑see Ken's book 'The Lie'). So this confirms what I would expect to have happened,
Kyle tells me he DOES remember Ken Ham being negative to the model exactly as I stated in my letter and he will tell you so if you call him. Kyle remembers no such [presuppositionalism/evidentialism] dialogue between Ken Ham and me in Littleton. In fact, Kyle does not remember your above statement (except about Australian cultural mannerisms) being part of his phone conversation with Ken Ham. As I mentioned above, he wishes the call from Ken had not come in the middle of production work. Again, either Kyle misunderstood Ken Ham, Ken Ham misunderstood Kyle, you misunderstood Ken, Ken Ham misrepresented the facts to you or you are misrepresenting the facts to me. It is certainly getting muddy.
Therefore, your points 3) and 4) above confirm nothing. Ken's and my conversation never dealt with presuppositionalism vs evidentialism. Ken had not read Walt's book. How could he talk evidence and presumption with me? If Ken would have brought up the need to believe the Bible first and then make sure the evidence is being interpreted with a presumption the Bible is correct, then I would have said, "So you do believe in Walt's theory and don't agree with CPT." Carl, I can assure you, that Ken's and my dialogue did not take this path.
So this confirms what I would expect to have happened, since I know that Ken is not hostile to your theory per se,
Does Ken Ham deny he said something very close to "Walt believes the frozen mammoths were blown up into space; how absurd!" If he does not, then you DO NOT KNOW he is not hostile. The tragedy is that he is hostile to a theory he hasn't even read.
So this confirms what I would expect to have happened, since I know that Ken is not hostile to your theory per se, but is adamant, as I am too, that we need to 'hang loose' on all theories (see the article with this name on our Web site via our search engine) and models, and that ultimately, while models are important, that is not primarily where the 'battle is at'.
The Bible is a lie if the entire world was not flooded at one time to a height of about 20 feet above the highest mountain. If it is a lie, our hope in Christ is not assured. The Church's failure to answer how the flood occurred (in a scientific way) and how the mountains came up out of the water (as the Bible states) and how the water then receded, has caused the evolution lie to enter the world. It allows the Hugh Rosses of the world to bring the enemy's lies into the weak Church. Carl, for these reasons, I disagree, and hope this issue will someday be the Manhattan Project of the creation movement.
That is NOT the same as hostility to anyone's model, and we are only too happy to recognise that others may not agree with our emphasis. I.e. there is no need for any tension about that aspect, we can agree to disagree lovingly and respectfully.
I agree. So why doesn't AiG respect and love those who disagree with you and Ken Ham and think an explanation for the flood is very important? None of the time you, Walt and I have taken to write and read this correspondence would have been expended had AiG not unlovingly and disrespectfully maligned Walt. Nor would it have been expended had you lovingly and respectfully agreed to cease from AiG slander and make an effort to undo the damage, which is all Walt was (and is) asking you to do.
Thus, Kevin's letter perpetuated a fallacy, and (said carefully and with respect) a falsehood, albeit a sincerely believed one; a falsehood which you say you intend to keep on perpetuating in your correspondence, all because it is 'first hand'.
Carl, I am sure it is no surprise to you that I disagree. My letter is based on the evidence of what Ken Ham said to me and others on two occasions. Your letter does not dispute anything that I reported Ken saying. In fact, you avoid those matters.
This is why I said that it was inappropriate to circulate such things, because fallible human nature misinterprets subtleties of expression and meaning, and we are talking about an abstract thing such as 'attitude'.
Furthermore, Kevin maintains that we 'have no answer' to where the water came from and where it went to. This is a strange comment, given that we have a whole chapter in our Answers Book devoted to this question. Put simply, most of it came from under the ground, and most of it ended up in the oceans of today. If that is not an answer, I'm not sure what is.
Carl, this part of your letter disappointed me more than all the rest, in that it reveals posturing instead of a love for the truth. If you think about this so‑called answer, with the mind of a grade school skeptic, you will see why it is no answer at all.
Now, does that adequately cope with the details? It is not even intended to.
Then don't call it an answer.
That's what detailed scientific models are all about, models which must stand or fall on their merits.
And there is only one detailed scientific model that does. This model, agrees in every detail with the Bible (allowing presuppositionalism) and the evidence (evidentialism). This model is standing on its merits as more and more of its predictions are coming true. I don't say this with emotional attachment. It is a simple fact which is based on the inability for anyone to publish any critique of the Hydroplate Theory which shows it to be: (1) Unbiblical, and/or (2) unscientific. If you chose to write a response to this letter, I hope it will include a rebuttal to this statement, if you have one.
I repeat that AiG is not interested in deliberately fostering inaccurate portrayals. Where we have been fallible and fallen in our portrayal, I apologise. I just want to withdraw from this whole unpleasant thing before it gets more unpleasant ‑ before any more misleading attacks on AiG's competence or the character of AiG's leaders emerge.
Carl, I can't believe my eyes as I read the above. Let me paraphrase the way this comes across, "Walt, even though it has become apparent that for years AiG has published slanderous misrepresentations of your work, it was an accident which I can't believe you have brought to my attention. I hate spending time having Christian brothers point out our sins in a way that we are now forced to stop sinning and change our form letter. I want you to know this apology is just between you and me, because we are not really going to admit we sinned and instead must publicly maintain our image as 'above sin.' Therefore, for the record, we must maintain that Kevin's and your letter are an attack on a pure organization and infallible people, rather than as rebukes from brothers in Christ. Sinless organizations and people don't need rebuking."
