An Open Letter to Intelligent Designer, William Dembski


An Open Letter to

Intelligent Designer,

William Dembski 

[The following letter was written to William Dembski, a leader in the ID—Intelligent Design—movement.  Jay Hall reviews Dembski’s compromising views of creation, using both the Bible and science to critique these increasingly-popular ID views.]


Jan. 21, 2010


Dear Dr. Dembski:


  The reason for writing this letter is based on an event that will occur ten years from now (“Minority Report” anyone?).  I do appreciate your fine work in Intelligent Design (ID), but I have great concern over your book The End of Christianity (page numbers refer to this).  Your view overlooks the scriptural perspective that man existed since the beginning.1

  Your rejection of Young Earth Science (YES) and the Global Flood is both biblically lacking and evidentially unsound.  Francis Schaeffer held to a Universal Flood and that it was not tranquil.2  Even the New Geneva Study Bible admits, “A worldwide flood seems to be in view (7:19-23; 8:21; 9:11, 15; 2 Pet. 3:5-7).“3  Reference is also made to the universal language in Daniel not encompassing the whole earth, but even if we assume the a flood that covered the Babylonian kingdom, it would be global.  Babylonia extended to the foothills of the Zagros Mountains and the Persian Gulf gives this region an outlet to the rest of the world.  As Global Flood advocate Gleason Archer rightly points out, “water seeks its own level.”4  C. F. Kiel , co-author with Delitzsch of the well-known OT commentary, held that, “To speak of such a flood as partial is absurd.  Even if it broke out at only one spot, it would spread over the earth from one end to the other, and reach everywhere to the same elevation.”5  Samuel Driver, co-author of the famous Hebrew lexicon, said that, “It is manifest that a flood which would submerge Egypt as well as Babylonia must have risen to at least 2000 ft. … [a local flood] would not have accomplished what is represented as having been the entire raison d’etre of the Flood, the destruction of all mankind.”6 

  Henry Morris provides 64 biblical reasons for the global nature of the Flood and 36 scientific, historical and cultural arguments.7  James M. Boice, though not holding to all the tenets of Flood Geology, held that much geologic data “must be explained by a flood of worldwide dimensions.”8  He also said that, “a flood of that duration [377 days] is not a local flood!”9  Boice wrote a whole chapter on Flood Traditions and concluded that, “Hundreds of flood stories abound throughout the world in various cultures and are therefore evidence not merely of the historicity of the flood but of its universal extent.”10  John Byl rightly states, “… since animals were originally vegetarian, there was no animal death before Adam’s fall.  Thus all animal fossils must post-date Adam’s fall.”11 

  You claim that those without a stake in the age issue are “unlikely to find such [YES] arguments persuasive” (p. 61).  Some ID supporters have not even read The Genesis Flood or read the latest from Master Books.  In addition consider the many creationists who were once evolutionists:

  • Gary Parker (the “Apostle Paul” of creationism)

  • Thomas Kindell (Reasons for Faith Ministries)

  • Jobe Martin (“Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution”)

  • Dean Kenyon (Kolbe Center)

  • John Moore (CRS Biology text)

  • Keith Wanser (physics)12

  • James Allan (genetics)

  • A. J. Monty White (physical chemistry)

  • Walter Veith (chair, Dept. of Zoology, Univ. of Western Cape, SA)

  • Don DeYoung (Thousands … Not Billions)

  • Don Batten (Journal of Creation editor).

  There are also mainstream scientists who admit to the evidence that supports YES.  R. A. Lyttleton (F.R.S., astronomer), said that due to tidal friction, “… the Moon would have been almost in contact with the Earth only about 1,000,000,000 years ago…” – far less than the accepted 4.5 billion years.13  W. A. Berggren and J. A. Van Couvering edited Catastrophes and Earth History published by Princeton University Press in 1984.  This volume contains essays by Stephen Jay Gould and Derek Ager.  Ager freely admitted that most of the rock record is composed of catastrophic deposits. 

