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Parade of Foolishness

08/04/07

  05:16:46 am, by Nimble   , 3216 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense, Religion, Science

Parade of Foolishness

There's an extremely short blurb referring to Ham's creation museum over on Parade.

I wasn't expecting the comments section to be one of the strangest, most worrisome indicator of the intrusion of a new American Dark Ages I have seen in a long while.

It really does not matter how many times things are debunked. When the big things aren't understood, the nuances don't even have a hope.

I pulled out a representative sample of quotes, but be warned if you follow the original link that it goes on for pages and pages, and is festooned with 80% dyed-in-the-wool young earth creationist blether.

"Scientist Dean Kenyon, former staunch evolutionist and author of the best selling book Biochemical Predestination, weighed the evidences of his own theory against empirical scientific fact and found himself defeated. Where will you stand when the evidences are honestly weighed?"

Kenyon? The very same who co-authored Of Pandas and People, pushed as an Intelligent Design textbook when it can be shown that the contained Intelligent Design was a search-and-replace job for Creation?

The carbon dating process has been proven inaccrate and is no longer used. The scientific law (1st law of thermodynamic and the 2nd law of thermodynamic) proves evolution is naturally impossible.

Wow, the old thermodynamics canard, classified in the "so bad that Answers in Genesis recommends not using it". Remember that the Museum is Answers in Genesis affiliated!

Carbon dating is certainly accurate enough to keep using. You just have to be aware of the processes in plants that reset this clock to zero. If something derives its carbon from plants, carbon dating will work on it, too.

Carbon 14 testing on a LIVE molusk showed it to have been dead for thousands of years.

That's because the shell is not derived from plants, but from existing calcium carbonate. This process does not reset the carbon-dating clock.

There has been much "evidence" found in the Paluxy River bed in Glen Rose, Texas --- including human footprints among dinosaur footprints.

Another Answers-in-Genesis "don't use", though they figure that even though these footprints are not genuine, that there are other reasons for believing that humans and dinosaurs co-existed. There are other sources for debunking the footprints.

Thankfully, the creation museum is now one of the growing number of places where you can go to get another explanation for how this marvelous, infinitely complex universe came into existenance. I am thankful to live where some freedom of thought and speech still exist although it is showing signs of endangerment.

There are always a few with a weird "free speech" persecution complex in the bunch. The issue certainly isn't in the free speech arena, but with education and politics, where other constitutional ideals reign... or are supposed to.

There are thousands of credentialed scientists who do not agree with the millions of years old myth and can provide excellent proof to support their position. The old earth/evolutionists can't provide one single bit of evidence for their views. The Bible is not and never has been at odds with good science.

Chock full of valued assertions. Not a single bit of evidence? Really? Not a single one the commenter would believe, perhaps. You have to wonder what kind of science is meant by "good science" in this context, in particular a kind where the Bible's assertion of the sun standing still in the sky for a whole day can actually happen.

No, Velikovsky, you can't have your sky billiards.

Not yours.

There is still to this day no archeological record of transitional animals. Darwin would tell you himself if he were alive today. Hey guys it was just a thought, a theory.

It really doesn't seem to matter how many transitional fossils we find, does it? I half-expected to find claims of "not enough", but the claim is almost always "none".

Reading evolutionist comments provided no surprises. Typical name calling, claims of superior intelligence, quoting ridiculous supposed facts like the writer stating population numbers (real maths shows the current population being correct based on all lof us descending from Noah) is what we've come to expect from evolutionists. No scientific or historical fact in the Bible has ever been shown to be wrong. If you think not, better check a knowlegable source, not just your bias. Congrats to the AIG museum!

Ah yes, because math is better than reality, because reality has other pesky details. I do happen to like the Noah's Bunny analogy, where by the same math with very conservative numbers plugged in, bunnies end up outweighing the earth in 6,000 years.

Oh, if the if think the Bible has been shown wrong check a knowledgabledifferent source until I run out of sources that say it has been shown wrong? Oh, the sheer hypocrisy of the bias accusation! How much of creationist thought is sheer projection (re: bias, morals, free speech, dogmatism, "it's a religion"), I may never know.

