Creationists fail again: taken for granite

By Phil Plait | July 21, 2008 1:27 pm

I love geology, and if I weren’t an astronomer, writer, and internationally beloved blogger full time I’d probably take classes in rocks. I’m also fascinated by Antarctica (I came close to applying to go many years ago), so it’s especially cool to hear about both together.

And hey, if I can throw in a smackdown of young-Earth creationists, then that’s sauce for the goose.

Transantarctic mountians, where the granite was foundGeologists scoping out a glacier in Antarctica found a piece of granite there. Finding rocks on the ice isn’t that unusual; there are flows and currents in the ice that bring up rocks from below, and in fact that’s how meteorites are found so commonly on the frozen continent.

But this granite was unusual. Basically, its structure matched that of granite found in only one other place: North America. Not only that, radioactive dating tests using several methods all match the age of the same granites in North America. So how did that rock get to Antarctica?

Thing is, there is an explanation already in place about this: continental drift. The idea is that eastern Antarctica (along with part of Australia) was once joined to North America, forming a bigger continent called Rodinia. Tectonic action separated the two, with Antarctica drifting south. There is a long streak of this odd granite across America, from California up to Newfoundland. But on the west coast it stops suddenly, right at an ancient rift valley, as if the continent were sheared in two.

See where this is going? The rock found in Antarctica supports the idea that the continent was once way up here, split off, and headed for points south.

Now think on this: we can measure the speed of continental drift very accurately (obAstro: very long baseline interferometry is a technique that links radio telescopes across the planet. The positions of the ‘scopes must be known so accurately that astronomers have to account for tectonic plate drift!), and we know how far away the continents are. Let’s be rough and say that Antarctica is 15,000 km from California, and the drift rate is 3 cm/year. That means it broke away from America about 500 million years ago (remember, a rough estimate). Now, the true age is tougher to find; the continents remerged into Pangia after Antarctica broke off, and the flow rate might change somewhat (the best estimates are that the breakup occurred about 750 million – 1 billion years ago).

But I’m thinking that no matter what, we’re talking ages significantly longer than say, 6000 years. In fact, unless Antarctica was moving at a pace faster than you can jog, we’re talking millions if not hundreds of millions of years here.

Of course, creationists have an answer for this, including "catastrophic plate tectonics", which apparently can have all the continents scurrying across the face of the Earth like cockroaches avoiding light. Go ahead and read that link; it’s pretty entertaining. According to them, the continents all got pushed around by Noah’s flood, then suddenly stopped, except not really stopped; now they move slowly, and at just the right speed to be in concordance with the hundreds of other pieces of evidence that show that the Earth is billions of years old.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Oh wait. Yes you can, if you abandon reality. But you won’t be right. It’s something like what the great scientist Philip J. Frye said, trying to keep score: "Crazy theories one, regular theories a billion."

Except, of course, he was off by one.

Tip o’ the trilobite to Jess Zielinski at the USA Today blog. Transantarctic Mountain range image credit: John Goodge/University of Minnesota-Duluth. Details of this find are in Science Magazine, Volume 321, July 11, 2008.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Debunking, Religion, Science

Comments (155)

  1. !AstralProjectile

    Another creationist theory is that after the waters receeded, volcanoes scattered mice, squirrels, koala’s, etc to the four corners of the globe. So clearly these anbtartic rocks came from a New World volcano.

  2. Celtic_Evolution

    Nothing in young-earth creationist mumbo-jumbo makes me thump my head against my desk harder than the “catastrophic plate tectonics” codswallop.

    Plate tectonics, to me, has always been the harbinger of doom for the YEC. Arguments (however flimsy they are) are made against radio-carbon and similar dating methods, but tectonic shift is fairly easy to measure, and the rate is fairly constant over time, even given occasional catastrophic upheavels and shifts… over time these average out and the rate of drift is pretty calculable.

    I just can’t comprehend the level of wilfull ignorance involved to look at this pretty clear evidence and still refuse to accept that the earth can not, under any circumstances, be only 6,000 years old. Boggles the mind.

  3. Aramael

    Are you sure that christiananswers.net isn’t satire? I mean, it starts of with a reasonable description of plate tectonics, then suddenly takes a big leap into crazy town. It also reads like some of the crap I used to write when I was trolling the flat earth society (not the flat earthers, but the people who frothed at the mouth over what they considered a dumb belief, yet found it difficult to come up with a reasoned argument for the spherical earth theory, even though it’s utterly trivial to do so, and the purpose of my trolling was to draw a parallel between the flat earth and intelligent design).

    (OK, the purpose of trolling was cheap laughs. But I prefer to imagine some sort of noble agenda)

    (I mean, you can’t go to a hearing in Kansas saying “ID is so stooooopid!” and expect to get anywhere)

    (I’m joining Excessive Parenthetical Asides Anonymous tomorrow)

  4. khms

    You know the saying that ends something like “… they also laughed at Bozo the clown”? Well, I feel compelled to point out that they did laugh at Wegener

    … and yet his ideas were’nt even remotely as crazy as those “catastrophic plate tectonics”. Those sound like Velikowsky on Earth …

  5. RBH

    Celtic_Evolution wrote

    Nothing in young-earth creationist mumbo-jumbo makes me thump my head against my desk harder than the “catastrophic plate tectonics” codswallop.

    Yeah. Heat. Lots and lots of frictional heating. Vaporize-the-oceans-and-melt-the-crust levels of heat. Glenn Morton (he of Morton’s Demon) has a piece on it.

  6. Greg

    Aramael, are you familiar with Poe’s Law?

  7. Bigfoot

    Q. What did Antarctica say to North America after they drifted to their current positions?

    A. Is it Chile in here?

  8. I’m sorry, I’m with Aramael here. That site has to be satire.

    Please let it be satire…

    please?

  9. Davidlpf

    grant it, it is not a moon rock but it is a fairly cool rock.

  10. Steven

    SCIENCE “ROCKS”!!! :-)

  11. drksky

    I like how they slipped in “theory of plate techtonics”.

    I finally figured out that these people are geniuses. From a sociological standpoint, anyway. The know precisely who their target audience is (most of them, anyway) and I would tend to bet they lean more away from the higher-educated end of the spectrum. They toss out all kinds of scientific terms and while not really explaining something, obfuscate it enough so that the reader gives up and says, “sounds good to me!”

  12. Law Mom

    So, back in junior high, the teacher asked my friend Tracy, “How do you date rocks,” to which she replied, “I don’t date rocks.”

    This would not have been funny at all to these YEC types.

  13. Davidlpf

    Where do rocks go on dates?

    A:Rock concerts.

  14. VLBI FTW!!!

    That’s some really cool science. I have a problem visualizing how Antarctica was attached to North America because there are other continents in the way. But silly me, getting all caught up on the Pangea picture… Here’s lovely Rodinia: http://www.lmtg.obs-mip.fr/user/admin/rodinia_750b.jpg

  15. I would like to believe that the link is satire, but having known people that actually believed that crap, I dare not hope.

    I second Steven — SCIENCE ROCKS!

  16. Nick W

    All I have to say is…..huh?

    And people actually believe this stuff?

  17. I did some digging after reading this post and came across these nifty animations of continental drift.

    http://www.ig.utexas.edu/research/projects/plates/?PHPSESSID=02a1a8119444b3ffacfc533d9825b3d0#recons

    I thought some people here would find those as interesting as me.

  18. Super D

    Scientific models come and go, but the word of the Lord endures forever.

    *headdesk*

  19. Kevin

    Hey, I noticed in that article you linked to Phil, that they didn’t cite the Holy Bible, though that’s where a lot of the quotes in the article seem to come from. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because citing the Holy Bible in a scientific argument is ridiculous?…

  20. I can assure you, that Christiananswers.net is REAL. I used to believe this nonsense back in the day. The small fundamentalist church I was , ahem, “saved” in taught that the devil placed fossils in the rock layers to deceive true believers. Personally, I think this happened:

    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/TarheelJoe/Far%20Side/GodSprinklesJerks.jpg

    Phil, You rock. Rock on.

    Speaking of granite, this is “The Chief.” The second largest granite monolith in the British Commonwealth. A 2000 foot cliff that is named the Chief because it resembles an Indian Chief lying on it’s back. Right peak is his nose, center peak his chest and belly, and third peak his waist and hips. I’ve climbed both the front with ropes, and the back trail. The view is amazing! This has put my town, Squamish, on the map because it is one of the best places to climb in the world.

  21. dziban

    There’s no “e” in “Fry.”

  22. TheBlackCat

    When I was younger I went to a science camp. They had a great way of modeling plate tectonics: cake! Specifically it was modeling earthquakes. The teacher would make a series of chocolate cake, and use icing for grass and a road. Then she would put each one on aluminum foil and cut it right down the middle, including cutting the foil. Then by moving the foil to simulate the movement of the mantle, she would simulate various types of earthquakes triggered by different ways plates would move together. For instance she would slide the pieces parallel to the slice, push them together, pull them apart, etc. Then we would eat them. It is difficult to imagine a better way to keep childrens’ attention than with cake. Plus it was crumbly and somewhat soft so it was not a terrible physical model to begin with.

  23. tim

    I’m with you on the Antarctica fascination, Phil! As it is I have to just be extremely jealous of my friend (and CU-Boulder alum) Ken, who got to go there while at Columbia. The blog that he set up as part of the outreach for that program is a good read: http://pace.edgcm.columbia.edu/

  24. Todd W.

    Phil,

    I was wondering if there was an animation around of the drifting of the plates.

    The article mentions that friction increased. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t increased friction retard movement? And what about inertia? A few additional questions: a) What forces are actually required to get the land masses moving as fast as they suggest in the amount of time they suggest; b) what effects would such rapid acceleration have and is there evidence for that; c) what forces are required to slow down/stop such huge masses in the amount of time they suggest; and d) what effects would such rapid deceleration have and is there any evidence for it?

    Seems to me that if the continents were travelling fast enough to get where they are today within 6000 years, it would take smacking into one another to get them to stop so fast (why aren’t Antarctica and Australia still zipping along?) and that such a collision would not only raise rather enormous mountains, but that detritus from those collisions would have been sent flying a great distance.

    Now, I’m not a geologist or physicist so these are just my guesses, but it seems their models just might have failed to take into account a couple, ahem, minor details.

  25. Geo-Steve

    As a graduate student in Geology (specifically planetary igneous petrology), I always get an especially exuberant chuckle out of geology related creationist pseudoscience. The post-hoc rationalization makes my brain hurt, but I take solace in the fact that “catastrophic plate tectonics” isn’t even in the same league as ID, unless you’re Neal Adams.

    Anyway, excellent post Phil. Looking forward to hearing you again on the SGU!!!

  26. Robert

    Or maybe somebody was using it as ballast in a sailing ship (you do know, O Great Knower of all Knowledge, that they used ballast in sailing ships, didn’t you?), and the ship broke up on the coast – leaving said rock. Or maybe some 18th century explorer thought it would be ahoot to drag it there for future “experts” to find!

    Concluding that one rock found in the ice, with no explanation of how it got there “proves” something is just as ridiculous as what you’re trying to ridicule! Now if they had found the entire continent made from the same rock as North America, that might “prove” something.

    I’m just curious, does anybody see how silly this is? Oh, wait, this just in: They have found moon rocks in Houston Texas! PROOF POSITIVE the moon used to be the landmass that filled in the basin we now call the Gulf of Mexico!!! Oh, and more moon rocks in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian! PROOF POSITIVE that scientists have rocks in their heads…

    Robert

  27. Pilgrim

    Or maybe somebody was using it as ballast in a sailing ship (you do know, O Great Knower of all Knowledge, that they used ballast in sailing ships, didn’t you?), and the ship broke up on the coast – leaving said rock. Or maybe some 18th century explorer thought it would be ahoot to drag it there for future “experts” to find!

