My Speech at the Creation Museum Rally

Here’s what I said on Sunday night for the “pre-rally” against the complete ignorance of the Creation Museum. The actual rally will take place today morning.

Who knew there would come a day when Intelligent Design would be seen as a step up from anything?

Unfortunately, here we are, at the opening of this Creation Museum. Apparently, this is a museum full of hard facts and evidence. In fact, listen to what Answers in Genesis co-founder Mark Looy said in Friday’s Columbus Dispatch when asked how the Tree of Life portion of the Garden of Eden exhibit came about, since there’s no fossilized evidence revealing what the Tree actually looked like.

“We just made it up,” Looy said.

Facts. Lots of facts.

I’m offended by this museum for a number of reasons.

As a high school teacher, I’m upset that students might consider this a worthy source for information since it’s a “museum” and it has the support of a handful of people with the letters Ph.D. after their name.

As the chair of the Secular Student Alliance, I’m shocked that a fringe religious group can claim that their world-view is a legitimate alternative to science and be taken seriously by the media that doesn’t know any better.

As a science advocate, I’m sad that there will be young kids lacking critical thinking skills who will be suckered into thinking any of these exhibits actually reflect current scientific thought.

As a person who appreciates honesty, I’m distressed that museum visitors are essentially being told that the scientists who talk about fossils that are millions of years old and biologists who write peer-reviewed papers in support of Darwinian evolution are lying to you.

As an Indian-American, I’m shocked to find out that, according to the museum, my people didn’t exist 6,000 years ago.

There is an up-side to all this, though. We can use this museum to our advantage. Educated science teachers and professors need to be willing to take their students on a field trip to this museum, walking them through the building and explaining everything that is wrong with the exhibits.

It may need to be an overnight trip.

We need someone to create a podcast of a walking tour through the museum. This way, people can download the mp3 for free before coming here, and they can listen to proper scientific responses to the garbage they’re seeing.

Let’s create a handout for students so that if they have to come here, they have a list of scientific facts in front of them, and a list of difficult questions to ask their tour guides.

As the headline from a Scientific American blog posting noted, the one piece of accurate information you do learn after a trip to this museum is that Creationists have lots of cash. But that’s where the justifiable information stops.

We know this is bad science, but it’s even worse religion. I hope that Christian pastors and leaders across the country will help us in denouncing this museum to their congregations. There are plenty of Christians out there who manage to reconcile faith with science. This museum is as much of a travesty to their beliefs as it is to ours. If they support the truth, they cannot simply stand back and watch the rest of us protest. This can’t be an atheist-only rally. It needs to be a multi-faith demonstration. Christians need to be on the front lines, too.

We’re all here because we support scientific truth and we know that young people would be in awe of science if only they had a proper understanding of it. As one blogger put it, “How many of these children might have become groundbreaking scientists were it not for the constant stream of anti-evolutionary propaganda overwhelming them since before they ever start school?“

This museum takes childlike curiosity about the world and rips it apart by telling children (and uneducated adults) lies about how the Earth and our bodies came to be. If we care at all about the future, we can’t let this museum get away with calling itself an educational institution.

Let’s get one thing straight. This is not a demonstration against the Bible. It’s not a rally against Christians’ right to literally believe what the Bible says. It’s a rally calling for people to educate themselves at a real museum. Run by real scientists. Who rely on all pieces of evidence, not just those that fit neatly, or can be forced, into the Biblical story.

Real scientists know that there is always more work to be done and so much more to be discovered. We don’t know everything, and we’ll admit that, but we have a damn good method to find the answers.

I dare you to show me one place in the Creation Museum where there’s an unanswered question. These people pride themselves on the idea that the book of Genesis tells them everything they ever needed to know about Creation. That’ll be their ultimate downfall… if we can shed light on it.

But unless we have scientists, bloggers, Christians, students, and teachers explaining exactly why this museum has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with the whims of a few fundamentalist religious people, there’s no way we will overcome this mess.

Let this museum be a wake up call to educators everyone that we need to do a better job of teaching science.

If we are spurred to do that, maybe this museum won’t be a complete waste of money. And won’t it be an amazing day when we can tell students to check out the Creation Museum because their final exam will include an essay question where they have to discuss all the mistakes they found in the science?



[tags]atheist, atheism, Intelligent Design, Creation Museum, Answers in Genesis, Mark Looy, Columbus Dispatch, Tree of Life, Garden of Eden, Secular Student Alliance, evolution, Indian-American, Scientific American, Creationist, Christian, Bible[/tags]

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Dear Friendly Athiest,

    There are numerous problems with your article, but I’ll address one quickly;
    “…these people pride themselves…that the book of Genesis tells them everything they ever needed to know about creation.”. What creationist has made that claim? If you read just a small part of creationist literature you’ll see there’s a lot creationist themselves don not agree on. For example; the actual size and shape of the ark. True, they agree on the broad outlines, there was an ark and a flood, but at that point the agreement ends. Secondly, creationists would not agree on the methods God used to create the universe; the creative act, yes, the method, no. You might want to look at your own beliefs, such as when Richard Dawkins wa asked about the origin of matter. His answer? “I don’t know…but scientists are working on it.”. Okay, fair enough.
    -Clarence

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Dear Friendly Athiest,

    Allow me to ask you another question. You say that there is no fossilzed evidence for the Tree of Life. How would you know it was the correct tree even if you found it? My guess is you wouldn’t. As you are well aware, the fossil record is not complete and there remain many gaps, something that creationists and evolutionists both agree. When Looy states “We made it up.”, are you implying that everything in the museum is “made up”? I think if you look at the facial reconstructions of, for example, the famous Lucy, you will find a lot of that is “made up”, or is at least speculation to some degree.
    -Clarence
    former atheist and school teacher (B.Sci., Charleston Southern University, 2000)

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Friendly Atheist,

    Further questions; your statement about being an American Indian, and being offended that “your” people didn’t exist 6000 years ago strikes me as odd and having little bearing on the creation-evolution debate. So, please explain further. Why are you offended? I happen to be of Irish heritage and it wouldn’t offend me one bit to discover “my” people are 100,000…25,000, or 6000 years old. Of course, I believe all people are equal, don’t practice “group” or “identity” politics. Tell me, what status do you place on being an Indian? Do you allow this status to be maintained by other groups? If I not mistaken, the American Inidans have there own creation “myths”; do you point out to your students that this makes them “creationists”?
    -Clarence

  • Jen

    Dear Weird Random Creationist,

    1. What does it matter what shape the arc, if one existed, was?

    2. Oh Noes, science hasn’t figured out everything yet

    3. Speculation on Lucy, for which there are some bones, a timeline/history of other bones, a time based on where in the ground she was found, and many other things I, not being a Leakey, do not entirely get, is not the same as making up what type of tree was in some unproven garden.

    4. Our dear Friendly Atheist is an Indian from India, not Native American, which you would know if you read the site a bit. Also, heritage is important to a lot of people. Not to speak for Hermant, but like many people, I guess that he was shaped by his heritage. Also, since Indians were around and creating things and having culture when your museum says that they didn’t exist, my guess is that Herment doesn’t want ignorant people to believe that Indians are recent and that all the things the great and complex people did were created by white people in a garden one day. I personally would be offended if your timeline of events meant that my people didn’t do anything either.

    Hermant- I love your speech here, and your ideas. I really hope we can get a few people to approach the media/blog/upload to youtube critiques of the museum, hopefully with photographic proof.

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    Clarence,

    Let’s say you have an ancestry, with a history and tradition, which goes back to, say 7000 BCE. Then, lets say someone comes along, and tells you, that can’t be so, the world isn’t that old! What that person just did, is disregard your ancestry, a part of the history of your culture, however log ago and distant.

  • Jonas

    Hemant,

    To take two of your points :

    As an Indian-American, I’m shocked to find out that, according to the museum, my people didn’t exist 6,000 years ago.

    As I understand the strict Creationism of AiG’s museum, they go by Bishop Ussher’s caculation of 4004 BC as the data of Creation. What’s 11 years between friends. No seriously: according to them no culture existed before that time, so in my mind it also be-littles all human achievement. It took a long time to get to the point where the dog was domesticated, or the Egyptians invented wine.

    We know this is bad science, but it’s even worse religion. I hope that Christian pastors and leaders across the country will help us in denouncing this museum to their congregations. There are plenty of Christians out there who manage to reconcile faith with science. This museum is as much of a travesty to their beliefs as it is to ours. If they support the truth, they cannot simply stand back and watch the rest of us protest. This can’t be an atheist-only rally. It needs to be a multi-faith demonstration. Christians need to be on the front lines, too.

    I rarely blog, but I did put something on my MySpace page, after reading the Boston Globe article on the subject. “Creation Museum – No you can’t believe ANYTHING you want”, where I talk about the difference between Faith – Belief based on no evidence, and Faith – Belief held in spite of evidence to the contrary. Also that some Beliefs are in fact held on the basis of evidence and no these types of beliefs can not be arbitrarily held or disguarded.

  • http://www.agnosticatheism.wordpress.com HeIsSailing

    Jonas sez:
    “…where I talk about the difference between Faith – Belief based on no evidence, and Faith – Belief held in spite of evidence to the contrary. ”

    Jonas, that is an interesting distinction to make. Many Christians, when faced with large amounts of evidence of, for instance, the unreliability of the Biblical text as a historical record, will stop and claim that it all boils down to faith. No wait a minute, if the evidence is *contrary* to their beliefs, then it should cause a problem.

    I should know. Ultimately that very issue was my downfall as a Christian.

  • http://porkopolis.blogspot.com Porkopolis
  • http://www.myspace.com/southafricanbadass Correy

    I’ve been saying sort of what Jonas implied for years, yet not many people bring it up. Believing the Earth is only 6000 years old is inherently Eurocentric and racist, though of course, people like your first commentor on this blog will either disagree or just plain ignore the fact that racism is involved in so much bad history in the world (Manifest Destiny, etc.), but it’s true nonetheless.

    Saying the world is only 6000 years old completely negates the accomplishments of millions of non-European people throughout the world, most notably the Egyptians that Jonas speaks of. You’ll also find that many of the same people who reject scientific findings about the origin of the world also believe things like aliens created the pyramids in Egypt, because of COURSE “those people” couldn’t have done it.

    But we sadly live in a culture, especially in the current political climate, where fantasy and burying one’s head in the sand trumps reason. You’ll see a correlation there, too, with supporters of the Creation Museum, and supporters of the Iraq war: it’s all apart of the same mindset. And we would be remiss to think it has nothing to do with the poor educational system in this country because it’s a direct result of it. Look at successful chiropractors in this country are, for example. Millions of Americans truly believe that they’re “physicians” when in truth they’re methodology and beliefs are one step above (insert any non western medical belief here).

    I have no problem with a museum celebrating a group’s religious identity, but to pass it off as something else is the highest form of cruelty against an uninformed public.

  • http://acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    A very good speach Hermant.

  • monkeymind

    Hemant:

    Very inspiring speech. I liked the outreach to people of faith who are also agains sloppy science :-) ! I hope that someone takes you up on the idea of creating a downloadable podcast of a walking tour.

    The one piece of accurate information you do learn after a trip to this museum is that Creationists have lots of cash.

    Has a fund been created to support counter-disinformation efforts?

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    I remember reading something by the Dalai Lama which said, if something in science contradicts something in scripture, we need to change scripture.

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    Great speech. I appreciate your willingness to share it with those of us who couldn’t make it to the rally.

  • monkeymind

    To Clarence “I think it’s OK to make cheap shops based on ethnicity in my drive-by comments” Causey III:

    Tell me, what status do you place on being an Indian? Do you allow this status to be maintained by other groups?

    What the heck is that supposed to mean? ? Do you see Hemant’s statement about his ethnic origin as some kind of attack on the legitimacy of your group affiliation?

    If I not mistaken, the American Inidans have there own creation “myths”; do you point out to your students that this makes them “creationists”?

    People from many religious traditions, including the Judeo-Christian, are able to view their various creation myths as, in fact myths, containing spiritual truths through metaphor, but not literal scientific facts. Nor do they try to force the teaching of their creation myths on others.

    -Monkey “Very impressed by your B. Sci. but you might try some comparative religion classes” Mind

  • William Birch

    I was a little surprised to read some of the comments on today’s blog. Science is the intellecual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. By its very definition, Evolution cannot be considered “scientific” since Evolution has not been nor can be observed or experimented with. Evolution, in my opinion, requires just as much “faith” as Christianity or any other religion does. We may observe changes on the macro level, but we have never observed changes on the micro level–never.

    Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, which houses the world’s largest fossil collection (60 million specimens) confessed, “If I knew of any [evolutionary transitions], fossil or living, I would certainly have included them [in my book 'Evolution'].” He also stated, “For over twenty years I thought I was working on evolution . . . [But] there was not one thing I knew about it . . . So for the last few weeks I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: ‘Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigous body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘Yes, I do know one thing-it ought not to be taught in high school.’ . . .During the past few years . . . you have experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith . . . Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowlegde.” (Colin Patterson, personal letter to Luther Sunderland, 10 April 1979, quoted in Luther D. Sunderland, “Darwin’s Enigma,” 4th ed. [Santee, Calif.: Master Books, 1988], 89) and (Colin Patterson, Address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, 5 November 1981, unpublished transcript.)

    Evolutionists want fossil “evidence.” They found a tooth in 1922 in Nebraska and connected it with a mythological jawbone and then connected the jawbone with a skull; connected the skull to a skeleton, gave it a face with features and fur and called that Science. I don’t think so! Nebraska Man (Hesperopithecus haroldcookii), Java Man (Pithecanthropus erectus), and Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni) were all proven to be a farce. And we are supposed to hold on to this “theory” of Evolution . . . why?

    Billy
    Read “Fatal Flaws: What Evolutionists Don’t Want You To Know” by Hank Hanegraaff (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2003). ISBN: 0849917956.

  • http://little-endian.blogspot.com Alan Lund
  • Brendon Lake

    To me, the creation of this planet and the universe, requires so much more faith than believing that one big explosion resulted in the world and universe.
    I think athiests are upset when people try to analyse creation scientifically within the guidlines of scripture because they can’t prove creationists wrong.

  • Brendon Lake

    Oops! I meant believing in the ‘big bang’ requires so much more faith.

  • Mriana

    Regardless of those that are Creationists that came here to criticise without reliable and substancial knowledge, I appaulled your speech, Hemant. GREAT JOB!

    I like your idea about a podcast too. If my sons were younger and not 16 and 18, I would not be wasting my hard earned vacation money to take them there to learn such tripe. As an educated person, I am horrified by such anti-intellectualism. I’d rather send them to Camp Quest or something far more educational with me- like the Holocaust Museum. One of the two, but not to the Creationist Museum. If my sons are going to learn anything about religion, I’d rather they learn it from a critical stance that teaches them more than one religion than a bias intolerant and close-minded stance.

  • http://www.dreamtorrent.co.uk Dreamtorrent

    This is ridiculous.

    Friendly atheist is right, and did not leave any “gaps” in his statements to pick on.

    Comparing creationist’s disagreement on Ark dimensions when the very notion is absurd buys no merit. Bitching about a mention of ancestorial heritage is pathetic.

    Personally I don’t understand why F.A. goes out of his way being so curt and respectful about this. Everybody with a double digit I.Q. knows that the “creationist museum” is a joke, a travesty, and the greatest embarrassment to the xtian religion to date. For that reason I would like for it to stay around, just to sea religious nuts bathe in its lobotomising effect.

    Also, the Big Bang requires no faith. It is merely the most likely theory of many; it doesn’t prove much but is the best thing to go on until we learn more. When I write a complex program I don’t get it right the first time, but the scientific method makes it work after the 3rd time. If I used faith (as in that it would work after the 1st attempt) I’d be out of work (and intellect).

    Grow up people.
    The invisible creatures in your scull by no means created the universe.

    Kind regards,
    D

  • William Birch

    Mr. Lund,

    Thank you for the link. I certainly did not intend to misrepresent Dr. Patterson. So my first quote of his is not complete. My point, however, surrounds that of “evidence.” Scientists offer much speculation, but not much evidence.

