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Apr 16 2013

The Ice Age in the Bible

Every time I despair at the dreadful nonsense from the Discovery Institute, I can reliably turn to Answers in Genesis and despair harder. They’ve just announced that “after two centuries of research”, they’ve finally determined the dates of the Ice Age. They’ve even announced that they’re going to have a chat on their facebook page at 2pm ET today if you really want to learn more. They have figured out the dates of the Ice Age (singular) from reading their Bibles closely.

You might quibble and say that the Bible doesn’t say anything about glaciers or ice sheets or changes in climate, so how could they possibly determine anything about Ice Age(s) from that book? Easy. They make shit up.

First step: build everything around a chronology derived from the catalog of patriarchs in Genesis.

The Bible gives us an inerrant chronology for marking historical events. It tells exactly how many human generations passed from the Flood to Abraham’s birth: eight.1 God’s judgment occurred at Babel sometime during the days of Peleg, who was the fourth generation after the Flood.

Second: reject all of the science that says the Ice Ages occurred between roughly 3 million and 10 thousand years ago.

Though this range is clearly not accurate because it lies outside the Bible’s total timeline of 6,000 years, several lines of evidence support the choice of the Pleistocene layers for the Ice Age.

Pay attention to that last line. They’re accepting that the Ice Ages and the Pleistocene occurred concurrently. But the third step is a devious one: reject the dates set by the radiometric and other data, and simply compress and shift the entirety of the Pleistocene into a Biblical window: it started in 2250BCE, and instead of lasting 2½ million years, it was only 250 years long. They’re only off by four orders of magnitude.

Wait. That puts the Pleistocene smack in the middle of the Bronze Age. How can they do that? Fourth: by ignoring the actual dates and making sweeping, simplified claims about human technology.

Knowing these things, how can we use the human history described in the Bible to shed light on the Ice Age’s beginning? Well, for one thing, no human tools or fossils appear anywhere on the earth until found in deposits from the beginning of the Ice Age.8 (God appears to have wiped away all remains of pre-Flood man; see Genesis 6:7.) Since their earliest remains suddenly appear throughout the Old World (Asia, Africa, and Europe), it appears that these are the people who scattered from Babel.

It’s not true: the earliest stone tools are found in the late Pliocene. But setting that aside, it’s a cunning game they’re playing. They can say that they accept the science, that modern humans appeared in the Pleistocene and that they built stone tools, and make the case that they accept the evidence real scientists have uncovered. It’s just that they’ve redefined the Pleistocene to be a brief sliver of time in a window that occured only about 4,000 years ago.

It’s a bit like saying I believe the historians when they say Charlemagne existed, and I think the primary documents and accounts they have are just nifty, but they read the dates wrong, because I had a burger with him at White Castle last week. Only worse.

Fifth: that old reliable standby, the argument from incredulity. They point to stone tools, and say it’s absurd that human beings would use such crude and ugly things for millions of years. We’re smarter than that! Doesn’t it make much more sense that the Stone Age only lasted for a few decades?

same-tools-different-views

Huh. I look at the Bible, and see how stupid it is, and wonder how it stayed popular for thousands of years instead of being laughed at and discarded after a few minutes. Maybe people are often willing to stay with what works for them for a long period of time?

Sixth: Polish the turd. They’ve come out with a fancy poster with a map and timeline to illustrate their glorious theory, which is theirs (pdf). I’m sure it will be going up on walls at homeschools and bible colleges everywhere. Here’s just the timeline part.

ice-age-timeline

Let’s ignore all of history. Let’s take various peoples with rich and elaborate histories preserved in cuneiform tablets and weathered monuments scattered all over the centers of human civilization. Erase the entire Egyptian 6th dynasty; obliterate Sargon of Akkad; ignore the civilizations thriving in the Indus or Yellow River valleys; delete the entirety of humanity except eight mythical figures living on an impossible boat with an impossible zoo.

They’ve plopped their ridiculous timeline right on top of known, documented historical events. They don’t care. They claim to accept the scientific evidence, except the stuff that contradicts their fairy tale…which is all of it. They’re unconcerned. These bozos are anti-science, anti-history, and anti-knowledge, all because they’ve decided that their holy book is the only arbiter of truth. But they are serenely confident in their ignorance, and many people will accept that as a reason to believe.