Carl, does it not bother you that hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands have heard your inaccurate portrayals (first, second, or third hand) of Walt's work. If five or ten years from now the Hydroplate Theory is, based on the evidence, starting to silence more and more professors and pundits of the evolution lie, will you sincerely regret that AiG delayed its exposure? Will you still think that Walt's and my letter was "a misleading attack on AiG competence?"
You are deeply bothered that 10 people have received Walt's info packet. His packet gives evidence which shows Ken's and AiG's sinful actions. What if I was the author of a form letter which made statements that Ken Ham believed there were only local floods over the entire earth at different times, and that no one should even go to Ken's lectures because he believes the frozen mammoths came from outer space? What if I had sent my letter to thousands without contacting Ken? What if this went on for years to the point where you realized it was poisoning people's mind against the work of your ministry? Then you decide to write me a letter. Would it be with the same flavor as Walt's and my letter to you?; or would it have been registered mail from your attorney? And then, imagine if you will, that I say your letter is a misleading attack on my competence and character?
Before writing my letter I asked Walt if you were a man who feared God and cared about God's Word. He assured me you were. This being the case, I can only deduce that there is a very powerful spiritual deception going on.
I have copied this to Pastor Kevin Lea to simultaneously signal my intention to also 'pass' regarding correspondence from/with him, because there are just so many misunderstandings that have built up, which keep on mounting the more that is written, and in any case, the core of his letter has been (again respectfully) discredited on the basis of the testimony of the witness he himself (with all sincerity) invoked.
The core of my letter was not to hang a sign, "Ken Ham is arrogant" around Ken's neck. The only reason for making this point was to Biblically rebuke a brother and to help him (and you) realize the damage and consequence of AiG sins against Walt. The facts of my letter remain facts. My "witness" affirms my letter to be accurate. The core of my letter was an appeal to stop misrepresenting Walt, something you have belatedly agreed to do (in writing at least - praise God) and to please consider learning the theory, something I still hope you will do.
Let's stop now before this pattern of escalation of misunderstandings/misrepresentations continues. I have personal empathy towards the deep and passionate attachment one can feel to something one feels is of vital importance, but that passion can be counterproductive to good relationships. Having observed the interaction between us, and the way in which the personal meeting which could have shortcircuited future problems was sidestepped, I want to gently suggest the possibility that the abovementioned passion may have (unintentionally) clouded the personal relationships with others, too. Maybe that is why so many Christians from such a wide range of respected creationist organisations ‑ AiG, ICR, CRS, etc ‑ seem to be the 'villains' in their dealings with you. I don't know, but perhaps, if I can say this carefully and without any malice, it would be worth your while taking a long, hard look at your own approach to people. Certainly this experience has made me much more cautious about the accounts of the 'raw deal' concerning which I was developing some sympathy.
Kevin raised the possibility that the Enemy is fostering the opposition to Walt's model by exploiting the sin of pride, etc in other creationists. There is also the possibility that the Enemy is delighted that anyone would circulate personally denigratory material about Ken, a man who is reaching so many thousands of people, and seeing so many conversions to Christ. And none of us are immune from the sins of pride, etc.
If Ken Ham and AiG had not slandered (sinned) against Walt, both orally and in writing, then Walt's and my letter would never have happened. Many people were defending former president Clinton during his impeachment process in much the same way as your statement above. The masses were saying, "Leave him alone!"; "Look what he has done for the economy!"; "He didn't do it!"; "He didn't mean to do it!" Think about this Biblically Carl, did God tell Nathan the prophet to keep David's sin quiet because David was such an awesome King and general?
Carl, I came to you because the Bible tells me to. I went to Ken Ham first about the sinful attitude of telling a video producer not to be part of video project, and if he was going to be, that AiG wouldn't carry it. This would have been OK if not for the overall smear campaign being waged against Walt and if he could back it up with technical reasons, but he hadn't even read Walt's work and instead slandered his work. Ken would not listen. I know that this attitude has continued for the two+ years since I talked to Ken. Walt has even more evidence that Ken's sin continues. In light of recent scientific discoveries which are validating Walt's theory, I felt I must write.
In any case, neither of us can afford the time to get distracted in the way that has been happening. I intend to modify our statement to any enquirers concerning you, and as always, our intention will be to be truthful and accurate. However, I can see that the more details that are provided, in our attempt to be accurate and fair, the more they seem to incite further 'troubles'. So I will be making it very short. A copy appears below.
By the way, for all I know, your model may be 'the answer'.
Carl, I hope you realize the implications of this statement. Because IF the Hydroplate Theory is true, it provides answers from Genesis to the many questions AiG is not even addressing. These answers will shatter current evolutionary dogma. For example: Why is the solid core of the earth spinning slightly faster than the rest of the earth? Why is there a liquid outer core of the earth? How were the comets formed? Why do comet tails show evidence of cellulose (organic compounds)? Why was water on Mars (maybe still there, soon to be determined by NASA probe) and why is there water on the moon? Why are 78 types of living bacteria and salt crystals found in meteorites? How does the earth's rotational speed increase every time there is a major earthquake? Why is a one-mile-thick layer of salt water found ten miles under the Tibetan Plateau? Why are scientists baffled by discovering a conductive layer 14 miles below the earth's surface? They are observing this conductive layer under all continents. This conductivity increase is so high that most of the scientists who are researching this newly discovered phenomena believe it is a layer of salt water. This is perfectly consistent with the Hydroplate Theory.
