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 …
Don't underestimate the power of the cricket bat
Seemed to work fine in "Sean of the Dead"
You are welcome to try it.
I think you'll find we shoot better than you do. Even if you get the BATF to sell you the full automatics as part of their Fast and Furious program and all we have are our deer rifles.
"Newton also notes that mainstream scientists criticising the creationists tended to come off as rude and confrontational, in sharp contrast to the god-botherers' excellent manners and polished conduct."
Well no-shit. Con-men need smooth manners and polished conduct, whereas scientists and purveyors of facts dont.
Why so anti-Christian?
I can understand it in 14 year olds who are annoyed because their mum took away their xbox, but why on here?
re: Why so anti-Christian?
@Mad Dave: Sorry mate, it's not childish to be anti-Christian when they're trying to undermine science and halt the progress of human knowledge just because a heavily edited storybook for uneducated peasants tells them to.
BTW, I'm an atheist but not anti-Christian. You can believe whatever you wish, just don't try to destroy science or force your bull on to me in the process...
Maybe because it is made up crap, fairy tales for (allegedly) grown-ups? OK, other religions are too, but they are not the point of the particular article, so the "nutty Christian" (most Christians are barely nutty, actually) bashing will have to be the one for now...
Most Christians are barely nutty.
Indeed. Some have quite a delicious fruity flavour, and go down well with a nice Chianti.
More of that martyr complex
The prince of darkness is a smooth talking con man. Blind faith makes you very vulnerable to being misled by a false prophet. It is not "anti-Christian" to be a scientist, or a skeptic, or to not suffer fools and liars lightly.
No one here is being anti-Christian unless you want to claim that The 700 Club has a monopoly on being Christian.
Rude & confrontational.
Like the "good Christians" outside family planing clinics, right?
Want to make a "young earther" cringe? Ask 'em how many years of obvious high organic/low organic deposits there are in the outflow of the Colorado River ...
Ah, well. It'll be October 21st any day now ;-)
 Spring floods from melting snow wash organic material into the river's delta. The rest of the year, it's pretty much all inorganic. The layers are easily counted in core samples ... There are a lot more than a million layers.
 Nicely halted by the Imperial Valley drinking it all, but that's another rant.
@jake Rude, no, merely simple
And your unspoken assumption ? Oh, no climate variation, so each varve is a flood season. How nice, simple and unprovable. Catastrophism is now acceptable sometimes. eg New Scientist about The English Channel being dug in weeks by ice dam breaking.
Newton is correct to insist on assessment and peer reviews, otherwise you get agreement by committee and an official orthodoxy. Then ignorance and bigotry rule, or do you like being told what to think ? Now back to IT, yes ?
Use a river to put the layers down? Damn why didn't I think of that?
It took ages to put them all there one at a time, even with the Holy Spatula of Antioch.
simply carbon date things. Or did radioactivity start at -10000 with varying degrees?
"Or did radioactivity start at -10000 with varying degrees?"
I think some people DO say that, crazy as it sounds to anyone not insane...
This is about intelligent minds observing reality, not IT.
Ice dams break, true. But there is no record of that happening regularly in the cores from the Colorado Delta.
We know what the life-cycle of the desert plants is, we know what the precipitation cycle is, and we know what the rate of rock erosion is. And we know what the deposition rate is in river deltas. All from direct observation.
Suggesting that that those rates have somehow changed within the last several million years is intentionally disingenuous, at best. That makes you a liar, if you have half a clue as to what your are discussing. If you don't have that half a clue, why are you commenting?
 Judging by the current crop of Web sites, there are very few intelligent minds in IT ...
This science and education inversion will lead to the total collapse of the USA.
Then we only have the small problem of what to do with 300m out of control, poorly educated, impressionable, gun-toting lunatics with nuclear weapons.
Just like now then.......
Are you talking about America or Pakistan?
Does it make a difference?
Be aware ...
"The day will come I switch off the Matrix and reboot without the creationists. And it will be a universe with less fun." That's what this bunch of levitating noodles told me last week.
Read and weep
The TalkOrigins Archive:
Go to the feedback section and read the lunacy that the site staff had to answer on a monthly basis.
"...allow doubt to be subtly cast on the theories generally accepted..."
The Short Earth Society. They're stark-raving of course... But that bit about 'allowing doubt' - that is supposed to ALWAYS be true. No matter how well founded a scientific theory may be, it is ALWAYS subject to change or improvement.
In a similar way, I've detected that the arguments about AGW have started using the language of faith. Bad.
It was the result of an early nuclear power station disaster.
A couple of devout scientists, I quickly formed the conclusion that it is not possible to be a scientist and to follow a faith. Well....maybe Bhuddism or something similar, but certainly not any Abrahamic faith or anything remotely like it.
