Arizona is 6000 years old?

By Phil Plait | July 6, 2009 3:27 pm

Ian O’Neill at Astroengine posted this stunning bit of video featuring Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen.

It’s not that she says the Earth is 6000 years old — twice, just to make sure — that floors me. It’s the casual way she said it, as if she said "I had a cup of coffee today." From her manner, it’s clear that not only does she believe this complete and utter nonsense, but this is a simple fact woven into her mind just like the Sun is bright or chocolate is tasty.

To her, the Earth being 6000 years old just is.

Now, to be fair, this video is without context, and so we can’t be absolutely sure she’s a creationist. But it sure as heck sounds that way, and given her voting record it fits right in.

The irony, of course — and there’s always irony when creationism is involved — is that she’s talking about uranium mining, and it’s through the radioactive decay of uranium that we know the Earth is billions of years old. And she also praises technological achievements!

AIIIIiiiiieeee!

So while you soak that up I leave you, of course, with this:

The stupid, it burns

Comments (368)

Links to this Post

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  26. Arizona state senator argues for uranium mining by claiming the Earth is ‘6,000 years’ old. | No Bull. news service. | November 20, 2009
  27. Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen: Petty Tactics, Petty Cash and Petty Candidate | Sonoran Weekly Review | August 22, 2010
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  1. Dustin

    Been here 6000 years without being done away with? Surely the senator isn’t implying that she doesn’t believe in the Biblical flood!

  2. I have to agree with your assessment of HOW she stated it. It does sound very much like she fully believes that number. If that’s the case, that makes me wonder what laws she passes with flawed and incorrect beliefs. I feel sorry for all Arizonians.

  3. BJN

    Unfortunately, lots of government land bureaucrats in the western states have a creationist and/or “end times” (latter days here behind the Zion Curtain) mindset. They dismiss land and bio protection based on their dogma. Live comfortably for now and forget about generations to come because it’s all going to end soon. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  4. You know…

    You said she said it

    I think I heard her say it twice

    But I still found myself re-watching it (10 times now) to make sure I heard what you said she said that I think she said twice because I can’t believe she said what she said that you said she said, twice even.

    There should be a warning that states:

    This is your brain (insert visual depiction). This video is cracked. This is your brain after watching cracked video (see my above comment)

  5. would we have a case trying to round up delusional people such as her to put them into an asylum where they can freely preach anything their mind can conjure?

  6. I feel sorry for that stupid little lady. Brilliant post tho. You sure know how to combine science and humour. Love it.

  7. How can people so blithely ignore huge piles of evidence? And worse, then get elected to a position of power that requires them to use critical thinking to make decisions?

  8. Lee

    Arizona. Home of the Grand Canyon. Shouldn’t there be a minimum competence required to hold a public office?

  9. We can either believe the world is 6,000 years old, or we can have nuclear reactors, since belief in the former negates science that makes the latter work.

  10. Oh wow. That is SO scary. She just misunderstands everything, doesn’t she?

  11. Ken

    You get the government you deserve … it’s just a shame that the pathetic US governments have such an impact on the rest of the world.

  12. Y’know, I hear about YECers all the time, but I never cease to be amazed when confronted with actual proof of their existence. Yes, Virginia, there really are people who are that fracking deluded.

  13. Randy A.

    What alternate reality is she from? And PLEASE, can we send her back?

  14. Travis

    Yay for ignorance! I hope AZ gets the magical Uranium power stones!

  15. And her argument is that 6,000 years is a long time: now that the world has lasted for 6,000 years, it must be tough enough that nothing we do can possibly damage it.

  16. Jim

    I’m embarassed to say I live in Arizona based on this clip. I’ve never heard of Ms. Allen, but if I ever get a chance to vote for her, I won’t. She’s only off by about 6 orders of magnitude….

  17. Kitty'sBitch

    Why? Just why?
    AZ, are you paying attention?

  18. Shannypez

    I’m with Jim..sigh… giving Arizona a bad name one politition at a time.

  19. LostWizard

    You know, saying the earth has been here for 6000 years does not necessarily imply that it hasn’t been here longer.

    That said, odds are she meant what we think she meant and that thought is depressing.

  20. Daffy

    Sweet Jesus in a chicken basket…this is more than wrong: it is EMBARRASSING. No wonder most of the world thinks we’re a bunch of yokels.

  21. Non-biological scientists ignore young earth creationists and the ID / Teach the Controversy crackpots at their peril. My background is in nuclear engineering (reactor safety, waste & material processing) so dealing with the concept of long-lived unstable material is part and parcel of the job.

    As a few upcoming books show, the evidence for evolution is found in many fields of physical science – zoology, molecular biology, geology, chemistry, atomic and nuclear physics, information theory, and on and on. Any inconsistency between theory and evidence would have been exploited either by those with a scientific reputation to make or a religious axe to grind and still the theory stands with little modification for ~150 years.

    The assault on evidence-based reasoning, the scientific method, and methodological naturalism is appalling. I would hope that more scientists and engineers outside the biological sciences would stand to vocally oppose the YECs (preferably to hound them out of polite and sane society, at least out of politics.) Partly as a measure of solidarity, but partly because of the logical conclusion of young earth creationism – the suborning of all science to religion.

    I find it more than a little disturbing that young earth creationists so blithely play favorites with nuclear theory – they seem to have full faith in the constancy of radioactive decay when nuclear weapons, power reactors, spent fuel, and medical radiation are concerned but dismiss it with a wave when it challenges their pet dogma. It doesn’t register and nobody with a camera or a microphone ever holds them accountable for it.

    Seriously – why aren’t these bozos laughed offstage?

  22. justcorbly

    Just shows what kind of people Republicans have to be these days to get their party’s approval. Look at Palin. Used to be you could just be conservative about money and toady-ish about corporations to get along in the GOP, but now you need to be a Biblical literalist and channel the spirt of Lester Maddox to stand a chance as a Republican.

    There’s a large sub-culture of these folks, people who grew up in anti-modern families and who were either home schooled or educated at private “Christian” schools. If kids hear for years that science is wrong and probably evil and that the Bible contains everything worth knowing, then you get people like this state senator who obviously sees nothing out of the ordinary spouting extraordinary nonsense in public.

  23. Hm. I grew up watching Kent Hovind, a very passionate creationist, and being taught that the world was only 6000 years old.

    I started doubting that long ago. But I do get perplexed at what I see as all the changing numbers. The world is 28 billion years old one day and 1.4 the next. Is there like, an official timeline?

    It’d be great if you could answer that for me, Phil, or anyone else. I’d like to know what the majority of the scientific community thinks.

  24. I am a former creationist//evangelical, and it amazes me that I could have ever held such insane beliefs, (especially after growing up grounded in science) and, secondly, how these people sincerely believe this tripe. The world outside the confines of their religious beliefs simply does not exist.

    #22, Liz D:
    This link may help in answering your questions:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

  25. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Apparently Arizona is being targeted by various Christian Fundamentalist groups as a ” Battleground State”.

    http://www.awakearizona.com/
    http://www.azpolicy.org/

  26. jdac

    Came here to point out the irony of her statement based on the stub that showed up originally in my feed reader. Thank you for beating me to the punch, Phil.

    Love the picture too. That’s my usual feeling when confronted with this kind of thing. Unfortunately, I lack the mental fortitude to maintain my composure in the face of such staggering idiocy.

  27. Matt Reynolds

    You guys are aware this is a red state, right? How does this surprise you in anyway, this is a belief pretty commonly associated with the republican party.

    @Liz- it’s ~14.5 billion, and the reason for changing estimates is a little process called science

  28. Greg in Austin

    Mmmm. Chocolate is tasty.

    It would be interesting to know what the actual topic up for vote was. It sounds like it has something to do with mining uranium, but I did not hear for what purpose. She says at the end, “I am for this,” so, is that a good thing or not?

    In her defense, it is not humanly possible for one person to be well educated in every field of study, and obviously it is not a requirement for a politician to be educated in science at all. But one would hope that those in office would surround themselves with experts in those areas which they had no education in, and ask those experts for their advice when voting on such topics.

    That being said, I cannot fathom why she would bring up the age of the earth in her argument. She obviously has no experience in mining and she apparently has no education in geology or chemistry. What she said makes her sound completely uneducated.

    8)

  29. Ian

    “Just shows what kind of people Republicans have to be these days to get their party’s approval.”

    They have built a party that embraces ignorance. They demonize intellectual fortitude by branding it as “elitist.” Anyone who tries to think through an issue, gather data and make a rational decision based on it is an “intellectual elitist.” As a result they draw the kind of candidates that match the demographic they pander too.

    The party will be purely the party of the ignorant for the ignorant in a few more cycles.

  30. Simple, Liz. New evidence comes every day that more-perfects our learning.

    Lemme ask you this: Exactly how many people are there on the Earth’s surface right now? 6.5 billion? 6.75 billion? I’m positive you can’t answer it exactly, but you can give a decent estimate.

    It’s not possible to answer because we simply don’t know the exact amount; but better and better estimates, through science are engendered daily.

    Perhaps one day, we’ll be able to tell you the exact time and date – and with more and more evidence piling up, it may even be within our lifetime. But right now, we don’t know.

  31. “That being said, I cannot fathom why she would bring up the age of the earth in her argument. ”

    Unfortunately, the courtroom is her soapbox. She can say anything she likes so long as she doesn’t break any laws and heaven help anyone who contradicts her.

  32. Davidlpf


    It fits here as well.

  33. @Ian:

    “They have built a party that embraces ignorance.”

    Heh. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that summarizes this perfectly: “Annoy a conservative — think for yourself!”

  34. Greg in Austin

    Liz D said,

    “Is there like, an official timeline? “

    Yes, there is. For starters:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_earth
    pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/age.html

    For more info, look at your local community college or university extension courses, and take a Geology 101 course, or maybe visit a Geology professor. I don’t know where you live, but almost every major city has a Museum of Natural Science. The one in Houston, TX is very good:
    http://www.hmns.org/

    8)

  35. Elwood Herring

    Liz D: Where did you get those figures from? I’ve never heard anyone claim that the earth is 28 billion years old, or 1.4 (billion?) either. Check your sources. As far as I am aware (and I’m no scientist but I do take an interest in scientific developments) the Earth is firmly established as being approximately 4.5 billion years old, give or take about .1 either way. Others here will undoubtedly give you more accurate figures, but 4.5 billion is the only figure I’ve seen in any scientific publication in at least the last 15-20 years or so.

  36. Dan I

    @ 22. Liz D

    Liz it is pretty well accepted in the scientific community that the Solar System (and hence the Earth) is around 4.5-4.6 billion years old, give or take a few tens of millions of years.

    I think you’re probably misunderstanding the difference between “Age of the Solar System,” “Age of the Galaxy” and “Age of the Universe.”

    The Universe as a whole is estimated to be, I believe, around the neighborhood of 15 billions years (Phil correct me if I’m wrong on that please). I think the Galaxy is thought to be around 13 billion or something like that (again Phil, you’re the one with the Astro degree, I washed out of the University of Maryland’s Astro department into the lovely world of Political Science).

    There’s a problem because the media routinely reports age estimates from years ago as the “current estimate” because they aren’t keeping up with the rapid changes that can occur. Revisions of astronomical theories don’t exactly make for sexy, headline grabbing news.

    “Age of Universe Dated!” Doesn’t really compare to “JOHN AND KATE DIVORCING!”

    So the media doesn’t keep up on all the changes. So you see various estimates appearing in various sources, conflicting with one another.

    The Wall Street Journal might have the latest estimate whereas the NY Times might be using an estimate from 8, 9, 10 years ago.

  37. Believing this is one thing, not realizing how the world will react and that it will produce gigabytes of ridicule is quite another.

    As so true with politicians, it’s not the stupidity of the belief so much as the stupidity of not realizing it will brand you as stupid with a huge segment.

    Plenty of politicians woo the masses with stupidity, now that’s not quite as stupid.

  38. RThompson

    Liz D, I am not an astronomer, but 13.7 billion years seems to be the current estimate for the age of the universe. That answer is at least several years old and the previous answer of 10 – 15 billion is a few decades old.

    The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. That estimate is also several decades old.

    Not sure where you heard 28 billion or 1.4 billion, but I doubt it was from a competent scientist.

    I will on occasion watch some of “Dr.” Hovinds seminars. Hard to imagine the condition someone would be in if they were one of the foundations for understanding science.

    Good luck with your recovery.

  39. sdn

    I think the 28 Ma figure comes from Lord Kelvin’s attempts to date the earth using his and Fourier’s work on thermodynamics. In his day they didn’t know about some of the processes that contribute to the planet’s internal temperature, so his estimate was nowhere near the current figure.

    I remember something similar about the billion-year estimate, but that kind of thing is to be expected. Science gets closer to the truth of things as time goes on.

  40. MadScientist

    Well, she should know – if the earth is only 6000 years old, she was obviously here before it was created.

    So she’s a “young earth creationist”; like “old earth creationist” that’s just a nice way of saying “moron”.

  41. BoneheadFX

    As an Arizonian, please know that not all of us here think that way.
    I think that anyone planning on using AZ as a “battleground state” is going to have a bit of an uphill climb, at least here in southern AZ.

  42. This makes me realize that this very question should be on the slate for every political debate where the outcome will be to place an individual into a position of authority or influence. One’s answer perfectly expresses whether you have the capacity for logical and critical thinking AND whether your opinions can be unduly influenced by peer pressure. “How old is the earth?” – a simple diagnostic tool to determine whether an individual is qualified for public office.

  43. Elwood

    Wow.
    And it’s not JUST the 6000-year quote – it’s the 42 second argument she puts forth in a vote on mining uranium, surely a political hot potato:

    ‘We need to get the uranium here in Arizona so this state can get the money from it… and the, uh, revenue from it… and it can be done safely… and you’ll never even know the mine has been there when they’re done.’

    Looks like Sylvia Allen also uses Ficly

  44. Rich

    Not all evangelicals are young earthers or anti science. I dont’ have advanced degrees (except in theology) but my undergrad was in physics. I am very comfortable with the notion that evolution is correct, that the universe is billions of years old, and that Christ will return one day and all those pew packers I have been arguing science with all these years will finally see the truth.

  45. Jeff

    I’ve worked for government bureaucrats for 30 years and this doesn’t surprise me. I frequently hear them talking like they have the mentality of 10 year olds. One characteristic I’ve noticed in many of them is that they seem very clumsy in their diction and I suspect many of them just read from scripts. So this to me is the same old same old.

  46. TraumaPony

    BoneheadFX, noone thinks that everyone from Arizona is that way. Just most of you, seeming as you elected her :P

  47. *Sigh*

    Crazy lunatics in government and 108 degrees today…why do I live here?

    Oh yeah, now I remember. Winter.

  48. Gemini

    I think its interesting to note that nowhere in the Bible that specifically says, “The Earth is 6,000 years old.”

  49. Keith

    After watching this video I now realize that the Grand Canyon isn’t the biggest hole in Arizona. It’s in Sen. Allen’s head.

  50. START RANT
    From Tucson:
    17. Kitty’sBitch Says:
    Why? Just why?
    AZ, are you paying attention?

    Believe me, we are. However, we are actually two completely independent areas, Northern/Central Arizona and Southern Arizona. The South is more ‘communist’ (that’s now considered a synonym for ‘liberal’, right?), while the Phoenix area (Maricopa County) and the more rural areas tend to be ‘conservative’ (Though most are Neoconservative, but that’s another story). Remember, we had Barry Goldwater (true conservative), John McCain (true conservative who drank the ‘cool-aid’ between 2000 and 2008), as well as such people as Fife Symington (Governor, arrested for fraud) and Evan Mecham (Governor, impeached).
    We also had Mo Udall, though….

    16. Jim Says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I live in Arizona based on this clip. I’ve never heard of Ms. Allen, but if I ever get a chance to vote for her, I won’t. She’s only off by about 6 orders of magnitude….

    She’s District 5.. check your voting information.

    2. TripCyclone Says:

    I have to agree with your assessment of HOW she stated it. It does sound very much like she fully believes that number. If that’s the case, that makes me wonder what laws she passes with flawed and incorrect beliefs. I feel sorry for all Arizonians.

    The South is who you should be concerned about, the Central/North is the Neocon area, and they simply outnumber us.. that’s why we’re a ‘red’ state.

    25. Simon Says:

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Apparently Arizona is being targeted by various Christian Fundamentalist groups as a ” Battleground State”.

    They will probably focus on Phoenix/Maricopa County,that’s the most heavily inhabited area.

    42. BoneheadFX Says:

    As an Arizonian, please know that not all of us here think that way.
    I think that anyone planning on using AZ as a “battleground state” is going to have a bit of an uphill climb, at least here in southern AZ.

    I still say we should secede from the state and become “Baja Arizona” (if you’ve been here long enough…)

    J/P=?

  51. Paul

    No Gemini. It’s not in the Bible. Some loon named James Ussher went back and added up the ages of all the biblical folks starting with Adam and come up with that number.

  52. Chris

    Wow, she was so casual, like saying the sky is blue. It was chilling.

  53. James

    @Davidlpf: Thanks for the laugh! I printed that out and plan to put it up in my classroom for next year.

  54. The Other Ian

    The scariest part of this isn’t her delusion about the age of the earth. It’s that her entire reasoning for dismissing environmental safeguards is that if they weren’t necessary 6,000 years ago, then they’re not be necessary today.

  55. Zyggy

    I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and all that. I also believe “the right to swing those beliefs ends at someone else’s nose”.

    This Senator’s lines of thinking are exactly why we have not been able to get funding for researching ACTUAL PROBLEMS facing us, such as global warming, and other conservation-like issues.

    These are the exact type of people that effectively legislate the destruction of the Earth, our onliest home planet, because they are not worried about the future. They seriously think “The Almigthy Jeebus” is coming to take us all away from this.

    One survey I read estimated that over HALF of all Americans believe that “Jeebus” will appear WITHIN THEIR LIFETIMES, bringing with him all the destruction and chaos of the “end of times” as described in the “Revelations” chapter in that fairy-tale of theirs.

    They don’t care about the future, because to them, there IS no future. We are all doomed within a scant 20-50 years or so. One of the things that scares me the most is that the “end of the Earth” does not bother the Bible-thumpers in the least. It is a simple matter of fact. After (or during) which they will be magically whisked away to that pearly-white Heaven.

    What me worry? …heh

  56. The Other Elwood

    I don’t get it. I visited the Phoenix area and saw a beautiful college campus with people like Lawrence Krauss and Donald Johanson on the faculty. I thought to myself, “maybe I should move here so my kids can get in-state tuition.” Then I see some of the other stuff going on in AZ, and I’m inclined to stay put. Is there anywhere in this great nation of ours that is safe?

  57. Chuck

    Well, to her defense she didn’t say “ONLY 6,000 years old”! Maybe she understands that it’s actually MUCH, MUCH older (?). Ok, maybe not.

    It scares me when people like this are responsible for determining public policy. I wonder what other laws she may have voted for based on her misconceptions.

  58. 57: Zyggy, I have a message for the Half of all americans – those ones that believe the return of the Christ will occur within their life times. He already returned, saw what we’ve done to the place and decided he didn’t want to rule over it after all and went back to Heaven. I think there may be a 1024 character story in that somewhere….

    JBS

  59. YEC- interjection. An appropriate response to the idea that the earth is 6000 (or an equally silly) number of years old.

    I promised myself I wouldn’t watch any video on the internet today, and then Phil puts up a video of a politician making a fool of herself. That’s when I knew I had to break out the earphones.

  60. 57. Zyggy Says:

    These are the exact type of people that effectively legislate the destruction of the Earth, our onliest home planet, because they are not worried about the future. They seriously think “The Almigthy Jeebus” is coming to take us all away from this.

    That attitude strikes me as a combination of fear (of death) and egotism.
    Like the song says: everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.
    After all, as far as you’re (or I, or BA) is concerned, the world ends when we die… at least our personal world.
    IF the World ends before we (you, I) do, we get to avoid that hassle of dying, we just get ‘raptured’ (Another non-Biblical claim) away and avoid all that messy ‘death’ stuff.
    Accepting a short-lived Earth and Universe (6K yrs) makes the wholeness of Existence (Creation) less daunting, with the size of the Universe scaled down to compensate for all the feelings of smallness.. along with the ‘special’ place for Humans (that is, Humans are from ‘my tribe’, all others are beasts).

    J/P=?
    END RANT

  61. DavidCOG

    The Other Ian:

    > The scariest part of this isn’t her delusion about the age of the earth. It’s that her entire reasoning for dismissing environmental safeguards is that if they weren’t necessary 6,000 years ago, then they’re not be necessary today.

    Exactly. Her incredible stupidity (it goes beyond mere ignorance) is being used to justify doing nothing to protect the environment.

    These people will have us living on a smouldering, poisoned, dead rock before they think we need to change our consumption patterns.

  62. Matt Reynolds

    also, this is a state senator, and loonies ALWAYS find their way into state government. Phil I guarantee there’s a retard in your state’s senate

  63. Norah Casey

    I went to high school in Arizona. I learned more about evolution in the Catholic elementary schools I attended in New York and Idaho….IDAHO… than I learned in my junior high science class in Arizona. The teacher told us with that same obliviousness that dinosaurs and man “theoretically did not coexist”…. AHHHH!!

  64. Gliewmeden

    Holy crapola.

    Who voted this nutbar in? And who will rake her over the coals to get her sorted out and out of office? Hope there are some sentient souls who will yank her chain immediately.

  65. On the age of the earth according to the bible: it’s worse than you think. The nitwit mentioned by Paul #52 failed to realize that the ages in the old testament were lunar, not solar. During the bronze age the Babylonians had figured out the concept of a solar year but not the authors of the bible. I *think* that later on in the new testament they switched to solar years but never reconciled the two systems.

    Anyway, minor point compared to the greater idiocy of this person holding public office.

  66. Tuiliq

    Well, here’s her website:

    http://www.azleg.gov/MembersPage.asp?Member_ID=124&Legislature=49

    Why don’t we let her know what we think?

  67. Not only is she quoting 6,000 years, but she’s doing it in a way that shows she considers that a VERY long time.

  68. Christina Viering

    These people run the the US. It is something to think about.

  69. José

    @arclight
    Someone claiming to be an engineer that does believe in evolution? What the heck is going on?

  70. #45, Rich:
    While you may be comfortable with evolution, your religion does set you up for an “Us Vs Them” mentality, where those that do not share your particular beliefs must be “saved.” I for one, have been there, done that, and got the theology degrees, and can tell you that I do not need to be saved from my “sins.” Thank you very much.

  71. thanks for the replies, guys. ’tis why I love this blog.

    And, to everyone bashing the senator ( not that I necassarily agree with her), this is what you get for living in America. Land of the free, folks.

  72. Zyggy

    I just saw something while out driving around that exactly proves a point I was trying to make earlier (#57), and I had to post this.

    This is a quote printed on one of those “church billboards”. You know, the ones in front of the churches that have “uplifting” messages on them. The ones that try to get you to “visit us on Sunday at 11:00 A.M.”

    It read: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. God is already there”

    …..sigh.

  73. johnnyfatsac

    This is exactly why I’m interested in both politics and religion, and I do talk about both in public and among friends (which I hear you are not supposed to do?). In these kind of situations you can’t just point and laugh or say “well they are entitled to their opinion”…these pepole make laws that directly effect all of us and future generations to come.

  74. Naomi

    …It’s okay, Arizona. I won’t hold this idiot against you. (Doing a year-long exchange at UoA in a year, whee! As a geology major, to boot!)

    I say we drop her in the Grand Canyon and yell out how old the strata is as she whizzes by. If it’s only six thousand years, it won’t be very far at all!

  75. ndt

    73. Liz D Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    thanks for the replies, guys. ’tis why I love this blog.

    And, to everyone bashing the senator ( not that I necassarily agree with her), this is what you get for living in America. Land of the free, folks.

    Yes, she is free to say stupid things, and we are free to bash her. The people in her Senate district are free to vote for her or for someone else, and we are free to mock them for their choice.

  76. 4Dtechnophobe

    Why is (almost!) everyone bashing the poor woman? You people act as if you Americans have conered the market on politicians like her. Unfortunately, you’re wrong. Here in Alberta, we have representatives like her. The educational requirements here is that the person standing for election be fluent in 1 official language; we once had a premier who was proud of his not completing high school. She sounds like she would be over-qualified for any elected office in Alberta.

    I once wrote local representative about a controversial issue. He didn’t understand my comment about the requirements for his job versus mine (physics teacher: at least 1 university degree, I have 2).

  77. #75, zyggy:
    If that’s true, maybe the almighty can give me tomorrows lotto numbers at bedtime prayers!

  78. Rob

    I think we really need to just stand back and let a few states be totally taken over by the invisible sky deity worshippers. Vote for them, let them take complete control and totally have their way (no environmental or monetary regulations, no taxes on anyone except the poor, educational focus only on Jeebus and football), and then let the rest of the country see for themselves the results: states swimming in poisonous fumes, with endless corporate scams that make Enron look tame, and populated with ignorant sloths who cannot hold any job except WalMart greeter. It could take decades, but the lessons would eventually be clear.

  79. Kassul

    re: Steven Dunlap @ 68
    I’m not sure that the lunar thing really works as an explanation for the huge ages of some old testament figures. If we take their ages at various points to be an expression of how many lunar cycles they’d been alive, they’d be fathering some of their children at a rather tender age.

    eg: Mahalalel had a child (Jared) at 65 years of age. He died at the age of 895. Did he really get married and then father his kid at the age of 5? I’m not sure how one can consistently apply any sort of tweaking of “Yes, but what it REALLY means is ” to those ages and get answers that are consistent with what we observe nowadays.

    I think you’re left with taking the 895 thing at face value and then having to BS your way through it with talk of the firmament, sin, etc, etc…

  80. TJ

    The 28 billion number is the diameter of the *visible* Universe, currently, in light years.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/universe/howbig.html

    But, then, there’s this 156 billion number floating around:
    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040524.html

    which is another reason I’m glad I didn’t major in cosmology.