AiG is an organisation, not a couple of individuals. That organisation utilizes those who are experts in various fields. Some work for us, others are active in their chosen fields of science. Incidentally, we do not only take into account the opinions of geologists/geophysicists in agreement with the 'gang of six' mentioned. We have published and will be publishing things critical of the 'gang's' model, as well as their material. I repeat with all sincerity the invitation for you to submit for publishing (within the editor's written guidelines as printed in each issue) in our TJ aspects defending and promoting your model. That is the way to win the day, if you have something worth promoting, playing by the rules in the professional arena.
My decision to not respond to further correspondence (if there is any) on this issue is taken on pragmatic grounds; you and I must both husband our time for the sake of our respective callings and in responsibility to our supporters. I.e. it is not intended as a personal rebuff (nor to Pastor Lea). I wish God's blessing on you and your family. If ever we are in the same vicinity, an informal chat would still be very welcome, but the approach would need to come from you, and an obvious prerequisite for good faith would have to be a cessation from this point onwards of spreading fallacious material impinging on the character of AiG's leadership, or impugning its competence. I believe you would find me neither hostile to you personally nor to your model ‑ despite being disappointed with the way this has developed.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Dr Carl Wieland
PS Following is what I intend to have as our formal response to all enquirers. For your interest only, not meant to generate further correspondence.
"AiG's decision to stock or not stock particular materials is based on a host of complex factors. We try to weigh up all these factors in assessing whether something would meet our criteria, and whether any negatives it might have would be outweighed by the positives of stocking it, or vice versa. Even the question of whether it adds significantly to our present range needs to be considered, also whether it persists in promoting arguments that have been discredited, or not generally accepted as yet, in the view of AiG's staff scientists and the leading creation scientists and thinkers with whom we network.
Many of the 'non‑hydroplate' arguments Dr Brown promotes are ones which we, after careful assessment, respectfully disagree with (e.g. moon dust, Archeopteryx a fraud).
Concerning Dr Brown's 'hydroplate' theory, we appreciate the willingness of creationists to put forth models and hypotheses for the consideration of the creationist community. The decision that, for the moment, we are not stocking nor promoting Dr Brown's book, should not be seen as a firm judgment on whether the hydroplate theory is 'right' or 'wrong'. (We have willingly promoted/sold a video which promoted the hydroplate theory as part of an overall defense of the young Earth).
We encourage interested enquirers to contact Dr Brown's ministry at Center for Scientific Creation, 5612 N. 20th Place, Phoenix, Arizona 85016 USA, if they wish to obtain copies of his book. An invitation has been issued to Dr Brown to submit material to our peer‑reviewed journal 'TJ' to defend/promote aspects of his positions for assessment in the robust, open forum of creationist scientific debate.
END OF EMAIL ‑ OVER AND OUT
Dr Carl Wieland, CEO Answers In Genesis Ltd. Brisbane, Australia ABN 31 010 120 304
In Summary, why would an organization dedicated to giving answers from Genesis refuse to make it a priority to invest time in understanding all theories about the flood of Noah? The value in doing so is immense and the expense is minimal. In addition, why would an organization like AiG run a smear campaign on a "lone wolf" unless the lone wolf is seen as some kind of threat. A threat to what? Good science? I think not, because no one wants to challenge Walt's science or raise to the level of reading his book, maybe since doing so would remove the ability to plead ignorance. So what is the threat? Is the answer associated with Ken's book selling efforts? I cannot think of one single excuse for AiG's position that does not involve fleshly pride and empire building. Thus, Carl, your letter exhudes this fleshly political posturing (said carefully and with respect) rather than a humble acknowledgment of sin, which would be honoring to God and may have resulted in a major breakthrough in the Creation movement.
I was delighted to see you remove your web page conclusion that the Hydroplate Theory is NOT a possible explanation for the flood. To think AiG has told thousands this conclusion without having read the book is astounding. Carl, please tell me you see a more severe problem with this than your e-mail reflected. If my letter played even a small part in this one act of repentance, I feel it was worthwhile; but I pray more will result in the future.
I still hope you and Walt can meet someday; he is still very willing, without your precondition. I can sense from your letter that you are still poisoned with pre-conceived ideas about Walt and his character. If you ponder what AiG has done to him, and how patient he has been with AiG in return, you will begin to see a spiritual character that I have come to love and appreciate.
I would also be open to meeting with you and/or Ken at any time (and anywhere) you are in the United States. You or Ken may prefer to call sometime. My number is (360) 876-7288 (work) or (360) 275-4109 (home). I would love to expound on why I think finding an answer to where the water came from and where it went, which is consistent with the Bible and science, and can silence the critics, is so important to our efforts in reaching the lost with the gospel.
Sincerely, and in service to our Lord Jesus till He comes,
The above was the final letter from Pastor Kevin to Carl Wieland. Carl never responded to Kevin, but instead wrote the following e-mail to Ken Ham.
E-mail - From Carl to Ken Ham in response to my rebuttal to Carl
Ken, I think it could be important that you respond. First, if I respond, it never ends and I have broken my commitment to not continue it, and this will be visible in Walt's dossier. This guy wants the last word, and he wants this to go into Walt Brown's dossier as such, and also to neutralize what I have said and make us look like liars.
