When Hysteria is More Important than Science

This is a picture of the Maldives cabinet meeting that took place on October 17th, 2009. (click for credit)

Sea levels have been rising since the early 1800s, and while satellites have only been measuring them since 1992, satellite measurements indicate that they have been rising at a fairly constant rate of 2.8 millimeters per year. This is concerning to many people, especially the ones who live in countries like the Republic of Maldives, which is, on average, only 1.5 meters above sea level. In fact, the country is so concerned about the rising seas that in 2009, the nation’s cabinet held a meeting underwater, where they signed a document calling on all countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. After all, it is thought that rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere warm the planet, which in turn causes sea levels to rise. If sea levels rise too much, the Republic of Maldives will be lost.

Now, of course, that kind of reasoning makes sense, but anyone who studies science should understand that things which make sense are not necessarily true. A lot of Aristotle’s notions (such as the idea that objects prefer to stay at rest) made sense, but science has demonstrated them to be false. In the same way, a lot of our modern theories (like quantum mechanics and relativity) make little sense, but experiments strongly support their conclusions (see here and here, for example).

Rather than giving into the hysteria, then, it is best to see what the data indicate. Interestingly enough, the data say that while the idea that rising sea levels will destroy countries like the Republic of Maldives makes sense, it is almost certainly not true. I first wrote about this three years ago, when a group of researchers decided to study some of the islands around the Funafuti Atoll, which holds the island nation of Tuvalu. They found that contrary to the hysteria, the majority of the islands they studied have grown since 1897, leading to a net increase in the amount of land available. Well, the same research group has completed a more extensive study, which confirms their previous conclusion.

They have now examined all 101 islands that make up the nation of Tuvalu, and they show that overall, the island nation has gained 735,000 square meters of land during the past 40 years of sea level rise. 74% of the islands in the nation grew, while the rest shrank. This is despite the fact that the tide gauge in the area indicates that the sea level there has risen faster than the global average (3.9 millimeters per year as opposed to 2.8 millimeters per year).

Now please note that this is not because people are fighting the rising seas. As the authors note, only 11 of the 101 islands have permanent residents, and even on those islands, there are very few projects related to sea level rise. As a result, they are confident that natural processes are responsible for the growth of land area in Tuvalu. They also note:

Results challenge perceptions of island loss, showing islands are dynamic features that will persist as sites for habitation over the next century, presenting alternate opportunities for adaptation that embrace the heterogeneity of island types and their dynamics.

Based on the data, then, island nations should not be worried about being lost to the rising seas. Instead, they should learn how their islands are changing and adapt to that change.

Does this mean we should ignore rising sea levels? Of course not! We need to study them as closely as possible, so we can avoid the hysteria that is so common in the public arena. The more we focus on the data, the less important political shenanigans such as the one pictured at the top of this post will become.

21 thoughts on “When Hysteria is More Important than Science”

  1. Good afternoon Jay,

    When I was a child (around 8 and beyond), i used to read a lot of books that talked of natural things happening around the world. Some of the stories that were told were about islands rising up from the sea bottom and within a few short years had a decent plant coverage. Other stories were about islands that sank bank into the sea and disappeared under the waves.

    There are all sorts of strange (to our way of looking at things) happenings that occur with our oceans and the interactions with land masses. I have seen the high tide mark that were at a distance 15 to 30 metres from the treeline when I was a child end up being over a kilometre further out. Funnily enough my father used to tell that the same area for him as a child used to be even further out.

    As far as the sea-levels rising, is it a case of sea-levels rising or land-levels falling? From our perspective, they appear to be the same, but the underlying causes are very different.

    1. I do think it’s sea levels rising, because land levels falling would be different in different parts of the world. We know that land also rises, so we wouldn’t see a steady trend around the world. The satellites see a steady trend, which implies that either all land masses are falling (hard to understand) or sea level is rising. One would also expect if the land were falling at 2.8 mm/yr, there would be some serious tectonic evidence.

      1. Good morning Jay,

        I’ve only got back to reading your comment. There is a fun little anomaly about this subject. There are some measurements taken on a regular basis that look at continental drift. From the results that I saw some years ago the distance between the two sides of the Pacific Ocean were getting further apart. If this is so then land masses sinking is a possible consequence. The anomaly was that the measurements for the two sides of the Atlantic ocean were not changing in sync with the expansion of the Pacific.

