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Jun 26 2012

A scientist believes in God and invented some numbers and really bad math. Therefore, religion wins.

This should hardly be newsworthy, but The Laredo Sun thought it was. Turns out Daniel Friedmann, CEO of a Canadian aerospace company and proud owner of a master’s degree in engineering physics, believes that the non-overlapping magisteria argument is wrong, that science and religion are in fact overlapping, but he also believes that they’re compatible because they point to the same answer: that Goddidit. Oh, and he apparently wrote a book called The Genesis One Code. (Starring Brobert Blangdon maybe?)

But they both agree on the timeline for the development of the universe and life on Earth, Friedmann says. He has developed a formula that converts “Bible time” to years as we know them.

When applied to calculating the age of the universe and life on Earth, the Bible consistently matches scientific estimates derived from the study of fossil timelines, the solar system and the cosmos.

His formula — 1,000 X 365 X 7,000 –was derived from references in religious texts and science. The first number is found in Psalms, which says a year for God is 1,000 years for mortals.

The second refers to the amount of days in one solar year. The third comes from scriptural study that indicates one creation day in Genesis equals 7,000 God years.

When those numbers are multiplied in human years, each creation day is an epoch of 2.56 billion years, he says. Using the formula, the biblical age of the universe is 13.74 billion years.

Scientific estimates put the universe’s age at 13.75 billion, plus or minus 0.13 billion, he says.


Just a second, let me catch my breath from laughing uproariously for an hour. Which is like a god-femtosecond.

So a year, to God, is a thousand to mortals. Therefore, 1:1000 in year calculations, right?

Oh, so thanks to a “scriptural study”, a day in Creation is seven thousand God-years, you say? So it’s 1:7000000 right? That’s one creation day = seven million years.

But wait, so, apparently you also have to multiply it by 365, because there are that many days in a year, because it’s a creation day compared to a human year. Except that’s not what we’re calculating here — we’re calculating a “creation day”, which is seven thousand god years, which is seven million years. You don’t have to include the number of days at all. So it’s completely made up, even assuming that the numbers 1000 and 7000 actually came from scripture and weren’t themselves pulled out of his ass.

But wait. It gets even BETTER.

These are a few of the reasons Hawking is wrong [about there being no need for God], Friedmann says:

• The Bible and science agree on what happened and when it happened with respect to the formation of the universe and the appearance of life on Earth.

• The term “creation days” can be shown from biblical sources to be 2.5 billion years. Using this conversion factor, it is clear that the Bible is correct about timelines we have confirmed through science, including the age of the universe.

• If the Bible and science agree on what happened and when it happened, do we really have a conflict? It is time to reexamine and bury the conflict between science and religion.

There’s an interesting and testable hypothesis. Let’s look at the order of creation according to ChristianAnswers.net:

So Earth was created on Day One, and it was a watery blob, but there was also the void of space and light to fill it. Apparently this happened ~13.5BYA, to this guy’s timeline.

Then the water was split up into three different areas: atmosphere (sky), oceans, and subterranean water. (e.g. he also created land to divide them?). This happened ~11.0BYA.

Then God created the land. So he held the subterranean water apart for anywhere up to 2.5 billion years. And the oceans, I guess because he didn’t have anyplace to put them without land. And a global irrigation system using the subterranean water. And he created vegetation, explicitly seed-bearing plants, and trees that bear fruit. ~8.5BYA.

Then God decided to create the sun, the moon, the stars and other planets. With all their orbits. Hell of an ambitious plan considering how little work he’s been doing comparitively up til now. ~6BYA.

Day five, God creates water animals of all “kinds”, as well as birds. All are vegetarian. ~3.5BYA.

Day six, land animals, man and woman. ~1BYA.

Then God rested from 1BYA through 1.5 billion years in the future. Or something. Meaning either the calculations he made that came up with 13.5 billion years were desperately wrong (in the sense that he fudged in an extra billion years for shits and giggles), or they are desperately wrong in that he’s pulled everything out of his ass. Everything. Including how well this comports with the scientific timeline, in which the stars come first, the sun is formed shortly before the Earth, which forms ~4.4BYA, life appears ~3.8BYA, land plants ~0.7BYA, and humans anywhere between 200,000 and 80,000 years ago depending on how you decide what a “human” is. (Or much earlier if you go for a looser criterion for human rather than homo sapiens.)

And the Laredo Sun published this nonsense. Congratulations… you’re part of why so many people believe in creationism. Because you popularize people who work backward from the answer they want, and still fail miserably at it. Bra-fucking-vo.

35 comments

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  1. 1
    Stephanie Zvan

    What bible college did he get his engineering degree from?

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    This guy… puts things… into space.

