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Sep 09 2012

I can learn more from an ant than I can from Christianity

Answers in Genesis gets email, and they recently published a critical message which they then thoroughly rebutted. Not.

Their critic pointed out the absurdity of believing the earth is only 6000 years old and that dinosaurs and humans lived together, and also made the point that an indifferent nature is not influenced by biblical beliefs. AiG answered, and it’s actually rather interesting as a condensed summary of their fallacies.

The first chunk is a table of ages, showing that scientists have steadily revised the estimated age of the earth upwards over the last century. It’s true; scientists are very open about how they arrive at their conclusions, and use the best techniques available to make their measurements. You can, for instance, browse the International Commission on Stratigraphy and see that the dates do regularly shift as new observations come on. In particular, there was a major change in the middle of the last century as the new techniques of radiometric data came into play; before that, estimates were made on the basis of planetary cooling rates (greatly flawed because they didn’t understand radioactive decay as a source of internal heat), and rates of sedimentation and erosion.

To AiG, this is a weakness.

An evolutionist could look at this chart and say, “See, scientists are continually studying the data and refining their answers, so we now have the age of the earth and dinosaurs narrowed down.” We agree that scientists should continually refine their views as new information becomes available, but that is precisely the problem when it comes to this topic. Evolutionary scientists have changed “common knowledge” multiple times over the past century, yet the Bible has not changed. It still clearly teaches that the universe, earth, and dinosaurs were made during a six-day period about 4,000 years before Christ.

What they call a “problem” is a strength. The earlier dates they cite were all developed by studying and publishing the evidence; the revised dates came about because other scientists examined the evidence and challenged it by acquiring more date and better tools.

Only a simple-minded fool would consider clinging to an old idea in the face of new evidence to be a virtue. Show me reasonable evidence that the current dates are wrong, and I’ll accept that. So that’s what AiG should do, right? Show us the evidence that the Earth is only 6,000 years old? Here it comes!

Furthermore, a great deal of evidence [Get ready to start counting their evidence!] exists that is perfectly consistent with the notion that dinosaurs and humans lived together. First and foremost, the [1] Bible states that man and all land animals were both created on Day Six. Since dinosaurs were primarily land animals, this means man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Also, [1] Job was told to consider the behemoth (Job 40:15–24), a creature whose description seems to match that of a sauropod dinosaur. In addition to the biblical testimony, we have discovered [2] pictographs, petroglyphs, and brass carvings of dinosaurs, [3] soft tissue and red blood cells in a tyrannosaur femur, as well as records from cultures around the globe of [2] dinosaur-like creatures (often called dragons). There are even some reports that [2] some dinosaurs may still be alive, though we need to be careful to verify such reports.

So the [1] eyewitness testimony (God’s Word) tells us that earth is about 6,000 years old, and He is most certainly a reliable witness. In fact, it is [1] impossible for Him to lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). Also, the historical data is perfectly consistent with the idea that the earth is young and that dinosaurs and man have lived together.

In all that noise, I only saw three different arguments, at best.

  1. Bible, bible, bible. Nope, sorry, ancient work of myth and fable ain’t objective evidence…and no, telling me that the Bible says it is infallible isn’t particularly persuasive.

  2. People invent stories of monsters. That indigenous peoples everywhere have rich imaginations is not evidence that their nightmares existed, and hearsay can’t be used to demonstrate anything. Tolkien’s Ring trilogy is not evidence that elves existed, and Hollywood CGI does not demonstrate that aliens are visiting the planet.

    Maybe this one ought to be crunched into #1. The Bible is just one specific example of a myth.

  3. The T. rex soft tissue is from 70 million year old bones. Their age is not in dispute. Does this count as evidence for a young earth when they demonstrably do not understand the evidence?

And then it gets weird. When their correspondent suggests that they might actually learn some real science, for instance entomology, which shows the irrelevance of their book of magic and hatred, they say, “Nuh-uh, we don’t need to!”

I don’t need to leave the museum or take an entomology class to conclude that ants are indifferent about Christianity. Since ants are not made in the image of God and do not have the ability to reason, I do not expect them to care about Christianity; although, we can learn some lessons from them about hard work (Proverbs 6:6–8). Nor would I expect that dinosaurs worried about salvation from sin.