        For ocean levels to rise to any significant degree, either one of a number of things would need to happen or some combination of these. The first is that land based ice would need to melt and not be replaced, that is a net loss of land based ice would have to occur. The second option is that subterranean sources of water would need to come to the surface and enter the oceans. A third option is that the continents could sink. A fourth option could be the oceans getting shallower.

        The first option is the option of choice for climate scientists, but this has a major problem. In discussions with climate scientists, I have noticed that they ignore the question/problem raised and by ignore, I mean absolutely refuse to even acknowledge the question. The question relates to the amount of energy required to cause the solid/liquid phase change for the levels required or predicted and where this energy comes from and how the energy flows through the environment of the planet.

        Based on what I have been able to calculate, if the ice melt was to occur as predicted, the planet would be long dead before any such levels were to occur.

        Based on the publicly released figures from the IPCC of the ocean level rises from a decade ago, it would take between 1500 to 3000 years for a 1 metre rise. At that time, the rate was set at around 1/3 mm per year. I have noticed that in the intervening time, the stated rises have been getting larger and larger.

        I am more inclined to believe that continents are sinking or ocean sea floor levels are rising than the hysteria of land-based ice melt. The figures just don’t add up for the land-based ice melt.

        Now I could be wrong, but based on all the papers I have read I doubt the veracity of land-based ice melt. The energy flows required are not there as far as I can ascertain.

        1. I am not sure what calculations you are referring to, Bruce. The latent heat of ice is well known (334 Joules/gram). The energy required to melt the ice comes from the sun, of course, and it is very small compared to what the sun is providing (average of 164 Watts per square meter – so about 14 million Joules of energy per square meter per day). There is no problem understanding how large-scale land ice-melt can occur.

          I am not sure what numbers you are looking at, but the well-established sea level rise rate is about 2.8 millimeters per year. This number hasn’t changed much in more than 20 years, varying from about 2.8 mm/yr to about 3.2 mm/year. At this rate, it would take only 360 years for the sea to rise a meter.

          The other problem with your hypothesis is the fact that we have also been measuring the height of the land using the Global Positioning System. JPL keeps a record of all that data here. If you click on the individual stations, you will see that some rise, some fall, and some stay the same. While the land masses are doing different things when it comes to altitude, satellites confirm that there is a global rise in sea level. Thus, it is definitely not a matter of the land sinking.

        2. Good morning Jay,

          The problem is the amount of energy required for the required volume of ice to melt. The volume of land based ice is approximately 1/3 of the total ice covering Greenland. Your offhand thoughts do not take into consideration the actual magnitude of energy required. Nor does it take into consideration that the energy flow through the global system is approximately steady state. The actual energy retention required to cause the ice melt as per any predictions being made by climate scientist is orders of magnitude beyond the rate of even summer/winter differences.

          My own motivation to do these calculations in the first place was due to a claim by one of the top climate scientists that a 1 metre ocean level rise was going to happen in the next 100 years. It was stated as a highly reliable prediction at the time. I had doubts as to the veracity of the prediction, so to see if it was likely, I set about collecting the base information and doing the calculations. I presented those figure in detail to the scientist in question at the time and his comment back was “that’s interesting, I’ll get back to you soon”. I have not heard from him since then and that was well over a decade ago (fifteen or more years).

          Consider, you live in an area where there is ice precipitation during winter and it melts and is gone during summer. How deep does this snow and ice get? The amount of ice required is approximately equivalent to 45 metres covering the entire continent of Australia. It would be close to that same depth if you looked at the main section of the USA. We a looking at the height of a 14 or 15 storey building of ice covering the entire continent of Australia for a single metre ocean level rise.

          If you want to get a perspective of this then do the simple calculations. In doing so, you will see the problem. It is about energy retention not the amount of energy received. This is what is not being addressed. I have encouraged many people over the years to do the calculations and I have yet to see anyone do them. People seem to automatically assume that because I am not a climate scientist then I cannot add or multiple some numbers together.

          The collecting of information and doing a first order approximation takes about 30 minutes or so. A more accurate calculation would take into consideration that any rise will also mean that the surface area of oceans would need to be increased from the initial starting point and you also need to factor in water height variations due to to latitude differences. But a first order gives you a picture of the problem not being discussed. You can even download and use Frink as your calculator as it automatically uses dimensions and keeps track of them accordingly.

