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It's An Old World After All

When you show the world you know you need to lie for your faith,
you show the world you know your 'faith' is a lie.

This page brings together a series of blogs criticising the Creationist pseudo-science book, "It's A Young World After All", by the psychologist Dr Paul D. Ackerman, PhD.  These were originally published as a series of blogs entitled How Creationists Lie To Us, numbered 2-14. There was no number 1 in the series because I had already used that for an earlier blog on another Creationist falsehood concerning science.

It is difficult to determine whether Dr Ackerman is as ignorant of basic science as he seems to be or if he is relying on an assumed ignorance of science in his target readers, so I'll leave readers of this blog to decide that for themselves. I would point out though how it took me just a few minutes on line to find scientific refutation of all his significant claims, so even if Dr Ackerman lacked a basic knowledge, there seems to be no reason that should have continued. One is also left wondering on what basis he felt qualified to write authoritatively about science. His academic qualifications appear to be in psychology and not in biology, cosmology, geology or physics and he seems to have no record of published, peer-reviewed science research.

Chapter 1 - Moon Dust And The Question Of Time.
A hilarious chapter in which Dr Ackerman uses the discredited calculations of a fellow Creationist to argue that there should have been far more dust on the moon than was found and that the smaller amount 'proves' the world is only a few thousand years old. He states that this is "the most famous argument that creationists have raised for a recent creation", only to disclaim that argument right at the end (and on the apparent advice of the Institute For Creation Research (ICR)) who now admit the argument has been discredited).

Applying the correct maths to the age of the moon, using exactly Dr Ackerman's reasoning, proves that it is the age science says it is. He doesn't have the integrity to admit this outright however. Read more..
Chapter 2 - "Fossil" Meteorites
Another great chapter in which Dr Ackerman starts off well by referring to the argument from Chapter 1 which he admitted was false and should not be used. He then proceeds to compare meteorites with rain and demonstrates an either wilful or feigned ignorance of basic geology and how the observable facts of erosion and plate tectonics effectively recycle the land surface over the geological time scale.

This chapter presages the rest of the book where scientific ideas and theories are misrepresented, inconvenient scientific facts are ignored and other discredited Creationist claims are presented as established scientific facts and mainstream theories. Read more...
Chapter 3 - The Solar Janitor
In this chapter Dr Ackerman tries to persuade us that he has another 'clock' which proved Earth is young. He uses the analogy of a janitor sweeping dust up at a constant rate so, if you know how much dust there was to start with, and how quickly he's sweeping up, we could work out how long he's been sweeping for. He uses the example of dust in the solar system but misrepresents something called the Poynting-Roberts effect and seems to rely on his readers not knowing that comets continually replace the dust, just like someone scattering more dust after the janitor has swept the floor, or, to continue with the clock metaphor, continually resetting the clock.

A very nice example of science being misrepresented and of reliance on the presumed ignorance in his target readership. Read more...
Chapter 4 - Of Smoldering Embers.
Dr Ackerman reveals an almost infantile understanding of cosmology and physics when he compares the seismicly active moon of Jupiter, Io, with a burning cigar and concludes that it must have been lit recently otherwise, like a cigar, it would have gone out by now. Curiously though he reveals an inkling of an understanding of the science of the source geothermal energy which is perfectly adequate to explain Io's geology. He fails to explain why other planets and celestial bodies like the moon, Earth, Mars, Mercury, Venus, etc have 'gone out' if they were 'lit' at the same time 6000 years ago.

He then reveals a surprising ignorance about the origin of isotopes with a short half-life from radioactive decay of isotopes with a very long half-life and shows he knows nothing about chaos theory or recent discoveries concerning Saturn's rings. Read more...
Chapter 5 - Pour Me A Rock.
A discredited piece of 'research', which is not even now accepted as valid by its author, is quoted as established science to explain how the moon's craters should have 'flowed' back to being smooth if the moon is as old as science says. He neglects to tell his readers that the author of the work upon which he relies has recanted his young-earth Creationist views on the grounds that there is no evidence for it but feels confident enough to declare, "Thus the physical evidence is loud and clear to the effect that the craters of the moon cannot be as old as evolutionists claim." Such a shame about the facts. Read more...
Chapter 6 - Is The Sun Shrinking.
Dr Ackerman ignores most of the nuclear physics of the last 100 years and quotes a long-discredited argument by Lord Kelvin to argue that the sun should have used up all it's energy by now and so can only be a few thousand years old. He then dismisses more modern ideas of nuclear fusion on the grounds that the neutrinos which the theory predicts are not there, only to admit in a grudging footnote that they have been found in the quantities predicted by the nuclear fusion theory after all, but doesn't see any need to revise his conclusion that nuclear fusion doesn't account for the sun's energy.