Another amusing perspective: if the creationists really accept all the data, what happens if you try to cram the Pleistocene climate record into 250 years?

87 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    Their timeline bears studying. Did you know the Neandertals, an entire human subspecies, only existed for about two generations?

  2. 2
    birgerjohansson

    The neanderthals worked during the sabbath, so they got zapped after two generations.
    — — — — — — — — — — — —
    When bishop Ussher claimed a date of 4004 BC for creation, it was based on biblical literalism. Before Darwin’s time geologists 8most of the had long since accepted “deep time”

  3. 3
    birgerjohansson

    Darn! I pressed “submit” too soon!
    It should say “geologists (most of them religious) had long since accepted “deep time” and accomodated the bible by saying it was only ,meant as analogies.
    So we are seeing a retrograde step to late 18th century thinking.

  4. 4
    birgerjohansson

    T he Onion has an article about how surprised the Mesopotamians and Egyptians were by the sudden additional creation of a world on top of theirs…

  5. 5
    No One

    But they have a timeline. It’s “sciencey”. After all they are all just theories, one is as valid as another. Teach the controversy! The moon landings are a hoax! Lizard people! Planet X! Mere-people! Area 51! Anal probes! Anything is possible, be open minded.

  6. 6
    Lofty

    I see more confused children growing up not being able to cope with the real world. It ort to be illegal to lie so horribly about science.

  7. 7
    Dunc

    They point to stone tools, and say it’s absurd that human beings would use such crude and ugly things for millions of years.

    You try learning how to make them, in all of their diversity, then tell me they’re crude and ugly.

  8. 8
    Ben P

    Two thoughts.

    1. There is nothing I find funnier (in a sad way) by any sentance that contains the following “Statement of purported historical fact See: Bible Verse”

    2. Someone who makes an argument from incredulity regarding stone tools has rather obviously never attempted to make either stone or metal tools. Flint knapping is tricky, you certainly can’t make arrowheads like you might find in an archeological dig on your first try, but the basics really aren’t hard, and compared to learning how to dig and smelt metals, it’s cake. That humans learned to make metal tools at all is one of the amazing things about human history.

    Moreover, a really well made flint knife is pretty damn effective at whatever you’d want to use a knife for.

  9. 9
    blf

    There are nine “generations” in the span of c.350 years, suggesting a “generation” spans c.38 years. So Neanderthals existed for only c.70 years, and similarly it was only c.70 years from the first Mastodons to the first Woolly Mammoths — during which time humans apparently invented tools and also first fossilized.

    Geesh…

  10. 10
    richardelguru

    Not only that, but how could the few people from the ark become numerous enough to build Babel in only three generations?
    (I’ve seen that obviously unretouched Bruegel photo of the thing—must have taken tens of thousands working on it!)

  11. 11
    Larry

    So when did the dinosaurs appear and when did mankind domesticate them and start riding them?

  12. 12
    Ben P

    Not only that, but how could the few people from the ark become numerous enough to build Babel in only three generations?
    (I’ve seen that obviously unretouched Bruegel photo of the thing—must have taken tens of thousands working on it!)

    No silly, Noah built a 137 meter long boat by himself, at some point between his 500th birthday (when he had his three sons) and his 600th birthday, when the flood came. Then he lived 350 more years. “see: bible verses”

  13. 13
    Forrest Phelps

    So Babel appeared before “first tools”? What did the build it with? Prayer?

  14. 14
    blf

    [H]ow could the few people from the ark become numerous enough to build Babel in only three generations?

    And do so before, it seems, there were any “tools”.
    For that matter, how did Mr Noah build his arks? Wait for the gophers to eat down the trees in the right pattern (hence the mysterious “gopher wood” the arks were made out of…)?

    (Yes, I know the term gofer has nothing to do with the animal.)

  15. 15
    grumpyoldfart

    I think it’s fascinating to watch generation after generation of fundie Christians condemning themselves and their children to lives of complete ignorance. They ponce about the planet with smugly superior smiles on their dopey faces and dream of the day when they will control the world, whereas, in fact, they are doomed to eventual extinction. Christianity won’t disappear, but the fundies will. Their names will be expunged from all church records and they shall become as famous as the Circumcellions (ie not famous at all, but regarded as complete and utter ratbags by the few who remember them).