It's really sad to see evolutionary scientists so desperate to destroy anything having to do with Creation. Perhaps it's because they are so very confused with all the dates and years they keep trying to put into how old the Earth is, fossil records, etc., that they just can't keep up. So the only way to keep their credibility is to destroy actual evidence and fact for Creation.

Impugning the motives of evolutionary scientists is also a common Creationist theme. It seems to me that they are reasoning this out simply because evolution contradicts their literal interpretation of Scripture and that this could only be done out of malice or fear.

That's not the case, though. Evolution is what you find when you go looking for how things work, even if you were to go off and start from first principles and look for rules from scratch but with today's technology. It's a positive force of discovery that finds us things like Taq polymerase, the homeobox genes that describe the body plans of animals, plants and fungi and show our common ancestry, or how humans have 23 pair of chromosomes but other primates have 24 pairs, which was an interesting make-or-break problem in evolution that could have, but did not, bring the whole thing a'tumblin down.

There's also the theme of "confusion". Now the dates is general are fairly well understood, actually. I have seen quite a few posts, though, that seem to indicate "well, (evolution is/both sides are) confusing... might as well go with creationism!". It's weird to see this peppered in with accusations of dogma.

Casting doubt and aspersions on evolution is really the main defining feature of Intelligent Design, and still to a large degree with Creationism. It doesn't matter whether they're true, it seems, just as long as the seeds of doubt are planted like crabgrass in the area of public discourse.

Radiometric dating is only as acurate as your belief in evolution to begin with.

Not true. Radiometric dating is independent of evolutionary belief. The presence of particular types of fossils, termed index fossils, can help geologists determine which rock layers they are dealing with, however.

and even Coal be millions of years of age = GOD aged them

I rank that right up there with Satan putting fossils in the ground to fool us... or God doing so. Ha! How dare we interpret the world based on the evidence when the entire world full of evidence could be fake! Ha, ha!

Man's wisdom has brought us the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. Bleeding the bad humors to cure disease. The "simple" biological cell and most recently evolution and a multi-billion year age for the earth. In comparison to all these accepted truths the Bible's history of man, the earth and scientific knowledge is found to be more true when challenged. The earth is round, it does hang on nothing, there are paths in the sea and animal kinds reproduce after their kind. Therefore the Bible should be trusted as a more secure repository of fact than the latest intellectual fad. Investigate and compare for yourself before you accept the "scientific" party line.

Ah yes, we used to believe in the four elements and the four humours, so you can't trust science! Well, except that the more than a millennium old humours idea started to decline after William Harvey's investigation of the circulatory system. Imagine not knowing about arteries and veins and how the heart really worked.

Harvey didn't really know about capillaries, though, so his knowledge was just a "fad".

The Bible doesn't get points for writing down common knowledge (hey, goats give birth to goats), nor does it get to claim unambiguous spherity of the an earth that had pillars, or four corners:

Revelation 7:1 "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree."

It also gets points deducted for showing sympathetic magic using streaked rods can cause cow genetics to change at the behest of angels.

When you consider the billions upon billions of such complexity increasing mutations which MUST'VE occurred between goo and you for evolution to be true, why have they suddenly stopped during observable human history?

Short answer: they didn't.

Longer answer: the amount of evolution that can occur over the course of human written history is certainly greater than the amount that occurred in a time when people recorded enough data for comparisons to modern-day data to be useful. The amount that happens is in relative proportion to the amount of time available.

A few hundred, or... let's say 6,000, is a trifling amount of time; way more than enough to make many weird breeds of dogs, but in the tenths of a percent of the amount of time - back in time - we would have to go to meet the first common ancestors we have with any other living species on the planet.

Think about that. Then think about the reasonability of seeing "large scale" evolutionary transitions - ones that would "satisfy" a creationist - in our lifetime.

To those who claim that evolution is proven by science, please define what you mean by evolution. That finch beaks can change is proven true. That birds come from bacteria is not.

This is in some ways the scale argument that we met above. Finch beaks can change over a single-human observable period of time. Birds from bacteria... well, eukaryotes, which our cells are descendents of, split from bacteria some 2,500 million years ago. We've documented quite a lot of the changes in fossil evidence, and the relationships to other living creatures are confirmed by DNA comparisons.

Are they looking for us to answer, or are they merely trying to confirm their incredulity? I often suspect the latter, simply because I've never seen any of them swayed by what we know.

