Saturday, June 1, 2013

#578: Harold G. Coffin

Harold G. Coffin is a palaentologist and creationist (and signatory to the CMI list of living scientists who accept the Biblical Accountof Creation). He has some publications in regular journals, none of which support creationism, but has also written a slew of creationist articles for creationist journals, for instance on how the origin of coal may support a Catastrophic Flood theory. The argument consists pretty much of identifying a potentially unanswered question in modern geology and inferring from this that Flood geology must be better. His creationist ad hoc interpretation of polystrate fossils has not been accepted by mainstream scientists either, to put it mildly, though Conservapedia is apparently impressed.

Coffin witnessed during the McLean vs. Arkansas Board ofEducation trial, where – among other things – he admitted that were it not for the Bible he would have believed that the earth was very old, which is (though creationists may deny it) a straightforward admission of how much creationism has to do with science (also here).

Diagnosis: One of a frighteningly huge number of influential figures in the fight against reason, Coffin is neither the most aggressive nor the loudest. That doesn’t entail that he is not dangerous, however.


  1. May I offer this gentleman:
    as a candidate? That article alone is fantastic.

  2. On that note, Michael Bresciani (seen in the columnist lists to the left on that article) makes a good case for Round 3.

  3. Mr. Coffin a gentleman and a scholar. The evolutionists number one weapon; demean contrary evidence and any scholarship associated with it. There is not a shred of evidence that the earth and the universe are untold millions and billions of years old, nonetheless you pursue it with the vigor of an evangelist, come to think of it, why wouldn't you, it is after all just a belief.

  4. How dare you G.D. Talk about my grandfather behind his back like this. How dare you question the resolve of a man you have never known. This shows me and the world how scared you are to post this on your stupid little hate blog. You sir are a yellow belly coward in the truest way. Only a coward would trash a mans reputation and name behind his back. In that way my grandfather was 100 times the man your. So to you G.D. If you have anything to say about my grandfather Harold G. Coffin you grow a pair and say it to my face.

  5. @Nicholas Hayward

    A couple points:

    - Your grandfather was a public figure who presented his ideas about science in the public arena. That you consider a public dissection of his claims to be talking "...behind his back" illustrates nothing more than your own lack of understanding of both the scientific process and the reality of publishing books aimed at the general public.

    - The author has not questioned his resolve. Rather, he suggests that it is an overabundance of just that - faith-based resolve in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence - that made him dangerous to honest science education.

    - "If you have anything to say about my grandfather Harold G. Coffin you grow a pair and say it to my face." Really? Are you still in third grade? Don't you think a list of peer-reviewed articles supporting his claims would be a more effective way to demonstrate that he in fact *had* an academic reputation to protect?

    I cannot help but notice that your little screed fails to present even a single issue of fact, either scientific or biographical, that contradicts the article. A sad reflection on your objectivity and your spirit.

  6. It seems that is was sloppy work on which late mr. Coffin based his article 'THE YELLOWSTONE PETRIFIED "FORESTS"'

    This we read:

    Geologists, at this time, agree with Harold Coffin that his "organic levels" are not paleosols. The layers, which geologists currently recognize as being paleosols, are discussed by neither Harold Coffin nor other creationists in their papers about the Yellowstone petrified forests. Geologists such as Amidon (1997), have documented the presence of structures, microstructures, profile development, and mineralogical alteration either characteristic or of consistent with a buried soil profile within numerous thin layers, which are identified as paleosols, found within the strata containing Yellowstone petrified forests.