Richard Milton, agnostic (non-Christian and non-YES) science journalist and Mensan, is sympathetic to YES.  Carbon 14 has not reached the equilibrium point and Milton reports that Melvin Cook dated the atmosphere at 10,000 years old based on this fact.14  Milton also describes the work of French geologist Guy Berthault who has shown experimentally that fine laminations can form quickly in the rock record.15      

  The flood killed all humans outside the Ark.  To assume the people who lived for many hundreds of years did not travel the globe is to deny human nature.  Gary Hause has walked 21, 417 miles in many parts of the world.16  Many creationists hold that the Pre-Flood world had a great super-continent which would have made dispersal easier.  Humanity was global; therefore, the Flood was global.  There are a number of reasons to deny a local flood.17

  I am glad you interacted with creationist arguments, but I would encourage you to dig a little deeper and read the following:

  • The Genesis Flood – Whitcomb & Morris

  • Creation and Change – Douglas Kelly (influential on R.C. Sproul) 

  • The Young Earth – John Morris

  • Refuting Compromise – Jonathan Sarfati (contra Ross)

  • Faith, Form and Time – Kurt Wise

  • Battle for the Beginning – John MacArthur.

  You mention Paul Nelson  and John Mark Reynolds (p. 55) who are not the best YES defenders.18  If you’d be willing to debate the thesis “Noah’s Flood was global in extent and impact,” then I would offer the following names as opponents:

  • Terry Mortenson 19 (The Great Turning Point)

  • Russell Humphreys (Starlight and Time)

  • Andrew Snelling (Earth’s Catastrophic Past)

  • John Baumgardner (Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, CPT)

  • Jonathan Sarfati (Refuting Compromise)

  • Gary Parker (Creation Adventures Museum).

John Byl has replied to Jitse vanderMeer, whose interpretation regarding the retroactive consequences of the Fall is similar to yours.20

  In addition, please check out the following websites:

  • (fantastic weekly 15 minute radio show)

  • (CRS)

  • (AiG)

  • (CMI)

  • (historical and cultural aspects)

  • (creation-evolution headlines).

  I am an evangelical, but I have a great respect for Adventist geologists.  I would challenge you to take a week long geology field trip with several geologists from Loma Linda.

  You criticize the RATE research (pp. 56, 57), but ignore many salient features of their findings.  Beryllium-10 has been found in deep ancient rocks, which goes contrary to the standard geochronology since Be-10 has a relatively short half-life (1.52 My).21   

  If we are going to harp on “nature’s constancy,” how do we explain that fact that more α-decay has occurred than β-decay.  The RATE team found this to be the case for the Bass Rapids sill in Grand Canyon:22


Diamonds, which are hard to contaminate, contain radiocarbon indicating their youth.  That is they are dated in the 50,000 year range rather than millions of years old.23  Carbon-14 has been found in a wide variety of materials:  fossils, petrified wood, shells, whale bone, coal, oil, natural gas, marble, graphite and calcite.24  This fact indicates that the rock record is young (<50K years) and not millions of years old which contradicts the dominant timescale.  In keeping with constancy, Helium retention in zircons implies the earth is around 6,000 (2000) years old:25


ID activist Denyse O’Leary was kind enough to acknowledge this research in her book By Design or By Chance.26

  The observation that the majority of radiohalos are found in Flood deposits shows us that this was a period of accelerated nuclear decay:27                                  

  If radioactive dating is so accurate, how is it that the Bass Rapids sill gives dates ranging from 656 million years to 1.4 billion years?28  Another discrepancy is that historical lava flows, such as Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt. Doom in “Lord of the Rings”), are dated up to four billion years old.29 Slight variations in an alpha particle’s energy and the well depth can yield huge changes in the decay rate.30  The billion-fold increase in β-decay has been shown experimentally.31  Based on a study of double beta decay, A. S. Barabash discovered that old samples and young samples are not consistent with constant decay and proposed a “… change in the weak interaction constant with time.”32  I think Schaeffer was right regarding constant decay rates: 

