Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
This newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Hugh Rowland Miller, affectionately known to the Kolbe Center family as "Hugh the Elder," who entered eternity after suffering a stroke and a brief illness on Septuagesima Sunday, the Feast of St. John Bosco, January 31. I met Hugh the Elder (henceforth, “Hugh TE”) for the first time twenty years ago when we organized our first Kolbe Center conference in Manassas, Virginia. Hugh was already 70 years old when we met, but he exuded an irrepressible enthusiasm for all kinds of practical projects that would vindicate the sacred history of Genesis and prove that evolution was, in one of his favorite sayings, "a fairy tale for adults."
The Making of an Orthodox Catholic Iconoclast
Hugh TE was born on April 22, 1931. After his father’s death when Hugh TE was 10 years old, Hugh was raised by his Great Aunt Marie Montgomery and her protestant husband. As a devout Catholic, Aunt Marie saw to it that Hugh the Elder was educated at St. Aloysius Gonzaga high school, but her husband also exerted a profound influence on his great nephew by reading regularly to him from the Book of Genesis. (By the grace of God, that great uncle ultimately converted to the Catholic Faith at the very end of his life.)
Hugh TE went on to earn a BS degree in chemistry from Ohio State University in 1953 and took graduate courses in radio-chemistry, nuclear physics, and related subjects before going into the army where he worked as a clerk typist and an analytical chemist. For almost twenty years, Hugh TE worked as a senior research chemist for Battelle Memorial Institute Electrochemical Engineering Division in Columbus, Ohio, and as a District Manager for Ohio and surrounding states for CP Chemicals, a division of Philipp Brothers Chemicals from 1971-1991. Although he had been thoroughly indoctrinated into molecules-to-man evolutionary mythology at Ohio State University, at some point during his career as a chemist Hugh TE read Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky and began to question the evolutionary paradigm. Hugh TE subsequently realized that the true account of the origin and early history of the world could only be found in the sacred history of Genesis, but he credited Velikovsky with helping him to begin questioning the standard evolutionary account of Earth’s history that had been drummed into him by his professors.
Through an intensive study of the works of Catholic and Evangelical scientists who debunked the molecules-to-man evolution mythology and its attendant time-scale, Hugh TE rejoiced in his freedom to embrace the traditional Catholic Faith, whole and entire, without any watering down or taint of modernism. While working as a technician for a radiocarbon research lab, Hugh TE also saw clearly that dinosaurs had become icons of evolution and its long ages even though the scientific evidence confirmed the Biblical testimony that dinosaurs and humans had lived together on Earth from the beginning. Before our first meeting in 2001, in association with some evangelical scientists, Hugh TE had embarked on two research projects that he rightly believed would shatter the icon of dinosaurs as silent witnesses to hundreds of millions of years of biological evolution.
The first of these projects involved the excavation of dinosaur and human tracks in the same Cretaceous rock, a project that Dr. Carl Baugh and other evangelical scientists had begun many decades ago along the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas. Hugh the Elder participated in many excavations before and after the founding of the Kolbe Center and persuaded Fr. Victor Warkulwiz and many of other members of our leadership team to participate in one of the excavations organized by Dr. Baugh. As summarized by engineer Robert Helfinstine in his book Texas Tracks and Artifacts, an unbiased examination of the tracks uncovered at these excavations confirms that human beings and dinosaurs lived together and left tracks in the same Cretaceous Rock a few thousand years ago--not 145-66 million years ago, as dictated by the mythical evolutionary time-scale. Until almost the very end of his life, in his paleontological peregrinations Hugh the Elder was accompanied by his beloved wife Peggy (who died just a few years ago), and at various times by one or more of their seven children, their children’s spouses, and their 16 grandchildren.
Probably no body of evidence for dinosaur and human co-existence and for the true history of the Earth has elicited a more vitriolic response from the ranks of evolution-believing scientists than the Paluxy footprints. Hugh the Elder knew as well as anyone how to take their scornful attacks with a sense of humor. In most cases, the critics never bothered to examine the evidence for themselves, and on one of the few occasions when a prominent evolutionist critic visited the site, a member of Dr. Carl Baugh's team observed him in the act of destroying some of the tracks that the team had uncovered! (The same eyewitness offered to take a lie detector test confirming the truth of what he had seen and to pay for the evolutionist scientist to do the same to confirm his innocence. Not surprisingly, the latter refused.) Hugh the Elder honed in on the importance of another significant discovery at the Paluxy site when some partially non-mineralized wood was found in the exposed Cretaceous Rock where the dinosaur and human tracks were found. When the wood was tested for Carbon-14 at a world-class laboratory, it was dated between 20,000 and 30,000 years before the present--in stark contrast to the 145-66 million years assigned to the Cretaceous period in mainstream geology. This was one of many discoveries that convinced Hugh the Elder of the importance of collecting dinosaur bones and having them tested for Carbon-14.
