Creation Celebration 2020

With the COVID-19 crisis putting a stop to all our live events, we at Core Academy decided to cancel our annual banquet, but fear not!  All is not lost.  After my generally positive experience with two online conferences this summer, we also decided to host our first virtual conference online.  We've announced it already in our newsletter and on our social media, and you can find the website (and tickets) by clicking here.
The format will be a little different from the usual creation conference.  My goal is to focus on attention on the Creator through the creation.  Creation Celebration will have a special focus on worship, including music and special devotionals.  If you've read The Quest, you already know what you might expect from the devotionals.
The second main ingredient will be short video presentations from a lot of people.  Some will focus on questions about creation's history and origin.  We'll be exploring intelligent design, the Flood, the fossil record, and …

What's up? Dino feathers, the collapse of Christian education, and more

I have a new episode of "Ask a Creationist" up over on YouTube.  In it, I deal with the question of dinosaur feathers!  Some creationists have called my videos unchristian and dangerous (seriously), which I take as a badge of honor.  This one's already got three downvotes, so you know it's gotta be good!

Meanwhile, I've been working hard on a new baraminology paper (easily my biggest ever), and I've started a project on the human genome (took me long enough, I know, I know).
Meanwhile, there's cool new stuff to read.  Christianity Today released a piece by Liam Adams on the slow death throes of Christian colleges.  I've been aware of the decline for years now, with decreasing enrollments and increasing (costly) regulations.  I've watched in disappointment as most Christian colleges have responded by working furiously to become like everyone else, rather than becoming something distinctly and uniquely attractive.  There's lots of reasons for what…

Dig this: A new hominin site!

Lee Berger updated his Facebook yesterday with the announcement that a new hominin site would be excavated more or less publicly online.  Here's the announcement:

And here is the directly link to the Youtube video, where you can subscribe to the Fossil Vault channel to get regular updates.

I continue to be amazed by the density of these fossil finds in South Africa's Cradle of Humankind.  Here's just the local neighborhood around UW 105.

Rising Star is famous for the Homo naledi fossils.  Swartkrans is known for fossils of Homo ergaster and Homo habilis and the earliest evidence of fire use.  Sterkfontein is possibly the most famous of these sites due to a rich history of fossil discoveries, including the recent Little Foot skeleton.  Excavations at Kromdraai also extend back decades with finds including bones of Paranthropus as well as Acheulean stone tools.
This new site is going to be fun to watch!
Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed t…

What ever happened to Little Foot?

Just this morning, I was taking stock of my hominin work (which is continuing behind the scenes), and I checked yet again for progress on the deservedly famous fossil Little Foot.  To refresh your memory, Little Foot is the most complete skeleton (by far) of an Australopithecus.  It was found in the South African cave Sterkfontein, which is around the corner from the Rising Star cave where Homo naledi was discovered.  The skeleton took some twenty years to excavate from the cave, and the mostly finished preparation was revealed in December, 2018.  I previously covered the fossil here: Little Foot at lastIt's a girl!  Early lessons from Little FootThe Skull: Early lessons from Little FootLittle Foot updateMy last update on the subject was December 13, 2018, which was 21 months ago.  So what happened?  I don't really know, but I can summarize what's publicly available.
A collection of papers describing Little Foot were to be published in the Journal of Human Evolution in a spe…

Ask a Creationist: Why are there STILL monkeys?

I have a new episode of "Ask a Creationist" today, wherein I tackle the disturbingly common question, "If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"  It's a flawed question on two different levels, which you'll find out about if you watch the video.  Or maybe you just know it already.

This is kind of low-hanging fruit for "Ask a Creationist," but I continue to hear this question posed with some sort of finality, as if this bit of ignorance has forever stumped evolutionary biologists.  But it hasn't.  It's not clever.  It's just wrong.  So let's all stop saying it.
Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.
Have you read my book?  You should check that out too!

Someone is wrong on the internet! Ask a Creationist

In case you missed it, I did an episode of Ask a Creationist a few weeks ago on what to do when someone is wrong.  I've been struggling with that a lot lately.  From the pandemic to racism to politics to creationism, it seems that some people are willing to believe the most outlandish nonsense.  And not just believe it but promote it with a vile combination of arrogance and ignorance.  If I call them on their rubbish, I'm told to "prove it," or I'm called arrogant or politically naive or un-Christian.  I'm accused of sending people to hell because I won't toe the party line (the party line that is complete nonsense).  I'm supposed to respect people's opinions, because expertise, skill, and experience no longer matters.  People spewing word salads with enough technical jargon are supposedly "worth considering."  Anonymous memes on social media are supposedly just as valid as the top experts in the world.  It's madness.
So I made this v…

The dangers of fideism

When I was an undergraduate student at Liberty University, I remember distinctly sitting in class with Gary Habermas (his course on Miracles, I think), and we were discussing the Resurrection (for which Dr Habermas is famous).  In the midst of this conversation, one of the students told the class, with a note of frustration in his voice, that he didn't care about evidence or arguments about the Resurrection.  I don't remember the entire conversation that ensued, but I do remember Dr. Habermas being very considerate.  And I definitely remember someone asking whether that student was a fideist.
It was the first time I heard that word, and I had no idea what it meant.  Over the years, I've had many opportunities to look more carefully at the world of fideism, and it's a complicated subject, mostly because people rarely self-identify as fideists.  Philosophers, as I understand them, claim that fideism at its most basic is a claim that knowledge begins first with faith in Go…