Why? Well, a scientist must (crudely) have a theory, make a prediction, test that prediction and then publish results. Other scientists will then confirm/refute and we take a small step forward. Wall the time their is evidence, proof, invalidation, refinement etc. It all follows logical thought and it all must be supported by evidence an everything constantly questioned.
Faith? It's in a book. You must accept the book in totality. You may not question the book. The book is a translation of a translation of a translation of a.....but it is still the WORD and must be OBEYED UTTERLY WITHOUT QUESTION!
These two are, I put it to you, opposed and mutually exclusive. if you are a theistic scientist, then you are either a very bad scientist or a very bad theist. You cannot have it both way.
Wanna drive a Christian into speaking drivel?
Ask them to name the *other* gospels that they reject, and why. Ask them why, out of all the different gospels, only 4 are accepted in the New Testament, when some of the others are a) more accurate, historically, and b) more interesting, but contrary to a lot of the waffle in the "accepted" gospels, and c) contemporary to the accepted gospels in terms of dates. And those are just the ones that we know about, because quite a lot of them were destroyed for "purity" around the time they were written, or afterwards by various churches.
The Bible is a collection of VERY selectively edited highlights of stories and parables gathered over hundreds of years and constantly re-re-re-re-written by various people over the millennia, and then interpreted into whatever fashion is described by the current day while conveniently ignoring many similarly-originated documents that tell much more interesting stories.
Living your life by the Bible is a bit like living your life by a modern copy of Aesop's Fables (the originals of which would pre-date the whole biblical era by several centuries) that you bought in a bookshop, while conveniently ignoring the rest. Which of the 584 original fables is in your copy? How have they changed since the original Greek text? Which are considered politically incorrect nowadays or make no sense (there's one where an apple tree and a pomegranate have an argument before they are interrupted by a bush)? Which ones are actually originally from Aesop at all?
Except I don't know of any Aesop fable that tells people, in no uncertain terms, what they should not eat under any circumstances and yet have about 90% of its "believers" completely ignore that list. Or one where it absolutely categorically states they shouldn't worship graven idols because it's one of the most dangerous of sins, and yet its followers all carry little tiny Jesus' on crosses around with them and in their churches.
Met a few scientists too
> the WORD and must be OBEYED UTTERLY WITHOUT QUESTION!
I've met a few 'real' scientists too, and - being humans - they tend to do exactly the same thing. Just with their favourite theory rather than the bible. Main difference seems to be that science is basically polytheism (polytheorism?), so people aren't able to get quite so narrow-minded (but not from lack of trying!). Perhaps the same holds true for adherents to polytheistic systems? I guess that's why monotheism spread so well - absolute belief is definitely an impressive sight, regardless of whether it is religious or scientific.
What have you done which ranks alongside the work of Pasteur?
@Lee, really like da Vinci code too ?
having read bits of those "gospels", one can see why they were never included. More interesting though ? Not if one likes consistency.
As for why only the 4 gospels, go do some basic scholarship. Others contemporary. Nope, try 2 centuries later. Some possibly inspired by Hindu missionaries from Serendip. Go look it up. It has another name now. Also syncretism always occurs with all new movements. A lack of it would be suspicious.
Regarding your for document suppression claims, you really don't read much, do you, or you would know of St Jeromes comment about favourite texts ? Which are still around, otherwise your sources would never had any thing to quote. So no suppression there either.
And as for the more ancient documents, read the comparison of words between the Dead sea version of Isiah and the Masoretic text cica 800 AD. Mass editing ? No. Your statements sound like the usual rehashing of the latest crap from the 19th century.
"if you are a theistic scientist, then you are either a very bad scientist or a very bad theist"
Well, maybe the second part more than the first, depending... I actually am a scientist, so of course a lot of the people I know are scientists. Quite devout ones seem to be rare in my experience, but they do exist. Most are of the "spiritual" kind, sort of deists in practice even if not explicitly in name. But besides the small handful of examples I know personally, you can take Francis Collins as the typical public example. No one can question his scientific credentials in his field. But I watched a talk of his here just after he published his "Language of God" book, and all of a sudden he's committing fallacies left, right, and center, and ignoring other areas of science that are not his in order to make the stupid "moral law" argument. The great thinker of the lab is a different person from the lousy one trying to save his god from (even more) irrelevance. Anyway...
So that's how the devout ones manage. They divide their brain in two parts that are completely separate in time, so to speak. When they are doing science, they are rigorous thinkers, relying on logic, previous knowledge, the data, etc. etc. as one would expect. When they are being religious, all that modus operandi is switched off and suddenly talking inside of your head to an imaginary being to ask for stuff you want is supposed to work. Contrary to reality, of course.