The entire universe shows a complete lack of concern about the narrow, ignorant beliefs of Christians; ant and dinosaurs are heedless of the need for salvation, because it is an entirely imaginary concept used by godly demagogues to keep their flocks in line. If the fools at AiG actually looked at the Book of the Universe rather than their cheesy incoherent Book of Lies, maybe they’d learn which is the greater.

72 comments

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  1. 1
    bcskeptic

    Yet more evidence that the true “faithheads” as Dawkins calls them are hopeless causes whose minds will never be changed because they take the bible as their unerring foundational reference, and the more they believe in the unbelievable the greater their reward in heaven.

    This posting may reach some whose minds aren’t totally encased in fairyland nonsense and one day, cause them to walk out of a choir, mid-service, like Nick. That’d be sweet.

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    See, the Bible doesn’t evolve, so it’s right. True, creationist claims evolve, shift, repeat lies, and wax incoherent, but the core stupidity remains the same, hence it’s the best stupidity.

    And birds are dinosaurs. With that bit of meaningless pedantry out of the way, uh yeah, how come dinosaurs aren’t found in recent rocks, ice, etc.? Right, you don’t care, ecological zonation, magic, Bible is right, shut up atheist…

    All of our early ancestors were indifferent to Xianity, which at one point remained to be invented/developed.

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    Francisco Bacopa

    Since ants are not made in the image of God and do not have the ability to reason, I do not expect them to care about Christianity;

    What? You mean ant-Jesus and ant-heaven aren’t real?

    I just got back from church this morning, and as I do most weeks, I smuggled in one of the compartments of my ant farm so the ants could hear Mass. Even when I am unable to do this, I tear off a piece of my consecrated Host to take home so the ants can participate in the Eucharist.

    And now AIG is telling me all this effort is for naught?

  4. 4
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    I seem to recall a documentary on the ‘soft tissue’ sample where the researchers had to chemically manipulate the fossil somewhat to arrive at that state. It wasn’t like they had dug up the hidden evidence of some AIG clown’s cousin Zeke’s unfortunate encounter with a possum from last Thursday. It wasn’t all bloody and gooey like they would have you believe.

  5. 5
    pipenta

    Hah, “we can learn some lessons from them about hard work”? Oh? Or can we learn how looking to bible stories as your primary source of information is a good way not to learn, because this business of the hard working ant turns out to be not quite what you’d think:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/science/28prof.html?pagewanted=all

    What we got are some worker ants and a mess of Jesus-is-coming, Look-busy ants. Even slacker ants are a hell of a lot more instructive than any bible passage. And the happy thing is, there are many more ants than there are bibles and there always will be.

    Now, Smithers, RELEASE THE BOOK LICE!

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    By the way, the earth’s testimony of its age hasn’t changed a whit. It’s always “said” (while the genus Homo has existed) that it was around four and a half billion years old, it just took a while for us to read it.

    But I suppose it’s better to read a fable and believe it, as that’s so much easier than thinking and science.

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    raven

    Evolutionary scientists have changed “common knowledge” multiple times over the past century, yet the Bible has not changed.

    The bible has changed. It’s being continually rewritten. Every time they want to rewrite it, they “retranslate” it and put in some changes and hope no one notices. They do notice but no one cares.

    More importantly, all xians are cafeteria xians including Ken Ham.

    What changes is which parts of the magic book they pay attention to. It’s no longer even legal to stone disobedient children, nonvirgin brides, false prophets, heretics, or sabbath breakers to death. A male can’t have 700 wives and 300 sex slaves like King Solomon. In fact, they can’t have any slaves at all in these secular times. That is why there is no museum celebrating polygamy, slavery, and concubines. The parts where jesus says to feed the poor and heal the sick have been dropped down the memory hole while supply side and trickle down economics are emphasized.

    Despite their hatred of the word evolution, xianity has evolved and quite rapidly at that. It’s speciated as well and a lot of the 42,000 different clades have almost nothing in common with each other.

  8. 8
    kraut

    The immutability of the bible and seeing that as a value indicates a fear of the unknown, a common trait of conservatives and the religious. There seems to be a need to know that things are what they are and always will be, and that change is threatening all that security and is necessarily bad.

