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 …
Nevermind that these people ARE geologists. Nevermind that they are as highly educated and qualified to form a scientific opinion as anyone else in the field. They MUST not be real scientists despite their advanced degrees and the fact that they make their livings in the geology field.
Because if they were real scientists that would mean that the ID theory people have been right all along in saying that there are real scientists with valid scientific views that back up the idea that random chance evolution can't exist. And THAT could lead to the end of science as we know it.
Personally I don't buy the young Earth theory despite my beliefs in a higher power, but when a theory is utterly dismissed simply because it supports the idea that the mainstream might not have it completely right there's something wrong. I could understand the dismissal if we were talking about amatures here, but theres are geologists with advanced degrees. That means that their ideas should not be sumarily dismissed. It's not good enough to say ' that doesn't agree with what everyone else says'. You have to be able to explain why the theory can't be right before you can simply dismiss it when it comes from that level.
Let's suppose for a moment...
that other scientists have explained the theories to these scientists, who have similar degrees it seems. Don't these "Young Earthers" have the same responsibilities to the other scientists? The scientific method needs to be applied to the "Young Earthers" "evidence of a young earth". Just because it's what they want to believe doesn't make it true and especially not worthwhile to be taught in school. It is an ideology based on a leap of faith. In America, there is a separation of church and state and America seems to failing worse as that separation decreases, but that's another topic.
Newsflash for you:
- not all degrees are of similar quality (see the proliferation of "Christian institutions", for example, mostly the place where these guys in the article hail from)
- not all scientists are of similar quality (not all Oxford PhD holders are equally good, say)
- not all ideas are of similar quality (and yes, some are stupid enough to deserve ridiculous and be immediately ignored -- I won't debate with a physician who thinks my disease is caused by evil spirits and the solution if to pray; I will simply run away as fast as I can)
OK I see you're probably joking
OK I see you're probably joking, AC 14:43, but this has to be addressed in case we have some really dumb lurkers.
"Because if they were real scientists that would mean that the ID theory people have been right all along in saying that there are real scientists ..."
Yes it would, but
a) So what?
b) Project Steve
"... with valid scientific views that back up the idea that random chance evolution can't exist."
No it wouldn't mean that.
"And THAT could lead to the end of science as we know it."
No it couldn't.
"Personally I don't buy the young Earth theory despite my beliefs in a higher power, but when a theory is utterly dismissed simply because it supports the idea that the mainstream might not have it completely right there's something wrong."
Absolutely. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
"I could understand the dismissal if we were talking about amatures here, but theres are geologists with advanced degrees. That means that their ideas should not be sumarily dismissed. It's not good enough to say ' that doesn't agree with what everyone else says'. You have to be able to explain why the theory can't be right before you can simply dismiss it when it comes from that level."
"real scientists with valid scientific views that back up the idea that random chance evolution can't exist"? ? ?
ALL scientific views reject 'random chance evolution' because evolution isn't about random chance. The word 'selection' in natural selection is a clue there.
Don't you think that people who have spent years *honestly* studying a subject might know more about it than people who aren't really interested in it, but object emotionally to the truth about that subject because it conflicts with some crank theory of theirs?
Many, perhaps even most, scientists have some religious belief. This is not about science vs. religion. It is about honest enquiry vs. calculating hypocrisy.
The problem with Creationism per se is that it isn't falsifiable. So it's a last resort, not a first one.
But the problem with these "infiltrators" is that despite their credentials, their work in support of Intelligent Design is unsound. It can be refuted. By sailing under false colors, though, they hope to sometimes slip it into print, where they can point to it as having authority, by having stuff that's already been refuted countless times slip past unnoticed.
Geologists are paid to discover new things, not refute old fallacies. This kind of activity either forces people to waste their time doing extra work cleaning up after the integrity of academic journals is corrupted by this dishonesty - or let it be victorious, and let them use the respectability of academic journals to deceive others into falsely concluding that there's something to this young earth stuff.
Well just another example..
of people not understanding the word "theory".
Just because you have a "belief" (and yes we all have them) in one theory doesnt make it correct or wrong.
The reason its called a theory is because either the information is unavailable, or contradictory and can not be "proven" one way or another.
But to simply point and laugh is frankly pathetic, because its usually made by people who dont understand the arguement and dont want to understand the arguement.
"of people not understanding the word "theory" "
The word theory when used to talk about science means something completely different.
"Just because you have a "belief" (and yes we all have them) in one theory doesnt make it correct or wrong."