The next day, Ken Ham sent the following e-mail
E-mail - From Ken Ham to Pastor Kevin Lea, Carl Wieland, Kyle Justice, Walt Brown and Andrew (at AiG) in response to Carl's e-mail to him.
To all concerned:
>From Ken Ham:
Over the past few months I have (sadly) watched the interchange between Walt, Kevin Lea and Carl Wieland. Having now read this communication from Kevin Lea, I believe it is time for me to state a few things:
1. I am greatly saddened that Kevin Lea would imply I put pressure on Kyle because of a client relationship. It is true that some of our staff have contracted with Kyle for certain projects in the past - and we will continue to consider this for the future. I don't look on Kyle as just a 'contractor', but a friend of AiG - and a personal friend. In fact, in my phone call to Kyle, I specifically asked him to be very up front with me as I really wanted to know if I came across in a particular way. Kyle promised me he would to the best of his ability be honest and up front with me. I stand by this and have no reason to doubt Kyle in this. I am also deeply concerned that a pastor (Kevin Lea) would imply that Kyle might lose our business because of what has transpired. I sorrow over such attacks on our integrity.
2. I am also greatly saddened that Kevin Lea would imply I might have been 'not truthful' in my conversation with Kyle. To me this seems to deliberately create doubt in my character. I had all the correspondence from Kevin Lea in front of me as I spoke to Kyle. I contacted Carl immediately after my conversation with Kyle and to the best of my ability transmitted what Kyle said from my notes. It is impossible to go back and reconstruct conversations of course - not only this, but for all of us(Kevin Lea included), what transpired depends upon knowing the exact words that were used and even the very tones used in the conversation. There are many subtleties that unless understood can change the meaning of things.
3. What I personally recall concerning the interaction between myself and a pastor (I'm assuming it had to be Kevin Lea, as I did not remember this name) is rather different to Kevin's account. I remember a pastor (presumably Kevin), who came on very strong about AiG and the fact we did not seem to support/promote Walt's model. I recall explaining that I did not have the qualifications to appraise Walt's model - in fact, I remember having to state this more than once to try to explain that it was beyond my expertise - all I could do was trust our own specialists and take the position they recommended.
I do recall this pastor kept pushing the conversation - he was obviously passionate about all this. I remember him telling me (if my recollection serves me correctly) that he had seen people interested in the Bible (maybe even saved - I don't remember - but this was the gist of the conversation I think) once Walt's model was explained to them. I'm sure this pastor told me he believed this was one of the greatest evidences to use to convince people. I then remember the conversation was steered by me to a 'presuppositional' versus purely 'evidentialist' approach in creation ministry. It is true that I would have defended the presuppositional approach of AiG - in fact, I'm sure I would have clearly stated I believed it was the more powerful and correct approach - I don't make any apology about this as we've stated this in our writings and lectures.
I was probably as passionate about our approach as Kevin was about his. I am deeply saddened that Kevin would use the term 'arrogant' - but can understand why he would say this because I did not give in in regard to my convictions concerning our respective approaches and he appeared to me to be upset because I wouldn't change. By the way, this 'argument' had nothing to do with Walt's model per se - it was an argument about approach.
I did not think anymore about this conversation until reference to it appeared in Walt's and Kevin's letters. All of us should remember that it was quite some time since this event so all of us may have some fallible recollections. It should also be recognized that I did not go to Colorado Springs with any intention of talking about Walt's model - I doubt if I have ever mentioned Walt's name or model in any of my talks (I certainly can't remember doing so). I had no intention of having such a discussion with Kevin Lea - he brought up this subject to me and continued to aggressively pursue it. Like Carl Wieland, this will be my final communication on this matter.
Pastor Kevin - In all the above correspondence Ken Ham never denied he said the things that I documented he said in my letter, which Kyle Justice also heard. Instead, Ken Ham makes up things he did not say.
Since the above correspondence, AiG again (ten months later) published false statements about the Hydroplate Theory in the 16(3)2002 edition of the Technical Journal in an answer (authored by John Baumgardner) to a letter that was sent to the editor by Gordon Hohensee.
John Baumgardner was the author of previous misleading information about the Hydroplate Theory that was disseminated by AiG and that AiG pulled from their standard response after Dr. Brown wrote them about the errors. AiG's actions of again publishing misinformation by Dr. Baumgardner, after having pulled earlier misinformation by Dr. Baumgardner, and after all the above correspondence, seems to me to be a deliberate spreading of misleading information about Dr. Brown's theory by AiG . The following documents this latest insensitivity to the need for accuracy on the part of AiG.
Letter to the editor (by Gordon Hohensee) published in TJ 16 (3) 2002, pages 69-70:
I enjoyed TJ's recent forum on catastrophic plate tectonics. Both Baumgardner and Oard presented credible arguments for or against this theory. I appreciate Oard's cautious skepticism towards assumptions undergirding creationist plate tectonic theory. I agree, furthermore, with Oard's claim that 'it is unwise to become locked into one model'. Creationists' wholesale acceptance of the no-longer-so-popular canopy theory is a case in point. While Baumgardner's Flood model seems very good, it's probably not 100% correct. Other theories out there might have elements of truth. And the cause of promoting creationism is probably better served by several competing, plausible creationist Flood models than a prevailing one that eventually loses its explanatory power.
