Scientific lies from the pit of Hell!

The abiotic oil idea is geologic nonsense, but it’s found a second life by being highly useful for disarming concerns among the faithful over the finite supply of fossil fuels. As Rachel correctly points out above, this is an outgrowth of young earth creationism aided by wishful thinking and the willful ignorance now in the process of utterly consuming a once relatively normal political party. It becomes a big problem for the rest of us when they put anti-science nutcases in charge of large departments tasked with preventing or mitigating this kind of stuff:

North Carolina health officials are warning residents to steer clear of the Dan River, where a pipe from a nearby power plant is dumping unsafe levels of arsenic. … Arsenic levels in the waste-water are 14 times those considered safe for human contact.“Because the Duke Power-Eden coal ash spill is located in North Carolina’s portion of the Dan River, a potential hazard exists immediately downstream of the release,” health officials said in a statement, recommending that people “avoid recreational contact with water and sediment in the Dan River in North Carolina downstream of the Duke Power-Eden spill site.”


  1. colnago80 says

    As Rachel correctly points out above, this is an outgrowth of young earth creationism

    The most prominent supporter of the idea that the hydrocarbons like natural gas, oil and coal were abiogenic was Thomas Gold, a professor of Astronomy at Cornell. Gold was many things but a young earth creationist was not one of them.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Gold was another “maverick scientist” who was more in loving with being a maverick than being a scientist.

  3. alanuk says

    I only managed to listen to the first half. I couldn’t stand any more. I am just thankful that I am not an American.

  4. says

    Wait, hang on, why did the Nazi panzers run out of fuel at The Battle of The Bulge if they had infinite fuel?

    I think they didn’t figure out the cheat codes.

  5. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Great to have you back blogging again, DarkSyde – I was starting to worry something had happened to you.

    Great post esp. the Maddow clip.

    The abiotic oil idea is geologic nonsense,..

    .. Yes but some Republican (& to be fair other) politicians do seem endlessly oily.

  6. lorn says

    There is, of course, a grain of truth that confuses things.

    Oil is, in fact, being made presently by the same process that made all the other oil. Organic materials are always being sucked down into the earth and if conditions are right they will turn into oil. If you arbitrarily limit your view to what is deep underground, compressed and heated and thus dead, the process might be considered abiotic. It has been going on for billions of years and is likely to continue for billions of years more.

    The problem is that the historic language used has been somewhat less than rigorous. Comparisons of the present rate of use to the average production rates underground show that the natural rate of production is effectively zero. But mathematically it is non-zero. Stop pumping oil out of the ground entirely, go away for a million years or so and when you return there would be a small but measurable increase in supplies.

    We are pumping oil out of the ground thousands of times as fast as the earth produces it.

  7. colnago80 says

    I think that the nomenclature abiotic is a bit misleading. What Gold really claimed was that hydrocarbons such as natural gas, oil, and coal were primordial, i.e. were deposited before there was any organic life. this was based on the discovery of hydrocarbons in the Solar System (e.g. Titan). The fact is that it is quite possible that at least an appreciable fraction of the natural gas found on the earth is primordial. It is probably virtually impossible that any of the coal deposits are primordial. The situation with oil is somewhere in between (note that lakes of liquid methane have been found on Titan). Probably most of the oil deposits are biotic but there may be some primordial deposits around.

  8. busterggi says

    I don’t see why North Carolina health officials are warning Christians to avoid the arsenic laden water. The bible clearly states that believers can take up serpents and drink poison with no ill effects.

  9. elrondhubbard says

    It drives me nuts that people can just eschew actual data and then act like their delusions are the same thing as science. If only some people were secure enough to make decisions based on reality as opposed to superimposing their mythologies upon every facet of life. They’d rather lie to themselves than adjust their paradigms.


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