Friday, November 21, 2008

Fossils, the Greatest Threat to Faith.

The oldest homo sapien remains so far discovered are 195,000 years old. They were unearthed in Ethiopia in 1967. In 2003 the oldest human remains in Europe were discovered … 35,000 years old. In 1958 human remains dating back 13,000 years were found in Colorado, the oldest found in North America thus far.

While all of these findings are accompanied by a +/- factor of a few thousand years the overwhelming evidence is Man is relatively old. It is corroborated by a variety of testable repeatable methods, and by scientists in a variety of disciplines. It is undeniable.

But it’s only undeniable if one accepts reality over blind faith. To over 50% of Americans, Archbishop James Ussher’s 17th century calculation of the Earth as only 6000+ years old based on biblical dating, is fact. Ussher declared that God formed the Earth on October 23rd, 4004 BC… with humans (Adam and Eve) following a few days later (approx 1:30 p.m. GMT, as I recall).

Some of these folks are just ignorant of the facts. Others, fundamentalists, hard core Evangelicals, know the facts and outright deny them. To them, Ussher’s calculation, the Bible’ inerrancy, over rule reality, modern science, and corroborating evidence. In the 21st century that’s what passes for reason for many Christians.

Those believers will adamantly insist that radiologic data , sedimentary layering, and every refined measurement at science’s disposal is flawed, faulty, inaccurate, thus meaningless. They will present ½ truths, pseudo-fact, and outright fiction in an attempt to discredit science, as though their faith depends on it. Why? Because their faith depends on it.

To these medieval minded folks once they admit their book of fables is not a science book, nor a book of history, nor the inerrant word of some super being, then their whole belief system comes into doubt. Their faith will be shaken to its core. Its foundation will collapse. Reality is a threat they will not / cannot tolerate if their belief is to survive. If they were able they would destroy every science book, and imprison or burn at the stake every paleontologist just as their early Church predecessors tried to do to halt knowledge and reason … the duel enemies of faith.

Instead, they wage a war of myth and misinformation. They build their Creationist museums repleat with dioramas of modern man riding dinosaurs. They home school their kids, stunt their minds, sacrificing their intellectual growth on the holy alter of blind faith and willful ignorance.

And they will tell their kids that some day they can grow up to become candidates for the office of President of the United States, like Huckabee, Brownback, Tancredo and Palin. And unfortunately in that regard they are correct.

Fuckin scary.


Anonymous said...

When I first heard of creationism, I heard it from a fellow named Kent Hovind on TV. He is a fundamentalist, but he is now debunked and in prison, so I move to the next most well known fundamentalist creationist, Dr; Kurt Wise, whose lectures, and a book I am familiar with.
Now Kurt Wise is a truly honest creationist because that he is willing to accept creationism even if he found, "all the evidence in the universe was against it”*. Kurt Wise volunteers, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradict’s his literalist viw of scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on his view and deny dismiss the evidence. What we have here is fundamentalist creationism’s most highly qualified and most intelligent ‘scientist’ who admits that no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any difference."
This is a scientist?
As to the content of his Books;
1. “Ice cannot carry a mile-diameter boulder,” Dr. Wise explained that the boulder’s mass would cause the ice to melt. This is a straw man argument and misdirection. Not only are the large blocks not what is traditionally called glacial material, but Dr. Wise has also made glacial transport of any large rock sound ridiculous, even though it has been clearly observed happening. He denies the ice age.

2. Dr. Wise does not accept traditional geologists’ time calculations, their interpretation of the deposition of sedimentary strata, or any of their other findings that contradict the Deluge, but because his model leaves South America too far south, he accepts their finding that it moved northward as proof he is right!

3. The Sahara, however, is entirely “post-Deluge” by his reckoning, and therefore cannot be more than ~4,000 years old, which is indeed close to the age of the current desert. Dr. Wise did not mention that the Sahara is the third desert to occupy the same area, that sedimentary rock underlies the desert and would not have had time to liquefy in his fundamentalist scenario before the loose sand was blown in place, or that fossils of mild-weather plants have been found there—all adding to the age of the location. He also did not mention that some of the older sedimentary rock in the Sahara shows evidence of glaciation; these facts seem to be avoided.

4. The Pleistocene Ice Age, he discusses as a single Ice Age his model predicted, providing an interesting notion; “Siberia was never covered with ice. Central Canada was never covered with ice. Eastern Canada was, but not central Canada. ... You could walk through all of Asia without any ice. You could walk through Alaska, as long as you stayed away from the mountains ... down through central Canada ... had a beautiful zone where you walked right through the middle of Canada ...”* This goes against massive evidence of glaciation. With his degree, he is clearly misleading, dishonest, lying.