For instance, Walt Brown's hydroplate theory seems quite credible to me in many respects. It explains mid-oceanic ridges, how the continents fit together before the Flood, continental shelves and many other enigmatic phenomena better, I think, than catastrophic plate tectonics. Perhaps lesser-known theories like Patten's Astral Catastrophism also have value. May I suggest that future forums include young-Earth creationist authors/models outside the AiG/ICR/CRS umbrella. I would be very interested in Oard's and Baumgardner's views on Brown's model in particular.
Chilliwack, British Columbia
This letter was responded to by the following write-up by John Baumgardner, published in the same Technical Journal, Vol. 16 (3) 2002, page 71:
John Baumgardner replies:
Thankfully creationists today can apply the same types of analysis and computation tools that engineers use to engineer automobiles, aircraft, and highway interchanges to model the Earth and its past in a quantitative way. The fact that any model for the Flood is now subject to this type of scrutiny has raised the bar considerably on what qualifies as a viable model. Put another way, the days of qualitative storytelling are past. In this regard Walter Brown's proposal for the underlying mechanics of the Flood cataclysm has several profound difficulties. One obvious problem that requires no computational tools to uncover is that, with the entire Earth initially covered with a 10-km-thick layer of continental crust, there is simply no place lacking such a layer toward which Brown's hydroplates can slide and accelerate. Such an evident deficiency is one most lay people should immediately be able to identify and understand.
A related difficulty is how Brown's pre-Flood layer of continental crust 10 km thick covering the entire Earth can be transformed into a layer approximately 30 km thick that corresponds to the present continents covering about 35% of the planet. What conceivable set of plate motions, beginning with Brown's initial conditions and distributions of fissures, could lead to the distribution of continental crust we presently observe? From what locations on the pre-Flood Earth in Brown's framework, for example, could the crust be derived to form North America? Or Eurasia? Brown offers no geometric explanation or set of plate motions for stacking or otherwise deforming his initial thin crustal layer to realize today's continents.
Observational support from seismology for such a recent dramatic rearrangement in the structure of the continental basement rocks is absent. Actually, evidence seems compelling that hardly any change has occurred in the structure of the continental platforms since the onset of the Flood catastrophe.
There is further the issue of the driving forces needed to accomplish the required geological work. Brown's approach is to invoke his water layer between the initial crustal layer and the underlying mantle to decouple these two layers in a mechanical sense. He thereby gives the illusion the driving force issue is solved because, with the extremely weak coupling he has assumed, almost any level of force, in the absence of other types of resistance, could drive lateral motion of the crustal blocks relative to the mantle below. But deforming his thin crustal layer in the dramatic manner described above involves extreme levels of resistance. Huge forces and a large energy source are undeniable needed. Such an energy source is absent from his framework.
This is but a brief sampling of his framework's serious, if not fatal, deficiencies. I understand that Brown, although aware of these problems for more than ten years [a lie], has been mostly unwilling to acknowledge them or engage in dialogue about them (in a peer-reviewed journal). My position is that those of us in this enterprise should be quick to acknowledge our difficulties and earnestly seek help from others in addressing them in a forthright manner.
John R. Baumgardner
Los Alamos, New Mexico
UNITED STATES of AMERICA"
Note from Pastor Kevin: The following is a letter that was sent to AiG by Joe O'Connell after he read John Baumgardner's misrepresentation of Walt's theory in the TJ.
At the time Mr. O'Connell wrote to AiG, I did not know him nor had I talked to him. There was no collusion between us. We were two independent people, who were very familiar with the Hydroplate Theory and independently realized AiG was grossly misrepresenting what Dr. Brown has written.
Dear TJ editor,
I attended my first creation science seminar In 1988. It happened to be an In The Beginning Seminar hosted by Walt Brown. It didn't take long for me to realize that there were differences of opinion within and between the various creation groups. The most glaring example was the fact that ICR and AIG never carried Brown's book. I quietly sat back over the years and watched to see what the differences were and why the situation presented itself as it did.
I realize that much like differences in the evolutionary scientific community, there are also differences in the creation science community. I decided I could live with that, and in fact, I guess I kind of expected it. As long as men are alive there will be things to differ on.
For me, an honest difference of opinion on a subject is one thing but a blatant misrepresentation of someone's work is another.
I'm referring to a recent letter to the editor from Gordon Hohensee of Canada (TJ 16 (3) 2002 pages 70 thru 72). He asked John Baumgardner and Michael Oard to respond with their views of Walt Brown's model. When I read their answers I felt I had to write. I am familiar with Brown's work and I knew immediately upon reading both opinions that they were in error on a couple of major points. I believe each man is entitled to disagree with Brown's model. However, written misrepresentation of that model is another issue altogether.
Starting with Baumgardner: (Page 71) He says in his first paragraph that Brown's hydroplate has nowhere to go. "Such an evident deficiency is one most lay people (emphasis mine) should immediately be able to identify and understand." Where in the world does he get that from? I've been to Walt Brown's seminar and have read his book and have never had any trouble understanding where the plates went. In fact, I built a small model to show just how the process works. As each new edition of his book has been printed, the information on how it happened becomes clearer and easier to understand. Even so, it was pretty clear to me back in 1988. As I read through the rest of Baumgardner's letter I had to wonder if he, in fact, ever truly read Brown's book from cover to cover, skimmed over it, or is getting certain aspects of it mixed up with the CPT theory.
