Not all sins are stupid and not all stupidity is sinful, but young-earth creationism is both

Here’s a paraphrase of a recent comment from Bill Nye, the science guy:

“The atomic number of oxygen is not 43. It’s not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.”

This is not a controversial statement. This is not an anti-religion statement.

“Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not ‘Every man for himself.’ And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up. “

It is simply an undeniable fact that the atomic number of oxygen is not 43.

When undeniable facts “conflict with your beliefs,” then you have only two options. You can, as Nye said, “question your beliefs,” to see if they can be reconciled with the undeniable facts. Or you can reject the facts, shut your eyes and your ears to the world, and cling white-knuckled to beliefs that you’ve already seen are false, fortifying them with whatever urban legends and outright fabrications you find useful.

No one, anywhere, can defend the proposition that the atomic number of oxygen is 43. It’s just a ridiculous claim. It’s simply wrong — demonstrably wrong.

It’s as demonstrably, ridiculously wrong as the claim that the Earth is only 6,000 or 10,000 years old. And that, actually, was what Bill Nye really said:

The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. It’s not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.

Nye is correct. His statement is not controversial, nor is it even slightly anti-religion.

What is anti-religion is promoting a demonstrably false gospel that elevates fabrications and rejects reality.

The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. The claim that it is cannot be defended. At all.

It’s not just a scientifically indefensible claim, it’s a morally indefensible claim. Young-earth creationism is simply immoral.

Not all sins are stupid and not all stupidity is sinful, but young-earth creationism is both.

* * * * * * * * *

• Is this soda tasty? Irrelevant! Is the ad for this soda funny? Irrelevant!

Can we pretend to be outraged by it to score points for our tribe? This is all that matters!

(James McGrath remixes the ad, delightfully.)

• Curiosity captures a nifty photo of Phobos transiting the sun.

The Laputian astronomers may have discovered the moons of Mars more than 150 years before the rest of us did, but centuries after Gulliver’s visit, the Laputians still don’t have a space program capable of landing a “nuclear-powered one-ton mobile chem lab” on another planet. So there.

Killer whales need their moms, just like humans.

• “Study: DNA Barcoding Can ID Natural Health Products

Fully 81 per cent of natural health products made from animals correctly matched their commercial label. The rest contained everything from cheaper alternatives to fragments of protected species. One product labelled as tiger shark fins actually contained a catfish species.

Wasn’t this the plot of The Freshman?

Hemant Mehta notes that the proposed “Creation Science Hall of Fame” has failed to include a single woman in its list of inductees. I nominate Marie Curie. Without her pioneering discoveries about radioactivity, creation scientists a century later wouldn’t be able to pretend that radiocarbon dating doesn’t work.

Ken Ham is, of course, among the inaugural class of “Creation Science Hall of Fame” inductees. That makes sense, because Ken Ham is to science everything that Ty Cobb was to sportsmanship.

• Oh, and Ken Ham really doesn’t like feathers.

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  • Gotchaye

     Not that I haven’t been drinking the stuff, but now I don’t feel as bad about enjoying Dr. Pepper Ten so much.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CE6FTHLHRMXUGOOGCMG3ROXBH4 David

    At the point I’m so accustomed to Marketing Spin that I automatically unconsciously translate “Not For Women” as “May Cause Birth Defects”.

  • aunursa

    I was on a cruise last year that sailed from Galveston.  About 2/3rds of my fellow passengers were from Texas.  In the weeks before the cruise, I learned from my Texas cruisemates that Dr. Pepper is the “official” soft drink of the Lone Star State.  The cruise line has a contract with Coca Cola to serve Coke products aboard its ships.  Nevertheless, for the cruises that depart from Galveston, they have learned that they need to stock lots of Dr. Pepper in order to satisfy the demands of these passengers.

    Most of my fellow passengers were Bible-believing Christians.  And yet I get the impression that they would be more irritated if they lost access to their favorite soft drink than they would be to learn that their favorite soft drink ran an ad that referred to evolution.  People have priorities.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    I was extremely grateful to the scientific community when they discovered feathered dinosaurs.  This way I didn’t have to ever tell my son that all of the dinosaurs were dead.  All I had to do was point at a bird and say, “There goes one now!” 

    Also, I have two indoor cats named Phobos and Deimos.  So every time I see either name, I’m like, “what is my cat doing now?”  Particularly since they shouldn’t be going outdoors at all, much less transiting anything.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    Those are the most awesome names for cats I’ve ever heard.  (But cats transit things all the time … my computer display, the television, anything I’m reading … )

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    My brother’s two cats are Seek and Destroy.

  • P J Evans

     true, and you can tell when a cat is transiting you, because a cat is a moving dead zone for sound. (That is, they absorb sound when walking past you, and you get a silent spot.)

  • Kiba

    I had a black cat named Neko for awhile. Everyone else called him Micro Satan (he was very sweet to me and my grandmother, but hated the rest of my family). The two cats I have now are named Pyewacket* and Pumpkin…I realized early this year that together they make pumpkin-pye.

    *Named after the cat in Bell, Book, and Candle.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Spent the weekend with friends whose cats are Poppy and Sesame. Poppy is black and white, Sesame is brown and white, and my friend says the day the cats came home, she and my other friend got bagels.