    Concluding that one rock found in the ice, with no explanation of how it got there “proves” something is just as ridiculous as what you’re trying to ridicule! Now if they had found the entire continent made from the same rock as North America, that might “prove” something.

    I’m just curious, does anybody see how silly this is? Oh, wait, this just in: They have found moon rocks in Houston Texas! PROOF POSITIVE the moon used to be the landmass that filled in the basin we now call the Gulf of Mexico!!! Oh, and more moon rocks in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian! PROOF POSITIVE that scientists have rocks in their heads…

    Robert

  28. aren’t there similar finds along the South American and African coasts involving fossils and the like?

    paleontology is my side attraction.

  29. CanadianLeigh

    @Michael L.
    You’ve climbed the face of the Chief!!! Awsome. As a youngster I used to sit out on the sound with my dad fishing and he would pass me his glasses so I could watch climbers on the face. I once saw climbers getting ready to bunk down suspended about 2/3 of the way up. Makes my bum pucker to think of it. I haven’t been to Squamis in years, now you make me want to make the trip again once the doctors let me drive any distance again. There was a documentry on community TV a few weeks ago about the first climb of the chief. I think it happened in the 50′s or early 60′s. You live in a great place if you love the outdoors.

  30. Canadian, first ascent was in May, 1961, and took 6 weeks to accomplish. My most embarrassing moment occurred on the chief. I was on my first climb and almost lost my shoe, but managed to catch it with the tips of my toes. Even though I was roped in, I was too terrified to let go of the rock. My partner, kept yelling at me to let go, I finally did after realizing it was that, or climb barefoot. This was back in High School. I did it to impress the “chicks.” Strangely, it didn’t work. :(

  31. tomsax

    When I was in grad school, one of my math professors explained that all a creationist has to believe is that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago, but made to look like it was 4 billion years old. All the fossil record, plate tectonics, etc., were just placed there to make the place look lived in.

    I don’t understand why they work on more elaborate theories than that. If you’re just going to ignore reality and observation and bet everything on after-the-fact writings by unknown authors altered by unknown editors, why is a more elaborate theory necessary?

  32. CanadianLeigh

    I always thought the term “death by misadventure” could be interchanged with “tried to impress a chick”. Probably the true leading cause of young men’s deaths. One of my best friends rolled a car in the staff parking lot at our high school and left it on its roof just to impress a certain someone. He had tied himself into the car with rope because it didn’t have seatbelts. When in Scouts we uese to camp at Deeks Creek, and we would rig a rope swing out over the cliffs from the railway right of way. Darwin’s way of insuring only good knot tying guys got to reproduce.

  33. @CanadianLeigh, yes, and now that I’m single again, and in my 40′s, the cycle is starting to repeat itself. :)

    (Although, now I believe we call them “Cougars”.)

  34. Steve

    Just a point for clarification… If by the rough estimate, Antarctica broke off 500 Mil years ago, and the continents remerged and then broke up 750 Mil – 1 Billion years ago, is the apparent date discrepancy simply because the 500 Mil was being used as an illustration and Antarctica really broke off from N. America over 1 Billion years ago? I may have missed something, but I just wanted to check in with you…

  35. Jeez Louise, that flood can do EVERYTHING! I sure hope we never see 40 days and 40 nights of rain on the earth, ever again. Think of the catastrophic consequences. Even with current weather patterns, I’m surprised Seattle hasn’t been migrated to Siberia!

  36. quasidog

    Unreal. The most amazing thing about these YEC guys is that they come up with these so called ‘scientific theories’, but not only are they anti-science, the theories they try to promote don’t even have any foundation in the bible where they are getting it from in the first place. Where in the bible does it even talk about this sort of super fast plate movement. Where are they deriving this crap from ? Sure, dry land appeared etc, but all these other (lets call them hypotheses) idea’s are baseless, even biblically. Not only do the defame science, they defame Christianity, or any other religion they are coming from, also. Give up YEC’s. Please. Do everyone a favour. Stop promoting baseless garbage, that harms genuine scientific advancement, and genuine religious/spiritual belief, in your quest for self righteousness. YEC’s give every person with an ounce of religious faith, a bad name.

  37. Duane

    “I sure hope we never see 40 days and 40 nights of rain on the earth, ever again.”

    After two years in Portland, I concur.

  38. Mike C.

    “I love geology, and if I weren’t an astronomer, writer, and internationally beloved blogger full time I’d probably take classes in rocks.”

    Hey, that’s okay, Phil. If I wasn’t a rock guy, I might well have gone into astronomy. It was that Gilbert telescope I got back when I was 8….

  39. Andrew

    I dont think continental drift is the correct term. Its plate tectonics…I think continental drift means that land floats on top of water which isnt the case.

  40. Cindy

    My sister-in-law is a YEC and is married to my brother who is a petroleum geologist. I really don’t know how my brother can stand it. My sister-in-law left the room when my mom pointed out that the family paycheck comes from something she doesn’t believe in.

    Unfortunately my sister-in-law is brainwashing my two nephews. I can’t wait until they hit their teenage rebellious years. When they do, I’m planning on giving them Carl Sagan’s “Demon Haunted World”.

    If I wanted to create a family fight, I suppose I could point out to my nephews that either science is right and the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or God is lying to us by creating a universe that appears to be 13.7 billion years old but is really 6000+ years old. If they want to believe in a God that is purposely lying to them, go right ahead.

  41. Mike C.

    Okay, I clicked on that link. Wow.

    Counting college, I’ve been in the geoscience biz since 1968. And I had never heard of this one before this evening. Simply stunning in it’s all-ecompassing ignorance. I don’t even know where to start. Except, perhaps, by getting a beer. And maybe crying a bit.

  42. Mike C.

    Andrew

    “I dont think continental drift is the correct term. Its plate tectonics…I think continental drift means that land floats on top of water which isnt the case.”

    Nah. The idea of continental drift is old. Plate tectonics was the eventual physical explanation that validated continental drift.

  43. Celtic_Evolution

    @ Andrew

    I dont think continental drift is the correct term. Its plate tectonics…I think continental drift means that land floats on top of water which isnt the case.

    Huh? No… continental drift is another term for plate tectonics… sort of… continental drift was the common term used before plate tectonics was coined in the 1960′s… but the terms have the same basic meaning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_drift

  44. Celtic_Evolution

    Shoot… beat me to it, Mike C…

    Sorry, Andrew… don’t want to pile on… didn’t see Mike C’s post before I posted.

  45. BA, if you ever get the chance to go to Antarctica as a tourist do it. None of the actual “hardship” of having to live and work there for 12 months. I did it a couple of years ago and it was one of the best experiences ever. Made landfall at Commonwealth Bay Antarctica (Mawson’s Hut) on 17th Dec 2003. I remember the date because it was my birthday. Kind of surreal having 30 odd tourists standing around in Antarctica singing you Happy Birthday out side of a 90 year old wooden shack with crab-eater seals farting, penguins chirruping, skuas squawking and the crack of icebergs calving off the ice shelf.

  46. Steve Morrison

    s/Pangia/Pangea

  47. I wouldn’t mind going to Antarctica for an entirely different reason… has to do with a recent shipment they received…

  48. Science, people!

    Moderation is the the mark of maturity, at least that’s what the label on my liquor bottle says… that’s purely political, it doesn’t apply to science!

    Pure science is about observation, Interpretation, and testing, testing, testing… Science must not be ideology; Science is a PROCESS – Ideology and religion are beliefs. Unfortunately today we are more willing to accept ‘fact’ in the form of headlines and 30-second sound-bites on the evening news than we are willing to think critically about the OBSERVATIONS and INTERPRETATIONS made in the course of the study in question.

    Admittedly, I am a conflicted Catholic with a degree in geology; So, WWJD…? I think he’d like us to think critically and observe and interpret our universe. I think Christ, Jehova, Muhammed, Vishnu, Brahama, Shiva – I’m know I’ve left some out – would too.

    Religion and science are both about finding answers to questions concerning our small place in this amazing universe… I’d say, despite our individual insignificance, we are are all free (obligated) to declare freedom and make as large mark on our communities as possible.

    Remember William Wallace

    Thom Edgar

  49. Tom, Religion, or religious teaching and scriptures should not be used to propagate anti scientific bull hooey, such as a literal interpretation of the Genesis account.

  50. TheBlackCat

    Or maybe somebody was using it as ballast in a sailing ship (you do know, O Great Knower of all Knowledge, that they used ballast in sailing ships, didn’t you?), and the ship broke up on the coast – leaving said rock. Or maybe some 18th century explorer thought it would be ahoot to drag it there for future “experts” to find!

    Read the article, the rock was found high up in the mountains, not on the coast. Also, it is a specific type of rock that has characteristic features due to it being ground up by a glacier. And it was not found alone, it was found in a pile of rubble that was carved out by the glacier they found it in.

    Concluding that one rock found in the ice, with no explanation of how it got there “proves” something is just as ridiculous as what you’re trying to ridicule!

    I agree completely. That is why nobody has made that claim besides you. This is just one of many pieces of evidence that support this conclusion. The article itself says the original paper cited three lines of evidence, this article only looked at one of them.

    Now if they had found the entire continent made from the same rock as North America, that might “prove” something.

    Actually, they have. The continents were all one at several points in history, and two or more were joined at many other points (similarly to how India and Asia are joined now). By comparing rocks, coastlines, and mountain ranges of different ages. This has been done a lot for 6 of the continents. But it is much harder for Antarctica because it is pretty inhospitable and most of it is under ice.

    I’m just curious, does anybody see how silly this is?

    If by “this”, you mean your comments then yes, anybody who actually bothered to read the article can see very clearly how silly “this” is.

    Oh, wait, this just in: They have found moon rocks in Houston Texas! PROOF POSITIVE the moon used to be the landmass that filled in the basin we now call the Gulf of Mexico!!!

    The rock they found in this article has characteristics that identified it as being carved out by a glacier. The rock they found from the moon has characteristics that identify it as being an meteorite. There are many way to move rocks around. Many of these methods leave telltale signs that show how they were moved.

    Also, you are obviously being sarcastic but it is pretty clear by comparing rocks from the moon and rocks from Earth that the moon and Earth were once a single object (or, I guess, two objects neither of which are the current moon or Earth). So you are not as far off as you apparently meant to be.

  51. gopher65

    Aramael, I too suffer from Excessive Parenthesitas. It can be a debilitating condition, but I (often) manage to control it.

  52. Pilgrim, Just what are you trying to say?

  53. Monkey

    *cough-cough*

    Pangea. Not Pangia.

    Great post though…this is the kind of stuff that makes geology so amazing.

  54. Mark Hansen

    Pilgrim/Robert, perhaps you meant a 19th century explorer as landfall wasn’t made until (at the earliest) 1821. Where the boulder was found (Transantarctic mountains) wasn’t explored until the early 20th century. Perhaps the boulder was part of a certain ship’s ballast and made its way there due to the Flood?

    Creationist science seems to be:
    Biology = “goddidit”
    Geology = “flooddidit”

  55. Don Snow

    Hi, All -

    Well, I made it to this one, tonight.

    (Bear with me, on this one.)

    OK, here’s my two bits. I’m Catholic. I asked a priest about all this, once. He says that the Church teaches that Genesis is allegorical.

    Now, if YEC wants to wax Biblical, Gen. 1,1 describes a watery world. Personally, I guess that Gen. 1,1 watery world about 11,000 BC, so I’m not a YEC.

    However, I do go along with Pilgrim, that one pile of rocks does not a continental attachment make.

    In passing, I cannot stomach Uniformtarian evulotion. Charles Darwin was put on the HMS Beagle with the prejudicial assignment to prove uniformtarian evolution. So, he went out and found only evidence for that type of evolution. At that time, there was argument between Catastrophic evoluntionaries and Uniformtarian evolutionaries.

    Personally, I think both Darwinism and Creationist teachings are a matter of faith. Both are so religiously defended and taught. Each have so little acceptable evidence supporting them. Although, C. Darwin did get local natural seclection right, imho.