    It reminds me of the admiration by a friend for GWB, whom he saw as consistent, as if being consistent despite changing circumstances is a good thing in running a country.

    The AIG response also indicates that they have absolutely no concept of what science really means. Not a body of established knowledge as the bible by necessity has to be (only the various interpretations are changing, despite the ridiculous claim of following the bible literally – yeah right, you follow the demands of Leviticus, yeah?)but a process and methodology that allows us to learn about the material world, and refine the body of knowledge produced by science continuously.

  9. 9
    Menyambal

    If the Bible isn’t changing, why have the followers of the book speciated off into Jews, Christians Catholic and Protestant, Muslims and Mormons?

  10. 10
    hotshoe, now with more boltcutters

    By the way, the earth’s testimony of its age hasn’t changed a whit. It’s always “said” (while the genus Homo has existed) that it was around four and a half billion years old, it just took a while for us to read it.

    Nicely put, Glen Davidson.

  11. 11
    Menyambal

    kraut:

    There seems to be a need to know that things are what they are and always will be …

    Exactly!

    They like the prophecy in the Bible because they can know what the future will be.

  12. 12
    ironflange

    “It is possible that we have made mistakes, so if you can specifically point out any incorrect data or factual statements (not interpretations or conclusions about those facts) that are demonstrably false, please show us, and we’ll make the correction.”

    That’s easy. It’s EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER SAID!

  13. 13
    feralboy12

    Since ants are not made in the image of God and do not have the ability to reason, I do not expect them to care about Christianity

    …while their persistence in going about on six legs suggests they don’t read the bible. So what is there to learn from them?

  14. 14
    Menyambal

    The Biblical story of Noah and his ark hasn’t changed (except for creationists deciding which of the internal inconsistencies already in it gets emphasized). But our knowledge of the world has changed.

    Back when the story of Noah was written, it was about a guy who built a great big boat and loaded up animals from the middle east and rode out a flood somewhat bigger than had been seen in the area. It was a sweeping legend, but believable at the time.

    Nowadays, though, we know that wooden boats can’t be built that big, that there are zillions of kinds of animals around this great big world, and that a worldwide flood as described would be impossibly huge, and would have left evidence that simply isn’t seen. Noah’s flood, as written, could not have happened.

    If the Bible were revisable, the Flood could be changed or deleted or treated as parable. But since it is static, we now have clear evidence that the bible isn’t accurate, and they have wild-eyed fanatics insisting that it by-god is true.

    I used to be willing to pretend that there might be a god somewhere. But these nutcases have put me firmly into the category of saying that there cannot possibly be a god of any sort anywhere. My logic is that their raving illogic shows that anything they think MUST be wrong.

    Oddly enough, their book says that they will go to Hell for driving me away from God. (Let’s see you revise that, Answers in Genesis.)

  15. 15
    irisvanderpluym

    Tolkien’s Ring trilogy is not evidence that elves existed

    Oh, yes it is! The best explanation for the 2003 discovery of H. floresiensis is that Tolkien was a prophet. Obviously.

  16. 16
    heavymetalyogi

    It drives me insane that creationists don’t catch that Genesis contradicts itself. Genesis 1:25-7 humans were created after the animals. Genesis 2:18-9 humans were created before the animals. Genesis 1:27 “God” creates man and woman at the same time. Genesis 2:18-22 “God” creates man first, then woman from his rib. How can you say that a book that contradicts itself so blatantly in the first chapters is infallible?..

  17. 17
    heavymetalyogi

    I wish I could’ve seen Darrow ripping into Bryan on the Dayton courthouse lawn. Forcing him to contradict himself.

  18. 18
    Usernames are smart

    FTFA:

    Also, the historical data is perfectly consistent with the idea that the earth is young and that dinosaurs and man have lived together.

    Yeah, except for the tenny-tiny little fact that “historical data,” by definition, covers only the part where H. Sapiens kept records. There was language before writing (no historical data there, Bub!), and existence before language.

    Not counting the 4.53 billion years before H. Sapiens even existed.

  19. 19
    Dick the Damned

    The Christers’ bible couldn’t even get the name of their god-thing right. It’s called Jehovah, seven times, (i believe), whereas it should be Yahweh. How the feck can that crock of shit, the bible, be called infallible?