Now the good, but devout, scientists of course can't be of the fundamentalist kind, because no matter how much they partition their brain, there is no avoiding considering the most ridiculously unreal parts of their religion as "allegorical" -- because, you know, those parts are ridiculous and therefore must be "just a nice story to teach us something".
For the average science-ignorant person (e.g. a few fellow commentards here I could mention), things are much easier. Since they don't know much to begin with, cognitive dissonance is much less likely to strike, and they can even say with a straight face that science got it really wrong and your favorite priest got it right. In spite of... everything.
I wonder what Paris thinks of this issue...
@Denarius, Re: "consistancy"
Which of your four gospels got the last words of Jesus right?
Has to be one of 'em ... the other three *must* be wrong.
OK, to be fair, Mark declined to comment ... But Matthew, Luke & John all report differing accounts. Which one is closest to reality? My money is on Mark ;-)
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
Never read Da Vinci Code in my life. Dan Brown is actually a pretty pathetic author by all accounts that I've heard, even from people who *have* read his books (a group which, in my experience, are even less well-informed than most bible-believers). He's famous because he made a book containing outrageous unproven (and often blatantly false) assertions that happened to be condemned by the church. Call it "Life of Brian" syndrome - banning something is the best way to give it free publicity.
So you admit that most of the gospels weren't included because they weren't interesting enough, and that someone sat down and selected them based on such criteria? And consistency is an incredibly dangerous ground to step on when comparing gospels. After anything not consistent was disposed of and thus what remains must be true? Logic tells me that the correct answer is that after anything not consistent was disposed of, what remains must be... consistent. And lacking an awful lot of extraneous data which would otherwise degrade the signal-to-noise ratio, which would affect people's "nonsense meter" much more quickly.
Dating? Try 80AD for a lot of the rejected gospels - a timeframe smack bang in the middle of the "accepted" one's dating (accounting for reasonable error on both counts). St Jerome? Hired by the Pope 400 years after the described events in order to SPECIFICALLY re-translate the four chosen gospels only? No bias there. And we only know the sources that are still around because they are still around. By definition, destroyed ones would have been... destroyed.
You appear to have a blind obedience to the accuracy of a particular set of documents (ironic in itself). Until you can ask yourself why that is, there's really nothing more I can correct (or at least disprove) for you. A scientist starts with "I believe nothing" and then waits for proof of things. Religious people have a tendency of "I believe everything" and then ignore even when they are disproved. One way can give you a feeling of what's true, the other only ever gives opinion.
Anyone can ruin a good thing.
> but certainly not any Abrahamic faith or anything remotely like it.
Don't lump Jews in with the Xian fundies.
They will happily argue with you about this and not even threaten to stone you.
More muddling and confusion.
...again with lumping all of the sons of Abraham together.
Judiasm and Xianity are very different in how they approach things in general and scripture in particular. A lot of criticisms you might rightfully level at the New Testament cannot be applied at all to the Torah. The Jews are just a lot less mindless in general.
Although it is quite true that Xians love to pick and choose what parts of the Torah they will treat as valid.
Time for a bacon cheeseburger with lobster sauce!
The Xian Gospels show a clear evolution of the story to suit changing times.
In other words: You can't really trust it. Clearly from early on the Church was re-writting history to suit the current political climate. From an outside observer it almost looks like they were intentionally trying to make it obvious that you can't trust the rest of it.
They make a lot of sense when taken in historical context.
Dumbing down humankind since 5000BC.
maybe the ability to think about things that were of no immediate practical use and to produce elaborate theories about them was developed purely through religion. Possibly driving the development of language to a level where abstract ideas about logic, philosophy etc. could be expressed? Without religion (and drugs?) maybe we would just be more effective chimps.
'...Or genuinely unable to respect other people's opinions, however misguided you may believe them to be?'
Other people's opinions are not automatically worthy of respect.
but I respect your opinion....
See how it works now?
You win the Internet
"Other people's opinions are not automatically worthy of respect."
Can I get that Internet-winning remark on a T-shirt?
I disagree, but I will tolerate your opinion.
Respect is earned.
I am reminded of my favourite T-Shirt design...
....it had a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and under it the words "Poor Noah - not enough room for the dinosaurs" (or similar).
Surely they (the dinosaurs) are the biggest, most solid proof (if ever it was needed) that these guys, despite having their own opinion (and reserving the right to have such), are delusional and exhibiting a serious form of denial bordering on the insane.
The trouble with using dinosaurs as a disproof of creationism and intelligent design is faith. When God created earth he put the fossilised remains of dinosaurs and the like underground to be discovered as a test of faith. The faithful will see the remains as a trial and still believe in their devine creation, the unfaithful will see the fossils as proof of an era long gone where giant lizards roamed the earth before it was meant to have been created.