    In closing, imho uniformtarian evolution is loaded with emotion. Think about what catastrophic evolution means: all we know, all we have, all our effort, dreams and learning to get to where we are, can be undone in the Biblical forty days. Think about it. I’m saying that uniformtarian evolution develops as a rejection to an unpredictable end. Amd the debate between these two basic shcools of evolution has been waxing and waning for almost 130 years.

    In conclusion, I think what is called evolution contains both catastrophic and uniform data.

    Ciao,
    Don

  56. Don Snow said:
    “Now, if YEC wants to wax Biblical, Gen. 1,1 describes a watery world. Personally, I guess that Gen. 1,1 watery world about 11,000 BC, so I’m not a YEC.”

    You’re not a YEC, because?

  57. TheBlackCat

    However, I do go along with Pilgrim, that one pile of rocks does not a continental attachment make.

    I’ve already addressed this. But more importantly, are you saying your reject that idea that the continents were joined together in the past and reached their present location hundreds of millions of years later?

    In passing, I cannot stomach Uniformtarian evulotion. Charles Darwin was put on the HMS Beagle with the prejudicial assignment to prove uniformtarian evolution. So, he went out and found only evidence for that type of evolution. At that time, there was argument between Catastrophic evoluntionaries and Uniformtarian evolutionaries.

    No, Darwin was placed on the Beagle to entertain the captain, and to collect animal and plant specimens along the way. He drew his own hypotheses from those specimens and spent decades testing those hypotheses with additional data.

    Personally, I think both Darwinism and Creationist teachings are a matter of faith. Both are so religiously defended and taught. Each have so little acceptable evidence supporting them. Although, C. Darwin did get local natural seclection right, imho.

    There is not little evidence supporting creationism, there is none whatsoever. And there is massive evidence supporting modern evolution. Molecular biology, biochemistry, radiological dating, none of those were around in Darwin’s time but all ended up supporting evolution. The amount of fossils we have now is immeasurably larger than in Darwin’s time, but they all support evolution. Our understanding of development, of the morphology of various species, of their behavior, all of this far exceeds what Darwin could even dream of, but all support evolution. “Darwinism”, the theory Darwin came up with, while an important breakthrough was only the first step. The theory of natural selection has changed and refined considerably over the last 140 years, and even that is only one of many pieces of the modern theory of evolution.

    In closing, imho uniformtarian evolution is loaded with emotion. Think about what catastrophic evolution means: all we know, all we have, all our effort, dreams and learning to get to where we are, can be undone in the Biblical forty days. Think about it. I’m saying that uniformtarian evolution develops as a rejection to an unpredictable end. Amd the debate between these two basic shcools of evolution has been waxing and waning for almost 130 years.

    In conclusion, I think what is called evolution contains both catastrophic and uniform data.

    It is well known that catastrophes play a major role in evolution. For instance we would not be here if it wasn’t for an asteroid 65 million years ago. There have been a number of mass extinctions like that. A much smaller catastrophe, a volcanic eruption, led to the formation of the Galapagos Islands, the place that inspired Darwin. There are many such volcanic island chains. It appears a major geological event wildly altered the course of the Missipi river, moving its mouth from the east coast of the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico. I can’t imagine the impact such an event could have on the local wildlife. Volcanic eruptions, landslides, earthquakes, carbon dioxide clouds, fires, meteors, continental drift, disease, ice ages, all these things can have massive and sudden effects either on a local or a global scale. Extinctions happen. Not all are predictable, and not are all defined by who is the most fit for an environment. Some are random and indiscriminate. Modern biology takes that into account.

    But what I suspect you mean by “catasrophic evolution” is something more akin to creationism. Your 40 days worries me. So let me ask you another question: do you believe in the biblical flood that covered the Earth?

  58. Don Snow

    Hi, Michael L. -

    Because I don’t know what a Young Earth Creationist is, so I’m not one. If a YEC believes that our planet is a little over 6,000yo, then I’m not one. I believe that the Archbishop of Canterbury got his figure, without reckoning that he can date only from the Exile from Eden. He can assign no time for the interval in Eden, nor can I, nor can you.

    I believe that no accurate measure of how long the world has been around, can be determined by Genesis nor by present methods of dating rocks, carbon, etc. I believe that the accurate age of the world is out there, somewhere, but we don’t have it, as long as uniformtarian doctrine is applied to dating.

    I don’t like the label Creationist, either; but, that does describe which story about the forming of the Cosmos, and all in it, that I accept.

    I don’t go for intelligent design, either. That leaves the door open to Zacariah Sitchins’ Annunaki being creators, rather than creatures.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  59. If you are stating, and correct me if I am wrong, because it’s not quite clear from what you wrote, that Earth was created, formed, or whatever term you choose, approx. 11,000 B.C., then in my opinion, that would make you a Young Earth Creationist, or, since you don’t like the term Creationists, let’s say, “Young Earther.”

  60. Don Snow

    Hi, Black Cat -

    My computer froze up. I’m back. Can’t get the “Edit” to work either.

    I don’t reject that there was once one continent. I do question when, since I believe that uniformtarian doctrine gives an unwarranted bias to reading the dating data.

    Yes, Darwin’s biography has it that he was a Captain’s companion. And that the Captain let him collect biological data. However, what you left out, was that an Uniformtarian biologist talked Charlie into dropping out of Seminary, and was the connection to get Mr. Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle.

    No little but no evidence supporting Creation; and massive amounts of evidenced supporting evolution. Hmmm. Well, I’m neithr going to throw out all your evidence like you did mine; nor am I going to regal you with all the evidence for Creation, which you reject. In my lay opinion, the evidence for evoluton remains circumstanial. I find circumstansial evidence flimsy, and not in the scientific method of repeat the experiment.
    However, I don’t reject your data, like you do mine. I would also point out, that all this data is open to interpretation, and that academia requires a uniformtarian screen, with which to interpret the data.

    Thank you Black Cat, for your paragraph on cataclysms. It seems we appear to agree on both cataclysmic and uniform periods of planetary development.

    Hear me out, as I qualify my answer to your question, do I beleve in the Biblical flood account (in so many words).

    Yes. I also believe that there was a prior flood (Gen. 1,1), and another global deluge before the Gen. 1,1 description of a watery world. So, the third time, God promised to no more end the world with a flood; and put His rainbow in the sky, as a reminder of that promise. Now, there’s a story about a Greek philosopher talking with an Egyptian priest, I guess between 300BC and the Roman takeover of the Greek empire. One of the two was named Solon, I forget which one. The priest told the Greek, that the Earth had been destroyed thrice by flood and twice by fire. Folklore has it, that the next destruction will be by fire.

    Good chatting with you.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  61. mike demery

    Commonsense says that little India slowly moving inch by inch would not buckle the huge Asian continent. Like a little guy trying to push a fat lady over. He would be pulverize to say the least. India sliding into a huge mud slop quickly makes more sense than billions and billions and billions…

  62. Don Snow

    Hi, Micahel L.

    Nossir, I’m not saying when the Earth was created.

    I’m saying neither the Holy Bible nor modern science can come up with that date.

    It’s been five years, since I was on the web. When my HP Pavilion was stolen during a burglary, I lost all my links to different websites. One favorite was by a man who showed evidence that fossilization can happen in a week.

    From that, and from the uniformtarian bias required by academia (or, has that changed for the better? Been a decade since I been to college) any interpretation of data is open to question, until the uniformtarian bias has been removed. Black Cat’s post heartened me, that science no longer clubs scientists with uniformtarian doctrine.

    So, I’m saying that the Holy Bible doesn’t tell how old the Earth is, and that science’s dating protocol is open to question.

    Unlike ya’ll, who seem to reject any evidence that there is a Creator and we are his creation and live in the rest of His creation as unacceptable; and unlike other Creationists who childishly reject science in return; I do not reject science. I like this computer, this blog, driving my car instead of walking, my refrigerator and all the other little things that science has brought along. But, I do question science, and listen to other people who question, not reject, science.

    Do you see where I’m at? I’m really in neither camp. My world view includes a mix of evoluton and creation. However, it seems Evolutionaries and Creationists reject each other. So, I get it from both sides.

    Good chatting with you.

    BTW, my age has me in my 60′s.

    Respectfull,
    Don

  63. Don Snow

    Michael L. -

    You just really have to peg me in some catagory acceptable to you, don’t you?

    Well, sir, I’m not a young anything. Heh heh heh.

    I’ll accept being called an Earthling.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  64. Don, talk about pegging someone in a category. I am actually a christian. Granted more liberal than some can stomach, but that’s their problem.

  65. Don Snow

    Michael L.

    I’m a Christian, too (yes, it’s OK for Christians to be Catholics). Other than that, I haven’t figured out if I’m a conservative with liberal traits; or a liberal with conservative views.

    Well, sir, I’m going to turn in. You have a good night or day, where ever you are.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  66. C’mon Don regale us with the evidence for creationism. Blackcat only rejected goddidit and it’s in the bible by implication for that is the evidence usually put forward. I, for one, would be pleased to see more evidence.

  67. LOL, well since the move to Discover, it’s been getting “interesting” over here!

  68. John

    Anyone who thinks the creationism theory is likely is wildly deluded. Those kind of people find it hard to imagine any amount of time beyond a few thousand years. In geological terms thats a few seconds for the Earth in comparison to a human lifespan of say 80 years. Anyone who thinks the universe was created in 6 or 7 days are just a complete joke to the human race.

    That christian website link is so full of garbage it is laughable. It’s conclusion is so lacking they have to quote from the bible, in fact they do that so many times. However many times you religious idiots quote words from a fictional story book, it still doesn’t make it true.

    I fail to see any purpose for a god as nobody seems to know what or who created god. Stupid concept for stupid people with brains like sheep.

  69. H’okai, so, Futurama was mentioned, I have to do some correction here:

    It’s Philip J. Fry, not Frye.

    Also, he said, “Insane theories one…”, not “Crazy theories one…”

    Am I a jerk yet?

    damn. Of all the things I should correct Phil on, how much does it say about me that it has to be a Futurama reference?

  70. Floyd

    Don,

    ‘I’m saying neither the Holy Bible nor modern science can come up with that date.’

    Yes you’re right in one thing: Holy Bible can’t come up with a date because it was written by bronze age shepherds.
    But nowadays, for geologists and smart people, it’s pretty easy to come up with an accurate date: 4.7 billion years ago
    You’re welcome

  71. Darth Robo

    Don Snow

    >>>”I don’t like the label Creationist, either”

    Well you DO dispute evolution AND the age of the Earth and CLAIM that the current scientifically accepted age of the Earth is due to something called “uniformtarian doctrine” (whatever that is). Walk like a duck, quack like a duck. (shrug)

    >>>”One favorite was by a man who showed evidence that fossilization can happen in a week.”

    This wasn’t the thing about the “fossilized” spark plug, was ut?

    >>>”Unlike ya’ll, who seem to reject any evidence that there is a Creator and we are his creation and live in the rest of His creation as unacceptable; and unlike other Creationists who childishly reject science in return; I do not reject science.”

    Mucho irony. What IS this evidence of a creator? I have rejected none – I consider myself to be agnostic. It’s simply that so far, NO evidence of a creator has ever been presented.

  72. KC

    While there’s ample evidence that the world is older than a few thousand years, I’m not convinced that continental drift is one of them. I doubt the rate is constant (Rodina and Gondwanaland were stable for a time), or is necessarily constant between plates. Plates bump around and change direction (here’s a cool USGS map of the trail left on the Pacific Plate by the Hawaiian hotspot http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/Hawaiian.html – assuming the plume has remained stationary and there’s been some recent questions about that). Unless there’s some evidence, such as radioactive decay in igneous rock laid down as two plates moved apart, I don’t think we can assume that the continents have always moves at the current rate.

    Radioactive dating is one of the main things that points to an old earth, and I think it’s more reliable. We can argue rates of continental drift until we’re blue in the face, but radioactive decay is a known constant.