  81. Just when we sane Arizonans thought we were almost done apologizing to the rest of the nation for McCain & co., this happens. *sigh*

    See you here next year, Naomi!

  82. Ad Hominid

    Ok, rational Arizonans. As a rational Texan, I will see your delusional senator and raise you a couple of insanely superstitious school board members.

  83. Justin

    @José

    I’m an senior electrical engineering student (from Louisiana!) who has no problem agreeing with evolution and calling out these bozos like Sylvia Allen for their stupidity. I was going to say ignorance, but there is just no excuse these days to be ignorant about things like that.

  84. Joe Shadduck

    Mr. Plait, I highly enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your opinions on all matters scientific, but your level of closemindedness on several issues (some of which I even agree with you on, like homeopathy) is, quite honestly, disappointing. You once again demonstrate that evolution is a religion and that you, just like so many of the people you berate, refuse to look at the other side’s case before you post your nitpicking arguments. I know one reader doesn’t really matter to you and that you could care less what I think, but I’m not really interested in reading someone who continuously ridicules my beliefs from a wholly nonscientific perspective, instead choosing to treat me as a dangerous cultist who will be making human sacrifices any minute. Creationism actually has a very strong case scientifically, and from what I’ve read/watched in your interviews and papers on the subject, you give it less credence than wild Planet X blatherings. All I’m asking (and again, I know you could care less what one reader thinks) is that you not make a fool of yourself and your readers by stooping to the same level as the people you criticize: by making your arguments with visceral emotion and not with scientific fact.

  85. KZnextzone

    Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
    And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
    That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned,
    A sun that is the source of all our power.
    The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
    Are moving at a million miles a day
    In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
    Of the galaxy we call the ‘Milky Way’.
    Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
    It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side.
    It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
    But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide.
    We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
    We go ’round every two hundred million years,
    And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
    In this amazing and expanding universe.

    The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
    In all of the directions it can whizz
    As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
    Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.
    So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
    How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
    And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    ‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.

    Monty Python

  86. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Well at least she was pro-technology and not confusing planetaria with “overhead projectors.” ;-)

    I guess if you are raised in an family and community environment where you are told something like that is true often enough and you somehow miss out on (or more likely tune out on) people telling you the alternative it comes to be internalised as just a fact even when its so totally wrong.

    I wonder whether this is the case – she really just doesn’t understand what she’s saying and has no idea of the evolution /Creationist dispute and thinks she’s just stating a “common fact” or whether she’s actually a militant YEC-er? It sounded so casual I tend to think the former – so plain uneducated & ignorant rather than wilfully politically lying for Jeebus?

    Maybe.

    Either way, yes its scary and yes she’s badly wrong and its not good for Arizona’s reputation .. :-(

    But then there are loons in every state and every country & Arizona can boast having the USGS & JPL HQ can’t it?

    There was something odd too in that clip – after she said “6,000 years” the first time she muttered something inaudible then “shut up” as if like someone interjected – listened to it a few times and couldnt make it out. (My hearing could be better.) Wonder what that was about?

    @ 78 ndt : Yes, she is free to say stupid things, and we are free to bash her

    Only verbally (textually?) mind! Tempting as it may be, doing so physically would be assault and totally unethical. Say what you like about her though! ;-)

    @ 57 Zyggy (nice spelling btw! ;-) ) :

    One survey I read estimated that over HALF of all Americans believe that “Jeebus” will appear WITHIN THEIR LIFETIMES, bringing with him all the destruction and chaos of the “end of times” as described in the “Revelations” chapter in that fairy-tale of theirs.

    Statistical fact : Half of all people are below average intelligence! Same half as believe that? ;-)

    Seems to me the problem is that when people have to choose between what a scientist is saying, based on years – indeed centuries – of research and study and reasoning and evidence, and what a priest tells them based on the compiled oral traditions of a bunch of bronze age goat herders all too many oddly choose to accept the latter over the former …

  87. TheGreenHornet

    Remember people, folks like this woman have been TAUGHT THIS FROM BIRTH.

    I know, I cannot understand the blind ignorance any more than you, but many here sound as if they think she is lying. Probably not.

    Are you kidding? there are people in the US of A today that believe that a guy talked to Jesus out of a hat, others BELIEVE there are alien overlords who fly jetliners, kids are being TAUGHT Jesus rode dinosaurs!…it just goes on and on.

    Does anyone remember the things Dan Quayle believed? Ronald Regan?

    Clearly, they are mostly idiots.

    Sorry to be blunt. But you know it, I know it.
    Trouble is….

    We let them become lawmakers.

    We have FINALLY shifted course with Obama. We voted at least for an I.Q.
    We got a good one.

    Lets not drop the ball.

    [Lets get ‘Demon Haunted World’ in schools as often as ‘religious’ textbooks!]

  88. Joe Shadduck (#87): I do care what you think, insomuch as you are grossly and totally wrong.

    Creationism has no scientific basis whatsoever. None. Evolution, on the other hand, has vast amounts of scientific evidence to support. Calling it a religion tells me that you don’t understand anything about it. I suggest you read Jerry Coyne’s book “Why Evolution is True”, for example. That would be a good place to start.

  89. Geophysicist

    Wow. I cried. What we have discovered about the universe is stunning. Breathtaking. Stupendously awe inspiring. Why do people willingly refuse to see this?

    “No no, my God is a little God, and I want him to stay that way…”
    -Carl Sagan, Pale blue dot.

  90. Ryan

    You think this is bad? Look at who might be our next BOE chairman in Texas.

  91. quesne

    I call BS. The world was created 4004 BCE – as per Bishop Ussher; consequently the earth is 6013 years old (if we assume there is a year 0 (which we DO!.)).

  92. SinisterMatt

    Phil, your site is awesome!

    I guess the question I have about this post is, notwithstanding the woman’s religious belief, how do scientists and interested parties go about reversing such prevalent anti-intellectualism that is evidenced by this woman’s viewpoint?

    #82 Kassul and #68 Steven Dunlap:

    As near as I can tell (I’m Mormon but like Rich I’m comfortable with evolution and science being compatible with my faith), the 6,000 years old thing stems from a verse in the Bible (I’m not entirely sure where it is, perhaps Psalms) that says that 1 day to God is equal to 1,000 earth years. People who propose this then extrapolate that since the earth was created by God in 6 “days,” then it stands to reason that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

    However, some biblical scholars have suggested that the word originally translated as “days” in the Bible would be better rendered as “time periods,” of no determinate length. Of course, I’m only tangentially acquainted with Bible scholarship, so I may have misrepresented the whole shebang.

    Cheers!

  93. @Joe Shadduck
    Ok Joe. Where are these scientific facts that support creationism of which you speak?

    On one side we have “Goddidit” and on the other 150 years of evolutionary science.

    instead choosing to treat me as a dangerous cultist who will be making human sacrifices any minute.
    Nobody said creationists were antivaxxers. ;-)

  94. ethanol

    There was something odd too in that clip – after she said “6,000 years” the first time she muttered something inaudible then “shut up” as if like someone interjected – listened to it a few times and couldnt make it out. (My hearing could be better.) Wonder what that was about?

    She muttered “and I go on and on and on and I’ll shut up”

    If only

  95. We HAD a state senate candidate who could have set Ms. Allen straight:

    http://www.cotera4az.com/content/about-angela

    Unfortuanely, though close, she lost :-(

    At least we are not all dweebs here in the great state of Arizona.

  96. 81. Rob Says:

    I think we really need to just stand back and let a few states be totally taken over by the invisible sky deity worshippers.

    I nominate YOUR state
    :)

    J/P=?

  97. Jeremy

    Creationists are even stranger on an astronomy blog than on a biology one. Any astronomer that studies an object farther away than 6000 light years (which is damn near everything, of course) can’t help but be amused/appalled by the YEC view of the universe. One gets the distinct impression that they think astronomy is just pretty pictures, and can’t even be bothered to read the captions…

  98. Mike Wagner

    Canada welcomes all smart people with open arms.
    In fact, we’ll happily trade our creationists for you.
    We can increase the intellectual value of our country, and offload our refuse in the process.

    One request. I’d like to trade Celine Dion as well.

  99. Jeremy

    @Mike Wagner

    I humbly suggest that you guys come to us, if for no other reason than that I’m uncomfortable leaving the most powerful military in the world in the hands of people that think the world is going to end in their lifetime.

  100. IVAN3MAN

    Joe Shadduck:

    Creationism actually has a very strong case scientifically, and from what I’ve read/watched in your interviews and papers on the subject, you give it less credence than wild Planet X blatherings.



    Evolution and Creationism Have Equal Weight(!)
    “See? They have equal weight. Therefore, they
    should have equal footing in the classroom!”


    :cool:

  101. Mike Wagner

    Jeremy,
    A very good, very scary point. Especially when you consider how religion has pretty much taken over the army :(

    Ivan3Man:
    I wonder if the character in the cartoon is meant to look like Ray Comfort.
    Someone needs to draw him holding a banana :)

  102. Ad Hominid

    Mike,
    I’ll trade our Texas State Board of Education for the 10,000 dumbest people in Ontario (Ottawa excluded) on the sole condition they not run for office once they get here.

  103. FlyinFree

    Anyone who thinks the world is 6000 years old shouldn’t be allowed to decide what they eat for breakfast much less the location of materials that could wipe out all life in an area for centuries. It is disturbing and disgusting that this level of ignorance is permitted in leaders and lawmakers. Didn’t having a born again president for 8 years teach people enough?

  104. ;-) Sometimes, just sometimes, when video’s like these are the straw that breaks this camel’s moral and mental back, I start to feel for a split second that maybe, just maybe, a pre-emptive nuclear strike by North Korea on the USA wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all….

  105. Mike Wagner

    I’ve seen video of those guys in action. At least they wouldn’t get to decide what’s in the textbooks here.
    That’s scary.

  106. #87@Joe Shadduck:
    Woah! No one said you will be making human sacrifices at any minute! But, you state…”Creationism actually has a very strong case scientifically”.

    Ok. Would you like to state your references for this belief? Where are the scientifically peer reviewed papers for this statement? (Other than at the Answers in Genesis website). See, this is the problem I have with this. I used to parrot this same stuff, yet when challenged, would have to run and tuck my head between my legs. Creationism or ID has no basis in scientific fact! It is merely religion masked as “science”, which, those of us rooted in real science, call “Pseudoscience”.

  107. John C. Randolph

    “Why is (almost!) everyone bashing the poor woman?”

    Because she’s not merely a blithering idiot, she’s a blithering idiot in a position of some power, and thus in a position to inflict her idiocy on people beyond her own family.

    -jcr

  108. JB of Brisbane

    Again, from Peanuts, I remember when Linus was about to be elected student body president by a landslide – until he decided to tell the crowd his creed re The Great Pumpkin. Somehow, this video is somewhat reminiscent. I was waiting for something about “turtles all the way down…”

  109. IVAN3MAN

    Mike Wagner:

    I wonder if the character in the cartoon is meant to look like Ray Comfort.
    Someone needs to draw him holding a banana.

    I’ll keep a lookout for one, and I’ll post it if I find it. :-)

  110. Keith

    LOL @ cartoon in No. 100

    Technically, she wasn’t wrong when she said the Earth has been around 6000 years, she just didn’t mention the other 4.5 billion years.

    Actually I’m not sure what’s scarier – that this woman sees that as so matter of fact, that she uses it as an excuse to not look after the Earth, or that some majority of people in Arizona have no problem with that.

    PS. I wanted to check if the billion was short or long scale. I didn’t realise that long scale was abandoned in the UK in 1974!

  111. Michael Kingsford Gray

    Only in the US of A…

  112. Nigel Depledge

    Liz D (23) said:

    Hm. I grew up watching Kent Hovind, a very passionate creationist, and being taught that the world was only 6000 years old.

    I started doubting that long ago. But I do get perplexed at what I see as all the changing numbers. The world is 28 billion years old one day and 1.4 the next. Is there like, an official timeline?

    It’d be great if you could answer that for me, Phil, or anyone else. I’d like to know what the majority of the scientific community thinks.

    Just for starters, as I’m sure others have pointed out, the Earth (in fact, the entire solar system)is about 4.5 billion years old. The oldest rocks ever found on Earth have been measured to be around 3.8 – 4.0 billion years old (I can’t recall the actual figure, and I can’t recall where I read this, but I recall this ballpark). Meteorites and some rocks from the moon have been measured to be around 4.3 – 4.5 byo.

    The figure of 6000 years does not come from the bible. The bible does not state the age of the Earth. There is a gap between the old and new testaments that means the bible cannot (solely) be used to derive an age for the Earth.

    6000 yeasr is the figure calculated by Bishop Ussher in the 17th century. How did he do this? Well, along with many of his contemporaries, he was able to count the years of the OT from genesis onwards by the reigns of the patriarchs. The NT coincides with independently-recorded events (Roman emperors and so on). Bishop Ussher scoured the world for records that would bridge the gap between the OT and the NT, and eventually found some Babylonian records that appeared to do this (i.e. they included mention of events described at the end of the OT and mention of events described at the start of the NT). He used them to calculate his age for the Earth (and even suggested not only the exact year, but also the season and hence the month, and also the date and time of the alleged creation moment, which is way more precision than his “data” can support, even assuming he started with top-quality information).

    Ussher’s figure (about 6000 years) was adopted by the church, but it was quite quickly called into question, when other ancient records were unearthed (I think from China, but would need to check to be sure) that seemed to contradict his conclusion.

    However, because the church had adopted Ussher’s figure, it was not seriously called into question until people started noticing physical evidence that suggested the Earth was older than 6000 years. For example, the island of Sicily is covered in old lava flows. Most of them are covered in vegetation, i.e. the local flora have regenerated and recolonised the lava flows. But one, in the mid-eighteenth century, was noticed to be devoid of vegetation (well, the local people had obviously known for a long time that it had no vegetation, but this was the first time it was noted and brought to the attention of academia). Obviously, it was far younger than the regenerated lava flows, but when had it occurred? Fortuitously, the lava flow itself was mentioned in a historical record because the eruption had had an impact on the outcome of a military campaign . . . in about 200 BC.

    Furthermore, because of the way in which the lava flows overlapped, it was clear that the older ones could not possibly be contemporaneous. Sicily had to be far more than 6000 years old. Since then, more and more evidence accrued that the Earth had to be ancient.

  113. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Well, I met my first live creationist this weekend. (I think – I was late for an appointment, but what else would “do you believe in Darwin” mean – it isn’t remotely connected to anything scientific.) So I’m not surprised anymore.

    Sad, yes – surprised, no.

    @22 – 4.5 billion years or so.

    I think one can pause there and note with what precision we now know these dates.

    Age of Earth: 4.54*10^9 y +/- 1 %! Age of Universe: 13.73*10^9 y +/- 1 %! For historical data, or out of laboratory data in general, awe-and-then-some!

    [The later figure is of course only valid within standard cosmology. IIRC independent measures of universe age such as isotope data has more like 10 – 20 % uncertainty.]

    And to compare, just a few decades ago we didn’t know either of those answers to old fundamental questions very well.

    Science, you can’t beat it for excitement.

    @ Zyggy:

    I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and all that. I also believe “the right to swing those beliefs ends at someone else’s nose”.

    That is all very well, but as someone said “you are entitled to your opinion, but you aren’t entitled to your facts”.

    It is very difficult to stand up for the fact-based community in a time when journalists think that everything is opinion and politicians like to play along. But I don’t think we should let them get away with it. Make them expose what they believe are facts or if they don’t use them at all, and then try to laugh them out of their comfortable, wrong, position.

  114. Petrolonfire

    @ 97. Jeremy:

    One gets the distinct impression that they [Creationists – ed] think astronomy is just pretty pictures, and can’t even be bothered to read the captions…

    Can’t be bothered to read or plain can’t read? ;-)

  115. Rob

    It is amazing to me that in the year 2009 there are still people that believe in this.

    @Joe Shadduck (#87) — Could you please give me some examples of the proof of Creationism? What do you have that we haven’t heard already? Irreducible complexity? The Second Law of Thermodynamics? Ray Comfort’s ambiguously homoerotic banana video? Or do you just “know” that it’s true? Because some goatherder wrote it down 4,000 years ago?

    Evolution is a fact. It happens. We can see it in the fossil record, and we have observed it in the laboratory. This is different from the Theory of Evolution, which is science’s best explanation of all of the individual processes. If there is any disagreement, it is on the minute details of individual aspects of evolution. This is very similar to the difference between the fact of gravity and the Theory of Gravity — we know that gravity exists, and can calculate its effects so precisely as to put spacecraft in the orbit of Saturn with ease, but we have yet to totally figure out how it works.

    So please, Joe, enlighten us. Let us hear your “evidence”.

  116. Nigel Depledge

    Joe Shadduck (87) said:

    Mr. Plait, I highly enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your opinions on all matters scientific, but your level of closemindedness

    Presumably you mean closed-mindedness?

    on several issues (some of which I even agree with you on, like homeopathy) is, quite honestly, disappointing.

    But, Joe, Phil is open to persuasion by, y’know, reasoned argument and evidence. He often corrects things he gets wrong when it is pointed out that he got them wrong. However, when there is an alleged medical treatment with no evidentiary basis whatever, he will lambast it to the best of his ability, and rightly so. Homeopathy is not merely a stupidity tax. Similarly, the clinically thick can hold high office and this gives them the power to affect the rest of the world.

    You once again demonstrate that evolution is a religion

    Oh, dear, not this old chestnut again. Your accusation here is (a) utterly groundless, and (b) so five-minutes-ago. If you wish to be taken seriously, please stop propagating this lie.

    and that you, just like so many of the people you berate, refuse to look at the other side’s case before you post your nitpicking arguments.

    Actually, Phil leaves most of the nitpicking to us. He just picks out the high points.

    In this case, the state senator is (a) ignorant; (b) stupid (i.e. she has not recognised and addressed her ignorance about uranium mining); and (c) really does not care if she makes the state she represents an international laughing-stock.

    I know one reader doesn’t really matter to you and that you could care less what I think,

    I think you meant to say “couldn’t care less”. Someone who could care less actually does care to some extent.

    but I’m not really interested in reading someone who continuously ridicules my beliefs from a wholly nonscientific perspective, instead choosing to treat me as a dangerous cultist who will be making human sacrifices any minute.

    OK, first, if you don’t wanna read it, why did you?

    Secondly, explain to me one aspect of your beliefs that is not ridiculous.

    Thirdly, please refer to the exact passage where Phil claims that people like you will be making human sacrifices at any moment. Or were you trying to defeat Phil with rhetoric because you have no actual argument?

    Creationism actually has a very strong case scientifically,

    This is, to use a scientific technical term, claptrap.

    The only way to make a case for creationism is thus:

    (1) Ignore the vast majority of the evidence (i.e. the evidence that shows that the Earth is old, evolution really did happen, no evidence for divine tinkering etc.);
    (2) Misrepresent the remainder of the evidence so it fits your foregone conclusion;
    (3) Re-word arguments from ignorance so they sound technical to the ignorant;
    (4) Re-word arguments from personal incredulity so they sound technical to the ignorant;
    (5) Make ad hominem and poisoning-the-well arguments about the scientists who refute what you claim;
    (6) Pretend not to notice that your “case” has been utterly, soundly and thoroughly demolished over and over again;
    (7) Lie.

    and from what I’ve read/watched in your interviews and papers on the subject, you give it less credence than wild Planet X blatherings.

    Actually, creationism has less credibility in real science than planet X blatherings.

    All I’m asking (and again, I know you could care less what one reader thinks) is that you not make a fool of yourself and your readers by stooping to the same level as the people you criticize: by making your arguments with visceral emotion and not with scientific fact.

    The arguments with scientific fact have all been made, and they stand. The “arguments” for creation have been demolished time and time again, yet they are repeatedly resurrected by people with not the slightest shred of intellectual honesty or academic integrity.

  117. Joe Shadduck, #87:
    Your “evolution is a religion/belief” argument is a very popular one among those who oppose it – and it’s completely wrong! As Phil says, evolution is supported by overwhelming amounts of scientific evidence – that is, independent evidence from other branches of science.
    Primarily, the ages of rock strata are determined using radioactive dating – a physical process, which is completely independent of biology. Therefore, we can determine the ages of fossils, found in those strata, by a method which has nothing directly to do with evolution, or with any assumptions thereof. We therefore establish a “timeline”, whereby we know the approximate times at which particular species appeared, and when they became extinct.
    The common creationist strategy is to claim that evolution, as a scientific theory, is “not testable” or “not falsifiable”, as there is supposedly no evidence which could be found, which would prove it wrong, if it was wrong. This is utter drivel; if the theory was wrong, then it’s very easy to think of evidence which would prove it wrong. Suppose a single fossil was found in the “wrong” rock stratum – one corresponding to an epoch many millions of years before that species was thought to have existed. Then that would blow the entire theory out of the water, wouldn’t it?
    However, in 150 years of research, no such anomaly has yet been found – so the theory stands up to scrutiny.
    QED.

  118. Ray

    @ Ian (#29)

    ““Just shows what kind of people Republicans have to be these days to get their party’s approval.”

    They have built a party that embraces ignorance. They demonize intellectual fortitude by branding it as “elitist.” Anyone who tries to think through an issue, gather data and make a rational decision based on it is an “intellectual elitist.” As a result they draw the kind of candidates that match the demographic they pander too. ”

    Lest you paint Republicans with an overly large brush, I would simply note that the Dimocrats get their own share of retards as well. Does Cynthia McKinnie, Carol Moseley-Braun, Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, etc ring any bells?

    Neither party is big on thinking things through. An easy example is the legislation passed by the current Democrat-controlled Congress to provide “stimulus” to the economy.

  119. Gadfly

    Bravo, Ray, I was waiting for SOMEONE to acknowledge there’s dumb on both sides of the aisle. You all accuse the Republicans of elitism when 90% of the comments listed here are the very essence of elitism. Democrat = Smart, Republican = Dumb. If you said the same thing about White vs. Black you’d be justifiably crucified, but you have no problem acting like that towards conservatives just because you disagree with their politics. I suggest you look to your own intellect with concern.

  120. TheBlackCat

    …and that you, just like so many of the people you berate, refuse to look at the other side’s case before you post your nitpicking arguments.

    People have dealt with most of your points already, but I would like to point out that you are completely wrong on this point as well. Phil, and many other people here, have done extensive research on creationism/ID, looked at their “case” (it can’t really be called that) in a lot of depth, and have come to the conclusion that it is completely and totally without even the slightest semblance of merit. Young-Earth creationism, in particular, contradicts every single branch of science, not just biology.

    A good start to this discussion would be if you told us what the definition of evolution is, as you understand it. Don’t look it up online, just tell us off the top of your head. I have found in my dealing with creationists that they often start from a version of evolution that bears little or no resemblance to what scientists actually use, and we are really not going to get anywhere until we are at least using the same meanings for the same words.

    It would also be useful if you told us what you think the three or four best arguments for creationism are. Don’t just list a dozen or so so random arguments that you don’t put much importance on yourself, please give us the few you think are the most convincing scientifically.

    Also, please give us any specific evidence that you think would prove you wrong. People here have already done that for evolution, and I can give many more examples if you wish. So please do the same.

  121. Rob G.

    I have to wonder… Towards the end of the video, you see the guy kind of sneak behind her and whisper something to the person beside her. I would like to think the conversation went something like this:

    “Hey, she just said the Earth is 6000 yrs. old.”

    “I know… weird, huh?”

    “Well, aren’t you gonna tell her it’s actually billions of years old?”

    “I’m not gonna tell her. Yooooou tell her.”

  122. L. Lloyd

    Dunno if this was said yet or not. Historically the Church has always opposed science. Back in the medieval times they thought the universe spun around the Earth and anyone said otherwise was a heretic, even if they had proof. Christians have held back science for a millinia or more. Nope, doesn’t fit in with our dogma so it must be wrong. God made the Earth so the universe must spin around us as we’re that important. Then they get the idiotic notion for Inteligent Design trying to make creationsim more palitable for the rest of us. :( *shakes head*

  123. MrMarkAZ

    Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve had someone in Arizona government whose stupid merits national attention. The last was Ev Mecham. Why should the Texas SBOE have all the fun?

  124. Astroboi

    I suppose its possible to be a competent politician or statesman and still hold nonsense beliefs. Surely, some kings, emperors, philosophers and historians believed a lot of religious hokum. Newton supposedly believed a lot of religious rubbish which was popular at the time.

    Even the best and brightest may harbor superstition. All that changes is what the superstition is. Today, believing the earth is 6000 years old is very old fashioned, a 19th century belief. But watch what happens if a savant even suggests that at least some of the current “climate change” propaganda is partly or totally false! Suddenly he is a “denier” and is somehow a tool of “big business” because he (or she) has called for a deeper investigation of what may be unsupported beliefs. We all worship our idols, whether in the marketplace or the classroom. It was true a thousand years ago and it is still true.

  125. “You can’t fix stupid.” Ron White

  126. “You can’t fix stupid.” Ron White

  127. I like that Joe Shadduck at least has the courage to read this blog and expose himself to the cognitive dissonance that comes from simultaneously holding his beliefs while considering the context of direct physical evidence to the contrary. Like so many other true believers, he reduces this dissonance by denying the evidence and clutching the fairy tale. It’s infuriating and sad, because folks like Joe really think they’re being scientific and reasonable and evidence based in their arguments, but when you strip away the fluff, we find that scientists and true believers have very different ideas as to what constitutes evidence, and reason, and science to begin with. So right out of the gate we’re arguing past each other.

    I’d pray that he gets some science education if someone was listening.