True. Science = lots of proofs backing each other up. Religion = a magic book (this one written after the fact, by people who weren't even alive when it happened, and never met anyone that actually was. Also was heavilly edited aftwerwards.
"The reason its called a theory is because either the information is unavailable, or contradictory and can not be "proven" one way or another."
No. Simply no.
"But to simply point and laugh is frankly pathetic, because its usually made by people who dont understand the arguement and dont want to understand the arguement."
In your mind it's pathetic. In others it's perfectly justified.
ooFie = Must try harder.
Creationism and it's bastard cousin intelligent design both start off with some interesting points, but as soon as they start injecting religious rhetoric into their arguments most of their arguments regress into fantasy.
There really are some very thought provoking facts about the universe and the origins of life. For example there are about a dozen physical properties of the universe that if changed even miunutely life would not be possible. Also no one has ever been able to create new life in the laboratory using the basic elements we believe created it billions of years ago. Even so these things are not in any proof that the universe was designed by aliens or gods.
We don't know doesn't equal God did it.
You're all wrong.
It was the Magratheans who made the Earth, commissioned by the White Mice.
My own personal belief, for the duration of this argument, is that the Grand Canyon is a doodle done by Slartybartfast on the back of a beer mat. Some other architect pinched it, did a Xerox blow up, and used it for a river in North America.
what passes for news...
someone from a society which does PR for evolution, trash-talks creationists...
A curse on those Christian infiltrators... they're probably Nazis too, and I've heard they eat babies, or is that the Jews?
The Cheesemakers, they turned me into a newt once...
Someone proposes a geological theory, publishes their research and conducts field trips so people can see things for themselves! Outrageous! Where will it all end? All *without* mentioning their religion at all! That's not science!
I demand the right to know everyone's religious beliefs so I can ignore the research and go straight to character assassination. If it doesn't fit with what I already believe, it can't be true. We can't have people doing science and drawing conclusions without authorisation! Casting doubt on accepted theories? Not on my watch!
I've just realised that I've made a mistake. It's not the Cheesemakers, it's the old earthers who think I was once a newt... but that I got better.
Just love being rude and confrontational?
> Just love being rude and confrontational?
Of course! Why else would anyone be here?
Only in the US
c.f. Monsignor Georges Lemaître - who first hypothesized what came to be called the 'Big Bang' theory, and Gregor Mendel, Augustinian monk, father of genetics.
Science and religion not so incompatible after all.
For, the problem is that science isn't being done. Science is all about experimentation and observation... but now, if somebody has a "title", hypothesis can be promoted to theory and theory can be promoted to fact. Personally, I think it is wise that scientists bring differences to the table... but let's also be willing to do the hard work again... hard... sometimes long and painstaking work... and instead of basing new work on bad "scientific" assumption made by those with "titles", let's at least be willing to call a hypothesis a hypothesis again...
Theories really need to have a lot of repeatable observable data ... and then... we need to remember, it's still only just a theory. When we build large ideological structures (thories and sadly, apparently, facts) on top of a foundation of mostly theory (or worse, hypotheses), then we make almost all observations null and void.
Theories are NOT popular feelings or generally accepted ideas.... (repeat that 3 times everyone). Creationists are motivated by what they believe God has said. Non-creationists (often) are motivated to disprove God (sad, but very true). And sometimes, that leads to bad reasoning and jumping to conclusions without doing the hard work mentioned earlier.
For those peuedo-scientists that place much of their belief is something they mistakenly refer to as "Darwinism", I dare say (can't prove this) that if Darwin were alive today, he would chunk most if not all of what he wrote.... but in all fairness, most "Darwinists" don't even understand what Darwin wrote to begin with (they're kind of a cult IMHO).
oh god, this again.
See the part about "In scientific and medical circles"?
Scientific theories are NOT hypotheses that we are a little bit more certain about. They don't graduate to become "facts". A theory is a body of knowledge that describes empirically observed data, and remains valid until contradicted by data. "Fact" is not a term that has much of a place in real science.
What these people are advancing are not by any means "theories". They're not even useful hypotheses because they aren't based solely on observable phenomena and are, therefore, unfalsifiable. What these people are advancing is religion, not science. It has never been science. It will never be science. Science does not work that way.