  73. Todd W.

    @Darth Robo

    “NO evidence of a creator has ever been presented.”

    Well, now, I wouldn’t say that. Plenty of evidence has been presented, it’s just that it either hasn’t been credible, was fabricated, or just downright full of logical holes. So, evidence has been presented, but it just hasn’t been good evidence.

  74. It’s been five years, since I was on the web. When my HP Pavilion was stolen during a burglary, I lost all my links to different websites. One favorite was by a man who showed evidence that fossilization can happen in a week.

    Which means nothing without you linking to it. But I can pretty much guess that that man is full of it.

  75. tomsax and Cindy both seem to allude to what is called “apparent Age” or mature creation.

    It runs like this

    Assume creationism is true, how old was adam, two seconds after he was created.

    The answer seems to be in the question, 2 seconds old

    But how old did he appear?

    From the description in Genesis it seems he was created able to do the things an adult can do, even reproduce with his wife, Eve.

    BTW this is also called Omphalos, or did Adam have a bely button

    The doctrine of apparent age will state that the universe appears to be older than it looks, and physical tests will give the ages that evolutionists quote, however this does not mean that God has lied to us, because he has told us in his Word what he did.

    I have used this analagy before

    Suppose I host a dinner party and I do not have time to cook, so I get everything delivered before the guests arrive. As they go through the meal, some of them assume, from what they see and taste, that I must have spent hours in the kitchen, when in reality all I did was pick up the phone.

    Suppose I do not let on that it was all bought in, I could be accused of lying to my guests, by letting them think I slaved over a hot stove all day. However, suppose I tell them straight out, I got everything from some company. My dinner appears to have taken me ages to prepare when in fact it arrived at my door fully cooked. By telling them that I did this and even passing out the phone number of the company, I am not lying, even though the dinner seemed to imply I had slaved in the kitchen.

    But then someone says that they can not believe such a company could exist that could have done it, and the evidence of the dinner means it must have been made by me in the kitchen.

    This is sort of the doctrine of apparant age.
    FWIW

  76. Oops

    Should have said “Older than it is” rather than “Older than it looks” :doh:

  77. Rebel Dreams

    @Don Snow:

    >>”I believe that no accurate measure of how long the world has been around, can be determined by Genesis nor by present methods of dating rocks, carbon, etc.”

    You mean radiometry doesn’t work?
    Funny…Radiometry is based on physics, not geology. And pretty basic physics at that; well understood, testable physics, proven time and time again. Radiometric dating is a ‘side effect’ (if you will) of radioactive decay, which is pretty well understood; the dates are not ‘fudged’ because that would prove a hole in PHYSICS, not geology.

    I have often (in the dim and distant past) asked YECs why they want to take on Geology and Biology, but not the vast edifice of physics which lends still more data for an incredibly old universe, possible “self-created” and in no way “designed” for us.

    Could it be because math is hard?

  78. Rebel Dreams

    The problem with omphalos is that it opens the door to “last-Tuesdayism” and “two-seconds-ago-ism”.. plus there is the teeny problem that God, if that was the case, is REALLY screwing with our heads… which is a little bit anti-”wise, kind, just, loving Creator”…isn’t it?

  79. Rebel Dreams

    BTW – just to clarify…

    When I said “screwing with our heads”, I understand the argument that God wanted to give us a mature universe to live in etc, etc… The problem with omphalos is that it is explicitly stated by YECs and Fundies that if you believe anything that science tells you, which is based entirely upon the observations of the “apparently old universe” created by this “just and loving God”, you will be condemned to suffer through all eternity.

    Which, since God gave us these big brains with which to think, seems a bit harsh.

    And, uh, didn’t Jesus say a little something about “hiding your light under a bushel” being a BAD thing?

    Just sayin’.

  80. NoAstronomer

    In fact, unless Antarctica was moving at a pace faster than you can jog, we’re talking millions if not hundreds of millions of years here.

    ??? Walking 8 hours per day at the fairly sedate rate of 6km/hr a human should be able to cover 15,000km in about 312 days.

  81. KC

    Omphalos is one of those philosophical arguments rather than doctrine. Could God create the universe as we observe it now? Sure. Did He? That’s strictly speculative. There’s every indication that there has been a long passage of time due to various physical interaction, which raises the question of why they would exist were the universe created a mere 6,000 years ago . The problem a YEC faces is to account for those indicators in a short time span.

    Frankly, I’m bemused that anyone would think this is a make-or-break issue among YEC and us Fundies ( since YEC is a subset of us Fundies, then simply the latter term will suffice), since there’s no universal agreement on omphalos. If there was, you wouldn’t see any YECs looking for ways to explain why the universe seems to be billions of years old. They’d all simply cite omphalos and be done with it.

  82. mapnut

    We seem to be overlooking something in the Catastrophic Tectonics article:

    “On the ocean floor, this hot mantle material would vaporize copious amounts of ocean water, producing a linear geyser of superheated steam along the whole length of the spreading centers (perhaps the “fountains of the great deep”? Genesis 7:11; 8:2). This steam would disperse, condensing in the atmosphere to fall as intense global rain (“and the flood-gates of heaven were opened” Genesis 7:11). This could account for the rain persisting for 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12).”

    What the hey do they think they’re saying? They’re saying The Flood was a natural event?!!? After all these centuries of saying God did it. Such heresy!

    Seriously (well, a little seriously), they can’t make up their minds. Either God has ultimate power and can do the impossible, or He’s constrained to do things in ways that conform to natural laws, which He also created. In that case, since the Bible doesn’t say anything about natural laws, it makes sense to use our God-given reason to determine what these laws are by scientific study, and then use these laws to find out everything else the Bible doesn’t tell us.

  83. TheBlackCat

    I don’t reject that there was once one continent. I do question when, since I believe that uniformtarian doctrine gives an unwarranted bias to reading the dating data.

    Yes, Darwin’s biography has it that he was a Captain’s companion. And that the Captain let him collect biological data. However, what you left out, was that an Uniformtarian biologist talked Charlie into dropping out of Seminary, and was the connection to get Mr. Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle.

    Irrelevant. Someone else’s bias tells us nothing about Darwin’s bias. Unless you can find some evidence that Darwin himself had that bias this bit if information is totally irrelevant. And even if he was bias, that doesn’t make him wrong. He is not the only one who has collected data on the topic, his word is not the end all and be all of evolution.

    Hmmm. Well, I’m neithr going to throw out all your evidence like you did mine; nor am I going to regal you with all the evidence for Creation, which you reject.

    I did not “throw out all your evidence”, I have studied the issue thoroughly for many years and came to the conclusion that the creationist side has nothing that can be remotely considered evidence. You are talking like there is something wrong with throwing out logical fallacies, cherry-picked and outright fabricated data, flawed mathematics, out-of-context quotations, and ancient myths. There isn’t. You seem to be implying that you are taking the high road and I am somehow wrong for not accepting all evidence. But the quality of evidence is of critical importance when judging the implications (or lack thereof) of that evidence.

    In my lay opinion, the evidence for evoluton remains circumstanial. I find circumstansial evidence flimsy, and not in the scientific method of repeat the experiment.

    Well then you have obviously not bothered to look at the data. There have been countless repeated experiments that confirm evolution. And not all science is based on experiments. It is based on testing a hypothesis. You make a hypothesis, think of the implications of the hypothesis, and then test those implications to see if they are true. That is science, and the evidence supporting evolution is overwhelming.

    I would also point out, that all this data is open to interpretation, and that academia requires a uniformtarian screen, with which to interpret the data.

    Thank you Black Cat, for your paragraph on cataclysms. It seems we appear to agree on both cataclysmic and uniform periods of planetary development.

    You are contradicting yourself here. Let me say it again, academia does not require a “uniformtarian screen”. It flat-out wrong. I have already corrected you on this and you admit that I have corrected you but yet you somehow still stick to. There is no such screen, not such bias.

    Hear me out, as I qualify my answer to your question, do I beleve in the Biblical flood account (in so many words).

    Yes. I also believe that there was a prior flood (Gen. 1,1), and another global deluge before the Gen. 1,1 description of a watery world. So, the third time, God promised to no more end the world with a flood; and put His rainbow in the sky, as a reminder of that promise.

    There was no flood. I’ll say it again: there was no flood. There is no way the Earth was ever, at any point in history, completely covered by water, not to mention covered in just 40 days (or even in a human lifetime). The signs of such an event would have been massive and unmistakable. It is a myth, pure and simple. It is not open to debate, the evidence is not open to interpretation. It could not have happened. There is no uniformarian bias or any other sort of bias. It is simply not possible.

    Now, there’s a story about a Greek philosopher talking with an Egyptian priest, I guess between 300BC and the Roman takeover of the Greek empire. One of the two was named Solon, I forget which one. The priest told the Greek, that the Earth had been destroyed thrice by flood and twice by fire. Folklore has it, that the next destruction will be by fire.

    Where does the Bible mention two worldwide fires? Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t. There is little surprise that two cultures so close to each other had flood legends, especially considering the importance of unstable rivers to early cultures. Lots of cultures have flood legends. They are totally different except that they involve floods. But then again lots of cultures have creation of the world myths, destruction of the world myths, origin of man myths, myths about the source or rain, myths about the source of lightning, etc. Such myths don’t have much of anything in common besides the general topic they deal with.

  84. Quiet Desperation

    So… the fact that they found a rock from Mars in Antarctica means Mars was once connected to Antarctica?

    I tease. :-)

  85. Gary Ansorge

    ,,,and the YECs keep forgetting another interpretation of “their” Genesis story,,,

    ,,,”a thousand years is as a day in the sight of the Lord”,,,therefore,,,
    365days/year times 1000years/day=365,000(human)years/(God) year times 6000(God)years=
    ,,”mumble,mumble,” 2,190,000,000 (human) years,,,(read that as 2 billion,etc years)

    ,,,which is a whole lot closer to the geological data than 6000 Earth years,,,
    See, even the bible knows the truth,,,????? It’s just the believers limited ability to interpret it that is faulty.

    GAry 7

  86. Ken S

    It is funny how the YEC can not see holes in these types of theories you can drive a truck through. How is it that the so called flood sediments can be carried off by the runaway subduction process and pushed up to form the mountains if all of this movement happened PRIOR to the flood waters settling out all of the debris?

  87. Sticks, twisting words in Bible and making up excuses is ages old, glorious activity of creationists. No amount of fudging change fact, that Omphalos argument effectively says that God lie, lie, lie in every nanosecond of your life. Every time you see on sky star further than 6000 light years, God lie to you. Every time scientist date rock, God lie to him. But what I do know, being atheist. Maybe you are intellectual masochist. Intellectual perversions are not my business.

    “does not mean that God has lied to us, because he has told us in his Word what he did.”
    Care to cite relevant passage from Bible? Where God told that He created universe 6000 years ago, but it appears like 13,7 billion years ago because God feel like so?

  88. Don Snow

    Hi, Shane -

    My evidence seems rather trite. So, let me quote a scientist. In their work COSMIC COINCIDENCES, [Bantaam Books, NY, NY] John Gribbon and Martin Ree present the thesis, that if any value of gravity, or of electromagnetic force or of he weak nuclear force were a nth different from what they are, there could be no human life in the universe.

    I do not believe in Intelligent Design. To me, somebody who presents ID is either a mealy mouthed Creationist, or fronting for intellect without emotion nor spirit.

    My proof is simple. One time, I ran out of faith. I asked God for more faith. He gave it to me. He also showed me, I Corinthians 13, entire chapter, where love is important. He also game me hope. So, to me, God is very real. Since I believe in an eternal God the Holy Trinity, I find no difficulty in believing in His creation.

    I also have an emotional argument. Which would you rather be: descended from some primate, or made in the image of God? My ancestors are not simians. They and I are made in the image of God.

    There you go, John. I tried to keep it short and sweet.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  89. Don K

    I just want to thank ‘Black Cat’ for such well-reasoned responses!. Good job!