    Billy

  • bloo

    Friendly Atheist,
    As Americans we have the right to voice our opinions as well as our beliefs as given in our Constitution. I respect your right to your belief that evolution is fact, even though science calls evolution a theory.

    The definition of a theory is a “guess or conjecture”. This means that it has not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be fact.

    Being a high school teacher, I am certain you are an educated man. So you must know that many of the founders of modern science were not only Christians, but they were scientists in order to demonstrate that we lived in an orderly universe. They believed that such a demonstration would be powerful evidence that such a universe was created by an orderly God who could be known.

    “Being an advocate of science” you will also realize that scientists often disagree on the origins of man and the science of the world. You see it everyday in medical journals, biology, anthropology, archeology and other studies of science. Remember the egg controversy? First eggs were good for you then they weren’t then they were? Who’s right? Who’s wrong? So, you can’t say that science proves Creationism wrong. You also can’t say that science proves evolution as fact. Just as you and I are human beings and have an opinion, so are scientists.

    This Creationsim museum is not a “whim” as you call it as much as a rebuttle and different view of how our universe was created. Creationists get tired of evolution getting slammed down their throats and being told to believe something they don’t see as truth, just as atheists get tired of religion being slammed down their throats. Both sides are wrong in their endevours to “force” the other to believe one way or another. Because this country allows us to “choose”, we should have that choice. Don’t you agree?

    Your statement about “uneducated adults” and “kids lacking critical thinking skills” implies that only idiots believe in religion. If this were true then Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were idiots too. And if you believe in science, as you say you do, then you are believing the theories and scientific studies of idiots. Both of these men as well as many other scientists were or are Christian men. Study your history . . you will be surprised at how many scientists were Christians.

    You question the claim that the scientists involved in this museum are really scientists. Well, have you done your research? Do they have a science background? They have a PHD. So,where did they get it? Where do they get the facts to prove Creationism? Why do they support Creationism? Isn’t that what true science is about, getting out there and studying the facts? You can’t speak the truth when you speak from ignorance. So, why protest something you know little about?

    Don’t you remember learning about the differences between theory, fact, and hypothesis? Is that not taught anymore? Good grief! Why is it so far fetched to you to be educated about a different theory? Just because you believe one way does not mean that you can’t be educated about both theories. Being educated helps you make an “informed” decision. When you are ignorant to one theory or the other, you are making an “uninformed” decision. Let that decision be the individual’s, not you, not me and not anyone else.

    You say you aren’t attacking Christianity, but what do you call protesting their beliefs? Support? Respect the right of individuals to believe in evolution or Creationism. Don’t assume things about something you know little about. And get off your high horse about evolution being superior when it hasn’t been proven that we come from apes, or a fish, or any other creature evolutionists come up with. Obviously evolutionists can’t agree either about where humans derived from. So, evolution shouldn’t be taught as fact either.

  • Brett

    Hemant- excellent speech! I really appreciate your comments for their forthrightness and honesty.

    Random posters- It’s been my experience that those who claim that “science offers little/no evidence for X” have rarely spent much time reading what scientists themselves say about the matter. Rather, most of their information comes from creationist literature written by other non- or pseudo-scientists who likewise spend little time reading scientific journals or current books. Please, please prove me wrong.

    Billy, for example.. can you name a few books by physicists in support of Big Bang cosmology that you’ve actually read, and explain cosmic background radiation, and then tell me why it’s not convincing? Brendon- can you name the last three books you read on evolutionary biology by (current evolutionary) biologists, so that I can then peruse these books and see if they’re lacking in evidence? I’ve been reading Endless Forms Most Beautiful lately, and it (shockingly!) has no dearth of data… Even Francis Collins–a devout believer–has no problem find plenty of evidence for evolution and the Big Bang to put in his book, which might be an excellent introduction to scientific thought on human origins for you.

  • Brendon Lake

    The theory of evolution has always remained just that, I think Atheists are getting concerned that they don’t hold a monopoly on what scientists believe…

  • Brett

    Brendon- care you answer my question? Or do you concede that you really do avoid reading the evidence presented by scientists?

    As for me, I attend a private Christian university, where I have taken a course on Bible every semester for the past four years. My bookshelf has as many books on theology and Christian living, not to mention apologetics, as it does on evolutionary biology and philosophy. I know enough about creationism to know why I disbelieve it. Can you honestly say you’re knowledgeable about evolutionary biology? (And if so, why don’t you answer my question about what you’ve read.) Cheers.

  • Miko

    We may observe changes on the macro level, but we have never observed changes on the micro level–never.

    Isn’t it interesting how some antievolutionists claim that we have evidence of evolution on the macro scale only (fossils) and some antievolutionists claim that we have evidence of evolution on the micro scale only (getting a new flu vaccine every year because the virus has evolved)? I’d love to see them fight that out at one of their meetings.

  • Miko

    Brett said,
    Even Francis Collins–a devout believer–has no problem find plenty of evidence for evolution and the Big Bang to put in his book, which might be an excellent introduction to scientific thought on human origins for you.

    I saw the words Francis Collins and “introduction to scientific thought” in the same sentence and just started shaking uncontrollably. ;-)

    Brendon Lake said,
    The theory of evolution has always remained just that,

    True. A theory in science refers to a testable principle which explains the given facts in an area. Thus, the Darwinian theory of evolution remains a theory and the facts of evolution remain facts. And the facts will remain even if the Darwinian theory were proven wrong. This means that even if Darwinian evolution is proven wrong, it will be replaced by a different theory of evolution which also supports the facts of evolution, not by a theory of magic. Just like Newton’s theory of universal gravitation was replaced by Einstein’s theory of general relativity: new facts can force one to develop a new theory, but the two theories have to agree on the old facts as well.

    I think Atheists are getting concerned that they don’t hold a monopoly on what scientists believe…

    No, we don’t care what scientists believe on their own time as long as their willing to be scientists when they’re being paid to. That said, the issue is really more about religionists trying to create the illusion that scientists disagree on the interpretation of the evidence for evolution, which is total nonsense.

  • Richard Wade

    Mr. Birch said,

    My point, however, surrounds that of “evidence.” Scientists offer much speculation, but not much evidence.

    Actually there is a lot of good evidence, I think you just haven’t been looking at sources that are interested in coming to conclusions based on evidence. I suspect that you have been looking at sources that are only interested in evidence that fits the conclusions they already have. That is backward science, not science.

    Even if there were “not much evidence” for scientific views, that is 100% more evidence than is offered by religion.

    Creationism offers assertion (scripture) as if it is evidence. Assertion is not evidence. Creationism uses highly selected bits and pieces of real evidence to twist the implications into a biased, deceitful travesty masquerading as science, to fool the woefully uneducated public. It ignores or dismisses enormous bodies of evidence that it cannot pervert to its own ends.

    There is something quite pathetic about a preacher dressing up in a white lab coat and spewing misapplied scientific jargon in a desperate attempt to imitate science. Imitating your opponent means you are losing confidence in your own original stance and you are running out of your own ammo.

    If you don’t want to accept the general veracity of evolution, fine. Just fold your arms and fold your mind and say, “I don’t believe it, period.” But if you’re going to try to argue against a mountain of evidence with only assertion and pick-and-choose evidence on your side, pretending that you actually are being scientific, you are going to be thoroughly trounced.

  • Miko

    Hemant said,

    And won’t it be an amazing day when we can tell students to check out the Creation Museum because their final exam will include an essay question where they have to discuss all the mistakes they found in the science?

    In a class on critical thinking, sure. But in a science class that would be a bit creepy.

  • Miko

    Actually there is a lot of good evidence, I think you just haven’t been looking at sources that are interested in coming to conclusions based on evidence. I suspect that you have been looking at sources that are only interested in evidence that fits the conclusions they already have. That is backward science, not science.

    It’s not even backward science. It’s the Homer Simpson view: “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!” :-)

  • Ash

    as i understand it, the point of the bible (you’ll have heard of it – old book, written by man – i.e. we fallible creatures – assembled by man – see previous point – with parts omitted for various reasons and according to doctrinal preference, see this) is that it is meant as a spiritual, moral guide -and i’d dispute whether it even acheives that…
    science on the other hand, is about gathering physical evidence about whatever your subject matter, then proposing a theory which appears to explain said evidence (rather than theory first, evidence to fit). the fantastic thing about science tho, is we are constantly discovering more – and if that means we need to change theories, so be it. religion tends to take new information, however, and says – NO! that can’t be right!

    You might want to look at your own beliefs, such as when Richard Dawkins wa asked about the origin of matter. His answer? “I don’t know…but scientists are working on it.”.

    i don’t view science as a ‘belief’ comparable with religious ‘belief’ – the quote here exemplifies that science does not claim to know all the answers – but that it will keep trying to find them nonetheless.

  • Ash

    sorry, my link didn’t work – gotta love technology and my hopelessness with it…

  • bloo

    The repeated statements about people of religous faith being uneducated or wrong is why atheists are seen as hateful, angry people. Do you have to stoop that low to have a debate? Why not be an adult about the situation and use articles of fact to prove your case instead of stooping to name calling. Grow up.

  • Jacque

    You say you are an educated man, a teacher? I am most certainly grateful my daughter was not taught under you. When you speak of garbage being taught to children, that is exactly what you are teaching your students and other vulnerable, unsuspecting individuals . It is satan (that word doesn’t deserve capitalization) worshipers such as yourself, who is creating much animosity that is destroying America. If you want to destroy America (the place in where you exist), and what America stands for, continue your shenanigans and uprisings; because you won’t have any uprisings to perform any longer. (your call) You call yourself the “friendly atheist”. Friendly usually means love, caring, and understanding of other human beings. You aren’t hypocritical or anything are you? The understanding I have always had of “Mature” “educated” adults was not uprisings that creates monsters out of our children.

    An English professor once said to me, I will not accept the Bible as a reference. When I asked him why not? His response was, it has not been proven as truth. I said, but it is the oldest history book in the world. He said, It hasn’t been proven to be true because it was man written. I said, then, you are telling me all of the history books I have read through the years that is man written, may not be true? As this professor was unable to answer that question, you or no other “educated” man/woman cannot answer this question either. The bible was written, and Christianity (deserves capitalization) has been around longer than “scientists”. If you were six thousand years old, do you think you would be any more than dust? Not everything fossilizes; but you being a scientist knows that, correct?

    You say you are a Native American, as I am part Native American, however, I was wondering if you have any documentation from that many years ago that proves our people existed at that time? If not, don’t fret, read the bible, and it will give you the answers you seek, have an (educated understanding) of the true meaning of faith, and where you came from. I myself, didn’t derive from an ape, monkey, or any other animal, because in God I trust. May God Bless you

  • http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~ludtke/prof/index.htm Joshua A. Ludtke

    Creationists are funny. Their authors, since they are not interested in conducting actual science, rehash the same arguments over and over again. Nearly every creationist book/tome/webcomic/PDF tells the same wrong story about “Nebraska Man” (a fossil peccary tooth that a few scientists thought was a hominid, an ascertation that more rigorous science put to rest) and misquotes the same evolutionary biologists (the Colin Patterson misquote above I’ve heard a buncha times) and makes a statement along the lines of “We may observe changes on the micro level, but we have never observed changes on the macro level” (ps Mr. Birch, you swapped micro and macro in that sentence. Not too sure why no one else pointed that little blunder out).

    I’ve read an evolutionary anthropology book that was written when extremely little was known about Australopithecus I think it was A Million Years of Man: A Story of Human Development as a Part of Nature. It is remarkably out-of-date and a more modern text on human evolution shows that, in 45 years, science has gone a long way.

    Compare that to one of the “founding” books of scientific creationism (The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications, e.g.) and you’ll see that nothing in the story of creationism has changed. Radioisotopic dating is still wrong, Noah’s Flood still literally globally happened 5000-ish years ago, and every geological feature on the planet happened during that crisis.

    Their readers, for some reason, don’t seem to care about this rehashing. My hypothesis for why is that people who read creationist texts (and not for laughs) do not understand how science works. A scientific viewpoint, such as that all organisms are related to one another through common ancestry, is not a figurative “house of cards”, in that if you can disprove one small fact and then the entire idea will fall apart. A scientific theory or fact, when backed up by a lot of independent sources, is actually stronger than one merely backed up by one source. The fossil record, when combined with molecular biology, when combined with shared embryological development, makes a very strong case for an old Earth with organisms who are all related to one another. Yes, Haeckel faked some of his drawings. Yes, some fossils have been hoaxes. Suggesting that such things damage evolutionary theory is like suggesting that a crummy paint job is going to cause a bridge to fall over.

    What is not funny about creationism’s rich donors is that they have these vast funds of money that they want to use towards furthering God’s word. They then spend it on buying animatronic dinosaurs and placing them in a fake museum.

    Answers in Genesis could have spent the same amount of money funding cancer or AIDS research. But then again I guess that might have been seen as trying to patch up some of God’s Blunders, and that would be hubris.

    (…as if saying that the science of the past 200 years is wrong isn’t hubris)

  • bloo

    That said, the issue is really more about religionists trying to create the illusion that scientists disagree on the interpretation of the evidence for evolution, which is total nonsense.

    These are some quotes from actual scientists that do not agree on evolution. Just thought I would let you see that it’s not an illusion.

    “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact.” (Dr. T.N. Tahmisian. Atomic Energy Commission, The Fresno Bee, August 20, 1959.

    “…most people assume that fossils provide a very important part of the general argument made in favor of Darwinian interpretation of the history of life. Unfortunately, this is not strictly true.” (Dr. David Raup, Curator, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Quoted from “Conflicts between Darwin and paleontology,” Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 50 (1), 1979.)

    “A five million year old piece of bone that was thought to be the collarbone of a humanlike creature is actually part of a dolphin rib…The problem with a lot of anthropologists is that they want so much to find a hominid that any scrap of bone becomes a hominid bone.” (Dr. Tim White, anthropologist, University of California, Berkeley, quoted in New Scientist, April 28, 1983.

    “More than 300 scientists (over 400 as of 7/18/2005) from all disciplines have signed a statement expressing skepticism of the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. “

  • http://threeblessings.wordpress.com benjamin ady

    Hemant,

    did you know that Gallup Polls has consistently found that very nearly 50% of americans believe in young earth creationism (god created the earth pretty much in it’s present form within the last 10,000 years). So I’m thinking the museum should do fine, financially. I wonder what the percentage is like in other western countries. I used to find this a shocking statistic, but I guess I’ve kind of gotten used to it.

  • Brett

    Benjamin,
    Not be overly skeptical (ha :-)), but I’m wondering what Gallup poll that was? I know Sam Harris quoted something like that, but it seemed misleading to me. A huge number of Americans don’t believe in evolution, but that’s not necessarily synonymous with thinking the earth was created 10k years ago. My dad’s an excellent example; “evolution may or may not have happened, but either way life was created by God,and the universe itself may be billions of years old (Long Day Creationism)..” I haven’t seen a good public polling that made these distinctions well, but if you know where it was, I’d love to see it. Thanks!

  • Brett

    Miko- I’m glad you caught the humor. The irony is that I’ve found Collins’ explanations of evolution to be more lucid and palatable to believers than the alternatives, while he obviously starts to break down on other subjects…

  • Mriana

    I see this as another means of the Church trying to do what it has always done throughout history- control people and suppress knowledge. For centuries the Church has done similar things as this and the Religious Reich is no different with its desire for control over people. I see no freedom of thought or inquiry in this Creationist Museum, but rather control and dominiation. I just hope people are smart enough not to fall with this sort of domination of the Church that has gone on for centuries. If the Church cannot control people one way, it will find other ways to do it, until people wise up and realize what is happening.

  • Miko

    The irony is that I’ve found Collins’ explanations of evolution to be more lucid and palatable to believers than the alternatives, while he obviously starts to break down on other subjects…

    Yeah, there’s no harm in taking things one step at a time. Hopefully they’ll go on to read other books on the subject and through a natural process of selecting the best supported ideas their viewpoints will evolve towards a more scientific outlook. ;-)

    It’s sad that we have to focus on making ideas palatable in addition to making them true, but it most likely is necessary.