  • Kiba

    Pumpkin is one of three kittens that was born in April of 2011. My grandmother named him and the little female (her name was Tater). Evidently Gram was hungry when she named them (at least that’s what she says now). The third one I named Oscar because he had a perpetual scowl and he reminded me of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. A few months after they were born I walked into the the bathroom and found Oscar asleep in the trash can (became his favorite sleeping spot) so I figured I picked the right name. 

     @ FearlessSon 

    I had a cat named Gertrude*, she had to be put down in ’07 (thyroid disease and kidney problems), that I found behind our old apartment when she was just a tiny kitten. I’ve never had a cat that was as smart as she was. She learned how to open doors by standing on her hind legs and working the doorknob with her front paws until the latch released then drop down, slide her paw under the door and pull it open. She reminded me of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park.

    She would also sleep with my grandmother and when my grandmother’s blood sugar would crash during the night the cat would wake her up every time.  I always felt better knowing the cat was there to look after my grandmother when I couldn’t. 

    *She was also afraid of the dark and somewhat insecure. She had a habit of curling into a ball when she slept and sucking on her hind foot…gave herself and bit of an overbite doing that. 

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

     I too have a cat named Pumpkin. She’s 2 in November and is a ginger shorthaired tabby. She’s the most lovable thing ever.

    I presume your Pumpkin is orange as well?

  • Kiba

    I presume your Pumpkin is orange as well?

    He’s silver-grey and white. Pye is orange and white. 
    First picture is Pye
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v618/ithilion/Picture179.jpg

    Second is Pumpkin
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v618/ithilion/IMG_0179.jpg

  • Tricksterson

    Awww, kittikittiekitties!

    My own cats have many names.  The ones we give the vet for their records are Salem  (from the original owner) and Rennie (short for rennaissance Cat)  Salem, a big grey, is also called Sill Silkie Salem and Squirrel Cat.  Rennie who is splotch colored is variously called Sillicat, Flower Face (because her face has a pattern similar to a pansy) and Spare Parts Cat because her ears, eyes and tail more resemble those of a bat, owl and lizard respectively.

  • Kiba

    Pyewacket was a rescue kitty. I got him a few months after my cat, Gertrude, had to be put down (she was 17 yrs old). Originally his name was Sherman but I didn’t think he looked or acted like a Sherman and changed it. I don’t think he liked that name either since he took to Pyewacket instantly. 

    He use gets called Pye, Pye-pye, or Fat Ox (when he decides to take a nap across my grandmother’s legs/feet).

    Pumpkin gets called Punkin more often than not. He and his two siblings started life solid white but that changed over 3 months or so. He and Tater looked similar and Oscar went from white to a dark Siamese color (with the most beautiful dark blue eyes). 

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v618/ithilion/IMG_0147.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v618/ithilion/IMG_0158.jpg 

    Last picture is Oscar and Tater sleeping in the bathroom trash can. 

  • Akedhi

     My girlfriend and I each have a cat – mine is named Marmalade and hers is Gelli (which is short for Magellan). We decided the other weekend that the next cat either of us get will have to be named Peanut Butter or Nutella or some other sort of spread, to keep with the theme.

  • Fusina

     I love themed names. The first cat I got after I got married I named Einstein. He was pretty smart too, he liked sitting in an opened screened window, and sometimes in the winter I would find him trying desperately to pull the latch open so that the window could be opened. How he planned to lift it I don’t know, but he knew that that little latch had something to do with it.

    Anyway, the second cat was Berkeley after the college, and the third (and, sniffle, only remaining of the original three is Marie Curie, so of course they were referred to as Einsteinium, Berkelium and Curium. We fostered a cat around then too, Rusty, and in keeping with the theme, he became Rustoleum. The two cats we adopted post Marie were both beloved pets of other people who passed away, so came with their own names, so the theme has ended for now…

  • Jenora Feuer

     Heh.  My family’s most recent cat is named C’fer.  (Pronouced See-fer.)  As in C’fer Cat.

    My sister has an odd sense of humour.  Then again, none of the rest of the family objected…

  • EllieMurasaki

    Jenora: Dungeddit.

  • Jenora Feuer

     As in, if you say it out loud, it sounds like ‘C for cat’.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh. Okay.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I used to have a black cat named Magic.  We got her as a kitten when I was nearly three years old.  I raised her, and in turn, she raised me.  I was always ready to obey her when she wanted doors open, food set out, or just wanted me to lie down so she had a warm pillow to cuddle with.  

    She died peacefully when I was twenty-five.  

  • Joshua

    Fear and Terror? Very appropriate. Cats have evil on their mind.

  • aunursa

    Ken Ham is, of course, among the inaugural class of “Creation Science Hall of Fame” inductees. That makes sense, because Ken Ham is to science everything that Ty Cobb was to sportsmanship.

    A museum that is supposedly faithful to the Christian interpretation of the bible has a special commendation for ham.  Figures.

  • Gotchaye

    Yeah, we’re very serious about our Dr. Pepper here.

