By Jonathan Sarfati Creation Ministries International

Nuclear physicist defends Creation

Heinz and Gerda
Dr Heinz Lycklama and his wife Gerda. Originally from the Netherlands, Dr Lycklama has spent most of his life in Canada.

Dr Heinz Lycklama earned a Ph.D in experimental Nuclear Physics from McMaster University in Canada in 1969. By this time, he had already published 10 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, including the prestigious Physical Review.

He worked for some decades in the telecommunications and computer software industries.

In 2013 Heinz founded the Apologetics Forum of Snohomish County in Washington State, USA, to help equip Christians in the defence of their faith. He regularly teaches and arranges seminars on topics related to the Bible and science, and has presented in a number of countries around the world.

Heinz's favourite subject at school was always mathematics but the basis for his later career as an apologist goes back even further. He says he was blessed to be raised in a devout Christian family.

"My parents faithfully took us to church each Sunday and instructed us in God's Word [the Bible]. I never wavered in my belief in God, with [Jesus] Christ being the Creator, Redeemer and Saviour."

Unlike today, evolution wasn't brought up at high school. So Heinz was not confronted by the conflict between the Bible and evolution until his first-year geology class at university.

However, this didn't affect his general science career, for which evolution was irrelevant, including his graduate studies in experimental nuclear physics.

Evolution and the Christian faith

Things had changed by the time Heinz's children were attending public schools in the mid-1970s. His daughter came home one day declaring that people came from monkeys!

This motivated Heinz to develop teaching materials about the issue for Sunday School and home studies. The late Dr Henry Morris's books The Genesis Flood (1961) and The Genesis Record (1976) were very helpful.

In his creation talks, Heinz emphasizes the importance of God as Creator – meaning He owns us and therefore has absolute authority over us. And he copiously documents that Jesus and the New Testament authors affirmed Genesis as real history.1 Another very important biblical teaching is that death is the result of Adam's sin, as opposed to evolution's teaching that death of the unfit led to man.

Evolution versus science

Heinz points out that Christians should have no fear of evolution on scientific grounds. Rather, "Evolution is the greatest myth ever foisted on our society in the name of science."

One strong reason he provides goes right back to the supposed beginning of neo-Darwinism evolution by natural selection. Before natural selection can even get started, there must be at least two self-reproducing entities – at least one of which must have arisen directly from lifeless, non-reproducing chemicals. However, Heinz points out:

  1. "All attempts by evolutionists to show that first life from non-life by natural processes can be explained by evolution have come to naught for four main reasons:
  2. The Law of Biogenesis discovered by Pasteur in 1864.
  3. The failure of experiments like that of Miller in 1953 to show that life can come from non-life.
  4. The mathematical probability of forming the first living cell by random chance processes is beyond possible.
  5. Information in a cell (DNA) requires an intelligent mind."
Small changes
observed in
nature just
don’t add up to
big changes

The failure of the origin of first life from non-life by natural processes is actually a showstopper for evolution.

And even if we grant the first self-reproducing cell, it's not the end of the problems. No one disputes that things change, but the small changes observed in nature just don't add up to big changes. For one thing, they are going in the wrong direction: downhill instead of uphill.2 And, Heinz points out, "the fossil record does not show the 'innumerable transitional links' expected by Darwin"3 – even 160 years later, and neither does it support human evolution.

Not only that but many supposed "irrefutable proofs of evolution" have been totally discredited, yet are still in the textbooks!

"Some of the more dramatic examples are Haeckel's embryonic recapitulation and embryo similarity,4 vestigial organs,5 and claims made by evolutionists at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Dr Jonathan Wells identified 10 discredited icons of evolution in his book by the same name, and he identified more discredited icons of evolution in his more recent book Zombie Science. Recent examples include the alleged '98% human-chimp DNA similarity'6 and the alleged 'junk DNA'.7"

On the other hand, "The truth of the Bible has been confirmed by history, geography, prophecy and archaeology. In terms of prophecy, more than 50% of the prophecies in the Bible have already been fulfilled. Archaeology has supported the accuracy of many statements in the Bible."

In particular, Heinz is impressed by the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1948. They show the accuracy of the copying of Isaiah (a large book in the Old Testament), and that Isaiah's prophecies about Christ were written centuries beforehand, not after the events, as skeptics asserted. He is also impressed by the Ebla tablets, discovered in northern Syria in 1974 and dating from centuries before Moses. They document the five cities of the plain in Genesis 14, and destroy skeptical theories that writing wasn't invented by Moses' day.

Radiometric dating

Many people think that radiometric dating proves millions of years. After all, haven't scientists precisely measured both half-lives and amounts of isotopes in samples? Dr Lycklama, a specialist in experimental nuclear physics, points out:

"It takes more than today's known decay rates to determine dates. There are three basic assumptions made in radioisotope dating methods:

  1. The initial conditions of the sample are known.
  2. There has been no contamination of the sample.
  3. The decay rate of the radioactive isotope has remained the same since the sample's formation."

He then referred to the meticulous research by the RATE group in the early 2000s, which showed that these assumptions were demonstrably false:8

"For example, they have found C-14 in diamonds and coal where there should have been none if the earth was millions/billions of years old. The RATE team has also identified many discordant dates for rock samples when different radioisotope dating methods are used. This all puts into question the accuracy of dates determined using conventional dating methods that depend on the validity of the three basic assumptions."

As regards relativity and quantum mechanics, Dr Lycklama argues:

"Relativity and quantum mechanics are part of our operational scientific knowledge. Einstein's Theories of General Relativity and of Special Relativity have never been falsified and are regarded as true science. Quantum mechanics solved some of the classical physics problems that had remained unresolved in the 20th century. But this did not render classical physics obsolete at all. The dual wave-particle nature of light has been well established by science using the scientific method.

"I do not see relativity and quantum mechanics as being in conflict with what the Bible teaches."

Heinz concludes: "Throughout my scientific career and beyond, I've been encouraged that true science has always supported the truth of God's Word. As a scientist, I'm not afraid of what real science will discover in the future—in fact, I look forward to it."

References and notes

  1. Cf. creation.com/nt and creation.com/gen-hist.
  2. Wieland, C., The evolution train's a-comin' (Sorry, a-goin'—in the wrong direction), Creation 24(2):16–19, 2002.; creation.com/train.
  3. Darwin, C.R., The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, ch. 10 (1), On the absence of intermediate varieties at the present day, 1859.
  4. See for example van Niekerk, E., Countering revisionism—part 1: Ernst Haeckel, fraud is proven; part 2: Ernst Haeckel and his triple-woodcut print, J. Creation 25(3):89–95, 2011; 27(1):78–84, 2013.
  5. See articles under creation.com/vestigial-organs.
  6. One of the leading evolutionists behind this claim, Jon Ahlquist, has since become a biblical creationist! See interview by Wieland, M., Creation 40(3):36–39, 2018. See also, Batten, D., The myth of 1%, Creation 36(1):35–37, 2014; creation.com/1-percent-myth.
  7. See Tomkins, J., The junk DNA myth takes a well-deserved hit, A review of The Myth of Junk DNA by Jonathan Wells, J. Creation 25(3):23–27—December 2011; creation.com/review-wells-junk-dna.
  8. Radioactivity and The Age of the Earth, a research project by the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society—see creation.com/RATE.