          Remember too, that all of this energy has to go into land based ice and has to be retained during the daily energy flow cycle. The other aspect to consider is that the relevant land based ice sources are predominantly located in the higher latitudes. These energy retention requirements will have an effect on the atmosphere, the oceans and the land masses

          As for the official IPCC figures that I mentioned, I obtained these from the official reports from the IPCC at the time I was doing the calculations. So if there are differences between what other organisations are saying and the IPCC then which would you like to be the authoritative voice?

          As far as the heights of land is concerned by the use of GPS satellites, my question would be related to how much the orbits change due to variations caused by gravity differences as the satellites follow their orbits. Since GPS satellites are not geosynchronous or geostationary, do they suffer from jiggle in their orbits that would put their measurements out? I don’t know. Is this even considered? Again, I don’t know.

        3. Once again, Bruce, there is no mathematical problem here. You might want to check this website, which shows you how such calculations are done. You can see that melting of the Greenland ice sheet by itself would cause a 7.4-m rise in sea levels. The calculations aren’t that difficult. And, of course, energy is not an issue as well, since the sun’s energy can melt about 41 kg of ice per square meter per day, if the temperature is correct. That means 70 trillion kg of ice a day could melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Thus, in 42,000 days (112 years), the ice sheet would be completely melted, causing a 7.4-m rise in sea levels.

          For the GPS, remember that both the graphs I showed are from the same GPS. Thus, any experimental error in the altitude of the land would also be there in the sea level. So it is clear that the sea level is actually rising.

        4. Good morning Jay,

          Please, do the calculations. Just do them and then think about the bigger picture of what those results mean. I know the sun can supply the energy, It does every day. The problem is that energy flows and relative steady state conditions (you know, what really happens in physical systems) do not match the explanations and scenarios.

          The website does the volumetric calculations as a start. Use this with other freely available information to look at the energy flows and required energy retentions.

          You are still making the mistake of not doing the calculations and looking at the bigger picture. I encourage you to do this and see where it leads you. Follow the lead of the young lady and her interest in polar bears that you wrote about some time ago. She checked the veracity of what she was being told and came away with a different viewpoint.

          The large scale land-based ice melt is all about the retention of energy within the atmospheric confines of the planet.

          I’ll give you an analogy that might help. Think of a 25000 litre water tank, put two holes in it, one on each side and each about the same size. Now, pump water through one hole and let it drain out the other in a continuous flow. Set the flow rate so that the tank could be filled in a single day if there was no flow out. Will the tank ever fill up? Now, on the outlet side start restricting the flow out. We now have a net retention in the tank and it will start to fill, the smaller the outlet, the faster the retention. You still have to consider how big the holes are. If the holes are of such a size that a flow rate that would fill the holes to capacity would also fill the tanks in seconds, what kind of reduction in outlet size is required to get the tank to fill?

          Think of our planet as that tank and then think about the solar energy as the water flow. How do we fill the planet with energy so that we get the required retention of energy to do the ice melt. What changes do we have to make and what are those effects on the global environment? What is the capacity of the inlet and outlet for the planet?

          Do the calculations, try to grasp the magnitudes of energy involved and what possible effects would be seen on the planetary scale. Consider also that only a small fraction of this retained energy will go into the relevant ice, the rest is stored and heats the rest of the global environment.

        5. So far, Bruce, I am the only one sharing calculations. If you care to share your calculations, I will help you find your errors. One thing I can tell you, based on your analogy, is that your physics is wrong. At lower temperatures, the albedo of ice is high, so a good fraction of the sun’s light is reflected and never contributes to the earth’s energy budget. When the temperature is higher, the light that would otherwise be reflected back into space will be absorbed by the ice for the phase change. Thus, melting ice does not use much of the energy that the earth uses. It mostly uses energy that would otherwise be reflected back into space.

        6. Good afternoon Jay,

          So far you have shared information but no calculations as such. You have supplied some sources of information that can be used in the calculations. You make my point about outflows with the reference to ice albedo.

          I disagree with you that my physics is wrong. All you have made is a statement that I don’t understand without pointing out the actual errors as such. You could easily have demonstrated errors in my analogy, but you haven’t. I can give you all my calculations – I have no problem with this. But I won’t until you have made an attempt yourself to get the answers. We can then compare results and calculations. I am not your student and for you to treat others, including myself, as such doesn’t instill me with any confidence that you are a willing participant in the discussion at hand. I have been disappointed by too many experts who make the same request that you have and then do nothing with the calculations I give them. So, as an equal, I await your calculations.