  128. !AstralProjectile

    Good thing she isn’t Hindu:

    “…the Earth has been around for 60 billion years and we haven’t destroyed it yet…”

  129. Rob

    You all have been indoctrinated very well by the government schools. Oozing self-reliance and confidence in your knowledge of how the universe is you forget that your system leaves the greater questions untouched — why the universe is. It’s hard for me to stomach.

    All the talk about rounding up people who disagree with you and putting them into asylums is pretty sickening too. Think about what you’re saying.

  130. Rob

    @!AstralProjectile —

    Good thing she isn’t Hindu:

    “…the Earth has been around for 60 billion years and we haven’t destroyed it yet…”

    While 60 billion years is a ludicrous number, it is still 100,000x more accurate than the YEC 6,000 years (incorrect by a factor of 10 as opposed to a factor of 1,000,000), and is at the very least more probable in that everything we see on Earth (obviously) could have been formed over 60 billion years whereas 6,000 is…

  131. justcorbly

    @117 – Ray >> “…the Dimocrats get their own share of retards as well. Does Cynthia McKinnie, Carol Moseley-Braun, Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, etc ring any bells?

    Al Sharpton? What elective office does he hold?

    In any case, you haven’t, and won’t, hear any of those people standing up in public and mouthing nonsense about creationism.

    >>”Neither party is big on thinking things through. An easy example is the legislation passed by the current Democrat-controlled Congress to provide “stimulus” to the economy.

    The part of your brain that believes is trumping the part of your brain that thinks. You believe differently than Democrats, therefore you are equating policies you do not support with blatant factual errors like asserting the reality of creationism. How typically right wing.

    Belief must always take a back seat to reality.

  132. Dude

    Good thing she isn’t Scientologist:

    “…the Earth has been around for 70 trillion years and Xenu hasn’t destroyed it yet…”

    actually, someone should just tell her that a year for God is like 1,000,000 years for us mere mortals.

  133. Rob R.

    People should not be Pigeonholed. Just because you flip a coin 10 times and it comes up heads 10 times does not mean that all coin tosses will come up heads.

    She has the right to believe what ever it is that she wants to believe, no matter how wrong she surely is, however, I submit that not all persons of a conservative leaning are of as small a mind and world as this deluded woman.

    All I am saying is, that when it comes to matters of left and right, we need to not lose sight of the fact that there are countless data points between both extremes. That, and in a perfect world, our leaders should lead as a representative of their people, not lead with their personal belief systems.

    Second point: VOTE! It’s slow and painful, but like water, in time, it will seek it’s own level.

    My 2 cents.

  134. Albert Bakker

    136.. Hindu? Well, that’s not really err.. you know a religion that God approves of, much like other wrong religions that are not christianity like God meant it to be. The kind that guides you on the right path even if all the facts are wrong.

  135. Stephen

    The reality is that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory. A lot of people tend to allow “scientists” to do their thinking for them, and just believe what they learn in school.The truth about evolution is that there really is not that much evidence to support it, and the evidence that is there is weak. Also, There can only be evidence of evolution. There will NEVER be proof of evolution just by the definition of proof. To acquire proof and use the scientific theory, you must observe. Because these events happened in the past, there is be no way to do that. Things like radiometric dating methods are flawed by the aggressive assumptions they make. The first assumption being that the half-life of radioactive elements is constant. there is not enough evidence to assume this, and enough evidence to refute it. Try reading “A critique of radiometric dating” When you have uncertainties in a exponential equation in the exponent, the uncertainty of the other side 0f the equation is huge. Now you get number like, “4.5-60 billion years”. There are other arguments used to refute radiometric dating methods, but there would take a while to explain. Read the book if you really want to understand radiometric dating. Also, there is the large gaps in the fossil record where evolutionary stages were supposed to have taken place that loom over the evolutionary theory. Also, archeologists use the rock layers to date fossils within them, but geologists use the fossil record to date the rock layers. (Isn’t circular reasoning beautiful, you can believe whatever you want!) And there is evidence of creation, I don’t have time to go into it, but you can email me at savariomarrano@msn.com if you want to talk respectfully about it. If you like doing your own research, research the existence of pulonium spheres in rock, and evidence of creation in the Mt. St Helens eruption. Peace

  136. @Rob #137: re: “why the universe is”

    That is a hypothesis whose underlying assumption is that all things “must be here for a reason.” Why do you believe this is the case? What if things “just are?” Why does everything need to be what and where it is for any reason?

    At that point, you are delving into philosophy. Astronomy, evolution, and the other big sciences deal purely with hypotheses supported by observations, and attempt to predict and explain the workings underneath it (i.e., the ‘how’). Philosophy attempts to interject “meaning” into those observations (i.e., the ‘why’).

    Don’t get me wrong; philosophy has a great place in human learning, and I do not attempt to discredit it by any stretch. However, philosophy is a pattern of thinking purely in the mind with little evidential backing. Science deals purely with the evidence.

  137. Rob Lee

    @ Bill Glaholt #143 — Good point, although I feel that even philosophy ought to be rooted in evidence. Granted, philosophy is always going to be rooted in things which cannot be proven, but if it can readily be disproven, I would have to argue that it is lousy philosophy. For example, YEC is very poorly grounded philosophy, whereas something like Buddhism is far more in touch with reality (Note: I am not a Buddhist). Even Old Earth Creationism is a vastly superior philosophy in that it cannot be disproven with the same sort of ease.

  138. Ad Hominid

    Does anyone know of a creationist Democrat, one at least as prominent as, say, a state legislator? As a life-long Republican I would really like to find one.
    Truth is, rational people are being driven out of the Republican Party. The religious right element doesn’t really care if the GOP ever wins another national election. They would be quite content to peddle their propaganda and their health supplements from the confines of a permanently dis-empowered crank party, so long as the money kept rolling in. Indeed, it might be better for them, since they would never have to subject their ideas to the acid test of policy and public accountability.
    I last ran for office in 1988. My opponent was a crank (a ufo conspiracist) but he wasn’t a creationist and the subject never came up. Today, given my public advocacy of evolutionary theory and of science in general, creationism would be the number one issue in any campaign in which I was involved. I won in 1988, btw. Today, I wouldn’t have the proverbial snowball’s chance of even being nominated.

    Barry Goldwater and Teddy Roosevelt, champions of science both, are rolling over in their graves.

  139. Lawrence

    Not to say that one political party is better than another – you can find fault in the policies of both organizations (and amongst the individuals in the parties as well). Unfortunately, the Republican Party seems have a stranglehold on the truly “Anti-Science” groups.

    Evangelical Christians seem to believe (as a group) that anything scientific that goes against their own beliefs of how the world was made, what makes it work, and the Universe itself should be attacked, discredited, or censured.

    Scientists don’t barge into Churches & lecture the assembled flock how their beliefs are wrong, but there do seem to be quite a few people that want to barge into the labs & schools and tell the Scientists and teachers what to do and what to think.

    That really bothers me – belief is belief, Science is real life.

  140. Stephen:

    The reality is that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory.

    Can you please define what you mean by “theory” in this context? I know what scientists mean when they say that evolution is a “theory”, and I’m pretty sure I know what you mean to imply.

    But, for the record, please state exactly what you mean when you use that phrase in this context.

  141. That’s just a little bit too awesome!

    Hey, don’t go around putting your standards of consistency on other people. Some of us like to be able to maintain mutually exclusive and contradictory standpoints! ;)

  142. @Stephen #145:
    Refutation of your statement that the radioactive half-life is possibly variable:

    Argumentative form: Assume the statement is true, and then find contradictory evidence to refute.
    Assumption made: Speed of light is constant
    * We assume that the half-life of radioactive material is variable within observable limits.
    * If this is true, then observations of objects observed to have radioactive properties must be different over time.
    * Using astronomical images of Hubble, Spitzer, et.al., we observe galaxies, stars, pulsars, neutron stars, etc. to search for variable anomalies consistent with alteration of radioactivity over time.
    * With speed of light a constant, looking at objects further away should contain any observations that those anomalies exist proportionally to the distance of the objects observed. (Much-faster radioactive half-life decay within the time frame consistent with a “young” universe would measurably alter mass-ratios and thus observable changes of orbits, doppler effects, etc. within a very short time frame.)
    * All objects observed, regardless of distance, reveal no such variations.
    * Thus, with speed of light a constant, observations made reveal no changes to the constance of radiometric half-lives.

    Before you begin the possibility of speed of light being inconstant, there is no evidence to support a “slowing down” of the speed of light, either.

  143. ZERO

    Arizona is the state from which that anitscientist douche who ran for the 2008 election came from, right?

    If he were elected, yank land would collapse much faster than with Obama right now!

  144. Mike Wagner

    What’s really sad is the first hit for “accuracy radiometric dating” is a religion based dissection on a .edu site. It’s only UNC but the domain itself would unfortunately give credence to it.

    I wanted to find out more information for myself, and while there might even be some accurate information tucked away in there it pretty much plainly states in the beginning that the goal is to explain the recent creation of life.

    I’d rather see the top hit on google be an explanation of the methodology and technical aspects, instead of a “here is what I believe, now let’s work towards that”.

    Anyway, I don’t know much about geology but I’d be surprised if geologists used the fossil record to date things. Can someone else with knowledge elaborate? From what I’ve understood in readings in the past, it’s usually a case of using a stable area that has been studied in depth and extrapolating those findings to areas that have had upheavals, etc., and not basing it on fossil finds.

    @Stephen
    The way you throw around the word theory right off the bat means you don’t understand the proper use of it. A scientific theory is not a guess. It is a statement based on collected evidence, repeated experimentation, and observation. And if you intend to respond with “If it’s not a guess, why isn’t it a law?”, then read this: http://www.bluffton.edu/~bergerd/NSC_111/TenMyths.html

  145. Then Again

    Once again, the atheist self-appointed elite here mock the idea of democracy and mock all the normal common people who don’t share their “elite” God-hating Science-worshipping views. :roll:

    If the Texan people – or the American majority for that matter – decide they are in favour of democracy and teaching God’s Word then in a democracy it is surely right that they get their way.

    If most people are religious and they are –

    If most people are Christian – and they are –

    Then why on Earth shouldn’t we teach Christianity rather than banning God, Jesus and the Holy Bible from our classrooms?

    Its called democracy people – & if you don’t like it you are free to emigrate.

    China, I believe is atheist, or Cuba or North Korea – atheists you are quite free to emigate there if you want to enjoy unmitigated worship of Godlessness and its “prophet” Richard Dawkins.

    If you aren’t going to emigrate to North Korea or Cuba or China; if you wish to remain American then you need to accept and respect the people’s will – and the will of the American people is in favour of God and, yes, specifically the God of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    If you think you are smarter than God you are wrong.

    Atheists & their militant evolutionist sub-set, for all their claims to worship nothing, are in truth actually idol worshippers – and the idol they worship is their own smug reflection. Atheism -like evolutionism is empty of love and meaning and their hatred for Christianity and its proponents clearly demonstates that. As does their desire to adopt the Satanic creed of “Do as thou wilt” (abort away, sodomise away, do all that feels good however abominable in the eyes of the Lord they preach!) and their fear of even looking at God’s Ten Commandments and the case for Intelligent Design.

    If you think you don’t live in a Christian country you are wrong. The majority are Christian.

    If you think that your atheist God-hating evolution-preaching minority NOT the Christian majority should get your godless way all the time you are wrong – and anti-democractic and un-American too.

  146. Greg in Austin

    Then Again said,

    “If most people are religious and they are –

    If most people are Christian – and they are –

    Then why on Earth shouldn’t we teach Christianity rather than banning God, Jesus and the Holy Bible from our classrooms? “

    Simply put, our Constitution forbids the government from establishing a state religion. The state cannot force me to follow any certain religion, and cannot force my child to believe in any certain God.

    “If you think you are smarter than God you are wrong.”

    Which God? What evidence do you have that supports the existence of that God?

    8)

  147. Lawrence

    @ ThenAgain – nice cut and paste.

    Which version of Christianity would you teach? There are plenty of them (meaning that the “majority” doesn’t exist).

    So, you’d kick out the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddists, the Mormons, and everyone else that doesn’t believe the way you do? Wow, that sounds really familiar – and not very “Christian” of you.

    I don’t hate religion or people who are religion – different strokes for different folks. Just don’t tell me what I am supposed to believe in – Science is about facts, religion is not – hence the difference.

  148. Ad Hominid

    Then again,
    Do you think you could toss in a few more strawmen and loaded terms? I would like to send your authoritarian screed to a friend who teaches rhetoric, for use as a negative example.

  149. Ray

    @justcorbly,

    “Al Sharpton? What elective office does he hold?

    In any case, you haven’t, and won’t, hear any of those people standing up in public and mouthing nonsense about creationism.”

    Yes, they haven’t said anything about creationism. They just mouth anti-semitic and racist stuff. Much better to some people I guess.

  150. ethanol

    Then why on Earth shouldn’t we teach Christianity rather than banning God, Jesus and the Holy Bible from our classrooms?

    In what paranoid christian fantasy are these things banned from the classroom? You really think students will be thrown out for bringing a bible to class? And I can’t even begin to speculate as to how “God” or “Jesus” could banned. No, all of these things are allowable, it just isn’t allowed for these things to be taught, except in the context of a class on religious history. If specific “religious values” were to be taught in public schools, it would be in essence a state sponsorship of a specific religion, and as the founding fathers understood, this is not only bad for the state but bad for religion. This is yet another example of a Christian conflating a lack of special treatment (we won’t teach their religious text in classrooms) with persecution.

  151. MPG

    The reality is that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory.

    Indeed. Like cell theory, the germ theory of disease, gravitational theory, the theory of relativity, etc.. A scientific theory unites a body of evidence into an explanatory framework, which is also capable of predicting future observations. “Theory” in this context does not mean “hunch”. A theory does not become a “law” or a “fact” when it has enough evidence or has checked enough boxes.

    The truth about evolution is that there really is not that much evidence to support it, and the evidence that is there is weak.

    There is a lot of evidence. A lot. 150 years’ worth of it, in fact. Evolutionary changes have been observed in living populations of organisms. Yes, that even includes the emergence of new species, before you play the macro/micro card. But it goes beyond observation, to looking at things like genetics and embryology. Some of the strongest evidence has only been discovered in the last few decades, but everything that has emerged has confirmed the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology; that all living organisms share common ancestors at some point in the past, and that they have adapted (and continue to adapt) to the demands of their environment. Talk.origins has a collection of the lines of evidence that point to evolution as the origin of all species at http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    Things like radiometric dating methods are flawed by the aggressive assumptions they make. The first assumption being that the half-life of radioactive elements is constant. there is not enough evidence to assume this, and enough evidence to refute it.

    Uh, okay – that’s not evolution. You’re talking about geology here, not biology. If you’re attempting to cast doubt upon one area of scientific study by lumping it together with several other areas, you’ll just cause confusion and make yourself look stupid.

    However, radiometric dating is pretty reliable. There is evidence to support a constant decay rate, from observing gamma rays produced by radioactive decay in distant supernovae (millions of light years away), to the decay products of natural fission reactors (basically deposits of uranium within rocks where the groundwater acts as a neutron moderator) that show decay rates unchanged for at least 2 billion years. Quantum effects can be used to predict the decay of different nuclei, and a change in the fine structure constant would affect different elements by different amounts – if this constant had changed, then the different radioisotope dating methods would produce wildly variable results instead of convergent ones, which is what we see.

    Also, there is the large gaps in the fossil record where evolutionary stages were supposed to have taken place that loom over the evolutionary theory.

    Back to biology again…

    Not nearly as large as some people suppose. We see transitional forms for many major groups of animals; fish to amphibian, amphibian to reptile, reptile to bird and mammal, and so on. Again, talk.origins has this covered: http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#morphological_intermediates If you’re alluding to the Cambrian fossils, then those too have precursors in the pre-Cambrian. http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html

    Also, archeologists use the rock layers to date fossils within them, but geologists use the fossil record to date the rock layers.

    Doh-ho-ho, that old chestnut! Have you forgotten the radiometric dating you were carping on about a few sentences back? While geologists and palaeontologists may use index fossils as a rough guide to dates, stratigraphy and radiometric dating methods are used to obtain and confirm the actual dates. It’s not two disciplines feeding exclusively into one another, but two disciplines mutually supported by others.

    the existence of pulonium spheres in rock

    Not a mystery. Polonium haloes have only ever been found along cracks in rock. Uranium decays into gaseous radon, which seeps through cracks in the rock and decays into polonium.

    and evidence of creation in the Mt. St Helens eruption

    LOL WUT? Are you saying new living organisms were created ex nihilo in a volcanic eruption? That’s a new one on me. What are they? What happened to them? Who determined they were unrelated to anything else living today?

  152. John

    Probably the most troubling thing about this politician is what’s listed on her biography: she’s on the ‘Education Reform and Accountability’ committee.

    Not only does she believe that the world is 6000 years old, but she probably wants it taught in the classroom.

  153. TheBlackCat

    The reality is that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory.

    Want a few other theories: germs cause disease, matter is made out of atoms, light can behave as a wave. In science, theory is the highest rank any idea can achieve. Laws rank below theories, facts rank far below theories. .

    The truth about evolution is that there really is not that much evidence to support it, and the evidence that is there is weak.

    A flat-out lie. There is more evidence supporting evolution than any other scientific idea ever.

    There will NEVER be proof of evolution just by the definition of proof. To acquire proof and use the scientific theory, you must observe. Because these events happened in the past, there is be no way to do that.

    In science there is no such thing as proof. Science holds that proving anything is impossible. But evolution is proven as much as anything possibly could be in science.

    And evolution has been directly observed many times.

    Also, by your logic the U.S. civil war never happened, since it happened in the past and nobody today was around to observe it. You could argue we have records of the events, but we have records we can consult for evolution as well.

    Things like radiometric dating methods are flawed by the aggressive assumptions they make. The first assumption being that the half-life of radioactive elements is constant. there is not enough evidence to assume this, and enough evidence to refute it.

    It is not an assumption. The half-life of radiometric elements is extremely stable, with a few exceptions that are not used in dating anyway. We can show they were stable. A good example is the Oklow uranium-based fission reactor, a naturally-occurring fission reactor that ran a few billion years ago. If the radioactive decay rates had changed the reactor would have behaved substantially differently than it did.

    Further, the very fact that different radiometric dating methods agree shows that the decay rates have not changed. If the decay rates had changed, then each radiometric dating method would give completely different results. The only way for them to give consistent results, and they do when used properly, is for the decay rates to have remained constant.

    And that is irrelevant to evolution anyway, since evolution has been directly observed both in the laboratory and in nature.

    When you have uncertainties in a exponential equation in the exponent, the uncertainty of the other side 0f the equation is huge.

    That depends on the degree of the exponential and the size of the uncertainty. With very small uncertainties, which we have for radioactive decay rates, then the uncertainty will be small.

    Now you get number like, “4.5-60 billion years”.

    No one gets numbers like that except creationists who intentionally and overtly misuse dating methods. Of course if you use any tool poorly, it will give poor results. As has already been pointed out, the uncertainties in the age of the Earth are small.

    Read the book if you really want to understand radiometric dating.

    If this is the quality of argument used in the book, then I have no interest.

    Also, there is the large gaps in the fossil record where evolutionary stages were supposed to have taken place that loom over the evolutionary theory.

    No, they don’t. Actually, the number of remaining “large” gaps is quite small. We have fairly completely fossil records of the development of most major groups of plants and animals. There are always going to be gaps, fossils are only made very rarely and only found much more rarely, but to focus on the gaps is just a convenient way to ignore the huge number of fossils and very detailed transitional histories we have.

    Also, archeologists use the rock layers to date fossils within them, but geologists use the fossil record to date the rock layers. (Isn’t circular reasoning beautiful, you can believe whatever you want!)

    A common creationist myth. Rock layers are dated using radiometric methods as well as simple logic. However, there are certain fossils that are found consistently at a particular layer and only at that layer. If radiometric dating is impossible for whatever reason, those fossils can be used. But those fossils first have to be shown to be reliably restricted only to a certain time period.

    If you like doing your own research, research the existence of pulonium spheres in rock, and evidence of creation in the Mt. St Helens eruption.

    And you bring out more creationist myths that were debunked decades ago. Polonium does have a short half-life, but it is formed from the decay of radon, which is a gas. There are many creationist myths regarding mt st helens. For instance that rocks were dated to be very old, which is obvious since many rocks were simply moved around by the explosion, not created new by lava, and thus really were old. Or that rivers cutting through a few feet of soft ash there is somehow equivalent to a river cutting through a mile of solid rock in the grand canyon (a bizarre claim).

    Every single one of your claims is easily found debunked on any number of websites. Many have been debunked for decades. The fact that you still make them shows you have done absolutely no research outside of creationist sources. I recommend talkorigins.org, specifically the “index to creationist claims”, which deals with every single point you brought up.

  154. I live in Arizona and the people here are genuinely crazy. Not just this lady but it is like the wild west out here.

  155. Rob Lee

    @ Stephen (#145) — Wow — there is so much stupid in that post that I don’t even know where to begin, let me just address some of the real gems:

    The reality is that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory. : You are confusing the Theory of Evolution with the fact of evolution — it is proven and VERY well established that evolution has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen. The Theory of Evolution concerns itself with the mechanisms of this phenomenon. Consider the fact of gravity vs. the Theory of Gravity — nobody would reasonably dispute the existence of gravity, but we are still working out the mechanisms by which is operates.

    The truth about evolution is that there really is not that much evidence to support it, and the evidence that is there is weak.: This is blatantly false. We have mountains of evidence, see the evolution of whales, or the neat succession from ape-like primates, through pre-hominids, to the hominids, to man. If you demand more recent evidence, look at Richard Lenski’s experimentation with E. coli. There is a mountain of evidence for evolution, and all of the predictions we make through our knowledge of evolution come true. We don’t find rabbit fossils in Cambrian rock, for instance. Please do even a small amount of research and don’t buy into the dogma that you have been fed at church.

    To acquire proof and use the scientific theory, you must observe. Because these events happened in the past, there is be no way to do that.: Well, the first part of the statement here is erroneous in it’s own right, but I will just address the second half here. These things did not just happen in the past, they continue to happen. I mentioned Richard Lenski’s E. coli experiments — it is an example of evolution happening in a laboratory, before our very eyes. So evolution HAS been observed ACTIVELY happening. Even with that absurd qualifier, evolution has been proven.

    Things like radiometric dating methods are flawed by the aggressive assumptions they make. The first assumption being that the half-life of radioactive elements is constant. there is not enough evidence to assume this, and enough evidence to refute it.: I am not familiar with the particular tome to which you refer, but I have seen many Creationist refutations of radiometric dating and they are all bunk. The half-life of radioactive elements IS constant. There is ample evidence for this and none for the contrary. Please cite us a legimate source (must have a PhD, I don’t want to hear what some crackpot with a degree from a Creationist degree mill has to say) and maybe we can consider your claims.

    Also, there is the large gaps in the fossil record where evolutionary stages were supposed to have taken place that loom over the evolutionary theory.: Of course there are large gaps in the fossil record — the vast majority of animals that have died in the past did not become fossils. Couple this with the fact that we have only found a tiny percentage of the fossils in the Earth and it is no wonder we have some “gaps” in the fossil record. What we do not see, however, are inconsistencies. We see all of the creatures where we expect them to be according to evolutionary time. We have found numerous transitional fossils and have begun putting together a fairly cohesive picture of the history of life on Earth. Quoting gaps in the fossil record is incredibly intellectually dishonest and irrelevant.

  156. TheBlackCat

    If the Texan people – or the American majority for that matter – decide they are in favour of democracy and teaching God’s Word then in a democracy it is surely right that they get their way.

    If most people are religious and they are –

    If most people are Christian – and they are –

    Then why on Earth shouldn’t we teach Christianity rather than banning God, Jesus and the Holy Bible from our classrooms?

    Its called democracy people – & if you don’t like it you are free to emigrate.

    We don’t live in a democracy. A democracy is mob rule, with the majority abusing minority groups and eliminating their freedoms however and whenever they please. We live in a constitutional republic, where rules are set down, rules that not even the majority can change, in order to protect minority groups from abuse and discrimination. One of those rules is that the majority religion cannot use the government to force their religion on others.

    China, I believe is atheist, or Cuba or North Korea – atheists you are quite free to emigate there if you want to enjoy unmitigated worship of Godlessness and its “prophet” Richard Dawkins.

    If you aren’t going to emigrate to North Korea or Cuba or China; if you wish to remain American then you need to accept and respect the people’s will – and the will of the American people is in favour of God and, yes, specifically the God of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Iran, I believe, has the government force the majority religion on the people – religious people are quite free to emigrate there if you want to enjoy forced religious indoctrination.

    If you aren’t going to emigrate to Iran; if you wish to remain in America then you need to accept and respect the constitution – the constitution says that the government, local, state, or federal, shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    If you think you are smarter than God you are wrong.

    I’ll believe that as soon as you show me God exists.

    Atheists & their militant evolutionist sub-set, for all their claims to worship nothing, are in truth actually idol worshippers – and the idol they worship is their own smug reflection.

    You are so obsessed with worship you can’t even contemplate how others can live without it. You merely project your own views onto us, only allowing yourself to see a completely different way of thinking as someone conforming to your own way of seeing the world.

    Atheism -like evolutionism is empty of love and meaning and their hatred for Christianity and its proponents clearly demonstates that.

    Yes, atheism is empty of love and meaning and hatred for Christianity. Atheists find their own meaning, their own reasons to love. They are not so small minded that they need someone else to give their lives meaning, or need someone else to tell them how and who to love. We are perfectly capable of figuring it out on their own. At least we both agree it is empty of any hatred for Christianity. Although lots of atheists don’t particularly like it when religious people try to force their views on others.

    As does their desire to adopt the Satanic creed of “Do as thou wilt” (abort away, sodomise away, do all that feels good however abominable in the eyes of the Lord they preach!) and their fear of even looking at God’s Ten Commandments and the case for Intelligent Design.