5. Dr. Wise continued by claiming that dinosaur skeletons at Dinosaur National Monument offered proof that the animals were caught up in the Deluge because “many legs and necks were found articulated but separated from bodies, “... like the critters themselves had been ripped to pieces.” Dr. Wise did not mention that paleontologists have known for nearly a century that many of the fossils at this site were deposited in normal flooding, nor did he mention that several nearly complete skeletons each of Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Camarosaurus, and Barosaurus have been found there, all animals with long necks and legs. For the most part, complete skeletons go to museums, and fragmentary remains are left in place at the monument for tourists to see, oh well.

6. Dr. Wise also said that dinosaurs lived alongside humans for up to two centuries after the Deluge. In fact, there have never been any human fossils found with any dinosaur fossils or vice versa. One wonders by what standards of evidence he goes by? Dinosaurs and humans lived far apart in time, not together in geography or environment.

I could show other fallacies, many fallacies, but won’t. Acceptance of his ideas all depends on the ignorance of those who accept fundamentalist creationism.


Here is what I find fundamentalist, in general state;

A. “Fairness demands that evolution and creation be given equal time."

That's an erroneous equation. Evolution is a scientific approach; creationism has no scientific grounding (in its research or methodology). Why not Hopi creationism> Why not Hindu Creationism> the list goes on.

B. "Evolution is only a theory."

Duh! A theory is a terrific thing. Those who make this assertion simply do not understand science. A theory is special, because it helps to explain facts. Only theory? Only someone innocent of an understanding of science would assert that.

C. “Second law of thermodynamics proves evolution wrong.”

"Scientists, however, do know about the second law. It is an assertion made by fundamentalist based on, and offered as a simplistic cliché,’ as- fundamentalist creationists arguments are. To lift the cliché’ just a little about the fundamentalist ‘understanding’ of it the second law of thermodynamics applies to a 'closed system,' that is, to a system that does not gain energy from without or lose energy to the outside." The second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution." I have read this assertion many times. It's a head scratcher to me. This statement is simply inaccurate--and creationists often make statements that violate the second law.

"The only truly closed system we know of is the universe as a whole. Within a closed system, there are subsystems that can gain complexity spontaneously, provided there is a greater loss of complexity in another interlocking subsystem. The overall change is then a complexity-loss in line with the dictates of the second law. Evolution can proceed and build up the complex from the simple, thus moving uphill, without violating the second law, as long as another interlocking part of the system the sun, which delivers energy to the earth continuously moves downhill (as it does) at a much faster rate than evolution moves uphill. If the sun were to cease shining, evolution would stop and, indeed, so would life, eventually."

The second law of thermodynamics is an insubstantial concept that they clearly know nothing of, as their use of it as a cliché deminenstrates this fact. The fundamentalist fallacy becomes clear when we consider theory of gravitation, in the same simplistic (cliché’) terms the fundamentalist apply to the second law of thermodynamics. “All objects in the earth's vicinity are attracted to the earth and, therefore, fall to the ground.” Consequently, balloons and airplanes and rockets are clearly impossible. If you don't accept this, you need not accept the fundamentalist simplistic cliché’ unique appreciation of the second law of thermodynamics.

D. "Man and dinosaurs coexisted." This is simply ludicrous, the Stratigraphy and all geologic evidence points this out. Moreover, for this to be true, we would have to trash all the multiple scientific disciplines, such as paleontology, chemistry, and physics.

E. Wholesale Rejection of science. Fundamentalist scrupulously rejects the "evidential" approach in favor of a "presupposition" approach: The Bible is a priori true; evolution is ipso facto false. If you accept the truth of the Bible, as they see it, then evidence is irrelevant, thus science is of no value. "Faith is . . . the evidence of things not seen . . . Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God" (Hebrews 11:1, 3). Others, thinking Christians who incorporate evolution into their worldview are seen as in the process of conciliation with the ‘world,’ meaning the devil. What fundamentalist do is simply disregard what ever "scientists,” secular or otherwise do by discovering or accumulating and interpreting evidence. These scientists are, to the fundamentalist, engaged in a superfluous endeavor that is only detrimental to faith. I see fundamentalism as a prescription for gross ignorance.
F. The fundamentalist redefine ‘science.’ They dismiss the scientific method- which disqualifies the well established fields of astronomy, archaeology, paleontology, geology, epidemiology, climatology, linguistics, forensics, and a host of other historical sciences, including history itself. In short, they believe that any statement about the past is no better than a guess. They make no allowance for methodological or evidentiary considerations that might render one "guess" better than another. This is ignorance in action. This is the most absurd repackaging of medieval superstition and mythology into the guise of ‘science. Ever.
G. Gross misrepresentation of science. As said, this wholesale disdain for historical science is matched by their perversion of the scientific method. The creationist mantra is that evolution is "just a theory." This facetious stance might be of merit if evolution was "just a hypothesis," but in fact a theory is much stronger than a hypothesis, and requires more in the way of "disproof." I wonder why fundamentalist do not also protest the theory of gravitation, the germ theory of disease, the heliocentric theory of the solar system and the atomic theory of matter. I have even heard them identify evolution as a religion. Because, to them evolution is non-science, and because a theory is no better than a guess, belief in the theory of evolution must be based on faith. But if evolution is a religion, then so are archaeology, epidemiology, forensics and dentistry!
Fundamentalists state that we cannot know about the past simply because no one was ever there. One creationist said in a class where science/evolution was discussed, fundamentalist students should wave their Bibles in the air and holler, ‘Were you their” several times. Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance in action. The implication of such gross ignorance being encouraged in schools is frightening.