  16. 16
    Mobius

    That time line is one of the silliest things I think I have ever seen. How could anyone take it seriously?

  17. 17
    Gregory Greenwood

    I can see how all this fits into the broader creationist master plan. It goes something like this;

    Step 1 – Lie.

    Step 2 – Lie some more.

    Step 3 – Argument from incredulity.

    Step 4 – Respond to all criticism with the Courtier’s Reply.

    Step 5 – Claim to be a persecuted group victimised by an ‘evil secular conspiracy’ despite living in a majority christian society. Add claims that atheists are communists/nazis/terrorists/traitors/subhuman/allied to to the enemy de jour of the moment/brain eating lizard people from Alpha Centuri to taste.

    Step 6 – Throw in some misogyny, racism and homophobia. If it was good enough for Bronze Age patriarch’s and all the clerical fraudsters since, then by the sky fairy’s sociopathic anger issues, it is good enough for you!

    Step 7 – Do everything you can to destroy or subvert the scientific knowledge that pokes holes in your teleological fairytales (and thus the basis of your unearned power and privilege), starting by targeting education. That inconsioderate git ‘reality’ may itself be a bit difficult to destroy, but reason and enlightenment have always held no more than a tenuous grip on the human mind.

    Step 8 – Lie some more. It never hurts to be thorough.

    Step 9 – Profit! (And maybe prophet.)

  18. 18
    efogoto

    I’m amazed at how much was built without tools. The first tools don’t appear until after the flood, let alone the ark. Babel must have been entirely made of found materials suitable for building.

  19. 19
    vaiyt

    Let’s ignore all of history. Let’s take various peoples with rich and elaborate histories preserved in cuneiform tablets and weathered monuments scattered all over the centers of human civilization. Erase the entire Egyptian 6th dynasty; obliterate Sargon of Akkad; ignore the civilizations thriving in the Indus or Yellow River valleys;

    They’re just joining the long line of attempts to erase the history of non-white people from Western minds.

  20. 20
    gshelley

    What was the world population at Babel in their version of reality?
    They have it 100 years after the flood, when there were just four couples. Looking at Genesis 10, Noah’s kids seem to have had about 5 children each, so if that is repeated, we might get to 500-1000 total population, though it also seems to suggest generation 3 post flood was spread all over the place, which I suppose if you are desperate, can be reconciled with the Babel story, especially as it talks about them “by clans, languages and territories”
    Do they accept all Indo European Languages as one group, having all diverged since the flood, or do they think the Germanic languages and Latin Languages for example were set up separately? How many language groups do they acknowledge?

  21. 21
    vaiyt

    Not only that, but how could the few people from the ark become numerous enough to build Babel in only three generations?

    To erase all doubt, that’s one hundred years according to the graph. Yikes! Talk about incest and inbreeding!

  22. 22
    birgerjohansson

    Maybe a scientist with a time machine and a 3 D printer came to the rescue. That is why the doors of the ark opened vertically, like the DeLorean.

    No wait, I know, the “ark” was simply the outer part of a temporal gate.
    Noah shooed a few million animals into it, knowing they would emerge out (at zero subjective time) at the other side of the temporal gate, after the flood.

    This leaves the source of all that water, and how it managed to disappear.
    I think the water was created by “quantum”, and when the energy loan expired so did the w ater. Therefore nothing was created from nothing, and the sides of the equation balance out.
    Damn, I am good.

  23. 23
    vaiyt

    I like how forests just automagically pop up in Antarctica right after the flood, just to disappear less than 40 years later.

  24. 24
    chigau (違う)

    *ahem*
    Flint-knapping usable tools is not “cake”. Even compared to, well, anything.
    Metal tools can be made without “smelting”.
    Ceramics came before metallurgy.
    /*ahem*

  25. 25
    birgerjohansson

    “Sixth: Polish the turd”

    I know coproliths that are more interesting than this junk. Hell, I know coproliths that are smarter than the people that wrote this.

  26. 26
    vaiyt

    Do they accept all Indo European Languages as one group, having all diverged since the flood, or do they think the Germanic languages and Latin Languages for example were set up separately? How many language groups do they acknowledge?

    Before Babel = a single language (King James English, presumably). The rest were poofed into existence by God.