    I’ve looked at the ten commandments. A 5 year old can come up with a better list of ten rules. I’ve looked at the case for intelligent design, if you could call it that, and found it totally without merit. And most atheists follow the rules of humanism, where we derive our moral code from what is beneficial to mankind. With about half the ten commandments dealing with stroking God’s pride, I consider focusing on human needs a better guide to a good society.

    If you think that your atheist God-hating evolution-preaching minority NOT the Christian majority should get your godless way all the time you are wrong – and anti-democractic and un-American too.

    If you put your religious beliefs above the constitution then you are by, definition, un-American. I am anti-democratic, and proudly so. Democracies do not work, that is why we have constitutional republics like the U.S. A Democracy is little different from anarchy.

  157. John

    I believe in creation but I don’t believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Believing one doesn’t mean you have to believe the other. I guess I’m one of the rare Christian, Democrat, Creationists, who believe that science and religion are not mutually exclusive.
    To be honest, science zealots are just as bad as religious zealots. They dismiss anything that is said in the name of religion with no thought or reason other than it isn’t science so it must be wrong.
    I just think everyone needs to be more open minded and not immediately dismiss a persons views because they are labeled one way or the other…..well except for Baptists….they’re just crazy….. :) JK.

  158. Mike Wagner

    The best bit of hypocrisy is the argument of “unknowable history” that the bible literalists bandy about in regards to evolution. They say we weren’t there so we can’t know it, it’s all just guesswork.
    But what they fail to address every time is that in attempting to undercut geological and biological history they nullify their own argument for the “truth” of the bible.
    As a “historical” document it fails in many ways. There are a great number of inconsistencies. Statements of “fact” that should be verifiable through archaeology don’t have any substantiating proof. When a historian refers to a campaign fought by Caesar in a distant land, he doesn’t just have the written account. There is often proof to accompany it in the form of battle sites, cultural assimilation into Rome from conquered lands (the Romans loved to adopt aspects of conquered cultures) , and even in the graffiti and possessions of slaves brought to Rome.
    When I see someone talk about Noah’s Ark being found they often aren’t even talking about the same site that other Ark proponents have mentioned elsewhere, because there are easily over a dozen different claims of people having “found” the ark.
    Native Americans and indigenous cultures around the world would be quite surprised to find out that they were submerged in a massive flood many thousands of years after their oral histories have started.
    Fundamentalists may think that evolution is an insult to their religion, but their beliefs are an insult to a much greater percentage of the population… frankly anyone who doesn’t believe in the exact same dogma. Interview 20 fundamentalists on the literal interpretations of scripture and you’ll get 20 different results. So who is right?

  159. anti-scientific

    lets see, 5,000 trillion atoms slam into each other to magically form 100 million instant single cell organisms that can copy themselves instantly!

    yeah, you guys have more faith than religious folk do!

  160. Mike Wagner

    @TheBlackCat
    “A Democracy is little different from anarchy.”

    If people ask me my political viewpoint, I say “rational anarchist” and then I get long lectures on how anarchy is a threat to civilization. And when they are done I point them to “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” so they can see what the concept actually entails.

    I agree with what you say in the above statement. Taken at their absolutes both are mob rule. One just polls the mob before taking action.

  161. Doug Little

    Then Again

    Its called democracy people – & if you don’t like it you are free to emigrate.

    Ahhhhh actually it’s a Republic. If you don’t understand this you probably wouldn’t pass the citizenship exam. Last time I checked we have a system of elected officials that speak for us and protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority (most of the time).

    If you aren’t going to emigrate to North Korea or Cuba or China; if you wish to remain American then you need to accept and respect the people’s will – and the will of the American people is in favour of God and, yes, specifically the God of the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    You need to read the constitution as well as the Treaty of Tripoli.

    If you think you are smarter than God you are wrong.

    If you think you are a better gift wrapper than Santa Claus you are wrong.

    If you think you don’t live in a Christian country you are wrong. The majority are Christian.

    Go back and read the constitution and the treaty of Tripoli, get back to me on that one.

    If you think that your atheist God-hating evolution-preaching minority NOT the Christian majority should get your godless way all the time you are wrong – and anti-democractic and un-American too.

    PLEASE READ THE DAMN CONSTITUTION.

  162. Say all you want, but it doesn’t change the FACT that she is RIGHT!

  163. Mike Wagner

    As Mr. Bush stated so eloquently: “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

    So true Mr. Bush. And the bible is a rather large collection of pieces of paper.
    But one is intended to protect the rights of citizens, and the other… well, I’m sure the slaves mentioned in it repeatedly would have preferred the former.

  164. Doug Little

    K-Dog

    Why are you reading an astronomy blog then? If she is right then astronomy is wrong so why are you here?

  165. Sigh, I am an expatriot native of AZ (now living in PA). I think we are being tested. We can let the creationist wear us down or we can just press on. Yes, the comments by the Senator make me nauseated, but I can’t let her belief stop me in my tracks. We have a semblance of a Congress that might do something for this planet, but not if we sit by.

    AZ has a native culture that historically goes back beyond 6,000 years, so what planet were they on before coming to Earth. AZ is a living museum of the early years (10s of thousands) of this planet. Poor Senator, if she knew the truth, she would probably run screaming off the planet.

  166. Mike Wagner

    @anti-scientific
    “lets see, 5,000 trillion atoms slam into each other to magically form 100 million instant single cell organisms that can copy themselves instantly!”

    Since no one who has even taken literally 5 minutes to read about abiogenesis would make such a stupid claim, you fail miserably at making whatever point you attempted.

    Game over. Insert brain to continue.

  167. Doug Little

    anti-scientific

    What a bizarre claim, where did you get those numbers?

  168. This sums up my view on it anyway.

  169. Kurtisle

    Only the mentally challenged believe in a Giant Man who lives in the sky and watches everything everyone does all the time, who made everything in 7 days, who chose humans as his special project, and we’re the only ones in the Universe,there’s a special place in the sky where all the “good” folks go, and a special hot place in the middle of the Earth where all the “bad” people go (the quotes are because only the those who believe this drivle are “good” folks), believe that the Earth, contrary to all scientific fact is only 6000 years old, believe that the reason we can’t see His grand design, is cause “he works in mysterious ways”, that the Earth and all things on and in it are here for the “good” people, and damn (literally) all the rest. Folks, if you told a psychologist these things, leaving out the religious parts, you’d be condemned to a lifetime in a HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE!

  170. Mike Wagner

    Just a note for the interested:
    I’m reading “The Selfish Gene” by Dawkins, and if you want a nicely put, layman’s guide to the concept of abiogenesis he spells it out early on. I’m only about a third of the way through the book but it’s fascinating reading so far, and there are chapter notes in the back where Dawkins discusses concepts and what revisions may have been necessary due to the passage of time since original publication.
    I’d never thought about selection occurring in molecules before and it was quite an eye opener.

  171. John

    I’m mid 30’s.

    I’m a self made multimillionaire.

    I’m MENSA.

    I score pretty well at chess.

    and I’m also a Christian.

    I’m not bragging since this is an anonymous forum. I wanted to make sure that all the retorts calling me an idiot were undermined early.

    I’ve taken physics courses up the wazzoo in my college career. I’ve heard great arguments for both sides.

    But I still remain a creationist.

    If my God can make a universe as big as ours, why couldn’t he create it any way that he wanted? I’ve never created an earth before, but if I did, would I make it look 10 minutes old or billions of years old? I’m not quite sure. Why limit God and his power of creation?

    Evolution has never explained the second law of thermodynamics.

    Evolution has never explained what laws were used to convict the war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

    Evolution has never explained the incredible improbability of all these earth functions coming together perfectly.

    Evolution does not explain why the earth’s three main religions are focused around the same God.

    Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.

    Keep reading those biology books and physics books for theoretical explanation for the meaning of life. You will never find it.

    As for me, there are so many chapters in the Bible that individually provide more meaning than all the college textbooks combined.

    (Hate filled responses incoming…)

  172. hollaamigo

    Radiometric dating has many anomalities that have not been resolved and it should not be relied on or considered as scientific evidence. Any time before 10,000 years ago should not be acknowledged because there is insufficient evidence of that time existing.

    – Recent lava has been tested to be millions of years old.

    – Different radiometric dating methods can be used on the same rock and produce different results.

    – DNA has been found in extinct animals that have been radiometrically dated as millions of years old.

  173. Here’s the link to the email addresses and phone numbers of the Arizona State Senate:

    http://azleg.gov/MemberRoster.asp?Body=S

    I know I sent over some innocent queries, asking if this clip was taken out of context.

  174. Aline

    I think God would be a bit ticked off at the arrogance of the creationists. To think that He went to all that trouble 6000 years ago to make it look like He created the earth billions of years ago only to be outwitted by creationists. The creationists don’t think they’re smarter than scientists, they think they’re smarter than God.

  175. Ray

    @Mike Wagner,

    “As Mr. Bush stated so eloquently: “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

    Got a reliable and verifiable cite for that?

  176. Greg in Austin

    John said,

    “Evolution has never explained the second law of thermodynamics.”

    Please give your explanation of Evolution and YOUR explanation of the second law of thermodynamics, and then give your explanation as to why you think the two are somehow related.

    8)

  177. Diane

    She says “6000” sooo casually, maybe she mispoke and meant 6 billion and just doesn’t know the difference? Or maybe she meant “at least 6000 years old.” It’s just too hard to believe there could be such absolute ignorance.

  178. Ecco

    I’m surprised you guys are surprised. Do you know how pervasive creationism is?? Do you know how aggressive their need to evangelize is? Basically anybody who hasn’t spent time in a metropolis has fine soil for planting that idiocy. You might be shocked to know how many members of law-making government believe in it.

  179. Greg in Austin

    John said,

    “I’ve taken physics courses up the wazzoo in my college career. I’ve heard great arguments for both sides.”

    Both sides of what? You learned about the Bible (specifically, the book of Genesis) in your Physics class? What college did you attend?

    “If my God can make a universe as big as ours, why couldn’t he create it any way that he wanted?”

    If your God made the universe, why did he make it look like he didn’t create it at all? On that same note, what evidence do you have that suggests he made the universe at all?

    “Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.”

    (my favorite)

    What makes you think atheists need Evolution to provide a meaning in life?

    8)

  180. What bothers me about these loonies most of all beside their destruction of this planet(sigh…) is that those kind of radical black and white views that they enforce on other do not have the effect they want. Most people who believe in creationism were gonna be religious anyway probably. But by taking on these radical views you effectively push away many people who are in doubt about a higher power or anything like that and as a reaction go on full denial of a higher force.

    How many kids in the USA are atheists because their parents are fundamentally religious and they don’t buy it? How many young people these days are just against religion because of the bad memories when they were forced to go along with it? Religion should be the deeper side of life, not a textbook that explains everything you need to know without the world in a A to Z guide to the afterlife. The beauty of this world is that humanity will never know why it’s here! That we’ll never understand everything with god-like precision.

    Science is the best thing we as humans have ever made: a way of understanding the world and it’s given us back all the technology we have today. Without science we’d still all be on the fields working just to get enough food. And to trivialise the entire question of life by saying: “yeah, accept jeebus and you go to heaven” is just… wrong and sad.

    Life is not just a simple equation to whom all the answers lie in 1 book. If the fundamentalists would be correct than this existence would be the biggest joke ever conceived. But likewise it would be very boring if one day science got to the point where it can explain everything….

    For you, Phil, you would be out of a job :p.

  181. Doug Little

    John,

    From your ridiculous claims about Evolution I conclude that you do not know what Evolution is. I’ve got a few more for you.

    Evolution can’t explain Hawking Radiation!

    Evolution can’t explain why life began.

    Evolution can’t explain why you lie for Jebus

    I’m sure that you make all your MENSA colleagues proud. Which Evolution can’t explain either.

  182. SmarterThanJohn

    LOL @ John. Funniest thing I’ve read all day. hehe. He thinks he’s smart.

  183. Doug Little

    Oh and John,

    the Mighty Middle-aged MENSA Multi-Millionaire.

    What great arguments have you heard from your side? Got any evidence to back them up? I’m sure the majority of readers are waiting patiently for your answer.

  184. Sarah

    I don’t understand why evolution is supposed to explain everything and make “life meaningful”. Please explain. #182 John. Your psychological need to be “created” does not disprove the theory of evolution or any of the scientific evidence for an old Earth.

    I have nothing against religion per se, just don’t care for it overpowering rationality and our fragile educational system.

    I’d post the cartoon if I didn’t respect Watterson’s copyright, but this Calvin & Hobbes exchange should explain what I mean by not responding to your unanswerable questions:

    Calvin: Why do you suppose we’re here?
    Hobbes: Because we walked here.
    Calvin: No, no, I mean here on Earth.
    Hobbes: Because Earth can support life.
    Calvin: No, I mean why are we anywhere? Why do we exist?
    Hobbes: Because we were born.
    Calvin (angry): Forget it.
    Hobbes (angry): I will, thank you.

  185. Doug Little

    The beauty of this world is that humanity will never know why it’s here! That we’ll never understand everything with god-like precision.

    Have you got a reason to believe this? Is there any evidence that suggests that science is not capable of answering these questions?

  186. IVAN3MAN

    John:

    Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.

    Meaning of Life (NSFW).

    :cool:

  187. Rob Lee

    @ John (#182)– That was quite a silly post you put up back there — this little gem really stood out:

    If my God can make a universe as big as ours, why couldn’t he create it any way that he wanted? I’ve never created an earth before, but if I did, would I make it look 10 minutes old or billions of years old? I’m not quite sure. Why limit God and his power of creation?

    You see, this argument falls immediately on its face because you are assuming before you even begin that God exists. If God did create the world to appear to be 4.6 billion years old and did it 6,000 years ago, what does this add to the debate. How is this any more rational than saying that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created us all with His Noodly Appendage?

    Evolution has never explained the second law of thermodynamics.

    Well, ignoring the semantic foolishness (evolution has no business explaining anything related to thermodynamics, it is in the realm of biology, not physics), the apparent “conflict” between evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics has long been debunked. If life on Earth were a closed system then Evolution would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The thing is that life on Earth is most certainly NOT a closed system — we are getting energy from the Sun, moving the energy around, and the overall entropy in the system is STILL decreasing (the Sun is slowly dying). The Second Law does not dictate that order can never rise from disorder. This is a phenomenon seen all throughout nature, from the creation of sand dunes to the formation of stars. Do these violate the Second Law as well?

    Evolution does not explain why the earth’s three main religions are focused around the same God.

    Actually, it does. The three main religions worship the same god for the same reason that nearly all ancient Greeks worshiped Zeus and Apollo. Human beings have an evolved instinct to work as a group and to conform our thinking to that of the group around us. Couple this with an extraordinary fear of the unknown and aversion to death, and you end up with superstition. Couple superstition with a power hungry megalomaniac and you have religion. It’s simply, really.

    Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.

    Of course it doesn’t. Just like the Theory of Gravity or the Theory of Relativity don’t provide meaning in my life. These are scientific theories. They are formed to explain the Universe and our world, not to provide meaning. Conversely, just because something provides meaning does not make it true. If I said that communing with the Flying Spaghetti Monster gave me great meaning would that make it any less ludicrous? Furthermore, I find it disheartening that you would think so little of yourself and those around you that you need an extremely poorly written novel from 4,000 years ago and an invisible friend to have meaning in your life. Isn’t it enough to love those around you? Isn’t it enough to want to try to enrich yourself?

    As for me, there are so many chapters in the Bible that individually provide more meaning than all the college textbooks combined.

    Again, you are totally missing the point. The point of learning isn’t to provide meaning, if it does that is great but that is not the purpose, it is to discern what is true. It would be massively comforting for me to think that the Flying Spaghetti Monster will caress me back to health with his Noodly Appendage when I am sick, but this is irrelevant if its not true.

  188. José

    @Ray
    Yes, they haven’t said anything about creationism. They just mouth anti-semitic and racist stuff. Much better to some people I guess.

    Well, we’re not talking about racism and anti-semitism. Who here is defending those? Why are you trying to change the subject?

  189. justcorbly

    @145- Stephen >>A lot of people tend to allow “scientists” to do their thinking for them, and just believe what they learn in school.

    Obviously, you’ve had more than your share of Kool-Aid. That way lies conspiratorial whackiness about secret cabals working to twist the minds of children across the globe.

  190. Kelly

    Were you around 6000 (or several billion) years ago to prove that it wasn’t? Quick, show me 6000 year old video! I’m not saying she’s right, but your arrogance is equally astounding.

  191. Matt Penfold

    “If most people are religious and they are –

    If most people are Christian – and they are -”

    6 billion people in the world, of which 2 billion are Christian.

    Therefore most people are NOT Christian.

  192. justcorbly

    @155-Then Again >>Once again, the atheist self-appointed elite here mock the idea of democracy and mock all the normal common people who don’t share their “elite” God-hating Science-worshipping views.
    If the Texan people – or the American majority for that matter – decide they are in favour of democracy and teaching God’s Word then in a democracy it is surely right that they get their way.
    If most people are religious and they are –
    If most people are Christian – and they are –
    Then why on Earth shouldn’t we teach Christianity rather than banning God, Jesus and the Holy Bible from our classrooms?
    Its called democracy people – & if you don’t like it you are free to emigrate.

    What a load of malarkey.

    Of course, people have every right to believe whatever they wish, but the right to believe does not mean that what they believe is right.

    Condemning every scientist as a “self-appointed atheist elite” (and you did mean it as a condemnation, is an assertion buttressed by no evidence. There is nothing “God-hating ” or “Science-worshipping ” about acknowledging reality. Do you fly? Do you drive a car? Do you check the weather forecast? Do you have a physician? All those exist thanks to science. Without science, and the tools humans create based on that science, we’d just be clever naked apes hanging out on the savannah.

    Democracy is a good way to govern, but it is not a good way to determine who has the most correct image of reality. If Texans want to saddle themselves with a broken and bigoted education system that has more in common with a radical Islamic madras than with the Western intellectual tradition, then the rest of us will just have to exercise our democratic rights and choose to avoid hiring Texans and spending money in the place.

    And, no, most people on this planet are not Christian.

    Look, what’s going on in Texas, among other places, illustrates why conservative religous fundamentalists pose such a threat to our way of life. It is not because they are freely practicing their faith, as the Constitution enables. It is because they are using government to force their way of life on the entire population. It is not relevant how many Texans do or do not believe in creationism. No right exists for even an overwhelming majority of Texans to forcefeed religious dogma like creationism to school children. This country is visibly suffering the damaged reasoning of adults whose parents forced them to be educated in private evangelical schools. It’s no wonder we get state senators spouting off blatant nonsense.

  193. justcorbly

    @182-John >>Keep reading those biology books and physics books for theoretical explanation for the meaning of life.

    Nice strawman. Since when has science claimed to explain the “meaning” of life?

  194. Doug Little

    justcorbly,

    42?

  195. Andrew Y. from AZ

    Personally, I don’t care what our representatives believe… they can believe that they sky is made of cotton candy for all I care… This is their right, and an expression of their constitutional freedoms protected by the 1st amendment… I simply don’t care what they believe – As long as they represent their constituants, and for me, vote consistantly for smaller government, lower taxes, less waste, and more personal freedoms.

    The Republican party lost its way during the era of Jerry Fallwell and the Moral Majority – believing that there must not be a deliniation between our leaders, our government, and our religion.

  196. Andrew Y. from AZ

    Personally, I don’t care what our representatives believe… they can believe that they sky is made of cotton candy for all I care… This is their right, and an expression of their constitutional freedoms protected by the 1st amendment… I simply don’t care what they believe – As long as they represent their constituants, and for me, vote consistantly for smaller government, lower taxes, less waste, and more personal freedoms.

    The Republican party lost its way during the era of Jerry Fallwell and the Moral Majority – believing that there must not be a deliniation between our leaders, our government, and our religion.

  197. I agree. It’s 42.

  198. IVAN3MAN

    @ John the “self-made multimillionaire”.

    Hmm… money is like energy — it cannot be created; only converted from one form to another.

    So, you cannot be “a self-made multimillionaire”; you can only be a multimillionaire — like televangelist Pat Robertson — by fleecing ~10,000 suckers of about 500 bucks each to accumulate 5 million.

  199. The biggest trouble I see in creationism is you really can’t tell who are the poes and who aren’t.

    They’re just that crazy.

    If this senator had not been on video and had been instead a commenter here, I would have immediately labeled her, like John above, as a poe. As usual, the truth is much stranger than the fiction…

  200. Mike Wagner

    @186 Ray
    Original source seems to be here:
    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7779.shtml
    I don’t give it more or less credence than any other news source.

    CNN for another quote:
    If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.
    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0012/18/nd.01.html

    CNN features Nancy Grace, Fox has Bill O’reilly… can’t hold either of them above it for integrity for those facts alone.

    Do with it what you will.

  201. Super Mario

    @182-John >>keep reading those biology books and physics books for theoretical explanation for the meaning of life.

    Your sarcasm suggests that the Bible actually answers the question of the meaning of life… Where might we find that verse?

    >>Evolution has never explained the incredible improbability of all these earth functions coming together perfectly.

    Actually, it does. The complex earth functions came together perfectly because this was the only way they could come together. Adaptations that didn’t work, Animals that couldn’t survive in the world died out, leaving us with a planet filled with beings who were perfectly fit to live together. Your confusion confuses me.

    >>Evolution does not explain why the earth’s three main religions are focused around the same God.

    Evolution doesn’t have to because all you have to do is to study a bit about world relgions to see how they all build on one another. Don’t depictions of Zeus and the christian God share an odd resemblance?

    The three largest religions in the world are Christianity, Islam and Hinduism… Christianity and Island have a common origin, which would be Judaism, if I’m not mistaken, that explains why those two are monotheistic. Hinduism is far more complex and I am far from an expert, but I was under the impression that it does feature more than one god, even though there is one Supreme being… Anyone who can correct or elaborate on this please feel free.

    I can’t help but feel as though when you said “Main religions” you meant Judaism to be included in the list, but it’s actually not in the top 3. Still, if you were to include it as the main religion behind islam and christianity, the answer would still be the same. These were not religions that sprung up independantly of one another nor did they create their visions of god separately from one another, so it is not hard to see how they could have similar structures, is it?

  202. TheBlackCat

    I’m mid 30’s.

    I’m a self made multimillionaire.

    I’m MENSA.

    I score pretty well at chess.

    and I’m also a Christian.

    I’m not bragging since this is an anonymous forum. I wanted to make sure that all the retorts calling me an idiot were undermined early.

    Even assuming you are telling the truth, I’ve seen no indication anyone here thinks you are an idiot, just ignorant.

    I’ve taken physics courses up the wazzoo in my college career. I’ve heard great arguments for both sides.

    But I still remain a creationist.

    So, why exactly do you think education about physics makes you qualified to talk about biology?

    If my God can make a universe as big as ours, why couldn’t he create it any way that he wanted? I’ve never created an earth before, but if I did, would I make it look 10 minutes old or billions of years old? I’m not quite sure. Why limit God and his power of creation?

    In other words you are saying God is a liar that made the universe look old?

    Evolution has never explained the second law of thermodynamics.

    Despite your supposed “wazoo” of college physics courses, this comment demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge of even middle-school level physics. The second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems. Go outside on a sunny day. See a big, glowing ball in the sky? That is the sun, and the fact that you can see it proves Earth is not a closed system.

    Evolution has never explained what laws were used to convict the war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

    Neither has Christianity, considering God seems to really like genocide judging by his commands in the Bible.

    Evolution has never explained the incredible improbability of all these earth functions coming together perfectly.

    I suppose you are talking about fundamental physical constants here (one would hope you would at least learn the basic terminology somewhere in your “wazoo” of physics courses). No, a biological principle does not explain physics. The germ theory of disease does not explain the fundamental physical constants, either. Neither does atomic theory of matter, the heliocentric model of the solar system, or plate tectonics. What is your point?

    Evolution does not explain why the earth’s three main religions are focused around the same God.

    Actually, social evolution kind of does. I actually read an interesting article about this in Nature a few months ago.

    Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.

    As I said before, it doesn’t need to. We don’t need someone or something to provide meaning, we can find it out ourselves.

    As for me, there are so many chapters in the Bible that individually provide more meaning than all the college textbooks combined.

    You do that, we are busy living our own lives, not the lives bronze age cattle-sacrificing shepherds thought we should live.

  203. Never ‘misunderestimate’ the power of the ‘religiousnessity’ of those with ‘faithfulness’ in magical bird-winged flying beings in the sky and total fear of red-skinned cloven-hoofed horned bad dudes living 1000 feet below the ground. If you think the last presidency was bad, think again. That was just a taste of what is possible. An appetizer if you will. Ignorance is FAR more stubborn than intelligence, because ignorance lacks the ability to question one’s self/perspectives.. as those with some semblance of intelligence are prone to do.

  204. José

    I’m mid 30’s.

    I’m not MENSA.

    I know that a rook is not called a castle, although I still suck at chess.

    But…

    I invented money and I’m also the best looking man in the world.

    I’m not bragging since this is an anonymous forum. I just wanted everyone to know how ugly they are compared to myself because I know that counts heavily in anonymous on line debates.

  205. Doug Little

    José,

    Now that’s funny!

    Bravo

  206. Doug Little

    José

    You aren’t that guy on the Dos Eckes ads, if so you are mistaken your not the best looking man in the world, just the most interesting.

  207. Mike Wagner

    @José
    I agree. You are the best looking man in the world. You win the debate.
    (Please leave the money in an unmarked envelope in the usual place)

  208. John

    The entire universe is a closed system.

    Where did that little ball of blackness come from that is now expanding at light speed and will soon oscillate the other way?

    Nobody has explained that one yet.

    Of course atheists can find their own meaning in life. Or… maybe that’s why athiests have the highest suicide rate among ‘religions’.

    http://www.med.uio.no/iasp/files/papers/Bertolote.pdf

    If you are nothing but something that appears for a very abbreviated stay on a world created by a big bang, then obviously there is no purpose in life.