    That’s why I was actually pretty surprised to see that ad.  Dr. Pepper’s market is disproportionately the type to take offense at the mere mention of evolution.  Now, you’re right that there’s no way this hurt sales in any real way, but it seems like the sort of ad that should set off alarm bells in DP’s marketing department.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    In some ways, it is a pity that The Daily Currant is satire, because I would have loved to see Bill Nye throw down with Todd Akin.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I am reminded of a South Park episode in which Kenny gets placed in foster care in a strict Agnostic household.  There, they drink only Dr. Pepper as the ultimate agnostic beverage, since it is neither root beer nor cola.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Water? Coffee? Tea? Cocoa? Most anything containing alcohol?

  • Eamon Knight

     Our first Siamese cat, we brought home on a freezing day in January. So while we were thawing out over hot chocolate, we asked our then 4yo son what we should name the kitten. He looked at his mug and said “Cocoa!”. And Cocoa she was, for the next 14 years.

  • Vermic

    Well, what if we told folks that Dr. Pepper got his degree from Liberty University? Would it help them calm down a bit?

  • Jessica_R

    Black cats are the best, my little hell raiser is called Ella. 

  • Fusina

     I have two blackish cats–one is Nero (and is every bit as much of a stinker as his namesake) he has one half white toe, the other is Marie Curie and she has markings we refer to as reverse skunk (black on top, white stripe from chin to belly. Unfortunately she does have one trait in common with skunks–she emits stinky stuff from her behind, which is why her nickname is Admiral Stinkypants of the S. S. Litterpan.

  • Matri

    Ken Ham is to science what C4 is to health.

  • Hexep

    My cat’s name is Adrian the Cat.  He is completely omnicidal and frequently kills birds, squirrels, and other varmints as he can lay his claws on.  One time, he even bagged an adult raccoon.  I refer to him constantly by his full title, lest I tempt his wrath.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    You should also use your cat’s full title to avoid sounding like Sylvester Stallone at the end of Rocky. 

  • Worthless Beast

    A cat who got an adult raccoon.  Your cat is a badass. 

    The cat who owns my household… she’s an ex-feral that my man adopted. He named her Welsper  – after a character in a Japanese manga/comic who (according to him, he’s more a fan of the title referred to than I am), is a male demon serving a cosmic punishment by being trapped in the body of a female cat.  We sometimes refer to our kitty as a “demon” or just “Rotten Little Fuzzball.”

    The Dr. Pepper “Not for Women” campaign made me want to swear off Dr. Pepper forever, even though I rarely ever drink it in the first place.  I’ve developed an addiction to Ramune (a kind of Japanese soda in distinctive bottles). The plain version is like 7Up while there are flavored versions – lychee, melon… etc.  I’m also a huge fan of Stewart’s sodas, when they are on sale, orange cream, cherry wishniack, really *good* root beer…

    I was on TV Tropes last night (I’ve perfected the art of self control on there that allows me to click a few tropes and get off without losing Tuesdays). I think I was looking at the “Genetic Memory” trope and someone listed a theory under “Real Life” that “some scientists think the Flood in the Bible and other myths may be genetic memory of when our evolutionary ancestors left the sea.” – It was not citied and I am annoyed since I’d like cititation on something so far-out. WHICH SCIENTITISTS?  Wish you could tell me, anon Troper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    A long post about the wonders of our ever changing view of history…and the comments are about the names of our pets. I love this place ^^.

  • Jenny Islander

    Creationism pisses me off at a fundamental level (no pun intended) because of the harm it does to Christian belief.  The loudest Creationists insist that you must accept their assertion that the two interwoven accounts at the beginning of Genesis do not serve the purposes explicitly stated right in the text (seriously, read the chapters again with the words “because” and/or “therefore” and/or “why” and/or “how” highlighted depending on the translation you use) or else you are not part of the body of Christ.  They insist that you must go through all kinds of cognitive dissonance shoehorning dinosaurs and rock strata into stories that are not about dinosaurs and rock strata, or else you are not part of the body of Christ.  They insist that you must pretend that this stupid playacting attempt to pretend to do science is really science, or else you are not part of the body of Christ.  So people take them at their word eventually, and decide that, no, they’re not part of the body of Christ.  And they tend to go off believing that the body of Christ has thrown them out, when it’s just the Creationists and their inability to handle myth.  When the weaker brother starts kicking you in the ankles for daring to walk a little faster than he does, what the hell are you supposed to do?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    Exactly! Creationism  is bad science AND bad religion.

  • Jim Roberts

    Thank you for posting this, I spent so much time in my younger days trying to find justifications for creationism that could’ve been better spent . . . well, doing pretty much anything other than that.

  • Tricksterson

    Slam his head against the wall a few times?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Well, at least they’re aiming their wrath at the right target this time.  Back when Dr Pepper put a part of the pledge of allegiance on their cans, not long after 9/11, and elided the “under God” part, probably just to fit “one nation… indivisible” comfortably on a can, there was a lot of backlash for it.  But in the years since then, most of the time I’ve seen this zombie arise anew, it’s been claimed that Pepsi did it.  And then, I have to give another poor misguided soul a link to Snopes….  (At least it’s not TV Tropes.)