  27. 27
    blf

    And Babel apparently wasn’t a permanent settlement, village, or city. None of those showed up for another c.110 years or so.

    That is one fecking amazing timeline…
    The stupidity is so concentrated a black hole is a marshmallow in comparison.

  28. 28
    peterh

    “…late 18th century thinking….”

    Actually, Bishop Ussher’s little foray into delusion was in 1650.

  29. 29
    Gregory in Seattle

    “Second: reject all of the science that says the Ice Ages occurred between roughly 3 million and 10 thousand years ago.”

    Minor quibble: There have been many ice ages in our planet’s history, including at least two “snowball earth” phases: one about 2.5 billion years ago, when increasing oxygen levels removed most of the methane in the atmosphere resulting in a massive loss of greenhouse gases, and one about 670 million years ago, whose thaw coincided with the Cambrian Explosion.

  30. 30
    georgewiman

    A friend of mine makes stone knives and arrowheads as a hobby. They are elegant and beautiful. The knives are incredibly effective at cutting meat. Only the abysmally ignorant could call them crude or ugly.

    But here’s another problem; there are a hell of a lot of old stone tools out there. Speaking of incredulity, how did they make them all in just a few decades?

  31. 31
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Lofty

    I see more confused children growing up not being able to cope with the real world.

    Or adults…. Other than being indoctrinated from birth, why would anyone foist a religion on themselves? One idea, which is mine…ahem, is that there is a need for a larger narrative if people are to interact with a reality larger than their own immediate existence. This much is easy enough to understand. A coping mechanism. We need a good story.

    But the simplest narrative available is (for many) that of the bible. It also has the answers to everything forever, so is really neat in that way. No messy untied ends like in the “Science” narrative. We see this as giving up, intellectual laziness. And, rightly, consider it dangerous. They do not.

    @ richardelguru

    only three generations?

    Yeah, I wonder if they are not meaning something closer to priestly dynasties. eg: Abraham’s priestly dynasty lasted 175 years, Adam’s dynasty 900 years. Father Christmas (St Nicolaas) Dynasty is a spritely 1743 years old and going strong!

    Kind of fucks up the 6000 year old earth idea though.

    @ vaiyt

    Or just paint the good bits white?

  32. 32
    Scr... Archivist

    birgerjohansson @3,

    So we are seeing a retrograde step to late 18th century thinking.

    And that retrograde step is itself very old. In some quarters there was a strong negative reaction to 19th century re-examination of the Bible as a human document with a discernable history, rather than an objective and literal record of true events. Look into “historical criticism”, also known as “higher criticism”. This reaction culminated in the pamphlet series called The Fundamentals in the 1910′s, and that is where we get the term “fundamentalist Christian”.

    Grumpyoldfart @15,

    Those Circumcellions remind me a little of the Westboro Baptist Church, except the latter don’t seek death from provoking retaliation. Instead, they seek large monetary awards by taking to court either the retaliators they provoke or the towns that block their assembly and speech.

    It’s odd how history sometimes rhymes.

  33. 33
    gshelley

    Before Babel = a single language (King James English, presumably). The rest were poofed into existence by God.

    But how many people per group? 20 speaking proto indoeuropean, 5 basque?
    Wikipedia has 10 major language families, but if we look at the small ones as well, it lists over 150 families and almost 75 language isolates. So, each would need an average of 5 speakers to form the original population

  34. 34
    timgueguen

    Isn’t this blasphemy? Isn’t the Proper Biblical Position(tm) that the Ice Age never happened since it contradicted what’s in the Bible?

  35. 35
    nanocephalic

    Those gumby-fonted morons would be funny if they weren’t so tragic.

  36. 36
    David Marjanović

    one about 2.5 billion years ago, when increasing oxygen levels removed most of the methane in the atmosphere resulting in a massive loss of greenhouse gases,

    Uh, no. Methane falls apart when the sun shines. The conclusion that’s left is that photosynthesis and weathering of silicates took enough carbon dioxide out of the air to allow a Snowball Earth episode.

    and one about 670 million years ago, whose thaw coincided with the Cambrian Explosion.

    No, there’s the entire Vendian period in between.

    But how many people per group? 20 speaking proto indoeuropean, 5 basque?