  20. 20
    Helmi

    Evolutionary scientists have changed “common knowledge” multiple times over the past century, yet the Bible has not changed.

    Science changes, the Bible does not. Science is a self-correcting process which progressively becomes more and more accurate with smaller and smaller margins of errors, whereas the Bible remains as utterly wrong as it has always been. Therefore you should believe the Bible because it never changes..

    Believe the liar who never gives up even when constantly proven absolutely wrong about absolutely everything, instead of the investigator who exposes the liar while keeping his own mind open, to improve his own understanding. Yeah, great idea AIG.

  21. 21
    Jasper of Maine

    My BibleCar’s steering wheel was welded into a locked position right when it was manufactured, and that’s a testament to the fact that the car always goes in the right direction.

  22. 22
    Clifford Banes

    Francisco @ #3:

    Ant-Jesus can carry a cross 100 times as heavy as his own body weight.

  23. 23
    DLC

    You ever see that old candy commercial : “You got peanut butter in my chocolate! ” “You got Chocolate in my peanut butter !”
    I keep thinking of that with Creationidiots. (Creatiodumbasses?)
    (Religio-custardheads ?) “you got your stupid fucking myth in my science! “

  24. 24
    lanceleuven

    Does anyone know the details about the soft tissue in the dinosaur fossil? I first heard about it at a creationist talk a few years back (it was hilarious he showed an image of ‘fossilised’ miners hat that had clearly been calcified after sitting in a mine for a century or so). But afterwards I couldn’t find much info at the time to actually explain it.

    raven: ‘The bible has changed. It’s being continually rewritten. Every time they want to rewrite it, they “retranslate” it and put in some changes and hope no one notices.’

    Reminds me of the Bill Hicks joke ‘they say the Bible’s the exact word of god and then they change it. “I think what god meant to say…”, I’ve never been that confident.’

  25. 25
    magistramarla

    I once saw a fascinating documentary about the theories of a certain archaeologist that explained the ancients’ stories about monsters. Found a link to her work here – http://www.archaeology.org/0003/abstracts/monsters.html

    She hypothesized that the ancients happened across fossils and then thought up stories to explain them.
    Finding a giant femur of a dinosaur might give rise to a story about a Titan. The fossilized bones of a mammoth might appear to have a single giant eye cavity, leading to a story about a Cyclops. Finding a burial spot of a mixture of ancient beasts (such as what we find at LaBrea Tar Pits) might lead the ancients to imagine an interesting beast like a Griffin.

    I always taught my Latin students to read myths with the thought that there might be a “grain of truth” there, and to then look for scientific or historical facts that might show us why the ancient culture explained things the way they did.
    I was a somewhat subversive Latin teacher. I didn’t just teach the language, but tried to slip in some critical thinking.

  26. 26
    Amphiox

    The bible has changed. It’s being continually rewritten.

    From the very beginning it was a clumsy, forced, almagam of two different, and mutually contradictory texts.

    http://www.georgeleonard.com/articles/is-yahweh-a-boy.htm

    Much of what we atheists love to point out about the bible contradicting itself arises from the fact that the whole thing is actually the product of a meme-fusion mutation event.

  27. 27
    moarscienceplz

    @ #19 Dick The Damned
    Actually, that’s the fault of King James’ translators. The Hebrew language has no written vowels, so the name of that particular god is written JHVH (transliterated to our alphabet). The reader is supposed to know which vowel sounds to add. Furthermore, the consonant sounds have changed over time. So the J is pronounced like a Y, just like someone named Jan who is from Scandinavia pronounces it “yawn”, and the V is pronounced like a W, and the H is essentially silent. Thus, “Yahweh” is the current best guess at a phonetic spelling.

  28. 28
    Owlmirror

    there was a major change in the middle of the last century as the new techniques of radiometric data came into play; before that, estimates were made on the basis of planetary cooling rates (greatly flawed because they didn’t understand radioactive decay as a source of internal heat)

    Actually, I have just recently read that in addition to lacking knowledge of radiation as a source of heat, Lord Kelvin ignored that his model of the Earth’s cooling was a little too simple. If the model is changed to a better one, with convective cooling rather than conductive cooling, the observed temperature gradients measured in the Earth’s crust are consistent with an Earth that is in fact billions of years old (and, as a side effect, you get a model that allows for plate tectonics for free). And this was pointed out by John Perry in 1895, while Lord Kelvin was still alive. But Kelvin ignored it.

