Kolbe Report 9/4/21

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Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,

Pax Christi!

I would like to thank all of you who prayed for the success of our annual leadership retreat.  As of today, the participants who have answered our survey have given the retreat an average score of 9.7 on a scale of 1 to 10!  We will let you know as soon as the retreat talks are posted on the internet so that all of you can benefit from them.

One of the essential truths that our speakers rightly emphasized is the importance of understanding the two main frameworks that have been used to approach the study of nature and the origins of man and the universe during the last two thousand years.  The most popular argument used by Catholic theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists against the traditional doctrine of creation hinges on the alleged “overwhelming evidence” that the Earth and the universe are billions of years old.  In this newsletter I would like to invite you to ponder an analogy that has helped many people to see that one's answer to the age question, like one's answer to the evolution question, hinges on the framework within which he views the empirical evidence—and not on some self-evident interpretation of the empirical data.  I would then like to give a striking example of how the refusal of evolution-believing natural scientists to face facts that invalidate the evolutionary hypothesis corrupts their scientific and medical research, often with fatal consequences for the public they are supposed to serve.

The Miraculous Cana Wine and the Six Days of Creation

The Teacher's Guide for the DVD series “Foundations Restored” introduces the audience to the first episode by discussing the "two frameworks" for interpreting the evidence relevant to the origins of man and the universe.  The Guide suggests questions for the teacher to pose to his students, and offers possible answers in parentheses and in italics:

What was the “first sign” that Jesus did?

(Jesus changed water into wine at the Wedding at Cana.)

How did Our Lord’s first sign at Cana parallel His first work of creation?

(Answers may vary.  There were six containers of water at Cana which Our Lord supernaturally changed into wine which had all the appearance of having gone through a long natural history which had not actually occurred.  Similarly, there were six days of creation in which God supernaturally created a complete, fully-functioning universe for a mature man from whose side He instantly created a mature woman to be his help-mate throughout life.)

How might a skeptical vine-grower at the wedding banquet have reacted to the news that Jesus had changed ordinary water into wine?

(Answers may vary.  He would probably have protested that to produce the best of wines requires many years for planting, dressing, harvesting, pressing, fermenting, and aging.  Indeed, a Galilean skeptic could be forgiven for insisting that it was “impossible” to produce a vintage of such excellence in a mere instant.)

What could be done in the face of his skepticism?

(Answers may vary.  The disciples could have confronted him with the trustworthy witnessesthe Blessed Virgin of Nazareth and St. John the Beloved Disciple who never told a lie.  These two could testify that they saw the wine produced instantaneously by Jesus of Nazareth.  And if the Galilean naturalist insisted that this was “impossible” and that anyone making such a claim must be a fool or a deceiver—what could the disciples do but pray that he would come to trust their truthful testimony more than the fallible testimony of his own—severely limited—senses?)

When theistic evolutionists claim that God would be a deceiver if the universe with its appearance of great age proved to be thousands of years old—according to the Biblical chronology as understood by all of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church—how do they make the same mistake as our Galilean skeptic?

(Answers may vary.  They both deny a supernatural reality on the ground that it does not accord with their experience of the natural world.  Indeed, it would be foolish for our Galilean skeptic to call Jesus a deceiver for making His new wine appear old when Jesus had arranged for truthful witnesses to testify to its actual age!    But is it any less foolish to call God a deceiver because He instantaneously created the heavens and the earth with an appearance of great age—when He inspired the sacred author of Genesis to testify to the rapid creation of the universe in plain language?)

The reality is that if the smartest scientists and engineers in the world subjected the miraculous wine of Cana to chemical analysis for a thousand years, they would be no closer to understanding the "origin" or the "age" of the wine.  But an illiterate peasant who believes in the testimony of the truthful witness St. John appointed by God to reveal the true history of that wine knows the true origin and age of that wine after one hearing!

It is the same with the six days of creation.  We know that God created all things in six days less than ten thousand years ago, because that is the testimony of the truthful witness Moses, appointed by God to reveal the true origin and age of the world to us, as it was understood in His Church from the beginning.  We can no more extrapolate from the present natural order of things into the past to determine the "age" or "origin" of the universe than we could extrapolate from a chemical analysis of the miraculous Cana wine to determine its age and origin.  In both cases, we can only know the true age and origin from the witnesses appointed by God as they have been understood in God's Church from the beginning.

Evolutionist Geochronology: Fatally Flawed!

I am indebted to our separated brethren for reporting on a remarkable example of the fatal consequences of refusing to face facts that contradict the standard evolutionist geochronology.  According to geological field guide and researcher Bill Kolstad:

In the 1950’s the U.S. Geologic Survey dated the Sierra Nevada granite in my area at an age of between 80-120 million years based on Potassium (the “parent” element) decaying to Argon (“daughter” element).