It is insulting to people doing actual science to have these hypotheses advanced as scientific, not least because if the people advancing them are PhDs, it is entirely reasonable to infer that they're arguing in bad faith - aware that what they are advancing is untestable, and refusing to advance testable hypotheses, rather preferring to chant "But what if goddidit", ad nauseum. It distracts from useful discussion and is
Please read Blakeys reply.
My reply = you're a moron.
>>"Creationists are motivated by what they believe God has said. Non-creationists (often) are motivated to disprove God (sad, but very true). "
Creationists are *partially* motivated by what they believe the particular god theyve been told exists told long-dead people, though obviously, the massive correlation between upbringing and belief shows that if they'd been brought up in a different religion (even one they currently think is Wrong) they'd probably believe in that instead.
Though to be honest, from what I've seen of them online, they also seem to be significantly motivated by antiscientific arrogance - they're often just another subset of mouthbreathers who seem to believe that "you think you're so clever!" is the most profound possible insult.
'Non-creationists' (in the sense of 'educated biologists and geologists and autodidactic laypeople) that I know actually seem vastly more interested in science than in creationists or in disproving one or other deity.
They do /react/ to creationists, and in particular to the worst lies of creationists, but that's only a reaction.
If, faced with someone providing a retarded argument to support their unsteady belief in a deity, someone else shows how that argument is retarded, that's not 'attacking' or 'disproving' the deity, it's really pointing out that the supposed supporter is no bloody good at providing arguments.
It's perfectly understandable that the retard in question might want to inaccurately portray the situation as an attack on their particular deity, if only to allow them to sidestep any blame for providing a crap argument, but that really just makes them look even more laughable and pathetic.
And of course, Christian creationists trying to portray Christian creationists as effectively the sole defenders of God does great injustice to those people of belief who've developed beyond a simplistic juvenile image of an old white guy with a beard on a throne and clearly illogical biblical literalism, and who manage to combine faith with an honest and adult approach to reality.
But then, few people would expect much better from them.
The problem with the "Blossoming Weed" approach is that though scientists can distinguish science from hogwash (when they aren't too busy doing useless stuff like reclassifying Pluto as a nonplanet and trying to declare Huron a Bulge instead of a Lake), politicians can't or won't, and from such paragons of leadership fount forth the funds.
I encourage all sensible and knowledgeable geologists to visit these lectures and to burst out laughing where appropriate.
A few Geological Laugh-ins will send the ark brigade back to their home state (denial).
Faith is not science
I find the argument taking place here interesting. And a little disappointing.
If the Creator of the universe were to have a face, perhaps we could call it life itself. Mysterious Unknowable is an American Native expression.
But that expression of respect for what we don't understand was clever enough, by the expression of its presence... gave us a mind to be used to figure out what truth is... the method of its presence expressed as...
humans call it, is science... it removes the element of faith getting in the way of finding out what truth is.
Real science was an invention of the human mind to try and understand how the real universe works. Clever this Mysterious Unknowable force.
If you find that the answers do not jive with what you want to believe by faith, then perhaps an adjustment to the faith may be called for.
Science is also not absolute in is conclusions so the theory gets modified until it works... that is how science is suppose to work.
Faith allows no such instrument of self correction.... Unless it is faith in the mechanism of science.
When an institution of learning or a government allows incursion into itself with a bias towards unquestioning faith, based only on unvalidated religious documents designed only to control human behavior... then trouble in reality sets in.
Thereby slowing the evolution in reality by the human race.
Its not that religion is poison but its inclusion into science is.
I learned to tack scientific `fact` with a pinch of salt when i learned that the pictures we were shown in our biology gcse (well scottish standard grades actually) of fetus development in various animals and humans showing vestigial gill slits in baby embryos turned out to be falsified photos by ernst haeckel which were proven false hundred years ago yet were being peddled as facts in biology classes and text books - i didn`t find out these photos were false until a few years ago , 10 years after i had left school.
I have no idea what you're talking about there - or even if it's true or not (no time to google it either).
Your argument seems to be = since I was lied to once, then it's all rubbish?
Nice one. Wave to me as you float past, since you don't believe in gravity either.
>>"I learned to tack scientific `fact` with a pinch of salt ..." "...a few years ago , 10 years after i had left school."
Personally, I'd have thought that progressing through basic chemistry would be sufficient education for most people -
"Atoms are like billiard balls..."
"...Well, they're really more like solar system..."
and then on to
"...Except that the electrons are kind of everywhere, probably, and the protons and neutrons are made of other particles. Or should I say waves."