  90. Don Snow

    Sorry, Shane -

    Make that, There you go, Shane. I tried to keep it short and sweet.

    Abashedly,
    Don

  91. TheBlackCat

    My evidence seems rather trite. So, let me quote a scientist. In their work COSMIC COINCIDENCES, [Bantaam Books, NY, NY] John Gribbon and Martin Ree present the thesis, that if any value of gravity, or of electromagnetic force or of he weak nuclear force were a nth different from what they are, there could be no human life in the universe.

    Yes, that is because humans have to live in this universe. If you change the rules, some different form of life might have developed. It is pretty arrogant to say that just because we are very specialized for our universe, that no other form of life could be equally specialized for a different universe. It is also far from certain that the rules could be changed, the relative strengths of the fundamental forces may be fixed.

    My proof is simple. One time, I ran out of faith. I asked God for more faith. He gave it to me. He also showed me, I Corinthians 13, entire chapter, where love is important. He also game me hope. So, to me, God is very real. Since I believe in an eternal God the Holy Trinity, I find no difficulty in believing in His creation.

    By this same argument every other religion in history is also true. This is not a proof in any meaningful sense of the word.

    I also have an emotional argument. Which would you rather be: descended from some primate, or made in the image of God? My ancestors are not simians. They and I are made in the image of God.

    Sorry, but what you would rather be is not important. I would rather not be bound by gravity, but that is not going to allow me to fly around the room. Just wanting something does not make it true. Your ancestors were apes. Not a modern ape, but an now-extinct species of ape. What is more, you are an ape. So am I. Humans are a type of great ape. We are more closely related to chimpanzees than chimpanzees are to gorillas, and we are more related to chimpanzees and gorillas than either is to orangutans. Whether you want that to be true or not does not change anything.

  92. ND

    Don Snow says:

    “In my lay opinion, the evidence for evoluton remains circumstanial. I find circumstansial evidence flimsy, and not in the scientific method of repeat the experiment.”

    Such arrogance. What has convinced you that you’re qualified make such a judgment? Do you have any experience in science? Do you understand any of the science material you read? Can you look at a published paper in geology or biology and make sense of it?

    Anyone who is trying to make a decision about a subject needs to put their ego aside be openly honest to themselves about their ignorance in that subject.

    This goes for defenders of science here and in other blogs. How many of us do really deeply understand the scientific topic being discussed?

    One other matter. Many here are so serious about defending science that one can easily be taken on a trip by a troll. I’ve always wondered how many of the woo-nuts posting on BA are actually trolls, pulling peoples legs :)

  93. Don Snow

    Good morning, John -

    Thank you for your post. Let’s go through it together, shall we?

    “Anyone who thinks the Creationism theory is likely is wildly deluded.”

    Can you quote a professional source for that diagnosis?

    “Those kind of people find it hard to imagine any amount of time beyond a few thousand years.”

    This is a blanket, broad brush statement. Can you be more specific about which “those kind of people”? You have about six billion souls to choose a name from, including me.

    “Anyone who thinks the Earth was created in just 6 or 7 days are just a complete joke to the human race.”

    John, John, didn’t you even read my post? I never mentioned days. Actually, I said there’s no telling, from the Holy Bible, how old the Earth is: the Archbishop of Canterbury could count only from the time Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden. There’s no mention of how long they were in Eden. Tell me, John, can you imagine timelessness? I can.

    “However many times you religious idiots quote words from a fictional story book, it still doesn’t make it true.”

    Gee, John, is that supposed to make me mad? Because, it did. That’s why I’m being so polite to you, while I slice and dice your post. If you really think that the Holy Bible is a fictional story book, instead of just quoting some body else (I first heard that one at Pershing Square in LA from an open air speaker in the early 1960′s, and debated it then as now.), then that’s your choice. This is a free county. However, the Word in that book was here before you or me, and it will be here long after you or I am gone.

    “I fail to see any purpose for a god…”

    You got it backwards John. Does God have a purpose for you?

    “Stupids concept for stupid people with brains like sheep.”

    There’s that blanket statement of broad brush accusation, again. I guess that makes you really smart, huh?

    Well, John, just be careful that you don’t get so smart, that you find yourself all alone.

    Have a good day, John,
    Don

  94. Don Snow

    Hi, Floyd -

    This scrolling up and down, to type accurate quotes….

    You said words to the effect that the Bible doesn’t give a date becaause it was written by bronze age shepards, right?

    There were some heavy hitters like Solomon, a King known for his wisdom; Moses, who was a prince of Egypt and who had access to informtion from Egyption temples and court; and in the New Testament, Jesus the Christ, son of the living God, come in the flesh. He said a lot of hard things, in his sermons and parables.
    Imho, I would respectfully submit, that the Holy Spirit gave the prophets and scribes the wisdom to withold any given period of time for the age of the Earth.

    Then, you said words to the effect, that geologists and smart people know the accurate age of the Earth: 4.7 Billion years. Right?

    I cordially disagree. Imho, all we know is the present interpretation of the present amount of data, on that subject.

    You’re Welcome, grin,
    Don

  95. IMHO, I’ve learned that it’s rather pointless to argue with a creationist, or someone that takes a literal interpretation of Scripture. Personally, I feel that the bible should be left for discussing matters of faith, not trying to twist it to fit or propagate “scientific” theories. I don’t try to “ram” my beliefs down anyone’s throat. I have a great deal of respect for my atheist friends, and the convictions that they stand for.

  96. TheBlackCat

    There were some heavy hitters like Solomon, a King known for his wisdom; Moses, who was a prince of Egypt and who had access to informtion from Egyption temples and court; and in the New Testament, Jesus the Christ, son of the living God, come in the flesh. He said a lot of hard things, in his sermons and parables.
    Imho, I would respectfully submit, that the Holy Spirit gave the prophets and scribes the wisdom to withold any given period of time for the age of the Earth.

    Assuming that these people actually existed, Moses and Solomon at the very least could not have known. It doesn’t matter how wise they were or how much contemporary knowledge they had, the evidence just wasn’t available, nor was the knowledge necessary to interpret that evidence. It is like citing them when discussion of genetic disorders, they didn’t even have a concept of genetics so how could they possibly understand genetic disorders?

    Also, if Moses existed and really did know what the Egyptians did, then there is no way he could have supported the biblical flood story because it Egyptian records continue completely unbroken from well before the flood supposedly took place to long after. There is no mention of a worldwide flood in those records. How could the records even exist if the Egyptians were all wiped out by the flood, as the biblical story states?

    And using Jesus as an authority because he is the son of God only works for people who accept that Jesus actually existed, and further accept that he was the son of God, and even further accept that everything he says in the Bible is the literal, non-metaphorical truth. Otherwise that argument holds no water.

    I cordially disagree. Imho, all we know is the present interpretation of the present amount of data, on that subject.

    Okay, so what specific data do you reject, and why? Just saying “I don’t accept the data” is just being closed-minded if you don’t have any specific objections to the data. Just saying “I don’t accept radiological data” is also not an argument unless you have specific objections to either the theory behind radiological dating or the way conclusions were drawn from it. In essence your argument presently amounts to sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “la la I can’t hear you.” That is not going to impress people. You have shown no indication that you actually know what evidence is available, not to mention any understanding of this evidence, and an opinion on evidence you neither know nor understand is not going to convince many people here.

  97. Don Snow

    Hi, Darth Robo -

    “…walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…”

    Alright, ya got me. Quack.

    About your reply to fozzilization in a week, was it the fozzilized spark plug, or words to that effect:

    First, thank you for treating this seriously. I wish I could remember even his name.
    Anyway, no, it’s not about a spark plug. To the best of my memory, it was about some wood or large plant. As I recall, it was heat and a natural chemistry, which fozzilized the wood so quickly.

    Thanks Darth Robo, for your open mind. Sincere, not sarcasm.

    Could you consider the human race as evidence? Made of DNA, but totally different from animals. Yes, I decided to skate out on this thin ice. I submit that God created with economy of materials: the same clay (similar DNA) from which to form His creatures.

    I would also point out that creation speaks for itself. Could all of nature and ecology really have appeared randomly? I find that hard to believe. I can believe our mutual Creator created it all, much easier.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  98. Don Snow

    Hi, jlake -

    Now, there’s an honest and valid post on logic, reason and faith.

    I consider reason the handmaiden of faith. Just my point of view.

    I also consider logic a gift from God.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  99. Eric

    Perhaps two swallows carried it between them suspended on a creeper strand held under their dorsal feathers?

  100. Don Snow

    Hi, KC

    Your post about continental drift and radioactive decay was well put. You get no argument from me.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  101. Gary Ansorge

    Don Snow: You may cordially disagree with any data you wish. That won’t make it go away.

    The Bible (read: ALL bibles) is based upon MYTH, which, as Joseph Campbell pointed out, is how humans try to come to grips with an uncertain universe. Which is why our description of God/gods/demi-gods/etc, evolve to suit our growing understanding of reality, because we’re using our big brains to observe the way things really are.

    Genetic drift measurements indicate humanity has been homo sapiens for about 120,000 years.
    It took us 119,000 years to come up with a method of sifting wishful thinking(myth) from reality and seeing the way things really are. It has taken only 1000 years to realize some of the benefits that arise from that method. Is it any wonder that the previous 119,000 years could have produced so many WRONG approaches, so many WRONG theories, so many ideas about the Way Things Are that were totally non-productive of ANY control of this reality? Sacrifices to any god were supposed to ensure health, wealth and good vibes but ended doing NOTHING detectable, beyond what would have been observable from mere chance. It took the Scientific METHOD TO DIFFERENTIATE between productive theories and woo-woo theories. Get used to it. Reality is the way it is. No amount of wishing for a benevolent, loving deity will make it real.

    GAry 7

  102. Don Snow

    Hi, Darth Robo -

    As far as evidence for Creation not beign acceptable, I understand…

    All I can do is my part. I’m evidence of my Creator. I’m a miracle, because I could have died three times, or so. Because God is, I am.

    I’m not going to hold my breath, until you accept that. smile.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  103. My evidence seems rather trite. So, let me quote a scientist. In their work COSMIC COINCIDENCES, [Bantaam Books, NY, NY] John Gribbon and Martin Ree present the thesis, that if any value of gravity, or of electromagnetic force or of he weak nuclear force were a nth different from what they are, there could be no human life in the universe.

    Humm. This really doesn’t tell us anything. Conditions have to be right for anything to happen. IF conditions are wrong for anything to occur they generally do not. If the temperature of the planet was an average of 20 degrees hotter something else would have formed. Maybe intelligent maybe not. This argument is sort of like William Paley’s Watchmaker argument in that in order for complex lifeforms to form, there has to be some driving force behind them. ie the watchmaker argument. Which, if you do any research you’ll find being utterly destroyed numerous times.

    And even so, the fact that we are here despite the very strict tolerances of human life is no proof of any greater power. The chance of us being here is 1, because we are.

  104. Don Snow

    Hi, Todd W and Darth Robo -

    Gentlemen, I apologize for getting your names mixed up. Presenting myself as evidence for a Creator was for Todd. Was not a joke.

    It’s time for me to turn in, I’m getting groggy. I sleep days.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  105. Todd W.

    @Don Snow

    Well, I will agree that you are evidence of your creator. Let me explain what I mean. Your existence is evidence that your parents got together, the way all animals do, and, like all mammals, you developed in your mother’s womb, being born roughly nine months after the deed. Your continued existence, from your comment about nearly dying, I would also suspect has largely depended on the intervention of some well-trained humans. Just a guess, as you didn’t provide any details of how you nearly died. You don’t need to provide any details, of course, unless you feel comfortable doing so.

    Beyond that, following your line of reasoning, you are also just as much evidence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Or Zeus. Or Isis. Or…or…or… If there is a demonstrable difference between your claim of being evidence of the Christian God and those mentioned above, I would gladly hear your arguments.