  209. ndt

    Isn’t it possible to find meaning for your life without believing demonstrably untrue things, such as the earth being 6000 years old?

  210. Jim

    It’s all these evangelicals that are wackos. The Catholic Church has actually acknowledged that Darwin may be right (close enough) and that science and evolution can co-exist with the belief that God created the universe.

  211. Darth Robo

    Hmm. Facts indicate the Earth is not 6,000 years old.

    People here state the Earth is not 6,000 years old.

    Fundies come along and start claiming that if we’re not open to the idea the Earth may be 6,000 years old, then we’re all obviously God-hating atheist “evolutionists”.

    No mention of the astronomers(ists) and the geologists?

    Okay srsly, everyone knows that evolution, astronomy and geology don’t have a darn thing to do with atheism, right? They knew this, right?

  212. Paul Burnham

    There seems to be a common misconception here. The Bible never said that the earth was created out of nothing. The intent of the original Hebrew was it was organized. It was created from already existing matter. This matter may have made up previous worlds. The Bible only claims that this world was created in 6 periods of time called days, which we take to be 1000 years.

    As far as creationism being absurd, it is no more so than the 200 year old unproven theory of evolution. You would think that after 200 years, at least one fossil would have been found showing the evolution of one species into another. But such is not the case. A few years back, scientists were saying they had found it . . . only to have it proven to be a deformed chimp.

    When Richard Dawkins was pressed on how the earth was created, he put forth a theory that some space aliens brought life to this planet. But then the question arises; where did their life originate? When the truth is finally known, science and religion will agree.

  213. 131. MrMarkAZ Says:

    Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve had someone in Arizona government whose stupid merits national attention. The last was Ev Mecham. Why should the Texas SBOE have all the fun?

    What!? How about Fife Symington? Remember the ‘UFO’s over Phoenix’ flap?

    133. Budd Says:

    “You can’t fix stupid.” Ron White

    I prefer:
    There’s no patch for stupidity
    -Patrick Norton (TechTV, Tekzilla)

    J/P=?

  214. ndt

    No, Darth, they don’t know that. They think “evolution” is what Kent Hovind says it is, a theory about how the entire universe came into existence.

  215. Cdogg

    To paraphrase an episode of South Park (yeah, I know, just hear me out), isn’t evolutionism the answer to how and creationism the answer to why? I believe both theories are perfectly correct to a point. We know the theories of evolution and how the Earth was formed are correct because we have geologists and physicists who actually go and research what happened by analyzing items much older than 6000 years rather than blindly trusting something 5 people scribbled down onto a piece of paper 2000 years ago. But at the same time, no amount of research can possibly answer why we and the Earth came to be. The reason why we have a conflict over this at all is because the most vocal people on each side refuse to listen to anyone on the other side.

    As an Arizonan, I’m embarrassed to call this state my home based on that video, but not because she’s blatantly wrong. I’m embarrassed because she’s blatantly ignorant of the other side of the issue, the difference being that “wrong” is a belief held by evolutionists and “ignorant” is the fact that she’s alienating a healthy chunk of voters who happen to have just as much proof (perhaps more) for their beliefs as she does for hers. Can’t we all just get along?

  216. Mark Hansen

    Perhaps that’s why John doesn’t understand that evolution isn’t about explaining how the universe came to be. He took the physics courses in an inappropriate area.

  217. #87 Joe Shadduck Says on July 6th, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Creationism actually has a very strong case scientifically, and from what I’ve read/watched in your interviews and papers on the subject, you give it less credence than wild Planet X blatherings. All I’m asking (and again, I know you could care less what one reader thinks) is that you not make a fool of yourself and your readers by stooping to the same level as the people you criticize: by making your arguments with visceral emotion and not with scientific fact.

    Joe,

    Most of us that do not give Creationism credence are still waiting for the very strong scientific case to be presented to us. If actual viable evidence is presented we will give it serious consideration and potentially change our minds about Creationism. The one hurdle evidence for Creationism seems to fail to clear is for actually being scientifically valid. So, thus far, our opinion of Creationism gives it all the credence it deserves.

    Regarding the visceral emotion Phil uses when he writes. That’s what we like about him. He keeps his science facts honest and accurate, but is excited about them. He is passionate about the truth and about reality, and that passion is enticing, energizing and enjoyable to read. Passion need not detract from the truth. Indeed, it emphasizes it.

    JBS

  218. I have a dream … that someday, we will live in a world where such stupidity is not condoned, is publicly laughed at and officials need to have intelligence to hold their job.

  219. Mike C.

    I have always wondered why evolutionists feel like if evolution is true that means God isn’t real. Science will never prove where the DNA came from. Science can speculate that we evolved, but will never prove where we or the universe came from. Science is just that–science. It is ever changing. Science is not fact. We all grew up learning that Pluto was a planet. Now it is not. 2 + 2 = 4 because someone told you so. Because a group of scientists and mathematicians said this to be true.

  220. AZ LAZY

    What? The earth is not 6,000 years old? Okay, fine. Then surely the earth is flat because I can’t fall off. I mean, look I can just keep walking and walking and then, nothing. So, it must be flat. Oh, and the sun, it revolves around the earth. I watch it rise in the morning and set in the evening. So don’t tell me that doesn’t happen the way that it seems too.

  221. Doug Little

    Darth Robo,

    I think that there are parallels, for one atheism tends to follow the evidence. Most atheists are what you would call soft atheists, in that they believe that the existence of a supernatural being is not impossible but is highly unlikely given the evidence we see around us and the scientific explanations for such evidence and the history and motivation of forming belief systems based on the supernatural.

    I don’t think that the increase of atheism with the educational qualifications obtained is a mere coincidence, especially large increases in people that obtain physical science degrees.

  222. Len

    @John #182

    So whats your highest score in chess?

    I think you are falling into the trap of treating evolution as something with a purpose or desire rather than an explanation of why what has happened has happened.

    Maybe its late at night but did anyone else think (or even hope) the guy in the suit had jumped up to try and unplug her mic, like a racist granny giving a wedding speech after a few too many G&Ts.

  223. AZ LAZY

    Doug Little,

    You’re probably a smart guy, I’m guessing, what do you do for a living? If you’re sales person, you probably know more than the average Joe about selling things. If you’re a farmer, you know more than most about how to grow crops and how to alternate crops during different seasons. People with physical science degrees know a little more than the average person about how the earth works. That’s why subjects such as climate change and evolution are difficult to have an educated public debate. The average person has no formal education on the subject.

    Also, quit confusing atheism with being agnostic. You call it soft atheism, it’s not. Most of the geologists that I know can be religous or spiritual, but they do not confuse true science with their faith.

  224. #167 John Says on July 7th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    To be honest, science zealots are just as bad as religious zealots. They dismiss anything that is said in the name of religion with no thought or reason other than it isn’t science so it must be wrong.
    I just think everyone needs to be more open minded and not immediately dismiss a persons views because they are labeled one way or the other…..well except for Baptists….they’re just crazy….. JK.

    Actually, I finally gave up on religion because of Creationism. As I studied and tried to fact check Creationism, I kept running into outright falsehoods, lies told because the truth does not support Creationism. As I continued my fact checking, I realized more and more of what I thought being a Christian was about was based on lies told to me by the very people we trust to reveal the truth – our clergy.

    So I read the Bible for myself. I read about the history of the Bible, how it was written, why given portions were written, and how the stories were spun to fit the times. The first history of the Bible that exposed these to me were in my Bible, the brief summaries of the various chapters and books of the Bible. Further reading and research revealed the source stories for much of the critical portions of the Bible and I realized, finally, Man invented God.

    During this same time, because I’d been researching Creationism, I read about Evolution. I found sites like the Panda’s Thumb and talkorigins. I came to realize that not only was Creationism wrong, but that Evolution neatly explained so much more than a capricious God could.

    I learned more about the scientific method, about theories and laws, and about the people who call themselves scientists.

    I am not a Democrat, though I have voted for Democrats. I am not a liberal, except for a about certain few things. What I am is someone that respects truth, honesty, integrity, and to a large extent, loyalty. That last, however, only continues if what I give my loyalty continues to support the first three. Of late, the Republicans and organized religion seem to have abandoned all three. On the other hand, those who base their ideas on a naturalistic examination of reality seem to more easily embrace truth, honesty, and integrity.

    JBS

  225. Ray

    @ Jose,

    “Well, we’re not talking about racism and anti-semitism. Who here is defending those? Why are you trying to change the subject?”

    You’ve missed the point. Try going back and reading all the posts.

    I was very clear when I said that both parties have their fair share of retards. The fact that some of them are creationists while some others are anti-semite and racist simply illustrates the level of their retardation.

  226. #182 John Says on July 7th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I’m mid 30’s.

    I’m nearing 50 years old. What does that mean for our discussion?

    I’m a self made multimillionaire.

    I’m not. My car is paid for and I’m not in debt that I can’t handle.

    A sufficient number of self made millionaires and billionaires are crooks that I don’t mark this as a positive attribute. It certainly isn’t a negative, though, either.

    I’m MENSA.

    Based on various tests I qualify. I’ve never applied for membership. Membership in MENSA has little value or meaning for me (this is not to say it has no meaning or value for others). Also, I’ve known several very wise people that would never come close to qualifying for MENSA who do have value and meaning for me. I find I prefer wise and smart to smart and unwise. Given a choice between just smart or just wise, I’ll choose wise.

    I score pretty well at chess.

    Yeah. I don’t. But I’ve seldom practiced and don’t have the killing instinct required to play a good ruthless game of chess; a game rife with Christian symbolism.

    and I’m also a Christian.

    I’m not. I was. But I’m not.

    I’m not bragging since this is an anonymous forum. I wanted to make sure that all the retorts calling me an idiot were undermined early.

    You’ve mentioned very little worth bragging about. Finding that a person has your qualities would not prevent me from calling them an idiot. I likely wouldn’t anyway, but these facts are not the ones that prevent me from doing so.

    The forum itself is not anonymous. Anonymity is an exercise left up to the writer.

    I’ve taken physics courses up the wazzoo in my college career. I’ve heard great arguments for both sides. But I still remain a creationist.

    Funny, I’ve taken few physics courses (odd considering my first major in college was Physics), and have taken a fair share of courses on religion. Oddly, I’m not a Creationist. I was. But I’m not.

    I wouldn’t expect physics courses to teach anyone much concerning evolution. I’d expect biology classes to handle that.

    I should note that my theology and religion courses never mentioned Creationism.

    If my God can make a universe as big as ours, why couldn’t he create it any way that he wanted? I’ve never created an earth before, but if I did, would I make it look 10 minutes old or billions of years old? I’m not quite sure. Why limit God and his power of creation?

    Yes, the Invisible Pink Unicorn did, in fact, create the Universe just as we see it, just this morning. With each of us having our own unique memories of lives we never lead. She laid all the fossils in the ground so that this afternoon we could go out and repeat the discoveries we thought we’d done before, just to prove how powerful she is. All praise to the IPU.

    Your argument can be used to justify any explanation for any god ever imagined. It is not useful; neither is it productive.

    Evolution has never explained the second law of thermodynamics.

    For this I am glad. Had evolution ever explained the second law of thermodynamics I would have to conclude there really is a God, for surely such a system that could do that must have been designed to do so. Thermodynamics is not a discipline approached nor examined within the framework of evolution, or even biology.

    Certainly the chemical reactions used by biological entities rely on chemistry and physics, so you could draw thermodynamics into the discussion if you wished. Evolution and biology, however, have nothing to add to the discussion not already covered by chemistry and physics.

    Just for the record, the Second Law of themordynamics operates nowhere on the planet Earth. Nowhere.

    Evolution has never explained what laws were used to convict the war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

    Using evolution to explain the laws used to convict war criminals might be an interesting exercise, but it is not an exercise the theory of evolution is equiped to accomplish, nor is it intended to. Evolution explains how biological entities pass their traits, more or less intact, to offspring and over time those traits most suited to the current environment will increase and those less suited will decrease relative to each other.

    Evolution has never explained the incredible improbability of all these earth functions coming together perfectly.

    This is perfectly acceptable since the beginnings of life are pre-evolution and more akin to physics and chemistry, which perfectly well explain the actual odds and extraordinarily high likelihood that all these functions came together, however imperfectly.

    Oh, you thought it all came together perfectly? Then you misunderstood. Life on Earth is a kludge. We work because the chemical reactions we thrive on are so prolific and likely that even with severe defects, we continue propogating. Don’t beleive me? I have a great many flaws, many of them physical. Yet I have children.

    Evolution does not explain why the earth’s three main religions are focused around the same God.

    Why do you considered these three the main religions and are you sure they really believe in the same god. Christians worship Christ – God – and a holy ghost of some sort. Islam celebrates Mohomad (at least as much as they do Allah). Judaism talks with Yahweh. In two of these religions God is a secondary character. Actually, perhaps all in all three.

    Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.

    Yet, Atheists still find meaning. Obviously a god is not necessary either.

    Keep reading those biology books and physics books for theoretical explanation for the meaning of life. You will never find it.

    I don’t read biology books and physics books for theoretical explanations for the meaning of life. I sure hope you are not reading the Bible to understand biology and physics! I’ve read the Bible, too. I’m not going to read it to find the meaning of life, either. I prefer a competent resource for that.

    As for me, there are so many chapters in the Bible that individually provide more meaning than all the college textbooks combined.

    The only meaning found in the Bible is that which the reader places there. Any meaning you find there you provided yourself. You had this meaning in your life despite the Bible, not because of it.

    (Hate filled responses incoming…)

    Any hate found within this post is purely the result of projection by the reader. I have no intense dislike or disregard for the original, anonymous, author to whom I reply. I respond because I found projection and misrepresentations that I felt compelled to address.

    JBS

  227. 42 and counting

    @ 182 John. John 18:2 “Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples.” Hmmmmm. I believe this may have cosmic significance.

  228. Lemon

    I’m not sure about the six thousand years but the earth is defiantly young enough to disprove evolution. ;) (sarcasm is implied, just to clear up any misplaced animosity)

  229. @John
    I’m no longer in my mid 30’s.

    I’m met a multi-millionaire once.

    MENSA? Is that like NAMBLA?

    I never score at chess. Most chicks don’t dig chess in that way. Then again I mostly lose.

    I got 265 bowling once… but chicks don’t dig that either.

    I’m not a Christian. When the Romans come I don’t want to be thrown to the lions.

    I used to be the best looking dude in the world but apparently Jose is now.

    I’m not bragging since this is an anonymous forum. I wanted to make sure that all the retorts calling me an idiot were commenced early.

  230. But Earth *HAS* been here for 6,000 years. It has also been here for a week.

  231. José

    @Paul Burnham
    You would think that after 200 years, at least one fossil would have been found showing the evolution of one species into another. But such is not the case.

    This is a joke, right?

    A few years back, scientists were saying they had found it . . . only to have it proven to be a deformed chimp.

    Are you talking about Humanzee? Are you actually trying to play the Humanzee card?

  232. José

    @Mike C.
    I have always wondered why evolutionists feel like if evolution is true that means God isn’t real.

    They don’t. Evolution just shows that God isn’t necessary to create the complexity of life we see on earth today. It doesn’t say God isn’t real.

  233. José

    @Ray
    You’ve missed the point. Try going back and reading all the posts.

    I read them all. It was a dumb point.

    I was very clear when I said that both parties have their fair share of retards.

    Once again, no one has stated or implied anything to the contrary. It’s a given. Everyone knows this already. Why did you feel this was a contribution that furthered the discussion?

  234. Marissa

    Don’t you guys know that Satan put the uranium here to test our faith in THE LORD? C’mon, get with the program.

    On a Kent Hovind note, check this video out and try not to pee yourself laughing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjKMhtyI3L8

  235. Darth Robo

    Okay, thanks to Paul Burnham for his nonsensical ewok poop, and saying things like: “unproven theory of evolution”, I mean, srsly. Proof is for mathematics and alcohol. Everyone knows that “theories” do NOT get “proven” to become “laws”, right? They knew this, right?

    And for Mike C’s benefit: You know that evolution doesn’t have a darn thing to do with atheism, right? You know this, right?

    Strange, how a thread on geology has turned into “geology is wrong, astrophysics is wrong, chemistry is wrong, biology is wrong and most importantly, EVILUSHUN is wrong, because… GODDIDIT!”

    (sigh)

  236. ethanol

    J.B.S:

    well said

  237. #224 Paul Burnham Says on July 7th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    There seems to be a common misconception here. The Bible never said that the earth was created out of nothing. The intent of the original Hebrew was it was organized. It was created from already existing matter. This matter may have made up previous worlds. The Bible only claims that this world was created in 6 periods of time called days, which we take to be 1000 years.

    So, you’re saying creation began 12,000 years ago? And who is this “we” that claims each of the days of creation are 1000 years? My understanding is that the earth was formed 4,500,000,000 years ago, give or take a few millennia. No creator god in evidence in any of the processes. Why couldn’t each day of creation be 750,000,000 years. Reading into the original Hebrew any scientific validity is probably similar to pareidolia – finding patterns and meaning where there is none.

    As far as creationism being absurd, it is no more so than the 200 year old unproven theory of evolution. You would think that after 200 years, at least one fossil would have been found showing the evolution of one species into another. But such is not the case. A few years back, scientists were saying they had found it . . . only to have it proven to be a deformed chimp.

    I have not heard of any deformed chimp intermediary between chimps and humans. However, the evidence for evolution does not depend on only the lineage of humans. Evolution is evident in every single fossil ever found once you begin assembling the “big picture.” Also, the evidence for evolution does not depend on only fossil evidence. We have DNA evidence. We have eyewitness evidence (as in Scientists have documented evolution occurring). The evidence for evolution is all around. Please note, there is vastly more evidence for evolution than for the historical accuracy of the Hebrew texts of the Bible. As far as I know, no valid evidence that shows that evolution does not happen exists. Only the closed minds of Creationists and Intelligent CDesign Proponentists claim otherwise. We have had ample opportunity to examine the arguments presented by CDesign Proponentists and have found them empty.

    When Richard Dawkins was pressed on how the earth was created, he put forth a theory that some space aliens brought life to this planet. But then the question arises; where did their life originate? When the truth is finally known, science and religion will agree.

    Dawkins wasn’t pressed on how the earth was created generically. He was specifically pressed for “Is there any way you can conceive that we did not arise from evolution?” And to that he hypothetically proposed that perhaps Aliens did it. It makes as much sense as GodDidIt. He also does not believe it for a minute – it was a speculation he was essentially drawn into creating on the spot.

    So, once the question is answered once and for all, religion will be forced to agree, evolution did it.

    JBS

  238. The scary part of it is that she is MY state Senator.

    She was appointed to the position last year following the death of the only slightly less neanderthal incumbent, narrowly beat a Democrat in the general (with the help of prop 102, the same thing as prop 8 was in CA– and in rural AZ it passed about 70-30) and McCain at the top of the ticket.

    I wrote a letter to the local newspaper blasting her for voting for a budget that guts her own district, and she sent me a reply indicating she was irked at the letter.

    Now if we can only find someone to run against her next year (which isn’t easy, there are some good reasons no one wants to run for the legislature.)

  239. I might add that I am the first Vice Chair of the county Democratic party here in Navajo County (the county where the largest number of votes are cast) and if anyone is really interested in whether we find anyone to run against her and if so what you can do to help send her to someplace where she is less of a threat to the rest of the state then please email me at:

    Eli Blake
    no_draft@yahoo.com

  240. David D

    @Jose #244–

    In all fairness to Ray, several other commenters felt the need to bring up the Democrat/Republican dialectic, and seemed to imply that only Republicans were stupid and anti-scientific. I’m not sure you read those posts, specifically #22, #27, #29, etc.

    There seems to be a lot of YEC’s in the Republican party these days, and I think it pretty much dooms them. But creationism is not the only form of anti-science out there; there is quite an array of anti-intellectualism on the left and among the Democrats (I’m pretty sure the 9/11 troofers didn’t campaign for Bush or McCain, for example, and I doubt that Ms. McCarthy is a big Republican contributor). Yes, we should expose the creationists for the intellectual frauds that they are, but you ignore other forms of anti-science at your peril. There’s a book Higher Superstition that you should check out.

  241. José

    @David D
    In all fairness to Ray, several other commenters felt the need to bring up the Democrat/Republican dialectic, and seemed to imply that only Republicans were stupid and anti-scientific.

    What I initially responded to was this comment made by Ray.

    Yes, they haven’t said anything about creationism. They just mouth anti-semitic and racist stuff. Much better to some people I guess.

    The implication being that people here don’t have a problem with racism and anti-semitism.

    But creationism is not the only form of anti-science out there; there is quite an array of anti-intellectualism on the left and among the Democrats (I’m pretty sure the 9/11 troofers didn’t campaign for Bush or McCain, for example, and I doubt that Ms. McCarthy is a big Republican contributor).

    9/11 truthers are a crazy fringe group, and I doubt many of them are big contributors to the democratic party. Democrats don’t pander to them, and no one is trying to pass laws that will amend our textbooks to say that Bush planned 9/11.

    I don’t know Jenny McCarthy’s political affiliation, but it doesn’t matter. As long as she continues to spout anti-science BS, she’ll continue to be slammed here. And when prominent Democrats support the anti-vaxx movement (RFK Jr. comes to mind) they certainly aren’t given a free pass.

    Yes, we should expose the creationists for the intellectual frauds that they are, but you ignore other forms of anti-science at your peril.

    Having a discussion about how Creationists are tainting the Republican party does not preclude someone from being tough on anti-science non-republicans.

  242. John C

    I’m a ‘forner’, so I don’t understand the Democrat/Republican thing, although I couldn’t help but notice that the previous US administration tended to make a fool of itself.

    It puzzles and disturbs me when politicians wear their religious affiliations openly. Religion and politics shouldn’t intersect. I thought that was what your Constitution meant when it forbid a state religion.

    Religion doesn’t matter so much in this country and I hope we’re not moving in the same direction as the US.

    I thought the xkcd comic, above, summed it up nicely. I agree that there’s a problem, but I don’t know how you got yourself into the situation which allows such problems to occur.

  243. Will Fuqua

    I looked at a few websites to verify that this woman is a senator of Arizona and I only found one website that confirms it, however wikipedia and even http://www.senate.gov doesn’t show her as a senator. The website that confirms there’s a senator by that name is http://www.votesmart.org. Here’s Vote Smart webpage: https://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=28166

    And then the http://www.senate.org website not showing her on there:
    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=AZ

    I was hoping to find a trusting website with an actual picture of her to verify this because sometimes names and positions get mixed up.

    Thanks,
    Will

  244. Nigel Depledge

    Astroboy (132) said:

    I suppose its possible to be a competent politician or statesman and still hold nonsense beliefs. Surely, some kings, emperors, philosophers and historians believed a lot of religious hokum. Newton supposedly believed a lot of religious rubbish which was popular at the time.

    But look at which parts of Newton’s work have endured:

    Optics. Calculus. Mechanics. Gravitation.

    Not alchemy. Not whatever brand of mysticism he was into.

    Even the best and brightest may harbor superstition. All that changes is what the superstition is. Today, believing the earth is 6000 years old is very old fashioned, a 19th century belief.

    Well, I would suggest it was actually an 18th-century belief, because it was in the later 18th and early 19th centuries that the educated worked out that it was impossible for the Earth to be 6000 years old. However, editions of the bible that had Ussher’s timeline in the margin were still being printed up until (roughly) the first world war.

    More importantly, however, believing the Earth to be 6000 years old is not simply old-fashioned. It is wrong. It was demonstrated about 150 – 200 years ago that 6000 years is an impossibly young age for the Earth. This hasn’t changed, and it is unlikely ever to change. The evidence that demonstrated 200 years ago that the Earth was ancient is still fact today. The only difference is that we now have vastly more evidence, and direct measurements.

    But watch what happens if a savant even suggests that at least some of the current “climate change” propaganda is partly or totally false!

    OK, accepting a digression from the topic of the post…

    I’m sure that some of the climate change headlines in the popular press are hyperbolic exaggeration. That’s what the popular press does.

    However, that does not change the science. And the science tells us we should really be worried about global warming.

    Suddenly he is a “denier” and is somehow a tool of “big business” because he (or she) has called for a deeper investigation of what may be unsupported beliefs.

    If you call for “deeper investigation” of something that has already been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, then yes you are a “denier” to some extent or other.

    We all worship our idols, whether in the marketplace or the classroom. It was true a thousand years ago and it is still true.

    No it isn’t. I think you will find that most sceptics have no idols. Nothing is sacred. Sceptics will always demand that claims are supported by evidence, but once that evidence is sufficient they will accept something as fact and move on.

  245. Bjoern

    @Paul Burnham:
    “The Bible only claims that this world was created in 6 periods of time called days, which we take to be 1000 years.”

    On what basis do you do that? AFAIK, the Hebrew words used there are pretty clear – a normal 24-hour day is meant, not 1000 years.

    “As far as creationism being absurd, it is no more so than the 200 year old unproven theory of evolution.”

    *sigh* Please get at least the most basic facts right! The theory of evolution is 150 years old, not 200 years! Hey, didn’t you notice that sometimes this year? Or did you somehow miss the fact that this year is “Darwin year” because 150 years ago, his theory was published?
    (Darwin was born 200 years ago – did you perhaps confuse these two dates?)

    And, as others have already pointed out: in science, theories are *never* proven – as you would know if you had bothered to read anything about science instead of only creationist diatribes.

    “You would think that after 200 years, at least one fossil would have been found showing the evolution of one species into another. But such is not the case.”

    Wrong. Plenty of such fossils have been found. Educate yourself a bit, please. (you could starting at the talkorigins Archive – and please no claims that they are “biased” there or something like that).

    “A few years back, scientists were saying they had found it . . . only to have it proven to be a deformed chimp.”