          In our previous private discussions by email about my comment that “all theories/models are wrong – but some are useful”, you made a challenge to me to further my understanding of the subjects we were discussing. I took up that challenge and I thank you for that challenge. There is a large amount of information that reinforces the statement I made to you. This information comes from sources that created the models and theories we were discussing. What was interesting was the fundamental belief systems that were used in the generation of these models. These belief systems are not generally discussed today. There is also collected data that has been ignored for decades which doesn’t fit the various standard models.

          The calculations above are quite simple but you are not doing them. I have already given you results that you can confirm or deny, but you’re not doing so. Size of Australia by depth of ice is one that you could easily check and challenge.

          I freely admit that I don’t know much about the universe around me. I also freely admit that I do have a go at those who ascertain they know the truth about the world around us. We are looking at a creation by the Only Glorious God there is. He knows what He has made, we only make guesses as to how it works. They may be workable guesses but they are still only guesses.

          You are a brother in Christ and have been called by God for His purposes. You are of great worth to Him and to your brothers and sisters in Christ. At this time, may The Almighty’s Grace and Peace be upon you and your family as we all remember that He did for us what is impossible for us to do. Died in our place and rose by His own authority and power so that we may all have life and life abundantly in Him. May His rivers of living water pour forth from you to all you come in contact with in the days ahead that they may be abundantly blessed by Him through you.

        7. I have done the calculations, Bruce. Your calculations about the size of Australia and the depth of ice are wrong, as demonstrated by the website I linked to you earlier. It shows that the Greenland Ice Sheet alone has enough ice to raise sea levels by more than 7 meters. Thus, the volume of ice is not a problem. I also gave you the calculations that show you how the sun is supplying plenty of energy to melt the ice. I also told you why your analogy is wrong. The energy input into the earth is not like a water tank, because unlike the water tank, the earth is rejecting a large fraction of the sun’s energy by reflecting it back into space.

          Of course, my calculations are simple, because I don’t want to take the time to do what many others have already done. If you want a detailed discussion of why there is no energy problem with surface ice melt causing the increase in sea levels, please read this paper.

        8. Good morning Jay,

          I hope that the start of this Easter has been a blessing for you and your family.

          As far as the Australia surface ares and height of ice, if you had done the calculations properly, you would have seen this volume is an approximation to a global 1 metre sea level rise (as a first approximation) as in my first response to you.

          The amount of ice on Greenland, if all melted, would indeed give a ocean level rise well above this 1 metre rise. How much above would depend on the surface area expansion of the ocean as they inundated the land. I think it was nearly 20 years ago, that I saw an estimate that if all ice in all ice masses throughout the world were to melt then there would be very little land mass visible. How accurate the estimate was, I didn’t bother following up.

          The fact that the energy is reaching the planet an then flowing back out (your term of rejecting is just highlighting this fact) makes the analogy of the water tank pretty good. Energy flows in and then flows out. What matters it that there is a mechanism that ensures that the planet is in a somewhat steady state (taking into consideration the orbital effects on seasonal variation).

          I have no problem with the energy received on a daily basis (notice I do say daily) is plenty sufficient to melt the the required amount of land based ice to cause sea level rises of the magnitudes discussed. What you are not accepting is that the discussion on the mechanisms to change the energy flow is not taking place when the the climate science predictions of 1 metre or more over a century are being banded about.

          This energy needs to be retained within the planetary environment and only a small fraction of this energy will go into ice melt. The rest will go into heating oceans, land and atmosphere. The easiest to heat here is the atmosphere, then water than land.

          I have a copy of a study that looked at a period of 50 years to estimate an energy retention. The basic findings is that the top levels of the oceans absorbed enough energy to raise the temperature by 1 or 2 degrees. Of that energy absorbed globally over that period, an estimate of between 2 to 5 percent was absorbed into the ice packs. To get the required absorption into the ice, would require between 20 to 50 times that energy being retained inside the planetary environment. There are some serious mechanism questions to be asked and not just fobbed off.

          There is a serious disconnect when climate scientists make predictions of 1 to 10 metre sea-level rises over a century with only a 2 – 3 degrees Celsius atmospheric temperature rise and similar rises for the oceans.

          The whole subject is extremely complex. There are many factors that contribute to the changing energy flows through our plant. But how big these variations are in the normal energy flow of the planet on a daily basis in both absolute and percentage terms compared with the actual daily inflow and outflow that the planet experiences is a area to be comprehensively studied.

          Again, May the Lord our God bless you and your family and keep you safe. May He bless your endeavours as you walk with Him each day.

        9. I am glad you are finally agreeing that there is neither a volume nor an energy problem with rising sea levels being completely due to land ice melt.