Simplification is all over the place, and as long as it can get cleared up before it gets to be a problem for someone going more deeply into a subject, may be of of relatively minimal significance to science, even if it might leave some people who didn't pursue science with an oversimplified picture.
>>"...the pictures we were shown in our biology gcse (well scottish standard grades actually) of fetus development in various animals and humans showing vestigial gill slits in baby embryos turned out to be falsified..."
Though, of course, while human and other mammalian embryos don't develop gill *slits* as such (no breaks in the skin) they *do* go some way along the road of gill development.
>>"...turned out to be falsified photos by ernst haeckel which were proven false hundred years ago yet were being peddled as facts in biology classes and text books - i didn`t find out these photos were false until a few years ago , 10 years after i had left school...."
Then let me be one of the first to continue your education by pointing out that you're talking
about illustrations, not photographs.
Illustrations frequently are done so as to emphasise one or other feature, so there's a somewhat more fluid boundary between 'inaccurate' and 'falsified'.
My all-time favorite is...
...the bunch of (loudly) Christian tourists observing a mural of a Chinese creation story exclaiming loudly "they don't seriously believe this stuff, do they?"
I was there. It amused and depressed me at the same time
Every time I hear this argument, I'm reminded of Issac Asimov's short story, "The Last Question".
Great story, that.
And probably the most literal Deus ex Machina ever.
It always amazes me that....
....people can attain degrees but completely miss the education-bit.
Explain the Aboriginal cave paintings in Aus please.
While your at it, explain tape worms too.
Seriously, there should be a law against fucked up people.
Gran Canyon Follies
Unfortunately for the creationists the bible is not the only origins of earth story no matter how many other origins stories have been suppressed by the creationists,
Creationism is Right?
Without referring to an old book which just maybe was written as a moral fibre guide, by a few undoubtedly well meaning men (so no female point of view there then and immediately half'sh of the population not represented, some would say the better half) about a small number of people within a particular religion that represented a small percentage of the world population at the time.
Their morals and ideals are things you either feel are right and proper, or not, but I for one know of no proof that the 'geological' content is in any way true nor that it needs to be, to support the morals it prescribes.
Pretty soon, they will be telling us the universe rotates around the Earth and you'll go blind if you, oh what's that word that can also describe a fool...
If Darwin had been American...
...then maybe the nutters would take the time to understand why his theories are supported by every RATIONAL scientist. By Rational I mean you may have religious beliefs but you leave them outside the lab. Rational religious scientists have no problem with the fact that books written thousands of years ago may need a bit of updating, they were not written by a supreme being but (arguably) by humans under the influence of their god.
In any case where a religious belief is based on a historical book then it is actually based on a selective reading and interpretation of that book - hence we see muslims using a selective interpretation of parts of the Koran to justify terrorism while other muslims will quote (interpret?) other parts which "prove" islam to be non-violent, peace loving etc.
And there are rational religions, I'm an occasional church goer but the day my church gives any credence to creationism - or the day they attempt to treat the contents of any religious book as immutable fact rather than an interpretation of a mythology based loosely on historical events that supports an ethical, selfless, non-violent lifestyle would be the last time I attend.
By the way I don't believe in Father Christmas, Little green men, The tooth fairy, the easter bunny, alien abductions or any attempted literal interpretation of any historical religious tome either. Any institution that gives creationist myths a platform equivalent to proven scientific theories should in all fairness give equal time to father christmas myths. I don't "believe" in science either, there is bad science and good science. I do accept "good" science, that's scientific theories that are peer reviewed, comprehensively tested by often generations of credible researchers with strong supporting evidence and no particular axe to grind. As for religious beliefs - well I have some but they are mine, I accept that they may be completely wrong (read "Hitchhiker's guide the galaxy" - the restaurant at the end of the universe for enlightenment) but they serve a purpose and I don't go around trying to force them on other people.
Literal belief in interpretations of the Bible is as dangerous as some interpretations of the koran and adherents to any such manipulation of the underlying texts is a demonstrable danger to society and to the credibility of these religions. If the creationists want to engage in religious debate then why not engage with other religions to show them the error of their ways and leave the scientific community to get on with their business. Is it because the scientists are open minded and are soft targets because they place enquiry, investigation, testing above belief. They are open to wild ideas because sometimes they hold a grain of truth but their expertise lies in determining what any grain of truth might be and testing it experimentally. Whereas in a belief versus belief debate both sides are closed minds, the other party is wrong because : "look it's written down in our book of ancient myths, it must be true."
Oh dear! ...........