    References:

    England, Phillip et al. Kelvin, Perry and the Age of the Earth. American Scientist. 2007. July-August, pp. 342-349. PDF

    England, Phillip et al. John Perry’s neglected critique of Kelvin’s age for the Earth: A missed opportunity in geodynamics. GSA Today. 2007. v 17, n 1, pp. 4-9. PDF

  29. 29
    chrisv

    ALL this verbiage is nothing more than variations of “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.” None…you dumbasses! There ARE NO Angels!!! There is NO GOD!!! Get over it! Grow up! You gotta do it sometime! You know you have never talked to jeebus. Accept that you never will. Welcome to reality!

  30. 30
    Argle Bargle

    Over the past couple of thousand years the Bible has been edited, translated, expurgated, revised, had parts tossed and been otherwise modified to conform to various theological, sociological and political agendas. But these clowns want us to believe it is word for word literally true.

  31. 31
    Menyambal

    Owlmirror, thanks for those PDF links. That is most interesting.

  32. 32
    tsig

    Wait if ants don’t believe in Jesus that means there is no Ant Christ and that can’t be because preachers are always talking about the Ant Christ, some claim Obama is the Ant Christ and the image of Obama’s face on a large Ant Body is so terrifying that I’ve spent the last four years hidden under the bed with a bible and a rifle (30 30 12 gauge over under Remington/S&W cross), I will not believe I’ve spent my time in vain.

  33. 33
    Chris Clarke

    Back when I was a sociopathic pre-teen and did that “experiment” with an anthill and a magnifying glass, I was pretty sure those ants suddenly believed in something very much like the Christian Ghod.

  34. 34
    Christoph Burschka

    impossible for Him to lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18).

    This logic does not resemble our Earth logic.

  35. 35
    Christoph Burschka

    There are even some reports that [2] some dinosaurs may still be alive, though we need to be careful to verify such reports.

    Well they got something right. Birds.

  36. 36
    paultaby

    Why Is Ham wearing clothes from the 21st century? He should be wearing fig leaves – else *gasp* clothes have evolved.

  37. 37
    David Marjanović

    In fact, it is impossible for Him to lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18).

    Wwwwwwwwweeeeeeeellllllllll.

    Celebrity deathmatch!!!

    Tolkien’s Ring trilogy is not evidence that elves existed

    Oh, yes it is! The best explanation for the 2003 discovery of H. floresiensis is that Tolkien was a prophet. Obviously.

    That’s hobbits, not elves.

    And this was pointed out by John Perry in 1895, while Lord Kelvin was still alive.

    http://www.vaderno.com/

    Why Is Ham wearing clothes from the 21st century? He should be wearing fig leaves – else *gasp* clothes have evolved.

    *sigh* No. Evolution = descent with heritable modification. Clothes don’t reproduce or inherit, so they don’t evolve.

  38. 38
    lsamaknight

    Ampohiox @ 26

    Thanks for that link. A fascinating read and definitely a thought to ponder that the Old Testament’s capricious psychopath essentially arose by accident.

    Also makes me wonder if the Jesus as the son of god thing might have started as an attempt to well, reboot things and separate out the two traditions again.

  39. 39
    rghthndsd

    We agree that scientists should continually refine their views as new information becomes available, but that is precisely the problem when it comes to this topic.

    Maybe I’m being dense, but can anyone explain to me what this sentence means without reaching a direct contradiction? It sounds like it’s saying “We believe scientists should do X, but the problem in this case is that they’re doing X.”

    I’ve heard of creationists contradicting themselves, but never so directly and succinctly.

  40. 40
    neXus

    Every time I hear theists using the argument, “Science changes, so it can’t be trusted!” I am reminded of a child who thinks they know more than their parents. The limits on their worldview would be laughable if this didn’t seriously harm our society as a whole.

  41. 41
    see_the_galaxy

    The headline is brilliant and absolutely true as this link proves.