  • William Birch

    Brett,

    You are absolutely right on. I concede that I have not read any books by physicists on Big Bang cosmology. The only evoultion-teaching I have had was that which I learned in public school. I am not afraid to admit that you are right- I do read creationist material primarily. It is my fault for not reading the appropriate material before engaging in a dialogue such as this. I apologize for my ignorance.

    I took 12 credit hours this past spring semester and will take 15 this fall semester coming; my free time is rather limited . . . but I intend on reading non-creationist material. Then I will have something of substance with which to respond. But if I still do not agree, hopefully I will be able to adequately explain why. Meanwhile, I will keep reading Hemant’s blog. Have a great summer!

    Billy

  • Mriana

    I think I placed my last post in the wrong thread. Maybe I should have put it here instead of the other Creationist Thread. Oh well. I still see it as a means for the Church to once again assert control and domination on others, like it has for centuries by suppressing freedom of inquiry and thought as well as suppressing knowledge.

  • Mriana

    Whoops! I think I’ve been going in circles. :( There are two creationist threads and I can’t keep them straight. I did better no going down the email notices, but rather coming here after the first one and then delete the rest of the emails about updates. Less confusing for me if there are two similar ones.

  • Brett

    Billy- thanks for your honesty. One can become knowledge

    The closest I’ve come in my science coursework to an evolutionary biology class was actually a class on developmental biology, where I did some guided readings in the overlap between the two fields and made a presentation to the class. Most of the things I’ve read on evolutionary biology have been extracurricular and are quite accessible to laymen, although having a grounding in molecular biology or genetics does help one to understand a lot of the newer research in-depth.

    Reading a few quick webpages can break down the “evolutionists have no evidence” line of reasoning. For example, The Smithsonian Institution has a page on Human Origins including a “Hall of Ancestors”. The broadest statement that a Creationist should ever, ever make, is that evolutionary biologists have misinterpreted the evidence they have, not that they have no evidence. Then one must approach these fossils (not to even mention the support for universal common ancestry found in molecular biology!) and explain how allof it could have been so misinterpreted.

    If you get some time for reading, I recommend Collins’ book that I mentioned above, and Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene if you’re interested in how things such as altruistic and group behavior evolve. Good luck in your reading.

  • Brett

    Oops- I meant to link to the Talk Origins Prominent Hominid Fossils page, not the Smithsonian one. I think the former is better presented. Enjoy :-)

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    Educated science teachers and professors need to be willing to take their students on a field trip to this museum, walking them through the building and explaining everything that is wrong with the exhibits.

    It may need to be an overnight trip.

    We need someone to create a podcast of a walking tour through the museum. This way, people can download the mp3 for free before coming here, and they can listen to proper scientific responses to the garbage they’re seeing.

    Let’s create a handout for students so that if they have to come here, they have a list of scientific facts in front of them, and a list of difficult questions to ask their tour guides.

    These are some good ideas.

  • anti-nonsense

    great speech, Hemant, I really admire you. PS: Your book is great, I’ve just been reading it.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Wow, Hemant.

    Your speech was inspirational… that is, until I read the comments from all the first-time posters who think the Flintstones is an accurate protrayal of natural history.

    America needs to have a serious national remedial course in science. No wonder china’s kicking our asses all over the world. No wonder you can’t buy a hamburger for under $12 in England. The Dollar is in free-fall, and American economic growth is on the downward side. For the first time in memory, children in the US are doing worse than their parents did. We no longer lead the world economically, because the extent of education in America is “want fries with that?” Europe is the center of the economic world again, and we’ll be shitting in buckets in our Christian Madrahsahs in a generation.

    God bless America.

  • Ash

    speaking of england (and i dunno where you’ve been eating Siamang, but trust, it was the wrong place), who else is here from anywhere but america?

    there’s a lot of people here (england) who aren’t that fussed about religion one way or the other…it’s slowly gaining more ground as a hot topic because of the current political situation – and cheers america for all your christian zealots making religion even less attractive – but unfortuneatly, this hasn’t stopped creationism creeping through the back door (i think, not sure tho, quite a few faith schools are teaching it as a viable ‘scientific’ alternative). it seems odd, though, because even the archbishop of canterbury disagrees;
    “Dr Williams said: “I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it’s not a theory alongside theories.”

    i hate the idea that the world’s foremost superpower appears to be run and educated on religious terms. i hate the way that as america’s bitch, england’s likely to go the same route. what’s the point of being wealthy, educated and powerful if we’re only going to use those attributes to smack ourselves into retardness with our holy scriptures?

    (sorry, i’m sure i’ll become more coherent the more i practise…)

  • Miko

    America needs to have a serious national remedial course in science. No wonder china’s kicking our asses all over the world.

    Er… China? I would agree if you had said, say, Japan, but in China 41% of the people don’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun and 83% don’t know about or don’t accept the Big Bang. (Although they still trounce the US on evolution, of course.)

  • Ash

    also, i love Joshua A. Ludtke’s point –

    What is not funny about creationism’s rich donors is that they have these vast funds of money that they want to use towards furthering God’s word. They then spend it on buying animatronic dinosaurs and placing them in a fake museum.

    Answers in Genesis could have spent the same amount of money funding cancer or AIDS research.

    perhaps someone could get a charity collection going on outside the door as an alternative to spending $20 on admission – for the price of family entry, oxfam “can pay a trainee teacher’s salary in Kenya. Over a year £50 a month means we could pay the salary of 12 more teachers helping people to learn the skills they need to work their own way out of poverty.”

    seems a bit more attractive than arguing that one book is right about the origins of earth, surely?

  • Richard Wade

    Miko, that’s an amazing survey about worldwide science literacy, or rather illiteracy. It brings to mind a question I’ve had about the recent surveys of Americans indicating that about one third believe “the Bible is the literal word of God,” or “the Bible should be taken literally.” The exact way a survey question is written can inadvertently skew the results. I tracked down the particular questions from a couple of these surveys, and the questions used the words “literal” or “literally.”

    There are many Americans who do not know the correct meaning to those words. I’ve met several: They think literal means true, or reliable, or faithful, or written down, or high brow, or any number of things other than word-for-word with no symbolism or metaphor intended. It could be that many of the people who answer yes to these questions do so because they are misinterpreting the terms. Call me a cockeyed optimist; I’m always looking for a hopeful sign that the American boobwazee isn’t quite as dumb as they seem.

  • Miko

    The exact way a survey question is written can inadvertently skew the results.

    Or intentionally skew the results. I’ve lost my source on it, but I once saw a survey whose sole purpose was to demonstrate this: by changing a question about government housing programs through five or six small steps and randomizing which version any given respondent would be asked, they were able to shift the results from about 2/3rds pro to about 2/3rds anti.

    I’d think that science questions would be less affected by this, since a person who doesn’t understand the question probably doesn’t know the answer anyway. Also, most people don’t have strong emotional investment with most of the questions asked (except for perhaps the evolution and Big Bang ones). If you’re interested in looking into it, there are more results than anyone could possibly want to see at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind06/c7/c7h.htm .

  • Richard Wade

    Miko, thanks for another useful link. I’ll be looking that over for quite a while.

    There’s a funny juxtaposition on the “Nation” page of my local newspaper today, with just two articles: On one side, “Dinosaurs Tell Biblical History,” describes the Creation Museum with a photo of Ken Ham scratching the neck of what looks like a Dinonychus. (Watch your fingers, Ken) Right next to that article is, “Roswell Considers UFO Theme Park,” with a shot of a couple of goofy looking Roswell gift shop owners. They plan many rides and attractions including an indoor roller coaster that will take passengers on a simulated alien abduction.

    Somehow it seems appropriate to print these two stories on the same page with nothing else.

  • HappyNat

    bloo said,

    The repeated statements about people of religous faith being uneducated or wrong is why atheists are seen as hateful, angry people. Do you have to stoop that low to have a debate? Why not be an adult about the situation and use articles of fact to prove your case instead of stooping to name calling. Grow up.

    I’m not sure where you see this as an attack on people of religious faith. Many religious people accept evolution and the fact that the earth is older than 10,000 years, “we” don’t have a problem with them. Rational people get angry when incorrect ideas and myths are spread under the name of science.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Rational people get angry when incorrect ideas and myths are spread under the name of science.

    It’s disheartening that not enough RELIGIOUS people have the same reaction when incorrect science is spread under the name of their religion.

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Part 2: My Day Inside the Creation Museum

  • bloo

    I’m not sure where you see this as an attack on people of religious faith. Many religious people accept evolution and the fact that the earth is older than 10,000 years, “we” don’t have a problem with them. Rational people get angry when incorrect ideas and myths are spread under the name of science.

    I’m not sure why you don’t see it. I never said anything about how old the Earth is. I’m not sure I believe the Earth is that young, but I haven’t researched any of their scientific claims and never claimed I did. You just assumed. What I want you all to realize is evolutionists have their museums and Christians have a right in America to present a different point of view. It’s called freedom of religion and freedom of speech. And, because evolution has not been proven as a definitive fact, then you have to understand that there are other points of view of how the earth and human beings began. All I am asking is for you to see further than the nose on your face. Atheists talk about people of faith being closed minded. Some won’t even give the science or research behind the museum’s thinking a chance at all because it supports the Christian Bible not because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution is 100% accurate. Atheists believe evolution is true just like Creationists believe differently.

    You say that you know religious people that believe evolution. Me too. I have no problem with them. I keep an open mind and make decisions for myself. If I was able, I would visit both museums . . the Museum of Natural History and the Creationism Museum and make an informed choice not put blinders on and believe something because that’s all I know.

    And if you read the other posts carefully you will see atheists calling people of religion uneducated. Realize that people of faith are also taught evolution in schools. We go to the same schools you do. Isn’t that being educated? Ok, well how about the scientists with PHD’s who complete years of college courses after high school and still don’t agree with evolutionary theories. I suppose they are uneducated too?

    You aren’t rational when you have to resort to name calling and then put blinders on about evolution or Creationism. It’s childish and it doesn’t belong in a debate. If you want to argue evolution then argue evolution and tell me what’s wrong with Creationism . . not what they have in the museum . . . theories that you have studied from Creationism. How about the other theories out there about how life began? Do you know that there are theories of how we came from fluids in the ocean or chemical reactions, bubbles, aerosols, but they aren’t sure. Why? Scientists can not agree because they are theorizing. Yes, Creationism is a theory, but so is evolution. What is wrong with having different view points on a subject? Must everyone be clones of one another?

    So, tell me why there is a protest on the religous theory and not the other theories? They claim to have scientific facts backing their claim, just like evolution has scientific facts backing their claim. Miko said it best

    “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”

    Miko is right. So, it boils down to which theory you believe, but the protest is against a religious point of view not the differences of opinion on evolution. So, I don’t know how you can’t see that as an attack on people of religious faith. Let’s be fair here.

    Respectfully,
    Bloo

  • monkeymind

    “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”

    Miko is right.

    ROTFL. Comments, as history, repeat themselves; the first time as irony, the second time as farce!

  • HappyNat

    bloo

    I’m not sure why you don’t see it. I never said anything about how old the Earth is. I’m not sure I believe the Earth is that young, but I haven’t researched any of their scientific claims and never claimed I did. You just assumed.

    I didn’t assume anything about you. What I talked about had nothing to do with your beliefs about creationisim vs. evolution. I was adressing the fact that the people protesting didn’t agree with young earth creationists and you said they were against ” people of religious faith”. I just wanted to clarify what the people were protesting, sorry if we had our wires crossed.

    So, it boils down to which theory you believe, but the protest is against a religious point of view not the differences of opinion on evolution. So, I don’t know how you can’t see that as an attack on people of religious faith. Let’s be fair here.

    The problem with creationism/Intelligent Design is that it is not science. I have read papers, many of which resort to poor arguments against Evolution (not supporting another theory) and the rest boil down to “God Did It”. No matter how many Ph Ds they have or how often they say it is science, it is simply not science.

    Of course people hold the right to have their own beliefs and they have the right to open this museum. Just as the protesters have the right to call the science in the museum junk. I don’t the protest being against religious faith but being against ignorance. Teaching children things that are demonstrably false is not good for the county.

  • monkeymind

    Bloo,

    Let’s try a hypothetical situation here. Christian Scientists don’t believe in the germ theory of disease. Under our Constitution, they have a perfect right to practice their religion. But can you see why we wouldn’t want to give “equal time” to the Christian Science view of disease in health class, and why people might have a problem with a museum that proved “scientifically” that viruses and bacteria don’t cause disease?

  • Mriana

    bloo, I didn’t say anything about anyone’s beliefs or eductation level either. I said it was another means for the Church to control people. It had nothing to do with individuals, but rather those running the joint.

  • Ash

    parents can seek to murder their own children by refusing life-saving treatment on religious grounds – http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/fundienazis/col_children.htm

    It’s called freedom of religion and freedom of speech

    the westboro baptist church is allowed to campaign outside funerals

    It’s called freedom of religion and freedom of speech

    powerful religious right-wingers seek to deny people their rights based on their sexuality – http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=2038

    It’s called freedom of religion and freedom of speech

    school boards attempt to block the teaching of evolution ALTOGETHER, instead to teach religious theory presented as scientific fact – http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/create/creationism5.asp

    It’s called freedom of religion and freedom of speech

    i believe in freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but you have to admit, some people just take the piss…

  • jason

    For all the creationists, what testable and falsifiable predictions are made by Creationism?

  • jason

    Young Earth Creationists are wrong.

    http://discovermagazine.com/1993/oct/thetremblinggian285/

    http://www.nps.gov/brca/naturescience/quakingaspen.htm (.gov domain!)

    “Aspen ‘clones,’ as the individual root systems are called, can live to be thousands of years old. The oldest known clone in existence is called “Pando” and is located in the Fish Lake National Forest in central Utah. It has been aged at 80,000 years! Although 5-10,000 year-old clones are much more common, even these youngsters are much older than Sequoias and even Bristlecone Pines. ”

    “Its current 80,000-years designation is based on a complex set of factors including the history of its local environment such as: The evidence indicating that there are few if any naturally occurring new aspens in most of the western United States since a climate shift took place 10,000 years ago and eliminated favorable soil conditions for seedlings; the rate of growth (including the differences of rates in distinct climates when accounting for its local-climate history, that males grow slower than females, and that aspens grow slower at higher elevations.”

    Here is the peer-reviewed paper about it:

    Genetic Variation and the Natural History of Quaking Aspen, Jeffry B. Mitton; Michael C. Grant, BioScience, Vol. 46, No. 1. (Jan., 1996), pp. 25-31.

    Feel free to look it up and criticize it.

    Oh! You managed to refute the peer-reviewed paper, which was examined by experts in the field who were specifically looking for faults before it was finally published? Congratulations! You disproved it!

    Oops, wait a second here:

    http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/ben149.html (hey! a .edu domain!)

    “Fortunately, fossil leaf fragments, identical to living L. tasmanica were found in a fossil deposit 8.5 km of the extant population. These permit a more precise age estimate. These fossils have a 14C age of 43,600 years. The oldest reported plant clone is the box-huckleberry which was aged at 13,000 years (Wherry 1972). The oldest living tree is believed to be a bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata) in Arizona which has been dated using dendrochronology at 4,700 years. Lomatia tasmanica appears to be the oldest living plant individual known to date.”

    Clonal plant populations. American Scientist 71, 244-253.

    43,600 years old. That’s a lot older than the Bible sez the universe is, eh?

    Whoa, wait?! You refuted that too?! The scientific verification of age for both of those organisms?! You’re sending these refutations to scientific journals, right?! They would love to read them!

    Oh wait, larrea tridentata

    http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0601.htm#oldest (another .edu domain!)

    “Over thousands of years the center wood dies and rots away, leaving a barren area surrounded by a circular ring of shrubs. One of the oldest shrub rings is 50 feet (15 m) in diameter. It has been estimated that it started from a seed nearly 12,000 years ago.”

    12,000 years ago. That’s a lot older than creationists think the entire universe is.

    If you are still a young-earth creationist after reading this, then you’re hopeless.