The Science of Carbon-14 Dating
Carbon-14 is produced when cosmic rays knock neutrons out of atomic nuclei in the upper atmosphere. When these fast-moving neutrons hit nitrogen (N14) at lower altitudes, they convert the nitrogen to C14. The C14 is unstable and eventually decays into nitrogen. However, both C14 and carbon-12 (C12) combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which finds its way into the cells of plants and animals. While plants and animals are alive and breathing, the ratio of C12 atoms to C14 atoms remains the same in their cells as in the atmosphere. Once the plant or animal dies, however, the C14 atoms decay at a constant rate and are no longer replaced. As a result, the ratio between C14 and C12 changes over time at a constant rate, making it possible to determine the elapsed time since the death of the organism.
Since half of a given amount of C14 will convert to N14 in 5,730 years (+ or – 40 years), 5,730 years is said to be the half-life of C14. At this rate of decay, any organism that died more than 50,000 years ago should have lost all of its C14. C14 production has increased in recent times as a result of the weakening of the earth’s magnetic field. In addition, a global flood—while it would have destroyed almost all plant and animal life—would not have affected the production of C14 in the atmosphere. Consequently, the C14 level relative to C12 would have increased during the post-flood period since the same amount of C14 would have coexisted with a much smaller reservoir of C12. (Thus, while the current ratio of C14 to C12 is one to a trillion, it could have been as small as one to five trillion in the pre-Flood atmosphere.) Both of these factors tend to make carbon-tested organic matter test much older than it really is. Nevertheless, since the half-life of C14 is relatively short, C14 dating can be calibrated using objects of known age up to about 2500 B.C., making it much more reliable than radiometric dating with long-half-life isotopes which cannot be so calibrated. For example, Walter Libby, the inventor of the C14 dating method, could use wood from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs, the approximate dates of whose reigns could be determined from historical records, to calibrate his results.
In recent decades, significant amounts of C14 have been found in coal, in fossil fuels and in dinosaur bones, strengthening the grounds for skepticism about the ages of tens of millions of years that have been assigned to them by the conventional geologic time scale. A paper by geophysicist John Baumgardner and his colleagues reported that coal samples from deposits assigned ages from 30 to 300 million years before the present contained C14 in roughly the same amounts, far above the detection limit, strongly suggesting that the plant material that forms the coal deposits all over the earth was laid down rapidly, thousands, not millions, of years ago. With the help of scientists on the Kolbe advisory council and other scientists among our separated brethren, Hugh the Elder systematically collected dinosaur bones from Texas to Alaska and began sending them to world-class laboratories with Accelerated Mass Spectrometers that can count the number of Carbon-14 and Carbon-12 atoms in a sample. Some of the dinosaur bones we collected ourselves, notably on a ranch in Glendive, Montana, in 2005. Hugh and his wife Peggy, my son Edward and I, and a scientist friend and his son, participated in that excavation, and experienced the excitement of finding a Triceratops femur! Various parts of the femur were then extracted and sent to a C-14 dating laboratory where all of the different parts of the bone produced concordant ages between 20,000 to 30,000 years before the present.
Hugh the Elder: World Traveler
With the help and support of French researcher Guy Berthault and his colleagues Peter Wilder, Dominique Tassot, and physicist Jean de Pontcharra, by 2008, Hugh the Elder and his team had sent about 20 dinosaur bone samples to five different world-class laboratories and had received consistent results in the 20,000 to 30,000 year range. In February of the so-called “Darwin Year,” 2009, Hugh TE traveled to Rome to participate with a number of Kolbe advisors in a conference on evolution organized by the Italian National Research Council, the main government-funded institution supporting research in the arts and sciences. As noted in a press release, “the conference was called after the organizers of the Gregorian University conference on evolution ignored requests to have the opposing view discussed at their conference,” which was to be held from March 3-March 7.