  42. 42
    chrismorrow

    We agree that scientists should continually refine their views as new information becomes available, but that is precisely the problem when it comes to this topic. (Emphasis added.)

    Sorry, but what is precisely the problem? Can anyone parse this sentence (non-snarkily)? The best sense I can make of it is “Scientists don’t refine their views enough”, but that doesn’t fit the context, which is striaghtforwardly against the changing of ideas.

    Maybe it’s best interpreted this way: Scientists have kept revising the ages, but not on the basis of new information at all. (Though on the basis of what is anyone’s guess.) Meanwhile, there really is some excellent “new information” to which scientists are willingly blind, and hence this is “precisely the problem”.

    An alternative possibility is: It’s generally a good thing to refine views, but “this topic” (the age of the earth) is a special exception. (Why? I suppose a creo would respond with the usual “If it happened in the past then we can’t do science with it, can we, Mr. Smarty Pants?”)

    Yet another possibility: “We truly think a strict consistency is always better than the changing of positions to fit the evidence, but we know we should give some lip service to that other thing so as not to look too ignorant.”

  43. 43
    montanto

    Another thing… Correct my if I’m wrong, But I was under the impression that the “world is 6000 year old” number was based on adding up all of the sprawling genealogies that are listed in genesis (Methuselah beget Noah, etc…)

    Since that is based on certain assumptions you can change your literalist formula, and thus your number, just as frequently as all of the reality based individuals can.

    Of course since they don’t actually care they don’t bother.

  44. 44
    kaleberg

    I always thought Yahweh was just the Hebrew transliteration of the Roman god Jove (pronounced with two syllables as it was pronounced back in the good old days). Hebrew turns J sounds into a Y, so Jove transliterated into Hebrew, then back into Latin would come out Jehovah.

    Also, don’t be too hard on ancient accounts of dragons. People did find evidence for their existence. There were lots of skeletons along the Silk Road where the wind eroded them from the hillsides. You need a lot of extra framework involving deep time, taphonomy and anatomy to realize just how old these skeletons were, and how distantly they were related to any modern creatures. No one argues that those bones weren’t the remains of bygone creatures, it’s just now we realize that they were dinosaur bones, not dragon bones.

    (My favorite story involved ancient Greeks who would find mammoth bones and decide that they were the bones of the Titans. It’s not like any of them had seen an elephant. So, out of respect for the dead, they’d bury them in coffins with suitable inscriptions. Then, a later generation would find the bones, the coffin, the funerary inscription. They had never seen elephants either. You have to forgive the latter generation for making the obvious mistake, just as you’d have to deride anyone who still insists they were the bones of a Titan. We have seen an elephant.)

  45. 45
    Ichthyic

    That’s hobbits, not elves.

    I believe the post you were responding to was implying that if Tolkien was a prophet wrt to hobbits, then it works for elves too.

  46. 46
    montanto

    My favorite story involved ancient Greeks who would find mammoth bones and decide that they were the bones of the Titans.

    Cyclops actually. They would take one look at the nasal cavity and think it was a large single eye socket.

  47. 47
    dravid

    I’m not sure if they realize that they disagree with ALL science. Even something measurable like the Speed of Light would be incorrect if everything was created 6000 years ago. Our mate Ken Hamm was a Science Teacher, how does that work?

  48. 48
    rorschach

    How to refute the biblical creation without radiometric dating:

    DARROW: Then you don’t understand me. If we don’t get together on it, look at the book. This is the year of grace 1925, isn’t it? Let us put down 1925. Have you got a pencil? [One of the defense attorneys hands Darrow a pencil.]

    BRYAN: Add that to 4,004?

    DARROW: Yes.

    BRYAN: That is the date given here on the first page, according to Bishop Ussher, which I say I accept only because I have no reason to doubt it.

    DARROW: 1925 plus 4004 is 5,929 years. Now then, what do you subtract from that?

    BRYAN: That is the beginning.

    DARROW: I was talking about the flood.

    BRYAN: 2348 on that, we said.

    DARROW: Less that?

    BRYAN: No, subtract that from 4000. It would be about 1700 years.

    DARROW: That is the same thing.

    BRYAN: No. Subtracted, it is 2300 and something before the beginning of the Christian era, about 1700 years after the Creation.