  • Oliver Riley

    The single most disturbing facet of this whole issue is how it will affect the children growing up in the center of all the confusion. Productions like “Jesus Camp” are a clear indication that a huge piece of an entire generation is being fed these ideas by their entire community, and these children will either devote their lives to this hollow cause or suffer greatly later in life as they deny and redefine their spiritual constitution. If America is to maintain her rapidly decaying ideals and secular mandate, we must not allow fundamentalist fanatics to consume a generation.

    another point: these people have intrinsically denied their faith by bringing evidence into the whole equation. faith relies on a lack of evidence, and just because I do not have faith does not mean I do not recognize the beauty of it. These people have created an abomination of a beautiful thing.

  • eye-of-horus

    In matters empirical science is the final judge of truth

    The late (much lamented) Stephen Jay Gould (d. 2002) was a gifted evolutionary biologist. Certainly the most lucid writer on evolution since T. H. Huxley. Gould never dummied down. He never condescended. He strived to educate any thoughtful person — any one who could read an ordinary newspaper. “This View of Life” appeared every month unfailingly for 20 years (1981-2000) in “Natural History” magazine. Revised essays were collected in books.

    Two of his essays are particularly relevant:

    1. “Evolution as fact and theory.” Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Norton. 1983. p. 253 (10 pp.)
    2. “Justice Scalia’s misunderstanding.” Bully for Brontosaurus.” Norton. 1992 p. 448 (15 pp.)

    Both are short. Their theses simple.

    1. Evolutionary biology is the sole arbiter of empirical claims about evolution.

    2. When (fundamentalist) biblical literalists make empirical claims about evolution, their views are subject to the verdict of biological sciences, not vice versa.

    3. The natural and biological sciences belong to the domain of empirical knowledge. This domain is neither an ideology nor a religion. Science has nothing to say about religious tenets (say, the various xian creeds) as matters of faith.

    eye-of-horus
    copyright asserted 2007

  • bloo

    Now we are having an intelligent debate!! Thank you!
    Monkeymind . . . I don’t have a whole lot of information on germs causing disease. So, I don’t have any kind of foothold on this subject. You have the advantage here.

    I still don’t think it’s right to have a single point of view out there. When we are not open minded, then we close ourselves to new ideas. I am glad you can agree with peoples right in this country to present a different way of thinking.

    Again, all I am asking is why protest the Creation Theory and not the varying theories on evolution and how the world became about? Why is it that the one museum based on Biblical theory is being protested? I respectfully have to say it is a bias against religion and the Christian Bible. I don’t think people are being completely honest with themselves when they say it has nothing to do with religion. I keep seeing people say it’s because the “facts” are wrong. How do you know for sure? I don’t even know for sure. All I know is what I believe. I could turn around and say all of you are wrong, but because I don’t have definitive truth, I can’t say that. I am asking for fairness. That’s it. I don’t expect anyone to believe any which way. Yes, there are facts that support evolution, yes there are archeological finds that support intelligent design, but which scientific find is correct and why? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the theory you believe has not been compromised by a shady scientific test? I don’t know that either theory hasn’t been compromised.

    Look, I just want to point out that no one has convinced me as to why there can’t be a second point of view. All I am getting is, it’s wrong, or the church is trying to control. I have no problem with science. I love science and figuring out how things work, but if I were to close my mind on several possibilities then I have a biased opinion or theory about what makes something or what makes something tick. I know without science, we don’t know anything about the Earth or our solar system or our weather system, but when it comes to how man was made I have to trust in what I believe to be true because no one person on this Earth is 100% sure that their theory is 100% correct.

    Phew!!! all of you guys are good at keeping your posts so short! Just call me Windy Bloo. ;)

  • Brett

    bloo,
    You say “there are archeological finds that support intelligent design.” Where? Please tell us clearly what evidence supports intelligent design.

    Science (as an approach to knowing) is not about being “fair” to different ideas in the sense that you use the word. Ideas and theories should only be respected if they are supported by evidence. A theory (or “second point of view,” as you put it) that is not supported by evidence does not deserve respect, and certainly does not deserve equal time with theories heavily supported by evidence, such as evolution (defined as descent with modification from a universal common ancestor).

  • jason

    What testable and falsifiable predictions are made by Intelligent Design theory?

  • bloo

    HappyNat,
    Thank you for your clarification. I sometimes have to stop a rewind, but you have to admit . . . I am outnumbered here. So, give me a little bit of credit on trying to hold my own.

    The problem with creationism/Intelligent Design is that it is not science. I have read papers, many of which resort to poor arguments against Evolution (not supporting another theory) and the rest boil down to “God Did It”. No matter how many Ph Ds they have or how often they say it is science, it is simply not science.

    Ok, but I could also say the same thing about evolution (poor arguments). What I am not getting anyone to acknowledge is that there are several different theories out there on how man and the world were made. I have read about both theories, and I will agree that some of the things that Intelligent Design presents have to be taken on faith. It isn’t definitive because not all people believe in God. However, there are historical facts that support what the Christian Bible says. There are also scientific facts that the Bible presents years before scientists discovered facts to support their theories. Remember studying about how people thought the Earth was flat? There is a verse in the Bible that talks about the Earth being round and that it was supported on nothingness. I believe it was Greek mythology that holds that the earth was held on top of a god’s shoulders. I’m not going to go into scripture a whole lot because I am sure most you don’t want to hear it. That’s no skin off my back. You have a right to hear or see what ever you want.

    Of course people hold the right to have their own beliefs and they have the right to open this museum. Just as the protesters have the right to call the science in the museum junk. I don’t the protest being against religious faith but being against ignorance. Teaching children things that are demonstrably false is not good for the county.

    Of course they have the right to protest!! This is America isn’t it? I also feel that teaching children things that are demonstratably false is not good for our “children”. However, I don’t want my children being taught that evolution is definitive and 100% true, because it hasn’t been proven to be. So, I could protest evolution being taught in school. However, I don’t see Intelligent Design being taught in a public school because of separation of church and state. What I do expect is parents to allow their children to learn about all of the theories out there and make a decision for themselves. We as parents don’t want others forcing stuff towards us telling us what to believe in this situation so why does it seem logical to force a child to believe one way or the other? You teach them all theories, tell them what you think and leave it up to them to make the decision. We shouldn’t expect others to raise our children right because what is right to you might not be right to someone else.

    I am still asking what is wrong with having a different view on how the Earth and Man was made? One more question, and I don’t want to make anyone mad . . I am just curious . . . if evolution is 100% true . . who or what made evolution begin? If it was a big bang, who or what made it occur? These are questions I cannot get past because I have never seen a definitive answer. This is where I go on faith because no one really knows.

  • bloo

    Ash,

    It’s interesting that you would pick the extremists in the Christian religion. The media exploit these people everyday. There is nothing in the Christian Bible that tells people to let medical conditions go because God will heal you. There is however scripture that tells God’s children that He helps those who help themselves. Meaning . . you have to trust that God will work through others to heal, feed you, and meet your needs. If God intended us to sit idol and wait for healing then He would not have sent Jesus to heal the sick like He did. I have always thought these extremists were a little crazy. It reminds me of Waco and the Manson family. Weird, weird, weird, and talk about brainwashing.

    I too thought it is immoral and wrong for the Baptist church to protest the funeral. I actually thought it was sick and was outraged that these people would do this and give true Christians a bad name. It happens everywhere. Just like there are peaceful Muslims there are also peaceful Christains. The Christians you see in these situations take God’s word and twist it into ugliness.

    Not all Christains are of the opinion that homosexuals should be denied rights. I believe that they should be allowed insurance and medical care just as the rest of us do. The only problem I have is them wanting to be accepted by a church that Biblically condemns homosexuality. If they would like to have a civil union, great! But don’t shove it down my throat and don’t expect me to accept it. I wouldn’t be mean or hateful to any of them because that is not how I was raised and it is certainly not what Jesus teaches. However, the Bible does condemn homosexuality and Christians are told to bring these people back with love, not hate, not forcefully, and certainly not against their will. I have an idea of what atheists are thinking, and you can certainly tell me if I am wrong. I know what it is like to have religion shoved down my throat and to feel like I was being picked on because of someone’s beliefs. I walked away from religion for awhile, but I sought the truth for myself and I came back. I have honestly never walked a closer walk with God than I do now. You can roll your eyes or whatever, but it is the truth as I see it. I apologize for all those people out there that have mistreated you or any atheist and hope that you won’t think all of us are monsters.

    The school boards . . . ok, I can probably make a pretty good guess as to why evolution is being protested. It has something to do with children having their right to pray in school taken away and their right to talk about their faith. Believe me, I have articles from California and from other southern cities that have suspended or done some other thing to religious students that pissed the religious community off. And rightly so . . . if you felt your freedoms were being trampled on, you would be pissed off too. I don’t know that I believe that Creationism should be taught as fact as much as theory and if they are going to let Intelligent Design in, then they have to let all religion in. Which would be fine as long as they present all of it as theory, including evolution. Save that, I have no problem with evolution being taught in school as long as it is taught as theory and not fact. If I want, I can teach my children about Intelligent Design and welcome questions about evolution and Intelligent Design too. Then we could research these together and make an informed choice.

    I completely understand your frustration with some of the kookiness that runs rampant in religion. I don’t quite understand myself why people who believe in God can think that God wants “infidels” slaughtered just because they don’t believe. That’s crazy! But those are extremists for you and they are in every group. Look at the KKK. OMG!! I can’t imagine trying to kill or scare a person because of their color. How horrible!! But they “believed” they were superior. Look at the guy from Waco. Wasn’t he supposedly having talks with God? And God supposedly “told” him to do certain things? Wow! what a nut! Just like there are deviants in religion, there are deviants in cultures. No matter who you look at, there are people from each race and religion that let things get way out of hand. The examples you gave were excellent examples of these “out-there” people. Just remember not all Christians are like this. It is a generalization that the media makes. And to be perfectly honest with you (speaking politically) both Democrats and Republicans are lied to on an equal basis. If you talk to Democrats it’s the conservatives who are taking over the country. If you talk to Republicans, it’s the liberals who are taking over the country. I think it’s half and half and that is why our country is split. I worked with some liberal Democrats and they are the most wonderful people, but I hated their politics and they hated mine. However, we were able to set those differences aside and be kind and generous to each other. If you ask me, that’s what needs to happen here. Each side needs to give a little.

    Sorry for the book! ;)

  • Jason Rock

    Your comments about the definition of theory are appalling. Science is never proven. Science is never fact.

    In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, a testable model of a manner of interaction of a set of natural Phenomenon. A theory is an idea that has yet to be disprove. Theories are tried and tested before they receive recognition as a theory.

    As a teacher you should be ashamed of yourself for using an English definition for a scientific word.

    Creation does not fit into science because it is not testable, and also not disprovable. Science should set out to disprove theory not to prove theory, because proof is not possible in science.

  • Miko

    Remember studying about how people thought the Earth was flat? There is a verse in the Bible that talks about the Earth being round and that it was supported on nothingness.

    That’s a modern reinterpretation. There are more and clearer passages stating that the Earth is flat and does not move. Luther and Calvin both were very acrid on the theories of Copernicus and cited the Bible to ‘prove’ he was wrong. Unless you want to accuse them of not knowing the Bible, it would seem that that verse stands out for you solely because it’s already been confirmed. It’s just like all the supposed prophecies of Jesus in the OT: take a random collection of verses and after the fact label the ones that seem to match up as prophetic while ignoring the rest.

    However, I don’t want my children being taught that evolution is definitive and 100% true, because it hasn’t been proven to be.

    What makes you think that?

  • Miko

    One more question, and I don’t want to make anyone mad . . I am just curious . . . if evolution is 100% true . . who or what made evolution begin? If it was a big bang, who or what made it occur?

    1. Evolution was not caused to begin by anyone or anything. It’s a natural principle. This is distinct from a natural law in that it’s not “written into the fabric of the universe,” but is rather basically a mathematical necessity. Evolution was proceeded by abiogenesis (which is often mistakenly assumed to be part of the theory of evolution, although it is not), or the creation of life from non-life. Through analysis of samples of rock and other material from space, we know that the chemical reactions in starts produce the molecules necessary for building life. These materials were littered over the Earth from impacts with asteroids (the Earth’s atmosphere was much thinner at this point in its history and there was more debris around, so collisions were much more common). The Earth was also much hotter, with liquid rock still near the surface in addition to rare events like lightening strikes. Under intense energy, the molecules recombine in unpredictable ways. Over the course of millions of years, at least once these molecules happened by chance to bond in a form similar to a primitive DNA molecule, most probably much closer to the modern RNA molecule which was capable of reproducing copies of itself. At this point, evolution kicks in. The proto-RNA is fairly bad at copying itself–even today after eons of evolution improving this process, we still get occassional copying errors–leading to a vasty variety of similar but slightly different molecules. Those that were especially bad at copying themselves naturally died out because fewer copies were being made, while those that were good at copying themselves made countless copies of themselves. And the rest, as they say, is evolutionary history.

    2. This one is unrelated to evolution, by the way. It’s also more speculative, since looking at what happened before the Big Bang is rather difficult since the nature of light prevents us from looking beyond. The best answer I’ve heard is that the Big Bang occured as a result of matter being converted from energy to mass by cosmic background radiation becoming cool relative to Hawking radiation. Explaining what that really means requires graduate level mathematics, so I won’t even try. In any case, this theory hasn’t been verified experimentally—it just fits mathematically. But really: it has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. The Big Bang happened about ten billion years before abiogenesis, so the two have nothing to do with each other.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang
  • Brett

    bloo asked:
    One more question, and I don’t want to make anyone mad . . I am just curious . . . if evolution is 100% true . . who or what made evolution begin? If it was a big bang, who or what made it occur?

    No offense, but it’s really hard to answer this question unless you are a little clearer on what you’re asking. The Big Bang is a theory of cosmology (how the universe came to be), and is not related to biological evolution. Do you mean how did the first biological life form come to be? (We call that abiogenesis.) If you’re asking about how evolution got jump-started after there was the first self-replicating organism, that question would reveal one’s lack of knowledge about what natural selection actually is (an unguided process that naturally selects the most fit organism/genes).

  • Karen

    There is however scripture that tells God’s children that He helps those who help themselves

    bloo, you need to get your facts straight. I can’t even count how many errors your posts contain. The above comment just represents the tip of the iceberg.

    There’s no such ‘scripture’ in the bible as “god helps those that help themselves.’ That’s an ancient proverb referenced in Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac” in 1736.

    That proverb “suggests a spiritual self-reliance inconsistent with Christianity,” according to George Barna.

  • Ash

    hey bloo,
    of course i picked on the extremists, i was trying to illustrate a point. i have no problem with people believing in what they like – until they detrimentally affect others. there are many people of many faiths that use their belief systems to do good in the world and help others – as do many with no faith.
    i have an issue with people trying to use those beliefs in order to hate-monger and repress others.

    Not all Christains are of the opinion that homosexuals should be denied rights. I believe that they should be allowed insurance and medical care just as the rest of us do. The only problem I have is them wanting to be accepted by a church that Biblically condemns homosexuality.

    it may not have occured to you that biblically, slavery and polygamous marriage (for example, there are more) are approved of (but as Mike C. says, depends how you read it)

    However, the Bible does condemn homosexuality and Christians are told to bring these people back with love, not hate, not forcefully, and certainly not against their will.

    bring them back from where? to where? didn’t really understand this.

    don’t expect me to accept it

    you don’t have to. but to view a whole section of humans as ‘inferior’ and therefore unable to join your club seems….well, decidedly un-christian, doesn’t it?