    I’m a full-time Dr Pepper drinker myself, but I still won’t touch that 10 stuff, because of those damned ads.  Those got under my skin a bit.

  • http://www.paulburnett.com/creation Paul Burnett

    Creationism (including its latest disguise, intelligent design creationism) is scientific illiteracy and willful ignorance.  NOBODY who uses any part of 21st century technology (particularly medical science) has any excuse for believing in creationism over evolution…NOBODY.  Anybody who does is (to use Richard Dawkins’ definition) ignorant, stupid, wicked or evil.

  • Carstonio

     I never knew that Dr Pepper was a favorite in the South. I stay away from most sodas except ginger beer with real sugar, but I’ve always like not only ginger ale but also Sprite and 7up.

    It’s probably no accident that the Creation Science Hall of Fame has only male scientists. Not that the organizers secretly gathered in a smoke-filled back room and agreed to keep the women out. It’s a worldview about “the way things are supposed to be,” to quote Santorum. Just as they believe their god gave “man” dominion over the fish and fowl, they believe the god gave males dominion over females. And some of these folks used to talk openly about Shem, Ham and Japeth representing a racial hierarchy, and it’s reasonable to suspect that many still do.

  • The_L1985

     I can’t stand fizzy drinks.  Otherwise, I’d buy some Dr Pepper just because.

  • JosephU

    Erroneously, the article states:”The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. The claim that it is cannot be defended. At all.”God tells us He made the earth in six days, and the reason why:  Exodus 20:1,8,11 (NIV 1984Bible)The Ten Commandments1 “And God spoke all these words …8  ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy ….11 For in six days     the LORD made the heavens and the earth,      the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’ http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus20&version=NIV1984Also,Cutting-Edge Science teaches us a 6,000 or 10,000 year old earth has many evidences,examples include: – Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less. These include population kinetics, influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere, absence of meteorites from the geologic column, and decay of earth’s magnetic field.- Sedimentological research has challenged the principles upon which the geological time scale is based.- There is no gradualism in the fossil record, no intermediate types.See: What Does Cutting-Edge Science Teach about Origins?http://www.kolbecenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83:creation-doctrine&catid=19:creation-doctrine&Itemid=81Young-earth creationism:good theology and good science.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Not all of us consider the Bible to be a holy text, nor do all of us consider holy texts to be science textbooks. Genesis-inspired creationism will do nothing to convince a Hindu or an atheist. In future, refrain from basing arguments on the Bible unless the argument in question is Christian in nature, or unless you’re limiting your Biblical argument to the Tanakh and expanding your sources to include the Talmud.

    I am not an expert in any of the fields you mention (what are your credentials, or your sources’ credentials?), but I do know that the Toba eruption, which narrowed the human population to its lowest level ever, brought the population down to a four-digit number, and this was seventy-odd thousand years ago. I also know that when scientists figured out the archaeopteryx, you lot stopped whining about there being no transitional fossils between dinosaurs and birds and started whining about their being neither transitional fossils between dinosaurs and archaeopteryxes nor transitional fossils between archaeopteryxes and birds.

    (Wikifrickinpedia. It cites its sources excellently.)

  • PorlockJunior

     “I also know that when scientists figured out the archaeopteryx, you lot
    stopped whining about there being no transitional fossils between
    dinosaurs and birds and started whining about their being neither
    transitional fossils between dinosaurs and archaeopteryxes nor
    transitional fossils between archaeopteryxes and birds.”

    In fact, people have been pointing this out recently: Whenever you find a transitional form to fill a gap in the record, you end up with *two* gaps.

    Our most recent amazing gap filler was Tiktaalik, or anyway the most recent one I know. The story of how they found it would satisfy any possible rational being who somehow had doubts about whether the biologist guys know what they’re saying or are making it up as they go along. So why should anyone bore people by relating it? It will only affect rational beings.

    Really, though, it’s a great story, and the guy who did it happens to have written a small book called Your Inner Fish, which tells that story and a whole lot more.

    Meanwhile, science marches on, creating more gaps in the fossil record, though narrower ones, all the time!

  • The_L1985

    “Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less. These include population kinetics,”

    Citation needed.

    ” influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere,”

    Citation needed.

    “absence of meteorites from the geologic column”

    Citation seriously effing needed here, because the K-T boundary contains large amounts of iridium–which is found in meteorites, but is extremely rare in Earth rocks.

    “and decay of earth’s magnetic field”

    “Sedimentological research has challenged the principles upon which the geological time scale is based.”

    By showing that the world is a lot older than we once thought, not younger.

    “There is no gradualism in the fossil record, no intermediate types”

    The lungfish, Homo erectus, Archaeopteryx, and Australopithecus africanus would like to have a word with you. And that’s just a few transitional species I can think of off the top of my head.

    See:  talkorigins.info which is an unbiased discussion of exactly what the fossil record says.  Read the “Answers to Creationist Claims.”

    Denying “science” that doesn’t fit with YOUR interpretation of the Bible, simply because you want to make a mythical part into a history text, is bad theology, bad science, and a possible sign of illiteracy.