    You obviously have very strong, fervent religious beliefs. I can understand where you’re coming from, as I was also a fervent believer at one time. Then I started to, gradually, question the validity and quality of the evidence being submitted to support my beliefs. All of the evidence that I have come across has failed to hold up to rational inquiry. As such, I have come to the opinion, and it is only an opinion, that claims based on rigid religious belief and superstition, that try to fit reality to the beliefs, rather than adapting the beliefs to new observations and evidence of reality, are from the start, faulty. I have further come to the opinion that, while God (or Zeus, Isis, the FSM, etc.) may exist, there has yet to be any sort of reliable evidence for which the ONLY explanation is God (etc.). If there is an alternate explanation, based on natural theories and supported by high quality evidence, data and analysis, I will opt for the natural over the supernatural. Creationists generally do not present any such quality evidence.

  106. JgzMan

    I find any idea that depends on ‘the flood’ to be a mite suspect.

    Assuming that it happened, the flood was said to have covered all the dry land on earth. Mt. Everest is 29,000 ft high, (from sea level) The radius of the earth is 20,902,231 feet. Therefor, the floodwaters (ignoring the ocean) would have had a volume in the area of 10^9 cubic miles of water. Some small amount of this would be taken up by mountains and similar, but some would also run into valleys. I will take the number at written.

    40 days and nights is 960 hours. Every hour, slight over 10^6 cubic miles of water would have fallen from the sky. That works out to every single part of the earth receiving 27 feet of rain every hour. A modern aircraft carrier would not survive that, so I hold little hope for an ark.

  107. TheBlackCat

    Could you consider the human race as evidence? Made of DNA, but totally different from animals. Yes, I decided to skate out on this thin ice. I submit that God created with economy of materials: the same clay (similar DNA) from which to form His creatures.

    The human race is not at all different from animals. Tell me how human being are different from animals, besides being a little more intelligent? And saying “we have a soul” is not going to cut it unless you provide some physical evidence that there actually is such a thing, that humans have them, and that animals don’t.

    I would also point out that creation speaks for itself. Could all of nature and ecology really have appeared randomly? I find that hard to believe. I can believe our mutual Creator created it all, much easier.

    What you do and do not find hard to believe is not relevant. Just because you cannot understand something does not make it wrong. Besides, evolution is not random.

  108. Captain Swoop

    My ancestors are not simians. They and I are made in the image of God.

    Looking at the variety of shapes sizes and colours of humans then God must be a pretty Amorphous blob.

  109. John

    Nutters on the god channel does no help towards believers in god. They never say anything which means anything at all, just pointless drivel. Also moving someone’s neck about when it is injured and saying Jesus is healing that person is idiocy, and has proven from investigation to cause further injury to the patient.

  110. Darth Robo

    Don Snow

    >>>”In their work COSMIC COINCIDENCES, [Bantaam Books, NY, NY] John Gribbon and Martin Ree present the thesis, that if any value of gravity, or of electromagnetic force or of he weak nuclear force were a nth different from what they are, there could be no human life in the universe.”

    Irrelevant. What you are arguing here is “Existence, therefore God!”. If these values were different than what they are, there is no reason to say that OTHER kinds of life could NOT be present. Then those life-forms would be here instead, possibly also making flawed arguments based on the anthropic principle.

    >>>”My proof is simple. One time, I ran out of faith. I asked God for more faith. He gave it to me.”

    Big whoop. I believe in little green men. Because I didn’t believe in them until a flying saucer landed in my backyard and a little green man got out. Now I’m guessing that your experience with God was less tangible than the experience I just described. If not, perhaps you could tell us EXACTLY what He looked like and what EXACTLY did He do for you?

    >>>”I also have an emotional argument. Which would you rather be: descended from some primate, or made in the image of God? My ancestors are not simians. They and I are made in the image of God.”

    Hey, I would rather be from Krypton and married to Supergirl. I’m not. Arguments from emotion are not relevant. You ARE an ape. If God shares His image with us, then so is He. If that’s what He wants, I’m pretty sure He doesn’t mind. In fact He might even think ‘What’s YOUR problem with it? (shrug)

    Ah, nuts, Black Cat got there first. Ah well.
    :)

    >>>”Actually, I said there’s no telling, from the Holy Bible, how old the Earth is”

    So the Bible isn’t even a factor. So let’s stick to science, shall we?

    >>>”However, the Word in that book was here before you or me, and it will be here long after you or I am gone.”

    Same with many other religions. (shrug) Doesn’t necessarily make one more right than the other.

    >>>”Then, you said words to the effect, that geologists and smart people know the accurate age of the Earth: 4.7 Billion years. Right? I cordially disagree. Imho, all we know is the present interpretation of the present amount of data, on that subject.”

    That’s your opinion. As has been pointed out, what makes you qualified to critique the scientific consensus? How old DO you think the Earth is? If you disagree with the current accepted value, you must have SOME idea of how old YOU think it is. And then perhaps you could tell us what evidence led you to this conclusion? Perhaps with a noce linky if you got it from somewhere. Is it from a scientific source? Or is it simply a disagreement based on your own theological beliefs? If it’s the latter, then perhaps you can understand why your opinion is of little value.

    >>>”Could you consider the human race as evidence? Made of DNA, but totally different from animals. Yes, I decided to skate out on this thin ice. I submit that God created with economy of materials: the same clay (similar DNA) from which to form His creatures.”

    Except we ARE animals. We share 95+ percent of our DNA with chimps. Then there’s the fusion of chromosome 2 that points to the common descent of humans from other apes. Your sentence offers NO evidence of either God or Creation, merely an assumption that we are NOT descended from apes and that God “must” have used the same “ingredients”. In other words, it is simple apologetics made up by creationists (which I’ve heard many times before) in order to reject evolution based on theology.

    >>>”I would also point out that creation speaks for itself. Could all of nature and ecology really have appeared randomly? I find that hard to believe. I can believe our mutual Creator created it all, much easier.”

    Of course it’s easier. That’s the point of creationism. Plus also to make people feel “special”. Also, creationists tend to place too much emphasis on “randomness”. The universe follows laws of nature, which means many of the things that happen NOT random. Which means some things are inevitable. I’d like to point out that NONE of the evidence we put forward disputes the existence of a “supernatural creator”. Unless the “creator hypothesis” becomes falsifiable, it’s not possible. Which is why it ain’t science. So that makes me wonder why people like yourself like putting limits on the Almighty? Any reason evolution and God can’t both be true? Answer: NONE whatsoever. But one of these is a fact. While the other is completely indeterminable. I’ll let you guess which, and why.

    >>>”I’m a miracle, because I could have died three times, or so. Because God is, I am.”

    Or you were lucky. It happens. Or perhaps we could give some credit to the medics that helped you get through? (shrug)

  111. quasidog
  112. Mango

    Plate tectonics is a really easy way to disprove Young-Earth Creationism.

    Just observe three things:
    - We can measure the rate at which continents move apart
    - We can date the age of the sea floor using radiometry
    - We can date the age of fossils on neighbouring continents using a number of methods, mainly from statigraphy

    So look at the North Atlantic Ocean. We see how fast it is expanding. We extrapolate and say it’s probably between 150 and 250 million years old. Creationists think we might be wrong because maybe it used to be expanding faster in the past. Come back to that in a minute…

    Look at the North Atlantic Ocean sea floor. When we measure isotopes in the rock, whose rate of decay we know, we can see that the outer edges seemed to have formed about 180 million years ago, with the apparent rock age moving gradually toward zero as you move toward the mid-Atlantic ridge. Creationists think we might be wrong about our radiometry. Come back to that…

    Look at the fossils in Europe, North Africa, and North America. At a certain depth, the fossils are largely the same, indicating the same animals lived in all those places. But shallower than that they start to become different, so that the shallowest fossils are the most different of all. We look at the point of depth where these places stopped having the same animals. Based on stratigraphic methods of dating, the fossils started diverging from each other about 180 million years ago. Or maybe we’re wrong about fossils and stratigraphy…

    But how on Earth can you possibly explain how we might be wrong about all three of these long-studied and well-understood phenomena — and they COINCIDENTALLY all yield the same answers?!? Moreover, the same ‘coincidences’ hold wherever we have continental separation — South America from Africa, India from Africa, New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea from Australia.

    I like this explanation because it shows in fairly simple terms how the usual ‘You could be wrong’ response doesn’t hold weight. At some point the chance of being wrong falls so close to zero that there is no difference.

  113. George E Martin

    Hi Don Snow,

    If you are still with this thread, I would like to suggest you try the site http://www.talkorigins.org. Especially look at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html “How Old Is The Earth, And How Do We Know?”.

    By the way for whatever it is worth you reference something by “John Gribbon and Martin Ree”. I’m pretty damn sure that the second person is Martin Rees! Other people have been referencing this without getting his name correct either. (Where is Phil when we need him?) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Rees,_Baron_Rees_of_Ludlow And It is also John Gribbin, not Gribbon.

    George

  114. TheBlackCat

    But how on Earth can you possibly explain how we might be wrong about all three of these long-studied and well-understood phenomena — and they COINCIDENTALLY all yield the same answers?!? Moreover, the same ‘coincidences’ hold wherever we have continental separation — South America from Africa, India from Africa, New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea from Australia.

    This is the key point in my opinion, so I am glad you brought it up. These techniques are derived from widely different physical or biological principles (such as radiometric dating vs. most land animals not being able to walk on water). If these techniques are wrong, they are all wrong in different ways and in widely different amounts, yet they somehow all coincidentally come up with the same answer.

    This happens everywhere you look. For instance body structure, behavior, brain structure, proteins, neutral and non-neutral genetic sequences, development, all these agree that humans and chimpanzees are very closely related, far more closely related than either species is to any other animal. And these sorts of comparisons all largely agree across all species we have looked at (which is a great many).

    Dozens of different radioactive dating techniques on many different radioisotopes with widely different decay rates done on rocks from the Earth, asteroids, and rocks recovered from the moon all agree on the age of the Earth. So does looking at the behavior of the Sun. Because the decay rates are different, if the decay rates had changed then the dates would no longer agree. They would have all had to change in very different amounts and all of these changes coincidentally converge on one value. And they would have had to have coincidentally matches the date derived from analyzing the sun’s behavior.

  115. quasidog

    Nice points Mango. Well explained.

  116. John

    @ Don Snow

    “Can you quote a professional source for that diagnosis?”

    All credible evolutionary scientists find the creationist theory unlikely.

    “This is a blanket, broad brush statement. Can you be more specific about which “those kind of people”? You have about six billion souls to choose a name from, including me.”

    Hmm let me start with the garbage that Christians believe about the Earth being 6000 years old, I think that’s all that’s needed to be said. Read other people’s comments on here for elaboration on why that’s a silly belief. There have been plenty of comments already to support the theory of a 4.5 billion year old Earth, there’s no need for me to discuss that any further.

    “John, John, didn’t you even read my post? I never mentioned days. Actually, I said there’s no telling, from the Holy Bible, how old the Earth is

    My original comment wasn’t specifically targetting you. I don’t recognise the bible as proof of anything except the ability of humans in the past to write stories of their primitive interpretation of existance.

    “the Archbishop of Canterbury could count only from the time Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden. There’s no mention of how long they were in Eden. Tell me, John, can you imagine timelessness? I can.”

    Really… what a complete piece of drivel that is. The current Archbishop of Canterbury is a backwards fool who belongs in the middle ages. Timelessness in theory can be represented by being ageless and so living infinitely. Infinity can be modelled very well in Mathematics. Since we exist in time rather than out of time, unless you can provide evidence that it is possible to live outside of time, then your imagination is about as far as that concept can go. I can imagine almost anything, but that doesn’t neccesarily make them all exist.

    “Gee, John, is that supposed to make me mad? Because, it did. That’s why I’m being so polite to you, while I slice and dice your post.”

    So you’re mad because I’m calling you an idiot for believing in something without evidence. That’s plain delusional and not accepting the facts. You cannot slice and dice anybody’s post on here without providing real scientific evidence of a god.

