1. Dennis K says

    “But then I don’t use Microsoft products.”

    Gold, Jerry! Gold!

    Your short video is a dash of sugar on my otherwise lousy morning! Thank you for that!

  2. drickard says

    PZ: You want answers?
    Creationist: I think I’m entitled to.
    Col. Jessep: You want answers?
    Creationist: I WANT THE TRUTH!
    PZ: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! That’s why you’re a creationist!

  3. unclefrogy says

    one the ideas that seem to always jumps out when examining creationists argument is there skepticism concerning the amount of time that would be needed for evolution to occur.
    to see the opening of awareness when someone realizes that deep time is the reality is something to behold.
    I know no way to easily help accomplish that awakening. It is a foundational to understanding all of nature.

  4. StonedRanger says

    I think its kind of cute that you think creationists will understand your answer, much less accept it.

  5. blf says

    @9, So if one were to ask a cretinist how many numbers they know, and presuming they don’t lie, the answer would be big number.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    To the credit of the (east) Indians, they handled the problem of very big numbers much better than other cultures. If they had not been handicapped by the caste system, they would have rivalled the Europeans and the Chinese much more effectively.
    I have noticed there is a non-trivial outflow of people abandoning fundamentalism. Those who remain are the intellectually incurious- not necessarily stupid , but unbothered by the internal contradictions of their belief system.
    Charismatic people do not need to be brilliant to reach positions of influence in such groups as we see again and again. In fact, some are not even charismatic. Do fundamentalists choose their influencers by lottery?

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Creationists think life arose because of “ruach” , the breath of life Zod injected.
    The various descriptions of possible paths for abiogenesis seem a bit more credible than that.
    BTW the astronimical and geological processes needed to make sure the right elements and the right chemicals were around long enough to permit abiogenesis are more complicated than many SETI enthusiasts may think, and could explain “The great filter “.

  8. chrislawson says


    Unfortunately that is not the case. The problem with creationism is motivated reasoning rather than limited understanding of evolutionary velocity or geological timespans. After all, the same people saying evolution is too slow to produce all life variation in 4 billion years are the same people who say that all that life variation arose from a few hundred “types” of mating pairs on the Ark in less than 8 thousand years, including species that had to evolve through intermediate stages to get where they are today (e.g. koalas that are poor swimmers and only eat eucalypts despite there being three continents and an ocean between where the Ark landed and the only place on the planet eucalypts grew).

  9. unclefrogy says

    the argument that always astounds me is their inability to grasp 4 billion years at all. If you probe into it you will find that it is a concept beyond their ability to understand and accept as being true. They just fundamentally do not understand time at all.

  10. John Morales says

    Dennis @1:

    “But then I don’t use Microsoft products.”
    Gold, Jerry! Gold!

    Heh. I had to look it up, but yes… it makes exactly as much sense.

  11. quotetheunquote says

    @unclefrogy #16
    I know this wouldn’t work for YEC creationist, for the simple reason that NOTHING will. But I did encounter an exhibit in a geology museum that, I thought, illustrated the concept of “deep time” very well.
    It was at the Johnson Geo Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and it was brilliant in its simplicity. It consisted of three plexiglass “boxes” side by side, about 1′ X 1′ in section, and of varying heights (strictly speaking, I think they’d be called “parallelepipeds”).
    -The first one had a tiny little pile of small pebbles in it – at one year per pebble, this represents the average human lifespan.
    -The second one stood just a bit taller than me, and was completely packed with pebbles; this represented the age of the local rocks, about 550 million years.
    -The third one was meant to represent the total age of the Earth, and it was packed all the way to the ceiling; but a note on the side of the “box” explained that, to actually hold the required 4.5 billion pebbles, it would have to continue many feet beyond the roof of the building!

    I’ve never been a “young earth” anything, but that demonstration really brought home the sense of scale to me.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Mark Twain had a good way of explaining “deep time”.
    If the age of the world is the height of the Eiffel Tower, then the hundred thousand years or so of human existence is the thickness of the final layer of paint on top.
    He sarcastically added “obviously, the purpose of the Eiffel Tower is to hold uo the final layer of paint.”

  13. xohjoh2n says



    4 billion years / 100k years = 40000.

    Height of Eiffel tower = 324m to tip.

    324m / 40000 = 8mm.

    That’s pretty thick paint.

    (But yes, ballpark close enough, probably.)

  14. says

    I routinely respond to multiple-exclamation point posts with:
    “Pro tip: multiple exclamation points are a twit signal. They signal that the writer is a twit.”
    Similar for all-caps.

  15. John Harshman says

    #21.Twain, using the knowledge of his day, grossly underestimated both the age of the earth and the age of humans (hominins? Homo? H. sapiens<.i>?). But it roughly balances out, within an order of magnitude.