          Your analogy is flawed. Rejecting is not the same as flowing out. The fact is that a large amount of light energy is simply rejected from the earth. It doesn’t flow out. It simply doesn’t enter to begin with. If only a fraction of that light energy were absorbed instead of being reflected, that would account for all the sea level rise we have seen so far, as the detailed paper I linked to you clearly shows. Thus, as you seem to agree now, there is not a problem with understanding how all of the sea level rise we have seen so far is due to land ice melt, as the GPS confirms.

          I agree that the magnitudes being bandied about are incorrect, but it’s not because of a lack of energy. It’s because there hasn’t been the warming that is being predicted.

        10. Good morning Jay,

          I hope the weekend has been profitable for you and family in the Lord and that His blessing has covered you in all ways.

          Back to the subject in question, I am not finally agreeing to anything. My premise, from the beginning, has been that there is no mechanism given for the predicted ice melt to occur. If you read carefully, I have said that, if such ice melt was to occur then the planet would have had much more serious effects first (planetary death being one probable outcome).

          As far as the analogy is concerned, your opinion on rejection is not part of the the flow is wrong. I believe you do not actually understand the significance of how this rejection occurs and how it is part of the energy inflow and outflow. It cannot be rejected until it has entered the planetary system. It has to have at the very least entered the atmosphere before it is reflected out. This means that it will be part of the inflow/outflow processes. This means it then must be part of the considered processes. It is a part of the discussion which is not taking place

          I think your background has limited your understanding of these processes. Certainly, you are highly educated man and have taught in the university environment. But your basic understanding of energy flows into and out of a volume of space is clearly limited. I know you have a low opinion of the scientific abilities of engineers, you have made that very clear in the past. However, that doesn’t mean that the “engineering” perspective is “wrong”. At any rate, we seem to be at an impasse, you have your standpoint and I have mine. I’ll leave the discussion on our differences at that.

          I have something else that I would like your perspective on.

          While thinking about why we seem to have a “cross-purposes” discussion here, I have been meditating on what and how we should be progressing. I have had a thought about science and how a Christian should be using it and it would be interesting to get your considered thoughts about it.

          Everyone’s favourite expositor on Science, Neil deGrasse Tyson, likes to ridicule scientists who are Christians with his favourite comeback of “God of the Gaps”. He seems to like making the argument that once we have a theory that works, there is no longer a need to incorporate God into our thinking. This same argument seems to be, in different ways, used by others to denigrate any scientist who has a belief in God (or even gods).

          Let me see if I can get a clear explanation of my thoughts here.

          Why is the high ground not being taken? Are we not studying the creation of our God and trying to gain an understanding of what He has done? In that vein, is not our understanding then, at all points, limited? Why do we fall in line with theories and models that, at their core, are based on philosophical principles that are not a reflection of God and in many cases, require a basic belief that God does not and cannot exist.

          Science, as such, is completely neutral in regards to one’s belief system and is a study of the natural world around us. From our perspective, this world has been made and sustained by our God. If the basic beliefs require no God then that will dictate how we interpret the results obtained. If we start with the basic belief that God is the Creator of all that is seen and unseen then we know, because of His stated nature in the bible, that He has also made the universe work according to laws He has put in place. In our study of the nature of the universe, we need to recognise that any model that arises from fundamentals against God or His existence is essentially flawed.

          God has created the universe according to His will and to limit Him to what we consider appropriate simply stunts our abilities to learn about His creation.

          From your standpoint, how do you see this subject matter? What approach should be taken and how do we reconcile what we know of the Creator God and His creation and how we explain what we see? I would be interested to see a post or a number of posts on this subject by you.

          What would we find if we went back to the beginning of the development of the current and incorporated later inclusions from the beginning? How different would those theories and models be? Since the early 20th century (if not before), there have been various ideas put forward that give a simpler explanation for things that we do see. Whether this be related to particle spin, or having both the strong force and gravity being phenomena of electromagnetism, or why magnetic fields act the way they do in moving and stationary frames of reference, or calculating the binding energy of all nuclei by a geometric methodology that is more accurate than the current methodology.

          Our basic consideration is that we are studying something that has been made and operates in a particular way and all of our theories and models should start from that basic premise. When we allow those who are not of that view to dictate that our basic viewpoint is not allowable, we limit ourselves to their perspective only and consequently to their theories and models, whether or not those models are reasonable or not. We do not even argue that their theories and models are flawed and incomplete.