    HE PUTS THINGS INTO SPACE.

    SPAAAAACE!!!!

  3. 3
    Jason Thibeault

    Just figured out he’s Canadian. CEO of MDA, the company behind the Canadarm. Got his masters at University of British Columbia, which AFAIK is just another reputable non-theistic university as Canadian universities go.

  4. 4
    Ouabache

    I find it interesting that these guys never figure stuff out before scientists do. They always seem to come along post hoc and “discover” that their holy book had it right all along. I’d be more impressed if they told scientists where to look and then be proven correct. That never happens though.

  5. 5
    Fionnabhair

    That’s just one creation story you’re examining. Genesis 2 has a different version of events, with a different order. How the hell do you reconcile science and religion when religion can’t even reconcile with itself?

  6. 6
    Cuttlefish

    Had to double-check the dude’s name; I thought it might have been my uncle.

  7. 7
    Clifton

    Then God decided to create the sun, the moon, the stars and other planets. With all their orbits. Hell of an ambitious plan considering how little work he’s been doing comparitively up til now. ~6BYA

  8. 8
    kraut

    “Born Sept. 19, 1956, in Chile.”

    Another hotbed of religious nuttery. Nuff said.

    I hope his quality control engineers check anything twice of whatever he had anything to do with.

  9. 9
    Clifton

    I forgot to mention that part made me laugh heartily.

  10. 10
    Loqi

    Man, it’s a good thing we’ve found all those 1 billion year old human fossils to back up this guy’s claim…

  11. 11
    Stella

    I think the point of the terrible math may be that it breaks your brain, so by the time you’ve got to the end of it you’re in no condition to start checking what order god supposedly did things in.

  12. 12
    michaeld

    canadian???? FFS NOOOOOOOOOOOOO someone stop him he’s making us look bad.

  13. 13
    Oranje

    With all apologies to the rational ones in the field(s), it surprises me 0% that he’s an engineer.

  14. 14
    HM

    Hasn’t this been done before? Or is it more interesting cause he has a masters in engineering physics? Proves that you can teach a man to fish but he can still remain an idiot.

  15. 15
    Eamon Knight

    Another data point for the Salem Hypothesis.

  16. 16
    Maverick

    He stole that calculation! Its from a kabbalist text that long predates his birth. So…not only is he an idiot, he’s a lying, plagarizing idiot.

  17. 17
    jakc

    Now we know why Sheldon Cooper was so insulted when his sister called him a rocket scientist

  18. 18
    Jason Thibeault

    Wait wait did the kabbalist get all the math wrong too!?

    Also, I didn’t know about the Salem Hypothesis, but I do now. It can’t be coincidental or selection bias. I’ve observed this too. I’m sure it’s a statistical fact. But I’d love to see an actual study of creation “scientists” and ratios of creationism in various physical sciences.

  19. 19
    Trebuchet

    Then God rested from 1BYA through 1.5 billion years in the future. Or something.

    Perhaps that explains why BigG is so inefectual at answering peoples prayers. He’s still resting.

    I’d love to attribute this to Poe’s law.

  20. 20
    bad Jim

    As an engineer, and on behalf of all sane engineers, I apologize for the outliers of our tribe.

  21. 21
    Trebuchet

    Re The Salem Hypothesis: I’m surprised I hadn’t seen that before since I cruise around RationalWiki a lot.

    I’m an engineer. It makes me sad to admit there’s a good bit of truth to it. I wouldn’t go so far as Salem, particularly the second statement, but I’ve known a lot of fundie engineers. And conspiracy theorist engineers. Sort of makes me wonder what happened to me!

  22. 22
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    *clickety-click*
    Darn. I thought Salem had an exception for software engineers: knowing all too well how components can interact in unintended ways to produce, erm, novel complexity with basic rules. Oh well.
     
    Wikipedia deleted the topic, btw.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Salem_hypothesis_(2nd_nomination)

  23. 23
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Failure analysis would have quite a project if engineers who just make up nonsense math designed things that went horribly wrong. Or, maybe that is one reason why some things are designed with horrific flaws. (Here we account for gravity, and this bit here is where God steadies the building in high winds.)

    I’ve seen engineering students work out better math for beer-quality functions in pencil on plaster walls.

  24. 24
    Tim Riches

    The Psalm (90:4) actually says that a DAY is like 1,000 god-years, not a YEAR is like 1,000 god-years. That’s why stultus is multiplying by 365. But he definitely pulled the 7,000 number from his ass. Probably something like ‘god’s favorite number is 7′.

  25. 25
    Jason Thibeault

    Okay, so that explains the 365. Thanks Tim.

    That still doesn’t fix the fact that, as you said, 7000 is probably a fudge factor he pulled out of his ass.