    What on earth are you talking about?

    “When Richard Dawkins was pressed on how the earth was created, he put forth a theory that some space aliens brought life to this planet.”

    Say, don’t you even pay attention to what yourself write? When Dawkins was pressed on how the *earth was created*, he said something about *space aliens brought life*? Don’t you see that this makes no sense at all, and that therefore obviously something is wrong with what you wrote?

    (what Dawkins actually said was already pointed out by another commenter)

    “When the truth is finally known, science and religion will agree.”

    Which religion of the thousands we have on Earth?

  246. Bjoern

    @John:

    “The entire universe is a closed system.”

    Err, yes (probably). So what? That the total entropy of the universe has to increase does in no way deny the possibility that local decreases of entropy are possible – if at other places, the local entropy increases more. (A negative number plus a positive number with greater absolute value is a positive number, right?). That’s exactly what happens on Earth: local decreases of entropy, with far larger increases of entropy elsewhere (e. g. solar radiation!), and in the sum, we have an increase of entropy.

    “Where did that little ball of blackness come from that is now expanding at light speed and will soon oscillate the other way?”

    Wow. Is that supposed to be a description of the Big Bang theory? If yes, then you have apparently slept through most of your physics classes. Please educate yourself a bit – you could start by looking up the Big Bang FAQ (of which I’m an author, BTW) at the talkorigins archive (and please don’t simply claim that the archive is biased or something like that – look it up and discuss the actual arguments presented there!).

    “Of course atheists can find their own meaning in life. Or… maybe that’s why athiests have the highest suicide rate among ‘religions’.

    http://www.med.uio.no/iasp/files/papers/Bertolote.pdf

    That may be true – but so what? That only shows that finding meaning in life by thinking on that thoroughly is much harder than simply accepting the comforting claims of religions without much thinking.

    Oh, and what about the studies showing that the less religious a country is, the less crime there is, and the more stable the social structure is?

    “If you are nothing but something that appears for a very abbreviated stay on a world created by a big bang, then obviously there is no purpose in life.”

    Well, yes, you have to find a purpose for yourself. You have to think – not merely brainlessly accept what you are told.

  247. Nigel Depledge

    Rob (137) said:

    You all have been indoctrinated very well by the government schools. Oozing self-reliance and confidence in your knowledge of how the universe is

    Did it ever occur to you that we have good reason to be confident?

    The age of the Earth is known to a good degree of accuracy, and with extremely good confidence.

    If you doubt this, then perhaps you should first make an attempt to understand the way the age of the Earth has been measured, rather than assume that confidence founded in high-quality data is instead overconfidence founded on ego.

    You insult the entire science of geology with your ignorant pronouncements.

    you forget that your system leaves the greater questions untouched — why the universe is. It’s hard for me to stomach.

    So, presumably, in order to address this you have initiated a research programme into just that question.

    I would be very interested in learning more about your methodology. I, for one, have not the foggiest idea how to go about investigating the reason for the universe’s existence (or, indeed, whether or not the question itself has any meaning). Please include with your answer references to the scientific journals in which you have published your theory.

    Of course, if the foregoing is just wrong, then maybe you should stop whining about what science is or isn’t investigating and learning.

  248. Nigel Depledge

    Rob R (143) said:

    People should not be Pigeonholed. Just because you flip a coin 10 times and it comes up heads 10 times does not mean that all coin tosses will come up heads.

    Eh? Total non-sequitur.

    She has the right to believe what ever it is that she wants to believe, no matter how wrong she surely is,

    No. Demonstrated facts are demonstrated facts, and she should not have the right to lie to the people she is supposed to be representing. There is no excuse for her not knowing that the age of the Earth is one of those areas where religious authority attempts to gainsay real learning.

    however, I submit that not all persons of a conservative leaning are of as small a mind and world as this deluded woman.

    I sincerely hope you are correct.

    All I am saying is, that when it comes to matters of left and right, we need to not lose sight of the fact that there are countless data points between both extremes. That, and in a perfect world, our leaders should lead as a representative of their people, not lead with their personal belief systems.

    Well, absolutely. Provided, of course, that those same leaders acknowledge that many of the people they represent are deeply ignorant about many things and that they need to accept the advice of experts.

  249. justcorbly

    @#231–Mike C. ..”We all grew up learning that Pluto was a planet. Now it is not. 2 + 2 = 4 because someone told you so. Because a group of scientists and mathematicians said this to be true.

    You are confusing words with the reality they represent.

    Thousands and thouands of objects are in orbit around the Sun, in addition to the several objects science defines as planets. Several of those objects, which have never been defined as planets, and which were not known to exist when Pluto was discovered, are larger than Pluto and share many of its characterstics. All that happened is that Pluto was reclassified as more evidence became available. Pluto has more in common with those non-planetary objects than it does with those objects traditionally labeled planets. No conspiracy here, no need to point a finger at the alleged fickle nature of science.

    Adjusting your interpretation of reality as new facts become available is the hallmark of science and reason. Refusing to adjust your belief system when new facts challenge it is the hallmark of ignorance and supersitition.

    On 2+2=4: Whatever words are used to describe that relationship, the relationship remains the same. No matter what words science uses, 4 will remain the sum of 2 plus 2 forever. You’ve made an irrelevant point that seems to stem from a conspiratorial view of a world populated by smart people out to get you.

  250. no mark for me

    The 6000 years is grossly misunderstood. Earth is billions of years old, MAN is 6000 yrs. old. God has given man 6000 yrs. to rule the earth- the 6 day rule and the 7th day is a sabbath (rest). In the millennium (sabbath), Jesus will rule both the heavens and the earth and restore it to it’s originally perfect condition- before the fall of man. Look around, does anyone here actually believe man can successfully rule the earth?

  251. Nigel Depledge

    Stephen (145) said:

    The reality is that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory.

    Well, it is a fact and a theory (which explains the fact).

    A lot of people tend to allow “scientists” to do their thinking for them, and just believe what they learn in school.

    First, if the teachers know what they are teaching, then pupils should believe it. However, most good science teachers will actually demonstrate what they teach through the use of evidence. If classroom time allowed, most science teachers would actually prefer to teach how to think.

    Besides, all too many people allow their religious leaders to do their thinking for them, so how can letting scientists (note the absence of inverted commas here, indicating that scientists are real) do the thinking be a bad thing? After all, almost all scientists really do know what they are talking about.

    The truth about evolution is that there really is not that much evidence to support it, and the evidence that is there is weak.

    This is two lies in one sentence.

    Please start thinking for yourself and stop being a mere mouthpiece for creationist propaganda.

    The evidence supporting modern evolutionary theory is overwhelming. If you don’t believe me, get yourself to a good university library and start reading the biology and palaeontology books. However, it will take you a while, so it’d be best to schedule in a few years to do this.

    Whatever you do, don’t take the creationist propaganda at face value. Demand from them that they prove what they claim.

    Also, There can only be evidence of evolution. There will NEVER be proof of evolution just by the definition of proof.

    Well, duh.

    In exactly the same way, there will never be prrof of atoms. Or gravity. Or diseases. They are all theories too, and demonstrated by scientific evidence.

    Perhaps, before you start reading abotu biology, you should make some effort to understand science and evidence in the first place, rather than merely regurgitate soundbites.

    To acquire proof and use the scientific theory, you must observe. Because these events happened in the past, there is be no way to do that.

    Rubbish.

    Events that occurred in the past leave evidence in the present from which those events can be deduced.

    Things like radiometric dating methods are flawed by the aggressive assumptions they make.

    Nope.

    The first assumption being that the half-life of radioactive elements is constant.

    Yes, they are constant. They have all been measured many times, and the measurements always agree.

    there is not enough evidence to assume this,

    But there is no evidence at all that they vary, so it is a far safer bet that they actually are constant.

    and enough evidence to refute it. Try reading “A critique of radiometric dating”

    By whom? Published when? Published where?

    Until you can actually supply a reference, I will be forced to assume that this is a work of fiction.

    When you have uncertainties in a exponential equation in the exponent, the uncertainty of the other side 0f the equation is huge.

    I see you are unfamiliar with the isochron method of radiometric dating. Go look it up on Wikipedia.

    Now you get number like, “4.5-60 billion years”.

    Where does that range come from?

    It seems to me that you are conflating the actual measured age of the Earth (4.5 billion years) and the figure mentioned by another commenter that actually arises from Hinduism (60 billion years).

    There are other arguments used to refute radiometric dating methods, but there would take a while to explain.

    It takes even longer to explain how and why they are not refutations, but mere fantasy, distortions and lies. It is obvious to anyone familiar with the facts that you have swallowed a whole bunch of creationist lies hook, line and sinker.

    Read the book if you really want to understand radiometric dating.

    I don’t need to, because there is a brilliant article in the TalkOrigins archive. The difference being that this article was written by someone who actually does radiometric dating in the course of his work, so he knows what he’s talking about.

    Also, your reference is completely useless. If you went to a library to ask for a book when all you had was the title, the librarians would probably laugh in your face.

    Also, there is the large gaps in the fossil record where evolutionary stages were supposed to have taken place that loom over the evolutionary theory.

    Where are these gaps? What do you mean by “large”?

    Besides, even if what you say is correct (which, BTW, it ain’t) absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Darwin himself addressed the paucity of the fossil record. He stated that, for his theory to be correct, the fossil record must be very poor. Well, he was right. In the 1850s, the fossil record was indeed poor. However, the many millions of fossils that have been unearthed since then all confirm evolutionary theory.

    Also, archeologists use the rock layers to date fossils within them, but geologists use the fossil record to date the rock layers.

    Well, first off, archaeologists don’t dig in rock, they dig in soil.

    You obviously do not know the difference between archaeologists and palaeontoligists.

    Palaeontologists mostly use the age of the rock formation to date the fossils (after all, the fossils themselves are so precious), but some fossil specimens have been directly dated. They have been found to match the age of the rock.

    Geologists no longer use fossils to date the rock. They use the fossil types to identify the rock strata, because different strata still contain different assemblies of fossils, but geologists now date rocks directly through various different types of radiometry. Note also that they prefer to use more than one isotopic series to achieve a date in which they can have confidence.

    (Isn’t circular reasoning beautiful, you can believe whatever you want!)

    Well, except that (a) you are wrong about what actually happens, and (b) you are obviously not believing what you want, you are believing what someone else wants you to believe.

    And there is evidence of creation, I don’t have time to go into it, but you can email me at savariomarrano@msn.com if you want to talk respectfully about it.

    Well, first off, there is no evidence of creation, unless your creation even took about 4.53 billions years and used evolution as a toolkit to achieve the modern diversity of flora and fauna.

    I may take up your offer, provided you accept that respect must be earned. I notice that you are disrespecting the entirety of science, so I shall accord you the level of respect that you obviously deserve.

    If you like doing your own research, research the existence of pulonium spheres in rock, and evidence of creation in the Mt. St Helens eruption.

    Actually, I will do that reserach if you can provide some appropriate scholarly references.

    As it happens, I have indeed done research that is relevant to evolution in a general sense. I can tell you more about the enzyme dUTPase than you are capable of comprehending, and why it constitutes evidence that all life is related. However, I also know, from the comment you have made here, that your mind and eyes are closed to understanding the evidence. You have heard the soundbites of the creationist liars and you have bought into them. Nothing I can say will change your mind until you want it to change.

    Peace

    Hypocrite.

    How can you end your comment, in which you pathetically attempt to deny the value of huge areas of human endeavour, with such a platitude?

  252. Nigel Depledge

    Justcorbly (254) said:

    You’ve made an irrelevant point that seems to stem from a conspiratorial view of a world populated by smart people out to get you.

    But it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you … ;-)

  253. Nigel Depledge

    Mike Wagner (154) said:

    I wanted to find out more information for myself, and while there might even be some accurate information tucked away in there it pretty much plainly states in the beginning that the goal is to explain the recent creation of life.

    I’d rather see the top hit on google be an explanation of the methodology and technical aspects, instead of a “here is what I believe, now let’s work towards that”.

    Try this one as a starting point:
    http[colon slash slash]www.talkorigins.org/faqs/isochron-dating.html

  254. Al

    For a bunch of “scientists” ya’ll are a bunch of no-nothings. Uranium only appears to be older than 6000 years because God made it that way. Duh. Why did God make uranium older than the planet? Read the story of Job; mankind is too stupid to understand these things. Maybe 6000 year old uranium is too squishy to use and it needs to bake for awhile before we can use it!

    I grew up with this nonsense. Anything that looks out of place in a young age earth is put here either by Satan to bring doubt and unbelief into our hearts or by God to strengthen our faith by believing in him in spite of worldly contradictions. Yeah, still sounds stupid after 35 years to me too. But it points out that you cannot win an argument with these people.

    We’ve got to keep pushing for proper scientific education in our schools. Just good science in general will allow people to pick out the creationist fallacies, even if they don’t get to study evolution as much as we would like.

    Actually it was nuclear power that first planted the seed of doubt in creationism in myself. An article in one of the creationist newspapers (about 35 years ago) argued that there was no need to erect protection barriers around the nuclear pile because God would not allow it to harm people unless that is what he wants and we should not deny the will of God.

  255. @Mike C:

    2+2=4 not because some one told me so, but because it is. Where would you get such an insanely stupid statement?

    If you have 1 apple and add one apple, how many do you have? If you then take 2 groups of 2 apples, how many do you have? It’s not 4 because someone told you, it’s because you can look at the group and count 1, 2, 3, 4!

    Arrrghghghg!!!

  256. 258. drksky Says:

    2+2=4 not because some one told me so, but because it is. Where would you get such an insanely stupid statement?

    If you have 1 apple and add one apple, how many do you have? If you then take 2 groups of 2 apples, how many do you have? It’s not 4 because someone told you, it’s because you can look at the group and count 1, 2, 3, 4!

    Arrrghghghg!!!
    _____________

    Oh, and we’re just supposed to believe this because YOU say it’s so?!?

    This is EXACTLY what’s wrong with you scienticians and mathamatologists! You have no proof for your assumptions. You assume that 6,000 years is somehow SMALLER than 4.5 billion years. You assume that 2 follows 1, and 4 follows 3. Just because it’s in your math propaganda device (a.k.a. textbook) doesn’t make it TRUTH!

    As an American, I am entitled to free speech and free expression. If I want to believe that 2+2=5, it is MY RIGHT. If I want to believe that the circumference of a circle is π x 7r, it is MY RIGHT. If I want to believe that 2×5=Ernest Hemingway, it is MY RIGHT!

    – The Math Skeptic

  257. Until the people of AZ wake up and stop voting these idiots in office, things will never change.

  258. Valdis Kletnieks

    @Mike C:

    “2 + 2 = 4 because someone told you so. Because a group of scientists and mathematicians said this to be true.”

    Actually, if you’re a practicing mathematician, it’s not at all difficult to apply a branch of mathematics called “group theory”, and devise arithmetic schemes where 2+2 is equal to 3, or to 5, or other non-4 values. The problem is that once you’ve defined addition, you probably want to do subtraction too – and if 2 + 2 isn’t 4, then you have a hard time computing 4 – 2 and getting a result that’s actually useful for anything other than mathematical theoretical masturbation.

    So the bottom line is that 2 + 2 = 4, because it *has* to if you want to get anything actually *done* with your mathematics, like figuring out how many square feet of tile you need for your kitchen floor.

    (And for the *other* mathematicians out there – yes, I know that things like exponentiation in modulo fields are heavily used in cryptography and other areas. But let’s face it – those are a lot closer to “theoretical masturbation” than any definition of arithmetic that lets you tile your kitchen floor… :)

  259. If she had said that babies were delivered from the sky by storks, it would have been no less scientifically absurd. I only hope that all this press regarding Sylvia Allen’s comments, expose her lack of basic education and deny her re-election.

  260. W L Anderson

    Scarier than she is the Texas, not just state, but U.S., Representative Joe Barton from Texas, who made an utter fool of himself in questions he posed to Steven Chu during Chu’s Congressional confirmation hearings. Afterward he underscored his ignorance by posting a You Tube showing of the incident, obviously thinking “Gotcha!” He is a firm believer in the 6000 year old stupidity.

  261. C Banks

    AND she believes that you can create a uranium mine that won’t leave any traces of it’s existence once it’s done! Oh, suuuuure!

  262. Desertman

    @257. Will Fuqua

    Sylvia Allen is a senator in the State senate, not the Federal senate. Here is her Arizona legislature page (from an ealier post):

    http://www.azleg.gov/MembersPage.asp?Member_ID=124&Legislature=49

  263. Desertman

    @ C Banks Said: “AND she believes that you can create a uranium mine that won’t leave any traces of it’s existence once it’s done! Oh, suuuuure!”

    I guess Allen hasn’t visited very many Arizona mining communities like Morenci, Jerome, Globe-Miami, Ajo, Superior, Kearny/Ray/Hayden/Winkleman, to name just a few.

  264. newdemocrat:

    Hey, we’re working on it, we’re working on it.

    We’ve had effectively one-party rule in the legislature for decades, and this is where it’s degenerated to.

    See my posts # 250-251.

  265. Tastytone

    The constant refrain of “I’m an American, it’s my right to believe whatever I want”, and the old favorite, “with God, ANYTHING is possible” is killing me. It’s crazy how two seemingly positive attitudes can justify just about any lunatic notion the human mind can come up with. Open-ended and all encompassing, this logic in the hands of the ignorant allows creationism as not only a viable “science”, but as a belief that must be respected as legitimate (taught in schools!) by everyone in the country. Easy answers to life’s greatest mysteries. God did it, and we’re the ones who know God’s mind better than anyone, so we’re right.

    If I hear any more about the nasty “intellectual elitists” persecuting the religious right, I’m gonna hurl.

  266. Markle

    #81. Rob Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I think we really need to just stand back and let a few states be totally taken over by the invisible sky deity worshippers. Vote for them, let them take complete control and totally have their way…. populated with ignorant sloths who cannot hold any job except WalMart greeter. It could take decades, but the lessons would eventually be clear.

    I’m pretty sure you just described the deep south. Clearly the economic powerhouse of the nation. I’m sure that their aim is to expand upon the success they’ve had promoting familial stability.

  267. Nigel Depledge

    John (167) said:

    I believe in creation but I don’t believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Believing one doesn’t mean you have to believe the other.

    There are several different kinds of creationism, but all of them seem to claim that evolution did not occur, i.e. that god created all living things separately according to some ill-defined “kind” classification. If you accept evolution but believe it to be god’s toolkit, this is more akin to Theistic Evolution than out-and-out Creationism.

    I guess I’m one of the rare Christian, Democrat, Creationists, who believe that science and religion are not mutually exclusive.

    I’m not sure you use the word “Creationist” in a way that people familiar with the debate will understand.

    However, I agree that there is nothing to make religion and scientific discoveries mutually exclusive, unless the religion is too rigid to accept facts about the world.

    To be honest, science zealots are just as bad as religious zealots. They dismiss anything that is said in the name of religion with no thought or reason other than it isn’t science so it must be wrong.

    Be careful here. Don’t conflate vehement rebuttal of creationist claptrap with zealotry. In the field of science, respect must be earned and uninformed opinions are almost worthless.

    Fundamentally, all religious beliefs are irrational (this is pretty much by definition – how else can you describe a belief in something for which there is no evidence?). I am quite happy for people to believe whatever strange things they choose, provided they don’t attempt to portray those beliefs as scientific or evidence-based.

    The discoveries of science are the outcome of humanity’s study of the physical world. All the conclusions of science are based on evidence (in many cases, overwhelming mountains of evidence). Anything that attempts to gainsay these conclusions without reference to new, better evidence (or better understanding of existing evidence) is going to be in for a rough ride, and rightly so.

  268. Nigel Depledge

    John (182) said:

    If my God can make a universe as big as ours, why couldn’t he create it any way that he wanted? I’ve never created an earth before, but if I did, would I make it look 10 minutes old or billions of years old? I’m not quite sure. Why limit God and his power of creation?

    Exactly. So why did he have to create the Earth at all, when he could have set up the universe in the beginning to ultimately give rise to the Earth through the laws of nature? Since there is no evidence of divine tinkering anywhere in the Earth, it is irrational to assume that divine tinkering occurred (it would violate the principle of parsimony).

    The universe appears exactly the way we would expect it to be if it developed in the past according to the natural laws and relationships that we observe today.

    Evolution has never explained the second law of thermodynamics.

    Why would it need to? The 2nd LoT is not an issue for any biological processes.

    Evolution has never explained what laws were used to convict the war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

    Irrelevant. Evolution deals with biological processes, not the complexities of human morality.

    Evolution has never explained the incredible improbability of all these earth functions coming together perfectly.

    Actually, if you really think about it, it’s not all that improbable. Consider a ubiquitous enzyme, such as RNA polymerase. It exists in many thousands of different, but related, versions. Now, if there are thousands of different functional versions within the constraint of common descent, how many trillions or quadrillions of possible functional forms could it take without that constraint?

    Consider also that the very earliest life did not need to be efficient at anything. It merely needed to be good enough to survive in a relatively benign environment (i.e. no predators and no competition except other versions of the same thing). “Survival of the fittest” is not very accurate – “survival of the adequate” is better.

    Evolution does not explain why the earth’s three main religions are focused around the same God.

    Irrelevant. It deals with biological processes (including why people believe irrational things), not with the minutiae of whether or not Judaism, Islam and Christianity contain any substantial differences.

    Evolution provides atheists no real meaning in life.

    Which suggests that you do not actually understand evolution.

    Some people find the inter-relatedness of all life to be quite a fulfilling thought.

    Keep reading those biology books and physics books for theoretical explanation for the meaning of life. You will never find it.

    Well, you won’t, but that is because your mind appears to be closed to the possibility. You obviously have already decided that the “meaning” of life is to be found elsewhere.

    As for me, there are so many chapters in the Bible that individually provide more meaning than all the college textbooks combined.

    Yeah? Go on then, give us some examples.

    How about this one: Where in the bible does it explain the monomeric nature of the dUTPase enzyme encoded in the genome Type I herpes simplex virus, when almost all other organisms possess a dUTPase that is active only in a trimeric form?

    Evolutionary theory explains this fact.

    (Hate filled responses incoming…)

    Hey, you should expect to reap what you sow.

    You are apprently closed to even the possibility that science is the best way of understanding the way in which the universe works. Simply consider this – what if you’re wrong?

  269. Nigel Depledge

    Hollaamigo (183) said:

    Radiometric dating has many anomalities that have not been resolved

    Such as…?

    and it should not be relied on or considered as scientific evidence. Any time before 10,000 years ago should not be acknowledged because there is insufficient evidence of that time existing.

    Based on what?

    Have you actually even read about how radiometric dating works? Aside from creationists’ lies, I mean?

    - Recent lava has been tested to be millions of years old.

    Please cite the reference for the original measurement from which you take this statement.

    - Different radiometric dating methods can be used on the same rock and produce different results.

    If this occurs, the sample is always discarded because it cannot produce a reliable result.

    Far more common is that two different isotopic series give the same date for a rock sample.

    - DNA has been found in extinct animals that have been radiometrically dated as millions of years old.

    Do you actually know anything at all about chemistry?

    DNA is a stable molecule, and there is a lot of it in most animals and plants (there is approximately a metre of it in each of the cells of your body, except red blood cells). Under the right conditions, small amounts of it can survive for very long periods of time.

    If I recall correctly what I have read, only DNA fragments have been recovered from samples that are millions of years old. Larger pieces have been recovered from younger samples, as would be expected.

  270. Nigel Depledge

    Kelly (201) said:

    Were you around 6000 (or several billion) years ago to prove that it wasn’t? Quick, show me 6000 year old video! I’m not saying she’s right, but your arrogance is equally astounding.

    And neither is as astounding as your ignorance.

    What would a 6000 y.o. video be? It would be evidence from the past that has survived into the present. Well, we have plenty of that without needing a Betamax VCR to play it back on.

    Not only has it been known for approx 200 years that 6000 years is an impossibly young age for the Earth, but we actually have the means to measure the age of rocks. Accurately and with precision.

  271. Nigel Depledge

    John (219) said:

    The entire universe is a closed system.

    Well, since you have physics courses up your wazoo, I thinka little more elucidation would be in order here.

    For instance, please explain to me where the boundary of the universe is, and what evidence is there that indicates that the universe as a whole is a closed system. Please consider this in the conext that the observable universe is but a subset of the whole universe.

    Where did that little ball of blackness come from that is now expanding at light speed and will soon oscillate the other way?

    Whoa, now those physics courses up your wazoo are really showing. Well, something appears to coming out of your wazoo, anyway.

    So, what the hell are you blathering about?

    Nobody has explained that one yet.

    Hmmm … well, maybe if you were a bit clearer about what you think modern cosmology tells us, and then highlight what you consider to be the major issues, maybe we could actually have some kind of dialogue. Until then, I’ll find something more interesting to do than try to parse meaning out of your word salads.

  272. Tim G

    Some people are so far behind that they think they’re first.

  273. Bjoern

    @no mark for me:

    Hominids have existed already several million years ago; do you dispute the fossils showing that?

    Homo sapiens has existed already about 200 000 years ago; do you dispute the fossils showing that?

    Humans have built towns etc. already at least about 10 000 years ago; do you dispute these archeological findings?

    Or what exactly do you mean by saying that “”MAN is 6000 yrs. old”?

    Oh, and what basis do you equate the days of Genesis 1 with periods of 1000 years?

  274. chip

    She’s an idiot but it’s only marginally less idiotic to follow with a statement that all conservatives or Republicans are idiots too. I and many people like me are scientifically literate AND favor small government.

    When I see a moron like Mrs Allen I think no less of her than I do a Barney Frank or even the current president, who cling to a belief that massive deficits, mounting debt and the expanding tentacles of government regulation are somehow beneficial for society.

    Just as reasonable people ask why basic scientific facts fail to take hold despite decades or irrefutable proof, one can also wonder why awful politicians and their economic illiteracy continue to be elected, year after year.