    ” If you really think that the Holy Bible is a fictional story book, instead of just quoting some body else (I first heard that one at Pershing Square in LA from an open air speaker in the early 1960’s, and debated it then as now.), then that’s your choice.”

    What, you think I would change my mind because you say it’s the word of god. Get real. I’ve concluded myself that it is a work of fiction due to its inconsistancy with known scientific facts. I’m not usually interested in other people’s opinions unless they can back them up with real evidence, or are at least workable scientific theories.

    “This is a free county.”

    Err yes it is a free country (and county) where I’m from. Although is you make a claim without real evidence you should expect the scientific community and anyone else who is clever to laugh at your sillyness and absurd claims. All religions are no different to cults, it’s just because of their ties to the past and its many deluded followers that’s making it slower for evolved society to move beyond the neccessity to believe in god.

    “However, the Word in that book was here before you or me, and it will be here long after you or I am gone.”"

    Again so what?! Someone else already wiped the floor with that same comment. It doesn’t make it right just because it’s an old book. By your logic all religions have the same argument and so must all be correct, but that’s impossible due to contradictions with each other. I’m sure you accept that other religions apart from yours are wrong, what makes your religion so special?! It is far more logical that all religions are wrong. The only thing religious people get right is accepting that the other religions are not true, thus all religions are untrue.

    “You got it backwards John. Does God have a purpose for you?”

    You will have to show me proof of this supposed god before your question makes any sense to anyone with a brain. Why would your supposed god give people the ability to think rationally and scientifically at the same time if it didn’t want us to use it. Believing without proof requires irrationality which if that’s your god’s main aim then it is a contradiction to what humans are able to achieve.

    “There’s that blanket statement of broad brush accusation, again. I guess that makes you really smart, huh?”

    Well it’s obvious I’m smarter than you. Your belief is basic, primitive and naive and most importantly lacks any evidence at all, as do all beliefs in god. Since we are not all believers in god that implies your supposed god is a failure, and so is not all-powerful as your religion thinks. How can your god make such mistakes?!

    “Well, John, just be careful that you don’t get so smart, that you find yourself all alone.”

    Another pointless comment from a religious person that is so vague it could mean almost anything. All these stupid preachers that speak on the god channel on tv are like that – If you can’t convince them you threaten them with god’s wrath or hell, which is childish at the very least. It reminds me of someone I happened to meet on a bus who said everyone on the bus will go to hell if they don’t believe in Jesus. Surely any supposed god wouldn’t mind us using our intellect. Human technological evolution has only progressed due to scientific minds with intelligent ideas, and not from people who just accept what is ‘is god’s will’. If we were all just believers in creationism and didn’t see any point in science, humanity would still likely be in the stone age.

    Anyone who wishes to comment – please feel free to reply.

  117. Ed Bride

    The post seems to suggest that it would take 6,000 years to jog from California to Antartica. The ensuing sentence (“…unless Antarctica was moving at a pace faster than you can jog, we’re talking millions if not hundreds of millions of years here.”) also makes no sense mathematically. It doesn’t take much of a jogger to cover 50km in a day, and at that rate, you could cover the distance in less than one year. Of course, one jogs very slowly on water. But, more to the point, at a jogger’s pace, this drift would hardly take millions of years.

  118. Don Snow

    Hi, all -

    Please let me wrap this up in one post. I go to work, tonight. Heat got to me Tuesday evening and night.

    Michael L. : like you, I’m not trying to convert anybody. I respect the faith of all here.

    BlackCat : thanks for your arguements; they are well put and logical. (Radiometry can be influenced by prior irradiation of this planet by nearby novae and supernovae.) However, I am not going to argue further with your disbelief. I’m not here to convert you, merely to explain my stand on Creation and Evolution. Both have a place in my mental cosmos. All I have questioned is the age of the universe.

    KC : Thanks for your input. I knew I wasn’t a Creationist. Just never got around to saying I’m a fundalmentalist. Pastor at parish church gave me a strange look, during Holy Bible study, when I said, “I’m a fundamental Catholic” grin.

    Darth Robo : enjoyed discussing all this with you.

    Floyd : I appreciate your input.

    Shane: You put your position nicely.

    John: You attacked, indirectly, me, rather than my stand. That I won’t tolerate. You certainly may minimize my replies. But you have not earned my respect.

    Todd W : Good hearing from you.

    Big Dumb Chimp: never figured out you position.

    Sticks : Thanks for “apparant age” anology. First time I’ve come across that, and I like it.

    Rebel Dreams : Hi, there. Radiometry works. Like any device, it records what’s there. Like I mentioned to Black Cat, I think prior irradiation from novae and supernovae would change the constant. It does work, with the presumption that today’s radiation levels were the same in the past, right?

    Ken S., Ma De R, Gary Auburge, No Astronomer : Like I told Black Cat, your posts are well put, but I will no more argue among your disbelief. I’m not here, to change you. I stated my position. your claims of myth, irrelevant etc seem mere cop outs, to me. So, shall we agree to disagree, and go on with life, heh? Nice meeting you.

    George E. Martin, mapaut, Ed Bride : thank you for presenting your views, which seem parallel or similar to mine. Nice meeting you.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  119. TheBlackCat

    like you, I’m not trying to convert anybody. I respect the faith of all here.

    What about people who don’t have faith?

    Radiometry can be influenced by prior irradiation of this planet by nearby novae and supernovae.

    If that had happened then the dates from radiometric dating would be all over the place, as mango already pointed out. Further, there are tests for this sort of thing. That irradiation is of a specific type, and only influences some forms of radiometric dating. There would also have been other noticeable changes if radiation levels had been different. For instance the decay products of many of these radioisotopes are very characteristic and can be tested for. That past radiation levels were the same is not an assumption, it is a testable hypothesis that has been confirmed. Once again, you are drawing conclusions without having any clue what you are talking about.

    I knew I wasn’t a Creationist.

    Yes you are! You believe that humans aren’t apes, you believe in a worldwide flood, you believe humans descended from a single pair that came out of the garden of eden and did so 6000 years ago. You are a textbook example of a creationist. You may not like the term, but it is what you are.

    All I have questioned is the age of the universe.

    No, you also questioned the age of the Earth, continental drift, the common ancestry of humans and other apes, that humans are animals, the honesty of Darwin and every person in the entire field of biology, and you asserted there was a worldwide flood. There is probably more I am forgetting. I’m sorry but I cannot find any other way to describe this other than an outright lie.

    your claims of myth, irrelevant etc seem mere cop outs, to me.

    No, they aren’t. What is a cop-out is using myths as evidence in a scientific discussion.

  120. Don, it does sound like you are a creationists and fundamentalist. One cannot claim to believe the Genesis account and not be a creationist and fundamentalist.

  121. John

    @ Don Snow

    “You attacked, indirectly, me, rather than my stand.”

    No I stated my opinion with valid facts towards anyone who is a creationist or fundamentalist believer. You then took that as a comment towards yourself alone thinking you are so special just like most creatonists. My following reply was to show you how foolish your stand towards creationism was, which I think was rather successful. Nothing was indirect at all, unless you wish to provide an example, which is doubtful as all my comments were about your whole belief system in general being flawed, which is what everyone has been discussing.

    “That I won’t tolerate.”

    You may believe whatever you want but without any real evidence your opinion is absolutely worthless. You won’t tolerate that because you’re blind to your beliefs.

    “You certainly may minimize my replies. But you have not earned my respect.”

    Replying is completely your decision alone. By your standards anyone else would have to believe the same as you or have a belief system at all in the first place, to be worthy of your respect. That’s a shallow kind of respect which matters very little. My intentions were just to point out the facts whether you like them or not. If you had an ounce of intelligence you should understand that, but instead your ignorant faith blinds all of your judgement.

  122. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Don Snow:

    So, he went out and found only evidence for that type of evolution. At that time, there was argument between Catastrophic evoluntionaries and Uniformtarian evolutionaries.

    That was because there is only evidence for evolution so far. And of course evolution had been known as a fact for quite some decades before Darwin. That wasn’t known was a testable mechanism; Darwin provided that, making it a theory and thus a proper science.

    Your attempt of rewriting history leaves ut Wallace, that independently of Darwin found out the mechanism of natural selection. You also forgot to mention the earlier evolutionary theory of Lamarck.

    I dunno what “Catastrophic evoluntionaries [sic]” is, perhaps a figment of your imagination? Darwin was explicit in that rate of evolution, say measured as rate of speciation, could vary.

    Later ideas of “punctuated equilibrium”, that would equate with “Catastrophic evoluntionaries [sic]“, are AFAIU based on population theories where subsets of populations evolve separately and later rapidly replace the main population. That would show up in a fossil record as a “catastrophic” replacement.

    The you have mass extinctions, which are catastrophes by any scale. But those and the recovery from them are described by everyday biology of evolution.

  123. George E Martin

    Don Snow said:

    “George E. Martin, mapaut, Ed Bride : thank you for presenting your views, which seem parallel or similar to mine. Nice meeting you.”

    To which I (George) say, WHAT? It sounds like Don Snow did not go to talkorigins.org! My views on the age of the earth is that it is around 4.5 billion years old; that it is a conclusion well supported the scientific evidence. I also find the evidence for evolution overwhelming! I believe in the phrase that goes something like, “Nothing makes sense in Biology without evolution”.

    I don’t remember any sentiments like those were given by Don Snow. It looks like I’ve been quote mined.

    George

  124. George E Martin

    A P.S. to Don Snow.

    One of my favorite blogs is P.Z Myers’ http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

    Now tell me again that my views are similar to yours.

    George

  125. Steve

    I find your explanation uncompelling.

  126. John

    Don Snow will not reply to anything said recently as his deluded mind cannot take reading this forum anymore

  127. rebs

    As an established scientist, why do you condescend to argue against creationism? You’re fuelling the belief that it’s ‘science or creationism’, like the debate is an even dichotomy. Leave creationism out of scientific forums.

  128. Celtic_Evolution

    @ rebs

    As an established scientist, surely you’re not ignorant to the fact that creationists continue to insist upon pushing their religious teachings into the science classroom, right?

    When that stops happening, and creationists stop attempting to assert that their views deserve consideration as “science” of any kind, then Phil, myself and anyone else who considers it our responsibility to fight this sort of nonsense, will gladly remove any consideration for creationists and their whacky beliefs from our minds. Gladly.

    I think we both know that’s not going to happen anytime soon… right?

  129. James

    Whoa. Wait. So, what this guy is saying is, even though all we know of physics tells us that the force that creates momentum will diminish – basically, if you push something it will move quickly, but if you remove the force the object will slow and eventually stop – these tectonic plates are just kinda always moving at a constant rate? Honestly? I mean, come one. If you don’t want to accept the Bible as a source of theory and would rather accept a random unknown (Big Bang) as a source of theory, then fine. But don’t ignore the evidence that supports another theory, and don’t be dense just to stick to a side. That’s not science, that’s not heading where the evidence leads. It’s ignorance.

  130. TheBlackCat

    So, what this guy is saying is, even though all we know of physics tells us that the force that creates momentum will diminish – basically, if you push something it will move quickly, but if you remove the force the object will slow and eventually stop – these tectonic plates are just kinda always moving at a constant rate?

    Do a little reading on plate tectonics. The plates are moved around by a combination of forces, including convection currents in the mantle (similar to how convection currents in the atmosphere moves clouds) and gravity pulling plates down at subduction zones. Nothing magical here, there are powerful forces underneath the surface of the Earth that drive the process. Of course, this would have taken all of about 10 seconds to find out if you had bothered to check, instead you make up your own strawman argument and then claim that is our position.

    But don’t ignore the evidence that supports another theory, and don’t be dense just to stick to a side.

    Something about a pot and a kettle would go here. What evidence do creationists have? We have been asking and asking and nobody seems to want to actually present this evidence, they just keep asserting it exists. I’ve already stated what I think about the evidence I have been able to find.

