back to article Creationists are infiltrating US geology circles

Creationists are infiltrating US geology circles in an attempt to push the theory that the Earth is no more than 10,000 years old and that recognised geological phenomena which appear to contradict this idea can be accounted for by Noah's Flood and similar Bible stories. The attempt by creationist "scientists" to present …

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But..

"This is the USA, you have the right to believe and say what you will.

However, I Also have the right to point and laugh."

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And I have the right

to decide that the guy being polite is worth listening to and probably right, and the guy acting like a complete prick is a complete prick and probably wrong. Whether I am correct so to decide is, from the perspective of the party arguing with the other party in hopes of convincing nearby third parties, irrelevant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And I have the right

I present you with the cult of Scientology, those people are expert at antagonising anyone who dares speak out against them while keeping calm themselves, but that must mean they're telling the truth by your standards.

Fortunately for the impartial amongst us, scientific validity isn't judged by it's proponents manners.

Give my regards to Xenu btw.

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Saw that coming a mile off

Yep, I'm a Hubbardite because I know how to fail at playing to an audience.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Saw that coming a mile off

"Yep, I'm a Hubbardite because I know how to fail at playing to an audience."

No, it isn't a popularity contest either.

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Srsly tho

I know that lots of you here have a lot of emotional investment in the idea that you're purely objective, and make decisions entirely on the basis of rational evaluation of the facts and without any reference whatsoever to emotion, belief, or opinion. You're wrong, of course, which is why somebody is trying to shut me up by reference to Scientology instead of by reasoned argument against the point that I made. But the idea means a lot to you.

What you need to get through your thick skull is that, not only do people in general -- you included -- not actually work that way, but most people don't even *pretend* they work that way, not even to themselves, and this means it is necessary to consider how you're presenting your point from more perspectives than simply the one of whether or not it's factually accurate.

This is why PZ Myers, for example, is actively counterproductive every time he opens his damn fool mouth; he's great for preaching to the choir, but he's absolute shit at winning points in public debate, because he's so enthralled with how smart he is and how right he is that he doesn't see any problem with being a smug, arrogant jackass about it.

Of course there's nothing to say that someone who is a smug, arrogant jackass is also necessarily wrong. But the problem with smug, arrogant jackassery is that it's only enjoyable when you already agree with it; otherwise, it just comes off like the smug, arrogant jackassery that it is. That can put people off so thoroughly they won't even *bother* to evaluate what you're saying on its merits. You can argue those people are wrong to feel that way all you like, but that doesn't make such responses any less counterproductive when you're trying to convince people that what you're saying is true.

Which makes me wonder whether that really is the objective of the loudest and most tiresome advocates of evolutionary theory. I *know* they've got the right of it, but sometimes their overweening attitude makes it seem even to me like they just get off on calling people names. What effect do you think it has on someone whose education has left them so ill equipped that they actually do think there might be a reasonable question behind all the controversy?

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Yes, it is a popularity contest

You may not be worried about the legislators people elect and the laws those legislators make, but that's not the same as saying those things don't need worrying about.

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Amazing

how many people seem to think a downvote can stand in place of an argument. So much "you're wrong because I don't like you!" from avowed rationalists? How can this be?

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Anonymous Coward

Title

You're not wrong because we don't like you. You're just wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazing

Are you seriously suggesting that people who agree with you are down-voting your comments just because they don't like you?

“How can this be?”

Yes, how can anyone possible disagree with you?

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"You're just wrong."

Prove it.

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No, I'm seriously suggesting

that people who don't agree with me ought to damn well explain their reasons for their opinion, the same way I have done for mine, instead of downvoting my comments and then going off to have another self-congratulatory wank with no significance at all to the political battle over creationism which supposedly means so much to them.

The claim under discussion here, or which would be under discussion here if anyone were actually interested in having a discussion, is that turning off your audience by being a dick has no effect on that political battle. I've argued that the demotic nature of our current methods of governance means that's not true; in order, for example, to ensure that we don't see a modern resurgence of Lysenkoism driven by the scientific equivalent of people who "don't know art, but I know what I like", it is necessary not merely to be correct in one's arguments but also to be convincing.