  • Christopher Powell

    Where are the peer reviewed articles from this? Where is the evidence? Where is the repeatable experiments? Where is the falsifiability?

  • The_L1985

     This poor sap probably thinks that “falsifiability” means it’s wrong, not that you can devise an experiment to prove whether it’s right or wrong.  The “rabbit hole” of creationism can run very, very deep.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

    These ideas are mostly so old, and so familiar, that I don’t even need to Google anything to refute them:

    Population dynamics can only tell us the time since we started large-scale agriculture. Before that, like hunter-gatherers today, our population was roughly constant.
    Meteorites are very rarely found on the Earth’s surface. Why would they be more common in the geologic column?
    The Earth’s magnetic field does not decay exponentially, it varies cyclically, so gives no clue as to the Earth’s age.
    No intermediate types? Tiktaalik, Pakicetus, Archaeopteryx etc, etc

  • P J Evans

     There’s a long-term experiment going on with E. coli.  In 56,000 generations, some of them have evolved the ability to metabolize citric acid. (It’s the result of three successive changes.)
    If you figure human generations are 10 to 300 years, that’s somewhere between 18,000 and 19,000 years. (The oldest known cities are about 7,000 years old.)

    You can’t throw out radio-isotopic dating unless you;’re going to throw out all of physics and chemistry, because they all use the same basic principles. And so do your car, your TV, your telephone, and your computer.

  • Gotchaye

    I hear that (creationists can’t consistently accept other science) a lot, but I’m not really convinced.  Sophisticated modern creationists are typically pretty careful not to deny science in a very falsifiable way.  Lots seem to like to deny what Wikipedia calls uniformitarianism – they’re not objecting to any claims science makes about stuff now, but they maintain that the laws that science has discovered to be operative in the world today were not always valid.  My little brother’s tried to come out with crap about the speed of light changing over time being some unifying cause of all of the observations we make today which seem to contradict a 6000 year old earth.

    It’s an updated version of the micro-evolution but not macro-evolution thing, but now it doesn’t even depend on shoddy math.  It’s just the expression of the mere possibility that the laws of physics aren’t constant in time, therefore trying to deduce things about the distant past using science is useless.  Though they’re certainly not above also using the shoddy math to try to actively cast doubt on the scientific version of geo-history.

    Similarly with climate change.  Denialists are typically careful to avoid opposition to general principles of science upon which the actual working of things like computers depends.  Instead it’s worries that the research isn’t complete enough, that there’s researcher bias, that the models have too much uncertainty, etc.

  • Joshua

    Sophisticated modern creationists are typically pretty careful not to deny science in a very falsifiable way.

    Ah, well, I must have not met any “sophisticated” ones, then, out of the many that I have met.

    What is it that creationists actually believe which is incompatible with the principles relied upon to build computers?

    In my experience, every detailed statement made by creationists about creationism is a unique and special snowflake, bearing little resemblance to what even the same individual will say on a different occasion to a different audience. Working out from that what they actually believe, apart from the obvious “Bible yes! Brain no!”, is an exercise in futility.

    However, let’s take that speed-of-light-changing thing which I have also heard, and generously assume they actually believe it and aren’t just trolling. If the speed of light really did change, relativity is bunk, and therefore GPS doesn’t work. Not all computers I admit, but most cellphones these days.

    Also, if there was a literal flood that literally covered the entire world, including Mt Everest, well, there’s nowhere for that water to go. Therefore, computers shouldn’t work because they should be miles underwater and even ruggedised ones are not *that* waterproof.

  • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com/ spinetingler

     “Erroneously, the article states:”The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years
    old. The claim that it is cannot be defended. At all.”God tells us He
    made the earth in six days, and the reason why:  Exodus 20:1,8,11 (NIV
    1984Bible)The Ten Commandments1 “And God spoke all these words …8
     ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy ….11 For in six days   
     the LORD made the heavens and the earth,      the sea, and all that
    is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the LORD blessed
    the Sabbath day and made it holy.'”

    The age of the Earth and how long it took to “create” it are two entirely different subjects. You fail first paragraph out of the gate.

  • Mary Kaye

    We had a 21-year-old cat up until last June.  She weighed only 3 pounds at the end (down from 15) but when she saw the Grim Reaper coming she managed to squeeze herself into an inch-wide space to try to get away from him.  She had a lot of spirit, that cat.  (But alas, I may never get the smell out of my bedroom carpet–she stopped using the litterbox reliably years before she died.)

    Now we have four attitudinal gray cats named Sapphire, Ruby, Diamond, and…Katrina, who is a long-hair unlike the others, and who is apparently (my son named them) named for the hurricane.  Why she’s not a gem, I don’t know.

    To circle back to the topic, one of the courses I teach uses cat coat color as an entry into genetics, and it’s really quite cool.  But genetics by itself only gives you half the story–the cats are gray because they have a “dilute” allele that makes their melanocytes stubby-tentacled, so they can’t paint the hairs as well.  Evolution gives the rest of the story–under what circumstances would dilute be favored over sold-colored?  Who else has that dilute mutation, and how did it get there?

