Sunday, March 28, 2010

Debating YEC: Is there any greater waste of intellectual energy?


I was surfing religion websites and blogs and came across a two page war of the words between three or four atheists and a YEC fundie. The subject was “Putting to rest the Young Earth Creationism Theory.”

As I leafed through the twenty-five or so posts two things became evident:
  1. That the atheists were presenting reason and science based discovery that has evolved and improved over a long period of time, right up to the most recent scientific evidence for Old Earth.

  2. That the fundie was repeating the same scripture that hasn’t changed in over 3,500 years as his evidence, and repeatedly tried to use pseudo-science to debunk real science.

There were perhaps sixteen or seventeen intelligent posts in this thread, all intended to debunk the foolishness of YEC myth. My mind boggled at the amount of detail, research, references, links, et al. It caused me to wonder -- would anyone put the same amount of effort into debunking things such as:

  • Flat Earthers?
  • The efficacy of witchcraft, sorcery, fortune telling, or levitation?
  • Alien Abduction stories?
  • The creation stories of American Indians, Hindus, or any of hundreds/thousands of other such tales?
  • Extra terrestrial’s having built Stonehenge or the Pyramids?
  • Any of the mythical monsters such as Nessy, Champy, Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Yeti?
  • Demonic possession?
  • Astral Projection?
  • Transubstantiation?

If the answer is "no" then I can only wonder why this one particular myth, which owes its start to the superstitions and inventiveness of pre-scientific ancients, and is dismissed by every credible scientist on the planet, is worthy of such attention. Science has demonstrated through the corroboration and cumulative data of multiple scientific disciplines that big bang (or similar event) and evolutionary theory is the cause of the universe and origin of species.

There is as much objective evidence for YEC as there is for alien’s building Stonehenge or the Pyramids. If scripture alone is “evidence” there are many more volumes of books on alien development “theory” than just the one Old Testament. The fact that the OT is pre-scientific age, while these nutty modern day alien proponents’ books are post-scientific age, shouldn’t give the Bible more credibility; it should give the Bible less credibility.

Hell, just by calling YEC a "theory" the well intentioned and time rich freethinkers have given it more credence than it is due. What next -- "Transubstantiation Theory" ? "Woman into Pillar of Salt Theory"? Will arguing against them change anything?
Urinating into the wind would be more productive.

30 comments:

Eric Haas said...

Out of all of the nonsense in your list, YEC is the only one that people keep trying to push into public schools.

BathTub said...

Plenty of us enjoy it. It can be fun to do the research, it's a great way to learn.

Also the other point is plenty of us understand the futility. I will use Ray Comfort as an example. Plenty of us daily poke holes into Ray's gibberish. Now we know Ray isn't going to change his mind. In fact he's been quite clear that 'the evidence doesn't matter'. So we aren't really talking to him, we are talking to the lurkers and the reasonable people who are on the fence.
And we have had reports back from other people that it gets through to people. So often it's really just about not allowing the gibberish left unanswered.

DM said...

go add some comment moderation to your blasphemy blog, you little fucker...

No Guy in the Sky said...

DM -
You are one crazy stupid fucker. @:-D

So what is taking your Gud so long?

He used to kill constantly in the OT. Where did Gud go? Is Gud affraid to face the wraith of ...Science? Why doesn't Gud just turn all us heathen atheists into salt? Does Gud have a heart condition and is on a low sodium diet? He is in our image, so he could have high cholesterol with a heart condition in our image too. What image is Gud anyway? Israelis, American, German, Polish, Nigerian, Chinese, or Aleutian Eskimo. Maybe Gud died in the early 70's when McDonalds went mainstream.

Nice post Hump

New England Bob - You need a blog. You are very funny.

Rodney Ulyate said...

The most obvious defence of the zealous freethinkers which springs to mind is that their opponents are likely rather more both in numbers and in potency than the pseudoscientific whackjobs to whom you compare them. They are, therefore, rather more dangerous, and ought in some way to be opposed. I would concur, though, that scientific disputation is among the least likely routes to success.

Yours aye,
Rodney

Dromedary Hump said...

I agree that if the debate involves "lookers on" who are on the fence, or if it comes down to (Dog forbid) a forum in a school board discussion on public school curriculum, it is not only appropriate but necessary to oppose the idiocy of YEC with every bit of logic and science at our disposal.

But, in a forum of atheists and a YEC zealot, such as I encountered, the reams of evidence and repetitious links corroborating that evidence yields absolutely zero... except frustration as it falls on deaf (and dumb) ears, and loss of time better invested.

Analog Kid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Analog Kid said...

"go add some comment moderation to your blasphemy blog, you little fucker..."
This is the best they can come up with...sad.
I did a post on this subject as well.