I suggest Baumgardner get Brown's newest edition and read it. He should start on page 87 and read through to page 137. Again, I don't have a problem with an honest disagreement about his model but a blatant misrepresentation is inexcusable.
Speaking of inexcusable things, let's look at a comment of Michael Oard's concerning Brown's model. Quoting from TJ page 72. Michael says, "A new chapter in his book made a case that the origin of comets and asteroids was by water jets shooting water and debris from the mid-ocean ridges into space." This is about as far from the truth as you can get.
I know Mr. Oard has read a copy of Brown's newest edition or he read it on the internet. However, he still needs to get his facts straight. Again, Oard sounds like someone mixing the hydroplate theory with the CPT theory. He needs to read/reread pages 87-137 and pages 189-225.
Brown's book says that at the outset of the flood, when the fountains of the great deep initially opened up, the pressures and forces, generated by the weight of the overlying rock crust and a water hammer effect, launched water and debris into space. This was a process started during the first day of the flood and possibly lasted for a few hours or upwards of a few days.
The mid-oceanic ridge formation doesn't come for another 150 days. Oard is off the mark by one hundred and fifty days.
Now, Oard may not like the comet, asteroid idea. And maybe he includes it in his "far-fetched" category but please don't get the facts mixed up. It isn't fair to the reader who has never read Brown's book or seen his model.
There are other things I could mention about these two letters but let that suffice. I'll say it again, it's okay to have an opinion, it's okay to disagree on things, that is every person's prerogative but it isn't okay to misrepresent someone's work.
I suggest that someone at TJ read and study Brown's work fully before allowing this to happen again. Shame on the editors for letting this type of poor work get out.
My wife, Sharon, and I are faithful supporters of AIG, ICR and CSC. I take this creation science ministry extremely serious because I was once an atheist. We've given thousands of dollars to these ministries over the years. We've bought thousands of dollars worth of books and have given many away. We've donated hundreds of hours of our time to help at seminars and I have over one thousand hours time in building Noah's ark models and the animals to go with them.
Our finances are such that we are presently able to donate approximately two thousand dollars per year to these ministries. Looking to the future I see that we will be increasing that amount to perhaps two or three times what we presently give. The question arises every year, who do we give to and how much should we give?
I'm sure you feel you have legitimate reasons for the differences you feel toward other creationists and other groups in general.
That's your business. Our business is to give our money and time to those that best represent our values and goals. You folks are making it mighty difficult for us to come up with reasons to support poor written work. I suggest you get some of these things ironed out soon.
As for Oard and Baumgardner, I suggest they read/reread Brown's latest edition or better yet, give him a call.
5200 Sundown Acres Martinsville, Indiana USA 46151
Note from Pastor Kevin: AiG responded to Joe by saying that his letter was too emotional to print as a letter to the editor and asked him to write a milder form that they would consider publishing. Joe then wrote the following letter to the TJ editor with the hope they would publish it in the TJ as a rebuttal to John Baumgardner's misrepresentations of Dr. Brown's hydroplate theory.
Joe O'Connell's letter to TJ (never published):
In TJ 16(3)2002, Gordon Hohensee of Canada asks John Baumgardner and Michael Oard to give their opinions of Walt Brown's hydroplate theory.
My critique of Baumgardner's letter will use information gleaned from the 7th edition of Walt Brown's book. Baumgardner used an earlier edition. Following the 1989 edition, the estimated thickness of the rock crust changes from 10 kilometers to 10 miles, this change will not affect my conclusions below.
In his first paragraph, Baumgardner states, "One obvious problem ... with the entire Earth initially covered with a 10-km-thick layer of continental crust, there is simply no place lacking such a layer toward which Brown's hydroplate can slide and accelerate."
Walt Brown's hydroplate theory starts with two assumptions:
(1) A large volume of salty water was held in interconnected chambers, 10 miles under the entire Earth's pre-Flood surface.
(2) The pressure in the subterranean water was increasing, enough to rupture the crust.
The answer to Baumgardner's statement will follow. Once the microscopic crack develops, subterranean water (under extreme pressure of the 10-mile-thick crust) bursts forth. The crack propagates in both directions, encircling the Earth in a few hours.
The fountains of the great deep burst forth, shooting skyward to great heights. As days, weeks, and months pass, this crack widens. Massive amounts of sediments are created as the hydroplate walls are scoured and broken up. (Because the rock's pressure in the bottom half of the crust exceeds its crushing strength, the unsupported, unconfined walls continually crumble for 150 days.) Water escaping from the subterranean chamber expels the rubble.
By day 150 of the Flood, that microscopic crack has become a gaping, 800 mile wide on average, opening that has encircled the globe. With no other considerations taken into account, the hydroplates would have an approximately 800-mile-wide gap where they may slide and accelerate.
When the opening reaches a certain critical width, the exposed mantle at the center of the gap buckles upward, forming the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It and the adjacent chamber floor eventually rise about 10 miles to become the Atlantic floor.
Simultaneously, gravity acts on the hydroplates. They start to slide down the flanks of the ridge, causing the ridge to rise ever faster. As the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the adjacent chamber floor rises on one side of the world to become the Atlantic floor, the crust on the opposite side of the world subsides forming the Pacific basin and oceanic trenches. This explains how the massive hydroplates slid and accelerated until they met resistance - what Brown calls the "compression event."