About a month ago I saw a fellow researcher remove more than half of his carefully and accurately gathered data because it did not fit in with the evolutionary theory he felt had to be true. The validity of his work is now gone and he will come to possibly wrong conclusions. I have 39 years of professional investigative and research experience. After spending considerable time over a 3 year period of looking at the evidence for evolution or creation, I eventually began to open my mind up to the facts, rather than my evolutionary bias and now wonder how I did not clearly see that dinosaurs lived with man, that much of what we see, geologically, is the result of a worldwide flood, etc. Since opening my mind to look only at the facts and watch for the bias, my genetic research has rapidly advanced. Before that I was restricted in my interpretation of facts, thinking evolution was a valid theory. Hopefully future researchers will be visiting the Creation Museum and come away thinking there may be a need to relook at the data and keep an open mind. They then will be able to make scientific progress. I applaud the fact that there is a museum which depicts accurate, factual data.

Now this sounds like sheer fantasy/fiction to me, just like many "just so" conversion stories, in a Chick Tract Lite writing style. The "my genetic research has rapidly advanced" line seems particularly out of place for an actual recollection.

It would have been a great teaching moment, to find out what this other researcher purportedly found in violation of evolutionary theory. Why not encourage other scientists to try figuring this out?

If this other researcher were non-fictional, in particular in the biology field, he runs a great risk of the dark cloud of other researchers... the dread phrase, "we're having difficulty duplicating his results".

As a Christian and a petroleum engineer I had to decide whether evolution through deep time could be reconciled with my faith. Geology begins with No God in the beginning, a big bang, and random chance formation of all things in the cosmos and earth. As I studied more about the dating methods involved and the so called science behind the evolutionist'€™s faith based system I realized that the evolutionist had a religion as well. Operational science is observable, testable, falsifiable, and repeatable. Historical science is based in man€'s opinion and philosophy. The Creation museum will tell the TRUE history of the earth based on a Biblical Worldview. The nation's museums, national parks, and colleges have been taken over by the evolutionist's religion. A religion based on no future and no hope is not for me! Christian's that compromise the assumed great age of the earth and reconcile their faith with this false religion do extreme damage to the Body of Christ.

The usual canard of evolution being a religion, sure... but it also sounds like geology is on the chopping block. For a petroleum engineer in particular, who will be dealing with rock strata and folds and the like, this is a great tragedy. In trying to reconcile their faith with science, faith won... including the parts that make archaic claims for how nature operates.

Of course, evolution is not just a religion, it's a religion of no hope, because... well... ummm... it has no grand plan for you? It says you're an animal, and thus because of the colloquial use of the phrase "you're an animal!" presumes to throw out all human law and morality? Maybe turn you into a werewolf?

(Excuse me while I go out and kill someone because I don't have anything like guilt or other social feelings or culture or education or lack of grudges to prevent me from doing so. Oh, no, wait, I do. I suppose the similarities between ethical rules and my natural biological behaviour are just coincidences.)

The painting of the Christian "compromisers" in the fashion done so is simply rich.

There were some bright shining lights amidst the walking blind, though...

Please recall that Charles Darwin was a minister - then he saw certain evidence in the Galapagos Islands that caused him to think along new lines and a new field of science began. Scientists search for evidence and then come to conclusions. Religionists, however, start with a conclusion - that the Christian bible is true - and then try to cut the evidence to fit their religious dogma. Science is self-correcting (new knowledge can always disprove old knowledge if the facts are strong enough). Fundamentalist religion is static - its beliefs cannot change. Therefore, fundamentalist religious beliefs cannot by their very nature be scientific - because their believers are unwilling to allow them to change based upon the evidence.

...and one with a simple answer on the old age of the rocks by Mount St. Helens when it erupted:

Mount St. Helens' steam explosion wasn't hot enough to re-melt the rocks it threw around, so it couldn't re-set their "time since last molten" clock. Test some Hawaiian lava that was erupted as molten magma about the same time, and it WILL test as being young.