  275. justcorbly

    @290–Chip: >>”…one can also wonder why awful politicians and their economic illiteracy continue to be elected…

    Perhaps because the politicians you favor have been shown to be seriously incompetent. Rather than adhering to a ideology that somehow eradicates “massive deficits, mounting debt and the expanding tentacles of government regulation”, they build their careers on a program of transferring tax monies to the corporate oligarchy, spending the nation into decades of debt, launching unnecessary wars and staining their hands with the blood of hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    So don’t talk to me about even trying to compare a deliberately ignorant fool like Allen with Frank or Obama. If and when modern conservatism becomes something other than a support system for willful ignorance and bigotry, maybe I might listen. Until then, it shames our democracy.

  276. Nigel Depledge

    Cdogg (227) said:

    … isn’t evolutionism the answer to how and creationism the answer to why?…

    Well, it seems to me that you intended here to refer to the idea of non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA).

    However, the idea has suffered much criticism, largely over the assumptions that it makes – that the “why” of the Earth’s existence (etc.) is beyond the realm of scientific investigation.

    Also, you used the word “creationism” in an unfamiliar way. Usually, when NOMA is discussed, it is religion that supplies the “why” and science that supplies the “how”. Creationism refers to a specific set of claims made by certain groups of people who claim to be religious. These claims are various, but they almost always include the denial of evolution.

    If you accept the mechanism of evolution, and attribute it as a mechanism through which god operates, this is termed Theistic Evolution (TE). TE is usually a more moderate position than creationism, especially in its stronger form (i.e. that god set things up at the beginning to develop through natural physical laws into what we observe today). The weaker form of TE assumes some kind of invisible divine tinkering during the history of life.

  277. Nigel Depledge

    Mike C. (231) said:

    I have always wondered why evolutionists feel like if evolution is true that means God isn’t real.

    And I wonder now why you think that rational thinkers (i.e. people who support evolution, but there is not really any such thing as an “evolutionist”, any more than there are “gravitationists”) believe that evolution disproves god. It seems to me that you have been swallowing creationist propaganda.

    As has been mentioned further up the thread (oh, did you not read the preceding comments?), there is nothing in either science or religion that is mutually exclusive, provided that the religion is flexible enough to accept that science can discover facts about the world and how it functions.

    As it turns out, religious belief is irrational – the principle of parsimony suggests that we should not assume the existence of any kind of omnipotent, omnipresent being without some evidence to indicate that it exists. But that is different from stating that evolution disproves god. What evolutionary theory has done is show that god is unnecessary. Before evolutionary theory was worked out, it had been assumed that the diversity of life could only have arisen through divine action of some sort. Now we know better. However, just because god is unnecessary to achieve the present diversity of life on Earth does not mean god has been disproved. After all, how could you ever disprove the existence of a being that, by definition, leaves no evidence of its existence?

    Science will never prove where the DNA came from.

    Would you care to place a small wager on that …? “Never” is a very, very long time.

    Science can speculate that we evolved,

    This ain’t speculation. It’s a fact. Biological entities evolve (i.e. change over time). Or do you consider yourself to be an exact copy of all of your ancestors?

    but will never prove where we or the universe came from.

    Non-sequitur.

    Where the universe came from is nothing to do with biological evolution, or, indeed, the age of the Earth.

    Where we (i.e. human beings) came from is already demonstrated. We evolved from an ancestor that we share with some of the other great apes.

    Science is just that–science. It is ever changing.

    Actually, this is misleading. The cutting edge of science is changing, quite rapidly in some areas. However, some discoveries and conclusions of science are now so well established that we can reasonably regard them as facts. In the same way that Newtonian gtaviation, while technically wrong, is a good approximation of how reality works, we can be confident that our modern theories about the universe and life (including evolutionary theory) are, even if wrong, at least a good approximation of how reality operates. The reason for this is that if they were not we would already know. So, some aspects of science are well established, have been for a long time and are expected to continue for a long time to come.

    Science is not fact.

    But scientific investigation uncovers facts, and those facts are related to one another and understood by means of theories.

    We all grew up learning that Pluto was a planet. Now it is not.

    This is a semantic quibble.

    Pluto has not changed, even though our knowledge of it is improving (and will improve much more in a few years’ time when New Horizons gets there).

    What has changed is the technical meaning of the word “planet”. Calling Pluto a “planet” would mean that we would need to call several dozen similar objects “planets” also.

    2 + 2 = 4 because someone told you so. Because a group of scientists and mathematicians said this to be true.

    Another commenter has already addressed this.

    Do not conflate the symbolism with the entity being symbolised.

    In our standard arithmetical framework, 2 + 2 = 4 because this is the definition of 4. It is not some arbitrary rule, it is how numbers and arithmetic work. We could equally define 5 as being 2 + 2, but all this would mean is that we have changed the definition of 5 so that it means what once was meant by 4.

  278. wagonjak

    Olberman did a whole segment on this delusional, stupid woman on his show last night, mocking her for her cluelessness…and calling her…WORST PERSON IN THE WOOOOORRRLLLLD!!!

    And pointing out the irony that the uranium which she wants mined in AZ is used to determine the age of the earth….

  279. a lurker

    I can say definitively that the State of Arizona is 97 years 4 months and 23 days old.

    And the Earth is approximately 4.55 billion years old.

  280. Bill

    As a complete narcissist, I know the Earth is not 6,000 years old; it is 61 years and 69 days old. The Earth came into existence on the day of my birth. I believe my parents and older sister and every thing else just formed out of the miasma in order to keep me company. Silly senator. I figure you all have some 25-30 years left before this all ends!

  281. Slaughter

    arclight@21, how dare you insult Sylvia Allen! Go ahead, deny that your phrase “long-lived unstable material” didn’t refer to her!

    As an Arizonan for almost 25 years, I am appalled. And amused.
    But in the state that brought you Evan “Pickaninnies” Mecham, we can’t be too surprised.

  282. 289. Tim G Says:
    Some people are so far behind that they think they’re first.

    Sometime, somewhere, I heard a comment along the lines of ‘she’s so stupid that when she got lapped by other runners, she thought she was in first place’.
    Oh, to find my comment/rant about how people judge others by their own weaknesses…

    296. a lurker Says:
    I can say definitively that the State of Arizona is 97 years 4 months and 23 days old.
    And the Earth is approximately 4.55 billion years old.

    And a happy Valentine’s Day to you, too. (FYI, check the month/date that AZ joined the U.S. if you don’t get the 97/4/23 – properly adjusted for the date of the post if you are reading it later)

    Oh, and the local ‘alternative’ newspaper The Tucson Weekly, has a link to this story and post – titled: Maybe Sylvia Allen Was Bitten By a Radioactive Moron

    J/P=?
    J

  283. Anon A Mouse

    My next door neighbors are one of those couples whom you are just glad to know, and glad to know that they exist. Very nice folks, very honest folks. We’ve worked closely together on our Association Board, and have started an online retail site recently. I know and trust this couple, and consider them reasonably intelligent and very capable of thought.

    I have recently learned, though, that they are firm believers of woo. Deep, deep woo. I’ve always known them to be religious (he was ‘reborn’), and have had a number of conversations with them (I am an atheist) over the 11 years I’ve shared their front walkway. None got so deep (pun intended) as a couple over the past few weeks.

    The first concerned “speaking in tongues”. He mentioned it, and I almost said something about the lack of intelligence needed to believe that BS. Then he stated his sect believed in it. Not just that, but that the bible is THE LITERAL TRUTH. Yes, there was an ark. Yes, there was an Adam and Eve (and not just a retailer with some sexy outfits and movies). His explanation: “If god can create this universe, and this earth, and man in his image, don’t you think he could get a book written in his exact words?”

    Then, last night we start discussing religion and he tells me his conversion story. Let’s just say it involves faith healing (done to him, and then BY him***). He also threw out the “earth is 6,000 years old” statement as a casual “fact”.

    Now, I know this man. He’s, as I said, a good man, and a reasonably intelligent man. I consider him one of my closest friends. I sincerely believe that HE sincerely believes everything he told me, including his broken leg being healed by touch, and his removing all signs of Leukemia from his co-worker’s young wife. I confess, though, that this has me thinking about HOW a person of reasonable intelligence can believe this hooey.

    I am sure we will have further discussions, but I may try to avoid the deeper ones. I mean, I respect him enough to politely listen to a story that means so much to him, but I cannot see where any discussions will go anywhere good.

    *** As a matter of being polite, I did not ask him why, if he was able to heal that co-worker’s wife’s cancer, he has yet to heal his own wife’s bad knees, or her recent bout with bronchitis, or the kids down at the local hospital in the pediatric cancer ward. But I have a strange feeling that his answer will be “god did not tell me to do that yet.”

  284. The sky is falling

    I am NOT for this! The miners might dig too deep, and fall into space under the Earth (which after all, is flat).

  285. Mike

    If Olbermann thinks that this somewhat silly and ignorant politician is “The Worst Person In The World”, then that proves that, compared to Olbermann, she’s Stephen Bleeping Hawking.

    But then, I figured that out in about 4.3 seconds of watching Olbermann frothing at the mouth about something or other.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with Darwinism, as modified by later discoveries about genetics, DNA, mutation, etc.

    It’s Dawkinsism I have a problem with.

  286. Darth Robo

    >>>”Oh, and what basis do you equate the days of Genesis 1 with periods of 1000 years?”

    There is a line later on in the Bible which goes something along the lines of “1,000 years to man is but one day to God” (or something like that). It’s not part of the book of Genesis, and likely written by someone totally different at much later date, but it is probably where YEC’s get their “6,000 years” from. Which was later then “validated” by Ussher’s Chronology.

    Of course, none of this fits with reality, so either one can assume these descriptions are either metaphors… or complete and total BS.

  287. @219 John Says on July 7th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    The entire universe is a closed system.

    As a whole, entropy is increasing for the entire universe. No contradiction of the 2nd Law. Earth locally, and temporarily, decreases entropy (perhaps) a little, while nearby the Sun massively increases entropy permanently. Still no contradiction of the 2nd Law. We’re burning all the fossil fuels faster than new fuel is created, increasing entropy here on Earth (our use of the potential energy is not 100 percent efficient so using it to decrease entropy is a losing enterprise). In small bursts, we do defy entropy, erecting our temporary monuments to mankind.

    Where did that little ball of blackness come from that is now expanding at light speed and will soon oscillate the other way? Nobody has explained that one yet.

    Likely because we have no clue what you’re talking about – what little ball of blackness expanding at light speed? If you mean the universe we exist in, I challenge your use of the word little. Also, the idea that the universe will eventually contract is not certain, and in fact currently looks unlikely. Finally, the use of the words expand and contract don’t mean expand and contract in the sense of a balloon. That is a poor metaphor, though likely the best available, to compare with our universe. There isn’t an outside diameter we can say is getting bigger.

    Of course atheists can find their own meaning in life. Or… maybe that’s why athiests have the highest suicide rate among ‘religions’.

    In examining various indicators of societal health, Phil Zuckerman concludes about suicide:

    Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization’s report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.

    Likely, the reason the religious don’t kill themselves as often is the strong prohibition against it (it is a mortal sin). If in your depressed mind you consider killing yourself, and you think – I’ll be in Hell forever if I do – you likely will rethink that choice. If you don’t think you’ll be in Hell forever, you won’t.

    That isn’t a benefit of religion I’m willing to accept due to all the remaining baggage that comes with it. Note that Zuckerman notes that this is “the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations.” That means it is the only measure where religion is markedly better. Other studies indicate many other measures that religious nations come out worse. In the overall picture, it isn’t a good thing.

    If the meaning in my life is that I must worship and idolize a fictional character I know to not exist, then I find that meaning empty, useless, and degrading. If the meaning in my life is to make humanity better, even if just a little, then I’ve made a noble and worthwhile meaning for myself. Our evolution as social animals puts a strong urge in the majority of individuals to be caring and to do good and to make the world better. This is true whether people are religious or not.

    http://www.med.uio.no/iasp/files/papers/Bertolote.pdf

    Based on the information at this site, the best religion is Muslim. So, if you wish to cite suicide rates as an indicator of worth, Christians have the worst suicide rate of the listed religions other than Buddhist (which many Christians consider to be atheists), Hindu is somewhat better, and Muslim absolutely the best. So, if you are going to be religious, I guess you ought to choose Islam.

    (suicides per 100000 people)
    Atheist 25 0.025%
    Buddhist 18 0.018%
    Christian 12 0.012%
    Hindu 9 0.009%
    Muslim 1 0.001%

    If you are nothing but something that appears for a very abbreviated stay on a world created by a big bang, then obviously there is no purpose in life.

    That may be obvious to you. It is hardly obvious to me. The funny thing to me, as one that knows there are no greater creators, is that this meaning you attribute to God in your own life is entirely illusionary. That, to me, is the greater definition of meaningless. It’s like worshiping Zeus, Odin, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (all praise his noodliness).

    Looking at the works of Christians in general, the greatest work seems to be the collection of Wealth (capital W due to the near godlike status megachurches seem to allocate to wealth). I’ll grant that many do other good works, but they are generally done in the process of converting those they attempt to help to Christianity which will eventually result in greater Wealth for the Church. Atheists as a group tend to give anonymously (and therefore don’t get credit), help without strings attached or in any attempt to convert the assisted, and quietly go about their lives doing good.

    The purpose in life is to do good. Our home is a small planet we call Earth – we are all siblings and need to recognize how much more we are alike than different. That the religious are continuously at each others throats is a disgrace to the entire civilization.

  288. chip

    “Perhaps because the politicians you favor have been shown to be seriously incompetent.”

    Of course, you have no idea which politicians I support. Instead, you just stumbled clumsily into proving my point with a sweeping generalization about politics based on very limited information.

    Let me try again. Just because a state Republican is foolish enough to believe the planet is 6000 years old, it does not follow that all conservatives are foolish.

    By the same token, when I see an ignorant menace like Frank and even Obama jeopardizing our future with demonstrably foolhardy economic policies, it does not follow that all liberals are demonstrably foolhardy.

    Such simplistic reasoning is silly coming from people who are busy mocking someone else’s simplistic reasoning.

  289. José

    @Chip
    Of course, you have no idea which politicians I support

    You make statements which imply that you support certain politicians, and when someone criticizes those politicians, you hide behind the fact that you haven’t explicitly stated who you support. So what politicians do you support?

    Let me try again. Just because a state Republican is foolish enough to believe the planet is 6000 years old, it does not follow that all conservatives are foolish.

    Try one more time. Nobody thinks that. It’s a straw man.

  290. a lurker

    >>>”Oh, and what basis do you equate the days of Genesis 1 with periods of 1000 years?”

    There is a line later on in the Bible which goes something along the lines of “1,000 years to man is but one day to God” (or something like that). It’s not part of the book of Genesis, and likely written by someone totally different at much later date, but it is probably where YEC’s get their “6,000 years” from. Which was later then “validated” by Ussher’s Chronology.

    ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ – 2 Peter 3:8–9 (New Testament)

    The Earth is 6000 years old bit actually comes from the Old Testament. If you add up the genealogies and chronologies of Genesis and other Old Testament books you can estimate how much time it has been from the creation of Adam until people and events which we know actually happened. Then get an estimate from historians for when some ancient king of Judea lived to get your estimate for how long ago Adam was created — if you make the false assumption that the Bible is literally true. Six thousand years or so is generally about what people who do this usually get. If someone thinks creation was six 24-hour days, then he has the age of the universe (in his dreams).

  291. 307. a lurker Says:
    [quoting]
    There is a line later on in the Bible which goes something along the lines of “1,000 years to man is but one day to God” (or something like that). It’s not part of the book of Genesis, and likely written by someone totally different at much later date,
    [end edited quote]
    ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ – 2 Peter 3:8–9 (New Testament)

    Also in Psalm 90:
    Psalm 90:3-5 (King James Version)

    3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

    4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

    5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

    (THX to Bible Search)

    302. Anon A Mouse Says: (he was ‘reborn’)

    Must’ve been tough on his Mom…. [sorry,sorry,sorry…..]

    J/P=?

  292. «bønez_brigade»

    BTW, Bad Astronomy was mentioned on MSNBC’s Ed Show when he made some comments about this loony senator. Ed said Earth is 1E9 y.o., though, sadly…

    Here’s the vid:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/31836850#31836850

  293. Nigel Depledge

    Anon A Mouse said:

    Now, I know this man. He’s, as I said, a good man, and a reasonably intelligent man. I consider him one of my closest friends. I sincerely believe that HE sincerely believes everything he told me, including his broken leg being healed by touch, and his removing all signs of Leukemia from his co-worker’s young wife. I confess, though, that this has me thinking about HOW a person of reasonable intelligence can believe this hooey.

    I am sure we will have further discussions, but I may try to avoid the deeper ones. I mean, I respect him enough to politely listen to a story that means so much to him, but I cannot see where any discussions will go anywhere good.

    I have an aunt, and uncle and three cousins who are creationists. They are lovely people and I love them dearly, but their choice to deny reality baffles me, and there are topics that I avoid raising in conversation because they are clearly so far beyond rational persuasion.

  294. Nigel Depledge

    Darth Robo (304) said:

    There is a line later on in the Bible which goes something along the lines of “1,000 years to man is but one day to God” (or something like that). It’s not part of the book of Genesis, and likely written by someone totally different at much later date, but it is probably where YEC’s get their “6,000 years” from. Which was later then “validated” by Ussher’s Chronology.

    Actually, I think this was a retcon.

    Ussher based his calculation on the 6 days of creation being 6 literal days (i.e. periods of about 24 hours), and the years between then and now were largely calculated from the ages of successive patriarchs.

  295. TheBlackCat

    There is a line later on in the Bible which goes something along the lines of “1,000 years to man is but one day to God” (or something like that). It’s not part of the book of Genesis, and likely written by someone totally different at much later date, but it is probably where YEC’s get their “6,000 years” from. Which was later then “validated” by Ussher’s Chronology.

    But if that was the case, the world would be perpetually 6000 years old. A million years from now, the world would still be 6000 years old. 6×1000 is 6000 now matter how many years pass.

    Actually, I guess that makes about as much sense as anything else creationists claim. After all, 6×1000=6000 only because those nasty scientists indoctrinated us to think that, right Mike?

  296. drewski

    What gets me is that nobody else there even reacts.

  297. Saints,

    if you believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will come back any day now, why don’t you place a bet on it at http://www.BetOnJesus.com. We’re all waiting for His return, don’t we.

    Pastor Boj

  298. Morten

    As far as I know the Lyrian arrived on Earth 22 million years ago, and found primitive Earth human.

    And to those talking about Jesus, you should know by now that there never have lived anyone called Jesus, his name was Jmmanuel.

  299. It is utterly amazing the amount of brainwashing one reads in the responses on this blog. And most don’t even know it b/c all they’ve been taught is what is published in mags like this one, National Geographic, text books, etc. As if there is never a dissenting opinion. It’s really not hard to understand b/c it’s all that most know – and it shows.

    IF people actually studied the real science (operational science like that which builds telescopes and spaceships) and not the full-of-assumption sciences of archaeology, astronomy, paleoanthropology, etc, then the responses might not be so one sided. One cartoon shows a set of scales with “science” on one side and “faith” in a cloud on another. This is such nonsense, and just propaganda to show one side. Both creationists and evolutionists (PhD’s from secular universities on both sides) are looking at the same scientific facts, but they have two different starting points – naturalism and God. In reality, the exact same information shown on the “science” side should be on both sides – with the differences being the starting points and end points. Apparently the poster of that cartoon has not seen the documentary “Expelled” which very easily shows how the majority side is also full of faith, building a mountain of belief upon shaky “science” from the late 19th century that has all been mostly discarded (long age erosion, long changes in species, etc). And discarded b/c modern day scientists don’t see the facts to support the beliefs. But although the foundations of evolution have been removed, it still keeps chugging along – morphing in belief more than and faith system ever has!

    Of course, this blog will represent the 10% that can’t accept anything outside of a naturalistic (science knows all!) explanation – whether or not the facts support it. But of course, these are the same people who state that anybody who believes anything else should be put in an asylum. That’s the same mentality that started the eugenics movement in this country, and Nazi Germany, in the early 20th century. Are you sure you want to go down that road again?

    Of course, these same people are the one who are going to be SURE that we need to pursue (b/c it’s good science) embryonic stem cell research (when not a SINGLE benefit has been derived, unlike the in-use cures from adult stem cell research). Also the same people who’d probably love to see the cap-and-trade tax pass even though it’s been shown in other countries to be politically motivated, to have no affect on green house gases, to raise the tax burnden and itself is based on shaky science at best.

    So of course, everyone who might believe in something beyond evolution is a moron, but to take the “high road” of science is to show intelligence that’s beyond reproach.

    Yeah…right! Keep living in that dream world.

  300. I love this – ignorance rears it’s head so readily in these kinds of posts. People use a group of people’s beliefs to basically tell them how stupid they are. Of course in doing so, they show their own ignorance by only knowing a part of the writing:

    Darth Robo (304) said:
    There is a line later on in the Bible which goes something along the lines of “1,000 years to man is but one day to God” (or something like that). It’s not part of the book of Genesis, and likely written by someone totally different at much later date, but it is probably where YEC’s get their “6,000 years” from. Which was later then “validated” by Ussher’s Chronology.

    Your Ussher mistake was already corrected. The Biblical quote is hereby corrected:

    Logically, you can not use such a silly argument b/c the following half of the same verse cancels this out and has NOTHING to do with why a YEC would believe what they do. 2 Peter 3:8 “…that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And yes, it was written by someone different, and many hundreds of years later. But, amazing for the Bible, it doesn’t contradict anything written in Genesis, by somebody else, many years before.

    The only “creationists” who try to use this are theistic evolutionists who try to meld the two ideas – but their inconsistency is appalling. This is one verse where that shows.

  301. Nigel Depledge

    Mike (306) said:

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with Darwinism, as modified by later discoveries about genetics, DNA, mutation, etc.

    It’s Dawkinsism I have a problem with.

    First off, I’d like to hear your detailed and explicit definitions of both Darwinism and Dawkinsism. Please use plenty of references to their own writing to support whatever statements you make.

    Second, I’d like to hear your opinions about Newtonism, Mendeleevism, Einsteinism, Bohrism, Watson-and-Crickism, Curieism, Rutherfordism, Kelvinism, Maxwellism, Fermiism, Feynmanism and Hawkingism.

    Or do you only use an “-ism” to refer to the discoveries a scientist has made when you have issues with what they discovered or the way in which they express themselves?

  302. Nigel Depledge

    Chip (309) said:

    Let me try again. Just because a state Republican is foolish enough to believe the planet is 6000 years old, it does not follow that all conservatives are foolish.

    Agreed, but I was not aware this was an issue. Please quote the commenter who stated this argument.

    Of course, there is evidence that Republican administrations have consistently disregarded, denied or downplayed science or the results of science in order to make their voters feel happy about Republican policies.

    By the same token, when I see an ignorant menace like Frank and even Obama jeopardizing our future with demonstrably foolhardy economic policies, it does not follow that all liberals are demonstrably foolhardy.

    Erm, I was not aware that Obama’s economic policies were demonstrably foolhardy. Please would you elucidate this point (e.g. by demonstrating their foolhardiness).

    BTW, I find it quite funny that you describe Obama as a liberal. Sure, compared to the Republican party, I guess Democrats are relatively liberal, but from a European perspective, we can’t see much difference between them (the only one I have been able to ascertain is that Republicans support Big Business doing whatever they like and Democrats seem to care more about personal liberty and the environment, but I guess there must be more differences than that).

  303. Hubble’s Law invalidates the notion of a 6,000 year old earth.

  304. TheBlackCat

    IF people actually studied the real science (operational science like that which builds telescopes and spaceships) and not the full-of-assumption sciences of archaeology, astronomy, paleoanthropology, etc, then the responses might not be so one sided.

    The assumptions used in astronomy are the same ones used to plot the courses of spaceships. You cannot reject one and accept the other. Further, what you call “operational science” is really engineering, which is not the same thing as science. Science is a way of gaining knowledge, engineering is a way of applying knowledge gained through science. If you are so hung up on engineering, you should know that evolution is applied to solving engineering problems, with a great deal of success. So has a large amount of biological knowledge. So has archeology, actually. And spaceships would never get to their destinations without astronomy, in fact we wouldn’t even know we have destinations without astronomy.

    You also assume people have not studied engineering. There are plenty of engineers here.

    One cartoon shows a set of scales with “science” on one side and “faith” in a cloud on another. This is such nonsense, and just propaganda to show one side. Both creationists and evolutionists (PhD’s from secular universities on both sides) are looking at the same scientific facts, but they have two different starting points – naturalism and God. In reality, the exact same information shown on the “science” side should be on both sides – with the differences being the starting points and end points.

    No, science starts with the evidence and finds the conclusion that bets fits that evidence, then goes on to test to see whether that conclusion also fits other evidence. If not, they reject it (many of Darwin’s ideas have been rejected for just this reason, particularly his ideas on heredity). Creationism starts with a conclusion and rejects any evidence that does not fit that conclusion. It has nothing to do with assumptions, creationists simply ignore or dismiss any evidence that contradicts their position. In the end the evidence is the most important thing to science, while bolstering ancient myths is the most important thing to creationism. They say it explicitly, if the evidence contradicts their beliefs, the evidence is wrong. For science, if the evidence contradicts our beliefs, our beliefs are wrong. I’ve seen this many times.

    Apparently the poster of that cartoon has not seen the documentary “Expelled” which very easily shows how the majority side is also full of faith, building a mountain of belief upon shaky “science” from the late 19th century that has all been mostly discarded (long age erosion, long changes in species, etc). And discarded b/c modern day scientists don’t see the facts to support the beliefs. But although the foundations of evolution have been removed, it still keeps chugging along – morphing in belief more than and faith system ever has!