Plenty of heat but precious little light.
If most of the contributions on this thread establish anything, they make it clear that conventional scientific thinking may claim to have a rational basis, but in fact produces rabid rantings whenever certain of its assumptions are challenged.
Come to think of it, many of the above contributions undoubtedly constitute hate crimes under current legislation.
Not much of a recommendation for what passes as conventional scientific thinking.
Geology is a science.
One that shows creationist claims to be false. So, creationists who become geologists can only promote creationism in a personal capacity. They can't make pro-creationist statements in their capacity as a geologist. When they use their status as geologists to lend false authority to creationist claims, they are clearly hypocrites. That is what offends people (and God, if the bible is to be believed!)
>>"When they use their status as geologists to lend false authority to creationist claims, they are clearly hypocrites"
But then hypocrisy and lying seem to be the hallmark of the professional creationist.
Just look at the Dover trial transcripts.
The lady doth protest too much..
Give the guy a break, he's got himself a job and he can begin to pay back his student loans, buy a house, start a family...
For heaven's sake, it isn't as if he were successfully defending rapists in a law court or something.
P.S. El Reg, give your artist a beer for the new icons.
Steven Newton got one bit wrong in the quoted matter.
A Young Earth is not critical to Creationism. For the Creationist, evolution is known to be false because death did not enter the world until after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Evolution depends on death well before that event could have occurred. Evolutionists on the other hand ARE rather dependent on the Old Earth hypothesis. Without an Old Earth (in point of fact, a very, very old Earth), there is insufficient time for variance yielding the full realm of observed species. And one of the things observed during the Mt. St. Helens eruption is that both erosion and material deposition can occur far more quickly than the steady state rates assumed to derive the initial Old Earth dates. These might not yield a 10,000 year old Earth, but they could shave a few million years off the Old Earth estimates, which is far more damaging to the religion of evolution.
Far more problematic for Creationism is continental drift. There is no observed phenomena that sufficiently speeds up drift to account for the distances involved there.
Re: evolution is known to be false
"death did not enter the world until after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."
Oh, so they *know* that, eh? Good for them, good for them...
Wait a second, what about the little worms eaten by little birds or little rabbits eaten by big bad wolves? Have they also started eating each other only when Eve bit the apple? Do we also have the deaths of countless food chain members on our conscience?
What an intelligent design - you spend days creating all those perfect creatures, individually crafted, one by one, then one woman eats a wrong fruit and the whole ecosystem goes banana! I would call it an awful design. Full of bugs, no redundancy on system-critical functions, no fail-save provisions. If God will find out it is being pinned on him he will not be happy, mind my words...
"Far more problematic for Creationism is continental drift."
You forget that at the root of creationism is "God Did It."
You think God can't hit the fast forward button on a bunch of rock?
Etc, etc, ad nauseum. Amazing what you can "prove" when you have an omnipotent sky daddy,
Their main problem
Is that in their opinion God is so inept that he has to manually create each single species, move every continent, place fake fossils, cook up and store hydrocarbons etc. on every planet throughout the Universe.
Even though they suppose that God is omnipotent, they nevertheless insist that he prefers to give up his omnipotence and be bogged down in the paroxysm of micromanagement instead of using his powers in the first place to create a logical and evolving Universe, which could take care of the minutia of its development and growth on its own.
>>"These might not yield a 10,000 year old Earth, but they could shave a few million years off the Old Earth estimates, which is far more damaging to the religion of evolution."
What are you talking about?
For a start, long-term dating isn't really done by looking at erosional processes, it's done by radiometric methods among others, and even if it wasn't, it'd be dodgy reasoning anyway to look at an intense local event and jump to any kind of conclusion about rates of slower global processes.
And "shaving a 'few million years" off the scientifically accepted age of the Earth would be about as threatening to the science of biology as finding out that the average height of humans was a millimeter less than we thought it was.
Religion is not logical
Like the old joke . Some guys were planning a rocket to the sun. When asked if they wouldn't just burn up they answered smugly, "We have that all figured out. We are going at night." That is the logic of Creation Science.
Religion is not logical.
Like the old story about the guys who were planning a rocket to the sun. When asked if they wouldn't be burned up they answered smartly, "We have that figured out. We are going at night."
IT'S GAWD WHAT DUN IT!!!
As Bill Hicks said
“You ever noticed how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? You ever noticed that? Eyes real close together, eyebrow ridges, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day" Yeah, looks like He rushed it.”
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