Imagine an hour glass with the parent element in the top section taking 1.2 billion years to half empty into the lower section. This rate of decay is called a half life, meaning every 1.2 billion years half of the parent element is gone. In simple terms the process of dating volcanic rocks in the twentieth century is to measure the amount of such daughter elements to find the age of the rock.

Now imagine a second hour glass. This one has radium in the top section draining into radon in the lower section at the rate (half life) of only 1600 years! The daughter element, Radon, only has a half-life of another 3.8 days. Granite, like most volcanic rocks, has several pairs of parent-daughter elements, so geology text books tell us that if we apply this dating process using multiple pairs of decaying isotopes (our hour glasses) we should get the same age from both . . . Yet, each year people die of this deadly gas which, owing to its very short half life, shouldn’t even be detectable if the granitic continental bed rock was even close to the age we are taught today! . . .

Of the three major classifications of rock (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) only those solidifying from the molten state (igneous) are thought to be chronologically datable in absolute terms and this by use of radioactive decay rates whereby unstable isotopes degrade into more stable elements. The practice of measuring the time lapse since the molten state using the potassium to argon “method” became the accepted procedure and product of the twentieth century.

Igneous rocks are host to several different elements. The rate at which each element decays varies widely and is described in terms of its “half-life” which is the time required for half the original element (a.k.a. parent element) to decay into the more stable “daughter” element.  In the locally dominant granodiorite, radium, radon, potassium, argon, plutonium, and polonium are invariably among the elemental cast of characters, yet the half-life for the first pair is measured in billions of years, the last pair in minutes and radium to radon gas in between at 1600 years.

The author goes on to explain how the existence of—according to the standard evolutionary geochronology—“impossible” amounts of radon in the region where he lives actually posed a serious threat to his health and to the health of his neighbors:

In 1990 I had no sooner completed construction of our home in the Granite Springs subdivision in the lower Kingsbury Grade area of Stateline, Nevada, when it was suggested that we test it for radon gas. Readings at the level of the dirt basement were nearly double what the EPA considers actionable for human safety! (University of Nevada, Reno)

Twenty-six years later I learned that properties in the middle of Carson City, Nevada, also can emit high enough concentrations of radon gas to be considered a health risk under E.P.A. standards. Since radon gas is said to be a major cause of death by lung cancer, [responsible for 20,000 deaths per year in the United States] federal grants fund public awareness campaigns near hot spots of radon gas. And the Sierra Nevada and Carson Range are infamous for this.

Given the short half-life of Radium to Radon at only 1,600 years, it is surprising to discover so much radon outgassing from granite thought to have solidified 80 to 120 million years ago. At least this is what we are informed of by U.S.G.S. survey tests (using potassium to argon) and in turn nearly every textbook that mentions the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Why, I asked a geology professor at University of Nevada, Reno, who administers the radon extension program, do we use the Potassium to Argon method to date the Sierra granite rather than extremely prevalent radium to radon?  His email response affirmed that the former was easier and the latter would “produce too young an age.”

Both geology textbooks and logic tell us we should get similar isotopic ages when using multiple different elements to date the same specimen rock. Evidently those teaching the process expect this result between long and short age isotopes, but fail to realize that such conflict invalidates the whole dating process rather just than the inconveniently young age!

The paradox is that we date rocks using a complex, expensive, and theoretical process while ignoring the element so dangerous it is a widely-acclaimed killer and so prevalent as to be measurable with simple test kits often distributed for free!

Of course, the solution to the “paradox” can be found in the account of the Flood in the sacred history of Genesis when, according to St. Peter, “the world that then was perished” (2 Peter 3).  In that unique global watery “cataclysm,” accelerated radioactive decay produced tens or hundreds of millions of years of decay of long half-life elements in a very short time, leaving behind an array of long and short-half-life isotopes, like so many contradictory clocks, confirming that only the Creator of time can give us an accurate chronology of the world from Creation to the Flood and from the Flood to the present.  In the meantime, those who insist with Descartes and the Enlightenment philosophers that “things have always been the same from the beginning of creation” and that scientists can extrapolate from the present into the past to determine the age of the Earth and the universe—inadvertently blind themselves to the real-world consequences of the global Flood which, in turn, can become a matter of life and death for citizens who put a trust in fallible scientists and medical “experts” that used to be reserved for Bishops and priests of the Catholic Church.

With deep gratitude for your faithful prayers and support, I am

Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,

Hugh Owen

P.S. Theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists like to object that the burst of “accelerated radioactive decay” mentioned above would have incinerated the Ark along with Noah and his family.  However, in our next newsletter, we will explain why the “heat problem” is not really a problem at all!

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