For the first time, Hugh TE and his team were able to present their findings in a world-class international forum, the proceedings of which were then published by a prominent Italian publishing house, Cantagalli, to the consternation of the liberal Italian press. Later in the Darwin Year, Hugh TE traveled to Bierbronnen, Germany, to participate in another conference on evolution at Gustav Siewerth Akademie which subsequently published the proceedings under the title Evolution and the Sciences: A Critical Examination with an explicit letter of blessing from Pope Benedict XVI. While in Germany, Hugh TE was also interviewed about his C-14 dating research for EWTN’s German affiliate, whose administration has proven to be much more open to criticism of theistic and atheistic evolution than the English-speaking, U.S.-based, top leadership at EWTN.
After returning to the United States, Hugh the Elder stepped up his efforts to present our C-14 dating results to the scientific mainstream. In 2011, he and several of the scientists on our advisory council submitted a paper summarizing of their research on C-14 dating of dinosaur bones to the American Geophysical Union, a huge international association of 60,000 scientists, for presentation at their annual convention in San Francisco in December of that year. When the paper was rejected without explanation, Hugh refused to take “No” for an answer and insisted that we go to San Francisco to protest this act of censorship. At Hugh TE’s insistence, he, his son Kevin, paleontologist Joe Taylor, and I traveled to San Francisco after releasing a barrage of press releases exposing the AGU’s failure to honor its own core principles by refusing to allow our team of scientists to present a paper or poster session at their convention.
Since the AGU Papers Committee had refused to give any reason for their refusal to allow us to present a paper or poster session at the convention, Hugh the Elder persuaded us to protest this blatant violation of the following AGU “core principles”:
- the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge
- open exchange of ideas and information
- diversity of backgrounds, scientific ideas and approaches
- equality and inclusiveness
To this end, for three days we invited AGU members to review our research at a hotel next door to the convention center and, on the fourth day, on the sidewalk in front of one of the main entrances to the center where we displayed our convincing data tabulated on placards for all to see. Thanks to our obedience to Hugh TE’s quixotic inspiration, in God’s providence we learned many valuable “sidewalk” lessons during that week. One of the first and most lasting impressions of the week was the recognition that most of the scientists in the American Geophysical Union are not American-born. We came face to face with the fact that the U.S. education system at the elementary and secondary level has become so bad that most of our own students can no longer compete with the more disciplined and better-trained foreign scientists. On the other hand, the foreign scientists tended to be very technocratic in their outlook. They were masters of a narrow field of knowledge, but most of them were obviously not concerned with broader theological, philosophical and moral questions, or even with questions outside of their limited area of expertise in the natural sciences.
It was also apparent that while the American-born scientists are more liberally educated, they tend to be much more hostile to any criticism of evolution than the non-European foreign-born scientists who are more polite but who do not see any need to think beyond the specialized area of knowledge that they have mastered and which guarantees them a comfortable living and a certain amount of prestige and intellectual satisfaction. When most of the elite scientists of the world become technocrats, the way is truly prepared for a godless New World Order, because the most skilled and competent people in science and technology no longer care about the theological or moral consequences of their actions--except in regard to things that are politically correct, like global warming. As a dear friend of mine observed at the time, the all but universal faith in evolutionism acts as a barrier to any kind of grace that might move them to consider the bigger questions of life.
“Doing Twenty-First Century Geology in a Nineteenth Century Geological Framework”
A number of American-born scientists heaped scorn on us and asserted that our research “had to be false” because “it could not be true.” One young scientist who used long-half-life radiometric dating methods to date rocks insisted that our C-14 results were worthless because they contradicted the results obtained with his long half-life radiometric dating methods. A scientist friend of his even asserted that all C-14 dating results were “worthless” and cited as proof the fact that living plants have been found to be hundreds of years old using C-14 dating methods. If only these young scientists had been willing to engage in a dialogue, we would have asked them why the same criticisms would not apply to long half-life radiometric dating methods. After all, many rocks of known age have been dated using these methods with results that are hundreds of thousands or millions of years older than the true ages. For example, rocks formed in the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980 were collected and radiometrically dated to ages ranging from 300,000 to 1.2 million years old. Thus, the argument: “A dating method that produces false results is useless; dating method A has produced false results; therefore, dating method A is useless” if valid, would render all radiometric dating methods useless. In reality, C-14 is by far the most reliable of the radiometric dating methods, because it is the only one that can actually be tested against reliable historical documentation. Long half-life radiometric dating methods cannot be tested against any kind of historical benchmark. Thus, even when two different long half-life methods produce “concordant” results, we have no way of testing their reliability or calibrating the measurements correctly.