    It seems to me that it’s an insult to God, or the gods, to see at the amazing splendor of biological reality and say, no no, not going to look at that, it’s Not Right.  But if you look at it carefully you’re going to see that it’s all related.  The genes that control the pace of yeast cell division are the same genes that ward humans against cancer.  The genes that segment the body of a fruit fly also lay down the ribs of a cat.  How cool is that!?  Our genome actually contains broken pieces of numerous viruses that got in and failed to get out again, like a trophy wall or a set of battle scars.  There are genes in our immune system for which we still carry population diversity–differences among individuals–that originated in the common ancestor of humans, chimps and gorillas.  Whoah!

    Okay, I’m an enthusiast–there’s a reason I work in this field.  But really, when Dobzhansky said that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, he was hardly exaggerating.  And it is very sad to see people crippling their appreciation for all the cool life around us.

  • Carstonio

    That sounds like the deist concept of a god as a cosmic watchmaker. While it seems to me to imply an assumptive leap, I can admire the beauty of the concept. Creationists seem to have a very different concept of a god. Not just a watchmaker or designer but also a micromanager, like this Far Side cartoon. Deism might as well be atheism for them, because it implicitly rejects inherent meaning or inherent justice in the universe.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KiBTm2Q5ec0/UCFmchiYRMI/AAAAAAAAAF0/vZaHl33YN7A/s1600/FarSideGodComputerSmall.jpg

  • SisterCoyote

    My cat is Tina, full name Tina Turner, named by my dad, despite all of our eye-rolling. She’s very sweet to me (in fact, is currently curled up on my lap), and somewhere between wary and intermittently hostile to everyone else, save my best friend, who cared for her one week we were away. For years, my sister has referred to her either as “Demon” or “The Demon,” or “AAARRGH! GET YOUR DEMON OFF MY CANVAS!” Her friends used to protest (she’s so cute!), but then Tina developed a habit of sitting on top of the refrigerator, overlooking the kitchen door, which is the only one that works.

    You’d knock, Sister or I would go “It’s unlocked!”, you’d open the door, and immediately feel unsettled. The moment you looked up, two greenish eyes would be staring coldly at you from above.

    “…Your cat is a demon!”

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Matt Taibbi discussed the Kentucky Creation Museum in a Rolling Stone article a couple of years ago.  He said it was “proof positive of a certain segment of the population’s unparalleled ability to believe absolutely anything.”  And this is why the Republicans treasure these people.

  • Nicanthiel

    We have had three cats, two still with us. Apparently the pet naming trend in our household is literary: Our first cat, a black male with two white patches underneath was Draco (with the attitude to match), but he died about a month and a half ago. Our second, a grey and white female with tiger markings on her tail, is Eowyn. And our newest, a pure black kitten with a grey-ish fuzz on her chest and loins, is Daenerys.

  • Vermic

    JosephU’s comment illustrates perfectly what Fred’s talked about before — stupidity on one aspect of science demands that one also be willfully stupid about many others.  Facts, both true and false, don’t exist in a vacuum.

    You can believe, if it’s important to you, that the atomic number of oxygen is 43.  You can make this claim the starting point of your thoughts, define it as axiomatic and insist upon it in defiance of all arguments.  The problem is, if you accept it, you are also required to accept many other false facts in consequence.  You are forced to accept either that oxygen is a transition metal, or that the periodic table is glaringly and fundamentally flawed.  You have to claim that technetium is a hoax, which in turn requires you to reject a fair portion of applied nuclear science, to say nothing of the excuses you are forced to conjure when somebody drops a hunk of the stuff in your hand and asks you to explain it.  You have to reject many of the accepted observations of chemistry, both inorganic and organic, which means biology falls apart as well.  And you’re going to come to very different conclusions about the atmosphere, climate, and weather.

    So in the end, it’s not just one stubbornly ignored fact, it’s an ever-expanding spiral of wrongness spinning off into just about every branch of science and every corner of reality.  Unavoidably, your only choice is to claim a massive cover-up and conspiracy by not just chemists, but all scientists everywhere, working in perfect harmony to hide and deny The Truth about oxygen.

  • AnonaMiss

    My boyfriend named his cat Arthas. So naturally, when he got a little white dog with a voice bigger than her body, I named her Sindy.

    On feathered dinosaurs – I’m a little bit leery that their popularity may result in over-feathering. As far as I know there’s only evidence that therapods were feathered, but I’ve seen renditions of ornithopods sporting quills, and they’re not even saurischian!

    I suppose the uniform warm-bloodedness of the clade implies that their common ancestor archosaur probably had a fuzzy cover, but I still have trouble reconciling the idea of feathering throughout. I mean, feathered ankylosaurs? How would that even work?

  • The_L1985

    …My dog’s name has Arthas in it.

    Also, does Ankylosaurus have to be feathered just because some of its relatives were?

  • AnonaMiss

    Also, does Ankylosaurus have to be feathered just because some of its relatives were?
    Not at all. I was speculating that feathers may have evolved with (or shortly after) warm-bloodedness, in the dinosaur family tree, since all of the warm-blooded animals currently alive have insulating body coverings, save a few who’ve lost them after the fact – primarily from subterranean living. 