Lynn said...

The crazy thing is that people living in such an advanced society try to live by an ancient book.

It's not like we're living in a remote tribe with little outside information coming in.

We as Americans usually find it pretty strange when in other parts of the world people live the same way people lived in Bible times practically. Or they don't have electric lights or something. Living by an ancient book would make more sense then.

But pairing it with the modern world is so confusing. I used to be a Christian, and I never did figure out which verses applied to today and which were cultural things of olden times and didn't apply to today's Christians. It's crazy.

Lisa said...

I would like to recommend an excellent book, The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby (2009). She attributes the anti-intellectual trend to 1. the fact that reading and conversation have been supplanted by all forms of video input, and 2. the rise of fundamentalist christian religion. Available on Amazon and in libraries, it's a must-read.
Lisa

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Hump,
Good Subject!! One of my favorite from the YEC / Neo-Dull is, "Carbon Dating Isn’t Accurate to predict the age of the earth."

To which I answer, "That is why it is not the preferred method for dating rocks and fossils. As a matter fact there are many more preferred methods that accurately measures the decay of radioactive elements for dating rock, meteorites, and fossils such as:

Argon-Argon (Ar-Ar)
Fission track dating helium (He-He)
Iodine-xenon (I-Xe)
lanthanum-barium (La-Ba)
lead-lead (Pb-Pb)
lutetium-hafnium (Lu-Hf)
neon-neon (Ne-Ne)
optically stimulated luminescence potassium-argon (K-Ar)
radiocarbon dating rhenium-osmium (Re-Os)
rubidium-strontium (Rb-Sr)
samarium-neodymium (Sm-Nd)
uranium-lead (U-Pb)
uranium-lead-helium (U-Pb-He)

All of these methods constantly date the earth’s age at 4.54 Billion years old."

I just love the Dull, Blank Looks, with a couple of Blinking of Their Eyes, response to this statement of Science Fact.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Lisa,
I belong to a book reading group with the local Seaford, DE library. We have read "The Age of American Unreason," by Susan Jacoby. I too highly recommend this book.

There is a large "Anti-Intellectual" trend within this country which complements those who perpetuate the rise of political Extreme Right Wing of Fundamentalist Christian Religion. Much like the members of the Texas School Board who are rewriting history books to be more reflected to their Religious Right Wing Bull Crap Viewpoints. The fact that most have been voted out but are just serving out their terms and this is their last HOO-RAH!!!

I would also recommend that you may want to read and inform yourself on the “Full Quiver” project of these same types of Extreme Right Wing Christian Religious Wing Nuts are preaching.

A professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, whose name is Bruce Ware, is pushing their religious right agenda to the extremes. This person finds passages in the Bible to justify that God meant women to be submissive to men. It is within the same passage that states, children should honor their mother and fathers, and slaves should honor their masters etc.

This Southern Baptist Seminary now has some of the other ideas from their fundamentalist positions. This new teaching is being called “The Full Quiver Theology” and is based on Psalm 127: 3-5 which reads, “Children are a heritage of the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. As arrows in a soldier’s hand, so are the sons of the young. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.”

The seminary’s president, Albert Mohler, explained that under-population was a pressing concern. Couples who choose childlessness are guilty of “rebellion against parenthood that represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God’s design.” God will decide whether to open or close the womb. Using birth control is an act against God’s will. The truly Christian couple will allow God to decide whether each act of sex will result in procreation and sex will be returned to its proper place in a Christian’s life.

Yes, they are breeding a “Fundamental Baptist Christian Army” that will be needed for the up coming battle of Armageddon.

What part of this decision does the Christian woman of this Fundamental Baptist Church have? None because she should submit, of course.

Lisa said...

Hello Engineer of Knowledge,
Are you the person who posted about the Cathars? I traveled extensively in le pays de Cathare, would love to chat. You (if it is you) can bc me at mermaydes@msn.com.
Also, to Mr Hump, I am trying to paste a picture here, but can't seem to do that, hmmm.
Lisa

Dromedary Hump said...

Lisa,
I haven't figured out how to post a picture in comments either. I don't believe blogspot as that ability.


Eng.,
Yes, Dawkins latest book The Greatest Show on Earth, debunks the "carbon dating isn't accurate" nonsense by showing the same corroborating methods and evidences that proove old earth without carbon dating.

But it makes no difference to the YECs. They ignore it and stay with the "carbon dating is innacurate" stupidity. You can show it all to them 100 times, direct them to the data, all to no avail. That's why its a waste of time.

NewEnglandBob said...

YEC has become tiresome to debunk, only because the mountain of evidence disproving it is huge and the evidence for it is non-existent.