One of the highlights of the week occurred when the president of the AGU visited our hotel room up the street from the convention center and spent fifteen minutes with us examining our research. The president made clear that he could not and would not challenge the decision of his Papers Committee. However, after looking at our research, he could not point to any flaw in our methodology or in our results. At the end of the meeting, he said, “I don’t know what to say.” And then he made a remarkable statement. “If your research is correct,” he said, “this would mean that the scientific community has been operating with a false understanding of geology for more than a hundred years. How could that be?” To which we replied: “If one studies the intellectual history of the last century and a half, he can see that the geological time scale was established in its present form by Charles Lyell and his disciples around 1870. Our research simply shows that geologists shouldn’t be doing twenty-first century natural science within a nineteenth century framework.” To which the president said—nothing.
One of the few AGU scientists who had responded favorably to Hugh the Elder’s research was a European scientist employed by an Asian university. When we reflected on our experiences with Asian scientists on the streets of San Francisco, we realized that we might stand a much better chance of having a research paper accepted at an Asian AGU regional conference than in an American or European venue. Hugh TE proceeded to involve some of the scientists on our team in making a new proposal to present a workshop on our C-14 dating of dinosaur bones research at the AGU’s big international conference in Singapore in 2012. To our great satisfaction, our proposal was accepted, and our dear friend and colleague German physicist Dr. Thomas Seiler agreed to go with us to Singapore to present our research.
In God’s Providence, Dr. Seiler was scheduled to give his presentation on the Feast of the Assumption, and the evening before, the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Thomas and I attended Holy Mass at a beautiful old Carmelite church in the old city of Singapore. After the Holy Mass, an announcement was made that an RCIA class would be given shortly after the conclusion of the Holy Mass, so we decided to introduce ourselves to the pastor and offer to give a short seminar on creation and evolution. To our amazement, the pastor gave his permission, and we were able to give a short Kolbe seminar on the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe on the very eve of our first opportunity to give a public presentation of our C-14 dating of dinosaur bones research at an international geoscience conference.
The following day, when Dr. Seiler presented his research to a group of around 15 scientists—a typical-sized audience for an oral presentation at the conference—all but two of the scientists in the audience appeared to be of Asian background. When the presentation was finished, none of the Asian scientists raised any objections to the report or found any fault with the authors’ methodology or with their conclusions. Only one of the non-Asian scientists, employed at a European university, stated that he was “shocked” to hear that the researchers had found C-14 in dinosaur bones, but he did not offer any reasonable explanation for the concordant results that had been obtained by world-class laboratories from multiple dinosaur bones, including, in several cases, samples from different portions of the same dinosaur bone. Moreover, none of the scientists in charge of the bio-geoscience section of the conference, in which Dr. Seiler had made his presentation, offered any criticism of his methodology, results, or conclusions, either during or after his lecture.
After this relatively painless delivery of a presentation that challenged the consensus view in geo-chronology, Dr. Seiler, Hugh the Elder, and I were also “shocked”—if not surprised—to find that within two days all reference to our presentation had been deleted from the official conference website. The presentations were now listed from one to five, then skipped to presentation number seven, as Dr. Seiler’s inconvenient truth had been dropped down the Orwellian memory hole. Replies to our letters of protest to the directors of the Singapore conference at first indicated that they had no idea who had deleted Dr. Seiler’s presentation from the program—or why. But subsequent communications noted that the amounts of C-14 reportedly found in dinosaur bones would have indicated an age of tens of thousands of years, and that there was, obviously, an error in the data. When one of the co-authors of the paper summarized by Dr. Seiler pointed out that no claim had been made in the presentation regarding the age of the dinosaurs, only regarding the amount of C-14 in the bones, and that the conference reviewers had accepted the paper for presentation with full knowledge of its contents, no further reply—to date—has been offered by the organization’s leadership.
In his inimitable way, however, Hugh the Elder once again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he shared the news of the AGU’s blatant censorship with friends and colleagues all over the world via the internet. Soon, videos began appearing on the internet exposing the blatant censorship of our presentation. As a result of the public exposure of high-level AGU censorship, we were not only accepted to give a poster session at the annual AGU conference in San Francisco in 2014; we were also allowed to give two poster presentations at the AGU conference in Singapore in 2014—which meant that our C-14 dating of dinosaur bones and other evidence for dinosaur and human co-existence received twice as much exposure as any other poster display at the 2014 Singapore conference!