    “Where do we come from?
    And why do some of us
    speak Basque?”
    – Subtitle of a New Scientist article maybe 10 to 15 years ago. Line breaks as in the original.

  37. 37
    hypatiasdaughter

    I luv guys like AIG!! They are a gift.
    Vague hand-wavey stuff like “God created the Universe” passes so easily with the faithful. Coupling it with “science” is just a pat on the head to the faithful who want to be able to keep their cell phones, microwave ovens and heart surgery AND the belief that the Bible is really, really true.
    But they are getting stupider and more arrogant about revealing the details that show the true paucity of CreoID “science”. Anyone who does even cursory research finds that they are full of shit.
    Which creates a lot of people who, realizing how they have been lied to, will eventually run from religion as from the hounds of hell.

  38. 38
    jnorris

    Date of the Ice Age: 2002 (imdb.com).

  39. 39
    Goomba

    I thought “Historical Science” can’t be experimentally proven and thus wrong. What happened to their claims that anything that occurred in the past that wasn’t seen by human eyes was unverifiable “Historical Science?” I’m not talking about the science that puts the Ice Age millions of years ago, I’m talking about the very science that said it even occurred.

  40. 40
    sundiver

    You should hear the bullshit fundies spew when you point to the Moon and the number of craters and ask them a) how Earth avoided being hit and b) why nobody noticed the Moon being bombarded even if Earth were somwhow spared the pummelling. I mean, the impacts that created the craters Tycho and Copernicus would have spectacular sights from here to say nothing of the fireworks show resulting from, say, the impact that created the Imbrium basin. The fundy ability to ignore evidence in order to sustain belief in barbaric myths baffles me. I guess small minds need a small Universe.

  41. 41
    blf

    Rando@39, Humans existed throughout that entire goofy timeline, and so, with the possible exception of Antarctica’s forests springing up and then freezing over (all within a span of c.40 years just after Teh Flud), it all was “seen by human eyes”.

  42. 42
    sundiver

    Rando, their claims are automatically true ‘cuz they’re “Peepul uv Gawud” doncha know and their word is “Gospel Truth”. Actually, if the dipshits knew one fucking thing about how their bullshit book got compiled the term “Gospel Truth” would have an entirely different meaning.

  43. 43
    robro

    This notion that the Bible gives “an inerrant chronology for marking historical events” is a total fail, of course, because the Bible is not chronology or history. From beginning to end, it is theology. Historical facts and events were not a concern, and were only conjured up (often from whole cloth) to serve some theological perspective. This would explain why so much of the “history” can’t be found in the archaeology of Palestine or sources outside of the Bible. Indeed, the people who wrote the Bible had practically no knowledge of history, including their own, much beyond a few generations before them.

    In The Israelites in History and Tradition, Niels Lemche discusses the historical setting for such literalist readings of the Bible as history. He says this was not a common reading until after the 1600s, and that such readings correspond to the rise of the modern nation-state, making the Bible serve the purpose of royal and state power. He points out that a great deal of the scholarship of the Bible as history came from 19th century Germans, which just happens to be when Germany was emerging as a unified nation-state.

  44. 44
    edmundog

    This is ridiculous. You don’t have “a” burger at White Castle.

  45. 45
    chigau (違う)

    sundiver #40
    Did all the meteor impacts on the moon occur during the daytime when the moon is out of sight?

  46. 46
    sundiver

    Hypatiasdaughter, when I first heard the fundie bullshit at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Fairfax VA I could barely keep from laughing. I wasn’t aware of St Augustine’s message to Christians about ridiculous flapdoodle turning people away from Christianity at the time but the assclams at that church provided a good example to my 15-year-old mind. Well, that and the fact that congregants at that church were some of most obnoxious assholes I’ve ever encountered.

  47. 47
    Ben P

    *ahem*
    Flint-knapping usable tools is not “cake”. Even compared to, well, anything.
    Metal tools can be made without “smelting”.
    Ceramics came before metallurgy.
    /*ahem*

    Making sophisticated tools is extremely difficult, but making a single edge, really not so. There’s actually a bunch of places that will let you try your hand at flint knapping. Granted, that’s involves a lot of hindsight knowing which rocks to pick and what you’re trying to do. Kind of like the wheel, it seems obvious, but being the first one to figure it out is much much more difficult.