  131. Aramael

    @James: I’ve just learned about Poe’s Law, and I’m trying to decide whether it applies in your case. Perhaps it’s impossible to know for certain. Having said that:

    (1) All we know of physics tells us the exact opposite, see Newton’s first law. The reason things slow down in our day to day experience is because of other forces (mostly friction).

    (2) It’s wrong to dismiss the Big Bang as a random unknown. It is a theory of considerable predictive power (e.g. cosmic microwave background — which was technically discovered before it was predicted, but that’s of no consequence here because its significance was not understood). The Big Bang explains many, many features of our universe; the bible explains [redacted for unnecessary provocation].

    (3) The more-or-less steady rate of movement is an observable fact — the Earth’s magnetic field has switched over the millennia at known intervals, and this is recorded in the alignment of magnetic poles in the sea floor.

    (4) It is good to point out flaws in theories; and the problem of where the force comes from is not a bad example — but since we know that this has, in fact, happened, the correct approach is to try to work out how (it’s like arguing that gravity cannot possibly be real since birds can fly; since gravity is a fact, what you need to do is work out how birds fly in spite of gravity)

    (5) There are several theories about the forces that result in the fact of steady continental drift: convection currents in the molten interior of the Earth; magma rising into gaps between plates and pushing them apart; the leading edge of a descending plate may pull the rest of it along. Most likely all these things have a role to play.

    (6) The other theory — I presume you mean the Speedy Gonzales version of continental drift — has exactly zero evidence to support it. OK, one bit of evidence, which is that the continents were in fact in different locations in the past. But since everything else we know — from fields as diverse as geology, palaeontology and nuclear physics — refutes this hypothesis, I think it’s safe to dismiss it. This is not about ignoring evidence, this is about there not being any evidence! Some guys started from the assumption that the Earth is 6000 years old, and tried to come up with ways to justify it. This is not science, no matter how they dress up their language.

    Disclaimer: I am not a geologist, nor a cosmologist, but I like to read.

  132. Anonymous

    Well, Black Cat, for some of us, there is no solid evidence of Creationism. I personally have none. Creationism cannot be proven. But neither can Evolution. In fact, no theory about how the universe and the planets and such came about can be proven. No one was there. Whether the universe is young or old, none can say for sure. No matter what you say, it’s a faith. I personally think that evolution is a fad, like the geocentric model. But, that’s just me. I think that God created the universe. You think that there was a point of infinite density, which expanded and formed great regions of dust and clouds, which pulled together to form everything that exists. I think all plants and animals were created by the same God. You think that all forms of life evolved from a single cell that went through a lot of mutations. And you think that cell (a cell more complicated than the most advanced computer on earth) was formed by materials basically crashing into each other in space. You think the earth is old. For once I agree. And you think there was a continental split. I agree again But you think that the ingredients for life were at least partially sent here by comets and asteroids. And we’re disagreeing again. And I’m fine with that. I’m fine with multiple theories on the subject. But I’m not fine that one theory has begun to be thought of as “fact” and the other to be thought of as something you would only believe in after a few to many Budweisers. And also, All of the comments on this page (and there are a LOT of comments) have been based on one groups opinion! All this talk of evolution and creationism and how all Christians must be legally insane to believe this is crazy! This is all based on a single article! So don’t base your entire opinion of Christianity on this group. And don’t give me the evidence that Evolution is fact and Creationism is myth. Believe me, I’ve heard it all. I’ve done a lot of research on it. I used to believe it. And I have heard it all. So don’t quote me and try to disprove me. Like Aramael, I’m not a scientist. I’m a reader. And I have read everything you can throw at me already.

    Yours in Wonderland,
    Anonymous

  133. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Life intervened, but finally returning to old threads FWIW:

    But neither can Evolution. In fact, no theory about how the universe and the planets and such came about can be proven. No one was there.

    We are seldom “there” when our instruments makes our observations for us. So it is immaterial when the light (or whatever interaction we observe) originated from the process. That is why we can observe stars now while what happened with them was then.

    There are plenty of evidence for the recognized sciences, including biology. You can find basic descriptions by starting with Wikipedia’s descriptions, and then follow their references to find the original facts.

    Oh, and sciences aren’t using proofs from axioms as in math as they rely on observation, they are using tests of theories to show that they are correct.

    If you have read about science, yet understood nothing, may I suggest that you are bedridden by Morton’s demon.

  134. Anonymous

    I’m baaaack…

    We are seldom “there” when our instruments makes our observations for us.
    immaterial when the light (or whatever interaction we observe) originated from the
    process. So it is That is why we can observe stars now while what happened with
    them was then.

    Whether or not our instruments are making observations when we aren’t there, Evolution is impossible to prove or disprove. So is creationism. So is every other theory, regardless of what the instruments say. Evolution is possible. I admit it. But so is creationism. And so are those other unproven theories. Well, most of them anyway.

    And about that evidence you have, that is open to interpretation. And personally (And before you start telling me how I’m wrong or biased, I admit that I could have not looked enough) the only biological evidence for evolution is similarities between animals And the fruit fly experiments. And I have researched those experiments, And all I have found that they produced is unhealthy, mutated fruit flies. Again, open to interpretation. Guess what mine is.

    If you have read about science, yet understood nothing, may I suggest that you are
    bedridden by Morton’s demon.

    Oh, how wrong you are. I have read. I have understood. I have failed to understand why you think that the only way the earth could exist is through random mutations. And riddle me this, evolutionists. How did all this matter come about. There had to be a source. And did matter itself evolve? Did the protons and neutrons randomly bond? I’m sure.
    And about Morton’s demon, No one is free of it. There is no such thing as non-bias and open-interpretation except in someone who knows nothing about this subject. We are biased. Admit it. You are biased towards evolution. I’m biased towards creationism. You will never convince me. I will never convince you. One day we’ll find out who’s right. See you there.

  135. kuhnigget

    @anonymous
    How did all this matter come about. There had to be a source.
    The granddaddy of all circular arguments.

    What created the source?

    Oh, right. It’s the exception that proves the rule.

  136. Ken

    >the only biological evidence for evolution is similarities between animals And the fruit fly experiments.

    The fossil record?
    Molecular biology?
    Evolution of drug-resistant bacteria?

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/images/1218doonesbury_lg.gif

  137. Todd W.

    @kuhnigget

    “What created the source?”

    A programmer friend of mine. Oh…not that kind of source…

  138. Anonymous

    The granddaddy of all circular arguments.

    What created the source?

    Oh, right. It’s the exception that proves the rule.

    So, it’s circular reasoning to wonder where matter comes from? And besides, I never said it was proof. I said it was evidence

    The fossil record?
    Molecular biology?
    Evolution of drug-resistant bacteria?

    The Fossil record = similarities in animals. Dead ones, but animals still. Molecular biology = I haven’t researched it yet. Which I admitted could happen. Evolution of drug-resistant bacteria = Not evolution. They don’t evolve. They adapt.

    You will never convince me. I will never convince you.

    Yeah, I quoted myself. You know, In at least one way, you’ve actually proven me right. I said we would never convince each other, and that happened. And I guarantee, this will keep going on pretty much until the end of time. Or until a nuclear war kills us all. Either one. But the point is, as long as you believe what you do, I’m proven right. Which is oddly satisfying.

  139. Todd W.

    @Anonymous

    Umm…adaptation is an aspect of evolution. Drug-resistant bacteria are different strains. They have some mutation that makes them slightly different from their “cousins”, as it were, and which confer greater resistance to drugs. As their cousins get killed off, the population as a whole grows stronger, as the resistant ones proliferate and spread. If you look at the genetic makeup of one of these today, and compare it to a similar ancestor from a decade or two ago, I’m pretty sure that you will find they are different. Even better if you can actually trace the ancestry back. And, it just so happens, that this has been done, though not with drug-resistant bacteria. There was just a recent study on E. coli that proved that, at the very least, bacteria evolve. Take a look at that study. I believe it was at the Mayo Clinic? Can’t remember off hand.

    So, we’ve provided some testable evidence that supports evolution. And keep in mind, that Evolutionary Theory does not even address origins of life, so don’t bother with that line of argument. I am interested, though, in what evidence you have for creation? Please share it with us.

  140. kuhnigget

    So, it’s circular reasoning to wonder where matter comes from? And besides, I never said it was proof. I said it was evidence
    No, it is not evidence. It is circular reasoning.

    “Matter must have a source, therefore there must be a source for matter.” (With the implication that the source is a god.) But there is no support for the opening statement, it is just an expression of opinion.

    As the BadAstronomer has said over and over, evidence, please.

    You will never convince me. I will never convince you.

    Therein lies the prime reason creationism is not science. If you had compelling evidence, I would accept your theory, whereas you flat out state you will never accept any of the mountains of evidence supporting evolution.

  141. kuhnigget

    oops. lost a blockquote end. sorry.

  142. Anonymous

    There was just a recent study on E. coli that proved that, at the very least, bacteria evolve.

    I must say, that was a good argument. However, if you read that closely, this is nothing but natural breeding. The same thing happens with dogs, although the dogs have humans guiding the changes. I must say though, very nice point.

    I am interested, though, in what evidence you have for creation? Please share it with us.

    If you read one of my previous comments (you probably haven’t) I don’t have proof for evolution. It is simply faith that makes me believe. I can’t proof it. And no matter how much testable evidence you have for evolution, you can’t without a doubt prove it either. So both of us operate on faith.

    …creationism is not science.

    Who said it was creationism (and Christianity, Judaism and every other similar belief, including evolution, because it describes how everything came about) is a religion. Not a science. And as far as I know no one (except the christian scientists, and even I know that they’re nuts) ever said it was.

    whereas you flat out state you will never accept any of the mountains of evidence supporting evolution.

    You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. And besides, what evidence you have is all open to interpretation. I interpret the evidence differently than you. It happens all the time throughout history. For example, Ptolemy and Copernicus interpreted the universe differently. So did Galileo and Aristotle. And don’t get me started on the roman catholic church in the time of those people. I don’t find your evidence compelling, and I don’t have any evidence except my faith. So we reach a stalemate.

    “Matter must have a source, therefore there must be a source for matter.” (With the implication that the source is a god.) But there is no support for the opening statement, it is just an expression of opinion. As the BadAstronomer has said over and over, evidence, please.

    It is an opinion. And the implication is there because that’s what I believe. Similar to the way all of your statements imply evolution. And now my turn. In regard your theory that there doesn’t have to be a source, and that there is no god or similar being, and that creationism could not be (not that it is unlikely, that it is impossible) evidence, please. And don’t start of on how that’s my only proof. As long as you’re going to ask me for proof, I want to know if you can prove anything you say. Just another opinion

  143. Anonymous

    However, if you read that closely, this is nothing but natural breeding.

    Yeah, I’m quoting myself again. Before you say otherwise, I was referring to what you were saying about the bacteria adapting, not the study itself. I haven’t had an opportunity look it up yet

  144. Zach

    I loved the futurama reference, but in Fry’s defense, he was talking about an insane theory that had happened to be right, but only provable through his empiric reasoning, and had nothing to do with plate tectonics.

  145. joe

    Actually, it’s funny you would use granite as an evolutionist argument. If the world were formed solely through naturalistic processes, granite could be heated and cooled in a lab and be cast as a strong material. However, it is impossible to heat and cool granite and not have it come out a weaker rock. Hmm, a small problem evolutionists would say.

  146. Tommy Scott

    Good point, Joe. I’m loving that this was about a piece of granite too. Here is the scientific evidence that granite formed in one single act of creation and not through evolution:

    http://www.fether.net/2006/03/01/2006-03-01-creationism-rocks/

  147. Tommy Scott

    Oh, and about continental drift. This article nicely turns your science into nonense as usual. Using science, of course. Why do scientists continually ignore what doesn’t support their beliefs?

    http://www.earthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/Continental_Drift_and_the_Age_of_the_Earth.htm

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