Geological clocks are reset when the decay products are separated from the original radioactive materials. So, if argon is produced through decay, the gas being let out will "reset" that particular clock. Such is the way potassium-argon decay works, where argon can bubble out of lava until the lava solidifies. One the lava solidifies, then the only remaining argon will be argon from decay of radioactive potassium. This is one of the more easy-to-understand techniques, but you can see what sort of situations it would be limited in, for example, ingress of cracks. That said, there are many other elements that have decay relationships and different half-lives to measure different ages of things.

I must say I was disappointed to see how many people seem to think carbon-dating is the only kind of radiometric dating. Carbon-14 has a relatively short half-life, is related to plant processes, and can't be used much past the 60-80,000 year mark. Those who knew of other kinds routinely parroted bad analyses such as the rocks being dated older than they should, despite clear indications of why this is in scientific literature (like the inclusion of older xenoliths - rock fragments that get embedded in lava).

Another misunderstanding I saw in the comments was an assertion that dating fossils was "circular reasoning", because you had to date the fossil by the rock, and the rock by the fossil. Well, fossils are often found in sandstone (ancient sand), limestone and shale (ancient mud). I do not know whether those kinds of rocks are dated with radiometric dating, actually. From what I do recall, those rocks (sedimentary rocks, made from sediments like mud and sand that settle) are often sandwiched by igneous rocks, that is, rocks made by lava, and those are able to be dated.

...

I don't really understand how people can fall hook, line and sinker for these sorts of things, other than to presume that other folks are going out of their way to feed it to them, and doing a pretty good job of it. I daresay many of these folks could be smart in other areas of their lives - just that they have a blind spot, or fear, or want to be part of the team, or just want simple answers, or just want to feel smart... I... don't know.

I just hope they don't represent the future of North America. If they do, I predict a Dark Age. I predict it on the basis that evolution really is the very first of their battles. Law and education will be the next to fall, and that on its own will have a ripple effect. Xenophobia is sure to rise in such an us-versus-them religious philosophy.

I think medicine could end up being what breaks the camel's back, though. If prayer efficacy is treated as true, this sets up the old tautology that if something bad befalls you, you weren't good or didn't pray hard enough. It's not that far a step back to believing that sickness is caused by sin, and that is a bad thing for preventive and palliative medicine. That will set the stage for some old diseases to come back, and maybe a good plague.

We won't let this happen, though, will we?

2 comments

Comment from: Auntie Enn [Visitor]  
Auntie Enn

There’s a creation museum in Big Valley, AB. I’ve been there. I took pictures. My soul alternates between screaming with laughter (at the plaster of Paris “fossils", no I’m not kidding) and screaming with horror (particularly at the pushy guy who hovers over your shoulder and is all too anxious to explain his version of reality, something they do not do at the evolution museum, I note.)

09/01/07 @ 20:52
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  
Nimble

I’d heard about the museum. You went there? To this place? Why, Enny, why? Morbid curiosity?

Yeah, I’d have probably wanted to stick my nose in there, too :)

I’m dying to find out what their “Evidence from Geology” is. Let’s see, what can I make out from the picture … hmmm, quartzite boulders… I’ll bet you that they’re not evidence of glaciation, they’re evidence of a global flood!

I see they also have the “Geologic Column” in scare quotes there. I’ve seen a few creationist explanations, varying from the smaller or slower at the bottom, which is inconsistent to a high degree, to the smokescreen technique (http://www.trueorigin.org/geocolumn.asp) where they just keep trying to cast doubt on it until they are just comfortable enough with the generated ‘confusion’ that they need press no further.

Of course, there are also pictures there of the visit of the guy who’s the head of the travelling creation museum.

That museum has such wonders as a cast of the “living fossil", the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae. While it has changed very little in body structure, the assertion “It simply had not evolved!” is so much cowpatty. Never mind that there have been some changes, but we are able to do things like compare their gene sequences to that of other creatures (for example, with this paper - figure 3 shows a tree built just on gene sequences for vision pigments)

Plus, I don’t see how they figure that this disproves evolution, unless they figure that evolution says that everything must change and at the same rate, too, in which case they’re just free to survey all the animals and plants around and just cherry pick the ones that haven’t changed much.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Gingko biloba appeared in the “Evidence from Plants", as it, too, hasn’t changed all that much.

I have no eye or mind bleach for you, my dear, but thank you for sharing your bizarre visit. If you have any more details, I’d love them :)

09/13/07 @ 20:56