    And, no you really can’t make effective metal tools without smelting to some degree. Gold is found in its native form and was made into hammered items as early as 10,000 BC, tin and lead were also melted and cast earlier than copper, but are likewise too soft.. Copper is only relatively rarely found in native crystals, and while there is evidence of hammered copper items for several thousand years, most such items aren’t tools. Hammered copper is so brittle it is of very little practical use. You can make an edge out of it, but something like an axe would not be worth the work involved because it would shatter. However, by 6000 BC you see evidence of copper being melted and cast. (and it is entirely likely that the first people to discover that copper could be melted and cast were potters who built particularly hot fires) But because almost any native copper is in a matrix, melting it inherently involves melting the pure copper away from the underlying rock. I’d call that smelting even if it doesn’t fit the most technical definition.

    Once you’re melting and casting native copper, you naturally get various alloys, and then it’s a natural progression to sorting the results by their properties and *discovering* bronze. But spreading this beyond a few limited “master-apprentice” type chains requires a good way to transmit knowledge, hence it taking a long time to spread.

  48. 48
    sundiver

    Chigau, they may have all happened when Earth was shrouded in the vapor canopy. Of course, one womders how the fuck people could have seen a goddamn thing at all, what with enough moisture in the sky to cover the planet with 10 kilometers of water.

  49. 49
    sundiver

    Oops, I mean wonders.

  50. 50
    Goomba

    Right, I forgot Option C: when in doubt, make it up.

  51. 51
    blf

    The craters on the Moon are actually the (now blocked with debris) drains from which Teh Fludwaters poured.

  52. 52
    pacal

    Wow just wow!! The stupidity in that timeline beggers belief. Not only does the flood occur c. 2350 B.C.E., which is about the time of Sargon of Akkad, as mentioned by P.Z., and his grandson Narmin-Sin, but it occurs shortly after the great pyramid was built! It is not just the 6th dynasty vanishes but also the 5th and just how does Egypt continue to have dynasties and even a first intermediate period c. 2150 B.C.E., if there are practically no people on earth. I note just how do you fit in Pepi II who reigned stated c. 2250 B.C.E. and lasted c. 90 years? I am curious about how the Xia dynasty in China managed to establish themselves c. 2150 B.C.E., if there was practically no one.

    Of course AIG will also ignore the total lack of evidence for a world wide flood c. 2350 B.C.E.

  53. 53
    sundiver

    Come to think of it Chigau, I would imagine some of the impact debris would be quite visible from Earth for some time afterward so someone would have noted it and mentioned it. Some of our knowledge of the supernova that created the Crab Nebula comes from Chinese astronomers’ record of the “Guest Star” they observed in the year our culture calls 1054 so I would think other cultures would have a record of some weird shit happening around the Moon.

  54. 54
    Ben P

    Hammered copper is so brittle it is of very little practical use.

    Poor phrasing, on my part. You can make jewelry and containers and all sorts of interesting things that are certainly practical.. You can also make knives and spear-heads, but the metal is quite brittle and not easily adapted for anything that is intended to take repeated impacts like an axe or a shovel or a hammer. That requires casting and forging.

  55. 55
    sundiver

    blf, the lunar samples brought back by the Apollo crews don’t show much in the way of water even in their chemical make-up. But then, when have the facts ever been important in fundy bullshit?

  56. 56
    sundiver

    Pacal, you ought to read the paper by Phil Senter on the refutation of flood geology by flood geologists. Turns out none of them can find any evidence of Teh Flud anywhere in the geological column. Pretty funny paper.

  57. 57
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @No one

    But they have a timeline. It’s “sciencey”. After all they are all just theories, one is as valid as another. Teach the controversy! The moon landings are a hoax! Lizard people! Planet X! Mere-people! Area 51! Anal probes! Anything is possible, be open minded.

    I’d be willing to make the argument from personal experience for one of those.

  58. 58
    chigau (違う)

    And, no you really can’t make effective metal tools without smelting to some degree.

    Tell that to the pre-contact people of North America.

  59. 59
    Ben P

    Tell that to the pre-contact people of North America.