    DARROW: If I add 2300 years, that is the beginning of the Christian era?

    BRYAN: Yes, sir.

    DARROW: If I add 1925 to that I will get it, won’t I?

    BRYAN: Yes, sir.

    DARROW: That makes 4,262 years?

    BRYAN: According to the Bible there was a civilization before that, destroyed by the flood.

    DARROW: Let me make this definite. You believe that every civilization on the earth and every living thing, except possibly the fishes, that came out of the ark, were wiped out by the flood?

    BRYAN: At that time.

    DARROW: At that time; and then whatever human beings, including all the tribes that inhabited the world, and have inhabited the world, and who run their pedigree straight back, and all the animals, have come on to the earth since the flood?

    BRYAN: Yes.

    DARROW: Within 4200 years. Do you know a scientific man on the earth that believes any such thing?

    BRYAN: I cannot say. But I know some scientific men who dispute entirely the antiquity of man as testified to by other scientific men.

    DARROW: Only that does not answer the question. Do you know of a single scientific man on the face of the earth that believes any such thing as you stated, about the antiquity of man?

    BRYAN: I don’t think I have ever asked one the direct question.

    DARROW: Quite important, isn’t it?

  49. 49
    Ichthyic

    Even something measurable like the Speed of Light would be incorrect if everything was created 6000 years ago.

    would you be surprised to know that they actually have multiple idiotic ideas to explain that too?

    like this one:

    http://www.fsteiger.com/light.html

    which you may have heard of before (the slowing light speed argument)

    or this one:

    http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c005.html

    Time itself has changed!

    which you most likely have NOT heard before, but is just as silly.

  50. 50
    Ichthyic

    Our mate Ken Hamm was a Science Teacher, how does that work?

    easy answer:

    it doesn’t, obviously, which is why he is now a snake oil salesman.

  51. 51
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    The Christers’ bible couldn’t even get the name of their god-thing right. It’s called Jehovah, seven times, (i believe), whereas it should be Yahweh. How the feck can that crock of shit, the bible, be called infallible?

    That’s what happens when you translate from a text written with no vowels – as ancient hebrew text tend to be.

    Imagine sitting down to copy and translate reams of disemvoweled text.

    As a compression algorithm it sucks.

  52. 52
    dravid

    Thank you Ichthyic.

    It must be really easy for them to draw targets around their arrows. Rather than do the hard work of using evidence to come to a conclusion they start with a conclusion and make up the evidence. stupid cubed is the same as fuck all squared.

  53. 53
    kreativekaos

    Another of AiG’s little exercises in stupidity, eh?? And I thought activated charcoal had a lot of holes.

  54. 54
    Ichthyic

    Rather than do the hard work of using evidence to come to a conclusion they start with a conclusion and make up the evidence.

    yup. Creationists are nothing more than beggars.

    Question beggars.

    ;)

  55. 55
    Stella

    Thanks for that link Amphiox. I haven’t come across that hypothesis before and it certainly does explain the evidence. Interesting…

  56. 56
    Usernames are smart

    Over the past couple of thousand years the Bible has been edited, translated, expurgated, revised, had parts tossed and been otherwise modified to conform to various theological, sociological and political agendas.— Rodney Nelson #30

    Better yet: we don’t have the original texts! We have copies of copies. Of copies.

    Even better still: the original stories were only passed down through oral tradition. Mark, the youngest, was penned about 50 years after Christ was executed. John was written 100 years later. These texts are transcriptions of literally YEARS of a big ol’ game of Telephone.

    Ultra better: early scribes were amateurs, most likely the literate folk who happened to be on hand. Group needs a new copy of some gospel, they ask Timmy The Coin Counter to do it. It wasn’t until many, many years later do they start getting professional scribes and they STILL introduce errors. My favorite is the Codex Vaticanus, where a scribe has added a note in the margin:

    “Fool and knave, leave the old reading and do not change it!”

    There’s no way in hell any of that shit is accurate.

  57. 57
    rorschach

    was penned about 50 years after Christ was executed

    Sorry, who?

  58. 58
    Crissa

    A think Dr Dornhaus is proving her theory but in humans. Both groundbreaking work on bees and now on ants?