It's a way of explaining away any "missing links" in evolution too; anything discovered as before the missing link is clearly a test of faith from our Creator, and anything post missing link is as planned by His divine will.
I personally am yet to be convinced either way. I don't subscribe to any organised religion but at the same time I am open to the concept of a higher power in the universe. It's not impossible that we were indeed put here by a higher power, or that perhaps our evolution was encouraged to a points of intelligent design.
From the bible persepective, it's possible that one of God's 7 "days" is an epoch to us mortals, and that the day between him creating sea creatures and beast was infact the evolution of fish through amphibians to mammals, and the creating of light on day 1 could be likened to the big bang? that being the case, and bearing in mind the timescales involved being millions/billions of years, it is plausibly still God's sabbath, and God is still resting.
Ah the Terry Pratchett defence
A quick look at one of Terry Pratchett's early books called "Strata" would explain this point view more clearly and convince you.
And what evidence
do you have for your god's 7 "days" being equivalent to an "epoch"? How long is this epoch? 14 days, 14 years, 14 millennia? Go on, hazard a guess because everything else you've said is just random, gut-feel, evidence-absent guess.
This typifies precisely the problem with religion - everyone has a view or interpretation of some big boogey man in the sky but they can't put forward a single shred of evidence for these views or interpretations.
Science, however, has plenty of views and interpretations but with evidence supporting them and more importantly, in the absence of evidence disputing the views, they are accepted as the best explanation for any particular phenomenom until another explanation comes along that better fits the evidence, or are discarded when the evidence flatly contradicts the views.
This is very unlike religion where the evidence is shoe-horned to fit the philosophy to the point that you have to invoke such stupid arguments like "God put it there to test our faith" to explain away so much. There is no real counter-argument to this because it's not a legitimate explanation in the first place since it cannot be supported with any evidence.
Creationists do not dispute extinctions. They just don't believe the time scales over which they happened.
I've whiled away many hours arguing about ID and creationism with some otherwise completely rational people, and the most skilled of them have convincing-sounding answers to almost every question you could ask!
Firstly, they argue that the dating techniques are not accurate, as nobody understands all of the hypotheses that they are based on, you have to take it on 'faith' that the whole chain of scientific proof is true, and thus their single faith belief (in the Bible) is more trustworthy than many beliefs that previous hypotheses were correct.
Then they will argue that if dating cannot be relied upon, then how do we know that the Earth is older than 6,000 years (I don't know where 10,000 years came from, my friends were certain it was only 6,000).
Then they will argue flood.
Then they will argue 'test of faith' of the believers.
The most recent discussions I had with one of them even allowed for micro-evolution (change of colour, eating habits etc) as a result of environment.
It's all highly amusing, and I still count several of them as friends. But that does not stop me thinking that, at least in their beliefs, they are a bit crazy. But it livens up a beer or five!
Ahhh beery crazy discussions!
Re: @david Lawrence
"The trouble with using dinosaurs as a disproof of creationism and intelligent design is faith. When God created earth he put the fossilised remains of dinosaurs and the like underground to be discovered as a test of faith."
Where are Barnum and pals when you need them most?
"Firstly, they argue that the dating techniques are not accurate"
wut? Apart from the fact you could reproduce the experiments yourself if you want. Just take a lower half life specimen.
And why do you think that you can trust what a half-life means? And how do you know what radioactive decay is? And how do you know how much of the original sample remains? And how do you know you can trust the mass spectrometer? And... and... and ad nauseam.
Until you think about it, most people regard experimentally confirmed hypotheses as truths. Unfortunately, science does not really refer to truths, but about not-disproved hypotheses. This is a fair point if you believe the scientific method, but becomes hard to justify to someone who wont acknowledge it.
You just have to try arguing this with one of these people who are good at it to understand what it is like. They effectively argue that you have to justify the entirety of known science in order to trust it, and most people get too cross after a while to argue effectively. I just refused to continue once I realised what their tactic was.
Unfortunately, that now means they have won - at least in their heads. :(
But without accepting evidence from observation of the material world (like science) how can creationists claim to know what it says in their (material) bibles?
Hardly worth any effort
It's hardly worth any effort arguing against these people (unlike the Intelligent Design anti-evolution mob)
Anyone with a mind not irreversibly welded shut can look at a core drilled down through the mud at the bottom of a lake, and count the annual deposition layers. If they're a millimeter thick per year (which is quite fast deposition) then one meter is a thousand years, ten meters is disproof of the whole fundamentalist bible chronology in a way that even a ten-year-old can understand, and which anyone with trust issues can repeat for himself using apparatus that any decent mechanical workshop can manufacture.
There's no record of that biblical flood, either.
No record of the flood?
It's in the Bible.
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