Hugh the Elder: Faithful Son of the Church
It would be wrong to give the impression that Hugh TE’s attention was focused on evidence for dinosaur and human co-existence to the exclusion of other concerns. His interests were far-reaching, and he was always looking for new ways to defend the true Catholic doctrine of creation and to advance the pro-life cause and the reign of Christ the King. With his son Kevin, Hugh TE went to Washington, D.C. quite a few times to lobby government officials and legislators, to hand out literature linking evolution to the anti-culture of death at the March for Life, and to participate in Kolbe evangelization projects in front of the Smithsonian Institution. With several of our Kolbe scientist colleagues, Hugh TE linked the radiocarbon dating of dinosaur bones to the study of the frequency of asteroid impacts, since the compressed time-scale demanded by the C-14 data indicated that the frequency of asteroid impacts in Earth’s history and the probability of asteroid impacts in the future was much greater than commonly believed by experts who accepted the standard evolutionary geochronology. Since accurate prediction of asteroid impacts could help to prevent a massive loss of life and the disruption of modern societies that depend heavily on technology, the work of Hugh TE and his team was taken very seriously by scientists and engineers tasked with developing accurate ways of predicting and, if possible, preventing asteroid impacts.
As interested as he was in so many subjects, Hugh TE’s Catholic Faith always remained at the center of his far-flung activities. As much as he tried to engage secular scientists with his research, he himself never lost sight of the absolute necessity of supernatural faith, hope and charity, and he never ceased to pray—especially in the Holy Mass and in the Holy Rosary—for the grace of true repentance and conversion for himself, for his family, and for the whole world. As is our custom when one of our advisors enters eternity, we have arranged for Gregorian Masses to be offered for the repose of Hugh the Elder’s soul, but we ask that you also remember him and his family in your prayers.
May his soul and the souls of all of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,
P.S. As if in tribute to Hugh the Elder’s contribution to the work of the Kolbe Center and to the “Foundations Restored” DVD series, on the day after Hugh TE’s death we received one of the most beautiful recommendations for the DVD series that we have ever received—from a priest of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. After you read Fr. De Saye’s recommendation, please think and pray about how you can use this powerful tool to help other priests, religious and lay faithful to experience the same liberation and, so, to help “dispel the darkness of the age”:
Like everyone else, I grew up believing in things like evolution, the absolute inerrancy of historical dating methods, and the Big Bang. I was told that these were accepted scientific facts, and that no intelligent person took seriously anymore the literal Biblical teaching on origins. Therefore, the only way left to interpret Genesis 1-11 was in a kind of mystical or spiritual sense, not a literal sense. I was even taught in Catholic school that the universe was billions of years old, and that one was permitted to entertain the notion that at some point, God infused a human soul into an evolved ape. There was a certain satisfaction to asserting these things, an intellectual arrogance that smugly suggests, “Literal readings of Genesis are acceptable for simpletons, but we intelligent people know that the science disproves it.” But once I began to study metaphysics in seminary, I began to see shortcomings in my formation. Especially after reading St. Thomas Aquinas' Division and Methods of the Sciences and Disputed Questions on the Soul, I began to see evolutionary theory as a false narrative rather than as a coherent scientific theory. After viewing Foundations Restored, I now feel that I have finally experienced a comprehensive presentation of Catholic Creation Theology. I repent now of my arrogance; it is so liberating to read Genesis once again without the frustration of trying to reconcile it with the false Cartesian-Darwinian narrative. I had no idea the seriousness of the danger that modern errors all basically stemming from this false narrative present to the Catholic faith. Now I feel well-equipped not only to teach the Catholic doctrine on theology of origins, but also to defend creation theology against the common attacks. This series was a joy to watch because it bolstered my faith. It also confirmed that the best science available today actually supports everything that the Catholic Church has always taught on origins. Every single seminarian, deacon, and priest should watch Foundations Restored. May the Creator of heaven and earth bless the work of the Kolbe Center and its members, and dispel the darkness of this age.
Father Michael G. DeSaye
Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey
 Russ Humphreys, “Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Young,” http://www.icr.org/article/earths-magnetic-field-young/ (accessed 3-10-19).
 In an article entitled “Correlation of C-14 Age with Real Time,” in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, 1992, 29:45-47, R. H. Brown examined anomalous C14 dating results with a view to discovering why C14 dating of different samples of organic matter from the same source produced widely different ages. For example, C14 testing of muscle from a musk ox produced an age of 24,000 years while carbon testing of hair from the same animal produced an age of 17,000 years. By re-calibrating dates of 35,000-40,000 years to coincide with the Biblical date for the global flood (circa 2700 B.C.), the difference between the results for the ox muscle and the ox hair were brought within the approximate life span of the animal.