          I prayer that God keeps you and your family completely in His blessing and favour. May His rivers of living water flow forth in great abundance to all you come in contact with on a daily basis and that you are a “city on the hill” and a “lamp upon the table” for His Majesty and Glory.

          The real important things are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ each day.

        11. I am sorry I misunderstood your previous comment. You are still most certainly wrong on your tank analogy. Reflected light is not “taken in” by the earth in any way. It is rejected. Thus, the proper analogy would be that a tank is being filled with only a fraction of the flow from a hose. If the outflow increases, all you have to do is use more of the hose’s flow to continue to keep the tank at the proper level. The earth need only use a fraction of the light that is reflected to see the ice melt we are seeing today, so there is plenty of energy available to melt ice, without affecting the earth in any other way. The change in albedo of light at the melting temperature is the mechanism by which the rejected light is taken in when the ice is able to melt. Thus, melting ice does not use energy that would otherwise be used by the earth. It is using only the energy that would otherwise be rejected by the earth.

          I don’t have a low opinion of the scientific ability of engineers, and I do understand the physics of what is going on here. Unfortunately, you do not. If you think there is an energy problem with land ice melt, please explain the flaws in the paper I linked to you, where the energy balance is taken into account in a very detailed way and demonstrates quite clearly that light from the sun is the only thing needed to melt the ice that we see melting. If you have been working on the math related to this, the paper should be an easy read for you.

          The theories that scientists use are not at all based on philosophies that require a belief that God does not and cannot exist. Indeed, without the precepts of Christianity, we wouldn’t have the scientific theories that we have today. Even if you are an evolutionist, that theory doesn’t require the assumption that God doesn’t exist. Indeed, the only reasonable evolutionists I have read are those who recognize that the only way evolution could have possibly happened is through the action of the Creator. I think you are having trouble separating popular voices in today’s culture, like Dr. Tyson’s voice, with the actual science. The actual science looks nothing like Tyson tries to make it look.

          From my standpoint, you start from the premise that the world you are studying is designed. This is what Copernicus did when he put the sun at the center of what he called the universe. He specifically said that the geocentric universe is too messy, and that God (“the Best and Most Orderly Workman”) would not have made such a messy universe. By placing the sun at the center, Copernicus was able to create a more orderly universe. That’s what Newton did when he applied the gravitational concepts he learned on earth to the heavens, which went against the scientific consensus of the time. However, he did it because he understood that both the heavens and the earth were made by God, so they would both follow the same set of laws. Indeed, most of the scientific theories that we work with today have their original foundation in theological thinking.

          You can also start directly from the Bible. For example, I am a young-earth creationist. I get that from the way I interpret the Bible. Well, based on that interpretation, I don’t think there is enough time for the micrite version of limestone to form the way that old-earth geologists think. As a result, a university student and I are doing some experiments to determine if there is a faster way to form the crystals that we see in micrite.

          You don’t throw out the very successful scientific method or any well-confirmed scientific theories just because you don’t like their conclusions. Since God is the Author of all Truth, you should examine everything, holding fast that that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

        12. Dr. Jay, didn’t you originally become a young earth creationist because of the physical scientific evidence apart from the bible?

          Which came first for you, the physical evidence or the biblical evidence?

        13. Actually, the Bible just allowed me to look at the scientific evidence objectively. I believed in an old earth by default. It was what I was taught. When I started working on my Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry, I started seeing how bad radiometric was, and the fact that the Bible can be interpreted in young-earth framework allowed me to consider the evidence (all of it – not just radiometric dating) objectively. When I did that to the best of my ability, I became a young-earth creationist.

  2. That’s very interesting, because I’m actually in the Pacific Islands right now. Do you know of any other similar studies done in other island nations?

    Climate change is a big concern here in the Pacific, not so much because of the rising sea levels but because of all the cyclones. Cyclone Gita tore up Tonga and Samoa pretty bad a couple weeks ago.

    Speaking of climate change, apparently, “It’s never been harder to be a climate scientist,” since Trump was elected:

    1. I don’t know of any other detailed studies like the ones carried on by this research team. I find it amusing that the climate scientists are screaming about being silenced. After all, climate change alarmists have been trying to silence the skeptics for a couple of decades now. Some have even suggested jailing climate skeptics. While I am against silencing any scientific argument, I find it hard to feel sorry for these people since they are just getting a taste of their own medicine.

  3. I just discovered this blog and have already learned so much; really looking forward to following this 😀

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