    Complete and utter baloney. Practically every scientist in the world accepts evolution. The arguments of creationists, including ID proppents, have been thoroughly demolished, many for decades. They are still used even by leading creationists, however, which shows just how dedicated creationism is to evidence.

    Expelled is a work of fiction, a propaganda piece that does not even pretend to offer evidence backing up intelligent design (or even providing a useful description of ID to begin with). I suggest you look at expelledexposed.com to see how the scientific community views the movie.

    And please, please, please do not bring up Dawkin’s “aliens created life” comment, by this point most people here know that segment was carefully edited by the people making the movie to make it seem like Dawkins was making an argument he didn’t make. Specifically, they asked him for a situation in which ID could be considered scientific, and when he gave it they edited in a completely different question to make it seem like he believed that himself. That should show just how dishonest the people behind the movie were, completely changing the content of a conversation to make someone look like he made and argument he never made.

    Of course, this blog will represent the 10% that can’t accept anything outside of a naturalistic (science knows all!) explanation – whether or not the facts support it. But of course, these are the same people who state that anybody who believes anything else should be put in an asylum.

    First, the vast majority of the world accepts evolution. It is only the U.S. and a few Islamic theocracies in the middle east that still have large numbers of people rejecting evolution. Second, I would be very surprised if you could find anyone who seriously thinks that, and very few who would say it even as a joke like scibuff seemed to. Third, you don’t know that scibuff was an atheist, the vast majority of religious people in the world reject young earth creationism as well.

    That’s the same mentality that started the eugenics movement in this country, and Nazi Germany, in the early 20th century. Are you sure you want to go down that road again?

    The Nazis were an explicitly Christian group, based on the idea of God’s “chosen people” and using plans originally set forth by Martin Luther himself. In fact Darwin’s work was banned (or at least ordered burned) for being “anti-German”.

    Of course, these same people are the one who are going to be SURE that we need to pursue (b/c it’s good science) embryonic stem cell research (when not a SINGLE benefit has been derived, unlike the in-use cures from adult stem cell research).

    Except, of course, for the fact that we learned to manipulate adult stem cells by studying embryonic stem cells. And there are only a few treatments using adult stem cells, and even then only using easy-to-work-with types of stem cells which can’t do the sorts of things embryonic stem cells can do. Of course when you only look at “operational science”, you miss all the background research that was need to get it operational in the first place. Further, both are based on some of the same principles used to demonstrate evolution, if you reject the basis for evolution then stem cells should not work.

    Also the same people who’d probably love to see the cap-and-trade tax pass even though it’s been shown in other countries to be politically motivated, to have no affect on green house gases, to raise the tax burnden and itself is based on shaky science at best.

    I don’t pretend to understand the economics, but global warming is not “shaky science”, in fact it is based on the same physics used to build the telescopes you seem to support so strongly.

    Logically, you can not use such a silly argument b/c the following half of the same verse cancels this out and has NOTHING to do with why a YEC would believe what they do. 2 Peter 3:8 “…that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

    Wow, after 323 posts the only mistake you could find was a misunderstanding that had already been corrected by a half dozen different people, one that does not have anything to do with actual evidence? You are really grasping at straws here.

    But, amazing for the Bible, it doesn’t contradict anything written in Genesis, by somebody else, many years before.

    Yeah, it is pretty amazing. The Bible is so full of contradictions, it is almost surprising when you find something that actually agrees. Even the Genesis creation myth contradicts itself, with two completely different accounts of the creation.

    Now, as we keep asking every creationist who comes by here, would you like to provide any of the evidence that you think has disproven evolution so thoroughly?

  305. David D

    @Nigel Depledge #325:

    Chip (309) said:

    Let me try again. Just because a state Republican is foolish enough to believe the planet is 6000 years old, it does not follow that all conservatives are foolish.

    Agreed, but I was not aware this was an issue. Please quote the commenter who stated this argument.

    Please see my comment at #252, and maybe read comments #’s 22, 27 and 29 as suggested.

    Of course, there is evidence that Republican administrations have consistently disregarded, denied or downplayed science or the results of science in order to make their voters feel happy about Republican policies.

    You don’t cite any evidence to support your claim. That’s okay. Examples of the current administration’s disregard of science is the recent attempt to suppress parts of an internal EPA report (IIRC), and of course, the appointment of John Holdren, who has made (with the assistance of Paul Ehrlich) some of the most unscientific predictions about our future.

    By the same token, when I see an ignorant menace like Frank and even Obama jeopardizing our future with demonstrably foolhardy economic policies, it does not follow that all liberals are demonstrably foolhardy.

    Erm, I was not aware that Obama’s economic policies were demonstrably foolhardy. Please would you elucidate this point (e.g. by demonstrating their foolhardiness).

    There are a lot of economists who regard some of the economic proposals by Obama as extremely foolhardy. Economics is not a good science at predictions, for a variety of reasons (kind of like climate science, you know?), but past performances of these types of policies have not been uniformly successful.

    . . . but from a European perspective, we can’t see much difference between them (the only one I have been able to ascertain is that Republicans support Big Business doing whatever they like and Democrats seem to care more about personal liberty and the environment, but I guess there must be more differences than that).

    And you Europeans accuse us dumb ‘Meruhcans of not being knowledgeable
    about the world? That has to be one of the most superficial and inaccurate readings of US politics I have ever read.

  306. Autymn D. C.

    Isn’t she from Dilbert?

    @83 TJ “But, then, there’s this 156 billion number floating around: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040524.html

    Neat, the univers is 2πcT far.

    @96 SinisterMatt, mòròn, it was one of the poietic ecsegheseis, which has nothing to do with your assbackwards calculation. Not only do you flunk maths, you flunk history, literature, theologhy, and sciense. (Yes, -se for Latin is -sh for English.)

    @163 The BlackCat, “In science there is no such thing as proof. Science holds that proving anything is impossible. But evolution is proven as much as anything possibly could be in science.”

    Wrong, illiterate. All theories are proven; otherwise they’d be hýpotheseis. proof < prove probabil

    @169 anti-scientific “lets see, 5,000 trillion atoms slam into each other to magically form 100 million instant single cell organisms that can copy themselves instantly!

    yeah, you guys have more faith than religious folk do!”

    That would be God’s reckening. “I guys”? Retard.

    @181 Mike Wagner: nesciently put? You are.

    @182 John: Explain the barrenness and emptiness and blackness of your heavens. Funny, the three main religions definitely do not believe in the same God—you can barely read Scripture so you wouldn’t know—and they each believe in a bunch of Gods which rip off the pagan Godheads under other names. And your Gods are monsters and liars.

    @219 John (427623rd) “Where did that little ball of blackness come from that is now expanding at light speed and will soon oscillate the other way?

    Nobody has explained that one yet.”

    Nobody will explain something you made up. Stuff always was.

    “Of course atheists can find their own meaning in life. Or… maybe that’s why athiests have the highest suicide rate among ‘religions’.

    http://www.med.uio.no/iasp/files/papers/Bertolote.pdf

    If you are nothing but something that appears for a very abbreviated stay on a world created by a big bang, then obviously there is no purpose in life.”

    “”the lowest rates as a whole are found in the Eastern Mediterrean Region, which comprises mostly countries that follow Islamic traditions””

    Not any more. Their studies are 14–11 years out date. The purpose of believers is to stay alive as a worker-sheepl and pay off their church, the greatest-ever Ponzi-life insuranse scam.

    @264 no mark for me, “The 6000 years is grossly misunderstood. Earth is billions of years old, MAN is 6000 yrs. old. God has given man 6000 yrs. to rule the earth- the 6 day rule and the 7th day is a sabbath (rest). In the millennium (sabbath), Jesus will rule both the heavens and the earth and restore it to it’s originally perfect condition- before the fall of man. Look around, does anyone here actually believe man can successfully rule the earth?”

    Cretin, Man wasn’t even alive in the first days. it’s -> its Your beliefs are fiction and fantasy. And at no time was man good at rulan the earth.

    http://youtube.com/user/alysdexia

  307. Nigel Depledge

    David D (328) said:

    You don’t cite any evidence to support your claim. That’s okay. Examples of the current administration’s disregard of science is the recent attempt to suppress parts of an internal EPA report (IIRC), and of course, the appointment of John Holdren, who has made (with the assistance of Paul Ehrlich) some of the most unscientific predictions about our future.

    Erm … such as what? If you’re going to pick me up for not citing evidence (BTW, Chris Mooney’s book, The Republican War on Science contains some, various past posts in this very blog contain some, and there’s plenty more out there that isn’t hard to find), it would come across as more convincing if you cited your evidence.

    And, hey, you got me. I know very little of US politics. My attempt at using a humorous opening for an inquiry to obtain further knowledge obviously did not work for you.

  308. Nigel Depledge

    Eric (322) said… well, so much wrong and TBC has largely addressed all Eric’s nonsense (327).

    There are a couple of extra things I would add, though.

    If you loook at the publications of the ID movement, and their proclamations that have been recorded in a variety of places, a repeated claim is that ID is science not religion. This goes on throughout the ID movement and is a key point in the defence at the Kitzmiller v Dover trial in 2005.

    However, if we look at Ben Stein’s trailer for Expelled, his main complaint (in the trailer) seems to be that God (not “some unknown designer”) is excluded from science as an explanation for stuff. Inconsistent much?

    If you seek out and read the publications of ID’s leading proponents (Dembski, Behe, Wells and Johnson, for example), you will not find rational arguments that are guided towards conclusions by actual evidence. Instead, you will find:

    (1) Straw-man attacks on evolutionary theory;
    (2) Misrepresentation of what evolutionary theory contains;
    (3) Arguments from ignorance;
    (4) Arguments from personal incredulity (yes, Mike Behe, I’m lookin’ at you!);
    (5) Obfuscation (for example, Bill Dembski goes on and on and on about “Specified Complexity” and “Specified Complex Information”, yet never actually defines them in clear terminology; in just one of his books, he defines Speficiation as a form of improbability, he defines Complexity as a form of improbability and he defines information as a form of improbability, thus rendering SCI as something along the lines of “improbably improbable improbability”);
    (6) Failure to account for vast swathes of evidence that contradict what ID claims;
    (7) A failure to address the obvious questions (e.g. who or what could “the designer” be?, is “the designer” one or many? etc.);
    (8) An actual absence of any definition of the following terms – Intelligence, Design, Intelligent Design (and I have heard it argued that these terms are core to the ID movement);
    (9) Arguments by analogy, despite the inapplicability of the chosen analogy (no, Mike Behe, a mousetrap is not a good example of “irreducible complexity” because it is neither irreducible nor complex);
    (10) Arguments recycled directly from the “creation science” movement of the early 80s;
    (11) Precisely zero examples whereby Dembski’s “explanatory filter” is used to deduce design from first principles.

    So, Eric, when you claim that scientists are working on “both sides” of the issue, you are either mistaken or lying. There is no science that supports creationism, because creationism demands that one ignore evidence to cling to dogma (specifically that all organisms were created separately instead of being universally related). Common descent has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.

    But don’t take my word for it. Go and learn about the evidence. Go and learn about the work that scientists have done that has persuaded the entire scientific commmunity that this conclusion (common descent) is the correct one. If you genuinely wish to understand, stop reading the creationist pamphlets because these are designed to mislead.

  309. David D

    @Nigel Depledge #330–

    I am quite familiar with Mooney’s work, or diatribe. A little one-sided, don’t you think?

    MOST people are more familiar with Paul Ehrlich and his sidekick Holdren. I suggest you check out The Ultimate Resource by Julian Simon, or Google the Simon/Ehrlich wager. There’s a nice article about Holdren in The Atlantic (rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/12/the_insights_of_paul_ehrlich.php) that you may want to read.

  310. Nigel Depledge

    Autymn DC (329) said:

    @163 The BlackCat, “In science there is no such thing as proof. Science holds that proving anything is impossible. But evolution is proven as much as anything possibly could be in science.”

    Wrong, illiterate.

    Actually, IIUC, TBC is a PhD student. You don’t get that far if you’re illiterate, and, in fact, most of his/her posts are lucid and show a far better grasp of English than does yours.

    All theories are proven; otherwise they’d be hýpotheseis.

    This is not only badly spelled, but totally wrong.

    Absolute proof does not exist in the real world.

    For example, I challenge you to prove to me that you exist. Or that there is no invisible pink unicorn at the bottom of my garden.

    proof < prove probabil

    Irrespective of the derivation of the words, science operates on the current meaning of words, providing elucidation and further clarification where deemed necessary.

  311. Nigel Depledge

    David D (332) said:

    I am quite familiar with Mooney’s work, or diatribe. A little one-sided, don’t you think?

    Well, since only one party can be in power at a time, I guess that’s a natural consequence of the situation that pertained when the book was published.

    However, this does not change the fact that his work does indeed contain and cite evidence that Republican administrations have attempted to suppress and/or pervert science in the USA.

    MOST people are more familiar with Paul Ehrlich and his sidekick Holdren.

    What makes you think I’m “most people”? ;-)

    And why the block caps? Are you suggesting that I’m at fault for not mentioning or not having knowledge of these people’s work?

    Or would you care to address the point I made? In case you’ve forgotten, I’ll reiterate it here:

    You would come across as far more rational and convincing when you pick me up for failure to cite my evidence if you had not also made exactly the same omission. (Go look up “hypocrisy” in a dictionary.)

  312. TheBlackCat

    @ Nigel Depledge: Thank you very much.

  313. David D.

    @Nigel Depledge–

    Whether one party is in power or not doesn’t make the anti-science disappear. As pointed out in numerous comments on this blog, the Dems have their share of anti-science whackos, that were around before and during the previous administration. Pretty sure that Mooney overlooked them.

    You would come across as far more rational and convincing when you pick me up for failure to cite my evidence if you had not also made exactly the same omission.

    Yet in my original comment on this issue #328, I gave you 2 examples of the current administration’s disregard of science, and in #332, I gave you specifics about Holdren.

    Whatever.

  314. @333 Nigel Depledge Says on July 14th, 2009 at 8:26 am

    For example, I challenge you to prove to me that you exist. Or that there is no invisible pink unicorn at the bottom of my garden.

    Is that where she got to? I’d wondered where I misplaced her. Invisible pink unicorn goddesses are so difficult to keep track of sometimes.

    JBS

  315. PJE

    This quote about abstract math made me nearly spit beer onto my keyboard. Hope someone is still around to read it! I’ll post it at bautforum as well :)

    “(And for the *other* mathematicians out there – yes, I know that things like exponentiation in modulo fields are heavily used in cryptography and other areas. But let’s face it – those are a lot closer to “theoretical masturbation” than any definition of arithmetic that lets you tile your kitchen floor…”

    Pete

    HA!

  316. indygirl

    What is so hard to understand that the Creator finds nothing to be hard? The unsaved man cannot understand that God could create uranium and its very nature is to be “old” and God created the Earth and He can create something at any stage. This sentence isn’t coming out quite right, but you get the general idea. What is too hard for God? Nothing. Just because you can’t wrap your mind around it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

  317. JCisTheSaviorOfSouls

    The earth is only 6000 thousand years old though. Am I missing something?

  318. Ersatz

    Move Forward! Into the future!

    I AM FOR THIS.

  319. Jaella

    I am a firm creationist. Some of you may not agree, but just because you don’t believe the fact that the earth is six thousand years old doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. (Same with the bible! Just cause you don’t believe in hell doesn’t mean God-and by ‘God’ I mean Jehova God, Adonai, Father God, Jesus Christ, Holy spirit- won’t send you there if you don’t believe in Christ!)
    Check out Kent Hovand’s web site.
    You all are freaking out about conservatives not having open minds. Don’t be hypocrites! Look at his web site.
    There are piles of evidence that the seven day creation theory is true. Piles of evidence that Noah’s flood actually happened.
    (By the way, not even Darwin believed completely in his theory)

  320. Esther

    Jaella’s right, as many others who might know the Truth.
    I’m suprised!
    The DISCRIMINATION and HATRED!!! You are so foolishly willingly ignorant!
    Why do you hate God so much? You think Hell will be a party?! Believe and trust in the Lord Jesus christ! In His righteousness you shall be saved and born again!
    I’m just, astonished, of the hatred and ignorance, you’re (as in the lost peoples) just like the billions of religious peoples of the horrid earth! You need so much faith to believe in the foolish religion you believe in, religion is the worst thing to happen to earth, causing billions to go to Hell! You ignorant religious peoples, you ‘hate’ religion, when you are religious your self! Usually its, evolutionist, athiest, skeptic, new ager, and some other religion, what is that, 4 religions?! You poor sheeple!
    God is pure, He is the only way, not man, not religion!
    Kent Hovind is one of those blessed true “Christians” (Christian is the label the Romans gave to the people who were Christ-like, or who followed God, Jesus is God) and so is many other true God fearing, Bible believing, sin hating, truth loving Christians! So is David Stewart.
    Go find Jesus, you hypocrites, go study your selves! Do REAL research on “both” sides (the truth is stranger than fiction to you newbies)!
    Go to http://www.jesus-is-savior.com
    http://www.drdino.com/

    HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SAVED?

    Is there a time and place in your life, when you trusted in the blood of Jesus Christ? Not joined a church, not kept the sacraments, not baptism, not good works — but simply, by faith, prayed and asked Jesus Christ to save you?

    To die without Jesus Christ will be the worst thing you could ever do…

    “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE.” Revelation 20:15

    ——————————————————————————–

    YOU CAN BE SAVED THIS VERY MINUTE!

    It’s simple to be saved…

    Know you’re a sinner.

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10

    “… for there is no difference. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

    Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for your sins.
    “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, …” 1 Peter 2:24

    “… Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5

    And the best way you know how, simply trust Him, and Him alone as your personal Savior.
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

    “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE SAVED?

    Pray this prayer, and mean it with all your heart.

    Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and unless you save me I am lost forever. I thank you for dying for me at Calvary. I come to you now, Lord the the best way I know how, and ask you to save me. I now receive you as my Savior. In Jesus Christ Name, Amen.

    The Lord is true, the earth is young, ‘dinosaurs’ (or mostly extinct lizards, birds, and other such things) did walk with man, people were stronger and more intellegent in the past, you, and I on the other hand, are the copy of a copy of a copy…..the last of the generations!

    YOU MEN ARE SO IGNORANT, YOU WONT EVEN LOOK AT THE ‘OTHER’ SIDE OF YOUR “TRUTH”, YOU’RE LIKE CHILDREN!!! “LALALA I’M NOT LISTENING! LALALA!!”

    ….Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

  321. Slam666

    The sooner we wipe ourselves out the better i think. To quote a famous comedian, “The people that are anti abortion are the best arguments for it!”
    Oh, and hail Satan while i’m here.

  322. Nigel Depledge

    Indygirl (341) said:

    What is so hard to understand that the Creator finds nothing to be hard? The unsaved man cannot understand that God could create uranium and its very nature is to be “old” and God created the Earth and He can create something at any stage. This sentence isn’t coming out quite right, but you get the general idea. What is too hard for God? Nothing. Just because you can’t wrap your mind around it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    I have no problem in “wrapping my head around” this concept, any more than the concept of a singular creation 6000 years ago.

    There are only two issues I have with this extremely simple concept:
    (1) Ah, I see you believe in the Great Deceiver, yes? (IOW, what possible reason could god have for deceiving us all, and how could we ever detect such a reason?)
    (2) No, actually, the entire universe was created last Thursday, but with the appearance of great antiquity (including all memories you may have of events that you perceive to have happened prior to last Thursday).

    The concept of a recent creation with the appearance of great age is not hard, it is logically untenable.

  323. Nigel Depledge

    OK, just for the hello vit…

    Jaella (345) said:

    I am a firm creationist. Some of you may not agree, but just because you don’t believe the fact that the earth is six thousand years old doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

    Actually, it can’t be true.

    Every measure we have of the age of pieces of the Earth proves that it is many orders of magnitude older. Just because you don’t believe it doesn’t make it false.

    And I don’t need to “believe” the age of the Earth, because we have measured it.

    (Same with the bible! Just cause you don’t believe in hell doesn’t mean God-and by ‘God’ I mean Jehova God, Adonai, Father God, Jesus Christ, Holy spirit- won’t send you there if you don’t believe in Christ!)

    And where does it say that the Bible is the word of god? In the bible.

    Right. I beseech you to pull the other one, for it doth have bells attached.

    Check out Kent Hovand’s web site.

    Kent Hovind is a proven liar. If he cares not for the 9th commandment, why should we care what he says?

    You all are freaking out about conservatives not having open minds. Don’t be hypocrites! Look at his web site.

    Well, quite. How about you open your mind and go and look at the science, not some liar’s strawman representation of it?

    There are piles of evidence that the seven day creation theory is true.

    This is a lie.

    Piles of evidence that Noah’s flood actually happened.

    There has never been a global flood. And there is no evidence for any global flood.

    (By the way, not even Darwin believed completely in his theory)

    That’s another lie, I’m afraid. He was sufficiently convinced that he had hit upon the correct means by which nature generates diversity.

  324. Pascal

    This woman is really stupid.
    I wonder how she could get to be a senator.
    She found enough stupid electors to elect her.

  325. Pascal

    Jaella, what makes you think that Darwin didn’t completely believe in his theory?
    It must probably because of this excerpt of one of his letters creationists frequently quote:
    “Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy”
    In fact the creationists are very dishonest when they quote this excerpt, because they omit to fully quote him, which would discredit them.
    In the following of the same letter, Darwin reasserts he knows he was right in spite of all the hateful bigots.

  326. tqnorris

    Her statements were taken out of context. What she was saying was the earth, with human habitation, is approximately 6000 years old. This is a perfect example of the leftist strategy to destroy people that they fear. First, accuse the person of being stupid; if that doesn’t work; accuse them of being crazy. However, this strategy didn’t work against Reagan; it isn’t working against Palin, and it won’t work here. The conservative revolution has begun. Either support it, for the good of the country, or stay out of the way.

  327. flip

    “What she was saying was the earth, with human habitation, is approximately 6000 years old”

    Even if that’s what she meant, it’s still provably wrong. There are groups of people, such as the Indigenous Australians, who been around for 40 000 years. The earth, therefore, with human habitation (whatever that means) is much much older than either she or you acknowledge.

  328. Steve

    Well of course it’s true that the earth has been here for 6000 years! She just forgot to mention the 3.2 billion years before the last 6000 years, so…….

  329. Jesus Freak

    Do you know why it is widely accepted in the scientific community that the world is 4.6 billion years old? Because if you say differently the media and your college’s will shred you to pieces if you say differently. The movie “Expelled no intelligence allowed” with Ben Stine dose a good job of showing this. As for Uranium dating, half lives only work when we know that a half life is always the same. Seance the need for Uranium has only been sense the A-Bomb in 1945 i don’t think that we can honestly assume that it is the same for “billion of years” with 70years we’ve spent studding it =P So think, if there is a One in a Million chance that there is a God and souls can be saved by putting your faith in the Lord and Jesus Christ isn’t that something to at least look into? Please do both sides of the research before you bash one side of it, and i thank you all for reading this post. God bless every one of you.

    Something to look at,
    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c012.html

  330. Allana

    Common sense tells me she was using that 6000 number as a figure of speach.
    You can tell in her hand gestures and the statement as a “whole”.
    We spend WAY TOO much time disecting and distorting.
    If one is going to have the brainpower to disect like that…..
    help her and the others out with their iranium dilemma.

  331. Troller Jones

    This is a good reason why creationists (at least ones like her) should not be aloud in our government. Pretty harsh, I know, but creationists do nothing good for our country’s benefit that the atheists or agnostics of our country can’t do better. As an Anti-Theist, I believe religion is harmful to our society and the world. Too bad I wont see the end of it in my lifetime.

  332. Basta

    @359
    So we should deliberately discriminate against people who hold certain beliefs–and how many people are theists, anyway…80% of the country? More? The only reason I’m so reluctant to call myself an atheist is its connotation with anti-theists like you. You don’t have to hate those who disagree with you.

    That said, this 6000 years thing is unfortunate. Creationism is extremely unfortunate. Take the Bible literally and the message is null. I wish these beliefs weren’t so entrenched in the Republican party. They discredit the parts of it that make sense. And don’t say there aren’t any, because I don’t say that about you.

  333. Troy

    Just wanted to quickly note that the majority of Arizona is politically controlled by Latter-Day Saints, e.g. Mormons. Evidence means nothing to them, or the mostly faith based non-Mormon remainder of the populous. Words in a book written by people 1900+ years ago however… Those hold REAL weight in their perspective and thought process.

  334. Mike56

    What about our Tyrannosaurus Rex problem? Nobody’s addressing that, no sir. Ms Allen wastes our time with nonsense about uranium, while we apparently have really nasty dinosaurs currently roaming Phoenix, eating poor, innocent white kittens and abandoned immigrant babies. By the way, the earth is only 5,871 years old. This nutty woman should get her facts straight if she’s going to be a leader in this great state.

  335. Joel

    Playing God’s advocate for a second-

    If the earth were created, there would be trees standing tall. If you checked their rings they would appear to be hundreds of years old, even though realistically they were just seconds old. The point is the earth would have been created with the appearance of age. Uranium would have the effect of billion year old decay even if it were brand new.

  336. luther blissett

    Don’t harsh on James Ussher: he was working with the best material at his disposal in 1650 — texts — in the absence of any established observational methods to date the earth. And he didn’t limit himself to the bible, either: he was looking for cross-references in whatever sources he could find.

    Funny thing is, a lot of the first geologists and paleontologists were clergy, because they had the spare time to dig for rocks and fossils, and a genuine curiosity about God’s creation. A pity that today’s fundies don’t share it.

  337. Nigel, the spelling isn’t wrong; it’s Hellènic. And my spelling of -se has now wended to -ty.

    A word has one original meaning; a “current meaning” is irrelevant. And I didn’t say anything about absolute proof; that is your strawman. This statement still stands: All theories are proven already.

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