 “… they accept this, I think, by faith, in that they have taken what we know

 about the regularity of emission for a very, very short time [compared to billions of years, JH] and have extended it back for billion of years.  This a tremendous projection, especially when one can theoretically imagine things that could change the rate through the years.”33

Even ID advocate Forrest Mims, who was “Expelled” by Scientific American, is willing to consider the evidence against Old Earth Science (OES), “I’m reasonably familiar with the science of both sides of this issue [age of the earth] , and, frankly, I have not fully made up my mind.”34     

  You mention the problem of increased radiation during the Flood and its affect on living things (p. 57).  Could it be that the Ark had lead plating on the lower deck?  Could exposure to dangerous radiation help explain the decreasing human life-spans after the Flood?

  You indicate that ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland pose a challenge for YES (p. 60).  Given present rates of accumulation the ice in Antarctica could have formed in 10,000 years and the Greenland Ice Sheet could have been produced in 5,000 years.35  Some of the top portion of the cores have multiple layers per year.  The fact that 25,000 “new” annual layers were found between 2300 and 2800 meters shows the arbitrary nature of these methods.  In Greenland two B-17 Flying Fortresses and six P-38 Lightning fighters were covered by 250 feet of ice for about 50 years.36  This shows that the ice can pile up quickly.  The Flood model actually explains the Ice Age – the earth cooled because of volcanic ash in the atmosphere (cf. Mt. Pinatubo cooled the earth by 1°F) and the oceans warmed from vast volcanic activity leading to increased precipitation.  If glaciers had weighed down northern North America according to the standard model, it would have taken 25,000 years for the continent to bounce back.  Most of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois show little or no rebound.37    

  Where are the trees in the fossil record with thousands of rings (cf. “Vertigo”)?  Could it be that only 1656 years passed from Creation Week to the Global Flood?  In 1975 John Morris predicted that the trees in the Petrified Forest at Yellowstone would have the same tree ring “signature” from the various layers indicating that they were buried at the same time.  Michael Arct verified this prediction in 1991.38  Ironically, the Yellowstone “fossil forests” made Ron Numbers doubt Flood Geology.  Now, especially considering the parallels with Mt. Saint Helens and Spirit Lake, it is one of the best evidences for catastrophism.  The oldest living tree is about 4500 years old which fits with the traditional date for the Deluge. 

  Stokes and Lee admit in their text Introduction to Geology (Prentice-Hall) that the vast destruction seen in the rock record is “within the power of a great universal flood” (see enclosure).  Edgar Heylmunn, writing in the Journal of Geological Education states that, “Many instructors dismiss the possibilities of global catastrophes… …uniformitarianism is no more ‘proved’ than some of the early ideas of worldwide cataclysms have been disproved.”39  Derek Ager (not a YES man) held that most of the strata were deposited quickly and said this about a Lower Jurassic deposit at Swansea, “a conglomerate known as ‘Sutton Stone’… It has been suggested, with very little fossil evidence, that this conglomerate spans three to five ammonite zones and therefore up to five million years in time.  I think it was deposited in a matter of hours or minutes.  … Such matrix-supported conglomerates are characteristic of mass flow deposits.”40  Consider Mt. Saint Helens’ eruption of 1980 and its aftermath. There are 600 feet of layered deposits that formed in just a couple of years!41        

  You state that the scientific community as a whole rejects YES (p. 55).  But consider the Affiliation of Christian Geologists (ACG) which consists of around forty members from the Geological Society of America.  About one third of the ACG hold to Flood Geology.42  In addition, the Creation Research Society has about 700 voting members who have postgraduate degrees in an area of science.  The Korea Association of Creation Research has 150 Ph.D. scientists.43

  Keeping with the constancy of nature, Ann Gibbons, writing in Science, shows us how recent Mrs. Noah was, “… researchers have calculated that ‘mitochondrial Eve’ – the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people – lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa.  Using the new clock, she would be a mere 6000 years old.”44