    Although there’s some scholarly dispute as to precisely when, where and how there’s quite a bit of evidence that pre-contact South American civilizations smelted copper sulfides some of them even dating to 8000 BC. Archeologists have found evidence of poured copper that was tested to be 95% copper, 2.5% Arsenic and about 2% nickel. While that’s not precisely the Copper-tin alloys commonly used in the middle east, t(90% copper 10% tin, give or take5% on each side )hat’s going to produce a an alloy that’s harder and more durable than pure copper.

  60. 60
    PZ Myers

    However, by 6000 BC you see evidence of copper being melted and cast.

    Nonsense. The world wasn’t even going to exist for another 2000 years.

  61. 61
    PZ Myers

    some of them even dating to 8000 BC.

    Even worse!

  62. 62
    ChristineRose

    This is awesome. Simple math tells us that generations range from 42 to 72 years, so y’all are underestimating the time frames! It took a whole 145 years for the mammoth to evolve in response to the temperature drops, spread and go extinct. However I cannot explain why science has failed to observe evolution in action despite having had 153 years since Origin to observe large distinctive mammals coming and going. Let’s put some mice in an artificial glacier and check on them next decade.

  63. 63
    hexidecima

    what I like best about this is that they demonstrate how creationists have constantly adjusted their magical “Truth”. Poor things, their ancestors would be sure that they are evil satanic heretics.

  64. 64
    chigau (違う)

    There is an abundance of archaeological evidence that people all over North America made a wide variety of perfectly functional tools out of native metals without smelting.

  65. 65
    tommykey

    I call Young Earth Creationism the Procustean Bed of Bliblical Literalism. The only way to make the timeline fit is to hack and squeeze periods of time until they’re small enough to fit.

    Would like to see how they fit in the Green Sahara settlements that predate pharaonic Egpyt.

  66. 66
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @tommykey –

    So few people employ Procrustes, and yet it’s so awesomely useful. I like it particularly well as a complement to Occam’s razor. “I’m going to strap your ideas down here, and just see how much we have to hack off to fit the bed of reality. I’m also going to do the same with these other ideas. Then we’ll just see which one survives the best.”

  67. 67
    ChristineRose

    Would like to see how they fit in the Green Sahara settlements that predate pharaonic Egpyt.,

    You don’t know that they predate pharaonic Egypt. After all, you weren’t there. I look at the same evidence you look at and in the enlightening light of scripture, I see the sons of Ham!

  68. 68
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I can’t work out if Christine Rose is serious or not *goes cross eyed in confusion* X-/

  69. 69
    unclefrogy

    there are people on most city streets living out a of a shopping cart that make more sense than these fools selling their bullshit.

    uncle frogy

  70. 70
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    ChristineRose is engaging in sarcasm, I assure you. While millions of people might be willing to say such things, and probably would say such a thing face to face with a cow-orker, anyone coming in here to say that would

    1. use a lot more profanity
    2. not take the time to learn how to use html tags appropriately, then use them for emphasis that is specific and restrained.

    I give ChristineRose’s comment a 7 – it’s got a beat and you can dance to it.

  71. 71
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Crip Dyke

    Yeah, that’s what made me suspect they weren’t serious. But the sentiments expressed… won’t someone think of the sentiments!

    Bleugh. It’s been a long day. It’s ten to seven here and I’m still at the office.

    @ChristineRose

    Now I know you’re joking, that was quite funny :)

  72. 72
    gshelley

    It also occurred to me that not only would everyone be closely related, but the founders of each lineage would still be hanging around as they all lived several hundred years after the flood, including Noah. Not that it makes the story any more ridiculous

  73. 73
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Oh, I think it does make it more ridiculous, but because the only way to visualize this stuff on the same graph as, say, the moon landing is a hoax! is to use a logarithmic scale, so by the time you get up there, things seem to have leveled off pretty thoroughly.

    But I’ve checked the math. No asymptote. If they continue on this path, they really can get more and more ridiculous essentially forever.

  74. 74
    Margaret

    How many language groups do they acknowledge?

    They only know about 2 languages: English (which Jesus spoke) and furrin.

  75. 75
    Irmin

    Wow, this timeline really is great in so many ways…

    What exactly is a Neanderthal in the minds of AiG if they pop into existence and vanish only two generations (or 80 years) later? How do you distribute six to eight generations of humans over basically half the world and still have enough left for a few cities?

