Louisiana, where even the Democrats are science denialists

Watch State Sen. John Milkovich make his case for creationism before the Louisiana legislature. He’s a Democrat. I’m so embarrassed.

This guy just sits there and lies his ass off, supremely confident that the truth doesn’t matter in the least.

Scientific research and developments and advances in the last 100 years — particularly the last 15, 20, 10 years — have validated the biblical story of creation by archaeological discovery of civilizations in the middle east that seculars said did not exist …

No, science has not validated Genesis. The Earth is not just a few thousand years old, there was no global flood, all animals were not created in a single week. Finding evidence of a civilization mentioned in the Bible that “seculars” never heard of is not evidence for all the miraculous poofing described in the book.

And what civilization is that? It seems entirely reasonable to me that the authors of the Bible would have good knowledge of contemporary cultures, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some obscure people mentioned in the Bible were confirmed by trustworthy evidence. On the other hand, some of the treasured stories of the Bible are being found incredible and lacking in evidence. The Exodus almost certainly didn’t happen, for instance.

there is some published research that a large boat or ark was found on top of Mt Ararat …

Published…where? On the web pages of Ron Wyatt? Because no, there is no credible evidence of a 4000 year old big boat sitting on a mountaintop in Turkey.

But hang on, here comes my favorite part of his argument.

the notion of instantaneous creation has been validated by the scientific study of heliocentric circles in rocks which is consistent with an instantaneous…I guess I’m asking this. Are you aware that there’s an abundance of recent science that actually confirms the Genesis account of creation?

He doesn’t say instantanous what — he just lurches off into more assertions. But still, I’m amazed at heliocentric circles in rocks. What does that even mean? Is he saying something in the rocks circles around the sun? Or is this some strangely garbled version of Gentry’s bogus polonium halos claim, which, even if you believed it, does not say anything about instantaneous anything — he uses them to claim that the earth is young.

I think he’s just pompously pleased at being able to seem wise by babbling out a 5-syllable word. Incorrectly. Which makes him look like a world-class fool.

And no, there is no recent science that actually confirms the Genesis account of creation. All of the science says that the literal interpretation contradicts the evidence.


  1. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin started running around and shouting at the mention of instantaneous heliocentric circles in rocks, that’s apparently a common synopsis of the temporal survey markers used to triangulate where-in-time the cheese plantations were kept when Atlantis was submerged (nothing to do with Teh Flud, that’s just a coincidence). They are quite hard to find, and the most recent confirmed sighting was when she(the mildly deranged penguin) turned the knob labeled DO NOT TOUCH (we mean it!) just before the Big Bang.

  2. Kreator says

    Regarding the discovery of Biblical civilizations in the middle east, I think he might have been referring to the Hittites, which were indeed first known through the Bible before a civilization matching their general description was uncovered. Of course, the key point there is that we don’t actually know for sure if these people really were those specific Hittites, archaeologists just tentatively assigned them that name due to the similarities. It is entirely posible that the Biblical Hittites themselves didn’t exist, or that they were only tangentially related to the group we now know.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    I’m amazed at heliocentric circles in rocks. What does that even mean? Is he saying something in the rocks circles around the sun?

    Well, they do, you know. Once every 365 1/4 days.

  4. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    heliocentric circles in rocks?
    Maybe circles in rocks caused by instantaneous rock creation in presence of sunlight. (or vice versa: rock cooling and sun suddenly appears, forming circles in the rock.)
    pffft, IDK
    sounds like he’s just throwing in random sciencey words to make himself sound knowledgeable while spewing nonsense

  5. anthrosciguy says

    I think he got confused about his talking points and was fishing for “polonium halos” and landed an old boot instead, in the form of “heliocentric circles”.

  6. Rich Woods says

    OK, so one Louisiana senator talks bollocks on the floor of the house. Isn’t the more important concern this: who called him out on it*? Everyone? Anyone? No-one?

    *I’ve got to admit that I didn’t watch the video and if I had I probably wouldn’t have gone searching for subsequent clips of rebuttals. Life is too short. Same shit as before, probably same result.

  7. wsierichs says

    Kreator, that was my first thought too, that he referred to the Hittites. Their name for themselves is uncertain, but Egyptian sources refer to them as the Kheta, so Hittite is probably close for an English approximation.
    The Hittites actually were known long ago through a reference in The Odyssey, near the end of Book XI, when the ghost of Achilles talks about a fight with Eurypylus, son of Telephus. Those are both similar to known Hittite names. The translation I have is fairly old and refers to them as Ceteians – it predates the recognition of the Hittites as a major civilization, so a newer Odyssey translation might be more accurate.
    Some references in the Jewish scriptures to Hittites refer to the “neo-Hittite” states of northern Syria in the Iron Age, which were survivors of the collapsed Bronze Age empire. A few early references to Hittites might simply be a similar name of a tribe in the area of Canaan-Israel.
    Modern linguists translate the Hittites’ name for their land as Hatti, and the capital as Hattushas or Khattusas. I can’t find the book that gives the Hittite equivalents of Eurypylus and Telephus, but as a matter of pedantic interest, the names Priam and Paris, in The Iliad, are the equivalents of Pariya-muwas and Para-zitis. Historians say Paris’ name creates an intriguing mystery: His alternate, Greek name is Alexander, and the Hittites made a treaty in the 13th century BCE with a western Anatolian King Alexandush, who has lost his kingdom, which the Hittites restored to him.
    I learned all this in a period of Bronze Age history interest (mania?) in the 1980s. The Hittites are a very fascinating people. It’s possible that this ignoramus is referring to more recent discoveries of lost, forgotten cities in the Mideast that have revealed some lost peoples.
    As an FYI, I lived in Shreveport, La., at the time I did my Bronze Age research, so this ignoramus might have been my legislator if I still lived there. Sadly, I now live in Baton Rouge, so I’m at the center of a whirlpool of far greater ignorance, bigotry and creationist nonsense. :(