Lisa, The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby IS an excellent book, as all her writing is. Read her book Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism for a historical basis.

(Thanks No Guy In The Sky :) )

DM said...

add comment moderation to your blasphemy blog, fool...


http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780




Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism...


*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

*************************************



atheists deny their own life element...




LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?


********************************
***************************LIGHT*********
************************************

DM said...

___________


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtK-X_MV0k&feature=fvw


DOWN THE TOILET!!!



HAHAHA

Barb F said...

My thanks to those with the energy and perseverance to keep putting reasoned arguments out there, pointless as it may be. Attempts to change others is the same task Sisyphus spent eternity doing. So, I leave the eternal struggle to those with the energy to address it. My own efforts are more putting out fires than trying to eliminate the source. Opinions are not necessarily based on reason. Being right is not always the most helpful of responses to some issues in the short term. Young earth, old earth- the preservation of earth is the real bottom line if we are going to survive. YEC seems an insignificant argument - believe what you will - you will anyway.

No Guy in the Sky said...

Barb - You do know the Global Warming Blog, is down the hall and to the right? Thats where where you should be. :)

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Lisa,
Yes I am the person who posted about the Albigensian Cathars and I too have spent time in the Southern part of France i.e. Monaco, Nice, Marseille, Aix en Provonce when I was in the U.S. Navy in the mid-1970’s. From this I have taken an interest of French History.

I too would like to talk with you and I sent you an e-mail at the mermaydes@msn.com. I look forward to speaking with you.

davmab11 said...

THE DEATH OF ATH*ISM - SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GOD


http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780




Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism...


*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

*************************************



atheists deny their own life element...




LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?

********************************
***************************LIGHT*********
************************************

___________


add comment moderation to your blasphemy blog, you fool...

Rastifan said...

This article came up on a party I was on yesterday. We where playing poker, and I got on the net as I was out of the game (Lost my pennies). This woman leaned over and and scanned the blog.

“This is harassment” she said.
“How so?” I inquired.
“I am a believer and don't like to be made fun of”.
“Harassment? Hump here draws a perfectly normal parallels to myths and superstitions. Some even as foolish as YEC”.

This didn't go home well as you can imagen. I have a mouth sometimes.

Flat earthers, witchcraft, sorcery, fortune telling, alien abduction and astral projection is NOT to be put in the same category as!

Parting of seas, walking on water, magic burning bushes, resurrection of the dead, virgin pregnancies and so on.

She didn't use those words, but that is what she meant. I realized it wasn't her I was provoking, but my self. Staring stupidity in the eye can be aggravating,

I think I need to re invent the term “grown up”.

Dromedary Hump said...

Rasti,
Well, if she doesn't like to be made fun of, maybe she should try harder to come to her senses.

as for "harassment" ... unless you decided to send it to her everyday for a year I can't imagine how the definition of the word harassment applies to reading a public blog. But hey, if she's actually a YECreationist it's not like she has the intellectual capacity to understand word usage.

Rastifan said...

That is what she saw Hump. Only the attack on her beliefs. Not the reasoning behind it. But I know people who believe in the absurd is often very defensive. With good reason to. It is not easily defended:)

DM said...

Atheists


GET OUT OF MY UNIVERSE…


you little liars do nothing but antagonize…

and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity…

but you LOST…

THE DEATH OF ATH*ISM - SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GOD

http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780

Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism…

*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

*************************************

atheists deny their own life element…

LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?

********************************
***************************LIGHT*********
************************************

lambpower1 said...

Atheists


GET OUT OF MY UNIVERSE…


you little liars do nothing but antagonize…

and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity…

but you LOST…

THE DEATH OF ATH*ISM - SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GOD

http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780

Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism…

*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

*************************************

atheists deny their own life element…

LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?

********************************
***************************LIGHT*********
************************************

NewEnglandBob said...

DM stands for Delusional Maniac

Dennis Marcuze, you are one sick moron. The Canadian authorities need to lock you away in an asylum.

Rastifan said...

Is it this guy in question who is harassing the blog?

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/09/update_on_dennis_markuze.php

Glenn Livingston said...

Hey there Hump :-)

While I'm often amazed and appalled by the waste of time, intellectual energy, and indeed lives poured into such debates, I'm reminded of Edmund Burke's famous quote:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Unfortunately, the masses prefer delusion to reason, and the fight must go on.

Which is why, indeed, I'm so pleased you keep doing what you do.

Now go kiss your dogs for me and write another post!

G :-)

Dromedary Hump said...

Hey Glenn!
I kissed Maddie on the lips for you. Ella said she'll have none of it.
;)