    I wouldn’t be mean or hateful to any of them because that is not how I was raised and it is certainly not what Jesus teaches

    oh damn, i’ll probably be corrected on this one myself, but i thought that christianity looked to jesus as an example, and he never turned anyone away?

    as for the evolution stuff, there are far more well-informed people than me on here talking about this stuff. like you, i’m sure, i’m enjoying being educated. so cheers all…

  • Jocelyn

    Just want to point out to “bloo” and whoever else is unaware that a scientific theory differs greatly from a “guess or conjecture”. Gravity is a scientific theory. Do you believe in gravity? A scientific theory by definition is one that has been tested and the evidence lies in its favor. The only reason that gravity and evolution are called “theories” is because we can’t “prove” them beyond a shadow of a doubt. But we can still do tests and experiments, and when someone tests gravity or evolution the evidence shows that these theories are still true. When someone shows evidence that does not support a scientific theory, the theory must be modified or thrown out altogether and a new idea will be experimented upon. This is where science and creation differ entirely: in a creation theory any evidence to the contrary of its truth will (most often) be completely ignored and/or ridiculed. That is why this museum is such a travesty: it ignores all evidence supporting evolutionary theory and uses its own ideas that have not been proven to teach impressionable youth unfounded ideas only backed up by a 2,000 year old book. My question is, how can creationists ask evolutionists what their life-origin ideas are when they are going on a book that was written so long ago? Can they show us any evidence that any of those parables actually took place? No. All they have is faith. At least we of the scientific community admit we don’t yet have all the answers. And no, it doesn’t take any faith to say that.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Dear Jen,
    #1…One thing that you can always count on in a debate with an atheist: the personal attacks. Why refer to me as a “Weird Random Creationist”?
    What exactly is an “arc”? Don’t you mean “Ark”? I raised the issue because the originial post seemed to imply that all creationists were in agreement on all issues. I was merely using the Ark as a reference point; for example, while all creationists agree there was an Ark, not all would agree on its size, shape and capacity.

    #2…not sure what the word “noes” means, can’t help you there.

    #3…Asian Indian vs. American Indian…doesn’t matter to me either way. My point was that how does that make you any different than me? What does it have to do with the evolution/creation debate?

    #4…”White people in a garden…”. Are you making the argument that Adam and Eve were white? Where do you get this notion from? What would it matter? I think you are merely projecting your own feelings onto others…

    -Clarence

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    To “Mokeymind”:
    …another personal attack, or you don’t understand the point I was making.
    #!. Why the “drive by” remark?

    #2…”what’s that supposed to mean…group affiliation…”
    it means exactly what is says…what is the point of your ancestry to the debate…I don’t have a group affilaition…I am a human being.

    #3…How exactly is creationism Eurocentric?

    -Clarence

  • Brett

    Clarence,
    It seems to me that Hemant was originally pointing out that the displays the Creation Museum featured white people. As an Indian American, you’d think it would stand out to him (as it should stand out to us all) as rather silly, given that most of the people in the world aren’t white…
    I don’t think there was any implication that creationism in generally is eurocentric, but some of the recreations of it are certainly so, and Hemant may have been trying to raise our awareness of this fact. If that’s the case, it’s unfortunate that he was misunderstood. Does it make sense now?

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Brett,
    …thanks for the constructive comments. You wrote:
    “…Hemant was originally pointing out that the displays the Creation Museum featured were white people…”
    What color would you suggest? And why?

    You wrote: “As an American Indian, you’d think it would stand out to him (as it should to all of us) as rather silly, given that most of the people in the world aren’t white…”

    Several points. I don’t think the Bible makes refernece to a prticular color; so, as a conservative amatuer historian, I’d have to say on the color question, “I simply don’t know”. Secondly. as a Christian, I’d have to say that it wouldn’t matter. Thirdly, the questions fairly screams out, that unless one is a racist, or attaches some undo inportance to skin color, why would we care? It’s very similar to a discussion I heard once about the color/ethnicity of Jesus. As I am sure you are aware, there are many Afrocentric thinkers who will tell you very quickly “Jesus was black”.
    You wrote: “Does it make sense now”:
    Well, it only makes sense if the person making the comments attaches some importance to his skin color/ethnicity. Tell me, if the people represented in the creation museum were depicted as black or Asian, and a white commentator had made a remark questioning its authemticity, would it have raised your concerns about the beliefs of the person making the remarks?
    Also, if you read Ken Ham’s website, he’s very hardcore that humans comprise one race/family…he further remarks that it is darwinism that divides us into races. I don’t think we should let the original poster off of the hook because he may have *latent* racist feelings.
    Again, I appreciate your constructive comments.
    -Clarence

  • Brett

    So Hemant exhibits “latent racism” because he pointed out that the (I’m guessing white) creators of the Creation Museum chose to use white models throughout. This is interesting. However, I don’t think pointing out the color preferences of a society, or some subset of it, (what I would call being aware of issues of race and how they pervade society) is the same as being “latently racist.” That would only come if someone thought “I think darker skinned people are inherently better in some way.”

    I think a ‘neutral’ color somewhere nearer the middle of the range of human variation would make more sense for their models, if they’re trying to accurately represent all of humanity. Picking a complete cast of very tall models would likewise be odd, especially if the museum was made largely by donations from tall people in a society that had a history of oppressing the short. And in that context, you would expect short people to be more “vertically aware,” occasionally critique the establishment, and gain the ridicule of tall people who say things like “haven’t we all moved past that?” and “why can’t we just treat everyone the same?” while they continue making all the mannequins in their department stores excessively tall. As a tall person, I can appreciate a short person’s pointing out the inordinate number of tall mannequins without assuming they think short mannequins are superior.

    Are you honestly so completely colorblind that you wouldn’t notice if everyone on TV, around the world, was white, all the time? That would be rather odd, as it wouldn’t be representative of global, or even most local societies. Well, if you’re trying to represent the origin of the entire human race, you think you’d pick something a little closer to the mean skin tone.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Brett,

    You make good points. If I were the curator of the Creationist museum, I think I would have made the models a mixture of the known races. I would do this because, well, I always use extreme caution on subjects we simply don’t have the full information about. When I was a high school history teacher, when we were discussing a controversial subject, say the causes of the American Civil War, I would always make sure I told my students there was a line between fact and opinion. Historians, of course, will disagree. I remember my favorite historu professor saying that “…no one has all the answers…and when some professor says otherwise, we should all get up and move quietly toward the exits…”.
    However, in the original post, I believe the poster stated that “…as an Indin American I am “shocked” that “my people” didn’t exist 6000 years ago…”.
    What if, for example, Pat Buchannan or Rush Limbaugh had mentioned on the radio that “…hey, I had a great time at the opening of the Creationist Museum…however, I was “shocked” that the people depicted in the exhibits were BLACK…and that my people/white people didn’t exist 6000 years ago.” Are you asking me to believe these remarks would not have raised the eyebrows of many? I am not that silly.
    You wrote: “So Hemant exhibits “latent racism” because he pointed out that the creators of the creation museum chose to use white models throughout…” Of course, I can’t speak for the original poster, only he could say for sure why, with thousands of other things in the museum to discuss, color makes his top ten. Speaking again for myself, I am only interested in the broader themes of the museum, and since I don’t refer to myself as Irish-American, call the Irish “my people”, or become “shocked”, you can see that it’s far down on my list. Of course, if the original poster is really interested in true science, several questions might enter the mind of an unbiased observer; for one, what was the racial composition of the world 6000 years ago? I don’t have a clue. If the garden of Eden was located somewhere in the vicinity of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, what were the ethnic groups that existed there? Not sure. But I wouldn’t resort to a seige mentality that somehow leaving out Indians from the museum was a racial slight. Look at it like this, when I was first introduced to the saving grace of Jesus Christ in the US Navy, my first question was not; “What color is he?” Likewise, I find it odd that rather than ask “Did dnos and humans really live together?, one asks instead “How come everyone here is white?” MIsses the whole point dont you think?
    Again, people bring up color for different reasons. One of those reasons could be the “latent” variety I describe.
    -Carence

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    Clarence– To response to your comments, I said the line about color for a couple reasons:

    – It really was surprising that there were no Indians, Latinos, Blacks, etc. in the museum. Of course, when someone says the world is 6,000 years old, I guess all truth flies out the window, but we do have evidence of many different cultures existing around the time Ken Ham says the universe was created, so it’s shocking that none of them are referred to. And as an Indian, color (and perception of it) does play a role in my life. So I do tend to notice it more often. I’ve made references to it in other blog posts, too.

    – It was supposed to be a joke. You’re making too big a deal out of it.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    To Friendly Atheist,

    You wrote: “It was supposed to be a joke. You’re making too big a deal out of it”

    Then I am sorry. I honestly didn’t think you meant it as a joke. I will try to read more of what you write to get a better understanding of your writing style.

    -Sincerely,
    -Clarence

  • Pingback: Atheists Help Make First Week Of Creation Museum A Resounding Success « Gimme Back My God!

  • Brett

    However, in the original post, I believe the poster stated that “…as an Indin American I am “shocked” that “my people” didn’t exist 6000 years ago…”.

    It’s unfortunate that sarcasm and irony are hard to read online…

    Clarence,
    As a Christian who seems to be interested enough in these matters to engage in extended debate, you seem like a prime candidate for doing some serious reading in evolutionary biology (if you haven’t already). There is certainly a line (though it’s sometimes fuzzy) between fact and opinion. Based on the available evidence, the Creation Museum makes claims abouta field of study that one can no longer label opinion, or a matter of faith, but must instead be judged by its scientific merits. And the data is quite clear in showing that the “Museum” falls on the wrong side of truth. I’m reading a great book right now (called The Ancestors’ Tale) that is just one of many that would allow you to infuse your thought on human origins (with or without Christian belief) with the wealth of actual evidence that is available to you, but will be hidden from you by the likes of those who made the Creation Museum. I cordially invite you to read with me, and can offer other suggestions if you’re interested.

  • Mriana

    Wait a minute! I missed something. They made the people all white? I don’t think people started out all white. I don’t believe we were around during the time of the dinos, but IF that were the case, we wouldn’t be white, or necessarily all white. Have these people read anything about our origins? To my understanding, we all started out as Black and came from Africa. As we made the migration out of Africa our skin tones adapted to the climate, as well as our noses, hair, eyes, and alike. The lighter skin tones allows for more vitamin D from the sun. Noses changed to the climate too.

    WHere do these people get off?

    Yeah, yeah. I know. What explains the African-Americans? Well, I think it takes longer than 200-400 years to adapt. That’s what I was told at least when I asked, but our origins did originate in Africa.

  • Miko

    Wait a minute! I missed something. They made the people all white? I don’t think people started out all white. I don’t believe we were around during the time of the dinos, but IF that were the case, we wouldn’t be white, or necessarily all white.

    So they’re not teaching the Hamitic doctrine anymore? I guess creationism is evolving after all.

    Have these people read anything about our origins?

    Ooh! Ooh! I know the answer to that one! (Pause for dramatic effect) No.

  • Richard Wade

    Wait a minute! I missed something. They made the people all white?

    Well, duh. The Pantheon of Disinformation is located in Kentucky, guys. Can you imagine if Adam, Eve and company were portrayed as black? The public would riot and burn the place down.

    I noticed there’s a planetarium included. Does anybody know if the presentation mentions objects more than 6,000 light-years away? Which, if any of the various illogical arguments to they use to address that?

  • Mriana

    Richard Wade said,

    June 1, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Wait a minute! I missed something. They made the people all white?

    Well, duh. The Pantheon of Disinformation is located in Kentucky, guys. Can you imagine if Adam, Eve and company were portrayed as black? The public would riot and burn the place down.

    Well, riot against me. I say they should be Black. Than again, I am partly sticking up for my sons too, who are 1/2 Black. However, I do object strongly to them being ALL white. My grandfather may have believed the mark of Cain was to have been turned Black, but I don’t believe it in the least. For all we know the mark of Cain could have been turned White and IF we didn’t leave Africa, we would have been burnt to a crisp.

    Seriously though, what I do believe is that we all came out of Africa and our bodies adapted to the climate conditions around us. It makes more sense than a stupid mark of Cain. We all get lighter the further we get from the equator. I happen to take offense to making everyone White, it goes against not only science, but logic too. They must think we are ALL really THAT stupid. :roll: IF that were true, my sons would not be here right now.

    Black, brown, tan, pink/peach (or White if you prefer) are all beautiful IMHO and nothing is wrong about it. IF I have anything to say about it and this stupid thing is still around, I will put my foot down strongly IF my sons ever thought about taking my grandchildren to that place. They don’t need a complex and I have avoided such things with my sons. I can only hope they have the sense to do the same with their children. *Mriana mubles under her breath- Freakin’ stupid &*%$@^&*

  • Richard Wade

    *Mriana mubles under her breath- Freakin’ stupid &*%$@^&*

    Right there with you Mriana. On that note, Creationism does explain one thing we see around us today. What with Cain having no mate available but his mommy, and their kids having no mates available but each other, Cain, Adam and Eve, all that inbreeding would explain the large number of idiots in the world.

  • Mriana

    Yes, that would explain the screwed up brain genes. :roll: Absolutely and totally without reason genes. Actually, that is just sick. Cain mating with his mother? That’s disgusting! Excuse me while I go worship the porceline goddess.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    To the last several posters,
    …is it possible to get through a post with someone whom you disagree without name calling? For people who claim to be on the side of science, you guys don’t sound very scientific.
    …if the color of the original humans means that much to you, then I think there is a way to apply science to the problem. To begin with, what was the racial composition of the world at the time of the emergence of the first modern humans? Does anyone know? I certainly don’t. Oddly, this is the only blog where I ever seen this discussed, with so much venom, by those claiming to be on the side of real science, and by extension, superior to the creationists who are constantly called idiots and worse.
    …it stands to reason that the first full fledged humans were, well, some color or another. The theory you refer to about our ancestors originating in Africa I believe is often referred to in the popular press as the “out of Africa” theory. If true, and the climate, positions of the continents were the same, everything else being equal, I would say that is a pretty good argument that our immediate ancestors were black. However, not all anthropologists accept the “out of Africa theory”.
    …I am the father of twins, and I will teach them that we are all human, all of one family, and that their color, or the color of their ancestors matters not at all..
    Is this the wrong way to raise my children?
    -Clarence

  • Mriana

    Colour doesn’t matter, but to make everyone white is a BIG mistake, IMHO, and shows racial favouritism.

    …if the color of the original humans means that much to you, then I think there is a way to apply science to the problem. To begin with, what was the racial composition of the world at the time of the emergence of the first modern humans? Does anyone know? I certainly don’t.

    Page 404 of the N.Y. Public Library Science desk reference Section title Physical anthropology Subsection early hominoids: It was once thought that humans were direct descendants of Ramaphithecus (Rama’s ape)(found in India). This early hominoid roamed areas of Africa about 8 to 14 billion years ago. But in early 1980s, molecular biological studies found that the fossils of Ramaphithecus were actually ancestors of the orangutan and not on the direct line to Homo sapiens.

    Some scientists believe that human early ancestry can be traced through the following lineage:

    Catopithecus browni, a higher primate related to monkeys, apes, and humans, lived about 40 million years ago around Egypt.

    Aegyptopithecus, perhaps the first hominoid, lived 30 million years ago around Egypt.

    Proconsul (three species), generally accepted to be part of the ancestry of all hominoids, lived 20 million years ago in East Africa.

    Because of a gap in the human fossil records, humankind’s lineage is relatively difficult to chart from about 10 million years ago.

    From A Brief History of Science Page 202 – 214 (1998). Similar info, but adds we came out of Ethiopia.

    Gorillas, Humans, and Chimps have a common ancestor of the African Ape living 5 million years ago. It also mentions Ramapithecus that is 20 million years old and found in India.

    Mind you, we are 98% genetically similar to Chimps, which are found in Africa.

    The oldest possibly hominid fossil from Aramis, Middle Awash, Ethiopia, is dated to about 4.4 million years ago. In the 1960s homidid fossils were accumulating in South Africa through the efforts of Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, and John Robinson. Others found fossils in East Africa. In Tanzania, 1959, the Leakeys found at Olduvai the remains- inclucuding a skull- of Zinjanthropus boisei, 1.75 million years old. There have been many more fossil discoveries of hominids in Kenya, Chad, and Malawi too, including Australopithecus- dated 2-4 million years ago.

    Not enough science to prove we were once Black? Go to Science Daily, Scienctific American, and National Geographic websites and do some scientific research on the subject, with an open-mind. It’s enough proof for me that my ape-like ancestors were from Africa and were Black, not White like me.