So far I've seen a lot of people downvote that argument, but no one yet has attempted to show it is actually false to fact, which one would think would be a reasonable expectation out of people who declare themselves fervently to be on the side of objectivity and empiricism. It is that curious result at which I am poking fun.

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Though now I give it a moment's thought

I could not have asked for a better demonstration of the point I'm trying to make.

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Anonymous Coward

"No, I'm seriously suggesting"

Why do you think your opinions are so earth shatteringly important that everyone who disagrees with you must explain their reasoning? Could it be possible that they think your pompous self importance not worth the bother?

As for myself, I have better things to do with my time than explain myself to everyone writing nonsense on the internet.

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Alert

Downvoters don't disagree with Aaron Em

They are just pretending to because they don't like what he has to say.

Wait...!

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Mushroom

Explain opinion?

People are giving you mountains of downvotes because nobody gives a rat's rear to debate you. It doesn't matter. The way you're talking about debate tactics and presenting to an audience and other topics of vanity is very 13-year-old-in-debate-club-ish. Adults do not have patience for this. I'm sorry.

Furthermore, it was you who brought up communication styles and frankly yes, yours does match if not scientologists than 13 year olds on forums, Youtube White Supremacists, etc.

If you want to know why folks do not care for these views, it is because they're obviously contrived to fit a very short timescale and there is simply too much bullshit to spew. You have to attack everything from the behavior of radio isotopes to the speed of light, size and makeup of stars, the development of human languages, etc. in an endaevour to fit a mental image of reality you've already decided is fact.

That's not science, and science kicks the ass of every other intellectual tool we have for understanding the natural world.

Science is how we developed enough understanding of chemistry and fundamental physics (including QM) to manufacture the computers we're using to communicate right now. Like God lighting the idol of Ba'al on fire, science _works_. It also so happens it doesn't agree with the short timescale idea that you're married to. High school debate club has nothing to do with it.

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Anonymous Coward

@Aaron

Aaron Em

"You're just wrong." #

Posted Tuesday 14th June 2011 17:55 GMT

Erm... no... you prove you're right. You can't prove my chocolate teapot isn't floating around up there.

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Happy

Fossil record mate

A creationist friend of mine discounts this by stating that dinos were either planted in the ground by "man" - not mankind mind - "man".

He also doesn't believe in carbon dating... the mind boggles.

The funny thing is, he is an otherwise very intelligent person - an engineer by trade.

He's still wrong of course.

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Happy

Engineers...

... are usualy the ones who believe the crackpot theories.

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Anonymous Coward

@Aaron Em

You aren't worth our time to argue with. Go to a Library... go to the section marked Reference, not Fiction and start reading.

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Megaphone

Remember.

Richard Dawkins was sent here by God to test us. Like fossils. And facts.

watch?v=0zdyJkKA5L4

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Devil

They are correct of course*

*if you believe fiction written between 3000 and 1000 years ago obviously.

Noah's flood is a fact because it says so in a book written by hearsay passed on millenia ago. Scientific conjecture can never be considered fact as it is merely observation matching conjecture (which scientists will admit means that it is not "100%" proof).

So there you have it. By science's own reasoning creationalism must be accepted and everything the bible says is therefore as pertinent as anything science can also say.

Now, can someone help me turn these large pitchers of water into wine, the J-Dog is (second) coming to tea and i want to get him leathered!

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Anonymous Coward

well

A fair share of stuff one learns in school about history only comes from some books written N centuries ago.

As long as their theories are falsifiable, I couldn't care less that they present them during conferences. If they're not, then they do not belong to science.

Nothing is absolute in science and if you treat anything as such, then you're not different that creationists.

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Re: well

I'm with you on allowing creationist theories to be assessed as science, but I have to take issue with this: "A fair share of stuff one learns in school about history only comes from some books written N centuries ago."

The study of history is about source handling above all, saying it is just stuff from a book misses the point. In most cases, even for antiquity, it will be stuff from several books which corroborate each other. In cases where there is literally only one source, that source will be treated with caution, and its general reliability (as assessed in other areas where there are alternative sources) will be carefully examined.

So a source like Ammianus Marcellinus might be fairly trusted even if it can't be corroborated on a particular point, because he is known to be very accurate where he can be checked. Compare this to the bible. Not only is it frequently contradicted by many normally reliable sources, enough is know about its editing process - selection of the gospels and that sort of thing - that its creditability in a historical sense if essentially zero.