Of the 30-plus predictions Brown makes for his model, prediction number 6 states: "A 10-mile-thick granite layer (a hydroplate) will be found a mile or so under the western Pacific floor." In a separate chapter, he cites evidence that granitic, or continental rock, is below the Pacific floor.
In John Baumgardner's second paragraph, he wonders, "... how Brown's pre-Flood layer of continental crust 10 km thick covering the entire Earth can be transformed into a layer approximately 30 km thick that corresponds to the present continents covering about 35% of the planet. What conceivable set of plate motions, beginning from Brown's initial conditions and distribution of fissures, could lead to the distribution of continental crust we presently observe?"
Let's start with "... distribution of fissures ..." In a practical sense there is only one globe-encircling fissure that opens up and erodes material 800 miles wide and 46,000 miles long. That opening represents a portion of Baumgardner's missing 65% no longer covering the Earth. The other portion is no longer seen. Part of it lies just below the Pacific floor.
As the hydroplates move away from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge they meet resistance, compress, thicken, and buckle. Mountain ranges and valleys form. Correspondingly they shorten to become today's continents. According to the model, the compression event explains the 30-km-thick layer that Baumgardner refers to above and the remainder of Baumgardner's missing 65%. An illustration and explanation of this can be found on page 106, figure 63 of In the Beginning.
Later Baumgardner asks, "From what locations on the pre-Flood Earth in Brown's framework, for example, could the crust be derived to form North America? Or Eurasia?"
For this, we need to consider the serpentine path of the 46,000 mile rupture and the location of the Atlantic Ridge which now sits near where the rupture occurred. Brown illustrates this with an artist's drawing, a solid model, and a computer animation.
Still further along, "Brown offers no geometric explanation or set of plate motions for stacking or otherwise deforming his initial thin crustal layer to realize today's continents."
Walt Brown does. It is called the compression event which has been briefly discussed above. It produced uplifted granite mountains, volcanoes, deformed rock like that seen in Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Grand Canyon, metamorphic rock, molten rock, and much more. Figure 47 on page 94, showing a compressed and buckled mountain, makes the case by itself. Prior to the compression event, liquefaction on a global scale layered sediments and sorted fossils. (An important chapter is devoted to the physics of liquefaction and his experiments showing liquefaction.) Layered strata were affected by the compression event as well. It produced a number of features we see today such as folded mountains, overthrusts, and cross-bedded sandstone, to name a few. The standard explanation for these and many other features on Earth have serious problems; Brown's explanation solves those problems.
At the end of the second paragraph, Baumgardner states, "... evidence seems compelling that hardly any change has occurred in the structure of the continental platforms since the onset of the Flood catastrophe."
Walt Brown cites 25 categories of evidence which refute this uniformitarian sounding belief.
John Baumgardner comments in the third paragraph, "There is further the issue of the driving forces needed to accomplish the required geological work. Brown's approach is to invoke his water layer between the initial crustal layer and the underlying mantle to decouple these two layers in a mechanical sense."
According to Brown's book, videotape, and lectures (dating back to 1980) the water was found in interconnected chambers. Although most of the weight of the overlying rock crust is borne by the subterranean water, the 10-mile-thick hydroplate has areas where the granite crust rests on the chamber floor. Walt Brown calls these pillars and sockets - Biblical terms. Of course, these couplings were crushed when the subterranean water escaped as the "fountains of the great deep."
Baumgardner continues, "He thereby gives the illusion the driving force issue is solved because, with the extremely weak coupling he has assumed, almost any level of force, in the absence of other types of resistance, could drive lateral motion of crustal blocks relative to the mantle below. But deforming his thin crustal layer in the dramatic manner described above involves extreme levels of resistance. Huge forces and a large energy source are undeniably needed. Such an energy source is absent from his framework."
No such illusion is given. Pillars and sockets do not constitute an extremely weak coupling and gravity provides a gigantic energy source - the equivalent of 10 billion hydrogen bombs - enough to crush the pillars and accelerate the hydroplates downhill, away from the rising Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Walt Brown has always maintained that the Mid-Oceanic Ridge is the key to understanding where the Flood water came from and where it went. Water left under the hydroplates lubricates the sliding until they meet insurmountable resistances - enough to crush and thicken continents and buckle up mountains. Frictional sliding on the basalt layer produced colossal amounts of molten rock and flood basalts.
Baumgardner states in his fourth paragraph, "This is but a brief sampling of his framework's serious, if not fatal, deficiencies. I understand that Brown, although aware of these problems for more than ten years, has been mostly unwilling to acknowledge them or engage in dialogue about them (in a peer-reviewed journal)."
I called Walt Brown to talk to him about this assertion. I asked him if he was aware of any serious problems with his model over these past ten years. He said he was not. I questioned him further and asked if he knew where John Baumgardner got this understanding. Walt Brown's response, "I have no idea, but he hasn't read very carefully."
John Baumgardner's final admonition, "My position is that those of us in this enterprise should be quick to acknowledge our difficulties and earnestly seek help from others in addressing them in a forthright manner."
I couldn't agree more. Frankly, as I read Baumgardner's letter, I was at a loss to understand how he came up with these conclusions about Walt Brown's book.
I hope TJ readers will pick up a copy of his book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, or read it on the internet. I believe they will be pleasantly surprised by how closely it follows the teachings of the Bible and the fact that it is simple yet profound in scope.