    What the hell is Babel, if it predates both first permanent settlements and first cities? If getting from the former to the latter only took ~60 years, what the fuck happened since then? The development of humans became much slower suddenly, it seems. Or rather got backwards. I mean, they built Babel and the infamous tower without tools apparently…

  76. 76
    Amphiox

    The Neaderthals must be the Nephilim….

  77. 77
    birgerjohansson

    They used nephilim as slaves. Since the nephilim can do magic, they did not need tools.
    Re. population, maybe they borrowed female sex slaves from the Islamic version of heaven.

    The craters of the moon are from the war between the angels supporting God and Lucifer (yes, there really are people in America who claim this!).

    I think I am beginning to prefer the Australian aboriginal creation myth…

  78. 78
    sosw

    They point to stone tools, and say it’s absurd that human beings would use such crude and ugly things for millions of years. We’re smarter than that! Doesn’t it make much more sense that the Stone Age only lasted for a few decades?

    At least they’re consistent in that they’re wrong by equally many orders of magnitude on both numbers…

  79. 79
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    But does ID Creationism explain Dwarfs? Until it can, it’s just a failed hypotheosis.

  80. 80
    DLC

    When I first looked on that bizarre thing they call a timeline I nearly spewed coffee on my keyboard.
    The laughing, interspersed with “What The FUCK!” was probably heard by the neighbors, who are quite used to the dotty old loon bursting out with weird exclamations at all hours. But they still don’t answer the question: Who did Caine and Abel marry ? (one assumes Abel was married before Caine slew him.. . . Naughty, Caine, very naughty.)
    The entire ice age from start to finish, took 3 generations of men ? That’s so far wrong it can’t even see ordinary magnitudes of wrong from where it is, it has to infer them from stupidons (a theoretical byproduct of wrongness) sensed by the disturbances in a huge vat of bovine feces.

  81. 81
    DLC

    (oh damn… hit submit before realizing I spelled Cain wrong. Caine with an e is one of the commenters here, and not at all concerned in the untimely death of Abel. Sorry. )

  82. 82
    Samantha Vimes

    Babel was supposed to be a *city*. So from a bottleneck population of 8, it only took 100 years to make thousands of people? 4 women for the first 15 years make one kid a year, so 68 people after 15 years. Half of those are female… and we are assuming no deaths… so in another 15 years, 34*16+68, and so on. By really pushing the maximum population growth rate, yes, I suppose you can have something considered a city.
    A proud city whose leader– who is not Noah, even though he isn’t dead yet and the system is very patriarchal– decides to build a tower to heaven. It gets tall enough to make gawd worry.

    WITHOUT TOOLS! How does he explain building a pre-historic skyscraper with NO TOOLS. He allows the first tools to be made just *after* the supernatural destruction of a tower that presumably was taller than the tallest buildings in the world today.

    And they wonder why we laugh at them.

  83. 83
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    It seems to me that if you map the history of life against 6,000 years, dinosaurs appeared in 1811.

  84. 84
    Argle Bargle

    This is what happens when someone tries to match reality with mythology.

  85. 85
    ChristineRose

    Nephilim proceeded the flood. One sort of spin-off theory is that the only Noah and his family were genetically pure humans so that’s why they got the big boat. Neanderthals were humans that had poor diets because all the good food was destroyed in the flood.

    I was raised on this stuff which is why I’m so good at it. It always amazed me that people would go to such lengths, obviously doing some real research and going to the trouble of making nice charts and crunching some numbers yet somehow miss the implications of what they were actually saying. If you challenge them on it they come back with the “you-don’t-know-observations-are-subjective-we-can’t-test-this-things-may-have-been-different-back-then” stuff. It drove me to science.

  86. 86
    bortedwards

    Gawd-dang it! So the pleistocene glacial cycles were really just daily maximums and minimums?! I could have saved myself four years of PhD trouble if they had only published this amazing science earlier…

  87. 87
    Jud

    Early humans took millions of years to develop more sophisticated stone tools because they didn’t have any good science programs on TV to teach them, only preachers thundering about what would happen in the afterlife if they didn’t keep their minds on their flint knapping.

    Also just wanted to note I often see the children of Ham on my breakfast plate, sizzling and crunchy. Mmmm!

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