For a modern example: Its about as reliable as a wikipedia article with no sources, and evidence of an ongoing edit war between multiple groups of hyper-partisans.

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Facepalm

Credibility of the BIble

"Compare this to the bible. Not only is it frequently contradicted by many normally reliable sources"

---

... and contradicted by itself. Check the two mutually contradicting stories about the beginning of the world... Genesis 1:6-26 and Genesis 2:4-22.

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Anonymous Coward

damn them

Damn those pesky scientists and their pesky evidence.

Still least the Geologists have rocks, the Christians are used to a good stoning after all.

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WTF?

Yes, thats right

Violence, that'll change minds. Good idea, well done.

After all, its worked so many times before, hasn't it?

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Mushroom

How about...

...we take 10 creationists and attempt to change their minds with a good stoning.

I would be very surprised if we failed to change any minds (even if it may only be a temporary thing...)

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Trollface

@David Dawson

After all, its worked so many times before, hasn't it?

Well, yes it has. Violence is the only method that has been known to totally eliminate opposition.

If you have enough rocks, you'll have no one left who disagrees with you

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Stop

@ David Dawson

I think you need a new humour (humor?) meter. Yours seems broken.

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Anonymous Coward

Personally...

I don't see what's wrong with stoning a few Christians. After all it wasn't too long ago that they were murdering blasphemers. The Muslims still do ... depending on the amount of pressure put on their governments from the rest of the human race that thinks killing someone purely because of what they believe, is somehow not morally justifiable.

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IT Angle

Personally...

Never ceases to amaze me that after the blood baths of the 20th century after the mess of WW1 that devout followers of the assorted humanists, scientific atheists and so on have killed millions pushing their world view. And after the fall of the holy land of the left in the USSR, that the ignorant and uninstructed still believe this nonsense. Empirical FAIL.. Bigotry reigns, even on the hallowed halls of El Reg.

Practicing christian believers are less than 2% of your total population and you all rant as if you were a persecuted minority. What the heck are you so frightened of if you are as rational as you claim ?

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Not just rocks

We also have hammers - big hammers

And volcanoes.

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Mushroom

@AC 11:44

Humour meter eh? Nice.

Replace christian in that with black/ gay/ jew and see what happens

Its not big, and its not clever.

So you don't get the wrong idea (as many evidently have) I was brought up with a creationist belief, but I certainly don't agree with it now. I rationally convinced myself of the alternatives when I was old enough to think for myself. Killing me wouldn't have changed my mind, only destroyed it. Nice work there.

My point is that being rude, abusive, obnoxious, or making casual jokes about violence against groups of people you don't agree with and look down on is simply bigotry, and is self defeating.

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Flame

Christians Murder blasphemers

> I don't see what's wrong with stoning a few Christians. After all it wasn't too long ago that they were murdering blasphemers

The Spanish Inquisition was when? How long has it been since the Salem Witch Trials? When did the Crusades end? I guess centuries and centuries qualify as "not too long ago".

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Linux

Work that martyr complex...

> Practicing christian believers are less than 2% of your total population

Don Wilmon? Is that you?

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Linux

...a certain irony.

There's a certain irony in people posting on a website in a country where there are buildings that date back to the Romans whining about a few centuries being so far removed that it doesn't matter any more.

It really hasn't been that long since people were burned at the stake for heresy or witchcraft on either side of the pond. You don't have to go nearly as far back as the crusades. This is mainly limited to the power that religions are able to directly exercise more than anything else.

Let clerics have any real power and they will abuse it. Secular governments will exploit that power for their own benefit.

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@JEDIDIAH

There's a certain irony in people posting on a website in a country where there are buildings that date back to the Romans whining about a few centuries being so far removed that it doesn't matter any more.

---------------

But does that really make it ok to advocate stoning their spiritual descendents? (for want of a better term) They didn't do it, all the people who did are long, long, dead. Why, and this is not rhetorical, should they be held accountable for something they did not do?

Should modern day Italians be held accountable for the atrocities the roman army committed in brittania then? Should the Dutch, or Danish or Norwegians be held accountable for the ethnic cleansing that created modern day england?

I know its a joke, but it really isn't funny.