  So called “paraconformities,” missing time in the rock record, favors the Global Flood.  For instance, the Devonian lies conformably on top of the Cambrian over much of Montana.45  Was there really 150 million years without deposition or erosion?  Geologists claim that the millions of years are between the strata, but Ariel Roth concludes that the supposed time gaps in the rock layers do not exist:  “These gaps are common, and it appears that the erosion and other features expected during these long gaps in deposition are not there.  This suggests that the layers were laid down rapidly.”46  Volcanic signatures support the catastrophist position.  If a volcano erupts six to eight months after a prior eruption, then there is a distinct chemical “fingerprint.”  This approach has been applied to the Yellowstone fossil forests and the evidence indicates that this formation was deposited in months, not thousands of years.47  This approach could be applied on a larger scale to verify the Flood.  It is claimed that granites take millions of years to form, but this ignores the cooling effects of circulating water.48 

  The fact that birds appear so late in the fossil record is perfectly consistent with Deluge Theory.  A bird has a great advantage in escaping a Global Flood.  The discovery of soft tissue in Silurian brachiopods indicates that the rock record is young and confirms YES.49  Living fossils and stratigraphic range extensions (first appearances get earlier and extinctions become later) are consistent with Flood Geology.50  DNA from insects in amber dated at 25-30 million years old shows that these dates are wrong since DNA will break down in thousands of years at moderate temperatures and will certainly not last more than tens of thousands of years.51   

  You mention indications of human activity dating before the Flood (p. 62).   Were these dated by radiocarbon dating?  This method is not very useful for dates prior to 1000 BC.  What do the actual chronologies tell us?  The standard Egyptian dates are in error.  Manetho’s chronology puts the first dynasty before the Flood.  Eusebius pointed out that, “Several Egyptian kings ruled at the same time … It was not a succession of kings occupying the throne one after the other, but several kings reigning at the same time in different regions.”52  Using the dominant Egyptian chronology, the Hittites became extinct around 1200 BC, yet Assyrian records speak of wars with the Hittites during the 700’s BC.53  In 2 Kings 7:6 we find that Egypt and the Hittites are described as comparable powers which contradicts the accepted dating system.  Radiocarbon dates of reeds used to make bricks are 600 years too young compared to the standard chronology.54  It is often claimed that the Genesis genealogies have gaps; however, there are no gaps in the chronology.55

  You rightly point out that YES supporters need to not just point out OES anomalies, but rather “show why their side is right” (p. 56).  Art Chadwick has shown that paleocurrents have a preferred direction on continental scales.56  This is exactly what we would expect according to the Flood model.  The sun should shine more brightly as it ages, yet the fossils indicate that is was warmer in the past.  This “faint young sun paradox” (43,600 hits on Google) supports YES, but contradicts billions of years.57

  Thank you for bringing up Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) and John Baumgardner’s work (p. 61).  There are zones of cold rock at the bottom of the mantle which fits with CPT, but contradicts the standard model.58  Mensan Ian Juby investigated twisted polystrate plants at Joggins, Nova Scotia and found that 80% exhibit a clockwise ascending spiral.  Juby explains this as the result of Coriolis forces caused by fast continental motions.59  According to Kurt Wise, “This rapid motion [CPT] provides an explanation for kimberlites and flood basalts that the conventional model does not provide.”60  Furthermore, Wise points out, “The existence of high-pressure/low-temperature minerals is explained by CPT theory and not alternative theories.”61