  • Miko

    I noticed there’s a planetarium included. Does anybody know if the presentation mentions objects more than 6,000 light-years away? Which, if any of the various illogical arguments to they use to address that?

    Supposedly passing near planets makes the light travel much much faster.

  • Richard Wade

    I am the father of twins, and I will teach them that we are all human, all of one family, and that their color, or the color of their ancestors matters not at all.. Is this the wrong way to raise my children?

    Clarence, that is a wonderful way to raise your children, and I commend you for it. That is how I have raised my daughter. Thanks to your attitude each generation has less of the racist burden than the last. Unfortunately there’s still plenty of it around, enough to make it a constant source of conflict and strife. So people are frequently aware of it and touchy about it. Whether it’s about equality in the work force or the misrepresentation of caucasians in the garden of eden, the issue pushes people’s buttons because individuals and our society in general are still being seriously hurt by it.

    The tone on this thread has taken an unfriendly turn and for whatever my part has been in that, I apologize. My use of the word “idiot” is not aimed at any particular group or religion. I get frustrated by people who have innate intelligence but work very hard at protecting their ignorance, and work very hard at spreading their ignorance to others.

    One tactic that these people use is to give equal weight to the opinions of extremely small minorities in scientific discourse. I’m not implying that you are one of those ignorance-protecting people, but you just inadvertently did that when you said that not all anthropologists agree with the “out of Africa theory.” Yes, a very small percentage disagree, and they may or may not have any convincing evidence to counter the larger of body of evidence in favor of the theory. I’m not saying that the majority is always right, I’m saying that there are usually really good reasons for a majority opinion in science. When a maverick theory is quoted as a foil for the majority of opinion, intellectual honesty requires that it should be acknowledged as small a minority as it really is. Unfortunately the general popular media and people who deal in perverting science for their own ends are fond of making it seem as if a given scientific controversy is huge and that scientists are hopelessly split. That tactic is inaccurate, manipulative and dishonest. It has been used to resist scientists’ calls for social and environmental reform, to stonewall demands for changes that would cut into the powerbase and profits of the political and economic status quo, and it is now seriously imperiling our very lives as we careen heedlessly toward social, political and environmental disaster.

    I hope you can see your way past the hostile tone of some people and continue to engage with the thoughtful and open-hearted commenters here and in the larger world. We need everyone who is capable of that kind of spirit to be talking to each other.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Mriana,

    Good post. I will try to answer.
    #1 If you were aware of this info, why didn’t you post it earlier as opposed to the personal attacks?

    #2 You wrote: “…not enough science for you to prove we were once black?”. If you read my post, I said that if the Out of Africa theory is true, then it’s a pretty good argument that our ancestors were black. So, I really don’t understand your comment about “enough science”.

    #3 You wrote; “Some scientists believe that our early human ancestry can be traced through the following lineage…”. Yes, I know that. You use the word “some”. Could you be a bit more precise on your numbers? I believe that I stated that not all scientists accepted that lineage. Do you disagree?

    #4 In describing the theory that you accept you use words like; “some scientists believe…”, “…perhaps the first hominid…”, “…generally accepted…”, realatively difficult to chart…”, oldest possibly hominid fossil…”,
    Given all those *admitted* problems, I think a rational person would conclude that is not an airtight story. If this lineage is overturned by further evidence, would you accept it?

    #5 You wrote: “do some scientific research…”. I am not aware that you’ve ever done any “scientific research”; It’s easy to just type verbatim what you find in a National Geographic magazine.

    #6. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your particular area of research? What is your degree in? I have a BS degree in History with a minor in Secondary Education, attended West Hills Jr. college (CA.), Chapman College (CA.), and Charleston Southern University. I am not a scientist, my main “research” area is history.
    -Clarence

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Richard Wade,

    …thanks for the kind words. Upon further reflection, I agree that these are “hot-button” issues and that a certain amount of friction is normal. I guess, from my perspective, so much is at stake in this debate.
    …I am just as capable of getting upset as the next guy. I apologize to anyone who is/was offended by anything I said.

    -Clarence

  • Richard Wade

    Supposedly passing near planets makes the light travel much much faster.

    Miko, is that really the one used in the Creation Museum planetarium, or are you just quoting one more of the silly arguments you’ve heard somewhere?

    Because that one tries to use actual knowledge about gravitational influence on light, yet ignores the correct effects that can be observed and demonstrated. Massive objects warp the space-time nearby and so can change the direction of light, but they don’t change the energy level and certainly don’t change the speed.

    It sounds like they are trying to confuse people with the “gravity boost” method of accelerating space probes by flying them past planets for an addition to their velocity.

    This is Frankenstein’s Monster “science.” Bits and pieces of disembodied factoids stitched together into a perverse abomination that staggers around moaning and growling, that I think in the end will destroy it’s creators.

  • Richard Wade

    Clarence, no hard feelings. You said,

    I guess, from my perspective, so much is at stake in this debate.

    I have expressed above some of what I see as what’s at stake here: The perversion and co-opting of science to fit narrow religious world views for the empowerment of a few ambitious leaders. Our civilization now completely depends on a continuous supply of good, reliable science. Anything that threatens the integrity of science threatens our very existence.

    What from your perspective is at stake in this debate?

    And given your latest response to Mriana, could you comment on my point stated earlier about the tactic of giving equal weight to small minority opinions in science?

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Richard Wade,

    “…Extremely small minorities in scientific discourse…”

    Interesting point, and perhaps you can speak to this issue better than me. I have a book (not with me) called Rain of Fire and Ice. In this book, the author tells an interesting story about the resistence of “mainstream science” to the ideas of “stones falling from the sky”, or what know today as meteorites. If I remember correctly, the first stories were generally from farmers and the like, and were almost categorically rejected by scientists; even Thomas Jefferson, a lay-scientist, weighed in with his opinion against it.
    I believe, if I am not mistaken, the theory of plate tectonics was rejected early in the 20th century. The author quotes well-known scientists who rejected plate tectonics at the time. I guess my point with the “Out of Africa” theory is that, in agreement with you, sometimes the mavericks are right, and sometimes they aren’t.
    As a former teacher of history, this was a problem that surfaced all the time, and I didn’t mind sharing with my students that a lot of what I am teaching today is provisional. It didn’t have any impact on my ego to say so. But I think when it comes to the theory of human origins, the ramifications are to great to sometime expect reasoned argument from some quarters.
    I remember when the confederate submarine CSS Hunley was raised from the bottom of Charleston harbor, SC. Oddly, even the surviving drawings by the actual builder…were…wrong…when compared to the actual submarine itself. Some of my students would sometimes express dismay that as historians “we just couldn’t get it right…”. I would often remark that sometime we play the role of detective…amd that sometimnes we are wrong.
    -Clarence

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Clarance wrote:

    In describing the theory that you accept you use words like; “some scientists believe…”, “…perhaps the first hominid…”, “…generally accepted…”, realatively difficult to chart…”, oldest possibly hominid fossil…”,
    Given all those *admitted* problems, I think a rational person would conclude that is not an airtight story. If this lineage is overturned by further evidence, would you accept it?

    Given that previously you wrote:

    I remember my favorite historu professor saying that “…no one has all the answers…and when some professor says otherwise, we should all get up and move quietly toward the exits…”.

    Shouldn’t then you recognize this as a positive trait and praise Mriana for not claiming to have all the answers, rather than jumping on her honesty and lack of absolute statements?

    Science doesn’t claim absolute knowlege. She outlined various evidences for the Out of Africa model. I find OoA quite compelling, as do a large majority of anthropologists. She was quite honest in her presentation. She also wrote up a lengthy post filled with details. Please be kind and thankful for her patience. She’s trying to be helpful to you. Your reply was just snotty and jumped on her explaining language to take a cheap shot.

    You wrote: “do some scientific research…”. I am not aware that you’ve ever done any “scientific research”; It’s easy to just type verbatim what you find in a National Geographic magazine.

    Now that’s just being snippy. Science Daily, Scienctific American, and National Geographic are the periodicals websites she mentioned. They are absolutely fantastic sites for researching the science. She recommended you research the issue by reading these periodicals. You seemed to turn it back on her with a tone that she absolutely did not use with you.

    She was reaching out to you as a teacher and someone wanting to share her knowlege, and you attacked her for it.

  • Karen

    Genetics has proven that we’re all descendants of modern homo sapiens that likely arose in Central Africa.

    There was a wonderful program on PBS a few months back called Journey of Man (you can get the DVD, I’d highly recommend it) where a Stanford geneticist reconstructed the migration of modern homo sapiens out of Central Africa 50,000 years ago. He studies the Y chromosome, which is passed down intact from father to son, and finds genetic markers (random mutations in the genes) in modern populations that tell the story of ancestry.

    It starts from the bushmen of central Namibia – those incredible hunter/trackers who use the “click” language, the most unique and ancient language on earth. Genetics shows that their ancestors are the great-great-grandfathers of everyone alive on earth today. Just looking at their faces is amazing, because they sort of contain every modern feature, all mixed up!

    The story follows them along a coastal route to Australia during the last ice age, where they became the ancestors of the aboriginal people, then through a second and third migration out of Africa 30,000 to 50,000 years ago, into the Middle East, Central Asia and eventually Europe.

    So – we’re all “Africans under the skin.” But why assume that Ken Ham would get anything scientifically accurate in his “museum” – particularly skin color?

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    One more thing, Clarance.

    Mriana patiently and dilligently wrote a post FILLED with facts. Filled with data. Filled with scientific information. You waved every single fact away and adressed only the words “some” “perhaps” “generally” “relatively” and “possibly”.

    You waved away the facts, brought none of your own to the table, and had the timerity to not only insult Mriana but to turn back her facts and say “If this lineage is overturned by further evidence, would you accept it?”

    Sir, you are an unworthy recipient of our patience, in my humble opinion.

    Let me ask you, point blank, since the vast majority of the facts are in Mriana’s camp, and you bring neither facts nor evidence to the argument, are you now prepared to accept the evidence supporting Out of Africa?

    That is, until such time when a preponderance of evidence is supplied (presumably not by you) that brings the scientific consensus to a different conclusion?

    Because if not, to paraphrase your own words, I think a rational person would conclude that you are not worth our patience.

  • Mriana

    Clarence E. Causey III said,

    June 1, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Mriana,

    Good post. I will try to answer.
    #1 If you were aware of this info, why didn’t you post it earlier as opposed to the personal attacks?

    My comments were about the people who run the Creation Center, not you. Sorry you took my attack on the Creation Center personally.

    #2 You wrote: “…not enough science for you to prove we were once black?”. If you read my post, I said that if the Out of Africa theory is true, then it’s a pretty good argument that our ancestors were black. So, I really don’t understand your comment about “enough science”.

    Some people want more.

    #3 You wrote; “Some scientists believe that our early human ancestry can be traced through the following lineage…”. Yes, I know that. You use the word “some”. Could you be a bit more precise on your numbers? I believe that I stated that not all scientists accepted that lineage. Do you disagree?

    I stated my source and my source said some. “All” is a big word, so I cannot speak for all scientist, but most do yes.

    #4 In describing the theory that you accept you use words like; “some scientists believe…”, “…perhaps the first hominid…”, “…generally accepted…”, realatively difficult to chart…”, oldest possibly hominid fossil…”,
    Given all those *admitted* problems, I think a rational person would conclude that is not an airtight story. If this lineage is overturned by further evidence, would you accept it?

    Unlike religion, science is alway updating and correcting itself, which IMO, is better than sticking with outdate or misinformation. Sorry, the earth revolves around the sun, not the sun around the earth.

    #5 You wrote: “do some scientific research…”. I am not aware that you’ve ever done any “scientific research”; It’s easy to just type verbatim what you find in a National Geographic magazine.

    Not personally, but I check with a number of sources and reach my own conclusion. The Out of Africa theory seems most feesible to me.

    #6. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your particular area of research? What is your degree in? I have a BS degree in History with a minor in Secondary Education, attended West Hills Jr. college (CA.), Chapman College (CA.), and Charleston Southern University. I am not a scientist, my main “research” area is history.
    -Clarence

    Psychology, with neuro-psychology studies. So, yes in a way I am a scientist, put not currently in the field, because I opt to go back for another degree. I can understand scientific journals/papers with stats to know if they are imperical or not.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Dear Siamang,

    …you are actually suggesting I was being “snippy”? Here are the words/phrases of Mriana:
    -”screwed up brain genes”

    -”that is just sick”

    -”disgusting”

    -”freakin stupid %$%%%%”

    Now seriously, have I ever said anything CLOSE to that? Asking about someone’s education and or research is not, I don’t thnik, being snippy. Tell me, when Mriana was calling people these names, did you call her on it? Why or why not?
    You say that science doesn’t profess absolutes; okay I agree. So the “Out of Africa” theory is subject to change, right? That’s one of the points I was making…unless, you are making the statement that the OOA theory is absolutely true. At any rate, calling people brain dead is an odd way of “reaching out to me…”. Also, you might have noticed that Mriana refuses to answer the questions about her education background, when I have been open about mine. If for example, she told me she was a history major, like myself, it would allow us to find a common reference point, talk shop.
    Again, I didn’t start the name calling, so I can’t take credit for it. This is not a personal thing to me (at least I don’t think it is). My sole interest in being here should be to learn something. If a poster can’t do that, and resorts to hurling insults instead, I think the moderator should remove them. For what’s it’s worth, most people on this board are okay.
    -Clarence

  • Richard Wade

    Clarence, thank you for that excellent list of examples where science has corrected itself. Yes, there has been and always will be resistance. PhD’s were earned on older models, and egos are inevitably involved. The successful mavericks of science are among my heroes. A few died before their ideas were accepted. You could focus on the fact that the status quo resisted their new theories; I focus on the fact that the method of science eventually vindicated their correct theories, because evidence is more important than attachment to an opinion. It’s slow, it’s brutal at times, but science is obsessed with correcting itself.

    The problem with citing maverick stories is that for every maverick who is right, there are a thousand crackpots who are wrong. We remember the mavericks and quickly forget the crackpots, so we end up with a skewed view of the history of controversy in science. More often than not the mainstream opinion gets adjusted slightly rather than the big embarrassing changes in the maverick stories.

  • Miko

    Miko, is that really the one used in the Creation Museum planetarium, or are you just quoting one more of the silly arguments you’ve heard somewhere?

    It is one of the more silly arguments I’ve heard, but it seems they’re actually using it: http://studentweb.eku.edu/zachary_lynn/museum/index.html#star

    It sounds like they are trying to confuse people with the “gravity boost” method of accelerating space probes by flying them past planets for an addition to their velocity.

    That would be my guess. In additions to problems with light being massless, you have to wonder at any logic that suggests light is moving faster than the speed of light…

    Unfortunately, it’s the kind of argument I can see their visitors accepting, since it sounds like a scientific explanation to someone who has no idea what science is. On the plus side, at least they’re mentioning the truth en route to the false refutation.

  • Mriana

    Thank you, Siamang, for your support. You are right, I was trying to help with the info he asked for and give him sites that are reliable sites. I also gave my sources, which means he could go to the library and look them up for himself. I’m sorry if he cannot accept the scientific facts I brought up in my post. It’s sad when someone cannot have an open-mind to science. You are a dear, Siamang. :)

  • Mriana

    Clarence E. Causey III said,

    June 1, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Dear Siamang,

    …you are actually suggesting I was being “snippy”? Here are the words/phrases of Mriana:
    -”screwed up brain genes”

    -”that is just sick”

    -”disgusting”

    -”freakin stupid %$%%%%”

    Clearance, you are pulling comments out of context. The incest someone suggested was sick and disgusting. Screwed up brain genes did not refer to you in particular. The curses were directed at the Creation center.

  • Mriana

    Oops! Sorry for misspelling your name. :( That was honestly a typo.

  • monkeymind

    Clarence:

    You lumped together a number of things that Mriana said on a number of topics, including the idea of a son having sex with his mother (which I think we can all agree is disgusting) and implied that they were all insults directed personally at you.