I can only try to attempt to acknowledge their line of ‘reasoning.’ Let’s see, wouldn't we deduce that there cannot be any justification for a murder if nobody was there? As a matter of fact, forensic scientists put into practice the same procedures archaeologists, historians, and paleontologists do. And all other ‘scientists’ who deal with the past.
My children go to public school and hopefully college where they will never hear a word about fundamentalist creationism simply because it is not science. My religion does not believe in creationism either because creationism is far right-wing dogma, nothing more. Creationism is anti-God because it denies the existence of a complex universe made by God over billions of years. I stand against creationism being taught in the public schools for that reason. I spoke to a few of the science teachers in my children's public school. They say they would resign if they were required to teach creationism instead of evolution or creationism as a ‘science.’ I would pull my child out of any school that taught creationism. Teach your children the scientific truth about evolution and religious faith will follow as water flows over rocks in a stream. My own argument for God is ontological. True faith is a faith that does not fear science in any form. True faith is a vibrant dynamic. I believe God created the earth, but not in the manner a small idiosyncratic ecclesial group wishes to impose. The mental gymnastics one needs to espouse fundamentalist creationism are in effect denial of reality, not real faith. It exposes these people as not retaining genuine faith, but denial masked as faith.

DromedaryHump said...

Thanks for that.

I am always encouraged when people with religious conviction can accept and internalize intelligent modern analysis of scientific evidence and reject the mindlessness of biblical pseudo-science.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

cathyjo4beelzebub said...

creationists evolved from apes. hehe

cathyjo4beelzebub said...

on 2nd thought, apes evolved from creationists.

DromedaryHump said...

(heheheh...I love that play on that fundy nut case woman's name!!!) not insult the apes.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in a socialist European country. I came to US in my 20's. Not only was I not raised in religion but I never had any friends who went to Church. However, I did chose to homeschool my children in US. I hate when people associate homeschooling with religious extremists. My decision to homeschool has nothing to do with religion of any kind. My bachelor degree in science is from Europe and I am working on my Master's in US. As a result my English is not as good as my native language. My children have English tutors but I teach them everything else. My huband and I are both bilingual since birth (4 different languages) plus we both learned English as adults. Our children speak 5 languages since birth and can read, write and speak in 3. The reason we (and many, many others) chose to homeschool is because US schools do NOT teach kids anything besides liberal proganda. Majority of American kids know nothing about geography, world history, science or math. Even though I am not religious I do not want my children to be forcefed propaganda about homosexuals, dyke feminist ideas or abortion. I have a degree in biochemistry, great job and enough money to support my family on my own. However I am still proud to be a woman, I have breastfed, I cook and dislike doing any "manly" jobs around the house. I do not like seeing two men or women kissing or holding hands in public. I do not have to be religious to dislike that. I have 3 beautiful children and cannot imagine that anyone in their right mind would choose to murder them in the womb. Mother's womb is supposed to be the safest place for babies not a place for a murder. I almost lost my baby when I was 8 weeks pregnant. While I was in the emergency room I saw an ultrasound of her-her little heart was beating 98 beats per minute. I have never forgotten that. Now that little heart loves me a lot, brings me flowers and gives me tons of kisses and hugs. I cannot believe that people decide to kill a child. EVen though I am not religious I have morals. Your schools do not promote any values or morals. Bunch of "easy" women sleeping around during spring breaks, partying, drugs, binge drinking and drunk driving are symbols of your schools. That is why I and many others chose to homeschool. To isolate my children as much as I can from gays, lesbians, feminsts, sluts, junkies and their propaganda. Do not confuse that with religion.

DromedaryHump said...

Anon said: "That is why I and many others chose to homeschool. To isolate my children as much as I can from gays, lesbians, feminsts, sluts, junkies and their propaganda. Do not confuse that with religion."

No, I wouldn't confuse that with religion. I'd simply attribute it to your prejudice and ignorance.
Atheists, agnostics believers; educated and uneducated. .. there are people like you among all of them.

I'm resonably certain that when your kids grow up they will bear the same disgust and hate you exhibit for people different from yourself. Prejudice, bigotry and hate are passed on generation to generation.

Unfortunaetly for them they will have to learn to live in a society uninsultated by YOU that is growing more and more tolerant and accepting. It will likely make your children the outcasts.

Congrats on promulgating the hate.