You've probably heard about the nine researchers with real Ph.D.s who are on a mission to prove that the Bible's version of how the Earth formed is real, using scientific evidence. Sure, many pastors have argued for years that the creation story in Genesis shouldn't be taken literally and that it's more about the message. But those pastors aren't scientists.
"Our attempt is to demonstrate that the Bible is accurate, not just religiously authoritative," Henry Morris III, CEO of the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research, told The Dallas Morning News in a profile of the group.
On the surface, fact-checking the Bible sounds like a productive endeavor for people who want to devote their lives to faith, but only if the faith can be proven literally. "The rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn't be lying to us," Morris told the News. "And if he's lying to us right off the bat in the book of Genesis, we've got some real problems." That almost sounds like skepticism.
But the Institute for Creation Research might be wasting its time. A simple web search shows there are already plenty of scientific papers, published somewhere, reporting that humans and apes didn't evolve from a common ancestor, the story of Noah's Ark is scientifically true and that the Earth's age is in the thousands of years, not millions.
In 2013, for instance, Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins, a research associate at the Institute for Creation Research, compared 40,000 chimpanzee genomic sequences against the human genome. He found that levels of human-chimp DNA similarity are "significantly lower than commonly reported." In fact, he said, genome-wide, only 70 percent of chimp DNA shares similarities to human DNA. That number is much lower than the 96 percent or so figure that other researchers have identified.
The implications of Tomkins' findings are huge, explains Tomkins: "... the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary time-scales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor."
Tomkins' study has been published by Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism, and can be found on the Institute for Creation Research website.
Much of this is old news. It was back in 2012 when Dr. Jeffrey Lisle published an article on the "Back to Genesis" section of the Institute for Creation Research's website reporting that the three bright blue stars in the constellation Orion's belt "are a strong confirmation of the biblical timescale" because blue stars don't live very long, relatively speaking.
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In another article published on the Institute for Creation Research website, data extracted from the cylindrical cores of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets show that the ice sheets have formed only in the past 4,500 years -- "the time since the Flood," according to Dr. Jake Hebert, another research associate.
This is just a small sampling of the dozens of papers that each of the institute's research associates have published. They've examined numerous parts of creation to make their findings -- the stars, the oceans, fossils and even oil fields.
Dr. Tim Clarey, for instance, has reported in several Institute for Creation Research papers that oilfields are capable of regenerating themselves. His examination of the processes of oil generation, migration and entrapment confirmed that a Flood happened 4,500 years ago.
On a totally random side-note, many depleted oilfields may partially refill in the next century, Clarey writes. This has huge implications for new fracking technologies, which Clarey says "have greatly benefited the economies in Texas, Ohio, and North Dakota, where shale oil is quite plentiful." We're not exactly sure how fracking benefiting economies has anything to do with biblical creation, but it does sound like awesome news for Chevron, one of Clarey's former employers.