    That is not worthy of a historian, IMO.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Dear Siamang,

    You wrote: “Let me ask you, point blank, since the vast majority of facts are in Mrianas camp, and you bring neither facts nor evidence to the argument, are you prepared to accept the evidence supporting the Out of Afrcia theory”.

    If you will go back to my original about the OOA theory, I stated that; “…it is a pretty good argument that our ancestors were black”. That sounds like I agree with it doesn’t it?

    Now, I’ve answered your “point blank” question. I’d like to see if you will extend the same courtesy to me; Point Blank, do you think it is an acceptable method of discourse to call people “brain dead”, “screwed up brain genes”, “freakin stupid %&$$$”. For some reason I can’t get you or Mriana to answer this.
    -Clarence

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Momkeymind,

    If I were to make the statement; “anyone who believes in evolution is a brain dead freaking %%%&”. Would you find that offensive? Keep in mind I didn’t refer to you by name…but you would certainly be included in the group, right? But why, again, is it oaky to call ANYONE such names?
    On the incest topic, I think that while you will find that it is taboo in our society, this is not true for ALL societies. If I am not mistaken, some of the ancient Egyptians pratcied intermarraige…so too did some of the Czars of Russia. So if your going to condemn the idea of incest in the early chapters of Genesis, to be fair and consistent, your going to have to apply the same “morals” to some other great civilzations. For what it’s worth…
    -Clarence

  • monkeymind

    Clarence:

    If you were to make that statement to me out of the blue, I would not be offended because I don’t believe in evolution as an organizing principle of my entire world view. I know that through the accepted process of peer review, scientists have found that this theory has great explanatory value and ties together many observed phenomena. Also it is the guiding principle into reseach into biology, zoology, and environmental science. So, the statement “anyone who believes in evolution is a brain dead freaking %%%&” would not really shake me up too much. I wouldn’t even feel the need to even respond to it, because it obviously says more about the speaker than it does about me.

    That said, I have to admit that I do tend to apply a different standard to how I speak about people who have put themselves in the public eye by representing a particular viewpoint than I do to how I speak to people one-on-one. This sort of disembodied electronic communication is some kind of hybrid between those two, and it is sometimes hard to pitch things correctly.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    If you will go back to my original about the OOA theory, I stated that; “…it is a pretty good argument that our ancestors were black”. That sounds like I agree with it doesn’t it?

    No, it sounds like you have evaded the question. I can say something is a pretty good argument. It doesn’t mean I accept it. Do you accept the Out of Africa model as described and accepted by the vast majority of anthropologists? I don’t suspect you do.

    Point Blank, do you think it is an acceptable method of discourse to call people “brain dead”, “screwed up brain genes”, “freakin stupid %&$$$”.

    No. I’ve said so long before you got here.

    However, the best way to fight such a tendency is to CALL people on it, not to respond in kind.

    Also, I’ll note that none of that bad behavior was directed AT YOU. You, however, addressed Mriana directly by name and proceeded to contribute to the negativity of the tone here. This was AFTER Richard Wade rebuked folks here for tone and apologized to you.

    We had a chance for a new start at that point. Perhaps we can try again.

  • Mriana

    So, the statement “anyone who believes in evolution is a brain dead freaking %%%&” would not really shake me up too much. I wouldn’t even feel the need to even respond to it, because it obviously says more about the speaker than it does about me.

    Yes, but the Creation Museum isn’t insulting your children’s human dignity or denying that 1/2 to 3/4 of your children’s ancestors ever existed. My sons, besides being part Black also have Native American in their genes. The N.A. comes from both sides. I’m 1/8 Shawnee, as well as part Cherokee. Even Hemant mentioned in one of his posts that the museum denied his Indian ancestory. It’s insulting.

    W.A.S.P.s, not to mention Catholics, have been doing this for centuries and it’s getting old. Extremists have been exterminating various cultures for a very long time and to make everyone White in their museum is a continuation of this, IMHO.

    I may be mostly European American, but I am very proud of my N.A. heritage too. I am also proud of my sons’ heritage too, because many a African-American has contributed much to this society. Their ancestors from Africa contributed much to the world as a whole too. Unfortunately the Slave Trade destroyed a lot of their previous history and their culture. Of course, the leaders of their continent had a lot to do with it too. They did not help themselves by selling out their own people.

    The only thing I apologize for is that people here took my comments as a personal insult instead of it being directed at those who run the facility. It was directed to the people who run the facility, not those here. Of course, if those here hlep to run the facility, I’m sorry they do, because they have a lot to learn.

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Siamang, Monkeymind, Jen, Mriami and others,

    If you goal ws to convince me of the wrongness of my Christian worldview, I must say you lost me somewhere between “Dear Weird Random Creationist” (Jen) and “Freakin Stupid $$#@^” (Mirimi), REGARDLESS

  • Clarence E. Causey III

    Siamong,

    …just thinking; I wonder if it would help this blog if it was moderated? Over at the blog of William Dembski, Uncommon Descent, I don’t see the mudslinging that I find over here. Is that a fair assessment? At any rate, perhaps I am a bit naive, but I didn’t expect some of the remarks I got over here. At any rate, this is my last post. I would like to say again, that it was never my intention to offend.

    -Cheers,
    Clarence

  • http://globalizati.wordpress.com globalizati

    Clarence,
    Some clarification on something you said:
    If you read my post, I said that if the Out of Africa theory is true, then it’s a pretty good argument that our ancestors were black.

    Not exactly. All evolutionary biologists basically agree that homo sapiens evolved from other primates within Africa. The dispute between the Out of Africa theory and the multiple migrations theories and whatnot are really arguments about when and how often human groups migrated out of Africa during this time period. So for one, there really isn’t any dispute that a large portion of hominid evolution occurred in Africa. Wikipedia has an article on the “Recent single-origin” hypothesis here.

    However, that hypothesis states that, from the fossil and genetic evidence, humans emerged from Africa 1-200,000 years ago. So in that sense, we’re all African. But, that wouldn’t necessarily mean we were all black (while it is at least somewhat likely), because not all human groups in Africa would have had identical features. Human groups within Africa may have become black after the other groups left. But, there are many Africans today who have a wide variety of pigmentation (even before Europeans arrived). It’s often remarked that there is more genetic diversity within Africa than any other continent. Our association of Africa with dark black skin is actually more the result of the Bantu expansion–a relatively recent historical event where groups from Western Africa (speaking Bantu languages) expanded east and south and displaced many of the other groups such as the Khoisan over the last few thousand years. (The expansion was still moving southward when Europeans arrived in South Africa–Bantu speaking groups had yet to reach the Khoisan people of the Cape.)
    So, early humans were certainly African, but the best we can say about their skin tone is that they probably didn’t look Caucasian. Fossils don’t reveal skin pigmentation, so it’s largely a matter of speculation. Cheers!

  • Jen

    You came in, you said weird things, you seemed like a random drive-by commentor, since you apparently knew nothing about Hermant or his blog. Rather than sticking to the topic, you babbled on about The Tree of Life and race politics, and acused Hermant, a math teacher, of teaching his students his “Native American” creation myths. Excuse me for thinking that was weird.

  • Mriana

    Clarence, I don’t care what your worldview is, but in all honesty…

    Looking at the thread, Clarence, I noticed I was not at the forefront of your assault until I gave you the scientific answers to your questions:

    …if the color of the original humans means that much to you, then I think there is a way to apply science to the problem. To begin with, what was the racial composition of the world at the time of the emergence of the first modern humans? Does anyone know? I certainly don’t.

    I think the act of taking what I said out of context is an excuse to draw attention away from the science I presented and direct it to a something else that is not focused on science and intellectualism, but rather a full-frontal attack on nothing. Now either you did not like the fact someone was able to come up with an answer or you did not like the answer. Either way, it appears to me that you are upset because someone was able to give a scientific answer and you chose to take things out of context so that you could attack someone’s knowledge- ie by asking me my credentials:

    #6. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your particular area of research? What is your degree in? I have a BS degree in History with a minor in Secondary Education, attended West Hills Jr. college (CA.), Chapman College (CA.), and Charleston Southern University. I am not a scientist, my main “research” area is history.
    -Clarence

    I kindly told you, I have a degree in one of the sciences (behavioural/neural science), but not that particular scientific field of study. When that did not work in your favour, you thus proceeded to take things out of context. It seems to me, someone has a complex of some sort and not only that, doesn’t like to lose a debate, so they get angry and find something to attack. However, I will not point a finger directly at the person I am analyzing.

    Presenting the information was not an attempt to cause anyone to feel inferior because I could present the scientific information nor was it meant to trump Creationists’ beliefs. It was just presenting scientific facts. IF you want more information, I gave you the sources. IF it’s not enough scientific evidence for you, there are more sources. That’s all that means. It’s a shame when people cannot handle or accept the information they asked for. In no way do I see it harming your faith in God having that information. I’m sorry if you feel that way, but it also tells me that you might not feel secure about your beliefs in the face of scientific knowledge.

    monkeymind said,

    June 1, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Clarence:

    You lumped together a number of things that Mriana said on a number of topics, including the idea of a son having sex with his mother (which I think we can all agree is disgusting) and implied that they were all insults directed personally at you.

    I’m glad others noticed it was concerning the thought of incest and not an insult to those here on the blog.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    …just thinking; I wonder if it would help this blog if it was moderated? Over at the blog of William Dembski, Uncommon Descent, I don’t see the mudslinging that I find over here.

    They delete posts there which are civil, but challenge Dembski or his royal court jesters. I have no doubt trolls are deleted as well… that is unless they make fun of “evolutionists”.

    Is that a fair assessment? At any rate, perhaps I am a bit naive, but I didn’t expect some of the remarks I got over here.

    None of which were directed towards you. Some of which people nevertheless have apologized for. After which you acted like a snotty brat, attacking those who were civil and polite to you. Where they showed charity and openness, you responded with evasions, attacks and the passive-agressive tone of a petulant grade-schooler.

    But there’s need for me to sum it up. Everyone here can read all the posts for themselves, they see how you have behaved. You are fooling nobody but yourself. Go back to Dembski-land and regale them with tales about how you stood up to us evil atheists.

    At any rate, this is my last post. I would like to say again, that it was never my intention to offend.

    Glad you got off without answering my question. Whew. I almost backed an evasive creationist into a corner where he had to actually make an unequivocated statement. You have been reading Dembski, now haven’t you?

    Next time you talk to Dembski, tell him he sucks at math. Tell him it’s obvious to anyone who works with random number generators or file compression that he’s full of shit. Further, we can tell that HE knows he’s full of shit. It’s a very thin con, playing a shell game calling data randomness when it’s convenient for him, and then turning around and denying that randomness is data when it suits an opposite purpose.

    Siamang, Monkeymind, Jen, Mriami and others,

    If you goal ws to convince me of the wrongness of my Christian worldview, I must say you lost me somewhere between “Dear Weird Random Creationist” (Jen) and “Freakin Stupid $$#@^” (Mirimi), REGARDLESS

    My goal is never to convince anyone of the wrongness of their Christian worldview. If you think that’s the case, it’s pretty obvious to everyone here that you don’t know jack about me. I blog for a Christian ministry, for pete’s sake.

    I know folks, I shouldn’t play with the troll. But the evasiveness and passive-agression was getting to me. I figured either he’d snap-to and actually engage in conversation, or he’d leave.

    Now, what do you bet we’ll either get a long last post of bible quotes and preachy “you’ll be in hell and rue the day you didn’t listen to me!” sendoff or a sock puppet first time poster coming in in support of him?

  • Richard Wade

    Siamang, I don’t know what exactly a “sock puppet poster” is but I have some things to say in support of Clarence. You thought he was passive-aggressive? I’m usually quick to pick up on that and I didn’t sense it. You thought he was a troll? I’m almost always the first one around here to call someone that. Didn’t think so this time. I can understand your and other’s disagreements with him, but I just don’t understand the level of hostility that steadily built up against him. I’m disappointed that Clarence has stated that he has posted his last comment here. I had dinner, went for a walk and was looking forward to talking with him further. I don’t know what I was missing, but I didn’t find him annoying, patience-testing, inflammatory or provoking. What the fuck did I miss that pushed everybody’s buttons?

    When my wife and I were in our twenties we quarreled a lot. It would start out to be about something like who was supposed to do the dishes that day but because we were much better at talking than we were at listening it would soon become a quarrel about who was quarreling more unfairly than whom. A meta quarrel. It might even jump up another level to who was quarreling more unfairly about that quarrel. So it would be a meta-meta quarrel. We were ridiculous.

    Now we’re too old to bother with much of that so we listen more, talk less and manage to get the dishes done somehow.

    The second half of the comments up to this point have been largely meta quarreling, arguing about somebody else’s tactics of arguing. I saw feedback loops of misunderstandings compounding themselves.

    This has not been a very friendly atheist thread. Clarence mistook “Indian American” to be “American Indian” and it seemed odd to him. So his first comment sounded weird. I could immediately see what the error was from and discounted it. He’s new to this blog and doesn’t know the subtleties of this particular site’s culture. We know Hemant well and we know each other. But to some people his starting out on the wrong foot was unacceptable, and he was just not welcome here, period. The feedback loops degraded the discussion from there. Yes, he would ignore some of the more salient points others were making, but when people would point that out they added value judgments about him that were unfair and unnecessary. Somebody added that something he said was unworthy of a historian. There was no connection and no reason for that insult. Some of the name calling was not directed at him and he incorrectly reacted to it, but much of it was directed at him, and it came from people who at other times have been patient, inclusive and welcoming to visitors with opposing views.

    I don’t think I agree with many of Clarence’s views, but I didn’t get a chance to clarify any of them at least in my mind. His style of argument was not perfect, he was complicated and not explicit enough, but I didn’t think he was disingenuous. I thought he was sincere. I’d rather have a discussion with a sincere person who disagrees with me than with someone who agrees completely but who isn’t really paying attention to the feeling as well as the content of our talk.

    If people here think I’m all wrong about Clarence, then tell me to go back and read every single comment here all over again. I’ll look for whatever you say made him so unpalatable.

  • Mriana

    I tried to be nice to him by giving the info he asked for, but for some reason he had to take things out of context. I was getting the impression he was not secure with his beliefs or he didn’t care for a woman answering his questions. Whatever the case, he did not like my scientific reply that he asked for and started pulling everything I said out of context. Right now, I’m wondering if he works for the Creation Museum.

    When he first came on here, it appeared he was being arrogant and snooty with Hemant. Either you are right and he just did not understand us or he had some issues.

    I can accept that it’s really easy to confuse Indian and Native American. That is really easy to do. I did that years ago with a prof from India when I was working on my first degree. I knew I was confused and asked, “What do you mean when you say Indian?” After that, I made the distinction by saying Indian for someone from India and N.A. for American Indian. Thus, when Hemant uses Indian, I know what he means, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does.

    The difference between Clerance and me was that I was open to learning about people. I learn a lot from Dr. Dutta, not just Psychology, but culture too. I wanted to learn though and was not afraid to ask questions I was uncertain or curious about. The only question that does harm is the one that is unasked.

    Looking back, he had a lot of questions, but did not ask all of them. Maybe he was afraid to ask or he did not know how to ask or he was afraid to ask for sounding bad. Either way, the unasked questions in favour of pulling things out of context did not help, even though I told him he pulled them out of context and how. He had no reason to take them personally, unless he works for the Creation Museum and even then, not all were directed at the Creation Museum, but rather the thought of something sick.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    My main deal that got me was that he referenced Mriana directly with his hostility rather than matching the tone she used in the post he was responding to, and that he never addressed any of the evidence she brought. Rather, he sifted out all the facts and attacked where science is rightfully tentative.

    This AFTER he claimed that people who say they have absolute certainty are not to be listened to.

    I mean, that really bugs me, that passive-agressive stuff. Where you ask someone a question, and then when you have a well-typed, well-researched thoughtful answer that took time and patience, and you just ignore it and say, something like “well, you didn’t do any scientific research, you just copied and pasted from NatGeog… what is the level of your education anyway?”

    I came to the conclusion that he didn’t want answers to his questions, he wanted things he could attack. When I asked him a direct question about OoA, he prevaricated mightily.

