by D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.
The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) began many decades ago as an organization of scienceminded Christians interested in defending Scripture against the onslaughts of evolutionism. At first many, perhaps most of them, were young-earth creationists, such as Dr. Henry M. Morris, Jr. But the doctrinal statement of the organization was loose enough to admit theistic evolutionists and other types of long-age believers. When such people became a majority of the ASA membership, they took over and began excluding young-earthers from having influence in the organization.
In response, many young-earthers left the ASA and formed the Creation Research Society (CRS) in 1963. Learning from their ASA experience, they wrote a doctrinal statement tight enough to exclude people who do not take Genesis as “a factual presentation of simple historical truths.”
As CRS grew and prospered, the ASA continued its drift to the “left” side of the origins controversy. They are still that way today. Recently its executive director, a physicist, took it on himself to use ASA’s journal to criticize the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) research initiative, of which CRS was a co-sponsor (Isaac, 2007). RATE sent a polite rebuttal, which ASA published early the next year (Vardiman et al., 2008). Isaac replied in the same issue (Isaac, 2008a).
Apparently ASA wanted to leave Isaac with the last word on the issue, because the journal’s editor refused to publish my prompt rejoinder to Isaac’s assertions about my part of the RATE research. Here is the brief letter that the ASA, for whatever reasons, decided not to allow its members to see.
Isaac’s Loophole for Helium Isn’t Big Enough
I thank ASA Executive Director Randy Isaac for again calling attention to the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) research initiative (Institute for Creation Reseach, n.d.). In his latest critique, he devoted a paragraph (Isaac, 2008b) to my part of the initiative, which resulted in the 6,000 (± 2,000) year helium-leak age of radioactive zirconium silicate crystals in allegedly 1.5-billion-year-old granitic rock. The essence of his criticism was:
…. age information cannot be extracted directly from a steady-state condition since [such] values are not changing with time….
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