    Because warm-bloodedness was/is common to all dinosaurs, if feathers coevolved with it, that would imply that ankylosaurids most likely had feathers. Which, to go back to my original point, would look ridiculous.

  • The_L1985

     “Which, to go back to my original point, would look ridiculous.”

    To us, admittedl.  But then, we’re used to the sort of dinosaurs you see in The Land Before Time.

  • Maniraptor

    See above re: Tianyulong + Psittacosaurus.

    It looks like the immediate ancestors of dinos probably had something quilly that then evolved into feathers in some theropods (and were probably lost entirely in some other dinos, since we have some skin impressions without feathers). Ptero-fuzz may be homologous as well. IIRC the current theory is that feathers were less common on larger dinosaurs, but it’s not really clear since feathers are rarely preserved.

    I would guess if ankylosaurs had anything it’d probably be more like hair (not actually proper hair, obviously) and less like feathers as we know them now, but there’s no evidence of anything except that it’s entirely plausible they could have had something. At least, no evidence yet.

  • Maniraptor

    (Also, since I don’t think I can edit my last post, feathers are at least as likely to be for sexual display as for insulation, and probably if you’ve got as much ornamentation as an Ankylosaurus you don’t need much more of that! I still think quilly ankys would be cool though. Although not nearly so cool as proper paravian wings all over dromaeosaurs, natch.)

    I like dinosaurs…

  • P J Evans

     One of my friends likes to speculate on T. rex developing a collar of plumes in mating season. Preferably in pink.

  • christopher_young


    I’ve seen renditions of ornithopods sporting quills, and they’re not even saurischian!

    Not an ornithopod, but definitely an ornithischian, this Psittacosaurus specimen has what appears to be bristles on the tail. I think this is what such reconstructions are based on. Similar structures apparently also existed on a Chinese heterodontosaur called Tianyulong, so it’s possible they were quite widespread, but there isn’t enough evidence yet to be sure.

  • Joshua


    I mean, feathered ankylosaurs? How would that even work? 

    Gah, blasphemer! Ankylosaurs were feathered to make them more comfortable for Jesus when He rode them to work in Galilee! It says in the BIBLE that the stones of the ground would not hurt His feet!

    What other explanation could there be?

  • Albanaeon

     There have been fossils found of  Psittacosaurus and a relative of Heterodontosaurus that have quill projections on their tails.

    http://www.livescience.com/3410-feathers-tied-origin-dinosaurs.html

    Since its a fairly late arrival in the fossil record, and separate clades of ornithischian, there’s some speculation that feather-like projections might have been the norm not the exclusion, at least among the smaller types.  Larger animals would have had a hard time getting rid of excess body heat as is, so they can probably remain safely “scalely.”

  • kittehonmylap

    We have one 5 year old cat, a really pretty tortie named Shadow. (She had a sister named Flame, who was also a tortie with a big orange streak up her front. We called them after the Balrog in LOTR…because they could then be the Cats of Doom (Khazad-dum…bad, bad pun))- but she passed a few years ago). 

    We just got 2 kittens a week ago who are Mischief and Mayhem (full names of Mallomar Mischief and Duke Atreides Mayhem just so we have something to call them when they grow out of their all-too-appropriate kitten names). Mischief is a tuxedo cat, female, with big white whiskers and white paws. Mayhem looks like a mini desert lynx (hence the “official” name, which my husband insisted be sand related). I had forgotten just how badly behaved kittens are. They’re almost permanently wet from getting squirted with the water sprayer for either trying to eat our food, get on the dining room table, or get in the garbage…but they’re learning. 

  • Morilore

    JosephU’s comment is obviously a lazy drive-by copypasta.  Check out all the places where there should be spaces, line breaks, or paragraph brakes, but there aren’t, suggesting a bunch of formatting that disappeared when JosephU copied it into the comment box.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

    Yes, he’s copying from his kolbecenter.org site. Which is one of the most amazing displays of scientific ignorance I’ve seen in a while.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     I looked through the biographies for their speakers.  An educator/administrator, two aerospace engineers, a (now-deceased) carpenter that is “lacking in formal education,” and a civil engineer.  Why I (or anyone else) should consider them authorities on biology, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, or any of the other fields relevant to to the exploration of evolutionary theory eludes me.

  • The_L1985

    Because they’re passionately sincere.

  • Mary Kaye

    As a geneticist I’m weirded out by attacks on evolution that rely on attacking the fossil record.  Maybe I’m prejudiced, but I think the fossil record is, while convincing enough, almost irrelevant when compared to the genetic evidence.

    Other than Last Thursdayism, I flatly cannot think of another explanation for the genetic evidence than common descent with modification.  Either humans and chimpanzees are very closely related–related via processes that we can measure in the lab today–or someone falsified them so that they look related.

    Take the gene HLA-DR.  It is highly diverse in both humans and chimps, but the alleles fall into broad classes, and both species share the same pool of allele classes.  There are *more than four*  classes shared between humans and chimps.  So if you assume humans came from a single progenitor couple (maximum of four alleles) then there must have been subsequent mutations in humans that magically recreated alleles existing in chimpanzees.  Not just single mutations but clusters of up to 9-13 mutations.  On the other hand, if you assume a common ancestor, all of these alleles are straightforwardly explained as coming from diversity in the common ancestor.  The only puzzle left is how so much diversity could be maintained for so long (other genes in the genome are not like this) and that can be explained by HLA-DR’s role in the immune system, where diversity is highly favored.