    Sorry if I chased off a playmate, Richard. ;-) I’m sure you could find him at Uncommon Descent.

  • Richard Wade

    Siamang, I agree with much of your description of Clarence’s behavior, but while the content of your remarks to each other was mostly about the scientific issues, the underlying process between the two of you seemed to be “I don’t like you.” He bugged you, but you didn’t have to be bugged. Describe to your opponent all the inappropriate maneuvers that he is doing, but don’t add at the end of your comments the value statements, dismissal statements and negative tone. If he persists, say “Okay I’ve tried, I’m done” and resist the temptation to say “Screw you” as the parting shot.
    The tone was set at the very first response, “Dear Weird Random Creationist” and the dialogue went down hill from there. He and others were more focused on talking than listening, more focused on argument than being sure understanding was mutual. I don’t kiss their asses and I don’t spit on them either. You all know were I stand on science, atheism and this absurd museum, but if this was the very first posting I ever read at this site I probably wouldn’t come back. Too many “discussion” boards are just piss-in-your-face contests, and this resembled those.

    Enough of all this meta quarreling. I’m letting it go. I know I do a lot of playground monitoring on this site and I expect that you and others get tired of it. I think I’ll object less when things go bad and either just persevere in my own way or leave the conversation. No need to tell me to shut up about this, I have.

    I have an interesting thought about the people who run that museum that I got while talking here with Miko but I don’t have time right now to describe it. I have to go show a bunch of kids the wonders of the universe. I’ll be back this evening and post it here. Since I’m on the west coast it will be very late for most of you, so goodnight.

  • Karen

    Siamang, I don’t know what exactly a “sock puppet poster” is

    That’s when someone in an argument online creates another username (the sock puppet) and comes back to post incognito to support their own argument. It makes it look like they have more legitimacy for their point than they actually do, but if regular readers are keen to the tactic, it’s pretty easy to spot and call out.

    I know I do a lot of playground monitoring on this site and I expect that you and others get tired of it.

    Honestly, I suggest we take a cue from Hemant, since it’s his blog an’ all. ;-) You’ll notice he doesn’t intervene unless things really, really get out of hand. Which means he’s aware that we’re adults and he figures we don’t need a hall monitor. I think a hands-off attitude is about the only way to achieve the free-flowing dialogue that makes his blog so dynamic.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Richard.

    I’ll admit that my reaction in the matter was too harsh.

    What can i offer in my own defense? I chalk it up to the fact that I do not smoke pot… no way to mellow out! ;-)

    Anyway, I’ve grown to really appreciate Mriana’s contributions, and something in me decided I needed to stick up for her.

    Good weekend to you, friend.

  • Mriana

    Anyway, I’ve grown to really appreciate Mriana’s contributions, and something in me decided I needed to stick up for her.

    Thanks. I’m glad you appreciate my contributions. :) Nice to know I have friends here. :D You have just made my weekend.

  • Richard Wade

    Siamang, I’m proud and grateful to be called your friend. You and Mriana (and several others here) argue brilliantly. That’s the proper word. It’s like watching samurai masters. And your knowledge bases are remarkable. Half of the things both of you refer to I never even heard of.

    I’m a science dilettante. I learn enough to explain the basics to kids. I’m good at explaining complicated things to lay people once I understand them myself. So I make my living having fun doing just that.

    The other thing I’m good at is understanding how people communicate or fail to communicate. I can watch two people converse and pick up the underlying dynamic or process beneath the content of what they’re saying. Properly communicating is very slow and plodding. It takes patience and practice. It used to be called active listening when I was learning counseling. A small amount of the time is taken up sending the actual information, and most of the time is needed for both sender and recipient to verify that the information has been properly understood. There has to be a lot of “So let me be sure I’m clear on this before I answer you; you’re saying…(paraphrase the person’s statement in respectful terms)… Is that what you mean?” It has nothing to do with whether you agree or disagree, just making sure you both agree that you have understood the other. When the other person picks up that you’re really being careful to understand him before you give your response, he tends to become more careful in how he sends his info in the first place. Even if you hate what he’s saying, you’re establishing a respectful base by caring enough to be sure that you understand. Then the process starts in the other direction when you carefully send your rebuttal, and the other double checks that he’s understanding you.

    At first this is tedious for people like us who think fast, talk fast and are used to getting instant information at our fingertips, but in the long run it saves the wasted time of a conversation that went down in flames because of an escalating back-and-forth misunderstanding. I don’t manage to do it all the time; I get excited, pissed, impatient, or “Aha! I have you now!” and blow the whole thing. Gotta just try again.

    Both you and Mrianna do part of active listening when you point out a tactic by the other person, like an ad hominem or a straw man, or just ignoring the most important part of your question. That part’s called process commentary. It’s really useful if you can make that commentary without a “you sneaky bastard” tone to go with it. Just a straight forward commentary in the spirit that you want proper communication, and that his tactic doesn’t work for that.

    I know all this sounds so cumbersome, but with practice it works and it starts to work even when you only do it a little. It even helps when it’s only one-sided, but it usually ends up being a mutual effort.

  • Mriana

    You and Mriana (and several others here) argue brilliantly. That’s the proper word. It’s like watching samurai masters. And your knowledge bases are remarkable. Half of the things both of you refer to I never even heard of.

    Samurai masters? :lol: Ah shucks. *Mriana blushes* Thanks, I seem to read everything I can get my hands on.

  • monkeymind

    Hi Richard:

    I admit I “took against” Clarence from the get-go because he seemed to be exhibiting the mentality that it is OK for all the people in a museum about the supposed origin of the human race to be white, because white (usually male) is just the default for humans. Then when someone objects, object that they are bringing race into it, whereas oneself is completely color blind. I could have said “Clarence, I think I hear you saying…” and not been so hostile in my original comment. I had thought about apologizing when he came back and seemed more willing to talk, but the next time I logged on the discussion had gone in new directions.
    When I called another of his comments “unworthy of a historian” it was because he took 4 statements of Mriana’s, 3 of which were clearly her honest reaction to the idea of incest, and one of which was in a discussion of racism which she characterized as “muttering under her breath” at the people behind the Creation Museum. To imply that Mriana made those remarks as personal attacks on anyone in the discussion was unworthy of a historian, IMO.

  • Richard Wade

    Monkeymind, describing how the inappropriate tactics are inaccurate, ineffective or unfair is helpful. Adding on a value judgment about the person’s profession or anything else that has nothing to do with the discussion, and that can only have the effect to insult is not helpful. So you’re an ass.

    .

    See what I mean? That last little insult obliterates the effect of all the rest if I want understanding to progress toward actual change in attitudes. Of course I don’t think you’re an ass, you are also one of those here who are brilliant at argument.

  • monkeymind

    Richard: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
    What is my penance?

  • Richard Wade

    Monkeymind: two Holy Mary’s, three Our Father’s, ten push-ups and take a lap. Go and sin no more. But keep up the good work; I love your stuff.
    .

    I’d really like to drop all this now and resume the discussion rather than the meta discussion.

  • Liberal Christian Person

    For what it’s worth, there are many Christians (non-fundies, of course) who are offended by the museum, as well as scientists. I don’t contend scientific fact and I think the creation museum has the whole damn thing wrong. It sounds more like an episode of the Flintstones than a science museum OR a display of christian beliefs. It’s a mockery of my faith.

    Yeah, I know this is an atheist blog, but I’m not here to preach the gospel anyway; I’m here to provide a more sound, reasonable (and, of course, liberal) Christian perspective. Just so you know that we’re not all right-wing nuts.

  • Mriana

    It sounds more like an episode of the Flintstones than a science museum OR a display of christian beliefs.

    :lol: I said something similar somewhere.

    Glad to see a liberal Christian view here. :)

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Liberal Christian Person, I’m very glad to meet you. Stick around. We really like talking to sane people such as yourself, and finding ways to put our heads together to protect the integrity of science for our mutual benefit. The fundies even on the fringes of fundydom still won’t listen to the arguments of atheists, but they might listen to people like you. Several very fine Christians comment here regularly. So how did you hear of this den of equity?

  • Mriana

    Well, given the timing, I’d say I MIGHT have had a hand in that. I had just posted about the Creation Protest on the Roddenberry not too long before and directed people to Hemant’s fine speech.

    But I’ll let them talk, because it could also be coinsedence.

  • Liberal Christian Person

    RE: How did I find this den of equity?
    Well, I was searching to find an evolution blog to post my opinions as a Christian evolutionist and I came across this site. Nice to be here, BTW.

  • Mriana

    Darn! I was hoping you were someone I know. :lol:

    Seriously though, I am glad to have you here. Do stick around and continue posting because your view seems very open-minded and potentually helpful. :)

  • Sandy

    Live well, but how do you explain the silence of the stars? The vast emptiness of space? While I subscribe to no particular theory of origin or claim to know how “God” does things, your faith is far greater than mine or my math is wrong. Note the desperation of the recent “string” theory and the discovery of earth-like planets. Still all is silence. What is really probable and what isn’t? You should buy a lottery ticket if you are that lucky!

  • absolute

    PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO SEE HOW THESE MEN WITHOUT ANY PROOF(ONLY THEORIES) FORMED THE AVERAGE PERSONS’ THINKING OF AN OLD EARTH.
    Summary of the old-earth proponents for long ages
    Who? Age of the earth When was this?
    Comte de Buffon 78 thousand years old 1779
    Abraham Werner 1 million years 1786
    James Hutton Perhaps eternal 1795
    Pi?e LaPlace Indefinite, long ages 1796
    Jean Lamarck Long ages 1809
    Georges Cuvier Untold ages 1812
    Charles Lyell GEOLOGIC column 1830?1833
    William Smith Untold ages 1835
    Charles Darwin
    Earnst Haeckel
    Lord Kelvin origen of species
    forged embryo art
    20-100 million years mid 1800′s
    mid 1800′s
    1862?1899
    Arthur Holmes 1.6 billion years 1913

    NOTICE HOW FROM 1779 TO 1786, THEY WENT FROM
    78,000 TO 1,000,000 YEARS. AND PEOPLE BELIEVED IT!

    THEN HUTTON, A WORLD RENOWNED THINKER (WHO HATED THE BIBLE) SAYS WITH NO BASIS THAT
    THE WORLD WAS…QUOTE “PERHAPS ETERNAL”

    THEN CHARLES LYELL(WHOSE WRITINGS DRIP WITH HATE OF THE BIBLE OFF THE PAGES) CREATED THE GEOLOGIC
    COLUMN…THAT ISN’T EVEN REAL(DOESNT EXIST!!!!)BUT THE AVERAGE PERSON ACCEPTED HIS WRITINGS AS FACT CAUSE 95% OF THE POPULATION WAS NOT EDUCATED ENOUGH TO KNOW ANY BETTER.

    THEN CHARLES DARWIN MADE MOST BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCH GO-ERS DOUBT THE BIBLE TIMELINE. AND MOST OF HIS WRITINGS TODAY HAVE ALL BEEN PROVEN FALSE.

    TODAYS’ METHODS OF DATING THE AGES OF THINGS HAVE MANY FLAWS AND ARE BASED ON THE GEOLOGIC COLUMN WHICH IS NOT EVEN REAL!!!!!

    YOU CAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT…..BUT THINGS ARE NOT AS OLD AS THEY SAY THEY ARE. THERE IS NO PROOF FOR THESE AGES. ALL TEACHERS/SCIENTISTS/COLLEGE PROFESSORS/RESEARCHERS THAT ARE PAID BY OUR TAX DOLLARS(NOT PRIVATE DOLLARS) WOULD BE FIRED IF THEY SAID THE EARTH WAS 1000′S NOT MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD.

    Mr. Ray

    LASTLY EARNST HAECKEL FAKED EMBRYO DRAWINGS(SEE BELOW) AND PEOPLE BELIEVED IT…. LEADING TO THE THOUGHT WE ALL CAME FROM ONE ORIGINAL ORGANISM. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS CONVICTED…HIS DRAWINGS ARE STILL IN TEXT BOOKS TODAY!

    When scientist move from microevo to macro they just left science and moved to faith for no one has ever seen one kind change to another.

  • http://globalizati.wordpress.com globalizati

    Wow.. Sometimes I really wonder if these are serious or satirical.. Alas, the line is rather fuzzy.

  • Richard Wade

    THOSE DIRTY ROTTEN SCIENTISTS! HOW DARE THEY LOOK AT ROCKS INSTEAD OF THE BIBLE TO UNDERSTAND GEOLOGY! HOW DARE THEY LOOK AT ANIMALS INSTEAD OF THE BIBLE TO UNDERSTAND BIOLOGY! HOW DARE THEY LOOK THROUGH TELESCOPES INSTEAD OF THE BIBLE TO UNDERSTAND COSMOLOGY! HOW DARE THEY PAY ANY ATTENTION TO ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T FIT WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS! THEY SHOULD IGNORE ALL THAT AND PRETEND THEY DIDN’T SEE IT! THEY SHOULD PRAY REAL HARD TO TRY TO FORGET ALL THAT STUFF THEY SAW THAT DOESN’T FIT THE BIBLE! AND IF THEY CAN’T FORGET THAT STUFF THEN THEY SHOULD LIE ABOUT IT AND SAY THE BIBLE IS RIGHT! BECAUSE THE BIBLE NEVER LIES, ONLY PEOPLE LIE! AND THEY’RE PEOPLE SO THEY SHOULD LIE ABOUT WHAT THEY SAW IF IT DOESN’T FIT THE BIBLE!

    AND ABSOLUTELY WORST OF ALL HOW DARE THEY CHANGE THEIR THEORIES WHEN THEY FIND MORE EVIDENCE! THEY SHOULD GET IT PERFECTLY RIGHT THE FIRST TIME! THEY SHOULD KEEP THEIR EXPLANATIONS EXACTLY THE SAME FOR ALL TIME! THAT’S THE WAY THE BIBLE DOES IT!

    CHANGE CONFUSES PEOPLE WHO WANT EVERYTHING TO FIT NEATLY INTO A SINGLE BOOK! IT’S ONLY REASONABLE TO WANT THE SAME EXPLANATIONS FOR THINGS THAT WE’VE HAD FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS! STUPID STUPID SCIENTISTS!

    Oh and by the way scientists, thank you for the longer lives, the fewer diseases, the better food, the cleaner water, the better clothes, the better shelter, the more easily available information, the remarkable technology including this computer, and so very much more.

    BUT DON’T THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT YOUR SPECTACULAR SUCCESS IN ALL THAT IS GOING TO MAKE US BELIEVE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE LITERAL WORD OF THE BIBLE! STUPID, DIRTY ROTTEN SCIENTISTS! NOW GET BACK TO WORK AND MAKE US MORE COOL STUFF BUT DON’T DO IT BY LOOKING AT THE WORLD AROUND YOU! DO IT ONLY FROM LOOKING AT THE BIBLE!

    .

    That, globalizati, is non-fuzzy satire.

  • Miko

    but how do you explain the silence of the stars?

    They’re pretty far away. Plus I’ve heard that sound doesn’t carry well in a vacuum. If you want to hear the stars, try travelling closer to them and filling the surrounding space with some sort of matter that sound waves can pass through. But make sure it’s something inflammable, or else I might be asked to explain this again.

    your faith is far greater than mine or my math is wrong

    Well, since I have no faith, I’m going to guess it’s the second. In fact, you didn’t even provide any math, so that’s kind of a tautology, isn’t it?

  • Mriana

    And that shouting from the roof tops is a prime example of what I’m talking about. They can’t see the forest because they are blinded by the Sun.

  • http://www.asktheatheists.com bitbutter

    @bloo

    The definition of a theory is a “guess or conjecture”. This means that it has not been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be fact.

    You’ve probably been corrected on this already but theory has a very different meaning when used in a scientific context. And this is the sense on which ‘the theory of evolution’ should be understood:

    merriam-webster

    5. a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena

    So the theory of evolution is a theory, *and* the massive weight of evidence in its favour has established its truth beyond reasonable doubt.

    It’s important to notice that creationism/ID is not even a theory in this sense. It’s a hypothesis, unsupported by evidence.

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