  You point out critics of Russell Humphreys White Hole Cosmology (WHC) that deals with the distant starlight problem (pp. 69, 70).  There is evidence that the cosmos rotates, which flies against the Big Bang, but is consistent with Humphreys’ views.  The April 21, 1997 issue of Physical Review Letters has an article indicating the universe rotates based on the polarization of radio waves from distant galaxies.62  Even non-creationists have agreed on Humphreys’ basic points:  a paper in the International Journal of Modern Physics showed that white holes may contain a timeless zone and may happen naturally; Harwitt, writing in Astrophysical Journal, showed that real time dilation of physical clocks happens in WHC.63  Humphreys has responded to Fackerell, Conner and Page.64  Astronomer Danny Faulkner, Full Professor at the University of South Carolina — Lancaster, states that quantized redshifts most likely indicate, “… that we are located near the center of many concentric shells of galaxies” which trumps the Big Bang, but makes perfect sense within Humphreys’ paradigm.65  In the 1950’s Moon and Spencer (non-creationists) proposed  a Non-Euclidean model of the universe such that light from the most distant stars would reach our planet in 16 years.66 

  John Hartnett has applied the cosmology of Moshe Carmeli to the distant starlight problem.  If we live in a Milky Way centered universe that is being “stretched out” (Is. 40:22), then time-dilation effects would have allowed Adam and Eve to view the stars.67    

  A number of ID proponents, David Berlinski, Richard Sternberg68 and Art Battson, are open to biological fixity/stasis.  The most viable earth science paradigm consistent with biological fixity is Flood Geology.  Once this is accepted, the standard geochronology is vanquished.  Thus, one sees the strong connection between ID and traditional creationism.

  Follow the evidence and favor Flood Geology.  Biblical Catastrophism is based on observation and provides explanations.  If Genesis crumbles, so does the rest of scripture and that would indeed lead to The End of Christianity.  I would be happy to address any issues not specifically dealt with in this short missive.


“The first speech in a court case is always convincing—until the cross-examination starts!” (Pr. 18:17, Message)


Yours in Christ,

Jay Hall M.S. (Math, 43 hrs. science)

my blog:  http://adamslostdream.

my book:



1)  http://adamslostdream.blogspot

2)  The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer by Francis Schaeffer, (Crossway Books, 1982, Wheaton, IL), Vol. 2, pp. 94, 95, 134, 135.

3)  New Geneva Study Bible, gen. ed. R.C. Sproul (Thomas Nelson, 1995, Nashville, TN), p. 20, Ge 6:17 note.

4)  Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer, (Zondervan, 1982, Grand Rapids, MI), p. 82.

5)  The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961, Philadelphia, PA), p. 62, n. 1.

6)  Ibid., p. 60.

7)  The Genesis Record by Henry Morris, (Baker Book House, 1976, Grand Rapids, MI), pp. 199-205, pp. 683-686.

8)  Genesis: An Expositional Commentary(Vol. 1) by James M. Boice, (Baker Books, 1998, Grand Rapids, MI), p. 366.

9)  Ibid., p. 349, emphasis in original.

10)  Ibid., pp. 354, 355.

11)  “Evolution and the Fall” by John Byl,

12)  the remaining names are from In Six Days ed. by John Ashton (Master Books, 2000, Green Forest, AR), pp. 103, 127, 257, 268, 342, 372, 373.

13)  The Earth and Its Mountains by R. A. Lyttleton, (John Wiley & Sons, 1982, Chichester, UK), p. xv.

14)  Shattering the Myths of Darwinism by Richard Milton, (Park Street Press, 1997, Rochester, VT), p. 33.

15)  Ibid., p. 77, 78.


17)  “What’s Wrong with Progressive Creationism” by Ken Ham and Terry Mortenson in The New Answers Book 2 ed. by Ken Ham, (Master Books, 2008, Green Forest, AR), pp. 83, 84.


19)  “A Young-Earth Creationist Response to William Dembski” by Terry Mortenson,


21)  Thousands not Billions by Don DeYoung, (Master Books, 2005, Green Forest, AR), pp. 61, 62.

22)  Ibid., pp. 120, 121 (Fig. 7-3).

23)  Ibid., pp. 55-59.

24)  Ibid., pp. 49, 50.

25)  Ibid., pp. 71-76, p. 74 (Fig. 4-6).