  8. says

    “Gentry’s bogus polonium halos claim”

    It took me a few seconds to realize that I was confusing the person who said this with Elmer Gantry, although not without good reason.

  9. says

    It’s a commonplace notion among evangelicals (sometimes encouraged by people seeking financing for archaeological expeditions) that archeology is constantly proving the Bible right against the skeptics. Thus excavations at Jericho proved that the walls really did come a-tumbling down (presumably as a result of blowing those horns), excavations at Ai showed that the Israelites really had overrun the place (true, about a thousand years before the earliest possible date for Joshua, but that’s just a detail), excavations at Ur showed that The Flood really happened (or at least a flood), excavations at Babylon showed that the temple at Jerusalem really had been destroyed, the discovery of Caiaphus’ tomb showed that Caiaphas really did exist, all against unnamed (and mostly imaginary) skeptics who had denied the possibility of such things. Every discovery in the middle east shows that the Bible was right and the skeptics were wrong no matter what it is.

    I never did understand how the finding of a boat on a mountain could prove the existence of a worldwide flood, any more than the discovery of a boat in Kentucky would. But that big boat on Mt. Ararat (or wherever it was) has turned up at least a dozen times to my knowledge, sometimes fossilized, sometimes inside a glacier, sometimes just as isolated nails and bits of wood. Why anybody would think that such finds could prove anything I don’t know.

  10. says

    I don’t think he’s lying his ass off at all. It’s what he believes, because that’s he was raised to believe, and nothing in his life or his career as a law maker (sadly) has required him to challenge those beliefs — indeed, they have no doubt proven useful to him.

    Now, if you were to challenge him directly about the so-called evidence he referred to, and make him uncomfortable, *that’s* when the evasion, excuses, lies, and distortions would begin, and never end.

  11. wcorvi says

    The concept that if you can prove one minor claim in the bible to be correct, then the entire book(s) must be taken as god’s word, is a concept foreign to scientists. MUCH of what is published in Nature is undeniably correct, but there are mistakes, and even fraud, in Nature (the magazine, that is). ONE correct paper doesn’t prove the whole thing.

  12. grumpyoldfart says

    I think you could get overseas tourists to pay to see acts like that. So funny, yet somehow tragic.

  13. alanuk says

    You’re embarrassed PZ? I think even Ken Ham is embarrassed by this performance.

  14. d d says

    Regarding the two garbled claims:
    1 – As others have noted here, the “Biblical civilization” that the “seculars” used to deny existed is an apparent reference to the Hittites. I base this on personal observation of YECs making the precise claim, in support of the historical reliability of the Bible. Particularly when claiming that it’s MORE reliable than “secular science.”
    2 – The “heliocentric circles” bit looks to be not just a misidentification of Gentry’s radohalos, but an actual conflation of two of his claims. One being the polonium halos, the other being the different but related claim that too much helium is trapped in the zircons for them to have had billions of years to let it dissipate.

  15. evodevo says

    In Babel Belt states, it’s just good politics (see Rowan Co. clerk, from my state LOL). Equal opportunity ignorance FTW. In reality, NONE of my coworkers, even the one who went to “community college”, has absorbed even a minimal amount of scientific thinking, or ANY critical thinking faculties to discern pseudoscience from the actual thing (copper or magnetic bracelets is still a “thing” here). Critical thinking (and doing even a minimum of research on a topic) must be cultivated lifelong, and that is NOT encouraged in this country. Getting them to think this way would require WAY more patience and time than I have, unfortunately. All I can do is chip away at the surface in small ways while at work. They are heavily emotionally invested in religious belief and rationality has little to do with it.

  16. brontodon says

    You say the Exodus almost certainly didn’t happen. Where can I learn more about this?

  17. Vivec says

    The wikipedia article has a pretty significant amount of the “Exodus” article devoted to discussing its historicity.

    The gist of it is that there’s a dearth of archeological evidence where you think there would be a ton, the numbers of exodites would have been either unfeasible for the populations at the time or noteworthy enough that it’d be easy to find corroborating evidence for, a lot of anachronisms between the sociopolitical situation described by the OT and the one understood by historians, and various logistical issues too.