  59. 59
    Ichthyic

    A think Dr Dornhaus is proving her theory but in humans.

    ??

    last I heard she hadn’t moved away from eusocial insects.

  60. 60
    Felix

    The T. rex soft tissue is from 70 million year old bones. Their age is not in dispute. Does this count as evidence for a young earth when they demonstrably do not understand the evidence?

    You see, it’s all about an interpretation of the evidence. Their interpretation is that the Bible is absolutely accurate and correct, therefore radiometric dating corroborated by sedimentation rates, anatomical phylogeny and whatnot must be wrong.
    Presuppositions held as inerrant count as interpretation, right?
    To any open-minded observer, it’s plainly obvious that 99.997%* of all biologists don’t know what they’re talking about (*based on the extremely generous calculation by Whitney Gray aka DonExodus2) because they start off with a sinful interpretation of the evidence.

  61. 61
    osmosis

    “yet the Bible has not changed.”
    That’s the problem. Some ignoramus from the bronze age who didn’t know the earth was spherical and the sun revolved around it made that shit up.

  62. 62
    wcorvi

    The reason the geologic ages were so small 100 years ago is that astronomers claimed the sun could not be older than about 30 million years. That was based on the sun contracting to its present size to release gravitational energy so it could shine. And light those plants in the Cambrian which required photosynthesis.

    The problem was, of course, that no one knew about nuclear energy, the correct source of energy for the sun. That allows the sun to shine for 10 billion years. Geologists were trying to fit within the known astronomy; they were under the impression that the ages were much older, but deferred to astronomy. The scientific world view can’t just ignore another branch of science – it must be coherent. An error in one branch (ignorance of nuclear reactions) can have a major influence on the thinking of other branches.

    Hubble’s constant gives a rough age of the universe – time for the expansion. His original measure gave an age much younger than we know it to be now – the distances to galaxies was underestimated by about factor 10, thus the expansion time was also small by that factor. This was consistent with geologic and star ages at the time.

  63. 63
    Jacques Ouihausse

    @#7 raven:

    How about setting up a bible museum dealing with the conveniently neglected parts of the holy scripture next to the Creation Museum?

  64. 64
    ChristineRose

    @montanto, #43

    The years of Methuselah, etc., only go up to Noah. Worse, the Septuagint (Greek) text has different years than the Hebrew text, so you can pick and choose your dates. After Noah they fudge a lot, then they start looking at actual historical figures.

    But the real answer is that Usher and his lesser-known fellows all thought the world would end in 2000–Adam 4000 BC, Noah 2000 BC, Jesus 1 AD, world ends 2000 AD. Step one is to pretend that God likes round base 10 numbers, step two is to assume that the world is on the way out. They then adjusted the gaps until everything fit into its 2000 year time slot.

  65. 65
    richardelguru

    Well just you try nailing an ant to a cross.

  66. 66
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Chris:

    Back when I was a sociopathic pre-teen and did that “experiment” with an anthill and a magnifying glass, I was pretty sure those ants suddenly believed in something very much like the Christian Ghod.

    I wonder if the ants were made in his image.
    If so, what did he look like?
    Instead of Great Sky Daddy,
    would he be the Great Sky Aunt?

  67. 67
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Ichthyic:

    yup. Creationists are nothing more than beggars.

    Question beggars.

    given how they pick and choose what they believe in I guess beggars *can* be choosers…

  68. 68
    blf

    Clothes don’t reproduce or inherit, so they don’t evolve.

    The mildly deranged penguin, an evolved T. Rex and always nattily dressed in a tuxedo, begs to differs. (She doesn’t beg, she just eats your cheeses. The massive teeth help.)

  69. 69
    Ichthyic

    I thought Rex ate coconuts.

    or was that before some dude ate an apple that his girlfriend plucked from some tree in a garden or something?

    all so confusing.

  70. 70
    Ichthyic

    Well just you try nailing an ant to a cross.

    it would have to have at least 2 more sets of crossbars.

  71. 71
    John Morales

    [OT]

    Ichthyic, orthodox cross, then.

  72. 72
    Ichthyic

    hey, that works.

    now we just have to make the crosses much smaller, or the ants much larger…

    I’ve been working on the latter myself, though the results have not always been what I expected.

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