Mock beliefs all you want as far as I'm concerned, a bit of adversity never did a properly held belief or point of principle any harm, those who get upset when you do are having issues with doubt; but threatening violence against the 'god botherers' for no other reason than you dislike them, and think you can get away with it, makes you no better than the people you despise.

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Trollface

Hurrr!

"devout followers of the assorted humanists, scientific atheists and so on have killed millions pushing their world view"

A humanist, a scientist and an atheist walk into a bar. The humanist asks for a pint, and the barman says, "why the long face?" So the atheist kills him.

"Hahahahahahahahahaaaaa! You will all be assorted humanists and so on or taste my steel!" says the Irishman.

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Silver badge

So what if it doesn't work

It would still be great fun!

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Anonymous Coward

@David

It was a joke. Get over yourself.

No-one in their right mind is/would advocate violence against someone due to their beliefs.

Well - a lot of 'peaceful' religions still seem to advocate violence against others, but we can ignore them can't we?

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@Denarius

What the feck are you talking about? None of those conflicts were anything to do with humanism or atheism.

Bigotry? Where? People have a right to feel scared of prople/religions that have proven themselves to be violent and oppressive. I like my friends, who happen to be muslim, but hate what their religion has done/is still doing.

I am a persecuted majority (although not persecuted very much nowadays), since the religious zealots are actually in charge still and calling the shots as if they were the majority.

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Devil

Close..

But I think we may need a much bigger sample to be absolutely sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Alright, alright... I take it back

Alright, you can have the Fisher Price version since you can't take proper jokes (since I posted the first comment)

The geologists used the power of hugs and fluffy bunnies to politely convince the Christians they were wrong.

Would you also like a ban on the "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" T-Shirt as it is clearly advocating stoning? Clearly sexist bigotry right there.

The Daily Mail is this way ---->

Especially if you actually believe that I actually meant Geologists should grab the nearest sample and head for the local congregation.

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Coat

Dark ages 2

Due to circumstances beyond our control America is temporarily out of order.

Normal service will be resumed in a few hundred years.

Mine's the one with Darwin for Dummies in the pocket.

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It's not just there

It's in the UK too. At least they have separation of church and state. Meanwhile our government continues to throw public money at faith schools.

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Alert

Re: It's not just there

"Meanwhile our government continues to throw public money at faith schools."

This is because of the idiotic "traditionalist" Britard double-standards. Here's how to play:

1. You're worried about schools, "the children", standards.

2. You've figured it out: it's all because of a lack of morality, people not going to church any more, jumpers no longer being used for goalposts.

3. You're also worried about all those foreign types and their cultures and religions and things.

4. You pipe up: you're not sending your children to a state school; you want a "faith-based" education for little Johnny. That'll protect him from the moral decay!

5. You lobby some sympathetic Britard politicians (possibly Tories, but Blairites love this kind of thing, too) and they decide that this is good use of the taxpayers' money.

6. Oh no: those foreign types are now demanding their own schools! What next? Terrorism on the curriculum? And they can't be stopped because that would be discrimination - it's political correctness gone mad!

7. You write to the Daily Mail about how standards are slipping and the state pays for terrorist training.

And so the state education system gets starved of cash while a bunch of morons get to build their special "academies". Little Johnny gets his discipline and a dose of unsanctioned "knowledge" about Noah and pals. The country steadily rots.

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@AC

Well put it this way, Christianity in some countries is still protected by blasphemy laws. Not exactly killing people any more for what they beleive, but certainly penalising people; be it a fine, a jail term, public flogging with a wet leutice or a stale cod ... whatever.

I think it was Ireland that has returned to this chicken-shit way of religious protectionism, simply because the religion can't stand on its own two feet against solid scrutiny.

And where does Christianity ... in fact where do any of the majority of these so called religions ... actually measure up against actually having ETERNAL pergatory? Where is the so called forgiveness and being able to repent your sins? Why can you only do it BEFORE the death of the physical form? Translation ... it's all a load of crap.

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Anonymous Coward

Teehee

Well there goes the US's reputation for science slowly down the drain, good job we're still funding our Universities well to step into the void that is left and reap the rewards. Oh wait...

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Happy

Although to be fair,

only 6% of US scientists are Republicans. As opposed to something like 100% of US creationists.

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