AiG's Letter Declining to Publish Joe O'Connell's Letter
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2004 11:52 PM
Subject: Joe O'Connell, Letter to the Editor-W. Brown and HPT
This matter has been dragging on a long time because of a number of issues, and we can understand if this has been frustrating. However we wish to proceed in the best manner possible.
We asked John Baumgardner mid-last year whether he was interested in contacting you or writing a response for TJ to your letter. He indicated he would write a response but later decided he would prefer to contact you directly. I believe that Carl relayed this information to you during your meeting with him in Kentucky. You had indicated (in e-mails to Carl) you were interested in contacting geologists on their opinions on HPT, and as editors, we were happy with this option, as we did not feel there was much value in publishing letters about HPT, without the involvement of Walt Brown, who declined our offer of a forum. Also the previous discussion on HPT in TJ were only a small part of responses, to questions and comments in letters, on the previous Forum debate, and not the main focus of that Forum.
We received your email of November 6th, indicating that you had discussed the matter with John Baumgardner and would still like to have your letter published. Subsequent discussion with John Baumgardner indicated that he was not interested in responding to your letter in TJ, as he is busy with publishing a book on his CPT theory. In Carl's return email of November 6th, he asked whether you could give us some information on the discussions you had with John Baumgardner to help us understand why this issue had not been resolved. I was waiting to see that information to help make a decision on how to proceed.
It is unlikely that we would publish a letter critiquing another letter without a following response, and we prefer not to have chains of ongoing letters, but would rather publish article by the technical authors. Late last year Walt Brown presented an article in CRSQ and so it is appropriate that discussion on HPT be continued in that journal, focussing on the scientific validity of the model.
So at this point, with no other information to make a decision on, we are not intending to publish your letter.
Yours in Christ,
Mark Robertson MASc CPEng
Research Scientist/Editorial Consultant
Answers in Genesis Ltd
PO Box 6302, Acacia Ridge QLD 4110 Australia A.B.N. 31 010 120 304
Phone: (07) 3273 7650 Fax: (07) 3273 7672
Answers in Genesis: a Christ-centred, non-denominational ministry dedicated to upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse.
Final comment from Pastor Kevin Lea:
AiG "KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN" they were misrepresenting Walt's theory when they published Baumgardner's critique. Mark Robertson's letter is political bantering. Mr. O'Connell made the case that AiG published misinformation about Dr. Brown's work. Professional integrity on the part of the editors, and Christian character on the part of the AiG ministry should have motivated them to do whatever was necessary to correct this wrong. AiG's refusal to do so comes after the extensive correspondence from Dr. Brown and Pastor Kevin Lea encouraging them to cease and desist from previous misrepresentations.
Since Joe's letter, the Mars explorer project has discovered that Mars once had considerable amounts of salt water, (as predicted by Dr. Brown on page 200 of his 7th edition published in 2001). Deep earth conductivity measurements are showing that there is a highly conductive layer (consistent with salt water) under all the continents. The November 2002, 7.9 Denali, Alaska earthquake caused the geysers of Yellowstone to change their timing and intensity, houseboats to be knocked from their piers in Lake Union, Washington, and cause yachts at Lake Ponchartrain Louisiana to snap one inch mooring lines (all thousands of miles away). I watched the local nightly news coverage of the Lake Union micro quake and realized it can be easily explained by the hydroplate theory (hydraulic pressure being transported under the crust by the still trapped salt water and magma, but only being felt in weak areas of the crust). Evolutionary geology (and CPT), cannot explain this phenomena.
Also, the Stardust probe has collected comet dust from the Wild 2 comet and taken photographs of the comet head. The results have surprised Dr. Brownlee of the University of Washington (head of the Stardust project) but not Dr. Brown who notes that the June 18, 2004 articles published in the prestigious Science journal are completely consistent with what one would expect if comets came from the earth during the flood of Noah when the fountains of the great deep burst up as described in Dr. Brown's seventh edition book, published in 2001.
As a result of the continuing scientific discoveries that are supporting Dr. Brown's hydroplate theory, I feel compelled to let the reader know of AiG's misrepresentations, which ironically are keeping God's people from having "Answers in Genesis" to the many questions being raised by the unbelieving public.
In summary, AiG has for several years acted unprofessionally, unethically, and most importantly, unbiblical in their various forms of misrepresenting Dr. Brown and the Hydroplate Theory.
It is my hope they will someday communicate something like the following in their
TJ and prominently on their Web site. When they do, this correspondence history will no longer be on this web site.
What AiG should say
AiG would like to apologize to the readers of the Technical Journal for publishing Dr. John Baumgardner's critique of Dr. Walt Brown's Hydroplate Theory in the December 2002 edition. It has come to our attention that Dr. Baumgardner misrepresented Dr. Brown's published theory throughout.
We also apologize to our readers who have trusted us to provide accurate analysis of other creation ministries in our form-letter responses and at our web site. In many cases we failed to study these views to the depth necessary prior to publishing judgments of their worthiness. In the future we will not critique the work of others until we have studied their published positions and given the authors a chance to comment on the accuracy of our critique.
Based on the above, readers should ignore our previous statements about avoiding the Hydroplate Theory and we encourage you to go to Dr. Brown's website (www.creationscience.com) where any misrepresentations that we have published can be corrected by reading the author's online book. This is not to be construed as an AiG endorsement of the Hydroplate Theory, but just a correction of past misrepresentations. We regret that our shallow analysis and critiques of Dr. Brown's work may have misled Christians.