Having got that hilarious piece of Creationist nonsense down he then uses another discredited piece of bad mathematics on selected data which seems to show the sun is shrinking, finally getting to the point of this chapter. Read more...
Chapter 7 - The Vast Beyond.
A fine display of several fallacies from the Creationists traditional armoury, including The God Of The Gaps, The False Dichotomy and of course The Straw Man. We also see the usual muddling and misrepresentation of science such as confusing the Big Bang with the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, and of course no mention at all of the various scientific theories which explain the 'gaps' which Dr Ackerman claims science can't explain and in which his god seems to be residing, some of which he seems to have created especially for it. Read more...
Chapter 8 - The Speed Of Light.
Here Dr Ackerman shows us how Creation 'scientists' quote one another as established science when it is nothing of the sort. In this example he uses an obviously rigged piece of work in which a Creationist plotted a carefully selected set a of data points of measurements of the speed of light going back to the mid 17th century and made it look like the speed of light has been slowing down, and coincidentally stopped slowing down just as we developed technologies capable of measuring it reasonably accurately. In so doing, Dr Ackerman inadvertently shows us how Creationist 'scientists' start with the answer they want and then select data which agrees with the conclusion they want, and ignore the rest. Read more...
Chapter 9 - Back Down To Earth.
Dr Ackerman devotes this chapter to a story of how a fossilised skeleton of a baleen whale was found standing on its tail in a quarry in California; something he concludes could only be caused by a cataclysmic flood such as that in the Noah's Ark myth. Unfortunately he seem to be unaware that this entire story is based on a single account by another Creationist which can only be described as a lie. Read more...
Chapter 10 - Forests In Stone.
Dr Ackerman tries to explain away the petrified trees in the Yellowstone National Forest as caused by a flood but fails to explain why there then appear to have been 27 such floods occurring some 50 million years ago and where all the other flood debris went to. Read more...
Chapter 11 - The Top That Reeled.
Dr Ackerman has discovered that Earth has a slight rotational wobble, or at least he has discovered that an Australian Creationist has plotted this wobble, or something similar, back to the date he wanted it to look as though it started in (i.e. at about 4300 BCE when he claims the Noah's Ark myth actually happened) and concluded that it must have started then and was caused by the mythical flood. A very nice example of how Creationists start with the answer they want and select data to fit.

Dr Ackerman fails to explain how this points to Earth being only 6000 years old. Read more...
Chapter 12 - Creation Stopwatches.
Here Dr Ackerman shows his ignorance of science by telling his credulous readers that science could not work out that if someone carves something on a tree, the carver must have existed before the carving was done.

He then spend time explaining how things called radiohalos prove coal is only a few thousand years old, but neglects to mention that the work was done by a fellow Creationist using geologically contaminated samples from a single site in a piece of research which has been thoroughly discredited. Read more...
Chapter 13 - Time: Evolution's Friend or Foe?
The final chapter, in which Dr Ackerman seems to have dumped the remaining Creationists fallacies he couldn't fit into the other chapters. It includes an infantile comparison of Darwinian Evolution with the 'infinite monkeys and typewriter' metaphor of what infinity means to probability theory. Includes a hilarious example of how he has confused an analogy with the real thing and tries to discredit Darwinian Evolution by explaining that typewriters break down and need a supply of paper.

He finally introduces our old friend the Second Law Of Thermodynamics only to show he doesn't understand it and illustrates how the Second Law is traditionally misrepresented by Creation 'science'. Read more...
Not surprisingly, this book is now given away by and, even though so much of what it contains has been withdrawn by the people who originally proposed it, or has been comprehensively refuted and discredited by mainstream science, it is never-the-less uncritically cited by other Creationists as 'proof', for example, that dinosaurs must have lived alongside humans because Dr Ackerman has 'proved' that Earth is only 6000 years old.


  1. Do you know what worries me? It's those three letters after his name PhD!

  2. You can get a Ph.D in a non-science subject like psychology. As Kent Hovind shows, you can get one for writing a poor essay of very little academic merit and paying a fee to an unacredited 'university' which is little more than a shed. Very many of the creationist 'scientists' use that ploy to fool their victims into believing they are real scientists and should be taken seriously. In the case of Ackerman, if he IS a proper scientist he should be ashamed of himself for the standard of this book and the low level of scientific and intellectual integrity he shows. So, the choice seems to be between deliberate charlatan or ignorant liar. In creationist circles, having letters after ones name is a bankable asset to be milked for all it's worth and something with which to impress a credulous, gullible and ignorance customer base.

    It's worth picking a random sample of the 'scientists' listed on AnswersInGenesis and doing a little research into their backgrounds, academic achievements and publications, if any. For very many of them, it seems their only claim to fame is that they appear in Ken Ham's list of creation 'scientists', which he's padded out by including scientists from earlier times who were not YECs but believed in a god. Most of them have earned very little distinction and of those who have, it's usually been in a field unconnected with the subjects about which they write in Creationist publications, as with Dr Paul D Ackerman.

  3. Rosa do you have a PhD in a scientific field? If so which field?

  4. Rosa, I ran this article in many of my blogs today and made my own essay against revered ignorance: http:russellamb.wordpress for one.
    I encourage others to study yours!


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