    1000*365*7000=2,550,000,000 or 2.55billion years (or a Creation-Day?), and that *7 = 17.885 billion years, which means my timeline up above actually doesn’t count for the full scope of the seventh day. I was giving the low-end estimates for when these things happened according to the Bible timeline, and day one for instance would have happened between 13.5BYA through 11BYA. And it’s well off of the 13.4 billion years that this universe existed, given the overlap at the end of an extra billion and a half years where he was “resting”. Because didn’t the Bible start then? So Adam and Eve existed for two and a half billion years before the Bible started? No wonder Eve started listening to talking snakes and was bored enough to eat the apple.

    It’s still a complete and utter failure as far as I’m concerned. Even that one mitigating fact didn’t come close to fixing the math.

  26. 26
    The Lorax

    As someone who has a degree in engineering, let me also apologize for our tribe.

    The only thing I can make sense about regarding the Salem Hypothesis is that engineers are naturally predisposed to making connections. It’s what we do; we solve problems. For some of us, it’s a knee-jerk reaction. We don’t control it. So when there is a disconnection between viewpoints, we sometimes ignore the merits of the viewpoints and jump right toward trying to find a common ground. The more challenging, the better.

    Of course, solving a difficult challenge is what we like, and once solved, we’re a bit proud of it (we are human, after all). So maybe that’s why a lot of engineers tend to be creationists… we aren’t getting enough sweet, distracting Sudoku.

  27. 27
    MaryL

    Plants before the sun? How does photosynthesis work without a light source?

  28. 28
    John Horstman

    @18, 26: It could also have to do with the fact that engineers (in my experience, at my university) frequently use e.g. mathematical oracle texts instead of actually learning the process/theory behind the answers (the Differential Equations courses at my university, for example, are RADICALLY different depending upon whether one takes DifEq through mathematics or engineering). I don’t know about other info, but is/could this be also the case for other science-connected points in the engineering curriculum? If so, might it predispose engineers to accept received information when they don’t understand the theory behind it? Obviously this doesn’t apply to ALL engineers (or even all engineering programs), but I was shocked when I found out that a lot of the engineering math classes involved a whole lot of looking up answers in big books of approximation tables.

  29. 29
    iknklast

    And of course science does not confirm that the earth was created before the sun; in fact, quite the opposite. I hear this all the time from people at work: the book of Genesis is an allegory that must be basically right because it puts creation in the same order as evolution does. They’re very surprised when I tell them that’s not true, and it becomes obvious they don’t know the order in Genesis, and they know even less about geology, biology, physics, and astronomy. Like this guy. But if someone can throw out some fancy numbers, I’m sure I’ll be hearing them soon. Probably by the 3rd week of the semester.

  30. 30
    Randomfactor

    He’s still resting.

    And bodies at rest tend to remain at rest…

  31. 31
    Hein

    The Psalm (90:4) actually says that a DAY is like 1,000 god-years, not a YEAR is like 1,000 god-years.

    But that makes him just so much more wrong! And there’s still no need to multiply by 365.

    Let’s be charitable for a moment and grant him the 1 creation day equals 7000 god years thing. But 1000 god years is like one normal earth day, so 7000 god years is like 7 normal earth days. Thus 7 days of creation correspond to 49 normal earth days.

  32. 32
    Hein

    The Psalm (90:4) actually says that a DAY is like 1,000 god-years, not a YEAR is like 1,000 god-years.

    But that makes him just so much more wrong! And there’s still no need to multiply by 365.

    Let’s be charitable for a moment and grant him the 1 creation day equals 7000 god years thing. But 1000 god years is like one normal earth day, so 7000 god years is like 7 normal earth days. Thus 7 days of creation correspond to 49 normal earth days.

    Wait, no, the psalm says that a 1000 years is like 1 day god day:

    For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past

    Never mind then.

  33. 33
    Blattafrax

    The big issue that I see is that 2 Peter 3:38 clearly states that not only is one year for God a 1000 years for mankind, but that the reverse is also true. So while the earth was created about 13.5 billion years ago it was also created some time** between 2005 and about 10 minutes ago.

    Did anyone notice anything?

    .

    ** Not sure exactly what we’re supposed to by using as a multiplier.

  34. 34
    usingreason

    This is all ridiculous as everyone here working the math has missed the divide by zero step. Yeah, Canada; I know we like to try to keep up with the Jones next door but in the religious wackadoodle category can a please just take a pass?

  35. 35
    Boz Haug

    Wow. Engineering Physics is a hard degree. And at the Masters level. The guy is obviously brilliant.

    However, intelligence–as we can all see–is not the same thing as self-awareness or intellectual honesty.

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