26)  By Design or By Chance by Denyse O’Leary (Augsburg Fortress, 2004, Minneapolis, MN), p. 140.

27)  DeYoung, pp. 88-93, p. 93 (Fig. 5-6).

28)  Ibid., p. 117.

29)  Ibid., p. 125, 126.

30)  Ibid., p. 146, 147.

31)  “Billion-fold acceleration of radioactivity demonstrated in laboratory”

by John Woodmorappe,

32)  “Is the Weak Interaction Constant Really Constant?” by A. S. Barabash, The European Physical Journal A, 8:137-140, http://epja.

33)  Schaeffer, p. 134.

34)  O’Leary, p.189.

35)  “Are Polar Ice Sheets Only 4500 Years Old?” by Michael Oard,

36)  “Ice Cores and the Age of the Earth” by Larry Vardiman,

37)  Faith, Form and Time by Kurt Wise (Broadman & Holman, 2002, Nashville, TN), pp. 213-216.

38)  The Young Earth by John Morris, (Master Books, 1994, Green Forest, AR), p. 115.

39)  quoted in Creative Defense by Nicholas Comninellis, (Master Books, 2001, Green Forest, AR), p. 100.

40)  The New Catastrophism by Derek Ager, (Cambridge University Press, 1993, New York, NY), p. 120, emphasis added, thanks to Terry Mortenson for noting this ref.

41)  “Christian Geologists Influential at GSA Meeting” by Steven Austin,

42)  Footprints in the Ash by John Morris and Steven Austin, (Master Books, 2003, Green Forest, AR), p. 52, 53.

43)  “Do real scientists believe in Creation?”,

44)  quoted in The Puzzle of Ancient Man by Donald Chittick, (Creation Compass, 1998, Newberg, OR), pp. 168, 169, emphasis added.

45)  “An Anthology of Matters Significant to Creationism and Diluviology:  Report 1” by John Woodmorappe, Creation Research Society Quarterly, 16:209-219, p. 216.

46)  “Those Gaps in the Sedimentary Layers” by Ariel A. Roth, Origins 15:75-92, p. 75,

47) “The Geologic Column” by Sean Pitman,

48)  “Geology and the Young Earth” by Tas Walker,

49)  “Soft-Tissue Preservation in a Fossil Brachiopod” by Tim Standish, Geoscience Newsletter, Oct. 2005, p. 2,


51)  “Fossil DNA in Amber and Implications for Geological Time” by Paul Garner,

52)   quoted in “Doesn’t Egyptian Chronology Prove that the Bible is Unreliable?” by Elizabeth Mitchell in The New Answers Book 2 ed. by Ken Ham, (Master Books, 2008, Green Forest, AR), p. 247.

53)  Ibid., p. 252.

54)  Ibid., p. 253.

55)  http://adamslostdream.blogspot.

56)  “Lithologic, Paleogeographic, and Paleocurrent Maps of the World”,

57)  “Our Study Sun:  A Problem for Billions of Years” by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation 26(3):52, 53.

58)  Faith, Form and Time by Kurt Wise (Broadman & Holman, 2002, Nashville, TN), p. 191.

59)  “Twisted Polystrate Plants,” 7-31-07, http://baraminology.blogspot

60)  Wise, p. 194.

61)  Ibid., p. 195.

62)  ref. in “New evidence for a rotating cosmos” by D. Russell Humphreys,

63)  “Starlight Wars: Starlight and Time Withstands Attacks” by D. Russell Humphreys,

64)  “Errors in Humphreys’ cosmological model:  Humphreys replies” by D. Russell Humphreys, CEN Technical Journal 14(2) 2000, p81, also see ref. 3.

65)  Universe by Design by Danny Faulkner, (Master Books, 2004, Green Forest, AR), p. 103.

66)  Ibid., p. 104

67)  “Starlight and Time:  A Further Breakthrough” by Carl Wieland, Creation 30(1):  12-14.

68)  The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney, (Basic Books, 2005, New York, NY), pp. 185, 186.




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