    I could imagine getting along with a god who playfully falsified evidence–a trickster god, to be sure–but one that then punishes you for believing the evidence, no.  Such a god could exist but they’ll get no worship from me.  That’s just mean.

    For another line of evidence, very recent research looked for rare, divergent alleles in the European genome.  They found a good collection of genes which contained rare, highly unusual alleles.  They then went into the Neanderthal fossil DNA looking for those alleles–and found them.  But not in African lineages, which fits perfectly with the restriction of Neanderthal bones and tools to Eurasia.  If humans came from a single couple 6000 years ago, what does that predict about the origins of divergent alleles in modern Europeans compared to modern Africans?  Anything testable at all?

  • vsm

    I could imagine getting along with a god who playfully falsified
    evidence–a trickster god, to be sure–but one that then punishes you
    for believing the evidence, no.

    “You fool, that was one of God’s easier tricks!”

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Ah yes, the “Satan is a dick” theory of evolution!

  • Hawker40

    When we got a cat, I wanted to name him “El Gato Valador”, Spanish for ‘The Cat Destroys”.  My wife shot it down.  My daughter named him Perro, Spanish for “Dog”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     That’ll do a lot to combat the stereotypical cat-dog enmity.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Not that I haven’t been drinking the stuff, but now I don’t feel as bad
    about enjoying Dr. Pepper Ten so much (they had a very unfortunate ad
    campaign for the longest time about how it’s “Not For Women”).

    I haven’t personally bought Dr. Pepper since that unfortunate ad campain rampant ugly demonstration of misogyny and gender-policing on their part, myself.

    Riling up evolution-deniers with their latest campaign doesn’t make me feel less bad about their previous woman-bashing, macho-posturing campaign.

  • NoDoubtAboutIt

    We just got two emergency kittens – it was take ’em in or they’d be on the street.   They are sisters, about 10 weeks old, and the cutest and friendliest animals I’ve ever seen.  We named them Agnes and Tallulah.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think I may have tasted Dr. Pepper once. I don’t recall liking it very much.

  • The_insane_protagonist

    My cats (still living as far as I know) back home were a brother and sister named Mike (a shaggy brown beast) and Mo (a fatass classic tabby).  Best cats ever.

    I think they must be about 15-16 years old by now. 0_o

    My sister has a (old-style) tortie-point siamese named Nellina. 

  • P J Evans

    My parents liked to get two kittens from the same litter, so they’d have company. The first pair started out as Climber and Greykin, but Climber turned into Tiger somewhen. (My father was Tiger’s person.)
    The next pair was Sammy and Harry (officially Samantha and Harriet, but never called those). They were long-haired barn cats, but Sammy got all the guard hairs (4-inch long hair, srsly) and Harry got all the down. (My father was Sammy’s person, but I was Harry’s.) Sammy liked high places, and could actually end up in spots you wouldn’t think she could get into (top of opened door; walking on half-inch-wide branches in trees, getting into the pantry – which we never did figure out – and trying to get onto the light fixtures a foot below the ceiling). I learned to watch Harry’s eyes when playing with her, because she’d go into hunting mode and forget to pull her swipes.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    “Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less. These include population kinetics,”

    Citation needed.

    The… the rate at which drugs are absorbed among different bio-demographic groups?  The hell?

    ” influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere,”

    Citation needed.

    You do realize ‘radiocarbon’ (Carbon-14) is unstable, right?  It goes away on its own…

    Alternative theory: based on extrapolation from the data of the previous decade, clearly the carbon saturation should be much higher than it is!

    “and decay of earth’s magnetic field”

    Once again, CITATION NEEDED.

    The ‘decay’ he’s speaking of is the cyclic nature of the magnetosphere – it gets weaker, stronger, and even changes polarity as the core oscillates (I believe it’s core oscillation.  We know the ‘it is cyclic’ bit because we can measure the orientation of ferrous minerals laid down near the mid-ocean ridge.  It’s stratified.)

    “There is no gradualism in the fossil record, no intermediate types”

    The lungfish, Homo erectus, Archaeopteryx, and Australopithecus africanus would like to have a word with you. And that’s just a few transitional species I can think of off the top of my head.

    If we had complete record of every being that ever lived on this Earth, they’d demand proof of a transitional stage between your great-great-great grandfather and your great-great grandfather.

    I still think quilly ankys would be cool though.

    Because clearly it isn’t well-protected enough!:P

    You can’t throw out radio-isotopic dating unless you;’re going to throw out all of physics and chemistry, because they all use the same basic principles. And so do your car, your TV, your telephone, and your computer.

    Their basic technique is to bleat about how Carbon-14 has a relatively short halflife, and decays to trace amounts in a few thousand years.  Which is why carbon-dating is used for recent events, and other methods for older substances.  Samarium-147 could be used to track the date of events to trillions of years in the past…